June 10th, 2014
02:40 PM ET
Meet the atheist ... who believes in God
Opinion by Frank Schaeffer, special to CNN
(CNN) - All the public debates between celebrity atheists and evangelical pastors are as meaningless as literary awards and Oscar night.
They are meaningless because participants lack the objectivity to admit that our beliefs have less to do with facts than with our personal needs and cultural backgrounds.
The words we use to label ourselves are just as empty.
What exactly is a “believer?” And for that matter what is an “atheist?” Who is the objective observer to define these terms?
Maybe we need a new category other than theism, atheism or agnosticism that takes paradox and unknowing into account.
Take me, I am an atheist who believes in God.
Let me explain.
I believe that life evolved by natural selection. I believe that evolutionary psychology explains away altruism and debunks love, and that brain chemistry undermines the illusion of free will and personhood.
I also believe that a spiritual reality hovering over, in and through me calls me to love, trust and hear the voice of my creator.
It seems to me that there is an offstage and an onstage quality to my existence. I live onstage, but I sense another crew working offstage. Sometimes I hear their voices “singing” in a way that’s as eerily beautiful as the offstage chorus in an opera.
My youngest grandchildren Lucy (5) and Jack (3) are still comfortable with this paradoxical way of seeing reality.
Most grownups don’t have the transparent humility to deal with the fact that unknowing is OK. But Lucy and Jack seem to accept that something may never have happened but can still be true.
For instance they take Bible stories we read at face value, and yet I see a flicker in their eyes that tells me that they already know the stories are not true in the same way boiling water is true and can be tested—it’s hot!
It's like that mind-bending discovery from quantum mechanics that tiny objects like electrons can actually be in two places at once and act simultaneously like a particle and a wave.
Maybe my grandchildren will embrace quantum theory, and won't look for ways to make the irrational rational by hiding behind words like “mystery” in order to sustain their faith in science or God.
Or maybe they'll embrace apophatic theology, the theology of not knowing.
Atheists in the Bible Belt: A survival guide
But it's not the easiest thing to do.
Our brains are not highly evolved enough to reconcile our hunger for both absolute certainty and transcendent, inexplicable experiences.
Nor can I reconcile these ideas: “I know that the only thing that exists is this material universe,” and “I know that my redeemer liveth.”
Depending on the day you ask me, both statements seem true. And I don't think I'm alone in that.
Behold, the six types of atheists
We’re all in the closet, so to speak. We barely come out to ourselves and never completely to others. I have met people who claim a label - evangelical or atheist - until you really get to know them.
Then, things get more complicated.
Many of us, even the devout, have many more questions than answers about God and religion.
In other words, people just like me: atheists who pray and eloquent preachers who secretly harbor doubts.
I believe that we’re all of at least two minds. We play a role and define that role as “me” because labels and membership in a tribe make the world feel a little safer.
When I was raising my children, I pretended to be grownup daddy. But alone with my thoughts, I was still just me. I’m older now, and some younger people may think I know something.
I do: I know how much I can never know.
Many Muslims, Jews, Hindus and Christians inherited their faith because of where they were born. If you are an atheist, you hold those beliefs because of a book or two you read, or who your parents were and the century in which you were born.
Don’t delude yourself: There are no ultimate reasons for anything, just circumstances.
If you want to be sure you have "the truth" about yourself and our universe, then prepare to go mad. Or prepare to turn off your brain and cling to some form or other of fundamentalism, whether religious or secular.
You will always be more than one person. You will always embody contradiction.
You—like some sort of quantum mechanicals physics experiment—will always be in two places at once.
Frank Schaeffer is a writer. His latest book is "Why I am an Atheist Who Believes in God: How to give love, create beauty and find peace." The views expressed in this column belong to Schaeffer.
About this blog
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.
So you believe basically the same thing that the vast majority of spiritual people believe.
Your only criteria for atheism in fact, seems to be acceptance of scientific fact. Plenty of people do that and still believe in god(s), as you do. You aren't an atheist by any stretch of the imagination.
"Take me, I am an atheist who believes in God. ... Let me explain."
I'm glad I didn't actually get my hopes up expecting an explanation. If you believe in God, in what sense are you an atheist? There's no hint of an answer to that.
Yeah, that's like saying I'm not a stamp collector who collects stamps.
Atheist means non-theist, and If your religion involves misunderstanding quantum mechanics, that's your right.
All right troopers. God is that which explains its own absence.
God is evidence of human fallibility.
Exactly Tom. "It's not, therefore I think."
Coitus ergo sum?
God is love – All you need is love
All you need is love love
Love is all you need
Love is just another four letter word
--I did not say that...
Yes you did.
You said love is just a four letter word.
'Cause love's such an old-fashioned word
I believe in love but how can men who've never seen light be enlightened?
Did it take an atheist with personality disorder to bring out the real Tom Tom or is this the other one?
"And loving lovers love as loving lovers love
Golden, shimmering, lustrous, lovely, loving, loving love."
To clarify, atheism is the view that there is no God. It is not merely “the absence of believe of any deity”. If you are an atheist, you should be prepared to give support/evidence to validate the view.
Please do a search for "Russell's Teapot".
What are you implying? If atheism claims that there is no God, it's supporters shoulder a burden of proof.
There were no atheists before man invented God. People claim there is a God. Atheists simply say they don't believe that. They don't know it, they ask for any objective evidence. None has been provided.
Your position is equivalent to saying, there is a tea pot orbiting the sun between earth and mars until you prove there isn't one.
"There were no atheists before man invented God."
Evidence for this statement?
"People claim there is a God. Atheists simply say they don’t believe that."
Atheism isn't merely a lack of belief in God. It is a belief that there is no God. Huge difference.
"They don’t know it, they ask for any objective evidence. None has been provided."
Creation itself would be one such evidence for God's existence.
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.
Do you think there were non-stamp collectors before the stamp was invented?
Existence is not evidence of God. God is an unsubstantiated explanation for existence.
Atheism does not make that claim. It only rejects the claim of any existence of gods.
Do I need to prove to you that the Force and mitoclorians do not exist before you accept that it is not real? Did someone have to prove Santa wasn't real before you accepted that fact? Of course not, otherwise you would still believe in Santa.
Uh, no offense if you do still.
Do you think there were non-stamp collectors before the stamp was invented?"
This goes back to your assertion that God was invented. Again, what evidence do you give to support
Atheism is simply a lack of belief in god(s), not necessarily a denial or the existence of such. There are a subset of atheists who deny the existence of god(s) (strong atheists) but in my experience they are a small minority.
I'm pretty sure us atheists know what we believe and claim. I lack belief in any deity and make no claim to any personal knowledge. Kind of like how I treat space aliens and bigfoot; though I find those more likely.
follower: yes there is proof of "There were no atheists before man invented God."
the proof is when you were born, you didn't believe in gods. you were taught and educated into believing that there was a god.
that's no difference than any other child in any other culture taught to believe in their gods as they mature.
I was raised as southern Baptist ever since I was a child, only when I decided to study the universe myself did I truly understand that there are no gods; or atleast they have no interaction with such a species as humans; which is the same as them not existing.
"There is no God" is like saying "there is no boogeyman". I've no proof of either statement – no proof is possible. But we've no evidence supporting either God's or the boogeyman's existence.
Then you learned evolution, physics.....................etc.
You were not born with that knowledge
follower: yes there is proof of “There were no atheists before man invented God.”
I was looking for evidence that man invented God. I'm not sure where you got the above quote from.
"the proof is when you were born, you didn’t believe in gods."
I certainly didn't believe there wasn't a God.
"only when I decided to study the universe myself did I truly understand that there are no gods; or atleast they have no interaction with such a species as humans; which is the same as them not existing."
I'm interested. How did you arrive at this conclusion based on your study of the universe?
fred: nope I wasn't born with that knowledge; however I was born with an IQ of 130.
I did engineer a frequency jammer at the age of 10.
I did design things without prior knowledge of such tech being studied before I dug into it.
which truly made me happy when my research was backed up by finding these inventions had been made by others and worked exactly how I had formulated.
if I would have found a flaw; as I did many times: with my thought pattern I would correct it according to data that is was able to access. I would then correct my approach and try a different method or hypothesis.
the ability to test the real world as opposed to just accepting something that can't be tested leads my mind to accept what can be tested as true and what can not be tested as "idea". ideas are simply the thoughts of humans, the same as the idea of a "father-figure" that is always watching over you.
it's an idea that's all, not real. a thought is simply the discharge of electrical/chemical impulses between synapses inside the brain.
proof that humans created gods?
simple what printed any religious text? humans
what came before the written word? verbal/ story telling
why do humans give animals/spirits/etc/etc etc human characteristics? because we can only understand something that is similar to us. we have emotions, so humans personify things to be like ourselves.
what purpose would a "god" have with emotions as humans understand them? none.
whom taught you how to "control" your emotions as a child? your parents.
who would have been there to teach god how to "control" it's emotions? nothing.
what happens when you isolate a child and don't teach it how to control it's emotions, it becomes dangerous and destructive.
what happens with a thing that is all powerful that has no control of it's emotions? BOOM. everything gone in a blink of an eye if it so much as gets upset with it's toys.
how can a "perfect" being make an imperfect product?
i'm not just talking about humans, i'm talking about the universe in a whole.
it's a truly violent place, large rocks/ice/ etc zip through the universe unchecked and wildly out of control.
gamma ray bursts and other forms of highly charged energy discharge at random in every possible direction, mind you gamma rays don't create "hulks" lol
we live millions of miles from a huge nuclear reactor that can expand, lashout, explode and end everything here on earth. was that a smart move? would you place your children that you love near a reactor that you know will and can end their "peaceful" world?
the whole universe was horribly designed by some designer, if it was perfect then it has it out for humans. lol
Zeus, Osiris, Thor, etc.
