Donny's Ramblings

"Atheist" Richard Dawkins Open to Possibility Of God, Just Not the Term 'God' ?

352 Comments

I found the third paragraph in this article of particular interest:

And, although he resisted calling it God, he said that he believed in the possibility of a transcendent “gigantic intelligence” existing beyond the range of human experience. He added that his main target in The God Delusion was fundamentalists.

Sounds like a simple twisting of semantics to me.

In my opinion, and as I expressed in an email to Carrie in regards to this article, it doesn’t matter the label one uses, be it Allah, God, Diós, Dieu, Deus, Krishna, the Great Spirit, or something totally different… it seems to me that Richard’s problem is simply with the tendency of Christian fundamentalists to define who God is, or to assume they know what God wants, and not with the possibility of God’s existence. If that is the case, and the definition of an atheist is someone who denies the existence of god, Richard Dawkins cannot accurately be described as a true atheist.

What say you?

352 thoughts on “"Atheist" Richard Dawkins Open to Possibility Of God, Just Not the Term 'God' ?

  1. I think Richard Dawkins, like myself, is a Fundamentalist Agnostic. He’s atheist in practice, because there are no existing definitions of God that are congruent with reality. He hasn’t shut the door on the possibility of God, and neither has Hitchens, Dennett or Harris. They’re all just reasonable guys, who know that religious dogma is harmful. Check out some discussions going on at http://www.createcognitivedissonance.wordpress.com

    Ben

  2. I say I love this blog post!

  3. It seems to me that you’re the one who cares about the semantics, not Richard.

    He’s always openly stated that a God is possible, but that there is no evidence for one. A God is possible the way it is possible that a miniature John Travolta lives at the bottom of the forest. Anything is possible. That does not mean you should believe in it.

  4. Carrie, I’m sorry but that is not at all what his quote, nor the article, suggests. Stating otherwise is, in my opinion, pure stubbornness.

  5. You may also find these quotes of interest

    http://www.simonyi.ox.ac.uk/dawkins/FAQs.shtml
    I was interested to hear your comments in a recent programme in the series Holloway’s Road. I was particularly struck by your remarks about the sense of awe and reverence which you have in the face of the universe. Has this ever led you to consider that there may be a god? from: C. Kerr

    No. This would be an utter non-sequitur. Either there is evidence for a god (in which case you would not “accept the scientific account of reality” because the scientific account of reality would have been found wanting. That is what evidence would mean). Or there is no such evidence (as I and apparently you and Bishop Holloway believe). In which case what difference can the sense of awe and reverence engendered by the universe possibly make? On an atheistic view of the universe, it is STILL an awe-inspiring place. How could it not be, when it has engendered creatures capable of understanding and appreciating it? What would be truly absurd would be to wake up in a universe, whether with or without a god, and NOT feel awe and reverence at the fact of one’s own existence.

    http://richarddawkins.net/article,1219,The-Atheism-FAQ-with-Richard-Dawkins,Diganta-Richard-Dawkins

    In your book, you’ve said that God ‘almost certainly’ does not exist. Why are you leaving open the possibility?

    Any scientific people will leave open that possibility, that they cannot disprove whatever unlikely the event might be. I would be the first person to accept God once evidence comes in favour of it.

  6. Um, I read the article and the quote. In what way does ‘belief in the possibility of a “transcendent ‘gigantic intelligence’ existing beyond the range of human experience” contradict all his consistent statements on the possibility of God?

  7. Maybe you mean that the article’s author wrote it without context, so that if you know nothing about Dawkins, you might on face value interpret this to mean that he actively believes in a higher power. You need only re-read the attribution (‘belief in the possibility’) and refer to any of his writings and statements to clear your head of any intentional or unintentional deception.

  8. winking face unintended.

  9. Once again I believe this is a case of “what you look for you will find”. Perhaps Dawkins is more of a genius than I give him credit for…

    In one film clip he is admitting to the possibility of aliens seeding this planet but stating that said aliens would have had to evolve the same way we did (as if he has the knowledge of what life conditions would be on their planet – ha! – pretty arrogant, in my opinion, to assume that he possibly could) and in the article above he concedes the possibility of intelligence beyond the understanding of humans, and still the flock of his “followers” somehow believe he is an atheist.

    Fascinating.

  10. Right. Because he says over and over what he means by atheist. He believes (and I do too) that it would be unscientific to assert that you know beyond any other possibility, that there is no God. The same way that you cannot assert that you know beyond any other possibility that there is one. He is a non-theist in that he does not espouse any theistic explanations for the universe. I don’t think he’d care if you felt that ‘agnostic’ was a better term for this. Or in any case, I sure don’t. But on that level, you’d better be an agnostic too.

  11. It seems Mr. Dawkins is unsure of his own beliefs, to be honest. In some clips he flat out denies the possibility of God. In others he concedes to the possibility.

    Sounds to me like the man is conflicted inside.

    —-

    Lots of Dawkins clips on Youtube for those wishing to become more familiar with him:

    http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=richard+dawkins

  12. If you’ve seen anything where he actually (and without editing) denies the POSSIBILITY of a God, I would love love love to see it.

  13. Carrie,

    Perhaps memory does not serve me well, but I am pretty sure I have seen him deny the possibility of God when watching multiple youtube clips. However, this weekend I am busily finishing up the final touches on two papers that are due to be handed in on Monday, and because of that I cannot take the time to review Richard Dawkins clips.

    My point is that Richard is championed a prominent atheist by many, yet his admissions that a “gigantic intelligence” might exist or that we may have been seeded by aliens seems to indicate that he is not, in fact, a pure atheist.

    His position seems to be made more clear by stating that “the God Delusion” is targeted primarily at fundamentalists. This seems to suggest that his problem is not with God but with those who claim to represent God. That, too, was the conclusion I reached in my own life near the end of my porn career. Once I realized the root of my real problem my life was changed.

    I’m not talking a “head knowledge” , either. I mean, once I realized way deep down inside of my being that God really did want to interact with me, regardless of whether or not I believed the parameters Christians placed on that interaction, I was set free. I will not be surprised if someday Richard Dawkins reaches that same place. His attitude towards fundamentalists reminds me much of my own.

  14. Memory, indeed, does not serve you well.

    Your only problem seems to be with him using the term ‘atheist.’ That’s why he gives his definition of the term over and over. It would be ridiculous for anyone to claim they know there is no God. Just as ridiculous as it is that some claim there is one.

    If you don’t want to call him an atheist, I couldn’t care less, and I doubt he would either. That’s why many of us, who aren’t active believers, flip between the terms ‘atheist’ and ‘agnostic.’ We believe that everyone should be agnostic in their pursuit of the truth. We also believe that there is little to no reason to believe that a God exists.

    Call us whatever you want.

  15. http://wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=atheist

    Noun

    * S: (n) atheist (someone who denies the existence of god)

  16. Right. This is why, to repeat, you have to give your own definition before you call yourself anything. Richard Dawkins explains what he believes over and over. You are the one hyped up on what to call it.

  17. You’ll notice that my myspace profile says I am an agnostic. Feel free to call me that. Feel free to call Richard Dawkins that. Just as long as you realize it doesn’t mean we think there is equal evidence for a God and against one.

  18. I look forward to your thoughts on the evidence for God presented in D’Souza’s book.

    Some people, after publicly stating their opinions on a subject, stubbornly stick to that subject no matter what evidence is presented. I would hope that you will not be one of those people.

    If D’Souza’s thoughts on the subject aren’t enough to change your mind I am afraid nothing will be.

  19. I publicly stated belief in God for years and years. I just want to know the truth.

    I’ll let you know how the book goes.

  20. I just posted another one that might be of interest. I haven’t read it myself, however. I’ve just browsed through it a bit.

    http://donnysramblings.com/2008/08/16/thank-god-for-evolution/

  21. a couple of things.

    why does anyone care that much about what richard dawkins thinks to begin with?…he is just someone whos very vocal about his opinion..he is a personality, not THE benchmark that we base OUR opinions on. and he is totally wrong about the outlook of science in regards to God or that science itself is atheistic. thats crap, atheism is not science, its a worldview, an interpretation of the facts. its a metaphysical statement, not empirical. he is just as guilty as the fundamentalists he criticizes. towards the end of the debate between him and john lennox..he invokes the anthropic principle and the theory of multiverses to explain the sheer luck of humanity, and even admits that its not as satisfying an answer but an answer none-the-less. for one..the theory of multi verse cannot even be falsified..meaning as of now, its conjecture, a statement of faith. i think that richards opinions are probably based on %45 INTERPRETATION of fact and the other %55 is faith.

    and donny is right. the guy is conflicted…the guy doesnt even know and concedes that the world and the universe do look designed and of course if your familiar with his work, youll know how he sweeps that under the rug. but theres another component to the design thing…you may criticize the design of the universe as being” faulty” if you wish, but one thing youd have to admit is that the universe does have breathtaking regularity, as newton expressed. the sun goes down, the sun comes up, the tides roll in, the tides roll out etc.

    there are plenty of good theistic scientists…im not even going to call them “christian” scientists. christianity is a belief system that one could have AFTER already believing in a GOD. i myself am a christian..but it does me little good explaining theology when someone doesnt even believe in GOD to begin with. so i wouldnt start there.

    heres some old school theistic scientists:

    newton
    kepler
    galileo
    copernicus
    pascal
    boyle
    mendel

    and heres a quote from paul davies:

    People take it for granted that the physical world is both ordered and intelligible. The underlying order in nature-the laws of physics-are simply accepted as given, as brute facts. Nobody asks where they came from; at least they do not do so in polite company. However, even the most atheistic scientist accepts as an act of faith that the universe is not absurd, that there is a rational basis to physical existence manifested as law-like order in nature that is at least partly comprehensible to us. So science can proceed only if the scientist adopts an essentially theological worldview.

    you cant really argue with that.

  22. and just food for thought

    what if there really was a God and you DID have to operate by faith?
    and not by compulsion but by necessity

  23. please please watch this…if your impatient, forward up to about 9-10 minutes into it. ive never heard it explained like this

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4065080646891971315&ei=tXmnSPXlF4PM4ALP1Jwl&q=gerald+schroeder

  24. I love that the sun “goes up” and “goes down” in your world. There is a God!

  25. semantics lol.

    i actually posted the video for both you and donnie to watch, or whoever. did you get a chance to watch it?

  26. around 13 minutes and some change…my hair stood up on end after listening to him explain the chronology of light beams to US!
    what did you think?

  27. You’ve got to be kidding.

  28. do you think the guy is lying and why would i be kidding?

    seriously.

  29. He believes in the POSSIBILITY of there being a “god.” I am more than 99.9% sure that Santa Clause does not exist, but because the world has yet to discover a way to find 100% proof that something doesn’t exist, I suppose you could say that I believe in the possibility of there being a fat old man in red velvet flying around the whole world in one night giving gifts to only good little boys and girls. Richard is just being honest that Atheism can’t be proved 100%… yet!

    BUT

    Does this really matter anyway? It still does not dispute the fact the Richard pretty much thinks religion is a waste of time. And I agree, at least for myself personally. In my opinion (obviously you can believe what you want) life is better spent loving the people and things that you can actually help and effect here on earth rather than worshiping something that may or may not exist in the here after. Invest your energy into loving life and everyone in it while you still can!! And if God really does exist and he is merciful as I think most Christians believe, don’t you think that he would still accept you with loving arms when you die knowing that you tried your best to be a great person and contributed so much love and happiness to the world?

  30. this thing is not posting…or is it?

  31. erin

    but there’s something to be said about a God who can affect the entire core of a person and change their thinking and approach towards the treatment of others…for the better.

    for whatever reason, some of us do not naturally put that much value on other human beings without outside assistance.

    mr donny pauling would be a great example of that

    myself as well

  32. Yes, Erin’s analysis of the quote is 100% accurate. I think Donny may have misunderstood the quote due to the fact that the article’s author did not do much to clarify the statement.

  33. When Santa Claus is mentioned, the argument becomes quite silly. I seriously doubt there are many adults that believe Santa Claus actually exists, nor are books written to show scientific evidence of his existence, nor do billions of people base their lives upon a belief in him.

    Dawkins thoughts on the possibility of God in no way relates to a concession of the possibility of Santa Claus, and any implication that even hints at such is an insult to the intelligence of the readers.

  34. ok i think we should bring this example to a more reasonable level.

    i fully agree with donny. santa claus is a complete characiture of the argument.

    so, who was the last scientist who went on record and said that they believe in the 1% possibility of santa claus because they couldnt find it in their heart to prove a negative?

    and it seems that the reason the interviewer even published this story was because dawkins usually doesnt even concede that much. the guy said hes open. otherwise why even bring it up? we already know what he thinks

  35. Dawkins says tons and tons and tons of times that it’s possible that God exists. Read his book. Watch the lecture posted here: http://www.richarddawkins.net/article,2989,Richard-Dawkins-Lecture-at-UC-Berkeley,Richard-Dawkins. Heck, watch any interviews. Anyone who actually reads and watching Professor Dawkins (whose webpage is my homepage, and whose posts and interviews I read every single day) would not make this argument, and perhaps I should have taken my friend’s original advice not to answer such a blatantly uninformed question. I’m growing tired of this bizarre argument about what to call Richard Dawkins. Who the hell cares as long as we understand what he believes and why?

    The Santa Claud analogy is not to show whether it is likely that Santa Claus exists, but to show why it is necessary that any rational person leave open the possibility of God. There is, for me, no convincing evidence of God’s existence. However, it would be unscientific for me to argue that his existence is impossible. That’s the only thing to understand. If you don’t, you won’t.

  36. excuse me– if you don’t, you probably won’t. After all, it would be unscientific to claim I know.

  37. There is overwhelming scientific evidence demonstrating God’s existence. Overwhelming.

    Carrie, pardon me, but you are an artist, not a scientist.

    According to a study published by ABC News in 2007, amongst scientists who profess to be Atheists, Biologists lead the way. Biologists seem to have motive to feel as they do:

    The disciplines studied include physics, chemistry, biology, sociology, economics, political science and psychology. Physicists did not lead the list of nonbelievers, which may be a bit surprising given the historic battles between the church and Galileo and Copernicus. Of all those surveyed, biologists were least likely to be religious, the study shows. And who’s on the hot seat these days? Biologists. Most of the controversial issues today involve various biological fields from stem cell research to evolution to genetic engineering. Physicists can relax. It’s pretty much agreed now that Earth revolves around the sun. But biologists are in deep conflict with a society in which 90 percent claim some affiliation with a religious organization.

    Ecklund said she doesn’t know if the lack of religion among biologists is a cause or effect of that ongoing clash. One would guess it’s probably both.

    Interestingly, Richard Dawkins happens to be a biologist, does he not?

  38. From Richard Dawkins’ Lecture at UC Berkley:

    Isn’t it a remarkable coincidence? Almost everyone has the same religion as their parents. And it always just happens to be the RIGHT religion!

    Religions run in families. If we’d been brought up in ancient Greece, we’d all be worshiping Zeus and Apollo. If we’d been born Vikings we’d be worshiping Wotan and Thor. How does this come about? Well of course, through childhood indoctrination.

    I wonder if Mr. Dawkins has ever considered that, no matter what part of the world one reaches, no matter how distant or remote or cut off from society, people believe in a power that is bigger than themselves.

    Could this be because that power is self evident? Could it be that built into every human, no matter what their circumstances, is a knowledge of this power?

    Regardless of who describes it correctly or incorrectly, the very being of all humanity knows God exists. We may want to deny this knowledge because we take issue with individual people who use this knowledge to manipulate others, but we cannot deny that deep inside of us we know the truth, and always have.

  39. carrie yeah, but still at the end of the day noone even remotely believes in santa claus because of a 1% allowance, or even considers the possibility. i mean who reflects on that? i understand what youre saying, but thats not a good example.

    i would say that the razor-thin crack in the door that you, dawkins, or anyone else leaves for God, should be a moot point. its not even worth bringing up as a serious consideration. i mean, do you seriously consider it?

    do you or dawkins believe in the possibility of God because it truly is a possibility or only because you cannot disprove God?

    big difference

    another thing dawkins constantly says is that although he cannot disprove God, he says that God is very unlikely indeed.

    well, so is life in the universe. can you even remotely fathom all the parameters upon parameters that have to be stacked on each other for life to occur? we cant just tell a supernova, “pardon me, but can you explode a few 100 lightyears in the other direction? Were trying to allow an atmosphere to form so that we can develop a single celled organism which in turn will learn to play violin and write war and peace.”

    if you can accept it, we are walking in a miracle already. its anybodys game

  40. Great point, Donny. It’s one I’d want to consider if I were an athiest.

    I watched the Dawkins lecture at Berkley. Thanks for the link, Carrie! It was very interesting. He seems to me to be the type of person I’d love to have lunch with. That is, if he could find a way to keep his sarcastic, I’m-better-and-more-intelligent-than-you-because-I-don’t-believe-in-religion comments to a minimum during the course of our meal. If so, I think he would make wonderful company. He’s intelligent and witty, though I wouldn’t consider him the hands-down king of all knowledge and understanding like you do. (Sorry, I just watched an hour of his condescending banter; I think it may have rubbed off a bit on me.)

    I’m just now beginning my personal journey with theology, but I’ve been a believer for a long time.

    Several points Dawkins makes strike me as very narrow-minded and uninformed, but I don’t feel that I’m the one to call him on them. Others, like D-Souza (the book Donny sent you), do a much better job at that.

    I do have to remark on one thing, however. R. Dawkins says that because “X” (implying religion) is comforting, doesn’t mean that X is true. I know that comfort, like love and pain, aren’t physically tangible. Yet, we ttake it for granted that they are true. Even you wouldn’t deny that. How do you know your mom loves you? And how do you know when you are in love? Can you prove it? If not, then how do you know it even exists?

  41. I don’t know how to word this exactly how I felt it, but today as I was walking across a parking lot, I was thinking that the very fact that these cars and this parking lot are here prove that someone created them, and as I was driving home looking at the olive trees and grass and horses and clouds and innumerable other things, I knew they were proof that Someone created them.
    Sometimes I stare at my hands and think how amazing hands are. Sometimes I think about how the human brain is the only organ that actually studies itself.
    And as I drove home I felt a deep, powerful longing to worship my Creator.
    As I saw a little squirrel running across the road I prayed that I will NEVER hit a squirrel or any little animal.
    The world is astounding. Yeah, there are many things wrong with it, mostly caused by people, but the Bible does give a reason for that.
    My faith is not easy for me and I often wonder why God does not make Himself more easily known to people, but there is a verse that says that he who comes to God must BELIEVE THAT HE IS, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6.)
    By FAITH we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. (Hebrews 11:3)
    It comes down to faith.
    But the whole point of Christianity is that Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins. The first time I heard this was BEFORE my parents were Christians. I responded immediately and accepted it.
    I admire those who can articulately express their faith. I don’t know how to convince anyone that there is a God. Sometimes when I share what He has done in my life it seems to fall on deaf ears.
    I think it’s cool that both of the men who are running for President of our country say they believe in God, and they both believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for their sins!

  42. I find it absolutely fascinating that we can all read/see the same things and have completely different opinions as to what they mean. For example: when I see parking lots and trees and look at my hands I am more affirmed in my belief that these things were not just designed by a creator, but rather that it is so cool how the universe was statistically possible to create through trial and error, earth and me and everything else amazing on it. And just how lucky I am to be here!!!

    In response to Donny,
    My opinion is that civilizations usually start out believing in a higher power because it is easier to imagine there being someone like you but smarter and more powerful creating everything than it is to jump to a conclusion usually discovered through hard work and science. That takes time and technology. But as proven over the coarse or time… a lot of things previously believed to be created on the whims of a god were eventually explained very well through science.

    Celest,
    I don’t think that you were understanding the comment correctly. I don’t think he meant that comfort isn’t true, he meant that the act of being comforting does not give something truth, it just makes life easier to bare. But I am sure that he thinks love and pain and comfort are true parts of life in themselves. And as far as “how do you know your mom loves you?” goes, I know because she tells me all the time and does really nice things for me almost every day.

    john,
    Good point. I think that Dawkins only believes in the tiny possibility of a god because he can’t disprove it. That is why I think it is totally kosher to call him an Atheist.

    Anyway, regardless of what you believe, like I said before, it is amazing that we are all so lucky to be here living life.

  43. Erin,

    Part of the reason Dawkins makes this simple argument (“Just because X is comforting, does not make X true.”) is to show us just how silly and illogical he believes our conclusion of God’s existence is when we base it on “feeling.” I get that part.

    I still don’t think it’s his strongest argument. I feel love for my husband, but that means that I created this feeling in order to make living with a partner, in this case my husband, easier to bear? So, I could have chosen any guy in the world to “love” because the only purpose would be to bring me comfort? What about everything that comes out of this feeling of love that people feel–like the nice things your mom does for you? Does that not make real?

    I’m happy to hear that you mom tells you she loves you and that she does things for you everyday, but it surprises me that you feel her actions and words are enough for you to “know” that her love exists. What if she’s been pretending her whole life? Going through the motions and not really feeling anything for you. Of course you would think this is silly and blow it off as nonsense, but my point is that you really cannot prove to me that she loves you. You’d probably say, “I feel her love and that’s enough for me.” Good for you, but I still don’t see her love. I think you have a strong faith in the belief that she loves you based on her actions in your life and the feeling you get when she’s around. But how do you “prove” to me that she’s not faking?

    You can’t.

    I don’t believe in God because I can prove to you that he’s real. I believe because of the experiences I have had when I chose to accept and believe in him—the unbelievable peace I felt, despite being prone to anxiety attacks, for example, in the instant after I knelt down to pray after my grandmother died of cancer while she and I were alone at home. I used to lie awake, terrified, as a child, afraid that someone close to me would die. Yet, when it happened, I felt peace I’d never felt before and peace I haven’t felt since. And believe me when I tell you that I am not a naturally peaceful person. I didn’t conjure that peace up that night on my own. If I could, it’d do it again in an instant. …Just one of many experiences I have had with God. But I can’t prove to you that His love exists. Just like you can’t prove to me that your mom’s love exists. I don’t care if I can see your mom; I don’t see her love. But somehow that doesn’t keep you from believing in it. You can “see” that your mom loves you, yet you can’t prove it to me. That’s some kind of faith.

  44. Celeste,

    I have encountered God in similar ways. Like the day I was driving home from Playboy’s office after being offered an additional $4,000 a day to produce a new lesbian series for them. Laughingly, I prayed to God and told him that Christians must be wrong because it seemed that no matter what I did, He blessed me. That was the moment when a buzz of electricity went through my body. That very instant. It felt like my whole body was shocked. And as I’ve said over and over again, it wasn’t a punishing shock. The message was clear: I have so much MORE for you than this. It was a feeling of complete love, and I instantly lost all desire to produce porn.

    Another time I encountered God was when He instantly healed my ear (I blogged about that too). I had an ear infection. The pain was horrible, and had been there for 2 days. Ten seconds into prayer for it, my ear popped and the pain went away. It happened on a day when I was very down, feeling depressed. I don’t think the point was to heal my ear. The point was to remind me He is very real and loves me very much.

    And then there are the answers to the deep questions I’ve had. Certain questions that I have struggled with when it comes to religion. The questions that have always been used by me to hold onto bitterness and hatred, towards Christians in particular. I have received the answers to many of those questions in numerous ways. My favorite is when I have been dreaming, and in my dream God whispers over my shoulder into my ear, answering some of the things I’ve been asking Him in my real, non-dream life. Unlike most dreams, I remembered these upon awakening. It’s happened on two occasions now.

    Such things can always be explained away by those seeking to explain them away. But inside I know the truth. I know it deeply.

    God is there for those who seek Him. Because of free will, He won’t push Himself on those who do not.

  45. Beautiful, Donny! Loved what you just blogged!!

  46. John:

    [blockquote] i would say that the razor-thin crack in the door that you, dawkins, or anyone else leaves for God, should be a moot point. its not even worth bringing up as a serious consideration. i mean, do you seriously consider it?

    do you or dawkins believe in the possibility of God because it truly is a possibility or only because you cannot disprove God?

    big difference [/blockquote]

    That is correct. I believe in the possibility of God only because I cannot disprove God, and thus cannot say it is impossible that he exists. That is exactly the point that I am making. And yes, there is a huge difference. It is of no consequence to me whether you find it moot. If you do, you may call us atheists. If you don’t, you may call us agnostics. The name is up to you.

    Erin, Celeste, Donny, John, and everyone else interested in Santa Claus:

    Actually, there are millions of people who believe Santa Claus exists. In fact, they are largely the children brought up in the Christian faith, but that is neither here nor there. The fact remains that children accept their parents’ statements of the existence of Santa Claus as evidence for the truth of his existence. As they grow older, they learn otherwise (a parent tells them that he or she personally put those presents under the Christmas tree), and they take this firsthand account as reasonable evidence that Santa probably doesn’t exist. Technically, do we know that Santa doesn’t exist? No. Scientifically speaking, we can’t know that Santa doesn’t exist. But in the virtual absence of evidence for his existence, we find it reasonable to work off the assumption that he doesn’t. You can “accept Santa into your heart” because of faith and feelings, but that says nothing of his reality, and in my opinion, it says nothing of the reality of God either.

    Celeste:

    I understand that you’re feeling frustrated by the ‘comfort’ analogy, but I think you misunderstand the syllogism Dawkins sets up about comfort. What he is saying is that finding comfort in an idea is not a guarantor that that idea is true. Example: Some people find comfort in the idea that a celebrity they have never met is in love with them. If I find comfort, say, in the idea that Colin Firth is in love with me (and who wouldn’t?), it does not mean that he, in fact, loves me, or even that he knows who I am. In fact, we call this delusion, or more specifically, erotomania. In this case, the fact that something has brought me comfort is actually sort of tragic, in that it leads me away from the truth and into a life of delusion. Now, is it possible that something true can also bring you comfort? Of course. But the point made by Dawkins (and here, by Erin) is that finding comfort in an idea does not inherently MAKE that idea true.

    And on the topic of whether my mother loves me: I think she does. Do I know she does? No, I do not. In the scientific, rationalist sense (which is the sense in which RD is discussing ‘belief in the possibility of God’), I literally CANNOT know she loves me, but I can come awfully close. For example, I can decide what I mean by love. Do I mean actions? Do I mean that a person acts in such a way that s/he shows benevolence toward me? Do I mean a feeling (I think this is what most people mean when they ask if someone TRULY loves them)? If by ‘love’ we mean a real feeling in the body, we can define that feeling by the hormones and neural impulses that mark it. Then we can set up blood or brain wave tests that measure the levels of these hormones/brain waves. This helps us to get more and more specific not only about our definition of ‘love,’ but also about whether my mom loves me. Of course, we can call this approach cold and heartless, and instead insist on couching love in terms of mystery, but this widens our uncertainty about whether dear old mom loves me, rather than strengthening my certainty that she does. So, the long and short of it is that, where REAL knowledge of TRUE matters is concerned, I can’t KNOW that my mom loves me, nor can I KNOW that there is no God. On this level, we all must be agnostics. It is a nit-picky level, indeed, but because the idea of God is quite ethereal and void of satisfactory evidence, it is the only place we atheists/agnostics can find any ‘possibility of belief’ in your God.

  47. Oh yes. And:

    To Donny, the former porn-producer turned public speaker:

    I apologize for my vapid knowledge of scientific evidence for God. Obviously, your expertise trumps mine.

    Yours,
    Carrie the Actor/Writer

  48. erin, it IS very amazing that we are here. i am incredibly fascinated with life and reality itself. especially so much more so that i believe God made it. before i didnt really have that much interest in that sort of thing. but thats just me, everyone’s different.

    anyways, when you say the universe created or made things possible through trial and error. do you realize you are ascribing God-like qualities to nature?

    and id also like to know what those “many things” that were formally ascribed to God but now disproven by science, are.

    theres a difference between what is called a mechanism and what is called an agent.

    a mechanism is basically just that. a system and the way it operates. it could be an engine, the weather, evolution.

    an agent is that thing which puts the mechanism in place. you dont need knowledge of the agent to see how the mechanism operates. take for instance a ford automobile. henry ford invented it. but when you observe the system that makes up the automobile, ford himself is no longer required for the mechanism to operate. FORD IS NOT IN THE ENGINE TURNING THE CRANK HIMSELF. but, the existence of a mechanism is not in itself an argument for the non-existence of an agent who designed the mechanism.

    its a good thing to not get the two confused. ill admit im not an expert with this, but its definitely something you should check into.

    whats definitely something to think about would be the fact that even dawkins admits that evolution itself isnt a random system…one example would be the formation of the eye. even dawkins admits that the eye forming by sheer chance wouldnt work. but everytime he mentions that those sort of things are not random….what he really shows is that there is another type of causation at work. how can something that is blind be able to “select”?

  49. Carrie,

    I’m really in a hurry here–to get to church, ironically–but I’ll comment on a couple of things…

    Colin Firth doesn’t do it for me. Johnny Depp…ok, now you have my attention. But your analogy is still weak because we’re not talking about centuries full of obviously crazed people holding on to a strong belief in a superior being. You’re not living in a world full of insane Christians. If all Christians were uneducated and loopy, then this analogy would fit. But you’re dealing with tons of intelligent, rational, educated people who believe in God, many of us based on personal experiences with Him. I’m sure you’d like to believe that all Christians just refuse to think hard enough, but it just isn’t true. We’ve heard your side. You just can’t argue with experience sometimes. Honestly, I’ve been thankful on many occassions that I’ve had such undeniable life-changing experiences with God because I tend to doubt…a lot. I just can’t argue with what I’ve seen and felt.

    Second, you agree that you cannot know for sure that your mom loves you, but my point is that you still believe it and that you’ve never stopped to question it.

    And, if you’re looking for some “cold, heartless” scientific evidence of brain activity during worship, then read this short article:

    http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/world/archives/2006/09/01/2003325742

    Apparently, there is a way to measure the TRUE power of prayer with REAL knowledge.

    Blessings!

  50. P.S. Just click “cancel” if your computer asks to install language packs on your way to the article. I did, and I can still read it.

  51. Hi Celeste

    Johnny Depp? Really?

    I was once a Christian (in fact, until about a year ago), so I am not speaking from a space of detachment here. I believe it is a delusion, and saying that many people subscribe to it says nothing about its truth. You’re still going to have to deal with the evidence. And ‘I’ve had experiences’ is, in my opinion, a reflection of transparent confirmation bias. You don’t notice all the times you pray for God to cure your ailments, and forget that he doesn’t. Then one day, your ear pops during prayer, and poof! There’s a God. I really do understand this viewpoint– I had it. I had it for many years. And I clung to the idea that there was a God, in hopes that one day I would convince my brain. Finally, I recognized that there was no actual reason to believe. And really, I’ve never been happier about my ‘spiritual walk.’

    You are right– I can’t prove my mom loves me, and I assume she does. You are making my point for me. I cannot prove that there is no God, but I can certainly live my life on the assumption that there isn’t, since I have no reason to believe otherwise.

    Have fun at church.

  52. carrie theres really not much more that i can say.

    in regards to your reply to celeste about knowing if your mother loves you or knowing that theres a GOD:

    this WHOLE conversation has been metaphysical conversation. i thought you already knew that. that is why i cannot understand why you put so much stock in dawkins and his book. when he says he does not believe in God, THAT is not science talking, that is his interpretation of reality. scientifically his opinion holds just as much weight as a southern baptist preacher, preaching in tuscaloosa mississippi. i hope you dont pretend to stand behind science with your beliefs. so dont knock someone else in a metaphysical conversation when your opposing argument is metaphysical as well. and i hope to God that richard dawkins big book of opinions called the “God Delusion” wasnt the thing that swayed you to throw in the towel on your faith. please let it not be that because that is just lame, im sorry. if thats what did it for you, id bet my money you didnt spend too much time researching this issue. that book pop culture fluff.

    and i am at a loss for words behind your reasoning to believe in the possibility of God ONLY because you cannot disprove Him. again that is a moot point. who are you trying to convince? thats like an atheist in agnostics clothing.

    there im calling you an atheist.

  53. I’m… not sure what the argument is any more. Richy and I are atheists in agnostics’ clothing? Agnostics in atheists’ clothing? I happily accept your label John. Atheist is fine by me.

    This is truly a bizarre turn of events.

  54. lol

    sigh, carrie

    im…not even sure what your point is anymore. you spent a whole lot of time doing this ambiguous dance between atheism and agnosticism.it was exotic and entertaining and you were trying to teach us… what?

    im a little tired and getting ready for bed. this is the east coast and its alot later here.

    so ill throw this out there…you are a WILLFUL agnostic idk?

    lol

  55. here i got it,

    you are a willful agnostic whos trying to be atheist

    yeah i think thats it

  56. i’m sorry you all, but if God doesn’t exist, neither do you
    the arguments are all great, and i’m sure the mom loves the daughter (can’t be proved, but mom knows for sure and you would too if you came to a place where truth reigns supreme)
    and people want to act like they can’t have faith in something they don’t see and what not, but they keep going through the drive thru and the local burger joint paying money for food they’re assuming hasn’t fallen on the floor
    and isn’t ignorance bliss? yes it is
    but just as that wrong order with dust bunnies from the tile is brought to light when the bag is opened, so will this issue finally be solved when God is revealed to everyone (those who’ve seen and heard and those who ignore)
    the sad part is, you won’t be able to return the order
    and you’ve got all these people who love you and want to show you, but they can’t ’cause you’ve got to seek God, and when you don’t, you’ll never know
    i’ve sought Him, i’ve spoken to Him, i’ve seen and i’ve heard
    and if He doesn’t exist, neither do you ’cause i see your comments here, but you’re telling me what i see and hear can’t be real
    oh, well

  57. I like bananas.

  58. And you can thank God for those.

    (Couldn’t resist)

    Have a fantastic day, Carrie, Donny, and everyone else!

  59. You should try next time.

  60. “Such things can always be explained away by those seeking to explain them away. But inside I know the truth. I know it deeply.

    God is there for those who seek Him. Because of free will, He won’t push Himself on those who do not.”

    Well said, Donny.

  61. *sigh* Donnie and John, you guys are extremely myopic. I’ve skimmed this blog and here’s what I’ve noticed. One – Dawkins is an ATHEIST about God. What do I mean by God? Your God. Yahweh. The man is most certainly an atheist about Yahweh. He has pointed out numerous times that just the word god is loaded. The god I continue to see being discussed here bounces all over the place from yahweh, to a quasi-deism. Now Richard has been pretty explicit that if someone wants to call the laws of the cosmos god, go ahead, he will agree he believes in such a thing, but for clarities sake, he won’t call it god because people like you two tend to go crazy with it. Furthermore one can be an agnostic about the origins of the cosmos, while living their life as an atheist. Richard doesn’t pray, he doesn’t practice a ritual or a superstition either. Furthermore he never relies on anything but himself and the people around him. He lives “non theistically.” The reason Santa Claus is brought up, something everyone seems to of overlooked, is not because of the amount of santa believers vs YAHWEH (lets be explicit) believers, but because literally, for someone like Dawkins (and myself, and carrie) Yahweh has as much footing in reality as Santa. Frankly the three of us simply don’t care that more people believe in Yahweh, ad populum never meant a thing to me 😉

    p.s. your misunderstanding of the alien life thing is equally myopic. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin left their diapers on the moon. Is it really that hard to believe that perhaps some bacteria could survive and reproduce?

  62. David you HEAR and SEE Yahweh?
    Please take a picture and an audio recording and post them ASAP.

  63. John the metaphysics of carries position is simple. Where did the cosmos come from to allow for this metaphysics conversation? Simple answer: We don’t know. That doesn’t de-facto make Yahweh the most plausible choice. Not in the slightest. Since Yahwehs account of creation in genesis is so false it should be an axiom. Man you guys are so used to the word god being one thing, that you really forget you’re in one sect. Go said god in south africa, iran, egypt, russia, or new guinea, and you’re going to be equally confusing to those around you.

  64. chris, i know its simple. thats precisely why i said it has no more scientific weight than what a preacher says. my point is to look at what she, you, or anyone else is grounding their beliefs in. the question you gotta ask yourself is, are your beliefs really as grounded as youd like to think? and i certainly hope it isnt in the God delusion. when an atheist talks, they are not speaking on behalf of science. because atheism is NOT science. it is a metaphysical position, a philosophy, and basically an interpretation of reality.

    the scientific facts are what the theist and atheist are interpreting.

    and its always funny how atheists are the ones who allow themselves to be confused on who or what God is. im sorry but thats not even an issue for me.

  65. a tad presumptuous I see.
    What are my beliefs? or Carries? We lack belief in Yahweh (that’s not a belief) that’s correct – I’m curious where you extrapolate from there? I do believe my lack of belief is course quite tenable.

    I’ve been an atheist/agnostic type since I was born – I was raised in fairly heavily in and around christianity(or to be more specific, catholicism, unitarianism, southern baptism, and evangelicals) , but it never stuck. So no Dawkins book was an fun read, but of course I’m not the mans lickspittle and hold my own opinion. Regardless that won’t prevent me from defending him when the title of this blog is teetering on the edge of willful equivocation.

    Your rant on science is irrelevant, I never said science was atheism. Granted science does operate on an empiricism principle, that the cosmos operates in an orderly fashion, of cause and effect material events.

    Your last paragraph doesn’t make a lick of sense. I was going out of my way to be explicit about god. We are on a Christian blog, so I feel I’m in safe waters to presume everyone here is referring to Yahweh – no? As far as your confusion part on atheist, I just don’t know what you’re talking about. A rather riddled, incongruent, emotional post. Thank you I suppose…

  66. Chris,

    I tried not to laugh at your attempts to infuse your comments with 10 dollar words. I was not successful.

    If the objective of such was to make yourself appear more intelligent, in this man’s opinion you’ve failed. I find it amusing that many of the professed atheists I’ve personally encountered have a tendency to do the same thing.

    Labeling oneself a “bright”, by the way, does not make it so.

  67. I get accused of this ten dollar words thing a lot. It’s my lexicon*, I’d apologize for it, but I don’t see a reason to – especially since it’s a subtle ad hominem attack that continues to divert from the core of the initial blogging. I’m not trying to appear intelligent, I don’t really care what opinion you hold of me, we don’t know each other :/

    The bright comment is again irrelevant, I never claimed I was a bright, or went by the label, or supported the label. All my points have been(since I’m trying to stay on topic), is that Dawkins is an atheist about Yahweh – the god I presume you worship and support.

    *On a totally irrelevant note. I grew up with a Father who was a voracious reader, and like myself, inadvertently used “ten dollar words.” (which passed on to me) Even entering grade school my vocabulary was clearly “different” from the other students – if you have trouble actually understanding me, I’ll gladly clarify my position, but please don’t think I’m trying to come across as some elitist member of some intelligentsia.

  68. Chris,

    With see and hear with our eyes and ears, but there are also other ways to “see” and “hear.” The word “intuition” exists for a reason. EVERYONE relies on other, more personal, ways ot seeing and hearing on a daily basis. You’re free to say that you always limit yourself to the tangible, but I know you often don’t. We ALL often don’t in one way or another.

  69. ugh. i hate spelling errors. please excuse all of mine in the comment above.

  70. its all good brother.

    so you believe in a God just not yahweh…

    i mean, how far does your lack of belief go? do you not even believe its possible or that there ever COULD be a governing agency or some type of intelligence that set things in motion….no possibility? and may i ask you why you think that.

    never mind religion or belief system…do you feel that ALL mind came from matter. or that first, there was mind, then matter.

    im a little bit sketchy in going into theology or the identity of God with someone who doesnt even believe in God in the first place. your not going to believe that water turned into wine if you dont think its possible to begin with.

  71. Celeste don’t mind any errors above, I’ll do my best to read through them, and if I make a mistake just let me know.

    I don’t doubt intuition exist, and we exercise it, but there are at least two problems I can find with it.
    1. It doesn’t exist in a vacuum. IE you don’t use intuition with your eyes closed, ears plugged, nose plugged, and devoid of any thought. So a petty example, if I isolate you in a opaque box, and tell you when I let you out, you have to use your intuition of what I was doing on the outside for five minutes -you’re simply playing guess work. Unless you knew me before hand, in which case you’d base some of your decision of what you know about me. Either where there is no reason to be convicted in this scenario of what I was up to.
    2. Like everything we do, it’s prone to error. Another petty example. A jealous GF of mine once found glitter around my stomach and waist line. Her intuition told her I had been cheating(because girls wear glitter). It turned out my cell phone was chipped, and was sprinkling silver flakes, somehow they got on my waist line. Her intuition wasn’t “dumb” obviously, but it was wrong nonetheless.

    You know I don’t limit myself to the tangible? Uhm… explain, please. I unfortunately can’t concede your point here, until I’m positive of what it is. At the moment it’s a bit ambiguous.

  72. Hey John,
    I don’t believe in Yahweh, that’s true. As far as god, it depends on how you define it, the word is very ambiguous, and I’m extremely cautious anytime someone uses it. See even now you said “you don’t believe in yahweh but you believe in god.” What does that mean? God to you IS yahweh, correct? If it’s not, you’re not Christian I’d presume. And since god is yahweh, to you, and I don’t believe in yahweh, I certainly can’t believe in god, correct? Now if you give me Albert Einsteins definition of god, the manifest laws of the universe, sure I believe in that…but since I’m cautious I just don’t use the word god in that sense.

    My position on the “cause” of the universe, is only explainable using the “effect”. Obviously it’s a sheer impossibility for ANY of us, to speak about things that are not the effect, with any tangibleness to them. My position on the cause of the universe is simply “I don’t know.” It always has been, and probably always will be. Perhaps the cause is something entirely separate from the effect, in which case we will never be able to explain it, ever. Perhaps it’s a multi-verse theory. Perhaps the universe bangs, and crunches back, and repeats, over and over for a limitless eternity. Maybe this is a universe that emerged from the black hole of another Universe?

    When you say intelligence though being behind it, I’m fearful you’re referring to something akin to a homo-sapien intelligence. In which case, no, I do not believe a homo-sapien-esque intelligence is behind this at all(with our biology, our neural faculties, our sense of cognition, and our thought patterns and processes). Now I’m not going to say I’m 100% certain of this, but probability wise I’d gamble on some of the stuff I said above, long before I’d gamble on the latter. I am however 99.9% sure that Yahweh isn’t the cause.

    So when you go onto mind and matter, since I don’t think the matter that comprises and allows our homo-sapien brains to function, is the same brain system that created this universe, you could say I believe matter came first to mind. (Now again, if this is a universe that plopped out of a black hole, and in that cosmos there are cognitive beings we enter a very ambiguous area haha).

    Anyway yes, the evolutionary history of life on Earth elucidates a very slow and gradual build up of cognitive faculties, so with that evidence before me, I’m pretty certain mind/brain, are a build up of matter.

    Yeah going into Christian theology with me would be boring and a time waster, since I don’t believe the premise that Yahweh (please, just for me be careful with the god word) created the cosmos. A very strong factor in my reasoning here is that Yahweh (or more likely the mortal man moses who wrote both accounts of genesis) simply got cosmological, and biological earth history wrong.

  73. maybe i should ask you a better question than the one above that would better illustrate my point. im trying to think of a way to word it…

    JESUS, yahweh, allah, wotan… all aside.

    im taking it that you agree that atheism is not science. and im not coming down on you in saying that either. its just that it cannot be tested and the same goes with theism. you cant put either one under a microscope. thats why they are both metaphysical issues. you can however go with persuasive evidence..which is what is used in alot of science, especially historical science. only in mathematics can you have absolute proof.

    do you feel that your interpretation of atheism, as opposed to theism, is the correct interpretation of reality? and why do you think that it is a better alternative? do you feel, or have you ruled out that there is no trace of intelligence WHATSOEVER ( i mean, NONE) or of any kind of information even at the roots of the physical world? and if you do see intelligence, id like to know on a scale of 1-10 how much you see.

  74. wow i didnt know youd reply that quickly so my second post wasnt a response to your most latest.

    let me just get this straight. forget homo sapien intelligence, forget you fearing any type of implication or me trying to trap you.

    do you see any intelligence in the universe AT ALL.

    who cares where it came from or what to call it

    is the regularity of the universe able to produce an effect, does it have a purpose, or do the events that take place in the universe always produce chaos?

    is the earth itself the result of chaos?

  75. Hey John. I’ll answer both post I suppose. I believe that;s what you’d like? (If not just ignore the reply of whichever was superfluous.)

    No I don’t think atheism is science. I think plenty of atheist are literate in science, and really enjoy the field, but certainly they aren’t conflated. And of course there are atheist who are also relatively ignorant of “science.” Hemingway is an example.

    And I of course agree theism isn’t science. However I would say, certain tenants of certain theisms are capable of being tested via the scientific method. I don’t want to enter a theology debate, so this is just a quick example. If a catholic earnestly believes wine turns into the blood of christ, the tools of science and the method can examine that glass and give a sound answer on the material compounds of that wine(I’m not touching symbolism or anything here, just matter of fact material compounds). So a microscope can determine if the wine is literally now red blood cells, or still fermented fruit.

    I don’t know what you mean by “my interpretation of atheism.” As I said I don’t believe in Yahweh, and since that is your god, that I reject, I’m pretty sure I’m an atheist in your eyes. Which is fine by me(I don’t believe in any deities from holy books, so for convenience you can call me an atheist). But I don’t have an interpretation of atheism(beyond the rejection of holy book deities), because like all theist, all atheist are nuanced too. Stalin was an atheist, but I hope beyond our rejection of Yahweh we have nothing in common 😉 Bill Gates is an atheist, and philanthropy wise I’d much wiser line up with him then Stalin 😉

    My reason for being an atheist, or as you say, finding it a better explanation is almost because of its lack of explanation. As I said, none of us are 100% certain where this cosmos came from. Anyway who claims to be 100%, I’d personally avoid. Because I’m not certain where it came from, I try not to make any extrapolations based on its origin, or presumptions. So for me, agnosticism on the cosmos’s origin is ideal, yes. Now since I don’t believe in holy book deities, and don’t live my life in a theistic fashion, I suppose yes, day to day experience I’m an atheist, and it works best for me.

    I see you’re getting into intelligence in both post, so, I’ll make this my ending for post one.
    ____________________

    I can’t get away from homo-sapien intelligence(or earthly biological intelligence), that’s impossible for me. My only understanding of intelligence is the various brain/minds of the world around me. I can’t apply the word to anything else, because I don’t know anything else to apply it to.

    So yes I see intelligence in the world/universe around me, ranging through the animal community, but that’s the extent of it.

    I personally do care where this intelligence came from, evolutionary history and the history of life on Earth is a subject I do enjoy reading and learning about. I know I’m slightly jumping off course, but the book “The Third Chimpanzee” by Jared Diamond, is a history of Australopithecus-africanus(sp) our ancestor from 6 million years ago, to Homo-sapiens today, and the evolution of their brains. That was a book I was blown away by, absolutely fascinating. And I’ve done some reading on cognitive faculties dating farther back in time. I’m currently pursuing microbiology in college, hoping to enter into neurology, and really study the evolution of brains.

    Is the regularity of the universe able to produce an effect? Interesting question. This seems like an ambiguous ground though. Yes the Universe for all of history has constantly seemed to operate in a cause and effect fashion, with time progressing forward. When two hydrogen atoms collide with a single oxygen atom, we have water, h20. That is an effect, and it’s regular.

    Does the cosmos have a purpose, not that I can see, but I don’t “know” for certain. And even if it does, I personally have no idea what that purpose is.

    I think the Earth is the same as the result as the water molecule example above. Just more atoms. The history of how Earth came to be though, and more importantly our solar system, and more importantly our galaxy, is pretty well elucidated today. The explanation isn’t perfect, but considering how much we do know, it’s awe-striking.

  76. i think we can get of of the “is it Yahweh or not” campaign
    it’s Yahweh (and for the record, He goes by a bunch of different names) we’re talking about here – the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, etc. etc.
    chris, i’d like to just point out a scientific fact for you to
    i’m assuming that at one point or another in your life you’ve seen a piano’s keyboard
    88 keys – hasn’t always been, but when Liszt extended the range 88 keys became pretty much standard
    in reality, the range extends infinitely in both directions, but our ears are only able to discern a very finite range of pitches
    does that mean that the other pitches don’t exist? well, for our ears they don’t, but in reality, they do
    God’s the same way, the only difference is, if He needs to, He will reveal Himself to you
    if you seek Him, this may happen for you too
    but don’t worry, one day you’ll have all the proof that you require – just don’t wind up separated from Him ’cause that’s gonna really stink
    take it easy 🙂

  77. whoops, sorry for the bad spelling – you guys know what i mean

  78. Well I mean I’ll mix it up with all those other names too if you like, but that seems rather cumbersome. Yahweh allows for certainty in the conversation. Saying god, as I’ve explained, is ambiguous, because if someone from India reads this blog, they will presume a different definition of god. So personally I’ll stick with Yahweh (I’m not doing it to be offensive or anything).

    Yes I agree with your pitch example. Of course the same applies to sight, infrared and ultraviolet light exist, but we can’t “see them” without using certain tools. So of course they exist without us “seeing” them (although they are material, and they can be measured now, and their cause and effect relationship on other material bodies is demonstrable. Another corny quick example. Stay out in the sun too long and you get burned. We couldn’t see why before, but there was clearly something going on. Now we know it’s UV rays.

    You say Yahweh is the same way(I’m presuming you’re Christian). So Yahweh is material, like pitches and light spectrum’s we are referring too? Interesting….keep going….if this Yahweh is material point me in its direction to observe (and I already explained I don’t believe in yahweh because genesis is simply wrong).

    I already told you I grew up in a christian upbringing. I’m not seeking yahweh or a deity, so I’m not sure what you’re talking about. I’m also not “worried” about anything at the moment, except school tuition 😉 I’m just fine David lol.

  79. no id like you to not refer to yahweh anymore i am not asking if you believe in yahweh or any named deity. yes of course im a christian…but do YOU believe in intelligence or some kind of intelligence behind all of reality?.. forget names, forget religions..all of that.

    or do you feel that all there is is matter?
    what gives matter its direction, its course of action. does it have a course of action? in the smallest possible way, is matter doing any type of work or is it just colliding and making chaos?

    and im not asking if you see intelligence in living things only. im asking, do you see intelligence in the universe? especially in the cause and effect.. do things make sense? im not saying that we understand it all but is there rationality in the universe? when a scientist goes out to do his work, does he presuppose that things will make sense or does he presuppose that it will be utter chaos, and what does he actually find, chaos or regularity?

    now when i asked about purpose, i didnt mean does all of reality have a purpose…you wouldnt know that. what i meant is, is there a purpose for water, or the sun, or gravity, do they have purposeful roles or are they just there? is there any kind of relationship between all of these components at all? at the beginning of the big bang all there were was was microwave radiation. how did this radiation self assemble into all of these components to bring about the current events?

    and you didnt answer my question, was the earth the result of chaos or rationality? did certain things HAVE TO HAPPEN in sequence to make the earth possible? can we look back and say that it makes sense that the earth was here because we can observe that its formation carefully followed a set order of events?

    now, would you say that sequence of events is rational?

    now at the bare minimum, would it be better in your mind to relate the regularity of the rationality of the universe to intelligence or non intelligence?

    if you feel there is ANY kind of intelligence in the universe, YOU are not an atheist.

  80. no id like you to not refer to yahweh anymore i am not asking if you believe in yahweh or any named deity. yes of course im a christian…but do YOU believe in intelligence or some kind of intelligence behind all of reality?.. forget names, forget religions..all of that.

    or do you feel that all there is is matter?
    what gives matter its direction, its course of action. does it have a course of action? in the smallest possible way, is matter doing any type of work or is it just colliding and making chaos?

    and im not asking if you see intelligence in living things only. im asking, do you see intelligence in the universe? especially in the cause and effect.. do things make sense? im not saying that we understand it all but is there rationality in the universe? when a scientist goes out to do his work, does he presuppose that things will make sense or does he presuppose that it will be utter chaos, and what does he actually find, chaos or regularity?

    now when i asked about purpose, i didnt mean does all of reality have a purpose…you wouldnt know that. what i meant is, is there a purpose for water, or the sun, or gravity, do they have purposeful roles or are they just there? is there any kind of relationship between all of these components at all? at the beginning of the big bang all there were was was microwave radiation. how did this radiation self assemble into all of these components to bring about the current events?

    and you didnt answer my question, was the earth the result of chaos or rationality? did certain things HAVE TO HAPPEN in sequence to make the earth possible? can we look back and say that it makes sense that the earth was here because we can observe that its formation carefully followed a set order of events?

    now, would you say that sequence of events is rational?

    now at the bare minimum, would it be better in your mind to relate the regularity of the rationality of the universe to rationality or non rationality?

    well call that rationality intelligence

    if you feel there is ANY kind of intelligence in the universe, YOU cannot be an atheist. you must give account for it and there is only one source for intelligence- MIND.

  81. Hey John I haven’t read your post, but I’m busy for the rest of the night. I’ll gladly read them and opine tomorrow morning or afternoon! Hope you don’t mind, it has been fun so far.

  82. I think this will be my last post. I’m tired. And reading through the longer comments is starting to feel a little tedious. I’ll admit, I skipped a few of the last ones.

    Chris,
    It’s ridiculous to assume things do not exist simply because we can’t physically see, hear, or even prove them. It may also seem ridiculous to you to assume that things do exist based on faith alone, but faith in God and the power of prayer can add a lot richness to your life. Studies even show that belief in prayer can help people cope with and recover better from illness (do your own research online). If I’m wrong about God, I’ve lost nothing in this life and gained a lot after death. If your wrong. well, you know.

    And by the tangible comment, Chris, I meant that you base a mllion decisions of your every day life solely on your emotions, “gut feelings” and even your perceptions of others’ emotions toward you. (Read my other comments to Carrie for more elaboration) You’re not walking around asking for proof of every one of your assumptions or things you place your faith in every day. My point isn’t that those gut feelings are or are not accurate 100% of the time; my point is you live and walk in faith a lot. Why do you Demand to physically see and hear God before you place your faith in him? I’m asking that question…but honestly I’m not even interested in your answer by this point–just because I’m tired of this particular discussion since I’ve been following it for a while now–so don’t feel like you have to answer that.

    Also, maybe you should try being a bit more humble about all things in general. You don’t know everything. Everyone’s knowledge about the world around him or her is limited. Science proves that on a daily basis. We learn new things and prove–and disprove–new things in the scientific community every day. Just because something doesn’t make sense to us now, doesn’t make it invalid. You–Chris–just don’t know it all. Don’t spend your energy trying to prove Christians wrong. I’m not interested in trying to prove you wrong. I’m just trying to let you know that I believe you’re missing out on some good stuff. I think that Donny, David, Nancy and John wish that for you also. Don’t take accept it if you don’t want it.

    .Have a great work week.

    Sincerely,
    Celeste

  83. CHRIS, forget my last posts.

    well, here let me condense them into one question:

    does the universe make sense, is it rational or irrational?

    note, i am not asking you if we understand it completely. but i am asking if you if it is safe to assume that the universe makes sense.

  84. Alright John I snagged some time to reply tonight. On your word, since I’m just reading this first, I will not read your previous two post (both at your request and to save time).

    That’s a difficult question, for the most part the universe makes sense. I mean basic everyday things make sense – as in, if I turn my car key to the right, the car starts. If i pull on the handle the door will open. Shorts keep me cool in this summer florida heat. Yet – the study of quantum physics for instance, makes absolutely no rational sense, at the moment. Hopefully it will one day. So yes the cosmos on a macro scale seems orderly, coherent, even predictable (to our current capabilities of what’s feasible). However on an atomic sense, it’s still quite a puzzling universe 😉

  85. Hey Celeste,
    Woah that’s a lot at once! I’m happy to reply however…

    Chris,
    It’s ridiculous to assume things do not exist simply because we can’t physically see, hear, or even prove them.

    I would need an example, I sincerely don’t know what you mean by things. For instance I’m willing to agree that, as an example, there are plenty of insects, and marine life, we’ve never seen – that exist. Although when it comes to “proving” that’s difficult if I’m not understanding what you’re talking about.

    That’s nice of you to say faith in god and prayer can add richness – but I’m fine as is. As I’ve said, I believe you’re a Christian (based off the fact John and Donnie are) – and I’m quite comfortable not believing in the judeo-christian deity. It’s fine that you do however.

    I’ve done some prayer study – yes it’s great for coping, for those that believe it works. Personally the studies I have read show as statistically equal to save someone as chance alone. The Harvard prayer study was an unbiased, well conducted experiment:
    http://web.med.harvard.edu/sites/RELEASES/html/3_31STEP.html
    And surprisingly, those that knew they were prayed for, in a small percentage, died the most :/
    Regarldess I’m not here to say don’t pray(I was really here just to say the blog title was confusing, but Dawkins is an atheist to Yahweh), I just personally get along fine without it.

