For an atheist you spend an awful lot of time on religion

This image is taken from a "genuine" guide on how to pray properly from spiritualresearchfoundation.org

This image is taken from a genuine guide on how to pray properly from spiritualresearchfoundation.org

The number one fail safe, guaranteed to crop up every time, ultimate fall back anti-argument from the religious, when you begin to press them on matters of their faith which clearly lack credibility, is one which questions the motivation of the inquisitor; ‘why would anyone who defines themselves as irreligious, spend so much time knocking the beliefs of others?’.

On one level, it is a fair enough question. Despite that I can’t help but be amused by the speed with which this statement may be followed up with pious assertions of “Christian Moral Values” and often on a wide range of topics for which it is impossible for anyone to know anything about, such as life after death, for example, and just as often in the same breath as accusations upon the apostate of gross arrogance, both in their attempts at a repudiation of these crumbling axioms and in disgruntlement at the simply staggering monument to the blind hubris which His humble servants will protest.

I am, I think it should be obvious by now, an anti-theist. I refuse to accept that my best contribution to a progressive, liberal and peace loving world is for me to turn a blind eye towards pedophiles in the priesthood or to tolerate politicians in the pulpit. That anyone should be expected to play-act along with this corrupting game, in some sugar coated alternate reality, where everyone can go about their day happily oblivious and electively self-deluded, is simply ludicrous.

The opposite of the religious fanatic isnt the fanatical atheist but the gentle cynic who cares not whether there is a god or not. – Eric Hoffer

By Hoffer’s logic, then, the opposite of a person so middle of the road in their religious conviction, is someone who can highlight the dangers of this passivity where the neophyte might otherwise settle themselves with the notion that while resistance may be futile, it’s better to belong than be alone.

The unquestioning faith that these kinds of ordinary faithful have, not necessarily in the belief that every last word of the bible is true, but that the church authority is best placed to tell them which parts of it to believe and which parts to ignore, is precisely the kind of blindly faithful myself and millions of other secularists want to reach out to and educate.

These well meaning, but tragically misled masses, have been actively discouraged from establishing for themselves whether or not anything that they have been told is true can be proven so, and often regardless of what biblical verisimilitude has to do with the illusion of cosmological design.

It is clear that when [a priest who no longer wishes to stand by his remarks] said, “I respect you have energy for this, but for me it appears akin to arguing about the dating of Little Red Riding Hood’s grandmother’s house.”, when I asked him for his opinion on the article I posted on the Stanhope fossilised tree, he simply and genuinely didn’t join the dots between his responsibility as a man of the cloth to educate his fellow Christians on matters where religion has traditionally blazed a trail, but for which it increasingly provides no more than a metaphysical safe harbour for every kind of nut ball creationist to holocaust deniers in the bishopric.

So, yes, activist atheists may well be accused of focusing on religion. But let’s face it, you couldn’t pay much less attention to the truth than if you were an activist Christian; those wheeled out in front of the cameras lunatics, who’ll just as readily align themselves with Bill O’Reilly and the baffling anti-logic of condoms as a cause of HIV AIDS, in those grubby parts of the world nice white, middle-class people of faith prefer not to think about, as they would fail to distance themselves from the racist idiocy of anti-Obama rednecks, who quiet their inner turmoil at having never read a book other than the bible, with the illusion of serving a higher purpose.

If standing up and insisting that we, as a singularly determined human race, need not spend a single second more creating this illusion for ourselves isn’t the duty of all free thinking people, who prize the truth over dogma and evidence over blind faith, I challenge you, my literate and capable reader, to illustrate what is.

18 comments on “For an atheist you spend an awful lot of time on religion

  1. I understand that there are so many people happily pre-occupied with all this world has to offer. I immersed myself in every desire my heart chose to follow, only to be left wanting. I have no scientific hypothesis to explain what led me to Christ other than a word so many unbelievers equivocate with an excuse; faith.

    I will make this as short as possible, avoiding all references to the Bible that I can. As a former unbeliever I know that it will have no more meaning to you, than Shakespeare would to an infant.

