Science vs. God

From THE ACE

This is not a testimony, but something I wanted to bring to bring to everyone's attention. My parents recently e-mailed this Christian propaganda; I've read it through several times, and it still confuses the heck out of me. Would some of you comment on this so I can give them some logical answers to whatever this is trying to say?

Science vs. God

'Let me explain the problem science has with Jesus Christ.' The atheist professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks one of his new students to stand.

'You're a Christian, aren't you, son?'

'Yes sir,' the student says.

'So you believe in God?'

'Absolutely.'

'Is God good?'

'Sure! God's good.'

'Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?'

'Yes.'

'Are you good or evil?'

'The Bible says I'm evil.'

The professor grins knowingly. 'Aha! The Bible!' He considers for a
moment.

'Here's one for you. Let's say there's a sick person over here and you can cure him. You can do it. Would you help him? Would you try?'

'Yes sir, I would.'

'So you're good...!'

'I wouldn't say that.'

'But why not say that? You'd help a sick and maimed person if
you could. Most of us would if we could. But God doesn't.'

The student does not answer, so the professor continues. 'He
doesn't, does he? My brother was a Christian who died of cancer, even though he prayed to Jesus to heal him How is this Jesus good? Hmmm? Can you answer that one?'

The student remains silent.

'No, you can't, can you?' the professor says. He takes a sip of
water from a glass on his desk to give the student time to relax.

'Let's start again, young fella Is God good?'

'Er.yes,' the student says.

'Is Satan good?'

The student doesn't hesitate on this one. 'No.'

'Then where does Satan come from?'

The student : 'From...God...'

'That's right. God made Satan, didn't he? Tell me, son. Is there
evil in this world?'

'Yes, sir.'

'Evil's everywhere, isn't it? And God did make everything,
correct?'

'Yes.'

'So who created evil?' The professor continued, 'If God created
everything, then God created evil, since evil exists, and according to
the principle that our works define who we are, then God is evil.'

Without allowing the student to answer, the professor continues:
'Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible
things, do they exist in this world?'

The student: 'Yes.'

'So who created them?'

The student does not answer again, so the professor repeats his
question. 'Who created them? There is still no answer. Suddenly the
lecturer breaks away to pace in front of the classroom. The class is
mesmerized.

'Tell me,' he continues onto another student. 'Do you believe in
Jesus Christ, son?'

The student's voice is confident: 'Yes, professor, I do.'

The old man stops pacing. 'Science says you have five senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Have you ever seen Jesus?'

'No sir. I've never seen Him'

'Then tell us if you've ever heard your Jesus?'

'No, sir, I have not.'

'Have you ever actually felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus or
smelt your Jesus? Have you ever had any sensory perception of Jesus Christ, or God for that matter?'

'No, sir, I'm afraid I haven't.'

'Yet you still believe in him?'

'Yes.'

'According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable
protocol, science says your God doesn't exist. What do you say to that, son?'

'Nothing,' the student replies. 'I only have my faith.'

'Yes, faith,' the professor repeats. 'And that is the problem
science has with God. There is no evidence, only faith.'

The student stands quietly for a moment, before asking a
question of his own. 'Professor, is there such thing as heat?'

'Yes,' the professor replies. 'There's heat.'

'And is there such a thing as cold?'

'Yes, son, there's cold too.'

'No sir, there isn't.'

The professor turns to face the student, obviously interested.
The room suddenly becomes very quiet. The student begins to explain.

'You can have lots of heat, even more heat, super-heat,
mega-heat, unlimited heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat, but we
don't have anything called 'cold'. We can hit up to 458 degrees below zero, which is no heat, but we can't go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold; otherwise we would be able to go colder than the lowest -458 degrees. Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy. Absolute zero (-458 F) is the total absence of heat.
You see, sir, cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of
heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat we can measure in thermal units because heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.'

Silence across the room. A pen drops somewhere in the classroom, sounding like a hammer.

'What about darkness, professor. Is there such a thing as
darkness?'

'Yes,' the professor replies without hesitation. 'What is night
if it isn't darkness?'

'You're wrong again, sir. Darkness is not something; it is the
absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright
light, flashing light, but if you have no light constantly you have
nothing and it's called darkness, isn't it? That's the meaning we use to define the word. In reality, darkness isn't. If it were, you would be
able to make darkness darker, wouldn't you?'

The professor begins to smile at the student in front of him.
This will be a good semester. 'So what point are you making, young man?'

'Yes, professor. My point is, your philosophical premise is
flawed to start with, and so your conclusion must also be flawed.'

The professor's face cannot hide his surprise this time.
'Flawed? Can you explain how?'

'You are working on the premise of duality,' the student
explains. 'You argue that there is life and then there's death; a good
God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can't even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life, just the absence of it.'

'Now tell me, professor. Do you teach your students that they
evolved from a monkey?'

'If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, young
man, yes, of course I do'

'Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?'

The professor begins to shake his head, still smiling, as he
realizes where the argument is going. A very good semester, indeed.

'Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work
and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you now not a scientist, but a preacher?'

The class is in uproar. The student remains silent until the
commotion has subsided.

'To continue the point you were making earlier to the other
student, let me give you an example of what I mean.'

The student looks around the room. 'Is there anyone in the class
who has ever seen the professor's brain?' The class breaks out into
laughter.

'Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor's brain,
felt the professor's brain, touched or smelled the professor's brain? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, with all due respect, sir. So if science says you have no brain, how can we trust your lectures, sir?'

Now the room is silent. The professor just stares at the
student, his face unreadable.

Finally, after what seems an eternity, the old man answers. 'I
guess you'll have to take them on faith.'

'Now, you accept that there is faith, and, in fact, faith exists
with life,' the student continues. 'Now, sir, is there such a thing as
evil?'

Now uncertain, the professor responds, 'Of course, there is. We
see it everyday. It is in the daily example of man's inhumanity to man.
It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world.
These manifestations are nothing else but evil.'

To this the student replied, 'Evil does not exist sir, or at
least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God.
It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God.

God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what happens when
man does not have God's love present in his heart. It's like the cold
that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light.'

The professor sat down.

Pass this on if you have faith and love Jesus.

100 comments:

Unknown said...

So, atheists should ALL be evil people, incapable of goodness, since they're "empty of God". Is'nt it ?

I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. (Isaiah 45:7, KJV)

Whatever the interpretation you can make of this verse, it just CLEALY says that god created evil. Even if he "does'nt approve" it.

Edwardtbabinski said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ExFundie said...

I'm too fucking sick of this delusional superstitious argument to even read the whole thing! We use all our senses to make observations, not just sight. None of our senses can detect anything Christian or spiritual, unless we (or someone else) tell ourselves over and over again they can. It is an argument of confusion, and brainwashed delusion.

Edwardtbabinski said...

The whole fake dialogue presupposes that we must speak about such matters in terms of the "problem of evil," when it's far more direct and problematical to speak in terms of the "problem of pain." Let me explain...

Neither "evil" nor "good" are universally agreed upon terms.

For instance, according to religionists anything not agreeing with their particular theology is deemed "evil." That includes rival theologies. So a whole lot of Christians with different theologies disagree as to what beliefs and sacramental practices and biblical interpretations are "evil," and which may "damn" a person or "save" them.

According to the O.T. the Hebrew god Yahweh found particular acts of genocide, stoning blasphemers, polygamous relationships, and owning slaves to be "good." In the N.T. a slave makes God happy if obeys even harsh unjust masters who beat him with no reason. That's "good" in other words, for slaves to obey their master. (Even Jesus depicts in a parable that a disobedient slave "shall be beaten with many stripes.") That's all "good."

So religionists usually don't want to develop the argument in terms of a "problem of evil," because they have such a problem defining "good and evil" simply via the Bible, and harmonizing or explaining away various biblical ideas, including loving one's neighbor and loving one's enemies, with Yahweh telling the Israelites to slay their neighbors, and God damning his enemies eternally. Blessed are the peacemakers?

So the first thing to do is POINT OUT THAT "pain" is a word that is more universally agreed upon than "evil." Even C. S. Lewis titled his book, The Problem of Pain (not the Problem of Evil). And no one is going to argue that "pain" does not exist, both physical pain and mentally anguishing, even mentally crippling, pains and illnesses.

Whence come such pains in such quantities -- with pain striking down animals for billions of years, i.e., long before the first human primate species began walking upright? The existnce of physical and mental pains turns many people away from religion's nice tidy explanations for the cosmos. In fact C. S. Lewis's friend, Charles Williams, even chided Lewis for writing a book attempting to explain away the problem of pain. And I myself am appaled that Lewis could compose a book with such glib answers as "Maybe animals will live eternally and God could combine a hell for human beings with a heaven for mosquitoes." Check it out, that's a paraphrase of what Lewis wrote in The Problem of Pain.

Lastly as for existence of a personal Jesus... consider these questions...

Many evangelical Christians boast that they have a “personal relationship” with Jesus. What makes it so “personal?” Well, they say, we have the words attributed to Jesus in the four Gospels. But there are so few of them, a couple thousand. You could fit all of Jesus’s words into a small 16-page booklet. And they are subject to interpretation.

Well, they say, there are “answered prayers.” But again, that is a matter of interpretation, because no matter what happens, an evangelical Christian interprets it as “Jesus’s will,” even when bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people.

Whenever I have a “personal relationship” with someone it does not consist of a few thousand words spoken two thousand years ago, recorded accurately (or inaccurately) by someone else, and which require interpretation from third parties for me to “truly” understand them (especially when the third parties disagree concerning the meaning and intent of those words).

Neither should a “personal relationship” depend on me having to interpret the results of every prayer uttered. And the range of interpretations covers every conceivable outcome: “strongly positively answered,” “weakly positively answered,” “strongly negatively answered,” “weakly negatively answered,” or even, “try again later when you have more faith.”

Ray Braun said...

This is a doozy to respond to. But, I am glad very you presented it because I guess that is the real up-to-date frontline of the Fundamentalist Christian argument offered by "Christians" who are professional scientists. They are hacking away at the issue of Thermodynamics in the subject area of physics and they feel they have the answer to non believers. To be completely honest, while I have seen this argument before, I am not a physicist and cannot therefore answer the claime with any meaningful rebuttal at this pooint in time. That, however, does not mean they are right or have any information over which we should get into a panic. I know nothing about these areas of physics, but I will research it to the best of my ability and let you know if I come up with anything useful. I do have a physicist within my family connections. If I can make any useful sense out of whatever he says about this stuff, I will let you know.

One needs to go with one's gut feelings unless and until one has something that really shows that the other side is clearly wrong. I say that because these preachers actually emotionally involved individuals who are looking for so called rational facts that they think will show the rest of us that they know what is really true. Until then, don't let them make a fool of you by saying something they can easily refute.

Edwardtbabinski said...

My friend at Greenville Nontheists, David Windhorst has this to add:

Yeesh. Where to start...

Okay -- a science professor begins his school year...

Who is he? Where, and when? For an item that's so proud of its world-beating, secular-slaying rhetoric, it's awfully short on particulars. If an exchange such as this were genuine, one would expect all the Christian sites reproducing it to be trumpeting the names and parties involved. Not that its vagueness automatically marks it as nothing more than a sad piece of wish-fulfillment fiction, but I'm just sayin'...

...professor of philosophy...

He was a science professor in the preceding sentence. We're not even through the first paragraph, and this screed already is about as internally consistent as the Synoptic Gospels.

The professor's arguments get pretty good, though, until he comes to the "...empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol..."* bit, a phrase which I'm guessing the writer lifted from somewhere, given its laughable application here. By the standards depicted, the student couldn't attest to the existence of Abraham Lincoln. Or -- assuming this was written recently rather than a generation ago --John Lennon.

* (Googling that phrase turns up, as of this moment, 756 hits. 753 are pages reproducing all or part of the item in question here. Of the three that aren't, one is from an Oklahoma bbs where another Christian writer makes the same mistake this one does [I suppose they could be the same person]; the second is from mysteriousuniverse.org, a site devoted to "a diverse range of topics from the paranormal and the UFO phenomenon, to cryptozoology and ancient mysteries"; the third is from a page about "Kali: Religion Jesus" at www.goddess-kali-ma.com. Spot a trend yet?)

It starts getting especially silly with the "...we cannot measure cold" and whatnot. Although absence of heat is one definition, saying cold doesn't exist is erroneously simplistic, semantically facetious, and just plain wrong. Cold can also be used to describe aspects of the condition of some relative lowness of temperature (among other uses; googling "'science dictionary' cold" gets over 10,000 pages, the first few dozen of which I checked to verify the context; for something supposedly so nonexistent, it's a word with a lot of scientific utility). The same goes for "darkness is not something" ("'science dictionary' dark" -- over 12,000 pages).

Then we come to the gem: "You are working on the premise of duality." Excuse me? Don't Christians love to quote scriptures such as "No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon"? (Luke 16:13 KJV) And "He that is not with me is against me"? (Mthw. 12:30) The Bible is chock full o' duality. And one of the most frequent accusations Christians make of unbelievers is that they are duality-deficient; unable to see things in absolutes and prone to shades of gray, existentialism, and "situational ethics." I wish they'd make up their minds.

On to "...science can't even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one." Lotsa stuff wrong there. 1) Science doesn't claim to fully understand or explain much of anything. That's the beauty of it: science is an open-ended process of discovery, painstakingly seeking to accumulate understanding a bit at a time. There's a whole lot more known now about thought, electricity, and magnetism than there was just a decade ago. 2) While the substance of an individual thought -- a word which incorporates no small abstractness in its definitions -- may after a fashion still be described as unseen (for now), new research tools such as fMRI scans allow and observation of brain function in real time; in that sense, a thought is no less visible in action than is a byte of computer data. 3) I can't help noticing that although the writer describes electricity and magnetism as invisible, no mention is made of electromagnetism -- whose spectrum includes visible light.

