Atheism vs. Theism 1: Independence in Thought

December 9, 2007 at 1:03 pm 56 comments

Thinking 1In Phillychief’s post entitled, Insularity?, one of his points was that atheists, by and large, are critical thinkers. I agree with this view. Even those atheists who are born into atheist families and have never held religious beliefs often, at some point in their lives, weigh their non-belief against the theistic and other religious alternatives to which they are inevitably exposed, and choose atheism as the most rational choice. For many, this process occurs in their childhood or teen years.

The other set of atheists, those who have de-converted from a particular religion, usually do so after a period of critically scrutinizing their beliefs. My cruises around the blogosphere, plus nearly 5 decades of living and interacting with evangelical theists, have shown me that many theists refuse to believe that de-conversion is a rational decision. Instead, they typically ascribe de-conversion to a multitude of other causes, such as (this list is selective and representative, not anywhere close to exhaustive):

  • anger or disappointment at being hurt by another believer
  • a desire to embrace a wanton lifestyle free of the moral constraints religion imposes
  • having been a false convert rather than a real Christian
  • failure to practice such spiritual disciplines as daily prayer and Bible reading
  • having a flawed understanding of Christian doctrine
  • harboring a secret sin that is getting between oneself and God

The list goes on and on and on and on. . . the Eveready Bunny of De-conversion Rationales According to Theists. The notion that believers of any theistic faith can examine the tenets of their faiths and find them wanting is troubling to many theists. If theists accept such a possibility, then they are put in the awkward position of having to decide whether they also ought to undertake such an examination.

Based on my own experience, plus reading scores of de-conversion accounts on the Internet, I believe that the vast majority of de-converts are intelligent people who prize rational, critical thought and require evidence upon which to base their beliefs. Most of them abandon their religions for rational reasons rather than the emotional or sinful ones that theists typically enumerate. Like many other atheists, de-converts value critical thinking and are willing to change their minds when given good reasons to do so. As I will explain momentarily, I believe this mindset is one characteristic that distinguishes rational thought from religious thought.

Before moving on, I want to lay aside any suppositions of intellectual elitism. I absolutely do not believe that atheists are smarter than theists. Many theists are incredibly smart, as are many atheists. Many other theists are also pathetically stupid, as are, again, many other atheists. The position I am taking here is not about the inherent intelligence of atheists and theists, it is about distinct mindsets that lead to two distinct modes of thought. Those modes of thought lead to strikingly different conclusions.

Independence in thought contrasts starkly with traits that are common among many theists. Consider, for a moment, independence of thought versus indoctrination. Theists, particularly conservative ones, are conditioned to accept what they are taught, via indoctrination (not education), with few questions. St. Ignatius had good reasons for saying that, if he could teach children from infancy through early childhood, they’d be believers for life. He understood how impressionable and malleable young minds are, how amenable to indoctrination.

As believers young and old grow in their faith, it’s acceptable for them to ask shallow, simple questions for which their leaders have prepared answers. If they start probing too deeply, however, they are discouraged from going further and thereby endangering their souls. The answer to hard questions is generally something along the lines of, “God works mysterious ways we can’t possibly comprehend.” In other words, don’t bother asking such questions because we don’t have (any good religious) answers for them. Throughout the history of the Christian church, independent thinkers usually were branded as heretics. They were the ones who questioned the status quo, the ones upon whom the indoctrination did not completely take or retain its hold. They were also the ones who, more often than not, were later proven to have been right.

Theism can only be maintained by a mindset that is predominantly religious, a mindset that does not necessarily eschew rationality, but does necessarily relegate it to a plane lower than spirituality. In the minds of many theists, if spiritual and rational claims conflict, the spiritual ones must be retained and the rational ones discarded as errant, if not downright evil. In contrast, many atheists believe that rational thought, based in scientific findings from many fields of inquiry, is the primary means by which humankind can and should derive human values. Atheists don’t necessarily eschew spiritual, or aesthetic, or other non-material values. They do seek to hold such values in balance with knowledge gained via rational channels.

- thechaplain

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My purpose is clearer now without religion God is cruising down US I-35

56 Comments Add your own

  • 1. athinkingman  |  December 9, 2007 at 1:51 pm

    I enjoyed your post. I agree that a mindsets or templates or schemata enables theists to hold together lots of things that are troubling to atheists.

    When I read the answer to difficult questions that is often given – God works mysterious ways we can’t possibly comprehend. – I was reminded of another answer that was so prominent in my own theism. Because the Bible says so … I now wish that I had read books about the formation of the Canon and the problems surrounding the underlying texts years ago. The tragedy is that most evangelical christians and clergy will never read such books, thus never being able to see through the walls of the box.

  • 2. The de-Convert  |  December 9, 2007 at 3:25 pm

    thechaplain/ESVA,

    My cruises around the blogosphere, plus nearly 5 decades of living and interacting with evangelical theists, have shown me that many theists refuse to believe that de-conversion is a rational decision. Instead, they typically ascribe de-conversion to a multitude of other causes..

    I agree with you. However, I do believe that in many cases, there’s an event or issue that kinda snaps the believer out of the haze and allows them to then think rationally. While it’s not that event that leads to de-conversion, it’s the event that opens up the mind a bit.

    Paul

  • 3. Sam  |  December 9, 2007 at 5:31 pm

    athinkingman,

    I would like to read some of those books. It seems to me that many of the atheists who say things like what you just said usually don’t have a bite; just an obnoxious bark (that’s just an analogy, not arrogance or elitism). I would be glad to see what the truth that is circulating through the atheistic world of thought actually says.

    I’ve read a lot of the good stuff but I’m really into hard, observable, objective evidence and I can’t seem to find any of that in the “truth” as atheists would tell it. It seems there is usually elitism and heavy philosophical reasoning. I’m sorry, but philosophy is very subjective and never offers anything else other than opinions, to me. Square one seems to be where I stay and not of my own free will. I would like to see an objective argument for evolution or a chance existence, but all I get is imaginations and philosophy.

    I have read a lot about history and science in order to fully understand it. I went through the stage that the author of this post described. I questioned very seriously and when the leaders of today gave me the trust-in-God-anyway speech I thought that I had all the evidence that I would ever receive. Then I discovered the internet and man, did that give me a list of options to read and research. On this side of the questioning stage I can’t find any reason to doubt the Biblical canon or the creation as the Bible describes. Trust me, I’ve heard the arguments for the discrediting of the canon and discrediting God’s word based on misunderstood contradictions and much more but there is no strength to the arguments. I know truth is the best argument but it also has to be established.

    It’s like trying to guess whether a man, who is dressed as a woman, is a man or a woman based on the objective, observable evidence. If it is convincing enough, you can’t simply say, “it is a man” to someone who doesn’t know, and expect them to just except it, especially if their life depends on it. The truth is no argument at all in that situation. You would have to give objective evidence in order to make the person feel as though they have not just taken your word for it. Trust goes a long way, but not that far to an objective thinker whose life is on the line.

    I’ve seen a lot of people stand for something that is not true based on lack of education, but I’ve never seen anyone stand on a known and obvious lie when it mattered to there self not to.

    Muhammad, for instance, had everything to lose if he said that it was all a lie, and he would have, quite possibly, lost his life. He was like a king in his position so why not continue with a lie. Being willing to die for his belief system was to save his own skin and honor, so it’s hard to say if he was or not lying. Personally, I think he was lying. That’s a shocker, I’m sure.

    The disciples did not only believe in something that was already a known and controversial subject and was also not done in a corner somewhere in the middle of the dessert, but they gave up there lives (no matter how you cut it, they gave themselves to something that would otherwise be the most pitiful and stupid thing for any rational person to do, and again I’ve not found any reason to refute the Biblical account unless you can give some) for a supposed afterlife of paradise. They were even killed for it. That lends to rational belief in their testimony.

    Hey, if you’re as proactive as you seem, why not offer evidence to someone asking for some? You would be doing something that no proactive atheist has done so far in all of my blogging and commenting. I don’t deny the truth to protect my belief, that’s how I arrived at the beliefs that I hold.

    Or you could ignore me, I’m no stranger to that either.

    Thanks for reading (if you did),
    Sam

  • 4. OneSmallStep  |  December 9, 2007 at 6:36 pm

    Sam,

    but they gave up there lives (no matter how you cut it, they gave themselves to something that would otherwise be the most pitiful and stupid thing for any rational person to do, and again I’ve not found any reason to refute the Biblical account unless you can give some) for a supposed afterlife of paradise.

    I’ve seen this claim a few times — are there any historical sources that validate all the disciples specifically died for their belief system? As in, they were killled for refusing to not advocate what they believed? All I’ve ever found was really based on what tradition holds.

  • 5. OneSmallStep  |  December 9, 2007 at 6:36 pm

    To clarify — by disciples, I’m referring to the eleven remaining ones, after Judas killed himself.

  • 6. HeHasSailed  |  December 9, 2007 at 7:13 pm

    Sam:

    The disciples did not only believe in something that was already a known and controversial subject and was also not done in a corner somewhere in the middle of the dessert, but they gave up there lives

    Sam, you said you read lots of history? What history book did you get this from? Can you tell me how Peter, Andrew, Matthew, and all the rest ‘gave up their lives’?

  • 7. RedheadedCyclone  |  December 9, 2007 at 11:15 pm

    I will say that I haven’t read any of your other posts, so this may have already been covered, but it seems that your inference of ‘Theists’ has a very evangelical Christian bent to it. Where I can see a fairly valid stereotype of behavior in your description, I would like to remind you that there are those of us out there who have a belief in a Larger Than Us/Energy/Deity/Spirit who do not fit this discussion.

    In my humble opinion, it’s all a mythology. It’s all made up. Christianity, Daoism, language, writing, Hinduism, wearing clothes are all made up. Someone somewhere started the thought and it snowballed from there. Jesus is not the only hero in a story about a man born of a virgin and killed for his words. Muhammad was not the only story about someone talking to an angel. Aphrodite was not the only story about someone being born out of the sea.

