Debate 004: Don and Blair debate Christian issues

Don Rebuttal #001

I have not visited your website and probably wont. I’m not being mean, I just have no interests in learning about your views on atheism.

I have only one small statement & a question. I have hope. What exactly does your eternal future hold? When you close your eyes for the last time here on this earth and, say for the sake of argument, you realize that now you can again open your eyes. What do you think will be running through your head as to what you will see?

I guess you have more faith than I do. I only say that because to believe in nothing takes more faith than to believe in something. That may not make sense to you, but I know what I mean.

Response to Don #001

Why do you have no interest in learning about atheistic views? What are your preconceived ideas about atheism?

When you ask “What exactly does your eternal future hold?” you make an assumption that our futures are eternal. They are not. We die – and it’s over. We become worm fodder. I would ask you why do you feel the need to believe in an eternal future – do you fear death and this faith and belief make the fear of death more bearable?

Why do you think I have more faith than you do? I have no faith at all. I KNOW that death is final – there is no eternal after life. It takes no faith to say that whatsoever. You are correct that your statement makes absolutely no sense to me at all. What is your basis to make a statement such as that?

Don Rebuttal #002

The reason that I have no interest in atheism is easy for me to answer. Let me first preface this by saying that I am curious as to how a person can logically choose to be an atheist.

The difference in you and I is that even when you are taking your finale breath to become “worm fodder” you could still accept Christ and have eternal life. That is, of course, if it’s sincere. I, on the other hand, could never become an atheist. Not that I’m better or worse as a person than you are, but the fact is that I have a personal relationship with Christ.

There is nothing that could ever happen to me or my family that would ever cause me to lose my faith in Him. I do have many tough times, but it’s because of God’s strength that I make it from day to day. I personally believe that it takes a very arrogant person to think that all we accomplish in our very brief time on earth is of our own doing. ” Self made man”.

I am not a scholar. I’m not an intellect. I make a lot of decisions from my heart and a little common sense. “Everything I am is because of God. Everything I am not is because of me.”

Have you ever witnessed the birth of a child, or even an animal?
Have you ever looked closely at the human body at work?
Even Darwin couldn’t completely convince himself that everything is by chance.
Have you ever seen a bird in flight?
Have you ever seen a giant redwood?
Can you honestly tell me that all of these things are here purely by accident?
We tell time by the stars. This is chance?

Please forgive me if I’m not correct, but didn’t I read that you believe that Christ existed but not as Deity. How did you come to that conclusion? Do you deny the eyewitness accounts of the miracles? Do you deny the hundreds that saw Him after He had risen from the dead? The Bible is being proven every day to be historically correct. Do you follow any of the archeological work in the Middle East?

Not everything must be proven to be real. Would you agree?
Can you see the air we breathe?
Can you touch the light of day?
Can you grab a handful of love and never let it slip out of your grip?
I believe in air, light and love, even though I can’t see them.
I also believe in gravity. I have yet to see it though.
I believe in God because I feel His love.
I also feel His displeasure when I do things that don’t please Him.
I do that more often than I like. I’m getting much better though.
Will I ever be perfect?
Wouldn’t ever think I could be.

Please let me say in closing that as for topic on pushy Christians, yes there are pushy people everywhere. They may be pushing the Bible or they may be pushing profanity. What comes out of your mouth is what is overflowing from your heart. I, personally, try to do as Jesus did. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock”. Jesus never tries to bust down anyone’s door. If you choose to open the door then it’s your choice. Jesus was a true gentleman. He was harsher with “believers” than with the “sinners”. Believers are supposed to know the truth, sinners need to be shown the way and loved.

When I take my last breath I’ll go out with HOPE. How sad it is for those with NO hope. Are you really happy believing that this is all there is? Even if I did end up as “worm fodder” at least my life was filled with the hope of a promise.

Thanks for taking the time to respond and to read my ramblings. I’m only knocking. Not barging in.

Response to Don #002

DON: “Let me first preface this by saying that I am curious as to how a person can logically choose to be an atheist.”

I can logically choose atheism because to choose theism is irrational and illogical. I fail to see, especially in this modern day and age, how anyone can still believe in a God. But I also understand the emotional and psychological needs for a deity and why the mythology perpetuates – even after the death of so many other Gods in the past. Remember that Judaism and Christianity are very young religions, infants if you will, in the grand picture of theistic views.

DON: “The difference in you and I is that even when you are taking your finale breath to become “worm fodder” you could still accept Christ and have eternal life. That is, of course, if it’s sincere. I, on the other hand, could never become an atheist.”

Yes… I could still accept Jesus Christ on my deathbed. But why would I? There is no rational or logical reason to believe that Jesus is the Son of God. Nor is there any reason to believe that Jesus ever existed in the first place. Why do you think the Jews do not believe that Jesus is the messiah? Do you know what their reasoning is?

DON: “Not that I’m better or worse as a person than you are, but the fact is that I have a personal relationship with Christ. There is nothing that could ever happen to me or my family that would ever cause me to lose my faith in Him.”

Define “personal relationship with Christ”. Can you expand on that a bit. If you don’t mind, that is. If you are strong in your convictions of faith – then more power to you. Atheism is not about converting people. Keep your faith. If you ask questions, I will answer them. People come to atheism on their own time – there is no atheistic crusade to convert people. Atheists are atheists because they want to be – not because they are afraid of burning in hell if the don’t believe.

DON: “I do have many tough times, but it’s because of God’s strength that I make it from day to day. I personally believe that it takes a very arrogant person to think that all we accomplish in our very brief time on earth is of our own doing. ” Self made man”.”

So you do not give yourself credit when you accomplish something? In your view, I guess I am arrogant. God has no hand whatsoever in my accomplishments. God didn’t bust his butt getting my job – I did. God doesn’t bust his butt everyday raising my kids – I do. Why do you deny yourself the credit of self-accomplishment and give the credit to someone whom you can’t even prove exists and rely solely on faith? I am that self-made man that you speak of. If you want to call that arrogant – that’s okay with me. In my view that is not arrogance – that is determination and persistence – and acknowledging your accomplishments and achievements.

DON: “I am not a scholar. I’m not an intellect. I make a lot of decisions from my heart and a little common sense. “Everything I am is because of God. Everything I am not is because of me.”

I have to admit that sounds so depressing. Everything you are not is because of you? How sad it must be to think that all your faults are yours and all your talents are God’s. To only relish your faults as yours and to not embrace your accomplishments is, well, to be honest, pathetic sounding.

DON: “Have you ever witnessed the birth of a child, or even an animal?”

Yes. I even delivered a baby once in a parking lot. And I worked at a hospital for four years. Point?

DON: “Have you ever looked closely at the human body at work?”

Yes. I’ve taken Advanced Biology and Human Anatomy as well as worked at a hospital for four years. Point?

DON: “Even Darwin couldn’t completely convince himself that everything is by chance.”

Really? I guess he fooled everyone else. In his wife’s memoirs the Catholic Church had asked her if Darwin had recanted his atheism on his deathbed and accepted God and Christ. Her answer; an emphatic no.

DON: “Have you ever seen a bird in flight?”

Umm… yes. Point?

DON: “Have you ever seen a giant redwood?”

Yes… I lived in California for several years.

DON: “Can you honestly tell me that all of these things are here purely by accident?”

Accident? No. Evolution is not an accident – it’s a process. Change the word accident to evolution and the answer is yes. Can you honestly tell me that all of these things were invented by an invisible man, with supernatural powers, who dominates mankind by scaring him into thinking that if they don’t worship him they will burn in hell, who sacrificed his own son to prove a point, killed millions of people in a global flood, put dinosaur fossils in the ground to test your faith, made the entire universe but only created life on one planet, answers prayers, kills the firstborn of any King that pisses him off, kills children for teasing a bald man, destroys entire cities, sanctions murder, sanctions rape, sanctions pedophilia, sanctions other heinous crimes, and oh yeah… he loves you, too.

DON: “We tell time by the stars. This is chance?”

We tell time by A star – the Sun. Which happens to be the center of the Universe. Remember – the Christians thought the Sun and Moon revolved around the Earth for the longest time until someone had the nerve to stand up to the church. And what does telling time by a star, the stars, planets, galaxies, etc, have to do with God? How does telling time by “heavenly bodies” correlate to your belief in God?

DON: “Please forgive me if I’m not correct, but didn’t I read that you believe that Christ existed but not as Deity. How did you come to that conclusion?”

I said that IF Jesus existed he would have been just a man and not a deity. However, it is my personal opinion that Jesus never existed and is simple mythology.

DON: “Do you deny the eye witness accounts of the miracles? Do you deny the hundreds that saw Him after He had risen from the dead?”

Yes. Yes. What eyewitness accounts of the miracles? You mean the Bible? The Bible with so many contradictions, errors, and inconsistencies that you have no way of knowing what is true or what is false? The Bible that contradicts everything we know about the Earth, evolution, the universe, etc? The Bible is not an eyewitness account – it is just a book.

DON: “The Bible is being proven every day to be historically correct. Do you follow any of the archeological work in the Middle East?”

There are names of cities and some historical characters in the Bible that really existed – but that does not make the Bible historically correct. The book “Escape From New York” contains actual street names, historical characters, and scientific analysis of a post nuclear war environment. Does that mean it’s a historical document? Nope – just another book that happens to mention a few cities and names of people that actually existed. Yes – I keep up on the archeological digs in the Middle East. And NOTHING has come out that proves the Bible to be accurate. A lot of speculation such as, “this might be the city of whatever, as mentioned in the Bible” – but alas, no proof. And several “Biblical” cities have been shown to not be so Biblical after all when a parchment or engraving showed the name of the city was not what they thought it was.

DON: “Not everything must be proven to be real. Would you agree?”

Proven? Not necessarily – but it must be tangible. I can’t prove the sun is a “hydrogen bomb factory” – but I can see it with my own eyes and see the explosions from the nuclear furnace and read the infrared and gamma rays indicating that it is a “hydrogen bomb factory”.

DON: “Can you see the air we breathe?”

Yes. I can see the atoms under an electron microscope that compose the air. Oxygen, Hydrogen, Carbon Dioxide, etc – all have molecular structure that I can see under an electron microscope. Of course when I lived in California I could see the air every day! Can you see your God?

DON: “Can you touch the light of day?”

Touch it? No. But I can see it. I can also break it down into its spectrum. I can measure its bandwidth, speed, and refractive properties. I can feel light (laser beam) and manipulate light. Can you measure and manipulate your God?

DON: “Can you grab a handful of love and never let it slip out of your grip?”

No… can you? Love is an emotion and associated with dopamine. So I guess if I grabbed a handful of dopamine you could say I was grabbing a handful of love.

DON: “I believe in air, light and love, even though I can’t see them”.

You can see them – you just didn’t know it. Did you just accept that air was there without ever questioning it? Without ever verifying for yourself that air actually existed?

DON: “I also believe in gravity. I have yet to see it though.”

Are you standing on this Earth or are you floating around in space? If you standing on this Earth then you have seen gravity. Have you seen a ball fall to the ground? Then you have seen gravity. Have you ever gone on a swing and felt the pitch in your stomach? Then you have felt gravity. Have you ever gone on a Twirl-A-Whirl at an amusement park? Then you have felt gravity. The difference between gravity and God is that no matter what you believe – gravity still affects you. With God – no matter what you believe – God never affects you because he isn’t real.

DON: “I believe in God because I feel His love.”

How do you “feel” his love?

DON: “I also feel His displeasure when I do things that don’t please Him.”

Again.. how?

DON: “Will I ever be perfect? Wouldn’t ever think I could be.”

If you listen to your imaginary friend you will never be perfect because he says you’re a wasted life full of sin that deserves to burn in hell for all eternity.

DON: “Jesus never tries to bust down anyone’s door. If you choose to open the door then it’s your choice.”

I choose not to open the door – because no one is knocking at it. Why open the door if no one is knocking?

DON: “Jesus was a true gentleman. He was harsher with “believers” than with the “sinners”. Believers are supposed to know the truth, sinners need to be shown the way and loved.”

Why do they need to be “shown” the way? Why can’t Christians just leave well enough alone?

DON: “When I take my last breathe I’ll go out with HOPE. How sad it is for those with NO hope.”

When I take my last breath I will look back on my life and know that I accomplished great things and did it on my own – without the need for belief in an imaginary friend. How sad it is for those that refuse to give themselves credit and need false hopes to belay their fear of death.

DON: “Are you really happy believing that this is all there is?”

Absolutely. You?

DON: “Even if I did end up as “worm fodder” at least my life was filled with the hope of a promise.”

Ditto.

DON: “Thanks for taking the time to respond and to read my ramblings. I’m only knocking. Not barging in.”

I’m here for you. If you ever have any questions – please do not hesitate to ask.

Don Rebuttal #003

It’s obvious, to me, that you are much more educated than I am. I hope that you would somewhat agree that not all logical conclusions come from an abundance of education. Take for example a child with a video game. The reason that most children are, for the most part, superior to adults is that we try to reason our way through a game. Children tend to go on instincts and react accordingly. We clutter our heads with a lot of useless nonsense. Other times it is necessary to think more than react. If a racecar driver tried to analyze every single move then he would never finish a race the winner. They react for the most part. All this to say that you seem to be an intelligent person.

