7 Myths About Atheists

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A list of the top 7 things I hear about Atheism. These are misconceptions and myths that tend to give Atheists a bad name.

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Thanks for watching my video on the 7 myths I hear most often about atheists and atheism. If you have any other suggestions, leave it in the comments below. Atheists have a negative stigma partially because of these misconceptions about atheism. It’s not a religion, and it doesn’t require faith. GOD! ;)

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177 COMMENTS

    • Joseph Jul 13, 2014 at 1:29 pm

      Is Christianity compatible with evolution?

      The short answer is no, but some denominations of Xtianity perform all sorts of mental gymnastics to pretend “metaphorical interpretations” of bible mythology can make it compatible.

    • Yes of course it is, but you’ll need to do some work first. you’ll need to create your own sect of Christianity claim that you have a direct line to God and tell everyone God verified it. That’s how Joseph Smith figured out how to have sex with lots of women. Or just take the original Bible tweaking a little bit and make it say it.

    • It is.

      A lot of Christians accept that the Old Testament consists mostly of fables that were written to help explain why were are here (during a time of little understanding).

      I come from a Christian background (Roman Catholic to be more precise) and my parents cannot deny the evidence towards evolution. I myself am an atheist… but they thankfully let me go my own course :)

      Evolution doesn’t explain how life was created, just explains why there’s such diversity in the world now (something Creationists in particular can’t seem to get into their ignorant heads!). So I guess what evolutionist Christians believe is that God created life, but then let it go its own course.

      However, there are many Christian denominations, so it depends which one you’re talking about ;-)

  1. Yeah, I mean, the thing is if they say it’s supposed to be read literally or not, and it brings confusion on whether we have to read it literally or no, is it divine then? I’m not sure and honestly I’m in a position between this and my faith. There’s a fear in me.

    • Joseph Jul 13, 2014 at 1:52 pm

      Yeah, I mean, the thing is if they say it’s supposed to be read literally or not, and it brings confusion on whether we have to read it literally or no, is it divine then? I’m not sure and honestly I’m in a position between this and my faith. There’s a fear in me.

      You don’t say which denomination of Xtianity you follow.

      That evolution is happening all around us is fact. The exact details are theory.
      The problem is that some churches claim to accept the science, but then try to add incompatible supernatral superstitions into it retrospectively to create the pseudo-science of “theistic evolution”.

      The Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England, claim to fully accept the science, but then contradict the science to slot in god-did-it!

      The Catholic Church has changed its position over the years from the antiscince ranting of Pius IX and Vatican Council 1, to the modern claim to defer to the scientists and accept the science of evolution. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_and_evolution#Pope_Benedict_XVI

      However they then go on to say this:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_and_evolution#Catholic_teaching_and_evolution

      “… methodical research in all branches of knowledge, provided it is carried out in a truly scientific manner and does not override moral laws, can never conflict with the faith,

      In which they make the ludicrous claim – that evidence derived from scientific methodology, cannot contradict dogmas accepted on “faith” – describing this contradictory substitution of “dogmatic faith” for scientific methodology, as “research carried out in a ‘truly’ scientific manner”!

      Dogma does not trump conclusive scientific evidence any more today, than it did when Pius IX was spouting nonsense in 1870!

      The links should help you understand the various positions.

    • is it divine then?

      If it was Devine, do you think it would be base and simple? No, of course not. Something Devine would likely have to be of the utmost sophistication. Would a Creator of such a complex and interconnected universe not design His book in the same way? Of course He would. In consequence, it would only make sense that the bible would be a bit confusing. But does that take away from it? Are not the most confusing poems the most excellent?

      I await a response.

      • I was saying that if the book is so divine, then there would be no confusion on how it should be read. Some say its true, some say it has to be taken literally. If it’s so divine, wouldn’t we be inspired from it in so many ways and not be questioning it?

        • If it’s so divine, wouldn’t we be inspired from it in so many ways and not be questioning it?

          G-d would have had to allow some room for questioning if we were to truly be given free will. Yes, we were given the option to steer away from the obvious truth and cover ourselves in self deception and lies.

  2. Are not the most confusing poems the most excellent?

    No, they are not, not necessarily, anyway. Some of the “most excellent” are very straightforwards, and some are not.

    When I glance through one of my favourites, William Butler Yeats, I find examples of both. Everything from magic reality to full blown surrealism, to basic descriptions of the mundane.

    While I can accept, although I cannot prove it myself, that “Yeats did it,” I doubt that you can prove with respect to the bible, which can be described similarly, that God did it. In fact, with respect to the new testament, we have a pretty good idea of the people who did do it, and they did it after the fact, and it had precious little to do with God.

    • No, they are not, not necessarily, anyway.

      I didn’t say necessarily. I was just saying that its not uncommon. And in the theoretical case of a G-d made book, it would make sense that it would not be easy to “decode” or uncover its hidden parts. As a G-d of infinite Wisdom would probably want his book to contain infinite Wisdom as well. The top layer being base and the levels deeper becoming more and more complex. Even simple poems sometimes have deeper levels; deeper meanings.

      While I can accept, although I cannot prove it myself, that “Yeats did it,” I doubt that you can prove with respect to the bible, which can be described similarly, that God did it.

      True, its all a matter of accepting, not proving… Different people have different standards of what to “accept” as “proof” also.

      with respect to the new testament

      With respect? I certainly have no respect for that book.

      • Hey, fair go, where in this is “not uncommon?”
        Are not the most confusing poems the most excellent? Sounds like an absolute statement to me.
        And as to With respect? I certainly have not the implied respect for “that book. for “with respect to,” you can use “referring to,” if it makes things clearer.

        Oddly enough, I do have a certain amount of respect in a literary sense for “that book.” Any work of literature that has been copied by hand as often as the NT, and the OT, for that matter will have been distilled by the process until it is worth reading as literature. Like many long committed atheists, I have probably read it more thoroughly than many, maybe most, Christians.

        You can include Beowulf, and the Kama Sutra, and the Bodhisattvacharyāvatāra, and quite a few other tales of fantasy, philosophy of life, and/or compilations of mythology in the list of worthwhile reading material, too.

        Just “Don’t go eatin’ that Maynard, that’s horse shit!”

        • for “with respect to,” you can use “referring to,” if it makes things clearer.

          I know. I was just using your words to my advantage, you might say.

          Oddly enough, I do have a certain amount of respect in a literary sense for “that book.”

          In a literary sense, so do I, I guess. But generally, I like my literature to ring true.

          Are not the most confusing poems the most excellent? Sounds like an absolute statement to me.

          Ok ok, so it wasn’t an absolute statement, sorry for lack of clarity. But some are. And the point is, people don’t dismiss those ones as useless just because they appear confusing at first glance. Rather, the diligent work hard at uncovering its hidden messages.

          • the diligent work hard at uncovering its hidden messages

            You mean like, why there are two conflicting accounts of creation in Genesis and both of them are shown to be no more than myths by our understanding of the creation of the universe and the evolution of all life on earth?

            That sort of thing?

  3. Hi

    You said you don’t understand why people need to have an explanation in god when they look into a child’s eyes or deepest space. At a GUESS I would say they are similar in that respect to atheists – they want answers – they want to feel they understand (when clearly they don’t) – now, granted science doesn’t have answers to everything – but it’s by far the best mechanism we’ve ever had to getting those answers IMHO. Imagine because of your brain wiring either built in or acquired, that you just CAN’T take in the scientific argument – I guess anything is better then than no answer at all. The true answer to this is better education – MUCH better education… and taking religion out of schools once and for all. It’s the 21st century, guys – get over this invisible friend nonsense, please!

          • Perhaps you could make this a test of sorts. Take the flight and if god chooses to bring down the plane, then your instincts were probably right and we’re all misguided.

            In the event of the more likely outcome and you reach your destination unscathed, perhaps you could put your foolish notions aside and join our merry band!

            I’ve taken many trips by plane, car, rail and boat. No prayers are offered up for my safe return and yet here I am, alive to tell the tale. Also, I manage to find parking spots eventually, just like everyone else. And..I’m not the only one! I’m sure all the atheists on this site can attest to the same life experiences.

            Once you discard your beliefs and take on the world in the sure knowledge that there’s no-one up there judging, condemning and punishing, your life will take a turn for the better.

          • Joseph. The sensations you are experiencing are normal for human beings. It is a survival advantage as a hunter gatherer to try to find cause and effect in the wild. “Is that just the grass rustling, or is it a lion.” There’s millions of years of evolution in your brain to make you think like this.

            It is also the cause of superstition.

            I’m scared of God and I’m afraid it relates if I become atheist, to the plane trip that I will soon be on

            You are linking a cause, “If I become an atheist” with an outcome, “God will make the plane crash.” Joseph. You are not the only person on that plane. There is a high probability that a large percentage will be devout christians, so would God kill all of them, just to get at you. No.

            There is a famous experiment by B.F. Skinner where he was able to demonstrate that pigeons have superstition. It transfers to humans. You can read about it here.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B._F._Skinner#Superstitious_pigeons

  4. Joseph Jul 13, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    Do you think that the Bible was made up by men.

    That is a matter of historical record.

    The NT stories were put about as folklaw by the early Christian sects, with all sorts of contradictory stories. These were written down decades or hundreds of years later, with the ones which suited the purposes of Constantine’s Roman empire and his bishops, put together to form the New Testament around 325AD.

    The First Council of Nicaea was a council of Christian bishops convened in Nicaea in Bithynia by the Roman Emperor Constantine I in AD 325. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Council_of_Nicaea

    The gospels of the other Xtian sects were rejected, suppressed, and during the following centuries, destroyed as heretical if found. http://gnosis.org/naghamm/nhl.html

    There were also numerous modifications and additions made during the various translations.

    There is also Canaanite history pre-dating Genesis, which shows the earlier religious origins of the Jewish god. (El, Yahweh, Jehovah.)

  5. Well, considering that you have a near absolute chance of getting there and back with no more issue than sore knees from sitting in one place for too long, the trip will be revelation in more ways than one.

    Do take the trip over to Isla Mujeres, fascinating history, and where the search for the most perfect Langoustina al Ajillo in the whole western Caribbean can start and end!

    Enjoy, and do touch base here when you get back.

    PS Edit: This was intended, obviously I hope, to be in response to Joseph, above. Although my fundamental opposition to much of the new website remains, I must admit I am thawing to some aspects of it.

      • While I cannot speak for the rest of “us guys” and gals of course, here is my take on the subject.
        I honestly have no reason to believe that it was “created.” I do have a pretty good idea of how it commenced, and when, from the result of brilliant work by astronomers and physicists and mathematicians over the last few hundred years.

        The concept of a moment of infinite temperature at the moment of the big bang is a part that I see as questionable. Very hot, yes, infinite, maybe not, only infinite as far as we are concerned. The total of all heat energy in the universe at the moment of the bang may be infinite in our terms, but not in terms of what propelled it.

        What happened then, at the quantum level, we may never know. What will finally become of it all, we may never know either. Does this mean that God did it? Not at all, and in fact that mental crutch I see as a barrier to our ever finding out anything else. This is something that the church has been aware of and fighting for centuries. Refer to Martin Luther’s remarks as being particularly apropos on the risk to faith of reason.

        If you want to call all the unanswered and maybe unanswerable questions “God,” fine, but do you really want to spend you life on your knees worshiping a bunch of questions. Personally, I would rather seek the answers.

        • If you want to call all the unanswered and maybe unanswerable questions “God,” fine, but do you really want to spend you life on your knees worshiping a bunch of questions. Personally, I would rather seek the answers.

          You may not like it but the “G-d” answer is an answer in the end of the day. A good answer? You may think not. Why? Many possible reasons. Good reasons? You think so. Do I? Who knows. I should though, right? Why?

      • Yeah, out of curiosity how do you guys think the universe was created?

        We don’t know the initial cause,….. Yet. But there are some good ideas gaining currency. We know the physics down to the 10 to the minus (Insert Large Number) of a second after the big bang. We can explain everything after that.

        Space does not permit, but there is a thing called quantum fluctuations. In totally empty space, matter is created all the time. A particle and an anti particle pop into existence for a brief period of time, then they annihilate each other. The energy equation is satisfied. Start with Zero energy. A +1 particle and a – 1 particle come into existence. They then cancel each other out. Maths. +1 + (-1) = 0.

        There is good science that suggests that if one of these quantum fluctuations doesn’t annihilate each other and the particles get separated, they can go through an “Inflation”, a big bang and create a universe. Universes might be quite common.

        Laurence Krauss builds on the maths above and thinks that if all the positive energy in the universe, matter plus dark matter, where summed, it would be exactly cancelled out by the negative energy of the universe, dark energy, the repulsive force, and thus satisfy the conservation of energy laws. That is, a universe can come from nothing.

