Is it just me, or does everybody on here sound like pathetic politicians, just trying to make themselves sound more believable putting others down than proving themselves? Has anybody heard of the phrase, "You catch more flies with honey than vinegar?," or has the complex design of human intelligence been reduced to stupidity?

Views: 830

Comment by Heather Spoonheim on September 13, 2012 at 10:27am


Why would I base my entire outlook in life on a 20 minute segment from a touch-feely talk show?  Thousands of people have had NDE's, and not one of them has held up to any scrutiny.  Furthermore, many people who have had NDE's have seen Vishnu - now is that irrefutable evidence that Christianity is wrong and Hinduism is right?

Comment by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on September 13, 2012 at 1:24pm

@ Warofages – Ok that is quite a response and I will give you credit for it. I also admire your honesty in what you say. Most theists on this site will “hit and run” when their ideas about god are confronted and those that do descend into proselytizing about whichever god they have faith in.

So…..where to start……OK, first off any evidence you claim to have had is purely subjective. Feeling a warm glow around you and deducing that it is the warmth of Jesus a.k.a. the creator of the universe can only be deemed a leap of faith. When I use the word “subjective” I mean the evidence you think you have cannot be shown to me. That is, it exists entirely in your mind. You cannot make it objective – that is make it tangible enough for me (or anyone else) to see or test. I am not asking for you to prove you god existence –I am only asking for you to make some of this evidence available. Even just a tiny scrap of it will suffice.  I do not believe that you have any. If you can furnish me some I will believe in your god.

Of course all religions assume that they are correct because they have “hard evidence” and other religions are just traditional and based on superstition or a misreading of what their own religion deems to be the Truth. I have yet to get even the tiniest scrap of evidence from any theist of any religion to justify their belief. It is usually around now that I am told “Well we have faith so we don’t need evidence”. Yes that is exactly what faith is. A belief held because there is no evidence. You are making the same mistake that all theists make. That is you are using the word “Evidence” when you should be using the word “argument”. You have been argued into believing that your god exists and assumed that this was evidence. The arguments seemed reasonable and logical therefore your belief can be justified as it looks like evidence.

I was hit by a car at about the same age. I spent 5 days in hospital. I saw a white light too. That was in my mind as I faded in and out of consciousness. When I look back I realise what actually happened. I was involved in an accident, I nearly died, I went to hospital and recovered.

Next….another classic mistake that many theists make – and I have just cleared up the same error for a couple of Jehovah Witnesses – is one that makes me cringe when I hear it. I hope you will change your mind when you think about this.

Evolution is not a matter of Faith. It does not require any faith whatsoever. It is only a matter of understanding. It is a matter of education. Have you studied it? It is a scientific Theory that is fully proven to the point that it is a FACT. People can deny this all they want but it does not change the fact that it is still a FACT. The Earth is not at the centre of the Universe. That too is a FACT. It does not take any faith to accept (believe) that. It is proven just as is the fact that humans are an evolved species that are related to all other species.

You cupcake analogy is off. When Science….ok I will park the Science for now….I have just started to read the link on Evolution and it is so bad. It is appalling bad. The definition and summary of the TOE is so wrong I am unable to respond to it as it would take too long. It is a shameful misrepresentation written only to “prove” the validity of the bible’s account. You are being cheated. You may of course think that I have some hidden Atheist agenda here. But I don’t. I feel annoyed that this sort of tripe can get passed off as some sort of intellectual debate. It speaks only to those that already belief the Genesis story. It is why Theists think Evolution is a matter of Faith. Warofages I am not out to dissuade you of your beliefs. I used to be a born again Christian at your age – not for long but for long enough to understand the way religion smothers the mind in its attempt to reign supreme in the mind – the only place where god exists. I too thought that I would life forever – that is become immortal - after I died - because I had some fuzzy warm “it must be Jesus” glow that I could sense as real. I was mistaken. I know now and have done so for a long time that Faith in a god is a delusion. If you could see with the clarity I now have you too would be an Atheist – that is someone who do not believe in the god you have faith in. You do yourself an injustice to use links those two above as any source of worthwhile study. They have no intellectual merit.

PS I am so glad that Howard Storm does not hold it against me that I am ignorant. He is an embarrassment. I hope his knuckles don’t hurt when they drag along the ground.

Comment by Pope Beanie on September 13, 2012 at 4:41pm

@warofages You've written well, but if I could respond to it all, it'd all quickly become a black hole of too many topics. Off the top of my head:

Not only Christians experience the white light thing. It can happen when part of the brain lacks oxygen. Same for OBEs (out of body experiences), and some other common "spiritual" experiences. See the TED video below about Jill Bolte Taylor's personal experience. If interested in more, UCSD's Prof. Ramachandran has researched and described 

Secondly, I see a kind of fatalism built into faith, in that "it's what God wants" becomes an end-all answer to questions, or an end-all explanation to anecdotal experiences. What makes science different from faith is that there are no end-all answers; there is no ancient, unquestionable, unchangeable dogma. All knowledge is subject to update with newest evidence. If we didn't constantly update our knowledge and beliefs, we'd still be living like apes, not even able to visualize or discuss God or religion, or life or death.

People have faith based merely on anecdotal "evidence" and local beliefs; the only way one can maintain one's personal faith is by ignoring other religious dogmas and anecdotal experiences of other faiths' believers.

