Home » Atheism » Open Discussion

Open Discussion

Sacerdotus

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 3,682 other followers

Twitter

Blog Stats

  • 76,023 hits
August 2012
M T W T F S S
« Jul   Sep »
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

  • Please comment and post whatever questions, topics, or general comments related to this blog that you wish to discuss.  
  • Please introduce yourself and keep it brief.  
Advertisements

158 Comments

  1. g33kn1k says:

    Do you believe the earth is only 6000 years old?

  2. Sacerdotus says:

    No. Despite carbon dating not being 100% accurate, I do not believe the Earth is only 6,000 years old.

  3. g33kn1k says:

    Ok, we're off to a good start 🙂 My understanding of the Bible (and please correct me if I'm wrong) is that by tracing back through lineages, Adam's appearance on earth is approximately 6000 years ago. Would you agree with that? Or do you have another timeline for the appearance of man?

  4. Sacerdotus says:

    The Bible can be tricky when it comes to numbers. One has to be very careful. The 6000 years thing comes from the passage where it says a 1000 yrs is a day for God and vice versa (Psalm 90:4) So 6 days of creation with a day being 1000 = 6000. This is a mistake done by fundamentalist Protestants who read the Bible literally and do not grasp the actual meaning that the author intended. I obviously do not agree with that, nor does the Catholic Church. The timeline offered by science is more probable.

  5. g33kn1k says:

    Do you accept evolution as fact? Sorry for all the questions – just trying to find a starting point for a discussion. 🙂

  6. Sacerdotus says:

    Yes I do. Even the Pope accepts evolution. It is ok. This is why I made this blog, for questions and discussions.

  7. g33kn1k says:

    Sorry, I don't know the Pope's exact stance, but is yours that humans evolved from a common ancestor we share with other primates? I ask as I know some people who accept evolution, but not when it comes to humans. If you believe humans evolved, is your stance basically one of intelligent design?

  8. Sacerdotus says:

    The Pope accepts evolution, but that the soul comes from God. In other words, the soul did not evolve along with the body. My stance is the same as the Pope's.

  9. g33kn1k says:

    So at what point did we become "human enough" to earn a soul?

  10. ex_king_john says:

    Pretty sure the 6000 years comes from the addition of years involved in the events described in the old testament plus the 2000 odd years since the birth of christ a la Bishop Ussher who is only the best known of the counters.Can you address the second of the questions " Or do you have another timeline for the appearance of man?"

  11. So I hope this is the starting point for a discussion? If yes, here my simple statement:Even if there was a God that created the universe, so an intelligent being, but with no more assumptions like benevolence and so on, there has been no conclusive arguments made by apologists to why such a being should be the God depicted by the Christian Bible (or any other holy book or scripture). In other words: the step from the deist to the theist (of whatever religion) cannot be made and without reason there's no logic in doing so; it is merely a matter of (blind) faith in face of the vanishing probability, which is absolutely unreasonable in a developed world in which science is a powerful tool to explain or model the environment.

  12. Sacerdotus says:

    At the point they became "human" or what we are now, rational beings with conscience, will, self awareness. The encyclical "Humani Generis" touches on this.

  13. Sacerdotus says:

    God is GOD. In the Bible, God is called different names: Elohim, YWHW, Ancient of Days, El Shaddai, El Elyon, El Olam,Theos, Kurios, Despotes, etc. These are just human terms that attempt to describe the ONE God. Other cultures called God by different names as well. Whether a person is Christian or not, any prayer goes to one deity. Jews and Christians show more confidence in "God" because God revealed Himself to them. People of other cultures knew in their hearts that there is a supreme being. In light of this awareness, they were limited to their language and understanding and named God as one or many. They described God in the ways they understood this supreme being to be. Reason/Logic are man made things. This is why it is hard for man to comprehend God because man is using a finite filter to attempt to understand Him. It is like using the rules of the English language to understand Chinese. Blind faith is not unreasonable. Faith is part of the human experience. Your use of "developed world" is erroneous. Ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt were "developed worlds" respectively.

  14. Allocutus says:

    @RationallyFaith has suggested that in order to start from a "non-existence" presumption, one must have evidence of non-existence. My question was if the same applies to the Easter Bunny. @RationallyFaith responded that that's not the case because Easter Bunny is made-up entity. My response is the following:1. Do you believe that whether an entity exists, its existence status doesn't change by our belief or disbelief in its existence? If not, why not? If Yes, continue to 2. 2. Do you agree that if an entity exists, it doesn't cease to exist even if nobody believes in it?4. Do you agree that if an entity exists, it exists whether or not people have ever come up with the idea of its existence?5. Do you agree that if an enetity exists, it doesn't cease to exist even if someone comes up with its idea and dismisses it as unlikely and fails to believe its existence?6. Do you agree that if an entity exists, it doesn't cease to exist even if somebody comes up with its idea in a playful fashion (thinking he's creating fiction)?7. If your answer to 6 is "yes", do you agree that if Easter Bunny in fact does exist, the fact of its existence isn't afftected at all by people making up fiction stories about it?8. If your answer to 7 is "yes", don't we need evidence in order to accept a starting position that the Easter Bunny does not exist? If we don't, why not? Regards, #allocutus

  15. Allocutus says:

    So you believe that it's the soul that is responsible for us being rational beings? If so, how does that reflect on the idea of, say, a fetus (or a newborn child, for that matter) having a soul? Are newborn children rational?

  16. Allocutus says:

    Are you really Catholic? The above sounds more in line with Baha'i. In any event, if the above is true then how do you explain the Biblical God telling the Jews to destroy anyone who worships another God? If all versions of gods are indeed "the ONE God" then doesn't God know that fact?

  17. Sacerdotus says:

    Yes. I am answering the person's question which deals with the Bible, not Catholic doctrine. These names are in the Bible and reflect a particular attribute. The point I was making is that God is not limited to a designation. This is why He merely called Himself "I AM" meaning He always was – no beginning or end.Regarding your other question, you would need to be more specific. I'm assuming you mean the Canaanites?

  18. Allocutus says:

    No, I don't only mean the Canaanites. The Old Testament is perforated with commands to kill (either en masse or individually) persons who worship "other gods".

  19. Sacerdotus says:

    I will answer each because you seem to be a bit confused with the tweet I sent you. {Do you believe that whether an entity exists, its existence status doesn't change by our belief or disbelief in its existence? If not, why not? If Yes, continue to 2.} In regards to God: No it does not change. This is why I question Atheism's confidence in the position that God does not exist.Without evidence, this is an impossible notion to hold and defend rationally. {Do you agree that if an entity exists, it doesn't cease to exist even if nobody believes in it?}In regards to God, no. God will exist whether someone believes or does not believe. {Do you agree that if an entity exists, it exists whether or not people have ever come up with the idea of its existence?}You are basically repeating the same question as before. {Do you agree that if an enetity exists, it doesn't cease to exist even if someone comes up with its idea and dismisses it as unlikely and fails to believe its existence?}If the entity in question is God, then no action on the part of the believer or non-believer will affect existence. {Do you agree that if an entity exists, it doesn't cease to exist even if somebody comes up with its idea in a playful fashion (thinking he's creating fiction)?}As stated before, If the entity in question is God, then no action on the part of the believer or non-believer will affect existence. {If your answer to 6 is "yes", do you agree that if Easter Bunny in fact does exist, the fact of its existence isn't afftected at all by people making up fiction stories about it?}The Easter bunny exists as a caricature of a natural organism. It does not exist as the "easter bunny" in nature. Similarly, Santa Claus exists as a Saint Nicholas in the Church, not in his caricature form as an elf delivering gifts. However, God transcends the human imagination and exists whether or not man believes or does not believe.Human beings are wired to believe in God and the supernatural according to geneticists who discovered the VMAT2 gene.We are NOT wired to believe in the Easter bunny, leprechauns, giants and so on. This is because they are creations of man's imagination who used real things in nature and caricatured them. {If your answer to 7 is "yes", don't we need evidence in order to accept a starting position that the Easter Bunny does not exist? If we don't, why not?} We know by default that the Easter bunny is a caricature invented to market the Easter holiday in a secular manner.Not every culture uses this caricature to make bright the lives of children. However, every culture does have a God.

  20. Allocutus says:

    If I understand you correctly, you're saying that the principle of "you can't start from an assumption that something does not exist" applies only to entities that transcend human imagination. If I'm correct in this, would you please elaborate as to why this is the case?

  21. Sacerdotus says:

    The command to kill off nations was due to self preservation and Divine justice. Israel was often the target of other nations as it is today. They had a right then and now to defend themselves. Moreover, the "gods" that these people worshiped were pleasures, not a real living being.

  22. Allocutus says:

    Didn't God command to destroy all those who worship Baal? Was Baal a pleasure? Indeed, please support your claim that the gods that these commands were aimed to were "pleasures". Even looking at the First Commandment, it seems obvious that the reference is to deities and not pleasures. You're not to worship them, make figurines of them, make offerings to them etc.

  23. Sacerdotus says:

    This is why I asked for you to be specific. There are instances where commands are merely "dead letter."It would be numerous to list here, but from around Gen. 19 to Kings you can read in context what the people who werecondemned were doing and why God called for justice. Also see: Lev. 18:25 Deut. 7:3-6. A deity can be anything to man, not just a being outside of space and time. The golden calf is an example. The Hebrews fell for the temptation of idolatry and were punished because of it. These other groups did the same. They idolized objects, sex, drink, food as "gods." These are all pleasures.

  24. Sacerdotus says:

    No, what I am saying is that you cannot compare caricatures created by man's imagination in particular locations with a transcendental being that is found universally under different names.

  25. Allocutus says:

    What do you mean "found universally"? Surely you must be refering to the fact that people tend to believe in gods. Are you claiming that the fact that people have had that tendency is evidence of the existence of a god? If so, why?

  26. Allocutus says:

    Clearly I'm not refering to "dead leter" examples. I'm refering to instances where God tells the Jews to punish (with death) people who worship other gods, where God expresses his complete destain for Baal, etc. I'm refering to clear examples of where God is addressing the issue of other gods and not of earthly pleasures. Are you really asking me for specific examples. You don't consider it common ground that such instances abound in the Old Testament?

  27. Sacerdotus says:

    Death was the form of justice in that period, just like with stoning. The Israelites often mixed with the Maobites and the latter's ideas tarnished the views of the Israelites regarding God. In some instances, God is wrongly attributed as giving the command to kill. Numbers 25:5 is an example. I am asking you to give specific examples for clarification. Others reading here might no know what you are referring to. In order for the Old Testament to make sense, one must understand the culture of the time. Yes, to us in 2012 things will seem strange and evil; however, the period in question had its culture which was obviously primitive.

  28. Sacerdotus says:

    My answer is to be read in context to g33kn1k's question. With the phrase "at the point they became human" I meant at the point that they became homo sapiens, which means having the genetic, intellectual, emotional and psychological attributes of human beings of today. The attributes I listed were just for emphasis to show what separates us from the other hominids. A human being whether born or unborn is still a human being or homo sapiens and has a soul. To my knowledge, science has only detected brain waves in the unborn. Until we can decipher what those waves are, whether automatic synaptic signals or thoughts, we cannot say for sure.

  29. Sacerdotus says:

    Yes, every culture that has been documented has god/gods as part of their metaphysical philosophical and religious beliefs. No, what I am saying is that one cannot compare a leprechaun which is a localized phenomenon created by man with God which is a transcendental being found in every culture. This could be used as evidence for God, but would have to be developed upon. It is interesting that you brought that up. Why is "god" a universal concept?

  30. Allocutus says:

    Well no, you can't have it both ways. Either you're claiming that the ubiquity of religion is evidence that a god exists, or you're not. If you are then you're entitled to use that as evidence. If you're not then what's the relevance of ubiquity in the first place? In other words, why would ubiquity of belief allow you to claim special status unless belief is evidence of existence in the first place? If the fact of belief isn't reliable evidence then how can it be used to lower the evidentiary threshold?

  31. Allocutus says:

    I see. So you're opposed againt a literal interpretation of those parts of the Old Testament. God never actually said anything about other gods? It's just a mythological product of its culture, just like the Greek Mytholody is the product of ancient Greek culture? This would go along with your baha'ish claims of a "one god in many cultures". It would also mean we're much closer to agreement than I thought.

  32. Allocutus says:

    Also, a claim that the Jewish God or Allah are in any way comparable (in that they represent the same supernatural phenomenon that exists in reality) with the rather large army of hugely diverse and often morally embattled Greek, Roman, Slavic, Indian or Egyptian gods seems, on the face of it, ludicrous. I'm not rejecting it out of hand, but to claim that it has any significance at all, would require pretty solid support.

  33. Allocutus says:

    Other than being (almost invariably) invisible or out or experimental and observational reach, these gods have very little to have in common with each other. Some were creators, some were not. Some were loving, some were cruel. Some were just, some were unjust, some were weak, some were strong. Some were huminoid, while others were based on animal form or often stars and planets. The only thing we can conclude from the existence of these beliefs is that people are naturally predisposed to seek personality and intention in everything around them, including (very much) things that quite obvsiously have no intention or which have lower levels of intention (eg animals). The ubiquity of diverse religion is evidence AGAINST the existence of a god. It's instead a strong demonstration of human naivety and tendency to plug any hole in knowledge with a cheap bandaid solution; a god. Whether it was earthquakes, floods, diseases or volcano eruptions, gods (such as planets or hominoids or holy animals) served to explain the source of thesee events. This tendency continues. Until recently (Darwin), the complexity and structural integrity of the human body was the "best evidence" used by theists. Now, many step back from that and fall back on the "organised nature of the cosmos". Yet others take an even further fallback position and rely on the "who caused the Big Bang?" gap. No matter which gap you happen to fall into, a gap it was and a gap it remains.

  34. Allocutus says:

    Are you then claiming that all the clear attributations to God of commands to destroy belief in other gods in Deuteronomy and Exodus are not factually correct? God never gave those commands?

  35. Allocutus says:

    Let me sum it up like this (I've written a lot and don't want it to get tangental and get out of hand). Is there anything in the FOLLLOWING that's inconsistent with your position?"We can't assume that, without evidence, there's no God because people in Slavic tribes believed in Licho (who played naughty tricks on people), Swietowit (god of war and fertility) & Co, The Greeks had Zeus (who caused lightning) and Poseidon (who caused floods), the Egyptians worshipped the Sun and thought they would all become gods (stars), the Hebrew had an invisible god who talked via burning bushes, the Hindus believed in Shiva (the judge) and the rest and that cows were holy, and the Australian Aboriginese woshipped the land and their ancestors." Once you look at the various gods and their areas of responsibility, the fact of belief in them becomes a very EVIDENT example of typical GAP THEOLOGY. The phenomenon has no credit as evidence of anything existing in reality.

  36. Allocutus says:

    You are in fact contradicting your own argument.1. On the one hand you're saying that you can't compare local superstitions with the existence of a universal god. You're attacking the credibility of local beliefs. 2. On the other hand you claim that the existence of these local superstitions is evidence of (or, at least grounds to constitute a special case for) the existence of a universal god. You're basing the universal belief on local beliefs.

  37. Sacerdotus says:

    Please include everything in one comment. This makes it easier to address it as a whole. To your first comment: I Never made such a claim, you did. When I say that "God is God," I mean that there is ONLY one. People call Him by different names and describe Him differently, but there is only ONE God. Granted, the name and attributes given must be good not evil. I should have mentioned this before. Perhaps that is what has you confused.Allow me to quote from the Catechism which explains why other religions and their "gods" are "valid" to a certain extent:"843 The Catholic Church recognizes in other religions that search, among shadows and images, for the God who is unknown yet near since he gives life and breath and all things and wants all men to be saved. Thus, the Church considers all goodness and truth found in these religions as "a preparation for the Gospel and given by him who enlightens all men that they may at length have life."332"CCCI am not contradicting myself. You are inferring what is not there based on your misunderstanding of what I actually wrote.

  38. Sacerdotus says:

    The Bible must be read in context. This is the way the Catholic Church instructs on how to read and understand Scripture:"The senses of Scripture115 According to an ancient tradition, one can distinguish between two senses of Scripture: the literal and the spiritual, the latter being subdivided into the allegorical, moral and anagogical senses. The profound concordance of the four senses guarantees all its richness to the living reading of Scripture in the Church.116 The literal sense is the meaning conveyed by the words of Scripture and discovered by exegesis, following the rules of sound interpretation: "All other senses of Sacred Scripture are based on the literal."83117 The spiritual sense. Thanks to the unity of God's plan, not only the text of Scripture but also the realities and events about which it speaks can be signs.1. The allegorical sense. We can acquire a more profound understanding of events by recognizing their significance in Christ; thus the crossing of the Red Sea is a sign or type of Christ's victory and also of Christian Baptism.842. The moral sense. The events reported in Scripture ought to lead us to act justly. As St. Paul says, they were written "for our instruction".853. The anagogical sense (Greek: anagoge, "leading"). We can view realities and events in terms of their eternal significance, leading us toward our true homeland: thus the Church on earth is a sign of the heavenly Jerusalem.86118 A medieval couplet summarizes the significance of the four senses:The Letter speaks of deeds; Allegory to faith;The Moral how to act; Anagogy our destiny.87119 "It is the task of exegetes to work, according to these rules, towards a better understanding and explanation of the meaning of Sacred Scripture in order that their research may help the Church to form a firmer judgment. For, of course, all that has been said about the manner of interpreting Scripture is ultimately subject to the judgement of the Church which exercises the divinely conferred commission and ministry of watching over and interpreting the Word of God."88But I would not believe in the Gospel, had not the authority of the Catholic Church already moved me.8"CCCI merely stated that in some instances, instructions to kill others were done by the author or main personality in the chapter, not God. I never stated that God never said anything about other Gods. The rest of your comment are your personal inferences.

  39. Allocutus says:

    I don't care if the Catholic Church finds "goodness" in a belief in Zeus or, for that matter, in South Pacific cannibalism. Not relevant.What I want FROM YOU is support for your contention that, given lack of evidence that a god exists, we need to prove that he doesn't. You are the one who claims that evidentiary demands should be less stringent on a god than on toothfairies. In support of that you have cited the fact that all cultures have religious beliefs. I have rebutted that by demonstrating that those religious beliefs have very little in common; not even a faith in creation, nor in a supreme being. Their gods are superstitious and ignorant in nature. Some specialise in thunderstorms, others in floods, to name one example of this. They are gods that were created (by the looks of it) to explain gaps in human knowledge and were superstitious and primitive. Why does the fact that such primitive superstitions existed mean that you are allowed to shift the burden of proof?

  40. Sacerdotus says:

    I can only speak for Catholic doctrine. Therefore, I can only cite the Church's teachings and won't pretend to explain the reasoning of other faiths. I can try to invite an expert if possible regarding another faith. Moreover, the Catholic Church gave us the Bible. I find no other source of authority from which to rely onin respect to this. You are switching topics now. Please stick to the original discussion. When you are done with that one, start a new one otherwise you will causeconfusion among readers.There is no lack of evidence that a God exists. This is your assumption. There is however, a lack of evidence that God does not, cannot exist. Any claim or suggestion must be defended. One cannot state that there isno God or that they do not know if there is one and then back away when questioned why. Atheism is a position. It is an opinion. All opinions are subject to scrutiny and interrogation. You have rebutted nothing at all. You still did not account for the universality of God among cultures which is not limited to spatial or temporal periods. Moreover, you completely ignored the VMAT2 comment. Every culture, every religion will have differences in creation,morals, and the like; however, the underlining factor is there: God. Why is that?I in no moment shifted the burden of proof based on the universality of God.

