The Atheist Dogma

pope-dawkinsOverwhelmingly, the most common defense of atheism is the (false) claim that atheism need not be defended at all. It is confidently stated that atheism is simply a “lack of belief in any gods”, as opposed to the belief that God does not exist. It is then said that one need not defend a simple lack of belief.

And, personally, I agree on that last point. A lack of belief need not be defended. But there are two very serious problems with the logic of this approach.

First is the reason why no defense is needed. It is not because atheism is somehow true by default. Rather, it is because (by this rather questionable definition) it is simply not a position at all. Anyone who isn’t claiming the non-existence of God, but simply lacks belief, isn’t advancing inquiry–or saying anything at all. Rather, this is simply an attempt to halt any attempt to discover what the truth might be.

Second is the fact that those who take this approach, just as much as the rest of us, have working answers to life’s big questions. Redefining atheism to mean “a lack of belief” doesn’t change this fact. Really, it simply insulates the atheist’s position from challenges.

Nearly always, the hidden position is materialism: the belief that matter and energy are all that exist. So, if the atheist wants to refute theism, he has to do more than attack theism (or, as is very often done, a horribly distorted straw man version of theism). We need a reason to think that materialism (or some other position) is more likely to be the case.

But, often as not, I encounter “refutations” of theism that would do as much damage to materialism. The “no evidence for God” argument is merely the prime example. While there is evidence for God, the point is that I’ve never encountered anyone who uses this (poor) argument that can offer evidence for materialism when asked for it.

As such, I hope it is becoming clear to more people why claiming to simply “lack belief” is (whether intentionally or unwittingly) an attempt to stack the deck in favor of the atheist. It halts inquiry instead of advancing it.

By all means, let us discuss whether or not it is more reasonable to think that God exists, or that the materialism of atheists popularizers is valid. But let’s examine both of these ideas, rather than pretending that the latter is somehow immune to being questioned or challenged.

That is, after all, just another form of dogmatism.

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128 responses to “The Atheist Dogma

  • silenceofmind

    There is no place in space and time that is not a position.

    Atheism is a philosophical position, therefore it has standpoint and perspective.

    The atheist axiom that they need not explain their position is a denial of reality.

  • Atomic Mutant

    Well, we can start with one question:

    Do we agree that it seems like that matter exist?s If not, this discussion is over. It doesn’t make sense to talk to an insane person who doesn’t accept the same reality.

    Ok, so now we agree about that. So, does more than that exist?

    You say: Yes. You offer no proof. I say: I don’t know. Perhaps there is more. Possible. But why should I assume it? Simply because you say so? We look at the world, we try to understand how it works… And whenever we found out how something works, the answer was NOT ONCE “Magic”, “God” or whatever. Only when we had no answer, someone claimed that it was “God” – until someone found out “Ups, no, it’s not.”.

    • Debilis

      This simply avoids my actual argument though–and has the same exact two problems I’ve already mentioned.

      How so?

      First, “I don’t know” contradicts most of the New Atheists’ favorite memes. One has to assume that one has a pretty good idea about that in order for those to make any sense.

      Second, you do more than “don’t know”. If you’re a human being, living life on earth, then you have an approach to ethics, meaning of life, and a host of other issues. But if you aren’t willing to name your answers and talk about them, then you’ve presented no evidence whatsoever that those answers are any more reasonable than theism.

      That’s why the God-of-the-gaps straw man doesn’t show us anything useful. This is no different than my saying “long ago, atheists thought that their concept of ethics created life on Earth–then we found out that that it wasn’t so, so atheism is false”.

      Does that sound a little silly to you? It’s no worse than Dawkins unquestioned assumption that God is a scientific hypothesis. Anyone who actually knows what theism is–or bothers to learn the actual arguments for it–knows.

      • Atomic Mutant

        There may be people who claim to know, but most atheists I know are not among them. They know, that for many questions, the honest answer simply is “I don’t know.”. If they feel particularly optimistic, they might add “yet”. But no atheist I ever talked to claimed to know for sure, simply because there is no basis to do so – science doesn’t have all the answers to that questions (again, perhaps, “yet”).

        So, the answer to “Is there more than matter/energy in the universe”, is simply “We don’t know, but we haven’t seen any evidence for that yet, so we don’t assume it, until we do.”

        And yes, I have an approach to ethics, etc. – but it simply doesn’t involve things we don’t know anything about as a premise, only the things we do know about (as far as we can “know” anything, of course). But no, these answers are completely unimportant for your question:

        You have brought no evidence for theism. So I do not assume it. End of story.
        I really don’t care how your answers compare to mine. Until you are not limiting yourself to using things we know, but use things we don’t and perhaps cannot know, as a basis for your worldview, it’s fiction, speculation, etc.
        Everything you say must be premised by “IF my God exists…”, because otherwise your answer is instantly wrong and that’s a very big “if”.
        On the other hand, the only additional premise for my answer is “IF the world is knowable and not completely different than it seems…” – and that’s a pretty small if, because if that’s not true, then… well, nothing then, the universe then is a mad place, without logic, etc. Then you cannot know anything (including religion, btw.), so most sane people agree with my premise, while only people from your specific religion agree with yours. Another irony is, that you have to use my premise, too, because otherwise, nothing makes sense – including religion. So, I simply do not use your huge, baseless assumption, while you do. End of story.

        • makagutu

          I couldn’t have said it any better!

        • Debilis

          Of course no one knows for certain. The point is that one’s actions have to be based on a working theory. Whether or not one “knows”, that is how life works.

          As to the “we’ve not seen evidence for that” meme, there’s a reason why this topic followed the one on that issue. And, in any case, if you’re going to press that point, I’m simply going to press the point that I don’t see any evidence for the relativistic approach to life that most atheists take.

          That should answer this:

          “I have an approach to ethics, etc. – but it simply doesn’t involve things we don’t know anything about as a premise”

          Of course it does. Do you believe that human beings have value? That it’s okay to fail to worship Krishna? That people who privilege their own families over others are wrong?

          These ideas, and all others, rest on premises that we don’t know any more about than we do about God. It’s simply false to say that your behavior is based on “I don’t know”. Your behavior is based on a working hypothesis. It may be open to change, of course.

          If so, let’s get it out and question it–to see if it is better supported by evidence than theism.

          Simply put, your approach to life is based on a lot more than the idea that the universe is knowable. In general, the modern atheist bases his approach on a white, western, middle and upper class, post-englightenment cultural view. Many take that approach simply because it is the only thing they know–and they don’t even think to question it. Whether or not that is your personal view, everyone has one.

          Simply put, no one can say that their view is based only on what we know. Anyone who’s actually tried to defend their view knows this.

          And this is why it is important that people actually try to do so, rather than insisting that we move off that subject.

          So, when someone shows me another view that is better supported by evidence than my own, I’ll willingly change my view.

          Until then, simply saying “I criticize your view, but let’s not talk about mine” strikes me as very suspicious.

    • Frank Morris

      Atomic mutant, you are getting a lot wrong here. First, you are conflating atheism with agnosticism. Anyone who says ‘I don’t know” is agnostic. The word “agnostic” literally means “not knowing”, while the word “atheist” is “against God”. Your false definition of atheism is textbook agnosticism.

      AM; “So, the answer to ‘Is there more than matter/energy in the universe’, is simply ‘We don’t know, but we haven’t seen any evidence for that yet, so we don’t assume it, until we do.’”

      Actually materialists ASSUME there is nothing but matter and energy and simply deny evidence that opposes this religious belief.

      The evidence against your religious beliefs is overwhelming, so to seriously claim to not see ANY evidence for anything teleological is blatant fraudulence. You put your non-neutrality on display by such extreme falsehood.

      I can show evidence to an open-minded agnostic and he or she will learn. I can not put evidence in front of a materialist and open their eyes any more than I can convince a biblical literalist that parts of the bible are wrong.

      I wish just once a materialist would not lie and say “not any evidence”, but instead “I see evidence, yes, but I have questions and am not convinced.” That would be a sign of a sincere open mind.

      And they would be agnostic, not atheist.

      • john zande

        Hi Frank.

        OK, what evidence are you talking about? Please, for everyone’s sake, be specific.

        • Frank Morris

          jz, teleology is the study of intelligent agency and its ability to intelligently animate matter. I consider it a scientific certainty that intelligent agency exists, including self-aware consciousness, free will and purposeful animation of matter.

          A materialist disagrees, saying that only matter and energy exist, and that all evidence of intelligence or free will is really just an “illusion”.

          When a materialist asks “what evidence?” I feel compelled to define what teleology is, since the evidence for it is so obvious, it seems there must be a confusion of terms. The very fact that they can type the question indicates evidence of teleology.

          Of course there have been multitudes of tests with mice seeking cheese in a maze or other tests of innovation, memory, learning, volition, reasoning, decision-making and other related mental tasks.

          Still, even this enormous volume of data pales in comparison to our day to day experience of seeing purposive movements in literally all living organisms. Indeed, it is what separates the animate from the inanimate to honest scientists and anyone with common sense.

          More certain still is the reality of self-aware consciousness, a phenomenon that we actually directly experience. It is as if materialists took the most undeniable of all scientific facts and arbitrarily refused to accept it.

          That’s why they fail so badly to demonstrate any evidence supporting their beliefs, and why over 90% of the populace disagrees with them.

          Materialism is just a strange religious belief which denies overwhelming evidence.

        • john zande

          Hi Frank

          Well, right off the bat, what you “consider” a certainty doesn’t mean anything to reality.

          Now, you have me completely confused. You didn’t give a single example of anything. Citing “purposive movements in literally all living organisms” is merely acknowledging that organisms strive to survive. Nothing remarkable at all about that. It’s why flowers turn to face the sun. It’s why we feel hunger and thirst. Heat engines need fuel.

          90% of the populace disagrees with science? Got some source for that rather outlandish figure?

          Now, perhaps you could actually give some actual examples of the evidence you say you have.

        • Frank Morris

          jz, and here I thought what YOU think is certain doesn’t mean anything to reality. I have never met a materialist with a grasp on reality.

          I didn’t say that 90% disagree with science. I said 90% support science and disagree with your materialist religion.

          You have already acknowledged the examples I gave, so it is senseless to ask for “actual” examples of evidence in the same message. The examples of evidence for teleology that I “actually” gave are quite “actual”. If you consider them to not be “actual”, you might want to explain why.

          I didn’t say that organisms moving purposefully is “remarkable”, nor is remarkability required for evidence to be valid. I said that the evidence shows that living organisms move with intelligent intent.

          If you agree, then perhaps you also would agree that living things moving with intelligent intent is evidence that intelligent intent exists. Matter moving because of intelligent intent is teleology. I don’t know how this could be more clear or more certain, so I’m not sure what your problem is.

          We do agree that you are completely confused.

        • john zande

          “materialist religion”
          -Ahahaha. Please, could you explain where, precisely, science falls under the purview of “religion” and requires “faith in things unseen”?

          “You have already acknowledged the examples I gave”
          -I most definitely have not! Now, please provide intelligible and verifiable examples. If you cannot then I suggest you stop commenting.

          “the evidence shows that living organisms move with intelligent intent”
          -No it doesn’t. It demonstrates response to stimuli.

          Now, please lift your game as you’re becoming terribly boring.

        • Frank Morris

          jz, materialism isn’t science. It is a faith, not in things unseen, but worse – a faith that things seen are actually an illusion.

          Disagree? Fine, state your case that opposes my position, but please stop twisting my words into a position I do not take. Simply replacing the word “materialism” with “science” every time I condemn materialism to try to make it seem like I condemn science is a tactic, not a discussion. If you’re just here to troll, misinform and annoy, we can not debate the subject. And yawning about how “bored” you are is just another lame tactic.

          I say evidence that living organisms move in ways that accomplish a purpose is evidence that they make those movements FOR that purpose. You say no, it is just a response to a stimulus and it just SEEMS to be purposeful.

          So we clearly have a difference of opinion here and can discuss it. Your previous post seemed to indicate that you understood that organisms strive to survive. I certainly agree, but now you seem to be taking a more materialist approach.

          If I was getting a needle stuck into my artery for the purpose of drawing blood, my typical stimulus-response would be to pull away from the pain. However, I since I want to help those in need of my red blood cells I force myself to allow the pain by my own free will.

          I consider this evidence that empathy, intelligence and free will volition all exist. Why am I wrong?

      • Atomic Mutant

        Agnosticism, from the greek work “gnosis” is about knowledge. Atheism is about belief. You can be even theist and agnostic – “I do not now KNOW, but I BELIEVE” – we could call that a “honest believer”. And you can be atheist and agnostic “I do not not know, but I don’t believe.”. Or you can be a gnostic theist “I know and I believe.” Or even a gnostic atheist “I KNOW that there is not god and thus I don’t believe.” But even someone like Dawkins doesn’t go there.

        Anyway, if you define materialism by the assumption that there cannot be anything else, then I’m not a materialist. Quite simple, really.

        The old “Your atheism/whatever is also a religion” gambit? Really? Succeeds every time in killing my respect for someone. Good night.

  • makagutu

    Happy New Yr Debilis

    the most common defense of atheism is the (false) claim that atheism need not be defended at all.

    The claim is not false. Atheism at the very minimum is a lack of belief in the existence of gods. This doesn’t require defense. The theist need present the evidence for the existence of god first for discussion to be had .

    Rather, this is simply an attempt to halt any attempt to discover what the truth might be.

    I disagree. By saying there is no evidence, the theist has the opportunity to do inquiry and provide the evidence, how else would we learn anything if doubt is not an acceptable position?

    Second is the fact that those who take this approach, just as much as the rest of us, have working answers to life’s big questions

    I don’t, for the life of me, see how this is related to a lack of belief in gods anyway!

    Nearly always, the hidden position is materialism: the belief that matter and energy are all that exist.

    Unfortunately, I think, this is your obsession. Let us for a moment allow that there is more than matter and energy, what are these things? Are you implying that we should accept other things exist beyond matter based on your say so? Being able to think something into existence doesn’t make it so. If you are going to argue there is more than matter and energy, you have to show what these are before we accept them.

    As I have said once in a discussion on my blog, these is shifting goal posts. You claim there is more than matter then turn around and ask the theist to disprove you! You must know this is a poor way of having a debate. Provide evidence for god and this discussion ends immediately.

    there is evidence for God

    Where?

    rather than pretending that the latter is somehow immune to being questioned or challenged.

    No atheist I know of has said such a thing. Provide the evidence for god then we see how the discussion will proceed.

    • Debilis

      Same to you! I hope all is well out there.

      But, let’s see here.

      I think the claim that atheism need not be defended is false, in that atheism is based on particular views of life. No one except the completely ignorant has a simple “lack of belief”.

      As to evidence, I’ll willingly change my view if someone can offer me better evidence of another view. But this is precisely where atheists demur. Anyone who takes an approach to life (that would be all of us) should allow the same sort of criticism to be applied to that view as he makes of others.

      But I don’t see that being done here, which leads me to wonder why I should accept that approach to ethics, meaning of life, etc.

