Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – addressing “An Open Letter to An Atheist”

from atheistmemebase.com

from atheistmemebase.com

This post is an answer to a post I found while rummaging through WordPress’s accumulator for posts on “atheism”.  It made some of the classic bad classic false claims that many Christians make so I thought it would be a good example on how to respond to such things.  Again, plenty of these point have been made in my other posts, so read if you want, you may not find that much new.  I also decided to post it here because it’s fairly common to have a theist not release a critical post from moderation.

It’s long.  Go fig 🙂  I’ll have a post about drinks and food tomorrow.

Dear Christian,

I’m an atheist.  I’ve been one for decades now, since I lost my faith in Christianity  I saw your “open letter to an atheist” and thought I’d respond.  I don’t know if you’ll allow it through comments or not.  I’m going to post this reply on my blog with a link to your post.  I do hope  you will allow it to be posted as a comment but will not be surprise if you do not.  This is a long comment, but I wished to address your claims and use examples.

I do not only claim that your god doesn’t exist, I have plenty of evidence that indicates this e.g. there is no evidence for the essential events of the Judeo-Christian bible.  You make a false claim that I, as an atheist, blindly accept the explanations offered by the sciences about how everything started and how everything works.   I do not blindly accept anything, even from the sciences.  I have reason to trust the sciences because the scientific method works and I regularly benefit from its accurate descriptions of reality.  You benefit from this too, but you try to decry science when it shows that the claims of your religion are not true.

129-When-The-Right-Side-Of-This-Chart-Fills-Up-lemme-know-650x458Scientists ask a question or make an observation, construct a hypothesis and then test the hypothesis.  If the hypothesis fails, then it is wrong and does not reflect reality, and it’s back to the drawing board.  You make a claim that science hasn’t “correctly interpreted” all of the evidence.   It certainly seems to have so far because science always goes back and checks.  Scientists love to show each other wrong, as can be shown by pointing out that all hoaxes about science like the Piltdown man were discovered by scientists, not theologians.  As it stands, magic has never been shown to be the answer for any question about how the universe works.  You also make a claim that science has somehow excluded evidence that would support a theist’s claim that their god has done something.  Could you provide this evidence that you accuse science of excluding?   I have no reason to doubt scientists because they present evidence that can be analyzed and repeated.  I have no reason to believe you until you do provide evidence of your claims.

You attempt to claim that scientists lie.  They can and do.  However, the vast majority does not, and those that lie are invariably caught by other scientists, not by theists.   You resort to ad hominem attacks like “Perhaps their parents did not express love to them, and they now have a chip on their shoulders, and now they want to show that their opinions matter.”   An ad hominem fallacy is when you try to claim that an unrelated aspect of a person is reason to doubt their statements.   As I have said, scientific claims are not taken as dogma but are constantly challenged and tested.   If someone makes a claim and there is reason to doubt it, then it will be challenged, and not because of an assumption that someone may have had a bad experience with religion or their parents.

Your post isn’t a meaningless train of thought.  It is a repetition of old and baseless claims made often by Christians who would wish to attack the sciences when they show that the claims of religions are false.  

I do not accept blindly that every person in jail is guilty.  Again, I require evidence for any claim made to me.   Most prisoners are in jail because there was evidence for their guilt, and the vast majority of those people are indeed guilty because the evidence supported that.  The Innocence Project, and similar groups do not address every case, they only address those that there is still a reasonable doubt about the prisoner’s guilt.   There have indeed been 325 post-conviction DNA exonerations in the US.   However, the Innocence Project reviews between 6,000 and 8,000 cases and has 3,000 people applying to them every year.   The Innocence Project also goes on to say this “Among our cases that go to DNA testing, the DNA proves our clients innocent about as often as it suggests they are guilty. In a review of Innocence Project cases that went to DNA testing and were then closed over a five-year period, DNA testing proved innocence in about 43% of cases, confirmed the prosecution theory in about 42% of cases, and was inconclusive or not probative in about 15% of cases.”  By this we can see that the number of people shown to be innocent is almost equal to those shown to be guilty.  And yes, by this we can see that evidence is valid.  You have tried to misrepresent what the Innocence Project does in order to try to claim that evidence should not be trusted.

We do know that people can and will twist evidence, destroy evidence, etc.  However, that is the exception, not the rule.  If you wish to rebut this, I need to see evidence for your claims.  You also assume malicious intent when other possibilities can and likely were at play, that we simply did not have the DNA analysis procedures at the time of the first trial and now we have them, that innocent mistakes were made, etc.  In any case, your claim that since forensics may have failed once and now can be used is not a reason to doubt all science all of the time as you seem to be trying to claim.   And in any case, there is still no evidence for your god or any gods.

People are indeed people.  You to make a good point that Christians are people too, which seems to support my point that any claims should be examined and evidence required because people can make up things because of many reasons.   For example, you have claimed that Jesus Christ was a real person, the son of a deity that walked the earth.  However, there is no evidence for this.  An argument can be made that Joshua ben Joseph was a real man that thought he was the Jewish messiah existed, but that is not the being that you worship.  There is no reason to believe that a miracle-performing entity lived on earth, did miracles, died and rose from the grave accompanied by very strange events since there is no evidence for this at all, just as there is no evidence that Mohammed rode to Jerusalem on the back of a magical pony or that Gautama Buddha halted a rampaging elephant either.

The study cited “Self-Presentation and Verbal Deception:Do Self-Presenters Lie More?” by Robert S. Feldman, James A. Forrest, and Benjamin R. Happ that you cited says this in the abstract of the study (the entire study is at the link): “This study examined the effects of self-presentation goals on the amount and type of verbal deception used by participants in same-gender and mixed-gender dyads. Participants were asked to engage in a conversation that was secretly videotaped. Self-presentational goal was manipulated, where one member of the dyad (the self-presenter) was told to either appear (a) likable, (b)competent, or (c) was told to simply get to know his or her partner (control condition). After the conversation, self-presenters were asked to review a video recording of the interaction and identify the instances in which they had deceived the other person. Overall, participants told more lies when they had a goal to appear likable or competent compared to participants in the control condition, and the content of the lies varied according to self-presentation goal. In addition, lies told by men and women differed in content, although not in quantity.”

You’ve attempted to use this study to make it appear that everyone lies 60% of the time no matter what the situation.  That is untrue.  This study was about how people lie when trying to appear likeable or competent to a new person.  There is nothing in this that shows that scientists lie as you have claimed or that all conversations are the same.  It has been my experience that theists often misrepresent scientific studies either out of ignorance because they haven’t bothered to read them or out of intent because they hope no one else will read them, which would make it an attempt to appeal to authority.

The “big bang” theory of how the universe started does not include where the singularity may have come from.  It does describe what physicists hypothesized happened, and observations have matched what the theory has predicted.  The singularity may have come from nothing.  It may have come from a prior big bang, and there may have always been big bangs.  It may have come from branes touching.  At this point we do not know for sure.  This does not mean that we will never know, nor does it mean that there had to be some god.   Theists often make the mistake of assuming that only their god could have always been around,  when they try their special pleading excuses for their gods.

I am not sure what you mean by  “Well, according to inflation theory, there were an infinite number of singularities that exploded. So, in all of these singularities, certainly the odds favor one of them having the right ratio.”   Inflation theory does not say this.  This is what inflation theory says “According to the theory of inflation, the early Universe expanded exponentially fast for a fraction of a second after the Big Bang. Cosmologists introduced this idea in 1981 to solve several important problems in cosmology.”   I think you are mixing up several theories into one.  I also do not know what you mean by “right ratio”.  Right ratio of what?

You are correct, at this moment we still don’t now what exactly started what we call “life”.  Again, this doesn’t mean we will never know or that there is some god causing it or your particular god causing it.  You are presenting what is known as a “god of the gaps” argument and those gaps have been closing ever since creationists have been making those arguments.  There are indeed hypotheses that RNA was the basis of how modern life came to be. Like many other creationists, you depend on an ignorance of the actual research in abiogenesis to keep your beliefs intact.  For instance, many creationists try to claim that science says that everything is “random”, as if the universe is some Dr. Seussian construct where anything can happen.  The universe doesn’t work that way; chemistry and physics work predictable ways, and in certain environments one can expect that proteins will form and change predictably because of the environment.  Scientists do not surmise that random chance is the driving force. You misrepresent science intentionally to try to attack a strawman of your creation.

The second law of thermodynamics states: In any cyclic process the entropy will either increase or remain the same. This is quite true if it is a closed system.  What creationists forget is that the earth is not a closed system.  We receive massive amounts of energy from the rest of the universe, mainly the sun.  Energy put into a system can cause the reduction of entropy e.g. it can create order.  You can see a nice illustration of this here. Again, a creationist argument depends on either ignorance of basic physics or it depends on an intentional misrepresention of physics.  I do not agree with “inconsistent drivel”, I can do my own experiments to show the second law of thermodynamics to be quite compatible with the assembly of proteins, by showing that energy injected into a system does create order, either by making basic building block or growing a plant.