    If you are speaking about proof of these stories and a definition of what is proof of a Higher Power’s existence, it would be as relevant as a conversation about if Zeus’ infidelity to his wife was an endorsement of open relationships. If one does not believe in the premise of the religion, it has no merit. To argue that any sane person would know that the music of a Snaffilinger is completely different than the music of a Hussepollifger is just as rational as arguing the ‘truth’ of christianity or any other religion. Humans just don’t know, we can only guess.

    If the ultimate truth of an idea is shown by how many people have died for it, then I believe that Dirt is the ultimate truth… more people have died for the belief of any particular piece of dirt belonged to them and not whoever claimed it before than any other idea.

    Again, in my humble opinion, it’s time to stop telling others that they are wrong and start to find out what works for us personally. It’s my opinion that there is enough Universe to go around.

    Brightest Blessings!

  • 8. Odeena  |  December 9, 2007 at 11:15 pm

    I read your article and I wholeheartedly agree with what you said.

    From a psychological standpoint, the views and beliefs we acquite as children tend to dominate our way of thinking later on. That’s because once learned, these views and beliefs are strenghtened by repetition. But what was learned can be forgotten or re-learned; when it comes to religion, that *is* the most rational thing to do.

    Let’s not forget that the Church once claimed that the Earth was flat and that women were evil and should therefore be kept in ignorance and shame throughout their lives. Whether or not to follow an institution that claimed such aberrations in the past is one’s own decision, and it has much to do with common sense.

    I am an atheist myself – let’s hope that as many people as it gets will de-convert sooner or later. That’d be the best thing for mankind.

    Regards,
    ~ Odeena Sabnach

  • 9. anon  |  December 10, 2007 at 12:27 am

    Sam:

    You wrote at length from your experience and it’s clear that your comments are sincere; however you demonstrate a very common flaw in your thinking: the idea that a theistic explanation is the default position.

    The various religious accounts of our origins are complex, fanciful, often contradictory, and highly implausible, often relying on unquestioning acceptance of certain basic premises that are on their face very questionable indeed, and in depth don’t withstand examination. The evidentiary burden is in fact on the promulgator of such a hypothesis; not on those who would challenge it.

    That said, the evidence for the evolutionary explanation of our origins and the vast timescales over which it plays out is not lacking at all; in fact it’s overwhelming and ubiquitous. We directly observe and document the process in species with sufficiently short life spans that we can witness multiple generations during our own. There is ample fossil and DNA evidence of our own close relationship to the other species as well as our own ongoing evolutionary process and how we’ve influenced it through our technological development through the millenia.

  • 10. Lorena  |  December 10, 2007 at 2:00 am

    RedHeadedCyclone said:

    “I would like to remind you that there are those of us out there who have a belief in a Larger Than Us/Energy/Deity/Spirit who do not fit this discussion.”

    Lorena responds:
    Actually, RHC, I have researched the belief system you speak of: pantheism or New Thought. What I found was that most of the followers were quite ignorant of the tenets of their belief system–which, by the way, is very hard to understand.

    So, in my experience, those who follow new-thought cults are as religious as the evangelicals. The followers don’t understand the teachings and resort to believing “just because,” or by faith.

    I found these people gullible, easy to lie to, and if they were intelligent, they were not using their brain to look at their beliefs skeptically.

    Their “religion” is also full of fear. For example, since your thoughts create your reality, then you are afraid of your own thoughts. You are supposed to always be positive, so negative feelings are pushed down, causing the believer to be a hypocrite.

    And if you decide to leave the faith, they also think that you do so because you never understood or didn’t read the writings of their guru of choice.

  • 11. The Barefoot Bum  |  December 10, 2007 at 10:00 am

    RedHeadedCyclone: I’m with Lorena: It’s very difficult (i.e. impossible) to understand even what you mean by “a Larger Than Us/Energy/Deity/Spirit”.

    I suspect that you don’t even have such a belief, at least not in the sense of holding an idea as true. My (rather extensive) personal experience with pagans that such notions are either meaningless sloganeering or depressingly banal superstitions.

    It must be said that pagan/new-age superstitions are, by virtue of their banality, considerably less hateful and harmful than those promulgated by modern Christians. However, I attribute this difference only to lack of political power. Christianity was originally conceived in no small part as an exhortation to universal love; it took all of twenty-eight minutes after Constantine appropriated it into politics for the oppression and bloodshed to begin in its name.

    Although I of course have less disgust for the particular content of your superstitious beliefs, I have no more respect for your underlying irrationality than I do for the irrationality of mainstream religions.

  • 12. The Barefoot Bum  |  December 10, 2007 at 10:01 am

    My (rather extensive) personal experience with pagans leads me to conclude that such notions…

  • 13. avid_mass  |  December 10, 2007 at 12:01 pm

    …saying athiests are critical thinkers is as profound as saying monkeys enjoy bananas..

  • 14. Eyquem  |  December 10, 2007 at 12:07 pm

    I enjoyed this post and agreed with most of it. The conclusion, however, I found a little wanting…

    Theism can only be maintained by a mindset that is predominantly religious, a mindset that does not necessarily eschew rationality, but does necessarily relegate it to a plane lower than spirituality.

    On the contrary I know certain theists who hold theism on a rational basis only. One may disagree with their arguments, but to be sure, they do have decent arguments. I think this last paragraph presupposes that the arguments for atheism are superior than those for theism, which I am not convinced. I myself am not a theist, but always find that I am much less dismissive of theism, than other non-believers.

  • 15. Mike  |  December 10, 2007 at 12:23 pm

    In agreement with anon.
    The only sensible position is to be skeptical of all ultimate explanations, while tentatively operating on the basis that the most plausible one is true. (This should include a healthy dose of skepticism about people’s historical motivations)

  • 16. Is the world crueler for atheism? « Tipped Ear Clan  |  December 10, 2007 at 12:27 pm

    [...] moral values and degraded society? I beg to differ. History too begs a differing record for this perennial deathmatch between fidels and infidels. And we do not have to go far back. America, that bastion of freespeech, progress and power, is [...]

  • 17. The Barefoot Bum  |  December 10, 2007 at 6:55 pm

    “One may disagree with their arguments, but to be sure, they do have decent arguments.”

    No they don’t. All arguments for theism are inherently and irretrievably flawed. Moreover, if one is not deeply committed a priori to the conclusion of theism, the flaws are rather easy to spot.

    Your sort of theists are not only mistaken about their conclusion that a deity exists, they are also mistaken about the rationality of their supporting arguments.

  • 18. The Barefoot Bum  |  December 10, 2007 at 6:58 pm

    avid_mass: “saying atheists are critical thinkers is as profound as saying monkeys enjoy bananas.”

    Not only not profound, but actually untrue. There are a lot of atheists (e.g. Soviet Communists and Buddhists) who are not critical thinkers.

    ‘Tis the case that all competent critical thinkers are atheists. (To avoid the No True Scotsman fallacy, the evaluation of competence can be made independently of the conclusion of theism.)

  • 19. Sam  |  December 11, 2007 at 12:22 am

    onesmallstep.<<<I’ve seen this claim a few times — are there any historical sources that validate all the disciples specifically died for their belief system? As in, they were killed for refusing to not advocate what they believed? All I’ve ever found was really based on what tradition holds.

    True. I don’t make bold claims that these are proven facts that no one can deny, but many of the writings that we have of the early church fathers build up from this foundation as though it were fact. They don’t try to establish a new foundation, which leads me to believe that there is weight to the traditions. If there was another story as to what really happened, we would see something of it in tradition and the early documents. If we have gnostic gospels then there wasn’t a very good cover up, if you believe there was an attempt to cover up the contradictory documents of the early church.

    That’s what I’m really trying to get at by this and the previous post. The fact that so many writings have continued to build off of this as though it were fact, and they go all the way back to a time that gives a comfortable reason to believe that the writings picked up right after the suspected dates of the writings that make up the New Testament ended. It seems that the first time anyone started really trying to say, “Can you quote your sources?” and “There all clever stories” was a thousand to two thousand years later. To me, that gives some sort of weight to the claims. You may not want to believe traditions, but I don’t know anyone who would be curious about a time period in the past, who knew of writings from that era, and yet would say, “Well you can’t read what they have to say because they didn’t even know what was going on. I know more about what was going on than they did.” Why do you think that World War II Vets are interviewed in the documentaries? Not everyone who had a pen in the early centuries were willing to give up their life for a supposed afterlife/paradise.

    Which leads me to my next response: What I mean by give up their life is that they didn’t do what everyone else did. Instead, they sacrificed all that they would otherwise would have done based on the normal desires of any one human then and now.

    Again I’m not trying to convince anyone that I’m right. I’m trying to get some more resources that I apparently haven’t found because you guys seem to know something I don’t know. I mean really know. I’m not assuming as “anon” suggested; that theism is the default view. I’m assuming that as many that produced literature in the early centuries just after the supposed life of Christ, not all of them were clueless. Also, as many that produce contradictions to those writings, also have some pretty whacked out doctrines that no one taught; they were all original to the author. If so many were trying to be original, then why is there so many that were repeating the same things about Christ if they themselves could strike out and be original too? All of these things play a roll in the logical approach to what we do have and can hold in our hand of that era. Likewise, I think that all of these things can legitimately be considered in the argument between theism and atheism. Not as many evidences can be brought to the table for evolution.

    I still have not had anyone give me any resources to any books that might show me something I don’t know. It seems that I’ve come across another barking site with no bite. Thanks guys.

    Sam

  • 20. Atheism vs. Theism 2: Independence of Person « de-conversion  |  December 11, 2007 at 12:28 am

    [...] 11, 2007 In my previous post on this subject, Independence of Thought, I discussed a point made by Phillychief in his post entitled Insularity?, where he stated that [...]

  • 21. jared  |  December 11, 2007 at 12:49 am

    To the author,

    You say,

    Based on my own experience, plus reading scores of de-conversion accounts on the Internet, I believe that the vast majority of de-converts are intelligent people who prize rational, critical thought and require evidence upon which to base their beliefs. Most of them abandon their religions for rational reasons rather than the emotional or sinful ones that theists typically enumerate. Like many other atheists, de-converts value critical thinking and are willing to change their minds when given good reasons to do so. As I will explain momentarily, I believe this mindset is one characteristic that distinguishes rational thought from religious thought.

