Debate 026: Terry and Blair discuss creationism and Pascal’s Wager

Terry Rebuttal #001:

HI, MY NAME IS TERRY, I HAVE A FRIEND THAT IS AN ATHEIST AND IM TRYING TO SHARE GOD WITH HIM, BUT HE REFERRED ME TO THIS SITE. AND I WOULD LIKE TO DEBATE YOU ON A FEW THOUGHTS. I WOULD BE INTERESTED FIRST IN YOUR THOUGHTS ON: IF IM RIGHT AND THERE IS A GOD AND A HELL THEN THE BEST THING THAT CAN HAPPEN IS I WOULD GO TO HEAVEN, BUT IF YOU ARE RIGHT THE WORST THING THAT CAN HAPPEN TO ME IS I WOULD ROT AWAY IN A GRAVE. HOWEVER, WITH YOUR BELIEF, IF YOU ARE WRONG THE BEST THING THAT CAN HAPPEN IS YOU WILL BE IN A GRAVE ROTTING AWAY BUT IF YOU ARE WRONG YOU WILL SPEND ETERNITY IN HELL. NOW I AM NOT TRYING TO PREACH HELLFIRE DAMNATION TO YOU NOW , IT IS JUST THE COLD HARD TRUTH. MY QUESTION TO YOU IS OF THE TWO ALTERNATIVES IT SEEMS THAT BELIEVING IN GOD IS THE NO BRAINER. IT’S NO MYSTERY THAT CHRISTIANITY AND EVOLUTION ARE BOTH RELIGIOUS IN THAT IT TAKES FAITH TO BELIEVE EITHER ONE. IN MY OPINION IT TAKES MORE FAITH TO BELIEVE EVOLUTION THAN TO BELIEVE THAT AN INTELLIGENT BEING CREATED THIS WHOLE COSMOS.

THE OTHER THING I ASK YOU IS FOR A REFERENCE FOR THE STATEMENT THAT YOU MADE IN A DEBATE WITH CLAY THAT SOUTHERN BAPTIST HAVE A QUOTA TO MEET IN ORDER TO GET INTO HEAVEN OR SOMETHING TO THAT EFFECT. I AM A BAPTIST BUT NOT A SOUTHERN BAPTIST, BUT I DO KNOW THAT SOUTHERN BAPTIST DO NOT BELIEVE THEY GET TO HEAVEN BY ANYTHING BUT FAITH. THAT STATEMENT ABOUT THEM IS AN ERRONEOUS STATEMENT, UNLESS YOU HAVE A REFERENCE THAT YOU GOT THAT FROM.

IF YOU DO HAVE A REFERENCE, THEN THAT PERSON IS ABOUT AS IGNORANT AS THE MAJORITY OF THE OTHER CHRISTIANS. I CONFESS THAT MOST CHURCH MEMBERS PROBALLY WILL NOT GET INTO TO HEAVEN DUE TO THEIR FAKE IMPERSONATIONS AS CHRISTIANS, BUT I CONFESS THE IGNORANCE OF 90%+ CHURCH MEMBERS DO NOT EVER PICK THEIR BIBLE EXCEPT ON SUNDAY MORNING ABOUT 11:00 AM. I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS DISCUSSION. AND I WILL TRY MY BEST TO GO BY YOUR RULES SEEING THAT THIS IS YOUR WEBSITE. YOU ARE PROBALLY LIKE ME IN THAT I LIKE TO TRIP PEOPLE UP IN THEIR ON BELIEFS WITH TRUTH. I AM A FIREFIGHTER AND WORK A CRAZY SCHEDULE BUT I WILL MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO RETURN ALL REBUTTALS AS PROMPTLY AS POSSIBLE.GOOD DAY.

 

Response to Terry #001:

First let me thank you for your comments and feedback; they are greatly appreciated. Would you also please pass on my gratitude to your friend for his kind referral to my website.

Allow me to address the issues you raised independently.

TERRY: “I WOULD BE INTERESTED FIRST IN YOUR THOUGHTS ON: IF IM RIGHT AND THERE IS A GOD AND A HELL THEN THE BEST THING THAT CAN HAPPEN IS I WOULD GO TO HEAVEN, BUT IF YOU ARE RIGHT THE WORST THING THAT CAN HAPPEN TO ME IS I WOULD ROT AWAY IN A GRAVE. HOWEVER, WITH YOUR BELIEF, IF YOU ARE WRONG THE BEST THING THAT CAN HAPPEN IS YOU WILL BE IN A GRAVE ROTTING AWAY BUT IF YOU ARE WRONG YOU WILL SPEND ETERNITY IN HELL.”

This type of “logic” originated with Blaise Pascal in what has become known as Pascal’s Wager.

Simply put, Pascal’s Wager goes something like this:

Either the believer or the non-believer will be correct – one of them has to be wrong.

  • If you are a believer and you are correct – then you will be rewarded with eternal life.
  • If you are a non-believer and you are correct – then you will die and nothing will happen.
  • If you are a believer and you are wrong – then will you will die and nothing will happen.
  • If you are a non-believer and you are wrong – then you will be punished with eternal damnation in the pits of hell.

Therefore, if you are a believer you have a chance of eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven – even if you are wrong. If you are a nonbeliever you have zero chance. Why should we not be a believer? Just in case the believers are right?

Pascal’s Wager has been proven wrong countless times and shown to have serious defects. I have to admit that I find it odd that mainstream and sect Christians are using Pascal’s Wager since Pascal used it to convert people to Jansenism. That issue aside, there are many reasons the Wager does not work. Instead of repeating myself, I would refer you to the web page where I address Pascal’s Wager specifically: What If You Are Wrong?

If you are still confused or have additional questions after reading that page, please let me know and I will be more than happy to address any you bring up.

TERRY: “MY QUESTION TO YOU IS OF THE TWO ALTERNATIVES IT SEEMS THAT BELIEVING IN GOD IS THE NO BRAINER.”

What would lead you to that conclusion? Do you have evidence of God’s existence that apologists and theologians have failed to produce? In order for something to be a “no brainer” there must be substantial evidence in favor of it. The lack of evidence (100% lack of evidence) for God would immediately disqualify God as a “no brainer” contestant. If you have substantial proof of your God then I’d be happy to hear about it.

TERRY: “IN MY OPINION IT TAKES MORE FAITH TO BELIEVE EVOLUTION THAN TO BELIEVE THAT AN INTELLIGENT BEING CREATED THIS WHOLE COSMOS.”

If you believe that it takes faith to accept the scientific validity of the Theory of Evolution through the means of Natural Selection then you do not understand the Theory of Evolution at all. Anyone that understands the Theory of Evolution does not question the evidence or make a declaration of faith in regards to the theory. If there is anything about the Theory of Evolution that you do not understand I will be more than happy to help you understand it. What makes you draw such a conclusion if not ignorance of the Theory of Evolution itself?

TERRY: “THE OTHER THING I ASK YOU IS FOR A REFERENCE FOR THE STATEMENT THAT YOU MADE IN A DEBATE WITH CLAY THAT SOUTHERN BAPTIST HAVE A QUOTA TO MEET IN ORDER TO GET INTO HEAVEN OR SOMETHING TO THAT EFFECT.”

That statement was not a factual statement, but a statement of jest. I was joking that as much as Southern Baptists try to convert that they, like State Troopers, must meet a conversion quote in order to get into Heaven. It was a joke and not intended to be taken as a literal statement.

TERRY: “IF YOU DO HAVE A REFERENCE, THEN THAT PERSON IS ABOUT AS IGNORANT AS THE MAJORITY OF THE OTHER CHRISTIANS.”

What does that say about the person that took that statement as fact instead of jest or sarcasm?

TERRY: “…BUT I CONFESS THE IGNORANCE OF 90%+ CHURCH MEMBERS DO NOT EVER PICK THEIR BIBLE EXCEPT ON SUNDAY MORNING ABOUT 11:00 AM.”

You can confess if you must, but I’d be willing to wager that Atheists and other non-believers no more about the Bible than most Christians (yourself included). It is the knowledge of the Bible that makes an Atheist. It is the lack of knowledge in the churches that keeps the pews full. If every Christian knew the history of the Bible and knew more about the Bible then they would no longer be attending church.

TERRY: “YOU ARE PROBALLY [SIC] LIKE ME IN THAT I LIKE TO TRIP PEOPLE UP IN THEIR ON BELIEFS WITH TRUTH.”

No offense, but I have not seen any truth from you yet. I have read about your beliefs and your speculations. I have read about your ideas and convictions, but I have not seen any truth. I’m looking forward to hearing it, though.

TERRY: “I AM A FIREFIGHTER AND WORK A CRAZY SCHEDULE…”

Allow me to take this opportunity to applaud your actions as a firefighter. There are three professions in this world that are relied on heavily: firefighters, police, and teachers. Those same three professions are also the most underpaid professions. Anyone that has the dedication to take on one of those services deserves kudos from all. You have my deepest appreciation for that.

 

Terry Rebuttal #002:

I CERTAINLY APPRECIATE YOUR RESPONSE TO MY EMAIL AND I WAS NOT TRYING TO GET INTO ANY HEAVY SUBJECTS IN MY INITIAL EMAIL JUST A LITTLE SOMETHING TO GET THE BALL ROLLING. NOW I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW A FEW THINGS FROM YOU : WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE BIBLE? DOES IT CONTAIN ANY TRUTH OR DO YOU THINK THE WHOLE THING IS A FAIRYTALE?

CONCERNING PASCHAL, YOUR WEB SITE DID NOT WORK ON THIS LINK, SO I NEED TO KNOW WHAT YOU MEANT BY DEFECTS IN THE THEORY. ALSO I DID NOT EVEN KNOW WHO HE WAS UNTIL YOU BROUGHT IT UP AND YOU MADE ME DO RESEARCH AND I APPRECIATE THAT, I NOW KNOW WHO HE IS SO I HAVE ALREADY LEARNED SOMETHING THANKS. I DID NOT GET INTO HIS BELIEFS TOO HEAVILY, BUT IF YOU ARE WONDERING WHY CHRISTIANS ARE USING HIS THEORY DUE TO THE FACT THAT HE CONVERTED PEOPLE TO JANSENISM THEN I DO NOT SEE WHAT WAS WRONG WITH THAT BECAUSE I BELIEVE IN PREDESTINATION AND LEAN TOWARD CALVINISTIC VIEWS. ALSO, SO IT IS NOT A SHOT IN MY ARM TO SIDE WITH HIM ON THAT ISSUE. NOW THIS IS NOT A ENDORSEMENT OF ALL HIS BELIEFS BUT JUST THE PREDESTINATION WHICH I BELIEVE YOU WERE PROBALLY REFERRING TO WHEN YOU SAID YOU WERE SURPRISED TO SEE CHRISTIANS USING HIS THEORY. I DISAGREE WITH YOU THAT HE ORIGINATED THE THEORY BECAUSE I USED IT IN MY OPENING EMAIL TO YOU, I HAD NO IDEA HE EXISTED, BUT LIKE ME, I ASSUME HE TOOK THAT “LOGIC” FROM THE BIBLE WHICH IS TRUE AND I BELIEVE EVERY WORD OF IT IS TRUE AND WAS WRITTEN BEFORE HIS TIME, SO IT COULD NOT HAVE ORIGINATED WITH HIM. IT IS PLAIN AND SIMPLE WE HAVE BELIEVERS AND NON BELIEVERS IN THIS WORLD AND I UNDERSTAND THERE ARE DIFFERENCES… I.E. ATHEIST, AGNOSTICS, REINCARNATIONIST, ETC.. BUT TO MAKE ALL THAT MORE SIMPLER- EITHER WE ARE ALL GONNA ROT IN A GRAVE AND CEASE TO EXIST OR THERE ARE TWO KIND OF PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD THOSE WHO ARE GOING TO HEAVEN AND THOSE WHO ARE GOING TO HELL. SO BASED ON THE TWO BELIEF SYSTEMS YOU CAN CONCLUDE THAT PASCALS THEORY IS NOT SOMETHING IT TAKES A PHYSICIST TO COME UP WITH , BUT IT’S SO SIMPLE THAT A CHILD CAN UNDERSTAND (A CHILD OLD ENOUGH TO COMPREHEND) IT. I AM NOT A COLLEGE EDUCATED PERSON BUT ALL IT TOOK FOR ME TO FIGURE OUT PASCHALS THEORY WAS COMMON SENSE. I THINK AND CORRECT ME IF I AM WRONG, YOU WOULD PROBALLY SAY ONE OF TWO THINGS AND THATS “THAT THERE EITHER IS A GOD OR THERE IS NOT” AND THATS THE TWO GENERAL BELIEFS IN THIS WORLD, ONE CARRIES REWARDS AND THE OTHER PUNISHMENT LEADING ONE TO THE CONCLUSION IF THERE IS A GOD I MUST BELIEVE OR I DONT BELIEVE AND TAKE A CHANCE OF BEING WRONG AND FRIEND ETERNITY IS A LONG TIME TO BE WRONG.

