Richard Dawkins: If Science Worked Like Religion

I've been faulted for suggesting that the Outsider Test for Faith (OTF) has force primarily against religious faiths. I think this because of the nature of them, how they were first adopted, the evidence (or lack thereof) that can decide between them, and so forth. To see why, check out the video below by Richard Dawkins. The sciences are in an entirely different league than faith:



Any questions?

Hat tip: Ed Babinski

57 comments:

Lvka said...

Nice video. Might wanna try this one as well...

Larian LeQuella said...

I love this video. Sadly, theists won't get it, and think that Dr. Dawkins is just being mean to them because their beliefs are a steaming pile of shit....

Hendy said...

Love it. Sure to illicit comments about science being in a different "realm" than god and thus obviously this analogy doesn't work...

Still loved the clip!

Nocterro said...

"Sadly, theists won't get it, and think that Dr. Dawkins is just being mean to them because their beliefs are a steaming pile of shit...."

How nice of you.

Ryan said...

"Sadly, theists won't get it, and think that Dr. Dawkins is just being mean to them because their beliefs are a steaming pile of shit...."

When was the last time you asked a theist why he believed God exists and actually received one of the allegedly analogous answers Dawkins provided? Do you really think all theists would reply that way?

The only thing I took away from that video is that Dawkins has to lead his audience into incredulity. Now I know why he won't debate Craig.

Charles said...



The fact that scientific theories cannot [yet] render an explanation
in every point, should not be used
as a pretext to thrust an untestable alternative hypothesis
grounded in religion. When one hear such a religious asininity, there's no compelling reason why it
should not be mocked and ridiculed.

Charles said...



David Berlinski, in his book "The
Devil's Delusion" mockingly writes
in the preface:

"To anyone who has enjoyed the spectacle of various smarmy insects
shuffling along the tenure track at
Harvard or Stanford..."

If you read the book you can see a display of arrogance and relentless sarcasm, denigration and
dismissal of science and scientists. He makes a huge emphasis on the "gap of science." But theists can't hope to defend as
intellectually signicant ancient superstitions by sneering at the showstopper, for example, of quantum gravity. The weirdness of
superstring theory DOES NOT qualify
"burning bushes" and "talking snakes" as an alternative to physics and chemistry.

Russ said...

Ryan said,

The only thing I took away from that video is that Dawkins has to lead his audience into incredulity. Now I know why he won't debate Craig.

Those of us who agree with Richard Dawkins do not require leading into incredulity, if the incredulity you refer to is the incredulity of religious belief. All religious followers are first and foremost trained-up disbelievers of all religious teachings which are not precisely their own.

Note that religious believers are taught to claim certainty that other sects of their own same-named religion are every bit as wrong as other religions. The CEO of the Roman Catholic church, speaking for more than half of all those using the word Christian to label themselves, claims to know that all non-Roman Catholics are wrong in their religion. As he sees it non-Roman Catholic Christians are no better than Hindus, Muslims or Buddhists.

Religious followers -- there is a reason they call themselves followers -- are literally led to being incredulous of other's beliefs. Different religion? - don't believe them. Different sect? - don't believe them. Different denomination? - don't believe them. Different congregation? - don't believe them. Different faction within the same congregation? - don't believe them either. Today's 40,000 theologically distinct Christianities exist due mainly to the ease with which Christians reject each other's claims, and crank out yet another True Christianity, disbelieving of all but themselves. Since there is nothing compelling in religious claims every believer is fully justified in rejecting every one else's claims, and, so, they do.

Russ said...

Ryan,
Concerning the religious fool William Lane Craig and Dawkins' refusing to debate him, it's important for you to understand what I said above in order for you to understand Dawkins' refusal. Craig's religious certainty makes him incredulous of reality itself. He has been taught or has devised himself a religious posture which he accepts as absolute. Any views other than his own are wrong. Craig's trained-up disbelief makes him unresponsive to facts about the world which do not support his views. Experts in various fields have written him regarding his factual errors, misrepresentations, and invalid conclusions, but, sadly, William Lane Craig is a victim of the popularity of his own views. He has a vast audience who likes what he says so he dishonestly holds to and repeats his erroneous arguments. Craig now dwells among those whose religion has made them intellectually useless. When the comforting sameness of one's religion keeps them from facing reality, they are not only intellectually useless to the human community, they are a liability. People listen to Craig while he smiles and lies the same old lies. Craig's mistaken science and bad arguments rub salt into the wounds that religion has inflicted on humanity.

It is apparent everywhere that religion yearns to have even a portion of the credibility of science. Stupid Christians claim that science came from their religion. They want to own it. Christians steal the language of science hoping to simply abduct a bit of the reliability that science brings: Creation Science; The Institute for Creation Research; Flood Geology, and so on. The Discovery Institute's only purpose is to purloin the fruits of science to obscure their religious ends. If their target audience mistakes the similarity of the DI's mumbo-jumbo for actual science, then the venerability of science can be appropriated gratis. The DI dishonestly and immorally leverages scientific ignorance.

Another way the religious grasp at the respect science commands is by the simple juxtaposition of one's religious figures with leaders from science. William Lane Craig wants his religious audience to give him the scientific respect that Richard Dawkins has earned, but Craig wants it without doing the work, without earning it and without having to face the reality he so freely rejects. Craig wants to steal scientific respect, get it for free, simply by standing next to it. I find it bizarre that Craig seeks respect for his views on science from his loyal audience, almost all of whom are ignorant of even the basics of science. Craig is an intellectually lazy man hoping to be granted a particular status by persons whom he knows have no understanding of what that status entails. It is a classic display of religious charlatanism that though Craig would never put in the work needed to understand the science and to be respected by the science community, he clearly wants to impart the perception that he is a respect-worthy scientist among his followers.

After all, if Dawkins agrees to stand next to him on stage while Craig spews the same dismantled dreck, isn't Dawkins also agreeing that what Craig has to say is worthy of whatever level of respect Dawkins is owed? In the minds of Craig's target audience that is most certainly the case. While Craig has a lot to gain, just by appearing next to Dawkins, Dawkins and those who agree with him can only lose in such a meeting. Craig is not deserving of respect and should not have it simply handed to him.

That's why Dawkins refuses to debate Craig.

Ryan said...

Russ,

All secularist followers are first and foremost trained-up disbelievers of all secularistic teachings which are not precisely their own.

Secularist followers -- there is a reason they call themselves followers -- are literally led to being incredulous of other's beliefs. Different epistemology? - don't believe them. Different ethics? - don't believe them. Different political views? - don't believe them. Different scientist? - don't believe them. Different faction within the same field? - don't believe them either. Today's 40,000 philosophically distinct secularists exist due mainly to the ease with which secularists reject each other's claims, and crank out yet another True secular philosophy, disbelieving of all but themselves. Since there is nothing compelling in secular claims every believer is fully justified in rejecting every one else's claims, and, so, they do.

...did you really think that your post was witty or compelling? Was that it?

I will admit, though, that your excuses for Dawkins are amusing. Dawkins has debated creationists. I guess you (and he) forgot? Oops.

Ryan Anderson said...

From Ryan’s bio…

I attended a Baptist School from 2nd through 12th grade. Upon being convicted of the truth of the doctrines of grace in freshman year at Georgia Tech, I had a spiritual awakening, and have spent recent years reading, comprehending, and enjoying God’s word.

If anyone needs to take the OTF…

me said...

Ryan,

You said: "All secularist followers are first and foremost trained-up disbelievers"

Wrong. I was raised Jewish. My business partner was raised Catholic. We're now both atheists.

You said, "Secularist followers -- there is a reason they call themselves followers"

Wrong. I don't know any secularist who adds the word "followers." Even if they did, you saying "there is a reason" doesn't mean you know THEIR reason.

You said, "Dawkins has debated creationists. I guess you (and he) forgot?"

Wrong. The person you replied to never said he didn't debate creationists. I can't find a single instance in his post where he uses "creationist". Dawkins only debates people with religious stature, aka bishops, priests, etc. We're referring to live debates in front of an audience. He does talk with creationists in his TV specials. But that's not what we're talking about. We're talking about WLC, who does live debates.

Russ said...

Ryan,
To some, perhaps, my comment was not witty or compelling, but I notice none of the Christian gods you guys worship gave you any more insight than to mimic Craig's theft of the respect of science in stealing what I said and parroting it back at me. Sadly, mimicry is exactly what defines most Christians in their mindless rituals, and that is all you bring to the table.

You said,

I will admit, though, that your excuses for Dawkins are amusing. Dawkins has debated creationists. I guess you (and he) forgot? Oops.

One of the beauties of being unlike religious believers is that one can quickly learn from the mistakes they make. The hard lessons Dawkins learned from his encounters with creationists, that breed of Christian believer which is even more mentally maimed by their religion than your run of the mill US Christian, taught the lot of us that for the religionist actual debate is never the objective. Their objective has been achieved long before the event starts simply by getting a credentialed scientist to assent to be on stage with them. Creationists embrace ignorance, coincidences and lies since they give the appearance of miracles and answered prayers, and creationists pursue debate opponents from fields of science to give them the appearance of their being similarly respected.