It is not uncommon to see a Christian try to claim that some magical being, Satan, is somehow the “author of chaos”.  Since there is no more evidence for this character than the Christian god, there is no reason to believe that some being creates chaos and plenty of reason to understand that chaos is an aspect of matter and energy.  It’s rather like believing that there the idea of Maxwell’s Demon is literally true, that there is a little demon picking out cold particles or warm particles to cause the movement of heat energy into an item or space.  There isn’t, and we can’t exorcise demons to keep hot things hot and cold things cold.

When a creationist tries to appeal to “plain reason”, they are usually trying to insist that their beliefs are to be taken without evidence, that they are  supposedly “obvious”.  The problem is when no one else thinks that it is reasonable or obvious that there is a god or a devil and the creationist cannot provide evidence for either.  Random chance, if there is such a thing, is not some magical being that your god makes wagers with in the Book of Job or works with in the Book of Revelation.

134-God-is-not-in-the-gapsAgain, you rely on a god of the gaps argument to claim that your god has to be the “energy” outside of the system.  However, there is no evidence that any god exists, much less the Christian god.  Physicists are working on answers and again your argument depends on the assumption that we will never know the answer and the assumption that there is a god and its your god.  Theists have constantly made this bet that science will somehow stop and go no further and have lost the bet every time when they claims that their god(s) did something.  There is no reason to think that this streak will be broken, and again, even if we never figure everything out, it still doesn’t mean your god or any gods did anything.  You have to provide positive evidence that your god 1. Exist and 2. Do what you claim.

Occam’s Razor can be a useful tool, however, it is not always correct, appealing to it is not a guarantee of success. A good review Occam’s Razor is here:  (or here if the idea of a “rational wiki” frightens you )

I find this part to be particularly relevant:

“You cannot explain anything by simply replacing an unknown with an unknown which has a different name. If the hypothesis offers no clue how the result is reached, it is not simple, it is useless. For example:
1+X=2
It is not clear here whether X is a number, many numbers, or an operation of some kind. Based on this alone, the simplest explanation would be that X is 1. The Goddidit explanation would be X=G
Where G is defined as “the correct answer.” It should be fairly obvious that we have simply renamed the unknown, and know no more that we did to begin with about the unknown’s identity.”

You assume that the claim “goddidit” is the simplest answer, which is not the case.  For the claim that your god has done something there are more than a few answers that need to be given before one can consider your assumption valid.  This is where evidence comes in.  We need evidence that god/gods exist.  We need evidence of what it/ they can do.  We need evidence that *your* god is the creator and that no other gods exist or were not involved in the creation. Considering that Christians have created an entire industry on complicated arguments for their god and what they each claim it “really wants”, there is nothing simple about god/gods.

I am a life-long trekkie and Mr. Spock would not agree that you used logic at all.  You have made baseless claims, you have misrepresented science, and with no evidence there is no reason to believe in something that cannot be shown to exist.  Your god is as improbable as every other god that you do not believe in.  I do not believe in “complete inconsistency” at all.  I accept that the sciences are the best method of determining reality.  If this god of yours cannot be supported by evidence, and it should be able to be if it can or has affect reality as Christians claim, then I  have no logical reason to believe in it.  There is no more reason to turn to it than there is to be afraid of the boogeyman under my bed.

Sincerely,
Vel

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112 responses to “Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – addressing “An Open Letter to An Atheist”

  1. DNA contains the software that through transcription and translation codes for proteins which are precision tools.

    Software coding and precision tools are proof of intelligence.

    Thus, the molecular biology of life proves the existence of God.

    The atheist reaction to science is a plugging of the ears which proves that atheism is faith-based, not science-based.

      • club,
        I’ve already done that and your response was to put your fingers in your ears and simply repeat your request, “define and tell us where the DNA keeps us.”

        You’re obviously an uneducated boob who insists on staying that way so I’m not going to waste my time doing something that I have already done many times.

      • still waiting for where the DNA keeps this “software” that you claim it contains.

        If DNA is proof of your god, why does it screw up and fail? Is you god an inept designer?

        Run away, again, SOM. You’ll slink back and I’ll again point out that you have no evidence for your claims.

      • club,
        That’s your trouble, you wait for someone to spoon feed you.

        Get off your lazy duff and go out and learn something for yourself.

        You are guilty of the very thing you are criticizing.

      • Lovely excuses for your inability to provide evidence for your baseless claims. Sorry, dear, you made the positive claim, you have to support them.

        You seem to think that you can throw shit at a wall and that someone else will find the diamond that you can’t.

        Still waiting for where the DNA keeps this software you claim it contains.

        I have indeed gotten off my “lazy duff” and found out things for myself. What I have learned is that you make false claims that you cannot support. You also claim that I am somehow guilty of the “thing” that I am criticizing, whatever you might think that is. Evidence of this please.

      • John,

        How complex molecules like DNA could have evolved is still a mystery.

        Nevertheless, if science is to be consistent, the origin of complex biomolecules is made possible by the laws the nature.

      • As it always seems, SOM is the classic Christian who doesn’t even remotely understand what he attacks.

        Where do the laws of nature come from, SOM? I suspect you’ll say your god, w
        which means you need to show it exists. You also need to show that no other gods did this since most if not all religions make the same claims about their god/gods as you do about yours.

      • club,
        I was just relaying to John what a molecular biologist teaches in his classes.

        Of course, the great club, master of all things, assumes the role of atheist omniscient.

      • oh really, who is this molecular biologist that says that DNA contains software? Does he say where it’s kept? Which molecular biologist has said “How complex molecules like DNA could have evolved is still a mystery.

        Nevertheless, if science is to be consistent, the origin of complex biomolecules is made possible by the laws the nature.”

        Nice attempt at trying to create a strawman to attack. Alas, I have not assumed or claimed to be “atheist omniscient”.

      • club,
        If you’d taken time to watch the video I posted for you a couple of weeks ago, you would have been exposed to the molecular biology terms, “codon,” and “anti-codon.”

        Notice the word, “code” embedded in there someplace.

        mRNA (messenger RNA) contains the codons which are read by a complex of proteins (remember, proteins are precision tools) called ribosomes and then attached to the appropriate anti-codon carried by tRNA (transport RNA).

        The ribosome takes the amino acid being transported by the tRNA and attaches it to the growing chain of amino acids being assembled by the ribosome.

        Code that is read by a machine is commonly called software.

      • I did watch the video. I know all about codons and anti-codons. Yep, mRNA has codons. Proteins are not precision tools, for if they were we would not have problems with replication. Proteins are not machines as you are trying to define them as an item constructed by some other entity, neither are ribosomes. Again, SOM, you are so desperate for any evidence of a designer, you think that if you call something a machine, people will accept your nonsense. cells also do not use rachets. These terms are being used to simplify the ideas, they are not literal as you seem to hope that they are and hope other people will believe they are literal too.

        Again, where does it say what you have? Where is the software contained in the DNA?

        What molecular biologist has said this ““How complex molecules like DNA could have evolved is still a mystery.

        Nevertheless, if science is to be consistent, the origin of complex biomolecules is made possible by the laws the nature.”

        A molecular biologist would not say that how DNA has formed is “still a mystery”. They would say that we have some ideas but we do not know all of the answers yet. Indeed, you can see exactly what molecular biologists say about the subject right here: http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIE2bStudyorigins.shtml

        and here: http://biomed.brown.edu/Courses/BIO48/12.Molecular.Evolution.HTML

        and here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK26876/

        and here: https://asunews.asu.edu/20120419_xna

        Still no god needed.

      • club,
        Just because I don’t understand you, doesn’t mean you can’t be a tool.

        That you are a complete tool has nothing whatsoever to do with anyone’s limited imagination.

        The same concept can be applied to proteins, life’s vast assortment of precision implements.

      • Again, if proteins are precision tools, why do they fail? Is it that your god is a inept designer?

        And thanks for the insult, SOM. You do such a wonderful job at showing that Christianity is nothing special.

      • So, we have you claiming:

        “proteins which are a huge family of precision designed, precision manufactured and precision tools.”
        “tool-making is hallmark proof of intelligence”

        THEREFORE:

        “Consequently, we find in molecular biology proof of the existence of God.”

        Then we have you saying:

        “proteins at work in all sorts of sophisticated and specialized ways”
        Each type of protein has a specific function.
        DNA -> RNA -> Proteins”

        And

        “Here is a short video whose narrator uses words like “machine,” “ratchet,” and “computer tape.”

        Where you try to claim since an analogy has been drawn, these proteins, nucleotides etc are to be literally considered machines and rachets. However, they are chemicals not mechanisms.