Let me start with the authenticity of the Bible. Do you believe that the books of the old testament are not correct? Do you believe that Moses was mythical? If he was not mythical, then who did Moses attribute his receiving the 10 commandments from? If you say he’s mythical then why do so many very different religions have a historical account of the exodus and his receiving of the commandments. Why was the book of Isaiah used so often, long before Christ? Have you ever heard of the secular historian Josephus? He lived before A.D. 100.

The Roman Tacitus (around A.D. 120), the Roman Suetonius (A.D. 110), and the Roman governor Pliny the Younger (A.D. 110) – confirm the many events, people, places and customs chronicled in the New Testament. Early church leaders such as Irenaeus, Tertullian, Julius Africanus, and Clement of Rome – all writing before A.D. 250 – also shed light on New Testament accuracy.

Josephus covered the following of Jesus and the crucifixion. Your assertion that Jesus didn’t even exist is a little hard for me to believe. Even the Muslims believe He lived. Just not as deity.

Over 100 prophesies in the Old Testament came true as to not only when Christ would be born, but where. This was all written long before Christ came to earth. It was actually prophesied to the exact day when He would be born.

After Christ was crucified, His followers had nothing to gain and everything to lose by continuing to preach about Jesus. Most were killed, some by horrendous methods.

Luke, who was a physician, says that he investigated everything before writing it down. Luke 1:1-3

In 2 Peter 1:16 Peter says ” We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eye witnesses of His majesty.

These men have been proven to be true historical figures by the secular writers of their time.

Do you believe that it would be possible to love someone you have never met or even spoken to. Let’s say you had a grandparent who died of cancer. A very caring person took care of them, loved them, cried with them and buried them. That grandparent told this person how much you meant to them and after time that person loved you too. They loved you because you loved and were devoted to their friend. Now, after learning about this person and how much they loved your grandparent, you can’t help but have a love for that person for what they did.

I have a personal love relation with Christ because He died for me. Let me be a total pessimist and say that He wasn’t the Son of God. I would still love Him because HE thought He was the Son of God and that by dying for me that I could have eternal life in Heaven. Even if He wasn’t who He said He was (which I know He was) then I would love Him for his selfless sacrifice on my behalf.

I don’t think that I could do that for you (not that you are not important). I doubt that you would be crucified for me either.

You are correct in that Christianity is relatively new, but the God that I worship has been the same God worshipped since man was first put on this earth. Only other religious gods that died are still in the ground.

About Darwin. Please let me quote from The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection,

DARWIN: “To suppose that the eye, with all it’s inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree possible.”

Darwin, by the way, was a racist.

DARWIN: “At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage races throughout the world.”

Do you think Hitler followed Darwin. Not someone I would want to idolize. I’m sure that you are aware that Karl Marx was a great fan of Darwin.

If I may, please let me tell you of a few notable men I’m sure you’ve heard of and their beliefs:

Isaac Newton strongly defended the biblical account of creation. Louis Pasteur who along with pasteurization also utterly demolished the concept of spontaneous generation, was devoutly religious and strongly opposed Darwinian evolution. Dr. Henry Morris devoted a book to “men of science and men of God,” which includes intellects including Johannes Kepler (scientific astronomy), Francis Bacon (scientific method), Blaise Pascal (mathematician), Carolus Linnaeus (biological taxonomy), Gregor Mendel (genetics), Michael Faraday (electromagnetism), and Joseph Lister (antiseptic surgery). Albert Einstein, came to the conclusion that God did not create by chance, but rather that he worked according to planned, mathematical, telenomic, and therefore-to him-rational guidelines.

Think that everything is chance? James Coppedge writes,

COPPEDGE: “The probability of a single protein molecule being arranged by chance is 1 in 10 to the 161st power, using all atoms on earth and allowing all the time since the world began… For a minimum set of required 239 protein molecules for the smallest theoretical life, the probability is 1 in 10 to the 119,879th power. It would take 10 to the 119,841th power years on the average to get a set of such proteins. That is 10 to the 119,831 power times the assumed age of the earth and is a figure with 119,831 zeroes.”

Think about this, how many times would you have to throw the many pieces of a watch into the air before they would ever come down as a complete watch? Evolution says that if I had enough lifetimes, then it would possibly happen.

Another example. If I took all the letters in this email and mixed them all up and then threw them onto a table, how long would it be before it came out like I wrote it?

I believe that that is what you are saying about evolution. It could have never happened the way you say. We would be still trying to fit together the molecules and have them come together and actually form something. This is not to mention plants, various species of animals, water, air.

Speaking of air. You may have seen the products in a microscope. I’ll give you that one.

You can’t see light. You only see things illuminated by light. It’s the result of the light. I’m looking at a bright light bulb right now. I see that the bulb is glowing, but I can’t see the rays coming from the bulb.

You can’t see gravity. You only see the results of gravity.

I told you that I’m not perfect nor will I ever be. You said that my “imaginary friend” says that I will never be perfect because I’m a wasted life full of sin that deserves to burn in hell for all eternity. Partly true. I do deserve to burn in hell for eternity, but I wont. Christ paid that price for me already. He stamped my sentence as “PAID IN FULL”. All it cost me was the belief that He did die for me.(period) I no longer care to live like the world. Not because I’m afraid that I can lose my salvation, but it’s the life that makes me the happiest I’ve ever been.

I’m more free now than anytime in my life. I broke free of the chains that said that in order to be a good person then I had better work hard to please this person or that person. I am free to do those things now without hoping for a pat on the back from God. It’s not, accept me and then…do this. It’s just -accept me.

Do you require your children to earn your love or is it unconditional. I’m sure you’re like me and would say it’s unconditional. I love you because you’re my son/daughter(period).

I’ll be honest. There were times in my past when I said to myself, Is this all real or am I living a false hope? Beyond any shadow of a doubt, I believe it to be true. Have you ever (honestly now) wondered, what if it’s true?

I’m also curious. Have you always felt this way or did something happen in your life to turn you against God?

Response to Don #003

DON: “I hope that you would somewhat agree that not all logical conclusions come from an abundance of education.”

Somewhat, perhaps.

DON: “The reason that most children are, for the most part, superior to adults is that we try to reason our way through a game. Children tend to go on instincts and react accordingly.”

And what does eye-hand coordination have to do with logic? I can beat most kids on video games because I have exceptional eye-hand coordination. I beat video games in days – not weeks or months. And a lot of games require reasoning and logic skills. It is the senseless lack of logic and reasoning skills games that are helping in creating a society full of dummies and idiots. Perhaps if we forced our kids to play puzzles and thinking games instead of shoot and run games…

DON: “We clutter our heads with a lot of useless nonsense.”

Everything we learn is useful. Your line of reasoning is what the “bad” kids in school said about Algebra and Science.

DON: “If a racecar driver tried to analyze every single move then he would never finish a race the winner. They react for the most part.”

This “reaction” is based on experience and repetition. It’s based on experience and is often called “auto pilot” for lack of a better wording and understanding of the process. If you drive a car for a long time your brain starts to remember your thought out reactions and makes the decisions without you having to actually think about it. Like a police officer drawing his weapon at the sight of a gun. The police officer thought about it before – and the brain remembered. So the next time he didn’t have to “think” about it – because his brain did the thinking automatically. You analogy does not help your stance – it helps to defeat it. Have you even looked into the auto reactive processes and what causes them? If you had you would not have used that example.

DON: “Let me start with the authenticity of the Bible. Do you believe that the books of the Old Testament are not correct?”

I KNOW the books in the Old Testament are not correct. There are a few cities that actually exist – but that does not make it true, factual, or historical.

DON: “Do you believe that Moses was mythical?”

Moses may have been a real leader for the Hebrew people and probably used what’s called “divine right of authority” to rule over them. As far as miracles and talking to God – legend and folklore.

DON: “If he was not mythical, then who did Moses attribute his receiving the 10 commandments from?”

He claimed to receive them from God. If he had come down the mountain and said, “I have written these Commandments and you have to follow them” how many people do you think would have gone along? Because he said “God” had written them – people listened and he was given divine right of rule.

DON: “If you say he’s mythical then why do so many very different religions have a historical account of the exodus and his receiving of the commandments.”

How many religions have this account? Judaism has it because the Old Testament is a book about Judaism. Christianity has it because they stole the Old Testament from the Jews. Islam has it because Mohammed stole his idea for Islam from the Christians – and took many of their fables. What others are there? Denominations don’t count, by the way.

DON: “Why was the book of Isaiah used so often, long before Christ?”

Umm… because it was written long before Christ. You do realize that the book of Isaiah in your Bible is nothing like the book of Isaiah found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, don’t you? They are completely different. Now one of them is obviously forged… which one do you think it is?

DON: “Have you ever heard of the secular historian Josephus? He lived before A.D. 100.”

Yes. His books (all five) are great reads. It’s obvious you’ve heard of Josephus – but have you studied him? If you had you would realize that the remarks about Jesus in Josephus’ books are forgeries. Epherias added them in the fourth century. Ever wonder why Christians never mentioned Josephus’ writing until after Epherias got a hold of them? Josephus was a “hardliner” Jew and would have never said what is written in the book. The forgery becomes even more obvious upon examination of the translated texts.

DON: “The Roman Tacitus (around A.D. 120), the Roman Suetonius (A.D. 110), and the Roman governor Pliny the Younger (A.D. 110) – confirm the many events, people, places and customs chronicled in the New Testament.”

What they confirm is that Christians were around during their time and they heard the stories. They do not in any way confirm the Biblical accounts for the actual historicity of Jesus. Christian scholars altered the writings of Tacitus, as well.

DON: “Early church leaders such as Irenaeus, Tertullian, Julius Africanus, and Clement of Rome – all writing before A.D. 250 – also shed light on New Testament accuracy.”

All after the fact – which of course proves nothing. All were relaying stories they had heard and none of them had witnessed Christ himself. Not a single one of these people ever saw Christ in person.

DON: “Josephus covered the following of Jesus and the crucifixion.”

NOTE: The reference below to a quote from Josephus is false. I got the quote from a book that has been discredited and is no longer used as a source. My sincere apologies to anyone that has used this material. For factual and accurate information about Josephus and the Testimonium Flavianum, I suggest Frank Zindler’s book “The Jesus the Jews Never Knew.” Special thanks to “SK” for identifying the error in this old debate.

Yes… he wrote about Jesus based on the stories he had heard from Christians. Josephus also wrote, “Jesus, the supposed Christ, is repetitious upon the tongues of the meek and insincere.” Do you agree with that statement as much as you contend that Josephus actually wrote about Christ in a historical nature? Josephus’ remarks about Jesus were forged.

DON: “Your assertion that Jesus didn’t even exist is a little hard for me to believe. Even the Muslims believe He lived. Just not as deity.”

Of course it’s hard for you to believe – you have faith and misguided information from your church and church leaders. Do you honestly think they are going to tell you the bad stuff about your religion? The Muslims don’t “believe” he lived in the sense you mean. Mohammed mentioned Jesus because he was told about him by the Christians (remember – Mohammed stole the idea for Islam from the Christians he met). So because Mohammed mentioned Jesus – the Muslim people assume, incorrectly, that Mohammed knew Jesus. That of course is not possible since Jesus would have been dead and gone long before Mohammed was even born.

DON: “Over 100 prophesies in the Old Testament came true as to not only when Christ would be born, but where. This was all written long before Christ came to earth. It was actually prophesied to the exact day when He would be born.”

NO prophecies in the Bible have come true. Not a one. You can interpret and stretch verses to match events all you want – but that does not make them true. Show me just one prophecy (that fits the criteria of a prophecy) that has come true in the Bible.

DON: “After Christ was crucified; His followers had nothing to gain and everything to lose by continuing to preach about Jesus. Most were killed, some by horrendous methods.”

The followers of David Koresh had nothing to lose, either – and yet they continue to wait for their messiah’s return…

DON: “Luke, who was a physician, says that he investigated everything before writing it down. Luke 1:1-3”

As I said before the Bible is proof of nothing. Being a physician in those times didn’t make him an expert. It made him a witch doctor in a sense – a herbalist. Are you saying he had a degree in biology, anatomy, physiology, and physics?

DON: “In 2Peter 1:16 Peter says ” We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eye witnesses of His majesty.”

Point? Peter can say whatever he wants “after the fact” it has no bearing whatsoever on the issue at hand. And, as stated before, the Bible is proof of nothing.

DON: “These men have been proven to be true historical figures by the secular writers of their time.”

They’ve been proven to exist? Really? Where is said proof? David Koresh is a historical figure, too – do you believe his writings? Just because one is a historical figure does not mean one is historically correct in their assertions or that they are not delusional.

DON: “Do you believe that it would be possible to love someone you have never met or even spoken to.”

No.

DON: “Let’s say you had a grandparent who died of cancer. A very caring person took care of them, loved them, cried with them and buried them. That grandparent told this person how much you meant to them and after time that person loved you too. They loved you because you loved and were devoted to their friend. Now, after learning about this person and how much they loved your grandparent, you can’t help but have a love for that person for what they did.”