"Death is not the opposite of life, just the absence of it." Cripes, this is tedious. I suppose hunger is nothing more than the absence of food?

"Now tell me, professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved" from a monkey?" "If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, young man, yes, of course I do." A professor of science is not likely to agree with such an ill-informed speaker. Humans and apes evolved from a common primate ancestor, not monkeys. Okay, maybe that's quibbling. Half a point.

"Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor..." That tears it. The writer of this bit is utterly, thoroughly illiterate when it comes to the facts of evolution by natural selection. Guilty, case closed. Someone needs to read up on mutating viruses and cancer genes, ring species, etc., for starters. I keep in my files, for just this sort of discussion, a list of 100 published, peer-reviewed scientific papers which each describe an event of observed speciation. You'll understand if it's a bit much to include here. And then there's all the fossil evidence of so-called transitional species (so-called only because lots of species, maybe even most, are transitional -- like us: http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2007/12/humans-evolving.html).

"Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the professor's brain?" Lame-o. If the professor, like ABC news anchor Bob Woodruff, ever suffers the misfortune of proximity to a roadside bomb, someone will likely see at least part of his brain. By this point the writer has gotten desperate.

"Evil is simply the absence of God." When I was a kid in Sunday school, one of the attributes of God they taught us about was His omnipresence. "Do I not fill heaven and earth, saith the Lord?" -- Jeremiah 23:24. How can an omnipresent being ever be absent? If he's omnipresent, he's not absent from the evil. If he is absent, he's not omnipresent. (And speaking the attributes of God, if we were made in His image, why aren't we Invisible? That one's free, no charge.)

Nuff said. Fish in a barrel.
[Dave Windhorst, Greenville Nontheists, a Yahoo Group]

Pete said...

We evolved with the apes, not from them. We are apes. Gorilla apes, baboon apes, chimp apes, human apes, we are all primates.. Fundies get this through your heads once and for all...... pete.

webmdave said...

Pete! We're not primates -- yuck! No, according to the Bye-Bull, we're nothing more than reconstituted dirt.

And everyone knows, dirts is worth a whole lot more than any old primates.

Anonymous said...

I find it disheartening that so many feel the need to denigrate those who don't agree with them.

Name-calling, the "get over it, Christian" type of comment -- what does that accomplish? Does it convince anyone?

Surely not.

Believe me (!), I understand the frustration. But there is only frustration in automatic dismissal of those who don't agree with you/see things your way.

If we (non-believers) do treat the Christians that way, how are we any different from the fundamentalists (I was one) who do likewise?

Reason, yes. Logic, yes. But without compassion, science is but tinkling brass and sounding cymbal.

FWIW,

Gregg (The "I'm not a Christian" guy)

Jackie said...

hmmm... I got this email like 10 years ago and a couple of months ago from a Christian guy except it added the part about the professor having no brain.
Now, I haven't been to college and I've been out of high school for 10 years but I'm reading this and thinking "you can still measure heat and light. You still can't measure God or the lack thereof." Still proves nothing other than Christians still don't know their shit, still can't think critically, still can't research or use their damn brains. Oh, and rely on stupid emails like this to prove that God and Jesus exist.
One last thing, I am pretty sure that this originally came from some book that was a work of fiction and has been modified in the passing of emails (there's the one about the professors brain and the chalk rolling down his pants or something like that.)

webmdave said...

Gregg, perhaps instead of lumping "no-god-knows-who" under the umbrella of "so many," perhaps you could specifically identify the miscreants to whom you refer.

Frankly, I read all the posts above and didn't see anything wrong with any of them.

Taking a position of authority in telling other people whom you don't know and whom you have barely met how you think they ought to communicate or present their ideas and opinions is a fundie maxim. No one else so easily presupposes that kind of sanctimony.

Just saying...

webmdave said...

Hi Jackie,

This latest email is an evolved version of this story on Snopes: Malice of Absence

Jackie said...

Sorry, I cheated and didn't read the whole thing. This is the one about the professors brain. silly me!

Anonymous said...

webmdave:

exfundie wrote:

++I'm too fucking sick of this delusional superstitious argument to even read the whole thing!++

That's to whom I was referring, and also the kind of thinking to which I was referring.

You really think that's appropriate?

It seems abrasive at best to me.

Anonymous said...

Gregg 02,
I am a victim of Christianity, as I suspect many other people on this site are as well. I suffered quite a bit as a youngster at the hands of well meaning Christians.

I am over Christianity now, but the emotional scars that I received from those assholes will remain with me for the rest of my life.

I don't think that Christians should be treated with any more respect than rapists, the KKK, or Nazis. Mental abuse of children is a heinous crime.

I reserve the right to tell a Christian to go fuck himself anytime I want to.

Cheers

Trans-man said...

http://www.snopes.com/religion/einstein.asp
Check it out, it tells you clearly it's another one of those sappy, nonsense fictional stories, designed to make atheists look stupid.
especially the argument of the brain is silly, since we know that no person could exist without it. Besides, you can feel it, touch it, even eat it if you absolutely want to.
evil can't be the absence of god, cause god's always been absent. So, everything there is is the absence of god, including everything good, or what's considered good.
To me, the argument is simply senseless. To a believer, well, I guess it's just one more of those Internet hoax and scam stories that they eat up with glee, just like the ones that show you the wonderful nature pictures, tell of some spectacular rescue of someone, or show a soldier with a little Iraqi baby in his arms.
Have fun, christians and other believers, with your gods and credit everything good to them. I, on the other hand, will keep looking for the good in people and give them credit for their heroic deeds and their unselfish actions, for kindness, altruism and a helping hand.

Anonymous said...

theantihristian:

I completely understand.

Don't get me wrong: I, too, am a total victim of christianity. Supposedly well-meaning, supposedly loving people put me through absolute living hell for over thirty-five years.

I do not minimize your status as a victim, for I am one as well.

There is a very real part of me that would completely relish the opportunity to rage at the ones who condemned me for being gay.

And for just plain doubting the faith.

I could -- ahem -- "preach" on it for a long time.

I do not pretend to understand what you've been through. As someone once said: It doesn't matter if your burden is more than mine; mine is about all I can carry.

That said, I refuse to be defined by what others did to me. No, I'm not somehow "above the fray." (In fact, I actually enjoy the fray from time to time.)

But I do find my life more . . . um . . . what I want it to be (enjoyable? okay, that's one way to state it) when I disengage -- for a time.

I choose to battle the nonsensical believers in different ways than casting aspersions at them.

Doesn't make me better, or worse. It's just my personal philosophy that I'll come closer to changing the world (read: at least one person) by not baring fangs . . . .

FWIW

brent said...

You should stop being so concerned with what you're parents think. If they're anything like my folks, they're way too far gone to be reached. Let them keep their tiny little worldview. As long as they're not running around stabbing people or running for office they're probably not hurting anybody so you can just file these silly, nonsensical stories with your chick tracts and keep them around for a good chuckle.

brent said...

BTW,

Edward t. Babinski's entry was a fucking work of art. If you really want to throw down on your folks just slap some of that shit on them. They won't understand any of it but it will be fucking hilarious to hear them call you a liberal or communist or terrorist or whatever when their brains are boiling in their skulls.

Unknown said...

I have one question for the student in this situation. If god is omnipresent......how can there be an absence of god.

webmdave said...

Yes, 02, what exfundie wrote is abrasive, but it is ABSOLUTELY appropriate.

Please read the site purpose and disclaimer. There is only one reason this site exists... to encourage ex-Christians. That's it. That's all there is to it.

Some ex-Christians are mad as hell for any number of reasons. If they need a place to rant, rave, and vent, this is the place to do it.

Some of the former Christians here are forced to hide what they think in front of spouses, employers, family, the neighbors, etc., in order to keep the peace. If those individuals need to come here to vent, scream and cry -- they are welcome!

Let's take a look at what exfundie said: "I'm too fucking sick of this delusional superstitious argument.'

What in the world is wrong with that? Is it the word "fucking" you find offensive? It IS a delusional, superstitious argument! The argument is STUPID. Exfundie didn't denigrate a person, he denigrated an ARGUMENT. Where do you come from that calling an argument asinine is considered going over the top?

There is nothing wrong with being overly polite on this site, but there is also nothing wrong with what you apparently consider rude verbiage. If a Christian is offended by "fucking," there is a little X in the corner of the page. Christians are not in any way mandated to hang around.

In Christianity everyone is expected to be conformed to the image of whatever leader is blathering. There is no such expectation here. Outside of the prohibitions mentioned in the disclaimer, everyone is free to express his or her individuality.

I hope all that makes sense.

Lance said...

Hi ACE,

I hope I don't bore you with this, but here goes.

This is obviously a fictional story meant to encapsulate a logical argument. The authors of this email are trying to combat the problem of evil, and the uncomfortable idea of god creating it.

So let's start off by analyzing their logical arguments.

Argument #1.
A. Heat is real.
B. Cold is only the absence of heat.
C. Therefore cold does not exist.

Argument #2.
Ditto for light and darkness.

Argument #3.
A. Good and evil fit the same category as heat and cold.
B. Therefore evil is only the absence of good.
C. Therefore evil does not really exit on its own.

Argument #4.
A. God is the source of all good.
B. Evil is only the absence of good.
C. Therefore, evil is really the absence of god.

Their final conclusion: Evil is only lack of god's presence or goodness, and does not exist on its own. Therefore you can't accuse god of creating the non-existent thing called evil.

I think that sums it up, but I'm open to other thoughts.

So now lets look at those arguments.

The problem with arguments 1 and 2 is the logical fallacy called equivocation. It is using a word that has multiple meanings, such as hot or cold, in an ambiguous way.

For example, the email is correct technically in that heat and light are simply the effects of vibration of sub-atomic particles inside a substance. If you stop the particles from vibrating by cooling them down, then you stop the heat and light. Heat and light are a measure of the quantity and quality of that vibration. We do not typically measure the coldness or darkness of an object. Chalk up one point for the email.

But then they try to contrast heat and cold. A correct contrast would be between hot and cold, since those terms are used for relative measurements, just like fast and slow.

Here is the equivocation; the word heat can be used both as measurement of the quantity of thermal energy, as well as for a relative measurement between two or more objects. For example, you can say that one object is colder than another, or that one room is darker than another. Their argument concerning heat and cold, as well as light and dark confuse the two meanings; one being an absolute measurement, the other being relative.

So the conclusion of argument 1 is correct in that cold does not exist as physical property, but it is wrong in that the concept of cold does in fact exist when two objects of dissimilar temperatures are compared.

Does that make sense?

It is typical debating tactics to take something that is true, but twist it around in a way that is confusing.


Argument 3 is a false analogy combined with the above equivocation. They are trying to use an analogy to equate a physical concept with a metaphysical one.

The terms good and evil are never used in scientific ways such as heat or light. You can't measure the absolute goodness of an act by a human, nor can you find the absolute bottom of evil (unless, of course, you consider the concept of hell). You can't say there were 253 units of goodness in an act, nor can you say that no act can score below -322 units of goodness. That would be silly.

A correct analogy would be to say that the goodness of an act can in some ways be compared to other acts in a similar fashion as the temperature of one object can be compared to the temperature of another. It is not a precise analogy, but it gets the point across that good and evil can be judged on a sliding scale, just as hot and cold can be.

The analogy of argument 3-A falls apart because they use the absolute nature of heat and light in arguments 1 and 2, but they do an under-handed switch to the relative meaning of heat and light when they try to equate those concepts with goodness. They want you to think that goodness is absolute and exists on its own, rather than in its relation to evil.

Now the real problem starts with argument 4. This argument starts with the premise that god exists and that he is the source of all good. This is begging the question in the extreme, since the fictional professor only posed those concepts as rhetorical questions, and never agreed to their being a valid premise.

They are trying to claim that goodness is a absolute property of god without giving any evidence that this god even exists. By the way, begging the question means to propose the conclusion of an argument as one of the initial premises. Without this claim of absolute goodness, they have no way of equating heat or light with goodness.

So until they can give some sort of evidence for premise 4-A, then the rest of argument 4 is empty.

So let's skip argument 4, since that is a topic unto itself, and jump directly from argument 3 to the final conclusion that evil does not really exist, but is simply the absence of good, and therefore you can't accuse god of creating something that does not exist. Even this argument does does not hold water since they need to resort to using equivocation followed by a false analogy, and then round it out by begging the question.

I don't claim to be a philosopher, but the way I understand it, good and evil only exist in relative terms, and thus in relationship to each other. They are trying to argue against this, and I think they fail in the attempt.

Please let me know if this helped or not, as I have been accused of being able to take a simple concept and make it unbelievably complicated.

Thanks,

Lance

THE ACE said...

Thank you one and all for your
responses. These helped a lot.
I would have thanked you earlier,
but I'm just getting back to my computer this morning (Wednesday).
Webmaster Dave also mentioned yesterday this is an old urban legend supposedly concerning
Albert Einstein. Maybe Einstein
could have figured it out, because the whole thing didn't make much sense to me!

boomSLANG said...

"Evil" is merely the absence of "God", is it?

Well, if this is true, then logic says that "God" most certainly cannot be "Omnipresent", as in, the way that the very same people who fabricate these cheezy parables insist that "He" is.

If "good" and "evil" is a "choice", then good grief, that certainly doesn't do me much good if "God" is "absent". After all, "God" can't, on the one hand, be there for my choosing, and on the other hand, be absent, thus, permiting "evil" to hang around. This is circular reasoning, and it is quite blatant.

Anonymous said...

webmdave:

I don't find the word "fucking" offensive.

Where I come from, telling someone their argument is "fucking delusional" is the same as denigrating the person.

It is certainly possible to hold and show respect for a person while finding their line of reasoning lacks integrity.

