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  1. You’re just giving credence to a fact-less concept by naming it ‘Intelligent’. Intelligent design by any other name is god, jehovah, allah, ra, zeus, or sun myung moon, ect., ect. Enough already.

  2. The most irritating thing about that video is the commentator’s spooky, unnecessarily breathy tone of voice. If she had anything real to say, she would have spoken in a more matter-of-fact tone, unless she was just a hooker plying her trade.

  3. Not bad at all!! Here’s an excellent example of “the problem of evil” by William L. Rowe, in American Philosophical Quarterly:

    “In some distant forest lightning strikes a dead tree, resulting in a forest fire. In the fire a fawn is trapped, horribly burned, and lies in terrible agony for several days before death relieves its suffering.”

    Praise the Lord??

  4. When I was six my Dad took me on fishing trip among the Gulf Islands of BC. I was most fascinated by the honeycomb caves intricately carved out of the sandstone just above the waterline. Dad explained these were the result of wave erosion. The results seemed almost too amazing to believe. I guess that is how the creationist feels.

  5. This is complete bullocks. Everyone knows that animals were vegetarian before the flood. Before Adam and Eve everything was idyllic and peaceful. See what happens when a woman doesn’t know her place; everything becomes tilted out-of-balance. We created this world when we turned away from God.

  6. I’ve heard it said (Lawrence Krauss I think) that we and all the ordinary matter in the universe could be thought of as just a small pollution problem. Most of the universe is made up of dark matter/energy. Perhaps there are ‘dark’ life forms that we have not yet detected and for whom this universe is perfect because their god created it so.

  7. I think this, like many other arguments that I have heard, makes it absolutely clear that the proposition of “intelligent design” is not only unjustified but utterly absurd. To reason in this way is to fail to be intellectually honest with oneself and to ignore all the variables of life. Unfortunately, this is exactly the kind of world view that some religions, in my personal experience, promote. This disgusting assertion’s rich irony gives me a rather disconcerting laugh.

  8. I’m sorry, but in my opinion this video is quite intellectually lazy and borders on just silly. Even if most of the “IDers” are just your good-old religious types trying to sound “scientific”, that doesn’t mean we should get lazy and muddle up terms. Deism is still an idea some people ascribe too, for instance. If your intention is to refute the idea of a Perfectly Good Creator that cares about human beings, state so, especially if you’re gonna quote passages from the christian Bible. Because that’s what the video does. Now, I don’t believe personally that the universe was designed by a vast intelligence, the ultimate Mathematician and Engineer, but absolutely nowhere in the video is there a single argument against that concept. It’s like arguing that Windows 7 were not intelligently designed, because sometimes IE crashes.

    • Intelligent Design was proposed by American creationists after they were prevented from teaching creationism in public schools and unsurprisingly they believe the intelligent designer to be the Christian deity. I think that’s what the video is arguing against and it sounds like you wouldn’t fall for that silly idea.

      Re your concept of a universe created by a vast intelligence – do you know of any evidence that suggests that the ultimate engineer may have intervened since he/she/it created the universe?

      In reply to #13 by JoxerTheMighty:

      I’m sorry, but in my opinion this video is quite intellectually lazy and borders on just silly. Even if most of the “IDers” are just your good-old religious types trying to sound “scientific”, that doesn’t mean we should get lazy and muddle up terms. Deism is still an idea some people ascribe too, f…

    • If you pay attention closely and read the foot notes you will see that the video does, in fact, address all the points you make here — oh, no, wait — no, it doesn’t, because it’s a video of simple, clean production style aimed at the more simple-minded theist of Christian faith who often uses the terms “creator” & “designer” interchangeably (quite common in the US, especially in the state where the producer is from); as opposed to a TED Talk or MIT lecture. In reply to #13 by JoxerTheMighty:

      I’m sorry, but in my opinion this video is quite intellectually lazy and borders on just silly. Even if most of the “IDers” are just your good-old religious types trying to sound “scientific”, that doesn’t mean we should get lazy and muddle up terms. Deism is still an idea some people ascribe too, f…

    • In reply to #13 by JoxerTheMighty:

      I’m sorry, but in my opinion this video is quite intellectually lazy and borders on just silly. Even if most of the “IDers” are just your good-old religious types trying to sound “scientific”, that doesn’t mean we should get lazy and muddle up terms. Deism is still an idea some people ascribe too, f…

      Deists rarely cause the troubles that people who believe in an active god do. Deists think god set things in motion then went on vacation and doesn’t concern himself with the world. As god is no longer commanding anything most deists agree with secular people that we have to use our rational minds to come up with good laws. It is the rare deist that is forcing religious laws down the throats of their neighbours.

      Much like we don’t worry about pacifists blowing up air-planes, we don’t need to worry about deists trying to teach religious dogma as “science”.

      The video obviously was an argument against Intelligent design, not against all faith of every sort.Not every case an atheist makes must be against every aspect of every religion.

  9. God isn’t one satisfayinng explanation for comploty of universe. This universe Is, and religion is just means for have more power, money women (or men), discrimination about all not in religious communauty. The power of science is: you have sone sane curiosity of world. The life is so ficke, frailty, ort time in this unbelievable universe (and when i said, unbelievable, i think atheism) for have that have this so simple explanation: gods. The reality is the only truth. And for knowing from where became this worl, you must study, questioning, searching., verifying for have scientific fact.
    Fabien M, french athee. (I preafere than atheist, atheism rationalist not doctrine.)

  10. JoxerTheMighty:

    Now, I don’t believe personally that the universe was designed by a vast intelligence, the ultimate Mathematician and Engineer, but absolutely nowhere in the video is there a single argument against that concept. It’s like arguing that Windows 7 were not intelligently designed, because sometimes IE crashes.

    Well there are other places for demolishing old and new, creationist nonsense. What this video did was to show how the “Intelligent Designer” is responsible for the whole of its creation and not just the nice bits, neatly torpedoing the gentle Jesus idea ! All loving? So loving He created deadly diseases and deformities ! Along with natural disasters of course !

    • In reply to #16 by Mr DArcy:

      JoxerTheMighty:
      Well there are other places for demolishing old and new, creationist nonsense. What this video did was to show how the “Intelligent >Designer” is responsible for the whole of its creation and not just the nice bits, neatly torpedoing the gentle Jesus idea ! All loving? So >loving He created deadly diseases and deformities ! Along with natural disasters of course !

      Except the video isn’t even doing that. It doesn’t demonstrate to theists anything that they haven’t already read in the very beginning of the first book of the Bible!


      16To the woman He said,
      “I will greatly multiply
      Your pain in childbirth,
      In pain you will bring forth children;
      Yet your desire will be for your husband,
      And he will rule over you.”

      17Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’;
      Cursed is the ground because of you;
      In toil you will eat of it
      All the days of your life.

      18“Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you;
      And you will eat the plants of the field;

      19By the sweat of your face
      You will eat bread,
      Till you return to the ground,
      Because from it you were taken;
      For you are dust,

      And to dust you shall return.”

      If any theist would question his faith on a god-creator that allows evil in the world he has created, he wouldn’t need this video or similar to do it; the notion that his god inflicts suffering upon humans is in his freaking holy book in the first place, crystal clear, having god himself declare that will infict this suffering as punishment! If we now decide to delve into the argument that, if this god truly exists, he is in fact evil and that the punishment is not just(as Christians believe it is), we have gone so far from the original stated intent of demolishing the idea that the world was designed by some sort of intelligence that it basically renders the whole video useless; you might as well just substitute it with the above Bible passage and then debate on whether or not the punishment was just.

