Friday, November 25, 2011

Why Nick Martin is an atheist

P.Z. Myers has a series of posts from folks who explain why they're atheists. It's enlightening to take a look at their reasoning.

Why I am an atheist – Nick Martin
October 16, 2011 at 10:28 am PZ Myers


Part of me wants to give a smart-assed answer to this question, because at my core, I am a smart-ass. Something like “because religion is evil” (which it is)

We're all evil Nick, and everything we do is tainted by this evil.

And no one believes in "religion". People believe in Christ, or Allah, or Yahweh, or Buddha, or themselves, Marx, or science, or money, or drugs, or power, or sex. No one believes in "religion".

We all worship something, Nick. Atheists no less than Christians.

There are two questions:

1) Is one kind of worship more or less evil than another?

2) Is one kind of worship true?

The question isn't whether "religion is evil". The question is whether Christianity (or whatever) is true.

You start with 'shit happened'. I start with Aquinas' Five Ways. You can go first.

And any assessment of "evil" must be comparative. You start with Marx and Stalin and Mao and Pol Pot. I start with Jesus and Paul and Augustine and St. Francis. Let's chat.
or “because the Flying Spaghetti Monster told me to be one” (which may also be true).
If you think that the Christian understanding of God is analogous to belief in your witless caricature, you're too stupid to hold an opinion on anything.

Try reading some real theology.

But, when I look at my core, the only answer I have to give is “because it’s the only position a skeptic can have”.
You're no skeptic. You're a dupe for trendy narcissistic gibberish. You fools can't even decide what to call yourselves. Let's see-- you guys are all sciency and stuff. How about... about... Scientologists!

The most gullible people are atheists.  Conservative Christians are the group least likely to believe in UFO's, Bigfoot, etc. You just jumped from the real skeptics (Christians) to the real dupes (atheists).

It’s something relatively recent in my life. I was raised in a conservative Christian household. I had to go to church every week, it was a requirement that I go to at least one service. But at the same time, my parents encouraged my love of astronomy specifically and science in general. And in retrospect, that is where it all started. That love taught me to question everything (which I most certainly did).
It's not "science" that sets your heart atwitter, lover-boy, but nature. And nature is very beautiful.

Question this:

How did something come from nothing?

Where do laws of nature come from?

How can morality be grounded without a Source for moral law?


A real skeptic wouldn't accept 'shit musta' happened'.

Atheists are intellectual poseurs. Dupes.


But getting out of the other side of my upbringing took time. I went off to college, Missouri State University (then Southwest Missouri State), and hooked up with Chi Alpha (XA) Campus Ministries. This was before they had Skepticon, a FSM church, or really any skeptical movement at all. Again, in hindsight, I feel a bit of shame, because I understand now that prosthelytizing my beliefs had to have done some real harm to people, something I can’t change.

Don't be so hard on yourself. There is an clear evidence that Christians are much happier and healthier than non-believers.
I only hope that by speaking out against religion now can undo some of that.
Yea. We need more atheism.

I was a skeptic with most everything else growing up. I didn’t believe in ghosts, ESP, aliens, or anything else in the pseudo-scientific range, but like so many other “skeptic believers,” I was not willing to turn that same scrutiny on my beliefs.

You're still not.

The reason that you didn't believe in these crazy things is that you were raised in a Christian household and culture. Christianity is the best insulation from crazy.

Atheists are much more likely to believe in crazy stuff.
Of course, like a college student, and to be fair, most human beings, it turns out I was also a fairly bad Christian, and a fairly normal college student, in liking loud music, drinking, sex, and skipping classes.
The usual cause for de-conversion to atheism isn't "rational". Nothing you've said is within a light-year of "rational".

The usual cause of de-conversion to atheism is that Christian faith gets in the way of your genitals.
That all started to change after some a series of bad events pushed me more into that “good Christian” category again. I went to church, went to small groups, and, dangerously enough, started to read my bible. And for some reason, one I still cannot explain, I started to question why I believed what I did. I looked back at myself, and what I had been crediting god for getting me through, and realized that he hadn’t done shit.
He just made everything, made you, and died for you. That's not "shit".
It wasn’t a slow process. I wouldn’t even call myself an atheist until, reading Phil Plaitt’s blog, he mentioned, off-hand, someone named “PZ.” It was some inside joke I wasn’t part of, so I dug. I found out who this “PZ” was… and read enough to understand that, as a skeptic, there is only one position to be had.
P.Z.'s like an atheist Paul.
You cannot dismiss all fairies except the one you like any more than you can deny a color you don’t care for doesn’t exist (otherwise, the world would be rid of mauve by now). I didn’t like facing it at first, but I couldn’t dodge the questions. And when you look at belief the same way you look at ghosts, there is no way you can’t see it for what it is.
Right. When you look at Christian belief the same way you look at ghosts, Christian belief is pretty hard to sustain.