WE DO NOT EVEN NEED TO ADDRESS THE IF I’M RIGHT STUFF OR IF YOU ARE WRONG STUFF BECAUSE THATS IRRELEVANT, FIGURING OUT IF THERE IS A GOD IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE FOR A HUMAN, DUE TO THE FACT THAT IT IS THE ONLY BELIEF THAT CARRIES CONSEQUENCES, IF EVOLUTION IS TRUE THEN WHO CARES WHAT HAPPENS AFTER DEATH BECAUSE THERE IS NO CONSEQUENCES THERE, SO THERE IS NO NEED TO SAY IF YOU ARE RIGHT (ATHEISM) THEN THE WORST THING THAT COULD HAPPEN TO ME IS ILL DECAY IN THE GRAVE.SO WHAT? WHAT ONE SHOULD SAY IS THERE ARE THINGS IN THE BIBLE THAT SCARE ME IF IT’S TRUE SUCH AS THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH, WHOSOEVERS NAME IS NOT WRITTEN IN THE LAMBS BOOK OF LIFE SHALL BE CAST IN THE LAKE OF FIRE, THOSE ARE THE THINGS THAT CONCERN ME, NOT MUTATION AND NATURAL SELECTION AND THE BIG BANG BECAUSE THOSE THINGS HAVE NO ETERNAL THREAT TO ME. SO I BELIEVE BEFORE ONE DECIDES TO DENY GOD THEY BETTER MAKE DARN SURE THEY ARE RIGHT, FOR EXAMPLE BEFORE I WOULD BELIEVE EVOLUTION WHICH HAS NO ETERNAL THREATS I WOULD HAVE TO HAVE EVIDENCE IN MY HAND, BECAUSE IT IS NOT GOOD TO TRUST IN MAN, MAN WILL LET YOU DOWN, I WOULD NEED TO HAVE BEEN THERE WHEN THE BIG BANG HAPPENED OR KNOW SOMEONE RELIABLE WHO WAS THERE, BEFORE I BASE MY ETERNITY ON IT. I KNOW THAT THERE WAS NO ONE THERE TO WITNESS IT SO UNTIL SOMEONE SHOWS UP, THERE IS NO WAY I’LL BELIEVE IT. SCIENTIST ONE DAY SAY VITAMIN C WILL REDUCE YOUR RISK FOR CANCER THEN A WEEK LATER IT CAUSES CANCER. THEY ARE SO WISHY WASHY IT’S HARDLY A RESPECTFUL OCCUPATION FOR ME AND I KNOW THEY DO SOME USEFUL STUDIES BUT THEY ARE NOT RELIABLE ENOUGH TO BANK YOUR ETERNITY ON.

NOW YOU ASKED IF I HAD PROOF AND THE ANSWER IS NO. I AM NOT SUPPOSED TO HAVE PROOF BECAUSE GOD SAID IN THE BEGINNING GOD CREATED THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH. THERE IS NO SIGN THERE HE TRIED TO PROVE HIMSELF SO NEITHER WILL I BECAUSE I CANNOT. THIS RELIGIOUS CONCEPT IS ALL BASED ON FAITH. IF I COULD SEE GOD AND PROVE HIM IT WOULD NOT BE FAITH. FAITH IS THE SUBSTANCE OF THINGS HOPED FOR THE EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN. THEREFORE WE CAN NOT SEE HIM PHYSICALLY BUT ONLY SPIRITUALLY. NOW PHYSICALLY THE HEAVENS DECLARE HIS GLORY BUT HE DID NOT SET OUT TO PROVE HIMSELF, NEITHER WILL I, HE SIMPLY SAID REPENT AND BELIEVE AND THATS ALL HE IS OFFERING. THE HUMANIST SAID TO JESUS “YEAH RIGHT YOU WILL REBUILD THIS TEMPLE IN THREE DAYS”. BUT JESUS WAS NOT TALKING ABOUT THE EARTHLY TEMPLE HE WAS SPEAKING OF HIS RESURRECTION. THATS HOW MEN WHO ARE LOOKING FOR A SIGN ACT TODAY, THERE ARE NO SIGNS, IT IS WHOLLY FAITH. THIS MEANS I CANNOT PROVE GOD, IT WOULD GO AGAINST ONE OF THE MAJOR DOCTRINES OF MY RELIGION WHICH IS FAITH. OK IT’S YOUR TURN, PLEASE IF YOU CAN, WOULD YOU PRESENT ME WITH SOME EVIDENCE THAT EVOLUTION IS TRUE BECAUSE IN MY RESEARCH I’VE NOT SEEN ANYTHING THAT IS WRIITTEN IN STONE TO PROVE TO ME ANY OF IT IS TRUE. I’M NOT TALKING MILLIONS OF THINGS, JUST A COUPLE THAT ARE CONCRETE .THE ONLY THING I BELIEVE IS THAT MICROEVOLUTION IS TRUE BECAUSE I CAN SEE IT, LIKE GRAVITY I BELIEVE IN IT BECAUSE IT IS FAIL PROOF IT IS SOUND, AND MAN WHO DOES NOT BELIEVE IN GOD WILL BE LIKE NOT BELIEVING IN GRAVITY, IF YOU DO NOT BELIEVE IN GRAVITY AND JUMP FROM A BUILDING YOU WILL STILL BE SUBJECT TO IT AND SO WILL HE WHO DOES NOT BELIEVE IN GOD WILL STILL BE SUBJECT TO HIM. I REMIND YOU ALSO THAT ALL MY LOGIC IS BASED ON BELIEVING IN SOMETHING WHICH HAS CONSEQUENCES. FOR INSTANCE YOU MAY RESPOND BACK TO ME AND SAY MAN WROTE THE BIBLE WHICH I DO NOT BELIEVE, BUT MY POINT IS THAT MY BELIEF HAS REWARDS NOT CONSEQUENCES SO IT DOES NOT MATTER IF I AM WRONG IT ONLY MATTERS IF YOU’RE WRONG.

DEAR FRIEND, I KNOW THAT YOU ARE A SINCERE PERSON BUT IF YOU ARE SINCERELY WRONG IT WON’T HAVE NO MERIT WITH GOD ,WHO IS THE ONE THAT POURS OUT THE CONSEQUENCES.THE BIG BANG HAS ONLY A MODEL THAT SOME MAN BUILT WHICH I UNDERSTAND DID NOT EVEN HAVE THE RIGHT GASES TO DUPLICATE IT, BUT PEOPLE BELIEVE IT AS SCIENCE. I AM SURE THERE IS A MODEL OF NOAHS ARK SOMEWHERE BUT ARE YOU GONNA BELIEVE IN THE BIBLE BECAUSE YOU SEEN A MODEL OF THE ARK? NO I WOULD WANT TO SEE THE REAL THING BEFORE I RISK ETERNITY. WOULD YOU PLEASE GIVE ME A GOOD DEFINITION OF SCIENCE. MY DEFINITION IS THAT SCIENCE MUST BE OBSERVED, MEASURED AND TESTED, I WILL DISCUSS THIS MORE AFTER I SEE YOUR DEFINITION AND REBUTTAL.

BACK TO PASCHAL- ORIGINATING -WHICH I DIASAGREE WITH YOU ON. TEST SOME OF THESE SUPPOSED ORIGINATIONS.

1. WHO WAS THE FIRST PERSON THAT DISCOVERED THE EARTH WAS ROUND AND NOT FLAT. 1475 COPRENICUS DISCOVERED THAT, BUT 2000 YEARS EARLIER THE BIBLE DECLARED IT. IS 40:22,JOB 26:7

2. IN 1615, WILLIAM HARVEY MADE A BRILLANT DISCOVERY THAT THE LIFE OF THE FLESH IS IN THE BLOOD AND I CAN CONFIRM THAT BECAUSE I AM ALSO A PARAMEDIC AND IF YOUR BLOOD IS NOT PUMPING ,YOUR BODY IS NOT LIVING. THE BIBLE HAD DECLARED THAT ALSO 3000 YEARS EARLIER IN LEV 17:11.

3. IN THE 1840’s, LORD ROSSE WITH HIS NEWEST INVENTED SUPER TELESCOPE DISCOVERED THE GREAT EMPTY SPACE OVER THE NORTH BUT JOB DECLARED THAT WAY BEFORE LORD ROSSE DID. JOB 26:7

YOU SEE NONE OF THOSE MEN WERE THE ORIGINALS AND THE BIBLE WAS TRUTHFUL IN THOSE THREE THINGS BEFORE MAN WITH HIS EGOTISTICAL SELF STEPPED IN. YOU SEE, I THINK WE WOULD PROBALLY DISCOVER MORE SCIENCE IF WE WOULD GO TO THE BIBLE FIRST TO FIND THE IDEAS. IT IS NOT WHETHER WE CAN PROVE THE BIBLE TRUE, IT’S CAN YOU PROVE IT WRONG. IF THE ABOVE OR BELOW EXAMPLES ARE TRUE THEN THE PART ABOUT JESUS AND HELL MAY ALSO BE TRUE. RESEARCH IF YOU LIKE, BUT I CAN TELL YOU THAT THE JESUS AND THE PARTS ABOUT HELL ARE TRUE AND IT WILL SAVE YOU ALOT OF TIME. I AM JUST AS CONVICTED THAT I AM RIGHT AS YOU ARE THAT YOU ARE RIGHT SO DO NOT HOLD THIS AGAINST ME OR MISUNDERSTAND THAT I AM BEING SARCASTIC BECAUSE I AM NOT, IT’S JUST THAT JESUS IS MY STORY AND I AM STICKING TO IT.

OTHER EXAMPLES

4. WHAT ABOUT THE UNDER SEA CURRENTS THE BIBLE TALKED ABOUT WAY BEFORE MATTHEW MAURY DISCOVERED IT AS A MATTER OF FACT HE READ IT IN THE BIBLE AND THEN WENT TO DISCOVER IT, THIS IS WHAT I CALL A SMART SCIENTIST. PSALM 8:8

5. THE ATMOSPHERE HAS WEIGHT JOB 28:25, THEN THIS WAS DISCOVERED IN THE 1600’s BY GALILEO?

6. I KNOW YOU WILL RUBUKE THIS BUT THE UNIVERSE IS RUNNING DOWN BY THE 2nd LAW OF THERMO DYNAMICS PS 102:25-26. NOW I KNOW ATHEIST DO NOT AGREE WITH CHRISTIAN SCIENTIST ON THIS, BUT I HAVE NOT SEEN ONE PROVE IT WRONG YET.

7. TRILLIONS OF STARS IN OUTER SPACE, SEE GEN 22:17 AND JER 32:22.

8. THE UNIVERSE IS EXPANDING PS 104:2 ISA 42:5 IS THIS TRUE THAT OUR WHOLE SOLAR SYSTEM IS BEING HURLED INTO OUTER SPACE AT 600,000 MILES PER HOUR, THE BIBLE DECLARED IT.

9. WHERE DID THE DAY NIGHT CALENDER COME FROM? I’LL GO ON THE LIMB HERE AND SUGGEST THAT MAN TOOK THIS IDEA FROM GEN 1 IT HAD BEEN DECLARED.

10. IT SHOWS US THERE ARE WATER FOUNTAINS UNDER THE OCEANS , SEE JOB 38:16,PRO 8:28.

11. IT SHOWS US THE HYDROLOGIC CYCLE OF WATER ECCL 1:7, GALILEO DISCOVERED EVAPORATION AND CONDENSATION OF WATER IN 1630.

12. IT SHOWS US LIGHT CAN BE PARTED JOB 38:24. WHITE LIGHT WHILE PASSING THRU THE PRISM CAN BE SEPERATED INTO SEVEN COLORS. THIS WAS NOT DISCOVERED UNTO 1600’s.

13. IT SHOWS US HOW THE SUN IS THE SOURCE OF THE EARTH’S WIND SYSTEM JOB 38:24. MIND YOU ALSO THAT JOB IS ONE OF THE OLDEST BOOKS IN THE BIBLE.

14. IT SHOWS US THE WINDS DO BLOW IN CIRCUIT ECC 1:6

15. IT SHOWS US THE PRACTICE OF CIRCUMCISION ON THE EIGHT DAY.

GOD KNEW THAT BLEEDING WOULD BE MINIMIZED IF CIRCUMCISION WAS DONE ON THE EIGHT DAY. PROTHROMBIN IS MADE IN LIVER AND BECOMES WELL DEPLETED AND DOES NOT REPLENISH UNTIL THE EIGHT DAY.

ALL THAT IS PROOF ENOUGH TO ME.

NOW THE BIBLE SAYS THAT ALL THINGS WILL YIELD BY SEED AFTER IT’S OWN KIND. DO YOU HAVE PROOF THAT ANYTHING EVER TURNED INTO SOMETHING ELSE, FOR INSTANCE HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A MAN TURN INTO AND APE OR VICE VERSA, HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A PLANT TURN INTO A CAT? I DO NOT THINK ANYBODY HAS EVER SEEN THIS PHENOMENON. WILLIE BEE, WAS A WELL KNOWN APE IN THE ATLANTA AREA HERE WHERE I LIVE, BUT HE HAS ALWAYS BEEN AN APE. THEY SAY THAT ALL THESE MACROEVOLUTIONARY THINGS HAPPENED BUT HOW COME THEY ARE NOT FINDING MORE OF THESE CREATURES THAT ARE HALF AND HALF. RIGHT NOW AND MAYBE YOU CAN AT LEAST GIVE ME A BETTER ILLUSTRATION, BUT RIGHT NOW THIS IS HOW I SEE EVOLUTION: I SEE A EXPLOSION HAPPENING AT THE FORD PLANT WITHOUT THE NECCESSARY FIRE TETRAHEDRON AND PIECES OF METAL FLYING ACROSS THE SKY AND LANDING IN MY DRIVEWAY ASSEMBLING THEMSELVES INTO A BRAND NEW 3001 ( I MEAN 3000 FOR METAPHORIC ADVANCEMENT, WHICH THE HUMAN BODY REFLECTS AN ADVANCED MACHINE) MUSTANG CONVERTIBLE. HARDLY! NOW AT THIS POINT YOU ARE PROBALLY THINKING NOW I KNOW THIS GUY IS IGNORANT OF EVOLUTION, BUT I WANT TO ASSURE YOU THAT I HAVE READ COUNTLESS HOURS ON EVOLUTION AND THEY DO NOT HAVE ANYTHING OUT MORE THAN DR BOTTLESTOPPER SAYS IN THE SCIENCE FIELD TODAY THAT “HE THINKS THAT WHAT MAY HAVE HAPPEN BILLIONS OF YEARS AGO IS THAT THERE WAS A BIG BANG. I NEED MORE THAN SOMEBODY THINKING, I THINK I CAN SING BUT THERE WILL BE ALOT OF PEOPLE WHO WILL DISAGREE WITH ME, SOMEBODY WROTE A COUNTRY SONG CALLED “THIS AIN’T NO THINKING THING” AND THAT’S RIGHT IT IS NOT A THINKING THING BECAUSE ETERNAL LIFE IS AT STAKE HERE. THERE IS TWO PEOPLE AND I DON’T MEAN ALL BUT MOST SCIENTIST AND THEOLOGIANS ARE TO SMART FOR THEIR ON GOOD. THEY WOULD RATHER USE THEORY,S THAN COMMON SENSE.