      And all this, while a much stronger argument against the idea that (at least) life was designed exists in the first place: Evolution is fact, and it is accepted as such based on evidence that can be demonstrated, and not on questions like “if god is good, why is there suffering?”. For crying out loud, Christians believe that the whole point of Jesus’ birth, crucifixion and resurrection was to reconciliate the god-father with the mortal world which has been under curse ever since man rejected and disobeyed god and, as is written in some passages, has satan as its current “prince”. That might sound ridiculous to us, but the video isn’t doing anything in that regard, it just says “you know guys, there is lots of suffering in this world”. Ok…so what exactly are you telling the theists that they don’t already acknowledge?

      That’s why I said the video is incredibly intellectually lazy and its existance has no point: First, it doesn’t tell the theists anything they don’t already know and read in their holy texts, and second it presents a significantly inferior argument when there are much better ones. All that remains is maybe the shock value of the sensationalist montage of suffering and destruction and it’s anyone’s guess why the author thinks it should have any sort of impact, since for anyone that already believes in the Bible it basically visualizes the passage I just quoted. In sort, try to engage the religious in their own simple-minded terms and they will defeat you, since they already have been given answers that work on this level.

      • In reply to #42 by JoxerTheMighty:

        In reply to #16 by Mr DArcy:

        JoxerTheMighty:
        Well there are other places for demolishing old and new, creationist nonsense. What this video did was to show how the “Intelligent >Designer” is responsible for the whole of its creation and not just the nice bits, neatly torpedoing the gentle Jesus…

        Don’t you ever receive overly sentimental emails showing nature at its finest, cute baby animals and beautiful sunsets, coupled with mawkish lyrics? This video is a parody of those videos. They’re sent to me on a regular basis. I have saved this video to send in reply the next time one settles in my inbox.

        • In reply to #43 by Nitya:

          In reply to #42 by JoxerTheMighty:

          In reply to #16 by Mr DArcy:
          Don’t you ever receive overly sentimental emails showing nature at its finest, cute baby animals and beautiful sunsets, coupled with >mawkish lyrics?

          Yes, and this vid is just as banal and uninteresting as these. For crying out loud, I won’t jump through hoops in order to force myself to like something just because it was made by atheists. It’s just pulp aimed for the easily impressionable. If these are your kind of arguments(because the title says it is supposed to be an argument against ID), be my guest I guess…

        • I think these videos would be well worth it even if they didn’t convert anyone. I find the comedy ones very entertaining and I hope many people reading these posts will also enjoy them. It doesn’t always have to be about converting the theists does it?

          I’m sure they do get through to theists – of course not many are likely to admit that on RDFRS.

          My favourite example at the moment is the Fine Tuned Universe from DarkMatter2525. I’ve posted the link already but here it is again:

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMYIl5b-paY

          Warning: the video makes regular use of crude language.

          In reply to #43 by Nitya:

          In reply to #42 by JoxerTheMighty:

          In reply to #16 by Mr DArcy:

          JoxerTheMighty:
          Well there are other places for demolishing old and new, creationist nonsense. What this video did was to show how the “Intelligent >Designer” is responsible for the whole of its creation and not just the nice bits, ne…

  11. Design is for the most part an endevour performed using intelligence. A bird builds a nest using methods that require specific techniques that work. These techniques have been shown to rely mostly on genetically programed proceedures, rather than learned. Genetically programed behaviors are adaptations to specific environments. However, genetically dependent behaviors, rather than those dependent on learning from one generation to the next, are more vulnerable to a change in environment because they are less likely to change in a time-scale that keeps up with environmental change,.

    Human beings are a species highly dependent on learning in the accumulation of behaviors we call “human nature”. Because of this, changes in human behavior can and do undergo comparatively rapid change. This accumulation of learned behaviors, we call “culture”. However, there are definitely traits that humans are genetically born with the capacity for. These traits are what culture acts upon to create unique traits. One idea ffered is that these unique traits, are called memes. Memes are inherited by learning, but are affected by the environment like genes. Memes change faster than genes, but slower than mere leaned behavior. This is because populations tend toward conservation of what has worked before.

    The concept of Intelligent Design of the environment seemed intuitive for a very long time. As did a flat earth and stationary Earth. Religion, which is a direct result of such a belief, is a meme well established. For reasons still not determined, this meme had some adaptive advantage for human culture. However, most religions ever in existence have gone extinct. And the environment humans live in has changed quite rapidly. Evolution shows that behaviors that are maladaptive for an environment, usually become extinct, or the organism unable to adapt itself becomes extinct. Religion and Nuclear Weapons, unhindered population growth, and competition among religions would not seem, to my mind, to bode well for human survival. For this reason, I call religion “the asteroid of our demise”.

  12. I must say I’m very disappointed with both the video and the majority of the comments here. Where’s the outrage over the video producer’s hijacking and shameless misuse of the real, extreme suffering of others just to prove the point that intelligent design is crap? Proving intelligent design is crap is like shooting fish in a barrel and there are much better and more effective ways to accomplish the goal.

    I side with JoxerTheMighty’s assertion that the video is intellectually lazy. Plus, the video seems to be attempting to torpedo theodicy more than intelligent design. Either way, it comes off to me as insensitive, clumsy propaganda that’s either preaching to the choir, or will fall on deaf ears and convince few. Approaches like this don’t help our cause, and I fear will primarily serve to paint us as heartless bastards.

    • In reply to #21 by chris:

      I must say I’m very disappointed with both the video and the majority of the comments here. Where’s the outrage over the video producer’s hijacking and shameless misuse of the real, extreme suffering of others just to prove the point that intelligent design is crap? Proving intelligent design is c…

      Why is showing reality insensitive? Where you unaware of these realities? Has your innocence been shattered?

      What is shameless is the way many religious people profess to believe in an omnipotent, omniscient, benevolent being then just shut their eyes and go “la la la la, I can’t hear you” if you ask why their god allows this evil, and designed a world where this evil and suffering is inevitable.

      • In reply to #25 by canadian_right:

        Why is showing reality insensitive? Where you unaware of these realities? Has your innocence been shattered?

        I’ll attempt to address only the first of those three questions, as the latter two are unworthy of a response.

        Why is showing reality insensitive? It depends on context and the message one is trying to convey, of course. Think about, I dunno, any natural disaster in recent memory, and just about every time you can find some religious nutjob going on about how the disaster was god’s punishment for homosexuality, abortion, etc. It’s disgusting, and what I would call a shameless hijacking of people’s suffering to try to make a point. Don’t you find that insensitive? It’s predictable, clumsy, and serves only to piss people off (on both sides, I would argue) and makes the speaker sound like an idiot or an ass to all those who are rational enough to know better. How many atheists do you think change their minds about god upon hearing stuff like “that tornado was god’s punishment for gay marriage”. And how do you think those suffering feel about such ridiculous statements? “Aww, gee, I lost half my family and my house was destroyed, but the preacher is right…it’s just the price to pay since there are some gay people in my city.”

        My claim is that videos like the one we’re discussing here are similarly unhelpful because of their divisiveness and unlikeliness to sway opinion. Especially because there are more effective ways to argue that ID is stupid and wrong. I expect the nutjobs to make the intellectually lazy goddidit claim and appeal to emotion by hijacking suffering. We should up our game and not stoop to that level.

        What is shameless is the way many religious people profess to believe in an
        omnipotent, omniscient, benevolent being then just shut their eyes and go
        “la la la la, I can’t hear you” if you ask why their god allows this evil, and
        designed a world where this evil and suffering is inevitable.

        Theodicy. I already addressed that in my original post.

    • I must say I’m very disappointed in your post Chris. It started out OK with your obvious concern for the suffering of others.
      But then it went rapidly downhill.

      Many creationists have been heartbroken by how scientific, educational and even religious groups have belittled their beliefs. Then they come across a new ‘scientific’ explanation for how we all got here, called intelligent design. It may not be as obvious and simple to understand as good old creationism but they could see how it seemed to fit in with their way of thinking.

      Imagine the shock when they come across your post in a discussion of intelligent design and they see this:

      "Proving intelligent design is crap is like shooting fish in a barrel..." 
      