      I will completely agree with you that theism should be challenged. This is good. However, it is a halt to inquiry to insist that one’s own views shouldn’t also be examined. I simply don’t accept the relativism that nearly every atheist I’ve ever encountered has espoused.

      And, when I ask why I should believe it, I get “let’s get back to talking about theism” as a response. That makes me very suspicious.

      So, how is this related to “a lack of belief in God or gods”? That’s the alternative to theism being offered.

      Theism is an approach to life, relativism is another, consequentialism another (and on the list could go). We can talk about which one is better supported by evidence (I’d love to, in fact). But what makes no sense is to demand evidence for one of these while refusing to look at the others.

      I agree that I should make an argument against materialism. But, if you even skim through my blog, you’ll find that I’ve done this. You may not, personally, agree with my arguments, but simply telling me to make an argument is a little odd, in that I’ve done exactly that.

      But, rather than give that argument here, I’ll point out that I’ve never seen any evidence for materialism. Thus, I have no idea why materialists like Dawkins and the vast majority of his fans can complain that they aren’t getting evidence.

      But this isn’t “shifting goal posts” I’m not discussing my beliefs in this conversation. I’ve done that elsewhere (and will again), but the topic for now is whether or not there is evidence for the secular views being espoused here.

      So far, I’ve received none, and simply getting complaints about how these people don’t need to provide evidence for their views.

      And this is how most of the atheists I know tend to assume that their views are being challenged. As a case in point, you’re resisting it here. I’ve not seen any evidence for your view, and have no idea why, if you had it, you wouldn’t simply give it to me.

      Instead, you want to shift back to insisting that I provide evidence. But that conversation has been had a thousand times for every one time we discuss secular views.

      So, let me know what sort of evidence you have for your view, that will let me know exactly what kind of evidence I should give you, and why I should accept your view.

      If one can’t do that, then demands that others provide evidence are silly.

      • makagutu

        Am not surprised that you would write this, knowing you as I do. The problem, as I can see with you, is even though you are quite a bright fellow, you don’t take time to reflect. You are so deep in belief that you don’t pause a moment. You see in my response I asked you to tell me if besides matter and energy there is anything else, you have skirted this question and has gone on a tirade of how asking you to provide evidence is silly. Now I have no problem with that, none at all, but look at your post again, then at my response and really ask yourself, have you answered the question I asked of you.

        Now, as to gods, they don’t exist except in the minds of those who have believed in them. Now you can proffer several arguments for the existence of gods, I will tell you where they are bunk. You are the one who believes in gods, not I and as such you must first tell me what you mean by the word god and then present the evidence. If I find the evidence provided unsatisfactory, I will say not sufficient and you have to go back and bring other evidence, if you fail to do that, you need not cry foul for your failures!

        You said in your post there is evidence for god, I said provide it, point me to it. You can’t run away from this but knowing how a gymnast you are, I don’t expect any answers on this front.

        I have not stated my views on anything here, I only responded to your unsupported claims. When I write about my views, most times I provide justification for them. You may want to point me to any views I expressed in the first response that need support and I will gladly do that.

        Oh, I should have said at the top that all is well here.

        • Debilis

          Apologies, then, if it felt like I was skirting the issue.

          Rather, I’d meant to allude to the fact that I’ve written more than thirty posts on that issue, and one on this one. I thought we might give this topic a little attention, for a change.

          But, no need to make predictions, I’ll tell you directly that, if you want to chase/challenge my arguments against materialism I’ll simply tell you to go to the other posts where I defend them and leave a comment there. (If you want to discuss the “provide evidence” meme, I suggest this post. So, if it helps you, consider any claims I’ve made about there being evidence for God retracted for this conversation.

          Right now, I’m only claiming one thing:

          The atheists I’ve encountered either can’t or won’t give me a single scrap of evidence that any secular view is true. As such, I see no reason why I should accept any one of them.

          In fact, it is precisely because you’ve not stated your views that I’ve been given no reason whatsoever to think that they are better supported by evidence than mine.

          Really, how am I supposed to check out your view–to see whether it has any support–if you won’t even tell me what it is? I certainly haven’t run across a secular view that is supported by evidence in anything like the way evidence is demanded of theism, and the fact that passionate secularists intentionally keep their views hidden seems more than a little suspicious.

          As such, we aren’t discussing the topic. I’m serious when I say that I’ll willingly change my view if someone can offer me a better one–showing me a secular take on life that has some real evidence as support.

          I’ve put my cards on the table. Rather than keeping yours secret, and claiming that mine are inadequate, let’s see your hand. I really am interested in changing my view if there’s good reason to do so.

        • cogitatingduck

          Makagutu, you have written, “Now, as to gods, they don’t exist except in the minds of those who have believed in them.” Is this view something you would care to support with evidence? Is it intended as a commensurable factual claim or more as a personal opinion?

        • makagutu

          Am willing to answer your question if you can tell me what you mean by god.

        • cogitatingduck

          I intended my inquiry as an attempt to learn about the nature of the propositions you make. I don’t have a fixed definition of “god” in mind for this conversation. Rather I am wondering about yours, particularly as squares your previous comment, where you said:

          “The claim is not false. Atheism at the very minimum is a lack of belief in the existence of gods. This doesn’t require defense. The theist need present the evidence for the existence of god first for discussion to be had .”

          I am imagining that the term is being used unequivocally between the two quotes I’ve provided.

        • makagutu

          Seeing that this may end up being a lengthy discussion, a few comments up, there is a ping back where I answer that question. If you have any question after that please do ask, I will gladly respond to it.

        • cogitatingduck

          In your post, you wrote, “It is my contention that god exists in the abode of ignorance. Only men who are ignorant of causes and are not willing to admit it, give the answer god.”

          A suitable definition of god here seems to be “the thing that persons ignorant of a cause propose when they do not wish to admit otherwise.”

          Is this a fair approximation? And does this definition apply univocally to the previous two quotes of yours I cited?

        • makagutu

          My first contention is that there isn’t a coherent definition of god to make such a decision. That said, I stand by the view that god is the abode of ignorance and the word itself has no meaning unless a person gives it attributes.

        • Frank Morris

          Makagutu has stepped in the proverbial dog poo here.

          After all this claim that atheism is merely a “lack of belief” that needs no defense because of its pseudo-neutrality, here mg lets his true belief show: “Now, as to gods, they don’t exist except in the minds of those who have believed in them.”

          That is a very clear statement of a belief.

          Now defend your strongly worded position without backpeddling. YOU made this pronouncement, so it is your definition of god that matters. Stop stalling. Where is your evidence?

          At least we can dispense with the “lack of a belief” charade.

        • makagutu

          Frank, I hate to call you stupid but I think I will.
          How is that a statement of belief? Where in that proposition do I have to define a god? If the word god is taken as a generic word it is without meaning. The believer defines gods as they have been taught. The Hindu, the Wiccan, the Christian, the Paulite all have their definitions of gods either as given in their scriptures or as they have been taught to parrot.

          In my statement that you respond to, I wrote a coherent definition of god has to be provided by the believer before we can have this discussion. Did you see that too? Or you decided to ignore it because it doesn’t suit you?

        • Debilis

          To both Mak and Frank:

          Please do be careful to attack the issues, and not one another. It is much easier to get at truth when we are working together to do so.

        • makagutu

          Debilis, am careful not to go off topic. My calling Frank stupid is not an ad hominem attack.
          I will however take notice of the warning

        • Debilis

          I wasn’t commenting on whether or not it was an ad hominem fallacy. I was talking strictly about courtesy.

          I believe firmly in debate and intellectual interchange, but I also believe that personal insults (whether or not they are fallacious) promote neither thought nor kindness in others.

          As such, I’m removing these comments from your most recent post. I consider you to be more than capable of making a case without need for them.

        • Frank Morris

          If you say X does not exist, then you are making a claim about X. If you don’t even know what X is, then how can you make such a statement? This is what stupid sounds like:

          “I don’t know what X is but I KNOW X does not exist.”

          My point was merely that to say you KNOW something does not exist doesn’t exactly support your prior claim that you are taking an “I don’t know” position. (And then to use that phoney “I don’t know” approach as an excuse to never support your claims.)

          And yet after over 90 posts in this comments section, we still hear excuses rather than supporting facts. It is easy to understand debilis’ frustration, but he has diligently stayed on topic, referring people to other posts when accused of not supporting his position. Still, no takers.

          There are many variations off of the general idea of a deity, to be sure, but that hardly makes it all wrong. I think we would be happy with your definition, since it was your statement, but rather than keep playing your backpeddle game, I’ll give you a working definition of deity:

          God is the intelligent agency which created the universe and everything in it, including time, space, matter, energy and all life. There are many great scientists who agree that such an intelligent agent must exist in order for the universe to exist.

          I personally consider it extremely likely that scientists are correct, but it is not 100% certain. I can see multitudes of arguments in support of such an intelligent agent, but I don’t really see any arguments against, other than “I just don’t believe it”. But I am not interested in your beliefs.

          Just once, I would like to hear supporting evidence from those like you who reject science.

        • john zande

          “There are many great scientists who agree that such an intelligent agent must exist in order for the universe to exist.”

          Name one

        • makagutu

          First, I said, the word god is meaningless unless it is related to a specific belief. For example the Muslim believes in Allah, a god of vengeance mainly, the Christian believes that his god became man and died to save him. The Hindu has several gods, the Buddhist has no gods. You get my drift? Every believer has their own conception of what god is to them.
          Now, looking at your definition, it is evident that you don’t understand the meaning of a coherent definition. You make assertions in your definition each in need of an explanation. And who are these scientists who agree with you?
          To claim an intelligent designer, you need to be able to show the difference between what is and what isn’t designed in nature, you need to be able to tell me the end to which it was designed and how many designers were involved.
          And oh no, I don’t reject science.
          I understand Debilis frustration. There is nothing he can offer to support his many assertions and that would be frustrating. Did he answer the several questions Ark and John asked him? I don’t think so.

        • Debilis

          I’ve edited the comment to remove the direct insults.

          As to your comments about myself, I don’t seem to remember the situation you’re recounting. But, if you have unanswered questions, please do let me know what they are. I’d be happy to answer them.

        • makagutu

          Debilis, thanks for the offer but I am not sure you have been able to give me a direct answer to any of the debates we have had. I will let the offer pass.

        • Debilis

          Fair enough. As much as I feel that my answers are direct, I know what it is to feel otherwise.

          So, if we aren’t going to discuss that issue, I’ll simply take the opportunity to wish you well. I do hope that things are great out there.

        • makagutu

          Indeed, am doing well.
          And hope the same is true for you

        • Frank Morris

          Mak, sorry about the way I phrased my retort. Debilis, sorry I troubled you to remove my thoughtless comment.

          It sounds like both John and Mak are questioning the consensus that intelligent agency is required for the universe to exist. Have neither of you heard of the anthropic principle? With few exceptions, the only cosmological scientists who do not agree with the necessity of intelligence in the cause of the universe are known to be religiously motivated atheist apologists.

          Name one? How about one of the greatest scientists of all time? The man for whom Planck’s constant is named: Max Planck. He said that what he calls the Mind is the cause of all else, including all matter and energy. Planck was a pioneer in wave-particle duality and quantum mechanics.

          I didn’t use the term “designer” as it implies singularity and remote control and puts too much emphasis on the design aspect of intelligence. I use the term “intelligent agency”.

          Mak: “:you need to be able to show the difference between what is and what isn’t designed in nature”

          If it is complex and functional or otherwise in a narrow specification, then it is statistically impossible to occur without intelligent intent . Also all functional thoughts, formations and movements of all living organisms are intentional.

          Mak: “you need to be able to tell me the end to which it was designed”

          Depends on what we are referring to. For example, birds have wings so that they can fly.

          The word “design” is a poor fit for teleology. While design is a subset of intelligence, it may be only a minor part of an intelligent action. Please use the phrases “intelligence”, “teleology” or “intelligent agency” when referring to my assertions.

          Mak: “and how many designers were involved.”

          No, I do not need to know that in order to know something was done intentionally. If a victim is found dead riddled with bullets we do not need to know how many shooters to know he was killed intentionally.

        • makagutu

          Frank,
          You must be aware that science is not usually decided by consensus. Either there is evidence to support or there isn’t.
          It is anthropomorphism to make the claim that the designer, if there is any, must be intelligent. It has no basis in fact.
          No one knows whether the universe had a cause or even if it needed any. To claim otherwise is to say too much about what we don’t know. And cosmologists have written we don’t know what the state of the universe was before Planck time.
          You can’t prove the claim that complexity must be designed. Sand dunes occur in the desert without any designer just action of wind over time. Your claim is baseless.
          So your claim here is that the end to which the bird has wings is to fly. The ostrich has wings but don’t fly. Are those not wings?
          There is no reason whatsoever to change the wording whether teleology, intelligent agency or whatever word you choose. You will still need to provide evidence for these claims.
          Agreed you don’t need to know how many to make the claim. The contention here is that there is no reason to believe there was design.

        • Frank Morris

          Mak, going against the consensus of science is NOT a good position for you to be in. While no claim is ever considered to be absolutely certain in science, don’t confuse open-mindedness for any hope that your religious beliefs can overcome so much evidence against them.

          You are the one using the term “designer”, not me, so I am not being anthropomorphic.

          You are right that there is a lot we don’t know regarding the causes of the universe, but it isn’t as if the idea that intelligence is required is completely unfounded either. We do know that it is not possible mathematically that one universe happens to have the physical constants that it has by chance.

          So intelligence is one of the few possibilities that might explain the existence of the universe. The only other theory going is the “infinite universes” theory, which poses quite a few theoretical problems of its own. And we already know teleology exists because of life science.

          You grossly misunderstand teleological science. I did not say that mere complexity demands intelligence. The subject in question must be BOTH complex AND with a narrow specificity, such as being functional. The sands of the beach are indeed complex and randomly formed, but the complexity does not aid function, nor are the arrangements of sand in a narrow specification such as a naturally formed sand castle.

          On the contrary, a waterfall can offer function, but it is not complex. Sufficient complexity coupled with sufficient specificity does require intelligence and this IS a known and well understood reality.

          The reality of vestigial features on extant organisms are remnants of functional attributes of ancestors. The ancestors of ostriches needed wings to fly. Please note that vestigial organs do not cause selection-style death, further damaging outdated darwinistic fallacies, which had claimed that we lack useless traits because they would supposedly kill off those who had them.

          All of the arguments against materialism are based on evidence. Materialism, however, has no supporting evidence.

        • makagutu

          Frank, since the author of this blog has stopped me from calling you names, I will only question your ability at comprehension at the same time this shall be my last response to you.

          First, I said science is not settled on consensus. It either is or is not supported by evidence. I have no religious beliefs, even a dumb child would know this, how it is not obvious to you is beyond me.

          The IDers and creationists talk about a designer or first cause of the universe, not me. You can run away from the word but that is a matter of semantics for which I don’t want to engage you in.

          You don’t know about any other universe, only this one. To make any outrageous claims about what is possible and what isn’t is to claim too much. And what is chance? Have you thought about what it means to talk about chance?