FOR INSTANCE OUR BASEBALL COACH HERE BOBBY [name deleted by Blair] MAKES ME SO MAD WHEN HE PINCH HITS A BATTER TO BAT AGAINST THE OPPOSITE HAND PITCHER, THERE HAS BEEN MANY CLUTCH HITS FROM RIGHT HAND BATTERS AGAINST RIGHT HAND PITCHERS, THE COMMON SENSE THING ALWAYS COME THRU. FOR INSTANCE IT’S COMMON SENSE FOR ME TO SPELL THRU THIS WAY BECAUSE IT’S LESS TYPING AND THE POINT IS STILL CLEAR. WHEN ARE WE GONNA QUIT LETTING STATISTICS AND THEORY’S RULE THIS PLACE.

STATISTICS ARE STATISTICS BUT COMMON SENSE IS THE WAY. IF THIS IS TOO MUCH INFO FOR ONE ROUND PLEASE LET ME KNOW AND I WILL SHORTEN IT. ALSO I HOPE TO CONTINUE THIS DIALOGUE WITH YOU BECAUSE MY GOAL IS NOT TO CONVERT YOU ALTHOUGH IT WOULD ANSWER ONE OF MY PRAYERS, BUT ONE OF THE PURPOSES IS TO DEBATE OPPONENTS OF MY BELIEF SO THAT I WILL BE FORCED TOO DIG DEEPER AND MATURE MY KNOWLEDGE AND FAITH. IF YOU EVER HAVE TROUBLE SENDING A REBUTTAL TO [email address deleted by Blair] BECAUSE OF THEIR TECHNICAL ISSUES AND THEY HAVE BEEN HAVING ALOT OF THEM WITH EMAIL THEN MY ALTERNATIVE AND MORE SECURE SERVICE IS AOL. I WOULD PREFER YOU MOVE THIS WHOLE DEBATE TO CASE SENSITIVE [email address deleted by Blair] IF IT IS NOT TOO MUCH TROUBLE, IF IT IS WE CAN STAY HERE ,THAT WILL BE FINE, ALTHOUGH THEY ARE NOT DEPENDABLE JUST CHEAPER. IF YOU CARE TO, I WOULD LIKE YOU TO LOOK UP PROVERBS 1524 IT IS MY FAVORITE VERSE. BUT BE SURE TO LOOK IT UP IN THE KJV. ALSO IF YOU LIKE, I WILL GIVE YOU AN EXPLANATION AS TO WHY I SAID KJV WHICH WILL BE A RATHER LENGTHY EMAIL. ALSO IF YOU WOULD CARE TO KNOW MY DENOMINATION AND MY MAJOR BELIEFS LET ME KNOW ON YOUR NEXT REBUTTAL AND I WILL GLADLY TELL YOU. BUT I WILL LET YOU KNOW THAT I AM MORE CONSERVATIVE THAN BUSH I AM A REPUBLICAN AND I TOTALLY 100% AGREE WITH SHAWN HANNITY. THANKS LOOKING FORWARD TO YOUR REBUTTAL. I AM SENDING THIS TO THE FRIEND THAT REFERRED ME TO YOUR SITE TO KEEP HIM INFORMED OF OUR DIALOGUE AT HIS REQUEST I AM SURE YOU DO NOT MIND. THANKS

Response to Terry #002:

TERRY: “WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE BIBLE? DOES IT CONTAIN ANY TRUTH OR DO YOU THINK THE WHOLE THING IS A FAIRYTALE?”

There is some truth in the Bible. It is obvious that the Bible mentions historical figures and places – as most works of fiction do. The fact that the Bible contains such references does not validate the book in its entirety. It is obvious that a lot of the Bible is mythology intertwined with historical references to put things into perspective for the reader. This is a common practice for all fictional works – it allows the readers to immerse themselves into the story better.

There are historically accurate references to legitimate cities, people, and government positions in the book Escape from New York, but that does not make the book a work of non-fiction. These references allow the reader to better imagine the story line and understand the context. If books did not use realistic concepts and reference terms and places that the readers understood, we might as well be reading gobbledygook.

The issue for most Christians is discerning the historicity from the mythology. For example, we know that the Noachian flood did not occur. If we cannot rely on the factuality of this story, then how do we ascertain what in the Bible is factual and what is mythological? How do you discern what is a metaphor and what is historic? This has been a problem for Christian apologists since the years before the Council of Nicea.

What do you take literally and what to you take metaphorically? If we know that parts of the Bible are fictional, how can we trust the rest of it, and more importantly, who decides what is historical and fictional? Obviously, archaeologists have done their part to prove some parts, but they have also dismantled others and proved them false. This, of course, further exacerbates the dilemma for the Christian and Jewish apologist.

TERRY: “CONCERNING PASCHAL, YOUR WEB SITE DID NOT WORK ON THIS LINK, SO I NEED TO KNOW WHAT YOU MEANT BY DEFECTS IN THE THEORY.”

Sorry about that. I was in the middle of moving my web page to a new permanent location. Atheism Awareness is now located at Alabama Atheist. The page with Pascal’s Wager is at: What If You Are Wrong?

TERRY: “NOW THIS IS NOT A ENDORSEMENT OF ALL HIS BELIEFS BUT JUST THE PREDESTINATION WHICH I BELIEVE YOU WERE PROBALLY (sic) REFERRING TO WHEN YOU SAID YOU WERE SURPRISED TO SEE CHRISTIANS USING HIS THEORY.”

That is one reason for my surprise at the Christian insistence of using Pascal’s Wager. The other reasons are detailed on the page above, which includes the faults in the theory and the fact that it has been shown to be invalid for hundreds of years.

TERRY: “I DISAGREE WITH YOU THAT HE ORIGINATED THE THEORY BECAUSE I USED IT IN MY OPENING EMAIL TO YOU, I HAD NO IDEA HE EXISTED, BUT LIKE ME, I ASSUME HE TOOK THAT “LOGIC” FROM THE BIBLE WHICH IS TRUE AND I BELIEVE EVERY WORD OF IT IS TRUE AND WAS WRITTEN BEFORE HIS TIME, SO IT COULD NOT HAVE ORIGINATED WITH HIM.”

While Pascal based his wager on the Bible, it is still his wager. The exact wager – the formatting of the “ifs” is his. The use of that argument is known as Pascal’s Wager to this day because he wrote in a way that was familiar with everyone, was easily understandable, and was, in lack of other words, simple. Simple as it may be, that does not preclude it from being seriously flawed. If the wager is biblically based, then the logical conclusion is that the biblical version of the argument is equally flawed.

As to you believing that every word in the Bible is true, I am sure we will get more into that as the debate continues – so there is no point in dissecting such a statement right now.

TERRY: “BUT TO MAKE ALL THAT MORE SIMPLER- EITHER WE ARE ALL GONNA ROT IN A GRAVE AND CEASE TO EXIST OR THERE ARE TWO KIND OF PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD THOSE WHO ARE GOING TO HEAVEN AND THOSE WHO ARE GOING TO HELL.”

You have biased the argument to reflect your specific religious beliefs. There are thousands of religions in the world and not all of them believe in Heaven and Hell. What if the Norsemen were right and we’re all going to Valhalla? What if our final destination is a spirit form? What if our energy at death is transferred to Gaia? When you assume that there are only two kinds of people in the world, you assume such with religious arrogance or ignorance.

TERRY: “SO BASED ON THE TWO BELIEF SYSTEMS YOU CAN CONCLUDE THAT PASCALS (sic) THEORY IS NOT SOMETHING IT TAKES A PHYSICIST TO COME UP WITH , BUT IT’S SO SIMPLE THAT A CHILD CAN UNDERSTAND (A CHILD OLD ENOUGH TO COMPREHEND) IT.”

You have emphasized one of the biggest problems with Pascal’s Wager. The fact that it incorrectly assumes in a two-belief system (hell or no hell) is a major problem that has not been successfully dealt with by any apologist. There is a smorgasbord of beliefs out there and many of them do not believe in a Heaven or Hell. One-third of all the world’s religions are atheistic in nature – meaning they do not believe in a deity, but have a religious system of rites and rituals. Many religions believe that everyone goes to Heaven – that Hell is not a literal place, but simply the idea of being away from the God or Goddess. There are religions that believe Hell is Earth and not a lake of fire and brimstone – and that this Hell is a journey we must all take in order to gain access to Heaven and God.

TERRY: “I THINK AND CORRECT ME IF I AM WRONG, YOU WOULD PROBALLY (sic) SAY ONE OF TWO THINGS AND THATS (sic) “THAT THERE EITHER IS A GOD OR THERE IS NOT” AND THATS (sic) THE TWO GENERAL BELIEFS IN THIS WORLD, ONE CARRIES REWARDS AND THE OTHER PUNISHMENT LEADING ONE TO THE CONCLUSION IF THERE IS A GOD I MUST BELIEVE OR I DONT (sic) BELIEVE AND TAKE A CHANCE OF BEING WRONG AND FRIEND ETERNITY IS A LONG TIME TO BE WRONG.”

I’m correcting you, because you are wrong. You are correct that there are two types of people in the world: theists and Atheists, but to assert that all theists believe in an afterlife and a system of punishment/reward is incorrect and underlines they biggest problem with Pascal’s Wager. What God do we believe in? What system do we accept in order to gain access to that God? What steps must be taken to ensure access to the God is achieved? When Pascal asks, “What if you’re wrong,” then you should be asking yourself that question, too.

What if you are wrong? Have you studied all the world’s religions to ensure that you are following the correct one? Do you understand that you are a victim of geography and not theological truth?

TERRY: “…FIGURING OUT IF THERE IS A GOD IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE FOR A HUMAN, DUE TO THE FACT THAT IT IS THE ONLY BELIEF THAT CARRIES CONSEQUENCES, IF EVOLUTION IS TRUE THEN WHO CARES WHAT HAPPENS AFTER DEATH BECAUSE THERE IS NO CONSEQUENCES THERE, SO THERE IS NO NEED TO SAY IF YOU ARE RIGHT (ATHEISM) THEN THE WORST THING THAT COULD HAPPEN TO ME IS ILL DECAY IN THE GRAVE.SO WHAT?”

Again, you are missing a major portion of belief system out there that believes in an afterlife, but without the consequences. You also have to define afterlife, as many believe that resurrection is an afterlife, others believe that the legacy we leave behind and the memories people have of our time on Earth is the afterlife. The multitude of afterlife-related beliefs is so various that it can make your head swim just trying to sort them into some semblance of categories.

The bigger issue here is why people need the consequences in the first place. There are already man-made consequences to keep people in-line that would otherwise run around recklessly. We have a system of laws and a judicial system to enforce those laws and to help keep a fair balance in the system. We have a moral compass that we use that is not religious based. Almost every society known by anthropologists has developed a moral or legal system based on this moral compass, which is thought to be genetic in nature. In addition to our genetic morality, there is memetic morality, which develops based on our current society. This is where religious morality comes in to play – it doesn’t add anything significant to our genetic morality, but adds laws and rules that don’t make any sense most of them time.

The laws against purchasing liquor on Sunday make no sense whatsoever from a legal standpoint. Laws banning homosexual activity between consenting adults makes no sense whatsoever from a legal standpoint. Laws in Alabama that make the sale of vibrators and “marital aids” illegal make no legal sense whatsoever. The laws that generate from religious morality have nothing to do with morality and everything to do with forcing one religious belief on others – the “morality” in this case is 100% subjective.

Our non-religious laws tend to deal directly with the survival of the species and individual. As a species we react emotionally to the death of one of our own and we go into knee-jerk mode to create laws that will help prevent such a loss in the future. We create laws against driving under the influence, laws requiring children to wear helmets when riding bicycles, laws requiring the use of seatbelts in cars, laws banning the use of cell phones while driving, and many other laws stem from the idea that the survival of the species is important – something that is Darwinian – not religious.

TERRY: “WHAT ONE SHOULD SAY IS THERE ARE THINGS IN THE BIBLE THAT SCARE ME IF IT’S TRUE SUCH AS THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH, WHOSOEVERS (sic) NAME IS NOT WRITTEN IN THE LAMBS BOOK OF LIFE SHALL BE CAST IN THE LAKE OF FIRE, THOSE ARE THE THINGS THAT CONCERN ME, NOT MUTATION AND NATURAL SELECTION AND THE BIG BANG BECAUSE THOSE THINGS HAVE NO ETERNAL THREAT TO ME.”

Yes, there are things in the Bible that, if taken literally, are scary. Revelation would make an awesome horror flick if done by a great director with actors that can actually act (no offense to the Left Behind movie (the acting was horrible)). What about all those other religious texts with equally scary things? Why do you believe in the Bible and not the others? Have you read the other sacred texts of the world? To assume the Bible is the only correct answer without reading all the others is a brave decision to make, especially when one is as concerned as you are about “what if you’re wrong.”

Evolution is an external threat to you. Every time that people misuse antibiotics they take the risk of causing the bacteria to evolve. We have so many antibiotics because this has already happened. The misuse of antibiotics in Russian prisons has caused a severe outbreak of tuberculosis that nothing can touch. Inmates receive a six month sentence and it becomes a life sentence because they catch tuberculosis there and die in the prison our just after getting out. Evolution can be a serious threat to humanity.

