Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – oh look, excuses by a Christian on why their god does nothing

A Christian commenter on this blog, “Alexander Phaethon” has written this set of excuses for why his god does nothing at all when it comes to children being killed. I’ve added some paragraphing so it’s not one block of text.

“I am, most likely to annoyance of most, going to cite free will here. It’s very true that multiple times in the Bible God intervened to stop a situation, Jesus’s sacrifice in fact is the best example of this. That being said, the Bible explicitly states that we will face trials and tribulation, so God never said everything would always be sunny and bright.

God gives us free will, that means that some people are going to do the wrong things. God actually does intervene in this though, whether we see it or not. For starters, He told Adam and Eve not to eat the apple. When they did, He gave us, conscience, morality, and a list of rules and commandments with which we can shape our lives in the right direction, and then He sent His Son to die for us so that we might be forgiven when we go astray and have the ability to get to heaven.

It’s not my choice whether or not the atheists here choose to believe this, but I wanted to point two things out here. Number one, a person who writes, according to Nan, a “VERY long” essay attempting to blame a being they, presumably, don’t believes exists, is most likely very bitter about something; I would also question this persons line of thought.

Furthermore, it seems to me that such an endeavor as this essay is such a waste of time; if you don’t believe in God, fine, but at least devote your time to writing something useful. Finally, atheists have long proven that they believe they do not need God, therefore, I cannot understand why they are so upset when He doesn’t intervene; after all, why should an atheist expect God to intervene if they think he doesn’t exist? One final thought, God can intervene miraculously sometimes, but we also can’t foresee how certain acts or situations will effect the future.

As terrible as a shooting is, perhaps God did not intervene because that shooting will profoundly change our world and help us make sure that shootings happen less; in other words, if God had prevented that shooting, maybe He also allowed many future shootings. The point is, we do not have the understanding of God, so why should we blame Him when something bad happens? Rather, we should use tragic events as a means to come together and find solutions to some of these problems, not tear each other down, as some people have tried to do here, and in many places elsewhere.”

Well, he hits all of the classic whines and excuses.

Here’s my response:

Alex, you will cite free will, and I, and most here will just sigh at your ignorance. There is no free will in your bible, and as soon as your god assigned the idiotic “original sin”, free will was done.

The bible also says this god will protect its followers from everything. So all your argument ends up being is a display on how the bible is incoherent.

Let me cite those verses for you.

“7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 Is there anyone among you who, if your child asked for bread, would give a stone? 10 Or if the child asked for a fish, would give a snake? 11 If you, then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” Matthew 7

“19 Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”” Matthew 18

funny how no exceptions are mentioned here or in the following.

“22 Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. 23 Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and if you do not doubt in your heart but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you. 24 So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Mark 11

“17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: by using my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”” Mark 16

unsurprisingly, not a single Christian can do this. Did the bible lie or are you all simply not getting something right?

“12 Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If in my name you ask me[f] for anything, I will do it.” John 14

“7 If you abide in me and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” John 15

“13 Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise. 14 Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up, and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. 17 Elijah was a human like us, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. 18 Then he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth yielded its harvest.” James 5

It is not until 1 John where the excuse that one has to pray for what is already this god’s will, which makes prayer useless and it is a lovely excuse for when the aforementioned promises fail.

“Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” Romans 12

” God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, ” Psalm 91

“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.” Psalm 23 (quite a failure for the “shepherd”)

In Eden, your god said that the entire garden was for humans in the first story, and in the second version it says don’t eat or you will die that day. So we have no mention of magic trees or we have a lie. You get to choose which one is the “real” story, Alex.

This god of yours didn’t want humans to know right and wrong, Alex. It only wanted obedience. The only reason we have a conscience, per your myths, is because Eve ate the apple. The god wanted us ignorant. Eve gave us morality. And then, rather than just resetting things with Adam and EVe, your god throws a tantrum, and blames everyone for what they did, destroying any concept of free will. If I am damned through no fault of my own, there is no free will. Then your god decides, after failing for supposed thousands of years, that it needs a death by torture to make it feel better. That’s simply disgusting.

Then, Alex, you try the usual whine of “oh dear, why do atheists point out how idiotic we are if they don’t believe in it?” It’s because your lies cause real harm, Alex. No one needs to be “bitter” to point out lies. Devoting one’s time to pointing out lies is useful, and happily, here in the US, Chrsitianity is losing followers. From a 90+% belief rate, we are down into the 70s. And in addition to that, Christians all contradict each other, so there aren’t even that many TrueChristians(tm) in existence; they all hate each other.

Your religion depends on victim blaming when its lies and false promises fail. You invent excuses, including that someone didn’t pray “correctly”, wasn’t a “real” Christian, to cling to this harmful nonsense.

You have no evidence that this god intervenes at all, “miraculously” or not. You try to offer the tedious Christian claim of “but but maybe god needs to kill a child for his “plan”” Hmm, if there is a plan, then there is no free will, ifthis god must take the life of someone, the ultimate ceasing of free will.

You are just one more selfish, ignorant Christian, Alex. There is no surprises here with your excuses. You try to claim “but but we can’t understand god” when you claim to constantly understand him when it comes to what morals this god wants, etc. it’s ever so convenient to claim “God’s mysterious ways”. You have no problem at all praising god when something good happens, stealing the honor and responsibility from humans as is the wont of selfish, greedy Christians.

I don’t need kids being literally ripped apart by bullets to “come together” or to “teach”. That you do shows exactly how Christianity is evil. And yes dear, I can say that with my happily subjective morality. I would not accept such atrocities by a human so I certainly wouldn’t from a god.

As for your rules, funny how you and other Christians don’t follow them when you don’t feel like it. You invent reasons why the inconvenient ones don’t apply to you.

The excuses and false claimed used by Alex, and *so* many Christians, are why I stand against Christianity.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – please welcome Alex, a Christian who has asked to debate me

A Christian has asked to debate me, Alexander Phaethon, of the blog Peace of Mind. He comes to us from commenting on my last blog post, about a christian who insists that everyone agrees with her. You can see what kind of a Christian he is on his comment here. He also commented that he is “I’m technically 50 percent white 50 percent Latino.” He does think that Elizabeth, the one who insists that everyone agrees with her is correct. We’ll get to that in a bit.

You can follow along in the comments below. If it gets too unwieldly, I’ll open another post to continue.

