More Hitchens: Sure, there might be a higher power

posted at 7:20 pm on August 7, 2010 by Allahpundit

We’ve seen a lot of him on the site lately, I know, but it’s a slow summer Saturday news night and, let’s face it, the supply of video clips of Hitch holding forth on whatever topic is likely to be exceedingly finite. Enjoy him while you can. If you’re bored with the talk of death and prayer, no problem: Skip the first clip below and settle in for an insightful chat between him, Jeffrey Goldberg, and Martin Amis on Jewish culture and the politics of anti-semitism. Well worth your time.

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What is “high”? What is power?

Kralizec on August 7, 2010 at 7:43 PM

You just went full retard.

jdun on August 8, 2010 at 6:37 AM

Apologies for the late reply (time zone).

The above definition that many people have is one that puzzles me – both from the religious and non-religious who use this term.

Atheism is a state of mind that eschews anything of a supernatural nature, considering it not worthy of conscious thought. (very much in the vein of not considering the possibility of werewolves, the living dead, etc)

I just cannot see how a religion of nothing can exist. I can, however, see how an anti-theist religion can exist, because the acknowledgement of a God is admitted, and the rejection thereof practiced.

OldEnglish on August 8, 2010 at 4:26 AM

You are confirming my point when you mention the “religion” of anti-theists, who’ve gone beyond simple belief into dogma.

I did make sure to point out that atheism cannot be a religion by definition, which is why I qualified it with “quasi” when using it while I was referring to exclusionary atheists, who are religiously atheistic to the point of being cultish; “atheism is a state of mind” is a falsehood, except to the followers of the quasi-religion Atheism.

‘Hitchens indulging the realistic possibility that we’re wrong about God’s existence? Why does he go there? Ha! He’s not one of us for doing so, even though he continues to believe that God doesn’t exist, thus fulfilling the very definition of “atheist!” SEIZE HIM!’

Bizarro No. 1 on August 8, 2010 at 7:41 AM

If you continue to spend time around that mother-in-law out of love and loyalty to your spouse, you are truly a good person, indeed, but by that same token your spouse should make it clear to his/her mother that if she continues on in that hurtful and profane way, she won’t be saying either one of you very often. I’m no theologist, but I’m certainly inclined to believe that someone who deliberately hurts another person is likely to end up in purgatory, AT BEST!

cynccook on August 7, 2010 at 11:32 PM

We live with her out of financial necessity. She starts talking heaven and hell and I just walk away.

annoyinglittletwerp on August 8, 2010 at 8:15 AM

Omg. He looks so ragged :/

blatantblue on August 7, 2010 at 7:27 PM

Yes, yes he does. And it gives me no joy, none at all, to see him so…

:/

Lourdes on August 7, 2010 at 7:29 PM

A friend of mine passed away from cancer several years ago. The last words he ever said to me were “This cancer thing, man it’s a bitch.”

Oldnuke on August 8, 2010 at 8:31 AM

Mr.H. needs to embrace God and his sinfully disgusting life will be forgiven. We pray for you Mr.H. Yes, we the children of God pray for your salvation be it now or before you leave us.

griv on August 8, 2010 at 2:26 AM

We have all lived ‘sinfully disgusting’ lives to some degree.
In that sense none of us is better than Hitch.
As I mentioned in an earlier thread Hitch has a sexy mind-though I don’t always agree with what comes out of it. In a world of beta wolf intellectual males Mr. Hitchen’s is an alpha alpha. I’m praying for him and speaking as a former atheist who saw the light-in my case the Lord used a severe eating disorder to get my attention-I have no doubt that somewhere in Mr. Hitchen’s mind/soul he believes in a ‘higher power’.
Hitting bottom makes you realize that if you want to rise…you need to look up.

annoyinglittletwerp on August 8, 2010 at 8:32 AM

Dire Straits on August 8, 2010 at 4:38 AM

Agreed. Abortion is after the fact. Sometime in the future, women will have the tools to allow them to truly decide when they wish to become fertile. Rather than contraception to prevent, the default will be prevention.

Abortion is a decision to get rid of an unborn child. If the natural system can be reversed, there will be no need for abortions to exist.

For certain, if it can be done, someone will do it – at some point in time.

OldEnglish on August 8, 2010 at 9:04 AM

It makes me think of the Pearl Jam tune “Man of the Hour”.

RobCon on August 8, 2010 at 9:06 AM

“atheism is a state of mind” is a falsehood, except to the followers of the quasi-religion Atheism.

Bizarro No. 1 on August 8, 2010 at 7:41 AM

Agreed. That is why I always say that the subject is a non-issue.

OldEnglish on August 8, 2010 at 9:09 AM

Right out of the gate.

“How are you”?
“I’m dying”

Classic….
Hades for me would be surrounded by pencil necked liberal “reporters” asking dumb questions and dipping their pens into my wounds to make a name for themselves but this seems to be what Hitch wants so more power to him.
Keep going Hitch…we need your wicked wit.

RobCon on August 8, 2010 at 9:19 AM

Woo hoo! It’s Sunday morning and we can talk now without having all of those obnoxious Christians gloating over something Hitchens didn’t really say and otherwise patronizing Hitch in particular and atheists in general.

It’s amazing to me how Christians love to tell us that they know how the world and humans and everything else came about. Their answer: MAGIC!
They give their brand of MAGIC a name (God), and they invent all manner of funny rituals and clothes and language to celebrate their MAGIC. That’s about as deep as their thought processes go.

And these are the dorks that point fingers at Atheists because we tell them that while we don’t have all the answers, we don’t believe that MAGIC suffices as an explanation for anything.

MJBrutus on August 8, 2010 at 9:37 AM

. and staying ignorant of the reality we find around us.

Just be a good sheeple.

SauerKraut537 on August 7, 2010 at 10:36 PM

SauerKraut537 (and all you other atheists, anti-theists, and whatever term becomes “fashionable” tomorrow?) Are you true to your convictions? Or do you truly stand up for what you believe in? (stand up for what you don’t believe in sounds silly)

Please be true to your convictions. Don’t patronize any of those barbaric God-people organizations. Be sure you only go to Atheist establishments. If you need medical care, only frequent the Atheist funded hospitals. And be sure you only give to atheist childrens funds, or one of those dozens of different atheist charities (who do such wonderful work). Or am I just being a little sarcastic? Are there any atheist groups out there that do the world any good at all? Or do all atheists just go around telling the world how stupid those “God-people” are?

Funny how those “sheeple” are out there actually helping people, and the atheists are doing nothing except trying to score “intellectual points” against those religious troglodytes.

Squiggy on August 8, 2010 at 9:37 AM

Agreed. That is why I always say that the subject is a non-issue.

OldEnglish on August 8, 2010 at 9:09 AM

I thought it was an issue for you because you told me you were puzzled by my definition of “the quasi-religion of atheism.”

What, if anything, did I misunderstand when you said that?

Bizarro No. 1 on August 8, 2010 at 9:40 AM

“the quasi-religion of aAtheism.”

Fixed.

Bizarro No. 1 on August 8, 2010 at 9:43 AM

Funny how those “sheeple” are out there actually helping people, and the atheists are doing nothing except trying to score “intellectual points” against those religious troglodytes.

Squiggy on August 8, 2010 at 9:37 AM

So atheists aren’t doctors and laborers, etc? Who knew. BTW, it’s Sunday AM, shouldn’t you be on your knees before your magic thingy now?

MJBrutus on August 8, 2010 at 9:44 AM

“And these are the dorks that point fingers at Atheists because we tell them that while we don’t have all the answers, we don’t believe that MAGIC suffices as an explanation for anything.”