        You can watch Krauss and Dawkins at this link. The first half of the video, Krauss interviews Dawkins about evolution. The second half of the video Dawkins interviews Krauss about a universe that can come from nothing.

        This will answer both your evolution and universe questions. One of the best two hours of you life you can ever spend. Two for the price of one.

        • @ David R Allen July 18 8.13 pm

          Thank you very much for supplying the You Tube conversation, ‘Something from Nothing’. This was an excellent talk and much to my surprise was completely new to me. I found it to be an extremely engaging production with Lawrence Krauss displaying a lively sense of humour.

          @ Joseph. I think you would enjoy the talk and I’d highly recommend that you watch it when you have a spare couple of hours. The quality of the production came as a pleasant surprise as well. Filmed events on You Tube are often of a very poor standard and I find them difficult to watch more often than not. Not so, in this case.

        • David R Allen Jul 13, 2014 at 8:13 pm

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=YUe0_4rdj0U

          Thanks for posting the Youtube link. Yours is probably the most informative post in this thread for people of any age who aren’t confident they understand the nature of reality.

          I’ve been hesitant to reply to Joseph directly because I can’t relate to where he’s at. When I was 16 I knew the God of religion was a sad cosmic joke (and the Jewish guy with the Hispanic name was at best apocryphal.) I wish things had stayed that simple.

          Buddha was cool and probably the earliest teacher who could’ve been right, but sadly he wasn’t. So advice on what to believe (or disbelieve) isn’t what I’m good at. Best I can do is state what and who I believe is worth listening to, and move on.

        • David R Allen Jul 13, 2014 at 8:13 pm

          This will answer both your evolution and universe questions. One of
          the best two hours of you life you can ever spend. Two for the price
          of one.

          I finally got the opportunity to set aside a couple hours to watch the video and eventually burned it to a DVD-R.

          It’s a rare chance to see these two prime movers of anti-theism interact with each other in front of a limited audience. A learning experience at the very least!

          Krauss posseses some wise-ass tendencies, which sometimes go with genius (a la Paul Krugman), but so what! He also states upfront that he’s anti-theist rather than atheist; a position Dawkins is still reluctant to take, even though he essentially posseses the same beliefs.

          I’m most captivated by their expert views on science in both evolutionay biology and cosmology, and find their digressions into (anti) theism less useful. Scientific genius, IMHO, carries the day. But I ain’t no genius!

      • @ Joseph

        Our current understandings are relatively recent. It was only in the early decades of the last century that galaxies other than our own were discovered by Hubble and his telescope. With the further discovery of an expanding universe, gave rise to the “Big Bang” theory. Better technologies have gradually increased our knowledge and explanations.

        Thanks to Krauss, Dawkins and others slaving away, gradually assembling the pieces of the jigsaw, we have some highly plausible explanations. These are credible explanations that don’t reply on our suspension of disbelief or silly tales involving talking snakes and questionable moral precepts.

        Edit: in my last comment, I suggested that you would probably be right in your explanation if the plane were to come down on your way to Cancun. I wish to amend that. It would be a coincidence! A terrible one, but a coincidence nonetheless.

  6. This business of God smiting (murdering) by plane crash, shipwreck, earhquake, etc etc if He/She/It decides to is one of the most egregious of fallacies.

    A year or so ago, I worked in the Philippines. Because the house we rented was actually over the water, it was obviously not a safe place in a cyclone, so when a cyclone threatened, we moved and went to an hotel in Cebu City.
    On our return, we found the house undamaged. The cyclone had missed us, but had hit Mindanao hard.

    The proprietor of the resort that included our house, told us that she had gathered all the staff together and prayed, and that was why the cyclone missed.

    I pointed out that it had killed (mud slide) some 200 people sheltering in an RC church on Mindanao. Her response was that they had not prayed hard enough.

    It does seem odd, of God, to kill the faithful sheltering in a Church. Or did our team pray so hard that the death of the others could be attributed to their efforts at prayer being so much greater that God had no option but to smite the others?

    Can any of this seriously be considered to make any sense at all? Forget God in this, and trust Boeing. When it comes to planes, they really do a better job.

    I am not ignoring your last question BTW, just keeping the topics seperate.

    • Thank you all. I will look into the video right now, it’s been great talking to you people and I will hopefully talk to you more as new topics on science unveil, it’s great talking to people about this.

      Man, what’s your deal? Are you gonna become atheist here or not?

      A question for you: What caused you to care about this stuff? Why not just continue on your marry way, being Christian like all the other people in the world? Why do you care? What caused you to care? Certainly it was something. What was it?

        • @Joseph

          Once you begin to see that these stories are just invented by man, there’s no going back. I suspect that from now on everything will begin to come into focus in much the same way that a little knowledge about movie making reveals the director’s craft. You may lose a bit of the magic, but knowing how it’s done is best in the long run.

  7. Hey Joseph, just so you get used to thinking your own way, remember, you’ve grown up being told there is a God, not knowing there is a God…the main thing I would say to you is, don’t believe anything anyone tells you at face value, but check out the evidence. Science is how we find things out these days, and hey it doesn’t know everything by a long shot, but it constantly corrects itself when new things are discovered…by experiment and by new evidence. Of course humanity created all gods at one time or another, gods are just the things we invented in ancient times to explain stuff we don’t understand, like how thunder happens (not thor, not zeus, not jehovah, but by an imbalance in air pressures and electrical charges as it happens…now we know that, one less job for a god! and so it goes…. Planes fly because some clever people worked out the science of flight…physics, engineering, electronics, you name it! Don’t worry and the main thing is to not do what anyone tells you, just think things out for yourself, and hey fromtheotherside, Joseph doesn’t need to explain himself to you or anyone else for that matter! All the other people in the world? what about the jews, and the muslims, and the buddhists, and the hindus, and all the other variations on a theme? Part of the reason some of us are athiest is because one day we worked out that no one seems to agree on what god is, every religion refuses to believe all the other religions, so all we do is refuse to believe one more!

  8. A thought to “theotherside” and to a lesser extent Rob. Joseph is 16, and dealing with a pretty shattering revelation, and the removal of one of the foundations of his life, rotten though it may have been.

    Give him a break, he is here for understanding and a bit of support in his decisions.

    An atheist is not something you become. It is simply not being subject to superstition. Best of luck, Joseph, and welcome.

  9. Joseph Jul 14, 2014 at 12:33 am

    Well, it’s not easy suddenly leaving faith when you spend your life or years into faith. There still is some fear. I’m 16 and ever since I was a kid, I’ve grown up knowing there was a God.

    That information makes it easier to help you.

    You are becoming aware of the vast knowledge of the world and universe which has been assembled by centuries of study and millions of man-hours of research.

    Your doubts about Christian mythology are quite natural. I dumped superstitious supernaturalism as teenager many decades ago. It is a natural stage in maturing into a rational being, once the repetitive forces of indoctrinating repression of mental development are removed.

    Here is an educational outline of mental development from 2 to 16 years, from the child psychologist Jean Piaget:

    http://ehlt.flinders.edu.au/education/DLiT/2000/Piaget/stages.htm

    See – Formal Operations Stage (11yrs-16yrs) to understand why childhood myths, tooth-fairies, Santa Claus, monsters under the bed, and gods, no longer appeal to you.

    Induced fear is one of the tools of indoctrination, used to repress rational mental development, and sustain child-like beliefs.

    Good luck and congratulations in maturing into a rational adult. There is a universe full of fascinating information out there for investigation., once you get past the ignorance-sustaining mental-blockage of, “god-did-it-by-magic” and the fear of imaginary gods and devils!

    Joseph Jul 13, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    Yeah, out of curiosity how do you guys think the universe was created?

    We do not know beyond certain points but this is a summary of what science has found so far:-

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphical_timeline_of_the_Big_Bang

  10. Letting go of the Big Daddy In The Sky can be daunting (I know, I’ve been there). Supernaturalism in all its forms really is nothing more than the wish for a nice comfort blanket. Easy answers, someone’s looking out for you and your kin, immortality, ect…

    You either accept reality on its own terms (naturalism), or you make up your own (supernaturalism). Then add religions, and their arbitrary rules, inane ethics, sheep mentality, sectarian and dogmatic tendencies, botched philosophy, and you’ll end up in the middle of that confusing mess.

    Science just look at what’s in front of us, and ideally, tries to make sense of it in a rigorous, naturalistic manner, nothing more. There are no easy answers, and nobody should force you what to think. Work it out, and know how to separate knowledge from belief, then make up your own mind. You may end up a Theist (God forbid), you may end up a Deist, an Atheist, and even an anti-theist (welcome, brother!).

    I know, It may sound like a bit of an echo chamber around here, but most of us arrived at roughly the same conclusions through basically simple reasoning, and reject supernaturalism as just a form of mental projection, with variations on the themes. After a while, you’ll learn to appreciate life for what it is, and leave all that burden behind.

  11. A message of hope for Joseph: Although I’m an atheist, I am well learned in the scriptures. I understand you are a believer and concerned about God’s anger about your loss of faith. Your concern about flying is answered by Jesus in Luke 13:1-5. Jesus refers to 18 who died when the Tower of Siloam fell on them. Jesus explains that ALL men are sinners and, therefore, all victims of a calamity are innocent victims.

  12. I have a big problem with her definitions of atheist and agnostic, specifically in her assertion that atheism and agnostic should go hand-in-hand.

    I agree that agnostic is a position on knowledge more than a position on belief, but in that regard I’d say all reasonable people should have a default answer of “no” when asked “do you believe X exists” when existence of “X” is totally and utterly unsupported by any facts or evidence.

    Otherwise you’re just being intellectually dishonest. When someone asks you if the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus exists, do you say “I don’t know”? Do you say “There’s no evidence supporting the existence of Santa Claus, but I can’t say I don’t believe he exists because I’m so bound by the rules of probability that I can’t actually take a position on something, since anything is technically possible, given that there are perhaps rules or exceptions to known scientific laws that we may not know yet.”

    For functioning humans, this is an unnecessarily cautious approach to making decisions. Kind of like all of the jokes about unemployed philosophers who are too busy thinking of all the nuance and “what ifs” in the world to conclude that it’s a good thing to get a pay check and buy yourself food. At some point I really believe you need to quit entertaining hypotheticals and just make a decision, as all scientists must do – evaluate the facts and evidence and make a hypothesis, which should stand as your default position so long as evidence in the future does not refute it.

    In this case, the hypothesis is that god does not exist. Overwhelming evidence from the real world directly contradicts the only existing and 100 percent anecdotal evidence supporting theism (books and stories, written and told by humans). When a scientific thinker is confronted with a question – one side loaded with hundreds of millions of years of evidence and the other side absent of evidence entirely – that scientific thinker has to choose between a highly educated guess or being completely paralyzed and unable to move forward.

    When faced with such a compelling case against theism (or any equally compelling case), I refuse paralysis. I’m an atheist I will not willfully ignore overwhelming facts and evidence for the sake of humility and social acceptance. I don’t believe god exists because god doesn’t exist. That will be my position until the evidence supporting theism not only exists, but outweighs the evidence against theism.

  13. Number 1 is transparently false. This is a misunderstanding that seemingly all atheists make — namely they do not understand what atheism means!

    It is not a lack of a belief. Rocks lack beliefs (assuming they are non-conscious), this does not make them atheists.

    Atheism is the position that there is no reality or existent which can appropriately be labelled “god”.

    I’m not going to even bother listening to the other 6, I’ll just get too irritated.

    • You are confusing lack of belief with lacking the ability to believe.

      Rocks lack the ability to believe. It would be irrational to say they lack beliefs in the same sense we say, some people lack a belief in bigfoot.
      Atheism, is the lack of belief in our popular notion of a god. But don’t let the word “lack” make you feel like we’re missing something important or somehow we’re “lacking”. Instead you should see belief as the poison word, and be glad we lack it. Also, since the definition of the word only exists in reference to theism and its basis in faith, (better known as the intellectually stupifying practice of hoodwinking yourself into believing in the existence of something without even wanting or accepting evidence for it), and thus the definition reflects the referential relationship between atheism and theism.

      To reiterate, atheism is a position only in reference to another position. It is not a position unto itself. It’s like your reflection in a pond. There is nothing of substance in and of itself. Atheism doesn’t have a stated position like you imply. There is no motivation guiding the position. It is simply the alternate responding position, the mimetic grouping of rational responses to the stated position of theism. And just like a shadow or reflection, atheism is defined only when against the backdrop of theism.

  14. Nitya/Jaclyn Glenn.

    Jaclyn is excellent. I have visted a number of her Utube vidieos and will visit more.

    I would like to introduce a new and better perspective on our understanding of the world and ourselves as a part of that world, the “objective view”. The view we have from standing on the shoulders of giants, the best view that we have.

