Lying for Jesus, Redux

112


Discussion by: Quine
Earlier this year, the video blogger, Potholer54, put up this video dedicated to one of the ‘tubes biggest pushers of lies for Jesus, the Banana Man, Ray Comfort:

Ray has practiced and practiced his “street ambush” rumble of risible rhetoric, and edited such into a new campaign video that he wants to distribute, much as he did his “new intro” to Darwin’s master work. Ray’s new video shows the same kind of lying for Jesus that Potholer exposed above, and that we discussed in great length re the movie “Expelled” on the venerable “Lying for Jesus” thread five years ago.

I am not going to go through the new video and point out all the tricks and fallacies, but just want to relate some of my own experiences with missionaries who have tried some of them on me.

1) “Do you believe in Evolution?”

I answer this one. “I don’t have to believe in it, I can check it.” Usual reaction: deer caught in headlights. It leads to a discussion of what is meant by “believe,” which is a little piece of epistemology (quite a lot, actually) that is swept under the rug in religion, because you are supposed to already know what it means.

2) “But you have faith in science!”

My reply is, “I have reasonable expectations based on prior evidence.” That is not as stupefying as the above, but I can’t help counting the seconds it takes to sink in as a quick measure of my interlocutor. Once again, it can lead to a broad discussion of what is and is not “faith.”

3) “But you have not seen Evolution happen!”

“And you have neither seen Jesus die on a cross, not rise from the dead.” As you can guess, this leads to talking over the reliability of Bible passages v. looking at fossils in rocks and DNA in cells. Objective observation of factual evidence wins over legends in mythology (the theology of the past) every time.

4) “But there are no transitional fossils!”

Tiktaalik, so STFU.

And last, but oh so sweet:

5) “Do you think you are a good person?”

My answer: “No.” After the typical looks of confusion, begins the discussion of why knowing that one is “good” would assume an objective measure of goodness, that has not been established.

The Banana Man will keep doing his tricks, but we can each be ready to avoid being used by him to push his dishonesty.

112 COMMENTS

  1. Ray is caught in the same predicament most hucksters find themselves, He has to keep talking to keep his marks on their heels. If he stops long enough for a thought to enter one mark’s head, and he can’t answer convincingly, the whole house of cards blows away and if he’s lucky he’ll keep his skin. I actually feel sorry for him because he’s been running on the ragged edge for a few years now, when he falls it’ll be nasty. His only saving grace might be that he doesn’t seem to playing fast and loose with the law, not that I’ve heard about anyway.

  2. 3) “But you have not seen Evolution happen!”

    I have seen it, right inside my own body as my HIV bugs developed immunity to drug after drug. I have even have DNA sequences that track its progress. We know which mutations confer immunity to which drugs.

    I read Daniel J. Fairbanks Evolving: The Human Effect and Why It Matters. It describes an experiment where evolution in the wild in wild fish happened fast enough to observe in some Mexican streams.

    1. same, science doesn’t require faith
    2. Same, the evidence is out there to be examined.
      3..But I can read about it happening in the lab, and look at the fossil record.
    3. ALL fossils are transitional.
    4. I think I’m good. I believe I’m good. I know I’m good by the criteria I set for being good, but it might not be your criteria. Of course, there is room for improvement.

    Another one is how can there be good without god: I answer refrigeration has saved more lives than prayer.

    • In reply to #5 by canadian_right:

      ALL fossils are transitional.

      Not really. Fossils from just before a big extinction event are usually the ends of branches on the Tree of Life and not transitional. A transitional species has to have descendants that are around long enough to evolve into a new species.

  3. Yes, the new tripe, ‘ Evolution Verses God. ‘

    Amusing to see that the comments made by the site, wayofthemaster, fell off quickly with cogent arguments from the rational to deal with. Hard to run your rapid fire spiel on a web site!

    • Wouldn’t the fossil of the new species be part of the transitional proof? You need the original and new species fossils to prove the transition. So the fossils just before the extinction would be the new species fossil evidence.

      • In reply to #8 by joe.piersons:

        Wouldn’t the fossil of the new species be part of the transitional proof? You need the original and new species fossils to prove the transition. So the fossils just before the extinction would be the new species fossil evidence.

        Of course it would be part of the evidence, but not necessarily a “transitional species” itself. It’s a rhetorical issue for the most part. Creationists are backed into a corner where they will not even look at evidence of one “kind” of animal evolving into another “kind” (such as “deer kind” evolving into “whale kind”). Of course, they usually don’t understand the concept of common descent, and want us to show them the transitional fossils between modern chimps and modern humans, and when we explain that did not happen they say, “See, there are no transitional fossils.”

    • In reply to #11 by Ryan1306:

      I’ve been using ” reasonable expectations based on prior evidence” since you first said it here. It’s a good one. Thanks.

      Thank you, Ryan. I have been meaning to write more about the nature of “expectations” on my blog, and it is about time to do so. I would argue that we want to know what is true and false because it impacts what we expect to happen. If I know the true bus schedule, then I can expect to be able to catch the bus at the corner of 1st and J streets, at 5pm. One of the things that makes Tiktaalik such a good example is that the Theory of Evolution combined with Geologic Theory gave the researchers the expectation of some chance of finding that kind of fossil in the place where the rocks were known to be of the corresponding age. A basic answer to the question of why we want to have true knowledge is that true knowledge, more often than untrue knowledge, leads us to fulfilled expectations re what is going to happen, next.

  4. “Faith in science” – what bullshit. Faith in a kitchen knife, a hammer, a syringe … add whatever you like. That are tools; science is a tool! Tools can be used for anything – for construction as well as destruction. Tools are only as good as the human who uses it. Faith means pretending to know what I don’t know.

      • In reply to #21 by DrJon:

        Well, evolution IS a religion. It takes a certain amount of faith in the theory. Evolution is a failed theory, yet you continue to cling on to these fairytale beliefs.

        Could you please explain what you mean by “failed”? The evidence in multiple scientific fields establishes the common descent of all known life, beyond any reasonable doubt. The Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection is the best explanation we have for the mechanism of speciation along the lines of that common descent. Do you know of a better explanation for the emergence of new species, and if so, what is the support for it?

      • In reply to #21 by DrJon:

        Well, evolution IS a religion. It takes a certain amount of faith in the theory. Evolution is a failed theory,

        It looks like you should brush up on your understanding of the definition of a scientific theory! Scientific theories are based on evidence, not “faith”. – ( http://www.thefreedictionary.com/faith – Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. ).

        http://www.livescience.com/21491-what-is-a-scientific-theory-definition-of-theory.html

        A scientific theory summarizes a hypothesis or group of hypotheses that have been supported with repeated testing. If enough evidence accumulates to support a hypothesis, it moves to the next step—known as a theory—in the scientific method and becomes accepted as a valid explanation of a phenomenon.

        When used in non-scientific context, the word “theory” implies that something is unproven or speculative.
        As used in science, however, a theory is an explanation or model based on observation, experimentation, and reasoning, especially one that has been tested and confirmed as a general principle helping to explain and predict natural phenomena.

        Any scientific theory must be based on a careful and rational examination of the facts. In the scientific method, there is a clear distinction between facts, which can be observed and/or measured, and theories, which are scientists’ explanations and interpretations of the facts. Scientists can have various interpretations of the outcomes of experiments and observations, but the facts, which are the cornerstone of the scientific method, do not change.

        In the case of evolution it is confirmed thousands of times in thousands of independent peer-reviewed scientific studies of thousands of species.

        yet you continue to cling on to these fairytale beliefs.

        It sounds like you have no understanding of science, but are projecting beliefs from your antique book of fairy-tales!

  5. People who ‘preach’ religious absolutes always run the risk of having their bubbles burst. For example, the concept of Christ being God’s only son does not compare well with the teaching that we are all God’s children. Further, Christ taught we should love our enemies, yet he exhibited hatred toward the Pharisees on numerous occasions plus drove the moneylenders out of the temple grounds. I believe in God and on occasion have preached in the church I attend, but believe we should keep an open mind about all concepts. Absolutism can be fatal to the mind.

    • In reply to #16 by joehev:

      I believe in God and on occasion have preached in the church I attend, but believe we should keep an open mind about all concepts. Absolutism can be fatal to the mind.

      Keeping “an open mind about all concepts”, is like having inputs into a bucket with no lid, – where anything of anything of any quality can be poured in!
      Science is about discarding refuted concepts. That is where it differs from “faith” – which preserves preconceptions in spite of refuting evidence.

      Further, Christ taught we should love our enemies, yet he exhibited hatred toward the Pharisees on numerous occasions plus drove the moneylenders out of the temple grounds.

      According to biblical myths written decades or centuries after supposed events!

      • Keeping an open mind means leaving open the possibility that some conceived belief, me in God, you in nothing but science, may be wrong. My mind is open to such possibility but I live my life in my beliefs, as I think all people should.

        In reply to #17 by Alan4discussion:

        In reply to #16 by joehev:

        I believe in God and on occasion have preached in the church I attend, but believe we should keep an open mind about all concepts. Absolutism can be fatal to the mind.

        Keeping “an open mind about all concepts”, is like having inputs into a bucket with no lid, – where any…

        • In reply to #18 by joehev:

          Keeping an open mind means leaving open the possibility that some conceived belief, me in God, you in nothing but science, may be wrong.

          I don’t have to believe in science. I can watch it happening. Gods on the other hand have no objective confirmations of any activity or presence. With all the theist stories (albeit contracting each other), you would expect some traces of mighty supernatural activities!

          Absence of Evidence Is Evidence of Absence

          You don’t seem to have any responses to points raised!

          • I’m not sure what points raised need responding to. I already said I believe in science, but I also believe in God. I do not think they are mutually exclusive beliefs. As to objective confirmation of God’s existence, each person is free to evaluate that on his or her terms. I am as content in my belief as I am sure you are in yours. We were not created as ants. Each person is free to march to his own beat. To me that is also part of the beauty of God.

            In reply to #19 by Alan4discussion:

            In reply to #18 by joehev:

            Keeping an open mind means leaving open the possibility that some conceived belief, me in God, you in nothing but science, may be wrong.

            I don’t have to believe in science. I can watch it happening. Gods on the other hand have no objective confirmations of any activit…

          • In reply to #20 by joehev:

            I ‘m not sure what points raised need responding to. I already said I believe in science,

            People who “believe in science”, use scientific evidence and reasoning in support of their claims. Simply asserting or stating them, is not how scientific debate is conducted.

            but I also believe in God. I do not think they are mutually exclusive beliefs.

