Hello all. I am Natarajan (a.k.a Raju), an atheist from Chennai, India. Most of my family know that I am atheist, and they usually avoid discussing religion with me. I too avoid the topic, so no one hurts each other.

 

However, I have an uncle who is particularly religiously zealous and otherwise rude. He is the kind of man I wouldn't be surprised to be guilty of doing extreme acts in the name of religion (or under any other excuse, for that matter). It is also worth mentioning that he is a habitual alcoholic, wife abuser and child abuser. One day, he sent me (and a bunch of other folks, some of them family) an email with a Word document attachment. The Word document's contents were exactly the same as the contents of this page: http://www.bukisa.com/articles/96175_awesome-conversation-abdulkala...

 

I responded (reply-all) to this email, and then his son (my cousin) responded to my email very harshly. This resulted in an exchange of emails. I want to share the whole conversation with all of you.

Mainly, I want to know if I could have handled this any better, or how would you have handled the same situation?

 

Copy-paste of the whole email exchange:

 

----------------------------------------------

 

 

 

 

From: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

To: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Sent: Thu, 23 December, 2010 12:14:10 PM

Subject: Faith & Science

 

Dear All

 

I read an interesting argument between a Professor and his student .

 

Please see as attachment

(attachment contains the contents of this page: http://www.bukisa.com/articles/96175_awesome-conversation-abdulkala...)

 

Cheers

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

 

----------------------

 

From: ME

To: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Sent: Thu, 23 December, 2010 1:57:30 PM

Subject: Re: Faith & Science

 

Not surprising that the student is a muslim. By the way you can find this "interesting" conversation on this islamic website, with "god" replaced by "ALLAH" (lol!): http://muxlim.com/blogs/servantofallah17/does-allah-exist-a-convers....

 

Oh, and the "whatever you didn't see with your own eyes is taken on faith" argument is not new, neither does it hold. There is a difference between taking something on faith and taking it on evidence. The professors's brain may not be visible to the student (because it is inside the head, which is opaque - duh!), but it is scientifically established that human beings have brains. It is not scientifically established that anything called god exists.

 

Darwin's theory of evolution is always taught as a theory, not as something indisputable. It is so far (comparatively) the theory that presents the most scientific plausibility, compared to grossly ridiculous other theories. That is all.

 

Here's a good resource on why people still believe in god: http://atheism.about.com/od/theismtheists/tp/WhyTheistsBelieveInGod...

 

If only common sense were more common! 

 

-------------

 

 

From: XXXXXXXXXXXXX

To: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Sent: Thu, 23 December, 2010 10:28:23 PM

Subject: Re: Faith & Science

 

For your kind information Raju:

 

1. That was not A.P.J Abdul Kalam... It was Albert Einstein the physicist... Some idiot down the line removed his name and put AJP's name! 

 

2. Please spare me the intelligent talk about the professor's brain not visible - it was a deliberate joke by Einstein (duh!) Any third grade student could have seen that...

 

3. At the time they had this conversation, Darwinism was very strong and people actually believed it... Not just as a theory but as a fact... Only later it became disputable... So the point taken by Einstein was very much relevant at that time...

 

4. If u think u can make a mockery out of this by ur reply please, u r grossly mistaken. I would advice u to get ur facts right and think before u speak - of course u need not follow it!

 

5. Explain the points about darkness, death and cold in this conversation can u? Am damn sure u cannot! Otherwise u would have tried to make a mock out of it already...

 

Like u say - If only common sense was more common!

 

-------------------------------------------------

 

From: ME

To: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Sent: Thu, 23 December, 2010 10:28:23 PM

Subject: Re: Faith & Science

 

Replies inline in blue:

 

For your kind information Raju:

 

1. That was not A.P.J Abdul Kalam... It was Albert Einstein the physicist... Some idiot down the line removed his name and put AJP's name! 

Who is that idiot? Typical theist manipulation of data and calling it "fact". Tomorrow they will fill in Mother Theresa's name in that place. Wait, looks like this conversation itself is doubted. Check out: http://www.religioustolerance.org/culeins.htm

 

2. Please spare me the intelligent talk about the professor's brain not visible - it was a deliberate joke by Einstein (duh!) Any third grade student could have seen that...

Then please spare me your theist stuff. If you preach theism to me, I will try to teach sense to you. Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. If you want your theism to be respected, learn to respect atheists' atheism.