    Please take the role of moderator.

    Regards,

    David Lilley

    • Modesty forbids.

      I’m not quite sure what exactly what you had in mind, but I’m fairly sure that I wouldn’t be up to the task. I think it’s great that you’re introducing discussion topics ( by stealth it would seem) and I can guarantee that I’d have an opinion! ;-) but moderate? Maybe you’re pulling my leg?

  15. Hey guys. I would like an UNBIASED answer here.
    Many people say the Bible has not been corrupted, altered, or revised and some say they do. How can I know who to trust?
    I’m going on a plane trip to Cancun tomorrow and I’ve been worrying about it since my faith has also been under attack & I noticed that the COSMOS book that I have been reading by Carl Sagan talks about evolution and all, God would not want me to read it, especially on the plane and I fear it would affect the plane trip. I’m scared guys, I really wanted to take this book. I also wanted to take Harry Potter but I hear that’s a sin as well and I really wanted to read these books. I was at the library today and did not have enough courage to get God is not great how religion poisons everything & The God delusion or books on evolution. What if atheists are wrong? That question is always in my mind.

    • Many people say the Bible has not been corrupted, altered, or revised and some say they do. How can I know who to trust?

      You will slowly learn to trust yourself, as you gain confidence from the material you are reading now, and are likely to in the near future. If the only book you’ve had since birth till now, is the bible, then the imprint on your brain will be very strong. You will see all issues through that imprint. Like your concerns about going to Cancun, or whether god is watching which books you borrow from the library or read.

      The bible is the written down version of the oral traditions of one tribe. All native tribes have oral traditions. I assume you are from North America and you would be aware of the oral traditions of the native Americans. How do you feel about the truth of those traditions. You probably see them as polite narratives constructed over time by a pre scientific or literate community to explain the world they find themselves living in. The Australian Aborigines have similar oral traditions called the Dream Time. (Look it up) The bible is exactly the same.

      And the bible has been edited. I have a vague memory that the Council of Nicaea decided which gospels went in and with were discarded. The Gospel of Judas didn’t make the cut and there were others. Every time a book is translated from one language to another, because meanings of words differ, the bible is altered. The King James version could not possibly be the word of god, because it was first written in Aramaic, then Greek, then Latin, then English. Chinese whispers.

      The bible only survives today because the Roman Emperor, Constantine in around 300AD made it the official religion of the Roman Empire, thus cementing it’s place in history. If that didn’t happen, you might have been asking the same questions in this forum about the Koran. So think of the bible in the same way you think of Native American folklore. Anthropologically interesting.

      God’s busy right now. He’s got a universe to run with billions of galaxies and quintillions of stars and uncountable planets. The universe is highly likely to be teeming with life, god’s creations. Do you think he will have time to worry about whether you are reading Gould, and do something about that, killing the other hundred of so passengers on the same plane. If god is like this, then he’s not someone you should be worshiping.

      You need to take a deep breath, and head off for your holiday to Cancun, and enjoy yourself. What a fabulous trip for a 16 year old. And when you get back, log in here and tell us all how it went. Post a couple of Instagrams.

      • You’ve been a great help. I mean, seeing all these facts supporting evolution & quantum physics soon to explain more of the universe and all that, it’s so hard to see that a Bible that has possibly or that has been revised and altered so many times seems true.

        What gets me is nature. Why is our nature like this? So beautiful and why was nature always like this? Why is there always particles popping into and out of existence in nothing? By my interpretation, I’ve always looked upon nothing as completely nothing. However, nothing weighs something with particles popping in and out and what questions is me is why is nature like this? Was it always like this? I’m so accustomed to the fact it has to be God. Like, why is our nature like this, in the physical world, there are always particles. Kind of hard for me to ask the question. I guess I say why is, in the natural state, why are there still particles instead of total NOTHING? Do you think God is a part of this?

        • The “WHY” question is one of the hardest to understand. It’s the last question you get from someone who has almost lost their faith. They will ask, as you do, “But why is it like that. Why do particles pop in and out of existence. Why are we like we are.’” This question, when answered by our anscestors, created the gods we know. They didn’t know, so they attributed the ‘Cause” to a much bigger more powerful person, that look just like them. (Man created god in his own image.) They also thought, wrongly, that if you upset this guy, bad things happen, which is what you are doing with the flight to Cancun.

          Part of human nature, built up through evolutionary change in our species, is to attribute “Cause” to “Effect”. It appeared to us wandering around as hunter gatherers that everything had a cause. When the the clouds came, it rained. The thunder and lightning were sparks coming off Thor’s hammer and anvil if you were from Scandinavia, or god’s wrath if you lived in the middle east. Be careful if it rained a lot because that “Caused” floods and landslides. If I rub these sticks together fast enough, I will “Cause” a fire.

          A lot of the questions you ask, we know the “Why”. But there are some questions you ask, that we don’t know the “Why”, and may never know the “Why” but that will never invoke the need for a god as an explanation. We just don’t know, and we get on with life. Quite relaxed and chilled that we don’t know.

          So the natural state of all you see around you, and why you are like you are is because that’s the way you evolved, to be like you are, and that’s the way science works. Rocks are hard because of the ionic bonds in the elements that make up the rocks. Tree wood can bend because that are made of lots of linked cells made of carbon, and the carbon bonds are flexible. I don’t know why particles pop in and out of existence, but you can measure it. Your homework is to look up the Casimir Effect and report back to us.

          Was it always like this. Yes. Since the big bang. Einstein showed that the laws of physics are constant throughout the universe and have not changed in billions of years. So stuff has always happened the same way stuff happens now. It’s just the way the universe is. It doesn’t need a god. Physics explains most of it. God just complicates an already good explanation.

          • David R Allen Jul 15, 2014 at 3:24 am

            Since the big bang. Einstein showed that the laws of physics are
            constant throughout the universe and have not changed in billions of
            years. So stuff has always happened the same way stuff happens now.
            It’s just the way the universe is. It doesn’t need a god. Physics
            explains most of it. God just complicates an already good explanation.

            Richard Dawkins goes out of his way to state in The God Delusion that the title “does not refer to the God of Einstein…. That is why I needed to get Einsteinian religion out of the way to begin with: it has the proven capacity to confuse. In the rest of this book I am talking only about supernatural gods….

            ….It is in the light of the unparalleled presumption of respect for religion that I make my own disclaimer for this book. I shall not go out of my way to offend, but nor shall I don kid gloves to handle religion any more gently than I would handle anything else.”

            Richard Dawkins, IMHO, is more than just another atheist, he is to me an anti-theist, although, AFAIK, he doesn’t call himself one. Dawkins is one of the world’s foremost authorities on evolution and as such must find himself amazed and frustrated by the constant barrage of cleverly worded schemes to circumvent the implications of evolution. If Richard Dawkins is human he should be anti-theist, he’d have to be a saint not to be!

            Anyway, no matter what Dawkins calls himself, I’m not confused by his take on religion and the concept of a supernatural god. I applaud Dawkins, even though I disagree with his preferences regarding the use of the word god.

            For me god is a proper word to describe what Lawrence Krauss hypothesizes is the fundamental process under which reality operates, with however one essential caveat:

            Our observable universe is not infinite, it’s merely really big! If indeed reality itself isn’t infinite then god as an operating system is absurd and nonbelief in anything is absolutely rational. Atheism rules!

            If however a very complicated reality based on scientic observations extrapolated to their logical implications is indeed behind the curtain of observational limits, then I choose belief in god as the operating system of reality. For me that’s where Krauss’s view, which Dawkins heartily endorses in the Afterward to Krause’s book, A Universe from Nothing, leads.

          • bonnie Jul 15, 2014 at 5:05 pm

            “god just complicates an already good explanation”

            Like.

            What humans like is irrelevant. What exists, like it or not, is important. If infinite doesn’t exist, atheiem is rational indeed.

            If infinite exists all bets are off: there must by definition be an infinite number of intelligent species and an infinite number of living organisms in endless spacetime bubbles, whatever they’re called: a cyclical everchanging pattern of all posible manifiestations of the cosmos, always changing, which always has been and always will be; impossible for humans to comprehend, more amazing than any supernatural phenomena imaginable,

            And, here humanity is; aware of the infinitely small percentage of reality viewable from our perspective, free to think and speculate and create meaning and values. A natural big dog real miracle.

            But of course, YMMV!

    • Hi Joseph.

      This is not a good way to continue living your life! You’re on the cusp of adulthood and you’re living in fear! Not a good scenario. I think you need to put these fears to rest now because this has the potential to be the way you face things from here on in.

      I really like the advice that has been given to you by David R Allen. I’d suggest you heed the advice, but in addition I’d strongly recommend that you put it to the test. I’d be sitting in the plane reading ‘The God Delusion’ myself, though I suspect it would not be age appropriate. It’s hard to think back to how I felt at 16 years of age, but I think that some of these books would be too challenging…not Harry Potter obviously!

      Anyway, to continue on this theme, I’d experiment daily; I’d record the results of unanswered prayers. I’d try to draw comparisons with religious countries and the standard of living enjoyed by the inhabitants. Every aspect of religious belief would be held up to scrutiny. The most important thing to my way of thinking would be an endless stream of probing questions.

      Good luck and I agree, please report back after your return from Cancun.

    • Joseph, have a great time in Cancun – I’m envious.

      Others have covered your question very well, so my contribution will be more general. The path you take eventually ought to be your own, not one that others have pressed upon you. You are clearly a thinking person, and you will decide on the evidence. But (and it’s a very big ‘but’ indeed) in order to do that you must make the evidence available to you and not shy away from it.

      It you take Cosmos, then enjoy it – it’s an interesting book; Carl Sagan could never be dull. But if you don’t take it, try to read it when you return, because it will still be just as interesting. And as for this idea that you might be ‘singled out’ by a god for reading about evolution… I am from England, where that attitude is very rare, and is usually seen as laughable. If anyone were to be punished by a god for being interested in evolution, it would be us English. Not only was Darwin English, but we have had his portrait on our £10 notes (bills) for many years. Aren’t we just asking to be smitten?

      It is by keeping your mind open in looking for truths that you will decide for yourself the answers to your questions.

    • Do you consider it purely arbitrary who you decide to believe is telling the truth? Of course not.
      I get the feeling as if you are used to trusting purely on authority, but if you want to know what the facts are, eliminate the people, and go straight to the evidence. If someone claims the bible has been altered, ask for their evidence. Study the examples of alteration they point out, and use your reason to discern if historical literature analysis reveals an alteration.
      The main point is to begin thinking more critically, and with more common sense. Un-brainwash yourself from the intellectual haze of faith and authority in guiding your self awareness and intelligence.

  16. Joseph Jul 14, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    Hey guys. I would like an UNBIASED answer here.

    It is difficult to know which accounts from the distant past to trust, although archaeology and dated records help sort credible sources from fakes.

    However it is easier to know which sources NOT to trust because of self inconsistencies and dating which does not match (eg. multiple conflicting “eye-witness accounts” written in documents scientifically dated to hundreds of years after events).

    Many people say the Bible has not been corrupted, altered, or revised and some say they do. How can I know who to trust?

    This link shows versions of
    “The Bible”. The list is accurate apart from the mistyping of the Roman Numeral on HenryVIII. Historians and linguists, comparing the different versions shows the additions, and mistranslations.

    The Bible was written in Hebrew, or in the case of the NT written in Coptic, Greek, or Latin, decades or centuries after being told as folk-law, and edited into the accepted “gospels” around 325 AD.

    Most biblical literalists claim the absolute truth of a version (such as the King James Version of 1611 ) in English, or an RCC version in Latin).

    As with the physics, cosmology and biology, studying the history is much more complex than just uncritically accepting the dogma of “god-did-it”, and “the myths of the Bible are true” – (even when they contradict each other)!

    This interactive link gives some of the Scientific Absurdities & Historical Inaccuracies.
    http://bibviz.com/
    Many of the contradictions above stem from a literal interpretation of the stories in the Bible (biblical inerrancy). Some verses may be mistranslations, allegories, exaggerations, etc and can be interpreted in the context of the society in which they were written, rewritten, or otherwise modified over time, while others are very clear contradictions. Considering that 46% of Americans believe in a literal interpretation of Genesis (and probably other portions of the Bible) and the fact that many sects disagree on which parts to take literally, it seems reasonable to include these contradictions based on literal interpretation.

  17. Joseph, after you have an enjoyable trip to Cancun, including uneventful flights in both directions, read “Misquoting Jesus: the story behind who changed the bible and why” by Bart Ehrman. Be sure to read the introduction so you understand his qualifications.

