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Sam Harris
Sam Harris is the author of the New York Times bestseller, The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason and Letter to a Christian Nation. He is a graduate in philosophy from Stanford University and has studied both Eastern and Western religious traditions, along with a variety of...




 



 
 

An Atheist Manifesto

Sam Harris argues against irrational faith and its adherents

(Page 2)

The Nature of Belief
According to several recent polls, 22% of Americans are certain that Jesus will return to Earth sometime in the next 50 years. Another 22% believe that he will probably do so. This is likely the same 44% who go to church once a week or more, who believe that God literally promised the land of Israel to the Jews and who want to stop teaching our children about the biological fact of evolution. As President Bush is well aware, believers of this sort constitute the most cohesive and motivated segment of the American electorate. Consequently, their views and prejudices now influence almost every decision of national importance. Political liberals seem to have drawn the wrong lesson from these developments and are now thumbing Scripture, wondering how best to ingratiate themselves to the legions of men and women in our country who vote largely on the basis of religious dogma. More than 50% of Americans have a “negative” or “highly negative” view of people who do not believe in God; 70% think it important for presidential candidates to be “strongly religious.” Unreason is now ascendant in the United States—in our schools, in our courts and in each branch of the federal government. Only 28% of Americans believe in evolution; 68% believe in Satan. Ignorance in this degree, concentrated in both the head and belly of a lumbering superpower, is now a problem for the entire world.

Although it is easy enough for smart people to criticize religious fundamentalism, something called “religious moderation” still enjoys immense prestige in our society, even in the ivory tower. This is ironic, as fundamentalists tend to make a more principled use of their brains than “moderates” do. While fundamentalists justify their religious beliefs with extraordinarily poor evidence and arguments,  at least they make an attempt at rational justification. Moderates, on the other hand, generally do nothing more than cite the good consequences of religious belief. Rather than say that they believe in God because certain biblical prophecies have come true, moderates will say that they believe in God because this belief “gives their lives meaning.” When a tsunami killed a few hundred thousand people on the day after Christmas, fundamentalists readily interpreted this cataclysm as evidence of God’s wrath. As it turns out, God was sending humanity another oblique message about the evils of abortion, idolatry and homosexuality. While morally obscene, this interpretation of events is actually reasonable, given certain (ludicrous) assumptions. Moderates, on the other hand, refuse to draw any conclusions whatsoever about God from his works. God remains a perfect mystery, a mere source of consolation that is compatible with the most desolating evil. In the face of disasters like the Asian tsunami, liberal piety is apt to produce the most unctuous and stupefying nonsense imaginable. And yet, men and women of goodwill naturally prefer such vacuities to the odious moralizing and prophesizing of true believers. Between catastrophes, it is surely a virtue of liberal theology that it emphasizes mercy over wrath. It is worth noting, however, that it is human mercy on display—not God’s—when the bloated bodies of the dead are pulled from the sea. On days when thousands of children are simultaneously torn from their mothers’ arms and casually drowned, liberal theology must stand revealed for what it is—the sheerest of mortal pretenses. Even the theology of wrath has more intellectual merit. If God exists, his will is not inscrutable. The only thing inscrutable in these terrible events is that so many neurologically healthy men and women can believe the unbelievable and think this the height of moral wisdom.

It is perfectly absurd for religious moderates to suggest that a rational human being can believe in God simply because this belief makes him happy, relieves his fear of death or gives his life meaning. The absurdity becomes obvious the moment we swap the notion of God for some other consoling proposition: Imagine, for instance, that a man wants to believe that there is a diamond buried somewhere in his yard that is the size of a refrigerator. No doubt it would feel uncommonly good to believe this. Just imagine what would happen if he then followed the example of religious moderates and maintained this belief along pragmatic lines: When asked why he thinks that there is a diamond in his yard that is thousands of times larger than any yet discovered, he says things like, “This belief gives my life meaning,” or “My family and I enjoy digging for it on Sundays,” or “I wouldn’t want to live in a universe where there wasn’t a diamond buried in my backyard that is the size of a refrigerator.” Clearly these responses are inadequate. But they are worse than that. They are the responses of a madman or an idiot.

Here we can see why Pascal’s wager, Kierkegaard’s leap of faith and other epistemological Ponzi schemes won’t do. To believe that God exists is to believe that one stands in some relation to his existence such that his existence is itself the reason for one’s belief. There must be some causal connection, or an appearance thereof, between the fact in question and a person’s acceptance of it. In this way, we can see that religious beliefs, to be beliefs about the way the world is, must be as evidentiary in spirit as any other. For all their sins against reason, religious fundamentalists understand this; moderates—almost by definition—do not.

The incompatibility of reason and faith has been a self-evident feature of human cognition and public discourse for centuries. Either a person has good reasons for what he strongly believes or he does not. People of all creeds naturally recognize the primacy of reasons and resort to reasoning and evidence wherever they possibly can. When rational inquiry supports the creed it is always championed; when it poses a threat, it is derided; sometimes in the same sentence. Only when the evidence for a religious doctrine is thin or nonexistent, or there is compelling evidence against it, do its adherents invoke “faith.” Otherwise, they simply cite the reasons for their beliefs (e.g. “the New Testament confirms Old Testament prophecy,” “I saw the face of Jesus in a window,” “We prayed, and our daughter’s cancer went into remission”). Such reasons are generally inadequate, but they are better than no reasons at all. Faith is nothing more than the license religious people give themselves to keep believing when reasons fail. In a world that has been shattered by mutually incompatible religious beliefs, in a nation that is growing increasingly beholden to Iron Age conceptions of God, the end of history and the immortality of the soul, this lazy partitioning of our discourse into matters of reason and matters of faith is now unconscionable.

Continued: Faith and the Good Society

 

Dig last updated on Dec. 7, 2005


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Reit1's avatar

By Reit1, December 4, 2011 at 4:51 pm Link to this comment

Hey Glenno,

And I have studied some on thermodynamics. smile We’ll talk soon.

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By grin1020, December 4, 2011 at 4:44 pm Link to this comment

Annie -
Still investigating MEP…
Glenno

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By Night-Gaunt, November 30, 2011 at 2:05 pm Link to this comment

Ever since GW Bush was “elected” twice we have all been tarnished by the blood letting they did and now President Obama has been continuing.

Kind of sorry to see Grin2010 left, I do like a challenge. He never did respond to our pointed questions. But then they aren’t the canned answers he had been taught to respond to. So goes a man of the new century of the Holy American Empire to come. Which I hope never does arrive.

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By Reit1, November 30, 2011 at 2:21 am Link to this comment

Thanks for that.  No, my t-shirts are all plain or Italian.  I asked because Mario has been before..and being a citizen of Italy maybe helped him.  But I wonder if I could slide in with an Italian name and just let him do the talking so my accent isn’t obvious. :D It looks like a really cool little village and it’s really inexpensive to go from Italy to Tunisia…

I wouldn’t go anywhere with an American t-shirt today.  It’s kind of sad, too.  I remember when everyone loved you to come and tell them about the rock and roll stars, etc.  They were so happy if you were an American.  Now everyone hates us.  :(

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By Tom Edgar, November 30, 2011 at 1:45 am Link to this comment

Tunisia? Nope.  Next door, briefly in Algiers 1945 to drop off two of the crew injured in a brawl.  Bit more than injured both needed extensive surgery.  French Navy came for them and said they would return for the assailant.  They never did. The French aren’t stupid.

Tunisia may have some attractions but at present both your country, and mine, have restriction recommendations regarding visits. My daughter has been to Morocco, thoroughly enjoyed the place. In either place circumspect, and respect for the country’s dress code and customs is only good manners. One of the reasons for daughter’s visits to Morocco is that her sister in law has a small Boutique there, and a relationship with the country’s leading Artist. Another German friend, who has lived in Corsica for many years, managing an “Essential Oil” distillery loves the place, said it was one place in which she feels totally safe, in spite of the attention from Doe eyed Bedouin would be Gigolos.

I feel privileged in that most of those places now tourist spots I visited (44 to 52) when they were still…“In the Raw.” Including Texas, New Orleans,or even New York and “Joisey” City mind you one still had to careful and, on more than one occasion, moved with speed I didn’t know I possessed.

Take care out there. Remember it is slightly safer wearing a T shirt saying I am NOT an American.

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By Leefeller, November 29, 2011 at 1:03 pm Link to this comment

Thanks Reit, No I had not heard hide nor hair from Hitchens, he was my first inspiration along with posters on the old Hitching post,... way back when. 

I suspect Hitchens may have posted on TD under the name nemesis and was gone for a short time and reappeared under another name which I cannot remember, posters of such caliber are few and far between. (now that I think on it, the reappearing was on the Hedges Article where Hedges as much blamed the Norway incident on Hitchens. (I need to dig around)

Yes I am saddened also, even in political disagreement I find much respect for Hitchens. I used to check Slate for his works, will have to check into a Google Search! Thanks again!

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By Reit1, November 29, 2011 at 8:47 am Link to this comment

You’re welcome on my behalf leefeller. smile

Have you guys seen Christopher Hitchens?  I saw a video of him in Texas.  He was introduced by Prof. Dawkins.  I have to say he looked good.  No hair of course as is the territory with chemo - and cancer in general I guess, but his colour was good and he’s nice and lean now.  The only thing that bothered me was his voice.  He used to be such a power house of “fuck you I will not gut my son for you” and other types of booming eye-openers like that, and I loved it thundering from his great sense of reason and intellect.  But I have to admit it broke my heart to hear his voice had weakened. :(

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By Leefeller, November 29, 2011 at 8:17 am Link to this comment

This thread keeps on ticking like the battery bunny!

Rite2010’s last bible quotes, sound very much like Republican fear Rhetoric. 

Let me thank you guys and gals for being there, for it seems some Atheist’s (me included) it is refreshing to know I am not alone, though I do not go out of my way to antagonize the fanatically demented believers out there, I do appreciate your way of doing it.

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By Reit1, November 29, 2011 at 2:09 am Link to this comment

2:3 Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts; and one shall take you away with it.
2:4 And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that my covenant might be with Levi, saith the LORD of hosts.
2:5 My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name.

hahaha Don’t worry - god’s got your back. :D

Hi Tom!  Thanks for the information on New Zealand.  My friend ended up going to Ireland without me because I came down with the plague.  But we still have great plans for New Zealand in the spring.  So, we’re still hopeful. smile  I met a German guy who’s living there and he said it’s “very peaceful”.  So…it’s probably a go.

After that, I don’t know..Tunisia maybe.  Ever been?

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By Tom Edgar, November 29, 2011 at 1:33 am Link to this comment

That last one of “Grin” not often I feel vomitus.
But that one will do.

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By grin1020, November 29, 2011 at 12:59 am Link to this comment

Matthew 10:14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.