Except when it comes to the origin of the universe then the explanation becomes “magic”. They call their magic the “big bang”. “In the begininng was nothing…..then it exploded.”

tommyboy on August 8, 2010 at 9:48 AM

Except when it comes to the origin of the universe then the explanation becomes “magic”. They call their magic the “big bang”. “In the begininng was nothing…..then it exploded.”

tommyboy on August 8, 2010 at 9:48 AM

Nope. You see, when a person says they think that the world was formed big Big Bang it is not a statement of certainty and it is not without evidence.

I can certainly see where one who has invested so much of his emotion in MAGICal thinking to want to obscure such distinctions, assuming they are capable of understanding them in the first place. Now run along to grovel to your MAGIC creator myth, the fate of your everlasting MAGIC soul myth depends on it.

MJBrutus on August 8, 2010 at 9:54 AM

Nope. You see, when a person says they think that the world was formed big Big Bang it is not a statement of certainty and it is not without evidence.

So…they think it was magic but they are not certain. That’s so much more rational of them. And of course Christianity is certainly backed by plenty of evidence and Christians don’t have entertain the ridiculous notion that matter just suddenly created itself out of nothing. It takes much more faith the be an atheist.

tommyboy on August 8, 2010 at 10:01 AM

Bizarro No. 1 on August 8, 2010 at 9:40 AM

It may be my understanding of the word quasi- (almost).

“Almost a religion” indicates that there is something there, whereas I have always maintained that there isn’t. I guess I’m concerned as to why some people insist on applying labels that should not fit.

When it comes to anti-theists, that’s a different story.

OldEnglish on August 8, 2010 at 10:02 AM

matter just suddenly created itself out of nothing.

tommyboy on August 8, 2010 at 10:01 AM

Why do some people insist on shovelling that… stuff?

OldEnglish on August 8, 2010 at 10:05 AM

Why do some people insist on shovelling that… stuff?

because it’s the best modern “science” can come up with.

tommyboy on August 8, 2010 at 10:06 AM

tommyboy on August 8, 2010 at 10:01 AM

You can try to argue and wriggle off the hook by calling science MAGIC, but it’s a losing cause. For starters, you only took part of the criteria I presented about the distinction. It’s not simply a lack of certainty but the presence of evidence!

There is evidence that the universe is expanding (and has expanded for as long as it has existed) implying that at one time it was very, very small and dense. That is evidence that universe came about from a single event, starting from a single place and time. We have invested lots of research in to discovering how matter behaves under kinds of densities that would have existed very shortly after the theoretical Big Bang and the theory has been honed to be consistent with our observations. That’s more or less why thinking people consider the Big Bang theory to be plausible if not likely.

Now for the religious MAGIC answer, we have no evidence. We lack the means of even obtaining evidence to support it. It is simply an assertion that everything happened by MAGIC.

MJBrutus on August 8, 2010 at 10:12 AM

because it’s the best modern “science” can come up with.

tommyboy on August 8, 2010 at 10:06 AM

I don’t think so. Nothing cannot exist.

OldEnglish on August 8, 2010 at 10:12 AM

As I mentioned in an earlier thread Hitch has a sexy mind-though I don’t always agree with what comes out of it. In a world of beta wolf intellectual males Mr. Hitchen’s is an alpha alpha.

annoyinglittletwerp on August 8, 2010 at 8:32 AM

How much of an alpha intellectual can a supposed alpha intellectual, who clings to the utterly stupid idea that religion poisons everything, be? Seriously, his take on religion is no less laughable and idiotic than your garden-variety white supremacist’s view is on blacks. He said in October 2008, “the Obama-Biden ticket is not a capitulationist one”!!! Where’s the intellectualism in such an easily maniputable person?

After all these years of his life he’s had to work on it, he’s still stuck in the muck of his past. What’s his excuse? I’m sorry, but Christopher Hitchens is no David Horowitz, no Dennis Prager, no Mark Steyn, no Iowahawk, or anything close to them even.

Bizarro No. 1 on August 8, 2010 at 10:17 AM

It may be my understanding of the word quasi- (almost).

“Almost a religion” indicates that there is something there, whereas I have always maintained that there isn’t. I guess I’m concerned as to why some people insist on applying labels that should not fit.

When it comes to anti-theists, that’s a different story.

OldEnglish on August 8, 2010 at 10:02 AM

You may say I’m splitting hairs here, but anti-theists are atheists, so when I said that some, not all, atheists have their own quasi-religion, I can’t see why you’d say I am misapplied the label when you agree with me that anti-theists are dogmatic about their atheism.

Bizarro No. 1 on August 8, 2010 at 10:27 AM

Where’s the intellectualism in such an easily maniputable manipulated person?

Bizarro No. 1 on August 8, 2010 at 10:17 AM

Yes, I was channelling GWB and Sarah Palin there! :)

Bizarro No. 1 on August 8, 2010 at 10:34 AM

For heavens sake. This guy acts as if he’s the first person to face possible death and question religion. You know what they say. There are no atheists in fox holes. Same thing is true with chronic/terminal illness. Why does he have to make such a public deal of this. Oh, I guess he wants to think he matters. Give me a break.

MainelyRight on August 8, 2010 at 10:44 AM

What the religious fail to realize is that science doesn’t say that everything came from nothing.

My understanding of the big bang is that all that we see today was compacted down into a singularity. In other words, it was STILL matter!

The religious explanation, alternatively, is that nothing was there, the universe was a void and contained no matter, then POOF! God made it! Brilliant!

SauerKraut537 on August 8, 2010 at 10:45 AM

Bizarro No. 1 on August 8, 2010 at 10:27 AM

Ok, we have a difference of opinion on the term anti-theist, which is causing the confusion between us.

To me, an anti-theist is one who rejects belief in God. Whereas an Atheist is one for whom the issue would not arise, because there is no God to reject.

OldEnglish on August 8, 2010 at 10:45 AM

anti-theists, something I consider myself, may be a bit “religious” about their fight against theistic belief but everything has it’s opposite. That doesn’t make it a religion though, even though we may be a bit religious about it.

Somebody has to counter the inanity of religion, even if that makes them religious about it.

SauerKraut537 on August 8, 2010 at 10:47 AM

To me, an anti-theist is one who rejects belief in God. Whereas an Atheist is one for whom the issue would not arise, because there is no God to reject.

OldEnglish on August 8, 2010 at 10:45 AM

Correction Old English… an anti theist is one who rejects the theistic gods, not necessarily gods per se.

An anti theist fights theistic belief is all it is. It’s a response to a claim, the claim being that there is a god named Yahweh, Allah, Vishnu, Wotan, etc…

SauerKraut537 on August 8, 2010 at 10:49 AM

In matters of faith with Jews, Christians and Muslims, I always have to go back to the source – no, not the Bible, but the patriarch – the man from whom all of it would not have been possible – Abraham. And why did God love Abraham and bestow the promise to bless him and ALL of his progeny? Because he was holy and good? No, it was because he loved God like a friend. Why did God favor David so? His sinless life and sterling integrity? No, it was simply because he loved God.

Queen0fCups on August 8, 2010 at 11:03 AM

SauerKraut537 on August 8, 2010 at 10:49 AM

Agreed. That’s why I capitalised God. To some, soccer is god.

OldEnglish on August 8, 2010 at 11:11 AM

Queen0fCups on August 8, 2010 at 11:03 AM

Of all the stories I have heard from the bible, I find the one about Abraham the most incomprehensible. What is there that is in any way laudable about the man (or the God-character for that matter)?

Imagine if your next door neighbor told you that he was going to take his only child on a one-way camping trip. When you ask him why, he says that he’s going to murder his son because a voice that only he can hear told him to. Would you consider this neighbor to be a paragon of virtue? Would you let him go about his business or would you call the cops and otherwise try to stop him?