    Steve

    • That’s a good book but I recommend reading Jesus Interrupted by Ehrman first. The “who wrote the bible” book is more geared toward bible scholars and people who are really into studying the historical facts about the bible. The Jesus Interrupted book is IMO much more readable, more geared toward a general audience, and talks more about some of the big picture issues, e.g., that none of the gospel authors actually knew Jesus, that they had different agendas which can explain the various distortions and inconsistencies in the gospels, etc.

  18. Joseph,if you are already on a website like this chatting with well educated adults who hold similar opinions then you’re probably going to turn out something similar. Most of us here have a good knowledge of evolution and how it works.I,for one,travel a lot as a full time musician. Maybe 20 flights a yr,and I bring all sorts of non or anti religious books around with. Not much bad has happened and mostly I have a fulfilling and very interesting life.
    When was the last time you heard of a death metal band ,for instance,being wiped out in a plane crash?(I’m not a rock musician). Oh,and by the way,evolution isn’t an opinion or view point.ALL the evidence points to it being the truth.Also,there aren’t many creationists here in Europe(they’re usually seen as nut cases) and we don’t have more plane crashes than other more religious nations.In fact,I’d be more wary of something happening in the most religious nations due to lack of a good education and reasoning based on superstition.Anyway,enough about things happening because you read certain books. Educate yourself as much as you can.Question everything. You’ll be happier and better off for it,and you will thank yourself for doing it in the end. Good luck. PS,maybe keep your opinions to yourself if you don’t want too much conflict with religious family or friends,which could be a difficult time,especially for someone your age for the moment,unless you are prepared to take them on. First,arm yourself with knowledge. My own parents are very religious,and I do a good job of not pissing them off. We just don’t discuss it :)

  19. Joseph:

    Is Christianity compatible with evolution?

    No !

    The various slimy attempts by theologians, priests, cardinals, bishops and others to square the circle come to grief on the rocks of Adam and Eve. Supposedly the first man and woman. There were never any such persons ! A 5 minute study of evolution would show that.

    If there was no Adam and no Eve, then there was no “fall”, no original sin, and all the other complete nonsense dreamed up by the Christians in their fervent wish for a life after death. Christianity is a religion that had its origin in the slaves of the Roman Empire. People who were desperate to believe in a better life somewhere else, – even after death. Unfortunately the fantasy still lives on in many minds. Its beliefs have no basis in reality.

  20. @Nitya and everyone
    Well I arrived here last night. However, I don’t know if I’m wrong or no, I did some Bible reading and prayer though. You know it’s tough for me, if God is there, I’ve been telling him about everything and finding it hard to believe in God because of evolution and science and all and yet honestly no true answer but maybe it will come. If God is there and it’s a tough situation right now with my faith, I’m sure he understands if it is the devil

  21. Joseph;
    You’ve already taken the first (and probably biggest) step in throwing off the shackles of religion: you’re asking questions! The important thing is to understand the answers, not just accept them because some-one or other said so. Learning is never a bad thing, so read (books, internet, where-ever) widely. Many of the netizens here have knowledge in all sorts of subjects (I’m an engineer and maths geek, with a wide but shallow knowledge of a lot of science), and will be happy to help out with things you might not get straight away.
    Keep questioning!

  22. Joseph, how fortunate you are at threshold of atheism at such a young age with your whole life before you. Five years ago I took the step with most of my life behind me (65 years) and consider it the best step ever. The Catholic religion’s program runs deep with the fear of hell always in the background. Once I realized the universe we see is reality and not the supernatural one we made up with our religions I was free. The truth will indeed make you free! Under the pall of religion I prayed all the time, struggled with trusting god, never knew if I was good enough, etc., etc. that religion does to a person. Now I live each day with a basic trust in that I have won the lottery of life and so glad I found out in time to enjoy it freely with no god strings and no imaginary hammer over my head. Read those books, enjoy Cancun and learn, learn, learn. It’s a wonderful life!

  23. A little note for Joseph to ponder:

    You said earlier that you wanted an “unbiased” answer to something you where asking about. The topic. Irrelevant right now. The thing is, this is Richard Dawkins site for crying out loud. Most notorious atheist around today. Your unlikely to get unbiased answers here. Everything will be biased. What did you expect the answers to be, coming from this site? There is a Creator? Ha! Never here. Rarely anyway. Unbiased no. Other side, yes. Its good to here the other side sometimes actually. But know, everyone is biased.

    • Your unlikely to get unbiased answers here.

      There are some subtleties here that need a little exploration and clarification. Firstly, when a person uses the word “Bias”, what they really mean is that they disagree with that view. Biased media report things you disagree with. Unbiased media conforms to your opinion.

      Secondly, the correspondent characterizes the material posted in answer to Josephs’ questions as opinion, solely the thoughts of the posters. This would be true, if the answers given were not supported by independently verifiable evidence. Origins of the universe. Big Bang. Evolution. Probability of aircraft crashes. Evidence that a god or gods exist. Evidence that prayer has no effect.

      So when weighing up “FromTheOtherSide’s” post, one needs to compare evidentiary support for the position. One has faith based assertion. There is no evidence of a god. None what so ever. A belief in a god is entirely based on faith, in the absence of evidence, or in contradiction of the evidence. The other has evidence, repeatable evidence, evidence supported by maths and observations. Evidence contained in the genome of Joseph and FromTheOtherSide. (See the LUCA story above in news)

      So in weighing the posts, and coming to rational conclusions, be opened minded as to whether the answers to Joseph were as a result of some evil bias, to corrupt the world.

      • A sad fact about humans:

        They enjoy following their wants. Blindly. Why do you like coffee? “I don’t know, it just tastes so good.” (Evidence? Humans don’t wait for evidence when it comes to pursuing their desires.)

        lets take the Mormons for example (I am not Mormon. At all.)

        Mormon: “Hm… I like coffee.”

        Creator of Mormons: “I forbid you to drink coffee.”

        Mormon: “Fine be that way. But ill have you know “Creator,” that you don’t exist. No proof.

        Mormon: “Ha! Yes! Now I can drink coffee! What’s that? Biased? I’m not biased.”

        Ok ok maybe the Mormon is right. But he/she is obviously biased toward getting that coffee. Even if it means killing their Creator.

        finally

        A Mormon being right?

        • Mormon: “Hm… I like coffee.”

          I don’t understand what you are trying to say. My post pointed out the difference between bias and evidence. I have read the material posted in response to Joseph’s questions, and on the whole, it is evidenced based. Material, supported by evidence, is by definition, not biased.

          To hold a biased view, or bigoted as Toroid says, is to hold a view that cannot be justified. That is, you hold it in the absence of evidence, or contrary to the evidence, which coincidentally, is identical to a belief in a subject on the basis of faith alone. Faith, is a bias.

  24. David R Allen Jul 18, 2014 at 9:07 pm

    …when a person uses the word “Bias”, what they really mean is that
    they disagree with that view. Biased media report things you disagree
    with. Unbiased media conforms to your opinion….

    Your comment is probably true for you but isn’t true for me.

    The dictionary states that bigotry means “utterly intolerant of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own” while bias means “a particular tendency or inclination, especially one that prevents unprejudiced consideration of a question; prejudice”. In today’s hyperbolic digital world it’s become popular to use bigoted in place of biased.

    I’m often predisposed to a POV without sufficient evidence, or a POV supported by incomplete evidence, but am aware of it. The god process, if indeed it exists, makes no representations with respect to morality but enables humans through natural processes to create their own. If OTOH, chaos is king in a reality that isn’t infinite and thus no belief rules, the process is for practical purposes identical; individual humans create values.

    YMMV!

  25. Could we please stop championing atheism. It’s a stance that doesn’t say anything about the person claiming it except that they reject the popular religious notions of god. It does not say whether they came to the conclusion through reason, or if they have alterior, often muddled reasons for their atheism. For example, I’ve heard the video girl say that she was an atheist because she cared about people. The reasoning is unsound and is only a cover for her to express her distaste for whichever religion she considers against the people.
    There is no worthy principle to champion with atheism, because as atheists are quick to point out to theists, atheism doesn’t have a code of conduct, or system of belief, or anything to say about values or critical thinking. It is a stance created solely to give merit to the theist stance.
    Let’s all get off the atheist bandwagon before it mindlessly wanders off a cliff. Let’s stake our claim in reason which is the only solid foundation to understanding the truth of the reality around us.

    • Could we please stop championing atheism.

      There is no worthy principle to champion with atheism

      As is often the case, right and wrong. These is no creed, or dogma, or document that commands us to do anything. As independent free thinkers, we can make up our own mind. So not correct, but not wrong. I don’t champion atheist. I couldn’t careless about atheism. I champion rational and critical thought.

      or anything to say about values or critical thinking.

      This one is wrong. Because there is no god, book or creed, a critical thinker who also happens to be an atheist, can have a lot to say about values. And because those thoughts come from an evidentiary examination of the issue, and not as a demand placed upon them by a deity without evidence, what critical thinkers bring to the discussion is more enlightened than a dogmatist.

      I don’t have a problem with religion. I will walk in the protest march to support peoples rights to practice whatever religion they choose. But in 2014, in the absence of any evidence, proof or even a mere hint that gods exist, religion has to realize that its time at the top table and the influence it wields is coming to an end. It has occupied that privileged position at the top table since it was invented. Religion must now line up with every other lobby group, the Greens, the capitalists, the NRA, and argue its case, present its evidence and be judged on that evidence. If the only evidence presented is, “God told me.” then it’s time to reject religious belief as a decision making paradigm in 2014.

      Hence the more militant stance of critical thinkers, who also happen to be atheists, because we are sick of the silliness, and prejudice, and down right lethal genocide preached in the name of a persons individual god. It’s time for civilized people to have a say.

      Religion, should be practiced by consenting adults in private, and no longer has a place in decision making. IMHO.

      • [Personal comments removed by moderator - please see Terms of Use.]

        Undoubtedly you feel I am wrong in my opinion. All I ask is you read back your response and judge for yourself. I will just address one of the simple lapses of critical thinking I see in your current response. You write "This one is wrong. Because there is no god, book or creed, a critical thinker who also happens to be an atheist, can have a lot to say about values." This is your rebuttal to my point, which was : Atheism has nothing to say about morals or values, instead it is the critical thinker that actually possesses the intellectual toolkit for reaching meaningful conclusions on morals or values. Atheism is simply a byproduct of a rational investigation into theism. Thus it does not prescribe a way to think or act, but rather it is the result of following a prescribed way to think, reason. The inconsistency I find in your rebuttal is that you begin by saying my point is wrong, then go on to say that a critical thinker who happens to be atheist can have something to say about values. Ofcourse a critical thinker can! That is my point! But let me ask you, why do you try to tack on "who happens to be atheist"? You imply that both the critical thinker and the atheist have unique roles in understanding morality, thus you added on "who happens to be an atheist", presumabely, you find a difference in the moral understanding amongst critical thinkers and critically thinkers who happen to be atheist. How does being an atheist by itself, lead to an understanding morality in a way that critical thinking by itself does not? What are the tenets or principles unique to atheism that cannot be found in critical thinking? Can't you see that atheism and critical thinking are two completely different concepts, and in fact atheism is the result of critical thinking. One is a process of thinking, the other is a resulting position of that process of thinking and not a process of thinking unto itself. Can't you see that you are making a meaningless statement, and trying to dance around the validity of my point. You end your first rebuttal paragraph by saying "what critical thinkers bring to the discussion is more enlightened than a dogmatist." You keep interchanging critical thinkers with atheists. This is a result of the confusing mashup of the two in your mind. Why not tack on instead, as Dawkins might suggest, "who happens to have a mustache"?

      • ” a critical thinker who also happens to be an atheist, can have a lot to say about values.”

        First, a critical thinker is by definition an atheist or else they wouldn’t be a critical thinker. As I stated before, atheism is the result of critical thinking.
        But why do you add the atheist part?

        “what critical thinkers bring to the discussion is more enlightened than a dogmatist.”

        Why do you end your rebuttal by validating critical thinkers as moral authorities instead of atheists? Wasn’t the purpose of your rebuttal to prove how I was wrong in dismissing atheists as having inherent qualities that help understand morality in the same way critical thinkers do. My whole argument gives the power to critical thinkers and not to atheists because of their distinct difference as seen in the relationship between the two.

      • I hope the following example will help you see my perspective, in case you are still unclear.

        You wrote: Because there is no god, book or creed, a critical thinker who also happens to be an atheist, can have a lot to say about values.

        Now let me replace some words to illustrate my point.

        Imagine if
        You wrote: Because there is no master fairy, magical scroll or fairy-brewed behavior elixir, a critical thinker who also happens to be an afairyiest, can have a lot to say about values.