I have wasted your time and mine as well and I should have obeyed the advice. Therefore, please accept my farewell. I have learned my lesson…

Dear Father, Creator of the World and all that we know, please bless those who read these words. I ask in the name of Jesus Christ that they may know your love. Please protect them and enable their hearts to accept your grace. Please forgive my sins. I have sinned against these people and you as well. I am undeserving of your love but am thankful for your patience with my many weaknesses. Please direct my path in helping those for whom there is hope.

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By Tom Edgar, October 29, 2011 at 7:55 pm Link to this comment

Well according to your age Reit I guess, but at mid eighties I would have preferred travelling other than poor class, and sure wish I had taken my son’s advice and booked a sleeper on the Amtrak.  I don’t sleep when vertical. After going on to then back from Europe I was suddenly feeling somebody else’s age.
Oh as things are panning at the moment steer well clear of Qantas.  They are far better than “American” but that is only when they are actually flying, which they aren’t doing at the moment. What can you expect when a damned Irishman is running it.

N Z. Now you are talking.  The only reason I am not living there, is that some fifty years ago I and my wife decided it was the place for a civilised person.
Unfortunately the financial situation of N Z at the time meant I would have needed a large source of overseas funds to purchase the necessary photographic materials for my business.  Ended up staying here.

Well there are close to half a million Kiwis living in OZ and only about 4,000 of us in N Z. so that should tell you something.  This was pointed out by an Australian Prime Minister to Piggy Muldoon his N Z counterpart when complaining of the social security payments imbalance.  Piggy (a detestable man) was equal to the remark and promptly said.  “That should improve the average I Q of both places.”

The common Maori name is “The Land of the long white cloud.”  mainly in reference to their having so much rain.  Australians say it is because God saw he had made a mistake so wanted to hide it. whilst Kiwis maintain he hid it as wanted to keep the avaricious convict Australians away.  Also known as the “Shaky Isles” for obvious, and recent, events.

I have two dear friends in Aukland.  Get this.  Both are Church of the Nazarenes, and he is the Pastor. Neither they, nor I, are really fussy.  Actually John, lady’s late father, was also a Nazarene Pastor and my dearest friend. Now if there were such things as angels that man qualified. Their God must be a demanding sadistic bastard.  John took five years to die with Parkinson’s.

My late Doctor, George Bush, loved New Zealand, originally from Dallas TX he was an avid fly fisherman, so what better place?

Don’t worry you’ll love the place and they’ll love the U S dollars even if most other places might not.

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By Reit1, October 29, 2011 at 6:17 pm Link to this comment

Tom, I too enjoyed the fourth paragraph regarding America..and I even snickered a couple of times.  The US is extremely religious and believe that’s why they’re a “blessed” nation.  That last thing shows you how closed off most Americans are. If they don’t learn another language or two, or travel and read about other societies (and most don’t - I promise you that), then I can only assume you found them polite because they viewed you and your adorable accent as quaint and like a shiny new toy.  Those who’ve traveled a bit, etc. will only be kind or unkind because of who they are.  Yes!  I am referring to the hypocrisy of the religious..and Texas is one religious and might I add MURDEROUS state. smile  I don’t think it’s any suprise that the more religiously zealous a country is (like the M.E) or say…TEXAS have lower educational statuses and also more criminals despite the rampant death penalty.  In fact, the state that kills off the most people always has the most crime!  Religiosity makes people feel entitled and stupid. But I am sure there’s moe to it than that.

As for Australia, I am surprised.  I thought it was the aussies that were the most sensible people.  I have several Australian friends and I adore them.  I feel that they are more awake than the west.  I have even considered living there.  I try to live in italy at least for 90 days out of the year, but it’s growing weary.  The people are extremely indulgent and tolerant there, but they’re in such a state of ecomomic crisis (worse than any of us) that they are beginning to lose hope.  There’s quite a bit of depression there these days.

I am going back in November to meet with a friend in Venice at Marco Polo and we’re leaving to go to New Zealand.  Got any advice?  smile

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By Tom Edgar, October 29, 2011 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment

Ah! Sned. Thanks for your approval.

Not for one moment do I imagine Oz to be perfect, even though I am here. Our Politicians and some others seem to latch on to anything American, especially the things that are proven failures.

Privatising prisons is one such area and with disastrous consequences. Slowly and insidiously it is happening in all areas.  We’ve lost our “Commonwealth” Bank, some of our railroads, our telephone system is now a privatised nightmare with the Government selling shares,  to the wealthy, in an organisation they everybody already owned.
If that isn’t bad enough we have foreigners owning the minerals, and flogging it off to other foreign countries.

The hoary old “Convict settlement.”  Actually that occurred in only a few States, simultaneously as it was happening into the U S A. Now for those who can trace to a convict heritage it is like having a first Virginian in America. Convict? In most cases their crime was to be poor, and to poach a hare off the Laird’s land.

Much of our religious were Catholics from Ireland whose main crime was being both Catholic and Irish hence their deportation. The others were Protestants from Britain, now that is another crime in itself.
My late wife was mostly Irish/English from an original union between an Irish girl and a Chinese man in 1852. She maintained the Chinese blood was there to improve on the others.  Interestingly the original Marriage certificate was signed in the most delicate Chinese ideographs by the Groom and his brother,whilst the two Irish girls made their mark X.

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By THE SNED, October 29, 2011 at 5:34 am Link to this comment

Tom..wonderful post! I will copy the fourth paragraph and memorize it.

Only one slight defense. We allow everyone in, (including Mel Gibson) even when the laws don’t allow it or the fences don’t work. Your country started out as a prison and was just as lousy with its indigenous people.(And it’s much harder to get there)

Maybe those criminal genes got working on what was fair and unfair.

After all most criminals just want to eat or smoke pot.90%-99% of American prisoners are there for non-violent crimes…a crime in itself. And we’re privatized the business which means each prisoner is a profit making machine.(ugh)Another crime.

Our settlers were a religious lot.Hmmmmm. If I was a sociologist/geneticist it might be worth a study. Founded by crime, or founded by God. Which one worked out best..and why?

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By Tom Edgar, October 28, 2011 at 11:51 pm Link to this comment

Oops I just noticed I posted anthropo METRIC should have been morphic.  Senior’s moment. 85 good reasons for that. Plus having recently traversed (terrestrially) the lower States to Texas and then beyond to Europe before returning to the land of the free.  Free Hospitals, medication,pensions etc.,  Well not totally free but comparatively so. I am still feeling a little jaded.

Now the thing I noticed so much was that, as with my first visits in 44/45, Americans are still overly polite, friendly, and that includes Homeland Security and Customs etc. Australians, comparatively, must sometimes sound blunt and impolite. As before I found all I met to be pleasant, and the country a wonderful place to visit,
especially with a well filled wallet,  but in no way would I chose to be domiciled there, even with an over filled Bank account.

Just the thought of living close to those religious institutions that seem to, along with penitentiaries,
be the one area of building growth that shows no signs of diminishing.

Now there’s a thought.  Is there a correlation between America’s unenviable reputation of being the most religious country in the Western World AND having five times the average per capita prison inmates when compared to the same nations?  Or is it that just being religious equates with Fascism? This would automatically qualify for the political oppression we see happening right now. Well the religious head is certainly unelected, untouchable, all powerful,brooks no dissent, and his son is delegated as next in line. Then of course the most extremely religious States also are the most enthusiastic Judicial Murderers. AND coincidentally also rank amongst the least educated States in the Union, but that, when relating to fundamentalist religions, is just about a compulsory qualification.

I must be recovering I’m beginning to feel blunt, impolite and totally Australian again. G’day.

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By Night-Gaunt, October 28, 2011 at 9:09 pm Link to this comment

Well Tom I have noticed some of them, especially the “scientific Creationists,” have been trying to hide their supernatural god under layers of indeterminist pseudo-scientific rhetoric. But once you dig through the layers it is still there. Now those that have proceeded down that route have been roundly criticized by their compatriots as anything ,but their version of Christianity and dismiss those who do as fakers and apostates. And it still isn’t science so they lose there too. It is a lose-lose for them.

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By Tom Edgar, October 28, 2011 at 5:22 pm Link to this comment

Reit/Night Gaunt.
Thank you for saving me a heap of writing.

There is a relatively new slant being taken by the Crazy Christos.  Whilst proclaiming they are Bible based and from thence all authority emanates it is the new tactic now to depart from the anthropometric personal “God” in whose image the Bible says man is made, to an ethereal unformed “Presence”. 

Now that is an argument that is hard to top. a “Thing” is a bit hard to get a grasp on.  They can’t prove the existence, because they, being gifted in that area, only sense it, and we can’t find anything to deny it.  The only thing I ask is that they show WHY they believe in the existence of this all powerful energy form which simultaneously seems to have human characteristics.  I have found no reference in the Torah, Bible nor Koran.  They all have the old Daddy Oh.

I wouldn’t expect a sensible answer from a Believer or a Troll but wondered if you have a take on this new phenomena?

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By Night-Gaunt, October 28, 2011 at 3:41 pm Link to this comment

Well the article was definitely a play on semantics to use as a wedge issue to subvert science and semantics itself. Just because some people are misusing what theory means when they are really talking hypothesis, which irks me no end, is a poor means to say science isn’t science and facts aren’t facts. Even in some of the science magazines they do that. I blame the physicists for talking about theories of universe formation when all they really have is a hypothesis about superstrings etc. We must keep it right. But to use that as a springboard to attack science in general is wrong. But then Creationists have little else. They know that most of the people they deal with are illiterates in science. So they are mostly safe, I said mostly.

One the problems with Creationism is that it brings nothing testable or predictable to the table because they are not practicing science. So until they do they are just boarderline crackpots and scammers. Not scientists and definitely not interested in evidence or truth. What has been termed ‘Predeterminalism’ where you already have what you want, god created the universe. Then you manufacture the “facts” to support it. That is what they do and we see the fruits of that poisonous tree every day polluting the infosphere.

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By Reit1, October 28, 2011 at 11:19 am Link to this comment

Prof. Dawkins wrote something about that…or along those lines.  I haven’t read it myself but it was in my inbox and the title was similiar.


http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/10/24/richard-dawkins-jesus-would-have-been-an-atheist/

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By THE SNED, October 28, 2011 at 4:30 am Link to this comment

“Aquinas proves atheists are closer to God than they think.”

He is right.

I will,if I’m lucky and don’t croak first, or if it doesn’t get stolen from here, write a book entitled “Only Atheists Go to Heaven©” And why? Because we don’t pretend what god is…nor do we follow antiquated prejudices of the OT or some whacko religious leader.

Research shows that athesists know more about other religions than most religious, yet we don’t believe any of it. Let’s take the concept of hell. Humans try to rehabilitate.(cough cough) Catholics burn in hell for certain acts…making God less that we are. How does that happen?