            You are welcome to your opinion, but without supporting evidence it is no more than a personal view which fails to resolve the conficts.

            As to objective confirmation of God’s existence, each person is free to evaluate that on his or her terms.

            The expression of a personal view is not confirmation of anything! “Scientific evaluation” is a transparent procedure – which is explained, including supporting evidence, and which others can independently check to confirm or refute it.

            I am as content in my belief as I am sure you are in yours.

            You sound as if you are, but you are not making a convincing case to support your view.

            We were not created as ants.

            We are not created at all according to well evidenced evolutionary science.

            Each person is free to march to his own beat. To me that is also part of the beauty of God.

            Not only have you produced no evidence of your god, you have not even produced a definintion or features or properties of it, or stated which god of the thousands of versions Xtian or otherwise, you are referring to List of deities, – leaving obvious questions such as “Why choose this particular god?” – unanswered.

            You still don’t seem to have any responses to the specific points raised!

          • If as you say I have not responded to any specific points raised, you have not asked for response to any specific point. Why not name one, and I will respond to it. When you say those who believe in science use scientific evidence to support their claims, I’d suggest that’s true enough if I was making a scientific claim based on scientific method. But I’m not making any such claim. Nor am I a scientist. My belief in God is based on my personal experiences and reasoning and these as a group are unique to me and don’t apply to anyone else, so how am I supposed to provide evidence, and how would my own personal thoughts and experiences convince anyone else?

            I should also point out that I am not conflicted, so there is no conflict that I need to resolve.

            In reply to #22 by Alan4discussion:

            In reply to #20 by joehev:

            I ‘m not sure what points raised need responding to. I already said I believe in science,

            People who “believe in science”, use scientific evidence and reasoning in support of their claims. Simply asserting or stating them, is not how scientific debate is conducted.

            but…

          • In reply to #25 by joehev:

            My belief in God is based on my personal experiences and reasoning and these as a group are unique to me and don’t apply to anyone else, so how am I supposed to provide evidence, and how would my own personal thoughts and experiences convince anyone else?

            [Plug for personal blog removed by moderator.] It is true that you can’t transfer that to anyone else, no matter how clear the personal evidence seems to you. My missionary neighbor keeps telling me stories about parts of his life where he attributes the good that happened to him to divine intervention. If someone wins the lottery, and happened to pray to some deity before hand, you may never be able to challenge his or her belief that divine intervention was involved, because from the viewpoint of the winner, the personal evidence is overwhelming. If you think about this, and picture someone else telling you how faith in Krishna brought him or her prosperity, you may be able to see why those claims of personal evidence, don’t count as evidence, for the rest of us.

          • I agree, but as I said in my other posting, I was not trying to argue a position but explain it. If someone tells me praying to Krishna helped him to win the lottery, I would be skeptical. Not because I view praying to Krishna as wrong or without merit, but because I don’t believe that prayer requests for material gain hold much value. I do believe in the power of prayer, just not that kind of prayer. The name of the deity is irrelevant.

            In reply to #26 by Quine:

            In reply to #25 by joehev:

            My belief in God is based on my personal experiences and reasoning and these as a group are unique to me and don’t apply to anyone else, so how am I supposed to provide evidence, and how would my own personal thoughts and experiences convince anyone else?

            I have written…

          • In reply to #29 by joehev:

            I agree, but as I said in my other posting, I was not trying to argue a position but explain it.

            That’s fine. My question is how you would know the personal evidence you have is the result of supernatural interaction, or just the circumstances you find yourself in? It’s like the person who has won the lottery, but has no way to know if divine help was involved.

          • I can’t know for certain. But over a long period of time, I have come to realize that my prayers get answered. I have also come to realize that there is a certain power at play in my life that may be categorized as coincidences by others, but they impact me on a very personal level. I have also come to understand that from the day I made the conscious decision to believe in God, I have been suffused with an inner resolve and strength that I never experienced before. As a small aside, a couple of weeks ago, I attended a church service in a small village near here and realized that the preacher that day was someone I had seen and met before. But try as I might, I couldn’t dredge up his name. Then he began his sermon and started talking about the trials and tribulations of that hero of South Africa, Nelson Mandela. That’s it, I thought. The preacher’s name was Nelson. Small potatoes? Maybe. But so many of these over the years added up to something much more in my mind.

            In reply to #30 by Quine:

            In reply to #29 by joehev:

            I agree, but as I said in my other posting, I was not trying to argue a position but explain it.

            That’s fine. My question is how you would know the personal evidence you have is the result of supernatural interaction, or just the circumstances you find yourself in? It’s…

          • In reply to #38 by joehev:

            I can’t know for certain. But over a long period of time, I have come to realize that my prayers get answered. I have also come to realize that there is a certain power at play in my life that may be categorized as coincidences by others, but they impact me on a very personal level. I have also come…

            Yes, you can’t know for certain, and I often hear these kinds of stories. However, only from people who seem to think that prayer has worked for them, although not dependably (they don’t drop their health insurance policy). I never seem to have people come tell me about all the times they prayed for things that did not happen. This can lead to the Prayer Illusion and The Story of Suzie.

          • It’s a funny thing about prayer. It’s the kind of thing that runs dry if you go to the well too often and for the wrong reasons. I think the trick is – that may be a trite expression – to pray for support, for guidance, for strength, etc. I’ll offer a sole example. Our middle son took schizophrenia when he was 27. Shortly after, he left home and wouldn’t say where he was going. We thought he was in Toronto, but we had no way of finding him. We prayed every night. We didn’t pray for a cure. Nor did we pray for a phone call. We prayed that he wouldn’t end up homeless on the street. We prayed that we would find out where he was. We prayed for God to look after him. I often used the words, “He is our son and we love him, but he is your son, too, and you love him. Please look after him.”

            Six months later, we got a phone call from our daughter-in-law in Vancouver. She said her friend, Marilyn, worked for the RCMP and would try to find him if we could get her some identification numbers. We gave her Chris’s social insurance number and driver’s licence number. Three weeks later, we got another phone call. Marilyn had located Chris in Vancouver living in an apartment not far from his brother. Jason, our oldest boy, went to see him. He was down to his last few dollars and the landlord was ready to evict him. We managed to get him a flight home, got him medical assessment, and after several tough ups and downs got him into a group home where he lives today.

            I couldn’t write this off as coincidence. Well, maybe I could if this was a sole example. But I have others, so it finally meant more to me than coincidence.

            In reply to #40 by Quine:

            In reply to #38 by joehev:

            I can’t know for certain. But over a long period of time, I have come to realize that my prayers get answered. I have also come to realize that there is a certain power at play in my life that may be categorized as coincidences by others, but they impact me on a very pers…

          • In reply to #45 by joehev:

            It’s a funny thing about prayer. It’s the kind of thing that runs dry if you go to the well too often and for the wrong reasons. I think the trick is – that may be a trite expression – to pray for support, for guidance, for strength, etc. I’ll offer a sole example.

            But that is exactly the kind of post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy that is in both the videos I linked for you. Did you watch them?

          • Quine, honestly, I can’t remember which videos you refer to. I’ve watched so many in the past few days. Suffice to say, I understand the fallacy perfectly well, but my example of my son is only a sole example of let me call them strange occurrences after prayer that I have experienced over years. Eventually, the weight of all these occurrences caused me to ask, what if prayer actually works? There are many more prayer and coincidence examples I could name – one even today – but I think baring too much of that would lead people to believe I was trying to sway opinion here. That is not my intent. Thanks for the thoughts, though.

            In reply to #46 by Quine:

            In reply to #45 by joehev:

            It’s a funny thing about prayer. It’s the kind of thing that runs dry if you go to the well too often and for the wrong reasons. I think the trick is – that may be a trite expression – to pray for support, for guidance, for strength, etc. I’ll offer a sole example.

            But t…

          • In reply to #58 by joehev:

            Quine, honestly, I can’t remember which videos you refer to. I’ve watched so many in the past few days. Suffice to say, I understand the fallacy perfectly well, but my example of my son is only a sole example of let me call them strange occurrences after prayer that I have experienced over years.

            That’s okay, it is a point of view issue. From the point of view of the lottery winner who prayed, it looks one way, and from the view of the thousands of others who prayed and did not win, the picture is quite different. In your case, I would not expect you to be able to see it from the inside, but the lurkers who read these threads from an outside view can see the big picture, and I suspect they did watch the videos (or have in the past, as they were popular ones).

          • In reply to #45 by joehev:

            It’s a funny thing about prayer. It’s the kind of thing that runs dry if you go to the well too often and for the wrong reasons. I think the trick is – that may be a trite expression – to pray for support, for guidance, for strength, etc. I’ll offer a sole example. Our middle son took schizophrenia…

            Hi Joehev. I have an alternative suggestion as to why your prayers are framed thus, eg asking for guidance etc. I think deep down you and your wife don’t want your faith to be shaken. I think you derive comfort from the feeling that you are not alone and if this were to be demonstrated to be unrealistic your life would be diminished in some way. I understand this , but this does not make it true, unfortunately.

          • In reply to #45 by joehev:

            Six months later, we got a phone call from our daughter-in-law in Vancouver. She said her friend, Marilyn, worked for the RCMP and would try to find him if we could get her some identification numbers. We gave her Chris’s social insurance number and driver’s licence number. Three weeks later, we got another phone call. Marilyn had located Chris in Vancouver living in an apartment not far from his brother. Jason, our oldest boy, went to see him. He was down to his last few dollars and the landlord was ready to evict him. We managed to get him a flight home, got him medical assessment, and after several tough ups and downs got him into a group home where he lives today.

            I couldn’t write this off as coincidence. Well, maybe I could if this was a sole example. But I have others, so it finally meant more to me than coincidence.

            I may well have meant more to you than coincidence, but by your own admission, you gave the information to someone who was going to actively attempt to track Chris down.

            Personally, I would have given 100% of my thanks to your friend rather than imagining that your God stepped in to lend a hand.

          • We certainly did thank Marilyn. She was a trooper – no pun intended. And I can understan your position on this. To me, a series of such personal events did much to convince me in God belief. But that’s why I say, such a conclusion as I have drawn is a very personal one and not easy to make. But it does have its rewards over and above relief that the philosophical dithering is over, at least for now.