    Every memory I can dredge up from my earliest years to the life changing experience of 4 years ago, has me asking “What the hell are we here for?” I tried to fall in line with all those surrounding me, I partied, (hard I might add) wrestled with a huge bout of materialism, indulged in every kind of pleasure I saw & still everyone seemed so happy in their dysfunction, but me.

    There are SO many events like the one I am about to share, so please don’t think that this one little coincidence could cause a self indulgent, cynic like my self to turn on a dime. The question “what the hell are we here for” changed into a fear. A fear that was so gripping I could not shake it no matter what pleasure I was seeking at the time. I started wondering more & more about where I would be when this existence I had no explanation for ended. “Is there a hell?” I would ask & if so “How do I avoid it?” I did the only thing I could, now don’t laugh – I prayed. Not necessarily to the God of the Bible, just to what ever being could have caused a world so complex to materialize as a perfectly sustainable planet for the even more complex creatures & vegetation that inhabited it.

    “Ok, whoever you are, how do I get to a better place after this?” I repeated this “prayer” over & over…in my head & out loud. This went on for weeks. Then one day something weird happened. The word “ROCK” jumped out at me. All day long. A simple, common word had taken on an uncommon presence, in conversation, on billboards, bumper stickers. There is no reason for me to have placed any preconceived importance on this word, yet over & over again in one day, I could not help but take notice. So, I am setting at home, reading a magazine & I hear “Welcome to the rock” from the television, I look up to see some people in jail. One of the incarcerated was holding a sign that said “John 3:16”

    I knew my wife had an old family Bible in the hall closet, so I dug it out searched for the Book of John and right there in front of me was a very plausible answer to the question I had been asking over & over. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” – John 3:16 (KJV)

    Cool, a way to avoid hell & have everlasting life. Now I could rest easy. Believe in Jesus & I am all set. I found some peace in that, put the Bible back in the closet & probably went to find my bong.

    I lived differently after that only in the fact that I started praying more, I had found my own magical 8 ball in the sky that could answer questions. For a stoned dude, that was really cool.
    The more I prayed, the more answers I received. For many years I saw these little glimpses of something that could either be excused as crazy, or something way bigger. Here is just a small sample

    – While praying for my wife to become pregnant (after years of trying) The word Enoch became very prevalent one day…Never heard the word in my life until that day. I finally had to Google it, found out it was a person in the Bible (found that one shoved in the closet again). Right there in black & white – Jared begat Enoch. Granted my name is spelled Jerrod, but I could not believe it. 9 months later my son was born.

    – When my wife was 4 months pregnant we were both laid off from the same company. Everyone kept asking us “What will you do” & I got to flex my faith for the first time. “We are going to trust God” I would reply. People thought we were nuts. Before our last day we had both found jobs & hers came with health insurance that did not consider her pregnancy a pre-existing condition.

    I want to fast forward to the night that Jesus became real to me, God quit being my heavenly Santa Claus & church quit feeling like an obligation I had to fulfill to get my entrance to Heaven card punched each week.

    Although I know my relationship with the Lord was growing, I was not. September 11, 2001 really pulled the security blanket off of me & my fear started spiraling out of control. I thought that as the man of the house it was my duty to protect my wife & child. My wife endured years of my paranoia & panic attacks. I found some distraction & pride during the time we were having our house built. Damn I am good, I would catch myself thinking. I never lived in a house like this when I was a kid. During the process, with all the planning & construction I forgot to be worried.

    Then we moved in. Our first night in the new house, my wife & son were in bed & I was sitting in the living room feeling really good about myself. I was proud of my beautiful wife & son & the home we were going to get to raise him in. Like a TON of bricks I realized that another layoff & the bank could take it back. A tornado could come by & blow it down. I had put all my hopes & energy in a man-made pile of neatly stacked bricks that could be taken away from me at any minute. I began to sob. The fear I had been able to ignore came raging back through me with a force that took me to my knees. “Jesus, if you are real & not just someone in a book, please show me! Give me that peace that surpasses all understanding & let me enjoy this beautiful life you have given me. Please, I can’t take the uncertainty any longer, I can’t punish my wife because of my weakness anymore.”