There may be specific atheists who claim there is no god, but atheism is simply the lack of belief in a god. Essentially, there is no compelling evidence for such an existence.the lack of belief is not a claim. The claim is made by the theist who claims a god exists. That is what must be substantiated with evidence. I cannot prove that Thor does not exist, or Oden, or any of the ancient Greek gods....do they then also exist by default?
Can you at least provide some historical evidence for the existence of either Zeus or Thor as can be done for a Jesus? As skeptic historian Bart Ehrman has said, "One of the most certain facts of history is that Jesus was crucified on orders of the Roman prefect of Judea, Pontius Pilate." – Bart Ehrman quote shown in his debate with Michael Liconia ("Ehrman vs. Licona (2009)") on YouTube.
I am familiar with Ehrman's work and have respect for his scholarship. Regardless he is still in the minority camp when it comes to historical scholars.
For other gods, there are any writings available to read about them. None, including those of Jesus, provide a historical account.
"how can a “perfect” being make an imperfect product?
i’m not just talking about humans"
Can you be more specific on this?
Concerning the universe,
are you familiar with the teleological argument? William Lane Craig, teaching on the teleological argument, indicated the following. P. C. W. Davies, a British physicist, has estimated that if you alter the force of gravity or the week force which is in the atomic nucleus by only one part out of 10 to the 100th power, the universe would be life prohibiting. To give you an idea what these numbers are like: if you have something that is one chance in 10 to the 60th power which is inconceivably smaller than 10 to the 100 power that would be like throwing a random dart across the universe 20,000,000,000 lightyears away and hitting a target 1 inch in diameter. That's just one quanti-ty! That's just gravity or that's just the week force. And you have loads of these constants and quanti-ties that all have to be precisely fine-tuned in that way or the universe would be life prohibiting.
Those aspects have to be as they are for the universe to exist as it is, but that is no reason to conclude any fine tuning. That conclusion uses a presumptive premise.
We don't know that the universe could not exist in another state. We can't conclude that because our universe has precise requirements that another with different requirements is impossible.
Actually there is very little contemporary evidence for the existence of Jesus and even less so that there was that specific execution. I'd be happy to discuss any that you think exists.
Minority camp concerning what? That Jesus historically existed?!?!? I hope this isn't what you mean. If so, you need to do your homework.
“That he [Jesus] was crucified is as sure as anything historical can ever be.”
– Skeptical scholar John Dominic Crossan, “Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography” pg.145
By all means, don't take my word for it. You can find out the truth for yourself, if that is what you really want.
Actually there is very little contemporary evidence for the existence of Jesus and even less so that there was that specific execution. I’d be happy to discuss any that you think exists."
I can think of 4 NON-CHRISTIAN sources that testify to Jesus' resurrection alone. They are Josephus, Tacitus, Mara Bar Serapion and Lucian.
TF, you were asking for evidence of Zeus; Josephus wrote about his son, Hercules, also.
So, there you go.
Sorry. I meant that testify to Jesus' crucifixion, not resurrection.
Tacitus wrote about Hercules as well.
In a debate between Bart Ehrman and Michael Licona, 3 facts are given pertaining to Jesus's fate and what occurred afterward that nearly 100% of all scholars studying this subject at the time of the debate accepted. This includes Christians, Jews, agnostics and atheists.
1. Jesus' death by crucifixion.
"One of the most certain facts of history is that Jesus was crucified on orders of the Roman prefect of Judea, Pontius Pilate." – Bart Ehrman quote shown in his debate with Michael Liconia ("Ehrman vs. Licona (2009)") on YouTube.
2. Appearances to the Disciples
This is short for saying that shortly after Jesus's death, a number of Jesus's followers had experiences both individually and in group settings that they perceived were of the risen Jesus who appeared to them.
"Why, then, did some of the disciples claim to see Jesus alive after his resurrection? I don't doubt at all that some disciples claimed this. We don't have any of their written testimony, but Paul, writing about twenty-five years later, indicates that this is what they claimed, and I don't think he is making it up. And he knew at least a couple of them, whom he met just three years after the event Galatians 1:18-19)." – from Bart Ehrman's book, Jesus Interrupted
3. Appearance to Paul
Short for saying that Paul had an experience that he perceived was of the risen Jesus appearing to him.
""there is no doubt that [Paul] believed that he saw Jesus' real but glorified body raised from the dead."
– Bart Ehrman quote shown in his debate with Michael Liconia ("Ehrman vs. Licona (2009)") on YouTube.
Have you actually read the Tacitus quote? If not you should. Tacitus was not saying that the mythological Hercules was a real historical man.
Answer a few questions for me if you would.
1. How many lies would you say you’ve told in your life?
2. Have you ever stolen anything regardless of its value?
3. Have you ever used God’s name as a curse word? (called blasphemy)
4.have you ever looked at a woman/man lustfully?(if so, Jesus said you have committed adultery with that person in your heart.)
If you’re like me, you are a self professed lying, stealing, blaspheming adulterer at heart or some form thereof. A holy God must punish wickedness, otherwise He wouldn’t be just. Given your confession, will you be guilty or innocent? If you’re like me and everyone else on this board, you are guilty. However, God provided a way for salvation through the blood of His innocent Son who took the punishment on the cross, that we might be declared innocent. Think of it like this. You’re in a court room. you’re guilty as you’ve professed. Someone walks in and pays your fine for you. Now the judge can legally dismiss your case and let you go. This is the gospel message. What you must do is repent (turn from your sins) and follow Jesus as Lord. This following is enabled by God when He gives you new desires and a heart that wants to please God instead of the flesh.
"A holy God must punish wickedness, otherwise He wouldn’t be just."
An infinite amount of punishment for a finite amount of wickedness (I can't imagine most people are wholly "wicked") – how is that "just"?
Or better yet, a person who tries to be a good person but doesn't happen to believe, get's the same punishment as a serial killer. How is that "just"?
We must have very different definitions of "just"...
"I can't imagine most people are wholly "wicked") – how is that "just"?
Define "wholly wicked". What foundation are using in determining if someone is wholly wicked or not?
I merely said he wrote about Hercules. He mentions Hercules quite a few times.
You are simply incorrect.
Atheism literally means without a belief in god.
It does not mean that you believe it is an absolute proven fact that there is no god. It's like your lack of a belief in bigfoot, the loch ness monster, fairies, life on Mars. Just because you don't believe in them doesn't mean you would deny that they could exist, nor that you wouldn't believe in them if they were proven to exist. But at this time, there's no evidence to say they do exist, and you don't believe in them (probably).
"Atheism literally means without a belief in god."
Based on your definition, would you agree that babies, dogs, cats, etc. are all atheists?
As are rocks and 747s.
My dog believes in the god Kitchen Aid Can Opener.
All children are born atheist. They have to be taught the concept of gods before they can understand them, much less believe them.
Your dog is an atheist on Susan's definition.
We are all born atheist. We learn theism.
My dog never said one way or another, TF. Perhaps she'll be more open with you.
Btw, Susan's definition is "Atheism literally means without a belief in god."
On Christianity, why do you think my dog is Christian?
TF: Absolutely positively all of them are atheists. They have no discernible belief in a god or gods.
I can't speak to Dogs and Cats (Dogs howl at the moon after all) – but my understanding is that we are natural born dualists. "Belief" in a specific god appears to be primarily cultural, but a disposition towards religious thinking (i.e. dualistic) does seem to be inherit. Dualism is intuitive, monoism is not.
That is your definition of what you think it means.
right. where exactly is your evidence of god other than stories?
Creation itself for one.
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.
And we know scripture is true, how.
Sounds like the start of a circular argument.
Proving the existence of god with the bible is a bit like proving Superman exists using a comic book
It is logically impossible to prove a negative. It helps to have a basic understanding in philosophy and logic before getting involved in these debates
This is grossly inaccurate. It is certainly possible to prove a negative. For example, we can prove that Mitt Romney is not the President of the United States. We can prove that Hillary Clinton is not the President of the United States, etc.
Only because that creates a contradiction. Obama can be proven to be the president therefore the assertion the Mitt Romney is president creates a contradiction. The only way a negative can be proven is if it leads to a contradiction.
You do know we can prove Mitt Romney isn't the President, right? Independent of whether we first prove Barak Obama is the President or not.
Presidents aside you cannot prove the non existence of a thing unless its existence implies a contradiction. This is a foundation of logic. Mitt Romney being president is not a matter of existence, it is an attribute given to a person.