To start off, Alex has asked this “Well, lets just start with our base beliefs and then will get to Elizabeth’s claim. What are your reasons for believing that there is no God, and also what then do you believe is the point of life?”

Alex, the reason I don’t believe in any gods, including the many variations of the Christian god, is that there is no evidence at all for their existences. Not one event claimed to have been caused by your god, or any other, can be shown to have happened. There is also no evidence that any of these gods come through for their worshippers as they promise in the various holy books that theists have.

Now to focus the Christianity we both are familiar with, there are dozens, if not far more, of versions, all of which contradict each other. That Christians cannot agree on the most basic things in their religion, (e.g. how one is saved, what heaven and hell are, what this god considers a sin, what morals this god wants, which parts of the bible to consider literal, exaggerated or metaphor, etc), nor convince each other that their version is the “right” one, shows that there is little reason to think that there is any “right” version. This is especially true since not one self-described Christian can do what your supposed messiah promised you would be able to do. Those abilities are described in Mark 16, John 14 and James 5, among other places.

I do say self-described since that is the only way to know who a Christian is since you all point at those Christians who don’t agree with you and claim they aren’t Christians, but you cannot show this to be the case.

Could there be a “right” version? Perhaps, but I see no evidence of what it is or that it exists.

The second part of your request is “what then do you believe is the point of life?” I don’t see that there has to be a “point” aka “meaning” for life that is external to the person living a life. There is life since physics allows for it. I’m alive, a meerkat is alive, my cats are alive, the collard greens plants in my backyard garden are alive.

I give meaning to my own life, and that is to help others when I can so they can enjoy their life too, to enjoy my life which means loving my spouse, my kitties, my friends, having tasty meals, a comfy bed, a nice glass of wine or beer or bourbon, creating art, gardening, etc. I am largely Epicurean (a brief description: “Epicurus believed that the greatest good was to seek modest, sustainable pleasure in the form of a state of ataraxia (tranquility and freedom from fear) and aponia (the absence of bodily pain) through knowledge of the workings of the world and limiting desires.”) in worldview, with a splash of Stoicism.

When I was a Christian, I was taught that the meaning of life was to obey the god of Christianity, and if I was approved of, I’d get to exist forever in heaven. I’m quite happy to have left that behind, since I finally did realize that the god of Christianity wasn’t anything I would want to obey, even if it were real. I read the bible and found out what it says, not the expurgated version that pastors and priests give. I found I had far better morals than this god from reading comic books and watching Star Trek than what the bible teaches. No promise of eternal life would be worth following such a horrible being as the god depicted in the bible.

Now, you probably are asking about what I found “horrible”. The following:

1. A god that condemns everyone for the supposed actions of two. This eliminates free will. This also is the story of Eden, where this god intentionally keeps Adam and Eve ignorant of what good and evil are, and blames them for not obeying him when they would have had no idea that not obeying this god was “evil”.
2. A god that kills every living thing on earth except for 8 people horribly by drowning. This includes children and animals who did nothing wrong. See the noah flood.
3. A god that mind controls humans so it has an excuse for abusing and killing them, including children. See Exodus 4, Joshua 11.
4. A god that repeatedly commits and commands genocide and rape of girls, see Numbers 31.
5. The idea of a blood sacrifice by torture required for “salvation” from this god’s actions that it screwed up in Eden. See the whole Jesus story.
6. The idea that if you don’t believe in the right god you deserve eternal torture. per both Jesus and paul.
7. The lunacy and viciousness of Revelation where this god works with its supposed archenemy to corrupt its followers after it kills everyone else.

If you’d like me to clarify, do ask. Alex, my questions to you are how do you know your version is right? What is the best evidence you think there is that your god exists? And what do *you* think the meaning of life is?

Addendum: 5/4/22: how this ends up here:

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – a new pair of apologists

I found a new blog with a pair of Christian gals who want to address us atheists, agnostics and non-christians. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to be very aware of counter apologetics and may regret what they’ve started. They seem nice enough, but terribly ignorant. We’ll see how this goes.

Here’s a response to one of their posts. :

Sarah and Hannah, the burden of proof does lie with theists.  You all make the claim of some supernatural entity or entities existing.  You have no evidence that your particular god or gods exists.  You all use much the same arguments to try to convince others your particular god/gods exist.  Those arguments fail since they are too vague to be able to find your god.   You also insist that each other’s god or gods don’t exist, disbelieving in your own arguments if they are applied to another god. 

Yes, atheists do make good points for there being no god or gods.  You, as a fellow atheist, also do since I suspect that you would say you don’t believe in other gods since there is no evidence for them.  The argument from evil is potent but even more potent is that there is no actual evidence for these gods and the events they supposedly caused. 

That you don’t like the conclusion that there is no god or gods is immaterial to the fact that there is no evidence for them.  Humans do indeed like to try to pretend that something will take care of them, that they won’t have to die and end forever.  That doesn’t mean that any gods exist or they won’t cease to exist.  You offer the same “reason” to believe that other theists do again. 

The conclusion that there is no god is not there to give you peace or purpose.  That’s up to you to create for yourself.  The only part that you lose is the baseless belief that you are somehow special and important to some magical being.  There are plenty of worldviews that say slow down and listen and give peace.  I suggest Epicureanism or Stoicism.  Read the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius for some rather startlingly good wisdom from a Stoic.   You can find it all over the internet since it is out of copyright 😊    Here are a few quotes from him:

“”Say to yourself in the early morning: I shall meet today ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All of these things have come upon them through ignorance of real good and ill… I can neither be harmed by any of them, for no man will involve me in wrong, nor can I be angry with my kinsman or hate him; for we have come into the world to work together.” ~ Marcus Aurelius”

“”Don’t be ashamed to need help. Like a soldier storming a wall, you have a mission to accomplish. And if you’ve been wounded and you need a comrade to pull you up? So what?” ~ Marcus Aurelius”

Having been a Christian I agree with you, Christian apologists are embarrassing, for their incoherence and their outright lies.  The first cause argument gets Christians nowhere, since there is no evidence a god of any kind is needed, and Christians can’t agree on the most basic things in their religion: what morals this god wants, what heaven and hell are, how to be saved, etc. 