    The next morning it was gone. The anxiety, the hopelessness, the fear & in it’s place was this peace that could not be explained. All the same possibilities that had rendered me useless the night before still existed. I knew in that peace I had found something that was not explainable, I knew it was way bigger than anything I could understand & I have not stopped pursuing that relationship since.

    I don’t believe in coincidence. I don’t believe in living in the grey areas. I am certain of a Heaven that only believers in Jesus Christ will be allowed into. Does this make me a narrow minded biggot? Maybe in your eyes, but I didn’t share my faith with you in judgement. I shared it hoping that it would plant a seed & help someone else out of the dark place I used to have to endure.

  2. There is one thing that I have observed from these conversations and that is that we Christians cannot persuade you atheist’s with intellectual knowledge, intellectual power, or prowess. Self wisdom, self authority, self sufficiency are no longer what the Christian relies on when called of God. We rely on exposure to God’s wisdom and appeal to His authority. My question for atheist’s is, who’s authority are you depending on? Your own authority? I’ve been asked by many atheist and agnostics to “show us a sign or proof that your god is real.” Basically what they are saying is, “we’re going to measure what you believe by what we’ve experienced, and by our own authority.” So, for the atheist, your own self experience becomes the standard by which you measure God. You see that’s the problem, that is your sin. You think that you are the devine judge that can measure God, and you don’t have that authority, and neither do we Christians. I want to make sure you understand that… I have no authority! Who am I? I’m a created being who is just as dependant as you are! I breathe air, I eat food, and if I don’t have those two items… I’m dead. I wasn’t involved in my birth, and frankly some outside force is going to take my life whether it be an accident, murder, old age, or sickness. I’m dependant, I don’t have that authority. So atheist, what’s your authority? It is you! But, how can you be an authority when you are dependant like me? How can science answer the big questions in life such as: Where did we come from, why are we here, what is our purpose, and where are we going? Can “rational procedural logic” answer these questions? No, it can not. Only God’s word can answer these questions. If science is the authority of which the atheist appeals to for the answers to life’s questions, then I’m curious as to why they feel it necessary to sway Christians from their authority of which they appeal to, which is God. Everyone of us has lied, stolen, lusted, ect. We see these “sins” as trivial because we are sinners. Our very thinking is tainted with sin. If you understand who God is… He being the perfect righteous and just Judge who created everything in existence, then you would know that our sinning/lawbreaking is a serious offense to Him. He hates sin and will at His time of choosing destroy it and all those who do it. But He is also a loving God in that He made a way out for us so that we will not have to pay the penalty for our breaking of His laws. God makes the rules, and the rule is that there is no remission of sins without the shedding of blood. In order to take away our sin, God sent His son to die for us, so that if we repent and trust in Him… we would have all our sin debt wiped clean and avoid eternal destruction. But you see, no one is willing to receive His kind gift/way out. We (mankind) want to trust in ourselves, and what we can prove through our own intellect using science. Apart from God, we don’t even know where all of the matter in the universe comes from! If we believe in evolution, we don’t even know if our brain’s evolved correctly in order to accurately understand our surroundings or what we observe in existence to be true! How do we even know that we have the right morals when every person has their own set standard of morality? Who’s to say that their morality is wrong, and ours is right? Science can’t tell us that! Once again, we go all the way back to the appeal to authority. Ours, or the creators. More on this later. I MUST get some sleep! 24hrs is too long to be awake trying to type an intellectual statement. Cheers!

  3. Zodigital: In our various Twitter exchanges you repeated, despite many attempts on my part to correct you, that atheists have no moral authority. The inference being that, since there are ethical, responsible atheists all over the world, who would no sooner bring hatred and harm into the world than someone of religious conviction, even atheists are in fact subordinate to divine authority as everyone else–they just don’t know it. If that is an unfair summation of your position, please clarify.

    This recourse to negative evidence is extremely disingenuous, although sadly abundant among armchair apologists such as yourself. It is these unfounded and entirely bad reasons for asserting where moral authority comes from and what exactly morality is in the first place, which you have again echoed above, that provide me and many free thinkers the biggest challenge in bringing the rational side of the debate to those who need to hear it’s message of critical enquiry the most.