      This sounds insensitive and clumsy – approaches like this don’t help our cause and I fear just serve to paint us as heartless bastards.

      In reply to #21 by chris:

      I must say I’m very disappointed with both the video and the majority of the comments here. Where’s the outrage over the video producer’s hijacking and shameless misuse of the real, extreme suffering of others just to prove the point that intelligent design is crap? Proving intelligent design is c…

      • In reply to #28 by Marktony:

        I must say I’m very disappointed in your post Chris. It started out OK with your obvious concern for the suffering of others.
        But then it went rapidly downhill.

        OK, point taken and I’ll grant that I could have chosen different wording. But, need I remind you that you used the word “silly” in one of your posts here? That kinda makes me the kettle, no? ;-)

        But, more to the point…seriously? Of all the posts here, you single mine out for being heartless? And my labeling of an idea as “crap” is on par with the insensitivity of the video? Seriously?

  13. Máy ảnh Canon. “How could anyone look at the beauty and complexity of our world and say that it isn’t part of an Intelligent Design?” This video explores some of the “design” witnessed in humanity, in nature, in our genome and in our universe.

  14. the quote from stephen fry at the end reminds me of him commenting on why the christian victorians were so shocked at reading darwin. it wasn’t because of the idea of evolution bothered them at all, it was the discovery that life in the wild is not harmonious, that everything struggles and the idea of “nature red in tooth and claw” went against their idealised view of nature.

    the trouble is, it’s easy to deny evolution on the grounds no one can live long enough to watch it in action but you can’t deny the facts of nature which are for the most part, pretty awful. the reason it’s so easy to dismiss the fact that most of life is nasty is because evolution has helped design a mind that can be very selective. i sometimes wonder if the rise of christian fundamentalism is a reaction to darwin. the concept of everything in the wild turning nasty because of “sin” (scrumping) is the only way to resolve the bible with observed reality.

    when you talk to IDiots, they will use these idealised views of nature as proof of design and it can be all nebulous and mysterious and by believing in it you’re being humble then ask about the bad stuff and the answer becomes very simplistic and definite.

    this faux wonder of nature is fake humility used to justify the underling arrogance of all their beliefs

  15. Here goes. . . .

    I haven’t yet had a chance to watch the video, as the browser I’m using can’t view the media – but I will later when I get to my own computer.

    However, from a brief look at the comments from various posts above, I thought it was worth pointing out that the creationist (or should I say, the Bible) does not try to teach that the world is perfect now. Any fool can see that it isn’t – even a Christian believer! The deadly diseases (referred to above) that are ironically described as supposedly having been created by a perfectly loving God (along with all other forms of suffering or imprefection) are explainable within the faith as punitive results of a once-perfect man in a once-perfect world having disobeyed God’s command. Unbelievable? Ridiculous? You would say so – but it is self-consistent with faith in a God who promises future restoration and renewal of all things. Stupid as I may be, I have a hope for such restoration which you do not.

    The implication from what I have read in some of the posts above is that creationists are in denial about suffering in the world. This is not true – in fact many charities that have been set up to relieve human suffering are Christian or once had Christian roots. Their very existence is evidence that Christians are aware of pain and suffering and want to do something to help people who are affected. (. . .and before anybody jumps on this, I am not denying the existence of charities that do not have Christian connections.)

    I have read these posts very quickly during a brief break at work, so if I’m mistaken in my understanding of the meaning of the comments I have alluded to, then I apologise.

    • Another video to watch can be found on Youtube. Search for:

      “If Man Obeyed God”

      I tried to post the link address but there seems to be a problem with the underscore character.

      In reply to #33 by Lonevoice:

      Here goes. . . .

      I haven’t yet had a chance to watch the video, as the browser I’m using can’t view the media – but I will later when I get to my own computer.

      However, from a brief look at the comments from various posts above, I thought it was worth pointing out that the creationist (or should…

    • In reply to #33 by Lonevoice:

      The deadly diseases (referred to above) that are ironically described as supposedly having been created by a perfectly loving God (along with all other forms of suffering or imprefection) are explainable within the faith as punitive results of a once-perfect man in a once-perfect world having disobeyed God’s command.

      Hello Lonevoice. If you think killing untold numbers of people (including billions of blameless children) with horrible diseases is a fair punishment because two emotionally and intellectually immature people (who never existed by the way) were tricked into eating a piece of fruit, then I don’t think your going to make much headway here.

      You would say so – but it is self-consistent with faith in a God who promises future restoration and renewal of all things

      For Christian’s right? Which means the overwhelming majority of people in the world will live in this fallen world god so generously created for them and then die and go to hell. That doesn’t sound that great to me.

  16. In reply to #35 Ryan1306

    . . . .If you think killing untold numbers of people (including billions of blameless children) with horrible diseases is a fair punishment .. . . . .

    I will accept that this seems inexplicable to those who don’t believe in God – or, perhaps find they can’t believe because they cannot square to dual concepts of a good God and suffering in the world. I also accept (and I realised this after I’d posted #33) that my use of the word ‘punitive’ was not the best word I could have chosen. So I’ll explain a bit further if I may.

    It is not that I believe God ‘kills’ the untold numbers of people you mention; instead, the result of man’s disobedience is that we no longer live in a perfect environment. That imperfection means that man lives in a world that began to work against him. Of course, our environment is not totally hostile as to make the earth uninhabitable, but neither is it a garden of bliss!

    Another effect of the fallen state of the world is that man is now pitted his fellow man and much suffering is inflicted on others deliberately through greed, selfish ambition, insanity and sheer mindless wickedness. Yet, we also come across some of the most amazing, talented, kind and generous people too. These paradoxes are not easy to explain without falling on one side of the fence or the other. We are not all totally depraved – but some seem to be. Equally, we are not all totally good, even though some appear to be. What I find interesting is that polytheists have accepted this by thinking of good and bad gods battling out their wills on earth. The atheist can dismiss God altogether because it doesn’t make sense. The biblical theist has the rather tricky task of addressing the apparent contradiction in life by squaring a world of pain with a belief in only one God who claims to be totally good.

    For the biblical theist, the Bible explains that the earth was once perfect, it now is not, and it will be again one day. I can understand how this looks absurd when you view the imperfection in the world around us; disease, disaster and pain, oppression etc. But to the person who believes in God, this life is not all there is – it’s not the end of the story. That is not to dismiss all the suffering and pain in the world as some light thing. Certainly not! We understand that the suffering people go through is immeasurable in many cases.

    The Bible says that the whole of creation is groaning in frustration while it awaits its redemption and restoration. Our distress at the suffering in the world is exactly this – a frustration that things are far from perfect. The only thing is, the atheist hasn’t got God to believe in for that redemption and is therefore without any long-term hope.

    • In reply to #38 by Lonevoice:

      In reply to #35 Ryan1306

      . . . .For the biblical theist, the Bible explains that the earth was once perfect, it now is not, and it will be again one day…

      Well, actually it says that this will happen within the lifetimes of people alive when Jesus was telling them this. A mistake perhaps?

    • In reply to #38 by Lonevoice:

      In reply to #35 Ryan1306

      . . . .If you think killing untold numbers of people (including billions of blameless children) with horrible diseases is a fair punishment .. . . . .

      I will accept that this seems inexplicable to those who don’t believe in God – or, perhaps find they can’t believe because…

      Your argument (i.e. the basic Christian argument) is classic ‘blame the victim’. It is an argument usually made by someone who has not endured much real suffering or with a poor understanding of the magnitude of suffering in the biological world. It is also vicious and twisted. You stand by every bit of suffering in humanity and in nature, and chant: “You get what you deserve.”

      Your belief in god is breath-takingly cruel, and the god you believe in is a monster.

    • In reply to #38 by Lonevoice:

      In reply to #35 Ryan1306

      . . . It is not that I believe God ‘kills’ the untold numbers of people you mention; instead, the result of man’s disobedience is that we no longer live in a perfect environment.