    That pascals wager gamble, tacitly implying I risk eternal damnation is…well not exactly behooving. This is also rather misleading, there are hundreds of thousands of religions and faith based systems that have been around since the dawn of homo-sapien life. Furthermore even within the Abrahamic god, tens of thousands of branch offs amongst the three major faiths (islam, judaism, christianity) and even the Mormon faith. Regardless, I’m fine, I don’t fear hell….

    Right I agreed with you about gut feelings/instinct/intuition. As I said though, it doesn’t operate in a vacuum, and it’s prone to error. My silly example about the GF and the glitter seemed understandable. And you’re right I’m not walking around demanding proof from everyone – but I mean – that applies to a broader scope than ones theism. Nor have I come here and questioned your theism, I was only here to say Dawkins is an atheist to Yahweh, and from there I was questioned by some of the posters here.

    Now the faith that I walk in, on my gut feelings, is separate from a belief system, that yahweh created the cosmos. There is theological tenants, dogmas, or anything of that nature in my day to day interactions. Furthermore I’m demanding evidence or anything from anyone here about Yahweh, I don’t care that you believe in that deity, I personally don’t because as I’ve said a number of times, genesis is wrong with cosmological and evolutionary history…among other things.

    I’m not sure where your crass humility comment came from. I’ve said countless times, when it comes to the origins of the cosmos, my answer is, and always has been “I don’t know.” I think John may attest, I haven’t overstepped my bounds in any kind of knowledge or claims here. If I have please say which, because I’m at a loss of what you’re accusing me of.

    Finally, I’m not spending my energy trying to prove anyone wrong. Well, only in relation to Dawkins being an atheist to Yahweh. Everything else, has been me answering questions and such.

    Thank you for your concern, but I’m quite content as is, I don’t feel as if I’m missing out on a thing 😉

  86. totally agreed and im aware of the quantum worlds own seperate dynamics in the fact that it acts nothing like the world that you and i exist in. eventually i feel they will figure it out. and that is because the universe DOES MAKE SENSE. it HAS to, otherwise nothing would work. science has to accept this fact by faith BEFORE it does the research. a scientist must believe that he can make sense of things before he goes into the field.

    in one of my above posts i asked you if the earth was the result of chaos or a careful sequence of events. so which is it? and are those sequence of events rational or irrational, can we follow and understand them? and in what case has rationality ever been apart from intelligence? id like for you to find that our for me and come back to me when you do. im not going to hold my breath rotfl

    chris rationality ONLY comes from intelligence. if the entire universe makes sense…to which you agree for the most part and dont back out now because of any sort of implication..id like for you to explain to me how rationality would come from non-intelligence. atheism denies rationality BECAUSE IT DENIES MIND. according to your worldview, nothing should make sense because there is no mind behind it all, no direction, no sense. but rationality is what we explicitly see in nature. things work, cause and effect.

    you cannot in the same sentence say the universe is rational and be a true atheist. and dont even sweat yahweh..im asking you if you are an atheist to the rationality all around us. the universe is shot full of intelligence and you need to give an account for it.

    like freaking yesterday

  87. My favorite of the sentences in your response?

    “That pascals wager gamble, tacitly implying I risk eternal damnation is…well not exactly behooving. ”

    I like the phrase “pascals wager gamble” and it made me smile. 🙂 It sounds like something a cute old man might say over a cup of coffee.

    And…I guess you don’t think you know it all and I’m sorry if I was grouchy and hurt your feelings. Except, you know what? You do assume a lot. When I wrote, “If your wrong, well, you know.” All I meant was that I assume you know what happens after death according to my religion because you said you have a “Christian” background. That’s all I meant. You assumed I was implying that you’re going to be eternally damned. That’s wasn’t the case. I just figured I wouldn’t go into it because you already know–and you proved that you do by getting all defensive about it. I’m not shy about telling you what I think if you really want to know. I just didn’t want to waste time explaining what you obviously already know. So, yeah, if you ask me, I do think you “overstepped your bounds” on that one.

    Another thing, if you have always claimed that you “don’t know,” then how can you be so sure you shouldn’t fear hell? I’m not trying to convert you based on a fear of hell, by any means. I’m just saying…you’re not sure, you “don’t know”. Heck, then, why not just be safe? And why Christianity and not the others? I would say you could start that research by reading some of the books Donny has been recommending here.

    Thank you for the cute little old man visual, though. Cute! Really!

  88. “Furthermore I’m demanding evidence or anything from anyone here about Yahweh, I don’t care that you believe in that deity, I personally don’t because as I’ve said a number of times, genesis is wrong with cosmological and evolutionary history…among other things.”

    chris – understand that until you seek that evidence for yourself, you won’t find it – and since you don’t want to everything is cool
    also, cosmological and evolutionary history is largely based on hypothesis and faith in ideas – you’re living on histories that are as theoretical as the book of genesis (in your opinion)

    remember “My position on the cause of the universe is simply “I don’t know.” It always has been, and probably always will be. Perhaps the cause is something entirely separate from the effect, in which case we will never be able to explain it, ever. Perhaps it’s a multi-verse theory. Perhaps the universe bangs, and crunches back, and repeats, over and over for a limitless eternity. Maybe this is a universe that emerged from the black hole of another Universe?”

    so, how is the book of genesis wrong according to a cosmological history of “we don’t know?”

  89. i really feel like i’m getting to know a lot of folks here! this has been a whole lot of fun!

  90. Hey John
    Fast replies!
    I fully agree with you, the quantum world will hopefully be elucidated and explained one day, because yes, the macro scale holds strong. I was recently listening to Stephen Weinberg in an interview, and he was saying that all the quantum experiments to date deal with single electrons, and at most up to two or four at a time in each experiment. So maybe the problem is quantum uncertainity is legit, however, once you throw a few more atoms in there, the strength of gravity comes into play and is strong enough to override uncertainity (if that makes sense hehe).

    Really bamboozling me with questions upahead I see…

    Do I think the earth is a result of careful events? This sounds a lot you’re asking if there is some kind architecht here. No I don’t see it that way at all. I mean yes Earth came about in a series of cause and effect events, and it’s a great set of events because it led to us, but I don’t see any reason to postulate something akin to a homo-sapien architecht putting it all together. The Earth has been responsible for the death of 99.8% of all species. I love the planet, but it has serious flaws too 😉 (Also it’s only one planet out of 8 in a single solar system, and currently, the cosmos potentially holds 72 with 22 zeros following it, so 72^22 solar systems. We can’t even fathom numbers that large!)

    Yes for the most part scientist are doing a good job of deducing backwards to various parts of the Earths formation. However, even though we can do this, doesn’t mean we have consummated the process, or are close. For instance if you take a cup of coffee, pour cream, and swirl. We know the physical processes to measure the action, we know what molecules are involved, densities, and “how” the cream will mix – however our current tools are not actually powerful enough to truly isolate EACH “cream” molecule, and explain its future during and after the stirring process. So we see nebulas in the sky, we monitor them, and we notice that they form gas balls. We’ve seen large evidence that various gas balls do lead to planets. And we can deduce various parts backwards on our own planets formation, but we’ll never narrow it down to literally each and every single collision of the trillions upon trillions upon trillions of atoms involved.

    In what case has rationality ever been devoid of intelligence. You’re hinting at this architecht again I see. As I said, I don’t know where the cosmos came from, however yahweh is insufficient. Genesis is flat out wrong, so even if we play the deism/architecht game, this does not vindicate christianity(after lifes, prayer, etc). Regardless, the cosmos operated for 13.7 billion years without us, at least 4.5billion without Earth life. So I suppose the cosmos was operating “rationally” before cognitive faculties came into being, for at least some 12 billion years.

    Now you’re saying rationality only follows from intelligence. Well the ability to reason is of course a cognitive faculty of ours, yes. But I don’t see how you take the leap that rationality ONLY follows intelligence(water always takes the path of least resitance, and it’s non-sentient). What do you base this on? How do you “know” this? Because the last time I did any research, no one knew where this cosmos came from….it seems rather haughty to “know” otherwise. Furthermore this is starting to teeter on subjective. The Universe is rational on a macro sense, but yet we both agree it’s irrational, and at this moment incomprehensible on a micro level. So no, the universe isn’t rational. We both agree that we are optimistic scientist (not theologians…) will solve the problem, but neither of us is certain. Furthermore the cosmos is going to spend the next several hundred trillion years in a stage of heat death, where simple molecules (more than one atom) can’t form. That’s a bleak, barren, “irrational” construction.

    Finally I’ll address this strange strawman paragraph:
    “you cannot in the same sentence say the universe is rational and be a true atheist. and dont even sweat yahweh..im asking you if you are an atheist to the rationality all around us. the universe is shot full of intelligence and you need to give an account for it.
    like freaking yesterday”

    Then I’m a fake atheist, lol? I don’t know what you mean in the least. All atheism is, at least from myself, is my lack of theism. As in I don’t pray, I don’t worship, I don’t have any tenents I follow that I feel are divine or divinely inspired. The end. Furthermore you’re forgetting that one can take the middle road approach, deism. Where the cosmos is rational, but homo-sapiens aren’t any kind of pinnacle being watched over(so prayer isn’t needed, after lifes aren’t granted, worship is superfluous, etc). Regardless – No I’m not an atheist to the cause and effect events around me(because theism is not a correlation), however as I’ve said, and you said, the cosmos, is not rational on a micro scale. And the cosmos is equally micro, as it is macro. So, 50% of the cosmos is entirely irrational. Furthermore I don’t “NEED” to give an account of why 50% is rational. As I continue to state, which I feel is the most humble position (carrie), is that as far as the origins of this cosmos, I don’t know. What I do know is, Yahweh, the deity I believe is worshipped, prayed too, etc here, is an obsolete, and unteable answer.

    Your post felt rather…condesending, and interrigative. I’m not here to upset you. I was just came to explain, that even with Donnys quote, Dawkins is still atheist to Yahweh. If you want to ask me questions fine, but please don’t be so hostile.

  91. Hey Celeste,

    I assume a lot? But you’re right, I’m just following your identical reasoning. I had Christianity heavily in my upbringing. And I’m fully aware that flat out denying Yahweh
    is a damnable sin. I heard it in several of the various Christian sects I attended(Accept maybe the unitarian church, they never really mentioned hell). I don’t see how I’m overstepping my bounds here, that is verbatim the information I was taught. I mean what else did you mean by your comment? What other possibility had you left open under Pascals wager besides hell for me? Obviously not heaven if I deny Yahweh. So where have I become presumptuous? Where did I overstep?

    I said I don’t know the origins of the Universe. That’s a humble and honest position. Hell though is really an entirely different factor. I don’t fear hell, because again, I don’t believe Yahweh is the cause of this cosmos, and as I’ve said, because Yahweh (or more likely mortal moses) botched genesis. That account of the origins of the universe and life is just flat out wrong, through and through. So I don’t fear damnation from rejection of that deity or his supposed authorship.

    And this “just to be safe” thing is again a tacit threat, and one I’m comfortable not capitulating on(maybe not really from you, but the premise is an afterlife threat nonetheless). I’m well aware of the history of Christanity, without reading Donnies books lol. And each theism, and their sects, are grounded on revelation, all the way up to Mormonism. I would ask why don’t you accept the revelations, that god spoke to Muhammad or Joeseph Smith? And have you really given them as much scrutinizing research as you have your own faith? And was your entrance in Christianity one based on research, or one based on upbringing – initially? For the same reason you reject these other revelations, are the same reason I’m rejecting the rest.
    -Chris

  92. Wew, only one more to go haha.
    Hey David,
    Thank you for your understanding haha on my apathy towards further research in Yahweh being the cause of the cosmos lol.

    Alright it appears is if I’m going to have to teach a basic science lesson, learned in grade school, but earnestly utilized from birth. Why do you always turn your door handle in one direction to open it? Why do you always “pull” on the refrigerator door to open it. Why do you pedal with your feet forward on a bicycle, etc. Because under your observations, testing, and now theory, that is what will propel the bike, that will open the fridge, that will open the door.

    Cosmological and evolutionary history is based on a panoply of strong, overwhelmingly so, evidence. Initially when going out to research, yes, one deals with a hypothesis, but scientist, in these fields, are leaps and bounds past that point of initial hypothetical investigation. We don’t have one fossil for instance, we have hundreds of thousands, all congruent. Where as the book of genesis isn’t any kind of investigation, it’s a flat out history, that isn’t true.

    So how is genesis wrong, brb grabbing my bible 😉

    Alright, to start off, most scholars acknowledge that Genesis is actually two separate creation accounts. So just to begin with, yahweh is already ambiguous and confusing. Hardly something I’d expect from omniscience.

    Anyway,
    1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
    1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

    Well fine, if we skip 9 billion years of cosmological history we get to 1:1. 1:2 though is wrong. The earth was as bright as it is today, because the sun precluded it. Planets are born from the formation of stars. Also there wasn’t any water on earth for at least half a billion years. It was molten lava.

    1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
    1:4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

    Again, light precluded the Earth in our solar system, and it also precluded our solar system in general, but 10 billion years. There was never an intervention to divide these substances.

    I’m going to skip ahead, because I’m frankly too lazy to pick apart every last verse.

    1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

    The moon isn’t a light producer, it’s a light reflector. All the light we see representing the moon is conducted by the sun.

    Now we are getting to a seriously demonstratable error:
    1:11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
    1:20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

    Well the concept that grass life, and herbs and seeds and fruit trees existed BEFORE sea life, is wrong. Follow the fossil record, sea life precludes land life by over a billion years. While the algae, and eels were evolving, the earth was barren of life.

    Now we enter more factual error:
    1:21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
    1:24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.

    This is also false, you can’t have winged creatures before the “beast of the earth.” “Gliding” animals, came around at the time of dinosaurs 265 million years ago. Beast life was 500 million. Now actually bird flying life, came about after the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. So again, this order of events is just wrong.

    That’s enough Genesis for one morning. I could go on…

  93. Chris,

    Why do you feel so threatened? To me, the mention of hell is not a threat. I do consider it truth, but I don’t feel threatened when someone talks about it.

    Listen, I appreciate you coming back to respond so extensively. I didn’t read your comment to David, but…
    🙂 Um… I’ve reaaaally had enough. Donny, make me stop coming back! 😉

    Chris, you’re awesome, I’m sure. I don’t think we’re the first atheist/Christian pair to think of one another as stubborn and lacking in reason. You think I’m wrong. I think you’re wrong. You don’t convince me; I obviously won’t convince you.

    I do wish you the best though. Take care!

  94. No I don’t actually “feel” threatened. However, Pascals wager is a tacit threat – to deny this seems dishonest. I asked before, where did I overstep my assumption on the wager?

    I haven’t called you stubborn, or lacking in reason…sorry you feel that way about me.

  95. wow youre dealing with alot of replies. i dont want to come off as hostile but i do want to get you to think and sometimes it may seem like im backing you into a corner.

    lets back up real quick. you are putting words into my mouth. i didnt say a thing about an architect. im puttting a magnifying glass into the universe and i want you to look through it….hard.

    forget names, forget religions, forget all of that. i dont care

    lets back up and make this super-simple. take a breath

    lets look at the universe. do you think that somehow, somewhere it makes sense……..

    …….even though at the present we cant completely understand it?

    otherwise science needs to fold up and go home right?

    the ONLY way that the universe can make sense is if it is a rational system, not an irrational one. meaning from top to bottom it has to follow a set series of events of cause and effect of which we can observe. and we DO observe that.

    chris, nevermind yahweh, or an architect. did the earth form from a SEQUENCE OF EVENTS or from CHAOS, did the earth have to play by certain rules? this would be a statement of science, not a religious statement. so did it? im not trying to trap you. if its science and if its factual it is what it is.

    you have already said on two occasions and agree with me that eventually they will figure out the quantum world. i agree. now there are two implications here that you need to address. one, the scientist presupposes by faith that the universe makes sense. they feel that eventually they will figure out how it works even though at the time, they dont have a complete picture of the system. this is FAITH AND TRUST that the universe is rational and will make sense to them (on a side note, its very funny how a scientist with homo sapien intelligence is arrogant enough to assume the universe will make sense to such an animal as them, as if the universe has anything to explain to them:)

    you dont have to address the parentheses

    the second implication is that of the universe actually making sense. that would imply it follows rules, laws, patterns, sequences, cause and effect….all of which would be observable.

    chris, that IS the definition of rationality.

    i know that somewhere in your mind you dont want science to pack up and go home. i dont either. but if the universe had not one iota of rationality, science would NEVER understand it. it would be a complete waste of time. it would also be hypocritical of you to say that the universe has no rationality but at the same time in your various posts, quote all of the rational findings of science.

    so this goes back to my original question’

    is the universe rational?

    scientists seems to think so

    …because they keep heading out into the field believing it will be there and also finding that rationality on explicitly numerous occasions. they find the reasons things act as they do all of the time.

    i would put out all of my money and say that ALL OF REALITY is rational, even though we cant figure it all out just yet.

    you dont have to prove anything to me, i want you to think and answer the question yourself.

    chris, rationality does not come from non-intelligence.

    and at the very least you can admit that the universe is shot full of rationality

    if there were no Mind, no reason, no order….if this universe was truly atheistic it would not look as it does. there would be no rationality. and we do not observe that. in fact ALL of science hinges on the fact that the universe does make sense.

    so, how and why does the universe make sense?

    and this is probably what keeps richard dawkins up at night

  96. the most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible-

    albert einstein

  97. I just wanted to pop in to say that thanks to John I am able to concentrate on doing the homework I have to do for the week, rather than writing responses to the issues being discussed here. Most of what you’ve been writing, John, is along the same lines of thought I’d attempt to convey.

    FYI: a copy of every comment posted on this blog is emailed to my laptop and iPhone. I read every one of them.

  98. thanks donny

  99. chris i also wanted to ask you one more question

    youre confusing me because at various points you either stand behind the fact that eventually, the quantum world will be understood.

    but when i ask you if the universe is rational, you flip flop and say that well 50% of it is and that the micro level is not. or when i ask you about the formation of the earth, all of a sudden you get sketchy about the reliability of the science.

    so….are you saying that the quantum world will never be understood or that currently we dont understand it? or how about the formation of the earth, did it play by rules or did it squeeze its way in for no apparent reason?

    or how about this, how about we say that the quantum world makes sense, we just dont know how yet, agreed?

    but if it is understood, wouldnt that make it RATIONAL?

    so by default then, that would be one more chalk mark towards the rationality of the universe.

    and that isnt such a bad thing because its good for science. we WANT to understand things. but the real ticker is that we ONLY understand things that are rational.

    does that idea appeal to you or would you rather the universe not be so sensible?

    you cant get around this because if the entire universe makes sense, which ALL of science hinges on, AND is in the process of uncovering, that would make for a buttload of implications.

    MIND, chris.

  100. ack John, quite A LOT.

    I’ll deal with your first post first.

    I’ll gladly “forget” all the names and theisms as you ask, but that means, in the course of this dialogue, you are not arguing for Yahweh or Christianity. I hope you understand that as a Christian.

    I’ve pretty much answered everything you’ve asked, and you basically continue to ask the same questions with slight rewordings.

    Yes I think the Universe is mostly rational. I do not say completely, because again, at this moment, quantum physics isn’t rational. Regardless I don’t think science needs to pack up and go home.

    I prefer to view these cause and effects as coming from the “bottom up” and not “the top down” as you worded it. For instance lifes complexity arose from the bottom up. Earths complexity arose from the bottom up, etc.

    Yes the Earth had to form under certain rules, as did everything in this universe, I don’t deny that. Of course this does teeter on determinism, something I am proponent of(Which of course does denote a lack of free-will ((although the appearance remains)) and a lack of miracles).

    Now I have not said that I agree with you that the quantum world will be solved. I’m optimistic, but, frankly, my answer is a solid “I don’t know.” I’ve read literature from both optimistic physicist, and pessimistic ones, both claiming yes and no on the solution problem. I’ll patiently await more from the professionals in that field.

    Scientist, and myself, do not presuppose both faith. Especially this all caps FAITH you feel the need to throw out. That’s simply absurd. I mean before I even address it, it’s laughable, because you’re using faith almost in a condescending way, when in day to day practice, you cherish faith. So you’re using the scientific math to support theism, and faith based belief to chastise science, when in practice you’re the polar opposite. Anywho…

    No science is not faith. Again, scientist fully acknowledge that the atomic world does NOT make sense. That doesn’t stop them from doing science though in the least, on an atomic or a macro scale. Even some scientist, notable Dawkins, Peter Medewar, Noam Chomsky, and possibly myself, fully acknowledge that science may be only to take us so far, regardless, I’m personally quite content with how far it has already taken us, and I’m quite content with what’s in store for its future. Regardless, from my birth, up until this very moment, my entire life has followed a cause and effect relationship. So for me to “practice” science, by simply observing and measuring cause and effect relationships, is NOT a faith system in the slightest, it’s every last iota of my reality. And based off every history book I’ve ever read, those homo-sapiens as well.

    Furthermore it isn’t arrogant in the slightest, what are you talking about? Scientist do acknowledge that there are things they don’t know, possibly can’t know, but it’s certainly not arrogant to TRY. What was so arrogant about the Greeks measuring the predictably of the seasons? or galileo turning a telescope to the stars. or Newton working privately in his lab? These “hobbies” are no more arrogant than playing basketball or football, it’s simply how some people choose to spend their time. Yes there are plenty of arrogant scientist, and “regular” folks, but that’s irrelevant.

    The universe following natural law is not the definition of rationality…you’ve basically contrived that.
    Definition:
    1. the state or quality of being rational.
    2. the possession of reason.
    3. agreeableness to reason; reasonableness.
    4. the exercise of reason.
    5. a reasonable view, practice, etc.

    The quantum world does NOT follow any of these either.

    I still share your optimism, that hopefully scientist will consummate this atomic problem, and science will continue inexorably.

    Now at the end of your speech, you come to a point, where again, you’re just contriving facts. “rationality does not come from non-intelligence.” What do you base this on? How do you know this to be true? Give me a single reason to trust that statement. Again, long before there was life, water always followed the path of least resistance. Is that rational? If so, no intelligence was needed in the process.

    Also you say if the universe was atheistic there would be no reason or order? What are you talking about? How do you know this? If yahweh doesn’t exist, that doesn’t mean this universe disappears. We have no idea where the cosmos came from, and to continue to presume you do is arrogant. Furthermore just looking at the universe does not tell you a single thing about its origin as you continue to imply. A very basic example. If I see a leaf blowing in the wind, that doesn’t tell me a single iota of information about the biological structure of the plant it came from, the physiology of the plants inter working, or the reproductive process the plant follows. On that same token, just because we a universe, that does not mean we extrapolate ONE part of it (homo sapien cognition) and claim that’s the derivation of the starting point.

    So to address your final two sentences. We know “how” the inverse makes sense, it’s operating under immutable, natural, cause and effect, deterministic law. I don’t “why” and neither does anyone else.

    As far as keeping Richard Dawkins up at night – uhm, what are you talking about? This blog really sends bent on just making things up about that man…for whatever reason. I actually believe I did read somewhere, that he sleeps just fine….

  101. I just read post two, and I see I can ignore it, my reply covers everything you’ve re asked. Please John, take the time to skim some of your questions, because you’re just repeating yourself. It will save both of us time 😉

  102. p.s. Being a Christian, would typically require an irrational universe – or one that doesn’t operate on deterministic cause and effect events. Being born of a virgin, water into wine, genesis creation, resurrections, souls, battles between good vs evil, garden of eden exploding “wrongness” into the world, etc are not prosperities of a materialistic and deterministic cosmos. Although I subscribe to the latter, you ostensibly seem to be taking your religion to the proverbial cafeteria.

  103. Chris,

    Such things as you mentioned in your last comment are called “miracles” for a reason: they happen outside normal, rational parameters and are quite rare… thus, a “miracle”.

  104. “John
    Fast replies!
    I fully agree with you, the quantum world will hopefully be elucidated and explained one day, because yes, the macro scale holds strong.”

    well, im sorry if i got it the wrong way that you might agree with me on the understanding of the quantum world. you shouldve put an asterisk near hopefully.

    but a quick point on that, just because we do not understand it that does not mean it is not a working,coherent system. that might be an inadequate description but it formed the “orderly” macro world which you seem to agree with. obviously its playing some part because without it there would be no macro world to begin with. so, nothing to be said about that?

    there are plenty of refutations to bottom up causation. there is also the presence of information in the micro world and on the macro world as well. how do these small things “know” what to do anyways to form the coherence that we see all around us? information had to be injected into reality to give these components description. this is what i mean by top-down causation. fundamentally, there is no reason why reality has to be the way it is outside of injected information.

    you could also say that laws are a form of information too. after the big bang, there was basically radiation. why did that radiation go on to form galaxies,stars, hydrogen, then explode without some kind of outside directional force? out of all the things it couldve done, what made it do that?

    information.

    the whole thing about faith. no, im not equating that science is faith. you didnt understand my point. my point was that a scientist must have faith that he will find intelligibility in the universe, or that he will make sense of things he studies BEFORE he goes into the field. that is why they keep on studying the quantum world. they have faith that eventually they will make some type of sense of it.

    no, water seeking the least possible resistance may not be a rational idea, but it is an intelligible idea. we know why it does that… its an effect of gravity on liquid. and gravity is also that thing which keeps oxygen under pressure in our atmosphere that pushes air into our lungs so we wont die. funny how that happens when oxygen obeys the “rules”.

    the whole thing about rationality coming from intelligence. you find it that easy to believe that REASON can be found outside of intelligence? are rocks reasonable, trees, asteroids? that goes without saying.

    and i keep asking the same question to you because i dont feel you truly understand what im asking. so let me ask it again and this is a yes or no question.

    do you feel that somehow, someway, the ENTIRE universe works and makes sense? *

    yes or no

    *im not asking if it makes sense to you, any scientist or if we will ever comprehend all of it

  105. chris,
    you actually have more faith than most of the Christians i know
    genesis isn’t the issue here, but thank you for your banter nonetheless
    and don’t you realize that carbon dating isn’t as quantitative as once was thought?
    most apparently not
    you also seem to realize that the bible was written by people who use descriptives for their revelations the best they can
    still good descriptions by any standard, and apparently not based on guesswork since we do have a sun, and moon, and stars,etc. etc. – but you seem to take things very literally
    calm down a bit – we know you don’t really want to know
    at least you realize you don’t know – but you do have so much faith
    and by the way, suggestions have been made that dinosaurs and humankind shared the earth and may not have been separated by quite as many years as you’ve been raised to believe
    and, just to point it out, the book of job does reference dinosaurs
    so, in so many words, you subscribe to religion big time
    not Christianity, obviously, but the religion of facts
    the bible talks about that too
    and keeps getting proved over and over
    i think of the book of job (26:7), where it talks about the earth hanging on nothing in the sky – yet scientists after these writings insisted that the earth was flat, or that it rode through the sky on the backs of giant turtles, etc.
    all proved wrong eventually to prove the bible correct
    and it’ll keep happening, it has so far
    all the other explanations eventually get proven wrong (or right in accordance with the bible) – how many do we have to go through?
    again, inductive reasoning is great, but scientists haven’t been able to create life from nothing, and the chances of it happening are equal to my chances of throwing a bucket of paint on a canvas resulting in the mona lisa – so why do you believe the theories you subscribe to are so plausible?
    and they may be, but my point is, you’ve got no proof

    and john, there’s going to be a day where we comprehend everything and it probably won’t matter anymore

    i’ve enjoyed everyone’s positions so far, you guys are awesome 🙂

  106. sorry all, i just read what i wrote and i obviously need to get some sleep – i think randomly – i really need to proofread 😉

  107. and just for the record, i know i invited the breakdown of genesis – so i guess it was an issue, i would have done it too but i’m trying not to be so literal these days

  108. I’m just going to ignore David. That was a very incomprehensible, desultory…thesis?

  109. Hey John,
    Certainly a much more lucid set of ideas 😉
    I agree that on our macro scale, the universe is orderly. And thus, for our “plane” of ‘immediate’ existence, is thus, rational.

    Well these small things don’t “know,” they have no other choice, as you acknowledge, they simply follow a very rigid, immutable, law. And these brief formations certainly aren’t immediately, or even currently coherent(especially for the ten billion years where cognitive life was a physical impossibility). Dark matter, energy, innards of a black hole, origin of the cosmos, etc.

    You go on to ask me a series of questions, that as you know, are explained via physical law. Radiation went to form galaxies and stars, because as the fabric of space time exponentially grew, the congealment of photons and extreme heat/light, were able to spread, and cool. We happen to be occupying a very fortunate moment in that event, but the universe is destined to spend an eternity in a state of molecule less death.
    You say: then explode without some kind of outside directional force?
    Yet you explain that force here: “its an effect of gravity on liquid. and gravity is also that thing which keeps oxygen under pressure in our atmosphere that pushes air into our lungs”
    Gravity, like the strong and weak nuclear forces, is a portion of the overall universal law, you and I are optimistic exist, and “believe” (if you want to use that word) in.

    You go onto say that gravity pushes oxygen into our lungs so that we don’t die. You’re acting as if oxygen and gravity are going out of their way to do this. We evolved to adapt to that factor in the environment, the environment did not evolve that factor for us. The order of events is one direction, bottom up (From evolutionary goggles).

    “the whole thing about rationality coming from intelligence. you find it that easy to believe that REASON can be found outside of intelligence? are rocks reasonable, trees, asteroids? that goes without saying.”

    You’re switching rationality with reason. No I don’t think the “ability” to reason exist outside of intelligence(Rocks don’t….). However I agree this universe is rational on our “plane.”

    My answer to your question:
    “do you feel that somehow, someway, the ENTIRE universe works and makes sense? ”
    I’m optimistic it does – I behave as if it will – but I realize, some parts simply aren’t, at this moment, and are exasperating. Regardless, to proceed with your inquisition I’ll answer “yes.”

  110. thank you for ignoring it
    just don’t be afraid of truth and know that a lot of your arguments don’t hold water

  111. sorry, i’m using my wife’s computer

  112. chris
    one final thought
    my last post was a bit erratic, i admit, but i use simple words and the ideas expressed aren’t very hard to understand – for most people
    i’m thankful that you’ve chosen to close the debate and will consider your ignore-ance as an official concession
    i had a great time and will hopfully enjoy reading your posts again very soon

    everyone here is really awesome when it comes to expressing ideas and i’d like to thank all of you for your examples of really great writing
    hope to see you guys in the future

    and to donny – you’re doing an awesome job getting people to think on here – keep up the great work! 🙂

  113. Uhm what “arguments” are those Celeste?

  114. David I’m ignoring it because one, it’s incoherent and erratic as you acknowledge. Two, a lot of it is border line on propaganda (at least I’ve read the arguments on propaganda websites). The carbon dating issue, dinosaurs walking with man, mona lisa analogy, etc.

    Take it as a concession if you like, but it’s me saving time. School just started again for the Fall semester, and frankly, I only have so much time to spend here. John is a very coherent individual – so I’m playing ball with him.

  115. Sorry guys, I think the “ball game” is over.

  116. cool, this will probably be my last post on this i suppose, unless i feel the need to address something else.

    ill go through your points.

    one quick thing to get out of the way: the use of the word reason was based on the definition you provided for rationality. it was your definition. isnt rationality full of reason?

    ok wanted to get that out of the way

    i really think you are understating the fact that our immediate existence is rational/coherent in DIRECT relationship to the micro world. there can be NO macro world without the building blocks of the micro. somehow all of that currently understood irrationality WORKS to give us the reality we see around us, with its observable order. i know its a relatively new branch of study, but i do not agree that we can treat the other half of reality as if its completely separate irrational entity. because ALL of reality rests upon it. regardless of how irrational it may appear to us, it still works. i think youd agree with that. im positive science will crack this eventually, we just have to figure out how.

    and again, that would be just one more chalk mark towards the rationality of the universe. just the idea of the entire universe making sense, makes my hair stand up on end. there has got to be some weight to that dont you think?

    and the whole thing about information. i would say again that immutable laws
    are a form of information. they direct inanimate objects to behave as they do giving them: DESCRIPTION, DEFINITION, AND BEHAVIOR.. im sure you can agree with this: reality does not have to be the way it is. why did stars form after the big bang and not something else? you dont see an “anything goes” crap shoot going on after the big bang. NO, what you see is the immediate chronology of that material going on to form stars, galaxies, planets as if that was the only directional impulse it could take. what directed that material to produce ONLY that, what gave it the definition and the limits on its formation?

    information did, because information defined that material.

    therefore, it seems that the information that produced all of the laws and objects in the universe was ALREADY injected into the throw of the dice at the outset of the big bang. the universe has a blueprint. it can only do what it does. theres nothing random going on out there. you dont see monoliths floating around or huge marshmallows. you might call that determinism. id agree to a point. do you really think anything other than stars or planets could have been formed? theres no way, because reality is a brute fact.

    this whole thing reeks of information to me

    where does information come from?

    ill let you answer that

    they say that the big bang was…..at first, the smallest thing imaginable. all of the laws, space and time we know of came into reality at that point.

    do you know what the smallest thing imaginable is?

    one step above absolutely nothing.

    my main point is that we find rationality in the universe because there is intelligence in the universe. do you not see at least a TRACE of it? you agreed that for the most part the universe is rational, works, and makes sense. i totally agree and SCIENCE HINGES on that. that is because if the universe was not rational, wed never be able to find out how it works. science not only shows that it is rational, but also presumes that it is. hence the reason science keeps going back out into the field to makes sense of things. i think the best reason for reality being this way would be an underlying intelligence/rationality. we of course do not see it at work, but as you agreed, we do see its results.

    again, i can only show you persuasive evidence, not proof. this isnt mathematics. but i think it speaks VOLUMES if we find rationality, intelligibility, and coherence in the universe. which we do.

    the main question still stands and this is something you should continue to think about for yourself

    does the universe make sense, is it rational?

    if this is true, everything changes

    it was fun:)

    p.s. i know very well as a christian of what i was persuading you 🙂

  117. I’m full optimistic agreement if just about your entire thesis. It’s one philosophically I’ve argued for as well. Oftentimes I engage people with the same approach you’ve used, even if the micro is helter-skelter to us, that doesn’t actually mean it’s inrrational, or truly “random,” since the macro works, is solid, is coherent, etc. We are on the same page, I’m just to say “I KNOW the micro is rational.” But optimism shared your confidence, because of the reliability of the macro.

    Where we part company is this intelligence in the universe. Yes the universe is intelligible to us, because our fastidious atomic structure happened to allow for such a thing. Yes this fortunate event was most likely deterministic, unfortunately, that also means, everything inhumane, immoral, wrong, offensive, etc was also determined. While I revel that I’m conscious, and alive – I still feel remiss and disdain at various atrocities, many outside of my control. That’s why so many of us donate for instance during events such as Katrina. Sometimes Nature is going to behave wanton, and we can’t stop it – but we acknowledge that do our best to aid those who are victims of these determined processes.

    I’ve addressed your main questions far too many times. My answer is, yes in practice, but I’m not convicted homo-sapiens will solve quantum mechanics – just optimistic. Still philosophically, I’m of your position, and it is the position I argue most vehemently.

    Of course as a Christian, your philosophy falls apart. Yahweh granted “free will.” Well that simply isn’t compatible with a deterministic, rational, law abiding cosmos. Furthermore miracle work is in addition, is not congruent with this cosmos we both accept. Obviously all of genesis is thrown out as well. Prayer answering is also tossed out because that would introduce miracles into the system – even if you can skirt this issue in ambiguity, prayer still doesn’t hold weight to any scrutinizing. Finally, since you acknowledge that our existence came about through a natural evolution of the cosmos, that doesn’t place homo-sapiens in any pristine or pinnacle category separate from the other animals. In addition, since we are a naturally evolved product, the entire concept of a soul is jettisoned and obsolete. So frankly, I don’t see how you can be a Christian. And also, you’ve been pretty much arguing for a very “agnostic/deistic/atheistic” cosmos, and not one, created, and ameliorated in the garden of eden, by Yahweh.

  118. p.s. although I believe it was addressed in my soul portion. An after-life is equally untenable, since the atomic structure that brought us about, will simply follow its malleable nature into a different construction once ours falls apart, piece by piece. Thank you for arguing for a yahweh-less cosmos 😉

  119. lol, good points id like to address later but i have to get running.

    all i argued for was intelligence, no names, no belief systems and id like to make one point really quick. you saying that the universe is intelligible because of our fastidious atomic structure allows it to be so.

    well, thats a complete truism. of course it allows it to be so. thats not really explaining anything or taking away from the fact that its there. and i still stand by the information postulation. it is the way it is because of the information injected into the universe that defines and directed its course. that may be a little bit hard to swallow i know, but still something to think about.

    another thing, the whole is more than the sum of its parts.

    you yourself are MORE than all of your organs, tissue, muscles, etc etc. combined dont you think?

    im sure your mom thinks so:)

    beethovens 9th symphony is more than just its collection of notes

    so yeah the atomic world plays a part in presenting this order that we see but that is not all there is to it. so it leads me to ask you, of how much value is that rationality to you, to science, to humanity? think of the entire history of science before you answer that. science again would not be able to make sense of the universe if it were not rational to begin with.in some ways our very survival depends on the universe being understandable, predictable, and rational. i think that point is greater and more worthy of consideration than merely saying that the universe is only rational because of its collected structure.

    thank God that it is!

    anyways, theology is hard to navigate if you dont believe in certain assumptions to begin with. thats why it depends who im talking to before i go into that.

    eventually ill go real quick into why im a christian. and you have to understand that all of my reasoning is in a roundabout way. its not laser accurate, but more philosphical. i havent thought the points out to be able to exhaustively explain everything about it.

    i just believe it and thats about it. i know that may not be suffice so ill do my best to explain it later

    peace out!

  120. John,

    “all i argued for was intelligence, no names, no belief systems and id like to make one point really quick. you saying that the universe is intelligible because of our fastidious atomic structure allows it to be so.”

    Well I don’t think the cosmos is “intelligent” and I don’t think it shows any signs of your “intelligent design.” For such a magnificent universe, the concept that it’s going to spend eternity in a state of death, isn’t intelligent – or a good design. You were not arguing for intelligence like you claim, this was your main question and argument constantly, as YOU concede:”does the universe make sense, is it rational?”

    Had you been more forward with me about is the cosmos an intelligent construction, then we would be having a different conversation. One I’m fine with engaging.

    And there is nothing hard to swallow in this paragraph:

    “it is the way it is because of the information injected into the universe that defines and directed its course. that may be a little bit hard to swallow i know, but still something to think about.”

    Information is not “injected.” As you previously acknowledge, this information was conflated with the big bang, not injected after the fact.

    As far as this statement:
    “you yourself are MORE than all of your organs, tissue, muscles, etc etc. combined dont you think?”
    That’s extremely ambiguous, and risk equivocation. no I don’t think I’m “more” than what I’m entirely made up of. That doesn’t make sense. And my mothers opinion is irrelevant lol.

    You say the atomic world is not all there is? What else is there? humanity, rationality, science etc are outcomes (cause and effect relationships) of the atomic world, not something “separate” or “more” than them.

    Yes I’m well aware of the history of science, and all it shows is that this rational universe is something entirely different than the archaic genesis tale, and its antiquated author presumed it to be. That’s information I’m entirely comfortable with – why aren’t you?

    And “thank god that it is” thank what god? The only thing you’ve described so far is akin to the enlightenment deist. You’ve spoke not a single word in favor of Christianity. Which again, personally I don’t care if someone is Christian or not – whatever helps them through their day is not my place to impugn. However you and I seem to be having a innocuous, and cordial, philosophical conversation…So I don’t mind “taboo” questions being passed back and forth.

    You’re right, you enter a theological conversation with me until you substantiate Yahweh, or even make Yahweh remotely tenable. As I’ve said, all you’ve touched about is quasi-deism here, so even from that approach, theology is unnecessary.

    If you want to acknowledge the end as you do, that you’re a christian on faith, and it’s simply a belief, that’s fine by me. I’ll gladly step away from this blog as well if it suits everyone here. I don’t mind people having faith in the slightest. For me though, an empiricist when it comes to epistemology, I simply can’t take leaps of faith – nor do I need to, to be entirely content with life and my surroundings.

    Maybe this conversation has reached an end…?
    -Chris

    well, thats a complete truism. of course it allows it to be so. thats not really explaining anything or taking away from the fact that its there. and i still stand by the information postulation. it is the way it is because of the information injected into the universe that defines and directed its course. that may be a little bit hard to swallow i know, but still something to think about.

    another thing, the whole is more than the sum of its parts.

    you yourself are MORE than all of your organs, tissue, muscles, etc etc. combined dont you think?

    im sure your mom thinks so:)

    beethovens 9th symphony is more than just its collection of notes

    so yeah the atomic world plays a part in presenting this order that we see but that is not all there is to it. so it leads me to ask you, of how much value is that rationality to you, to science, to humanity? think of the entire history of science before you answer that. science again would not be able to make sense of the universe if it were not rational to begin with.in some ways our very survival depends on the universe being understandable, predictable, and rational. i think that point is greater and more worthy of consideration than merely saying that the universe is only rational because of its collected structure.

    thank God that it is!

    anyways, theology is hard to navigate if you dont believe in certain assumptions to begin with. thats why it depends who im talking to before i go into that.

    eventually ill go real quick into why im a christian. and you have to understand that all of my reasoning is in a roundabout way. its not laser accurate, but more philosphical. i havent thought the points out to be able to exhaustively explain everything about it.

    i just believe it and thats about it. i know that may not be suffice so ill do my best to explain it later

    peace out!

  121. Sorry, I often paste your text in the window, so I can read it while I reply. I forgot to delete it, so my post is half mine, half yours 😉

  122. oh i hate having to respond to multiple posts so quickly.

    really quick and i might have to come back to this later.

    yes i was arguing that there is intelligence in the universe because there is rationality in the universe. but if you dont feel theres anything rational about the
    universe, then of course you wouldnt postulate intelligence. but you do feel the universe is rational as youve said unless of course you wish to take that back.

    the universe is rational because of intelligence

    i did not say that information was injected AFTER the big bang. it had to be there from the get go, along with it as you say.i never said AFTER and if i came off like that, i apologize. like i said , after the big bang, there wasnt this trial and error amongst the materials of the early universe. they went directly on to form stars, galaxies, planets. how come you are not addressing this?

    no trial and error, no crap shoot, just what we have now. and when i say immediately or directly, i am not only referring to chronological time but immediate DIRECTION in formation.

    was there an alternative,? you still have not addressed this. and if no alternative, why not? you are a determinist. would not INFORMATION determine direction AND definition?

    do you really think gravity is what keeps a star a star? does gravity form the molecular clouds inside of stars? does gravity tell my DNA to give me brown hair? there is information in the universe

    and what do you mean you dont understand that you are MORE than all of your innards combined? i have two children, and they arent merely a collection of tissue, blood and guts. and neither are you. the universe is full of value. its inevitable. thats why when hitler kills 10 million people everyone gets upset. i cant believe you cant acknowledge this or understand it. you live in the same world as i do. perhaps you realize that people have value only when they are getting killed not when they are alive. i could be wrong…

    same analogy but this might make more sense to you.

    was beethovens 9th symphony merely a collection of its notes or did it have value? lets say i took all of the notes to the music and scrambled them around without losing one, would it be the same?
    this might answer your question.

    and what is this about the universe dying a slow death? i cant believe you actually put too much stock into that. i live in florida and in ’04 we had 4 hurricanes hit our state. ALL of the weather forecasting since then predicted severe hurricane seasons with multiple cat 2-4 storms devastating the state.

    did not happen.

    they dont know whats going to happen. ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN.

    and as far as the atomic world not being all there is…science itself is pointing to up to 11 different dimensions, so id say that even outside of religious reference, there is more than the atomic world. agreed?

    and when did i ever postulate genesis as an argument to you? i of course believe it, but stick to the arguments i present.

    and i have a question for you and ill leave it at that

    actually two

    in the entire universe, how important is LIGHT?

    and how important is RATIONALITY?

    that will give you its value

  123. John,
    I don’t disagree that there is “intelligence” in the Universe. Earth is filled with a myriad of forms. The cosmos operates rationally for each of those varying degrees of intelligent animals as well – some in its unique way (Bat’s for instance seeing with sonar) but they evolved, just as us, to function in this cosmos.

    You out of the blue, in one line say, and then leave it as its own unsubstantiated sentence – “The universe is rational because of intelligence.” Well no, the universe behaved just as rationally for the 14 billion years we weren’t around, and the 10 billion prior to the physical possibilities of life, and will continue to be rational for the eternity of its own demise. If you’re saying this could of only come about through intelligence, you’re doing what I warned of before – applying homo-sapien neural faculties as some tenable explanation for the effect of this universe. You limit yourself in the cause, because you ONLY use the effect as an explanation (It’s so doubtful that “us being made in gods image” the universe was the cause of something akin to our brain. That’s a rather pretentious position). That’s why I continue to say, I don’t know. And understand that I very may well never know. But I don’t make such audacious claims as “The universe is rational because of intelligence.”

    I did address your stars and galaxies, what are you talking about?
    (Look in the beginning of this debate you tried to say that the atheist universe was some irrational nothing. So far, my lack of christian theism, my non belief in prayer, my non belief in being the pinnacle of an unfathomable large universe, my lack of anthropocentrism, and my lack of belief in some heaven and hell, remain, just as tenable. Yahweh and his creation account, parting seas, after life granting, virgin births, prayer answering, fight with the devil, sending himself/only son, etc, not so much)
    Anyway…The cosmos went on to form stars because the size of space grew, and light was able to spread and cool. We went over that, I don’t deny it, I’ve been studying it for quite some time. What particular part do you want me to address? The first 300,000 years of the universe? The next several billion? The dawn of our solar system? The evolutionary lineage of homo-sapiens once life arose roughly 3.7 billion years ago? Science brought us all of this information, and continues to bring us more. The practice kicks ass.

    Was there an alternative? Of course not. Why not? Because if there was one, we wouldn’t be here. We both acknowledge that. So of course as a determinist I acknowledge this. You also do, by your statements previously in this blog.
    Now of course there are some radical thoughts amongst physicist that perhaps every fraction of a moment in time all possibilities are existing in some unfathomable grand multi verse. Or that perhaps many Universes spring up with slightly tainted laws from one another. Or perhaps each time the big bang sets off, it crunches, and brings up a slightly different scenario((doubtfully this one as you’ll read more below)). They may all be true, they may all not be, but at this point, they aren’t substantiated enough for me to drop my deterministic position. Although they are more tenable than yahweh.

    You go on to say do I think gravity is: and you list a series of things I’ve never even hinted at.
    Look, there are many different stars, many of them actually polar opposites of the rest. Brown dwarfs, white dwarfs, super-novas, red giants, our particular sun, etc. Physicist don’t have absolutely every cause and effect scenario pinned down from start to finish of each of these stars (plus many i’m not mentioning) process of birth and death. They are observing, we’ve made mile stones in the past century, and will continue to make more. Many of these stars form solar systems of their own, some don’t. We have 720000000000000000000000 (22 zeros) stars in the universe. Fuck that’s big! (more sand grains on our entire planet, and more words, every spoken, by all of homo-sapiens aggregated.)
    The laws atoms do operate under currently, that are solid, are gravity (which operates on large bodies, not single atoms and molecules, attracting smaller ones to larger ones), the strong nuclear force (the force that holds protons and neutrons together, while retaining a tug on an electron, so the nucleus), the weak nuclear force (the force that does allow for over time that strong force to break, creating isotopes. Like carbon 14, for carbon dating. And of course every other element on the periodic table), and electro magnetism (the attraction of whole atoms and molecules to one another. This force is obviously much stronger than gravity. A childish example – if you fall off a building because gravity pulls bodies to the densest area ((like the formation of a star when nebula collapse in one themselves)) you don’t fall through the sidewalk, because the molecules comprising the cement are held together by the strong nuclear force). Finally we get the jarring process of quantum physics. As you already are familiar with. Pretty good so far. Each of these, is a mathematical portion of the hopefully final theory of everything, we both claim exist, because we claim the universe is rational and makes sense. So of course GRAVITY (the theory explaining why smaller bodies are attracted to denser larger bodies) didn’t make your hair brown, the final theory/aggregated laws, did.

    If your children aren’t a combination of their entire atomic structure, but are more, what are they? And please don’t get sentimental on me with their precious and I adore them. I would never for a moment object to that, or disagree. I hold loving relationships in my life as well. And being a materialist doesn’t change the potency, and the palatableness of those relationships. Regardless, it does inform us of the physical structure of them. I find that fascinating.

    And please, the mere fact you presume I can’t be forlorn about Hitler’s atrocity is absurd. I don’t need a deity, supernatural events, or any of the sort, to resent what happened in WWII. Regardless, that has no bearing on if Hitler is an individual comprised of matter, or this something more you subscribe too(but haven’t explained). At least from my position the event IS accountable – from the position of a benevolent deity, or even an apathetic deity, the event is even more heinous.

    This beethoven thing is equally silly, and speaks nothing of christianity, or anything of the sort of conversation we are having (neither did your child question or hitler, but I can’t understand why you think I’m some callous self-centered jerk either, who shrugs his shoulders at those things). I;m passionate about equality, equal rights, the prevention of war, the disarming of nuclear weapons, the privacy of families, the environment, etc. Looking at things in their atomic structure doesn’t change this…

    I live in Florida too. Fay was pretty weak wasn’t she? We’ve been through far worse 😉

    Of course our weather forecasters have always been notoriously bad, and have far too many individual factors to observe all at once. My scenario below though, although larger, is not nearly as difficult to monitor.
    Here’s the evidence the universe is dying, for eternity. One, the 2nd law of thermodynamics. Everything MUST break down/entropy. The cosmos will continue to plunge into a state of disorder (since the most orderly state of the cosmos was that moment at the bang, when our entire universe was a single dot , and thus, the most ordered it could be) This law has absolutely, never, ever, been violated, ever. This law is ubiquitous, and observable by everyone. Everything dies, the sun will die, our earth will die, every living creature will die, every plant, etc. This isn’t a shock though since we see it around us perennially. Now of course the cosmos is young enough that brief bits of matter can congeal and grow, but ultimately they return to disorder. A perfect example is an author(the sun), living in a single one room house(the earth), isolated with just a printer and paper. As the room fills up with trash scripts, the room becomes messy. Once it’s too messy, in order to “order” his room, he throw all the garbage out the window(space). Now the room is more orderly (our earth for instance – and of course the typist is the sun, since he’s the source of energy here), but the yard (space) isn’t.
    Well since the 1920’s Edwin Hubble also noticed a red shift amongst all the galaxies. See initially the death of the cosmos was this expectation that disorder would take over, and atoms would slow down in their “bouncing” and “congealing” until they created a rather tepid, exhausted, cosmos. Anyway, Hubble found out that the Universe was actually growing. Every time you look at another galaxy, if you wait and look again the galaxy is farther away from when you looked before. Furthermore not only are ALL galaxies farther away from us, they are all farther away from one another (the occasional few will collide, but the massive majority are receding). Finally, not only is everything running away from everything else, but in addition, every time you look it’s moving exponentially faster than it was the previous look. The cosmos is speeding up, and it’s passed the point where our model of gravity, the attraction of those large bodies, we presumed would take over and “recrunch” the cosmos into a singularity, failed. We are currently, observably, with no signs of stopping, on a course of stretching ourselves to an eternal death. In short, every atom will be SO FAR AWAY from every other atom, that molecules can’t form. Some…intelligent….design?

    (those dimensions you postulate are personally, from my readings, unsubstantiated bullshit, not worthy of any title, but tentative hypothesis. No experiment has never been conducted that even remotely confirmed that hypothesis. Regardless, that hypothesis still includes universes comprised of atomic matter. So no, something “else” isn’t it. Regardless you can do your own reading on string theory, Brian Greene is a fascinating author on making the jarring theory, comprehensible to laymen)

    No you didn’t postulate genesis, but as I said, that’s a powerful cornerstone in my atheism towards yahweh, so until that is surmounted, I won’t begin to skim theology. You had briefly mentioned theology, so I was just reiterating myself.

    Your final two questions are subjective.
    Light is important yes, but I mean, so is oxygen, carbon, helium, lithium, nitrogen, hydrogen, boron, gold, silver, copper, calcium, cheesecake, family, friends, music, books, sex, dark, night, rain, sun, etc etc etc.

    Rationality and light are not connected anymore then rationality and every other element on the periodic table of elements! (Light is a subatomic particle, not even as dense as a helium atom for instance). Rationality is of course very important, to me, in my day to day actions. Is it important to a black hole, a star, a rock, etc, no. Is it important to a sea lion, an ox, a doe, a squid, a vervet monkey, an elephant, etc, presumably yes. Is it important to a baby born with spina bifada, severe autism, or a schizophrenic? dubious.
    So the only value that gives me, is lights and rationalities, subjective value, to myself.

  124. ok…..thumbs up?

    a couple of things. i asked you to address the DIRECT FORMATION of the universe post big bang to the immediate formation of stars, glaxies, etc etc. and all you showed me was what happened. i know what happened. i want you think about WHY that happened. you say you dont know. but i say it speaks volumes that that is WHAT happened and that is ALL that happened with early universe material. the best reason was that there was information in the mix. thats why there wasnt this trial and error crap shoot. the material went on to form those things because it had no other option, nothing else in its DNA so to speak. information was the governing factor. you say determinism. well what on earth determines what should be determined, a plan or a blue-print maybe? i could understand your interpretation of the universe better if all that we saw was trial and error, the universe attempting to congeal a form in many different and failed attempts, roughly speaking. NO, what happened was a direct formation from the get-go. you are still not addressing this. and that whole list of stars you gave me…. well, they are ALL stars. no floating marshmallows, no monoliths. again, what DETERMINED that the universe should be the way it is? you postulate determinism but you do not explain it, nor do you show what enforces it. information would very much fit the reason WHY things are determined a little bit better than just saying well, its determined. that tells me nothing.

    and this whole bit about value:

    your morality defies materialism because morality and value are OUTSIDE of it.

    if you cant believe in transcendent value above and beyond physical make-up, you have no basis whatsoever to put value on anything.

    you are operating intuitively and you dont even know why lol!

    oh wait, im sure “evolution of the gaps” did it!

    the fact that you can place value on another human being is a metaphysical statement. its an intuition .you cannot prove value in a laboratory. so, what do you mean that people are not MORE than a collection of physical parts? well, arent they? is your mother just a collection of parts? the value itself that you place on them is not a physical concept to begin with. so it makes no sense for you to insinuate that people are merely a collection of physical components and then go on to get forlorn over what hitler did. and please, i didnt mean to insult you in that statement. i was making a point about the value of humanity and the contradictions between strict materialist ideas and the intuitions we all have inside. a materialist in one sense says that all people are is a collection of parts, but when people are suddenly being executed, that intuition in us would scream out “STOP, they are more!” and hopefully come to their aid.

    and you are throwing me off on rationality. youve stated numerous times that the universe is rational and agree with me that it makes sense, even though we cant quite understand it. but you keep downplaying the fact that it is there and its importance. let me further strengthen the importance of rationality and then get back to your points:

    if the universe was not rational, then it would be impossible.

    or how about this, lets remove every iota of rationality from the universe…

    ok, better universe?

    and heres what you said about the universe being rational, which i agree it is:

    “the universe behaved just as rationally for the 14 billion years we weren’t around, and the 10 billion prior to the physical possibilities of life, and will continue to be rational for the eternity of its own demise.”

    “The cosmos operates rationally for each of those varying degrees of intelligent animals as well – some in its unique way”

    so what on earth are you saying when you say that the ONLY value rationality has in the universe for you would be subjective value? i would say that its a whole lot more IMPORTANT than that. the universe seems to do very well with it on a grand scale. and isnt it also rather ridiculous to say that rationality only serves you subjectively when ALL of humanity requires it to function? or is the materialist in you going to shoot that down by DE-VALUING humanities place in the cosmos?