I’ve read the bible in its entirety as a believer and as not.  The god in the bible is nothing more than a petty human writ large, just like every other god invented by bronze/iron age humans.  It is ignorant, violent, genocidal, kills children and has no problem with slavery.  I can get what little good is in the bible from other sources and don’t have to invent excuses why I should worship such a god. 

Do you want a god that kills a child for no fault of its own as part of your child’s life?  Your god, per the bible, kills David’s son for David’s actions. So much for free will or love.  Do you want a god that says slaves should never seek their freedom (1 Peter 2) in your child’s life?  How about a god that demands that young girls are kept for war booty and given as sex slaves to its temple and to its followers (Numbers 31)? 

There is much more to this world than suffering and its up to us humans to fix it.  We do not need failed prayers and victim blaming when this god does nothing.  You won’t see anyone again, but they will be still in your memories.  Your god, per the bible, doesn’t love each person as an individual.  It kills them and tortures them for eternity if they don’t agree with it.  That isn’t love.  There is no free will, aka “agency” in your bible since anytime it interferes with human action, free will disappears.  As soon as it mind controls someone to get its way, Exodus 4, Exodus 9 and Joshua 11, free will disappears.  Per both Jesus and Paul, this god has already chosen who it will allow to accept it, and then damns the rest for no fault of their own, to be used to keep the others in line (Matthew 13, Romans 9). 

Any set of myths present different characters, so there is nothing special about the bible in that way either.  Those stories also present the god I describe above, violent, ignorant, petty, and not even coming up to the half-decent description of love in 1 Corinthians.  No one needs such a petty tyrant as a god. 

I have no problem in knowing I’ll eventually die.  I don’t need a false story to make me feel better.  I prefer the truth.  The lack of a god is quite comprehensible and palatable, considering the nasty god of Christianity.  I don’t have to fear any sadistic fantasy of hell. That’s quite comforting.

There are many “god believers” who are hateful, who have committed suicide (despite the promise in the bible that this god will never leave someone alone), who don’t get up, who have no purpose in life.  And there are plenty of atheists, and non-Christians who are well-adjusted, get up everyday, have purpose in life and life for something greater than themselves.   

So, since other theists do exactly what you do, does this mean their gods are as real as yours?  Your own words say so, claiming that there is “empirical evidence” in the actions of believers.  Alas, there is nothing that shows that Christians’ lives are better, that they are better adjusted and that they alone give hope to those around them.  

That you try to claim that atheists, agnostics and non-christian theists can’t is rather pitiable that you need to make false claims to make yourself feel superior

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – yet one more list of questions for atheists that fails

This is a list of 29 (!) questions from a family of apologists that style themselves the AIIA Institute (such a lovely appeal to authority attempt. Anyone can start an “institute”).  I found out about them since they took out a full-page ad in Yankee Magazine (a regional tourism, etc magazine for the northeast US).  They are evangelical Christians and the typical sadistic beliefs about hell, etc.  They also believe that the bible is without error or fault.  Of course, that only holds up within their own claims of what the bible “really” means.

I’m really, really bored at work, waiting on a refit.  There is not one thing new here at all.  It is a decent list of just how incompetent apologists are.

Unsurprisingly, this starts out with the claim that these questions are only for “sincere” skeptics, which in evangel-speak, those who are going to agree with the Christian.  The rest of us are to be deemed insincere and thus untrustworthy since we dare not to agree with the particular version of Christianity presented. 

“1) What would it take to persuade you to become a believer?”

Evidence.  And do specify which version of Christianity I’m supposed to become a believer in. Oh and what would it take for you to become a Wicca (or insert any religion here)?

“2) If you could be persuaded that Christianity is true, would you become a Christian?”

Nope, the god described is ignorant and violent.  I have better standards than that.

“3) Do you believe that it’s absolutely true that all truth is relative, or that it’s only relatively true that absolute truth exists?”

A rather hilariously phrased question.  There are truths aka facts.  Nothing shows that any religion’s baseless claims are facts.

“4) On what ground do you (or anyone else) stand to object[1]ively answer the previous question?”

Facts existing.  If you don’t accept facts, do put your hand in some molten steel to check if reality is an opinion.

“5) Would you agree that one can be legitimately persuaded about what is true on the basis of a preponderance of evidence, not just on the basis of 100% empirical proof?”

Yep.  Nice admission that you have no evidence.

“6) Are you only skeptical about Christianity, or are you unsure about just how many gods you doubt, about the reality of knowledge itself, or about whether you even actually exist?”

Another hilariously phrased question by someone desperate to make a “gotcha” question.  There is no evidence for *any* god.  No reason to doubt reality (see molten steel point above) or my existence.  But nice try to find a gap for your god.  

“7) Is it possible that your skepticism is based on pride or on a lack of effort to resolve it?”

Nope.  I’m not the one who has made up a god in their image. What I have is self-respect and I don’t need to believe in a petty god.   

“8) Is it possible that your unbelief in a perfect God is the result of some negative experience that you’ve had with imperfect Christians?”

Nope, they were perfect Christians e.g. humans who think that some imaginary being agrees with them.  Some were nice, some weren’t.  Still no evidence for their versions, and your version, of a god.  

“9) If every effect has a cause, who or what caused the cosmos?”

Don’t know.  Still no evidence for your god.  

“10) From whence derives humanity’s universal moral sense?”

There is no such thing as “humanity’s universal moral sense”.  We do have some morals in common since they help civilization work.  And funny how Christians can’t agree what morals their god wants.  

“11) Please explain how personality could have evolved from impersonal matter, or how order and the irreducibly complex components of life could have resulted from chaos.”

 Don’t quite know yet.  Still no evidence for your god. 

“12) Are you able to live consistently and happily with every aspect of your present worldview and skepticism?”

Yep.  This is the common Christian attempt to claim that atheists *must* be nihilists.  Happily we aren’t, and Chritsianity has no lock on benevolence or humaneness.  

“13) Wouldn’t it make better sense to live as though the God of the Bible exists rather than to live as though He doesn’t, just in case He does?”

Nothing more than Pascal’s Wager.   Takes a stupid god to accept people who are believing “just in case”.

“14) In what sense was Jesus a ‘Good Man’ if He was lying in His claims to be God?”

Jesus is imaginary.  The unknown author was writing down baseless claims.  Just like any guy who wrote a myth down e.g. Hesiod, etc.