      Hello again Lonevoice. Thanks for the reply.

      Who changed the world from disease and disaster free to the world we live in now? And if I walked into a crowded subway and opened a vile with the Ebola virus in it, I suppose it could be argued from a certain point of view that I didn’t kill anyone, the virus did. But I doubt that defense would help me much in a court of law or in the court of public opinion for that matter.

      And just for the record, I’m quite happy in this world we live in, but I was lucky enough to be born in a rich country, but it still breaks my heart to think of millions of people dying of malaria or people with horribly disfiguring diseases like elephantiasis. People like that never even had a chance at a normal life. In a godless universe you just have to take the good with the bad, but if there was a creator out there it’s decisions are so incredibility unfair that it boggles my mind how anyone could think of this being as the epitome of love, mercy, and compassion.

      But to the person who believes in God, this life is not all there is – it’s not the end of the story

      The end of the story for the majority of people in the world seems to be hell (or death with no rebirth) because by no fault of they’re own they were born into a place who had a different belief system. Most people will live in this “fallen” world and receive none of the eternal rewards that Christians seem to think gets god of the hook for the misery it’s decisions have inflicted on the poor and vulnerable.

      The only thing is, the atheist hasn’t got God to believe in for that redemption and is therefore without any long-term hope.

      I have my family and friends to go through live with. That’s all the hope I need.

      PS. Adam and Eve never existed.

  17. In Reply to #40 by justinesaracen

    Just a few points in response to the accusations levelled against me:

    It is unreasonable for you to imply by asserting a sweeping generalisation that the Christian faith comprises people who have not known much suffering. Not only is it unfair and imbalanced as a statement, it is also blatantly untrue in fact. There is widespread persecution of Christians in parts of the world. These people are tortured, killed, imprisoned, beaten, electrocuted, kidnapped, have their houses destroyed, lose their jobs, their livelihoods and their families, all for simply professing the Christian faith. In addition to all this, they are not immune from natural disasters or sickness like everyone else. I’m not trying to say that it’s ONLY Christians who suffer, as we all know there are political prisoners whose suffering is nothing to do with faith. However, my comments are in response to your suggestion that Christians are all in ivory towers pointing the finger at a fellow man. Your distortion of reality is grotesque.

    Also, if you read my earlier posts, you would see that I referred to the many charities that are intrinsically Christian that have been set up to relieve human suffering. How can you, therefore, say Christians stand by and shout ‘you get what you deserve’?

    I also said that the biblical theist has the tricky task of squaring the idea of one good God the suffering in the world. Your vitriol directed at me has simply proved my point – that it’s not easy. I dare to say that taking the atheist position is an easier option, because the question of suffering is an extremely difficult one and discounting one part of the equation perhaps makes it intellectually more manageable.

    I accept that we may have to agree to disagree.

    Finally, a quick response to Pabmusic at #39: The quote from Jesus you have referred to is not intended to suggest that a perfect heaven and earth would be established during the lifetimes of his hearers. The reference is to the kingdom coming. In another place, Jesus said ‘the kingdom is within you’. This is widely accepted as referring to the sending of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost which changed the meek disciples into fearless street preachers and healers – and sets within believers a deposit guaranteeing what is to come in the next world. The passage you referred to is an easy one to take wrongly because I agree it ‘s not immediately apparent that this is what it means, so I understand why you said what you said. However, to take it that way would be inconsistent with everything else in the Bible about the coming of that perfect kingdom. So the Holy Spirit interpretation fits the context better. I hope that clarifies the apparent mistake.

    • Well, even just somewhat funny is stretching it. It seems to be lacking content and most of it could be reversed to apply to the religious.

      The problem is, there is masses of material available for comedy about religion but, as your video shows, there is not really much in the way of atheist doctrine to satirise. You are left with just the usual “aren’t atheists rude” type of thing.

      Have you got any other comedy ones or maybe something a bit more serious to refute the video of this article.

      If you are really put off by the “silly fucking around” ones, here is another rather more serious video looking at the Christian doctrine of original sin from the atheist perspective:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJrqLV4yeiw

      In reply to #47 by JoxerTheMighty:

      Oh ok then, so since we’re talking about videos that are just silly “fucking-around” comedy and not trying to form any coherent argument, might as well post this too…you can’t tell me it’s not somewhat funny :P

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slKULc8W7lM

  18. To Lonevoice

    “I accept that we may have to agree to disagree.”

    No, I don’t agree to disagree. I think that whole world view is sadistic and i am revolted by it.
    All your blather about Christian persecution and Christian charities is irrelevant. You’ve changed the subject – a typical Christian strategy. The subject was the doctrine which explains world suffering as God’s punishment. That doctrine is vile and the god (in your world view) that causes/allows the suffering of the innocent is vile.

  19. @The Thinking Atheist – Seth Andrews

    The video is very well done, it underlies and constitutes the factual portrait of reality. No matter how much wishful thinking or religious delusion one applies, nothing will change about the fact of reality and how our cosmos, planet and nature works. The sooner humanity realizes and accepts that there is no God, and that all of the religious books/scriptures were written by humans for humans who serve only to control and subjugate people, the faster we will advance and prosper as a species.

    It took approximately 7 million years for humans to evolve to where we are now. By the look of things, who knows how many million if not billion of years it’s going to take to reeducate and liberate humanity from the bondage that we have been subjected to for so long by the superstition and illiteracy of antiquity. The fate of our planet and solar system is pretty clear from a scientific standpoint. And no matter what Gods or religions one belongs to, how many prayers one says or “sinless” life one may lead, it won’t have any effect on the fate of our planet, it will not alter or change the laws of physics. To many 7.5 billion years sounds like a lot of time, but considering how society has moved backwards in many aspects, I’d say it’s not.

    @the religious folks in the comment section

    I full-heartedly advise religious people to read and educate yourself outside of the church, and even about topics that may seem difficult to understand. It’s the best and most sincere way of being instead of blindly accepting and supporting claims that a certain doctrine of a certain geographical location is the ultimate truth, because let’s face you are Christian, Muslim, Hindu and so on by location not by choice. God is an emergent property of the human mind. That’s why humans have made up 10000 Gods during the course of the human history. It’s undeniable, yet religious people of today argue that the other 9999 Gods are not real and only their God is.This sounds like a broken record to me, and I can assure you all the dead religions used to make the same claims as yours, look where they are now, the are considered as myths. The archeological and historical evidence speaks for itself, you can deny as much as you want, it won’t change anything about the facts. Any educated person who truly understands science, how things work, even if he/she may not have the religious or any historical knowledge at his/her disposal, will still question the claims and the Gods in whom you believe in by merely applying logic and reason. I’ve debated religious people for the last 15 years and I have realized one think. They participate in debates not to educate themselves but rather to spread their religious dogma in hope they’ll get one or two people to convert to their religion. Non-theists participate in debates to raise awareness, educate and point out the flaws in todays religion.

    I have learned that you religious folks are ignorant by choice, you rather live in the illusion of a place somewhere in the supernatural realm that disregards the laws of physics, which is the very essence and also the foundation of everything in our universe, just to live along side with a gazillion souls for eternity. I find this thought highly irrational and must wonder about the state of mind an individual must be in who believes in this nonsense. I’ve read all your books and scriptures that I could get my hands on, in museums, universities, libraries around the world. And they could not connivence me of any truth. They contradict themselves, they are not accurate especially the “Noah’s Ark” story, geology proves that the biblical flood did not happen, and how on Earth did Noah fit all the millions of animals on the ark whowas 450 feet long [ Gen. 6:15]? The “6 day theory how God created the world”, the “Adam and Eve” story. “Jesus” was born by virgin Mother. Mhh why does this sound familiar? Do religious people even read any historical documents, except your doctrine? Please read up on the following Gods: Buddha, Krishna, Odysseus, Romulus, Dionysus, Heracles, Glycon, Zoroaster/Zarathustra, Attis of Phrygia, Horus and the God I personally believe Christianity is based on Mithras.