          I know of only of one argument against materialism that I could give ear to. It is the argument put forth by Berkely and Schopenhauer that the world is my idea. Without a mind to conceive it, it doesn’t exist. Any other religious claims you are making about the universe is a result of wishful thinking. To claim materialism has no supporting evidence is to say there is evidence for superstition and this is just plain stupid. Are you so daft?

      • Frank Morris

        Mak, I would hope we don’t call each other names because we are mature enough not to. You and I have opposing views, although mine is the consensus in science and in the lay world, not exactly “daft”.

        Part of the problem is that you make up things I’m not really saying. I am not a creationist nor IDist nor do I believe in “superstition”. Materialism IS a superstition.

        You never met the challenge against you by supporting your claim. You made a claim that a deity does not exist but when asked for supporting data, you stalled, asking for a definition. I said your definition would be fine, but that wasn’t good enough, so I gave you a working definition. You still balked, because you wanted a different definition.

        And now you need a definition for chance?? It is basically magical superstitious thinking to claim that luck causes complex functional things to occur by random happenstance. We can calculate mathematical odds against luck theories. If the odds of you being correct are beyond Emile Borel’s threshold of statistical impossibility, don’t waste our time.

        On the other hand, we KNOW intelligent agency exists. We directly ARE an intelligent agent and we do animate matter by free will. So that is a KNOWN thing, while your luck theory is something that we know does NOT happen.

        I have no problem with faith in something that may or may not be true because it is beyond the evidence, as long as we admit it is speculative. But I do object to luck theories that are easily disproven and I object to denial of those things that are clearly established scientific fact.

        I do not agree with the claim about the universe that “without a mind to conceive it, it doesn’t exist”. It could easily exist without ever being conceived and there could be many things that exist that we have never conceived.

        Now the fact that there IS a mind that DOES conceive it, does demonstrate that there is such a thing as a mind.

  • Arkenaten

    You are a Christian. If you cannot demonstrate beyond a question of doubt that Jesus is a god: the one you genuflect to and claim is the sole Creator of the Universe then I have no need whatsoever to countenance any position you put forward regarding this issue.
    And oof course, this applies to any religious person making similar claims.

    • Debilis

      If you aren’t interested in my positions, don’t read them.

      However, there is nothing remotely logical about demanding that I prove anything “beyond a question of doubt” before my comments on these issues are as valid as yours.

      • Arkenaten

        You are right…I am not interested in your position.

        • Debilis

          Then feel free to stop reading and commenting. No one is making you stay.

          But, since you’re so uninterested in my position as to not have bothered learning what it actually is, you can hardly claim to have a reason to dismiss it.

          But, if that doesn’t bother you, it is not my place to make anyone be reasonable–the best I can do is hope that we will be.

    • Frank Morris

      Ark, only a few extremists would claim to be “beyond a question of doubt” and even those would likely admit it is a matter of faith, not anything demonstrable. Me? I don’t rely on what people tell me, but I try to investigate for myself.

      Is there verifiable scientific evidence for the deification of Jesus, beyond historical, personal feelings or anecdotal testimony? Yes, but it is a matter of opinion as to what it means.

      For an example, there is the phenomenon of stigmata. People bleed in the precise locations of the crucifixion wounds of Jesus – wrists, feet, side and cuts in a ring around the scalp.

      This could be a case of mind over matter – another thing the materialists deny – but I can’t buy that it is unrelated to Jesus’ wounds. I don’t believe in coincidences, mathematically. Many stigmatics are excessively devout Christians. while others are not religious at all. Spontaneous bleeding is not really happening in ways unrelated to crucifixion wounds.

      Stigmata doesn’t lock Jesus down as a man-God, but it does point oddly but undeniably in that direction.

      More convincing is Jesus’ burial cloth, known as the Shroud of Turin. The unremarkable stuff is that it is dated to the first century AD; has Jesus’ name on it and that the blood on the cloth is human. Much more interesting is the image on the cloth.

      The image is a 3-D, photo-negative image of a bearded man, front and back. It is NOT a pigment of any kind…. not paint, charcoal, ink or powder… no added material whatsoever. It is also not burned, although it is suspected that the image was caused by light.

      Burning simplifies the molecules of the fuel and a release of electrons and heat through oxidation. Yet this image is formed by the opposite, a complexification of the molecules of the flax textile. It is similar to, and often called, caramelization. The molecules of the linen are complexified to the point of being visually darker.

      The only thing that has ever accomplished such complexification has been living organisms. There is some preliminary evidence that focused attention can structure molecules external to organisms, but nothing at all like this. Even in our modern technology, we have no idea how this happened nor can we duplicate it.

      It is not possible that this was a hoax, nor would anyone even have known back then that we would be able to investigate molecular structure in a couple thousand years.

      This seems to indicate that the dead body of Jesus radiated non-divergent light, a light that had the abilities of life.

      Does this mean that Jesus is God? Not necessarily, but it does indicate that this man, Jesus, was not an ordinary person.

      • Arkenaten

        As soon as I saw Shroud of Turin…I switched off.

        You have no credibility to conduct any further dialogue on this issue.
        T’ra…

        • Frank Morris

          Methinks you were switched off long before that, Ark.

        • Arkenaten

          Lol…Good one. Touche!

        • Arkenaten

          However, if you really give any credence to the Shroud of Turin then sorry, Frank, you truly are a first class plonker.
          What next, Chariot Wheels on the floor of the Red Sea?

          Oh, yes, there really are Christians who believe this tale to be true….I hope you aren’t one of them, Frank?

        • Frank Morris

          Ark, I hadn’t heard of chariot wheels being found in the Red Sea, but that could easily be a hoax, and actual chariot wheels would have dissolved by now in the salt water if they were from 3,500 years ago.

          Unlike the chariot wheels, the Shroud of Turin and stigmata have been heavily scrutinized by teams of scientists and neither has been explained.

          Assuming that the Turin cloth is a hoax and has nothing to do with Jesus, it is still the most fascinating artifact in history, because of the method of formation of the image. There is literally no added or subtracted material….only restructured molecules causing the shading.

          Scientists have been trying to complexify molecules in the lab for decades with no success, yet someone 2,000 years ago mastered it so well that they created a perfect, photo-negative 3-D image overlayed on the blood of a crucified man, then snuck it into a guarded tomb of a missing dead body.

          To understand how the Turin hoax was accomplished would revolutionize life science and possibly lead to great medical advances. The hoaxters made sugar from dead biological material (flax) in a bronze age era where nobody knew molecules existed, let alone how to alter their complexity.

          …Or it wasn’t a hoax.

          I don’t feel this PROVES Jesus is God, but you did ask for evidence supporting Jesus as a deity and so I responded.

  • john zande

    Debilis, happy New Years.

    Now, if i may ask a simple question: What is beyond the material world, and how do you know this?

    • cogitatingduck

      What is the material world? Alex Vilenkin hypothesizes that a multiverse exists outside of our universe’s space-time. This would seem to be immaterial. How does he or any other theoretical physicist know such a thing might exist?

    • Debilis

      Same to you!

      I’ve written quite a bit on that in previous posts. My series on the mind is the first thing that occurs to me.

      As to the point here, I’m really just interested in why so many are convinced that all explanations are material. I’ve not heard a good reason to think so.

      • john zande

        Rather than pile through old posts can you just list one or two things and explain how you know there are not material.

        Thanks.

        • Debilis

          No, actually, I can’t.

          Whether it was meant to be or not, this is a topic shift away from something I’ve never heard an atheist discuss into a topic that is almost constantly discussed.

          As such, and (again) whether it is intentional or not, this would simply be a sidestepping of the challenge in order to insist that I prove the New Atheists’ wrong–which amounts to an argumentum ad ignoratium fallacy.

          That being the case, I really need to stick to the topic here. If you aren’t interested in defending your view, but only in attacking mine, please use the sidebar links to find a topic that interests you.

        • john zande

          I’m to assume from that that you cannot in fact name anything that’s immaterial, nor can you demonstrate how you know.

          I suspected as much

        • Debilis

          No, you’re to assume from this that the arguments to that end are listed in the other posts, as I said they were.

          I genuinely encourage you to have a look.

          In fact, if this is a valid assumption, can I assume from your avoiding of my question that you have no defense of your secular approach to life?

          That is, after all, the topic, and if failing to answer a challenge is (apparently) grounds that incriminate, then you’d definitely be incriminated here.

          I’ve made these challenges many times, and have never gotten a response other than “let’s change the subject to you defending your view”. I genuinely am suspicious that this is because no one here has an answer for me.

          So, believe what you want. Until you can answer my challenge here, or bother to read and respond my comments elsewhere, you’ve given me no reason whatsoever to change my view.

        • john zande

          Your “challenge” is meaningless as the atheist is the only person dealing with the “real world,” the universe that is. Nothing, therefore, has to be justified. It is the theist who is attempting to say there’s something “more,” (“more” without any evidence) to which i am asking you for an example of this “more.” You have failed to provide an example of this “more” which leads me to assume you do not have any… none other than wishful thinking.

          You can have your wishful thinking. If it helps you get through the day then fine. Just don’t try lumping the rationally minded with your mental/emotional disabilities. That is becoming a common trait with theists… examples, for example, in trying to call atheism a “belief,” or more absurdly, “a “religion.”

        • Debilis

          To say that the atheist, but not the theist, is dealing with the real world is to assume that God does not exist (circulus in probando fallacy).

          To conclude from that that you need not justify anything is to ignore the fact that secular views contain approaches to morality and meaning of life as much as theism (non sequitur).

          In short, it is simply false that I believe everything that you do, then add more to that. That was the entire point of my post. There are many things about secular views that I reject, and I was requesting support for them.

          When the only “support” I’ve received is the demand that these extras which I don’t accept don’t need support, I’m suspicious that there simply isn’t any.

          So, I’m not calling atheism a religion. What I’m saying is that every atheist takes a secular view of life. And it one of those views needs to be supported if I’m to have a rational reason to become an atheist.

        • john zande

          To say that the atheist, but not the theist, is dealing with the real world is to assume that God does not exist

          Well, yes. That’s it precisely. Why should ANYONE assume a god exists? Should I “assume” unicorns exist?

          So, as you can see, the atheist is living in the “real” world, whereas the theists is living in a bubble of unsubstantiated dreams and wishes.

        • Debilis

          I’m not telling you to assume that God exists. I’m pointing out that, if you’re assuming that God does not exist, then you’re simply arguing in a circle.

          Secular takes on morality, meaning in life, and other issues seem to be “a bubble of unsubstantiated dreams and wishes”. We can’t simply assume that those are true in this discussion.

          That’s simply dogmatically believing a secular set of claims while refusing to consider the theist’s claims from a neutral standpoint.

        • john zande

          Debilis, if it weren’t for the claims made in the bible I wouldn’t have any cause to have EVER heard of your Middle Eastern god. Can’t you see this?

          Pick a random god on that list, an Asian god… you ever heard of it? No, probably. That’s how i feel about your Middle Eastern deity. It doesn’t exist. It never existed. I’m not “denying” anything.

        • Debilis

          Yes, and if it weren’t for the claims of materialism, “I wouldn’t have cause to have EVER heard” of your position or arguments. “Can’t you see this?”.

          Pick a random secular approach to life, an Asian one… you ever heard of it? No, probably. That’s how I feel about your approach to life. It isn’t true. It was never true.

          I don’t remotely see how saying “it doesn’t exist” isn’t denying anything. But the point is that we both have a view. Every single reason you can give for why I need to support mine applies equally to yours.

          And I’ve not yet seen any support for any secular view.

        • john zande

          I’m still utterly baffled. What, precisely, are you asking for? You’re simply not making any sense. Are you asking me to state the physical laws of the universe? These are approximations of reality which work pretty well.

        • Debilis

          No. I’m asking you to defend your take on morality, meaning in life, and related things.

  • Arkenaten

    Until then, simply saying “I criticize your view, but let’s not talk about mine” strikes me as very suspicious.

    Ironically, this is how you set out most, if not all, your posts that are critical and/or dismissive of the atheist position.

    • Debilis

      Yes, I definitely start many of my posts that way–but not all.

      That is, I sometimes defend my view, I sometimes criticize others. My issue is with those who want to only do the latter all of the time.

      And isn’t that the case? Is there a single time when you’ve agreed to defend your view?

      If not, why complain that I don’t defend my view often enough for you.

      • Arkenaten

        But your view is not YOUR view, rather you merely state what s at fault with the view that opposes your view, yet you have still not laid out a succinct statement of what your view is.
        I have addressed this on several oher comments.

        Tell me where you stand. IE “I am a Christian that believes in the core tenets of the Nicene Creed” or some such.
        That way I have a framework to work from and know how to insult address your argument properly. 😉

        • Debilis

          Isn’t that what you’re doing?

          I’ve not seen any defense of your view.

          But I’ve at least defended my view elsewhere–is there anywhere that you’ve defended your view? If not, why on earth would you criticize me for doing once what you do constantly?

          If so, let me see it. The way atheists speak, it has some very clear, obvious evidence in support of it. It shouldn’t be hard to name it, then.

        • Arkenaten

          See my reply on the Undefended Claim…thread.

      • john zande

        Once again, what does Ark have to “defend”? He’s not making any claims… You, however, are.

        • Mark Hamilton

          He claims a lot of things: namely that there is no God, that the Bible is complete fiction, that religious believers are inculated and irrational, and , of particular interest, that atheists don’t have any claims they need to defend. If he doesn’t believe any of these things then I’ll be darned if I know why he keeps commenting about them.

        • john zande

          Ever been to a circus sideshow; a freakshow? It’s the same thing; an odd attraction which I too enjoy and marvel at.

          Ark is not claiming there is no god, rather saying he doesn’t believe your entirely unsubstantiated claim that there is. Is that so hard for you to understand? If you ever actually produced some evidence then we could actually move onto the falsification business, but until then the rotting salad of nothingness is in your lap.

        • Mark Hamilton

          Ark isn’t claiming that there is no god? This is good news. He can stop worrying about all the people claiming theres is a god then. He can relax and focus on his creative writing, or whatever hobby he feels like. It’s good to know that he doesn’t have to waste his time telling people that they’re idiots because they believe in god any longer.

          Though really, I think you should let him know that he doesn’t claim that there is no god. He doesn’t seem to have gotten the memo, and I’d hate to see the guy get all stressed out over nothing.

        • john zande

          Well, I shouldn’t put words in his mouth, but i think he’d agree (in principle) with what i wrote. Afterall, one doesn’t walk around screaming there are no unicorns, do they? What’s the point? The same principle applies here for the Middle Eastern god you worship. Pointing out it doesn’t exist doesn’t equate to a positive statement on the matter.