But Christian belief has nothing to do with ghosts. It has to do with a clear-eyed understanding of reason and nature and man, and a clear-hearted gratitude for your life and your redemption. As Chesterton wrote, he came to believe Christianity because it fits life like a key fits a lock.

But you wouldn't know anything about Chesterton. P.Z. Myers never even mentions him.
In the end, it was my own skepticism that forced me to realize the only thing I could be is an atheist.

You're no skeptic. You're a dupe for an idiot ideology that lets you pretend intellectual and moral superiority while freeing you from objective moral constraint. It's sad to see you throw away the Truth for such shabby bilge.

My suggestion: apply your "skepticism" to your own smug atheist beliefs. If you're going to reject Christianity because of its intellectual content, get yourself some familiarity with its intellectual content.

Your soul (or whatever you call it now) will thank you, someday.

62 comments:

  1. Excellent parody of fundamentalist Christians, Michael ! It almost looks legit.

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  2. Boiled down: 'I am an conformist...er Atheist because I am an unimaginative, frightened, self indulgent worshipper of banality who is STILL angry at my Mum and Dad DESPITE them buying me all those telescopes and indulging my every whim.'
    Sceptic? Atheist? Spoiled brat.
    'Same thing', you say?
    'With almost unerring frequency' , I will agree.

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  3. @crusadeREX:

    You're trying too hard, your parody is not subtle enough, it's obvious that you're trolling.

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  4. Also allow me to state: UFOs=Real.
    We track them everyday.
    Most of the objects we track are unidentified for at least a period, and a very good portion remain so.
    The positivism kicks in when the assumption is made that the strangest cases (have seen some REALLY weird ones on my desk) that these are spaceships piloted by Larry Niven style Aliens who have come across infinite tracts of time and space to save us from AGW, capitalism or to tell us religion is evil etc.
    When we make the jump from enigmatic signals, lights, or even traces to 'spacemen' we enter the twilight zone.
    Strangely, as the Doctor notes, this is where so many 'sceptics' on religion find themselves most at home - with the aliens.
    As for Bigfoot, I had him for my 8th grade gym teacher.

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  5. Michael,

    I don't know about you, but I don't regard myself as being 'evil'. Given enough time and information, I always try to make the right decision, or at least try to avoid harming other people.

    I'm an atheist because I think that there's no evidence for the existence of a god or gods, let alone one who is all powerful and all benevolent, and takes a deep personal interest in humans and listens to their prayers (although very rarely actually fulfilling them).

    I don't need to immerse myself in the intellectual content of Christianity to reject it because it doesn't have one. I reject Christianity because of the cosmological argument. A god didn't create the visible universe 13.7 billion years ago with its 100 billion galaxies each containing around 100 billion stars for the sole benefit of humans on a tiny speck orbiting an insignificant star.

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  6. I'm an atheist because I think that there's no evidence for the existence of a god

    Stop lying, you filthy commie. You are an atheist because you hate God and America, and you rebelled as a teenager because you were butthurt when mommy wanted you to go to church instead of smoking pot, and you want to have premarital sex with homosexual animals because you don't want there to be objective morality. But you'll regret this when you face your Creator.

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  7. @bach
    ...I think that there's no evidence for the existence of a god...

    You either must be blind or be a slow learner. You should have a look at The Privileged Planet!

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  8. Bach,

    "humans on a tiny speck orbiting an insignificant star."

    'Tiny speck'? Obviously a man who has never walked a hundred kms with kit, or sailed across ANY sea. Tiny is a mouse. Earth is not tiny, rather the galaxies and clusters you guess about and ESTIMATE like the rest of us, are seemingly vast.
    Tiny speck? No, Bach. The tiny speck is your estimation of the value of life in general and mankind in specific.
    'Insignificant'? As opposed to the significant planets that really high civilizations (must be with a purpose!) inhabit? Come on!
    Earth is the ONLY world of ANY real significance PERIOD. To assert otherwise is just raw, unrefined DUMB.
    You know better than that, Bach.
    You may not like Mike's (or my own) snarky analysis of Atheism, but that does not justify your futilism.

    @ ALL
    Here we see NAKED the assumptions of an INTELLIGENT Atheist (rather unlike the first example). Futility, insignificance, the unworthiness of men and living things, and prostration before the MASS of the material universe. The potential of such an individual is thus self-limited by the adherence to these sad criteria. Free Thinking? Only in the sense of 'Work makes you Free'.

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  9. Earth is the ONLY world of ANY real significance PERIOD

    So I assume you have visited other worlds. Can I borrow your starship?