  41. Allocutus says:

    Are you claiming that people believed in Zeus, Ra, Licho and 2997 other gods because of divine revelation? Is that your claim?

  42. Sacerdotus says:

    No, that is your inference. What I am stating is that the hunger for God is in us all, even Atheists. The Catechism puts it correctly in regards to man searching for God:"843 The Catholic Church recognizes in other religions that search, among shadows and images, for the God who is unknown yet near since he gives life and breath and all things and wants all men to be saved. Thus, the Church considers all goodness and truth found in these religions as "a preparation for the Gospel and given by him who enlightens all men that they may at length have life."332"

  43. Allocutus says:

    Hunger for God? This claim needs support (note that the Catholic Church's position isn't support and doesn't even interest me). How do you argue that the primitive humans' tendency to find superstition and magic and object/animal worship is hunger for "God" (capital letter, the one "true" God)?

  44. Sacerdotus says:

    Had you been paying attention, you would have noticed that the claim is supported by the VMAT2 gene. It is also interesting that I asked you to show support for your Old Testament claims, but you never did. You left me trying to figure out in what instance God said (according to you) what He said and to whom.The Church's position is indeed support because it is the religion I represent. I cannot present to you the views of another religion that I do not represent. Well in light of the VMAT2 gene, it is understood that our brains are wired to think of and contemplate God and supernatural things. Primitive human beings sought God using means which to us seem 'primitive.' These are the "shadows and images" which the above quote speak about. So what is your answer to my question: Why is "god" a universal concept?

  45. Allocutus says:

    "Well in light of the VMAT2 gene, it is understood that our brains are wired to think of and contemplate God and supernatural things."My question is unanswered. Why do you say we are wired to think of and contemplate God and supernatural things as opposed to gods, idols, superstitions, magic and supernatural things. How does the capital G come into it at all? Where's the evidence of that?

  46. Sacerdotus says:

    Your question was answered. VMAT2 predisposes all of us to think of and contemplate God and supernatural things. Are not gods, superstitions, magic and supernatural things, "supernatural" things? You have even used the word 'supernatural.' See the definition <a href="http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/supernatural>Title</a>Spelling is irrelevant. Both spellings "god and "God" will result in the same definition. The "G" is capitalized to show respect just like one would capitalize a person's name. Now, why are you ignoring my question:So what is your answer to my question: Why is "god" a universal concept?

  47. Allocutus says:

    I don't accept that "god" is a universal concept. Not until you tell me what you mean by "god" in this context and support that it's indeed universal. I've already told you that the various local beliefs were so varied and claimed such inconsistent entites and magical abiblities and events that there's no real common ground that I can see. If YOU think that there is a common definition so as to support the claim that "god" is a universal concept, you ought to address that issue.

  48. Sacerdotus says:

    So "god" is not a universal concept? Can you name a people (ancient/modern) who never had a belief system in god/gods?

  49. Allocutus says:

    Again, to reply to that question, let alone answer your previous question (WHY "god" is a universal concept), I need to know what exactly you mean by "god/gods". Please do answer that question. This is the second time I'm asking it.

  50. Sacerdotus says:

    A simple glance at any dictionary will suffice.

  51. Allocutus says:

    It will not, actually. You're seeking to rely on "gods" being a universal concept and I'm asking you to define the concept with precision for your purposes. Please do address this question.

  52. Sacerdotus says:

    I already gave an answer: a simple glance at ANY dictionary will suffice. The definition found there will be the same for every religion with a deity that has ever existed. Please stop the repetitive questioning and get to the point.

  53. Allocutus says:

    Part 1:There are MANY definitions. The word "god" has many meanings. I asked you to pick the definition that meets your argument. You continually refused. Now, I will do it myself. "A being of supernatural powers or attributes, believed in and worshipped by a people, especially a male deity thought to control some part of nature or reality". (theefreedictionary.com)By this definition, it does indeed seem that most cultures had beliefs in "gods". I say most, because there are exceptions. For example, some Pygmy tribes in Africa are said to have had no theistic beliefs at all (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_atheism). The Samkhaya school of Hinduism, which dominated Hinduism in its day, while believing in spiritualism, held no existence of a deity (a god) specifically due to lack of evidence (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_atheism). The Buddhist concept of "gods" (devas) also does not constitutes "gods" for our purposes because they have no supernatural powers. Some American Indians had no theistic beliefs. For instance, the Abipone Indians (http://atheism.about.com/od/atheismhistory/a/PrimitiveAtheismSkepticism.htm). Thus, the answer to the first question (the one you did NOT ask) is that you're wrong: it's not true that every culture believed in gods. But, of course, it is correct that by far most cultures did. The second question (the one you DID ask) is why this was the case. For one, we can't ask them. They don't exist anymore and a questsion like "Why did you invent your gods" would be somewhat useless. We have to think to ourselves: What is the LIKELY reason why most cultures tend to believe in gods?A suppose a possible reason might be that there indeed is a god who soemehow installed in humans the tendency to believe in him/it. But if that were the case, we'd see EVERY CULTURE (without exception) believing in a god. We would also be likely to see these gods being somewhat simliar to each other across the globe. But this is not what we see. Instead, what we observe is that religions that are closer geographically tend to have similar beliefs and, as you move further and further away, they become increasingly more diverse. Very natural phenomenon for any aspect of the human condition. Nothing to be seen here. Nothing unusual, nothing that would in any way support the notion that there is a god who gave us belief.

  54. Allocutus says:

    Part 2:What about this concept of "hunger for god"? Does that even make sense? No, it does not. There have been cultures who didn't believe in any gods. Did they lack this "hunger"? Was god being selective in who gets to have this hunger? The simplest and most likely answer lies elsewhere. Let's look to the very definition of gods: "…thought to control some part of nature or reality". This is a point I've addressed above already. Humans saw earthquakes and floods and other disasters. They also saw good things such as years with plentiful crops. Lacking ANY KNOWLEDGE (or any substantial knowledge, as the case may be) of the natural laws that govern these events, people were left with a knowledge-gap. So they made up their answers. They created entities that were responsible for each aspect of nature. These gods were GODS OF THE GAPS. The reason for belief in them didn't really differ to the reason most people believe today. Who makes the rain? Fill the gap with a god. Who made the Universe? Fill the gap with a god. Primitive gap-thology is the answer. And that's not surprising. What is surprising is that some people (such as yourself) still hold on to these primitive, ancient beliefs. Of course, we know how this happened. We know it has political roots; Rome's acceptance and then spread of Christianity, followed by the Church holding on (with all its strength, by word and by sword) to its power. Do we have a hunger for gods? No, we don't. I certainly don't. Many of my atheist friends don't. While I do sometimes talk to inanimate objects (especially when trying to assemble a desk), I certainly don't feel any yearning for a deity to exist. Evidently, neither did those cultures who had no theistic beliefs to start with. There is no universal hunger for gods and your theory is bunk.What about the "religion gene"? VMAT2 has many functions and they have nothing at all to do with belief. One fellow proposed that this gene also is responsible for spirituality. The theory is hugely controversial. For you to just claim it as a fact does not seem like a very honest move. But even if there is INDEED a belief gene, what does that mean? It means that natural selection has created pressures for such a gene to survive OR that it made its way into the population via genetic drift. That's how evolution explains it. While you can speculate a god, there's nothing here that would in any way make a god more probable than it would be without these facts. So, we have peoples trying to explain thunderstorms by inventing false deities responsible for them. They create superstition and silly beliefs. This happens in most but not all cultures. Why and how does this entitle you to conclude that the burden is on the non-believer to disprove gods? Why do UNJUSTIFIED ancient beliefs make gods any different to Easter Bunnies?*****ps: I take exception to your conduct in this discussion. When you rely on a concept and your opponent asks you to define it, it is your OBLIGATION to define it. ods any different to Easter Bunnies?

  55. Allocutus says:

    Finally, using this blog as a debating platform is horribly inconvenient. Firstly, you take days to publish my answers, let alone reply. You're effectively dictating the pace of my replies. Secondly, there is an unreasonable character limit of some 4000 characters. That's frustrating, as I don't like having to cut my arguments in two.I do suggest we move to a neutral ground.

  56. Sacerdotus says:

    The definition you provided is suffice. "It is said," there are the key words. In reality, African tribes always had a deity or deities. (Wiredu 2003, 20–22, 27–30, 32–33) (Teffo and Abraham 2003, 166–167) (Naddeem, 2003, 261)The ideas of Atheism came into play when the west began to colonize Africa.

  57. Sacerdotus says:

    There have always been cultures that believed in a god(s). The 'hunger' was always and is always there. Ancient peoples always knew there was something beyond them that was greater than them. They defined this something in many different ways. They used ceremonies, prayers and the like to appease this something which is a someone. The workings of nature were attributed to this someone. The 'god of gaps' is a fallacy. It is an attempt to escape from answering the objections believers present to Atheists. There will always be 'gaps' in nature. Nature has processes. We all know how most things work. However, the cause is what is often ignored. The cause of everything. The mover of the moving is not focused on. We can learn all there is to know about this universe, however, that knowledge derives from methods we designed. The answers we receive are from questions we asked. The universal hunger for God is there. This is why religion is so successful. It is also why Atheism has the lowest retention rate of any religious group. After a while, Atheists realize that their position is based on nothing but nonsensical conclusions based on assumptions. The VMAT2 does indeed have to do with belief. It predisposes all of us to think of God and the supernatural. Some Biologists speculate that this is some sort of mechanism meant for survival.There is no need to have a play on words with "god." God is understood to be the supreme being. That is the only thing you should concern yourself with.

  58. Sacerdotus says:

    The blog is indeed convenient. If you read my comment disclaimer, it says:"Thank you for reading and for your comment. Please be patient if you posted a comment. Spammers and other people who hide under "anonymous" sometimes post vulgar or nonsensical comments that I cannot post for obvious reasons. If your comment pertains to the posting and is free of ad hominem and vulgarity, rest assured it will be posted."I cannot be logged on forever. It is irrational to complain about 4000 characters and favor the 140 on Twitter.

  59. Allocutus says:

    They Pygmys in question are believed to never have had religious beliefs because of archaeological evidence; no evidence found of the type usually associated with religious rites.As for god of gaps…You asked me why various cultures have had superstitious and religious beliefs. I answered: god of gaps. That is the OBVIOUS answer to the question. It's evident in the fact that these deities all had their various roles: some were responsible for good harvest, some for the waterways, some for thunder, some for health, some for love. Ancient tribes filled gaps in their knowledge of nature with gods. That's an answer to your question. There's nothing magical or supernatural about the fact of THEIR BELIEFS.You are not being honest in accusing me of attempting to escape questions. I JUST ANSWERED YOUR QUESTION. Your question was NOT about the "Prime Mover"; it was about the "ubiquity" of religion and superstition.If you want to argue from "Prime Mover", you have to actually mount an argument on that basis; an argument for the existence of a god. You are the one who claims a god exists and the burden is on you. I'm not claiming no gods exist and I have no burden whatsoever. A god might well exist, or a goddes, or 10 gods and 11 goddesses. You make a particular claim, you must prove it.As for VMAT, you're making a bare assertion again. Please support your claim that VMAT2 is a gene responsible for religious belief. As for your last paragraph, that's just disingenuous. I asked you THREE TIMES to define "god" and you refused. Sent me to dictionaries. I MYSELF found the definition that suits YOUR ARGUMENT the best, only to be accused of playing on words and to be told that "god" means "the supreme being"? Not right.And yet, if "god" means "supreme being" then your claim that all cultures believed in gods is totally false.

  60. Allocutus says:

    I don't understand how the fact that you've made this disclaimer makes this a fair and convenient forum. As for twitter, I entirely agree. I did suggest a neutral ground, without the limitations of twitter OR of your blog. Again, you're not being entirely honest.

  61. Allocutus says:

    You have not established a universal hunger for "god". All that we can observe across cultures is beliefs in gap-filling entities. There's no hunger there, just ignorance. Don't know what causes thunder? Enter Zeus or Thorr. Religion is popular because people are taught by their parents to be religious. I've asked enough believers (especially catholics, but not only) and that's the clear answer. But religion is going down. People are startingto break away from indoctrination. They are starting to think for themselves.We know how religion (in the context of montheism; setting the non-supreme-"gods" to the side as they're a DIFFERENT concept) is so widespread: political power of Rome followed by the political power of the Church itself. It's not about hunger for gods. It's about indoctrination and, in many circumstances, brute physical force.But let's assume there's indeed a hunger. So what? That's not evidence that a god exists. It's only evidence that IT'S NATURAL FOR HUMANS TO INVENT GODS. If there's a "belief gene", that works against the truth of theistic faith. Rather, it gives us a NATURAL EXPLANATION of the spread of superstition throughout human communities.

  62. Sacerdotus says:

    <>What of the Baka religion? What of "Jengi" the forest god? (http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/where_we_work/project/projects_in_depth/jengi_project/people/) <>Yes and you answered with "god of gaps." Now why is that? Why do human beings always find the need to explain things using "gods?" You are going right where I wanted your mind to go. <>I am being honest. Remember your comments are publicly displayed. <>Now link this to my comment about belief in God being universal. As for claims, if you claim there is NO GOD, then you have to provide reason and evidence for this. Atheists cannot play the burden game. If a theist approaches you in an attempt to convert you, then he/she has the burden. However, if you approach a theist with the claim that there is no god, god is superstition and the like, then the burden is on you. No theist will take an Atheist serious who cannot provide substance to the no god hypothesis. It is like telling a kid, "hey, you don't have a mom" while the kid just left her in the car to go to school. The proof of absence of a mom needs to be present before the kid can accept it. <>Not at all. The VMAT2 gene is tied into the universal belief in God. Read: Hamer, Dean. The God Gene: How Faith is Hardwired into Our Genes. USA: Random House, Inc., 2004. <>I did not refuse, I merely stated that any definition found in any dictionary will suffice.

  63. Sacerdotus says:

    **You have not established a universal hunger for "god". All that we can observe across cultures is beliefs in gap-filling entities. There's no hunger there, just ignorance. Don't know what causes thunder? Enter Zeus or Thorr. Religion is popular because people are taught by their parents to be religious. I've asked enough believers (especially catholics, but not only) and that's the clear answer. But religion is going down. People are startingto break away from indoctrination. They are starting to think for themselves. We know how religion (in the context of montheism; setting the non-supreme-"gods" to the side as they're a DIFFERENT concept) is so widespread: political power of Rome followed by the political power of the Church itself. It's not about hunger for gods. It's about indoctrination and, in many circumstances, brute physical force. But let's assume there's indeed a hunger. So what? That's not evidence that a god exists. It's only evidence that IT'S NATURAL FOR HUMANS TO INVENT GODS. If there's a "belief gene", that works against the truth of theistic faith. Rather, it gives us a NATURAL EXPLANATION of the spread of superstition throughout human communities.**Do you honestly believe there is no hunger for god in the world? Religion exists, beliefs exist. Even Atheists are fixated on God and religion. Is this not a hunger for God? Religion is also tied to economics. Religion and Economic Growth across CountriesAuthor(s): Robert J. Barro and Rachel M. McClearySource: American Sociological Review, Vol. 68, No. 5Ancient peoples did not have the capacity to study nature well enough to find causes of thunder and the like; however, the question still remains even today: where does this all originate from? This is a question science can never answer. Science can only study the here and now. It cannot go into the past, nor into the future. It cannot go outside of space and time or outside of the limits of sensual perception to truly verify things. Basically, science is like "Dr. Mario" in a video game studying the video game realm while a player outside of the realm is watching him on screen. Religion is popular because it offers hope. People have direct experiences with the Divine which is life changing. Religion is not going down. Changes always takes place as the demographics change. Any decrease we may see now is the effect of Communism and other regimes which were hostile to religion and did not allow it to fully bud. The suggestion that people who believe in God do not think for themselves is absurd. We can learn about anything. Questioning doctrine is expected of Catholics as well. This fosters the study of it. Doctrines deal with God and the supernatural. Belief in them does not alter the sciences or anything of the mundane in regards to academia. My belief in God, the Assumption, the Sacraments does not contradict Mathematics, Art, Psychology and the like. You also ignore the fact that it was the Catholic Church that founded the education system. We have universites, schools of all levels all over the Earth and offer the best education possible. Even an Atheist donated millions to Catholic schools a few years back. To claim that the Church is anti-learning is crazy. The people you made inquiries to are obviously confused in general. You cannot come to any conclusion based on their ignorance. God will always be there, He is not going anywhere. Even in Biblical times, the Hebrews lost faith and eventually newer stronger generations sprouted from them with stronger faith.

  64. Sacerdotus says:

    How is it NOT fair? Have all your posts been posted yes or no? I only block spam or comments with curse words, insults and things not relevant to the discussion. The only inconvenience is time. Whether here or anywhere else, you and I still have lives aside of the internet, so any delays here will be seen elsewhere as well.

  65. Allocutus says:

    **********************************************What of the Baka religion? What of "Jengi" the forest god? (http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/where_we_work/project/projects_in_depth/jengi_project/people/)**********************************************I've told you that some Pygmy tribes didn't have have any religious beliefs. In "respone", you write about those Pygmy tribes who did have one. **********************************************Yes and you answered with "god of gaps." Now why is that? Why do human beings always find the need to explain things using "gods?" You are going right where I wanted your mind to go. ***********************************************They DON'T. That's the whole point. Primitive people OFTEN (but not always) did that. Sometimes they invented large animals (not gods in any sense) or some imaginative natural explanations (also not gods in any sense). That's what the PRIMITIVES did. When not knowing an answer, they invented one. Modern people DON'T do that. Instead, we search for an explanation. That's why we have antibiotics, spaceflight and meteorology. Of course, there are exceptions, such as yourself. When faced with a question (ie, "Why did primitive people SOMETIMES invoke gods") you come up with a fanciful explanation ("because there exists a single god named Yhaweh who loves us all very much") instead of engaginging in any honest truth-seeking exercise. ****************************************************Not at all. The VMAT2 gene is tied into the universal belief in God. Read: Hamer, Dean. The God Gene: How Faith is Hardwired into Our Genes. USA: Random House, Inc., 2004.****************************************************Hamer is indeed the one guy who has made that claim and that claim is as controversial AS HELL, and yet you have to audacity to simply state it as if it were undisputed, established fact.

