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April 18th, 2013
10:45 AM ET

My Take: Godless in Boston mourn, too

Editor’s note: Greg M. Epstein is the Humanist chaplain at Harvard University and author of the New York Times best-seller "Good Without God." He directs the Humanist Community Project, a national think tank helping to study and build communities for the nonreligious.

By Greg M. Epstein, Special to CNN

Cambridge, Massachusetts (CNN) — After two days of holding back my own feelings to focus on the needs of a community in mourning, what finally split my heart in two was scrolling through the list of donations to the fund-raising page for Celeste and Sydney Corcoran, a mother and daughter among the tragically injured at the Boston Marathon.

Celeste, the mother, has volunteered for my congregation. She’s basically an aunt to a senior member of our staff. So I cried for the two-sidedness: A member of our community lost her legs below the knees, and nearly lost her daughter. And, in one day, nearly 4,000 people donated more than $250,000 to support them. They seemed to be saying, through their gifts, “Please do this for me too if anything should ever happen to me or my family.”

AC360: Mother lost legs, daughter nearly died in bombing

As a chaplain, I’m struggling to make sense of this tragedy just like any other member of the clergy. And like faith communities across the country, the thousands of people I work with are doing what needs to be done when tragedy strikes close to home. We’re offering one another comfort. We’re calling around to the point of exhaustion, trying to figure out who needs help and how we can provide it.

The only difference is, we are a community of atheists — a congregation of Humanists.

You’ve probably read the statistics: With 18% of the nation’s population now nonreligious, America is less religious today than ever before. This especially applies to young Americans, up to a third of whom now have no religion. That number may be closer to half on many of the college campuses throughout Boston, like the one where I work.

What you may not have noticed, however, is that in addition to the religiously unaffiliated, or “nones” as sociologists have taken to calling them, a new and very significant group of Americans has been emerging — the nonreligiously affiliated. Relatively quietly, many thousands of mostly young Americans who identify as atheists and agnostics have been coming together to form civically active, thoughtful secular community groups that now dot nearly our whole nation.

Sometimes you hear about the debates these groups hold with religious leaders. But while Richard Dawkins and the like are eloquent and controversial speakers on behalf of atheism, most such debates are actually organized by religious organizations. The vast majority of what Humanist and secular communities do is positive, uncontroversial and entirely American. We serve. We meet throughout the year. We help one another raise good kids. We celebrate life, and we grieve death.

So I don’t relish the opportunity — or the need — to say that right now, our community is grieving too, just like any other Boston-area congregation. Boston, in fact, is home to one of the biggest secular/Humanist/atheist/nonreligious communities in the world. (Sure, we don’t know what to call ourselves. But then again neither does the LGBT — or is it GLBT? — or LGBTQ? — community, and that hasn’t stopped them from thriving.) We meet every week. We’re getting ready to open up a large community center. We sponsor service programs where we invite interfaith groups to help us package thousands of meals for hungry kids. You can even join us this Sunday: We’ll be marking our losses together in a memorial gathering.

What is so disappointing to see people do, then, is blame the horrific and traumatizing events of this Monday on the godless, or on godlessness, as way too many on Twitter and elsewhere have been doing. As one young woman in our community said to me, “It’s hard enough to deal with senseless grief, but when people write things like 'Why do people have to be so godless to want to kill innocent people?' it makes me feel like I’m not safe either, like we’re being singled out for prejudice.”

Obviously when people say “I’ll pray for you” or “May God grant you strength,” they’re only expressing their own sincere convictions. But while not everyone holds those same beliefs, we all want to be acknowledged in a way that feels right to us.

And when political leaders like Gov. Deval Patrick or President Obama try to make sense of these moments by assembling interfaith services, it is admirable — far better for a politician to bring different religions together than to only recognize one religion’s view of loss as valid. But for goodness' sake, must the nonreligious continue to be excluded from such gatherings? I’ve seen Humanists knock on the door recently at the interfaith celebrations of political conventions, or after tragedies like Hurricane Sandy or Newtown. We wanted to help and were turned away. I hope this is where people realize: We are part of the community too. We care and want to offer our support just as much as anyone. We, too, are in shock and grief.

Secular people place our faith in the human ability to value life over death. We believe in committing ourselves to love and care and help as indiscriminately as possible, because that is what makes our lives worthwhile. We try our best, despite our doubt, to ensure that the good will that comes from tragedy will ultimately exceed the bad.

All that said, I don’t have a clue what Celeste’s beliefs are, and I don’t care. I just hope she and Sydney and everyone else injured get well. After all, would you believe for a second that every Christian pastor knows whether or not every visitor to his or her congregation truly believes in the Ascension? Nor should they. The point of a congregation, to me, is just to care about the people in it, and better yet, to help bring people together to care about one another. Our community is including everyone, religious or not, in our thoughts and hopes at this tough time. It would mean a lot to us if others do the same.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (3,411 Responses)
  1. HotAirAce

    Apparently he, and his supernatural brethren, do given that 70+% of abortions in the USA are had by believers.

    April 19, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
  2. Bad week for the commie left, eh?

    Oh well, if they take the other guy alive, Obama will just give him some Libyan weapons and send him to Syria to join his muslim brotherhood pals(Obama's pals that is).

    April 19, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • Answer

      "I don't like the black man in office." <<– that's you.

      April 19, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
    • Bad week for the commie left, eh?

      Answer, I don't like someone who signs an executive order "National Defense Resource Preparedness" on Friday afternoon(March 16, 2012) and then the media makes it all but disappear by covering it up with the"big story" on Monday, March 19, 2012. Do some research.

      April 19, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
    • sam

      Perfect place for your bullshit political ranting. Bunch your panties a little tighter.

      April 19, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
    • ..

      Hey, asshole, stop you hyena howling. This is an extension of a 1950 EO. Douche.

      http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_Order_13603

      April 19, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
    • Observer

      Bad week,

      It must be tough knowing that the stock market is at an all-time high after the last Republican president left it plummeting.

      April 19, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Poor Bad Week. Those gr-apes must be mighty sour.

      April 19, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
  3. { ! }

    Obviously, atheists are capable of love and compassion. They might say that they are persons who care. But what if I don't believe that persons exist? Scientific investigation has only proven that the human organism exists. It is an animated biochemical machine. That's all that science can show us. The atheist cannot even prove that he/she is a person. They can't be under the microscope and look through it at the same time. The atheist will try to do an end run around this, but lets face a fact: While the theist has Faith, the atheist has Assumption. He assumes that science can observe and prove everything. He's painted himself into a corner.

    April 19, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      And of course, faith is not a"corner". . .

      April 19, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
    • sam

      Obviously, the religious are capable of love and compassion. They might say that they are persons who care. But what if I don't believe those persons exist? Scientific investigation has proven that the human organism exists. It is an animated biochemical machine. Faith, however, has never demonstrated or proven a thing. The theist cannot even prove that he/she is a person. They can't explain themselves without circular logic. The theist will try to do an end run around this, but lets face a fact: While the atheist has science and facts and evidence, the theist has fairy tales meant to make him less afraid of the dark. He assumes that a god can observe and prove everything. He's painted himself into a corner.

      April 19, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @{ ! }

      Actually what both have is the exact same thing – at least a few unproven premises with little to know evidence. The difference is that the Christian has all of the same premises as the non-believer, plus adding extra premises which the non-believer didn't need to function. This wouldn't be a big deal except that the large number of premises the Christian adopts can, depending on the brand of Christianity, come back and bite us all on the butt as the conclusions end up in conflict. It is the outdated nature of many forms of Christianity, which holds assumptions about physical, biological and psychological sciences that no longer fit with our understanding of the universe, that puts these fundamentalist types in conflict not only with the scientific community but with their own thinking.

      April 19, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
    • sam

      @Troof – both posts say essentially the same thing, but you're troubled by mine? That, plus your idiot screen name, plus your idiot use of the word 'mongoloid' don't give me much in the way of hope that you're anything but a troll or a 12 year old.

      April 19, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
  4. Bad week for the commie left, eh?

    Bad week for the commie left, eh?

    Islam, the religion of peace? Huh. Shocker. Hell, Kermit Gosnell killed more people. Why doesn't the crescent news network do a story on that butcher? If these two muslim clowns would've went into a hospital and blasted a nursery full of babies with an AK-47 or AR-15, the media would trip over themselves to cover it. But since abortion is a sacred cow, Gosnell's trial will be mute. If babies carried guns, they wouldn't be aborted.

    April 19, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • Bad week for the commie left, eh?

      What's the matter Rich? Is the reality of something you support a bit much for you to handle?

      Gosnell’s charges seem mild by comparison. He is charged with murdering seven viable, born-alive babies “by plunging scissors into their spinal cords.” Sherry West, who worked for Gosnell, recently testified she saw an 18- to 24-inch-long newborn. “It didn't have eyes or a mouth but it was like screeching, making this noise. It was weird. It sounded like a little alien,” she told the court.

      April 19, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
    • Bad week for the commie left, eh?

      On the last day of testimony before the prosecution rests in the murder trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell, a former worker at Gosnell’s clinic testified that she saw one late-term baby who survived an abortion “swimming” in a toilet and “trying to get out.”

      Kareema Cross, a “medical assistant” who worked at Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society clinic for four-and-a-half years, testified in a Philadelphia court today, telling of the horrors of babies who survived abortions only to have their necks snipped with scissors.

      “Did you ever see those babies move?” asked Prosecutor Joanne Pescatore.

      “Yes, once in the toilet,” said Cross.

      The baby “was like swimming,” she said. “Basically, trying to get out.”

      April 19, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
    • Play/Replay

      Clearly YOU would have stepped up to the plate and adopted that child right, Bad? Sure. Fucking disingenous lying sack of excrement.

      April 19, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
    • Pole dancing for Jesus

      "It didn't have eyes or a mouth but it was like screeching ..."

      So using the same orifice to communicate as you.

      April 19, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
    • Bad week for the commie left, eh?

      God frowns on a nation that promotes sodomy, kills babies, and forces Israel to divide up its land. He'll allow this scourge of islam to do more damage than this piddly bombing. You aint' seen nothin' yet. Stay tuned.

      April 19, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
    • sam

      Fuck off, troll. Wait for the next convenient article on abortion debate to make your idiot statements.

      April 19, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
    • sam

      Fuck off, troll.

      April 19, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      So, Bad, are you saying that your god approved of this bombing, that it is using muslims to inflict punishment on innocent victims because abortion is legal in the USA? Is that what you are saying?

      April 19, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
    • Bad week for the commie left, eh?

      sam, Truth hurt ya there little feller?

      April 19, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
    • sam

      Shove it sideways, douchecanoe. Save your faux outrage for some other day.

      April 19, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
    • Bad week for the commie left, eh?

      He is removing His hand of protection from a nation that is turning its back on Him. There have always been enemies that wish to do us harm, but they have been restrained.

      April 19, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      So, you are saying that the god of the dead jew zombie death cult aka christianity allowed innocent fellow cult members, and innocent members of other god fearing cults, to be slaughtered.

      If that doesn't cause Chad to chastise or otherwise challenge a fellow christian, I'd sure like to know what would!

      April 19, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
    • sam

      LOL Delusional psycho.

      April 19, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Bad week for reason, So in your opinion, countries will always be safe if they believe in your god to the requisite level. Perhaps you should review European history for the religious wars between peoples who believed in the same god but had different religions.

      April 19, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
  5. Observer

    Chad,

    "Historical evidence – no historical detail in the bible has ever been proved to be incorrect"

    Pure NONSENSE. The Bible can't even keep it's "FACTS" straight. Read it sometime.

    – II Chronicles 22:2 “Forty and two years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign, and he reigned one year in
    Jerusalem.” [KJV]
    – II Kings 8:26 “Two and twenty years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign; and he reigned one year in Jerusalem.”
    [KJV]

    – I Kings 16:8) “In the twenty and sixth year of Asa king of Judah began Elah, the son of Baasha, to reign over
    Israel in Tirzah, two years.” [Baasha died in the 26th year of Asa’s reign]
    – II Chronicles 16:1 ”In the six and thirtieth year of the reign of Asa, Baasha king of Israel came up against Judah”
    [Baasha alive in the 36th year of Asa’s reign]

    April 19, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
    • Barry Wom

      I always love this one with a bunch of inerrant Biblical not-contradictions:

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RB3g6mXLEKk&w=640&h=360]

      April 19, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
    • Play/Replay

      Chad: where is the historicity of the tomb? Not what *you* think athiests believe, but the PROOF, sans Bible? You keep dancing around this. Why?

      April 19, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
  6. the AnViL™

    having firmly beaten chad down in the past – i can tell you, it is no challenge. of all the posters on this blog – he is the single most incredulous and disingenuous person here – and beneath most of you.

    with the exception of exposing him for his idiocy and flawed reasoning – it's mostly useless to engage him.

    his dishonest, delusional, disingenuous nature has been demonstrated time and time again – every time he posts.

    as for the rest of the enemies of reason – it's useless to attempt to engage them in rational discourse as they are literally incapable.

    eventually you'll all come to accept these facts – and change your tack.

    you may even come to the conclusion that it's high time to discriminate – with extreme prejudice.

    tolerance of religious idiocy has to end – the sooner the better.

    April 19, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • Larry of Nazareth

      I too found him amazingly disingenuous. And he has negative qualities as well.

      April 19, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • W. C. Fields on Chad's debating style

      “If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.”

      April 19, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
    • { ! }

      "....as for the rest of the enemies of reason " Is your reasoning capacity infallible? Yes? Prove it. No? Then whose reason is better than yours? Someone whose reason is better than yours will be more intelligent than you. Can you understand someone who is more intelligent than you?
      Most atheists would collect facts and see what conclusions they lead him to. Their only exception is God. The atheist first establishes his conclusion – God does not exists – and then "reasons" his way to that conclusion. Since they've already established their conclusion, why need they appeal to reason at all.

      April 19, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • Barry Wom

      You do know that the reason that atheists are atheists is that they looked for evidence of god and found none. We ask believers to provide evidence, and we get nothing but fallacies and double talk. We look at science and see if anything supernatural has ever been found at any level, and indeed nothing has even been hinted at. We look at scriptures to see if they are coherent or problematic, and they turn out to totally lacking in credibility.

      The conclusion was the result of looking and finding absolutely nothing to support the claim of any deity.

      April 19, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      {!} – Wrong!! Nonbelievers have come to their conclusions because they looked for independent, factual, objective and verifiable evidence (facts) and there are none. But go ahead, be the first believer to successfully make the case for (any) god.