“15) Most people are unwilling to write off Jesus’ claims to be God as mere self-delusion, pathological lying, early-on rumors that got out of hand, or the idea that He was an alien first-century avatar. But if one of those postulates are realistic, how would you explain His claims?”

I do wonder, who the heck has said that Jesus was an alien?   This is a variant on the lord liar lunatic nonsense that forgets one “L”:  legend.  These weren’t JC’s claims; they were the unknown authors.  

“16) How do you explain how one man with no formal education, who was virtually untrav[1]eled, and died at age 33, is still today radically affecting lives and society?”

Hmmm, do you explain how one man with no formal education, who was virtually untraveled, and died at age 62, is still today radically affecting lives and society?   Oh yeah, that was Mohammed.  No evidence of JC at all. The answer, people are gullible. 

“17) If Jesus’ resurrection was faked, why would 11 intelligent middle-aged men (Jesus’ disciples) have willingly died for what they knew to be a lie?”

There is no evidence of apostles either.  All you have is a set of claims aka the bible.  Claims of martyrdom are baseless.  

18) Have you ever considered the fact that Christianity is the only religion whose leader is reported to have risen from the dead?

 Yes.  So?  No evidence of that at all.

19) How do you explain the empty tomb of Jesus given the fact that credentialed scholars have countered every single attempt to refute it, e.g. the swoon theory, hallucination theory, stolen body hypothesis, etc.?

Christians can’t agree on the tomb’s location, so no reason to think that one was ever full or emptied.  It’s a story.

“20) How can one realistically discount the eyewitness testimony of over 500 witnesses to a living Jesus following His crucifixion (see 1 Corinthians 15:6)?”

ROFL.  There is no such thing as eyewitness testimony of over 500 people. There is a claim of 500 unknown people seeing Jesus, written by an unknown author.   Nice try to lie about what the bible says: “Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died.”

“21) How do you explain David’s graphic portrayal of Jesus’ death by crucifixion in Psalm 22, written 600 years or more previous to crucifixion ever even being used as a form of capital punishment?”

Psalm 22 literally has not one mention of anything (the rest of the article about the psalm: 2nd part, 3rd part) like cruxifiction.  It does mention shriveled feet, and a lot about cows, and dogs and lions (but no tigers or bears).     

“22) Why does the Bible alone, of all of the world’s sacred literature, contain hundreds and hundreds of meticulously fulfilled prophecies?”

It doesn’t have “meticulously fulfilled prophecies” either.   Not one bit can be shown to be a coherent prophecy.

“23) How did 40 men of many varied professions, over a period of 1,500 years, and living on three separate continents, ever manage to author one unified message, i.e. the Bible?”

No evidence of any of these claims e.g. “40 men”, on separate “continents”, and over 1500 years.  As for a unified message?  ROFL.  Oh my.  The poor bible is a mash of contradicting messages.  How do we know?  It takes an entire industry of “apologetics” to try to make it make sense, and even apologists don’t agree.

“24) How is it reasonable to doubt the reliability of Scripture considering the fact that the number of copies of Bible manuscripts and their proximity to the original manuscripts far exceeds that of all other ancient literature?”

No “original manuscripts” so this claim is simply a lie from the start.   Add to that the number of copies or accuracy makes nothing true.  If this was the case, Dianetics is more true than the bible, and we’re all in danger of thetan infestation.

“25) How do you account for the vast ongoing archaeological documentation of the accuracy of Bible stories, places, and people?”

There is no “ongoing archaeological documentation of the accuracy of the bible”.  What we do find is that the claims of the bible are unsupported by archaeology e.g. the nonsense of “exodus” never happened.   

“26) Why were/are so many brilliant scientists, dead and alive, men and women of strong Christian faith?”

Argument from authority logical fallacy.  The Christian also fails to mention that the various people he is claiming were/are from vastly different versions of Christianity.   

“27) Because earth and life origins are observable, verifiable, or falsifiable, how does so-called historical science amount to anything more than just another faith system?”

“Historical science?”     

“28) How is the Second Law of Thermodynamics reconcilable with modern progress[1]ive naturalistic evolutionary theory?”

Again, the Christian demonstrates a complete ignorance of the laws of thermodynamics.  The poor dears can’t grasp that we are not in a closed system. 

“29) If you are nothing more than the random assembly of molecules over vast eons of time, and if you will therefore soon cease to exist, why care about anything? Why go on?”

Why not? I’m enjoying myself. Here the poor Christian is using the typical fear and ignorance his religion requires to exist.  He also tries to pretend that atheists have to be nihilists.  Happily, most of us aren’t. 

“Why oh why aren’t people flocking to Christianity anymore?” ask the believers.  Because apologetics fail.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – my notes while I was watching the video

Here are my notes when I was watching my chat with Robert.  I hadn’t known that he was going to include his comentary but that’s fine.  These notes are long.  Unfortunately for Robert, I’ve learned to not trust Christians.  I’ve also put these remarks on youtube with the video.  I don’t know if they’ll show up.

It is true that there are Christian scientists. We also have Isaac Newton, an antitrinitarian Christian, who got us a lot of knowledge but also thought that alchemy works. It is true that Christians had to step away from the bible and its contradictions and false claims about reality and try a more metaphorical interpretation.

References to Christian things isn’t a turn off, because I know how Christians think, a lot of different kinds of Christians. Just saying what you believe doesn’t bother me or offend me. However, that doesn’t mean I won’t show how it fails.

Before the Big Bang, we aren’t sure of what was in existence. Currently, we aren’t sure if the BB is part of a series, etc. From what we can see, it seems that there couldn’t have been time. However, we have nothing that says that the laws of physics couldn’t have existed. We also don’t know if infinities really work or not. They are really weird. The idea of a universe that ends seems to go against what the bible claims as some magical event with people flying around, being raised from the dead and either being destroyed or eternally tortured.

I do love the science fiction analogy but it fails since it doesn’t have an omnipotent being, which could do anything by interpretation. Other than Contact, the book “The Hercules Text” is an even better version of that story IMO.

I do understand what transcendence means and so do most atheists. I do see evidence that it happens as claimed by Christians. As for a “nest of vipers”, Christianity is so self-contradictory, and Christians make up their versions in their own image that there is no such thing as true Christianity. And yep, I am critical of Christianity from every perspective. Christians have little choice to be hypocrites since few read the bible, and as above, have made up their religion in their images.