If any of the Christianities or the Christian gods or the Christian saviors or the Christian holy ghosts had any influence in the world we would see it. That no benefit of belief is observable leaves religious faith on the wane, especially among those actively professing belief. There are lots of active Christian clergy and laymen who are atheists. I'm related to some myself. Many of the Christian religious in developed countries know beyond all doubt that gods have no affect. They profess belief when among their social group, while they behave like perfectly natural beings using perfectly natural means to get things done otherwise. People have affects. People acting in groups have affects. But, gods have no affects.

Russ said...

Ryan,
Anything you attribute to gods, you have simply made up, Ryan. As an example, you say you,

have spent recent years reading, comprehending, and enjoying God’s word.

You're making this up. Here you show that you clearly do not understand the Christianities. Have you done this reading and such in the same way that Muslims, Jews, and Hindus read, comprehend and enjoy the words of their gods? Don't you think it to be a rather twisted irony that Jews, Christians and Muslims worship the same god, but it says different things to each of them? Kind of a prick thing for a loving father to do, ain't it?

What's more is that while you might have read and enjoyed reading something, you haven't been reading some "God's word," as you called it, and you have certainly not comprehended it anymore than the tens of thousands of competing, conflicting and contradictory apologetics would suggest is possible. I'm a complete materialist atheist, and you have no better comprehension of gods and their words than I do. For every Bible verse you've ever thought you understood, there are thousands of interpretations differing from yours handed down by those heaven-sent interpretation makers, the theologians. What does this mean? You have no idea what your imagined version of a Christian God says, all you have is what you and your Sunday social club agree to say it means, exactly like every other Christianity and their distinct but still imaginary deities.

Realize Ryan that no one has ever studied a god of any sort. People like yourself only study people's conceptions of gods. Gods don't exist, so no one has ever studied one. The most dutiful and earnest of theologians reads what others have wished for, dreamt up and written down. While a more ambitious theologian might tack some new trait or make up a god from scratch, none has ever spoken to a god. Hell, at best, theologians only have the same social, moral, and scientific insights as the culture they live in. The Bible is proof of that. They never have special insights that need divine intervention to explain.

Any words ascribed to Jesus had been alive and well in human cultures for thousands of years as people considered better ways for people to live in large aggregate communities rather than the less successful tribal groups they transitioned from. If Biblical Jesus was a real person, then the moral words put in his mouth by the Bible's fabricators preceded him by many centuries, and anything else he's claimed to have uttered belongs on the same trash heap as the other ignorant and superstitious fictions scrawled out by those ancient desert scribes. Your Jesus was nothing special.

So, Ryan, don't suggest that you comprehend some God's word. You don't, and no one else does either.

Go ahead and use that childish technique of rewording what I've said and playing it back to us. That you leapt to it so easily means it's one of your go-to responses since you have nothing else. If you had something divine at your disposal, if there really was a thing you could pray to for guidance or inspiration, you would show it. You got nothing, so that's all you can show us.

GearHedEd said...

News Flash!

"The Vatican's chief astronomer says there is no conflict between believing in God and in the possibility of "extraterrestrial brothers" perhaps more evolved than humans.

"In my opinion this possibility (of life on other planets) exists," said Reverend Jose Gabriel Funes, a 45-year-old Jesuit priest who is head of the Vatican Observatory and a scientific adviser to Pope Benedict.

"How can we exclude that life has developed elsewhere," he told the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano in an interview in its Tuesday-Wednesday edition, explaining that the large number of galaxies with their own planets made this possible."

16:05 14 May 2008 Reuters

-------------------------------

OK that was a couple of years old.

Seems tha Vatican is hedging its bets on emergent scientific discoveries, wishing to avoid being upstaged by a modern Galileo discovering an extra-Solar planet that harbors life (maybe even intelligent life!).

So why wait until 2008? Why didn't the Vatican acknowledge this possibility when Galileo showed that the Earth isn't the center of the universe (don't be obtuse, Christians! I'm aware of Copernicus!)?

Oh, yeah. That's right. The Vatican didn't even pardon Galileo until 359 years had gone by.

It's NOT a coincidence that this statement from the Vatican came in 2008. The first confirmed exoplanet was discovered in 1992, so considering the usual lack of movement on novel ideas the Vatican has displayed over the centuries, this is absolutely phenomenal.

Just the latest incident in the church's campaign to co-opt science for its own ends.

GearHedEd said...

In short, if science worked like religion, it would wait until religion had some TRUTH to point to, then try to insinuate itself into the mix and claim,

"That's what we were saying all along, you just didn't understand it properly."

Ryan said...

RA wrote:

"If anyone needs to take the OTF…"

I'm not a Baptist. Besides, Manata has already exposed the OTF as bunk.



me wrote:

"Wrong. I was raised Jewish. My business partner was raised Catholic. We're now both atheists."

Yes. And there have never been any people who have been born in atheist families who've converted to Christianity. Did you completely miss the point of the parody post? Or what?

"Wrong. I don't know any secularist who adds the word "followers." Even if they did, you saying "there is a reason" doesn't mean you know THEIR reason."

My point exactly. Did you completely miss the point of the parody post? Or what?

"Wrong. The person you replied to never said he didn't debate creationists."

Dawkins said he won't debate Craig because he won't debate creationists, is busy, and doesn't think Craig is qualified anyways. But he's not busy enough to debate other creationists and Craig has PhDs, is an author, and a respected debater. Hm. Something's fishy about Dawkins' excuses.

"Dawkins only debates people with religious stature..."

Considering how many times he's asked why he won't debate Craig, I would consider that evidence of Craig's stature, wouldn't you?

Ryan said...

Russ wrote,

"To some, perhaps, my comment was not witty or compelling, but I notice none of the Christian gods you guys worship gave you any more insight than to mimic Craig's theft of the respect of science in stealing what I said and parroting it back at me. Sadly, mimicry is exactly what defines most Christians in their mindless rituals, and that is all you bring to the table."

I'm deny empiricism. Try something original. And try to make it something that can't be used against you so easily.

"Their objective has been achieved long before the event starts simply by getting a credentialed scientist to assent to be on stage with them."

Blah blah blah.

"If any of the Christianities or the Christian gods or the Christian saviors or the Christian holy ghosts had any influence in the world we would see it."

That you don't see it doesn't mean no one else doesn't. Obviously.

"That no benefit of belief is observable leaves religious faith on the wane, especially among those actively professing belief. There are lots of active Christian clergy and laymen who are atheists. I'm related to some myself."

So you know some hypocrites. And? What is your point?

"Anything you attribute to gods, you have simply made up, Ryan. As an example, you say you,

have spent recent years reading, comprehending, and enjoying God’s word.

You're making this up."

Prove it.

"Here you show that you clearly do not understand the Christianities. Have you done this reading and such in the same way that Muslims, Jews, and Hindus read, comprehend and enjoy the words of their gods?"

Some Jews, yes. And I actually do enjoy reading other religions' material. So what?

By the way, are you a rationalist, Russ? Empiricist? Skeptic? What are ya?

"Don't you think it to be a rather twisted irony that Jews, Christians and Muslims worship the same god, but it says different things to each of them?"

Then they don't worship the same God, dummy. They may all claim to follow the God of Abraham, but again, so what?

"What's more is that while you might have read and enjoyed reading something, you haven't been reading some "God's word," as you called it, and you have certainly not comprehended it anymore than the tens of thousands of competing, conflicting and contradictory apologetics would suggest is possible."

Prove it.

"I'm a complete materialist atheist, and you have no better comprehension of gods and their words than I do."

Prove it.

"For every Bible verse you've ever thought you understood, there are thousands of interpretations differing from yours handed down by those heaven-sent interpretation makers, the theologians."

Prove it.

"Realize Ryan that no one has ever studied a god of any sort. People like yourself only study people's conceptions of gods. Gods don't exist, so no one has ever studied one."

Prove it.

This is boring, so I'll just assume the rest of your post contains nothing more than inane assertions and skip to the part where I ask you to amaze me by actually substantiating your assertions. There's no need to parody this post, by now everyone should be able to see you're bluffing.

Ryan said...

Russ wrote,

"To some, perhaps, my comment was not witty or compelling, but I notice none of the Christian gods you guys worship gave you any more insight than to mimic Craig's theft of the respect of science in stealing what I said and parroting it back at me. Sadly, mimicry is exactly what defines most Christians in their mindless rituals, and that is all you bring to the table."

I'm deny empiricism. Try something original. And try to make it something that can't be used against you so easily.

"Their objective has been achieved long before the event starts simply by getting a credentialed scientist to assent to be on stage with them."

Blah blah blah.

"If any of the Christianities or the Christian gods or the Christian saviors or the Christian holy ghosts had any influence in the world we would see it."

That you don't see it doesn't mean no one else doesn't. Obviously.

