Falsification or positive evidence?

One of the questions posed by religious people is how atheists propose to disprove the existence of a God. On the face of it, the question is ridiculous as there is no reason to believe God would be the default position; it is not on the atheist to disprove God before positive evidence is given in favour of a God. From here, the conversation runs the risk of misunderstanding falsification and positive evidence.

Falsification was articulated by Karl Popper. His argument was that good ideas are ones that are prohibitive: if true, the idea draws a clear distinction between what can happen and what cannot. Anything an idea proposes cannot happen is then looked for. The standard example is swans: if the idea is that all swans are white, then the idea proposes no non-white swans can happen. Then, you seek a non-white swan. If you’ve looked hard enough and long enough and not found a non-white swan, but have found many more white swans, then you can provisionally accept that idea as knowledge.

This does not mean that for someone to reject an idea they must know how to falsify the idea and then do it. Falsification is actually a metric by which we see whether an idea is a valid one, even before we set out to disprove it. Falsification encourages us to define an idea well enough to know what we might see, should the idea be false. So, contrary to standard practice, the reasonable question is for atheists to ask religious people how they would disprove God. It is only in an intelligible answer to that question can we even be sure the idea the religious person is peddling is valid.

And this brings us to the opposite of falsification: positive evidence. This is evidence that conforms to the nature proposed by an idea. Given a sufficiently ill-defined idea, like Freudian psychology, everything fits the proposed nature of the idea. This is why the idea must first be defined in such a way as to explicitly prohibit something, as to be (possibly) falsified. Then, this well defined idea must have some positive evidence presented in its favour. An idea cannot be considered knowledge simply on the existence of this positive evidence; proper attempts at falsification must be made as well. But, without the evidence in favour of the idea ‘that which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence’.

So, it is religious people who must answer the question ‘how would you disprove a God’ to demonstrate their idea is an intellectually valid one, and then they must present positive evidence for that God. This may seem unfair, but if the religious person is presented a coherent case with a well-defined idea, it should be the easiest thing in the world.

Advertisements

278 thoughts on “Falsification or positive evidence?”

  1. This is about as clear and cogent a presentation of the idea of falsification as I have seen. Having said that I am feeling that we need a way to move on as we have discussed “whether God exists” ad nauseum and it doesn’t settle anything. By any reasonable account there has been no evidence nor no argument for the existence of God and yet millions of people still believe. This seems to be because their religion gives them something they are not getting otherwise. So when something horrible happens and a believe feels they should do something about it (ISIS or whatever), yet theya re not in a position to do anything, they can get together with their fellow believers and pray, thus having the feeling they are doing something. This, of course, is false reassurance (consider the false reassurance of the prayers accompanying each gun massacre in the U.S., to my knowledge, not a single dead person has been resurrected, but the prayers keep coming).

    We need to find ways to address these needs through secular society to get them off of the false hope drub which is religion.

    1. Modern science has proven the existence of God.

      And logical proofs of the existence of God have been around for centuries and centuries.

      Further, an atheist only has two choices:

      1. If God doesn’t exist everything just happened all by itself.

      2. The atheist is like a cat, dog or newborn babe and has no idea or belief in the existence of God.

      Either way, atheism is an embarrassment, a total failure of reason.

      1. Som, I’ve been trying to comment on your most recent post. Two times now. Are they still in mod, have you deleted them or am I banned?

      2. What exactly are you referring to or call God?
        A guy that sits on the cloud?
        A big bang?
        Universe?
        Energy-Matter?
        Human? 😀
        Or aliens?
        Science has proven that earth was created from an exploded star. And due to it’s location in our solar system, having 80-99% of water. ( That is crucial for any life to exist) livable atmosphere and so on… why couldn’t we be some bacteria that over time grew and mutated to what we are today.
        On another note : Universe is made out of 5 main ingredients : 1. Hydrogen 2. Helium 3. Carbon 4.Oxygen 5. Nitrogen. A human is made out of 4 of those? Coincidence?
        So again my question is , what are you referring to when you say God???

        1. “Science has proven that earth was created from an exploded star.” Really? Proven that was the case? Or shown that it might have been the case? And frankly, I doubt it. “Stars” have a lot of energy, and if one “exploded”, the matter involved would seem to have been widely distributed. Even if the matter did coalesce into planets, with the sun exploded, where did the sun come from?

          The theory I learned growing up was that the matter and energy of the universe was inserted into the universe “instantaneously” (the “Big Bang” theory) and some eventually became planets and some became suns..

    2. Not sure how to do this. I’m trying not</i to respond to “Steve Ruis,” who is obviously an illiterate idiot, but to respond to the initial post.

      The premise of the initial post is incorrect.At a high level, there are precisely four potential possibilities:

      On the “Unbelief” side:
      (1) Non-belief in God — They must support it. (My remarks: I haven’t heard anything rational on this side.)
      (2) The belief in God — They must refute it. (I haven’t heard anything rational at all on this side either)

      On the “Belief in God” side:
      (3) Non-belief in God: They must oppose it. (We’ve heard the usual arguments that the opposition has often tied to counter.)
      (4) The belief in God — They must support it.(No argument that I’ve ever seen has countered this. However, I’ve always been willing to keep an open mind.)

      Quite simply, each side must post its best arguments for its point of view — both those arguments for, and refutations of arguments against. Period.

      The secular left –the atheistic side — has never felt the need to worry about the rational.

      Best,

      — x

      1. If someone believes something, they do NOT have to support it, unless they are trying to get someone else to believe it, or if they are making demands based on the belief. THEN they required to provide adequate evidence. The burden of proof is always on the person making a claim.

        “I believe unicorns exist and are purple” No claim is made except that the person has a belief. No proof required. Possible responses to this statement include:
        – “I don’t believe it” Again, no claim made, so no proof required of either side. Agree to disagree
        – “Unicorns do NOT exist”. This is a claim, and the person making it should (or at least be ready to) be able to defend it.
        – “Prove it”. An optional request. You can try to or demur, as you prefer
        – “You are an idiot” An unrelated claim, and the person making it should (or at least be ready to) be able to defend it.

        “Unicorns exist and the purple ones are nearly extinct. Since your land is their natural habitat, you have to move elsewhere.” This is a claim (or three) and worse, one which has real impact on someone else, so you better bring lots of proof.

        1. Equipped said, “If someone believes something, they do NOT have to support it, unless they are trying to get someone else to believe it”

          I beg to disagree.

          That’s kind of the point of Allallt’s blog, and Zande’s posts. They make a rather big point of trying to make the case that God doesn’t exist, and they have not made that case.

          Remember: Allallt, Zande and the the nitwit Ark are much about trying to walk believers down some logical path they think they’ve discovered that “proves” that the Bible is wrong, or false, or some such.That, they say, supports the conclusion that each has arrived at in his own mind that God doesn’t exist.

          The problem: they’ve never posited anything but third-grade flapdoodle in support of their contentions.

          Best,

          — x

        2. yes, that is the point of Allallt’s blog, but I beg to differ. Nobody has to prove their beliefs, unless they insist others believe them or use them to try to control others.

          If you are going to insist that people prove their beliefs, then EVERYBODY had to prove ALL their beliefs, and that will get real messy real fast.

        3. Lol! True. However, as you might have mentioned above, Ark and Zande insist that others prove their own beliefs. Therefore there has to be something at which they can point in their lives to buttress their unbelieving conclusion.

          And they do. They regularly try to get others to provide “evidence,” which they then set about to refute.

          In that way, they’re making an effort simultaneously to refute the belief of others, while supporting the idea that their own unbelief is correct.

          Yes, if one is going to conclude that God doesn’t exist, then that’s an affirmative conclusion, and should be backed up, either with alternative explanations for existence and the universe and all, or some kind of solid refuting evidence or logic.

          Best,

          — x

        4. If a person reaches a conclusion, then no, they don’t need to back it up, UNLESS they then try to get others to come to the same conclusion, or they act on that conclusion to the detriment of others.

        5. Correct, because nobody other than Him can accurately evaluate them. People can see (some of) what you do, but only God can see why. And only God knows what is acceptable to Him, and what is not acceptable to Him.

        6. By the way, Zande and Ark tend to issue their beliefs as “truth”, which does require them to prove it. They are more interested in having those who disagree with them prove their point of view, because they are good at picking others words to pieces and apparently not very good at proving their point of view. Very Sun Tzu, attack the enemies weakness rather than reveal your own.

      2. They must support their non belief? I could see this if the atheist was saying directly “there is no god” but that is not what atheism says and you know it, xpraetorius.
        How exactly would one force another to support their non belief? Sounds like a nuanced version of “prove there is no god in order to have justification for not believing”

        Whats your justification for not believing that somewhere in the vast stretches of the universe that Thor or Russell’s teapot doesn’t exist. You are an atheist to all other gods you don’t believe too. Try justifying your non belief in all of them.

        Transparantly, you use these ridiculous arguments to escape the bu

        1. Sorry, xpraetorius, comment cutt off before i finished it,… Your burden to demonstrate and support your own positive assertions that the Christian god of the Bible exists. Dishonest and cowardly.

        2. SOME atheists believe that no gods exist. That is perfectly fine. But if they want others to believe that, they must be prepared to prove that.

          Some atheists do not have ANY beliefs about gods, so as you say, they don’t have anything to prove. .

        3. I agree. If someone makes a claim that God doesn’t exist… go to town. But that’s not what atheism is. It’s a position of non belief, not a position of knowledge that God does not exist.
          I myself am not atheist, just a recently deconverted Christian. Probably more agnostic.

        4. I’m sorry, but atheism includes those who BELIEVE that no gods exist, as well as those who have no belief in gods at all and those who don’t know what to believe. It includes EVERYBODY who does not hold a belief that God or gods exist. At one time, I considered there to be 3 positions, Theism (belief in God or gods), Atheism (belief in NO gods) and Agnosticism (don’t know what to believe – where I used to be). But I was “educated” that at least nowadays, atheism includes the “strong atheists”, who believe there are no gods, and those who used to be considered agnostics, now considered “weak atheists”. The telling point is that any theism is a belief metric, while agnosticism is a knowledge metric.

        5. Im sorry, but youre just wrong, and for the reason you gave last. Doesnt matter what some try to fold into the term. Atheism is a position on belief, do not believe… and agnosticism is a position on knowledge, dont know. Those that say they DO know, whether there is a god or there is not a god, are liars and misunderstanding the scope of the question. If someone says “i know there is no god” that is not atheism, thats just plain dishonest or just as deluded as someone who say they know there is… regardless if they think that is an atheist statement. Its a gnostic statement.

        6. Yep, but there is a significant difference between not believing in gods and believing there are no gods, the “religion” of no god, if you will..

        7. And those who believe THAT no god or gods exist, are just plain ignorant. You can no more ‘prove’ that no god or gods exist than you can ‘prove’ that somewhere in the universe or even outside the universe somewhere god or gods DON’T exist

        8. My point was it is the error or conflating the two, non belief in god with belief that god or gods dont exist, that is the same as defining anothers position for him

        9. If you assign the label to the person, then perhaps, yes. But we need a label for such people to call themselves, because at the moment, they are identifying as atheists.

        10. I prefer conversation and exchange. If there is no lable, who cares? We know the difference even if there is no lable, unless ones poiht is to put the two positions together, being knowingly dishonest…

        11. Do you agree that many of those who believe that no gods exist refer to themselves as “atheists”?

          Your position, which seems to have some merit, is that they are incorrectly using this label.

          The only way to fix this “problem” is to provide a viable alternative. As with many problems the only other choices are either to ignore it so it “goes away” as far as you are concerned, or complain about it, making it an ever growing problem for you.

        12. I believe Antitheist might be more accurate. But please, stop referring to atheists, even ‘some’ atheists, as holding the belief that there are no god or gods. Its just not accurate. Antitheists are also atheist by nateure but they are two very different positions

        13. A sticky wicket. A theist is a person who holds to theism, a belief, correct? It would seem that an antitheist would be against theists. The most obvious antitheist would be a person who subscribed to antitheism, but a case could be made that a particular Muslim hating Christians was “antitheist”. A bit of a stretch, I know.

        14. Not really, someone, anyone, who is attacking Islam or Muslim religion, isn’t necessarily antitheist. I did it for years as a part of Christian Apologetics. I wasn’t antitheist, I was specifically in that instance anti Muslim, or anti Hindu, anti Mormon, anti …
          But not antitheist generally because I was theist regarding my own Christianity.
          Overall, good try but it was a stretch.