  66. Allocutus says:

    ******************************************************I did not refuse, I merely stated that any definition found in any dictionary will suffice. ******************************************************You FAILED to provide me with a definition and told me that any dictionary definition will suffice. I found one, only to be told by yourself that it's incorrect as "god" means "supreme being". Of course, IF "god" means "supreme being" then it's FALSE that primitive invoked gods. With the exception of very few tribes (eg, the Jews, and only in PART of their history), they did NOT. They invoked non-supreme (but equally fanciful and made-up) causes of perfectly natural phenomena. You engaged in an equivocation. It's a charge I've made above and you have FAILED TO ADDRESS. I agree with you that religion is popular because it offers comfort and hope. Unfortunately for you, this is an argument that works AGAINST theism. The fact that religion offers comfort is A NATURAL explanation for people's (not universal, but certainly very common) tendency to believe in the supernatural: they want to have hope. This fallacy even has a name: Appeal to Consequence. The reasoning does not reflect anything about the actual state of the world; it doesn't support the claim that a god exists. Instead, it explains people's MOTIVE to invent religion. You're wrong in sayng that science can only study that which can be observed NOW. As somebody who has actually ADMITTED TO ACCEPT EVOLUTION and to be a member of an entire Church which also accepts it, you are on the record as agreeing with this. You are fully aware that scientists can research things that they can't observe contemporaneously. This is done by looking at evidence and drawing conclusions, inferences. As a "believer" of evolution, you are being dishonest with yourself and with me when making the above claim.I never claimed that science disproves god. God isn't disproven. God is UNPROVEN. As a rational being, I will not accept as true an unproven claim. This goes for god and this goes for Yeti, Santa and UFO abductions. Equally, I don't care if the Catholic church has supported science. The fact is it didn't. It in fact fought it with tooth and nail. It suppressed Copernicus and Gallileo and many other honest truth-seekers. I'm sure you've heard. But again, that's irrelevant to the question of evidence that a god exists.*****************************************************The people you made inquiries to are obviously confused in general. You cannot come to any conclusion based on their ignorance. God will always be there, He is not going anywhere. Even in Biblical times, the Hebrews lost faith and eventually newer stronger generations sprouted from them with stronger faith. ***************************************************Religiosity is steadily declining and has been for some years. But even if it didn't, that's neither here or there. Appeal to popularity, as you should know, is a very basic fallacy. BOTTOM LINE: So, when will you start showing me some evidence that a god exists?

  67. Allocutus says:

    In a neutral forum, the person who is delaying would be the one whose posts are delayed in showing. In this venue, the opposite is often true. Ie, whenever YOU are not available to approve my posts, it's MY posts that don't get to be seen until you happen to find some time.Then when you DO approve my posts and you reply to them, you make references to the argument on twitter, claiming that I'm not doing a good job. This is unfair because those readers who at that point look at our debate only see YOUR last reponse and not mine, even though I may have already responded. I'm not too bothered about that becasue, as it happens, you are failing quite spectuacularly to provide any argument that a god or gods exist. But the delays are certainly unfair and the ad homs on twitter are in bad form.In addition, the quoting system of this forum (the non-existing quoting system, that is) makes a well structured flow of the debate impossible. Yes, you have printed all my responses. I agree with that. It's a pity that you've failed to address the issues in an honest and responsive manner. You have completely ignored my (still valid) charge of equivocation. You have then committed ANOTHER equivocation by referring to DIFFERENT Pigmy tribes (ones that DID have religious beliefs).You're running TWO arguments that actually work AGAINST theism (the VMAT2 argument and the "religion offers comfort" argument). Both provide a NATURAL MOTIVE/TENDENCY for humans to make gods up. Both destroy your "if religion is false, why do so many belief" argument. Not that the argument itself had any legs to start with. It's a fallacy; Appeal to Popularity. Oh well, argue how you want. Do it at your own peril.

  68. Sacerdotus says:

    ***********In a neutral forum, the person who is delaying would be the one whose posts are delayed in showing. In this venue, the opposite is often true. Ie, whenever YOU are not available to approve my posts, it's MY posts that don't get to be seen until you happen to find some time. Then when you DO approve my posts and you reply to them, you make references to the argument on twitter, claiming that I'm not doing a good job. This is unfair because those readers who at that point look at our debate only see YOUR last reponse and not mine, even though I may have already responded. I'm not too bothered about that becasue, as it happens, you are failing quite spectuacularly to provide any argument that a god or gods exist. But the delays are certainly unfair and the ad homs on twitter are in bad form. **************Whether delayed or not, comments are posted at the exact time the system accepted them. For example, if you write a comment on Sept 5, 2012 and I post it on Oct. 7, 2013, the posting date will be Sept 5, 2012. The references I make on Twitter are to show the obvious: I have shot down every point you have presented and have not shown us any Atheist muscle. The arguments you provide are old and well circulated. *******In addition, the quoting system of this forum (the non-existing quoting system, that is) makes a well structured flow of the debate impossible. Yes, you have printed all my responses. I agree with that. It's a pity that you've failed to address the issues in an honest and responsive manner. You have completely ignored my (still valid) charge of equivocation. You have then committed ANOTHER equivocation by referring to DIFFERENT Pigmy tribes (ones that DID have religious beliefs). You're running TWO arguments that actually work AGAINST theism (the VMAT2 argument and the "religion offers comfort" argument). Both provide a NATURAL MOTIVE/TENDENCY for humans to make gods up. Both destroy your "if religion is false, why do so many belief" argument. Not that the argument itself had any legs to start with. It's a fallacy; Appeal to Popularity. Oh well, argue how you want. Do it at your own peril.*******If one clicks 'reply' then the reply will immediately follow the comment. There is no reason why any reader would not be able to follow along. I addressed each issue and even provided sources that debunk your claims such as the Pigmy tribes that you brought up. You have yet to provide a source for your claim that Pigmy tribes have no religious beliefs. The VMAT2 does not allow for the tendency of humans to make gods up because if the gene developed during evolution, then it is safe to say that it developed when man had no intelligence, reasoning, or abstract faculties in order to formulate any deities. The existence of the gene prior to man evolving to the point of having enough intelligence, reasoning and abstract capabilities shows that the gene has a function that was not subject to man's post hoc capabilities.

  69. Sacerdotus says:

    This is another stall tactic similar to that of Rosa Rubicondior's. When God is debated in any venue, a generic definition is used. It does not make sense attempting to define God as every religion defines him/her/it. Can you imagine trying to debate and defining over 3000 versions of a Supreme being? It is much easier to keep it simple and use the definition found in every dictionary, ie supreme being, creator, etc etc.My comment on religion is not an Appeal to Consequence. It is a reply given in context to the comment you made. Appeal to Consequence in a religious sense would mean the after life. However, when I mentioned hope, I meant here on Earth. Religion offers peace of mind, emotional stability and maturity which helps people who practice it to cope with this turbulent world. Atheists always cite fallacies without fully understanding them and this is unfortunate. Again, you misunderstood my comment. When I say that science can only observe the now, I mean exactly that. We cannot go back in time, nor go into the future to truly verify things. This is why science constantly changes. We change theories as new evidence appears. If humanity invents a time machine, then we can finally seal as truth evolution, the big bang and other theories that still are not laws of science. Evolution is not perfect. There is the Cambrian explosion and the HAR1 issues that still need to be studied well and pieced together logically with what we understand Evolution to be. Some Atheists seem to think that science has disproved God this is why I mention this. God has been proven in many ways. However, just like with evolution, evidence will be accepted or thrown out for whatever reason the subjective person finds. Yeti, Santa, UFO's all have explanations, they cannot be compared to God. The aforementioned are material subjects, God is not. The Church did not suppress anyone. Certain Cardinals and government officials took it upon themselves to protect Church doctrine from any attempts to edit it based on the natural sciences. To my knowledge, Catholicism is growing in Africa, South America, and Asia. Mormonism is also growing in America. Atheism on the other had has the lowest retention rate. Any increase of Atheism is due to poor religious instruction after Vatican II. This is not an appeal to popularity because census and world records show this. Evidence for God will be on another blog post, not this one. This is an open discussion forum.

  70. Sacerdotus says:

    ***I've told you that some Pygmy tribes didn't have have any religious beliefs. In "respone", you write about those Pygmy tribes who did have one.**** Where is the evidence of this? Your source? ********************************************** They DON'T. That's the whole point. Primitive people OFTEN (but not always) did that. Sometimes they invented large animals (not gods in any sense) or some imaginative natural explanations (also not gods in any sense). That's what the PRIMITIVES did. When not knowing an answer, they invented one. Modern people DON'T do that. Instead, we search for an explanation. That's why we have antibiotics, spaceflight and meteorology. Of course, there are exceptions, such as yourself. When faced with a question (ie, "Why did primitive people SOMETIMES invoke gods") you come up with a fanciful explanation ("because there exists a single god named Yhaweh who loves us all very much") instead of engaginging in any honest truth-seeking exercise. ***They don't? History says otherwise. Primitive peoples all over have always had a god or gods to rely on. They prayed to, sacrificed to, and relied on these deities for the sustenance of their people. From Africa, to South America, from North America to Europe, God and religious belief has always been around. Atheism was never the default position of any civilization. Whether the primitives invented ideas or not, the question still remains: Why God? Why not the Spaghetti monster? Why not an eyeball or tooth? Why not extraterrestrials? Why supernatural concepts and not material ones? **************************************************** Hamer is indeed the one guy who has made that claim and that claim is as controversial AS HELL, and yet you have to audacity to simply state it as if it were undisputed, established fact.**********************Yes it is controversial because it shows evidence that we are indeed wired to belief in God and the supernatural. This is detrimental to Atheism and other forms of anti-god rhetoric. How did evolution know we needed this gene? I can't wait till more is discovered. Unlike Atheists, I don't pick and choose what evidence to believe and what not.

  71. Allocutus says:

    ****************************************************This is another stall tactic similar to that of Rosa Rubicondior's. When God is debated in any venue, a generic definition is used. It does not make sense attempting to define God as every religion defines him/her/it. Can you imagine trying to debate and defining over 3000 versions of a Supreme being? It is much easier to keep it simple and use the definition found in every dictionary, ie supreme being, creator, etc etc.****************************************************If God means "supreme being" then your claim that all (or even ALMOST all or even MORE THAN NOT) cultures believed in a god is false. Hence, you can't rely on that for your argument from ubiquity. Simply, there is no ubiquity to speak of in the first place.***************************************************My comment on religion is not an Appeal to Consequence. It is a reply given in context to the comment you made. Appeal to Consequence in a religious sense would mean the after life. However, when I mentioned hope, I meant here on Earth. Religion offers peace of mind, emotional stability and maturity which helps people who practice it to cope with this turbulent world. Atheists always cite fallacies without fully understanding them and this is unfortunate.******************************************************You don't seem to understand what Appeal to Consequence is. It's a fallacy that involves a wishful-thinking reasoning. It doesn't need to involve the afterlife or any other SPECIFIC matter. You said yourself that religion is so popular because it offers hope. That means that lots of people, in your own claim, believe in a god because that belief offers hope. THEIR REASONING in this regards is a CLASSIC appeal to consequence. They don't rely on any reliable and credible evidence that a god actually exists; they believe because it offers them hope. Since religion (as you yourself say) is popular because it offers hope, the FACT that religion is popular is not evidence of its truth; it's only evidence of the fact that it offers hope and that's why people tend to believe. I'm not making this up, I'm not giving my own evidence. I'm simply RELYING ON YOUR OWN CLAIM.

  72. Allocutus says:

    ******************************************************Again, you misunderstood my comment. When I say that science can only observe the now, I mean exactly that. We cannot go back in time, nor go into the future to truly verify things. This is why science constantly changes. We change theories as new evidence appears. If humanity invents a time machine, then we can finally seal as truth evolution, the big bang and other theories that still are not laws of science. Evolution is not perfect. There is the Cambrian explosion and the HAR1 issues that still need to be studied well and pieced together logically with what we understand Evolution to be.******************************************************You've said above (in response to another poster) that you accept evolution. You don't dispute it. I quote you:"Yes I do. Even the Pope accepts evolution. It is ok. This is why I made this blog, for questions and discussions."Now, either you have lied that you accept evolution or you indeed accept it. If you do accept it, you either accept it because you accept the EVIDENCE behind it or for some other reason. If it's the former (evidence) then you agree that SCIENCE (that's how evolution's evidence is discovered and presented; via science and The Method) is capable of making valid inferences about the past, without direct observation. If the latter is true (that is, you accept evolution for OTHER reasons than evidence) then I'd like to know WHY you accept evolution, as this would mean that you have a tendency to accept claims without evidence and it would attack you as a rational being. I can say that the Pope (as you have yourself agreed) accepts evolution and does it PRECISELY because of the overwhelming body of evidence in support of it.

  73. Allocutus says:

    ******************************************************Some Atheists seem to think that science has disproved God this is why I mention this. God has been proven in many ways. However, just like with evolution, evidence will be accepted or thrown out for whatever reason the subjective person finds. Yeti, Santa, UFO's all have explanations, they cannot be compared to God. The aforementioned are material subjects, God is not. The Church did not suppress anyone. Certain Cardinals and government officials took it upon themselves to protect Church doctrine from any attempts to edit it based on the natural sciences. *****************************************************I don't know of ANY scientists who claim that science has disproven god. Equally, I don't know of any proof for a god that would withstand even a broad scrutiny. Despite being asked numerous times (by myself and Rosa and others too) to provide ANY evidence that a god exists, you keep stalling that issue. And that's the CENTRAL ISSUE of any theist/nontheist debate. Nontheists, in this context, reject faith without evidence (for example faith becaues it GIVES HOPE) and ask for evidence that a god exists. If you claim that the existence of a god is proven, you must support that claim. I CHALLENGE YOU TO DO THAT. Once and for all.You say that Yeti and Santa are not comparable to God because they're material and God is not. First of all, I can't see why they are different. Why would that be? So, God is non-material. But you say that there's evidence that a god exists. If there's evidence (as you say) for God, we'll accept God's existence. If there isn't, we'll reject any positive claim that God exists. Yeti is material. If there's evidence that yeti exists, we'll accept the fact of its existence. If there isn't, we'll reject any positive claim that yeti exists. I don't see any difference between the treatment of evidence whether the object is material or non-material.And if there is a difference, how about a non-material yeti? There's no evidence such things don't exist. They MAY exist and they MAY roam the foothills of the Himalayas even as we speak.

  74. Allocutus says:

    ******************************************************To my knowledge, Catholicism is growing in Africa, South America, and Asia. Mormonism is also growing in America. Atheism on the other had has the lowest retention rate. Any increase of Atheism is due to poor religious instruction after Vatican II. This is not an appeal to popularity because census and world records show this.*****************************************************Catholicism may be growing in those areas at the expense of other religions while atheism may be growin at the expense of theism generally. Indeed, if atheism is growing, it MUST grow at the expense of theism generally. So, there's no contradiction between what I said (atheism is growing) and what you said (theism is growing in Africa, South America and Asia).That said, (and once again) Appeal to Popularity is a fallacy and will forever remain a fallacy. Not only that: you have yourself proposed that the popularity of religion is based on the HOPE IT OFFERS. Therefore, even if Appeal to Popularity were NOT a fallacy (which it is), religion's claimed popularity wouldn't assist you at all in this argument.

  75. Allocutus says:

    ****************************************************Evidence for God will be on another blog post, not this one. This is an open discussion forum. ****************************************************I CAN'T WAIT. That said, I don't see why you'd want to stall my question. Why NOT include evidence for a god's existence in this forum, when asked to do so?After all, evidence for a god is the ONE AND ONLY way to combat atheism.

  76. Allocutus says:

    *****************************************************They don't? History says otherwise. Primitive peoples all over have always had a god or gods to rely on. They prayed to, sacrificed to, and relied on these deities for the sustenance of their people. From Africa, to South America, from North America to Europe, God and religious belief has always been around. Atheism was never the default position of any civilization. Whether the primitives invented ideas or not, the question still remains: Why God? Why not the Spaghetti monster? Why not an eyeball or tooth? Why not extraterrestrials? Why supernatural concepts and not material ones? ******************************************************This is the point at which YOU'RE TROLLING. I gave you a number of links to demonstrate that NOT ALL primitive peoples believed in gods. You should either accept my claim or rebutt it. Instead, you keep repeating your BARE ASSERTION that history shows that all peoples believed in gods. The burden is on you to show that all people did believe in gods. The burden has ALWAYS been on you because you made that claim to start with. The burden is EVEN HEAVIER now that I've showed you evidence that your claim is in fact wrong. Don't troll. I could also present you with an outline of Earthquake Mythology. Some cultures believed that quakes were caused by giant frogs (material beings), others (eg the Greeks) that they were caused by underground waters (naturalistic explanation), yet others blamed them on various deities. This is a very short summary and I won't go into this at any length as we're already splitting up into tangents. The burden is on you to show that all peoples believed in gods. The burden is THEN on you to show how this is even relevant to the discussion, since you yourself said that it's not evidence that a god exists.

  77. Allocutus says:

    *****************************************************Yes it is controversial because it shows evidence that we are indeed wired to belief in God and the supernatural. This is detrimental to Atheism and other forms of anti-god rhetoric. How did evolution know we needed this gene? I can't wait till more is discovered. Unlike Atheists, I don't pick and choose what evidence to believe and what not.******************************************************No, it's controversial because only one single scientists makes this claim. It's not scientifically repeated, verified or confirmed. You are (in this round of the debate; in another round you said something OPPOSITE) doubting the fact of evolution, despite the fact that nearly ALL SCIENTISTS agree that evolution is true, and not subject to any controversy (in general; sure there are debates about many specifics). And yet when a single scientist has made a claim about the "religion gene", you embrace that AS A FACT. If anyone his picking and choosing here, it's actually YOU. And you do this in an utmost hypocritical way.If indeed there is a religion gene, that DOES NOT get atheism into any trouble. It supports atheism by showing yet another reason why so many people believe in gods. They don't believe because of evidence; they believe because it's in their nature. Now, it's of course valid to pose the question "how does natural selection encourage belief?". Indeed, IF the claimed "religion gene" receives more scientific credit (as opposed to the sole scientist who poses this CONTROVERSIAL theory), you can bet that hundreds of evolutionary biologists will be looking for an answer to this question. What you are doing is:1. Claiming that evolution is subject to doubt because "science doesn't have a time machine", despite there being NO SCIENTIFIC CONTROVERSY about evolution's fact. 2. Claiming that there is a "religion gene" and that this is A FACT, despite this being a theory proposed by a single fellow. 3. Appealing to Ignorance by claiming that if we don't know a natural explanation for this "religion gene" (if one exists) then a supernatural explanation is true. Appeal to Ignorance is a fallacy. 4. Inserting a god into a gap in knowledge. Gap theology yet again. How about we look for a natural explanation first? After all, every time we've done this in the past, we've found one (earthquakes, tornadoes, diseases, you name it!)That said, there are plenty of explanations of religion that are BASED ON EVOLUTIONARY THEORY. They are consistent and coherent. Rosa has in fact proposed one in her blog. Too bad you don't read it. She does have a lot of smart things to say.I will not at this point propose any of such explanations because I don't accept that "religion gene" is a fact; you're a long way from having established that claim. I will not allow you to shift the burden of proof.

  78. Allocutus says:

    I'm not going to debate the fairness issue of this debate anymore. When I decide you've acted overly unfairly (and you're close to it, as you keep posting ad homs on twitter after printing YOUR replies, following a delay of up to 2 days after my last post), I will just quite the debate.In the meantime, I'm going to publish the contents of this debate on my own blog.