"That no benefit of belief is observable leaves religious faith on the wane, especially among those actively professing belief. There are lots of active Christian clergy and laymen who are atheists. I'm related to some myself."

So you know some hypocrites. And? What is your point?

"Anything you attribute to gods, you have simply made up, Ryan. As an example, you say you,

have spent recent years reading, comprehending, and enjoying God’s word.

You're making this up."

Prove it.

"Here you show that you clearly do not understand the Christianities. Have you done this reading and such in the same way that Muslims, Jews, and Hindus read, comprehend and enjoy the words of their gods?"

Some Jews, yes. And I actually do enjoy reading other religions' material. So what?

By the way, are you a rationalist, Russ? Empiricist? Skeptic? What are ya?

"Don't you think it to be a rather twisted irony that Jews, Christians and Muslims worship the same god, but it says different things to each of them?"

Then they don't worship the same God, dummy. They may all claim to follow the God of Abraham, but again, so what?

"What's more is that while you might have read and enjoyed reading something, you haven't been reading some "God's word," as you called it, and you have certainly not comprehended it anymore than the tens of thousands of competing, conflicting and contradictory apologetics would suggest is possible."

Prove it.

"I'm a complete materialist atheist, and you have no better comprehension of gods and their words than I do."

Prove it.

"For every Bible verse you've ever thought you understood, there are thousands of interpretations differing from yours handed down by those heaven-sent interpretation makers, the theologians."

Prove it.

"Realize Ryan that no one has ever studied a god of any sort. People like yourself only study people's conceptions of gods. Gods don't exist, so no one has ever studied one."

Prove it.

This is boring, so I'll just assume the rest of your post contains nothing more than inane assertions and skip to the part where I ask you to amaze me by actually substantiating your assertions. There's no need to parody this post, by now everyone should be able to see you're bluffing.

Ryan said...

Russ wrote,

"To some, perhaps, my comment was not witty or compelling, but I notice none of the Christian gods you guys worship gave you any more insight than to mimic Craig's theft of the respect of science in stealing what I said and parroting it back at me. Sadly, mimicry is exactly what defines most Christians in their mindless rituals, and that is all you bring to the table."

I'm deny empiricism. Try something original. And try to make it something that can't be used against you so easily.

"Their objective has been achieved long before the event starts simply by getting a credentialed scientist to assent to be on stage with them."

Blah blah blah.

"If any of the Christianities or the Christian gods or the Christian saviors or the Christian holy ghosts had any influence in the world we would see it."

That you don't see it doesn't mean no one else doesn't. Obviously.

"That no benefit of belief is observable leaves religious faith on the wane, especially among those actively professing belief. There are lots of active Christian clergy and laymen who are atheists. I'm related to some myself."

So you know some hypocrites. And? What is your point?

"Anything you attribute to gods, you have simply made up, Ryan. As an example, you say you,

have spent recent years reading, comprehending, and enjoying God’s word.

You're making this up."

Prove it.

"Here you show that you clearly do not understand the Christianities. Have you done this reading and such in the same way that Muslims, Jews, and Hindus read, comprehend and enjoy the words of their gods?"

Some Jews, yes. And I actually do enjoy reading other religions' material. So what?

By the way, are you a rationalist, Russ? Empiricist? Skeptic? What are ya?

"Don't you think it to be a rather twisted irony that Jews, Christians and Muslims worship the same god, but it says different things to each of them?"

Then they don't worship the same God, dummy. They may all claim to follow the God of Abraham, but again, so what?

"What's more is that while you might have read and enjoyed reading something, you haven't been reading some "God's word," as you called it, and you have certainly not comprehended it anymore than the tens of thousands of competing, conflicting and contradictory apologetics would suggest is possible."

Prove it.

"I'm a complete materialist atheist, and you have no better comprehension of gods and their words than I do."

Prove it.

"For every Bible verse you've ever thought you understood, there are thousands of interpretations differing from yours handed down by those heaven-sent interpretation makers, the theologians."

Prove it.

"Realize Ryan that no one has ever studied a god of any sort. People like yourself only study people's conceptions of gods. Gods don't exist, so no one has ever studied one."

Prove it.

This is boring, so I'll just assume the rest of your post contains nothing more than inane assertions and skip to the part where I ask you to amaze me by actually substantiating your assertions. There's no need to parody this post, by now everyone should be able to see you're bluffing.

Ryan said...

Russ wrote,

"To some, perhaps, my comment was not witty or compelling, but I notice none of the Christian gods you guys worship gave you any more insight than to mimic Craig's theft of the respect of science in stealing what I said and parroting it back at me. Sadly, mimicry is exactly what defines most Christians in their mindless rituals, and that is all you bring to the table."

I'm deny empiricism. Try something original. And try to make it something that can't be used against you so easily.

"Their objective has been achieved long before the event starts simply by getting a credentialed scientist to assent to be on stage with them."

Blah blah blah.

"If any of the Christianities or the Christian gods or the Christian saviors or the Christian holy ghosts had any influence in the world we would see it."

That you don't see it doesn't mean no one else doesn't. Obviously.

"That no benefit of belief is observable leaves religious faith on the wane, especially among those actively professing belief. There are lots of active Christian clergy and laymen who are atheists. I'm related to some myself."

So you know some hypocrites. And? What is your point?

"Anything you attribute to gods, you have simply made up, Ryan. As an example, you say you,

have spent recent years reading, comprehending, and enjoying God’s word.

You're making this up."

Prove it.

"Here you show that you clearly do not understand the Christianities. Have you done this reading and such in the same way that Muslims, Jews, and Hindus read, comprehend and enjoy the words of their gods?"

Some Jews, yes. And I actually do enjoy reading other religions' material. So what?

By the way, are you a rationalist, Russ? Empiricist? Skeptic? What are ya?

"Don't you think it to be a rather twisted irony that Jews, Christians and Muslims worship the same god, but it says different things to each of them?"

Then they don't worship the same God, dummy. They may all claim to follow the God of Abraham, but again, so what?

"What's more is that while you might have read and enjoyed reading something, you haven't been reading some "God's word," as you called it, and you have certainly not comprehended it anymore than the tens of thousands of competing, conflicting and contradictory apologetics would suggest is possible."

Prove it.

"I'm a complete materialist atheist, and you have no better comprehension of gods and their words than I do."

Prove it.

"For every Bible verse you've ever thought you understood, there are thousands of interpretations differing from yours handed down by those heaven-sent interpretation makers, the theologians."

Prove it.

"Realize Ryan that no one has ever studied a god of any sort. People like yourself only study people's conceptions of gods. Gods don't exist, so no one has ever studied one."

Prove it.

This is boring, so I'll just assume the rest of your post contains nothing more than inane assertions and skip to the part where I ask you to amaze me by actually substantiating your assertions. There's no need to parody this post, by now everyone should be able to see you're bluffing.

Ryan said...

I seem to be having some trouble posting this. I've tried a couple times but am getting error messages, so the blog monitor can just post one of the saved comments if there are multiples, since I'm not trying to spam.

Russ wrote,

"To some, perhaps, my comment was not witty or compelling, but I notice none of the Christian gods you guys worship gave you any more insight than to mimic Craig's theft of the respect of science in stealing what I said and parroting it back at me. Sadly, mimicry is exactly what defines most Christians in their mindless rituals, and that is all you bring to the table."

I'm deny empiricism. Try something original. And try to make it something that can't be used against you so easily.

"Their objective has been achieved long before the event starts simply by getting a credentialed scientist to assent to be on stage with them."

Blah blah blah.

"If any of the Christianities or the Christian gods or the Christian saviors or the Christian holy ghosts had any influence in the world we would see it."

That you don't see it doesn't mean no one else doesn't. Obviously.

"That no benefit of belief is observable leaves religious faith on the wane, especially among those actively professing belief. There are lots of active Christian clergy and laymen who are atheists. I'm related to some myself."

So you know some hypocrites. And? What is your point?

"Anything you attribute to gods, you have simply made up, Ryan. As an example, you say you,

have spent recent years reading, comprehending, and enjoying God’s word.

You're making this up."

Prove it.

"Here you show that you clearly do not understand the Christianities. Have you done this reading and such in the same way that Muslims, Jews, and Hindus read, comprehend and enjoy the words of their gods?"

Some Jews, yes. And I actually do enjoy reading other religions' material. So what?

By the way, are you a rationalist, Russ? Empiricist? Skeptic? What are ya?

"Don't you think it to be a rather twisted irony that Jews, Christians and Muslims worship the same god, but it says different things to each of them?"

Then they don't worship the same God, dummy. They may all claim to follow the God of Abraham, but again, so what?

"What's more is that while you might have read and enjoyed reading something, you haven't been reading some "God's word," as you called it, and you have certainly not comprehended it anymore than the tens of thousands of competing, conflicting and contradictory apologetics would suggest is possible."

Prove it.

"I'm a complete materialist atheist, and you have no better comprehension of gods and their words than I do."

Prove it.

"For every Bible verse you've ever thought you understood, there are thousands of interpretations differing from yours handed down by those heaven-sent interpretation makers, the theologians."