MJBrutus on August 8, 2010 at 11:15 AM

That’s more or less why thinking people consider the Big Bang theory to be plausible if not likely.
Now for the religious MAGIC answer, we have no evidence

.

However plausible one might think it, it still relies on the supernatural. Of course there is a lot of evidence for the tenents of Christianity – thousand of books of apologetics exist. Of course non of them go so far as to claim the universe created itself, in the form of a singularity where the normal rules of physics don’t apply, out of nothing. That’s a level of magic no one can accept.

tommyboy on August 8, 2010 at 11:15 AM

However plausible one might think it, it still relies on the supernatural.

No it doesn’t. Parts of the theory are more speculative than others and an honest person will tell you that he is less confident in the correctness of those parts of the theory.

Of course there is a lot of evidence for the tenents of Christianity – thousand of books of apologetics exist.

Provide one please. Anything. Show me one piece of objective evidence.

Of course non of them go so far as to claim the universe created itself, in the form of a singularity where the normal rules of physics don’t apply, out of nothing. That’s a level of magic no one can accept.

tommyboy on August 8, 2010 at 11:15 AM

But the theory tells us that the rules of physics did apply! It is just that we don’t normally encounter the conditions that existed near the big bang so we don’t normally get to see those rules in action.

The bottom line, is that when science cannot provide an explanation, the scientific answer is, “I don’t known” and possibly, “but maybe …” This is very different from the theist who says I know that answer without any doubt and that answer is MAGIC.

MJBrutus on August 8, 2010 at 11:25 AM

However plausible one might think it, it still relies on the supernatural. Of course there is a lot of evidence for the tenents of Christianity – thousand of books of apologetics exist. Of course non of them go so far as to claim the universe created itself, in the form of a singularity where the normal rules of physics don’t apply, out of nothing. That’s a level of magic no one can accept.

tommyboy on August 8, 2010 at 11:15 AM

Aha tommyboy! But isn’t it true to say that the bible, the foundation of Christianity, says that everything was created out of nothing, by the magic of god’s word? THAT to me sounds like projection on the part of apologists and religious folk. You’re guilty of projecting your own beliefs onto the scientists.

Scientists say, as far as I see, that everything that we see today came from a singularity. Last I checked, a singularity is still matter albeit very compacted matter.

SauerKraut537 on August 8, 2010 at 11:27 AM

And of course Christianity is certainly backed by plenty of evidence and Christians don’t have entertain the ridiculous notion that matter just suddenly created itself out of nothing.

So how was God created?

And I think you and I would differ on the meaning of “plenty of evidence”.

Pablo Honey on August 8, 2010 at 11:44 AM

MJBrutus ?

I ask a question about atheists, about whether they do anything good for the world. Whether they do anything at all other than go around trying to prove how much smarter they are than all those “God-people”. And what do you do? You go out of your way to prove exactly what I accuse you of.

So atheists aren’t doctors and laborers, etc? Who knew. BTW, it’s Sunday AM, shouldn’t you be on your knees before your magic thingy now?

MJBrutus on August 8, 2010 at 9:44 AM

Yes doctors can be atheists (though the percentage is a fraction of the doctors who believe), but you people don’t do anything that doesn’t benefit you. You don’t have any charities, or hospitals or anything selfless at all. You are the most self-centered group of people on the face of the earth.

For the most part, you are overgrown children. This “I’m smarter than you are” attitude sounds like what you hear on the playground (coming from the bullies, at that).

You’re pathetic and pitiable.

Squiggy on August 8, 2010 at 12:02 PM

Scientists say, as far as I see, that everything that we see today came from a singularity. Last I checked, a singularity is still matter albeit very compacted matter.

SauerKraut537 on August 8, 2010 at 11:27 AM

A singularity which either always existed, or came from nothing. Neither of these fits in with the laws of thermodynamics. In fact you have to invent totally new laws of physics to make this possible. Completely unfalsifiable laws.

Either humans beings were formed out of billions of perfect coincidences, or we came from one perfect coincidence. See Occams Razor about which one passes the smell test.

Squiggy on August 8, 2010 at 12:09 PM

Good to hear all the narcissistic atheist and anti-thrusts blowing their own horn about their amazing conclusions about reality.

Hitch will draw much comfort from your narcissism.

Inanemergencydial on August 8, 2010 at 12:26 PM

While I find it heartening (and unsurprising) that so many believers are praying for Christopher Hitchens, as a long-time admirer of the man’s work, an atheist, and yes, a conservative, this notion of hoping he finds faith in his final hours, however well-intended, is equal parts misplaced piety and utterly cruel.

It wouldn’t occur to me to hope that a believer, in their final moments, realize their views are “wrong” and go back on how they lived their lives. What’s even more disturbing – and Hitch addressed in his interview with Anderson Cooper – is how a drug-induced conversion in his final moments would be used by certain believers.

elcapt on August 7, 2010 at 10:25 PM

I agree. Leave the man alone. If he finds God and survives this process, good for him. If he remains resolute in his beliefs, good for him.

God will judge him based on the light and knowledge he has and his “works” (See Revelation 20: 12-13) in life. However, it is only by God’s grace and Christ’s atoning sacrifice that will let him in in heaven.

Would God save an unrepentant sinner? Is that even a coherent account of salvation–can God ’save’ people who refuse to be saved?

I’m not sure; it seems more likely to me that an unrepentant sinner could refuse salvation (i.e., God respects free will, including the choice to reject Him). But if the God I believe in exists, then He will do what is actually perfectly just and loving regardless of what I consider to be just or loving.

CliveStaples on August 7, 2010 at 10:45 PM

An unrepentant sinner cannot be saved. One cannot refuse salvation and then expect entrance into heaven.

That’s like getting an offer to go to Yale but rejecting the offer and then show up to Yale and sit in a class room and hope to be classified as a Yale student. He’s not a Yale student unless he accepts.

Like wise, a person cannot be saved if he refuses to be saved and somehow expect to end up in heaven.

But then again, Christopher Hitchens doesn’t believe in Salvation, sin or repentance. So the discussion of being an unrepentant sinner is of no concern to him.

I pray for Hitchens’ soul and comfort, and healing if it be God’s will, and that he find the truth before his time on earth is done and embrace the loving grace granted us all through Jesus Christ. In his situation, only God can help. May him find Him now.

Adjoran on August 8, 2010 at 2:40 AM

One thing I love about the LDS faith is that God has provided a way for people who either didn’t know about Christ or didn’t accept him.

They will have that one final opportunity to accept Christ in the afterlife. Hence that is why Mormons have temples. We do the necessary ordinances on their behalf and it is up to them either accept Christ or not. They still have that choice in the after life.

Conservative Samizdat on August 8, 2010 at 12:49 PM

Hmm, comments getting squirrely. Tried to comment, it seemed to hang, refreshed page and resubmit and it says duplicate comment made. this is a test.

SauerKraut537 on August 8, 2010 at 12:51 PM

Like 1776, I find the videos on Jewish culture and the politics of anti-semitism have been removed and wonder why.

It’s not that I find death and prayer boring: I’m just not up for theological disputes and discussions today.

alice on August 8, 2010 at 1:09 PM

What is “high”? What is power?
Kralizec on August 7, 2010 at 7:43 PM

The theological term would be transcendence: other than and superior to us.

God is also immanent: other than yet close to us. Both of these “modes” of God’s nature, transcendence and immanence, are equally ultimate.

Akzed on August 8, 2010 at 1:29 PM

A singularity which either always existed, or came from nothing. Neither of these fits in with the laws of thermodynamics. In fact you have to invent totally new laws of physics to make this possible. Completely unfalsifiable laws.

Either humans beings were formed out of billions of perfect coincidences, or we came from one perfect coincidence. See Occams Razor about which one passes the smell test.

