So I happen to go to a catholic school and be atheist. My theology teacher just happens to be in his own little world and is spreading fallacious claims. He's a really anti-secularist guy he even began handing out papers with arguments saying how secularism is bad because it promotes selfishness and all of that.

Anyways one day he said that Adam and Eve existed which I basically told him they didn't and he said well there has to be a first humans which I then explained to him how there was never a first human but if you go back 40,000 years into the past then you will see a difference between modern homo sapiens and a homo sapiens then. Anyways he said well there had to be a first human which was responsible for the fall of man and I really can't convince the guy let alone come up with really good arguments that will trump all of the nonsense he spews and convince the class that he's wrong.

Keep in mind he claims that all other religions are wrong and I have come up with solid arguments which he can't answer adding to my favorability in the classroom. I am in need of some good arguments against him. He also says that God implanted morality at some point in humans when I argued against his claim which he said that without Jesus we can't be good and I really got pissed off at this because he basically said that every living human that's not religious including bill gates who keep in mind has donated billions of dollars to charity is somehow bad because they don't be believe in God.

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You might point out to the fellow that the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 390, points out that "The account of the fall in Genesis 3 uses figurative language."

As for "without Jesus we can't be good" you might ask him which circle of hell Moses and Elijah occupy.  If he comes back with "Limbo" you have my permission to *facepalm*.

As for Mr. Gates, though, I'm not sure giving billions of dollars has any more merit than a poor person giving $1.  Are you?  Bill was not much of a philanthropist at all before he married Melinda.  She, of course, is Catholic. ;-)

Paragraph 390 of Catechism of the Catholic Church "The account of the fall in Genesis 3 uses figurative language, but affirms a primeval event, a deed that took place at the beginning of the history of man. Revelation gives us the certainty of faith that the whole of human history is marked by the original fault freely committed by our first parents." Is what it says. Of course I don't think there was ever a fall of man since I don't believe in God/gods to begin with. But if it was stated that the fall of man is not to be taken literal then it would be a good argument to be proposed but according to paragraph 390 of the catechism it states that it was a primeval event and is marked by the original sin commuted by the first "humans".

And you do have a good point about Bill Gates but what I was trying today was that you don't need to be part of an organized religion or believe in supernatural deities to be a good moral human being.

But if it was stated that the fall of man is not to be taken literal then it would be a good argument to be proposed but according to paragraph 390 of the catechism it states that it was a primeval event and is marked by the original sin commuted by the first "humans".

You need to be clear about the nature of the argument.  Are you arguing against a literal Adam & Eve, or are you arguing about a fall from grace, or are you arguing that there weren't early humans?

And you do have a good point about Bill Gates but what I was trying today was that you don't need to be part of an organized religion or believe in supernatural deities to be a good moral human being.

OK, then make that argument.  Best not to use someone like Bill Gates who grew up in a Christian culture, or even Gandhi who had a lot of contact with a Christian culture.  After all, you don't have to be part of an organized religion to be strongly influenced by Christian moral ideas.  That's why I was suggesting Moses.

I'll leave this to the rest of the gang from here on out, though...  I think they're more what you're looking for.

It's hard for me to imagine what I'd do in your shoes, but chances are I wouldn't gain much favor in that environment. I think my current focus is to debunk religion in general, without putting any particular religion's follower on the spot. I'm guessing there are few or no Muslims in your class(es), so I wonder if I might see how far I could get the instructor to debunk other religions.

I don't know! I'm thinking this might be like running over hot coals, and watching out for booby traps others might be trying to set (in the coals). Hmm, I might leave my shoes on?

I try to question him and try to encourage others to use critical thinking and logic which is working for some but for the most part a lot of others still side with him sadly. I have tried my best but a I can't help the guy, a while back he was asked by a fellow classmate why certain parts of the earth were hotter than others, I mean the guy didn't even know the answer to that and said "Because God wanted it to be that way". A person whom can't answer a basic 6th grade science question is unfit to teach, no matter what subject.

Ask him if Adam and Eve had belly buttons.

Lol that question was actually brought up one time in class and he said no but I don't exactly remember what he said it was a while back but all I can remember was it was something ludacris

Yikes. Good luck.

I had the same problem...only at the university level. It was no difference. Having a PhD in something doesn't make you invulnerable to God-delusion-stupidity. They were brilliant lovely professors for all other topics...but when religion came up...eek!