Prove it.

"Realize Ryan that no one has ever studied a god of any sort. People like yourself only study people's conceptions of gods. Gods don't exist, so no one has ever studied one."

Prove it.

This is boring, so I'll just assume the rest of your post contains nothing more than inane assertions and skip to the part where I ask you to amaze me by actually substantiating your assertions. There's no need to parody this post, by now everyone should be able to see you're bluffing.

GearHedEd said...

Prove Jesus existed as a real, flesh and blood human being, Ryan. You've got a week.

Ready? Go!

GearHedEd said...

Here's another tip, Ryan:

Look at the yellow bar at the top of the screen after you post something, where it says,

"Your comment has been saved and will be visible after blog owner approval."

That way, we don't have to read your lack of arguments ("Prove it. Prove it. Prove it. Prove it. Prove it....") FIVE TIMES.

Russ said...

Ryan,

You related,

Russ wrote,

"To some, perhaps, my comment was not witty or compelling, but I notice none of the Christian gods you guys worship gave you any more insight than to mimic Craig's theft of the respect of science in stealing what I said and parroting it back at me. Sadly, mimicry is exactly what defines most Christians in their mindless rituals, and that is all you bring to the table."

I'm deny empiricism. Try something original. And try to make it something that can't be used against you so easily.

If you want to draw a parallel between what I said and empiricism you need to make it more clear. Georgia Tech is failing you, Ryan, if your standard retort in the face of having Christianity's absurdities pointed out to you is to merely reflect the critic's own words back at them. Again, if you had anything it would show; your responses wouldn't be so shallow. Clearly, nothing you've picked up at Georgia Tech, or on your own, or at Grace prepares you to realistically face the obvious shortcomings of your version of Christianity or the shortcomings of the Christianities as a whole.

Just looking around a bit you should be able to see that the world and reality as a whole does not conform to your silly take on the world, and most of the world is just as well off or better for it. The US has Christianity all over the place and it does us no special favors. You need to do something special for yourself: actually research the Christianities, other religions and atheism to see how they compare, for better or for worse. Look at the largely atheist countries of Scandinavia, for instance. They have the best health care outcomes, longest life expectancies, lowest infant mortality rates, lowest drug abuse rates and lowest abortion rates in the world, while they laugh at the Christianities. In an interesting twist the countries support their churches with tax money while they largely sit empty, their clergy functioning mostly as museum curators. For a big eye opener compare those same countries to your Biblical literalist social group at Grace Fellowship. In the US, fundamentalist Christians have the highest abortion rates(though they run neck and neck with Roman Catholics), lowest incomes, highest rates of violent crime, including domestic abuse, the highest drug abuse rates -- and the list goes on -- of all the Christian sects. Comparing these measures to US atheists will show how you and your church are just not special.

Even comparing your church to other Christian groups will say a lot about your god's affects on your life. Seventh Day Adventists have an average life expectancy almost ten years longer than Bible believing Christians. What is your god doing? Mormons have longer life expectancies, higher incomes, better health outcomes...

You can dismiss this with your well-rehearsed, "Blah blah blah," but it won't make you and your fellow believers live any longer and it will not nullify the fact that while you screech out "Hosanna to God on high," the infants from within your particular brand of Christianity die at a rate almost three times the rate they die among the atheists of Scandinavia. Why would your version of a Christian God let that happen? Obviously, faith is of no value.

You said,

Blah blah blah.

Put your head in the sand all you like, but that won't change the way the world works. In particular it won't change the data that prove that the Christianities are not useful models when it comes to morality, generosity, love, compassion and other such virtues. Christians drone on about love, tolerance, caring and the like, but on any Sunday morning the most segregated places in the US are Christian churches.

Russ said...

Ryan,
Your own church's Constitution points out your insularity saying,

Inasmuch as there is need for Christians to have fellowship with others and for strengthening the stand of Bible-believing churches in this nation, this church shall have fellowship with other Bible-believing churches and individuals of like faith.

This is an overt rejection of the rest of Christianity, the other two billion Christians who imagine their religion different from the way you imagine yours.

You quoted me and responded as follows:

"If any of the Christianities or the Christian gods or the Christian saviors or the Christian holy ghosts had any influence in the world we would see it."

That you don't see it doesn't mean no one else doesn't. Obviously.

If your Christ-blather makes you better people, as you claim it does, how would we know it if it can't be seen?

If your Bible believing Christianity makes you more moral, why do fundamentalist Christians like you have a higher divorce rate than atheists? The difference isn't large, but if a Christianity Effect(CE) came into play we should be able to see it. More than that, it should be so obvious that we shouldn't have to wonder about it. Why do atheists in the US have a much higher average income than fundamentalist Christians? Where is the CE?

All your religion offers you Ryan is smoke and mirrors. It does not do what it claims. Hell, not only are the countries of Scandinavia healthier and wealthier than US Christians, but they are happier, too. Studies consistently show all of the them to be among the top ten happiest while the US with Christianity oozing from every orifice is always way down the list. Where's your God? Where's the CE? In your minds only, that's where.

When I said, "That no benefit of belief is observable leaves religious faith on the wane, especially among those actively professing belief. There are lots of active Christian clergy and laymen who are atheists. I'm related to some myself," you responded,

So you know some hypocrites. And? What is your point?

This is not a simple matter of hypocrisy, Ryan. Christians do not believe what they say they do, and they do not behave in ways that reflect belief. How do we know? The numbers don't lie. Work done by the Christian group Barna, and research done at Christian universities like Baylor, Butler, Notre Dame, Princeton Theological Seminary, Harvard Divinity School, among others, all show us that self-identified Christians do not act in ways consistent with belief.

Less than one third of them go to church. Millions of them lie about how often they go. Millions lie about how much money they give to their churches. Less than one percent of Christians ever read that silly Bible that they claim is so important. Less than five percent of Christian clergy read it. A great many Christian clergy don't write a sermon, they just get them online. People say they believe, but they don't. I read the Bible more than most of my Christian friends. They use me as a resource since they don't care enough about it to read it.

It is a fact that Christians of all stripes are more faithful to astrology than they are to their Bibles. Here in the US, Christians spend an average of less than one hour a week involved with their religion, including prayer, Bible study, Bible reading, attending Sunday School and worship services, while on average they dedicate fifty times that to reading the comics, watching Desperate Housewives, and surfing porn sites. This is factual information, Ryan. Christians like the pot lucks and the social outlet, but they don't believe it and they don't take it seriously. [Isn't it odd that you advocate for your God while your generation will be the first in US history to have a shorter life expectancy than your parents, while in the rest of the developed world, where Christianity is fading fast, life expectancies are still rising?]

Russ said...

Ryan,
What this says is that Christianity doesn't do anything, there is no CE. Any affects you attribute to it are imagined. People are actually better off if their money goes into getting better educations, health club memberships, professional development, and providing better health care for their families, than if they give it to some church. Churches are robbing the poor and giving that money to clergy and their families. Academic work from many sources reveals that from the money given to churches, money labelled "charitable giving," only between 9 and 12 percent goes to anything that could be construed as humanitiarian aid.

Again, Ryan, if there existed a CE, it would be visible.

At one point I said,

Anything you attribute to gods, you have simply made up, Ryan. As an example, you say you, "have spent recent years reading, comprehending, and enjoying God’s word."

You're making this up.

You responded:

Prove it.

I have proven it. Even your own church's Constitution rejects almost all of Christianity, embracing only those Christianities that claim to be Bible believing. There is no truth to Christianity. It is literally whatever anyone wants to make of it. I could start my own version of Christianity right now, and it would be every bit as legitimate as whatever Christian thing you hold to. Realize there is no standard for what constitutes correct Christianity. You might say your church uses the Bible, but that is a lie, too.

You don't use the Bible you only use the bits you like, or, more correctly, the bits your clergyman has told you he likes. No one who is not insane uses the Bible as a moral guide. Killing every single human infant, toddler and child while sparing cockroaches, snakes, and naked mole rats, is not a valuable moral case study. A loving father knows that children are not to be destroyed, they are to be loved and nurtured, and taught the ways consistent with the culture they occupy. No apologetics can make your God into anything other than an immoral monster.

You quoted me,

Don't you think it to be a rather twisted irony that Jews, Christians and Muslims worship the same god, but it says different things to each of them?

Then you responded,

Then they don't worship the same God, dummy. They may all claim to follow the God of Abraham, but again, so what?

Why isn't it the same god, Ryan. Don't the Old Testament words deliver one divinely inspired message? Why do you think you've got it right and the others have it wrong? If others have read the same words and gotten it wrong, there is no reason whatsoever to think you have gotten it right. Devout and pious Jews and Muslims are every bit as devout and pious as you will claim to be, but you will reject their faith. Beyond that, Ryan, if there is supposed to be only one god, your version of a god, how can you say they are worshipping a different one. If there is only one, exactly one, uniquely and precisely one, then they must be worshipping the same god that you do. There is no way around it. Unless you are willing to admit, contrary to your version of holy book, that there really is more than one god, their god is your god. But, then, your god must be Vishnu, too.