    You’ll forgive me if I don’t echo the methods by which I personally attempt to spread this message of free thinking and secular humanism in this reply–but this blog is a work-in-progress which you are more than welcome to explore and comment on, in whichever area you would like to know more about. If I can not personally help, I will attempt to find someone who can. There are also many Christians who regularly contribute here who can also help you understand why it is not necessary or helpful to accuse the irreligious of being immoral because they lack religious superstition.

    In that light, I invite you to clarify some of what you have said above, some of which I have outlined again here, since your line-break paragraphs appear to have been mashed into one, long difficult to scan block of received opinion:

    You assert that scientific methodologies can not answer the question of life, only God. Yet you have not only demonstrated a complete lack of understanding of what procedural logic actually is, you have similarly failed to demonstrate how a recourse to supernaturalism might better explain natural phenomena–let alone why the methods for describing the universe we already have are flawed because they do not induce prime mover mythology.

    Apart from God, we don’t even know where all of the matter in the universe comes from! If we believe in evolution, we don’t even know if our brain’s evolved correctly in order to accurately understand our surroundings or what we observe in existence to be true!

    Again, I would challenge your assumption that the only way to explain how the universe came into existence is that the Israelite god of war put it there, but that to question who put Him there is of no concern. If, as you say, He exists according to the properties you (and many others) assign to Him, why do you describe Him in entirely anthropic phraseology? Isn’t it super-convenient that He just-so-happens to be capable of performing everything humans are only capable of in their imagination? Why doesn’t He do any of the things we cannot bring into the real world from our wishful thinking? God only ever seems to be made responsible for that which we have yet to fully describe in the language of science. Yet He is entirely removed from the things which we now have non-supernatural explanations for–and despite that these too were once assigned to the supernatural.

    For example, once upon a time, people were “possessed with demons”. Now they have a bacterial infection. We simply do not take anyone seriously who continues to describe the spread of virulent disease in the way that we once did for hundreds of thousands of years BEFORE the very procedural logic you refute categorically proved that illnesses are in fact caused by poor hygiene and waterborne contaminants.

    This selective description of what God is and is not capable of being, simply isn’t an intellectually honest appraisal of why we should seed moral authority to that which, by your definition, exists outside of our understanding. You are effectively making an appeal that we should have faith in the absolutely objective judgement of something for which there is simultaneously not only no proof of existence, but from which proof is actively discouraged from being sought.

    This logical paradox has not gone unnoticed throughout the history of theology and I would advise you to better understand what it is you are asking us to believe, before you commit to believing it yourself without any reasonable basis upon which to build your assertions.

    I strongly disagree that science can not tell us anything about morality. Because of genetic research we will one day be able to cure cancer, Parkinson’s disease, HIV AIDS, Alzheimer’s, childhood leukaemia and many other diseases. We know how these afflictions strike their victims and we know how to stop them from doing it. It is our moral obligation to alleviate suffering. Before we knew how to do this, we could not prevent the tragic deaths and painful sicknesses which blighted the lives of millions of people, whose pleading prayers for even a minute of relief from God went as unheeded as did the screams from the ovens of Auschwitz.

    And yet you assign qualities of benevolence and omniscience to this same spirit to whom you claim receives these pleas with folded arms of indifference, while in the same breath blankly asserting that without His judgement there would be no moral authority by which your wilful ignorance might be rewarded. You do this while taking completely for granted the diseases which you were born immune to, because of scientific advancements in chemistry which years before you were even conceived, ensured that your grandparents gave birth to a healthy daughter and son that would one day give birth to you, in a clean hospital, with scientifically trained medical staff at your side from the moment your limbic nervous system, which evolved 365 million years before Christ, autonomously gasped for your first breath.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetrapods

  4. re: “what is our purpose”

    The question presumes there is a purpose. That needs to be established first.

    re: “Who’s authority are you depending on?”

    The assumption that we must depend on authority for our decisions necessarily regresses into circularity or infinite regress, because the choice of a particular authority would itself be a decision, depending on either the selfsame authority (circular reasoning) or another authority, the choice of which would have to depend on yet another (infinite regress, or circularity if the succession of authorities ultimately forms a closed loop). It would appear this assumption has no rational justification.

    re: “Who’s to say that their morality is wrong, and ours is right?”