        My point is that no rational, critical thinker should express the sentiment that you did in your rebuttal, the sentiment being that, irrational nonsense merits consideration during a rational investigation of reality.
        There is nothing productive or meaningful in the insight offered by your rebuttal.

        • Nothink.

          I’ve re-read your original post, and my response, and you subsequent triple post. I suspect, I read your original post and found things that I now know you did not intend. I read it as you saying, “Atheist can have nothing to say about values.” Possibly a choice of words. I then re-read my response, to your original post, with the knowledge of your subsequent triple post. I can see that my response post was “Possibly a poor choice of words.” because there is little I disagree with, in your triple post. So if my “poor choice of words” has upset you, then I apologize. You are clearly more an ally of critical thinking, than that of the theists.

          We are probably on the same page, but reading slightly different meanings into our chosen words.
          Pax.

  26. David R Allen Jul 20, 2014 at 1:05 am – I don’t champion atheist. I couldn’t careless about atheism. I champion rational and critical thought.

    It is sometimes part of viewing atheism as the reversed mirror image of theism, in the theist mind, that claims are made about “championing atheism”, when people who happen to be atheists, are actually championing scientific clear thinking, and debunking the damaging irrational thinking processes of “faith” and its destructive dogmas.

    I don’t have a problem with religion. I will walk in the protest march to support peoples rights to practice whatever religion they choose.

    I don’t have a problem with discussing serious topics with the religious, but I have a whole list of problems with some aspects of some religions.

    They may be free to believe whatever they choose, and to look at the world through their “faith-blinkers”, but others are free to reach evidenced conclusions that some of them need psychiatric help, or education to achieve an adult level of mental development, so they should be kept well away from political and planning processes which affect other people. Rational people, don’t leave (mentally) infants in charge of weapons systems, banking, heavy industries, or even the sweet-shop!

    http://www.atheistmemebase.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/083-Religion-of-peace.jpeg

    http://www.atheistmemebase.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/292-I-choose-to-believe-what-I-was-programmed-to-believe.jpg

  27. Hey y’all!

    The last three posts lead me to think of how most effectively to deal with opposition to “damaging irrational thinking processes of “faith” and its destructive dogmas”.

    Bill Moyers’ approach is a good place to start. Moyers explored with Joseph Campbell the underlying cultural myths behind religious philosophy but has never expressed his personal views regarding religion. He consistently interviews critical thinkers from widely differing backgrounds including religion, whose views coalesce around a common denominator of enlightened liberal views. (Such advocates typically label their opposition ‘T-Party right wing radicals’ while calling their own views ‘progressive’.) Moyers’ weekly half hour PBS interview program is a staple of liberal-progressive expression.

    Moyers and Dawkins (& their ‘companies’) have different approaches, but IMHO similiar goals. Which is more effective? Are there other ways to effectively advocate social change?

    One of the most effective strategies proposed in the Something from Nothing Youtube video was advocating for women’s rights. Because of the demographics involved, and women’s intrinsic self-intersts, that strategy may be more successful than any other in changing the world.

    Marxism gave its best shot, but ultimately failed. IMHO, Marxist socialism failed because of human ‘nature’, a non-scientific but nevertheless true (my bigotry!), component of humankind’s psychological make-up. Indeed, if humans were incorruptible creatures who practiced nothing but rational thinking, wouldn’t the most fearsome of philosophies, Hitlerism, have morphed into true ‘national’ socialism, a non-violent belief in ethnic separatism which would have encouraged, but not forced, ethnic minorities to leave with all their possessions?

  28. something scary about “evidence”

    Different people have different definitions about what is considered good evidence.

    This is because people are biased. “But I have evidence! I’m not biased!”

    “That hardly looks like evidence to me.”

    “Well it does to me.”

    “Is that so? That’s only because your so entrenched in bias that you can make whatever you want look like evidence.”

    “Your just stupid.”

    “Sorry to hear.”

    • Different people have different definitions about what is considered good evidence.

      No. Evidence is not open to human interpretation. Evidence can stand in the absence of humans. Your sentence is correct if you type,

      “Different people have different definitions about what is considered good opinion.

      This is because people are biased. “But I have evidence! I’m not biased!”

      It is test of one’s ability to apply critical thinking to an issue, to overcome and override your “Bias” that decides whether what you say has any value, other than just another opinion. You will find that the denizens of this blog do not generally fit your generalization. To believe in god is to have a “Bias” because there is no evidence to support your position. To then use your belief in god, and what you think god has told you to think, and apply it to issues where there is evidence to the contrary, is to apply your bias to an issue, that is not open to biased base opinion.

      “Is that so? That’s only because your so entrenched in bias that you can make whatever you want look like evidence.”

      This doesn’t describe a rational person. A critical thinker. It describes a person who cannot overcome their person bias, such as two religious people of different faiths. Your quote is an example of “Wish Thinking”.

      My view on any topic is guided by the evidence. If the evidence changes, I will following the evidence. I don’t hold any evidentiary view with ” because your so entrenched in bias ” type of thinking. I don’t have any passion about a topic. Passion is clearly the reserve of the theist. So in reading my posts in this forum, you hold the view that I am biased, and thus cannot be respected or right. I hope I’ve cleared up your error in thinking.

    • fromtheotherside Jul 20, 2014 at 12:21 pm

      Different people have different definitions about what is considered good evidence.

      But only science has a definition and methodology, which works reliably in the real world.

      http://theconversation.com/scientific-evidence-what-is-it-and-how-can-we-trust-it-14716

      All the other forms of alleged “evidence”, are just wishful thinking which can match random coincidences on their better days!

  29. toroid :

    Marxism gave its best shot, but ultimately failed. IMHO, Marxist socialism failed because of human ‘nature’, a non-scientific but nevertheless true (my bigotry!), component of humankind’s psychological make-up.

    Nonsense ! First find out what Marx was in favour of, and at that point, you can then dismiss the whole of “marxist” USSR, China, Cuba etc. which were never “marxist”, “socialist” or “communist”. Such places were state capitalist all the way through, with the worker even more brutally exploited than his western counterpart.

    IMO “human nature” is a very weak argument against the notion of equality in society.

    • Mr DArcy Jul 20, 2014 at 3:26 pm

      Nonsense ! First find out what Marx was in favour of, and at that
      point, you can then dismiss the whole of “marxist” USSR, China, Cuba
      etc. which were never “marxist”, “socialist” or “communist”. Such
      places were state capitalist all the way through, with the worker even
      more brutally exploited than his western counterpart.

      Marx was the philosophical theoretician (along with Engels) and died long before the USSR, People’s Republic of China, or Fidel’s Cuba came to be. Marxist-Leninism is a more accurate description of the beginning of practical Marxism as government policy before Stalinism, Maoism, and other revisions came and went. Socialism was the ideal and state capitalism was the result.

      IMO “human nature” is a very weak argument against the notion of
      equality in society.

      Equality doesn’t exist except as a notion, but a humane government should treat its citizens (and residents) as if they were indeed equal. Human nature is neither a scientific concept nor an argument, merely a colloquial convenience.

  30. So, I came back home today and I started to realize some bit of the reality I’m in.
    I’m actually sad I came back, I liked Cancun but it was crazy hot there.

    Anyways. I have a question on your opinion for the people I was talking to
    Do you think DNA proves intelligent design? Or did dna evolve itself and had to go through many many failures and recycles to evolve to such complexity?

    • Do you think DNA proves intelligent design? Or did dna evolve itself and had to go through many many failures and recycles to evolve to such complexity?

      DNA is proof that intelligent design was not involved. An intelligent designer would not have included around 7% that is actually old viral infections, that now lie dormant in our DNA. One of these viruses, actually encodes a protein exclusive to mammals, that allows nutrient to cross the mother / baby placental barrier. In other words, mammals only exist today because a millions of years old ancestor, got a cold or some such viral infection. Hardly intelligent design.

      DNA is full of complex chains, that have evolved to do one function that is no longer needed, or is now lethal or deleterious. So one piece of DNA does something which meant another piece of DNA had to evolve to correct the fault of the first bit, resulting in another piece of DNA and so on and so on. An intelligent designer would have gotten it right in the first place.

      Why is so much of DNA junk across all species. Was god doodling with his biro and not concentrating. Hardly intelligent. Why not strip the DNA down to just the thousand or so strands that actually build a human and run the day to day mechanics. And why is this error in every living creature. And why can’t our bodies make exact replicas of DNA. Why did god allow mutations that could be both lethal and an evolutionary advantage. This is only explained by evolution.

      DNA does really prove evolution. Now that we can rapidly sequence the DNA of all life. DNA from humans to bacteria, it is possible to show how evolution progressed from creature to creature. It can show when humans parted from the last common ancestor that also gave rise to the great apes. It can show the evolutionary distance between you, and a tree, or any animal on the planet.

      DNA is able to point to Last Common Universal Ancestor (LUCA). This article in Wikipedia explains the concept.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Last_universal_ancestor

      And this image shows how all life on earth evolved from this LUCA. This is proof of evolution par excellence.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Last_universal_ancestor#mediaviewer/File:Tree_of_life_SVG.svg

      Joseph. Do you have wisdom teeth still. Or have they erupted, caused you pain and had to have been extracted at great pain and expense by a dentist. What was god thinking when he gave you wisdom teeth. Is this intelligence design. Give human something that in the old days, killed people with infections and horrific pain. Or is it more proof of our evolution. If it is Intelligent design, then god gets a C Minus for his science project, namely, us. Or could it be that our evolutionary ancestors had a longer protruding jaw (australopithecus), that required more teeth, because we needed to chew mostly vegetable matter for around 6 hours a day (Chimpanzees) just to live. Now our DNA still builds these wisdom teeth, but they are no longer needed, and our jaw has evolved to our current retracted position, squeezing the wisdom teeth into the back of a now useless ancestral trait. Intelligent Design or evolution??

      Look at yourself in the mirror. There are hundreds of examples in your very own body of things that are far from being intelligently designed, but are obviously evolved features.

      A bit of homework. Research the laryngeal nerve in humans and giraffes. See if this is intelligent.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed Cancun, and that you returned OK.

      Your question is interesting precisely because you might be tempted to believe it possible that anything could ever ‘prove’ intelligent design. So let’s deal with that first. The ID argument is to point to something and say it’s ‘irreducibly complex’ therefore it could never have evolved. But this is always nothing more than an ‘argument from incredulity’ (as Richard Dawkins calls it) because there is never any way to prove that something could never have been less complex than it is now. It’s just impossible to show such a thing. The argument is no more than saying “I can’t imagine any way this could have happened naturally, so an intelligent creator must have done it”. That would be to assume the existence of a creator just because you personally couldn’t explain something and didn’t want to admit you don’t know the answer.

      But we do know a great deal about DNA. There are far more knowledgeable people here who will no doubt give you details, but I’ll highlight some things. DNA is full of apparently useless stuff – the remnants of working genes that are no longer of use (because the thing they coded for is no longer required). For instance, mammals still carry the three genes necessary to make egg yolk. But, with the exception of the platypus and echidna, mammals don’t lay eggs! The genes have been ‘switched off’ but they haven’t been removed from our DNA (natural selection cannot do that) so they just sit there in our genome. That’s just one example – there are thousands more. So why are they there? Because our reptilian ancestors laid eggs – DNA proves natural selection, not ID.

      But, on the other hand, there’s no way ID-ers can explain our having the mechanism to make egg yolk – at least I’ve never heard anyone try.

      The thinking is that DNA is itself a second- or third-generation replicator. The earliest organisms employed something else – RNA for instance – that is an adequate replicator and can ‘communicate’ with proteins (both of which are necessary). Today RNA is mainly used as the protein-communicator (DNA can’t ‘speak’ directly with proteins, so needs RNA to ‘translate’). But RNA could have done an adequate job before DNA evolved. Or maybe there was something even simpler that we haven’t found yet (or – more likely – that isn’t around anymore).

      Well, I’ve had a go at answering your question. Remember though that your personal beliefs are unlikely to depend on whether you understand the science.

    • Joseph Jul 21, 2014 at 9:01 pm

      Anyways. I have a question on your opinion for the people I was talking to
      Do you think DNA proves intelligent design? Or did dna evolve itself and had to go through many many failures and recycles to evolve to such complexity?

      DNA is thought to have evolved from simpler biochemistry.

      It is the nature of genes to mutate and certain levels of mutation are either too slow for competitive development, or too disruptive for survival. There are beneficial rates of mutation to aid adaptation and survival.

      Natural selection of more competitive, or more successful survivors, from the millions of offspring many organisms produce, does reject the many failed variations. (Think of the millions of spores or seeds some fungi, ferns, or trees produce, with only one or two survivors growing to maturity.
      The vast majority of species which have ever existed, have gone extinct from being out-competed by newly evolving competitors or predators, or they have died out when unable to adapt to changing environmental conditions.