            In reply to #52 by The Truth, the light:

            In reply to #45 by joehev:

            Six months later, we got a phone call from our daughter-in-law in Vancouver. She said her friend, Marilyn, worked for the RCMP and would try to find him if we could get her some identification numbers. We gave her Chris’s social insurance number and driver’s licence numbe…

          • In reply to #38 by joehev:

            I can’t know for certain. But over a long period of time, I have come to realize that my prayers get answered. I have also come to realize that there is a certain power at play in my life that may be categorized as coincidences by others, but they impact me on a very personal level. I have also come…

            Joehev, I have coincidences too….everybody does. The “Nelson ” coincidence is not remarkable in any way. If that happened in my life it would barely register as it’s so commonplace. I think you’re seeing way too much into a completely everyday event. In fact, I think you’re primed to see relevance and meaning in random occurrences. It would be even more remarkable if a day went by completely devoid of coincidence.

          • My belief in God is based on my personal experience

            OK, but how can you ever think that someone else should ever buy in to your manner of thinking or reasoning.

            Why make an argument if you can never convince me of anything.

            In reply to #25 by joehev:

            If as you say I have not responded to any specific points raised, you have not asked for response to any specific point. Why not name one, and I will respond to it. When you say those who believe in science use scientific evidence to support their claims, I’d suggest that’s true enough if I was maki…

          • In reply to #25 by joehev:

            If as you say I have not responded to any specific points raised, you have not asked for response to any specific point. Why not name one, and I will respond to it.

            I have named quite a few in earlier posts:- The details of the properties of your specific version of “god”, – is it a that of a recognised denomination? and how this differs from other religions or Xtian views. Xtians usually claim some biblical origin for their views, but pick and choose which bits to regard as relevant. Many know nothing of its history, and many more have never read most of it.

            When you say those who believe in science use scientific evidence to support their claims, I’d suggest that’s true enough if I was making a scientific claim based on scientific method.

            But that is how the physics of the universe works. Reality exists regardless of individul thinking processes.

            But I’m not making any such claim. Nor am I a scientist. My belief in God is based on my personal experiences and reasoning

            You give no examples of these, nor any indication of this process of “reasoning” following from them.

            and these as a group are unique to me and don’t apply to anyone else, so how am I supposed to provide evidence,

            I have already pointed out to you and linked the neuroscience and psychological studies @42 on this other discussion, The science indicates how this works within your brain:- http://www.richarddawkins.net/discussions/2013/8/18/does-science-equal-truth#commwnt-box-42 – and why it only applies to anyone else if you copy from each other.

            and how would my own personal thoughts and experiences convince anyone else?

            Numerous religious views have been spread in this manner, although personal imaginings are generally unconvincing unless anchored to reality – as in tested science.

            The question is how did the experiences convince you? – Or is “god-did-it-by supernatural-magic”, just the lazy answer to every personal unknown?

            I should also point out that I am not conflicted, so there is no conflict that I need to resolve.

            You may not feel conflicted (cognitive dissonance has been linked) but you express views which conflict with the science you claim to espouse.
            Perhaps your vagueness is how you avoid these conflicts where specific details would clash.
            The comparmentalisation of your thinking into natural and supernatural, and lack of a joined-up view, would also separate conflicting positions, and thinking processes.

  6. I actually never asked anyone to ‘buy in’. I do not evangelize. I merely explain my position. If someone were to discuss this with me face to face and ask me about my experiences or my travels leading me to God belief, then we could have that discussion.

    In reply to #27 by Pauly01:e

    My belief in God is based on my personal experience

    OK, but how can you ever think that someone else should ever buy in to your manner of thinking or reasoning.

    Why make an argument if you can never convince me of anything.

    In reply to #25 by joehev:

    If as you say I have not responded to any spe…

  7. joehev :

    My belief in God is based on my personal experiences and reasoning and these as a group are unique to me and don’t apply to anyone else,…..

    Mr DArcy:

    My non belief in God is based on my personal experiences and reasoning and these as a group are unique to me and don’t apply to anyone else,

    My non-belief is just as strong as your belief. So where does that get us ? Into some post modernist “anything goes” situation ? Or should we actually try to understand natural processes ?

    • Certainly we should understand natural processes. Since the physical world is one that can be experienced in common with everyone else, it is good to arrive at commonly accepted principles. Our technology relies on it. God is another matter, one that we may all still have in common but one that is difficult to accept on any other level but reason and faith.

      In reply to #32 by Mr DArcy:

      joehev :

      My belief in God is based on my personal experiences and reasoning and these as a group are unique to me and don’t apply to anyone else,…..

      Mr DArcy:

      My non belief in God is based on my personal experiences and reasoning and these as a group are unique to me and don’t apply to anyone e…

  8. As far as I know, this is the first time anyone has asked me for my thoughts on the ‘properties’ of God. Also, what denomination I may follow. Although I attend a Presbyterian church every Sunday – have even given the occasional sermon when asked – I am an adherent, not a member, of the church. I was raised a Catholic. Let’s say I call myself a seeker, but one who believes in God.

    What may the form of God take? For me, I like the Buddhist concept of universal consciousness, but I prefer to take it to another level. At this stage of my seeking, I see God as all-inclusive. All the universe is God, all intelligence is God, all love is God, but so also is all evil, war, disease, the colliding asteroids, everything is God. I say that because if God is perfection and the source of all things, He must include al things. If anything exists outside Him, then He is no longer perfect, in my view.

    I don’t want to go much farther in this kind of discussion because this really isn’t a religion forum and I don’t wish to offend anyone here, or as one person said, I don’t want to seem to be preaching. Hopefully, you get my drift.

    In reply to #31 by Alan4discussion:

    In reply to #25 by joehev:

    If as you say I have not responded to any specific points raised, you have not asked for response to any specific point. Why not name one, and I will respond to it.

    I have named quite a few in earlier posts:- The details of the properties of your specific version of “g…

      • I admit I only started into Spinoza back in college, but never finished. Probably my loss.

        In reply to #37 by Quine:

        In reply to #36 by joehev:

        I don’t wish to offend anyone here, or as one person said, I don’t want to seem to be preaching. Hopefully, you get my drift.

        I would not take that as offensive, at all. Sounds like the Pantheism of Spinoza to me. Are you familiar with that?

    • In reply to #36 by joehev:

      What may the form of God take? For me, I like the Buddhist concept of universal consciousness, but I prefer to take it to another level. At this stage of my seeking, I see God as all-inclusive. All the universe is God, all intelligence is God, all love is God, but so also is all evil, war, disease, the colliding asteroids, everything is God. I say that because if God is perfection and the source of all things, He must include al things. If anything exists outside Him, then He is no longer perfect, in my view.

      I don’t want to go much farther in this kind of discussion because this really isn’t a religion forum and I don’t wish to offend anyone here, or as one person said, I don’t want to seem to be preaching. Hopefully, you get my drift.

      Yep…wishy washy, new age, tree huggy type, spiritualism… move along now Al (Alan4discussion)…you’ve asked all the questions and got the marshmallow answer…nothing more to see here..move along, there’s a good gentleman.

      • You should try marshmallows sometime, Iggy. Preferably over an open fire. Very tasty.

        In reply to #39 by Ignorant Amos:

        In reply to #36 by joehev:

        What may the form of God take? For me, I like the Buddhist concept of universal consciousness, but I prefer to take it to another level. At this stage of my seeking, I see God as all-inclusive. All the universe is God, all intelligence is God, all love is God, but so also…

      • In reply to #39 by Ignorant Amos:

        Yep…wishy washy, new age, tree huggy type, spiritualism… move along now Al (Alan4discussion)…you’ve asked all the questions and got the marshmallow answer…nothing more to see here..move along, there’s a good gentleman.

        I wanted to confirm and illustrate a few more points a bit more explicitly, but I think we have reached that point now in spades!

  9. Yes, that’s what I used to think for quite a while. But there have been so many of them in such unusual circumstances, that I lean the other way now. My experiences with prayer are another important factor. I lived the life of an agnostic for many years, until one day the accumulation of thought, experience and finally prayer turned the tide. I understand where people are coming from in here. But for me, atheism doesn’t make sense. It leaves a hole in my psyche. Thanks for your thought.

    In reply to #41 by Nitya:

    In reply to #38 by joehev:

    I can’t know for certain. But over a long period of time, I have come to realize that my prayers get answered. I have also come to realize that there is a certain power at play in my life that may be categorized as coincidences by others, but they impact me on a very pers…

  10. I hope this audience will forgive me. But isn’t the fact that we can think of a creator God whose attributes are not verifiable exactly the reason that that He would exist?
    We are learning creatures. We cannot imagine anything beyond our senses. No new colors, no new ideas. Yet ideas of holiness, eternity, perfection, God all exist when none of it is to be found. Like the biblical Tower of Babel, we build upon the foundations others have laid, but the same ideas keep coming around again, only augmented. We can fathom a beginning and an end, when no one who has ever lived has seen either. By all reason we should only be able to think of what is in front of us.

    • I hope this audience will forgive me.

      No. That is unless you’ve brought gifts, have you anything to offer for our compassion? Perhaps a pair of doves, a lamb, the neighbors’ firstborn -oh, that’s always a favorite… ;-)

      But isn’t the fact that we can think of a creator God whose attributes are not verifiable exactly the reason that that He would exist

      I don’t understand the question. I think you’re asking if the fact that we can think about a God we can’t find is reason enough for such a God to exist? Is that right?

      • None of that, but I bagged the blood of a spotless heifer from some kid’s bar-mitzvah and ran. It’s good in soup.

        Yes, not reason enough but a central reason. Two attributes of God, eternity and perfection. Because we cannot imagine (let alone create) things that don’t exist, like colors outside the spectrum of light, in the same manner are we able to conclude that, because attributes of God exist in our minds without having ever been observed (no material on earth, even the dimension of time, can be said to be eternal or perfect), those mental concepts are imprints of a Creator. I came across this verse in Ecclesiastes 3:

        11He has made everything beautiful in its time.
        He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

        12I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. …15Whatever is has already been,
        and what will be has been before;…

        A beginning and end of time are also two things no one has ever witnessed, but they are there, wrapped up with the idea of eternity. verse 15 describes perfectly the frame of our capacity to learn and create.

        So to sum up, the concept is realised, but the application is impossible. To me, this says we were created with these concepts, and they have been taught since man was “man”.

        In reply to #48 by Sean_W:

        I hope this audience will forgive me.