    Who’s to say that all the other gods humans have worshipped are false, but yours alone is real?

    re: “Self wisdom, self authority, self sufficiency are no longer what the Christian relies on when called of God. We rely on exposure to God’s wisdom and appeal to His authority.”

    Really. So are you saying that Christians have all been in clear agreement when it comes to issues like slavery, warfare, killing, torture, monarchy, theocracy, empire, capitalism, corporatism, usurpation, abortion, polygamy, feminism, pacifism, patriotism, separation of church and state, ethnic cleansing and racial purity, guns, drugs, pre-marital sex, dancing, rock and roll, evolution, biblical literalism, faith-healing, transubstantiation, sacerdotalism, indulgences, speaking in tongues, snake-handling, the requirements of salvation, the nature of hell, and the very existence of Satan? Indeed, is there any single issue of ethical human relations for which there is a unanimous Christian position? And are the Christians always alone, or have others reached the same ethical conclusions without benefit of “His authority”?

    re: “I’m curious as to why they [atheists] feel it necessary to sway Christians from their authority of which they appeal to, which is God.

    I feel it is necessary to challenge any putative rational basis for Christianity because 1) Christians have done some truly appalling things in the name of their God authority with full conviction and certainty that they were on the side of right, and the best brake on the excesses of certainty is doubt, and 2) wherever Christians try to influence public policy, I think it needs to be made apparent that such influence has no rational foundation.

    In the Christian view, sin is any deviation from the preferences of God, and the most abominable sin, the only unforgivable sin, is unbelief. The majority Christian view is that commission of this sin justly earns the unbeliever neverending torture in hell, and it is a Christian duty to strive to eradicate unbelief and to minimize the influence of the unGodly.

    So my commitment to reason is attacked as an unpardonable offense by a group which not only enjoys legal privilege and state support, but which also has a long history of happily imposing their values by force or cheat, whenever given the opportunity. It is not belief, per se, which I am going after (I have no problem, for example, with the devout Amish–who at least have the courtesy and decency not to try to impose their will on me). It is only the pernicious effects of certain types of belief which I am looking to contain or erode.

    If you decide to relinquish your steering wheel and put your invisible friend in the driver’s seat as you go down the road of life, then that decision becomes my business and the business of everyone else who has to share the road with you.

  5. Pingback: For an atheist you spend an awful lot of time on religion « How good is that? « juxtablog

  6. Hahah! That was funny ~ humorous poetry! What a sound compilation of one-liners and stereotypical regurgitations, complete with deceitful, misrepresentative broad-brushing of the facts.

    Ahh, Todd.

    For more substance, google ‘why does everyone think I’m a jerk’, followed with ‘how to listen to others’ viewpoints without condemning them to hell’. It would do wonders for your status on this blog, and you apparently miss our freethinking company, since you’re back. Again.

  7. Todd seems to be confusing ‘atheism’ with ‘materialist reductionism’.

    Now I see no problems with the materialist reductionist atheist (lots of ‘ists’) accounting for reason through purely evolutionary terms (See William Cooper’s ‘The Evolution of Reason: Logic as a Branch of Biology’), however there is no reason that an atheist must by definition be a materialist. Atheism merely rejects the notion of ‘God’, this does not exclude immaterial constructs from there worldview. In the words of Stephen Law an atheists may still be “dualists, idealists, Platonists, etc. There’s no obvious reason why laws of logic are not something that can be accommodated within an atheist world view. For an atheist world view can be very rich indeed. It just leaves out God.”

    So Todd’s entire argument is totally flawed right off the bat. But I’m guessing most people here already know that.

    One other thing…

    “Science is about observable
    facts and empirical evidence,”
    opened the atheist. “Now, onto
    our MULTIVERSE presentation.”

    I totally agree, it is ridiculous. But as I have said on here many times before, the origin of big bang theory is rather spurious (what with George Lemaitre having been a Catholic Priest and all) and evidence for it rather flawed. Indeed I suspect that many of the ridiculous improvable mathematical notions currently en vogue in cosmology stem from blind acceptance of bbt, combined with a reactionary urge to present a nontheistic origin myth. I personally (as a strong proponent of plasma cosmology) see no reason that universe is not totally infinite and everlasting. I may not be able to account for the origin of the universe with my worldview, but does that mean I should accept that ‘God’ lives in that gap? No, I don’t think Occam’s Razor was intended for use on blind speculation.