    ?

    so in some round about way, i would say that rationality is probably pretty close up there with light, strong nuclear force, weak nuclear force, gravity, electromagnetism, so on and so forth. totally different job but valuable nonetheless. and im not going to get into the accuracy of that value compared to those other things but none of those things would work together if it they didnt all fit together rationally and coherently to begin with. and of course we do not understand that completely, but we both believe is the case. the entire brute fact is that the universe exists and works, we just have to find out how. therein lies its rationality.

    in your interpretation of reality, there is a huge, huge gap for all of the unanswered, unclaimed rationality in the universe. and it does not sit well with me. you may be able to get past it but i cannot. intuitively and intellectually i know there’s more to this than meets the eye. again it reeks of information and that presupposes MIND. many a scientist have also agreed with this.

    and again, i wholeheartedly recommend that you think further about this. im not asking you to think about yahweh, im asking you to ask yourself whether there is intelligence and rationality in the universe or not. and to really think about what that means.

    as one of my heroes sir john polkinghorne KBE FRS has said:

    The atheist’s “plain assertion of the world’s existence” is a “grossly impoverished view of reality,”……. “theism explains more than a reductionist atheism can ever address.”

    because there is so much more going on in reality than what is strictly material

    peace!

  125. * Chris, your morality defies materialism because morality and value are OUTSIDE of it.

    i shouldve put your name there even though i dont use proper grammar:)

  126. You didn’t ask me to address the direct formation, regardless I don’t see how I didn’t.
    You keep oscillating between universal law, and sudden “information.” Your basically jumping from a cause and effect deterministic universe. The cosmos that is rational, makes sense, and can be scrutinized(The one we BOTH acknowledged exist), to one where information is put in after the fact (after the bang) – one of miracles and interactions from “outside.” (something there is no evidence for).

    You go on to say that the universe didn’t have a trial and error stage. Well that’s a load of bullshit. 99.8% of all species are extinct. At the very least biology goes through trial and error all the time. Brown dwarfs are failed stars that didn’t ignite, in another instance of a failed formation. That’s some serious trial and error.

    As I continue to tell you, I don’t know “why” the universe is the way it is. You claim you do know, but you won’t prove it. You won’t even offer me your answer. We both know it’s Yahweh, and we both know that’s untenable, so keep hiding your truth for as long as you can, and wasting both our time.

    Yes the Universe went on to form what it formed, because it’s deterministic, which de-facto means your “information” anology is false. You can’t have it with both ways John. I’m sorry.

    This incoherent, equivocated paragraph is also outright bullshit:
    “ i could understand your interpretation of the universe better if all that we saw was trial and error, the universe attempting to congeal a form in many different and failed attempts, roughly speaking. NO, what happened was a direct formation from the get-go. you are still not addressing this. and that whole list of stars you gave me…. well, they are ALL stars. no floating marshmallows, no monoliths. again, what DETERMINED that the universe should be the way it is? you postulate determinism but you do not explain it, nor do you show what enforces it.”

    The universe does go through “trial and error.” Again, 99.8% of species have gone extinct. Stars form and blow up all the time. Galaxies collide, black holes eat entire solar systems with ease, etc. The cosmos is a very hostile place, with no “regard” for anythings well being. Fortunately our lineage evolved over each of these hurdles, unfortunately, the other 99.8% didn’t. And I’m willing to wager we will go exstinct one day too. Since the universe will stretch itself apart.

    You say this was a direct formation from the get go? What do you mean? The universe didn’t bang, and 5 seconds later Jesus was walking the Earth. It took 14 billion years of cosmic evolution. We happen to reside on one minuscule rock, and you seem to think this entire universe is all for us? Pretentious? The Universe has YOU in “mind” just as much as it had everything else in mind. Do you really think you’re the pinnacle? That homo-sapiens are the grandest thing around?

    So since I don’t know “why” the universe was this way, and you do, I ask you, quit wasting our time, and tell me. You’re acting like you have an ace of your sleeve, but the more we talks, the more you cower, the more your paragraphs and ideas become that much more ambiguous and incoherent. Let’s finish this. WHY is the universe this way? And please, argue from your Christian perspective.

    I don’t see how morality is “outside” of material bodies. When I reason, when I make moral decision, my material being is the process going on. There is no ghost in the machine doing this for me. Give me and MRI, ask me a series of moral questions, and watch as my neurons fire. Nothing unique here. Just the very same, I can do heinous things, and say revolting things under an MRI and my neurons are still firing. If you claim transcendence for us homo-sapiens – I ask you, and don’t dodge this question, where along the evolutionary line of history, did we develop the ability to have transcendent morals, that our animals don’t share? Because unsurprisingly our morals are akin to all the major primates, along with pigs, dolphins, elephants, etc. There is nothing we do that’s “unique” that they aren’t capable of. Sure you could say we browse the Internet, and such. But morally, we are on pretty equal footing. Most species have a family unit, a political/authoritative unit, and a remarkable ability to look after each other and their kin. So when did we evolve “transcendence” that they didn’t?

    Wtf is evolution of the gaps? You have the gap here, the gap where we are akin to all animals, but your stuffing a ghost in the machine. A superfluous ghost at that.

    Just because I place value in something, doesn’t mean, I’m not doing it with my material make up (my brain). My materialistic brain reasons scenarios. If you’re claiming it’s something more, I again ask you, what is it? You keep alluding to all these something, yet you refuse to define them or explain them. Wasting time…

    Yes my Mom is a collection of parts. That doesn’t mean I don’t love her. You’re telling me if you found out your mom was a heart, lungs, brain, eyes, etc you wouldn’t. If she’s something more, I ask you AGAIN, as I did earlier with your children, and you flat out ignored me, WHAT IS SHE? The value we place is a result of physical, material processes. Not its own force. That’s why, as a fetus to old age, you grow, you learn, your evolve, you paradigm shift, etc. You aren’t “defacto” who you are now at birth. And all this is entirely accountable by material processes.

    That intuition is of course an effect of the cause(the material brain). The reason I find horror in “execution” is because one, the individual isn’t consenting, they are being forced to die. Two, I personally have felt emotional and physical pain. Knowing I didn’t enjoy it, I presume others don’t as well. Some do, masochist for instance. In which case, they can behave that way privately and I won’t intrude. There is no need to postulate anything more here. I’ve reasoned the situation just fine.

    “if the universe was not rational, then it would be impossible. “
    Well that or just wouldn’t be around to see it. It could still exist.
    “or how about this, lets remove every iota of rationality from the universe…
    ok, better universe?”
    What? What do you mean better? Make some sense man.

    Damnit John you have go to stop conflating various ideas into one:
    “so what on earth are you saying when you say that the ONLY value rationality has in the universe for you would be subjective value?”
    For me rationality is prime. For a baby with spina bifidi who will never be cognitive, it’s irrelevant. For a child with severe autism, it’s irrelevant. For someone mentally insane, whose stuck in a state of permanent hallucination, rationality is irrelevant. Sure the rationality has allowed for their life to exist, but rationality is not something they are capable of doing, let alone recognizing, so in that instance, rationality is NOT IMPORTANT.
    “ i would say that its a whole lot more IMPORTANT than that.”
    Exaclt your subjective opinion, that the spine bifida baby isn’t going to concede.

    “the universe seems to do very well with it on a grand scale. and isnt it also rather ridiculous to say that rationality only serves you subjectively when ALL of humanity requires it to function?”
    Right, as I said, the baby with spina bifida needed a rational universe so exist, however, when it dies several months after birth, what good was rationality? And what good was rationality to the insane individual stuck in hallucination? It’s not.
    Sigh
    “so in some round about way, i would say that rationality is probably pretty close up there with light, strong nuclear force, weak nuclear force, gravity, electromagnetism, so on and so forth. “
    This is why you need better terms, and need to stop hopping all over the place. If we are talking about the fact that the universe operates under an immutable law, that is rational to us. Then in that case, all those forces I instructed you about, are a part of that law. As I tried to explain. Once we can merge them all, we have the “theory of everything.” The mathematical formula that will explain all cause and effect. If you’re defining rationality as, ones ability to be rational, then those immutable laws are a factor in the creation if the individuals ability, but it’s a product “rational” from the other “rational.”

    “but we both believe is the case. the entire brute fact is that the universe exists and works, we just have to find out how.”
    Correct, that’s what I’ve been stressing this entire time. You however are obsessed with not HOW, but WHY. Your why is Yahweh obviously. Since I know neither of us knows 100% for sure the WHY, I focus on the HOW. Of course you claim you “know” the why, but that’s a lie. It’s your belief/ faith.
    Those laws, strong nuclear force, weak, gravity, etc are all “hows” of the theory of everything. They will not give us why, and neither have you.

    “in your interpretation of reality, there is a huge, huge gap for all of the unanswered, unclaimed rationality in the universe. and it does not sit well with me. you may be able to get past it but i cannot. intuitively and intellectually i know there’s more to this than meets the eye. again it reeks of information and that presupposes MIND. many a scientist have also agreed with this.”
    Yes I refuse to say I know the WHY. You continue to claim you know the why, but you won’t offer it, and I know when you do, it will fall apart. Because Yahwehs account in Genesis is laughable. Regardless, just as finding a leaf blowing in the forest tells you nothing of the physiology of the tree it came from, finding a rational universe, tells you nothing of the origin. You continue to say mind. The only mind we know is those of the animal species, and it seems extremely dubious to say this cosmos was created by something akin to an animal mind.

    “and again, i wholeheartedly recommend that you think further about this. im not asking you to think about yahweh, im asking you to ask yourself whether there is intelligence and rationality in the universe or not. and to really think about what that means.”

    Sigh. Shut up already John, with your, “im asking you to think more.” As if I haven’t. As if you haven’t been repeating your banal limp wristed lines over and over, and failing to address my direct rebuttals. The cosmos is rational. I don’t why. If you do, say it. Fuck how many times have I repeated that sentence? Is the universe intelligent? No. Not at all. There is nothing about it that makes me think it was made from an animal mind. Black hole at the center of our galaxy, sun exploding in 5 billion years, Andromeda galaxy ripping through the milky way in 6 billion, and an eternity of motionless death, are not “intelligent” things.

    That quote is silly at best. My out look isn’t impoverished, I’m a very content individual, quite happy with the milestones science has garnered, and elucidated. The information and facts the system has brought forth are far more awe inspiring than any creation story I’ve ever read. Your theism, which you won’t get into, obviously hasn’t explained anything, because you haven’t used it to explain anything. If there is more going on than material, what is it? Tell me? Show me? Etc.

  127. Enough already! Creator Almighty GOD did it, Chris, whether you want to believe it or not! Just because you have thrown out the Biblical account doesn’t make you any more correct than you think John is incorrect. Faith is a choice.

    I will not debate with you. Since you don’t believe in God, there’s no reason to discuss anything. I get that. No reason to curse, or refer to other’s opinions as “silly.”

  128. By your own standards you can’t love your mom Chris. Or anyone else for that matter. Love (like Yahweh) is too abstract according to your jargon here. And love’s the loophole that brings the book you’ve written here crashing down. You can claim acts of love as proof, but acts prove nothing. Love requires faith to be real, and there’s no quantitative way of measuring an abstract idea such as love. You, sir, are a walking contradiction in terms.

    And you claim math as a universal constant? Do you not know that professors at MIT are able to prove that 1+1 doesn’t always equal too? I’m sorry to instruct you on a plain and simple fact that the laws that govern your fairytale universe are not as concrete as you would have others believe.

    Nice try, but everyone’s got you licked here. I pray that someday you search for the real meaning behind it all. I pray that your someday is soon as life is short. PS – I always tell my students that vulgarity is the vernacular of idiocy – that is, people who cuss sound really, really unintelligent.

    Game over.

  129. Jane you interchange the word god with yahweh, when it’s quite true that all over the world, and all over history, god does NOT have “one meaning.”
    The god of thomas paine is not the god of pat roberston, whose not the god of einstein, whose not the god of conufscious, whose not the god of socrates, whose not the god of plato, etc.

    If you define for me god as “the rational laws of the cosmos,” I’ll concede, I believe in god. If you define god as yahweh, I don’t believe.

    Regardless this god of rational law, speaks nothing of prayer answering, after life granting, anthprocentrism, miracle working, and any other dogmas.

    You go on to say “whether i want to bo believe it or not” but then admit it’s your faith. So in if it is your faith, that leaves open the option that you’re wrong, since it’s a belief, and not a fact. So on that note you can’t say to me “he did it whether you believe or not,” because you should exercise humility and recognize it’s a faith based position.

  130. David,
    cut the silly crap. Of course I love my mom. Perhaps you’ve heard of the drug X/E/ecstacy, etc. It’s scientifically proven to pump the same chemicals in your brain, oxytocin, that produce the feeling of “love.” Love is a chemical reaction. Now just because it’s chemical doesn’t make it sincere. Even if you were right and love was spiritual, it doesn’t make it less sincere. So just because we know the properties that account for love, whether material or spiritual, shouldn’t change the sincerity. No?

    Now Yahweh is not too abstract. Yahweh is a man made deity, by a camel herder, in a time of great ignorance. I don’t mind that he was out there trying, but it’s antiquated.

    I don’t see how love requires faith. let me give you a very simple reason I know my mom loves me, based on observable evidence. She fed me everyday, she clothed me each year. She paid for my tuition. She sacrificed personal fun for the sake of my upbringing. She told me she loved me everyday she dropped me off at school, and when I went to bed. She offered me advice when I was upset, took my side in issues she knew I was right on, and basically raised me with care.Etc. I really don’t “need” to list this. That’s all observable evidence, no faith involved. Especially faith on the level of believing yahweh is the cause of the cosmos.

    I’ve never read anything of the sort about MIT professors and TWO (thats how it’s spelled, not too). You’ll need to cite your source, because frankly, I don’t believe you. Although, if you show me their claim and I can read it, I’m more than open to changing my mind.

    As far as game over, you’re quite right. I managed to answer all your questions, plus pose numerous ones of my own, which you’ve been ignoring for several post. Such as, tell me your “why” if you know it as you claim to do. Tell me what “more” are your kids and family. Etc.

    Cussing is irrelevant, it’s just adjectives. Life’s short, you’re right, so take advantage of it, and cherish it, because fairy tales are wasting your time 😉

  131. whoops I meant just because it’s chemical doesn’t mean it’s not sincere.

  132. If anyone is having a hard time posting comments for this post please email me: donny@donnypauling.com . I was told one person can’t reply here for some reason and just want to see if that is an isolated incident.

  133. Chris, you really need to learn how to read, I never alluded to love being spiritual, just impossible to prove. I can’t believe you love anyone based on your word.

    Plenty of folks have a laundry list larger than yours only to find after death that spouses were cheating, planning to murder them, etc. etc. Again, as you seem to have missed the first time around, works account for nothing in the abstract realm of love. I’ll repeat it for you, there’s no possible way to prove it. The only love you can prove is the love you have for others (and only to yourself since you hold the key to your sincerity), you have to accept other’s love for you on faith. Sorry, brother. I’m not saying your mom doesn’t love you, I’m sure she does.

    I knew you were going to pick apart my spelling. Have you read your past posts? Every being in the Omniverse could pick your posts apart for spelling, grammar errors, etc. etc.
    You need to do a bit of research. My own sister is completing her doctorate thesis at MIT this year in astro/aerospace engineering and was more than ecstatic to prove to me that 1+1 doesn’t equal two. I’d rather like to take the word of a her and her rocket science friends compared to yours. What was it you were studying again?

    Don’t be so afraid of truth that can’t be explained. I can’t answer questions for a know it all, but I know people whose intelligence level puts yours to shame and they don’t all agree with you.

    And you only answer questions with the same answers you’ve been posturing about since you decided to engage half the posters on this blog (I never even invited a conversation with you, but engaged you simply because you engaged me). The word to describe your tactics is REDUNDANCY.

    PS – It’s obvious your ego will be hurt if you don’t leave the last post so say whatever you like, you’ve already discredited yourself and proven your legacy.

    And by the way, I admitted to being erratic, but not incoherent. Again, please read carefully.
    Take it easy brother 🙂

  134. I tell you what, I’m going to call my sister tonight and get some names and theorems for you so you can have some real fun. I’ll post again when I’ve got the evidence your unable to find and that will be my last post.

  135. Chirs… are you RoomMate’s hot Chris from Virginia? Or some other Chris?

  136. Just got off the phone with my sister, she said she’d be happy to write a little explanation for you that I could cut and past tomorrow morning (she was at a friend’s house at the moment). She told me a lot of facts that I didn’t really understand, but she also said that in binary, 1+1=0 (just a simple example, apparently one of many). And I’d forgotten that I already knew that, or something like that? I’ll let her explain it since she’s the genius!

  137. Oh, she wondered where you were studying, if you care to give the information. If not, it’s cool.

  138. you seriously need some glue dude

    ill try not to be quite as rude in my response. this will be my last post on this subject with you. its not really going anywhere anymore, tempers are flaring and youre content with your interpretation/opinion. all i can do is attempt to explain my stance, hopefully offer my hypothesis on things that arent quite settled yet and get you to think.

    ive got alot of points to go over so i will try to cover what youve written.

    ok, i asked you to address the DIRECT FORMATION of the universe.

    two things happened. one, i didnt ask you about biology and extinct species. that has ZERO to do with the early universe.

    and two, in my gut i knew youd bring up the chronological amount of time it took to happen. thats irrelevant and thats not what i meant by direct. what i meant by direct was that the material of the early universe did not go out into left field tinkering with this or that trying to find its “identity” so to speak. it went on to DIRECTLY form gas, stars, galaxies, planets so forth and so on. and this brings me to the second thing you misunderstood- the trial and error example. ALL of the “serious” trial and error scenarios you brought up made my point exactly. ALL of them were congruent within the confines and parameters of the early universe. none of them were OUTSIDE of those limits. that is because the material of the early universe came into reality already DEFINED with particular parameters, what it could do behavior wise, and under what condition. that is why you DO NOT get space marshmallows, you get stars. you gave examples of stars imploding and forming etc etc. but they are all STILL stars. that is not what i meant by a trial and error and i know youll just laugh it off and say that well of course there was no trial and error outside of the confines of the early universe, we wouldnt be here to see it. so this leads me to ask you, why? and chris, “why”questions are just another window to look at the universe through…just as important as HOW. anyways…there was no trial and error outside of the confines of the universe because that material entered reality ALREADY DEFINED. even at its smallest level..it would be almost like a cambrian explosion of quantum material appearing as it were. you would call this determinism. and id couple information to determinism as being apart of that which determines what a thing will be and what limits it will have.

    information.

    and information is what sets parameters. much like DNA giving an object DEFINITION, DESCRIPTION, AND BEHAVIOR.

    and i wholeheartedly postulate information WITH the early universe as the best explanation. you keep saying that i said GOD injected AFTER the big bang. i did not say that. im saying that information was IN, WITH, and ALONGSIDE everything that happened during the big bang.

    now let me give some examples:

    can you make a star with wood or aluminum?

    of course not because none of that material INHERENTLY has the potential for it
    can you take all of the building blocks of stars and make clouds?

    you already know the answer to that.

    obviously there is something that is setting limits…giving DESCRIPTION, DEFINITION, AND BEHAVIOR to universal objects. youd have to agree with this…both on the micro and macro scale. its a brute observation.

    now let me ask you, you know that in living things there is information. but do you not think there is any in nonliving material?

    now, it is DNA in living things that DETERMINES(key word) what the definition, appearance, size, etc etc will be.

    that is because there is information in the DNA

    even richard dawkins likes the info in DNA to “digital information”

    the reason that stars form when X and Y happen is because X and Y can only do that which is inherent to them. and that is why you cannot form a star with A and B

    this is information chris.

    so alongside rationality id like to bring another player into the universe: information.

    determinism would say that X followed Y which followed A which followed B and now you have C.

    right …and this is what happened in the early universe…strict chronology.

    but if X,Y,A, and B had no description…no inherent identity. you would NOT have all of the separate distinct building blocks that make up everything, you would have NOTHING.

    you have to agree that alongside rationality, the universe also contains INFORMATION which gives the identity and structure of every living and non living thing.

    so now you have a universe that is RATIONAL and full of INFORMATION…and if you did not deduce INTELLIGENCE before, you most certainly can now.

    and again to reiterate… i want to stress very strongly that ALL of science hinges on the fact that the universe is rational, intelligible, coherent, and understandable. this is absolutely paramount. otherwise we could find nothing out about it. in FACT science PRESUPPOSES this BEFORE it goes into the field. that by study, it will make sense of things.

    so before you bring in the supernova, sun dying, death around the corner scare tactics to downplay the presence of rationality and information in the universe…you should really pause and think about the GREATER fact that there is any rationality at all.

    im not going to lie. it still boggles me that the only value you see rationality having would be merely a subjective value ONLY to yourself.

    ive already stated that science hinges on the universe being rational, all of humanities survival depends on it..the universe ITSELF needs coherence to operate…i still do not get it your position on all of this.

    now on to your rant about spinal bifida and autistic children. i swear if you keep on bringing that up im going to start hating God…the guilt trip your weaving is starting to set in.

    dude, couple questions…do those kids see doctors? well, dont the doctors use the RATIONALITY of medical research into the human body to help treat them? so, we know NOTHING of how the human body operates, it makes ZERO sense to us?

    chris, your smarter than that

    and now onto the thing about you relating to torture victims because of past pain experience.

    well what happens if you cant relate, have never experienced, or do not care about victims of torture? lets say you were jeffrey dahmer…now wouldnt the pain of the victim TRANSCEND mr dahmers mentality or his lack of detection to it? meaning somewhere someone would have to put value on it… most likely the court of law. or how about the callousness of nazi germany?

    now onto the real meaning of impoverished outlook.

    again you completely misunderstood the quote.

    ill explain it in a nutshell:

    on your anniversary, if you go tell your girlfriend that she is nothing more than a collection of parts…and that her favorite music is only a collection of notes.

    THAT would be an impoverished view of reality.

    were not trying to say that you are a bad person or anything. so keep your head up:)

    and youd just love for me to break out the bible now wouldnt you…to prove my points

    well, the bible is not a science book so thats not going to happen.

    and you dont presuppose God, so im not going to get involved in theology with you.

    darn, its really hard dealing with all of your quirks.

    youre so high maintenance chris.

    and if you cannot tell the difference between man and animals i dont know what to tell you.

    well, heres a good quote

    “humans share 98% of DNA with chimps…but is a chimp 98% human? no, its a chimp”

    peace out and just remember reality is more than material. science believes there are up to 11 dimensions… so the game is wide open.

  139. Hey David,

    Fine, just to move on, we can say, we take love on faith, however, there is still evidence. Perhaps the final leap requires a small amount of faith – but this is not akin to the faith it requires to believe the tribal god yahweh is the cause of the cosmos, when absolutely EVERY bit of evidence Yahweh gave (genesis) is wrong. Where as in my love scenario for my mom, I offer tons of evidence, and then take a tiny leap.

    Rofl, how is it supposed to take a long to prove a mathematical operation doesn’t equal a result? If your sister is on this research, as I politely asked before, please link me to it. I’ve never heard of such a thing, so I have no idea where to look. Although I find it absurd to believe. I mean if I have 1 apple on the counter, and add another apple, I have 2 apples! Good luck disproving that… (which has nothing to do with yahweh)

    What truth can’t be explained? I don’t know what you’re even referring to, to believe it in the first place. It’s not as if I’m building up walls here. I continue to ask what you’re talking about, and I don’t get an answer. As far as you knowing smarter people, that’s fine, so what? You shouldn’t make your arguments from authority. Think freely.

    Where did I disprove myself? Which one of my “arguments” was disproven? Why do you just say “You’re wrong” without correcting me? How am I to know where my reasoning fell apart, if you won’t be kind enough to show me, as I’ve been doing for you?

  140. Erin,
    I;m from florida. I don’t have any idea who you’re referring too.

  141. David,

    I’ll be happy to read it as something interesting to read, but it really has absolutely nothing to do with me and Johns conversation. And where I study is equally irrelevent. You seem to want to base your facts and knowledge off “smarter” people and institutions. I don’t do that. I think for myself. I take information from all over the world, when I can, but I reach final conclusions on my own – where it’s possible.

  142. (edited out by Donny, since Chris reposted under his own name)

  143. DOH! I’m sorry, that last post was me(Chris), I actually signed it as John!

  144. Now it disapeared, I’ll repost:

    John,

    Well I asked you before about the early universe. I said, do you want me to explain the first three minutes, the first 300,000 years, for the next 10 billion? You simply didn’t reply. Cosmologist tend to tell cosmological history in chunks. Those dates are them. I’ll be more than happy to do my best to over each of those events if you think. If not, I suggest reading
    Origins – Neil DeGrasse Tyson
    or The First Three Minutes – Steven Weinberg

    I’ve never denied for a moment that the cosmos went on to form gas, stars, galaxies, etc. You and I are in agreement here. But just as it went directly on to form all of that stuff, it went on to directly form black holes, failed stars, and extinct species. So what, what’s your point? The universe is a wild place, filled with a lot of awe striking things. And I’ve been agreeing with you like five post now, that the universe came defined with laws. Of course it’s pretty funny than when I started talking about them your ignorance came shining through. You obviously don’t read any science, or really have an understanding of any specific science field. Probably just read a few intelligent design books and felt well versed on the subject…

    Now I’ll be candid. These thought right here is extremely aggravating. I mean fuck John, how many godamn times do I have to answer this EXACT question, re ask you a question, and watch you dodge it. Ughhhhhhhhhhhhh your tedious and shallow, and forgetful apparently.
    “that is not what i meant by a trial and error and i know youll just laugh it off and say that well of course there was no trial and error outside of the confines of the early universe, we wouldnt be here to see it. so this leads me to ask you, why? “

    I answered WHY. I don’t know. And neither do you. You have claimed you do. I have asked numerous times, some politely, some rudely, TELL ME WHY! You won’t. You can’t.

    Everything you do on to say about the cosmos being already defined, without outside intervention, is exactly what I’ve said here since day 1. Glad we agree there is no after life (outside intervention), prayer answering (outside intervention), miracle working (outside intervention) or Yahweh (outside intervention). You’ll make a great atheist.

    Yeah but your information term is just ambiguous. Philosophers since before the age of Christ, and every since, have referred to this as “natural law.” or “the laws of nature.” Let’s stick with that, since it has held 2000 years of scrutiny. Please?

    Actually a star with aluminum may be possible….I’d need to do research, but aluminum most likely formed in stars. Obviously not WOOD. Wood is a fucking outcome of biology lol.

    Here is where your banal, regurgitations fall apart.

    “obviously there is something that is setting limits…giving DESCRIPTION, DEFINITION, AND BEHAVIOR to universal objects. youd have to agree with this…both on the micro and macro scale. its a brute observation.”

    As we both agree, nothing is setting the limits. The limits were set at the point of the bang. There is no more “setting.” Yes I agree that this natural law has led to things that we are capable of describing, defining, and some of them hold “behavior.”

    “now let me ask you, you know that in living things there is information. but do you not think there is any in nonliving material?”
    This is why I don’t like your use of information. It’s purposely equivocated, quite possibly straight out of some intelligent design book. Anyway. If we define information, as you have been, as natural law, that allows for atoms to “do their job.” Than yes, there is JUST AS MUCH information in a rock, as in DNA. Because the rock, like the dna strand, is simply atoms. Now of course the result of the rocks atoms just lead to a non-sentient rock. And the result of the atoms in dna lead to a myriad of things. So what? We are still in agreement. All your post, we are in agreement, you just keep giving me these really poor science lessons, with ambiguous phrasing.

    “the reason that stars form when X and Y happen is because X and Y can only do that which is inherent to them. and that is why you cannot form a star with A and B
    this is information chris.”
    Or, as every scientist and philosopher has been calling it since before christ, this is the universe operating under natural law. Anyway we arent in disagreement, only where you decide to swap terms.

    Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with you? Are you a masochist? Do you enjoy wasting our time and repeating yourself for days?
    “you have to agree that alongside rationality, the universe also contains INFORMATION which gives the identity and structure of every living and non living thing.”

    When in pigs fucking heaven did I ever disagree with any of this? I used natural law in place of information, but that’s it. For the love of no god, STOP repeating these grade school science analogies to me when I’ve been agreeing with you for five mother fucking days.

    Ah here comes the little opining you took straight out of some dembski book:
    “so now you have a universe that is RATIONAL and full of INFORMATION…and if you did not deduce INTELLIGENCE before, you most certainly can now. “

    No I can not deduce intelligence from this. The only intelligence I know, as I’ve been saying for over five days, you sadomasochist, is that the intelligence we know, come from biological earth creatures. The range is all over the place in their capabilities and what they specialize in. I do not see, homo-sapien neural faculties, as being the cause of this cosmos, anymore than the various other theories like string theory, multiverse, cosmic crunch, etc. Homo-sapien intelligence is such a tiny, infinitesimal part of the universe, that it’s dubious to propose it’s also the cause. Perhaps a black hole is the cause? There are more black holes than homo-sapiens. And black holes do suck in matter from the universe. So it’s quite possible that the matter they suck in “big bangs” into another universe.

    “and again to reiterate… i want to stress very strongly that ALL of science hinges on the fact that the universe is rational, intelligible, coherent, and understandable. this is absolutely paramount. otherwise we could find nothing out about it. in FACT science PRESUPPOSES this BEFORE it goes into the field. that by study, it will make sense of things.”

    Thank you, I’m well aware. I learned the scientific method in lower school as well….
    This speaks nothing of yahweh, after life, miracle working, prayer answering, etc.

    “so before you bring in the supernova, sun dying, death around the corner scare tactics to downplay the presence of rationality and information in the universe…you should really pause and think about the GREATER fact that there is any rationality at all.”

    No the reason I’m talking about that, is to show, that to presume, homo-sapiens are the pinnacle of creation, and the very reason for the existence of the universe, is patently absurd. We get to occupy earth for around 100,000 years before we fully go extinct. Regardless the universe isn’t slowing down in what it’s doing. We occupy a blip of time, I’m thankful for that of course. Regardless, we aren’t the pinnacle. I find it extremely pretentious to suppose we are.

    “im not going to lie. it still boggles me that the only value you see rationality having would be merely a subjective value ONLY to yourself. “

    Well again, some creatures are born without the ability to rationalize. In that instance, rationality can’t mean anything to them. Now I’ve been saying over and over again (wear some glasses or something, you have either a defective memory, poor reading comprehension, or you’re a sadomasochist), obviously rationality brought about the ability of the spina bifida baby to exist. However, since the spina bifidia baby is never going to be cognitive on that level, and will die in misery, what “good” is rationality? Yes it brought the child about, but in this case, it isn’t a “good” or “positive” thing to of brought about.

    I’m not trying to set in a guilt trip. Not at all. But these are cold facts. Facts I morn. Facts if I was a praying man, would pray didn’t exist. However there is nothing we can do, except study, and use the tools of science to succour these poor individuals. Religion in this instance can’t do a thing. I’m not asking you to hate god, but at the time same, I do not want you to turn away from facts, no matter how callous they may be. We’d all love to believe for instance that there isn’t a war going on the middle east, but there is, and we have to accept it. Just like here. Some individuals are born, without the ability to reason, so they can’t even understand that “rationality” is the very reason for their existence. As a result, rationality means nothing to them.

    “dude, couple questions…do those kids see doctors? well, dont the doctors use the RATIONALITY of medical research into the human body to help treat them? so, we know NOTHING of how the human body operates, it makes ZERO sense to us?”

    Well yes, typically now a doctor sees a baby has spina bifida around 6 months. Almost all parents now get an abortion once they find this out, because there really is no way to make the baby survive. Even if you do, it’s going to live some 6 months in extreme pain, while the parents morn by the bedside, until it inevitably dies anyway. In this instance there really is no treatment, just prolonged suffering 😦

    I didn’t say we know nothing about how the human body operates, wtf are you talking about? I’m obviously implying we KNOW a lot. And I’m pointing out that, the rational universe sometimes gives us problems where there is no current fix, no matter how much we understand. At this moment, spina bifida is one of them. Hopefully we’ll surmount it, maybe not…We tackled polio, chicken pox, malaria, and leprosy haha.

    “well what happens if you cant relate, have never experienced, or do not care about victims of torture? lets say you were jeffrey dahmer…now wouldnt the pain of the victim TRANSCEND mr dahmers mentality or his lack of detection to it? meaning somewhere someone would have to put value on it… most likely the court of law. or how about the callousness of nazi germany?”

    Well we have to take examples one by one. Obviously I’ve never “felt” someone putting me in a gas chamber. I’m willing to wager though, if you asked each crippled, homosexual, and jew, before they entered Hitlers chambers “Do you want to do this, you have no idea how it feels, but do you WANT to do this?” They would say no. They could also use obvious evidence, so observe, how those currently in the chamber are feeling. I don’t need to felt the same pain, to recognize pain, anguish, torment etc. Yes we set up legal precedents to avoid this. Regardless, these are all materialistic processes comprised of atoms.

    HAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHA
    I can’t believe I just read this:
    “on your anniversary, if you go tell your girlfriend that she is nothing more than a collection of parts…and that her favorite music is only a collection of notes.
    THAT would be an impoverished view of reality.
    were not trying to say that you are a bad person or anything. so keep your head up:)
    and youd just love for me to break out the bible now wouldnt you…to prove my points”

    Roflmao! Are you fucking serious? Why would I say that on my anniversary? Hahahahaha. Dude, come on! My girlfriend knows she’s comprised of atoms, it wouldn’t be earth shattering news to her. But she would be rather confused about why I chose to discuss that on an anniversary rofl. As I said, if my girlfriend is comprised of all atoms, or all “souls and spirits,” that does not change the SINCERITY (so no this isn’t impoverished) of my feelings towards her. Just because we know the material that accounts for these feelings, does change the sincerity of those feelings. As I said above with the spina bifida baby. You can’t be afraid to acknowledge the truth, if the truth is what you’re seriously going after (in your case you’re just trying to find a deity in every thing you can). My girlfriend is comprised of trillions of atoms, and I love each and every one of them 😉

    “well, the bible is not a science book so thats not going to happen.”
    Nor is it a book that is remotely coherent when it comes to the origins of the cosmos. I really want to know why Yahweh got genesis SO wrong lol.

    “youre so high maintenance chris.”
    Hypocrite. You keep repeating these same banal science analogies that I’ve been agreeing with for five days!
    “and if you cannot tell the difference between man and animals i don’t know what to tell you.”
    Depends what you mean. Man is an animal. I obviously can tell the difference between Tom Cruise and a Lizard in my drive way. But that doesn’t change the fact they both are animals that evolved from a common ancestor. Now In philosophy classes one of the most common questions asked is, “whats unique about human nature.” On that philosophical question, I personally, don’t see a SINGLE thing in our nature that “separates” us from the other animals. We are “better” at certain things, like reasoning, but we aren’t the only animals capable of this feature. I;m willing to hear your answer though. Goodluck.

    “humans share 98% of DNA with chimps…but is a chimp 98% human? no, its a chimp”

    Well again that depends. I chimp knows language, can communicate, has a family unit, often has a “government” unit (as in some authoritative tribal figures who retain power). They can reason, they can build, they can invent. Sure we talk more, and reason better, but there is actually very little difference, only in what we specialize at. We specialize MORE SO in reasoning and communications. They can do that, but they specialize in agility and adaptation to a jungle environment, so climbing, swinging, etc. We can also do those things, but not on their level.

    Oh my sweet moses, not this trite canard again, that I ALREADY ADDRESSED AND YOU IGNORE:
    “peace out and just remember reality is more than material. science believes there are up to 11 dimensions… so the game is wide open.”

    How much actualy reading have you done on string theory. “Science” doesn’t believe there are 11 dimensions. A group OF SCIENTIST do. Unfortunately, every scientific experiment every postulated to confirm this hypothesis has failed. At this moment 11 dimensions is a tentative hypothesis, proposed by a select group of scientist. Regardless, even in their 11 dimensions, the universe is STILL material. So you’re wrong.
    As I’ve asked you a zillion times:
    If there is something more, what is it? Tell me? Show me? Give me a bloody example.
    Two: You know the “why” of the origin of the cosmsos. Tell me. OR quit wasting our time.

  145. donny, call security:)

  146. My post really went crazy there, started posting out of order and such…regardless john, two of those are my genuine reply.

  147. Chris, I edited the mistaken post for ya.

  148. Donny thank you!
    I still can’t post my links though that I privately mailed you about.

  149. Here you go as promised:

    “In the study of number theory we learn of something called modular arithmetic
    (sometimes called modulo arithmetic or clock arithmetic). Modular arithmetic is a system
    of arithmetic for integers where numbers “wrap around” after they reach a certain value –
    the modulus. Some examples of operations modulo 12 are:
    7 + 7 = 14 = 2 (mod 12)
    5 * 7 = 35 = 11 (mod 12)
    In such a system we can easily see that for a modulo less than 2 all arithmetic solutions
    are equal to 1 or 0. So for a mod 1 situation we see that:
    1 + 1 = 0 (mod 1)
    To play with arithmetic for various modulo you can use this interactive java script:

    I’m gonna take a page out of your book and cut paste, your original email will be in “”.

    “Fine, just to move on, we can say, we take love on faith, however, there is still evidence. Perhaps the final leap requires a small amount of faith – but this is not akin to the faith it requires to believe the tribal god yahweh is the cause of the cosmos, when absolutely EVERY bit of evidence Yahweh gave (genesis) is wrong. Where as in my love scenario for my mom, I offer tons of evidence, and then take a tiny leap.”

    If you’ve read past genesis you’d see that faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains. I’m afraid all humans are capable of is a tiny leap of faith, if even that much. There’s evidence of Yahweh all over the place, it just takes a tiny leap of faith to find the Creator.

    “Rofl, how is it supposed to take a long to prove a mathematical operation doesn’t equal a result? If your sister is on this research, as I politely asked before, please link me to it. I’ve never heard of such a thing, so I have no idea where to look. Although I find it absurd to believe. I mean if I have 1 apple on the counter, and add another apple, I have 2 apples! Good luck disproving that… (which has nothing to do with Yahweh)”

    Of course, math and science are faith based. That is you theorize and then apply the scientific process. Faith leads to results. You believe it and then achieve it. Your apple analogy is cute, but doesn’t apply to the complexities math can reach. But I feel the same way, I eat one taco, then another, I’ve got two in my stomach, but numbers and equations are abstract and since you believe in wormholes, you’d understand that matter can be bent. Not so concrete. As far as Yahweh, He created all of this, it all has to do with Him. His signature is on all of it.

    “What truth can’t be explained? I don’t know what you’re even referring to, to believe it in the first place. It’s not as if I’m building up walls here. I continue to ask what you’re talking about, and I don’t get an answer. As far as you knowing smarter people, that’s fine, so what? You shouldn’t make your arguments from authority. Think freely.”

    I’m talking about Yahweh coming to earth in human form and proclaiming Himself as the Truth. The meaning behind everything and reason for everything. And people who actually study what you claim to know have point that are much more valid without being militant. They don’t have to cuss up a storm, or call other’s ideas silly because they’re lacking in the actual application of the knowledge you assume comprehension of. And I do make arguments from authority, so do you. You’ve quoted a lot of books you’ve read here. You really believe you’re thinking for yourself? Everyone references once in a while and you do it a whole lot. There’s nothing wrong with that. Besides, I’m a Christian who believes in the heavenly authority that is Yahweh based on evidence in creation and in my personal walk with Him.

    “Where did I disprove myself? Which one of my “arguments” was disproven? Why do you just say “You’re wrong” without correcting me? How am I to know where my reasoning fell apart, if you won’t be kind enough to show me, as I’ve been doing for you?”

    Well, for starters, you’ve got problems with faith based reasoning, but you’re high on math, science, and love. And you haven’t really shown me anything, only cherry picked ideologies you disagree with (and spelling, PLEASE!). That proves nothing.

    “I’ll be happy to read it as something interesting to read, but it really has absolutely nothing to do with me and Johns conversation. And where I study is equally irrelevent. You seem to want to base your facts and knowledge off “smarter” people and institutions. I don’t do that. I think for myself. I take information from all over the world, when I can, but I reach final conclusions on my own – where it’s possible.”

    It’s at the top of the post if you happened to miss it the first time. And, I’m not writing to you concerning your conversation with John. As I’ve mentioned, you addressed me first, so I addressed you back.
    I really don’t care where you study, my sister was curious as you seemed like a hack to her. It doesn’t matter where you study to me. There’s a lot of great schools all over the nation.
    And, now let me get this straight, you take others information, from all over the world no doubt, and then think for yourself? I’ve seen plenty of reiterations of other’s thinking in your posts. You really think your thinking for yourself? Maybe your opinions (final conclusions), but definitely not your presuppositions.

    Chris, I think your a great person and I wish you the best. Good luck in your studies and take it easy.

    David 🙂

    And everyone else, I feel like I know you all now!
    Take it easy and God bless (or Yahweh bless?).

  150. its all good dude, i know they were genuine and i read them. and when i get time ill check out those links you sent. so whereabouts in florida do you live? i live on the central east side in vero beach, just south of melbourne. and just came back from a SKIM competition at the beach. the college ministry i am apart of just got a team together. two of our guys won first place in their division

    and their success was attributed to both RATIONALITY and INFORMATION thus making their heats quite INTELLIGIBLE to the judges!

    🙂

  151. im a student at UCF, so Orlando. Just moved here for the college this year. Also I just quit my job at a christian bookstore to take on my school load 😉

  152. oh no doubt? i know some people up there at that school

    do you know john, kyle or joe?

    no for real some people i know go there

    now did you really quit your job at a christian bookstore?

    i was thinking you worked at a tarot card shop or something….

    check it this is a paste of a bulletin i sent out on myspace and this is for you chris and anyone else who might be interested:

    DEBATE news for the big brains peoples
    Body:
    get ready to start spazzin you freaking nerds!!!

    check it, john lennox just recently debated christopher hitchens at the edinburgh fest so be on the lookout for that audio or that video suckas

    lennox is also gettin some serious street cred …..for real. even dawkins was in the crowd at the hitchens debate watchin

    also, lennox and dawkins will debate AGAIN exactly one year from the time of their first meeting in oct of 08 !!!

    oh snap

    and what will be cool is lennox will be in tampa at the cs lewis fest sometime in november. dudes we can plan a sick game of dungeons and dragons then head off over to tampa for that!!

    best. weekend. ever.

    life is mothertruckin good

    your boy

  153. I’m not sure if your name comment was facetious or not, but, no I don’t those people…massive campus, top 5 in the USA. So there are at least dozens of those names.

    Yes I’ve been working at an ostensibly Christian bookstore since January. I’m a total book addict, unhealthy might I add 😉 So the job was good for me, because although it was Christian, we didn’t hold any bias in our “trading” process. So if the god delusion came along for instance, we’d buy it. under that condition, I scored tons of good literature, plus a lot of cheap classics.

    I’ve watched all those people debate. Of course I don’t agree with Lennox, but he seems like a harmless, and very affable individual. Hitchens however…I love the mans history books, and erudition, but he’s a bit arrogant no doubt. Oh well, I’ll try to watch the debate if I have time.

  154. John would you mind putting the link up to the debate pleasE?

  155. David also had problems posting a link. He emailed asking that I post this one:

    http://www.math.umbc.edu/~campbell/NumbThy/Class/BasicNumbThy.html

  156. It won’t be long until this thread and its comments can be printed as a book. Out of curiosity I just printing it to PDF. Take a guess how many pages we’ve reached… okay, I’ll just tell you: 65 pages.

  157. h crap dude. (donny)

    please edit my grammar, not that i need it or anything

    donny i was seriously entertaining the idea of putting a debate together, wouldnt that be sick? theres a unitarian church down the road and they always seem up for stimulating conversation, at least thats what the posts show on their signs. i know its a long shot, but how would you feel about putting something together somewhere? i think If God was behind it, it would happen regardless of the details.

    id give my left lung to see dsouza and dawkins battle royale

    chris yeah i was being faceshiousaliscious, thats a BIG J/K too so dont open a can of W.A. on me

    so the book store is a christian themed book store or just christian owned?

    you mentioned that you had a christian upbringing, any particular denomination your family involved in?

    and im still debating the idea of engaging you once more for further discussion. i was walking the other day and all of these observations hit me concerning things id like to talk about. i saw this mentally handicapped guy walking towards me in the grocery store and i was contemplating his value…or the reasons one SHOULD value the handicapped.. i was trying to see if i was intuitively referencing some type of transcendent idea or if it was ONLY biologically based reason. my gut is telling me that principles are transcendent…thats why we can choose to stop following them whenever we wish but they are still “fixed”…..at the very least, in our minds.

    for instance, take a group of friends. lets say they decide to be MORE honest with each other and stick to that ideal. so they set their mind on this idea of honesty and then bring their will into submission to its practice. wouldnt that be a transcendent idea they are tapping into?

    what say you?

  158. oh yeah and which debate did you want a link for?

    there is no transcript, audio, or video so far for the lennox, hitchens debate…just some blogs about them by people who went. ONLY one was somewhat informative .

    the way i found it was googling lennox hitchens debate

    the fixed point foundation are the ones who put it on. they also did the previous one with lennox/dawkins and will also host the second lennox/dawkins debate in anniversary of wilberforce/huxley.

    yeah i think hitchens is kind of a lazy debater more interested in being crass than being thorough. hed probably do better if it was in a written format.

    ill tell you who is an absolutely TERRIBLE debater…daniel dennet. holy crap dinesh dsouza smeared that guy. he is just not good on his feet.

    and since you are in o-town..like i was saying, in november lennox will be in tampa with the cs lewis society/foundation? im really wanting to go to that and meet the guy. i read his most recent book and its probably one of the best on that subject. very well done.

    you can google that one too, it does take a little looking for it. i think i searched cs lewis society/ foundation john lennox tampa or something.

    do you have a myspace chris?

  159. I read Dawkin’s post on his message board. He has made it pretty clear in several post that he finds Dsouza as a person to be disgusting (Keep in mind he does not feel that way about lennox or mcgrath – maybe because they share the same politics…I dunno). And as a result, he doesn’t want to one, debate someone who isn’t a scientist, and two, someone he sincerely dislikes. You may take this as a sign of him copping out, oh well. I understand his position though, there are certain people I simply just don’t like, and choose to ignore, even if they question me. For instance you couldn’t get me on a stage to debate the iraq war with president bush, because I’d be fuming at the site of him, I may lose my logic, and become very emotional.

    The store was run by an entire christian staff, with predominantly christian customers, closed on sundays, etc.(The store originated as a place where my boss sold his fellow church goers goods on amazon out of an office, and it grew from there) However, since most people like “trade” book stores, a secular crowd showed up over time(bringing secular novels and such), and my boss knew it would be financially myopic to ignore their basis. Now if you add up “secular” to “religious” books, the ratio is of course overwhelming in the latter.

    My mothers side of the family is mostly catholic. As was she. She took me to some Unitarian churches though mostly, and some Catholic. She couldn’t make up her mind. One of my grade school friends took me to a southern baptist church every sunday for over a year. Another friend of mine, whose house i’d sleep over a lot at, would take us to a presbyterian one( I went there off and on for years). In middle school I also joined an evangelical youth group. I joined it because the group was comprised of a lot of my friends, but even at that age, after numerous visits I couldn’t tolerate the dogma, and eventually left(some of them were even jesting to my jewish friends that they were going to hell).

    If you think your sympathy for the handicapped is “more than biology” all I can say is prove it. If we gave you an MRI during your contemplations, you’d see neurons firing, nothing new there. That doesn’t change the sincerity of your concern for the individual. Just like if we opened your brain and saw a bunch “magic and spirits” that wouldn’t change your sincerity for the individual. Occam’s razor of course tells us to jettison what’s superfluous, in this case, your idea of “something more” which you can’t articulate (yet?), can, in my “atheist outlook” be jettisoned. And of course plenty of animals do take care of their kin if they fall sick, or handicapped. This ranges from insects to primates. So I would have to ask where along our evolutionary lineage, did we “evolve” something more, and leave our cousins behind(my obvious answer is we didn’t)?

    I don’t really understand your “friends” question. If they decide to be honest, they decide to be honest, nothing that can’t be accounted by materialism there. Of course typically I try to be honest in all my friendships 😉 And of course I try to be honest to people I’m apathetic towards, or dislike. I usually just flat out speak my mind.

  160. I was hoping for a video version of the Lennox hitchens debate. If it ever comes out please post it. I’m sure it may, they typically take a few days. Although I have zero interest in reading blog excerpts on the debate.

    I’ve seen Hitchens in some debates, excel far beyond my expectations (Like one he did in the freedom fest). In others, like the most recent one with Dinesh and Prager, he seemed very lazy. It probably depends on how much alcohol he has consumed before hand(and during?).

    I agree, the Dennett debate was awful. Now I’ve read some of Dennett’s books – not breaking the spell though, not interested. The man is a genuine genius, but as you acknowledge, he’s not quick on his feet. He needs a pen, paper, and time to exercise his philosophical mind. He should of debated Dinesh in written format, then sparks might fly.

    I’ve kind of made it a point not to buy a single atheist vs theist book this year. As I said I was a pretty atheistic/agnostic person from childhood. The “new atheist” movement was a little fun for me to read, because as Dawkins says it proverbially made it okay for me to come out of the closet. I was just happy to see that other people had the same thoughts I had, and I wasn’t “alone.” Although even when I am alone in an argument, it doesn’t deter me 😉

    No I don’t use any my space or face books.

  161. i hope i get more time to engage on some things i have been thinking about

  162. or you could default to deism 😉

  163. meet you half way son!

  164. chris let me ask you..

    so what happened during hitlers atrocities can all be attributed to neurons firing off? of course youd see neurons firing off because thats a byproduct of whats happening. and as you said, youd see them regardless of the action or thought taking place. therefore, neurons cannot tell me a thing about right and wrong. you give those processes WAY too much credit man.

    what my point to you is…lets say you are making a case about the atrocities of hitler to someone that belongs to the third reich, or to someone who does not care and obviously does NOT get it. well, how would you MAKE them get it? on what “material” basis would you have to say that what they did was evil…and what are you referencing to tell them this? the complete idiots guide to neuron miss-firings? and more-over, id also like for you to provide the “material” basis that a court of law or a war crimes tribunal would need to prosecute this. please, prove to me by your materialism, that what hitler did was wrong.

    you cant. and i think that deep down, you know that its 100% b.s. you wouldnt have to reference anything because its all intuitive. and dont even begin to tell me that all of my neurons are telling me this. then if that is the case, then neurons are also telling scientists to go study quantum mechanics and astrophysics..what on earth does that have to do with survival of the fittest? thats a fairy tale chris.

    and that is why theism is so much more well rounded for what we experience as a description of reality then materialism will ever be. there is too much going on in reality then its mere mechanics, which seems to be the only thing that materialism can address. after that it is grossly lacking as an explanation…mostly because it wears blinders.

  165. this has got to be the silliest thing I’ve ever read ;). I’m rushing out the door to class though, I may not be able to reply until tomorrow morning or late tonight.

  166. Well I see you’re playing the same trite game as always. Implying there is “something more” without ever explaining what that is. Great, keep living in a universe filled with “magic” while claiming it’s a coherent, rational, deterministic cosmos.

    “so what happened during hitlers atrocities can all be attributed to neurons firing off?”

    This is a very broad and frankly ignorant statement. I mean neurons may fire for him to “drop bomb” when he’s over London, but obviously the atrocity comes from the bomb, and the subsequent destruction is causes.
    “ of course youd see neurons firing off because thats a byproduct of whats happening.”
    Fundamentally wrong. The by product is the dropped bomb, the neurons fired first.

    I see within your first paragraph you try to pull some kind of bait and switch, and I’m not falling for it. You’re opening sentence ask if atrocities can be credit to Hitler’s brain. The answer is obviously yes, plenty of people are born “sociopathic,” “mentally retarded,” “aspbergers,” or “schizophrenic.” These are conditions that can be viewed in an MRI, and their particular personality can be narrowed to which parts of the brain are more or less active. In Hitler’s case, I don’t know his brian structure, but it’s no leap to say it’s different. Anyway you then close the paragraph with

    “ and as you said, youd see them regardless of the action or thought taking place. therefore, neurons cannot tell me a thing about right and wrong. you give those processes WAY too much credit man. “

    Well that’s an entirely different question, right from wrong, isn’t it? Let’s continue with part one. If you’re seeing Hitler’s brain doesn’t account for Hitler’s decision making, what does? Seriously, I’m cursing for emphasis here, and not anger – I’ve asked you this mother fucking question over five times now. Put up, or please, shut up. I’d love to know how Yahweh helps account for this, because with his omniscience, he’s quite the malevolent jerk to allow for Hitler to exist in the first place.

    Alright I see your second paragraph covers your erroneous conclusion from your first. How would I personally make a case? I would simply say, although Hitler has some kind of biased that all Jews are evil, we shouldn’t take the stereotype of some, to apply to every individual. There are plenty of wicked/benevolent blacks, whites, atheist, christians, pagans, etc. Now since the Jews aren’t consenting to their death, and their end of life is being forced upon them, based on an erroneous stereotype, that is where I would say what he did was “wrong.” I always follow the philosophy that if you’re going to do something to someone, have consent. Also, mitigate pain at all cost. Because I’ve experienced pain, I’m aware that it isn’t pleasant, and therefore, I try not to pass it on to others. Your court of law thing is a fine analogy. Our laws are not seriously based on Yahwehs teachings. After all we don’t stone deflowered women on their honeymoon, and shellfish is legal, as in sodomy, and abortion. Most of our laws are argued in a very secular fashion, we don’t live in a theocracy. Now of course the Nazis and the Japanese were tried in the Nuremberg trials, and they were condemned with various sentences pending secular verdicts. For instance we executed roughly 900 Japanese for torturing US troops. Why would we do this? Because we all know pain sucks, and we don’t want to be tortured. The pain one feels during torture is again material, and can be entirely elucidated through a material explanation.

    Now if you really think the bible would of stopped Hitler, that’s absurd. He had the Vatican’s consent, and often quoted scripture, and referred to Christ, and sometimes “providence” as his guiding light(If he was actually a Christian though I doubt it, but there is plenty of private talks where he refers to Providences plan for him, so he was at the very least, a deist). The bible has been used for good and bad, so clearly, since Christians haven’t reached a consummated definition that ALL christians agree on, you can’t really say the bible is the answer, because it isn’t.

    If all your neurons aren’t telling you this, what is? I ask again, and again, and again. You can type exactly what you’re typing under an MRI, and we will have our answer, there is no ghost in the machine.

    Now you ask why do scientist do science, it isn’t beneficial for survival. In once sense it is, I mean studying the subatomic allows for breakthroughs in chemistry which allows for breakthroughs in medicine. Studying the rotation of planets does allow for predictions in weather patterns and seasons, which can augment agriculture (which is why astronomy was first a study) Regardless, the question I really see here is “Why do humans spend their time doing pointless creative things, like music, dance, etc.” Well before I address humans, I want to point out, almost all animals “kill time.” For instance my dog spends roughly 1-2 hours a day wrestling with my other dog. This isn’t beneficial, they are just killing time. We all live in a 24 hour day, and we don’t need 24 hours to acquire sustenance to live. My dog also spends another hour a day trying, and mostly succeeding, in getting me to rub her belly at night. This isn’t beneficial to anything, but I’m sure it feels good.

    If you put an elephant next to a canvas with paint, surprisingly, it will paint a picture. If you give a monkey a drum set, he will play it. If a lion gives birth to kids, they will wrestle all throughout life. As I said, we all have 24 hours in a day, but we don’t all need all 24. So it’s perfectly rational for us to of evolved the ability to “kill time.” Especially since it appears countless animals do as well. Perhaps some of it is a “by product” of earlier evolution like our tonsils, tail bone, appendix, etc. If you say something more, I ask what?

    Hahahahahha and now the unfounded, untenable, and frankly un argued conclusion. That is why theism is best? Wtf are you talking about? None of what you said was argued with theism. You just asked me a couple grade school science questions, that I answered and said vuala! Yahweh is the cause of the cosmos!

    How have you reached the conclusions that because what Hitler did was wrong, and because John Doe does quantum physics in his spare time, Yahweh created the cosmos? This is a superfluous explanation. Materialism has, and continues to account for everything, and you’re running out of gaps to stuff Yahweh into.

    “ there is too much going on in reality then its mere mechanics”
    And yet earlier you said all of reality was explain by it rational and coherent mechanics. Now you imply more. I ask you AGAIN, what the cunt licking bitch ass is it?

  167. You should enjoy this article:
    “Memory is entirely material”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/05/science/05brain.html?hp

  168. very soon i will do my best to show you what the C.L.B.A. it is

    word is bond son

    so i wonder, if we zoom in super close to those memory cells, will we see the actual memories being shown on like a projector or something?

    until then let this tie you over

  169. uhm no you won’t see projector memories. On that same token when you take LSD and the walls turn purple, your pupils don’t. Chemical reactions baby.

    So you again won’t tell me what something more is…such a waste.