        15. Actually, antitheist is one who claims that there is no God or gods. So you’re right. As I said before an antitheist would be atheist because of their disbelief in God or gods, but specifically antitheist because of their assertion that there is no God or gods.
          But atheism is not antitheist. Atheism itself is not a positive claim that there is no God or gods, it is only lack of belief.

        16. Sorry, my head hurts. I’m not seeing a way the terms work out. Please show me where I am going wrong.

          1) Theism is the belief in the existence of a god or multiple gods

          2) A theist is a person who holds to theism

          Am I ok so far?

          3) the prefix “anti” means “against”, “opposed to” (as far as I can tell)

          So how do we get from “opposed to” “a person who believes in God or gods” to “disbelief in God or gods”? As a characteristic of such a person or a result of that belief, sure, but as a definition? .

        17. It’s not really that difficult.
          Atheism is the disbelief in god or gods, “I don’t believe”
          Antitheism is the belief or claim that there is no god or gods.
          They are different. One is the lack of belief, the other is the positive assertion THAT there are no god or gods.

        18. Antitheist is not against the people who believe in God or gods. You seem to have created the misunderstanding yourself. It is the positive assertion that there are no god or gods. Simple is as simple does. No need for headache at all

        19. I see, it is sort of like mathematics, where some operators have precedence over others. So with “antitheist”, you take the belief (antitheism) and apply the personalization (ist) rather than start with the personalization and apply the anti prefix.

        20. So now we have atheist being a person who holds to atheism, which means “without” “the belief in God or gods”, which was your original point. And we have antitheist being a person who holds to antitheism, which means “opposed to” “the belief in God or gods”. And certainly I’ve run into some of those. Often, a belief that no gods exist could lead to antitheism, but is it guaranteed that all antitheists believe there are no gods? Is it possible that agnostics could be antitheists, at least occasionally? I’d say so; I can remember times which I was antitheist..

        21. You are still thinking in terms of antitheists being against people… namely theists. It’s simpler than you are trying to make it. An Antitheist is someone who says or has a belief that there is no god or gods.
          An atheist says they don’t believe in God or gods.
          An Antitheist is an atheist who takes the non belief to the positive claim “there is no god or gods”

        22. No, an anti-theist is a person (the ist) who is “opposed to” theism. Not opposed to theists; you have shown me that is not the case. All that remains to be shown is how there can only be a one to one relationship between believing that no God or gods exist and being against the belief that God or gods exist. That is, if you believe that God or gods do not exist, that you are always against the belief that they do exist, which seem likely. AND, that nobody who is against the belief that God or gods can ever fail to also believe that God or gods do not exist. This one is problematical; I’m pretty sure I fell into that class a few times. That is, did not believe that gods exist or believe that gods do not exist (considered myself an agnostic), but really was against theists who were bugging me. Come to think of it, I was anti THOSE people, not anti the belief in God. I suppose an agnostic homosexual could possibly be against the belief in God (because usually a belief in God is paired with thinking homosexuality is wrong) without having the belief that no God or gods exist.

        23. Conflating the two is not helpful, respectful and may even be intentionally dishonest and deceitful

        24. To be honest, ive never interacted with an atheist who said believed that there were no god or gods. Most are very open to evidence and change. Problem is, thenones who claim atheists believe that there are no god or gods have all been christians who have a desire to shift to burden of proof, so they dishonestly define atheists the way you have repeatedly and have even defended vociferously in the face of my continual and reasoned correction.

        25. Sorry if I’ve seemed obtuse. I have been “preached at” by people who believe no gods exist, and who have identified themselves as atheists. Every definition of atheist I’ve ever seen at least includes “disbelief in gods”.

          Perhaps I’m wrong. If “theist” is “belief in God or gods”, then “atheist” (original meaning “without gods”) could be lack of belief in gods.

          Anybody out there who believes no gods exist? If so, where do you stand on this question?

        26. It is a belief about gods held by more than one person, so we need a term to describe it (almost everybody who holds that belief label themselves as atheists, so that term has got to be pretty appealing 🙂 )

        27. Appealing, but nevertheless incorrect, misleading and just plain disrespectful to atheist who have to counter it ALL THE DAMNED TIME from theists, mostly dishonest christians, trying to strawman argue.

        28. No, I mean the new term has to be appealing to encourage those who hold the position to self identify by the new term instead of continuing to identify as atheist..

        29. Lables are less than helpful sometimes. I figure if im honest, ill ask the other person what they believe and dont believe, and let their answer be my guide, as i have done with you

        30. Yes, although I find few people who are eager to eschew the labels, so I try to accept whatever definition they attach to the label.

        31. So, for future reference, when someone tells you that they are atheist, AND that they believe that there are no god or gods, your informed response would be….? That yes they are atheist because they dont believe that there are god or gods AND they are ALSO Antitheist because they ADDITONALLY believe THAT there are no god or gods, right?

        32. I’d like more input from others before I change my working definition of atheist again (being correct does not help if “everybody else” is incorrect), but if I do so change, then yes, at least the first part. I also have to evaluate my working definition of “antitheist” (currently “against those who believe in God or gods”). Anti-theism is obviously against the belief in God or gods, because theism in that belief. A theist is a person who holds the belief, so it would seem that to be antitheist would be to be against the person. Do you have a different view?

        33. Dude, you sure are making a lot of effort to hold onto a wrong definition. I’m not really sure why

        34. Because that appears to be the common consensus in the world in which I exist. That does not mean it is right, but one dissent alone does not guarantee it is wrong. I’m hoping for some additional input on the matter.

        35. KIA said: “They must support their non belief? I could see this if the atheist was saying directly “there is no god” but that is not what atheism says and you know it, xpraetorius.”

          Oh? You’ve never run up against a militant atheist? You have lived a sheltered life! 🙂

          If I recall correctly, you’re kind of a militant atheist yourself, no

          Remember something called “The Soviet Union?” Remember something called “Communist China?” And many others? If you were a believer — simply in a Supreme Being, any Supreme Being — you were taking your life in your hands.

          There are plenty of atheists whose position is, affirmatively, that God doesn’t exist.

          The “You are an atheist to all those other gods…” section of your post is just pointless silliness.

          However, Allallt’s blog is The Land of Insufferable Sophists, so I’d expect to see that kind of meaningless nitwittery here. 🙂

          — xPraetorius

        36. KIA: “That is not atheism. Atheism is simply a LACK of belief in god or gods.”

          Here’s how I’ve heard it:
          • Atheism — an affirmative belief that there is no Supreme Being. The atheists in this blog will pretend that there aren’t any of these, but I will suggest that there are very many, and I encounter them all the time.
          • Agnosticism — What KIA said above, or an admission that one “doesn’t know.”
          • Theism — an affirmative belief that there is a Supreme Being.

          Best,

          — x

        37. Sorry, meant to say… I’m not atheist, probably closer to agnostic. But your definition of atheism is just dead wrong. And I suspect you already know this but refuse to adjust your definition because it allows you to unfairly and dishonestly shift the burden of proof off of yourself, you know the one… the one where you should be ‘answering for the hope that’s within’ and giving proof for your positive claim that Jesus is God and everyone who doesn’t believe is going to be tortured and roasted for eternity? Yeah buddy, that one… that burden of proof.
          Go on then, get to it. Toodles

        38. Don’t try to read my mind, and I won’t try to read yours, okay?

          You worry a out me calling someone a sophist?

          Have you even seen what Ark has written?!? Quit being an insufferable hypocrite. 🙂

          Best,

          — x

        39. Ever heard of “bearing false witness against another”? That’s what you do every time you deliberately misdefine atheism and the positive assertions that there is no god. Your lying, Brother and you know it

        40. Again, don’t try to read my mind, and I won’t try to read yours.

          I am, of course, not lying. Since I’m the only one who could possibly know whether I am or not, my assertion should be dispositive, and should put that to rest once and for all.

          As for “bearing false witness,” no wonder you’re where you are in your non-believing state! You don’t even understand the really, really basic fundamentals!

          To bear false witness against someone else, one has to intend to bear false witness against him. If I believe that I’m telling the truth — even if I make a mistake — then I’m not “bearing false witness.” If I believe that what I’m saying is true, then I am, again by definition, neither lying, nor “bearing false witness.”

          Duh!

          (Quick parenthetical remark. The silly accusations of lying are the hallmark in America of the braindead political left. As soon as there’s any disagreement with a point of view of theirs, the accusation of “Liar!” or “Racist!” or some such nonsense, leaps quickly to their lips, as if they wish to get the task of falsely impugning the integrity of their opponent out of the way quickly. I’d bet quite a bit, KIA, that you’re on the political left. Just a little Sherlock Holmes-style deductive reasoning. And, yes, potential mind-reading. However, you’ll note that I asked you about it because you exhibited a particularly ugly trait of the political left; I did not state affirmatively that you are on the left. 🙂 )

          As far as I can tell, your accusation against me is that I’ve used an incorrect definition of atheism, and therefore have “borne false witness” against those I’ve called atheists. And you’ve told me that I don’t believe what I’ve said here in these pages (your accusation of “lying.”), something you couldn’t possibly know.

          Now, what is your countering evidence that (1) I’ve got atheism all wrong, and (2) I knew it all along, and deliberately misled in these pages?

          Well, for #1, we can quote you: “Your definition of atheism is incorrect.”

          Well, okay then! We disagree.

          As for #2, there’s nothing you can possibly put forward that would provide for anyone any indication whatsoever that you have some inside track knowledge of my real thoughts concerning what I say here. Therefore, again, what I say in that regard is, of course, the final authority.

          Do you see what I mean by the insufferable sophists here?

          Look at the time that I had to waste in stating what should have been obvious to you and anyone else reading what you wrote. Yet, if I hadn’t, then the transparently nonsensical silliness you wrote would become “received wisdom” by the likes of the non-thinking Zande, the juvenile Ark, and, of course, the sophist’s sophist: Allallt, all of whom would have supported without question your transparently false assertions.

          Note: I made no accusation that you made your false assertions knowing them to be false; I believe that you believe the meaningless codswallop you wrote. Still, I had to waste my time demonstrating that it was, indeed, meaningless codswallop .

          Best,

          — x

        41. Also, I’ve backed up my contentions with my evidence many, many times. In these very pages! I don’t feel the need to do it yet again here.

          You can find the exchanges.

          Best,

          — x

        42. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
          Revelation 21:8 KJV
          http://bible.com/1/rev.21.8.KJV

        43. Lol! I don’t fear the accusation of someone who has what sure appears like a very low level of knowledge or understanding of biblical concepts.

          Best,

          — x

        44. Let’s see, let’s see… you call me a liar, then suggest that I’m going to Hell, and then you accuse me of engaging in “personal attacks.”

          Do you even read what you write?

          Best,

          — x

        45. A quick correction:

          I said previously: “• None of them don’t go to church.”

          Needless to say, I meant: “• None of them go to church.”

          Best,

          — x

        46. So, let me see if I understand this correctly: You think that I’m worse off than you in God’s eyes because I believe in Him, yet, according to you, I get some things wrong? While, you’re better off in God’s eyes because though you don’t deny His existence, you live your life as if you do.

          Remember — play dueling definitions all you want, the Agnostic, the Anti-theist, the Secular Humanist, etc… all live their lives as … Atheists.

          What does that mean? Simple:
          • None of them feel bound by the Ten Commandments, except insofar as they make sense to them at any given moment.

          • None of them feel bound by Christ’s commandments, again, except insofar as they make sense to them at any given moment.

          • None of them believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ, and therefore don’t believe in the concept of divine salvation and redemption.

          • None of them don’t go to church.

          • None of them support church activities… In fact, many here in these pages would suggest that those activities are “evil.”

          • None of them pray

          • None of them raise their children as believers

          • And so forth…

          In other words — the real bottom line: there’s not an ounce of actual difference whatsoever between an Atheist, an Agnostic, a Secular Humanist or any of the other oddball subsets of Atheism, and an Atheist.

          Best,

          — x

        47. You have no idea who I am, what my story is and what I do or do not know, how I live or how I raise my family. How dare You? Stop the personal attacks and get back to your burden of proof

        48. There was, of course, no personal attack in anything that I wrote.

          You need to get rid of your paranoia, and thin-skinned hyper-sensitivity, KIA! 🙂

          Go ahead: contradict any of my bullet points. It should be quite easy if I’m so ignorant of what atheism’s all about. Which of my bullet points is incorrect?