    But welcome back Todd all the same.

  8. OK, look. Since Todd’s comment being removed and my saying that he is not welcome got down voted, let me expand on why I did this.

    Firstly, yes, it’s bullshit when someone airs their opinion and they get censored. Yes, everyone is welcome to comment and no, we’re not all going to agree with what is said. But Todd was not allowed back in, as much as his IP address changed and therefore slipped under the wordpress radar. He was not invited back simply to be banned again, he was simply never allowed back in the first place. It was a technical loophole which allowed him to post yesterday, not my decision to allow him back.

    Evangelical Christians, as we speak, in the United States, are mobilising support around opposition to vital and necessary changes in the American healthcare system, based not upon the legitimate concerns to advocates of small government, but by an ugly blend of flat out racism and bloody minded ignorance. Religion is the breeding ground for intolerance. It is the fertile soil in which bad ideas flourish. My blog is simply not open to people who preach hate theology of the kind Todd has aligned himself with. End of. If that’s censorship, sue me.

    If there is a mission behind this blog; one defining set of principled reasons why I spend so much of my time reading up on the issues which sometimes make it into a blog entry of their own, or more often than not into the comments of an existing post, it is that I feel compelled to speak out against the active reach into the lives of ordinary people which politically motivated religionists increasingly have. In that concern, I simply do not have the time to keep going over and over the basics with people like Todd and others who persist in coming here simply to broadcast their irrational fears and make statements which they simply wouldn’t make were they capable of understanding the facts.

    I am genuinely sorry to those of you who patronise this blog, in mind blowing numbers everyday, specifically because I do not, as a rule of thumb, delete comments from people I do not agree with–in fact I encourage it. This is one of the many things about this little blog I am most proud of; that everyone is free to express their opinion. This isn’t about silencing people and hoping that they go away. I want, very much, for people to express how they feel and why they feel that way. But Todd was told countless times, prior to his ban, that he was on thin ice with his regurgitation of opinions we already knew he held–and yet he continued to push his luck in this regard time and time again.

    I can not say his apology for how far this behaviour allowed him to go, before he was banned, was not welcome, when it clearly was. It must have been difficult for him to read back his own words, both in private e-mails to me and in public comments made here and listen to himself say some of the things he said, which he later regretted and apologised for. But I simply do not accept that were he welcome to comment here again, that he wouldn’t, over time, revert to type and hijack the debate with non sequitur arguments and ad hominem personal attacks of a similar nature once again–and I fail to see what that would bring to the table, when it so clearly failed to produce any positive results the first time around.

    However, in the interest of completeness and for those of you who received the reminder e-mail after I had already removed his original post, I have quoted it below in full. But I refuse to be drawn into answering Todd on specifics, when it has been shown time and time again that despite not just my own best efforts, but that of many other considerate and patient people who frequent this blog, that he simply isn’t interested in listening to anything anyone has to say, which doesn’t already agree with his extremely narrow and disingenuous world-view.

    New comment on your post #3657 “For an atheist you spend an awful lot of time on religion”
    Author : Todd
    E-mail : XXXXXXX@gmail.com
    URL :
    Whois : XXXXXXX
    Comment:
    Well, I just found I missed you guys (and gals). Seems I have a lifeline of, oh, around a half-dozen or so posts before I get booted out, and since it’s been a couple of months, I thought I’d see if Mr. Gardner might let me in to just say “Hi”. Perhaps I can even leave you with a few philosophical musings to keep the post light. I trust SOME of you free thinkers still maintain a sense of humor, right? So, if Jim gives me a bit-o-porch, allow me to present a few wry epigrams to ponder…for your disbelieving pleasure:

    I’M ATHEIST
    and I reject God because of
    all the Bible contradictions
    (though I’ve never read it)

    So then the atheist
    asked the Christian,
    “May I please borrow
    your worldview to
    argue against it?”