I find it somewhat harder to manage calling someone's argument stupid and, at the same time, holding the person in respect. Though it can be -- and is -- done, often we blur the lines between the argument and the person. Hence the conflict between those of different beliefs that sometimes becomes emotional, sometimes physical.

This site's purpose is to encourage ex-christians. Noted. I read that before posting.

Somehow I missed the the point was also to rant and rave -- which is okay, if that's what you want to do.

The reason for my comment is that the original post seemed to be asking for help.

To quote from THE ACE:

"Would some of you comment on this so I can give them some logical answers to whatever this is trying to say?"

That seemed to me to be an honest request for something constructive to say to the poster's parents.

exfundie's comment didn't seem to do a good job of answering the poster's question.

That's all this is about.

I completely embrace those who want to rant and rave and exorcise (ha!) the pent-up rage that being a christian can generate.

Really, I do.

I simply thought that anyone commenting on this post would first try to help the poster.

Calling his parents' argument "fucking delusional" doesn't help.

Hey, I'm new here, so perhaps I've just missed the tone of the general conversation. Be patient; I'll catch on before long.

Thanks for listening.

Anonymous said...

Brief edit/correction:

After re-reading exfundie's original comment, I see that he didn't actually use the term, "fucking delusional," but said:

"I'm too fucking sick of this delusional superstitious argument."

This is, of course, different from what I said he said.

Though that changes things a bit, the general gist of what I say above still holds, I think.

Just wanted to be accurate. Should have checked before I clicked the Publish button.

Unknown said...

So then if evil is just an absence of God, and people are evil (according to the Bible) then ALL people, not just atheists, are empty of God. Therefore, God may as well not exist because God can't touch us or affect us in any way. If evil is an absence of good, rather than an absence of God, then it's clear that humans are NOT evil because then we wouldn't be capable of doing anything good. Yet clearly, people do good works all the time. So in order to make this logically coherent, you'd either have to admit that people are NOT evil, that God does not exist or that God does exist but is entirely irrelevant to people's lives. In short, it's a horribly stupid argument made by someone who only thinks he's being clever.

Nina said...

I can not read the whole thing either. COLD CAN BE MEASURED AND CREATED AND is not just the absence of heat.
Such illogic.
Don't get how the professor did not stop him right there!!!!
Nina

Anonymous said...

Gregg 02,
I understand your point of view. In principle, if you want to engage in an intelligent dialogue, you have to respect your interlocutor.

I am willing to hold an intelligent debate with any religious person whatsoever, or with any person on any subject, for that matter.

However, when people start regurgitating senseless plabum (our beloved Andrew, for instance), I do not hesitate in throwing insults.

There are some people who you simply cannot reason with. They are either ignorant, schizophrenic, proud, brainwashed, or just plain hard headed.

You can present them with fact after fact contrary to what they believe, and they will still hold onto their beleifs with a passion.

These people deserve insults.

Speaking of gay ...

When I was 19, our youth pastor went before the youth group (about 200 people) and effectively ex-communicated two members for being gay. "Mr. X and Mr. Y are in sin and they will not repent. They are homosexuals and they will not repent. No one from this youth group is to have any contact with them whatsoever. They will not be allowed to enter the church grounds anymore."

I knew these two young men. They were young and sensitive at 15 and 16 years old. They were struggling with their first pangs of sexuality, and this idiot youth pastor brasenly exposed them and ex-communicated in front of the entire youth group.

Doesn't it make you want to hit somebody?

Doesn't this idiocracy make you angry?

Needless to say, I left the church shorlty thereafter. My only regret is that I was too much of a coward to confront the youth pastor on this.

For some of these idiot Christians, a mere insult is way too kind.

Anonymous said...

The Ace,
I am not a physicist, but I am a high school physics teacher. And, yes, we do teach that, at least in the realm of physics, there are simply varying degrees of heat. The word "cold" really has no meaning in the realm of physics.

Nevertheless, it was inappropriate to transfer this principle to the presence of God and the absence of God or the presence of good and the absence of good. The corrolation given is simply contrived.

One of the bloggers said, "God is supposed to be omnipresent, isn't he?" That pretty much kills the argument presented.

twincats said...

Nina, the "professor" didn't respond to the student because he is fictional, just like the fair few other similar stories I've seen circulating.

None of the godless types in these stories ever has any rhetorical training, it seems, so the christers always "win."

Maybe someone (Mr. Babinsky?) should write up a version where the professor has the answers he put forth and put the xtian students in their place!

Anonymous said...

TheAntiChristian:

I agree with much of what you say. Intelligent conversation is the best.

But when the person before you spouts nonsense, acts rude, and attempts to shut down all appeal to reason, what do you do?

What I do is disconnect with a "We'll just have to agree to disagree" type of statement.

Not that I'm not tempted to "let them have it" -- I am, I am.

But I don't see how shouting insults gets me anywhere.

I just don't.

Now, if that unreasonable person wants to do more than talk -- for example, wants to try and change the laws on the books -- then I retaliate with action.

But not with name-calling.

Perhaps I'm just way too polite for my own good.

My feeling is that I'm more likely to favorably impress those open-minded types that aren't settled in their convictions (and those who are) by trying to remain decorous.

~ ~ ~

The story of the youth pastor -- I've seen that type of person in action too many times. It's easy to come back with comments like "He should be shot" or worse.

In my humble opinion, he should be defrocked (no, evangelicals don't get frocked in the first place [fill in your own joke here]) and kept from positions of leadership.

I liked your comment about physics, btw. I'm a musician and editor by trade, but have always enjoyed armchair physics -- keeping up with the subject as best as a layperson can.

webmdave said...

02, I think the difference of opinion we are having here is NOT with how you want to maintain a conversation. The disagreement is over your implied suggestion that EVERYONE should hold a conversation following your prescribed formula.

Whether your approach is more effective remains to be proved. Although it is reasonable to assume that your method may appeal to some, it is a truism that there are many different types of people. My personal experience in arguing with fundies over the past several years indicates that an emotional appeal is sometimes MORE effective than anything else. I've witnessed a number of people who have de-converted after being initially emotionally insulted. Those particular posters went away mad, at first, and the anger spurred them on to research and think. When they came back, they came back with a different perspective.

The point here is that there is no one guaranteed way to get through to anyone and there is no one way that I've seen that is demonstratively better. A simple study of the political rhetoric that birthed the USA will show that while some politicians gained considerable ground through controlled politeness, others gained equal success through a more colorfully aggressive approach.

Ex-Christians are like cats. To expect them all to conform to any one standard of conversational style sends up red flags. No one here expects you to adjust your style of conversation. No one has even hinted at that conclusion. It does appear, however, that you seem desirous of bringing others into conformation with your preferred style.

This, and this alone, is my point in addressing you on this matter.

jamesisme1 said...

The arguments given could apply to every god ever known. So does zeus exist? What about Thor? If jehova exists and this argument is correct then Thor throws lightning bolts,rather rediculous right? All branches of science are susceptible to change when new observations require that they do so. Religion rarely changes regardsless of discoveries that make it irelevant.Religion is a system of control whereas science is a system of discovery. Religion exists to maintain the status quo, science exists to help us discover our universe. Science requires that we think, religion requires that we be obedient to an unchanging set of cultural rules of behavior. Which do you prefer? Frankly I PREFER TO THINK.

Raul said...

boomSLANG definetly made a good point.
1.If God everything how can there be "abscence of God"?
2.If in the begining there was only God and "he had no evil within him" where did evil come from?

boomSLANG said...

Actually, upon closer inspection, I noticed that I wasn't the first in this thread to point out the dilemma that "omnipresence" poses for the "Evil is the absence of God", hypothesis...

Justine asked... If god is omnipresent......how can there be an absence of god(?)

Christians need to make up their minds and show a little more unity on how they want their Christian concepts to play out. Is "evil" something passive?..is it something that only has influence if one's "free will" allows it? Or, is "evil" an active force in the Universe and something that we have no control over, and thus, presumably need their biblegod's "assistance" in overcoming it?

*Note, any thinking person realizes that there are serious implications for both senarios, which, again, is how we know that Christianity's foundation is built of impossible and illogical concepts. I suppose this is where "faith" comes in handy.

Anonymous said...

webmdave:

I don't think everyone should hold a conversation following my prescribed formula.

Indeed, I don't have a prescribed formula. Sometimes I call names, too.

All of this matters not, however, because something in the tone I used communicated to you that I thought my way was better, preferred, or the only way.

I apologize for that. I didn't realize I came across that way.

I don't think my way is the only way. I do, of course, think it's a better way -- that's why it's my way.

After all, who chooses what they think is the second- or third-best way to behave? We all do what we do because we think that's the best.

But the way everyone should argue?

No, no, and no.

I do want to point out, though, that the Purpose Disclaimer page at Ex-Christian.net says:

If a topic degenerates into mindless name calling, your post may be deleted.

Apparently the ones running the site don't think that mindless name-calling is appropriate.

Now, you could argue that what I responded to (exfundie's comment) isn't mindless name calling, and I'd listen. Not all name calling is inappropriate at all times.

Regardless, I apologize for coming across as arrogant.

boomSLANG said...

In my experience, it's usually a "red flag" when a guest drops in on this site and they commence to unceasingly harping on the actions/propriety, etc., of the non-theist posters here. This is because, more often than not, what they end up being is anonymous Christians, who, since they don't have a valid argument for their worldview, resort to judging the behavior of non-believers. I guess what they fail to understand, is that we left the one-size-fits-all mentality behind, right along with the "flying zombie".

As far as this(from the disclaimer).....

If a topic degenerates into mindless name calling, your post may be deleted.

I'm going to go out on a limb and estimate that what it more than likely means, is that if a poster resorts to NOTHING but name-calling, then their posts get scrubbed. Personally, I try to incorporate reason and logic as much as possible when dealing with Theists, notwithstanding, I also like to throw in an occasional ad hominem assault. It's like fights in hockey--it comes with the turf.

TheJaytheist said...

"Apparently the ones running the site don't think that mindless name-calling is appropriate."

But they don't seem to have a problem with mindfull namecalling!

webmdave said...

02 wrote, "After all, who chooses what they think is the second- or third-best way to behave? We all do what we do because we think that's the best."

To the end of that sentence I'd add, "way for us to act." In other words, I correspond in a style that fits my personality, upbringing, training, education, etc. I also happen to think my style is the very best style... FOR ME. I don't, however, think my style is generally the best style in existence. Regardless, my chosen style of communication is currently the absolute best style for me and your chosen style is currently the absolute best style for you.

I appreciate your apology, but I still think you miss the point. You believe your approach is the best, and you are correct -- but only for you. You are incorrect in assuming that your style may be a standard for anyone else.

I belabor this point because as a Christian I was constantly confronted by well-meaning Christians who resented my difficult theological questions and accused me of sowing discord among the brethern. They wanted me to shut up and conform to the status quo. Christians ALWAYS want everyone to conform to some status quo. It's a maxim in Christianity that EVERYONE conform to the status quo. I could be wrong, but it appears to me that you still suffer somewhat from that malady of thought.

Again: Your approach is the best for you. My approach is the best for me. Exfundie's approach is the best for Exfundie. And so on...

Boom's limb testing was spot on. When a thread degenerates into nothing but mindless name calling then the post MAY be scrubbed. And I happen to know that the primary audience to which that sentence was originally penned is made up of trolling fundamentalists.

Anyway, enough on this. Hopefully I've effectively (finally) made my point.

Anonymous said...

boomslang:

Right on, spot on.

webmdave:

Also, right on.

Now, *rubs hands, smacks lips* where might I find a fundamentalist to abuse? *jpk*

WhateverLolaWants said...

Some very good posts here debunking these arguments. Another thing- I've only taken 2 philosophy classes, but I immediately spotted an untrue statement by the "student":
"My point is, your philosophical premise is flawed to start with, and so your conclusion must also be flawed."
UNTRUE! Take a basic logic class (I just did) and you'll find that's not true. You can have false premises and a true conclusion. Geesh!

CinemaNet said...

*sigh*

This urban legend exists in many forms. My favorite one is the one where a Navy SEAL is apparently taking a science class, and guess what? At the very end, after kicking the professor's ass with his words, he punches the professor. AFTER the professor waxes philosophical. In a science class. Yep. And I could be wrong, but I believe there were machines guns, a Blackhawk helicopter, and a nude Angelina Jolie involved.

Gotta love bodybuilder mentality. Just gotta love it.

The problem with these Christian urban legends, aside from being vague and anecdotal, is that they rely entirely on logical fallacies. The professor speaks of using the five senses to detect and understand the world around us, and in the end the student relies on ONE sense, as if that one sense (sight) somehow overrides the need for detection through any other sense. The student says we cnanot see the professor's brain (as did the SEAL), so therefore the professor's brain does not exist. Therefore, the professor is wrong, God is real, as is Original Sin, unicorns, talking bushes, and angels hell-belt on sodomizing the SHIT out of some villagers.

Right. Makes total sense.

The problem with your parents' reasoning is that everything the student lists as not being "real" because it can't be "seen" is that the EFFECTS of these things can be seen. It's a lot like the logical fallacy that we use faith when we turn on a light switch; we don't know that the light will turn on when we flip the switch, therefore we have faith that it will, the same way Christians have faith that God will answer their prayers and be present in their lives. at best, Christians can only offer vague, anecdotal, inconclusive evidence that can be explained by other factors. God is never present in human life the way it says it will be in the Bible. The effects of flipping a light switch are obvious; praying to God to move a mountain or dry up an ocean will not work. th logical fallacy there is that our faith is the same as theirs because we don't know if it will work. But with God, it NEVER works, therefore the two "faiths" cannot possibly be the same.