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  10. crus: "Earth is the ONLY world of ANY real significance PERIOD. To assert otherwise is just raw, unrefined DUMB."

    Is there any way to prove this assertion?

    Astronomers estimate that there are hundreds of billions of galaxies in the universe. Hundreds of billion. Each containing hundreds of billions of stars.

    To assert that a planet orbiting one of hundreds of billions of stars, in one galaxy in hundreds of billions, is the only one of significance, that takes a lot of hubris. We just don't know if that's the case.

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  11. Is there any way to prove this assertion?

    Silly oleg. Who needs proofs when you have faith?

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  12. Atheism is honest. Christianity is not.

    Case in point: Michael dishonestly promotes Aquinas's 5 Ways as proof of God. We've discussed this, and of course they're not proofs of the God of the Bible. The leap from "Prime Mover" to Yahweh of the Old Testament (or to the father of Jesus) is a leap of faith, not logic or truth. Ditto for the First Cause.

    Of course Michael will dismiss anything I say because I'm not referencing a hundred different philosophers' arguments over Aquinas. His Courtier's Reply is ever ready - just watch.

    Faith is believing in something without evidence. Strong faith is believing in something in spite of contradictory evidence. So David Icke is a man of strong faith because he believes the world is governed by shape-shifting lizards, contrary to enormous amounts of evidence. Ken Ham believes in a 6000-year-old Earth in spite of enormous evidence.

    Does their faith make their beliefs true? No.

    Nor does Michael Egnor's belief make Christianity true.

    Truth is determined by evidence. The truth is that the Bible is an inconsistent hodge podge that is just as easily employed for evil as for good, just as often used to justify the infliction of suffering as for the relief of suffering, wielded by slave owner and abolitionist alike. What "truth" is there in the Bible that is not contradicted elsewhere in the very same book. And Christianity does not, cannot exist in the absense of that book. So if the Bible does not preset truth, how can anyone defend the "truth" of Christianity.

    Atheists are able to safely say "I don't know what set off the Big Bang or why the universe was created. But I do know some guy in a boat didn't save all the world's species on a big raft. I do know species evolve. I do know the Earth wasn't formed in 6 days. Those stories are not consistent with the evidence."

    That's a truthful answer. Genesis is a made up answer, a fabrication, to fill in an uncomfortable gap and to tell a story to the ignorant.

    If you want to find truthful person - talk to an atheist.

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  13. @RickK

    It is obvious that you know absolutely nothing about the Bible and Christianity.

    How stupid of you to equate young-earth creationists with all people of faith. Great scientists and Nobel Prize winners were / are persons of faith!

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  14. @RickK:

    [Atheism is honest. Christianity is not.]

    Atheism is no more "honest" than the lazy student who says that math is bunk is honest. Deliberate ignorance isn't honesty. Honest atheism would be that admission "I don't want to take God's existence too seriously because to do so would interfere with my life as I want to live it."

    [Michael dishonestly promotes Aquinas's 5 Ways as proof of God. We've discussed this, and of course they're not proofs of the God of the Bible. The leap from "Prime Mover" to Yahweh of the Old Testament (or to the father of Jesus) is a leap of faith, not logic or truth. Ditto for the First Cause.]

    No one claims that philosophical proofs of God's existence get you to God of the bible. Aquinas explicitly said it did not. We have always needed reason and revelation. Reason can take you quite a ways. What fascinates me is how unwilling atheists are to take reason seriously.

    [Of course Michael will dismiss anything I say because I'm not referencing a hundred different philosophers' arguments over Aquinas. His Courtier's Reply is ever ready - just watch]

    Nope. You're not referencing any coherent philosophy. You have to reach a certain level of competence to be the object of a Courtier's reply. You're just ignorant.

    [Faith is believing in something without evidence.]

    No. Faith is the willingness to fill in the blanks within the evidence and to have fidelity to your conclusion. You use a child's view of faith, which is not the faith of a mature person.

    Christianity fits life like a key fits a lock. It is faith just like believing that your spouse if faithful to you and loves you is faith. You don't have every piece of evidence (you can't) but you have enough evidence to reach a conclusion.

    So it is with Christianity.

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  15. This blog is hilarious, until I remember that Mr Egnor is a neurosurgeon. I wouldn't like such a deluded person to mess with my brain.

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  16. "But Christian belief has nothing to do with ghosts."

    Praise the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost!

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  17. Yeah, that's pretty funny, troy.

    The Holy Spirit is a major character in Christianity. The relationship between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit was a major bone of contention that split Constantinople and Rome.