    LOL is this song a joke? this has got to be satire right….puppets! you’re quite right, it’s very childish to believe santa is looking out for you.

  170. i really dont think you shouldve posted that under the guise that its conclusive when half of the people interviewed feel that its definitely not.

    thats not good materialism

    though, there was one thing i noticed in a quote that you should consider:

    “says Australian neuroethicist Neil Levy of the University of Melbourne by e-mail. “It is only rarely that we learn something interesting about the mind, rather than the brain, from fMRI.”

    notice that there is a difference between the brain and the mind. which you dont seem to think that there is. this is a perfect example of why you cannot attribute EVERYTHING hitler did to his “brain”. and this also suggests mind over matter, which in fact a court of law presupposes. otherwise how on earth could they prosecute someone if its their brains fault? and how often does the insanity defense work? decision making is done in the mind not in the brain, its a conscious effort, i dont care what you say.

    anyways, im going to have a reply for you on the other stuff, ive just been busy.

  171. yeah it’s a very explicit way of reinforcing what one is talking about. Obviously I say “I saw the rainbow” not “my eye balls retained the light given off by the specific spectrum of said rainbow.” Our eyes create the effect of sight, and our brain creates the effect of mind. But there isn’t anything supernatural here. Just as if you take a saw to the portion of my brain that governs sight, even if I retain my eye balls I’ll still be blind. And of course the brain contains a specific section for memory of faces, memory of sounds, memory of smell etc. All of which are documented, and fall apart when damaged.

    I just have absolutely no idea what you imply by “something more.” It’s not as if mental retards are born with identical brains to einstein and beethoven.

  172. the human mind is a paradox. thats why what you are telling me is true and yet it isnt the whole picture. much like light being a particle and ALSO a wave. i just dont think that we can totally get our minds around how it works, though science is trying to understand it. i 100% agree with you that when those things happen to the brain you get those results. but again..its still not all that simple..it isnt my neurons that make me do anything.it is ME that is making me do it…my mind/ conscious self has control over what MY decision making is(unless i am insane) my brain has control over my subconscious and also body regulation…. and that without one conscious thought on my part. did your neurons make you go to college? did donnys neurons make him decide to quit porn? and you can also ask: did you consciously make your heart beat or your lungs expand?

    in some very important regards, mind IS over matter.

  173. (No I don’t make my heart beat – if I sit here now and pray as hard as I can for it to stop, it will keep going)

    Actually most people are not aware of their subconscious… that’s why it’s called sub 😉

    Sure we haven’t entirely explained how the mind brain connection works. Just like I pointed out, even now, if we dissected your eye – we could be certain it was a functioning eye, but even then, none of us could be 100% certain you literally saw the world identical to how I see it for instance. Same if we sliced off your ear. Regardless none of this changes the fact that these operations run just fine w/ regular matter. The mind, like everything else, grows with age. None of us remember being 1-3. At most I have a fleeting memory of me in a bathtub, but for all I know it could be contrived. Obviously as I aged my mind became more powerful, and as I grow older it will slowly fall apart. This really kills the entire notion of a ghost in the machine, since the mind, a product of the brain, grows, and breaks in perfect harmony with the brain(just like sight, hearing, smell, etc).

    I agree we don’t entirely understand every last iota of the neural workings of the brain, but there is no reason anymore to doubt that it isn’t a material process. I don’t understand why this terrifies you? If you were 100% certain it was a ghost in the machine(based off sound empirical testing that you just argued is a fantastic part of the universe), it wouldn’t change the sincerity of your love, or your earnest desire to goto college. But if you know it’s hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, etc, suddenly the world isn’t sincere enough for you? How come? And keep in mind, just because you’re scared of the truth, doesn’t change the truth. I wish the Iraq war wasn’t going on…but that doesn’t change the fact that it is.

    Mind is a product of matter, not “over it.” If it was over it, brain damage, aging, flus, drugs, alcohol, traumatic sights, brain cancer, syphilis, concussions, a stroke etc, wouldn’t change your “mind.” Yet after my Grandma had a stroke for instance, she was a incoherent invalid until she died. No soul in that scenario….

  174. i havent forgotten chris!!!

  175. recanted your belief in yahweh for deism yet? It’s the most intellectually honest thing to do…

  176. im fixing to make my pimp hand strong, you know not to talk to me like that trick

  177. just kidding

    but in all seriousness let me go ask my neurons what they think about that

    they have the final word

  178. Silly misunderstanding still (Have you taken any science courses in college? Even psychology 101 goes over this with ample evidence). Your neurons are the faculties that allow you to ask and think, so you can’t ask them anything. Just like you can’t “look at your eyes looking.” or “hear your ears hearing.” If you think you’re separate from your brain, I again ask you to prove it. Why is it that brain damage, aging, flus, drugs, alcohol, traumatic sights, brain cancer, syphilis, concussions, a stroke, tumors, etc change your personality.

  179. chris in the meantime could you sign this petition?

    its a petition to allow BOTH parents to have equal time in their childrens lives post-divorce.

    what ends up happening is one parent gets primary custody while the other one “visits” mostly dads. the amount of time the court allows you usually is around 4 days a month. it is extremely difficult to change this unless your ex is a crackhead.

    but children need both parents, not one. and alot of the times an ex wife will use this position to bully and manipulate the other parent due to child support owed…which ive gone through personally.

    kids need both parents and this petition will help

    thanks so much!!!

  180. ok never mind the link didnt come up

    ill try it again:

  181. hmm

  182. there has been A LOT of ‘meantime’

    😉

    maybe, if I see the link and get to read it thoroughly I’ll decide. Divorce law is something I’m quite ignorant of, although my attorney is a close family friend and primarily a divorce lawyer…so I could seek her insight.

  183. I’m speaking in Miami 3 times tomorrow (and already twice today) if any Miami peeps wanna come out and say hello:

    http://miamivineyard.com/

  184. Everything that is psychological is simultaneously physiological. Many psychological things are certainly controllable. Muscles are fired from the nervous system and yet a person can decide exactly when to make them flex. It’s not instinct or the mere response to a stimuli; it’s free will. Just because something can be measured doesn’t mean it wasn’t designed or a neuron fired for a purpose.

    The 2nd of of thermodynamics talks about increasing entropy within a closed system (e.g. the universe). The universe cannot be infinitely old or else we would have infinite disorder. However, mass (or its energy equivalent) is conserved. Did the universe come into existence by some yet to be discovered phenomenon or was there design? Each answer contained strictly to this observation requires exactly the same amount of blind faith. It’s the historical case where Christianity gains its strengths (not 100% proof less God deny us our free will by making Himself as evident as the Sun, but its strengths come more notably outside of science).

    Biological processes support a gradualism style of macroevolution. However, the fossil record supports punctured equilibrium and rapid evolution. Which is it? Either way, the processes necessary to create what we see today are, according to evolutionary theory, random errors in the genetic code (which itself arose randomly). Trillions of errors produce the complex designs we see today including sexual reproduction which would have had to evolve separately (male and female), eyes, bacterial motors, the human brain, the respiratory/circulatory system As for Occam’s razor, this process is far more complex and unlikely than design. If “all else equal”, then we’ll go with the simpler answer. Existence of art implies the existence of an artist much the same as intelligent design implies the existence of a Creator.

    Also, let us assume for a moment that the universe is not flat with respect to space-time (this is what most big bang theorists propose). If space-time is bent to be shaped like a doughnut and the universe is a closed system, then we could have millions of light-years of aging in the outer universe (in Schwartzchild years) in a handful of earth days.

  185. I didn’t complete my point about thermodynamics. Basically, it would require a violation of the rule to get what we see today (mass/energy conserved but there’s still order). Everything that has a beginning has a cause. We get back to an uncaused cause. What is it? Is the violation of the rule natural or not? Both answers require the same amount of blind faith when contained to this specific question.

    Also, I won’t be fooled by “time didn’t exist ‘before the universe'” Even if you get it down to moving particles that somehow spontaneously came into existance, time is there even when it’s not measurable. We still have the “problem” of an uncaused cause that violates the 2nd law.

  186. oh lord, more of these spurious claims from answersingenesis.com

    Do I seriously have to waste my time with these canards?

    I have to ask, Jeremy, did John send you here?

    there is no violation of the 2nd law of thermodynamics, HIGH SCHOOL biology text books go into this just fine. I’d like to know if you people have even taken a science course in a secular institution, before I start repeating basic principles from my teenage years.

  187. Chris,

    Please allow me to repeat a basic principle from my teenage years as well. Ad hominum (of myself or just becuase another entity you don’t like made the claim) does not replace the question. In fact, an ad hominum attack is usually just used as a last resort when all else has failed. That hasn’t happened now, has it? I’d say “answer the question”, but you know as well as I do that the question doesn’t have an answer that we can find or measure yet. My post was designed to raise more questions than answers.

    Your ad hominum attack on me fails. I’ve read many a biological sciences and physical sciences text (admittedly at the undergraduate level, so perhaps your graduate education in science can enlighten me… actually, it’s pretty clear from what you’ve written that you probably have about the same background I do in this — a firm grasp but still a layperson). An education does not have to be from a secular institution to be valid. I have medical doctor friends who did their undergraduate at Christian schools and this gave them the science foundation to become MDs. As for me, I’ve taken biological and physical sciences from from the University of Minnesota (as secular as they come and in terms of the quality of science taught, it’s one of the top 3 research institutions in the world and it’s the folks doing the research who also teach the classes). With ~50,000 students there is no way to say that all are understanding the material, so the institution only means so much, but it’s something you’re overly concerned with so I brought it up. As for where I stood there, I graduated summa cum ladue (3.9 GPA). I’m more of a labor markets / compensation person, but I have a firm grasp of the basics in science. That is, I have enough of a grasp to know that my last post raises more questions than answers; I’m asking questions that science doesn’t have the answer to. Science tries to think about natural and observable things, and we go back enough to turn it into a philosophical question rather than a scientific one.

    At a minimum, you should see that Ad hominum almost always fails. A person smart enough to think about bent space time and how the 2nd law relates to the conservation of mass at the origins probably has more than a cursory high school understanding of biology (which, by the way, is outside the scope of thermodynamics…).

    Now that I look at your post again, maybe you have the same confusion on the point that my evolutionary biology professor did (it would explain why you’re bringing up a biology book with respect to the 2nd law). On the first day of class, he outlined his case against creationism. He used the 2nd law argument confined to Earth which is not a closed system and drove the argument from there. However, the universe probably is a closed system. Since I’ve only heard creationists talk about the 2nd law problem with respect to the cosmic origins, I asked him about how it applies to to that. He said time did not exist “before” the big bang, so it was a question outside the scope of science. I was disappointed in the answer, but he was absolutely right. Back to the question:

    Mass/energy is conserved. Therefore, in a closed universe, without violating the laws, it has always existed in its present quantity. The 2nd law requires increasing entropy, but if mass/energy has always existed, then we’d expect to see infinite disorder. We see some level of order.

    I can think of at least three ways to explain this:
    1. An uncaused cause
    2. An exception to the law (none has been found, but that doesn’t mean it’s not out — look at the history behind atomic theory to see that science is constantly changing; what we know now could be turned on its head)
    3. A yet to be discovered property that could account for it

    All of these require some degree of blind faith to accept. That’s my point. I would say it takes more faith to accept only natural explanations, but that’s a judgment call. That’s where looking at the historical/philosophical case for Christ is something more divisive.

  188. First off, I didn’t do any ad hominem. That would be a direct insult to you, which I don’t believe I did – so quite a waste of time.

    Look i’ll gladly address each of your points, however I’d like to talk to John first – so we can stay on topic. John and I were having a conversation, that started about “Is Dawkins an Atheist,” and it started to diverge into some other categories, and now I haven’t heard back from him in several days. If John is done talking to me, then I will gladly move on to you. If John isn’t done, at the very least I’d want to move our discussion to some new thread, so as to avoid confusion. I’m the only non-theist here, and gang bang attacks can be meddlesome.

    Just to prevent repetition though I suggest you read this thread through. I’ve explained countless times my position on the “cause” of the cosmos. And it’s quite cumbersome to go over it again, when I’ve address your claim on it, numerous times here.

    So john, the ball is in your court
    -Chris

  189. chis, ill write you tonight. alot going on

    thanks for the patience!

    john c

    dude, come out to the john lennox creationist think tank party in tampa nov 1st.
    its free and they reserve seats for you and the lady organizing it said i can reserve more if youd like. me and a friend are going.

    the topic for the night is that “dinosaurs were put here by satan”

    its going to be a real treat!

    j/k but you should come out since its nearby

  190. ok i finally have time to address you and this will be the last time i am able..its been really busy for me and theres only so many times i can go over my view to someone who may or may not be interested in listening. i hope to at least shed some kind of light to my stance and maybe privately you can take this explanation to heart in some kind of way.

    well i already addressed you with the hitler scenario. you want me to attribute hitlers deeds to his brain but i already told you that i attribute what hitler did to his mind, where all conscious decision making takes place. chris, we are not zombies…our philosophical and daily decisions are not being made unbeknownst to us, for us, in our subconscious. at some point hitler contemplated what he was doing, and knew. bad decision upon bad decision brought him to where he was. and for Gods sake, the guy attended nazi board room meetings so i highly doubt he was insane.

    again i want to stress to you that every court of law presupposes that we operate with mind over matter and that WE are in control of our actions. insanity defenses hardly if ever work and the burden of proof would be on you to show that you were NOT in control. now when i say mind over matter i do not mean that we are able to fly if we contemplate flying hard enough or that we can levitate dump trucks. what i mean is that for the most part our minds or “selves” are in control of the actions we perform and that is where the buck stops. most of us are not invalids chris.

    now this brings me to your next point about you down playing, or over-emphasizing the mind being a strictly physical construct, nothing more nothing less. well, if thats the case then why can they not find the mind or the “seat of consciousness” in the brain? i think you take the deceptively safe route on this one and think that since the mind emerges from the brain (subject to dispute in some circles) that is all there is to it. yes, its true that the mind requires the brain to function but the mind itself emerges and becomes a complete seperate entity. the mind itself is not the brain nor can they locate it, much less put it under a microscope. there are many differing camps and lines of thought on this topic but nothing is conclusive. but it certainly is not outside of the scope of the subject matter to say that the mind may actually be metaphysical. there are plenty of people who feel that it is. im sure your views rest with daniel dennett and his group. but id like to point out that in much the same way in saying that the mind may emerge from physical properties and still not be physical…you can also say the same thing about gravity. gravity is not matter but yet gravity emerges from matter. the same with protons. protons are not charge but yet charge emerges from protons. i think that is a good comparison in laymans terms.

    so the big question, does this mean that mind is not physical? well, currently noone knows just what the mind is or even how to define it. so you want me to prove to you that the mind is more? well science cant even FIND the mind chris, so theres not much more i can say about that. and dont even begin to tell me that MRI or fMRI images SHOW the mind. they do not

    so im beginning to wonder though, if you feel that ANYTHING is metaphysical or transcendent at all. perhaps you have a problem with that idea. even christopher hitchens believes in transcendence. if thats the case you should really check yourself and see if youre being intellectually honest with what actually happens in the reality we exist in. we may not agree on what the first cause is but by definition the first cause has got to be out of space, time, matter, and energy as we know it since it CAUSED all of that. im sure you can agree with that. therefore it is transcendent and you believe in the most basic of transcendent ideas.

    i also wanted to see if you agree with this statement:

    “the best things in life are not things”

    is this true?

    now i take it that you believe in scientific fact. but i also want to know if you feel that the universe presents such a thing as moral fact. for instance, do you feel that it is a moral fact that hitler killing 12 million people was wrong…….. agree?

    now i also want you to think about this:
    imagine right after the big bang when all of the early universe material is being hurled through space to go on to from stars, planets, galaxies etc etc. somewhere in all of that material eventually it would be determined that hitler or anyone who kills 12 million people would be wrong, or that humans should be given human rights and lying is bad.

    chris, was morality determined in the blueprint of the cosmos or do you at least feel that the all along, the universe had the potential to not only be rational, but also moral as well?

    definitely makes you go “hmmm”

    in addition to this id like to point out that even one of your boys, stephen pinker believes that we have innate morality. he feels that we discovered it much like we discovered math or something along those lines. now there is a big difference between discovering something and INVENTING it. and i hope to God you dont feel that we invented morality…that would be like saying we invented TRUTH. now dont get me wrong, human beings have different sorts of customs and even morality changes slightly between peoples. but what im talking about is basic human morality, and that does not change.

    now back to this transcendence deal. its a funny thing this transcendence. well richard dawkins believes in it because he goes around saying that as much as he believes in darwinian evolution he also believes that we should RISE above it and become more than it implies.
    and for the sake of the argument i agree with dawkins. chris we are the only animals who DO NOT WANT to be animals.
    now, if i believed as you do that we owe our existence on a generic, one of a trillion little planets, soon doomed for destruction to extraordinary luck, id have to reach outside of this situation to some transcendent ideal in order to find meaning and a reason to go on. and we should go on with life right chris? the whole value we put on such a bleak existence IS transcendent of that very existence and you cant deny that. it happens all of the time

    thats pretty much all ive got to say right now.

    peace nukka!

    oh yeah, ps. that was an ad hominum attack on jeremy!

    you should be ashamed of yourself!

  191. Glad you’re back John.
    I have zero intentions of going to a creationist gathering…come on! Haha.

    I’ll do my usual reply and follow you up paragraph by paragraph.

    John what I said was to attribute hitler’s decision to his material brain/mind. The words can often be ambiguous, so when I said brain, to be clear that meant mind as well, since mind is a product of brain. As sight is a product of eyes. Never said we were zombies haha. I’m aware Hitler contemplated, and I agree, he made heinous decisions. No dispute from me John.

    Our mind IS matter, or at the very least a product. It isn’t some intagible ghost in the machine. As I pointed out, if it WAS seperate from our material brain, strokes, fevers, concussions, amnesia, parkinsons, marijuana, alcohol, lsd, wellbutrin, tumors, alzheimers, etc wouldn’t CHANGE our personality. I never said anyone was an invalid. Or zombie. Now the ad hominem or at the very least, willful chicanery with words is on your end.

    Unfortunately I’ve already answered your seat of consciousness question a few times. As I said, read Stephen Pinkers how the mind works, the blank slate, or the stuff of thought. Consciousness is not ONE neuron. I’m sure even that idea sounds absurd. It’s a combination of a myriad of faculties. So if you lost your sight faculties, your level of consciousness would be compromised. If you subsequently lost your hearing faculties, furthermore. If you had a Lombardy following that, even more so. Now let’s take out your hypothalamus, and see if you even feel senses of joy or loathing. Etc etc etc.

    You continue to say the mind forms a separate entity, for over 2 months now I’ve asked you to PROVE IT. As far as “feeling” that way, feelings are irrelevant to truth. Amputees “feel” ghost limbs, it doesn’t mean there is such a thing. Individuals on PSP feel “god like powers” yet they lack them. Frankly your electron and gravity analogies do not make a lick of sense here.

    Yes MRI and fMRI images show the mind. I already posted that article that shows direct memory is stored, and can be electrocuted back into play, with all the previous sensations coming about. That’s quite physical. We know the sight property is physical, we know sound is physical, we know smell is physical, we know facial recognition is physical, we know euphoria is physical, we even know the neurotransmitters that produce stress and love. I’m sorry, your ghost in the machine has run out of gaps to hide in. You ask me to not even begin to tell you the truth, well that’s sad, and impoverishing.

    I’m not Christopher Hitchens. Why even bring him up? Give me an example, and I’ll give my comments on transcendence.

    As far as the cause of the comsos not having space, matter, or time to it – I don’t know. Same answer as always. If it’s a big crunch, big bounce, multi verse, string theory scenario, than you’re wrong. If it’s not, it’s not. No idea on my end.
    Your statement is subjective. What’s the best to me isn’t the best to you. The best tv show to me is Arrested Development, to you, who knows. The best ice cream to me is strawberry. You? Silly subjective statement.

    We’ve been over this Hitler thing already, I’m tired of red herrings. I want to see your “something more” or this conversation is really over with, and I’ve come out on top 😉

    Fine, in along with that evolution dinosaurs were slaughtered en masse by a meteor, homo-sapiens suffered tens of thousands of years of famine and death in an ice yeage. Tens of thousands were wiped out in a natural plague. 99.9% of species have gone extinct in a violent arms race. Yeah, some design, some designer. Benevolence…dubious.

    I don’t think the universe is in itself moral, as detailed above. Plus the suns going out in 5 billion years, and Andromeda will run into the milky way shortly after that. Not to mention the trillions of years the universe will suffer a heat death. This universe does not care about us, it shows no signs of it. We are alone, on a tiny rock – and frankly that’s awesome enough for me 😉

    As I’ve said morals can be subjective too – and no one has a consummation on a solid moral code. None of this has made me go “hmmm” instead I’ve gone “zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz”

    Maybe you should read more Stephen Pinker. In the blank slate he talks about how pedophilia, sociopathy, megalomania, psycopathy, etc are INNATE as well and genetic. He claims the golden rule is most likely innate, and I don’t doubt this, as I’ve said time and time again, almost all animals exert the golden rule and have morals amongst their own ilk. We are nothing special in the animal kingdom in the moral regard. If anything we are more crass, compare the destruction we do to the planet, versus EVERY OTHER SPECIES EVER.

    We invent some morality not others. We invented every written down moral code ever, that’s for sure. The morman morality is invented, the islamic morality invented, the christian morality invented, etc.

    Richard Dawkins statements on rising above Darwinian evolution have nothing to do with transcendence. For instance, he points out wearing a condom is rising above Darwinian evolution, yet there is nothing transcendent here. And I don’t know what you’re talking about when it comes to not wanting to be an animal. That’s like saying I don’t want to be white skinned. There’s nothing I can do about that. But furthermore I have no problem being “an animal.” I evolved like everything else and am a product of said evolution. This doesn’t bother me in the slightest.

    Well if for you it takes “something more” to get out of bed, I don’t know what to say but embrace it, if that’s truly paramount to your remaining happy, sober, and active. I don’t need it. The very LUCK you mentioned is why I’m so happy to be alive. I won, the hardest lottery fathomable, in the entire universe, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to waste my time exercising my winnings!

    Jeremy can wait his turn 😉
    -Chris

  192. ok to be quite honest i am not read up enough on mind body relations so theres nothing more i can say about that. MRI’s and fMRI’s do not show the mind itself, even the article you sent me stated that. and to use your example in the same way, eyes do not show sight. lets get that clear, the mind is still an unsolved mystery.

    i cannot understand how you couldnt comprehend the example between gravity being a non-matter but rather arising from matter itself. that example in my mind still stands whether you care to accept it or not. you said it yourself and i agree that the mind is the result from a myriad of faculties. but thats why its so hard to pin down. how many neurons and synapses does it take make a conscious mind? its not that simple and they even admittedly have a difficult time defining exactly what consciousness is. but basically ill say this, we as people are not 100% instinct…the inner workings of the self and free will are not machine-like. my neurons do not say to me “do” and i do like two gears turning against one another. id say its much more complex than that. and ill use hitler again as an example. lets say there was something wrong with hitlers “machinery” (brain)
    and he did have abnormal desires due to some mental illness. to make a long story short, in the spectrum of those desires, do you feel that he was not at all aware of those feelings..did they completely overtake his mind to where he was out of control? or can sociopathic thoughts be much more subtle than that? like for instance, if you have the odd desire of wanting to harm animals. can you simultaneously have that impulse and also the awareness of it to keep it in check? well, that kind of goes without saying. and that is precisely why people are not the result of 100% instinct otherwise wed either be angels or we’d be insane. there would be no choice in the matter. and chris, EVERY human being experiences deciding between impulse and instinct. even yourself.

    yeah dawkins does talk about using condoms to go against darwinian urges but that is not at all what im talking about. im talking about dawkins reference to ethics, principles, and morals that go AGAINST darwinian natural selection or at least its implications. ethics, principles, and morals are transcendent ideas chris. they are the standards we use in conducting ourselves as people. we happen to break alot of them too because we arent perfect.
    again, we are the only animals who do not want to be animals. as a functioning society and im sure youd agree, we dont make it a complete habit to act on all our base impulses, we have standards…. i dont even have to go into that because you know already.

    chris, you dont really give into every single urge now do you?

    welcome to the human race.

    and no, you can tell me all you want that people invented muslim morality or christian morality etc etc but when you cut through all of that surface crap there still is an underlying basic human morality. it is an absolute MORAL FACT that hitler killing 12 million people was wrong. take a survey on that.
    dont point out to me petty differences and shallow morality and strawman the idea. i heard on the news recently that this guy kidnapped a brother and sister who were 8 and 9 years old. now when he entered their home, he killed both their parents and their other older sibling and then took the two remaining kids out into the woods. he sexually assaulted the boy, killed him and burned him IN FRONT of his sister. and through a turn of events she later escaped and was the only survivor. again chris, was it a MORAL FACT that what this man did was evil, or does that information elude you/us? if there indeed is a society that respects this sort of behavior, out of respect for anthropology should we allow them to carry on with it? now, you can turn this whole idea the other way around and think of compassionate or sacrificial deeds that are at the other end of the spectrum.

    you had some good points and again i am a layperson and not super well read on all of the material but i just felt like i had to re-address these things in closing.

    thanks for the exchange homeslice

    looking forward to reading you and jeremy’s exchanges

    john

  193. I literally JUST woke up, so my reply may have typos. I’m a bit of a groggy zombie for the first hour of every morning.

    The mind is not an unsolved mystery. Granted Scientist don’t literally know every nook and cranny, and in addition, all humans come out with a different Genome, so we all have nuance in our hearts, kidneys, lungs, brains, etc. Now I won’t deny, we are quite possibly ignorant of the brain the most, over all other organs – however, we are at a stage where literally, if we had that scene from “hannibal” going on, a neurologist could open your skull and start slicing away major parts of YOU. As in “lets cut away his ability to see faces.”

    I had forgotten all about this article, however I really think, if you take the time to read it, and don’t mind learning something that you don’t want to be the truth, you’ll certainly come out, informed.
    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1580394,00.html
    Yes it’s written by Pinker, yes he’s atheist, but he really is the leading scientist in his field today – and his lack of theism has nothing to do with that. That article will go into the nuance of consciousness.
    “you said it yourself and i agree that the mind is the result from a myriad of faculties. but thats why its so hard to pin down.”
    Well for me that’s exactly why it’s so easy. It just shows consciousness/mind is a myriad of varying running parts. It isn’t JUST ONE neuron. So again, if we cut off the part of your brain that connected to your eyes, and allowed for sight – would you not now have a “compromised” consciousness. Just as we can slowly cut away various parts that make you – you, you grew them as well. So let’s try a different path. Do you remember the first 5 years of your life? I don’t know about you but I don’t. Never did. I really “came to” around the age of 4-6. 1-3 is nothing. And of course conception to the age of 1 is literally nothing. Just as your brain grew, synapsed, evolved, so did your mind. And as you grow old and your body starts to weather, so does your brain/mind.

    As far as how many neurons, we have trillions of course. But the same applies to your muscles, skin, heart, liver etc. Trillions of cells typically are required to maintain, build, repair, etc, those organs. The difference is, doing brain study is controversial. It’s easier to study and run test on peoples other organs than it is the brain – mostly for legal reasons haha.

    “but basically ill say this, we as people are not 100% instinct…the inner workings of the self and free will are not machine-like. my neurons do not say to me “do” and i do like two gears turning against one another. id say its much more complex than that”

    Sure not EVERYTHING you do is some knee-jerk whimsical, uncontrolled process – however isn’t a some bit of it? I mean we all know the phrase “woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning?” And I have, some mornings, for no reason, I wake up happier, or angrier, or lazier, or more productive. And I can’t always tell you why. I know every time I goto sleep, I have no control of what I’m experiencing and dreaming. I can’t control my hunger, my thirst, what I’m attracted to (as you know we all have a certain taste when it comes to looks), what smells I like and others don’t, etc.

    I think Hitler was screwed up, yes. But I think first off, this is far more explainable by his nuances genome, than it is by an omnipotent deity. I have not researched sociopaths to any special degree, but I can say this. Just as I can’t 100% explain why I prefer women to men, and homosexual men to women, they are “just born that way,” I’d say it’s mostly likely the same of people with the ability to murder. They are just drawn to it. I’m sure Hitler was aware, and Hitler did from time to time exercise control, it just depends in varying examples. Regardless I’m sure the man was AS cognitive, and AS sentient as you and I.

    The sociopath question is difficult. I mean even if the child (my reading is limited, but it does exist here) knows killing animals is wrong, the child may not be able to exercise control. I know as a child a lot of my baser instincts were acted on, just due to youth and a lack of wisdom if you will. Regardless even if you chain the child up, and throw away the key, this isn’t like a brief penchant, just as the child felt thirst and hunger, I’m pretty the sociopath child still feels that lust for murder – so not acting on it will be quite uncomfortable and never truly go away. As far as we’d either be angels or insane, that’s a very, very, ignorant and simple way of looking at nature. As I said we all have different genomes, and we all vary. We do have “angels” on this earth, and we do have the insane, and we have varying levels in between.

    Yes but Dawkins does also acknowledge that the same way your genes make you black/white, red eyed/green eyed, tan/pale, etc parts of your neural faculties are equally “decided.” That’s why literally sociopaths tend to breed sociopaths, introverts breed introverts, extroverts breed extroverts, etc. He’s saying as a society we need to recognize this and than come to a democratic decision on what we do about it. So for instance, and this is very possible, if we find the genetic make up that breeds a sociopath, what do we do with that information as a society? Scary thought, and don’t feel any need to answer, I won’t at this time.

    I’m an animal and I don’t mind saying it. Also I don’t try “not” to be one. And even if I did that’s akin to trying not to be white, I can’t wind that charade.

    Animals exercise control as well. Read some primate studies. Even dog training shows this. Watch the dog whisperer on A&E – that man can certainly make dogs go against their base instincts, to please their alpha master. Nothing different or surprising there.

    I agree that there is an underlining moral premise, most of the time. But again, where as the massive majority of us recognize the golden rule, you must accept that a sociopath simply doesn’t. Nor does a psychopath. They may pretend to acknowledge it, and use fakery, but it’s not binding to them in anyway. Regardless all animals have very similar moral fabrics to us, so it’s not surprising to me that over 3.5 billion years of evolution, we developed similar moral structure form our ancestors – if we were wanton crazies (this applies to all species) we’d/they’d die out.

    Of course I find what the man did to be heinous. But we still need to acknowledge something, he didn’t. Why is this? Why doesn’t he share our “transcendence?” because transcendence here is crap, and our variations in genetics is what determines our base nature. No we won’t tolerate what he did, because the massive majority of us find it repugnant, and therefore will have a overwhelming say. That’s just democracy. No need for a deity to enter the picture. Although I’d ask, why’d the deity create this monster?

    If you admit you’re ignorant of what you’re talking about, than maybe don’t talk about it? This seems reasonable. I don’t know an iota about baseball, so I’ll never comment on it. Seriously, go read the blank slate, or how the mind works. Atheism and Religion isn’t discussed in that book, it’s irrelevant. I loved the books personally, real page turners.

    I’m not looking forward to Jeremy at all lol. Literally what he said is straight out of basic creationism propaganda. All those questions have very simple answers, and I don’t like repeating basic high school science lessons. That’s not ad hominem, that’s just fact.

    -Chris

  194. did you guys hear? something with the Large Hadron Collider went seriously wrong. this is footage from near the swiss border.

    http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=43515485

  195. fair enough

    although when you state that you do not try to be more than an animal, i do not believe it. chris youre not going to tell me that you dont have at least some semblance of self control or any kind of basic discipline in your life that resist an assortment of random urges. so, you do nothing more than eat, sleep, poop, and procreate? not buying it. society doesnt let us get off that easy, much less our parents. to some degree, we will all inevitably have to “die to ourself” (christian concept) and our desires living as people with other people.

    morals, ethics, and principles that you DO NOT find in the animal kingdom are those things in us that do not allow us to act like animals. if you dont impose them on yourself, society would be quite happy to make you uncomfortable until you do, at least while people are watching lol!
    a HUMAN may be able to train a dog or a monkey as an OUTSIDE stimuli, but animals do not have some sort of self discipline or ethics amongst their kind.

    and these are some lyrics to a band i happen to like alot called Thrice:

    To what end do we
    proceed so boldly
    if all we are is
    chemical reactions
    and what world have you
    so deftly sold me
    if you reduce me
    if I have no soul to touch

    no heart to love
    no evil to rise up above
    no angels and no ghosts
    no real victories to toast
    if you believe that this is true
    then I must ask
    to what end do you proceed?

    NO FIRE IN OUR EYES
    NO STEEL IN OUR HEARTS
    NO MAGIC IN OUR SONGS
    ARE WE JUST EMPTY VESSELS

    No fire in our eyes
    No steel in our hearts
    No magic in our songs

    and you tell me…
    I have no soul to touch
    no heart to love
    no evil to rise up above
    no angels and no ghosts
    no real victories to toast
    if you believe that this is true
    then I must ask
    to what end do you proceed?

    Did I not feel your love?
    Did I not feel your hate?
    And did my heart not beat
    and did MY HEART NOT BREAK?!
    And are these tears for naught
    and are these worlds in vain
    if this is all we are then what
    HAVE WE TO GAIN!
    What of all the art and books
    music and poetry
    What of all our memories
    What of OUR HOPES AND DREAMS!
    They hold no value then
    We hold no faith but greed
    So I must ask you
    to what end do we proceed?

    basically if you can honestly say that all you find in reality and in YOUR life is the purely physical, nothing more than that…no rationality, no higher ideals to strive for no real meaning, nothing to live for, nothing to die for than ill concede and say that you are right, there is no God. you may not know what to call it, but we both know that is not the case. there are so many facets to reality and so much going on in the world that go beyond mere physical description. and theology is a completely separate topic. im asking you though about what you see in the world around you. death and chaos would not be the COMPLETE description, so be honest with yourself.

    there indeed are some truly noble ideas that once gotten into the heart and mind of a self replicator, that self replicator would fling themselves without thought to their very own deaths. among these noble ideas would be love, justice, compassion, mercy. these same immaterial ideas can make a 180 LB chunk(person or people) of matter move.

    peace!

  196. Okay clearly we have a different definition of “animal.” If you accept that the cosmos is rational, followed a set of immutable natural law, and both cosmic and organism evolution are facts, you must acknowledge that we are “animals.” As in, hairless primates(Unless you think 100,000 years ago god just magically poofed homo-sapiens into existance – which would destroy your entire argument of the cosmos being rational). You seem to be defining animal (correct me if I’m wrong) as a knee-jerk, base instincts organism. Kind of like a singular cell. However as I tried to point out before, many of our animal cousins do show “restraint.” For instance, my Dog used to rush me when I had food in my lap while watching tv. She would run full speed and try to eat it. Over time she learned to sit, and wait patiently, and maybe she’ll get a scrap. My dog also used to pee and poop whenever she had to. Now she knows to wait by the door until I notice and delicate outside. If I’m not home, she holds it. So she has LEARNED to override her base instincts – just like you and me. Granted she can’t do it on our level, but this really speaks nothing of consciousness, and is yet again, a basic elementary science lesson.

    Animals do have ethics amongst their kind, jesus christ, why do you continue to talk about things as if you are savvy on the subject, when you’re frankly ignorant. I don’t discuss baseball, because I don’t know anything about it. Instead of being presumptuous, ask some basic questions like. “do animals have ethics.”

    Just t go give an anecdote. When I was a child, frogs used to propagate to my swimming pool in the summer time. Oftentimes a few would fall in. Well as a kid I simply didn’t care, I’d just watch them (now I’d save them). Anyway one day a Mom and a child fall in. After swimming around the rim of the pool for an hour, and determining getting out was impossible – the Mom literally killed herself to save her child. She floated on the surface, and allowed the child to climb on her back (placing her breathing orifices under the surface). After several tries, the baby managed to climb, and leap out of the pool to safety, while the Mom died.

    Bees when their next are attacked by an outside intruder, send out their “military.” This military acts like kamikazes. As you know when a bee stings you, it dies. Talk about loyalty to the nest.

    Another basic example, name a species that DOESN’T look after its young. From Lions all the way down to ants, the parents go out and collect food for their young and in harsh times (as polar bears demonstrated in the documentary planet earth) will sacrafice themselves so their kids can eat. So if food is scarce due to a change in environment, the parent will starve in order for the children to eat the meal it acquired. Pretty human like. Why? We share common ancestors.

    Granted these species don’t have “highway ethics” or “internet ethics,” but to say they aren’t ethical is ignorant.

    Some articles on Primate ethics, and economics:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/20/science/20moral.html?pagewanted=all
    http://www.forbes.com/2006/02/11/monkey-economics-money_cz_df_money06_0214monkeys.html
    There’s mountains of evidence in both fields, I’m just picking the first two google entries due to time constraints.

    Now you’re either prevaricating, or suffer from amnesia

    “basically if you can honestly say that all you find in reality and in YOUR life is the purely physical, nothing more than that…no rationality, no higher ideals to strive for no real meaning, nothing to live for, nothing to die for than ill concede and say that you are right, there is no God. .”

    I don’t know anything beyond matter and energy. I’ve asked a thousand times for an example, you haven’t given one, and at this point I’m confident you can’t. I have however argued IN AGREEMENT with you that universe is rational. So I’m stunned that you now accuse me of the reverse. I’ve also gone over my higher ideals, basically my education. I set my goals, and I attempt to complete them. Those are my higher ideals. As far as having nothing to live for, that’s absurd, I have plenty. I don’t need a deity, to desire friendship, love, education, free times, etc. I don’t goto school for yahweh, I don’t live with my girlfriend of 5 years for yahweh, I don’t play pool on the weekend for yahweh, I don’t read books for yahweh, etc.

    Now you’ve thrown out your entire thesis of what you were arguing for for the past months:

    “you may not know what to call it, but we both know that is not the case. there are so many facets to reality and so much going on in the world that go beyond mere physical description.”

    Yet earlier you said the universe was explainable via cause and effect events, amongst matter and energy, in a contained, rational order. Now you say otherwise. Haha, this debate is over 😉

    As far as love, justice, compassion and mercy. Do you really think I don’t exercise those because I’m atheist? I doubt it.

  197. p.s. Just like my pet dog, I want you to imagine being born on earth W/out parents, friends, a school, family, books, etc, to “teach you.” I’d imagine without any form of education either, you’d be running on base instincts.

  198. love ya man:)

    lol. so let me get this straight…you are an animal but you dont act like one.
    so what is it that you act like…. or rather, are you merely a trained animal?

    is it ONLY your base instincts that you restrain? im sure hitler and jeffrey dahmer could poop in a box too…and im sure thats all it would take to make them fine human beings. those pesky base instincts, ill tell ya!

    chris, animals dont IMPOSE anything upon themselves, they just do what they do. the examples you brought up were all kind and lovely and i did get a little misty eyed but it did no justice to what i was talking about. training a dog in restraint has little to do with an ENRON executive deciding whether its right or not to screw people out of millions of dollars… destroying other people’s lives.

    wait a second, i forgot, evolution did it. i keep forgetting that!

  199. Yes I am an animal. Yes I act like one, a homo-sapien animal. I’m just trying to be very clear, because your definitions are spurious and seem to change whenever it fits. I’m a direct decedent of the earliest ancestor (single cell) and the lineages that followed. I act how my genetic structure allows me to act.

    Yes I’m a “trained animal” as well. Some things I accepted, other not so much. I was trained that farting at the dinner table was rude. I agreed to that one. I was also trained to use a salad fork with salad, I find that to be so moot and superficial that I don’t care what fork I use 😉

    Some of my base instincts I act on, some I don’t. It always depends on the circumstance, where as you’re trying to make broad and nebulous definitions, that don’t in anyway refute my claims, or vindicate yours. Instead they just reveal your glaring ignorance, and fear of scientific literature.

    Actually your enron analogy is spurious. Just because dogs don’t own corporations doesn’t mean they don’t “screw” one another over. I’ll just give another example. I own a dog my GF owns a dog. Typically when we give treats to them we do it equally. Of course from time to time I’ll drop two treats on the floor and something else might occur at the same time, like a doorbell ringing, phone ringing, shouting in the other room etc. As one dog turns to focus on the new sound, the other naps up both treats and then looks innocent when the first dog returns and looks all over the room for his/her initial treat.

    Or another example. My dog has no learned that pooping inside is wrong. So when she does, in the most extreme circumstances, she usually “hides it.” Poops behind a couch, or in the corner of a room I don’t frequent. Of course she acts fine all day, but the moment I come across the mess, she puts her tails between her legs and runs like hell. That’s rather intuitive.

    Or even another base example. If I’m playing chase with my dog, she’ll fake right, wait for me to turn the same way, than dart in the opposite direction. This would be akin to “lying” or “deception.” Now you seem to be stuck on the fact that since we are more intelligent, we are something separate from animals and not a product of them. Which is absolutely retarded to be honest. An octopus is more intelligent than a squid, which is more intelligent than a catfish, which is more intelligent than a sardine, which is more intelligent than a plankton. This doesn’t mean anyone of them isn’t a naturally evolved animal of the sea, because some are more astute than others. Also, as I said earlier, there are plenty of humans that are born with less brain capacity than a primate, or an octopus. Mentally retarded children, spina bifida children, severe autisms, etc.

    Also chimpanzees actually do have better memories and number recognition than homo-sapiens. here’s documented, scientific, video proof:

    Watch that video and prepare to drop your jaw.

    If you’re too lazy to watch all 9 minutes, here’s a shorter 2 minute version:

    Yes evolution did it, according to YOUR thesis for the past month, of natural material cosmic and biological evolution, behaving under rational immutable law. Now, you’re quailing. You’ve lost John, accept it 😉
    If you want to believe the universe was designed with you in mind, fine, it’s pretentious, but go ahead, I don’t really care. However, accept the make that it’s a faith based claim, and hardly empirical.

  200. truly astounding, an animal doing tricks that WE taught it.

    what has it been, 10-15,000 years or so of human civilization and language? so while we went from building pyramids to times square, our next nearest cousin did…what?

    again, a chimp may share 98% of our DNA but is it 98% human?
    you enter an elephant into the worlds strongest man competition and it will out perform any human contender. so i guess lets just quit everything while we are ahead, and head back into the jungles where we belong. we obviously are not the pinnacle. but the fact is though, i have no problem whatsoever in saying that we are the pinnacle since we are ALWAYS using ourselves as the criteria to compare animals to. chris, we most certainly are the benchmark! and you really need some perspective. at the end of the day those monkeys are still inside of cages and we are the ones in the lab coats, in the air conditioned laboratory, that house OUR computers, that we let the monkeys play with, which we study. yes i acknowledge they outperformed the human, whomever he was. but we also built a MACHINE called deep blue that out performed a chess champion.

    so the only point i sense that youre trying to show me is this “just- maybe-possibly- one-day- in a different world-potential” that another animal has in similarity to us. but right now for some God-awful lucky reason, we are unparalleled in the animal kingdom. hmmmm….how come the only way we can find turbo-charged similarities like this is if WE initiate it?

    and i guess while we’re at it, both humans and animals are subject to gravity, both pretty much breath oxygen, neither can live in space…i mean you’re right chris, the line is starting to blur…we arent so special.

    but lets get back to your “training” young jedi. after your bowel movements and bed wetting, did your parents ever teach you anything about right and wrong…no kind of moral training? and im not talking about table-side manners, this goes deeper.

    perhaps you were a good kid… but your parents didnt tell you what types of kids/people to stay away from…who were PRACTICING things that you OUGHT not to? im sure even to this day you stay away from people like that.

    or perhaps you were from a broken home and didnt have that kind of instruction. well, didnt you observe and “pick-up” on how to act and how you wanted to approach life, what kind of person you wanted to be, and the character youd CHOOSE to have?

    well, where do those standards come from?

    how do you know what kind of person you want to be, how you want to act, or how you want people to treat you? is this a trial and error thing…do you have to know ALL about lying to know that you dont want to be a liar? or do you have to know ALL about inflicting pain to know that you dont want to inflict pain? did our DNA give us this information and we just wrote it all down as truth, or did we discover this “bubble” of morality all around us that says if we act this way, this happens or if you treat this person like this, this will also happen.

    id say that in much the same way that there are scientific facts, there are also moral facts.

    so we may not agree on a good handful of insignificant discrepencies but there are indeed moral ideas that are indisputable. and this is mostly a self evident process. science itself cannot tell you what is right and wrong.

    again, how did this enter the universe and what is it doing here… how come there are these things that we “ought” to do? you may say that it is all biological in origin…but then how can you also read about and absorb these ideas? one could go read the biography of ghandi and want to live a more moral. ethical life. whether we discovered this biologically or “intuitively” the fact still remains of it being here.

    richard dawkins says that at the very bottom of things the universe is blind and pitiless. well, why ought we be anything more than that? that kind of behavior defies reality.

    and this isnt about winning or losing, its a discussion. just how old are you anyways?

    so in closing, if you are cool with the idea of being a trained animal a few steps above a monkey i really dont care either. just dont be playing with your poop anywhere near me cause thats just not going to fly. no pun intended.

    john

  201. already at the outset you’re making the exact same mistake I already warned you of. Just because the Gorilla is more intelligent than the monkey, doesn’t mean the monkey “is less/evolved/animal/etc than the gorilla.” The same applies to us and any other species. We are extremely adept at surviving in our environment, throw us in the ocean, and squids and plankton have us beat.

    You say we are the pinnacle because we compare ourselves to everything else. Yet if you read my post I haven’t been doing that, only you have. You have the ego mania my friend, not “all of us.” Plenty of zoologist and scientist who deal in the field of animal habitats do NOT follow what you just said. Too bad.

    Sure at the end of the day we go back to our Air conditioned room, since you know, my Irish genetics which grew up in the freezing cold, need an AC just to adapt to this florida heat! Regardless, we are far from the pinnacle and I can give you very easy examples of the polar opposite. At the end of the day the primate isn’t so stupid he sets off nuclear weapons in foreign lands, doesn’t wage war in Vietnam desecrating any traces of life for the next hundreds of years, with left over gases and radiation that still kill outsiders. Sure the primates and elephants don’t set up concentration camps on arbitrary physical appearances, they don’t pump co2 and other green house gases into the atmosphere, they don’t cut down entire rain forest and they hardly rape and pillage over an arbitrary substance like gold, which isn’t inherently valuable. Telling me I need perspective? Are you joking? At least I’m well read on this material, you’re shaping your argument to match your new filled ignorance! I suppose based on your criteria of quick comparisons, deep blue is now the pinnacle?

    In other world, maybe there is a similarity to us? What? Are you kidding? I’ll point to zillions, the dna of us and primates you acknowledge. our tail bone, wisdom teeth, tonsils, and appendix (all useless now). Our 2 eyes, 10 fingers 10 toes, is a shared trait throughout millions of species. Basic similar organs (typically in the sea this changes) such as brain, heart, lungs, etc. Animals with spines..animals labeled mammals. Nvm this list is massive, go read some taxonomy, your ignorance here is horrible for someone who argues on issues he should know better about. Again I don’t goto baseball forums talking baseball, when I don’t know anything about it.

    And a large portion of life doesn’t breath oxygen, plant life and bacterias. They came first, as the bible gets wrong, and allowed for the plethora of oxygen to exist, so a new species could evolve to suck it up. Again part of my point, maybe our pinnacle butts need to stop destroying the environment en masse? and using nukes as well. Watch as gods pinnacle destroys itself….

    My moral lessons in life are so detailed, complex, erroneous, anachronistic, right, wrong, capricious, etc. I can’t write you an entire biography. I learned a lot from my Dad, I also learned bad behavior from him, some things I didn’t pick up on at all. Same with my Mom, my uncles, aunts, friends, their parents, strangers, teachers, classmates, books, television, personal thought, etc. Of course some of this finite to an extent. I mean again, as I explained, severe autism children, mental retards, aspbergers, schizophrenia, these children/individuals have a very limited ability to shape their “character” within their genetic predisposition. The same applies to me, and everyone else. My mom is an introvert, my dad is an introvert, so no surprise so am I. So for instance, no matter how hard I tried to like the “club scene” in life, I just simply couldn’t. Introverts don’t enjoy loud rooms, shoulder to shoulder people, no formal conversations beyond screaming, etc. We all have a genetic predisposition to certain things, again, read the blank slate. Just to point out a eye brow raising study:

    If a child is adopted at the age of 0-1 and molested by his or her parent, the child is quite likely to remember the event as “gross” perhaps dislike the parent strongly, but that;s it. Nothing else. Yet if a child is born of a pedophile, and put up for adoption, and NOT molested, that child is exponentially more likely to go on to commit pederasts than the adopted, molested child. Why? because there is a predisposed genetic link here. How different are you honestly from your genetic relatives? I doubt much. Your a cocktail of mom and dad with a hint of some grandparents, we all are.

    Name me five morals facts. (Let’s keep in mind this entire debate, starting months ago, you have done a deplorable job of vindicating the validity of yahweh as the cause of the cosmos – yet is your faith remotely shaken?)

    No science can’t tell you what right and wrong is. I never said it could, this has nothing to do with anything, you’re just going on an apologetics scapegoat route, and avoiding the point that you’ve lost so many previous discussions. No we get to side track into the morality one…great……*eyes rolling*

    Science can however give us serious information into what’s right and wrong. For instance, now that we know that a woman in terry schivos state, has a brain the size of a potato, something we couldn’t observe without science, this puts us in a new position to judge her sanctity of life? Now that science can create birth control, or condoms, pain killers, nukes, etc this gives us new positions to view right from wrong.

    Biology of course predisposed us to some “oughts.” We’ve been over this already, I’m very tired of teaching you, go read some books, and forget about your church groups 😉
    Anyway we were predisposed, like all creatures to OUGHT to eat and drink. Thats why we feel thirst and hunger. We were predisposed, arguably, according to a lot of recent science going through the animal kingdom, to the golden rule(This fails of course for genetic flukes like psychopaths). We were predisposed to care for our closest kin, that;s observable in every species. And as I already went over with big cats, dogs, humans, primates, etc, we were pre disposed to KILL TIME. You’ve been down this same road before, you lost them, you’ll lose now. None of your questions are better explained by saying “Yahweh did it.”

    Keep quoting dawkins….*yawn*
    I think he’s saying at the end of the day, every living creature will die, and rather saintly, or heinous, no difference will be made trillions of years down the road. The universe doesn’t owe us anything. But I’m not sure, I don’t like speaking for other people.

    Sure john I’m going to play with my poop near you. And early you tacitly implied atheist can’t feel love and compassion. Anymore degradation quips you want to throw my way? How very christian of you.

    I’ll quote Thomas Huxley
    I would rather be the offspring of two apes than be a man and afraid to face the truth.
    — Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895)

  202. first of all i didnt invoke yahweh into any of this. i think the only time i ever brought up God was in one of my last posts to you. im pointing out the obvious rationality and NOW the morality that you find in the universe and in reality. and im asking you how it got there. because either its there or it isnt.

    and id like you to copy and paste ONE time where i said that atheists cannot feel love and compassion.

    ive never once said that. all ive said was that strict materialism is an impoverished account of what actually happens in reality. by your worldview, you keep reducing my humanity to put me on the level of animals. most people dont like that chris. you keep dodging and downplaying that there is any real or certain morality at all. if you deny this, then what is this business of asking me to show you 5 moral facts… what, you cant think of any? well in regards to morality, ive got 2 little girls who depend ALOT on the moral decisions that their dad has to make on a daily basis. i have to “crucify” my flesh quite a bit in order to make the right decisions that benefit them. how easy it is to do the wrong thing and how hard it is to take the high road! but your worldview says there is no high-road, it only exists in our brain or we invented it. well you cant have it both ways chris.

    the “zillions” and “zillions” of similarities you show me between us and animals are just that…similarities. for every similarity there is also stunning human accomplishment that no animal can rival. there is no animal on earth who is remotely parallel to us. you throw us in the ocean and we MAKE a boat. you put us in the desert we figure out where to get water and to build a shelter. you put us in the arctic and we fashion thermal clothing and fish through the ice. and if there is an animal that we cannot take down we will get ten friends and some weapons and that thing will go down. but if you throw our nearest cousin(chimp) into the ocean, arctic, or the desert or maybe put him in front of a charging rhino, what will happen? and believe me i dont point out the obvious to be egomaniacal about it, this is just how it is. but then again, do you expect me to respect animals in the same way that i would respect the sensitivity of another human being? is it even possible for me to have an “ego” because i find myself smarter than a dog or a catfish? who would get a rush from that?! so no, im not being ego-maniacal.

    but dont you think humans are more valuable than animals? for instance, if you saw a dog, a monkey, or a person all drowning in the ocean..who would you rescue first?

    let me rephrase this question. if you saw a trained chimpanzee who was trained by the military and saved the lives of hundreds of soldiers during his service, your very own dog whom you had for 9 years and loved very much, and a person all drowning in the ocean. and knowing that you couldnt save them all, who would you rescue first?

    im going to assume that youd rescue the person so follow me on this:
    now if you rescued the person after having briefly but heartbreakingly fought through the emotions of loving your dog….was it because somewhere you heard, believe, or were taught that people are more valuable than animals…did someone elses biology give rise to that information that is now labeled as “truth”. Or, was it because your “own” biology gave rise to that information and you acted upon it? how did this information enter your heart to know that even though you loved your dog you must fight through that emotion to save someone you have never even met nor feel any kind of emotional connection to?

    now consider that noone would find out about the choice you made, would you still have made the same choice?

    ok heres TEN random moral facts that i mixed up, and if you disagree with any of them as factual statements i want you to argue why the opposite would be true and self-evident:

    1. hitler killing 11 million people was wrong
    2. schindler saving 1200 people was right
    3. 10 kids beating a stray dog to death for the fun of it is wrong
    4. you find 10 starving and abused dogs in a puppy farm and you attempt to take care of them is right
    5. donny refusing to further exploit women and quit the porn business is right
    6. a young father decides to take care of his kids and not walk away is right
    7. to make another person your slave is wrong
    8. missionaries sending food and supplies to a starving, hurricane ravaged haiti is right
    9. islamic terrorists beheading innocent people in videos is wrong
    10. you become quite drunk and decide it would be safer to give your keys to someone else is right

    do you want more?

    so i see you have no problem berating humanity for breaking “standards” all the time all throughout your paragraph. well again, where did those standards come from that you judge them by? i at least thought that one way to find out right and wrong would be by thinking about it. sort of like aristotle, socrates, and plato. did those philosophers get their “truth” from their biology or by reflecting on it? and again, thats just one way. well, either way its obvious humanity has a problem which YOU found very easy in showing the symptoms.

    i recently watched a debate of chris hedges vs christopher hitchens. hitchens would go on and on about his issues of how religion can make people do all sorts of bad things. hedges reply was that it wasnt ONLY religion that can do that, it can be ANY ideology and the actual problem was in trying to EXTERNALIZE evil by placing it outside of us. he further went on to say that even if you completely ridded the world of religion youd still have the problem of “evil” that lies in the heart of humanity itself. the entire history of man verifies this and this is in all of us chris. or do you feel that you are more moral than anyone else? you already gave me your report on what you learned from your parents. and if you try to downplay this issue of “evil” in the heart of humanity then everything you berated about people in your paragraph is a joke and nothing to get all fussy about it. theres actually so much more you couldve written about humanity in that paragraph, because theres no shortage of it.

    everything im telling you is self-evident and im sure that deep-down you know this. and God knows this too.

    something to think about.

    and i apologize if i offended you with some of the stuff or the way i was putting things. im sorry.

    john

  203. Here’s the copy and paste of where I said you tacitly implied as an atheist (materialist) I can’t exercise those traights:

    “there indeed are some truly noble ideas that once gotten into the heart and mind of a self replicator, that self replicator would fling themselves without thought to their very own deaths. among these noble ideas would be love, justice, compassion, mercy. these same immaterial ideas can make a 180 LB chunk(person or people) of matter move. “

    Now on to your post.

    Yes you find lots of (subjective) moral things in the cosmos, but you can find an equal if not more amount of heinous, capricious, callous, indifferent, “things” as well. Again, it’s hardly the act of a benevolent deity to slaughter millions of innocent dinosaur after 200 million years of life. Hardly benevolent to place a super massive black hole at the center of the milky way, hardly benevolent to ensure the sun burns out in 5 billion years, and that the Andromeda galaxy will smash into us. Hardly moral to allow for “hermaphrodites.” Not that I have a problem with such people, it’s obviously quite confusing to the individual, and I don’t think the word god would ever satisfy that confusion. Hardly benevolent to allow for spina bifida, sociopaths, psychopaths, pederasts, etc to exist. The cosmos is a mixed bag. One thing we can be certain of, this indifferent universe will be dead in hundreds of trillions of years, making our whole shebang moot.