Atheists use their intelligence to reason, where the religious rely on Faith…the justification for any belief no matter how bizarre.

In other words what distinguishes us from other animals is our higher level of intelligence…which would be god given, but faith is a denial of that intelligence and an acceptance of what atheists don’t see or accept…which is magic. And belief in magic is required to conceive of a mystical god with all knowledge and power happening all at once or forever.
Neither concept computes for atheists.

If there’s a god SHe will sit down with us and have a good laugh and explain it all….and congratulate us for not falling for the religious crap shoot one is born into. “You did good by me,” SHe will say….“You used what I gave you to the best of your ability.You didn’t turn your back on what made you different.Hence you are welcome. The others need some more training. I’ll let them in in due time….maybe”

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By Reit1, October 27, 2011 at 6:31 pm Link to this comment

Thank you, Glenno.  I accept your apology and hope that we can continue on in a civil way.  Afterall, we’re just two people who found themselves at a different place in our search in life.  I hope we can continue a good, healthy discourse.  I don’t ask anything more of you!  And I will abstain from any further abuses heaped on your person as well.

Let’s just talk!  I am sure I can learn some things from you (I already began on entropy), and you can learn something (hopefully) from us.

And yes, please - call me Annie.

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By Reit1, October 27, 2011 at 6:24 pm Link to this comment

Ok..well the link you posted was also interesting Grin1020.  I don’t agree that it’s semantics.  I think it goes back to what I had said in my previous post about the reason why science doesnt deal with subjective and vague concepts such as perfection or purpose or even call things facts is because it stunts mental growth and the desire to learn.  That is, it stops us from trying to figure things out.  We stop and are satisfied with one “theory” even though we know it’s fact and that Darwin was way way ahead of his time. If we say “fact”.. then we stop learning about the byproducts of that “fact” and we don’t learn about natural selection and how it works (which we have).  And there are great books out there for you to read on the matter.  Scientists generally don’t share the same pathos of the religious who stop at “God created everything” - The End. 

Should I assume that the author of that link does not have the same digital information at his fingertips that I do?  Or is it more likely that he doesn’t want to understand a different truth than his own made up truth?  Because the answers are all there to be found.  If we really want to keep searching for the truth, we can’t just stop at “magic Jesus did it, so I think I will write a wasted page showing how those who believe in evolution must be playing semantics”.  What a waste of knowledge that could be better put to use understanding evolution…instead of attempting to debunk it.  Because the latter is never going to happen..and in fact we know now that it is fact -even if we’re more cautious than the religious in using that word. It’s as if the person who wrote the page doesn’t want to know the truth, and in fact, the very definition of faith is refusing to know what is true.  The religious pathos (and I know this as well as anyone) obeys to the necessity of dressing the plain, objective truth with a sugar coated infantile robe of transcendence.

Carl Sagan said:  “If God is omnipotent and omniscient, why didn’t he start the universe out in the first place so it would come out the way he wants? Why’s he constantly repairing and complaining? No, there’s one thing the Bible makes clear: The biblical God is a sloppy manufacturer. He’s not good at design, he’s not good at execution. He’d be out of business if there was any competition.” 

That answers everything for me.  Not stopping at one thing..if for no other reason, because the Universe doesn’t.

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By grin1020, October 27, 2011 at 5:37 pm Link to this comment

I think we are making progress Reit1 (Annie). And toward that end I will indeed admit to being Glenno, as you surmised. Furthermore, it would be low of me to not apologize for the comment I made long ago regarding the reason your children may have departed this earth. I was serious when I said that if God allows what appears to us to be an incomprehensible violence to occur to innocent children, there MAY INDEED be a reason that we are incapable of grasping. We Christians rationalize that this is not our home and while we miss our loved ones that are lost to us in a temporal sense, we believe they have been gathered to the One whose love is never-ending. I have always believed that things happen for a reason, even if the reason is unknown to me. I can accept that because I believe there is One that never forsakes us. I still believe it and you once believed it as well. That is the reason that I am interested in why you recanted your faith. We can agree to disagree. To me that is tragic, to you it is only a disagreement. I have allowed myself to be angry far too often on this board and am ashamed of that. I hope you wil find it in your heart to forgive me. I am truly sorry. I have learned from you indeed; there can be no doubt that you are an authority on history of the Abrahamic faiths and I give you credit for that. I will pledge to all to be civil henceforth. I will research the entropy link. I would appreciate your honest assessment of the counter-manifesto and I will also listen with open ears to others’ opinions as well. I ask only that others return the favor.

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By Reit1, October 27, 2011 at 5:05 pm Link to this comment

Thank you Grin1020.

It was a good read.  I did feel as thought Davies was struggling to make a god real…or exist. Like trying to fit the square peg in the round hole.  None-the-less it was interesting.  I have asked myself about the possibility of a realm that is outside my understanding, and a possible deity there.  But what would be the point?  I just end up back where I started.  What’s the point of any deity who isn’t particularly interested in it’s creation?  There is no point as far as we are concerned.  Also, Davies could have easily been speaking the language of the pantheist who sees the Universe as god.  But for there to be this religiously obliging god, we have to establish laws and they have to be our imperfect laws just like the ones that religious people have for their gods. Because even the Universe can’t be an obliging god for the pantheist.  And in truth I never understood the pantheist’s viewpoint that so seems to coincide with what Davies is talking about.

The universe isnt perfect, it just is, and the fact that we’ve come to be witnesses of it and conceive of a concept such as perfection only proves that we humans are linguistic monkeys that dont even understand the nature of our own language. To the extent that most people tend to take the attributes and concepts they use as something more real than the things that they refer to.

For the universe to be perfect we’d have to arrive to a universal agreement of what perfection is and entails, and after that we’d have to test the whole Universe to prove that it really is perfect. Theres a reason why science doesnt deal with subjective and vague concepts such as perfection or purpose. They take you nowhere. And I think Davies viewpoint is a good example of this.  However interesting, it’s full of problems and imperfections.  It’s “nowhere”.

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By grin1020, October 27, 2011 at 3:49 pm Link to this comment

The link I referred to…

http://www.discovery.org/a/6401

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By grin1020, October 27, 2011 at 3:45 pm Link to this comment

cont…
Not everything, argues Thomas, can be a receiver of existence. Something (or Someone) must exist in its (his) own right, and not because of something else. Otherwise, there would be no existence to be passed on by the all various receivers of existence we encounter in the world around us. That something which (or Someone who) exists in its (his) own right and not as dependent on another is God. He, says Thomas, simply is, with the fullness of all that the word “is” can contain. This is why God is called “the Supreme Being.” Lesser beings are dependent for their existence on others. Not so God.
I have just summarized one of Thomas’s arguments for God’s existence. Whatever you make of it, my point here is to focus on the kind of existence that Thomas says God has, not on Thomas’s argument for God’s existence. God’s kind of existence is uncaused and independent. That is why Thomas can say that God “is to be thought of as existing outside the realm of existents” (Commentary on Aristotle’s Peri Hermeneias, 1.14). That does not mean it is right to say, “There is no God.” If we use the word existent to refer to beings that get their existence or are dependent for it on another or others, then it is right to say that God is “outside the realm of existents.” Indeed, God, in this view, would be the cause of existence, the reason there is something rather than nothing. Yes, there is a perfectly good sense in which we must speak of God as “existing,” but, as Thomas would quickly add, God’s existence is radically different from the existence of everything else.
Only God Truly Exists
Davies says we can look at the same truth from a different angle. If we want to use the word exists for God’s kind of existence, then everything that is not God can be said to exist only in a qualified way. The atheist, in such a scenario, is as wrong as he can be. For he says that God does not exist, but if we use the word exist in the fullest possible sense of the word, then only God exists. Other beings can be said to have existence—they get their existence from something else. Only God fully exists, only God is existence; that is, only God exists by nature. Only God is not dependent on anything or anyone else for his existence. He simply is.
So if we want to talk about God using the word exists in the way we use it of everything else, the daily objects of our experience, then we can say, “God does not exist.” That is, he does not exist as dependent, as receiving his existence from somewhere else, the way everything else does. If we want to take God’s way of existing—uncaused, independent, not received—as full existence, then we must say that nothing but God exists, because everything else is caused, has existence as dependent, and received, etc.
The atheist would be on to something when he says, “God does not exist” if he meant by “exist” that God is a being or object like all the beings and objects of our immediate experience in the universe. That God does not exist. But the atheist is utterly off the mark when he means that God does not exist in any way whatsoever. It is the atheist’s existence (and everybody else’s) that comes in to question if we use the word exist in its divine, deepest sense.

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By grin1020, October 27, 2011 at 3:44 pm Link to this comment

Aquinas Proves Atheists Are Closer to God Than They Think
By: Mark Brumley
Some time ago, when the hubbub of the New Atheists commenced, philosopher of religion Brian Davies wrote a column that was subtitled, presumably by The Times where it appeared, “Aquinas proves atheists are closer to God than they think.” Davies’ piece was not an exercise in woolly thinking, calculated to cast the net of inclusivity as wide as possible by purporting to dissolve the hard distinction between affirming God’s existence and denying it. His point was to ask what kind of God our atheist friends deny the existence of and to ask whether that is the God whose existence someone such as St. Thomas Aquinas affirms.
We might ask the same question. Atheists sometimes think of God as a being who exists alongside other beings in the universe. In this view, God may be thought of as the biggest and the best being in the universe, but he is still a being like the rest of us, an interesting feature of all that happens to be.
A Being outside All Others
If that is what you mean by God, argues Davies, then Thomas would agree that such a God does not exist. God, Davies quotes Thomas as saying, “is to be thought of as existing outside the realm of existents, as a cause from which pours forth everything that exists in all its variant forms.” In other words, there is no such being as the God who is thought to exist as just one more thing alongside a can of beans or the planet Jupiter.
A complicating factor is the word exists. We think we understand perfectly what that word means because everything we see around us can be described by using that word. The magazine in which you are reading this article exists, as does the roof over your head and the sky above. Likewise, you exist. It seems such a straightforward thing to say. And of course in some ways it is, when we’re talking about everyday things. Yet things become complicated—for us limited beings—when we take that little word exists and apply it to God.
It may seem obvious to say that a Christian or even a generic theist is someone who says, “God exists,” and an atheist is someone who says, “God does not exist.” However, the traditional Christian (even the mere theist) wants to say more things about God, things that affect the use of the word exist as applied to God. Here is where Thomas comes in. When he says, “God exists,” he doesn’t mean by exist exactly the same thing that he means when he says, “Rome exists” or “Jupiter exists” or even, “I exist.”
There are, says Thomas, things that receive their existence, that are dependent for their existence. I exist because my parents existed; I received my existence from them. That mountain exists because the earth exists and certain geological principles exist that go into the formation of mountains. And so on.