I’m as doubtful about Christianity in general, as each Christian doubts each other. We can see that schism in the current splitting of the Methodist church.

To claim that one doesn’t believe in god, but being a theist is rather silly and seems to be a little bit of a dodge. For a theist to be a theist, there is a god. For Christian, there is the one defined in the bible. Catholics do have other sources they claim just as valid. If there is no god, then there is no eden, then no need of Jesus. Repeating something out of rote if you have no idea it is true then it is pointless.

Properity gospel is silly but it is as Christian as any other Chrisitan claim. JC (Jesus Christ) says that any prayer, any ask, will be answered. Shall we disbelieve that?

People who are different in IQ do have trouble in communicating. However, neither are omnipotent. IF this god can’t make itself understood, then it isn’t omnipotent. Even a smart person can modify their words to help others understand them. This god doesn’t or can’t do that.

That a Christian wants to ignore Paul or at least part of what he says isn’t new. If something is just an “interpretation by Paul” and we can discount it in favor of something else, then why consider any of the bible to be some magical truth? Claims of “mystery” is a way to dodge problematic issues in religion.

“go with the interpretation which leads towards love”. Here is a problematic statement. Christians constantly tell me that they love me, Jesus loves me, God loves me, and there is no evidence of this. Even if you go with the definition of love in 1 Corinthians, this god fails it, and if Jesus is this god, Jesus fails it (though Jesus sometimes seems far more loving with his concern with the poor, the sick, etc). In my experience, for most Christians love doesn’t mean a concern for someone for which you’d do almost anything to make them happy and to protect them. Love for them is obedience to this god no matter what in the belief that this god will protect them and give them what they want.

It isn’t interesting that someone goes to 1 Corinthians and says that it’s a pretty good definition of “love”. In the bible, where we hear about love, it is what the bible defines “love” as. And this god fails that definition. It isn’t that this atheist thinks that the bible is right, I think that it is fairly close to what love is, not that it and it alone has the right definition of “love”. And no, it didn’t make me happy at all. I wanted nothing to do with any bible nonsense. As I said, it made other people happy, Christians who I am related to who I do care about. That’s what real love is.

Nope, no Christ needed to be loving. I am entirely disappointed with Robert that he tries to make that claim.

Christians do indeed disagree and contradict each other. It isn’t using this as a tool, it is a fact that Christians differ from each other in very basic ways. It is true that Christians make Christ into what they want, and no, he didn’t supposedly said anything new or special. We’ve had the “golden rule” for vastly longer than Christianity has existed. The ancient Chinese had it, the ancient Hebrews had it and the ancient Egyptians had it. Jesus had a different interpretation of this god nonsense just like every Christian has a different interpretation of what Christ/god supposedly said. Resurrection comes from latin sugere which means to rise or spring up. In- as a prefix means   insurrection means act of instance of revolting against an authority aka rebel. Of course, in- as a prefix is a pain in the ass. Does this mean “not rising”? Does it mean “on or in a rising”? that last seems more like it. In any case it means the same as rebel though I can understand it can have different connotations to people rather than the denotation that it gets in the dictionary (my English teacher taught me “D – dictionary, denotation; C – connotation, impliCation”

The claim that no one “really” knows what Christ is saying and that this is where “fundamentalism” comes from, is Christians trying to claim each other are wrong. If we can’t trust the words from the authors or the translators, then there is no reason to believe any of them. Jesus says to follow the laws in Exodus, Leviticus etc. Should they all be followed? Some?

The same holds true for the question “what is baptism?” Well, we get a pretty good idea from what John the “Baptist” did. However, as Robert says, there are many different version of what Christians think is baptism. In my area, there are the Amish which are a part of the anabaptist movement. What indeed is a “truly” baptized Christian? In Mark 16, it says that any baptized believer in Christ as savior can do magic aka miracles. Is this the reason that no Christian can since none of them were “really” baptized?

Being a “manager” doesn’t help much with facts especially when you have a baseless claim that something that has no evidence is “good” for them. It also doesn’t work when a manager isn’t omniscient and this god supposedly is. There is no evidence that this god can create anything much less a “clockwork mechanism”. This is the argument that this god didn’t want to create something perfect because it wanted “free will”. As those who have read my blog before, free will never comes up in the bible. We have miracles which is this god interfering with human actions. As soon as it interferes, there is no free will. We also have very definite times where this god removes free will: killing a child for the actions of its parents, forcing the Egyptians to give up their wealth to the Israelites, hardening Pharoah’s heart so it can show off, etc.


This god pushes people constantly in the bible. Again, what the bible says and what a Christian wants is different. If things that are perfect are “dead”, then that doesn’t give much hope for heaven.

In regards to abortion, this is another example of love as obedience.

There is no evidence that this god is “infinite”. So one can escape. It isn’t nihilistic to be good with the universe ending. Being accepting of death isn’t nihilism. Death is part of life. I get out of the way of someone new. I would miss being alive and I don’t want anyone to be sad I was gone. Not wanting this god or this heaven isn’t nihilism.

“The bible isn’t the message”.   There is no evidence that the “message” is anything different than the bible or that it is “bigger” than the bible. As much as Quakers and Catholics want to pretend otherwise, this is where they started. That they have changed their minds and declared they have some new truth is nothing new; all Christians reinvent their religion in their own image.  There is nothing to show that this god started the message and the universe is around 13 billion years old (we keep refining that number with new information but it is around that old per all the evidence we have) not “3 trillion years old”. Not even remotely.

There is nothing to show that the Christian claims are evolving across time. That is a modern Christian claim. And again, there is no reason for this god for not giving the absolute truth. It is materially false when the bible makes claims that aren’t true. That we are still looking at the universe and though we though it was one way e.g. “steady state” vs big bang, no one said that this was a magical divinely given “truth”. Christians claims truths and then a generation later those supposed truths change, often in response to very human changes in morality or in response to scientific discoveries. Scientists don’t say “God told me this is the truth.”

The BBT doesn’t say that the universe is expanding from a “central point”. The BBT is far more bizarre than that.

We do find and refine what we think is true. The claims of Christians shouldn’t have to do that.  If this god is limited by humans, it isn’t much of a god, especially when Christians claim that this god damns people for not getting things “right”.