        Then you wish to claim that since tool making indicates intelligences, and the better the tools the more intelligent, therefore really awesome special, precise tools must mean that something absolutely intelligent made them, e.g. your god. “But human tool making far surpasses animal tool making indicating that human intelligence far surpasses animal intelligence.”
        You then claimed that a university agreed with your claim, that your god created DNA and proteins, which it did not. “I posted a video from a university about what is taught at all accredited universities, which proved my claim.”

        Then, on the other post, we have you making this claim “DNA contains the software that through transcription and translation codes for proteins which are precision tools.”
        I asked where it “contained” this software. You have been unwilling or unable to tell me where. RNA and DNA consists of codons which are the chemicals that interlock in the ribosome to allow it to form proteins. It is not software, it is quite analog. One can read about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protein_biosynthesis This is not coding like humans do.
        Then you tried to claim that molecular biologists would say in their classes “How complex molecules like DNA could have evolved is still a mystery.” Which is not true since we have been doing research on it for years and get closer and closer all of the time. You were given links to this research and promptly ignored them.
        Then we get “mRNA (messenger RNA) contains the codons which are read by a complex of proteins (remember, proteins are precision tools) called ribosomes and then attached to the appropriate anti-codon carried by tRNA (transport RNA).The ribosome takes the amino acid being transported by the tRNA and attaches it to the growing chain of amino acids being assembled by the ribosome.Code that is read by a machine is commonly called software.”

        You are quite right in that mRNA contains sequences of amino acids called codons that they are attacked to anti-codons and that amino acids make up proteins. However, you again claim that “remember, proteins are precision tools “.

        I pointed out that these proteins are not “precision tools”. And mistakes are made often by them.

        If your perfect god made such perfect tools as you claim, that wouldn’t happen. If errors do happen, and they do as one can see from the wiki about genetic disorders, this would indicate that your god is not the perfect being you claim, if it can’t get protein assembly right or make genes immutable. If your god is not perfect, then what? What excuse will you give for this?

        One of the classic examples of the imperfection of protein synthesis and genes is cystic fibrosis. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cystic_fibrosis

        Again, SOM, you are caught in attempts to appeal to authority, which do not say what you claim, and you are caught in your ignorance of how genetic disease occurs, and why. You do your best to try to make the human body sounds like a machine so you can claim “tool creation” but unfortunately DNA, RNA and proteins are not the precise mechanisms you insist they are. They arose from the very imprecise effects of evolution and still screw up from time to time.

        Still no evidence for god and still no god needed.

        The evolutionary consequences of erroneous protein synthesis
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2764353/

      • club,
        Proteins are undeniably mechanisms, machines and tools.

        They are biotechnology.

        In fact, our human biotechnology industry applies human engineering principles to write our own code or insert code written in one creature’s DNA into another totally different creature.

      • It’s quite easy to deny that proteins are tools or mechanism or machines. They are not biotechnology, a term that you again have no idea how to use. It’s always hilarious to watch a Christian yet again try to redefine a word in order to make his false claims seem coherent.

        biotechnology: Biotechnology is the use of living systems and organisms to develop or make useful products, or “any technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for specific use”

        Mitochondria, ribosomes, DNA, RNA, etc are not made by some intelligence. They evolved.

        You have been asked to explain why your “perfect machines” fail if they are prefect, and precise and made by a supposedly perfect god. You haven’t.

        You have been asked to provide evidence for your god and for your position that no other gods exists and that your god has done anything. Still waiting.

      • club,

        You can easily deny facts because you are an atheist.

        And that DNA and RNA somehow evolved does not have anything whatsoever to do with the fact that proteins are examples of biotechnology.

        Technology is simply a means of getting something done in a better, often more sophisticated way.

        Consequently, the biotechnology observed in eukaryotic cells is much more sophisticated then that of prokaryotic cells.

        Additionally, here is you stating the fundamental dogma of atheism in your own words:

        “Mitochondria, ribosomes, DNA, RNA, etc are not made by some intelligence.

        They evolved.”

        Yes, everything just happened all by itself.

        The atheist uses a word like, “evolved” in the hope of turning something totally and obviously stupid into something intelligent.

      • SOM, you have yet to provide any facts to support your claims.

        You have claimed that DNA and RNA and proteins are evidence of your god e.g. “intelligent design”. You have not shown any evidence for this. You have claimed that proteins are “precise machines” and cannot explain if these “machines” are so perfect, why do they fail often as in cystic fibrosis and other genetic diseases. You have not explained on how your supposedly perfect god has made something that is error prone.

        Proteins are not evidence of biotechnology and you attempt to redefine the term biotechnology in order to make believe you are right.

        Technology is “the practical application of knowledge especially in a particular area”. Again, it does not show any evidence for your god.

        Eukaryotic cells are different than prokaryotic cells. To call them more “sophisticated” is again an attempt by a creationist to imply design. It is a false statement. To see the differences in these cells: http://www.life.umd.edu/classroom/bsci424/BSCI223WebSiteFiles/ProkaryoticvsEukaryotic.htm Evolution does not make things “better” or “worse”.

        Mitochondria, ribosomes, DNA, RNA are not made by your god, they evolved. They evolved per the laws of physics, and again, you have yet to show that your god exists, is the only one or did anything.

        I use the term evolved to indicate that there was no intelligent creator involved in the appearance of biological entities and that these entities . Evolution: b : a theory that the various types of animals and plants have their origin in other preexisting types and that the distinguishable differences are due to modifications in successive generations; also : the process described by this theory

        I am still waiting for your evidence that your god exists, is the only one and did/does what you claim.

      • Molecular biology classes and their teachers do not say that proteins are precise tools, that ribosomes and mitochondria are machines (they are only compared to such things) and that they are created by your god.

        Still waiting for your evidence.

      • club,

        I have progressed to grad school where students are required to make their own connections.

        I discuss my connections in class much to the amazement of everyone in class who is a brainwashed atheist.

      • Still no evidence of what you’ve claimed or that you are in grad school or that anyone cares about your hilarious “equation”.

        I will have to say that I was pretty amazed at your equation and that you thought it was valid.

        Keep going, SOM.

  2. SOM what part of “Science cannot explain it” not equally “God did it” are you not getting? Despite your attempts to obfuscate it, that is precisely what you are doing.

    • Doug,

      For the purposes of discussion in a secular environment, talk of God concerns only one thing and that is First Cause.

      The laws of nature came into being and operation after the First Cause.

      Science is the understanding of the laws of nature.

      And it is simply a fact that science does not understand how complex molecules like RNA and DNA first appeared in the primordial soup of primeval Earth.

      All science teaches is that when a high enough level of order appears in a water-based, hydrocarbon soup, life appears.

      You might be interested in a post called, “The God Equation.”

      I used first semester calculus, microbiology and philosophy to express God and life as mathematical equations.

      LINK: https://silenceofmind.wordpress.com/2014/12/22/the-god-equation/

      • SOM, you have claimed that your god, the Christian god is the supposed creator of everything, including biological entities. That god is quite different from some vague “first cause”. But hey, if you want to deny your god and its savior, be my guest.

        There is no evidence that the laws of nature came into being and operation after some “first cause”. That is the usual special pleading nonsense that Christians often trot out.

        Science is indeed the study of the laws of nature and it has never came up with the answer “the supernatural was the cause of something”/

        Your arguments depend on the usual god of the gaps argument. We are working towards and have made great steps toward understanding fully, because we already understand in part, how complex molecules formed on the early earth. What will become of poor creationists like you when we do find out how? What new lies will you tell?

        No, “science” doesn’t teach “when a high enough level of order appears in a water-based, hydrocarbon soup, life appears.” Way to create a simplistic ignorant strawman to attack, SOM. You have been presented link after link that shows what the current research shows, you have been presented with ways to learn about what you attack falsely and repeatedly you go back to the same lies you have told before.

        I do love to watch creationists try to blend nonsense together. I see that there is no more reason to think you know about them than you do the definition of biotechnology. It’s the usual throwing shit at a wall and hoping someone believes you because they were too lazy to actually look up the terms you used.

        “When a certain level of order is achieved in matter and energy, life happens.” Really? Please do show us when that occurs and the parameters needed.

        “The limit when order equals infinity equals God” wow. Please do support this with evidence. Define each of the terms. Now let’s watch the circular argument chase its tail.

        This has to be one of the funniest things I’ve seen a Christian do in a long time. Let’s pull terms out of the air and then decree that they simply must equal each other because the Christian says so.

        Now, dear SOM, if this is an academic thesis, where have you submitted it? I would love to see a peer review of this by mathematicians, microbiologists and philosophers. When can we expect this in the next journal of microbiological philosophic mathmatics? 🙂

      • The Big Bang Theory is “The Big Bang theory does not provide any explanation for the initial conditions of the Universe; rather, it describes and explains the general evolution of the Universe going forward from that point on” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Bang

        The big bang is not evidence for a first cause. There is nothing that indicates that it needed your god, or any other god, to cause it. There are many hypotheses on what caused/was before the BB and what may have come before it, and astrophyscists are doing research right now to see which of those hypotheses are true, if any. That is the study of cosmongony: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmogony one of the many hypotheses: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyclic_model

        However, you are welcome to present evidence that your god exists, it’s the only one and it’s the one who has done this.