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By grin1020, October 27, 2011 at 3:41 pm Link to this comment

NG -
Well friend, some of us have jobs, so excuse my delay in responding. You might wish to look at this link while I think about what you and Reit1 have sent. I must admit…Reit1’s link to entropy looks interesting. NG you might be interested to know that the link above talks to DNA, fossil records and so forth. Give me a little time OK (if there is such a thing). I’m also going to send an article I read today. I’m almost certain each of you will enjoy it. It’s a little lengthy, so I may have to send it in two messages…

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By Night-Gaunt, October 27, 2011 at 3:12 pm Link to this comment

I had already given him another one a little over 8 minutes long that tears him up but no comment from him so it must have worked. No comment from him on entropy or his explaining his point in the first place. Also no comment on explaining why there is no evidence in DNA, genomes, fossil record or the way ecologies function show us that Special Creation ever existed. Better to be mum and safe then open his mouth and lose all of it to us.

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By Reit1, October 27, 2011 at 10:21 am Link to this comment

This is something we can all appreciate regarding “Stupid Design”.  It shows how nothing was made with us in mind.  It’s only 5 minutes, it’s funny and it’s Neil DeGrasse Tyson who wrote about the big bang. 

Enjoy it!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISg6j7BF02Q

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By Reit1, October 27, 2011 at 4:07 am Link to this comment

Also, I found a link on entropy that was my favourite as I looked for something about it (and almost fell asleep).  But I did it, and this one is good for you to study.  You seem to like it G120.  I do not.  However, this one was a bit easier and also more up to date with the laws of science as we understand them TODAY…it’s “the latest” if you like.

Here you go: http://www.entropylaw.com/

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By Reit1, October 27, 2011 at 3:46 am Link to this comment

I willd o this with you, Glenno, but only if you behave like a convinced xian.  When I say that, I am not talking about the smarmy asshole losers who use cyber courage to judge the world by their small standards. Those who just like to be right and not really righteous.  They don’t really want to live by their tenet laws..they just want to feel special and sit in judgement of others so as to avoid their own short comings.  My sister is what I call a “good xian”.  She lives by the laws of her interpretation of Jesus - which is love.  If you can co that, I will talk with you about this.

Isaish 49:10 is not talking to you.  It was never meant to be for you personally.  The idea of giving water to the Jews so they would never thirst came after Jerusalem had been destroyed, the Jewish people were exiled and encouraged to leave Babylon.  So, this was the Jewish people’s God who supposedly promised them this “never thirst, never hunger”, etc..idea. And that - only after they had reached Jerusalem.  It was a story for the people of that day.  Punto. It was not meant at all the way you’ve used it.

Besides that fact, have you ever drank salt water?  It does NOT quench the thirst.  On the contrary - it increases it. :D Also, there are many, many villages in Africa that are based on Christiany and they are starving.  Many of them have disentary and all kinds of diseases and/or are dead by the age of 3-5 years of age.  It doesn’t appear that God kept that promise of “never going hungry” to these people.

Again, it doesn’t follow clear logic. “God is perfect”  He created Earth for humans and made it 70 percent water.  Not 50..not 30, 70 percent of the earth he created is made of salt water. 

The rest Epicurus answered for you.  It’s simple, overused (probably) but it cannot be refuted.

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By grin1020, October 27, 2011 at 1:37 am Link to this comment

Tom -
Illinois - Barrack Obama

Reit1 -
Counter-manifesto point #8 and Isaiah 49:10

Please try again.

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By Tom Edgar, October 26, 2011 at 11:23 pm Link to this comment

Arizona.  Joseph Arpaio.  Kemper Marley. Overwhelmingly Republican.

Enough for starters but I’ll admit they did produce a great “Arizona Highways.”

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By Reit1, October 26, 2011 at 11:08 pm Link to this comment

A counter to the counter manifesto: (answered long ago).

“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”
? Epicurus

“God is perfect”:  Create Earth for humans. Make it 70 percent salt water.

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By grin1020, October 26, 2011 at 10:06 pm Link to this comment

Tom -
Weak…very weak. Well, I hardly know what to say to that last one. I’ll just wait for the rest of the board to come to my aid now. If they pass, then they will have proven a substantial bias and accordingly, validated my ten-to-one proposition. I am simply dumb-founded by that last one, Tom. I will just await an evidence-based counter to my counter-manifesto. Until that time, well I just don’t know. All you all are hurting my head…Arizona? WOW…random…

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By Tom Edgar, October 26, 2011 at 8:15 pm Link to this comment

It is you who pays no attention.  I answered that manifesto long ago.

It, and anything out of that organisation, along with just about anything from Arizona hardly needs consideration and is as much a waste of time as further discussion when you refuse to see any sense in anything that contradicts your entrenched and fallacious beliefs

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By grin1020, October 26, 2011 at 5:30 pm Link to this comment

Tom -
Thanks for your input. You asked and I answered. Now please re-read the counter manifesto and provide your input to those points, if you are so inclined and then I will be happy to reply to your answer.

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By Tom Edgar, October 26, 2011 at 3:30 pm Link to this comment

That you would base any argument on a collection of books of dubious multiple authorship, containing so many contradictions, written over centuries, in different languages,then to have been re written and re interpreted with books removed,added, left out, and even differing versions according to the different faiths is tantamount to basing a study of Philosophy on the “Philosophers Stone.” and “Through the Looking Glass.” notwithstanding there are some gems of wisdom from the lips of both Harry Potter and Alice, or even the Mad Hatter.

I suggest that no intelligent argument obtains from someone with a mind so closed that they would quote the Bible as a source of information, when it contains so many parts that are not just improbable but absolutely impossible, and provably so.

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By grin1020, October 26, 2011 at 2:40 pm Link to this comment

Tom -
First an analogy. If a professor tells the class that the integral of ‘x squared dx’ evaluated between four and six equals 50.67 and that professor documents that example in a book, then the evidence of my belief in what he told the class is what is written in that book…in other words the book itself suffices. In like manner, I accept the words in the Bible as evidence that Alpha and Omega applies to God and that those words are valid based upon God’s authority. Is that simple enough?

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By Tom Edgar, October 26, 2011 at 2:15 pm Link to this comment

Smiler.

I am not sure if you are naturally or deliberately obtuse or maybe I am not explicit enough so I will try to make it simpler.

I asked for the evidence on which you based your belief that God pre existed not for the actual preexistence. in other words. What are your reasons for believing this particular argument, and from whence did you elicit the information?

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By THE SNED, October 26, 2011 at 4:06 am Link to this comment

Annie…you called it and correctly. Grin did post here years ago…before I arrived. I happened to trace the name to a cartoonist named Grizalda, but I wondered why that person would come back here as if she were never here before.

Good lord Glenno the coward, the creep, at it again. Back here again. He cannot let go. Already too many wasted words on the scum bag. Thanks for being honest about your sex Glenno…of course admitting that you’re not a woman leaves a number of doors open. And Glenno you are no man, you are a embarrassment. Now go to your corner and tee hee hee…Ugh.

Annie I seem to get a notice of posts here after 5 or more posts have gone up. Seems I even missed some of creep’s. Do stay. Do ignore.

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By grin1020, October 25, 2011 at 7:06 pm Link to this comment

Take a cold shower or something, Anastasia. Sounds like you are about to blow.People get very, very, very aggressive when backed into a corner. It appears you are there. Believe me, I have a thick skin and you never got beneath it. Just read the counter-manifesto and believe. You know the truth but you won’t be able to let these folks down. There is a great reward awaiting you. Accept it. Several in fact but I won’t go into it. Enough already. May God Bless You now and forever.

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By Reit1, October 25, 2011 at 6:48 pm Link to this comment

Again, people, before you respond to this snake, think (and this is my last post on this thread..this is it).  When did I EVER say recently that I was a xian in the past?  Exactly.  I didn’t.

And if you look down at OUR posts to this evil man, you will notice that we did, indeed, address him as Grin2012 with the exception of the one time I addressed him as Grin1020 “or whoever you are”. 

The “devil” really is in the details.  Anyone else here ever lose children?  There ya go! Thus the supposed dream, thus the web of deception has failed. 

And my name isn’t “Anastasia”, Rasputin..  Typical, absurd, hate-filled xian.  And you know why?  Because your god is YOU and you feel violated by us putting him down to the level where he really exists - in your deluded mind.

Now…I’m out of this thread. wink

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By grin1020, October 25, 2011 at 5:49 pm Link to this comment

Anastasia -
So sorry sweet cakes…don’t think I was ever grin2012 and don’t think that you named me. Where is your evidence that I had no dream as I represented? Are you really so vain as to think that my dream had anything to do with you? I shared a dream and requested comments. You offered comments and nobody else offered. So be it. Personally, I’d appreciate it if I could have an honest conversation with someone other than yourself. What’s all this liar stuff, Anastasia? Once again…you are stereotyping Christians. I know for a fact that the happiest day of your life was when you were a Christian. Why on earth did you betray your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ? He awaits your return. Just have to say…I am sinful, but there is ONE that was spotless. This is the one that suffered for YOU Anastasia. Do you hear that voice beckoning you to return? Please listen before your time is expired. I mean nothing. The people on this board mean nothing. Just believe again. The Holy Spirit is with you, regardless of what you have done. You know this to be true.

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By Reit1, October 25, 2011 at 5:01 pm Link to this comment

One more thing…please, please just think about it.

If you noticed, I changed my name via the number that followed.  GLENNO here did the same thing.  He is already playing games.  If you recall, he was Grin2012.  I noted it because it was the Mayan year for their “armageddon”.  Now he’s Grin1020..a number I had previously given him in a post.  Also, if you can really believe that this person dreamt about my two dead children asking where their mother is because I am on the “wrong side of the argument”...then by all means feel free to volley with this obvious LIAR - because of course, he had no such dream. He shoots to harm.  But doesn’t understand there’s no harm, no foul because my kids are dead…just as dead as they can be and are not with Jeebus

But I am NOT wrong on this.  He is a liar and a game player.  And he’s already spinning a web just to play here. 

Ignore him.  You all have an ignore button in your control panel…I would encourage you to use it.  But do as you will.  I’m ignoring him.  There are other threads where people actually have things to say like “Jesus: The Man, The Myth”.  Granted, they’re the usual arguments, but the arguments there are at least real, and the people are seemingly sincere. 

This guy, glenno, has already shown that he can’t be trusted or believed.  Just like most xians…

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By grin1020, October 25, 2011 at 4:06 pm Link to this comment

Tom -
No I won’t ignore the question now. Please see the ninth bullet of my counter-manifesto. There you see my response. There IS no evidence as you define evidence…there cannot be evidence as you define it. Comprendo?

NG -
WOW it is disappointing that you are taking Anastasia’s advice. Thought you might have a pair.

