Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – trying hard to keep the kids indoctrinated

Atheists are indeed known for asking tough question.  The reason is most of us were theists at some point and are often much more familiar with a given religion than the current practitioners of it.  I, as an example, didn’t go easily into atheism, so I did my homework, thinking that I should go to the source rather than trust some Christian’s claims. 

My research didn’t work out so well for Christians but it did work out grandly for me since I don’t have to try to excuse a vicious god so I can still cling to the idea that I won’t have to die. 

in the following, I’m replying to a Christian who really is afraid of Christian teens finding out that their religion isn’t quite what is presented.  The title of his blog post is “Tough Questions From Christian Teens – Was It Right For Israel To Kill Children? (Part One)”

Christian teens do believe in Jesus and in this god of the bible. I was one of them. They often haven’t a clue what the bible actually says.  They just accept whatever the priest/pastor/parent tells them, mistakenly thinking that Christianity equals good.  I think they all should read the bible, front to back.  That is a great way to discard such nonsense. 

The author offers many of the common apologetics when it comes to defending a god invented by the ignorant and fearful from a couple of thousand years ago.

The bible has this god repeatedly committing or condoning genocide.  It doesn’t start in Deuteronomy, it goes back to Genesis e.g. the magic world-wide 28,000+ foot deep flood.  The author mentions Deut 20: 16-20 “16 But as for the towns of these peoples that the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, you must not let anything that breathes remain alive. 17 You shall annihilate them—the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites—just as the Lord your God has commanded, 18 so that they may not teach you to do all the abhorrent things that they do for their gods, and you thus sin against the Lord your God.”

This is a good place to start.  It shows that this god requires genocide *and* this god and its people fail at it.  As we know, “it’s the thought that counts”.  Those peoples were never destroyed by this god or its people.  History does not notice or corroborate the baseless claims in the bible.   So, we start off from the point that this nonsense never happened.

But if it did…

There is a difference between war and genocide. Both are quite awful, but I personally know WWII veterans who were part of the freeing of the concentration camps who did know that war, all though awful, was worth stopping what was going on.  Genocide is not war.  Per the UN, genocide is defined as: “In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: a.Killing members of the group; b. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; c. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; d.  Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; e. Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

What the bible god commands is genocide; it is not war.  War does not require what genocide does; war is against militaries and economies.  Innocents do indeed die but they are not the focus of the conflict. 

It is no surprise that our author tries to put quotes around “innocent” when he refers to anyone but his god’s supposed “chosen”.  He has no evidence that they are anything but innocent but he must try to imply they are not and somehow “deserve” what this god supposedly does to them.

Our author then mentions the story of the “curse of Ham”. This is just after the flood, where Noah is drunk, and something happens between Ham and Noah.  Even scholars aren’t quite sure.  The interpretations go from Ham just seeing Noah naked (if this is a sin, I do wonder how Jewish ritual baths worked), to Ham having raped Noah, to Ham having slept with Mrs. Noah.   So we have the story of the flood, where this god committed genocide by drowning against all except 8 humans, and this drunkard and his family are the best that he could find.  Hmmmm. 

Going further in the story, Noah, rather than cursing Ham, curses his son, Canaan to be the slave (not servant) of his uncles.  This is a lovely example of how this god has nothing to do with fairness or justice, harming someone who did nothing for the actions of another.  To be blunt, this is simply stupid.  However, this god repeatedly does this, starting with punishing all humans the actions of two, Adam and Eve, to killing the son of David for what David did, up into the new testament, where this god uses the ‘original sin’ nonsense to condemn all humans that it didn’t allow to accept it.   These stories belie the false claims of Christians that their god wants free will, the unfettered ability to choose. 

As an aside, the term Canaanite is from the bible and covers many Semtic people in the middle east.  The Israelites are considered Canaanites and there is no evidence at all that they were some how separate and came from Egypt after being enslaved.  They are just another tribe that tried to make itself important.   Canaan is mentioned in historical texts.  History doesn’t notice the rest, like the lies about the tower of babel and its supposed effect on linguistics.  Even the bible itself can’t get that story straight, with it saying before the tower of babel myth that there were already many different languages. 

The maps that our author uses are not quite true, only invented to support the nation building myths of the bible.  There is nothing that shows that some god “gave” the rights to a chunk of land to any one people.  But they certainly love to pretend it has.  “I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”  Well, evidently this god wasn’t paying attention during the Holocaust, when this favored people, plus many many others were exterminated in the desire for genocide. It likes genocide, maybe it just didn’t care.  (FYI, Christians will often make a claim that since the Jews don’t agree with them, they somehow lost that favored status.  Problem is that no one picked it up just as if it were imaginary.)

The author goes onto try toclaim how “evil” other gods were.  No evidence of this at all.  These gods are as imaginary as Yahweh, the bible god.  Unsurprisingly, our author is concerned about sex, and goes onto attack those gods since they were often fertility gods.  They were often war gods too, just like a typical mountain god like Yahweh.  He forgets that worship of his god was full of violence, sacrifices of animals are violence.  And then we have the incest promoted in the bible repeatedly, from the “first” family, Abraham, Lot, etc.   The argument will often be that since this god didn’t mention that it was wrong until the whole nonsense with the laws, then it was just peachy.  That makes a problem with any claims of objective morality.  If a moral is objective, it is always in play. 