          It’s interesting: you say you’re a “Conservative/Libertarian,” or lean that way. Are you new to that? Because thin-skinned hyper-sensitivity, paranoia and substanceless accusations are all the hallmarks of the American political left.

          Without those three things, the American left would have nothing to say.

          I might have to add to my above, well-documented assertion about the characteristics of the left, and test the following: Thin-skinned hyper-sensitivity, paranoia and substanceless accusations are all the hallmarks of the insecure atheist.

          Best,

          — x

        49. While we’re at Bible verses… how do you stack up to gal 5.22-24? How many of those fruits are active and demonstrated in your conversation here? Hmm?
          Let’s see…

        50. Ooooohhh! Dueling Bible verses! What fun!

          Naaaahhh… I don’t play the game. I’d rather an honest discussion without any of the silly name-calling and substance-less accusations.

          Again, which of my bullet points do you disagree with concerning the lives of Atheists and the other subset groups?

          Best,

          — x

        51. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
          Galatians 5:22‭-‬24 KJV
          —-
          Love, nope
          Joy, nope
          Peace or peaceableness,nope
          Patience, nope
          Kindness… definitely not!
          Goodness, nope
          Faith or faithfulness, well you got one 😉
          Gentleness, lol… you wouldn’t know kindness if it bit you on the ass, so nope
          Self control… you have displayed absolutely no self control here, just venom, personal attacks and hatred for anyone who disagrees or doesn’t believe as you do. Nope, no self control
          —–
          Seems like the shoe might be on the other foot, xpraetorius. It might be YOU who are not or never were a True Christian ™
          Otherwise, as Paul says in vs 24, you would have crucified the flesh.
          For that you need to see gal 5.19 thru 21.
          But have a nice bbq

        52. Let’s see if we can help you out a bit here, KIA

          You said: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
          Galatians 5:22‭-‬24 KJV”

          You continued: Love, nope [My reaction: Again, how could you possibly know what or whom I love? I’ll answer for you. You couldn’t. That was a dumb throwaway line.]

          You continued: Joy, nope [My reaction: Same as the above comment. This is perfectly unknowable by you. Another dumb throwaway line.]
          Peace or peaceableness,nope [My reaction: Oh, how’s that? I’ve never been anything but calm and serene in my posts. I pull no punches, but I’ve never been out of line.]

          You continued: Patience, nope [My reaction: You think that my dealings with this lot here has not demonstrated patience?!? Again: do you even read what you write?]

          You continued: Kindness… definitely not! [My reaction: Oh? How’s that? If you’re nice to me, I’m unfailingly nice to you. Ask Equipped. He and I have disagreed, and he’s even been pointed about it (the “methane” remark), but he’s never called me a liar, as you have, nor has he falsely accused me of engaging in “personal attacks,” where there are none.]

          You continued: Goodness, nope [My reaction: Subjective. You perfectly unjustifiably called me a liar, ignored my requests for clarification, then you demand that I live up to standards you don’t even believe in yourself? Wow! Entitled much? ]

          You continued: Faith or faithfulness, well you got one😉 [My reaction: Ummmmm … Okay. Whatever. You’re batting 0.00% so far, so I won’t put much stock in this one either.]

          You continued: Gentleness, lol… you wouldn’t know kindness if it bit you on the ass, so nope [My reaction: And again, I’d refer you to Ark’s posts that contain “Dumbf**k.” Where were your denunciations of that? Or is it just okay with you when someone else is attacked scurrilously, but when you take some heat you go crying to mommy? Seriously, KIA? Grow some skin, for cryin’ out loud!]

          You continued: Self control… you have displayed absolutely no self control here, just venom, personal attacks and hatred for anyone who disagrees or doesn’t believe as you do. Nope, no self control [My reaction: I’ve been remarkably self-controlled. Remember you called me a liar. Should I simply have said, “Oh, I’m sorry Mr. KIA, please forgive me. I’ll go mend my ways so that I might live up to your false accusation-spouting, hyper-sensitive, paranoid, name-calling standards of discussion!”? ]

          —–

          Seems like the shoe might be on the other foot, xpraetorius. It might be YOU who are not or never were a True Christian
          Otherwise, as Paul says in vs 24, you would have crucified the flesh.
          For that you need to see gal 5.19 thru 21.
          But have a nice bbq

          [My reaction: And, again, I have no fear of the accusations coming from those who demonstrate serious ignorance of what they’re even accusing me of. 🙂 ]

          Best,

          — x

        53. Oh, and were you ever going to get around to telling me which of my Atheism/Anti-Theism/Secular Humanism bullet points you disagree with?

          One thing I do know: As soon as I posted those bullet points, you, KIA, went all thin-skinned hyper-sensitive and paranoid on me. I plainly hit a nerve there. 🙂

          If you don’t tell me what you disagree with in those bullet points, then I’ll have no choice but to conclude that you agree with them.

          If you’re going to say that you disagree with them, then have the courtesy to say why.

          Best,

          — x

        54. Atheism is the lack of belief in god or gods, “I don’t believe”
          Agnosticism is the lack of knowledge, “I don’t know”
          Antitheism is the positive assertion that God or gods do not exist, “I know that God or gods do not exist”
          Secular humanism itself is not a statement on the existence or non existence of God or gods at all.

        55. Ummmm… okay. Whatever.

          Now, which of my bullet points do you believe is/are incorrect?

          I’ll remind you of them:
          ————————–
          Concerning: Atheists, Agnostics, Secular Humanists, Anti-theists:

          • None of them feel bound by the Ten Commandments, except insofar as they make sense to them at any given moment.

          • None of them feel bound by Christ’s commandments, again, except insofar as they make sense to them at any given moment.

          • None of them believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ, and therefore don’t believe in the concept of divine salvation and redemption.

          • None of them go to church.

          • None of them support church activities… In fact, many here in these pages would suggest that those activities are “evil.”

          • None of them pray

          • None of them raise their children as believers.

          ————————

          Which of those do you think is/are incorrect, and why

          Best,

          — x

        56. Adhominum attacks on people you don’t know. Not giving your bullet points any respect or attention. Get back to your burden of proof

        57. Chicken.

          There were no attacks in the bullet points. None whatsoever. They were simply a description of behaviors. I made no value judgment whatsoever about those behaviors. Why don’t you stop inventing strawmen, and just answer the straightforward question?

          Which of the bullet points describing the behaviors of Atheists/Agnostics/Anti-theists/Secular Humanists did you think was/were inaccurate?

          Reminder:
          ——————–
          • None of them feel bound by the Ten Commandments, except insofar as they make sense to them at any given moment.

          • None of them feel bound by Christ’s commandments, again, except insofar as they make sense to them at any given moment.

          • None of them believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ, and therefore don’t believe in the concept of divine salvation and redemption.

          • None of them go to church.

          • None of them support church activities… In fact, many here in these pages would suggest that those activities are “evil.”

          • None of them pray

          • None of them raise their children as believers

          Again: there is no attack against anyone in those bullet points. This is the thin-skinned hyper-sensitivity I spoke of, KIA.

        58. I’m not chicken. I just choose not to play your game. It’s a time waster meant to distract from your burden to prove that the god of the Bible actually exists, created everything and holds us responsible for the sin of a fictional Adam and even

        59. Hogwash. That’s transparently silly. It’s interesting that that post is the only one you refused entirely to address.

          My bullet points are true and you know it. And that means: means that my conclusion is also true. The conclusion that you also refused to address — that there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between an Atheist, an Agnostic, an Anti-theist, or a Secular Humanist, because they all live their lives as … Atheists.

          I’ll be happy to give you another hack at it, though. Which of my bullet points do you disagree with?

          Best,

          — x

        60. Sorry, not biting. Silence is not tacit agreement. But you’re still wasting time and opportunity. Go ahead, get to your burden of proof… tick tock

        61. Transparent attempt at deflection!

          Silence (1) is tacit agreement, since these should be easy for you to counter if I’m wrong. Remember, you’ve told me how little I know about the definition of atheism. And (2) your responses are transparent indications that you got nothin’! You’re completely out of gas!

          These bullet points that you’re taking so seriously aren’t particularly provocative, or even meant to be.

          I’ll make it easier for you. Do you think that my bullet points are accurate descriptions of Atheist/Agnostic/Anti-theist/Secular Humanist behaviors?

          Best,

          — x

        62. Silence is not agreement. It’s silence. You will not put words or agreement or disagreement in my mouth.
          Get back to your burden of proof

        63. Not putting words in your mouth at all, but your silence indicts you.

          If there’s any inaccuracy in my bullet points, it should be the easiest thing in the world to point it out and demonstrate where I’ve gone wrong. I’d think you’d relish the opportunity.

          Best,

          Alan

        64. Alan is it? Well I can do the same. I’m mike. But I’m still not biting. Silence does not indict or indicate agreement or disagreement.
          What I’d like you to get back to, from your attempted red herring distraction and time waster, is your burden of proof for your positive claim that the Biblical God exists and Created Everything and Jesus is his prophet… sorry, slipped into a different religion that tries the same bullshit as you do.

        65. No, I’m not Alan. Not sure what the relevance of my name is, but whatever. And I don’t care what your name is.

          I injected no red herrings. You were the one who had the whole discussion with Equippedcat about the definition of atheism.

          I’ve offered many reasons for my faith. Right here in these very pages!

          No need to do it again.

          Best,

          — x

        66. I’m sorry, I thought that when you signed your last comment with Alan, that you were giving your name. But I was kind of take aback by even my mistake at that assumption being used as a personal attack. Have you no Humility or grace at all?

        67. Copy/Paste error.

          Again: no personal attack whatsoever. I simply don’t do personal attacks. It was merely a statement of fact. I truly don’t care what your name is. I suspect I won’t be getting to know you better outside of the context of these pages.

          If we were to meet and have a round together that would be a different thing. But this is a blog. Nothing more. No reason whatsoever to get oneself in a snit about what’s posted here. I never do.

          Best,

          — x

        68. Kindness and politeness carries wherever you communicate with others. If you don’t care how much of an ass you are to others here, I don’t believe you would really give a crap even if we were having a pint at the pub, which I would probably never do with you, to be painfully honest.
          Basically, you are not even close to Christ like and obviously could care less about the fruit of the Spirit you are supposed to be in possession of and manifesting in word and deed and interaction with others.
          You’re rude, arrogant, prideful, condescending and a total Dickweed to everyone, on this blog and others I have seen you on, that disagrees with you. Especially to the ones who point out your burden of proof and intentionally deceptive and manipulative tactics.
          You sir, are not even close to what I would have considered a True Christian ™ during my 34 years as a Christian and 25 years teaching, preaching and discipling men for Christ.

        69. You said:
          Kindness and politeness carries wherever you communicate with others. If you don’t care how much of an ass you are to others here,

          My Response:
          In vain did I find your condemnation of Ark when he called me – numerous times! — a “Dumbf**k.” Oops. Your hypocrisy is showing! By the way, hypocrisy doesn’t bother me. Just, please, stop pretending you believe any of this pantywaist twaddle about “kindness nad politeness” you’re bloviating on about.

          — *** — *** — *** — *** —

          You said:
          If you don’t care how much of an ass you are to others here, I don’t believe you would really give a crap even if we were having a pint at the pub, which I would probably never do with you, to be painfully honest.

          My Response:
          I see our states of mind are perfectly compatible in this regard. I have no intention of suggesting that you and I go out and share a pint. You strike me as a self-righteous, sanctimonious, hyper-sensitive bore. I could be wrong though.

          — *** — *** — *** — *** —

          You said:
          Basically, you are not even close to Christ like and obviously could care less about the fruit of the Spirit you are supposed to be in possession of and manifesting in word and deed and interaction with others.

          My Response:
          Two things: (1) And you’re the embodiment of what you said I should behave like? With your accusations that I’m a liar and such? Puhleeeease!!! And (2) I don’t fear the accusations of someone so ignorant in the area in which he professes to have such expertise. Remember: you didn’t even understand the basics of the commandment not to bear false witness.

          — *** — *** — *** — *** —

          You said:
          You’re rude, arrogant, prideful, condescending and a total Dickweed to everyone, on this blog and others I have seen you on, that disagrees with you.

          My Response:
          And those are some of my good characteristics! 🙂

          While you’re thin-skinned, hyper-sensitive, paranoid, prone to transparently false accusations, immature, prone to juvenile language like Ark, and ignorant of the basic elements of what you so vehemently criticize. At least I don’t misrepresent myself or operate under false pretenses.