      April 19, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
    • the AnViL™

      { ! } ignorantly spittled: "The atheist first establishes his conclusion – God does not exists – and then "reasons" his way to that conclusion."

      absolute hogwash.

      most who are trapped in the ugly clutches of delusional thinking learn wrongly that gods exist at the hands of equally misinformed, ignorant people... and never question it.

      many of them (chad is a good example) attempt to (poorly) reason a way to justify and validate their wrongly held beliefs.

      they're taught that the existence of the supernatural is real. they then go to work in the most ridiculous ways to substantiate their delusion.

      it is my experience that those with better than average critical thinking skills do the exact opposite.

      someone posits the existence of the supernatural – then they go to work attempting to verify those claims.

      through that process – an honest person arrives at the simple conclusion: there's nothing supernatural.

      your retarded, backward assertion is rejected.

      dismissed.

      April 19, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
    • { ! }

      @ Barry Wom "We look at science and see if anything supernatural has ever been found at any level, and indeed nothing has even been." You have used the word "supernatural" – above nature. You atheists look around among natural things using natural senses enhanced by natural instruments. Instruments and senses are natural tools and can only detect natural phenomina. Your scientific methods are not capable of gathering data about Supernature. Furthermore, you would not recognize such evidence if you saw it. Using science to disprove God is tantamount to using a tire tool to critique a symphony.

      April 19, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
    • Austin

      tolerance of Atheism will continue because of the mercy and grace God shows those who are saved and unsaved alike, and they are called to minister a message of salvation from sin through the atoning risen Lord, a message of love. The ingredient for salvation is the Holy Spirit in a person with an understanding heart.

      Anvil, you have never come close to having a debate with Chad that involved reality. Your lack of reality and life in the physical world is limited to a synthetic outlook on purpose, and fulfillment. You deny the reality of who you are. You are an eternal soul. You have yet to deal with this with the Lord thy God, and your soul awaits light and birth.

      We are all helpless, especially striving against God. I understand your passion against God Anvil. I really really do.

      You are one who can attest to the overwhelming, and faithfulness of God to save even you.

      With love, in HIm.

      April 19, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
    • oOo

      Whoa – He gained another capital letter. I am afraid!

      April 19, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      You know Chad is in trouble when Austin tries to help him out. Cue Topher and Lie4Him! The "Got Not Proof Gang" will soon all be here, at least momentarily before they run from the big bad atheists. . .

      April 19, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
    • oOo

      True, HAA – it would be like Dr Frankenstein's helper – if he had some helpers.

      April 19, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
    • the AnViL™

      austin ignorantly shat: "Anvil, you have never come close to having a debate with Chad that involved reality. "

      i normally don't engage people who are known to be mentally ill – but i'm making an exception in this case to correct you.

      first – you're too out of touch with reality to comment on it with anything resembling reason. same thing goes for chad.

      second – i wouldn't really call it a debate – but i'm the person who educated chad about the nature of the anonymous authorship of the gospels. he didn't fare well and it ended poorly for the lad.

      i don't mind educating you delusional retards – but your ignorance is boring – and you're way out of your depth here.

      seek competent psychiatric help austin, you're a danger to yourself and others.

      having been corrected – you are summarily dismissed.

      April 19, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
    • Austin

      Anvil, Chad is willing to step in to your realm of debate. I can just tell you that all of your "little people opinions" and scrutiny surrounding the validity of the bible is meaningless. It simply meets the definition of ignorance.

      God define supernatural. That's as far as any debate here can even go. No one needs Jo Shmo's opinion from 1200 AD about the conclusion about the resurrection from a brilliant "scholar". No different than the faithless claims that Adolf Hitler "WAS a christian"

      YOu dont even know what a christian is. All you see is religion.

      Mans thoughts carry no weight. especially the unbelieving unknowing ignorance of someone who does not know reality. You have not experienced anything besides the effects of sin which is living in darkness.

      April 19, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
    • oOo

      Austin Translator: "Mans thoughts carry no weight. " ==> "My thoughts have no weight"

      April 19, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
    • BacBac

      Well said Austin. Lil’ anvil gets in his own way most of the time. His overconfidence and lack of humility breeds a false sense of security that is borderline ridiculous.
      Any (real) scholar who has actually researched the gospels would never make such claims.

      April 19, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
    • oOo

      BacBac: "Any (real) scholar who has actually researched the gospels would never make such claims."

      BS, BacBac, – what point did AnViL bring up here about that? Define "such claims", then maybe we can get to some specifics and see what holds water.

      April 19, 2013 at 8:43 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      So if I'm getting this right, no thoughts have any weight, but atheists thoughts have less weight than none because they don't agree with what Austin thinks? So not only is Austin mentally unstable, but also an elitist fucktard as well.
      As I've said before, I really hope Austin doesn't interpret one of his dreams as a call to kill people, because he'd probably do it.

      April 19, 2013 at 8:52 pm |
    • BacBac

      ooo- ask lil' anvil to tell you about the gospels. Have him tell you about his in depth research of the historical evidence available regarding the gospels.

      April 19, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
    • the AnViL™

      the retarded poster going by oOo is referring to the anonymous authorship of the "gospels".

      when they find out that particular truth... it upsets them.

      the enemies of reason don't handle enlightenment well.

      try to go easy on'em guys.

      April 19, 2013 at 9:09 pm |
    • faith

      what particular truth, AnViL?

      April 19, 2013 at 9:12 pm |
    • BacBac

      The enemies of Christianity don’t handle the truth well either. More importantly they refuse to seek the truth and only hide behind information they already believe in. The same stupidity they accuse Christians of. Ironic…

      April 19, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
    • faith

      oOo said – "BS, BacBac, – what point did AnViL bring up here about that? Define "such claims", then maybe we can get to some specifics and see what holds water."

      What kind of claims Bac bac?

      April 19, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
  7. ReligionIsBS

    Religious wacko: "Everything has a creator"
    Sane person: "What created god?"
    Religious wacko: "God was before time, he doesnt need a creator"
    Sane person: "you could say the exact same thing about the universe, since there was no time before time and space expanded"
    Religious wacko: "Everything needs a creator except god. Why is that so hard to understand?"
    Sane person: "That doesnt make any sense. If god can create himself, why couldnt the universe."
    Religious wacko: "you're going to hell."

    April 19, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • examiner

      The question of who created God is specious and irrelevant. God is the source of existence itself.

      April 19, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Re: don't ask questions about god, this bull was just that when I was in Sunday School and asked "irrelevant" questions and it's still bull. Unless of course you can substantiate your thus far unfounded claims.

      April 19, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
  8. Chad

    @Pete" The God of Israel, as depicted in the bible, is full of contradictions. There is no evidence for that god either. Science can only speak to evidence, so that's why that god conflicts with science."

    =>not true at all:

    Historical evidence
    – no historical detail in the bible has ever been proved to be incorrect
    – Historicity of Jesus of Nazareth
    – Historicity of the empty tomb
    – Origin of the disciples belief that they had met a resurrected Jesus, a belief they held so strongly that they were willing to go to their deaths proclaiming the truth.

    Scientific evidence for the God of Israel
    Fossil Record.
    From the late 1800's thru 1972 the notion of "Darwinian gradualism" held the world captive. The notion that purely random mutation preserved in the population by natural selection would produce a gradual change, which over time would create the complexity of life we now observe (phyletic gradualism).
    Then, in 1972 the publication of "Punctuated equilibria: an alternative to phyletic gradualism" by Stephen Gould (atheist) finally forced the scientific world to accept the reality that the fossil record does not show the gradual change over time that Darwin proposed.

    Instead, what the community was forced to acknowledge, is that the fossil record reflects stasis and rapid change.
    This supports the theistic evolutionist claim that God used natural processes to develop life on this earth, as pure chance can never explain the grand paroxysm of necessarily interrelated mutations that are required to occur to accomplish this rapid change.

    Origins of the universe
    For most of scientific history, the universe was thought to have always existed, directly refuting the theistic claim that the universe had a beginning, and a creator.

    Then, a series of discoveries resulted in a complete transformation of thought, we now know that our universe has not always existed, rather it had a beginning, confirming the theistic claim:
    – 1929: Edwin Hubble discovers red shift (the stars and planets are all moving away from each other. The universe is expanding in all directions)
    – 1965: discovery of microwave cosmic background radiation (the echo's of the big bang)
    – 1998, two independent research groups studying distant supernovae were astonished to discover, against all expectations, that the current expansion of the universe is accelerating (Reiss 1998, Perlmutter 1999).
    – 2003: Borde, Guth, and Vilenkin's Past-Finite Universe proves our universe had a beginning

    Fine Tuning of the universe
    In the past 30 or 40 years, scientists have been astonished to find that the initial conditions of our universe were fine-tuned for the existence of building blocks of life. Constants such as gravitational constant have been found, the variation of which to even the smallest degree, would have rendered the universe utterly incapable of supporting life.

    "There is now broad agreement among physicists and cosmologists that the Universe is in several respects ‘fine-tuned' for life". However, he continues, "the conclusion is not so much that the Universe is fine-tuned for life; rather it is fine-tuned for the building blocks and environments that life requires." - Paul Davies

    "The laws of science, as we know them at present, contain many fundamental numbers, like the size of the electric charge of the electron and the ratio of the mas ses of the proton and the electron. ... The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life - Stephen Hawking

    “As we look out into the universe and identify the many accidents of physics and astronomy that have worked together to our benefit, it almost seems as if the universe must in some sense have known that we were coming.” - Professor Freeman J. Dyson of the Insti tute for Advanced Study in Princeton

    ”The big bang appeared to be a very peculiar kind of explosion. Just imagine a pin balancing on its point. Nudge it slightly in any direction and it will fall. So it is with the big bang. A large universe sprinkled with galaxies, like the one we see around us, is produced only if the power of the primoridial blast is fine tuned with incredible precision. A tiny deviation from the required power results in a cosmological disaster, such as the fireball collapsing under its own weight or the universe being nearly empty” – Alexander Vilenkin

    Now, neither Davies or Hawking is a believer in God. They both believe in fine tuning, they just posit natural reasons for it.

    Evidence from human experience
    – Objective morality exists
    – Free will exists (it doesn’t in the atheist/naturalist/determinist view)

    April 19, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • Salero21

      This BS again?? Jesus.

      April 19, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • Smithsonian

      "Historical evidence
      – no historical detail in the bible has ever been proved to be incorrect"

      The stories found in the Book of Genesis, Chapter 1-12, such as the flood story, the record is quite different: the time period under consideration is much more ancient. The factual bases of the stories are hidden from our view archaeologically. The stories remain a part of folk traditions and were included in the Bible to illustrate and explain theological ideas such as: Where did humans come from? If humans were created by God (who is perfect and good), how did evil among them come to be? If we are all related as children of God, why do we speak different languages? It must be remembered that the Bible is primarily a book of religion, a guide to faith. it was not a book of history, poetry, economics, or science. It contains all sorts of literary genre, which are used to teach about the relationship between God and mankind. Even biblical history is edited history: events were chosen to illustrate the central theme of the Bible. The Biblical writers did not pretend they were giving a complete history; instead they constantly refer us to other sources for full historical details, sources such as "The Annals of the Kings of Judah" (or Israel).

      It is therefore not possible to try to "prove" the Bible by means of checking its historical or scientific accuracy. The only "proof" to which it can be subjected is this: Does it correctly portray the God-human relationship? In the best analysis, the Bible is a religious book, not an historical document.

      April 19, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Still the same cut and paste stupidity full of flaws, fallacies, and assertions. Pathetic Chad.

      April 19, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • .

      .

      Saraswati

      Gospel of Chad:
      (Updated list derived from history of Chad conversations.)

      Atheism:
      1. All atheists agree with everything Stephen Hawking or Richard Dawkins say, even if it is unrelated to atheism. Hawking and Dawkins disagree on free will, however, but you should ignore this conflict or any atheist who says they disagree.
      2. All atheists agree with one another on everything even if it has nothing to do with atheism. See # 1 for models from which you can derive all their beliefs.
      3. The definition of atheist includes anything that any atheist I disagree with believes or anything I feel like tossing in there. Ignore any definitions in pesky places like dictionaries and philosophical encyclopedias.
      4. If one atheist somewhere on the internet said something, then, since all atheists agree with him/her, I can use that randomly selected example as an argument to address all other atheists.
      5. The definition of atheism includes not just materialism but strict deterministic materialism. Non-believers who might be Buddhists, believe in probabilistic physics, see consciousness as prior to the physical world, believe in, say, witchcraft aren’t really atheists.

      Free will:
      6. All people who use the term “free will” really mean the same exact thing by that term, which matches my personal use of the term “free will” (unless backed into a corner, then I just declare all other meanings irrelevant)
      7. Fatalism and determinism are the same thing. It has been pointed out to me that historically these terms have been used with different meanings, but I find it more convenient to make up my own definitions, as with atheism and free will.

      In fact, I brilliantly argued “If a person is a determinist, how in the world does deterrence even come into the picture? Determinists believe in an ever marching set of deterministic outcomes based on an existing set of antecedent conditions. Those conditions march back to the origin of the universe, no way to change the past, so no way to change the future.”

      On April 17, 2013 at 6:20 pm

      After reading a bit more about fatalism and determinism I decided to change my tune to a claim that determinism leads to fatalism (and to pretend this was what I was saying all along). I’m sticking to reading easy pop philosophers, though, and selective websites on the topic as anything more complex makes my head hurt. I have read snippets from a couple of websites now so that ought to put me on par with people who’ve read dozens of books on the topic, understand neurobiology and have written on both the philosophical and cultural aspects of free will and people’s belief in the topic. Oh, yeah, I know what I’m talking about!

      Telling lies:
      8. It is ethical to lie so long as it promotes Christian beliefs.
      9. Speaking of telling lies, a really good way to do this is to rephrase what your opponent says and then keep repeating the misquote in hopes that he or she will get bored and leave your lie as the last statement. Then you win. You can do this either by rewording as a supposed paraphrase or pulling lines out of context and reordering them. God really loves this and gives you extra endurance to sit at the computer all day and keep repeating it.
      10. One way to use this super endurance to your advantage is to keep posting the same questions over and over again even after they’ve been answered 50 times. Just pretend they haven’t been answered and act self-righteous about it. It’s really cool if you can ask this same thing on multiple threads and then claim it was never answered forcing people to waste time on the same thing over and over and over. When they refuse to play your game or you don’t like the answer add some sarcasm, but use an emoticon to soften it so they’ll know your snide remarks are all in good fun.

      Science:
      11. If one scientist says something that backs me, then I can assume all scientists agree with that statement.
      12. If atheist scientists say something, even if it is the view of the majority of people in that science, it should be ignored. See #8.
      13. Atheists are ruled by confirmation bias. I am free of it -– it’s just great luck that everything I read and all the “data” around me confirm my strong religious convictions. See #12 on ignoring anything else.