        • john zande

          Here’s a list of all the other gods which don’t need to be “denied”:

          Middle-East: (169)
          A, Adad, Adapa, Adrammelech, Aeon, Agasaya, Aglibol, Ahriman, Ahura Mazda, Ahurani, Ai-ada, Al-Lat, Aja, Aka, Alalu, Al-Lat, Amm, Al-Uzza (El-‘Ozza or Han-Uzzai), An, Anahita, Anath (Anat), Anatu, Anbay, Anshar, Anu, Anunitu, An-Zu, Apsu, Aqhat, Ararat, Arinna, Asherali, Ashnan, Ashtoreth, Ashur, Astarte, Atar, Athirat, Athtart, Attis, Aya, Baal (Bel), Baalat (Ba’Alat), Baau, Basamum, Beelsamin, Belit-Seri, Beruth, Borak, Broxa, Caelestis, Cassios, Lebanon, Antilebanon, and Brathy, Chaos, Chemosh, Cotys, Cybele, Daena, Daevas, Dagon, Damkina, Dazimus, Derketo, Dhat-Badan, Dilmun, Dumuzi (Du’uzu), Duttur, Ea, El, Endukugga, Enki, Enlil, Ennugi, Eriskegal, Ereshkigal (Allatu), Eshara, Eshmun, Firanak, Fravashi, Gatamdug, Genea, Genos, Gestinanna, Gula, Hadad, Hannahanna, Hatti, Hea, Hiribi, The Houri, Humban, Innana, Ishkur, Ishtar, Ithm, Jamshid or Jamshyd, Jehovah, Jesus, Kabta, Kadi, Kamrusepas, Ki (Kiki), Kingu, Kolpia, Kothar-u-Khasis, Lahar, Marduk, Mari, Meni, Merodach, Misor, Moloch, Mot, Mushdama, Mylitta, Naamah, Nabu (Nebo), Nairyosangha, Nammu, Namtaru, Nanna, Nebo, Nergal, Nidaba, Ninhursag or Nintu, Ninlil, Ninsar, Nintur, Ninurta, Pa, Qadshu, Rapithwin, Resheph (Mikal or Mekal), Rimmon, Sadarnuna, Shahar, Shalim, Shamish, Shapshu, Sheger, Sin, Siris (Sirah), Taautos, Tammuz, Tanit, Taru, Tasimmet, Telipinu, Tiamat, Tishtrya, Tsehub, Utnapishtim, Utu, Wurusemu, Yam, Yarih (Yarikh), Yima, Zaba, Zababa, Zam, Zanahary (Zanaharibe), Zarpandit, Zarathustra, Zatavu, Zazavavindrano, Ziusudra, Zu (Imdugud), Zurvan

          China (170):
          Ba, Caishen, Chang Fei, Chang Hsien, Chang Pan, Ch’ang Tsai, Chao san-Niang, Chao T’eng-k’ang, Chen Kao, Ch’eng Huang, Cheng San-Kung, Cheng Yuan-ho, Chi Po, Chien-Ti, Chih Jih, Chih Nii, Chih Nu, Ch’ih Sung-tzu, Ching Ling Tzu, Ch’ing Lung, Chin-hua Niang-niang, Chio Yuan-Tzu, Chou Wang, Chu Niao, Chu Ying, Chuang-Mu, Chu-jung, Chun T’i, Ch’ung Ling-yu, Chung Liu, Chung-kuei, Chung-li Ch’üan, Di Jun, Fan K’uei, Fei Lien, Feng Pho-Pho, Fengbo, Fu Hsing, Fu-Hsi, Fu-Pao, Gaomei, Guan Di, Hao Ch’iu, Heng-o, Ho Po (Ping-I), Hou Chi, Hou T’u, Hsi Ling-su, Hsi Shih, Hsi Wang Mu, Hsiao Wu, Hsieh T’ien-chun, Hsien Nung, Hsi-shen, Hsu Ch’ang, Hsuan Wen-hua, Huang Ti, Huang T’ing, Huo Pu, Hu-Shen, Jen An, Jizo Bosatsu, Keng Yen-cheng, King Wan, Ko Hsien-Weng, Kuan Ti, Kuan Ti, Kuei-ku Tzu, Kuo Tzu-i, Lai Cho, Lao Lang, Lei Kung, Lei Tsu, Li Lao-chun, Li Tien, Liu Meng, Liu Pei, Lo Shen, Lo Yu, Lo-Tsu Ta-Hsien, Lu Hsing, Lung Yen, Lu-pan, Ma-Ku, Mang Chin-i, Mang Shen, Mao Meng, Men Shen, Miao Hu, Mi-lo Fo, Ming Shang, Nan-chi Hsien-weng, Niu Wang, Nu Wa, Nu-kua, Pa, Pa Cha, Pai Chung, Pai Liu-Fang, Pai Yu, P’an Niang, P’an-Chin-Lien, Pao Yuan-ch’uan, Phan Ku, P’i Chia-Ma, Pien Ho, San Kuan, Sao-ch’ing Niang, Sarudahiko, Shang Chien, Shang Ti, She chi, Shen Hsui-Chih, Shen Nung, Sheng Mu, Shih Liang, Shiu Fang, Shou-lao, Shun I Fu-jen, Sien-Tsang, Ssu-ma Hsiang-ju, Sun Pin, Sun Ssu-miao, Sung-Chiang, Tan Chu, T’ang Ming Huang, Tao Kung, T’ien Fei, Tien Hou, Tien Mu, Ti-tsang, Tsai Shen, Ts’an Nu, Ts’ang Chien, Tsao Chun, Tsao-Wang, T’shai-Shen, Tung Chun, T’ung Chung-chung, T’ung Lai-yu, Tung Lu, T’ung Ming, Tzu-ku Shen, Wa, Wang Ta-hsien, Wang-Mu-Niang-Niang, Weiwobo, Wen-ch’ang, Wu-tai Yuan-shuai, Xi Hou, Xi Wangmu, Xiu Wenyin, Yanwang, Yaoji, Yen-lo, Yen-Lo-Wang, Yi, Yu, Yu Ch’iang, Yu Huang, Yun-T’ung, Yu-Tzu, Zaoshen, Zhang Xi, , Zhinü, , Zhongguei, , Zigu Shen, , Zisun, Ch’ang-O

          Slavic: (125)
          Aba-khatun, Aigiarm, Ajysyt, Alkonost, Almoshi, Altan-Telgey, Ama, Anapel, As-ava, Ausaitis, Austeja, Ayt’ar, Baba Yaga (Jezi Baba), Belobog (Belun), Boldogasszony, Breksta, Bugady Musun, Chernobog (Crnobog, Czarnobog, Czerneboch, Cernobog), Cinei-new, Colleda (Koliada), Cuvto-ava, Dali, Darzu-mate, Dazhbog, Debena, Devana, Diiwica (Dilwica), Doda (Dodola), Dolya, Dragoni, Dugnai, Dunne Enin, Edji, Elena, Erce, Etugen, Falvara, The Fates, The Fatit, Gabija, Ganiklis, Giltine, Hotogov Mailgan, Hov-ava, Iarila, Isten, Ja-neb’a, Jedza, Joda-mate, Kaldas, Kaltes, Keretkun, Khadau, Khursun (Khors), Kostrubonko, Kovas, Krumine, Kupala, Kupalo, Laima, Leshy, Marina, Marzana, Matergabiae, Mat Syra Zemlya, Medeine, Menu (Menulis), Mir-Susne-Khum, Myesyats, Nastasija, (Russia) Goddess of sleep., Nelaima, Norov, Numi-Tarem, Nyia, Ora, Ot, Patollo, Patrimpas, Pereplut, Perkuno, Perun, Pikuolis, Pilnytis, Piluitus, Potrimpo, Puskaitis, Rod, Rugevit, Rultennin, Rusalki, Sakhadai-Noin, Saule, Semargl, Stribog, Sudjaje, Svantovit (Svantevit, Svitovyd), Svarazic (Svarozic, Svarogich), Tengri, Tñairgin, Triglav, Ulgen (Ulgan, Ülgön), Veles (Volos), Vesna, Xatel-Ekwa, Xoli-Kaltes, Yamm, Yarilo, Yarovit, Ynakhsyt, Zaria, Zeme mate, Zemyna, Ziva (Siva), Zizilia, Zonget, Zorya, Zvoruna, Zvezda Dennitsa, Zywie

          Hindu (72):
          Aditi, Adityas, Ambika, Ananta (Shesha), Annapurna (Annapatni), Aruna, Ashvins, Balarama, Bhairavi, Brahma, Buddha, Dakini, Devi, Dharma, Dhisana, Durga, Dyaus, Ganesa (Ganesha), Ganga (Ganges), Garuda, Gauri, Gopis, Hanuman, Hari-Hara, Hulka Devi, Jagganath, Jyeshtha, Kama, Karttikeya, Krishna, Krtya, Kubera, Kubjika, Lakshmi or Laksmi, Manasha, Manu, Maya, Meru, Nagas, Nandi, Naraka, Nataraja, Nirriti, Parjanya, Parvati, Paurnamasi, Prithivi, Purusha, Radha, Rati, Ratri, Rudra, Sanjna, Sati, Shashti, Shatala, Sitala (Satala), Skanda, Sunrta, Surya, Svasti-devi, Tvashtar, Uma, Urjani, Vach, Varuna, Vayu, Vishnu (Avatars of Vishnu: Matsya; Kurma; Varaha; Narasinha; Vamana; Parasurama; Rama; Krishna; Buddha; Kalki), Vishvakarman, Yama, Sraddha

          Japan (53):
          Aji-Suki-Taka-Hi-Kone, Ama no Uzume, Ama-terasu, Amatsu Mikaboshi, Benten (Benzai-Ten), Bishamon, Chimata-No-Kami, Chup-Kamui, Daikoku, Ebisu, Emma-O, Fudo, Fuji, Fukurokuju, Gekka-O, Hachiman, Hettsui-No-Kami, Ho-Masubi, Hotei, Inari, Izanagi and Izanami, Jizo Bosatsu, Jurojin, Kagutsuchi, Kamado-No-Kami, Kami, Kawa-No-Kami, Kaya-Nu-Hima, Kishijoten, Kishi-Mojin, Kunitokotatchi, Marici, Monju-Bosatsu, Nai-No-Kami, No-Il Ja-Dae, O-Kuni-Nushi, Omoigane, Raiden, Shine-Tsu-Hiko, Shoten, Susa-no-wo, Tajika-no-mikoto, Tsuki-yomi, Uka no Mitanna, Uke-mochi, Uso-dori, Uzume, Wakahirume, Yainato-Hnneno-Mikoi, Yama-No-Kami, Yama-no-Karni, Yaya-Zakurai, Yuki-Onne

          India (43)
          Agni, Ammavaru, Asuras, Banka-Mundi, Brihaspati, Budhi Pallien, Candi, Challalamma, Chinnintamma, Devas, Dyaush, Gauri-Sankar, Grhadevi, Gujeswari, Indra, Kali, Lohasur Devi, Mayavel, Mitra, Prajapati, Puchan, Purandhi, Rakshas, Rudrani, Rumina, Samundra, Sarasvati, Savitar, Siva (Shiva), Soma, Sura, Surabhi, Tulsi, Ushas, Vata, Visvamitra, Vivasvat, Vritra, Waghai Devi, Yaparamma, Yayu, Zumiang Nui, Diti

          Other Asian: (31)
          Dewi Shri, Po Yan Dari, Shuzanghu, Antaboga, Yakushi Nyorai, Mulhalmoni, Tankun, Yondung Halmoni, Aryong Jong, Quan Yin , Tengri, Uminai-gami, Kamado-No-Kami, Kunitokotatchi, Giri Devi, Dewi Nawang Sasih, Brag-srin-mo, Samanta-Bhadra, Sangs-rgyas-mkhá, Sengdroma, Sgeg-mo-ma, Tho-og, Ui Tango, Yum-chen-mo, Zas-ster-ma-dmar-mo, Chandra, Dyaus, Ratri, Rodasi, Vayu, Au-Co

          African: 250 Gods, Demigods and First Men
          Abassi , Abuk , Adu Ogyinae , Agé , Agwe , Aida Wedo , Ajalamo, Aje, Ajok, Akonadi, Akongo, Akuj, Amma, Anansi, Asase Yaa, Ashiakle, Atai , Ayaba, Aziri, Baatsi, Bayanni, Bele Alua, Bomo rambi, Bosumabla, Buk, Buku, Bumba, Bunzi, Buruku, Cagn, Candit, Cghene, Coti, Damballah-Wedo, Dan, Deng, Domfe, Dongo, Edinkira, Efé, Egungun-oya, Eka Abassi, Elephant Girl Mbombe, Emayian, Enekpe, En-Kai, Eseasar, Eshu, Esu, Fa, Faran, Faro, Fatouma, Fidi Mukullu, Fon, Gleti, Gonzuole, Gû, Gua, Gulu, Gunab, Hammadi, Hêbiesso, Iku, Ilankaka, Imana, Iruwa, Isaywa, Juok, Kazooba, Khakaba, Khonvum, Kibuka, Kintu, Lebé, Leza, Libanza, Lituolone, Loko, Marwe, Massim Biambe, Mawu-Lisa (Leza), Mboze, Mebeli, Minepa, Moombi, Mukameiguru, Mukasa, Muluku, Mulungu, Mwambu, Nai, Nambi, Nana Buluku, Nanan-Bouclou, Nenaunir, Ng Ai, Nyaliep, Nyambé, Nyankopon, Nyasaye, Nzame, Oboto, Obumo, Odudua-Orishala, Ogun, Olokun, Olorun, Orisha Nla, Orunmila, Osanyin, Oshe, Osun, Oya, Phebele, Pokot-Suk, Ralubumbha, Rugaba, Ruhanga, Ryangombe, Sagbata, Shagpona, Shango, Sopona, Tano, Thixo, Tilo, Tokoloshi, Tsui, Tsui’goab, Umvelinqangi, Unkulunkulu, Utixo, Wak, Wamara, Wantu Su, Wele, Were, Woto, Xevioso, Yangombi, Yemonja, Ymoa, Ymoja, Yoruba, Zambi, Zanahary , Zinkibaru

          Australian: 93 Gods, Goddesses and Places in the Dreamtime
          Alinga, Anjea, Apunga, Arahuta, Ariki, Arohirohi, Bamapana, Banaitja, Bara, Barraiya, Biame, Bila, Boaliri, Bobbi-bobbi, Bunbulama, Bunjil, Cunnembeille, Daramulum, Dilga, Djanggawul Sisters, Eingana, Erathipa, Gidja , Gnowee, Haumia, Hine Titama, Ingridi, Julana, Julunggul, Junkgowa, Karora, Kunapipi-Kalwadi-Kadjara, Lia, Madalait, Makara, Nabudi, Palpinkalare, Papa, Rangi, Rongo, Tane, Tangaroa, Tawhiri-ma-tea, Tomituka, Tu, Ungamilia, Walo, Waramurungundi, Wati Kutjarra, Wawalag Sisters, Wuluwaid, Wuragag, Wuriupranili, Wurrunna, Yhi

          Buddhism: 10 Gods and Relatives of God
          Aizen-Myoo, Ajima,Dai-itoku-Myoo, Fudo-Myoo, Gozanze-Myoo, Gundari-Myoo, Hariti, Kongo-Myoo, Kujaku-Myoo, Ni-O