  79. Sacerdotus says:

    How is God as supreme being mean that all cultures don't belive in God???I understand well the appeal to consequence fallacy. What I do not understand is your application of it.There is nothing wishful about my response. No one "wishes" there is a God or afterlife. Please reread my comments about hope and religion. You misunderstood.Yes, I accept evolution. What is your point? Accepting evolution does not meanI believe all of it to be accurate or that it satisfies all of my questions.No, some ATHEISTS not scientists. Please read well what I write.There is evidence for God that can withstand scruntiny, but notsubjective reasoning. Atheism is growing due to poor evangelization that is catching up to our times.The problem always corrects itself. During the Reformation, the Church seemed to have had its last years on Earth, but we came back even stronger.When will you provide sources for your claims?

  80. Allocutus says:

    ***************************************************How is God as supreme being mean that all cultures don't belive in God???***************************************************Because not all cultures believed in a supreme being. Some believed in a number of supernatural (but not infallable and not supreme) beings, while others (very few, that's conceded) didn't believe in any supernatural beings at all.****************************************************I understand well the appeal to consequence fallacy. What I do not understand is your application of it.*****************************************************I see. Well, the application is rather simple. You have said that religion is popular because it offers hope. This means that, according to YOUR OWN argument, people tend to believe because believing gives them hope. They feel more hopeful, more comfortable, more happy than they would if they didn't believe. That means that their reason for belief is not based on any evidence at all. It's not related to any FACTUAL existence of a god. They're appealing to consequence. "If I don't believe, I don't have hope. I want to have hope. Therefore, I believe." I hope that clears it up for you. ******************************************************There is nothing wishful about my response. No one "wishes" there is a God or afterlife. Please reread my comments about hope and religion. You misunderstood.******************************************************True, there's nothing wishful about YOUR response. But the reason why religion is popular (according to your own claim) is that people find comfort in it. It's THEM who are committing the fallacy of Appeal to Consequence. Since religion is popular due to a FALLACY, there's no merit in any argument from obiquity. The fact that so many people believe in the different gods that they do believe in only reflects the fact that believing makes them feel better (gives them hope) and is not in any way a reflection of the external world. No matter how many people believe, this doesn't make a god's existence any more likely than it would be if NOBODY believed because the reason for religion's popularity is that it gives them hope.

  81. Allocutus says:

    **************************************************Yes, I accept evolution. What is your point? Accepting evolution does not meanI believe all of it to be accurate or that it satisfies all of my questions.**************************************************You said that science is limited by not having a time machine. You lied. You accept evolution DESPITE the fact that science doesn't have a time machine. You DO accept science as a reliable tool to obtain knowledge about the world, INCLUDING knowledge about things that can't be directly observed.****************************************************No, some ATHEISTS not scientists. Please read well what I write.****************************************************Fair enough, my mistake. IF any atheists claim that science disproves gods, my position is that they're wrong. Science does disprove the Scriptural God (unless we interpret the Scriptures in an ad hoc manner to make them fit in with science) but by no means does it disprove gods per se. *************************************************There is evidence for God that can withstand scruntiny, but notsubjective reasoning.*************************************************So there's evidence that God exists that withstands objective scrutiny? WHEN are you going to present it? You've been asked TIME AND TIME AGAIN. Are you planning on stalling this question forever? Are we all wasting time with you?******************************************************Atheism is growing due to poor evangelization that is catching up to our times.******************************************************In other words, for religion to grow, we need people evangelizing. If people don't evangelize, atheistm grows. It must then follow that without human intervention (evangelization) atheism will grow. Hence, atheism IS THE NATURAL HUMAN CONDITION. I can't see any other conclusion that can follow from what you've just said. You've just admitted that religion relies on brainwashing while atheism is the way humans naturally are. *************************************************When will you provide sources for your claims?*************************************************What claim would you like me to support?

  82. Sacerdotus says:

    If a culture believes in a God, then it believes in a supreme being.This is what god is. Whether Zeus, Baal, Abassi, Adroa, Mungo, Olorun,Osiris, Acan, Ah Chuy Kak, Ah Pekku, Yaluk etc etc… these are all/were allconsidered supreme beings.When I wrote that religion brings hope, I mean exactly that.The virtues and graces that religion brings makes people feelbetter about themselves, life and others. In turn, they feelhopeful about any situation because they find strength in theirfaith to bear any cross presented to them. You misunderstood mystatement on hope and religion. By mentioning a time machine, how am I lying?I am merely stating that without such a device, we will never truly knowwhat really happened. Remember, theories are ideas that we thinkoccurred based on observable evidence. They are not EXACTLY what happened.No one can ever make this claim. Science cannot disprove God or Scripture.Time and time again I have stated that I will dedicate blogs on my other blogfor evidence of God. You must have skipped that part while skimming throughmy blogs. This blog here is for debates and discussions. My other blog takes on different issues and presents academic work. Look at what you wrote, "In other words, for religion to grow, weneed people evangelizing," I never stated this. I wrote: "…due to poor EVANGELIZATION.."this is an action is not in the past, but that is in the present. Here is a brief history:After Vatican II, those who call themselves"Liberals" took it upon themselves to interpret the documents of the council to theirliking. Many ideas the Vatican never pushed for became "law" to them. Seminarianssisters, brothers who were students of these dissidents learned a false version of Catholicism. They then recycled the nonsense: A Catholicism that focused more on social justice, rather than the teachings of Christand the Church. This is why we have so many strange bishops, priests, nuns out there gettinginto trouble because they have watered down the faith so much that they treat it as a joke. They support Homosexual lifestyles, abortion, euthanasia, women priests etc. Your reasoning that this presents atheism as the natural human condition is irrational. You also ignore the VMAT2 gene that WE ALL HAVE, even Atheists. The people KNOW of God, they are just being taught badly about Him and the Church.Please provide sources of Atheist civilizations that predated Westernization.Please show that these cultures identified themselves as Atheist.

  83. Allocutus says:

    ******************************************************If a culture believes in a God, then it believes in a supreme being.This is what god is. Whether Zeus, Baal, Abassi, Adroa, Mungo, Olorun,Osiris, Acan, Ah Chuy Kak, Ah Pekku, Yaluk etc etc… these are all/were allconsidered supreme beings.*****************************************************I'm happy to go with the "supreme" definition of "god". Of course, that's not the only definition. I have already relied on the alternative definition (which didn't involve supremacy). You rejected that definition and I'm fine with that. It is, however, enormously disappointing and embarassing for you. That's because, prior to positing that particular definition, I had asked you NO LESS THAN THREE TIMES to propose the definition you want to rely on. You had persistently refused and kept sending me to a dictionary. When I did what you instructed me to do (ie, went to the dictionary and came back with a definition), you complained that it doesn't suit you. I hope this teaches you a little something about conducting debates. Now that we've agreed to cull the definition of "god" to only apply to "supreme entities", I AGAIN refer to my previous post where I described a number of existing and historical (and at some point very common) mythologies and belief systems that DID NOT involve the concept of a supreme being. I again refer you to my said post:"I say most, because there are exceptions. For example, some Pygmy tribes in Africa are said to have had no theistic beliefs at all (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_atheism). The Samkhaya school of Hinduism, which dominated Hinduism in its day, while believing in spiritualism, held no existence of a deity (a god) specifically due to lack of evidence (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_atheism). The Buddhist concept of "gods" (devas) also does not constitutes "gods" for our purposes because they have no supernatural powers. Some American Indians had no theistic beliefs. For instance, the Abipone Indians (http://atheism.about.com/od/atheismhistory/a/PrimitiveAtheismSkepticism.htm)."This list is not exhaustive, of course. There's Jainism, there's the Carvaka school of thought (ancient India – a very atheistic approach) and there are others.Belief in a supreme being is not ubiquitous. There have been many cultures who lacked such belief. There are also increasing numbers of people today who lack such belief. Since belief in a supreme beging is not ubiqiutous, you can't rely on its ubiquity in an argument. The most you can say is that said belief has been very common. And that's true. But there's nothing unusual about that. The question "where did it all come from" can't possibly be a new one. People must have wondered this for aeons. No matter what fanciful story one makes up, it's natural to look for a terminator of any regress of causes. Humans find it difficult to conceptualise infinity. There "must have been a first cause". Something must have created this world. And look how organised it all is! And we are the only smart ones here! The world must have been made for us! So it must have been someone like us that made it.cont….

  84. Allocutus says:

    …contThat's the type of reasoning that was most likely employed by people who created "supreme being" fables. That's to be expected of ancient people. What's unfortunate is that there are some people today who commit themselves to the same (fallacious) reasoning. Arguments from Design rely on just this type of reasoning. To sum it up:1. Belief in a supreme being is not so ubiquitous as to merit any claim of it being divinely inserted into human nature. 2. Even if it were completely ubiquitous, that would NOT entitle us to conclude a divine entity who inserted it into our nature. It would only allow us to conclude that there does exist a ubiquitous belief. 3. Belief in a supreme entity has been VERY COMMON in human history and there are very good reasons for that; perfectly natural reasons.

  85. Allocutus says:

    ******************************************************When I wrote that religion brings hope, I mean exactly that.The virtues and graces that religion brings makes people feelbetter about themselves, life and others. In turn, they feelhopeful about any situation because they find strength in theirfaith to bear any cross presented to them.******************************************************Sure. And that's exactly the context I'm using, too. You said that religion is so popular because belief gives people the strength to cope. I agree. It does. Many (especially weak or simple-minded) people do find this type of comfort in religion and this is why religion is so popular.Once again, believing because of the hope that it gives is a Fallacy. It's an Appeal to Consequence. The belief isn't based on any analysis of evidence; it's based on wishful thinking.

  86. Allocutus says:

    ****************************************************By mentioning a time machine, how am I lying?I am merely stating that without such a device, we will never truly knowwhat really happened. Remember, theories are ideas that we thinkoccurred based on observable evidence. They are not EXACTLY what happened.*****************************************************You either accept science as a reliable method of discovery of reality or you don't. If you accept evolution, you accept that science can answer questions based on inference from evidence and not only on direct observation. Does inability to observe things directly limit our abiblity to know every detail of everything? Yes. But so what? If that's the only point you're making, how is it even relevant to the discussion?

  87. Allocutus says:

    *****************************************************No one can ever make this claim. Science cannot disprove God or Scripture.******************************************************It does. We don't have to even look that far. Just start with Genesis 1 "In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form and void. And darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters. And God said 'let there be light'".What do we have? We have creation beginning with the heaven and earth. We know that's not true. We know that stars (and many other things) existed before Earth did. We also know that THERE WAS LIGHT. Light pre-existed Earth. Waters? What waters? Did Earth have water before it had light? Keep in mind that, according to the Bible, this is all before the Sun or the Moon exist. Indeed, God creats plants before he creates the Sun.Science does have a "somewhat" different vision of how things have come about. Now, if you want to reply with "this verse isn't to be taken literally", don't bother. That's my exact point! The Bible, if taken literally, contradicts science. In order to overcome that, you have to escape to ad hoc interpretations. You have to go out of your way to make the Bible fit in with science. If something in the Bible contradicts science, you turn it into a metaphor.

  88. Allocutus says:

    ******************************************************Time and time again I have stated that I will dedicate blogs on my other blogfor evidence of God. You must have skipped that part while skimming throughmy blogs. This blog here is for debates and discussions.******************************************************Then stop 'STATING IT'. Just DO IT. Until you do it, you haven't even managed to say "I disagree with atheism". All you've said so far is "I plan to disagree with atheism".

  89. Allocutus says:

    ******************************************************Look at what you wrote, "In other words, for religion to grow, weneed people evangelizing," I never stated this. I wrote: "…due to poor EVANGELIZATION.."this is an action is not in the past, but that is in the present. Here is a brief history:After Vatican II, those who call themselves"Liberals" took it upon themselves to interpret the documents of the council to theirliking. Many ideas the Vatican never pushed for became "law" to them. Seminarianssisters, brothers who were students of these dissidents learned a false version of Catholicism. They then recycled the nonsense: A Catholicism that focused more on social justice, rather than the teachings of Christand the Church. This is why we have so many strange bishops, priests, nuns out there gettinginto trouble because they have watered down the faith so much that they treat it as a joke. They support Homosexual lifestyles, abortion, euthanasia, women priests etc. Your reasoning that this presents atheism as the natural human condition is irrational. You also ignore the VMAT2 gene that WE ALL HAVE, even Atheists. The people KNOW of God, they are just being taught badly about Him and the Church.*****************************************************I don't understand what you're saying now. What do you mean by "poor evangelization"? Are you saying that catholic clergy TEACH ATHEISM? They tell people to believe that there's no god? I doubt that. You can't be saying that. Even those "strange" bishops who happen to be humane and compassionate enough to support homosexuality and women priesthood are NOT teaching people that there's no god. Please clarify what you mean by "poor evangelization" and HOW that results in atheism becoming more popular.

  90. Allocutus says:

    *****************************************************Please provide sources of Atheist civilizations that predated Westernization.*****************************************************I have done that days ago. You glossed over it. I've done it again today. *****************************************************Please show that these cultures identified themselves as Atheist.******************************************************You have defined "god" as "supreme entity". A culture that does not believe in a god or gods is an atheist culture. Given your definition (which I'm happy to agree with) of "god", the cultures I've mentioned ARE/were atheist cultures. I don't have to demonstrate that they "identified themselves" as atheist. It makes no difference if they do. It makes no difference if they know the word "atheist". They WERE/ARE atheist cultures.Note that I'm not going to engage in an argument about what "atheism" is. If you want to use the term "nontheist" instead, I'm happy with that. The point of the matter is that those cultures had no beliefs in a supreme being.

  91. Sacerdotus says:

    Again, I stated numerous times that the definition for God in any dictionary will suffice. "Supreme being," "creator" are what most people think about when they hear the word 'god.' I do not understand what more you want regarding the word. I assume it is another stall tactic. As for sources, can you use academic ones? Wikipedia and atheism.about are not valid sources. Wikipedia can be edited by anyone and is not verifiable (http://www.educationworld.com/a_lesson/valid_internet_sources_for_student_research.shtml). Atheism.about is obviously bias and will post anything that seems to support Atheism. When I asked for sources, I meant journals, texts written/used by Archaeologists, Sociologists, Historians and the like.Arguments from Design are no different than theories on Evolution. Both detail a design. One attributes this to a deity while the other attributes this to an unconcious agent called "natural selection."Your claim that "many (especially weak or simple-minded)" people find comfort in religion must be supported by a source. This is an exaggerated claim that bears no substance. Are you claiming that US Presidents, countless doctors, lawyers, scientists, the Queen of England are all "weak and simple-minded?" Are you claiming that the many priests, ministers and other clergy with Ph.d degrees are "weak and simple-minded?" A lot of seminarians today entering the priesthood are second career men. They are doctors, lawyers, teachers, scientists etc who received the call to become priests and left those professions behind. I accept science for what it is: human observation and interpretations based on human techniques. It will always change depending on new techniques and new evidence. What is true for one generation will be debunked in the next.A careful reading of Genesis 1 says, "God created the HEAVENS…" Notice, it begins with this. Earth then follows with a description of it being without form and a void. Now if we compare this to what we believe happened 4 billion years ago we would see this exactly. First the big bang took place which created the universe (heavens). Afterwards the universe was hot and began to form within dark matter and energy as it cooled(and darkness was upon the face of the deep). Then as it began to cool, different gasses mixed and formed rocks, metals, water, and other gasses which under the compression of gravity became galaxies which produced stars with water masers(spirit of God hovered over the face of the water, 'let there be light.'" The Earth was without form and was a void as it collected itself from dust, rocks, gas into a spherical shape due to gravity. I can go on and on, but you get the point. Again, reading Scripture properly and taking into account how primitive people expressed themselves back then helps a lot in understanding. Blogs regarding evidence for God are not a small task. This will take much effort. I cannot be rushed into posting a short blog with not enough details within each proof.

  92. Sacerdotus says:

    What I mean by poor evangelization is what I stated in my previous comment. Some within the Church do not teach properly the teachings of the Church. This adds to confusion and doubt among Catholics who were taught by these individuals. Any bishop or priest who is pro- homosexual lifestyle or pro women priests is not humane. He is editing Christ's teachings to push for worldly ideas. He is lying to the people. God wants the world "fixed" by changing it, not by going with its flow. This poor teaching causes confusion and doubt. Catholics who leave the Church and convert to another faith or Atheism do so because they were not given solid food, so to speak. They were given scraps and went out to look for something solid. Atheism becomes attractive to these hungry people because it offers a lazy way of rationalizing things. "Don't believe it and do whatever you want." If you have a class and tell the students to break rules, do whatever and not think, then they will love you as a teacher. Atheism is attractive for this very reason.

  93. Allocutus says:

    *****************************************************Again, I stated numerous times that the definition for God in any dictionary will suffice. "Supreme being," "creator" are what most people think about when they hear the word 'god.' I do not understand what more you want regarding the word. I assume it is another stall tactic. *****************************************************You sent me to the dictionary. I deliberately chose the definition that is MORE ubiquitous. Belief in supreme being is NOT. Belief in the supernatural is closer to it (but still not universal). I was trying to assist you.Your comment about "stalling tactics" is dishonest. I don't have anything to stall about. The burden is on YOU and you haven't established your argument. You haven't presented any evidence in support of your claims. Zilch, nada, nothing.******************************************************As for sources, can you use academic ones? Wikipedia and atheism.about are not valid sources. Wikipedia can be edited by anyone and is not verifiable (http://www.educationworld.com/a_lesson/valid_internet_sources_for_student_research.shtml). Atheism.about is obviously bias and will post anything that seems to support Atheism. When I asked for sources, I meant journals, texts written/used by Archaeologists, Sociologists, Historians and the like.*****************************************************Really? And did YOU present ANY sources at all? No. You just made a bare assertion that ALL CULTURES believed in a supreme being. Not a shred of proof at all, LET ALONE proof from "proper sources". The burden is on you because you made the claim. Either support your claim that ALL CULTURES believed in a supreme entity or withdraw said claim.

  94. Allocutus says:

    *****************************************************Arguments from Design are no different than theories on Evolution. Both detail a design. One attributes this to a deity while the other attributes this to an unconcious agent called "natural selection."*****************************************************I have yet to see a single Argument from Design that actually holds water. If you claim that such arguments exist, do propose one. I've actually challenged you to prove a god here: http://proveagodrationallyfaith.blogspot.com.au/.I'm not interested in your comparisons of evolution with Arguments from Design. I don't even need to insist on evolution in my argumentation. If you have evidence that a god exists, show it. If you don't, concede that you don't have it. Thanks.

  95. Allocutus says:

    *****************************************************Your claim that "many (especially weak or simple-minded)" people find comfort in religion must be supported by a source. This is an exaggerated claim that bears no substance. Are you claiming that US Presidents, countless doctors, lawyers, scientists, the Queen of England are all "weak and simple-minded?" Are you claiming that the many priests, ministers and other clergy with Ph.d degrees are "weak and simple-minded?" A lot of seminarians today entering the priesthood are second career men. They are doctors, lawyers, teachers, scientists etc who received the call to become priests and left those professions behind. *****************************************************I'm claiming that anyone who believes in a god because it gives them comfort is either weak or simple-minded.1. Why weak? Because they so desperately need to feel comforted that they allow this to prevail over their REASON. 2. Why simple-minded?Because anyone who engages in an Appeal to Consequence must necessarily have a screw loose. No matter how comforted the existence of something would make you feel, that's not a solid ground to believe that the thing in question exists. Such "reasoning" is nothing short of insanity. Does this mean that I've called a US President or a lawyer or a doctor simple-minded or weak? No, it does not. I was referring to those who believe because it gives them hope. I never said that everyone who believes, believes for that reason. I merely agreed with you that this appears to be the major thrust behind religion's popularity.