    I still don’t see how materialism is impoverished. I mean, again, if an MRI showed that when I have deep feelings of “love” for my parents, that either Oxytocin was being pumped OR some magical ghost/soul was fluttering its….wings…neither outcome should (nor would in my case, maybe not yours) change my sincerity in that love. All it does on your end, is remove the ghost from the machine. Regardless it doesn’t change the FACT that love is taking place, in whatever form that operates. Instead of being morose about this, be proud that we, mankind, as achieved the ability to answer these questions! The reason I never take absolute positions, well rarely, on morality is because it really is subjective. I mean just to talk crassly, I’m not gay. Gay sex to be is something I don’t want to see. I don’t want someone exposing me to it. However that doesn’t mean I think gay sex is immoral, or being exposed to it (when the individual desires so) is immoral either. So to expose gay sex to me, immoral, to expose it to a gay person who wants to see it, fine. I’m pretty utilitarian often in my morals, but again, I try to avoid all absolutes. Another example, I don’t want anyone killing me without my permission. That would be “immoral” to me. However if I’m suffering from brain cancer, have a month to live, and am hating every second of life, my morals will change, and I may want euthanasia.

    As far as saying you’re an animal, so what? Again this doesn’t change the sincerity of your love for your daughters, or their return love. The fact they naturally evolved from you, who naturally evolved from your parents, all the way back to a single cell, shouldn’t seriously change the fact that you want what’s best for them, and are raising them the best you can. Some of the lessons they may accept, same they may not. Again, as I said, my Dad taught me many things, I accepted a lot of them, he also taught me not to put my eye bows on the table at dinner – frankly I find that so superficial that I do it anyway. Does it bother him, yes, can we move on? Yes haha. So maybe your daughters may eat desert before dinner when they’re all grown up? I think you’ll be okay with that though right? You don’t literally want miniature, close minded clones of yourself, right?

    I’m sorry, those similarities are natural parts of evolution. Let me explain it a bit better, without getting too complicated. So for instance I said, tons of species have ten fingers and toes. I also said tons have spines. Well in order to have ten fingers and toes, you at first need a spine. So in the entire fossil record you don’t find a species with ten fingers and toes w/out a spine, or before a spine – vindicating natural evolution. So all I was pointing out was that of course we have loads of similarities, but each is natural, not poofed into existence by yahweh.

    Yes humans have accomplished a lot, as I said though, for every accomplishment there are often atrocities too. Wow humans are mastering nuclear physics, well good for us….wait a second…now we are nuking a country….not so good. As far as no animal remotely parallel to us, that’s beyond absurd. That was exactly my point when I pointed out all the traits we DO share. There are millions upon millions of similarities across the animal kingdom, the one unique difference we have is our big brains. Very little else separates us.

    We can’t make a boat if you throw us in the ocean haha. We make a boat because we expect to traverse the ocean! Jared Diamonds “Guns Germs and Steel” is a good world history book on how humans exploited the environment to their advantage in various situations. So for instance, of course the ango-saxons slaughtered the Indians. The Indians environment didn’t allow them the access to resources that allowed for guns of the anglos capability, or for an immune system akin to it. Or another instance, anglos brought the horses to america, which allowed for faster transportation and more hauling ability of large carriages, which furthered our ability in agriculture, trade, etc. So yes NOW if you throw a human in the desert, or the arctic, we are privy to ways of survival – however let’s say 10,000 years ago, if you threw a host of south africans on the north pole, well they’d be dead. Anyway I’m not denying that our brain power, and continent evolution, has allowed for us to exploit the environment and propagate at a dangerous level. Of course, at the same this, that very well may be what extincts us, our lack of long term foresight. As far as most successful though, I have to hand it to the cockaroach. Millions upon millions of years old, little if any significant changes in genetics, and will continue to live with us, and long after us. They can’t read, they can’t write, but damnit, they aren’t going anywhere 😉

    Well I personally to an extent try to “respect” animals on the same level, but I am a vegetarian. I recognize what pain feels like, so I do try to prevent suffering amongst the animals, even if they are “dumber.”

    Yes we have a natural instinct to save humans over animals. But that applies to all species and their own kin. Yet again, another, naturally evolved, obvious similarity. If the primate sees the same situation, it will save the primate first. If the mother dog sees the same situation, it will attempt to save the other dog first. If however, the chances are rescue are 0%, the dog, the human, and the primate, will most likely all quail. Yes I’d save the human first, unless that human was Dick Cheney, or Stalin, or Hitler, etc. In which case, I’ll take the monkey or the dog 😉

    In your second scenario, possible the person, I mean my dog is 9, so it’s old, and doesn’t have much life yet. However if the person is also 80, I may save that chimpanzee, because that’s one bad ass chimp.

    Well one, yes, we are told from the age of 0 to death that we are more valuable and inherently so than animals. Even the bible says this. Again, as a vegetarian I tend to disagree. I don’t think we have any more “right” to life than they do. I’m considered radical though on this by most. And we are of course told this by obvious groups for obvious reasons. The entire meat, milk, cheese and egg industries of the world. If the whole world went vegetarian, after seeing the slaughter of so many animals, they’d be out of business. And again, yes our biology for the most part taught us to look after our own, just as the
    1. Yes, because the 11 million didn’t consent. If he killed 11 million people suffering of brain cancer, who were pleading to die, than i’d be comfortable. Like Dr. Kavorkien.
    2. I’m rather ignorant of this incident, so I really can’t answer.
    3. Yes, the dog didn’t consent, and we share a similar central nervous system (unlike the star fish! Natural evolution again), so knowing what “beating” feels like on MY cns, I would presume the dog feels the same. Although again, we do have S&M couples, who enjoy pain. So if they WANT to be beat, than I don’t mind that either.
    4. Sure. Unless one of the puppies is also deranged and a potential threat to humans, in which case that one would be put down and the nine can be saved (notice I apply nuance to ALL of these, because morals are nuanced! And not absolute).
    5. I don’t know much about this. I mean, to the best of my knowledge, there are women that actually want to do porn and truly enjoy the work. In that case, Donny didn’t do Jenna Jameson a favor. Regardless, everyone, in my opinion, should do the career that makes them most happy, if it’s porn, or accounting, fine by me.
    6. Too vague.
    7. In the old slavery sense, that America was founded on? Yes. Making a criminal do community service, not so wrong.
    8. In most instances.
    9. Yeah, no consent. Now if the man had begged earlier to have his head cut off, for whatever reason, it was his choice, than not so wrong. Forcing someone to watch it without warning however, that’s wrong.
    10. Unless that someone else is MORE drunk, or a known thief lol.

    Those philosophers worked with their predisposed biology, AND thought about it. Again, a child of severe autism CAN NOT under HIS/HER biology, even be a philosopher. Some biology allows for other things as well. I can’t, no matter how hard I ever try, be beethoven or einstein. It just won’t happen. I’m comfortable with this though.

    I haven’t seen that debate, but I’m aware Hitchens is often very, very, wrong – sometimes right. And I’ve listened and read Hedges (His book on the Christian right is damning) before, and he’s often very right, and sometimes wrong. Look I’ve said from post one, I don’t actually care if you’re religious, I don’t think it makes you evil(This is a word capable of great equivocation – I do not believe in devils, or evil spirits, or evil even as some “force” I think evil is material), and if you want to believe Yahweh is the cause of the cosmos, fine. However, if you are going to enter a candid, and frank discussion on the subject, I will NOT hold back. I have not however, once, claimed religion was evil, or makes people evil(and I greatly depart company with Hitchens on this – and I take a more Dawkins approach, I’m just looking for what’s more true). I think religion, to be blunt, is stupid and inane. I don’t shout it from the roof tops though, but, because we’ve been so candid, and we both WANT a candid conversation, that’s my honest opinion. Religion is just flat out stupid. I can’t fathom why people need religion to come together, or work together, or do charity work. However, because that’s often a result, I remain reticent, because I’d rather them keep on being happy and doing good work. I’m just at a loss why they need religion to do it. Mostly because I get along fine without the mental gymnastics required in religion. So when I see a bumper sticker that says Christ is Peace for instance, fine, whatever, it’s just silly – won’t affect my day.

    Yeah I’m more moral than Hitler 😉

    It’s only self-evident to us. It isn’t self evident to a mental retard, or someone with aspbergers. As far as god, I have no idea which one you’re talking about, or what the word even means. If you’re referring to Yahweh, until genesis can be rectified, I’m not moving on to the later chapters, of that inane book 😉

    I’m not offended.
    -Chris

    I would still like to list 5 moral absolutes. Don’t pose questions, just write out flatly 5 moral absolutes. I bet remembering the sabbath isn’t one 😉

    Also just for sport, and this has nothing to do with the meat of our debate, I want to throw some moral questions at you.

    1. Tom and Mary are brother and sister. They decide one night, to have sex, one time only, use protection (that works), and never tell anyone. The event takes place, the guidelines hold. The end. What is wrong here? If anything.
    2. A homosexual named Bob has fifty consenting guys over, all checked for venereal diseases, and clean, and they have an orgy for 12 straight hours. What’s wrong here, if anything?
    3. I haven’t recognized the sabbath since I was…well never. What’s wrong here.
    4. Henry knows his brother is going to kill an innocent baby, but has no way of proving it, because it was said to him by his brother, so no evidence exist otherwise. Henry kills his brother that night. Anything wrong here?
    5. Cindy and Susie love sex, it’s their favorite past time, and it makes them happy. So they become porn stars with no serious regrets. What’s wrong here, if anything?
    6. Bill and his wife have an abortion. What’s wrong here.
    7. You eat chicken, cow, and pig, what’s wrong here?
    8. Timmy is a jew, converts to islam, then converts to paganism, then converts to buddhism, then christianity. Anything wrong here?
    9. I use embryonic stem cells to save my liver, so I don’t die. Anything wrong here?
    10. Final one I suppose. Josh is suffering from deep chemical depression. He hasn’t been happy in years. Nothing works, no doctors or psychiatrist. Upon leaving the doctor for what he hopes will be the last time, he’s informed that he has an inoperable brain tumor that will kill him in six months. Pain and depression are nothing compared to what he’s about to go through for the next six. So this will be a two part question. A. he goes home, writes a note to his family explaining what’s going on, let’s them none of this is their fault, but it’s a personal decision, and he kills himself. B. Same thing with the note, and letting everyone know, except this time, the doctor kills him.

  204. this thing is not allowing me to respond?

  205. testing testing..

  206. how come this thing will only let me post one line sentences?

  207. What are you talking about, John? I’m not seeing any problems.

  208. Maybe Donny’s getting tired of reading this particular posting…..

  209. hey if it continues John here’s my e-mail, we can keep it up there:
    ldkriz@hotmail.com (That’s ONLY for John guys 😉 )

    Jean never was a fan of these post lol.

    I have to be honest, before I fell asleep question 11 fell upon me…I just HAVE to ask.
    11. Myself, lives an entire life of atheism, and is relatively moral, not a saint, but hardly “evil.” I die when I’m 80. Anything wrong here.

  210. well looks like it’s working for me too…

  211. PSALM 40

    1 I waited patiently for the LORD;
    he turned to me and heard my cry.

    2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
    he set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand.

    3 He put a new song in my mouth,
    a hymn of praise to our God.
    Many will see and fear the LORD
    and put their trust in him.

    4 Blessed are those
    who make the LORD their trust,
    who do not look to the proud,
    to those who turn aside to false gods. [b]

    5 Many, LORD my God,
    are the wonders you have done,
    the things you planned for us.
    None can compare with you;
    were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
    they would be too many to declare.

    6 Sacrifice and offering you did not desire—
    but my ears you have opened [c]—
    burnt offerings and sin offerings [d] you did not require.

    7 Then I said, “Here I am, I have come—
    it is written about me in the scroll. [e]

    8 I desire to do your will, my God;
    your law is within my heart.”

    9 I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly;
    I do not seal my lips, LORD,
    as you know.

    10 I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
    I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help.
    I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness
    from the great assembly.

    11 Do not withhold your mercy from me, LORD;
    may your love and faithfulness always protect me.

    12 For troubles without number surround me;
    my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.
    They are more than the hairs of my head,
    and my heart fails within me.

    13 Be pleased to save me, LORD;
    come quickly, LORD, to help me.

    14 May all who seek to take my life
    be put to shame and confusion;
    may all who desire my ruin
    be turned back in disgrace.

    15 May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”
    be appalled at their own shame.

    16 But may all who seek you
    rejoice and be glad in you;
    may those who long for your saving help always say,
    “The LORD is great!”

    17 But as for me, I am poor and needy;
    may the Lord think of me.
    You are my help and my deliverer;
    you are my God, do not delay.

  212. ok there we go:)

    i guess i look like a liar because honestly the thing wasnt working for me last night. i refreshed numerous times and posted and it kept going to a page that said “discarded”

    but when i posted one line sentences, those posted for some reason but not the bulk of anything else i wrote. i even cut my reply in half and tried to post the halves seperately….no go.

    donny, are you getting tired of this posting? jean needs some clarification lol!

    its all good jean (((((jean)))))

    can you guys pray for chris? hes got a really bad rash….j/k but yeah please lift him up, thanks!

  213. ok you probably wont like this reply…but i do think those are valid questions you asked…even #11. its definitely something id like to look into. id like to understand my theology a little better than just as accepted facts that i can easily repeat. my advice would be to talk to someone who is gifted in and has a really good grasp on theology so they can break it down for you.

    anyways, here was my reply:

    wow quick reply so let me get at this. youre lucky its my day off lol!

    anyways, again i did not say nor ever imply that atheists were incapable of love, compassion, truth, or any virtue. you completely misunderstood what i said. what i was saying in that statement was that a self replicator (us, material) can get an idea( immaterial) in their head so much so that the “immaterial” moves the “material” to action…more specifically, self sacrificial action. and when i use the term self-replicator i made no distinction between an atheist or a theist replicator. it was a generic term. so again i never said that nor even implied it. but back to the immaterial moving the material…i can think of a few examples of this:

    the civil rights movement
    ghandi’s movement
    the movement of jesus christ
    animal rights

    just a few examples

    these are all movements of ideals that once people believed in them, they acted for change. SOME of them of course dying in the process..all for an idea. now you listed that you for one wouldnt beat an animal to death because you “know” what pain feels like…ill give that to you just to save time but its very arguable that every idea has its trace to physicality or the very least REMAINS physical. ideas are ideas and you cant really quantify them. some ideas may come from physical experience but how does it become a “truth”? that would be sort of like saying TRUTH arises from the body. does truth arise from our body or is it something that we recognize? truth can be anywhere and about anything. you can also “imagine” or “project” what some things would be like without ever having experiencing them to agree that theyd be true. but even if its the case you can also balance the unpleasantness of physical pain with the reasoning behind it. we inflicted doubtless physical pain upon the nazis but it was JUSTIFIABLE because of the REASONING behind their movement… there was something else involved in the MORAL equation. and that something was an IMMATERIAL idea being imposed upon the physical knowledge we already had of pain. we tend to not want to inflict physical pain unless we can JUSTIFY it. again some ideas cannot be quantified.

    and what im saying here goes right back to the rescue example i gave you in my last post. id go as far as saying that it was not your biology or kin relations that made you save the person, it was an IDEAL. id say you probably had more of a kin relation with your dog then the person you were rescuing. id also bet you did it begrudgingly and i purposely set the question up that way to show you that some ideas defy the physical instinct. i guarantee you that your body(emotions, memories, biology) was telling you a whole lot more about your dog than it was the person you never met nor knew anything about. but your emotions were tempered with an IDEAL and you acted. part of you WANTED to save your dog more, but you knew by PRINCIPLE or maybe even fear of what people would think of you to not do that.

    some ideas, morals, and ethics we have to REMEMBER to do even if its uncomfortable, we dont feel like it, or it hurts our self interest. and these have to be self-imposed by choice. we dont always do the right thing naturally, alot of the times the right thing “hurts”.

    alot of what you just said about finding hideous moral ideas and situations in the cosmos are in the realm of theology. im not going to get into that with you. the fact STILL remains that you do find morality in the universe even though you also find other things you may object to or are not able to understand. none of that matters. my only point was to show you that morality exists. like i said before, you have to presuppose God before we get into theology otherwise its no use and there can be no understanding. you as well as i know that it would not be the COMPLETE picture to point out only the destruction, pain and chaos in the universe while ignoring the beauty, morality, goodness, rationality etc that ALSO exist in the universe. it depends on what youd RATHER point out. again, i ask you where did it come from? id liken its presence to being a stone-age hunter gatherer and you find a rusted out, beat-up 1977 chevy caprice in the woods. are you going to complain that its rusted out, beat-up and doesnt run…or would you at least marvel just a teensy-bit thats its even there? and if you admit that its there then its a completely different question of how it got to be the way it is when you can readily conceive that it shouldnt be that way.
    . and im going to point out another dawkins quote about how he himself says that the universe DOES appear designed. but his worldview will not allow him to accept that it might be. he cant get his mind or even his emotions around the idea.

    and the last 10 moral scenarios… im not going to get into those with you either. those are theological in nature. again,my point was only to SHOW you that there is morality in the universe based on the apparent observation that moral fact does exist. and you pretty much agreed with my ten examples.

    but i do have to say a couple of things…i highly doubt that if a brother and sister engage in that kind of activity they would soon stop. things dont usually work that way. so if that happens, are you down with incest? and if not, why not? are you only willing to call something perverse ONLY when it involves pain? some things are sexually reprehensible.

    and i already listed not 5, but 10 moral absolutes. and i asked you to refute them by invoking why self-evidently, the opposite would be MORE true…which itself would be a moral absolute.

    now when i stated those scenarios as moral fact that didnt mean for you to come in and tweak them out to be able to change them. they are stated as they are. i tried to be as clear as possible when i stated them. its a whole different scenario to say something about 11 million people wanting to die or something like that. but that wasnt the case. and schindler was a german who through his business connections saved 1200 jews in WW2. in donnys scenario, he really WAS exploiting women, hence the guilt. youd have to ask him…. but if he never saw any repercussions from the porn industry that caused people pain or ruined peoples lives and reputations, im sure hed probably still be doing it. but he says otherwise and well just have to take his word on it. you bring up S&M couples…well would you be down if one of the partners beat in the others skull to death for pleasure? and as far as the dogs are concerned..lets say they are all safe for humans, just abused and neglected..still a moral fact? well how specific do i need to be in saying that instead of abandoning his children, a young father decides to stick around to raise, support, and take care of his kids? how could the opposite be more true and right?

    now to the thing about the philosophers. yes it is their biology that allows them to have this aptitude but what they are actually engaging in is not their biology. when they are thinking about what is true or anything philosophical, they are engaging in various ideas that are outside of them. it could be the government of greece, some observation they saw in nature, or something one of their ancient colleagues said. in the same way..it takes biology to give somebody the aptitude to play music..but it isnt their biology they are engaging with, it is the music and sounds they are manipulating. and the same goes with science..biology allows the aptitude but the aptitude itself engages with the particular field of study. two different things chris.

    peace, john

  214. no worries i never even toyed with the idea of you being a liar…but no one needs to pray for me, i’m just fine. i’ll try to address to your post sometime to day, just woke up, i can’t keep writing when I’m such a zombie…..need caffeine!

  215. Eh fuck it, I just drank a soda, I’ll give it a go…

    I have no interest in talking to anyone in theology for YOUR answers (I mean how can you not know your own answers?). One thing I’ve always attempted to point out, when broached with the argument that you’re roughly following…there are moral absolutes, the atheist can’t pin his morals on anything, but the christian can…blah blah. Anyway, what I always point out is that no two christians, or any religious peoples, truly, 100% agree on these moral absolutes. Some christians believe abortion will send you to hell no matter what, some don’t. Some believe sex before marriage is damnable, others, not so much. So for YOUR answers, I will only ask YOU. The fact you need someone else to answer for you, is, well sad John(You may be violating your own/their morals everyday due to ignorance). So if I ask 5 theologians those 11 questions, for your answers, I bet I get 55 different answers 😉 or even if I get 22 different answers, which are yours? Plus theology is a silly subject in my opinion, I don’t follow premise one, Yahweh created the cosmos, so there is literally no point for me to go into what follows from premise 1.

    The civil rights movement is material though, as are ghandi’s and animal rights. I mean I kind of understand what you’re saying, the actual “idea” isn’t material(it is), but it takes material to think of the idea, grasp the idea, and pass it on to other material agents. This is essentially Dawkins memetics.

    Oh I’m not 100% convinced my pain is an animals pain. Hell I sincerely doubt it actually. I mean it has been documented for instance that dogs, even small ones, have a much higher tolerance for pain. I’ve even determined it of my own dog by mistake. Regardless, in this instance, I’m just erring on the side of safety. If I’m wrong, nothing. If I’m right, I’m helping.

    I won’t really disagree with you here, but I still don’t literally see anything immaterial/supernatural at work here. I mean again, if you don’t have cognitive beings in the cosmos, you don’t have ideas. It takes material to create these ideas, that can only be repeated, and understood, and augmented, by more material agents. If all of us ceased to exist at this second, our ideas of truth, love, compassion, go down with us – they cease to have any meaning, or repeatability.

    Well you’re wrong, it was my biology. As I already pointed out, but this has been quietly overlooked…Throw a monkey, a dog, a FROG (as I informed you of) and a human in the Ocean. Line the same species on the shore, and see who saves who. We all save our own(Natural product of evolution, and a trait shared by all species). So either everything above is EQUAL to us in its level of ideals, or there is a biological predisposition here. Ample evidence agrees with the latter. I already told you why I wouldn’t save my dog, it’s 9 years old, and the life is nearing an end. Now again, if it was Cheney, or my Dog, I’d save my dog. Or as I pointed out, I’d need more information on what this human in the water looked like, 75-90ish, I’m going after that chimp you talked about. You’re changing my answer.

    “i guarantee you that your body(emotions, memories, biology)”
    Ah my consciousness here? Yes that’s right, it is a material part of the body, glad you concede 😉

    You’re right that some ideals and morals are nothing but memories, that are uncomfortable. I’ve been arguing this for a while – just as you already pointed out, you don’t even have your own morals, you need me to ask someone else for you! Hahaha. And sure, racism, homosexual hatred, oppression of womens rights, many political dispositions, FAITH groups, are ideas people hold because they were simply told it(or born into it, like almost every christian in the west). Man if I had a nickel for everyone I met in Florida who told me they hate black people because their parents told them they were niggers, or dirty, or just because. Or the hundreds of kids I grew up with that voted republican because their parents said to, not because they had any formal understanding of the issues. Now you’re telling me you follow a moral structure, that you can’t even articulate. A victim of dogma and accident just the same.

    Sure and “evil” and “good” things are also in the “realm” of Egyptian book of the dead, African animism, Islamic faith, the illiad and the odyssey, Norwegian folk tales, Chinese proverbs, etc.

    I don’t have to presuppose god to get into theology, I have to presuppose Yahweh, let’s be explicit. I can presuppose Einstein or Hawkings god all day, and never crack the bible.

    I fully agree it’s not a complete picture to point out only the cruel, except YOU, if you follow the order of events, only pointed out the good, so naturally, to complete that picture, I only pointed out the bad. I’ve already answered where this all came from, I don’t know, and neither do you. Yahweh however, is one of the most childish, untenable, and narrow-minded answers possible. Anyway with a genuine iota of understanding of evolution and cosmology, and the first chapter of genesis, can safely, and correctly, draw that conclusion. You question me on marveling the cosmos. Well frankly, I do, everyday, and more honestly than you 😉 That’s why I am a science student, that’s why I read cosmology, biology, astronomy, psychology, etc. Where as you read the bible, and theologians. I exercise awe and marveling, that can’t be doubted.

    What Dawkins quote? You said you’d point it out but didn’t.

    I don’t care what you think those 10 scenarios are, you should have an answer for them. If you’re too ignorant, you need to understand that you very well could risk violating a myriad of theological positions, and also risk damnation, due to ignorance (what a loving deity that yahweh, possibly damning over ignorance). Now the fact I can answer all 11, without any aid from theology only, should show that theology is superfluous here. I also never agreed with all ten of your examples, I showed, as scientific minds do, that more information may be needed, because those scenarios really aren’t black and white, and nuance can follow. Beating a dog = bad. But what if that dog had rabies and attacked one of the ten kids, than beating it isn’t so bad. That’s a detail that could be present.

    My example, which you’re equivocating around, clearly stated, that all rules were obeyed. I made that very clear. I also already told you, I don’t mind S&M couples, so I don’t find “pain” in sex perverse or wrong – so long as all parties are consenting.

    You didn’t posit moral absolutes, you posited vague scenarios, and you didn’t give your own answer to them. That’s hardly an absolute. An absolute is more like the ten commandments (which I don’t agree with most) “Though Shalt Not Kill” PERIOD. That’s an ABSOLUTE. Of course, we both agree that’s a horrible example, you know as well as I do, if either of us could go back and time and kill a Hitler baby, we would.

    Fine Donny exploited women, that doesn’t mean the entire industry does so. That’s why I’m pointing out your scenarios are vague, and are hardly absolute. If Donny worked for Jenna Jameson, he wouldn’t be exploiting Jenna Jameson. Sure wal-mart does some heinous sweat shot labor overseas, that’s immoral. However that doesn’t mean for example, the manager at a wal-mart in kentucky, isn’t anything but beneficent to her employees. Porn, and your ten examples, like Walmart, aren’t black and white.

    Holy fuck man, I would be down if the partner KILLED the other partner? Wtf even makes you draw this erroneous conclusions. I specifically said, if the pain was consented. THE PAIN, not the UNCONSENTED DEATH….

    If the dogs are abused and neglected than yes it most likely is a good idea to take them in. Unless of course by my taking in 10 dogs, I lose the ability to lets say, take care of 11 children I voluntarily tend to (I don’t really, just saying, again, nuance exist in almost all moral situations, good luck finding an absolute).

    Well if the Father was Hitler, wouldn’t it be better to be abandoned, than be raised by him?

    I already covered this aspect of the philosophers. Sure they often engage in questions beyond them like the universal physical mechanics. Again though, without the biology to even do this( a product of that universal mechanics), it can’t be done. Once the biology dies, and it all will, especially in 100 trillion years, everything we have said, or ever done, is irrelevant. The universe doesn’t actually know or care.

    The biology is what allows them to engage in music, so yes they are engaging their biology and the music simultaneously. After all, without the ability to engage your fingers, ears, and brain simultaneously with material act of music/sound creation, you can’t make music. When the earth was 100% algae and sea life, music didn’t exist, as biology evolved it did, and as that biology dies, it won’t.

  216. lol

    MY answers? no you want to pick apart my belief system because you have no further criticism of there being morality in the universe, which you KNOW that there is. so to make things easier on yourself you want to reduce and strawman the morality i present into some cute litttle yahweh box that you can kick around. but i aint falling for it. every SINGLE question/scenario you presented was a theological judgement call. i cant believe your going to insinuate that it wasnt. to liken why i didnt get into it with you: imagine being a somewhat new student in regards to evolution and you are in a room full of creationists who ask you LOADED questions about evolution. should you even bother engaging, or should you maybe read up a little more so you know your material?

    MY answers? lol! well what about YOUR answers? how much is pinkerton, dennett, dawkins, or whomever else you read and reference, speaking through you? because i know for a fact that it wasnt you going out doing the research on the evolution, neuroscience, etc. You are completely referencing someone elses material who did all the legwork for you. and i dont even have a problem with that. but, if you ask me theological questions, you better bet youre going to get theological replies from THEOLOGIANS and theres nothing wrong with that. there are people smarter than both you and I who have been thinking about this stuff alot longer. if you seriously want answers for those questions, would it make more sense to ask some guy on an ex-porn blog or go read aquinas, bonhoeffer, or augustine for yourself? and earlier i asked you to sign a petition concerning family law and since you werent versed enough in it and didnt have YOUR OWN answer, you stated you wanted to get counsel from someone who did. so, what are you talking about chris?

    nuance

    dont screw with my scenarios, if i wanted nuance i would have added it myself and would have plainly told you. noones trying to trick you man.

    anyone reading this will know you are not answering the questions i posed, your changing them so that they become ambiguous and you can claim a self imposed “ignorance”

    (i hope to God theres someone reading this blog who can see right through that crap)

    but life doesnt work that way, some things are ambiguous but alot of things are NOT.

    so i gave you my ten moral absolutes but youd rather have commands. well go read exodus if you want commands. i never said anything other than that i would show you that there is morality in the universe.

    which i did and its self evident but let me go over them again.

    1. donny says he exploited women during HIS experience in the porn business. so that you explicitly understand, i am not talking about the ENTIRE porn business, i am talking about HIS experience. was it right for him to stop exploiting the women he came in contact with or to further exploit them?
    yes or no

    2. no it isnt a hitler baby and who would know that anyways?! no, its a normal, everyday child. a young father stands strong under the pressure and decides to stick it out to raise, care, and take care of his children. before you say it, his significant other is mentally stable, works, is drug free and is ultra hot. is this right?

    3. the S&M partner knows he is going to die but gets off on the idea anyways.
    is it cool for the other to beat his skull in to get their rocks off?

    so hey, if we are dead and gone and our biology can no longer recognize or even contemplate it….does that mean that all the laws of physics are gone too?

    i can already hear your reply on that one…

    well let me beat you to it

    let me rephrase the question, if there were no planetary objects, gravity or mass would the laws of physics disappear too?

    so which came first my fine feathered friend?

    chris, seriously….

  217. and i almost forgot

    you can tell me until your blue bluest blue bluey in the face

    but,

    a philosopher is NOT engaging in their biology

    a scientist is NOT engaging with their biology

    a musician is NOT engaging with their biology

    this is the most simplest of ideas chris

    and are you telling me right now on this blog, there is NO such thing as an idea?

  218. I want to pick apart your belief? Does that mean you do have answers, but you’re reticent to give them? If so, that’s unfair, I’ve been nothing but candid. Otherwise, if you really need someone else to answer your morals for you, well, that’s so asinine I don’t if I should feel pity, or humor. Be your own person John, not someone elses. I don’t doubt that homo-sapiens exercise what they believe morality is – however, I do not find the cosmos to be a “moral” place, I find it to be entirely indifferent, as you’d expect from non-sentient, matter and energy. And since no one, no christian, no atheist, no deist, no jew, etc, has ever come to a fully unanimous agreement on moral absolutes, I don’t believe they truly exist.

    My scenarios were not theological judgement calls, my proof is, if I hand those questions off to my deist friend, my agnostic friend, and my atheist friend, they could all answer, without invoking superfluous deities.

    I agree, if you’re going to engage a group of creationist, your should read up on your material. Yet, you obviously continue to talk science, and neurology, that you are not read up on. So you’re a hypocrite 😉 Second, morals are seperate from factoids. Factoids require genuine research to understand and retain. Where as, even at the age of five, I could give my moral answer to all those questions. Granted it may change over the years from research and factoids, but I, and everyone else who interacts in society, does have a moral structure, that isn’t contingent upon theology or research.

    Obviously Dawkins, Pinker, Dennett, etc aren’t speaking for me. I’ve already gone out of my why to tell you not to quote them, because I’m not them. I’ve also explained I don’t agree with any of them on everything. We share one thing, we are atheist, beyond that, not much else. I was an atheist before I knew who any of those people were. Now Pinker has had the most impact on me, but that’s because I’ve read his science books (He doesn’t write about atheism, or theism, he’s a psychologist and neuroscientist – who happens to be an atheist). I really enjoy his books on neurology, and I’ve picked up a lot of factoids from them, factoids that can be garnered by anyone.

    No when I ask you theological/mundane moral questions, I do expect you to answer. I don’t care if you read work on the side, by you very should be able to answer those questions, as they are issues that you can explain with YOUR OWN JUDGEMENT. Let me show the difference.
    John: Chris how many chromosomes are there.
    Chris 23 according to my science text book. (Yes that’s information your own judgement, emotions, etc, has no bearing on, it’s a research question, where factoids must be retained).
    Where as
    John: Chris, do you peeing in your neighbors pool is bad.
    Chris: Yes, unless he ask me to. (A very mundane and subjective, question, that requires zero previous factoids).
    So the difference here is subjective vs objective. Facts are objective, yes we do research to retain them. Morals are subjective. As I said, not all christians are in full agreement on this moral absolute code.

    Family Law does require research, because the law is filled with precedents, prior cases, loop holes, nuances on the state and county level, and the federal level, etc. Basic subjective judgment calls aren’t though. Either you think 50 guys having an orgy is immoral, or you don’t. The fact is, I have and will continue to be candid with you on EVERYTHING. You’ve been reticent, and it’s quite telling why.

    I’ve answered all your questions, I don’t know what you’re talking about. Nor do I know what “crap” im giving out. Again, beating a dog for instance really does depend on the circumstance. If the dog is rabid and attacked a friend, of course, kill it for your own safety. If the dog is just skipping along minding its own business leave it alone. So that defacto proves you DID NOT MAKE AN ABSOLUTE STATEMENT BECAUSE NOT ALL DOG BEATING IS WRONG. You’ve still yet to give me 5 morals absolutes. You gave me scenarios, not absolutes. As I pointed out, absolutes are like the ten commandments, clear statements.

    I have read the ten commandments, most of them are stupid.

    I never doubted there was morality in the universe, you’re confused here. I didn’t ask you to show me morality in the universe, I can do that on my own time, I asked you specifically for MORAL ABSOLUTES.

    Yes, it was right for donny to stop exploiting women, if that’s what he was doing. That’s not a moral absolute though, that’s a judgement call, as I’ve been saying all along, by Donny.

    #2 sounds right. Because in that instance it is, but again, it’s not if the dad is Hitler. Nuance, not absolute.

    3. Wait to the S&M partner is asking to be euthanised, and the other partner is doing the deed? Like Dr.Kavorkian? Because I am okay with euthanasia as long as it’s consented. Of course, the norm in S&M couples is not to kill anyone.

    I’m a realist, so no, in my opinion, and yours, the laws of physics remain. But does that have any “meaning” if we aren’t here to know about, not at all.

    Now you’re toying around with hypothetical universes, which I have no say or comment in. I only know the one I live in, it’s impossible for me to know anything else. Fuck I mean even the question itself shows how ignorant you are of science, hypocrite.
    “If there was no gravity….would the laws of physics disappear too” GRAVITY IS A LAW OF PHYSICS. You’re essentially saying “if there are no physical laws, would there be physical laws.” Stupid, ignorant question.
    Please go read a science book. Your fingers won’t burn.

    The easiest way to put the nail in the coffin on this discussion of morals is this. If moral absolutes exist, name them. If you don’t, you’re taking a shot in the dark like everyone else whose ever walked this planet.

  219. “a philosopher is NOT engaging in their biology”

    I didn’t say they were, I said their biology gave them the predisposition of what they could or could not engage in. So again, if your biology makes you a mental retard, with an IQ of 20, you can’t do philosophy. (Do you really think everyone has the mental capacity of a Bertrand Russell for instance, or again, is he gifted, biologically)

    “a scientist is NOT engaging with their biology”

    I didn’t say they were, I said their biology gave them the predisposition of what they could or could not engage in. So again, if your biology makes you a mental retard, with an IQ of 20, you can’t practice science. (Do you really think EVERYONE can be einstein, or do you admit, he was gifted, genetically)

    “a musician is NOT engaging with their biology”

    I didn’t say they were, I said their biology gave them the predisposition of what they could or could not engage in. So again, if your biology makes blind, deaf, and dumb, you can’t produce music. (Do you really think everyone can be beethoven, or was he genetically gifted as well)

    “this is the most simplest of ideas chris”
    No, it’s a misunderstanding of what I was saying. From someone who talks science, without the vaguest literacy in any of the subjects.

    “and are you telling me right now on this blog, there is NO such thing as an idea”

    No this is what I said, quit equivocating, take a reading comprehension class, and also read science book!

    “I won’t really disagree with you here, but I still don’t literally see anything immaterial/supernatural at work here. I mean again, if you don’t have cognitive beings in the cosmos, you don’t have ideas. It takes material to create these ideas, that can only be repeated, and understood, and augmented, by more material agents. If all of us ceased to exist at this second, our ideas of truth, love, compassion, go down with us – they cease to have any meaning, or repeatability.”

    You started off saying the entire universe was a deterministic, clock work, operating under immutable law. Now you’re saying more is at work. You can’t have both. Quit being a two face. Either the cosmos is a miraculous, ghost in the machine, demon haunted world. Or it’s a ration, immutable, material, clock. Quit playing both fields John.

  220. satan put dinosaurs in the ground

  221. dr john lennox says pretty much anything i would say except a whole lot better

    http://cpx.podbean.com/2008/08/27/the-great-debate-does-god-exist/

  222. “Everyone has heard people quarrelling. Sometimes it sounds funny and sometimes it sounds merely unpleasant; but however it sounds, I believe we can learn something very important from listening to the kind of things they say. They say things like this: ‘How’d you like it if anyone did the same to you?’ – ‘That’s my seat, I was there first’ – ‘Leave him alone, he isn’t doing you any harm’…

    …Now what interests me about all these remarks is that the man who makes them is not merely saying that the other man’s behaviour does not happen to please him. He is appealing to some kind of standard of behavior which he expects the other man to know about. And the other man very seldom replies: ‘To hell with your standard.’ Nearly always he tries to make out that what he has been doing does not really go against the standard, or that if it does there is some special excuse.”
    This law was called the Law of Nature because people thought that every one knew it by nature and did not need to be taught it. …And I believe they were right. If they were not, then all the things we said about the war were nonsense. What was the sense in saying the enemy were in the wrong unless Right is a real thing which the Nazis at bottom knew as well as we did and ought to have practised? If they had no notion of what we mean by right, then, though we might still have to fight them, we could no more have blamed them for that than for the colour of their hair.”

    “I know that some people say the idea of the Law of Nature or decent behavior known to all man is unsound, because different civilisations and different ages have had quite different moralities.

    But that is not true. There have been differences between their moralities, but these have never amounted to anything like a total difference. If anyone will take the trouble to compare the moral teaching of, say, the ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, Hindus, Chinese, Greeks and Romans, what will really strike them will be how very like they are to eachother and to our own…

    I need only ask the reader to think what a totally different morality would mean. Think of a country where people were admired for running away in battle, or where a man felt proud of double-crossing all the people who had been kindest to him. You might just as well try to imagine a country where two and two made five…”

    “…the most remarkable thing is this. Whenever you find a man who says he does not believe in a real Right and Wrong, you will find the same man going back on this a moment later. He may break his promise to you, but if you try breaking one to him he will be complaining ‘It’s not fair’ before you can say Jack Robinson…

    “It seems, then, we are forced to believe in a real Right and Wrong. People may sometimes be mistaken about them, just as people sometimes get their sums wrong; but they are not a matter of mere taste and opinion any more than the multiplication table. Now if we are agreed about that, I go on to my next point, which is this. None of us are really keeping the Law of Nature…”

    “… I am just the same. That is to say, I do not succeed in keeping the Law of Nature very well, and the moment anyone tells me I am not keeping it, there starts up in my mind a string of excuses as long as your arm. The question at the moment is not whether they are good excuses. The point is that they are more proof of how deeply, whether we like it or not, we believe in the Law of Nature. If we do not believe in decent behaviour, why should we be so anxious to make excuses for not having behaved decently? The truth is, we believe in decency so much – we feel the Rule of Law pressing on us so – that we cannot bear to face the fact that we are breaking it, and consequently we try to shift the responsibility. For you notice that it is only for our bad behavior that we find all the explanations. It is only our bad temper that we put down to being tired or worried or hungry; we put our good temper down to ourselves. “

  223. I’m a bit confused. I don’t understand the dinosaurs comment, and I hope you were being facetious….I also don’t know why you put a link up to some random site. And I don’t know what about John Lennox you want me to hear. Frankly I don’t care. You’ve several times tried to conflate me with Dawkins and other “new atheist,” yet have conflated yourself now with “theologians.” I’ll continue to speak for myself, i hope you please do the same.

    I’ll address your final post also, but in my usual morning zombie state 😉

  224. oh p.s. for what it’s worth. I’ve met Michael Shermer, read some of his books, like him overall – but, in my opinion, which is worth nill, he’s the worst debater ever. Great writer, and organizer, terrible verbal debater.

    oh sigh, i just read your post, it’s a series of copy and paste, and tacitly implies I took position that I didn’t. Your knocked you, gloves off, smalling salts aren’t working, and you’re grasping for someone else to fight for you now. This debates over, it was fun while it lasted 😉

  225. i though you had a readily available sense of humor. of course i was being facetious!

    no, its just that there is not much more i can say. i just dont feel like formulating a response because it goes like this: i respond to you and then you respond to my response and then i respond back and it goes on and on. no one changes their mind after YEARS of being comfortable and believing a certain way. the same applies to me. ill be honest because i try to learn from others instead of keeping a closed mind to the evidence. some things you brought up were compelling and id like to learn further about. but some other things, most especially your treatment and understanding of morality is not going to fly. morality plays such a strong part in the life i try to lead..it practically is my life, attached to my relationship with Jesus Christ… especially when you have a family. you have GOT to make correct and moral decisions for the sake of your loved ones. i am in the daily practice of “imposing” outside ideas upon myself and see first hand what it is like. and yeah i actually do talk to God and pray for things and experience answered prayer on a daily basis and have a buttload of friends who experience the same things. but i treat everything else as a “puzzle” as sir John Polkinghorne puts it. and even though i cannot grasp the ENTIRE picture, i still have faith in this big uber- complicated person/machine we call God. because in the end, we will never know everything. in those regards all of us have faith and a particular horse we are betting on. a big part of my reasoning that i dont further want to get into is my personal experience. we can discuss the head-knowledge all day long and i may not “get” it all in my head and most of life is like that. but there is still a completely different side to my reasoning which is made up of personal experience. and THAT started way before i even opened a book or watched a debate.

    sorry for sending the bogus link. i thought it was the right one. i didnt send you the shermer/lennox debate for what michael shermer had to say. hes not saying anything new at all. but i sent it to you because of what john lennox had to say. he is a leader in this field and i am not. but quite alot of what he says i agree with and he has a better way of putting it. if you get the time you should listen to it.

    holla atcha boi son!

    grace and peace, john

  226. I’m still having fun so I’ll reply, we’ll see what happens:
    “but some other things, most especially your treatment and understanding of morality is not going to fly. “
    That’s fair, if you don’t like my morals, I accept that wholeheartedly, but I am of course curious as to why, and would appreciate criticisms of them, so that, I can behave more ethically. In my opinion, everyone should take criticism, so we can all attempt to reach an ethical utopia, even if the dream is impossible, it’s worth fighting for. You may say flat out you don’t like my morals, but to be fair, you haven’t actually said what turns you off, and why, or offered an alternative. I haven’t seen a single moral absolute mentioned either, or an answer to my 11 questions. That simply isn’t reciprocal, or fair, when I’ve been nothing but sincere and candid.

    I fully respect that morality is a cornerstone of your life. I may not talk about my morality too often, but literally every action I do from day to day, involving other people, I typically try my best to not be “immoral,” so I would say, it’s a major part of all our lives (Perhaps not psychopaths, and sociopaths obviously – but the rest of us sure!).

    I am curious about your answered prayer. I mean, Harvard, amongst other institutions, have studied prayer, and determined it’s identical to “chance.” I’m not trying to be crass, that’s just what the research says (I can cite if need be). I also prayed a bit here and there from the ages of 5-12ish. It wasn’t specifically to let’s say JC, but I certainly still prayed. I fell under the Harvard group, some prayers were “answered,” other “ignored.” I really couldn’t distinguish a difference between prayer and chance. Plus as you say, if the cosmos is following a perfect, rational, immutable law – there is no room for divine intervention.

    I also don’t mind that you find the universe befuddling, complex, awe striking, grand, etc. And if you want to call that feeling god, again, far be it from me to care or reproach you. However, as I do say, that god, the one of Hawking and Einstein, and even Dawkins and myself, simply isn’t Yahweh. It’s more the word used to describe the complexity of the cosmos, not, prayer answering, after life granting, anthropocentrism, etc.

    I will make one slight disagreement, which is where you say, all of us with have faith. I don’t know a single thing, in relation to our conversation, that I have faith in. My answer has always been “i dont know” in relation to the cosmos origins, and beyond that, I can’t think of any I’ve ever exercised faith in.

    That’s fine if you have personal experience, although I am a bit confused why you’re reticent to share. I mean I’m not asking for intimate details, but I feel I’ve been very candid in my personal experience and how it compares with my philosophies.

    I may or may not listen to it(the debate). I kind of stopped reading that literature, and watching those debates a while ago. They became rather, monotonous. I may get back into the habit of reading “atheist” literature, or watching debates of that field, but as of late, there’s been many other topics I prefer to read and focus on.

  227. Romans 1:16-25

    I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 17For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last,[c] just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”[d]

    18The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
    21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

    24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

  228. Uhm, what? That doesn’t address anything I really said, at all….

    Unless you’re saying I’m just all around wicked.

    And this is outright laughable:
    19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

    Again, compare genesis, to what we earnest know today about physics, biology, chemistry, paleontology, etc, and nothing Yahweh said is remotely lucid, or even capable of argument on ambiguous grounds – in relation to universal origins.

    And the poor citizens of New Guinea, geographically isolated (by gods creation) until the British accidentally flew a plane over their indigenous surroundings in 1937. All those poor people, damned to hell, for nothing. This of course speaks nothing of the Chineese, Eskimos, Icelanders, Scandinavians, Native American Indians, Japaneese, etc.

  229. Science itself does not contradict the hypothesis of God. Rather, it gives us a window on a dynamic and creative universe that expands our appreciation of the Divine in ways that could not have been imagined in ages past.

    As an outspoken defender of evolution, I am often challenged by those who assume that if science can demonstrate the natural origins of our species, which it surely has, then God should be abandoned. But the Deity they reject so easily is not the one I know. To be threatened by science, God would have to be nothing more than a placeholder for human ignorance. This is the God of the creationists, of the “intelligent design” movement, of those who seek their God in darkness. What we have not found and do not yet understand becomes their best—indeed their only—evidence for faith. As a Christian, I find the flow of this logic particularly depressing. Not only does it teach us to fear the acquisition of knowledge (which might at any time disprove belief), but it also suggests that God dwells only in the shadows of our understanding. I suggest that if God is real, we should be able to find him somewhere else—in the bright light of human knowledge, spiritual and scientific.

    And what a light that is. Science places us in an extraordinary universe, a place where stars and even galaxies continue to be born, where matter itself comes alive, evolves, and rises to each new challenge of its richly changing environment. We live in a world literally bursting with creative evolutionary potential, and it is quite reasonable to ask why that is so. To a person of faith, the answer to that question is God.

    The English poet Matthew Arnold, at the dawn of the modern era, once lamented that all he could hear of the “Sea of Faith” was its “melancholy, long, withdrawing roar.” To some, that melancholy roar is a sound to be savored because faith is a delusion, an obstacle, a stumbling block on the road to progress and enlightenment. It is the antithesis of science.

    In this view, God is an explanation for the weak, a way out for those who cannot face the terrible realities revealed by science. The courageous, the bold, the “brights” are those who face that reality and accept it without the comforting crutch of faith by declaring God to be obsolete.

    But science itself employs a kind of faith, a faith all scientists share, whether they are religious in the conventional sense or not. Science is built upon a faith that the world is understandable, and that there is a logic to reality that the human mind can explore and comprehend. It also holds, as an article of scientific faith, that such exploration is worth the trouble, because knowledge is always to be preferred to ignorance.

    The categorical mistake of the atheist is to assume that God is natural, and therefore within the realm of science to investigate and test. By making God an ordinary part of the natural world, and failing to find Him there, they conclude that He does not exist. But God is not and cannot be part of nature. God is the reason for nature, the explanation of why things are. He is the answer to existence, not part of existence itself.

    There is great naiveté in the assumption that our presence in the universe is self-explanatory, and does not require an answer. Many who reject God imply that reasons for the existence of an orderly natural world are not to be sought. The laws of nature exist simply because they are, or because we find ourselves in one of countless “multiverses” in which ours happens to be hospitable to life. No need to ask why this should be so, or inquire as to the mechanism that generates so many worlds. The curiosity of the theist who embraces science is greater, not less, because he seeks an explanation that is deeper than science can provide, an explanation that includes science, but then seeks the ultimate reason why the logic of science should work so well. The hypothesis of God comes not from a rejection of science, but from a penetrating curiosity that asks why science is even possible, and why the laws of nature exist for us to discover.

    It is true, of course, that organized religions do not point to a single, coherent view of the nature of God. But to reject God because of the admitted self-contradictions and logical failings of organized religion would be like rejecting physics because of the inherent contradictions of quantum theory and general relativity. Science, all of science, is necessarily incomplete—this is, in fact, the reason why so many of us find science to be such an invigorating and fulfilling calling. Why, then, should we be surprised that religion is incomplete and contradictory as well? We do not abandon science because our human efforts to approach the great truths of nature are occasionally hampered by error, greed, dishonesty, and even fraud. Why then should we declare faith a “delusion” because belief in God is subject to exactly the same failings?

    Albert Einstein once wrote that “the eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility.” Today, even as science moves ahead, that mystery remains. Is there a genuine place for faith in the world of science? Indeed there is. Far from standing in conflict with it, the hypothesis of God validates not only our faith in science, but our sheer delight at the gifts of knowledge, love, and life.

    -Kenneth Miller on being asked if science makes God,
    or the belief in God obsolete.

  230. This whole post is a copy and pasting from Ken Miller.
    For shame, you can’t give moral absolutes, you can’t answer moral questions without ME consulting a theologian, and now you’re copying ken miller for answers.

    John, grow up, think for yourself, you’re your own person.

  231. “Science itself does not contradict the hypothesis of God. Rather, it gives us a window on a dynamic and creative universe that expands our appreciation of the Divine in ways that could not have been imagined in ages past.”

    Rubbish, malarkey, bs, bollox, etc. It most certainly discredits the Yahweh hypothesis. Any other idea of a deity one has, needs to be elucidated, before I can agree or disagree. I see Miller mostly continues his essay using the word god, not yahweh, and again, yahweh isn’t tenable with science anymore.

    Also the faith of science isn’t remotely akin to the faith of Yahweh. Again in comparison of evidence, Yahweh holds no weight. Where as science, although initially a faith based institution, is now so laden with repeatable experimentation, faith is no longer required.

    Also Miller is wrong to say it’s an atheist mistake to test god. Yahweh, supposedly, laid out his creation. We can test that, and it all comes up wrong, wrong, wrong. So Miller needs to stop using the word god here and focus on his god, yahweh. Because obviously the “god” of Hawking, or Abahram Lincoln is an ENTIRELY different word/definition than yahweh god. We can test yahweh, and yahweh failed(Not to mention life after death, prayer answering, etc).

    No ones claiming our place in the universe shouldn’t be investigated, as he implied. Or that atheist just say “we are because we are.” As I’ve said, and I don’t quote others, I simply don’t know why the universe exist, neither does miller, but yahweh is not the answer. This doesn’t mean I’m saying we shouldn’t investigate our place, it just means I’m not pretentious to claim it’s all designed with me in mind.

    YAWN….speak for yourself John.

  232. one final p.s.
    Don’t get me wrong I really appreciate the work Ken Miller does, and respect the man as a scientist. I also want to point out that he argues against one of your man thesis’s since we started out conversation John, and that is, intelligent design.

  233. good to know youre still reading this cracka.

    let me ask you ….im very tired right now and i dont feel like formulating anything. …i could, but i just dont feel like it ….i do pray for you though and i hope the angel magic dust i send your way makes you giggle.

    but seriously though i do pray for you.

    if you had say, 50% of your questions answered in a reasonable way about God that made sense to you…would you be opposed to committing the other 50% of the dilemas you may encounter by having faith, and trusting that it all makes sense.

    and i say the following for what it’s worth, just so you know. there is something you have to understand chris. when you walk with God, you walk by faith, not by sight. nothing else is ever promised to someone who decides to believe. God comes to every man saying “Believe” and thats pretty much it. there are a good many times you understand and gain insight but the MAJORITY of the game is not played that way. and there is nothing wrong with faith in and of itself, we all have faith. but you want every question answered. even if i could get alot of them down for you, or argued my points flawlessly to you, God would still be about faith, you would still HAVE to deal with this at some point. could you conceive of a point where youd be satisfied with only PARTIAL knowledge and the rest youd have to chalk up by simply trusting in God? would you ever be willing to walk a road of faith…to where you saw enough and were convinced of enough and that the rest would take care of itself, or do you feel you would NEVER by your family’s blood be capable of this?

    when you look at donny’s story, do you think hes lying? he tells a story of how he comes back from the playboy execs office with a promise of making an additional $4000 a day for a new lesbian series and even talks to God about it . saying no matter what decisions he(donny) makes, no matter how irresponsible and selfish they are, God will still bless him without holding him accountable. and then donny proceeds to tell of this “jolt” that he feels go right through him, almost like an epiphany of sorts. not a jolt of wrath or punishment, but of saying, “why continue with this? Ive got so much better in store for you.”
    do you think Donny is lying when he tells you this, that he chose losing upwards of half a million a year for this “story” ? he lost his house, his significant other, and his lifestyle. if you havent already read his story, i recommend you read it, and also so you know what im talking about.

    now when i ask you if you believe whether donny is lying or not…or deluded, i dont want you bringing up to me all these other cases of the supernatural that you would ALSO have to believe if you believed donnys story.

    simple question, do YOU believe donny?

    just curious.

    and also, are you really, really, from the gut telling me that there is NO MORAL ground to speak of that we can ALL agree on? none? so at any point in your life… past present or future, you cannot EVER discern the right thing to do and feel confident that you DID the right thing? i dont know why you are so hung up on me laying commandments out for you, like that will give MORE strength to the morality that is ALREADY here. like i said, go read exodus if you want that. that has nothing to do with anything. if morality has no strength, no absoluteness which you insinuate it doesnt, then noone would know what to do. there would be no justice, no compassion, no laws, no court, no society, no oughts, no ought nots….nothing. the morality that you agree exists, has strength without me having to list one command to you. you dont need that chris and i refuse to do it.

    peace

  234. Stop praying for me, I didn’t ask for it, I don’t desire it, I’m 100% content with my life, I don’t want it, you’re merely wasting your time. If you seriously think praying makes a difference, even though harvard proved otherwise, pray for someone that desires your prayers – not me(Or lets test, pray for something specific, don’t tell me, we’ll see if it happens?).
    http://web.med.harvard.edu/sites/RELEASES/html/3_31STEP.html

    I try not to exercise “faith” in any scenario. You may think I’m quoting Dawkins, or someone here but I’m not. I’ve never, not since my earliest days of cognition, have appreciated faith in any form. I either know, or I don’t know – that’s enough for me. If you answered 50% of my questions, I’d have 50% of my questions answered, and I’d still have 50% more I wanted answered. The fact is you really haven’t addressed 1%, so even this question is time wasting.

    “God comes to every man saying “Believe” and thats pretty much it.”

    See, this is exactly the equivocated use of the word God I’m tired of. Yahweh supposedly revealed himself to a tiny sect of Palestinians 2000 years ago. Up until 1937, the Dani tribe of New Guniea was geographically isolated from the entire world. Therefore, Yahweh did not say believe to these people. Yahweh did not say believe to the chineese, the japaneese, the phillipinos, the american indians, the ekimos, etc etc etc. Now these peoples did have deities/God of their own, but it wasn’t Yahweh, and the tenants and dogmas weren’t congruous.

    “and there is nothing wrong with faith in and of itself, we all have faith.”

    Disagree, I see absolutely no reason whatsoever, that belief without evidence is anyway virtuous. In any circumstance. Also I previously asked you to name me one thing I have faith about, you didn’t. Yet you have claimed again that I have faith. Now, we need to be clear about what definition of faith we are using, just like the word god. I don’t mean you practice a faith, where faith just means a religion. I mean faith, as defined as, belief without evidence. Under that definition, I’ll ask again, and I’m sure you’ll again come under your 0% score – where do I exercise faith in? And why is that definition of faith virtuous?

    “but you want every question answered.”