      General truths about the CNN belief blog:
      14. All non-believers are, by definition, idiots so you can use illogical arguments and they’ll just fall for it.
      15. If I post a quote that has a few key words in it from our discussion I can claim it backs my point even if it actually says the exact opposite thing from what I’m claiming. Atheists, as mentioned above; are too dumb to notice.
      16. There is a huge mass of fence sitters out there who are eagerly reading CNN blog comments in order to decide whether or not to believe in God.
      17. I will personally save all those mentioned in number 16 because I, Chad, am super smart. I know this because I get away with all the above mentioned lies and manipulations. Sometimes people think they are pointing these things out but they really aren’t. Or the stupid atheist masses aren’t reading them anyway.

      April 19, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      Lying for jesus! AKA sending yourself to hell to defend the person sending you there. Gotta love it!

      April 19, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • .

      "9. Speaking of telling lies, a really good way to do this is to rephrase what your opponent says and then keep repeating the misquote in hopes that he or she will get bored and leave your lie as the last statement. Then you win. You can do this either by rewording as a supposed paraphrase or pulling lines out of context and reordering them. God really loves this and gives you extra endurance to sit at the computer all day and keep repeating it.
      10. One way to use this super endurance to your advantage is to keep posting the same questions over and over again even after they’ve been answered 50 times. Just pretend they haven’t been answered and act self-righteous about it. It’s really cool if you can ask this same thing on multiple threads and then claim it was never answered forcing people to waste time on the same thing over and over and over. When they refuse to play your game or you don’t like the answer add some sarcasm, but use an emoticon to soften it so they’ll know your snide remarks are all in good fun."

      If you google what he posted it comes up to over 16 different places on this blog. Proving yet again this is correct.

      April 19, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      "- no historical detail in the bible has ever been proved to be incorrect"

      This has been shown to be inaccurate before.

      April 19, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • Chad

      @Smithsonian “The stories found in the Book of Genesis, Chapter 1-12, such as the flood story, the record is quite different: the time period under consideration is much more ancient.
      @Chad “most atheists believe that the bible starts with “2,500 years ago, God created the universe”
      But, it doesn’t. There is simply NO WHERE in the bible where the age of the earth is stated.
      No where.

      Many erroneously come to that conclusion by adding up all the “begats”, however this is a gross misuse of genealogies, which are NOT provided for that purpose and routinely omit many generations that aren’t relevant to that which is being discussed.

      ==========
      @Smithsonian “The factual bases of the stories are hidden from our view archaeologically”
      @Chad “again, simply not true. The bible chronicles over 2000 years of history, all of which can be checked, and NONE of which has ever been proved incorrect.

      ==========
      @Smithsonian “The stories remain a part of folk traditions and were included in the Bible to illustrate and explain theological ideas such as: Where did humans come from? If humans were created by God (who is perfect and good), how did evil among them come to be? If we are all related as children of God, why do we speak different languages? It must be remembered that the Bible is primarily a book of religion, a guide to faith. it was not a book of history, poetry, economics, or science. It contains all sorts of literary genre, which are used to teach about the relationship between God and mankind. Even biblical history is edited history: events were chosen to illustrate the central theme of the Bible.”
      @Chad “utter speculation, other than your personal opinon, what data do you cite to support it?

      ==========
      @Smithsonian “The Biblical writers did not pretend they were giving a complete history; instead they constantly refer us to other sources for full historical details, sources such as "The Annals of the Kings of Judah" (or Israel).”
      @Chad “Very true, the bible was not intended to be a “history of the world”, it contains accurate descriptions of relevant historical interactions between God and humanity.

      ==========
      @Smithsonian “It is therefore not possible to try to "prove" the Bible by means of checking its historical or scientific accuracy.”
      @Chad “complete and utter nonsense. Thousands of years of recorded history, none of which has ever been disproved, and note, the years 2500—30AD are all years for which we have some archeological evidence.
      No historical fact has ever been disproved.

      None.

      ever.

      April 19, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • Frank

      "In the past 30 or 40 years, scientists have been astonished to find that the initial conditions of our universe were fine-tuned for the existence of building blocks of life"

      Computer simulations suggest that not all of the purportedly "fine-tuned" parameters may be as fine-tuned as has been claimed.

      April 19, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      "This supports the theistic evolutionist claim that God used natural processes to develop life on this earth, as pure chance can never explain the grand paroxysm of necessarily interrelated mutations that are required to occur to accomplish this rapid change."

      1) evolution is not pure chance
      2) you have not shown that even "pure chance" "can never explain" the fossil records. (I'n not saying it can)

      April 19, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Don't you just love how Chad, in his infinite dishonesty, completely skips over the global flood story, and starts talking about the time period. Chad, why do you feel you need to be so dishonest? Do you just enjoy lying for your god?

      April 19, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • Smithsonian

      "None.

      ever."

      Chad is trying to dispute the largest research complex in the world. So Chad you think you're so right why don't you go down there and prove all those experts were wrong in their findings. LOL!

      April 19, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • Rachel

      Chad,
      Great post! Keep sharing the truth in the word of God.
      🙂

      April 19, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • clarity

      A tomb is just a tomb . . .
      Especially when no one there saw who left the room . .
      And a tomb is not a House . . .
      And a house is not a Home . .
      When there's no one there to shed some light . . .
      On who else was there . . that night . . .

      April 19, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      "Evidence from human experience
      – Objective morality exists
      – Free will exists (it doesn’t in the atheist/naturalist/determinist view)"

      These are unsupported assertion.

      April 19, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • OhNo...

      "Rachel

      Chad,"

      This has been proven they are one and the same.

      April 19, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Now all Chad has to do is provide his views to the Smithsonian and get them to revise their official statement. I would usually say that we will be waiting forever to see this, but I was reminded that it is more likely the earth will be destroyed when the sun becomes a red giant before Chad is able to prove the Smithsonian wrong.

      April 19, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • sam

      LOL! And right on time, there's 'Rachel'.

      April 19, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      "again, simply not true. The bible chronicles over 2000 years of history, all of which can be checked, and NONE of which has ever been proved incorrect."

      There is evidence showing that the following are inaccurate:
      – the timing and order of the six "days" of creation.
      – the global flood
      – Joshua's stopped sun
      – when Jesus was supposedly born (Matthew and Luke, I think, are inconsistent)

      April 19, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
    • Chad is a bore

      Argument from Assertion repetition of Straw Man misrepresentations. Chad is nothing but fallacies on fallacies.

      April 19, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • Science

      And the pink bunny has now married racheal ?

      April 19, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      "- Historicity of the empty tomb"

      What historicity of the empty tomb? There is no historical evidence of an empty tomb outside of the Bible.

      April 19, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • Pete

      Chad
      Seriously, this again? Aren't you tired of copying and pasting the same arguments here over and over? Like here

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/03/10/christian-protesters-decry-muslim-mobs-arson-spree-following-blasphemy-charge/comment-page-4/

      and here

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/02/27/fill-in-the-blank-jesus-is____/comment-page-5/

      and these places as well

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/03/09/the-secular-high-priest-of-sxsw/comment-page-2/

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/03/28/my-faith-why-im-going-back-to-church-for-good-friday/comment-page-2/

      http://0-religion.blogs.cnn.com.library.ccbcmd.edu/2013/02/13/pope-benedict-makes-first-appearance-since-resignation-news/

      http://0-religion.blogs.cnn.com.library.ccbcmd.edu/2013/03/07/my-take-the-pope-is-irrelevant/comment-page-4/

      So, Chad, are you just forgetful, or do you keep posting this in hopes of winning once?

      April 19, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
    • Chad

      "ME II "1) evolution is not pure chance 2) you have not shown that even "pure chance" "can never explain" the fossil records. (I'n not saying it can)"

      =>Evolution is comprised of two mechanisms:
      1. genetic mutation
      2. natural selection

      Genetic mutation is indeed random (purely chance):
      The mechanisms of evolution—like natural selection and genetic drift—work with the random variation generated by mutation. Factors in the environment are thought to influence the rate of mutation but are not generally thought to influence the direction of mutation. For example, exposure to harmful chemicals may increase the mutation rate, but will not cause more mutations that make the organism resistant to those chemicals. In this respect, mutations are random—whether a particular mutation happens or not is generally unrelated to how useful that mutation would be.
      ...
      experiments have made it clear that many mutations are in fact "random," and did not occur because the organism was placed in a situation where the mutation would be useful.

      Natural Selection requires conditions to be present that favor a mutations survival, those conditions are unrelated to the mutation and are random.

      The ONLY aspect of evolution that is not random, is the fact that if a mutation conveys a positive benefit to the host, it is more likely to survive in the gene pool. The mutation is random, and the conditions that exist at the time of the mutation are random.

      April 19, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • Chad

      that was from
      http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIIC1aRandom.shtml

      April 19, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Chad trots out this trash in an attempt to go on the offensive when he is losing an argument. He will soon go silent for a while, and then trot out the same trash, hoping for a different result. I think there is a well recognized mental health issue with these symptoms. . .

      April 19, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
    • Chad

      @Frank "Computer simulations suggest that not all of the purportedly "fine-tuned" parameters may be as fine-tuned as has been claimed."

      "There is now broad agreement among physicists and cosmologists that the Universe is in several respects ‘fine-tuned' for life". However, he continues, "the conclusion is not so much that the Universe is fine-tuned for life; rather it is fine-tuned for the building blocks and environments that life requires." - Paul Davies

      "The laws of science, as we know them at present, contain many fundamental numbers, like the size of the electric charge of the electron and the ratio of the mas ses of the proton and the electron. ... The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life - Stephen Hawking

      : "If you change a little bit the laws of nature, or you change a little bit the constants of nature - like the charge on the electron - then the way the universe develops is so changed, it is very likely that intelligent life would not have been able to develop." Dr. Dennis Scania, Cambridge University Observatories

      "If we nudge one of these constants just a few percent in one direction, stars burn out within a million years of their formation, and there is no time for evolution. If we nudge it a few percent in the other direction, then no elements heavier than helium form. No carbon, no life. Not even any chemistry. No complexity at all." - Dr. David D. Deutsch, Insti tute of Mathematics, Oxford University:

      "The really amazing thing is not that life on Earth is balanced on a knife-edge, but that the entire universe is balanced on a knife-edge, and would be total chaos if any of the natural 'constants' were off even slightly. You see," Davies adds, "even if you dismiss man as a chance happening, the fact remains that the universe seems unreasonably suited to the existence of life - almost contrived - you might say a 'put-up job.'" - Dr. Paul Davies, Adelaide University:

      "A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintendent has monkeyed with the physics, as well as chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. I do not believe that any physicist who examined the evidence could fail to draw the inference that the laws of nuclear physics have been deliberately designed with regard to the consequences they produce within stars - Sir Fred Hoyle

      "how surprising it is that the laws of nature and the initial conditions of the universe should allow for the existence of beings who could observe it. Life as we know it would be impossible if any one of several physical quanti ties had slightly different values." - Dr. Gerald Schroeder, former professor of physics at M.I.T.

      beryllium isotope having the minuscule half life of 0.0000000000000001 seconds must find and absorb a helium nucleus in that split of time before decaying. This occurs only because of a totally unexpected, exquisitely precise, energy match between the two nuclei. If this did not occur there would be none of the heavier elements. No carbon, no nitrogen, no life. Our universe would be composed of hydrogen and helium. - Professor Steven Weinberg

      The precision is as if one could throw a dart across the entire universe and hit a bullseye one millimeter in diameter on the other side." - Michael Turner, astrophysicist University of Chicago

      the likelihood of the universe having usable energy (low entropy) at the creation is even more astounding, namely an accuracy of one part out of ten to the power of ten to the power of 123. This is an extraordinary figure. One could not possibly even write the number down in full, in our ordinary denary (power of ten) notation: it would be one followed by ten to the power of 123 successive zeros!" That is a million billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion zeros. Penrose continues, "Even if we were to write a zero on each separate proton and on each separate neutron in the entire universe - and we could throw in all the other particles as well for good measure - we should fall far short of writing down the figure needed. The precision needed to set the universe on its course is to be in no way inferior to all that extraordinary precision that we have already become accustomed to in the superb dynamical equations (Newton's, Maxwell's, Einstein's) which govern the behavior of things from moment to moment." - Roger Penrose University of Oxford

      April 19, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • Barry Wom

      Oh Chad, really? Of course mutations are random, but the conditions that make them successful are what results in selection. A mutation with more fat and a heavier coat would fail in a heating environment, but would thrive and become dominant in an ice age.

      April 19, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
    • Chad

      @Barry Wom " A mutation with more fat and a heavier coat would fail in a heating environment, but would thrive and become dominant in an ice age."

      =>not only is the mutation random, but the relationship of the conditions that exist at the time to the mutation is random.

      remember, as a theistic evolutionist I believe in common ancestry...

      April 19, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
    • Prehistoric shark captured on film

      Chomp Chomp

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mneDhOtVEQw&w=640&h=360]

      April 19, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • Chad

      @ME II "What historicity of the empty tomb? There is no historical evidence of an empty tomb outside of the Bible."
      @Chad "many atheists on this board make the mistake of attempting to exclude from consideration at all.

      A. No credible historian anywhere would agree with such a nonsensical approach
      B. Even your fellow atheists dont consider that viable..

      Using the Bible as partial biographical evidence of Jesus is not as completely insane or wall-bangingly circular as it may first seem. Although the gospels are generally published in one compendium known as The Bible, they are separate doc uments and almost certainly were written by separate authors

      - http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Evidence_for_the_historical_existence_of_Jesus_Christ

      April 19, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      "he ONLY aspect of evolution that is not random, is the fact that if a mutation conveys a positive benefit to the host, it is more likely to survive in the gene pool."

      That is main function of natural selection, hence "selection". therefore evolution by natural selection is not random nor pure chance, as you have just stated.

      April 19, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Again, Chad demonstrates that he does not understand the simple word "seem." But more importantly he fails to understand that live developed where it could, not where some alleged but never proven supernatural being placed it.

      April 19, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • Chad

      @ME II

      no.. read the entire post. there are two mechanisms in play, mutation and natural selection. Mutations are random, the conditions that exist at any time are unrelated to mutations and are random. The only aspect which is not random is that mutations that provide benefit are more likely to survive.

      Now, dont forget, I believe in mutation and natural selection, but I DONT believe it could ever have happened by chance, that is so astronomically improbable as to defy consideration.

      April 19, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Chad, I was away for three weeks and I thought you'd have a new dance by now. Anyway, there is no evidence that Jesus was ever in a tomb or that he magically disappeared from said tomb. As to the quotes from scientists – they are statements of the difficulty of life, they don't prove that there is any god let alone your god.

      April 19, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
    • Science

      It would be nice......... but.............does chad have a wedgie ?

      Maybe they should not have created the wedge !!!
      The wedge strategy is a political and social action plan authored by the Discovery Insti-tute, the hub of the intelligent design movement. The strategy was put forth in a Discovery Insti-tute manifesto known as the Wedge Docu-ment,[1] which describes a broad social, political, and academic agenda whose ultimate goal is to defeat materialism, naturalism, evolution, and "reverse the stifling materialist world view and replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic
      convictions.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wedge_strategy

      Peace

      April 19, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
    • OhNo...

      ""The laws of science, as we know them at present, contain many fundamental numbers, like the size of the electric charge of the electron and the ratio of the mas ses of the proton and the electron. ... The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life – Stephen Hawking"

      Here's a great example of how Chad edits content for his arguments. The part he left out states,

      "We cannot, at the moment at least, predict the values of these numbers from theory – we have to find them by observation."

      April 19, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      You are attempting to split "natural selection" into two components the 'natural' environment which is chaotic and 'selection' which is the not random at all. This is an inaccurate portrayal, because it is the environment which facilitates the selection, hence "natural selection", i.e. selection by nature.

      Regardless, there is at least one component to evolution that is not "pure chance", therefore the entire process cannot be considered "pure chance".

      April 19, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • Huh?

      Chad you do realize that what you are trying use as an argument hasn't been proven yet? There are still holes in the idea and that's all it is an idea.

      April 19, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
    • I see Anti-Apologists Everywhere

      They don't even know they are Anti-Apologists

      April 19, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • ME II

      Chad
      "many atheists on this board make the mistake of attempting to exclude from consideration at all.

      A. No credible historian anywhere would agree with such a nonsensical approach
      B. Even your fellow atheists dont consider that viable..

      Using the Bible as partial biographical evidence of Jesus is not as completely insane or wall-bangingly circular as it may first seem. Although the gospels are generally published in one compendium known as The Bible, they are separate doc uments and almost certainly were written by separate authors

      – http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Evidence_for_the_historical_existence_of_Jesus_Christ"

      You continually make the mistatke of referencing this RatioalWiki quote, but if you'd read just a couple of sentences further you'd see:

      And if such a person existed, it is equally likely that major broad themes are based in reality; he likely would have been one of the many teachers or self-proclaimed prophets of the time[17] and he probably ticked off the wrong people and found himself dead.[15] It is likely the rest is highly embellished, made up, or recycled from other mythology.

      April 19, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @MEII,

      Oh, he's fantastic entertainment isn't he?

      From the Gospel of Chad:

      21. If I post a quote that has a few key words in it from our discussion I can claim it backs my point even if it actually says the exact opposite thing from what I’m claiming. Atheists, as mentioned above, are too dumb to notice.

      I guess I need to update that to include specific reference to links and books. The number of times, too, that he quoted scientists to support himself who actually disagree with him is hysterical.

      April 19, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
    • Children From the Future

      Excuse the interruption, be we are children from the future who have traveled back to this time. We are on a time-travel field trip and are learning about the demise of religion. We'll be monitoring various articles of CNN's Belief Blog for a few hours. It is quite well known in our time that the blogger Chad contributed greatly to the demise of religious belief in his time.

      April 19, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
    • Ted Jones

      Chad has been called out once again and this thread has run its course. Stay tuned for Chad to post a new thread saying the same thing again until called out then he will run and then repeat the cycle.

      April 19, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
    • Chad

      @ME II "What historicity of the empty tomb? There is no historical evidence of an empty tomb outside of the Bible."
      @Chad "many atheists on this board make the mistake of attempting to exclude [the bible] from consideration at all.
      A. No credible historian anywhere would agree with such a nonsensical approach B. Even your fellow atheists dont consider that viable.. Using the Bible as partial biographical evidence of Jesus is not as completely insane or wall-bangingly circular as it may first seem. Although the gospels are generally published in one compendium known as The Bible, they are separate doc uments and almost certainly were written by separate authors
      http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Evidence_for_the_historical_existence_of_Jesus_Christ Chad

      @ME II “You continually make the mistatke of referencing this RatioalWiki quote, but if you'd read just a couple of sentences further ….

      ===
      Ok, so you are (hopefully) intelligent enough to spot the error you are making.
      – You claim that the bible isn’t valid
      – I point out it is and that even your atheists consider it a valid biographical source
      – you respond with “well, they don’t believe that Jesus was the Messiah”

      CLEARLY, utter nonsense from you, here’s why.
      A. I cite the source to support using the bible as a set of valid historical doc.uments, not (in the case) to say they agree Jesus is the Messiah. Using that source, for that purpose, in that manner, is absolutely valid

      B. Your response is akin to this exchange
      Atheist: “We are all descended from a common ancestor.”
      Theist: “No we aren’t”
      Atheist: “Francis Collins says we are”
      Theist: “What an idiot you are!!! Francis Collins isn’t an atheist, he’s a Christian!”

      As you can see (@saraswati, @hawaii, @GOP, etc, etc, etc, make the same nonsense mistake all the time), you cannot disallow a stated opinion being used to support an argument that it clearly supports simply because of their belief with respect to God.

      If you want to play that game, all I have to do is disallow you from EVER referencing the bible for anything, because the bible clearly opposes atheism 🙂

      April 19, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
    • Chad

      @saraswait "The number of times, too, that he quoted scientists to support himself who actually disagree with him is hysterical."

      =>The scientists I quote dont disagree with that which I am attributing to them.

      your objection lacks substance..

      April 19, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
    • Chad

      @ME II "You are attempting to split "natural selection" into two components the 'natural' environment which is chaotic and 'selection' which is the not random at all. This is an inaccurate portrayal, because it is the environment which facilitates the selection, hence "natural selection", i.e. selection by nature."

      =>no, what I am saying is accurate.
      the condition of the environment is pure chance.

      April 19, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
    • oOo

      Chad: "Although the gospels are generally published in one compendium known as The Bible, they are separate doc uments and almost certainly were written by separate authors"

      Who were these authors? If we don't know who they were, how would we know their exact relation (or not) to each other?
      (Think of Joseph Smith's family while you ponder that.)

      April 19, 2013 at 7:54 pm |
    • Chad

      I should clarify "if you are an atheist, the condition of the environment is pure chance"

      as a theistic evolutionist, I dont believe in "pure chance" I believe God orchestrated the origin of the universe for to achieve His goals using natural conditions and mutations.

      April 19, 2013 at 7:56 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Why is a belief in a sky fairy more reasonable than the idea that life occurred simply because the conditions were right for it here? You did hear, didn't you Chard, that scientists have found another solar system with planets that have similar conditions to the Earth's?

      April 19, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
    • The real Tom

      "Chad has been called out once again and this thread has run its course. Stay tuned for Chad to post a new thread saying the same thing again until called out then he will run and then repeat the cycle."

      Yup. You could bet money on it. Chard has a little rolodex of topics and he riffles through it every time he's cornered on one of them so he can repeat his simple-minded drivel on another.

      April 19, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
    • Chad

      @ME II " There is evidence showing that the following are inaccurate: – the timing and order of the six "days" of creation.
      – the global flood – Joshua's stopped sun – when Jesus was supposedly born (Matthew and Luke, I think, are inconsistent)"

      @Chad "You continually make the mistatke of referencing this bible quote, but if you'd read just a couple of sentences further you'd see:
      "I am the LORD, who made all things."

      see how that work 😉

      April 19, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
    • The real Tom

      No, I don't "see how that work", Chard. It's a book. Your attempts to minimize its inaccuracies fails. You choose to ignore them. All the little smiley faces in the world won't help.

      April 19, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "Chard has a little rolodex of topics"

      It's a pretty short Rolodex.

      Origins
      The empty tomb
      Christian nation (not seen so much lately)

      His recent hobby horse of "free will" is really derivative of 'origins'.

      According to Chadism: "atheists believe that determinism caused life to emerge, therefore they don't believe in free will"

      April 19, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
    • The real Tom

      I think you may have missed one: Objective morality blah, blah, fvcking blah.

      April 19, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Ah yes, "objective morality" 'one note' fred's only piano key.

      Even Chad doesn't really believe that. He even said that slavery was A-OK by God in Biblical times.

      April 19, 2013 at 8:19 pm |
    • Chad

      @GOPer,

      question for you: does somehow convincing yourself that this theory of existence that you (atheists) believe in, is my invention, somehow dissociate you from it?

      Does it mean you dont have to consider the ramifications of your world view?

      [determinists] argue that if the universe itself is deterministic in nature, then human actions must also be deterministic – thus, modern determinism tends to be an outgrowth of modern science. If human actions simply follow the course of natural law, then it is difficult to hold that those actions can be "freely" chosen. Those who advocate determinism run into something of a contradiction, however, when they try to argue their point with those who argue for free will. If it is true that nothing is freely chosen, then those who believe in the existence of free will do not do so by choice – so what is the point of trying to convince them otherwise? Indeed, what is the point of trying to convince anyone of anything if all events are determined?

      April 19, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
    • clarity

      LOL – oh my 'fred's one note piano key' – LOL – oh I have to write that down... you almost made me spill something here, not a GOPer.

      April 19, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      And Chad continues his dishonest bullshit. He consistently tries to define things so that he is right. He quote mines, misrepresents, lies, and tells others what they believe, all in some pathetic attempt to justify his irrational idiocy. Truly, Chad is a pathetic tool. I'd feel bad if he weren't such a liar.

      April 19, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
    • clarity

      Chad – you take *one* idea that meets your needs and you run with it till the end of time usually misrepresenting the idea. I see you did not respond to my reply about the ramifications of ideas like semicompatibilism except with your usual flippancy. If we are talking about unknowns, then why not consider what some of the leading metaphysicists propose? Obviously, you will only allow yourself to openly acknowledge what seems to line up with some theological Christian notion.

      April 19, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad,

      as I answered you already:

      the duality (or even equilibria if you prefer something more sciency) of entropy and enthalpy – essentially the distribution of energy dispersion between randomness (volatile high energy states) and stability (high latent energy states) of matter is my answer.

      Some things are inevitable. The sun will die. Some things are not. Most of our choices as humans are well below the cosmic noise* threshold. Some are not.

      * This is a metaphor. I am not talking about background radiation or the solar wind here.

      April 19, 2013 at 8:43 pm |
    • Chad

      @GOPer "the duality (or even equilibria if you prefer something more sciency) of entropy and enthalpy – essentially the distribution of energy dispersion between randomness (volatile high energy states) and stability (high latent energy states) of matter is my answer."

      =>A. how does ANY of that translate into consciousness, followed by free will?
      B. randomness does not translate into free will, it just translates into accidents/unexplained events.
      C. what "volatile high latent energy states" exist in the brain??

      April 19, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
    • Chad

      @clarity " I see you did not respond to my reply about the ramifications of ideas like semicompatibilism"

      =>to any atheist arguing a compatabalist position, I would simply ask them to provide some physical basis for their belief.

      good luck! 🙂

      April 19, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
    • The real Tom

      "question for you: does somehow convincing yourself that this theory of existence that you (atheists) believe in, is my invention, somehow dissociate you from it?"

      And RIGHT THERE IS YOUR ACHILLES' HEEL, Chard. You assume that you know *all* atheists "believe" this.

      Dumbfvck.

      April 19, 2013 at 9:27 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad,

      I've have also posted (in reply to you) that I do not possess a satisfactory explanation for how electrical stimuli in fatty tissue gives us consciousness. Empirically, consciousness exists. With all that electrical activity, there is an awful lot of highly entropic processes going on in neuron behavior. I see entropy as key to creativity.

      The question of where does consciousness come from is not a question that particularly excites my curiousity because I do not believe I am equipped to find the answer – and no, "God did it" is not a satisfactory answer. It's too pat. The question is certainly intriguing but one that millenia of philosophers have so far failed to solve convincingly.

      What we see as free will is a manifestation of the process of entropy. There are always alternative outcomes.

      Dump a pallet of bricks into the yard. Will they land neatly stacked? No – this is entropy. Can you stack them? Yes. By exerting more of you're own energy you can place the bricks into a nice well behaved stack (the higher latent energy state). Total energy is conserved – your energy goes into the bricks.

      April 19, 2013 at 9:27 pm |
    • The real Tom

      "=>to any atheist arguing a compatabalist position, I would simply ask them to provide some physical basis for their belief.

      good luck! "

      Emoticons and ===>. I do believe Chard's a bit discomfited.

      The emperor has no clothes.

      April 19, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
    • clarity

      @clarity " I see you did not respond to my reply about the ramifications of ideas like semicompatibilism"

      Chad: "=>to any atheist arguing a compatabalist position, I would simply ask them to provide some physical basis for their belief. good luck!"

      I didn't say compatibilistic, now did I, Chad? Do you see the difference between that and what I really suggested? As it turns out, there is an important difference. No wonder people constantly say you are disindenuous.

      April 19, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
    • clarity

      ( disingenuous )

      April 19, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Why bother calling the azzwipe Chard "disingenuous"? Let's call a spade a spade. The ass is a fvcking liar.

      April 19, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
    • Chad

      @GOPer "What we see as free will is a manifestation of the process of entropy. There are always alternative outcomes."
      @Chad "error.. non-determinism of any kind cant be a source of free will, accidents dont produce directed activity.

      that's the root issue with your entire argument.

      April 19, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad,

      "error.. non-determinism" blah blah blah.

      I don't care what your definition says. Energy dispersion is not uniform.

      If your interpretation of determinism was accurate, we could manufacture a teleportation device today.

      April 19, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
    • Chad

      @clarity " I see you did not respond to my reply about the ramifications of ideas like semicompatibilism"
      @Chad: "to any atheist arguing a compatabalist position, I would simply ask them to provide some physical basis for their belief. good luck!"
      @Clarity "I didn't say compatibilistic, now did I, Chad? Do you see the difference between that and what I really suggested? As it turns out, there is an important difference. No wonder people constantly say you are disindenuous."

      @Chad "sigh..

      "to any atheist arguing a SEMI-compatabalist position, I would simply ask them to provide some physical basis for their belief. good luck!"

      April 19, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Oh, *sigh* 🙂 ====> <======

      You're a fvcking bore, Chard.

      April 19, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
    • The real Tom

      I wonder if anyone else would think that it might be time to consign Chard to the ash- heap and simply stop bothering to respond to his idiocy.

      It's pointless to argue with someone who is uninterested in anything approaching honesty of any stripe. Why bother?

      But if you enjoy wallowing in crap, by all means, continue.

      April 19, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
    • clarity

      Chad, how in the world did you arrive at : "error.. non-determinism of any kind cant be a source of free will, accidents dont produce directed activity. [..] that's the root issue with your entire argument."

      from not a GOPer's post? You just picked a few words and ignored the most important part?

      April 19, 2013 at 9:57 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @The real Tom,

      alternatively I suggest the Belief Blog Haiku contest (no winners of course)

      Standard 5-7-5 Haiku.

      Here is a start:

      “in determinism
      atheists have no free will”
      says chad yet again

      April 19, 2013 at 9:57 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Here's another:

      for days unnumbered
      poor chad quotes 'the empty tomb'
      so tediously

      April 19, 2013 at 10:01 pm |
    • clarity

      And so what if, with semicompatibilism, I am only suggesting a theoretical metaphysical notion, Chad? I don't see any physical basis for any of your claims.

      April 19, 2013 at 10:01 pm |
    • Chad

      @Clarity,

      "to any atheist arguing a SEMI-compatabalist position, I would simply ask them to provide some physical basis for their belief. good luck!

      so, go ahead!

      April 19, 2013 at 10:03 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Here's some for tbt

      “atheists murder,
      mao killed eight hundred million”,
      but 'truth be told' lies

      atheism is all
      about disbelief, not faith,
      healthy for children

      April 19, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
    • The real Tom

      While I appreciate the sentiment, Chard isn't even worth the effort of composing a haiku.

      He's just a repet-itive dullard

      April 19, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
    • Chad

      @GOPer

      randomness cant be a source for consciousness, directed action, free will.

      accidents dont produce directed action.

      April 19, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad,

      What is the physical manifestation of randomness?

      April 19, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
    • The real Tom

      "so, go ahead!"

      Why? So you can stoke your ego by cherry-picking, lying, and misrepresenting?

      Why are you even here, Chard?

      Do you really think you do any good here? Or are you going to ignore this question yet again? Too cowardly to respond, as usual? What's your goal? Or is this just mental and verbal (albeit lame) gymnastics for you? Or is it just a way for you to avoid dealing with your demanding wifey?

      April 19, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      And Chad continues to merely assert things with absolutely nothing to back it up other than "I am Chad and therefore always right".
      You're still a dishonest little tool Chad.

      April 19, 2013 at 10:10 pm |
    • Chad

      @GOPer, "What is the physical manifestation of randomness?"

      =>The exact opposite of intent.

      April 19, 2013 at 10:13 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Why is ignoring this idiot not a viable option? Why continue to engage? Why acknowledge the ego? Why not shut the idiot down?

      April 19, 2013 at 10:16 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad,

      "=>The exact opposite of intent."

      Ummm no. Not even close.

      If you want to label me as an adherent of determinism, randomness cannot exist. Arguably it is a mathematical construct.

      What we see as randomness is a non-uniform dispersion of energy – some things in more volatile high energy states, some things in less volatile, "low energy" (but high latent energy) states.

      Molecules in a gas or a liquid get more entergetic (entropic) when energy is applied. A considerable amount of energy is applied to the brain – lots of heat dissipated there. Thinking is hungry work. All that incoming energy is translated into neurons firing. Cells degenerate, new cells generate to replace them.

      I don't think consciousness comes purely from randomness – I never said it did by the way – and I think it can only from an equilbrium between stable and less stable structures. But as I said earlier – I don't have an explanation for it.

      Creativity (imaging that which never existed) can only come from the more entropic activity – apparently random firings of neurons that are one of the many outcomes possible in a more excited/energetic state.

      April 19, 2013 at 10:27 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "Why is ignoring this idiot not a viable option? Why continue to engage? Why acknowledge the ego? Why not shut the idiot down?

      It's a fair question. Most of the time I do just that. Perhaps I'm bored. Hard to say.

      It is a futile endeavor and I will stop soon – perhaps right now.

      April 19, 2013 at 10:30 pm |
    • The real Tom

      I suppose it is too much to hope that we all just boycott the twit?

      April 19, 2013 at 10:33 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Of course if he were intellectually honest enough to respect someone's (anyone's) argument and acknowledge it having any merit, that would be another thing.

      He would be fun to talk with. But alas.

      I think you're right. It's time for me to go now.

      April 19, 2013 at 10:33 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      The only problem with ignoring Chad, and his cheering squad, is that he will claim he has won, that he and his imaginary friend have chased all the nasty atheists away with brilliant, logical arguments. But I'm willing to give it a try.

      April 19, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
    • The real Tom

      I don't think so. I think that his "cheering squad" and Chad would soon tire of arguing their points if no one bothered to counter them. Ignoring them as if their posts were invisible would be preferable to giving them any forum at all.

      April 19, 2013 at 10:41 pm |
    • Chad

      @GOPer,

      you honestly think that by applying heat to gas, you can produce non-determinism?

      sorry, no.
      All of those particles are interacting in perfectly deterministic fashion. Your perception of non-determinism in that case is an illusion.
      same with the bricks landing on the floor.

      Every single piece of confetti blown in the air at a parade goes up and comes down in absolutely deterministic manner.. The appearance of randomness is an illusion.

      so

      A. true non-determinism doesnt produce anything other than accidents and unplanned activity
      B. true non-determinism is extraordinarily difficult to find, just google "entropy sources"

      April 19, 2013 at 11:06 pm |
    • Chad

      @GOPer, "What is the physical manifestation of randomness?"

      @Chad "The exact opposite of intent.

      @GOPer "Ummm no. Not even close."

      @Chad "Actually, interesting little exercise.. The opposite of 'random" is "deliberate"
      http://www.wordhippo.com/what-is/the-opposite-of/random.html

      Another word for "deliberate" is..
      you guessed it!!!! "intentional"!
      http://www.wordhippo.com/what-is/another-word-for/deliberate.html

      I didnt realize I could actually prove my case that randomness and intent are indeed opposite 🙂

      April 19, 2013 at 11:29 pm |
    • History Channel's "The Bible" Parts 3 & 4 - In Under 11 Minutes!

      for Chad

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTRn28iZD_g&w=640&h=360]

      April 20, 2013 at 4:17 am |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      "the condition of the environment is pure chance."
      April 19, 2013 at 7:52 pm

      "Every single piece of confetti blown in the air at a parade goes up and comes down in absolutely deterministic manner.. The appearance of randomness is an illusion."
      April 19, 2013 at 11:06 pm

      Isn't the confetti's behavior directly related to the "condition of the environment", which you said is pure chance?

      Is the environment pure chance or is that just an illusion?

      "see how that work ;-)"

      April 20, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      "You claim that the bible isn’t valid"

      I did no such thing. The Bible is an historical docu.ment, that is not in question, but what is in question, is how "authentic" and how accurate it is. It cannot however be treated as an "a priori" accurate history. Just like any other "valid" docu.ment, some parts may be accurate and some not.

      This is exactly what the RationalWiki article you quote-mined is trying to explain. As a historical docu.ment, along with others, it is reasonable to think that someone named Jesus likely existed, was a teacher, ticked off the authorities, and was executed. However, the Bible is not sufficient to say that there was an "empty tomb," and without corroborating evidence, e.g. from outside of the Bible, you cannot claim the "empty tomb" to be evidence of anything.

      "B. Your response is akin to this exchange..."

      I don't think I understand your point with this exchange.

      "you cannot disallow a stated opinion being used to support an argument that it clearly supports simply because of their belief with respect to God."

      Correct. I can disallow it because it is an opinion, no further explaination needed. Whether the Bible is inerrant is a matter of opinion (and I would argue a demostrably wrong opinion) until and unless every single factual statement is corroborated by independent testing. For example, the discovery of the Pilate stele(?) supports the existence of Pilate, but does nothing for the existence of the "empty tomb".

      "If you want to play that game, all I have to do is disallow you from EVER referencing the bible for anything, because the bible clearly opposes atheism 🙂 "

      I'd be happy to NEVER reference the Bible, if you wouldn't either. 🙂

      April 20, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chad “there are two mechanisms in play, mutation and natural selection. Mutations are random, the conditions that exist at any time are unrelated to mutations and are random. “
      @ME II "You are attempting to split "natural selection" into two components the 'natural' environment which is chaotic and 'selection' which is the not random at all. This is an inaccurate portrayal, because it is the environment which facilitates the selection, hence "natural selection", i.e. selection by nature."
      @Chad ““no, what I am saying is accurate. the condition of the environment is pure chance. “
      @ME II “Isn't the confetti's behavior directly related to the "condition of the environment", which you said is pure chance? Is the environment pure chance or is that just an illusion?”
      @Chad “as you can see when the ENTIRE thread is presented, I was referring to the condition of the environment with respect to the appearance of the mutation. That is random. As stated. I’m sure you cut the initial part out inadvertently.
      Factors in the environment are thought to influence the rate of mutation but are not generally thought to influence the direction of mutation - Berkely.edu

      =====
      @Chad “"You claim that the bible isn’t valid"”
      @ME II “I did no such thing.”
      @ME II “it is reasonable to think that someone named Jesus likely existed, was a teacher, ticked off the authorities, and was executed. However, the Bible is not sufficient to say that there was an "empty tomb," and without corroborating evidence, e.g. from outside of the Bible, you cannot claim the "empty tomb" to be evidence of anything.”
      @Chad “absolutely fascinating! You claim to have done no such thing, then proceed to do exactly that! Amazing, even going to far as to state that corroborating evidence must be found outside the bible (and, I’ll as sume you also discount any of the Apocrypha..). When the rational wiki quote was provided to once again remind you that the bible is a collection of accounts, independently authored.
      What’s your criteria for endorsing something as being recorded accurately, and discounting others as myth?
      Let me guess: you just know it isn’t true 🙂

      Sorry, that approach fails as always. That the tomb was found empty by a group of Jesus’ women followers is accepted by the majority of scholars.

      April 20, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
    • Kroth, Bunny-Hammerer of Throgonia

      Those same scholars accept Noah's Ark as literal fact. It's the same kind of fraudulent pseudoscholarship that the Vatican uses to verify miracles of saints.

      April 20, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      "I was referring to the condition of the environment with respect to the appearance of the mutation."

      Radioactive decay? If so, then I misread it and would not disagree that radioactive decay is random.

      However, the original statement was,
      "This supports the theistic evolutionist claim that God used natural processes to develop life on this earth, as pure chance can never explain the grand paroxysm of necessarily interrelated mutations that are required to occur to accomplish this rapid change."

      This is incorrect because evolution, which can explain the geologic record, is not "pure chance". There are components that are random yes, but the process is not, as a whole, random, therefore your statement is incorrect.

      "absolutely fascinating! You claim to have done no such thing, then proceed to do exactly that!"

      I simply said that the Bible is a valid docu.ment, not that it's history is accurate, nor its authenticity certain. Any valid historical docu.ment can be shown to be inaccurate and while little is absolutely certain in history, independent unbiased corroboration lends credence to any depiction of events.

      April 20, 2013 at 9:19 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      "That the tomb was found empty by a group of Jesus’ women followers is accepted by the majority of scholars."

      Sorry, missed this one. My understanding is that two events, baptism and crucifixion, are nearly universally accepted, and an expanded eight "facts" are less universally accepted, but debated.

      Beyond the two elements of baptism and crucifixion, scholars attribute varying levels of certainty to other episodes in the life of Jesus. A well known list of eight possible facts has been widely discussed, but is not subject to universal agreement among scholars. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_Jesus#Historical_elements)

      However, even the expanded list does not include the "empty tomb", but includes only four events, the two previously mentioned as well as calling disciples and controversy at the temple.

      April 21, 2013 at 12:46 am |
    • Chad

      @Chad “"This supports the theistic evolutionist claim that God used natural processes to develop life on this earth, as pure chance can never explain the grand paroxysm of necessarily interrelated mutations that are required to occur to accomplish this rapid change."
      @ME II “This is incorrect because evolution, which can explain the geologic record, is not "pure chance". There are components that are random yes, but the process is not, as a whole, random, therefore your statement is incorrect.”
      @Chad “both of your statements are incorrect.
      A. “Evolution” refers to change in the inherited characteristics of biological populations over successive generations. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the geological record.
      Perhaps you mean to say “fossil record”, but you would also have been wrong there in claiming that it could explain the fossil record, because it is utterly impossible to think that the sequence of events that must occur for stasis to be interrupted by rapid chance, could occur.
      B. Pure chance: because in the atheist view, the origin of the universe was pure chance, no design involved, then, as deterministic processes begin executing, the relationship between them is chance, as the original state of the entire universe was chance (in the atheist view).

      ===========
      @Chad “"absolutely fascinating! You claim to have done no such thing, then proceed to do exactly that!"
      @ME II “I simply said that the Bible is a valid docu.ment, not that it's history is accurate, nor its authenticity certain. Any valid historical docu.ment can be shown to be inaccurate and while little is absolutely certain in history, independent unbiased corroboration lends credence to any depiction of events.”
      @Chad “A. LOL
      B. LOL
      C. if a doc is inaccurate, it is not a valid historical doc.
      D. Wordsmithing of the HIGHEST degree on your part 🙂

      you can not on one hand say that the bible is a valid historical doc, but then on the other hand indict the empty tomb account because "There is no historical evidence of an empty tomb outside of the Bible.""

      utter nonsense

      April 21, 2013 at 10:00 am |
    • Saraswati

      Validity in this context (history or science rather than logic) refers to whether a tool accurately measures what it is intended to measure. If one person wants to use the Bible to measure or assess the reality of Christ as god validity is based on that if another wants to use it to measure the cultural norms of the time it can be used for that and validity would be measured in that context. It is perfectly reasonable for people to consider it a valid tool for assessing one thing and not another.

      We can now expect some unique redefinitions of terms by Chad to try and dig his way out of yet another self manufactured hole.

      Updated list of basic Chad principles and logic below:

      Gospel of Chad:
      (Updated list derived from history of Chad conversations.)

      Atheism:
      1. All atheists agree with everything Stephen Hawking or Richard Dawkins say, even if it is unrelated to atheism. Hawking and Dawkins disagree on free will, however, but you should ignore this conflict or any atheist who says they disagree.
      2. All atheists agree with one another on everything even if it has nothing to do with atheism. See #1 for models from which you can derive all their beliefs.
      3. The definition of atheist includes anything that any atheist I disagree with believes or anything I feel like tossing in there. Ignore any definitions in pesky places like dictionaries and philosophical encyclopedias.
      4. If one atheist somewhere on the internet said something, then, since all atheists agree with him/her, I can use that randomly selected example as an argument to address all other atheists.
      5. The definition of atheism includes not just materialism but strict deterministic materialism. Non-believers who might be Buddhists, believe in probabilistic physics, see consciousness as prior to the physical world, believe in, say, witchcraft aren’t really atheists.

      Free will:
      6. All people who use the term “free will” really mean the same exact thing by that term, which matches my personal use of the term “free will” (unless backed into a corner, then I just declare all other meanings irrelevant)
      7. Fatalism and determinism are the same thing. It has been pointed out to me that historically these terms have been used with different meanings, but I find it more convenient to make up my own definitions, as with atheism and free will.

      In fact, I brilliantly argued “If a person is a determinist, how in the world does deterrence even come into the picture? Determinists believe in an ever marching set of deterministic outcomes based on an existing set of antecedent conditions. Those conditions march back to the origin of the universe, no way to change the past, so no way to change the future. (On April 17, 2013 at 6:20 pm)

      After reading a bit more about fatalism and determinism I decided to change my tune to a claim that determinism leads to fatalism (and to pretend this was what I was saying all along). I’m sticking to reading easy pop philosophers, though, and selective websites on the topic as anything more complex makes my head hurt. I have read snippets from a couple of websites now so that ought to put me on par with people who’ve read dozens of books on the topic, understand neurobiology and have written on both the philosophical and cultural aspects of free will and people’s belief in the topic. Oh, yeah, I know what I’m talking about!

      8. A determinist cannot believe that humans can change. This would, of course, mean that nothing can change. Which would mean…oh…crud…better put my head back up my ass.
      9. A determinist cannot believe in punishing people for crimes. This is because…well…it doesn’t matter. Just keep repeating it.

      Telling lies:
      10. It is ethical to lie so long as it promotes Christian beliefs.
      11. Speaking of telling lies, a really good way to do this is to rephrase what your opponent says and then keep repeating the misquote in hopes that he or she will get bored and leave your lie as the last statement. Then you win. You can do this either by rewording as a supposed paraphrase or pulling lines out of context and reordering them. God really loves this and gives you extra endurance to sit at the computer all day and keep repeating it.
      12. One way to use this super endurance to your advantage is to keep posting the same questions over and over again even after they’ve been answered 50 times. Just pretend they haven’t been answered and act self-righteous about it. It’s really cool if you can ask this same thing on multiple threads and then claim it was never answered forcing people to waste time on the same thing over and over and over.
      13. In particular don’t forget that whatever someone says you can respond with “What investigation have you done into…”. Especially good is to ask what investigation was done into the truth of the God of Israel. When the non-Christian comes back to ask how much research you did to prove other gods aren’t real answer “I don’t need to do any because I proved the God of Israel is real and that negates all other gods”. When asked how you proved that repeat the words “empty tomb” over and over until divine light shines on the souls of the heathens.
      14. When they refuse to play your game or you don’t like the answer add some sarcasm, but use an emoticon to soften it so they’ll know your snide remarks are all in good fun.
      15. Consider asking completely nonsensical questions that can’t even be understood, let alone answered. Best yet include something the person didn’t say as a premise. For example, you might ask an atheist opponent “You say you like murdering small children on Wednesdays, could you explain how this fits with your beliefs about string theory?” Then when your question is ignored accuse the person of avoidance and make up wild hypotheses as to why they are avoiding you.
      16. Above all else keep asking questions while avoiding answering any yourself.

      Science, math and psychology:
      17. If one scientist says something that backs me, then I can assume all scientists agree with that statement.
      18. If atheist scientists say something, even if it is the view of the majority of people in that science, it should be ignored. See #10.
      19. Atheists are ruled by confirmation bias. I am free of it – it’s just great luck that everything I read and all the “data” around me confirm my strong religious convictions. See #18 on ignoring anything else.
      20. Infinity = all finite numbers according to the Chad. Thirty or forty years of constraint is the same as eternal torment.
      21. Rehabilitation and deterrence are the same thing. Yep…convincing a drug addict not to use drugs in case they are shot dead and getting them off the addiction would be the same by my wondrous Chad logic.

      General truths about the CNN belief blog:
      22. All non-believers are, by definition, idiots so you can use illogical arguments and they’ll just fall for it.
      23. If I post a quote that has a few key words in it from our discussion I can claim it backs my point even if it actually says the exact opposite thing from what I’m claiming. Atheists, as mentioned above, are too dumb to notice. Best yet is to post a link or reference a book which actually says the opposite of what I’m saying and just assume no one will look at it.
      24. There is a huge mass of fence sitters out there who are eagerly reading CNN blog comments in order to decide whether or not to believe in God.
      25. I will personally save all those mentioned in # 24 because I, Chad, am super smart. I know this because I get away with all the above mentioned lies and manipulations. Sometimes people think they are pointing these things out but they really aren’t. Or the stupid atheist masses aren’t reading them anyway.
      26. Phrase everything as if it’s a lecture so you look like you know what you’re talking about. See #22 about atheists being idiots and #23 about people not reading anything you post you’ll see that the silly atheists will fall for it every time. In particular they won’t look back to the earlier part of the discussion to see how I’m contradicting myself. This is very well aided by another tactic:
      27. As soon as you make an ass of yourself break the conversation into a new thread. That way all the newcomers (see #24 on how they are waiting to have their souls saved) will not bother to read back and see how ignorant you are.
      28. If someone points out to you that citing Wikipedia is not an adequate source for the discussion at hand you can always find a good undergraduate philosophy paper to cite instead.
      29. Never question another Christian no matter how incorrect or offensive their position.
      30. Just remember that you can define a term any way you want and you are always right!

      April 21, 2013 at 10:41 am |
    • hal 9001

      Congratulations, Saraswati, your assertions are well founded. Perhaps "Chad" represents the leading voice in a new branch of theology: masochistic apologetics.

      April 21, 2013 at 10:59 am |
    • Chad

      such an excellent topic I moved it to top of this blog

      April 21, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      “both of your statements are incorrect."

      A. Yes, obviously when talking about evolution, I was referring to the fossil record or the fossils in the geologic record, if you are making such a distinction. I'm not saying that evolution explains geology.

      "it is utterly impossible to think that the sequence of events that must occur for stasis to be interrupted by rapid chance[sic], could occur."

      I'm assuming you mean that it is "utterly impossible" for evolution, i.e. the modern theory of evolution, to explain such events. On what basis do you think that?

      B. 'Atheism' doesn't speak to the origin of the universe. nor actually to evolution. It is a single negative position, i.e. a lack of belief in god(s), in most usages.

      "...as deterministic processes begin executing,..."

      Is this referring to evolution, the modern synthesis? I don't think Evolution is deterministic in the sense that it is predictable. I'm still not sure what you are trying to say with the "pure chance" statement since no one is claiming that "pure chance" produced the diversity life we see, once life began.

      ===========
      "C. if a doc is inaccurate, it is not a valid historical doc."

      I didn't intend to be confusing, I was simply stating that the Bible is "valid" as a historical doc., not that it's history was entirely accurate.
      If that is the definition being used, then I disagree that the Bible is "valid" in that sense. As I've stated before there are many cases where the Bible is historically inaccurate. There are cases where it is accurate as well, but that does not make the entire Bible "valid" in the accuracy sense.

      April 21, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • ME II

      My previous comment is reposted as a reply to @Chad on page 26 [as of this posting])

      April 21, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      That video is great!!

      6:55 "The giant is like, 'Can you believe in 4000 years people are still gonna believe this stupid sh!t?'"

      April 21, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
  9. Light of Pure Exuberent Truth

    I knew this article would only spawn ammunition for Satan's minions. They spend their vile filthy days and nights plotting with the Devil and doing drugs and fornicating. They disrespect the Lord in every way possible and tear at the very fabric of our great nation and all other things He has blessed. They should be trebling at His feet, if they only knew how close we are to His return. The mark has been put upon the land it is time to REPENT and accept His love or they will burn and suffer endless amounts of pain in Hell. Amen.

    April 19, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      you think a zombie is coming back to judge us....or eat our brains...or whatever it is you beleive. The funny thing is, you think you're better than others because of it. People have been saying this zombie would return for 2,000 years....dont hold your breath.

      April 19, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ light – so consuming drugs is a sin? Didn't your Jesus turn water into wine, and then distribute it? Alcohol is about the worst drug out there, so Jesus must be a drug trafficker. Nasty, nasty, nasty boy, that JC!

      April 19, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • Pete

      If, by "Satan's Minions" you mean Christian Trolls, then yes. There really is nothing like an article about nonbelievers to bring them out, all right!

      April 19, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      I thought it was "Satan's Onions". Hey, not a bad name for a band.

      April 19, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • Satan's Onions

      Too late! That name is MINE, and mine alone!

      April 19, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • sam

      'Satan's Shallots' has an ok ring to it...

      April 19, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
    • oOo

      If only everyone could have faith and "treble" properly; lol.

      April 19, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
  10. Honey Badger Don't Care!

    Lev 11:21-23: Yet these may ye eat of every flying creeping thing that goeth upon all four, which have legs above their feet, to leap withal upon the earth;
    Even these of them ye may eat; the locust after his kind, and the bald locust after his kind, and the beetle after his kind, and the grasshopper after his kind.
    But all other flying creeping things, which have four feet, shall be an abomination unto you.

    If the bible says that insects have 4 legs, then insects have 4 legs. This cannot be refuted.

    April 19, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      And I always thought that bats were mammals. Nope – birds! Who'da thunk it? And the next time you see a cute bunnie chewing its cud, well – the Bible told me so! Oh, that nutty, wacky Leviticus! You would think that this god fellow, who created all of the animals AND wrote the bible, would have known a little bit about his creations!

      Chad – care to explain why the bible is demonstrably, unequivocally, absolutely wrong?

      April 19, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care!

      50 Footer,

      That would take too long.

      April 19, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ Honey – I anticipate that Chaddie-boy will simply run away. He tends to do that. Perhaps he should change his name to Brave Sir robin.

      April 19, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • Science

      Maybe Chadie will be reincarnated as L4H ???

      April 19, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
  11. Chad

    @Honey Badger Don't Care! "Until you can provide good evidence that any god exists then I will continue to believe in science."

    =>why do you see the God of Israel and "science" as mutually exclusive?

    April 19, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
    • Saraswati

      11. One way to use this super endurance to your advantage is to keep posting the same questions over and over again even after they’ve been answered 50 times. Just pretend they haven’t been answered and act self-righteous about it. It’s really cool if you can ask this same thing on multiple threads and then claim it was never answered forcing people to waste time on the same thing over and over and over.

      (From the Gospel of Chad)

      April 19, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care!

      Because science is useful and gods aren't. Religion holds back society from advancing, science propels it forward.

      Science is the best way that we have so far to determine the truth of a claim. Religion is just so much smoke and mirrors.

      April 19, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      Chad, since you are a coward, you wont asnwer this, but:

      Why do you see the god of Israel and science as related to one another?

      April 19, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ Chad: science and a giant invisible rabid tree sloth named Edgar aren't mutually exclusive. So what?

      April 19, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Chad
      If you ask a biologist whether there is a conflict between religion and science, 9 out of 10 of them will say "no".
      That isn't because they believe the two occupy different magisteria, but rather because they recognized religion as a sociological adaptation. In other words, religion is a part of evolution.
      For this compatiblism to be valid, one must reject many of the core tenets of religion, such as anything supernatural like miracles, life after death, divine interventions etc.

      April 19, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • Chad

      @Honey Badger Don't Care! "Because science is useful and gods aren't."
      @Chad "A. Gods usefulness to you doesnt dictate His reality.
      B. usefulness doesnt imply any necessary mutual exclusiveness between the two items.

      =====
      @Honey Badger Don't Care! "Religion holds back society from advancing, science propels it forward."
      @Chad "A. Christianity has advanced science over the millennia more than any other organization on earth, that simply can not be argued.
      B. Even if man's organization had impeded science, that doesnt imply any necessary mutual exclusiveness between the two items existence.

      =====
      @Honey Badger Don't Care! "Science is the best way that we have so far to determine the truth of a claim. Religion is just so much smoke and mirrors."
      @Chad "A. the study of our universe is limited to the study of our universe. If there is in fact more than just our universe, science is of no use, by definition, in determining the truth of that.
      B. Unless you are prepared to demonstrate that the God of Israel does not exist, you can not say that all of Christianity is smoke and mirrors..

      so, still awaiting a concrete reason why the God of Israel and science are mutually exclusive concepts..

      April 19, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • Chad

      @ReligionIsBS "Why do you see the god of Israel and science as related to one another?"

      @Chad "God created the universe, science is the study of that creation.

      April 19, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • .

      @Saraswati

      Yup you've nailed it, it's so fun to demonstrate the different numbers as he posts....but of course he won't get it. 😉

      April 19, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • Science

      Hey Chad ...................like the pink bunny just keeps going and going !

      Vatican seeks to rebrand its relationship with science

      By Florence Davey-Attlee, CNN

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/04/11/vatican-seeks-to-rebrand-its-relationship-with-science/#comments

      April 19, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • LOL!

      "@Chad "God created the universe, science is the study of that creation."

      Then what created your god?

      April 19, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • Chad

      @Doc Vestibule "For this compatiblism to be valid, one must reject many of the core tenets of religion, such as anything supernatural like miracles, life after death, divine interventions etc."

      =>100% invalid, please explain how they can not co-exist.

      April 19, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Doc Vestibule: "religion is part of evolution..."

      note well the critical responses cited *from secular sources* against your argument beginning around the 2:15 mark...

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rK0mjVcmcIo&w=640&h=360]

      April 19, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Yet another case of Chad challenging the wrong person. . .

      HBDC post is merely a play on words posted by a believer, and Chad wouldn't dare take on a fellow delusional.

      April 19, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care!

      "A. the study of our universe is limited to the study of our universe. "

      Wow, so profound, and useless.

      April 19, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • Chad

      @LOL! "Then what created your god?"

      =>the bible states that God alone is timeless, has no beginning and no end.
      A. You can claim the bible is nonsense, however, you can NOT claim that the bible is logically incoherent by requiring an endless regression of creation events.
      B. Quite a concept for an ignorant sheep herder to have "invented 4000 years ago, dont you think 🙂
      Any thinking person could only conclude some other source of information was present to those people to have chronicled that.

      April 19, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • Saraswati

      17. Atheists are ruled by confirmation bias. I am free of it – it’s just great luck that everything I read and all the “data” around me confirm my strong religious convictions.

      April 19, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Chad
      That is the conclusion of Dr. Greg Graffin's PHD thesis which was a survey of the world's eminent biologists.
      "Scientists are strongly motivated to ameliorate conflict between evolution and religion. Sociobiology offers them an apparent conciliatory path to the compatibility of religion and evolution, avoiding all language of inescapable conflict. Sociobiological evolution is the means to understand religion, whereas religion as a 'way of knowing' has nothing to teach us about evolution. This view allows a place for religion and sounds superficially comforting to compatibilists."

      The scientists "reject the basic tenets of religion, such as gods, life after death, incorporeal spirits or the supernatural. Yet they still hold a compatible view of religion and evolution" (Greg Graffin and Will Provine, "American Scientist 95[4]:294-297, 2007.)

      All of the things that are held most passionately by traditional theology have to be abandoned. If that condition is met, then religion is perfectly harmonious with the tenets of science. The only way to find compatibility in such a worldview is by accepting a religion with no authority on the most meaningful matters of human existence.

      April 19, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • Huh?

      "please explain how they can not co-exist."

      Evolutionism vs Creationism because science has nothing to do with the supernatural.

      April 19, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      @ReligionIsBS "Why do you see the god of Israel and science as related to one another?"

      @Chad "God created the universe, science is the study of that creation.

      That is absolutely no different that saying "a purple flying monkey pooped out the universe. Science is the study of that."

      Funny how you dont realize that. Or you do, and your know your wrong but wont admit it. Either way, its hillarious and those statments and making atheists every day!