Another fallacy: your parents speak of the absences of things, and by making assumptions about the nature of absences of OTHER things (heat, light, etc.), these things being fallacies themselves, then proceed to equate them to the scientific principle they have jst spoken of. These are great and all, but they still haven't shown that the God of the Bible, Jesus Christ, unicorns, or reanimated corpses exist. In order for their comparisons to be true, they must first show that their God is true. Otherwise, the comparisons are moot.

I don't know if anyone else brought up those points, but those are the problems I saw. I'd love to see your parents' reaction. At some point, they have no choice but to be silent or start preaching some emotional nonsense about how you HATE GAWD or some shit.

And yes, your parents are fucking delusional. I might even be moved eot say that they are delusional FUCKTARDS.

Anonymous said...

trancelation:

Good analysis.

Parents' status as fucktards depends entirely on how loud they are, I think, with the three basic levels being: Fucktard, FUCKtard, and FUCKTARD.

godsfavoritecolor said...

I think that one of the most sinister things about this anecdote are only hinted at in the above criticisms, to wit, the persistent and continual denigration of human morality, knowledge, education, and science by xtian fundamentalists. The xtians who promote these stories glory in their worship of deliberate ignorance. This is for me the chief reason why I believe that xtianity should be extinguished from the collective mind of humanity.

Edwardtbabinski said...

The Snopes article on this "atheist professor" story is well worth reading:

http://www.snopes.com/religion/einstein.asp

It explains that such stories function as modern day parables repeated by religionists because they show them being able to win arguments with those who question or oppose their views.

But might not the same thing be said about some of the parables of Jesus in which he and the Pharisees questioned each other? Maybe the straw man atheist in the modern day parables is an echo of a straw man Pharisee back in Jesus's day, and many some of Jesus's own followers enhanced Jesus stories, or even invented some parables, in order to make Jesus appear like the man with all the answers who could win every debate? I'm sure various scholars have already asked such questions and doubt that every word attributed to Jesus in the Gospels was necessarily spoken by a "Jesus of Nazareth."

clair said...

I've seen my brain lots of times with MRI. Also, I had an EEG a few weeks ago and saw my brain waves after. The technician enjoyed pointing out the way the waves looked when I almost fell asleep. It's always exciting, my brain. Yes, I got this tripe e-mail a few years ago also, it actually satisfies those feeling so beneath the intellect of an authority figure. This sweet story is passed among those with a deep need to pat one another on the back, and say, "See, we are even smarter than this proffesor" and they push back the nagging feeling of doubt for a time.

Anonymous said...

It's a game of semantics... cold is both the absense of, and the opposite of heat. Cold does actually exist, we just define it as the opposite of heat.

A God who allows an "absense of good" has effectively created evil, no matter how you word it.

We've never seen evolution at work, but we've seen the evidence of evolution. Dinosaur bones we can see and touch, thousand year old skulls that look eerily similar, yet slightly different than human skulls. DNA that is almost identical in all mammals, similar bone structure, plus the observable micro-evolution in certain bacteria that make them resistant to medication, plus the whole thing makes sense if you think it through, those animals with the greatest ability to survive would continue to survive.

As for the brain thing, something has to run the human body, we have to assume it's the same thing for everyone, since most other parts of the body are the same, and I have actually seen a human brain before.

Any of the things he mentioned, you can go back and find a rational explanation for. There is no rational explanation for a man dying on the cross to save people from an evil that their creator supposedly thrust upon them, nor is there a rational explanation for our having to rearrange our lives to accept his "free gift."

It would be SO nice if people would think these things through so somebody else doesn't have to.

Anonymous said...

To summarize the point of the dialogue: the existence of "evil" does not disprove the existence or the goodness of god; rather, evil is the absence of god. This is likened to the way that cold and darkness, which by human sensation we might mistake for forces in themselves, are known to modern physics simply as the relative absence of heat or light.

If we accept that god gives us the option of accepting him or not, the dialogue presents one reasonable way of addressing the problem of theodicy, or how an all-loving, all-knowing, and all-powerful god allows evil to exist. Disassociated from Christianity, I would even call it a reasonable argument, with the straw-man treatment of empirical reasoning being an irrelevant side-note.

Associated with Christianity, the argument falls down here: evil in the world does not correlate with the absence of Christianity. The god to which the student in this story attests is thus not the Christian god, or at least not exclusively that god. Tell your parents that you appreciate their sharing thoughts on the nature of divinity in the universe, and how if they believe what they have just sent you, they might want to consider branching away from evangelical Christianity.

webmdave said...

Some good concise responses to the various theodicies regarding evil are located here: Theodicy: The Problem of Evil

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link, Dave. I checked the page on Absence Theodicy, which it turns out is one of the site's weaker links. His refutation relies on attributing the theodicy with exactly the dualistic concept of good and evil it rejects.

Lance wrote one of the clearer parsings of the argument above, though I would disagree with him that the story makes an argument by analogy. Strictly speaking, it does not make an argument that god exists at all. It uses an illustrative analogy to introduce an argument for how god and evil could coexist, if believing in god is something you do.

Many a Fundamentalist might use this argument in combination with other concepts about god which contradict it. However, there are ways of conceiving of god (even within Christianity!) where this theodicy is logically consistent--for example, omnipresence can mean having no spatial boundaries, but only existing in places where it is accepted, or called, or whatever. It's not provable, but it's not delusional or transparently false.

The Fundamentalist who wrote this story felt willing to make straw-men out of arguments he or she disbelieved. I'd like to think that my unwillingness to do the same, rather than my disbelief in Jesus, is what separates us.

webmdave said...

Well, then light must be the absence of darkness and sound must be the absence of silence. A head of hair is probably the absence of baldness. As soon as you set up any kind of "either/or" comparison, you are setting up a dualistic model. This "absence of good" theo-idiocy is every bit as dualistic as any of the other black/white "odicies" in the theist brain.

Evil acts are not the absence of good acts. Well, perhaps some evil is "not doing good," but there are plenty of activities that could be labeled as evil and no matter how much good detergent you pour on them, they won't lather up.

This apologetic is probably one that helps some Christians feel confident in knowingly nodding their heads in complacent unison for a few minutes, but any thoughtful person will eventually realize that since God is supposedly omnipresent, there can be no such thing (in Christian theology) as Him being absent from anywhere. If one of HIS attributes is omnipresence, then that's one of HIS attributes. You can' just shed that attribute when it's convenient to the argument. Therefore, the theo-idiocy of the absence of God is self-contradicting.

Anonymous said...

First, to review the physics, darkness being the absence of light and cold being the absence of heat are not reversible statements. Sound is not the absence of silence in any physical sense; sound is a form of energy, and that energy can be more or less strong, with its total absence being called silence. There is no energy of silence whose absence is sound. I suppose I'm surprised at how many people never learned this, but I guess high school level physics isn't necessarily common knowledge.

About the physics, the Christian in the story is correct, and our fictitious professor surprisingly ignorant. Note, however, that this correctness in no way builds an argument: it illustrates a kind of relationship between terms. This relationship is not "either/or" between two terms; it is "how much" of a single term, with a word that we're accustomed to thinking of as its opposite signifying only a relative lack. So no, it is not dualistic.

The story presents no argument whatsoever that good/god and evil share this same relationship. It simply asserts that they do, with the implication that if we think of them in this way, the presence of evil (how humans experience the absence of god) does not disprove god.

In the particular example I gave, omnipresence is not shed; it means in as many places at once as desired, unrestricted by space. Insisting that omnipresence can mean only what some Christians say it does imputes them with a uniformity of belief which is oversimplified and easy to falsify. American Fundamentalism removes reason from faith, but do not confuse Christianity for idiocy; doing so allows the Fundamentalists to win.

boomSLANG said...

H.S....If we accept that god gives us the option of accepting him or not...

This is ambiguous at best; equivocation at worst. For such a statement to be meaningful, and/or, for it coincide with the "cold is the absence of heat" analogy, you would have to first establish the existence of this "God".
Obviously, if I say, "You know folks, if we accept that St. Nick gives us the choice to be good, or naughty", such a statement is meaningless to those who disbelieve in "Santa".

continues........the dialogue presents one reasonable way of addressing the problem of theodicy, or how an all-loving, all-knowing, and all-powerful god allows evil to exist.[bold added]

That's the whole point---if god "allows it"...then god allows it. You can slice it, dice it, splice it any way you choose---if "God" exists, it either "allows" what theists call "evil", or it is unable to prevent what they call "evil". Thus, god's "free will" is limited, and therefore, god cannot be "all-powerful".

H.S...Insisting that omnipresence can mean only what some Christians say it does imputes them with a uniformity of belief which is oversimplified and easy to falsify

In my view, the only "insisting" going on is Theists insisting that their respective deities exist. Obviously, the "student/Atheist professor" parable isn't limited to one "Faith". However, if said analogy is being offered up by a "Christian", then it's not about "insisting" word meanings; it's about holding them to the very attributes to which they insist their biblegod has. "Omnipresence" is one such attribute. They insist their biblegod is everywhere possible, at once. This crushes the the "evil is the absence of God(i.e..biblegod)" argument.

webmdave said...

HL wrote, "I suppose I'm surprised at how many people never learned this, but I guess high school level physics isn't necessarily common knowledge."

My point, which apparently went way over your superior highbrow, is that natural physics don't mean diddly-squat when you're talking about a meta-physical-super-entity! So, in GOD-REALITY, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE, including hair being the absence of baldness. The dualistic comparison of god/no-god is still there in the story regardless of the verbal gymnastics.

One of my personal attributes is being 71" tall. I cannot shed that attribute at a whim. If your god can shed her attributes at will, then those aren't really attributes, they are preferences. Do not forget that Bible-God never changes.

I am shocked at how many armchair, philosophizing Christians are theologically impaired. But I guess actually learning about one's religion is not a common practice.

boomSLANG said...

Some additional thoughts...

If what Christians insist is true, in this case, that "God" simultaniously occupies every possible/conceivable space - commonly refered to by them as "omnipresence" - then, of course, the "absence of God" philosophy crumbles.

If there are some special "physics", a special philosophy, or some other "loophole" that somehow prevents "God" from simultaniously occupying every possible/conceivable space, then it immediately brings into the realm of possibility that such things as unanswered prayers, and the "evil" acts perpetrated on children, etc., could now have a "reasonable" explanation. That, of course, is that "God" is simply AWOL.

(in Yahweh's defense, I can see how finding his disciples the good parking spaces at the mall might cut into His free time. After all, there are a lot of malls)

muttmutt said...

The bible God is evil, satan only did as God ordered him to do. Also, i dont see why the Gods (because im not christian) cant be scientists, otherwise they would be drooling retards with a lot of power, scary thought.

muttmutt said...

@ exfundie, i can feel out evil, and christians give me a migraine.

muttmutt said...

One of the biggest problems I have with christianity, is that they tell you WHAT to think, but not HOW to think. There is a big chasm there. I know that youre a smart fellow (you would have to be to have deconverted from christianity) Ill break down my own rebuttal, you dont have to use it if you dont want to.

Science vs. God

'Let me explain the problem science has with Jesus Christ.' The atheist professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks one of his new students to stand.

Rebuttal: actually many christians claim to be scientists, whereas I understand most are christians first, scientists second, at least they are making an effort to reconcile the two. This sounds like a christian trying to be an atheist. Pathetic at best.

'You're a Christian, aren't you, son?'

'Yes sir,' the student says.

'So you believe in God?'

'Absolutely.'

'Is God good?'

'Sure! God's good.'

Rebuttal:According to the bible, God is jealous, wrathful, and sees nothing wrong with killing infants, Hitler did the same thing that the christian God did, and wouldnt it be ironic if Hitler was the christian God?

'Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?'

Rebuttal:Actually, according to the bible, God can be defeated by iron chariots. Funny that. Doesnt give much credit to the Adam and eve story either.

'Yes.'

'Are you good or evil?'

'The Bible says I'm evil.'

Rebuttal: A wise Buddhist monk said: You believe you are evil, so shall you become.

The professor grins knowingly. 'Aha! The Bible!' He considers for a
moment.

Rebuttal:The bible also has many scientific and geographical errors, not to mention the infamous jesus story doesnt reconcile with each other, Mark, luke, james and john's acccounts dont match each other.

'Here's one for you. Let's say there's a sick person over here and you can cure him. You can do it. Would you help him? Would you try?'

Rebuttal:Yes you as a human would try to help someone, but the christian God would not.

'Yes sir, I would.'

'So you're good...!'

'I wouldn't say that.'

Rebuttal: A wise Buddhist monk said: You believe you are evil, so shall you become.


'But why not say that? You'd help a sick and maimed person if
you could. Most of us would if we could. But God doesn't.'

The student does not answer, so the professor continues. 'He
doesn't, does he? My brother was a Christian who died of cancer, even though he prayed to Jesus to heal him How is this Jesus good? Hmmm? Can you answer that one?'

The student remains silent.

'No, you can't, can you?' the professor says. He takes a sip of
water from a glass on his desk to give the student time to relax.

'Let's start again, young fella Is God good?'

'Er.yes,' the student says.
(Bzzt wrong answer)

'Is Satan good?'

The student doesn't hesitate on this one. 'No.'

(satan only did as God ordered him to)

'Then where does Satan come from?'

The student : 'From...God...'

'That's right. God made Satan, didn't he? Tell me, son. Is there
evil in this world?'

'Yes, sir.'

'Evil's everywhere, isn't it? And God did make everything,
correct?'

'Yes.'

'So who created evil?' The professor continued, 'If God created
everything, then God created evil, since evil exists, and according to
the principle that our works define who we are, then God is evil.'

Without allowing the student to answer, the professor continues:
'Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible
things, do they exist in this world?'

The student: 'Yes.'

'So who created them?'

The student does not answer again, so the professor repeats his
question. 'Who created them? There is still no answer. Suddenly the
lecturer breaks away to pace in front of the classroom. The class is
mesmerized.