        No. That is unless you’ve brought gifts, have you anything to offer for our compassion? Perhaps a pair of doves, a lamb, the neighbors’ firstborn -oh, that’s always a favorite… ;-)

        But isn’t the fact that we can think of a creator God whose attributes are…

        • In reply to #49 by fbinelli:

          Two attributes of God, eternity and perfection.

          First of all, how do you know? Don’t say because it is in the scriptures because that is just too weak for words.

          Then we come to Gods eternity. Divine eternity puts God outside time…eternal meaning timeless. but a “timeless individual could not produce, create or bring about an object, circumstance or state of affairs”

          The Argument from Perfection creates a big problem for the theist and his gods existence.

          1 – There is a God.

          2 – This God is perfect.

          3 – And created sentient beings and the world which these beings experience.

          4 – But this world sometimes causes terrible experiences due to its design.

          5 – What is terrible is imperfect.

          6 – Imperfections cannot be the result of perfection.

          7 – Given that 4 is confirmed by human experience and 5 & 6 are true by definition, it follows that either 1, 2, or 3 must be false.

          8 – Therefore either God does not exist, God is imperfect, or God is not the creator.

          I came across this verse in Ecclesiastes 3

          Ecclesiastes is my favourite book in the bible. It advocates lots of partying. But what it is doing in the bible is anyone’s guess.

          • Unfortunately, Iggie, there are some premises here which may be false. That being the case, the conclusions would also be wrong. Let me explain.

            1 – There is a God.
            2 – This God is perfect.
            3 – And created sentient beings and the world which these beings experience.

            No problem so far.

            4 – But this world sometimes causes terrible experiences due to its design.

            Problem 1. “Terrible” is open to interpretation based on one’s view of man’s place in creation. But let’s assume for a moment you are right in that there exist terrible events.

            5 – What is terrible is imperfect.

            Problem 2. If such events are an integral part of creation, then it’s contradictory to say they are imperfect. It may just be part of the grand design. If such is the case, there is no problem and your argument falls apart.

            K

            bIn reply to #63 by Ignorant Amos:

            In reply to #49 by fbinelli:

            Two attributes of God, eternity and perfection.

            First of all, how do you know? Don’t say because it is in the scriptures because that is just too weak for words.

            Then we come to Gods eternity. Divine eternity puts God outside time…eternal meaning timeless. but a “ti…

          • ” If such events are an integral part of creation, then it’s contradictory to say they are imperfect. It may just be part of the grand design”

            So you think such terrible events are part of God’s design? Do you assume he could have made the world a better place for us (and other animals) if he wanted to but we were just incidental to his creation? Perhaps he just likes creating species of beetles.

            Or perhaps this world was just one of his first attempts at creation. Maybe he has removed most of the design flaws in more recently created worlds and he spends most of his time admiring his creations somewhere else. That would explain why he takes so long to answer prayers (if he answers them at all) – he likes his new toys best but occasionally plays with the old ones.

            In reply to #65 by joehev:

            Unfortunately, Iggie, there are some premises here which may be false. That being the case, the conclusions would also be wrong. Let me explain.

            1 – There is a God.
            2 – This God is perfect.
            3 – And created sentient beings and the world which these beings experience.

            No problem so far.

            4 – But thi…

          • First of all, how do you know? Don’t say because it is in the scriptures because that is just too weak for words.

            They are ideas that everyone on earth has, and can, and have, if even in thought experiment, ascribed to a creator.

            Then we come to Gods eternity. Divine eternity puts God outside time…eternal meaning timeless. but a “timeless individual could not produce, create or bring about an object, circumstance or state of affairs”
            Eternal does not just describe time. There are greater dimensions than time.
            And Why not? How do we know? We are not timeless. Besides that there are probably ten dimensions to exist in. Each higher ordered one is “more real” than it’s neighbor. For instance, if time is the fourth dimension, we live and die by time. So time is more real than we are. A timeless God would be more real and more able than we are.

            The Argument from Perfection creates a big problem for the theist and his gods existence.
            1 – There is a God.
            If God is timeless than simply put, God is.
            2 – This God is perfect.
            Going Clinton here, but if by “is” you mean “equal to”, I disagree. I think that a timeless God instead possess perfection. But I get your point.
            3 – And created sentient beings and the world which these beings experience.
            4 – But this world sometimes causes terrible experiences due to its design.
            Due to the sentient being’s design as part of that world, but yes. Freewill.
            5 – What is terrible is imperfect.
            Only from this side of eternity, so to speak.
            6 – Imperfections cannot be the result of perfection.
            Why not? It seems impossible that the imperfection can say to the perfection, “Why did you make me imperfect?” Only a perfect, eternal God could infer imperfection, decay, and Godlessness because all knowledge would reside there.
            7 – Given that 4 is confirmed by human experience
            not playing the game there. Human experience is the crux of the problem. 100% of our lives outside of any thought of God must be based on inference, deduction, etc. But there is an idea of “God”. I posted to another person “ Play the game, friend…! Everything you said has inferred characteristics. To make it from thought to your keypad, you have to have experienced all the discreet parts of those things. God, eternity, and perfection are things no one can infer. So how does one manufacture the concept of eternity, perfection, and God from within the bubble of mortality? Give us a concept without ANY real attributes, not in any small way.
            and 5 & 6 are true by definition, it follows that either 1, 2, or 3 must be false.
            5 and 6 are true by inference, and totally relative. If you drink bleach, that may be great for you, but it may be terrible for me, the landlord! If the U.S. gov’t takes your life for s’s and g’s, doesn’t the greater entity have the ability to define terms? If God creates a world that eats itself by freewill, isn’t that His prerogative? And isn’t perfection then defined by Him?

            8 – Therefore either God does not exist, God is imperfect, or God is not the creator.

            If you are stating absolutes then the opposite must also be true.

            1 – There is no God.

            2 – This God is imperfect.

            3 – Evolved non-sentient beings do not experience this world.
            4 – However, this world always causes wonderful experiences due to its randomness.

            5 – What is wonderful is perfect.

            6 – Perfections can be the result of imperfection.

            7 – Given that 4 is unconfirmed by non-sentient ignorance and 5 & 6 are false by definition, it follows that either 1, 2, or 3 must be true.

            8 – Therefore God exists, God is perfect, and God is the creator. God is.

            If God does not exist, why are you talking about something which is not?

    • In reply to #47 by fbinelli:

      I hope this audience will forgive me. But isn’t the fact that we can think of a creator God whose attributes are not verifiable exactly the reason that that He would exist?

      But isn’t the fact that we can think of an invisible purple unicorn whose attributes are not verifiable exactly the reason that that He would exist?

      I hope this shows the fallacious nature, and lack of REASON in forced analogies!

      But isn’t the fact that we can think of a creator God whose attributes are not verifiable exactly the reason that that He would exist?

      But it would only be shown to exist as an illusion or delusion in the believer’s brain!

      We are learning creatures. We cannot imagine anything beyond our senses.

      Of course we can. Science enables that learning all the time by the use of sensing technology. (telescops, microscopes space-probes, scanners)

      No new colors,

      Let me intrduce you multispectral imaging http://www.teledynedalsa.com/imaging/markets/aerospace/multispectral/

      no new ideas.

      This only applies to biblical literalists. Educated scientists regularly produce new ideas – which are often confirmed experimentally.

      Yet ideas of holiness, eternity, perfection, God all exist when none of it is to be found.

      Along with Harry Potter, Darth Vader, and other fictional concepts.

      Like the biblical Tower of Babel, we build upon the foundations others have laid, but the same ideas keep coming around again, only augmented. We can fathom a beginning and an end, when no one who has ever lived has seen either.

      Science has been building on the shoulders of the scientific intellectual giants of the past, when their work has consistently been confirmed by later repeated experiments.

      Theology does not bother with empiricle testing to falsify and discard flawed ideas, or to identify ill-defined meaningless semantic nonsense.

      By all reason we should only be able to think of what is in front of us.

      This statement is an oxymoron! “Reason” by definition is a process of extrapolating from evidence or axioms.

      Evidence of the existence of specific gods, is required, before any claims as to their actions become credible.

      • In reply to #51 by Alan4discussion:

        But isn’t the fact that we can think of an invisible purple unicorn whose attributes are not verifiable exactly the reason that that He would exist?

        Or a square circle, or a blue red thing, or a genuinely dead living thing that’s still alive, or a pink and happy Tuesday in trousers, or a subatomic abstract elephant with nuclear explosions in its emotions, or a laughing gene with three times the goatness of the number 62 and no essence of godhoodness-nessitude, or an orbit on a drug trip with fusing unicorns under its one dimensional hypercubes, or a slurghoursentessenprarterson, or a ‘#;][,lpi9, or essence of god, or a thought that can’t be thought at all. I just thought of them, therefore they exist. I don’t sound desperate at all.

        • In reply to #62 by Zeuglodon:

          Play the game, friend…! Everything you said has inferred characteristics. To make it from thought to your keypad, you have to have experienced all the discreet parts of those things. God, eternity, and perfection are things no one can fathom from experience. So how does one manufacture the concept of eternity, perfection, and God from within the bubble of mortality? Give us a concept without ANY real attributes, not in any small way.

          BTW, roflol. Hilarious post!

          In reply to #51 by Alan4discussion:

          But isn’t the fact that we can think of an invisible purple unicorn whose attributes are not verifiable exactly the reason that that He would exist?

          Or a square circle, or a blue red thing, or a genuinely dead living thing that’s still alive, or a pink and happy…

          • In reply to #68 by shortpolock:

            In reply to #62 by Zeuglodon:

            Play the game, friend…! Everything you said has inferred characteristics. To make it from thought to your keypad, you have to have experienced all the discreet parts of those things.

            Not at all. I’ve only ever read about nuclear fusion in books and magazines. For all I know, it could be an utter fiction that would never work in real life. Yet I have a clear concept of it without having any actual experience with the real thing.

            More generally, the existence of concepts does not mean that there must be something in the world that exists in order to justify that concept. You must appreciate how foolish it is to argue that the idea of perfection proves perfection actually exists because it is ultimately a non-sequitur – there is no reason why whatever the mind churns out has to exist in the real world – and this kind of hyper-empiricism is something I doubt you would support if you were not biased toward a pre-conceived conclusion.

            God, eternity, and perfection are things no one can fathom from experience. So how does one manufacture the concept of eternity, perfection, and God from within the bubble of mortality?

            Because the abstract concepts behind those conceptualizations are evolved mental machinery that can flexibly mix and match concepts without relying solely on the senses, even if subsequently cultural development influenced how the machinery worked.