      April 19, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • Chad

      @Doc,

      you were going to demonstrate HOW how they can not co-exist, right?

      Why dont you read that paper and see what exact reasons were given for that?

      April 19, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • LOL!

      "=>the bible states that God alone is timeless, has no beginning and no end."

      Just because it states that doesn't mean it's actually true. Where's the proof.

      April 19, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • .

      Saraswati

      Gospel of Chad:
      (Updated list derived from history of Chad conversations.)

      Atheism:
      1. All atheists agree with everything Stephen Hawking or Richard Dawkins say, even if it is unrelated to atheism. Hawking and Dawkins disagree on free will, however, but you should ignore this conflict or any atheist who says they disagree.
      2. All atheists agree with one another on everything even if it has nothing to do with atheism. See # 1 for models from which you can derive all their beliefs.
      3. The definition of atheist includes anything that any atheist I disagree with believes or anything I feel like tossing in there. Ignore any definitions in pesky places like dictionaries and philosophical encyclopedias.
      4. If one atheist somewhere on the internet said something, then, since all atheists agree with him/her, I can use that randomly selected example as an argument to address all other atheists.
      5. The definition of atheism includes not just materialism but strict deterministic materialism. Non-believers who might be Buddhists, believe in probabilistic physics, see consciousness as prior to the physical world, believe in, say, witchcraft aren’t really atheists.

      Free will:
      6. All people who use the term “free will” really mean the same exact thing by that term, which matches my personal use of the term “free will” (unless backed into a corner, then I just declare all other meanings irrelevant)
      7. Fatalism and determinism are the same thing. It has been pointed out to me that historically these terms have been used with different meanings, but I find it more convenient to make up my own definitions, as with atheism and free will.

      In fact, I brilliantly argued “If a person is a determinist, how in the world does deterrence even come into the picture? Determinists believe in an ever marching set of deterministic outcomes based on an existing set of antecedent conditions. Those conditions march back to the origin of the universe, no way to change the past, so no way to change the future.”

      On April 17, 2013 at 6:20 pm

      After reading a bit more about fatalism and determinism I decided to change my tune to a claim that determinism leads to fatalism (and to pretend this was what I was saying all along). I’m sticking to reading easy pop philosophers, though, and selective websites on the topic as anything more complex makes my head hurt. I have read snippets from a couple of websites now so that ought to put me on par with people who’ve read dozens of books on the topic, understand neurobiology and have written on both the philosophical and cultural aspects of free will and people’s belief in the topic. Oh, yeah, I know what I’m talking about!

      Telling lies:
      8. It is ethical to lie so long as it promotes Christian beliefs.
      9. Speaking of telling lies, a really good way to do this is to rephrase what your opponent says and then keep repeating the misquote in hopes that he or she will get bored and leave your lie as the last statement. Then you win. You can do this either by rewording as a supposed paraphrase or pulling lines out of context and reordering them. God really loves this and gives you extra endurance to sit at the computer all day and keep repeating it.
      10. One way to use this super endurance to your advantage is to keep posting the same questions over and over again even after they’ve been answered 50 times. Just pretend they haven’t been answered and act self-righteous about it. It’s really cool if you can ask this same thing on multiple threads and then claim it was never answered forcing people to waste time on the same thing over and over and over. When they refuse to play your game or you don’t like the answer add some sarcasm, but use an emoticon to soften it so they’ll know your snide remarks are all in good fun.

      Science:
      11. If one scientist says something that backs me, then I can assume all scientists agree with that statement.
      12. If atheist scientists say something, even if it is the view of the majority of people in that science, it should be ignored. See #8.
      13. Atheists are ruled by confirmation bias. I am free of it – it’s just great luck that everything I read and all the “data” around me confirm my strong religious convictions. See #12 on ignoring anything else.

      General truths about the CNN belief blog:
      14. All non-believers are, by definition, idiots so you can use illogical arguments and they’ll just fall for it.
      15. If I post a quote that has a few key words in it from our discussion I can claim it backs my point even if it actually says the exact opposite thing from what I’m claiming. Atheists, as mentioned above; are too dumb to notice.
      16. There is a huge mass of fence sitters out there who are eagerly reading CNN blog comments in order to decide whether or not to believe in God.
      17. I will personally save all those mentioned in number 16 because I, Chad, am super smart. I know this because I get away with all the above mentioned lies and manipulations. Sometimes people think they are pointing these things out but they really aren’t. Or the stupid atheist masses aren’t reading them anyway.

      April 19, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • Pete

      Chad
      The God of Israel, as depicted in the bible, is full of contradictions. There is no evidence for that god either. Science can only speak to evidence, so that's why that god conflicts with science.

      April 19, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • Smithsonian

      "B. Quite a concept for an ignorant sheep herder to have "invented 4000 years ago, dont you think 🙂
      Any thinking person could only conclude some other source of information was present to those people to have chronicled that."

      Bible is primarily a book of religion, a guide to faith. it was not a book of history, poetry, economics, or science. It contains all sorts of literary genre. Even biblical history is edited history: events were chosen to illustrate the central theme of the Bible.

      It is therefore not possible to try to "prove" the Bible by means of checking its historical or scientific accuracy. The only "proof" to which it can be subjected is this: Does it correctly portray the God-human relationship? In the best analysis, the Bible is a religious book, not an historical document.

      April 19, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Chad
      You're trying to wiggle out of making a coherent counter argument.
      I own a copy of the dissertation in qustion – "Evolution, Monism, Atheism, and the Naturalist World-View".
      I think it is you who should give it a read.

      April 19, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
    • .

      "I own a copy of the dissertation in qustion – "Evolution, Monism, Atheism, and the Naturalist World-View".
      I think it is you who should give it a read."

      Chad's doesn't read books, it's called google.

      April 19, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @.

      I added a few new one's from today's fine examples of Chad logic and Chadding (was that you or JMEF who came up with that word for Chad type deception? I like an extra "d" in there for the short vowel myself but could be convinced otherwise). Anyway, our numbers might be out of synch. Mine's now at:

      Gospel of Chad

      (Updated list derived from history of Chad conversations.)

      Atheism:
      1. All atheists agree with everything Stephen Hawking or Richard Dawkins say, even if it is unrelated to atheism. Hawking and Dawkins disagree on free will, however, but you should ignore this conflict or any atheist who says they disagree.
      2. All atheists agree with one another on everything even if it has nothing to do with atheism. See #1 for models from which you can derive all their beliefs.
      3. The definition of atheist includes anything that any atheist I disagree with believes or anything I feel like tossing in there. Ignore any definitions in pesky places like dictionaries and philosophical encyclopedias.
      4. If one atheist somewhere on the internet said something, then, since all atheists agree with him/her, I can use that randomly selected example as an argument to address all other atheists.
      5. The definition of atheism includes not just materialism but strict deterministic materialism. Non-believers who might be Buddhists, believe in probabilistic physics, see consciousness as prior to the physical world, believe in, say, witchcraft aren’t really atheists.

      Free will:
      6. All people who use the term “free will” really mean the same exact thing by that term, which matches my personal use of the term “free will” (unless backed into a corner, then I just declare all other meanings irrelevant)
      7. Fatalism and determinism are the same thing. It has been pointed out to me that historically these terms have been used with different meanings, but I find it more convenient to make up my own definitions, as with atheism and free will.

      In fact, I brilliantly argued “If a person is a determinist, how in the world does deterrence even come into the picture? Determinists believe in an ever marching set of deterministic outcomes based on an existing set of antecedent conditions. Those conditions march back to the origin of the universe, no way to change the past, so no way to change the future. (On April 17, 2013 at 6:20 pm)

      After reading a bit more about fatalism and determinism I decided to change my tune to a claim that determinism leads to fatalism (and to pretend this was what I was saying all along). I’m sticking to reading easy pop philosophers, though, and selective websites on the topic as anything more complex makes my head hurt. I have read snippets from a couple of websites now so that ought to put me on par with people who’ve read dozens of books on the topic, understand neurobiology and have written on both the philosophical and cultural aspects of free will and people’s belief in the topic. Oh, yeah, I know what I’m talking about!

      8. A determinist cannot believe that humans can change. This would, of course, mean that nothing can change. Which would mean…oh…crud…better put my head back up my ass.

      Telling lies:
      9. It is ethical to lie so long as it promotes Christian beliefs.
      10. Speaking of telling lies, a really good way to do this is to rephrase what your opponent says and then keep repeating the misquote in hopes that he or she will get bored and leave your lie as the last statement. Then you win. You can do this either by rewording as a supposed paraphrase or pulling lines out of context and reordering them. God really loves this and gives you extra endurance to sit at the computer all day and keep repeating it.
      11. One way to use this super endurance to your advantage is to keep posting the same questions over and over again even after they’ve been answered 50 times. Just pretend they haven’t been answered and act self-righteous about it. It’s really cool if you can ask this same thing on multiple threads and then claim it was never answered forcing people to waste time on the same thing over and over and over.
      12. When they refuse to play your game or you don’t like the answer add some sarcasm, but use an emoticon to soften it so they’ll know your snide remarks are all in good fun.
      13. Consider asking completely nonsensical questions that can’t even be understood, let alone answered. Best yet include something the person didn’t say as a premise. For example, you might ask an atheist opponent “You say you like murdering small children on Wednesdays, could you explain how this fits with your beliefs about string theory?” Then when your question is ignored accuse the person of avoidance and make up wild hypotheses as to why they are avoiding you.
      14. Above all else keep asking questions while avoiding answering any yourself.

      Science, math and psychology:
      15. If one scientist says something that backs me, then I can assume all scientists agree with that statement.
      16. If atheist scientists say something, even if it is the view of the majority of people in that science, it should be ignored. See #9.
      17. Atheists are ruled by confirmation bias. I am free of it – it’s just great luck that everything I read and all the “data” around me confirm my strong religious convictions. See #16 on ignoring anything else.
      18. Infinity = all finite numbers according to the Chad. Thirty or forty years of constraint is the same as eternal torment.
      19. Rehabilitation and deterrence are the same thing. Yep…convincing a drug addict not to use drugs in case they are shot dead and getting them off the addiction would be the same by my wondrous Chad logic.

      General truths about the CNN belief blog:
      20. All non-believers are, by definition, idiots so you can use illogical arguments and they’ll just fall for it.
      21. If I post a quote that has a few key words in it from our discussion I can claim it backs my point even if it actually says the exact opposite thing from what I’m claiming. Atheists, as mentioned above, are too dumb to notice.
      22. There is a huge mass of fence sitters out there who are eagerly reading CNN blog comments in order to decide whether or not to believe in God.
      23. I will personally save all those mentioned in number 22 because I, Chad, am super smart. I know this because I get away with all the above mentioned lies and manipulations. Sometimes people think they are pointing these things out but they really aren’t. Or the stupid atheist masses aren’t reading them anyway.
      24. Phrase everything as if it’s a lecture so you look like you know what you’re talking about. See #20 about atheists being idiots and #21 about people not reading anything you post you’ll see that the silly atheists will fall for it every time. In particular they won’t look back to the earlier part of the discussion to see how I’m contradicting myself. This is very well aided by another tactic:
      25. As soon as you make an ass of yourself break the conversation into a new thread. That way all the newcomers (see #22 on how they are waiting to have their souls saved) will not bother to read back and see how ignorant you are.
      26. If someone points out to you that citing Wikipedia is not an adequate source for the discussion at hand you can always find a good undergraduate philosophy paper to cite instead.
      27. Never question another Christian no matter how incorrect or offensive their position.

      April 19, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • Chad

      @Doc Vestibule "You're trying to wiggle out of making a coherent counter argument."
      @Chad "well, you didnt present anything that could be argued against, right? You just said "all these guys believe that".
      You'll have to specify why the believe it in order for anyone to argue it..
      right?

      ===
      @Doc Vestibule " I own a copy of the dissertation in qustion – "Evolution, Monism, Atheism, and the Naturalist World-View"."
      @Chad "you have my sympathies, contemplating a deterministic life with no free will must be very difficult and discouraging..

      Determinists generally agree that human actions affect the future but that human action is itself determined by a causal chain of prior events.

      April 19, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @., Doc

      I can see him googling monism right now... By the end of the day he'll be misusing the term while giving lectures on the topic.

      April 19, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      Why is it that you are such an arrogant pile of shit who thinks he can tell others what they must believe? Truly, you have no other weapons to defend your irrational stupidity other than complete dishonesty.

      April 19, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • Bob

      It is also amusing that even after all of Chad's wriggling and wiggling exercises, Rachel(Chad) still does not have a thigh gap.

      Get back on that exercise bike, Chad.

      April 19, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Chad continues to spew his simplistic view of "a causal chain," ignoring the complexity of the human body, the environment we live in and our ability to chose if we respond to internal or external stimuli and feedback. At least it appears he has stopped misrepresenting Hawking.

      April 19, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
  12. lol??

    Something to think about when the free will topic appears again:
    "Act 17:26-27 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:"

    April 19, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • Athy

      Ha ha. That's a good laugh.

      April 19, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • Chad

      " I am God, and there is no other;
      I am God, and there is none like me.
      10 I make known the end from the beginning,
      from ancient times, what is still to come.

      The bible declares that God exists outside of time

      Now, you can argue that the bible is nonsense,
      however,
      you can not argue that if a being DID actually exist outside of time, that being could in fact know what we would do by the exercise of our free will, and the results there of, and none of that would ever interfere with our free will.

      Humans are bound by a serial progression of time, but any being OUTSIDE that time, would not be. That can not be argued.

      April 19, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      "Humans are bound by a serial progression of time, but any being OUTSIDE that time, would not be. That can not be argued"

      LOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!!!

      Well, i suppose that is correct, but so is the following:

      X are bound by a serial progression of Z, but any being OUTSIDE Z would not be. That can not be argued

      April 19, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • Larry

      Chad
      What can be argued is how anything intelligent could exist outside of time. How could it decide and act without time to do these things? Just because you can claim something in an English sentence which is grammatically correct it doesn't mean that it's true, or even that it could be true. If it did, then we'd be justified in looking for four-sided triangles. Sorry, but an intelligent being able to do things simply cannot exist outside of time. It's just not logical.

      April 19, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      "Humans are bound by a serial progression of time, but any being OUTSIDE that time, would not be. That can not be argued."

      First, your quote does not state that "God" is outside of time.
      Second, on what basis do you claim that a "being OUTSIDE" of time would have any access whatsoever to what happened within time?

      April 19, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
  13. Honey Badger Don't Care!

    Can I call it or can I call it? So predictable.

    April 19, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Yes, you can call it. Best laugh of the day.

      April 19, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care!

      Just having problems with the reply button.

      April 19, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • Monty P

      I came here for an argument.

      No you didn't!

      This isn't an argument – you are just contradicting me.

      No I'm not!

      April 19, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
  14. jj

    Godless is a perjorative term. Stop using it.