SNED - No and no.

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By THE SNED, October 25, 2011 at 7:05 am Link to this comment

grin1020

quick question..are you a woman and a cartoonist.
Yes or no.

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By Tom Edgar, October 24, 2011 at 11:25 pm Link to this comment

Grinner.

It seems Terminological inexactitudes are your forte or at the very least being disingenuous.

There are so many times where I asked questions and you pointedly disregarded them.

I’ll repeat but one. You stated that you didn’t have to supply evidence for a maker of God as he pre existed everything.
I asked for the evidence proving that.

You ignored it then will you do so now?

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By Night-Gaunt, October 24, 2011 at 10:12 pm Link to this comment

Thank you for your advice Reit1 I shall listen to it.

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By grin1020, October 24, 2011 at 7:11 pm Link to this comment

Sorry…one correction…
- God has PUT laws of physics into place ->

As to me never answering your questions, look…if I say that two plus two equals five, that has no basis in reality; in like manner, your statements regarding my lack of answers provision is absurd. None of you will admit that I have provided answers, so when the board is 10:1 against my position, you must be correct. We know otherwise. You just like stroking each other. As I said earlier, you think yourselves superior to believers in some respect. Intellectually, we’re pretty much in a statistical tie; you can take that to the bank.

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By grin1020, October 24, 2011 at 6:46 pm Link to this comment

Those are really some very acidic comments Reit1 and just when we were starting to connect with each other…Since you know the Bible so well, you are fully aware that I have never converted anybody to Christianity, whether atheist or otherwise. Not sure whether you are up to explaining to your buddies what I just said. As to the second paragraph of your next-to-last post, we also know that Glenno provided a very clear answer in the past.You may ignore me, in which case, I can provide the details…that’s your call. I put forth the following counter-manifesto -
- God is perfect
- God has laws of physics into place as part of the divine plan
- God is capable to intervene in the fulfillment of these laws (a.k.a.miracles); however, these miracles are infrequent
- God always wants good for our lives, since God loves us
- God knows the number of our days
- God knows our hearts
- Faith in God’s existence and in the divine plan is needed
- Free Will is allowed and its consequences are relevant
- Faith and knowledge are mutually exclusive
- We are Spiritual Beings that are allotted a physical period of time

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By Reit1, October 24, 2011 at 4:34 pm Link to this comment

If you never believe a word I say NG…please believe this:  You do not want to get going with this guy.  He’s a troll from about 5 years ago.  Hell, I’ve moved to 2 different places since we hurt his feelings before…so I know it was at least five years ago.  He has zero to contribute but will find a place where he can play “devil’s advocate” with you.  i.e. if you love science, he will find a way to mock you for it.  Not science…YOU. Ad hominems become his way eventually - and I see him going down that alley right now. So, even if you give a sound answer to this “entropy” question that he pretends to want to understand, he will only mock your intentions and ultimately you.

He’s a psychotic, rage-a-holic, and that makes him nothing but trouble.  And not because he’s hard to debunk…nooo sir.  He’s a piece of cake in that department because he never says anything remotely challenging.  He doesn’t even know the Bible which should put anyone on the alert because he posits that he’s xian. You can’t rid yourself of him once you get going.  He’s the ultimate troll.  And he hasn’t forgotten us and moved on from his humiliation.  That’s the biggest clue into his psyche right there. He is nothing if not cunning…like a snake.

For my part, I will ignore this person.  My guess is that this one’s not even xian or religious at all.  He’s just another Fred Phelps. And there is NO dealing with thes types.  Let him play in the sandbox of his own hubris alone…that’s my advice.  And I’m not wrong about this one. (Now watch him attempt the “nice role” to prove me wrong. smile  But a leopard can only pretend to change spots as he’s hiding in the brush)....

I know this man.  He’s a waste of anymore time.

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By Night-Gaunt, October 24, 2011 at 1:12 pm Link to this comment

I just wanted GrinGlenn2012 to give us some positives here. Show us why his religion is the reality and not anyone else. But that isn’t how they roll. Debunk science the best they (think) they can and have nothing good to say about their religion. It is all in the mind anyway. And your proof is after you are dead, it isn’t since you have to wait for the Final Judgment, so where does that leave us? Why in the mind. Unlike science which is partly through observations so far doesn’t support anyone’s religious views unless they have conformed it to the reality around them.

Entropy? What of it? You have yet to state a particular question pertaining to this forum in relation to it. I blame sloppy, slovenly Christian based teaching that ignores so much of the world and using your brain to actually think beyond a little place. You can do better Grin2012 old boy but you have to work at it.

Not holding my breath here either. He is such a disappointment.

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By Reit1, October 24, 2011 at 12:14 am Link to this comment

Grin2012,

Hi glenno.  Somehow I always knew it was you. smile  I guess we got under your skin about oh…5 years ago.  hahaha

Now I ask you, what kind of loving Jesus (gentile meek and mild) would take two little children away from their family and then have to answer questions like those as he looks into their questioning eyes?  What kind of absurd entity would trap himself in a corner like that?

And what would happen if you were on the wrong side of the argument and you had a lot of explaining to do to Allah?  What would you say about your specialness in living through that bike accident that took your friend…but magically found a place for you in this world? (as if you could do ANY good)?  On my worst day I was a better xian than you’ve ever been.  I am positive of that one.

Here’s the thing…eveything is half chance..everything.  You lived, your friend died. Tom’s kids lived, mine died.  Way it goes. And as Stephen King once said “sometimes dead is better”.

Now, why don’t you try looking up this science entropy thing?  You can’t prove the existence of a god with it, you might show that there are holes in science (which we already know), and it’s POSSIBLE you will have taught us all something of value.  But one thing is sure - you will NOT change anyone’s mind here.  I guess your “xian work” is pretty well done now. wink You can go.

Oh wait, you always say you’re going to go,...then you always come back.  You’re not to be trusted on even the smallest of comments.  Typical xian!  Are you a JW?  They always come back, too.  So intrusive…

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By Tom Edgar, October 23, 2011 at 11:06 pm Link to this comment

Grin.  I (personally) have asked several questions of you.  None, to my memory, have even been addressed other than by asking a further question in response.

Now when is it going to sink in that most atheists do NOT necessarily have a great interest in propounding theories of the start of existence?

I do not believe in the existence of a God because I have never seen evidence of a good reason to hold that belief.  Au contraire, you believe in spite of having no evidence.

I’ll state that I not only don’t KNOW how the universe came into existence, and what is more it wouldn’t alter a jot my position in it if I did. Furthermore I do not go out of my way to convince you that you are wrong, whilst you do the opposite.
What does that say about arrogance? My lack and your abundance.

I’ll not expect an answer as you ignored my last submission.  When trolling, that is the real one from a boat, one never knows what the catch could be,
invariably it is a slimy eel that is impossible to grasp.  Comprende compadre?

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By grin1020, October 23, 2011 at 10:14 pm Link to this comment

NG - I see the way it works. Non-believers ask for evidence and I answer and then non-believers ask for evidence. Hmmm. Now please respond to my question regarding entropy that certain people have refused to answer. You scientists must have an answer as to why what is seen violates a basic law of thermodynamics. Please share that response with me. Please also confirm that your official position is that EVERYTHING we see in the world and all its variation of life as we know it is the result of a big bang of elements and compounds. Please allow me to say, in advance…Hmmm.

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By Night-Gaunt, October 23, 2011 at 7:53 pm Link to this comment

And you Gring2012 have the propensity to avoid them. But that is typical of people like yourselves. At least you noticed that to produce hard proof would negate you blind belief. It is still useless in a practical sense unless it is some psychological factor which helps you which is fine with me. Just don’t break my leg or pick my pocket by making it an official law. And don’t try to convert me when I say “no” should we meet in person,okay?

This forum is fine since we are just using just 3% of our communication arsenal, the other 97% is facial movements, body movements and voice inflection.

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By grin1020, October 23, 2011 at 5:42 pm Link to this comment

A light just came on and I hope that you see it as well. The nature of faith and its role in the Divine Plan is such that we WILL NEVER FIND the evidence that you are always requiring me to provide. I heard on Catholic radio, which was discussing a certain event in Jesus’ life that Jesus did not have FAITH, he had KNOWLEDGE. Our salvation is based upon faith and therfore we should not expect to ever have knowledge based upon hard evidence. That would violate the plan of allowing us to have free will regarding acceptance of His free gift through our faith. “Faith and faith alone” makes a lot more sense now. As I expressed several days ago…many have a propensity for asking the wrong questions.

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By Tom Edgar, October 23, 2011 at 4:16 pm Link to this comment

OH What a cliche.  Dreamed of a situation that has been painted, & depicted ad nauseum. I bet old Jesus was an aquiline nosed Caucasian. and not an undersized Middle Eastern Jew,who was conceived in an adultery, with two pretty sweet kids.

As for finding out you are wrong Grin.  Don’t let it worry you.  You’ll never know.

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By grin1020, October 23, 2011 at 3:43 pm Link to this comment

The sands of the hourglass are running through. Wouldn’t it be tragic to learn that one was on the wrong side of ‘the argument’ with no time to do anything about it? I had a weird dream last night…I was lookng through a dim-lit haze and saw two young children near Jesus, who was sitting. He had an arm around each one and was lovingly smiling at them. One of the children was asking something like “when will we see her again?” He replied only that he loves her with all his heart and that as the Lamb of God he died that she might have eternal life. I heard him faintly say that the Holy Spirit would help her and never forsake her…Would anybody out there wish to offer anything about this?

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By THE SNED, October 21, 2011 at 5:52 am Link to this comment

To NIGHT-GAUNT AND ANNIE

Glad that you found that article interesting. I have one of those RW in my family. According to my relatives this young man could never do anything right. So he eventually replaced his dad with God…who never criticizes…and is always right. He went from RCC to Right winged evangelical…creationism and all that crap. His siblings never came close to that.It’s mind boggling. But it also helps to prove that all these believers are wrong…because they can’t all be right.
All their beliefs require tons and tons of magic.
We atheists seem to have come in two packages…those who know there is no god, and those of us who see no reason to believe in one. Those are our choices. Two. Not gazillions. And in that process we have no god given biases, prejudices, laws and silly ass rules. After all even JC himself touted the Golden Rule as IT. THE LESSON OF LESSONS. And it’s a rule everyone on the planet could live by if they weren’t so arrogant in their belief system…and so needy to be reassured and or protected by their little clans and mini popes…and religious dictators. And yes Annie…it is sad.

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By Reit1, October 19, 2011 at 5:56 pm Link to this comment

I meant to write about it last night, too SNED.  But I got into too much pain.  So whilke I am here I will say that yes, it’s interesting, but it’s also sad.