            This line of argument you’re adopting is, quite frankly, not even wrong. A person capable of comprehending “infinity” does not have to have an infinite mind to do so, nor do they have to have actually experienced it first-hand. We don’t even know if the cosmos itself is infinite or finite. People are not passive receptacles of what goes on in the world, but come with brains that use physical engineering and computing principles to model the world and formulate innate concepts to build the models with. They are not obliged to match the real world at all. Scramble your neurons, and any concept could emerge which had no connection to the real world.

            Give us a concept without ANY real attributes, not in any small way.

            I’m not even sure you understand what you’re saying here. Will any non-existent thing count (unicorns, for example), or do I have to speculate on qualia no human has ever experienced, up to and including the qualia of random neural nets?

            In any case, yes, a unicorn is essentially a horse with a horn and a mystic aura around it (the virgins business, and so forth). But nothing about the fact that horses, horns, and virgins exist prove that unicorns exist. You can’t argue from the parts to the whole in this way. Quite frankly, it’s possible to argue the mystic aura is not a real-world thing but simply a projection of the unicorn fan’s feelings of awe and wonder onto the real world. Moralized disgust is another example of a projected feeling being confused with a real-world thing.

            BTW, roflol. Hilarious post!

            It was deadly serious. Your own logic claims that merely being able to frame a thought is enough to prove it has a real world counterpart. By your own logic, every one of those word salad offerings is real, including the made-up words.

          • Well, not really. You have a concept of a thing by being taught about it. Being taught something is experience because you know something about its parts.Yet no concept is ever crystal clear, no matter how many parts you learn about. Do you know everything about something? Of course not. It is impossible.

            “In any case, yes, a unicorn is essentially a horse with a horn and a mystic aura around it (the virgins business, and so forth). But nothing about the fact that horses, horns, and virgins exist prove that unicorns exist.”

            But we are creative creatures, with the simple ability to mix and match in various ways. Biologists recently spliced the DNA of a lion and a tiger, and they called a liger. My 1 yr. old likes to fit the cat-derriere puzzle piece on the monkey torso, making a monkey-cat. They don’t exist -yet. Like the liger, they may one day.

            “Give us a concept without ANY real attributes, not in any small way.”

            ‘ I’m not even sure you understand what you’re saying here. Will any non-existent thing count (unicorns, for example), or do I have to speculate on qualia no human has ever experienced, up to and including the qualia of random neural nets?…’

            No, I am sure. But you have a better vocab., “qualia no human has ever experienced,” Much closer. But the qualia I’ve seen discussed are based on real parts (blackness, whiteness, random neural nets, etc). We have never seen one eternal thing to ascribe the concept of an eternal state to that thing.

            “You can’t argue from the parts to the whole in this way.”

            I’m not arguing from parts to whole. I’m discussing the fact that there is an entirety with no parts! A concept with zero real world counterpart.

            “BTW, roflol. Hilarious post!”

            ‘It was deadly serious. Your own logic claims that merely being able to frame a thought is enough to prove it has a real world counterpart. By your own logic, every one of those word salad offerings is real…’

            No, it was hilarious to me. Every part of those was real. Your very funny creative mind made the whole from existing parts.

            If made up concepts like God and eternity are fake because there are no existing parts, then simple logic says that the test should be repeatable. Give us a concept with no existing parts.

            You have to use language to explain the idea in your mind, which consists of parts illuminated light, learned from a lifetime of experience. You would practically have to invent a new way of communicating, possibly even being. It’s impossible.

          • In reply to #80 by shortpolock:

            But we are creative creatures, with the simple ability to mix and match in various ways. Biologists recently spliced the DNA of a lion and a tiger, and they called a liger.

            Actually it was simply zoo-keepers letting a lion and tiger cross breed to produce a cub.

            Re the rest of your post, you seem to confuse words being used to describe features of reality, with meaningless. words which are simply fictitous abstract notions. Words try to describle reality – in science working to match as closely as possible by careful testing and checking. Without these reality-checks word-salads have no relationship with material reality, regardless of if they are notions in someone’s brain somewhere.

            @71

            BTW, roflol. Hilarious post!

            It was deadly serious. Your own logic claims that merely being able to frame a thought is enough to prove it has a real world counterpart. By your own logic, every one of those word salad offerings is real, including the made-up words.

            No, it was hilarious to me. Every part of those was real. Your very funny creative mind made the whole from existing parts.

            This is a statement of delusion! Making up names does not create objects in the real word! This is laughable!

            If made up concepts like God and eternity are fake because there are no existing parts, then simple logic says that the test should be repeatable. Give us a concept with no existing parts.

            “Nothingness” is a concept with no existing parts! You are confusing yourself with your own tangled verbosity! “Nothingness” of course cannot be tested because there is nothing to test!
            Gods which match the definition of “nothingness” are fake because the don’t exist. Other gods are refuted for different reasons.

            You clearly need to work on your study of “logic”. It is a defined process – not a stick-on badge to add weight to meaningless word-salad!

            The god concept is yours – give us a definition, a specification and evidence of its existence. (other than as a delusion in your brain) “Spirituality is a much more dynamic concept that uses many parts of the brain. Certain parts of the brain play more predominant roles, but they all work together to facilitate individuals’ spiritual experiences.”

            Many religions have tried, but any gods which claim to interact with the observable physical universe, have been refuted.

          • In reply to #82 by Alan4discussion:

            … Making up names does not create objects in the real word! …

            Indeed, making ‘marks’ on our mental maps of the world does not in itself make ‘things’ exist in reality. It is back to the map v. territory misunderstanding that is also justification for the belief that sticking a pin in a voodoo doll is going to actually hurt the referent.

          • In reply to #80 by shortpolock:

            You are still stuck in hyper-empiricist mode. Infinity is not a concept gleaned from experience – we’ve never had to wade through an infinite sea before coming up with the concept of infinity. It’s an abstract concept, not a concrete thing that has to be seen to be believed. It is a mathematical and logical fact that, given a starting number like one, and being able to add one to it and to the next number, you can never find “the” biggest number because whatever candidate you suggest could have a one added to it to make an even bigger number. We call results like this infinite because we realize there is no end or finish to it, even though we haven’t actually gone through every last number in existence.

            You have to realize that your argument would lead us to believe unicorns existed simply because we thought them up, and it ignores the fact that brains come with built-in concepts to model the world. No one has experienced a unicorn. I haven’t experienced oblivion – by definition, I can’t – but that doesn’t mean I can’t understand or discuss the idea.

            If made up concepts like God and eternity are fake because there are no existing parts,

            Don’t be disingenuous. God is essentially a human or human-like mind applied to a cosmic scale, and I am not arguing that eternity is a fake concept. I’m disputing the misconception that our concept of it has to come from experiencing such an abstraction first-hand, ergo god exists. You are dishonestly trying to shoehorn a deity into the picture using wordplay, as though we can’t have a concept of gods without having experienced them firsthand. This sort of logic effectively leads to the claim that all contradictory or contrary ideas are true, which is what you seem to be ignoring. My point with that “creative” word salad is that it’s a fallacy to assume comprehensible parts lead to a comprehensible whole.

        • In reply to #62 by Zeuglodon:

          In reply to #51 by Alan4discussion:

          But isn’t the fact that we can think of an invisible purple unicorn whose attributes are not verifiable exactly the reason that that He would exist?

          Or a square circle, or a blue red thing, or a genuinely dead living thing that’s still alive, .. .. . ..
          or a pink and happy Tuesday in trousers,

          Ah! – But you are forgetting that, an omniscient, infinite, self-contradictory, etherial, omnipresent, superlative, sentient, perfect, holistic, spiritual, pink and happy Tuesday in trousers, is beyond scientific understanding!

          (Cough! cough!)

  11. And for every day that joehev’s prayers were said in seeking for his 27 year old son’s whereabouts, yet another 30,000 children died in the world, of poverty related issues. Apparently Jesus helps out individuals occasionally, but He never helps out humanity en masse !

    joehev’s son was down to his last buck, but those 30,000 kids were starving, dying of preventable disease and parasitic infection, lack of clean water and food. What kind of a cruel bastard is this all loving God, who looks after joehev’s son and forgets the rest ?

    It reminds of the 500,000 or so poor people killed by the Boxing Day tsunami. One lucky baby survives and the religios immediately claim it as a miracle ! Too bad about all those other sinners eh !

    Or as Christian apologist William Lane Craig would put it, those kids went straight to heaven sparing them the toils and troubles of this earthly vale of tears ! Lucky bastards !

    • The example of my son was included in response to questions about my beliefs. I would appreciate it, DArcy, if you could leave my son out of your anti-Christ crusades. Thanks and very bad show, old man..

      In reply to #54 by Mr DArcy:

      And for every day that joehev’s prayers were said in seeking for his 27 year old son’s whereabouts, yet another 30,000 children died in the world, of poverty related issues. Apparently Jesus helps out individuals occasionally, but He never helps out humanity en masse !

      joehev’s son was down to his…

  12. In reply to #51 by Alan4discussion:

    In reply to #47 by fbinelli:

    I hope this audience will forgive me. But isn’t the fact that we can think of a creator God whose attributes are not verifiable exactly the reason that that He would exist?

    But isn’t the fact that we can think of an invisible purple unicorn whose attributes are not ver…

    The rule is that you have to find something in your cognition to create something else with attributes which don’t already exist. A purple unicorn is has attributes already observed in nature.

    Sensing technology still relies upon light or sound to discover bodies, space, and things already in existence. Those will all decay. The idea of God has not.

    Then everyone on Earth has false illusions or is deluded?

    Multispectral Imaging only illuminates what already exists, the invisible spectrum. That serves to prove the point that we discover things unseen which did not exist to us until we saw them. The point is humans have no learning and thus no imagination outside of the dynamic frame of light and dark and learning within that frame.

    Your point about standing on the shoulders of scientific giants also proves the point. My laptop is a better version of the first computer, which was a better version of … which was was better than… etc., (an abacus, for example). New ideas generate from the need to create better versions of other ideas.

    Darth Vader is a space Samurai. Fiction is based on reality.

    You said, “Theology does not bother with empiricle testing to falsify and discard flawed ideas, or to identify ill-defined meaningless semantic nonsense.”
    Isaac Newton would disagree.

    Reason does not account for ideas outside of our ability to reason. God is not a reasonable idea, but there it is. Unreasonable, unverifiable, and untestable. It shouldn’t be there.