Squiggy on August 8, 2010 at 12:09 PM

So because scientists can’t readily explain all the science behind the theory, let’s just submit that a god did and forget about it.

Let’s continue to delude ourselves with “grand explanations” that a god did it. How do we know that everything won’t crunch down in on itself trillions of years from now and then bang again.

What I do know is that I have Occams Razor to thank for helping me to get out from under the delusion that is religion. Speaking of smell tests, science smells rosy when contrasted with religion.

One more thing. Quit thinking that the human body is some perfect thing. Our eyes have blind spots, our ears deceive us, our smell is abominable compared to other creatures. The octopus eye is more advanced than ours, and they’re prophets as shown by picking the winner of the World Cup.

SauerKraut537 on August 8, 2010 at 1:33 PM

SauerKraut537 on August 8, 2010 at 1:33 PM

I think the issue, rather, is not that there are imperfections in, say, our visual acuity, but in that we see at all.
And then further, and metaphysically speaking, it is peculiar and worth contemplation as to why some ‘see’ and others do not:

Yet if we assent to Nature’s voice, we shall be like the bee that booms against the window-pane for hours, thinking that way to reach the laden flowers.

‘If we could speak to her,’ my doctor said, ‘And told her, “Not that way! All, all in vain. You weary out your wings and bruise your head,” Might she not answer, buzzing at the pane, “Let queens and mystics and religious bees talk of such inconceivables as glass; the blunt lay worker flies at what she sees. Look there–ahead,ahead–the flowers, the grass!”

We catch her in a handkerchief (who knows what rage she feels, what terror, what despair?) and shake her out–and gaily out she goes where quivering flowrs stand thick in summer air, to drink their hearts. But left to her own will she would have died upn the window-sill.’

CS Lewis Sonnet 5 from ‘The Five Sonnets’

Higher Power.

LEBA on August 8, 2010 at 2:00 PM

Yes doctors can be atheists (though the percentage is a fraction of the doctors who believe), but you people don’t do anything that doesn’t benefit you. You don’t have any charities, or hospitals or anything selfless at all. You are the most self-centered group of people on the face of the earth.

For the most part, you are overgrown children. This “I’m smarter than you are” attitude sounds like what you hear on the playground (coming from the bullies, at that).

You’re pathetic and pitiable.

Squiggy on August 8, 2010 at 12:02 PM

The voice of bigotry rears its ugly head. Of course atheists participate in charity. Of course atheists help out their fellow man. Of course atheists do so simply for the joy and satisfaction that comes with such activities. Your stupid, ill-informed, judgmental, pig-headed notions are disgusting.

MJBrutus on August 8, 2010 at 2:15 PM

Squiggy on August 8, 2010 at 12:02 PM

If you want to know who the real free-loaders of society are, you should direct your malice at people who don’t fly kites. Who has ever heard of a single meal or person clothed or housed by those PWDFKs? They just take and take and take and they never give. I piss on PWDFKs.

MJBrutus on August 8, 2010 at 2:29 PM

LEBA on August 8, 2010 at 2:00 PM

Very poetic, but that’s about it.

It’s interesting to me how much esteem religious people give to poetic and silly talk, especially talk of gods.

The reality is that no matter how much one talks about the ethereal and spiritual world, it does nothing more than make them feel good for thinking it.

Like prayer does… Prayer does no good other than to the person doing the praying. One might say that the person receiving the prayer, if they’re present and can hear the prayer, might feel better for knowing that people CARE. But then you get into the selective nature of gods grace.

This person dies in vane even though prayer was there for them, yet someone else makes it and survives. Others who received no prayer at all make it too. But when reality goes against what our religious self foresaw, we just shrug it off and say, “it’s god will”.

Bah humbug

SauerKraut537 on August 8, 2010 at 2:29 PM

The reality is that no matter how much one talks about the ethereal and spiritual world, it does nothing more than make them feel good for thinking it.
SauerKraut537 on August 8, 2010 at 2:29 PM

Ah, yes. You are the bee buzzing against the ‘inconceivable’ glass. I’ve been there.

Like prayer does… Prayer does no good other than to the person doing the praying. One might say that the person receiving the prayer, if they’re present and can hear the prayer, might feel better for knowing that people CARE. But then you get into the selective nature of gods grace.

Perhaps hearing from one who experienced a very simple but miraculous healing would give you pause?…When I was 8 I had a terrible, large wart on a finger of my writing hand just above the nail. I had it burned off and it came back. Then I had it frozen off and it came back again.

It was large and had deformed the nail. It interferred with my writing…a very simple but irritating malady. A virus. One night I was lamenting to my father about how it hurt when I wrote in school. He suggested we pray and ask God to heal my wart. So I did. And the next morning it was completely gone…no trace.

So yes, my prayer made me feel good. But more importantly, God heard me and healed me. I can’t speak to why every prayer is not answered, though the Bible does provide many reasons for this. I can only say that as a child I experienced a miraculous (albeit simple) healing.

Re-read the sonnet. It’s good to question one’s assumptions now and then…to try to look through another’s lens to gain a new perspective. It can be quite illuminating.

LEBA on August 8, 2010 at 2:59 PM

Re-read the sonnet. It’s good to question one’s assumptions now and then…to try to look through another’s lens to gain a new perspective. It can be quite illuminating.

LEBA on August 8, 2010 at 2:59 PM

It made me pause, but only long enough to scan to the end… Kidding. Seriously, anecdotal stories like the one you just gave, while charming, are just anecdotal evidence. I’ve heard countless stories like this before, and even made up one when I was a kid because I wanted to be special…

SauerKraut537 on August 8, 2010 at 3:58 PM

What I do know is that I have Occams Razor to thank for helping me to get out from under the delusion that is religion.

SauerKraut537 on August 8, 2010 at 1:33 PM

William of Ockham was a Catholic monk. You have him to thank for “Occams” razor. Not to mention for much of the scientific method.

Squiggy on August 8, 2010 at 4:24 PM

The voice of bigotry rears its ugly head. Of course atheists participate in charity. Of course atheists help out their fellow man. Of course atheists do so simply for the joy and satisfaction that comes with such activities. Your stupid, ill-informed, judgmental, pig-headed notions are disgusting.

MJBrutus on August 8, 2010 at 2:15 PM

Prove it. Show me ONE organization that is run by atheists and is meant for the betterment of mankind. There aren’t any. And there never will be because the most important thing in your life is you.

P.S. Does it bother you when people notice your bad attitude? Sure seems to.

Squiggy on August 8, 2010 at 4:30 PM

Prove it. Show me ONE organization that is run by atheists and is meant for the betterment of mankind. There aren’t any. And there never will be because the most important thing in your life is you.

Squiggy on August 8, 2010 at 4:30 PM

Earthward Inc.
Foundation Beyond Belief
Fellowship of Freethought
International Humanist and Ethical Union
American Humanist Association
Atheists Helping the Homeless
Atheists Relief Fund
Secular Center USA
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
HIVOS (Humanist Institute for Development Cooperation)

I’m sure this list isn’t all of them but before you go making such outlandish claims Squiggy, Google is your friend.

Beyond that, your IMPLICATION that atheists are selfish people who only care for themselves is again unfounded. There are many atheist charities and charities founded by atheists. Some of them avoid using the word atheist to avoid having the stigma attached to it affecting the operation of their charity. Others cautiously use a related term – humanist – in the charity’s name.

SauerKraut537 on August 8, 2010 at 4:44 PM

William of Ockham was a Catholic monk. You have him to thank for “Occams” razor. Not to mention for much of the scientific method.