    Then, following the requisite “caveat” of intellecual elitism, you go on to say:

    Independence in thought contrasts starkly with traits that are common among many theists. Consider, for a moment, independence of thought versus indoctrination. Theists, particularly conservative ones, are conditioned to accept what they are taught, via indoctrination (not education), with few questions. St. Ignatius had good reasons for saying that, if he could teach children from infancy through early childhood, they’d be believers for life. He understood how impressionable and malleable young minds are, how amenable to indoctrination.

    This goes both ways. For example, I’m sure Ayer had good reasons for saying that metaphysical utterings are “literally senseless”: he understood how impressionable and malleable all realist minds are, how amenable they are to empericism. Unfortunately, no helpful or useful paths of dialgue are forged with such sweeping assessments and such specious motive attributing valuations. Yet you continue,

    As believers young and old grow in their faith, it’s acceptable for them to ask shallow, simple questions for which their leaders have prepared answers. If they start probing too deeply, however, they are discouraged from going further and thereby endangering their souls. The answer to hard questions is generally something along the lines of, “God works mysterious ways we can’t possibly comprehend.” In other words, don’t bother asking such questions because we don’t have (any good religious) answers for them. Throughout the history of the Christian church, independent thinkers usually were branded as heretics. They were the ones who questioned the status quo, the ones upon whom the indoctrination did not completely take or retain its hold. They were also the ones who, more often than not, were later proven to have been right.

    Speaking of indoctrination… and so much for leaving the elitism at the door, eh? Never mind that the Christian church also produced some of the greatest thinkers (independent or no, whatever that means) of all time. For example, we’re still trying to figure out some of the things Tesla figured out, and even built, over 100 years ago. He is one of a very long and illustrious list, if you’re honestly wanting to go this route as a proof or as evidence to support your conclusions about the value of critical thinking. And, to ice the cake, here, I gleefully point out that, though not a Christian (or a theist, properly speaking) even such a mind as Charles Peirce must posit the existence of God in order for logic to function at all! You then round off this “explaination” of why atheism values critical thinking and theism does not by saying,

    Theism can only be maintained by a mindset that is predominantly religious, a mindset that does not necessarily eschew rationality, but does necessarily relegate it to a plane lower than spirituality. In the minds of many theists, if spiritual and rational claims conflict, the spiritual ones must be retained and the rational ones discarded as errant, if not downright evil.

    This, of course, is simply and downright untrue. I can only presume that the reason you would say something like this is because you haven’t read (among many others) Clark, Wolterstorff or (more recently) Bahnsen or Plantinga. I don’t mind you lauding the “virtues” of atheism over theism, just don’t do it in such an uninformed fashion. Thank you.

    P.S. – The man who originally proposed what would later become the Big Bang theory was a Catholic priest. Fancy that? Might I suggest that this, alone, is (1) proof that God exists and (2) that He has a damn fine sense of humor.

  • 22. OneSmallStep  |  December 11, 2007 at 6:57 am

    Sam,

    but many of the writings that we have of the early church fathers build up from this foundation as though it were fact. They don’t try to establish a new foundation, which leads me to believe that there is weight to the traditions.

    What is the earliest reference in the church fathers, in terms of a violent death of the disciples? It doesn’t take long for a mythical tradition to build — look at Paul Revere’s (sp?) ride, or George Washington and the apple tree. Not only that, but if we go based on what people treat as tradition … well, look at the atonement theories. Those are treated as fact, such as the penal substition one, even though it didn’t really come around until around the Reformation.

    And even if we go based on how you define give up one’s life — Mormons have done that. Muslims have done that. It’s not really valid proof, unless used for all religions.

    It seems that the first time anyone started really trying to say, “Can you quote your sources?” and “There all clever stories” was a thousand to two thousand years later. To me, that gives some sort of weight to the claims.

    I don’t think this works — before the Reformation, the Catholic Church dominated the political landscape. Who exactly was going to ask the church for proof, or the sources, without getting in trouble? This doesn’t lend weight to the claims, this shows that there wasn’t room for dissension. Not only that, but people didn’t even have their own Bibles until the printing press. There would’ve been very few who could’ve asked anything critical about the Bible.

    Why do you think that World War II Vets are interviewed in the documentaries? Not everyone who had a pen in the early centuries were willing to give up their life for a supposed afterlife/paradise.

    But these vets are interviewed about things that did not defy how the natural world works, and things that others could’ve supplemented, or supported with the battle sites, the ships, and so forth.

    Likewise, I think that all of these things can legitimately be considered in the argument between theism and atheism. Not as many evidences can be brought to the table for evolution.

    In the scientific fields, though, there would actually be more evidence for evolution. What scientists like in terms of proof is evidence, such as fossils, or genetics, or how a gravity field can distort something. The thing that is considered “weak” in terms of evidence are eye witnesses, or what people say, because of how malleable the human mind can be.

  • 23. The Barefoot Bum  |  December 11, 2007 at 7:53 am

    It’s a question of only scientific historical interest whether or not the apostles actually died for their beliefs; indeed we can conclude that many people espousing Christian doctrine were and are at least sincere.

    But sincerity by itself is unpersuasive, especially as to supernatural claims. A depressingly large number of people have suffered and died violently and horribly for their sincere beliefs, all of them mutually contradictory (and many entirely banal).

  • 24. snowqueen  |  December 11, 2007 at 6:34 pm

    Sam says, “I’ve read a lot of the good stuff but I’m really into hard, observable, objective evidence and I can’t seem to find any of that in the “truth” as atheists would tell it. It seems there is usually elitism and heavy philosophical reasoning. I’m sorry, but philosophy is very subjective and never offers anything else other than opinions, to me. Square one seems to be where I stay and not of my own free will. I would like to see an objective argument for evolution or a chance existence, but all I get is imaginations and philosophy.”

    This is clearly something written by an atheist in an argument (probably with you against theism) which you have subsequently appropriated imagining that it makes you look as though you have ‘thought’ about the issues. You can’t fool me! (as a university lecturer I can spot plagiarism a mile off)

    This comment “On this side of the questioning stage I can’t find any reason to doubt the Biblical canon or the creation as the Bible describes.”
    give you away completely because if you had sat down and looked at the ‘evidence’ for a second you wouldn’t be able to make this claim. I would have much less problem with you suggesting this is your *belief*. However, pretending that you know one end of an argument from another or what might constitute ‘evidence’ is quite laughable.

  • 25. Sam  |  December 12, 2007 at 12:39 am

    You may laugh if you like but I said a few times that I’m not trying to convince anyone of anything. I am simply a man who has covered a lot of ground with one or two questions in mind. The best approach I have to the critical thinking process is probability. You guys claim that you have reached a different conclusion and I have asked twice now for literature or material so that I may be exposed to the same evidences that has led you to your belief. What is truly laughable is a know-it-all giving herself an important title like “University lecturer” to support a bold claim that someone is plagiarizing and hasn’t really thought about what they claim they have. I’m not twelve. And in case you haven’t realized this, not everyone is pretending to be someone there not. I don’t think there is anything impressive about anything that I have said so far so I can’t really see why you would think that I would lie or plagiarize someone. I feel like I’m arguing with a teenager. Tell me something, how long did think about that title before you typed it in?

    Okay, now I know this is going to throw you guys for a loop, well at least one of you for a loop, but nothing I’ve written so far has been plagiarized and I truly am comfortable with my position as a Bible believing Christian because (despite the trivial stuff that onesmallstep brought up, which is still slightly philosophy and a lot of shoehorning) there is still a lot of weight to the writings that we have and can hold in our hands unlike evidence for evolution.

    Stop saying fossils are proof for evolution. That is so simple minded. Fossils are evidence that things died, okay. I’ve seen with my eyes things that have been fossilized less than one hundred years ago. I don’t ignore that dinosaurs lived on the earth. I also don’t ignore the faulty system on which the dating of dinosaur fossils are based. I have gone that far in my own research and if you wish to take on faith what scientist are claiming that’s fine. I won’t try and convince you otherwise because no one wants to here they’re wrong, except me.

    Now take a hint. Third and final time, does anyone have good strong info (i.e. literature) that they believe I may not have read, because so far you all have boldly spoken as though you have the answers as though it is obvious (except one of you tried to pretend that she was a “University Lecturer” and then tried to convince herself that she knows what I’m really getting at… I won’t mention any names. I’ll just point and laugh) but you have not directly offered any references or reading material that presents a strong case.

    I thought of a new joke based on my experience with atheists:

    Q: How many atheists does it take to change a light bulb?

    A: I find it laughable that you would plagiarize someone else’s joke. Clearly that is a joke that you heard from a comedian on stage at a night club (being a night club owner myself) I know a night club joke when I hear one.

    Q: So, how many atheists does it take to change a light bulb?

    A: You don’t really want to know the answer to that question because everyone knows that the bulb needs to be “replaced” not “changed”, because if you “changed” the light bulb it would still be the same molecules in a different shape. Clearly the bulb needs to be replaced.

    Q: So, how many atheists does it take to replace a light bulb?

    A: Where does it say, in any literature that you have ever read, that when a light bulb ceases to glow that it needs to be “replaced”. If you want just take it on faith that it needs to be “replaced” then I guess you can just consider yourself a sheep like all the rest of the idiots with circular logic.

    There is no answer to this question because atheists are too busy trying to define themselves and give themselves a fancy title that they would rather say a bunch of nothing but use big words so it sounds like something, so they can convince themselves that there not idiots. Show me an atheist committed to truth and not selfishness and I bet he can give me what I asked for in the very first comment; solid information.

  • 26. snowqueen  |  December 12, 2007 at 5:12 am

    {bent in double laughing] best free entertainment I’ve had in years. Thanks!

  • 27. The Barefoot Bum  |  December 12, 2007 at 6:32 am

    You want solid information about evolution? Try Talk.Origins.

  • 28. Sam  |  December 13, 2007 at 12:27 am

    I thought your blog was quite entertaining as well (if by entertaining you mean stupid). “University lecturer…” He he he.

    Thanks barefoot bum! Finally!

  • 29. Sam  |  December 13, 2007 at 12:31 am

    It’s kinda the same stuff and real subjective, but I’ll probably find that anywhere I go. It’s a start. I’ll have fun I know. Thanks again!