          Carribean: 62 Gods, Monsters and Vodun Spirits
          Agaman Nibo , Agwe, Agweta, Ah Uaynih, Aida Wedo , Atabei , Ayida , Ayizan, Azacca, Baron Samedi, Ulrich, Ellegua, Ogun, Ochosi, Chango, Itaba, Amelia, Christalline, Clairmé, Clairmeziné, Coatrischie, Damballah , Emanjah, Erzuli, Erzulie, Ezili, Ghede, Guabancex, Guabonito, Guamaonocon, Imanje, Karous, Laloue-diji, Legba, Loa, Loco, Maitresse Amelia , Mapiangueh, Marie-aimée, Marinette, Mombu, Marassa, Nana Buruku, Oba, Obtala, Ochu, Ochumare, Oddudua, Ogoun, Olokum, Olosa, Oshun, Oya, Philomena, Sirêne, The Diablesse, Itaba, Tsilah, Ursule, Vierge, Yemaya , Zaka

          Celtic: 166 Gods, Goddesses, Divine Kings and Pagan Saints
          Abarta, Abna, Abnoba, Aine, Airetech,Akonadi, Amaethon, Ameathon, An Cailleach, Andraste, Antenociticus, Aranrhod, Arawn, Arianrod, Artio, Badb,Balor, Banbha, Becuma, Belatucadros, Belatu-Cadros, Belenus, Beli,Belimawr, Belinus, Bendigeidfran, Bile, Blathnat, Blodeuwedd, Boann, Bodus,Bormanus, Borvo, Bran, Branwen, Bres, Brigid, Brigit, Caridwen, Carpantus,Cathbadh, Cecht, Cernach, Cernunnos, Cliodna, Cocidius, Conchobar, Condatis, Cormac,Coronus,Cosunea, Coventina, Crarus,Creidhne, Creirwy, Cu Chulainn, Cu roi, Cuda, Cuill,Cyhiraeth,Dagda, Damona, Dana, Danu, D’Aulnoy,Dea Artio, Deirdre , Dewi, Dian, Diancecht, Dis Pater, Donn, Dwyn, Dylan, Dywel,Efnisien, Elatha, Epona, Eriu, Esos, Esus, Eurymedon,Fedelma, Fergus, Finn, Fodla, Goewyn, Gog, Goibhniu, Govannon , Grainne, Greine,Gwydion, Gwynn ap Nudd, Herne, Hu’Gadarn, Keltoi,Keridwen, Kernunnos,Ler, Lir, Lleu Llaw Gyffes, Lludd, Llyr, Llywy, Luchta, Lug, Lugh,Lugus, Mabinogion,Mabon, Mac Da Tho, Macha, Magog, Manannan, Manawydan, Maponos, Math, Math Ap Mathonwy, Medb, Moccos,Modron, Mogons, Morrig, Morrigan, Nabon,Nantosuelta, Naoise, Nechtan, Nedoledius,Nehalennia, Nemhain, Net,Nisien, Nodens, Noisi, Nuada, Nwywre,Oengus, Ogma, Ogmios, Oisin, Pach,Partholon, Penard Dun, Pryderi, Pwyll, Rhiannon, Rosmerta, Samhain, Segidaiacus, Sirona, Sucellus, Sulis, Taliesin, Taranis, Teutates, The Horned One,The Hunt, Treveni,Tyne, Urien, Ursula of the Silver Host, Vellaunus, Vitiris, White Lady

          Egyptian: 85 Gods, Gods Incarnate and Personified Divine Forces:
          Amaunet, Amen, Amon, Amun, Anat, Anqet, Antaios, Anubis, Anuket, Apep, Apis, Astarte, Aten, Aton, Atum, Bastet, Bat, Buto, Duamutef, Duamutef, Hapi, Har-pa-khered, Hathor, Hauhet, Heket, Horus, Huh, Imset, Isis, Kauket, Kebechsenef, Khensu, Khepri, Khnemu, Khnum, Khonsu, Kuk, Maahes, Ma’at, Mehen, Meretseger, Min, Mnewer, Mut, Naunet, Nefertem, Neith, Nekhbet, Nephthys, Nun, Nut, Osiris, Ptah, Ra , Re, Renenet, Sakhmet, Satet, Seb, Seker, Sekhmet, Serapis, Serket, Set, Seth, Shai, Shu, Shu, Sia, Sobek, Sokar, Tefnut, Tem, Thoth

          Hellenes (Greek) Tradition (540 Gods, Demigods, Divine Bastards)
          Acidalia, Aello, Aesculapius, Agathe, Agdistis, Ageleia, Aglauros, Agne, Agoraia, Agreia, Agreie, Agreiphontes, Agreus, Agrios, Agrotera, Aguieus, Aidoneus, Aigiokhos, Aigletes, Aigobolos, Ainia,Ainippe, Aithuia , Akesios, Akraia, Aktaios, Alalkomene, Alasiotas, Alcibie, Alcinoe, Alcippe, Alcis,Alea, Alexikakos, Aligena, Aliterios, Alkaia, Amaltheia, Ambidexter, Ambologera, Amynomene,Anaduomene, Anaea, Anax, Anaxilea, Androdameia,Andromache, Andromeda, Androphonos, Anosia, Antandre,Antania, Antheus, Anthroporraistes, Antianara, Antianeira, Antibrote, Antimache, Antimachos, Antiope,Antiopeia, Aoide, Apatouria, Aphneius, Aphrodite, Apollo, Apotropaios, Areia, Areia, Areion, Areopagite, Ares, Areto, Areximacha,Argus, Aridnus,Aristaios, Aristomache, Arkhegetes, Arktos, Arretos, Arsenothelys, Artemis, Asclepius, Asklepios, Aspheleios, Asteria, Astraeos , Athene, Auxites, Avaris, Axios, Axios Tauros,Bakcheios, Bakchos, Basileus, Basilis, Bassareus, Bauros, Boophis, Boreas , Botryophoros, Boukeros, Boulaia, Boulaios, Bremusa,Bromios, Byblis,Bythios, Caliope, Cedreatis, Celaneo, centaur, Cerberus, Charidotes, Charybdis, Chimera, Chloe, Chloris , Choreutes, Choroplekes, Chthonios, Clete, Clio, clotho,Clyemne, cockatrice, Crataeis, Custos, Cybebe, Cybele, Cyclops, Daphnaia, Daphnephoros, Deianeira, Deinomache, Delia, Delios, Delphic, Delphinios, Demeter, Dendrites, Derimacheia,Derinoe, Despoina, Dikerotes, Dimeter, Dimorphos, Dindymene, Dioktoros, Dionysos, Discordia, Dissotokos, Dithyrambos, Doris, Dryope,Echephyle,Echidna, Eiraphiotes, Ekstatophoros, Eleemon, Eleuthereus, Eleutherios, Ennosigaios, Enodia, Enodios, Enoplios, Enorches, Enualios, Eos , Epaine, Epidotes, Epikourios, Epipontia, Epitragidia, Epitumbidia, Erato, Ergane, Eribromios, Erigdoupos, Erinus, Eriobea, Eriounios, Eriphos, Eris, Eros,Euanthes, Euaster, Eubouleus, Euboulos, Euios, Eukhaitos, Eukleia, Eukles, Eumache, Eunemos, Euplois, Euros , Eurybe,Euryleia, Euterpe, Fates,Fortuna, Gaia, Gaieokhos, Galea, Gamelia, Gamelios, Gamostolos, Genetor, Genetullis, Geryon, Gethosynos, giants, Gigantophonos, Glaukopis, Gorgons, Gorgopis, Graiae, griffin, Gynaikothoinas, Gynnis, Hagisilaos, Hagnos, Haides, Harmothoe, harpy, Hegemone, Hegemonios, Hekate, Hekatos, Helios, Hellotis, Hephaistia, Hephaistos, Hera, Heraios, Herakles, Herkeios, Hermes, Heros Theos, Hersos, Hestia, Heteira, Hiksios, Hipp, Hippia, Hippios, Hippoi Athanatoi, Hippolyte, Hippolyte II,Hippomache,Hippothoe, Horkos, Hugieia, Hupatos, Hydra, Hypate, Hyperborean, Hypsipyle, Hypsistos, Iakchos, Iatros, Idaia, Invictus, Iphito,Ismenios, Ismenus,Itonia, Kabeiria, Kabeiroi, Kakia, Kallinikos, Kallipugos, Kallisti, Kappotas, Karneios, Karpophoros, Karytis, Kataibates, Katakhthonios, Kathatsios, Keladeine, Keraunos, Kerykes, Khalinitis, Khalkioikos, Kharmon, Khera, Khloe, Khlori,Khloris,Khruse, Khthonia, Khthonios, Kidaria, Kissobryos, Kissokomes, Kissos, Kitharodos, Kleidouchos, Kleoptoleme, Klymenos, Kore, Koruthalia, Korymbophoros, Kourotrophos, Kranaia, Kranaios, Krataiis, Kreousa, Kretogenes, Kriophoros, Kronides, Kronos,Kryphios, Ktesios, Kubebe, Kupris, Kuprogenes, Kurotrophos, Kuthereia, Kybele, Kydoime,Kynthia, Kyrios, Ladon, Lakinia, Lamia, Lampter, Laodoke, Laphria, Lenaios, Leukatas, Leukatas, Leukolenos, Leukophruene, Liknites, Limenia, Limnaios, Limnatis, Logios, Lokhia, Lousia, Loxias, Lukaios, Lukeios, Lyaios, Lygodesma, Lykopis, Lyseus, Lysippe, Maimaktes, Mainomenos, Majestas, Makar, Maleatas, Manikos, Mantis, Marpe, Marpesia, Medusa, Megale, Meilikhios, Melaina, Melainis, Melanaigis, Melanippe,Melete, Melousa, Melpomene, Melqart, Meses, Mimnousa, Minotaur, Mneme, Molpadia,Monogenes, Morpho, Morychos, Musagates, Musagetes, Nebrodes, Nephelegereta, Nereus,Nete, Nike, Nikephoros, Nomios, Nomius, Notos , Nyktelios, Nyktipolos, Nympheuomene, Nysios, Oiketor, Okyale, Okypous, Olumpios, Omadios, Ombrios, Orithia,Orius,Ortheia, Orthos, Ourania, Ourios, Paelemona, Paian, Pais, Palaios, Pallas, Pan Megas, Panakhais, Pandemos, Pandrosos, Pantariste, Parthenos, PAsianax, Pasiphaessa, Pater, Pater, Patroo s, Pegasus, Pelagia, Penthesilea, Perikionios, Persephone, Petraios, Phanes, Phanter, Phatria, Philios, Philippis, Philomeides, Phoebe, Phoebus, Phoenix, Phoibos, Phosphoros, Phratrios, Phutalmios, Physis, Pisto, Plouton, Polemusa,Poliakhos, Polias, Polieus, Polumetis, Polydektes, Polygethes, Polymnia, Polymorphos, Polyonomos, Porne, Poseidon, Potnia Khaos, Potnia Pheron, Promakhos, Pronoia, Propulaios, Propylaia, Proserpine, Prothoe, Protogonos, Prytaneia, Psychopompos, Puronia, Puthios, Pyrgomache, Python, Rhea, Sabazios, Salpinx, satyr, Saxanus, Scyleia,Scylla, sirens, Skeptouchos, Smintheus, Sophia, Sosipolis, Soter, Soteria, Sphinx, Staphylos, Sthenias, Sthenios, Strife, Summakhia, Sykites, Syzygia, Tallaios, Taureos, Taurokeros, Taurophagos, Tauropolos, Tauropon, Tecmessa, Teisipyte, Teleios, Telepyleia,Teletarches, Terpsichore, Thalestris, Thalia, The Dioskouroi, Theos, Theritas, Thermodosa, Thraso, Thyonidas, Thyrsophoros, Tmolene, Toxaris, Toxis, Toxophile,Trevia, Tricephalus, Trieterikos, Trigonos, Trismegestos, Tritogeneia, Tropaios, Trophonius,Tumborukhos, Tyche, Typhon, Urania, Valasca, Xanthippe, Xenios, Zagreus, Zathos, Zephryos , Zeus, Zeus Katakhthonios, Zoophoros