  96. Allocutus says:

    *****************************************************I accept science for what it is: human observation and interpretations based on human techniques. It will always change depending on new techniques and new evidence. What is true for one generation will be debunked in the next.*****************************************************I see. And my question remains: how is this relevant to the topic at all? If it's not, I suggest we drop this line altogether.

  97. Allocutus says:

    *****************************************************A careful reading of Genesis 1 says, "God created the HEAVENS…" Notice, it begins with this. Earth then follows with a description of it being without form and a void. Now if we compare this to what we believe happened 4 billion years ago we would see this exactly. First the big bang took place which created the universe (heavens). Afterwards the universe was hot and began to form within dark matter and energy as it cooled(and darkness was upon the face of the deep). Then as it began to cool, different gasses mixed and formed rocks, metals, water, and other gasses which under the compression of gravity became galaxies which produced stars with water masers(spirit of God hovered over the face of the water, 'let there be light.'" The Earth was without form and was a void as it collected itself from dust, rocks, gas into a spherical shape due to gravity. I can go on and on, but you get the point. Again, reading Scripture properly and taking into account how primitive people expressed themselves back then helps a lot in understanding. ******************************************************Interpreting "heaven" to mean "big bang" is ad hoc. There's simply NOTHING in "big bang" that would resemble heaven. Genesis creates Earth at the same time as it does Heaven. That's not what science says. And it's CERTAINLY untrue that Earth existed BEFORE light. It's equally untrue that plants existed before the Sun and the Moon. Oh but you've failed to address those points AT ALL. Why?

  98. Allocutus says:

    *****************************************************Blogs regarding evidence for God are not a small task. This will take much effort. I cannot be rushed into posting a short blog with not enough details within each proof. *****************************************************Start with a single proof. You've been challenged time and time again. I've challenged you now, too:http://godrationallyfaith.blogspot.com.au/Either answer the challenge or you're chicken. Just as you call Rosa "chicken" for refusing to debate you on your own terms.

  99. Allocutus says:

    ******************************************************What I mean by poor evangelization is what I stated in my previous comment. Some within the Church do not teach properly the teachings of the Church. This adds to confusion and doubt among Catholics who were taught by these individuals. Any bishop or priest who is pro- homosexual lifestyle or pro women priests is not humane. He is editing Christ's teachings to push for worldly ideas. He is lying to the people. God wants the world "fixed" by changing it, not by going with its flow. This poor teaching causes confusion and doubt. Catholics who leave the Church and convert to another faith or Atheism do so because they were not given solid food, so to speak. They were given scraps and went out to look for something solid. Atheism becomes attractive to these hungry people because it offers a lazy way of rationalizing things. "Don't believe it and do whatever you want." If you have a class and tell the students to break rules, do whatever and not think, then they will love you as a teacher. Atheism is attractive for this very reason. *****************************************************Everyone edits Christ's teachings. After all, you don't chop your penis off if you happen to commit the grave sin of masturbation, do you? No, instead you say Christ was metaphorical when he said that you should. You also don't (hopefully) support stoning naughty kids to death, for the mere transgression of swearing at their parents, raising their hand at their father or being stubborn and rebelious. Or do you? Do you support making a rape victim marry her rapist so long as he pays her father a sum of money? I'm sure you don't. Do you really think people turn away from the church because it FAILS to discriminate against homosexuals or women? I'd think the opposite. But if this is what you think, please do support it. Do you have any data or argumentation to offer to support your claim that if there were less bishops tolerating homosexuality and equality of women, there would be less atheists and more catholics? Please do shed some light on this novel proposition.

  100. Sacerdotus says:

    Again, every dictionary should define God as "supreme being" and "creator." I have provided sources to claims that rebuke your claims. You have yet to provide anything other than from sources that are not valid. The challenge is here, nowhere else. Your attempt to repeat the taunts I directed towards Rosa Rubicondior will fail. I did so in order to break her ego and expose her as an intellectual fraud. I cannot visit every blog I'm invited to in order to debate. Rosa is 'chicken' because of her actions which are heavily documented.

  101. Sacerdotus says:

    You claim there are no arguments from Design that hold, yet you offer NO rebuttal of ANY them. Notice how you ignored my previous comment regarding causality. This is typical of atheists when trying to avoid getting caught in a trap. Your reasoning for the "weak mind" comment is not substantiated. It is a comment said in spite and reflects no rationality whatsoever. It would be like me stating that Atheists are heathens or immoral people. As for science, you made a comment about my views on it and I gave it. If you do not want me to comment on something, then do not mention it. Genesis 1, as I have shown makes perfect sense alongside science. The reason why I did not continue is because I figured you would have gotten the point. I wrote: "I can go on and on, but you get the point."The interpretation of 'heaven' and 'big bang' is not ad hoc. Moreover, I never wrote that 'heaven' was the 'big bang.' Heaven in this case is the universe. The word used in Genesis is 'raqia" which means expanse, firmament. This word is literally what we call now "universe." Coincidence? The Church has never edited Christ's teachings. Some within the Church attempt to tamper with them privately, but the hierarchy has never changed a thing. The examples you mention are cultural aspects of Scripture reflecting the ideas of people of long ago and are not teachings of Christ or doctrines. The Church discriminates against no one. We minister to all. http://www.catholicscomehome.org/ would better answer your question regarding data/statistics you inquire about.

  102. Allocutus says:

    *****************************************************Again, every dictionary should define God as "supreme being" and "creator." I have provided sources to claims that rebuke your claims. You have yet to provide anything other than from sources that are not valid. *****************************************************Every dictionary contains BOTH definitions of "god". One of them is indeed a supreme being. As I said, I'm happy to go with that definition but it'll make it ONLY HARDER for you to prove that EVERY CULTURE believed in a god.You made that claim and you need to support it. And now that you've limited us to using peer journals, it will be harder for you to do. But the burden remains on you. Until you demonstrate that ALL CULTURES believed in a supreme being, you are simply repeating a bare assertion.IF you ever do prove that all cultures believed in a supreme being, you have to demonstrate that this is relevant to the discussion. You have said yourself that you're not trying at this point to prove that a god exists. That being the case, I ask you WHAT THE RELEVANCE OF YOUR APPEAL TO POPULARITY (a fallacy, to be sure) is?You yourself proposed that religion is popular becasue it offers hope. Believing in something because it makes you feel better (eg it offers hope) is a fallacy: Appeal to Consequence. It seems therefore that we both agree that the reason why religion is popular is that huge numbers of people are naive enough to allow A FALLACY to guide their views of reality. How does this then assist your case? I think it doesn't. I think religion's popularity (Whether OR NOT it is indeed ubiquitous) is evidence IN SUPPORT of atheism. It gives a good motive for people inventing gods.

  103. Allocutus says:

    *****************************************************The challenge is here, nowhere else. Your attempt to repeat the taunts I directed towards Rosa Rubicondior will fail. I did so in order to break her ego and expose her as an intellectual fraud. I cannot visit every blog I'm invited to in order to debate. Rosa is 'chicken' because of her actions which are heavily documented. *****************************************************You challenged Rosa to debate you on your turf and on your terms. When she disagreed to do this (and tried to negotiate mutually agreeable terms) you taunted her about being a coward and a chicken.Two can play your game and now you have to watch it backfire on you. I have challenged you to prove your assertion (that you can prove a god exists). I've posted a challenge on my blog and on my (fair, to be sure) terms. You either accept the challenge or I'll be calling you a chicken. I have every right to do so. Either you're a chicken or a hipocryte if you don't answer my challenge.My challenge is here: http://proveagodrationallyfaith.blogspot.com.au/

  104. Allocutus says:

    ******************************************************You claim there are no arguments from Design that hold, yet you offer NO rebuttal of ANY them. Notice how you ignored my previous comment regarding causality. This is typical of atheists when trying to avoid getting caught in a trap. Your reasoning for the "weak mind" comment is not substantiated. It is a comment said in spite and reflects no rationality whatsoever. It would be like me stating that Atheists are heathens or immoral people. ******************************************************That's a lie. You're being dishonest. I NEVER SAID that there are no arguments from design that hold. I said that "I've yet to see a an argument from design that holds". That means I've never seen one. This is why I'm an atheist, you see. I've never once seen any credible evidence that a god exists, including any arguments from design.If you claim that such arguments exist, it's for you to prove them. You HAVE made a claim that a god's existence can be proven. It's for you to prove it. The challenge stands.

  105. Allocutus says:

    *****************************************************As for science, you made a comment about my views on it and I gave it. If you do not want me to comment on something, then do not mention it. *****************************************************Actually, YOU were the one who brought science into the discussion. I asked you now for the relevance of this. *****************************************************The interpretation of 'heaven' and 'big bang' is not ad hoc. Moreover, I never wrote that 'heaven' was the 'big bang.' Heaven in this case is the universe. The word used in Genesis is 'raqia" which means expanse, firmament. This word is literally what we call now "universe." Coincidence? ******************************************************Firmament is not universe. Firmament is heaven. It's the stuff that "hangs" above the earth. The stuff that hangs above the Earth wasn't created at the same time as the Earth. The Earth didn't exist for a long time to come yet.YOU HAVE STILL FAILED TO ADDRESS THE ISSUE OF "let there be light". Why do you stall that issue? The earth was without form and void. And THEN god creates light. We know that's not scientifically the case. Light existed way before the Earth.In addition (as AGAIN YOU'VE FAILED TO ADDRESS), Genesis has God creating the plants BEFORE He creates the Sun and the Moon. We know very well that the Sun and Moon existed long before there were plants on Earth. In fact, science usually says that life without the Moon wouldn't be possible (creationists often use this as a ploy to support their own arguments!) And certainly it wouldn't be possible without the Sun.You keep repeating the same BARE ASSERTION that science doesn't contradict the Bible. Unless you address the above points (and you keep stalling), you have failed already. If you do address the above points satisfactorily, we'll move to Genesis 2. I have a lot of contradictions to throw at you and you'll have to defend them.

  106. Allocutus says:

    *****************************************************The Church has never edited Christ's teachings. Some within the Church attempt to tamper with them privately, but the hierarchy has never changed a thing. The examples you mention are cultural aspects of Scripture reflecting the ideas of people of long ago and are not teachings of Christ or doctrines. The Church discriminates against no one. We minister to all. *****************************************************Wait, we're not even talking about EDITING Christ's teachings. I think we've used the wrond word. After all, even those bishops who support human rights (don't you just hate them?) don't go EDITING the Gospels. It's not about editing. It's about INTEPRETING.You have not answered my argument AT ALL. I gave you clear examples of re-interpretations of Christ's teachings that are inconsistent with what Christ said literally. My claim is that EVERYONE does this, including yourself. If you don't chop off your hand when your hand sins, you're using a CERTAIN INTERPRETATION (metaphorical) for a particular verse. Christ has never spoken against slavery. Ever. The Old Law allowed slavery (even encouraged it). Christ has condoned it by using examples of slaves in some of his teachings. Christ also said, in Matthew 5 (the sermon on the mount) that the Old Law WILL CONTINUE TO APPLY until the end of the world (as long as heaven and earth exist). It will apply TO THE LETTER. This MUST include the law that says you can beat your slave with a rod so long as he doesn't die the same day (Exodus 21:20).Since the Church has never "edited" what Christ said, does the Church condone slavery? Do YOU? You (bizarely) blame the spread of atheism on bishops who respect OTHER human rights (equality for women, freedom of sexual orientation). Why don't you also blame it on those who oppose slavery?

  107. Allocutus says:

    ******************************************************We minister to all. http://www.catholicscomehome.org/ would better answer your question regarding data/statistics you inquire about. ******************************************************Nope. You can't send me to research your sources. If you have a claim to make, you put it RIGHT HERE and you support it RIGHT HERE. You can QUOTE parts of sources (with proper referencing). But you can't just send me to a link. That's not how debates are to be run. What's more, you have objected to MY sources (wiki and an atheist website in this case) and insisted on me using peer journals for data. And yet you have the nerve yourself to rely on a CATHOLIC PUBLICATION? You don't find that a tad hypocritical? In the spirit of your own stringent demand for evidnece, I refuse to accept catholic publications on issues of statistical data.You have claimed that the reason why atheism spreads is poor evangelisation. You said specifically that this is because many priests are too liberal (by not opposing homosexuality or priesthood of women). If these are the reasons that people LEAVE THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, you have to prove that with NEUTRAL AND PEER JOURNAL data. Of course, by proving that, you will not support your claim. Moving away from the Catholic Church IS NOT atheism.What you have to prove is that liberal priests are what makes people (in large numbers) stop believing that a god exists. In doing so, you must use acceptable and neutral sources. Good luck.

  108. Sacerdotus says:

    So what is the problem? If every dictionary contains the definition, then what are you whining about? Every religion has its interpretation of God; however, a dictionary takes the commonality of these interpretations and defines God in a general manner. On the contrary, this definition will actually make it easier to prove that every culture believed/s in a god, gods. As stated, dictionary editors find the common trends in each religion's interpretation of God and formulates a generic definition that defines the aforementioned. If you want further proof and information about God being in every culture, please pick up a copy of Encyclopedia of Gods: Over 2,500 Deities of the World, by Michael Jordan (not the basketball player). This is not an appeal to popularity. This is a well known fact. Please see again my explanation of hope and religion. You keep repeating the same circular arguments. As for Rosa, yes I challenged her to a debate after I noticed that she constantly deleted my comments that corrected the science on her blog. I sent her a tweet with a link. On the link were the rules of the debate and the venue. She pretended for a while that I never sent it to her – another tweeter even told her that I have sent it. From there she began attacking me and claiming victory. After reading that, I began taunting her. She took the bait and then posted on the debate blog. Instead of posting an opening statement, she began pushing her demands (referees, specific types of evidence) on the debate after she accepted it. The referee she choice to be "neutral" is this lesbian "minister" who I debated with months ago and who blocked me after I questioned her hypocrisy regarding God and homosexuality. How can this person be neutral? Everyone found this strange because how can a person who is invited to something have the nerve to make demands of the one who invited – especially after accepting the invitation? It is like if Obama invited Putin to a meeting and Putin agreed. Then Putin demands that the meeting be in Russian and that Obama learn the language overnight. This was what Rosa did! She accepted the debate and its terms and then began making demands that were not her's to make since she already accepted the prior terms. Needless to say, my followers skyrocketed after her petulance and immaturity. People began to see that she was a fraud and not a serious Atheist/Rationalist. However, her loyal minions then began attacking me; some even tried to excuse her by claiming she has things to do and that I shouldn't taunt her. It was hilarious to say the least because had she had something to do outside of twitter, then how did she find time to ad homimen me? All the tweets she sent about me could have been an opening statement! She stalled and wasted time. As for your challenge, I already accepted it weeks ago, that is why you are HERE on THIS BLOG! Why have 2 different debates? Moreover, you are not doing well in this one so it will be foolish to embarass you on your own turf. I am not cruel. It is not a lie. Where is your rebuttal of any argument from design? I cannot find them here. In order for you to absorb any arguments from design, you need to be objective. The term "credible evidence" is subjective. This is where Atheists play the evidence game. If someone were to design a time machine, travel back and video tape Jesus or creation and return with the footage to show Atheists; Atheists will say the footage is doctored and so on. There is no objectivity whatsoever. It is like those people who claim the moon landing was a hoax. Evidence exists that it happened, yet they do not find it "credible."

  109. Sacerdotus says:

    I will always bring science into discussions. Science is my field of study. Again, "firmament" is the universe. The universe is an expanse/firmament and this is what the word 'raqia' in Hebrew means. Reread my previous comment. You again stuck in the circular argument. I already explained each verse and compared it to what we believe about the universe's and earth's births. I cannot repeat myself. In regards to your editing comment, I can only reply to what you write. All bishops support human rights, not social engineering – big difference. A human right is not freedom to do whatever. Rights come from God and are inalienable. Since they are from God, man cannot alter them. Your mentioning of the "cutting hand" from Jesus' words is a clear indication that you do not comprehend the metaphorical style Jesus used throughout the Gospel. Moreover, the "cutting of hands" in the region is a well known punishment for serious crimes. Jesus as a communicator used references the people were accustomed to in order to preach His messages and connect them to the people. Slavery in the old Testament is not the slavery you are thinking of. Slavery is used in the context of work. Exodus 21:16 specifically mentions that anyone who enslaves another must be put to death. When reading Scripture, one must take into account the culture and understanding of the people. We cannot filter Scripture through the lens of the 21st century. When Jesus spoke of the Law, He was referring to the Commandments. Notice that Jesus says LAW not Laws. The Commandments are the LAW that allows man to live a righteous life. I am not sending anyone to research anything. I gave you a source to look at. Whether you look at it or not is on you. The source in question deals with what you were requesting. If you ask me about cats, then I will give you sources about cats. I cannot give you a source about dogs. If you asked about Catholics and statistics of why they leave the church, then only a Catholic source can answer this because this is a scenario the Catholic Church is facing, not another party. The Episcopal church cannot tell you why Catholics leave the Catholic Church. There is nothing hypocritical about this. Rejecting data from the Church regarding Church issues is ridiculous and shows dishonesty. It would be like rejecting census data when the question deals with demographics.

  110. notoreligion says:

    You claim God exists. Not a problem. I invite you to prove it using only falsifiable evidence. Until you do, the atheistic position is wholly rational.

  111. Sacerdotus says:

    This blog posting is for discussions. It is meant for dialog between those who believe and do not believe. The better both sides understand each other, the better questions can be answered. Evidence of God can take many forms. Physics for example provides falsifiable evidence for an intelligent causality of the universe. I will elaborate more on this on my other blog.

  112. Allocutus says:

    *****************************************************RationallyFaith:So what is the problem? If every dictionary contains the definition, then what are you whining about? Every religion has its interpretation of God; however, a dictionary takes the commonality of these interpretations and defines God in a general manner.Allocutus:No. Every dictionary has A NUMBER OF ALTERNATIVE definitions of the word "god". The word "god" has a number of meanings. One such meaning is "supreme being, creator". Another such meaning refers to local deities, not supreme beings. These latter are usually responsible for some part of nature. They're not supreme creators. Let me show you from dictionary.com:God   [god] Show IPA noun 1. the one Supreme Being, the creator and ruler of the universe. 2. the Supreme Being considered with reference to a particular attribute: the God of Islam. 3. ( lowercase ) one of several deities, especially a male deity, presiding over some portion of worldly affairs. Can you see point 3 above? This definition, as well as "supreme being, creator", appears in every dictionary. Note that the dictionary itself made a point of the fact that, in this context, "god" is used in LOWERCASE. I've raised that point at the very beginning of our discussion. You didn't seem to understand it at the time. You claimed that it makes no difference whether we use a capital or lowercase letter. It does! Precisely for THIS VERY REASON. Lowercase gods are not supreme entities.******************************************************

  113. Allocutus says:

    ****************************************************RationallyFaith:On the contrary, this definition will actually make it easier to prove that every culture believed/s in a god, gods. As stated, dictionary editors find the common trends in each religion's interpretation of God and formulates a generic definition that defines the aforementioned. If you want further proof and information about God being in every culture, please pick up a copy of Encyclopedia of Gods: Over 2,500 Deities of the World, by Michael Jordan (not the basketball player). This is not an appeal to popularity. This is a well known fact.Allocutus:I don't intend to pick up any encyclopedias. If you have a source that confirms that EVERY CULTURE believed in a god (in the sense of SUPREME BEING), you have to present it. Quote the relevant part of your source here and link the source (or, if it's hard-copy, cite it using a recognised citation convention, so that it can be found and considered). I don't dispute that there have been 2500 deities. But "deity" doesn't mean "supreme being, creator". The word "deity" includes LOWERCASE GODS. You have claimed that EVERY CULTURE believed in a supreme being. You have to prove it. So far, you haven't done so at all. As for appeal to popularity, your claim that every culture believed in a supreme being isn't based on an appeal to popularity. For that to be the case, you'd have to rely on "everybody says that every culture believed in a supreme being". Although you have completely failed to support your claim that every culture believed in a supreme being, you did NOT commit appeal to popularity ON THIS ISSUE. You misunderstood my charge.My charge attacks the USE of this information. Thus, the fact that most (or even all, if you ever finally do establish that!) cultures believed in a supreme being isn't evidence that there's any truth in that belief. Most (by far) cultures believed the Earth was flat and that the Sun revolved around the Earth. Unless their reasons for belief was based on reliable evidence, the fact that they believed (even IF all of them did) isn't evidence of anything other than the belief itself.