  • 30. Thinking Ape  |  December 13, 2007 at 1:16 am

    Sam, have you read “Finding Darwin’s God” by Kenneth Miller, a devout Christian? Would be interested to know your thoughts on Miller’s arguments.

  • 31. karen  |  December 13, 2007 at 5:17 pm

    There is no answer to this question because atheists are too busy trying to define themselves and give themselves a fancy title that they would rather say a bunch of nothing but use big words so it sounds like something, so they can convince themselves that there not idiots. Show me an atheist committed to truth and not selfishness and I bet he can give me what I asked for in the very first comment; solid information.

    Sam, I certainly can’t speak for all deconverts or all atheists. But for myself, the reason I didn’t respond to your “request” is because it comes across as very disingenuous and you come across as very hostile and combative, especially with your sweeping generalizations of what “all atheists” are like.

    Why would any of us spend time engaging with posters who come in to our site (I’m a contributor here) with an arrogant, dismissive “I’ve seen it all already and I know what you guys are like” attitude?

    Barefoot Bum gave you the best online resource about evolution, TalkOrigins, and you immediately declared: “It’s kinda the same stuff and real subjective”

    So, what’s the point? Why are you here, and why should any of us interact with you, when your tone is rude and you’ve got everything all figured out and your mind made up already?

  • 32. Thinking Ape  |  December 13, 2007 at 5:35 pm

    Sam, a good and humble theist replies,

    Show me an atheist committed to truth and not selfishness…

    Sam, since you are so committed to truth and are very selfless, could you explain this to me. I am apparently too stupid, ignorant, and self-consumed to understand your arguments.

    Before anyone replies anymore to your “solid information,” could you please lay down the “truth” as you believe it to be. I am not asking for what you don’t believe. I am asking for what you do believe.

    Do you believe there to be a personal god, a god that walks among men, yet transcendent and encompassing three different persons? Do you believe that this god created the universe and would use deception to con-fuddle our empirical data? Do you believe that this god would chose a group of people, only to trick them in the end and have his new people disgrace and murder his old people? Do you believe that one of the personages of this god came down, acting as his “son,” taught that his law was good, only to make it obsolete by his death? Or, according to one disciple who only met him after this son died, that this good law is actually death? Do you believe that this god actually will favour the contemporary Pharisees that have made no room for love, peace, joy, compassion, or hope, but instead instill fear, hate, and death?

  • 33. The Barefoot Bum  |  December 13, 2007 at 5:44 pm

    I think Sam means by “real subjective” “doesn’t support my theistic beliefs”.

  • 34. Sam  |  December 15, 2007 at 4:50 am

    Karen said<<>>
    I’m not wanting to sound that way but I have done this before and “disingenuous”,“laughable”, “stupid”, “dishonest”, etc are pretty much what every last atheist I’ve tried to talk to has said right off the bat. I wasn’t always like this. I used to try and approach with kindness being that it is always proper, but I usually feel like the guy no one wants to play with and if I’m not called names I’m ignored. At some point I figured out that generalizations and less than perfect labels get people talking. It became a kind of “get in and get out” sort of thing. I’m sorry if I offend with the arrogant approach which I myself hate but if it is the only thing that works and I really want a response… I take my chances.
    Karen said<<>>
    It sounds like a good question, but I have encountered this many times. Stupid is doing something the same way a second or more times and expecting different results. I’m not stupid. I tried different ways to get the result I’m looking for. And I never said I knew everything. That is a generalization that you just made. I went over some things I know about and said how I feel about their place in the “atheism v. theism” argument, but that was simply feeling out the crowd here and I got that same old vibe. Hard not to make a generalization at that point. And be honest, I’ve seen you on the other blogs responding according to my generalizations exactly and I am fairly positive that you wouldn’t have spent time engaging with me anyway. Don’t speak as though I had a good chance to engage in a proper discussion with you. I’m not the only one showing that arrogant, dismissive attitude. Maybe your just giving it back to those who dish it out and that I understand. But don’t pretend that it’s just me.
    Karen said<<>>
    Well, I have considered a lot of the info I seen up front before and I was hoping for some stuff along the lines of what “athinkingman” wrote about but I was still thankful. That wasn’t disingenuous. I do intend to go over that site more to read about the stuff I’m less familiar with. There just wasn’t much of it that I am not familiar with. That is not a know it all statement. It seems that if one can prove that pastors do and support stuff that other pastors say is satanic, then one has just proved that the Bible is wrong (That is an incident that is laid out on the site he recommended). I think that that person has made the same mistake that Christians do often; they rely to heavily on what the pastors are saying, and not enough of what the Bible is saying.
    Karen said<<>>
    Didn’t you have your mind made up before deconverting? I don’t find pleasure in being rude to anyone, and if you knew me, you would probably be very surprised. But I would like someone to respond and it gets very sickening to deal with people who never take you seriously just because, “you have faith in God so clearly you’re an idiot.” I became desensitized after a while because I’m dealing with apes who fling fecal matter instead of using their evolved communication skills. (I’m sorry that I said that but I’m leaving it in there for the dramatic effect. It is only intended as a metaphor.) So why should you interact? You shouldn’t. You already have what you want out of this conversation. An example of the selfishness I was referring to. Why am I here? More info. Curiosity. It just seems so clear to me and there are others who think otherwise. That’s not to say that I have it figured out like you accuse. Be careful. My strong opinions may seem as though I believe I’m presenting undeniable facts but I have not made that mistake. I understand that there are good arguments on both sides. But let’s say God is real, then the panda just happens to have a thumb too and that didn’t mean anything after all. It would very funny to find out we made such a big deal out of it. Do you see what I’m trying to say? Read this as though I am being straightforward.
    And what’s the point? Well, my dear Karen, it’s not a true commitment to the truth if you surround yourself with teachers that you want to hear. I really want to consider all that I can. I’m sorry for being rude.

  • 35. Sam  |  December 15, 2007 at 4:59 am

    <<>>

    Nice try, but I never said that.

    <<>>

    Just trying to get a rise so I can get an answer. How hard was it to offer some suggestions?

    <<>>

    That was implied for the sake of getting a response. I know that is probably not true to the fullest extent, okay. I really was just stepping it up a notch. Gees I feel so arrogant.

    <<>>

    The apostles creed, man. I take the Bible as being from men who encountered God and was given authority and knowledge to speak and write what God would have them speak and write. Though fallible they knew what was true and gave testimony to it. The author of Genesis recorded the true events of creation. He finishes each day with, “there was evening and there was morning” that particular day. It seems the author was trying to be literal with the seven days. These cover the basics of where we differ. I know that these aren’t solid and are based on subjective reasoning. That is why, contrary to what you’re implying, I haven’t offered any of these as solid facts. However, when we have two choices we can prove one wrong and by doing so prove the other right. If a man dressed as a woman was standing in front of you and I, I could describe what he looks like or what I would expect to see if the disguise was removed but without that option, I can only look for an Adams apple or something to that effect. That’s why I’m here asking questions. I’m simply looking for the Adams apple.

    <<>>

    I believe in the God of Abraham

    <<>>

    I know what you’re referring to, but I don’t think it has been firmly established by know and observed facts that deception would be necessary to con-fuddle your empirical data. I think that the universe has many evidences of a young universe, but you believe I’m believing on faith alone and I believe the same about you. If you asked more questions I think you would see that it isn’t as solid as you would like it to be. At least it isn’t for me, so that I can finally say, “Ha!” and kick back and relax. I just it was a little more conclusive.

    <<>>

    No. And it’s a good thing you don’t have to prove that he did because you would have trouble finding scriptural support. What I see is a God who from day 1 was trying to get these people to understand that all they had to do was love God and his neighbor more than himself and he would live long in the land. The obedience contingency was always there (Ex 19:5). They did not obey and he laid out a clear explanation of the repercussion of their disobedience in Deuteronomy 28, even saying that they would be destroyed off the land. He asked time and time again for them to turn from there sin and he would heal there land through the prophets, but when the time came there wasn’t even an honest person among the poor and the widows. He kept his word and I expect nothing less. And it wasn’t Christians who destroyed the city, it was the Romans. Christians did not believe in going to war in the early days of the church because not only would they be fighting for the cause of another country which was not their own, but it says in the Bible, “they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they train for war.” Micah 4 and Isaiah 2. This was referring to the Kingdom age that was ushered in with Jesus’ death and resurrection. Christians should not be going to war at all, if they know better. But you have a lot of people doing things they probably shouldn’t in the name of Christ. There a few variations in the definition of a Christian as defined by the Bible and invoking the name of Christ on whatever you do was not one of them.

    <<>>

    I don’t know how much acting was going on but the Law and the prophets and all that was before Christ was a shadow of Christ and pointed us to Christ. The things that God expected from the Israelites was no different than what God expects from the Church now. The rituals of the law became obsolete because they were fulfilled.

    <<>>

    It produced death and is the power of death because now I know what I can’t live up to. But God never justified by obedience. He justified by faith even Abraham. We are judged by our obedience because if we trust God then we will obey him.

    <<>>

    No. The fruit of the Spirit will be present in those who walk according to the Spirit (Gal. 5:22) if these are not present then it is hard not to say that they are walking by the flesh (Gal 5:25) And if they are not walking by the spirit then they can’t please God (Romans 8:8) Love is more important. It is true that we are saved by grace and not works but Titus 2:12 says that the grace that is from God instructs us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires. If it doesn’t, it isn’t God’s grace. I believe the contemporary Pharisees (as you call them) are wrong, but that doesn’t make God wrong.

    I hope that is what you wanted from me.

    I’m still open to other info.

  • 36. Sam  |  December 15, 2007 at 5:08 am

    Sorry. The arrows do a trick I’ve not learned yet. I’m reposting so that it’s not confusing.