I guess for me it explained why anyone would listen to a luny old bird like Camping.  I think people get a belief that they’re comfortable with and feel like they’re part of something…and then they begin to “own” their new truth.  It’s like it becomes theirs.  Challenging that self made truth would tend to make one want to hold more tightly to it and prove it rather than let it got and look at it.

Sad.

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By Night-Gaunt, October 19, 2011 at 4:37 pm Link to this comment

Thank you The Sned it reminds me of the studies of Authoritarians both leaders and followers. I see a certain connexion there. But then it all depends on how your brain works. <b>Bob Altemeyer’s “The Authoritarians” book is on line at http://members.shaw.ca/jeanaltemeyer/drbob/TheAuthoritarians.pdf will figure into it.

A quote:

Authoritarianism is something authoritarian followers and authoritarian
leaders cook up between themselves. It happens when the followers submit too
much to the leaders, trust them too much, and give them too much leeway to do
whatever they want—which often is something undemocratic, tyrannical and
brutal. In my day, authoritarian fascist and authoritarian communist dictatorships
posed the biggest threats to democracies, and eventually lost to them in wars
both hot and cold. But authoritarianism itself has not disappeared, and I’m going
to present the case in this book that the greatest threat to American democracy
today arises from a militant authoritarianism that has become a cancer upon the
nation.

The question is it Nature or nurture here? Well my mother was divorced from my father and had to work two jobs to take care of me and my two brothers after 6 years of marriage. (My father said he couldn’t handle it or some such reason.) I am not RWA—Right Wing Authoritarian but my next oldest brother is but not my youngest brother of that marriage. (The youngest by 12 years from another bad marriage is somewhat RWA.) So it must be more than nurture. Read the book it is all on line. Very interesting to say the least.

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By THE SNED, October 19, 2011 at 4:12 am Link to this comment

I recently met some Jehovah’s Witnesses who seemed intelligent enough…interested in science etc. Nice people. Not nutty…so I did a bit of followup research as I thought it might be fun to talk to them some more. In the process,I discovered an article on JWs (link below) that seems to explain why they maintain their belief system..in spite of numerous claims that predicted the end times, that obviously didn’t happen… even once. I think the theory explains just about any conservative Christian belief. It’s called “disconfirmation”...meaning, When things don’t work out as one would like, one’s investment in his or her belief gets even stronger. It’s like an inability to accept defeat, and to further defend one’s investment in the belief and seek more converts…to add credence to what they think is their truth. The more tied into the group or cult the more the group has to defend it’s beliefs and adjust to the failures in a way that strengthens belief. Go figure! Just another reason to believe that our intelligence is too often not so intelligent.Or it’s a reflection of the God these folks believe in. Or it’s fear of thinking for one’s self. or loss of friends. But to me… disconfirmation makes some sense….(as long as it doesn’t apply to me) Does it make sense to you?

http://www.freeminds.org/doctrine/prophecy/when-prophecies-fail.html

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By Night-Gaunt, October 15, 2011 at 4:21 pm Link to this comment

One name for people born with tails are, get this, muggles!!!

In one of the Son of Tarzan comics I use to read from Gold Key were this off shoot of humans who lived there with long tails! Of course in this lost area of Africa that has dinosaurs and other creatures including spotted lions.

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By Reit1, October 14, 2011 at 6:57 pm Link to this comment

Wow..that was painless considering my feelings for science.  And it was interesting.  To expound further on it, there are people who are born with tails.  I am sure that the religious or faith minded would likely think these people are “deformed”, or cursed..whatever!  But I see this as evidence of lapsed evolution.  Very much like I am one of the absolute few who doesn’t believe that serial killers who eat the people they’ve killed are not evil per se…they are just unevolved from the animal stage of their mind.  We are all born animals with the complete mindset to protect our offspring and kill if we have to.  As a higher intellectually evolved, eating people (yes, even magic Jebus) or drinking their blood is disgusting.  But to someone with a mutated or lapsed lobe of the brain, this is a real impulse. Of course they should be put aay from a more civilized society, however, I am not convinced that they’re evil for the sake of evil.

Here’s a link to add to yours, Night- Gaunt…regarding people with tails!  http://acidcow.com/pics/20770-people-born-with-tails-8-pics.html

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By Night-Gaunt, October 14, 2011 at 6:27 pm Link to this comment

If Grin2012 really wants a nice paired down comparison of Creationism and Evolution then this is it. Very succinct in 8:09 it gives you the whys and where fors anyone can under stand with a rudimentary education. (5th grade.) Then come back to us on this if you dare.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9V_2r2n4b5c&feature=related

But again I’m not holding my breath. Such people are usually untouchable in their minds.

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By Reit1, October 14, 2011 at 4:17 pm Link to this comment

SNED, I b elieve right before that grin said my avatar was a sigh of stupidity or something like that.  But alright!  I didn’t make it..I just love the irony of it and almost wish I had…

Anyhow, here’s a link (wish I could just post the video here) - it’s a short link from a longer interview.  But this excerpt has to do with what has been talked about (and ignored) here.  If you want to watch the full version, the link is on this shorter piece. It’s from Professor Dawkins.  I watched the whole thing but I know not everyone will be inclined. This is only a couple of minutes long..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjxZ6MrBl9E&feature=player_embedded

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By THE SNED, October 13, 2011 at 9:00 pm Link to this comment

Might I remind Grin that her first comment here was that we had nothing better to do with our lives than post here.Not a compliment..but a dig.

And what the hell had entropy got to do with anything…are you not aware that we humans are destroying the planet? Is that order out of disorder, or disorder out of order. Trust me primitive men and primitive tribes of today have it all over us…except for dentists…They are part of the world like the animals and insects. We destroy the world like no other species. Some god folks worship.

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By Night-Gaunt, October 13, 2011 at 8:08 pm Link to this comment

Ironic answer Grin2012 you give nothing in return but bile and the usual attack Evolution for its “faults” but give nothing positive on your end. Why don’t you give it to us on entropy an Special Creation won’t you? But you have nothing and it is based upon fantasy so that is why you are mum on it.

Also changing the subject and getting personal is an old hat technique to try to avoid the question you know you can’t answer.

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By grin1020, October 13, 2011 at 4:55 pm Link to this comment

OK Anastasia…I give.

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By Reit1, October 13, 2011 at 4:45 pm Link to this comment

No, grin.  I won’t answer your question about entropy.  I’ve pointed you towards many books for you to read and find out for yourself!  What?  Are you that lazy?  I am not interested in science.  I know enough about evolution to agree…it satisfies my curiosity about how we got here, etc.  The unholy books do NOT do that for me.

Thanks for the pseudo psycho babble about my life, but I love men.  So you lose on that point.  However, ( and here’s a fact so try not to die)..it IS a depressingly masculine world and men like you don’t like a woman who is not a faith head to disagree with them.  I am on enough of these blogs to know that it is always the same. Hell, don’t take my word for it..go to youtube and find out the sexist conversations that go on there.  These are just facts.  And you’re not the first guy to “pick on the gal”. I wouldn’t be surprised if you actually are “glenno”.  He had the same dialogue and fixation with me. But then, so many faith headded men do…always chewing my ankle bone no matter who else threw a sharp shot, it was always tehy he wanted to antagonize.

Well, you’re not interesting to me. You’re just so BORING.  If you came up with something new…something to really ponder, the great!  But you’re just chewing the same dung that every faith head does.  It’s a BORE.  Even if it does, admittedly, amuse me becaues it is true that I detest the overly faithful.  Still, the same old thing gets just plain monotonous.  And you were that same ad hominem tossing, asshole from your very first post!!! 

But no, I wouldn’t deny you your belief in your god…I just disagree with it whole-heartedly and for many reasons that I am not going to rehash with you.

Believe whatever you want!  But don’t try to choke others with it on what is clearly a thread full of atheists.  You come right in with a bang!  Like the clunky lunk headed xians always do!! Give us SOMETHING..ANYTHING new to use or go by..something exciting and not rehashed.  Talk about your god and what he was doing in the cosmos before he made man.  Tell us your belief on that.  But christ on rubber crutches!  Do your own scientific research!  If you want to know as bad as you seem to want to know about entropy…study the goddamned topic!  Are you just daft, or do you really think you’re going to trip up someone? Night Gaunt and Tom have asked you a very good question several times…you never answer!  Yet you demand in smarmy commentary that we all answer you.  Well, fuck that.  We’ve all heard it all before.  Don’t be a complete idiot.  Enough now.

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By Tom Edgar, October 13, 2011 at 4:32 pm Link to this comment

I am not one for using personal acrimonious invective and I am not about to change a lifetime’s habit.

I do find it counterproductive to resort to name calling which, if in a personal situation, could lead to a physical confrontation which never proves an argument, no more than insults.  Maybe I’m too old to pursue antagonistic endeavours, I was, in my youth, involved in a personal combat sport which satisfied any aggressive tendencies.

For all that Grinner seems more interested in vilification than authentication, a sure sign that
his/her argument has been lost.

Once again I am piqued as my question was avoided by Grinner in favor of shadow boxing.  so I’ll attempt once again the question.

WHAT EVIDENCE IS THERE THAT A GOD NEEDED NO CREATION AS IT PREEXISTED EVERYTHING ELSE.  Step into the ring and defend yourself.

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By grin1020, October 13, 2011 at 4:26 pm Link to this comment

Well Reit1 - your most recent post is an excellent example of what I had stated regarding your demeanor. There just isn’t anything I could add to make it clearer. Thanks for making my point. I do know you better than you think. You don’t like men (you drop little clues such as SHE could be a woman and IT is a man) and you are bitter that ‘the world’ values men’s thoughts more than your own. You have an inferiority complex and that is why you are always pushing so hard to prove you are smarter, have more game and so forth. It just isn’t working, honey.  So you believe that it is fine to arrive at conclusions without solid, irrefutable evidence. It is fine to build a belief system based upon inferential logic. Then you would support my choice to believe that God exists based upon my observations and application of knowledge inferentially. In other words, there is a place for faith in both our worlds. With regard to upping your game, I must respond with WHAT GAME? Whatever game it is, you seem to be losing. Now how about answering my question relative to entropy? There is very little that would make me happier than to write a sincere retraction if you would just explain to us what entropy means and how the universe does NOT exhibit the expected ‘outcome’ that scientific laws would demand. This weekend I shall post some statistical information regarding scientists that are believers versus nonbelievers, based upon data that was provided on the board last evening.  It will once and forever remove your ability to state that if you are a scientist, you are a nonbeliever. I must admit; however, that there will be a confidence interval associated with the statistical conclusion. I will make an assumption that you understand what that means. More later! Oh, one more thing…if you wish to keep your avatar as it is, you have my permission; I just need to remind myself that it comes from one with‘issues’ that have never been resolved.

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By Reit1, October 13, 2011 at 5:27 am Link to this comment

Maybe she is a woman.  But I believe it’s a man.