 

3. At the time they had this conversation, Darwinism was very strong and people actually believed it... Not just as a theory but as a fact... Only later it became disputable... So the point taken by Einstein was very much relevant at that time...

Wait. Darwinism is still strong. It is a strong *theory* because it cannot (yet?) be proved. If you claim that it was taken as indisputable fact, what's your source for that? And taken by whom? 

 

4. If u think u can make a mockery out of this by ur reply please, u r grossly mistaken. I would advice u to get ur facts right and think before u speak - of course u need not follow it!

There is no need for that. This alleged conversation is a mockery in itself. What so-called "fact" are you referring to?

 

5. Explain the points about darkness, death and cold in this conversation can u? Am damn sure u cannot! Otherwise u would have tried to make a mock out of it already...

Any half-wit knows that darkness does not exist. Trying to imply that atheists do not even know that, is a feeble ineffective attempt at mocking atheists. It is somewhat like the question, "Can god create a rock so heavy that he cannot lift it?" Answer "yes" or "no" etc etc.

 

Like u say - If only common sense was more common!

 

------------------

 

From: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

To: ME

Sent: Fri, 24 December, 2010 7:13:17 AM

Subject: Re: Faith & Science

 

Am teaching theism? Where do u get ur thoughts and insights from i wonder? The answer you gave to the second point i made was totally irrelevant... Am sure u disagree though... I can live without learning sense from a person like you - thanks for the offer... I never said anything about theism in my reply if u did not notice...

 

You follow whatever YOU want in YOUR life... Dont try to say that what others are thinking and following are insane and without common sense... Like u say - show respect... Because i respect for what YOU are and what YOU follow (atheism it may be) but not the fact that u seem so egoistic about it...

 

And one more thing - this is a concept of "God" which can be interpreted in any form u wish (or no form at all) and has nothing to do with religion... IF u think God and religion as inter-related in some way, well "God save you"... And it does not matter if it was APJ or Einstein - it is "some" bold student...

 

Your third reply confirms what u need - proof! For that please travel back in time and see evolution for ur self...

 

The alleged conversation is a mockery by itself - agreed... It made a mock of the professor and yourself because of two things:

- The whole class was in uproar

- You can say that a similar reaction occurred here too (after reading ur reply that is)

 

Your 5th reply supersedes your second reply - no words and comments... You may be interested in Scientology... Pls take a look...

 

Please dont surprise me with ur ignorance (or intelligence) again... We will not have this conversation again and i dont expect a reply so spare ur self that time... 

 

NB - this is addressed only to u...

 

 

---------------------------

 

From: ME

To: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Sent: Fri, 24 December, 2010 9:01:32 AM

Subject: Re: Faith & Science

 

Replies inline, again in blue (love that color).

 

Am teaching theism? Where do u get ur thoughts and insights from i wonder? The answer you gave to the second point i made was totally irrelevant... Am sure u disagree though... I can live without learning sense from a person like you - thanks for the offer... I never said anything about theism in my reply if u did not notice...

I was referring to the first email sent out. That was preaching theism. My reply was to your statement, "Please keep your intelligence to yourself", I am saying, "In that case please keep your theism to yourself". This refers to the sender of the first email. I thought that is so obvious it doesn't need to be stated. Anyway.

 

You follow whatever YOU want in YOUR life... Dont try to say that what others are thinking and following are insane and without common sense... Like u say - show respect... Because i respect for what YOU are and what YOU follow (atheism it may be) but not the fact that u seem so egoistic about it...

Is that so? The first email certainly didn't show any sign of respect towards atheists. This cooked up story tries to portray atheists as angry professors using all the wrong arguments. Insane? I never said that. Why are you trying to put words into my mouth? Common sense? I was referring to Abdul Kalam's common sense (as the the first email claimed it was him). Where do other people come into it? Oh, and what makes theists think that their ego is justified, whereas atheists' ego is not? I am not the one who wrote an email about theism and atheism and sent it out to everyone. You theists started it. So you have it coming right back.

 

And one more thing - this is a concept of "God" which can be interpreted in any form u wish (or no form at all) and has nothing to do with religion... IF u think God and religion as inter-related in some way, well "God save you"... And it does not matter if it was APJ or Einstein - it is "some" bold student...

Look up any dictionary (a real dictionary by the way - not some kind of scripture). You are wrong in your definition of religion. You can start here: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/religion

 

Your third reply confirms what u need - proof! For that please travel back in time and see evolution for ur self...