    Karen said -Sam, I certainly can’t speak for all deconverts or all atheists. But for myself, the reason I didn’t respond to your “request” is because it comes across as very disingenuous and you come across as very hostile and combative, especially with your sweeping generalizations of what “all atheists” are like.>>>

    I’m not wanting to sound that way but I have done this before and “disingenuous”,“laughable”, “stupid”, “dishonest” etc are pretty much what every last atheist I’ve tried to talk to has said right off the bat. I wasn’t always like this. I used to try and approach with kindness being that it is always proper, but I usually feel like the guy no one wants to play with and if I’m not called names I’m ignored. At some point I figured out that generalizations and less than perfect labels get people talking. It became a kind of “get in and get out” sort of thing. I’m sorry if I offend with the arrogant approach which I myself hate but if it is the only thing that works and I really want a response… I take my chances.

    Karen said -Why would any of us spend time engaging with posters who come in to our site (I’m a contributor here) with an arrogant, dismissive “I’ve seen it all already and I know what you guys are like” attitude?>>>

    It sounds like a good question, but I have encountered this many times. Stupid is doing something the same way a second or more times and expecting different results. I’m not stupid. I tried different ways to get the result I’m looking for. And I never said I knew everything. That is a generalization that you just made. I went over some things I know about and said how I feel about their place in the “atheism v. theism” argument, but that was simply feeling out the crowd here and I got that same old vibe. Hard not to make a generalization at that point. And be honest, I’ve seen you on the other blogs responding according to my generalizations exactly and I am fairly positive that you wouldn’t have spent time engaging with me anyway. Don’t speak as though I had a good chance to engage in a proper discussion with you. I’m not the only one showing that arrogant, dismissive attitude. Maybe your just giving it back to those who dish it out and that I understand. But don’t pretend that it’s just me.

    Karen said -Barefoot Bum gave you the best online resource about evolution, TalkOrigins, and you immediately declared: “It’s kinda the same stuff and real subjective”>>>

    Well, I have considered a lot of the info I seen up front before and I was hoping for some stuff along the lines of what “athinkingman” wrote about but I was still thankful. That wasn’t disingenuous. I do intend to go over that site more to read about the stuff I’m less familiar with. There just wasn’t much of it that I am not familiar with. That is not a know it all statement. It seems that if one can prove that pastors do and support stuff that other pastors say is satanic, then one has just proved that the Bible is wrong (That is an incident that is laid out on the site he recommended). I think that that person has made the same mistake that Christians do often; they rely to heavily on what the pastors are saying, and not enough of what the Bible is saying.

    Karen said -So, what’s the point? Why are you here, and why should any of us interact with you, when your tone is rude and you’ve got everything all figured out and your mind made up already?>>>

    Didn’t you have your mind made up before deconverting? I don’t find pleasure in being rude to anyone, and if you knew me, you would probably be very surprised. But I would like someone to respond and it gets very sickening to deal with people who never take you seriously just because, “you have faith in God so clearly you’re an idiot.” I became desensitized after a while because I’m dealing with apes who fling fecal matter instead of using their evolved communication skills. (I’m sorry that I said that but I’m leaving it in there for the dramatic effect. It is only intended as a metaphor.) So why should you interact? You shouldn’t. You already have what you want out of this conversation. An example of the selfishness I was referring to. Why am I here? More info. Curiosity. It just seems so clear to me and there are others who think otherwise. That’s not to say that I have it figured out like you accuse. Be careful. My strong opinions may seem as though I believe I’m presenting undeniable facts but I have not made that mistake. I understand that there are good arguments on both sides. But let’s say God is real, then the panda just happens to have a thumb too and that didn’t mean anything after all. It would very funny to find out we made such a big deal out of it. Do you see what I’m trying to say? Read this as though I am being straightforward.
    And what’s the point? Well, my dear Karen, it’s not a true commitment to the truth if you surround yourself with teachers that you want to hear. I really want to consider all that I can. I’m sorry for being rude.

  • 37. Sam  |  December 15, 2007 at 5:10 am

    I’m reposting this too so that it’s not confusing.

    Thinking Ape said -Sam, a good and humble theist replies,-

    Nice try, but I never said that.

    You said -Show me an atheist committed to truth and not selfishness…

    Just trying to get a rise so I can get an answer. How hard was it to offer some suggestions?

    Thinking Ape said -Sam, since you are so committed to truth and are very selfless, could you explain this to me. I am apparently too stupid, ignorant, and self-consumed to understand your arguments.-

    That was implied for the sake of getting a response. I know that is probably not true to the fullest extent, okay. I really was just stepping it up a notch. Geez I feel so arrogant.

    You said -Before anyone replies anymore to your “solid information,” could you please lay down the “truth” as you believe it to be. I am not asking for what you don’t believe. I am asking for what you do believe.-

    The apostles creed, man. I take the Bible as being from men who encountered God and was given authority and knowledge to speak and write what God would have them speak and write. Though fallible they knew what was true and gave testimony to it. The author of Genesis recorded the true events of creation. He finishes each day with, “there was evening and there was morning” that particular day. It seems the author was trying to be literal with the seven days. These cover the baics of where we differ. I know that these aren’t solid and are based on subjective reasoning. That is why, contrary to what you’re implying, I haven’t offered any of these as solid facts. However, when we have two choices we can prove one wrong and by doing so prove the other right. If a man dressed as a woman was standing in front of you and I, I could describe what he looks like or what I would expect to see if the disguise was removed but without that option, I can only look for an adams apple or something to that effect. That’s why I’m here asking questions. I’m simply looking for the adams apple.

    Thinking Ape said -Do you believe there to be a personal god, a god that walks among men, yet transcendent and encompassing three different persons?-

    I believe in the God of Abraham

    Thinking Ape said -Do you believe that this god created the universe and would use deception to con-fuddle our empirical data?-

    I know what you’re referring to, but I don’t think it has been firmly established by know and observed facts that deception would be necessary to con-fuddle your empirical data. I think that the universe has many evidences of a young universe, but you believe I’m believing on faith alone and I believe the same about you. If you asked more questions I think you would see that it isn’t as solid as you would like it to be. At least it isn’t for me, so that I can finally say, “Ha!” and kick back and relax. I just it was a little more conclusive.

    Thinking Ape said –
    Do you believe that this god would chose a group of people, only to trick them in the end and have his new people disgrace and murder his old people?-

    No. And it’s a good thing you don’t have to prove that he did because you would have trouble finding scriptural support. What I see is a God who from day 1 was trying to get these people to understand that all they had to do was love God and his neighbor more than himself and he would live long in the land. The obedience contingancy was always there (Ex 19:5). They did not obey and he laid out a clear explanation of the repercussion of their disobedience in Deuteronomy 28, even saying that they would be destroyed off the land. He asked time and time again for them to turn from there sin and he would heal there land through the prophets, but when the time came there wasn’t even an honest person among the poor and the widows. He kept his word and I exspect nothing less. And it wasn’t Christians who destroyed the city, it was the Romans. Christians did not believe in going to war in the early days of the church because not only would they be fighting for the cause of another country which was not their own, but it says in the Bible, “they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they train for war.” Micah 4 and Isaiah 2. This was referring to the Kingdom age that was ushered in with Jesus’ death and resurrection. Christians should not be going to war at all, if they know better. B
    ut you have a lot of people doing things they prbably shouldn’t in the name of Christ. But there a few variations in the definition of a Christian as defined by the Bible and invoking the name of Christ on whatever you do was not one of them.

    Thinking Ape said -Do you believe that one of the personages of this god came down, acting as his “son,” taught that his law was good, only to make it obsolete by his death?-

    I don’t know how much acting was going on but the Law and the prophets and all that was before Christ was a shadow of Christ and pointed us to Christ. The things that God expected from the Israelites was no different than what God expects from the Church now. The rituals of the law became obsolete because they were fulfilled.

    Thinking Ape said -Or, according to one disciple who only met him after this son died, that this good law is actually death?-

    It produced death and is the power of death because now I know what I can’t live up to. But God never justified by obedience. He justified by faith even Abraham. We are judged by our obedience because if we trust God then we will obey him.

    Thinking Ape said -Do you believe that this god actually will favour the contemporary Pharisees that have made no room for love, peace, joy, compassion, or hope, but instead instill fear, hate, and death?-

    No. The fruit of the Spirit will be present in those who walk according to the Spirit (Gal. 5:22) if these are not present then it is hard not to say that they are walking by the flesh (Gal 5:25) And if they are not walking by the spirit then they can’t please God (Romans 8:8) Love is more important. It is true that we are saved by grace and not works but Titus 2:12 says that the grace that is from God instructs us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires. If it doesn’t, it isn’t God’s grace. I believe the contemporary Pharisees (as you call them) are wrong, but that doesn’t make God wrong.

    I hope that is what you wanted from me.

    I’m still open to other info.

  • 38. karen  |  December 15, 2007 at 12:44 pm

    Thanks for your reply, Sam. I don’t have time to quote your entire post – lots of Christmas shopping and cooking for me this weekend! – so I’ll just respond to a few points you made.

    Coming into a site and being rude so you can “just get a rise” out of people is not a good idea. Perhaps you have had negative encounters with atheists and agnostics at other sites, and I’m sorry for that, but if you take time to read through our archives, I think you’ll find that we have many regular contributors who are willing to engage politely with Christians here. Happens all the time. Rarely do we just ignore people or respond with rude put-downs if they have sincere questions or arguments they put forth.

    You say that you’ve seen me being rude or nasty to people on other blogs? I’m very surprised to hear that, because that is NOT my style and I think I’m pretty consistent in being fair with people and not making personal attacks on anyone. If you have specific instances, please point them out because I would like to apologize if I have been rude to anyone.

    In terms of your idea that you’ve “been there, done that” when it comes to the evolution/creation debate, I have a hard time believing that if you’ve never even seen TalkOrigins before. That is the pre-eminent site on the issue, from an evolutionary educational standpoint, so if it’s new to you I have to wonder how much study you’ve done on the topic.

    That’s all I have time for now. You say you’re truly open to new information. If that’s true I will take the time to share some of my bookmarks:

    Evolution:
    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html
    http://scienceblogs.com/denialism/2007/11/ask_a_scienceblogger_which_par.php
    http://chem.tufts.edu/AnswersInScience/
    http://www.abarnett.demon.co.uk/atheism/evolution.html
    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2006/06/ann_coulter_no_evidence_for_ev.php

    Archeology and the Old Testament:
    http://www.ebonmusings.org/atheism/otarch.html

    Atheism and Morality:
    http://www.ebonmusings.org/atheism/carrot&stick.html

    Christianity and Science:
    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/05/christianitys_sins_against_sci.php#more

  • 39. karen  |  December 15, 2007 at 12:46 pm

    Thanks for your reply, Sam. I don’t have time to quote your entire post – lots of Christmas shopping and cooking for me this weekend! – so I’ll just respond to a few points you made.