The ease with which you dismiss other's beliefs amazes me.

Russ said...

Ryan,
I said, "What's more is that while you might have read and enjoyed reading something, you haven't been reading some "God's word," as you called it, and you have certainly not comprehended it anymore than the tens of thousands of competing, conflicting and contradictory apologetics would suggest is possible." Then, you said, "Prove it."

Your rejection of the gods that others have imagined based on the same words from your own holy book is more than sufficient proof. If, as you have suggested, the words of the Old Testament depict a distinct god to each of the Abrahamic faiths, then you cannot say you have comprehended those words at all. You are proof that those words do not speak truth. You are proof that those words are whatever a local culture wants to say they are. If different readers reach radically different ends from the same words, those words can't be said to have been understood or comprehended. Moreover, it says that the author was a careless and shabby writer. The author certainly was not a loving caring father communicating a meaningful message to his children. The incoherence of the multiple messages makes it clear that comprehension is not even possible, and, further, shows that those words are not revelations from the divine. People can and do, like your church no doubt, sit around and agree among themselves what they will say it means. They don't have something true. They have a thing they agree to call true. Others, from the same words, invent something different yet, which they will agree to call true. It's not truth.

In another give and take,

"I'm a complete materialist atheist, and you have no better comprehension of gods and their words than I do."

Prove it.

I have proved it. That I can make up my own is proof that you have no better understanding than I do. That you agree that Jews and Muslims have made up their own gods from words you say are the literal words of the one and only god says you have no understanding of gods. You have a social group who hang out and rally around a conception of a god, nothing more. Nothing different from or more notable than any of the thousand other gods people worship today.


"For every Bible verse you've ever thought you understood, there are thousands of interpretations differing from yours handed down by those heaven-sent interpretation makers, the theologians."

Prove it.

Your church rejects tens of thousands of theologically distinct Christianities. They are theologically distinct due to differences in what they say about the Bible or doctrine and those differences are highlighted by the words the respective theologians write. If you're headed to theological seminary, Ryan, you will do lots of writing that differs widely from the theologies of the other Christianities as well as those theologies based around those other gods you admit to there being.

Russ said...

Ryan,
You said,

"Realize Ryan that no one has ever studied a god of any sort. People like yourself only study people's conceptions of gods. Gods don't exist, so no one has ever studied one."

Prove it.

Ryan, you claim to have studied your god and comprehended your god. This isn't true at all. Your god in particular is not there. The gulf between your claims for its affects and what's observed is too great for it to be real. Like a magician waves its wand, shouts "abracadabra," and pulls a rabbit out of a hat, you too perform stage magic in trying to make your claims align with your God's woefully disappointing performance. It's not there, so it doesn't do anything. You realize it doesn't do anything, so you make excuses for it. You say asinine things along the lines of, "My God can do anything. It just chooses not to. It knows best." Alakazam and hocus pocus. Poof! Your God never has to pony up. Why? You made it up. Your God never has to answer a prayer as it promises -- promises, Ryan -- in the gospels since you so want to be part of the group mindset you ignore the misses and only count the hits. If you applied the same method to me, I would be every bit as effective in answering your prayers, Ryan. Your faith is not in your God. Your faith results purely from your own personal and group habits. Same for Jews. Same for Muslims. Same for Hindus.

You finished saying,

This is boring, so I'll just assume the rest of your post contains nothing more than inane assertions and skip to the part where I ask you to amaze me by actually substantiating your assertions. There's no need to parody this post, by now everyone should be able to see you're bluffing.

Why does your god bore you? If you do more than accept the dogma, if you actually research the Christianities, if you look out to the rest of the seven billion humans you share this planet with, you will see them doing with their religions exactly what you do with yours: pretend it's true. If you step out of your silly Christianity for a bit and look around the world, you will see that most people everywhere have good lives. People don't need some version of Christianity for any reason. You do not need a Christianity for any reason other than it is the price of admittance to your Sunday morning social club.

If Christianity worked, we would see it.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Ryan,

If you are a US Citizen and follow the Constitution and Bill of Rights then you are a "secularist". We don't live in a theocracy son.

And do you think your Triablogue rhetoric constitutes an argument?

Chuck O'Connor said...

Ryan said,

"That you don't see it doesn't mean no one else doesn't. Obviously."

Which of course is the legendary appeal to supernatural solipsism.

Nice work Ryan. You've presented the character we mock.

Ryan said...

GearHeadEd wrote:

"Prove Jesus existed as a real, flesh and blood human being, Ryan."

Try this.

I received a word verification error every time I tried to post except the last one. If I were able to delete the excess posts, I would.



Chuck wrote:

"If you are a US Citizen and follow the Constitution and Bill of Rights then you are a "secularist"."

Now read the other definition of secularist.

"Which of course is the legendary appeal to supernatural solipsism."

Is this a joke? How does "that you don't see [the Holy Spirit's influence] doesn't mean no one else does" = solipsism? In fact, if anyone is purporting solipsism, it's Russ! How else could he move from "I don't see the influence of the Holy Spirit" to "no one sees the influence of the Holy Spirit?

Ryan said...

Russ wrote,

”If you want to draw a parallel between what I said and empiricism you need to make it more clear. Georgia Tech is failing you, Ryan, if your standard retort in the face of having Christianity's absurdities pointed out to you is to merely reflect the critic's own words back at them.”

I guess you didn’t understand the point of the tu quoque argument. The reference to my position regarding empiricism was simply a qualification of that point.

”Just looking around a bit you should be able to see that the world and reality as a whole does not conform to your silly take on the world, and most of the world is just as well off or better for it.”

Another “brute fact” argument isn’t going to convince me, Russ.

“You need to do something special for yourself: actually research the Christianities, other religions and atheism to see how they compare, for better or for worse. Look at the largely atheist countries of Scandinavia, for instance. They have the best health care outcomes, longest life expectancies, lowest infant mortality rates, lowest drug abuse rates and lowest abortion rates in the world, while they laugh at the Christianities.”

If you could justify how, within your atheistic world-view, you can account for “should” and “should not,” “better” and “worse,” etc. I might be more inclined to reflect on what you say. But it almost seems like you go out of your way to beg questions.

Moreover, your whole post hinges on the idea that Christianity should offer us a prosperity gospel? Hello? Where in the world do you get that idea? The NT is full of passages which tell believers to expect suffering and persecution. How, then, is the fact that not all Christians have ice cream parties and slip-n-slide contests 24/7 an indication that it’s false?

”You can dismiss this with your well-rehearsed, "Blah blah blah," but it won't make you and your fellow believers live any longer and it will not nullify the fact that while you screech out "Hosanna to God on high," the infants from within your particular brand of Christianity die at a rate almost three times the rate they die among the atheists of Scandinavia. Why would your version of a Christian God let that happen? Obviously, faith is of no value.”

Why should I value what you value? Come to think of it, why do you value what you value?

”Put your head in the sand all you like, but that won't change the way the world works.”

Repeating bigoted statements doesn’t make them any more true, Russ. You can continue to believe what you do about Christian debaters if you like, but the fact is you’ve done nothing more than assert your own opinion. If that’s all you got, I get it. Keep pontificating if you like, but when you do, all I see is “blah blah blah.”

“In particular it won't change the data that prove that the Christianities are not useful models when it comes to morality, generosity, love, compassion and other such virtues. Christians drone on about love, tolerance, caring and the like, but on any Sunday morning the most segregated places in the US are Christian churches.”

Howso? Where are you getting this information from? Or is this yet another “truth” I’m going to have to find by “looking around a bit”? Why should I do your homework for you?

“Your own church's Constitution points out your insularity saying,

//Inasmuch as there is need for Christians to have fellowship with others and for strengthening the stand of Bible-believing churches in this nation, this church shall have fellowship with other Bible-believing churches and individuals of like faith.//

This is an overt rejection of the rest of Christianity, the other two billion Christians who imagine their religion different from the way you imagine yours.”

Firstly, how does “other Bible-believing churches” imply a rejection of said churches as within the bounds of Christendom? What in the world are you talking about? Secondly, what constitution are you looking at?

Ryan said...

Russ wrote,

”If you want to draw a parallel between what I said and empiricism you need to make it more clear. Georgia Tech is failing you, Ryan, if your standard retort in the face of having Christianity's absurdities pointed out to you is to merely reflect the critic's own words back at them.”

I guess you didn’t understand the point of the tu quoque argument. The reference to my position regarding empiricism was simply a qualification of that point.

”Just looking around a bit you should be able to see that the world and reality as a whole does not conform to your silly take on the world, and most of the world is just as well off or better for it.”

Another “brute fact” argument isn’t going to convince me, Russ.

“You need to do something special for yourself: actually research the Christianities, other religions and atheism to see how they compare, for better or for worse. Look at the largely atheist countries of Scandinavia, for instance. They have the best health care outcomes, longest life expectancies, lowest infant mortality rates, lowest drug abuse rates and lowest abortion rates in the world, while they laugh at the Christianities.”