'Tell me,' he continues onto another student. 'Do you believe in
Jesus Christ, son?'

The student's voice is confident: 'Yes, professor, I do.'

The old man stops pacing. 'Science says you have five senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Have you ever seen Jesus?'

'No sir. I've never seen Him'

'Then tell us if you've ever heard your Jesus?'

'No, sir, I have not.'

'Have you ever actually felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus or
smelt your Jesus? Have you ever had any sensory perception of Jesus Christ, or God for that matter?'

'No, sir, I'm afraid I haven't.'

'Yet you still believe in him?'

'Yes.'

'According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable
protocol, science says your God doesn't exist. What do you say to that, son?'

'Nothing,' the student replies. 'I only have my faith.'

'Yes, faith,' the professor repeats. 'And that is the problem
science has with God. There is no evidence, only faith.'

The student stands quietly for a moment, before asking a
question of his own. 'Professor, is there such thing as heat?'

'Yes,' the professor replies. 'There's heat.'

'And is there such a thing as cold?'

'Yes, son, there's cold too.'

'No sir, there isn't.'

The professor turns to face the student, obviously interested.
The room suddenly becomes very quiet. The student begins to explain.

'You can have lots of heat, even more heat, super-heat,
mega-heat, unlimited heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat, but we don't have anything called 'cold'.(the student is dead wrong on this one, and a super idiot) We can hit up to 458 degrees below zero, which is no heat, but we can't go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold;(A global warming denyer perhaps?) otherwise we would be able to go colder than the lowest -458 degrees. Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy. Absolute zero (-458 F) is the total absence of heat.
You see, sir, cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of
heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat we can measure in thermal units because heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.' (that was a really stupid answer from a really ignorant christian)

Silence across the room. A pen drops somewhere in the classroom, sounding like a hammer.

'What about darkness, professor. Is there such a thing as
darkness?' Rebuttal:(Darkness is not complete darkness, there are stars in the sky, and let's not forget the moon)

'Yes,' the professor replies without hesitation. 'What is night
if it isn't darkness?'


'You're wrong again, sir. Darkness is not something; it is the
absence of something.

Rebuttal: amusing a student, who obviously isnt that smart, telling the professsor that hes wrong, had I been the professor, the kid would have been suspended or kicked out of my class with an F.


You can have low light, normal light, bright
light, flashing light, but if you have no light constantly you have
nothing and it's called darkness, isn't it? That's the meaning we use to define the word. In reality, darkness isn't. If it were, you would be
able to make darkness darker, wouldn't you?'

The professor begins to smile at the student in front of him.
This will be a good semester. 'So what point are you making, young man?'

'Yes, professor. My point is, your philosophical premise is
flawed to start with, and so your conclusion must also be flawed.'

The professor's face cannot hide his surprise this time.
'Flawed? Can you explain how?'

'You are working on the premise of duality,'
Rebuttal: christianity's core is duality you ignorant punk!

the student
explains. 'You argue that there is life and then there's death; a good
God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can't even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life, just the absence of it.'

'Now tell me, professor. Do you teach your students that they
evolved from a monkey?'

rebuttal: christians believe we were created from dirt, thanks but a monkey makes more sense than dirt. Piss off kid, youre hurting my brain.

'If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, young
man, yes, of course I do'

'Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?'

The professor begins to shake his head, still smiling, as he
realizes where the argument is going. A very good semester, indeed.

'Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work
and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you now not a scientist, but a preacher?'

The class is in uproar. The student remains silent until the
commotion has subsided.

'To continue the point you were making earlier to the other
student, let me give you an example of what I mean.'

The student looks around the room. 'Is there anyone in the class
who has ever seen the professor's brain?' The class breaks out into
laughter.

'Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor's brain,
felt the professor's brain, touched or smelled the professor's brain? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, with all due respect, sir. So if science says you have no brain, how can we trust your lectures, sir?'

Now the room is silent. The professor just stares at the
student, his face unreadable.

Finally, after what seems an eternity, the old man answers. 'I
guess you'll have to take them on faith.'

'Now, you accept that there is faith, and, in fact, faith exists
with life,' the student continues. 'Now, sir, is there such a thing as
evil?'

Now uncertain, the professor responds, 'Of course, there is. We
see it everyday. It is in the daily example of man's inhumanity to man.
It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world.
These manifestations are nothing else but evil.'

To this the student replied, 'Evil does not exist sir, or at
least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God.
It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God.

God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what happens when
man does not have God's love present in his heart. It's like the cold
that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light.'

The professor sat down.

Pass this on if you have faith and love Jesus.

I dont think I will pass this on, its an insult to educators everywhere. thats one of many reasons I hate christianity, and even "jesus" because the christians trot him out and sneer at education.

muttmutt said...

One of the biggest problems I have with christianity, is that they tell you WHAT to think, but not HOW to think. There is a big chasm there. I know that youre a smart fellow (you would have to be to have deconverted from christianity) Ill break down my own rebuttal, you dont have to use it if you dont want to.

Science vs. God

'Let me explain the problem science has with Jesus Christ.' The atheist professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks one of his new students to stand.

Rebuttal: actually many christians claim to be scientists, whereas I understand most are christians first, scientists second, at least they are making an effort to reconcile the two. This sounds like a christian trying to be an atheist. Pathetic at best.

'You're a Christian, aren't you, son?'

'Yes sir,' the student says.

'So you believe in God?'

'Absolutely.'

'Is God good?'

'Sure! God's good.'

Rebuttal:According to the bible, God is jealous, wrathful, and sees nothing wrong with killing infants, Hitler did the same thing that the christian God did, and wouldnt it be ironic if Hitler was the christian God?

'Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?'

Rebuttal:Actually, according to the bible, God can be defeated by iron chariots. Funny that. Doesnt give much credit to the Adam and eve story either.

'Yes.'

'Are you good or evil?'

'The Bible says I'm evil.'

Rebuttal: A wise Buddhist monk said: You believe you are evil, so shall you become.

The professor grins knowingly. 'Aha! The Bible!' He considers for a
moment.

Rebuttal:The bible also has many scientific and geographical errors, not to mention the infamous jesus story doesnt reconcile with each other, Mark, luke, james and john's acccounts dont match each other.

'Here's one for you. Let's say there's a sick person over here and you can cure him. You can do it. Would you help him? Would you try?'

Rebuttal:Yes you as a human would try to help someone, but the christian God would not.

'Yes sir, I would.'

'So you're good...!'

'I wouldn't say that.'

Rebuttal: A wise Buddhist monk said: You believe you are evil, so shall you become.


'But why not say that? You'd help a sick and maimed person if
you could. Most of us would if we could. But God doesn't.'

The student does not answer, so the professor continues. 'He
doesn't, does he? My brother was a Christian who died of cancer, even though he prayed to Jesus to heal him How is this Jesus good? Hmmm? Can you answer that one?'

The student remains silent.

'No, you can't, can you?' the professor says. He takes a sip of
water from a glass on his desk to give the student time to relax.

'Let's start again, young fella Is God good?'

'Er.yes,' the student says.
(Bzzt wrong answer)

'Is Satan good?'

The student doesn't hesitate on this one. 'No.'

(satan only did as God ordered him to)

'Then where does Satan come from?'

The student : 'From...God...'

'That's right. God made Satan, didn't he? Tell me, son. Is there
evil in this world?'

'Yes, sir.'

'Evil's everywhere, isn't it? And God did make everything,
correct?'

'Yes.'

'So who created evil?' The professor continued, 'If God created
everything, then God created evil, since evil exists, and according to
the principle that our works define who we are, then God is evil.'

Without allowing the student to answer, the professor continues:
'Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible
things, do they exist in this world?'

The student: 'Yes.'

'So who created them?'

The student does not answer again, so the professor repeats his
question. 'Who created them? There is still no answer. Suddenly the
lecturer breaks away to pace in front of the classroom. The class is
mesmerized.

'Tell me,' he continues onto another student. 'Do you believe in
Jesus Christ, son?'

The student's voice is confident: 'Yes, professor, I do.'

The old man stops pacing. 'Science says you have five senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Have you ever seen Jesus?'

'No sir. I've never seen Him'

'Then tell us if you've ever heard your Jesus?'

'No, sir, I have not.'

'Have you ever actually felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus or
smelt your Jesus? Have you ever had any sensory perception of Jesus Christ, or God for that matter?'

'No, sir, I'm afraid I haven't.'

'Yet you still believe in him?'

'Yes.'

'According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable
protocol, science says your God doesn't exist. What do you say to that, son?'

'Nothing,' the student replies. 'I only have my faith.'

'Yes, faith,' the professor repeats. 'And that is the problem
science has with God. There is no evidence, only faith.'

The student stands quietly for a moment, before asking a
question of his own. 'Professor, is there such thing as heat?'

'Yes,' the professor replies. 'There's heat.'

'And is there such a thing as cold?'

'Yes, son, there's cold too.'

'No sir, there isn't.'

The professor turns to face the student, obviously interested.
The room suddenly becomes very quiet. The student begins to explain.

'You can have lots of heat, even more heat, super-heat,
mega-heat, unlimited heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat, but we don't have anything called 'cold'.(the student is dead wrong on this one, and a super idiot) We can hit up to 458 degrees below zero, which is no heat, but we can't go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold;(A global warming denyer perhaps?) otherwise we would be able to go colder than the lowest -458 degrees. Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy. Absolute zero (-458 F) is the total absence of heat.
You see, sir, cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of
heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat we can measure in thermal units because heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.' (that was a really stupid answer from a really ignorant christian)

Silence across the room. A pen drops somewhere in the classroom, sounding like a hammer.

'What about darkness, professor. Is there such a thing as
darkness?' Rebuttal:(Darkness is not complete darkness, there are stars in the sky, and let's not forget the moon)

'Yes,' the professor replies without hesitation. 'What is night
if it isn't darkness?'


'You're wrong again, sir. Darkness is not something; it is the
absence of something.

Rebuttal: amusing a student, who obviously isnt that smart, telling the professsor that hes wrong, had I been the professor, the kid would have been suspended or kicked out of my class with an F.


You can have low light, normal light, bright
light, flashing light, but if you have no light constantly you have
nothing and it's called darkness, isn't it? That's the meaning we use to define the word. In reality, darkness isn't. If it were, you would be
able to make darkness darker, wouldn't you?'

The professor begins to smile at the student in front of him.
This will be a good semester. 'So what point are you making, young man?'

'Yes, professor. My point is, your philosophical premise is
flawed to start with, and so your conclusion must also be flawed.'

The professor's face cannot hide his surprise this time.
'Flawed? Can you explain how?'

'You are working on the premise of duality,'
Rebuttal: christianity's core is duality you ignorant punk!

the student
explains. 'You argue that there is life and then there's death; a good
God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can't even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life, just the absence of it.'

'Now tell me, professor. Do you teach your students that they
evolved from a monkey?'

rebuttal: christians believe we were created from dirt, thanks but a monkey makes more sense than dirt. Piss off kid, youre hurting my brain.

'If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, young
man, yes, of course I do'

'Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?'

The professor begins to shake his head, still smiling, as he
realizes where the argument is going. A very good semester, indeed.

'Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work
and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you now not a scientist, but a preacher?'

The class is in uproar. The student remains silent until the
commotion has subsided.

'To continue the point you were making earlier to the other
student, let me give you an example of what I mean.'

The student looks around the room. 'Is there anyone in the class
who has ever seen the professor's brain?' The class breaks out into
laughter.

'Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor's brain,
felt the professor's brain, touched or smelled the professor's brain? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, with all due respect, sir. So if science says you have no brain, how can we trust your lectures, sir?'

Now the room is silent. The professor just stares at the
student, his face unreadable.

Finally, after what seems an eternity, the old man answers. 'I
guess you'll have to take them on faith.'

'Now, you accept that there is faith, and, in fact, faith exists
with life,' the student continues. 'Now, sir, is there such a thing as
evil?'

Now uncertain, the professor responds, 'Of course, there is. We
see it everyday. It is in the daily example of man's inhumanity to man.
It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world.
These manifestations are nothing else but evil.'

To this the student replied, 'Evil does not exist sir, or at
least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God.
It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God.

God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what happens when
man does not have God's love present in his heart. It's like the cold
that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light.'

The professor sat down.

Pass this on if you have faith and love Jesus.

I dont think I will pass this on, its an insult to educators everywhere. thats one of many reasons I hate christianity, and even "jesus" because the christians trot him out and sneer at education.

muttmutt said...

I have got another rebuttal for your parents, this is one you dont have to use but well it sure does stump some christians. You know about the Pascal's wager right? I heard some atheist using the Pagan's wager, and I thought it was a brilliant comeback. the wager is this, according to Pagan belief, there are billions of Gods and Goddesses, isnt it safer to believe in the billion, than it is to believe in one God and find out that youre wrong? (this is not why im a Pagan, but it makes for a fun argument agianst christians)

Anonymous said...

While it's true that cold is simply the absense of heat (And no, that statement is not in any way reversable) it's still a game of semantics.

Omnipotent God creates heat, and then he creates an absense of heat, or rather he doesn't put heat somewhere. He has made that place cold, even if he didn't put magic cold beams in it or something.

Omnipotent God creates good and absense of good. He made that place evil, simply by not sticking some good in there.

Of course, then you have the free will argument, but then when you consider that God both knows everything and creates everything, you can't actually say that you choose evil, especially since the bible is very specific on the nature of mankind (each of which are God's special creation).

charles said...

Science vs God is an old false argument used by unbelievers in an attempt to charicature believers as irrational. This is a lie.
The founders of modern science such as :
Leonardo da Vinci
Tycho Brahe
Johann Kepler
Sir William Petty
Robert Boyle
Georges Cuvier
etc etc where all Bible believers and studied science to better understand the creators handiwork. The email you were sent is indeed pretty infantile but its not as bad as the wilfully ignorant and dishonest lie that science and the Bible are at odds- dont be deluded

Unknown said...