    Coming into a site and being rude so you can “just get a rise” out of people is not a good idea. Perhaps you have had negative encounters with atheists and agnostics at other sites, and I’m sorry for that, but if you take time to read through our archives, I think you’ll find that we have many regular contributors who are willing to engage politely with Christians here. Happens all the time. Rarely do we just ignore people or respond with rude put-downs if they have sincere questions or arguments they put forth.

    You say that you’ve seen me being rude or nasty to people on other blogs? I’m very surprised to hear that, because that is NOT my style and I think I’m pretty consistent in being fair with people and not making personal attacks on anyone. If you have specific instances, please point them out because I would like to apologize if I have been rude to anyone.

    In terms of your idea that you’ve “been there, done that” when it comes to the evolution/creation debate, I have a hard time believing that if you’ve never even seen TalkOrigins before. That is the pre-eminent site on the issue, from an evolutionary educational standpoint, so if it’s new to you I have to wonder how much study you’ve done on the topic.

    That’s all I have time for now. You say you’re truly open to new information. If that’s true, you can do a ton of research on your own or engage the folks at the Internet Infidels discussion board for some more info. I have a ton of bookmarks on these topics, but this site doesn’t allow me to post when I have a bunch of links in my comments.

  • 40. Sam  |  December 15, 2007 at 4:44 pm

    I understand. Talk origins has a lot of the same things that I have read and heard in lectures given by some self proclaimed atheist. I think the sources are the same so I would actually expect that. When I say it is a lot of the same stuff, I only mean that I have had the opportunity to hear and interact with that info.

    What I’m trying to say is that I’m well aware of a huge portion of the evidences according to evolutionary science. That’s not to say I’ve heard it all or that I’ve disproved it all. I am just aware and have a level of knowledge on the majority of those evidences (that I’m aware of) to teach those views quite convincingly. But I also have questions that would not allow the majority of those evidences to stand as firm as I would like in order to say that they are in fact “true”. We all have questions, I know, and I want to make it clear that I’m not here for evangelical purposes but rather, in the quest to prove one of two choices true or false I have discovered that I’ve researched evidences for and against evolution/atheism but only the evidences for Christianity. “athinkingman” mentioned that he encountered some books on the canon and I would like to weigh that info with the rest. I’ve been taking the long way around in trying to explain that, but it wasn’t until now that I knew how I wanted to put it. I didn’t mean to sound like, “been there, done that”. I meant to come across as though I’m interested in a different angle of the atheistic argument. But some of it is there on that site, I just have to wade through a lot of other stuff to get at it.

    No big deal though, have fun shopping!

  • 41. The Barefoot Bum  |  December 15, 2007 at 8:46 pm

    I also have questions that would not allow the majority of those evidences to stand as firm as I would like in order to say that they are in fact “true”.

    Please clarify. The “evidences” are fundamentally things that you could, without too much difficulty, see for yourself. The actual primary evidence on which any science — including evolution — rests is really enormous, checked and re-checked at every step by a fundamentally hostile audience. (Proving another scientists incorrect is actively encouraged, and the penalties for outright dishonesty are severe.)

    You really can follow the chain of inference right down to hundreds or thousands of actual observations. If you can find a real break in that chain (simply not looking is not, however, finding a break) you would become somewhat famous.

  • 42. Sam  |  December 20, 2007 at 12:12 am

    Sure BB, how about the fossil record. No transitional forms have been found for anything. I know that there have been a few attempts to present some, but there grasping at straws, and the fossils are ambiguous at best. If the tens of millions of fossils that exist today are a random sample of what has been preserved, then I think it strange that, though there should be more fossils of the intermediate types than any other type, we don’t have any.

    The Cambrian period contains almost every sort of phyla known to scientists, leaving nothing to the evolutionist’s imagination, yet indexing has not been changed to represent accurate dating based on a credible method, and no one is willing to stand up and say that this is not what they expected to find and that they are, in fact, no longer operating inside the realms of evidential truth. They have a sort of circular logic themselves; “Creationism cannot be scientifically tested, so we had to have evolved.”

    “I regard the failure to find a clear vector of progress in life’s history as the most puzzling fact of the fossil record. We have sought to impose a pattern that we hoped to find on a world that does not really display it.” Stephen J Gould

    How about a cold blooded reptile becoming a warm blooded bird when for millions of years the intermediate form would have had neither a wing nor a forearm, not allowing the creature to have any sort of viability over and above its parents or offspring? There exists no explanation for this and the only evidence is, “Creationism can’t be true!” Preferential treatment of the evidences is the saddest attempt to prove something is true, but selective knowledge is blatant dishonesty.

    I’ll stop here because none of these are original questions and yet they remain unanswered though they are older than I am (28yrs). I’m not trying to be original, but if these did not stand Can you tell me one thing that evolution truthfully explains using objective evidence that is not in the least ambiguous?

    Thanks

  • 43. Sam  |  December 22, 2007 at 12:18 am

    So far all that I have found on Talk Origins seems to skirt the true problems with evolution with a lot of non-issues that have arisen from silly questions that no one who has been shot down before asks. This is hard to talk about without sounding as though I’m stereotyping. I don’t care if you can explain the mechanisms, or draw pictures of what you expect to find if evolution is true, if history does not bear it out you have a huge problem. That is it. It’s over.

    Holding on to the theory of evolution is like insisting that someone killed your sister when you don’t even have a sister. During the long and drawn out trial, chalk outlines and a dramatic closed coffin funeral are not going to erase the huge, ridiculous fact that there was never even a body, much less a murder scene, murder weapon, or witnesses. Yet, the investigation still continues because someone with an imagination drew pictures and told everyone in town that this truly happened. When will the ones who perpetuate this story realize that they have this problem? Or do they already know? I wish someone with knowledge on the matter would be willing to sit a while and explain this without using long sentences that seem to be trying to lose you through rabbit trails. My eyes are bugging out. I’ve got to stop; I can’t take in anymore jargon.

    Hey, I tried the secret weapon, Talk origins, and they stick to defending circumstantial evidence that wouldn’t exist if they would just address the real issues. It makes me wonder how evolution has been perpetuated for so long, it just doesn’t make since. I have only confirmed my belief that evolution raises too many questions to be true. In a way, I’m glad I took the time to go into it a little deeper. It did not answer any of my questions, but I noticed a motif that seems to be common among evolutionists; “Don’t bother me with facts or evidence because I can still make it work: Look at this picture I drew”.

    “If it doesn’t make since, it’s not true”. Judge Judy Sheindlin

    I tried… :-(

  • 44. LeoPardus  |  December 22, 2007 at 1:11 am

    Sam:

    What is your science background?

    Formal training, work experience, education, awareness of research processes, awareness of the literature, understanding of the processes of peer review and the need for duplication or confirmation of findings, would all fit into what I mean by “background”.

    Also, what works, outside of creationist literature have you studied?

    You’ve made several accusations of circular logic, but what you say partakes of a presuppositional, circular, or enclosed logical system. One that is likely familiar to some of us hereabouts.

  • 45. karen  |  December 22, 2007 at 1:24 pm

    I wish someone with knowledge on the matter would be willing to sit a while and explain this without using long sentences that seem to be trying to lose you through rabbit trails. My eyes are bugging out. I’ve got to stop; I can’t take in anymore jargon.

    Sam, if you’re truly interested in understanding science and evolution and have a hard time following the TalkOrigins site, I suggest that a good resource for you are these fascinating videos by Ken Miller:

    http://evolutiondiary.com/2006/11/25/ken-millers-evolution-lecture-videos/

    Miller is a Christian (by the way) who testified at the Dover trial two years ago and whose testimony went a long way to educating the judge about evolutionary theory and why intelligent design is not science.

    My question for you: If evolution is so ridiculous and circular and insane, why are the vast majority of the world’s tens of thousands of scientists so persuaded it is true? Why is it the underpinning of all modern biology and why is it being reaffirmed again and again by what we’re learning about the new field of genetics?

    Are all these PhDs (people far better educated and more intelligent than I am) so nuts to accept a scientific theory that you find so crazy? Are they all deluded? Does evolutionary theory somehow not work in their research and experiments and study, but they’re all in a conspiracy so they claim that it does?

    I not proposing the idea that we should believe things just because a whole bunch of other people do (I’d be religious if I thought that was a good argument) but I’d like to know what you think about this.

  • 46. Sam  |  December 22, 2007 at 1:33 pm

    I have not made any bold claims as to present myself to you as educated in the matters of evolution. I don’t think an education in evolution amounts to anything if it can’t explain the most important evidences of all. If history does not bear out the fossil record as the evolutionist would draw it then this damaging evidence interposes a divider between truth and imagination represented by all the rest of the pictures and circumstantial evidences that are merely explained by the mechanisms of evolution and are themselves no proof for evolution being that the same can be explained through creationism. Calling the self perpetuated faith of the believer in evolution, “circular logic”, is only applying it in the same manner as the atheists. It isn’t a sort of ad hominem. It is relative to the subject and if I have offended anyone again, I’m sorry. I was asked for evidences and I was shown resources, which were no resources at all but the same perpetuated dogma of the faith of the evolutionist, and I assumed that I could dialogue under these circumstances with people holding to this faith, myself being sincere and not abrasive, in order to exclaim what is not being answered by those who have been represented as the ones with answers on this page. I did bring these issues up without my caustic attitude or without sarcasm and now my credibility is being questioned as though I’m misrepresenting evidence here. I’m not mad, but when can a man get answers. Let’s just say I have no background; the questions still remain a death blow. And if answers that sufficiently explain the phenomenon of missing intermediate fossils and the presence of the majority of all known phyla in the Cambrian strata were presented, then I could not make such a bold statement. I am not stupid enough to perpetuate my beliefs through boldness of speech.