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  18. Pepe,

    And your point about 'the Privileged Planet'? The turning around of Voyager to take a last image of the Sun and the Earth as a Pale Blue Dot was done at the instigation of the scientist and atheist Carl Sagan (author of the brilliant book 'the Demon Haunted World') to demonstrate the insignificance of the Earth in the scale of the Universe.

    It is an extreme jump to assert that based on our experience of just one planet that we know that the purpose of the Universe is to bring forth the Earth and humans.

    Paul Davies, physicist and winner of the Templeton Prize one year (the sole qualification being that you've said something nice about religion) noted in one of his books that the discovery of an ETI would be a considerable challenge to Christianity. I don't know. I suspect theologians would be able to come up with an explanation.

    I don't know whether ETIs exist. I think the probabilities are in favor of them existing. It is a large Universe after all. I'm pretty confident that UFOs aren't being flown by ETIs, but I'm open to convincing if the evidence turns up. For example, if an alien spaceship lands on the lawn outside the White House.

    Similarly, I'm open to the evidence that God exists. But there isn't any. So I don't waste my time praying to an entity that almost certainly doesn't exist.

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  19. @anon
    ...to mess with my brain...

    Your brain is already messed up, and it shows!

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  20. Atheists are so full of themselves!

    Dicky Dawkins said he was an intellectually fulfilled atheist.

    Stupidity is easy to fill!

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  21. Michael,

    You are quite justified in thinking that your wife is faithful and loves you because she puts sugar and not arsenic in your morning coffee. A Christian wouldn't be justified in thinking that God loves him because the Sun rose one morning instead of a major earthquake occurring.

    The difference is between having some evidence adequate enough to make a decision and having no evidence whatsoever.

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  22. Atheists are so full of themselves!

    Says the guy who is convinced to possess The Truth™ and who believes the Creator of The Universe Himself talks to him.

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  23. Pepe, which parts of the Bible do you take as fact, and which do you dismiss as myth?

    If young earth creationism is false, what about Adam and Eve? If they're not real, how about original sin?

    What about the burning bush? How about Noah? How about the slaughter of the innocents? Which version of Joseph and Mary's wanderings after the birth do you believe is true? Both? Neither?

    Where do you stand on evolution of species?

    Which parts of our origin do you attribute to direct intervention of your god, and which are natural phenomena just doing what they do naturally?

    Please, explain to me what to pick and choose. And then please explain to me why all the Christians that feel (1) believe differently than you and (2)feel they are the true Christians, are wrong and you are right.

    I'm really looking forward to your considered reply.

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  24. Michael said: "Deliberate ignorance isn't honesty. "

    Is that why atheists score higher on tests of religious knowledge than the faithful? Because of their ignorance?

    Michael said: "What fascinates me is how unwilling atheists are to take reason seriously. "

    My atheist's answer to the "prime mover" or "first cause" question is: we don't know. Tell me the failure in that reasoning.

    Reason tells me people love a personalized narrative, so the story told by the Catholic Church is more compelling to most people than the story told by cosmology. But so what? Compelling doesn't equal true - and your challenge was about the "truth" of Christianity.

    Micahel said: "You're just ignorant. "

    And you have a tendency to resort to name calling when you're annoyed with a poster. Where's the reasoning in that?

    You've just admitted that it takes faith to get from Aquinas to God. So Aquinas is by no means a proof of God. So on what, besides your personal revelation, do you base your truth?

    If personal revelation makes truth, what makes your truth any different from David Icke's lizards or Whitley Streiber's aliens?

    Once again, my truth - my "atheist's" truth - is based on evidence and reason. It is based on the same methods that have led us from camel herding to high speed rail - from messages carried by barefooted runners to a global communications network.

    Your "truth" is based on the same methods that give us 10,000 different varieties of Christianity, uncounted other versions of other religions, and people still having the same arguments that they had 2000 years ago. That is a simple, unassailable fact.

    As I said before - if you want to find a truthful person, talk to an atheist.

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  25. @RickK

    You ask a lot of questions and that is very good (an inquiring mind always is).

    As an answer to your questions, I will follow Socrates’ method.

    For a starter, tell me what you know about primordial Eve?

    PS: The road to truth and knowledge starts with the first step.

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  26. You can offer an atheist a ride to truth and knowledge in a Rolls-Royce or a Mercedes but he will always prefer a Lada or a Trabant!

    Atheists have a knack for picking the worse…poor souls.

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  27. Your "truth" is based on the same methods that give us 10,000 different varieties of Christianity, uncounted other versions of other religions

    But it's different: Egnor's religion is The True Religion.


    Pépé: among all the people who write comments here, I have the pleasure to inform you that you are the most crazy. Your incoherent godbabble is insane.