    You’ll confirm God exists
    after your final post

    TO FORM AN HONEST
    OPINION ABOUT GOD
    Christians read the Bible.
    Atheists? A couple of blogs.

    Of course atheist bloggers
    don’t take God seriously –
    THEY’RE UNREGENERATE

    ATHEISM IS RATIONAL –
    for those who cannot
    account for rationality

    I’ll consider the atheist’s
    unreasonable demands for
    evidence if they consider
    previously unacknowledged proof

    BIBLE’S GOD?
    – YHWH –

    EVOLUTION’S GOD?
    – CHNC –

    Given enough time
    atheists are convinced
    “Rock, Paper, Scissors”
    will play by themselves

    In the beginning was the Word,
    and the Word was with God, and
    the Word was not Richard Dawkins

    THEISM
    God > U

    ATHEISM
    I = God

    JIMTHEISM
    I > God

    Your big words and
    ad hominem attacks
    are quite impressive, but
    God remains unconvinced

    If God didn’t design the
    universe, who did?
    – Darwin
    – Chance
    – Spielberg
    – Fonzie

    MOMMY?
    How did “oughts”
    evolve from matter?

    When Copperfield made an
    elephant appear, Jim said,
    “Hi there, elephant. You came
    from nowhere, didn’t you?”

    JUDGMENT DAY
    Where atheism’s “You Ain’t”
    meets the Biblical “I AM”

    And last but not least…

    “Science is about observable
    facts and empirical evidence,”
    opened the atheist. “Now, onto
    our MULTIVERSE presentation.”

    Okay, you crazy group of secular humanists et al, good touching base with you. Keep up the good debate!

    Todd

    P.S. And just for the record:

    RELIGION
    isn’t really
    God’s thing

  9. “Evangelical Christians, as we speak, in the United States, are mobilising support around opposition to vital and necessary changes in the American healthcare system, based not upon the legitimate concerns to advocates of small government, but by an ugly blend of flat out racism and bloody minded ignorance.”

    Racism?

  10. In the spirit of full disclosure, Jim, my IP address did not change. I used the same email address I used prior, too. I did not exercise a “fake left, go right” in order to sneak through and post. If you’d prefer me not to, I won’t after this one.

    Man, just reading your angry post begs the question, why do you insist on sentencing “followers of Christ” to the category of ‘religious’, racist, ignorant and intolerant? As I quipped above, “Religion really isn’t God’s thing.” Just wait until Islam is fully in charge over in the UK, they won’t be quite so “Christianly” when it comes to women’s rights, other “religions” and, dare I say here, “free speech.”

    Speaking of free speech, how about that whacko in Owosso, Michigan arrested on two counts of first-degree premeditated murder in last Friday’s shooting death of an anti-abortion activist and another man (non-activist…wrong place wrong time) simply for holding a sign while sitting in his wheel chair? I’m not suggesting that the “religious whacks” that have murdered abortion doctors aren’t equally deserving of your or my ire, but couldn’t I just as easily intellectualize you into the same box as this ‘anti-theist’ who took murderous drive-by potshots at a handicap protester? And just for the record, I support Obama’s bold healthcare initiative – I’m part of no ‘Evangelical Christian mobilized force’ of opposition. I do think it’s fair, however, to demand a little detail on some minor issues…like how we’re really going to pay for it?

    You throw around phrases like “politically motivated religionists” with such contempt – can someone who believes Jesus Christ ‘was and is he said He was’ be given a charitable break that they just might have good reasons for it…even if it’s counter to your view on the matter? Let’s agree to agree…we’ve come to opposite conclusions regarding the evidence specific to Jesus and Christianity. My arriving at my conclusion may be irrational to you…and maybe it’s true that you have it all right and many not-so-ignorant scholars don’t…but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. You claim “people like Todd” wouldn’t make statements “were we capable of understanding the facts.” Okay, fine. That’s your opinion. I, on the other hand, submit it is you who are not capable of understanding the facts/evidence. I back this claim up with Scripture, of which you obviously do not acknowledge (that’s fine too): “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14

