Not So Polite Conversation – my discussion with Alexander part 2

Unsurprisingly, the comments got a little hairy looking on the prior post.

Alex seems to have determined he doesn’t want to debate things anymore. This often happens when the theist finds they have nothing when it comes to supporting their claims. In this case, Alex was unable to give examples of his accusations against various people, me, Joe Biden, etc, and give examples of evidence that supports his version of Christianity.

Alex, as the typical theist is wont to do, tried some classic logical fallacies, and some of the supposed “logical” arguments for god, but forgot that those arguments aren’t for his god but for some vague force and the theist can’t get from them to their particular god since there is no evidence for those gods. Despite the myths claiming that this god has repeatedly caused events on the earth that should produce evidence, there is none to be found.

Theists, like Alex, and bibledog who showed up later into the conversation, should consider their religion from an outsider’s point of view, like John Loftus recommends. They could simply place another god’s name in place of their own and consider how valid their arguments sound coming from a religion they did not have a personal stake in.

Here is what I’m guessing is his final post. Often theists do return to continue the conversation, unable to stick with their dramatic exits. We’ll see. I’ve put in paragraph breaks where I think appropriate since all I was left with is a block of text.

“You know what? I think our discussion has come to a close. No matter how hard I try, or how much evidence I provide, I know that in your current state you will never change your mind.”

This is a common attack by a Christian who has no evidence for his claims. He has provided no evidence. He has tried to use the various arguments, cosmological, teleological, etc for his god and they do not show that any version of the Christian god exists. At best, these arguments *may* offer a possibility of some vague “force” to accomplish what they claim. He has also used claims of this god personally doing things for him, which I suspect he would not accept from any other type of theist. Since no theist has evidence of divine intervention, there is no reason to accept this as evidence.

“You insist on standing by your science which is wonderful but seems unable to cure things like cancer. Tell me, if we didn’t need God, then shouldn’t science be able to solve all of our problems? Shouldn’t science be able to make sure that parents never get divorced? Shouldn’t science make sure that wars never happen (instead of helping people develop nuclear weapons?) Shouldn’t science be constant, never changing, always true, instead of always being refuted?”

Alex uses the science he attacks so vigorously. Science can indeed cure some kinds of cancers, which is yet another instance of Alex’s willful ignorance coming into play. Therapy, part of the psychological science, can help parents not get divorced. Science does help prevent war by increasing available resources which are often fought over. Science doesn’t constantly change, as Alex falsely claims. It is refined and since we don’t yet have complete knowledge of everything, we are limited in discovery of facts, e.g. what is true.

Now, compare this to the Christian claims of a perfect, omnipotent, omniscient, and supposedly omni-benevolent being. This being cannot be shown to exist nor can it do anything that Alex claims science can’t do at all. It has not cured one kind of cancer, kept parents together despite the admonitions in its supposed “holy book”, and Christians themselves cannot agree what this god wants, making it always changing.

“See, the bottom line you guys, is that you can call my claims baseless or unfounded, and maybe they are (that’s why we have faith after all), but your claims are just as baseless. You cannot prove to me that some divine hand did not create the universe simply because there is evidence it had to do with physics”

Yes, I, and we, can show that all of Alex’s claims are baseless and unfounded and we have the evidence to support that conclusion. I’ve asked Alex for evidence for his various accusations and he either can’t or won’t. I can indeed show that there is no reason to assume that Alex’s god exists since we have no evidence for any of the events it supposedly caused. I suspect that Alex would deny that any creator god I might name created the world since there is no evidence for them either. Physics doesn’t need a god, so why assume one?

“I can throw a rock and you can tell me all the reasons why it flies in the path it flies based off of weight and velocity, the fact remains however, that I threw that rock, not physics.”

Yep, we can indeed describe the physics that allow a human body to work and how a thrown object behaves. Physics allows Alex to throw that rock. Without physics, no Alex.

“And you are all upset about me “lying” about you guys. Okay, how’d I lie? By pointing out that in world with no afterlife, it doesn’t matter how far science advances to make us comfortable we can never prevent death, therefore there is no point in us existing anyway and we might as well just clean up the population problem by removing people who are making it hard to live our pointless lives? If that’s what your mad about then I’m afraid you’ll have to deal.”

Alex requests evidence of his lies. Okay. He has repeated false claims about people, including atheists, Joe Biden, other types of Christians, etc. He has been offered the chance to provide evidence to support his claims. He has refused.
“For instance, the Bible says no to worship anything besides God, that means that Catholics practices of praying to saints and such is wrong.”
“Well, Biden does not seem to have it altogether mentally, and because of him gas prices are really high. “
” I mean, by an atheists logic, they are going to die, there’s no way to stop them and nothing to tell them before they do so we might as well get rid of them, especially the ones who are using up all the resources in India and Africa and China.”

All false claims made with the intent to spread false information for the benefit of the Christian and to try to take away the ability of informed decisions from others.