    The Gods I have mentioned above all predate Jesus Christ! So as you can see my views are backed by too much history and evidence to cite on the fly, and it took years of deep thought and study to arrive where I am right now. I’ve been reading the same bibles as you ( an there are many versions of it), and I cannot for the life of me figure out how could you get something total different out of this? Well, the only logical explanation I have is indoctrination. I guess that makes you more receptive to illogic than logic. You seriously choose to let fear and ignorance rule your lives so much that your prefer to live a lie, hoping that just maybe there is some shred of truth in your belief. And that you will go to heaven and live eternally next to a God who orders the killing of innocent people even after the Ten Commandments said “Thou shall not kill”.

    Not true you say? God is just, all loving and forgiving? For example, God kills 70,000 innocent people because David ordered a census of the people (1 Chronicles 21). God also orders the destruction of 60 cities so that the Israelites can live there. He orders the killing of all the men, women, and children of each city, and the looting of all of value (Deuteronomy 3).

    He orders another attack and the killing of “all the living creatures of the city: men and women, young, and old, as well as oxen sheep, and asses” (Joshua 6). In Judges 21, He orders the murder of all the people of Jabesh-gilead, except for the virgin girls who were taken to be forcibly raped and married. When they wanted more virgins, God told them to hide alongside the road and when they saw a girl they liked, kidnap her and forcibly rape her and make her your wife! Just about every other page in the Old Testament has God killing somebody! In 2 Kings 10:18-27, God orders the murder of all the worshipers of a different god in their very own church! In total God kills 371,186 people directly and orders another 1,862,265 people murdered.

    The God of the Bible and that’s the one you believe in and hope to spent eternity with also allows slavery, including selling your own daughter as a sex slave (Exodus 21:1-11), child abuse (Judges 11:29-40 and Isaiah 13:16), and bashing babies against rocks (Hosea 13:16 & Psalms 137:9). Is not the place I would like to go to! In fact this type of behavior should shock any moral person and even if this person is not involved in scientific philosophy like me, it should raise some serious doubts and questions. Murder, rape, pillage, plunder, slavery, and child abuse can not be justified by saying that some God says it’s OK. If more people would actually sit down and read the Bible there would be a lot more non-theists like myself. And the Bible is not just the new testament, okay, it’s also the old testament.

    • In reply to #52 by scientific_philosopher:

      @The Thinking Atheist – Seth Andrews

      I’m a bit pressed for time to address all of the issues you have raised in your detailed post, but there are answers to all the points you make. (for another time, though) However, I will address the final paragraph as it is the worst one. You may have studied for years and be able to run rings around your opponents, but your assertions that God approves of slavery, child abuse, murder rape etc are just sheer lies.

      The supposed quote from Psalm 137 suggesting God approves of bashing babies’ heads against the rocks is out of context and ignorant. It is a psalm expressing the anger and hurt over how the Israelites were being treated by the invading Babylonians. It is the Babylonians who were first bashing the Jewish babies’ heads against the rocks. Would you not feel anger if someone did that to your dear child? Does it necessarily mean you would do it back? Possibly not, but some would. However, there is nothing in the psalm that says whether they did or didn’t..

      And on slavery, it was the influence of Christians that led to the abolition of this disgusting trade in the West. (Harriet Beecher Stowe in America with her book Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and John Newton and William Wilberforce in Great Britain.) And don’t trot out the old twisted lie that John Newton approved of slavery because he was a slave trader. Yes he was, but because of his new-found Christian faith, his latter journeys were the most humane of any. He treated the slaves with respect while in transit. Some other slave traders arrived at their destinations with no or very few slaves still alive or with all their body parts. Don’t forget it was a different time then and slavery wasn’t viewed so badly as it is today. It was later that he became uncomfortable with the trade and left – despite everyone else in the trade thinking it was okay. John Newton later mentored his friend and British Member of Parliament, William Wilberforce, who batteld fo 20 years to get the British Parliament to outlaw the practise. These fine Christian men played a pivotal role in shaping our current disgust of slavery by being the primary players in getting it banned.

      • In reply to #53 by Lonevoice:

        There is no context for bashing babies heads in. No mater what happens to you or your family bashing the head of an innocent baby in could only be done in the name of a crazy religion, if it was it’s father that killed your family then killing it’s father might help stop the killing but not the baby.

        While back in the day slavery was common virtually everyone was a christian so why did it take one or two, shouldn’t everyone have know it was inappropriate or is your argument terribly weak? Arguing that Christians were responsible for ending slavery is the same as arguing they were responsible for gay or women’s rights, not by a long shot. Slavery is condoned in the bibble, time to get a better book. Next time you see a equality issue up for debate especially in the US watch for the theists trying to hold the oppressed down while complaining their rights have been trodden upon.

        In reply to #52 by scientific_philosopher:

        @The Thinking Atheist – Seth Andrews

        I’m a bit pressed for time to address all of the issues you have raised in your detailed post, but there are answers to all the points you make. (for another time, though) However, I will address the final paragraph as…

        • If Christianity is still with us next century, it’s likely that a future Lonevoice will be claiming that the church took a leading role in the fight for gay rights, women’s rights AND the abolition slavery.

          In reply to #54 by alaskansee:

          In reply to #53 by Lonevoice:

          There is no context for bashing babies heads in. No mater what happens to you or your family bashing the head of an innocent baby in could only be done in the name of a crazy religion, if it was it’s father that killed your family then killing it’s father might help st…

        • In reply to #54 by alaskansee:

          In reply to #53 by Lonevoice:

          There is no context for bashing babies heads in. No mater what happens to you or your family bashing the head of an innocent baby in could only be done in the name of a crazy religion, if it was it’s father that killed your family then killing it’s father might help st…

          The feelings vented in Psalm 137 are no so much “we want to kill your babies”, it’s more “how would you like it if someone did to you what you have done to us.”

          If God was so approving of killing babies, why don’t you see it happening in Churches around the world as part of the worship service?

          Discussing John Newton and William Wilberforce is NOT like trying to say Christians have fought for Gay Rights, because I don’t see that happening in the same way. And it is incorrect to state tht everyone was Christian in the days of western slavery: obviously if John Newton eventually abandoned the trade after he BECAME and Christian, then he clearly was NOT a Christian beforehand. Therefore, there is no reason to suggest that slave trading was a Christian activity and approved of in the Bible. And on that matter, the Bible does NOT approve of slavery – the New Testament simply tells Christians who are salves themselves how to have a Christian attitude towards their masetr. It’s not the same thing.

          • In reply to #58 by Lonevoice:

            The feelings vented in Psalm 137 are no so much “we want to kill your babies”, it’s more “how would you like it if someone did to you what you have done to us.”

            Are they? Psalms, throughout, is anything but clear. But the first person voice is telling a second person that they (the first person, the Israelite remember the fall of Jerusalem is expressing the imagined joy of exacting reciprocal revenge. Paraphrasing: ~As you did to us we would be happy to do to you. We would be happy to dash your young against the rocks.~ It is not the voice of YHWH but the voice of a tribalistic human who knew misery and longs for payback. And they authors and editors of the bible thought that was worth preserving and promoting. Those authors and editors were of course more tribalistic humans. But if you’d like to give YHWH the credit for the authorship and editing of the Bible then take the bad (and the petty) with the good.

            If God was so approving of killing babies, why don’t you see it happening in Churches around the world as part of the worship service?