          — *** — *** — *** — *** —

          You said:
          Especially to the ones who point out your burden of proof and intentionally deceptive and manipulative tactics.

          My Response:
          ** Sigh ** Again — for what, the twelfth time?!? — you can’t possibly know my intent. This is why I figured you were a political leftist. The left, worldwide, is constantly guilty of accusing others of evil intent — something they couldn’t possibly know — for mere disagreements over policy. You have to be a leftist; you have all the characteristics: the paranoia, the hyper-sensitivity, the constant transparently false accusations, the mind-reading, the temper tantrums, the impugning of an opponent’s character. You have it all!

          As for your “burden of proof” canard, again — for what, the twelfth time? — I have told you that I’ve given my reasons for my faith — in these very pages! — many times. Are you simply too lazy to look it up? Why make me type all over again the countless posts in which I did that?

          Do you want a summary? Here’s a quick one:
          • I recognized that the Bible story was perfectly unique in all the comparisons of all the religions that I’ve done. Furthermore, I saw, and see, no way that the story and the life perscriptions of the New Testament could have come from anything but a divine source.
          • I’ve had several personal experiences that were life-changing and revealed that my belief was correct.
          • Everything I have ever prayed for — as it pertains to me — has been granted. Everything. It was rarelay granted in the way I wanted it when I said the prayer, but it was always granted, and in a way better than what I had initially prayed for.
          • A few other things.

          — *** — *** — *** — *** —

          You said:
          You sir, are not even close to what I would have considered a True Christian.

          My Response:
          Okay. Whatever. You do know, don’t you, that your opinion of me doesn’t count even the teentsiest, weentsiest bit? I worry a lot more about the opinion of someone else far greater than you. And, again, I don’t care what your opinion of me is. I would venture to say that you don’t give the tiniest hang about my opinion of you? So, what’s the problem? Are you ever going to grow some skin?

          — *** — *** — *** — *** —

          You said:
          during my 34 years as a Christian and 25 years teaching, preaching and discipling men for Christ.

          My Response:
          You’ve been teaching?!? Wow! With the level of knowledge that you display here?!? Ouch! With teachers like that…

          — *** — *** — *** — *** —

          Best,

          — x

        70. Let’s see…since I never did an ad hominem attack until the previous post, and it was in response to your having called me a “d**kweed,” then I guess you’re saying that it’s perfectly okay for you to engage in smears and personal attacks, but not for me?

          Wow! Feeling entitled again, are you, KIA?

          These are yet two more tropes of the left: feeling entitled, and pretending to be bored so you can take your ball and run crying home to mommy.

          I appreciate this: I’m noticing that the tropes of the left are the very same as for the insecure atheist.

          Tell you what: You cut it out, and I’ll cut it out.

          Oh, and I did offer you a summary of what you incorrectly insisted was my “burden of proof.”

          Did you not see it?

          And, you still haven’t answered my question: are my bullet points an accurate description of Atheist etc behaviors?

          Best,

          — x

        71. I accept your concession that my bullet points are accurate representations of behaviors of Atheists/Agnostics/Anti-theists/Secular Humanists.

          Now, take your ball and run along.

          Best,

          — x

        72. I’m sorry. I repeatedly said I would not answer them, and repeatedly said I wasn’t agreeing or disagreeing with them. You lied again saying that I agreed, dickweed. You know Alan, this is possibly why people call you dickhead, dishonest and a liar. You fabricate what you want to believe and what other people say, even in the face of evidence to the contrary.
          Do not put words or agreement in my mouth again.
          I have agreed to none of your bullets as I have not addressed them either to agree or disagree. Do you not understand?
          Have a great day, Alan

        73. I accept your second concession.

          Well, I guess we need a name for you too, since you refuse to grant me the same courtesy I extended to you. We’re using “Cher” for Ark, because that was what came up when I googled his characteristics.

          Let’s google “hyper-sensitive, paranoid, false accusation-prone, entitled, thin-skinned crybaby” to see if we can find an appropriate name for you.

          Lol!

          The first image: Donald Trump!

          Much, much, much too funny! And — kinda perfect!

          Let’s call you Donald. That’s perfect!

          Ark is Cher and KIA is Donald. I’ll play Alan.

          Best,

          — x

        74. And your calling me Alan, even though I asked you not to, and told you that it wasn’t my name is somehow … not silly?

          Best,

          — x

        75. Again, Donald — for what, the thirteenth time now? — you couldn’t possibly know whether or not I’m lying.

          You seriously can’t just disagree with someone without calling him a liar? What are you, an idiot?

          I expect that kind of nitwittery from Cher, but I did have a higher regard for you…though, admittedly, your behavior in the past few posts has been abysmal.

          So, you owe me two things:
          • A response to my bullet points, and
          • A response to my “burden of proof” response to you.

          Best,

          — x

        76. This is all sometimes known as “shooting fish in a barrel.”

          It’s really, though, debate ju jitsu. If you don’t supply your adversary with transparent weaknesses, like over-sensitivity, pathetic-ness, fits of pique, entitlement, hypocrisy, transparently unknowable accusations (like “liar”) , or anything he might turn against you, then, well, he can’t turn anything against you.

          Donald, you and Cher (and Zande) are always going to be prime bait for anyone who’s good with debate ju jitsu, because you succumb to petty temper fits all the time.

          Try debating without all the crap — in other words, try it by actually addressing what were substantive posts and see where it gets you.

          Just a thought…
          Best,

          — x

        77. You knowingly lied about the definition of atheism, even after repeated correction, then you lied and kept lying about how I had agreed with your bullets by my silence. Your a liar. Happy bbq

        78. Ummmm.. excuse me: who died and made you the Supreme Overlord of the Definition of Atheism?

          I’m not sure I ever accepted your definition of atheism.

          So, are you going to put words in my mouth, and accuse me of putting words in your mouth again?

          And, again — for now the fourteenth time — you can never know when someone is lying or not. Ever.

          And, again, for crying out loud, Donald — grow some skin. You’re as much of a baby as Cher!

          Best,

          — x

        79. You chickened out on the bullet points; are you going to respond to my response to your question about the “burden of proof?”

          Best,

          — x

        80. Do you not understand how dishonest you have been when you declared my agreement when you knew I didn’t agree or disagree? Is this how you defend Truth, by outright and knowing lies? Have a nice BBQ, Alan

        81. From an identity point of view, behaving the same is not the same as being the same. Someone who returns a wallet because (a) they feel it is right (b) the feel they are being watched or (c) in the expectation of a reward… these are all different people. You can see the similarity, but you can’t know the difference. That didn’t mean there isn’t one.
          Equally, imagine the difference between an automaton that can replicate human behaviour, and a person.
          And, lastly, to obliterate your bullet points, grouping those people by a singular absence of something tells you nothing of what those people do. Anti-theists (insofar as such a label might be useful) likely have different motives from that of secular humanists.
          It’s like defining all non-white people as ‘non white’ instead of considering any diversity among that group.

        82. Interesting. I have to consider this.

          One quick remark: nothing “obliterates” the bullet points, if they’re true.

          I’d accept that you don’t believe that the conclusion I draw from them is valid, but the bullet points — you and I agree — seem to be largely true, and the conclusion: that all four categories of atheist that I mentioned (Atheist, Agnostic, Anti-theist, Secular Humanist) all live as atheists, strikes me as reasonable and correct.

          It certainly made Donald feel in terror from it! 🙂

          Best,

          — x

        83. Good example, the one about the automaton. However, the automaton and the human would never live nearly identical lives as it pertains to the metaphysical . Though that wouldn’t be out of the question. The automaton might, if the intellectual conditions permitted, view the human as a god-like creature, for obvious reasons.

          I didn’t discount any diversity within the realm of atheism. My Venn diagram explicitly indicated that there was diversity as well as commonality within the concept.

          Best,

          — x

        84. And, it’s quite clearly not a waste of time, if I can get you to admit that my conclusion is correct, that there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between an Atheist, an Agnostic, an Anti-theist and a Secular Humanist.

          That goes directly to the topic of the definition of atheism, which had you so exercised in this thread.

          Best,

          — x

        85. … and I’ve already given my answer on the differences between atheism, agnosticism and Antitheism. They are not the same, you just choose to ignore the differences I order to maintain your knowingly false definition. Your a liar. Happy bbq, buddy

        86. Incorrect.

          In these pages. I did a Venn diagram indicating Atheism as the larger circle that fully contained within itself smaller circles labeled “Anti-theism” and “Secular Humanism.” Not sure whether I included “Agnosticism.”

          The point: from that perspective, that Allallt, I believe, indicated was an accurate rendering of the situation, to say that they were all the same thing is absolutely not out of the question.

          It’s a bit like saying that Connecticut and Montana are not the same states, but they are both fully contained within the entity that is “The United States.”

          Your indication that there are differences in the definitions of the various strains of Atheism is, obviously, not an answer to the question: are my bullet points describing various behaviors of the Atheists (etc.) accurate?

          I think that your tortured attempts to dodge that really rather simple question indicate that you’re, as mentioned above, out of gas. Likely you’re just too proud to concede my point (likely because you don’t like me much 🙂 ) so you’re darned if you’re going to let me have one.

          I admit is a crucial one, so someone here in this hotbed of militant atheism ought to take a crack at it. It does after all throw into question the very morality of atheism.

          Best,

          — x

        87. 1 – false. They don’t feel bound by the commandments because of their “virtue” of being divine. They either feel bound, or not, by the worth of the idea itself.
          2 – see above
          3 – not really sure what divinity is, but I’ll give you that one. I’d love to hear what is so necessary to civilisation about divine forgiveness.
          4 – false. Perhaps not frequently or regularly, and not for religious reasons. But, as written, false.
          5 – also false. I’ve supported my local church (it doubles as a community hub)
          6 – clarification needed. You mean they don’t raise believers? Or they don’t intend do? Or they don’t do anything that fosters belief?

        88. 1 – That’s exactly what I said.

          2 – That’s exactly what I said too.

          3 – We agree in the first three. The need for divine forgiveness goes hand-in-hand with the Christian belief that we are fallen. If you don’t believe in Christianity, then, of course, you don’t believe in the need for divine forgiveness.

          4 – Close enough. There’s “being physically present” in church at the time of a service, and then there’s going to church — to be present and participate willingly. In retrospect, I looked over the bullet points and realized that I had left that door open. I’m glad you walked through. Donald didn’t have the intellectual fortitude to try it.

          5 – But, assuming it’s a Christian church, you’re not supporting its fundamental mission of spreading the Gospel of Christ. My atheist brother sent his kids to a Catholic school, because the education there was excellent. He didn’t support its real mission. I suspect that he did everything that he could when they came home to, in his view, de-program them.

          6 – Good question. I’ll have to consider it. However, I have a picture in my head of an atheist mom and dad and their one or more kids. I suspect that in 99.9999999999999% of such households, there would not be an effort to raise their children as believers in a Supreme Being. That, seems to me, is stating the obvious.

          Allallt: these points were all off-the-cuff. That’s why I was so surprised that Donald didn’t even take a perfunctory swipe at addressing them.

          I’m afraid that the structural integrity of the points has not been compromised, so the conclusion is not either.

          Best,

          — x

        89. No, the conclusion doesn’t hold. Not even with your expansions and clarifications. (I’d appreciate it if you could recognise that you’ve had to make those.) One of the reasons the conclusion doesn’t hold is because the argument is a non sequitur.
          All you’ve done is taken explicitly Christian things and described their negation and concluded all non-Christians are the same. (Perhaps non-abrahamic is more accurate.)
          But it is far from saying all nonrelgious ‘categories’ are identical.

          You are only discussing religious characteristics. You shouldn’t expect to find diversity in religious characteristics among the nonrelgious… even if diversity does exist.

        90. I absolutely admit that I had to offer clarifications and expansions. I just dashed those “bullet points” off somewhat hastily in the middle of a conversation.

          However, I wanted to get Donald’s reaction, at which point he, all of a sudden, got tongue-tied.

          His refusal even to address it, even though I knew he’d read them, raised some suspicions in me.

          I still think I’m on to something.

          Now, you did get some things wrong.

          1) I never said that ” all non-Christians are the same.” I said that Atheists, Agnostics, Anti-theists and Secular Humanists all claim to be very different, but all live their lives as atheists.

