Hi folks,

I have a lot of Facebook 'friends' from my bad old fundie days, and usually I try to avoid any public discussion with them on Facebook of religious issues, but the other day I couldn't resist commenting on this status update:


I have a couple of things in mind for my next comment, but I thought I'd throw it open to you guys and see what you come up with. So fire away!

cheers, Jim

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Isn't the god of the Sept. 11th attacks the same god that Christians worship? Yeah.. I think Hagar and Abraham would agree. Seems like he hasn't been a gentleman and withdrawn at all.
A bit late (sorry), but in case you want to add to it... School children are not forbidden from praying in school. It is forbidden for school officials to lead school children in prayer. Push the point home by asking if they would like a Muslim or Hindu teacher leading their children in a Muslim or Hindu prayer.

Forbidding school officials from presenting a religion firstly upholds the constitution that the government shall not establish a national religion; but secondly serves to help prevent discrimination and alienation of those children who are not part of the mainstream religion (or no religion).

Also, all the god and prayer in public goes against what the Bible says; according to the Bible is should be a private matter.
I edited my last comment slightly, let me know what you think:

"By this logic the Middle Ages should have been a perfect era - everyone believed in god, there were no secular schools or governments, etc. Still I seem to remember that there was one war after another, usually between 'Christian' countries, widespread pestilence, and persecution, torture and agonizing execution of anyone who dared to question or be different - who proferred such anti-biblical ideas as the Earth is not flat, and it revolves around the sun.

And what about the higher rates of murder, divorce, teenage pregnancy, domestic violence, etc., in the bible belt states of the US? Belief in a sky daddy doesn't seem to be helping them:
http://womensissues.about.com/od/datingandsex/a/TeenPregStates.htm
http://www.silentwitness.net/states/us_map.htm
http://www.statemaster.com/graph/lif_div_rat-lifestyle-divorce-rate
and this one is really interesting:
http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_dira.htm
"Divorce rates among conservative Christians were significantly higher than for other faith groups, and much higher than Atheists and Agnostics experience."
Here are Smily's latest replies and my responses:

Neither Dr. Spock nor his son committed suicide.
http://www.snopes.com/medical/doctor/drspock.asp
OK now the person whose page it is has finally responded with his best shots, which are all laughably weak. I don't think I'll have too much problem responding to these, but feel free to give me some suggestions, preferably short and pithy:

There are five logical fallacies of God's existence that are insubstantial -- meaning as you know that they can be independently laughed at by anyone.

1.) Bare assertion fallacy
2.) Argumentum ad populum
3.) fallacy of composition
4.) Argumentum ad populum and argumentum ad antiquitatem
5.) All of the above, as well as appeal to emotion
Very nice, Ninja :) and definitely short and pithy as requested! But as my objective in this debate is to get some of this guy's other friends thinking (he's basically a lost cause, but he 'ministers' to seekers of truth, agnostics and atheists) I don't think I can use anything quite this direct. Here's my response to his point 1, I'll be tackling 2-5 later as I have to get some work finished first:


"The core issue is whether god exists" - spot on. But your objective proofs are neither objective nor proofs.

1) We are pattern seekers. We see a man in the moon, hear ghosts on creaky staircases, see archers and ploughs in the stars and horses' heads in the clouds. It often seems impossible to us that the world's complexity could have arisen without a creator, but there is overwhelming evidence that it did. This does not mean that it became so complex by chance, but by minute changes in animals and plants over long periods of time which gave one a slight advantage over another in the ability to find a mate and pass on its genes.

As for the origin of life, another experiment this week has pointed towards how that might have occurred:...
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/14/science/14rna.html?ref=global-home
OK here's what I came up with to answer Kerby's 5 points (thanks to Atheist Ninja for the suggestion about the argumentum ad populum and Misty for the tip about Dr. Spock):

"The core issue is whether god exists" - spot on. But your objective proofs are neither objective nor proofs.

1) We are pattern seekers. We see a man in the moon, hear ghosts on creaky staircases, see archers and ploughs in the stars and horses' heads in the clouds. It often seems impossible to us that the world's complexity could have arisen without a creator, but there is overwhelming evidence that it did. This does not mean that it became so complex by chance, but by minute changes in animals and plants over long periods of time which gave one a slight advantage over another in the ability to find a mate and pass on its genes.

As for the origin of life, another experiment this week has pointed towards how that might have occurred:...
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/14/science/14rna.html?ref=global-home

***
Quickie in between:
Neither Dr. Spock nor his son committed suicide.
http://www.snopes.com/medical/doctor/drspock.asp

***

2) 95% of the world believes in a god, so therefore one or more must exist? Hmm, popularity = truth, also known as the Argumentum ad populum, dangerous ground there, Kerby. Meanwhile Islam is the fastest-growing religion worldwide. Is this the same god? Really?

***

3) What exactly has been proven historically, scientifically and archeologically with regard to the bible? That it was written in a certain era, by certain people? Perhaps. That parts of it are historically accurate? Perhaps (although all the references to Egypt and the Pharaohs are extremely dubious and are not supported by any archeological evidence). I’m not sure how you would go about proving the accuracy of some of the wackier bits of it – Adam and Eve followed by multiple generations of incest - initially with Eve – in order to create a viable population, Noah’s ark with its 2 by 2 (or was it 7 by 7?) animals, including presumably Tyrannosaurus Rexes, lions, crocodiles, komodos, anacondas, etc., all eating one another for 150 days, and then all living beings being descended from the remaining people and animals. Throughout the world. Including all the weird animals on islands such as Madagascar, Papua New Guinea, the Galapagos, etc., whose existence just happens to perfectly support evolution by natural selection. Job living Gepetto-style in a big fish?

It is always easy to make certain types of prophesy fit the events after the fact. Ask a Jew and a Christian what Isaiah was prophesying about and you will get two very different answers. But there are hundreds if not thousands of prophesies in the bible which never came true. Let’s take one very big one – “Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away, until all these things happen”. Many Christians interpret this as being the generation that was alive when Israel came into being in 1948. On what basis? As I understand it, a strict translation of ‘this generation’ could only be referring to the people alive at that moment, in AD 30. (Meanwhile the time is ticking on the mythical 1948 generation, and I wonder how long it will be before Christians have to give up re-interpreting the word ‘generation’ to mean longer and longer periods and come up with a new interpretation of this prophesy.)

***

4) Another argumentum ad populum.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argumentum_ad_populum

5) see my reply above, at 10.48 on 15 May, starting "a creator that makes his creation inherently flawed...".

Hardly good, and hardly loving."
Yes I guessed this figure would be way off. I suppose he could argue it is still a majority, however. I think I dealt with his points ok though. Hopefully some of his 291 Facebook friends will now have some food for thought.
I think you are entitled to put
'boo-yah!' at the end
Well done!
:D :D :D

Thanks, I needed that!

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