If you could justify how, within your atheistic world-view, you can account for “should” and “should not,” “better” and “worse,” etc. I might be more inclined to reflect on what you say. But it almost seems like you go out of your way to beg questions.

Moreover, your whole post hinges on the idea that Christianity should offer us a prosperity gospel? Hello? Where in the world do you get that idea? The NT is full of passages which tell believers to expect suffering and persecution. How, then, is the fact that not all Christians have ice cream parties and slip-n-slide contests 24/7 an indication that it’s false?

”You can dismiss this with your well-rehearsed, "Blah blah blah," but it won't make you and your fellow believers live any longer and it will not nullify the fact that while you screech out "Hosanna to God on high," the infants from within your particular brand of Christianity die at a rate almost three times the rate they die among the atheists of Scandinavia. Why would your version of a Christian God let that happen? Obviously, faith is of no value.”

Why should I value what you value? Come to think of it, why do you value what you value?

”Put your head in the sand all you like, but that won't change the way the world works.”

Repeating bigoted statements doesn’t make them any more true, Russ. You can continue to believe what you do about Christian debaters if you like, but the fact is you’ve done nothing more than assert your own opinion. If that’s all you got, I get it. Keep pontificating if you like, but when you do, all I see is “blah blah blah.”

“In particular it won't change the data that prove that the Christianities are not useful models when it comes to morality, generosity, love, compassion and other such virtues. Christians drone on about love, tolerance, caring and the like, but on any Sunday morning the most segregated places in the US are Christian churches.”

Howso? Where are you getting this information from? Or is this yet another “truth” I’m going to have to find by “looking around a bit”? Why should I do your homework for you?

“Your own church's Constitution points out your insularity saying,

//Inasmuch as there is need for Christians to have fellowship with others and for strengthening the stand of Bible-believing churches in this nation, this church shall have fellowship with other Bible-believing churches and individuals of like faith.//

This is an overt rejection of the rest of Christianity, the other two billion Christians who imagine their religion different from the way you imagine yours.”

Firstly, how does “other Bible-believing churches” imply a rejection of said churches as within the bounds of Christendom? What in the world are you talking about? Secondly, what constitution are you looking at?

Ryan said...

Russ wrote,

”If you want to draw a parallel between what I said and empiricism you need to make it more clear. Georgia Tech is failing you, Ryan, if your standard retort in the face of having Christianity's absurdities pointed out to you is to merely reflect the critic's own words back at them.”

I guess you didn’t understand the point of the tu quoque argument. The reference to my position regarding empiricism was simply a qualification of that point.

”Just looking around a bit you should be able to see that the world and reality as a whole does not conform to your silly take on the world, and most of the world is just as well off or better for it.”

Another “brute fact” argument isn’t going to convince me, Russ.

“You need to do something special for yourself: actually research the Christianities, other religions and atheism to see how they compare, for better or for worse. Look at the largely atheist countries of Scandinavia, for instance. They have the best health care outcomes, longest life expectancies, lowest infant mortality rates, lowest drug abuse rates and lowest abortion rates in the world, while they laugh at the Christianities.”

If you could justify how, within your atheistic world-view, you can account for “should” and “should not,” “better” and “worse,” etc. I might be more inclined to reflect on what you say. But it almost seems like you go out of your way to beg questions.

Moreover, your whole post hinges on the idea that Christianity should offer us a prosperity gospel? Hello? Where in the world do you get that idea? The NT is full of passages which tell believers to expect suffering and persecution. How, then, is the fact that not all Christians have ice cream parties and slip-n-slide contests 24/7 an indication that it’s false?

”You can dismiss this with your well-rehearsed, "Blah blah blah," but it won't make you and your fellow believers live any longer and it will not nullify the fact that while you screech out "Hosanna to God on high," the infants from within your particular brand of Christianity die at a rate almost three times the rate they die among the atheists of Scandinavia. Why would your version of a Christian God let that happen? Obviously, faith is of no value.”

Why should I value what you value? Come to think of it, why do you value what you value?

”Put your head in the sand all you like, but that won't change the way the world works.”

Repeating bigoted statements doesn’t make them any more true, Russ. You can continue to believe what you do about Christian debaters if you like, but the fact is you’ve done nothing more than assert your own opinion. If that’s all you got, I get it. Keep pontificating if you like, but when you do, all I see is “blah blah blah.”

“In particular it won't change the data that prove that the Christianities are not useful models when it comes to morality, generosity, love, compassion and other such virtues. Christians drone on about love, tolerance, caring and the like, but on any Sunday morning the most segregated places in the US are Christian churches.”

Howso? Where are you getting this information from? Or is this yet another “truth” I’m going to have to find by “looking around a bit”? Why should I do your homework for you?

“Your own church's Constitution points out your insularity saying,

//Inasmuch as there is need for Christians to have fellowship with others and for strengthening the stand of Bible-believing churches in this nation, this church shall have fellowship with other Bible-believing churches and individuals of like faith.//

This is an overt rejection of the rest of Christianity, the other two billion Christians who imagine their religion different from the way you imagine yours.”

Firstly, how does “other Bible-believing churches” imply a rejection of said churches as within the bounds of Christendom? What in the world are you talking about? Secondly, what constitution are you looking at?

Ryan said...

Russ wrote,

”If your Christ-blather makes you better people, as you claim it does, how would we know it if it can't be seen?”

According to you if-then statement, you couldn’t. But who said I accepted the premise?

”If your Bible believing Christianity makes you more moral…”

Than what?

“…why do fundamentalist Christians like you have a higher divorce rate than atheists?”

Why do you assume everyone who professes to be a Christian is one? As I already said: “So you know some hypocrites. And? What is your point?”

“Why do atheists in the US have a much higher average income than fundamentalist Christians? Where is the CE?”

Why are you still relying on empiricism to make a point when I have already stated I reject empiricism (cf. here)?

”All your religion offers you Ryan is smoke and mirrors. It does not do what it claims.”

Then prove it. What relevance do statistics about health and wealth have to truth? You ooze irrationality when you make such appeals.

”This is not a simple matter of hypocrisy, Ryan. Christians do not believe what they say they do”

Then they aren’t Christians. Duh.

“This is factual information, Ryan.”

Even if it were, all of it is irrelevant.

“[Isn't it odd that you advocate for your God while your generation will be the first in US history to have a shorter life expectancy than your parents, while in the rest of the developed world, where Christianity is fading fast, life expectancies are still rising?]”

Like China?

”I have proven it.”

No, you haven’t. You’ve cited a constitution I’ve never read which implies the opposite of what you interpreted it means. And even if it were true, how is that relevant to whether or not I enjoy reading Scripture?

”You don't use the Bible you only use the bits you like, or, more correctly, the bits your clergyman has told you he likes.”

Prove it.

“Killing every single human infant, toddler and child while sparing cockroaches, snakes, and naked mole rats, is not a valuable moral case study.”

Keeping in mind that Scripture obviously doesn’t teach this, why, on atheism, not?

“A loving father knows that children are not to be destroyed, they are to be loved and nurtured, and taught the ways consistent with the culture they occupy.”

You are not God’s child, however, so the point is moot.

(continue)

Russ wrote:

”Why isn't it the same god, Ryan.”

You can’t be serious! How can you possibly fail to understand that if I believe in a God whose very essence is mutually exclusive with the teachings of modern Judaism and Islam (which I do), then I don’t believe in the god of modern Judaism/Islam?

“Why do you think you've got it right and the others have it wrong?”

Same reason I know you’re wrong: an exercise in logical principles.

Ryan said...

Russ wrote,

“If others have read the same words and gotten it wrong, there is no reason whatsoever to think you have gotten it right.”

1. This same double-speak is found in TCD. Is the Bible perspicuous or isn’t it, Russ? If not, then don’t pretend it is for the sake of attacking certain doctrines.

2. Ironically, Loftus et. al. have accused Triabloggers of misunderstanding their words. Ergo, by your own argument, you have no reason whatsoever to think you have understood TCD. Or anything else on DC.

Do you really not see the argumentum ad populum fallacy? Sheesh.

“Beyond that, Ryan, if there is supposed to be only one god, your version of a god, how can you say they are worshipping a different one.”

False conceptions of God are idols. Where did I say they worshipped another true God?

”The ease with which you dismiss other's beliefs amazes me.”

Ditto.

“Your rejection of the gods that others have imagined based on the same words from your own holy book is more than sufficient proof.”

No, it’s not. You’re not looking at the reasons I believe what I believe – you’re looking at what others have believed, also without considering why; therefore, your argument that my conclusions are suspect are fallacious. This is basic stuff, Russ. Come on.

“If, as you have suggested, the words of the Old Testament depict a distinct god to each of the Abrahamic faiths, then you cannot say you have comprehended those words at all.”

But I didn’t suggest that. In fact, I asked why anyone should accept without question a claim that one follows the God of Abraham, and you asked why we shouldn’t. Now, not only have you failed to answer that question, I’ve answered yours and you look like a fool.