Grin1020 or whoever you are..you came right in to truthdig and started the insults.  Hate to say nananan boo boo to you, but you started with my avatar…I said nothing.  Then you kept attempting to beat me down with insults about being damaged and all kind of shite…I still said nothing.  You don’t even know me you moron!  How long did you think I would let you conintinue without pointing out what a fool you are?  Still, somehow you zeroed in on me…you remind me of a guy named glenno who used to come here.  He was an insulting idiot, too..and a xian just like you.  I think you’re a guy.  I also DID indeed arrive at your xianity by using logic.  Tell me you’re not one but you like posting evangelical sites to prove god exists. smile 

So what if you chuckled at something I wrote that struck a nerve?  ...I’ve been laughing at you since you began posting. 

You’re the typical shit disturber.  Nothing more. A court jester.  But thanks for breaking up the monotony here. smile  It’s helpful to see fools at times.  It always helps me to up my game.

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By THE SNED, October 13, 2011 at 2:17 am Link to this comment

Just for the record I believe Grin is a woman and a cartoonist to boot. Good ole google found her for me. I accused her of leaving droppings and taking off. Glad she came back…but same old same old I fear. It is amazing how unoriginal most people are…and especially those who are religious. One cannot have a fruitful conversation with a devout Christian because all they do is quote scripture…without the foggiest idea of how it became scripture in the first place. Grin…if you’re reading this, Google Bart Ehrlman, watch one lectures on You Tube and read one of his books. He knows more about the bible than any preacher you have ever met. By the way Grin appears to be an agnostic…or close to it as she quoted only agnostic scientists. What should disturb even her is how few Evangelicals are scientists. That says a book full.
In order to believe in God you have to believe in magic. And magic is pervasive is almost all religions.
Yet we all know magic is an act. The only difference between church and a show is one passes a plate and the other collects tickets…to spread magic.

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By grin1020, October 13, 2011 at 12:18 am Link to this comment

Reit1 you said “As far as me being abhorrent to you, cite the post.” How about I cite several?

“Blind faith makes a stupid man.  Look at yourself for example.”,
“It’s time for you to stop being a fool.”,
“I don’t really think Grin1020 has much to add other than his own confusion.”

I had to chuckle when you wrote, “And you’re no Jew or you would spell god: G-d.  No, you’re a Christian.” Did you arrive at that conclusion by inductive logic in the absence of scientific evidence? Are you CERTAIN that I am a Christian with every fiber of your being in the absence of hard, irrefutable scientific evidence? Do you understand where I am going with this?

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By Reit1, October 12, 2011 at 11:19 pm Link to this comment

By Tom Edgar, October 12 at 5:07 pm Link to this comment

“The reference to the per centage of “Believing” Scientists could well be true in the U S A, but I doubt if it holds in the rest of the western world”.

THIS is much more believable.  That state siders would have scientists who believe in god or gods is much more believable.  The USA is being run by people who are swimming in a foggy, cognitive dissonance. They truly are everywhere..

Grin2012, I am not at all impressed with any xian apologist page- and the one you posted is no exception.  It presupposes everything has a first cause except, of course, magic Jebus and his dad, Big God.  That works!  Oh yea, I am a believer now…I believe that God was just hanging out nowhere and eveywhere and suddenly said (to no one in particular..just kind of shouting out like a mad man) “Let there be light!”  And so there was.

No, just no.

Felonious, everyone thows off handed remarks here.  I’d thank you kindly not to dunk me in the tank as the ruler of that just because I am somewhat outspoken and (OMG) a WOMAN!  Try to not use your sexist viewpoint and remind yourself of your own culpability there.

Women really are the niggers of today. And I am one who is about tired of it, so you can always expect me to “snap back” at stupid religious people who have a need to antagonize and insult.  Try not to place all blame on me for “inviting others to do as grin2010 does”.  Clever wording but I saw throught that.  I am more of a Christopher Hitchens type rather than a mousey type.  Deal with it.

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By Tom Edgar, October 12, 2011 at 10:54 pm Link to this comment

Oh I did answer that diatribe of total nonsense in great detail.  Guess what.  When I tried to post, as much as I tried, I was informed the page could not be found.  Now I am not one for Conspiracy theories but I do wonder.(Along with Felonious)
I’m damned if I am going through all that again there was so much that was unquote-able.

Oh everything is Created except the Creator who evidently came into being miraculously (without a shred of evidence), then from nothing manufactured everything else. Well that gets rid of that nasty question that they can’t answer. So I will ask the next.

What irrefutable, verifiable evidence do you have that a God pre-existed everything else?  Simple . Put up or shut up.

So all the pseudo Creation Science stuff previously spouted by Grinner was just lifted off the pages of some ratbag Fundie organisation.  Sort of fits in nicely, not an original thought spoken just a conduit for the fruit cakes.

Reminds me so much of a young 7th Day Adventist lady
who I have known for many years.  Once I gave her some thoughts and figures, asked her to read then make up her mind about them.  Several weeks later Lindy said.“I took them to my Pastor who advised me to have nothing to do with them.”  Oh!Linda I asked YOU to make up your own mind, not have it made up for you.”  So much like the Catholic Priests of old, and not so old either, who admonish their flock to leave the thinking to them.

Allow me a moment of levity. One of those specious arguments in the article to which Grinner referred was that All whales have backbones, Moby Dick has a backbone, therefore Moby Dick is a whale. To which I add Captain Ahab has a backbone.  Does this make old Ahab, and the rest of the crew whales too?

The point I am making here is this referral is a load of codswallop that can only impress those wishing to be impressed.

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By Night-Gaunt, October 12, 2011 at 7:43 pm Link to this comment

Grin2012 has a nice position. His contention is that his god (and all others)are out side of space-time. Exist without beginning or end. The web site’s contention is that since our universe has a beginning then it was created but god(s) are not.

I must say the unknown writers of it juxtapose physics, theology and philosophy together in a curious mixture. But as I would expect them to. Look upon this as an example of the kinds of science such a culture would produce and shudder in fear over it becoming the only science in our country should they take over.

Again as it always we are in the Natural world so we are bound by its “laws” or restrictions. Grin2012 is Supernatural and therefor not under such restrictions SHe can claim literally anything and SHe would claim we would have to refute Hir using conventional science. You see the dilemma SHe thinks we are in? Then we run into Chesterton‘s observation that we have to be 100% correct or we fail, which is both impossible and against how science works. However it works well against him and Grin2021 since Hir god(s) must have to be correct 100% of the time or their god is refuted as a false one.

I still want to know about proof of Special Creation proof from you Grin2012. Where is it? In the fossil record? DNA scans? Morphology? Or admit it is false and you are just a trickster here.

Since it has been proven that the Big Bang happened because of the predicted microwave background radiation from its initial formation we know our universe started. Maybe god(s) farted.

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By grin1020, October 12, 2011 at 6:15 pm Link to this comment

Tom Edgar -

Feel free to refute the information found here…but please be specific in your objections.

http://christiananswers.net/q-aig/aig-c039.html

This addresses who created God.

So for the record, I’ve attempted to answer the questions, “Who created God?” and “Which Scientists?”. Now would one of you answer my question regarding entropy?

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By Felonious Monk, October 12, 2011 at 5:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Regardless of Grin’s use of insults or not (or whether equally cutting remarks are made about her views elsewhere on the thread, thus inviting newbies to join those previous comments in kind), she does make very valid points along the way that never get addressed.

  This is a test post. I can’t log in yet (as Tom also said, I believe) and an earlier post never got posted, so I’ll leave it at that until I can respond more easily.

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By Tom Edgar, October 12, 2011 at 5:07 pm Link to this comment

P S.  Bear with me.

The reference to the per centage of “Believing” Scientists could well be true in the U S A, but I doubt if it holds in the rest of the western world.

Having just returned from the U S A, and the Bible Belt at that. I found it amusing that so many were shocked to know that only about 20% of Australians attend religious services regularly, and the census statistics are roughly the same in Europe that only a minority are “Believers”. This compares with the U S A where the vast majority are the reverse of advanced countries.  This, to me, has a direct correlation with the standard of education where The U S A ranks close to the bottom of the scale.

You don’t, necessarily, have to be dumb to be a fervent believer but it is helpful.

I preempted the direction of some conversations in Texas when asked .“What was Australia really like?”
“Just like Texas without the religion.” and so it is, and what do you know it hasn’t hurt one bit.

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By Tom Edgar, October 12, 2011 at 4:53 pm Link to this comment

Statistics, Figures, terminology.???

So some scientists are “Believers” that is no proof they are correct. It is more likely that they, as the vast majority of the population, were indoctrinated from the cradle, along with nationalistic patriotism.

As old St Thomas would have it “Give me the child and I will give you the man.” It is hard to break the mold and the brainwashing over the formative years, most atheists would attest to this except those, like Lord Russel, who was nurtured originally in an atheist family.

Not a single one of those Scientists quoted who have a religious belief seems to have applied the first principle of Scientific proof.  If they had they would have to conclude the evidence is simply not there. This doesn’t mean that there are no Gods. Just that there is no evidence to support the hypotheses. e.g. until such replicable supportive evidence becomes available it is highly unlikely Gods exist(ed).

I found it amusing that Arno Penzias was quoted especially the reference that God created the universe from NOTHING. Surely that is oxymoronic?
“Nothing” predisposes that God did not exist as there was NOTHING. So we get to that imponderable that Grinner, and every other religious apologist, so studiously avoids answering. If everything must have a Creator. “Who created God? ad infinitum.”

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By THE SNED, October 12, 2011 at 3:58 pm Link to this comment

I lost most of a post but here are some stats from a Pew study on 2009. These are excerpts.

What do scientists think about religion?According to a survey of members of the American Assn. for the Advancement of Science, conducted by the Pew Research Center in May and June this year, a majority of scientists (51%) say they believe in God or a higher power, while 41% say they do not.


Furthermore, scientists today are no less likely to believe in God than they were almost 100 years ago, when the scientific community was first polled on this issue. In 1914, 11 years before the Scopes “monkey” trial and four decades before the discovery of the structure of DNA, psychologist James Leuba asked 1,000 U.S. scientists about their views on God. He found the scientific community evenly divided, with 42% saying that they believed in a personal God and the same number saying they did not. Scientists have unearthed many important fossils since then, but they are, if anything, more likely to believe in God today.


Among scientists there are far fewer Protestants (21%) and Catholics (10%) than in the general public, which is 51% Protestant and 24% Catholic. And while evangelical Protestants make up more than a fourth of the general population (28%), they are only a tiny slice (4%) of the scientific community. One notable exception is Jews, who make up a larger proportion of the scientific community (8%) than the general population (2%).