Squiggy on August 8, 2010 at 4:24 PM

Well this is just laughable… You’ve gone and labeled my man William of Ockham a catholic. Now I can’t use the good idea he had anymore, I guess…

Isaac Newton wrote numerous articles on the truth of the bible and Christianity but brought us loads of good science to think on. He also died trying to stubbornly prove the reality of alchemy, and like most alchemists before him he went insane from mercury poisoning.

Plenty of smart people throughout history have brought us good medicine, science, and philosophy and were believers of various religions, and were spread across the spectrum of sects WITHIN these religions. Just because they made our lives better with some new technology or ideas doesn’t mean they were right about their belief in these theistic gods.

SauerKraut537 on August 8, 2010 at 4:54 PM

Sorry bud, but I’m not talking about organizations whose purpose is spreading the word about how wonderful it is to be an atheist. I’m talking about real altruism, like hospitals, or food kitchens, or anything selfless.

The Gates foundation is definitely that type of organization, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t founded because of atheism. If Bill and Melinda are atheists, I’m good with that. But that tends to say that only billionaire atheists do anything altruistic.

As for the other “organizations”? Get real. Maybe you need to google a few more, because those are jokes. The only one that tried to actually do anything, is the “Atheist Relief fund”, and it wasn’t able to raise enough money to fund a soup kitchen. You guys got your feelings hurt, and tried to show that you “care too”.

Why don’t you guys pool your money and start the “Atheist Memorial Hospital”? That would be something tangible.

Squiggy on August 8, 2010 at 4:56 PM

SauerKraut537 on August 8, 2010 at 10:38 AM

You have now spent an entire weekend–all day Friday, most of yesterday, and most of today–arguing religion on an (admittedly excellent) online forum dedicated to politics and current events.

Grace_is_sufficient on August 8, 2010 at 5:00 PM

Grace_is_sufficient on August 8, 2010 at 5:00 PM

Honey, I work in a computer command center and have time to, So I do.

SauerKraut537 on August 8, 2010 at 5:09 PM

Well this is just laughable… You’ve gone and labeled my man William of Ockham a catholic. Now I can’t use the good idea he had anymore, I guess…

SauerKraut537 on August 8, 2010 at 4:54 PM

This is my last post on this. Running in circles is getting old.

My point was that only in an atheists mind are science and religion mutually exclusive.

Some of us used to be agnostic, or atheist. Lot’s of us actually. But the more we learned, the less likely it became that we were the result of billions of accidents. Not one of the laws of nature can differ without making life impossible.

Enjoy yourself. It’s your life to live as you see fit. But if you think believing in God makes you less intelligent, you’re wrong.

Squiggy on August 8, 2010 at 5:09 PM

So how was God created?

And I think you and I would differ on the meaning of “plenty of evidence”.

Pablo Honey on August 8, 2010 at 11:44 AM

First causes, a category God would be considered to be in if He exists, can’t have antededents by definition – that’s why we call them “first causes” in the first place.

Infinite regressions are impossible logically, so the idea of an endless series of Big Bangs that never had a beginning, which some atheists consider to be a possibility, is ludicrous.

Bizarro No. 1 on August 8, 2010 at 5:12 PM

This is my last post on this. Running in circles is getting old

Squiggy on August 8, 2010 at 5:09 PM

It apparently never gets old for Kraut; he’s a dogmatic fundamentalist whose only glassy-eyed interest is seeing others deconverted, as recently happened to him. Kinda like the older uncle who forces you to watch every single slide from his recent trip to Europe, even though everyone else in the room has long since given up and is engaged in pleasant side conversations of their own design. Kraut doesn’t want us to have our own design, he says, Look at my slides, you ignorant lot! It will be good for you!

Grace_is_sufficient on August 8, 2010 at 5:49 PM

Bizarro No. 1 on August 8, 2010 at 5:12 PM

Ahhhh, the Kalam Cosmological Argument for the existence of god! The first cause argument only gets you as far as a god being possible. You have all your work still ahead of you if you want to prove that a god named Yahweh or Allah exists…

SauerKraut537 on August 8, 2010 at 6:06 PM

Grace_is_sufficient on August 8, 2010 at 5:49 PM

cute! ;-)

SauerKraut537 on August 8, 2010 at 6:09 PM

You have all your work still ahead of you if you want to prove that a god named Yahweh or Allah exists…

SauerKraut537 on August 8, 2010 at 6:06 PM

We can’t. I, for one, am not even going to try. There is a reason it is called “faith.” But I think where you and I might differ the most is on whether “faith” is intrinsically irrational.

gryphon202 on August 8, 2010 at 7:06 PM

You have all your work still ahead of you if you want to prove that a god named Yahweh or Allah exists…

SauerKraut537 on August 8, 2010 at 6:06 PM

Silly Sauersy, we all know Allah is real, he started this thread!!!

cynccook on August 8, 2010 at 8:23 PM

SauerKraut537 on August 8, 2010 at 6:06 PM

First cause is illogical.

OldEnglish on August 8, 2010 at 8:38 PM

Re-read the sonnet. It’s good to question one’s assumptions now and then…to try to look through another’s lens to gain a new perspective. It can be quite illuminating.

LEBA on August 8, 2010 at 2:59 PM

It made me pause, but only long enough to scan to the end… Kidding. Seriously, anecdotal stories like the one you just gave, while charming, are just anecdotal evidence. I’ve heard countless stories like this before, and even made up one when I was a kid because I wanted to be special…

SauerKraut537 on August 8, 2010 at 3:58 PM

The arrogance of your dissmissal is disappointing, seeing as how I am a real person and am telling you the truth about what happened to me. You have to do something with me in your head. Somewhere you must reconcile that a real human with whom you had a conversation claims to have experienced an act of God’s divine healing that came as a result of prayer. You can dismiss it as ‘anecdotal’, but that doesn’t change the fact that it actually happened.

I know, I know. The scientific method has little room for anecdotal evidence.

The problem for you, Sauer, is that you fall back on a best-practice-methodolgy rather than, as with CS Lewis’ ‘bee’, admit that there could be such a thing as glass. You crash into the glass whilst flying toward the flowers/truth(like bumping into me with my crazy prayer story) and you dismiss what you’ve bumped into as something that would not pass scientific muster…because if it were held by you as true your closely held assumptions would necessarily have to be questioned.

Terrifying? Maybe not. There are many more outrageously challenging stories I could tell you. Here’s one that might make you go, “hmmm”.

You know, for all the energy you put into countering the existence of God, it sure seems you think about Him alot. There is a great book you might be curious to read, The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism by Tim Keller. Keller is an intellectual…oh. And he’s a pastor of a church in Manhattan. Google him. His sermons would likely intrigue you.

LEBA on August 8, 2010 at 8:47 PM

Atheism is a state of mind that eschews anything of a supernatural nature, considering it not worthy of conscious thought. …

OldEnglish on August 8, 2010 at 4:26 AM

Maybe in theory, but have you ever met an “atheist” who didn’t think atheism was worthy of conscious thought??? Where???

joe_doufu on August 8, 2010 at 11:17 PM

joe_doufu on August 8, 2010 at 11:17 PM

Atheism is not of a supernatural nature. Therefore, Once I had examined the issue, and reached the logical conclusion, I no longer, in the normal course of life, give it a thought – there is no need to.

Any comment on this subject that I may make on this board is usually of the kind that attempts to correct misconceptions. Otherwise, I just sit back and enjoy the fireworks.

OldEnglish on August 8, 2010 at 11:32 PM

The use of the Big Bang theory as illustration of the mythical “science versus religion” debate is particularly comical. When the Big Bang theory came to be seen as the most likely explanation of Hubble’s red-shift data, it was championed by a Catholic priest (Georges Lemaitre), and vehemently opposed by atheist scientists (notably Einstein) who were frightened of its implications. They knew that if the universe was created in a single supernatural event, then they’d necessarily have to start thinking about who or what triggered it. In order to lie to themselves, they became deeply intellectually honest — Einstein himself made up a “cosmological constant” based on no evidence, in order to reach his intended conclusion that the universe was eternal.