Hi Folks,

I write as an Evangelical Christian. Someone who struggles with their 'Faith' but who still believes. Good debate, I don't intend the following to be rude or offensive, just to press on into some of the issues. Be great to hear your thoughts. I might even share the answers with my Athiest mates!

One poster said:-

"Have fun, christians and other believers, with your gods and credit everything good to them. I, on the other hand, will keep looking for the good in people and give them credit for their heroic deeds and their unselfish actions, for kindness, altruism and a helping hand."

Can I ask:

Define Good or good?

Define selfish/unselfish, are these absolute terms or (selfish) human constructs?

Check out Athiest John Gray, he thinks humanism is wrong because its forcing 'meaning' out of a Godless meaningless, moral-less evolved existence. If I were an Athiest I would agree with him.

The only rational reason to be nice to folks is self interest?

so that might include some heroic deeds but certainly no unselfish actions, some kindness maybe a bit of altruism but only as much of a helping hand so that it does not affect number one?

Law of the jungle folks. To expand this mankind is special idea how about this for size...

Please hear me out on the next one...

Why don't athiests eat human flesh?

If we are animals, surely to be consistent then we either eat them all or we go Vegan like consistent Athiest Peter Singer.

Come on folks, my athiest freinds eating meat is one of the main reasons I am still a Christian, if we are all gonna get rational lets take it to the next level.

I love consistent athiests who believe that life without God has no meaning, no rules, no principles, sure you can choose to be 'good' but that is your choice, there is no moral imperitive, there are no morals! Nothing is right, nothing is wrong.

If I loose my faith I would certainly adopt athiesm as my faith, and I like mean, so I can't see anything morally wrong (without God)about eating you! (no offense)So why do my words shock me?

Discuss

webmdave said...

"Law of the jungle folks"

Although the law of the jungle is typically meant that everyone is out for individual desires at the expense of every other human being on the planet, in reality jungle creatures actually have complex, cooperative social societies within each species that encourages the survival of that particular species. Wolves, elephants, monkeys of every kind, etc., live in groups with social structures. Humans are no different. We are pack animals and it behooves us to find ways to live together in harmony for our own survival.

Just because some people don't believe in metaphysical entities, it doesn't mean those same people crave anarchy in the world. That's a stupid assumption without a significant number of real-life examples to validate the assumption. I say significant number, because there are those few sociopaths who gravitate toward anarchy, but the greatest percentage of human beings are not Hitler or Charles Manson.

boomSLANG said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Without choice we cannot choose to love.

Science is confirmed in Scripture, the Scriptures do not rule out a 15 billion year old universe, but on the contrary confirms it. It also tells us life came from the sea, in tune with current scientific findings. It also tells us that next to come was reptiles (dinosaurs) and other land animals, and then finally humans appear. Scripture even confirms man has been around some 200000 years, in tune with archaeology. Adam wasn´t the first man. God took him from humans (without a conscience, cavemen) and breathed a conscience into him, the ability to communicate, to reason, to judge between right and wrong, that which makes it possible to form a relationship.

Day 1 - Light, Big Bang, formation of matter and dark matter.
Day 2 - Early formation of galaxies and our solar system.
Day 3 - With the appearence of water vegetation began to sprout.
Day 4 - Appearence of the sun, moon and stars through the atmosphere. The sun had already appeared in Day 2 but the earth´s atmosphere was dark with constant ateroids and dust, it took a long time for the atmosphere to clear up before they became signs. God didn´t say He created them on this day but said they appeared. Notice Yahushua (Jesus) also appeared (walked the earth) at the end of the 4th day (4th Millennium of man´s history since Adam´s fall). And plus the atmosphere had to go a long way before animals were able to populate the earth.
Day 5 - Also known as the Cambrian Explosion, life came from the sea first, in tune with history. Large reptiles also appeared.
Day 6 - after a few natural events, that wiped the dinosaurs out, mammals appeared, the last of which was man.
God´s Word confirms man´s findings.

The Scriptures also tell us that the universe is controlled by the unseen (dark) forces, which scientists have only recently discovered to be dark matter and dark energy. Consider Genesis 1:2 in the original Hebrew text: "The natural material of which things are comprised (‘erets) exists (hayah) formless (tohu), as an empty void (bohu), obscured in darkness (chosek) along with the presence of the inaccessible and mysterious depths." And in Zechariah 12:2 it says "He streched out the heavens" confirming that space is stretched out and is still stretching. If only they had known where to look.

Not only is Genesis an accurate scientic document concerning the formation of the Universe, but it is also prophetic, spiritual and historical.

Yes God did create evil, but man was/is given the choice to not choose to do evil, in other words to have a relationship with God. Without evil we cannot choose to love. Those who do not want to know God He will simply let die, they will cease to exist upon death, the majority of mankind will have this fate. However, those who actively lead others astray will have the same fate as Satan. To spend eternity in the lightless Abyss, fire only synmbolises judgement, hell (Abyss) is not physical pain but a place where the only dimension is time, those that have this fate will be weeping, not crying out in pain.

We have free-will, but angels do not. They have one choice, if they disobey God they are kicked out, much like as in the army. Whereas we have the opportunity for reconcilliation.

You would do well to read www.yadayahweh.com

boomSLANG said...

"Gareth"...If I loose my faith...

Dear Gareth, or Charles' sock-puppet, or "Goldie", or whoever the hell you are,

Why/how would you "loose" your "faith"?...and I think the word you were looking for, is "lose". In any event, that is a philosophical contradiction of terms. The whole point of "faith" is to believe - and to keep believing - regardless of any evidence, or regardless of any intellect that you may have at your disposal to examine that evidence. In other words, the only way to lose your "faith" is to allow yourself to think. 'Will you? I suspect not.

Gareth...I would certainly adopt [atheism] as my faith...

Guess what? While the world can always use more free thinkers, please take note that you can check your "faith" at the door when you cross the threshold into reason. You don't need "faith" to not believe in deities, anymore than I need bowling lessons to never set foot in a bowling alley. We see this idiotic "tit-for-tat" ploy a lot here, and frankly, I've yet to see any Theist substantiate it adequately..... meaning, with logic.

Gareth......and I like mean, so I can't see anything morally wrong (without God)about eating you!

Of course!....of course you see nothing wrong with the concept of cannibalism! After all, millions of Christians, worldwide, practice the ritual of symbolically eating Jesus' flesh, and DRINKING HIS BLOOD! Oh, and being a Christian, I'm sure you'll tell us that merely pretending to do something heinous is somehow better than actually doing it, right?

boomSLANG said...

M..Without choice we cannot choose to love.

Lol! That's got to be one the most asinine, nonsensical things I've heard lately. To "love" is something I choose; yes. However, I assure you, I can love another human being without believing in invisible, supernatural beings. 'Try it sometime.

As for the rest of your post, it is a classic example of shoe-horning past religious parables, to fit current, scientifically supported, facts.

BTW, you left out the function of the "firmament". You know, that "thingy" that divides the "water"(blue sky) from the "water"(blue ocean)?

You've got to love those sandle-wearin'-dune-"scientists" of ages gone past, right?

Unknown said...

Boomslang, I didn´t say you had to believe in God before you can love. I´m saying we are different from all other animals. We have a conscience, being able to choose between right and wrong, one of those things is the ability to love.

Concerning the firmament (I´ve just copied and pasted from an online book I know):

"Elohiym said ('amar - God spoke with a focus on the content to follow; God thought, intended, commanded, and promised that) matter and space (raqiya' - firmament and expanse; from riqqua' meaning a broad expanse and expansion) shall exist (hayah) in the midst of (tavek - among and between) the waters (mayim), existing (hayah), dividing and separating (badal bayin - to make a distinction, to differentiate and set apart, withdrawing over an interval of time) the waters from the waters." (Genesis 1:6)

Day two does not chronicle a creative act. According to Yahuweh, and three millennia later confirmed by His creation, matter, space, and time were the product of light energy and the result of the Big Bang. The "firmament and expanse," better known as "matter and space," were derivatives of the light energy God called into existence on the first day, creating the energy in the first "interval of time" that made our solar system possible in the second. The sun and earth were literally born in the midst of molecular clouds composed of hydrogen and water vapor.

webmdave said...

It's striking to me how nearly all these wackos have anonymous profiles.

I wonder why they fear revealing anything about themselves.

Any guesses?

Unknown said...

When the author says three millennia later he is refering to the last six millennia of man´s history. Each day in the creation is also a historical and prophetic account of the last six millennia of mankind, in other words since the fall of Adam. The Bible confirms the Universe is 15 billion years. In Day 2 of the formation of the universe is the separation of the waters, which is also describing the historical account of Noah´s Ark, which happened in the second millennia (2 day) of man´s history since the fall.

boomSLANG said...

M...Boomslang, I didn´t say you had to believe in God before you can love. I´m saying we are different from all other animals. We have a conscience, being able to choose between right and wrong, one of those things is the ability to love.

Excuse me, but "love" is relative. Lower animals, clearly, can be seen exhibiting affection..i.e.."love", toward their young, and each other. And before you can talk about "right" and wrong", you'll first have to show me that there exists an objective, Universal, Moral code within the body of Christ. Please notice that there are 1,200-plus denominations of "Christianity", and oddly, those people are constantly falling on opposite sides of the fence when it comes to many of the social issues of today..i.e..gay rights, right to die, abortion, etc., etc. Until you provide such information, if you'd like, I can tell you a few situations where it's actually "wrong" to "love".

You continue...

When the author says three millennia later he is refering to the last six millennia of man´s history. Each day in the creation is also a historical and prophetic account of the last six millennia of mankind, in other words since the fall of Adam. The Bible confirms the Universe is 15 billion years. In Day 2 of the formation of the universe is the separation of the waters, which is also describing the historical account of Noah´s Ark, which happened in the second millennia (2 day) of man´s history since the fall.

As I said previously---creative shoe-horning...i.e..."bullshitting"

Shalom!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Gareth,
You are an idiot. You have absolutely no desire to understand anything about humans, human nature, the world or anything outside of your stupid little evangelical Christian mental box, and you probably don't even have the IQ do it if you tried.

You asked the question,"Why don't atheists eat human flesh?"

I feel ashamed to even dignify such an asinine question with an answer.

Take a look at this quote from Albert Einstein, "A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death."

Apparently, you have no "sympathy, education, and social ties and needs" outside of your demented little evangelical Christian cage. Humans are born with the ability to be civilized and act in a socially acceptable manner. Humans are born with the capacity for sympathy, trust, and love - all without faith in God or fear of eternal damnation.

I have been in communist/atheist China for nearly 20 years, and these atheist Chinese (one quarter of the world's population) exhibit as much compassion, sympathy, and love as people from any nation. In fact, Chinese people tend to consider westerners (Europeans and Americans) as rather cold, harsh, and uncaring in their social relations - all without the belief in God or the fear of his retribution.

Perhaps you could learn to be civilized from atheists, Gareth, or perhaps you can't learn anything.

As Einstein said, we would certainly be in a bad way if our morality stemmed from the fear of eternal retribution.

How disingenuous you Christians are! Are you to say that anything good you do comes merely from the threat of hell? Your "love" and "compassion" are really the fear of eternal flames?

You said,"...so I can't see anything morally wrong (without God)about eating you!"

Gareth, I despise you and your kind. You are savage, ignorant, and uncivilized.

Gregg 02, if you have read this, I apologize; I know you don't like this sort of rhetoric, but Gareth was just the sort of idiot I was speaking of.

As for Gareth, somebody wipe his chin.

Unknown said...

Boomie, our code is the Torah, hence the reason why there are so many Christian denominations. They simply ignore the foundation of God's Word therefore they have many different interpretations. God's Word is summed up: Love Him and love your neighbour, that's the objective. To love your neighbour doesn't mean that we must be tolerant of their sinful behaviour but should warn them of the consequences. Man follows the moral code of Political Correctness, it sounds like heaven but reaps death and destruction. Just as a note: God describes the Catholic Church as the seat of Satan, please don't use them as the standard of Christian living, they are pagan to the core, they worship the sun gods, it's pretty obvious. Read Romans 1:18-32.

Anti, we have been given a conscience whereas animals and the first humans, before Adam, were only conscious. It's what makes us different from animals, also the reason why Man has only advanced in the last 6000 years when God took Adam, placed him in the Garden and breathed into him, which gave him the ability to love, to choose, to discern between right and wrong. Now it's up to you use it: 1) choose Him and live for eternity, 2) do not choose Him, live as you please, and die like the rest of the animals, ceasing to exist upon death, or 3) or go one step further and lead others astray and get the same fate as Satan.

One doesn't need to fear eternal damnation if you're not actively leading others astray, because when people die God will simply dissapate their souls, they will no longer exist. But for those doing Satan's job will spend eternity in the lightless Abyss, the place where God is not. Fire only symbolises judgement, it's not a physical burning. This Scriptural misinterpretation has caused much havoc in the Christian community. And the Catholic Church use it to their advantage, it causes people to fear, therefore they can control them better and make more money out of them, the Christian community do it also so some degree.

Anonymous said...

m,

You speak with such certainty and authority when you say things such as:


...we have been given a conscience whereas animals and the first humans, before Adam, were only conscious.

This raises some questions for me.

Where do I find the information you have about humans before Adam?

That's not in the christian bible, is it?

Do you have any empirical evidence to back your statement about conscience?

There is a growing body of evidence that animals (some of them) do, indeed, have conscience, although not as highly developed as found in the human primate.


The other parts of your post indicate you base much of your authority on the christian bible. Since you're obviously a committed and confident believer, let me ask you: Why should I believe the bible? Why should I base my life on it?