Are not those two people both positives? Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton both exist; that is proven; they are positives. A negative would be hypothetical person or god for which we have no real evidence that they exist or ever existed. Whether someone has held a particular office is neither a negative or a positive, it is just a fact.
An office held is an attribute. I suppose saying Mitt is not president is a negative as you are asserting a "not" but it is not an issue of existence or events. To prove Mitt Romney is not president you would have to prove that someone else is I believe. So it leads to a contradiction.
The list can go on. I can prove that there are no dollar bills in my wallet.
Can you prove that Vishnu does not exist? Can you prove that Russell's teapot does not exist? Can you prove that the pink unicorn directly behind the sun does not exist?
Can it be proved that I did NOT think about a Tasmanian tiger yesterday?
You mean non-existence, not any negative. It is impossible to prove non-existence.
An atheist can take the position that no gods exist, but at the most basic level, they all simply reject the claim that gods exist.
There are only two options, theist, or atheist. Either you hold a belief that gods exist or you reject the claim. Only positive claims demand a burden of proof. If I say I do not accept a claim as true I have no burden as I am not claiming it to be false.
As for agnostics, just atheists unwilling to call themselves that. They do not believe gods exist so as such are atheist.
Theists and atheists both can be agnostic. Gnosticism is a measurement of knowledge, not belief.
Agnostics are atheists who are afraid to take a position.
That is demonstrably false, but you can look it up if you really care about what is true.
I agree with nojinx. An Atheist is the opposite of a Theist, A-Theist. A Theist believes that god(s) exist. An Atheist believes that god(s) do not exist. A Gnostic believes in a spiritual world, but not necessarily that there are all powerful god(s) that created the universe. The definition of an Agnostic is one who does not believe in a spiritual world, but holds that as it is impossible to disprove the negative, it is similarly impossible to completely disprove a spiritual world.
"An Atheist believes that god(s) do not exist."
So an atheist believes that he doesn't believe?.... nope.............. .... Atheism = lack of belief in god.
The burden of proof is always upon the proponents of claim, not the other way round. Theists claim there is/are supernatural god(s). The burden is upon them (the Theists) to prove that any god(s) exist(s). Further, they also have a further burden of proving their god(s) are the real one(s). The sheer number of diverse religions should be proof enough that there is no divine guidance from above or below.
You don't get to define what others believe. Atheism is, despite your fallacious assertion, a LACK of belief, not a belief.
Why do they pull out the same slide show of "famous atheists" every time the word atheist is in the headline?
This article reminds me of the quote:
"Keep an open mind –
but not so open that your brain falls out"
The very definition of an atheist is the absence of believe of any deity. You are not atheist. Period.
Meet an illiterate...who reads.
A visionary who is blind. A woman who is a man. Someone who is a nobody. Hey I could do this all day!
This is starting to sound like The Island of Misfit Toys.
A young-earth evolutionist.
I like this humorous side of you.
A Catholic Protestant.
A creationism scientist.
I think the authors point is exactly that, he's being hypocritical. He knows it, and obviously everyone on this board knows it bc they keep commenting on his oxymoron definition of atheism. But that's the point he's making, that a lot of us have two selves, one that is partially atheist and the other that partially believes in god. But when we're talking about the whole person (both parts), one could say that we're atheists who also believe in god. He could've been a bit more clear though...
The word for that is agnostic. If you believe in god, even a little, you are not an atheist.
If you believe in a god you are theist. There is no "little" about it. You either hold a belief gods exist, or you do not hold that belief. You can't believe something "a little".
And agnostic is simply one who says knowledge of god is unknown or unknowable, but by definition they still are atheist as they do not hold a belief god exists.
That's your interpretation, and it may be close to right. I see a person trying to sell a book and is using a flammable idea to get attention.
Being a "little bit" theist is like being a "little bit" pregnant.
To clarify, atheism is the view that there is no God. It is not merely "the absence of believe of any deity". If you are an atheist, you should be prepared to give support/evidence to validate the view.
Again, the responsibility to provide proof falls upon those who claim that something extraordinary exists, not on those who don't believe those unsubstantiated claims. But if you like: The utter lack of evidence to support the existence for deities speaks for itself.
Actually, the burden of proof lies with ANYONE making a claim — for or against.
No one has to make a claim of non-existence. You can't prove a negative.
Actually that is incorrect, the claim need not be extraordinary. The burden of proof is always on those who make a positive assertion, i.e. something exists. It is not possible to prove that something does not exist unless it has internal contradictions at which point it disproves itself. An atheist who believes in a god is an example.
Logic isn't your strong suit, it it topher.
What did I say here that is illogical?
You're not correct – atheism remains the lack of belief in god, no matter how much you want to redefine the word.
Word twisting is a common habit of believers on these blogs... it somehow makes them feel better about their delusion.
If you don't believe in Bigfoot, where is your evidence to support that view – have you checked all the woods, and reviewed every sighting report? UFOs? Do you believe in everything you have not debunked, including the teapot that is floating in space, in an orbit precisely opposite Earth's (and thus, behind the sun to us).
Technically and linguistically you are incorrect.
That there is more to the universe and to life than we have been able to quantify and explain? A hearty "Yes". No intelligent person and certainly no scientist would disagree. Is there a being who created the universe so that we can worship him and wear the kind of hat he wants us to wear? Uh, No.
Clearly, religion has provided some kind of evolutionary advantage or it would not be so universal in societies. Certainly that advantage is more profound than just promising us a pie in the sky when we die. Some part of it's success seems to be involved in convincing or forcing the people around us to believe the same stories. Religions have all been spread more through coercion than by revelation.Jihad, the crusades, the Inquisition have all played a role.
Heidegger said that the first question of metaphysics is "Why is there something rather than nothing?" Our success as a species has rested more on our ability to act in pursuit of a goal than in mere intelligence. So we answer Heidegger by saying that there must be a purpose and grab on to whatever cosmology appeals to us and validates the way we have already chosen to live.
Meet a misanthrope...who loves people.
Frank Schaeffer still has a few steps to go. He's clearly still suffering from the remnants of his fundamentalist christian upbringing. He seems to have come a long way, and sets an example that is hopefully followed by many who are indoctrinated into the delusions of religion, but he isn't quite there yet.
I get the feeling he has lived under the shadow of his father his entire life, and is still struggling with establishing his own identity while being constantly compared to his father. That's a tough row to hoe.
Pretty much what I'm thinking. Letting go of imaginary friends can be difficult, I imagine.
Ok, I am on the sofa with my hands folded. What is my problem and why am I such fundamentalist?
Not every time I talk about those that are deluded to think there are gods, am I talking about you, but since you asked, the problem is that you still believe in imaginary friends, and, if I recall, you would like to shape society according to the fairy tale nonsense you still cling to.
I cannot think of any imaginary friends that changed the reality of mankind's existence the way God has impacted our way of life. That affect remains regardless of your opinion as to the substance of God. The predominate world view still includes the supernatural with God in the majority. The delusion is with you.
As to bringing about change in the world I know the world would be a better place if we followed the way Jesus made clear. You do not know what global godlessness would bring you can only speculate as the world has never experienced the dominance of a godless power structure.
On the bright side you remain true to your godless views which seems of greater value than flipfloping between God and no God.
It isn't the imaginary friend that has influenced anything, it is the delusion of it. The only reason why that is, is because children are encouraged to shed their infantile beliefs in the Tooth Fairy and other imaginary creatures, but not the gods. That doesn't make gods real. It just makes the delusion persistent.
That I realize that the vast majority is too ignorant and completely incapable to shed those ridiculous beliefs, is no delusion. I am confronted daily by those, like you, who seem to be willfully ignorant. Who, despite having been shown that their beliefs are completely ridiculous, won't face reality.
While some of the teachings of the various religions may not be bad, those don't negate the atrocities committed in name, or in defense of fictional characters. None of those teachings are original, and none require a belief in fairy tales.
And just in case you are trying to tie atheism to communism and the atrocities committed by communist dictators, I suggest you shed your ignorance of that too. It shows either willful denial of reality or gross incompetence to link the two. If you are not incompetent, may I suggest some reading? If you are interested in learning why communism is far more like religion than atheism, start here: www . patheos . com / blogs / daylightatheism / 2008 / 05 / why-i-am-not-a-communist (but I sincerely doubt that you are willing to risk damaging your preconceived notions).
Religion and the beliefs on which they are built, are for ignorant people. Those that possess the ability to think rationally have far better alternatives. It's time they start exploring those alternatives.
"Religion and the beliefs on which they are built, are for ignorant people. Those that possess the ability to think rationally have far better alternatives"
=>sorry but ALL presidents of the United States proudly proclaimed their belief in a Creator....such ignorant men as you claim. This country according to you was, is and will be run by ignorant non atheists. This country, according to you, was founded by ignorant men who opened their unanimous declaration with "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator". Our Declaration of Independence was signed unanimously by 56 ignorant men (according to you) who appealed to God before signing:"We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the recttude of our intentions".
=>20% of the 850 Nobel laureates were ignorant Jews according to you
=>10 Nobel laureates were ignorant Muslims according to you
=>65% of Nobel laureates identified Christianity as their religion ............according to you they are ignorant
If you were rational you would reconsider your statement. If you were not in denial you would recognize that your deep seated hate has blinded you to the reality that believers did not leave their brain in the trash can when they worship God.
