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Go to: Sunday Sequence with William Crawley

heymrrain's Avatar Jump to comment 58 by heymrrain

I can't help thinking that all this talk is fairly futile as far as dyed-in-the-wool 'faith-heads' go.

Every time a religious person is faced with testable scientific fact, their answer is the same. God did it.

If they accept evolution - God created evolution.
If they accept the earth as being 4.5 billion years old - God created it then.
If they accept inconsistencies in the bible - God did it to test our faith.
If they accept that God allows bad things to happen in the world - God is testing our faith.
Presumably, if / when life is found elsewhere in the universe, the answer will simply be that God created that too.

It all boils down to the same thing. None of which is remotely scientific.

It's frustrating, but true that many apologists simply view the situation as one where, unless science can definitively disprove the existence of God, then the only alternative left is that God exists.

And even if science can prove that life can come about without the intervention of a God, God put all the necessary things in place for this to happen.

For the most part, this discussion is an intellectual desert, but it does serve to highlight the essence of the apologist's position, and that is a position of 'you can't definitevely prove the non-existence of God, therefore God exists'.

And that clarity is, in my opinion, as welcome as it is frustrating. It highlights the intellectual dishonesty present in most of the contributors (with one or two notable exceptions!).

And I think that it does go to show that a good scientific education, from a very young age, will eventually yield results for atheists / secular humanists.

It is a straight battle between fantasy and measurable, testable reality.

I would like to think that, eventually, truth will win. The closed minds of many are beyond opening.

There will be some who have been brought up in religion who will reject it, but, in truth, in the open minds of the young is where this battle needs to be fought.

Science can fight this battle with fact and provable theories. Religion has only fantasy and scare tactics.

At the moment, numbers may favour the religious, but science occupies the intellectual high ground.

A scientific and balanced education, based in the real world, is the true enemy of religion.

Let's hope education wins.

Mon, 11 Dec 2006 15:45:00 UTC | #10561

Go to: Dawkins Delusion (3rd article, Same Stupid Title)

heymrrain's Avatar Jump to comment 253 by heymrrain

David, I did enjoy my lunch, thank you.

I apologise for my comparison of the bible with other books. Forgive me if I'm wrong, but your reply suggests that you may be a biblical literalist - if that is the case I will bear that in mind, and if not, I'm sure you'll correct me.

And I don't dismiss the Gospels out of hand, as you suggest I do. However, I also don't judge them as 'good historical evidence' as you clearly do.

Many fictional books nowadays are based in and around real places, sometimes involving real people, and real events. That doesn't mean that they are a good historical evidence of something that actually happened.

Furthermore, we know from the sustainability of modern 'urban myths' that many people hold things true because they have been told them. These things need not have happened long ago. That does not mean that they are true.

Just because a story is presented as non-fiction, does not mean that it is true (the film 'Fargo' being a memorable example for those who like fims!)

People may write about things as if they're true simply because they believe that to be the case.

The Gospels may or may not have been written by people who believed that what they were writing was true. That doesn't make it so.

Fri, 08 Dec 2006 07:48:00 UTC | #10138

Go to: Dawkins Delusion (3rd article, Same Stupid Title)

heymrrain's Avatar Jump to comment 244 by heymrrain

David, I read your latest piece with great interest, but I have to say, also, with increasing amusement. I'm sure someone else on here with more time than I will address all the inconsistencies and plain assumptions in your reasoning.

However, as a starting point, I did enjoy the following:

"You [Richard] then go on to declare "In any case, as I said, there is no good historical evidence that he ever thought he was divine";"

You then disabuse Richard by saying "The historical evidence for the claims that Jesus made is quite clear. The Gospels make it explicit."

If your standard of 'good historical evidence' is simply something that is written in the bible, then that really is quite pathetic.

I may as well contend that there is good historical evidence of the existence of fairies because I read it in Peter Pan, or that there is good historical evidence of Hobbits because I have read Tolkien.

For someone who has bothered to write as long a piece as yours on this, I find this and many more of your arguments laughably weak.

I'm sure others will cover some more here, but it's time for my lunch!

Fri, 08 Dec 2006 04:46:00 UTC | #10126

Go to: The God of the Bible is No Delusion!

heymrrain's Avatar Jump to comment 99 by heymrrain

I think maybe some people are being a little unfair on Tom here. He put forward his point of view, and asked some logical questions from someone holding that point of view.

If he genuinely wants to learn about what the beliefs (and I don't mean supernatural, in case someone misquotes me!) of atheists are and why they hold those beliefs, then I can only see that as a good thing.

Bear in mind, also that he has said that he is only 16, and by the sounds of it has been brought up in a religious family.

To accuse him of being stupid or ignorant is to ignore the fact that he may not have had exposure to the ideas and beliefs of any other group than that to which he and his family belong.

I have no truck with religious people being on here. Mark raised the question of whether RD's position on debating creatiionists has changed. I don't really see how that matters. Whether he debates with them or not is his prerogative. People do not come to this site expecting to blindly follow everything RD says and does.

I am quite happy to discuss my atheistic position with someone who holds the diametrically oppsed view. My one proviso is that it is done in a logical and rational manner.

To Mark and Tom, I am sorry if any insults have been directed at you. I think all people, religious or not, deserve the right to put their views forward on here, and provided they do not resort simply to 'The Bible says is so you're wrong' type arguments, then they deserve to be treated respectfully.

However, once certain boundaries are crossed, specifically deserting logic and reason in your arguments, then you're on your own!

Unfortunately, the experience of most on here is that it doesn't take long for the religious to abandon logic and reason! I pray (in a non-religious sense!) for that to change...

Thu, 07 Dec 2006 05:56:00 UTC | #9995

Go to: When Atheists Have Their Say (5 Letters)

heymrrain's Avatar Jump to comment 47 by heymrrain

David, it would seem that you reject most of what the average person (whomever he or she is, probably he) considers as religion, or at least the concomitants of believing in the commonest forms of religion.

So, a God that cares about humans is out. A God that is interested in prayers is out. A God that comforts people is out. A God that cares whether people believe in him or not is out. An afterlife is out.

You seem to disagree with mainstream religion on many points, and, presumably (forgive me if I'm wrong) feel that its followers are woefully misguided in many of their beliefs?

It seems we have much in common, although I am an atheist and you are a theist. Indeed it would seem to me that you have more in common with most atheists than with most theists, but I could be mistaken. I accept that the reasons for reaching your conclusions are different to mine, however, in many cases, although by no means all, the conclusions are similar, if not the same.

Do you spend as much time trying to put your viewpoint forward to other theists as you do to atheists?

I must admit that I am intrigued though, by some of, what you put forward as your 'knowledge'. For example, 'God simply has reached an unemotional objective conclusion that the human experiment has failed and has now run its course and must come to an end'.

Now, it intrigues me to know how you are aware that God has reached this conclusion, but intrigues me even more to read that you know that he reached this decision unemotionally.

Can you tell me whether he reached this conclusion standing up or sitting down too?

Now you may consider that to be a facetious questionÂ…and you'd be right. But when you claim to know the mind of God, and furthermore claim to know the basis for his reasoning, and how he reached that decision, then I can reach either one of two conclusions:

1) You're guessing or
2) You're God.

Now, I'm in no doubt that it's not the latter, so if it's the former, you may as well guess as to whether God was sitting or standing when he made the decision.

Wed, 06 Dec 2006 07:56:00 UTC | #9905

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