          Native American: 711 Gods, Heroes, and Anthropomorphized Facets of Nature
          Aakuluujjusi, Ab Kin zoc, Abaangui , Ababinili , Ac Yanto, Acan, Acat, Achiyalatopa , Acna, Acolmiztli, Acolnahuacatl, Acuecucyoticihuati, Adamisil Wedo, Adaox , Adekagagwaa , Adlet , Adlivun, Agloolik , Aguara , Ah Bolom Tzacab, Ah Cancum, Ah Chun Caan, Ah Chuy Kak, Ah Ciliz, Ah Cun Can, Ah Cuxtal, Ah hulneb, Ah Kin, Ah Kumix Uinicob, Ah Mun, Ah Muzencab, Ah Patnar Uinicob, Ah Peku, Ah Puch, Ah Tabai, Ah UincirDz’acab, Ah Uuc Ticab, Ah Wink-ir Masa, Ahau Chamahez, Ahau-Kin, Ahmakiq, Ahnt Alis Pok’, Ahnt Kai’, Aholi , Ahsonnutli , Ahuic, Ahulane, Aiauh, Aipaloovik , Ajbit, Ajilee , Ajtzak, Akbaalia , Akba-atatdia , Akhlut , Akhushtal, Akna , Akycha, Alaghom Naom Tzentel, Albino Spirit animals , Alektca , Alignak, Allanque , Allowat Sakima , Alom, Alowatsakima , Amaguq , Amala , Amimitl, Amitolane, Amotken , Andaokut , Andiciopec , Anerneq , Anetlacualtiliztli, Angalkuq , Angpetu Wi, Anguta, Angwusnasomtaka , Ani Hyuntikwalaski , Animal spirits , Aningan, Aniwye , Anog Ite , Anpao, Apanuugak , Apicilnic , Apikunni , Apotamkin , Apoyan Tachi , Apozanolotl, Apu Punchau, Aqalax , Arendiwane , Arnakua’gsak , Asdiwal , Asgaya Gigagei, Asiaq , Asin , Asintmah, Atacokai , Atahensic, Aticpac Calqui Cihuatl, Atira, Atisokan , Atius Tirawa , Atl, Atlacamani, Atlacoya, Atlatonin, Atlaua, Atshen , Auilix, Aulanerk , Aumanil , Aunggaak , Aunt Nancy , Awaeh Yegendji , Awakkule , Awitelin Tsta , Awonawilona, Ayauhteotl, Azeban, Baaxpee , Bacabs, Backlum Chaam, Bagucks , Bakbakwalanooksiwae , Balam, Baldhead , Basamacha , Basket Woman , Bead Spitter , Bear , Bear Medicine Woman , Bear Woman , Beaver , Beaver Doctor , Big Heads, Big Man Eater , Big Tail , Big Twisted Flute , Bikeh hozho, Bitol, Black Hactcin , Black Tamanous , Blind Boy , Blind Man , Blood Clot Boy , Bloody Hand , Blue-Jay , Bmola , Bolontiku, Breathmaker, Buffalo , Buluc Chabtan, Burnt Belly , Burnt Face , Butterfly , Cabaguil, Cacoch, Cajolom, Cakulha, Camaxtli, Camozotz, Cannibal Grandmother , Cannibal Woman , Canotila , Capa , Caprakan, Ca-the-ña, Cauac, Centeotl, Centzonuitznaua, Cetan , Chac Uayab Xoc, Chac, Chahnameed , Chakwaina Okya, Chalchihuitlicue, Chalchiuhtlatonal, Chalchiutotolin, Chalmecacihuilt, Chalmecatl, Chamer, Changing Bear Woman , Changing Woman , Chantico, Chaob, Charred Body , Chepi , Chibiabos ,Chibirias, Chiccan, Chicomecoatl, Chicomexochtli, Chiconahui, Chiconahuiehecatl, Chie, Child-Born-in-Jug , Chirakan, Chulyen , Cihuacoatl, Cin-an-ev , Cinteotl, Cipactli, Cirapé , Cit Chac Coh, Cit-Bolon-Tum, Citlalatonac, Citlalicue, Ciucoatl, Ciuteoteo, Cizin, Cliff ogre , Coatlicue, Cochimetl, Cocijo, Colel Cab, Colop U Uichkin, Copil, Coyolxauhqui, Coyopa, Coyote , Cripple Boy , Crow , Crow Woman , Cum hau, Cunawabi , Dagwanoenyent , Dahdahwat , Daldal , Deohako, Dhol , Diyin dine , Djien , Djigonasee , Dohkwibuhch , Dzalarhons , Dzalarhons, Eagentci , Eagle , Earth Shaman , Eeyeekalduk , Ehecatl, Ehlaumel , Eithinoha , Ekchuah, Enumclaw , Eototo, Esaugetuh Emissee , Esceheman, Eschetewuarha, Estanatlehi , Estasanatlehi , Estsanatlehi, Evaki, Evening Star, Ewah , Ewauna, Face , Faces of the Forests , False Faces , Famine , Fastachee , Fire Dogs , First Creator , First Man and First Woman, First Scolder , Flint Man , Flood , Flower Woman , Foot Stuck Child , Ga’an, Ga-gaah , Gahe, Galokwudzuwis , Gaoh, Gawaunduk, Geezhigo-Quae, Gendenwitha, Genetaska, Ghanan, Gitche Manitou, Glispa, Glooskap , Gluscabi , Gluskab , Gluskap, Godasiyo, Gohone , Great Seahouse, Greenmantle , Gucumatz, Gukumatz, Gunnodoyak, Gyhldeptis, Ha Wen Neyu , Hacauitz , Hacha’kyum, Hagondes , Hahgwehdiyu , Hamatsa , Hamedicu, Hanghepi Wi, Hantceiitehi , Haokah , Hastseoltoi, Hastshehogan , He’mask.as , Hen, Heyoka , Hiawatha , Hino, Hisakitaimisi, Hokhokw , Hotoru, Huehuecoyotl, Huehueteotl, Huitaca , Huitzilopochtli, Huixtocihuatl, Hummingbird, Hun hunahpu, Hun Pic Tok, Hunab Ku, Hunahpu Utiu, Hunahpu, Hunahpu-Gutch, Hunhau, Hurakan, Iatiku And Nautsiti, Ich-kanava , Ictinike , Idliragijenget , Idlirvirisong, Igaluk , Ignirtoq , Ikanam , Iktomi , Ilamatecuhtli, Illapa, Ilya p’a, i’noGo tied , Inti, Inua , Ioskeha , Ipalnemohuani, Isakakate, Ishigaq , Isitoq , Issitoq , Ite , Itzamná, Itzananohk`u, Itzlacoliuhque, Itzli, Itzpapalotl, Ix Chebel Yax, Ixbalanque, Ixchel, Ixchup, Ixmucane, Ixpiyacoc, Ixtab, Ixtlilton, Ixtubtin, Ixzaluoh, Iya , Iyatiku , Iztaccihuatl, Iztacmixcohuatl, Jaguar Night, Jaguar Quitze, Jogah , Kaakwha , Kabun , Kabun , Kachinas, Kadlu , Ka-Ha-Si , Ka-Ha-Si , Kaik , Kaiti , Kan, Kana’ti and Selu , Kanati, Kan-u-Uayeyab, Kan-xib-yui, Kapoonis , Katsinas, Keelut , Ketchimanetowa, Ketq Skwaye, Kianto, Kigatilik , Kilya, K’in, Kinich Ahau, Kinich Kakmo, Kishelemukong , Kisin, Kitcki Manitou, Kmukamch , Kokopelli , Ko’lok , Kukulcan, Kushapatshikan , Kutni , Kutya’I , Kwakwakalanooksiwae ,Kwatee , Kwekwaxa’we , Kwikumat , Kyoi , Lagua , Land Otter People , Lawalawa , Logobola , Loha, Lone Man , Long Nose , Loon , Loon Medicine , Loon Woman , Loo-wit, Macaw Woman, Macuilxochitl, Maho Peneta, Mahucutah, Makenaima , Malesk , Malina , Malinalxochi, Malsum, Malsumis , Mam, Mama Cocha, Man in moon , Manabozho , Manetuwak , Mani’to, Manitou , Mannegishi , Manu, Masaya, Masewi , Master of Life , Master Of Winds, Matshishkapeu , Mavutsinim , Mayahuel, Medeoulin , Mekala , Menahka, Meteinuwak , Metztli, Mexitl, Michabo, Mictecacihuatl, Mictlan, Mictlantecuhtli, Mikchich , Mikumwesu , Mitnal, Mixcoatl, Mongwi Kachinum , Morning Star, Motho and Mungo , Mulac, Muut , Muyingwa , Nacon, Nagenatzani, Nagi Tanka , Nagual, Nahual, Nakawé, Nanabojo, Nanabozho , Nanabush, Nanahuatzin, Nanautzin, Nanih Waiya, Nankil’slas , Nanook , Naum, Negafook , Nerrivik , Nesaru, Nianque , Nishanu , Nohochacyum, Nokomis, Nootaikok , North Star, Nujalik , Nukatem , Nunne Chaha , Ocasta, Ockabewis, Odzihozo , Ohtas , Oklatabashih, Old Man , Olelbis, Omacatl, Omecihuatl, Ometecuhtli, Onatha , One Tail of Clear Hair , Oonawieh Unggi , Opochtli, Oshadagea, Owl Woman , Pah , Pah, Paiowa, Pakrokitat , Pana , Patecatl, Pautiwa, Paynal, Pemtemweha , Piasa , Pikváhahirak , Pinga , Pomola , Pot-tilter , Prairie Falcon , Ptehehincalasanwin , Pukkeenegak , Qaholom, Qakma, Qiqirn , Quaoar , Quetzalcoatl, Qumu , Quootis-hooi, Rabbit, Ragno, Raven, Raw Gums , Rukko, Sagamores , Sagapgia , Sanopi , Saynday , Sedna, Selu, Shakuru, Sharkura, Shilup Chito Osh, Shrimp house, Sila , Sint Holo , Sio humis, Sisiutl , Skan , Snallygaster , Sosondowah , South Star, Spider Woman , Sta-au , Stonecoats , Sun, Sungrey , Ta Tanka , Tabaldak , Taime , Taiowa , Talocan, Tans , Taqwus , Tarhuhyiawahku, Tarquiup Inua , Tate , Tawa, Tawiscara, Ta’xet , Tcisaki , Tecciztecatl, Tekkeitserktock, Tekkeitsertok , Telmekic , Teoyaomqui, Tepeu, Tepeyollotl, Teteoinnan, Tezcatlipoca, Thobadestchin, Thoume’, Thunder , Thunder Bird , Tieholtsodi, Tihtipihin , Tirawa , Tirawa Atius, Tlacolotl, Tlahuixcalpantecuhtli, Tlaloc, Tlaltecuhtli, Tlauixcalpantecuhtli, Tlazolteotl, Tohil, Tokpela ,Tonantzin , Tonatiuh, To’nenile, Tonenili , Tootega , Torngasak, Torngasoak , Trickster/Transformer , True jaguar, Tsentsa, Tsichtinako, Tsohanoai Tsonoqwa , Tsul ‘Kalu , Tulugaak , Tumas , Tunkan ingan, Turquoise Boy , Twin Thunder Boys, Txamsem , Tzakol, Tzitzimime, Uazzale , Uchtsiti, Udó , Uentshukumishiteu , Ueuecoyotl, Ugly Way , Ugni , Uhepono , Uitzilopochtli, Ukat , Underwater Panthers , Unhcegila , Unipkaat , Unk, Unktomi , Untunktahe , Urcaguary, Utea , Uwashil , Vassagijik , Voltan, Wabosso , Wabun , Wachabe, Wah-Kah-Nee, Wakan , Wakanda , Wakan-Tanka, Wakinyan , Wan niomi , Wanagi , Wananikwe , Watavinewa , Water babies , Waukheon , We-gyet , Wemicus , Wendigo , Wentshukumishiteu , White Buffalo Woman, Whope , Wi , Wicahmunga , Wihmunga , Windigo, Winonah, Wisagatcak , Wisagatcak, Wishpoosh , Wiyot , Wovoka , Wuya , Xaman Ek, Xelas , Xibalba, Xilonen, Xipe Totec, Xiuhcoatl, Xiuhtecuhtli, Xiuhtecutli, Xmucane, Xochipili , Xochiquetzal, Xocotl, Xolotl, Xpiyacoc, Xpuch And Xtah, Yacatecuhtli, Yaluk, Yanauluha , Ya-o-gah , Yeba Ka, Yebaad, Yehl , Yeitso, Yiacatecuhtli, Yolkai Estsan, Yoskeha , Yum Kaax, Yuwipi , Zaramama, Zipaltonal, Zotz

          Norse, 111 Deities, Giants and Monsters:
          Aegir, Aesir, Alfrigg, Audumbla, Aurgelmir, Balder, Berchta, Bergelmir, Bor, Bragi, Brisings, Buri, Etin, Fenris, Forseti, Frey, Freyja, Frigga, Gefion, Gerda, Gode, Gymir, Harke, Heimdall, Hel, Hermod, Hodur, Holda, Holle, Honir, Hymir, Idun, Jormungandr, Ljolsalfs, Loki, Magni, Mimir, Mistarblindi, Muspel, Nanna, Nanni, Nerthus, Njord, Norns, Odin, Perchta, Ran, Rig, Segyn, Sif, Skadi, Skirnir, Skuld, Sleipnir, Surt, Svadilfari, tanngniotr, tanngrisnr, Thiassi, Thor, Thrud, Thrudgelmir, Thrym, Thurs, Tyr, Uller, Urd, Vali, Vali, Valkyries, Vanir, Ve, Verdandi, Vidar, Wode, Ymir

          Pacific islands: 99 Deities, Demigods and Immortal Monsters:

          Abeguwo, Abere, Adaro, Afekan, Ai Tupua’i, ‘Aiaru, Ala Muki, Alalahe, Alii Menehune, Aluluei, Aruaka, Asin, Atanea, Audjal, Aumakua, Babamik, Bakoa, Barong, Batara Kala, Buring Une, Darago, Dayang-Raca, De Ai, Dogai, Enda Semangko, Faumea, Giriputri, Goga, Haumea, Hiiaka’, Hina, Hine, Hoa-Tapu, ‘Imoa, Io, Kanaloa, Kanaloa, Kane, Kapo, Kava, Konori, Ku, Kuhuluhulumanu, Kuklikimoku, Kukoae, Ku’ula, Laka, Laulaati, Lono, Mahiuki, MakeMake, Marruni, Maru, Maui, Melu, Menehune, Moeuhane, MOO-LAU, Ndauthina, Ne Te-reere, Nevinbimbaau, Ngendei, Nobu, Oro, Ove, Paka’a, Papa, Pele, Quat, Rangi, Rati, Rati-mbati-ndua, Ratu-Mai-Mbula, Rua, Ruahatu, Saning Sri, Ta’aroa, Taaroa, Tamakaia, Tane, Tanemahuta, Tangaroa, Tawhaki, Tiki, Tinirau, Tu, Tuli, Turi-a-faumea, Uira, Ukupanipo, Ulupoka, Umboko Indra, Vanuatu, Wahini-Hal, Walutahanga, Wari-Ma-Te-Takere, Whaitiri, Whatu, Wigan

          South American: 53 Deities, Demigods, Beings of Divine Substance:

          Abaangui, Aclla, Akewa, Asima Si, Atoja, Auchimalgen, Axomama, Bachué, Beru, Bochica, Boiuna, Calounger, Catequil, Cavillaca, Ceiuci, Chasca, Chie, Cocomama, Gaumansuri, Huitaca, Iae, Ilyap’a, Ina, Inti, Ituana, Jamaina , Jandira, Jarina, Jubbu-jang-sangne, Ka-ata-killa, Kilya, Kuat, Kun, Luandinha, Lupi, Mama Allpa, Mama Quilla, Mamacocha, Manco Capac, Maret-Jikky, Maretkhmakniam, Mariana, Oshossi, Pachamac, Pachamama, Perimbó, Rainha Barba, Si, Supai, Topétine, Viracocha, Yemanja (Imanje), Zume Topana

        • Mark Hamilton

          I agree that there would be no point in shouting that unicorns don’t exist if you weren’t actually trying to claim anything about the existance of unicorns. It would be perplexing indeed. And that is certianly a very long list of deities that you don’t deny exist. I didn’t realize you were such a religious man! I do claim that they don’t exist, in that I claim that only God (in the Christian conception) exists. It’s funny that you, an athiest, don’t.

          But really, why all this fear about claiming something about the universe? What’s to worry about? Are you afraid that if you admit that you have certian beliefs about how things work that they’ll cease to be true? Don’t be so uptight. Everyone makes claims about the world. Even the most out of touch braindead stoners who only care about their next fix make claims about the world: claims like “water is wet” (an excellent claim, well supported, that) or that “drugs are awesome” (a much more debatable claim, but a claim nevertheless). Why do you insist on claiming that you have no claims? I know you’re not afraid that you might be wrong, so it can’t be that. We may need to consult a psychologist on this: he could write a book about it: “The Man Who Refused to Claim Anything About Anything”. It could be a bestseller, though the title needs some work, I admit.

        • john zande

          Great! You do claim they don’t exist, excellent! Mark, could you precisely detail here your method for dismissing all these gods with 100% certainty and I promise i’ll use that EXACT SAME METHOD to dismiss yours.

          In bullet-point will be fine….

        • Mark Hamilton

          Oh I don’t have 100% certainty. There aren’t many things in this world you can have 100% certainty on, other than “I think therefore I am.” But I’m fairly certain. I believe that there is one God because I have fairly good reason to believe that there must be at least one god somewhere who is responsible for the creation of the mind and to serve as the foundation of morality. You can argue that a god is not necessary in either of these cases, but we’ll just have to disagree on that for the moment. Now the question is which God or gods are real. I believe from my own experiences and from reason (though not unassailable reason, I admit) that the god who created our minds would have reason to be concerned with us, and that humanity has a natural longing for fellowship with this god. It seems very reasonable that at least one of the great religions are correct, at least in part if not whole. However they appear to be contradictory to each other, so I can’t choose to believe them all. After a lifetime of investigation and a great deal of research I believe that Christianity is the most likely to be correct. It seems to me to fit best with reality. Though I do not reject that many of these gods may have their origins in supernatural beings, I believe that there is only one “God” god. So I can dismiss the other gods as being extremely unlikely to exist based on the conceptual framework that I find most likely to be accurate.