When the universe starts shrinking you’ll rethink that statement about the Big Bang not being an eternal threat. ;-)

TERRY: “…FOR EXAMPLE BEFORE I WOULD BELIEVE EVOLUTION WHICH HAS NO ETERNAL THREATS I WOULD HAVE TO HAVE EVIDENCE IN MY HAND, BECAUSE IT IS NOT GOOD TO TRUST IN MAN, MAN WILL LET YOU DOWN, I WOULD NEED TO HAVE BEEN THERE WHEN THE BIG BANG HAPPENED OR KNOW SOMEONE RELIABLE WHO WAS THERE, BEFORE I BASE MY ETERNITY ON IT. I KNOW THAT THERE WAS NO ONE THERE TO WITNESS IT SO UNTIL SOMEONE SHOWS UP, THERE IS NO WAY I’LL BELIEVE IT.”

Why don’t you hold yourself to the same standards when it comes to God? Man wrote the Bible, so since it is not good to trust man because he’ll let you down, then you should reject the Bible. Since there are no eyewitness accounts of Jesus, then, as you hold it to the Big Bang, you should also reject Jesus.

You’re a half-skeptic – you’re skeptical of those things you don’t want to believe in and non-skeptical of those things that you want to believe in. You’re not alone – most theists are that way.

TERRY: “SCIENTIST ONE DAY SAY VITAMIN C WILL REDUCE YOUR RISK FOR CANCER THEN A WEEK LATER IT CAUSES CANCER. THEY ARE SO WISHY WASHY IT’S HARDLY A RESPECTFUL OCCUPATION FOR ME AND I KNOW THEY DO SOME USEFUL STUDIES BUT THEY ARE NOT RELIABLE ENOUGH TO BANK YOUR ETERNITY ON.”

Yes, science makes mistakes. That is the beauty of science – it is self-correcting. A bad hypothesis and bad data cannot stand for long without being bashed by another scientific team. Of course the exact incident you are referring to boiled down to a lab technician that released the study early to the press before the final results were made. This caused the flip-flop that you are talking about with Vitamin C. Of course the media generalized so much that most of the general public still doesn’t really know what happened with the Vitamin C study.

Vitamin C is known to reduce the odds of developing cancer, however, a constant overdoes of Vitamin C (more than you could ever get if you ate a truckload of oranges every day) can have the reverse effect. People don’t listen to the details (assuming the media reports it) and they freak out for nothing.

I don’t bank my eternity on science, though. Even if there were no scientific data for evolutionary biology, I would still find no reason to believe in a god. There is simply no evidence to support the belief in a deity. As you said above, I have to have “evidence in my hand.”

TERRY: “NOW YOU ASKED IF I HAD PROOF AND THE ANSWER IS NO. I AM NOT SUPPOSED TO HAVE PROOF BECAUSE GOD SAID IN THE BEGINNING GOD CREATED THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH. THERE IS NO SIGN THERE HE TRIED TO PROVE HIMSELF SO NEITHER WILL I BECAUSE I CANNOT. THIS RELIGIOUS CONCEPT IS ALL BASED ON FAITH. IF I COULD SEE GOD AND PROVE HIM IT WOULD NOT BE FAITH.”

Do you not see your own contradiction here? You demand “evidence in hand” for the Big Bang and evolution (it does exist, by the way) and yet you disregard that philosophy when it comes to your Bible-God. Why do you not hold your religious beliefs to the same strict standards?

TERRY: “THIS MEANS I CANNOT PROVE GOD, IT WOULD GO AGAINST ONE OF THE MAJOR DOCTRINES OF MY RELIGION WHICH IS FAITH.”

I’m impressed that you are willing to admit this. Most theists contort themselves in every direction in order to “prove” their version of god to me. They twist and turn and perform some of the greatest mental gymnastics possible in order to offer “evidence.” It is this lack of proof or evidence for god that leads me to the conclusion that there is no reason to believe in any god or gods. Faith is irrelevant in my view. It offers nothing tangible, which of course is the nature of faith. I’m not a block of stone – I am malleable. All it takes is for evidence to present itself and I will change my views on the existence of god. I’ve been looking for that evidence all my life and I haven’t found it, seen it, heard of it, tasted it, or felt it. I have done none of these things because, as you state – the evidence is non-existent.

TERRY: “OK IT’S YOUR TURN, PLEASE IF YOU CAN, WOULD YOU PRESENT ME WITH SOME EVIDENCE THAT EVOLUTION IS TRUE BECAUSE IN MY RESEARCH I’VE NOT SEEN ANYTHING THAT IS WRIITTEN (sic) IN STONE TO PROVE TO ME ANY OF IT IS TRUE. I’M NOT TALKING MILLIONS OF THINGS, JUST A COUPLE THAT ARE CONCRETE.”

If your “research” has shown you nothing, then you haven’t done much research. The evidence for biological evolution is overwhelming. Creationists have not been able to disprove evolution. All they do is try to poke holes in it and highlight the changes in the theory that have taken place. They highlight these changes as bad things, but they couldn’t be farther from the truth. The very nature of science is to constantly question, evaluate, and look for new facts, which will be supporting evidence or contradictory evidence. When evidence does not fit the theory, then the theory has to be scrapped. Evolution is still holding after all these years of gathering data. There is no contradictory evidence that has toppled the theory.

Here are some resources that I suggest that lay down the evidence in layman terms for the non-scientific.

TERRY: “THE ONLY THING I BELIEVE IS THAT MICROEVOLUTION IS TRUE BECAUSE I CAN SEE IT, LIKE GRAVITY I BELIEVE IN IT BECAUSE IT IS FAIL PROOF IT IS SOUND, AND MAN WHO DOES NOT BELIEVE IN GOD WILL BE LIKE NOT BELIEVING IN GRAVITY, IF YOU DO NOT BELIEVE IN GRAVITY AND JUMP FROM A BUILDING YOU WILL STILL BE SUBJECT TO IT AND SO WILL HE WHO DOES NOT BELIEVE IN GOD WILL STILL BE SUBJECT TO HIM.”

If you accept that microevolution occurs, then you accept the Theory of Evolution. Creationists have this disturbed image of macroevolution being this massive jump from a dog to a bull. Macroevolution is not a massive jump, but an accumulation of microevolution changes over an extended period.

If you accept that microevolution happens because you can see it, then you already have the evidence that biological evolution is correct. It is the accumulation of microevolution changes that ultimately lead to a macroevolution change in a species or to another species. You’re an evolutionist, after all.

TERRY: “FOR INSTANCE YOU MAY RESPOND BACK TO ME AND SAY MAN WROTE THE BIBLE WHICH I DO NOT BELIEVE, BUT MY POINT IS THAT MY BELIEF HAS REWARDS NOT CONSEQUENCES SO IT DOES NOT MATTER IF I AM WRONG IT ONLY MATTERS IF YOU’RE WRONG.”

But it does matter if you are wrong. Let’s play along for a minute and say there is a god out there that actually cares about humanity and has a place for humans to go when they die – a good place and a bad place. How do you know what god to worship? What if you are worshiping the wrong god and making it upset that you are worshiping a false idol or false messiah? Then you will go to the bad place and face the consequences of your actions in worshiping false gods and messiahs. What if the Hindu is right? What if the Buddhists are right? What if the Pagans are right and the Goddess is very upset at Christians making her a man and not worshiping her?

You have placed all your eggs in one religious basket. You have gambled your eternal soul’s vitality on the ramblings of a single religious text instead of reading all of them and making sure that you’re not wrong. For someone that claims to take such a huge stake on the “what if you are wrong” scenario, you haven’t done much to protect yourself against it. What if you’re wrong?

TERRY: “I AM SURE THERE IS A MODEL OF NOAHS (sic) ARK SOMEWHERE BUT ARE YOU GONNA BELIEVE IN THE BIBLE BECAUSE YOU SEEN A MODEL OF THE ARK? NO I WOULD WANT TO SEE THE REAL THING BEFORE I RISK ETERNITY.”

You are right – I want to see the real thing before I accept the Noachian flood as non-fiction. The fact remains that the evidence is against a Noachian flood. Scores of expeditions and studies have been made of Mt. Ararat and still no Ark has been found. They will never find the Ark because it does not exist and never existed. It’s a fairy tale – a piece of fiction.

You know the story of the Noachian flood is not real. If this is not real – then how can we decipher in the Bible what is fiction and what is non-fiction? What if we are basing our religion on the fiction, while the non-fiction is something we ignore? What if we are practicing the wrong rites and rituals? What if everything we believe is based entirely on fiction? If even a single part of the Bible is shown to be false, then the entire Bible is not trustworthy.

TERRY: “WOULD YOU PLEASE GIVE ME A GOOD DEFINITION OF SCIENCE. MY DEFINITION IS THAT SCIENCE MUST BE OBSERVED, MEASURED AND TESTED, I WILL DISCUSS THIS MORE AFTER I SEE YOUR DEFINITION AND REBUTTAL.”

Science is the means of observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena. Science is restricted to a class of natural phenomena. Science is the means by which we gain knowledge through the experiences we have through observation, identification, etc.

Of course science cannot be left defined by a simple dictionary definition. The definition of science must include the methods and attitudes, if you will, to which the body of knowledge if formed. This would entail the Scientific Method, the many branches of specialization, even the evolution of scientific thought, and the great role that measurement and experiment have on the overall purpose and direction of science and specifically its flexibility, durability, and its ability to self-correct.

TERRY: “1. WHO WAS THE FIRST PERSON THAT DISCOVERED THE EARTH WAS ROUND AND NOT FLAT. 1475 COPRENICUS (sic) DISCOVERED THAT, BUT 2000 YEARS EARLIER THE BIBLE DECLARED IT. IS 40:22,JOB 26:7”

Surely you are joking? Let’s look at Isaiah 40:22 a little more closely, shall we?

Isaiah 40:22 states, “It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the Earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in.” [KJV]

A circle is not a sphere. A circle is flat – a sphere is round, like a ball. A curtain is a flat item that covers a specific area. A tent is pitched on a flat area – not around a sphere. The heavens can only be a tent if the Earth is flat. Otherwise, it’s not like a tent if it is stretched over a sphere. The Isaiah passage confirms that the men that wrote the books of the OT thought the Earth was flat. So what about Job 26:7?

Job 26:7 states, “He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the Earth upon nothing.” [KJV]

Again, we see no references to a spherical Earth. Bible study guides say that “stretcheth over the north” means stretching the heavens over the Earth. Why would he stretch the Heavens “over the Earth” if the Earth was an orb or sphere trapped by inertia and the Law of Universal Gravitation? The Earth doesn’t hang, either. Hanging is something you do to a flat item or something that is not in an orbit or planetary plane. The Earth doesn’t just hang there – it rotates on an axis and revolves around the Sun on a steady orbit. How can you even begin to call things like this science?

These are the ramblings of ancient men who did not understand things – who had no science. Now we find modern men, with the ability to use science, resorting to wishful thinking and pulling straws in order to justify their non-scientific belief in creationism. They peruse the Bible looking for any silly thing that will help them justify their beliefs. They justify their beliefs unto themselves, for their feeble efforts do nothing to convince the rest of the world.

It’s interesting to see the different translations of this passage. I check as many translations as I can to see where the variations are. This allows for a better understanding of the passage and a better way to analyze it.

For example:The NIV states, “He spreads out the northern skies over empty space; he suspends the earth over nothing.

  • The MSG says, “He spreads the skies over unformed space, hands the earth out in empty space.
  • The NLV says, “He spreads out the north over empty waste, and hangs the earth on nothing.
  • The ESV says, “He stretches out the north over the void and hangs the earth of nothing.
  • The CEV says, “Who hung the northern sky and suspended the earth on empty space?
  • The YLT says, “Stretching out the north over desolation, hanging the earth upon nothing.

That’s a lot of variety and they mean different things. How do you know which translation is correct? One thing is for sure, based on the Scholar’s Version, the KJV is not to be trusted. James’ translators did not translate from the “original,” they took shortcuts and used existing translations.

Perhaps you would be better to explain the non-scientific aspect of the flat-Earth belief in the Bible? Or perhaps that the Earth is immovable – that it sits still without orbit or axis rotation (such as the suspends in the Job 26:7 verse that you provided). The Earth is immovable as clearly stated in verses like 1 Chronicles 16:30, Isaiah 45:18, Psalm 96:10, etc.

The very statement of “stretching out the heavens” is indicative of an immovable Earth – as the Heavens are stretched over it (instead of the Earth sitting in the vast universe). For example, Job 9:8 and Isaiah 45:12.

The very flatness of the Earth is dictated by the Bible in Daniel 4:10-11, “(10) Thus were the vision of mine head in my bed; I saw, and behold a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great. (11) The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth.” [KJV]

You cannot see the ends of the earth from a tall tree unless the earth is flat. A spherical earth will not allow this to happen. We see another example of this in the NT when Satan tempts Jesus in Matthew 4:8, “Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them.” [KJV] Again, you can only see all the kingdoms of the world from the highest mountain if the Earth is flat – not spherical.

Job 38:12-13 talks about shaking the earth from its edges. A spherical earth has no edges. Job 38:14 states that the earth took shape like clay under a seal. When you stamp clay, it creates a flat mold – not a sphere. Clearly the writers of the OT and NT thought the earth was flat – not spherical.

And what of the four corners? Isaiah 11:12 and Revelation 7:1 are good examples of the “four corners of the earth.” A sphere does not have corners. And what of the ends of the earth? Job 38:13, Jeremiah 16:19, and Daniel 4:11 are good examples of the “ends of all the earth.” A sphere does not have ends and certainly not an “ends of all the earth,” which is indicative of a flat circle or disc, which is emphasized in Enoch.

TERRY: “2. IN 1615, WILLIAM HARVEY MADE A BRILLANT (sic) DISCOVERY THAT THE LIFE OF THE FLESH IS IN THE BLOOD AND I CAN CONFIRM THAT BECAUSE I AM ALSO A PARAMEDIC AND IF YOUR BLOOD IS NOT PUMPING ,YOUR BODY IS NOT LIVING. THE BIBLE HAD DECLARED THAT ALSO 3000 YEARS EARLIER IN LEV 17:11.”