            If God approved of his self/son being tortured and killed, why don’t you see it happening in Churches around the world as part of the worship service? If God approved of people being naked, why don’t you see it happening in Churches around the world as part of the worship service? If God approved of the extermination of a rival tribe, let’s say Canaanites, why don’t you see it happening in Churches around the world as part of the worship service? If god approved of cursing fig trees for being out of season, why don’t you see it happening in Churches around the world as part of the worship service? We don’t see any of these things happening in Churches around the world as part of the worship service but they are all unquestioningly approved of and represented as righteous based on the alleged authority of and old set of scrolls and manuscripts.

            And on that matter, the Bible does NOT approve of slavery

            Ex 21:2 If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing.

            The Bible does not disparage slavery. The Bible accepts slavery. If we credit God with authorship of the Bible (or even indirectly with that “god-breathed” nonsense) then how can we not assume that God accepts slavery. Could not the wise master of the universe say something like… “People can’t own people. If someone says they own someone else, they are wrong. No authority may ignore the liberty that is the very nature of man as my creation. And beside that it’s just wrong to think otherwise.” If only god had the benevolence and intellect that comes so naturally to modern humans we probably could have avoided some of this confusion. But God/bible did not condemn slavery. God/Bible did not invalidate slavery. God/Bible made no moral judgment against slavery. Instead, God/Bible set rules for masters and slaves. The Bible Legitimizes slavery. how can anyone even suggest “the Bible does NOT approve of slavery “

      • In reply to #53 by Lonevoice:

        In reply to #52 by scientific_philosopher:

        A late reply, re your comments on William Wilberforce. Agreed that Wilberforce was a “fine Christian man” battling the existence of slavery for 20 years. But, who were his opponents? A cluster of atheists, operating in Britain? No, they were also “fine Christian men” who fought him tooth and nail because it was god’s will that these lower order beings should serve.

  20. Thank you for your input, I guess then we must be reading two different books. I quote:” 137:9 Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones”. Am I reading this wrong? I can see you have your own interpretation of the meaning in this psalm, I’m not actually surprised how you chose to defend it.

    The thing that stands out about the psalms is how violent, vengeful, and vindictive they are. “Break their teeth, O God, in their mouth … let them be cut pieces.” Such prayers fill the psalms along with statements like this: “The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.”

    You can deny or try to defend them as much as you want. Textual and physiological analysis’s paint a pretty clear picture of the religious scriptures. One doesn’t have to even take in account the analysis’s to realize that this is all psychotic nonsense and can’t definitely come from an intelligent designer who not only created space, time, planet earth ( don’t even get me started about the 6 days theory), us and approx. 450 billion galaxies, let alone this Biblical nonsense be his words, but rather the ignorant and illiterate rambling of peasants from antiquity. It goes against all logic and human empathy to believe that a book empowers you to act with aggression towards your fellow humans, especially since this is the word of God.

    I’m going to use the bibles own words to speak for itself. I’d like know how people on here interpret the textual content below.

    • God will hit the heathens with a rod of iron and “dash them in pieces.” 2:9

    (Bible original text: 2:9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel”).

    • God hates sinners. 5:5

    (Bible original text:”5:5 The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity”.)

    “The foolish shall not stand in thy sight.” But foolishness is highly recommended by Paul in the New Testament. Is it good to be foolish?

    • Dead people neither remember God nor give him thanks. 6:5

    (Bible original text:”6:5 For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?”)

    Dead people, contrary to many Bible verses, neither remember God nor give him thanks. Is death final?

    • God hides from those who need him the most. 10:1

    (Bible original text:”10:1 Why standest thou afar off, O LORD? why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble?)”

    “Why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble?” Does God help in times of need?

    • God will rain fire and brimstone upon “wicked” people. 11:6

    (Bible original text:”11:6 Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup”.)

    (11:6) God will rain fire and brimstone on “wicked” folks.

    • Atheists are fools who never do anything good. 14:1, 53:1

    (Bible original text:”14:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good”.)

    Is it OK to call someone a fool?

    (Bible original text:”53:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good.)

    • Smoke comes out of God’s nose and fire comes out of his mouth. 18:8

    (Bible original text:”18:8 There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it”.)

    “Smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth …” Smoke comes out of God’s nose and fire comes out of his mouth.

    • God rides upon cherubs and can fly. 18:10

    (Bible original text:”18:10 And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind.)

    God rides upon cherubs and flies through the sky.

    • The God of Peace teaches us to kill our neighbors in war. 18:34, 144:1

    (Bible original text:”18:34 He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms”.)

    The God of peace teaches us how to kill our neighbors in war.

    (Bible original text:”144:1 Blessed be the LORD my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight”.)

    (144:1) “The Lord … teacheth my hands to war.” The God of Peace teaches us to kill each other in war. Is God warlike or peaceful?

    • If God doesn’t like you, he’ll burn you to death. 21:9

    (Bible original text:”21:9 Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of thine anger: the LORD shall swallow them up in his wrath, and the fire shall devour them”.)

    • If you forget God, he will tear you in pieces. 50:22

    (Bible original text:”50:22 Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver”.)

    If you forget God, he’ll tear you into pieces.

    • If you don’t trust God, he’ll kill you, and while you’re dying the “righteous” will laugh at you. 52:5-6

    (Bible original text:”52:5 God shall likewise destroy thee for ever, he shall take thee away, and pluck thee out of thy dwelling place, and root thee out of the land of the living. Selah.”)

    (52:5-7) If you don’t trust in God, he’ll kill you and while you’re dying the “righteous” will laugh at you.

    • Bad people are bad from birth—God made them that way. 58:3

    (Bible original text:”The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies”.)

    Wicked people are wicked from birth—God made them that way. They tell lies immediately after birth (before they can even talk!).

    • “Break their teeth, O God, in their mouth, … let them be cut pieces.” 58:6-8

    (Bible original text:”58:6 Break their teeth, O God, in their mouth: break out the great teeth of the young lions, O LORD”.

    How should we treat our enemies?

    (Bible original text:”58:7 Let them melt away as waters which run continually: when he bendeth his bow to shoot his arrows, let them be as cut in pieces.

    Bible original text:”58:8 As a snail which melteth, let every one of them pass away: like the untimely birth of a woman, that they may not see the sun”.)

    “As a snail melteth” Snails don‘t melt; they simply leave a slimy trail as they move along.

    • “The righteous” will rejoice when they see “the wicked” being dismembered by God. They’ll “wash their feet in the blood of the wicked.” 58:10

    (Bible original text:”58:10 The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked”.)

    “The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.” “The righteous” will rejoice when he sees “the wicked” being dismembered by God. He’ll even get a chance to wash his feet in their blood. Now that’s entertainment! Should we rejoice to see our enemies suffer?

    • The heathen “make a noise like a dog … Behold, they belch out with their mouths.” 59:5

    (Bible original text:”59:5 Thou therefore, O LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel, awake to visit all the heathen: be not merciful to any wicked transgressors. Selah”.

    The psalmist asks God to kill all “the heathen” and show them no mercy.

    • God will “wound the head of his enemies” and the righteous will dip their feet in their blood. 68:21, 23

    (Bible original text:”68:21 But God shall wound the head of his enemies, and the hairy scalp of such an one as goeth on still in his trespasses”.)

    (68:21, 23) God will “wound the head of his enemies” so that the righteous can wash their feet “in the blood of thine enemies, and the tongue of thy dogs in the same.”

    I could go on for hours, in fact I could write down the whole book in here, but I guess you’d still interpret the things you want to believe instead of what it’s actually saying!

    • In reply to #55 by scientific_philosopher:

      Thank you for your input, I guess then we must be reading two different books. I quote:” 137:9 Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones”. Am I reading this wrong? I can see you have your own interpretation of the meaning in this psalm, I’m not actually surprised…

      I fully accept that I am not going to be able to persuade you to my way of thinking. That was never my intention,anyway. There is absolutely no doubt that the Bible contains passages that are hard to grasp and accept. One thing I would say is that God spoke to a culture thousands of years ago, there is no solid reason for 21st Century man to conlcude that God would speak like we do today. So there is a massive cultural hurdle. That said, the Bible does purport to be the Word of God that lasts through the generations.
      Some see contradictions – others see paradoxes. The biblical paradox will always create a dilemma for linear thinking.