          I admit that the fact that I was born into a Christian family does cause me some worry that I may be unfairly biased. However, considering that two thirds of humanity identifies as Christian, I can hardly be blamed that my birth occurred in a Christian home. Also I’ve heard the testimony of hundreds of individuals who were born into families that were atheist, agnostic, pagan, Jewish, or other, who became convinced later in life that the Christian conceptual framework was the best, which gives me some comfort.

          That’s it in summary. The exact reasons why I find my framework so accurate would take a book. I don’t really care whether you dismiss my god or not, but I do want to know what you believe in. What is your conceptual framework? I’ve laid the bones of mine on the table and you’re free to shoot them up with as many criticisms as you can muster (probably laced with insults, which I don’t care for, but it’s a free country). It would be kind of cowardly for you to refrain from laying out your own for possible criticism in kind.

        • john zande

          “two thirds of humanity identifies as Christian”

          Have you lost your mind or something? Try about 22%, and that number is decreasing fast, as you well know. Figures thrown out by the Catholic church, for example, are pure bunk. There are no dis-enrollment forms. I, for example, am still counted as a Catholic.

          Go look up The Clergy Project. In its first 2 years it now has over 550 former priests and pastors who no-longer believe in supernatural nonsense… and that’s just the captains of Christianity who’ve actually “come out,” so to speak. Yours is a dying religion, kept afloat only by growth in third world nations.

        • Debilis

          Actually, he is.

          He’s claiming that theistic approaches to life are less likely to be true than secular approaches to life. He does so on the grounds that, according to him, there is no evidence in support of theism.

          I’ve essentially asked him what evidence he had for his view that is, according to him, more likely to be true than theism.

          So far, I’ve received quite a few demands that secular views don’t need to be defended. But I should think that if there were evidence in support of them, people would simply present it.

        • john zande

          I still don’t have a clue what you’re asking for.

        • Debilis

          As you are a human being living on Earth, I assume than you have a set of working answers to questions like “what is morality?” and “how does one find meaning in life?”.

          As those answers are your secular alternative to religion, I was asking for some evidence in support of them.

        • john zande

          Why should you assume that? I understand what is right and what is wrong and i act accordingly. I understand if i steal society suffers, and if society suffers then so do I.

          Have you looked into the quite remarkable recent studies into complex chimp empathy?

          Now, you haven’t answered my question: how would your world change if you suddenly had to accept the Middle Eastern god you believe in was nothing but human mythology. What would honestly change in your life? How, if at all, would your behaviour be altered?

          Could you please provide examples and explanations, please.

        • Debilis

          You seem to be giving me what you say I shouldn’t assume you have.

          Here, you seem to be affirming that morality is simply looking out for one’s self, but with a sense of forethought.

          I don’t see any evidence that this is all that morality is. And to be clear, I’m talking about morality, not empathy. Conflating the two is where people seem to think that anthropological studies answer this question.

          That is a completely different question. But I did just answer it in a previous comment: it would depend on which secular view of morality and meaning in life had the best support.

          So far, I haven’t seen any, so it’s hard to say. But I support that nihilism makes more sense to me than the unreflectively sentimental relativism that’s trendy right now.

          I hope these are good enough answers. But I am suddenly curious, are you arguing that, if my behavior doesn’t change, that therefore God doesn’t exist?

          That seems odd, at best, but I can’t think of any other reason to bring this up (multiple times) on a topic about secular worldviews.

        • john zande

          Well yes. Looking out for others does serve one’s self interest. That’s how society works. My doing right is, ultimately, selfish. I benefit. There is a reward for the behaviour: a predictable, functioning, (generally) safe society. Of course, no one thinks it through in this detail when acting. It’s learned behaviour.

          I’m saying your behaviour wouldn’t change one bit. Well, I hope your behaviour wouldn’t change. If the only reason you weren’t out murdering people was because your father had instilled in you a fear of gawd then you’re a mentally unstable sociopath and should be in gaol; removed from society.

          Your thoughts on the monkeys?

        • Debilis

          Personally, I’m not convinced that helping others is always personally beneficial. Most of the time? Yes. Always? I’d need to see some evidence for that.

          Personally, I don’t know how you know that my behavior wouldn’t change. I’ve met psychologists who know me better than you who would not make that claim.

          And who says I had a “fear of God” instilled in me? I don’t remember that being the case. And, for the record, my father isn’t a Christian.

          I point this out to, hopefully, slow down a little bit of the armchair psychologizing. The real point is that this has nothing to do with the moral argument. Whatever might happen to my behavior really is irrelevant.

          In fact, you make an interesting concession with the phrase “unless you are a sociopath”. Sociopaths have no personal, irrational, evidence-free reasons to behave morally. As such, a moral system based on evidence and reason should persuade an open-minded sociopath that he/she should do the right thing even when it isn’t in his/her own best interests.

          But you seem to agree that secular views of morality fail to do this–they require that non-rational decision making.

          In fact, my best friend’s uncle is a high-functioning sociopath. And everyone who knows him agrees that he became a better person once he became religious (Christian, to be a touch more specific). He says directly that it was because he now has a rational reason to be moral–rather than an appeal to emotions that he doesn’t feel.

          And these are my “thoughts on the monkeys”. Yes, most of us have empathy–but that has nothing to do with a rational defense of moral truth–it is closer to the denial that secular morals are rational at all.

        • john zande

          I have to ask you for some clarification. What, precisely, is “secular” in, say, traffic rules, or age of consent laws? What is “secular” in the predictable motions of the tides around which fisherman, for example, base their lives? What is ” “secular” in electrical or chemical engineering?

        • Debilis

          In this context, it is the beliefs you hold that answer the same questions as religious beliefs do, and tend to run counter to them.

          More specifically, we’ve been discussing your view of morality, which is definitely secular (and definitely lacking in evidence so far).

          But I had hoped that you’d have responded to the points I made in the last comment. In particular, I think the point about sociopathy is pertinent. Some people don’t feel the emotions that you appeal to in your ethical system.

          If they don’t have a reason to follow that system, it is an appeal to emotion, not reason.

          And I’d say that they don’t–particularly with respect to doing anything particularly nice. Donating to charity, volunteering, let alone sacrificing one’s life to save others, don’t seem to be in one’s own best interests.

          As such, the secular view of ethics you’ve been discussing doesn’t provide a reason (other than an evidence-free appeal to emotion) to be a moral person.

          This is why I think it strange that those who take this view can so often be found demanding that we not accept a claim without evidence.

        • john zande

          You’re talking in circles and boring me senseless.

        • Debilis

          Then feel free to leave.

          My content is there. My challenges remain unanswered. As far as I’m concerned, I’d rather anyone who cannot answer them (whether by lacking evidence or my failing to understand the subject) not continue in conversation. That doesn’t seem to get us anywhere.

        • john zande

          Here, I was just pointed to an excellent article and will paste a section here regarding morality which i completely agree with.

          5. “If you abolish religion, nothing will stop people from killing, raping and looting.”

          No, killing, raping and looting have been common practices in religious societies, and often carried out with clerical sanction. The catalogue of notorious barbarities – wars and massacres, acts of terrorism, the Inquisition, the Crusades, the chopping off of thieves’ hands, the slicing off of clitorises and labia majora, the use of gang rape as punishment, and manifold other savageries committed in the name of one faith or another — attests to religion’s longstanding propensity to induce barbarity, or at the very least to give it free rein. The Bible and the Quran have served to justify these atrocities and more, with women and gay people suffering disproportionately. There is a reason the Middle Ages in Europe were long referred to as the Dark Ages; the millennium of theocratic rule that ended only with the Renaissance (that is, with Europe’s turn away from God toward humankind) was a violent time.

          Morality arises out of our innate desire for safety, stability and order, without which no society can function; basic moral precepts (that murder and theft are wrong, for example) antedated religion. Those who abstain from crime solely because they fear divine wrath, and not because they recognize the difference between right and wrong, are not to be lauded, much less trusted. Just which practices are moral at a given time must be a matter of rational debate. The “master-slave” ethos – obligatory obeisance to a deity — pervading the revealed religions is inimical to such debate. We need to chart our moral course as equals, or there can be no justice.

        • Debilis

          You open with a thesis (#5, apparently) which I do not support.

          I honestly have no idea why you continue to argue against this, when I’ve clarified that this is not my position. I’ve been asking for rational, logical support for morality, not motivation for the average joe on the street.

          Be careful not to conflate belief with fact: logical support for a claim vs what causes people to think it is true. (But to cut off the standard accusation that this is what theism does–the point for now is that, even if that were true, it does not excuse it here.) I’m asking for logical support and you’re giving me “but everyone believes in morality for these personal/emotional reasons”.

          Nor does attacking this straw man of the theistic support for moral truth speak to the topic.

          Whether or not it is an interesting article, it isn’t a logical defense of secular ethics. Rather, it is an attack on theism (via a straw man) coupled with a confusion between belief and fact.

          There seems to be quite a bit of talk about how important it is that beliefs be supported by evidence. So far, this doesn’t seem any better evidence than a rant about communists and nihilists, coupled with the idea that most everyone is good because (deep down) everyone has a belief in the spiritual.

          I’m not arguing of that latter position (it is not my view), but it is as well supported as what you are giving me. If that amounts to “no evidence” then so does this.

          And that is the real point. I’m trying to get some kind of idea of what you take to be legitimate evidence on questions like these. So far, I don’t see any reason to take your view as better supported than any number of theistic views.

        • Mark Hamilton

          @zande

          Sorry about that, two thirds was a typo. I meant 1/3, as about 33% is what the 2010 estimates put it at, according to secular sources (the CIA factbook and the World Religion Database, 2010 estimate).

          But is that all you have to say? I complied with your request and laid out a quick summary of what I believe, and you refrain from revealing your own conceptual framework. I put some trust in your honesty, as you did state that if I explained my method by which I deny the existance of your list of gods then you would follow suit and provide your own method for review and criticism. Apparently that trust was misplaced. After our occasional interactions, and visiting your blog, I have some respect for your intellegence (though none for your sense of manners or open mindedness). I’m afraid I’m rapidly losing all respect for your ability to keep your word, or even to be simply honest in your dealings with others. Please, prove me wrong and let us see a glimpse of your own beliefs and claims about the universe.

        • john zande

          No, I said i would use your exact method to disprove your Middle Eastern god.

        • john zande

          33% is still waaaaaay off. Again, Catholics count their number to be 2 billion, which is absolute bollocks. As I said, i’m still counted in that number. If churches ever came clean and actually released attendance details then we’d really know the truth, and i’d hazard to say it’s probably more like 15%, not 20%… and plummeting ever so quickly.

        • Mark Hamilton

          I’m still waiting for that. My exact method was to explain my conceptual framework, and why it leads me to believe that those gods do not exist. You’ve yet to give any response, but if you really wanted to respond in kind then you’d lay out your conceptual framework and why my God isn’t a part of it.

          Also, as I cited, those numbers don’t come from the Catholic church. They come from the freaking CIA and the World Relgion Database, which is affiliated with Brill (a publishing house specializing in scholarly works)and Boston University. If you believe that your own guesses are more accurate then that little respect for your intellegence I mentioned earlier may have been unfounded.

        • john zande

          Is this the same CIA who thought Saddam Hussein had Weapons of Mass Destruction?

        • john zande

          You didn’t detail a “method.” All you did was say you believed your Middle Eastern god was it. That “method” works just as well on unicorns, pipe smoking rabbits and celestial teapots.

          Sorry, but you’re going to have to up your game a tad here, lad.

        • john zande

          Oh, and as to your claim that you know of people who’ve been swayed to Christianity, do you honestly expect me to take that seriously? You’re a Christian, and evangelical, an apologist who surrounds yourself with Christians… the likelihood of meeting a few converts if pretty high.

          To counter this i would simply point you to The Clergy Project: home to over 550 priests and pastors (in just two years since it started, and growing fast) who’ve realised there is no supernatural nonsense.

        • Frank Morris

          Mark and John were referring specifically to Christianity, but belief in God as a whole is staying strong at just over 90% according to recent polls. Even some atheists reject materialism and over 70% of HS biology teachers refuse to teach fully materialistic fiction to students despite laws that mandate atheist indoctrination of our schoolchildren..

          Materialism as a whole is crumbling in the scientific community. Darwinism in particular is now being rejected by most biologists, now that induced evolution experiments have become so commonplace and so predictably purposive. Abiogenesis experiments have been going on for decades and millions of dollars later, all clumps of synthetic matter sit there lifeless. The anthropic principle has pretty much ruled out everything except theorized infinite universes.

          And don’t even get me started on quantum mechanics.

          Materialists assured us that matter and energy are all that has ever existed, yet we now know that all time, space, matter and energy were created at he same time.

          Yet all we are asking for is SOME evidence or supporting mathematical model to throw out everything we know about biology and cosmology.

          …Anything?

        • john zande

          I’m starting to think you’re just joking here. 90%, 70%… I’m afraid to say you’re going to have to present the source for these “figures.”

          Really, Evolution is in trouble is it? That’s pretty big News. Have you alerted the press?

        • Frank Morris

          jz, you have this habit of switching words that I say with words that are the opposite of what I said. Then attacking the foolishness of your own straw man.

          I did not say EVOLUTION was in trouble. I said most biologists reject DARWINISM. The Darwinian Fallacy has been rebuked by mathematics and repeatedly disproven by induced evolution experiments.

          While the media isn’t particularly alert about it, the NAS finally admits that mutations are not random and the word “random” has been stricken, despite howls from die-hard darwinists, from the newest HS science standards section on mutations, which has also dropped the false claim that copy errors can lead to functional improvements.

          Belief in God is at 90% among adult Americans…ok 92%:

          http://religions.pewforum.org/pdf/report2religious-landscape-study-key-findings.pdf

          70% of HS Biology teachers refuse to teach materialism despite wrong-headed laws mandating it… ok, 72%:

          http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/01/scopes-weeps/

        • john zande

          Now let’s look at what that section actually says:

          “For example, while more than nine-in-ten Americans
          (92%) believe in the existence of God or a universal spirit, there is considerable variation in the
          nature and certainty of this belief. Six-in-ten adults believe that God is a person with whom people
          can have a relationship; but one-in-four – including about half of Jews and Hindus – see God as
          an impersonal force. And while roughly seven-in-ten Americans say they are absolutely certain of
          God’s existence, more than one-in-five (22%) are less certain in their belief.”

          Which and what kind of god are we talking about? Certainly not 92% believing in the Middle Eastern Christian god. And for your information: i wouldn’t be proud that you live in such a backward, gullible, superstitious country. Just saying….

        • Frank Morris

          john, the poll says exactly what I said it does: that over 90% of adult Americans believe in a God or higher power. I didn’t specify anything about the Middle East so I don’t know where you pulled that from.