Leviticus 17:11 states, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” [KJV]

We’ll ignore the fact that the Bible is demanding blood sacrifices upon the altar for a second and look at the “science” of this verse. First off, it was not hard for ancient societies to know that if you lose your blood – you die. Many ancient societies understood this, especially those, like the OT clans, that participated in blood sacrifices.

What is missing is any science. Why is the blood the life of the flesh? What is it in the blood that does that? It was William Harvey that published how the heart pumped blood through the body and returned in his 1628 book An Anatomical Study of the Motion of the Heart and of the Blood in Animals. Harvey didn’t say something non-scientific and simple as, “blood is the life of the flesh.” Harvey used actual science to discover the path that blood took in the veins and arteries. Harvey discovered the process by which blood is oxygenated in the lungs and brought back to the heart for circulation. Harvey dispelled the idea at the time that food was digested in the liver. Harvey was a true scientist that made actual scientific discoveries. If you can find anything scientific like that in the Bible, then we can talk.

TERRY: “3. IN THE 1840’s, LORD ROSSE WITH HIS NEWEST INVENTED SUPER TELESCOPE DISCOVERED THE GREAT EMPTY SPACE OVER THE NORTH BUT JOB DECLARED THAT WAY BEFORE LORD ROSSE DID. JOB 26:7”

As discussed earlier, Job made no scientific discovery at all, especially in light of the different translations. There is no such thing as a “great empty space over the north.” The only way such a statement makes sense is if you believe in a flat earth. We also know that it is not a “great empty space.” There are asteroids, comets, planets, satellites, galaxies, and others. The heavens are far from empty and they certainly are not just above the north.

Rosse actually discovered that it was not a great empty space. His telescope, which was located in Birr, Ireland (then it was known as Parsonstown) was also limited to viewing close to the meridian, so he didn’t discover much “to the north,” anyway. Rosse drew pictures of the Crab Nebula (M1), a spiral nebula (M33, M99, and M101), the Question Mark (M51), and the Owl Nebula (M97).

TERRY: “YOU SEE NONE OF THOSE MEN WERE THE ORIGINALS AND THE BIBLE WAS TRUTHFUL IN THOSE THREE THINGS BEFORE MAN WITH HIS EGOTISTICAL SELF STEPPED IN. YOU SEE, I THINK WE WOULD PROBALLY (sic) DISCOVER MORE SCIENCE IF WE WOULD GO TO THE BIBLE FIRST TO FIND THE IDEAS.”

That’s a pretty bold statement considering that you have offered no science, yet. All you have offered is mythology and fiction.

TERRY: “IT IS NOT WHETHER WE CAN PROVE THE BIBLE TRUE, IT’S CAN YOU PROVE IT WRONG. IF THE ABOVE OR BELOW EXAMPLES ARE TRUE THEN THE PART ABOUT JESUS AND HELL MAY ALSO BE TRUE.”

You’re certainly not off to a good start. So far the only thing you’ve proven is that the Bible is unscientific and full of fiction and mythology and the babbling of men trying to make sense of a world they didn’t understand. Men insisted the Earth was firm and did not have an orbit or an axis. Men who insisted the Earth is a flat and circular plane contained in a dome. The top of the dome was a firmament – the heavens were firm and were setup like a tent over the flat circular plane that the earth was located on. The stars were small objects, as several biblical references talk about the stars falling on the earth (they weren’t talking about shooting stars – but actual stars). The stars were thought to be pinpricks in the firmament of heaven.

TERRY: “RESEARCH IF YOU LIKE, BUT I CAN TELL YOU THAT THE JESUS AND THE PARTS ABOUT HELL ARE TRUE AND IT WILL SAVE YOU ALOT (sic) OF TIME. I AM JUST AS CONVICTED THAT I AM RIGHT AS YOU ARE THAT YOU ARE RIGHT SO DO NOT HOLD THIS AGAINST ME OR MISUNDERSTAND THAT I AM BEING SARCASTIC BECAUSE I AM NOT, IT’S JUST THAT JESUS IS MY STORY AND I AM STICKING TO IT.”

You can tell me they are true all you want to, but that doesn’t change the fact that you have no evidence to support your claim. When you are ready to present evidence of their validity, then we can talk. Until then, you are just talking about your faith-based beliefs and are presenting no facts whatsoever.

TERRY: “4. WHAT ABOUT THE UNDER SEA CURRENTS THE BIBLE TALKED ABOUT WAY BEFORE MATTHEW MAURY DISCOVERED IT AS A MATTER OF FACT HE READ IT IN THE BIBLE AND THEN WENT TO DISCOVER IT, THIS IS WHAT I CALL A SMART SCIENTIST. PSALM 8:8”

Psalm 8:8 states, “The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.” [KJV] I take it then that you are suggesting the “paths of the seas” is a reference to currents? Of course we know that ancient civilizations understood that there were currents in the sea. They didn’t know what they were or how they worked, only that a boat will follow a “path” if left on its own accord. They knew that things left the shore and arrived from other places on their shores. However, the fact that it talks about the “paths of the seas” is indicative of the non-scientific nature of the Bible. It is clear that men wrote this that had no scientific knowledge of the oceans.

Let me ask you this. Is your Bible-God so uneducated and moronic that he cannot describe these features? Is he so dimwitted that he must refer to scientific things so elementary and childish, as if he is an uneducated man guessing at the nature of the world and its many environments? Surely an all-knowing god that created the thing he is describing could do better than that?

If the Bible were truly scientific as you claim, you wouldn’t have to be scraping the bottom of the barrel for small morsels to prove your point. You would be able to quote verses that are full to the brim with scientific data. Surely the creator of the world knows how the world works? Why is there nothing specific and scientific? Why are there only things that creationists have to stretch in order to try and prove their point (and fail miserably in the process)?

TERRY: “5. THE ATMOSPHERE HAS WEIGHT JOB 28:25, THEN THIS WAS DISCOVERED IN THE 1600’s BY GALILEO?”

Okay, this one is pretty funny. Job 28:25 states, “To make the weight for the winds; and he weigheth the waters by measure.” [KJV]

First off, there is no reference to the atmosphere in this and any statement to the effect that it does is stretching the imagination a lot. What you have to ask is why did the men that wrote Job think the wind had weight? They thought it had weight because it fell from the sky (blew). Something had to make the wind “fall,” so they thought it had weight. Of course real science (meaning not from the Bible) tells us that wind is caused by changes in barometric pressure as the wind if moved from areas of high pressure to areas of low pressure.

The wind doesn’t blow because it has weight; it blows because it is conforming to the physical laws, which an area of greater pressure will attempt to stabilize itself by moving into an area of lower pressure. This causes the air to move at variable speeds into the low-pressure area, causing what we feel as wind.

What I just said is science. What the Bible says is mythology and scientific illiteracy. As I said before, one would think that an all-knowing god and the creator of this world would at least know how it works and that weight does not cause wind nor does wind move because of weight.

TERRY: “6. I KNOW YOU WILL RUBUKE (sic) THIS BUT THE UNIVERSE IS RUNNING DOWN BY THE 2nd LAW OF THERMO DYNAMICS PS 102:25-26. NOW I KNOW ATHEIST DO NOT AGREE WITH CHRISTIAN SCIENTIST ON THIS, BUT I HAVE NOT SEEN ONE PROVE IT WRONG YET.”

I can’t figure out how on earth you stretched Psalms 102:25-26 to mean that the universe is running down because of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Psalms 102:25-26 states, “(25) Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. (26) They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed.” [KJV]

First off, this is another example of the firmness of earth that we were talking about earlier; how the writers of the OT books thought the earth was motionless (no orbit or rotation on the axis). The “foundation of earth” is a phrase used often in the Bible; it means the earth is solid and steady; it is immovable. God is said to have laid the foundation of the earth and pitch up the tent of the heavens above it. A sphere has no foundation, but a flat and disc-like earth does have a foundation, or as they are often referred to in the Bible, pillars.

The verse is also referring to individuals, not a planet. The use of the word “they” in the verses indicates that the writer is not talking about the planet, but about people. The followers will endure, while the non-believers shall perish.

TERRY: “7. TRILLIONS OF STARS IN OUTER SPACE, SEE GEN 22:17 AND JER 32:22.”

Genesis 22:17 states, “That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies.” [KJV]

Jeremiah 32:22 states, “And hast given them this land, which thou didst swear to their fathers to give them, a land flowing with milk and honey.” [KJV]

I’m not sure why you threw Jeremiah in there, as I see nothing to the effect of trillions of stars in the universe. Genesis 22:17 says nothing about trillions of stars in outer space. Genesis, if anything, would lead one to believe that the men who wrote the Bible thought that there were only thousands of stars, which would make sense since they didn’t know that there were trillions of stars in each galaxy and billions of galaxies. The writer is saying that the individual being spoken to will multiply their seed (sperm resulting in children) that will number as the stars in the heavens and the sands of the sea shore. Of course we know this is impossible, a man cannot have that many children even if he got a woman pregnant every second of his life.

This verse, if you use it as “proof” of biblical science, should show you how ridiculous your stretching of this argument is. Of course I know you are not coming up with these arguments. You’re taking them from a creationist web site. Which creationist web page are you getting these far-fetched scriptures from to support biblical “science?”

TERRY: “8. THE UNIVERSE IS EXPANDING PS 104:2 ISA 42:5 IS THIS TRUE THAT OUR WHOLE SOLAR SYSTEM IS BEING HURLED INTO OUTER SPACE AT 600,000 MILES PER HOUR, THE BIBLE DECLARED IT.”

Psalms 104:2 states, “Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain.” [KJV]

Isaiah 42:5 states, “Thus saith God the Lord, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; the that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit them that walk therein.” [KJV]

Notice that stretched is used in the past tense? That means that this verse does not support an expanding universe at all. If it did support an expanding universe it would say stretching – not stretched.

Regardless, again we see the reference to a curtain. The curtain is a single piece of cloth that is stretched over something, such as tent or dome-shaped firmament. Funny that you should use Isaiah 42:5, which supports the flat-earth claim of the Bible. An earth that is spread out is flat – an earth that is molded in a ball, now that’s a different story. If you spread butter do you get a sphere? No, you get a flat surface. Thank you for giving us another example of how the Bible claims the earth is flat.

TERRY: “9. WHERE DID THE DAY NIGHT CALENDER (sic) COME FROM? I’LL GO ON THE LIMB HERE AND SUGGEST THAT MAN TOOK THIS IDEA FROM GEN 1 IT HAD BEEN DECLARED.”

The Egyptians had a calendar made up of twelve months and each month had thirty days. The Egyptians added five days in the twelfth month, which causes a ¼ day, per year, shift – meaning that the first month moved until 1,460 year later when it again arrived where it started. The calendar was simple, but it wasn’t very accurate.

The Jews had a calendar that was all screwed up (these are the people that relied on the Tanakh and Torah – precursor to the Christian Bible). The months alternated between 29 and 30 days and they had to add a month about every third year to account for miscalculations. Of course in the long run, they sometimes had to add two months to account for the miscalculations. Obviously, the people that studied what you call the OT didn’t see any foundation for a calendar.

The most sophisticated calendars come from two opposite ends of the globe. The Aztecs developed a calendar that was able to predict the full and new moon, eclipses, and the solstices and equinoxes accurately. On the other side, the Mesopotamians achieved the same thing. The Mesopotamians were using their sophisticated calendar and mathematics to come up with it around 500 BCE.

The idea of separating the months into days was only logical, since the division was obvious celestially by the sun and moon, and the movement of the planets. The Egyptians, Greeks, Mesopotamians, and others all divided their months into sub-divisions (some ten and some seven), which we now call weeks, and their sub-divisions into hours or sub-periods.

The current calendar uses Pagan names. The names of the days originate from the day that a particular celestial object rules the first hours. The names originate from Sun’s day, Moon’s day, Mars’ day, Mercury’s day, Jupiter’s day, Venus’ day, and Saturn’s day. Later Saxon influence changed these names to more recognizable days: Sun’s day, Moon’s day, Tiw’s day, Wotan’s day, Thor’s day, Frigg’s day, and Saturn’s day.

The calendar we use today is the Gregorian calendar, which was designed for ecclesiastical purposes to regulate the ceremonial cycle of the Roman Catholic Church. Of course Gregory was wrong, because we have to add leap years to account for his error. If the Bible were clear on how to fabricate an accurate calendar, you’d think it would have been done long before science came around and resolved the issue.

TERRY: “10. IT SHOWS US THERE ARE WATER FOUNTAINS UNDER THE OCEANS , SEE JOB 38:16,PRO 8:28.”

Job 38:16 states, “Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? Or hast thou walked in the search of the depth?” Proverbs 8:28 states, “When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep.” [KJV]

According to the CCE the phrase is more likely “fountains beneath the sea,” not springs. It also elaborates, “Rather, “the inmost recesses;” literally, “that which is only found by searching,” the deep caverns of the ocean. The John Wesley Explanatory Notes (WES) goes further and says, “Springs – Hebrew for “the tears;” the several springs out of which the waters of the sea flow as tears do from the eyes.”

We’ve heard of these underwater springs from which all water flows before in Genesis 7:11, “…on the same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened.” The “fountains of the deep” or “springs” are references to the Noachian flood. Of course we know from the water cycle that the oceans are not generated from fountains in the deep. The thermal springs discovered with deep submersibles are not water sources, but heated ocean water that has seeped below the sedimentary layer, heated by magma-warmed rocks and then rises as it is heated through thermal vents. These aren’t springs, but regurgitating vents. They are not sources of water, but a place where water is spat back out into the ocean.

The reference to springs is not a reference to thermal vents nor is it to underwater springs where fresh groundwater seeps into the ocean. The reference is to the so-called springs that burst forth with water to cause the Noachian flood along with the opening of heaven to cascade water upon the earth and flood it – killing all inhabitants save a single family led by a drunkard.