But the Pew poll found that levels of religious faith among scientists vary quite a bit depending on their specialty and age. Chemists, for instance, are more likely to believe in God (41%) than those who work in biology and medicine (32%). And younger scientists (ages 18 to 34) are more likely than older ones to believe in God or a higher power.

Consider..the most religious are the least likely to become scientists. No why would that be? Why do older scientists believe less than their younger cohorts?

And no matter what you say..you have yet to address the real questioned posed here dozens and dozens of times with no answer. Explain where god came from…
and how SHe acquired all knowledge all at once when all we see is evolution of knowing and knowledge.

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By Reit1, October 12, 2011 at 3:47 pm Link to this comment

Well, grin1202…out of all the scientists that is a LOT to you?  Interesting.  But at least I got you to do your homework. wink  I find it interesting that I am th one that always seems to “move” you one way or the other.  It’s just as well I move you to read up on evolution.  Pick one of those books and really do your homework all the way. And I will check out the scientists you cited.  I am sure there is something a bit “old” about their views..but I admit I am not sure.  I will look into each one.

As far as me being abhorrent to you, cite the post.  But even if I had been, I am an atheist.  smile I am not one who’s not peddling the crap “God loves each and every one of you” whilst insulting people I don’t even know.  As I said before - that’s the typical reaction of the nasty, bewildered Christian. 

As far as how I know you’re a xian (or at least that’s what you practice..or some form of it’s many forms) - well, suffice it say you all say the same nasty, hate-filled things right before saying “god loves each one of you.”  Muslims don’t argue atheist threads too often. However, when you talk to them on THEIR threads (i.e. on YouTube) they always give civil answers.  And you’re no Jew or you would spell god: G-d.  No, you’re a Christian.

smile

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By grin1020, October 12, 2011 at 3:21 pm Link to this comment

As to which scientists, here are a few of the hundreds of quotes I have…I think these people might understand more about science than many of us. Just sayin’...

Wernher von Braun (Pioneer rocket engineer) “I find it as difficult to understand a scientist who does not acknowledge the presence of a superior rationality behind the existence of the universe as it is to comprehend a theologian who would deny the advances of science.”

Arthur L. Schawlow (Professor of Physics at Stanford University, 1981 Nobel Prize in physics): “It seems to me that when confronted with the marvels of life and the universe, one must ask why and not just how. The only possible answers are religious. . . . I find a need for God in the universe and in my own life.”

Henry “Fritz” Schaefer (Graham Perdue Professor of Chemistry and director of the Center for Computational Quantum Chemistry at the University of Georgia): “The significance and joy in my science comes in those occasional moments of discovering something new and saying to myself, ‘So that’s how God did it.’ My goal is to understand a little corner of God’s plan.”

Arno Penzias (Nobel prize in physics): “Astronomy leads us to a unique event, a universe which was created out of nothing, one with the very delicate balance needed to provide exactly the conditions required to permit life, and one which has an underlying (one might say ‘supernatural’) plan.”

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By grin1020, October 12, 2011 at 3:10 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt - Thanks for the cordial post. I’m not used to it!

Reit1 - Did I say that I was a Christian? Secondly, you shouldn’t stereotype people. Thirdly, I think the forum might agree that you have been more insulting and abhorrent than me.Fourthly, the degree to which the constants of physics must match a precise criteria is such that a number of agnostic scientists have concluded that there is some sort of “supernatural plan” or “Agency” behind it.I’ll cite the reference to the author if you wish.

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By Night-Gaunt, October 12, 2011 at 2:16 pm Link to this comment

It is Dr.Michi Okaku who also has a weekly radio show and web site. He is also on the SCI channel too. Many shows he has done for them and have guested on many others. He has also been on MSNBC too as a science adviser.

Grin2012 sorry for adding the “g” to your name. I wanted you to make your case for Special Creation since what you anti-science types like to do is simply poke holes, as you see them, to Science. Not going to make it. You must show us where you position is true as in positive examples. Special Creation should be all around us, if it is real. The problem is that it shows that Evolution and adaption not only happened in the distant past but happens today.

Randomness happens far less often than you may think Grin2012 but to know that you need to read outside of that very tiny circle of Creationist/ID “scientists” to do so. Get the recent issue of Discover “Evolution” to find out where the 5 most prominent areas of Evolution going on right now. One example is the hospitals around the world where new species of resistant bacteria keeps appearing faster than we can produce anti-bacterial drugs to counteract them. It also has an article on “Darwin‘s Mistake” a real boner of an error he made. You can get some chuckles out of it maybe.

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By Reit1, October 12, 2011 at 7:24 am Link to this comment

No, it is evidence, not blind faith.  Blind faith makes a stupid man.  Look at yourself for example.  You’ve been insulting and abhorrent.. this is what blind faith does.  And some people are even more intolerant and judgemental than you are.  Some, like Hitler, believed it was god’s will to wipe out the Jewish race because he was so hate-filled and confused.  Maybe you’re just as filled with murder; I don’t know.  But I do know that you’ve displayed the natural, nasty and confused mantra of the typical nasty religiously, blind christian.

I found a link that is not only beautiful, but there are plenty of books for you to read and open your mind to.  I have read the Bible.  Talk about gaping holes, human foible and ridiculous, absurdities…  It’s chock a box full of disgusting vile behaviour, not to mention outright lies. 

Now, do yourself a favour and read one or more of the books mentioned here in this video.  We’ve all read your Bible.  Read some books on evolution and find your answer!  If you do it with an open mind, I have a feeling you will have an “aha” moment, and your hateful, bigotry and itolerance will shed it’s ugly skin.

Enjoy!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyjNXdEGjO4&feature=player_embedded

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By grin1020, October 11, 2011 at 5:33 pm Link to this comment

Sorry about that…we look at the same things as you and SEE something different than you.

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By grin1020, October 11, 2011 at 5:30 pm Link to this comment

Everybody now!
We belong to a mutual admiration society! We belong to a mutual admiration society! Chuckle…Chuckle…it has been fun, but if nobody is going to take a stab at entropy and its relationship to living organisms, then I am wasting my time and yours. I’ll just leave you with this thought…God loves each one of you, even if you will not accept it presently. You each want evolution to explain things, but there are gaping holes. Why is it that science is forever seeking the ‘missing link” and never finding it? You must know. Please don’t think yourselves superior to believers in any respect. It just isn’t true, regardless of your opinions of one another.We just look at the same things as you and something different than you. In the end, it IS faith and faith alone. We both know that. So long for now.

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By Reit1, October 11, 2011 at 3:39 pm Link to this comment

And SNED, you’re spot on..time does not exist accept as a man made measurement.  Some people only understand what is relative to what they see, feel, hear and think about…so they project it.  It would be easy for me to say “but time does exist!”..because it’s relative to my existence.  But when the Universe is considered…what need does it have for any measurement? It’s not a breathing, thinking thing. Suns (stars) etc. revolve when they do.  “When”..a time word.  Time measurments are everywhere and if one is not a deep thinker, it would be hard to comprehend the lack of it. The “eternities” of religion are man made measurements, too. What does eternity even mean to me, other than complete boredom, if it were real the way the religious project it?  Not much. The mere thought of it makes me tired. What fun thing will I do after (here comes a time measurement from the Bible) the first thousand years??  Worshipping a megalomaniac god just doesn’t sound like a lot of fun to me.  There’s one part in the Bible I agree with from Ecclesiastes: “For everthing there is a season.  A time to be born and a time to DIE”.  The end, no more “time”.  I find comfort in that thought.  I think the religious are very uncomfortable with it.. another reason the absence of time as we’ve made it, is too difficult to fathom for the faithies.

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By Reit1, October 11, 2011 at 3:26 pm Link to this comment

I don’t really think Grin1020 has much to add other than his own confusion.  Maybe he will respond..who knows?  But in the interum, I noticed a post by an unregistered commenter named John from the other day.

By John, October 9 at 12:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“I have been reading The Case for God [Deckle Edge] [Hardcover]
Karen Armstrong. the other side of the coin.
She argues that in the major religions God was something that you experienced through rituals, practices and prayers. Nothing including the Bible was taken literally before a couple of hundred of years, ago.”

John, if you return and see this, perhaps Karen Armstrong could explain Martin Luther who took the words of the Bible extremely literally.  To this end; he made his own interpretation of exactly what he believe it meant, and heads did roll.

I read her book.  I don’t agree with anything about it.

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By THE SNED, October 11, 2011 at 2:33 pm Link to this comment

Night Guant and Gring 2012 There is a program on the science channel on time. As the credits roll at the end of the show the white haired oriental American scientist whose name escapes me now, and who hosts many a science channel says this “Perhaps Time is an illusion” (Meaning if he says it is too many people will protest. Existence is one thing….time is simply a measurement of our existence. Since the universe doesn’t care how we interpret it, all our time words like beginning and end, start stop etc..have no meaning in the big picture. A universe of particles that have no beginning and no end is far easier to grasp than an all knowing all seeing all hearing god figure who just happens to have been around forever (also with no beginning and end) with all knowledge from the get go.(Whenever that was)And please don’t forget Stephen Hawkins latest comment…and I paraphrase..“there is no need for god for the universe to exist.” Maybe Gring 2012 and her statistician friend know more about science than Hawkins. A 100 billion galaxies each with hundreds of billions of stars..around for 14 billion years..and life forms here that live on oxygen, or sulfur,or without sunlight, and in hydrochloric acid and at extreme temperatures and pressures and within the earth itself…and some guy with a calculator says we’re alone? That is a laugh.And totally unprovable with so many billions of unknowns.

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By Night-Gaunt, October 11, 2011 at 1:20 pm Link to this comment

Atheists are Naturalists. Religionists are Supernaturalists like yourself Gring2012. But you are confused, scientists haven’t said that “time doesn’t exist” by your people act like it can just be ignored.

I know confronting just one of us is hard enough much less 3 of us, but you can answer at least one question can’t you? Like mine—-give us an example of proven special creation. Simple enough isn’t it? Because we have loads of examples of Evolution both micro and macro changes.

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By Tom Edgar, October 11, 2011 at 3:20 am Link to this comment

Once again because you cannot give a direct answer to a specific question you divert to irrelevancies.

Atheists aren’t necessarily interested in how things happened, begin or progressed. A= without theism = Belief in Gods.

You claim to know through religion how it all began so please answer the basic question.  From whence came your creator? Please no responses with rhetorical profundities which do not even approach an answer.  That, or pack your bags and go annoy those of your own intellect.

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By grin1020, October 11, 2011 at 2:25 am Link to this comment

To Tom Edgar…well you lose. I will address it. Are you familiar with the Alpha and Omega? When did time begin? Oh I forgot, you guys say time isn’t real…YOUR QUESTION HAS NO ANSWER. It is the wrong question. Rather like the ridiculous argument, “Can God create a rock heavy enough that he (or she or it) cannot lift it? It has no answer. Soak on it for a week or two.

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