What? If someone cared from my dying grandmother why would I love him or her? Appreciate their acts of kindness… sure. But love them? That makes no sense whatsoever.

DON: “I have a personal love relation with Christ because He died for me. Let me be a total pessimist and say that He wasn’t the Son of God. I would still love Him because HE thought He was the Son of God and that by dying for me that I could have eternal life in Heaven. Even if He wasn’t who He said He was (which I know He was) then I would love Him for his selfless sacrifice on my behalf.”

That explains why the followers of David Koresh still “love” him…

DON: “I don’t think that I could do that for you (not that you are not important). I doubt that you would be crucified for me either.”

Correct. Although I would sacrifice myself against you (well, your religion, anyway).

DON: “You are correct in that Christianity is relatively new, but the God that I worship has been the same God worshipped since man was first put on this earth. Only other religious gods that died are still in the ground.”

Really? So the Shamanistic Mother Earth, Father Sun, Sister Moon and Brothers Volcano and Earthquake were actually the Jewish God all wrapped up in one? And the pantheistic religions?

DON: “About Darwin. Please let me quote from The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection,”

DARWIN: “To suppose that the eye, with all it’s inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree possible.”

Sure it seems absurd in the highest possible degree. That is what makes evolution so great – that we beat the odds. And as we have discovered – they eye is not so “perfect” after all. There are other species that have better eyes than us – and animals that have better features in they sight than us. Our eye is not the perfect model that creationists pretend it to be. Michael Behe was taught that lesson…

DON: “Darwin, by the way, was a racist.”

DARWIN: “At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage races throughout the world.”

He was saying that about civilized races – not himself. How you got that he was a racist out of that is grotesque, at best. If I say, “the white race, at some time in the future, will probably rise up and exterminate the blacks” does that make me a racist? No… it makes me a futurist and analyst. Darwin understood that civilized races (of all colors) would seek dominance. His prediction has come true, by the way. How many “savage” (meaning non-civilized) races are left in the world today? (HINT: less than three but more than one)

DON: “Do you think Hitler followed Darwin. Not someone I would want to idolize. I’m sure that you are aware that Karl Marx was a great fan of Darwin.”

Trying to play the guilty by association card, huh? Did you know that communism embraces atheism? Gosh… I guess I better leave atheism so I’m not considered a communist. Better to believe in a god than be called a communist! Communism and Marxism embrace atheism because they know the dangers of religion and irrational behavior in a society. Just look at modern America and the damage the Fundies and other irrationalists are doing.

So let’s try putting the guilty by association on you, shall we? Hitler was a Christian. Jeffrey Dahmer killed because God told him to. David Koresh, the Christian Identity Movement, the KKK, the neo-Nazis, the Aryan Nation, GAG (God Against Gays), and other hate groups – all Christians.

God killed more people than Hitler did. God supposedly killed the entire planet because he was pissed off. And you think Hitler was bad? Hitler was a wussy compared to your God.

DON: “If I may, please let me tell you of a few notable men I’m sure you’ve heard of and their beliefs: Isaac Newton strongly defended the biblical account of creation.”

No… Isaac Newton believed in creation – not Creation. He believed that a god created the universe – but not in the creation account of the Bible. Where do you get your information? The church?

DON: “Louis Pasteur who along with pasteurization also utterly demolished the concept of spontaneous generation, was devoutly religious and strongly opposed Darwinian evolution.”

Guess I better convert to Christianity right away. The father of modern milk believed in Jesus. You’re forgetting something… notable men can believe whatever they want. President Clinton believes in God and Jesus, too – do you support him, even though he’s done all those things? Just because a figurehead or important person believes something doesn’t make it right – that is called being gullible and falling for commercialization. Why do you think big stars endorse products? Because people gullibly think that because Michael Jordan drinks Pepsi it must be better than Coke. NEWSFLASH: Try both out and see for yourself, which one tastes better.

DON: “Dr. Henry Morris devoted a book to “men of science and men of God,” which includes intellects including Johannes Kepler (scientific astronomy), Francis Bacon (scientific method), Blaise Pascal (mathematician), Carolus Linnaeus (biological taxonomy), Gregor Mendel (genetics), Michael Faraday (electromagnetism), and Joseph Lister (antiseptic surgery). Albert Einstein, “Came to the conclusion that God did not create by chance, but rather that he worked according to planned, mathematical, telenomic, and therefore-to him-rational guidelines.”

Read my last statement. Pascal was a complete idiot. Every last one of his “formulas” has been proven wrong… you might want to stop using him as a reference. Didn’t I already tell you why Einstein spoke in spiritual phraseology? Have you forgotten already? Einstein knew that most of the world was scientific idiots – but they were gullible theists. So in order to get his scientific theory across to the theistic idiots of the world – he spoke in a language they could understand – spirituality. And that decision to help spread scientific thought through an idiots language now backfires on him when people quote him as being religious when he was emphatically not so.

DON: “Think that everything is chance?”

Chance of what?

DON: “James Coppedge writes”

COPPEDGE: “The probability of a single protein molecule being arranged by chance is 1 in 10 to the 161st power, using all atoms on earth and allowing all the time since the world began… For a minimum set of required 239 protein molecules for the smallest theoretical life, the probability is 1 in 10 to the 119,879th power. It would take 10 to the 119,841th power years on the average to get a set of such proteins. That is 10 to the 119,831 power times the assumed age of the earth and is a figure with 119,831 zeroes.”

Just because something is astronomical doesn’t mean it can’t happen. And if it happened – guess it wasn’t so astronomical after all, was it? The odds of winning the lottery are about the same (slightly lower, of course) and people win it all the time. Odds do not mean something won’t happen – it just means it will take a little longer for it to happen. Coppedge’s mathematics have been shown to be wrong and completely biased. Perhaps you should visit Talk Origins and check out their FAQ. From there you can check out the flaws that Coppedge presents in his arguments. People like Coppedge write for people that do not know their information. His rant sounds incredibly intelligent to someone who has no idea what abiogenesis is. If someone sounds smart does that mean they are?

DON: “Think about this, how many times would you have to throw the many pieces of a watch into the air before they would ever come down as a complete watch?”

You really need to visit Talk Origins because your concept of evolution is completely out of whack.

DON: “Evolution says that if I had enough lifetimes, then it would possibly happen.”

That is not what evolution says. Visit the aforementioned website.

DON: “I believe that that is what you are saying about evolution. It could have never happened the way you say. We would be still trying to fit together the molecules and have them come together and actually form something. This is not to mention plants, various species of animals, water, air.”

Visit the aforementioned site. I do not have the time or patience to teach you basic evolutionary theory.

DON: “You can’t see light. You only see things illuminated by light. It’s the result of the light. I’m looking at a bright light bulb right now. I see that the bulb is glowing, but I can’t see the rays coming from the bulb.”

I can see light. Light waves are measurable and detectable. How do you think we were able to invent laser beams? We had to know how light traveled – so we had to see it. Light can be viewed in a vacuum and measured. Can you see, measure, and test your God?

DON: “You can’t see gravity. You only see the results of gravity.”

Gravity is still tangible. You can “feel” gravity. You can measure it, test it, and account for it. Can you measure, test, and account for your God?

DON: “I do deserve to burn in hell for eternity, but I wont. Christ paid that price for me already. He stamped my sentence as “PAID IN FULL”.

How convenient for you.

DON: “Have you ever (honestly now) wondered, what if it’s true?”

You mean God? When I was a young gullible child… yes. Since then (around sixth/seventh grade)… nope.

DON: “I’m also curious. Have you always felt this way or did something happen in your life to turn you against God?”

Nothing happened to turn me away from God. It’s amazing how Christians can’t grasp how anyone would rationally choose not believe in their God. They say, “surely something happened to turn you away from God?” Nothing happened – it’s not that complicated. I address this question on my web page in detail.

For someone who doesn’t want to learn about atheism you sure do ask a lot of questions. My web page is not about converting anyone. It’s about educating people on what an atheist is. I then answer questions that I have received from theists. You should at least check out the Q&A section in order to avoid redundancy and get more detailed answers.

Don Rebuttal #004

I know you believe in what you are saying and you seem (once again) to be very booked learned. I commend you for your knowledge that not all of us are blessed (oops sorry) with. You sound like a very angry man. I didn’t mean to get you so riled up. I thought that you would just rebut my comments. I actually looked forward to your response

I will fight to keep all beliefs free to explore and express, but when you come off so arrogant and condescending, then I have no interest in further communication. I’m not hightailing it from you because I think you may be right, I’m just doing the same thing I’ve done to any “religion” that thought that they’re the “only way”. Politely saying thank you for your time and have a good day.

I don’t talk religion, I talk about my faith in Christ. Religion has ruined this world. Yes, yours too. (religion, that is).

I would never call you a liar, but what made you an authority on whether or not original biblical writings were “forged”. I suppose that you have personally seen and have translated the ancient scrolls. I hope that you are not counting on others that say they were forged. What makes them credible.

I personally know a Greek scholar who has translated the New Testament. I have had the pleasure of cross checking his translation and have found it to be correct according to the Lexicons. I know, I know, these lexicons are written by biased men who were probably forged or something. Whatever.

I’m glad that everything you read is perfect. What a library you must have of perfect infallible writings.

One last thing, though, concerning evolution. I don’t need, nor look forward to a response to this one. Since you and I are total accidents, then why aren’t monkeys still changing into humans. I know it seems that some are monkeys but I think you know what I mean. It seems to me that the evolutionary process has slowed or even stopped. Actually quite some time ago. Actually forever since no credible link has ever been found. Only fabrications.

Take care and don’t forget that I would rather not have another response like your last one. No I’m not thin skinned, just particular as to how I let someone try to talk to me. Enough of that in the real world without wasting my time reading it to.

Response to Don #004

Sorry to see you bug-out because I don’t agree with you. If you consider my different opinions and criticism of your views and theistic beliefs as “put-downs” then that is your issue to deal with. I can assure you that I am not an angry man – which the theists love to throw around at atheists. The Christians seem to think that anyone who criticizes their God must be angry with their God for one reason or another. It’s rather sad…

Intelligence is often mistaken for arrogance and a condescending nature. I am probably guilty of being condescending – I won’t deny that. After dealing with the same ridiculous arguments over and over again you reach a point where you don’t feel like putting that much effort into it. I haven’t debated Evolution/Creationism in a few months now because of that. I got tired of being asked dumb questions from people that didn’t have a clue about evolution. It never ceases to amaze me how someone can say they don’t think evolution is scientifically accurate when they have no idea what evolution is in the first place. How can you have an opinion of something when you don’t know what it is that your opinion is about? That’s like saying you hate pizza when you’ve never even tried it! Children behave like that – not adults.

Nothing made me an authority on biblical writings. But I have read a lot and done a lot of research. Where is the original Bible? Do you know your Bible’s history and how it came about? If every Christian in the world knew how the Bible came about and the history of their Bible… there would be a lot less Christians in the world. It’s amazing how people can read and believe a book without even knowing the history of that book and how it came about. Had a vote in the third century gone the other way (only 5/6 votes were needed to do that) your Bible would be 100% different from what it is today. Genesis and Exodus would not be books in the Bible and we would be debating some other “event”.

I’m glad to hear you know a Greek scholar who has translated the New Testament. Question: What did he translate? There are NO originals left in the world. Not a one… So he translated what… a copy? Another translation? A copy of a copy of a copy? A re-print that had added text? He has no idea what he translated and who corrupted any of the data. Again… it matters not how many translations there are (notice that every translation of the Bible is different?) – because the “original” source is contaminated and, coincidentally, not available for verification.

Nothing I read is “perfect”. That is why I read more than one source and investigate as much as I can on my own. The problem with Christianity is they claim perfection in ONE source that doesn’t even have an original. The books were chosen for political, not religious, purposes and could have easily been a completely different Bible if 5 or 6 had turned the vote. I rely on multiple sources and my personal investigation – you rely on one source – and calling it a “source” is questionable, at best.

You said,

DON: “Since you and I are total accidents, then why aren’t monkeys still changing into humans. I know it seems that some are monkeys but I think you know what I mean. It seems to me that the evolutionary process has slowed or even stopped. Actually quite some time ago. Actually forever since no credible link has ever been found. Only fabrications.”

Once again your lack of understanding of evolution is shown. We, as Homo Sapiens, did not evolve FROM apes. There is a difference between monkeys and apes, by the way. Apes and us evolved from the same ancestor. We are each separate branches from a common ancestor – which was an ape-like species. We didn’t evolve FROM monkeys/apes… we evolved WITH monkeys/apes from a common ancestor. How can you disregard evolution so vehemently without even knowing the basics of evolution? Your statement clearly identifies your lack of evolutionary understanding – even the simplest of concepts: human evolution.

How can you say the evolutionary process has slowed down? You’re thinking in Biblical creation time (8,500 years) instead of millions of years. There have been many documented cases of speciation in my lifetime alone – and evolution has been documented in many plant, insect, bacterial, and viral species. Evolution is happening before your eyes – and you don’t see it. Have you even looked? Or are you going by what your church told you?