“You are proof that those words do not speak truth. You are proof that those words are whatever a local culture wants to say they are. If different readers reach radically different ends from the same words, those words can't be said to have been understood or comprehended.”

Why not? Why are you reasoning from effect to cause? Why do you not look at the reasons the different conclusions have been reached? Why is it impossible to conceive of a misuse of a perspicuous source?

“Moreover, it says that the author was a careless and shabby writer.”

I appreciate that you consider the authors of the OT to be careful and excellent writers.

/irony

"I'm a complete materialist atheist, and you have no better comprehension of gods and their words than I do."

The rest of your post is a regurgitation of material I’ve just refuted, begged questions, and straw men, and since I don’t particularly feel like beating a dead horse today, c ya.

GearHedEd said...

Ryan,

You linked me to a page where the ENTIRE argument is based on Bible verses.

You CANNOT prove God by quoting the Bible.

That's circular, and proves exactly ZIP.

Try again.

----------------------------------

And you CAN wipe the duplicate posts. See the little trash can icon in the lower left just under the last lines of your post?

Notice that you ONLY see those on posts YOU have written.

You can do it. There are four practice posts just WAITING for you...

GearHedEd said...

Smoke and mirrors, Ryan,

You're accusing atheists of argumentum ad populum fallacy?

That's rich.

When did you abandon studying mathematics, Ryan?

Was eighth grade math too hard, and that's why you've chosen a field that doesn't require any science?

Your rejection of empiricism is woefully shortsighted and full of logical errors, considering empiricism brought you every modern convenience you use to communicate these thoughts to us, keep your food cold, allow you to drive a car (not to mention design and build the roads you drive it on!).

If you REALLY rejected empiricism, you'd throw all this junk away and go find a cave to live in, make bows and arrows by hand to...( wait a second! THAT activity requires empiricism, too!).

Better yet, pray for some Manna to fall from heaven into your front yard. That's all you have left.

Ryan Anderson said...

Other Ryan said "If you could justify how, within your atheistic world-view, you can account for “should” and “should not,” “better” and “worse,” etc. I might be more inclined to reflect on what you say."

Other Ryan, how a world view accounts for things like "should” and “should not,” “better” and “worse,” etc... has less then zero to do with the truth of that world view.

Just FYI.

Ryan said...

GearHeadEd wrote:

"You CANNOT prove God by quoting the Bible."

Duh. I said as much in that paper, if you had cared to read it. I gather that you see only what you want to see. What a waste.

FYI, I don't see the trash can. I know it should be there, and I've deleted posts on blogger.com sites before. I really just don't see one here. Sorry.

"You're accusing atheists of argumentum ad populum fallacy?"

Just Russ. Project harder.

"When did you abandon studying mathematics, Ryan?

Was eighth grade math too hard, and that's why you've chosen a field that doesn't require any science?"

Since I'm a math major, your attempted insults are amusing.

"Your rejection of empiricism is woefully shortsighted and full of logical errors, considering empiricism brought you every modern convenience you use to communicate these thoughts to us, keep your food cold, allow you to drive a car (not to mention design and build the roads you drive it on!)."

That is a nice set of assumptions I can't wait to "see" you prove!

"If you REALLY rejected empiricism, you'd throw all this junk away and go find a cave to live in, make bows and arrows by hand to...( wait a second! THAT activity requires empiricism, too!)."

Why would I have done this? Do you understand the difference between belief and knowledge? If so, what are you on about?



Ryan Anderson wrote,

"Other Ryan, how a world view accounts for things like "should” and “should not,” “better” and “worse,” etc... has less then zero to do with the truth of that world view."

Russ made moral claims which his world-view can't substantiate. If you're acknowledging that Russ is being inconsistent... well, ok, I guess. But the point was really for Russ' benefit, not yours.

Gandolf said...

Ryan says.."Then they don't worship the same God, dummy. They may all claim to follow the God of Abraham, but again, so what?"

Ryan says.."1. This same double-speak is found in TCD. Is the Bible perspicuous or isn’t it, Russ? If not, then don’t pretend it is for the sake of attacking certain doctrines."

Ryan says.."False conceptions of God are idols. Where did I say they worshipped another true God?"

Seems to me Ryan kind of suggests, the bible maybe is a real mongrel of a mess! with regards to being easy enough for many humans to understand and follow,and so it "produces"! lots and lots of these idol worshiping beings.Naughty humans.How dare they read, perspicuous faith books!.Off to hell! for them folks.

Guess that saves heaven from getting far to over crowded for the Calvinist folks likings.

Though i do wonder how much double speak they must need to use, trying to prove Gods as still supposedly being kind and loving and fatherly etc.Or maybe this rabid brand of Christians dont even bother with that?.

What i find a little strange is all these faithful folks, including those whom this Ryan suggests as being, the idol worshipers.Will ALL very likely claim to be using some special devine "objective standard".

Which in my opinion tends to suggest, Godly folks claim of using some supernatural "objective standard" carrys about as much weight, as any special "objective standard" claimed by the good folks in some asylum, who might also suggest they too! hear voices talking inside their heads!.

Ryan says..."That you don't see it doesn't mean no one else doesn't. Obviously"

Cher cher.Go Ryan, Go Ryan

Yeah and many folks in those asylums would also claim, that you dont hear it in your head!,doesnt mean i dont hear voices inside my head either.And it doesnt mean other people dont also hear voices inside their wee beanys too!.

And they might also claim.. I can see soon somebodys going to come and kill me!, so i need to do something before this person gets to come kill me.That you personally dont see this person is coming to kill me,doesnt prove this person isnt actually coming to kill me!.

Do you recommend we should let all them asylum folks out too ,Ryan ??.After all often we cant prove them to be totally wrong either.Maybe they do hear voices?,maybe they do have devine skills telling them somebodys coming to get them?.

Hey maybe they can all join your church!,you sound a lot like you`d maybe all have heaps in common.

Ryan in your world just because something isnt proved with enough good evidence,it dont mean at all that it most likely, doesnt even exist.

Ryan in your preferred faith world,even the asylum folk!, should be totally free to roam wherever and whenever they please.By your rules you would have no right!,to even question their "personal beliefs" of utter madness.You would be expected !, to have faith, in their own personal testimonys that they gave you.

If you inquired about some good evidence! for proof of what they were suggesting,like you did! they could simply also reply.->"That you don't see it doesn't mean no one else doesn't. Obviously"


------------------------

Im so very very thankful!, faithful folks still dont get run to this world entirely.What utter chaos and mindless madness would soon run riot, if they did.

Ryan said...

Gandolf,

Was your best response really just to give your opinion? Or was it to poison the well? Do you understand what the phrase "burden of proof" means?

Gandolf said...

Ryan said... "Gandolf,

Was your best response really just to give your opinion? Or was it to poison the well? Do you understand what the phrase "burden of proof" means?"

Burden of proof? ..What from those in the asylums claiming to hear voices in their heads and suggesting all sorts of people might be coming to get them ?, or from the faithful folks claiming the allsortment of Gods exist and sinners end up in some hell ?

Faiths are pretty much lots like asylums, i think you will find Rayan.They dont really stick to the "burden of proof" rule much.

Both asylums and faith groups are full of loons! all making their claims ,but never ever able to actually back these claims up properly.Always finding excuses ,or telling some other story.

You can call it poisoning the well all you like Ryan.But that dont change anything much, im simply saying like it actually looks! to me.And i couldnt give a rats arse !,if you dont happen to like it, either.

Faiths practice this burden of proof rule you speak of,about as much as any folks in the asylums do.

Now you had said "That you don't see it doesn't mean no one else doesn't. Obviously"

Those folks in many asylums make many of the very same type claims.IE..i seen it ,just because you didnt see it,doesnt prove anything ...rant rant ..running around the room bouncing off walls!

We dont simply take folks in asylum word, of what they might suggest they faithfully believe actually exists.

And we would be just as stupid to simply take theists word for the existence of Gods too.

So looks like the burden of proof falls on you lot, Ryan,wouldnt you agree?.

Its about time some of you faithful folk came up with the real goods! for a change! and supplied some proper decent evidence of this mythical god you keep having these delusions! about.

This tired old worn out crap excuse! about oh some people can supposedly see/experience God, and some people just cant, holds about as much truth to it, as weird and whacky folks in some asylum trying to claim much the same type of bullshite.

If monsters or people actually exist, that are honestly about ready to attack folks in asylums .The chances are sooner or later many folks of all types! are very likely going to be seeing them, also.

There is little good reason why the same thing shouldnt be expected to happen with regards to these claims made about these Gods.

However it remains as mere faith .Little different to the mere faith of many folks in asylums.

This is not poisoning any well,Ryan,its just stating the situation as it stands.

If any well of yours is poisoned ,then it was already poisoned!.

Dont try blame me, if you find yourself floundering! around in some poisonous well Ryan.

GearHedEd said...

I read the essay again.