  114. Allocutus says:

    RationallyFaith:Please see again my explanation of hope and religion. You keep repeating the same circular arguments.Allocutus:That doesn't address any of my arguments. I have clearly stated that the fact that religion is popular because it gives hope doesn't assist your case at all. It only provides a reason for people to make up gods! People believe because they are appealing to consequence. They believe because of wishful thinking. Therefore, EVEN IF it's true that ALL CULTURES believed in a god (in the sense of "supreme being"), that's not relevant to our discussion. There is a natural explanation for this belief: religion offers hope. You either somehow tackle this point, or the point stands unchallenged and you lose on this point.

  115. Allocutus says:

    RationallyFaith:As for Rosa, yes I challenged her to a debate after I noticed that she constantly deleted my comments that corrected the science on her blog. I sent her a tweet with a link…….. Allocutus:I've SEEN your exchange with Rosa. If you didn't like her choice of referee, you could have said so and suggested another one. Instead, you choose to claim that she chickened out of the debate, despite this not being the case. I myself don't blame her for insisting on a neutral venue and a ref. You are not an honest opponent. It's sad for a claimed Christian but that's the way it is :(****************************************************RationallyFaith:As for your challenge, I already accepted it weeks ago, that is why you are HERE on THIS BLOG! Why have 2 different debates? Moreover, you are not doing well in this one so it will be foolish to embarass you on your own turf. I am not cruel. Allocutus:I have challenged you to prove a god exists (any god). That's NOT what we're debating on this website. It never was. You never argued evidence for a god on this website. That's a separate challenge and, if you don't accept it, you will be branded a coward and a chicken. You will lose credibility (if you even have any) and will be mocked for aeons to come. You can be sure of that. People know who you are. They know you've repeatedly claimed that you have evidence for a god but never came up with the goods. In the interests of your reputation, I strongly suggest you take up the challenge.As for the other comment you make above, I'm actually KICKING YOUR BUTT here. You have made a number of claims and FAILED TO SUPPORT A SINGLE ONE OF THEM. Since you made the claims, the burden remains on you. You've failed to discharge it ON A SINGLE POINT. You can keep singing "I'm winning" but that won't change the cold and evident facts: you've been failing so far. Had we agreed on a panel of judges, the issue would be very well settled. I'm starting to understand why you're so affraid of having judges in a debate. You have less than a day to take up the "put your money where your mouth is" challenge. After the deadline passes, your credibility is history. For your convenience, here's the link again: http://proveagodrationallyfaith.blogspot.com.au/

  116. Allocutus says:

    Rationallyfaith:It is not a lie. Where is your rebuttal of any argument from design? I cannot find them here. In order for you to absorb any arguments from design, you need to be objective. The term "credible evidence" is subjective. This is where Atheists play the evidence game. If someone were to design a time machine, travel back and video tape Jesus or creation and return with the footage to show Atheists; Atheists will say the footage is doctored and so on. There is no objectivity whatsoever. It is like those people who claim the moon landing was a hoax. Evidence exists that it happened, yet they do not find it "credible." Allocutus:You're kidding, right? How can you expect me to rebut an argument that has never been made? Make an argument and we'll see if I can rebut it. I never said that I can rebut your argument from design! I don't even know what your argument from design is! All I said is I've never seen an argument from design (or any other argument for the existence of a god) that holds. It's simple. You made the claim that you can prove a god exists. Prove your claim! As a scientist, as that's what you say you are ;), you won't need to be told what "credible evidence" is. You'll know all about falsifiability criteria, you'll know how science approaches evidence. Make your argument that a god exists. Stop stalling. Link is here: http://proveagodrationallyfaith.blogspot.com.au/

  117. Allocutus says:

    @RationallyFaith:I will always bring science into discussions. Science is my field of study.@Allocutus:What does that have to do with anything? Even if science is your field of study (and I doubt that, given your ignorance of such basic things as burden of proof and evidence), that doesn't make your references to science in this discussion RELEVANT. *****************************************************@RationallyFaith:Again, "firmament" is the universe. The universe is an expanse/firmament and this is what the word 'raqia' in Hebrew means. Reread my previous comment. You again stuck in the circular argument. I already explained each verse and compared it to what we believe about the universe's and earth's births. I cannot repeat myself. @Allocutus:Please support that the word "firmament" means "universe". Once you have done that, please address my remaining points on this issue. For your convenience, I quote my previous post:"YOU HAVE STILL FAILED TO ADDRESS THE ISSUE OF "let there be light". Why do you stall that issue? The earth was without form and void. And THEN god creates light. We know that's not scientifically the case. Light existed way before the Earth.In addition (as AGAIN YOU'VE FAILED TO ADDRESS), Genesis has God creating the plants BEFORE He creates the Sun and the Moon. We know very well that the Sun and Moon existed long before there were plants on Earth. In fact, science usually says that life without the Moon wouldn't be possible (creationists often use this as a ploy to support their own arguments!) And certainly it wouldn't be possible without the Sun."

  118. Allocutus says:

    RationallyFaith:In regards to your editing comment, I can only reply to what you write. All bishops support human rights, not social engineering – big difference. A human right is not freedom to do whatever. Rights come from God and are inalienable. Since they are from God, man cannot alter them. Allocutus:Now you're playing word games AND engaging in a Copout (that's yet another fallacy). You see, I don't CARE (it MATTERS NOT) whether we call the right to sexual orientation or equality of women "human rights". We can call them "Zonzee" for all it matters. We can call them ANYTHING as long as we both know what we're talking about.I'm not interested in your PREACHING. I don't care whether you believe that Human Rights is what was given to us by the particular deity that you happen to believe in. What I DO want, and have been asking for for DAYS NOW, is for you to support your claim that the reason for atheism spreading is the increasing number of clergy who support homosexuality and woman priesthood ("poor evangelization"). Now, either respond to that issue in your next reply or concede the point. Thank you.

  119. Allocutus says:

    RationallyFaith:Your mentioning of the "cutting hand" from Jesus' words is a clear indication that you do not comprehend the metaphorical style Jesus used throughout the Gospel. Moreover, the "cutting of hands" in the region is a well known punishment for serious crimes. Jesus as a communicator used references the people were accustomed to in order to preach His messages and connect them to the people. Slavery in the old Testament is not the slavery you are thinking of. Slavery is used in the context of work. Exodus 21:16 specifically mentions that anyone who enslaves another must be put to death. When reading Scripture, one must take into account the culture and understanding of the people. We cannot filter Scripture through the lens of the 21st century. When Jesus spoke of the Law, He was referring to the Commandments. Notice that Jesus says LAW not Laws. The Commandments are the LAW that allows man to live a righteous life.Allocutus:Precisely! Jesus was speaking in metaphor. Now, what he actually meant by each metaphor and WHICH of his sayings WERE INDEED metaphor, is a question of interpretation. People differ on interpretation. For example, you claim that when Jesus said that "the law and the prophets" will apply till the end of the world he meant "The 10 Commandments". I entirely disagree with you as do a huge number of Christians. I have very good reasons for this because right after the above statement (it's in Matt 5; sermon on the mount), Jesus gives EXAMPLES of issues of law. These examples include commands from a number of books and most (but not all) are NOT in the 10 Commandments. Of course, whether my (and millions of Christians) interpretation is right and yours is wrong or the other way around is IRRELEVANT. You have made my point for me! A lot of it is metaphor! And metaphor is ALWAYS subject to interpretation.

  120. Allocutus says:

    RationallyFaith:I am not sending anyone to research anything. I gave you a source to look at. Whether you look at it or not is on you. The source in question deals with what you were requesting. If you ask me about cats, then I will give you sources about cats. I cannot give you a source about dogs. If you asked about Catholics and statistics of why they leave the church, then only a Catholic source can answer this because this is a scenario the Catholic Church is facing, not another party. The Episcopal church cannot tell you why Catholics leave the Catholic Church. There is nothing hypocritical about this. Rejecting data from the Church regarding Church issues is ridiculous and shows dishonesty. It would be like rejecting census data when the question deals with demographics.Allocutus:I only have two points to make on this:1. The issue wasn't about PEOPLE LEAVING THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. The issue was about INCREASING NUMBERS OF ATHEISTS. You claimed that the cause of this is poor evangelzation. I asked you to support your claim. You return with a source (without actually putting any information INTO THE DEBATE; rather expecting me to go read your sources and look for info in them myself!) that talks about WHY CATHOLICS LEAVE THE CHURCH and NOT about why there are more and more atheists. Your source is IRRELEVANT.2. But now you've made the point that I should accept Catholic Sources for information about why people are leaving the Catholic Church. Let's say I agree with you. I then WOULD accept your source if it was relevant to the question. But it's not. The question is about growing numbers of atheists. Given that you wanted me to accept Catholic sources on issues of Catholicism, I take it you will allow me to present an ATHEIST source on an issue of ATHEISM. You will, right? You will?

  121. Sacerdotus says:

    The only difference is the composition of the alternate definitions. The bottomeline is that you will not find a dictionary that does not describe God as supreme being or creator. I invite you to cite one here and provide the ISBN. As I have stated before, the upper/lower case is done to show respect to a person.I already provided you with a source. It is your task to look it up and verify it, not mine. If you don't intend to pick up any encyclopedias, then that shows your lack of interest in research. Why ask for sources if you will not even look at them? I cannot copy entire books, articles and so forth on here. First, I do not have permission from publishers to do so, Second, it is obvious that you will ignore it just as your ignored my other cites. To date you have not provided any source for your claims about Atheist tribes. The word Deity comes from the Latin "Deitas" which means "Divine nature." This word is used solely for god or supreme being. Human beings are not divine. Non-human animals are not divine. Who else can the word "deity" be applied to other than God? The "g" in God makes no real difference. The "G" is capitalized to show respect to a person just like the first letter of a person's name is capitalized, for example "Martin." It would be disrespectful to address you as martin. Please stop the distraction attempts and stick to the core issues. You claim I did not prove the claim that every culture believed in a supreme being, so what is this? " If you want further proof and information about God being in every culture, please pick up a copy of Encyclopedia of Gods: Over 2,500 Deities of the World, by Michael Jordan"Why do you insist on denying things? Why the dishonesty?Did I post the former for my health? I provided a source from someone who did the research and supports my claim. Again, you have not provided any source at all showing an Atheist civilization that describes itself as Atheist. You only offered inferences regarding the Baka people. Your inferences are not proof.You argued from ignorance.The rest of your comment regarding the Earth as flat etc is just filler and irrelevant.

  122. Sacerdotus says:

    No one is appealing to consequence when they find hope in religion. Do you honestly believe that a mother who has a dying child and prayed to God for the healing of that child and it was granted to her, "made up" that God? You completely misunderstood what I wrote. People do not create religions or god and somehow get hope out of this creation. Religion is popular because it works. The hope is real. It is tangible. It is not made up. Do you have evidence suggesting your claim that religious hope is an appeal to consequence? Please show it here, if not, then you lost on this point by making exaggerated bare assertions. A challenged presented during a current debate makes no sense whatsoever. If we are discussing the issues here, why start elsewhere with another one? Moreover, I never gave permission to post my words elsewhere. I mentioned already that evidence for God will be on my other blog, not this one. This blog is a place for discussion and debate. Your charges of cowardice are comical and unfounded. This is a public blog and everyone can see that you are not doing well defending Atheism. You repeat the same arguments, deny receiving sources and argue from ignorance. Have you not notice my followers increasing on twitter every time atheists engage me publically? You are sounding like a sore loser right now with your comment. No sane person will claim that you are winning this discussion. All you have been doing is playing Pigeon chess, nothing more. In over 100 comments you have not proved an ounce of the rationality behind atheism. You have presented it clearly to us all as fallacious rhetoric based on assumption. Having judges makes no sense whatsoever. First, a judge needs to be neutral. If I choose one and you choose one, or Rosa does like she choose that self-proclaimed minister, then there is no neutrality. Second, any judge must be knowledgeable on the material presented. A judge without a grasp of the sciences cannot judge scientific claims made during a debate. The use of judges or referees is a stall tactic, to say the least. Are you so lacking in intellectual confidence that you need an extra layer of 'protection?' You have got to be kidding me. I do not need any referrees or judges for a debate. I will even debate more than one person and will not request help. Any debates between myself and any Atheist or Agnostic will take place here. I cannot bounce from blog to blog. This is time consuming and makes it difficult for anyone to follow the debates. I may occasionally post comments here and there on other blogs, but that is the extent I will do. So either debate me here and set aside the need for safety blankets, or accept defeat. Regardless of venue, I will still refute your claims.

  123. Sacerdotus says:

    As for argument from design, you made the claim that they were weak. On Sept 8, 2012 at 3:03 AM Eastern time, you wrote "I have yet to see a single Argument from Design that actually holds water." This is why I made the comment, "Where is your rebuttal of ANY arugment from design?" In other words, if you claim that there is no argument from design that holds water then where are the rebuttals that show they do not hold water? You have yet to provide this. All I have is your statement that "they do not hold water." Pythagoras described the universe as "firmament." Moreover, Genesis uses the word "raqia" to describe what we now call the universe. Please spare us the play on words. You are stalling again.I addressed clearly your point, I wrote:"A careful reading of Genesis 1 says, "God created the HEAVENS…" Notice, it begins with this. Earth then follows with a description of it being without form and a void. Now if we compare this to what we believe happened 4 billion years ago we would see this exactly. First the big bang took place which created the universe (heavens). Afterwards the universe was hot and began to form within dark matter and energy as it cooled(and darkness was upon the face of the deep). Then as it began to cool, different gasses mixed and formed rocks, metals, water, and other gasses which under the compression of gravity became galaxies which produced stars with water masers(spirit of God hovered over the face of the water, 'let there be light.'" The Earth was without form and was a void as it collected itself from dust, rocks, gas into a spherical shape due to gravity. I can go on and on, but you get the point."You ignore the fact that as the solar system was forming there was no SUN light as we know of it today from the Sun. The "let there be light" in Genesis is referring to time: day and night. God saw it to be good and called the light 'day' and the darkness 'night.' Again the creation of the "lights" in the sky or "sun/moon" are in reference to time.

  124. Sacerdotus says:

    There is no copout here. My intent wasn't to preach, but to show you the difference between a good bishop and a bad one. A good one sticks to the teachings and a bad one gives in to the world's philosophies. You are committing a strawman here. I already provided a source that has information as to why people leave the Church or become atheist due to poor evangelization – or better yet – poor catechesis. Take the Anglican church for example. After they began toying with beliefs by accepting homosexuality as a normal lifestyle and ordaining women, many left to the Catholic Church. This compelled the Pope to create an "Anglican branch" within the Catholic Church, so to speak. Millions were writing to Rome requesting this and pledging loyalty to the Catholic Church while using Anglican rites they are used to. After Vatican II, some took the ideas of the council and distorted them. Many priests, nuns and lay people left the Church. This caused a ripple affect that is being felt today. If I am ordained now and tell my parish that being gay is ok while the catechism says otherwise, my parishioners will either leave my parish or leave the Church. If they do the latter, then they will come to the conclusion that Catholicism is nonsense and hypocritical and abandon faith altogether. The source I gave you has information regarding this. Its purpose is to bring those Catholics back! By denying any source, you are conceding because you are refusing to accept it and therefore making it impossible to prove anything to you. What you're doing is the equivalent of a kid covering his ears shouting "lalalalalala, I'm not listening, lalalalala." It is obvious when Jesus is using metaphor and when He is not. This is a no-brainer. The Catholic Church is the sole interpreter of Scripture. No other Christian sect can claim this because the Church put the Bible together. It is OUR BOOK. Protestants and Orthodox Christians can have whatever interpretation, but the one that counts is the one the Catholic Church proclaims because She gave us the Bible. Scripture is not open to private interpretation.(2 Peter 1:20) The Beatitudes in Matthew 5 are virtues and the rewards for living those virtues. They are the fruits of living the Commandments of God.

  125. Allocutus says:

    RatiaonallyFaith:The only difference is the composition of the alternate definitions. The bottomeline is that you will not find a dictionary that does not describe God as supreme being or creator. I invite you to cite one here and provide the ISBN. As I have stated before, the upper/lower case is done to show respect to a person.Allocutus:Did I ever disagree with you that every dictionary contains the "supreme being, creator" definition of "god"? No. In fact, I myself said that this definition does appear in EVERY DICTIONARY. But that's not the point because the other definition also exists in every dictionary. "God" doesn't JUST MEAN "supreme being, creator". "God" also means local deity who's NOT supreme or the creator; rather one who is responsible for some part of the world. Gods of love, gods of war etc, appearing in a multitude of mythologies.I don't even know why you're continuing with this line of argumentation. You should simply apologise for being silly, thank me for doing YOUR HOMEWORK and citing a dictionary definition (after asking YOU to define the concept you seek on rely NO LESS THAN THREE TIMES) and then thanking me for agreeing to go with YOUR CHOSEN definition afterall. I don't think we need to argue about what "god" means. The word has a number of meanings, one of which indeed is "supreme being, creator". You wanted to use THAT meaning in this debate and I'm fine with that. All you now need to do is prove your central hypothesis: that all cultures believed in a supreme being, creator.If and when you do that (and I don't think you will, but let's see), I will agree that you've done it and then I'll ask you just what (and how) I'm supposed to do with this information.

  126. Allocutus says:

    RationallyFaith:I already provided you with a source. It is your task to look it up and verify it, not mine. If you don't intend to pick up any encyclopedias, then that shows your lack of interest in research. Why ask for sources if you will not even look at them? I cannot copy entire books, articles and so forth on here. First, I do not have permission from publishers to do so, Second, it is obvious that you will ignore it just as your ignored my other cites. Allocutus:For someone who claims to be a scientist, you have remarkably low levels of understanding how to present information. You need to paste here the specific part of the source that you rely on. You need to follow that with an accurate link or citation for the source. If indeed you have some expert evidence that concludes that EVERY CULTURE believed in a supreme creator, I'd be more than interested to see it. Until you present such evidence, you are continually making a bare assertion.That said, I've looked at a number of encyclopediae and I haven't found a single one that would claim that EVERY CULTURE believed in a Supreme Being. What encyclopedia, what edition, what page?