If you don’t like your views and beliefs to be criticized and wish to terminate this discussion, that is fine with me. I have no problem with any criticism from your side. If you do decide to terminate I only ask one thing. Please look into evolution completely before you make any rash decisions. I’m not going to tell you it’s “the answer” and that you should believe it. What I’m asking you to do is find out what evolution is before you completely dismiss it. I gave Christianity and other religions that same courtesy… The best source for evolutionary information is Talk Origins.

Don Rebuttal #005

I really do appreciate your thoughts and your views.

You really did come off pretty harsh in the previous email. I’m not the ultra sensitive type. (All guy here. Whatever that means) I just don’t like to be talked down to. I know you must get frustrated at what you call redundant questions or comments. Please try & remember that this may be the first time that someone, like myself, has ever had the opportunity to even talk to someone with such differing views than theirs

I don’t know why people are so much different in their intelligence levels. I actually do admire someone with your knowledge.

I’ve really tried over the past years to study and have a better understanding about differing views than mine and get very frustrated at the fact that I have a difficult time comprehending a lot of material. I’m the kind of person that can have something explained to me in a classroom atmosphere and understand it a lot better than if I try to read it myself. I do, though, enjoy the challenge of trying to learn on my own. I hope that you do appreciate the gift you have been given.

I do respect my pastor’s messages and believe that he tells us the truth. He has commented numerous times that we should never take his view as gospel and that we should study for ourselves and come to our own conclusions. He has a doctorate and I respect his knowledge as well.

I do believe that the Bible is the true Word of God. Infallible. I have no reason not to. I have never seen the ancient manuscripts and how they were originally translated. I have not seen any proof that any of the Bible was forged. That, of course, would require comparing the original text to ours. It’s the best we have and I like it.

I personally don’t believe that God intended for us to fight over the translations or worse yet to have wars over different beliefs from the Bible. Our pride and arrogance cause wars not the Bible. It’s just an excuse. My belief is that He intended it as a guide to live our lives by. Most of our laws are here because of Biblical teachings. The 10 commandments are the basis for all of our laws. If everyone lived by the commandments then I don’t believe we would have need for the thousands of laws on the books today. We can’t though. We are all born with too much evil & hatred within us. Any person who says that it’s not a struggle to be good most of the time would be lying through their teeth!

I originally asked you about hope. Do you look forward (if your not already there, I’m 43 by the way) to retirement? Do you hope that someday you can enjoy the fruits of your labor? Travel, read, fish or whatever. That hope is for something you can’t see. You just hope that it’ll be there in the end.

That’s where my hope is. I know that heaven is there but I can’t show it to you. Your argument could be that you can see people retired now and touch them while I can’t see or touch MY retirement. I just have faith it’s there.

This is not the reason for my faith, but I’m not afraid to die because of my belief in heaven. I don’t say “boy I’d better make the right decision or I might spend eternity separated from God”. It’s not a scare thing for me. I know that there has to be something better than what we have here. I’m happy, but this world is a dump. I look forward to retirement. Again, this is not my reason for my faith but if we are wrong then I guess we’ll just be “worm fodder”. If we’re right then, according to my Bible, those that ignore the invitation to accept Christ for what He said He is will not have a pleasant afterlife.

I respect your passion for your beliefs and the fact that you’re not a fence sitter. I don’t have much respect for those who say “yeah I think that there may be a higher power, but I don’t really care one way or the other. If there is a god then he’ll love everyone in the end and we’ll all go to heaven”. It’s a cop-out for fence sitting. I don’t like fence sitters! I say make all fences out of barbed wire and they’ll get off in a hurry.

One last question: Do you have feelings one-way or the other about the 10 commandments? Do you believe that they are, for the most part, good rules to live our lives by?

It seems to me that those who have a real problem with them (posting them) is because they think that there is too much religious association. I believe that you said that IF in fact Moses did actually bring down the tablets then, since there is no God, they couldn’t have been written by God. Is that pretty close? Just for the sake of argument, IF Moses did bring down the commandments written by him then would there be a problem with displaying them since they are only man made?

I hope that you will understand that all who profess to be Christians don’t have a clue. David Korresh is a good example. I have no ill feelings toward you or anyone of another belief. A lot of professing Christians worry about why YOU and SHE and THEY aren’t more like THEM!! My hope is that I can be more like the Christ I believe in. Not condemning, but patient and accepting. If Christ is that kind of an example to me, then is it so bad that I believe in Him and want to be more like that? I’ve never found any living person that would exemplify those characteristics. Make believe? Whatever. He’s every bit real to me. I will die believing and striving to be more like Him. If anyone ever cares to ask me about my beliefs, I’ll be happy to share my faith with them.

Please don’t put all “Christians” into one box. We aren’t cookie cutters.

If my eternity is in fact the truth, then when we all stand before God I will take NO PLEASURE in seeing ANY condemned. My heart will be heavy.

Now that I know where to find a walking encyclopedia, maybe I’ll tap your brain sometime.

Response to Don #005

DON: “You really did come off pretty harsh in the previous email.”

Believe me when I say that it was not my intention to sound “harsh”. I know I can be condescending at time – I admit that.

DON: “I know you must get frustrated at what you call redundant questions or comments. Please try & remember that this may be the first time that someone, like myself, has ever had the opportunity to even talk to someone with such differing views than theirs.”

The redundancy of the questions that frustrate me is secondary to the real frustration. The real frustration is that questions like these identify the preconceived ideology that is circulated through the Christian churches about evolution, atheism, and general science. Your questions, while redundant in regards to hearing them before, more importantly reveal the methods used by Christendom to “educate” people on such matters.

DON: “I’m the kind of person that can have something explained to me in a classroom atmosphere and understand it a lot better than if I try to read it myself.”

It sounds like you may have an audiographic memory (vice photographic).

DON: “I do respect my pastor’s messages and believe that he tells us the truth. He has commented numerous times that we should never take his view as gospel and that we should study for ourselves and come to our own conclusions. He has a doctorate and I respect his knowledge as well.”

So have you studied and come to your own conclusion or taken his word as authority? If you are willing, I would like to direct you to William Edelen. Mr. Edelen has held the following positions:

  • 1990 – present Full time writing, speaking and lecturing.
  • 1981 – 1990 Minister, Community Congregational Church, McCall, Idaho (a mountain resort community).
  • 1973 – 1980 Senior Minister, First Congregational Church, Tacoma, Washington.
  • 1973 – 1980 Adjunct professor of Religious Studies and Anthropology, University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, Washington.
  • 1960 – 1990 Active ordained Presbyterian and Congregational minister.

His education includes:

  • 1969 – 1971 Graduate School, Department of Anthropology, University of Colorado.
  • 1957 – 1960 Masters Degree in Theology, McCormick Theological Seminary (On the campus of the University of Chicago).
  • 1954 – 1957 Bachelor of Science in Horticulture and Biology, Oklahoma State University.
  • 1940 – 1942 Liberal Arts Major, University of Oklahoma.

Mr. Edelen is a prominent figure in the Theology world and has drawn a lot of negative attention to himself from the Christian Church. The reason is because he actually teaches the truth and has exposed a problem within the church. He has written a brief article about this called “The Sin Of Silence.”

DON: “I do believe that the Bible is the true Word of God. Infallible. I have no reason not to. I have never seen the ancient manuscripts and how they were originally translated.”

Have you seen the contradictions, errors, and inconsistencies in the Bible?

DON: “I have not seen any proof that any of the Bible was forged. That, of course, would require comparing the original text to ours.”

The Vatican has surmised that the book of Genesis is a forgery and was not written by Moses. They have come under heavy scrutiny for this from the anti-Catholic proponents.

DON: “Most of our laws are here because of Biblical teachings. The 10 commandments are the basis for all of our laws. If everyone lived by the commandments then I don’t believe we would have need for the thousands of laws on the books today.”

Our laws ARE NOT based on the Ten Commandments. Our laws are based on the personal morality of the lawmakers and the societal morality that is represented to those lawmakers. Does religious views affect that? Absolutely – to say it didn’t would be an outright lie. Laws like Kentucky’s “Sex in any position other than missionary style is against the law” are obviously laws based on “religious morality”. The Ten Commandments are actually based on Hammurabi’s Code of Law (written almost 1,000 years before the Ten Commandments). The Ten Commandments have almost nothing to do with morality (except a couple of them). For a critique of mine on the Ten Commandments check here (sorry, article no longer available online).

DON: “We are all born with too much evil & hatred within us. Any person who says that it’s not a struggle to be good most of the time would be lying through their teeth!”

So a 3-month-old baby is full of evil and hatred? I don’t struggle to be good. Most atheists and non-theists don’t have this problem. The reason being is that we do not have to answer to a “higher” power. We answer only to man’s laws and never worry about “being watched” and “judged”. We live our lives according to man’s laws (laws of society) and lead good lives.

DON: “I originally asked you about hope. Do you look forward (if your not already there, I’m 43 by the way) to retirement?”

I’m not sure if I’m looking forward to retirement or not. Relaxing all day without having to work sounds enticing, but not working sounds boring. I’m still iffy about retirement.

DON: “Do you hope that someday you can enjoy the fruits of your labor? Travel, read, fish or whatever. That hope is for something you can’t see. You just hope that it’ll be there in the end.”

I’ve done all that already. I have traveled around the world a couple of times already. I’ve done all the good stuff – not I’m working and raising my family. When retirement comes I will enjoy what I have. If you are trying to compare hope for the money to be there when you retire to hope for god then you are way off base. You can compare your retirement plan to the plans of those laid out before you and see what happened to them. The results are tangible – they are comparable and testable. You’re hope is founded on fact, evidence, and past occurrences.

DON: “Your argument could be that you can see people retired now and touch them while I can’t see or touch MY retirement. I just have faith it’s there.”

And in the long run that is what it boils down to… faith.

DON: “If we’re right then, according to my Bible, those that ignore the invitation to accept Christ for what He said He is will not have a pleasant afterlife.”

And what if the Hindu is right? The Moslems? The American Indians? How do you know which religion is right and which on to wager your soul on? This is called Pascal’s Wager. For a more detailed analysis of Pascal’s Wager check here.

DON: “I don’t have much respect for those who say, “yeah I think that there may be a higher power, but I don’t really care one way or the other. If there is a god then he’ll love everyone in the end and we’ll all go to heaven”. It’s a cop-out for fence sitting. I don’t like fence sitters! I say make all fences out of barbed wire and they’ll get off in a hurry.”

You realize that you almost described Judaism to a “T” there. The Jews believe that you will get into heaven if you are good person. They even think us atheists will make it as long as we lead good lives. The Hare Krishna believes atheists will get into heaven because we talk about God and theistic beliefs more than anyone!

DON: “Do you have feelings one way or the other about the 10 commandments? Do you believe that they are, for the most part, good rules to live our lives by?”

Feelings toward them? I’m not sure what you mean by “feelings” here. I can say that they do not belong in schools, if that’s what you mean. Do I feel they are good rules to live by? Not really. There are a couple of them that are mediocre – they need serious refining. But the majority has nothing to do with morality and only dictate how one should treat an egotistical, self-centered, and jealous God.

DON: “It seems to me that those who have a real problem with them (posting them) is because they think that there is too much religious association. I believe that you said that IF in fact Moses did actually bring down the tablets then, since there is no God, they couldn’t have been written by God. Is that pretty close? Just for the sake of argument, IF Moses did bring down the commandments written by him then would there be a problem with displaying them since they are only man made?”

Yes there would still be a problem. Regardless of the writer – the subject has no bearing whatsoever on morality and clearly endorses a particular religion – which is against the law. Even if you don’t agree with the interpretation of SOCAS – you cannot deny the wording of government not endorsing or passing a law, which endorses a single religions belief or system.

DON: “Please don’t put all “Christians” into one box. We aren’t cookie cutters.”

But as Jimmy “Papa” Benzino says down at the fruit market, “If a customer sees just one bad apple in the barrel – they will not buy a single apple from that barrel.” Human nature is association. Groups like the Christian Identity, KKK, Radical Religious Right, Christian Coalition, Southern Baptists, and others give the rest of Christendom a bad name. Just like Communism gives atheism a bad name.

DON: “Now that I know where to find a walking encyclopedia, maybe I’ll tap your brain sometime.”

Don’t hesitate to do so.

Don Rebuttal #006

I’ve taken the time to browse your web site and also the Talk Origins site. I found them both very interesting and well done.

I don’t dispute the fact that some things may have changed (to some degree) over the years. An interesting point in the Talk Origins site was that they were not saying that something changed (i.e. from a frog to a cow). You believe that we evolved from an ape like being. That must have been very painful when the split took place. You did say that apes and us came from the same ancestor. How exactly would you explain that the split happened? Is this anything like a rat and a mouse coming from the same family? A female horse & a donkey (ass) make a sterile offspring mule. Did two creatures procreate to form an ape or possibly a man? What was the third party?

Please let me start from the beginning. Do you believe that nothing + nothing = something? You say that Christian beliefs are “illogical”. Nothing + nothing equaling something isn’t a real rational concept to me.

My something plus nothing could equal anything He wanted it to be.