The reference made in Proverbs is a reference back to the Noachian flood as well. The strengthening of the “fountains of the deep” was necessary to prevent another Noachian flood, as the Bible-God promised and created the rainbow to sanctify his promise never to destroy all of humanity again.

Speaking of the rainbow, I have a question for your creationist “scientists.” What were the properties of light before the Noachian Flood? How come light did not react to a prism the same way before the Noachian flood as it did afterwards? Was light not composed of different wavelengths of light before the Noachian flood? Were raindrops different so that they did not cause light to breakdown it’s wavelengths and create a rainbow (prism) in the sky? I’ve never met a creationist that can explain that one.

TERRY: “11. IT SHOWS US THE HYDROLOGIC CYCLE OF WATER ECCL 1:7, GALILEO DISCOVERED EVAPORATION AND CONDENSATION OF WATER IN 1630.”

Ecclesiastes 1:7 states, “All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.” [KJV]

Okay, this is a good guess, but it’s not science. Again, if your all-knowing creator made the world, you’d think that he could explain the water cycle a little better. Yet the sea is not full is clearly indicative of the writer’s ignorance. The seas are full. Evaporation doesn’t keep the seas from being full – it keeps them from being overfull. The writer is also suggesting that the waters return to the river and makes no mention of evaporation, condensation or precipitation.

All the biblical study guides say that this is a reference to “veins of water” that flow from the sea back to the river beginnings. The writer of Ecclesiastes thought that the water somehow went from the ocean via veins back to the river’s beginning, where it was cycled again. They had no concept of evaporation, condensation, or the water cycle via precipitation and run-off. As one study guide puts it, the rivers and ocean are maintained through subterraneous cavities.

I’ll grant you that the statement is scientific in nature – in that it attempts to explain the environment based on the knowledge of the time. However, what you are trying to assert is that the Bible is 100% scientifically accurate and will guide us in finding scientific progress. You have not shown that to be the case at all. You have given us last straws, stretches of the imagination, and pure fiction and mythology.

Where is the science and knowledge of the creation that one would expect from a creator? Where are the descriptive verses explaining volcanology, plate tectonics, meteorology, oceanography, biology, and other scientific endeavors?

TERRY: “12. IT SHOWS US LIGHT CAN BE PARTED JOB 38:24. WHITE LIGHT WHILE PASSING THRU THE PRISM CAN BE SEPERATED (sic) INTO SEVEN COLORS. THIS WAS NOT DISCOVERED UNTO 1600’s.”

Job 38:24 states, “By what way is the light parted, which scattereth the east wind upon the earth?” [KJV]

How is this any semblance of science or the properties of a prism? The verse is asking how it happens – not explaining how it happens. Societies have long known how light parts (scatters or separates), but what they did not know was how. This is where religion failed and science figured it out – that light is composed of different wavelengths and that a prism can separate them.

However, biblical scholars agree that this verse is not a reference to a prism, but a reference to the diffusion of light – that the light diffuses over the whole earth, seeming to come from one point (which we know is the Sun). This is why there is a reference to the wind there. It’s not a light parting into a prism, but a light parting over the earth as the wind does. Another biblical study guide uses the word “distributed upon the face of the earth.” Another guide says that the reference is to the phenomenon of the wind rising, as does the sun, so that the sun rises and scatters the light upon the earth, causing the wind to come from the east.

Amazing, I was just asking about the properties of the prism and light and how they were different before and after the Noachian flood.

TERRY: “13. IT SHOWS US HOW THE SUN IS THE SOURCE OF THE EARTH’S WIND SYSTEM JOB 38:24. MIND YOU ALSO THAT JOB IS ONE OF THE OLDEST BOOKS IN THE BIBLE.”

You can’t have this one both ways. You just said that the same verse proves a prism. Now, are you going to go with the scattering of light as a prism, or as a source of wind? As I already mentioned above, some study guides suggest a reference to the rising of the sun coinciding with the rise of wind. Religion failed to answer how or why this occurs (notice, as usual, that there is no elaboration and nothing scientific to the verse) and science succeeds in answering the question. The increase in temperature causes heated air to rise, creating a high-pressure area above, and a low-pressure area below, this causes surrounding air to move into the area of low pressure, causing wind. The Bible did not explain this – only reported the coincidence that the rising sun gives rise to rising winds. It is scientific in nature only in the sense that it is reporting an observation, but there is no explanation, which one would expect from a scientific source.

TERRY: “14. IT SHOWS US THE WINDS DO BLOW IN CIRCUIT ECC 1:6”

Ecclesiastes 1:6 states, “The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.” [KJV]

The north and south winds are two prevailing winds in the area of Palestine. It is scientifically inaccurate to say that the south wind turns around and blows north. It is also inaccurate to say that the wind whirls about continually and returns to its circuit (meaning it returns afresh to its point of origin). Where is the science in this statement?

Where is the mention of upper-level winds, jet streams, meteorological patterns that differ in the northern hemisphere from the southern hemisphere? Where is the mention of pressure gradients that cause the wind?

TERRY: “15. IT SHOWS US THE PRACTICE OF CIRCUMCISION ON THE EIGHT DAY. GOD KNEW THAT BLEEDING WOULD BE MINIMIZED IF CIRCUMCISION WAS DONE ON THE EIGHT DAY. PROTHROMBIN IS MADE IN LIVER AND BECOMES WELL DEPLETED AND DOES NOT REPLENISH UNTIL THE EIGHT DAY.”

The eighth day has nothing to do with chemical makeup or hormonal release and everything to do with Hebrew numerology. Many things are done on the eighth day and to say that circumcision is directly related to some scientific reason, is complete nonsense. The eighth day is used for the sacrifice of unblemished lamb and an offering of fine flour and an oil log. The eighth day is used to cleanse offerings by the priests, which may include two turtledoves or two young pigeons.

The seven days prior are referred to as being “under the dam,” and the eighth day is when it is acceptable to make an offering. The foreskin is an offering and it falls under the same guidelines. You must wait seven days “under the dam” before you can make an offering on the eighth day.

Just do a search for “eighth day” using an online or CD-based Bible and you’ll be amazed how many references you find. I was able to find 23 references to the eighth day.

It’s not hard to notice that bleeding occurs less on the eighth day after birth. Anyone with a brain can figure out that if you do circumcision on every day and that less deaths occur on the eighth day, then that should be the day you do circumcision.

The use of the eighth day is ceremonial in nature, as indicated by its use in 23 biblical references. To disregard those other uses (unless you’re suggesting that clotting ability is important in animals as well) and pick out only the one that happens to coincide with a scientific discovery, is ludicrous, at best. Nowhere in the Bible is any mention of the phenomenon of less clotting on that day. Nowhere is any reason given for the use of the eighth day except for its ceremonial reasons, which are religious, based in numerology.

TERRY: “NOW THE BIBLE SAYS THAT ALL THINGS WILL YIELD BY SEED AFTER IT’S OWN KIND. DO YOU HAVE PROOF THAT ANYTHING EVER TURNED INTO SOMETHING ELSE, FOR INSTANCE HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A MAN TURN INTO AND APE OR VICE VERSA, HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A PLANT TURN INTO A CAT? I DO NOT THINK ANYBODY HAS EVER SEEN THIS PHENOMENON.”

This is why it is so hard for scientists (real ones) to take creationists seriously. If I had ever seen a man turn into an ape then that would be proof of creation – not evolution. This is a basic misunderstanding of evolutionary theory – that one thing turns into another overnight. It is a series of microevolution changes that culminate into a new species. If we find a plant-cat, then that would be a piece of evidence for the creationists – not the scientists.

Actually, there have been many instances of observed speciation. We see it occur all the time in the microbiology field, especially with bacteria and viruses. Evolutionary science predicted that lower life forms would evolve at a faster rate than higher life forms. This prediction panned out when the microbiology field developed and we started battling bacteria and viruses. It is the mutation and evolution of bacteria and viruses that force the pharmacology field to constantly produce new antibiotics to battle the new mutations of bacteria and new species from constant variations. If evolution weren’t a fact, then we would still be using penicillin instead of all these new powerful antibiotics.

There are two lists of observed speciation online. The lists are not comprehensive (by no means), but it gives you an idea of how often speciation has been observed just in our lifetime alone. You can find these lists at Speciation Observed and Speciation Observed 2.

TERRY: “WILLIE BEE, WAS A WELL KNOWN APE IN THE ATLANTA AREA HERE WHERE I LIVE, BUT HE HAS ALWAYS BEEN AN APE. THEY SAY THAT ALL THESE MACROEVOLUTIONARY THINGS HAPPENED BUT HOW COME THEY ARE NOT FINDING MORE OF THESE CREATURES THAT ARE HALF AND HALF.”

As I said before, a half-and-half would not be expected under the Theory of Evolution. Macroevolution is not an overnight jump from one species to a new one – it an accumulation of microevolution changes. If you find a cat-dog walking around, then you’ll have proof of creation – not evolution.

There are, however, many transitional species on the earth right now – species that have accumulated many microevolution changes. This will highlight another of the creationist’s misunderstandings of evolution. Many creationists think that when a new species evolves that the old species dies out. This is why we often hear, “If apes evolved into man, then how come apes still exist?” If the old species died out when microevolution accumulated into a macroevolution event, then there would only be one species alive on the planet at any given time. Obviously, that is not the case – but it certainly highlights the ignorance that creationists often have when it comes to the science of evolutionary biology.

To get back to my example, as a species begins to evolve, you can see the intermediaries taking up their niche in the different environments. There is a red fish (the name escapes me right now) that is held in an aquarium at the Environmental Studies Center in Mobile, Alabama. The fish does not swim, even though it has a dorsal fin. The fish walks on its front fins along the rocks. The skeletal structure of the fish’s front fins more closely resembles the bone structure of an amphibian than a true fish, but the rest of the fish resembles the fish structure. This is an intermediary species that found a niche and there was no longer a need to adapt to its environment anymore.

However, continued variations in the genetic code would have caused offshoots of that species. While we can never be sure of its exact evolutionary path (as you pointed out, we weren’t there), we can get a general idea based on genetic variations when we compare that fish to others. The closer a species is to humans, the less genetic variation is expected. The closer a species is to the original species, the more genetic variation is expected.

The Theory of Evolution predicted this, and it panned out when the genetic testing was done. Species that we thought were older turned out to have more genetic variation, and species we thought were newer had less genetic variation. We also found that every species on the planet shares a specific strand of genetic code, which was also predicted – because if we evolved from the same species, we would all have remnants of the original genetic code. In other words, the farther away you get from the original species, the more genetic variation there is.

This is not what one would expect with special creation, unless you’re a “mechanical theist,” whom believes that a creator made the original species and then let evolution go from there. This “mechanic theist” belief is a hands-off approach to the deity – he/she/it created the original life form and then let evolution guide the rest of the process.

TERRY: “RIGHT NOW AND MAYBE YOU CAN AT LEAST GIVE ME A BETTER ILLUSTRATION, BUT RIGHT NOW THIS IS HOW I SEE EVOLUTION: I SEE A EXPLOSION HAPPENING AT THE FORD PLANT WITHOUT THE NECCESSARY (sic) FIRE TETRAHEDRON AND PIECES OF METAL FLYING ACROSS THE SKY AND LANDING IN MY DRIVEWAY ASSEMBLING THEMSELVES INTO A BRAND NEW 3001 (I MEAN 3000 FOR METAPHORIC ADVANCEMENT, WHICH THE HUMAN BODY REFLECTS AN ADVANCED MACHINE) MUSTANG CONVERTIBLE. HARDLY!”

This is a typical strawman argument of creationists. If a Ford plant exploded and a Ford Mustang GTO formed in your driveway from the falling debris, I would claim it a miracle performed by a deity, as it would be proof of creation – not evolution. The attempt to compare obviously intelligently designed items (cars, watches, mouse traps, etc) with biological evolution is totally ludicrous.

Evolution is not the miraculous appearance of a new species overnight, as I have asserted over and over again. Evolution is the gradual change of a species (microevolution) until such changes accumulate that speciation has occurred (macroevolution). This really isn’t a hard concept – I don’t understand why creationists have such a hard time grasping it. I know why they reject it, but I don’t understand why they don’t understand it.

TERRY: “NOW AT THIS POINT YOU ARE PROBALLY (sic) THINKING NOW I KNOW THIS GUY IS IGNORANT OF EVOLUTION, BUT I WANT TO ASSURE YOU THAT I HAVE READ COUNTLESS HOURS ON EVOLUTION AND THEY DO NOT HAVE ANYTHING OUT MORE THAN DR BOTTLESTOPPER SAYS IN THE SCIENCE FIELD TODAY THAT “HE THINKS THAT WHAT MAY HAVE HAPPEN BILLIONS OF YEARS AGO IS THAT THERE WAS A BIG BANG.”

No offense, but I thought you were ignorant on the Theory of Evolution long before you gave that example. You have spouted off every ludicrous creationist argument there is. All creationists can do is try to poke holes in evolution because they have no proof that their “version” is a reality. All they can do is mock science, and in a way worship it, by trying to justify their beliefs through bogus science.

Theories are not about “we think,” that is reserved for a hypothesis. When science is in the “we think” mode, it is speculating on a hypothesis. Once the hypothesis is formulated, it is tested and approached from every angle in attempt to disprove the hypothesis. Predictions are made, tests are completed, and data is compiled. If the hypothesis is shattered, then it is tossed and a new one is formulated. If the hypothesis pans out, then additional testing is done and data is accumulated and other teams take a crack at it. When the hypothesis is proven and cannot be disproved, then it becomes a theory.

Even then, scientists constantly attack the theory, because any scientists that can disprove a theory are guaranteed recipients of a Pulitzer Prize in one of the science fields. Scientists have been trying to disprove the Theory of Evolution for over a hundred years and they have not succeeded. Every attempt to disprove the Theory of Evolution only solidifies it more and brings more concrete evidence to light.

