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First on CNN: Atheist group targets presidential candidates' faith with billboards
A billboard criticizing Christianity is going up in Charlotte, North Carolina, host city of the upcoming Democratic National Convention.
August 13th, 2012
10:03 AM ET

First on CNN: Atheist group targets presidential candidates' faith with billboards

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) - A prominent atheist group is using next month's Democratic National Convention to take aim at the presidential candidates' religion, putting up billboards targeting Mormonism and Christianity in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“Our political system is rife with religion and it depends too much on religion and not enough on substance," said David Silverman, president of American Atheists, sponsor of the ads.

"Religion is silly and religion has components that are inherently divisive. … There is no place for any of that in the political system,” he said.

The billboards go up Monday in Charlotte and will stay up for a month at a cost of roughly $15,000. The Democratic convention runs September 3-6.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

The billboard targeting Christianity features an image of Jesus Christ on toast and this description of the faith: "Sadistic God; Useless Savior, 30,000+ Versions of ‘Truth,’ Promotes Hates, Calls it ‘Love.’ ”

The billboard targeting Mormonism lambastes - and, Mormons would say, distorts - specific Mormon doctrines: "God is a Space Alien, Baptizes Dead People, Big Money, Big Bigotry.”

The Mormon billboard features a man in white underwear, a reference to special Mormon garments.

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

Both billboards feature the line "Atheism: Simply Reasonable."

American Atheists had wanted to put the anti-Mormon billboard in Tampa, Florida, to coincide with the Republican National Convention there later this month. Presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney is a Mormon. When no billboard company in the city would lease the group space for such a sign, Silverman said the organization decided to focus solely on the Democrats in Charlotte.

“Presidential conventions are for ideas, not ideology - platforms, not platitudes," Silverman said. "If a person believes stupid things, we have every right to question his or her judgment, and that directly impacts how the nonreligious voter votes.”

CNN Belief Blog: Atheist leader hopes to mobilize closeted nonbelievers

Some religious leaders said the billboards showed a misunderstanding of how faith works.

"That billboard makes the most common high-school error when it comes to atheism," wrote the Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and author, in an e-mail to CNN. "It's not arguing against the existence of God, but against religion. The American Atheists need to go back to school on this one."

Martin also questioned the language used on the billboard: "And as for 'promoting hate' they're doing a bang-up job themselves with that billboard."

Terryl Givens, a Mormon professor at the University of Richmond, called American Atheists "petty and vindictive."

“If this example of adolescent silliness is what atheists mean by being reasonable, then neither Mormons nor other Christians have much to worry about," he said of the billboards. "When atheists organize to serve the poor and needy of the world, they will be taken more seriously."

CNN Belief Blog: Unbelieving preachers 'come out' as atheists

It's not the first time the American Atheists group has released in-your-face billboards. Earlier this year, the group put up two billboards in heavily Muslim and Jewish enclaves in New Jersey and New York bearing messages in Arabic and Hebrew.

“You know it’s a myth … and you have a choice,” the billboards said. At the time, Silverman said the signs were intended to reach atheists in Muslim and Jewish areas who may feel isolated because they are surrounded by believers.

In addition to the billboards, Silverman said his group plans to stage protests at both conventions.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: 2012 Election • Atheism • Barack Obama • Christianity • Mitt Romney • Mormonism • Politics

soundoff (7,477 Responses)
  1. Chad

    What "caused" the big bang?
    The big bang theory leaves several major questions unanswered. One is the original cause of the big bang itself. Several answers have been proposed to address this fundamental question, but none has been proven—and even adequately testing them has proven to be a formidable challenge.

    Any answer to this problem must begin with a key realization: both time and space are contained within the universe and came into existence only AFTER the Big Bang occurred. The cause of the universe must not include them, they are not available to us. It[the cause] must come from outside our experience.

    ==========
    Why does the universe obey laws?
    Scientists today take for granted the idea that the universe operates according to laws. All of science is based on what author James Trefil calls the principle of universality: "It says that the laws of nature we discover here and now in our laboratories are true everywhere in the universe and have been in force for all time."2

    The greatest scientists have been struck by how strange this is. There is no logical necessity for a universe that obeys rules, let alone one that abides by the rules of mathematics. The speed of light measures the same 186,000 miles per second, no matter if the light comes from a child's flashlight or a star that's galaxies away. Mathematically, there is an exact speed of light that doesn't change.

    Physicist Eugene Wigner confesses that the mathematical underpinning of nature "is something bordering on the mysterious and there is no rational explanation for it."3 Richard Feynman, a Nobel Prize winner for quantum electrodynamics, said, "Why nature is mathematical is a mystery...The fact that there are rules at all is a kind of miracle."

    Physicist Paul C. Davies comments, "...to be a scientist, you had to have faith that the universe is governed by dependable, immutable, absolute, universal, mathematical laws of an unspecified origin. You've got to believe that these laws won't fail, that we won't wake up tomorrow to find heat flowing from cold to hot, or the speed of light changing by the hour. Over the years I have often asked my physicist colleagues why the laws of physics are what they are? ...The favorite reply is, 'There is no reason they are what they are–they just are.'"

    August 17, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad,

      you're kidding me.

      What does this crap have to do with billboards, or did you mean to post this back on p50 where you and Rufus have been going at it for days?

      This is your very favorite item from the top 10 list:

      10. The ‘reductionem ad creationis’ argument, no matter what the topic of the day, let’s talk evolution … again and again!
      eg: ”science doesn’t explain what happened before the big bang, so God is real, ergo he created everything 6,000 years ago”

      August 17, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Has anyone compared you and your God to a cockroach, Chad? You seek out all the tiny crevices and dark places where you can hide. I suppose there'll always be such places for you. As you point out, scientists don't see any of what they do as seamless.

      August 17, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Please lock me away
      And don't allow the day
      Here inside, where I hide in my Chadliness
      I don't care what they say, I won't think
      Of a world without God

      Apologies to Bobby Rydell

      August 17, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Sorry, p51.

      August 17, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Chad

      The laws of the universe have an unspecified origin just as the universe itself has an unspecified origin and even that the arrow of time progressing only from past to future has an unspecified origin. The mere fact that all these things can be accurately modeled by mathematics and predictions made demonstrates that everything that occurs is naturalistic. Why should we reject the origin as also being natural? You contend that the universe and everything in it was created by a non natural super being but offer nothing to support your view. We have absolutely nothing of the unnatural to refer to. No example of things that do not conform to natural laws. Makes a heck of a lot more sense to believe that something natural outside our universe(without intelligence) was the cause than what you contend.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @AtheistSteve,
      ----------------–
      THIS IS A CATEGORY 3 CHAD WARNING
      ----------------–
      Do not engage with the Chad on the big bang or evolution.

      REPEAT etc.

      Where's Chadwatch when you need it?

      August 17, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      You continually nit-pick about the details of what is known scientifically about evolution and cosmology (which is quite a lot), yet you never have been able to provide even a vague or general answer as to how your "supernatural orchestration" would work. You provide no answer whatsoever, and yet you dance all around the issue, trying with all your might to avoid having to admit your real answer, which is:

      Because God is magic.

      And magic by it's very definition does not fall within natural laws or the realm of science. With all your bluster and bluff, and all your cutting and pasting the carefully selected words of scientists, and all of your adopted science vocabulary, you are still simply arguing that it's all the result of magic. That's no good – magic is right out as an acceptable explanation.

      You are making the same old god of the gaps argument, only you've narrowed that gap to tiny fissures. You are still just arguing that everything in the universe – every event, every particle of matter and anti-matter – is the result of the supernatural magic in those tiny gaps.

      This is why you're not actually talking about science, Chad. Proposing magic as part of any explanation disqualifies you from scientific debate.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      (Chad, that is)

      August 17, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
    • Chad

      @AtheistSteve "The laws of the universe have an unspecified origin just as the universe itself has an unspecified origin and even that the arrow of time progressing only from past to future has an unspecified origin"
      @Chad "correction.. not "unspecified" rather "unknown" 🙂

      =======
      @AtheistSteve The mere fact that all these things can be accurately modeled by mathematics and predictions made demonstrates that everything that occurs is naturalistic."
      @Chad "no... it demonstrates that the everything that occurs obeys laws, a "phenomena" for which there is no other explanation than God.. attempting to say that it is "naturalistic" implies a naturalistic reason, which is clearly contradicted by those statements..
      Richard Feynman, a Nobel Prize winner for quantum electrodynamics, said, "Why nature is mathematical is a mystery...The fact that there are rules at all is a kind of miracle."

      =======
      @AtheistSteve "Why should we reject the origin as also being natural?"
      @Chad "you mean, other than the statements made by the scientists above?"

      =======
      @AtheistSteve "You contend that the universe and everything in it was created by a non natural super being but offer nothing to support your view."
      @Chad "you mean, other that the statements from the scientists above?"

      Pretty clear, if the answer doesnt come from within the system, look outside the system..

      August 17, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      @Chad "well Rufus, if you find it disconcerting that the external force is referred to as "God", feel free to call it "Mike"

      I didn't refer to any name, but if Mike is what you want to call the hocus-pocus element of every single one of your arguments, that's fine. "Magic Mike" will work just fine.

      I think referring to your supernatural force as Magic Mike is hands-down the best idea you have put forward on this blog. It changes nothing in the meaning of your arguments, but substituting "Magic Mike" makes it clear just how ridiculous your arguments really are.

      A typical Chad comment from above:
      @Chad: "Again, the key point being that HB has nothing to do with the creation of that which makes up the universe.. It has to do with operations on that which makes up the universe immediately after their creation (by an external force)."

      Now consider this:
      @Chad: "Again, the key point being that HB has nothing to do with the creation of that which makes up the universe.. It has to do with operations on that which makes up the universe immediately after their creation (by Magic Mike).
      Same comment, but the childish absurdity of your argument is made much clearer using the new terminology!

      Why is everything the way it is? Because Magic Mike wanted it do be that way and He fine-tuned the universe so it would happen.

      Why does the universe exist? Magic Mike.
      Why is there life? Magic Mike.
      Why do new species evolve? Magic Mike.

      This is really what you're getting at, right? Your pseudo-intellectual debates are all just an attempt to obscure the simple fact that all your arguing is that Magic Mike wanted it that way and he did it with his magic. Right?

      August 17, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      @Chad: "Pretty clear, if the answer doesnt come from within the system, look to Magic Mike.".

      August 17, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
    • Chad

      why do these question upset you SO much?

      they dont seem to upset Nobel prize winning physicists nearly as much as atheists...

      why??

      August 17, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Yeah...thanks for the warning. Picking on chad isn't an effort to change his mind...we all know that's not gonna happen, but more to show others how absurd his position is.

      Like... hey chad...how come 1 + 1 = 2 ? Oddly enough this is one we have been able to prove but not without using 100 pages of torturous logic that also utilizes axioms that cannot be proved.(The Logical Absolutes)

      All of chads' arguments mirror the sentient puddle example. Where a puddle marvels at how the surface it sits in is perfectly shaped to fit it.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
      • CONSTANTIN CHICIOROAGA +4915776228482

        Constantin Chicioroaga 1971/08/15 – traianch2005@mail.ru
        I love every day and night on several occasions his partner Stephen, we get along very well, and even think to register our relationship and adopt a few children in Germany! We live in a free country, and we want to build their lives freely in a modern way, so we do not care about all of you and what you think of us – WE ARE GAY AND PROUD OF IT!

        December 21, 2013 at 4:26 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Because your "questions" avoid the issue that you're trying to dance your way out of, which is that all of your arguments utterly fail in any scientific or rational forum because they incorporate magic as a fundamental part of the explanation. You have to face up to the fact that no matter whose work you quote, no matter what terms you use, you are never actually discussing science as long as you are relying upon magic for any part of your explanation.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Chad those physicists aren't bothered and neither are we. We all agree that we don't know. You're the only one claiming you do know.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Chad

      Roger Penrose suggested that there is kind of reality that consist of the rules the Universe is based on. Logic, and mathematics which is derived using logic, operates in the reality of natural objects because that reality is embedded (word choice?) in it. I guess that you would want your God the creator to exist outside of that reality as well. An arbitrary and rule-less God?

      August 17, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
    • Chadwatch, a public service

      Thank you, notGOP, for alerting us to this critical situation; however, it is clear that rational people have The Chad under control, and are calling him out on his bullsh.it quite handily.

      We here at Chadwatch are especially fond of the "magic mike" development – good stuff.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
    • Chadwatch, a public service

      ...and equally fond of the Douglas Adams "sentient pond" analogy. Kudos.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • Chad

      @AtheistSteve "All of chads' arguments mirror the sentient puddle example. Where a puddle marvels at how the surface it sits in is perfectly shaped to fit it."

      @Chad "hmm.. no, the puddle thing was Douglas Adams (English writer, humorist, dramatist, atheist), as a bogus attempt at saying our fine tuned universe isnt actually fine tuned at all..
      The scientific response to that is from:
      Physicist Paul Davies has asserted that "There is now broad agreement among physicists and cosmologists that the Universe is in several respects ‘fine-tuned' for life".[2] 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".

      adams had a tremendous imagination, but he was no physicist 🙂

      August 17, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chadwatch,

      yes, I liked the "Magic Mike" development too. 😉

      August 17, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      I didn't realize the 'sentient pond' reference was Douglas Adams!

      Senitent matresses and highly intelligent shades of the colour blue, yes, but ponds is new to me. Presumably this is an opinion he wrote?

      It certainly has his wit about it. Thank you.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
    • Chadwatch, a public service

      An application of the Magic Mike method of debunking Chad:

      Physicist Paul Davies has asserted that "There is now broad agreement among physicists and cosmologists that the Universe is in several respects ‘fine-tuned' for life by Magic Mike".[2] However he continues "...the conclusion is not so much that the Universe is fine-tuned for life by Magic Mike; rather Magic Mike fine-tuned it for the building blocks and environments that life requires"

      Brilliant!

      August 17, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Douglas Adams was no physicist but Hitchhickers Guide to the Universe is a better view of reality than the one you live in.

      None of the physicists you quote are talking in support of God..only in support of not knowing the origin. Big difference there.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      And Yes I do know that it's HitchHikers Guide to the Galaxy.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Chad, you may have been way too busy appealing to authority to notice (or perhaps not quite honest enough to acknowledge it), but Paul Davies' NYT op-ed (and yes, it is an op-ed, not a peer-reviewed paper from a science journal), has been heavily criticized by Jerry Coyne, Nathan Myhrvold, Lawrence Krauss, Scott Atran, Sean Carroll, Jeremy Bernstein, PZ Myers, Lee Smolin, John Horgan, Alan Sokal, among others.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Per wikipedia:

      He [Adams] was a staunch atheist, famously imagining a sentient puddle who wakes up one morning and thinks, "This is an interesting world I find myself in—an interesting hole I find myself in—fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!" to demonstrate the fallacy of the fine-tuned Universe argument for God.

      I learned something fun tonight!

      August 17, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      Chad, it's obvious that you have created a whole universe inside the 86 billion neurons that is uniquely yours. That's the keyword, yours. It's called absorption, training your mind to hear what you want to hear. You're a smart guy with a tremendous imagination but guess what, that's all it is, your imagination, yours, uniquely yours. It doesn't prove anything or make it true, only to you. Do yourself a favor, take a mind vacation, breathe deeply, relax, put the bible away, take a walk in the woods, enjoy the air you breathe, the sun on your face, your ability to move freely and think. What more do you need?

      August 17, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
    • Chad

      I dont see any value at all in ignoring the plain facts.. right?

      I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists Einstein

      For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. Romans 1

      August 18, 2012 at 12:35 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      What exactly has been "clearly seen"? We work pretty hard to get an inkling of the true nature of things. God is not revealed in what we do see.

      August 18, 2012 at 12:41 am |
      • CONSTANTIN CHICIOROAGA +4915776228482

        Constantin Chicioroaga 1971/08/15 – traianch2005@mail.ru
        I love every day and night on several occasions his partner Stephen, we get along very well, and even think to register our relationship and adopt a few children in Germany! We live in a free country, and we want to build their lives freely in a modern way, so we do not care about all of you and what you think of us – WE ARE GAY AND PROUD OF IT!

        December 21, 2013 at 4:27 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Chad

      If God can exist outside of the created thing – the Universe in your view – why is it that we, created in the likeness of God, must have a very special Universe if we are to exist? Couldn't we have been created enough like God to exist without all the fine tuning?

      August 18, 2012 at 1:07 am |
    • Chadwatch, a public service

      You'll believe me if I just cut and paste enough...right?

      August 18, 2012 at 1:33 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Chadwiki has gone. I have trouble getting him to engage. Is he always so narrow, Chadwatch?

      August 18, 2012 at 1:39 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Chad's whole argument comes down to this:
      It is way too improbable that the universe is exactly the way it is and we are here, therefore billions of years ago a magic being outside the universe must have created it and "fine tuned" it in such a way that every atom, every molecule, every galaxy, and every single event would fall into place exactly as it has...because that is MUCH more likely.

      August 18, 2012 at 1:47 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Tom Tom, Chad's a slippery one. If you ask real questions he disappears – it's kind of like trying to get a firm grip on jello.

      August 18, 2012 at 1:50 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Woops, I didn't use reply...

      Now, late at night, I imagine Chad furiously looking through old Scientific Americans and Wikipedia trying to find things to shore up his ideas. I guess he'll trot them out tomorrow.

      August 18, 2012 at 1:58 am |
    • One one

      @Rufus, "magic Mike", LOL, I love it !

      In the beginning, magic mike created the heavens and earth. LOL

      August 18, 2012 at 7:11 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Davies' comment: "To be a scientist, you had to have faith that the universe is governed by dependable, immutable, absolute, universal, mathematical laws..." As a scientist I try to avoid such faith. I expect order because I experience order. Operating with the expectation of order works and produces useful and durable results. Having faith in order discourages questions about order. If you really want to get into this Chad, i.e. where do the rules come from?, I think you'll have to get away from faith of that kind – which you do have. For example, you insist like Aquinas (after Aristotle) that the Universe, but not God, had to originate from a cause. But the order causal chains depend on may not have been operational at the origin of the Universe. Just as you suppose God is uncaused, the Universe may be uncaused.

      August 18, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • Chad

      @Tom Tom ".Just as you suppose God is uncaused, the Universe may be uncaused"
      @Chad "The difference between God and the universe is that the universe had a beginning (see Big Bang).

      We know our universe had a beginning, on the other hand the Bible says God has no beginning (quite a concept for a bunch of illiterate goat herders to "invent", hey?)

      If you are attempting to say that the beginning of our universe had no "cause", that is nonsensical as evidenced by the fact that all current cosmological theories on the origin of our universe are as sociated with causes external to our universe.

      August 18, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • Chadwatch, a public service

      @Chad "The difference between Magic Mike and the universe is that the universe had a beginning (see Big Bang).

      We know our universe had a beginning, on the other hand the Book of Magic Mike says Magic Mike has no beginning (quite a concept for a bunch of illiterate goat herders to "invent", hey?)

      August 18, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Actually, I'm pointing out that what you take on faith, that causality did work at the origin of the Universe – at the origin of time in particular – or works outside the Universe may not be the case. You are reasoning from the kalam argument which depends on the idea that if something, including time, began then something must have caused it. But is this right when you can't really say that causality works if there is no time and perhaps no way to say that anything is sequential?

      August 18, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Thank you Chad. This is interesting. What theory of time would you like to start with?

      August 18, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      Chad, these people don't want to know the truth. They run from it. They put up the front as if they really want to know it, but it's just a facade. Nothing will do for them, but the sober reality which they will face when their time comes. No matter what one says to them and shows them how ridiculous their disposition is, they will still parrot the same old "I wanna proof" line. They make fools of themselves! Silly clowns!

      August 18, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      PRISM " these people don't want to know the truth. They run from it."

      I do honestly want to know the truth. I'm willing to take what you say seriously, but you must engage. Find a little courage and lets dig into what you believe and why.

      August 18, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • Really-O?

      "Silly clowns. Proofs are for fools." ( and science, and maths, and logic, ... )

      August 18, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      These believers don't want to know the truth. They run from it. They put up the front as if they really want to know it, but it's just a facade. Nothing will do for them, but the sober reality which they will face when their time comes. No matter what one says to them and shows them how ridiculous their disposition is, they will still parrot the same old "God did it" line. They make fools of themselves! Silly clowns!

      August 18, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Chad

      I am very impressed. You articulated an actual argument without resorting to ad hominems.. Would that other atheists could do the same..

      to your point:
      ========
      @Tom, Tom, the Other One "Actually, I'm pointing out that what you take on faith, that causality did work at the origin of the Universe – at the origin of time in particular – or works outside the Universe may not be the case. You are reasoning from the kalam argument which depends on the idea that if something, including time, began then something must have caused it. But is this right when you can't really say that causality works if there is no time and perhaps no way to say that anything is sequential?"
      @Chad "you are looking at "sequential" and "causation" from our time/space reference, which doesnt work when discussing a trigger external to our time/space as our time/space came into being at that initial point from which the rapid expansion resulted.

      If the trigger is external to our time space, "causation", from our perspective, is a miss application of a term.. It isnt a term that can be used when discussing two different universes.

      we as humans are so used to a serial, sequential march of time, existing out side it is just an odd notion, nevertheless we know time to be a dimension, and we know "existence" outside it is necessary, as our universes trigger "existed" outside.

      "Flat Stanley" (the two dimensional figure), has a similar problem understanding depth.. For Flat Stanley, it is impossible to occupy depth with one of him..

      August 18, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      Proof, what a silly concept. I mean, who needs it anyway?

      Did you know the earth is just 6,000 years old? Really? I did not know that. That's so interesting. Yeah and did you know that when you die you go to another place? Really? I did not know that. How amazing! Yeah and did you know that a long time ago some men lived to be 900 years old? No, I did not know that, that's incredible! Did you know that God is watching you? Uh, no, I didn't but that's way cool, yeah! Man, I love all this stuff and I can't wait to tell everyone else!

      August 18, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • Chad

      @TheVocalAtheist "Did you know the earth is just 6,000 years old?"

      @chad "I agree with your other points, but not that one.. Where in the Bible does it say that?

      August 18, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One –

      If, in theory, both space and time were "created" by the Big Bang, isn't it logically nonsensical to argue an hypothesis that posits a "cause" that exists outside and before our universe? Unless, of course, that "cause" is Magic Mike. Thoughts?

      August 18, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chadwatch a public service "If, in theory, both space and time were "created" by the Big Bang, isn't it logically nonsensical to argue an hypothesis that posits a "cause" that exists outside and before our universe?"

      @Chad "nobel prize winning athiest scientists would answer that question with a no.. the multiverse theory of the origin of our universe does exactly that, positing a cause existing outside our universe.

      August 18, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      @Chad

      Did you see the word Bible in my post? As far as the 6,000 year old earth is:

      Young Earth creationism (YEC) is the religious belief that the Universe, Earth, and all life on Earth were created by direct acts of the Abrahamic God during a relatively short period, sometime between 5,700 and 10,000 years ago. Its primary adherents are those Christians and Jews who believe that God created the Earth in six 24-hour days, using a literal interpretation of the Genesis creation narrative as a basis.

      August 18, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      You've posited a sequence: the cause of the Universe and it's origin. Let's suppose that the time dimension of the Universe is such that any endpoints, including the "beginning" are contained in the Universe. How do I order the sequence? Only the beginning is in time. Where is the cause?

      August 18, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Sorry ... that was for Chad.

      August 18, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One –

      Just for clarity, I'm obviously asking a philosophical, not scientific, question as, of course, the "Cosmological argument" is philosophy, not science. I know there are some on this blog who use the "Cosmological argument" as empirical evidence, but those among us who are honest, know and admit it is philosophy. Had to be said.

      August 18, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      Tom, you said you really want to know. If you do, you must go beyond man's science to look for answers. You must become like a little child, admitting you really don't know anything... Then go to a place where you'll be in a solitude for a while, commune with your own soul, looking in without pretence, seeing and acknowledging what's in you. Then tell God you are empty, confused and watn answers.Tell Him you haven't believed in Him but you WANT TO KNOW. It's ok to doubt and be honest admit'ting you have no answers Ask to be shown who Jesus is and whyHe came...ask WHY DO YOU NEED HIM. Tell God you want to know the truth MORE then ANYTHING else in the world.. If tears come, don't fight them. Don't be ashamed to feel small, unworthy , exposing your vulnerability. . That's the right beginning of your search to find the truth...
      If YOU PURSUE and don't let the feelings of rushing away and filling your mind with other worthless things CHOKE THE LONGING to know the truth, THEN you will see more and more light, and UNDERSTAND things you didn't before....

      That's for the start. God has much more tosay to you... But you must seek Him with all your heart.
      Remember the first line in this post: you must go beyond man's science to look for answers, you'll never find them there.... It's because they study the works of God but deny Him who created them, but exclude Him, so they are amiss and always will be.
      I hope things written here will speak to you!

      August 18, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Multiverse theories do not rely on a "first cause". Someone is tripping on their own feet.

      August 18, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      -Really-O?

      Chad, William L Craig and others who use the kalam argument are trying to bend the philosophy of science to support their view of the world. This is happening at the bleeding edge of what can be known. Maybe the last refuge for the god of the gaps?

      August 18, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One –

      Will you look at that? A reasonable and honest poster. Well said, TTtOO!

      Cheers

      August 18, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      PRISM "It's because they study the works of God but deny Him who created them"

      I have not denied God. What is there that would make me want to do that? If God exists tell me its nature and give me reasons to believe you. If you want me to believe that God created me or anything else give me reasons to believe it.

      August 18, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      Tom, LOOK at Yeshua – Jesus , The Christ.
      Look at Him!
      Search for Him.
      In Him are all the answers you're searching for !

      August 18, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Dennis

      Prism1234, why should I have to search for your BoMITS? Kind of has a weak marketing dept., does he? Seriously, what a load of cr@pola you've fallen for.

      August 18, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      Dennis, maybe you shouldn't, because you COULDN"T! Your post reveals WHY...
      But maybe Tom could. I wrote it for him!

      August 18, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by 'PRISM1234' is an instance of the ad hominem fallacy.

      http://www.fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

      http://www.fallacyfiles.org/

      August 18, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      @Tom Tom "This is happening at the bleeding edge of what can be known. Maybe the last refuge for the god of the gaps?"

      Nailed it. I could not agree more. History shows that the more that is discovered or understood, the more abstract and distant the concpept of "God" has had to become. This is necessary in order to rationalize the fact that He is not ever observed or detected. In ancient times, he was up on the mountaintop, or up in the sky, then out in space, and now we have reached a point in history where folks like Chad have to resort to claiming that he exists completely outside the universe, outside of time and space altogether. One has to claim that God is just beyond the next horizon in order to make excuses for the fact he isn't anywhere to be found.

      As I have tried to point out before, Chad's arguments, whether referring to PE or cosmology, all boil down to inserting God into the little slices of time or abstract processes that we do not yet completely understand. But, it still comes down to filling in the blanks with magic.

      August 18, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Rufus T. Firefly –

      Well said. A textbook example of bad ideas being marginalized by the relentless procession of knowledge.

      August 18, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • Chad

      @TheVocalAtheist "Did you see the word Bible in my post?"
      @Chad "no I didnt.. did you consult the Bible prior to making your claim?"

      @TheVocalAtheist "Young Earth creationism...."
      @Chad "is it your understanding that all Christians/Jews believe that?

      August 18, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • Chad

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One “You've posited a sequence: the cause of the Universe and it's origin. Let's suppose that the time dimension of the Universe is such that any endpoints, including the "beginning" are contained in the Universe. How do I order the sequence? Only the beginning is in time. Where is the cause?”
      @Chad “using the word “sequence” doesn’t make sense when talking about the origin of our universe, because time came into being at that point.
      Whatever word you want to use when describing the relationship of the external ent ity (multiverse, another universe, whatever) to the origin of OUR universe, that same word will be used when describing the relationship of the God of Abraham to the creation of our universe.
      Right?
      😉

      =========
      @Chadwatch “Multiverse theories do not rely on a "first cause". Someone is tripping on their own feet.”
      =>nice strawman 🙂
      Please show me where I said that ..lol

      ===========
      @ Tom, Tom, the Other One “William L Craig and others who use the kalam argument are trying to bend the philosophy of science to support their view of the world. This is happening at the bleeding edge of what can be known. Maybe the last refuge for the god of the gaps?”
      @Chad “if there is an argument in there somewhere, I’m unable to identify it..

      August 18, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Chad (Needs sequential events but doesn't like "sequence" or "sequential"): "Whatever word you want to use when describing the relationship of the external entity (multiverse, another universe, whatever) to the origin of OUR universe, that same word will be used when describing the relationship of the God of Abraham to the creation of our universe."

      I was thinking of the word "uncaused" to apply to the Universe. That doesn't leave me with a word to describe the relationship of the God of Abraham to the origin of the Universe.

      External entty? Can you go into what this means. What does external mean to you? In what sense do things, including entties, exist there. How can such entties act if time is confined to the Universe?

      August 18, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Sorry – entity and entities.

      August 18, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • Really-O?

      I have a couple of comments on Chad's post at August 18, 2012 at 4:35 pm –

      – First, Chad seems to assume that I am Chadwatch. I'm not. We both ridicule Chad, but Chadwatch employs more elegant technique (sardonic wit, satire, subtle sarcasm) than do I ( essentially "call a bullsh1ter a bullsh1ter"). I will admit I'm flattered as I find Chadwatch's posts quite clever. Chadwatch desires credit for his/her posts.

      – Second...wow! By show of hands (virtual), who believes Chad's post at at 4:35 pm is just more of his dishonesty or is due to, shall we say, stupidity? You see, when Chad asks "Please show me where I said that ..lol" (yes, I know he doesn't understand punctuation), with regard to my, "Multiverse theories do not rely on a "first cause". Someone is tripping on their own feet" post, does he really not see the irrefutable logical link here (August 18, 2012 at 1:15 pm) –

      @Chadwatch a public service "If, in theory, both space and time were "created" by the Big Bang, isn't it logically nonsensical to argue an hypothesis that posits a "cause" that exists outside and before our universe?"

      @Chad "nobel prize winning athiest scientists would answer that question with a no.. the multiverse theory of the origin of our universe does exactly that, positing a cause existing outside our universe.

      August 18, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • Really-O?

      I've said it before and I'll say it again – that Chad is one dishonest SOB.

      August 18, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • Really-O?

      "Chadwatch desires credit for his/her posts." should, of course, read, "Chadwatch deserves credit for his/her posts."

      ...sorry Chadwatch.

      August 18, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • Chad

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One "I was thinking of the word "uncaused" to apply to the Universe."

      @Chad "are you saying you subscribe to the "the universe came from nothing, triggered by nothing"?

      remember before you answer, Krauss' "nothing" isnt "nothing" as in the absence of everything (which he acknowledged in his debate with Craig), so what origin of the universe theory are you subscribing to that is "uncaused"?

      August 18, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • Chad

      Really-O? "Chadwatch desires credit for his/her posts." should, of course, read, "Chadwatch deserves credit for his/her posts."

      Freudian slipA slip of the tongue in which a word that the speaker was subconsciously thinking about is substi tuted for the one that he or she meant to say.

      August 18, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • Really-O?

      ...addendum –

      I may have overstepped slightly. Chad has posited the "Cosmological argument" ad nauseam and I, therefore, assumed he was going to play that one-string-banjo again (I think this is reasonable). If he has now abandoned the "first cause" argument as proof of his god, I stand corrected and applaud another one of Chad's silly arguments for god biting-the-dust. There may be hope for Chad yet.

      August 18, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I'm not sold on any origin theory, Chad. I have nothing invested in it and am only curious about it. Yes, Lawrence Krauss may have been disingenuous when he started talking about a "Universe from Nothing". So let's imagine the Universe came into being from really true actual nothing. "External to the Universe" is undefined and the Universe is the only place where things can be said to exist. Is this a problem?

      August 18, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Oh, I forgot to use that word – "uncaused".

      August 18, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • Really-O?

      I'm not surprised Chad subscribes to Freud – he seems to like nonsense just because it's old. I wonder if he realizes that a century of research in psychology/psychiatry have past since Freud first hit the scene and little of it supports the hypotheses that led to the development of psychoanalysis? Chad really would benefit from some structured higher education.

      Chadwatch – you're being given short shrift.

      August 18, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Also, "from" (in conjunction with nothing) is the best choice of words from a set of pretty bad words. Can't be helped. "in" is just as bad.

      August 18, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • Chad

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One "So let's imagine the Universe came into being from really true actual nothing. "External to the Universe" is undefined and the Universe is the only place where things can be said to exist. Is this a problem?"

      @Chad "You mean as in "lets assume there is no God, and that the universe came into being out of nothing, by nothing.. so, in that case, God doesnt exist!! I win!!!"

      lol

      the problem is, the universe couldnt have "caused itself", OR have come into existence from nothing, by nothing.

      August 18, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Chad "the problem is, the universe couldnt have "caused itself", OR have come into existence from nothing, by nothing." Please expand on this. Fallacy Spotter will be on you any minute if you don't (begging the question).

      August 18, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • Chad

      either that, or you could name one theory on the origin of our universe that makes the claim the universe was created by nothing, from nothing (as in the absence of everything)

      🙂

      August 18, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • Chad

      noting as well, that if it were possible for something to come into existence, by nothing, from nothing, how would you explain why that never happens in the real world?

      August 18, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Chad – "if it were possible for something to come into existence, by nothing, from nothing, how would you explain why that never happens in the real world?" Too late for that. Nothing no longer prevails.

      In answer to your question on origin theories, consider a simple one that comes out of Penrose-Hawking theorems on general relativity. At the origin everything is wrapped into a point. Apart from that point there is nothing. Truly, absolute nothing. There are no signposts, no references to anything to place that point anywhere. There is no time, so no "before". This is where we wind up if we look for what the Universe is emerging from ( apart from the singularity which is at the origin).

      August 18, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • Chad

      the big bang, completely agree, according to HP, there is NOTHING "before"

      now, of course, you are just describing the big bang, and just assuming that it came from nothing, by nothing.. with the same tired old "There is no time, so no "before"" which as shown above does not imply anything about causation from another enti ty, which may or may not have time at all.
      Our time came into existence..

      merely saying "the big bang came from nothing, caused by nothing" is not a cosmological theory on the origin of the universe 🙂

      August 18, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      You know you haven't addressed my question at all, Chad. Let me bring it up again:

      So let's imagine the Universe came into being – uncaused – from really true actual nothing. "External to the Universe" is undefined and the Universe is the only place where things can be said to exist. Is this a problem?

      Now, what I've heard so far is discontent that current origin theories don't sound like this, and rumblings that no true theory can be like this because it just can't. You were invited to find problems. This is serious. There are implications regarding your God. Where is it and what does it have do with the Universe?

      August 18, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • Chad

      lol

      atheist: lets talk about the origin of the universe
      theist: ok sure
      atheist: so first, lets assume that the universe is uncaused
      theiest:D'uh.. sure!
      atheist: ok, and next, lets assume that the there is nothing external to the universe
      theiest:D'uh.. sure!
      atheist: Ah HA!!! so, then there is no God!!!
      theist: boy, you sure got me...

      August 18, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • Really-O?

      I've just added Chad's August 18, 2012 at 8:59 pm post to the "Dishonest things Chad posts" project. I'm grateful for the material.

      August 18, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @Really-O, that's a gem, for sure.

      Can you imagine what the Vegetable is like in real life? How he's treat a spouse or children? How he's manage a job? (I'd say 'career' but that's just an impossibility for someone like him.)

      August 18, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @Really-O, that's a gem, for sure.

      Can you imagine what the Vegetable is like in real life? How he'd treat a spouse or children? How he's manage a job? (I'd say 'career' but that's just an impossibility for someone like him.)

      August 18, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • Hamm

      @Chad
      Well you did get one thing right: Theists sure do say "D'uh" a lot! Reminds me of Homer Simpson! 🙂

      August 19, 2012 at 12:43 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      The way the Chad referenced what Krauss said about nothing is erroneous. To say the universe came from nothing isn't so far fetched when you consider that for all intents and purposes there is nothing here. The universe is geometrically flat, not a closed curve or an open one. Further the net energy of the universe is zero. So if the net energy(which includes matter) is zero there is effectively nothing here. It all cancels itself out. What we perceive as stuff and positive energy is merely a fluctuation, an imbalance in the overall.
      But the single biggest flaw in your reasoning stems from the concept of our universe itself. The word universe was defined originally as "all that there is" or "everything there is" but that was prior to the discovery of the Big Bang. When the universe was not known to have a beginning it was logical to think it had always existed. Now that we know it did have a beginning and continues to expand we are forced to refine the definition of universe to "all that we know" or "everything we can observe". From this standpoint the universe becomes merely a small part of everything else. This "everything else" could be the multi-verse, M-Theory membranes, other dimensions or any of an infinite number of other possibilities. We will likely never know. We cannot view the universe from an external perspective and even looking back to the initial stages of the Big Bang we are still only dealing with elements that exist within "our universe", not what lies external to it. Any possible clues to the nature of that external "everything else" is completely lost in nonsense values of zero or infinity. To positively label the emergence of our universe as an intentional act or "creation" by a "creator" is nothing more than idle speculation and an attempt at anthropomorphizing the unknown. There is a non zero possibility that you could be correct about your God but you have no more evidence for that than I do for the Flying Spaghetti Monster who watches events unfold in this universe from atop his mighty beer volcano.

      August 19, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • Chad

      @AtheistSteve "The way the Chad referenced what Krauss said about nothing is erroneous.

      lol.. indeed. Krauss, quite the king of equivocation and disingenuousness..

      from Krauss-Craig debate:
      Krauss The actual first person to talk about the fact that the universe had to begin at a finite time in a singularity is Stephen Hawking, who made some singularity theorems with Roger Penrose. But the interesting thing is Stephen Hawking has also argued, as, in fact, we now know, given quantum gravity, that universes can spontaneously appear. In fact, one of the things about quantum mechanics is, nothing—not only can nothing become something, nothing always becomes something. Nothing is unstable. Nothing will always produce something in quantum mechanics. And if you apply quantum mechanics to gravity, you can show that it’s possible that space and time themselves can come into existence when nothing existed before

      Craig: He says, “But it can come into being out of nothingness because nothing is unstable.” This is the grossly misleading use of “nothingness” for describing the quantum vacuum, which is empty space filled with vacuum energy. It is a rich, physical reality described by physical laws and having a physical structure. If a religious person were to so seriously misrepresent a scientific theory as this, he would be accused of deliberate distortion and abuse of science, and, I think, rightly so! What the quantum vacuum is is a roiling sea of energy. It is not nothing. As Dr. Krauss himself has said, “By ‘nothing,’ I don’t mean nothing. . . . Nothing isn’t nothing anymore in physics.”7 Empty space is not empty. “Nothing is really a bubbling, boiling brew of virtual particles.”

      Krauss O.K., we don’t understand the beginning of the universe. We don’t understand if the universe had a cause. That is a fascinating possibility. By the way, [points to PowerPoint slide] there’s the picture of the vacuum that Dr. Craig so adequately described that I talked about. It’s not the nothing that I’m going to talk about in a second; it’s one version of nothing

      ========
      AthiestSteve "To say the universe came from nothing isn't so far fetched when you consider that for all intents and purposes there is nothing here.."
      @Chad "sure, just have two "nothings" talk about the non-nothing nothing when discussing how quantum physics says that something can come into existence from the non-nothing nothing,, then slyly apply that to the big bang singularity creation from the real nothing..
      lol
      like Krauss tried to do and got slammed.. utter nonsense.

      ========
      AtheistSteve "But the single biggest flaw in your reasoning stems from the concept of our universe itself. The word universe was defined originally as "all that there is" or "everything there is" but that was prior to the discovery of the Big Bang. When the universe was not known to have a beginning it was logical to think it had always existed"
      @chad "nonsense, the possibility of an infinite past has been refuted since Aristotle, later by Islamic science (see Al-Ghazzali 1000 AD)

      ========
      AtheistSteve "To positively label the emergence of our universe as an intentional act or "creation" by a "creator" is nothing more than idle speculation and an attempt at anthropomorphizing the unknown. There is a non zero possibility that you could be correct about your God but you have no more evidence for that than I do for the Flying Spaghetti Monster who watches events unfold in this universe from atop his mighty beer volcano."
      @Chad "hmm.. except for the Bible and the claims therein, the nation of Israel, the person of Jesus Christ..
      🙂
      nice try though..

      August 19, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • Chad

      @AtheistSteve "The way the Chad referenced what Krauss said about nothing is erroneous.

      lol.. indeed. Krauss, quite the king of equivocation and disingenuousness..

      from Krauss-Craig debate:
      Krauss The actual first person to talk about the fact that the universe had to begin at a finite time in a singularity is Stephen Hawking, who made some singularity theorems with Roger Penrose. But the interesting thing is Stephen Hawking has also argued, as, in fact, we now know, given quantum gravity, that universes can spontaneously appear. In fact, one of the things about quantum mechanics is, nothing—not only can nothing become something, nothing always becomes something. Nothing is unstable. Nothing will always produce something in quantum mechanics. And if you apply quantum mechanics to gravity, you can show that it’s possible that space and time themselves can come into existence when nothing existed before

      Craig: He says, “But it can come into being out of nothingness because nothing is unstable.” This is the grossly misleading use of “nothingness” for describing the quantum vacuum, which is empty space filled with vacuum energy. It is a rich, physical reality described by physical laws and having a physical structure. If a religious person were to so seriously misrepresent a scientific theory as this, he would be accused of deliberate distortion and abuse of science, and, I think, rightly so! What the quantum vacuum is is a roiling sea of energy. It is not nothing. As Dr. Krauss himself has said, “By ‘nothing,’ I don’t mean nothing. . . . Nothing isn’t nothing anymore in physics.”7 Empty space is not empty. “Nothing is really a bubbling, boiling brew of virtual particles.”

      Krauss O.K., we don’t understand the beginning of the universe. We don’t understand if the universe had a cause. That is a fascinating possibility. By the way, [points to PowerPoint slide] there’s the picture of the vacuum that Dr. Craig so adequately described that I talked about. It’s not the nothing that I’m going to talk about in a second; it’s one version of nothing

      ========
      AthiestSteve "To say the universe came from nothing isn't so far fetched when you consider that for all intents and purposes there is nothing here.."
      @Chad "sure, just have two "nothings" talk about the non-nothing nothing when discussing how quantum physics says that something can come into existence from the non-nothing nothing,, then slyly apply that to the big bang singularity creation from the real nothing..
      lol
      like Krauss tried to do and got slammed.. utter nonsense.

      August 19, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Chad "atheist: Ah HA!!! so, then there is no God!!!"

      "I resemble that remark!"
      Foghorn Leghorn

      Chad, I don't think we really got near a claim that there is no God. I only wanted to explore your claims that current scientific theories or (sometimes) their defects support some notions you have about God and the Universe. I don't know if they still have them, but jet fighters used to have a thing called a D-ring right in front of the pilot. When things went pear-shaped the pilot just had to pull the ring and eject. Handy, but I think you pulled yours a bit too soon.

      August 19, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • Chad

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One "I don't know if they still have them, but jet fighters used to have a thing called a D-ring right in front of the pilot. When things went pear-shaped the pilot just had to pull the ring and eject. Handy, but I think you pulled yours a bit too soon."

      @Chad "did I spoil your fun to soon?

      sorry..

      please proceed then..

      August 19, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Chad "...from the real nothing..
      lol
      like Krauss tried to do and got slammed.. utter nonsense."

      Chad brings up the issue that Krauss and others have with "real" nothing. It eludes definition and is a difficult concept for philosophers to work with, much less mathematicians and physicists. I was trying to point out that if it is in no sense metrizable, then you can't define a causal chain in it. Including the one that is particularly important to you: an uncaused First Cause followed by the origin of the Universe.

      August 19, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • Chad

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One "Chad brings up the issue that Krauss and others have with "real" nothing. It eludes definition and is a difficult concept for philosophers to work with, much less mathematicians and physicists"
      @Chad "Perhaps the best defense of ex-nihilo creation I have heard to date 🙂
      Ex nihilo is a Latin phrase meaning "out of nothing". It often appears in conjunction with the concept of creation, as in creatio ex nihilo, meaning "creation out of nothing"—chiefly in philosophical or theological contexts, but also occurs in other fields.

      August 19, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Chad

      I can see that the provocative term "creation" is being conjured ex nihilo. Did you want to explore that?

      August 19, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Chad's excessive, incessant, and often inappropriate use of "copy & paste" ("data", oh lord that kills me) makes it quite difficult to docu'ment his dishonesty for the Dishonest things Chad posts project. For efficiency, I'll just file his August 19, 2012 at 11:20 am post under "quasi-plagiarism" as he lifted the text of the Krauss v Craig debate from someone else's website (unless Chad is going to claim he transcribed the debate...hahahaha!).

      August 19, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Now, Chad's post at August 19, 2012 at 12:15 pm is a clear example of plagiarism. It also demonstrates that he still doesn't understand the purpose of "@" when used in a post.

      August 19, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Really-O?

      To be fair, accurate, and precise, Chad's August 19, 2012 at 12:15 pm post is actually an example of "accidental plagiarism" as he begins his copy & paste with, "Perhaps the best defense of ex-nihilo creation I have heard to date" implying that the words are not his. I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt; however, this is still a form of plagiarism. Had Chad attended university, he would know this.

      August 19, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Sorry Chad, I should have given you something to work with. Maybe a question: Have you, still believing in Creation, given up on the notion that the Universe must have had a cause?

      August 19, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One –

      As Chad has now added multiverse theories to his repertoire, in an attempt to preempt his inevitable equivocation, you may want to define the term "universe" as you are using it for this discussion. If you don't, when Chad sees things going sideways, he'll bounce between our universe and the all that exists universe. Debate with Chad is like trying to kick water uphill. Forewarned is forearmed.

      Cheers

      August 19, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Really-O?

      It will be interesting if he brings it up. Are universes chosen the way God chooses some people and not others? Is there already a game of predicting what he will say?

      August 19, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One – regarding: "Is there already a game of predicting what he will say?"

      As far as I know, that game has not been proposed, but it sounds like another good drinking game. Yesterday, Chadwatch proposed the idea of "Chad Bingo". If you're not aware of that thread, you can see it here –

      https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/08/13/first-on-cnn-atheist-group-targets-presidential-candidates-faith-with-billboards/comment-page-54 – starting at August 18, 2012 at 5:58 pm.

      Enjoy.

      I think I'll suggest to Chadwatch and TTTPS your idea of a game predicting what "The Chad" will say next. Great idea. You'll receive full credit, of course.

      Cheers

      August 19, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Really-O? I accidentally put this at the top. So here it is in the thread.

      A definition of Universe – I could use some help. What do you think?

      Defn: Universe – A topological space that describes our relationships as observers to all objects and events that are, or are in principle, observable by us. It has the property of being a manifold in the "almost everywhere" sense – i.e. except in countably many places.

      It needs definitions for observer and observable, and also a theory of time I think.

      August 19, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One –

      Erudite, but I don't think it will serve you well in a debate with Chad. Remember, Chad is not interested in an honest exchange of ideas, but rather in employing any means necessary to achieve victory (in this game, victory only has to be evident to Chad). Therefore, your definition needs to be exclusive rather than inclusive, in order to hold Chad's feet-to-the-flame as best you can. Ultimately you'll be unsuccessful as Chad is one slippery eel, but if you feel you must engage him, at least hobble his dishonesty as much as possible.

      I hope this is of help. Good luck.

      August 19, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One –

      Always keep in mind that Chad's ultimate objective is to use whatever chicanery he can to somehow prove that the god of Abraham is real. Regardless of anything else he says, that is his ultimate objective. Once again, forewarned is forearmed.

      August 19, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Chad, I do apologize for the cockroach remark.

      August 19, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One –

      Why?

      August 19, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • Chad

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One "Have you, still believing in Creation, given up on the notion that the Universe must have had a cause?"

      @Chad "The God of Abraham created our universe, He was the cause.

      If there's a point you are driving at, it escapes me...

      August 19, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • Chad

      and for Chadwatch/Really-O..

      Plagiarism is defined in dictionaries as the "wrongful appropriation," "close imitation," or "purloining and publication" of another author's "language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions," and the representation of them as one's own original work

      Note, I am always careful to put other people material in italics, note also, that you are always accusing me of just quoting other people and never having original thoughts..

      lol

      You arent keeping track of your nonsense... I think you started to soon with the Johnnie Walker today...

      August 19, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Not keeping track? I certainly am.

      August 19, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "If there's a point you are driving at, it escapes me..."

      There's another one for the files.

      August 19, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chard, you should know that simply italicizing others' words does not pass the sniff test for violation of copyright and it doesn't absolve you of plagiarism.

      Have you proven there's a god yet? I certainly haven't seen any post in which you presented evidence that connected a god to the 'big bang' or evolution in any way, shape or form. Can you cite the page and the article where you did so? Or is it nonexistent, as usual?

      August 19, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Chad- "The God of Abraham created our universe, He was the cause."

      OK, good. We still have things to discuss. You probably mean he was the cause for the origin of the Universe. Can you support the claim that there was a cause for the origin of the Universe? That would be a good start. Then we might look at "created" as opposed to "caused", and then you might introduce God. Later on we can see if God might be the God of Abraham as represented in the Bible.

      August 19, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • Chad

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One "You probably mean he was the cause for the origin of the Universe.
      j@Chad "God was the creator of our universe, being the creator, He is the cause.

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One " Can you support the claim that there was a cause for the origin of the Universe?
      j@Chad "God was the creator of our universe, being the creator, He is the cause.

      August 19, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Are you all right Chad? We were having a discussion and you kind of blanked out there.

      August 19, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • Chad

      Fine.. thanks for asking..

      where are you actually heading with this?

      are you trying to split "creator" and "cause"?

      if I build a table, am I not both the creator and the cause?

      August 19, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Actually I was questioning the proposition that the Universe had a cause. I might agree that if the Universe was uncaused then it was not created. I'll give that some thought. But you asked if the one who caused is necessarily the creator. Let's not get too far off the subject, but if I caused an avalanche did I create it?

      August 19, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • Chad

      create verb:
      1. Bring (something) into existence: "he created a lake"; "170 jobs were created".
      2. Cause (something) to happen as a result of one's actions: "divorce only created problems for children".

      avalanche Noun A mass of snow, ice, and rocks falling rapidly down a mountainside.

      =====
      @Tom, Tom, the Other One " if I caused an avalanche did I create it?"
      @Chad "you didnt create the rocks, ice, snow.. but if you caused an avalanche, you created their rapid descent.

      note how closely your "if I caused an avalanche did I create it?" matches the dictionary definition "Bring (something) into existence: "he created a lake""

      August 19, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Chad- "you didnt create the rocks, ice, snow.. " I'm glad you got the point of that. Now let's sharpen our semantic pencils and have a go at this. Is "create" as in "my puppy created a puddle on the carpet" a strong enough term to describe what you mean by God created the Universe?

      [The topic is still "Is the Universe uncaused".]

      August 19, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
    • Chad

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One "Is "create" as in "my puppy created a puddle on the carpet" a strong enough term to describe what you mean by God created the Universe?"

      @Chad "Create (Bring (something) into existence) is perhaps not a strong enough word even though that's what we use when we translate Genesis 1, it is really our only option in the English language, so we use it.

      This is because there is nothing "created" now (in the same sense that the universe was created). We as humans dont actually "create" anything in that same sense Not ever doing that, we really have no specific word for it.

      I can "create" a table.. but I needed wood and nails which I certainly didnt "create". I didnt speak it into existence..

      God created the entirety of the universe, all matter and time itself

      In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. Genesis 1

      so, long story short, what Genesis 1 is talking about, is create in the sense that there was nothing(as in the absence of everything, not the pseudo-nothing of Krauss), then there was the universe. It is in that sense that the usage of the word is correct when describing God's creation of the universe. Not in the usage of "my dog created a puddle"

      August 19, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      We've really skipped over a lot to get to God created the Universe ex nihilo, which is the sense of "create" you are using now when you say God creates and we do not. John 1:3 comes to mind. Can we get back to where we were looking at whether the Universe had a cause? That's really something that needs to be addressed before you can support the stronger claim that "God was the creator of our universe, being the creator, He is the cause."

      August 20, 2012 at 12:15 am |
    • Chad

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One "we get back to where we were looking at whether the Universe had a cause? That's really something that needs to be addressed before you can support the stronger claim that "God was the creator of our universe, being the creator, He is the cause.""

      @Chad "you sure bounce around a lot in your requests.. 🙂
      To summarize, and after this.. do please get to the point..

      cause
      Noun: A person or thing that gives rise to an action, phenomenon, or condition.
      Verb: Make (something) happen: "this disease can cause blindness".

      create
      Verb:
      1. Bring (something) into existence: "he created a lake"; "170 jobs were created".
      2. Cause (something) to happen as a result of one's actions: "divorce only created problems for children".

      So, the origin (the act of creation) of universe had a cause (noun-a person or thing that gives rise to an action, phenomenon, or condition).

      Big Bang cosmology confirms that our universe had a beginning (it was not always there), so therefor it was created, there is no real objection to that in current cosmology.
      Now, you can argue that while the universe most certainly was created, it is not so certain that there was a cause (noun), which is false. There must be a cause (A person or thing that gives rise to an action, phenomenon, or condition).

      August 20, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • Really-O?

      @Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son – regarding Chad and plagiarism.

      Chad's obtuse misunderstanding of what actually consti'tutes plagiarism is a perfect example of why I frequently urge him to seek some higher education. An online dictionary and access to Wikipedia is not a substi'tue for a formal education, just as copy & paste facts and factoids are not knowledge. It's unfortunate Chad is unwilling to do the heavy-lifting required to obtain an education as, believe it or not, I actually think he possesses the necessary gray matter – although his daily reinforcement of his own credulousness may well have resulted in an insurmountable handicap.

      August 20, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • Chad

      grasping at straws also clutching at straws
      1. trying to find some way to succeed when nothing you choose is likely to work; "Jerry, grasping at straws, searched the backup tapes from last week, looking for the missing files".
      2. trying to find reasons to feel hopeful about a bad situation "She thinks he might still be interested because he calls her now and then but I think she's clutching at straws".

      August 20, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Really-O?

      I think you may be right. No support of any substance for claims made by Chad regarding his God the Creator has come out of our discussion, Chad's and mine. Oh well.

      You know, I thought he was shy of serious discussions because of all the ad hominem attacks and such. But he really doesn't engage in an argument.

      August 20, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One –

      I read your discussion with Chad in this thread. You made a valiant effort and your arguments were sound and well reasoned. However, as I've warned others, Chad is the most dishonest poster on this blog. I think I'm going to start liberally posting the following as a warning those who do not have sufficient experience with Chad:

      Warning! Chad is not interested in an honest exchange of ideas, but rather only in employing any means necessary to achieve "victory" (in this game, "victory" is only evident to Chad). Always keep in mind that Chad's ultimate objective is to use whatever chicanery he can to somehow "prove" that the god of Abraham is real. Regardless of anything else he says, that is his ultimate objective. Engage at your own peril. Forewarned is forearmed.

      August 20, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Chad

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One "You know, I thought he was shy of serious discussions because of all the ad hominem attacks and such. But he really doesn't engage in an argument."

      =>seriously?
      1. show me where I didnt engage.. I directly answered all your questions..
      2. bailing out of an argument because you dont have a position, then blaming it on your opponent for some invented reason
      is
      lame...

      August 20, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      What "caused" God?
      The God theory leaves several major questions unanswered. One is the original cause of God himself, and why he's a him. Several answers have been proposed to address this fundamental question, but none has been proven—and even adequately testing them has proven to be an impossible challenge. I mean, how do you prove Unicorns don't exist.

      Any answer to this problem must begin with a key realization: both time and space are contained within the universe and came into existence only AFTER the God occurred. The cause of God must not include them, they are not available to us. It[the cause] must come from outside our experience, and considering how small our experience is in both time and space, that means it could come from just about anywhere. It doesn't matter what name you want to give it, the Big Bang theory or the Big Dick theory, either way, until we have testable evidence the only logical position is that of accepting we do not know. And from that understanding it would be not only silly and foolish to give the unknown invented definable features and then start bowing down to it and talking to it like you would an imaginary friend, it would be detrimental to the entire human race as it can only divide us into ever smaller groups of narrowly defined worshipers getting farther and farther from truth in the name of defending your pre-conceived notions of reallity.

      Oh, that and Chad is completely delusional and is about as sane as a medieval inquisitor on an LSD trip in a dungeon full of accused naked witches.

      Hi Chad, please put down the hot poker...

      August 20, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Look, Chad, I was never trying to trap you or confuse you or anything like that. Everything was aboveboard and as clear as I could make it. But the most you offered was your emphatic declaration that "There must be a cause". The emphasis doesn't carry much weight when there is nothing to back it up. I'm confident that there are ways to at least begin to counter "The Universe is uncaused". Let's have at it again sometime.

      August 20, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Mass Debater –

      But we do have evidence. Undeniable, irrefutable evidence. All the evidence any reasonable person needs.

      .................................THE TOMB WAS EMPTY!.........................................

      Game! Set! Match! Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

      August 20, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Chad

      @Mass Debater "What "caused" God?"
      @Chad "the bible is clear that nothing caused God, He is eternal.
      vBefore the wmountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. Psalm 90
      Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”John 8 (note the present tense..)

      Quite an AMAZING concept for ignorant goat herders to have "invented", dont you think??

      ========
      @Mass Debater ".. I mean, how do you prove Unicorns don't exist."
      @Chad "you cant, by definition, see "Russel's teapot", however, you COULD in theory prove that something else created our universe, and that it wasnt the God of Abraham..
      Problem is, everything we know points directly to the God of Abraham as the creator..

      God alone doesnt have a cause, he is eternal, having no beginning or end.

      August 20, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Dishonest Things Chad Posts project –

      "...everything we know points directly to the God of Abraham as the creator.."

      August 20, 2012 at 1:29 pm

      August 20, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • Chad

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One "I was never trying to trap you or confuse you or anything like that. Everything was aboveboard and as clear as I could make it. But the most you offered was your emphatic declaration that "There must be a cause". The emphasis doesn't carry much weight when there is nothing to back it up. I'm confident that there are ways to at least begin to counter "The Universe is uncaused""

      =>the classic argument for cause is:

      The Kalām cosmological argument:
      1. Everything that has a beginning of its existence has a cause of its existence;
      2. The universe has a beginning of its existence;
      3. Therefore:
      - The universe has a cause of its existence.

      I am not aware of any solid refutation, decide for yourself
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kal%C4%81m_cosmological_argument#Objections_and_criticism

      August 20, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      We were working on 1. Everything that has a beginning of its existence has a cause of its existence.

      Why should anyone accept this premise?

      August 20, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • Really-O?

      If one needs an excellent example of Chad's unwillingness to acknowledge or inability to comprehend disconfirming evidence, here it is (form his own post August 20, 2012 at 1:40 pm):

      "I am not aware of any solid refutation, decide for yourself
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kal%C4%81m_cosmological_argument#Objections_and_criticism"

      August 20, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      "Big Bang cosmology confirms that our universe had a beginning (it was not always there), so therefor it was created, there is no real objection to that in current cosmology."

      You assume that the 3 dimensional observable space time is all that the universe consists of. Check out "3 roads to quantum gravity" As interested in cosmology as you appear to be, I think you would like it.

      August 20, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      "Quite an AMAZING concept for ignorant goat herders to have "invented", dont you think??"

      This is one of the funnier things youve posted Chad. To say that it's an amazing concept for an ignorant goat herder to claim, when faced with answering the origins of the universe, that his God just must have always existed and had no begining is in fact what you would expect from somone who had no answers and was just inventing it as they went along. Infact this concept of always having existed is not new and not mutually exclusive to the God of Abaham and is found in almost every other creation myth story such as the one Moses would have learned growing up as a prince of Egypt "At first there was only Nun, the primal ocean of chaos that contained the beginnings of everything to come."

      So you could make your closing statement of "God alone doesnt have a cause, he is eternal, having no beginning or end."
      both this way:

      "Nun alone doesnt have a cause, it is eternal, having no beginning or end."

      or:

      "The matter of our universe alone doesnt have a cause, it is eternal, having no beginning or end."

      Any and all make just as much sense as inventing your Abrahamic God to blame everything on.

      When engaging in a battle of wit's it is always recommended that you arm yourself with facts instead of faith, as facts can cut sharply whereas faith can only tickle as if stabbing your opponent with a feather...

      August 20, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Uh oh...here comes one of Chad's Gish-gallop blathers of copy&paste...and don't forget the emoticons. Wait for it...

      August 20, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • Chad

      @Mass Debater "To say that it's an amazing concept for an ignorant goat herder to claim, when faced with answering the origins of the universe, that his God just must have always existed and had no begining is in fact what you would expect from somone who had no answers and was just inventing it as they went along."
      @Chad "utter nonsense, the vast majority of "gods" had a beginning of some sort, as that would have been the frame of reference that the human had.. everything they knew of had a birth.

      ====
      @Mass Debater "Infact this concept of always having existed is not new and not mutually exclusive to the God of Abaham and is found in almost every other creation myth story such as the one Moses would have learned growing up as a prince of Egypt "At first there was only Nun, the primal ocean of chaos that contained the beginnings of everything to come."
      @Chad "nun is a "watery abyss," from which gods arose... not a god itself

      One God (mono-theism), eternal (without beginning or end) and creation ex-nihilio are all unique aspects.. Quite the imagination those goat herders had..eh?
      😉

      August 20, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • Chad

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One "We were working on 1. Everything that has a beginning of its existence has a cause of its existence. Why should anyone accept this premise?"

      =>it is plausible and all the evidence we have (everything we observe) agrees with it.

      August 20, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Chad marvels at the goat-herder stories from the testaments. Obviously he's easily impressed, perplexed, and dumbfounded. Also, he's obviously not read the Bhagavad Gita...now that is one hell of an imaginative work of mythology...makes the testaments look like there were written by people who didn't know where the sun went at night...oh, right, they were.

      August 20, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Chad, is there evidence that premise 1 is true of the beginning of time or the origin of the Universe? Our ordinary experience of causes, which you are appealing to, is restricted to the Universe and away from the singularity.

      August 20, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      "@Chad "nun is a "watery abyss," from which gods arose... not a god itself"

      Ah yes, the watery abyss that contained the beginings of everything, not unlike your supposed God you claim existed before everything else. Are you so dense Chad that you are not understanding the parralel i'm drawing? That if you can claim your God didn't have a begining then I can claim my chaos abyss didn't either, if you claim your God is all powerful I can claim my abyss is all powerful, if you claim your God came to this planet to die but isn't really dead because it can't really die because of some pre-sin that I had nothing to do with but am now in dire need of soul saving and only Chad's God can do it, then I can claim your God came from my abyss and will go back there when all is said and done. You have zero evidence for anything Chad and all you can do is endlessly howl like a dry wind through a desert canyon.

      August 20, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • Chad

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One "Is there evidence that premise 1 is true of the beginning of time or the origin of the Universe? Our ordinary experience of causes, which you are appealing to, is restricted to the Universe and away from the singularity."

      @Chad "well, obviously since our universe experience came into being at that point, we have no experience "prior" to it to draw upon to either support or disprove the experience we have had confirming the statement "Everything that has a beginning of its existence has a cause of its existence" subsequent.

      however, to take that fact and then claim that "cause is undefined prior, therefor there was no cause" can not be made.
      IOW, you cant simply say
      – we dont know what causal relationships existed/didnt exist "prior" to the singularity
      therefor
      – "cause" cant be discussed with respect to the origin of our universe
      therefor
      – our universe had no cause

      If you are going to claim the "causality" with respect to the origin of the universe is undefined, it's undefined for both the existence and non-existence of it..

      August 20, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      Are you still using the first cause argument? Jeez talk about ad nauseum.

      August 20, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      Here is Chad's argument in a nuttshell... or a buttshell if you prefer...

      Chad, standing over a large pile of dung on the ground says "Ah Hah! This is obviously Unicorn dung"

      Man in the crowd says "What? How do you know?"

      Chad replies "Isn't it obvious? I have lived in this town for nigh 40 years and I know every creature that frequents these parts and this dung is none of theirs"

      Man in the crown says "But then how do you know it's Unicorn dung?"

      Chad say's sharply "Because obviously as you can see, that is a pile of real dung, and it doesn't belong to anything known or I would know of it! Therefore, it must be that which is mystical and unknown, thus it can only mean one thing, a Unicorn walked these streets but an hour ago, quickly! Let us find it! And any man who claims my Unicorn doesn't exist is likely trying to hide the creature at his home so burn his house down!!"

      Man in the street "Um, I just saw it, it went that way!!"

      Chad "Charge!!!"

      August 20, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Once again, Mass Debater is giving Chad a shellacking; at the same time, painful to witness, yet oh, so enjoyable.

      ...it's about time for Chad to bust-out the emoticons.

      August 20, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • Ugh

      The sad part is Chad doesn't get it and will continue on regardless.....ugh

      August 20, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • Science

      @Really-O

      I think the scientific term you're looking for to describe Chad is, "butthurt" because clearly after everything that Mass Debater et al have presented, Chad must be having a tough time sitting down to reply.

      August 20, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • Adam

      Big Bang Theory or Big Dick theory? lol
      +++++

      August 20, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Darn. Another day gone by and Chard STILL hasn't connected a god to the big bang or evolution in any way at all. I was SO hoping...

      August 20, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Did Chad leave?

      I feel like we need a theory of time, Chad if want to get anywhere with your kalam premise 1. At least we need to look at what "cause" and time might have to do with each other. Let's have a go at that.

      August 20, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • Chad

      One thing I have definitely noticed, is the positive correlation between the perceived validity of an atheists's opponents arguments and the level of ad hominems, perverted sexual references etc..

      here, read this: http://www.wikihow.com/Have-a-Good-Argument

      August 20, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      ?

      August 20, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • Chad

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One "At least we need to look at what "cause" and time might have to do with each other. Let's have a go at that."

      =>you are going to need to define causality then, and describe why you feel it needs time.
      Can not an entity in one time/space have a causal relationship with an entity in a different time/space?

      August 20, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • Chad

      @TTTOO, my post to which you responded with a '?' was supposed to have landed immediately before yours...

      August 20, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Oh, lord, that's rich! This thread has been underway for nearly three days and Chad has been the singular focus of scorn/derision/ridicule...receiving an ass-kicking up one side of the page and down the other. And what is the one thing Chad derives from this? That the beating he has received is an indication of how strong his arguments are. Wow! If that's not delusion and/or magical thinking, I don't know what is!

      That Chad is one heck of a piece of work. Mum and Dad must be ever so proud.

      August 20, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • Really-O?

      ...or, perhaps it's just another example of Dishonest Things Chad Posts.

      August 20, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Chad: "Can not an entity in one time/space have a causal relationship with an entity in a different time/space?" I think not. David Hume required that for two events to have a relationship that could be called cause and effect they must be, among other things, contiguous in space and time. That's pretty mainstream.

      August 20, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I think time is necessary for events to be ordered so that one can be called the cause and the other the effect. I think it's mainstream that causes must in some sense precede their effects. We"ll have to think about that, Chad.

      August 20, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • Chad

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One "David Hume required that for two events to have a relationship that could be called cause and effect they must be, among other things, contiguous in space and time. That's pretty mainstream."

      @chad "hmm.. well.. to define the term in that manner would be to remove from consideration any discussion on the origin of the universe.
      Which is fine If you want to do that.. but then obviously you would also be precluded from drawing any conclusions based on the absence of causation (using that definition)..

      again, if you are going to claim the "causality" with respect to the origin of the universe is undefined, it's undefined for both the existence and non-existence of it..

      August 20, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Chad – A cause of the Universe. Let's not say it's undefined. Let's see what happens with it.

      A cause of the Universe (let's call it the First Cause), if there is one, must precede the origin of the Universe in some sense. That means the First Cause must in some sense precede time. That means I have to be able to order the First Cause and time. Now what happens? I can define a clock. A simple one: 0 at the First Cause and 1 at all time apart from the origin. That's just tick and tock, but that's enough. If I can define a clock there must be time. The First Cause didn't start time.

      Maybe with the right theory of time or a different definition of Universe...

      August 20, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • Chad

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One "A cause of the Universe (let's call it the First Cause), if there is one, must precede the origin of the Universe in some sense.
      @Chad "precede is the wrong word, "precede " is inextricably tied to time. As we dont really have a word that reflects timeless causality, I usually put the word "triggered" in quotes..

      ========
      @@Tom, Tom, the Other One "That means the First Cause must in some sense precede time. That means I have to be able to order the First Cause and time"
      @Chad "no.. that's where that argument goes off the rails.. A timeless first cause just IS. There is no past, no future, just now.
      Consider a parade, viewed from two vantage points. One on the ground the other on the top of a building from which the entire parade route can be seen. To the person on the ground, there is a past, present and future parade. Not so to the person on the roof who can see the entire expanse of the parade at once.

      ========
      @@Tom, Tom, the Other One " Now what happens? I can define a clock. A simple one: 0 at the First Cause and 1 at all time apart from the origin. That's just tick and tock, but that's enough. If I can define a clock there must be time. The First Cause didn't start time."
      @chad "??basic big bang cosmology that time began at the origin of the universe.. right?

      The view that time is absolute, independent of everything, has been utterly shattered...

      time is a dimension.. it's an odd perspective, but it's what space time is all about..
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spacetime

      August 20, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Let's cut to the chase, Chard. Where's your proof that a god exists? I haven't seen it yet.

      August 20, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
    • clgmm74

      @Chad

      Interesting layers within your event example. An event with multiple diverse perceptions existing simultaneously. Are they then defined differently through the experience?

      August 21, 2012 at 12:39 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Chad-

      Your recent movement toward labeling your First Cause as undefined may be linked to the common statement that a believer may not be able to prove that God exists but an atheist cannot prove that God doesn't exist. That's not what I hoped for when I asked you to engage.

      Chad: "A timeless first cause just IS." A timeless first cause just IS what? Kalam premise 1 wants this cause to be like every other cause. That would make it an event, which is a feature of time. I was willing to look at it as something outside of time, but if it is a cause in the sense that kalam premise 1 appeals to, it must precede, in some sense, it's effect – the origin of the Universe (of space and time). I used a relaxed definition of "precede" that only requires ordering of cause and effect. That still puts your First Cause in time. Cause in the "ordinary" sense of our experience, which is what kalam premise 1 is talking about, must precede effect (time in this case) and your First Cause fails to do so. I still don't see any reason to accept kalam premise1. So I don't see how the kalam argument ever really gets started. You advanced it, I think, to counter the notion that "the Universe is uncaused". I think we need something else.

      Chad: "time is a dimension.. it's an odd perspective, but it's what space time is all about.." But we do make special requirements of time.

      Chad: "There is no past, no future, just now.
      Consider a parade, viewed from two vantage points. One on the ground the other on the top of a building from which the entire parade route can be seen. To the person on the ground, there is a past, present and future parade. Not so to the person on the roof who can see the entire expanse of the parade at once."

      This looks like you are thinking of introducing a particular theory of time. Will you be able to use it to modify the kalam argument or address "the Universe is uncaused" in some other way?

      August 21, 2012 at 7:30 am |
    • Chadwatch, a public service

      Guys, guys, why don't you get it? Chad is simply pointing out that given the cosmological complexities of conceptualizing causation in a context that lies outside the space-time membrane we inhabit, the only intellectually satisfying conclusion is that ... Magic Mike did it with His divine magic.

      August 21, 2012 at 10:41 am |
    • Chadwatch, a public service

      You guys need to do some READING and maybe you wouldn't sound so foolish.

      August 21, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      OK, I'll concede to the ones who know Chad best.

      August 21, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • Chad

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One "Your recent movement toward labeling your First Cause as undefined may be linked to the common statement that a believer may not be able to prove that God exists but an atheist cannot prove that God doesn't exist. That's not what I hoped for when I asked you to engage."
      @Chad "I labeled God/first cause as undefined??
      lol, please be so kind as to point out where.. 🙂

      what I said was "If you are going to claim the "causality" with respect to the origin of the universe is undefined, it's undefined for both the existence and non-existence of it.."

      ===========
      @Tom, Tom, the Other One "A timeless first cause just IS what?
      @Chad "timeless, no past, present, future. just IS.

      ==========
      ===========
      @Tom, Tom, the Other One "Kalam premise 1 wants this cause to be like every other cause. That would make it an event, which is a feature of time
      @Chad "that only holds if you want "causality" to be reliant on time.
      which is fine if you want to do that, but again, if you are going to define the word "causality" in such a way that it is impossible to use it to refer to the origin of the universe, you cant then say that the absence of causality implies anything about the non-existence of God.

      ===========
      @Tom, Tom, the Other One "I was willing to look at it as something outside of time, but if it is a cause in the sense that kalam premise 1 appeals to, it must precede, in some sense, it's effect – the origin of the Universe (of space and time). I used a relaxed definition of "precede" that only requires ordering of cause and effect. That still puts your First Cause in time. Cause in the "ordinary" sense of our experience, which is what kalam premise 1 is talking about, must precede effect (time in this case) and your First Cause fails to do so. I still don't see any reason to accept kalam premise1. So I don't see how the kalam argument ever really gets started.
      @Chad "read my above comment on the definition of "cause"

      to my mind it is extremely simple, decide if you want to allow the word "cause" to be used when referring to one "reality" interacting with a different "reality" (for example, would you allow the term cause when discussing the origin of our universe from another universe).

      – If the answer is yes, then we proceed.
      – If the answer is no, then we stop. You would at that point be left with no word to use when discussing the origin of the universe, it would by definition be undefined. As such, you would NOT be able to say "since cause is undefined, there was no cause, and therefor no God". You could only say "since cause is undefined, it is useless to discuss, and the answer as to whether or not there was a creator-cause is not a topic that can be discussed, either pro or con.

      August 21, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • Really-O?

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One – regarding, "OK, I'll concede to the ones who know Chad best."

      Welcome. We're glad to have you on the team. Ridicule, and shouting "Shenanigans!", are the rational and appropriate response to Chad's posts.

      Cheers

      August 21, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I get the impression from Chadwatch that this is becoming boring, at least to Chadwatch and possibly to others. But I'm game if you're willing to put in some effort. We are discussing the assertion that the Universe is uncaused.

      You use the terms reality and universe and I also see that you want to apply the plural of both terms. Please define reality and universe as you plan to use these terms. If you are planning to say that multiple universes are separable so that we can be said to occupy one to the exclusion of others, just call the universe we occupy "the Universe". Similarly "Reality".

      Now, about cause. You reject the ordinary sense of the term in which it is first of all an event, which carries implications regarding time that we've already touched on. Please define cause as you intend to use it.

      Also, lose the kalam argument or use your definition of cause to make its first premise plausible.

      August 21, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Really-O?

      Chad knows (a new phrase like "God knows" or "Goodness knows") no one is beyond redemption.

      August 21, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • Chad

      I use "cause" in the way that virtually every cosmologist that I have ever read uses it.

      for example:
      Scientists believe that our universe began with one enormous explosion of energy and light, which we now call the Big Bang. This was the singular start to everything that exists. The beginning of the universe, the start of space, and even the initial start of time itself. Nothing we observe today existed prior to that exact moment. Further, it was something outside of time, outside of space, and outside of matter that caused all of this to come into existence. The realization that our universe started, and did not always exist, brings enormous challenges to nontheistic scientists.

      The cosmological argument is an argument for the existence of a First Cause (or instead, an Uncaused cause) to the universe, and by extension is often used as an argument for the existence of an "unconditioned" or "supreme" being, usually then identified as God. It is traditionally known as an argument from universal causation, an argument from first cause, the causal argument or the argument from existence. Whichever term is employed, there are three basic variants of the argument, each with subtle yet important distinctions: the arguments from in causa (causality), in esse (essentiality), in fieri (becoming), and the argument from contingency.
      The basic premise of all of these is that something caused the Universe to exist, and this First Cause must be God. It has been used by various theologians and philosophers over the centuries, from the ancient Greeks Plato and Aristotle to the medievals (e.g., St. Thomas Aquinas) and beyond. It is also applied by the Spiritist doctrine as the main argument for the existence of God.

      August 21, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • Chadwatch, a public service

      aaaaaannnnndddd, the cutting and pasting resumes...

      Tom Tom, the other one – These debates have simply become more tedious than boring because, for all the rabbit holes and jargon-laced appeals to authority, all the misrepresentations of philosophical possibilities as hard facts, ultimately we know that all Chad is really arguing for is that God is magic and he made everything with his magic. The rest is just Chad blather. It's not interesting because any arguments he puts forward are eventually rendered absurd by the appeal to magic as an explanation.

      August 21, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Dishonest Things Chad Posts project:

      Chad's post August 21, 2012 at 12:46 pm is blatant plagiarism (I know Chad doesn't understand this, but anyone with an education does).

      August 21, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      What's needed is a formal definition of cause from an authoritative source on the theory you plan to move forward with. Also, don't neglect "universe" and "reality. People criticize you regularly for cutting and pasting from sources that are not really suitable or intended for use in serious discussions. There's a lot of good stuff out there Chad.

      August 21, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chadwatch –

      Use of the term blather when referring to Chad's posts, while completely accurate and appropriate, may lead Chad to continue to assert that you and I are the same poster (regardless of disconfirming evidence – we know Chad ignores all of that tosh). Perhaps you'd be better served by consulting a thesaurus for a substi'tute [may I suggest one of the following? – ballyhoo, bobbery, clatter, foofaraw (I quite like that one), hubbub...you get the point. I may claim "foofaraw" if you refuse to abandon "blather"].

      Cheers

      August 21, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Chadwatch-

      If this is really irritating anyone I'll give it a rest. It's been fun, but I think William Lane Craig has left the building anyway.

      August 21, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • Chad

      Is Stephen Hawking "authoritative" enough a source for you?
      If "cause" is creating a semantic problem for you, just use "what created" instead like he does.

      The problem of the origin of the universe, is a bit like the old question: Which came first, the chicken, or the egg. In other words, what agency created the universe. And what created that agency. Or perhaps, the universe, or the agency that created it, existed forever, and didn't need to be created. Up to recently, scientists have tended to shy away from such questions, feeling that they belonged to metaphysics or religion, rather than to science. However, in the last few years, it has emerged that the Laws of Science may hold even at the beginning of the universe. In that case, the universe could be self contained, and determined completely by the Laws of Science.... Hawking.

      August 21, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Really-O?

      William Lane Craig's CV...what a waste of a good mind.

      B. A. Communications, 1971
      M. A. Philosophy of Religion 1975
      M. A. Church History 1975
      Ph.D. Philosophy 1977
      D. Theol. Theology 1984

      August 21, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • Colin

      Did you even read the whole quote, Chad? It adds no weight to your "we don't know so the christian God did it" approach.

      August 21, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      This part caught my eye: "In that case, the universe could be self contained, and determined completely by the Laws of Science." I like this part: "the universe could be self contained, and determined".

      Hawking is authoritative beyond doubt, but he's not being formal in that snippet.

      August 21, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • Chad

      well then, you propose terms to use
      😉

      August 21, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Chadwatch, a public service

      Really-O? – Sorry for any encroachment. Although I huge fans of foofaraw, we at Chadwatch will probably fall back on "drivel" as there is some precedent for it.

      That said, I realized upon rereading my post that you were referring to that "everything else is just Chad [drivel]" is not exactly what I meant. The things he posts are often legitimate issues and discussions (though he typically misrepresents them), it is when he trivializes them by inserting divine magic that he renders them drivel.

      And Tom Tom – no, you're debate is not irritating at all. Sorry if you were made to feel that way – carry on!

      August 21, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • Really-O?

      '"One can't prove that God doesn't exist," professor Stephen Hawking told ABC News. "But science makes God unnecessary.
      "The laws of physics can explain the universe without the need for a creator," he added.
      '

      Watt, Nick. 'Stephen Hawking: "Science Makes God Unnecessary" ABC News Sept. 7, 2010 [http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/stephen-hawking-science-makes-god-unnecessary/story?id=11571150#.UDPSHqlmQRE]

      You see, Chad? That is a proper citation. No plagiarism involved. Pure, unadulterated Hawking. Suck it, Chad.

      August 21, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chadwatch –

      Done deal. I'll use foofaraw. I think it's a winner and it jibes well when one if referring to posts that contain adolescent use of emoticons.

      Cheers

      August 21, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chadwatch –

      No, you were correct...I was referring to use of the term blather in both of our posts. I was not indicating you misused the term.

      August 21, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chadwatch-

      Just pretend my August 21, 2012 at 2:39 pm post never was. I got a bit lost temporarily.

      August 21, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      If we define the universe as everything exists, then nothing can exist outside of the universe, and it can have no beginnning.

      August 21, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Sweet Merciful Crap! How long will Chad keep coming back to this thread (or blog, for that matter)? I'm starting to feel a bit like someone who puts a bowl of food in front of a starving puppy and then kicks the poor beast every time it tries to feed.

      August 21, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Chirp...chirp...chirp...chirp...chirp....................................silence.

      I think Chad may have realized that his August 21, 2012 at 1:59 pm copy&paste Hawking quote in no way supports any of his nonsensical arguments. After nearly four days, perhaps we've seen the last of him on this thread; however, there is always that starving puppy analogy to consider.

      August 21, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • Chad

      @lunchbreaker "If we define the universe as everything exists, then nothing can exist outside of the universe, and it can have no beginnning."

      if you want to define "existence" as "only that which exists in our universe", you have three problems:
      1. that definition contradicts common cosmological thought that things can in fact exist outside our universe (see multiverse for example).
      2. universe did in fact have a beginning, that's an accepted fact (see big bang)
      3. if our universe didnt have a beginning as you claim, it would be infinite in the past, which is impossible.

      August 21, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • Really-O?

      "The laws of physics can explain the universe without the need for a creator," he added."

      Watt, Nick. 'Stephen Hawking: "Science Makes God Unnecessary" ABC News Sept. 7, 2010'
      [http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/stephen-hawking-science-makes-god-unnecessary/story?id=11571150#.UDPSHqlmQRE]

      I'll say it again...suck it, Chad.

      August 21, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Really-O?

      ...and one more time, just because I really like the sound of it ...

      Suck it, Chad!

      August 21, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • Chad

      @Really-O? "The laws of physics can explain the universe without the need for a creator," he added."

      LOL, where did the laws of physics come from?

      reminds me of the story:
      One day a group of scientists got together and decided that man had come a long way and no longer needed God. So they picked one scientist to go and tell Him that they were done with Him.

      The scientist walked up to God and said, "God, we've decided that we no longer need you. We're to the point that we can clone people and do many miraculous things, so why don't you just go on and get lost."

      God listened very patiently and kindly to the man and after the scientist was done talking, God said, "Very well, how about this, let's say we have a man making contest." To which the scientist replied, "OK, great!"

      But God added, "Now, we're going to do this just like I did back in the old days with Adam."

      The scientist said, "Sure, no problem" and bent down and grabbed himself a handful of dirt.

      God just looked at him and said, "No, no, no. You go get your own dirt!"

      August 21, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • Really-O?

      When all else fails, fall back on a meaningless, silly foofaraw (See that, Chadwatch? I've already put the term in play.)

      I wonder if Chad has seen this quote from Stephen Hawking? (citation at the bottom, in case Chad missed it above)

      "The laws of physics can explain the universe without the need for a creator"

      Oh, yeah...suck it, Chad! hahahahahahaha!

      Watt, Nick. 'Stephen Hawking: "Science Makes God Unnecessary" ABC News Sept. 7, 2010'
      [http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/stephen-hawking-science-makes-god-unnecessary/story?id=11571150#.UDPSHqlmQRE]

      August 21, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      " if our universe didnt have a beginning as you claim, it would be infinite in the past, which is impossible."

      Ah, it's impossible for our universe to be infinite, but the concept of an infinite magic man in the sky just seem's so plausible...

      Thus, Chad's circular logic takes another lap. It's like watching a Nascar race and deciding that cars must only be able to turn left...

      Oh, and one other note Chad, lunchbreaker did not "want to define "existence" as "only that which exists in our universe". He said "If we define the universe as everything (that) exists" so he was defining the universe, not existence. If the universe is defined as everything that exists, and muti-verses do in fact exist, then they would be defined as part of the universe. Or are you to dense to understand that concept?

      August 21, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Mass Debater –

      Hey Mass, have you seen the following quote from Stephen Hawking? You know, one of the brilliant scientists – like Krauss, Gould, etc. – the works of whom Chad dishonestly misrepresents in a lame attempt to prove the god of Abraham is real?

      "The laws of physics can explain the universe without the need for a creator"

      August 21, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • Chad

      @Mass Debater "Oh, and one other note Chad, lunchbreaker did not "want to define "existence" as "only that which exists in our universe". He said "If we define the universe as everything (that) exists" so he was defining the universe, not existence. If the universe is defined as everything that exists, and muti-verses do in fact exist, then they would be defined as part of the universe. Or are you to dense to understand that concept?"

      =>er.. no.. multiverse is the singular, comprised of many universes. You have it exactly backwards.

      You really should get in the habit of looking things up before confidently miss-stating them as fact..

      The multiverse (or meta-universe) is the hypothetical set of multiple possible universes (including the historical universe we consistently experience) that together comprise everything that exists and can exist: the entirety of space, time, matter, and energy as well as the physical laws and constants that describe them. The term was coined in 1895 by the American philosopher and psychologist William James.[1] The various universes within the multiverse are sometimes called parallel universes.

      August 21, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • Really-O?

      ...although, why would anyone expect more from The Chad? After all, he is the very same Chad who posted the following nonsense on this very blog (if he denies it, I can provide the necessary links) –

      "I dismiss all other gods other than the God of Abraham because the God of Abraham has told me that they aren't real."

      "Every book that purports to accurately record history needs to be examined critically for internal consistency and for its accuracy in detail. The bible succeeds on all accounts."

      "The Genesis account stands alone amongst all creation stories of the time, a fact universally acknowledged...We are only know [sic] beginning to scientifically discover how accurate it is indeed."

      The Chad is one hell of a piece of work!

      August 21, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • Really-O?

      I wonder if Chad often feels like he's trying to swim in quicksand.

      August 21, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Wow, a lot has gone on ... The last thing I got from Chad looks like a request that I define his terms.

      Chad-

      I'm willing to work on this with you, but you need to settle on a particular theory of the origin of the Universe. You can't use several – perhaps even conflicting – theories and select the parts that seem to hint at creation. It's ok if you think it points to creation, but it needs to be a single coherent theory that has reasonable scientific currency and rigor.

      August 21, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One –

      Dude! After all you've read in this thread, are you not wise enough not to be pulled into the suck that is Chad?

      August 21, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • Really-O?

      ...scorn, don't engage – it really is best for all concerned.

      August 21, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • Chad

      @Tom Tom "I'm willing to work on this with you, but you need to settle on a particular theory of the origin of the Universe"

      =>what theories are you proposing to select from?

      August 21, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      "If we define the universe as everything exists, then nothing can exist outside of the universe, and it can have no beginnning."

      In case you did not notice, this an if/then statement. And as i have pointed out before, why does the big bang have to be the origin of the "universe", not to be confused with the 3D timespace we observe? The big bang may not have come from nothing, but something else.

      August 21, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Hey, Chad...how about discussing the scientific theories of cosmology that support the necessity of a first cause outside of our time and space. Don't forget to provide dishonest appeals to authority by lacing your post with out-of-context quotes from Stephen Hawking.

      Chad slays me!

      August 21, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • Really-O?

      ...and, the crayon sketch for Chad...

      "first cause" =~ "Cosmological argument" =~ "kalam argument" =~ "Magic Mike was the cause of everything that is"

      August 21, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • Really-O?

      My last post was a premeptive-strike on Chad's "well, multiverse theory supports a cause of our universe outside our space and time." Yes, it does, but if that is true, than we already know the origin of our universe and it has a natural explanation. We all know that Chad's objective is to somehow trick non-believers into a non-existent corner in which he believes they must admit, "Well, uhhh...I guess god did do it all." What a tool.

      August 21, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • Really-O?

      ...a few typos...sorry kind reader.

      August 21, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Dishonest Things Chad Posts project –

      After using a plagiarized, noncontextual quote from Stephen Hawking [ August 21, 2012 at 1:59 pm (which did not support Chad's premise)] and being busted with a properly cited reference from Professor Hawking (August 21, 2012 at 2:29 pm), Chad smarmily dismisses Professor Hawking with a "LOL" (August 21, 2012 at 3:58 pm).

      Are there depths of dishonesty to which even Chad will not descend?

      August 21, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Dishonest Things Chad Posts project –

      Originally it didn't occur to me that Chad's August 21, 2012 at 3:58 pm post might be another example of his dishonesty as, well, the story he posted is just so..so...so lame. However, this actually is another example of Chad's dishonesty as, once again, he has resorted to unattributed copy&paste. Plagiarism. Dishonest.

      August 21, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Good morning Chad-

      A few days ago I began to work up a definition of the Universe for you, but Really-O? felt that it might not be what you're looking for. Also, regarding theories, I had thought we might proceed with Hartle-Hawking. Recently, though, you've started bringing up a multiverse. George F R Ellis is a level-headed fellow on this. Have a look at http://arxiv.org/pdf/astro-ph/0602280v2.pdf. It's not particularly recent (2008), but it may be useful. Look at it and decide how you want to proceed.

      August 22, 2012 at 8:31 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      The Big Bang only claims that the universe came from an initial hot dense state that expanded to become our observable 3 dimensional space. Since we can only go back to a finite time after the expansion, we have no way of knowing what was before that moment. But since we don't know, we can't claim there was nothing. BTW, is God "nothing"? Maybe we should define some more terms 😉

      August 22, 2012 at 9:06 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Hi lunchbreaker –

      It would be interesting to define nothing. Mathematical concepts used to describe something begin with a set and add things like operations and properties to it to get needed structure. It's proposed that nothing is simply the empty set. Interestingly, some philosophers say that this means that a plurality of "nothings" is possible.

      August 22, 2012 at 11:44 am |
  2. Dave

    North Korea. World's foremost Atheist nation. A veritable epicenter of reason, advanced thinking, and enlightenment.
    Proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Atheism will bring nothing but paradise and utopia, if we just give "reason" a chance.

    August 17, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • Chad

      Second best post of the year!! well said.

      August 17, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      That would be an N of 1 at best, Chad. You focus on atheism. Look more toward totalitarianism and a personality cult. Has that never been seen in a state grounded in religion?

      August 17, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      If theism is so wonderful at spreading morality how come it keeps spreading pedophilia?

      August 18, 2012 at 1:49 am |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Root post by 'Dave' is an instance of a Guilt by Association fallacy.

      http://www.fallacyfiles.org/

      August 18, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • Sim34

      North Korea has a cult of personality for their leaders that's religion in all, but name only. I doubt that many American atheists would approve to elevating anyone to godhood any more than worshipping the invisible variety.

      August 19, 2012 at 12:47 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Dave is quite wrong...according to the following http://redcresearch.ie/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/RED-C-press-release-Religion-and-Atheism-25-7-12.pdf, China is leading the way in Atheism!

      August 21, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      How about Ja/pan?

      August 21, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  3. Frank

    Atheism is the only religion where you come to it from a hatred of other religions.

    August 17, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      Frank, how many times do we have to tell you Atheism is NOT a religion?

      August 17, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • Atheism IS a religion!

      Yes it is, where man is god to himslelf!

      August 17, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      @Atheism IS a religion!

      It's obvious you are totally out of your mind.

      August 17, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • Atheism IS a religion!

      No, I'm IN my mind, and wouldn't want to trade it with yours, that's for sure!

      August 17, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      You guys keep arguing over whether atheism is a religion or not.

      Ever since I stopped calling atheism a religion and correctly identified its 'mother', which happens to be the philosophy of 'scientific-materialism' as the actual progenitor of most modern atheism, I've had no problem at all communicating with the atheists posting here.

      In fact, one of the atheists actually agreed with me and confessed that he is indeed a 'scientific-materialist'.

      I didn't invent all this – just go to wikipedia and type in scientific materialism.

      What does this accomplish for the discussion here? It stops most if not all of the "yes it is" – "no it's not" back-and-forth fruitless time-wasting nonsense for both sides, while allowing the discussion to continue with neither side giving up any rhetorical ammunition.

      August 17, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      "In fact, one of the atheists actually agreed with me and confessed that he is indeed a 'scientific-materialist'.

      So therefore all atheists adhere to this philosophy? I think not. Nice try but no cigar.

      August 17, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @b4bigbang,

      there's no 'orthodoxy' to atheism – by definition. There's no sacred text, no hagiography.

      I say it's not a religion.

      Atheists can believe in lots of things – just not God. Are Taoism or Buddhism religions? It can be a grey area for a lot of people, but since there is no orthodoxy (except a disbelief of the 'God' concept) it can be anything people want it to be.

      August 17, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      I agree with what you guys are saying, however I do believe that a number of atheists posting here ascribe to scientific-materialism, and in fact do claim that it is the science that disproves belief in God.

      Regarding covering each and every atheist with such a broad brush-stroke, of course not, and that's not the intention.

      I do believe that refraining from labeling atheism as a religion is a good idea – especially as evidenced by the number of atheists posting to disagree.

      I suppose we could "call roll" at this point and ask the posters if they ascribe to scientific-materialism.

      In fact – the two who just replied to my post: do you believe that there is no spirit in the universe? If you say there is no evidence of a god or spirit, are you saying that the only satisfactory evidence that could be provided would be hard scientific measurable evidence?

      You may not – but I run into the science-based atheists on these belief boards probably more than any other type of atheist who might base his 'no-god' conclusion on something other than science.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • fred

      I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV
      Courts think it is a religion or enti=tled to the same protections:
      "We have already indicated that atheism may be considered, in this specialized sense, a religion. See Reed v. Great Lakes Cos., 330 F.3d 931, 934 (7th Cir. 2003) ('If we think of religion as taking a position on divinity, then atheism is indeed a form of religion.')"

      August 17, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @b4bigbang,

      I just don't believe in God. I don't believe in the non-existence of God. I don't believe there is any science that disproves God.

      I am quite happy for people to live a life of faith in God, so long as they are prepared to let me not believe in God and don't try to convert me. Live and let live is just fine.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Oh, and btw, I read that the statement "there is no God" is a fallacy, specfically an 'argument from ignorance'.
      Why therefore, would anyone who puts value in logic make such a fallacious claim?
      Wouldn't it be better logic to claim agnosticism?

      August 17, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Corr: specifically.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @b4bigbang

      you asked about scientific-materialsim.

      I'm not big on philosophical 'isms. I don't think abstract thought is easily labeled and pigeon-holed like that.

      There are plenty of self-evident sensations that are not measurable by any instrument other than the mind. All the notions of art, beauty, truth, love, 'what a beatiful view', 'what a beautiful day'. Clearly these sensations are real to us. I don't ascribe to the notion that these are divinely inspired and nor do I see them as manifestations of a soul. You can if you like. I don't mind.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @b4bigbang,

      atheism, agnosticism – more 'isms. They're just more meaningless semantics to me.

      Ask Chad (he's here tonight) about weak atheism and strong atheism and agnostic atheism if you want to get wound around the axle with pointless semantics.

      I don't believe in God. That is the literal definition of a-theism. It works for me. It doesn't need to work for anyone else.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @fred,

      Really a county courthouse legal precedent on theology? You're joking? Lawyering! Yes let's pay someone $500.00 per hour to figure out where to put the commas. It's just more pointless semantics.

      You have your faith in God. Great – I respect that. I don't. I need you to respect that too.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @fred,

      from an equal protection under law concept.

      We have a 1st amendment freedom of and from religion.
      We have the rights to profess or not profess religion.

      You don't need to define atheism as a religion to do that.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      For me, it's just absence of belief. I can't see it, touch it, smell it, hear it, so there's nothing to believe. Can or will science make a discovery or not? I don't know and I really don't care. I don't consider supernatural, it doesn't live in my brain. That's the only reason I come to this place. It's to attempt to offer an option to what is a pretty cruel philosophy. People should have an option, not be told, and that's what a belief in a God and a religion does, it tells people how they should be by something they cannot prove to be real. Our life is short and we shouldn't have to live under rules that don't feel natural.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      "There are plenty of self-evident sensations that are not measurable by any instrument other than the mind. All the notions of art, beauty, truth, love, 'what a beatiful view', 'what a beautiful day'. Clearly these sensations are real to us. I don't ascribe to the notion that these are divinely inspired and nor do I see them as manifestations of a soul. You can if you like. I don't mind."

      Your words reveal that you probably are a materialist. My reasoning is that if these things (eg, affection, appreciation of beauty, etc, which cannot [yet] be measured with instruments are not of a metaphysical nature, but merely a product of brain chemistry – the person who thinks along those lines – well, can you come up with a third possibility besides metaphysics vs naturalism?

      August 17, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @b4bigbang,

      I'm not being led into the 'perhaps it's divine' argument. Frankly never having been a liberal arts major, I have no clue what the detailed semantic differences between all the 'isms are, so it is pointless for me to attempt an answer where I don't know the boundaries.

      The notion of what is sentience is an interesting question. My dog used to dream. It ran in its sleep. It clearly made decisions about whether it would come when called or run away for sport. I don't like thinking about that because I like hamburgers and I don't want to think about where they come from.

      There are deep questions of consience there that are easier to ignore because our shared morality also ignores this question.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Very interesting answers Vocal and notGOPer, thank you.
      It's good to know that not all the atheists on these boards are "science geeks".
      Makes for more variety and I like that.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @b4bigbang,

      When the grenades are flying people all too quickly assume that the best defence is a good offence and dig into an entrenched position.

      Too many atheists try to prove that science trumps belief. By the definition of faith it won't. Too many theists live in fear of atheism (because it is logical where faith isn't) and want to preach the salvation or damnation ultimatum.

      I see Einstein quoted a lot here. It is appropriate because he sits in the divide though people try to enlist him for one side of the other. He was not an atheist, but nor did he believe in an athropomorphic God, and certainly not an Abrahamic God.

      All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man's life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom. – Albert Einstein

      There is wisdom there.

      Have a nice evening.

      August 18, 2012 at 12:13 am |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      @I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Love it!

      August 18, 2012 at 12:17 am |
    • Chad

      Albert Einstein, definitely a believer in the fine tuned universe/anthropic principle
      with out a doubt!!

      A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, of the manifestations of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty – it is this knowledge and this emotion that consti tute the truly religious att tude; in this sense, and in this alone, I am a deeply religious man. (Albert Einstein)

      I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it. (Albert Einstein, 1954)

      I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings. (Albert Einstein)

      August 18, 2012 at 12:26 am |
    • b4bigbang

      Very good points GOPer, except I beg to differ on one small point:
      "...atheism (because it is logical where faith isn't)..."

      While I agree that faith isn't logical (I believe that it transcends mere human logic), I think it may be wrong to claim that atheism is logical.
      I read that the claim "there is no God" is a fallacy (argument from ignorance).
      A better statement I think would be to say "agnosticism is logical" rather than atheism.
      Not trying to split hairs btw – it's just that so many of the atheists that post here make the dogmatic claim of 'no gods' regularly.

      August 18, 2012 at 12:29 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Einstein admired the order he perceived in the Universe. He did not say that that order is evidence that we are anything more than bystanders or observers in the Universe.

      August 18, 2012 at 12:31 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Einstein may have had a bit of William Paley about him.

      August 18, 2012 at 12:35 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @b4bigbang,

      Yes, the categorical 'there is no God insistence' can be tiresome. There can be no proof of the non-existence of anything. People may not believe in the concept of God and therefore feel pretty sure about it, but you can't prove non-existence.

      We can agree to differ on trying to distinguish atheism from agnosticism. As an atheist, I see it is a distinction without a meaningful difference. The construct seems to be more relevant for believers – like its some kind of half-way house of doubt.

      August 18, 2012 at 12:37 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad,

      please tell us all about Spinoza's God and how that concept is compatible with your personal philosphy. Can you define Spinoza's God without rushing off to wikipedia? It's all very deist and spiritualistic, and has nothing to do with the big big book of smiting.

      I'm sorry that I won't be here for it because I am leaving.

      August 18, 2012 at 12:41 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Spinoza did not separate the creator from the creation. I could go for that. God is the reality Penrose spoke of – the rules.

      August 18, 2012 at 12:47 am |
    • fred

      GOPer
      I have two atheist friends (that still talk to me) and after some time one has caved in and finally agreed he is agnostic. Final straw was the apparent lack of boundaries in self awareness and knowledge coupled with fine-tuning in Dark Energy suggests we really don’t have a clue. Since we don’t know what we don’t know the possibility of God cannot be eliminated.
      The distinction between atheist and agnostic seems important to atheist as well as religious types.

      August 18, 2012 at 12:58 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      I'm an agnostic atheist. The two terms are not mutually exclusive. An atheist with respect to belief and an agnostic with respect to knowledge. This is the common position of any honest atheist.
      As for what b4bigbang said about things like aesthetics(beauty,ugliness) there is evidence that this has some foundation in evolution. Tests show that the most beautiful faces are the most symmetrical...indicating good genes The appearance of fruit that's at the right stage of ripeness..the way our brains react to color, pattern, texture...etc. Beauty has practical roots. That said there is a conceptual quality to beauty that isn't defined in purely practical terms that leads to the expression "beauty is in the eye of the beholder". For instance someone who has never before handled a snake is usually surprised to find out that they aren't slimy. Beauty doesn't exist in nature...only in our minds. It's as elusive to pin down as is consciousness.

      August 18, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • Sim34

      fred
      Technically we all should admit to being agnostic about God. We should also all admit to being agnostic about all the other gods too, as well as vampires, trolls, elves, Santa, and pretty much every other character that some people have believed in at one time. We can't PROVE that any of them don't actually exist ... somewhere in the universe, so they are each as likely to exist as God. Somehow, I doubt that this comforts you as a believer, but it's basically how we atheists see it.

      I don't think that you'll find many people who honestly think there's any chance of the Easter Bunny, or pixies being proven to exist, however, so the term "agnostic" seems a bit too generous an estimate of their willingness to believe in them. Likewise, I doubt that many Christians, Jews, or Muslims honestly expect that Thor will drop out of the sky any time soon either. You folks wouldn't really call yourselves agnostic about the existence of any other god, Santa, or anything else that doesn't fit in with your cosmology, so why do you argue that everyone else simply HAS to admit to being unsure about God not existing? Isn't this a double standard?

      August 19, 2012 at 12:38 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @fred,

      again – more semantics. I don't believe in God. This is the literal definition of atheism.

      theism: belief in God
      athesism: disbelief in God

      As I said earlier, 'agnosticism' is a construct that is more important to theists than many atheists. I can't prove God does not exist, but I don't think he/she/it does. This might feel like textbook agnosticism to you but again, I see it as a distinction without a difference.

      @Sim34 articulates this position very eloquently.

      August 20, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • fred

      I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV
      simm34
      Thanks,
      Interesting that I know Thor never existed yet I have no proof of that whatsoever. This could be problematic since now I am aware that I accept things other than Just God without any proof. You require proof for all things to be valid while I only require proof on some things.

      August 20, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • J.W

      I bet that somewhere there is actually an underground world in which elves and trolls exist. If not I hope someone makes that happen. It would be cool.

      August 20, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @J.W

      Elen síla lumenn' omentielvo

      plenty of trolls manifest on these comment boards. Haven't seen any elves though!

      August 20, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @J.W,

      plus, the trolls would be underground, but the elves would be in a hidden mountain valley. Shangri-la perhaps?

      August 20, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • J.W

      I guess I better do some exploring. I will have to save up some money first though. The atheists might have to wait until I retire so I can go on my search for proof.

      August 20, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
  4. web

    I love being atheist, because I just laugh when people actually believe in these imaginary friends. In a few hundred years, people who believe in such things with be considered weird or crazy. More and more people are waking up to the truth and realize how crazy it is to believe in a God. Wake up you zombies! Learn to think for yourself!!!

    August 17, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
    • was blind but now I see

      I agree with you about fewer and fewer belivers as we approach the end, but then....

      EVERY KNEE WILL BOW AND EVERY TONGUE CONFESS THAT JESUS CHRIST IS LORD TO THE GLORY OF YHVH THE FATHER. AMEN AND AMEN.

      August 17, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • Atheism IS a religion!

      ...and AMEN!

      August 17, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      And yes amen!

      "O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called..."
      1 Tim 6:20

      August 17, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • Sim34

      Atheism takes the place of religion in people's lives in that it is an alternative view about gods. This doesn't make it another religion any more than not having hobbies can be argued to be just another hobby.

      August 18, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • Sim34

      b4bigbang
      Which translation replaces "knowledge" with "science" in 1 Tim 6:20?

      August 18, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • J.W

      Whoa whoa I have never heard any of this before.

      August 20, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  5. Name*Amy Laurent

    Atheism should be aimed,in large part,at the rote,empty concepts religion glorifies. American Atheists have chosen extreme ridicule to illuminate extreme mythology and this is
    the best way to bring ignorance into the light

    August 17, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
  6. martin

    1 out of 5, that's 20% of Americans are non-religious. Go American Atheists! There is hope in truth. Truth never requires belief. Secular Nation, great book.....http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_7?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=secular+humanism&sprefix=secular%2Cstripbooks%2C647#/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_3_7?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=secular+nation&sprefix=secular%2Cstripbooks%2C240&rh=n%3A283155%2Ck%3Asecular+nation

    August 17, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
  7. conoclast

    Speaking as an atheist, that billboard offends me. Organized non-belief is an oxymoron of the first order - and besides, amateurish layout like that should be a crime! Have some respect for your audience!

    August 17, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • martin

      layout could be better. I think saying aloud "the Emperor has no clothes" is a very good thing. Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is the mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus."

      -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Francis Adrian Van der Kemp, 30 July, 1816

      August 17, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • Mark From Middle River

      Is that the same Tom Jefferson that was not only a slave holder but had an affair with his wife's slave/half sister?

      August 18, 2012 at 1:52 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Are you contemplating a genetic fallacy Mark?

      August 18, 2012 at 2:00 am |
    • Mark From Middle River

      No, in some ways just playing around.In another thread on the Belief Blog someone compared the treatment of Gays to the treatment of Blacks and Hispanics. Then we see a post highlighting the words of a former holder and fornicator of his black slaves.

      On one message-board/website a man is great because of his known and acknowledged positive actions. Then you go to another site and his known and acknowledged negative actions and he is just another Southern Slave holding Plantation owner, with a splash of adultery with his slaves on the side.

      August 18, 2012 at 2:13 am |
  8. Observer

    – Deuteronomy 28:45-55 “Israel, if you don't obey the laws and teachings that the Lord your God is giving you. . Because of hunger, a man who had been gentle and kind will eat his own children and refuse to share the meal with his brother or wife or with his other children.” [Moses]

    Can't get much more "loving" than that.

    August 17, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      Observer...Check the passage you cited...it is incorrect...But, I am sure it is in the section where the Lordnis laying out "blessings and curses"-The curse for disobeying the LORD that your quoting (i.e. Those within God's Covenant that willfully reject Him) will lose all sense of judgment and will become un-retrained in their behavior...They will become like brute beasts, even eatingntheir own. But I would also like to mention Nebuchadnezzar's punishment for boasting in his own name and accomplishments. The LORD drove him out into the wilderness where he became like an animal (Daniel 4:26ff)...See what happens when "man" rejects their maker? They become no better than animals – monkey see monkey do...

      August 17, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      In hate TYPOS!!!...On my tablet...ridiculously un-manageable...
      "your" should be you're...,etc

      August 17, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • Observer

      JesusNotReligion,

      "Observer...Check the passage you cited...it is incorrect..."

      I quoted EXACTLY what the Bible says. Are you saying the Bible is wrong?

      August 17, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      My bad...I see what you did...You chopped it up:
      v.45 "All these curses shall come upon you and pursue you and overtake you till you are destroyed, because you did not obey the voice of the LORD your God, to keep his commandments and his statutes that he commanded you...
      54 Even the most gentle and sensitive man among you will have no compassion on his own brother or the wife he loves or his surviving children, 55 and he will not give to one of them any of the flesh of his children that he is eating. It will be all he has left because of the suffering your enemy will inflict on you during the siege of all your cities."

      I stand by what I had said in my prior reply to you...But my questioh tomyou is: Why would a "Darwinian" like yourself be shocked by this "survival of the fittest" repsonse when God' s restraining grace is removed? Btw...Please don't OBLIGATE God to be merciful, because "mercy" can not be under obligation. He is, however, obligated to be "just", NO?

      August 17, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • Observer

      JesusNotReligion,

      "Please don't OBLIGATE God to be merciful, because "mercy" can not be under obligation. He is, however, obligated to be "just", NO?"

      Please explain to me what about that entire situation is "JUST" to the child who was eaten?

      August 17, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      You won't see ULTIMATE JUSTICE metered out until the end, my excellent Observer. What you are seeing, and are indeed the recipient of by the very fact that you still have breath in your lungs and a beating heart, is the longsuffering of God, as well as His "common grace" upon this world. In spite of the horrors an atrocities that we all see (and those we don't), as BTO well said..."Ba-Ba-Baby you just ain't seen nothin' yet"...

      Btw...Not sure there is a worse atrocity according to Jesus than denying Him and telling others to do the same...as He stated in Matthew 18:6 " But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea."

      Here are a couple more that I am sure are related to this topic, though a bit more on the fringe:

      Ecclesiastes 8:1 " When the sentence for a crime (Justice) is not quickly carried out, the hearts of the people are filled with schemes to do wrong." >>> I truly believe that this one of the big hang ups for those who can not believe there is a God...i.e. The brutal evil that seems to go unpunished...

      Judges 21:25 " In those days Israel had no king (and no trust in God); everyone did WHAT WAS RIGHT IS HIS OWN EYES." >>> I think this truth about human nature still holds true, don't you?

      August 17, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • Observer

      JesusNotReligion,

      Thank you for your response. Now, could you please answer the question?

      August 17, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • truth be told

      Don't bother to answer the question it will be back later still unaware no matter how well you explain now.

      August 17, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • Observer

      truth be told,

      Not answering a question and then pretending you did is the same as declaring victory and then retreating.

      So what about the situation is "just" to the child who is eaten? Can you do any better for an answer?

      August 17, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      Observer...Without God restraining man's fallen nature it is just as Darwin preached: Wild Kingdom...You want me to answer your question as to why God gave this practical athiest (for all intents and purposes; one who does not believe or obey God) in Deut 28 a punishment that effected the lives of his children and those around him? Do you believe that your actions have no effect on the lives of others who are "innocent" with respect to directly having anything to do with those actions? Shall we talk about abortion? I've answered it...Don't blame God for giving man over to their own depravity...Praise HIM that He is holding it back by His grace...But make no mistake, and you may one day be an "observer" (or recipient) of it, all hell will break loose when God's justice and wrath are released – and there is no one innocent, my "friend", only those who have taken Him up on His mercy through the blood of His Son, so that when the Angel of death passes over this world, he will see the blood and "passover"....

      I state again (with typos fixed):

      Ecclesiastes 8:1 " When the sentence for a crime (Justice) is not quickly carried out, the hearts of the people are filled with schemes to do wrong." >>> I truly believe that this is one of the big hang ups for those who can not believe there is a God..i.e.The brutal evil that seems to go unpunished...

      Judges 21:25 "In those days Israel had no king (and no trust in God); everyone did WHAT WAS RIGHT IN HIS OWN EYES." >>> I think this truth about human nature still holds true, don't you?

      August 17, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • Jayhole

      Its not loving or un-loving because it simply isn't true. You shouldn't attribute human emotions to a character of fantasy. Thats like saying Santa Claus eats children. Does that make him a bad person? No, it doesn't make him a person at all so he isn't good or bad. Like someone said earlier, don't try to convince these people. Religion is actually an excellent tool for diagnosing stupidity. And they freely express it which makes it so easy. Just nod your head and go 'ahhhhh I see'. Then you just need to make sure that person cleans the toilets or types of menial labor. You can't give them and REAL responsibility right! That would be CRAZY!

      August 17, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • Observer

      JesusNotReligion,

      "Do you believe that your actions have no effect on the lives of others who are "innocent" with respect to directly having anything to do with those actions? Shall we talk about abortion? I've answered it..."

      I don't believe that any child of mine should be murdered for what I have done wrong, but I'm not a "loving" Christian like you.

      As far as abortion goes, the Bible NEVER mentions it and offfers more to support abortion than to oppose it.

      August 17, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      Observer..All I can say (again) is that you should be damn glad (oooh did just curse? – Christian's aren't supposed to do that – I'm gonna fry for that one) -damn glad that you are receiving common grace where you sit in your Observatory...Looking down on all us pee-on's who hold out the gospel of life to you in love – yes "love" (it's certainly not to get brownie points from that big slot machine in the sky)...

      Also be thankful that God poured out His wrath for sinners like you (who still have hope to believe and find mercy) on HIS SON...Yes...Did you forget that Ol' Story? The one about 'God so loving the world that He gave His one and only Son (to die horribly on a Cross) that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but gain eternal life' (John 3:16)...???...Remember when you were a child who would have been so thrilled to hear of such love and forgiveness? Lord knows you are far removed from that little boy or girl with child-like faith..

      Btw...The Lord also knows that JESUS (God's only Son) was the ONLY ONE WHO EVER LIVED THAT DID NOT DESERVE GOD'S WRATH! Hence, the Amazing Grace of which you've afforded me the opportunity to speak...

      (Disclaimer: All CAPS and exclamation points are for passion not loudness)...be gracious about that – though I don't really understand why you would...

      I have no doubt that your definition for abortion is granting you room for believing it is not "murder"...Funny how if we find one living cell on Mars everyone is going to scream, "THERE'S LIFE THERE! THERE'S LIFE THERE!"

      I'm done...Good talk...Keep it simple/ Keep it real/ Keep it RELATIONAL: JesusNotReligion

      August 17, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • was blind but now I see

      Too bad all you people who love to bash God as being so evil have absolutely no clue that the various passsages in the Bible address two dipolar groups. The Sons of God, and the SOnd of Satan. Do a google search on Serpent Seed or Nephilium, or Nethinim, or Kennite....

      August 17, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • Observer

      @was blind but now I see,

      Why when factually reporting what the Bible says about God killing thousands of people is it called "bashing God"?

      August 17, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      JesusNotReligion

      Observer...Check the passage you cited...it is incorrect...But, I am sure it is in the section where the Lordnis laying out "blessings and curses"-The curse for disobeying the LORD that your quoting (i.e. Those within God's Covenant that willfully reject Him) will lose all sense of judgment and will become un-retrained in their behavior...They will become like brute beasts, even eatingntheir own. But I would also like to mention Nebuchadnezzar's punishment for boasting in his own name and accomplishments. The LORD drove him out into the wilderness where he became like an animal (Daniel 4:26ff)...See what happens when "man" rejects their maker? They become no better than animals – monkey see monkey do...

      Agreed. And the only thing keeping Observer from grazing alongside the cattle, or even worse, eating babies, is the fact that he is living in the age of grace [and he doesn't even realize it].
      Given enough time, he may go feral anyway....

      August 18, 2012 at 1:56 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      b4bigbang

      What is the age of grace? Do you mean God would reduce us to animals but is holding back?

      August 18, 2012 at 2:06 am |
  9. JesusNotReligion

    Do you guys want me to re-post my long post below that came out scrambled?

    August 17, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      I don't but that's just me and I don't count.

      August 17, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • Observer

      How about YOUR interpretation rather than a long cut-and-paste?

      August 17, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      Too much good stuff in it to summarize...but that is, of course, my opinion...

      August 17, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • Observer

      Thanks. You've answered your own question.

      August 17, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
  10. AverageJoe76

    I wonder....... is Revelations just the end of religion, not humanity? Maybe our ansestors fortold the undoing of religion and thought all this bad stuff was going to happen because man doesn't know how to control himself without the threat of an imaginary puppetmaster. I'm grasping straws. But I do want to smoke what they had though. Must've been some crazy Dead Sea Weed or something. John took a hit, and got so high it made 'em retreat to a cave to get themselves together, and he started writing...... (more straws – but ya never know.)

    They all drank Milk of the Poppy, then began to scribe the word. Idk.

    August 17, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      I can laugh at that post...just don't blaspheme the Holy Spirit if you have any good sense at all...Though you may very well have done that already in one of your many other posts...

      August 17, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      FCUK your holy spirit, how is that for blasphemy?

      August 17, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      Your choice...but spelling seems to be a problem for you...Me too sine I supposedly one giant, elaborate & complex accident...

      August 17, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      Took the bait and yanked you out of the primordial swamp...but spelling seems to be a problem for you...In any event, good luck with your hatred...I had it to before I was found by JesusNotReligion

      August 17, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Blasphemy is a victimless crime; there is no holy spirit, nor god, so neither can be blasphemed.

      August 17, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      There you are Moby Schtick...I love that name...I disdain your post however...but that's why you're here...

      "Blasphemy is a victimless crime; there is no holy spirit, nor god, so neither can be blasphemed."

      That has a poetic ring to it...

      What can I say...You must be right...I'm a primordial idiot and my brains are oozing out -calling, calling back to where I came from...that place that made me a victim of this purposeless existence...

      Look, NO MATTER HOW SMART YOU THINK YOU ARE WE ALL END UP IN THE SAME PLACE, ACCORDING YOUR FAITH...and it is faith my friend...it IS FAITH!

      I look forward to your next post...I believe it will be one of my favorite Led Zeppelin songs: "Ramble On!"
      In the meantime I hope you will consider repenting before you perish...and trust in JesusNotReligion

      August 17, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
  11. JesusNotReligion

    TO: Sim34...I will try to be very pointed: 1) I do appreciate your tone and the refraining from any ad hominem...You have set yourself apart from most in your group... 2) You are not being fair to the INTERNAL CLAIMS of the Bible...It claims to be an accurate witness of historical events and Yahweh's(OT)/Jesus'(NT) life-changing interaction with them-FICTIONAL STORIES DO NOT EXPECT THIS MENTAL ASCENSION...Your pretext/presuppositions about the Bible won't allow you to objectively take its internal claims seriously, and you've wrongly placed it in the same category as mythology...It doesn't read like mythology, and it demands full obedience (upon consequence) of what has been historically witnessed... EXAMPLES: Luke 1:1-4 "4 Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled[a]among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. 3 With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught." John 20:30 & 21:24-25 "30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. " 24 This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true.25 Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written." 3) You've set up a false dichotomy regarding clearly mythological/fictional literature that makes no claims to historical fact that has been objectively substantiated (i.e. homer's Odyssey or Iliad). FACT: The Bible has over 25,000+ New Testament manuscripts (copies of original) – the first one dated 25-30 years post crucifixion/resurrection, leaving no time for myth or legend to be developed since witnesses were still alive. Homer's "Iliad", written 900BC with 643 total manuscripts – the 1st copy dated 500 years from the original... ***John also wrote: John 3:36 " 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them." ALSO...Paul preached authoritatively from the OT (they all did BEFORE the NT was ever written down)...and see the following: Acts 17:11 (After Paul preached "Jesus as Messiah" from the OT in a synagogue in Berea): " 11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true." ****1 Thessalonians 2:13 (Paul writing to an historically verifiable church in Thessalonica) " 13 And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe." 4) Three comments regarding the historicity of "Jesus" as a real Person (just like Abraham Lincoln was): a) External Evidence of the Jewish Historian "Josephus", who this group hates to hear about...blah, blah, blah... b) Internal Evidence: Luke 1 (quoted above)...NOTE: Luke was a Physician & Historian...not one of the "12 Apostles/Disciples" c) WARNING from John >>>2 John 1:7 "Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist." >>> 1 John 4:2-3 "3 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 4 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world." ***That's it for me, Sim...I yield to your final statement on this...Thanks...JesusNotReligion...A PersonNotaPhilosophy

    August 17, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • Adam

      What is your definition of 'religion'?

      August 17, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      Is there anyway to structure your comment in a more user-friendly format? Looks like code. But, I was able to snag this from the beginning;
      "Your pretext/presuppositions about the Bible won't allow you to objectively take its internal claims seriously, and you've wrongly placed it in the same category as mythology...It doesn't read like mythology, and it demands full obedience (upon consequence) of what has been historically witnessed"

      It's appropriately placed in the realm of mythology. We cannot disprove the adventures of Beowulf either, but we don't believe they occurred. Imagine this; What rebuttals did the believers in Greek Mythology have before they were phased out by Christianity? You sound like the believers in Greek Mythology to us, and you're clinging to the notion that Zeus lives on Mt. Olympus. Place yourself into the shoes of a Muslim practicing Islam. See how the Christians feel your religion isn't the truth, and you feel it is? Empathy.

      August 17, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      GREAT QUESTION: An un-authorized (Biblically un-supported), man-made system of worship, rituals & works that detract, diminish or deter one from a PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with the Person & Finished Work of Jesus Christ and the subsequent pouring out/ indwelling of the Presence & Power of the Holy Spirit. Example: Paul had "religion" before he had "Jesus" ( Acts 26:5)...
      BOTTOM LINE: It is the difference between knowing "about" Jesus, and "personally experiencing" Him and His life-changing Presence in communion with His Word & Holy Spirit. Jesus is NOT a "religion", "building" or "systemetized denomination"
      Romans 6:23 - "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life IN Christ Jesus our Lord."
      John 4:21-24
      21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

      ***The "saved thief on the cross" had "Jesus" as Lord & Savior.
      Hope that is clear...JesusNotReligion

      August 17, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • OTOH

      JNR,

      I'm sorry, but your post is nearly unreadable... I did eyeball something in the middle: "... first one dated 25-30 years post crucifixion/resurrection, leaving no time for myth or legend to be developed since witnesses were still alive."

      Myths and legends about people spring up all the time, even while they are still alive. The ancient Egyptians thought that the living Pharaohs were gods.. the deceased Elvis Presley started to be spotted all over the world immediately after he died... and remember the Richard Gere/gerbil one 🙂 There are TONS of them... some get debunked, and some don't; and some take longer to fade. How many folks still believe that George Washington had wooden teeth? How many people think that an "angel" spoke to Mohammad and Joseph Smith?

      August 17, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • Adam

      Ok, people talk to you inside your skull. I get it. You would listen to those voices, and not those of someone speaking on behalf this Jesus fellow. Your comments remind me of a quote from Sam Harris, that, while regarding the previous POTUS, I feel is still pertinent to the core of your claims:

      “The president of the United States has claimed, on more than one occasion, to be in dialogue with God. If he said that he was talking to God through his hairdryer, this would precipitate a national emergency. I fail to see how the addition of a hairdryer makes the claim more ridiculous or offensive.”

      August 17, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      Out on the road now. Will try to reformat and post later. Thanks for the heads up and sorry for the inconvenience.
      Btw...Regarding the myth of Jesus building within 25 years...All any opposer had to do was show Jesus' dead body...That wpuld have ended everything...Also, the assumption is that 12-15+ guys perpetrated a lis or were somehow deluded and deceived...The recorded lives, character and deaths do not support it...they gained nothing, expected nothing, and gave everything in the hope that some might believe and be saved...Also: 1 out of 25 verses in the NT speak to the events leading up to and including Jesus' 2nd coming (300+ verses) so the "myth" is not over yet...but the Pharoahs are coming back too, I suppose. Look, if anyone is not willing to believe and worship Jesus for this one brief lifetime the Bible does say you'll have all eternity to live with that. It is really not my job to convince anyone...really. I am told to bring the message in love, not to convict, comvince or manufacture faith for anyone.
      That does not mean I am emotionally aloof if people don't believe...It truly dpes sadden my soul because we are all in this "fallen-humanty thing" together...believe it or not...JesusNotReligion

      August 17, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      "All any opposer had to do was show Jesus' dead body...That wpuld have ended everything..."

      JesusNotReligion,

      No it would not have because

      1. You can't show the body to every person who bought into the idea, that is impractical. 2. Christianity did not and does not always claim a "bodily" resurrection. Paul does not describe a bodily resurrection, he describes a spritual resurrection.

      August 17, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      Adam...You don't know me from "Adam"...And you set up a strawman analysis of me so you can feel good about yourself when you knock it down...I never said I heard voices in my head. Post somethimg that is fair after the Power Rangers are over...

      August 17, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      Just Claims...I disagree...
      1) The dead body of Jesus was just as important to the Roman Authorities as it was for the Jewish Leaders. And it certainly would have put an end to "The Way" movement...Scripture has great detail regarding the provisions taken to ensure that Jesus' body wasn't "stolen". The Jews and the Romans had much vested interest in securing His tomb – both religiously and politically...

      2) Jesus had a resurrected "body": Luke 24 – Jesus Appears to the Disciples

      "36 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate it in their presence."

      August 17, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • Adam

      What do you mean when you say you have a "personal relationship" with this man? Be specific, and refer not to scripture as it is irrelevant here, only report on your own subjective experience. What does it FEEL like to have this relationship? What does it ENTAIL? Is this claim equivalent to saying "I enjoying turning my conscious attention to the subject of a particular character found in a particular book"? Or are you making claims of verbal communication (you did not yet deny this), telepathy, remote control of consciousness, etc.?

      Explicate yourself. Thank you.

      August 17, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      Adam...At the risk of trusting in finding goodwill in you...HERE GOES:
      The personal experience is connected to the Holy Spirit's ministry in communion with the Word of God (Bible)...

      Through the Word, He personally convicts those who ultimately do become believer's, of sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16) when we understand WHO Jesus is and WHAT He was doing on that Cross. We realize (personally) that God so loved the world (ME) that He sent His one and only Son to do for ME (and you if you desire) what I could not do for myself...Namely, make up for my sins against a Holy and Just God. It is a renewing of both mind and heart that Jesus calls being "born again". Though this re-birth (working of the Holy Spirit) is actually going on BEFORE we are aware of it (John 3:3-8ff – note the necessary condition followed by the word "unless"). The prevenient work of the Holy Spirit makes us thick-skulled, hard-hearted men & women fallen in Adam (your namesake) willing and desireous of Jesus and His free offer of salvation. The relationship begins and builds from there as it would if you had a long distance relationship via email or letter withnthe one you have fallen in love with – though you do not see her. Hence, 1 Peter 1: 8 written within 25-30 years AFTER Jesus ascended: "Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy"...

      TWO more related to the Word (i.e. The "gospel" in these two following passages - the spcific message pertaining to the Person and Finished work of Jesus, and HOW He is to be received; bt grace alone-through faith alone, PLUS NO WORK OF OUR OWN), which is "living", and works in communion with the Spirit:

      1 Peter 1:22-25 "22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. 23 For you have been born again,not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, hrough the living and enduring word of God.24 For,'All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;the grass withers and the flowers fall, 25 but the word of the Lord endures forever'. And this is the word that was preached to you."

      2 Thessalonians 2:13-14
      "13 But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as firstfruits[b] to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spiritand through belief in the truth. 14 He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ."

      Hope I was clear...Hope you will choose your words carefully...And I truly hope you come into a personal relationship with JesusNotReligion by God's amazing grace. I got saved in '86 after opening up for John Waite and I have never been the same nor have I ever looked back to that person who once hated God, was filled with a subtle form of hatred and contempt for others, covered up by my hypocritical sad and lonely life in spite of all the worldly pleasures I was experiencing as a lead singer of a band. Praise God ALMIGHTY!

      August 17, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • Jayhole

      "An un-authorized (Biblically un-supported), man-made system of worship, rituals & works that detract, diminish or deter one from a PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with the Person & Finished Work of Jesus Christ and the subsequent pouring out/ indwelling of the Presence & Power of the Holy Spirit."

      Oh give it a rest weirdo! Biblically unsuported? You sound like a total A$$. How is that for ad-hominem? Everything thats supported by the bible is, and everything thats not isn't. Meaningless! Thats total mumbo-jumbo. All your circular reasoning makes uncrazy people dizzy. You can't use something thats not proven and is unprovable as proof of itself. The rest of us in the real world would be happy to leave you alone if you would just keep that CRAP to yourself. Just keep it to yourself! Thats all we want! Please just stop talking about it all the time. And when someone says something reasonable or scientific, just let it go. You just sound like your trying to convince yourself!

      August 17, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      Jayhole...I guess you just got home from work, are having a few beers and are getting some bloggerfun in before you turn on the CARTOON NETWORK...Don't let my circular reasoning get in the way...I think The Flintstone's are just about to start...I will gladly come down to your level with the "I'm rubber you're glue" – that's all you're getting out of me...
      JesusNotReligion

      August 17, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • Sim34

      JesusNotReligion
      The Bible has internal claims to witnessing certain events and so do a great many other books. Moby Dick comes to mind as do the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Anyone can write a book with characters claiming to have witnessed historical events. I just read Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter as another example, but I think you get my point. You state that fictional stories don't claim to be taken as non-fiction, but that would be incorrect as well. World War Z, another book I read just last Spring, reads like a non-fictional account of an actual war against zombies. If someone managed to print a copy without the "fiction" label on the dustcover, it could be mistaken for non-fiction by future generations without the means to research what really happened in the early 21st century.

      You also assume that the Bible was written to be taken absolutely literally, as many protestant sects claim, but that was almost certainly not the case. Nobody believes that it's 100% literally true because the Bible contains metaphor and imagery, for example. Revelation is full of imagery that was never meant to be taken literally. Jesus told parables, which are made up stories used to illustrate a point. Other stories, like those in Genesis, were told to illustrate other things, like why the Sabbath is holy, and how did evil enter the world. Other mythologies tell stories answering many of the same questions. Stories that are just as unbelievable by today's level of knowledge.

      The Bible does read like other mythologies. Mythology is full of strange beasts, and so does the Bible. Mythology has heros, kings, mighty battles guided by gods. The Bible has the same things limited to just one god, but also mentions other gods. Mythology has creation stories, and so does the Bible. Mythology has miracles and prophecy, and so does the Bible. Mythology has demigods, and the Bible has the same thing in Jesus, and so on. Many of the same themes run through both. The Bible smells like, walks and talks like mythology. Maybe you can argue that it isn't 100% fiction, but who "witnessed" any of the Genesis stories. If they were tribal oral tales why assume that they are completely accurate? If Moses claimed that they came to him directly from God, as tradition holds, why believe this claim any more than any other guy claiming he talks to God, or ghosts, aliens, or what have you?

      How do you know Luke wrote Acts and the Gospel that bares his name? You are presuming that they have authority based on who wrote them, but both are anonymous, are they not? Again I'll ask: Who witnessed the temptation in the desert? You can say that Jesus reported it to his followers, but that would make Jesus seem rather boastful, wouldn't it? Besides, wouldn't you expect a guy wandering by himself in the desert for 40 days (Exodus symbolic days, right?) without food to hallucinate? I can go on, and on, but face it; the Bible is so full of contradictions and illogic that you literally have to love the idea of God being real completely in order to overlook those faults. That's an emotional argument, not a rational one, and I tend to mistrust emotional arguments when it comes to determining what is a fact, or not. How about you?

      August 18, 2012 at 1:17 am |
    • Sim34

      JesusNotReligion
      Could a person merely imagine that he is in communion with the Holy Spirit when he is actually suffering a delusion? I'm thinking of the hundreds of cult leaders and guys who go on murderous rampages who all thought that they were being led by the Spirit. Obviously, they were not, right? My point is, we can only assume that they believed that they were just as much as any other "saved" person believes that they are, so who's to say that all of you are deluded and that the Spirit doesn't actually exist at all?

      August 18, 2012 at 1:25 am |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Sim34

      Excellent post, IMO.

      BTW– What did you think of Abe/Vampire hunter ?

      Peace...

      August 18, 2012 at 1:27 am |
    • Sim34

      JesusNotReligion
      "All any opposer had to do was show Jesus' dead body...That wpuld have ended everything..."

      People have seen the dead bodies of Osama bin Laden and even poor Elvis, but still there are those who refuse to believe that either are dead. Jesus was just another Jew crucified in the hicks, so why would any Roman historians record this event? The only people who told a story about it were followers of his, and they had the agenda of making something out of his death. Isaiah clearly states that a hanged man cannot be ritually pure enough to be the messiah, so they check through their scriptures and rework Jesus' life into some kind of sacrifice. That idea evolves into his being an actual son of God, probably through misinterpretation by gentiles of what Jews meant by that term. Gentiles had experience with half-sons of gods, and cast them as heros. The idea of Jesus as a hero spawns the nativity stories and fleshes out the rest of his life story.

      August 18, 2012 at 1:38 am |
    • Sim34

      therealpeace2all
      Thanks!

      It's nice to see scary vampires again. The whole Mormon girl desire for older men Twilight bit soured them for me for a while. Even though, I think I've had enough of vampires lately. Zombies too! Paranormon seems like the only original idea to come out lately. What do you think?

      August 18, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • Sim34

      JesusNotReligion
      Who hates to hear about Josephus? He talks about Hercules as though he was a historic figure, which puts any comments he might have actually said about Jesus in a less than complimentary light. Actually, Jesus and Hercules share a lot of other similarities. Both had miraculous births, both performed amazing feats, both had a "decent into Hell", and redemption is the common theme in both of their stories.

      Also, in what way is the quote "the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James" somehow evidence that Jesus was the son of God, or even messiah? It may be evidence of Jesus being a historic person, but Josephus merely mentions that he was called "Christ". Lots of people are called messiahs in the Jewish scripture. King David and Cyrus the Great, for instance.

      Not many scholars consider the Testimonium Flavianum as entirely authentic. In fact, the chapter in which it's in reads a whole lot more smoothly with it removed, and it was in the care of Christians long enough for it to have been inserted by some zealous scribe.

      Josephus refers to about 20 different people by the name Jesus. It was a common enough name.

      Sorry, but Josephus is becoming one of the better arguments that atheists can use.

      August 18, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
  12. Dyslexic doG

    to explain why athiests and agnostics comment like this, see au . org which is a site devoted to the first amendment and the separation of church and state.

    There are many christians (but by no means all) in this country, that are behaving like the taliban and trying to change the laws to force the christian religion down everyone's throats. this has got to stop.

    August 17, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  13. TheVocalAtheist

    You are all a bunch of religious weenies! You come to this forum, make a claim and then run. Cowards, every last one of you.

    August 17, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Reason89

      @TheVocalAtheist

      While I share your frustration, I suspect calling believers weenies and cowards is not very effective or maybe even not fair.

      I suspect most believers, including clergy, are very well intentioned. In fact, I suspect the men who flew the planes into the buildings felt that they were being "Good and Faithful Servants." Believers are just caught up in a very seductive myth.

      Hopefully, the reason they got quiet is that the facts they encountered here have planted doubt in their minds. Remember, most people who escaped from religion have done so based on facts.

      August 17, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • yoyo

      Here's one. Perhaps you can comment Mr. Vocal.

      It’s said that the universe came into existence approx 13.5 billion years ago. Before this, there was an infinite past and after the universes’ existence…an infinite future. As you’re aware, infinity has no beginning or end and the fact that the universe did not come into existence somewhere in the infinite past or infinite future is in itself proof of intervention thru a decision-making process.

      It’s also proof that the laws of physics pertaining to the creation of the universe, prior to its beginning, either did not exist nor were previously applied. All of the laws of this universe were there at the moment of the birth of the universe but before that moment, these laws weren’t present.

      Therefore, the universe is the result of a massive chain reaction of causes and effects derived from one, single cause. That single cause was the application of the laws of physics.

      There is no chance involved in the universe, there is only conformity to the laws of physics applied by a designer because matter has no conscious or awareness, nor does it have the ability to change its own existence…or anyone else’s, only a deliberate being could do that.

      August 17, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • Who invited me?

      Yoyo.
      What you state is not proof of a creator in the slightest, but shows you do not understand the physics you try toi use as proof.

      There was a big bang, and likely it was not the first nor will it be the last big bang. We can only speculate at this point, but the more we create testable theories, the closer we get to truth, and the farther we get from the theory of god.

      August 17, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Mark From Middle River

      >>>"Hopefully, the reason they got quiet is that the facts they encountered here have planted doubt in their minds. "

      Or just like when Atheist go silent...... people have to go to work, pickup their children from daycare, mow the lawn, post on other blogs ... you think its bad in here go to Camaro messageboard and say that the Fox Body platform is the greatest ever created.

      Vocal, some folks can post around the clock and some can not.

      August 17, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • yoyo

      Lame Who. You have no context in your rebuttal. The point is not for me to try and prove anything. I just want to see how you try and disprove the statement. It matters not how many beginnings there were. The point is that somewhere in time there was a first one...but what happened before the first one? Still when there were no laws of physics..

      August 17, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      @Yoyo – this is arrogance on the part of humans to believe an event on the scale of the big bang had to involve thought. I bet it's because WE were created rom it, that some thought HAD to be injected into it, "Because it created US: The Incredible Human Race.... blah, blah, blah" Makes us sound like the divas of the universe. Listen..... it's arrogant for you to assume you know anything about the beginning (or restart) of the universe except for the data we can collect. Anything else is a campfire story. An embellishment using the tinest sliver of information; a view of the night's sky from our ancestors. So ancient man looked at the night sky, and told the entire story of creation correctly? Guess we should use cave drawings for blueprints on everything....

      August 17, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      @Mark From Middle River

      Thanks for pointing that out to me as it never crossed my mind, not. When someone makes a claim and you answer the claim and they do not respond in kind, sure, they could have left but in reality a lot of them will flake-off and keep posting and never defend the claim and yoyo is a perfect example. He made a claim about a miracle and didn't defend and now he's onto the big bang and physics.

      August 17, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • yoyo

      So Average – I guess what you're saying is that I can't prove there is a God, but in the same breath you can't say there isn't. Correct?

      August 17, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • yoyo

      No Vocal – I didn't disappear. Your attempt at disproving it wasn't worth my time. A weak attempt at best. Nothing posted here can ever shake my faith. I just like to hear from the folks who disagree with my beliefs.

      August 17, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      @yoyo

      "Before this, there was an infinite past and after the universes’ existence…an infinite future"

      And if there was nothing before how could there have been an infinite past? And if your God existed in that infinite pass what created your God?

      August 17, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      @yoyo – YES! That is exactly what I'm conveying. No proof for nor against. 'God' is and always will be unproven. There's no way to settle the argument on God, without God actually making himself known in an indisputable fashion to ALL humans.

      Is there a God? I don't know. Haven't seen anything besides what I can see. Just being the most hinest I can be. No one talks to me in my head (except myself). Clouds don't form faces and speak to me. I don't see God.
      Now ask yourself this; the rules of religion..... formed by God, or man as a 'representative' of God?

      August 17, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      TheVocalAtheist

      @yoyo

      It's a hoax, plain and simple. They tested for flesh and blood, right? But could they prove that it came from the wafer? Also, how come no DNA sampling or carbon dating? That would give us age and show us that Jesus was fatherless, right?

      August 17, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      yoyo, respond to your miracle post.

      August 17, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • Who invited me?

      yoyo
      you are assuming that there were bno laws of physics, that at some point there was nothing. Current theories would indicate that there was no real beginning, throwing out your presumption.

      Also, the laws of physics are just what we call the things we know, but by no means is the universe held to what we know, that as we delve into and through other dimensions, that which you call laws are not laws at all.

      Again, you show you do not understand physics even slightly, and name calling is just silly.

      August 17, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • yoyo

      Vocal – no one created God...that's why we call him the alpha and the omega

      August 17, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • yoyo

      Average – the rules of religion question. I interpret you mean the 10 commandments?? When God made a covenant He made a promise to restore (redeem) the relationship that had been lost. The covenant or 10 commandments required three ingredients: 1) union with God, 2) mutual promises, and 3) separation from sin. This covenant demanded a way of life that was distinct from the "fleshly way of life" (whatever feels good-do it!) toward which all humankind is prone.

      August 17, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      @yoyo

      Come on buddy! "eucaristic miracle at Lanciano?

      August 17, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      OK yoyo

      You have had plenty of time to defend your position on the miracle and you did not attempt not once. So, we're going to end it here knowing you believe it is a hoax.

      August 17, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      @yoyo – To clarify my question even further; you believe the 10 commandments were written by God, or written by man? I know the Bible says basically God wrote them. Verbatim through Moses (or something like that) and then Moses can down Mt. Sinai with the shiny face of knowledge because he looked upon God.

      As an exercise in faith; ask yourself why you believe in the Bible? Is it because it resonates sooooo much in your heart and you are truly 'in love' with God/Jesus?

      Or is it the part about going to h_ell that scares the BEJEEEBUS outta you, and you don't want to risk being wrong on that?

      August 17, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • JC

      @Yoyo: Read a Brief History in Time by Stephen Hawking, who is perhaps the most brilliant physicist of all times. Although he does not deny the possibility of a creator, he speaks very convincingly of the possibility that none was necessary. He explains this using the laws of physics as we know them at this time.

      August 17, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
  14. Sean

    These billboards show the primary reason people choose religion over atheism – atheist organizations are mean spirited.

    August 17, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      Could it be you just don't like hearing the truth?

      August 17, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Primewonk

      But when the fundiot religious nutters plaster the interstates with billboards damning me to hell – that's based on love, right?

      August 17, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • sam stone

      Sean: As opposed to the good-loving Christian billboards that convey the believe-as-i-do-or-perish message?

      August 17, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  15. G. Markus

    Let me ask the atheists. When man 'evolved' from fish to frog to chimp and to man, what was his name? What was the name of his wife? What were the names of his children? What was the name of his first settlement? The list go on! How foolish for you atheists to choose to believe IMAGINATIONS rather than RECORDED HISTORY OF HUMANS as seen in the Bible with every detail that our curiosity will ever want. I won't choose damnation just because of pride and rebellion!

    August 17, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • OTOH

      G. Markus,

      You seem to prefer the "IMAGINATIONS" of long-dead Hebrew tribesmen.

      The Bible is a book which includes *some* history of primitive Hebrew culture, and *some* good advice for practical, beneficial human behavior, but mostly it is a compilation of ancient Middle Eastern historical fiction, myth, legend, superst.ition and fantasy.

      There is not a whit of verified evidence for any of the supernatural beings and events in that book.

      August 17, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • Adam

      You ask very poor questions, Markus.

      August 17, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • GenericMan

      I just don't see why I am choosing damnation. I am studying Biology and I wouldn't be doing it if I didn't believe in the foundation of biology, which are nothing without evolution. I am Atheist, but I have nothing against your views, and I do not think I should be damned at all. I want a career in health care and medicine.

      August 17, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      Why should we believe it Markus?

      August 17, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • yoyo

      Hey OTOH – What say you about the eucaristic miracle at Lanciano? Let's hear your human (flawed) response

      August 17, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Observer

      G. Markus,

      You can't even tell us the name of the people who started the parallel civilization of Nod where Cain went.

      Get serious.

      August 17, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      @yoyo

      It's a hoax, plain and simple. They tested for flesh and blood, right? But could they prove that it came from the wafer? Also, how come no DNA sampling or carbon dating? That would give us age and show us that Jesus was fatherless, right?

      August 17, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      Hey yoyo!

      Don't be running way here little guy! You asked about the miracle and I responded, don't you need to defend your statement?

      August 17, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • OTOH

      Oy, yoyo, the poor guy that this monk chopped up had the same blood type as I do - AB - It's a Miracle!

      August 17, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Huebert

      @Markus

      Do you believe your own brand of crazy or do you just sell it?

      August 17, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      LOLOLOLOLOL ... thanks for that, that was a good one ... LOLOL

      August 17, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      "When man 'evolved' from fish to frog to chimp and to man..."

      It almost hurts to hear someone who fails at even the simplest description of evolution so smugly dismiss it. This bozo get's the same biology-based healthcare as the rest of us, even though he is clueless as to where it comes from.

      August 17, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • Christine

      Maybe, MAYBE if the Bible hadn't been rewritten and re-translated more times than a public toilet gets used in an hour, you MIGHT be able to call it the "RECORDED HISTORY OF HUMANS". But with all these revisions? It's no more historically accurate than "Lord of the Rings".

      August 17, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
  16. GenericMan

    They don't even need to put the billboards up, they got their exposure already. 🙂 I don't see what the big deal is though. I see nothing worth saying in regards to the billboards.

    August 17, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • yoyo

      You just did say something...they don't need to put the billboards up. It's nothing else than more religion bashing

      August 17, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      @Yoyo – It is religion bashing. It's shameful they thought to spend money on it. They should be more mature than that.

      August 17, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  17. jimmer

    I just took a monstrous dump.

    It's beautiful.

    It floats like no other dump before.

    Thanks God!!

    August 17, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • Mark From Middle River

      "According to New York Times Health Guides, digestive complications in the gastrointestinal tract may lead to floating stools. Such complications include celiac disease, cystic fibrosis or insufficient amounts of sugar-digesting enzymes lactase, sucrase or isomaltase. Individuals who are unable to effectively absorb fat and other nutrients may also experience floating stools."

      Source : http://www.livestrong.com/article/548766-does-a-bowel-movement-sink-or-float-with-a-high-fat-diet/#ixzz23oy0xzdC

      Jimmer.... God might have sent you a sign that you need to get to a doctor and get checked out. 🙂

      August 17, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
  18. Aaron

    "Silverman said. 'If a person believes stupid things, we have every right to question his or her judgment, and that directly impacts how the nonreligious voter votes.' "

    When Silverman says "stupid things" should that refer to the belief that matter came from nothing? Or maybe it refers to the fact that people have a sense of right and wrong in every day life but that there is no God that put those senses in place? Because those beliefs are pretty stupid.

    August 17, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • Huebert

      I don't know anyone who believes that matter came from nothing. Some people, my self included, believe that all mater was created in the big bang, which was a purely energetic event. However Einstein's relativity states that matter and energy are ultimately one and the same, and thus one can become the other, this has been proven countless times the most dramatic examples being atomic bombs, but I digress. Matter was created in the big bang, which is certainly not nothing.

      As far as people having morals, it's called social conditioning, no god is required.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • Adam

      I think he's talking about the belief in

      the survivability of the consciousness upon destruction of the brain
      the possibility of human flight without mechanical aid
      the vocal capabilities of reptiles
      the spontaneous rearangement of matter
      the ability to bipeds to remain upright upon the surface of liquid water
      the anthropological origins of native americans
      the possibility of egyptian hieroglyphs present in north america before transatlantic voyage
      the decency of moral scapegoating through human sacrifice
      the possibility of dramatic rises to universal water levels
      the possibility of bi and tri-centenarians
      the counterfactual account of the history of our species
      the counterfactual account of the history of our planet

      August 17, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
  19. AverageJoe76

    If the world could agree they don't know anything about God, regardless of everyone's cultural background, it'd be like putting on new glasses.

    August 17, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      Therein lies the problem, people keep the same lenses on. If they would only explore the other lenses they might see something differently. The religious put on the God glasses and never take them off, thus they will never understand the atheist. The atheist has worn the God glasses and find them to be horribly scratched and diffused compare to the crystal clear lens of reality.

      August 17, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • AverageJoe76

      @TheVocalAtheist – Once people make an agreement on God (which I can't see happening unless they agree they don't know anything) I strongly believe the human race will fast foward. The time we spent. The money we've spent. The loss of life. The squabbling and bickering over who's version of God is right. If it ended..... what then? Utopia? Not nessessarily, but it would sure cut down a lot of it. Man needs to learn how to give peace to himself. Stop looking up, look within. Protect those you love.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • jimmer

      I went just one step beyond admitting that I don't know about god. I don't believe one exists. It took the glasses off altogether.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @AverageJoe76
      Some words of wisdom from Robert Heinlein:
      "The most ridiculous concept ever perpetrated by H.Sapiens is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of the Universes, wants the sacharrine adoration of his creations, that he can be persuaded by their prayers, and becomes petulant if he does not recieve this flattery. Yet this ridiculous notion, without one real shred of evidence to bolster it, has gone on to found one of the oldest, largest and least productive industries in history."

      "Theology is never any help; it is searching in a dark cellar at midnight for a black cat that isn't there. "

      "I've never understood how God could expect His creatures to pick the one true religion by faith – it strikes me as a sloppy way to run a universe."

      "He should have known better because, early in his learnings under his brother Mahmoud, he had discovered that long human words (the longer the better) were easy, unmistakable, and rarely changed their meanings, but short words were slippery, unpredictable changing their meanings without any pattern. Or so he seemed to grok. Short human words were never like a short Martian word - such as grok which forever meant exactly the same thing. Short human words were like trying to lift water with a knife. And this had been a very short word." (that word, btw, is God)

      August 17, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • Adam

      Yeah, we'd all be agnostic atheist humanists and we would all be part of one community of conscious creatures all working on one project called civilization.

      It would be pretty great, Joe. And it forbids all species of theism. I dream this dream, and it is beautiful.

      August 17, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
  20. TheVocalAtheist

    I heard something interesting that I would like to share. It's about a psychological process called "absorption" or training the mind to hear God. Anthropologist, T.M. Luhrmann did some research and you can learn more here: http://www.npr.org/2012/03/26/149394987/when-god-talks-back-to-the-evangelical-community or buy her book "When God Talks Back". There is an audio interview and a transcript for download. You can also find an interview of Luhrmann on the Reasonable Doubt pod-cast under "Religious Experience".

    August 17, 2012 at 10:41 am |
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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.