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  28. I knew you would be touching a shared atheist "nerve" as I was reading your comments to Nick Martin's unconvincing rant. Therefore, I'm not surprised that your most hardcore ridiculers have turned their vitriol up a notch or two on this one. Yet their primal rationale still eludes me......why devote so much time and energy to attacking the concept of faith in God (in particular, Christian theology), when you believe no such entity exists anyway? I don't believe in astrology,UFO's,or any of a number of cultic beliefs, yet I would find no time nor intellectual/emotional satisfaction in trolling sites that support those beliefs, just to heap ridicule and insults on their adherents.

    I suppose PZ Myers might justify those tactics by pointing to his "Why I Am An Atheist" posts, and argue that he has facilitated the deconversion process of so many new atheists. Yet, when I read these posts and the rationale that is offered for their unbelief, I am of the opinion that the majority of them were not ever looking for an open and reasoned discussion on the issues in the first place. They were looking for an excuse.

    It would not be inappropriate to refer to them as atheist testimonials. Just reading them is mildly amusing too, as there is an uncanny resemblance to "the sawdust trail" conversions of the last century. New atheism is not a religion? That's a laugher!!

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  29. Anonymous,

    I read Michael's blog because I'm fascinated by the question as to how an intelligent person (and Michael is obviously intelligent, they don't hand out medical degrees or board certifications in neurosurgery on the back of cereal packets) can believe patently obviously ridiculous positions.

    Such as Jesus died on the cross to atone for original sin committed by Adam and Eve, who didn't actually exist anyway. That climate scientists are perpetuating a hoax of AGW for the fame and fortune. That finite resources such as oil won't eventually be used up, and the 'rational' approach is to burn it at increasing rates. That hylemorphic dualism actually says anything useful.

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  30. I don't believe in astrology,UFO's,or any of a number of cultic beliefs, yet I would find no time nor intellectual/emotional satisfaction in trolling sites that support those beliefs

    Well, to be fair, you have to recognize that astrologists don't compare non-astrologists to Nazis and don't claim they are evil and without morality.

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  31. @Mémé
    ...you are the most crazy...

    I must surely be doing something right to get all you atheists so worked up.

    Insulting the other party is a typical atheist response when they cannot counter an argument.

    Atheists have a gift for painting themselves in the corner!

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  32. I must surely be doing something right to get all you atheists so worked up.

    In fact, the most effective way to make other people call you crazy is, you know, actually being crazy.

    Insulting the other party is a typical atheist response when they cannot counter an argument.
    >implying you have arguments
    >implying you listen to arguments instead of saying "lalala I can't hear you, atheists are so inferior"

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  33. @anon
    …atheists are so inferior…

    I don’t know if atheists are really inferior but one sure thing is that they have a real problem in thinking straight! They claim to rely on reason but they seem to be unable to reason properly.

    Here are some crooked ideas that atheists take as fact without any evidence:

    1-The universe created itself out of nothing.

    2-Matter and energy is all that exist.

    3-Life comes from chemicals only.

    4-The information in DNA created itself.

    5-Evolution, the Darwinian variety, is a fact.

    6-The sense of self is the result of moving atoms in the brain.

    7-Man is his own morality so abortions, eugenics and euthanasia are ok.

    If you want to argue these ideas then you’re stupid!

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  34. My irony meter exploded when I read the words "take as fact without any evidence".

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  35. Let's see what evidence you have.

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  36. Pépé,

    If God comes from monkeys, why are there still goo to the zoo through you? Why do you hate the materialist communists like Hitler and Obama?

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  37. Peep,

    1. No, the universe started at the Big Bang. That's definite. What caused it is unknown.
    2. Yes. The universe consists of ordinary matter, dark matter and dark energy. We don't know what comprises the last two and they make up 96% of the universe.
    3. Yes. We don't have any reason for assuming otherwise. Abiogenesis is an active field of study. The hydrothermal vent origin looks promising.
    4. No. DNA is too complicated to have been the first information storage molecule.
    5. Yes. Evolution is a fact. It's supported as strongly by the evidence as the Big Bang. Go and read a book. Carl Zimmer's 'Evolution. The Triumph of an Idea' is a good one.
    6. Yes. The mind is a product of the brain, which functions as a result of chemical reactions. Affect the chemical reactions in the brain and you will affect the mind, even if subtly.
    7. No. Laws are decided by humans and can be changed. We've agreed that murder is wrong. We've agreed that eugenics is wrong. The Europeans have largely decided that selective gender abortions are wrong too to the extent that couples are not to be told the sex of their unborn offspring (many couples don't want to know, preferring to be 'surprised').

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  38. Pepe,

    Oops, the spell check in the iPad has struck again, even mangling your accent-less name.