Science is different from faith in that it leaves itself open to self doubt, review, tests, and revision; scientists with differing theories inevitably come together to agree on universal, provable principles. Newton’s science was groundbreaking, profound, and still useful today, but Einstein’s science took Newton a step further to understand more about the universe's possible origins and futures. Newton's then Einstein's theories became universally understood and adopted, because they could be repeatedly tested with verifiable results.

There are millions of theories floating around about cancers, causes and cures for disease, production of energy without petroleum, how to predict severe weather, how to explore our solar system and the rest of the universe... and so on. Almost every daily activity is made possible or easier because of some past “theory”, passing tests and coming to fruition in man-made inventions and processes. We take our tools and products of science and technology so much for granted that we rarely even think of all the hundreds of years of knowledge and experience that went into them.

Science will continue to differ from faith in the future: don't we all expect newly discovered or invented cures for diseases, including cancer, longer and healthier lifespans, technologies that raise the world’s standard of living and protection of our earthly environment? If you want to call that “faith”, then fine, but it’s a wildly different kind of faith that works at a universally reproducible level, and it’s highly predictable and effective regardless of personal religious beliefs.

I'm not saying science is all good or should be worshiped. I'm saying it should be understood as well as possible by everyone, because (for better and for worse) it will continue becoming increasingly powerful, and needs to be managed as wisely and properly as possible. Even unknown/unknowable beings on unknown Planet X with an entirely different set of unique religious beliefs would eventually come to the same agreements about how science describes reality, and how well and predictably it works. It isn't eternally tied to dogma, unquestionable faith, anecdote, or opinion.

Comment by Pope Beanie on September 13, 2012 at 4:45pm


"Prof. Rama"

Comment by Pope Beanie on September 13, 2012 at 5:08pm

I should add that there are neuro-phisiological theories other than "hypoxia" to explain NDEs and OBEs, so they're not fully explained by science, yet. It's fertile ground here for humans to believe whatever they want about the causes. But/so this is a good example of what I'm sure science will someday explain better than the personal, anti-scientific anecdotes.

Comment by warofages on September 16, 2012 at 1:08pm

@ Pope Paul & Reg

i appreciate your insight, it has opened my eyes furthermore into the science in which you guys study and thoroughly understand. I'm not against science in any way, i enjoyed it more than any other subject in school to be honest, its just the whole "i used to be a primate" thing, its a bit heavy when you can imagine that, by your views, the earth is ridiculously old. It's just easier for me to believe that God created this rock some couple thousand years ago than it just popped out of nowhere 6 billion years ago. My mind cant comprehend that such an old rock would still be functional, and even if it still was after that long of a lifespan, that it wouldnt move closer nor farther away from the sun, or spontaneously combust, or a similar "big bang" to happen right next door to it, ending this rock's life. It just seems too perfect to be such an accident. I know this sounds stupid, but over the life of the earth, why hasn't another big bang happened yet, abolishing all life and space as we know it? As i said before, i have nothing against science, it's just that the absolutes of this universe are too extreme to not be designed. 

On a slightly different note, i know you all are knowledgeable and intelligent folks, but where do YOUR morals come from? Obviously for me, mine come from the Bible, as i see that their is such a thing as sin, which consists of lying, cheating, murder, stealing, and other such things. I just wonder since you guys are obviously not serial killers and dictators, where do you stand in such things and how did that come to be? My point in that question is where relatively would we gain the abilities of a conscious when evolving from a more primitive animal into the breed we are now called humans.

Comment by Unseen on September 16, 2012 at 6:34pm

If you had a hard time dealing with "I used to be a primate," consider that YOU did not used to be a primate. You are at the end of a progression from single-celled organisms, to chordates, to bony fish, amphibians, reptiles, primitive mammals much like shrews. Primates come along quite a bit later. So, if imagining some pre-human ape-like creature bothers you, what about a fish or amoeba?

Also, as to morals. Believers commit all the sins you mention. The only difference between us is that you think a magical sorcerer (God) will take care of busiiness in the afterlife. We believe it's better to deal with these things in this life.

Comment by Pope Beanie on September 16, 2012 at 10:10pm

Don't give up on science, until the ID/Creationist "scientists" declare science off limits. At least they're often trying to use science to explain things. Their gargantuan task, growing more difficult every day, is how to explain why God left so much scientific evidence to support non-Genesis explanations.

I think my morals come from inside me, from my family, and from society. Morals in the bible came from the minds of mere mortals, after all, and one can see that their sincere attempt at it had flaws. Primarily, for me, it's a libertarian form of the golden rule. That is, do unto others what you feel they would want, and don't force your ideas into/onto them unless they are causing harm. This is *not* a perfect analysis of morality, because I don't think one exists. However, I think it works even better than a lot of the morality prescribed in sacred dogmas that are immune from periodic re-evaluation.

It doesn't have to get much more complicated than that. Even most animals know how to respect each other, at least. We're just learning where empathetic behavior like that comes from, but it's evident in social animals as primitive as ants.

Consciousness is a whole other, huge topic. My personal feeling is that homo sapiens started out with a very limited, rudimentary form of consciousness, which was enhanced and added to in leaps and bounds by increasingly sophisticated language, and other cultural cultural memes (e.g. reading/writing) that took thousands of years to develop. Perhaps even our new ability to invent and describe various gods was simultaneous with our increasingly sophisticated ability to imagine what other people could feel and think about, and even the (huge!) empathetic leap forward to imagine what other beings (and gods, of course) might be feeling and thinking about each of us. (This is called "theory of mind", if you're interested in learning more about it.)


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