No, I didn't ask for proof. I asked for source. If you don't understand the difference between both, don't bother. Whenever you make any scientific or historic statement, someone will ask you what's your source i.e where did you hear/read about it. They want to know whether you read it in any biography / documentary / encyclopedia or you pulled it out of your hat (a.k.a "faith").

 

The alleged conversation is a mockery by itself - agreed... It made a mock of the professor and yourself because of two things:

- The whole class was in uproar

- You can say that a similar reaction occurred here too (after reading ur reply that is)

(yawn)

 

Your 5th reply supersedes your second reply - no words and comments... You may be interested in Scientology... Pls take a look...

I knew you'll run out of words.

 

Please dont surprise me with ur ignorance (or intelligence) again... We will not have this conversation again and i dont expect a reply so spare ur self that time... 

Ignorance of what? Try to justify what you're saying. Oh, its so typical (of theists) to say whatever you want to say, and then say, "dont reply to this". How convenient. One theist sends me an email mocking atheists in front of other people (probably other theists), I will definitely  reply-all revealing how ridiculous it is. It is like insulting someone in a room in front of a bunch of people, then the person will insult you back in front of the same people. That is what I did. If you dont want me to stop replying, then you stop replying first.

 

NB - this is addressed only to u...

What is NB?

 

------------------

 

 

From: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

To: ME

Sent: Fri, 24 December, 2010 8:18:19 PM

Subject: Re: Faith & Science

 

I didnt even bother reading through ur replies... It is not worth my time and energy to do so... 

 

Just one word for u - Pathetic... 

 

-----------------------

 

 

From: ME

To: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Sent: Fri, 24 December, 2010 8:18:19 PM

Subject: Re: Faith & Science

 

 

Typical

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Views: 72

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Replies to This Discussion

I am sharing this mainly to know if you think I could have handled it better in any way. How would you have responded to this? Or, would you have responded at all?
Thanks. I dont think that conversation ever happened. It sounds cooked up, and a bit of google search reveals strong arguments against the allegation that this conversation happened - with Einstein, anyway.
Oh, it's definitely a made-up story, no different than the ones in Jack Chick's Chick Tract on evolution.
I'd say you handled it about as well as it could have been, considering that I don't know your family members. The only thing that I would have done differently is to point out that evolution is both a fact and a theory. It is a fact that the frequency of alleles change in a population over time. This has been and is still observed, both in the lab and in nature. Evolution is also a theory that attempts to explain why this happens. A very strongly supported theory, I might add.
Thanks, Dave. I didn't know about the frequency of alleles.

LMAOOOOOO - This conversation is so freaking made up - No philosophy professor would be that stupid to fall for this - Those questions have been posed before - and surely the professor would know this.

If the student knows that duality is the argument of the professor - example as in when the professor asks the student where evil came from ...

The student stated that he did believe evil existed ... but seriously? evil is the absence of good - anybody who wishes to argue evil doesn't exist could easily say this - it's the same thing as saying cold doesn't
exist - but just an absence of heat.

If evil doesn't exist - and is just the absence of good - then the question becomes - "If God is good , then how could there ever be an absence of good - if God is everywhere?"

But the student didn't say that. He / she said 'yes' to the question of the professor - "Does evil exist?"

"Prof: That's right. Tell me son, is there evil in this world?
Student: Yes.
Prof: Evil is everywhere, isn't it? And God did make everything. Correct?
Student: Yes.

Read more: http://www.bukisa.com/articles/96175_awesome-conversation-abdulkala..."

So, the student has already refuted his own argument before he get's to it.

Then the student - after his silence to the professors questions - starts to take the reversal. He starts to ask the questions about duality - which the professor conveniently falls into.

Good / Evil
Heat / Cold
Light / Darkness

Those are all dualistic ideas.

Any student in the room who laughed with uproar - is obviously an intellectual imbecile - who didn't follow the conversation at all - but that would never have happened - because the Professor would have stopped the student in his tracks - by going back to the students answer on Evil existing.

The evolution conversation - is another way to conveniently make the professor look 'ignorant'. The professor could have easily stated that there is evidence for it - and it makes predictions ...

The professor also conveniently dug a grave for himself - when he said "If you can't see it / taste it / touch it / smell it / feel it / then science says it doesn't exist ... "

If a professor of philosophy ever said that - I would have a field day with him as well. But the professor would not have said that.