    • In reply to #55 by shortpolock:

      In reply to #51 by Alan4discussion:

      In reply to #47 by fbinelli:

      I hope this audience will forgive me. But isn’t the fact that we can think of a creator God whose attributes are not verifiable exactly the reason that that He would exist?

      But isn’t the fact that we can think of an invisible purple unicorn whose attributesare not verifiable exactly the reason that that He would exist?

      The rule is that you have to find something in your cognition to create something else with attributes which don’t already exist. A purple unicorn is has attributes already observed in nature.

      You misssed out “invisible” – “purple” and “invisible” are self contradictory – and unicorns are fiction which do not exist in nature. – Just like gods! – That is the point!

      Sensing technology still relies upon light or sound to discover bodies, space, and things already in existence.

      That is the nature of scientific investigation into underlying reality. The original quote said “new colours” – which are a property of human vision – not the underlyng spectrum.

      Those will all decay. The idea of God has not.

      All gods decay. Some are already exinct – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List-of-deities, others linger on in the brains of their followers, but will decay when those followers die.

      Then everyone on Earth has false illusions or is deluded?

      Not all, but many entertain pseudo-knowledge delusions – especially of the simplistic “god-did-it-by-magic” type or conspiracy theories.
      Science seeks to refute and replace mistaken beliefs.

      Multispectral Imaging only illuminates what already exists, the invisible spectrum.

      That is the nature of the underlying reality, to which science works to match its descriptions, theories and laws.

      That serves to prove the point that we discover things unseen which did not exist to us until we saw them.

      This is the error of falsely equating existence with human observation. The universe existed when most humans still thought the Earth was the centre of it with celestial domes overhead. The universe did not come into existence when telescopes were invented!

      The point is humans have no learning and thus no imagination outside of the dynamic frame of light and dark and learning within that frame.

      Many do not – hence the substution of pseudo-knowledge using gods-of gaps.

      However, to suggest that humans (and scientists in particular) have no learned knowledge is ridiculous! I susspect the error arises from the ill-defined concept of “the dynamic frame of light and dark”, which appears to be meaningless in terms of physics.

      Your point about standing on the shoulders of scientific giants also proves the point. My laptop is a better version of the first computer, which was a better version of … which was was better than… etc., (an abacus, for example). New ideas generate from the need to create better versions of other ideas.

      I see you recognise the monumental achievements of building scientific knowledge, but there does not seem to be any connection between this and “proving” your “point”!

      Darth Vader is a space Samurai. Fiction is based on reality.

      Some of it is – to a sufficient extent to initially appear credible to its audience, but the speculative made up bits date rapidly – a bit like bible myths.

      You said, “Theology does not bother with empiricle testing to falsify and discard flawed ideas, or to identify ill-defined meaningless semantic nonsense.”

      That is infact the case. It is in the nature of “faith-thinking”. see comment24

      Isaac Newton would disagree.

      I’m afraid the fallacy of false authority does not pass on this site. There is no evidence that Newton repudiated scientific methodology (even though the modern term “science”, had not been invented in his time)
      The evidence based rational science and faith-thinking” (belief without evidence) are incompatible opposites – often leading to comparmentalised thinking in believers.

      Reason does not account for ideas outside of our ability to reason. God is not a reasonable idea, but there it is. Unreasonable, unverifiable, and untestable. It shouldn’t be there.

      And on the basis of “absence of evidence is evidence of absence”, gods are not there – apart from in the imaginations in believer’s brains. I put a link to my comment on another discussion on the neuroscience of this @31 http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120419091223.htm

      _” Ideas outside of our ability to reason” _, are irrational speculations, – intuitive patches on knowledge gaps, – and very probably wrong – especially where there is neither evidence nor reason.

  13. No, I have no thoughts on my faith being shaken. I have been down this path before. Reason has brought me here. Reason alone can take me elsewhere. I am a seeker and will be to the end of my days. But I agree I certainly derive comfort from the thought that I’m not alone. Not only comfort, but also strength and peace. My wife doesn’t get into such philosophical meanderings.

    In reply to #50 by Nitya:

    In reply to #45 by joehev:

    It’s a funny thing about prayer. It’s the kind of thing that runs dry if you go to the well too often and for the wrong reasons. I think the trick is – that may be a trite expression – to pray for support, for guidance, for strength, etc. I’ll offer a sole example. Our mi…

    • In reply to #57 by joehev:

      No, I have no thoughts on my faith being shaken. I have been down this path before. Reason has brought me here. Reason alone can take me elsewhere. I am a seeker and will be to the end of my days. But I agree I certainly derive comfort from the thought that I’m not alone. Not only comfort, but also…

      I’m glad that you retain an open mind about these things. It’s a healthy sign. My point is that you’re making it easy for your prayers to be answered, you’re not exactly putting it to the test. I would definitely be putting it to the test. Perhaps it’s more discomforting to be constantly challenging your beliefs, but you sound like the sort of person who genuinely wants to know the truth of the situation.

      Although I’m not suggesting selfish requests, perhaps you could direct a prayer or two towards the peaceful resolution to the tragedy occurring in Syria at the moment, or a similar world event that would not require an outcome that could be influenced by your input. I would be tempted to repeat this many, many times and I’d record the outcomes. A pattern should start to emerge after a while.

  14. Although I’m not suggesting selfish requests, perhaps you could direct a prayer or two towards the peaceful resolution to the tragedy occurring in Syria at the moment, or a similar world event that would not require an outcome that could be influenced by your input. I would be tempted to repeat this many, many times and I’d record the outcomes. A pattern should start to emerge after a while.

    i don’t think so, Nitya, for more than one reason. There’s an interesting line from the sport movie, Rudy. A priest says to the young Rudy, “We pray in our time. God answers in His time.” The kind of project you’re suggesting is not for the purpose of helping anyone, but for the purpose of somehow testing the results of prayer. Sorry, but I don’t wish to experiment with prayer in that manner.

    In reply to #60 by Nitya:

    In reply to #57 by joehev:

    No, I have no thoughts on my faith being shaken. I have been down this path before. Reason has brought me here. Reason alone can take me elsewhere. I am a seeker and will be to the end of my days. But I agree I certainly derive comfort from the thought that I’m not alone….

    • In reply to #64 by joehev:

      Although I’m not suggesting selfish requests, perhaps you could direct a prayer or two towards the peaceful resolution to the tragedy occurring in Syria at the moment, or a similar world event that would not require an outcome that could be influenced by your input. I would be tempted to repeat this…

      Perhaps you feel that you would be hurting god’s feelings by putting the results to the test, just as many believers think that they know the mind of god and know how he’ll react in certain circumstances.

      Hypothetically, what if god actually wants you to use your brains and this is what he’s been aiming for all along? Who would know?

    • In reply to #64 by joehev:

      Although I’m not suggesting selfish requests, perhaps you could direct a prayer or two towards the peaceful resolution to the tragedy occurring in Syria at the moment, or a similar world event that would not require an outcome that could be influenced by your input. I would be tempted to repeat this…

      An additional thought…. The words from the film were part of a script written by a human being who was not even a priest. For all we know actor and writer may have both been atheists. Perhaps the writer thought to himself, “now here’s a win win solution. That should fit in well”.

      There is a school of thought that maintains that all prayers are answered though maybe not the way you want. If this is the case, what difference does it make? I see no signs of prayers being answered at all, but I do see the signs of scientific solutions solving an increasing number of problems.

  15. The term “perfection”, applies to human objectives.
    It is a property of complying 100% with a preconceived specification, or preconceived application. Its use without a preconceived reference frame, is meaningless semantic waffle.

    • In reply to #73 by Alan4discussion:

      The term “perfection”, applies to human objectives.
      It is a property of complying 100% with a preconceived specification, or preconceived application. Its use without a preconceived reference frame, is meaningless semantic waffle.

      I think in context, it means 100% compliance with the specification of moral goodness. Of course, that passes the buck because now we have to decide what moral goodness is and what 100% of it would look like.

      6 – Perfections can be the result of imperfection.

      There are a lot more problems with your logic besides this one, but going on Alan’s point above, you’re effectively saying you can’t get 100% out of smaller percentages like 99% and 1%, and can’t get maximum capacity from less than maximum capacity. This argument is effectively saying you can’t fill a glass with water because it can’t be the result of less-than-full glasses of water e.g. being poured into it.

      Do you realize how awful your reasoning is here? What are you doing in 3 and 4, and what happened to evolved sentient beings?

      • In reply to #74 by Zeuglodon:

        In reply to #73 by Alan4discussion:
        The term “perfection”, applies to human objectives.
        It is a property of complying 100% with a preconceived specification, or preconceived application. Its use without a preconceived reference frame, is meaningless semantic waffle.

        I think in context, it means 100% compliance with the specification of moral goodness. Of course, that passes the buck because now we have to decide what moral goodness is and what 100% of it would look like.

        Traditaionally it has been applied to 100% of anything as a semantic god-prop.

        “Perfect celestial spheres, perfectly spherical sun, moon etc.” in the days before telescopes.

        “We have found some abstract mathematical concepts and semantically, stuck them on to ‘faith-thinking’ perceptions of the unverse, therefore god-did-it’ ,” because (assertion) “god is perfect”!

        Of course this is circular, and begs the question of “Which god?”, and what specified properties of that god, make it more “perfect” than any of the other contradictory gods? (Specification required demonstrating circularity)

        (Wait for the theist asserted assumptions wrapped up in disconnected semantic superlatives.)

  16. Oh dear oh dear ! Has joehev had a few too many ?

    Problem 1. “Terrible” is open to interpretation based on one’s view of man’s place in creation. But let’s assume for a moment you are right in that there exist terrible events.

    5 – What is terrible is imperfect.

    Problem 2. If such events are an integral part of creation, then it’s contradictory to say they are imperfect. It may just be part of the grand design. If such is the case, there is no problem and your argument falls apart.

    So, the resident fool, Mr DArcy, gleans that the snake in the Garden of Eden was deliberately put there as “part of the grand design”, whilst, benevolent God knew full well in advance what was going to happen ? Cain would slay Abel and the rest of the death and destruction that follows on from there is the “inerrant” word of God ?

    Obviously we can forgive the authors of the Bible for their lack of knowledge about how the real world actually operates. But to make false claims about how reality works based upon a fictional god, is unforgivable.

    • In reply to #84 by shortpolock:

      If the universe is expanding, there must be nothingness to expand in. So the nothingness is defined by everything.