  31. Do you think DNA proves intelligent design? Or did dna evolve itself and had to go through many many failures and recycles to evolve to such complexity?

    DNA is proof that intelligent design was not involved. An intelligent designer would not have included around 7% that is actually old viral infections, that now lie dormant in our DNA. One of these viruses, actually encodes a protein exclusive to mammals, that allows nutrient to cross the mother / baby placental barrier. In other words, mammals only exist today because a millions of years old ancestor, got a cold or some such viral infection. Hardly intelligent design.

    DNA is full of complex chains, that have evolved to do one function that is no longer needed, or is now lethal or deleterious. So one piece of DNA does something which meant another piece of DNA had to evolve to correct the fault of the first bit, resulting in another piece of DNA and so on and so on. An intelligent designer would have gotten it right in the first place.

    Why is so much of DNA junk across all species. Was god doodling with his biro and not concentrating. Hardly intelligent. Why not strip the DNA down to just the thousand or so strands that actually build a human and run the day to day mechanics. And why is this error in every living creature. And why can’t our bodies make exact replicas of DNA. Why did god allow mutations that could be both lethal and an evolutionary advantage. This is only explained by evolution.

    DNA does really prove evolution. Now that we can rapidly sequence the DNA of all life. DNA from humans to bacteria, it is possible to show how evolution progressed from creature to creature. It can show when humans parted from the last common ancestor that also gave rise to the great apes. It can show the evolutionary distance between you, and a tree, or any animal on the planet.

    DNA is able to point to Last Common Universal Ancestor (LUCA). This article in Wikipedia explains the concept.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Last_universal_ancestor

    And this image shows how all life on earth evolved from this LUCA. This is proof of evolution par excellence.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Last_universal_ancestor#mediaviewer/File:Tree_of_life_SVG.svg

    Joseph. Do you have wisdom teeth still. Or have they erupted, caused you pain and had to have been extracted at great pain and expense by a dentist. What was god thinking when he gave you wisdom teeth. Is this intelligence design. Give human something that in the old days, killed people with infections and horrific pain. Or is it more proof of our evolution. If it is Intelligent design, then god gets a C Minus for his science project, namely, us. Or could it be that our evolutionary ancestors had a longer protruding jaw (australopithecus), that required more teeth, because we needed to chew mostly vegetable matter for around 6 hours a day (Chimpanzees) just to live. Now our DNA still builds these wisdom teeth, but they are no longer needed, and our jaw has evolved to our current retracted position, squeezing the wisdom teeth into the back of a now useless ancestral trait. Intelligent Design or evolution??

    Look at yourself in the mirror. There are hundreds of examples in your very own body of things that are far from being intelligently designed, but are obviously evolved features.

    A bit of homework. Research the laryngeal nerve in humans and giraffes. See if this is intelligent.

  32. I endorse Pabmusic’s comments.

    Another wonderful example of why our DNA is evolved, and not intelligently designed is that it contains very ancient dormant viruses. Wikipedia explains this here.

    They are abundant in the genomes of jawed vertebrates and they occupy as much as 4.9% of the human genome.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endogenous_retrovirus

    I’ve recently listened to a science program that examined the proteins that allowed the mother / child placental barrier to be navigated and nourish the foetus and yet prevent the mothers immune system from crossing the barrier, and killing the baby. It turns out this protein comes from one of the very ancient retro viruses present in our DNA. The consequences of this are astounding.

    Around 60 million years ago, our ancestor got a cold, or was infected by a virus that then became resident in our DNA. As a result of that, the entire mammalian line was able to evolved, and you are now here to read this Joseph. That sir, is evolution at its finest.

    Another stunning example like Pabmusic’s egg producing DNA is the supernumerary nipple. Check out a female dog. It has a line of nipples from chest to crutch. Multiple puppies need feeding. Humans still have the DNA sequence that does this, and very occasionally a human develops extra nipples along this milk line. See here.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supernumerary_nipple

    And while we are on the subject of nipples, if intelligent design was so intelligent, why do men have nipples?

    The laryngeal nerve in a Giraffe travels 4.6 metres, from the head of the giraffe, down to the neck to the chest, around the heart and back up the neck to the larynx. Why. Intelligent design? So does your laryngeal nerve. Why not go straight from the spine to the larynx? Evolution. That’ why.

    The extreme detour of the recurrent laryngeal nerves, about 4.6 metres (15 ft) in the case of giraffes,[26]:74–75 is cited as evidence of evolution. The nerve’s route would have been direct in the fish-like ancestors of modern tetrapods, traveling from the brain, past the heart, to the gills (as it does in modern fish). Over the course of evolution, as the neck extended and the heart became lower in the body, the laryngeal nerve was caught on the wrong side of the heart. Natural selection gradually lengthened the nerve by tiny increments to accommodate, resulting in the circuitous route now observed.

    One cannot claim Intelligent Design, if the designs are so unintelligent.

    Richard Dawkins has written an excellent book on this subject, The Greatest Show on Earth, and it will answer all your questions about DNA and the claims of Intelligent Design.

    p.s. Start keeping a diary to document your progress and write a best seller.

  33. Wow, amazing.
    Guess what? I went to borrow Richard Dawkins’ book but it was misplaced and wasn’t able to find it.
    I got God is not Great How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens instead.

    Also, when I do make my best seller, I will give you some profit :)

    • God is Not Great is a good read, which highlights many things that most of us (I think) find unpleasant about religion. Don’t confuse it, though, with factual stuff about biology or evolution. For that, find the Dawkins book you tried to get, or Jerry Coyne’s Why Evolution is True.

    • That’s a really good question Joseph. I’m tempted to simply say that the instruction manual that is the DNA informs the cell but I suspect you already know that and want to know more? How precisely does this happen? Am I right? No doubt an expert in the field will pop up shortly and give you a detailed explanation in words that are easily understood. Unfortunately I am not that expert, but I applaud the question.

      This is how I always thought about topics related to Christianity. I wanted to know ( in detail) how this was supposed to work! Was one expected to go straight to heaven after dying? Was there a waiting period? What age would you be? What age would your parents be? How about your children at their time of death. So many questions, so few answers! Then come questions specifically relating to Catholics. I failed to understand why anyone would pray to a saint instead of going directly to the big guy himself. Were they acting in a considerate manner to save overwork?

      Keep up the questions!

    • Here’s a link to a Youtube video of a flock of starlings in England (I’ve watched this sort of thing many times during the winter):

      You might ask “how do the birds know what to do? God must be making it happen”. But of course it’s not some divine choreographer, but actually lots of very small actions performed at local level. Each bird carries simple (evolved) ‘instructions’ like “when the bird next to you turns, you turn” – it’s rather like a Mexican wave you see at a sports stadium. Here’s another link to a site that explains the science:

      http://www.wired.com/2011/11/starling-flock/

      Richard Dawkins uses the example of starling ‘murmurations’ in The Greatest Show On Earth to illustrate how minute forces with simple, local rules acting only locally accumulate to produce (for instance) an animal. He also explains how such a thing would be written as a computer programme – by writing simple rules that apply to one pixel or small group of pixels and then copying the same rule everywhere.

      Now, I think that’s all more wonderful than believing an invisible being is controlling it all.

      • Here’s a link to a Youtube video of a flock of starlings in England

        Beautiful stuff Pabmusic. Better than any god could do.

        On a similar theme, left handedness may arise from similar activities in our distant past. In a shoal of fish, that move in similar ways to the starlings, if every fish moved with the same pattern a predator may gain some advantage through prediction. But if 10% of the fish turned left, while 90% turned right, then an element of unpredictability comes into the movement of the shoal. It is thought this may confuse predators and give fish shoals with such divergence, a better survival chance. Large flocks of prey animals in herds also exhibit this behaviour. The article goes on to speculate that left handedness in humans is a throw back to this type of behaviour.

        I wonder if a percentage of the starlings “Turn Left” in the flock.

  34. I will look into that.
    There still is some fear behind me but you know, I’ve been praying to God saying if I am wrong about what I’m researching about evolution and biology, please don’t let me be misguided and show and reveal your true self or show me a sign in which I’m studying it wrong and no answers yet and I’m getting tired you know. Kind of more reasonable to look at hard supported evidence. Evolution did happen and it’s slowly time for me to take closer steps to overcoming fear.
    God would have given me a sign if I’m wrong but none yet.

  35. God would have given me a sign if I’m wrong but none yet.

    He either doesn’t exist, or he’s busy running a universe, or he doesn’t care. Either way, you can feel perfectly safe using your brain in anyway you want, as long as you do no harm. There is not one instance of anyone, ever being zapped by god. So the probability of a supernatural being, that breaches the laws of physics, deciding to choose you as an example to humanity, with a world full of bad guys, is so small as to be zero.

    Read on McDuff.

  36. But what is he doing currently, running the universe? Watching planets orbit around suns? It’s kind of hard to grasp there is a God and all before his creation he suddenly said that I’m going to make the universe.
    Unless, it’s not the biblical God and it’s a God we have no evidence for but why would a God do such a thing and not show evidence that God did it

    • Unless, it’s not the biblical God and it’s a God we have no evidence for but why would a God do such a thing and not show evidence that God did it.

      The alleged presence of gods and their creations (souls etc.) is like the refuted Phlogiston Theory of Heat.
      Once the scientists developed the tools to accurately weigh the substances, the weight including the alleged phlogiston, was exactly the same as the weight after it had allegedly been extracted. – telling everyone that the weight of phlogiston (like gods) = zero and does not exist!

    • Joseph Jul 25, 2014 at 12:18 am

      Unless, it’s not the biblical God and it’s a God we have no evidence for but why would a God do such a thing and not show evidence that God did it

      The biblical god was some bearded old chieftain fellow sitting on a cloud watching angels dance on the Celestial Spheres which surrounded the Flat Earth!
      As there were no aircraft or space-craft in those days, this sky-god hidden in gaps in human knowledge was credible to the people of ancient times.

      It’s kind of hard to grasp there is a God and all before his creation he suddenly said that I’m going to make the universe.

      As astronomy has progressed, the imaginary god has been hidden further away in space and in time, as earlier claims were refuted by science, but deluded human egos still wishfully want to to think they are at they centre of the universe and its main feature!

      (You can’ even see the Earth from the other side of our star cluster, let alone from the other side of our galaxy, or from the billions of other galaxies.)

      But what is he doing currently, running the universe? Watching planets orbit around suns?

      Stars, planets, and galaxies, run on nuclear physics and gravity. They don’t need anyone driving them.

    • Jospeh. Bookmark this site. Visit it when you wish and read whatever takes your fancy. It’s a fairly representative sample of what is happening in science around the world, written to be understandable to the average Joe (Chortle chortle)

      http://www.newscientist.com/

      For example. Here is an article that has discovered that one virus might be the ring master controlling the gut bacteria of most of the world’s population, something that could only have come about if evolution is true.

      http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn25954-the-superabundant-virus-controlling-your-gut-bacteria.html#.U9L06ECc75w

      Enjoy.

  37. Unless, it’s not the biblical God and it’s a God we have no evidence for but why would a God do such a thing and not show evidence that God did it.

    Because, there isn’t a god. A god is not necessary to explain things. God only adds an unnecessary complication to a simple answer.

  38. Will do sir.
    I’ve noticed how, if evolution is true, which it is so supported by hard evidence, so many people stop hearing what you say as soon as you say the word evolution. They say no, I’m not a monkey the words get twisted around for people to say I’m not a monkey, or an ape.
    Even today with my friend, I kind of found him arrogant talking about how HIV came from a woman having sex with a monkey who had HIV. I said my case with the hunt for chimpanzee meat which then someone had cut themselves and as I got home, I sent him the research. Same applies to evolution. Like listen to what I have to say, your not 100% right! just like how you were not just now about the HIV situation.

    If I am wrong, someone please inform me. I would rather be corrected than carry on false interpretations like how people think evolution was by man having sex with a monkey while it was a common ancestor we shared with them.

  39. If I am wrong, someone please inform me. I would rather be corrected than carry on false interpretations like how people think evolution was by man having sex with a monkey while it was a common ancestor we shared with them.

    You are right on both counts. HIV comes from people eating bush meat infected with HIV. HIV has been in Chimps for a very long time. He’s your scientific reference. It’s all in here.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_HIV/AIDS

    And you are right again. There is a common ancestor of the great apes and humans. Humans and their ancestors diverged from the apes around 8 millions years ago +/-. Since then, we have evolved in our separate ways. We are not descendants of apes. We just have a common origin. You will find people who don’t believe in evolution constantly through this one up. Wrong in science. Wrong in logic. Here is some references on this common ancestor.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimpanzee%E2%80%93human_last_common_ancestor

    Another golden oldie you may get from people like Ken Ham, is “No one has ever seen a Fronkey. A frog mated with a donkey.” Wrong in science, because they can’t interbreed. Wrong in logic. And just plain stupid. But, and this is the thing with evolution. If you go back far enough, you will find an ancestor that was common to both.