The Big Bang, like Newton’s laws, and Copernicus/Kepler/Galileo’s discoveries about the solar system, was a result not of atheism but of Western (Christian) civilization motivating an honest pursuit of knowledge about Creation.

joe_doufu on August 8, 2010 at 11:44 PM

meant “intellectually dishonest” in the first paragraph

joe_doufu on August 8, 2010 at 11:45 PM

knowledge about Creation.

joe_doufu on August 8, 2010 at 11:44 PM

And ignoring the more logical explanation of eternity, ie, no first cause.

OldEnglish on August 8, 2010 at 11:57 PM

And ignoring the more logical explanation of eternity, ie, no first cause.

OldEnglish on August 8, 2010 at 11:57 PM

Well, under the old (Aristotelian) philosophy, it was believed that the universe was a sort of machine whose properties could be deduced by logic. Basically, there was only one way things could be, so it was just a matter of working it out. The “science” before Christian theology was mainly what we’d call “philosophy” today. They came up with a lot of new mathematics but that’s about it.

Judaism and Christianity contain the idea of an intelligent Creation, and what that means is that God created the world the way he wanted it. He could have made it other ways, but he made it this way. Well, that means that you can’s just sit around in a coffee shop and philosophize about the universe — there are multiple possible ways it could have been made — so instead you have to go and look at the world, collect data, and form conjectures about how it works.

That’s why the Judeo-Christian (“Western”) civilization is the only one that led to what we today call science.

joe_doufu on August 9, 2010 at 12:10 AM

That’s why the Judeo-Christian (“Western”) civilization is the only one that led to what we today call science.

joe_doufu on August 9, 2010 at 12:10 AM

And, yet, hidebound to first cause. That’s a preconceived restriction.

OldEnglish on August 9, 2010 at 12:45 AM

And, yet, hidebound to first cause. That’s a preconceived restriction.

OldEnglish on August 9, 2010 at 12:45 AM

I’m not sure what you’re saying here. Secular science only finally caught up with Genesis in the 20th century. If there is some other cause for the universe out there, I’m sure the people who are currently Christians (that is, the people driven by desire for knowledge, not for willful ignorance) will be as curious as anyone to see and understand the evidence.

So far, Judeo-Christian science and theology are not in conflict. If you’re “hidebound” to the assumption that they are in conflict, you’re the one with the blind spot.

joe_doufu on August 9, 2010 at 9:29 AM

I am always amused at people like CH and Ann Rice, they are so subjecive in their outlook. Reality for them changes from convenience to convenience. No matter,,,what ever their subjective notion happens to be at any moment does not change the external reality. God is not amused by these people and will explain it all to them sooner than later. God’s mercy excludes these fools and fools like them. Hedging your bets when death is in sight is to late. Act of contrition out of fear mean nothing.

Pray for CH.

SANTA on August 9, 2010 at 9:40 AM

I can’t listen to the clips… still haven’t gotten completely set up after a move…

But I never understand the passion of the religion vs. science debate.

From http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov/universe/bb_theory.html

Universe 101:
The Big Bang Model is a broadly accepted theory for the origin and evolution of our universe. It postulates that 12 to 14 billion years ago, the portion of the universe we can see today was only a few millimeters across. It has since expanded from this hot dense state into the vast and much cooler cosmos we currently inhabit. We can see remnants of this hot dense matter as the now very cold cosmic microwave background radiation which still pervades the universe and is visible to microwave detectors as a uniform glow across the entire sky.

And from the King James Bible:

Genesis 1:
3And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
4And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

Where is the conflict?

Don’t we just describe the same events differently?

Science claims there was no “god” involved. But the very act of creating experiements to test the theory involves god like activity! These experiments and observations don’t ever happen without man made instruments and people to do them!

The very act of conducting science makes the evidence for a
Designer, Experimenter, Master Scientist in the sky… a 100% probability!

I see no conflict.

The mind of man, in all it’s searching and doubting and proving, is the very evidence for God’s existence!

Let he who has eyes to see, see.

petunia on August 9, 2010 at 11:56 AM

Ahhhh, the Kalam Cosmological Argument for the existence of god! The first cause argument only gets you as far as a god being possible. You have all your work still ahead of you if you want to prove that a god named Yahweh or Allah exists…

SauerKraut537 on August 8, 2010 at 6:06 PM

If you were better at reading comprehension, you’d have noticed that I wasn’t making any argument for the existence of God; I was defining terminology, and debunking the ridiculous idea of an unending series of Big Bangs which had no first instance.

Bizarro No. 1 on August 9, 2010 at 12:10 PM

We can’t. I, for one, am not even going to try. There is a reason it is called “faith.” But I think where you and I might differ the most is on whether “faith” is intrinsically irrational.

gryphon202 on August 8, 2010 at 7:06 PM

Well, if you have experienced God, it has been proven to you that He exists. It doesn’t matter what anyone else says to you about it, does it?

People like Sauerkraut can’t rationally disprove that you have never experienced God; they take it on faith that you haven’t, which is quite humorous when you think about how much they deride Believers for having faith in God.

Atheists aren’t known for having a good sense of irony. are they?!

Bizarro No. 1 on August 9, 2010 at 12:17 PM

First cause is illogical.

OldEnglish on August 8, 2010 at 8:38 PM

Assertions aren’t proof – logically prove that first causes are illogical, if you can.

Bizarro No. 1 on August 9, 2010 at 12:21 PM

Bizarro No. 1 on August 9, 2010 at 12:17 PM

Did you read my response on the other thread Bizarro?

But to answer your latest volley… I can rationally prove it because all of the anecdotal stories that anybody has ever said in relation to god claims have never been able to be proven… Yes they haven’t been disproven either but that’s very telling… You would think that at least ONE out of the millions of anecdotal stories about miracle healings would be proven true but we still have no proof.

There are proven psychological disorders, which I’m sure you’ll likely claim I suffer from, where the afflicted individual creates evidence and whatnot. Kind of like Munchausen disorder or Munchausen disorder by proxy where recently there was a girl in India, actually a Christian girl, who’s mother was such a fanatic that she was trying to prove that her daughter suffered from stigmata. The mother was actually making cuts in her daughters eyes and dabbing blood on her hands and feet to prove the claims true.

People do all kinds of crazy things and often lie to support their own beliefs. Knowing this is true, it’s one more nail in the coffin for belief in theistic gods because as Hume said,

* People often lie, and they have good reasons to lie about miracles occurring either because they believe they are doing so for the benefit of their religion or because of the fame that results.
* People by nature enjoy relating miracles they have heard without caring for their veracity and thus miracles are easily transmitted even where false.
* Hume notes that miracles seem to occur mostly in “ignorant” and “barbarous” nations and times, and the reason they don’t occur in the “civilized” societies is such societies aren’t awed by what they know to be natural events.
* The miracles of each religion argue against all other religions and their miracles, and so even if a proportion of all reported miracles across the world fit Hume’s requirement for belief, the miracles of each religion make the other less likely.

SauerKraut537 on August 9, 2010 at 3:45 PM

But to answer your latest volley… I can rationally prove it because all of the anecdotal stories that anybody has ever said in relation to god claims have never been able to be proven

SauerKraut537 on August 9, 2010 at 3:45 PM

So, your “proof” is that (you claim) nobody else has proven the opposite anywhere ever to anyone? How the heck do you know that?