      That does not follow. It is merely an assumption based on a lack of understanding. “Nothingness” is a hypothetical condition, defined as “the absence of everything”!

      You are very rude and antagonistic.

      When people make irrational or inaccurate claims which are an insult to the intelligence of the reader I challenge them, because they are untrue. That is how scientists establish what is real and what is not. Demonstrably, you still need to work at this!

      Your posts consists of the same repeated cheap shot…

      Those who lack the intellect, knowledge, and understanding, to provide a coherent reply, often make such claims when their erroneous assertions are corrected.

      You seem incapable of understanding my link on spirituality @82, or your need to study “logic” before you are going to claim to be using it.

      Perhaps you could try to understand the psychological projection you have just exhibited.

    • In reply to #85 by shortpolock:

      @ alan4discussion, obviously.

      Very obviously for rational discussion!

      I see the “evidenced rational response section” of your comment 85, is blank!

      You jumped in to support the irrational assertions of #47 by fbinelli, @55, in reponse to my comment @51, and I courteously replied @61, methodically correcting the errors in your response.

      You seem unable to understand my comments on “superlatives applied to whimsicality” as @73, adding nothing to claims except sematic side-tracks as a smoke-screen to bury the point, and hide your unsupported underlying assumptions in semantic verbosity!

  17. Zeuglodon and Alan4discussion:

    Alan, I really did miss the politeness in your responses. If you were trying to be helpful, I apologize. And thank you. The Newbie will put on a thicker skin.

    Zeuglodon, I am not trying to be disingenuous. I figured anyone arguing this much over something of this nature would obviously be a theist. I was right, because you called it. To me, the shoehorn is science, trying to fill a shoe with a foot already in it.

    I thank you both for your honesty.

    Both of you have misperceptions about my thoughts on eternity as a conception.

    God has two standout attributes. Eternality and Perfection. I will try applying the term Divine Concepts (DC’s) to them (later I learned they are called Great Making Properties, but DC’s is shorter). If God does not exist, and is made-up, then any made-up DC attributed to Him must have real world data, for lies are created by using data. Unicorns, for example: the concept of unicorns and all its parts and myths is a mixture of bits of real world (rw) data. Unicorns do not exist. So we have the Divine Concept (D.C.) of eternity but no real world counterpart to build the concept. Flibbertyjibbet is a made-up word made from bits of rw data (each letter, each syllable.) The term is vacant of meaning (as far as I know). Our rw-lives are bound by decay. Perfection is another D.C. with no rw data. These two D.C’s go hand in hand, I think. How do humans, living lives not much higher in order than the rest of the animal kingdom, manufacture D.C’s with no rw data?

    Zeuglodon, you stated,

    brains come with built-in concepts to model the world.

    This is exactly my argument. You must admit we are learning animals. Any knowledge is derived from sentience. Yet you argued that we come with built-in concepts to model a world in which those concepts cannot be learned by sentience. I agree that the models are there. But no model can be built without real world data input.

    Alan, nothingness is a good argument.

    Zeuglodon, oblivion is also very good. All I can say to those at this point is that they are also associated with DC’s. God forgets sins, and the universe was once void. I think it is conjectured by scientists and considered fact by many theists.

    Didn’t physicists find something like a nothing (pun not intended) within our solar system not too long ago? I posted the wrong link before.

    Thanks again.

    • In reply to #90 by shortpolock:

      Both of you have misperceptions about my thoughts on eternity as a conception.

      We have seen the use of adjectives and superlatives before – as is illustrated in previous comments. The point is that until some evidence and definition of a particular god is provided, vague undefined adjectives add nothing to clarify the situation.

      God has two standout attributes. Eternality and Perfection.

      There is no evidence that either of these exist! I dealt with “perfection” @73 .

      I will try applying the term Divine Concepts (DC’s) to them

      there is no reason to deviate from dictionary definitions. “Eternality” would appear to be some strange variation on eternity – a very unclear concept related to time, for which there is no evidence – not for the universe nor for the anthropomorphic personification of forces into gods.

      (later I learned they are called Great Making Properties, but DC’s is shorter).

      **This is playing semantic shuffle! **-

      changing the meanings of words to muddy the waters, and slide in question-begging “creators” which have no relation to the original standard definitions.

      If God does not exist, and is made-up, then any made-up DC attributed to Him must have real world data,

      Err no! adjectives applied to anything which does not exist are meaningless in that context. We have been over that in detail – most recently @89. This is just a semantic smoke-screen, to generate verbosity and semantic arguments about definitions.

      for lies are created by using data.

      Indeed! Thousands of religions have done so making up fictitious data to suit their beliefs, and then dogmatically defending their claims against scientific evidence. It’s just that theists assume their own personal god is the default position.

      They also often try to define some Popper unfalsifiable deity, too vague to refute to justify the existence of some god – and then totally irrationally jump to “therefore Jesus”.

      It is only the default position in the closed loop of a self-referncing brain. (see 82) – each with its own resident god-delusion, projected out into the universe in which it sees its self as the centre – very flattering to the ego – a bit ridiculous on the scale of the universe.

      Zeuglodon, you stated, – brains come with built-in concepts to model the world.

      This is exactly my argument. You must admit we are learning animals. Any knowledge is derived from sentience.

      “Sentience” is covered by a whole range of neuroscience and psychology.

      Yet you argued that we come with built-in concepts to model a world in which those concepts cannot be learned by sentience. I agree that the models are there. But no model can be built without real world data input.

      This covers a wide range of biological topics. The degree of inherited instictive behaviour, and the extent to which this can be modified by learning, environment and experience, varies greatly between different animal species. It is a fallacy to paint this position as black and white alternatives.

      Alan, nothingness is a good argument.

      Didn’t physicists find something like a nothing (pun not intended) within our solar system not too long ago? I posted the wrong link before.

      “Nothingness” other than as a mental concept, does not exist. An “empty jar” contains air, the Solar System contains Solar Wind, the galaxies and the universe contain gravity, forces and radiation.

      When physicists talk of quantum “nothing”, they are talking about matter and antimatter cancelling each other out. (Just like merging a bank account and an overdraught)

      • In reply to #91 by Alan4discussion:

        “Both of you have misperceptions about my thoughts on eternity as a conception.”

        We have seen the use of adjectives and superlatives before – as is illustrated in previous comments. The point is that until some evidence and definition of a particular god is provided, vague undefined adjectives add nothing to clarify the situation.

        Eternity is a noun, a state. Eternity is not an adjective because it modifies nothing, therefore not a superlative.

        “I will try applying the term Divine Concepts (DC’s) to them”

        there is no reason to deviate from dictionary definitions.

        I am not. It seems you are confusing a noun for an adjective. I am classifying two nouns.

        “Eternality” would appear to be some strange variation on eternity

        Look it up. It is the state of being eternal.

        “(later I learned they are called Great Making Properties, but DC’s is shorter).”

        This is playing semantic shuffle!

        No, it is a self-effacing comment admitting some ignorance of terminology. I

        changing the meanings of words to muddy the waters, and slide in question-begging “creators” which have no relation to the original standard definitions.

        All I can say, without being the prick I want to be, is that eternity is a noun, not an adjective.

        • In reply to #92 by shortpolock:

          In reply to #91 by Alan4discussion:
          All I can say, without being the prick I want to be, is that eternity is a noun, not an adjective

          You used them as asserted descriptors:-

          God has two standout attributes. Eternality and Perfection.

          An “eternal, perfect” god is using them as adjectives!

          So – No answers of substance then? Just a semantic shuffle changing the meanings of words to slide in an asserted unevidenced creator into the conversation! – **followed by the diversionary semantic argument lacking in substance as I predicted! **

          Neither “eternity” nor “perfection” exist in our universe – but you have nothing of substance to say in answer to numerous points! – just diversionary asserted semantic waffle, distracting from the points which have been out to you!

          “Perfection and eternity = Divine Concepts = Great Making Properties”- is utter nonsense!
          It starts with two non-existent properties, and morphs into spirtual mumbo-jumbo, and then into a creation process. It is irrational semantic jibberish!

          • Answer of substance?! You have not even grasped the fact that eternity is not a superlative. If you can only take milk, why feed you steak?

            Eternality – a state, a noun Perfection – a state, a noun

            ad•jec•tive (ˈædʒ ɪk tɪv)

            n.
            1. a member of a class of words functioning as modifiers of nouns, typically by describing, delimiting, or specifying quantity, as nice in a nice day, other in other people, or all in all dogs, and in many languages distinguished by formal characteristics, as often in English by the ability to be used in comparative and superlative forms. Abbr.: adj.
            adj.
            2. of, pertaining to, or functioning as an adjective; adjectival: an adjective phrase.
            3. not able to stand alone; dependent.
            4. Law. pertaining to rules of procedure, rather than those of right (opposed to substantive).
            5. (of dye colors) requiring a mordant or the like to render them permanent (opposed to substantive).
            [1350–1400; Middle English < Late Latin adjectīvum, neuter of adjectīvus= Latin adject(us), past participle of ad(j)icere to attach, add (ad- ad- + -(j)icere, comb. form of jacere to throw) + -īvus -ive]
            ad′jec•tive•ly, adv.
            Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

            God possesses two states, here. By themselves, they stand alone. Adjectives cannot stand alone without a substantive or a noun.

            No one else has accused me of being a greasy pseudo-intellectual, trying to “slide in” semantic mumbling and diversionary tactics, save you. In fact I think it was implied by someone I was too stupid to be wrong or right on this matter, and you happily agreed and drove home the point! Yet you continue to wrangle with what you call irrational, semantic, meaningless, and diversionary from someone you apparently consider too addled to hold a reasonable discussion. But I’ll chat with you, Alan. So long as you’ll stick around.

            Given the fact you evidently had not looked up the words, and given that you have a problem with classification to lessen verbosity, as I tried to comply with, I think it is you who might have the greater problem. I would encourage you to keep bouncing this one around.

            Neither “eternity” nor “perfection” exist in our universe *
            You say this because the materialist can find not a shred of evidence to bolster these concepts in the universe. Agreed. If they do not exist, then you should be able to come up with another concept which does not exist, has *no
            attributable data from the real world (i.e, has never affected the nervous system of any living thing, like eternity and perfection), and cannot be deduced by an opposite.

            In reply to #94 by Alan4discussion:

            In reply to #92 by shortpolock:

            In reply to #91 by Alan4discussion:
            All I can say, without being the prick I want to be, is that eternity is a noun, not an adjective

            You used them as asserted descriptors:-

            God has two standout attributes. Eternality and Perfection.