There’s also no evidence of child sacrifice, at least no more than what we find in the bible e.g. Abraham and Isaac, Jephtha’s daughter, various mentions of dedicating *all* first borns for sacrifice, etc. 

 Still being concerned with sex, our author has to mention where the term “sodomy” comes from. Yep, it is part of the bible myths, and what our author forgets is that Sodom’s worst sin was being greedy “49 This was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. 50 They were haughty, and did abominable things before me; therefore I removed them when I saw it. “ Ezekiel 16.  It has nothing to do with sex.  The only mention of sex in that episode is when Lot offered his daughters, his property, to a violent crowd. 

Our author goes on to repeat the baseless claims that this god gives certain land to certain people as an excuse for genocide being fine.  One of the more amusing bits of this is that those supposedly awful people, the Midianites fine for Moses to marry into.  “But Moses fled from Pharaoh. He settled in the land of Midian, and sat down by a well. 16 The priest of Midian had seven daughters. They came to draw water, and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock. 17 But some shepherds came and drove them away. Moses got up and came to their defense and watered their flock. 18 When they returned to their father Reuel, he said, “How is it that you have come back so soon today?” 19 They said, “An Egyptian helped us against the shepherds; he even drew water for us and watered the flock.” 20 He said to his daughters, “Where is he? Why did you leave the man? Invite him to break bread.” 21 Moses agreed to stay with the man, and he gave Moses his daughter Zipporah in marriage. 22 She bore a son, and he named him Gershom; for he said, “I have been an alien residing in a foreign land.”” 


Later “Just then one of the Israelites came and brought a Midianite woman into his family, in the sight of Moses and in the sight of the whole congregation of the Israelites, while they were weeping at the entrance of the tent of meeting. When Phinehas son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he got up and left the congregation. Taking a spear in his hand, he went after the Israelite man into the tent, and pierced the two of them, the Israelite and the woman, through the belly. So the plague was stopped among the people of Israel. Nevertheless those that died by the plague were twenty-four thousand.” Numbers 25 and of course we can’t forget the genocide in Numbers 31.  This god certainly needs an editor.

Next we get a common excuse of a Chrsitain for his god, and completely in line with approving of genocide.  “It may also be helpful to remember that Amorite children grew up to be Amorite adults whose iniquity would continue to worsen.”  NO evidence of this, especially not if there is free will.  If there is not, then a lot of Christians have a problem.  This argument is that “It’s better to kill the kids since they might be like their parents”  aka not like us.  This is why genocide often requires the children to be killed or taken away and indoctrinated.  Christians tried that with various Native American tribes. 

Here’s another excuse “. Using the term ‘children’ in an argument can mislead unless we consider the history of a people, especially in light of how they sinned against God.”  Aka, they shouldn’t be considered children since that might make someone question their orders.  Hmmm, the same argument is given when a tyrant wants genocide “They aren’t human.” 

Our author has caught up with Exodus now.  He has that this god will take the Israelites to the “promised land”.  Land already occupied, but genocide will work here. 

The events in Exodus can also be considered an attempt at genocide.  In the same 3 chapter of Exodus, we have this “19 I know, however, that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless compelled by a mighty hand.[c] 20 So I will stretch out my hand and strike Egypt with all my wonders that I will perform in it; after that he will let you go. 21 I will bring this people into such favor with the Egyptians that, when you go, you will not go empty-handed; 22 each woman shall ask her neighbor and any woman living in the neighbor’s house for jewelry of silver and of gold, and clothing, and you shall put them on your sons and on your daughters; and so you shall plunder the Egyptians.””  

Nice little bit of mind control there with allowing the Israelites to steal.  Now, we have Moses asking for a three day weekend, and this god saying he will do things to Egypt to make the pharoah let the “people” go.  However, as the story goes on, this is not this god’s plan at all.  He wants to show off, and mind controls the pharaoh so he doesn’t allow the Israelites to go and this god has a chance to keep killing and killing.  Men, women, children, animals, who have no control in the situation, killed just so this god can show off.  ““Go to Pharaoh; for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his officials, in order that I may show these signs of mine among them, and that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I have made fools of the Egyptians and what signs I have done among them—so that you may know that I am the Lord.” Exodus 10

Christian teens, humans of all ages, do question religious claims and excuses.  If your elders have to invent arguments to convince you it is okay to kill kids to take their land, to kill kids as punishment for the actions of others, etc, then your religion has already lost the moral high ground.  All you have is might equals right.

Humans are better than that.   

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – an impotent and evil god

Unsurprisingly, the Christian god does nothing, just like it doesn’t exist.

https://ffrf.org/news/news-releases/item/39890-yet-another-report-of-widespread-abuse-and-cover-up-by-the-catholic-church

“The Roman Catholic Church has abused more than 300,000 French children since 1950, according to an explosive report that an independent commission has just released. The Freedom From Religion Foundation applauds the work of the investigators and once again urges the U.S. Department of Justice to initiate a similar, long-overdue investigation.”

Our Attorney General here in PA did a great job of investigation in the state. Unsurprisingly, the abuse of religion aka cults is everywhere. And unsurprisingly, it’s conservative Christians who block legislation and investigation into this abuse.

I do know that quite a few Christians follow me. Some will try to claim that Catholics aren’t Christians. That doesn’t solve the problem since plenty of protestants, etc also abuse others and this god doesn’t do anything at all, when it had no problem killing people for doing the “wrong” thing in the bible.

And do forget about using the “free will” lie you often use. This god could allow the thought of abuse to exist, thus preserving free will (which the bible doesn’t even mention), and then kill the abusive assholes after that.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – yet another Christian caught in telling lies

It is unfortunately nothing new to find a Christian choosing to lie. This one, Stephen Bernard, decides to repeat the lies of deathbed conversion. And he can’t even get the spelling of Thomas Paine’s name right. This is how knowledge destroys religion.

“THOMAS PAYNE

The leading atheistic writer in American colonies: “Stay with me, for God’s sake; I cannot bear to be left alone , O Lord, help me! O God, what have I done to suffer so much? What will become of me hereafter? I would give worlds if I had them, that The Age of Reason had never been published. 0 Lord, help me! Christ, help me! No, don’t leave; stay with me! Send even a child to stay with me; for I am on the edge of hell here alone. If ever the Devil had an agent, I have been that one.””

amazing how Paine said nothing of the sort.

“No sooner was Paine dead than the ghoul sat gloating upon him. I found in the Rush papers a letter from Cheetham (July 31st) to Benjamin Rush: “Since Mr. Paine’s arrival in this city from Washington, when on his way you very properly avoided him, his life, keeping the lowest company, has been an uninterrupted scene of filth, vulgarity, and drunkenness. As to the reports, that on his deathbed he had something like compunctious visitings of conscience with regard to his deistical writings and opinions, they are altogether groundless. He resisted very angrily, and with a sort of triumphant and obstinate pride, all attempts to draw him from those doctrines. Much as you must have seen in the course of your professional practice of everything that is offensive in the poorest and most depraved of the species, perhaps you have met with nothing excelling the miserable condition of Mr. Paine. He had scarcely any visitants. It may indeed be said that he was totally neglected and forgotten. Even Mrs. Bournville (sic) a woman, I cannot say a Lady, whom he brought with him from Paris, the wife of a Parisian of that name, seemed desirous of hastening his death. He died at Greenwich, in a small room he had hired in a very obscure house. He was hurried to his grave with hardly an attending person. An ill-natured epitaph, written on him in 1796, when it was supposed he was dead, incorrectly describes the latter end of his life. He

     "Blasphemes the Almighty, lives in filth like a hog,
     Is abandoned in death and interr'd like a dog."

The object of this letter was to obtain from Rush, for publication, some abuse of Paine; but the answer honored Paine, save for his heresy, and is quoted by freethinkers as a tribute.

Within a year the grave opened for Cheetham also, and he sank into it branded by the law as the slanderer of a woman’s honor, and scourged by the community as a traitor in public life.

The day of Paine’s death was a day of judgment. He had not been struck blind or dumb; Satan had not carried him off; he had lived beyond his threescore years and ten and died peacefully in his bed. The self-appointed messengers of Zeus had managed to vex this Prometheus who brought fire to men, but could not persuade him to whine for mercy, nor did the predicted thunderbolts come. This immunity of Thomas Paine brought the deity of dogma into a dilemma. It could be explained only on the the theory of an apology made and accepted by the said deity. Plainly there had to be a recantation somewhere. Either Paine had to recant or Dogma had to recant.

The excitement was particularly strong among the Quakers, who regarded Paine as an apostate Quaker, and perhaps felt compromised by his desire to be buried among them. Willett Hicks told Gilbert Vale that he had been beset by pleading questions. “Did thee never hear him call on Christ?” “As for money,” said Hicks, “I could have had any sum.” There was found, later on, a Quakeress, formerly a servant in the family of Willett Hicks, not proof against such temptations. She pretended that she was sent to carry some delicacy to Paine, and heard him cry “Lord Jesus have mercy upon me”; she also heard him declare “if the Devil has ever had any agency in any work he has had it in my writing that book [the ‘Age of Reason’].”* Few souls are now so belated as to credit such stories; but my readers may form some conception of the mental condition of the community in which Paine died from the fact that such absurdities were printed, believed, spread through the world. The Quaker servant became a heroine, as the one divinely appointed witness of Tom Paine’s recantation.” The Life of Tomas Paine, Moncure Daniel Conway

The same goes for the claim of Voltaire’s last words since there is no source for them at all. What we have is this “May 26, 1778.

The dying man returns to life on hearing this great news: he tenderly embraces M. de Lally: he sees that the King is the defender of justice: and he dies content.” written 4 days before Voltaire died.



And Robert Ingersoll’s last words were evidently, “Oh Better.”ROBERT INGERSOLL CROSSES THE RIVERThe Record-Union of Sacramento, California on July 22, 1899 We also have thisRobert G. Ingersoll Dead
The Famous Agnostic Passes Away Suddenly at His Summer Home
Religious Views Unchanged
No Evidence that He Abandoned Agnosticism, Though He Expressed Hope of Immortality” from the New York Times, printed on July 22, 1899, the day after Ingersoll died.

I suspect the rest of the supposed “quotes” are lies too, but no reason to keep on since we have three in a row already.

It’s always great to see Christians ignore their bible when convenient for them. One might think that this god has no problem with liars, and one would be very much mistaken. This god even hates those liars who think they are lying for it, Romans 3. I guess hell will be full up with TrueChristians(tm) and there will be no room for an atheist at all.

Amazing how this god doesn’t do a thing about these TrueChristians(tm) lying in its name, just like any imaginary character. No smiting at all. Shucks.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – when the quiet part is said aloud

“There is nothing more wretched than murdering babies before they’re born.” – JB

“Memorable villains are not pro-choice. The greatest villains always exert their will over everyone else.”- JB

“Heroes never kill innocent people. Everybody knows that and you’re never going to achieve hero status by sacrificing babies for any cause.” – JB

Seems like this god isn’t quite what christians usually try to claim. Rather surprising when a Christian shows this so well.

I suspect it isn’t quite what he intended.

A pdf of the failure.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – “The Doubter’s Club” review

There’s a new thing making the Christian circuit, a book and website called “The Doubter’s Club” which is intended to convert non-christian, especially atheists it seems.  I’ve listened to an interview with the author and leader, Preston Ulmer, here, and below is my response. 

as an atheist, I have some suggestions for Christians who find they need to bother us about their religion. 

Christians are indeed certain about a lot of things.  They try to claim they are not, but they cannot function as Christians if they do doubt.  Even the bible states this, with JC talking to Thomas.  This god did give evidence in that case, so the claims from Christians that no one should ask for evidence, e.g. “test” this god is based on apologetics that know that no evidence would be forthcoming. 

When a Christian does claim he doesn’t understand something, it is usually when something is an embarrassing point in the bible, like when this god is seen to do something ignorant and violent, where god’s “mysterious” ways are invoked.  That is an obvious dodge to an atheist. 

It seems that Preston assumes that atheists are dishonest.  That is unfortunate.  Theists often want to claim that they know why people are atheists, when they ignore what atheists actually say.  Don’t do this.  You’ll almost always be wrong. 

To consider us as prey in a “long play” is also obvious.  We aren’t stupid.  You want more people in your “tribe” for validation. It’s not right or wrong, it’s just human.  

Most of us do know that Christians disagree in the most basic things, so insisting your version is the one truth doesn’t work.  We also know that you try to convert each other.  A lot of us also know that a Christian, C.S. Lewis, said to hide the divisions from potential Christians (Mere Christianity, preface).

Many of us are former Christians and have read the bible.  We are often more familiar with than most Christians.  If you try to claim we don’t “correctly” understand it, often sheathed in the claim that we don’t know about sophisticated theologians or Christianity,  we will ask you how you can show your version is the “right” one. 

Most of us also know that Jesus isn’t all warm and fuzzy.  This character kills every non Christian in the end times stories.  Luke 19, the parable of the minas, isn’t a great thing either.  

If you assume that we are on a “spiritual” journey, you are likely wrong.  That is an assumption that we aren’t complete as we are. 

Acting like you are doing us a favor is also obvious.  We aren’t the “unclean” that you can feel virtuous by daring to associate with.  We know you have ulterior motives.   We have friends and we do deserve friends, no god or Christian needed. 

The “invitation to imitate Christ” bit is probably the most ridiculous and verging on offensive.  This assumes that your version of Christ is the true one, that Christ existed, and that we aren’t humane, empathetic people.  We know that Christianity, at its base, says that anyone who disagrees with this god deserves death or worse.  That isn’t love and that isn’t something a friend would wish for their friend.  This ignorance assumes that only Christians are good people.  They aren’t. 

For me, the whole thing comes off as creepy. Really really creepy. 

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – ever so “better”

This is a recent post by John Branyan, a self-described Christian comedian. I’ve crossed swords with him before (and his daughter).  You can also see it here, if you are not feeling the need to give him a click, preserved for posterity.

He is amusing, but not in the way I think he wishes.  In this most recent post, we can see the honest arrogance of a conservative Christian.  As usual, it is full of baseless claims, a little man who is trying to make himself feel important.

Alas, JB can’t explain why, if he is ever so much better than everyone else, he is so very average.  A man who must pretend he is best friends with an imaginary being.  Unfortunately, per his own bible, he, as a baptized believer in Christ as personal savior, he should never lose.  He should never have to buck up that self-esteem.  Alas, the quote from the bible he gives at the end, never works for Christians.  They die, fail, etc just like everyone else.  JB isn’t better than anyone else.     It’s also notable that his god fails in the rest of that promise that it supposedly makes in Luke ““I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that can do nothing more. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority[a] to cast into hell.[b] Yes, I tell you, fear him! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight. But even the hairs of your head are all counted. Do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.

“And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God; but whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God. 10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. 11 When they bring you before the synagogues, the rulers, and the authorities, do not worry about how you are to defend yourselves or what you are to say; 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that very hour what you ought to say.”

JB never gets that help.  Christians never do.  They should be so proud of each other. Now what I’m expecting is that he will insist that he was just “joking”.  Wannabee bullies often do that.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – reminder to Christians who challenge me: do your research

A recent post of mine has been address by Jon, a Christian who I’ve repeatedly crossed swords with.  He has a blog “nonviolent Christians” which is always ridiculous considering how vicious their god is depicted in the bible.  You can see how things went there. He’s also commented here at the Boss’s Office.  One can see just how he avoids questions here and constantly offers excuses.  He has yet to explain his claim that Russell’s Teapot doesn’t work, among other things. Alas, Jon’s supposed “atheist friend” never came to support him or comment.

Let’s get to his comment (his is in italics):

“Is it true?

You have, in the past asked me to provide you with examples of your use of logical fallacies.

If I understand your post correctly, you are arguing that Therapist, Erica Komisar has reached conclusions that do not logically follow from the study funded by the Templeton Foundation.

Abductive Reasoning

I did not watch the video or read the study. I will attempt to determine if your conclusion that Komisar is in error is correct. I will use abductive reasoning. Abductive reasoning is the type of reasoning that Darwin used to test his theory of evolution. “

Jon claims he is addressing what I’ve written (https://clubschadenfreude.com/2021/08/10/not-so-polite-dinner-conversation-thou-shalt-lie-as-long-as-we-can-get-our-claws-in-kids/this is the blog post involved) but we start with nothing more than Jon referring to relatively obscure(at least for me) claims of logical fallacies.  As usual, Jon, cannot show where I’ve used this.  He cannot cut and paste these fallacies I’ve supposedly used. 

Jon also did not watch the video that I was tearing apart or read the study.  How interesting.  He claims that just by reading what I’ve said he can determine if I am correct.  How he think this can work is indeed a mystery.  He has no idea what Komisar claims which means he has no idea what I’m discussing.

For those of you who don’t want to bother going back to the original blog post, this is at the link for the video by “Prager U” and Komisar says this “As a therapist, Erica Komisar is often asked by parents, “How do I talk to my child about death if I don’t believe in God or heaven?” Her answer is always the same. Can you guess what it is?”  claims that one should teach their children about the Judeo/Christo/Islamo god since it is seen as beneficial by a study done at Harvard, even if you don’t believe in it.   Here’s a transcript of exactly what Komisar says

Now, abductive reasoning is little more than occam’s razor.  Merriam-Webster has a nice article on the differences between inductive, deductive and abductive reasoning.  This is the first paragraph there: “Deductive reasoning, or deduction, is making an inference based on widely accepted facts or premises. If a beverage is defined as “drinkable through a straw,” one could use deduction to determine soup to be a beverage. Inductive reasoning, or induction, is making an inference based on an observation, often of a sample. You can induce that the soup is tasty if you observe all of your friends consuming it. Abductive reasoning, or abduction, is making a probable conclusion from what you know. If you see an abandoned bowl of hot soup on the table, you can use abduction to conclude the owner of the soup is likely returning soon.”  

Darwin may have used abductive reasoning to arrive at his evolutionary theory, going from observations to a hypothesis that seems highly probable.  However, evolutionary theory did not stop being supported with Darwin.  This is an example of how some Christians must ignore the advances of science to try to claim that there is something wrong or unsupported by facts.  Abductive reasoning has long been left behind in favor of deductive reasoning thanks to direct observation of what is predicted by evolutionary theory.

“I did not watch the video or read the study. I will attempt to determine if your conclusion that Komisar is in error is correct. I will use abductive reasoning. Abductive reasoning is the type of reasoning that Darwin used to test his theory of evolution.

Abductive reasoning typically begins with an incomplete set of observations and proceeds to the likeliest possible explanation for the set. Abductive reasoning yields the kind of daily decision-making that does its best with the information at hand, which often is incomplete.

With abductive reasoning, a person ascertains the known facts to determine the most probable conclusion.”

Jon then continues with plagiarized definitions of abductive reasoning.  Much of the above is plagiarized by many so it’s rather hard to figure out the original. 

“Analysis:

Observations:

1. You strongly feel that Komisar is in error in her conclusions.
2. You did not demonstrate that the Templeton financed study was incorrectly conducted. For example, was the correct sample size used? Where the question in the study leading questions? Etc.
3. You did not demonstrate that Komisar’s conclusions do not logically follow from the results of the Templeton financed study.
4. You use the ad hominem logical fallacy argument and the red herring logical fallacy argument to defend your position and make your arguments.”

Here, Jon tries to analyze what I’ve read, again with having no clue what Komisar said.  #1 is quite true.  2. He tries to claim that I should not consider the fact that the Templeton Foundation funded the report as suspect. 3. He tries to claim I haven’t shown that Komisar’s conclusions do not logically follow from the study.  4.  He yet again makes claims about ad hominem fallacies, and red herrings, but cannot show that these were used.  This is a very common action from Jon. 

When looking at studies, the funder is always to be looked at.  The Templeton Foundation is a well-known foundation that supports research in their attempt to validate religion, with a focus on Christianity.  I encourage folks to look at the wiki about the Foundation, and to look at the various links within it.  I find this one quite damning.  It tracks very well that the Foundation’s tactics go with the notorious “wedge document” written by creationists.   

“Conclusion:

I think that it is highly probable that Komisar’s conclusions do logically follow from the results of the study,

I do not know if your assertion about Komisar is correct. But, I think that if Komisar’s conclusion did not logically follow from the study, you would have shown the inconsistency if it existed. I think if the study had been improperly conducted you would have demonstrated that fact. When someone uses logical fallacies it immediately raises a red flag in my mind about the truthfulness of their conclusions.

If later, I want to determine with a higher probability if Komisar’s conclusions are true, I will need to listen to the video and read the study and then logically analyze them. I do not find your conclusions convincing.”

Now, there is a problem, that Jon has no idea what Komisar concludes nor can he show that anything follows “logically”.  He has already admitted that he has no idea what either say.  I’ve already show that Komisar’s conclusions do not follow from the study.  Right here: “The study was for all religions, not just christianity, so it is not the faith, but the community that is the influencing factor. “

“Ad Hominem Logical Fallacy Argument

You gave me a definition of ad hominem logical fallacy. http://nizkor.com/features/fallacies/ad-hominem.html

I agree with that definition.

Example of your use of the ad hominin logical fallacy.

“Komisar also goes on to try to lie and claim that nihilism is equal with non-belief in her god.”

Does nihilism equal non belief? You argue that Komisar is wrong because she is trying to lie.”

I am unconvinced. Based on my knowledge of the writings of philosophers such as Jean Paul Sarte, I am forced to conclude that there may be some truth in Komisar’s claim.”


So, again, we see no evidence from Jon that I used an ad hominem argument, nor has he shown anything from Sartre that nihilism is equal to nonbelief.  This is what the link to nizkor said “An Ad Hominem is a general category of fallacies in which a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the author of or the person presenting the claim or argument. Typically, this fallacy involves two steps. First, an attack against the character of person making the claim, her circumstances, or her actions is made (or the character, circumstances, or actions of the person reporting the claim). Second, this attack is taken to be evidence against the claim or argument the person in question is making (or presenting). This type of “argument” has the following form:

  1. Person A makes claim X.
  2. Person B makes an attack on person A.
  3. Therefore A’s claim is false.

“ 

It *is* a lie (a false statement made to benefit the individual making the claim)  that nihilism equals non-belief.  Jon, unsurprisingly, cannot show otherwise.  His being “unconvinced” is no more than a baseless opinion.  

“Red Herring Logical Fallacy Argument:

Red Herring logical fallacy: A red herring is something that misleads or distracts from a relevant or important question. It may be either a logical fallacy or a literary device that leads readers or audiences toward a false conclusion.

Example of your use of the Red Herring logical fallacy.

“Unsurprisingly, this research was funded by the Templeton Foundation who has an investment in wanting religion to be promoted.”

Instead of demonstrating that the study was improperly conducted you seem to be saying it is obvious the study was improper because the Templeton Foundation promotes religion.Where am I wrong?”

Jon presents the claim I’ve used a red herring fallacy  He plagiarized the definition from Wikipedia.  He returns to the claim that mentioning that the Templeton Foundation cannot be done, insisting it has no pertinence, which is false.  The Foundation’s stated intent is quite pertinent to the discussion.  The wiki article shows that there is reason to question their intentions.

I’m rather surprised at myself that I didn’t put a link to more about the study.  I can remedy that now.  Here is an article: Religious upbringing linked to better health and well-being during early adulthood | News | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health  It says “One limitation of the study is that it consisted mainly of children of white females of relatively high family socioeconomic status, and therefore might not be generalizable to a broader population, though prior research by VanderWeele suggested the effects of religious service attendance for adults may be even larger for black versus white populations. Another limitation was that the study did not look at the influences of parents and peers on adolescents’ religious decisions.” 

That prior research has the conclusion “Conclusions and Relevance  Frequent attendance at religious services was associated with significantly lower risk of all-cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality among women. Religion and spirituality may be an underappreciated resource that physicians could explore with their patients, as appropriate.”  Which is also ignoring that it is community, not religion, that could be the causing factor.  There is an assumption of correlation here that cannot be supported. 

This is what Jon harvests when he doesn’t even try to look at things but just to attack me.  So he is wrong in many places.  I have to wonder if he tried this to cast doubt on my methods so he could cling to his beliefs.  If so, that didn’t work so well.   

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – “Who’s on the side of science now?” how saying something doesn’t mean it’s true

Caroline (a Christian who I’ve tangled with before) certainly has written an amusing piece on her blog, insisting that science supports theism.  No matter how much she wants to “boldly proclaim that not only are science and faith not in conflict with each other, theism is the worldview better supported by science” it isn’t even remotely true.  It is notable that she doesn’t’ say it supports Christianity.  That’s what she means. 

Caroline tries to falsely claim that it is really Christians who are “on the side of science.”.  Of course, Caroline also makes this claim “For instance, I believe that I am not going to contract COVID-19 unless God allows it to happen, and that for a morally justifiable reason.”  And “A bug is no match for God.“ and “I live without fear of things I can’t see because I know he sees them and has absolute control over them.“

oh and isn’t this a typically conservative Christian bit of nonsense “What the parable doesn’t teach is that we are obligated to put ourselves in need to possibly extend the lives of some who are mere statistics to us.”  This is regards to if humans should care about others and if the locking down for the pandemic was necessary. It’s very nice to see such honesty.

So much for Caroline’s claim about being on the side of science.  I wonder if she regrets these word “ I’m praying that our government leaders increase their concern for the wrong being done to many of our neighbors in their directives meant to protect the lives of a relative few. And to also hold as of primary relevance that God ultimately decides who lives and who dies.”  This was written back in May of 2020.  And hundreds of thousands of deaths later….

Caroline’s claims aren’t supported by the science she claims she supports.  Her lies about abortion are quite pitiful.  Science supports the fact that a fetus is not the same as an adult or a child.  Science supports that a fetus requires a human to exist (at least so far).  Science supports the fact that if Caroline prevents women from having legal abortions, they have a chance to die from illegal abortions.  One has to wonder about Caroline’s disregard for life as indicated here and above. 

“Honestly, it’s like they really don’t know how babies are made. You rarely hear from pro-abortion folks, “practice safe sex,” and never hear, “refrain from sex if you’re not open to conceiving a child by it.” They fail to make the connection between sex and reproduction. Science, people!”

Funny how people like me, like Planned Parenthood, etc always are saying practice safe sex, advocating for easy access to birth control, etc.  Quite unlike Christians like Caroline.  She is an incompetent liar as usual. We aren’t the ones having a fit about condoms being handed out. 

Caroline is confused about gender and sex.  Science supports that there is gender and there is sex, and does not support the conservative claim that things are only binary.  Caroline of course simply ignores the science that contradicts her claims.  Psychology is one of the sciences and it is bemusing to see Caroline run to it when she wants to claim how the poor children are being somehow injured if they are told that gender isn’t a fixed thing but try to claim it isn’t important otherwise.  Caroline is also terribly ignorant about DNA and genetics, if she thinks gender is “hardwired” there. 

In that not all Christians agree with Caroline, there is no reason to think she or they have any knowledge at all about some magical being in the sky. 

The next claims are even more pitiful.

1.  Physics does indicate a beginning for the universe we have now.  We have no evidence that some magical being is required.  She does try hard with the philosophical argument of a first cause.  It is not scientific.  We do have examples of things “popping” into the universe. 

2. She tries the argument from beauty, which is a common Christian tactic and reveals just how ignorant and selfish they are when they have no problem ignoring that there is a good bit in this universe that isn’t beautiful at all.  She also tries the “complexity” argument and cannot show that a god is needed for that either since we get to see how complexity is evolved into being and it can be evolved out too.  There is nothing scientific about either of her arguments. 

3.  Then we get the ol’ “fine-tuning” argument.  That isn’t scientific either.  We don’t know yet what exactly is needed for life to be or how far things can vary.  She lies again when she says that fine-tuning is accepted by “most cosmologist and astrophysicists”. 

The wave that Caroline mentions doesn’t exist and we currently are watching religion fail since it doesn’t reflect reality.  The recent poll about how acceptance of evolutionary theory is rising terrifies Christians like Caroline.  So much for her claims about science.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – thou shalt lie, as long as we can get our claws in kids

Wow, one of the more unpleasant videos by conservative Christian liars I’ve seen in a while. I found this on a Christian blog by a Dr. Bob.  It’s about how even atheists really need to teach their kids about the Christian god.  For their good, of course.   It’s a few years old but still a lovely sample of how much some Christian rely on deceit to spread their false claims.  Just like ol’ C.S. Lewis in his encouragement to lie to potential Christians about the contradictions between Christians and their hate for one another.

No need to tell children about an imaginary being who damns people to eternal torture for no fault of their own.   A vicious god that kills children for no fault of their own. 

I do love the video since it shows just how vile conservative Christians can be.  It shows that Komisar (evidently a jewish believer), and christians, have no problem with making false claims about religion and misrepresenting that Harvard study.  The study was for all religions, not just christianity, so it is not the faith, but the community that is the influencing factor.  Unsurprisingly, this research was funded by the Templeton Foundation who has an investment in wanting religion to be promoted. 

So any religion is fine, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, etc.  Christianty, Judaism: nothing special. 

Komisar also goes on to try to lie and claim that nihilism is equal with non-belief in her god.  Alas, that is not the case at all.  Komisar says to lie to your children aka “Fake it”.  She excuses her lying by saying that all parents falsely promise their children that nothing bad will ever happen to them.    Hmm, this is rather close to this god saying that it will take care of every believer like the lilies.  It doesn’t do as promised and all believers have is blaming victims to excuse their god e.g. You didn’t pray enough, etc. 

Amazing how that works when this god of Komisar’s says never to lie, not even if you think you are lying *for* it, Romans 3, or if she is jewish “No one who practices deceit shall dwell in my house; no one who utters lies shall continue before my eyes.” Psalm 101 and “11 “You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; you shall not lie to one another. 12 You shall not swear by my name falsely, and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord.” Leviticus 19.  She also claims that the only way for a child to be taught gratitude and empathy is by organized religion.  Of course, she means her version of Christianity, no other.  Alas, we have millions of people, who needed no religion to be humane humans.  Observation outweighs her lies. 

In conclusion, all she has is “think of the children” as a basis for her attempts at recruitment for religion. It’s so sweet to see her false concern for free choice of religion offered as a reason why parents should bother their kids with baseless myths.  Ah, the pure hypocrisy there. 

“prager u” is not a university at all, just a conservative media company known for its false claims. 

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – christians afraid of science fiction

Now, one of our favorite thoughtless conservative Christians, Winter Knight, is now very afraid of us nerds.    Why?  Because science fiction makes atheists!  <cue scream>.  He found a nice little article from a conservative Christian/desperate Catholic/white nationalist rag called The American Spectator from 11 years ago to support his “research”.     

That original article is quite whitewash job, claiming how important the Catholic Church was to astronomy.  It entirely ignores how the RCC was material in holding astronomy back, and its murder of those who dared to disagree with it.  The author, one Hal Colebatch, is “shocked” that it was noted that many science fiction writers are noted to be atheists.  I *think* this is the compilation of essays he is talking about.  It does look good.  Alas, it’s kinda expensive. 

The article makes little sense in that Hal isn’t sure why writing science fiction makes one able to consider the question if there is a god or not.  Unsurprisingly, Hal thinks that only theologians are qualified to talk about this, the old “sophisticated theology” argument.  The mere fact of being an atheist doesn’t necessarily make one a good anti-apologist, nor does being a science fiction writer.  However, many science fiction writers are polymaths and they have indeed spent time in thinking about such things as all of the possibilities of a universe, including whether or not there is a god involved. The article wraps up with a Christian so upset that people don’t mention them in every breath.  

Poor WK he is upset that reading science fiction shows that religion is anti-science.  Now, what science fiction he is reading is beyond me since I do not recall a single instance of this and I’ve read a LOT of science fiction.  Religion is rarely if ever mentioned, so where WK is seeing this persecution of poor WK is a mystery.  As noted above, it’s just the need for attention.

What WK seems to be most bothered about is that a fair amount of science fiction shows that humans and aliens aren’t that different and humans aren’t as special as a conservative Christian must believe he is.  WK and his god aren’t needed. 

WK is upset that his god might not be the creator.  For all of his lies about intelligent design, he just can’t stand it if his god isn’t considered the designer.  He also again lies about the multiverse hypothesis (not theory) and the false claims about fine-tuning and of course hasn’t a clue about the Big Bang Theory, still insisting that it’s evidence for his rather silly god.  The BBT does show a beginning; it doesn’t say it was the only one.   

Here’s his whine “. And that’s why when we produce evidence for them in debates, they will believe in speculations rather than go where the evidence leads.”  Nope, we consider the speculations of WK and find them to be unsupported since our creationist has no evidence for his claims.  His religion is revealed as nothing more than speculation and fiction. 

Here’s another gem from WK “They seem to think that untestable speculations are “good enough” to refute observational evidence –“   Hmmm, WKs god?  The ultimate untestable speculation.   No evidence at all for it.  We can see that WK has never read science fiction or watched it.   Alas, nope, it doesn’t make the mysterious of the universe seem easy to understand to the atheist.  WK whines that SF invents imaginary answers to the questions of the universe.  It can, and surprise, that’s what the bible does, showing it to be the fiction it is.  As WK himself says, this fiction is accepted becausethere is a  “want and need to believe in those speculations”.

Alas for WK, fictional characters and real humans can be moral and intelligent without WK and his god.  The bible are myths that the Christian wants to believe. 

Us SF fans want both the evidence for the BBT and the imagination for warp drives. As we know from many interviews with scientists, it was science fiction that caused them to question and move forward, not listening to religion which says “we already know the truth”.  Poor WK, the cosmic background radiation and nucleosynthesis shows his primitive myth about gods and creation to be wrong. 

Then ol’ WK entirely goes off the rails, and rants about how atheists are only atheist because we want to enjoy sex.  Poor dear, he is always about the sex.   I guess the poor fellow is jealous of so many things.   Alas, our worldview is not discredited at all.  Poor WK, he can’t even get other Christians to agree with him.

If WK really wants to see religion in science fiction, he should watch Babylon 5.  There is a whole episode about religion, The Parliament of Dreams, but alas he’ll be upset with it since it dares to show *all* of earth’s religions, as well as those of aliens.  There’s also a great episode about Christianity and monks:  Passing Through Gethsemane.    And then we have G’Kar, an alien who shows the best of what a spiritual sentient being can be (after being a general pain in the ass through out much of the series).