          Sure there are variances in the specifics and that is a healthy thing, which is to be expected. Can you name a belief with no variances whatsoever? No matter which political party you affiliate with, there is bound to be varied opinions among them as well as some who feel more or less strongly. This does not somehow mean that the entire concept of the political party of your choice is wrong.

          I highly doubt any of the many religions you named have all the answers, It was an impressive list, although the majority are probably just different languages for the same thing. Still, having different names for a deity does not prove the non-existence of a deity. Quite the contrary.

          There is only one religious belief that I reject as ridiculous: Materialistic atheism. All of the others are as likely to be correct as any other. I only know that there is such a thing as intelligent agency that can move and form matter. Each organism is an intelligent agent and some more universal intelligence created the universe. As long as a religion accepts these clear scientific facts, I can accept it as possible.

          I am not proud to live in a country where most states mandate the teaching of materialist religious fraudulence. I am proud that, despite outdated laws against science, most people reject the foolishness of materialism anyway.

          Of all the religions, the only one that can’t possibly be correct is yours.

  • Mark Hamilton

    You asked why I denied the existance of the gods you listed, and I told you. You’ve given me nothing in return except for quibblings about statistics and implying that your guesses are more accurate than CIA statistics.

    I don’t really know why I expected anything else from you. Call me guillible, I guess.

    • john zande

      You didn’t give me anything i could use. Sorry to inform you, but personal opinion doesn’t actually count as a “method.”

      Again, is this the same CIA who “calculated” that Saddam Hussein had enormous stores of Weapons of Mass Destruction, that it was a “slam dunk,” and that there was an “eminent threat of mushroom clouds over US cities”? Is this the CIA you are referring to?

      • Mark Hamilton

        I find it hard to believe that I’m bothering to argue with a man who believes that his own personal opinions about demographics are superior to both the CIA and a scholarly research project whose sole existence consists of accurately counting these things.

        Why doesn’t personal opinion count as a method? I can see you arguing that it’s a BAD method, and I don’t agree that what I gave you is personal opinion, but why can’t it be a method at all? If you believe I just gave you personal opinion then why don’t you stick to your agreement and give me your personal opinion in kind? So far all I’ve seen is what I’ve seen almost every time we’ve gone through this: someone requests that you put your own claims on the table to be examined, you insist that I put my claims on the table first, I do, and then you never cough up the goods and instead pick apart what I’ve provided, even if it’s so nitpicky as to merely be an argument about a single statistic which had little or nothing to do with the subject at hand.

        I’m afraid that a man is only as good as his word, Mr. Zande, and you appear to be the kind of person who will say anything without thought and will only fulfill your commitments as they please you. Disappointing.

        • john zande

          You still haven’t confirmed if the CIA you are talking about is the same CIA who “calculated” that Saddam Hussein had enormous stores of Weapons of Mass Destruction, that it was a “slam dunk,” and that there was an “eminent threat of mushroom clouds over US cities”?

          Are you, or are you not talking about this CIA? It’s a rather simple question: Yes, or No?

        • Mark Hamilton

          Yes, I’m talking about that CIA (and the World Religion Database, which you haven’t even mentioned: there must be a conspiricy between the two, right?). Are you implying that because the CIA provided misguided information about foreign state secrets in a highly politicized war they are incapable of compiling open statistics about identified religious orientations? And that they somehow, for reasons unknown, were competant enough to convince an indepenent scholarly organization to falisify their results so that they confirmed their own data?

          At this point I wouldn’t be too suprised if you claimed they faked the moon landing as well. I’m sure you’d prefer to argue about that as well, as long as it gives you an excuse not to keep your promises or discuss topics you’d rather avoid.

        • john zande

          “Are you implying that because the CIA provided misguided information about foreign state secrets in a highly politicized war they are incapable of compiling open statistics about identified religious orientations?”

          I don’t know, am I? Who can say how accurate or profoundly sloppy the CIA intelligence gathering is. What we can say is its certainly not great. In fact, it’s proven to be utterly atrocious. Who knows how deep this inability in compiling information stems? I for one wouldn’t trust them. Nor would I trust the Catholic church which, as i have already pointed out to you, is producing and disseminating false information regarding their numbers. So we have two sources here which have proven themselves to be HIGHLY unreliable.

          Of course, considering this is Christianity we’re talking about then one really shouldn’t be at all surprised by fudged documents. I mean, just ask Eusebius of Caesarea, or the 2nd anonymous author of Mark who added on the new ending to the gospel. Seems lying and Christianity go hand in hand.

          Now, what were we talking about?

        • Mark Hamilton

          Why do you keep bringing up the Catholic Church? I’ve never cited the Catholic Church. The only person who has brought them up is you. And you still haven’t even mentioned the World Religion Database. Tell me, why are they wrong as well? Are they all in cahoots? Why is your own “research” superior to Boston University’s?

          And you know what we were talking about. I’m still waiting for you to explain why you do or do not deny the existance of all those gods you listed. I explained why I do. Now you explain in turn. Not that I really expect you to. I predict your next comment will mention the Catholic Church, handwave the World Religion Database (if you mention it at all) and make some comment about how Christians are liars and/or are dying out completely. Prove me wrong.

        • john zande

          We’re talking about the Catholic Church because you were the one who tried to fudge the numbers concerning how many Christians there were in the world. Like you, the Catholic Church also lies, inflating their numbers to make it look more popular than what it is.

          Numbers aside. I accept your lying as something you cannot help, and forgive you.

          I know those other gods (and yours) aren’t real because 1) there has been no supernatural event recorded in all of human history, 2) no supernal influence can be inferred from any secondary observation, no earthly geological record speaks of supernatural intervention, and no examination of any biological or astronomical system has ever alluded to any “gods” agency, and 3) no god has ever emerged twice on the planet. Temporally speaking, your god, the Middle Eastern god of the Pentateuch is entirely absent from all but the last 1.25% of human history, and even after its literary debut in the 6th Century BCE failed to register as anything other than a minor Middle Eastern artistic anomaly envisaged by no other culture on the planet. It didn’t materialise independently in mainland Europe, emerge unassisted on the British Isles, or rouse a single word across the entire Far East. It inspired no one in any of the 30,000 major islands of the South Pacific, energised nothing across the African continent, stirred naught in North America, and didn’t move anything or anyone in Central or South America. No one across the vast Indian Great Plains or Russian steppes ever heard of it. No Azorean fisherman suddenly spoke of it, no Scandinavian shipwright carved its name in a stone, no Japanese mother ever thought she’d heard it speak in whispered tones, and no Australian aborigine ever dreamed of it. Outside the pages of the bible there is positively nothing in the natural or anthropological landscape which might even remotely lead a person blissfully ignorant of the claims made in the bible to suspect that that particular Middle Eastern god had ever inspired anything except the imaginations of a few linguistically specific Iron Age Canaanite hill tribes looking to add a little supernatural spice to their otherwise perfectly terrestrial lives.

          I also look to the archaeological evidence which has proven the Patriarchs, Moses, Exodus and Conquest (the bits that actually introduce your god) are nothing but 7th and 6th Century BCE geopolitical fiction.

          You see: physical things.

        • Mark Hamilton

          I expected as much. Not the article, mind, but your response.

        • john zande

          I just found it right then… seemed to fit into what we were talking about regarding your religion dying.

          Now:

          “Humans have recorded supernatural events for thousands of years”…. No, people have been calling odd happenings and unexplained phenomena “supernatural” for thousands of years. Please, show me a single example of where a supernatural explanation has supplanted a natural one… and while you’re at it, please show me a single example of something “supernatural.”

          Geological, biological, astronomical systems have all been revealed to be perfectly natural… No god required.

          If you can identify an instance where the same god has been envisaged by two separate populations then by all means show your evidence.

        • Mark Hamilton

          Let’s take a look at what you’re saying in depth. Fore example, my grandmother told me that she was visited by an angel, who let her know while she was in the hospital that her newborn baby had died. Just a few minutes after this visitation my grandfather entered her hospital room and let her know the bad news. There are several possible explanations for this event: either she was visited by a supernatural force, or her subconcious intuitively put together that her child was going to die based on details that the concious mind did not notice, or that my grandmother is a liar, or she hallucinated and by coincidence stumbled on the truth. You seem to say that we should reject the supernatural explanation out of hand. Why? Because you don’t believe any supernatural explanation has ever supplanted a natural one. Why? Presumably because the supernatural explanation should be rejected out of hand. We’re working in circles here.

          The only reason, based on the evidence at hand, you have to prefer a natural explanation over a supernatural one is because you don’t belive the supernatural exists. For example, you would reject the virgin birth out of hand as either a myth or a deception. How then can I ever convince you that a supernatural explanation is superior to a natural one? Even if you yourself was visited by an angel you could dismiss it as a hallucination, or some kind of elaborate hoax. In other words, if a supernatural event ever occured to you personally how could you know it was supernatural?

          As for your other request, I feel it also misses the point. I can’t say with certiantly whether the same god has been enisaged by two seperate populations; but my object was that it doesn’t matter. Why must God or a god be envisioned by two seperate populations to be real? Who ever claimed that he was?

        • Mark Hamilton

          Thank you for finally giving an answer.

          Now we know where we stand, and can have an actual discussion. For example the statement “there has been no supernatural event recorded in all of human history” is an interesting one. For one, it’s obviously false. Humans have recorded supernatural events for thousands of years. Heck, my own father has related to me several events he believes to be supernatural that he experienced himself. I assume that what you really mean is “all recorded supernatural events all false.” But this too is a very strange statment. How do you know that every recorded supernatural event was incorrect? Where you there to witness every one of them? Have you thouroughly investigated every single recorded miracle? How would you even perform such an investigation? You don’t have a time machine, after all. So it seems that you reject out of hand (a priori, you might say) that supernatural events can happen. This seems curious though, as you use this rejection as evidence that the supernatural does not exist. In other words “The supernatural does not exist because all supernatural events that have been recorded are false. Why are all recorded supernatural events false? Because the supernatural does not exist.” That’s circular reasoning, and I know you’re smarter than that. You can spot a Christian using such flawed reasoning a mile away, so I wonder why you would use it yourself.

          Your second statment is puzzling as well. Why would you expect geological, astrological, or biological information to “allude” to a supernatural activity? In the case of geology, for example, how would we know whether a rock got someplace by natural or supernatural means? Can you give me an example of what kind of evidence we would expect to find if there was supernatural interaction? Would we be able to distinguish a supernatural event from a natural one after the fact? If a god moved a rock, couldn’t a scientist find a purely natural explanation for how that rock got there?

          Your third and final statement is puzzling as well. For instance, how do you know that no god has emerged twice on the planet? Many cultures have worshiped sun gods, for example; how do you know they’re not the same god? How do you know that the god Aton is not another name for Yahweh? By what reason do you claim that Odin isn’t a guise of Jehovah? But even if this were the case, and no god was ever seen twice on the earth, how is this evidence against the existance of any god in particular? Is a god required to have worhippers across the entire globe? What if there are multiple gods, and each has their own patch of humanity and history? Or take the Christian conception of God: did any Christian ever claim that God must have been worshipped in multiple places to be real? Why is this a requirement for God’s existance? Or anything for that matter. The idea that the Earth revolves around the sun orginitated in one place at one time before spreading; does that mean that it is not an accurate representation of the truth? To put it simply, why must a god be worhipped in multiple independent places for that god to possibly exist?

          I don’t expect an anwer to these objections, but I thank you again for laying your ideas on the table for discussion.

        • Frank Morris

          jz sez: “Geological, biological, astronomical systems have all been revealed to be perfectly natural… No god required”

          Yeeeeeah…. Everything has all been “explained”. Let us all stop doing science now because we now know everything. And for further sarcasm, we are also certain that no intelligence is required for any of it. (Remember, the word “intelligence” is synonymous with the word “God” according to both extremes, creationists and materialists. Intelligence isn’t “natural” to materialists, so it must not exist, according to them.)

          Except that your claim is not even remotely true.

          Still, at least we are overcoming the lame “I don’t know” excuse and you are now making a claim that requires support.

          So since all astronomical and biological systems have been explained, according to you, please support that with your explanation of the Big Bang and lets say abiogenesis, since those were the events that started things off.

          We can take it from there once you have everything so neatly explained that we can all support the current ban on topics of teleology in public school.

          Except that you pulled that major claim out of some dark orifice with absolutely no clue what you were talking about.

        • john zande

          I didn’t say all things had been explained. To do so would be foolish. What i said was no indication of anything non-natural has ever been found. That said, perhaps you could point to a single explanation that has been “magic”? Surely you must have some example, correct? I mean, you’re so confident there is magic that you MUST have an example. Dazzle me: show me where magic has explained something. Just give me one example, Frank. Do that and i’ll be suitably impressed.

          Big Bang is just a model, as is Inflation. Until we have a working understanding of quantum gravity we simply have no idea of what was happening before. Inserting Godditit is intellectually lazy and unfounded. It’s why theists aren’t taken seriously in any field of science, and in particular, cosmology.

          Abiogenesis is not difficult to explain. Jeremy England has in fact probably nailed it in an elegantly simple manner.

          http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/01/22/physicist-says-hes-solved-the-big-mystery-how-life-came-from-matter-and-he-may-be-right/

  • Frank Morris

    jz, yeah that’s great stuff: ““You start with a random clump of atoms, and if you shine light on it for long enough, it should not be so surprising that you get a plant,””

    Thanks for the laugh but hasn’t starlight been shining on clumps of random atoms for billions of years? How much light does it take to make things create a genetic code or to reproduce themselves, move intentionally or think about stuff?

    Err, what does the light do again?

    I never said anything about “magic, “non-natural” or “goddidit”. How could anything non-natural ever be detected? Everything that has ever been detected would be natural, would it not? Even if we thought it wasn’t natural, once it is detected, we would know that it is natural after all, right?

    We are simply talking about intelligence. Nothing outrageous at all. Intelligent conscious agency animates matter by free will. There is no question about it nor anything any more magic than gravity or matter.

    Hey John, would it be too much to ask for you stop putting words in my mouth? Seriously it is getting ridiculous.

    • john zande

      “How could anything non-natural ever be detected”

      Ahahahaha… What then makes you suspect ANYTHING non-natural has ever occurred then?

      And seriously, if you can’t see the elegance in London’s thesis [message altered to remove personal insult].

      • Frank Morris

        jz, I don’t suspect that anything non-natural ever happened. Never said I did.

        Intelligent agency is natural and empirical.

        I don’t look for “elegance” in a theory. Would it be too much to ask that it actually works, is demonstrated or at least makes sense?

        Light does not cause complex functional units, unless the light is intelligent. Light either reflects, transmits or is absorbed. If it is absorbed it gives off heat, but the heat dispersion is incoherent and random. There is also heat in the core of the earth, but it doesn’t cause thinking beings that write novels or build cities or nests.

        What his and all other luck theories lack is a means of causing intelligence. The very first cell needed intelligent movement or else it could not have reproduced.

        Anybody can say “it was caused by ” but you have to cause intelligence from non-intelligence.

        Toss that guy into the long list of people who arbitrarily filled in the above blank without explaining how that actually explains anything.

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