            An “eternal, perfect” god is u…

          • In reply to #96 by shortpolock:

            n. at·tri·bute (tr-byt)
            1. A quality or characteristic inherent in or ascribed to someone or something.
            2. An object associated with and serving to identify a character, personage, or office: Lightning bolts are an attribute of Zeus

            [He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end..]* Ecclesiastes 3:11

            1. Grammar A word or phrase syntactically subordinate to another word or phrase that it modifies; for example, “my sister’s” and “brown” in “my sister’s brown dog”.
          • In reply to #96 by shortpolock:

            God possesses two states, here. By themselves, they stand alone. Adjectives cannot stand alone without a substantive or a noun.

            Descriptions, characteristics, or attributes of gods cannot stand alone in the absence of gods! That is the point! (eternal, perfect, purple, infinite, psychedelic nothingness, is exactly the same as plain ordinary non-existent nothingness)

            No one else has accused me of being a greasy pseudo-intellectual, trying to “slide in” semantic mumbling and diversionary tactics, save you.

            “Perfection and eternity = Divine Concepts = Great Making Properties”-

            is utter nonsense!

            Who said so is of no consquence. The semantic shifting of asserted meanings by trying to redefine the words is on record. Denial is disingenuous or ignorant!

            In fact I think it was implied by someone I was too stupid to be wrong or right on this matter, and you happily agreed and drove home the point!

            You do seem to be rambling around in obfuscating semantics and missing numerous clearly explained evidenced and logical points.

            Yet you continue to wrangle with what you call irrational, semantic, meaningless, and diversionary from someone you apparently consider too addled to hold a reasonable discussion. But I’ll chat with you, Alan. So long as you’ll stick around.

            This site prides its self as an educational source of clear critical thinking, reason and science. We are used to circular pretzel logic from some visitors! – But hope visitors will learn from discussions, as many of us do from various specialist expert posters.

            Neither “eternity” nor “perfection” exist in our universe

            You say this because the materialist can find not a shred of evidence to bolster these concepts in the universe.

            Nothing “immaterial” has ever been shown to exist or to interact with material reality. ” Immaterial” = non-existent whimsicality.

            Agreed. If they do not exist, then you should be able to come up with another concept which does not exist,

            I did not say they do not exist as “concepts”. I said they do not exist in material reality.

            has no attributable data from the real world

            False concepts can have all sorts of fictitious data from the real world. Could I suggest you continue your education with data from Hogwarts!

            (i.e, has never affected the nervous system of any living thing, like eternity and perfection),

            I am sure Hogwarts and Harry Potter have interacted with numerous human nervous systems. Nevertheless, I am confident they do not exist.

            and cannot be deduced by an opposite.

            I am not sure what the opposite of Harry Potter might be? It sounds like semantic nonsense!

            You are still confusing mental fanciful conceptual ramblings, with material reality, and continue to wrap these up in tangled semantics.

          • Alan, I didn’t see a post where you referred to shortpolock as a “greasy pseudo-intellectual”. Did you remove it?

            In reply to #98 by Alan4discussion:

            In reply to #96 by shortpolock:

            God possesses two states, here. By themselves, they stand alone. Adjectives cannot stand alone without a substantive or a noun.

            Descriptions, characteristics, or attributes of gods cannot stand alone in the absence of gods! That is the point! (eternal, perfect, pu…

          • In reply to #99 by Marktony:

            Alan, I didn’t see a post where you referred to shortpolock as a “greasy pseudo-intellectual”. Did you remove it?

            Nope! All my comments are present on this thread! – But the slippery semantic shuffles and side-tracks are pretty obvious to those familiar with logical steps in reasoning.

          • Descriptions, characteristics, or attributes of gods cannot stand alone in the absence of gods! That is the point!

            Zeus, lightnng bolts

            Denial is disingenuous or ignorant!

            Ad hominem, false dilemma

            You do seem to be rambling around in obfuscating semantics and missing numerous clearly explained evidenced and logical points.

            Give me two “evidenced points”.

            Nothing “immaterial” has ever been shown to exist or to interact with material reality. ” Immaterial” = non-existent whimsicality.

            That is fallacious as well. If you inverse your premise, it is false.

            Everything material has been shown to exist or interact with material reality. Material=existent.

            Yet, as you have pointed out so many times, unicorns, Harry Potter, and the like do not exist though all their parts do.

            False concepts can have all sorts of fictitious data from the real world. Could I suggest you continue your education with data from Hogwarts!

            Isn’t this an oxymoron? Data collections can be fudged. 1 is 1 is 1. A false concept is a conclusion based upon observation of data. Reference the term.

            I am sure Hogwarts and Harry Potter have interacted with numerous human nervous systems. Nevertheless, I am confident they do not exist.

                      *and cannot be deduced by an opposite.*
            

            I am not sure what the opposite of Harry Potter might be? It sounds like semantic nonsense!

            Strawman, but not out of spite, I believe.

            Well, hell, Alan. I’ll blink. Apparently I need to work on clarity. Thanks for your sharpening instruments of wit, and skin thickening. I’ve got a lot to learn in this field. I will learn.

            Alan, it’s been real. It’s been fun. Take it easy. Thanks again.

            In reply to #98 by Alan4discussion:

            In reply to #96 by shortpolock:

            God possesses two states, here. By themselves, they stand alone. Adjectives cannot stand alone without a substantive or a noun.

            Descriptions, characteristics, or attributes of gods cannot stand alone in the absence of gods! That is the point! (eternal, perfect, pu…

          • In reply to #103 by shortpolock:

            Descriptions, characteristics, or attributes of gods cannot stand alone in the absence of gods! That is the point!

            Zeus, lightnng bolts

            Zeus never created lightning bolts (Neither did Thor.) It’s a fairy story falsely attributing natural phenomena to gods ! Lightning bolts are not an attribute of these gods. They are natural phenomena falsely atrributed to gods. That is the point!

            Denial is disingenuous or ignorant!

            Ad hominem, false dilemma

            This is just asserted side-tracking nonsense lacking a response to the denials!

            You do seem to be rambling around in obfuscating semantics and missing numerous clearly explained evidenced and logical points.

            Give me two “evidenced points”.

            Try re-reading the discussion! – Perhaps your faith-blinkers are editing them out of your vision!

            The rest of post 103 is just assertion, denial, and contradiction, which continues to conflate mental concepts with material reality !

            Well, hell, Alan. I’ll blink. Apparently I need to work on clarity.

            … always a problem for god-claims – the clearer the description, the easier the refutation!

            Thanks for your sharpening instruments of wit, and skin thickening. I’ve got a lot to learn in this field. I will learn.

            Many come come to this site with preconceptions about atheist thinking or scientific evidenced reasoning. Science is about getting the right answer, not about pandering to the feelings of those with mistaken views or confused thinking.

            A positive attitude to learning is beneficial – for those who seek out properly checked peer-reviewed information.

        • In reply to #92 by shortpolock:

          “(later I learned they [Perfection and eternity] are called Great Making Properties, but DC’s is shorter).”

          This is playing semantic shuffle!

          No, it is a self-effacing comment admitting some ignorance of terminology.

          It is still a semantic shuffle. It is just a semantic shuffle, uncritically and wrongly accepted as valid, on self-effacing blind-faith.

          changing the meanings of words to muddy the waters, and slide in question-begging “creators” which have no relation to the original standard definitions.

          (eternal =enduring for ever; perfect= 100% compliance with a preconceived concept – no creator-gods involved)

          No matter how colourful or fancifully-deepity the descriptions, the Emperor still has no clothes!

  18. shortpolock:

    All I can say, without being the prick I want to be, is that eternity is a noun, not an adjective.

    So are we down to grammar ? “Eternity” certainly is a noun. Who would disagree ? Only a philosophy student perhaps ? Maybe the universe we know is infinitely old, but changed its form in the big bang some 13.82 billion years ago ? I don’t know. You don’t know. So please stop talking about “eternity”. Thanks.

    As far as I’m aware, there is no scientific evidence that the big bang was anything other than a natural event. No Need for Jesus, Jehovah, Allah, or any other fictional character to light the touch paper. This is of course the point where fraud “banana man” comes with clams of Jesus dunnit. Well who can prove him wrong ? It is written in the scripture. So bloody what ? Show me a Jesus and I’ll raise you an Allah plus two John Frums !

    • Yes! Grammar matters! That’s like saying debating the height of the building and debating the existence of the building are essentially the same debate.

      If you don’t like arguments concerning eternity, or if I’m too much of a moron for you, than don’t read it. Or watch the train wreck, I don’t care ;-)

      Apparently, Alan disagrees. Bill Clinton would find a way to disagree.

      In reply to #93 by Mr DArcy:

      shortpolock:

      All I can say, without being the prick I want to be, is that eternity is a noun, not an adjective.

      So are we down to grammar ? “Eternity” certainly is a noun. Who would disagree ? Only a philosophy student perhaps ? Maybe the universe we know is infinitely old, but changed its form…

  19. joehev:

    We were not created as ants. Each person is free to march to his own beat. To me that is also part of the beauty of God.

    How “free to march” were the 30,000 children who died today from poverty related issues ? And what was your god doing ? Nothing as usual.

        • In reply to #107 by shortpolock:

          Then you can’t trust a word that any scientist says. ;-)

          Scientists don’t simply trust any word or opinion! They use multiple peer-reviewed cross-checking and only words rationally linked to material evidence count!
          Words without this connection are just empty semantics.

          In reply to #106 by Alan4discussion:

          In reply to #105 by shortpolock:

          Word = semantics

          material = substance!

  20. Hi I am often accused by athiest to be a lier because I believe in and have experienced miracles. But I assure you every thing that I have recorded on my Website has happened. A few divine healings, many times God speaking to me, telling me future events or giving me direct assistance in life. Read http://www.futureandahope.net for the things I claim to have seen. And I don’t collect donations so it is not about the money I work as a Website Designer full time for a living.

    • In reply to #110 by FutureAndAHope:

      And I don’t collect donations so it is not about the money I work as a Website Designer full time for a living.

      Then you should know fine well what T&C’s are and how you are breaking this sites.

  21. My answer for question 5 is one that enrages Christians, I say that I hold myself to a higher moral standard than Christians. If they ask what I mean I explain that I do not have the ‘get out of jail free’ card that Christians because they are not accountable for their sins after all Christ died to save them.

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