Leave aside for a minute the philosophical notion that you can’t prove anything except in the negative. Clearly you think you have proven something, so I’ll assume by “proof” you mean “strong evidence”. How can you be so certain there’s never been any strong evidence — at any point in 2,000 years?

Historical evidence seems to suggest that some people saw pretty darn convincing evidence of Jesus’s crucifixion and resurrection. Many of these eyewitnesses died under torture or were fed to the lions and refused to change their stories. Now you and I can’t see what they saw, but you’re asserting knowledge that they didn’t see it either!

joe_doufu on August 9, 2010 at 4:04 PM

Tech issue – I’ve seen others ask, but haven’t seen a response: I can only view the first video. Windows XP, both Firefox (3.6.8) and IE8 (also tried IE compatibility mode).

Alternative source for the video? Technical Fix?

SocklessJoe on August 9, 2010 at 4:58 PM

Same for me — only the first video works. Poking around on the Atlantic‘s website, I would guess they’ve removed the other ones. Bummer.

Iraptus on August 9, 2010 at 5:40 PM

joe_doufu on August 9, 2010 at 4:04 PM

Yes I claim it Doufu… Do you have, or can you show me some proof of a miracle claim that doesn’t have a more natural explanation?

How do I know it? I’ve yet to hear of a credible claim.

An example might be this. Someone gets diagnosed with cancer at a hospital, they go home and agonize over it for weeks or whatever, they come back in for more tests and the doctor tells them they’re clear, no more cancer. So because they prayed, and had people who prayed for them, they say that god answered their, and everyone elses’ prayers.

The more likely explanation is that the doctors or technicians screwed up on someone’s chart and THOUGHT the person had cancer when someone else actually was diagnosed with it.

How many times have we heard of people being operated on for something totally unrelated to what they’re in the hospital for?

Fact: doctors, nurses, technicians are human and fallible. They screw stuff up all the time in hospitals.

Interestingly enough, the person was likely prayed for regardless, but when it turns out that the person was misdiagnosed and they’re told they’re fine, they very readily say it was god who did it and that their prayers were answered. But when it turns out that the person dies, well that was gods will and their prayers weren’t answered…

THINK ABOUT IT.

SauerKraut537 on August 9, 2010 at 6:42 PM

SauerKraut537 on August 9, 2010 at 6:42 PM

You make me smile, Sauer.

“You have seen and have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and have yet believed.” Jesus, to those who witnessed a miracle.

LEBA on August 9, 2010 at 10:11 PM

You make me smile, Sauer.

LEBA on August 9, 2010 at 10:11 PM

I’m glad, but I wish I was making you think… ;-)

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the lord your god with all your heart, and lean NOT on your own understanding.

LEBA, it’s verses like the one you just quote and like the one I just gave you that inure you to logic and reason when it comes to the reality of the world we live in. I know it’s scary, but the waters just right. Come out of the fantasy land that is modern aged religion. Come out into the light, you’re getting sleeeeepy…

Someday I hope you see the light… I know you think you have already, but you’ve only seen a glimpse of it. ;-)

SauerKraut537 on August 9, 2010 at 10:58 PM

When I said you make me smile, I meant that your faith in your position amuses me.

I worked my way through school as a stereo-taxic surgeon in a basic research laboratory studying the behavioral elements of learning. I am a thinking person who has studied the biology and physiology of behavior, the psychology and philosophy of religion and a whole lot in between… So I’ve been around quite a few thinking-blocks.

Proverbs 3:6 brings clarity to the earlier verse you quoted: “In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths.” It is precisely that I have acknowledged Him that I am confident of the path I have taken. I don’t lean on my own understanding. I wrest the full weight of my understanding on the veracity of God’s word.

I’ve been where you are, Sauer. I left the faith of my youth (despite the miracle!) and went my own agnostic way. I was captivated with the scientific method and became a doubter of the highest order….I put everything on the table…questioned it all. I saw your ‘light’ and thought I’d figured it all out.

So I know what it’s like to sit in pompous judgment of the ignorant “religious bees” (back to CS Lewis).

LEBA on August 9, 2010 at 11:38 PM

LEBA

I know we have “gods word”, but is it really “gods word”? I mean come on… I know it has a lot of beauty and poetic platitudes wrapped up in it but come on… Seriously?!

The IDEA of religion is a good one, don’t get me wrong. We NEED to talk about these things like how to treat each other, how to treat strangers, how to live a full life… But just because it talks about being good in life and living up to a standard of conduct and propriety in how we go about it, DOESN’T mean it was written by god JUST because some bronze aged shepherds and Bedouins said it was.

What’s the more likely explanation for what it is and how it came about? Isn’t it more of a metaphorical story with morals and ethics thrown in to teach a way of life? I know it reaches for greatness in this respect and Jesus could have been a very wise man, a great philosopher who preached goodness to your fellow man, but was he really the son of god?

I don’t think so and unfortunately for you, we don’t have any testaments to his miracles other than the claims laid down in the bible (and the convenient story now and again from more contemporary times).

I think the reality is that in an attempt to make Jesus more impressive, the story tellers may have used previous religions divinity claims by fabricating the miracle stories, the son of god claims, the virgin birth, the resurrection and the ascension. All of these “god-like” ideas were already proposed prior to Jesus’ time.

Its a shame too… They may have taken a man who could have possibly been one of histories greatest philosophers of love and human understanding, and made his story so unbelievable that people question his very existence. Their intentions may have been good, but the truth would have been better.

SauerKraut537 on August 10, 2010 at 12:36 AM

How do I know it? I’ve yet to hear of a credible claim.

SauerKraut537 on August 9, 2010 at 6:42 PM

So? You didn’t say you’d never seen proof, you said no one had ever seen evidence. That’s an extraordinary claim. (Okay, let me be clearer: that’s bullshit. You are lying about having that knowledge.)

There is abundant evidence to support the Gospels, including archeological evidence and numerous eyewitness accounts. There’s even more evidence for the intelligent design of the universe. (I recommend the book “Privileged Planet” for more on this.) No amount of evidence is “proof” of course, but on the scale of things, Christianity is substantiated by far more evidence than Darwin’s natural selection.

joe_doufu on August 10, 2010 at 2:04 AM

So? You didn’t say you’d never seen proof, you said no one had ever seen evidence. That’s an extraordinary claim. (Okay, let me be clearer: that’s bullshit. You are lying about having that knowledge.)

There is abundant evidence to support the Gospels, including archeological evidence and numerous eyewitness accounts. There’s even more evidence for the intelligent design of the universe. (I recommend the book “Privileged Planet” for more on this.) No amount of evidence is “proof” of course, but on the scale of things, Christianity is substantiated by far more evidence than Darwin’s natural selection.

joe_doufu on August 10, 2010 at 2:04 AM

Oh now you’ve gone and done it Doufu! THAT claim has been debunked so many times it’s not even funny. Hell, even the Catholic church learned its lesson with Copernicus and Galileo… They admit it’s (evolutions) truth and proof and the idea of Intelligent design has been thrown out of the courts even. Go see Kitzmiller vs Dover if you want more information on the “validity” of Intelligent Design.

Intelligent design is the new creationism all wrapped up in shiny new “scientific” clothes.

We have millions upon millions of fossils that prove the truth of evolution. But it turns out that now we don’t even need those. The evidence is in the DNA.

We ARE the fifth ape. Our cousins include (from most alike to not) Chimpanzees, Bonobos, Orangutans and then it’s unknown because they haven’t decoded each apes DNA but rest assured, it’s a fact that that we are 98% the same as Chimpanzees.