    April 19, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • Huebert

      I don't see the term Godless as pejorative. I do not believe in the existence of any god, therefor I am godless. It may have been pejorative, but I believe that the connotation has changed.

      April 19, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
  15. Ann

    Okay, I think my German shepherd is smarter than Scarn.

    April 19, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • Goldstein Squad

      Epstein, you couldn't wait to score a few points for atheism, could you.

      Yeah, you are good people.

      You betcha.

      Keep telling yourselves that.

      April 19, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • Doobs

      @ Goldstein Squad

      You must have missed this: 'My Take: Light will conquer darkness in Boston", which appeared less than 24 hours after the bombing. Looks like you christians beat us atheists on the "scoring points" thing by three days.

      Fucking hypocrite.

      April 19, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • Science

      Hey Doobs ...............have to agree !

      Peace

      April 19, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
  16. Scarn

    So if all of you are right...when we die, nothing happens. I may be wrong, but I'm dead...it won't matter, will it?

    If I'm right...when we die, most of you have some explaining to do to someone who created you, someone you swore you didn't believe in and called pathetic and other insults, and explain why you felt the need to also ridicule those who did believe in Him. You will probably also have to explain why you should now be with that someone you wanted nothing to do with in life, as opposed to separated from that person forever in what we call Hell.

    So enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that you're correct in this debate here on earth. Because either way, when you die, what's it really worth?

    April 19, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • Doobs

      That's an interesting version of Pascal's Wager.

      April 19, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      You should try and die gloriously in battle, bathed in blood of your enemies so that you can get to Valhalla.
      Rejecting Odin is a fool's game since you will have to answer to Him when you die.

      April 19, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • Huebert

      You are completely neglecting the possibility that you are worshiping the wrong god. What if the Muslims are right and and you are going to hell for not believing that Mohammad is Allah's prophet.

      April 19, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      If I'm wrong about the numerous alleged, unproven gods, it already knows that I intend to answer any question it might have with a hearty "Fuck Off Asshole!"

      April 19, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • Science

      Hey Scam ............oops

      April 19, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      Honey Badger called it, Pascals Wager! The defeated christians last attempt at making himslef look reasonable.

      April 19, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • Science

      Oops Scarn .....................the scam ?

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/04/13/pope-asks-cardinals-to-study-church-reform/comment-page-2/#comments

      April 19, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
  17. Reality

    Think infinity and recycling with the Big Bang expansion followed by the shrinking reversal called the Gib Gnab and recycling back to the Big Bang repeating the process on and on forever. Human life and Earth are simply a minute part of this chaotic, stochastic, expanding, shrinking process disappearing in five billion years with the burn out of the Sun and maybe returning in another five billion years with different life forms but still subject to the va-garies of its local star. (like the star supplying energy to the new exo-planets, Kepler-62e and Kepler-62f.

    April 19, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • Goldstein Squad

      Of course, even Hawking admits that no one knows what the "Big Bang" even was.

      Your 21st century mythology is very amusing.

      April 19, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • Reality

      With appropriate references:

      o "In the 1930s, theoretical physicists, most notably Albert Einstein, considered the possibility of a cyclic model for the universe as an (everlasting) alternative to the model of an expanding universe. However, work by Richard C. Tolman in 1934 showed that these early attempts failed because of the entropy problem: according to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, entropy can only increase.[1] This implies that successive cycles grow longer and larger. Extrapolating back in time, cycles before the present one become shorter and smaller culminating again in a Big Bang and thus not replacing it. This puzzling situation remained for many decades until the early 21st century when the recently discovered dark energy component provided new hope for a consistent cyclic cosmology.[2] In 2011, a five-year survey of 200,000 galaxies and spanning 7 billion years of cosmic time confirmed that "dark energy is driving our universe apart at accelerating speeds."[3][4]

      One new cyclic model is a brane cosmology model of the creation of the universe, derived from the earlier ekpyrotic model. It was proposed in 2001 by Paul Steinhardt of Princeton University and Neil Turok of Cambridge University. The theory describes a universe exploding into existence not just once, but repeatedly over time.[5][6] The theory could potentially explain why a mysterious repulsive form of energy known as the "cosmological constant", and which is accelerating the expansion of the universe, is several orders of magnitude smaller than predicted by the standard Big Bang model."
      A different cyclic model relying on the notion of phantom energy was proposed in 2007 by Lauris Baum and Paul Frampton of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.[7]"

      1. ^ a b R.C. Tolman (1987) [1934]. Relativity, Thermodynamics, and Cosmology. New York: Dover. ISBN 0-486-65383-8. LCCN 34032023.
      2. ^ P.H. Frampton (2006). "On Cyclic Universes". arXiv:astro-ph/0612243 [astro-ph].
      3. ^ Dark Energy Is Driving Universe Apart: NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer Finds Dark Energy Repulsive
      4. ^ The WiggleZ Dark Energy Survey: Direct constraints on blue galaxy intrinsic alignments at intermediate redshifts
      5. ^ P.J. Steinhardt, N. Turok (2001). "Cosmic Evolution in a Cyclic Universe". Phys.Rev.D 65 (12). arXiv:hep-th/0111098. Bibcode:2002PhRvD..65l6003S. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.65.126003.
      6. ^ P.J. Steinhardt, N. Turok (2001). "A Cyclic Model of the Universe". Science 296 (5572): 1436–1439. arXiv:hep-th/0111030. Bibcode:2002Sci...296.1436S. doi:10.1126/science.1070462. PMID 11976408.
      7. ^ a b L. Baum, P.H. Frampton (2007). "Entropy of Contracting Universe in Cyclic Cosmology". Mod.Phys.Lett.A 23: 33. arXiv:hep-th/0703162. Bibcode:2008MPLA...23...33B. doi:10.1142/S0217732308026170.
      8. ^ P.J. Steinhardt, N. Turok (2004). "The Cyclic Model Simplified". New Astron.Rev. 49 (2–6): 43–57. arXiv:astro-ph/0404480. Bibcode:2005NewAR..49...43S. doi:10.1016/j.newar.2005.01.003.
      9. ^ P. Woit (2006). Not Even Wrong. London: Random House. ISBN 978-0-09-948864-4.
      10. ^ L. Baum and P.H. Frampton (2007). "Turnaround in Cyclic Cosmology". Physical Review Letters 98 (7): 071301. arXiv:hep-th/0610213. Bibcode:2007PhRvL..98g1301B. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.98.071301. PMID 17359014

      April 19, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
  18. OH.EM.GEE.

    This is terrible! Unfathomable! People performing acts of kindness and compassion without attributing these to a religion? DISGUSTING!! Can I add to my insurance policy that I want any potential blood donor to have been checked for a religion and a hymen (and what is the male equivalent of a hymen??)? I would rather DIE than have my virginal Christian blood mixed with that of some nonreligious "swine."

    Said no one in an ambulance, ever.

    April 19, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I hear that atheism can be transmitted via exchange of bodily fluids, just like you can catch The Gay by being around ho/mose.xuals because it is an airborne virus.
      The only thing you can do to keep yourself from catching one of these deadly diseases is to make sure you never come in contact wiht anybody who is not a member of your Church.
      So all you religionauts – stay insular! Read only your Holy Book and speak only to your shaman.
      To do otherwise is to risk getting infected with independent thought.
      There is no known cure for freethinking!

      April 19, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • Goldstein Squad

      There you go, Mr. Epstein...Doc is providing another example of how "good" atheists are.

      Kind, thoughtful.

      And oh so witty!

      In his own mind, that is.

      April 19, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Goldstein
      Pardon the heretical levity. I can see that you'll use it as fodder for attacking non-believers.
      But you cannot lump the irreligious into one camp.
      Atheism is a negative statement that says only what one does NOT believe.
      It does not imply any behaviours, morals, or characteristics whatsoever.

      I am a naturalist who believes that there is no existence save that which we experience directly (ie: no spiritual realm). I am also a rational anarchist who knows that concepts such as ‘state’ and ‘society’ and ‘government’ have no existence save as physically exemplified in the acts of self-responsible individuals.
      I hold that it is impossible to shift, share, or distribute blame . . . as blame, guilt, responsibility etc. are matters taking place inside human beings singly and nowhere else. Therefore, we should be rational and realize that not everyone will share the same evaluations of good and evil. We must try to live perfectly in an imperfect world, aware that our efforts will be less than perfect while trying to remain undismayed by self knowledge of failure.

      I believe that concept is central to Christianity. Jesus taught that we are all imperfect and must struggle to better ourselves.
      The real problem is that the majority of religionists lose sight of this core principle and get lost in sectarian dogma, fighting over mythological minutiae.

      April 19, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • OH.EM.GEE.

      @Doc: Your latter statement read like a breath of fresh Spring air (sans tree pollen). I believe that intellect is the only weapon worth wielding. That being said, how would you suggest I avoid air-borne contaminants without suffocating to death? 😉

      April 19, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
  19. Honey Badger Don't Care!

    I'm sure that now he'll continue on with Pascal's Wager.

    April 19, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • Doobs

      You called it.

      April 19, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • Akira

      HBDC: yep.

      April 19, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • Saraswati

      LOL – what this in reference to Scarn??? That's hysterical: 3:28!

      April 19, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
  20. Scarn

    Until science can prove how the universe was formed I will believe in God.

    April 19, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      why, that doesnt expain anything either? And since science hasnt figured everyhting out yet, how does that corrolate to you guessing a particular god to beleive in and claiming that was the way the universe was created? You sound like a fool.

      April 19, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • biobraine

      Until religion can prove how a god could be formed that could form a universe, I will withold belief

      April 19, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • Thoth

      Can you not see the flaw in your reasoning?

      April 19, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • sam stone

      good for you. until science can explain how the universe was formed, i will believe in jim varney. it is just as valid as your view

      April 19, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care!

      Until you can provide good evidence that any god exists then I will continue to believe in science.

      April 19, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • Scarn

      Biobrane,
      The notion of a God is a creator that wasn't created or "formed" so it doesn't make sense to say you need proof of how a god could be formed... That's the whole point of God...He creates...He isn't created. You can't keep going back ad infinitum saying, "well who created God...and who created the God that created God...", there has to be a first mover.

      Sam Stone,
      There's no question that Jim Varney did exist, therefore no reason to "believe" in him. I have a wallsize poster of him in my bedroom.

      April 19, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Scarn

      That's called a Special Pleading fallacy. Everything must follow these rules except for the thing that you want to believe in.

      April 19, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • Ann

      It's very likely that the human brain will never be capable of understanding everything there is to know about the universe, any more than my German shepherd could understand calculus (although, she IS very smart!). Science will always have questions we can't answer. I'm okay with that.

      It still doesn't mean that mythology = fact.

      April 19, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • Scarn

      Honey Badger,
      If there were evidence that God exists then there wouldn't be much point in faith or having to believe in a God, would there?What would we believe in then?

      April 19, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • Kafir

      Scarn's statement takes the form of the logical fallacy known as Argumentum ad ignorantiam (Argument from ignorance).

      Basically he's "arguing" that because a viable explanation does not exist for a phenomenon, he's arbitrarily electing an answer that suits him. Put another way, he accepts a speculative answer over no answer at all, implying that information information out of nothing is better than no information at all (nevermind that we DO have some information about the origins of the univserse – he just hasn't gotten the memo). This is where the "ignorance" originates from in the name of this fallacy – he argues from a position of ignorance to push for a conclusion (that is itself not fact based).

      April 19, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care!

      So you admit that you believe in something for which there is no good reason to believe it? That is delusional behaviour. I suggest that you check in with the guys with the white coats now.

      April 19, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • Doobs

      "There's no question that Jim Varney did exist, therefore no reason to "believe" in him. I have a wallsize poster of him in my bedroom."

      That explains a lot.

      April 19, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Scarn

      "If there were evidence that God exists then there wouldn't be much point in faith or having to believe in a God, would there?What would we believe in then?"

      So faith is a necessary thing? Really? So how do you differentiate between your faith and the faith of a Muslim, Jew, Hindu, or any other religion out there?

      April 19, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • sam stone

      he did exist, and came down to the world as ernest p. worrell to take away all our sins

      April 19, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
    • lol??

      Honey, spoken like a true socie commie from Sodom. Send em all to Siberia.Y'all voted and sensually formed a consensus. Break out the vodka!

      April 19, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      So Scarn, you will accept the unfounded word of 2,000+ year old desert dwelling goat herders rather than that of peer reviewed, highly educated, modern day scientists simply because you can't handle not knowing the exact cause of the universe. I strongly encourage you to throw away The Babble and read a couple of actual science books, starting with "Atom" and "A Universe From Nothing" by Krauss.

      "I don't know" is a far superior answer than "some unproven god did it." And as Doc V has pointed out, the real answer to any question about our world has never been "supernatural god magic."

      You are in denial and afraid to escape from the cult you have probably been indoctrinated into since shortly after birth. Or are mentally ill.

      April 19, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ Scarn:

      "If there were evidence that God exists then there wouldn't be much point in faith or having to believe in a God, would there?What would we believe in then?"

      Umm, then we would believe in God, because there was evidence of God's existence. You wouldn't NEED faith, because you would HAVE evidence.

      April 19, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • lol??

      higuy standard Christian doctrine,

      "Eph 4:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,".........................No dialoguing with the senses needed or desired.

      April 19, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      When religious faith is not required to accept the existence of god I will take it more seriously.

      April 19, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care!

      LOL??

      I not only identify as an atheist but as an anti-theist as well. Religion is only holding back our society from reaching its full potential. It needs to be done away with just like all of the other fireside ghost stories.

      April 19, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • Science

      Gave it up.............. REMEMBER....................lol??

      April 19, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I would think then that your relevant quandary is which god to believe in.
      Since there is an equal lack of evidence of the existence of any of the countless gods posited by man throughout history, all gods are equally (un)likely.

      So eenie, meenie, miney... Quetzcoatl!

      If the One True Deity, shaper of The Universe, wishes their words to be transmitted and adhered to, they should have been a bit less ambiguous. Expecting people to select The Truth out of limitless possibilities on faith alone seems a sloppy way to run things – especially if the punishment for a wrong choice is eternal torment.

      April 19, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • Reality

      Think infinity and recycling with the Big Bang expansion followed by the shrinking reversal called the Gib Gnab and recycling back to the Big Bang repeating the process on and on forever. Human life and Earth are simply a minute part of this chaotic, stochastic, expanding, shrinking process disappearing in five billion years with the burn out of the Sun and maybe returning in another five billion years with different life forms but still subject to the va-garies of its local star.

      April 19, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
    • lol??

      "Pro 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding."

      April 19, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • Akira

      As you don't understand the definition of "socialist" or "communist", lol??, there's likely much you don't understand.

      April 19, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care!

      I can quote from works of fiction too.

      “May the hair on your toes never fall out!”
      ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

      April 19, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.