Scientists are not bickering over the Theory of Evolution itself – they all know that evolution is a fact. What is still being worked out is “how” evolution occurs – the mechanism of evolution. Creationists see this as a problem with science, but it is the beauty of science. If we stopped researching as soon as someone said, “This is the cause,” then we’d never get anywhere and we’d still be living in the Stone Age. It is the constant endeavor to question and research that is the key to scientific success, not its downfall, as creationists would have the non-scientific believe.

TERRY: “THERE IS TWO PEOPLE AND I DON’T MEAN ALL BUT MOST SCIENTIST AND THEOLOGIANS ARE TO SMART FOR THEIR ON GOOD. THEY WOULD RATHER USE THEORY,S THAN COMMON SENSE.”

That may be your preference, but I would rather that scientists use theories to guide them in their scientific endeavors. I would rather that the scientific process be utilized in order to achieve a better life for mankind. If scientists only used common sense (they do use it by the way, when it comes to testing a hypothesis and theory) then we wouldn’t have all the marvels of technology, the advancement of medical science, the betterment of society, etc. As I said before, the use of the scientific method and science is the reason we are not stuck in the Stone Age.

To be perfectly honest, it is common sense that first directed me away from religion. It was logic and theory that later solidified my common sense approach to religion. Had it not been for common sense, I would still be groveling on my knees and begging forgiveness from an invisible man in the sky. Common sense was my salvation – not a fairy tale about a resurrected savior born from himself to die for himself to satisfy his own desire to burn his creation in a lake of fire if they don’t worship him.

TERRY: “WHEN ARE WE GONNA QUIT LETTING STATISTICS AND THEORY’S RULE THIS PLACE.”

You’re right. Let’s get rid of all the theories and get back to the basics. First, get rid of all your electricity and electronics since they operate on a theory. Then you can forget about that gravity thing – it’s another stupid theory. We don’t need the Theory of Gravity based on the Universal Law of Gravitation to explain why we stay put – it’s common sense – we don’t float away because we are heavy. Of course we can’t say we’re heavy anymore, because that is based on a theory of density.

Oh yeah, no more television or radio, since radio wave propagation is a theory. We can scrap all those silly theories and just run on regular old-fashioned common sense. The common sense that made us use leaches to cure every disease that came across us. The common sense that made women subservient and slaves to men with no rights. The common sense that placed our children to work on farms and plantations as slave labor.

Common sense has gotten mankind into trouble too many times. When common sense is confirmed with reason and logic, then are getting somewhere. That is not to say that people will use twisted logic to justify their common sense (just look at George W. Bush and his twisted logic in order to justify his “common sense”). If everyone is trained in actual logic and taught how to properly reason, we might find ourselves in a better environment.

Common sense has its purpose, but far too often it is subjective. One person’s common sense is another person’s stupidity.

Keep your common sense as your only source of knowledge if you must, but I’ll rely on logic, reason, and the rules of science to verify reality and I’ll base my common sense on that. Too many people use common sense as a base, instead of letting something concrete be the basis for their common sense.

TERRY: “ALSO I HOPE TO CONTINUE THIS DIALOGUE WITH YOU BECAUSE MY GOAL IS NOT TO CONVERT YOU ALTHOUGH IT WOULD ANSWER ONE OF MY PRAYERS, BUT ONE OF THE PURPOSES IS TO DEBATE OPPONENTS OF MY BELIEF SO THAT I WILL BE FORCED TOO DIG DEEPER AND MATURE MY KNOWLEDGE AND FAITH.”

Even if your goal was to convert me, I could assure you right now that you would fail. Perhaps during this dialogue and your endeavor to “dig deeper and mature your knowledge and faith,” it will be you that has a de-conversion? It’s not a prayer of mine, nor is it a hope, but common sense (as you would put it) dictates that it is certainly a possibility.

TERRY: “IF YOU CARE TO, I WOULD LIKE YOU TO LOOK UP PROVERBS 1524 IT IS MY FAVORITE VERSE. BUT BE SURE TO LOOK IT UP IN THE KJV.”

Proverbs 15:24 states, “The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath.” [KJV]

Why do you insist on using the KJV? Most biblical scholars admit that the KJV isn’t a very good translation of the Septuagint. There are so many translations that your “favorite verse” has several different meanings. Just to give you an idea of how different they are based on how different people translate and what variant they use of the “original text,” let’s take a look at a few.

  • NASB (New American Standard Bible): The path of life {leads} upward for the wise that he may keep away from Sheol below.
  • HCSB (Holman Christian Standard Bible): For the discerning the path of life leads upward, so that he may avoid going down to Sheol.
  • NLT (New Living Translation): The path of the wise leads to life above; they leave the grave behind. (It should be noted that Sheol is Hebrew for grave – not Hell.)
  • GNT (Good News Translation): Wise people walk the road that leads upward to life, not the road that leads downward to death.
  • DRB (Douay-Rheims Bible): The path of life is above for the wise, that he may decline from the lowest hell.
  • MSG (The Message Bible): Life ascends to the heights for the thoughtful – it’s a clean about-face from descent into hell.
  • CJB (Complete Jewish Bible): For the prudent, the path of life goes upward; thus he avoids Sheol below.
  • NCV (New Century Version): Wise people’s lives get better and better. They avoid whatever would cause their death.
  • GWT (God’s Word Translation): The path of life for a wise person leads upward in order to turn him away from hell below.
  • BBE (Bible in Basic English): Acting wisely is the way of life, guiding a man away from the underworld.
  • YLT (Young’s Literal Translation): A path of life {is} on high for the wise, to turn aside from Sheol beneath.
  • LV (Latin Vulgate): semita vitae super eruditum ut declinet de inferno novissimo.

As you can see, there is a huge variety of the ways they were translated. The use of the word grave instead of hell is more accurate.

 

Terry Rebuttal #003:

THIS IS TERRY, I HAVE BEEN DEBATING YOU AND I NOTICED YOU HAVE POSTED OUR DEBATE, I LOST YOUR REBUTTAL WHEN MY COMPUTER WAS REBOOTED, THANKS TO YOUR WEB SITE I NOW HAVE IT AGAIN THANKS. WILL RESPOND ASAP (REBUTTAL).

I am stil waiting for his “ASAP” rebuttal…

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Debate 023: Ian and Blair debate evolution & the Bible

Ian Rebuttal #001:

Just because fossils and dinosaur bones exist doesn’t at all prove evolution. Carbon dating is a very interesting discovery, but is still an unknown variable. You can estimate the rate of carbon decay and guess your way backwards, but I would hardly call it proof. Do I believe things could be very old in this world? Sure. But from my standpoint, they could have easily been created right with the world.

I’d be happy to hear how the Bible “unravels” itself. I’ve heard most theories, so please explain. From the people I’ve talked to, none could support their claims. I’m not doing this to argue, but to clarify any misconceptions. I will never tell anyone what to believe.

I would like to point out a common misconception that all scientists believe in evolution. Quite a few think it is ludicrous, but alas, education books like preaching on. From my standpoint, one cannot argue for evolution and not be able to explain the details.

Scientific theories say matter cannot be destroyed. It is mearly reallocated in a different form. How can evolution support the claim that matter formed from nothing? Have you heard of Entropy? It is a basic teaching of science that things will always go from order to disorder. How then can evolution miraculously teach that somehow mother nature will go against this basic principle?

Of course things “evolve”. People change over time. There is nothing wrong with change Biblically. Take a look at Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

You mention the OT and NT contradict each other. How? I’ve heard quite a few arguments, and would be curious to hear what you can come up with.

I think you mentioned you are not a Biblical scholar. How then can you argue the Bible is wrong?

I think discussion is great. The best we can do is learn from each other.

Religious Confusion

It is unfortunate there is so much confusion now in days regarding religion. People get tired of not knowing which to choose and instead choose to believe nothing at all. Look at Christianity and how various church bodies have become corrupted over time. Church bodies keep splitting and becoming more scattered. I don’t doubt this. As the world ages, I believe there will be more and more confusion about what to believe. The Bible refers to the breakdown of the church, and while unfortunate, is bound to happen.

Just think of your children. If you has talked to Jesus and witnesses His miracles, you’d certainly tell your children, wouldn’t you? In turn, your children would tell their children…and so forth. But what about a few more generations down the line? Suddenly, Jesus is less credible and sounds more like a story. Would it be proof sufficient for Jesus to come tomorrow and prove Christianity? Not really, as future generations will continue to disbelieve it…although people tomorrow might be convinced. Are we robots? Of course not. We have the capability to make choices…along with whether to believe in God or not.

There has indeed been a ton of scientific discovery in the past 200 years. And that is great. But it doesn’t mean, in the materialistic world we live in, that God doesn’t exist. Aside from pleasure, what does technology really accomplish?

Again, there has been much corruption elsewhere as well. So one really can’t give an excuse not to believe because of the world’s corrupt past. Greed runs rampant in this world and always has. People will always try using the Bible to benefit their own selves.

It is a sad truth. Just look at some of America’s religions…there is documented proof that their leaders became extremely wealthy at the expense of their followers. These people were screwed up and went against everything the Bible teaches (can you say false prophets?). This in of itself does not mean the Bible is flawed. In fact, the Bible shows this will happen and warns against it.

On evolution

Concerning the Big Bang, where did the “molten blobs” come from? I’d like to know. Just like people may argue the molten blobs were always there, people can also argue that God has always been there (as I believe). People have a tendancy to want to play God and not like another power over them….especially in this society where people have such comfort and no fear of outside events.

Of course it is easy to say “God made it”. The Bible isn’t complicated and wasn’t intended to be.

Concerning Biblical Origin

I’m not going to doubt that humans make mistakes. Of course they do. We’re all sinful. But compare our Bibles today to the earliest manuscripts that exist, and they are incredibly accurate. When the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1944, they were accurate and went according to our Bibles today. I guess I don’t see your point. And like I said before, of course sinful men can twist the Bible to suit their desires.

Personally, I think atheism can be a crutch for the religious confusion that is out there. People do not understand the Bible and the millions of belief systems out there, so they choose to believe none of it. If you are ever interested or have questions regarding the Bible, please do ask. I’d be happy to explain.

Christianity in General

You fail to show how the Bible or God are fairy tales. Can you disprove them? Can you disprove Jesus never existed? I still see a lot of assumptions being called proof.

The obvious solution to me is the Bible is your proof. No other book has “survived” like the Bible has. No other book has produced more copies. Don’t you think that if people knew Jesus didn’t exist, they would have not spread Christianity so zelously?

Conclusions

Bibilical translations are necessary to spread the Bible and God’s Word. Do you see any translations being based off previous translations (and so forth) and thus corrupting the Bible? I’m not certain of what some modern day translations have done, but most (in almost every language imaginable) are based off the earliest manuscripts.

If you have questions about what I believe, please do ask. Public or private is fine. I’ve talked to quite a few people about the Bible and what I believe and their opinions have always been based on misconceptions.

 

Response to Ian #001:

IAN: “Just because fossils and dinosaur bones exist doesn’t at all prove evolution.”

That is correct. The fossils alone do not prove the theory of evolution or evolutionary biology. The fossils are part of a massive amount of evidence that supports the theory of evolution and evolutionary biology. One piece of the puzzle does not give one the picture – it is most or all of the pieces that one can ascertain the true picture that the puzzle creates.

IAN: “Carbon dating is a very interesting discovery, but is still an unknown variable. You can estimate the rate of carbon decay and guess your way backwards, but I would hardly call it proof.”

Carbon dating, the dating of materials using Carbon-14 is not used to date material older than 50,000 years and that can be a stretch sometimes. The half-life of Carbon-14 is 5,730 years, so after so many years there should be no detectable Carbon-14. Of course Carbon-14 can only be used to date materials that were biological, such as plants, bones, etc. Carbon-14 cannot be used to date inanimate material such as rocks.

The creationist argument that Carbon-14 is an invalid way to measure things in the millions of years is an accurate argument. However, it is also a stupid argument, because scientists know this and don’t use Carbon-14 to date things older than 50,000 years.

For more information on Carbon-14 dating and what it is used for (not what the creationists think it’s used for), you can check out some reliable online sources such aswww.c14dating.com, and www.radiocarbon.org.

Perhaps you mean radiometric dating, accelerator mass spectrometry, or isochron dating?

IAN: “Do I believe things could be very old in this world? Sure. But from my standpoint, they could have easily been created right with the world.”

Why would your Bible-God create the universe to look and act like it was 14 to 15 billion-years-old? Why would he create the world to look and act like it was 4.5 billion-years-old? Even if the creation account were correct, why would you dismiss the world of evolutionary biologists, geologists, anthropologists, oceanographers, etc for discovering how your Bible-God made it look?

IAN: “I’d be happy to hear how the Bible “unravels” itself. I’ve heard most theories, so please explain.”

I’d be happy to show you how the Bible “unravels” itself.

Let’s start off simple. We’ll take the 12-step program of Bible errancy. We’ll call it Bible study so you feel right at home. I’ll let you do the study so you can personally find and witness the contradictions. I’ll give you 12 questions about the death and resurrection of Jesus. Read all four gospels to answer the questions. Include each answer from each gospel and ensure that there are no contradictions or inconsistencies.

Read the four gospels, answer the questions from each gospel and make the answers work without contradicting each other. If you can do this, you’ll be the first person to ever do it – no theologian or Biblical scholar has ever been able to do it. Good luck!

  1. What time did the women visit the tomb?
  2. Which women visited the tomb?
  3. Was the tomb open when they arrived?
  4. Who was at the tomb when they got there?
  5. What did the messenger tell the women?
  6. Did the women tell what happened?
  7. Did Mary know Jesus had resurrected when she returned to the tomb?
  8. When did Mary first see the resurrected Jesus?
  9. After visiting the women at the tomb, whom did the resurrected Jesus visit next?
  10. Where did the resurrected Jesus first appear to the disciples?
  11. Did the resurrected Jesus stay on Earth or depart that same day for Heaven?
  12. Where did the ascension take pace?

After you answer those 12 questions just get back to me with your 100% contradiction-free answers.