“who says what it says and which bible” This is in response to me pointing out what the bible says. Chrsitians all claim that they and they alone know what it “really” says. And, since this is the case, there is some truth in saying “who says what it says”. Christians make that up as they go along, with no more evidence than the next Christian who disagrees with them, “love” not withstanding. If the translation makes a difference, then why does it? Can this god do nothing about that? Why does this god allow “wrong” translations and then damns people who don’t know any better?

Robert says he is a universal salvationist which essentially means that everyone will have a chance at accepting this god and some thing that we will all agree with them that this god is what they say. Robert might not agree with this exactly but this is what I’m going with since the ‘net seems to think this is what it means.   As I noted, this is very much not what the bible says or what most Christians believe. He believes that eventually that I or everyone who isn’t Christian will “eventually lose” and we will have to accept this god’s message. No matter what it is. According to Robert, the only way to avoid the heat death of the universe is to accept his god. If this god is what is presented in the bible, I don’t want it or its afterlife. I have better morals than that and as it stands this heaven can’t seem to exist since it by being perfect is “dead”.

It didn’t surprise me much to have Robert think that C.S. Lewis’ idea of hell in “The Last Divorce” to be preferable to the fire and worms that the bible presents. However, C.S. Lewis presents a hell where Christians forget those they loved. A good review of this book is here. In short form, C.S blames the non-Christian, in my opinion blaming the victim. Honest doubt is claimed to be nothing more than intellectual laziness and selfishness, if one dares to disagree with the author. Lewis also ignores the bible and has that those in hell can leave by choice. The bible never says this and the church fathers never say this either; heck, they claim that unbaptized children are damned because they dare to be born with the nonsense of “original sin”. Then as we know, the RCC invented purgatory since such nonsense seemed too cruel.

Lewis’ argument is that people have to submit, again showing what so many Christians claim as “love” to be nothing more than obedience needed by their god. When a Christians relies on false claims like this “human being can’t make one another happy for long” and “You cannot love a fellow-creature fully until you love God” then we are in classic cult territory.

“Folk beliefs”, “infantile babyfied ways of looking at heaven and hell”.   This appears to be what a lot of atheists call “sophisticated theology”. That link leads to rationalwiki’s entry on it which describes how Christians are sure that other Christians aren’t quite getting Christianity “right”, when they are taking the bible at its word. In this, hell isn’t this god daming people to fire and worms, it is the non-believer choosing not to agree with the believer. It’s not their or their god’s fault that they are unbelievable.

“It is essentially pagan to think of God as Odin…”   This is very similar to arguments made by people like Karen Armstrong and Tillich that somehow their god is “different” than everyone else’s god, that it is the “ground of being” and can’t be held to human description so it gets vaguer and vaguer in definition. This vague entity is very hard to reconcile some god that has a blood sacrifice to “save” people.

People that are happy in believing nonsense is most humans: Muslims, Hindus, Christians that Robert doesn’t agree with, etc. That doesn’t mean that any of their beliefs are true. One’s personal beliefs aren’t true and cognitive science accepts this. Cognitive science doesn’t say that Christianity, or any religion, is true.

“It’s okay to take the bible literally.” One would think a Christian would say this since they all take some part of it literally. It just depends on the Christian what parts. And then they declare that those Christians who don’t agree with them aren’t “really” Christians. Robert wants people to take the bible morally, literally, allegorically and what I think he is saying “anagogical” which means “a mystical or spiritual interpretation” of statements and events. Per the wiki entry on “anagogue” this is some kind of a allegory that isn’t a “simple” allegory”, it is a divine revelation.

In that Christians all make claims of how their god (or the holy spirit) tells them what something “really” meant, aka knowing anagogically, there is no reason to think one Christian has a better interpretation than another.

“Religion is like science”. No it isn’t. I don’t say that I believe in science just because it can be wrong or improved. Science does come to truth across time. We are limited humans. It is not true in religion since every religion claims it has the truth and that what it interprets Jesus/God as wanting as the “truth”. What happens is that those supposed truths, declared strongly by Christians, change to another “truth” by Christians who disagree. Science is rarely declared as some immutable truth, and shouldn’t be declared that since we know things can change when we find something new. Religions, such as Chrisitanity, depend on declaring dogmatic “truth” and then they often proceed to kill each over these supposed “truths”. Few theists ever admit that they doubt what they claim is true. If they didn’t think it was true, they wouldn’t believe it.

Science isn’t about “feeling” the truth; its about facts. All Christians claim that their version of Christ is “truth” itself. All claim that Christ manifests in them and again we have drastically conflicting messages from supposedly this “Christ”.

“when there is no ultimate, infinite goodness that exists apart from us, we have removed the fixed point toward which we can aspire.” This is an argument that this god is some moral or ultimate ideal. Most Christians try this. This assumes that somehow we need this god to get better. There is no evidence for this at all. Humans have gotten morally better (subjectively of course) and it is the religions that have constantly changed their gods to catch up. Our imaginations can always make us better. Robert wants to claim we can’t get “infinitely better without his god, but there is again no reason to think his god exists or that it is infinite or better than humans. Infinities are again, weird things, and there is no reason to think that there is an “infinite” better-ness. That idea is attached to the cosmological argument that there has to be some “perfect” being that for some reason has to make the universe, under the assumption that existence is “better” than non-existence. Every religion says that only it gets you “infinitely” better, a claim with no evidence for it at all.

Newton did come up with physics and Newtonian physics works. It still works and we did need quantum mechanics. Einstein didn’t accept quantum physics. Newton’s laws work and are true, quantum laws are true, and we don’t *yet* know how they interact or if they do. We may never know it. That makes neither untrue; this is a false dichotomy argument. Religion claims an ultimate truth and it can’t show it.

Humans are bad at truth and the scientific method helps us in finding it. What we’ve found is no “third party”, and as it stands each religion claims that they and they alone have that third party that agrees with them, with no evidence again. That we don’t need a third party confounds many theists since their world depends on a presupposition that we do. That presupposition comes from the human need to think that intelligent agency is behind everything. The fact is that it isn’t.

There is no evidence for some “far distant truth” from some god. We do rely on us humans. No god can be shown to have done anything and humans reach for the stars on their own. This religion has done its best to squash questioning, killing those who questioned like Giordano Bruno, to keep us from the stars.