      • club,

        According to atheist physicists like Hawking, physics ultimately teaches that everything just happened all by itself.

        Consequently, Hawking believes the ridiculous fundamental doctrine of atheism over the common sense conclusion of First Cause.

      • please do provide evidence for your claims. And do show how Dr. Hawking is wrong. I’m sure Cambridge will be most interested.

        You try to invoke “common sense” again, a sure sign that you have nothing but baseless claims.

      • club,

        It may take a genius to discover the laws of nature but any moron knows that everything just doesn’t happen all by itself.

        For example, you got to where you are at this moment based on what happened in previous moments.

        To accept atheism, one must believe that where you are now just happened all by itself.

        Of course that is obviously ridiculous.

      • Lovely attempt to insult anyone who doesn’t agree with you, SOM, by calling them morons. You are such an excellent example of a Christian, SOM.

        Why yes, I did get to where *I* am at this moment based on what happened before. Thank you so much for demonstrating that you haven’t even tried to read the current research that I have given you. If you had, you would know that there are hypotheses and research to prove or disprove said hypotheses to see what may have come before this universe, or what set off the big bang as a singular event.

        Atheism is the conclusion that there are no god or gods. I certainly don’t have to believe that where I am now happened all by itself, especially since I have evidence that is not what happened. I can also accept that there is the hypothesis that things do come into existence by themselves, or have always existed and cycle back and forth.

        You have no problem in believing things have always existed, do you? 🙂

        Still nothing showing that your god or any god exist or have done anything.

      • Ahem…SOM what part of “Science cannot explain it” not equally “God did it” are you not getting? Despite your continued pathetic attempts to obfuscate it, that is precisely what you are doing.

      • Doug,

        The concept of First Cause is millennia old and the result of reason.

        It’s just that atheists can’t seem to imagine their way back and back to the First Cause.

        So belief in atheism not only requires the rejection of reason and science, but it also requires a lack of imagination.

        What is striking is that atheists like Dawkins and Hutchins make a virtue out of having no imagination and an industry out of ridiculing those who do.

      • Appeal to tradition. A concept of a first cause may be the result of reason, but it is not supported by evidence nor is it evidence of *your* god.

        I can imagine quite a few things. Doesn’t mean that those things are real. It just means I have an excellent imagination. Again, no evidence for poor ol’ God.

      • Yep, science and modern life is based on reason. That science has shown that none of the essential events of your bible happened and has shown that other things have happened in their place. Still no evidence for your god.

        Always fun to watch a Christian try to claim that science supports his nonsense and then refuse to acknowledge that the same science shows that his bible stories are wrong.

      • club,

        You argued against tradition.

        Now you are arguing for it.

        That is another example of you arguing with yourself and losing.

        The major reason no other civilization but Christian Western Civilization developed modern science is because of our tradition of reasoning.

        Further, you are using the fallacy of the false dichotomy by trying to compare religion with science.

        Science has proven the existence of God.

        However, religion requires faith first, with no requirement of scientific proof.

      • where did I argue for “tradition”, SOM? Please do explain.

        You are so very ignorant of other cultures, aren’t you? I suppose I should not be surprised, since it does take ignorance to keep up your faith.

        Where is this false dichotomy that I have used?

        Science has not proven the existence of god and it’s a shame that you keep repeating that lie. You still have presented no evidence of that at all. All we get to see from you is claims that proteins are perfect tools, and watch you fall silent as soon as someone shows that your claims are demonstrably wrong.

  3. SOM what part of “Science cannot explain it” not equaling “God did it” are you not getting? Despite your attempts to obfuscate it, that is precisely what you are doing.

  4. Interesting but pointless arguments. You are both talking apples and oranges. My “simple” conclusion is that science is descriptive and religion is prescriptive. One is objective, the other is subjective. Science deals with what IS, religion with what OUGHT to be. Religion is concerned with so-called moral laws and the authority structures that enforce them, the way humans ought to act. Science shouldn’t make moral judgments and religion shouldn’t make objective observations about the material world and how it actually works. The current “debate” is what happens when the two intrude on each other. That’s why both New Atheists and Creationists drive me up the wall. Both are full of a lot of crap.

    I am an atheist partly because I have never experienced anything that could remotely be described as God speaking to me personally. I tried to find “him” for many years in order to understand the religion of friends and family, many of whom describe their feelings of ecstatic revelation in their personal experiences. I listened to sermons. I explored world religions. Nothing.

    I am also an atheist because of the subjective nature of religion. The concept of “God” is most often used to empower one group over others. God is needed to justify hierarchies of power and to try to overcome the subjective basis of those power structures. God gives those with power so-called moral authority, the rationale to impose their will on those without any power. One need only look at social conservatives or ISIS to see proof of this. God is the ultimate enforcer. He is used to legitimize hate, discrimination and violence aimed at both controlling adherents and condemning outsiders.

    God is also used to motivate people to great acts of altruism and compassion. The challenge to atheists is to find that kind of purpose without religion. That requires the difficult task of doing good for the sake of doing good without the promise of some reward or punishment- eg. eternal life or harems filled with eager to be deflowered virgins or fear of eternal damnation. My answer to that challenge is to empower everyone through democratic secular humanism. We all decide what is moral or immoral via democratic processes and institutions.

    Whether or not God exists is unanswerable unless he were to reveal himself to every human on the planet simultaneously. That has never happened and is not likely to happen any time soon.

    • If one believes the bible, and Christians, the question if god exists or not is answerable, because they claim that this god can affect reality. If it there is no evidence of any essential events of the bible, nor any evidence of this god performing miracles, then there is no reason to think that this god exists at all. At best, you can postulate a deistic type god that does nothing, or did one single thing, “start” the universe.

      I’ll address the rest of your post in a day or two. Thanks for commenting.

      • I don’t disagree with most of what you are saying. My point is partly that attempting to logically prove OR disprove the existence of God, whether theist or deist, is an exercise in futility, a huge waste of time and effort. If you want to talk to the “faithful” you first have to understand them and learn to talk to them in their own language, not insult them. Arguing with creationists is an especially counterproductive exercise. They obviously have no clue about how real science works therefore you will never “win” the argument. Remember Einstein’s maxim “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

      • You may think it is a waste of time. However, that is how some atheists are made. I do understand the faithful, having been one myself. Unfortunately, even telling a certain type of Christian that they are wrong is considered an “insult”.

        People can be taught. I do not give up the fight.

    • I do not consider myself a “New Atheist”. I consider myself an atheist who does the hard work at keeping religion at bay. I have no idea how you define “new atheist”. Perhaps you would enlighten me.

      • New Atheists are really anti-theists who actively attack the faithful and believe, as Hitchen’s said, that “religion poisons everything.” It’s an aggressive form of atheism bordering on the cultish, that involves worship of it’s high priests, Dawkins, Harris and the recently departed Hitchens. Up until six months or so ago I was one of them. The problem, in my opinion, is that it boils down to bigotry wherein statements like “Islam is the mother-lode of bad ideas” are interpreted by the simple minded to justify hate against ALL Muslims, not just the wackos. Harris recently actually said something to the effect of “I have Muslim friends so I can’t be a bigot” a typical defence almost all racists use to rationalize their racism.

      • Wow, nice to see someone define something he doesn’t like. Religion does not poison everything, but it causes harm that far outweighs its supposedly usefulness.

        Nice to see you use the same lies that theists do when trying to claim that any atheist who doesn’t put up with nonsense is somehow “worshipping” anyone. I don’t give a damn about Dawkins, Harris or Hitchens. Sorry to burn your strawman.

        All religions are motherlodes of bad ideas. The few good ones they have were long before known and don’t need the ignorance and hate that religions require. Yes, some people are ignorant and interpret things to suit their whims. It doesn’t mean that the ideas that they mangled are wrong.

      • “New Atheist” is a pejorative term used for atheists who refuse to apologize for having their viewpoint.

  5. Ahem…SOM what part of “Science cannot explain it” not equally “God did it” are you not getting? Despite your continued pathetic attempts to obfuscate it, that is precisely what you are doing

    I mean seriously, your “First cause” = “God did it” is EXACTLY EXACTLY EXACTLY that. You are making an appeal to ignorance. I don’t know what the first cause was…I admit it. However, I do, unlike you, have the wherewithal to realize every single assignation of an unknown cause being done by a supernatural conscious agency, when human knowledge advanced to a point where it could be disproven, has been disproven. That isn’t a “failure of imagination” on my part, that’s just looking at literally hundreds of data points and drawing an obvious conclusion.