    You really haven’t answered a single question for me(Not a moral absolute, not a scenario. Answer any of my 11 scenario questions as I answered yours. Or rectify why belief in yahweh is tenable, when all of genesis is dead wrong). It’s not that I want them all answered, I’ve already told you that for instance I don’t expect to know the origin of the cosmos, and I don’t expect the answer to come in my life time, and perhaps anyone elses. I’m comfortable with this. However – when I’m curtious enough to answer all your questions to the best of my ability, and you don’t answer ANY of mine – you’re either being rude, or you don’t have answers. In which case, you really need to reexamine your predisposition. Keep in mind this wouldn’t put “god” as a faith position. I’m really tired of repeating myself here, and you using this word in various forms. The god of einstein, and hawking and spinoza, is something I can be on board with – however I never use the word god because of people like you. People who will misconstrue it to be a prayer answering, after life granting, good vs evil, yahweh.

    “could you conceive of a point where youd be satisfied with only PARTIAL knowledge and the rest youd have to chalk up by simply trusting in God?”

    I’m already satisfied with partial knowledge in various fields. I don’t know what dark matter or dark energy are. I don’t entirely understand the central nervous system, I don’t know if mankind will survive until 3000, I don’t know the extent of life in the cosmos, etc etc. However, no I’m not “chalking the rest up” to YAHWEH. Until you can rectify genesis, Yahweh is untenable. Throw him out, he’s archaic, man made, contrived, and frankly stupid.

    I’ve never looked at Donnys story. The very reason I even showed up at this blog was because I kept asking him on the Dawkins forum to rectify genesis(he hasn’t), and he linked me here. Low and behold I caught him equivocating the word god in relation to professor Dawkins, claiming Dawkins may believe in god. So as I’ve continued to try to explain, this god people refer to, is not always Yahweh. Regardless, I don’t know if Donny is lying or not. I don’t frankly care. I already said, people should make careers out of what they enjoy, so long as it’s consentual, and no one gets hurt (without consent – obviously a stunt man on the set if star wars gets hurt, but he expects that – and consents). Many people experience epiphanies, that doesn’t make them divine, or some kind of non-matter based phenomena. Another instance would be many people claim to see ghost. Now I don’t deny that they are seeing something – hallucinations, shadows, etc, are commonplace. What I would be skeptical of, is that they are literally seeing a homo-sapien that survived death. So yes I believe Donny had an epiphany, no I don’t believe anything magical took place. Detectives, scientist, doctors, researchers, etc all experience them. If Donny lost his house, doing what he loves, fine by me, so long as he is doing what he loves (not porn). I also had a chance to rise a corporate ladder, instead of going to school. The money and benefits were great, instead I opted out, and live in your typical broke college student conditions, because I prefer education to the corporate ladder. You and I, and Jesus, both know, material goods don’t make one happy – so good for Donny to recognize that.

    I’ve been telling you from the brain, not the gut (what are you george bush? Haven’t we learned something by now, feelings and gut instincts can be erroneous. Many amputees “feel” a ghost limb for several months to years after operation. Yet they, and we know, that there isn’t actually anything there) that I personally can not name a single moral absolute. I’ve asked you, mother fucking 100 times now to name one, and you still have the mother fucking audacity to press ME on moral absolutes, well fuck you*! No I don’t see a single moral framework everyone has agreed on, do you? Wait why am I asking, you won’t reply. Not a single Christian, can meet another Christian and be 100% in agreement with them. Pat robertsion, jerimiah wright, mother theresa, MLK, barak obama, Huge Chavez, are hardly the same christians. Just like Stalin, Dawkins, Bill Gates, and myself are hardly the same atheist.

    The reason I’m hung up on your moral absolutes, is because you continue to imply, or straight out tell me that they exist, yet you can’t name a single one.

    Sure let’s cover exodus. Exodus 4:11 And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?
    Well that’s great, glad god is creating those autistic, spini bifida, mentally retarded, sociapathic, megalomanical, homosexual, children who are damned to hell by his own creation. Man Yahweh is an idiot. Seriously, quit defending that bully – he’s revolting.

    “there would be no justice, no compassion, no laws, no court, no society, “

    Actually justice, compassion, laws, and society function pretty well without theistic morals. I mean if we arrested everyone that missed the sabbath? If we amputated every woman who accidentally touched a mans privates (25:11 When men strive together one with another, and the wife of the one draweth near for to deliver her husband out of the hand of him that smiteth him, and putteth forth her hand, and taketh him by the secrets: 25:12 Then thou shalt cut off her hand, thine eye shall not pity her. )? What kind of sick fuck bedlam society would this be? Or if someone accidentally had a god before Yahweh, why should we really treat them poorly? Or if we really arrested everyone who committed blasphemy(godamnit, jesuschrist!)? Do you really want to change society to a Christian Theocracy? And if so whose? Yours, Robetsons, MLK’s, Pope Pius, Pope John Paul, Jerimiah Wrights, Chavez, George Bush etc.
    And of course justice and compassion and laws and courts are running just fine. Our courts and policeman don’t follow or operate under the ten commandments. My compassion for animals, my family, and my gf, has nothing to do with a deity – and theres back to me. Obviously American Society is running smoothly, as are the Scandinavian countries (mostly atheist), the UK, Canada, even China “runs smoothly,” albeit not to everyones liking. The only societies that aren’t running smoothly are the theocracies still in existence!

    I said I’ve seen morality in the universe, yes, I didn’t say, ever, that moral absolutes exist, so you can’t cop out:
    “the morality that you agree exists, has strength without me having to list one command to you.”
    Yet our morals appear to be different, and when I gave you 11 questions you refused to answer them. That would have been a perfect, and cordial type, to show you, morals are often subjective. Put up or shut up John.

    * all fucks were used as adjectives, don’t take it in a hostile way, I use curse words for emphasis, sometimes people think I’m yelling or angry – I’m not.

  235. chris you are so absolutely full of it.

    you see morality in the universe but NOT ONE BIT OF IT can be discerned or agreed upon by more than 2 people?!

    again for example: i say hitler killing 12 million people was wrong, joe shmoo says it wasnt.

    well, which one of us is right? we cant BOTH be right. quit being such a moron and discern it chris. which is the moral fact?

    or how about this :

    80% of the worlds population thinks it was wrong, but there are 20% who thought it was right. well, who ultimately is right chris, and by what standard do you use to determine that? and how on earth did moral facts get into the universe to begin with?! or would you rather live in the country of those 20% who thought killing jews was ok?

    jeez i can already smell the self contradiction emanating in your thoughts

    oh let me guess, in your world there are moral facts but there are no moral absolutes.

    you need to quit playing dumb dude.

    there are neo nazis in practically EVERY westernized nation and the governments of those nations have zero problems cracking down on them, obviously they have since discerned that the neo-nazis are WRONG. unless youd like to state on this blog that they are not.

    and there are two reasons i can think of that you will not state this:

    1. they are wrong and you agree
    2. you think they are right and some kind of fear is keeping you from stating it

    jeez i could go on and on about these scenarios.

    the 11 questions you asked were loaded and they were obviously gray areas. go on, tell me they were not loaded and theological in nature. you want to trap me in your game of gray-only morality as if that is the ONLY morality there is. i have never said there were not gray areas of morality. but since then, you have been making an ABSOLUTE fit that ALL of morality is such. all of morality is not gray and you know that’s crap! my main point AGAIN, is that there are areas of morality that are without question. EVEN governments recognize this chris! thats why they dont care if you go to the church of satan so long as you dont gun-down school children. and because i didnt re-word this concept into a “command” to make it easier for you to swallow, you cried foul, completely missing the point!

    moral facts, moral commands, what difference does it make?!

    some stuff is gray and some stuff by Thor’s hammer is definitely not!

    i dont know why that is so hard for you to understand

    actually, i dont know why that is so hard for you to admit.

    so how did moral fact get into the universe chris?
    is a moral fact any less a fact, than a scientific one?
    well i guess THAT would depend on your worldview and what you value more.

    ill still be praying for you cup-cake

    later

  236. Let’s not start putting words in my mouth. I see yet again, you’ve ignored all my major questions. How unexpected…*rolling eyes*. Silly faith.

    “you see morality in the universe but NOT ONE BIT OF IT can be discerned or agreed upon by more than 2 people?!”

    I never put a number on my claim, so you don’t need to either. Yes I often see morality in the universe, and I often see despair. Of course morals are subjective. That’s my point. Notice how you won’t answer my 11 question scenarios, because you know good and well your answers are going to be different, morally, from mine(and pat robertsions, and the popes, and barak obamas). So let’s take Terry Schivo. MILLIONS thought she should die, MILLIONS thought she should live. Both parties intentions were, for the most part, beneficent – what were arguing over is their judgment, not their intentions.

    “again for example: i say hitler killing 12 million people was wrong, joe shmoo says it wasnt.
    well, which one of us is right? we cant BOTH be right. quit being such a moron and discern it chris. which is the moral fact? “

    Great, now we can resort to name calling. Look, obviously, when Hitler killed 12 million people, some people must of been on board and thought they were doing the right thing – or else his orchestration simply couldn’t of worked to such heinous perfection. We know Himmler, Gorrbles, and others, were on board and respect these decisions – found them necessary. Now yes, the majority agrees that he was doing was immoral, but there is a minority that felt it was moral(Kind of like now, the christian right is democratically in the minority on abortion). Yahweh didn’t intervene, the heavens didn’t open, we, as homo-sapiens rectified the situation ourselves, via a democratic agreement that Hitler needed to be stopped. Regardless none of this is a moral absolute. It’s yet again a scenario.

    “or how about this :
    80% of the worlds population thinks it was wrong, but there are 20% who thought it was right. well, who ultimately is right chris, and by what standard do you use to determine that? and how on earth did moral facts get into the universe to begin with?! or would you rather live in the country of those 20% who thought killing jews was ok? “

    Well most of us seem to prefer a democratic system of government, and I’m no different. I side with the Americans who went to war in WWII (And believe me, that’s quite difficult for me to say, since I don’t support roughly 90% of the wars America HAS been in. Texas-American War, Spanish-American war, Phillipines war, WWI, Korean, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc). Uhm I never said MORAL FACTS existed in the universe. I continue, for the mother fucking trillionth time now, to plead with you, beg, insist, im on my knees here, NAME ME ONE MORAL ABSOLUTE. You can’t. No I wouldn’t rather join the 20% who killed Jews. However I am often in the 20% or less category. I mean how many vegetarians are there? I’m not in the majority on that one. How many people want the entire war on drugs quelled? I could name a few other positions I take, that would seem radical, but it will diverge our conversation.

    “oh let me guess, in your world there are moral facts but there are no moral absolutes. “

    I don’t know what a moral fact is. You’ll need to explain.

    “you need to quit playing dumb dude. “
    Excuse me? You’re the trite one here, sir. The one who refuses to answer any of my scenarios or questions, while I diddle along for months now, answering yours. I need to quit playing dumb? Where the fuck do you get off John? Answer one of my 11 scenarios, name me one moral absolute, rectify Genesis for me? Pahleaaase. I’m playing dumb…..

    “and there are two reasons i can think of that you will not state this:
    1.they are wrong and you agree
    2. you think they are right and some kind of fear is keeping you from stating it”
    EXCUSE ME AGAIN JOHN? I’VE BEEN STATING MY POSITIONS AFTER EVERYONE OF YOUR POST. I”VE BEEN NOTHING BUT CANDID. You want to talk about ignoring? Re-read this entire thread (moron).
    Yes I side with #1(Which ive always sided with since day 1 of your monotonous hitler questions). This doesn’t make it a moral absolute though – or a moral fact. It’s just my, and democratically, the majorities opinion. Of course I also support making vegetarianism mandatory, along with the ban of all vehicles that are under 30mph, and a ban on weapons of any kind being owned by john doe, I think marriage is archaic, and gays need to stop fighting for the right to have it, I think polygamy and swinger lifestyles should be legal, as it’s none of my business how or why people have sex. Where am I on that position? Well, relatively alone. Is anything going to stop me here, is god going to reach down and say “no.” will I spend eternity in fire and brimstone? Dubious. Did the majority not once support slavery, stoning of virgins, xenophobia, colonialism, etc. Of course. Have we changed? Of course. Because morals can change, depending on culture, environment, new information, etc. Name me a moral absolute, and quit playing dumb.

    “the 11 questions you asked were loaded and they were obviously gray areas. “
    Yes and the 10 you asked me were black and white – eyes rolling
    Why are they loaded. I asked you a simple question. I spend my entire life as an atheist, I don’t hurt anyone and I die. What’s the outcome. That’s not loaded.
    50 guys without STDS have a 12 hour orgy. What’s loaded about that?
    2 girls enjoy sex, go into the porn industry, and retire off their career of their choice. Nothing loaded there.
    John Doe/myself -never, ever, remembers the Sabbath. Outcome?

    “go on, tell me they were not loaded and theological in nature. you want to trap me in your game of gray-only morality as if that is the ONLY morality there is.”
    Okay so name me a moral absolute.

    “moral facts, moral commands, what difference does it make?!”

    The difference is you can’t name any. Not one.

    “some stuff is gray and some stuff by Thor’s hammer is definitely not!
    i dont know why that is so hard for you to understand”

    Because no one will name a moral absolute for me. You’re not the first Christian I’ve pressed with this question, but like the rest of them, you reach for platitudes.

    “ill still be praying for you cup-cake”

    Let’s test. Pray for something specific to happen to me in the next 7 days. Let’s see if it does? Are you game for this experiment? All you have to do, without telling me, is focus on something speific. Like pray that I’ll get a $10 check in the mail. Or pray that I end up at a church – anything. Then in a week ask me. Believe me, in the name of science, I will be nothing but 100% candid if your prayer came true.

    So with the end of another waste of my morning, we are left in the same mire:
    Name a moral absolute.
    Answer some of my 11 scenarios.
    Rectify Genesis.
    Godamn, Christianity requires far more faith than knowledge, so much, that’s it’s a convoluted, cumbersome, waste 😉

  237. and this is why i dont want to respond anymore. i think you just like to hear the sound of your own voice in printed format.

    to paraphrase your response:

    so you’re not at all SURE that hitler killing 12 million people was wrong and you think noone else can be sure about that either? and the only reason you might possibly hold the stance that it was wrong, is because it is a majority-held opinion. other than that you are absolutely clue-less. i hope donny is reading this!

    i am at a complete loss for words chris. i dont know whether to laugh or cry.

    chris, i want you to really think about what youre saying

    your whole line of thought only appears to stand on paper. but if you put that thinking to test in reality, it would crumble, especially if you were one of those jewish survivors or were an eye-witness.

    and the reason i use numbers is to show that something can be really wrong or really right no matter how many people believe it. a view you would hold quite strongly regarding my faith. take the general apathy of the civilians in nazi germany who did little or nothing for their fellow human beings. lets put a number on that. say 50% of the population didnt care or thought it was right to kill jews. or how about 75%? again, did they have the correct moral assumption in this, or is it that extra 25% that makes it morally correct? or maybe perhaps they were altogether wrong regardless of the number of people. oh wait let me guess, this is a biological issue and not a moral one! also while we are at it, where on earth was their kin relation instinct in this situation? right out the window! lol!

    again, your 11 scenarios were GRAY
    but as you admit, my scenarios were black and white.
    and thats because not ALL of morality is GRAY and thats all i wanted to show you. but you already know this except your big head keeps getting in the way.

    everyone knows this.

    and no, you have the wrong attitude concerning prayer so im not at all going to entertain you like that but ill still be praying for you. for it says:

    “be anxious for nothing, but by prayer and supplication WITH THANKSGIVING, let your requests be made known to God”

    do you have a thankful and cheery little heart chris?

    later gator

    john

  238. “so you’re not at all SURE that hitler killing 12 million people was wrong and you think noone else can be sure about that either? and the only reason you might possibly hold the stance that it was wrong, is because it is a majority-held opinion. other than that you are absolutely clue-less. i hope donny is reading this!”

    Silly man. Horrible memory. I’ve been over hitler a thousand times, we need to move. I’ve continued to say, I personally, absolutely loathe the man, and feel everything he did was wrong. I’ve given my reasons, a lack of consent across the board. Regardless, this doesn’t change the FACT, that Hitler thought what he was doing was right, and so did tens of thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands of his followers. Furthermore, we have no divine authority that stepped in and said “Hey you down there, Hitlers wrong, Churchill, he’s right – go with him.” No instead, we have tens of millions of dead people. Disgusting, and I hate Hitler for it. Regardless this doesn’t prove a moral absolute. It proves my point, morals are subjective, and to Hitler, he was doing what’s right – no matter how much and you I hate him for it.

    “i am at a complete loss for words chris. i dont know whether to laugh or cry.”

    You could try answering me. Or are you also at a loss for answers?

    “your whole line of thought only appears to stand on paper. but if you put that thinking to test in reality, it would crumble, especially if you were one of those jewish survivors or were an eye-witness.”

    Uh so far, life is working out fine. My thoughts are a mirror of my actions. If I was one of those Jewish survivors, I’d Hitler more than I do now, yes, but, I’d still hate Hitler – which I currently do.

    “and the reason i use numbers is to show that something can be really wrong or really right no matter how many people believe it.”

    Name a moral absolute then, so I can “know” it’s right. 100% of the world thought the Earth was flat in one time. 100% were wrong.

    “a view you would hold quite strongly regarding my faith. take the general apathy of the civilians in nazi germany who did little or nothing for their fellow human beings. lets put a number on that. say 50% of the population didnt care or thought it was right to kill jews. or how about 75%? again, did they have the correct moral assumption in this, or is it that extra 25% that makes it morally correct? or maybe perhaps they were altogether wrong regardless of the number of people. oh wait let me guess, this is a biological issue and not a moral one! also while we are at it, where on earth was their kin relation instinct in this situation? right out the window! Lol!”

    Actually, look up the Blood Purge. Hitler murderes all his desenters in the 30’s. So the people, like under Stalin had a choice. Follow him, sincerely. Follow him, but secretly disagree. Disagree and die. That’s why, as history has shown, there were quite a few failed assassinations attempts on hitler, for more than any American president for instance. If I was a member of Germany at the time, personally I’d think I’d fall under the category of “pretend to follow, and hopefully join a group that trys to kill him.”

    “again, your 11 scenarios were GRAY
    but as you admit, my scenarios were black and white.”

    I never admitted that. Not once. Show me where. Your scenarios were gray too, they aren’t moral absolutes. Either way answer my questions, I was polite enough to do yours.

    “and thats because not ALL of morality is GRAY and thats all i wanted to show you. but you already know this except your big head keeps getting in the way. “

    No I don’t know this. I’ve constantly said that. Are you suffering from amnesia? Alzheimers? I’ve been arguing from day 1 that morals are subjective. I’ve never said they were black and white, and I never said your scenarios were either. I’ve been nothing but adamant and on the point of desperation in my begging for you to name ONE moral absolute. You won’t. You can’t.

    Sure let’s cover prayer:
    http://www.livescience.com/strangenews/ap_060330_prayer.html
    http://www.csicop.org/si/2004-09/miracle-study.html
    http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/10.12/prayer.html

    Or even as Jesus claims:
    Matthew 7:7 Jesus says:
    Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
    In Matthew 17:20 Jesus reiterates that same message:
    For truly, I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.
    Jesus says something similar in Matthew 21:21:
    I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.
    The message is reiterated Mark 11:24:
    Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
    In John chapter 14, verses 12 through 14, Jesus tells all of us just how easy prayer can be:
    “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son; if you ask anything in my name, I will do it.
    In Matthew 18:19 Jesus says it again:
    Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

    Yes I have a happy heart. I’ve told you already, I’ve very happy in life. I don’t need prayer, or faith or any of that superfluous fluff, I’m just glad my Dads sperm and my Mom’s egg won the lotto that night 😉

    Name me a moral absolute. You can’t. You won’t. Moral absolutes therefore don’t exist. Just mundane scenarios, where we argue about morals.

  239. chris this is so so easy. i know you see it, but response wise you keep dancing around it. you just do not want to admit it. so ill gently try to coax it out of you. and believe me im not into winning or losing this discussion. i really dont care. i just want to bring to light certain concepts that have been obvious all along but perhaps youve never thought about them. and i personally blame it on the worldview youve chosen.

    dude, just like the earth being flat and at one point 100% of the population thought so and were wrong, the SAME EXACT THING goes for hitler and his followers who at one point, maybe possibly thought that what they were doing was right and turned out to be wrong. the only difference was that they were not contradicting a SCIENTIFIC fact such as the earth being round. what they were contradicting was a MORAL fact such as you do not murder 12 million innocent people because of their ethnicity. does it really matter who thought the earth was flat since that obviously is NOT subjective? so in the same exact way, does it REALLY matter that hitler thought he was right? that proves nothing of the actual matter. the actual matter is not whether he THOUGHT he was right but whether he was ACTUALLY right in what he did.

    so id like you to admit on this blog, was HITLER RIGHT?

    now what basis do you have to say this?

    and thats all i have to say on that.

    there are most definitely moral absolutes. otherwise youd have ZERO reason to loath him. so what, you prefer the color red over the color yellow, but does that mean you loath yellow? now would that be an accurate way for me to describe your reasons for loathing hitler, just a choice in preference?

    we both know that isnt the case. and i dont care whether or not you want to admit it, i still know that you dont really believe that.

    hitler is VERY BLACK AND WHITE. no-one dislikes him as a matter of preference.

    – J

    oh yeah p.s.

    if you do not think that “thou shalt not murder 12 million people because of their ethnicity” is a moral absolute, id like you to give me ONE SCENARIO where you SHOULD murder 12 million people ONLY because of their ethnicity.

    theres you new fangled absolute!

    im not going to hold my breath

  240. “im not into winning or losing this discussion.”

    Oh you’re definitely losing. I mean I’ve swatted away every question you’ve thrown at me, without ever needing to invoke Yahweh for support. Where as you’ve quailed numerous times – and still haven’t made one argument that actually requires the existence of Yahweh to justify. You haven’t answered my scenario, you can’t rectify genesis, you’ve ignored numerous quoting of my scripture, especially when I pointed out secular societies do just fine as opposed to theocracies. And the prayer quotes I gave certainly killed your argument. Yahweh is superfluous.

    “dude, just like the earth being flat and at one point 100% of the population thought so and were wrong, the SAME EXACT THING goes for hitler and his followers who at one point, maybe possibly thought that what they were doing was right and turned out to be wrong.”

    Well I was hesitant to use that example. Let me use a different one. My problem was, the earth claim is objective, morals are subjective, as I’ve been arguing. So yes there was a time and a place when sodomy was illegal, when abortions were illegal, where stoning virgins was legal, when murdering “witches” was legal, when people with neurological disorders were “damned/possessed,” and when monarchies were “good” forms of government. Morals change. Culture changes.

    “the only difference was that they were not contradicting a SCIENTIFIC fact such as the earth being round. what they were contradicting was a MORAL fact such as you do not murder 12 million innocent people because of their ethnicity. does it really matter who thought the earth was flat since that obviously is NOT subjective? so in the same exact way, does it REALLY matter that hitler thought he was right? that proves nothing of the actual matter. the actual matter is not whether he THOUGHT he was right but whether he was ACTUALLY right in what he did.
    so id like you to admit on this blog, was HITLER RIGHT?”

    Time for the name calling. You’re an idiot.
    I’m just going to copy and paste myself, fuck original thought, you’re too forgetful:
    Silly man. Horrible memory. I’ve been over hitler a thousand times, we need to move. I’ve continued to say, I personally, absolutely loathe the man, and feel everything he did was WRONG(NOT RIGHT). I’ve given my reasons, a lack of consent across the board. Regardless, this doesn’t change the FACT, that Hitler thought what he was doing was right, and so did tens of thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands of his followers. Furthermore, we have no divine authority that stepped in and said “Hey you down there, Hitlers wrong, Churchill, he’s right – go with him.” No instead, we have tens of millions of dead people. Disgusting, and I hate Hitler for it. Regardless this doesn’t prove a moral absolute. It proves my point, morals are subjective, and to Hitler, he was doing what’s right – no matter how much and you I hate him for it.

    “now what basis do you have to say this?”
    Hey, amnesiac, I’ve said it 100 times. LACK OF CONSENT.

    “and thats all i have to say on that.”

    I doubt it.

    “there are most definitely moral absolutes. otherwise youd have ZERO reason to loath him.”

    How fucking stupid are you John? On that very same token watch this:
    Hitler: How dare you loathe me and defend the Jews! The retched Jews! ::Kills someone:: (as this scenario happened thousands of times)
    Uh oh. What happened here. Hitler was morally convicted, and killed someone. See what you’re not understanding is that, just as CONVICTED you and I are of Hitlers IMMORALITY – he was just as convicted of OUR IMMORALITY. Now fortunately we know better, because reading History, we can take the time to realize Hitlers judgment on the “evilness” of Jewry, is simple spurious. Just like I think your judgment that abortion is killing a soul, or gay sex is immoral, porn is damnable, forgetting the sabbath is offensive, is a spurious conclusion. Yet you are convinced of the other side. Where is the “moral absolute here.” You can’t name one. You don’t have one. They don’t exist.

    “so what, you prefer the color red over the color yellow, but does that mean you loath yellow? now would that be an accurate way for me to describe your reasons for loathing hitler, just a choice in preference?
    we both know that isnt the case. and i dont care whether or not you want to admit it, i still know that you dont really believe that.”

    God you need to go back to grade school and take some basic courses in logic. Have you, been to school? And I don’t mean some theological seminary kind….

    if you do not think that “thou shalt not murder 12 million people because of their ethnicity” is a moral absolute, id like you to give me ONE SCENARIO where you SHOULD murder 12 million people ONLY because of their ethnicity.”

    Sure. It’s obviously going to be a total stretch, but the point is, it can happen. A rare bacteria crops up in China. Spreads to one man. The virus, was having contacted with you, guarantees death, over the course of two weeks of misery. It also makes you rabid like a dog. China man one bites china man two. The bacteria begins to spread like “dawn of the dead.” So, society, decides to quarantine china, knowing that the bacteria began and China, and so far no one seems to have it outside China. We seal off the boarders, and kill everyone off(based off ethnicity – asians from southern countries like Indochina, cambodia, etc, are scott free), for the rest of our safety. Absolutely disgusting, miserable, and a real shame, but, a practical solution.

    Now let’s also keep in mind, that even though I agree with you. You’re still missing the point. HITLER thought it was RIGHT (not me, not you, Hitler, and his followers – the sincere ones). And thus, Hitler got away with it for quite some time. No deity stepped in. He didn’t “goto hell,” no “moral absolute” stopped him.

    Let’s also keep in mind, that your scenario again, is one that while I do agree with, doesn’t require the slightest bit of justification in scripture, or Yahweh. My reasons are the lack of consent. An entirely secular answer.

    The world is gray. Stuff happens outside of our control all the time. Many wars, often noble for instance, the only way to win them, and spot the enemy, is to recognize the difference in ethnicity(WW2 against Japan we aimed for the “japs”).

    And isn’t this just a moral absolute you made up? Have you checked this by Yahweh? I’m pretty sure Yahweh does some ethnic cleansing of his own in the OT.

  241. oh no, we are so NOT done with this hitler thing.

    so again, there was NOTHING OBJECTIVELY wrong with what hitler did?

    let me ask that again

    there was NOTHING OBJECTIVELY wrong with what hitler did??

    before you answer that let me remind you, I AM NOT ASKING YOU whether he THOUGHT he was right, im asking you about the actual matter of him being RIGHT. what he thought has nothing whatsoever to do with what he was.

    so, was he right?

    the example you gave was perfect. alot of people THOUGHT they were right about the earth being flat but it was an objective FACT laid that notion to rest. it didnt matter one bit what they THOUGHT. so what, hitler thought he was right. that bears no semblance on him actually being right.

    and holy crap you used ALOT of words to dance around exactly what i was asking you. you shouldve saved yourself the time instead of writing this diatribe. and i know youll take the childish route and say “well YOU didnt answer my questions, so ill not answer yours!”

    fine, so long as you got the concept in mind, which i know i JUST showed you once again. i dont care if you admit it to me or not about objective morality. i just outlined it for you.

    and then of course once i show it to you, you rant and rave about a million OTHER scenarios with less weight than the one i show, as if they are the same thing. im not saying that in the world there are not gray areas, but you want to paint ALL OF REALITY with a broad grey stroke. frankly, that is not how it is. THAT is an impoverished outlook chris.

    and i knew this would happen. i knew you would argue in this manner:
    so ill sum it up in one point:

    say that ONE ethnicity group gets this man-ravaging plague like you brought up. so are you wiping them out because of THEIR ethnicity or because they have a plague?

    you entered a bogus variable into the equation

    in order to refute my absolute, id like you to give me ONE REASON where you OUGHT to murder 12 million people ONLY because of their ethnicity.

    so here once again, is your “command/absolute” !

    im so glad i didnt hold my breath the first time

    have fun with it!

    and id like to reiterate, so you understand:

    IT DOESNT MATTER WHAT HITLER THOUGHT
    IT DOESNT MATTER WHAT HITLER THOUGHT
    IT DOESNT MATTER WHAT HITLER THOUGHT
    IT DOESNT MATTER WHAT HITLER THOUGHT

    – J

  242. Hello Parrot, do you want a cracker?
    I’ve been over Hitler enough – I’ve told, to you and me, yes there is something wrong with what Hitler did. I don’t know your moral reasons but I’ve given mine. Lack of consent. I don’t have a problem with killing, so long as the killing is consentual (euthanasia). Hitler killed people who didn’t consent. That’s where I’m revolted. Why am I still repeating this?
    “before you answer that let me remind you, I AM NOT ASKING YOU whether he THOUGHT he was right, im asking you about the actual matter of him being RIGHT. what he thought has nothing whatsoever to do with what he was.”

    It has EVERYTHING to do with it. If Hitler thought he was wrong, we wouldn’t of lost 6 million jews, and another 6 million cripples and homo-sexuals.
    “so, was he right? “

    To you and I? No. To Himmler, yes. To Yahwe – well that silly thing doesn’t exist.

    “the example you gave was perfect. alot of people THOUGHT they were right about the earth being flat but it was an objective FACT laid that notion to rest. it didnt matter one bit what they THOUGHT. so what, hitler thought he was right. that bears no semblance on him actually being right.”
    It was a bad example I already explained why. Morals are different from objective facts. Morals are subjective. You think all homosexuality is wrong. I don’t. Let’s push an issue where we disagree, instead of agree – like w/ Hitler.
    “fine, so long as you got the concept in mind, which i know i JUST showed you once again. i dont care if you admit it to me or not about objective morality. i just outlined it for you. “
    You’re not outlining anything. You just keep saying what Hitler did was wrong, and I keep agreeing with you. This doesn’t prove moral absolutes though. Since if Himmler was around he’d continue to say what Hitler did was right. Yahweh didn’t come down and intervene, and no ones spending time in hell for what he did. He, for the most part, got away with it. Moral absolutes don’t exist – until you can name some. You’re not showing me anything but your glaring ignorance.
    “and then of course once i show it to you, you rant and rave about a million OTHER scenarios with less weight than the one i show, as if they are the same thing.”
    Well that’s because moral absolutes must be ABSOLUTE. If we can think of scenarios where we take a different course, they are no longer absolute. How do I exercise my mind and imagination, should I close it in a box/bible?

    “im not saying that in the world there are not gray areas, but you want to paint ALL OF REALITY with a broad grey stroke. frankly, that is not how it is. THAT is an impoverished outlook chris. “
    Actually NO I don’t. You and I both agree the Cosmos is black and white, it operates under immutable, natural law, that we hope man-kind can eventually determine. The cosmos mechanics are black and white, morals aren’t though – that’s where I find gray area. You still can’t name a moral absolute. And let’s keep in mind, Hitler had massive support from the Catholic Church, Catholic Italy, and Catholic Spain. Not to mention christian sects w/in Germany that supported him. I mean just to show, that obviously Christianity does NOT give us moral absolutes, let’s quote Hitler talking to some of his followers, or mass crowds:
    Hitler wrote: “I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord..”
    Hitler: We demand liberty for all religious denominations in the State, so far as they are not a danger to it and do not militate against the morality and moral sense of the German race. The Party, as such, stands for positive Christianity, but does not bind itself in the matter of creed to any particular confession. It combats the Jewish-materialist spirit within and without us, and is convinced that our nation can achieve permanent health from within only on the principle: the common interest before self-interest.
    Hitler: My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before in the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice…. And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people…. When I go out in the morning and see these men standing in their queues and look into their pinched faces, then I believe I would be no Christian, but a very devil if I felt no pity for them, if I did not, as did our Lord two thousand years ago, turn against those by whom to-day this poor people is plundered and exploited.
    Hitler:Just as the Jew could once incite the mob of Jerusalem against Christ, so today he must succeed in inciting folk who have been duped into madness to attack those who, God’s truth! seek to deal with this people in utter honesty and sincerity.
    There’s more, but that’s enough for now.

    “say that ONE ethnicity group gets this man-ravaging plague like you brought up. so are you wiping them out because of THEIR ethnicity or because they have a plague?”

    To ensure safety from the plague, we wipe out all those of that ethnicity. However, I still will concede, I agree with you, ethnic cleansing shouldn’t be tolerated. I’m on your side here. This doesn’t make it a moral absolute though. It makes it a man-made moral (since no divine presence spoke it, and because the universe does “allow” for it). The KKK still exist, and genocide continues today all over Africa, south america, and various parts of asia. You and I have a serious problem with it, but others doubt. I’m just fervent as you in disdain here, but, this doesn’t make ethnic cleansing some kind of “absolute.”

    “in order to refute my absolute, id like you to give me ONE REASON where you OUGHT to murder 12 million people ONLY because of their ethnicity.”

    I can’t think of one because I don’t support it. This still doesn’t make it an absolute. I mean even your friend Yahweh does ethnic cleansing all throughout the OT. Typically race crimes are committed with other motives as well. I mean Hitler didn’t kill people just because they were Jews, he had strange notions attached that being a Jew meant you were stingy, a niggard, and corrupt. So even his ethnic cleansing isn’t just “it’s a jew, kill it.” It’s ‘Theres a jew, therefore he’s a thief, and a scoundrel, kill him.”
    Actually here’s a relatively silly one. The ozone layer falls apart and a form of toxic gas envelopes the Earth. The only people capable of surviving this gas are dwarfs, and pigmys because the gas hovers at exactly 5+ ft above sea level. Everyone taller than 5+ft risk infection and a potential to spread. The Pigmies realize this, so they kill EVERYONE ethnically different than them, because either they risk infection, or the “tall” people will die anyway. Given our new environment, only one ethnicity can survive, pigmys. So, the pigmys kill on ethnicity to ensure their long term survival. 😉
    IT DOESNT MATTER WHAT HITLER THOUGHT
    IT DOESNT MATTER WHAT HITLER THOUGHT
    IT DOESNT MATTER WHAT HITLER THOUGHT
    IT DOESNT MATTER WHAT HITLER THOUGHT

    Great we have a child on our hands. Yes it does matter. If Hitler didn’t think Jews were scoundrels, we’d have 6 million more jews on our hand!

    (Keep in mind our entire conversation on Hitler, has never once required Yahweh to be mentioned, because Yahweh is superfluous. And fake.)

    You going to touch my questions? Name a moral absolute (perhaps one Yahweh supports!, or rectify genesis).

  243. yep

    so you THINK hitler was wrong, but your still not exactly sure if youre right about it. i mean YOU could be wrong, right? and thats about as far as it goes with you. now if i thought he was right, youd be down with that, just another view-point right? or perhaps if in my viewpoint , i didnt consider their lack of consent and said go ahead and kill them anyways, no more different than you, right? or howabout i started a local chapter at some strip mall calling for the outright murder of jews. would you be cool with it, even though you are mostly sure it was wrong, but not enough to objectively say it was wrong, would you be cool that i run an operation like this?

    and all of these holocaust museums worldwide…there’s still a good chance that they are not 100% accurate in their stance. would you be willing to put a number on that? like if you put a percentage on their stance. how much would you apportion to their accuracy vs inaccuracy that what hitler did was wrong and should NEVER be repeated?

    yep im with ya chris

    “The world is gray. Stuff happens outside of our control all the time. Many wars, often noble for instance, the only way to win them, and spot the enemy, is to recognize the difference in ethnicity(WW2 against Japan we aimed for the “japs”).

    “……Where is the “moral absolute here.” You can’t name one. You don’t have one. They don’t exist.”

    yes you DO want to paint the world ONE BIG GRAY STROKE. thats all good except in reality it just isnt that way. especially on one particular sunny day when you are the victim or a witness to something absolutely heinous. there is no middle ground in circumstances like that. remember the kidnap/murder story i told you about that was in the headlines, the parents who were murdered and the brother killed and then burned in front of his 8 year old sister? yeah when something like that happens, it is very much indeed black and white. or how about rwanda?

    hitler was not a practicer of christianity, jeez thats obvious. so why the quotes?

    your getting really outlandish with your scenarios. how about we wipe the slate clean and make it easy?

    how about you argue to me a good reason one should do exactly what hitler did.

    and again and i think you are pretty much check-mated on this, no matter if hitler, himmler, goering, goerbels, or whoever really believed that what they did was right, that doesnt in the least make them right. so AGAIN, in the same way, if i really sincerely believe that the earth was flat, does it make so?

    you believe that ultimately the universe makes sense. i do too. i also assume that you believe in truth. either something is true or it is not and that this would apply to EVERYTHING,all except moral issues? even the extreme ones? absolutely nothing can be gauged?

    chris, i do not believe you

    my aim is not to put a name on the morality you see in the universe or to credit it. i just want to show it to you and ask you how it got there.

    john

  244. also i want to ask you too.

    these “subjective” morals that were changed over the aeons.

    like slavery. just one of many…

    if things can be so subjective and readily changed, “OUGHT” we go back to making someone else our slave once we found out it was wrong and therefore changed it?

    is that even possible?

    well thats a bad way of putting it.

    its definitely possible, but would it be right?

    YOU were the one saying morality is ONLY subjective. so what would it hurt if at one point we arrived at a better “moral truth” and then reversed it?

    or how about right now, we strip ALL black people in the U.S. of their right to vote, right to equal education, their employment, and their integrated living arrangements and put them in concentration camps until we decide what to do with them.

    so what right?! at one point we found that slavery was wrong, made new laws about it but later decided, what the heck, lets reverse it. it was never “TRUE” to begin with.

    do you see your logic?

  245. or how about we all go back to england and let the monarchy rule over us?

    shoot, lets start drawing and quartering folk too!

    we can have serfs again and our government can invade other nations to make a super big empire!

    none of those things were ever morally true to not practice!

  246. Early morning,in my typical zombie state. Managed to drink 2 pepsis, hopefully the caffein kicks in during my reply. I’ll reply to each post 1 at a time.

    Yes I think Hitler was wrong, and since I’ve been following this same philosophical moral premise pretty much by whole life – don’t cause unjustified suffering and always allow for consent first – Now if you thought Hitler was right, I’d of course find you repugnant. And hopefully never see you again. Obviously I wouldn’t be “cool” with and “happy with” your stupid strip mall scenario. I mean I’ve told you countless times already, I hate Hitler, he’s a revolting human being. I’m just saying though, that, these “moral absolutes” didn’t stop him, and hundreds of thousands of others. Nor did it stop all the hundreds of ethnic wars prior to Hitler, all the way back to Neanderthals vs Homo-sapiens. Ethnic warfare is all too commonplace.

    I’ve been to a holocaust museum before in Germany, where some of these crimes actually took place. Now I won’t deny that there’s a chance, Hitler may of, inadvertently killed a couple people, out of his masses, that should of deserved it – but again, as I continue to repeat, I don’t think Hitler was right. I don’t know why I continue to repeat this. You’re pretty steadfast on trying to malign my position. And I’ll point out, both of us hate Hitler, and find his atrocities wrong, WITHOUT invoking Yahweh. Because Yahweh isn’t necessary here.

    I paint the moral world as gray, not, the laws of the cosmos. I just want to explicit on that. You and I do agree, that E=MC2, not matter what happens. And we agree that light travels a select speed. We agree no one can violate gravity, etc.

    No I don’t remember that kidnap murder you told me about. However, as I’d say in both Rwanda and that scenario, my reasons for being turned off, require no theism, and are based on the grounds of 1. Caused suffering without consent and 2. Just the lack of consent. Keep in mind, this is what makes it gray. I’m not saying I disapprove of the action because “killing” took place. As I’ve said, if I’m suffering from cancer and have a week to live, I very well may asked to be killed. Or, like in the Scandinavian countries, I respect the right of the individuals to go into a clinic, make their case for assisted suicide, and have it completed for them. So the act of killing isn’t what turns me off, it’s the lack of consent. That’s MY moral code. It’s not YOUR moral code. Yours is theistic. I’m waiting for examples where your Christianity is going to implemented here.

    I’m aware, that Hitler was no a full blown Christian. He did some practicing of it in his younger days, but you’re quite right, in his later days, the WWII days, he was a strange mytic of sorts. Not an atheist, but not a Christian theist either. However the Catholic church during those early quotes, up until the end of WWII was in support of Hitler. Also, those speeches, where he invoked Christianity before the start of WWII, DID in fact, garner him support from a Christian crowd(Kind of like how I wonder if Bill Clinton is sincerely a Christian, or just invoked it for a little more base support).

    “how about you argue to me a good reason one should do exactly what hitler did.”

    You’re not reading what I’m saying are you? You’ve literally asked me this multiple and continue to say, no, I don’t support what Hitler did so I can’t. That doesn’t mean though that Hitler, and his henchmen, based off their readings of History, weren’t (in their own heads) capable of supporting their position. Obviously Hitler wasn’t “fence sitting” when he made Final Solution. Now again, without invoking ANYTHING from the bible, I’ve reached a conclusion that what he did was wrong, based on lack of consent – since the act of killing isn’t what turns me off here. Now, could you, using yahweh, explain to me why YOU find Hitler’s crimes wrong? I mean, for a month now you just keep asking me why I find them wrong, I keep answering, and you keep thinking your slick willy or something. Why do you find what Hitler did to be wrong, invoking biblical absolutes. Frankly I just find the whole yahweh based position of morals to be superfluous and anachronistic.

    “and again and i think you are pretty much check-mated on this, no matter if hitler, himmler, goering, goerbels, or whoever really believed that what they did was right, that doesnt in the least make them right. so AGAIN, in the same way, if i really sincerely believe that the earth was flat, does it make so?”

    No because observations like the Earth are objective. Unless we know why Hitler hated the jews, and take the time to rectify various claims of his objectively, the issue remains in a gray subjective area. Now I haven’t read Mein Kampf, I’ve been told though that it’s filled with conjecture and erroneous history. Perhaps, if someone had taken the time to underline each historical mistake Hitler made, and then objectively correct it, we could chance his subjective moral opinion. Although there’s also just a great chance Hitler was an extreme psychopath from birth, and simply wasn’t running under any kind of rational brain chemistry. That we can blame on Yahweh though Exodus 4:11 – presuming we take yahweh at his word. Furthermore, the fact they thought they were right is the very problem. No deity stepped in, hell didn’t open up, Hitler, and Himmler got away with it! And just like every animal that’s walked the earth, they had a regular death. These people violated your supposed absolutes (yet to be argued from a yahweh perspective, so I don’t know why you’re a christian) and simply got away with it, for a long, long, time.

    “you believe that ultimately the universe makes sense. i do too. i also assume that you believe in truth. either something is true or it is not and that this would apply to EVERYTHING,all except moral issues? even the extreme ones? absolutely nothing can be gauged?”

    Alright that is a very nebulous statement. Exactly the kind of statement that needs slow, careful wording. Do I believe in truth, well it really depends what you mean. For instance you can say to me “Summer is the best season!” Now truthfully, I’ll accept that TO YOU, it’s the best season – since that’s a subjective claim, and I can only trust your comment, there is no way to objectively prove a season is “the best.” Where we reach a common ground of immutable truth is that Summer is in fact a “season.”So beyond moral issues, there is gray all over the place. I mean hell, scientist even today are in the gray arguing if Pluto is a planet or an oversized commit. What we can be certain of though, is that no matter what we name it, commit, planet, ball, fred, etc, Pluto will always, molecular wise, be Pluto. Still though, Art, music, passions, hobbies, predilections, movies, attraction to women or men, etc is extremely subjective. Some people think Hillary Clinton is hot, some don’t. Some people love Monet, some don’t. Some people love romantic comedies, some don’t. The world is extremely gray, once we start talking about preferences and such.

    “my aim is not to put a name on the morality you see in the universe or to credit it. i just want to show it to you and ask you how it got there.”

    Evolution. We went over this already with my frog example, my lion example, my bee example, etc. Almost all species act for the good of themselves, the good of their family, and lastly the good of their species. Just like almost all homo-sapiens. A lion risk her life, to bring food home to her young. A Dad goes to work 8 hours a day, so he can bring food home to his young. A dad foregoes his final ration of food to feed his young, as would the majority of animals across the Earth. There is nothing entirely unique about our moral structure over other animals. The only uniqueness is the scenarios, not the decisions.

    Also you’ve been arguing this entire time without once needing to resort to the bible. Admit it, Christianity is superflous.

    If I spend my entire life as an atheist, never hurting anyone, and die, has something immoral taken place?
    If 50 men have an orgy, with protection, what’s wrong here?
    Someone forgets the sabbath their entire life, what’s wrong here?
    You’re Christian why the reticence.

  247. Well rthe point of moving on, in relation to slavery, is simply moving on! So no, once we learned from a mistake, a mistake we democratically agreed was a mistake, after literally thousands of years, we OUGHT to remain democratic about it. Now of course slavery does in a sense still take place in America. And we both know slavery still takes place across the africa and the middle east. So although WE changed our minds, it’s still going on. Why would you think I’m in support of slavery? I mean typically we are on the same side here, the difference is, because I’m not Christian, you seem to think I’m some kind of deviant or something. Where as you haven’t used Christianity once, to reach the same conclusion, my atheist ass, has reached!

    Why would we do that with blacks? I mean you have to give a reason. Even slave owners articulated reasons, reasons that were surprisingly well thought out, for their time.
    You’ll like this. Noam Chomsky, well revered professor, pretty much gives the reasons slavery was argued at the time. Now I don’t usually like to quote, as you know, but the man actually went back and read the documents of the time, in support of slavery. So you can really get a feel of their reasons. You’re nor offering reasons, you’re just saying “should we,” and I’m, like you, saying no, without needing Christianity.

    Now I would say, like salvery, it’s time to move on from a giant rock on our back that we have, Christian ethics. Let’s move on about abortion, let’s move on about abstinence, let’s move on about homosexuality, let’s move on about the sabbath, let’s move on about having no other gods before yahweh, let’s move on about creationism, let’s move on about no sex before marriage, let’s move on.

  248. “or how about we all go back to england and let the monarchy rule over us?
    shoot, lets start drawing and quartering folk too!
    we can have serfs again and our government can invade other nations to make a super big empire!
    none of those things were ever morally true to not practice!”

    Why would I support this. Just because I’m not a Christian doesn’t make me some slime of t he earth, psychopathic, callas, deviant. Same as, you haven’t once invoked Yahweh to explain why these things are bad either. We both agree a monarchy is wrong, we both agree slavery is wrong, we both agree Hitler is wrong, and we do so, on secular grounds. Yahweh is outdated – neither of us is relying on that myth. Where the fuck is yahweh In anything you say? No where. Move on.

    I don’t really see a difference between our capitalist structure and feudalism to be sincere. I still think we live in feudalism, just under a different name. And I don’t find the executive branch much different from a monarchy, especially since the new presidential powers Bush has created. That’s another topic though.

  249. John: I suggest you move on and drop this debate. You’re not going to convince Chris of anything right now. He’s pretty sure he’s totally correct in his thinking. He’ll never accept the FACT God (Yahweh) is EVERYTHING – his own very breath, the source of life and the God of eternity – until he has a need for Him and/or has the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Why don’t you let Him take over instead of “spitting in the wind”?

  250. Jean, I inhale Oxygen, and exhale CO2. How is CO2 yahweh? Co2 is extremely lethal to homo-sapiens, are you saying Yahweh is lethal?

  251. jean youre absolutely right. ive gotten the same feeling and i plan on letting it go after this post. theres not much more that can be said especially by me.

    i do however want to say a couple of things.

    chris, when i say there are moral absolutes, i do not mean they act like gravity or energy and you feel the strength of them in the physical world. although in some ways this may be true. because if someone else is violating them, which is a choice on their part, someone else will be suffering the consequences as a manifestation of that violation. and again, when someone thinks or believes the world is flat or, as im sure youve come across, doesnt believe in evolution, there is not this immediate physical consequence from that belief. they just go about doing what they do, happily ignorant and believing what they want. you imply that if a moral is truly absolute, youd be compelled to follow it like its a fundamental law of physics or something. that just isnt true, so im not sure why you are invoking that idea. people all of time refuse to believe in things that are true for whatever reason, and for the most part nothing happens or compels them to believe otherwise. you believe in strict materialism as an objective fact. i do not. well, nothing is happening to me because of my dis-belief. should something happen? same thing if you choose to not act on what you know is right. you do however reap what you sow. i think thats pretty obvious.

    chris you are still not addressing if yours, mine, or even the curator of the holocaust museum’s stance on hitler is objectively correct. you keep telling me that you feel hitler was wrong and why YOU feel that he was wrong. but you are not telling me whether you are certain if what you feel is 100% accurate. im not asking what you feel, im asking if hitler WAS wrong, are we ALL correct about this across the board? how much of a margin of error should we allow? and again, it doesnt matter what hitler or his followers thought. that has nothing to do with it.

    and in the same way, you cannot argue for a good reason that one should go do exactly what hitler did. and you list reasons why you cannot. but can anyone REALLY? and i dont mean for any reason, i mean for a good reason.

    i said this before and ill say it again, im not trying to invoke yahweh, im showing you that there is not only morality in the universe, but that there are also moral facts and moral absolutes. and this is something you observe in reality, governments run on this assumption as well. its not an illusion to us that you shouldnt go shoot amish school children. this is really a fact. you SHOULD NOT. there will be consequences if you do and rightly so!

    this is not an illusion chris, government and state law- makers are not being fooled by fuzzy, gray, subjective ideas when they are trying to protect people.

    and i want to reiterate, im not saying that there are no gray areas of morality. because there are. but there are also things that are REALLY REALLY wrong and REALLY REALLY right. theres no question to this, just go watch CNN or read a newspaper.

    and again, if slavery is not incorrect as a moral fact, then why not go back to it?

    what would really keep us from doing that?

    and it doesnt matter what various reasoning they had for incorporating it back then, obviously it was all crap and didnt hold “TRUE”.

    and what would we be violating if we decided to strip blacks of every single civil right they have garnered if none of that were morally “TRUE” to begin with? would this be subjective?

    is it true or untrue that we shouldnt do this?

    peace, john

  252. That’s odd, given your previous thesis on the mechanics of the cosmos, you argued for a universe of material and energy only…shocked you’re reneging. …If there is more to the cosmos besides material and energy, what is it? Can I observe it? Can I measure it? If not, why should I believe it?

    Typically, like in almost everything else in life, I’m certain to a 99.9%. Meaning I am capable of being swayed, but it’s going to take A LOT. I’ll always offer my ear to listen, as I’ve done with you. So yes 99.9% of me is certain hitler is wrong. As are you. Yet neither of us needs Christianity or Yahweh for our positions. My atheism, and your theism are entirely moot, in the consensus we reached. Which is why I find your Christianity silly, and superfluous. And your haughty talking down to me rather annoying. As if I need some kind of lesson in ethics, when we are reaching the same conclusions anyway.

    Well Hitler and his followers certainly thought they had a “good reason.” I mean as history has shown, even American history (if you like to the native americans, the hawaiians, the blacks, and the south americans) races tend to get this mob mentality they are “civilized” and everyone else is “a savage.” So it’s not TOO surprising, that Hitler, like the earliest Americans(Or the Romans, or Ghengis Khan, or British Colonist in India, Iran, South Africa, the Dutch in South Africa, The Crusaders, etc), had some argument that his/their race was supreme, and the others were savage. Now you and I disagree, but let’s be honest, to this day, that very same mentality is still ambient, unfortunately. Racism, and “supreme” race notions are less tolerated, but they aren’t eradicated. Although in order to end it, the bible, and christianity, is simply superfluous.

    I absolutely agree that we should not shoot almish children lol(The fact you put these questions to me as if I might say yes is rather offensive, or ignorant, I don;t which is better). And I want to point out our government has been extremely racist before – only through democracy do we change it. Our government was racist to Indians, racist to blacks, racist to south americans (many parts of it still are), and even today, quite racist at times to arab people. Now I personally don’t see “morality” in the “universe.” I see the universe as totally indifferent, the morality I see, is propagated by homo-sapiens. No matter how moral, or immoral we are, the sun is still going to blow us up in 5 billion years(not a moral cosmos!), and the universe is still going to expand into its death in 100 trillion, and 99.9% of all living species will die out. That’s not a “moral” universe, that’s an indifferent cosmos.

    Now let’s also keep in mind, since I still think morals are subjective, that our government does actually do, in my opinion, immoral things – as I’m sure you’d agree somewhere. You may find abortion to be wrong, so in that case our government is immoral. I find personal drug use, to be private, so I find the war on drugs wrong. I also think sexual acitvity, amongst adults, should be private, so I don’t like the idea of sodomy, polygamy, or swinging, to be illegal. It’s just not my business or anyone elses.

    I’m well read on my newspapers, read about 3 a day 😉

    Well slavery still exist depending on you how define it. At the very least though, all over Africa, slavery still exist. Women are enslaved in Islam, and working folk are enslaved in our feudalistic economy.

    It’s true for you and I that we should not strip blacks of their civil liberties. It’s however not true for the KKK, various parts of the mid west, and even some mccain supporters if you’ve watched these rallies. Like this racist nincompoop :
    http://kdka.com/local/attack.McCain.Bloomfield.2.847628.html
    As far as these idiots are concerned, there racism is right!
    Hell I’d like you read about “bleeding kansas.” It was a period in American History, right before the civil war, where slavery was a hot button issue and Kansas was about to be created as a state. Now people from the south flocked to Kansas, carrying bibles and rifles, and used scripture, to justify slavery. Meanwhile, Northerners also flocked to the Kansas, carrying a rifle and a bible, and did the very same, however they argued against slavery.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bleeding_Kansas
    So even if we disagree on moral absolutes, what is a fact, is that the bible, can be used for immoral situations – at least according to us, who don’t support slavery.

    So let’s hear a moral absolute, that has a basis in Christianity. Because otherwise, with your immutable deterministic cosmos, you’ve argued for a godless/yahwehless universe as well.

    Or at the very least, let’s address some of these Christian ethics that I was trying to learn about in my 11 questions.

  253. what! I wrote a giant reply and now it’s not here….

    sigh….I’ll write it again 😦

  254. wait now I see it….odd

  255. and now it’s gone again, wtf?

  256. Okay John, the trick to reading my post, for whatever technical reason, is to first make a post. Once the site refreshes, you can view my rebuttal. So just make a nonsensical post, and then, if you want to reply, my reply is visible.

  257. blah

  258. this is what it was doing to me a couple of weeks ago. i could post anything other than what i actually replied. it was really weird

  259. is it raining where you are at?

  260. not working

  261. hmm let me read it, and i’ll copy and paste it somewhere else, and you can reply here?