That I’ve stopped being afraid of this god or any god I can achieve much. I’ve decided not to believe in a god that limits humans, that punishes humans for questioning. My subjective morality allows me to move forward. Robert, though he is a very nice Christian, does try to claim he has a truth. Searching for a truth doesn’t involve saying “I *know* that “x” is true” which is what he and I discussed on his blog in the comments. Every Christian says that every other Christian isn’t getting the right answer.

It’ll be billions of years until an “end”, but that isn’t usually the end that most Christians are predicting. They have an end where this god comes back, and judges people. That isn’t the heat death of the universe which doesn’t care about anything.

Christianity would be rather bizarre with me in it, but I appreciate the thought. Christians, imo, are terrified. One happy atheist shows that the claims of Christianity aren’t true. Christianity claims a truth and that it is “greater” than everything else.

The bible is indeed violent just like Pulp Fiction the movie. I just don’t get the analogy Robert uses. This bible has that this god intentionally assigns innocents to the worst fate ever. You can try to ignore that part of the bible but it is still there. No free will in Chrisitanity at all

Those of you who don’t know Pern, it’s a science fiction, kinda fantasy series of books with dragons on an alien plant with the descendants of colonists. You can read about it here.

But at least we agree with Game of Thrones and George R. R. Martin. 😊

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – “Why can’t animals talk?”

of course this isn’t history but a sadistic story

Rabbi Gellman, who used to be part of the God Squad with a catholic priest, still has a syndicated column. I occasionally address them there. This time it’s a column that in my paper is titled “why don’t animals talk”.

Now many cultures have myths on why this is. They are just-so stories like Kipling wrote. Raven can’t talk anymore because he stole fire for mankind and carried it in his beak.

The answer we have from the rabbi to ostensibly a third-grade girl is that it is somehow to teach humans “not just about right and wrong but also about wrong and right and even more right.”   (Italics mine) What the hell? This certainly drives a spike into the objective claims of morality from theists. If this god allows something that it kinda isn’t good with, but there is a better idea, then why not require the truly “good” idea? The rabbi wants to have it that eating meat is okay with his god but its better if we could eat without causing some animal to “suffer and die”.

In this column, Gellman mentions Genesis 1:29 and Genesis 9:3. They are, with a little added for context (the specific verses are italicized):

26 Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”27 So God created humankind[e] in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

28 God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” 29 God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.” Genesis 1

Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21 And when the Lord smelled the pleasing odor, the Lord said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of humankind, for the inclination of the human heart is evil from youth; nor will I ever again destroy every living creature as I have done.

22 As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night,  shall not cease.”

1God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. The fear and dread of you shall rest on every animal of the earth, and on every bird of the air, on everything that creeps on the ground, and on all the fish of the sea; into your hand they are delivered. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you; and just as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. 4 Only, you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. For your own lifeblood I will surely require a reckoning: from every animal I will require it and from human beings, each one for the blood of another, I will require a reckoning for human life.” – Genesis 8-9

So, we have a god that has no problem with killing and burning animals for its own pleasure, so Gellman’s claim that this god is all about veganism isn’t true in the slightest. This god is so all about meat is that he rejects Cain’s offering of fruits and vegetables, and approves of Abel’s offering, also making it questionable why Abel was bothering with killing animals at all since they weren’t eating them, and why this god had to kill and skin animals to make clothes for the newly naked Adam and Eve. The rabbi claims that his god gives the allowance to Noah to eat meat “grudgingly”. That is no where in the verses.

The rabbi then gives a rather horrible little story (midrash) about how Noah wanted a hamburger. He has the snake being truthful and saying one has to make a hamburger (and seemingly implying that it was being evil, which begs the question, why was this snake on the ark?). Noah, for no reason other than personal want, kills and eats his friend the cow. This is from a person who chats regularly with this god. The end of the story is that animals don’t talk to humans because that Noah ate one of them and they are upset.

So are animals upset with this god too since it demands their death?

Which of the cows did Noah eat and how does this work with the other utterly silly story in the bible where it can’t make up its mind on how many animals Noah took with him on the ark?

If we can eat “Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you; and just as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything” then why the claims we can’t eat some of these things in Exodus and Leviticus? This god is so forgetful, losing things, forgetting what he’s said before.

This a prime example of theists making up nonsense thoughtlessly and making things ever worse for their bible’s claims.

“Back of all these superstitions you will find some self-interest. I do not say that this is true in every case, but I do say that if priests had not been fond of mutton, lambs never would have been sacrificed to God. Nothing was ever carried to the temple that the priest could not use, and it always so happened that God wanted what his agents liked. Now, I will not say that all priests have been priests “for revenue only,” but I must say that the history of the world tends to show that the sacerdotal class prefer revenue without religion to religion without revenue.” – Robert Ingersoll (lots more excellent quotes here for those who don’t think atheists used to be as feistyt as they are now)

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – talking to Christians, Christians talking to non-Christians etc

This weekend I was at an holiday craft show with my art.  Despite rather awful weather, standing in a puddle the first day and being wind-whipped the second, I did fairly well.  It’s always a nice thing when people actually buy something you’ve made or even just compliment it.  I hate to admit I do like the external validation 😊

One of the things I was selling were these little resin casts of cat faces.  The mold comes in a set with a good kitty, having a gem in its forehead and a bad kitty with little horns.  Now, if you have cats, you know they can be bad kitties often, mine currently having been chewing on my yule tree.  I sold quite a few of these little guys.

I had wondered if, since this was a Christian sponsored event, anyone would comment.  And sure enough someone did.

A nice millennial-type gal came up and bought a magnet and a holiday painting of a couple of candles with a Christmas tree in the background.  She then came back and asked me if I was into “witchcraft” and picked up one of the kitty heads, a back one with gold horns.  I said, “Nope, they are just kitty heads, if you are into witchcraft or whatever doesn’t mean much to me if you see them that way. I’m an atheist.”  I may as well have grown a third eye, but she hid her surprise well.  “Oh well, I was wondering since this is a church event. Okay, thank you.”

And then she came back again with her boyfriend.  “I mean, I just have to ask, were you a Christian before or how did you…..”  she trailed off.   I grinned and said “Yep, I was raised a Presbyterian and was one until probably my early twenties.  Then I read the bible and realized that there was no evidence for anything in it.”