Q. Why do mites only congregate in one ear of a moth? Do they fly around the moth to see where his buddies are nesting?

A. If they reside in both ears then the moth can’t fly. Coincidence?

Q. How did the bombardier beetle evolve into an insect that can contain two chemicals that when spat out form a combustible liquid to ward off it’s enemy? Did a lot of beetles blow up before they figured out a way to keep these chemicals separate? What did these chemicals evolve from?

Q. When a cat or dog mauls it’s weak newborn so that it wont be eaten by a predator because the mother knows it has a problem and wont survive in the wild, this just happened over time?

My point is, are these just coincidences? If we had time we could look at thousands of other “coincidences.

As far as the inerrancy of the New Testament. Please read The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel. We’re not relying on one person’s opinion on this subject. He has interviewed the top men in many various fields. Unlike Josh McDowell, who was an atheist setting out to disprove the Bible, when he couldn’t buck the clear evidence, Strobel is a journalist who wanted to compile enough evidence to write an accurate book, one way or the other.

You also used a lot of “what ifs” in saying that the Bible ‘could be’ in error. So far, you nor anyone else has proved that it is even 1% in error.

Scholars in the know clearly contradict Schmuel Golding’s time period as to when the Bible was written & rewritten. It’s all in Strobel’s book.

BLAIR: “If 5 people had voted differently the Bible would be nothing like it is today. This was concerning the 568 to 563 vote.”

True. What if there would have been a different vote on the constitution?

What if the supreme court would have several votes different on Roe v. Wade?

What if the vote would have gone the other way and Clinton would have been kicked out of office?

What if Darwin’s, Hitler’s, Lincoln’s, Carl Sagan’s parents voted to kill their pre-born baby?

We can “what if” till we’re blue in the face, but the facts are that they went the way they did. We can only speculate and debate other possible outcomes.

One finale thing.

Good-bye.
See ‘ya later.
Ta Ta now.
Till we meet again.
So long for now.

Do these all have the same meaning?

How about this one?

I have faith in my company that it will be in business as long as we keep giving good service for a long time.
I have confidence in my company that if we keep giving good service then we will stay in business for a long time.
I trust that as long as I give good service to our customers than my company will continue to be around for a long time.

Trust and confidence are definitions in the American Heritage dictionary for the word ‘faith’. Does it mean that all of the above statements are not all correct sayings of the same idea?

I don’t recognize the WE translation you referred to. Basically they all said the same thing. I had NO problem with them.

Thank you for igniting the spark in me to do more research as to why I believe what I believe. My faith is not only stronger, but now I know a little bit more as to why it is. Coincidence? I don’t think so. We should all know WHY we believe in what we believe!

Response to Don #006

DON: “I don’t dispute the fact that some things may have changed (to some degree) over the years.”

A lot has changed not really in regard to the theory – but to the fact. Evolution is both a fact and a theory. Evolution is a fact because we have seen evolution occur in our lifetime and also within the fossil record. What remains a theory is the mechanism of evolution. How and why evolution occurs is a theory. Evolution does occur – we have theories as to why it occurs. The Vatican has accepted evolution as scientifically sound but added the caveat that God was the how and why evolution occurred. The Vatican could no longer ignore the overwhelming evidence for evolution and still remain credible to the Catholic followers around the world. When the Vatican accepted evolution and added God as the how and why, they saved face and gained credibility with the Catholic congregation at the same time.

It is for this reason that evolution is not contradictory to theistic beliefs. There is no reason whatsoever that evolution and theism cannot ride hand in hand. Most Christians are evolutionists and not creationists. Fundamentalist creationism is a minority in the world – they are just the loudest minority here in the United States so they seem to be overwhelming. And the scary thing… it’s working. Just look at Kansas, Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Louisiana (Bible belt states, of course).

The only time they collide is duri ng Biblical literalism. Creation, as described in the biblical book of Genesis, cannot reconcile itself with evolution. Literal biblical creationists are also a minority. Most Christians today do not regard the Bible literally. It is this very movement of non-literal translation that has shown a decrease in Christendom’s numbers and an increase in non-theistic spirituality.

For more information about the compatibility of theism and atheism see the God and Evolution FAQ and the Various Interpretations of Genesis FAQ.

DON: “An interesting point in the Talk Origins site was that they were not saying that something changed (i.e. from a frog to a cow).”

Correct. That is a common misconception about evolution – that one thing can change into another. That would actually be evidence for a God – and not for evolution. If a chicken turned into a lizard tomorrow – a lot of evolutionists would become religious.

DON: “You believe that we evolved from an ape like being. That must have been very painful when the split took place. You did say that apes and us came from the same ancestor. How exactly would you explain that the split happened?”

I don’t “believe” that we evolved from an ape like being. I have concluded, as other scientists have, that we evolved alongside apes from a common ancestor – an ape-like being. We come to this conclusion based on evidence and data available to us.

Painful? You’re thinking in instantaneous time frames. The common ancestor would have had offspring that were different than it. That offspring then created offspring that were different. Evolution takes a while – it is not an overnight event.

A listing of the Hominids is available here at the Hominid Species FAQ.

DON: “Is this anything like a rat and a mouse coming from the same family?”

Yes – rats and mice evolved from a common ancestor that has since become extinct. Rodents had an unfair advantage evolutionarily speaking. After the Yucatan Impact 65 million years ago the small mammals were the favored survivors. Had the small mammals not survived that impact – humans would probably not be here today.

DON: “A female horse & a donkey (ass) make a sterile offspring mule.”

That is how we define speciation. When two animals create a sterile offspring or cannot procreate at all – then they are separate species. In other words if the parent cannot copulate and procreate with the offspring then the offspring is a new species and speciation has occurred. Speciation has occurred in our lifetime.

DON: “Did two creatures procreate to form an ape or possibly a man? What was the third party?”

Two ape-like common ancestors would have created a minor difference that would have become more and more predominant. Those common ancestors did not have the evolutionary needs to survive long-term and ultimately died out. But their offspring had adaptations allowing them to survive longer. Their offspring adapted as well and ultimately the first offspring died out, too. But as the adaptations continued new species were created. One species would ultimately become the apes and the other species would ultimately become the hominids. This took place, of course, over hundreds of thousands of years.

People often make the mistake of thinking in day-to-day time frames when considering evolution. That of course makes evolution sound absolutely absurd. Changes in a day-to-day timeframe would be evidence for a God – not evolution. If you think of the Earth’s history as a 24-hour period – humans have been around for the last 2 seconds on that clock.

DON: “Do you believe that nothing + nothing = something?”

Of course not. What makes you think that?

DON: “You say that Christian beliefs are “illogical”. Nothing + nothing equaling something isn’t a real rational concept to me.”

I agree that nothing plus nothing equals something is not a rational concept. So why do you think that I feel that way?

DON: “My something plus nothing could equal anything He wanted it to be.”

If that’s the case then why do you have such a hard time with evolution? Why would God create a world full of evidence for evolution if he didn’t intend for man to come up with evolutionary theory? If God created the Earth and created it the way it exists today then how can anyone blame the scientists for discovering and identifying what God laid out to be discovered and identified?

Why would God create a universe that is visible? The stars are billions of light years away – and yet they are visible. If the Earth were only 6500-years-old these stars would no be visible. The sky would be completely black except for the moon.

Why are there so many craters on the moon? Why are there so many impact craters on Earth?

DON: “Why do mites only congregate in one ear of a moth? Do they fly around the moth to see where his buddies are nesting? If they reside in both ears then the moth can’t fly. Coincidence?”

You answered your own questions. If the mites infect both ears then the moth loses its equilibrium and cannot fly. If it cannot fly then it cannot find food. If it cannot find food then it dies and the mites die along with it. The mites and the moth have a sentient relationship. Parasites do not want to kill their host. If you kill your host – then you die along with that host. The mites infect only one ear so that the moth can survive and therefore cause the mites to thrive with it. It is a mutual (sentient) infestation.

There are bacterium and other “things” all over your body. Most of them are parasitic in nature – yet beneficial to humans. That is why taking more than the allotted amount of antibiotics is dangerous. If you kill off all of your bacterium then you are killing off the beneficial ones. That can ultimately lead to sickness or death.

DON: “How did the bombardier beetle evolve into an insect that can contain two chemicals that when spat out form a combustible liquid to ward off it’s enemy? Did a lot of beetles blow up before they figured out a way to keep these chemicals separate? What did these chemicals evolve from?”

Creationists often quote the bombardier beetle as proof of intelligent design. However, upon examination of the beetle we discover evidence of evolution and not “intelligent design”.

Bombardier beetles include four groups of ground beetles; Brachinini, Paussini, Ozaenini, and Metriini. These four groups include over 500 species. The most common and widely distributed species is Brachinus. Bombardier beetles take their name from their ability to mix a boiling-hot toxic chemical out of glands in their posterior. The chemicals are hydrogen peroxide and hydroquinones. Secretion cells produce these chemicals that collect in reservoirs. The reservoirs dump into a mixture chamber. Cells within the mixture chamber create catalyses and peroxidases. The catalyses and peroxidases rapidly break down the hydrogen peroxide and catalyze the oxidation of the hydroquinones into p-quinones. This reaction releases free oxygen and generates enough heat to boil the mixture. About one fifth of the mixture is instantly vaporized when this happens. Under the pressure of the released free oxygen the mixture is expelled out of the abdomen.

Creationists give an inaccurate account of the mixture process. The chemicals are not explosive when combines. If the were then every bombardier beetle would sacrifice itself when it self-defense was necessary. The bombardier beetle mixes the chemicals in its body before they are expelled out from accumulated pressure. If the mixing of these two chemicals were explosive, as creationists incorrectly claim, then the bombardier beetle would be dead before pressure could even accumulate. There is an “explosion” of sorts – but not in the way creationists mean. The explosion is the chemical reaction that causes the release of free oxygen. That in turn creates pressure and the mixture is “exploded” out of the chamber. No different than a champagne cork exploding off a bottle that has been shaken.

DON: “When a cat or dog mauls it’s weak newborn so that it wont be eaten by a predator because the mother knows it has a problem and wont survive in the wild, this just happened over time?”

Almost all species will not tolerate a newborn that cannot survive. This usually results in abandonment (which results in death), purposeful killing, or cannibalism. It is simply a matter of survival. A decrepit animal can only serve to drag down the grouping of animals. We, as humans, are the only species that value all human life. And that is only because as a society we have dictated such. There are societies that do not value the lives of cripples or the terminally ill and kill them at birth or onset of the disease. Even in our society there are many that believe in euthanasia and terminating pregnancies when birth defects and debilitating diseases are identified.

DON: “My point is, are these just coincidences? If we had time we could look at thousands of other “coincidences”.”

They are only coincidences because you are purposely looking for coincidences in order to justify your belief in a God. There is nothing wrong with that – but you have not produced a proof that anything living on this planet was intelligently designed.

DON: “As far as the inerrancy of the New Testament, please read The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel.”

I have – Strobel did not present anything new and offered merely speculation, self-interpretation, and fallacy. Biblicists can add to the Bible and re-write the Bible all they want to justify the errors, inconsistencies, and contradictions. The problem does not go away – it just covers it up with roses so it is presentable to congregations worldwide. And people fall for it.

DON: “We’re not relying on one person’s opinion on this subject. He has interviewed the top men in many various fields. Unlike Josh McDowell, whom was an atheist setting out to disprove the Bible, when he couldn’t buck the clear evidence; Strobel is a journalist who wanted to compile enough evidence to write an accurate book, one way or the other.”

Like I said, Strobel only presented the personal views of others, self-interpretation, and speculation. Strobel did not present any evidence whatsoever. The bottom line is that if the Scripture says A – then why would someone say that it says B – when it clearly says A?

DON: “You also used a lot of “what ifs” in saying that the Bible ‘could be’ in error. So far, neither you nor anyone else has proved that it is even 1% in error.”

I used the “what ifs” as a means of invoking thought and specifically in regards to the Council of Nicea and the close vote. What if the vote had gone another way? Your Bible would be completely different. The Bible has been PROVEN to be filled with errors. If you would like to address these errors one by one then I will be more than happy to oblige.

DON: “True. What if there would have been a different vote on the constitution? What if the Supreme Court would have several votes different on Roe v. Wade? What if the vote would have gone the other way and Clinton would have been kicked out of office? What if Darwin’s, Hitler’s, Lincoln’s, Carl Sagan’s parents voted to kill their pre-born baby? We can “what if” till we’re blue in the face, but the facts are that they went the way they did. We can only speculate and debate other possible outcomes.”

The difference between the Constitution, Roe v. Wade, and your other examples is that none of those claim to be God-breathed or divinely inspired. Every example you gave claims to be man-made and is chosen or written by man – and does not claim otherwise. Your Bible is supposedly the word of God. How can you justify it by comparing it to man-made works?

DON: “Good-bye. See ya later. Ta Ta now. Till we meet again. So long for now. Do these all have the same meaning?”

No – they do not all have the same meaning. “Goodbye” simply means that you are leaving – but offering no time frame for a return. When saying “Goodbye” it invites an eternity without a caveat for return. Saying “See you later” means that you will return anywhere from 1 minutes to 1000 years. Each has a different level of formality or informality and each one conveys a separate message. They all convey a departing – they all mean something different in relation to that departing.