  127. Allocutus says:

    RationallyFaith:To date you have not provided any source for your claims about Atheist tribes. Allocutus:I have but you haven't accepted my sources. At which point, I reminded you that the burden is on you. You have made the claim that all cultures believed in a supreme being. You have to prove it. RationallyFaith:The word Deity comes from the Latin "Deitas" which means "Divine nature." This word is used solely for god or supreme being. Human beings are not divine. Non-human animals are not divine.Allocutus:No. Any god or goddess is a deity. Dictionary.com:de·i·ty   [dee-i-tee] Show IPA noun, plural de·i·ties. 1. a god or goddess. 2. divine character or nature, especially that of the Supreme Being; divinity. 3. the estate or rank of a god: The king attained deity after his death. 4. a person or thing revered as a god or goddess: a society in which money is the only deity. 5. the Deity, God; Supreme Being. Myrriam-webster.com:Definition of DEITY1 a: the rank or essential nature of a god : divinity bcapitalized: god 1, supreme being 2: a god or goddess 3: one exalted or revered as supremely good or powerful See deity defined for English-language learners »See deity defined for kids »Note in particular the second (2) definition above, citing an example "deities of ancient Greece". Clearly, the term "deity" applies equally to local and non-supreme gods as it does to a supreme creator.Your claim (if I understand you correctly) is that the 2500 "deities" in your source (the one you failed to cite properly) refers to 2500 supreme gods. From this you seek to extrapolate a conclusion that ALL CULTURES believed in supreme creators.Firstly, the term "deity", even if used by your source, doesn't at all have to mean "supreme creator". The word "deity" simply means "god" or "a god or goddess". Secondly, even if your source DID claim that there have been 2500 supreme gods believed in, it DOES NOT follow from that that EVERY CULTURE believed in a supreme creator. Finally, I haven't managed to find your source in my local library. That said, I did an internet search. Here's how Amazon.com (no doubt, with the consent of your source) advertises your source:"Every culture has its gods involved with such concerns as weather, fertility, and safety. Although this reference represents the most comprehensive listing available of the deities of principal religions, it is not exhaustive. The gods of Haiti, for example……"(source: http://www.amazon.com/Encyclopedia-Gods-Over-Deities-World/dp/0816029091)Given the way "gods" is used in this description, do you still maintain that your source is evidence that every culture believed in a SUPREME BEING?

  128. Allocutus says:

    RatinallyFaith:" If you want further proof and information about God being in every culture, please pick up a copy of Encyclopedia of Gods: Over 2,500 Deities of the World, by Michael Jordan"Allocutus:Yes, that's what you said above and that's what you say again. Evidently you haven't even SEEN this source in real life. You've only just HEARD ABOUT IT. If you had seen it, you'd KNOW that the deities it lists are not only supreme creators. That's evident from the way the book is described by its own seller (Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Encyclopedia-Gods-Over-Deities-World/dp/0816029091)That's also confirmed by a reader's review (also on Amazon – same url). I quote:"This is a handy book to have around because of the quantity of deities which it lists, and for getting a basic idea of the deities(pantheon/general theme as in associated with wealth, prosperity, sensuality, ect.)"Deities…panthenon..associated with wealth, prosperity, sensuality, etc….Not supreme creators of universes. Your source is about LOCAL POLYTHEISTIC gods (lowercase!).RationallyFaith:Why do you insist on denying things? Why the dishonesty?Did I post the former for my health? Allocutus:I never denied that you have POINTED TO A SOURCE. What I denied (and NOW EVEN MORE DENY) is that you have provided a source for your proposition that EVERY CULTURE belived in a supreme creator (God – capital letter).

  129. Allocutus says:

    RationallyFaith:I provided a source from someone who did the research and supports my claim. Again, you have not provided any source at all showing an Atheist civilization that describes itself as Atheist. You only offered inferences regarding the Baka people. Your inferences are not proof.You argued from ignorance.Allocutus:No, you provided a source that distinctly DOES NOT SUPPORT YOUR CLAIM. Your claim was that EVERY CULTURE believed in a supreme creator (God – capital letter). You have provided a source that lists 2500 NON-SUPREME gods (gods – lowercase). You just got burnt by your own source.Now…please do provide evidence that EVERY CULTURE believed in a supreme creator.

  130. Allocutus says:

    RationallyFaithThe rest of your comment regarding the Earth as flat etc is just filler and irrelevant.Allocutus:Actually, it's VERY RELEVANT. You see, you opened up (2nd round or so of the debate) with a claim that all cultures believed in a supreme creator. You haven't proven that point, far from it.But even IF IT WERE THE CASE that all cultures believed in a supreme creator, how is that relevant? Unless they believed for good reasons (and it's THOSE that need to be raised and discussed; EVIDENCE THAT A GOD EXISTS), the fact that they believed is irrelevant. It's an appeal to popularity. We KNOW that very popular claims can be very incorrect. Flat earth and geocentric models of the Universe are a prime example of that. As are some of the 2500 deities (such as gods of rain, gods of prosperity and gods of war). You need to address my charge of appealing to popularity. It IS a fallacy.

  131. Allocutus says:

    RationallyFaithNo one is appealing to consequence when they find hope in religion. Do you honestly believe that a mother who has a dying child and prayed to God for the healing of that child and it was granted to her, "made up" that God? You completely misunderstood what I wrote. Allocutus:You said that religion is popular because it offers hope. I replied. Now you say I misundestood. Ok…let's see where it gets us.RationallyFaith:People do not create religions or god and somehow get hope out of this creation. Religion is popular because it works. The hope is real. It is tangible. It is not made up. Do you have evidence suggesting your claim that religious hope is an appeal to consequence? Please show it here, if not, then you lost on this point by making exaggerated bare assertions. Allocutus:Right. So your claim isn't that religion is popular because it offers hope. Your claim is that it's popular because it WORKS. You give an example of a mother praying for her child to be healed and the child is indeed healed.Now we're getting into an entirely different field of inquiry: religious healing.I have to say I've looked into the issue quite a bit. I've read a number of articles on it and as far as I'm aware there's no scientific confirmation that "religion works", in the sense that prayer brings any real results, beyond perhaps the placebo effect.If you claim that this is the case, you have to provide evidence. Please support your claim that "religion works".

  132. Allocutus says:

    RationallyFaith:A challenged presented during a current debate makes no sense whatsoever. If we are discussing the issues here, why start elsewhere with another one? Moreover, I never gave permission to post my words elsewhere. Allocutus:Your double-standards don't interest me. If you're expecting that your opponent (such as @RosaRubicondior) allow YOU to publish their words, you would be a complete hypocrite to refuse to have yours published on someone else's blog. Indeed, you went as far as to ABUSE Rosa (and call her a chicken) PRECISELY because she refused to debate you ON YOUR BOG.I have therefore issued my challenge. Either put your money where your mouth is or you're a chicken (just as you called Rosa). You have failed to meet my challenge by the due date (9/11 2012).For completeness sake, my challenge was here:godrationallyfaith.blogspot.com.au/You are a chicken.And a hypocrite.

  133. Allocutus says:

    RationallyFaith:As for argument from design, you made the claim that they were weak. On Sept 8, 2012 at 3:03 AM Eastern time, you wrote "I have yet to see a single Argument from Design that actually holds water." This is why I made the comment, "Where is your rebuttal of ANY arugment from design?" In other words, if you claim that there is no argument from design that holds water then where are the rebuttals that show they do not hold water? You have yet to provide this. All I have is your statement that "they do not hold water." Allocutus:This is incredible! You are actually QUOTING ME saying that "I HAVE YET TO SEE a single argument from design that holds water" in an attempt to claim that I did not say that "I HAVE YET TO SEE a single argument from design that holds water". And you're doing this AFTER I told you that I'm not claiming that YOUR argument from design will not hold water (as I don't know your argument from design, if any).I have NOT claimed that there are no arguments from design that hold water. Neither have I claimed that none are possible! I have merely (and very truthfully) asserted that I haven't seen one that holds water. If I had, I wouldn't be an atheist.Now, if you want to propose an argument from design that holds water, do so, by all means. If you don't, just accept the fact that I've never seen one that holds water.

  134. Allocutus says:

    RationallyFaith:Pythagoras described the universe as "firmament." Moreover, Genesis uses the word "raqia" to describe what we now call the universe. Please spare us the play on words. You are stalling again.Allocutus:Pythagoras did not write the Bible. Neither did he write the dictionary. As for the word "raqia" it means "expanse" in Hebrew. (http://concordances.org/hebrew/7549.htm). And yes, heaven is an expanse. But Genesis 1 says that the Earth was created at the same time as the expanse. We know that's not true. The heavens existed long before the Earth did. And the Universe (if we should agree that "expanse" means "universe") existed long before the Earth. The Universe is 13.7 billion years old (according to most scientists). The Earth is estimated at somewhere around 4.54 billion years old. The Universe existed long before the Earth. Genesis 1 contradicts science.

  135. Allocutus says:

    RationallyFaith:You ignore the fact that as the solar system was forming there was no SUN light as we know of it today from the Sun. The "let there be light" in Genesis is referring to time: day and night. God saw it to be good and called the light 'day' and the darkness 'night.' Again the creation of the "lights" in the sky or "sun/moon" are in reference to time.Allocutus:So you claim that "let there be light" really means "let there be sun". But you'll have to agree that the two sentences, when taken literally, DO NOT mean the same thing. You have just metaphorised Gensis in order to fit with science; ad hoc. You're confirming my claim.So you're claiming that God created the day and night by creating "light" (the sun) on the first day. But this can't be right, for it isn't until the FOURTH day that God creates the moon and the sun. I quote from Genesis 1:"And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day."If "light" on day 1 means day and night (and sun) then God can't have created the Sun on the fourth day. And by that stage, plants already existed (created on day 3).

  136. Allocutus says:

    RationallyFaith:There is no copout here. My intent wasn't to preach, but to show you the difference between a good bishop and a bad one. A good one sticks to the teachings and a bad one gives in to the world's philosophies. You are committing a strawman here. I already provided a source that has information as to why people leave the Church or become atheist due to poor evangelization – or better yet – poor catechesis. Take the Anglican church for example. After they began toying with beliefs by accepting homosexuality as a normal lifestyle and ordaining women, many left to the Catholic Church. This compelled the Pope to create an "Anglican branch" within the Catholic Church, so to speak. Millions were writing to Rome requesting this and pledging loyalty to the Catholic Church while using Anglican rites they are used to. After Vatican II, some took the ideas of the council and distorted them. Many priests, nuns and lay people left the Church. This caused a ripple affect that is being felt today. If I am ordained now and tell my parish that being gay is ok while the catechism says otherwise, my parishioners will either leave my parish or leave the Church. If they do the latter, then they will come to the conclusion that Catholicism is nonsense and hypocritical and abandon faith altogether. The source I gave you has information regarding this. Its purpose is to bring those Catholics back.Allocutus:Again, I don't care about the various Christian churches' fights to win over the source of income of another Christian church (aka believers). You said that "bad evangelization" (which you define by reference to priests accepting homosexuality and the priesthood of women) is responsible for the SPREAD OF ATHEISM. If atheism is people not believing in gods then you have to show that bishops who support homosexuality and woman priesthood are the reason why people stop believing in a god. If atheism (as you'd be more likely to claim) is people actually claiming that there are no gods, you have to show that bishops being tolerant towards homosexuality or the priesthood of women somehow result in people claiming that no gods exist.Your source DOES NOT say either of the above. I've checked it.Either support your claim or concede the point.

  137. Allocutus says:

    RationallyFaith:It is obvious when Jesus is using metaphor and when He is not. This is a no-brainer. The Catholic Church is the sole interpreter of Scripture. No other Christian sect can claim this because the Church put the Bible together. It is OUR BOOK.Allocutus:Now you're claiming that the Catholic Church is the only interpreter of the Scripture. And that it put the Bible together! Whilst you can claim that the Catholic Church (oh boy) decided on the canon of the New Testament (ie, what books are to form part of it or not), you can't possibly claim that the Catholic Church MADE THE SAYINGS IN IT. Or can you? Are the gospels just made up by the [very very early] Catholics? Who knows, right?Assuming that a Jesus existed and indeed said the things described in the Gospels (a big assumption in itself; two assumptions actually), how does the fact that the Catholic Church bound the books together allow you to conclude that the Catholic Church has the correct interpretation?

  138. Allocutus says:

    RationallyFaith:The Beatitudes in Matthew 5 are virtues and the rewards for living those virtues. They are the fruits of living the Commandments of God. Allocutus:Indeed. But I wasn't referring to the Beatitudes. I was referring to THE LAW. In Matt 5:19, Christ states that the Law and the Prophets will apply till the end of the world. Even more, those who obey the law (to the letter, to be sure) will be higher in heaven (or "called first in heaven", depending on translation) than those who don't. I quote the relevant part:"17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven."Jesus THEN goes on to give examples of the Law. He talks about murder, adultery, divorce, oaths, and "eye-for-eye". Only two of these laws are contained in the 10 Commandments. Your assertion that "the law" in Matt 5:17-19 refers only to the 10 Commandments can't therefore be correct.

  139. Sacerdotus says:

    You seem to be nitpicking particular attributes when I clearly stated that any definition from any dictionary will suffice. Since you agree that the definition of "supreme being/creator" is in every dictionary,then the matter should have been over days ago. Why do you continue with the circular arguments? This is a stall tactic on your part. What's next? Will you question the punctuation on a particular dictionary's definition? The word "god" will always mean what the word god means. Just like with the word "water." One will find many ways of spelling out what water means; nevertheless, the definition will always be something pertaining to liquid, h20 etc. In regards to all cultures believe in God, I have already provided a source. You write: "DOES NOT SUPPORT YOUR CLAIM" have you read the book to state this? Can you show us here how the book DOES NOT support my claim without a play on the spelling of the word GOD?You keep asking for the same thing over and over when the source is right there before you. Again, another circular argument. Do I have to buy the text for you or invite the author to your home for you to accept the data?Scientists do not need to provide information in the manner you are referring to. I merely used the Chicago style of citing. I am not sure how Australia teaches its people how to cite, but in the United States of America, academia uses the Chicago style a lot which is used by providing the author and year after one's own text. As you mentioned before, comments allow about 4000 characters. It is therefore a bad idea to rewrite a book or journal on a comment when one can easily provide a source using the Chicago style. Suppose you had to cite a newspaper article. It would be silly to take the article and retype it here. All you need to do is post the paper name, author and date. "Any god or goddess is a deity." There you have said it, thanks for finally getting it. God is god regardless of how a particular people name him, her or it. We are discussing GOD, not particular designations of God or whether or not x god is a myth. Stick to the concept of God. Again, you are beating around the bush. If you persist with the play on the word God, then you concede on the point. My comment about belief in God being universal was in connection to the VMAT2 gene which you have avoided answering. If you keep with the flow of the discussion then you would not be so confused. I invite you to start from the beginning and read everything so as to know when and why certain things were commented they way they were.If religion did not work as you claim, then it would not be successful. If Apple products did not work, it would not be one of the largest technology businesses ever to exist. You are now making a bare assertion typical of a contrarian. The very fact that religion is popular shows that it "works" in the lives of its practioners. I invite you to conduct your own survey and find out personally why religion works in the lives of people.

  140. Sacerdotus says:

    Requesting permission from the original author is the legal thing to do. Why are you having a problem with this? It is not a 'double-standard,' it is common sense. If I did not give you permission to post my words elsewhere, then why did you do it? You're a supposed lawyer, you should know about copyrights, redistribution/publication. Your challenge is futile because you were told many times that proof will be on MY BLOG. After it is there, you and others will have the opportunity to read and comment on it. What is it that you do not understand about the silliness of going from blog to blog to debate when I have one here?Your ad hominem is duly noted. How can I be 'chicken' if I am here engaging you as is? Yes I am quoting you because you seem to have a selective memory issue. To date you have not demonstrated the design arguments and how they do not 'hold water.' You write: "I have NOT claimed that there are no arguments from design that hold water." So what does "I have yet to see a single Argument from Design that actually hold water" mean? (Sept 8, 2012 3:03Am, Allocutus) These are your words not mine. You have contradicted yourself.Pythagoras did not write the Bible, did you not write on Sept 11, 2012 at 6:18 AM Eastern time "Please support that the word "firmament" means "universe"? I did exactly that. Moreover, the universe is an expanse. Even Nasa.gov describes it as such.(http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/5-8/features/F_How_Big_is_Our_Universe.html) Again, why are you beating around the bush? What did that bush do to you?

  141. Sacerdotus says:

    Genesis 1 does not say that the Earth was created at the same time as the expanse. The first verse is an introduction stating that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. In other words, "God made everything." The second verse states the earth was formless and this is what science says. The earth was a disk-collection of dust and gas as seen here from a Hubble telescope photo taken of a distant star. (http://www.nature.com/scientificamerican/journal/v292/n2/images/scientificamerican0205-33c-I1.jpg) There is no contradiction in the timing of when things appeared. Remember, Genesis is a brief introduction stating that God made everything. It does not go into detail. Regarding Catholics leaving, I wrote: "http://www.catholicscomehome.org/ would better answer your question regarding data/statistics you inquire about." Did you contact them? I specifically stated they they can provide the data/statistics you inquired about. Bad evangelization/catechesis is a major factor in why people leave the Church period. You yourself do not believe because you have not seen strong evidence correct? Therefore, religion/Church did not satisfy your inquiries and thirst, so to speak. This is what I meant. I used homosexuality and women priesthood as examples of bad catechesis. I never said they were the reasons people become atheists. Please quote me where I wrote this.The Catholic Church is indeed the sole interpreter of Scripture. Years ago, car maker Toyota was in hot water over bad car designs. Its owners had to appear before Congress to explain their failings and propose a plan to fix the products. If you own a Toyota and it broke down due to a bad design, would you go to Toyota or to a third party? Common sense dictates that you would go to the creator of the product, correct? Toyota would know better of any design flaws. Similarly, the Church, who put the Bible together knows about it and how it 'works,' so to speak. It is the SOLE source for inquiry because the Church gave us the Bible. The Church specifically chose particular books in order to tell the history of Salvation centered around Christ. I never claimed the Church created the wording. Please show us where I did. You are inferring this. I wrote: "The Catholic Church is the sole interpreter of Scripture. No other Christian sect can claim this because the Church put the Bible together. It is OUR BOOK." Where does it say that the Church created its sayings? You write: "Indeed, But I wasn't referring to the Beatitudes." But before you wrote on Sept 11, 2012 at 6:31AM Eastern Time, "I have very good reasons for this because right after the above statement (it's in Matt 5; sermon on the mount)." I can only respond to what YOU write. If you mentioned the sermon on the mount, then you are referring to the Beatitudes. The "Law" you refer to here is Israel. Jesus did not come to abolish Judaism but to fulfill it. The laws you mention (eye for eye) are cultural elements. These are not the LAW.

  142. Sacerdotus says:

    Please put everything in one comment the best you can so readers don't have to go back and forth on responses.