    My dear LeoPardus, I have represented the facts as your scientist have represented them and thus shown a huge, catastrophic problem with the theory. That takes no education to establish when I am taking your own scientists at their word in the objective, observable evidences that can be held in their hand or seen with their eyes. That is called logic. That can’t be certified by any one college on the planet. It comes from critical thinking and weeding out the philosophies of the day.
    I don’t know why my science background would be in question if I’m right. I would have to believe in evolution if the evidence could show it. I don’t think people realize that if the fossil record does not portray what we should find then no amount of pictures, philosophy, or imagination can ever truthfully explain anything even if it is perpetuated with elitism or sheepskins. These are not insults. These are true statements that offend for reasons I can’t explain.

    Can you tell me one thing that is true about evolution?

  • 47. Sam  |  December 22, 2007 at 2:07 pm

    Oh Karen,

    What I meant by that is that it seemed as though they are trying to lose you so that they don’t really have to explain. My eyes were bugging out because I was reading more than was necessary to get the answer. The answers could be stated in shorter sentences. I don’t have any problems following it though.

    I don’t know why so many are accepting it. A lot of them are also finding the same problems that I am and not for the purposes of choice or religion (i.e. Michael Denton). Genetics has not been as kind to the theory either. There aren’t any Homologous structures that are specified by homologous genes. This is another problem that I didn’t get into because of the basic history being so far off that it is not necessary to start explaining why this may or may not be. Genetics has become a circumstantial evidence that is explained by the mechanisms of the theory of evolution but can also be explained by creationism as well.

    I think that if people are willing to move on past the problems of the fossil record, straight into believing it anyway, then there is no telling what people will believe and why. Your argument, taken to the extreme, would lend to religions like evolution being equally as true because people are joining them in numbers as well. But I’m not here to argue with you. I thought I would just point that out.

    I’ll look at the site though. Thanks.

  • 48. Sam  |  December 22, 2007 at 2:41 pm

    Karen,

    I think with the publish or parish mentality in the scientific world that money would be a huge drawing factor for the masses and a warning to those who defect. Many have defected and have been blasted by the community of believers in evolution. But there are a lot of scientists who are not Christians or evolutionists but can establish by the evidences known to all, that creationism is a better explanation (There words not exactly mine, but close).

    That’s just an extra thought. It is serious enough to stand as an explanation though.

    Thanks again.

  • 49. LeoPardus  |  December 22, 2007 at 4:39 pm

    Sam:

    I have not made any bold claims as to present myself to you as educated in the matters of evolution.

    You are telling us all about the failures of evolutionary theory. You’d better be pretty well educated in “the matters of evolution” if you’re going to do that. Otherwise you’re condemning a large area of learning and research from a standpoint of ignorance.

    I have represented the facts as your scientist have represented them

    How can you do that If you’re not educated in “matters of evolution”?

    And if answers that sufficiently explain the phenomenon of missing intermediate fossils and the presence of the majority of all known phyla in the Cambrian strata were presented,

    First go look for the “Transitional Fossils Challenge” [Here's a link: http://austringer.net/wp/?p=84 ] So much for “there are no transitional forms.

    Unfortunately I don’t know a site as tightly done for the Cambrian explosion. I’ll do a little myself.
    -Evidence from molecular and genetic research indicates that some phylogenetic diversity occurred in the Pre-Cambrian era.
    -The Pre-Cambrian layers contain almost nothing. Whatever life was around back then, we have almost no record of it. Partly because pre-Cambrian rock is usually very deep down. Partly because much of it is metamorphic (which would wipe out anything that was in it). The upshot is that pre-Cambrian life was probably fairly diverse, but the record of it simply no longer exists, and there’s nothing we can do about that.
    -In the latest taxonomic scheme there are about 40-50 phyla. Older schemes had fewer. Not all of even the older phyla are present in the Cambrian layers. You’re looking at a few dozen phyla, not thousands of lower taxonomic divisions.
    -The diversity of the Cambrian did NOT include canines, felines, cetacea, teleosts, and so on. Rather it consisted of arthropods, brachiopods, chordates, echinoderms, and such. In other words, broad body types, not specific special features.

    *Note that I just compacted books of info into a few lines. You’re going to have to study a fair bit to understand all the peripherals and depths within the outline I just made.*

    I don’t know why my science background would be in question if I’m right.

    A- It wouldn’t if you were right.
    B- You don’t have a science background to question.

    I would have to believe in evolution if the evidence could show it.

    I said that a long time ago. Then I actually spent years (yes, I said ‘years’) learning just what evidence there was. That pretty much forced me to believe in evolution.

    These are true statements that offend for reasons I can’t explain.

    They are false statements. They offend because you make them from a standpoint of ignorance, and insist that they are informed and true, then you insist that anyone who disagrees with you is ignorant, or a willful liar.

    Can you tell me one thing that is true about evolution?

    There are species on the planet today that were not on it 150,000,000 years ago. They came from older species. These more recent species, though derived from a common, ancestral species, can not interbreed.
    (It’s all one thing. It just needs 3 statements to say it.)

  • 50. LeoPardus  |  December 22, 2007 at 4:42 pm

    Sam:

    Genetics has not been as kind to the theory either. There aren’t any Homologous structures that are specified by homologous genes.

    You clearly have no idea what you are even saying here.

  • 51. heardofgod  |  December 22, 2007 at 6:14 pm

    Well, that is easy for you to say, but if I were to take the approach that you have taken, I would say you have to prove that I don’t know what I’m talking about before you can say that.

    I know that sounds stupid, so imagine my surprise that you would try that approach. The site you referred to is doing the same thing. I don’t have to know why a Guy is not a Girl if I can see he has an Adam’s apple. Likewise, I don’t have to know why there are no transitional forms between the supposed evolution of cold blooded reptiles to warm blooded birds. That guy has set up a straw man as a smoke screen so people who know big words can gloat and smirk. This hardly proves anything and is just the sort of approach that I expect from an atheist. You bought into it so you must be just as stupid and prideful.

    You said: You are telling us all about the failures of evolutionary theory. You’d better be pretty well educated in “the matters of evolution” if you’re going to do that. Otherwise you’re condemning a large area of learning and research from a standpoint of ignorance.

    Sure. But what I’m saying can be found in the mouths of many of your scientists. I said that I’m not being original. I thought that you would at least assume that I’m not presenting original questions. I have not presented anything that cannot be stated by an atheistic scientist (i.e. My quote of Stephen J Gould). And if we’re speaking of ignorance, I just gave some evidences that kill the theory from the outset and you responded with a very scandalous approach that shifts the burden of proof over to me. The burden of proof rests on the one who claims it exists, then I have something to work with. Because no proof exists, I have no need to disprove it. Evolutionists claim first that it is possible and did in fact occur. Without evidence of the fact, I went ahead and ended the theory by pointing out the lack of any evidence from the outset of the theory. Can you build a case on anything more barren than that.

    This is why I find it hard to believe that people can be taken in by atheistic approaches to argument. Ad hominem, and elitism perpetuate an otherwise dead theory. Look, if you think that I have to be a doctor and to fully understand the human anatomy to identify a Man from a Woman, then your are being ignorant in the most literal interpretation of the word. I can understand why you would require that though. Probably because there is no other argument to lean on.

    You also said: There are species on the planet today that were not on it 150,000,000 years ago. They came from older species. These more recent species, though derived from a common, ancestral species, can not interbreed.
    (It’s all one thing. It just needs 3 statements to say it.)

    The exact perpetual dogma without evidence I can expect from any one atheist. You have paid attention to the many who have come before you. You can probably publish your works now. The site you offered is a joke and your presentation is hardly convincing. I noticed you are still making statements into the air that cannot be proven. With nothing to work with how can I prove it wrong. No sister: no murder: no murderer: case closed.

    lastly you said: You clearly have no idea what you are even saying here.

    Right. Now that every atheist is convinced by your last sentence, simply because it was authoritative and spoken by an atheist, you should be sure that I don’t know what I’m talking about before you perpetuate your own dogmatic statements. I’m glad to see that not all hypocrites are in the church.

    You have wasted your time because none of my evidences have been addressed, and hopefully your scandalous approach is recognized by all who read everything that you have said, because I know you’re proud of your statements and have no reason to think that you are wrong. Maybe others won’t be as stupid.

    Nice objective evidence, BTW. You show yourself to be a comprehensive reader.

    Now does anyone else want to take a stab at the evidences I have presented as being nonexistent? Maybe this time you can exhaust the Internet and other sources for physical proof, instead of your atheist book, “How to perpetuate a lie when called on the carpet” By LeoPardus. I don’t know, maybe some of you are into that sort of thing. Save it then.

    signing off….

  • 52. LeoPardus  |  December 24, 2007 at 2:29 am

    heardofgod (whom I must assume is also Sam):

    I’m wondering where in your bible it says, “The outworkings of the Holy Spirit in you are a snide attitude, arrogance, condescension, short-temper, insults, and the like. Against these there is no defense.”

    Point is that as you claim to be Christian, you are hoist on your own petard a bit. You have, by your own choice, subscribed to a higher standard. A higher standard of regard for others, of attitude, of humility, of putting up with abuse, of response to others (be they abusive or not).

    Recall your bible? It says something about providing answers with gentleness.

    So far you’ve been a fine example of a Christian to all. I know I speak for many hereabouts when i say, “Boy! I really wanna be a Christian like Sam. I can be rude, obtuse, arrogant, snide, … in fact I can be any damn way I please. What a great religion Sam has. Just be any asinine way you want and claim a free ticket to heaven.”

    It’s arrogant, snide, condescending, bad-mouthed, bad attitude “Christians” like you that fill churches around the world and make people like me say, “If that’s what having the Holy Spirit in you does, then to hell (literally) with that faith.”

    I’ll address you comments in light of science and logic in a bit. Just wanted you to know what an “ambassador for Christ” you’ve been to everyone.

  • 53. LeoPardus  |  December 24, 2007 at 3:02 am

    Sam:

    From an earlier response of yours, in regards to links Karen provided:
    My eyes were bugging out because I was reading more than was necessary to get the answer. The answers could be stated in shorter sentences.