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  39. bachfiend,

    What do you waste your time answering seriously to Pépé when you know that you'd get the same reaction if you just wrote "herp derp"?

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  40. Anonymous,

    OK, I'll try it.

    Pepe,

    Herp derp. Now see if you can refute that.

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  41. Pepe avoided answering any of my questions by trying to ask one himself: "For a starter, tell me what you know about primordial Eve?"

    Alas, I've never heard of primordial Eve.

    So Pepe, what were you trying to say when you were avoiding my questions?

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  42. RickK

    I would assume that primordial Eve refers to the human group from which all humans now living on Earth descended, as shown by the maternally inherited mitochondria. Primordial Adam, as shown by the paternally inherited Y chromosome, was a different group.

    Unless Pepe is referring to Lilith, Adam's first partner in the Garden of Eden, who went off in a huff when Adam refused her equality, so Jehovah had to put him into a deep sleep, and clone Eve from one of his ribs.

    Which is the reason why, to this very day, men have one less rib than women ...

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  43. @backward
    1. No, the universe started at the Big Bang. That's definite. What caused it is unknown. Hawking says the law of gravity did it!

    2. Yes. The universe consists of ordinary matter, dark matter and dark energy. We don't know what comprises the last two and they make up 96% of the universe. That's what YOU believe!

    3. Yes. We don't have any reason for assuming otherwise. Abiogenesis is an active field of study. The hydrothermal vent origin looks promising. Play Abiogenesis and win a million dollars. Good Luck, you'll need it!

    4. No. DNA is too complicated to have been the first information storage molecule.Where did the information come from?

    5. Yes. Evolution is a fact. It's supported as strongly by the evidence as the Big Bang. Go and read a book. Carl Zimmer's 'Evolution. The Triumph of an Idea' is a good one. I suggest "Darwin on Trial" by P.E. Johnson. It's a lot better!

    6. Yes. The mind is a product of the brain, which functions as a result of chemical reactions. Affect the chemical reactions in the brain and you will affect the mind, even if subtly.Read "The Spiritual Brain" by Beauregard and O'Leary.

    7. No. Laws are decided by humans and can be changed. We've agreed that murder is wrong. We've agreed that eugenics is wrong. The Europeans have largely decided that selective gender abortions are wrong too to the extent that couples are not to be told the sex of their unborn offspring (many couples don't want to know, preferring to be 'surprised').Human laws come and go. Morality must be objective to be effective.


    Your worldview is on pretty shaky grounds...

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  44. @RiscK
    ...I've never heard of primordial Eve.

    That doesn't suprise me! May I suggest Adam et Eve ou le monogénisme by Pr Jérôme Lejeune.

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  45. Well!
    I have been busy for a few days with the new addition, and so have not had all the time to rant and rave as I would like...
    So here is some condensed 'stuff'

    I will start by responding to the (minute) criticism of my comment.
    I had made a lengthy and potent challenge to rebut an entire argument based on a foundation of futility and insignificance .
    Only this single corner of the foundation was attacked.
    This simple truth:
    "Earth is the ONLY world of ANY real significance PERIOD"
    This comment made waves. I knew it would. I have seen it do so before at the College, the LFB and in my earlier years as a full time academic.
    It hits these poor kids right in the Sagan.
    That's gotta hurt.
    Let's consider the responses individually.
    Herp wrote:
    "So I assume you have visited other worlds. Can I borrow your starship?"

    and Oleg (far more eloquently)
    "Is there any way to prove this assertion? Astronomers estimate ...billions...billions...To assert that a planet orbiting one of hundreds of billions of stars, in one galaxy in hundreds of billions, is the only one of significance, that takes a lot of hubris. We just don't know if that's the case."