Don't throw that question away as just an ignorant or willful atheist attacking you.

I was a deeply committed and heartfelt christian for over forty years.

Asking this question in honesty is what helped me to come to the place of peace where I now am.

This is the crux of the science/god issue to me: On what do we base our worldview? How do we decide how to decide things?

Science simply says that repeatability counts.

Believers in god seem to be comfortable with non-repeatable, subjective experience.

I'm interested to see what you think about these things. I always learn from the dialog.

Anonymous said...

M,
Where do you come off knowing so much about hell? Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Jesus say "the lake of fire" in the gospels? Where in the Bible does it say "...spend eternity in the lightless Abyss, the place where God is not." Tell me. I'd like to know.

It's typical of Christians to read what they want to into Christianity. The whole religion, Bible and all, is contrived.

To this point, I have no knowledge that I have led anyone "astray" - away from Christianity, that is - but I'm trying real hard. I consider it my personal "ministry", you might say, to get out the word that Christianity is the hoax of the ages. (Religions categorically are hoaxes, but I focus on Christianity because I used to be a Christian.)

No, I'm not afraid of "spending eternity in the lightless Abyss." That's part of the hoax I was just telling you about. It's the Christians who are always talking about going to hell, not the atheists.

I suggest you undertake a serious, critical study of the Christian religion. It simply doesn't hold up, even under the simplest scrutiny.

Here are a few books to get you started:

"Who Wrote the New Testament?"
by Burton Mack

"The Jesus Puzzle"
by Earl Doherty

"Jesus Never Existed"
by Kenneth Humphreys

Cheers

Anonymous said...

M,
And one more thing, it's you Christians who are constantly "leading people astray".

You get little kids and brainwash them with lies about the creation of the world, God and his son Jesus, miracles, Noah and the flood, people rising from the dead, eternal life, and lots of other silly shit like that.

How many people have been duped into regularly giving one-tenth of their salary to some lazy ass minister who only works once a week telling people what God's will is?

How many little old ladies have been swindled out of their life savings because they've been told "The more you give to God, the more he will give to you"?

How many teenagers, trying to deal with their first pangs of sexual awareness, have been instilled with an unhealthy guilt about sex that is carried way into their adult lives?

Then there's the historical stuff: the Inquisition, witch burning, purges, persecution of the Jews, the religious wars, the suppression of scientific knowledge, etc., etc., etc.

The list goes on and on ...

You Christians should be ashamed of yourselves. You have caused nothing but pain and misery for the human race. History has shown and will continue to show that Christianity is the sorrow of mankind.

Hang your heads low you Christians. You have nothing to be proud of.

Shame on you.

Unknown said...

Gregg, "Where do I find the information you have about humans before Adam?

That's not in the christian bible, is it?"

God didn't need to go into detail about the first humans as it is besides the point. His Book is about our redemption. When Cain got kicked out he was fearful of being killed by the other humans on earth, Christians try say that Adam and Eve had other children, which is absurd. He simply feared the nomandic hunterers (without a conscience, cavemen if you like) of the day, something archaeology confirms. Then there's a passage of Scripture that says "the sons of God slept with the daughters of men," what's that all about? Those with a conscience (descendants of Adam and Cain) were with the humans without a conscience, they were naturally gifted over the men without a conscience. And with time they became completely perverted and destructive because they abused choice, they had no communication with God nor did they have history books like we do. Then came along Noah's Ark which was a local flood, the entire Middle-East basin, caused by an asteroid landing in the Indian ocean. Read http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/14/science/14WAVE.html?pagewanted=all for more details. Visit www.wyattmuseum.com for proof of the ark. Plus in the 2nd day of creation God said He would separate by water in the 2nd millennium of man's history since the fall of Adam.

Christians ignore the obvious, they deny science in favour of blind faith. If science did not confirm Scripture I too wouldn't read it or bother with it.

Why the Bible? Because His Word is proven to be true.

Gregg, try read www.yadayahweh.com at least the first four chapters of the first volume titled Genesis.

Anti, in Matthew 13:38-42 the fiery furnace is the lake of fire, the Abyss, the eternal abode of Satan and those born of his spirit. The Greek word for "furnace" is kaminos. Its primary use was for smelting - a chemical change which reduces and separates metals. Weeping is klauthmos Greek. It just means crying. Gnashing is brugmos. It is used to "denote extreme anguish and utter despair." When someone is burnt alive, their mouths open, screaming and gasping for air. We gnash our teeth when the pain is emotional, not physical.

It's not my place to judge a person's fate but those who actively lead others astray will reap their rewards. Yes, shame on Christians. I agree, they have been leading millions astray and still do especially when completely ignoring science. God tested their faithfulness in 1033 CE in Jerusalem, according to the Numbers 5:11-29 (metaphors again, God is the judge, priest and husband and the wife His people) divorce decree, the waters under Mount Moriah became poisoned. Both Christians and Jews in the city were poisoned and found to be unfaithful. It was prophetic, not some crazy insane ritual. Every 1000 years God leaves markers of the times, we know the end of the 6th day is soon.

Sorry if I didn't answer all your questions.

boomSLANG said...

"M", attempts....God[biblegod] didn't need to go into detail about the first humans as it is besides the point

Yes, of course! I mean, why on earth would the "Creator of the Universe" need to go into detail about the "creation" of the first human beings? Why bother with frivilous details, when trying to impart the One Universal Truth to humankind?

continues....His Book is about our redemption.

Yes, "redemption". It's all making sense, now----biblegod is saving the "important details" for getting his needs met, because....well, because biblegod is "Perfect", and needs man to worship him to feel adequate.

Good grief---thank you, "M", for the daily affirmations that Christianity is utter bullshit; that the bible is one gigantic, subjective grab-bag.

Anonymous said...

M said:

God didn't need to go into detail about the first humans as it is besides the point.

Really? Then why did you mention this?

. . .the nomandic hunterers (without a conscience, cavemen if you like) of the day, something archaeology confirms.

Archaeology confirms that there were humans without a conscience? Please provide your source. I'd be most interested in reading about that.

Then came along Noah's Ark which was a local flood,. . .

Genesis 6:17: I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life . . . Everything on earth will perish.

How did a local flood cause all life on the globe to perish?

If science did not confirm Scripture I too wouldn't read it or bother with it.

The National Science Foundation’s “Tree of Life” project estimates that there could be anywhere from 5 million to 100 million species on the planet, but science has only identified about 2 million.

Noah took two (or seven) of each on an arc?

If you assume only the 2 million species we have identified and give each individual one square foot, then Noah's arc needed 4 million square feet minimum. The biblical dimensions of 450 feet long by 75 feet wide give 33,750 square feet.

How does science confirm this (or anything else in scripture, for that matter)?

Why the Bible? Because His Word is proven to be true.

Who says?

By what standard do you make that assertion?

Sorry if I didn't answer all your questions.

No problem, M. I look forward to your response to the above.

godsfavoritecolor said...

To all of you ex-christians in this thread and similar ones,
Why do you bother with these seriously disturbed religious people like M? They are making it up out of their twisted imaginations as they go. These intensely religious people are mentally ill. That is not just my opinion, but the opinion of the late eminent psychotherapist, Dr. Albert Ellis.
See http://www.geocities.com/bororissa/rel.html

Of course if you are enjoying yourselves demonstrating how ignorant and irrational these people are, then have at it. If, however, you think you might bring them around to rationality, I believe the odds of your success are slim. On the other hand, you might bring the occasional moderately religious reader to rationality.

I believe a better expenditure of your energies would be to spend more time encouraging and helping those who come to this site trying to escape from a religious pit.

Unknown said...

Gregg, yes the difficulty of proving man with and without a conscience is almost impossible. Today's man is searing his conscience by the moral code of political correctness, whereby being judgemental is a sin, because it prevents you from discerning between right and wrong. But, man has only advanced in the last 6000 years of his 200000 year history, before Adam all we know is men were Cavemen. The most rationale conclusion is God's Scriptures are correct in that He took Adam from them and made him different. God let the universe naturally change over time, He even wiped out the dinosaurs so that mammals could come in the 6th day of creation. Everything was perfectly planned so that Man would eventually take his place on center stage.

Concerning Noah:

The word ‘erets in Hebrew can can be translated as land, ground, area, territory, or earth. It was a local flood, still on a grand scale, but not a global flood. Christians deny the obvious. In this case the correct translation should be "in the region" not "all of the earth." The asteroid caused tsunamis to flood the Middle-East basin as well as torrential rain from the incredible amount of water thrown into the air. It would've caused any mountains in area to be covered with snow, and due to the shape of the earth if Noah was situated in the middle he wouldn't be able to see any coasts or mountains. In Genesis 7:11 water came from all directions, Scripture was right and science as well.

Was Noah to bring two, seven, or fourteen of each species into the ship? "From (min) all (kol) the clean (taher - pure) domesticated animals (bahemah - non human creatures) take (laqah - select and grasp) for yourself, seven (seba’) males (‘iysh) and seven (seba) females (‘iyssah) and two (sanayim - a pair of) related (‘asher) animals (bahemah) which are not (lo’) clean (taher), a male and female." (Genesis 7:2) The keyword being bahemah meaning domesticated, like farm animals, not hard to get actually. English translations rarely have it right!

Gregg, concerning your "The biblical dimensions of 450 feet long by 75 feet wide give 33,750 square feet." The U.S.S. Nimitz was designed to retrieve, carry, and launch aircraft. It is considered to be one of the most stable and stout ships ever built. The aircraft carrier has an overall length of 1,092 feet and features a beam of 134 feet below a flight deck which is 252 feet wide. The ratio of average width to her length is therefore 0.17. The Ark’s ratio of width to length is also 0.17, making it look like Yahweh aced His classes at the Naval Academy. By analyzing the Ark’s engineering specifications, and comparing them to those mankind has only recently been able to understand and achieve, it is evident that the Ark’s proportions were nearly five-thousand years ahead of her time. The most logical explanation for this reality is that these words were inspired by someone with foreknowledge. Also, the Dead Sea Scrolls prove that the Scriptures are more than 2200 years old and have not changed.

Bloviator said...

Yikes! M is the classic example of why the medieval catholic church thought it unwise to allow the bible to be read by the common man. I thought Luther and Calvin were disturbed, but this?!?

Proof once again that xtianity and the bible are whatever you want them to be, and all you need do is surround yourself with fellow travelers so your opinion can appear as unassailable logic and, dare I say it, TRUTH (always hated that one...)

My reflections post-deconversion on xtianity:

FEAR, FEAR, FEAR!!!! All about fear of god and fear of the fiery pit of hell.

Fear of being caught 'red-handed' by the big guy.

Fear of the opinion of other believers.

Fear of letting Jesus down.

Fear of losing relatives and friends on Judgement Day.

Fear of thinking.

Fear of Life.

Yup, that about sums it up.

Bloviator said...

Oh, and one more thing:

The reason xtianity (and most other religions) survive and florish is that people are primarily motivated by emotions, not logic. WebMDave has a good post about the use of emotional arguments to witness to unbelievers.

Naturally, this also ties into my previous post about fear. Fear is one of the primary emotions, one that kept our early progenitors from being saber-tooth tiger fodder. Great motivator, fear... yeah, that and guilt, which of course is merely fear of being caught or found out.

Combine the tension and stress of fear and guilt and the pressure is almost palpable. Now here comes the get-out-of-jail-free card and the flush of emotional release often causes ecstatic joy and tears, etc. The classic conversion experience.

We are emotional creatures who are hard-wired to respond to emotional appeals.

My 'problem' is that my logical faculties are strong and due to that I can't resist the urge to test any claims that come my way. The religious way of life, especially xtianity, just didn't make the grade. Too loopy. Too contradictory. Too emotionally-based.

Anonymous said...

M,

I appreciate your willingness to ignore the name-calling and dialog seriously about these things.

Here are my responses to your last:



Gregg, yes the difficulty of proving man with and without a conscience is almost impossible.
Today's man is searing his conscience by the moral code of political correctness, whereby being judgemental is a sin, because it prevents you from discerning between right and wrong.

Today's man may, indeed, be searing his conscience, but what does that have to do with my question? You haven't offered any evidence to back up your claim that there ever were humans without conscience.

Yes, you say that it's nearly impossible to prove the point, and I agree. But is there any creditable anthropologist who espouses this view?

It's a new concept to me. I'd like to see more than just your personal statement that "it's accepted."


But, man has only advanced in the last 6000 years of his 200000 year history, before Adam all we know is men were Cavemen. The most rationale conclusion is God's Scriptures are correct in that He took Adam from them and made him different.

Why is this the most rational conclusion? Can you give a reason for this?

And my reading of Genesis is that God did not take Adam from prior humans. Do you have insights into the original languages that indicate this, and -- most important -- creditable authorities who agree that this is what the text is really saying?


God let the universe naturally change over time, He even wiped out the dinosaurs so that mammals could come in the 6th day of creation.

On what basis do you figure this timeline?

Everything was perfectly planned so that Man would eventually take his place on center stage.

Concerning Noah:

The word ‘erets in Hebrew can can be translated as land, ground, area, territory, or earth. It was a local flood, still on a grand scale, but not a global flood. Christians deny the obvious. In this case the correct translation should be "in the region" not "all of the earth." The asteroid caused tsunamis to flood the Middle-East basin as well as torrential rain from the incredible amount of water thrown into the air.

The asteroid? During biblical times? Sources and evidence, please?

It would've caused any mountains in area to be covered with snow, and due to the shape of the earth if Noah was situated in the middle he wouldn't be able to see any coasts or mountains. In Genesis 7:11 water came from all directions, Scripture was right and science as well.

Was Noah to bring two, seven, or fourteen of each species into the ship? "From (min) all (kol) the clean (taher - pure) domesticated animals (bahemah - non human creatures) take (laqah - select and grasp) for yourself, seven (seba’) males (‘iysh) and seven (seba) females (‘iyssah) and two (sanayim - a pair of) related (‘asher) animals (bahemah) which are not (lo’) clean (taher), a male and female." (Genesis 7:2) The keyword being bahemah meaning domesticated, like farm animals, not hard to get actually. English translations rarely have it right!

Forget the numeric discrepancy. Even if you say that only two of each species, there are still millions for which to account.

Gregg, concerning your "The biblical dimensions of 450 feet long by 75 feet wide give 33,750 square feet." The U.S.S. Nimitz was designed to retrieve, carry, and launch aircraft. It is considered to be one of the most stable and stout ships ever built. The aircraft carrier has an overall length of 1,092 feet and features a beam of 134 feet below a flight deck which is 252 feet wide. The ratio of average width to her length is therefore 0.17. The Ark’s ratio of width to length is also 0.17, making it look like Yahweh aced His classes at the Naval Academy. By analyzing the Ark’s engineering specifications, and comparing them to those mankind has only recently been able to understand and achieve, it is evident that the Ark’s proportions were nearly five-thousand years ahead of her time.


Even so, there is still no room for millions of pairs of creatures.

The most logical explanation for this reality is that these words were inspired by someone with foreknowledge.

Why do you say that? Have you sought other explanations, weighed them, considered the pros and cons of each? Or do you simply choose the one to which you're predisposed because it supports your belief?

Also, the Dead Sea Scrolls prove that the Scriptures are more than 2200 years old and have not changed.

What does this have to do with anything we've been discussing?

Unknown said...

"The reason xtianity (and most other religions) survive and florish is that people are primarily motivated by emotions, not logic."

Bloviator, I agree with your comment, that's why I have no pleasure in traditional Christianity.

Now let's consider the logic of "There is no god." by discussing DNA, the double helix computer code of life (the following is copied and pasted from another source, I'm too lazy now to rewrite in my own words):
This blueprint (DNA) is a language, and languages require a creator, a beneficiary, and a purpose. No designer, no language - especially one with billions of character combinations. Further, the odds of elements accidentally engaging in a manner capable of forming life, and doing so with nutrients available, a means to acquire and process a food source, and a means to reproduce itself, all within the five million year timeframe this actually occurred, is astronomical beyond reason, beyond belief. Statistically, it is less than one chance in ten to the billionth, billionth power. This probability is so ludicrously extreme the number exceeds the quantity of fundamental molecular particles in the entire universe by a million-billion fold.

Furthermore, since life existed on earth immediately after liquid water was available, there was no time for random chance in either inception or mutation. Mathematically, biologically, and physically speaking, macro evolution from inorganic matter to complex life forms through random chance rather than intelligent design is so improbable that belief in such a theory ironically requires a blind leap of faith, one that goes against all rational sensibilities.

Anonymous said...

M:

You quote an unnamed source as saying:

This blueprint (DNA) is a language, and languages require a creator, a beneficiary, and a purpose.

More correct is the assertion that DNA is somewhat analogous to language in some respects.

Language is a method of human communication that involves rules of grammar. These rules of grammar are what distinguish language from other forms of communication.

You've mistaken the metaphor for the reality, it seems, and then based your conclusions on it.


You also say:

Furthermore, since life existed on earth immediately after liquid water was available, there was no time for random chance in either inception or mutation.

Can you provide any support for this claim?

How do you define immediately?

"No time for random chance." What other kind is there?

How do you know there was no time for chance?

Really, you should think about what your words mean and be ready to support your assertions before posting.

I'm still, by the way, giving you the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps you just haven't had time today to dig through your reference material and provide me with answers to any of the questions I've asked.

Unknown said...

Gregg, your questions are becoming stupid, as if you aren't even paying attention to what I've said.

1) Original languages sources: There are at least 100 concordances, lexicons, interlinears, manuscripts, translation guides, dictionaries, etc etc. All one needs to do is find the original word used, find the full meaning of the Word, expanding to its full extent, and then find the most suitable translated word or phrase to get full meaning. Hard work, but logical.

2) Concerning the flood and an asteroid impact during Biblical times, I don't like to use wikipedia but I don't have time to search now as I'm leaving the office, look for Burckle crater: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burckle_crater

3) There wasn´t actually that many animals that He required, read the verse again and do the maths. He had more than enough space.

4) Will answer the other maybe tomorrow...

Anonymous said...

Gregg, your questions are becoming stupid, as if you aren't even paying attention to what I've said.

------Really? I can look them over again. I think all I've asked for is supporting evidence for what you claim.



1) Original languages sources: There are at least 100 concordances, lexicons, interlinears, manuscripts, translation guides, dictionaries, etc etc. All one needs to do is find the original word used, find the full meaning of the Word, expanding to its full extent, and then find the most suitable translated word or phrase to get full meaning. Hard work, but logical.

------Biblical exegesis is much, much more than that. The three tenets of biblical exegesis are:

What does the author say?

What did the author mean?

What does it mean for me?

-- Quoted from Richard Ascough's Guide to Biblical Exegesis found here:

http://post.queensu.ca/~rsa/Exegesis_Guide.htm

Ascough is Associate Professor of New Testament and Greek at Queen's
Theological College.

But M, you miss the point. You haven't shown me anything to support your theory. You've only thrown back at me a bewildering array of facts that only partially relate to my questions.

I'll make this very succinct:

Please give supporting evidence/articles/sources/authorities for any of the things you claim other than your own knowledge and understanding.





2) Concerning the flood and an asteroid impact during Biblical times, I don't like to use wikipedia but I don't have time to search now as I'm leaving the office, look for Burckle crater: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burckle_crater

------To quote from that article:

Burckle Crater has not yet been dated by radiometric analysis of its sediments.

Ergo, the crater's existence proves nothing. It suggests (no more) that many cultures wrote about the disaster in their religious texts.






3) There wasn´t actually that many animals that He required, read the verse again and do the maths. He had more than enough space.

------Do you mean to argue that the English word "all" (see Gen 7.2) translates a Hebrew word that doesn't mean "all"?





4) Will answer the other maybe tomorrow...

------I look forward to you explaining how I haven't been listening.

Oh, and don't mistake "I don't buy your argument" for "I'm not hearing you."

They aren't the same thing.

Unknown said...

godsfavoritecolor,

I don't think crazy can explain it, since most otherwise very mentally healthy people are religious. But I like Daniel Dennett's idea (Breaking the Spell) that religious people are in love (with the idea of God.) That explains perfectly why rational arguments usually don't work. You can't talk someone out of being in love. Point out their beloved flaws, and the person will simply make excuses for them. People fall out of love, of course, but that is usually when the object of their affection is no longer meeting their needs - whatever needs those might be.

Unknown said...

In my last post I described Dennett's idea that religious people are in love with the idea of God. Then I suggested that people only fall out of love when the object of their affection no longer meets their needs.

I just thought of something - maybe theists and atheists are the way we are because we have different needs. And most theists are perfectly happy to take the blue pill, or in other words, engage in some wishful thinking if it fulfills their emotional needs. Atheists, on the other hand, NEED to have the red pill. See: http://www.arrod.co.uk/essays/matrix.php if you haven't seen the Matrix. If I'm right then atheists should be more likely to choose the red pill and feel strongly about their choice in a hypothetical Matrix situation and theists more likely to choose the blue.

Anonymous said...

lynne said:

. . .atheists should be more likely to choose the red pill and feel strongly about their choice in a hypothetical Matrix situation and theists more likely to choose the blue.

That's about as good an explanation as I've heard. It's a very good analogy.

Thanks, lynne.

Anonymous said...

Despite using logic and reason being the proper way to go, I'm afraid it's a classic case of pearls before swine with these fanatic fundies.

I'm with Christopher Hitchens, who says that religion should be treated with "ridicule and contempt."
For some of these people, a good swift verbal kick in the crotch is what's in order, letting them know that ignoring logic and reason can only be met with "ridicule and contempt," letting them know that there is no place for such ignorance among thinking people.

Belief in Christianity is calculated ignorance, and it should not receive any respect whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

The AntiChristian said...

Despite using logic and reason being the proper way to go, I'm afraid it's a classic case of pearls before swine with these fanatic fundies.

I agree completely. But I personally stop short of the ridicule and contempt you advocate, simply because, though it may be deserved, it does nothing to advance progress.

I realize you're saying that reason and logic don't advance progress with extremists, either.

But there are many that aren't extremists, and I don't want to cut off the possibility of reaching them by using a vitriolic approach.

Consider a middle-of-the-road person who hasn't really thought all that much about religion but attends religious services every now and again because it's a part of his cultural background to do so.

What would such a person think of an extreme fundamentalist and a militant atheist screaming insults at each other?

Probably that both are out of touch with reality.

Perhaps.

No, my way is not the only way, but, for me, logic and patience seems more likely to reach the non-extremist.

It means I have to suffer the fools, so to speak, dialoging with them when I might prefer not doing so.

Perhaps the day will come when I see things differently. To each her own, of course.

I do enjoy the back-and-forth I find here, though. I'm always interested to see who will say what next.

Cheers,

Gregg

Unknown said...

"From (min) all (kol) the clean (taher - pure) domesticated animals (bahemah - non human creatures) take (laqah - select and grasp) for yourself, seven (seba’) males (‘iysh) and seven (seba) females (‘iyssah) and two (sanayim - a pair of) related (‘asher) animals (bahemah) which are not (lo’) clean (taher), a male and female." (Genesis 7:2)

Notice He actually said DOMESTICATED animals, not all species known to man. The Hebrew word Taher refers to clean animals, those you can eat, such a lamb, cattle, goat, etc, which are all domesticated animals. And then the Hebrew word ‘asher means related to or in a relational sense, as in this case animals related to the other animals, being domestaiced as in pigs, rabbits, dogs, etc. And birds as well. Not that many, so once again English versions are wrong, they were translated from the Latin translation of the Hebrew Scriptures. But we have the Dead Sea Scrolls now to get the accurate interpretations.

And where did the rain specifically fall? Well the whole world was affected by the asteroid impact with torrential rains, darkness and strong winds, but He was referring to the region (the Middle East, the land surrounding Israel, as far as Turkey) as found in the verse below.

"Indeed (kiy), on (la) the passage (‘owd) of seven (seba’) days (yowm), I will send rain down (matar) upon (‘al) the (ha) region (‘erets - earth in the sense of ground, soil, dirt, area, region, land and territory) for forty (‘araba’ym) days (yowm) and (wa) forty nights (laylah) and wash off and wipe out (mahah - clean and annihilate, blot out and obliterate) accordingly (‘et) all (kol) the (ha) living creatures which stand (yaquwm - life forms which were established upright) whom relationally (‘asher) I made (‘asah - fashioned and created) from (min) upon (‘al) the face (paneh - presence) of the soil (‘adamah - ground, earth as in dirt, and fundamental particles of natural elements)." (Genesis 7:4)

How are just two interesting articles:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/14/science/14WAVE.html

http://tsun.sscc.ru/proj.htm

If you read the entire articles you will notice the dates they provided are parameters. From the land evidence they collected in the nearby island they are sure of the period it hit but haven't pointed out the exact date. However, the fact that vast amount of stories/myths (175) with them all describing the same event is a significant contribution. Notice too, no one seemed to refute the dates by saying a completey different number.

And to close, to confirm what happened on that fateful day:

"In (ba) repetition (sanah - years, changes, and renewals), six (shesh) hundred (me’ah) years (sanah) Noah had lived (hyym). In (ba) the second (seni) month (hodes - time of renewal), in the seventeenth (seba’ ‘asar) day (yowm) of the month, in that day, a great magnitude and quantity of (rab) deep ocean water (tahowm) and all underground springs (ma’yan - subterranean cisterns) burst and gushed forth (baqa’), and the floodgates (‘arubah) of the skies (samayim - heavens or atmosphere) were opened (patah - freed and released)." (Genesis 7:11)

http://www.wyattarchaeology.com/noah.htm

Anonymous said...

M said...

(Genesis 7:2)

Notice He actually said DOMESTICATED animals, not all species known to man.


Genesis 7:2 also says:

...and of beasts that are not clean by two...

Doesn't this include all the non-domesticated animals?




...the whole world was affected by the asteroid impact...

Again, there is no consensus regarding the dating of the impact to which you refer. Yet you take it as fact that the Burckle crater impact is the cause of the biblical flood.

But this is beside the point, isn't it? If there is a god, he could cause a flood in numerous ways. Humans are the ones obsessed with reasons and causes.





...but He was referring to the region...

I agree. Your exegesis is sound on this point.




~ ~ ~

The articles to which you link are interesting, but again: what do they prove?

Only that there may have been a major tsunami (or series of them) about the time of the biblical flood.

Many other religious traditions wrote of this. Does the Burckle crater evidence validate those traditions as well as Christianity?

Unknown said...

gregg,

"Genesis 7:2 also says:

...and of beasts that are not clean by two..."


...and two (sanayim - a pair of) related (‘asher) animals (bahemah) which are not (lo’) clean (taher), a male and female.

Again I will repeat myself, He used the Hebrew word taher to indicate clean animals which are usually farm type animals that can be eaten. Then He used the word 'asher to say related animals, in other words the other type of farm/domesticated animals that are not to be eaten.

Noah's Pet Zoo if you may!

The word 'asher is one of the most common words used in the orginal Hebrew but yet the most forgotten word in English versions. It's a crucial word left out.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your response, m.

I'm not an Ancient Hebrew scholar; I don't have a Hebrew lexicon.

So I'll take you at your word.

Why, then, do most translations of the bible not use this information to more accurately portray what you say is the truth?

Of course, there are many other problems with the Noah story, but I won't detail them here. I'm sure you know them yourself, and most likely have answers to any objections to the truth of the bible in which you believe.

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