    You complain that folks don’t get real science compacted down to a bumper sticker for you, and yet you want us to take you seriously in an intellectual vein???? Do you think people get degrees, or learn how to do science, or learn much of anything by wanting the answers “in shorter sentences”?
    Maybe you do. If you can’t grasp anything longer than a bumper sticker, how could it be meaningful?

    Regarding your “response” to the link I gave you about transitional fossils. You did not read it or even attempt to begin doing what it said. Not surprising. Elsberry expects you to read and analyze a book. Those are far larger than bumper stickers.
    And still you want to be taken seriously in an intellectual frame?

    I just gave some evidences that kill the theory from the outset and you responded with a very scandalous approach that shifts the burden of proof over to me. The burden of proof rests on the one who claims it exists, then I have something to work with. Because no proof exists,

    Sir, you have provided only assertions. Not one iota of evidence. You’ve trotted out “no transitional fossils” and “all phyla are in the Cambrian” no less than three times each. But not once have you provided anything more than those bald assertions.
    We, by contrast, have pointed you to numerous links that show the evidence for evolution, and most of those links refer you to all manner of further evidence, including books, articles, museums, excavation sites, and so forth.
    You have got to learn the difference between ‘assertion’ and ‘evidence’. You seem to have them backwards.
    But, yes, how very scandalous of us to place any burden on your clearly overtaxed resources.

    Here, have a few pointers:
    1- Read the stuff we provide you with. I mean actually read it. All of it. I’ve read bucket loads of creationist stuff. Even whole books. Heck child, I’d bet I’ve read more creationist literature than you have.
    2- Learn the difference between ‘evidence’ and ‘assertion’.
    3- Stop trying to use the term ‘ad hominem’. You simply don’t grasp the term.
    4- Learn to write in something other than run on sentences. Learn to use better syntax. Take a class in formal logic. All these may help you to communicate clearly. As it is you have a bad tendency to ramble. It’s not easy to figure out what someone is saying in the midst of jumbled syntax and flow-of-consciousness rambling.
    5- Go get a Bible and read the parts about how you are supposed to behave. While you’re at it, think about the apostles being ridiculed, beaten, jailed, and so on. And about the many saints and martyrs who were reviled, and mistreated. And think that all those people – the great cloud of witnesses you’re supposed to follow – responded to the people who did all those nasty things to them.
    Then reflect on how you respond when you are oh-so-beset by a bunch of people on the internet. People who can’t physically touch you. On a site you are free to come to or not. On a site you chose to come to and issue challenges.
    Just think how those burned in oil must weep at your trials. How they must cheer you on as you attempt to stem our evil responses with snideness, and obtuseness, and rudeness.
    Just think of the Internet Crown of Reward, set with diodes, that surely awaits you when finally you join that happy throng who bore up, with the aid of Jesus, under unspeakable torment.

  • 54. Sam  |  December 25, 2007 at 11:31 am

    There is this guy on television (I assume, I’ve only seen him on you tube videos) who does these cool tricks with hypnosis and NLP. Maybe that will help you identify him. He did something pretty tricky in one of the videos that I wound up doing here. He set up 9 world class chess players in a circle and played chess with them going around the circle and making one move at a time. He won some and lost some but, not being a chess player himself, some in the room were surprised at his ability to play (you may have heard of this before or even seen the video). What he did was memorize the plays that half of them were making and then making the same moves with the person directly across from them in the circle. In essence, the chess players were playing each other through the magician/hypnotist guy.

    When you asked me for evidence, I knew that I was not educated through any formal schooling, but that I had heard enough from the religious leaders themselves to be comfortable with calling it just another faith needing to be weighed accordingly. I can see why an evolutionist would claim that no other proof was needed, but why the leaders of such a hard nose group would say that it is just as religious as creationism, that I can’t see. If they wanted evolution to be true and still hold to it, you would think that they would be as dogmatic as the rest. After hearing their evidences, it didn’t take long to figure out that it is the congregation of believers in evolution who have perpetuated the parts they want to believe with bold statements. You are just that sort of believer. I laid out “assertions” made by your leaders, who themselves are the educated ones, and you shot all of them down with authority, not having any education yourself. Even the Homologous structures not being coded or specified by homologous genes in other species and you “clearly” knew that I didn’t know what I was talking about. Guess what Leroy, nothing I have said so far can’t be found in the mouth of those who have made evolution a religion. You have played chess with some of your own leaders.

    You shot them down with nothing more than philosophy and dogma. You asked me. I never said I need anyone to approve or deny. I did think that you might offer up some new evidences that I might be unaware of, but instead you showed me that evolutionist have changed the way they argue. Same information but now I have to be smarter than the scientists to say anything damaging to evolution. If I play you against your leaders I don’t have to be educated in the least on the subject. So after you responded with absolutely nothing but long sentences I realized that I can’t have an argument on a level of physical evidences with someone who makes “assertions” about evolution contrary to their leaders, based on philosophy and dogma.

    The hardest thing of all is trying to get a serious answer from you. You keep giving websites that supposedly have answers and when all I find there is philosophy and side stepping, you tell me I didn’t read it. The last site is a smoke-and-mirrors trick to take the focus off the man behind the curtain. If you are going to give answers then now would be a good time. If I said the Bible is true, you would laugh because there is no substance to the statement. Yet, you have made the same types of claims expecting different results. You’re pretending to offer a library of information and giving me circumstantial evidence with a philosophical statement with an ignorance ad hominem implication, be it implied or stated. If you don’t understand “ad hominem” it means “toward me” (literally: to the man, or something like that) which is not toward the debate or to the “assertions”.

    And now I have to be an English major to tell you your faith is misplaced? You clearly are a cheerleader to a losing team now. Can you produce for me, not the authority of a religious evolutionist with an agenda, but the authority of truth which can be shown and observed with the eyes and hands, any evidences for your position? I can’t ask in any other way than that. You have not given anything that is unambiguous yet. It is almost convincing me that none exists because you have approached it so scandalously. Assertions will not work for me, though if you were as well read as you like to think of yourself, you would know where my assertions come from and would not be so dogmatic. I bet that the next post and any others after that, you will not give anything other than the same philosophy and dogma. There; I’ve said those words so many times now that you might probably ask yourself, “Does the evidence say what I say it is saying, or is it circumstantial or philosophical?” Think before you type. I’m betting you still don’t get it. Cheerleaders are pretty thick headed.

    And don’t try to use the Bible to “shame” me. If you believe that your understanding of the Bible is true, then you have only heard others quote it and that’s probably why you never got very far with it. There are many places where we are instructed to speak the truth with all authority and not to let anyone disregard you, this by Paul who spoke against the high priest to his face and even wish that the Judaisers would have slipped when circumcising themselves. They like you were perpetuating a very misleading lie. If your approach is for the sake of misleading, I have no gentleness for that. I was gentle with you at first (Karen was right, I’ll grant her that) but you responded with an obvious nasty behavior bent towards a lie. If you are only interested in how the Bible can control others’ responses to your malicious intent, then you have expected more than even Christ allowed. I’m not trying to evangelize here, I’m trying to bring out the scandalous approaches of those who claim to know the truth so that others can see the guts of it all. You have already heard what your itching ear longs to hear; others need to hear the vile-ness now. The blood be on your head as well.

    If I can’t see it and hold it in my hand, it is not evidence. Think objectively.

  • 55. LeoPardus  |  December 25, 2007 at 2:33 pm

    You keep giving websites that supposedly have answers and when all I find there is philosophy and side stepping, you tell me I didn’t read it.

    I directed you to a website that asked you to read a book. You did not read the site. If you had, you would have encountered this passage:

    “there have been many such sequences put forward by various researchers, this challenge focusses upon one case at a time. The first such case is found in:

    Pearson, P.N.; Shackleton, N.J.; and Hall, M.A., 1997. Stable isotopic evidence for the sympatric divergence of _Globigerinoides_trilobus_ and _Orbulina_universa_ (planktonic foraminifera). Journal of the Geological Society, London, v.154, p.295-302.

    Now, it is up to you to show why the fossil sequence described therein fails to show transitional fossils.”

    Had you done the search for “Transitional Fossils Challenge” as I told you to do, you would have found a couple sites with specific fossils imaged on the site, and a challenge for you to show why the fail as transitional forms.

    So aside from ignorant and arrogant, we can now add dishonest to the list of descriptors that apply well to you.

    Go away little boy. You’re annoying the grown ups.

  • 56. Sam  |  December 27, 2007 at 12:17 am

    Well, you’re right. I encountered those exact quotes just as you described, but what the “grown ups” are failing to see is that a man who believes in evolution is interpreting evidence using his preferences as glasses (or a blindfold). I don’t think you understand how that isn’t evidence. Some guy’s challenge for creationists to prove him wrong? That’s not evidence. It’s some guy’s “assertion”, my bias friend. Prove to me it is a transitional form he is referring to. So there. I can be childish too.

    Oh well. It’s pretty well a dead issue now. I won’t stop searching those resources that you guys gave because I am very interested, true or false. I mean, step outside of the argument with me a little. How fascinating it is to see what mankind does with the issues of creationism and evolution. If creationism is true, (use your imagination) it is very surreal to think of the theory of evolution and how it has been blown out of proportion. On the other hand, what if evolution was right? Holy Cow! Right? Well you have already been thinking like that. Me too, but not as consistently.

    Hey, thanks for taking the time and laying out your argument in your own style. I am not new to it but I have never seen it taken that far.

    Anyway, I know you couldn’t care less but this was good. I couldn’t restrain myself from responding. There was always a glint of hope that drove me to read your response and a hint of frustration when you kept leading me to more questions that I feel were beside the point that I was trying to get you or someone to make. (There’s that run-on sentence thing you were referring to)

    Anyway, I’ll go away now.

    Bye, cheerleader.

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Attention Christian Readers

Just in case you were wondering who we are and why we de-converted.

de-conversion wager

Whether or not you believe in God, you should live your life with love, kindness, compassion, mercy and tolerance while trying to make the world a better place. If there is no God, you have lost nothing and will have made a positive impact on those around you. If there is a benevolent God reviewing your life, you will be judged on your actions and not just on your ability to blindly believe in creeds- when there is a significant lack of evidence on how to define God or if he/she even exists.

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