DON: “I have faith in my company that it will be in business as long as we keep giving good service for a long time.
I have confidence in my company that if we keep giving good service then we will stay in business for a long time.
I trust that as long as I give good service to our customers than my company will continue to be around for a long time.

Trust and confidence are definitions in the American Heritage dictionary for the word ‘faith’. Does it mean that all of the above statements are not all correct sayings of the same idea?”

Your sentences DO NOT mean the same thing. While faith is defined as a confidence or a trust – that does not mean the words are interchangeable and that if they are interchanged the will mean the same thing. The first sentence conveys a sense of blind hope – that someone will make it better and keep the company afloat. The second sentence conveys knowledge of data that conveys strength of past performance – that there is something to compare it to and show that in all confidence – the company will survive. The third sentence conveys a personal agenda and not a corporate agenda. It puts the burden on the speaker to provide good customer service and takes that burden off the company.

DON: “I don’t recognize the WE translation you referred to. Basically they all said the same thing. I had NO problem with them.”

They did not all say the same thing. Let’s look at them again:

  • NIV: All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.
  • NASB: All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.
  • KJV: All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
  • DARBY: Every scripture [is] divinely inspired, and profitable for teaching, for conviction, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
  • YLT: Every Writing [is] God-breathed, and profitable for teaching, for conviction, for setting aright, for instruction that [is] in righteousness.
  • WE: All that is written in the holy writings comes from the Spirit of God. The holy writings are good for these things: to teach people, to show them when they are wrong, to make them see what is right, to teach them to do what is right.

The KJV says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God”. The ASV and NEB say, “Every Scripture inspired by God is also profitable for teaching.”

The KJV is saying that “EVERY scripture is inspired” while the ASV and NEB are saying “Scripture that is inspired by God” which of course implies that other scripture is not divinely inspired. If you ask a Fundamentalist to show that the scripture is the inspired word of God they usually direct you to Second Timothy 3:16 (KJV). Yet in other interpretations and translations that same verse does not say every scripture is divinely inspired. Other interpretations and translations state that scripture that is inspired by God is… but not that every scripture is inspired – which of course implies that there are scriptures that are not divinely inspired.

This of course goes back to variances and “what did the original actually say”. While they attempt to say the same thing – they do not.

Another example is First Timothy 6:10. Everyone has heard “The love of money is the root of all evil” at least once in his or her life. Notice that it says THE LOVE of money is THE ROOT of ALL EVIL. That is in the KJV and a few other versions. But the NIV says, “For the love of money is a root.” It does not say THE ROOT – it says A ROOT meaning one among several. The quote goes on, “of all kinds of evil” (not necessarily ALL EVIL).

Another version says, “For the love of money is a root of all evil.” And a fourth version that can be found, for instance, in the NWT, says, “For the love of money is a root of all sorts of injurious things.” That does not necessarily mean it has to do with evil at all. So we have four different versions of the same verse, all of which have differences, some small – some large.

Mark 16:9-20 has a footnote in the NIV that states, “The two most reliable early manuscripts don’t even have these verses.” Biblical scholars still cannot agree whether or not these verses should even be included in the Bible.

DON: “Thank you for igniting the spark in me to do more research as to why I believe what I believe. My faith is not only stronger, but now I know a little bit more as to why it is. Coincidence? I don’t think so. We should all know WHY we believe in what we believe!”

You are welcome. From my standpoint this has nothing to do with conversion. It has everything to do with education. You have become curious and are challenging yourself to learn as much as you can – and that is good. If you come out of this episode in your life as a “stronger” Christian – then more power to you. But what is equally important of knowing why you believe something, is knowing why others believe as they do. As I am often fond of saying, “If you can’t argue against what you believe in, then you shouldn’t be arguing for it.”

Don Rebuttal #007

Good points.

My intent for the question of, Do you believe that nothing + nothing = something, comes from the thought that without a creator, then in order for the world to have begun (i.e. the big bang theory) what created the matter which caused the ‘bang’? If nothing created it then it can’t exist. Hence, nothing + nothing = nothing. Totally illogical.

Have we ever been able to duplicate this process?

Do we have any rock solid scientific proof that anything has ever been created without the help of pre-existing substances? Not at all possible.

This is why, in my first email, I told you that you have more faith than I do. You said that you didn’t understand my rationale. I feel that if you believe that the earth was created from nothing, then that takes a great deal more faith than that I believe that it was created by something (my imaginary friend).

If neither one of us had ever seen our biological father’s before, who would have more faith? The one who says, I am convinced that I am a total accident without ever having had a biological father, or the one who says, all life on earth was created and I have a father somewhere?. To have a belief in nothing takes way more faith than a belief in something.

You are right about one translation of the Bible being totally off the wall. NWT. That cult has not one ounce of credibility in its alteration of the Bible. There is absolutely no archaeological proof to back up any of its latter day writings. JWs also.

Since you find no credibility in Lee Strobel’s book, then I will not pursue that trail except to ask you this, what makes a person credible in your book? I can’t believe that you can say that the men interviewed were just giving their opinion. He wasn’t interviewing the man off the street.

Please indulge me on this one.

If I was to say, The earth appears to be round. You could come back with a sentence with 20 letter words that most people would not understand and it would basically mean the same thing I said. Would that be possible? I’m hoping you will say yes.

That’s what some translations of the Bible attempt to do. I have several translations in hard copy and many more on CD-ROM. I prefer to read the NKJV. I do like the way the NIV reads though too. One just may be easier to comprehend than another. Does that make the other one wrong? Not to me it doesn’t.

I don’t speak the way King James did. I don’t speak ancient Greek.

Do all foreign languages have an exact translation in English? Did we have all the exact words for ancient Greek in our language? Although we do get a great deal of our words from the roots of the Greek language.

When I was in El Salvador, my translator sometimes had to think of ways to translate what I had said because they didn’t have a word in Spanish for that particular word or phrase I had used. Did they give the same (or close enough) message as what I had said? Close enough for me.

One last thing. You said that the Bible has been PROVEN to have errors. I would ask, again as I have before, that if you say that there are NO ancient transcripts left then how can you prove anything is incorrect? Have you personally seen the manuscripts and translated them to deduce these errors or are you just relying on someone’s “opinion” as to whether or not they are incorrect?

Romans 1:16- 2:11

Response to Don #007

I am so glad to see you doing the research and asking questions. Regardless of the outcome after you have conducted your research – I’m proud of you. As I have said on my web page and I will reiterate to you here – atheism is not about conversion. I have no intention of converting you. My goal is for everyone to research their beliefs and come to an understanding of how and why they feel and be comfortable in that belief (or lack thereof, as the case may be). If your research strengthens your faith, as you have indicated, then more power to you!

I will give you honest answers to your questions and will not try to deceive you. If you find something in my answers that doesn’t sound right or that you think is deceitful then by all means call me on it. So let’s take a look at your questions…

DON: “My intent for the question of, Do you believe that nothing + nothing = something, comes from the thought that without a creator, then in order for the world to have begun (i.e. the big bang theory) what created the matter which caused the ‘bang’? If nothing created it then it can’t exist. Hence, nothing + nothing = nothing.”

You are correct. The process of nothing plus nothing equals something does sound illogical. That is why the Big Bang Theory has a something before nothing. That something is called a singularity. We know that something existed before the Big Bang. And honestly, we’re not really 100% sure what that something is. It is for this very reason that many Christians have come to the conclusion that the Big Bang Theory is scientifically sound. While cosmological evolutionists have concluded that something existed prior to the Big Bang and there are many theories as to what – the Christian cosmological evolutionist feels that it was God himself that created the Big Bang.

There is absolutely no reason whatsoever that Christians (and other theists) cannot come to the same scientific conclusions as astronomers, evolutionists, and cosmologists. The only time a conflict arises when a literal translation of Genesis is pursued against the scientific evidence at hand. Scientists don’t assume to have all the answers. Science is more about questions than answers, really. As each answer is identified it only creates more questions. The questions grow exponentially. For every answer science finds about 500 new questions form. It is this constant process of questioning the answers that has given science its edge. The very process of questioning yourself means that you are open-minded and want to find problems with theories and want to keep digging for evidence and supporting data. There have been many times that theories have been overturned when those questions were answered.

Let’s look at the Big Bang Theory for example. A Christian Monk first introduced the Big Bang Theory. The Theory was considered to be a major victory by the Christians because it showed that the universe was finite. Science at the time insisted that the universe was infinite. The Christians now had a scientifically sound theory that showed that the universe was finite – and the possibility of a creator could not be ruled out in an infinite universe.

Then science adapted the theory and came to the conclusion that the theory was scientifically sound. Mathematicians, physicists, astronomers, cosmologists, and others all agreed that the theory was sound. Funny thing happened when science embraced the theory. The Christians dropped it and started arguing against it. Seems rather funny to drop the very theory that was considered to be a victory over science just because science agrees with you. That’s like saying; “I like Cocoa Puffs until my enemy started liking them. Now I don’t like them anymore.”

DON: “Have we ever been able to duplicate this process?”

In computer simulations we have. If we were to duplicate the Big Bang you wouldn’t be alive long enough to know it. Can you imagine the catastrophe we would have if the Big Bang were duplicated? To create a universe within a universe would be devastating to the existing universe. Nanoseconds after we duplicated the process we would be vaporized. I don’t think you want scientists to actually duplicate the Big Bang.

We have been able to identify other aspects of the Big Bang that help solidify an already scientifically sound theory such as background radiation (identified by accident, by the way), a constantly expanding universe (over a million miles per hour), and other data. Recently scientists at the Counseil Europeen pour la Recherche Nucleaire (CERN) were able to create the plasma that existed seconds after the Big Bang. You can read about their research and discovery at their web site. You can also read an assessment of that discovery.

DON: “Do we have any rock solid scientific proof that anything has ever been created without the help of pre-existing substances?”

The universe is expanding.

Gravitational pull. If the universe were not expanding with enough force to overcome gravity it would fall back on itself.

Background radiation.

Temperature of distant primordial clouds. Since light travels a finite speed, and the background radiation we see had to travel billions of light-years, we are actually seeing back into time when the universe was thousands of degrees Kelvin. Thus, we are seeing leftover heat from the Big Bang.

Hydrogen-Helium Nucleosynthesis. Measurements of the amount of particular elements in the universe reveal that 25% of the matter in the universe is helium and that 74% is a simple isotope of hydrogen, called deuterium. Today the biggest source of helium is the fusion of deuterium atoms in the cores of stars, but this cannot account for the tremendous quantity of helium. All the stars throughout history could not have created that much helium. Not to mention, where did all the hydrogen come from? The theory is that much of it was synthesized in the Big Bang.

DON: “If neither one of us had ever seen our biological father’s before, who would have more faith? The one who says, I am convinced that I am a total accident without ever having had a biological father, or the one who says, all life on earth was created and I have a father somewhere?”

There’s a mighty big difference between the claim of a biological father and the claim of an all-powerful creator of all that we survey. To compare the two seems rather feeble. As I have discussed already – I have not come to the conclusion that nothing plus nothing equals something – that is illogical.

DON: “To have a belief in nothing takes way more faith than a belief in something.”

That is one of the reasons that I do not believe in a god. Where is he? He is nothing for I cannot see him, hear him, smell him, taste him, touch him, or test him. He does not exist – he is nothing.

DON: “You are right about one translation of the Bible being totally off the wall. NWT. That cult has not one ounce of credibility in its alteration of the Bible. There is absolutely no archaeological proof to back up any of its latter day writings.”

And what archaeological proof backs up your version? How do you know they are wrong and you are right? Do you have any original manuscripts to compare each of your versions to?

DON: “Since you find no credibility in Lee Strobel’s book, then I will not pursue that trail except to ask you this, what makes a person credible in your book? I can’t believe that you can say that the men interviewed were just giving their opinion. He wasn’t interviewing the man off the street.”

I found Lee’s book absurd for a couple of reasons. First and foremost he sold his book based on his past career as an investigative journalist. It’s important to note, especially since most supporters of the book don’t know this, that he was not an investigative journalist anymore when he wrote the book. Many assume that he wrote the book while he was an investigative journalist and that is not true. He wrote it later when his stint at the Chicago Tribune was over.

I also find his book absurd because whatever skills he had learned as an investigative journalist he had forsaken them when he wrote this book. Where in his book are the opposing views? Why were no representatives from the opposing view allowed to offer their rebuttals? He only interviews people that were pro-Jesus. He repeatedly slammed his opponents and never gave them a chance to defend him or herself. That is hardly investigative reporting – that is present a view from one side and one side only and using deception to alter the perception of the reader.

A credible person is not afraid of the other side and is willing to post both sides of the issue and let the reader decide. There are atheistic books out there that I do not find credible for the same reason. That is not to say that all of the books are bad – but they have presented a biased view. If every reader in the world were objective and had the intellectual capacity to understand what was going on behind the lines – then perhaps it wouldn’t bother me as much. If you look at my web page I post rebuttals in their entirety. I don’t edit or chop rebuttals. Readers at my page see both sides of the argument and I leave it to them to make their own decision.