There is an interesting occurrence that proves it even more than that. All of the apes have 48 chromosomes while we have 46, we get 23 from mom and 23 from dad when we’re “created” in the womb. This chromosome count has the ability to prove that we’re NOT apes but you know what happened? At some point in our past, one of those sets of chromosomes must have gotten fused and you know what? Biologists/schientists have identified where the fusion point is. How do they KNOW? Well each chromosome has what are called telomere’s and centromeres in them. The telomeres reside at the ends of our chromosomes and the centromeres reside in the middle. The centromere is where the chromosome splits when mitosis/meiosis occurs… So this fusion point, if it exists, would show telomere’s in the MIDDLE of the chromosome where they don’t belong and guess what?

Scientists have been able to show the exact fusion point down to one base pair… The fusion point is in human chromosome #2.

Alternatively, there are things called retrovirus… When you’re infected with a retrovirus, you get “stamped” with the “package” that the virus injects into your cells when you get infected. Interestingly, when a gamete cell is infected (sperm or ovum), this stamp then gets reproduced in all the progeny of the person who’s gamete cell got infected.

Guess what they find? They’ve decoded both the human and chimpanzee DNA and they match to 98% right? So mixed in all that DNA coding is the proof of the retrovirus that have infected the common ancestors of chimps, bonobos, orangutans and humans… They see hundreds of retrovirus stamps in chimp DNA and human DNA and they show up at the same exact points in the DNA strains.

That means PROOF that we’re not created separate than the other animals on this planet. THAT right there proves the creation claims of the bible false.

Try again Doufu.

SauerKraut537 on August 10, 2010 at 9:16 AM

I’m just going to settle with the fact that you don’t know what the words “proof” and “prove” mean. Circumstantial evidence does not “prove” evolution, because it doesn’t rule out alternative explanations, nor does it confirm predictions (hypotheses) made only by that particular theory. Neither the existence of genes, nor the fact that we’re made of the same stuff as apes, nor the existence of fossilized dinosaur bones, were unknown to science before Darwin, or predicted by his theory. The most that can be said is that these facts do not refute the theory.

“Evidence”, on the other hand, is a different thing from “proof”, but a preponderance of evidence helps build confidence in a theory. There is no proof that God exists, or does not, but there is plenty of evidence. The evidence for evolution is far less. I don’t mean to refudiate evolution here, because I think it’s a good theory and likely to be true. I’m just making a comparison.

If you believe in evolution, despite lack of proof, your belief is motivated by faith. Yet, that’s the very thing you seem to be losing your mind over in others.

joe_doufu on August 10, 2010 at 5:02 PM

If you believe in evolution, despite lack of proof, your belief is motivated by faith. Yet, that’s the very thing you seem to be losing your mind over in others.

joe_doufu on August 10, 2010 at 5:02 PM

Just what constitutes proof of evolution in your world? Do the examples I just gave not prove to you that it’s true?

Dude, we’re all interconnected here. All the animals on this planet today evolved from one or a few types of single cell organisms.

I don’t get where you get off saying that there isn’t any proof of evolution. Here’s another example from Darwin’s days…

When he was cruising around the world in the Beagle, he stopped in Madagascar… They came across an exquisite orchid that had a very long (12 inches) nectar well. He never identified any insects that could get to the nectar down in these orchids but he predicted that one would be found some day. Orchids need insects/bees to reproduce and so they “entice” insects to come to them with sweetened nectar so that when they eat the sweets, they pick up the requisite pollen for when they hit another orchid of the same type.

Years later, they eventually found the insect that works with the orchid to spread it’s pollen. It’s a moth with a 12 inch long “tongue”.

Evolution makes all kinds of predictions that come true.

You’re obviously lacking in the understanding of it Doufu.

Go do some reading on it and understand it next time before you claim it’s invalid or not true. 95-99% of biologists know it to be true.

In fact, you want to learn something? Go watch this video by Ken Miller… It’s two hours but if you want to understand WHY Intelligent Design is just creationism dressed up in new clothes, then you should watch this video

Ken Miller on Intelligent Design

Granted, it’s long but well worth the learning you gain on the subject. Ken Miller writes the biology books that our children learn from… He knows more than you or I combined on this subject.

SauerKraut537 on August 10, 2010 at 6:54 PM

SK, if you want to understand a theory, you don’t go and read books by people who disagree with it and want to convince you it’s wrong. If you want to know some of the evidence for intelligent design, I recommended a book to you.

The way you “prove” something is by the scientific method. Very briefly, you come up with a hypothesis test that will refute alternative theories but not refute your own, and then you go collect data to test it. Why are there no public debates over the theory of relativity? Because Einstein carried out a definitive hypothesis test (looking at stars “beside” the sun during a solar eclipse supported Einstein’s theory but invalidated Newton’s).

You can’t make a hypothesis test based on data you already knew. Darwin knew there were dinosaur fossils, so he couldn’t predict “you will find dinosaur fossils if my theory is true” and then go check if they were there! (Granted, Darwin was a real scientist and wouldn’t have claimed something as silly as you have claimed.) The fact that the Earth has great diversity of life, and that many organisms can be grouped in families, was well-known before the theory of natural selection. These are not evidence of natural selection.

Better evidence would be if we actually observed the evolution of a new species by natural selection. We have observed the evolution of many new species by intelligent design (corn/maize, some other plants, and many domesticated animals were created by humans).

Now, remember, I only pointed to evolution as a comparison. The story of the New Testament does have positive evidence — namely, eyewitness accounts, and written documents. Natural selection has neither. My point is not to say that natural selection is false. Instead, I’m saying, if you believe natural selection based on no evidence, why does it bother you that people believe in Christ with evidence?

joe_doufu on August 10, 2010 at 9:37 PM

Darwin was a real scientist and wouldn’t have claimed something as silly as you have claimed.

joe_doufu on August 10, 2010 at 9:37 PM

Wrong, he did…

Xanthopan morgani praedicta

I won’t repeat the entire article, you can read it yourself, but Doufu… At least google something you’re unsure of before you go putting your foot in your mouth.

Darwin’s hawk moth, Xanthopan morgani praedicta, and the star orchid, Angraecum sesquipedale…

The predicted moth

In 1862, the famous naturalist Charles Darwin published a book on the evolutionary biology of orchids, On the Various Contrivances by which British and Foreign Orchids are Fertilised by Insects. Studying the angraecoids, he remarked that they were pollinisated by specific insects. One of these orchids from Madagascar, Angraecum sesquipedale, had nectaries eleven and a half inches (28.6 cm) long, with only the lower inch and a half (3.8 cm) filled with nectar. From the structure of this orchid, Darwin “predicted” the existence of an unknown moth:

Quoting Darwin himself
“It is, however, surprising that any insect should be able to reach the nectar: our English sphinxes have probosces as long as their bodies ; but in Madagascar there must be moths with probosces capable of extension to a length of between ten and eleven inches !” (Darwin 1862).

So you see, evolution DOES predict and discover the truth of life on this planet.

LOL!!! Wow! That last comment was a douzy…

You want to know about some proof of evolution in action? In 1975 a team of Japanese scientists discovered a strain of Flavobacterium, living in ponds containing waste water from a nylon factory, that was capable of digesting certain byproducts of nylon 6 manufacture even though those substances are not known to have existed before the invention of nylon in 1935. Further study revealed that the three enzymes the bacteria were using to digest the byproducts were significantly different from any other enzymes produced by other Flavobacterium strains (or any other bacteria for that matter), and not effective on any material other than the manmade nylon byproducts.

This discovery led geneticist Susumu Ohno to speculate that the gene for one of the enzymes, 6-aminohexanoic acid hydrolase, had come about from the combination of a gene duplication event with a frame shift mutation. Ohno suggested that many unique new genes have evolved in this way.

Doufu… What you’re doing is what they mean when psychologists discuss the concept of cognitive dissonance.

SauerKraut537 on August 11, 2010 at 12:00 AM

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