He unfortunately doubles down on his false claims. “By pointing out that in world with no afterlife, it doesn’t matter how far science advances to make us comfortable we can never prevent death, therefore there is no point in us existing anyway and we might as well just clean up the population problem by removing people who are making it hard to live our pointless lives? If that’s what your mad about then I’m afraid you’ll have to deal.”

none of this is true. It is a rather pathetic attempt to claim that atheists must be nihilists. I will indeed “deal” with this by pointing out how these baseless claims have failed.

“After all, you called my God both a liar and murder, not to mention that you didn’t mention a single good thing about Christians. Do not judge others lest they judge you by your own standard, (there’s one you ought to like). Call me a chicken, call me a fool, or even a child. I happen to like chicken. God hath chosen the foolish things to triumph over the wise, so the more foolish I sound to you the better. And as for a child, well I like to think that I’m still a kid at heart.”

Alex has missed the difference between being child-like and childish. Why should I mention anything good about Christianity when it isn’t good? That some Christians do good, and do so by ignoring their bible, is nothing special or new, nor does it make his nonsense true. Humans can and often are quite good, no god needed. We aren’t the “dirty rags” that Christianity claims.

Alex has also tried very hard to steal the accomplishments of humans and falsely claim his god is the one responsible for the hard work of humans. Alas, for Alex, even if this bible of his claims this god chooses the foolish over the wise, it’s not happened that the foolish has triumphed over anything at all.

“I have done my best to be kind and courteous and all I got for it in return was a couple f-words from a lot stiff necked people. It’s funny though; I’m very mad and frustrated with y’all but my God would still forgive you and show compassion to you, so I will too. You are all welcome at my blog anytime so long as you keep it civil (to my standards). I appreciate all the time you took to set this up and the traffic, however short lived, you sent my way. I hope you all will find within you that thing Elizabeth was talking about. She might not have presented it the right way but it’s in there, and I hope that those of you have fallen out of faith will come back and those who have never had one will choose to accept Jesus into their hearts. Best wishes to all of you-AP”

Making and repeating false claims is not kind or courteous. Alex is the one who has described being friendly as *only* not using curse words, nothing else, which is telling. He is indeed mad and frustrated and his god is still a baseless claim. No one needs forgiveness from this imaginary god nor from Alex for showing him to be wrong.

I am quite happy that I engaged Alex and linked to his blog. His actions did more than I could ever do to show how poisonous religion can be.

Now, to the denouement to show how Alex wanted to support Elizabeth, who tried so very hard convince her self that everyone really agrees with her.

“Now we’re getting down to the Elizabeth thing and then I’ll move onto the next of the comments you made. I think Elizabeth was right but went about the wrong way trying to prove it. She tried to prove that everyone agreed with her and not with God. But wouldn’t it make sense, that if God really did create the universe that everyone would know Him somewhere inside? You are actually correct that this statement contradicts my earlier one to Nan, about the Bible not being perfectly downloaded into our conscience. I suppose then it’s our human nature that causes us to suppress the knowledge. Let me know your thoughts.

As for me not being able to drive out demons and protect myself from sickness, that’s again where you have to look at it in an artistic manner. Christians do drive out real demons, but we also drive out the demons of sadness, insecurity, fear, etc. negative things. Protecting ourselves from sickness. Well, we still get sick, but when we have God we are able to worry less about all sorts of stuff, essentially protecting ourselves from the sickness of fear.

Now, a debate is a debate. But as my brother likes to point out to me, debates have an outcomes, and arguments don’t. I can feel that this is becoming more and more of an argument. I’ve have done my best to stay friendly, but if you can not do the same then I’m afraid our discussion might be coming to a close.”

No evidence that Alex’s god did anything, so no reason to assume his baseless claim to be true any more than Elizabeth’s. No knowledge, so no knowledge to supposedly “suppress”.

Alex’s inability to do what his supposed messiah promised is nothing new. He must try to claim that this messiah only meant “metaphors”, and now this god is again depowered to excuse its, and alex’s failure.

Debates do have outcomes and Alex has lost this one.

Addendeum – 5/4/22 4:41 EDT.

As predicted, Alex is back.

“Oh, is that what all those quotes were for; the ellipses and all the numbers made it kind of confusing. Well if that’s what you think, that’s what you think, I really hope you reconsider though. One last thought. Why exactly is it that atheists choose not to believe? If what you have told me is true, and they live to help people, and they expect that they’re going to die, then why not put their faith in God and if it turns out Christianity is real they go to heaven and if it isn’t then they don’t. Your problem seems to be that you think God is a murder and somehow wrong for orchestrating His creation, but if you look at the Bible in it’s entirety, you’ll see he really does care, and does do what is just, and does want the best for us. Are there parts of the Bible that we don’t understand? Yes. If you think about it, why would the affairs of an allpowerful God make sense to a human being anyway? If you accept that God is visible in the surrounding world, and not simply only the supernatural, then it becomes very hard for me to understand why there are atheists at all. I mean when it comes down to it, the difference between a Christian and an Atheist is that a Christian believes that, if a person asks Jesus for forgiveness and repents of their sins, then they get to go to a wonderful place. When you think about it that way, it almost doesn’t make sense that there are atheists at all.”