      Also, not all of the Bible is to be taken literally because some of it is written in poetic form. Therfore the mention of melting snails is somewhat unnecesary to the argument.

      I cannot deny that I have been greatly challenged by the comments related to this issue and I thank you for taking the time to present your reasoning. However, I cannot overlook the fact that you have taken the whole Bible and come down on the side of the negative. Where are the references to the love, mercy, patience and kindness of God. You have ignored them. At the very least I would have expected you to raise the apparent contradiction between thess and the verses you have chosen: but no, you have taken all the bits you don’t like and tried to make that the whole picture.

      These are not contradictions to me, by the way, as I am preared to accept in my mind that I am a finite being and cannot expect to fully comprehend all; the vastness of an inifinite being. I am prepared to accept that he is not only a loving father, but also a righteous judge. The judgment may be unpleasant, but when all is said and done, I am accountable to him.

      These are very hard things to express in a short post without raising a load more questions or objections – because I cannot repsond to every detailed criticism. However, I have tried to take a balanced approach but your comments (and those of others on this topic) do not seem balanced at all. Yes, I accept that you have done your research, however, it seems that the conclusions reached seem to be that God is bad, modern man is good (and better than man of antiquity) and that Christians have never done anything good in their lives.

      I’m sorry this post doesn’t go into great detail answering each point raised, but I wanted to take a step back and loof at the bigger picture. Also, I’m about to go out with the family and wanted to respond before that.

      • In reply to #61 by Lonevoice:

        I fully accept that I am not going to be able to persuade you to my way of thinking.

        The implication is that we are intractable. But the real problem is that you are selling an empty box. It doesn’t matter that you think it’s full of treasures. If you can’t (and no one has) show us something that is there, we will consider it… well, most of us will. But most of us have been down this road ourselves and with a parade of believers. Anyone that has evidence or logic will be heard. Typically(or universally) what is offered as reason or evidence is thinly veiled fallacies, misdirection and often demonstrable lies. You, or anyone, are welcome to be the exception.

        There is absolutely no doubt that the Bible contains passages that are hard to grasp and accept.

        Why is that? Is it not important that people be understand the word of God? Is it acceptable that it is so easily interpreted in so many ways by so many people? If you were the timeless author of the universe wouldn’t you want your word to be a little more clear? Don’t you think you could and would do a better job in having your will represented? Not just a little better but a lot better? Or should we assume that your word isn’t that important?

        One thing I would say is that God spoke to a culture thousands of years ago, there is no solid reason for 21st Century man to conclude that God would speak like we do today.

        facepalm Over the thousands of years the Old Testament was written, edited, rewritten and the hundreds of years between the alleged life of Jesus and the writing, collecting and editing of the Jesus and early church stories god had plenty of chances to get it right. The problem is not the many inconsistencies, seeming contradictions and frequently esoteric/poetic prose. The problem is of substance. There is certainly wisdom and beauty to be found. But this can be said of any great, or merely decent work of fiction. But if we treat this book as the message God wants us to know then we must assume God is at best sometimes coherent, sometimes wise and sometimes benevolent. It makes sense only when you research the origins and authorship of the Bible (old and new) that it is the writings of men with political agendas. I encourage you to investigate this yourself only if you value facts over belief. No one should expect God to talk the same way over the course of thousands of years. But everyone should expect the substance of the message to be as timeless as the author. Given that the authors were mortal and medieval much of the substance falls short. It is strange that anyone can point to the cultural differences without recognizing the culture as the source rather than the conduit.

        The biblical paradox will always create a dilemma for linear thinking.

        paraphrased: In order to understand it you have to set aside reason, logic and critical thinking.
        This works remarkably and equally well for all gods and prophets. Is there any logical reason to accept YHWH over Ra or Amaterasu?

        Also, not all of the Bible is to be taken literally because some of it is written in poetic form.

        Excellent point. How are we to differentiate between law and poem? In practice this is completely subjective. Every christian sub-cult can make a good case for its strange interpretations. The Muslims have this problem too. You can’t tell the snake handlers or speaking-in-tongues crowd anything better than in your heart you know this is not the will of God. And yet their hearts are informed by the same god to the contrary. It’s possible, assuming the existence of a god, there is one church that accurately worships as God intended. But more likely, none do. Even more likely, there is none. One could also argue that there are no wrong ways (easily refutable) or there are many acceptable ways. But that merely undermines the “legitimacy” of any worship rite. Although i would be the first to admit it’s all equally valid… which is to say, equally invalid. Anyway, if I believe god was being poetic when it said Don’t kill or * when thou prayest, enter into thy closet* then I may perceive a meaning unique among men. I may kill/not kill and pray/not pray accordingly and claim it is righteous in the eyes of the lord. You could tell me in wrong but you could substantiate you belief any better than I could. My point is not that killing and praying are good or bad, but that the Bible can be and is unreliable if we allow for non-literal interpretation. Though we would probably agree unreliable is preferable to literal.

        However, I cannot overlook the fact that you have taken the whole Bible and come down on the side of the negative.

        Few would say the Bible is wholly bad. Many might say that on the whole the Bible is bad. I would say it is hit and miss, unreliable. Only in light of people make moral and political claims based on the Bible as authority do I even care. It is on that basis that I must condemn it. We may find truth in any work of fiction. But we wouldn’t allow any other work of fiction to dictate our morality and civics. We ignore the biblical reference to love, mercy, patience and kindness of the alleged God not because they would refute the secular position. But the point being made was that the Bible is often unenlightened and the god it represents is equally unenlightened, hit and miss. the follies of the Bible are not the whole Bible but they certainly expose its unreliability and therefore its lack of authority.

        These are not contradictions to me, by the way, as I am preared to accept in my mind that I am a finite being and cannot expect to fully comprehend all; the vastness of an inifinite being.

        This is merely admission that God’s alleged communication to us is flawed. Is it because 1 the god is flawed (or nonexistent), 2 the media is flawed or 3 because we are incapable of understanding God’s will? Regardless of which, we are left to find our own way. You can not know the will of God yet hold yourself accountable to the will of God. It’s admirable to recognize you have limitations. And yet you see yourself accountable even though your limitations are imposed upon you (either by your creator or a the legacy of evolution.) Even though I’ve been where you are, it’s still disturbing to see this.

        …I am accountable to him.

        Even though you are accountable for being exactly the way you are made? It’s a good thing you don’t require it to make sense.

        These are very hard things to express in a short post without raising a load more questions or objections…

        There is a reason for this. Your beliefs are baseless. They are ideological. There is no argument that starts with “I know this is true because…” and ends in fact or logic. For instance, I know it’s true because the Bible says so… translates to I know the Bible is true because the Bible claims to be true. Apologists have been trying for centuries and have convinced no one who wasn’t desperate to be convinced (I’m exaggerating.) The questions and objections are inevitable and legitimate. Unfortunately reality is too far outside of most believers’ comfort zone. Thanks to cognitive dissonance believers have no choice but to rationalize the disparity between their ideological beliefs and the press of reality and demonstrable facts. It’s only when you stop making excuses for your ideology and allow yourself to question it (which dogma forbids) that you can realize for all it benefits, your belief is merely… belief.

        I should also point out that the God you seem to believe in is not the God of the Old Testament. That God is not Mr. Niceguy. It is not the kindly father of all mankind. It is the wrathful petty god of a group of pre-literate Bronze-age tribalists.

        If you seek truth, you must doubt everything equally. Even if you just wanna talk about how great god is you have a responsibility to know what you’re talking about. If you believe your snake oil grants life after death that’s fine. But if you want to tell other people your snake oil grants life after death it is irresponsible to do so on belief alone.