    They have gone straight for the bait. Both forget (or it is beyond the reach of current attentions) that my comment is a RESPONSE. I am responding to the charge by Bachfeind that Earth and mankind are insignificant. They are not.
    The only measure of significance we know, is the HUMAN measure. Using your own empiricist logic, there is only ONE world with Humans inhabiting it that has EVER been observed 'scientifically'; that SINGLE PLANET this Earth.
    So ONLY the Earth (our home) and those bodies that may come into play or contact with it are of any real significance. All those other 'billions and billions' are interesting -even fascinating, but not of any REAL or practical significance. They are just to far away to be properly observed or interacted with. As Oleg noted astronomers may only 'estimate'.
    I know, I know "Maybe one day..."
    But this is today, and 'maybe' is not a logical or scientific approach. It is lazy and a form of philosophical procrastination known as 'promissory materialism', a symptom of positivist/reductionist thinking; the intellectual plague of the academe.
    The FACT remains: The ONLY measure significance we know is that of the Human/ Earthly variety.
    There is ONLY one world, in one system, in one galaxy that can boast that importance: EARTH, TERRA.
    On that world there is ONLY ONE of each of you and every living individual living being. No duplicates, just a single one.
    Those ARE staggering odds, especially if you consider the what the astronomers 'estimate' - yet here they are presented as undeniable FACT.
    So in short my response:
    Oleg: The burden of 'proof' is not mine, but your numerical arguments do make for a good one in favour. In addition the only Hubris I see present here is Bachfiend's assertion of insignificance. His MUST be a divine or universal measure, beyond the realm Human experience! I assume no such mantle. I deal with only the facts in this statement. No theology or philosophy required.
    The only Real significance is the Human kind and humans only exist on Earth PERIOD.
    Herp: I have visited most of this world in one way or another and may have had a glimpse here and there of another...not exactly sure.
    But as far as the starship goes, it is not mine. It is Bach's. He is the one who apparently understands the UNIVERSAL or (perhaps DIVINE?) significance beyond the Earthly - so much so he sees us as insignificant. Maybe he could lend you the keys and you could have a race with Oleg in his 'spaceship of the imagination'? But don't foget, Bach is down under...so, they drive on the LEFT side of the tachyon beam and watch out for Klingons near Uranus!

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  46. Pépé: if evolution is not true, how come god came from monkeys? I mean the primordial goo is not created by teleological biogenesis, so god must have been outside of logic and spacetime, otehrwise the prime mover would worship Dawkins like these godless Muslims, so that's probably the reason why Aquinas forbade post-birth abortion unless atheists from communist Saudi Arabia hate America because they hate our freedom to believe in Jesus, our lord and savior, and if you hate him you will regret it in your afterlife just like those Jewish Mormons and Wiccan freemasons, so yeah, basically, if evolution through the goo to you would not make an atheist morally accountable so that's why they killed billions of people in Korea.

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  47. CrusadeRex,

    The Earth is still an insignificant speck. That's an absolute fact. The farthest we can see in the Universe is 13.2 billion years, and we can see 100 billion galaxies. The Universe we can see has expanded in the 13.7 billion years since the Big Bang into a sphere with a radius of 45 billion light years. The complete Universe is probably thousands of times larger.

    A grain of sand on a beach in relation to the Earth is larger in comparison to the Earth in relation to the Universe. Would you regard the grain of sand as being significant? Would an intelligent bacterium living on the surface of the grain of sand regard its grain to be the most significant object in its Universe, because it knows of no other grain with life?

    I said that I don't know if there is ETI somewhere else in the Universe. I think it's probable, but I don't know. I also said that I don't think that UFOs are flown by ETIs, but I'm open to evidence proving it ( if for example an alien spaceship lands in front of the White House).

    I'm also open to evidence that god(s) exist, but the evidence has to be good, similar to the evidence I'd need to accept that UFOs are being flown by ETIs. Strange out of focus lights in the sky or alien abductions aren't adequate. The same applies to religion.

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  48. I meant to write "the farthest we can see in the Universe is 13.2 billion light years, ...", but I typed "the farthest we can see in the Universe is 13.2 billion years, ...", but, on reflection, both are correct. When we are looking into the distance, we are looking back in time.

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  49. bachfiend:
    But the Universe is only 6000 years old! Ken Ham said it, I believe it, that settles it.

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  50. Anonymous,

    Good Poe. At least you didn't note that Ken Ham was originally an Australian. He wanted to build his creation museum here, but he couldn't find enough idiots, so he had to move to America to find a rich and increasing supply ...

    The Australian economy is based on exporting products of low intelligence. Coal, iron ore, Ken Ham ...

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  51. I'm still waiting for Pepe to respond to RickK.

    I KNEW he wouldnt, by observing his types of posts. They're usually little smarmy jabs here and there, with an insult and name calling thrown in. The kids' got nothing.

    Oh, and i love how you god people always say 'but where did the DNA/universe/earth/everything on earth/etc. come from?'
    Oh right! It was Godddddddd! God, i tells ya! How do i know? Well, just look around yonder! How else did it git here? Seems pretty easy to figger out! Pastor Mcgillicutty tolds me so. My werk here is dun!

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  52. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  53. @anon
    Why don't you go trolling on atheist blogs instead of Christian ones? Atheists will not notice how ignoramus you are...