          In light of our conversation here, I don’t think that’s even really all that controversial. Yet, of course, the implications, if one were to read more deeply into the now-famous “bullet points,” could be quite profound indeed.

          I absolutely admit that what I said later might have been carelessly imprecise, and I offer an amendment right now.

          Before, I said that there wasn’t a dime’s worth of difference between the four types of non-believers. I have to think about that for some time, and offer this instead: there’s not a dime’s worth of difference in how the four categories of people live their lives as it pertains to faith. They all live as just plain ol’ atheists.

          I have to think about the larger statement about “not a dime’s worth of difference between the four categories…” It might still be true, but I haven’t examined it from all angles.

          2) You said: “You shouldn’t expect to find diversity in religious characteristics among the nonrelgious.” This is correct, but likely irrelevant. Again, I might have to consider this for a bit. Remember: part of all this is “how one leads his life.” The various religions prescribe how one might lead his life. The various “atheisms” all reject any limits on their behaviors that come from a religious source, except insofar as such constraints meet with their approval, again, at that moment.

          Best,

          — x

        91. You can probably tell from my comparative absence that I don’t really have the time to do this with the commitment I normally would. However, let’s look at your argument applied to something else to see if it really holds.

          I posit that there is not a dime’s worth of difference between any vegetarian and another:
          * They don’t eat meat
          * They don’t raise their children to eat meat
          * They don’t support the meat industry

          But, all this does nothing to tell us of the actual eating habit or reasoning of vegetarians. It doesn’t tell us the difference between those who are vegetarian for health reasons, ethical reasons, reasons of global economics and those of personal preference and fashion.

          It doesn’t tell us their position on organic food, the dairy industry, pesticides or GMOs. It doesn’t tell us if they seek out ‘sustainably sourced’ foods or not.

          There is, in fact, at least a dime’s worth of difference in these positions.

          Just because you can create a long list of similarities doesn’t mean you aren’t pasting over considerable differences.

          Now, if you want to argue that only behaving positively in terms of religion has any worth, and that all other differences in fact aren’t worth a dime, well that’s a very different view.

          Yes, in terms of religious discussions, it may well be useful to group the ‘various atheisms’ together for their similarities, but other contexts–like questions of what is worth fighting for and what ethics might look like–you may well find very pertinent and important differences between the various types.

        92. And you sir are dishonest and knowingly so. You just don’t like being called on it. Have a great day

        93. “dishonest and knowingly so” = “liar.”

          I guess I don’t like being accused of something that is obviously not knowable by the accuser. It means that the accuser is either incapable of discussing things rationally, or unwilling to.

          And, again, how could you know that? What special insight into my thinking do you have that could let you assert as fact the perfectly unknowable?(1) What possible evidence do you have that I don’t believe absolutely everything that I’m saying here?

          And, again, I’ll state the obvious: Only I could possibly know whether I believe what I’m saying here, therefore my assertion that I’m not lying should put that to rest forever — except, of course, for yet another sophist.

          Best,

          — x

          Notes:
          —————————
          (1) Yes, I’m aware that I teed that up for people here. Enjoy!

  2. Extrapolating from this, one might ask the believer how they know or can prove that the “God” they speak of is not Allah or Kali, Buddha or Krishna, or any of the millions of deities proposed through history.
    Personally I think Nature is enough without uploading some “super-natural.”
    Of course the more agitating question in response to the call for proofs would be asking what proof they have that fairies, unicorns, sasquatches or little green men don’t exist.
    Overall, I find these “discussions” pointless and fruitless. Like trying to convince a Repub at a Dem convention or vice versa!

    1. Islam, Hindu, Buddhist, Judaism and Christianity are religions that profess the existence of the Creator.

      There may be millions and millions of deities, but there can only be one Creator.

      The pagan Greeks and Romans understood this too, during their own times, long ago.

    2. Chris, having scrolled through many comments on this post, yours was the one that resonated most with me.

      1. It’s cute, but nothing more than a meaningless, little platitude. Obviously the search for God is the search for the way Nature came about in the first place.

        In other words, it says nothing meaningful about anything.

        🙂

        Best,

        — x

        1. @Alan (XPret)

          There you go with your presuppositional bullshit yet again.
          Let me se if I can help you out here.

          The search for how nature came about in the first place is simply a search for how nature came about in the first place.
          Please explain why one needs to insert ”God”(sic) in this equation?

        2. @Ark: not sure why I’d have to explain this patently simple concept, but from KIA’s comments, I see that this place is not overly burdened with IQ points…

          The search for “how nature came about in the first place,” presumably would be a comprehensive search, thereby not leaving out the notion that “God created the universe,” a notion which, I gather, quite a few people believe.

          If, indeed, God created nature — as I believe He did, then it would be pretty silly to search for “how nature came about” without considering God.

          You’re still an ill-mannered, clueless lout, I see. 🙂

          Best,

          — x

        3. If, indeed, God created nature — as I believe He did,…

          Yes, Alan, we all realise this is what you believe.
          But then, you also believe in Adam and Eve, Noah’s Ark and Moses. And this is because you are a Dumbfuck.
          As only those indoctrinated with such rubbish would present such a stupid notion as ”God Did It”

        4. Lol! Typical moronic Ark post.

          Now, do you see why I declined to give you my reasons for my faith? You’re too much of an idiot, and your thinking, obviously, never gets above a certain abysmal level.

          In other words, you wouldn’t understand.

          Best,

          — x

        5. Okay… I guess it’s “Call People Other Names Time.”

          What should we use for Ark? What other name can we use for an immature, potty-mouthed, insecure, low-IQ, bullying nitwit?

          Let’s google it and see what we turn up.

          Sell, that’s just too funny! The first image that shows up is Al Sharpton! Then came Barack Obama, then Cher.

          Well, we can’t call you Al — that’s too close to what you’re calling me — and we can’t call you Barack. You can get into real trouble doing that. I guess it’s Cher.

          Okay, Cher it is!

          Best,

          — x

        6. @Alan
          Whatever makes you happy.
          Maybe you should ask you god for guidance?
          After all, he was responsible for everything, even psychotic Dumbfuck’s like you, right?

          By they way, has he forgiven you all you sins yet, Alan?
          Do you actually still pray to that image of a bloody human sacrifice?
          Do you get all misty-eyed when you think of the centurion hammering in those nails into your saviour?
          He was a sham in any case though, wasn’t he?
          Coming back from the dead after a couple of days.
          So much for a sacrifice, right?

        7. Lol! Still plumping those sad, old, beginner objections to Christianity, Cher?

          I addressed all that many other times. However, I’m patient, even with clodpoles like you.

          Let’s try this: What if you could guarantee for yourself an eternity of happiness, except that you would have to undergo six to ten hours of unimaginable torture, and death before getting there.

          Also, you would have to give up a life in which you were widely admired — even worshipped! — you’d have to give up all your loved ones, and endure indescribably excruciating torment, then die — and with only your own faith that you’d later rise from the dead. Do you not consider that a “sacrifice?”

          I think the word is fine in that context. Remember: Jesus was fully human, as well as fully divine.

          Best,

          — x

        8. @Alan
          Remember: Jesus was fully human, as well as fully divine.
          Apparently, this is what was claimed, (poor, Arius he lost out) and then Theodosius and his church decreed it so.
          Sleep tight, Dumbfuck.
          Remember, Jesus is watching you, so keep those hands where he can see them.

        9. @Alan.
          I have… which I suspect, is more than you can say, as your glaring ignorance of the history of your religion clearly demonstrates.

        10. @Cher: an ignoramus like you wouldn’t be able to know what my level of ignorance is. By definition. You don’t have sufficient knowledge.

          You should try to study Christianity.

          Someone has duped you into believing that you’ve done so but, obviously, you haven’t.

          Best,

          — x

        11. @Alan.
          That you believe in Christianity, that you are a Young Earth Creationist, all based on an indoctrinated worldview is evidence enough you know very little about the origins of the corrupt religion you base your blinkered, presuppositional worldview.

          If you wish to establish your christian bona fides then let’s see you tackle the premise of Allallt’s post: disprove you god.

        12. @Cher: When did I say that I agree with your characterization of me as a “Young Earth Creationist?”

          What I found funny was the idea that you, the king of all things blinkered, accuse me of being blinkered.

          You are, the funny, pointless, silly, ignorant, uneducated, potty-mouthed Cher.

          Best,

          — x

        13. Well, Alan, when you can offer us the benefit of your in-depth knowledge and understanding of your religion by attempting to demonstrate the premise of the post, maybe you might garner a little more respect.Meantime, you are just an indoctrinated Dumbfuck.

        14. And, yet another typically brainless post from Cher. Not a surprise.

          You may consider me an “indoctrinated Dumbf**k,” but you’ve shown yourself to be an idiot. Hence, your conclusion lacks anything resembling credibility. This means you’re essentially full of what a bear leaves in the woods after a full meal.

          Best,

          — x

        15. @Alan
          And, there you are, back to being a Dumbfuck.
          Consider this my last response until you have stop being psychotic, or i am required to recite your eulogy..

        16. Oh, and my name is not Alan.

          I do you the favor of referring to you as the name you give, please do me the same favor.

          If you’re too petty to grant me that tiny favor, then feel free to continue to refer to me as “Alan.” (And, of course, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if you did. 🙂 )

          Don’t be upset, though, if I don’t necessarily know to whom you’re referring. All this can get confused enough without injecting fake names into the mix.

          Best,

          — x

        17. Lol! Wow! I am under your skin! You’re nothing but a pathetic, little crybaby! Lol!

          Waaaahhh!!! I’m going to call the big, mean ol’ xPrae a name he doesn’t want me to call him! That’ll get him!!!

          I never knew how close to home I had actually hit when I teased you about the babysitter!

          Too funny!

          Can’t wait to hear the comeback to this one!

          Best,

          — x

  3. The god that normally becomes part of such discussions is, of course, the Abrahamic god and the problems that ensue are because of religious doctrine and text found in the bible/koran.

    As this Canaanite god is found in the bible, it will be far easier for the descendants of the originators of this god, the Jews, to step up to the plate and officially acknowledge that Yahweh is simply man- made and the Tanekh the result of geopolitical myth.
    By doing this, the issue surrounding the veracity of Jesus and Allah will be forced into the spotlight and this will cause some very interesting ”discussions” indeed.

    1. If anyone did do that, they would have to “prove” it. The rank and file of the Jews at the time could not have known that, or they would not have put up with the resulting restrictions. So the people making that claim would have to be verifiable descendants of the group who did it, and be able to prove that it was done (have actual artifacts which could be verified as being from that time to support the claim).

      1. I am referring to modern day Jews who already acknowledge their history is nothing but geopolitical myth, based upon evidence.
        These are the ones who should come forward and officially acknowledge the truth.

        1. That would have no useful effect. “Modern day Jews who already acknowledge their history is nothing but geopolitical myth, based upon evidence” already state their opinion. And have not had any global effect. Sure, individuals decide they “sound right” and buy into it. People who are desperate for support for their opinion cling to it. As far as I know, their theories have not been proven to a degree which can convince someone not already leaning in that direction.

          So, already done, already proven ineffective. Even if you could get every single Jew alive to say it, it still would not be of significant impact, because there ARE no practicing Jews and have not been since 73AD, when it became IMPOSSIBLE to practice Judaism.

        2. I think you underestimate the power of the truth.
          While most Jews do acknowledge that the Pentateuch is nothing but geopolitical fiction it is not openly … and please excuse the term … preached.
          Take you for instance.

          How could you ( personally) possibly retain belief in an erroneous tale after it have been demonstrated beyond doubt that it was the product of human imagination used as an attempt to infuse some sort of sense of nationhood?

          In fact, as you have broached the subject, this raises an interesting question.
          As the human genome project has dismissed the notion of an original biblical couple, and that there is ample counter evidence to show how Canaan was settled and the Exodus is simply fiction, tell me,
          on what basis are you still a Christian when the foundational tenets of your faith are simply spurious nonsense?

        3. Showing that the Exodus did not happen would be a critical blow to the Old Testament, and thus to the New Testament. And I am aware that some experts claim it did not happen. They base those claims on the most common timeline of Egyptian history, and Archaeological evidence that there was no significant Jewish presence in Egypt at the time they “should have been there”. I’m also aware of a competing historical timeline, which matches up with massive Archaeological evidence of a major Jewish presence in Egypt at an earlier date.

        4. And I am aware that some experts claim it did not happen

          Some experts? Wrong, right out of the blocks. Not a single expert or biblical scholar ( aside from fundamentalists who have no credibility) consider the biblical tale as written has any veracity whatsoever.