    You keep on trying to weasel around this, and I know it. Science has not “proven the existence of God” I don’t even how you can come up with such a cockamamie conclusion other than your sheer dedication to ignoring fact. For crying out loud, you even assign the label of “false dichotomy,” a known logical fallacy, to decry your opponent…when there wasn’t even a dichotomy…much less a false one. This amply demonstrates you don’t understand logical thinking and are completely out of your depth.

      • The old “define god into existence” thing. No matter how many layers of misdirection and mud you add to it, it is an appeal to ignorance. Because, the prime mover argument still requires conscious supernatural agency. That the author of this obfuscation fest to call an appeal to ignorance which is packed in with some definitions that could alternatively be special pleading “Tight logic” is laugh out loud ludicrous. This entire article is a fallacy.

      • Doug,

        It takes an atheist to reduce 2500 years of our Western Heritage to an appeal to ignorance.

        Notice that you have established yourself as the authority for your own argument, which is a logical fallacy.

        Whereas I have appealed to the systematic reasoning and scientific tradition of our Western Heritage as the authority for my own argument.

        Our discussion demonstrates how atheism demands the rejection of reason, science and in fact, our entire Western Heritage.

        Clearly you didn’t bother reading the article I linked to. It is so concise and easy for the reasoning mind to understand.

      • still waiting for you to support your claims, SOM. Where are these fallacies supposedly being used?

        Western civilization hasn’t not proven your god. At best we have a first cause argument, that is based on an a priori assumption that there has to be a god. You make accusations that we have used logical fallacies and have yet to show where. All we see is one more Christian telling intentional lies, and showing that he doesn’t believe in his god or its commandments any more than an atheist does.

        You have made claims about science and have, as usual, presented no evidence at all. You have tried to make believe that proteins are “perfect tools” when reality doesn’t support that at all. You have tried to claim that the first cause argument supports only your god and shucks, you have no evidence for that all. You try to use science to support your nonsense, but when it shows your myths to be nonsense, you pretend it doesn’t exist. That’s just sweet hypocrisy from one more Christians.

        Keep going, SOM.

      • club,

        The a priori reasoning presented by Western Civilization is that everything doesn’t just happen by itself.

        That bit of simple, easy to understand, common sense reasoning was explained in the article I linked to.

        Again, you demonstrate that atheism, the belief that everything just happened all by itself, is a rejection of the Western Heritage which is the tradition of reason and modern science.

      • “everything doesn’t just happen by itself.” Everything? Really?

        So, where did your god come from, SOM? And if you say that it was always here, then what says that the universe, in some iteration, hasn’t always been here?

        You certainly are wrapped up in your adulation of “western heritage”. I guess that’s an attempt to be PC when being ignorant about all of the things that other civilizations have accomplished. Western heritage has been about reason and modern science for the last 500 yeas or so, when the Enlightenment came along, and we started to question the claims of religion, including Christianity. Before that, “western heritage” was as backward and ignorant as any other civilization and far behind some.

        Still waiting for your evidence for your claims. Again, where are those logical fallacies you have accused me and others of using? It seems you can’t produce them. If you can’t, then you were lying. Since your god repeatedly says it is wrong to lie, why do you do this, SOM? Do you think your god needs you to lie for it?

      • club,

        What evidence do you have that the universe is eternal?

        Don’t bother. There isn’t any. You just conjure up an eternal universe because that’s the only way atheism can work out for you.

        Modern discoveries in cosmology have proven that the universe had a beginning.

        In fact, even before the discovery that the universe had a beginning there was all sorts of evidence for the universe having a beginning.

        Yet there has never been one shred of evidence that the universe is eternal.

        Consequently we know that the universe was caused.

        God, by definition is uncaused. He is the First Cause.

        The link I provided you unpacks the meaning of First Cause. It is actually very easy to understand once you let go of your basic doctrine that everything just happened all by itself.

      • SOM, what evidence do you have that your god exists? that it is eternal? Hmmm? I have hypotheses that the universe is eternal, and I have physicists doing research on that question.

        Modern discoveries have support the idea that this version of the universe had a beginning. We have yet to figure out for sure what was before that. It may be another universe. Again, we do not know *yet*.

        What was this “all sorts of evidence for the universe having a beginning” that was around before the discovery that the universe had a beginning? You made the claim, now back it up.

        Again, we have no evidence your god caused this universe or that the universe needed a cause. Still waiting for evidence for that.

        Your argument is circular “god is uncaused because god is the first cause because god is uncaused….”

        Your link is the same circular argument. Referring to it again doesn’t make it any more believable. Again, I have no reason to ignore the evidence that the universe has indeed happened without a god. Still waiting for your evidence for your “intelligent designer”. Please do show us that it was the Christian god that was the creator and no other. Show that proteins are “perfect tools”. Explain why they fail.

      • club,

        You demand answers but cannot give any.

        When answers are given, you can’t comprehend them.

        That’s because you are an atheist.

        Atheism is the mind killer.

      • I can comprehend quite well that you have yet to give evidence for your claims. Still waiting. Claims aren’t answers. Answers have facts supporting them. You have presented none.

        I have no problem in admitting that we do not know everything. That still does not mean your god exists. Again, SOM, evidence that your god exists and is eternal is required if you claim that it is and that you have evidence to support those claims.

        Atheism is not a mind-killer. That’s fear per the Bene Gesserit.

      • club,

        I have given you plenty of evidence.

        But because atheism stunts the mind, you simply have not capacity to comprehend it.

        On the other hand, your argument for atheism has absolutely no evidence to support it.

        So you demand of others what you cannot provide yourself.

      • club,

        Whatever claims I have made, I have provided not only evidence but proof.

        You on the other hand, have not provided any evidence at all for the notions that form the basis for your claims:

        1. What evidence is there for an eternal universe?

        2. What evidence is there for everything just happening all by itself?

        Before you can demand anything of others, you must first be able to provide what you are demanding.

        Where is the evidence for your claims?

      • Still waiting for your evidence. You have not shown proof at all. You may of course indicate which post had this “proof” if you are sure you have made it.

        As I have said, there are hypotheses about what came before this universe. Physicists are doing the research now. We do not know *yet*. If you are interested, you may look at these articles: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2687305/Was-Big-Bang-really-Big-BOUNCE-Loop-quantum-gravity-provide-new-explanation-origins-universe.html or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Bounce

        Again, evidence that things can’t happen by themselves or have always been? Well, since we have no evidence of you god or other gods, those are the two ways that we can get to this universe. Those two options are as likely as your claim your god has always been. What prevents something else from having that attribute? We also have the option that another god created this universe. We also do not have evidence of that god, just like we have no evidence of yours. The evidence from astrophysics supports the idea that this universe had a beginning of a sort. That same science indicates that things can happen by themselves and that something can come from nothing. You pick and choose the science you wish to believe e.g. you need a “beginning” to the universe for your myths to seem true. That same science shows that there is no existential being that interferes with human beings, created humans as they are know from dirt, that causes a magical flood, that did magical plagues, that came to earth as a man, died and resurrected.

        Indeed, SOM, if your god made humans from earth, why did it need to make such fallible things as ribosomes? proteins? DNA? mitochondria? the appendix? the trachea opening right beside the esophagus opening? Why not just animate dirt? Certainly it should be able to do so if it is omnipotent. But it didn’t and what we see in human beings is pretty much what we would expect from the imperfect process of evolution. The human body is an good piece of evidence that your claims of a perfect designer are nonsense.

      • club,

        A hypothesis is not evidence.

        In other words, even though you demand evidence from me for my claims, you are unable to provide evidence for your claims.

      • Thanks for pointing out that you did not bother with reading my post and have intentionally ignored the parts about research currently being done. Well done, SOM, for showing again that you cannot provide evidence and intentionally attempt to misrepresent my posts. Such a grand Christian you are!

      • club,

        Just as a hypothesis is not evidence, neither is research.

        So again, you are only showing that you cannot provide evidence for your own claims.

      • I did read the article, and saw that it used the “define god into existence” shtick of Aquinas that is just a warmed over variation of the Platonic realm of forms, which was later repackaged into Kant. I thought it just an appeal to ignorance…but I realized when it isn’t one it is using special pleading. So you do an appeal to tradition and call it logic. In no way shape or form did I use myself as an appeal to authority. You keep throwing out the names of fallacies your opponent allegedly used and hope something sticks. It is quite clear, you have no idea what logic is.

  6. First you ask me to define what I mean by New Atheists, a common title given to those who follow Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens. Then you start throwing ad hominems in my direction for doing so. “How Religion Poisons Everything” was the subtitle to Hitchens book “God is Not Great.” Harris is the one who described Islam specifically as “the mother-lode of bad ideas.” I have no idea what I said that would lead you to believe I was attacking you personally. A bit touchy are we? I thought I was talking to an adult not a child who throws a temper tantrum whenever someone says “no.” Obviously I was wrong.