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  54. Pépé: I refuse to go to atheist blog because they will corrupt me with their sin. I have been saved by Jesus, so if I read atheist blogs, I will become a sinner again, and if they hate God they should leave our country because it's a country under GOD just as our founding father intended, and if they don't agree with the founding fathers they are evil and should go back to communist Europe or Africa or other countries where godless Muslims kill each other because they have no morality, because if there is no God and we're just random chemicals that come from a monkey-fish that was struck by a lightning and turned into a dinosaur-bird, what stops us from murdering babies just because it's funny and if Jesus didn't die for our sins life is meaningless and we should just kill ourselves like Pol Pot did in USSR when communists killed billions of God-fearing people that had been saved by Jesus who died for our sins, seriously, thinking about it makes me sick, atheists and other so-called "skeptics" think we are just animals but in reality THEY are the animals, so according to them their lives have no value so we should just hunt them and kill them like stupid animals, right?

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  55. "Atheists will not notice how ingnoramus you are.."

    Wow what a comeback. With incorrect word usage no less.

    Why don't you answer the questions RickK asked you?

    So in your perfect world, everybody's christian, nobody asks questions, so you don't need to defend your little faith that mommy brought you up believing, and actually, you know, think for yourself?

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  56. Every time Egnor grabs a post from Pharyngula, it is very sad. Not because of the content of the Pharynula post he is buffoonishly and ineffectively trying to refute. But because it makes it clear that even with his clown makeup on and jumping up and down, no one really pays attention to Egnor and that makes him even more desperate.

    So Egnor does what pathetic internet trolls usually do - he gloms on to a blog that is much more popular than his, and in a sad, pathetic attempt to make himself relevant, tries to piggy-back on its popularity. It really is quite childisn of Egnor, and just highlights what a miserable, lonely, and desperate person he is.

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  57. @anonymouse or any of them...
    Why don't you answer the questions RickK asked you?

    Scroll up for the answer!

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  58. Pepe,

    Anon is referring to my questions to you. Even though you tell other people to scroll up, you're apparently not able to. So to help you, I'll repeat them:

    ----------
    Pepe, which parts of the Bible do you take as fact, and which do you dismiss as myth?

    If young earth creationism is false, what about Adam and Eve? If they're not real, how about original sin?

    What about the burning bush? How about Noah? How about the slaughter of the innocents? Which version of Joseph and Mary's wanderings after the birth do you believe is true? Both? Neither?

    Where do you stand on evolution of species?

    Which parts of our origin do you attribute to direct intervention of your god, and which are natural phenomena just doing what they do naturally?

    Please, explain to me what to pick and choose. And then please explain to me why all the Christians that feel (1) believe differently than you and (2)feel they are the true Christians, are wrong and you are right.

    I'm really looking forward to your considered reply.
    --------

    Now, you avoided answering by posting a nonsense question yourself. And when I asked you for clarification, you posted some link to a French website.

    So let's just start over, shall we? Instead of little one-liner criticisms of others, why don't you show us what you actually think and answer the above questions. Because I'm very curious how you pick which parts of Christianity to believe in and which not to.

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  59. @RickK

    You will find answers to your questions in the book Seven Days That Divide the World by Pr. John C. Lennox.

    I subscribe 100% to what's written there.

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  60. Rick, don't hold your breath..

    That little troll has nothing to back up his silly remarks with.

    And those 'questions' he posed back at you he most likely pulled directly from some creationists website.

    Here's how he would answer his own questions:

    "Here are some crooked ideas that atheists take as fact without any evidence:

    1-The universe created itself out of nothing. NOPE, GOD CREATED IT!

    2-Matter and energy is all that exist. NO WAY, GOD EXISTS TOO!

    3-Life comes from chemicals only. EVERYONE KNOWS GOD CREATED LIFE!

    4-The information in DNA created itself. SOUNDS SILLY. I SAY GOD DID IT.

    5-Evolution, the Darwinian variety, is a fact. IT IS SO NOT A FACT! IT SAYS 'THEORY' AFTER IT!

    6-The sense of self is the result of moving atoms in the brain. PPFFTT...THATS YOUR SOUL, BROTHER!

    7-Man is his own morality so abortions, eugenics and euthanasia are ok. MAN GETS MORALITY FROM, YOU GUESSED IT - GOD! GOD GOD GOD!
    JESUS JESUS JESUS! I LOVES ME SOME JESUS!
    IF JESUS WERE RIGHT HERE IN FRONT OF ME I WOULD SURELY FELLATE HIM!

    If you want to argue these ideas then you’re stupid! " I WILL NOW HOLD MY HANDS OVER MY EARS AND GO LAL LAL LA

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  61. @anon & co

    When the time comes...

    No one ever dies an atheist.
    Plato

    Meanwhile, atheists crap all over the place!

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  62. Pepe said: "You will find answers to your questions in the book Seven Days That Divide the World by Pr. John C. Lennox."

    That's your answer - go read someone else's book?

    Either you have no opinions of your own or you're simply a coward. Either way, you provide zero reason for anyone to respect anything you say.

    Sad.

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