Why would I reconsider?  Your god is a horrible character.  I wouldn’t worship such a thing even if it were real.

I don’t choose not to believe in Alex’s version of the Chrsitian god, since that’s all you have. There is no evidence. I can’t believe in things with no evidence.   Atheists do what they want, and they do and don’t help others. 

All  you have offered is Pascal’s wager.  This makes your god particularly stupid if it accepts anyone who believes “just in case”.  I have better moral standards than your god so I don’t care about its heaven or hell. 

Your god is a murderer and a liar, and imaginary.  I’ve read the entire bible and there is nothing in it that shows it cares about anything but being stroked off.  So your claim fails already. 

There is no part of the bible I don’t understand.  It is the ignorant and vicious belief of humans in a vicious and ignorant god.  There is nothing mysterious about your god, it is as pathetic as any god invented by humans.  And dear, I don’t even remotely accept that your god exists,much less is “visible in the surrounding world”.   

Again, Christians make up what their god disapproves of e.g. “sin”.  Why should I care about what you’ve made up?  There is no evidence of a “wonderful place”.  And your “wonderful place” is a horror, with a moronic god that kills people for no reason, who commits genocide, who approves of slavery.  This “city of heaven on earth” is quite the demented wealth fantasy, where everything is this tacky mess of gold, jewels etc.  I can’t be bribed with such garbage.  Christiansn can’t even agree on what this “wonderful place” is.   The complete ignorance of Christians on what their bible actually says about the supposed afterlife is hilarious. 

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 primer on what you might not want to say in an online discussion, Baker’s Dozen edition

Definitely bad advice, no matter from a god or human
Definitely bad advice, no matter from a god or human

Recently, I’ve been in a very long discussion with an individual in the comments of one of my blog posts.  This started with a TrueChristian using a tedious old gambit of insisting that atheism is a religion.  Indeed, I was getting very close to a full card Bingo on the image that accompanies this post from all of the classic TrueChristian nonsense that my opponent, KD, used.

If you wish, you are more than welcome to read all of his posts and my replies.  Then you can be sure to get exposed to every bad argument a theist can give an atheist and see the entire context in its glory. To find the excerpt on the original page, use Control +F to open the Find tool on your web browser and cut and paste a sample of the excerpt in to find it.  I have no idea what a Mac user would do to replicate this.  Last time I touched an Apple product was in 1983 in high school and it was an Apple IIe.  🙂

What I am going to do is use these comments to demonstrate some classically bad tactics to use in an internet discussion.  It may serve as an example for atheists on what to expect from theists.  It should also serve as an example to theists on how not to conduct themselves with atheists if they want to earn any respect at all.   In any type of debate on any subject, using these are going to get bemused looks at the screen and maybe a chorus of laughter if you insist on repeating them.

1. Redefining words, ignoring context to choose a definition that was not intended by the author and redefining words so your pet idea is not defined in a way you don’t like.

Dictionaries are pesky things.  They chronicle the definitions of words in a culture.  They can cite several definitions if the definition has expanded from an original.  To attempt to claim that atheism is a religion and claim that Christianity is not, ignores those definitions and their context.  Unilaterally deciding that an author “really” meant something that they did not doesn’t work if they are right there to tell you that you are wrong.

For example, many theists do not like the term “religion”. They will insist that they do not have a religion e.g. a system of attitudes, beliefs and practices dependent on the belief in a supernatural force.  They have found that the term religion has gained a negative connotation, thanks to the actions of the religious, and they want nothing to do with that legacy. They claim that they have “relationships” with their gods, ignoring that they do indeed have the attitudes, beliefs and practices based on their gods.   Since they do not like the term religion, claiming that atheists are religious is an unsurprising tactic.  It appears to be is no more than saying “you are no better than we are, so we can ignore your points”. (Incidentally, this Christian decided I must have been a Roman Catholic when I was a Christian.  An unsurprising assumption, similar to the above, from a evangelical protestant type Christian).

“Do atheists have a personal set or institutionalized system of attitudes, beliefs, and practices?”

“I do not believe the Bible to teach religion but a way of life with a creator God who loves and desires humanity to choose him as opposed to doing it their own way.”

“Religion in the dictionary is not synonymous with god/s or the belief in god/s.”

My opponent also tried to redefine unconditional.

“I will teach them not to condemn anyone, not to judge, not to ardently believe they are always right and someone else is wrong.”

“God accepts everyone but not everyone accepts Him.”

“““If I spread a message of unconditional love and acceptance, how is this wrong or bad?””

““If I did not unconditionally accept or love you, my words would be negative towards your beliefs, practices, and attitudes.””

Like taking part of a quote: “God loves and accepts everyone…” and neglecting “…but not everyone accepts God.” Which is not unconditional love or acceptance.”

2. Claiming that you have no time to support your claims by a simple cut and paste, but then continue to write massive posts of thousands of words. Continue reading “Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – a primer on what you might not want to say in an online discussion, Baker’s Dozen edition”