DON: “If I was to say, the earth appears to be round. You could come back with a sentence with 20 letter words that most people would not understand and it would basically mean the same thing I said. Would that be possible?”

Yes and no. The simple statement of, “the Earth appears to be round” is too vague and leaves too much room for error. As I’m sure you know the Earth is not “round” like a ball. It is an elliptical sphere. It is wider in the middle (around the equator) than elsewhere. This unique shape was caused by the very rotation of the Earth itself during the cooling processes 4.5 million years ago. You can duplicate this process by spinning a ball of cooling glass. The glass will take on an elliptical shape as inertia and gravity go to work.

While both persons attempt to say the same thing – they do not. One person has conveyed a very vague message that can be interpreted anyway by the listener. One person sees a beach ball, another person sees a dinner plate – each appears to be round. A flat earth can be round.

Let’s look at your next statement before I elaborate more on this.

DON: “That’s what some translations of the Bible attempt to do. I have several translations in hard copy and many more on CD-ROM. … One just may be easier to comprehend than another. Does that make the other one wrong? Not to me it doesn’t.”

The problem is variances. There are over 200,000 variants for some 5,000 manuscripts. That’s a lot of errors. And contrary to popular belief – they do not say the same thing.

Let’s look one more time at the examples I provided previously and break them down a bit, shall we?

  • NIV: All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.
  • NASB: All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.
  • KJV: All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
  • DARBY: Every scripture [is] divinely inspired, and profitable for teaching, for conviction, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
  • YLT: Every Writing [is] God-breathed, and profitable for teaching, for conviction, for setting aright, for instruction that [is] in righteousness.
  • WE: All that is written in the holy writings comes from the Spirit of God. The holy writings are good for these things: to teach people, to show them when they are wrong, to make them see what is right, to teach them to do what is right.

They are not all saying the same thing. The KJV says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God”. The ASV and NEB say, “Every Scripture inspired by God is also profitable for teaching.”

The KJV is saying that “EVERY scripture is inspired” while the ASV and NEB are saying “Scripture that is inspired by God” which of course implies that other scripture is not divinely inspired. If you ask a Fundamentalist to show that the scripture is the inspired word of God they usually direct you to Second Timothy 3:16 (KJV). Yet in other interpretations and translations that same verse does not say every scripture is divinely inspired. Other interpretations and translations state that scripture that is inspired by God is… but not that every scripture is inspired – which of course implies that there are scriptures that are not divinely inspired.

This of course goes back to variances and “what did the original actually say”. While they attempt to say the same thing – they do not. Another example is First Timothy 6:10. Everyone has heard “The love of money is the root of all evil” at least once in his or her life. Notice that it says the love of money is THE ROOT of ALL EVIL. That is in the KJV and a few other versions. But the NIV says, “For the love of money is a root.” It does not say THE ROOT – it says A ROOT meaning one among several. The quote goes on, “of all kinds of evil” (not necessarily ALL EVIL).

Another version says, “For the love of money is a root of all evil.” And a fourth version that can be found, for instance, in the NWT, says, “For the love of money is a root of all sorts of injurious things.” That does not necessarily mean it has to do with evil at all. So we have four different versions of the same verse, all of which have differences, some small – some large.

Mark 16:9-20 has a footnote in the NIV that states, “The two most reliable early manuscripts don’t even have these verses.” Biblical scholars still cannot agree whether or not these verses should even be included in the Bible.

DON: “Do all foreign languages have an exact translation in English? Did we have all the exact words for ancient Greek in our language?”

Since I speak Spanish and Italian I can safely say that all languages DO NOT translate exactly into English. However there is a commonly accepted translation for almost every word. As many biblical scholars there are in the world – you think they could agree on a translation. The problem is those 200,000 variants. Which one is correct? Which one has the original hidden in it? I have five different Italian/English dictionaries at home and they all have the same words for each English word and vice versa. So why can’t Biblical Scholars and theologians agree on what the Greek and Hebrew translations should be? You can buy a Greek (I have one of those because I lived in Greece for two years and visited a few times afterwards) and Hebrew dictionary with English conversions. Why do the scholars disagree?

DON: “When I was in El Salvador, my translator sometimes had to think of ways to translate what I had said because they didn’t have a word in Spanish for that particular word or phrase I had used. Did they give the same (or close enough) message as what I had said? Close enough for me.”

The problem your translator ran into was more likely a wording problem and not really a word-for-word translation. The Latin languages have a tendency to say the same thing with fewer words – which is why a translation to English can often sound like a See Dick Run book from the first grade. I’m sure your translator ran into problems with exact word-for-word translations. Either because he did not know the words or there was no word in Spanish for the English word and he was not aware of what the scholars had chosen as the replacement. And that is the highlight of biblical translation. There is no agreement among the scholars as to what words should represent what words.

For example if the Greek text says Pink but there is no English word for Pink then you have to find a replacement that everyone agrees on. The Greeks show us what Pink means and we call it baby red! So the scholars agree that whenever the Greek text says Pink it will be translated to the words baby red. The problem of course is that the scholars can’t agree. As we scan through several translations we see many variations of the Greek word pink. We see baby red, red, orange, neon red, the colors of sunset, reddish, colored like an apple, red-like, white-red, and others. In this example we know that red, orange, neon red, reddish, colored like an apple, red-like, and the colors of a sunset do not even come close to pink. White-red will possibly work – but leaves an awful lot to the imagination and conveys a sense of more white than red because the word white comes first (blue-green is more blue and green-blue is more green). Baby red works the same way baby blue does. Blue is the ocean and baby blue is the sky.

While the example seems far-fetched it underlines the problem with biblical manuscripts – which no scholars can agree on which one is correct and which wordage is appropriate. Thus we have variations and over 3500 sects of Christianity.

DON: “I would ask, again as I have before, that if you say that there are NO ancient transcripts left then how can you prove anything is incorrect?”

The assertion is that the Bible is error-free. This is obviously not the case. Until the original manuscripts are produced to prove the Bible is correct – we must assume they are in error. With over 200,000 variants there is no way anyone can claim the Bible is error-free and maintain their intellectual integrity. They can try to rationalize why the current copies might be close to the original – but the bottom line is they don’t know (and never will).

If Christians were to stop claiming the Bible as error-free and the word of God tomorrow – then I would stop saying that the Bible has errors in it. The claim has been made that the Bible is the word of God, and therefore perfect, and that is 100% error free. If that claim is made – then I will offer evidence to the contrary.

DON: “Have you personally seen the manuscripts and translated them to deduce these errors or are you just relying on someone’s “opinion” as to whether or not they are incorrect?”

I have seen some of the manuscripts (from a distance, of course) – but neither the biblical scholars nor I have access to any signed originals manuscripts. They simply do not exist. The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls has actually caused more of a problem for inerrantists. The Dead Sea Scrolls have illuminated more errors and problems with the “error-free” Bible.

Proverbs 19:28

  • NASB: A rascally witness makes a mockery of justice, And the mouth of the wicked spreads [swallows] iniquity.
  • ASV: A worthless witness mocketh at justice; And the mouth of the wicked swalloweth iniquity.
  • NKJV: A disreputable witness scorns justice, And the mouth of the wicked devours iniquity.
  • KJV: An ungodly witness scorneth judgment: and the mouth of the wicked devoureth iniquity.
  • NLT: A corrupt witness makes a mockery of justice; the mouth of the wicked gulps down evil.
  • NRS: A worthless witness mocks at justice, and the mouth of the wicked devours iniquity.
  • RSV: A worthless witness mocks at justice, and the mouth of the wicked devours iniquity.
  • TEV: There is no justice where a witness is determined to hurt someone. Wicked people love the taste of evil.
  • NAB: An unprincipled witness perverts justice, and the mouth of the wicked pours out iniquity.
  • DRB: An unjust witness scorneth judgment: and the mouth of the wicked devoureth iniquity.
  • WEB: A corrupt witness mocks justice, And the mouth of the wicked gulps down iniquity.
  • BBE: A good-for-nothing witness makes sport of the judge’s decision: and the mouth of evildoers sends out evil like a stream.
  • DARBY: A witness of Belial scorneth judgment, and the mouth of the wicked swalloweth down iniquity.
  • HNV: A corrupt witness mocks justice, And the mouth of the wicked gulps down iniquity.
  • WB: An ungodly witness scorneth judgment: and the mouth of the wicked devoureth iniquity.
  • LV: testis iniquus deridet iudicium et os impiorum devorat iniquitatem
  • YLT: A worthless witness scorneth judgment, And the mouth of the wicked swalloweth iniquity.

Don Rebuttal #008

Just 2 or 3 (I hope) real quick things.

1) Do you know the etymology of the word ‘universe’. As an atheist, do you have a problem using that word (I’m assuming you know it’s etymology)?

2) This is my own personal belief as to why the earth appears to be older than the approx. 6,000 years I believe it to be. I believe that God created the earth as a mature planet. I also believe God created Adam & Eve. When God created Adam, He probably created him as a young adult. If Adam would have been able to have a medical checkup, then the Dr. would have come to the conclusion that he was, for the sake of a number, 20 years old. The same thing for my belief about the world. It was created young, but looks old.

I would never expect for you to even remotely agree with me. That is just what I believe. You don’t need to take any time in rebuttal to that unless you just want to. It’s just my opinion.

3) Are you a micro, macro or a little of both evolutionist?

4) You once asked me how I would explain the “fact?” that a star is millions of light years away if we are only 6,000 years old. May I please refer you to the best explanation I could find a Creation Science Evagelism.

5) I would like to compliment you on your includence of theism links on your web page.

I also liked your reply to the question about your child and your trying, or better yet, not trying, to teach them that it’s this way or else. I have tried to explain to my children why I believe what I believe. I have also tried, for them as well as for myself, to live my life as I believe a “Christian” ought to live. This is called, showing by example and not just by words. I don’t pretend to be “perfect”. They know that I’m far from “perfect”. I put that word in quotes only because, when you claim to be a “Christian” and you don’t live a “perfect” life then there are those who are waiting to let you know what a hypocrite you are. Some people do practice hypocrisy, just like some who practice drunkenness, spousal and child abuse, profanity, drug abuse, etc. etc. After all, practice does, in some instances, make perfect. NO ONE has to tell me when I’ve done something I shouldn’t have. I beat them to it by a mile!! I just try hard to not make it a habit. Not that you have to be a Christian to be like that either. Except for the feeling, on my part, that you seemed a bit arrogant at times, you come across as a pretty good family man. You know… you would make a pretty good Chris.. never mind. Just kidding!

Well I’ve gone over my 2-3 things I wanted to cover (see there, can’t trust them Christians to do what they say).

Just one more thing please. I’ve noticed that you’ve used the word hell in the context of “what the hell I look like”, and in a similar context somewhere else on your web page. I find that quite interesting. I really don’t think that I have to explain why I think that’s interesting do I?

Response to Don #008

Good to hear from you! I see you’ve been busy since we last talked. That’s great! Remember – no matter what conclusion you come to – you can say with pride that you have done the research and say you have reached your own conclusions. And that is what is most important – coming to our own conclusions. The conclusion is irrelevant in the long run – it’s the journey that gets us there that is important.

Now on to your questions:

DON: “Do you know the etymology of the word “universe”? As an atheist, do you have a problem using that word (I’m assuming you know it’s etymology)?”

Universe has its roots in from the original Indo-European of unus for “one” and versus, which comes from the Latin verb vertere that means, “to turn.” From the original roots sprouted the Old French univers and Latin universum. The original meaning of the word was “All created things viewed as constituting one system or whole; the whole body of things, or of phenomena. The mundus of the Latin’s; the world; creation.”

But the root of word, the etymology, usually is irrelevant to the current meaning of the word. Why should I have a problem with its origins? Just look at the word “cool” for an extreme example.

Same for the origins of the Big Bang Theory – why drop a word or theory just because its origins contradict our modern views? A Christian monk developed the Big Bang Theory to prove that the universe was finite. At the time science believed that the universe was infinite. Christianity embraced the theory as proof that the universe was finite and could have a creator. When science realized the theory was scientifically sound and offered further evidence to substantiate the theory – Christianity dropped it like a hot potato. I am not afraid of nor am I worried about the roots of words – unlike Christianity has shown itself to be in the past.

DON: “This is my own personal belief as to why the earth appears to be older than the approx. 6,000 years I believe it to be. I believe that God created the earth as a mature planet. I also believe God created Adam & Eve. When God created Adam, He probably created him as a young adult. If Adam had been able to have a medical checkup, then the Dr. would have come to the conclusion that he was, for the sake of a number, 20 years old. The same thing for my belief about the world. It was created young, but looks old.”

If you truly believe this then you cannot fault science for finding the maturity in the planet or the species on the planet. You cannot fault the scientists for discovering that light from stars billions of light years away would not be visible if the planet were only 6000-years-old. Usually when evidence of an old earth is provided the comeback is, “God is testing our faith”. I get that line a lot – especially when I ask about dinosaur bones, starlight, and strata. “God is testing our faith.”

Is there Biblical Scripture to support your claim that Adam was 20 and God created a “mature” Earth?