"It isn't the imaginary friend that has influenced anything, it is the delusion of it"
=>sorry but you continue to make statements without evidence. At best you could claim that you don't know. If you could be honest with yourself you would be aware of your prejudice and hate of those who love God then realize the source of your error is bias.
=>A delusion is a belief held with strong conviction despite superior evidence to the contrary. There is no superior evidence to the contrary. Belief in God has been the norm for mankind since recorded history thus it is not delusional in a clinical sense. You have simply chosen a word that expresses your need to lash out. You're smart enough to find and use the proper word to express yourself.
=>The cause and effect of faith is clear without doubt for it is by faith we can know God. Those without faith in God do not know God they only have an academic knowledge about God. An academic knowledge of God does not allow you to grasp the difference between an invisible force measurable by the scientific community vs a force that can only be experienced by faith. Jesus said with a little faith you can move mountains and so it is. Both Einstein and Spinoza accepted God but not the God of theology or any of the anthropomorphic attributes assigned over time to God. The substance of God is expressed in faith not the physical attributes common to gods.
Note that the nations opposed to Israel in the Old Testament did not fear God (as they did not know God) but they feared the Nation of Israel because God was with them.
=>that is the evidence of God. You likewise do not fear God because you do not know God, but you fear strong believers because God is with them. You rebel against the power of God over your life not because you know and can see God but because you cannot break free from believers who have the presence of God with them. Do this to test your fear; take your parents and children to church this Sunday, no one will hurt you.
You said, "sorry but ALL presidents of the United States proudly proclaimed their belief in a Creator."
You keep using the ad populum fallacy. It shows how ignorant you are. How many times do you have to be told that it is irrelevant who or how many believe in something? Are you really that fucking stupid? Really?
You said, "such ignorant men as you claim."
Yes. Ignorant, indoctrinated and deluded
You said, "This country according to you was, is and will be run by ignorant non atheists."
Unfortunately you are probably correct. The vast majority of the voters are ignorant. Their representatives reflect that.
You said, "This country, according to you, was founded by ignorant men"
Yes. Indoctrination is very powerful. But belief doesn't make it true.
You said, "20% of the 850 Nobel laureates were ignorant Jews according to you"
You said, "10 Nobel laureates were ignorant Muslims according to you"
You said, "65% of Nobel laureates identified Christianity as their religion ............according to you they are ignorant"
Not everyone who is deluded into believing is incapacitated by it. Some people seem to be capable of separating their delusion from their work. You will notice that none of the scientists among those Nobel laureates was awarded their prize for the religious aspect of their work. All were able to achieve what they did by keeping their delusion at home and at their place of worship.
You said, "If you were rational you would reconsider your statement."
If you were rational you'd see that you hadn't made a single valid point yet. Given your history of inane comments, I won't be holding my breath.
You said, "If you were not in denial you would recognize that your deep seated hate has blinded you to the reality that believers did not leave their brain in the trash can when they worship God."
No hate. I despise ignorance and stupidity.
Believers that have a brain to leave in the trash can must work hard at keeping their delusion separate from their reality.
You said, "sorry but you continue to make statements without evidence."
What evidence that the Tooth Fairy doesn't exist do you think there is? It is the dimwits, like yourself, that postulate there to be a character like your god. Such a belief is so retarded that it should be rejected by anyone over the age of five, or with an IQ over room temperature.
Until you provide evidence that your god is real, I will laugh at your gullibility, and I will weep for this country and the world.
You said, "At best you could claim that you don't know. If you could be honest with yourself you would be aware of your prejudice and hate of those who love God then realize the source of your error is bias."
I have no hate for those who love the Easter Bunny. I pity them. I have no hate for those who love the Tooth Fairy. I pity them. I have no hate for those who love gods. I pity them.
You said, "A delusion is a belief held with strong conviction despite superior evidence to the contrary. There is no superior evidence to the contrary."
Considering that there is nothing, not a single shred, nada, nothing at all to support your delusion, even the slightest reasonable argument against it is superior evidence.
The fact that there is no reason to believe the god that you worship is different in any way from the thousands of others that you elect not to believe in, is a reasonable argument against it. Gods are a dime a dozen. That is superior evidence.
That there are some 40,000 different denominations, cults and sect in your religion alone means that there are at least 39,999 that are wrong. That is superior evidence.
The fact that religious beliefs are strongly tied to geography, and even stronger to familial ties, is evidence that religious beliefs are an infection you get from your parents and your community and not from some all-powerful being. That is superior evidence.
That the stories of the various gods can be traced to the various tribes in the Middle East, combined with the strong influence from other, nearby cultures, strongly suggests they are nothing but folklore. That is superior evidence.
You said, "Belief in God has been the norm for mankind since recorded history thus it is not delusional in a clinical sense."
That religious beliefs have been excluded from being classified as a delusion (as of yet), has far more to do with how widespread they are than their veracity.
You said, "You have simply chosen a word that expresses your need to lash out. You're smart enough to find and use the proper word to express yourself."
What other word(s) would you like me to use? Mental illness? Schizophrenia? Inebriation?
You said, "The cause and effect of faith is clear without doubt for it is by faith we can know God. Those without faith in God do not know God they only have an academic knowledge about God."
Do you read the nonsense that you write? Let me translate for you. You say that you have to believe to believe. No shit, Sherlock.
The same goes for the Tooth Fairy, you know. The cause and effect of faith is clear without doubt for it is by faith we can know the Tooth Fairy. Those without faith in the Tooth Fairy do not know the Tooth Fairy they only have an academic knowledge about the Tooth Fairy.
You said, "An academic knowledge of God does not allow you to grasp the difference between an invisible force measurable by the scientific community vs a force that can only be experienced by faith."
You call it faith, I call it delusion. Potato, potahto.
You said, "Note that the nations opposed to Israel in the Old Testament did not fear God (as they did not know God) but they feared the Nation of Israel because God was with them.
=>that is the evidence of God."
The only thing that is evidence of is your gullibility. Your book of fables was compiled with a purpose. The amazing thing about it is, is that it still serves this purpose in 2014. It is still remarkably adept at keep the sheep in line.
You said, "You likewise do not fear God because you do not know God, but you fear strong believers because God is with them."
I don't fear gods any more than i fear the shadows under my bed, and the only reason I possibly fear believers is for what they will do to society in name of their delusion. It's the cancer, and the damage that it does to society that I fear.
You said, "You rebel against the power of God over your life not because you know and can see God but because you cannot break free from believers who have the presence of God with them."
I rebel against ignorance. I rebel against the atrocities committed in name of those fictional characters. I rebel against the illness that rots away a civil society.
You said, "Do this to test your fear; take your parents and children to church this Sunday, no one will hurt you."
It isn't physical violence that I fear the most. What I fear is dimwits getting elected to congress that will then deny equal rights to fellow citizens, intrude in the bedrooms and doctors offices, force fairy tales on children, repress science and scientific approach to the problems that we face.
LinCa.....that was one of the most accurately portrayed posts I have ever read! Kudos! There is something inherently wrong with these people that would allow themselves to be so completely deluded into the 21st century. Hopefully, this delusion will not last much longer.
Seriously ! All 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence, 43 U.S. Presidents and 419 Nobel Laureates are all ; Ignorant, indoctrinated and deluded according to you?
How can anyone make such a claim or even think it reasonable? Now it is clear why atheists have never been elected president.
Fred....yes, seriously! You are making a classic mistake in thinking that just because a person can be intelligent in one area he can not be remarkably stupid in another. I am an excellent programmer, but I suck as an electrician.
And, the reason an atheist has never been elected president is because there have been too many of you dumb b-astards voting. Thankfully, that is changing.
"You keep using the ad populum fallacy."
=>No, you made the statement all believers are ignorant and I gave you a list of exceptions to that claim. I provided evidence that proved your ad populum false........back to philosophy 101 for you.
"It shows how ignorant you are. How many times do you have to be told that it is irrelevant who or how many believe in something? Are you really that fucking stupid? Really?
=>great it was your ad populum not mine.
=>You have just made a case for absolute truth. You can no claim relative morality is viable.
"Not everyone who is deluded into believing is incapacitated by it."
=>therefore you cannot make the statement that all believers are ignorant.
"Some people seem to be capable of separating their delusion from their work."
=>You do not understand true belief and do not know God. Can an atheist give thanks to God at bed time ?
"You will notice that none of the scientists among those Nobel laureates was awarded their prize for the religious aspect of their work. All were able to achieve what they did by keeping their delusion at home and at their place of worship."
=>intellectually honest scientists understand that science and God are not enemies
=>I could give you many examples but Pascal comes to mind " So even if God's existence cannot be independently confirmed or denied, nevertheless the Wager is necessary and the possible scenarios must be considered and decided upon pragmatically.
"I despise ignorance and stupidity."
=>Looks like natural selection is not functioning as you would have it. Natural laws must not be the right laws.
"What evidence that the Tooth Fairy doesn't exist do you think there is?"
=>Do you really not know there is no such thing as Tooth Fairy?
"The fact that there is no reason to believe the god that you worship is different in any way from the thousands of others"
=>all other gods are man made consisting of created things where as God is revealed not in substance known to man (created things). God is (i.e. not constrained by the knowledge of man) vs gods of other places and times that had position relative to past, present and future. God was not born from a bull or flower or other god. God is a living God who is today as first recorded 10,000 years ago in oral tradition.
"That there are some 40,000 different denominations, cults and sect in your religion alone means that there are at least 39,999 that are wrong."
=>these are all reflective of the nature of man not God. The Way which Jesus spoke is not about denominations but the attitude of the soul. There are as many perspectives of God as there are people since everyone is unique. It would be expected that given mans nature we see a clustering around common vision. Even atheists cluster in cults of various non theistic denominations (philosophical naturalism, methodological naturalism, etc)
"The fact that religious beliefs are strongly tied to geography, and even stronger to familial ties, is evidence that religious beliefs are an infection you get from your parents and your community and not from some all-powerful being. "
=>no, the way the truth and the Life Jesus made clear crosses all geography and familial ties. It would be expected that God is expressed in the culture reflecting their socioeconomic differences.
That the stories of the various gods can be traced to the various tribes in the Middle East, combined with the strong influence from other, nearby cultures, strongly suggests they are nothing but folklore.
=>Again note the key difference between God and gods above. Like the phylogenetic tree there is one origin and the further we get from the source the more divergence is expected. In most cases the divergence is such that it no longer bears any resemblance to the truth.
What other word(s) would you like me to use? Mental illness? Schizophrenia? Inebriation?
It is a hope in the promises of God. Abraham and Moses never made it into the promised land yet they had hope. Faith is good word.
"I am an excellent programmer, but I suck as an electrician."
=>yes but are you ignorant simply because you do not believe in God?
Fred...you're not necessarily ignorant if you do or don't believe in god. If you do believe in god and reject scientific logic and theory just because it is counter to what you have been taught to believe, then yes, you are ignorant. If you do not believe in god, you are not automatically intelligent, but it sure does help.
"If you do believe in god and reject scientific logic and theory just because it is counter to what you have been taught to believe, then yes, you are ignorant"
=>Do you know that there is no such thing as a Tooth Fairy?
=>I know that a global flood and an ark is not possible based on what I know about current scientific discoveries. I know from personal experience that God fulfilled specific promises made and I have no reason to doubt God. This leaves 3 possibilities 1) the translation of the flood story is not being properly understood 2) A supernatural event is just that a supernatural event 3) The delusion is that we think we have a greater grasp of the unknowable than the Aztecs who worshiped Tlaloc the god of lightning.
I think the answer is our knowledge of the unknowable is no greater than the Aztecs and the pride of our accomplishments rivals that of Nimrod at the pinnacle of the tower of Babble.
Fred...I don't know for sure there is no tooth fairy, but I highly suspect that if I were to thank the tooth fairy for every touchdown I scored, built elaborate houses of worship dedicated to the name of the tooth fairy, and went house-to-house spouting the greatness of the tooth fairy, I am pretty sure I would be hauled off to Belleview, as I should be.
Fred...I don't know for sure there is no tooth fairy.......?
=>OMG you cannot say that you know there is no tooth fairy! You must be genetically related to LinCA's by real common recent ancestors.
Because you are not capable of facing the world alone; you need a buddy to cling to. In the absence of a real supernatural buddy, you created an imaginary one.
This world has shown its brutality yet in its grasp I was not aware of the presence of God. It was sometime later in the quiet that follows the storm when Gods presence was first revealed. Once revealed I knew Gods presence was there all along.
You are right in that following the revelation of God I have developed a dependence upon God. Sometimes I cannot feel God's presence and become acutely aware of the emptiness.
I can remember what life was like without awareness of God and it reinforces my love of God. I remember this dog that was neglected by the owner that would just lay around. I began to play with that dog and soon that dog would wait for me. That dog was very different when he was around me, full of life excited to see me and run around. Then he would return to his porch and just lay about listless. That is how I see the life Jesus spoke about relative to those who reject life in Christ. The relationship is a positive one full of energy, giving and kindness. It beats laying around on the porch.
"They are meaningless because participants lack the objectivity to admit that our beliefs have less to do with facts than with our personal needs and cultural backgrounds."
Small wonder you'd claim they're meaningless... you don't even know the meaning of the word "atheism".
If you believe in a god, or a supernatural thing, then no, you aren't an atheist. it's so cute to see people try to redefine words so they can have their cake and eat it too. You want to make believe that you are the special friend of some magical being that agrees with you and only you. You want to be that you are some kind of "chosen" person that knows some special secret about the universe. And you are just one more theist who makes claims and has not one scrap of evidence for the nonsense you spew.
It's the usual bs that someone who wants to claim we can't know anything, claims to know that there is a god. We can know plenty of things, and one thing that has not one bit of evidence is some magical supernatural existence.
Sorry to report, you're really not an atheist. You're just rationalizing your belief.
what he is really saying is he believes in a god but not in any religion that man created, so he also believes in the proven science that religions seem to discount, not sure why this is not agnosticism?
What science is that?
well how about the religious idiots that don't believe in evolution and think the earth is only 10000 years old
You can believe in an old earth and evolution if you want to, but those things haven't been proven, either.
Actually, the age of the earth is fairly well settled and there is a preponderance of evidence that so profoundly supports evolution that most scientists believe it. But you are certainly welcome to doubt it. You can doubt gravity while you're at it, and believe the moon is made of cheese.
"Actually, the age of the earth is fairly well settled ..."
Not at all. Scientists are continually making it older and older. Do you know how old it supposedly was when I was a kid? Several zeros.
"and there is a preponderance of evidence that so profoundly supports evolution that most scientists believe it."
True, many scientists believe it. But that doesn't mean it's proven. In fact, science itself rejects it.
"But you are certainly welcome to doubt it."
"You can doubt gravity while you're at it, ..."
Why would I doubt gravity? It's testable and repeatable ... you know, it meets the scientific standard.
"and believe the moon is made of cheese."
The moon is in Wisconsin?
I never said the age of the earth was agreed upon, but you'll notice that the age of the earth never gets younger, just older. The entire young earth belief has been proven to be utter hogwash.
As for evolution, it is observable in labs. It is supported by the fossil and genetic record. There really is no better explanation of how we came to be as we are. Please read the book "Why Evolution is Real" by Dr. Jerry Coyne. He very neatly lays out many of the examples of evolution that exist, and he explains the process in a very easy to understand, easy to read manner. If you are going to refute a process that can be observed, you should understand it.
ok topher please explain why your god made you 98% genetically related to a chimp?
if evolution isn't true then your god made all humans genetically kin to primates?
what purpose did your god have for making an ape your lost cousin?
"I never said the age of the earth was agreed upon, but you'll notice that the age of the earth never gets younger, just older."
Right. Because of presuppositions.
"The entire young earth belief has been proven to be utter hogwash."
Well, you can believe it's "utter hogwash," but it has not been proven to be so. For instance, did you know that the vast majority of dating systems agree with the young earth position?
"As for evolution, it is observable in labs."
No. Only natural selection has been observed. Not evolution.
"It is supported by the fossil and genetic record."
The only thing a fossil proves is that something died. It CANNOT prove it was the ancestor of anything and CANNOT show that that thing even had any offspring. And genetics is a MAJOR problem for evolution because a creature's genetics only has the ability to create that same creature. Science tells us that evolution is impossible.
"There really is no better explanation of how we came to be as we are."
Except that God made us exactly how we are (with the effects of the Fall added in, of course.)
"If you are going to refute a process that can be observed, you should understand it."
It can't be observed. That's the problem. How do you observe something that requires millions if not billions of years? You can't.
"ok topher please explain why your god made you 98% genetically related to a chimp?"
I'm not a chimp or a monkey's uncle. I'm not 98 percent genetically related. I'm 98 percent of 2 percent. Look into it. That's a typical evolutionary fallacy.
"if evolution isn't true then your god made all humans genetically kin to primates?"
Kind of ridiculous considering you could say we have genetic similarities to any living thing.
"what purpose did your god have for making an ape your lost cousin?"
He didn't. So ...
Your understanding of our DNA similarities with monkeys is incorrect.
You and I have 23 chromosome pairs, each of which is composed of thousands upon thousands of individual pieces of genetic code. Of those total pieces 98% of them are the same as those found in the aforementioned primates.
You can actually read about each chromosome and the information it contains, if truth is what you really seek (and not just confirmation of your beliefs).
Topher, I challenge you to provide a reference to single scientific article published in a reputable, peer reviewed journal that successfully argues against evolution.
"Topher, I challenge you to provide a reference to single scientific article published in a reputable, peer reviewed journal that successfully argues against evolution."
What will that prove?
"What will that prove?"
That such an article exists.
ok CHRIStopher now I know you have done zero research into anything dealing with evolutionary or even modern understanding of genetic data stored in various universities that have done this research.
yes humans are 98% kin to chimps.
humans are animals. here is our classification along with that of our nearest cousin.
Kingdom: Animalia KINGDOM: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata PHYLUM: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata CLASS: Mammalia
Class: Mammalia ORDER: Primates
Subclass: Theria FAMILY: Hominidae
WHAT IS THE GENETIC RELATION BETWEEN HUMANS AND CHIMPANZEE:
Ever since researchers sequenced the chimp genome in 2005, they have known that humans share about 99% of our DNA with chimpanzees, making them our closest living relatives. But there are actually two species of apes that are this closely related to humans: bonobos (Pan paniscus) and the common chimpanzee. This has prompted researchers to speculate whether the ancestor of humans, chimpanzees, and bonobos looked and acted more like a bonobo, a chimpanzee, or something else—and how all three species have evolved differently since the ancestor of humans split with the common ancestor of bonobos and chimps between 4 million and 7 million years ago in Africa."
(CORRECTION 99% SIMIULAR)
all humans are kin to apes, deal with it you are not special, you are just a hairless ape. lmao.
Again, topher, the evolution of bacteria has been observed in labs. Observed. It exists, whether you wish it or not.
Again, please read "Why Evolution is True" by Dr. Jerry Coyne. Your obtuseness is not a virtue. It only serves to make you look foolish.
"Again, topher, the evolution of bacteria has been observed in labs. Observed. It exists, whether you wish it or not."
Not trying to be obtuse. What did the bacteria evolve into?
So ... bacteria evolved into bacteria? And that's your observed proof? Yes, the bacteria did demonstrate changes. But only at the natural selection level. For it to be true Darwinian evolution, it would have to no longer be bacteria (essentially a change of kinds.) Do we observe natural selection (also known as micro-evolution)? Yes, every day. But evolution (macro-evolution, a change of kinds) has NEVER been observed.
" For it to be true Darwinian evolution, it would have to no longer be bacteria (essentially a change of kinds.)"
Patently false. It would only have to be a different type of bacteria than the previous, just as humans are a different kind of primate.
Christopher: a simple way to understand how evolution works.
if evolution was a staircase, adaptation would be the steps.
some adaptation make sure footing and aid in building the staircase higher, others are wobbly and fall through. just like any staircase you have multiple directions the stairs can lead.
if an adaptation is beneficial to a species according to it's environment then it may stop at that point as compared to a cousin that still requires adaptations to fit it's environment better.
i.e. chimps and humans.
our beginning environments that chimp/human ancestors lived in may have required different adaptations that would have lead to different evolutionary changes in each.
Topher, it would show that your arguments against evolution might have some validity, that you aren't just parroting believer anti-evolution websites. Of course, the absence of such articles would suggest the opposite. I'm betting you're just a delusional believer who will do or say anything to keep your delusions alive. But go ahead, prove me wrong.
"Patently false. It would only have to be a different type of bacteria than the previous, just as humans are a different kind of primate."
Then it's only natural selection, not Darwinian evolution. Let's not start changing definitions again, atheists.
No redefinition needed. It is a new species of bacteria. What would it require to be "Darwinian evolution" an how is that different from the scientific theory of evolution?
"if evolution was a staircase, adaptation would be the steps."
The problem with this argument is that natural selection has limitations. A creature only has the ability to recreate itself. A cow does not have the genetics to become a whale (which is actually an evolutionary theory, if you can believe it.) A human produces a human. A dog produces a dog. Every time.
"if an adaptation is beneficial to a species according to it's environment then it may stop at that point as compared to a cousin that still requires adaptations to fit it's environment better."
Yes, not some evolutionists are claiming that humans have stopped evolving. Believe it if you want, but since there's no evidence that is the case, and since science says it's impossible, you're leaving the realm of science and entering religion.
"our beginning environments that chimp/human ancestors lived in may have required different adaptations that would have lead to different evolutionary changes in each."
Nice theory, but where's your evidence? It's not scientific. You'll never be able to test or repeat it. Genetics says it's impossible. You have no change in kinds. It's a fairy tale.
"No redefinition needed. It is a new species of bacteria. What would it require to be "Darwinian evolution" an how is that different from the scientific theory of evolution?"
It is a redefinition if that's your stance. The bacteria is still bacteria. That's natural selection. Natural selection is not Darwinian evolution. For it to be Darwinian evolution the bacteria can no longer be bacteria. Again, all we've got is natural selection.
"For it to be true Darwinian evolution, it would have to no longer be bacteria (essentially a change of kinds.)"
I'm presuming these are Lenski's E. coli. They evolved a non-E. coli trait; a trait which is used to distinguish E. coli from other "kinds" of bacteria. This is similar to a "kinds" level change for vertebrates, e.g. fish with tetrapod features (tiktaalik), reptiles with bird features (archeopteryx), etc. If the argument is premised on the notion that the incredible diversity of forms comprising the domain of bacteria is a single "kind," then apparently all of eukarya is a single "kind," i.e. all plants, animals, fungi, etc, are then also a single "kind."
Christopher: you are a lost cause.
yes two humans give birth to a human.........or two or three. lol
adaptation happens in individuals, small changes that make it easier for a child to survive. if that child makes it to adulthood and passes on that gene to it's offspring and that offspring passes the genetic trait to it's young as you go on the whole species changes..............gradually. there is no requirement for a "missing link" because we being humans as we are now are the links to everything behind us.
yes humans are still evolving, our mental capacity has grown over all the generations that our species has slowly increased.
that is an example of adaptation at work, there isn't a missing link in the growth of human intelligence, we are simply changing according to our environment.
"Christopher: you are a lost cause."
Unfortunately, it's the world that is lost.
"yes two humans give birth to a human.........or two or three. lol"
Yep. Never anything else. That's impossible.
"adaptation happens in individuals, small changes that make it easier for a child to survive."
Right. Natural selection.
"if that child makes it to adulthood and passes on that gene to it's offspring and that offspring passes the genetic trait to it's young as you go on the whole species changes..............gradually."
Yep. But it has genetic limitations. A chimp will never become a human. A human will never become anything more than a human.
"there is no requirement for a "missing link" because we being humans as we are now are the links to everything behind us."
I don't believe in a missing link because that means something scientifically impossible would have had to have happened.
"yes humans are still evolving, .."
No. And besides that, evolutionists are claiming that human evolution has stopped. So which is it?
"that is an example of adaptation at work, there isn't a missing link in the growth of human intelligence, we are simply changing according to our environment."
Again, natural selection. Genetics doesn't allow us to form something we don't have the genetic makeup to have. Humans will never have, say, a marsupial pouch, because we don't have it in our genetics to have one.
Last post on this for the night. Have a good evening!
"I don’t believe in a missing link because that means something scientifically impossible would have had to have happened."
Yet modern science shows not only that it is possible, but provides the evidence to show why it is the only viable answer based on our current knowledge.
noahsdadtopher, the theory of evolution is as well-proven and as widely accepted among the scientific community as the germ theory of disease. You wrote "True, many scientists believe it. But that doesn't mean it's proven. In fact, science itself rejects it." Many scientists, indeed. There are almost none that doubt it. E.g., a 2009 Pew Research Center for the People & the Press survey of members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in May and June of 2009 found that 97% of scientists believe humans and other living things evolved over time. Perhaps you can still find some who believe that disease is caused by evil spirits or an imbalance in the four humors of the body as well. The last sentence you wrote is utter nonsense. And your statement that "did you know that the vast majority of dating systems agree with the young earth position?" is also utter nonsense. What dating systems are you referencing?
The Isua Greenstone Belt an Archean greenstone belt, i.e. a zone of variably metamorphosed mafic to ultramafic volcanic sequences with associated sedimentary rocks, in southwestern Greenland has been dated to between 3.7 and 3.9 billion years in age using lead-lead (Pb-Pb), uranimum-lead (U-Pb), rubidium-strontium (Rb-Sr), and Samarium-neodymium (Sm-Nd) dating methods. You can find an explanation of Pb-Pb dating in the Wikipedia article ti_tled "lead-lead dating" and an overview for the other three distinct dating methods in the Wikipedia article ti_tled "radiometric dating".
Anorthosites and granites in the Archean rocks of Southern West Greenland have been dated to 2.75 to 2.83 years of age using another dating technique, argon-argon dating (see the Wikipedia article of that name if you wish an explanation of that dating method). And "no" those aren't giving different dates for the age of the earth, the ages I listed are just for those particular rocks.
You also stated in regards to the age of the earth. "Do you know how old it supposedly was when I was a kid? Several zeros." Perhaps news reports issued today that Sakari Momoi in Ja_pan, who was born February 5, 1903, is now the oldest man on earth at the age of 111 after the death of Alexander Imich this week are untrue? Bertram Borden Boltwood, an American pioneer of radiochemistry, was the first to measure the age of rocks by radiometric dating. In 1907, using uranium-lead dating he found that some of the rocks whose age he measured were 2.2 billion years in age. The age of the earth is estimated to be 4.54 ± 0.05 billion years, i.e. within about ± 1% of 4.54 billion years. That's 4,540,000,000 years and the consensus age for the earth among geologists. That estimate has changed little in the last 58 years. In 1956, the geochemist Clair Cameron Patterson determined the age of the earth to be 4.55 ± 0.07 billion years, i.e., 4,550,000,000 years, which is very close to today's accepted age, using uranium-lead isotope dating.
You replied in regards to tallulah131's statement "As for evolution, it is observable in labs" with "No. Only natural selection has been observed. Not evolution." As one well-known example of a laboratory experiment demonstrating evolution, I'd refer you to the American biologist Richard Lenski's E. coli long-term evolution experiment (see the Wikipedia article with that ti_tle for an overview) or you can watch a video of a presentation he gave at NASA's Goddard Spaceflight Center in November of 2011 as part of the center's regularly scheduled scientific colloquium series at scicolloq.gsfc.nasa.gov/GSFCWeb_Fall2011.html
In regards to your statement "And genetics is a MAJOR problem for evolution because a creature's genetics only has the ability to create that same creature. Science tells us that evolution is impossible." and "I'm 98 percent of 2 percent. Look into it. That's a typical evolutionary fallacy.", I have no idea where you got your "98 percent of 2 percent"; I suspect it may have been something you picked up from some creationist website. To counter such misinformation, I'd suggest you take a genetics course. There are free courses offered through Coursera taught by professors at some of the best universities in the world. Go to coursera.org and search on "genetics" to find upcoming courses. "Genes and the Human Condition (From Behavior to Biotechnology)" starts on June 23. "Useful Genetics Part 1" starts on September 5. The first one does not go into as much detail into the mechanisms by which genetic changes occur, so if you've never taken a high school or college-level science course in biology, I believe you will find the first will be less difficult. Others are offered as well and new courses are added to the schedule regularly. Videos are posted to the website for the lectures, which you can view at times convenient to you. Each class also has a forum where you can discuss topics with other students and get assistance if you have trouble understanding some of the material presented in the video lectures. Quizzes and tests are optional, if it doesn't matter to you whether you receive a certificate for completion of the courses.
For an understanding of the basics of geology, I'd suggest another Coursera course, "The Dynamic Earth: A Course for Educators" starting on September 8, 2014. You don't have to be an educator to take the course.
It appears that Topher only dredges his "science" from believer websites as he is not able to reference a single scientific article refuting evolution.
noahsdadtopher, you wrote "Do we observe natural selection (also known as micro-evolution)? Yes, every day. But evolution (macro-evolution, a change of kinds) has NEVER been observed." Even Young Earth Evolutionists can no longer deny evidence of evolution that has been observed over just the short span of a human life or a few human generations, e.g., bacterial evolving resistance to antibiotics, insects evolving resistance to pesticides, etc., so they use the term "microevolution" to suggest that there is some magical barrier that prevents more substantial changes even over millions of years.
You wrote "That's natural selection. Natural selection is not Darwinian evolution. For it to be Darwinian evolution the bacteria can no longer be bacteria." Here's a definition of evolution from the U.S. National Insti_tutes of Health "Genetics Home Reference" site:
"Evolution is the process by which organisms change over time. Mutations produce genetic variation in populations, and the environment interacts with this variation to select those individuals best adapted to their surroundings. The best-adapted individuals leave behind more offspring than less well-adapted individuals. Given enough time, one species may evolve into many others."
The part of the definition that reads "the environment interacts with this variation to select those individuals best adapted to their surroundings" is natural selection.
There are many instances where we have observed over just the course of a few decades organisms adapting to their environments through the process of evolutionary change to possess traits making populations of the organisms better suited to survive in their current environments. We've observed that with bacteria becoming resistant to pesticides, bedbugs evolving resistance to pyrethrins, and co_ckroaches evolving an aversion to glucose used in the sugar-based traps used to poison them. That evolutionary change which occurred between the 1980s and the 1990s led to roaches perceiving the glucose as being bitter tasting and thus avoiding it.
And such evolutionary changes have been observed in larger organisms as well. As just one example, they have been observed in Podarcis sicula lizards which were introduced to the island of Pod Mrčaru from a neighboring island in 1971. In their new habitat, they evolved from a mainly insectivorous diet to one heavy in vegetation. Accompanying the change in diet we see an evolution of head size with the heads of the Pod Mrčaru lizards becoming larger giving them a far greater bite force to aid them in chewing leaves. Another major adaptive change is also seen in the development of cecal valves, which are muscles used to separate portions of the intestine, in those lizards. These muscles serve to slow the passage of food through the intestine and give time for the bacteria in the gut to breakdown the plant matter for absorption.
We can see evolutionary change in action with ring species, such as Ensatina salamanders in California and greenish warblers in the Himalayas, etc. We can also see it in Saiphos equalis skinks of Australia which are evolving from egg laying to live births. E.g., see "Zoologger: Live birth, evolving before our eyes" at newscientist.com/article/dn19366
You also wrote "Yes, not some evolutionists are claiming that humans have stopped evolving." and "evolutionists are claiming that human evolution has stopped. So which is it?" Who is claiming that? I could say "Some creationists believe the earth was formed last Thursday? So which is it last Thursday or 6,000 years ago?" Would you suggest that such a statement should cause anyone to doubt the validity of creationist claims? Biologists, geneticists, etc are not claiming that. Humans and other creatures are still subject to evolutionary forces.
Tell me what consti_tutes a kind. Is it equivalent to a species, genus, order, etc. in the Linnean taxonomy?
I meant "bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics", e.g, Staphylococcus aureus evolving resistance to penicillin (see "Antibiotic resistance" at sciencedaily.com/articles/a/antibiotic_resistance.htm for other examples.
Gee, I wonder why Topher has gone silent? Oh, I forgot, that is what he does when he can't answer hard, straightforward questions. Questions, and they don't have to be all that hard, frighten Topher. And now he is passing his delusions on to a defenseless child.
"Not at all. Scientists are continually making it older and older. Do you know how old it supposedly was when I was a kid? Several zeros."
Then I'm not sure what school you went to but you were misinformed. As early as the 1790's the estimated age of the earth was around 96 million. That's a bit more than "several zero's". And since that time, science has refined and corrected itself until we have the current estimate. Note the word "estimate". You are the one claiming to KNOW how old the earth is. Science is telling us where the evidence leads. And as we gain more knowledge and better instruments, our calculations from multiple sources all line up. Unless you can find some fundamental flaw in all of these methodologies (and doing so would earn you a Nobel), I don't see how you wave them away.
If that's the case, then this person sounds like a Deist. But that wouldn't sell many books.
To me it all seems so simple. When I cross the street, I look both ways to make sure there are no cars approaching. In other words, if I want to see what is most likely have consequences for my life and well-being, I look for physical evidence. If there is no physical evidence, the phenomenon likely doesn't exist and therefore is irrelevant to my life. That method works to debunk santa claus, the saskquatch, the possibility that there's a plate of spaghetti orbiting Jupiter, and the likelihood of a supernatural being watching over our every move.
You found the Flying Spaghetti Monster?!
topher doesn't get the word "debunk."
he seems to be one more theist who is afraid of claiming religion since his fellow have shat all over that term with their stupidity and ignorance.
Finally someone who believes like I do!!! Amen to that!!
Part of what Frank Schaeffer is referring to is characterized by "Dualism," that is mind and matter, hence soul and body, physics and metaphysics, etc.
As far as dual-nature is concerned, we all have good and evil as well as contradictions, hence human nature.
I believe that "belief" in [a] God is inherent in all human beings, it is just that we cannot prove it by means of this realm of existence, hence the test of "Faith."
It seems like humans are naturally spiritual anyway you spin it. I read a while back that many scientists postulate that humans have a "Universal Impulse for God."
Very interesting that Frank Schaeffer mentions the wave-particle duality of electrons behavior as well as presence, as per the discovery through the infamous Double-Slit experiment. Not just that electrons register for simultaneous dual presence and teleporting, they also, according to many Theoretical Physicists, behave like waves only when not observed, and manifest and behave as particles when observed by conscious observers. Consequently, those Theoretical Physicists believe that this physical reality is not really physical at the quantum level, and that consciousness is required for the physical to manifest, hence "Dualism," hence physics and metaphysics.
BTW, the "Dark Matter Hypothesis" is on the brink of obsoleteness. The Scientific Community is taking a final stab at encountering WIMPs—Weakly Interacting Massive Particles—which are hypothesized to make up Dark Matter. If they do not encounter any WIMP, they will move on to other explanations. Also, the "Neutrino Hypothesis"—neutrino & anti-neutrino being the same particle—is facing a similar fate.
One last thing, I was anticipating something about Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson responding to Pastor Joel Osteen on "Faith & Science" as expressed on the HuffPost Live.
"It seems like humans are naturally spiritual anyway you spin it. I read a while back that many scientists postulate that humans have a 'Universal Impulse for God.'"
"For His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse." Romans 1:20
Probably more accurate to say that humans have an inherent fear of their own mortality, which leads them to be easily manipulated and indoctrinated by whatever outward influence they feel best suits their own personal perceptions of the world...namely, religion.
But to say humans are essentially born believing in a "god" of any kind is absurd.
We are sentient beings equipped with consciousness, intuition, basic instincts, and common sense, like the computer's firmware, if you will. Given all of that, we can detect an outside "Superior Origin" to our existence that we cannot reach with our limited means of this finite realm.
vic the only "outside superior origin" I have been able to formulate from early childhood would be aliens.
the only reason I give them clause would be the fact they re physical and could be at a technological level so to make it possible for them to interact with us.
what use would a non-physical being ;that wouldn't have what we understand as emotions; have interest in a physically bound being?
mind you the idea of a single god with emotions trapped alone for unknown amount of time would terrify me; not for it's power what would scare me would be it's own lack of understanding of how it's emotional outbursts could break it's new toys; about the same as a young child breaks a toy and expects an adult to fix it as if adults have magically powers.
How have you detected it and why have you not informed the scientific community?
I always noticed on this Belief Blog that many posters who don't believe in God tend to equate the creature with the Creator, which is impossible, conceptually and actually.
All physical matter is finite, hence non-eternal, and originated at some point. Any, alien life, for the sake of argument, that you believe is physical, would be of creatures and finite, no matter how superior to us that may be. In the meantime, no matter how long a chain of existence there is, again, for the sake of argument, there MUST be an UNCAUSED "First Cause" that is Infinite/Eternal, outside of the beginning, realm and time of the physical, hence Metaphysical, that is on top of the chain, hence a Creator.
The cosmological argument is ad-hoc and completely invalid. The conclusion violates the premise.
"there MUST be an UNCAUSED “First Cause” that is Infinite/Eternal, "
Science does not support this claim. if it did, it would still be illogical to think that cause was sentient, much less a "god".
Also, we believe God made man mortal and bound to this mortal realm on purpose since the Fall of Adam & Eve, and until the end of time.
vic: matter technically is finite; however what composes matter is eternal. energy.
1st law of thermal dynamics: energy can not be CREATED nor DESTROYED"
if you can't create it and you can't destroy it, yet it can be proven to exist then it is eternal.
Einstein's famous equation covers how energy matter conversions are possible and how they happen.
no creator or "prime-mover" required, as the energy in the universe slows it can change forms and you get matter. simplest thing energy creates would be hydrogen which is the most abundant element in the universe.
Like I mentioned in the OP, many scientists postulate that humans have a "Universal Impulse for God," so the Scientific Community is already aware of the by sentience detection I am referring to, whether it is accepted at vast or not.
Regarding the Cosmological Argument—First Cause, it is a logical deduction that is the only explanation for this existence, it is a LOGICAL MUST, that makes the God Hypothesis the most plausible. There is NO other explanation for the origin of matter and life.
Actually, there are thousands of explanations. None of them are based on reason or science, though.
The logical failure of the First Cause argument is readily available for you to study for next time you want to bring it up. I think you could benefit from a thorough reading.
vic: "and until the end of time."
end of what time?
what time are you speaking of?
as I understand it time/space has no end. time as average humans understand it truly doesn't exist. it's simply something we invented to track the hours of light/night.
vic: " it is a LOGICAL MUST,"
maybe for you, a "beginning" or start of a universe simply means little to something with a life span of 100 years if we are
explain to me how energy, something that is ETERNAL would require a "beginning"?
energy not being created nor destroyed physically backs up a universe that can "begin and end" over and over and over, well you get the idea.
Retry from 13 minutes ago:
We are talking Metaphysics here, hence the Supernatural, that we believe is behind the physical, Empirical Science CANNOT venture into and has NO say in Metaphysics.
Regarding the First Law of Thermodynamics, that is true in the sense of this "already created" finite physical realm, including energy which is a thermodynamic entity that can change from one form to another, and can be measured, hence finite, that we cannot change, but we are not talking in the Supernatural Metaphysical Infinite/Eternal Uncaused First Cause sense.
Also, regarding E=MC^2, that is how matter is turned into energy but not the other way around, in this finite physical realm of existence.
Your understanding of the word metaphysical is incorrect. Metaphysics does not equal supernatural. Empirical science does have a say in metaphysics. Indeed of the branches of philosophy it is the branch where science has the most say.
Oh. What does empirical science say about metaphysics, pray tell?
You are asking what science says about reality? Here is the simplest example. Humans can never experience reality because we can only view a small portion of the electromagnetic spectrum.
As empirical science encompasses all that exists in our universe, I must conclude that you are claiming the supernatural and metaphysical do not exist.
My own understanding of time:
Time is a temporal and a not physical dimension of space-time.
Time is a measure of the progress of existence. It is forward-directional only. Existence is an event that starts and ends and cannot be reversed; neither the measure of its progress, that is time.
You can only reverse the effect of an event but not the event itself. Once an event occurs, time is the measure of its progress, and it cannot be taken back.
You can reverse the effect on an event by creating another event that negates it. Both events would have taken place and cannot be taken back, yet their effects canceled out each other like nothing happened.
Simply put, Empirical Science presupposes Metaphysics AND NOT vice versa.
I stated that many times, like you did, it all started as philosophy. That's why the Laws Physics are referred to as "Natural Philosophy."
vic: time is temporal? am I correct as to what you say? not a physical space-time thing?
tem·po·ral1 [tem-per-uhl, tem-pruhl]
1.of or pertaining to time.
2.pertaining to or concerned with the present life or this world; worldly: temporal joys.
3.enduring for a time only; temporary; transitory (opposed to eternal ).
a.of, pertaining to, or expressing time: a temporal adverb.
b. of or pertaining to the tenses of a verb.
5. secular, lay, or civil, as opposed to ecclesiastical.
do I have the wrong definition?
Come on Vic the tail is a wagging i see – for topher too !
The Crazy Way Creationists Try To Explain Human Tails Without Evolution
Human tails are a genetic accident—and a big problem for the faux-scientific creationism known as ‘intelligent design.’ But that won’t stop their wild tales.
vic: "Also, regarding E=MC^2, that is how matter is turned into energy but not the other way around, in this finite physical realm of existence."
as I understand his equation, he was attempting to disprove blackholes, yet he proved they exist instead. what does a blackhole do to matter?
it rips it apart back down into energy and barfs it back out as various forms of energy.
I am not equating the Metaphysical to the Supernatural at vast, I am ONLY referring to the case of Metaphysical "Origin" that we believe is behind the physical.
Can you rephrase that? what do you mean by metaphysical origin that is behind the physical?
"I am ONLY referring to the case of Metaphysical “Origin” that we believe is behind the physical."
Why do you believe that?
@June 10, 2014 at 9:29 pm |
"I am not equating the Metaphysical to the Supernatural at vast, I am ONLY referring to the case of Metaphysical "Origin" that we believe is behind the physical, hence Creator."
@June 10, 2014 at 9:37 pm |
@June 10, 2014 at 9:25 pm |
First of all, Quantum Physics, aka Quantum Mechanics, as well as General and Special Relativity, are but "Theoretical Physics," they are NOT PROVEN. Even better, Quantum Physics/Mechanics is in a direct collision course with the Theory of General Relativity over the issue of "Black Holes." Those are complicated topics, and I am not even worthy of discussing them.
In short, and simply put, Black Holes are points of "Singularity" of infinite density and gravity and zero mass that result from the collapse of stars known as "Supernovas."
Einstein's General Theory of Relativity postulates that nothing escapes Black Holes, not even light, beyond what's called the "Event Horizon," a point of no return. That conflicts with a basic concept of the Quantum Theory which postulates that data cannot be destroyed. Every system in this existence has its data retained in something called the "Wave Function." Einstein's Theory of General Relativity postulates that even that data gets destroyed at the "Event Horizon," the point of no return; therefore, it and the Quantum Theory CANNOT be reconciled.
Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking theorized that system data in the "Wave Function" does escape Black Holes in the form of radiation energy at the "Event Horizon." Even that does not solve the problem. Many Theoretical Physicist postulate that such system data in the form of radiation energy at the "Event Horizon" is irrecoverable scrambled data. Most scientists believe Einstein's.
The Quantum Theory and the Particle Physics Standard Model are on shaky grounds without the Higgs Boson Particle (spin-0, scalar,) Dark Matter WIMPs—Weakly Interacting Massive Particles, and Neutrinos—neutrino & anti-neutrino being the same particle.
I would not say it is absurd, but I do disagree with the argument. What humans have naturally is a desire to have explanations. We have questions which we try to answer. Some of those questions are unanswerable due either to technical limitations or logic. So some people create answers to these questions. We call those answers religion.
" Truth always carries with it confrontation. Truth demands confrontation; loving confrontation nevertheless. If our reflex action is always accommodation regardless of the centrality of the truth involved, there is something wrong."
– Francis Schaeffer ( the elder)
Dev, dear. I hate to be the one to break it to you (and I know how much this is going to hurt you)... but there is no evidence that any gods actually exist. Not even yours. It's okay. I won't tell anyone if you cry.
Oh tally tally,
The universe is replete with evidence of the existence of God. It screams of the Creator, you silly goose.
Awww, you two are so cute!
I'm thinkin about askin her out.
If the screaming becomes unbearable for you, "remember there's always madness. Madness is the emergency exit.” (Batman: The Killing Joke)
dev, I hope she says yes. That would be one heck of an interesting dinner date.
In the food section, Mr. Schaeffer has an article t!tled, "Meet a vegetarian... who eats meat".
Now you're making me invent yet another word: vegetatheispinozaism.