        … the conclusions reached seem to be that God is bad, modern man is good (and better than man of antiquity) and that Christians have never done anything good in their lives.

        God is bad That’s certainly a possibility even though i don’t think anyone is say If god does exist, he’s pure evil.” I think what most are saying is that if he does exist he’s not the white robe and sunshine feel good sweetheart. The god of the Bible clearly suffers from the same psychological, intellectual and emotional shortcomings as any misogynistic poorly educated deadbeat dad. He’s not all bad. And thanks to battered wife syndrome I can still love him.
        *modern man is good (and better than man of antiquity)
        This is not a matter of good and bad but one of enlightenment and understanding. How do you feel about burying people up to their neck and throwing rocks at their head until they die. Let’s say their crime was blasphemy or adultery. Do we suppose god is angry because there is a thunderstorm? No. This is not necessarily a matter of being better but rather being better enlightened. Are we not?
        Christians have never done anything good in their lives. How can you even make such a ridiculous assertion. No one said anything of the sort. Certainly there are examples of evil Christians and/or Christians performing acts of evil even in the name of Christianity. And while Fred Rogers was exceptional there are many many Christians who are on the whole good and doing good. But if the argument is over the existence of God then the bane/boon to society of Christians and Christianity is irrelevant. The existence and quality of Fred Rogers (one example of a Christian who was good) does not lend evidence to the existence or non-existence of god.

  21. My very catholic family would most likely not see any argument in this video. They would not see the sarcasm, but instead, buy into it as validation for ID! They would say, “god has a reason for all things, we must just trust and believe that he knows what he’s doing”. The old saying ” god moves in mysterious ways”, would come out of their mouths.

  22. The problem of evil is not a direct refutation of the supposition of Intelligent Design (ID). But it does undermine ID. How can we use the beauty and majesty we find in nature as evidence of an intelligent designer (allegedly benevolent) when beauty and majesty are the exception rather than the rule? The mishomonist (I just totally made that word up, ad hoc.) will claim that it is the sins of man that are to blame.

    If we assume that is true then how can they (these mishomonist , these haters of man) avoid admitting that the current state of nature does not support ID? Further, what historical information do we have that indicates, or even suggests, that there was a time when beauty and majesty were the norm rather than the exception? Conclusion: Blaming the problem of evil on the sins of man is an admission that ID is not consistent with observable reality.

    But do those who blame the sins of man even have a point? Again if we assume that man was designed, by a designer, and the result was sin, what does that tell us about the design? Is it possible, given a perfect designer, that the product could fail to work as designed? Even with the inclusion of free will (which also can’t be substantiated) the designed being will operate, must operate, as designed. The temptations of the fruit of the tree knowledge of good and evil, and other alleged evils, are only tempting because of our nature… our allegedly designed nature.

    Intelligent Design is intended to be an argument that supports the existence of a creator/designer based on the complexity of many lifeforms. But much of the offered complexity (especially flaws) is better explained by evolutionary legacies. From an engineering standpoint reducing complexity if generally preferable. So too, many biological systems would be improved by reducing complexity.

    ID fails on its basic claim. It also fails in light of the problem of evil. It also fails in light of the allegation that the current rarity of beauty and majesty are due to the sins of man. And it fails even further based on the alleged failure (sin) of that which was designed.

    None of this proves or disproves the existence of a supernatural intelligent creator. But it does make the notion of a theistic powerful benevolent caring interactive deity completely moot.

  23. @JoxerTheMighty
    “I’m sorry, but in my opinion this video is quite intellectually lazy and borders on just silly.”

    With respect, how much can be achieved in a 4 minute video? There is a need by it’s nature to be impactive in the time. The video does not eliminate the creator argument, he might just be not very good at it. I am reminded of Sam Harris’ argument. Doest the video suggest a view of life that suggests an intelligent designer?….Well no!. But can it be rendered compatible with a theist/designer view of the world?….Well yes! You just have to add caveats, like God moves in mysterious ways etc. I enjoyed the video anyway.

  24. The human mind wants to see order and so looks for it. Causes and effects become intended reasoning, and coincidences are determined to be fate that were “meant to be.” Until the mind can see natural chaos, it will always be delusional.

  25. The only true altruistic way to approach the horror and wonder of this universe is believe there is beauty in all aspects of existence. Life on this planet, and indeed in all life, it is as perfect as it will ever be.

  26. In reply to #67 by caloy:

    The only true altruistic way to approach the horror and wonder of this universe is believe there is beauty in all aspects of existence. Life on this planet, and indeed in all life, it is as perfect as it will ever be.

    “All is for the best in the best of all possible world,” Pangloss in “Candide.”

    • In reply to #70 by Vincent Johnson:

      Hi everyone! I’m a science student and christian religion is my certain field. Is there a problem with that?

      Well, first Vincent, it sounds like you might have a little chip on your shoulder. Please tell us how you link your “field” with science.

    • In reply to #70 by Vincent Johnson:

      Hi everyone! I’m a science student and christian religion is my certain field. Is there a problem with that?

      What are you saying exactly. Christian Science is an oxymoron, I’m just not sure what you mean by your incoherent statement.

  27. So, professor, what is justice and why is it desirable? What about taking on the evidence for a designer and ignoring whether or not He/She/It is good? After all, you are perfectly able to accept a universe that is cold, meaningless and unjust. Why won’t you consider a God that is exactly so? I want to hear your scientific case against Intelligent Design, not your emotionally-laced diatribe against a Bad Daddy. I’m waiting…

  28. false dilemma fallacy: either this world is perfect and pain free, or the God of the bible does not exist. Wow, that’s a ridiculous over simplification. How about a false dilemma of my own: either Dawkins can rebutt Michael Behe’s “Edge of Evolution” book, point by point, or macro evolution is false. Or how about: either atheism can explain why a moral argument against God is meaningful in an atheistic universe that does not allow for morality to exist, or atheism is false (actually, that last one is a REAL dilemma!).

  29. fallacy of confusing cause and effect: A and B regularly occur together, therefore A is the cause of B. In a world designed by the God of the bible, there is often violence and suffering caused by nature itself. Therefore God has caused violence and suffering. Well, sometimes God does kill. And sometimes bad things happen to good people and God allows them to suffer and die. Interestingly, the society Richard Dawkins has no qualms with is the abortion-on-demand western modern culture. More babies are butchered in their mothers’ wombs every year in the West and Asia then enemies killed by the Old Testament Hebrews throughout their 1500 year, pre-diaspora existence. Yet he does not question his value system… Is it not possible that suffering in this life is necessary to show people their need for God? And mankind’s lack of omnipotence? This short, often brutish life was never meant to be paradise. According to Alexander Solzhenitsyn (who spent decades in russian gulags for criticizing Stalin) during his Harvard address in 1978, stated that many people in communist Russia during the 20th century turned to faith due to pain and suffering and that the West had grown humanistic, lazy and wicked due to the raw comforts and safety. We seem to need shocks and pains to wake us from slumber. Part of the pre-paradise state of affairs.

  30. In reply to #74 by intersection:

    So, professor, what is justice and why is it desirable? What about taking on the evidence for a designer and ignoring whether or not He/She/It is good? After all, you are perfectly able to accept a universe that is cold, meaningless and unjust. Why won’t you consider a God that is exactly so? I want to hear your scientific case against Intelligent Design, not your emotionally-laced diatribe against a Bad Daddy. I’m waiting…

    I’m fairly certain you’re going to be waiting for quite some time.

    Evolution is a fact whether you like it or not and at no point in evolution is there any indication of an intelligent designer. Heck, there could be a billion proposed designers and still we have no indication whatsoever of their existence ( unless you count humans as designers ). The rational and logical thing to do in a situation as this, is to simply accept the fact that reality doesn’t agree with you. If you were being intellectually honest, you would change your belief.

    I simply have one question for you regarding Intelligen Design: Where. Is. The. Evidence?

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