DON: “I would never expect for you to even remotely agree with me. That is just what I believe. You don’t need to take any time in rebuttal to that unless you just want to. It’s just my opinion.”

Why would you not expect me to agree with you? I will be more than happy to agree with you if you can provide the evidence to back up your claim. You can start by providing Biblical Scripture support for a mature Earth creation and a mature Adam.

DON: “Are you a micro, macro or a little of both evolutionist?”

Evolution is both – they are both interwoven into the fact and theory of evolution. Macroevolution (macro from the Greek word for “big”) refers to an evolutionary change at or above the level of species. In other words the splitting of a species into two, or speciation. It is also referred to as cladogenesis, which is from the Greek meaning of “the origin of a branch”. Any changes that occur at higher levels such as phyla, genera, or family are also referred to as macroevolution.

Microevolution (micro from the Greek word “small”) refers to an evolutionary change below the level of species. It takes into account the changes in frequency within a population or a species of its alleles (alternative genes) and their effects thereof (also referred to as phenotype).

Perhaps a simpler way of putting it is that macroevolution is “between species” and microevolution is “within species”.

Both microevolution and macroevolution have been observed in nature and in the fossil record.

DON: “You once asked me how I would explain the “fact?” that a star is millions of light years away if we are only 6,000 years old. May I please refer you to the best explanation I could find at Creation Science Evagelism.”

I’ll avoid a discussion about Dr. Dino – because it is irrelevant at this point. But I would suggest that you research his credentials before you rely to heavily on his web page.

“Dr.” Dino insists that:

Scientists cannot measure the distance of light accurately beyond 100 light years.

No one knows what light is nor that it always travels the same speed throughout all of time, space, and matter.

That creation was mature when God finished it.

Point 3 is irrelevant here because it does not provide evidence against the scientific method. It is pure speculation and there is no Biblical support of this statement. So we’ll toss that one out.

Point 2 is incorrect. We do know what light is and how to separate light and identify the wavelengths in light and focus it. We do know that light always travels the same speed in a vacuum (space). If the speed were to change minutely in a different “matter” it would be irrelevant. The change would have to be extremely drastic for it to make a difference from 15 billion years to 6000 years. It would be the light-year equivalent of stopping a bullet train in less than five feet. If light travels differently outside of time it has no bearing whatsoever on our measurements. Time is a constant in our dimension. Light traveling from one side of our dimension to another would not suffer from changes because of a “time warp”.

His “rainbow effect” is not a slowing down or speeding up of light as he indicates. The rainbow effect is caused when the light is separated into its color spectrum – the speed of the light does not change. I hope this man isn’t calling himself a scientist. To say that the speed of light changing causes a rainbow! Send that man back to High School physics!

It’s also important to note that Barry Setterfield, whom Dr. Dino quotes, proposed the c-decay hypothesis in 1981. The young-Earth community embraced it until in 1988 the San Diego-based Institute for Creation Research (ICR) rejected the theory in their article “Acts and Facts”, June 1988, by G. Aardsma. Dr. Dino later refers readers to the ICR. How can he quote something that the ICR rejects then send his readers to the ICR? It doesn’t make any sense. Does Dr. Dino not know that ICR rejected his claims?

Point 1 is incorrect. A light-year is the distance a beam of light travels in a year, 5.88 trillion miles (9.46 trillion km.). Light travels at a speed of 186,287 miles per second (299,792 km/s). Most astronomers prefer to use the Parsec, which is the equivalent of 3.2 light-years. Where does Dr. Dino get is “100 light-years” from? Because ground based observations can achieve an accurate measurement of parallax angles as small as 0.03, which corresponds to starts at a distance of d=1/0.03 which is 33 parsec or roughly 100 light years. The Hippocras satellite measured the distance of stars 1000 parsecs away accurately. And with the establishment of the Hubble space telescope – the stars are NOT the limits anymore! We have now measured the distance the farthest reaches of the universe visible with the Hubble. We have seen and measured what we have never been able to do before. Perhaps Dr. Dino should update his page to reflect the Hippocras satellite and the Hubble space telescope?

He is correct that ground based observations cannot be exclusively accurate for any star over 100 light years away. But satellites have measure starts at 1000 parsecs (32,000 light years (there goes the 6000-year-old Earth) and the Hubble has measured star distances into the millions of light years. Dr. Dino and those he quotes have failed to use light and starts as “proof” for a young earth.

DON: “I would like to compliment you on including theism links on your web page.”

I don’t know how many times I can emphasize the fact that I’m not out to convert people. I am out to educate people and let them come to their own conclusions. If I “create” a few atheists along the way – so be it. If I cause people to become stronger in their faith and learn about the origins of their beliefs – more power to them. It’s about education – not conversion. That is the difference between the theist and me. Thank you for the compliment and I will continue to update them. I don’t know if you’ve seen the articles section lately – but it is teaming with new information and formats.

DON: “I also liked your reply to the question about your child and your trying, or better yet, not trying, to teach them that it’s this way or else. I have tried to explain to my children why I believe what I believe. I have also tried, for them as well as for myself, to live my life, as I believe a “Christian” ought to live.”

Thank you. If we don’t trust our children to make their own choices about religion then how can we expect them to make choices at all? Religious belief or the lack thereof will undoubtedly be one of the most important decisions in their lives. I personally believe that they should be left to make that decision on their own. Let them see by our example and the example of others. Let them research everything possible and let the parents provide the means to do that research. If my children ask me for a book about Hinduism – I will provide it. Hiding things from them will only increase the rebelliousness and likeliness of “crossing over”. Let them explore and learn – let them make their choice. I can tell already that at least one of my daughters will need a god and need faith in her life. My other daughter will more than likely become a freethinker and perhaps even an atheist.

DON: “Not that you have to be a Christian to be like that either. Except for the feeling, on my part, that you seemed a bit arrogant at times, you come across as a pretty good family man. You know… you would make a pretty good Chris (tian). Never mind. Just kidding!”

No… that’s okay. You are right. I would make a good “christian.” That is because our morality is based on human nature, societal needs, and our inner feelings and emotions that are triggered by our experiences. I am a humane and decent person that tries very hard to live to the standards of ever advanced and educated society before us. Confucius was saying exactly what Jesus said (although Confucius said it 500 years earlier). Before Confucius was Hammurabi’s Code. If I were a Christian – I would be a damn fine Christian! I take that as a compliment – no need to say, “just kidding”.

My arrogance is more frustration than anything. Frustrated at hearing the same thing over and over again. I’m not talking about questions that are asked – I’m talking about the laying of words from bigoted sources. Bigoted statements like, “atheists are Satanists” and “atheists are immoral”, among others. It can get on your nerves. Early in the debate I took that out on you a little – and I apologize for that. You came to me with questions and a predetermined bias based on what you had been taught. I took out my frustration at your teachers on you – and again I’m sorry.

DON: “Just one more thing please. I’ve noticed that you’ve used the word hell in the context of “what the hell I look like”, and in a similar context somewhere else on your web page. I find that quite interesting. I really don’t think that I have to explain why I think that’s interesting do I?”

You don’t have to explain why you think it is interesting. They are figures of speech. When you say, “It’s hot as hell out here”, do you literally mean you are standing in the pits of hell? Do you really know the exact temperature of hell when you say that? Of course you’re not in the pits of hell and you don’t know the temperature of hell – it’s a figure of speech.

No different than saying things like:

  • “Hells bells!”
  • “Jesus H. Christ!”
  • “God damnit!”
  • “It’s hot as hell out here!”
  • “Lord, help us.”
  • “Only god knows.”
  • “Thank god for that.”
  • “Mary, mother of god.”
  • “That’s one hell of a pitch you got there, son.”
  • “Holy cow!”
  • “Gotta get me to the church on time.”
  • “I look to the heavens to see the planets and stars.”
  • “New York City is hell on earth.”
  • “Cindy Crawford’s bed is heaven on earth.”

They are all figures of speech and do not mean the speaker believes in the reference and is in no way literal. If Cindy Crawford’s bed were literally heaven on earth a lot of pastors would be squirming in their pews. Of course New York probably is the literal hell on earth!

Don Rebuttal #009

Thank you for the encouragement. I hope that you have seen some growth in this 43 year old since we first started corresponding. I’ve learned a great deal.

I don’t know much about Dr. Dino other than he has a tape series, says he will take on all challengers and says he is offering a $250,000 reward to anyone who can prove evolution (if I understand him correctly). I am obviously not a scientist and as a believer in creationism, he says the things I want to here. I also, though, wouldn’t mind if someone says (it would be my wife) that I still looked as if I were 20. Sounds good, but not quite true.

Thank you for all of the detailed explanations. It’s very interesting.

The reason for my question as to whether or not you have a problem using the word ‘universe’ is this. I heard that the word came from the Latin uni, meaning – single. Verse, meaning – spoken sentence. Guess who I heard that from? It sounded good.

When I said that I was just kidding about you being a good Christian if you had gone that way was a compliment. I do accept your apology for the earlier correspondences in which you sounded a wee bit agitated, I probably would have responded the same way. Thank you.

Well, I need to do a little more studying for tomorrow. It’s our primary in California. A couple of heated propositions on the ballot. The hottest is prop. 22, the “protect marriage” prop. I don’t understand why it’s such a controversy here on the “left” coast. Any ideas? You lived out here a while.

Response to Don #009

DON: “Thank you, also, for the encouragement. I hope that you have seen some growth in this 43-year-old since we first started corresponding. I’ve learned a great deal.”

You are very welcome! I’m glad to hear you’ve learned a lot. I know I’ve mentioned it before –but here I go again – I live every day with a single goal: to learn something new. It makes every day enjoyable – even when I’m having a “bad hair day”.

DON: “I don’t know much about Dr. Dino other than he has a tape series, says he will take on all challengers and says he is offering a $250,000 reward to anyone who can prove evolution (if I understand him correctly).”

Dr. Dino’s $250,000 reward is actually not his own – he is supporting Dr. Hamm – who is the originator of the reward. Dr. Hamm has a series of 20 questions that evolutionists are supposed to answer. I answered his questions once and the responses he sent back made me laugh so hard I thought I was going to pee my pants. I didn’t email him back because I knew no matter what I said – he would disagree – because he didn’t want to see the evidence. That is why a lot of evolutionists and other scientists will not debate creationists anymore – because it’s frivolous and a waste of time. There are those like me that are still willing to debate now and then. Not for the benefit of the person I’m debating – but for the benefit of the general public.

DON: “I am obviously not a scientist and as a believer in creationism, he says the things I want to hear. I also, though, wouldn’t mind if someone says (it would be my wife) that I still looked as if I were 20. Sounds good, but not quite true.”

Don’t worry about not being a scientist – Dr. Dino isn’t a scientist either! This isn’t about being a scientist or a genius. This about the search for knowledge and coming to our own conclusions instead of letting others draw those conclusions for us. You touched on a major subject when you said that they “say the things you want to hear.” It’s kind of like sitting through a church sermon – they tell you what you want to hear. They tell you that you will have eternal life, that god loves you, that you are loved by the fellowship, and you can be forgiven for the bad things you’ve done. That is the description of any church of any religion (with obvious exceptions).

When is the last time you heard a preacher talking about the “bad” parts of the Bible in a sermon? When is the last time you heard a preacher talking about the Council of Nicea and the origins of today’s modern Bible? When is the last time you heard a preacher tell you that King James was a homosexual and a murderer – and yet his rendition of the Bible is the most accepted. King James got away with homosexuality and murder because he had “divine right of law” – in other words God gave him the right to rule over the people and therefore he was exempt from common law.

It’s easy to believe anything when you are told what you want to hear. That is why I always check things out for myself – even when it comes from evolutionary scientists or others. Doesn’t matter what the source is – I check it out for myself (to the best of my ability, anyway).

DON: “The reason for my question as to whether or not you have a problem using the word ‘universe’ is this. I heard that the word came from the Latin uni, meaning – single. Verse, meaning – spoken sentence. Guess whom I heard that from? It sounded good.”

I can only guess at whom you heard it from – but Dr. Dino sticks out like a sore thumb here. The etymology of universe has to do with “creation” in its most original root. I’m not sure where the “spoken sentence” came from for “verse”. The root is vertere – not verse. Perhaps you should question Dr. Dino about that? See what he tells you that you want to hear?

DON: “The hottest is prop. 22, the “protect marriage” prop. I don’t understand why it’s such a controversy here on the “left” coast. Any ideas? You lived out here a while.”

I’m not sure why proposition 22 is making such waves in California. I knew and know California as a very freethinking state. Where you can do anything you want in fashion, sex, emotion, and art – and no one gave one poop or another. Want blue hair – go ahead. Want to wear a pink tuxedo – go ahead. I had always admired California for that. I guess I should be specific and say Southern California. Southern and Northern California are two different states and should be divided like the Dakotas and the Carolinas.

Perhaps the brunt of the controversy is stemming from the Hispanic population – which is majority Catholic? I know there’s been a recent influx of Mormonism into the state as well. I remember seeing that huge white temple along I-215 going toward San Diego. It’ll be interesting to see the outcome.

One comment on “Debate 004: Don and Blair debate Christian issues

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