    • Again, you use the same sad lies that theist use, that somehow atheists worship Dawkins, etc. And you claim I’ve used ad hominems. So where did I do this, Peter? I’ll even post what I said again: “Wow, nice to see someone define something he doesn’t like. Religion does not poison everything, but it causes harm that far outweighs its supposedly usefulness.

      Nice to see you use the same lies that theists do when trying to claim that any atheist who doesn’t put up with nonsense is somehow “worshipping” anyone. I don’t give a damn about Dawkins, Harris or Hitchens. Sorry to burn your strawman.

      All religions are motherlodes of bad ideas. The few good ones they have were long before known and don’t need the ignorance and hate that religions require. Yes, some people are ignorant and interpret things to suit their whims. It doesn’t mean that the ideas that they mangled are wrong.”

      And then you whine that you weren’t personally attacking me. Sure, Peter, someone who says the following isn’t trying to call me a “new atheist”:

      “Interesting but pointless arguments. You are both talking apples and oranges. My “simple” conclusion is that science is descriptive and religion is prescriptive. One is objective, the other is subjective. Science deals with what IS, religion with what OUGHT to be. Religion is concerned with so-called moral laws and the authority structures that enforce them, the way humans ought to act. Science shouldn’t make moral judgments and religion shouldn’t make objective observations about the material world and how it actually works. The current “debate” is what happens when the two intrude on each other. That’s why both New Atheists and Creationists drive me up the wall. Both are full of a lot of crap.”

      You do indeed remind me of the classic XKCD comic: http://xkcd.com/774/ You seem to want to make accusations but don’t want to take responsibility for them when called on it. I am not “throwing a temper tantrum”. How nice of you to try to cast baseless aspersions my way. No one is debating at all that you are an atheist, I have noted that you use the same bad claims and arguments as a theist. You have served as an excellent example that atheism doesn’t mean anything more than coming to the conclusion that no gods exist. Atheists can make as many baseless claims as theists when they want to pretend that they are somehow superior than anyone else.

  7. DougFo – If you say so. I thought New Atheist was a purely descriptive title. I have been using the term for quite some time, even when I was a big fan of the movement and its aggressive approach to fighting religious indoctrination. Despite what you and others here think, I am still an atheist because I still don’t believe in God or the supernatural. Sorry I don’t meet your high standard of membership in the club. I’m outta here.

    • Wow, sensitive much? Did I say “you aren’t really an atheist?” I post one sentence about how I feel the term “New Atheist” seems to be used currently and,,,then take a look at what you wrote. And you accuse me of “having a tantrum?” It is to laugh.

      Secondly “mother load of bad ideas” isn’t really a bad description of a religion that seems to foster, at the current time, the most heinous of human atrocities in the name of their imaginary friend. At least the Christians had to twist and bend their text to fit the hateful things they wanted to do, albeit not that much particularly from the old testament. Wheras the Quran seems pretty much a direct guide to oppression and violence. So the bad idea that has hold in the land I live takes second place in the stupid contest…whoopie.

      So I am an atheist. I equally don’t believe in many tailed fox spirits of Shinto lore. I don’t spend much time on the latter non belief as the belief in fox spirits isn’t the source of harm for millions of people, unlike religion.

      • DougFo ” Despite what you and others here think” Did you miss the “and others”. I took your comment as an attack in the same vein as clubschadenfucklhead, very condesxcending. I have also recently been blocked from commenting on Jerry Coyne;s whyevolutionmatters blog because I didn’t tow the line and criticized Sam Harris RE: Chapel Hill shooting last month. If you disagree with New Atheists you get attacked in a very personal way. Not the rationalist they claim to be. Just look at how they talk about Reza Aslan. The only reason I’m back here is cause I got an email notification about your message. I’m not interested in joining clubschedenfucks cult ….

      • for someone who is “outta here” you certainly seem to be here again. You must respond to a email notification? How sad for you.

        I do love how you now are reduced to more attempts at insults. Tsk, “clubschedenfuck”, “clubschadenfucklhead”, nothing more inventive? How about “Thou surly knotty-pated hugger-mugger!” Or maybe this one “Your virginity, your old virginity is like one of our French wither’d pears: it looks ill, it eats drily.”

        It is no surprise that someone like you has been blocked from commenting on other blogs. I, however, do love when someone acts like you do and will give you as much rope as you’d like to hang yourself here.

      • LMFAO
        You started it by calling me a liar, amongst other things, for not kneeling at your feet like a good little disciple. I read your discussion – nothing but one ad hom after another while repeating the same tired old arguments over and over again. You can’t argue scientifically with people who believe in the God of the Gaps. Your MO is to goad people into arguing with you then stomping all over them. Sad.

        And hey, I’m retired. I’ve got lot’s of time, probably too much. Also, just to be clear, I rarely swear in comments but you pissed me off. I certainly didn’t swear on whyevolutionistrue. FYI That’s the first time I’ve been blocked anywhere. I am usually opinionated but polite. I made an exception in your case.

        What I’m discovering is that New Atheists (anti-theists), like you, tend to be pompous asses and prigs hiding behind academic language and rhetoric with more airs and graces than Downton Abbey.

        What you really don’t like is you’re little project being called a cult. That releases the Kracken. Not much difference between a club and a cult – clubschadenfuck (ie. you gloat over fucking with people) sounds just about right to me. You and your buddy are a tag team taking turns insulting people. it does take two to Tango. Go for it if it turns you on.

        Finally, you think arguing with a creationist is somehow productive??? It’s a goddam waste of time. You might as well beat your head against a brick wall. And you call my atheism useless because I limit it to the dictionary definition – not a theist? You’re an anti-theist not an atheist, not that you can discern the difference. I am not the “right” kind of atheist according to your cultish beliefs.

        You take an inordinate amount of pleasure in ridiculing people. I was just turning the tables on you. lol

        I know I said I’m out of here…. oh well this is too much fun to stop now. I haven’t laughed so much since George Carlin’s “but he loves you” God schtick ..

      • So, where are these ad hominems I’ve used, Peter? You seem unable to actually show them. Why is this? It seems that you are trying to throw shit at a wall and hoping some sticks.

        Your swearing doesn’t offend me at all. I think it’s funny when someone claims that someone else “made” them do it. More cursing and attempts at insulting me. How wonderful! It’s no surprise at all that you tried to have a dramatic exit and, failing that, have decided to return.

        If you don’t like other atheists, and you don’t think that anyone can argue against creationism, then why are you here? You again make more baseless claims. I have found it not to be a waste of time. I don’t recall calling your atheism useless, and in fact a search on the page doesn’t show I did, at least not using the term “useless”. Perhaps you can show me where I supposed said this too? I could have said it using other words, but I don’t think I even brought the concept up, though I could be wrong.

        As soon as you can show that I am running a “cult” or that I somehow “worship” other atheists, we may have something to talk about. Otherwise, it’s just more baseless claims from you. Again, your arguments are oddly similar to those used by theists, with what seem to be typical attempts to claim that I am “no better” than theists. They are similar but atheists can make false statements too. I am an atheist and I am an anti-theist when theists try to force their nonsense on others. I have not said that you are not the “right” kind of atheist. Again, if I have, please do show that. As for you ridiculing me, where? Please do show that too.

        It’s a kraken, not a “kracken”.

      • ooooh I made a spelling mistake ….. You don’t seem to under\stand the difference between an atheist and an anti-theist, a non-believer and someone who actively attacks believers…. Also, sorry if you think I was accusing you of “running” a cult – what I mean is you are behaving like someone who belongs to a cult …. You are displaying cultish behaviours… my bad.

        I admit, I am somewhat guilty of trolling you… The fact is I have been getting more and more annoyed at the bigotry on display in the whole New Atheist (anti-theist) movement. It came to a head with the Chapel Hill shootings wherein Sam Harris et al absolved themselves from any intellectual responsibility for the mob style killing of three young Muslims by an avowed New Atheist. Not only did Gerry Coyne at whyevolutionistrue disavow any double standard (I commented that if the shooter had been a Muslim killing three atheists, atheists would have been quick to blame religion) but he blocked me from responding or commenting further. That certainly doesn’t look like an open and honest debate to me.

        As for you, I found you because I got a message saying you were following me so I went to check out your blog. I made what I thought was a perfectly reasonable comment to express my position and you started attacking me because I questioned the utility of debating with creationists …. How I define New Atheist, being a liar by pushing the same old theist lies etc etc etc,

        You reap what you sow. And yes, I can still recognize wisdom even when its buried in a hate promoting piece of crap like the Holy Bible. or Koran, or Torah or whatever …

      • How is it that you think you can claim that I or others don’t understand what the difference between an atheist and an anti-theist is when I have replied that I am an atheist and sometimes anti-theist?