  262. alright i snuck it onto a video game message board, several pages back, hopefully they don’t notice 😉
    http://nvos.us/view.php?id=166776

  263. i replied to your video game post under “koopa troopa”

  264. I’ll paste it here.
    I most likely can’t reply today, have family coming in town, among other things.

    i argued for a universe that is rational THROUGHOUT even if we do not understand how yet–this being a concept we accept by faith, that the whole is more than the sum of its parts, and i also have been arguing that there are morality/moral facts present as well. there is something else going on in this universe besides strict materialism. and we have already been over this.

    and for the record, i am NOT talking down to you. you will know when i am talking down to you. so when i ask you if hitler was wrong, i am not in the least way thinking that because you are an atheist, you are down with what hitler did. on the contrary i am troll-fishing for that self-evident part of you that “knows” better without having to break out a ruler or run tests to see if youre correct. because either you are correct in saying it or you are not. we are not talking about color preference here.

    chris, there are alot of things that we cannot measure by science, yet are a huge part of the human experience and no less true. how on earth do you quantify love? can you measure philosophy? whether a piece of music is beautiful or absolute garbage? yet as soon as you hear it, you just “know” if it sounds good. even the obvious beauty of the universe, not one bit of it can be quantified or measured but there it is! and to further stress what you already stated. you believe there is an underlying morality. this is very true. but science cannot tell you whether something is right or wrong or help you navigate that morality. you cannot measure your 99.99% feeling that hitler was wrong and yet im sure youd go to the mat for that idea in a heartbeat. thats because all of this information is self-evident and you neednt break out one scientific instrument to find out if it is true. the human heart IS the instrument. so, there are plenty of things that you cannot measure or necessarily observe in a scientific framework.

    and yes, our government does do SOME THINGS that are immoral or that i do not particulary agree with. but then again, some things that it does are without question. theft is not legal, murder is not legal, vandalism is not..etc.

    again, it doesnt matter how things “appear” to people as right or wrong. so to some in africa, slavery is cool. most likely to the slave owners im sure. none of those reasons you list are worth anything in regards to building the actual case. they are more like excuses than actual reasons. the real question is whether it is truly right and if we can even gauge that answer. again, if we didnt stumble onto some kind of “moral truth” concerning slavery or anything similar, then why not regress and incorporate it once again? that would be absolutely ludicrous! we know that slavery is wrong as a moral fact, and its not like were going to have an epiphany and say that it was right all this time! this is totally not subjective chris.

    and no you dont need christianity to engage in moral thought with alot things, but in other areas id say you do, but not with what we are talking about. and thats because we all have access to moral thought. because morality is very much a present phenomena with all of us.

    now, you say that in one regard a father going to work to feed his kids is a product of evolution. as a single dad, i also know of alot of fathers who take no part in this and do not support their kids in any way, shape, or form. now are they violating a biological truth or a moral truth when they do this and how do you distinguish? it may be because they feel the need to propigate and therefore do not want to be tied down. so they abandon one biological imperative for the other. and what makes this wrong? this happens all the time

    john

  265. Yes we have been over this something more. I pressed you 100 times to name it and you skirted the issue. Like my 11 questions, like rectifying genesis, like naming moral absolutes. Yawn, faith is such a bore, why bother?

    Right I need no ruler, or instrument w/ Hitler, because, it’s subjective. See if Hitler and his followers kept saying the Moon was cheese, we could prove them wrong. If Hitler hates Jews, and gives us reasons why, we need to correct him on those reasons, so long as we are right. As I said, I’ve heard Mein Kampf is riddled with erroneous conclusions, which we could take the time to correct Hitler on.

    We’ve been over love. The feeling one gets during love is oxytocin. I posted over five different scientific studies on this already. Philosophy is subjective, even philosophers admit that. A piece of music is also subjective. I like Ben Folds Five – some people hate him. I hate some peoples music. Oh well. I do not believe there is an underlying morality, why do you keep putting this position on me, when anyone reading this can see I’ve said otherwise. Science can however help navigate morals, I disagree with you there. So for instance, we used to think people with schitsophrenia were posses by daemons. Now we can see it’s a neurological disorder. Based off this information, our treatments, and the ethics of our treatments chance. We used to think a soul entered at conception, now we can see otherwise. This has changed morals toward abortion. I’ll agree that our “human heart” is the cornerstone of each individuals morals. And that fully explains why there are no moral absolutes, just individuals, often predisposed to certain lines of ethics, like psychopaths, severe autism, aspergers, sociopaths, pederast, etc. That’s why I find it so silly that Christians argue morals are founded with the bible, we can’t even get every atheist or agnostic to agree on morals, let alone every Christian. We are individuals.

    You say we need Christianity for certain moral areas. Well I do my best to live a moral life, so, what part of my life needs that Xtianity?

    “we all have access to moral thought. because morality is very much a present phenomena with all of us.”

    Just like every other species, ever.

    “now, you say that in one regard a father going to work to feed his kids is a product of evolution. as a single dad, i also know of alot of fathers who take no part in this and do not support their kids in any way, shape, or form. now are they violating a biological truth or a moral truth when they do this and how do you distinguish?”

    Sure and this happens in other animal communities as well. Some non-human animals, are extroidinarily selfish. Others aren’t. Some Humans are selfish, others aren’t. This doesn’t mean the reasons escape biology, it means the reasons are a product of their predetermined biology. Continue to mate sociopaths w/ sociopaths, and the majority of the kids will be the same. And you’re quite right, unfortunately, in an evolutionary sense, philandering, or “cheating” is extremely “successful.” Obviously the more kids you create, sharing your DNA, the more likelihood, other sexually deviants will follow. We should ask yahweh why he created it this way…. exodus 4:11.

  266. “I agree that there is an underlining moral premise, most of the time” – Chris

    “Yes I often see morality in the universe, and I often see dispair” – Chris

    “No science can’t tell you what right and wrong is. I never said it could” – Chris

    we cant prove that what hitler did was wrong? so why are you 99.99% sure that what he did was wrong, where do you get your information?

    yep

  267. John that first quote was in relation to all animal behavior, both homo-sapiens, and non-human animals. I was implying that since we all share a common ancestor, there has been a typical evolution of morals within us. And I went on to give examples with chimpanzees, lions, tigers and bears oh my. I’ve also pointed out though, that heredity goes awry and you end up with a sociopath sometimes!

    The universe quote was again subjective. We’ve established, sort of, since you ignored my 11 questions, that we have different morals. So some of the “morality” I see, is “immorality” to you. And vice versa.

    The third quote, as I’ve gone on to say, is that although science can’t tell you whats right and wrong, it can radically change our view of things, subsequently changing our position in moral situations – or at the very least requiring us to re-think a scenario. Like I said, science has shown us schizophrenics are not possessed. Now science doesn’t tell us what to do here, but it certainly gives us new information on how to treat the individual. no?

    Well again, w/ Hitler, my personal moral code has always been consent/golden rule – and also, the abating of suffering. Where as your moral code comes from an ancient book. So in this instance we are reaching the same conclusion, in many other instances, we aren’t. So I can’t force my moral code onto everyone else, and that’s why, when allowing nuance and personal freedom, I personally can’t prove 100% Hitler was wrong. There is bound to be someone, like yourself, who doesn’t follow my personal, subjective, code.

  268. well, i think most normal people’s moral code is to not want to be murdered by someone else.

    what you mean to say is you WONT attempt to prove hitler was wrong. chris, out of a total of 100% …..99.99% goes along way. thats quite a figure there. there has to be some type of substance to your numbers other than pure, fuzzy guesswork of which you bashfully wouldnt want to force on anyone. God forbid. i would certainly be happy with $999,999 out of $1,000,000. and i mean if richard dawkins was 99.99% sure that there WAS a God, a whole heck of alot would change, or at least some very different books would be being written.

    yep, i can understand your silence on the matter. but im real glad simon weisenthal and ellie weisel werent shy and silent about it. i mean we just may able to prevent another genocide if we know what to look for and are SURE of what we know to be true.

  269. we might quibble over the term murder, but I can safely say, my gf, and my Dad, are strong supporters of euthanasia. So in that instance, we are all three “not normal?” I can also say, I support killing, if it saves more than it harms. If I have to kill 1 man, to save two children, of course that’s the better choice. I also don’t know your stance on American History, but I’m sure there are some wars where you took a side, which means you supported the killing of one group against another.

    What do you mean I won’t attempt to prove Hitler was wrong? This is becoming infuriating, I’ve explained to you dozens of times now why I feel he was wrong. That was my attempt, if there was an error in my reasoning, you didn’t point it out. The Jews, Cripples, and homosexuals Hitler slaughtered, did not consent to being killed, therefore it is wrong. He took away someones life, who had every desire to retain it. The end. That’s my entire argument against it. Where have I failed? Point me to my error? Will you now explain to me how you KNOW FOR A FACT Hitler was wrong, using your good moral compass of a book the bible?

    I’m all about stopping genocide, but again, my morals are based on a utilitarian view, and a preference to consent. Can you argue against genocide from the bible? if not, why do you continue to hang on to Christianity, when in our entire discussion, you’ve never once referenced it as something that seems to have any impact in your life. Why not drop it entirely? And stop indoctrinating children too?

  270. p.s. speaking of genocide,
    noah’s flood is one of the most disgusting acts of genocide ever. for that alone, yahweh is an unscrupulous prick.

  271. your over-admittance to why you think it was wrong, but most especially your lack of courage to just come out and say, as an objective moral fact, it was wrong.

    but you dont believe in those because a 99.99% figure just isnt TRUE enough to be objective.

    go back to playing world of warcraft

  272. p.s. im almost completely sure that if someone murdered your parents, shot your sister in the head and burned her body in front of you, that you would not hesitate one bit in calling that 100% wrong as a moral fact. that kind of thing would completely change your life.

    and id say most of the population, including myself would agree with you. and if anyone didnt, they would need a psych eval.

    subjective my arse

    and please, no offense to your family, this is in reference to that news story i told you about earlier.

  273. world of warcraft? wtf are you talking about?

    Look I think it was wrong because of what I just said, lack of consent. Why do you think it’s wrong (you continue to avoid every single questions I ever put to you, pathetic, and disrespectful).

    Hitler thought he was right, because of a superiority race feeling.

    You think what Hitler was wrong because????

    If someone did the scenario you just said above, it would again fall under my moral code, which is only inflict pain if it’s consented. Why do you think that scenario is wrong? Please use Christianity to explain your answers for all my questions, because you are a christian, and you think christianity is morally supreme, let’s hear why.

  274. let me put it this way, there is no objective proof that my moral code is correct – no? It’s my moral code that leads me to believe Hitler is wrong.

    Is there any objective proof that your moral code is superior, and can you use your moral code to explain to me why Hitler was wrong? If you can, and it’s an objective proof that it’s superior, I’d gladly sign on. Otherwise, quit playing the scenario game and making me repeat myself. It’s dull, ignorant, and unimaginative.

  275. YOUR moral code?

    while theres no objective proof that your ENTIRE moral code is correct as a fact. and im sure wed disagree on ALOT of issues, but at the same time dude, hitler is a no brainer.

    really, what moral code out there would you respect as true if it sided with the opposing view?

    that is totally what you are implying and i know in the real world you wouldnt hold to that. and thats because there are some things that are really really wrong as well as some things that are really really right.

  276. ha, ignore my questions as usual. Such a mindless sap.

    I don’t respect YOUR moral code, based off the little information I’ve garnered about it, even though it does lead us to agree on hitler. So while I respect your ONE agreement, I disrespect so many more, that it leads me to not respect your moral code. And if we can’t reach a consummate code, we can’t be certain we’ve achieved moral absolutes, since absolutes, will be determined by the code we set out to find them with. I repeat(without any hope of a respectful answer from you):

    “If someone did the scenario you just said above, it would again fall under my moral code, which is only inflict pain if it’s consented. Why do you think that scenario is wrong? Please use Christianity to explain your answers for all my questions, because you are a christian, and you think christianity is morally supreme, let’s hear why.”

    “Is there any objective proof that your moral code is superior, and can you use your moral code to explain to me why Hitler was wrong? If you can, and it’s an objective proof that it’s superior, I’d gladly sign on.”

  277. heres my moral code:

    love the Lord your God with all of your heart, mind, body, soul, and strength and love your neighbor as yourself.

    yeah, i knew that wouldnt be good enough for you

    and you are making this way, way, too complicated. it isnt YOUR SPECIAL PRIVATE moral code that revealed to you that what hitler did was wrong. that would be like saying it was YOUR SPECIAL PRIVATE science that showed you that the earth was round. for the sake of all that is good chris, just admit that this is a fact and not YOUR fact. and again, you keep resorting to what i ALREADY AGREED with you on, about some morals being gray but some being most certainly not. so based on what i ALREADY told you, do not be surprised if we cannot come to a consummate agreement on a complete moral code in unison. holy crap, when did i say anything different? ALL i was pointing out to you, was that there are moral absolutes/facts alongside moral gray areas in REALITY. but you say ALL OF MORALITY is gray and now you want to compare codes with me. i thought hitler was an easy enough 2+2=4 scenario for you to see, which i know it is in your mind, but you just keep spouting of on this ridiculous rhetoric about your personal moral code. as if the knowledge of what hitler did is not innate and noone else can plainly see it. hitler was wrong all across the board and this is a fact. it doesnt get anymore simpler than that. if someone does not agree with that, then there is something wrong with their own personal private morals. we are not comparing favorite rock bands here chris.

  278. So I don’t understand how your code doesn’t allow for abortion, homosexual marriage, homosexual intercourse, polygamy, swinging, sex out of wedlock, forgetting the sabbath, or loving the lord as a muslim, hindu, deist, etc. Also since your code requires you to love yahweh, and I don’t, what are the ramifications for me? What are the ramifications of the islanders of new guinea who spent thousands of years geographically isolated, incapable of knowing about yahweh? See the moral code I’ve established, over thought, philosophy, reading, and overall growing up, can answer all my questions above, can yours? will you? I mean Hitler thought it was moral to plague the Earth of the jews, because they were an inferior race. We disagree, but those are his morals. I ask again, for the 5th time (you seriously are quite an ass hole at this point to flat out ignore me every time I ask you questions, and attempt to laden me in more. horrible tactic, something a child does), tell me what Hitler did was wrong, based off your moral code, your moral compass, use Christianity. if christianity really is a pinnacle of ethics, and the one true path to salvation, I want to hear some explaining. This is exactly why I left the church before I was a teenager. No one answers direct questions.

    Actually yes it is my moral code that made me disagree. It’s not private, because I was kind enough to discuss it with you (unlike you), and the reason I do (unlike you), is so that I can be sure there aren’t any loopholes (so far there aren’t, how about you), and can ameliorate it if need be.

    Science is a method of deduction, that all those entering science agree to use in experimentation, or else, their work won’t get peer reviewed, or even glanced at. You can have any moral code, racial notions, skin color, religion, etc, but you MUST follow deduction. Just like to be a Christian, you must believe the bible is the word of the cause of the cosmos.

    Well if we can’t come to agreement on our basic moral code, then we are going to reach different moral absolutes, so there can’t be moral absolutes then, or if there are, they are so random, and all encompassing, that they aren’t really a guide for anything but chaos. This would also prove christianity is no better than any other moral compass, be it secular, or hindu, because none of us can reach consummates agreements, the difference is, yours threatens people with hell, mine doesn’t make threats.

    Yes in my mind hitler is a 2+2=4. But again, in Hitler’s mind, where he established his own unique morals, just like me, just like pat robertson, just like castro, just like Fallwell, just like mother theresa, just like every pope in history, just like you, just like donny, etc, he reached different conclusions. Godamn this yahweh is too ambiguous to be omniscient and omnipotent. Hell we just had 2 neo nazis arrested for plotting to assassinate barak obama, which shows, hitler’s ethics are still permeating in nature.

    No one we aren’t comparing favorite rock bands, we are doing much more, something much more valuable and important. We are comparing the way we treat others, and in your case, the result of our life after death. That’s a powerful thing, that I think, deserves ample thought and discussion, wouldn’t want to end up on the wrong side of the road in that case.

    SO SINCE YOU CAN READ THIS! WHY IS WHAT HITLER DID WRONG. I ALREADY TOLD YOU WHY I THINK IT WAS WRONG, NOW USE CHRISTIANITY, THE BEST ETHICS AROUND, TO EXPLAIN TO ME WHY YOU PERCEIVE WHAT HITLER DID WAS WRONG. PLEASE DO NOT IGNORE THIS. IT”S TOO FUCKING BIG TO MISS.

  279. chris, ethics always derive from how a person views the world and this is a perfect example of an impoverished world-view:

    Putting feelings aside: The predicament of Peter Singer

    The recommendation to “put feelings aside” in the killing of unwanted infants or senile old people recurs in the writings of Professor Peter Singer, the Australian newly appointed to the chair of bioethics at prestigious Princeton University. His is a coldly cerebral approach to life, with an “impressive, if lunatic, consistency to his arguments,” as the Wall Street Journal put it; yet a tragic event in his own life, a flicker of complex human sentiment, may signal a thaw in this icy consistency.

    The category of “non-person” has, until now, been crystal clear to Singer. Because “human babies are not born self-aware… they are not persons.” In fact, “the life of a newborn baby is of less value than the life of a pig, a dog, or a chimpanzee,” and we should therefore “put aside emotionally moving but strictly irrelevant aspects of the killing of a baby.” This means all babies, not just the lethally handicapped, and accounts for his defense of the killing of unwanted girl babies in China.

    For the same reason, senile or severely handicapped adults “are non-persons”; they are not “self-conscious, rational, or autonomous, and so considerations of a right to life … do not apply.” For influential sentiments such as these, disabled groups label Singer “the most dangerous man in the world,” and have besieged Princeton with mass protests.

    Enter his mother, Cora Singer, who has rapidly descended into Alzheimer’s dementia and no longer recognises her son. One protester from the disabled group Not Dead Yet has not missed the tragic irony: “The whole terrifying point of his philosophy is that people like his mother should be killed if it’s cost-efficient for the community or desirable for their families.”

    The abstract edifice of his philosophy is one thing; his mother going gently and so slowly into that good night makes it hard to practice the art of “putting feelings aside. ” Says Singer, I think this has made me see how the issues of someone with these kinds of problems are really very difficult. Perhaps it is more difficult than I thought before, because it is different when it is your own mother.”

    The question is, will this flicker of feeling be enough to thaw the ice of cerebral Singerism? Unlikely-but then, it is worth considering critically how thin this ice is. Look to the foundation of all his philosophy, his credulous Credo, which is found in one paragraph of Practical Ethics (p. 331) under the heading “Has Life a Meaning?”:

    When we reject belief in a god we must give up the idea that life on this planet has some preordained meaning. Life as a whole has no meaning. Life began, as the best available theories tell us, in a chance combination of gases; it then evolved through random mutation and natural selection. All this just happened; it did not happen to any overall purpose. Now that it has resulted in the existence of beings who prefer some states of affairs to others, however, it may be possible for particular lives to be meaningful. In this sense atheists can find meaning in life.

    It is a brave man who would adhere to such simplistic evolutionism with colleagues like Paul Davies at large, and a con-man who would try to sell this as a plausible motive for the nobler strivings of the human spirit. Our roots go much deeper than Singer allows-and perhaps Singer is beginning to sense that shallowness. The sole foundation of his ethical edifice is the blindly-evolved, chemically-determined preference for some states of affairs to others-a proposal so trivial and sterile that, when set up against the great gnarled growth of living ethics (Ghandi, Mother Teresa, “Weary” Dunlop), it should crumble in a rubble of derision.

    Paradoxically, some of Singer’s adversaries consider that the appointment of such a radical ideologue may serve to brace and strengthen the traditional Western ethic that Singer so derides. One writes that “the appointment of a professor of infanticide to the faculty of venerable Princeton should be a loud wake-up call; a reveille.” Another, in the Wall Street Journal, wonders “what may happen when Princeton students begin to think critically about what Peter Singer is saying? … His philosophy may unintentionally do more damage to liberal pieties than a thousand Alan Blooms ever could.”

    The last word on “putting feelings aside” might go to an older professor, who may have shared a bus with the young Singer at Oxford University. C.S. Lewis, the antithesis of the young atheist, observed in Men without Chests: “It is not excess of thought but defect of fertile and generous emotion that marks them out. Their heads are not bigger than the ordinary: it is the atrophy of the chest beneath that makes them seem so.”

    Herod- 2000

    As we approach the 2000th celebration of history’s most famous unplanned pregnancy, an international conference at the Hyatt Coolum “celebrates the achievement” of the final solution to this perennial problem. It is being hosted by Queensland’s Dr. David Grundmann, late-term abortion specialist, who considers abortion “an essential part of family planning … theoretically for the whole of pregnancy,” and who practices his art-as this paper first revealed–even on healthy, but unwanted, babies older than those in our hospital nurseries.

    This, the conference brochure says, is to be “celebrated”; yet if “achievement” means the construction of a mindset of annihilation towards one subset of the human family, then Grundmann’s is but one of many late-millennial causes to celebrate: do not forget the traders in subhuman Africans, the hunters and poisoners of inferior Aborigines, the efficient European processors of millions of non-person Jews and other “useless eaters.” Still, those achievements have lost their shine, and the only admirably durable holocaust of the late second millennium has been directed at the littlest of history’s “untermenschen.”

    It has endured because it oils the wheels of the most popular revolution of the second millennium: the sexual revolution. “Let copulation thrive,” said the mad Lear-but only our generation has been able to fulfill this ancient leering quest for untrammelled fornication. Duty-free sex; copulation without consequence; every lecher’s dream come true-as long as the abortionist stands guarantor of his liberty. Every female free to be used at will, then vacuumed clean ready for use again, provided the abortionist is open for business.

    Perhaps that is why Dr. Grundmann’s conference brochure features the recurring sketch of a naked, fully child-proof, young woman. An elusive fantasy figure for predatory males through the millennia, she is available at last to this generation, through our glorious revolution. Of necessity, foetuses are cast as the counterrevolutionaries who threaten adult freedom and must be liquidated. They are the only obstacle to total sexual license. Therefore the one not-negotiable demand of sexual revolutionaries, from President Clinton down (remember his veto upholding partial birth abortion?), is the liberty to kill all and any unwelcome products of conception-and, as we have heard from Dr. Grundmann, that means even when these unwanted “products” are older than the premature babies in our hospital nurseries.

    He is flanked at the conference by two kindred spirits from the United States, George Tiller and Warren Hem, two doctors listed in that country as late-term abortion specialists. Tiller will outline a series of two thousand late-term abortions to an audience flown in from the four corners by Planned Parenthood and the UN Population Fund, with subsidies from Quantas. Dozens of other international speakers will frown upon Queensland for its unenlightened laws limiting abortion “services,” and no doubt the Women’s Taskforce on the Criminal Code will choose that time to unveil to the Queensland Attorney General their recommendations to repeal abortion laws.

    Post-conference tours start in Brisbane, where guests will be guided through Grundmann’s abortion clinic. Perhaps the man himself will describe to them, as he has described to me, cases of six-month old unwanted babies (some entirely healthy or with readily correctable problems) whom he has stabbed through the head during birth (technically “cranial decompression”), with no pain relief, and with the comment that “there is no stage of pregnancy at which I consider the fetus my patient. ” The walls of his clinic should scream with the pain of those violated small bodies . .-.

    Public opinion which passes by on the other side of that road is as cowardly and complicit as it was before the slaves were emancipated or before the death camps were liberated. It took a civil war and a world war to end those evils. Perhaps we are weary of wars, and will tacitly agree to maintain Just one programme of mass killing as a souvenir of the late-second millennium. We may, if we have a taste for the surreal and sadistic, celebrate it.

  280. can’t think for yourself, can’t speak for yourself, always appealing to “authority,” and continue to ignore my conspicuous, and direct questions. Xtianity is bankrupt, move on – this debates clearly over.
    It was okay while it lasted.
    -Chris

  281. this is for anyone to take a gander at, if anybody still reads this.

  282. lord more ignorance on a subject.
    That only shows how wrong the tribal pelstinian societies were about the nature of the universe. nothing in that video vindicates Yahweh as the creator – it only disproves it. There are literally 72 (with 22 zeros following it, so:) 720000000000000000000000 stars in the cosmos. Each with a potential solar system of its own, from 1-20 planets. Seeing as there are more stars than words every spoken by all of homo-sapiens combined (and yes I did the math and was very generous with the numbers), thinking we are the pinnacle of this creation, is a very pretentious and egotistical position to take. Yahweh fails again.

  283. saying that we are or are not the pinnacle is simply a point of view chris, and not a scientific statement. i could easily give you loads of unfathomable numbers on the parameters required that make life possible to begin with. so quit bringing in your worldview as if it’s science speaking. universe aside, we most certainly are the pinnacle in regards to this planet and its pretty obvious to someone willing to admit it.

  284. I said, finding us to be the pinnacle is PRETENTIOUS. Yes life is quite difficult, of course that also applies ALL life, not just homo-sapiens (dont be pretentious). Seeing as there are more cells in my colon, than all of humans to ever exist combined – and cellular life is ubiquitous, and has dominated for 4 billion years – I could reach a conclusion that the cosmos was intelligently designed for cellular life. At the very least, I could say due to survivability, cells are the pinnacle, because as 99.9% of all species go extinct, cellular life remains. Read a science book, without a christian agenda, for the sake of knowledge.

  285. well, i dont think its PRETENTIOUS. and theres not much more you can say to me scientifically to refute that. this is one of those self-evident, “subjective” areas outside of science that cannot be tested and you either believe it or you dont.

    however it is something to consider how wise it is to put value on our own particular species as opposed to being pessimistic of our place in the cosmos or equating our value to being no more than a pig, ape, or fish, as do you. you look to the worst in humanity and by no surprise look for the worst in the cosmos. no wonder you can so easily devalue humanity and Gods place in anything.

    we are BOUND out of necessity to give more value to human beings over any other animal. unless youd rather, like peter singer, not give any more value to us over other animals. certain worldviews though compel one to do so, similar to cutting off the branch that you stand on. but not mine.

    in the very least on this planet and with present scientific knowledge of life in the universe, i use the word “pinnacle”. but id also use the word “valuable”, “special” or any other word that would put us on a separate and unique position amongst all other animals. i mean, youd agree in doing this right? because frankly, i dont see how you can avoid it, christian worldview or not. unless you really think we are no better than any other animal.

    yeah, i get this value from a christian worldview but that takes nothing from the actual idea itself as being apart of a human agenda. and i dont have to read a science book to understand this because its self-evident.

  286. It’s pretentious because the cosmos is so vast, people like us can never truly fathom it. Again 72 with 22 zeros following it is a number I can never ever wrap my head around. It’s impossible. The fact each of those stars could have a solar system, is so awe-striking, yet so out of my imagination, all I do is be struck with humility. So to know these facts, and still think, ALL OF THE COSMOS IS FOR ME, is something I’m not capable of doing.

    As you know I’m a vegetarian. So what Darwinian revolution woke me up too, was not putting less emphasis on the homo-sapien species, but putting EQUAL emphasis on all species. I don’t know why you jeer the pig, and the ape? They are special species, with very special abilities. They lack attributes we have, we lack attributes they have (A pig can have a 30 minutes orgasm – im envious!). The Ape, as I showed you, has a much better short-term memory. Now I’m sure you may not think they are equal to you, but I also doubt you’re a bully who mock a pig and ape and torment them for pleasure. you recognize that I hope?

    I absolutely never ever look for the worst in the cosmos or humanity(What the fuck makes you draw these conclusions?), but, I accept that heinous things exist. I don’t leave my house actively looking for pedophiles and sociopaths, but I know they exist. I read astronomy because it’s insightful and a pleasure to me, but at the same time, I will come across the fact that a black hole lurks in the center of the milky war and the andromeda galaxy is heading straight toward me. Just like I read history for pleasure, but in the process have to accept the holocaust.

    Sure we are special and valuable. But again, why isn’t an octopus special and valuable? Why isn’t my pet dog special and valuable?

    Do I think we are “better” than animals. That questions seems loaded. Again the ape is “better” at short term memory. The lizard and iguana are better at camouflage. The homo-sapien is better at long-term thinking. The homo-sapien is also better at mass destruction. This isn’t me focusing on the bad, it’s an acceptance of reality. While we are the very best at long-term thinking, we also fall victim to our short-term thinking, and can be the very best at the very worst. Goodluck finding any other species that can toss nukes, or build concentration camps.

    You need to read a science book because the bible is just flat out wrong, and you’ve been brain washed into believing the cause of the universe wrote it. Had you grown up in Pakistan, India, China, Japan, Iceland, Denmark, Finland, etc you simply wouldn’t feel that way.

  287. it was also “self-evident” to hitler and “outside” science, that the german race was the pinnacle of creation. how telling…

  288. yes and he was flat out wrong as you and i both agree, and we didnt have to use one scientific procedure or book to figure that out. our correct conclusions were also self evident. but id prefer to say that what hitler felt was self-deluding not self evident.

  289. just like xtianity is self self-deluding, not self evident.

    spiritual impulse may be self-evident, I get the “spiritual” feeling as well, especially when looking at hubble photographs.

    Had you been born in the countries above, in a non-christian home, xtianity would in no way be “self-evident,” it woudl take self-delusion to convince yourself, later in life, that the bible was truly the word of the cause of the universe.

  290. well, maybe self delusion is a method you are comfortable with but as a christian, i am not. and i wanted to refute your claim that christianity is all about a better system of ethics. no chris, christianity is about a Man, not ethics. at root there is something fundamentally wrong with humans and God
    is offering His services for absolutely free. he is not judging us, it says it all
    throughout the gospels.

    “They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

    i will not deny that there are puzzles. BUT,there happens to be alot of truth at least in my mind to what christianity says.

    a couple of examples:

    1. man is imperfect/ sinner

    this is a true assessment of reality

    all you have to do is take a look around, there is not one moral code that we
    can keep. if you take even the most moral person and examine them
    behind closed doors, they fail as well. of course some more than others and
    i see this especially with myself. youve also went on a few diatribes about
    how screwed up humans are and have even confessed that you arent a
    saint either. quite true

    “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”
    “there is none righteous, no not one”

    this isnt a guilt trip its just a fact on our state of affairs. we use the
    terminology all of the time that nobody is perfect. how come we
    are aware of this standard to be able to say this?
    2. the world we live in is fallen.
    every single one of us can recognize or contemplate how the world we live
    in is not the ideal. we can sense that there is something better or that things
    should be better.
    3. if you can swallow this or are at least open to it, adam and eve are the
    paradigm. every single one of us have the knowledge of good and evil,
    hence our choice to act on either. ive told you courts of law presuppose
    this, thats why they can blame us on what we “ought” to have done
    or what we “ought” not to have. they are insinuating that we SHOULDVE
    known. well, how should we have known unless we are capable of
    choosing between two different contrasts and make the MORAL
    decision. chris, this is absolutely fundamental to the
    human experience.
    4. because of this, the path of man is to be born, to live, then to die. so no
    wonder that jesus was born, lived, then died as we did. he followed the
    pattern that was already set for us because of the fall. one piece of the
    pattern though that we havent reached yet is the judgement. but he already
    faced it for us. this is what God offers us for absolutely free and i have no
    problem whatsoever with this. in fact, bring it on. it just makes sense to
    me because obviously 1 and 2 are true and if you can accept it 3 as well,
    i have no problem with the rest.

  291. Uhm I never once claimed Christanity was “all about a better forms of ethics,” what I said was, if Christianity is a better form of ethics, please, explain to me how and why, so I can be better morally in my day to day actions. A rather fair open-minded position.

    At the root there is something wrong with humans? Well what a twisted dictator to create man ill, and then in addition give man the risk of eternal damnation. Sorry, I’m no masochist and I don’t like playing sordid and sick games with dictators. Clearly this yahweh character doesn’t love man, he’s instead a rather immature, sadomasochistic, bully.

    I agree no one is perfect, and we all have vices, or thoughts that can be dangerous. Of course this is entirely natural, the fact yahweh made us this way, according to you, and then threatens us, is so heinous I can’t even fathom why you’d WANT to put faith in this system of torturous fairy tales.

    As far as the rest of your post, since I don’t believe yahweh is the cause of the cosmos(since genesis is a horrible account of creation, and totally untenable), I don’t care about your mental gymnastics that follow suit.

    Frankly, I have more faith in you as an individual, that YOU can behave morally, and succeed in life, and live a happy life, without the mental gymnastics, or the fairy tales.

  292. “Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.”
    — C.S. Lewis

    seriously, happy thanksgiving chris

  293. I can’t think of any situation where faith is a virtue…If your “moods” change, or your opinions, or the facts before you – why “hold on?”

    Happy thanksgiving to you too.

  294. the depravity of man is the most empirically verified reality but also the most intellectually resisted fact

    jesus didnt come to make bad people good but to make dead people live. since it is sin that makes us dead before God

  295. Your first paragraph is too broad. There are plenty of depraved vile people, but also plenty of upstanding, beneficent ones. You can find both within all religions, or lack of religions.

    that second paragraph is a total non-sequitour from the first. And it sounds like something straight out of a cult. How stupid of yahweh to make original sin the first place…not the kind of guy I want to worship. Quit playing mental gymnastics already.

  296. NOONE is perfect chris. everyone “sins” no matter how upstanding we are or at least appear to the joneses. and i wont deny that there are varying degrees. but bottom line is that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, no matter the terminology used or the degrees taken into account. this is one of the reasons i believe in christianity, because it asserts this verifiable truth, that you see all around you.

    if we are going to talk about God we might as well get the theology right. so no, God didnt “make” us that way. it was mans rebellion that set this in motion. in fact, mans rebellion sets ALOT of things in motion whether you choose to believe in God or not. you can take the route by blaming God that there even was a tree in the garden but i personally find it extremely interesting that an omniscient and omnipresent being who could easily FILL, and RULE the entire universe, would “back-off” enough to give us the space to decide, to let us be us, without trying to control or intervene. and at the same time, even when our actions rejected Him, He came alongside us at every step, even promising the coming of the messiah RIGHT after what happened in the garden. youll see this in the book of genesis. another thing id like to point out is that the “fall” wasnt a total loss. the “fall” so to speak, didnt take away our core will and identity. we still choose and are in control of our actions. that is, if you take the time to read what it actually says or care to believe it.

  297. rofl, you believe xtianity is true because it asserts that mankind has foibles? Do you really think Christianity is the first thing to come on the scene with this idea? Or that totally separate indigenous groups of people didn’t alsonotice this concept?

    And you seriously believe in that genesis fairy tale about the garden of eden? There is no such as the garden of eden. It is not located on any Earth map. Mankind evolved out of southern africa, as you accepted earlier. There was no “sudden” point of homo-sapien creation, nor was there a sudden point where humans were capable of “sin.” If you look at the entire animal community, especially primates, “sin” is found in all of them. It’s a natural by product of evolution. I highly doubt all these creatures had their own apple fairy tales too.

    Furthermore, the absolutely absurdness, and overall stupidity of Yahweh in that story is this: How the holy fuck was Eve (If you take at least 100 mental gymnastic leaps in believing that grade school fairy tale in the first place – even though the six days of creation, as established, are dead wrong) to know, that plucking an apple was “WRONG.” If wrongness/sin, you know, disobeying trust, misbehaving, etc…was CREATED by Eve’s mistake, than how was Eve to have any idea what she was doing was on that caliber? You have a totally ignorant woman, lacking the entire concept of what’s right and wrong, eating an apple, and it damns the rest of us? Hahahhahahaha You seriously believe that stupid shit?

  298. no actually what i think it comes down to is how selective we want to be with our preferred mental gymnastics. what kind of music do you like to listen to when you “limber” up chris?

    just asking

    but before i COPY AND PASTE, id like to say that carl sagan explicitly referred to the universe as “cosmos” because in his view, it certainly wasnt correct to label it as “chaos”. pretty funny huh? its just that one wouldnt expect these kinds of results from unguided processes.

    Needs Statement for a Suitable Universe:

    An abbreviated list of requirements for a universe suitable to support life of any imaginable type must include the following items:

    Order to provide the stable environment that is conducive to the development of life, but with just enough chaotic behavior to provide a driving force for change.
    Sufficient chemical stability and elemental diversity to build the complex molecules necessary for essential life functions: processing energy, storing information, and replicating. A universe of just hydrogen and helium will not “work.”
    Predictability in chemical reactions, allowing compounds to form from the various elements.
    A “universal connector,” an element that is essential for the molecules of life. It must have the chemical property that permits it to react readily with almost all other elements, forming bonds that are stable, but not too stable, so disassembly is also possible. Carbon is the only element in our periodic chart that satisfies this requirement.
    A “universal solvent” in which the chemistry of life can unfold. Since chemical reactions are too slow in the solid state, and complex life would not likely be sustained as a gas, there is a need for a liquid element or compound that readily dissolves both the reactants and the reaction products essential to living systems: namely, a liquid with the properties of water.
    A stable source of energy to sustain living systems in which there must be photons from the sun with sufficient energy to drive organic, chemical reactions, but not so energetic as to destroy organic molecules (as in the case of highly energetic ultraviolet radiation).
    A means of transporting the energy from the source (like our sun) to the place where chemical reactions occur in the solvent (like water on Earth) must be available. In the process, there must be minimal losses in transmission if the energy is to be utilized efficiently.
    Unless ALL of these conditions and many more not included in this list are met, we would have a universe that would preclude the possibility of conscious, complex life forms. However, it is possible to meet all of these conditions for the universe and still not necessarily find a suitable habitat in the universe for complex, conscious life. Therefore, we might say that the above requirements for our universe are necessary, but not by themselves sufficient, conditions for a habitat suitable for complex human life. Next we try to identify the additional conditions within such a suitable universe that would provide a place of habitation for conscious, complex life.

    Needs Statement for a Habitat Place in the Suitable Universe for Complex, Conscious Life

    An abbreviated, but illustrative, list of additional requirements must be specified for a place of habitation in this universe. First, we need a star that is located in a relatively “quiet” region of the universe (e.g., not too many neighbors that are producing high intensity, sterilizing radiation). This star needs to have its highest intensity of radiation in the range that is suitable to drive the chemical reactions essential to life without destroying the products of these reactions. Furthermore, this star needs to have a very special satellite within its solar system. A partial list of the requirements this satellite must meet include:

    a planet or moon that is terrestrial–or, solid rather than gaseous;
    a temperature range suitable to maintain the universal solvent as a liquid rather than a solid or gas;
    just the right concentration of heavy (radioactive) elements to heat the core of the planet and provide the necessary energy to drive plate tectonics, to build up land mass in what would otherwise be a smooth, round planet completely covered with solvent;
    just the right amount of solvent (carefully coupled to the plate tectonics activity) to provide a planet with similar proportions of its surfaces as oceans and land mass;
    just the right protection from the destructive forces in nature such as radiation and asteroids over a reasonable amount of time; and
    just the right stabilized axis tilt and angular velocity to give moderate, regular, and predictable seasons and moderate temperature fluctuations from day to night.
    While one is temped to think that these requirements are easily met, given the large number of stars, it should be noted that there are few places in the universe sufficiently free of sterilizing radiation to provide a suitable solar system. The number of candidate “neighborhoods” is further reduced by the requirements of a sun with the right amount of mass to give the right electromagnetic radiation spectrum. Furthermore, the occurrence of a suitable satellite in conjunction with such a star is even more problematic. Only the earth in our solar system of sixty-two satellites meets the above requirements for a “home” (earth) in safe “neighborhood” like our sun and solar system, which are well placed in a quiet place in a suitable universe as described above.

    In the next sections, we will see how these universal and local “needs” (or design requirements) are met by: the specific mathematical form encoded in nature, the exact values of the universal constants in our universe, and the remarkable “coincidence” that initial (or boundary) conditions are exactly what they must be. We will also see that the “evolutional” or developmental path that our universe navigated is consistently remarkable, making the origin of our “Garden of Eden” all the more wondrous and enigmatic.

    Blueprint for a Habitable Universe – Mathematics and the Deep Structure of the Universe

    Mathematics–in contrast to mere calculation–is an abstract intellectual activity that began in Greece in the sixth century BC. Pythagoras was a key figure, as were his successors, Euclid and Archimedes. Their studies focused especially on geometric objects such as straight lines, circles, ellipses, and conic sections (i.e., the curves made by cutting a cone with a plane).

    In the third century BC, Appolonius of Perga wrote eight monumental volumes devoted to these curves, describing their properties as “miraculous.” Yet the geometric and mathematical formulations to which they devoted themselves were actually descriptions encoded into the very fabric of nature. Imagine the delight of Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) some eighteen centuries later, when he discovered that the orbits of planets around the sun conformed to these same beautiful but abstract mathematical forms. Kepler declared: “The chief aim of all investigations of the external world should be to discover the rational order and harmony which has been imposed on it by God and which He revealed to us in the language of mathematics.”{3}

    Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) asserted that “the laws of nature are written by the hand of God in the language of mathematics.”{4} In his Mathematics: The Loss of Certainty,{5} historian Morris Kline demonstrates that the religious mathematicians of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries–including Newton, Galileo, Kepler, and Copernicus–viewed the universe as orderly and capable of mathematical description precisely because a rational God had fashioned it thus. These scientist-mathematicians believed that, since God had designed the universe, then “all phenomena of nature would follow one master plan. One mind designing a universe would almost surely have employed one set of basic principles to govern all related phenomena.”{5}

    Only in the 20th century have we come to fully understand that the incredibly diverse phenomena that we observe in nature are the outworking of a very small number of physical laws, each of which may be described by a simple mathematical relationship. Indeed, so simple in mathematical form and small in number are these physical laws that they can all be written on one side of one sheet of paper, as seen in Table 1.

    Physicists and Nobel laureate Eugene Wigner in his widely quoted paper, The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Physical Sciences notes that scientists often take for granted the remarkable–even miraculous–effectiveness of mathematics in describing the real world. Wigner muses:

    The enormous usefulness of mathematics is something bordering on the mysterious . . . . There is no rational explanation for it . . . . The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve.{6}
    Albert Einstein was struck by the wondrous orderliness of the world.

    You find it strange that I consider the comprehensibility of the world (to the extent that we are authorized to speak of such a comprehensibility) as a miracle or as an eternal mystery. Well, a priori one should expect a chaotic world, which cannot be grasped by the mind in any way . . . . [T]he kind of order created by Newton’s theory of gravitation, for example, is wholly different. Even if man proposes the axioms of the theory, the success of such a project presupposes a high degree of ordering of the objective world, and this could not be expected a priori. That is the “miracle” which is being constantly reinforced as our knowledge expands.{7}
    Table 1. The Fundamental Laws of Nature.

    Mechanics (Hamilton’s Equations)

    Electrodynamics (Maxwell’s Equations)

    Statistical Mechanics (Boltzmann’s Equations)

    Quantum Mechanics (Schrödinger’s Equations)

    General Relativity (Einstein’s Equation)

    Yet even the splendid orderliness of the cosmos, expressible in the mathematical forms seen in Table 1, is only a small first step in creating a universe with a suitable place for habitation by complex, conscious life. The particulars of the mathematical forms themselves are also critical. Consider the problem of stability at the atomic and cosmic levels. Both Hamilton’s equations for non-relativistic, Newtonian mechanics and Einstein’s theory of general relativity (see Table 1) are unstable for a sun with planets unless the gravitational potential energy is proportional to r-1, a requirement that is only met for a universe with three spatial dimensions. For Schrödinger’s equations for quantum mechanics to give stable, bound energy levels for atomic hydrogen (and by implication, for all atoms), the universe must have no more than three spatial dimensions. Maxwell’s equations for electromagnetic energy transmission also require that the universe be no more than three-dimensional.

    Richard Courant illustrates this felicitous meeting of natural laws with the example of sound and light: “[O]ur actual physical world, in which acoustic or electromagnetic signals are the basis of communication, seems to be singled out among the mathematically conceivable models by intrinsic simplicity and harmony.”{8}

    To summarize, for life to exist, we need an orderly (and by implication, intelligible) universe. Order at many different levels is required. For instance, to have planets that circle their stars, we need Newtonian mechanics operating in a three-dimensional universe. For there to be multiple stable elements of the periodic table to provide a sufficient variety of atomic “building blocks” for life, we need atomic structure to be constrained by the laws of quantum mechanics. We further need the orderliness in chemical reactions that is the consequence of Boltzmann’s equation for the second law of thermodynamics. And for an energy source like the sun to transfer its life-giving energy to a habitat like Earth, we require the laws of electromagnetic radiation that Maxwell described.

    Our universe is indeed orderly, and in precisely the way necessary for it to serve as a suitable habitat for life. The wonderful internal ordering of the cosmos is matched only by its extraordinary economy. Each one of the fundamental laws of nature is essential to life itself. A universe lacking any of the laws shown in Table 1 would almost certainly be a universe without life. Many modern scientists, like the mathematicians centuries before them, have been awestruck by the evidence for intelligent design implicit in nature’s mathematical harmony and the internal consistency of the laws of nature. Australian astrophysicist Paul Davies declares:

    All the evidence so far indicates that many complex structures depend most delicately on the existing form of these laws. It is tempting to believe, therefore, that a complex universe will emerge only if the laws of physics are very close to what they are….The laws, which enable the universe to come into being spontaneously, seem themselves to be the product of exceedingly ingenious design. If physics is the product of design, the universe must have a purpose, and the evidence of modern physics suggests strongly to me that the purpose includes us.{9}
    British astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle likewise comments,

    I do not believe that any scientist who examines the evidence would fail to draw the inference that the laws of nuclear physics have been deliberately designed with regard to the consequences they produce inside stars. If this is so, then my apparently random quirks have become part of a deep-laid scheme. If not then we are back again at a monstrous sequence of accidents.{10}
    Nobel laureates Eugene Wigner and Albert Einstein have respectfully evoked “mystery” or “eternal mystery” in their meditations upon the brilliant mathematical encoding of nature’s deep structures. But as Kepler, Newton, Galileo, Copernicus, Davies, and Hoyle and many others have noted, the mysterious coherency of the mathematical forms underlying the cosmos is solved if we recognize these forms to be the creative intentionality of an intelligent creator who has purposefully designed our cosmos as an ideal habitat for us.

    Blueprint for a Habitable Universe: Universal Constants – Cosmic Coincidences?

    Next, let us turn to the deepest level of cosmic harmony and coherence – that of the elemental forces and universal constants which govern all of nature. Much of the essential design of our universe is embodied in the scaling of the various forces, such as gravity and electromagnetism, and the sizing of the rest mass of the various elemental particles such as electrons, protons, and neutrons.

    There are certain universal constants that are indispensable for our mathematical description of the universe (see Table 2). These include Planck’s constant, h; the speed of light, c; the gravity-force constant, G; the rest masses of the proton, electron, and neutron; the unit charge for the electron or proton; the weak force, strong nuclear force, electromagnetic coupling constants; and Boltzmann’s constant, k.

    Table 2. Universal Constants.
    Speed of light
    c = 3.0 x 108 m/s
    Planck’s constant
    h = 6.63 x 10-34 J-s
    Boltzmann’s constant
    k = 1.38 x 10-23 J / oK
    Unit charge
    q = 1.6 x 10-19 Coulombs
    Rest mass proton
    mp = 1.67 x 10-27 kg
    Rest mass of neutron
    mn = 1.69 x 10-27 kg
    Rest mass of electron
    me = 9.11 x 10-31 kg
    gravity force constant
    G = 6.67 x 10-11 N-m2/ kg2
    When cosmological models were first developed in the mid-twentieth century, cosmologists naively assumed that the selection of a given set of constants was not critical to the formation of a suitable habitat for life. Through subsequent parametric studies that varied those constants, scientists now know that relatively small changes in any of the constants produce a dramatically different universe and one that is not hospitable to life of any imaginable type.

    The “just so” nature of the universe has fascinated both scientists and laypersons, giving rise to a flood of titles such as The Anthropic Cosmological Principle,{11} Universes,{12} The Accidental Universe,{13} Superforce,{14} The Cosmic Blueprint,{15} Cosmic Coincidences,{16} The Anthropic Principle,{17} Universal Constants in Physics,{18} The Creation Hypothesis,{19} and Mere Creation: Science, Faith and Intelligent Design.{20} Let us examine several examples from a longer list of approximately one hundred requirements that constrain the selection of the universal constants to a remarkable degree.

    Twentieth-century physicists have identified four fundamental forces in nature. These may each be expressed as dimensionless numbers to allow a comparison of their relative strengths. These values vary by a factor of 1041 (10 with forty additional zeros after it), or by 41 orders of magnitude. Yet modest changes in the relative strengths of any of these forces and their associated constants would produce dramatic changes in the universe, rendering it unsuitable for life of any imaginable type. Several examples to illustrate this fine-tuning of our universe are presented next.

    Balancing Gravity and Electromagnetism Forces – Fine Tuning Our Star and Its Radiation

    The electromagnetic force is 1038 times stronger than the gravity force. Gravity draws hydrogen into stars, creating a high temperature plasma. The protons in the plasma must overcome their electromagnetic repulsion to fuse. Thus the relative strength of the gravity force to the electromagnetic force determines the rate at which stars “burn” by fusion. If this ratio of strengths were altered to1032 instead of 1038 (i.e., if gravity were much stronger), stars would be a billion times less massive and would burn a million times faster.{21}

    Electromagnetic radiation and the light spectrum also depend on the relative strengths of the gravity and electromagnetic forces and their associated constants. Furthermore, the frequency distribution of electromagnetic radiation produced by the sun must be precisely tuned to the energies of the various chemical bonds on Earth. Excessively energetic photons of radiation (i.e., the ultraviolet radiation emitted from a blue giant star) destroy chemical bonds and destabilize organic molecules. Insufficiently energetic photons (e.g., infrared and longer wavelength radiation from a red dwarf star) would result in chemical reactions that are either too sluggish or would not occur at all. All life on Earth depends upon fine-tuned solar radiation, which requires, in turn, a very precise balancing of the electromagnetic and gravitational forces.

    As previously noted, the chemical bonding energy relies upon quantum mechanical calculations that include the electromagnetic force, the mass of the electron, the speed of light (c), and Planck’s constant (h). Matching the radiation from the sun to the chemical bonding energy requires that the magnitude of six constants be selected to satisfy the following inequality, with the caveat that the two sides of the inequality are of the same order of magnitude, guaranteeing that the photons are sufficiently energetic, but not too energetic.{22}

    mp2 G/[_ c]>~[e2/{_c}]12[me/mp]4

    (3)

    Substituting the values in Table 2 for h, c, G, me, mp, and e (with units adjusted as required) allows Equation 3 to be evaluated to give:

    5.9 x 10-39 > 2.0 x 10-39

    (4)

    In what is either an amazing coincidence or careful design by an intelligent Creator, these constants have the very precise values relative to each other that are necessary to give a universe in which radiation from the sun is tuned to the necessary chemical reactions that are essential for life. This result is illustrated in Figure 3, where the intensity of radiation from the sun and the biological utility of radiation are shown as a function of the wavelength of radiation. The greatest intensity of radiation from the sun occurs at the place of greatest biological utility.

    now when you read this dont give me this stone-wall crap about you “not knowing” how all of these monumental coincidences fell one on top of the other. the fact is you do know. you KNOW there is no God. so what this leaves you with is a MONSTROUS series of accidents that you have no account for. so the next time you swallow this idea, you should add a dash of your favorite seasoning, “skepticsm” to the plate, unless of course your selective with that as well.

    i know, no God whatsoever

    ill leave you with a quote from someone you know quite well.

    “Hahahhahahaha You seriously believe that stupid shit?”

    kisses

  299. I’m not reading another one of your copy and pasted articles. The problem with not being able to think for yourself, is that you simply apply to authority. By of course not being able to articulate and think for yourself, your disrection is questioned, because you can really just apply to whatever authority you want. You could continue being a servile authority apeal to an imam just as easily, or a drill sgt, or even dawkins.

    Also you and I are in complete agreement with Saga, this isn’t a new incident. Both of us discussed for a month that we felt the cosmos was “determined” and we had “no free will” (yet i doubt you’re a Calvinist). So far I’ve suffered not a single iota of mental gymnastics talking to you. If the cosmos is determined, as you and Carl grant, that does away with Yahwehs blessed free will. Also it proves our scientific theories are closer to reality than the archaic OT. And that as I said earlier, genesis is 100% wrong. You can’t mental gymnastics out of that one, it’s now up to blind, stupid, faith – or facing reality for what it is, and working within those constraints.

    Although I’m not reading your pasting, my pereferals are still picking up bits of it while I type this reply. shame on you. the fine tuning argument? That argument is not talking about Yahweh silly. Again, the argument fine tuning makes, and the argument genesis makes, are antithetical. Anyway if that really is a fine tuning argument, I drafted my reply to it a while ago. Christopher Hitchens readily admits it’s a question he can’t answer, and it briefly gave him pause. I was dumbstruck. So I e-mail him my reply, to which he replied to. I’ll just attach what I wrote – so again, this is me thinking for MYSELF, and being to articulate my own positions.

    Mr.Hitchens,
    I’ve been quite shocked to hear you and Dawkins carry on about how the fine-tuning argument gives you pause. Frankly I find it one of the easiest arguments to jettison. The very problem with the statement of fine tuning is that it presupposed homo-sapiens, or even life in general, is some kind of “pinnacle,” of the universe. That’s an entirely subjective claim. Seeing as there are more stars than all of the words homo-sapiens have spoken, aggregated (Yes I and it appears Neil DeGrasse Tyson both did the math), wouldn’t it be more plausible that the cosmos was fine tuned for stars? And since stars each have the potential to have solar systems, or at the very least a plethora of meteors and comets, isn’t the cosmos thus “fine tuned” for meteors, planets, and comets? Hell if we want to carry this line of reasoning on, black holes are extremely complex, and I know you share my awe with the concept of an event horizon. Well since there are hundreds of billions of black holes, is the cosmos now not fine tuned for black holes? And as you pointed out with Wolpe or whatever that silly Rabbi’s name is – the Cosmos will expand to a point of total oblivion. Well if you view the numbers from most leading astrophysicist, that process will take hundreds of trillions of years, all of which, life is impossible. So, isn’t the cosmos now “fine tuned” for destruction/oblivion, or barrenness if you will, since the universe will spend the remainder of eternity in this state? Finally, even if, just for sport, we acknowledge that the universe is “fine-tuned” for “life,” I still don’t see the pertinence of this. As you know, 99.9% of species go extinct. And as you presumably know, there are more cells in my colon than all of homo-sapiens to of walked the earth. Seeing as that’s just my colon, and cells have been swarming the planet in incomprehensibly larger numbers for over 3.5 billion years, all we can really reason, is that the cosmos is briefly (before it goes into this expansion death – and after the first 9 billion years where matter was too condensed to allow for life) fine tuned for cellular life – not homo-sapien life. So we have a brief, several billion (scant in cosmology time) year window, where cellular structures can run wild, leading to the massive death of 99.9% of anything on a macro-level, these non-sentient, non-cognitive, complex molecular clusters form – and you and Dawkins are taken back by fine tuning? Come on….you two should know better.
    Fan,
    -Chris

  300. p.s. way to totally ignore the point that the garden of eden is an absolute fairy tale.
    that yahweh is a total jerk to place punish eve for doing something “wrong” when her concept of “right and wrong” was literally nonexistent, by yahwehs own creation.

    and then to argue that the cosmos is determined and carl sagan got it right…which again, destroys the entire concept of the garden of eden. Mental gymnastics are a bitch. keep compartmentalizing.

  301. 1. dont suck me into some kind of tractor beam near your orbit with what i previously stated. we may have briefly touched on some common ground but thats as far as it went. i stated that the universe is rational, intelligible, and orderly. and the amazing thing is that we humans can apprehend it, most especially with the language of mathematics. read my latest post and the “experts” agree. and i DO NOT, like you, owe these incomprehensible “coincidences” to a monstrous series of unguided accidents. i never said anything different. you prefer to notice blackholes and dying stars, i prefer to notice the staggering impossibility of us even being here. no amount of doomsaying from you can take anything away from that. i am not a determinist except in the round about sense that i feel God determines things and even then i cant give you an exhaustive description of what i mean by that, so dont get it twisted. i also never once denied free will. i prefer to take responsibility for my actions chris, not blame my dna or my neurons for the choices i make. i also teach my kids the same thing, becausei think it helps in making productive citizens.

    2. i almost feel sorry for you in your complaint of me referring to the “authorities” when even in your very own letter to hitchens you, once again, do the same thing. this would only be your LATEST reference to “authority” (unless of course, you yourself are a closet cosmologist, idk?) i just cannot even understand why you wouldnt want me to read or understand a piece of scientific literature to get my information from. im clueless to that.

    3. my rebuttal was to get you to understand that you yourself are guilty of the same mental gymnastics that you accuse me of, my response was not to explain or ignore my stance on the garden. youve stated that you dont believe in God. and by that i can also assume any other type of governing intelligence behind the universe. so by default, EVERY detail that i posted above in “the needs statement for a hospitable universe” is chalked up to a monstrous series of accidents. your practically a walking, intellectual contortionist chris!

    4. another thing you keep forgetting or perhaps your ignorant of, is that EVEN if you rule out the presence of carbon based life as a fluke, the universe ITSELF is still on a knife’s edge. perhaps thats why hitchens was silent.

    5. again, no amount of doomsaying from you can take anything away from what ALSO occurs in the universe alongside of black-holes. its a moot point.

    6. why dont you bite the bullet and read my post.

    enjoy the weather, we got another cold front coming in:)

  302. 1. It’s because the cosmos is rational, and orderly, as we agree, that we can agree science works. I’m not sucking you in, this was your concession earlier. If we agree science works, we should be agreeing, but you suffer from cognitive dissonance here, that the garden of eden is a fairly tale. Adam and Eve are not the origin of man. And genesis is entirely fabricated!

    I don’t prefer to notice black holes and dying stars to homo-sapiens. I prefer to notice all of them. Each of them is equally fascinating in their own regard.