“Oh. Well, did you read “The Case for Christ”  by Lee Strobel.”

“Yep, it’s a very bad set of claims that have no evidence for them.”

“Oh it’s such a powerful book.”

“Sorry, I didn’t see it that way and I can answer all of his points.  I’ve also read Craig, Lewis, and they are trying to convince Christians, not convert anyone.”  They were at a loss so I gave them my business card and invited them to email me if they wanted to talk further.  They wished me Merry Christmas and left.

I was half-expecting to be asked to leave if they ran to the organizers but nothing happened.   But this is the mission that has to ask the entire community for donations when there are hundreds of churches around, so I think they are happy to have anyone support them.  Incidentally, if you are looking for a review and rebuttal of Strobel’s books, there are a couple here:  and  They are all a rehash of the same poor arguments.

Now, I’ve been finding various Christians insisting that they have such great ways to answer skeptics, like these two Christians could have used.  Haden Clark, over at “Help me believe”  does this.

In this blog entry, we have Haden claiming he has 5 tips for talking with skeptics. Let’s look at how well these will work.

As someone who claims that they know “a bit” about Christian apologetics, Haden thinks these ideas will help someone.  When the someone finds they don’t, well, it doesn’t look good for an apologist.   When promises don’t come true, belief in them fails as religion is finding out as more and more people leave it.  What Haden gives are excuses.

1)   You are not Superman

This is where Haden says that the apologist doesn’t need the answer to every objection.  Aka how dare someone expect a Christian to know what they are talking about.  So, Haden advises, if you don’t know the answer, it’s okay and Christianity has lasted 2000+ years so it doesn’t need you.  The problem with this is that Christianity has changed vastly in those 2000+ years because Christians don’t know much about their own religion.

2)  Ask the First Question

Here, the first question is “If Christianity were true and you could know it with 100% certainty, would you become a Christian?”  The problem here is which Christianity?  Christians don’t agree on the most basic things, so the apologist has a problem.

Haden, like most Christians, assumes that he and only he has the “truth”.  And that any “level-minded” person would agree with him.  With the lack of evidence for any truth, Haden has a problem with his question.  If Christianity is what some Christians claim, I’d not have much problem with following it.   If it is like other Christians claim, I might believe in this god but would never become a Christian.  Since I read the bible, I certainly would never become a follower of this god if the bible’s stories were true, even if I might believe in it.

Haden also makes claims about people he has supposedly interacted with but it’s hard to know if these interactions ever occurred.  Haden claims that if someone won’t agree with him that they would become a Christian if he could show Christianity true, then he can’t discuss things with them because he needs the excuse that they will “never” accept what he says, a common Christian excuse.  As opposed to what Haden claims, yes, as skeptics, they are indeed rejecting Christianity because they find it hard to believe.  If this god was shown to be the violent primitive one in the bible, there is good reason not to accept it, even if one does believe it exists.  Haden recommends prayer to his god to get people to agree with the apologist, which never works out and offers another problem: why does this god not answer his believers?  Well, as most of my readers know, this is when this god becomes “mysterious”.

It’s easy for Haden to recommend low-hanging fruit and avoid someone who might offer some resistance.

3) Ask More Questions

A rather curious bit of advice considering the advice given above.  Haden is quite sure that most people haven’t thought about why they believe or why they don’t.   So he advises asking questions of the target of his conversion:  “What do you mean by that?  And “How do you know that?”

Those two questions get Christians in a lot of sticky situations for them.  That second one is the common one where some creationist tries such nonsense when asking “how do you know that evolution happened?”  And then when asked “how do they know the events in the bible happened?”  they find they can’t come up with a valid answer that won’t show their question to be asked in hypocrisy.

The first question is when the Christian ends up trying to redefine words so their claims work.   In Haden’s example, he says that he defines a “fetus” as a human child and non-christians claim it is  “clump” of cells”.   Well, we don’t since most of us know that a fetus is beyond the clump of cells stage.   We also know that a human child is what a fetus becomes.

He also tries to shift the burden of proof from himself and onto the person he is asking questions of.  He offers a strawman atheist claim “In this scientific age, we know miracles don’t happen” and then proceeds to attack it.   What would have been said is that “In this scientific age, we have no evidence that miracles happen.”   If Haden wants to claim that they do, then it is his burden to show that miracles happen now and have happened. His attempt to shift the burden is easily recognized and laughed at.  He also wants to try to redefine miracle to gain an advantage.  Since in his Christian context, a miracle is a action by his god that is not explainable by natural laws, then we know what he is claiming happens.   That we have no evidence of this is his problem.

Just asking questions doesn’t take the “stress” off the apologist at all.  It just shows that they can’t answer what is asked and need a trick to avoid doing so.

4) Don’t Get Sidetracked

So, here, when the Christian apologist is asked questions, Haden advises to avoid answering.  How not surprising.  And I really don’t remember asking “What about dinosaurs?” to a Christian.

He tries to avoid the problem by simply asking “who cares?”  aka “I haven’t a good answer so I’m going to falsely pretend these things don’t matter.”  These “silly questions” are posed since the Christian and their religion make claims that aren’t supported by evidence.   They make claims that aren’t supported by even their own bible.  These things have plenty to do with the Christian and their religion, despite Haden’s false claim that they don’t.

Haden claims that the only things that matte are his god’s existence and the resurrection.  Okay, then we can ask questions about those too, which makes Haden’s protests look very funny.  There is no evidence for those claims either.

Haden believes in the innerancy of the bible, but claims that even if it were true that the bible contained contradictions, it wouldn’t mean that his god doesn’t exist or that Jesus didn’t rise from the grave.  Unfortunately for Haden, that is exactly what it means since there is no reason to believe the claims about this god’s existence nor the resurrection.  The bible is his only source of claims for both.

5) Be humble.

The world “humble” is a problem for Christians because they really really want to be called humble, but they also want to claim that only they know the “TRUTH”.  They want to win arguments no matter what, despite Haden’s false claim that they don’t.

When they find that their claims aren’t being accepted without thought, that’s often when the “I’ll pray for you” comes out and the discussion ends.

I’ve let Haden know that I’ve done a post on his, but he seems loathe to let me comment.  That seems to speak volumes about his confidence in his claims.