    Look, I’m never going to denounce my faith and will take my chances on eternal nothingness if I’m wrong. It is true; I did a crappy job representing the spirit of 1 Peter 3:15 in earlier posts (yes, it did pain me reading back my post, Jim…you’re right). I was genuinely sorry and apologized. I just became ultra-frustrated with being the lone Christian going toe-to-toe with you guys (and gals) with there being a built-in presupposition that anything I said to counter your arguments would be dismissed in gang-up fashion. So I did something I’m absolutely not proud of…I posted as H. Tirips with the same posts I would have as “me” but with a little different style. All of the sudden, H. Tirips was “welcomed” as a “refreshing new voice” who was “rational, unlike Todd.” It took Jim about ten seconds to realize it too…and poof, I was banned. I don’t blame him. It wasn’t right. Not that it will mean anything to this group, but I did repent.

    So Jim, in summary, I’m accountable…but I’m not the religious zealot you make me out to be. I think we’d actually get along just fine if we ever met in person. I’m not looking to “hijack” any debates…I think we’re all pretty clear where we stand, belief-wise. I don’t think there’s anything I can say to you that would create a 180 degree about-face, nor you me. That said, you guys have all encouraged me to look at all the relevant challenges (100 in all) to Christianity…and I’m in the process of creating a website that is going to deal with each one, head-on, with multiple methods of argument and media. So at least you all know I take your challenges seriously.

    Jim, regarding your comment, “But I refuse to be drawn into answering Todd on specifics, when it has been shown time and time again that despite my best efforts he simply isn’t interested in listening to anything anyone other than himself has to say,” I leave this post without expectation of you responding to it. At this point, I’d just be delighted if you allow it to be included. If so, thanks. I’ll be out of your hair now.

    Take care, all.

    Todd

  11. Michael, in your post you said, “I personally (as a strong proponent of plasma cosmology) see no reason that universe is not totally infinite and everlasting. I may not be able to account for the origin of the universe with my worldview, but does that mean I should accept that ‘God’ lives in that gap?”

    If you see no reason that the universe is not totally infinite and everlasting, might I suggest you invest the time to watch this presentation given by Dr. Hugh Ross from reasons.org: http://www.reasons.org/files/moodleflash/caseoec.htm

    Considering this group, I think you’ll at least find him to be a credible presenter. Not all of us Christians hold to the universe being 6,000 years old, BTW. This link is actually part of a course I’m taking through reasons.org that compares YEC/OECism. Anyway, I’d love for you to englighten me on your research pertaining to the universe being infinite and eternal. I find this statement interesting, considering the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Thanks.

  12. Todd,

    I watched your video. I agree with the views expressed on the age of the earth (a few concerns with the radiometric arguments aside.)

    As for the ideas about the universe itself I remain unconvinced. You yourself, as a proselytizing apologist, how important paradigms are to arguments like this. The views in your video are invariably based upon special relativity. Indeed a paper by Stephen Hawking is even quoted which states that if the universe contains mass, and the assumptions of special relativity are valid, then the universe must have a causal agent which is not the universe itself. With those conditions, it is a good argument. It is however, entirely based on Einsteinian physics.

    With that in mind, would you please return the gesture and watch the following introduction to plasma physics;

    http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=4773590301316220374&ei=mPSvSsX5F9TF-AaUv-i_Dg&q=electric+universe&hl=en#

    Hopefully you will see how this paradigm allows for a totally different interpretation of data from the one presented in the reasons presentation. Also bear in mind that this worldview is better consistent with observational data and requires little to no ad hoc justification for unexpected outcomes, as happens constantly under the ‘gravitocentric’ paradigm.

    Finally Todd, you will of course be aware that even if the universe is as I believe, without a demonstrable beginning (a la BBT) it must still have come from somewhere and of course your God is obviously still a possibility. As I have repeatedly said, the concept is impossible to disprove. I think you have my email address already if you would like to discuss this further as I do enjoy chatting with you.

  13. I have actually re-added Todd’s IP back to the banned list after his old IP expired, so he can’t reply here. But if Todd is still reading this and it’s OK with the two of you, I can forward both of your email addresses to each other so you can continue this elsewhere. Mail me.

    Again, sorry about this, Michael, but, as I say, Todd isn’t welcome to openly comment here, for reasons both blatantly obvious and already explained ad nausea.

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