  143. Allocutus says:

    On definition of "god": I understand you refuse to accept the fact that dictionaries define "god" in two distinct ways. You look at a dictionary, you SEE the two definitions, you see that they are different to each other (one is a supreme entity and one is not) and yet you simply refuse to demonstrate the intellectual honesty to acknowledge that dictionaries define "god" (as they do many other words) as a number of distinct concepts. You block your ears and close your eyes and say "nah-huh, I'm right". Sorry but that's not a debate. IT's a circus.On your "source": I have challenged you to demonstrate that your source at all concludes that all cultures believed in a supreme being. I don't have a copy of your source. Your source is out of print, not available in libraries or bookstores. I asked you to cite a passage from your source to support your claim. I asked you for a page number. Nope, not gonna happen. I looked up your book's seller (Amazon.com) and showed you what THEY say about the book. They claim it's a book about the various gods of nature and not only about supreme deities. My understanding is that the book lists the various mythologies and deities they believed in and briefly describes them. How does that support your claim that EVERY CULTURE believed in a supreme being?On VMAT2: You have claimed that there's a religion gene. I have challenged you to support that claim. We both know of only one scientist who claims that such a gene exists. The theory is said to be controversial. It's in its diapers. In fact, if the theory were true, it would support atheism. It would provide us with a great explanation of why people TEND to believe in the supernatural. We are genetically conditioned to. That's why religion has such a wide spread. The next step would be to try and identify the selective pressure for this gene to succeed.

  144. Allocutus says:

    RationallyFaith:If religion did not work as you claim, then it would not be successful. If Apple products did not work, it would not be one of the largest technology businesses ever to exist. You are now making a bare assertion typical of a contrarian. The very fact that religion is popular shows that it "works" in the lives of its practioners. I invite you to conduct your own survey and find out personally why religion works in the lives of peopleAllocutus:Let's get this right. You first claimed that religion is successful (popular) because it offers hope. I replied that this means that religion is popular because believers appeal to consequence; they believe because it makes them feel better, it gives them hope.Your response was that you don't just mean "hope"; you mean that religion WORKS. You gave the example of a mother who prays for her child to be healed and her child is healed. I challenged you to prove that prayer does in fact work, beyond placebo. I did this because you CLAIMED THAT IT WORKS. In response to my challenge, are you providing me with any evidence that it works? No. All you manage is "if it didn't work it wouldn't be so successful". What you've just done is BEGGING THE QUESTION; it's a fallacy. The fact that religion is successful is NOT evidence that prayers are answered or that religion "works". It's only evidence that many people believe in gods. They may believe because it offers them comfort (eg, eternal life or "imaginary" friend's love) or because they THINK that it prayers work or because of traditional/upbringing reasons. I don't pretend to know why religion is popular. You're the one coming up with explanations here. The problem is you're not supporting them.Either support your claim that "religion works" with objective evidence or withdraw your claim. On my challenge:I have nothing more to say about my challenge. The facts are on record and the record speaks for itself.On the Bible and science:Ok, so "let there be light" was a preamble only. It wasn't actually part of the First Day's events. Fine. But then, this means that the Sun isn't created until the Fourth Day. And yet, plants already existed on the Third Day. That's BEFORE the Moon and the Sun. Science tells us this is not the case. Science is quite firm on this: the Sun and the Moon existed long before there was life on Earth. How can you then claim that the Bible is scientifically correct? I hope you get us through this part more quickly as I can't wait for your scientific explanation of Eve being made from Adam's rib. But not yet. The above issue first, please.

  145. Allocutus says:

    RationallyFaith:"Regarding Catholics leaving, I wrote: "http://www.catholicscomehome.org/ would better answer your question regarding data/statistics you inquire about." Did you contact them?…."There's no such topic in this debate as "catholics leaving". I'm not at all interested in why Catholics are leaving the Catholic Church. The issue was WHY ATHEISM IS GROWING. Those are two distinct issues. The former is totally irrelevant.Did I contact YOUR SOURCE? No, of course not. Even IF IT WERE RELEVANT (and it's not, for the reason stated above), why would I have to do your homework for you? You are making the claim, you must present the evidence. I can't engage in a debate with somebody who doesn't understand this simple concept. It's simply outrageous.On Catholic Church being the only interpreter of the Scriptures:Toyota is a bad example. Toyota actually designed their cars. The Catholic Church did NOT design Christ's sayings (or didn't it?). Once again, how does the decision which readings should be contained in the canon mean that the Catholic Church knows how to correctly interpret what Christ said? How does the act of collating a bunch of books make one inerrant as to their content? Can you please explain that?On Matthew 5 and The Law:You claim that the commands Jesus referred to in Matthew 5 applied to the Israel only and they were not laws; they were cultural elements.First of all, if they applied to the Jews only, why do you say the 10 Commandments apply to non-Jews? Did Christ ever make this distinction? I don't think so.. Secondly, let's look at the laws Christ mentions in Matt 5. For instance, the law that says that if you divorce your wife, is contained in the book of Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy is a statement of LAWS. While it is clearly designed for the Jews, so are the 10 Commandments. The commands of Deuteronomy are given in the same context and at the same time as the 10 Commandments. God repeatedly says, in Deuteronomy, that the commands given in it are law. Please support your claim that "the law and the prophets" in Matthew 5:17-19 refers only to the 10 Commandments.On your request to "put everything in one comment":Fine, I'll just lump all the text together. For some strange reason you think that makes it more clear than what I was doing before (ie, replying to your individual sections of text by quoting them specifically). This is one of the reasons why your blog is simply a horrible venue for debates. There are many debate-dedicated websites and they would be much better suited. This is just one reason.

  146. Sacerdotus says:

    There is no need to repost what I wrote. I remember what I wrote and can tell what you are responding to. I did not refuse anything. I just do not understand why you insist on ignoring the fact that the definition for God is a "supreme being/ruler/creator." Usually dictionaries offer different definitions with the one listed as "1" being the more commonly used. Why is it hard for you to see that this number 1 is pretty much the same in every dictionary? It is clear to all that you are stalling just like Rosa Rubicondior did. You are resorting to Argumentum ad nauseam.You have spent over 5 comments re-circulating the same material – the same inquiries. When will you stop? You are making yourself and Atheism look extremely foolish. A judge would hold you in contempt if you were to play these silly games in a court of law.Regarding the text source… IF it is true what you claim about its availability, then what good would a page number do if you CANNOT acquire the text!?!? Moreover, you cannot base any text on reviews from others. The book lists the many "gods" from EVERY culture around the world. It goes into full detail on how these cultures worshiped and defined these "gods." Not one culture was LEFT OUT! ON VMAT2, I merely restated what Geneticists have stated. The theory is controversial for obvious reasons. It touches too much on the supernatural which is always controversial in the scientific community. Moreover, possessing a "God gene" will force Atheism to redefine its colloquial definition as "disbelief." It will also force Atheism to retract its claim that all human beings are "born atheist." Like with any theory, studies will continue. As you probably may guess, I am following any updates regarding this gene just like I followed religiously the quest for the Higgs Boson aka "God particle." There is also a psychological study about God and the brain which I am currently studying, but did not mention on my blog yet until I gather all the details and verify the data.

  147. Sacerdotus says:

    You seem to not comprehend what argument from popularity means. Appeal to the majority is when one states that because the majority are doing it or find it as a good, then it must be valid. For exampleA: 91% of people like to eat ice cream.B: Ice Cream taste good.therefore: Ice cream is good for people because a large majority like it. By stating that religion is successful because it offers hope; I am NOT saying that IT IS the source of hope because a large majority use it for that goal. I am stating that people like religion because it apparently gives them hope – it is attractive to them. Saying that it is attractive to them and that it is the source of hope are 2 different things. See the difference?For example: Teens like video games because they find it fun. This does not mean that video games ARE fun or the source of it. It means that teens like it because to them they see it as fun. This is not appeal to consequence. An appeal to consequence is this:A) If you play soccer, you will get fit.thereforeB) Soccer is a sure way to get fit.The appeal to consequence is fallacious because it does not provide evidence. One can play soccer and indeed soccer is a form of exercise; however, this does not mean that soccer alone will get anyone fit. The body needs the proper diet and calorie burning techniques etc, to be fit.Had I written:A) If you are religious, you will have hope.thereforeB) Religion offers hope to people.Then this would have been an appeal. However, I did not do this. I merely stated that people like religion because it gives them hope. This hope could be caused by anything, not necessarily the religion.

  148. Sacerdotus says:

    In regards to prayer working, you went left field. In order to find out if prayer works, YOU would have to pray. I do not hold control over prayer. This is between a person and God.Again, you do not understand what "begging the question" is. Begging the question is an assumption made that is believed to be self proving. My example of a mother praying and receiving an answer to a prayer and how that affects her belief in God is not begging the question. It is an example of how religion becomes more attractive when its practicioners actually see its affects. An example of "Begging the question is"A) There is no falsifiable evidence for God, natural processes explain everything.thereforeB) There is no God, only nature at work. I have supported everything here. You keep denying it by resorting to Argumentum ad nauseam. TO date: You gave, No Atheist society evidence or sources. No quotes of what I supposedly wrote that you had issue with. Etc etc.Dr. Patricia Murphy who conducted a study on religion and how it helps people stated: "People who see the world with a hopeless framework are more prone to depression. The study demonstrates that religion has its greatest power to offset depression by its ability to counter hopelessness." Also see: http://www.livescience.com/18421-religion-impacts-health.htmlHopefully you will not deny that I supported this. If you do, then you automatically concede on the premise of argumentum ad nauseam.In regards to Genesis, again I answered this already. The things you question deal with time. The Bible is scientifically correct if read in context to the literally style the author used and intended. You are reading Genesis in a fundamental manner. Eve from Adam's rib is an allegory for marriage and to show that man and woman are not only "connected," but are equally of the same substance: humanity. The word used here is "tsalaw" which is translated as rib in Genesis, but not in other part of the Bible. This word describes something that is on the "side" or "supports from the side." Eve did not literally come from a rib. The link I provided was meant to be used as a contact. I currently do not possess statistical data on Catholics leaving the Church. I can inquire, but it will take time to research and obtain the data. As I have stated before, I can only speak as a Catholic. So any answer to why Atheism is growing will reflect a Catholic view point. I do not know what goes on in other churches or religions, nor do I have their numbers. You would have to inquire with them. As a Catholic I can say that people leave the Church for Atheism for the reasons I provided. I already did my homework by providing you with a source. Providing a source does not mean one has to sit on my lap as I read it to them. YOU have to take the initiative and work with the source provided. The Toyota example is not bad. Toyota designs it cars, but not its parts. Similarly, the Catholic Church put the Bible together, but not its words – except for the New Testament which was being written while the Church was already active and growing. I am sure you are aware of Shakespeare. Who has more authority over the interpretation of his work: Shakespeare or a drama professor? If you wrote a poem about Atheism and I was an English professor using it in class. Who has more authority on what the poem means, you the author or me the professor teaching it? Do I as a professor have a right to state what you mean the poem to mean if you have your own meaning for it? The 10 commandments apply to all because Christ started a new covenant that would include all, not just Jews. The laws given in Deuteronomy were not given in the same context as the 10 commandments. These laws came AFTER the Exodus. Have you actually read Matthew 5:17-19? Jesus is clearly speaking about the Commandments when He uses the word Law. Matthew 5:17-19 supports the claim on its own.

  149. Allocutus says:

    Following some discussions on twitter, it seems that RationallyFaith now ACCEPTS the dictionary definition of "god"; it doesn't only apply to supreme entities. It includes local (and very much non-omnipotent) spirits as well as animist beliefs. This concession arose because another twitter atheist has successfully demonstrated that the Piraha people of the Brazilian rainforest don't believe in a supreme god. However, they do hold out that there exist spirits who live above the clouds. In fact, they claim they see these spirits. Now that we include all local gods (whether gods, war gods, lust gods, prosperity gods and just little spirits), RationallyFaith's claim of ubiquity no longer is a claim that every culture believed in a supreme creator. He is now, it seems, claiming this:Every culture believed in the SUPERNATURAL, therefore there is a hunger for the One True Creator who therefore exists. This changes the scope of the entire debate and we go back to my comment on August 26. My question for RationallyFaith is this:How does the fact that people have notoriously invoked the supernatural when ignorant about nature allow us to conclude that there's a Supreme Creator? How does people's silly tendency to MAKE STUFF UP when they lack KNOWLEDGE allow us to conclude that a Supreme Being has placed in us a "hunger for the one true god"?

  150. Allocutus says:

    Following some discussions on twitter, it seems that RationallyFaith now ACCEPTS the dictionary definition of "god"; it doesn't only apply to supreme entities. It includes local (and very much non-omnipotent) spirits as well as animist beliefs. This concession arose because another twitter atheist has successfully demonstrated that the Piraha people of the Brazilian rainforest don't believe in a supreme god. However, they do hold out that there exist spirits who live above the clouds. In fact, they claim they see these spirits. Now that we include all local gods (whether gods, war gods, lust gods, prosperity gods and just little spirits), RationallyFaith's claim of ubiquity no longer is a claim that every culture believed in a supreme creator. He is now, it seems, claiming this:Every culture believed in the SUPERNATURAL, therefore there is a hunger for the One True Creator who therefore exists. This changes the scope of the entire debate and we go back to my comment on August 26. My question for RationallyFaith is this:How does the fact that people have notoriously invoked the supernatural when ignorant about nature allow us to conclude that there's a Supreme Creator? How does people's silly tendency to MAKE STUFF UP when they lack KNOWLEDGE allow us to conclude that a Supreme Being has placed in us a "hunger for the one true god"?

  151. Allocutus says:

    On religion offering hope:I again repeat the very simple truth: Since we both agree that religion offers hope (and now RationallyFaith provides, conveniently for me, scientific evidence that religion helps battle depression), this gives us a very solid explanation for why billions of people believe in gods. This works AGAINST RationallyFaith's claim that this tendency is evidence of the actual existence of a supernatural Supreme Being. Religions is popular because it offers hope and hope is what people want to have.I AGAIN repeat that my claim wasn't that RationallyFaith is appealing to consequence on this point. Rather, my claim was (and remains) that believing because it offers hope is an appeal to consequence. This explains the fallacious reasons behind the great popularity of religion and it works against any claims of a god's existence in reality arising from said tendency.

  152. Allocutus says:

    RationallyFaith:You are reading Genesis in a fundamental manner. Eve from Adam's rib is an allegory for marriage and to show that man and woman are not only "connected," but are equally of the same substance: humanity. The word used here is "tsalaw" which is translated as rib in Genesis, but not in other part of the Bible. This word describes something that is on the "side" or "supports from the side." Eve did not literally come from a rib.Allocutus:Very nice. This proves my exact point. The Bible is NOT in line with science. In order to make the Bible APPEAR in line with science, you have to arbitrarily decide which bits of the Bible are to be taken literally and which are not. In this case, RationallyFaith has arbitrarily decided that the story of how Eve was created was meant as a metaphor to signify marriage. That's fine. But what gave him the right to make this distinction? If he had lived 2000 years ago, would he be saying the same thing? Or would he be claiming that the Genesis account is the literal account of how Eve came to be? The Bible CONTRADICTS science, unless we cherry-pick the Bible and dismiss incorrect parts as metaphor. This is exactly what I claimed from the start. Thank you for demonstrating it.

  153. Allocutus says:

    On why atheism is growing:Well no, you haven't produced ANY DATA as to why Catholics become atheists. You've only produced data about why Catholics leave the Catholic Church. We don't know where they go. They might leave structured religion altogether, being disappointed with liberal clergy who don't condemn homosexuality or women's priesthood. But you CAN'T TELL ME that these people stop believing that a god exists (and therefore become atheists). And THAT'S what you'd have to prove to support your claim.Either support your claim FOR WHAT IT IS or withdraw your claim.

  154. Allocutus says:

    On the Catholic Church's authority to interpret the Scriptures:Shakespeare has the highest aurhotity on the interpretation of his work. By the same token, the WRITERS of the Bible would have the highest authority on the meaning of what they said in it. If a Jesus did exist and the Scriptures relay what he actually said (very dubious claim, but let's play it for the sake of the argument) then JESUS would be the highest authority on what he meant when he spoke. The Catholic Church presumably DID NOT author the Scriptures. They only collated them into a canon. I could collate them in a different way, to fit in with my own purposes. Would that make me an exeprt on WHAT IN FACT was the intention of the writer(s)? I think not. By the way, I don't even understand WHY RationallyFaith would here claim that the Catholic Church is the AUTHOR of the Bible. Does he not see that this portrays Christianity as an utter scam?

  155. Allocutus says:

    On Christ, Matthew 5 and the 10 Commandments:Actually, the 10 Commandments appear IN Deuteronomy and IN Exodus. They appear in the very same books as does the rest of the Law. NOWHERE in Matthew 5:17-19 does Christ say (or even imply) that he's referring to the 10 Commandments only. What's more, Christ gives examples of laws (and changes a couple of them while at it) in Matthew 5:19+ and those are CLEARLY not limited to the 10 Commandments.If you're going to argue that Christ was ONLY referring to the 10 Commandments, you have to put an actual argument together. So far, no good. Your response simply doesn't address the issue, other than the UNTRUE claim that the 10 Commandments were not given in Exodus. What's more, MILLIONS of Christians interpret the passgae in Matt 5 as applying to the ENTIRE LAW. This goes to PROVE the VERY POINT I've been making (and why we're arguing this bit in the first place) that Christ's sayings are open to A WIDE ARRAY of interpretation.

  156. Allocutus says:

    One more bit on Genesis and scientific accuracy:You have somehow forgotten to address my question! I asked you to explain how the creation of the Sun and the Moon AFTER the plants is cientifically correct. Or is this yet another "metaphorical" bit? If so, what's the metaphorical meaning this time around?

  157. Allocutus says:

    On VMAT2:No, the reason why I called the theory "controversial" is not becaue it "touches on the supernatural". I called it controversial because it's been proposed by a single scientist, is far from being confirmed and has met much opposition with other scientists.In fact, if the theory were true, it WOLD NOT TOUCH ON THE SUPERNATURAL. It would do THE OPPOSITE. It would provide a PERFECTLY NATURAL (genetic!) explanation for people's tendency to believe in weird and supernatural things (including, but not limited to, gods). If people believe in the spooky because they're genetically programmed to, your "hunger for god" argument is out the window. We have EVOLVED the belief in the supernatural. The belief itself has no supernatural source. It's simply part of the way we function. All this would leave us to do is to identify the selective pressure that would encourage such a mutation to succeed in the genotype of humans. Of course, that's not necessary, given that we know of GENETIC DRIFT. Some genes simply succeed due to random luck and nothing else. That said, scientists have for ALREADY (even BEFORE the discovery of the claimed "spooky gene") proposed a number of selective pressures that favour the belief in the supernatural or are tangental to other beneficial traits. To sum it up: VMAT2 (if it DOES have a "spooky element" to it) KILLS your argument from ubiquity.

  158. Allocutus says:

    RationallyFaith:You have spent over 5 comments re-circulating the same material – the same inquiries. When will you stop? You are making yourself and Atheism look extremely foolish. A judge would hold you in contempt if you were to play these silly games in a court of law.Allocutus:No. If you gave evidence in which you repeatedly failed to answer the question (thereby forcing me to repeat it), YOU might find yourself in contempt.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: