Actually, There Is Evidence that God Exists

640x392_68652_210262Many atheists are fond of saying that there is no evidence that God exists. In fact, a great many seem to have no other argument for atheism than variations on that.

Of course, when one presents evidence, one is promptly told that whatever one presented isn’t evidence. This being the case, I’ve made a point of asking such people what standard of evidence is being used to make that judgment.

After more than fifty requests across dozens of conversations, no one yet has even attempted to answer that question.

I think this is key. Really, it is a decisive failure of the argument if it turns out that no standard other than “I don’t agree that this is evidence” is being used. As such, I think it is worthwhile to point out why the “there’s no evidence” meme is nothing more than a meme.

Let’s start with dictionary.com’s understanding of evidence:

1. that which tends to prove or disprove something; ground for belief; proof.

This can’t possibly be what the atheist is thinking of when he insists that “there is no evidence for God”. This would include logical and philosophical arguments–so long as they were based in facts that the atheist accepts. After all, logical argumentation is how things are proved or disproved, perhaps most obviously in mathematics, but the method is used in every field.

But those repeating the “no evidence” meme have made it very clear to me that such things are not evidence.

2. something that makes plain or clear; an indication or sign: His flushed look was visible evidence of his fever.

I don’t see how this definition will be any better for the “no evidence” claim.

There are many indications and signs that God exists. This is precisely what the arguments for God’s existence point to. To say otherwise would require demonstrating that they all fail completely–that they have absolutely no weight at all.

And that would actually be much harder than establishing atheism–it isn’t an argument for atheism.

So, while many might be willing to claim that these arguments do completely fail, no one has come anywhere near showing that they do.

Of course, someone will almost certainly insist in the comments that, even though it is the atheist making the claim in this case, that the burden of proof is on the theist. This is false, but I’ll get to that elsewhere. One meme at a time.

3. Law. data presented to a court or jury in proof of the facts in issue and which may include the testimony of witnesses, records, documents, or objects.

I certainly hope that this isn’t the definition that is being used–and I doubt that the New Atheists would approve of witnesses, records, or documents as evidence.

These really don’t support the claim that there is no evidence for God. But the New Atheist might have a better time with Merriam-Webster. Not with two of the three definitions there, they have similar problems as those above. But this really seems to help his case:

a visible sign of something

One can’t see a logical principle, so the New Atheist doesn’t have to bother disproving the arguments for God in order to insist that there is no evidence. They aren’t visible, so that’s that.

Of course, many theists point to facts about the universe which are visible as evidence for God. While the New Atheist would have to show that this is untrue in order to make the claim that there is no evidence that God exists, there is a much bigger problem here.

That is, “there is no visible evidence for God” doesn’t quite cut it, does it?

Even the New Atheist is willing to admit that not everything that exists is visible. To grab the simplest example, we can know what a thing sounds like even with our eyes closed precisely because not all evidence is visible.

But, let’s help Merriam-Webster out a bit. What about this?

an empirical sign of something

This would allow for the non-visible parts of the universe to be considered evidence. That’s getting closer. But, there are two new problems:

First, it’s getting harder to dismiss they theist who denies the claim that there is no evidence for God. There are empirical facts which have been cited as evidence for God’s existence. It is not enough for the atheist to simply dismiss them or say that they are insufficient. To support the “no evidence” meme, he would have to show (not merely claim) that they don’t offer even the slightest support.

But the second issue is much more serious.

This still isn’t a concept of evidence that’s really inclusive. Yes, if one starts from the assumption that all evidence is empirical, it isn’t too surprising that one will only find the empirical. But there is no reason to start from that assumption, and good reason not to.

For instance, it’s a well-established fact that, even if one believes the human mind were purely physical (it isn’t), there isn’t any physical evidence for it. That is, neurobiology doesn’t prove that minds exist, it starts from that assumption.

Nor is it enough to say that we don’t “yet” have such proof, but that we should give science time. That would mean that we should remain agnostic about whether or not our own thoughts exist until neurologists get back to us on that.

No, we accept that there are minds because we experience minds–we experience being minds–every day.

But what about this?:

an experienced reality or known fact that supports something

This is the definition I tend to use. It is inclusive, and is right to the point about what evidence actually is: information given in support of something.

But far too many people claim experience with God for this to be of much use to the atheist. Far too many people have shown, via logic and reason, that there are things in our daily experience which give us reason to believe that God exists.

The atheist is free to question the validity of those experiences, and debate with the arguments, but the point is that he won’t be getting any help from the “no evidence” meme if we’re using this definition.

If we take this approach, there is evidence. The only debate is over whether or not the evidence is sufficient to warrant the conclusion that God exists.

I’m still looking, and open to suggestions. But can’t seem to find any way of understanding the claim “there is no evidence that God exists” that makes it both true and anything like a reason to reject belief in God.

It’s a clever-sounding meme, but I don’t see any real content in it at all.

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72 responses to “Actually, There Is Evidence that God Exists

  • Atomic Mutant

    Invalid or unsound arguments are not “evidence”, sorry. Evidence has at least be true, to be evidence. So, if you make an argument about god and it gets shown to be not sound (or even valid) then it’s not evidence. And this has happened to every argument ever made about god.

    You can count personal experience as evidence, if you want to de-value the word completely, because the personal experience of various people differ so extremely. So what? A big part of science is to prevent personal bias to get into the way, while trying to argument from personal experience is inviting personal bias in. Personal experience is a nice point to start, but technically, as evidence, it’s not nearly good enough and thus, for most people, doesn’t count for most of us.

    Yes, you could include many things into “evidence”, but then we need another word for “evidence that’s better than something so weak that it is as useful for proving anything as a wet noodle”.

    • Atomic Mutant

      (And, as another thought, personal experience should also be true, to count as evidence. Not only the fact that you had the experience, but also the fact, that it was real instead of, for example, imagined.)

    • pancakesandwildhoney

      “And this has happened to every argument ever made about god.”

      Wow. Now that’s hubris. You should probably submit that paper to your local university’s philosophy department–to let the logicians, metaphysicians, and philosophers of religion know they have been wasting their time. I suppose that you should notify the science department of your local university as well. They’ll be curious to know how you determined that all of the controversial premises, for every argument for God’s existence, were actually false.

      “personal experience as evidence”

      You mean like perceptual beliefs(I see my hand in front of my face), self-evident propositions(there is a world), analytic truths(2+2=4), uncontroversial reports of your own memory( I had breakfast this morning.), and also the holding of incorrigible beliefs(I am now conscious or I feel pain in my leg.) These beliefs arise in us directly and not as a result of inference and are often described as basic or foundational. They are beliefs that are rational to hold in appropriate circumstances and they are grounded in and justified by those circumstances.

    • Debilis

      Greetings, and best wishes to you before I dive into debate mode.

      But, to do that diving in, the short answer I have here is that there is still a lack of a definition/standard of evidence here.

      Those who act most confident that they know precisely what evidence is (even to the point of arguing with the dictionary) can’t ever seem to give a definition. This is a very big problem, and leads me to think that their confidence in the “no evidence” meme is misplaced.

      But, getting to your points:

      You need to actually show that every last argument ever given for God’s existence is either invalid or unsound. Simply claiming that this has been “shown” doesn’t do anything to actually show this.

      As to science, it is based on experience. Yes, our perceptions aren’t perfect. And, no, I wasn’t saying that we should trust them without question. But to simply dismiss all experience (as you’d have to, to make this objection work) is to dismiss science.

      That doesn’t make experience infallible proof; it makes it evidence.

      And that is the problem with your “wet noodle” complaint. You seem to be speaking as if evidence and proof were the same thing. They certainly aren’t within science. There is evidence for nearly anything. Proof is much harder.

      That is why, trendy memes aside, the real discussion is about whether or not the evidence is sufficient.

      But, if you still think we need a better definition of evidence, by all means, present one. I asked for one directly; I’ve asked many people for one. And I really want to know whether or not those repeating this meme actually have a definition for evidence.

      So far, my experience has been that they don’t–and I suspect that many are thoughtlessly repeating a slogan, but I’m willing to be corrected. All it would take is someone presenting a definition.

  • paarsurrey

    I agree with you if you mean by it the One-True-God Allah Yahweh. The Christian god or son of god sometimes Trinity or named Jesus is a myth invented by Paul posthumously; Jesus never claimed to be a literal god himself.

    • Debilis

      That would definitely be an issue.

      I’d really meant only the “God of the philosophers”. That is, a less well-defined idea of God exists, and to set aside the question of whether it is the Islam, Christianity, or some other religion that has the correct understanding.

      The short version being that there is nothing here that would counter Muslim theology. In fact, I’ve heard Muslims give arguments similar to this one.

      • paarsurrey

        OK; That is fine with me.I most of the time agree with you; this time also agreed with me you but wanted to share my stance in the matter.
        The philosophers have a very week idea of God; as if they have invented God and God needs them that they plead for Him.
        Just my thoughts; no intention to debate with you. I like you.
        Regards

  • agrudzinsky

    I don’t think that a believer can present anything to an non-believer that the non-believer would acknowledge as “evidence for existence of God”. I think, it’s a futile effort. For a believer, no evidence is necessary, for a non-believer, no evidence is possible.

    But you make a great point that if we require evidence for everything, we face the problem of infinite regress. For each piece of evidence, we need to pove that it’s authentic, that there is no mistake or error, that instruments are calibrated and that we are not victims of some sort of illusion. At some point, we need to cut this chain of evidence and simply believe.

    • Debilis

      I think it’s undeniable that we need properly basic beliefs at one point. We should be as rational as we can, of course, and offer as much reason as possible.

      Still, it strikes me as rather simplistic to think that we can live without some measure of faith.

      • agrudzinsky

        Given the infinite regress problem, I also believe that some basic beliefs need to be taken “on faith”, that is, without evidence, or deemed “self evident”. It seems quite logical to me to use a self-referring concept like “I AM THAT I AM” or “self” or “Being” itself as such starting point. One atheist told me that his basic belief is that “reality is real”. I think, it’s the same kind of tautology.

        Atheists seem to avoid the word “faith” like a plague. But this point of accepting, at least, one concept without proof, seems unavoidable.

  • Arkenaten

    The only reference you (as a Christian) have to even postulate a God/Creator is the bible; a collection of (mostly) fallacious ancient scrolls.

    Why would anyone consider this as evidence?

    • Mark Hamilton

      Can you quote where Debilis even mentioned the bible, or scriptures of any kind, in this post? Considering that he didn’t reference them even once, it’s kind of strange that you would say that they are the only reference he has.

      • Arkenaten

        Hello, Mark, you ol’ sweety. How the hell are you?

        Firstly, like you Debillis is a Christian so it would be disingenuous of him to punt this argument from an abstract perspective, and this was pointed out to him by Paarsurry, a serious Muslim plonker of note, who at least was on the right track about Jesus divinity etc being man made.

        As for the biblical /scriptural reference. Well, there is no other reference for a Christian is there?
        You lot believe Yahweh is Jesus is Yahweh. Period.
        And as the Pentateuch is a work of fiction (including characters such as Moses and Abraham) this widdles on the clams that the New Testament is fulfillment of prophecy and makes any divinity claims of JC look rather silly too, doesn’t it?

        Oooh, isn’t the truth a bitch? It must really burn your backside knowing that what you believe is all a myth.

        • agrudzinsky

          Can you offer something better than scorn and mockery?

        • Arkenaten

          What?
          Why on earth are you getting upset for?
          The Pentateuch is fiction, and almost every recognized archaeologist and scholar acknowledges this.

        • agrudzinsky

          “Research shows…”, “every first-grader knows…”, etc. – this is how bullshit claims often start. A reasonable person with scientific mind would provide references to sources, not sweeping emotional statements. I’m not upset with what you say. I’m just giving you a chance to improve. Practice what you preach: “That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.” I do not consider “what?” and “why on earth?” to be a great discussion style.

        • Arkenaten

          Rabbi David Wolpe ( and many others) Israel Finkelstein, Prof Ze’ev Herzog.

          http://thesuperstitiousnakedape.wordpress.com/2014/01/02/how-we-know-the-pentateurch-is-historical-fiction-11/

          Go do some homework. It will be good for you…

        • agrudzinsky

          I hope, you know how myths are created. Somebody writes an inspiring story. The story is being told from mouth to mouth, then eventually gets recorded, then copied from one scroll to another, from one internet page to another, until it appears in so many places that nobody knows for sure where it came from. This is what happens to most of the stuff atheists love to quote. Your reference is not to original research. Your reference is to a blogpost — an internet hearsay, a myth. You call this “independent critical thinking” — believing what is said by other people with whom you agree.

          But I am not going to argue that the Exodus ever happened. I believe that there is no evidence for any of this stuff. I agree with David Wolpe on this issue (http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Judaism/2004/12/Did-The-Exodus-Really-Happen.aspx). The value of a myth is not the historical account. The value is in the idea that it conveys. The themes of slavery and liberation in the Bible have multilayered meaning ranging from political oppression and liberty to “spiritual” enslavement (addiction to material things). These myths define worldviews, cultures, and nations. Whether these myths are based in any factual reality, I think, is irrelevant because religion is more concerned with ideological or “spiritual” reality.

        • Arkenaten

          The blogpost in question, and many others John Zande has written is part of an ongoing investigation he and I started.
          He has been in contact with over 60 rabbis and numerous archaeologists in Israel,

          Stop being a prat and read them and follow the links provided.

          If you have any intellectual integrity at all you will soon discover, as did we, that almost every rabbi and scholar considers the Pentateuch fiction –
          (other than ultra orthodox – and not one has yet been prepared to state in writing that the Pentateuch is based on factual historical accounts.

          Really, only an imbecile would still consider that Moses was the author for your gods’ sake!

          Besides,there is enough info out there that even someone as asinine as you could simply do a Google search.
          Try Israel Finkelstein or Ze’ev Herzog or Rabbi David Wolpe.

          if you are interested in truth, and one would expect you would be, then surely you owe it to yourself to follow this as far down the rabbit hole as it leads?

        • agrudzinsky

          There you go. “Imbecile”, “asinine”. You didn’t even read my reply to the end and follow my link to the article by David Wolpe. I told you that I have no problem accepting that Pentateuch and much of the Bible is a fiction as it does not seem to be a problem for all those rabbis that you quote. If you watch the debate between Dawkins and cardinall George Pell https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8hy8NxZvFY , the cardinal admits at some point that the story of creation is “a religious myth told for religious purposes”. So, even the Catholic high-ranking priests know that this stuff is not factual. So, if you think that your views are “sensational” or “new” or “original”, you are up for disappointment. People don’t read the Bible to get the old news. They read the Bible for inspiration. A story does not need to be factually accurate to be inspiring.

        • Arkenaten

          This is called hypocrisy. I am aware of Wolpe views, and yes I did follow the link.
          The point being that if iy only for ‘Inspiration’ then we can discount any divinity claims for JC.
          In fact, if , as you seem to be admitting, the Pentateurch is fiction then we can pretty much discount all of it.

          It isn’t a damn buffet, after all.

        • agrudzinsky

          Expanding on Hitchens, we can dismiss anything, with or without evidence. So, yeah, you can dismiss the Bible, if you wish. “Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial.” Why are you so bent on forcing others to dismiss it?

          Hypocrisy is condemning fundamentalism while holding fundamentalist views. Hypocrisy is looking at a speck in your brother’s eye and not noticing a plank in your own. Hypocrisy is being self-righteous and repeating mantra “God, thank you that I am not as stupid as those religious imbeciles.” Hypocrisy is hating those nasty intolerant people.

          I don’t understand why it is hypocritical to admit that a myth is a myth. I don’t see a problem seeing reality as it is and accepting evidence. But you seem to have a severe cognitive dissonance when you hear a Christian admitting the truth because it goes against your idea about Christianity. You feel an urge to insult that Christian and call him a hypocrite. This YHWH (“I am who I am”) concept is quite fascinating. Whatever you say about “I am”, you say about yourself, in the first place. If you have anger in your heart, you will get anger back. If you have peace in your heart, you will get peace back. To me, it’s so evident and simple that I don’t think I need any evidence to believe it.

          So, yes, Dawkins can say “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.” Wow. That’s a mouthful of hateful words. I think, it says more about Dawkins than about God. That’s Dawkins’ “I am”.

          “What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”

        • Arkenaten

          You quote Dawkins and tacitly imply that those words would /could come from me.
          Please don’t. I do not need Dawkins to fight m y battles, thank you very much.

          My POV is simple: You may believe whatever you wish. You may even assume it is truth. But you have no right to proselytize it as such unless you can offer irrefutable evidence. You (and anyone of a similar bent) have no right t inculcate such beliefs in children.
          Other than this , no probs.

        • agrudzinsky

          That’s my position as well. I don’t think, creationism has anything to do with science and I don’t think it should be taught in science classes. If it is taught, it should be made clear that this is a religious idea and it may be taught in “history of religion” or philosophy classes, or in Sunday school, but not in a science class. Religion is not science and science is not religion. I think, I can see reality here as well. It’s always important to understand what things are, isn’t it? It strikes me as strange that some scientists attempt to issue opinions on religious matters. Why don’t they stick to science? That’s my opinion, if you wonder. I, definitely, wouldn’t teach religion to anyone’s children except my own, if you don’t mind.

          Why don’t you practice what you preach and stop telling people what to believe and harrass them with your “burden of proof” and evindence thingy?

        • Arkenaten

          That’s my position as well. I don’t think, creationism has anything to do with science and I don’t think it should be taught in science classes. If it is taught, it should be made clear that this is a religious idea and it may be taught in “history of religion” or philosophy classes, or in Sunday school,….

          Why not do the decent thing and begin to make a noise about it?
          You can start with the idiot, Mark who comments here and is a YEC.

          If more ordinary Christians made enough noise then maybe AIG would get the hint and also ACE schools would close down and dickheads like Ken Ham would soon be forced to shut his mouth.
          And perhaps the horrors incurred by J.W. would be revealed if Christians stood up and made a but of noise about the less savory aspects of your faith?

          How about it? You up for a bit of honest criticism of your fellow (wacko) Christian brethren?

          Why don’t you practice what you preach and stop telling people what to believe and harrass them with your “burden of proof” and evindence thingy?

          Because ”you” are commanded to proselytize, that’s why.
          And ”you”teach myth and fiction lies as if they are factual
          And the day you and you ilk stop teaching preaching this crap to kids, is the day the likes of me simply fades away. It is that easy.

        • agrudzinsky

          I think, there is a problem when people transfer their limited experiences into wider contexts. Your experience with Christians seems to be very different from my experience with Christians. I grew up in the Soviet Union where religion was strongly discouraged, but a lot of of other ideological propaganda was hammered into brains. Now I live in Oregon where people have bumper stickers “Keep Portland weird” and there are churches with female pastors that openly welcome homosexuals. Christians here don’t thump the Bible and some of the best private schools in town are religious schools. E.g. one of the best high schools is Oregon Episcopal School. Another – Jesuit high school (Catholic). I work in high tech industry with people having, at least college education. I know many people from my work at the church I go to. I know highly-educated non-Christians who chose to give their kids to these religious private schools because of the high level of education they provide and also because of the lack of problems that public schools have – theft, bullying, drugs, etc. They don’t teach creationism in Oregon public schools. It’s just not a problem here.

          It’s a mistake to think that Christians do not understand science. The big bang theory was created by George Lemaitre, a Catholic priest. If he interpreted Genesis literally, how, do you think, he could come up with this modern cosmological idea? And if modern-day Catholic church denied modern-day science and cosmology, how would they allow a Catholic priest do this research and publish his ideas?

          Now, I realize that people who make a noise about it may come from a totally different background. Perhaps, there are places where religious folks do mess with education too much.

          But still, I do not think that calling people “dickheads” and “imbeciles” is productive at all. When you attack religious beliefs this way, you attack “I am who I am” – people’s personal and cultural identity. It is taken as a personal attack. You will not open anyone’s mind. When religious people listen to Dawkins-style rhetoric, their mind shuts like a clam shell. You won’t pry it open even if you try hard. You cannot argue that “all religion is wrong” or “harmful” or “bad”. Religion has its place in human culture. This place cannot be filled with science. Science has its own place. I don’t have a problem teaching religion or teaching science. But I don’t think that teaching science as religion or religion as science is right.

          I think, if you let go of your self-righteous idea that science is superior than religion (which is not much different from the self-righteous position that religion is the source of “truth”), you might have easier time discussing these issues. Do not assume that Christians who you have not met are like Christians you have met. Debilis here repeatedly said to you that your idea about his beliefs is not correct. He also asks, what you accept as evidence. Not because he is stubborn, but because before we even talk about evidence, we must establish what we believe evidence is. Unless we agree on what is accepted as evidence (core basic beliefs), no discussion is possible. And your belief about what evidence is, apparently, does not and cannot have evidence unless you want to go down the rabbit hole of infinite regress. So, when atheists say that they do not believe anything without evidence, I laugh. It’s a metaphor taken too literally. Tell me, do you literally believe it? By the way, I don’t expect that you will admit that you have beliefs without evidence and admit that core beliefs do not need proof. But since I admitted that my core beliefs have no proof and are a metaphor, I hope that you will find it easier to agree with me.

        • Arkenaten

          I think, there is a problem when people transfer their limited experiences into wider contexts. Your experience with Christians seems to be very different from my experience with Christians. I grew up in the Soviet Union where religion was strongly discouraged, but a lot of of other ideological propaganda was hammered into brains. Now I live in Oregon where people have bumper stickers “Keep Portland weird” and there are churches with female pastors that openly welcome homosexuals. Christians here don’t thump the Bible and some of the best private schools in town are religious schools. E.g. one of the best high schools is Oregon Episcopal School. Another – Jesuit high school (Catholic). I work in high tech industry with people having, at least college education. I know many people from my work at the church I go to. I know highly-educated non-Christians who chose to give their kids to these religious private schools because of the high level of education they provide and also because of the lack of problems that public schools have – theft, bullying, drugs, etc. They don’t teach creationism in Oregon public schools. It’s just not a problem here.

          I grew up in a laissez-faire Church of England environment and was only exposed to the truly ridiculous nature of religion and its myriad variations ( especially Christianity) when I began research for a piece I was writing about the character Moses. After this it became a sort of morbid fascination and hobby.

          It’s a mistake to think that Christians do not understand science. The big bang theory was created by George Lemaitre, a Catholic priest. If he interpreted Genesis literally, how, do you think, he could come up with this modern cosmological idea? And if modern-day Catholic church denied modern-day science and cosmology, how would they allow a Catholic priest do this research and publish his ideas?

          I have never suggested all Christians do not understand science; but you surely cannot believe that Creationists and similar biblical literalists have a realistic grasp on science?
          Besides, this does not negate a belief that the character Jesus was divine, and is, ultimately your god and Creator, now does it? This type of thinking is called compartmentalism I believe, and is rife among the religious. It is the how many cope with such cognitive dissonance.

          Now, I realize that people who make a noise about it may come from a totally different background. Perhaps, there are places where religious folks do mess with education too much.
          But still, I do not think that calling people “dickheads” and “imbeciles” is productive at all. When you attack religious beliefs this way, you attack “I am who I am” – people’s personal and cultural identity. It is taken as a personal attack. You will not open anyone’s mind. When religious people listen to Dawkins-style rhetoric, their mind shuts like a clam shell. You won’t pry it open even if you try hard. You cannot argue that “all religion is wrong” or “harmful” or “bad”. Religion has its place in human culture. This place cannot be filled with science. Science has its own place. I don’t have a problem teaching religion or teaching science. But I don’t think that teaching science as religion or religion as science is right.

          Christians and other religious folk have had the run of the hen house for 2000 years and then some.
          In this time it has bullied and butchered its way across the globe all in the name of spreading the good word, and was usually as welcome as a sexually transmitted disease, especially if the locals felt disinclined to “buy” the crap that was being sold. I am sure you could bring to mind any number of indigenous tribes, yes?
          That there are over 40,000 different Christian denominations alone is indicative that “you” lot haven’t got it right and cannot even agree among yourself. Not to mention those with dubious pilot’s licences who like to fly into tall buildings because it’s what ‘’god’’( Allah) wants.
          The ridiculous deserve ridicule and under the circumstances, Dickhead and Imbecile are two of the more polite terms.

          I think, if you let go of your self-righteous idea that science is superior than religion (which is not much different from the self-righteous position that religion is the source of “truth”), you might have easier time discussing these issues.

          Sorry, science IS more superior that religion. It at least has a modicum of integrity and in many cases knows when to say, ”Oops we got it wrong”, or simply “We don’t know’’.

          Do not assume that Christians who you have not met are like Christians you have met. Debilis here repeatedly said to you that your idea about his beliefs is not correct.

          The fact he considers Jesus is god, and considering how he weighs his posts that piece of garbage is good enough to warrant any amount of scorn

          He also asks, what you accept as evidence. Not because he is stubborn, but because before we even talk about evidence, we must establish what we believe evidence is. Unless we agree on what is accepted as evidence (core basic beliefs), no discussion is possible. And your belief about what evidence is, apparently, does not and cannot have evidence unless you want to go down the rabbit hole of infinite regress. So, when atheists say that they do not believe anything without evidence, I laugh. It’s a metaphor taken too literally. Tell me, do you literally believe it? By the way, I don’t expect that you will admit that you have beliefs without evidence and admit that core beliefs do not need proof. But since I admitted that my core beliefs have no proof and are a metaphor, I hope that you will find it easier to agree with me.

          I have said what I accept as evidence. With regard to Christianity; primarily, archaeology. The bible cannot and should not be used to justify the bible, and if there is nothing else besides Philosophy then you are all piddling in the wind.

          As far as I am aware there is nothing I accept based solely on faith. Maybe you could think of an example for me?

          If you wish to have further dialogue – and I don’t see why we can’t continue – I consider it only fair (and honest ) if you at least answer this basic question pertaining to your faith.
          Do you believe that the character, Jesus (Yeshua) is/was God (capital G for your benefit)
          Yes…or No.
          There can be no metaphor, philosophy, or ambiguity.

        • agrudzinsky

          Re: “Do you believe that the character, Jesus (Yeshua) is/was God (capital G for your benefit) Yes…or No.”

          Of course, I do. My beliefs are not constrained by silly rules that you create for yourself.

          Re: “There can be no metaphor, philosophy, or ambiguity.”

          Ha! If you are using a human language and speak about religion, good luck with that. “Literal interpretation” is a figure of speach. Meditate on what this means. It’s like trying to explain where the universe came from without using any concept that is not a part of this universe itself to avoid circular reasoning. A similar impossibility.

          Arguing with people who you consider incapable of understanding your arguments seems illogical and, itself, is ridiculous. It simply is an evidence of vanity, pride, and self-righteousness. It makes you no different from the fundies you ridicule.

          Again, meditate on these two sayings:
          “Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
          or you yourself will be just like him.
          Answer a fool according to his folly,
          or he will be wise in his own eyes.”

          They seem to contradict each other, but they don’t. Shakespeare said “The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.” If you are wise in your own eyes, full of self-righteous pride, and consider another person to be a fool, it means that you are “just like him”.

          “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” — if you despise another person, you will get nothing but insults in return, and it’s a waste to share your “knowledge” in such case. I hope, nobody here is insulted by these quotes (unless the shoe fits).

        • Arkenaten

          Re: “Do you believe that the character, Jesus (Yeshua) is/was God (capital G for your benefit) Yes…or No.”
          Of course, I do. My beliefs are not constrained by silly rules that you create for yourself.

          The “silly rules’’ were created by the Church for you in the fourth century.

          Arguing with people who you consider incapable of understanding your arguments seems illogical and, itself, is ridiculous. It simply is an evidence of vanity, pride, and self-righteousness. It makes you no different from the fundies you ridicule.

          I argue because religious people believe in idiotic things which they claim are factual. They kill for their god, they inculcate children for their god. Should this be left unchallenged? ‘
          Should people be allowed to perpetrate the heinous crimes in the name of some make-believe deity?
          And don’t think my ire is reserved solely for your piss willy religion.

          Again, meditate on these two sayings:
          “Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
          or you yourself will be just like him.
          Answer a fool according to his folly,
          or he will be wise in his own eyes.”
          They seem to contradict each other, but they don’t. Shakespeare said “The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.” If you are wise in your own eyes, full of self-righteous pride, and consider another person to be a fool, it means that you are “just like him”.
          “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” — if you despise another person, you will get nothing but insults in return, and it’s a waste to share your “knowledge” in such case. I hope, nobody here is insulted by these quotes (unless the shoe fits).

          If the religious were open to reason they would be atheists. ( and those that are, usually become atheists soon after)
          I have no allusions that any of our dialogue will result in you changing your mind, but as this is an open forum I will openly challenge what I see as ridiculous, fallacious diatribe in any way I see fit.
          If you feel your position is worthy then perhaps you will be able to produce evidence to make me seriously reconsider.
          In all the years I have studied I have NEVER read a single reasonable , honest evaluation of the Christian faith. ( or Islam or Judaism for that matter)
          Maybe you will be the one?

        • agrudzinsky

          Re: “The “silly rules’’ were created by the Church for you in the fourth century.”

          I am talking about the “silly rule” that beliefs need evidence. You said, you don’t follow Dawkins in what you blieve. Why do you think that I follow the official doctrines of any denomination? I thought, I made it clear that my beliefs are not necessarily shared by other Christians.

          Re: “I argue because religious people believe in idiotic things which they claim are factual. They kill for their god, they inculcate children for their god.”

          It’s always those “other” angry intolerant people that piss us off. Do you think, you would be peaceful and content if not for those nasty religious people? Do you think that those angry religious people would be peaceful and content without religion? Do you think atheists do not kill or inculcate children with anything?

          Think about it. May be, you are angry and pissed off, and religious people are just an excuse?

        • Arkenaten

          >blockquote.Re: “The “silly rules’’ were created by the Church for you in the fourth century.”

          I am talking about the “silly rule” that beliefs need evidence. You said, you don’t follow Dawkins in what you blieve. Why do you think that I follow the official doctrines of any denomination? I thought, I made it clear that my beliefs are not necessarily shared by other Christians.
          I know what you said regarding your Christian viewpoint and even stated it wouldn’t fly by even one like Debillis. But as you DO believe Jesus is god then you kowtow to a belief made up by the Church in the fourth century: the Nicene Creed.
          You cannot consider yourself a Christian if you do not believe this core tenet.
          Therefore, as long as you believe Jesus is the Creator deity espoused you believe in a man-made fiction. It is this simple.
          And I did not say I did not follow Dawkins in what I believe. Go re-read my comment.

          Re: “I argue because religious people believe in idiotic things which they claim are factual. They kill for their god, they inculcate children for their god.”
          It’s always those “other” angry intolerant people that piss us off. Do you think, you would be peaceful and content if not for those nasty religious people? Do you think that those angry religious people would be peaceful and content without religion? Do you think atheists do not kill or inculcate children with anything?
          Think about it. May be, you are angry and pissed off, and religious people are just an excuse?

          I am peaceful and content. Does this mean I cannot ‘’feel’’ when I read news articles about human rights abuse? The same applies to religion.

          All you are doing is trying to distance yourself from the truth – that what you believe ( and every other person who claims to be a Christian) is based on fallacious doctrine without addressing this belief, which has absolutely no basis in truth or fact and ask yourself, why you ( or anyone ) needs to believe in a supernatural fictional man-made deity in the first place?
          Oh, and if you want to know what (some of) “those angry religious people” would be like without religion why not go and read a deconvertee’s blog? There are plenty. You might learn something? You never know? They, at least, have been on both sides of the fence.

          Think about it. May be, you are angry and pissed off, and religious people are just an excuse?

          Lol…I have stated religion holds a sort of morbid fascination for me. It does not really affect my life at all.

          Reply

        • agrudzinsky

          Just because a belief is a few centuries old, it does not mean that it’s false or bad. Why does it matter who “invented” it.

          And what is wrong with believing in ideas created by humans? Do you believe in justice? (A human idea which dates back before Christ, for sure) Do you believe in logic? (Also a human invention.)

        • Arkenaten

          In general, there is nothing overtly wrong in believing in ideas created by humans, no matter how old they are. Providing they pan out of course.
          Sadly, though, with religion and the inane concept that a narrative construct, Jesus of Nazareth, is the Creator of the Universe is obscene.
          It is as utterly ridiculous a notion as considering there is merit in the Islam assertion that Mohammed went to heaven and back on a damned winged horse.
          Only a complete moron would lend this nonsense any credence, and there is no more tangible evidence to assume anything divine pertaining to the biblical character Jesus, now is there?
          ( unless you have something worthwhile or earth shaking to offer?)
          It is simply faith.

          It becomes even more disgusting in light of the fact that this assertion has been touted as truth and people have gone to war over interpretation of the doctrine.
          In fact, attempts at liquidating certain “heretical” sects
          have been all too common in the quest to establish “Correct Terms” for your god, have they not?
          The Albigenese and the French Civil War come to mind.( you should investigate this. There are still extant eye witness records – unlike the bible 🙂 – of the Siege of Carcasonne. Very enlightening) And of course there are the well worn favorites: The Inquisition and the Crusades. Yawn…yes, tres passe.

          But let me reiterate. Unless it has a direct impact on me I really don’t give a toss what you or any religious person believes. I just find the subject fascinating, and as I work at a computer. I can interact on the internet. It is fun, as well as educational. I learn things all the time.

          When I read news articles of different groups of religious people – Christians and Muslims seem to crop up a lot, don’t they – slaughtering each other over such puerile nonsense as god belief I silently laugh at their stupidity. All I would ask is , please, make every effort to keep all forms of religious diatribe away from children.

          Is that too much to ask? Really?

        • agrudzinsky

          >blockquote Unless it has a direct impact on me I really don’t give a toss what you or any religious person believes.

          Is that why you seek out religious people and try to refute their beliefs although they don’t seem to argue that these beliefs do not and cannot have material evidence which you require? And then you accuse these religious people of proselytism and attempts to spread their beliefs (whatever is wrong with that – I do not know).

        • Arkenaten

          I refute their beliefs because I can; and because they/you wish to tout it as truth in an open public forum.

          You seem focused on your piss-willy religion and assume I would target solely Christians?
          Sorry, you lot are not that special. There are idiots all over the religious spectrum, and while they tout their views in an open forum I will challenge them.
          As you challenge atheists. And rightly so. And may the right belief win.

          But if this form of dialogue upsets you why do YOU blog in a religious arena? Simply to get a rise?
          Or are you trying to find a Christian soul mate or maybe you are insecure in your faith? Now THAT I could easily grasp.

          Yes, I know I can be very abrasive at times. I make no apologies. The religious world abounds with dickheads who willingly harm others in the name of their god, so I keep a watchful eye, if you like.

          But really, the world is slowly but inexorably moving away from religion and god belief so this is merely a distraction.

          But let me ask, again if i may,
          A) Why do YOU blog in religious forums?
          B) Why are you a Christian in the first place?

        • agrudzinsky

          Actually, I participate in atheist forums more than in religious ones. You will not learn much if you seek confirmation of your beliefs. Truth is proven when one seeks to refute a hypothesis, as you may know. So far I do not see how science can refute religious beliefs, in principle. But I do see how religion can motivate scientific research (such as yours), among many other things.

          I am a Christian because Christianity makes sense to me.

          I think, a reasonable person should realize the absurdity of his own beliefs. I do realize the absurdity and lack of evidence of my beliefs, but you don’t seem to acknowledge the absurdity of yours. That’s what puzzles me as you seem like a reasonable person, but you don’t act like one.

        • Arkenaten

          Why is atheism absurd?

          I can give you 20 valid reasons off the cuff why Christianity is not only absurd but obscene.
          Give me one reason why atheism is absurd. ( and please, not a religious polemic for your god’s sake.)

        • agrudzinsky

          Not atheism, per se. There is nothing controversial about the “lack” or “absense”. But atheists do have hold beliefs and views which are absurd if examined closer and more “literally”. E.g. materialism – deinal the existence of immaterial and requiring material evidence for all beliefs. Beliefs are immaterial and, therefore, do not exist. Do they? Materialism, as an idea, is immaterial and, therefore, does not exist. Does it? That’s one absurdity.

          Claiming that “we evolved to survive” and “evolved to do this” and “evolved to do that” and then saying that we have “no purpose” is another absurdity.

          Blaming religious people for shoving their beliefs in the faces of other people and setting up billboards with atheist propaganda on Time Square during Christmas seems inconsistent as well. Seems like following the “an eye for an eye” law wich is straight from your beloved Pentateuch.

          Claiming that existence of God is not a scientific hypothesis and then saying that science disproves it does not make much sense to me. That’s what you seem to be doing.

          I could go on and on. Doubting beliefs of others is skepticism of the fools. Doubting one’s own beliefs seems to be a wiser version of skepticism.

        • Arkenaten

          Not atheism, per se. There is nothing controversial about the “lack” or “absense”. But atheists do have hold beliefs and views which are absurd if examined closer and more “literally”. E.g. materialism – deinal the existence of immaterial and requiring material evidence for all beliefs. Beliefs are immaterial and, therefore, do not exist. Do they? Materialism, as an idea, is immaterial and, therefore, does not exist. Does it? That’s one absurdity.
          Claiming that “we evolved to survive” and “evolved to do this” and “evolved to do that” and then saying that we have “no purpose” is another absurdity.

          Actually I have no particular views on any of this; I try not to get involved in any form philosophical argument for or against any position, and never bother reading philosophers. Life is too short.

          Blaming religious people for shoving their beliefs in the faces of other people and setting up billboards with atheist propaganda on Time Square during Christmas seems inconsistent as well. Seems like following the “an eye for an eye” law wich is straight from your beloved Pentateuch.

          After 2000 years of having religion shoved down our throats and the religious murdering whole swathes of people based on a fucked up belief system with no basis in fact I think we can forgive a few atheists for having a bit of a rant now and erecting a few billboards now and then don’pt you? At least nobody died. And no atheist is flying into skyscrapers, are they? This is the preserve of the god inspired religious folk, yes?

          Claiming that existence of God is not a scientific hypothesis and then saying that science disproves it does not make much sense to me. That’s what you seem to be doing.

          I don’t say science disproves god and as far as I am aware I know of no atheist that will state science disproves god. In fact most atheists will say it is impossible to demonstrate if a Creator deity exists or not. Most hold the position that the evidence for any god as presented by the religious does not even warrant serious consideration. As for a ‘personal god’ that you (most Christians) believe in, i.e. Jesus of Nazareth, this is simply nonsensical.

          I could go on and on. Doubting beliefs of others is skepticism of the fools. Doubting one’s own beliefs seems to be a wiser version of skepticism.

          I have never said my beliefs are irrefutable. Ever. And this is not a position I hold. I merely state that your claims of god are untenable and the evidence ‘’you’’ bring to the world for such claims is utter bullshit. Of course, you may believe what you like but the religious have no right to impose in any way such beliefs on those who are unable to make an educated choice. Ie children.

        • agrudzinsky

          Re: “I try not to get involved in any form philosophical argument for or against any position, and never bother reading philosophers. Life is too short.”

          Sidestepping? Avoiding an argument? Proud of your ignorance? Why do you engage in philosophical and theological debates then? Aren’t you like a creationist who hasn’t read anything but the Bible trying to argue an evolutionary biologist that evolution is wrong?

          Re: “At least nobody died.”

          Thanks God, nobody died. This, actually, shows that Christians in New York are not as stupid and violent as atheists try to show them. As if you don’t know or understand that words are aimed to cause other people’s reaction. I don’t see what reaction these boards are aimed to cause except annoyance and anger. Annoyance and anger can cause violence and such exercise of “freedom of speech” did cause violence in the past. Then you will righteously accuse religious people of being violent. This is called “provocation” — a very mean technique to justify one’s own crap.

        • Arkenaten

          Re: “I try not to get involved in any form philosophical argument for or against any position, and never bother reading philosophers. Life is too short.”
          Sidestepping? Avoiding an argument? Proud of your ignorance? Why do you engage in philosophical and theological debates then? Aren’t you like a creationist who hasn’t read anything but the Bible trying to argue an evolutionary biologist that evolution is wrong?

          Nope. Philosophy does nothing to demonstrate the claims you put forward and thus is not worth bothering with. I do not engage such nonsense on a philosophical level, but WILL challenge it for the crap it is.

          Re: “At least nobody died.”
          Thanks God, nobody died. This, actually, shows that Christians in New York are not as stupid and violent as atheists try to show them. As if you don’t know or understand that words are aimed to cause other people’s reaction. I don’t see what reaction these boards are aimed to cause except annoyance and anger. Annoyance and anger can cause violence and such exercise of “freedom of speech” did cause violence in the past. Then you will righteously accuse religious people of being violent. This is called “provocation” — a very mean technique to justify one’s own crap.

          While all Christians are simply misinformed, many are willfully ignorant and some are plainly stupid, and Christianity has a history of violence. In fact, it is steeped in bloodshed and without the sword would likely have died a long time ago. But the ‘’word of god’’ ( barf) had to be spread, did it not, and killing infidels and non believers or wrong believers is not a sin…or at least it wasn’t in the good old days, right?
          As Christianity has ‘’subdued the natives’’ over the past 2000 years, please stop trying to be so holier than thou. Your halo may begin to slip and throttle you.
          Yes, of course the boards are designed to provoke. Damn right! It’s about time you bloody Christians had a taste of your own medicine and especially where creationists are concerned and Christians who insist that Christianity is the be all and end all.
          Please do not bother to dispute this, as it forms a core tenet of your belief.

          The Muslims are still going through their primal violent phase it seems and openly practice misogyny and genital mutilation etc ad nauseum. Maybe they will catch up with you lot in time? Who knows.

        • agrudzinsky

          I’m perfectly familiar with the atrocities caused by religion over the centuries. I acknowledge them. It’s sad that this stuff happened. I would choose atheism it it were any better. Robespierre and Stalin caused as much bloodshed as any religion. You have three options to make it easier for you:

          a) admit that Robespierre and Stalin were atheists and caused as much bloodshed as any religion;
          b) deny that they were atheists and use the “No True Scottsman” defense;
          c) justify their actions as “good” and “necessary”;

          If you are against violence – oppose violence. Why do you oppose religion? Isn’t it barking up the wrong tree?

        • Arkenaten

          This argument is so old every tim e i read it I feel nauseated.
          Yes, Stalin etc were atheists. But unlike their religious counterparts they did not commit these atrocities in the name of atheism.
          They were simply psychotic.

          I do oppose violence. But justifying violence in the name of a deity is obscene.

          And if we are throwing stones at naughty murderers let’s chuck a whole avalanche at the fucking megalomaniacal egotistical SOB you worship; his nibs, Yahweh, who thought it OKAY to liquidate humanity because they were a bit sinful, and then set the survivors on an incestuous path to repopulate the earth.
          Now THERE’S a guy you should follow, right? A real trustworthy, moral standout, if ever there was one.
          And please, I beg of you, don’t even hint at Divine Command Theory.
          Just accept that you worship a dickhead and have done with it…
          Or even better, behave like a grown up and admit that the Pentateuch is all make believe/myth.

          This could be the first step toward true enlightenment for you. Hey…what a great day this could be?

        • agrudzinsky

          You suffer from confirmation bias. Look for facts that contradict your beliefs. (Oh, boy, do I have to teach scientific method to you?) Do not discount the “misses” of your theories. Here is a thought experiment:

          Hypothesis: religion causes people commit atrocities.
          Anticipated effect: in absense of religion people will not commit atrocities.
          Test: Are there people who commit atrocities without religious motives?
          Result: Yes, some atrocities are committed in absense of religious motives.
          Conclusion: Religion is not the cause of atrocities.

          Find a flaw in this reasoning, can you?