There are about 5 or 6 points in the conversation where the professor is conveniently stated to have failed in his logic / other points of discussion.

The brain analogy to God is also something the Professor could easily have demonstrated - and the student - if meant to look intelligent - failed miserably.

In the end, the students point about death not being the opposite of life - is completely irrelevant to the conversation - because even if there WAS life after death - that STILL DOES NOT MEAN GOD EXISTS. It just means we haven't been able to discover why life exists after Death.

The student is an idiot - the professor is portrayed as more of an idiot.

But that is what religious people are - idiots debating greater idiots - the lesser of the 2 idiots is seen as the victor in the debate ... because theists don't know what it means to actually win a debate with logic and reason.

All in all, I think you could have taken a bit more time to consider your replies, miss. I think you were a bit brash - if you could have pointed out to the email sender - the point I made about the student answering 'yes' to there being evil - being remaining silent to the other question ... I think you should have continued pushing this point ...

 

And you should have stressed that the sender initially had no clue when he stated Einstein was the student. 

 

Please ... Einstein would never have been that stupid.  

 

I agree with you Dustin!

Wow, Dustin! Thanks, there are so many points I missed! Yes, I should have taken time to think through. I was just a bit upset that all of them know I am atheist, and they're going out of their way to provoke me into a response - when any time I talk about the topic, it is not appreciated.

 

P.S: I'm not a miss - I'm a dude :-)

 

Oops.  :)

 

 

A few more points - 

 "Now tell me, Professor.Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?
Prof: If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, yes, of course, I do.
Student: Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?

Read more: http://www.bukisa.com/articles/96175_awesome-conversation-abdulkala...


This is obvious that it is an agenda seeking conversation ... to suggest 'we evolved from monkeys' ...



I actually saw a muslim lecture to a hall of muslims on you tube this very conversation - and you could see on the faces of the muslims in the audience they were gleefully absorbing the entire thing - but little did they know - the conversation makes absolutely no sense - it's just there to demean science ... and to use argument from ignorance ... as in the passage where the student states 'Sir, science can't even tell us what a thought is ... '



Implying that a 'thought' is somehow supernatural and unprovable by science. Another agenda.



Plus, the student is assuming the teacher to be using duality - as in 'measuring' cold - Which was never asserted in the conversation - the teacher just said cold existed - which it does - as a subjective thought of relative heat in comparison to how we perceive it ... so when the student claims 'sir, you are wrong' ... he's making an assumption of what the teacher is saying - just like he accuses the teacher of assuming he's being dualistic about Life and Death ... which the teacher also never mentioned anything about.



Notice this part as well:

"Prof: Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things exist in the world, don't they?

Student: Yes, sir.
Prof: So, who created them? "



How can the student assert these things exist? Surely they must be subjective entirely ... because you can't 'measure' Immorality ... or Hatred ... or Ugliness ... you can't 'measure' any of those.



But then he states that Cold and darkness do not exist .... because you can't measure them ...


Read more: http://www.bukisa.com/articles/96175_awesome-conversation-abdulkala...



ALSO, The 'theory' of Evolution is a fact. It IS indisputable. The conversation was either created as a mockery a LONG time ago - or it has an agenda as I stated earlier.



Based on your reply - I would probably recommend you read a few books on Evolution and memorize the important concepts.

Ahhhh ... but I could rip this entire conversation apart ... I'll stop here.



Sorry for the small letters ... still haven't figured out how to fix this.

-----

Fixed.

:-)

 

For the small letters I just press down Ctrl key and scroll up using the mouse wheel, when reading the text.

Seriously, sometimes I wonder if I could handle certain things in a better way myself.

My husband was diagnosed with a kidney disease a little over 2 years ago. So I started researching things other than PRAYER to help. lol

On thing that consistantly kept coming up in my research was a raw/living food diet. It in fact after 2 months on a very strict diet started to reverse his creatinine levels. I had to go home for a funeral, not too long ago and we both fell off the diet, I wasn't here to prepare his meals for him. So on and so forth,

If you only knew how many e-mails I have recieved from his family telling me how it is my fault he is sick because I am a heathern, or because I feed him wrong.. They are all vegetarian seventh day adventist.

I have been rather rude several times.. I say you handle it the way you have to..

I don't know how I would have responded, unless it was me that the e-mail came to I can't say how I would have felt about it. However I can say that lots of times I just delete the conversations and go on.

 

On that note, your uncle and my husbands uncle would get along great maybe we should set them up on a date!

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