        Again, show me where I am behaving that I am in a cult? What are these “cultish” behaviors”?

        You may be a troll, Peter, but you are an unsuccessful one. You are a coward, always trying to excuse your mischief like any wannabee bully, and a liar and you seem to be just one more person who seems to feel he isn’t getting enough attention from others. For someone who has claimed he hasn’t made perjorative claims about me being a strawman of a “new atheist’. I come to my own conclusions. If they occasionally are similar to others, that does not mean I did not come up with them myself or that I somehow “worship” other atheists. You have repeatedly tried to claim that and you repeatedly are wrong. The Chapel Hill murders were a tragedy, and as yet we have no idea why this person killed the other people. If he was mentally ill, as seems the case, then his atheism has little to do with his murderous acts. It’s like a theist trying to claim that Stalin has people killed and used utterly stupid government methods and economics *because* he was an atheist. It seems his megalomania is a considerably more likely source of his lunacy.

        Per WordPress, I am not following you. I can tell if I’m following someone by the upper left side of the wordpress bar at the top. It says “follow” if one hasn’t signed up to follow a blog, and it says “following’ if one is following the blog. When I go to youru blog it only says “follow”. You came here and made a comment. I found it to be questionable and questioned it. If you expect your comments to not be challenged on someone else’s blog, then you seem to be unaware of how comments work. They are not a soapbox for you to declare how wrong everyone is for not doing exactly as you do, they are an opening to a discussion, broadcast to the reading public. I don’t care if you don’t like debating creationists. Don’t do it. But don’t tell me I can’t, because I’ll just laugh at you.

        I also don’t care how Dr. Coyne handles his blog. You don’t like it, don’t go there. You don’t like mine or my actions, don’t let the screen door hit your butt on the way out. You’ve shown yourself not interested in debate, Peter, but in only having your ideas unchallenged. If you get pissy because someone does say you are wrong, and doesn’t treat *you* as a cult leader, then you are not looking for an honest or open debate.

        I have never said that there wasn’t wisdom in the bible, or whatever supposed magic book. I have said that what is in there can be found in other sources without all of the lies and nonsense in the bible, etc. Those books are no more real or true than the myths of other cultures.

      • So one sentence is a tantrum, and if two disagree with you means those two are a cult. It isn’t automatically the position being different than mine or hers (and there are several subjects which she and I do not see eye to eye) If it was a large newsgroup/discussion group and you were being dogpiled, you’d have a point.

        You really need to do a little self evaluation.

  8. oh and BTW Peter, “you and others” would be an inclusive phrase, I would therefore be included in said category. You calling atention to it really does not help your attempt to say I misinterpreted you one bit. In fact it calls attention to your error. Thanks for playing.

  9. You asked for examples of ad hominems. Here you go:

    You: Run away, again, SOM. You’ll slink back and I’ll again point out that you have no evidence for your claims.

    You: You are so very ignorant of other cultures, aren’t you? I suppose I should not be surprised, since it does take ignorance to keep up your faith.

    You: Wow, nice to see someone define something he doesn’t like.

    DougFo says:
    March 3, 2015 at 11:58 am
    “New Atheist” is a pejorative term used for atheists who refuse to apologize for having their viewpoint.

    DougFo again:This amply demonstrates you don’t understand logical thinking and are completely out of your depth.

    You: If you can’t, then you were lying. Since your god repeatedly says it is wrong to lie, why do you do this, SOM? Do you think your god needs you to lie for it?

    You: Again, you use the same sad lies that theist use…

    DougFo: You really need to do a little self evaluation.

    Me:
    I admit it’s not as bad as I was making it out to be but…

    Characterizing something as a “lie” because YOU believe it to be untrue is just wrong. A lie is when a person intentionally makes a claim they know to be false.

    One other thing – refusing to capitalize God is an intentional slight, a show of disrespect. Also, God is a name like Bob or Doug, not just a concept. In English we capitalize names.

    As I said in an earlier comment, I AGREE WITH MOST OF WHAT YOU ARE SAYING. it’s broad generalizations and the bigotry they imply that drive me around the bend.

    • Please read up on what an ad hom is. An ad hom is; “You are great, therefore you are right” or more often “You are a doodyhead therefore you are wrong”

      ” Run away, again, SOM. You’ll slink back and I’ll again point out that you have no evidence for your claims”

      Does not qualify

      “You are so very ignorant of other cultures, aren’t you? I suppose I should not be surprised, since it does take ignorance to keep up your faith. ”

      Might barely qualify….barely

      “Wow, nice to see someone define something he doesn’t like”

      Does not qualify. It might be a poisoning the well if you squint real hard

      “‘New Atheist’ is a pejorative term used for atheists who refuse to apologize for having their viewpoint.”

      Does not qualify.

      “This amply demonstrates you don’t understand logical thinking and are completely out of your depth.”

      Does not qualify

      “If you can’t, then you were lying. Since your god repeatedly says it is wrong to lie, why do you do this, SOM? Do you think your god needs you to lie for it?”

      Does not qualify

      ” Again, you use the same sad lies that theist use…”

      Might barely qualify, but doesn’t because of the supporting statements.

      “You really need to do a little self evaluation.”

      Does not qualify

      So…no.

    • And we get to see that Peter has no idea what the logical fallacies he accuses me of are:

      http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/ad-hominem.html

      SOM is an ass, he is a liar, and if you want to defend him, then you need to provide the evidence he can’t for his claims. Now, go look at the link, learn what a ad hominem is, and defend your accusations.

      Since you are retired, Peter, it would behoove you to do a little research rather than repeat things you are ignorant about. If I tell you that you are ignorant, that is not an insult, it is a declaration that you seem to know little or nothing about the subject I tell you that you are ignorant about. Ignorance can be fixed, and if you don’t, then that’s when I make fun of you even more.

      A lie is telling something false intentionally. It’s especially annoying and obvious when you have been caught in telling a lie, corrected, and then you tell the same lie again. I have n no problem at all in calling people liars if they are. I know it really makes them angry to have someone who does not pussyfoot around. I have no problem in calling many theists, including Christians, liars because they have been taught better and still try to repeat their lies as truth. I can show their claims to be untrue with plenty of evidence.

      The Christian god is an imaginary character. I have no respect for it or its believers. God, god, Jesus Christ ice-skating on stigmata, Jesus Haploid Christ, Merry Mohammed riding on a pony, Ganesha and his rat sharing a peanut, it’s all myths. People do not deserve respect for believing in make-believe.

      It sees that what “drives you around the bend” is that no one cares about what you say. You seem to be a cult leader in search of a cult. Again, if you don’t like my style, go away. I don’t care if you agree with “most” of what I’m saying. That fact doesn’t make me feel special or make me consider your comments sacrosanct. If you are here just to troll and be an ass, go ahead. Be my cat toy. I’ll let you demonstrate yourself and when I get bored, I’ll bat you under the sofa.

      • I recall moving the sofa when I was cleaning for my winter holiday party, holy crap it was the lost cat toy graveyard. The same with all the furniture. I ended up filling half of a small milk crate as a cat toy organizer. To be fair….I did find a pint and a half of Lego pieces as well.

  10. You: “I am an atheist and I am an anti-theist when theists try to force their nonsense on others.” I agree 100%. It’s how it’s done that I am concerned about. Baiting theists and creationists into an argument so you can slam them can be seen as a kind of entrapment.

    • Sorry, Peter, but those theists are adults and can decide for themselves if they want to engage with me or not. If they are unable to support their claims, and get caught in lies, and try to assume that no one can or will counter them, it’s too bad. They just had a learning experience. In my experience, most theists are very ignorant about their own religion and the state of research in the sciences and in the historical sciences. They have convinced themselves that they know the answers to everything and they are sure that none of their fellow theists could possibly lie to them. They have wrapped up so much of their self-worth in their religion that they cannot weather any question to it. So, when they encounter a non-believer, be it another theist or an atheist, they think they can succeed in the debate automatically because they believe they have the “truth” and their god wouldn’t let them lose. When they find out that these assumptions are not true at all, they get defensive and angry. This makes their judgment even worse. I have also encountered another common type of Christian who wants to make their god inviolate by making it so vague that it is unrecognizable, but they still want to keep the literal resurrection of their supposed savior. When that is pointed out, they also get defensive and angry. I can empathize with this since it is what I felt when I was losing my faith, but that will not make me pull my punches. I do not by the “this theist is harmless, how dare you question them” excuse that many theists and some atheista try to use.

      If you think “baiting” is telling a theist that they are wrong, and supporting that statement with piles of evidence, then you have a lot to find out about debate and discussion. If you think it is “bigotry” to tell someone that they are wrong and support that statement with evidence, then again you have a lot to learn.

      • I agree with you. I apologized already. I admitted to going off the rails. I did not explain myself clearly and was too angry (while laughing a lot, I have to say) I admitted I was trolling you. Any more back-peddling I need to do to satisfy you?