  40. Of course! Sometimes though, when looking out, in a normal point of view, you think all this must have hands cause, a creator. Have you ever had that feeling? Then again, it’s also hard for me to imagine God and what he was doing and then just decided to make a universe and make human body parts, the eye, arms, legs. My parents are more secular than me and my Dad once said he finds it hard that God made us with his hand out of dust, like the eye.

    • @Joseph

      . My parents are more secular than me and my Dad once said he finds it hard that God made us with his hand out of dust, like the eye.

      Did I read this correctly? If your parents are not responsible for your fear-inducing sense of religion, from whence does it come? Have your views been fostered at school or by friends? I find it hard to believe that someone like yourself does not come from a very strict, religious background.

      With your parents on board it should be easier to break free. I think I’d be discussing these apprehensions with them rather than with us. They know everything about you; your temperament, your abilities, the lot. It seems that your father is a wise man. I’d initiate discussions with him if I were in your shoes.

      • Well, they do believe and all but the more fear is within myself. I wasn’t too religious and one day there was this woman passing out little books on Jesus Christ. I read it and slowly went from there about prayer, sin, will God forgive me? Still, I was still not too religious, I’d pray as a kid a little more. Wasn’t until recently, I kind of got this fear.

  41. Joseph Jul 26, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    Then again, it’s also hard for me to imagine God and what he was doing and then just decided to make a universe and make human body parts, the eye, arms, legs. My parents are more secular than me and my Dad once said he finds it hard that God made us with his hand out of dust, like the eye.

    Th complexity of some eyes is a favourite with creationists who have no understanding of biology.

    Eyes have evolved many times:- from insects with compound eyes, – spiders with many eyes and often more than on type on the same spider, and Molluscs (snails, shellfish Octopus etc)
    Molluscs are interesting because they have a whole range of eyes which demonstrate the evolution of complexity in modern species, – from simple light detecting spots, pin-hole cameras, to the complex well focussed colour vision of the Octopus. There is a diagram on this link showing the stages of eye evolution.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_the_eye

    It does not take much understanding of animals to see that in light, blind animals are more likely to be eaten by predators while animals with very good sight are more likely to escape and breed offspring like themselves.

  42. Guys, I’m still shaving this voice in my head telling me what if all this evolution and studies are wrong? Or what if atheists are wrong? Why, is it because of my fear? I’ve been so used to the idea that there was a God my whole life and now as I gaze out and look at everything the way it is, I’m surprised on how this arose from what physicists say “nothing”. Then again, it’s hard for me to comprehend a God out in the sky and it’s also hard for me to comprehend why and how our physical world and reality is like this,

    • Joseph Jul 28, 2014 at 7:30 pm

      Guys, I’m still shaving this voice in my head telling me what if all this evolution and studies are wrong?

      First of all you need to separate your studies of astronomical evolution of the universe, galaxies, stars and planets

      http://astroclock2010.wordpress.com/cosmic-timeline-17/

      which is millions of years earlier than biological evolution on Earth,

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_evolution

      Both are complex subjects, so mixing them up won’t help.

      Or what if atheists are wrong? Why, is it because of my fear? I’ve been so used to the idea that there was a God my whole life

      Religions indoctrinate fear to frighten participants into clinging to irrational beliefs.

      and now as I gaze out and look at everything the way it is, I’m surprised on how this arose from what physicists say “nothing”.

      I would leave the quantum physics of “nothing” of physicists, and the “God made it from nothing”, of popes alone.
      You could look at the physics of the big bang but understanding it would need a lot of work!

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphical_timeline_of_the_Big_Bang

      Reality is complicated!

    • I think you’ve answered your own question, Joseph. You’ve been used to one idea all your life. You’re now questioning it. That is bound to be difficult, and I’m sure we all sympathise with the situation you’re in.

      One piece of advice: don’t take it so fast that you get confused. You really don’t have to know the precise answers to all the very deep questions you raise – you can have a fulfilling life without them. Humans are very curious creatures (no doubt curiosity and wariness were useful traits on the savannah of Africa, when food and danger could be anywhere),. So we evolved to feel uncomfortable with the unknown. We are gaining knowledge all the time of the universe and everything else, and if you can keep an open mind (or, even better, a questioning mind) you will be able to follow things and understand something of reality. Another approach would be to stick your fingers in your ears, shut your eyes and recite Genesis – but I don’t think that’s you, or you wouldn’t be here showing such enthusiasm for knowledge.

      There’s a good website for advice (they have a Facebook page): http://recoveringfromreligion.org. I’m not really sure it’s necessary beyond helping you overcome the guilt feelings. I was never a believer so I haven’t had to face this, but good luck and take things slowly.

  43. Joseph,
    Glad to see you are back, and unscathed. The voice in your head is an echo from your past. It is highly understandable that it is still there, considering the pressure that you were subjected to to put it there.

    Honestly, don’t worry about it. It will most likely fade in time, as it has for many others you will meet here, not including myself, I am fortunate in that I came from a secular home and was never given this baggage to carry around.

    Question everything you read about evolution, and listen to the answers. It is pretty much rock solid, and can tolerate rational questioning, something by the way, that religion cannot, what with talking snakes and so forth. Every bit of evidence of the reality of evolution will help turn the voice in your head into a whisper from the past.

    Also, understanding evolution does not by itself remove God from belief. That is a construct of the loonier religions in, particularly, the USA. Even the Pope accepts evolution.

    The questioning of the existence of God is a different path. Evolution will probably ultimately lead you down it, but that is not a foregone conclusion.

    As to the “something from nothing” issue, it is a big one for sure. The first thing to accept is the limit of our brains. Infinity is a concept we simply cannot comprehend, although we can make up a word for it. Time, in the sense of what does billions of years mean, is also beyond the comprehending power of our brains. Yes we can use mathematics as tool to deal with it, but I doubt that any astronomer can truly “comprehend” the distances and times that he chats glibly about, and works with.

    Something from nothing in terms of life is still not answered, but this does not mean “God did it,” and we are actually getting very close to the very simple, very remarkable, actual chemical beginning.

    Something from nothing in the cosmological sense we may never know, although again, we are drilling further and further back. Again, this does not mean that God did it, and to be brutally honest, it does not mean that he/she/it did not do it either.

    But, the big problem here is that the universe is a very big, and very complicated place. This implies that the God that did it is also very big and very complicated, not to mention his worrying habit of obsessing non stop about what billions of humans think and do, especially with their clothes off.

    So God too had to start somewhere. How? Created by something even bigger and more complicated. It becomes more and more unlikely until it is simply absurd and utterly improbable.

    Keep questioning, and did you get a chance to get to Isla Mujeres? Apart from the everything else, at the bottom of the island is the worlds oldest known existing lighthouse, made long before Columbus arrived, and proof yet again that we are not the first clever people on the planet!

  44. No actually, I didn’t. There was so much to do and I really miss it there.
    Course I don’t miss the couple of pounds I’ve gained and have been trying to get back in shape haha. Everything there is great except for the weather and the airport. We bought 4 tequilas and they didn’t see the other bag and took the 2 home and they also didn’t let sunscreen. Seriously.

    Anyways, I’ve realized that maybe nature and reality is like this, I mean yeah our Earth is suitable for life but the universe is so dangerous, looking at possibilities of meteors coming any second toward Earth.
    I also can’t imagine what God was doing before he created everything. Was Gld just lying around all bored and then decides he’s gonna create everything. What do you think?
    Is the nature we see not so pretty at all? Is it destructive outside of Earth?

  45. I just read a good point on the story of the woman who had committed adultery in the Gospel of John and according to Bart Ehrman, this story was not included in other manuscripts of the Gospel of John. Have I understood this correctly? That shows so much.
    Also, during the time, man would be with woman when both have committed adultery to be stoned to death.
    Why was only the woman alone?

    • @Joseph

      Do you mean the ‘cast the first stone’ reference ? My understanding is that the question was put forth as a hypothetical. You know, ‘ what would you do in such a case?’ It does illustrate the point, however . Women were judged more harshly in both theory and practice.
      Have you come to any conclusions, or a you still sorting it out?

  46. @Nitya

    I’m meaning the stoning to the woman who committed adultery.
    It seems that the Bible really discriminates woman, showing how either God made women for men but that’s not fair for women (where is the mercy for the women) or man made it for their advantage.

  47. Hey, someone recently told me to look up the laryngeal nerve in giraffes. I understand that it is completely useless to be so long as it can be just connected from the brain to the larynx. However, what if it has other uses? What would an evolutionist say to this question?

    • The recurrent laryngeal nerve is a feature of all mammals (maybe of all creatures that evolved from bony fish – mammals, birds, reptiles – but I’m not sure). In our fishy ancestor it was the nerve that accompanied the 6th brachial arch (part of the gill structure). Each brachial arch is supplied by a separate artery and nerve.

      By the time our ancestor moved to the land it had developed a neck (fish don’t have necks) and lungs. There are fish with primitive lungs as well as gills today – and they can move onto land; some can even climb trees.

      This all meant a slow reorganisation of the body. The gills were no longer useful, so much of their structure was adapted for other purposes. This is very typical of how natural selection works – it can’t ‘create’ anything from scratch, but can only adapt what is there. In the process, the 6th brachial nerve and 6th brachial artery became separated, performing different functions in unrelated parts of the body.

      The artery stayed low in the body (below the heart) but the brain (one end of the nerve) grew to be further away. This would not have been a problem if the positioning of the artery and nerve had been different when they were in the fish, but the nerve was situated behind the artery and could not be freed. Have you ever tried to untangle a handful of audio cables? Now imagine you have to untangle them without unplugging anything – and you eventually find that two cables remain tangled. But natural selection cannot unplug anything, so the nerve (which in mammals connects the larynx to the brain) had to grow longer than was necessary.

      In mammals the recurrent laryngeal nerve leaves the brain, passes the larynx (its destination) goes deep into the chest below the heart, loops around an artery and goes back up to attach to the larynx.

      In humans that’s a journey of about 3′ rather than less than 1′. In a giraffe it’s a detour of some 17′. This is not ‘good design’.

      Could there be a useful new function for the extra-long nerve? No (I’m pretty sure we can be confident of this) because the nerve remains attached to its original organs – it’s not powering anything else as well; nothing else taps into the nerve. In fact, it’s more vulnerable than it needs to be because it’s so much longer.

      The recurrent laryngeal nerve, by the way, assists with swallowing and with voice production. If someone receives a heavy blow to the chest (say, in a road traffic accident) they often can’t speak easily for some time – that’s because the nerve controlling the larynx has such a pointless diversion into the chest.

      Our bodies are full of things like this that are explicable only by evolution. Nipples on men, for example.

      • What would you say to do that?

        It’s time Joseph for you to answer your own question. What does Pabmusic’s explanation tell you about evolution compared with intelligent design by a perfect being. You’ve been asking questions and you have had the benefit of some of the most articulate proponents of rational thinking available online.

        So it is exam time Joseph. You now need to start pondering answers to you own questions. Post them up. I’m sure the denizens of this forum will offer constructive criticism. P.S. What time zone are you in. Cancun means you should be asleep.

        • Yeah you’re right. If God is said to be so intelligent, it does not appear so in human beings due to several reasons with us having tailbones, our eyes accepting images upside down or something like that, nipples on men.

          Some people say vestigial organs have uses now but I don’t know if that is a creationist lie or no so I have to research deeper into it.

          I arrived from Cancun on the 21st my friend, a while back haha.

          • Some vestigial organs have new uses now. That is something natural selection can do. The appendix is an example. It is (in primates such as humans) the remains of a second digestive chamber (‘stomach’ if you like) that presumably was important in a herbiverous ancestor. Natural selection co-opted it to be a ‘reservoir’ for the immune system, in which (if you like) cavalry reserves wait until they’re called upon. (It’s rather more complicated than this in reality.) But there are thousands of such immune system ‘reservoirs’ dotted around the body. Therefore, an infected appendix can be removed without any real detriment to the creature. Appendicitis afflicts about 15% of the population of the developed world. Without removal, those creatures would die. No choice.

            The fact that a subsequent identity can be useful does not mask the fact that the original identity can be deadly.

            An example of one thing becoming useful in a new context may be the birds’ wing. It seems very likely that feathers were useful to dinosaurs for warmth before they ever became co-opted for flight. No doubt they then aided gliding to the ground (from an overnight perch in a tree?) and then actual flight.

            Here’s a good example of very bad design. The prostate gland. It is the gland that makes seminal fluid (the fluid in which semen can live). Obviously it is only found in males, but it is actually adapted from parts of the female reproductive system (females are the default type, not males).

            The problem is that the urethra (the tube that drains urine) passes through the prostate gland. This is because the prostate gland developed from the walls of the urethra. And the prostate gland is prone to enlarging in later age – but the urethra is a collapsible tube! Can you see the problem?

          • I have a painful lower back. It is because we are designed to walk on all fours like a Chimp, and carry our stomach and guts in a sack hanging off our spine. We became bipedal and walked upright. While this had advantages, it hasn’t allowed time for the spine to adapt to the new posture, which means that almost the entire weight of the body now rests on Lumbar 4 and 5 and Sciatic 1 joints crushing the daylights out of my discs. And because this defect in our design is not an issue that affects the passing on of our genes, and so we will not evolve a solution. This, is not intelligent design. This is a pain in the backside….

            Just think for a second about how you would design an eye. Think of a camera. A lens to focus an image on a CCD cell. The receptive surface of the CCD cell is the surface at the focal plane of the lens. Behind this surface, the electronics take the signals away and process them to produce the image.

            So god comes along and designs our perfect eye. He must have been having an off day, because he put the “Receptive Surface” of the retina is at the back, while the blood vessels and the nerves (wiring) are in front, where the image is formed. He built it backwards. Our brain then has to unscramble this signal and trick us with the image it produces. If you think what you are actually seeing is what the eye sees, you are wrong. Your brain tricks you by filling in gaps and smoothing over errors.

            Joseph. Your body is a walking example of either very poor and unintelligent design by a god, or the result of evolution over time with structures built on structures and changing functions over time, as Pabmusic illustrated.

            Thank god for the edit function (Tongue in cheek) I forgot to mention the blind spot. Near the centre of the eye, where the optic nerve goes through the retina because it has been built backwards, there is a spot where there are no Rods or Cones receptors and you are blind at that spot. You are not aware of this blind spot because your brain Photoshops the images you think you see.

    • Joseph Aug 4, 2014 at 5:15 pm

      Hey, someone recently told me to look up the laryngeal nerve in giraffes. I understand that it is completely useless to be so long as it can be just connected from the brain to the larynx. However, what if it has other uses? What would an evolutionist say to this question?

      As Pabmusic has explained, areas around the jaw, voice and ears in mammals are evolved from the gills of our fish ancestors.

      The point which has been made by Richard Dawkins, is that in the giraffe, the nerve from the brain goes all the way down the neck, around one of the main arteries of the heart, and back up the neck to the voice box.

      It’s like having the wiring for a light going from the ceiling, down 6 floors to the basement, around the back of the central heating pump, and then back up 6 floors again to light bulb that’s just under the electric point in the ceiling!

      The nerve was already there before the animals evolved a neck, and it simply evolved to grew longer as the neck grow longer. In a giraffe – very much longer!
      No “intelligent” designer would design wiring as badly as that!

  48. David R Allen touches on another problem that is familiar to those who, like me, are martyrs to sinusitis. Here the problem is that the drain is at the top of tank. Exactly where no competent designer would even think of putting it. Would you put the drain of your bath at the top of the tub, requiring you to stand the tub up to empty it?

    It is another remnant of when we walked on all fours, and, if you do walk on all fours, your sinuses will drain properly. As they do when you are asleep and lying down, which is why you blow your nose (most people do, anyway) when you get up.

    From an evolutionary point of view, this does not seem to make enough difference to our survival for evolution to have kicked in, maybe there are already some people with sinuses that drain a little better, and maybe they pass on their genes a little more. My point is that not all of evolution is a big, “suddenly we can fly” sort of change, not all of it is dramatic, or even really noticeable.

    Now lets talk about the so called intelligent designer, who after providing a spare testicle, a spare kidney, and a bunch of other duplications, puts an electrically regulated two stage diaphragm pump (your heart) on an essential service with out providing a backup.

    The best argument against intelligent design, the simplest to comprehend, anyway, is that it is not the least bit intelligent.

  49. familiar to those who, like me, are martyrs to sinusitis.

    I hear you brother (or sister). Achoo.

    When the grasses decide to have sex and set off my hay fever, I take the Lord thy god’s name in vain. Sorry. But there it is. What was he thinking when he decide to hide a couple of huge balloons below my eyes and pump them up everyday. Put the plugs where gravity can do its work.

    Not happy Jan. (Australian Expression)

  50. That does make sense though, day by day seeing its not intelligent design. Clearly, we evolved and we’re not created by God in our present form like how it says in the Bible or whatever other books there are.

    Also, I’m sorry to break the subject but I was wondering if anybody here uses reverse osmosis water treatment systems, the systems that people put under their sinks in the Kitchen to get clean water, I have a few filters that are from KX Technologies :: The Science Behind Better Water in USA for those home systems and I don’t wanna take it the wrong way but if by chance, you guys need to change the filters, feel free to let me know since I can give it to you guys for an affordable price as appreciation of helping me out.

    Maybe you buy it for expensive from somewhere else you know

  51. Joseph, always happy to help, cobber, (another Australian expression, a little dated but but still heard, David, in Hobart.) You are possibly going to need it in the not too distant future as the scales fall from your eyes, and you start telling your theist companions that you are having nagging doubts about whether the whole “god thing” is actually BS.

    Dare to mention things like eyes, wings, giraffes, and sinus passages and you will be lambasted from directions you never suspected. The best advice is to have all the facts to hand and understand that they will make absolutely no difference whatsoever to the zealots, who will believe, no matter what. But having a sound factual base will open your own eyes wider to the ignorance in which religion wallows, and which has no factual base at all. None, Nada, Zero, Zip.

    At that point, sadly, you will also start to see just how unloving and uncharitable and controlling and generally unchristian a Christian community can be. Just thank your lucky stars it is not Islam from which you are trying to escape. They will cut your head off if they can.

    And sorry, Joseph, we live on a yacht and don’t need holy moses filters as they are known in the marine world, but thanks for the thought.

  52. Hey guys. I am on the threshold of changing my beliefs. The thing is, I’ve reached a wall.

    If, we did share a common ancestor with a chimp or what ever the animal, and changed into a new species as we are homo sapiens, what is the point of this universe? Like, what if we’re wrong about all this, which I highly doubt but always hear this voice in my head.

    Well, what if religious people are wrong. What if, according to physics, there was never nothing and we soon understand the true nature of matter & anti-matter. It’s so hard thinking that nature would be all like this, I’m just amazed at why nature would be like this, do you?

    Then again, I find it hard to believe what God was doing before God created everything. Was he lying down, bored? Any suggestions?

    • Joseph,

      Don’t worry and don’t rush.

      First, people cannot choose to believe one thing over another. You either accept something as probably true or you don’t. You might go through a period of trying to reconcile the religious culture you have been brought up in with things you are now discovering – that’s OK, and thousands of people manage to do this – but you can never be honest and still say “Well, I think X is right, but it scares me, so I’ll believe Y”. That would amount to sticking your fingers in your ears and shutting your eyes tight.

      From the many posts you’ve published, it does seem that you have begun to understand some of the science. That has probably caused you to question the beliefs you have been raised with (especially if those beliefs have depended on a literal interpretation of the bible). But the two aren’t necessarily linked by a sort of philosophical umbilical cord – accept the science, lose your religion! – since there are very many science professional who are also religious.

      Of course, you might abandon religion altogether, but I’d suggest that that’s something only you can decide – and you will know if and when that has happened. But I think it’s something you’ll know only in hindsight and not appreciate at the time. So talk of “What if I’m wrong?” might not be very useful at all.

      Here’s a beautiful film produced by The Thinking Atheist (Seth Anrews, who used to be a Christian radio host). It’s called “Afterlife” and deals well with the ideas of ‘purpose’ in our lives. I’d also strongly recommend Richard Dawkins’ book Unweaving the Rainbow, which tackles the same things – you atheists must lead such miserable lives with no purpose to anything.

  53. Joseph,
    Pabmusic above made anything much else that I could say simply repetition. One small point is that as the scales slip further and further from your eyes there can be a very negative reaction to the hogwash to which you have been subjected.

    Remember your own path out of the mental jail that is religion, and try to be gentle with those whose minds are still locked. Fanatic Christians, fanatic communists, and, yes, fanatic atheists, and in fact fanatic anythings are pretty hard to be around. Go easy on the others.

    You mentioned earlier that your father was not religious. Take him into your confidence about what is going on with your beliefs. I suspect you will find him to be a greater friend and companion now, than simply being just your dad.

    Have fun, there is a marvelous world of reality waiting for you!

    • I’ve been praying and praying for a sign of faith or something but nothing yet and you know, maybe there is no magical being up in the air

      Isn’t it time to fly solo. You’ve had access to some of the most rational, intelligent and polite people on the planet. I would like to see your next post indicate that you are grabbing your religion by the horns and confronting it. Time for Joseph to stand up.

      Forgive me Joseph for what I am about to ask and if I am wrong. I’m sorry, but I got paid for over 30 years to be very, very suspicious. Even of god. I can’t shake the habit. I worry at times with the repetitive nature of your questions, whether you may be a religious person, just fooling with us evil atheists, to see what they will write. A bit of a laugh. It has happened before. Poke the atheists with a stick and hear them squeal. This discussion has been going on for a while now, which is why I would encourage you to give us some indication that we are not wasting our time, and being made to look fools.

      30 years of brain training is a bit hard to loose. Sorry.

      • I have to say that there’s been a a (small) echo of David’s thoughts in my own head for some time. But because I’m an atheist, I trust people and don’t expect them to lie.

        If you are genuine, you have good advice – think about it. If you are not genuine, … well I won’t finish the sentence since that would reduce me to the level of troll.

  54. Chuckle, I think that you already know the answer to that “maybe.” But, I know that does not make it easy. “Easy” would be to mentally roll over and ignore what you are coming to realize to be true and keep on believing, with no foundation at all, in fairies.

    If the praying is not working, accept the results, and look for truth and support in other places. You will, I am sure, and maybe through this website, find a support group or similiar near you for yourself and others at the same crossroads.

  55. Joseph:

    I’ve been praying and praying for a sign of faith or something but nothing yet and you know, maybe there is no magical being up in the air

    George Carlin had a thing or two to say about praying. Although the first 5 minutes is hilarious, skip to about 5.30 regards praying if you wish.

    A wee bit of humour never hurt anyone except the narrow minded.

  56. Yeah, I know I’ve been annoying with this but I look up to you guys as a support in times when I have questions that you possibly may answer which can take God out of it.
    I, to be honest, feel uncomfortable when something involves God, like seeing someone converted and all because maybe I just want to be FREE.
    So, when I ask for answers on evolution and such, you guys help me out.

    Heck if I was trying to laugh at you guys, I would have already written down a few Bible Verses and screamed blasphemy and close the page lol.

    It’s good talking to people that are more educated and are well awarded of the subject and so I sometimes have questions you know.

    • @Joseph
      I decided that you were pulling our leg quite a while back. All that praying for a sign?? Give me strength. If you were not going to put it to the test at some stage it had to be a ruse. At 16 I would have tried it on for size ( I think).
      It was not in vain to my thinking. Other young people with a few doubts may have followed your comments. Even if you were not swayed by the explanations given to your scientific questions, others reading may have followed the links and watched the videos….an excellent selection by the way.
      So perhaps you were the sacrificial lamb for the edification of other onlookers.
      Sorry if my cynicism is unjustified but you’re a big boy now.

      • I have constantly been looking to all this science and trying to add God in it since I was small and I kept on trying to change my viewpoint firmly by asking questions, and yes, some might have been silly. I sometimes do think what if evolution is wrong and it’s not, I keep on having that thought due to many things so yeah I was being an annoyance with these pointless questions BUT I can assure you that I’m not someone who is religious trying to make a laugh at you guys.

        To be honest and I’m being honest here and whether it’s a evil spirit which I highly doubt and there is no evidence for, I would want to live in a God free world where I can do something, knowing I’m not being watched. Course that doesn’t mean cheating or something bad because that’s my education I care for.

        I admit it is time for me to accept scientific reasoning, to accept human evolution, and to accept REALITY, not an imaginary heaven and hell used as a scare tactic. Time to see we are not so big and quite small living in a fragile world which we should start caring about.

        • Sorry Joseph. I didn’t mean to be so abrupt. I have stressful things going on in my own life at the moment. It was the last straw. Till my little outburst everyone has treated you very nicely IMO. I”VE enjoyed the videos and links, so they’ve not been a total waste of time and effort.

          Actually, I have no idea what you’re going through because I’ve never been subjected to such a high degree of indoctrination. I think that you REALLY need to test this faith of yours. I’ll say no more.

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