Aside from in essence being a 'book report' on Gordon Clark's unnamed "series of articles", the entire article is premised on the Bible as being infallible revealed knowledge.

you premise Scripture, God, sin and all the rest by quoting the bible:

"the Bible is full of instances which claim the whole canon to have been breathed out by God through the prophets and apostles: “The LORD said to him, ”˜Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say’” (Exodus 4:11-12); “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17); “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness”¦no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. For prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:3; 20-21"

Begging the question!

(1) God exists because the Bible says so.

(2)The Bible was written by God.

You're chasing your tail, use only one source for support of your conclusions, and you were obviously writing this for an audience of Calvinist judges.

------------------------------

Why study math if you don't believe in it?

GearHedEd said...

That's probably it didn't get the Blue Ribbon, too.

GearHedEd said...

This:

"This begs several questions: what is movement, how can movement be measured, and can we know that a given measurement is accurate? Only one who is able to account for all possible variables in an experiment can know that his perception of the results is veridical. To know that which bears influence in an experiment, one must know that which does not. As has been demonstrated, however, one must be infinitely knowledgeable to know that even one alleged fact is true."

Is fallacious. You haven't been through statistics and least squares yet, have you?

GearHedEd said...

We don't NEED to be 100% sure of "facts" if we CAN be 99.999% sure.

GearHedEd said...

Oh, and incidentally, that's why empiricism works, too.

GearHedEd said...

The entirety of the religious argument is a combination of fallacies:

Ad Antiquitatem or Appeal to Tradition,

Ad Populum or Appeal to Common Belief or Bandwagon,

Circular Reasoning or Begging the Question,

Style over Substance, or An attractive presentation makes it more right.

Throw in a little appeal to fear to season it, shake well, bake for 3000 years, and voila!

Christianity!

GearHedEd said...

Me: "If you REALLY rejected empiricism, you'd throw all this junk away and go find a cave to live in, make bows and arrows by hand to...( wait a second! THAT activity requires empiricism, too!)."

Ryan: "Why would I have done this? Do you understand the difference between belief and knowledge? If so, what are you on about?"

You DO realize that you've conflicted yourself here? Knowledge (as you've defined iit elsewhere cannot contain anything veridical due to the failure of empiricism (your argument). Then you say, "Why would I have done this?"

Because you reject the empirically gained KNOWLEDGE that brought these things TO you! So in effect you're saying,

"I'm perfectly willing to accept the knowledge that made all these modern conveniences possible (because the devices, etc. are SELF-EVIDENT, i.e., they exist), even though I don't believe it's possible to have the knowledge that makes them possible due to my denial of empiricism."

See the disconnect between your brain and reality yet?

GearHedEd said...

How much area is under both sides of the bell curve out to a distance of +/- one sigma?

No fair looking it up, just give me the answer as an integer percentage.

GearHedEd said...

What's the significance of a normal distribution?

What's the significance of the value for sigma?

GearHedEd said...

The point is, if you don't understand the arguments FOR empiricism, then you have no basis for rejecting empiricism based on philosophical reasoning.

GearHedEd said...

This:

"//[Empiric principles are] predicated on reasoning which cannot account for all possible contingencies. One might wonder whether “[this desk is red]” is a proposition contingent on the veracity of the proposition “ducks can swim” or “the Protestant canon is fallible.” There are infinitely many such propositions one could posit, of course, meaning that if one is to know that [this desk is red], one must be infinitely knowledgeable.//"

Is complete nonsense.

How would "ducks can swim" inform a perception that a desk is either red or not?

Furthermore, like I said empiricism and the scientific method rely on statistical probabilities, NOT "100% PROOF". One need not apprehend every possible variable or "all possible contingencies".

One need only measure the quantity in question enough times to develop a statistical confidence interval. Is it 100%? No. Does it NEED to be 100%? Again, NO.

Does it work? Absolutely.

Russ said...

Ryan,
You said to Ryan Anderson,

Russ made moral claims which his world-view can't substantiate.

My worldview can and does substantiate any moral claims I may have made. What's more, my worldview discloses that your moral claims stem from exactly the same source as mine. None of the silly Christian gods required.

I pointed out earlier that

Any words ascribed to Jesus had been alive and well in human cultures for thousands of years as people considered better ways for people to live in large aggregate communities rather than the less successful tribal groups they transitioned from. If Biblical Jesus was a real person, then the moral words put in his mouth by the Bible's fabricators preceded him by many centuries, and anything else he's claimed to have uttered belongs on the same trash heap as the other ignorant and superstitious fictions scrawled out by those ancient desert scribes. Your Jesus was nothing special.


Primate communities have been making gradual adjustments to our understanding of what constitutes moral behavior ever since our pre-human ancestors evolved into social beings. Love, compassion, caring, and even self-sacrifice were alive and well many millenia before humanity differentiated from its predecessors. There simply was, and is, no moral lawgiver. Morality is an empirical series of behavioral successive approximations, not some body of absolutes handed down by an imaginary supernatural moral exemplar. Humans decide on what is moral, quantitatively as well as qualitatively. We afford others better treatment only as we better know, better understand, and have learned to better trust them. We adjust and calculate the moral status we afford others based on differing kinds of interactions. Sexual attraction induces one sets of applied morals. Territorial disputes induce a set of applied morals that are completely different. Friends and neighbors require another distinct set of morals.

We apply different sets of morals to those we like versus those we do not. Consider how you interact with us here at DebunkingChristianity. That you hate those of us who disagree with you is apparent. It is apparent for the way you choose the morality you freely apply to us when you would never act this way if you actually considered us your God's children gone astray. It is another body of evidence showing how you Christians do not believe what you say. You clearly do not believe there is a God holding you to account for the way you treat others. Even you know your God is not there, and, thus, that it won't judge you.

All manner of practical urgency also influence what is taken as moral. A society wherein life expectancies are short, has the very real concern of tailoring their sexual ethics to reduce the likelihood that they will go extinct. Where life expectancies are long the sexual moral structure must work to avoid an overpopulation that will outstrip the environment's support capacity. These are real issues which cannot be addressed by some imagined set of absolutes.

Looking at Christians today, we see them killing their own children as witches and letting their children die from easily treated diseases. Yes, Ryan, they are True Christians. Yet they have no absolute morals telling them not to destroy their own children.

You said, "Russ made moral claims which his world-view can't substantiate," but in reality while my worldview does substantiate my moral claims, yours makes claims which are obviously false even as it proclaims them to be absolutely true.

Russ said...

Ryan,
You said to Ryan Anderson,

Russ made moral claims which his world-view can't substantiate.

My worldview can and does substantiate any moral claims I may have made. What's more, my worldview discloses that your moral claims stem from exactly the same source as mine. None of the silly Christian gods required.

I pointed out earlier that

Any words ascribed to Jesus had been alive and well in human cultures for thousands of years as people considered better ways for people to live in large aggregate communities rather than the less successful tribal groups they transitioned from. If Biblical Jesus was a real person, then the moral words put in his mouth by the Bible's fabricators preceded him by many centuries, and anything else he's claimed to have uttered belongs on the same trash heap as the other ignorant and superstitious fictions scrawled out by those ancient desert scribes. Your Jesus was nothing special.


Primate communities have been making gradual adjustments to our understanding of what constitutes moral behavior ever since our pre-human ancestors evolved into social beings. Love, compassion, caring, and even self-sacrifice were alive and well many millenia before humanity differentiated from its predecessors. There simply was, and is, no moral lawgiver. Morality is an empirical series of behavioral successive approximations, not some body of absolutes handed down by an imaginary supernatural moral exemplar. Humans decide on what is moral, quantitatively as well as qualitatively. We afford others better treatment only as we better know, better understand, and have learned to better trust them. We adjust and calculate the moral status we afford others based on differing kinds of interactions. Sexual attraction induces one sets of applied morals. Territorial disputes induce a set of applied morals that are completely different. Friends and neighbors require another distinct set of morals.

We apply different sets of morals to those we like versus those we do not. Consider how you interact with us here at DebunkingChristianity. That you hate those of us who disagree with you is apparent. It is apparent for the way you choose the morality you freely apply to us when you would never act this way if you actually considered us your God's children gone astray. It is another body of evidence showing how you Christians do not believe what you say. You clearly do not believe there is a God holding you to account for the way you treat others. Even you know your God is not there, and, thus, that it won't judge you.

All manner of practical urgency also influence what is taken as moral. A society wherein life expectancies are short, has the very real concern of tailoring their sexual ethics to reduce the likelihood that they will go extinct. Where life expectancies are long the sexual moral structure must work to avoid an overpopulation that will outstrip the environment's support capacity. These are real issues which cannot be addressed by some imagined set of absolutes.

Looking at Christians today, we see them killing their own children as witches and letting their children die from easily treated diseases. Yes, Ryan, they are True Christians. Yet they have no absolute morals telling them not to destroy their own children.

You said, "Russ made moral claims which his world-view can't substantiate," but in reality while my worldview does substantiate my moral claims, yours makes claims which are obviously false even as it proclaims them to be absolutely true.