        What I meant by baiting is that it appears you actively went out looking for a fight. Isn’t that what you were saying in the first paragraph of your post? (I don’t have it in front of me at the moment.) Please correct me if I read that wrong.

        Bigotry is making broad generalizations about groups of people based on the actions of a few bad apples. (Eg. Islam is inherently evil (the mother-lode of bad ideas). You just have to look at how their extremists act.) All religions cherry pick their holy books to conform to current social norms, in my view. You know as well as anyone that the Old Testament condones everything from slavery to genocide. Only Zealots try to use those passages to justify their idiocy. Social progress and social evolution makes them nervous. They’re reactionaries …

        Peace.

  11. In case you’re interested, here’s the link to my blog post re: whyevolutionistrue Chapel Hill shooting: https://peterguenther01.wordpress.com/2015/03/03/blocked-for-commenting-on-jerry-coynes-evolutionistrue-blog-sam-harris-audio-disappears/.
    I originally erroneously thought the Sam Harris audio was removed from the site but corrected that mistake. Unfortunately it still remains in the link address but not the post itself …

    Another thing that particularly annoyed me was how whyevloutionistrue tried to use sympathy for the victims to distance themselves from any ideological responsibility. Of course we don’t yet know the full story but I still contend that if it had been a Muslim shooter, most atheists would be quoting chapter and verse and blaming the inherent violence of Islam for “radicalizing” the shooter.

    • And when you make general statements like that about “most atheists”, you would be making assumptions just like you are already doing with the murderer in Chapel Hill.

      For someone who is apparently very concerned about bigotry and generalizations, you use a number of them yourself.

      • Quran (2:191-193) – “And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah [disbelief or unrest] is worse than killing…

        So right there. Quran states killing an unbeliever is less of a crime than non belief. Somebody claims that this is an instruction from the creator of the universe, then kills people.

        I wonder why people would come to the conclusion that these are connected

      • That’s exactly my point. Many, if not most, new atheists continuously make generalizations about religion, especially Islam. And when you point it out, they attack you for supposed logical errors instead of answering the questions.

        I’m bigoted against myself? I am not “apparently” concerned, I am “genuinely” concerned. That kind of criticism is exactly the kind of deflection that I am trying, unsuccessfully, to point out. I see Sam Harris et al as providing the rationale for declaring a Holy War (secular West against Islam) in the Middle East, as contradictory as that may sound at first.

        How many times has Bill Maher used specific cases of terrorism to condemn all of Islam and then claimed to be criticizing Islamic “ideology” as the cause? And who does he use to rationalize his bigotry? Sam Harris, who believes Islam “is the mother-load of bad ideas.”

        I know I’m repeating myself but I am trying to talk realpolitik, how misunderstood ideas are expressed in the actions of real people in the real world. New Atheists claim their ideas are repercussion-free critiques that have no effect on the real world and that they are not responsible for how wackos interpret their often vitriolic criticisms. Instead they attack critics like me. Because I am too stupid? Because I am not mature enough to sit at the adult table? Because I am incapable of forming reasonable remarks?

        In Canada we had a shooter, Justin Bourque, in New Brunswick who gunned down four RCMP constables in cold blood last year. His web presence was full of right wing, anti government, pro-gun, Fox News like trash talk. Yet, nobody, including atheists, wants to call him a terrorist. He’s described as a lone wolf wacko with authority issues ….

        But use the pronoun WE, like the shooter who attacked our Parliament did in a one minute cell video released two days ago, without any other proof of a real world connection to ISIS whatsoever (so far), and suddenly there is no doubt he’s an Islamic terrorist instead of a lone wolf wacko. And our government is using it to scare people into forming what can only be described as a secret police enabling, American style civil rights destroying, Patriot Act. Ours is called simply Bill C-51.

        Yea, I get pissed at the denials. Yea I’m a pain in the ass. Yea I’ve been blocked by Jerry Coyne for questioning the repercussions of bigoted “intellectual” criticism of ALL religion, especially Islam, made by Sam Harris, a high Priest of the New Atheist movement. They can dish it out but they can’t take it. And YES there is a double standard at play. They always seem to resort to insulting the intelligence of their critics instead of answering the questions.

        I also believe Creationists are dangerous idiots poisoning the minds of children about how science actually works… the Bible is not a science book and science is not a religion, ei. my first post in a nutshell … Most Christians, Muslims, Jews, have no problem with evolution…

      • Pete, if you don’t like what I do. Then leave. I’m not inclined to babysit someone who makes as many generalizations as he *claims* others do and who makes plenty of utterly unsupported claims and lies.

        Clean up your act or under the couch you go.

      • PS: My jaded opinion that “most” atheists are guilty of a double standard is derived from having read too many atheist’s comments on many news stories and news sites re: religion, creationism, terrorism, Islamophobia etc. I know that’s not proof, it’s anecdotal but it is where I see how the average atheist actually interprets the ideas put forward by New Atheists … It ain’t pretty.

  12. This is a demonstration of breaking out and identifying fallacies:

    “You demand answers but cannot give any.”

    Flipping the burden of proof, argument from ignorance

    “When answers are given, you can’t comprehend them.”

    Circular reasoning, poisoning the well

    “That’s because you are an atheist.”

    Ad Hom

    “Atheism is the mind killer.”

    Ignoring the counterevidence . Poisoning the well.

  13. lol

    The above train wreck demonstrates that some come to debate the issues, whilst others come to debate debating,

  14. Ok. You win. After my initial post I went off on a irrelevant tangent full of overblown accusations that had more to do with my recent experiences rather than what was actually being discussed here. I got distracted by the fight instead of the facts. Mia Culpa. Carry on. Like you said, “People can be taught. I do not give up the fight.” Lesson learned. Thanks for at least letting me vent and not cutting me off. (I still think arguing with creationists is mostly a waste of time.)

    Ron – I assume you’re talking about me. Train Wreck? Maybe. I might argue it’s more a case of questioning the motives of the debaters rather than debating debating. Either way I agree with the LOL ….

      • Thou art a base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three-suited, hundred-pound, filthy worsted-stocking knave; a lily-liver’d, action-taking, whoreson, glass-gazing, superserviceable, finical rogue; one-trunk-inheriting slave; one that wouldst be a bawd in way of good service, and art nothing but the composition of a knave, beggar, coward, pandar, and the son and heir of a mongrel bitch; one whom I will beat into clamorous whining if thou deniest the least syllable of thy addition.

  15. Though I have to say Pete does have a point about it being pointless to argue with dedicated theists. No matter what, they aren’t going to be reasoned into…well using reason. The only hope is said exchange is/will be/could be observed by a fence sitter and when they see that the atheist can construct a fully reasoned and logical position and the theist can not, that might bring them around. I’ve been told by two people that my arguments were part of the reason they became an atheist. Not once ever since yammering on this subject on the interwebs since 1995 has a dedicated apologist along the lines of SOM has switched sides in front of me. A scant few, however, did change and see the point of secularism in government.

    And on the subjects of the big atheist authors, I liked the writings of both Hitchens and Dawkins overall. However found Hitchen’s dedicated anti-Islam as an excuse for war stance not well reasoned and Dawkins being soft on the Church of England but so virulently anti-papist to the point of stupid a way too obvious a legacy of being terribly British.

    • Yep I know that some people will never change. The only self-worth they have is inextricably bound up with their religion. I have gotten *one* theist to become an atheist, and that with help from others. This was way back when on the Why Won’t God Heal Amputees forum where I encountered an apologist with the screen name “Vynn”, and who at the end , told me that it was partly my doggedness in countering him that caused him to realize he was wrong. However, hope still springs eternal and I hope to at least let other atheists and as you say, fencesitters, know that it’s okay to disbelieve and to counter the myths.

      I’ve never read any of the “four horsemen” like Hitch, et al. I saw Hitch on tv about the war and though he was quite an idiot and had no idea at the time he was an atheist. He could occasionally turn a phrase well, though.

      • Dawkins is at his finest when explaining evolution in writing, his entrenched anti-theist position when it came to how people shouldn’t be allowed to raise children in faith and him wanting to have the pope arrested was him at his worst. Hitchens was his best in debate, him talking about war in the middle east is him at his worst.

        You see. NOT HIGH PRIESTS. even they acknowledge their possible wrongness. Dawkins even burned his own book in the same barbeque as a bible and Quran to demonstrate nothing is sacrosanct. Can you imagine some HIGH PRIEST doing that?

        And none of them ever said “kill the believers” so how they supposedly to answer for Chapel Hill? As opposed people who promote a holy book that has passages that condemn non believers and violators to death as the word of the omniscient creator of the universe…those people cannot have any shared culpability to the million and millions that were killed because of those passages.

        These are not equivalents; it is NOT hypocrisy to hold them in different lights.

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