    I’ve never claimed someone shouldn’t take responsibility for their actions. How silly. Or that you should tell your kids otherwise! This doesn’t mean your kids thought shouldn’t be aware of genetics or neurons. For instance, if Grandma has a stroke, and can no longer speak – isn’t it proper to explain to them why Grandma isn’t talking to them? A blood clot shut down some key neural faculties. Grandma didn’t “choose this.” Just like DNA is quite important in explaining that just because ones DNA may make the individual black, tan, pale, albino etc, they are still a unique individual – so don’t be mean to people due to genetics!

    2. I didn’t appeal to a single authority in that letter to Hitchens. Nothing was copy and pasted, all those ideas were constructed by myself. Yes, it took individuals to do the telescope browsing, but that’s not the same appeal to authority you’ve done. Such as “I Can’t answer your moral questions, go talk to a theologian, they know for me.” That’s APPEAL to authority.

    3. I haven’t suffered from any mental gymnastics, you say I have, but you haven’t actually named any, or revealed any. I could just “say you’re a thief,” but I’ve given no evidence for it.

    I don’t believe in Yahweh – remember, I’m always explicit about this. I believe in the god of einstein, if you want to call that god, but that’s a different god from Yahweh. You have ignored my garden of claims however. If you think the universe is orderly and rational, and that’s why science works, why in the face of overwhelming evidence, do you still believe Genesis was spoken by the cause of the cosmos? (You’ve ignored this question A LOT).

    As far as me being an accident, that’s a non sequitour. If the universe is orderly and rational, the universe doesn’t “make accidents/mistakes.” It just flows. I’m currently part of the flow, I won’t be 80 years down the road, and all life won’t be 100 trillion years down the road. Such is the universe. No gymnastics here.

    4. I don’t rule it as a fluke, did you read my email at all? I’m just saying, it’s a fleeting moment of existence, that’s hardly the pinnacle of anything. A fantastic moment, one I’m glad I’m a part of, but nothing quintessential. Actually Hitchens replied to me, he wasn’t silent. I just didn’t attach the reply, because it’s irrelevant, and again, I don’t bring outside “authority” into OUR discussion.

    5. What doomsaying? It’s just a fact. Does this bother you? It doesn’t me. But, if you’re going to be honest about your examinations of the cosmos, instead of saying “papa yahweh made this especially for me, because he loves me, and he’s my crutch” – black holes are something you must accept. Take off the faith goggles, and see for reality for what it is, not for what you desire it to be.

    As far doomsaying, are you fucking kidding me? Ever heard of Armageddon, christ return? That shit is gospel to you blindly faithful fairy tale worshippers.

    6. Because it’s not yours.

  303. Alright read it, it’s crap. It’s the fine tuning argument, and nebulous claims that an “intelligence” had to be behind it all. I believe my e-mail to Hitchens quickly does away with this silly notion, that the Universe is all for you and me (how pretentious, selfish, greedy, and childish).

    Even if the cosmos was made by an intelligence, this doesn’t defacto mean prayers are answered, after lifes are granted, and humans are the pinnacle. Nor does it mean – actually it implies quite the opposite, with “intelligent” as an adjective, that Yahweh, the god fabricated by a couple dark skinned, desolate, ignorant, arabs, near israel, over 3 thousand years ago, is watching over us now. If you’re quick to believe that poppycock, you should be equally quick to believe Joseph Smith, or Muhammed.

  304. NYTimes story about a man who had no longer term or short term memory after undergoing surgery. For over 50 years, everything he did, was “for the first time.” How do you explain this to your kids WITHOUT using neurons, atoms, chemicals, etc.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/05/us/05hm.html?_r=2&adxnnl=1&partner=rss&emc=rss&pagewanted=all&adxnnlx=1228756637-g5Ue+f41Lqz6PkU/9SznOw

  305. i dont really have to because it speaks for itself and i do not deny that it happens. happens ALL of the time in fact. nevertheless it does not negate free-will, which is something that a determinist such as yourself, does not believe exists. therefore you throw the baby out with the bath water. but there are plenty of people who DO have the faculties to make healthy decisions but STILL choose not to. now, would THIS be the product of their neurons and DNA that WOULD JUSTIFY THEIR ACTIONS, or just plain reckless decision making? and this is what i appeal to in my kids and everyone else i engage with. bottom line, there are choices that you are free to make, regardless of the scenarios. unless of course you are completely dehabilitated. but strict determinism acts as if all of our wills are held captive like the grandma who suffered the stroke or the man who lost his memory. that simply isnt true and in fact you even agree that people should be held for their actions. well, id like you to illustrate for me, the line where our neurons and dna stop and our will takes over in order for us to be held responsible, as you say. remember, courts of law presuppose this.

    again and not to attack you personally, but your worldview does not paint a complete picture. its like youve stated before, you dont believe in moral absolutes but yet you cannot bring yourself to say that anything goes. so you still cling to morality. this to me is a perfect example of mental gymnastics. you cannot justify the very things you want to hold onto, in fact you deny they exist, yet you still hold onto them. intellectually i wonder at how you accomplish this. this is soft atheism, like dawkins. he denies God yet still considers himself a cultural christian and enjoys the values and morals of a western christian society. but you throw God out, then everything else attached to that worldview goes as well. similar to what nietzche, a hard atheist, says SHOULD happen. why dont you put the skeptical light on yourself and really look at what it is you believe and see if it holds up under real scenarios.

    and my post on the “needs statement for a habitable universe” shows ONLY a portion of the requirements needed to allow reality to be as it currently is. im not going to repost those requirements but id like you to humor me and call them to mind. by not believing in God or some kind of governing intelligence to bring about the precision in these sequences, you can only by default, chalk them up to a monstrous series of accidents. i mean i dont know how else you can describe them in a power that warrants their description. you take all of the fundamental laws of physics, what it takes to allow complex carbon based life, the information in DNA among other things in the universe, the very fact that mathematics is congruent with all of this AND we are able to apprehend it………but then go take out any rhyme or reason behind it. well what does that leave you with? that in my mind, makes you a contortionist. you wanted me to show you. but then you say that you dont chalk it up to a fluke, the universe is rational and orderly and so therefore “accidents” dont happen. listen to what your saying. you can either say rational and orderly universes just “pop” into existence or they are the products of an unmoved mover, where with the buck stops and who also happens to be rational and orderly so making it perfectly reasonable to see the same characteristic in the physical world. which makes more sense? are all of these laws, orderliness,and information mere designoids that richard dawkins would LIKE us to think they are…. the laws of physics are mere illusions like the kennedy shadow from the rocks? id like to think that they hold a little more weight than that. you be the judge. now i know this will make you flip the same coin to look at the other side to all of the black holes and dying stars and weve been through this before. but does all of that REALLY cancel the rest out or does it mean that something else is occurring in nature that disturbs us? totally different question.

    and i was going to nitpick and show you where you did appeal to the leading astrophysicists and name drop Tyson in hitchens letter, but i wont.

    please chris, i am not trying to win an argument here. i really dont care about that. im just trying to present different angles to this that you may have not thought about. im not saying that my worldview has no puzzles or answers that ill never get, im asking what makes more sense to you? everything from nothing or a God being behind all of it?

    ill leave you with a quote:

    “The most amazing thing to me is existence itself. How is it that inanimate matter can organize itself to contemplate itself?”

    “….. the world is too complicated in all its parts and interconnections to be due to chance alone.”

    “God is the explanation for the miracle of existence.”

    – Allan Sandage, cosmologist and Nobel Prize winner

  306. and p.s. you say you believe in the God of einstein, so are you upgrading to deist now? cause einstein certainly wasnt comfortable with atheists using his quotes for atheism:)

    do what makes the most sense to you and makes you happy man

  307. I’m about to fall asleep, but before I do, addressing only your second post.
    Einstein, from what I remember, defined god as “the laws of the universe” so do I believe the Universe is comprised of laws, yes. Therefore, by Einsteins definition, you couldn’t call me an atheist.
    You define the cause of the cosmos as Yahweh. That’s absolutely the dumbest thing I hear day to day. So when it comes to your deity I’m 100% atheist. God is a loaded word, that’s why I avoid it, and Einstein should of too. Yahweh is more explicit, it refers specifically to a certain deity/fairy tale.

    I’ll get to your first post later, finals are this week.

  308. Eh fuck it, I’m exausted, but better I type this reply tonight, than tomorrow during study time.

    Free will is really moot to be clear. I wrote an essay recently in Philosophy class and here was my personal argument as to why

    “Finally, I’m in full agreement with Hayle that no one holds omniscience or access to a God’s-Eye-View of the cosmos – therefore, although I do think the cosmos is running on a deterministic path, this need not terrify anyone about ethics, for a very simple set of reasons. The reader will briefly have to humor me that the cosmos is without a doubt determined, under immutable, physical laws. Humankind is in no position, technologically, or even biologically, to observe all of the matter in the cosmos at once. Pretending that we are in that position, in some futuristic civilization, we are still operating under the speed limit of light (more matter). So, even if we make this observation, we still can not, and never will be in a position, to extrapolate the next move of said matter, because we would have to physically

    operate faster than the speed limit, our own biological and technological matter is limited by. Therefore, even in a determined cosmos, each of our ephemeral experiences is still unique, unpredictable, genuine, and sincere – so we can and should, continue to experience routine life as if free-will was present.”

    Anyway if you the universe is rational, and behaves under orderly natural law, you’d understand that free will violates that principle. Either you believe in one, or the other. But let’s drop free will entirely, as it’s not pertinent to our discussion over Yahweh being the cause of the universe.

    You ask me
    “but there are plenty of people who DO have the faculties to make healthy decisions but STILL choose not to. now, would THIS be the product of their neurons and DNA that WOULD JUSTIFY THEIR ACTIONS, or just plain reckless decision making? ”

    Well it depends. If you compare Manson, Dahmer, and several other psychopaths, there actually is a genetic trait, and a noticeable difference in their brain structure, that scientist have noticed. Their Amygdala, the portion of the brain that processes “emotions” is 20% smaller than your average human. Furthermore, their amygdala isn’t properly connected to their frontal lobes (The portion of the brain that reasons). This mean, their ability to feel emotion, does not connect, physically, with their ability to make decision. This is a milestone in science. We know understand what can make someone a total sociopath.

    Now any other decision you may be referring to, I need you to be more explicit. If you’re referring to for instance, ones decision to have an abortion, you may call it wrong, I may call it right. So please be more clear.

    Our will, or our ability to make decision, as you ask me about, is a product of our DNA and neurons, not a separate entity. That’s why, cells, without a brain, don’t make decisions, they just chemically react. That’s why animals with smaller brains, make less decisions. That’s why we, humans, with bigger brains, make more decisions. Very simple explanation. I agree, people should be held accountable – free will or not, the majority of us have a pristine society in mind, and we should work together to achieve it.

    My world view paints a fine picture, not mental gymnastics on my end. plenty on yours. Instead of answering my questions, you quail, and bombard me with more. yet I continue to answer them. For shame.

    “again and not to attack you personally, but your worldview does not paint a complete picture. its like you’ve stated before, you don’t believe in moral absolutes but yet you cannot bring yourself to say that anything goes. so you still cling to morality. this to me is a perfect example of mental gymnastics. you cannot justify the very things you want to hold onto, in fact you deny they exist, yet you still hold onto them. ”

    Actually I never once said that I couldn’t bring myself to say anything goes. I actually said the opposite, I said anything does go, that’s why hitler did what he did, even though the majority of us disagree(Remember? Otherwise you have quite possible the shittiest memory ever – either that or you’re lying, either way, sad). With god all things are possible(9/11, crusades). Without yahweh all things are possible(Stalins death camps). Everything goes no matter what, atheist, theist, doesn’t matter. We reached an agreement, that we disagree morally with Hitler, yet he could do it anyway. Anything does go, but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to stop it. So, you’ve failed yet again, to catch me in any gymnastics, and you’re lying about my position.

    “and my post on the “needs statement for a habitable universe” shows ONLY a portion of the requirements needed to allow reality to be as it currently is. im not going to repost those requirements but id like you to humor me and call them to mind. by not believing in God or some kind of governing intelligence to bring about the precision in these sequences, you can only by default, chalk them up to a monstrous series of accidents.”

    You’re really a fucking idiot at this point John. Your memory is terrible. I’m growing tired of even answering you, you’ll forget whatever I say in a second. I’m shocked at this point you can even drive a car, without forgetting what the red light stands for. I’ve beaten to death your pathetic ID claims for months, yet here I go again. REMEMBER IT THIS TIME SHIT FOR BRAINS.

    Stop using God – you mean Yahweh. You don’t mean Krishna. Your post shows how the universe operates, it does not show what caused the cosmos to exist. I agree, the universe operates as the individual said. Laws are in place, since the dawn of time. This does not mean that those laws were put in place by the author of genesis. And the only form of “intelligence” you or I know of, are products of neural faculties, aggregated, into a “brain.” Do you really think THAT, a human BRAIN, made the universe? I doubt it.I don’t chalk the existence of the universe as an accident as you claim. I have said, a zillion times over(Is there just pure dog shit between your ears? Seriously, go get some ADD medication, start drinking 8 glasses of water a day, and don’t smoke pot) that I don’t know where the universe “came from.” You don’t “KNOW” either. You have faith, that a bearded man named yahweh did it(even though his account of creation is a joke). At this fleeting moment of eternity, is life possible? Yes. Will it be for the rest of eternity, no. Does this mean an intelligence, as in, a brain made it, not at all. Is it a possibility? Sure, among a billion other “possibilities” we arm chair around, until the day we die. Either way accident is an appropriate adjective. product is better.

    Another false dichotomy, by the narrow minded John:

    “you can either say rational and orderly universes just “pop” into existence or they are the products of an unmoved mover, where with the buck stops and who also happens to be rational and orderly so making it perfectly reasonable to see the same characteristic in the physical world.”

    Actually, you yet again forgot my position. I don’t know where the cosmos came from. Did it pop into existance, maybe. Did it come from the black hole of another unvierse, maybe. Did the cosmos bang and crunch, maybe. I don’t know – I’m not arrogant and self centered like you, to presume 100000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 galaxies are all here for me. There are many characteristics we can’t see in the real world, ever heard of the entire spectrum of light, we don’t see much. Dark matter? Dark energy? Inside of a black hole? Go read a mother fucking book, that isn’t 100% christian for once. You may learn a fact.

    You fucking numskull: “and i was going to nitpick and show you where you did appeal to the leading astrophysicists and name drop Tyson.” Did you read that e-mail properly? I said I DID THE MATH, as well as Tyson. Not Tyson did the math and I’m just letting him know. This was so that, if he didn’t believe me, he could check with Tyson. That math was very easy to do, it took me all of five minutes.

    “im asking what makes more sense to you? everything from nothing or a God being behind all of it?”

    Not YAHWEH. GET IT RIGHT. THERE IS MORE THAN ONE GOD. EVERY SINGLE MOTHER FUCKER WHO HAS WALKED THIS EARTH HAS CONEIVED OF A DIFFERENT NOTION OF GOD. JEFFERSONS GOD, ROBERTSONS GOD, HUGO CHAVEZ’S GOD, FALLWELLS GOD, YOUR GOD, AHMIDINIJHADS GOD, OPRAHS GOD, EINSTEINS GOD – ARE NOT THE SAME THING. I DON’T BELIEVE IN YAHWEH, BE EXPLICIT, SHIT FOR BRAINS.

    Give me one mother fucking good reason to believe THE CAUSE OF THE UNIVERSE WROTE GENESIS, OR BACK THE FUCK DOWN. You’re boring, trite, narrow-minded, and stupid. I’ve grown quite tired of this conversation, you learn nothing, remembering nothing, and can’t think for yourself. Join the army, take orders, and be servile, it’s what’s your best at.

    “ill leave you with a quote:

    “The most amazing thing to me is existence itself. How is it that inanimate matter can organize itself to contemplate itself?”

    “….. the world is too complicated in all its parts and interconnections to be due to chance alone.”

    “God is the explanation for the miracle of existence.”

    – Allan Sandage, cosmologist and Nobel Prize winner”

    Who gives a flying fuck? Does he mean YAHWEH? Does he literally mean jesus died for your sins, homos are abominations, abortions send you to an eternity of hell fire, miracles happen, after lifes are granted, prayers are answered, fucking before marriage is a sin, and jesus christ will return for Armageddon, in an epic battle, similar to xmen 3.
    I’ll leave you with a quote.

    “THERE IS NO GOD”
    -A homeless man I gave change too.

    “GOD BLESS YOU”
    -Another homesless man I gave change too.

    Think for yourself, grow a fucking spine.

  309. dude, youre the one who keeps coming back in here to post replies to me lol!
    so quit your whining`!

    you DID, God forbid, appeal to the authorities(people who do the actual work) in your letter.

    “Well if you view the numbers from MOST LEADING ASTROPHYSICIST, that process will take hundreds of trillions of years, all of which, life is impossible.”
    -chris

    and YOUR telling me to go read a book, by the……AUTHORITIES?!

    chris, “You fucking numskull”

    and to say that anything DOES GO does not address my point. of course ANYTHING DOES GO, mr obvious! youre preaching to the choir dude. but whats really funny is that you want to stop it FROM GOING! that was exactly my point about you clinging to morality even though you deny it. GYMNASTIC #1. and for your information, thats why i capped the statement about whether peoples biology is able to JUSTIFY THEIR ACTIONS. who cares that their amygdala is 20% smaller, does that even remotely JUSTIFY dahmer cutting people up and putting them in his fridge, are you telling me he had no control over what he was doing? heh i guess caps are too subtle for you and you were unable to understand what i was saying. i knew you would do that.

    so again, are you telling me that you feel that anything SHOULD go? and in the next breath youre going to deny that there are any moral absolutes, but on top of that, in your latest post you say we SHOULD try to stop the dahmers, mansons, and hitlers. well, on what grounds, the grounds that you deny even exist? lol you completely contradict yourself.

    you should join a circus, your moves would blow peoples minds!

    and to tell me that you dont know. well you DO know. you KNOW that there is no God behind the universe, matter just self assembles and contemplates itself. YEAH RIGHT! GYMNASTIC #2. ok to make things easier, ill just use the benign word “intelligence” so you dont get confused by spitting hairs. you KNOW there is no intelligence behind the universe, i stand corrected.

    oh yeah, allan sandage most certainly is a christian, so hes referring to Jesus!

  310. Yes when it comes to actual astrophysics, I have to aggregate theoretical authority. My ideas though, and the combination of them, into one coherent thought, are my own. You, instead of answering direct questions, rely on direct copy and pasting. There is a difference, you need
    people to articulate your positions, because you don’t think for yourself(Like how you can’t articulate why homosexual sex is wrong). I take peoples work, and articulate my own position, amongst the scatter.

    *sigh* the rest of your post is written by in a very simple-minded way. You’d do great in the military I’m sure.

    Here we go mr hypocrite:

    “ANYTHING DOES GO, mr obvious! youre preaching to the choir dude. but whats really funny is that you want to stop it FROM GOING!”

    And you don’t? You’re just fine with the way things are, and want absolutely nothing to change? You never even attempt to make a difference? You’re as guilty as I am – idiot.

    I don’t deny morality shit for brains. Mother of fuck, do you have any formal reading comprehension, have you been to school? Taken a basic english class? Can you remember phone numbers?

    I have time and time again, morals are subjective, and they change over time. We can argue our case, but there are no absolutes. You also never presented me with any moral absolutes. The gymnastics are on your end.

    No I personally don’t think the smaller amygdalah condones his actions, but perhaps his actions are a product of the smaller amygdalah. We’ve been over this before, moron. Democratically, the majority don’t want Dhamer walking the streets, free will, no free will, big or small amygdalah, the majority don’t approve.

    Let me ask you though, why don’t you approve of his actions? Use the bible to justify your claim, don’t use secular reasoning.

    “so again, are you telling me that you feel that anything SHOULD go?

    I never said I feel that anything should go. I just said it can and it often does. quit putting words in my mouth. learn to read and comprehend. take your time replying, weeks if you have too, but get it right.

    “you should join a circus, your moves would blow peoples minds!”
    You should goto a local community college, and take ENC 101 – your reading comprehension is embarrassing to your children.

    I never said I “know there is no god behind the cosmos.” So far, YOUR ENTIRE POST HAS BEEN NOTHING BUT CONTRIVED. LEARN TO READ. Fuck this is sad. QUIT PEOPLE WORDS IN MY MOUTH – I”VE BEEN VERY EXPLICIT, YOU’RE NARROW-MINDED, WISHFUL, AND DIM. Actually read the following, properly:
    I do not know where the cosmos came from. There are a million possibilities, maybe more. None of us knows for sure. The deity described in genesis however, has more against him, than he does for him. So I’m quite certain Yahweh didn’t create the cosmos.

    Intelligence and yahweh is not splitting hairs, fucking idiot. We’ve been over this, even if “intelligence” made the cosmos, this does mean jesus was his son, adam and eve are real, a garden of eden existed, prayers are answered, after lifes are granted, etc. All it means, is an intelligence made the cosmos – you’re wishing for the rest. Moron.

    That’s fine that he’s a Christian, so is hugo chavez, pat robertson, obama, bush jr, nixon, fallwell, martin luther, calvin, henry VIII, etc. Yet all of their deities are slightly different.

    Don’t reply, until you read my post several times over, and ensure before you asked a question, I have’t already answered it. Also don’t put a single word in my mouth – it’s the only way you can even stand on your own 2 feet in this conversation.

    Please answer me, from a biblical perspective, why, what dahmer did was immoral.

  311. ok you appeal to authority as do i, so why the heck are you STILL whining about it…. you appeal “better” than i do?

    what?!

    i just threw up in my mouth chris

    of course i want it to change. i dont want dahmer, manson, and hitler running around wreaking havoc and i can see that you dont want them to either. the only difference is i actually believe in the grounds that warrant my stand, whereas you deny their “truth” and existence, sawing off the very branch that you rest on. you tell me how much sense that makes, youve no right to complain. you believe in morality, well what exactly does that mean? how much do you believe it? youre still not so sure that hitlers genocide and torturing babies for fun is wrong as a FACT? i bet on my life, that your head could never convince your heart of that in a million years. and before you fly off the handle and accuse me of not remembering your stance on this, believe me i do. i purposely ask these questions to cross examine you, because apparently you are not asking YOURSELF the appropriate questions. instead you just turn the high-beams of skepticism on everyone and everything else that comes your direction, selectively.

    man is made in Gods image, thats why you dont commit serial murder. man is a special creation, more so than any animal. thats why we have more value than animals. no animal i believe, was made in the image of God. but at the same time, this does not mean that i can do whatever i want to an animal. cruelty is cruelty. but i feel more warranted to give mankind this assessment of value than what some worldviews allow. how can strict materialism give mankind more value than animals?

    and are you telling me that if i took you out of western culture, where the majority as you say, doesnt appreciate dismemberment and refrigerator storage, you WOULD NOT know that this is wrong? or how about the general apathy in nazi germany towards what was going on? the majority certainly held their own consensus on what was best for the jews. oh yeah chris, *rolling eyes* right and wrong are established by a majority consensus. the majority can most certainly take a scary turn off course from time to time, thats why there are fixed standards. standards that you dont believe exist.

    keep twirling pretzel boy

  312. I’m not sawing off my own branch, as I’ve said, there is no branch to sit on. Sheesh. I make my moral arguments on reasoned based ground – these however are subject to change. I’m open-minded, and I don’t conform to a 2,000 year old book for guidance.

    I’m glad you continue to ask me questions, without ever answering mine.

    Anyway. I;ve been over this. My reason for Hitlers crimes being immoral are utilitarian. Not everyone shares the utilitarian moral approach. That’s fine by me, I don’t claim that it’s supreme. It’s the best one I’ve found, for now, but unlike theism and faith, I’m willing to change it, if a better form of ethics (In my subjective opinion) is offered. Fortunately, I also support democracy. So if you reach the same conclusion as me, but without a different set of reasoning, I’m still glad we reached the conclusion, and as a majority, can exercise our say.

    Man is made in gods image? See that’s quite silly to me on multible counts. And I appreciate it if you’d address all the following questions. Does this mean god is black, white, asian, arabic, etc? Is god tall, short, fat, thin? Are babys with spina bifida born in his image? What about mental retards? Aspbergers syndrome? Sociopaths (again, these are people born with smaller amygdalas, that also don’t form a proper connection to their frontal lobes – that’s genetic, not learned). And keep in mind, god is responsible for all of the aboves existance – Exodus 4:11. So is god a sociopath? Also this is my very problem with what you believe caused the cosmos. You’re dead set on the idea that the cause of the universe was the product of, essentially, another homo-sapien. Someone with a intellect derived from a human brain – the same biology. This is entirely a position of blind faith. To stare out into the depths of the universe, conclude not only are you the pinnacle, but also someone like you made all this?

    Actually under biblical rule you can do whatever you want to animals. god gave you dominion over them. enjoy.

    Yet again, your reason for believing falls into, you want to be special, you want to be the pinnacle. I suppose this is why evolution scares you. The idea that you’re one of a billion products – that was planned with special intentions. Where as this is awe-striking and mezmering to me, and I’m just happy to have a shot at existence, you’re stubborn and wish for more.

    “and are you telling me that if i took you out of western culture, where the majority as you say, doesnt appreciate dismemberment and refrigerator storage, you WOULD NOT know that this is wrong?”

    Mother fuck dude, quit putting words in my mouth. I never once said that. And Eastern cultures, and Latin cultures would slap you silly right now. No cultures tolerate that form of behavior. Not because it’s a moral absolute, granted down from yahweh – but because we reason that it’s just outright heinous.

    The fact people can “take a scary turn off course” is my point, that morals are subjective. Many nazis believed to be morally superior, many westeners disagreed. That’s why war followed, not warm fireside chats.

    Want to talk about twirling?
    ———>Answer this one, I’ve only asked it since my first post.
    If you believe the cosmos is rational, why do you believe Yahweh is the creator, and not some kind of deism, when the rational cosmos, has presented you with mountains of evidence, that the yahweh is genesis, is a fairy tale.<———

  313. In a court of law, if you abused or killed animals in any way that you pleased, you have never heard of someone getting the death penalty for something like that. should judges render such treatment and be harsher on the man to man crimes rather than the man to animal crimes? logical?

    so, id like you to REASON to me using strict materialism why humans are more valuable than animals. i want you to use the LOGIC of materialism, do not invoke kin relationship, because kin relationship is an “instinct”, not a logic.

    and the very fact that human beings can “take a scary turn off course” is no indication whatsoever that morals are subjective. honestly, its MORE indicative of free-will. because, basically thats like saying that if i decide to hold up a convenience store and then burn it and everyone inside to the ground, that would in some way make what i did legally neutral in the eyes of the law. which of course would be ludicrous. chris we are talking about adjectives and verbs here. a verb (hitler’s, dahmer’s, mansons’ ACTIONS) cant ever describe an adjective(atrocity, inhumane, unjust, heinous, perverse). what we DECIDE to DO does not change the DESCRIPTION of what we just did. when you use the word “subjective” you need to replace it with the word “free” instead. we are morally “free” to do what we want, and that has nothing to do with subjectiveness or its actual description. because obviously a whole lot of stuff happens that SHOULD NOT happen. and that has nothing to do with a majority consensus, it has to do with some things that REALLY should not be happening. if you really believe that nazi germany was subjective than you are no more correct than a white supremacist who was down with what happened. and if by your argument you believe that the only reason we dont repeat it is because the majority democratically opposes it now for some unknown reason, then all you have is numbers and mob rule, which easily can be said for the opposition, if they obtain the numbers themselves. and if you say that we reasoned ourselves to come to this decision, than what was the nature of the end of that reasoning, truth or a lie? isnt that precisely what people reason themselves into finding out?

    come on chris, seriously

  314. you ignored my questions again. Instead of answering them, you just pose. how sad, it must be to live in this state.

    I never said humans were more valuable than animals did? So I have no reason to argue this. Also you know I’m a vegetarian, so obviously, I’m not in the position of treating animals as “second class.” Dur.

    Look if there are morals absolutes, I ask again, name me a couple. I want to know them. I’ve begged you to list some. You can’t. You won’t. Your dumb. You have no imagination. Nothing unique sparks in your head. You’re a recycling bin for a cult.

    ———>Answer this one, I’ve only asked it since my first post.
    If you believe the cosmos is rational, why do you believe Yahweh is the creator, and not some kind of deism, when the rational cosmos, has presented you with mountains of evidence, that the yahweh is genesis, is a fairy tale.Answer this one, I’ve only asked it since my first post.
    If you believe the cosmos is rational, why do you believe Yahweh is the creator, and not some kind of deism, when the rational cosmos, has presented you with mountains of evidence, that the yahweh is genesis, is a fairy tale.Answer this one, I’ve only asked it since my first post.
    If you believe the cosmos is rational, why do you believe Yahweh is the creator, and not some kind of deism, when the rational cosmos, has presented you with mountains of evidence, that the yahweh is genesis, is a fairy tale.Answer this one, I’ve only asked it since my first post.
    If you believe the cosmos is rational, why do you believe Yahweh is the creator, and not some kind of deism, when the rational cosmos, has presented you with mountains of evidence, that the yahweh is genesis, is a fairy tale.<———

  315. p.s.
    ———>Answer this one, I’ve only asked it since my first post.
    If you believe the cosmos is rational, why do you believe Yahweh is the creator, and not some kind of deism, when the rational cosmos, has presented you with mountains of evidence, that the yahweh is genesis, is a fairy tale.<———

  316. ps oh yeah another criteria for your reasoning;

    you are not to use religion either

    be careful not to inject ANY form of western christian ideology that you were inadvertantly brought up with. that darn theology can be so subtle!

    stick to matter, energy and chemistry since thats ALL you say we are.

    should be quite suffice for you chris:)

  317. well than ill take it that you are saying that:

    1. humans are NOT more valuable than animals

    or

    2. humans and animals are no different and should be treated identically

    my kids are no different than the offspring of swine

    good to know

  318. im going to start calling you dr singer if you dont mind. you should read his thoughts on beastiality. probably make a great coffee table read

    so to be fair, next post ill address your question, to the best of my ability. and i stress that

  319. well then, since you dont get value ideals from either matter, energy, or chemistry and because i know theres no way youre going to be able to show me that, wouldnt it make a whole bunch more sense with a brute statement such as “man was created in the image of God” in order to build a sturdier foundation of human society? i mean if you take just that ONE ideal OUT of society and put man in the SAME place as animals and/or blur the distinction, that would be such a reverse, illogical, and ludicrous heirarchy!

  320. To you, of course your Children are more valuable(subjective claim), but just to you. Just like to any other non-human animal, their child is more valuable(also subjective), to them, than your children. In the grand scheme of things though, I treat both equally. As in I wouldn’t hurt both, deceive both, eat both, or force my will on both (deforestation for instance). I desire for both to be content in life, and live life at their volition, so long as no one hurts anyone else.

    Now that isn’t to say human animals, and non-human animals are no different. Of course a Lion is different from a snake, whose different from a squid.

    “wouldnt it make a whole bunch more sense with a brute statement such as“man was created in the image of God” in order to build a sturdier foundation of human society”

    Yet again you mean Yahweh, you don’t mean Einstein’s god. Because in Einsteins god, there is no “image” to create one of. And of course neither of you two share a god whose representations matches the billions of Hindu’s.

    Regardless, no, that does make this any easier. One, the statement, man is in made in Yahwehs image, is simply false – unless you can demonstrate otherwise, with the question I’ve asked a thousand times. Perhaps that’s why you avoided it again – because it conflicts with this very question you’ve posed to me. P.S. I’m not your tutor, your ability to reciprocate is quite rude.

    Secondly, even if we just say “man was made in the image of the cause of the universe” – that doesn’t get us anywhere morally? That i can see…No more than “Man is a product of natural evolution.” Both leave us, to devise our own moral structures – neither grant down moral absolutes. If one does though, I keep asking what moral absolutes exist, and you keep ignoring me. Mental gymnastics, dodging, equivocation – all signs your impoverishing theism is bankrupt.

    ———>Answer this one, I’ve only asked it since my first post.
    If you believe the cosmos is rational, why do you believe Yahweh is the creator, and not some kind of deism, when the rational cosmos, has presented you with mountains of evidence, that the yahweh is genesis, is a fairy tale.Answer this one, I’ve only asked it since my first post.
    If you believe the cosmos is rational, why do you believe Yahweh is the creator, and not some kind of deism, when the rational cosmos, has presented you with mountains of evidence, that the yahweh is genesis, is a fairy tale.Answer this one, I’ve only asked it since my first post.
    If you believe the cosmos is rational, why do you believe Yahweh is the creator, and not some kind of deism, when the rational cosmos, has presented you with mountains of evidence, that the yahweh is genesis, is a fairy tale.Answer this one, I’ve only asked it since my first post.
    If you believe the cosmos is rational, why do you believe Yahweh is the creator, and not some kind of deism, when the rational cosmos, has presented you with mountains of evidence, that the yahweh is genesis, is a fairy tale.Answer this one, I’ve only asked it since my first post.
    If you believe the cosmos is rational, why do you believe Yahweh is the creator, and not some kind of deism, when the rational cosmos, has presented you with mountains of evidence, that the yahweh is genesis, is a fairy tale.Answer this one, I’ve only asked it since my first post.
    If you believe the cosmos is rational, why do you believe Yahweh is the creator, and not some kind of deism, when the rational cosmos, has presented you with mountains of evidence, that the yahweh is genesis, is a fairy tale.Answer this one, I’ve only asked it since my first post.
    If you believe the cosmos is rational, why do you believe Yahweh is the creator, and not some kind of deism, when the rational cosmos, has presented you with mountains of evidence, that the yahweh is genesis, is a fairy tale.Answer this one, I’ve only asked it since my first post.
    If you believe the cosmos is rational, why do you believe Yahweh is the creator, and not some kind of deism, when the rational cosmos, has presented you with mountains of evidence, that the yahweh is genesis, is a fairy tale.<———

  321. “well then, since you dont get value ideals from either matter, energy, or chemistry and because i know theres no way youre going to be able to show me that,”

    No, our subjective morals and values are a product of matter. Just like planets, stars, grass, water, rocks, cells, ants, and the hives they make, beavers, and the dams they build – we humans are a product, and our virtues are as well. Just like when matters come together to form a small amygdalah, that doesn’t connect to the frontal lobes – leading to a socio path – matter builds our neural faculties, which help represent what we find moral. This reasonable universe, has given reasonable evidence to support my claim. Blind faith and wishful thinking supports yours.

    “i mean if you take just that ONE ideal OUT of society and put man in the SAME place as animals and/or blur the distinction, that would be such a reverse, illogical, and ludicrous heirarchy!”

    I have no what what you’re even saying here. Why do they desire to badly to be the pinnacle of the cosmos? Can’t you be humble enough, and revere how fortunate you are, just to have a chance to exist in the first place? Think of the infinite numbers of individuals that could of existed and will never have a chance – at least you’re here. Don’t waste your time on fairy tales.

  322. chris, would it be too crass to realize that we ARE the pinnacle on this planet? youd be in utter denial to not admit at least that.

    let me throw you a scenario or two:

    1.i am a the father of an 8 year old little girl. her mother died a few years ago in a car accident so she lives with her grandparents. i usually dont visit my kid that often because id rather hangout with my friends and my girlfriend. im just being honest, i like to do my own thing. currently its been about a year since ive seen her. christmas is coming up so after my family and my girlfriend kept harping on me, i decided to visit my daughter.

    2.”On June 7, 1998, James Byrd, 49, accepted a ride from three drunk men named Shawn Allen Berry, Lawrence Russell Brewer, and John William King. He had already known one of them. Instead of taking him home, the three men beat Byrd behind a convenience store, chained him by the ankles to their pickup truck, stripped the man naked, and dragged him for three miles. Although Lawrence Russell Brewer claimed that Byrd’s throat had been slashed before he was dragged, forensic evidence suggests that Byrd had been attempting to keep his head up, and an autopsy suggested that Byrd was alive for much of the dragging and died after his right arm and head were severed when his body hit a culvert. His body had caught a sewage drain on the side of the road resulting in Byrd’s decapitation.
    King, Berry, and Brewer dumped their victim’s mutilated remains in the town’s black cemetery, and then went to a barbecue. A wrench inscribed with “Berry” was found within the area along with a lighter that had “Possum” written on it, which was King’s prison nickname.
    The next morning, Byrd’s limbs were scattered across a very little-used road. The police found 75 places littered with Byrd’s remains. State law enforcement officials along with Jasper’s District Attorney Guy James Gray and Assistant Pat Hardy determined that since King and Brewer were well-known white supremacists, the murder was a hate crime, and decided to bring in the FBI less than 24 hours after the discovery of Byrd’s remains. One of Byrd’s murderers, John King, had a tattoo depicting a black man hanging from a tree, and other tattoos such as Nazi symbols, the words “Aryan Pride,” and the patch for the Confederate Knights of America, a gang of white supremacist inmates. [3] In a jailhouse letter to Brewer which was intercepted by jail officials, King expressed pride in the crime and said he realized he might have to die for committing it. “Regardless of the outcome of this, we have made history. Death before dishonor. Sieg Heil!”, King wrote. ”

    now, id like you to use the LOGIC of matter, energy, and chemistry to REASON to me why I and these men SHOULD or SHOULD NOT have done so. should or should not is the key word…not WHY, because what we did was entirely optional, not compulsory. why logically, using materialism, should i and these men have picked one action over the other?

    oh yeah you keep telling me that i didnt show you moral absolutes when in fact i did, you called them scenarios and kept trying to change them or were ticked off because they were too secular for you. heres a few more.

    do not torture babies for fun
    do not hate black people for their skin color
    take care of your children
    do not do what jeffery dahmer did
    do good and not evil
    be a good friend to your friends

    also, the whole statement about all men being equal…i cant imagine coming to that conclusion outside of a religious basis such as a scientific or a materialistic one. and im sure you wholeheartedly agree that all men are equal. again, please reason to me why this is true using materialism and NOT religion.

  323. Hey look you ignored my question! How unheard of. Ass.

    Sigh. I really wish you could make one post, without telling me what my position is, while also being 100% wrong. No I don’t think we are the “pinnacle” on this planet. This planet is 4.5 billion years old. 99.9% of all life that exist goes extinct. I’m quite sure, we’ll follow – one day. I find the physiology of octopus for instance – to be equally fascinating. Dinosaurs are often a favorite for the younger generations. Those creatures walked alone for 200million years. I’m sure a couple of them thought they were the pinnacle! So you say by making this statement I’m in “utter denial.” Utter denial of what? I love being a human, I love my reasoning skills, I love my kin, but I don’t think I’m the best on the planet. I mean for adaptability and survival, the cockroach has us beat! Finally, planets need starts to exist. Well, the cosmos has more stars than words ever spoken by all of humans combined. Think about that. Still the pinnacle?

    1. Uhm what do you want me to say to this?
    2. I’ve been over this same questions with you a thousand times. Again, you have quite possible the worst memory of anyone I’ve ever spoken to. And I’ve spent plenty of time around stoners. Simple answer as always – I’ve told you, ethically I’m a utilitarian – until someone shows me a better route – you haven’t w/ Christianity.
    They should not of dragged the man for the simple reason that he did consent to be dragged. These people went out of their to make a decision, that encroached on this mans autonomy against his will. Furthermore they did so in order to inflict unnecessary pain. Seeing as man is sentient, and the men should know good and well what pain feels like – this was a cruel deed. Fortunately that state has a democracy, and the men I’m sure were punished under the(man made) law.

    See. No need for anything supernatural. Very easy explanation. As I’ve said a zillion times. My morals are this The golden rule – don’t cause unjustified suffering. The end.

    This aren’t morals absolutes – they are just little tidbits you’ve chosen, on your own subjective whims. While I agree with them, there’s nothing that makes them “absolute.” Furthermore, since I agree with them, and don’t need Christianity to do so, why are you a Christian. Why do you need Christianity to reach THOSE conclusions, when you know good and well I, and let’s say, Dawkins, another atheist, would never for a moment condone those acts. How petty and insulting. I want to see some CHRISTIAN absolutes – so I can know, why Christianity is better than the position I’m in.

    I’m sorry you can’t come to the equal man statement without religion. What are you secretly harboring racism? First we need to be clear about equal. Obviously I’m not “equal with black people,” in the sense that, our skin color is different(Since I’m mostly Irish, this applies to everyone of different color). We are not equal in external skin. Now of course, I’m not equal to Hitler either – my amygdalah is bigger 😉 . Obviously neither of us is “equal” to Beethoven – his ability to ascertain sound, is on a level far above mine. None of us are “equal” to Hellen Keller. Essentially what I’m saying is, the desire we all have to be free, autonomous, and pursue what makes us happy, is not a position that also requires us to be genetic clones. We are different, in many ways, including genetics, and that’s what makes us great. Seeing as I presuppose everyone wants to enjoy the same autonomous lifestyle I want, I treat each person as a unique individual, and following what I said above, the golden rule. Where is religion required here?

    I hope you realize, you haven’t ONCE made a single claim that requires religion or christianity whatsoever. I still have no idea why you’re even christian – and why you continue to ignore my question after you LIED and said you’d address it.

    ———>Answer this one, I’ve only asked it since my first post.
    If you believe the cosmos is rational, why do you believe Yahweh is the creator, and not some kind of deism, when the rational cosmos, has presented you with mountains of evidence, that the yahweh is genesis, is a fairy tale.Answer this one, I’ve only asked it since my first post.
    If you believe the cosmos is rational, why do you believe Yahweh is the creator, and not some kind of deism, when the rational cosmos, has presented you with mountains of evidence, that the yahweh is genesis, is a fairy tale.Answer this one, I’ve only asked it since my first post.
    If you believe the cosmos is rational, why do you believe Yahweh is the creator, and not some kind of deism, when the rational cosmos, has presented you with mountains of evidence, that the yahweh is genesis, is a fairy tale.Answer this one, I’ve only asked it since my first post.
    If you believe the cosmos is rational, why do you believe Yahweh is the creator, and not some kind of deism, when the rational cosmos, has presented you with mountains of evidence, that the yahweh is genesis, is a fairy tale.Answer this one, I’ve only asked it since my first post.
    If you believe the cosmos is rational, why do you believe Yahweh is the creator, and not some kind of deism, when the rational cosmos, has presented you with mountains of evidence, that the yahweh is genesis, is a fairy tale.Answer this one, I’ve only asked it since my first post.
    If you believe the cosmos is rational, why do you believe Yahweh is the creator, and not some kind of deism, when the rational cosmos, has presented you with mountains of evidence, that the yahweh is genesis, is a fairy tale.Answer this one, I’ve only asked it since my first post.
    If you believe the cosmos is rational, why do you believe Yahweh is the creator, and not some kind of deism, when the rational cosmos, has presented you with mountains of evidence, that the yahweh is genesis, is a fairy tale.Answer this one, I’ve only asked it since my first post.
    If you believe the cosmos is rational, why do you believe Yahweh is the creator, and not some kind of deism, when the rational cosmos, has presented you with mountains of evidence, that the yahweh is genesis, is a fairy tale.<———

  324. all im hearing are your arguments but youre not really telling me anything. its also true that if someone breaks into my house with intent to harm my family, im very much aware as a sentient being, that if i shoot or harm the perpetrator, he will no doubt suffer pain, yet i would not hesitate in doing so. and thats because id have “good” enough reason for MY conscience AND the law, to cancel that knowledge out.

    you say byrd shouldnt have been dragged against his will, the three men who did it say otherwise. all of the parties listed are sentient but that doesnt appear to matter in the least. so again, using ONLY matter, energy, and chemistry, tell me why one of you is right and the other is wrong. because both of you cannot be right. why in one sense is a sentient being justified in inflicting pain and death but in another sense that being is not, how on earth does matter, energy, and chemistry call the shots on that?

    this should be easy for you since logic, ethics, and morals all come from those ingredients. just whip something up dude, betty crocker baby!

    you are not only a contortionist chris, but you would also have a very profitable tree service.

    i promise ill get to why i believe in the God of the hebrews next post. and i want to stress again that ill do my best in giving my reasons.

    later

  325. I 100% agree with your first paragraph. That would be, as I set a caveat earlier, justified pain inflicting. Because either one man takes pain, or a family takes pain. You’ve taken the path of least pain. In a utilitarian ethical sense, you’re doing fine. Also, you justified doing it without the slightest bit of Christianity. If you shot and killed the man, your family would be okay with it, I’d be okay with it, you’d be okay with it, the law would be okay with it, but Yahweh wouldn’t. Ten Commandments.

    Matter and energy don’t call the shots, but they are the materials we operate under. I’m sure you’d agree to that. I’ve already covered when and why pain is okay, under a utilitarian model, and have asked countlessly for you to give me the christian reason why it’s not okay. You can’t answer a simple question I’ve ever asked, and yet I’ve literally answered scores of your petty, almost insultingly childish questions.

    They are not justified in their reason for inflicting pain on Byrd. Under your first paragraph, by inflicting pain, you actually had a net result of LESS pain – one man down, a family up. With Byrd however, no one was in danger, this was simply forcing a decision against Byrds will, that led to a net increased in suffering. At the very least the man breaking into your house knew what he was risking, Byrd was simply kidnapped. There is no reason to talk about matter and energy in any concrete way here – we can reason just fine without getting into the minutiae of particles.

    “this should be easy for you since logic, ethics, and morals all come from those ingredients. just whip something up dude, betty crocker baby!”

    Yes it was easy. I’ve answered this same question, just switch out the names a dozen times for you. your memory is pathetic. And yes logic and such are a product of our fastidious combination of molecules. This doesn’t make our logic, love, compassion, etc any less sincere, than before we knew this.

    Now I’d like you for, out of a basic sense of reciprocation, to answer the same questions you gave me about byrd and the burgler, from a Christian perspective. Because if your ethics really are the way to go, I want to see them in action. (YOU WILL NOT DO THIS – I”M POSITIVE OF IT)

    “you are not only a contortionist chris, but you would also have a very profitable tree service. ”
    And you’re simply a stupid person with no imagination who needs to be told how to live his life, because he’s terrified of reality and decision making on his own. You’d be profitable in the army, or perhaps passing the collection plate down the aisle.

    “i promise ill get to why i believe in the God of the hebrews next post. and i want to stress again that ill do my best in giving my reasons.”

    Oh bullshit. You’ve already dropped the ball four times now. You’re just waiting on someone to reply to an e-mail, or return a call, so that they can answer the question for you.

    ———>Answer this one, I’ve only asked it since my first post.
    If you believe the cosmos is rational, why do you believe Yahweh is the creator, and not some kind of deism, when the rational cosmos, has presented you with mountains of evidence, that the yahweh is genesis, is a fairy tale.Answer this one, I’ve only asked it since my first post.
    If you believe the cosmos is rational, why do you believe Yahweh is the creator, and not some kind of deism, when the rational cosmos, has presented you with mountains of evidence, that the yahweh is genesis, is a fairy tale.Answer this one, I’ve only asked it since my first post.
    If you believe the cosmos is rational, why do you believe Yahweh is the creator, and not some kind of deism, when the rational cosmos, has presented you with mountains of evidence, that the yahweh is genesis, is a fairy tale.Answer this one, I’ve only asked it since my first post.
    If you believe the cosmos is rational, why do you believe Yahweh is the creator, and not some kind of deism, when the rational cosmos, has presented you with mountains of evidence, that the yahweh is genesis, is a fairy tale.Answer this one, I’ve only asked it since my first post.
    If you believe the cosmos is rational, why do you believe Yahweh is the creator, and not some kind of deism, when the rational cosmos, has presented you with mountains of evidence, that the yahweh is genesis, is a fairy tale.Answer this one, I’ve only asked it since my first post.
    If you believe the cosmos is rational, why do you believe Yahweh is the creator, and not some kind of deism, when the rational cosmos, has presented you with mountains of evidence, that the yahweh is genesis, is a fairy tale.Answer this one, I’ve only asked it since my first post.
    If you believe the cosmos is rational, why do you believe Yahweh is the creator, and not some kind of deism, when the rational cosmos, has presented you with mountains of evidence, that the yahweh is genesis, is a fairy tale.Answer this one, I’ve only asked it since my first post.
    If you believe the cosmos is rational, why do you believe Yahweh is the creator, and not some kind of deism, when the rational cosmos, has presented you with mountains of evidence, that the yahweh is genesis, is a fairy tale.<———

  326. hi donny lol!

    me and chris are like two guests you had over your house who raided and ate everything in your fridge and took total control of your living room tv and are now asking you to go out and get us pizza

  327. donnys blog is continuing just fine – no one reads this page really. Still – answer my questions for a change…

  328. I get copies of every post between you two via email. I read most of them. Once in awhile I don’t. I think a few others are still reading as well. Not sure.

  329. cool, almost all of my emails were answered so now i have the answers to address you with in at least one point. psheww, i never thought my theologian friend would get back with me, i fricken told him you were waiting!

    now when you imply that God’s use of the 10 commandments would not allow us to defend ourselves lest we break the murder command, (absolute nonsense) id like to show you a few examples of Jesus slight step into utilitarian territory. not a complete utilitarian, just a common sense approach to following the jewish law, an approach that places HUMAN VALUE pretty high up there in contrast to a strict interpretation of the law.

    “1At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them. 2When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “Look! Your disciples are doing what is UNLAWFUL on the Sabbath.”
    3He answered, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? 4He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread—which was NOT LAWFUL for them to do, but only for the priests. 5Or haven’t you read in the Law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple desecrate the day and yet are innocent? 6I tell you that one[a] greater than the temple is here. 7If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,'[b] you would not have condemned the innocent. 8For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”

    “6On another Sabbath he went into the synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right hand was shriveled. 7The Pharisees and the teachers of the law were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal on the Sabbath. 8But Jesus knew what they were thinking and said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Get up and stand in front of everyone.” So he got up and stood there.

    9Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?”

    10He looked around at them all, and then said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so, and his hand was completely restored. 11But they were furious and began to discuss with one another what they might do to Jesus.”

    “1It happened that when He went into the house of one of the leaders of the Pharisees on the Sabbath to eat bread, (A)they were watching Him closely.
    2And there in front of Him was a man suffering from dropsy.

    3And Jesus answered and spoke to the (B)lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “(C)Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?”

    4But they kept silent. And He took hold of him and healed him, and sent him away.

    5And He said to them, “(D)Which one of you will have a son or an ox fall into a well, and will not immediately pull him out on a Sabbath day?”

    6(E)And they could make no reply to this.”

    chris, you dont know enough about God to either hate Him or disbelieve

  330. you still didn’t answer my question. this is pathetic.

  331. I’m not surprised some jesus fairy tales happen to coincide with the book written over 500 years before it. How difficult to concocted a sequel given that amount of time.
    Anyway this is the very point. The OT is filled with some of the most disgusting, fowl, and absurd laws ever. The deity of the NT testament is clearly a “revised” deity. This book is so tortuous, contradicting, and outright stupid, to attempt to live your life by it is a painful, unnecessary, vacuous waste of time – especially when any modem philosophy class is far more compelling ethically.

    And you don’t know about God of the MILLIONS of other theisms, to disbelieve in them. Yet for the same reason you’re not a Hindu, Mormon, Jane, Zoroastrian, Scneitologist, Druid, Pagan, etc – I’m not a Christian.

    Answer my bloody question. Until you can do that, I have no reason to even consider belief in your fairy tale god, since the brash, pugnacious child, can’t even get his own creation correct – why should everything else that follows me correct? DURRRR?

    ———>Answer this one, I’ve only asked it since my first post.
    If you believe the cosmos is rational, why do you believe Yahweh is the creator, and not some kind of deism, when the rational cosmos, has presented you with mountains of evidence, that the yahweh is genesis, is a fairy tale.Answer this one, I’ve only asked it since my first post.
    If you believe the cosmos is rational, why do you believe Yahweh is the creator, and not some kind of deism, when the rational cosmos, has presented you with mountains of evidence, that the yahweh is genesis, is a fairy tale.Answer this one, I’ve only asked it since my first post.
    If you believe the cosmos is rational, why do you believe Yahweh is the creator, and not some kind of deism, when the rational cosmos, has presented you with mountains of evidence, that the yahweh is genesis, is a fairy tale.Answer this one, I’ve only asked it since my first post.
    If you believe the cosmos is rational, why do you believe Yahweh is the creator, and not some kind of deism, when the rational cosmos, has presented you with mountains of evidence, that the yahweh is genesis, is a fairy tale.Answer this one, I’ve only asked it since my first post.
    If you believe the cosmos is rational, why do you believe Yahweh is the creator, and not some kind of deism, when the rational cosmos, has presented you with mountains of evidence, that the yahweh is genesis, is a fairy tale.Answer this one, I’ve only asked it since my first post.
    If you believe the cosmos is rational, why do you believe Yahweh is the creator, and not some kind of deism, when the rational cosmos, has presented you with mountains of evidence, that the yahweh is genesis, is a fairy tale.Answer this one, I’ve only asked it since my first post.
    If you believe the cosmos is rational, why do you believe Yahweh is the creator, and not some kind of deism, when the rational cosmos, has presented you with mountains of evidence, that the yahweh is genesis, is a fairy tale.Answer this one, I’ve only asked it since my first post.
    If you believe the cosmos is rational, why do you believe Yahweh is the creator, and not some kind of deism, when the rational cosmos, has presented you with mountains of evidence, that the yahweh is genesis, is a fairy tale.<———

  332. ———>Answer this one, I’ve only asked it since my first post.
    If you believe the cosmos is rational, why do you believe Yahweh is the creator, and not some kind of deism, when the rational cosmos, has presented you with mountains of evidence, that the yahweh is genesis, is a fairy tale.Answer this one, I’ve only asked it since my first post.
    If you believe the cosmos is rational, why do you believe Yahweh is the creator, and not some kind of deism, when the rational cosmos, has presented you with mountains of evidence, that the yahweh is genesis, is a fairy tale.Answer this one, I’ve only asked it since my first post.
    If you believe the cosmos is rational, why do you believe Yahweh is the creator, and not some kind of deism, when the rational cosmos, has presented you with mountains of evidence, that the yahweh is genesis, is a fairy tale.Answer this one, I’ve only asked it since my first post.
    If you believe the cosmos is rational, why do you believe Yahweh is the creator, and not some kind of deism, when the rational cosmos, has presented you with mountains of evidence, that the yahweh is genesis, is a fairy tale.Answer this one, I’ve only asked it since my first post.
    If you believe the cosmos is rational, why do you believe Yahweh is the creator, and not some kind of deism, when the rational cosmos, has presented you with mountains of evidence, that the yahweh is genesis, is a fairy tale.Answer this one, I’ve only asked it since my first post.
    If you believe the cosmos is rational, why do you believe Yahweh is the creator, and not some kind of deism, when the rational cosmos, has presented you with mountains of evidence, that the yahweh is genesis, is a fairy tale.Answer this one, I’ve only asked it since my first post.
    If you believe the cosmos is rational, why do you believe Yahweh is the creator, and not some kind of deism, when the rational cosmos, has presented you with mountains of evidence, that the yahweh is genesis, is a fairy tale.Answer this one, I’ve only asked it since my first post.
    If you believe the cosmos is rational, why do you believe Yahweh is the creator, and not some kind of deism, when the rational cosmos, has presented you with mountains of evidence, that the yahweh is genesis, is a fairy tale.<———

  333. Chris,

    Your question is not really a question. You make an assumption not shared by John or myself, particularly this section: “Mountains of evidence that the Yahweh (did you mean “of” or “in” at this point) genesis is a fairy tale”. Mountains of evidence, eh? I find more evidence of such a creator all the time.

    You’re frustrated that your question hasn’t been addressed, but the facts of the matter are that you really need to work on structuring your question. It’s not a very well worded one.

  334. Did god make himself and if that is the case what color is god? Probably made in your image.

    god why did you put in print all those scientific lies about a Universe you supposedly created? Why the stars held up in the ‘firmament’? Why the Milky Way of lost souls? Why the earth-centric universe? Did you not think we would figure it out?

  335. Nathiest,

    If you’re here to join in the discussion I’d be happy to address your question. However, if you’re just a “hit and run” type, who wishes to have one more link to his blog in the blogosphere, there’s no reason to respond, right?

    Let me know which shoe fits.

  336. absolute bollix donny. total chicanery.

    “Your question is not really a question. You make an assumption not shared by John or myself, particularly this section: “Mountains of evidence that the Yahweh (did you mean “of” or “in” at this point) genesis is a fairy tale”. Mountains of evidence, eh? I find more evidence of such a creator all the time.”

    John clearly stated that he believed in a 14 billion year old Universe, that evolved from the bang forward, with a 4.5billion year earth evolution, operating under natural phys