          Something else is causing atrocities. Perhaps, religion in combination with something else can cause atrocities, but not religion by itself. E.g. to have fire, you need fuel, heat, and oxygen. But neither of these components cause fire and can be deemed dangerous or harmful. In fact, we cannot live without oxygen, and extreme cold can be lethal as well.

        • Arkenaten

          Nope. Now you are being a prat and not addressing the issue, the standout tactic of the religious.
          This is a form of denial, a fear of confronting the truth of what your religion is guilty of so simply move sideways so as not to have to face the reality head on.

          Religion is not a cause for violence but violence is committed in the name of religion.

          It is claimed to be about peace but at its core is the need to shed blood, otherwise people would gravitate toward it naturally and there would be no need to impose its doctrines.
          Please don’t set up straw man arguments. What you believe in is silly enough as it is.

        • agrudzinsky

          Re: “Religion is not a cause for violence but violence is committed in the name of religion.”

          So? Violence is committed in the name of many things: democracy and freedom (among other things), patriotism, communism, money, sex. Just look how horrible these things are. How can you deny that democracy and freedom memes alone caused massive casualties?

          “Democracy and freedom are claimed to be about peace but at their core is the need to shed blood, otherwise people would gravitate toward them naturally and there would be no need to impose these doctrines.”

          You operate with terms “natural”, “unnatural”, “supernatural”. These are meaningless words. People gravitate towards violence and immorality as “naturally” as they gravitate towards peace and happiness. And if you think that such thing as homosexual necrophilia is unnatural, you might want to watch this video.

          http://www.ted.com/talks/kees_moeliker_how_a_dead_duck_changed_my_life.html

        • Arkenaten

          Yes, violence is perpetrated in the name of many things, though not atheism.
          And those who engage in violence for the sake of democracy and freedom are usually doing it to fight a repressive regime, such as a theocracy, for instance.

          Anyway, what I gather from your rather off the wall reply is that, tacitly you are saying you acknowledge what you worship is make believe.

          Okay, as long as we know where we stand.

        • agrudzinsky

          By the way, where did you see the implication that you share Dawkins’ views? I’m glad, if you don’t. I just wanted to illustrate my point with his words — that’s all.

    • Debilis

      I’ve offered many evidences other than the Bible.

      And, to answer your comments directed at Mark, why on Earth is the Christian limited to the Bible? Does converting to Christianity mean that I’m not allowed to mention science, philosophy, history, etc?

      Who made that rule? Is there a similar rule for passionate atheists? Are you only allowed to use Darwin as a support–even if we’re discussing mathematics? This is patently false.

      More to the point, do you actually have a standard of evidence? If not, you can’t logically say that there is no evidence for God. Among other things, that’s basic to science.

      Memes are fun, and I suppose we’ve all felt the temptation to mock those we disagree with. Still, a good response needs to be based in logic, rather than simple mockery.

      • Arkenaten

        The Pentateuch is fiction. Thus, so is Yahweh,

        The Israelites were never in Egypt, there was never an Exodus or a conquest of Canaan.
        Ergo the man you call Yeshua was not divine, ergo your man-god could not have been a creator. Period

        I don’t believe It is possible to be more succinct.

        • Debilis

          There isn’t a single thing I claimed in the post above that requires the Pentateuch is anything other than fiction to be true. That is just a non sequitur.

          Of course, I’ve also not seen any evidence in support of your claim that it is fiction, but that is another conversation entirely.

          The point is that, even if you proved (rather than simply claimed) that Jesus of Nazareth couldn’t possibly be divine, this wouldn’t for a moment defend the silly “no evidence” meme.

          So, yes, that is succinct. What is not is any reason whatsoever to be an atheist. It’s simply saying “I claim that the Bible is fiction, therefore God doesn’t exist”.

          My actual reasons for concluding that God exists haven’t even been addressed by this response.

        • Arkenaten

          >blockquote>My actual reasons for concluding that God exists haven’t even been addressed by this response.

          Of course they have you silly person! You are a Christian, and we are discussing Yahweh and your whole raison d’etre rests on the Bible, Old & New Testament.
          Otherwise we might as well be talking about any god your care to mention.

          And the other two monotheist Abrahamic religions are in the same boat, although they (rightly) refute Christian claims of divinity for JC, and the Jews ( most of) regard the Pentateuch myth with no basis in fact.

          Oh, and are you interested in evidence that the Pentateuch is fiction or are you merely making apologetic white noise for the sake of form?

          You could start with Rabbi David Wolpe and archaeologist Prof. Israel Finkelstein, if you like?

          I am sire you can Google them; you’;re a clever fella,yes?
          Super…off you go then. Spend an hour or so educating yourself. It will do you a power of good.

        • Debilis

          No, actually we aren’t discussing Yahweh.

          I’m discussing the God of the philosophers, and you seem to be discussing the God of modern extremist fundamentalism.

          David Wolpe doesn’t believe that the Pentateuch is fiction, so it is hard to imagine why you think he’s proved that it is. The same would go for Finkelstein.

          I’ll not get much into that, however, because the main point is that we aren’t discussing Yahweh.

          Are you really back to the “off you go” condescension again? You’re aware that this doesn’t remotely make you the better educated person on this subject, right?

          Rather, this simply avoids the actual topic. Even if Wolpe were the final word on the subject (he isn’t) and even if he were actually claiming that the Pentateuch is fiction (he isn’t) this wouldn’t remotely defend the silly “no evidence” meme.

          The argument here seems to be “David Wolpe rejects this one interpretation of the Bible, therefore all forms of theism are false”.

          Instead of explaining why that is wrong, I’m simply going to ask what standard of evidence you’re using to make judgments about what evidence there is.

          The fact that everyone keeps avoiding that question leaves me wondering whether its because those pressing the “no evidence” meme don’t actually have an answer for my challenge.

        • Arkenaten

          Yes, he \is claiming it is fiction, ( and so do Finkelstein and Hertzog and a myriad of others if you care to investigate)
          With Wolpe, for instance, you just have to read between the lines. But you won’t of course, as this would require confronting Truth. Something you have spent most of your life avoiding when it comes to religion etc.

          I’m discussing the God of the philosophers, and you seem to be discussing the God of modern extremist fundamentalism.

          Lol..so this god is different then is it?

          I was always under the impression that the god you genuflected to was the god of the bible, Yahweh/Jesus.

          Every argument you have proposed regarding this issue has always had some obscure philosophical edge to it, and you always try to justify your belief/pov based on this, rather than be open and honest with your faith /religion and argue from this standpoint.
          And the openly reason I can think that you would do this is because you know full well you would be handed your arse in a sling if you attempted to justify it any other way.
          You are a damn coward.

          I’m simply going to ask what standard of evidence you’re using to make judgments about what evidence there is.

          Archaeology is good enough for me. And so far it has shown that the core tenets you believe in pertaining to your Christianity are based on fallacious doctrine and fraudulent claims.

        • Debilis

          You seem very keen to play armchair psychologist, but I don’t see much here that has to do with the topic of conversation.

          As a case in point, are you really taking the position that Archeology is the whole of all evidence? None of the arguments I’ve made have been relevant to Archeology–or about history.

          I doubt you’re willing to say that people shouldn’t accept anything without archeological evidence, but let me know if that is actually what is being claimed here.

          If it isn’t, then my original challenge hasn’t been answered: we’ve merely changed the subject.

        • Arkenaten

          Your whole faith is based on archaeology, otherwise you have no case especially where it pertains to your man god Jesus
          You ask what standard of evidence, I state archaeological and then you side step once again.

          I reiterate, you are a coward, and this is why you will not challenge this aspect of history…because you cannot, this put forward hyperbole and philosophy wthout tackling the central issue: because you have nothing but faith.

          So , yes, for what its worth, without archaeological evidence you have nothing.

          Albright tried ( and failed) and every other biblical archaeologist has done more or less the same, so why should I consider it necessary to opt for anything that can be backed with at least a modicum of evidence for your god?

          To start with, Nazareth; a fictional creation by ”Luke”.

        • agrudzinsky

          Arkenaten, faith is not based on anything. It’s based on “self” – “I am who I am”. It’s useless to discuss evidence when sides do not share a core belief about what evidence is. Your belief that archaeology is the only possible evidence does not have evidence itself. It’s a core belief. If you think, this belief has evidence, I will ask you what the evidence is, and we go down the rabbit hole of infinite regress. You cannot prove any theorem in geometry without accepting a set of core axioms. A different set of axioms will lead to a different system of theorems. It’s fairly simple. It’s silly to claim that your set of core beliefs is the “right set” of core beliefs and force other people to accept them and play by your rules.

        • Arkenaten

          Wrong. You core beliefs – tenets of your faith – were spelled out for you by the Church. It is called the Nicene Creed, and I am sure you are familiar with it.
          It is based on Doctrine, not evidence, not fact, not eyewitness accounts.
          That you would try to compare this with the scientific method is ridiculous.

        • agrudzinsky

          So, do you not believe in scientific method or do you deny that it has anything to do with philosophy? Ever heard of Karl Popper? Can scientific method validate itself? Now, you can choose to “sidestep” and avoid a direct answer to my question or tangle yourself in nonsense. Beliefs about beliefs, thoughts about thoughts, reasoning about reason, evidence of evidence – all circular concepts. Do not pretend that any of this stuff has any “logic” or “reason” or “evidence” behind them. The wise thing to do is to sidestep. It’s the same kind of stupid question as “can the almighty God create a rock too heavy for himself to lift?”

          Well, yes, religion is based on faith and doctrine. That’s what I said too. Your claim that it is based on archaeology is ridiculous. And I did say that, without faith, religious stuff is rubbish and nonsense. I don’t see the disagreement.

        • Arkenaten

          You have already answered adequately in your comment regarding your views on the narrative construct, Jesus of Nazareth.

          There is nothing left to explain, is there?

        • Debilis

          No, actually, my whole faith is not based in archeology.

          You never seem to respond well to theists telling you what you believe–you need to be careful not to tell me what I believe. It is completely wrong.

          So the “central issue” in this conversation is not about the topic shift into archeology that you’d like to make. It is about the standard of evidence.

          That being the case, you seem to be taking the position that archeology is the only sort of evidence. Do you not believe in math, then? Physics? Biology? Logic?

          Simply put, you seem to have a lot of misunderstandings about what God I actually believe in. As long as you fail to question the idea that this is what I believe, you’re going to feel like I’m ignoring the question of “my god”.

          But that’s hardly my fault. I’ve clarified to you over and over that you’re simply changing the subject to something very different from what I actually think.

          At this point, you need to figure out what I actually think if you want to make a decent case.

        • Arkenaten

          I apologize; my wording was incorrect. I should have said, your whole religion is based on faith as there is no archaeology to support it

          I had two sentences in my head and i think they got “meshed” somewhere along the line. Oh, for an edit button (sigh)

          Simply put, you seem to have a lot of misunderstandings about what God I actually believe in

          Then why not simply state exactly what god you actually believe in. No philosophy, no metaphor, analogy, quote mining from the bible, or theological two step BS.
          Just a simple sentence or two that one as Cromagnum as me can understand. How about it?

          It would simplify matters.

        • Debilis

          Fair enough. That being the case, are you willing to support the claim that my whole religion is based on faith?

          What of the possibility that there are reasons for the conclusion of theism that you haven’t referenced or discussed? It seems that there might be quite a few. At least, you’ve never shown otherwise.

          As to why I’ve not simply stated what God I believe in, that is precisely what I’ve been doing. To state that in a logical way is, by definition, giving you some philosophy.

          Nor have I once quoted the Bible. All I’ve ever done is given reasons other than the off-topic, pet issues that you keep raising–which don’t remotely connect to what I’ve actually claimed.

          But this topic isn’t about “exactly what God [I] actually believe in”. It is about the complete silliness of the “no evidence” meme. Everything else is a topic change.

        • Arkenaten

          Ah…avoidance once more.
          It is only fair that you lay your cards on the table before you can expect a counter argument..r one like me to defend my own position.
          If you are NOT willing to state exactly how you arrive at your belief ( what god you believe in and how you ‘found’ it/him) then what position do you expect ME to defend?

          So…are you gong to provide a succinct no philosophical answer along the lines of.

          I believe in the god/Creator of the bible Yahweh/Jesus. ?

          That at least is an opening gambit a simple fella like me could handle.

        • Debilis

          Wait..what?

          I made a distinct challenge to those holding secular views. You’ve completely refused to answer the question. And, when I try to get us back on topic, you accuse me of avoiding questions and not laying my cards on the table?

          I’ve given far more answers to your questions than yo’ve given to mine. I’m not sure what to do about the fact that you can’t understand theology. But I’m pretty sure that the refusal to answer my challenges is a sign that no one here has an answer.

          Most, likely, this is why people keep demanding that I change the subject. If anyone had an answer for my challenge, I expect they’d just present it.

          But I’m willing to be corrected on this point. All it would take is a straight answer.

          In fact, I promise I’ll answer your questions so long as you attempt to deal with my challenge–you don’t even have to succeed, just attempt it.

          That way, we’ll see which view is better supported by evidence.

        • Arkenaten

          Fine. You have my word i will tackle your challenge.
          First, though, please answer…

          I believe in the god/Creator of the bible Yahweh/Jesus.

          Yes or No?

        • Debilis

          We’ve been through this before.

          The last time, you demanded that I hadn’t “answered” the question until I’d given quite a bit more than a “yes or a no”–and you never actually got around to answering any of my challenges.

          If that’s what we’re heading into again, I’m simply not interested.

          I’m completely willing to answer all of your questions as long as you’re actively discussing my actual topic but not before.

        • Arkenaten

          I don’t wish for you t answer “all of my questions”. Just the one.
          Surely you aren’t afraid to boldly announce your Christianity?
          Nobody will crucify you for it in this day and age.
          Do you somehow feel a tad ashamed or something to admit to being a servant of Christ?

          I am not asking for a thesis, for goodness’ sake. In fact, you don’t have to even rewrite the paragraph, just read it and reply with a simple Yes or No.

          I can fill in the rest myself; I am quite familiar with pretty much most aspects of your religion, as I am sure you are well aware.

          So…..yes or no?

        • Debilis

          I notice a lack of response to any of my challenges here.

          I also notice a claim that you know my theology very well (by past comments, you’ve demonstrated this not to be the case).

          But, mostly, I’m not interested in answering pet questions from those who seem eager to avoid answering my challenges. That proves nothing, and goes nowhere.

          I expect that, if you had an answer for me, you’d have already given it. If you want my answers–they are on other posts.

          As such, I’m simply not interested in repeating my answers to the same questions you’ve always asked of me.

  • The Hooked on Phonics Approach to Deities | Fide Dubitandum

    […] I’m aware that it is often demanded that “there is as much evidence” for all gods. But, I’ve been over the “no evidence” argument. If there’s any point in bringing up ancient gods at all–that […]

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