          I’m also aware of a competing historical timeline,

          Are you possibly referring to the proposal of someone like
          Kitchen, perhaps?

          And would you please like to offer a link to this ”major Jewish presence.”

          And out of curiosity , do you consider the biblical tale historically accurate in its telling?

        5. “Some experts? Wrong, right out of the blocks. Not a single expert or biblical scholar ( aside from fundamentalists who have no credibility) consider the biblical tale as written has any veracity whatsoever. ”

          Um, do you agree that at least 2 scholars say Exodus did not happen? That’s “some”, as is any number up to “all except fundamentalists”. Since I don’t know how many, “some” is valid in this case, until you cam provide a more limited range. Why do (implied) all fundamentalists have “no credibility”)? If they are dismissing facts, that would be a problem. To have a different interpretation of the facts is perfectly valid. “No veracity whatsoever”? What about all the archaeological evidence which validates people and places? Certainly there is the possibility that some percentage (and yes, the range of “some” includes “all”) of the events described in the Bible did not happen, or did not happen the way they are presented. But you find me a scholar who considers the Bible to have NO veracity, and I’ll likely be the one making a claim of “no credibility”.

        6. I think we may be getting ahead of ourselves here and there is the temptation to hand wave the assertion that there is not a single scholar who will state that the biblical tale of the Exodus as written is historical fact, or confuse the issue a little with semantics, which I don’t do so well with.
          So let’s backtrack before this goes further and deal with this issue first if you don’t mind?
          Please identify the experts who you consider believe the biblical tale of the Exodus, as written is historical fact.
          Your call.
          Thanks.

        7. Ark: “I am referring to modern day Jews who already acknowledge their history is nothing but geopolitical myth, based upon evidence. These are the ones who should come forward and officially acknowledge the truth.”

          Lol! That’s funny, Ark.

          The following statement is also, obviously, true: “Modern-day Jews acknowledge that the Jewish belief in God is correct and true, based on a true history from their ancient documents.”

          What’s the difference? Well, obviously, there are modern-day Jews who believe in God and those who don’t.

          Yet, you, Ark, chose to say the one statement that is, yes, true, while apparently attempting to ignore or discredit, or de-legitimize the second statement that is also, obviously, true.

          Why would you do that, Ark? Are you afraid of the second statement? Are you too intellectually lazy to acknowledge that there are those that legitimately disagree with you? Are you too dumb, or worse, proud, to recognize that there are many highly intelligent people “out there” who disagree with you?

          Why would you completely ignore a statement that is obviously true and that says the exact opposite of what you say? Are you a completely dishonest commenter?

          In the light of overwhelming evidence,one is forced to look at your comments as nothing more than mindless, knee-jerk whines. Or, nothing more than: “I say what I say because my feelings would be hurt if someone else were to prove me wrong and hurt my feelings”

          Or worse: you’re an over-sensitive moron who can’t take it when someone more intelligent than you disagrees with you.

          Let’s give you the benefit of the doubt and advise you gently to think before you post. It’d eliminate probably 90% of what you post, but what’s left might actually be worth considering.

          Best,

          — x

        8. Ark said: “Hey, it’s my all time favorite [brainless nitwittery omitted]
          How the Gehenna have you been? Still signing off with a kiss I see.”

          Response: Hi, Ark! Doing fine, thanks. I hope you and yours are doing well too.

          Not sure what you mean by “signing off with a kiss.” Are these some bizarre gender-weirdism fantasies of yours? I’m not your type; ie — I have an IQ greater than that of a grape.(1)

          Since you chose to ignore the subject and all conclusions of my post, I accept your concession that my post is correct.

          Best,

          — x

          Notes:

          (1) I’d be happy to debate that with you at some other time and place, but not here.

        9. Absolutely! You are always right.
          Whenever are Dumbfucks like you wrong?
          You have a degree in Dumbfuckery from the university of Please Yourself.
          Did Jesus tell you all the answers while you were praying in the toilet?
          That’s so nice.

          You will excuse me if I don’t sign off with an ex? I don’t know where you’ve been and besides, anything to do with christianity already leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

        10. Thanks, Ark.

          You said: “Whenever are [brainless nitrwittery deleted] like you wrong?”

          I guess I’d ask you the same question. 🙂

          Oopssss!!!

          When was the last time you admitted you were wrong?

          Me? Simple: in several instances in a couple of debates I had with you at Allallt’s place.

          I appreciate your confirmation that my post demolished your premise.

          I think I hear your babysitter calling. It might be your bedtime. Call me up if you want a nice bedtime story about rainbow birds, and land dolphins and other impossible creatures.

          Best,

          — x

        11. Still afraid to answer the questions I ask, eh, Ark? There are like nine of them out there — so far — that you’ve completely ignored;choosing instead to post illiterate posts like the one to which I’m responding.

          So, I have no choice bu to concede that you admit to the correctness of all my premises.

          Best,

          — x

        12. Amazing! Here we have an individual, Praetorious, who claims to be intelligent, yet believes in an invisible man in the sky and his son. Someone who upholds a belief that humankind is at least the product of guided evolution from his God, and quite possibly believes in Creation. And of course,Hell for all non-believers.
          An individual who thinks a man died for all his ”sins”, whatever they are, then rose from the grave and went up to ”Heaven” to be with his Dad, who really is himself.
          This same individual then comments on another Christian Dumbfuck’s blog and gloats how he bested Allallt, John Zande and myself on his blog.
          Wow!

          And he truly believes I care one iota what he thinks about anything?
          Seriously? What a Dumbfuck you are Praetorious.
          Go see a doctor.
          PS My posts are quite literate, in fact.
          Simply Google ”Dumbfuck”. Your name might even appear in the synonyms.

        13. So, you admit that you refer only to Jews who agree with you. Wow! there’s courage! Whoo hoo!

          Moron!

          Then why waste your time, moron?!? Your longish, illiterate screeds show that you’re … (1) lying or (2) just stupid in your basic premise.

          As I mentioned before, and in unsubtle contradiction of your brainless post, there are many, many, educated, intelligent, articulate modern-day Jews who assert that, “their history is not at all myth, but truth, based upon evidence.”

          This obviously true assertion directly contradicts your assertion, and if you choose not to address it directly, then you’re admitting that my assertion is correct.

          Again, you refused to answer my questions, Ark, you puny blowhard.

          I’m a former professional baseball player. We professional athletes recognize the value of “three strikes, you’re out!”

          And your last sentence was just kind of funny! You said: “These are the ones who should come forward and officially acknowledge the truth.” Okay — Are you, a proven fraud, pretending that YOU hold absolute truth?!? Wow! When did that happen?!?

          Moron.

          Best,

          — x

        14. Ark is correct. Excluding the Orthodox, every Jewish movement has pretty much dismissed all notions of a mindful, personal god.

          I wrote a post on. It’s not long, so I’ll paste the beginning here. You can follow the link if you want to read the rest

          When Jews Bury Yahweh

          Imagine for one second that the following statement was issued by a major Christian denomination: There is no such thing as divine intervention. The Bible was not inspired by God. The classical view of God is rejected. It’s presently unimaginable, yet these are all (word-for-word) confessions made by Jewish Reconstructionists in their 1986 “Platform on Reconstructionism.” Now imagination a major Christian denomination announcing that there was no such thing as a supernatural God who could “suspend the laws of nature,” but was instead the indifferent, non-personal laws of nature itself, as espoused by the Jewish Science movement. Imagine a Christian denomination which rejected a vast sweep of the Bible as simple mythology, welcomed deistic priests, and even conducted some services which made no mention of a god whatsoever, as in the Jewish Reform movement. Imagine a Christian denomination whose leading figureheads told their congregants that the heroic biblical characters they knew and loved – characters supposedly guided by a god called Yahweh – were all fictitious and never drew an earthly breath, as in the Jewish Conservative movement. Imagine a Christian denomination which jettisoned Yahweh altogether, calling it nothing but the poetic invention of primitive human minds, as affirmed by the Jewish Humanistic movement.

          These are not aberrations or the eccentric thoughts of fringe Jewish groups. Against a backdrop of a worldwide Jewish population that is roughly 45% secular, Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist, Jewish Science, Renewal and Humanistic movements represent 80 to 85% of all practicing Jews today. That said, it’s important to note that while rejecting the historical validity of the Torah (and therefore the concept of historical revelation) the larger and older Reform and Conservative denominations still, in principle, hold onto a monotheistic theological worldview. Tellingly though, the newest denominations, those which have emerged in the last century – the Reconstructionists, Renewal, Jewish Science and the rapidly growing Humanistic movement – have all abandoned traditional theological concepts and are either spiritualists, desists or atheists. Here the personal, mindful, wilful, interfering god of the Tanakh – the god Christians and Muslims still believe in – has been redefined as either an indifferent energy, a pantheistic-type nature force, or simply discarded altogether and reassigned to the shelves of human mythology.

          https://thesuperstitiousnakedape.wordpress.com/2013/12/12/when-jews-bury-yahweh-4/

        15. Sorry, Judaism became extinct (or at least impossible to follow) in 73AD with the destruction of the Temple. The Jews you refer to are genetically Jewish, but not valid followers of Judaism. Many try to follow a humanized version, some striving to get closer to the real thing and others happy with being in name only. So it’s not surprising that some of them turn to atheism.

          They are free to believe whatever they want. If they want other people to believe it, they must prove it. Saying someone said it was so does not make it so. Saying it is so does not make it so. Saying it sure seems like it is so does not make it so. Proving it could be so does not make it so. Only proving it is so makes it so.

        16. I guess I get to claim a “Mercy Rule” victory against the brainless Ark here.

          It’s his third post, and he’s made no attempt whatsoever to address the points I made in my remarks. Those points are:
          (1) The atheists still have to prove their point.
          (2) The atheists <bstill have not proven their point.

          and…

          (3) Heck, the atheist haven’t even put forward an articulate, coherent point at all! Just that they don’t want to be beholden to Judeo-Christian ideas of morality. That’s it. As Freud might have said it, they want to f*** anyone they want to f*** and that’s all there is to it.

          In America, there’s really no point in reading any more into it than that.

          That always means that someone is out of intellectual gas, and Ark, obviously, started with a small tank to begin with. 🙂

          Best,

          — x 🙂

        17. Oh, look, your comments are getting shorter.
          Well that’s a blessing.
          Running out of steam, Dumbfuck?
          Maybe when they are down to a sentence or two I might deign read one.

        18. And with that, the brainless Ark, having failed to address a single one of my points, concedes all of them to me!

          The most important point: by his own admission, Ark doesn’t read viewpoints that contradict his! A couple of quick comments about that right away: (1) I probably could have stopped at the first three words, and (2) Ark will whine that it’s only my posts that he doesn’t read, but we all know that’s yet another lie, and I can prove it.

          Nice job, Ark… you’re like a cheap suit, a bad poker hand, or (to continue with cards) an ill-constructed house of cards. A bit of a hint of a whiff of a breeze and you fold, or you fall down, or you go whining home to the baby sitter. In some way you indicate that you’re out of gas.

          Best,

          — x

        19. *Smile* Oh, I engage intelligent people on a regular basis. That way I grow and learn.

          I simply deign to ignore or treat with utter contempt ignorant,religious Dumbfucks like you.

          Have a lovely Sunday!
          Remember, Jesus is watching you.

        20. Lol! Typical moronic fare from a wearisome clodpole.

          The facts that (1) you’ve, plainly, learned nothing, and (2) obviously haven’t shown anything resembling growth, put the lie to your statement.

          But, you’ve already admitted that you read only selectively, the first characteristic of the ignorant, the uninformed, the intellectually limited.

          Best,

          — x

        21. I like you, Praetorius. You do more with every word you tap out to drive people away from your particular flavor of religion than I could ever hope to achieve.

          I hope you act like this in public. I’d like as many people as possible to observe you.

          Please, keep it up.

        22. Ah, yes… the cringe-inducing comedy stylings of Zande!

          Zande: your one overriding characteristic is the gap between how toweringly seriously you take yourself, and your diminutive intellectual abilities.

          Best,

          — x

  4. I believe that God exists. I can’t prove it to you, but I have adequate personal experience to prove it to me. Because I can’t prove it to you, I don’t expect you to believe it; and I don’t even have a problem with you believing the opposite And in either case, I certainly don’t expect you to prove that God does not exist.

    UNLESS, you state it as a “fact” that God does not exist (as opposed to your belief) and implicitly or explicitly insist I agree with you. THEN, I will require you to prove your view. Good luck with that. Oh, and if I did insist my belief were fact and insist you agree with me, then I would be required to prove it with more than personal experience. Which appears to be impossible.

    The problem (on both sides) occurs when people cannot distinguish between facts (that which can be proven to be so) and beliefs (that which is thought to be so but cannot be proven), insist others accept their beliefs as fact. Which is a common human failing: “If I think it is so, it must be so, and it is my duty to ‘bring you up to my level’ of wonderfulness’ “.

    So, no, I am not required to answer that question. But I’ll give it a try, because its an interesting concept, and amuses me.

    The first problem is that the concept does not have a useful negative. The only negative to “God exists” is “God does not exist”, and people have been trying to prove both of those throughout history, without success. So lets discard the question about whether God exists or not, as it is not of value to this methodology. Let us instead consider the subset that “There is a Supernatural God who exerts influence on our (natural) environment”. Then there are two ways to disprove that. One would be if Science were able to develop the technology to detect the Supernatural, prove it was working, then show that the Supernatural does not exist. The other would be to prove that “everything” unexplained in the natural realm was (not just could be) the result of completely natural causes.

    And therein lies the problem. Perhaps Science can develop a Supernatural detector, but the only way to prove it works is to detect something Supernatural, which destroys the desired proof. And how do you prove the completely natural nature of anything? We know a fair bit about lightening, and observe it hitting a tree. We can describe the mechanics in terms of the natural, but that does not rule out the possibility that it was “guided”. And then there is the question of “why did it hit THAT tree, and not the one next to it?}. Random? Maybe, maybe not. And how about things which are “unexplainable”? The person with significant tumors shown by X-Ray, which vanish before surgery? Equipment failure (someone left a donut in the machine), human error (swapped the X-Rays with another patient), natural healing (the body took care of it on its own)? Perhaps, although generally competent medical (not to mention legal) personnel theoretically rule out the first two, and the last would be abnormally fast and thorough.

    In the case of the swan, just because nobody has ever seen a black swan does not mean that there never was one, or never could be one. A “high degree of certainty” leaves a low degree of uncertainty. Never mistake low for no.

      1. I believe in Jesus, a component of Yahweh, as appears to be described in the New Testament. But what difference does that make as far as this discussion is concerned?

        1. Are you referring to the Trinity?

          What evidence do you have for the biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth?

          It is relevant as, I presume, you find all other god claims spurious, yet every other god believer would make a similar claim regarding your god, and you can’t all be right, now can you?

        2. If you note the final paragraph in the post:

          ….but if the religious person is presented a coherent case with a well-defined idea, it should be the easiest thing in the world.

          This has never been done.
          Maybe you might be the first?

        3. I actually addressed that. The paragraph is incorrect in this case. I DON’T need to answer the question because I am careful to NOT state that “God exists” as a fact, nor do I insist you accept that belief. And, even if I did so state and/or insist with the resulting duty to answer the question, the global position that “God exists” does not submit to THIS technique. I did take a stab at a subset of the question just for the heck of it.

          Whether gods exist or not is really of no importance. What is important, is whether they have any impact on us, and even more important, does they monitor and care about we do/say/think?

          “A coherent case with a well-defined idea” would be the atheist’s answer to the question, and might enable the theist to respond. I have not yet been presented with that. Lots of theories, not a lot of proof and even less coherency.

        4. You stated you believe in Jesus of nazareth as part of Yahweh.
          One ca asue you are reffering to the Trnity. But correct me if I a wrong here.
          Thuis you are most cerainly statng that god your exists.
          If you are genuine in your asserion tha you are in fact not sating this then one can only presume you do not consider Jesus of Nazareth god … or God as it may be.
          So, I suppose the question is this:
          Do you assert as fact that Jesus of Nazareth is God or is this simply a faith claim?

        5. *Smile* What’s this now Apologetics 101? lol….
          Ah, but it IS germane . And to deny so, is simply being disingenuous, and I think you know it., and know why too.
          This is where theism falls on its arse.
          But keep going. If you think point scoring will win your case for you, then by all means, don’t let me stop you.
          You want to try to show Allallt he is wrong… super. Have it your way.
          But bear in mind any further god claims you make about Jesus just leaves you looking rather silly.

        6. Nope, sorry, I don’t know why it is disingenuous, or why you think it is (or maybe it really is). I also don’t understand why you insist on ‘hijacking’ the conversation (actually I do understand that, but I want to see if you are aware of it and understand your motivations)

        7. I am interested in how you can defend your position after stating that you do not consider your god as fact.
          I agree with you by the way , I just want to see how you extricate yourself from the pickle you are now in.
          Bit of an oops moment I believe and one you probably did not think through.
          Hijack?
          I left a comment regarding Allallt’s post and you responded to it.
          Maybe you should re read the thread?

          So are you saying Jesus is ‘God’ or not?
          ‘Tis a straightforward question.

        8. What position? I have several, and I don’t consider any of them untenable.

          We must first agree on a definition of “fact”. I consider a fact something which is so AND can be proven to be so.

        9. Of course I can prove Jesus existed, and I can prove the Jesus exists now. In fact, I know of at least 3 right here in town, being close to Mexico, there are probably more.

          Of course, you mean a particular Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, Messiah, God. And not only that He existed, which is one thing, but that He deserved (and deserves) the titles, which is something else entirely.

          Well, since many people more learned than I have failed, probably not. Fortunately, I don’t have to, since I’m not claiming it is so, only I believe it to be so.

          Yes, He is

        10. So therefore we can dismiss all god-claims with impunity. Excellent!

          Should we tell Habermaas and his sick friends that according to you he should go and screw himself with his resurrection ”facts”?

          I love discussions like this where
          Fundamentalist half-wits truly think their Oh-so-contrived- arguments can fly in the real world.
          What next, a treatise on Noah’s Ark and What the Giraffes and Lions really ate, or why the Human Genome Project is all made-up and Adam and Eve really are real?

          Always a pleasure!

          🙂

        11. Yes, the Trinity is part of my belief. My belief, which since it cannot be proven to anyone else, I do not state as fact, but only as MY belief. How does me not stating a belief (mine or any one else’s) as fact (despite that being an almost universal practice) have any impact on whether Jesus is God? Focus please; I’m intently avoiding diving down the rabbit hole 🙂

          I do not assert as fact that Jesus of Nazareth is God. I believe that (particular) Jesus is part of God, through faith resulting from my personal experiences. And yes, it is possible those experiences were “coincidence” or “my brain playing tricks on me”. But since I get more from my faith than I lose because of it, I don’t care and why should you?

        12. The Trinity is a manufactured Christian doctrine, and as the best theologians have never been able to succinctly explain it, you damn well won’t be able to, that I guarantee.
          🙂
          Allow me to clarify this so as to be perfectly clear in my own mind, okay?
          You are not stating as fact that the biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth is God?
          But you do believe he is part of the man-made, Canaanite deity, Yahweh, found in the Historical Fiction that is the Pentateuch. So, in effect you believe Jesus to be merely part-god. (Isn’t this a heresy?)
          Or are you referring to a different god? Maybe the one Marcion believed in?
          Also, could you please tell me which part of Yahweh you believe the character Jesus of Nazareth is, exactly? (if Yahweh is in fact the god you are talking about)
          If this is what you are telling me then you are merely stating this is as a faith claim because there is zero evidence to back it up. How am I doing so far?

          As to what you choose to believe. I really don’t give a monkeys uncle.. In fact I am perfectly okay with it. Celebrate your salvation from being a sinner and hug yourself because you are not going to hell or whatever it is you lot do. It’s your sovereign right, after all.
          Just as long as you do not try to blow shit up or indoctrinate others, especially minors. Otherwise, whatever floats your Ark.

        13. Yes, the Trinity is a Christian doctrine, based on the New Testament of the Bible, which refers to the “Father”, “Son” and a third part given various names but generally referred to as the “Holy Spirit”.

          As for your guarantee, how about this:

          It is almost certain, that if God exists, that He exists in a dimension external to ours, which does not follow the rules ours follows. We cannot perceive this dimension, nor do we know what rules it follows. Thus, we cannot conceive of the entirety of God, and struggle to comprehend those parts of Himself He shows us.

          As an example, imagine you live in a two dimensional world – there is width and there is depth, but no height. You cannot even comprehend height. A three dimensional being sticks 3 fingers through your dimension. To you, seeing only what is in your dimension, it looks like 3 complete and separate people, but in reality they are parts of a single being beyond your comprehension. It you talked with any one of these “people”, they might try to explain they are not individuals, but all parts of the same being, but you would not be able to grasp the concept, much less explain it to anyone else.

        14. Wow! ”Impressive”, as Darth Vader once said. Perhaps if you could sell that to The Catholic Church you’d be in the running for the Nobel Prize for Bullshit!
          And I for one would nominate you in an instant.

        15. I’m curious to get your take on the behaviour of your fellow Christian xpraetorius on this blog conversation? Not asking you to defend or criticize necessarily, just what your impression of his behaviour and tone? -kia

        16. I admire his fortitude. If someone referred to me as a Dumb****, I’d shake my head at their crassness and walk away. Something about “pearls before swine”.

          I think it would be a better presentation of Jesus not to use insults and name calling in discussions. We are called to act “better” than those not tight with Jesus. I’m not sure whether repetition is a good idea or not. I was bemused to wake up this morning to 109 new entries in this thread, most of which had null meaning.

        17. The evidence I have that your post has nothing to do with this discussion is inherent in the original post. It does not discuss whether or not God exists. It proposes a way that the difference of opinion could be handled.

          The only claim I make is that I believe something. You could call me a liar and I could ask God to bless you (because He frowns on my insulting you back). Or you could, as it seems you desire, prove me wrong, in which case, the burden of proof is on YOU. Oh, just to remind you, saying there is proof is not proof. Proof is verifiable.

        18. So you are a Christian then, cat? May i ask what particular denominational background and belief system?

        19. Denomination I understand, and I am Non-Demoninational (Calvary Chapel, Vineyard and a bit of Book of Life, pastored by a Messianic Jew)

          I don’t understand “belief system”. What are my choices?

        20. Ah… cc. That was my background too for most of the last 25 years. Belief System? I mean what do you believe about the gospel, jesus, the historicity of the bible stories, creationism/evolution. Im sure you can understand my question and i have a good estimate what you might believe about theses things, coming from a similar background myself. But i dont want to put words in your mouth.

        21. My “belief system” then is based on the Bible, tempered by my scientific background. So I tentatively accept what the Bible means to say, not what somebody says it says. For instance, I don’t think that Creation took 7 24 Earth hour days, but rather 7 time periods. And I am not adverse to the concept that Creation was performed using guided techniques which appear to be Evolution. And if someone could prove the Bible is incorrect, I would have to adjust my beliefs accordingly. Note that “someone said that some expert said” is not proof of anything. Also, “everybody in Idaho says” is not proof of anything except perhaps a common characteristic of the people in Idaho.

        22. I thought there might be a limited list of “belief systems” like there is denominations. But you explained it adequately in your other post.

        23. I was a missionary (short term) to mexico twice and a missionary in south Korea for cc in the 90’s

  5. Equippedcat, we are definitely going to mistake “so low as never to have happened” with “never going to happen.” Why not? There is no evidence for any god or gods. Thus, by our standards of reality, we can conclude that there never will be any gods or gods. If you, equippedcat, “believe in a god,” then you are deluded by the workings of your own brain.
    We have no choice but to let your brain stew in its imaginings, but that does not mean that others should be encouraged to do so. There’s nothing there. Reading chicken entrails does not portend the future.

    1. There is no evidence sufficient for YOU. There is evidence sufficient for me and many others. That’s fine, or at least should be.

      But then you state an invalid logical statement. Given that there is not empirical evidence there is (or to be generous, ever were) God or gods, you state a conclusion that there never will be any God or gods. Although the premise is true (so far), there is no valid logical argument that gets you from isn’t/hasn’t been to “never will”. Not that it makes any difference, because every single god proposed has allegedly been around for years, if not forever, so whether there will be new gods in the future is of no value to the discussion.

      Perhaps I am deluded by my own brain. Or perhaps you are deluded by powers opposed to God. And yes, you do have no choice but to leave me to my delusions, if that is what they are. As I leave you to yours (about God; invalid logic is not a delusion I’ll let you hold on to 🙂 ) Everyone should be encouraged to do the investigation on their own, and make the decision on their own, and not bow to pressure from either camp. And be free to change their mind if later experience invalidates the decision.

      1. Yes, there is a “valid logical argument that gets you from isn’t/hasn’t to ‘never will,” – it’s called reality.
        We give up on chimera and illusions and fairy tales all the time, based on evidence facts, logic.
        You, on the other hand, are impervious to them in this case, so you say you “believe” in something or other – Santa Claus, chicken entrails, or whatever bizarre forumaltion you’ve got going – without the slightest capacity to offer coherence on the matter.
        There should be no false equivalency between you and an anti-theist – you have lost, on this score, an essential talent of the working brain.
        Think of this this as, yes, constructive criticism – pressure.

        1. I looked in my logic book for a logical structure called “reality” and could not find it. Perhaps it is new; please provide me to a later logic book which includes that.

        2. You should definitely get out more – reality is not where you are looking for it. Forget the musty books of yore – head to a bar, talk to a neighbor, that kind of thing. You’ll get the hang of it.

        3. Reality is subjective. Logic is precise and, sorry to say, has rules. You want to talk about what seems to be, go for it. You want to “use logic”, you have to follow the rules.

  6. Logically, and by definition, the truth cannot be disproven.

    It is the function of logic and reason (proofs) to ferret out the grains of truth hidden in all the chaff of falsehood.

    Further, since the existence of God is simply a matter of common sense (simple reasoning) and proven scientifically, the ideas that God does not exist or that one is like a cat or dog or new born babe and simply harbors no belief in God, are failures of reason.

    Atheism is a simple, catastrophic failure of reason.

    1. As the god you genuflect to is derived from the Pentateuch which has been shown to be nothing but historical fiction.
      And for the record, Yahweh was a Canaanite deity. You are aware of the Ugaritic texts I presume?

      So, if we remove this man-made entity from the equation we can dismiss the rest of the doctrine – in your case,Christian.

      Therefore, the only question that remains is: are you merely asserting deism?
      ( I have no real issue with this by the way)

      1. Ark,

        It would be great of you would quit hallucinating for at least a second so you could actually read my comment and respond to what I have actually written.

        The reason you have to hallucinate is because you can’t respond to what I have actually written in any reasonable, rational way.

        1. We have to establish a baseline of reality for us to even begin to have a semblance of intelligent conversation.

          If you dispute the fact that the vast majority of scholars, archaeologists etc consider the Pentateuch nothing but historical fiction then we can progress no further, unless you are prepared to offer evidence that refutes almost the entirety of relevant academia.
          If your contention is based on Christian doctrine as per a revealed religion – Jesus of Nazareth – then you have to at least show some integrity and demonstrate the veracity of your claim by presenting evidence for it.

          Otherwise you are claiming deism and what you believe is a faith based claim and nothing more.
          It is as simple as that. And I am okay with that.
          Please note: If you do not come back with anything remotely coherent then we can dismiss your claims with impunity.

          Your call…

        2. Well I am simply echoing the view of several noted experts in this arena. And a cursory glance at a Wiki article of this issue will reveal a similar story.

          And I note that you did not deign to even mention one of these other experts who hold alternate views.
          Feel free to offer them this time around.

        3. Ark,

          Are you like a cat, a dog or a new born babe who has no idea of the existence of God.

          Or do you simply believe by faith alone that everything just happened all by itself.

          As an atheist, those are your two choices.

          Any rational person would be totally embarrassed to have to make a choice between two completely ridiculous worldviews.

      1. Cat,

        One of multiple areas of science that prove the existence of God is molecular biology.

        And borrowing from the science of archeology, man’s intelligence through time (1,000,000 years or so, to the present) has been measured by his ability to design and build tools.

        The more sophisticated the tools, the more intelligence was demonstrated up to and through Cro-Magnon Man (our species, homo sapiens).

        From the discoveries of molecular biology, scientists have discovered a family of molecules numbering in the 10’s of thousands, called proteins.

        Proteins are software-specified, precision designed and manufactured tools.

        Since tool-making is a signature of intelligence, proteins prove the existence of God.

        1. We’ve had this discussion before. In order to use
          Proteins are software-specified
          Proteins are precision designed
          Proteins are manufactured tools
          Tool-making is a signature of intelligence
          as premises, you have to show that they are true.

        2. Actually the last one has a fair amount of support, all that would be needed was showing that nothing making tools has no intelligence.

        3. Cat,

          That proteins are software-specified, precision designed and manufactured tools, is taught in the university-level, Introduction to Molecular Biology.

          At least, that’s where I learned it.

          The subject comes up again on topics that concern immunology where the student learns that the manufacture of antibodies is not random, but based on combinatorial mathematics.

          Since mathematics is a form of information transmission via language, this also indicates intelligence which again, proves the existence of God.

        4. Wow, I would have been very unpopular in that class. I know a lot about software, and a fair amount about manufacturing, and would have made the instructor prove those statements. But ok, let us postulate that all your premises are valid. With those, you can prove that an intelligence exists (or at least did exist) to do that design and programming, and at least set up the manufacturing to be run automatically. If man cannot design, program and manufacture proteins, you can prove that the intelligence is greater than man. But you need at least one more premise and one more logical step to be able to prove that the intelligence is God and not the Anunnaki…

  7. Or do you simply believe by faith alone that everything just happened all by itself.

    As an atheist, those are your two choices.

    In point of fact I opt for the third choice. I do not know. Simple see?

    Now your position is that the character, Jesus of Nazareth is your god, the Creator of the Universe.
    So in line with the topic of the post how would you disprove this?

    1. I don’t know is what I offered as the third option to som yesterday, but he’s not honest enough for honest answers. He wants you to be as binary as he is, even if that means making shit up…like he does

      1. Sheesh, Donald! you can’t get along with SOM either! 🙂

        That’s amazing. SOM is nice to everyone, even thin-skinned, paranoid, self-righteous, clodpoles!

        🙂

        Best,

        — x

        1. Wow! Perfectly unable to take a joke! You really do need to grow some skin, Donald!

          Actually, I’m kind of liking this “Alan” thing. Now, when Cher uses his moronic language, my young son can read it and not worry that someone’s talking like that to his father.

          Well, whaddya know? Cher — hoist by his own petard! The irony is delicious!

          Again!

          Best,

          — x

  8. @Cat

    By the way, Zande and Ark tend to issue their beliefs as “truth”, which does require them to prove it. They are more interested in having those who disagree with them prove their point of view, because they are good at picking others words to pieces and apparently not very good at proving their point of view. Very Sun Tzu, attack the enemies weakness rather than reveal your own.

    Not in the least. I, for one believe in a more or less Naturalistic Worldview.
    My own personal view is pretty much a ”What you see is what you get” approach.
    This is based on science, whether I fully understand it or not. And science changes all the time, Whch is great and how it should be. Thus we learn, and grow.

    This of course leaves the door wide open for evidenced based data to walk right in and allow me to go ‘Wow! and where necessary, alter my perspective.

    This is the major reason why religion has never ever impressed me.
    And also why people like Habermas, Licona Craig etc are nothing but sick, indoctrinated charlatans who have zero integrity.

    You believe you are a sinner, require salvation from this perceived sin and consider this debt was met by a human sacrifice.
    Also, failure to accept this will consign you (and every other non-believer) to an eternity of torture – or separation from your god) Something you (likely) teach to children.
    Even though the Christian Hell is another Church construct and does not feature in Judaism at all. Meaning: They Made It Up.

    Furthermore,in the face of overwhelming scientific, archaeological, and scholarly evidence you refuse to accept that the Pentateuch is nothing but Historical Fiction, and believe it truly is the ‘Inspired word of God” (sic), once more ignoring the fact the god you genuflect to is simply an ancient man-made Canaanite deity that initially had a spouse and was later Hijacked by the Israelites after they broke away from their traditional Canaanite ties. Perhaps you refuse to acknowledge the Ugaratic Tablets in this regard?

    You also appear to dismiss, or blatantly ignore, the findings of the Human Genome Project that has demonstrated beyond doubt, that the biblical tale of Adam and Eve is simply nonsense. And this is taking into account Mitochondrial ”Eve”.

    The entire worldview that defines your life is based solely on faith with not a scrap of evidence to back a single claim in this regard; and is something you have willingly accepted or otherwise been indoctrinated to believe.
    I, on the other hand, consider such barbarism should be confined to the stone age where such ignorance held sway.

    If you truly want to be a part of the Great Commission of the character Jesus of Nazareth, have this religion form part of the basis of our society, including teaching it as ”truth” (fact?) at school and later university, then don’t you think it’s about time, once and for all, that instead of reveling in hypothetical, philosophical mental masturbation you ( and every other Christian) address with absolute honesty and integrity every pertinent issue that the secular world has raised concerning your religious beliefs?

    1. Your beliefs seem reasonable, based upon the evidence you have. Requesting evidence of opposing views with a motivation of seeking information is also quite reasonable. Demanding that evidence, discarding it without consideration when you get a response, being insulting and profane and belittling to those others is not reasonable. Or effective.

      The word “Hell” may be made up, but the concept is scattered throughout the old Testament, and so would seem to be a facet of Judaism. If there were no significant results from being “unrighteous”, why would most Jews of the day have adhered to the strict restrictions and costs of the Law of Moses?

      If I was presented with “overwhelming scientific, archaeological, and scholarly evidence” I would not “refuse to accept that the Pentateuch is nothing but Historical Fiction”. I have not been presented with such evidence. You saying it exists does not make it so. You providing one source which indicates that, does not make it so. You demanding I provide a source or sources which show it is NOT so, particularly with a history of dismissing or belittling anything I go to the trouble of providing, doesn’t encourage me to look into it further. I’ve never heard of the Ugaratic Tablets, so don’t have any response to them whatsoever. And if the information was coming from someone who does not think “Dumbf**k” is a useful debating tactic, I might even look into them.

      1. Your beliefs seem reasonable, based upon the evidence you have.
        It is the same evidence available to you.

        Requesting evidence of opposing views with a motivation of seeking information is also quite reasonable. Demanding that evidence, discarding it without consideration when you get a response, being insulting and profane and belittling to those others is not reasonable. Or effective.
        No viable or verifiable evidence has ever been presented by Christians etc. None. What has been offered that pertains to the subject of the Pentateuch and especially Exodus has been refuted.

        The word “Hell” may be made up, but the concept is scattered throughout the old Testament, and so would seem to be a facet of Judaism. If there were no significant results from being “unrighteous”, why would most Jews of the day have adhered to the strict restrictions and costs of the Law of Moses?
        The concept is certainly not scattered anywhere in the Old Testament and if you actually understood, or rather took the time to be more studious in your research instead of espousing the Christian apologetic line, you would know this. I suggest you start again. But let me reiterate. The concept of the Christian Hell is entirely a product of Christian writers and does not feature anywhere in Judaism. The biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth was apparently a Jew and did not teach it. Period.

        If I was presented with “overwhelming scientific, archaeological, and scholarly evidence” I would not “refuse to accept that the Pentateuch is nothing but Historical Fiction”. I have not been presented with such evidence. You saying it exists does not make it so.
        You are not a fool. The information is out there if you wish to research. That you appear not to care enough suggests you are being willfully ignorant. This is usually because of a fear of confronting evidence that will very likely require to you examine every aspect of your Christian worldview.
        Don’t take my word for it. I am merely an interested amateur repeating what I have studied. Ask a deconvert. But before that, demonstrate some integrity and do the graft. Study the science and the archaeology. If you disagree, then present your evidence that refutes the scientific and archaeological consensus. I’ll read it. I promise

        I’ve never heard of the Ugaritic Texts, so don’t have any response to them whatsoever. And if the information was coming from someone who does not think “Dumbf**k” is a useful debating tactic, I might even look into them.
        That you are ignorant of the Ugaritic Texts is further evidence that your worldview is extremely narrow. But now you have been told of them you have no reason not to study, have you?

        Oh, don’t worry about Alan. He really is a serious Dumbfuck, I am afraid, and by all accounts could well be a borderline psychotic.
        Furthermore, I can’t see how on earth the term ‘’Dumbfuck’’ is a patch on teaching children the lies about burning in a make-believe place called Hell for eternity. Only a real Dumbfuck would be so cruel to kids. But surely you wouldn’t do that, would you?
        Come back when you have done some study of secular sources and we can talk again.I feel confident it will be interesting.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s