Anyhoo...don't aim to change his mind as it's 99% likely he won't relent. My professors never did. I think a better aim is, while speaking with him, direct the questions to other students (even better ask questions directly to them). I was always amazed and awed when my fellow students did this well (kinly but with confidence). As you seem to be trying to do now, they were well equipped with good arguments and prepared for good responses and most importantly of all...ready to say "I don't know...I'll look into it and get back to you" instead of improvising bad responses. It was way more effective for them to challenge fellow students than have a cliché argument battle with an unmovable concrete pillar.

As for finding good responses...consider going through the longer discussion threads (that don't deal with free will), especially if a religious person participated in it...and you'll find lots of good responses. You'll have to edit out the snarky sarcastic stinging poetry. The arguments are there. Also...rationalwiki is a good source. It's also a little snarky. We always need more good editors as well. Just start with the portals on the home page and explore. There are cruft-like articles but the good ones are goldmines.

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Main_Page

Good luck. I hope you succeed at planting some seeds of doubt to help liberate your fellow students from the God delusions their parents imposed on them.

Thanks for the advice. I have asked questions to fellow classmates in the past like who actually believes in creationism and to my surprise there where hands that went up. I guess it's not that surprising since after all it is a catholic school where people mainly learn subjects that in addition are incorporated with faith. It is quiet disturbing that most of my classmates have gone to Catholic school(s) their whole lives not being exposed to logic and critical thinking, after all parents are spending over $10,000/year for a not-so-good education for their kids. I should otherwise say for indoctrination. It is disturbing to say the least. And thanks for the advice I'm new to this community and I just joined today and this is my first thread I created.

fall of man/implanted morality...contradiction...check some experiments in re morality of theists v atheists. Cite any examples ya want to rebut notion of man being moral. Explore the connection between religiosity and willingness to commit atrocities as a direct result, also the degenerate beliefs of the religious v the secular rejection of those degenerate beliefs and the resultant progress.

Adam and Eve hypothesis requires proof, just like bigfoot or any other preposterous and improbable claim.  The claimant always bears that burden so put up or shut up. If he says it is in the bible you can cite superman in superman comic books. The point is that the book cant authenticate itself.

Furthermore the idea of special creation which is implicit in the fairy tale of Adam and Eve is contradicted by evolution which credits all life with having a common progenitor. If Science is right Adam and Even is impossible.

First human responsible for fall of man is a non sequitur. It is aesthetic and while truth may lie anywhere it is rarely found in the self-serving constructs which are inherently antithetical to investigation and truth-seeking.  Our opinions ought to be formed after the evidence is in and not before lest our opinions be no more valuable than the rubbish he perceives in other belief theistic beliefs but is too myopic to see in his own.

If Science is right Adam and Even is impossible.

Ignoring the elephant in that room for just a moment, what we would have had is a small band of first humans, not just one couple.

The elephant in that room is the fact that the transition from one species to another is gradual enough that the parents of the people in that band were almost identical to them (as close as you are to your parents and kids) and the line between "first human" and "last pre-human" is entirely arbitrary.  People have a hard time grasping that, I think, because they are looking around them at a snapshot in time, the line between us and our nearest relatives at this time is huge, because the two branches have had two million years to diverge.  Immediately after the two populations stopped interbreeding, the differences would have been far more difficult to see, and we do come across cases in nature today where naturalists can't really make up their minds whether they are looking at two different species, or separate populations of the same one.  And it gets even messier than that, even in the present day, when you look at "ring species" where population A interbreeds with neighboring population B.  But pupulation B also interbreeds with another of its neighbors, C, and C likewise with D, and D likewise with E.  But A and E cannot, even when brought into close proximity, produce fertile offspring, making them (according to our current definition) different species.  Which is to say that if you look closely enough, there are examples of "transitional forms" all around us today, and there's no need to crack rocks open looking for fossils.

This is true.

At the same time, individual mutations are discrete.  They happen once and then propagate (yes, it's possible for them to happen twice by random chance, but you get the idea).

So, for example, there's a single mutation of FOXP2 that distinguishes us from chimps and is unique to humans, has been highly selected for, and seems responsible for major neurochemical changes in the brain that may have allowed for language development.  

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