IAN: “I would like to point out a common misconception that all scientists believe in evolution. Quite a few think it is ludicrous, but alas, education books like preaching on.”

Please provide a sample of scientists within the field of biology that do not agree with biological evolution. If you would like to give me a list of accredited scientists from accredited universities that do not accept the science of evolution, I’d be happy to look at that, too.

The few “scientists” that I’ve met that rejected the science of evolution came from Christian colleges (although the majority of Christian colleges teach evolutionary biology because they know it’s scientifically sound). A few other scientists that rejected the science of evolution came from fields that had nothing to do with evolutionary biology. Biochemists work without any reference to evolutionary biology – they care about how biochemicals work – not how biochemicals evolved. Michael Behe is a biochemist. Of course, if you read Behe’s book, he is a proponent of evolutionary biology – he just thinks that “god did it.”

IAN: “From my standpoint, one cannot argue for evolution and not be able to explain the details.”

One cannot argue against it if they are not able to explain the details. If you are going to argue for or against something, you must know both sides. I do. Do you?

IAN: “How can evolution support the claim that matter formed from nothing?”

Evolutionary biology does not make that claim. You are confusing evolution with cosmology.

IAN: “Have you heard of Entropy? It is a basic teaching of science that things will always go from order to disorder. How then can evolution miraculously teach that somehow mother nature [sic] will go against this basic principle?”

How do you see evolutionary biology and the theory of evolution as a violation of entropy? For that matter, didn’t the Bible-God violate entropy when he created the world from chaos? Regardless, please explain how the theory of evolution and evolutionary biology violate entropy.

IAN: “I think you mentioned you are not a Biblical scholar. How then can you argue the Bible is wrong?”

You don’t have to be a Biblical scholar to read the Bible and see all the errors, contradictions and inconsistencies. I think you would also find that most biblical scholars recognize the problems and are not apologists. You’d probably be surprised to find out that when new theology students arrive at theology school they are in the 80 percentile of “literalist.” By the time they leave theology school they are only in the 30 percentile of “literalist” (source: Barna Research, 2002).

Why is that? That change occurs because in theology school they teach these students real theology and real biblical scholarship, with criticisms and analysis – something they never learned in Sunday school. The students learn about the contradictions. They learn about the theological problems and inconsistencies and how the apologetics were adopted and ultimately adapted and evolved. The students learn the history of the Bible instead of the Bible as history.

Many students that enter theology school never go on to become priests, pastors, ministers, or preachers. Several atheist friends of mine went through theology and seminary school and it is there that their roots of atheism were founded as they began to learn what Christianity really is instead of what their Sunday school teacher and parents wanted them to know.

I believe that I can speak about the Bible because I have read it several times (straight through). I have studied biblical scholarship and theology. I have attended seminars and lectures given by biblical scholars and theological historians. I have been to Israel to tour the places of the Bible. I have discussed these issues with theologians, biblical scholars, and clergy of many faiths. I have read the statements of one side and the apologetics of the other.

I have read the reason and the rhyme. I have read the pros and the cons. I have made sure that I know both sides so that I can make an educated decision about the issue instead of being told what to believe. I would recommend that you do the same thing.

IAN: “People get tired of not knowing which to choose and instead choose to believe nothing at all.”

Did you look at the other religions of the world? Did you study the Qu’ran, Vedas, Enuma Elish, Koryak, Kitab-i-Aqdas, Kitab-i-Iqan, Apocrypha, Tanakh, Book of Shadows, the Word, Dhammapada, Sutta Nipata, Vinaya, Corpus Hermeticum, Kebra Nagast, Mabinogion, Lun Yu, Ta Hsueh, Chung Yung, Book of the Dead, Thelema, Secret Doctrine of Theosophy, Rosicrucian texts, Devi Gita, The Magus, Akaranga Sutra, Kalpa Sutra, Talmud, Qabalah, Midrash Tanhuma, Kalevala, Shah Namah, Book of Mormon, Walam Olum, Malleus Maleficarum, Prophecies of Nostradamus, Oahspe, Book of Knowledge, Te Pito Te Henua, Kumulipo, Sybilline Oracles, Prophecies of Paracelsus, Kama Sutra, Ananga Ranga, Kojiki, Nihongi, Yengishiki, Kwaidan, Shundai Zatsuwa, Bushido, Shri Guru Granth Sahib, Mishkat Al-Anwar, Rubayyat, Mahanirvana Tantra, Shakti-Shakta, Tao-te Ching, T’ai Shang Kan-Ying P’ien, Yatkar-i-Zariran, Avesta Vendidad and the Khorda Avesta (just to name a few)?

If the Bible-God were as powerful as you make him out to be, one would think that this confusion or “not knowing which to choose” would not be a problem.

IAN: “Just think of your children. If you has talked to Jesus and witnesses His miracles, you’d certainly tell your children, wouldn’t you?”

If I had seen the events as they are told in the Bible, then yes, I would tell my children. Unfortunately, no one at the time seemed to tell their children. With all that happened when Jesus supposedly gave up the ghost, no one seemed to notice. Not a single document of Rome or Judea mentions these events. Not a single historian of the time mentions any of these so-called miracles or heavenly events. Not a single historian or literary of the time mentions it. The only reference you’re your gospels that were written after-the-fact by non-witnesses.

IAN: “Would it be proof sufficient for Jesus to come tomorrow and prove Christianity? Not really, as future generations will continue to disbelieve it…although people tomorrow might be convinced.”

Yes, that would be proof. He can fly down on his magic cloud, set his golden harp aside, fold his white wings back, drape his white robe and sit down and have a cop of coffee with me. We can talk about the creation, the OT, the NT and other things. He can perform a few blatant miracles and I’ll be convinced. The first thing I’ll ask him after he convinces me is, “Why didn’t you do this for everyone? Why let all those people go to Hell when you could have done this with every person in the world?”

I’ve yet to get a straight answer on this – perhaps you can answer it. Why did the all-powerful Bible-God choose a specific region for conversion to his new religion of “follow my son, I mean me, my son and that third thing, the grandfather of my father of my son?” One would think that this all-powerful Bible-God could convert the entire world at once. It seems rather silly to send your son to die for the sins of the world and then not tell the world about it.

If the only way to Heaven is through Jesus, and no one knew about it – then everyone went to Hell until the world finally spread. It’s taken almost 2,000 years for the word to spread and there are still people that haven’t heard about Jesus – and everyone that missed the word is going to Hell – even if it wasn’t their fault. All those Native Americans that didn’t find out until the Spanish swords were dripping with the blood – went to Hell. All those people in the OT that were alive before Jesus – went to Hell. All the people in middle and South Africa that didn’t hear about Jesus until their masters on the plantation told them about him – all went to Hell. All the feral children and indigenous peoples of the world that never heard of Jesus – all went to Hell.

All the babies that are killed before their first Sunday school lesson – they go to Hell. All the mentally retarded children that can’t understand the concept and therefore can’t accept Jesus – they go to Hell.

How is that a moral doctrine?

IAN: “But it doesn’t mean, in the materialistic world we live in, that God doesn’t exist.”

That is correct; it doesn’t mean that a god doesn’t exist. It does mean that the Bible-God doesn’t exist. The Noachian flood never happened. A six-day creation never happened. A 40-year exodus in the desert never happened. The Tower of Babel never happened. Adam & Even never happened. The very things that the Bible-God is attributed with doing never happened and that’s because he never happened.

IAN: “Aside from pleasure, what does technology really accomplish?”

Technology has helped considerably with the survival of the species: increased life spans because of advanced medical science, decreased infant mortality rates, increased growth and delivery of food to prevent starvation, and much more.

Technology has also made information wide-spread. The human masses were ignorant before books were widely available. When books became available to the common man, then we began to see social change as man was educated. Then technology increased that knowledge with mass production of books and interstate commerce. Telecommunications and the advent of the wireless and ultimately the Internet increased that knowledge even more. With all major advancements in technology and specifically in the spread of information, a social change occurs.

The Renaissance, the Reformation, the civil rights movement, the woman’s suffrage movement, and the sixties are just examples of these social shifts at the advent of new information and ease of spreading that information.

Satellite communications and the Internet are getting the word out about the reality. The false statements and nonsense issued from the pulpit are responded to and disseminated via these mass-media means. The public learns the history of the Bible instead of the Bible as history. The public learns the hatefulness of the Bible and Qu’ran. The public learns about the cruelty of those that would espouse their god to do harm to others.

This increased information availability has seen a major increase in Freethought around the world. The Holy See has officially declared several countries to be “Officially Pagan” and they are renewing their missionary approach to those countries. Information is available to anyone and the church can no longer control it.

Islam’s current situation is a direct result of this mass media and information availability. Islam has turned in on itself and has attempted to seclude the Islamic population from the information of the world. The media outlets are state-run in theocracies and dictatorships. The information provided to the Islamic public is filtered and full of hatred against Jews and westerners.

Instead of blossoming and becoming a part of the world, Islam has pulled its window shades, bolted the doors and set the alarm – letting no influence in. This lack of education, equality, and economy in that part of the world, coupled with the Qu’ranic blinders of “hear no evil, see no evil” has increased the Fundamentalist extremists of the religion to a boiling point.

Christianity had to deal with this a long time ago. During that time they did the same thing that Islam is doing today. The Spanish Inquisition was how the church dealt with technology and information availability. Luckily for the world, the Reformation occurred and Christianity was watered down. That watering down continues to this day. As you mentioned, the church creates a new split each year as new denominations are formed – each one a watered-down version of its predecessor.

IAN: “People will always try using the Bible to benefit their own selves.”

By using the Bible as a way to get to Heaven, aren’t you doing the same thing?

IAN: “These people were screwed up and went against everything the Bible teaches (can you say false prophets?). This in of itself does not mean the Bible is flawed.”

I would disagree with you. The very fact that there are so many interpretations and so many different views of the Bible is a very testament to its flaws. If the Bible were clear and concise, as one would expect from a so-called all-powerful supreme being, then there would be no discordance among the pious masses. The fact that the common man cannot read the Bible and know exactly what the pious pulpit states is a testimony to the fallibility of the Bible.

Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, James Dobson, Bob Jones, James Kennedy, Billy Graham, Benny Hinn, Jim Bakker, and many others get away with it because the sucker that’s born-again every minute can’t understand the Bible on his own. No one is willing to take the time to actually read the entire thing and study its origins and meaning. If they did, then I would aver that the churches would be empty. The churches are relying on the incontinence of the biblical word and the inability of the pious masses to make heads or tales of who, what, when, where, and why.

The lack of knowledge by the public and the commercial genius of the pious pulpit have worked together to make the Bible-God a corporation. I’d like to buy 100 shares of GodCo and Jesus, Inc., please.

IAN: “Concerning the Big Bang, where did the “molten blobs” come from? I’d like to know.”

For information on the Big Bang, please see Where Did It All Come From?

IAN: “Of course it is easy to say “God made it”. The Bible isn’t complicated and wasn’t intended to be.”

The Bible isn’t complicated? Aren’t you the same person that made reference to all the different churches not agreeing on the Bible? If the Bible isn’t complicated then why is it so hard for the churches to agree on it? If the Bible isn’t complicated then why have there been so many councils for thousands of bishops and presbyters to figure out what it meant and “law down the law” on how they interpreted it?

IAN: “But compare our Bibles today to the earliest manuscripts that exist, and they are incredibly accurate.”

Are you sure about that? Most biblical scholars would disagree with that statement.

IAN: “When the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1944, they were accurate and went according to our Bibles today.”

That is entirely false. The finding of the Dead Sea Scrolls, especially Qumran Cave 4, created more variants and more problems for biblical literalists. The book of Isaiah, for example, was found to be missing several chunks (in the Bible version) and the chunks that weren’t missing were found to be full of mistakes. The Dead Sea Scrolls were talked about widely when they were initially discovered. When translation began, they suddenly disappeared. It wasn’t until years later that they were finally brought out in the public again and it was disclosed just how bad they made the Bible look.

The number of variants of manuscripts is ludicrous. The variation of the variants is even more astounding. There are books that aren’t in the Bible – why didn’t they make the cut?

Regardless, the accuracy of the translations of the modern Bible compared to the ancient manuscripts of which they originated is irrelevant in the long run. It doesn’t matter if the translations are accurate or not. Accuracy of translation is not proof of the accuracy of the Bible itself and it certainly is not proof of any god represented therein.

IAN: “Personally, I think atheism can be a crutch for the religious confusion that is out there.”

Personally, you’d be wrong. Atheism is the removal of the crutch. Atheism is the sorting out the confusion and getting the real picture. Atheism is the recognition of the ludicrous nature of religion and breaking free of the imprisonment of thought.

IAN: “If you are ever interested or have questions regarding the Bible, please do ask. I’d be happy to explain.”

I think you have enough explaining to do with the 12 questions I presented you above as a precursor to contradictions in the Bible. No offense, but I doubt there is anything you can tell me about the Bible that I don’t already know or that I haven’t already heard.

IAN: “You fail to show how the Bible or God are fairy tales. Can you disprove them?”

Atheism Awareness does not attempt to do that. The purpose of Atheism Awareness is to address the myths, misconceptions, and misunderstandings of atheism. One page refers to my view that the Bible is nothing more than fairy tales for adults, but the page makes no claim to show that.

All that aside, it is easy to refute and dismiss the personalized, characterized, and defined gods of mankind: Yahweh, Allah, Vishnu, etc all fall under scrutiny. The atheist freely admits that he or she cannot prove that a god does not exist – you cannot prove a negative.

As far as fairy tales go, there is no reason to prove it – just read it. The tale of Noah and his Ark is clearly a fairy tale and never really happened. The tales of the plagues of Egypt at the behest of Moses are fairy tales that never really happened. The tale of Adam & Eve and the talking snake is obviously a fairy tale. Where did the talking snake come from, anyway? We know these are fairy tales not just by the silliness of them and the outlandishness of them, but by the scientific evidence against them (no global food, etc).

IAN: “The Can you disprove Jesus never existed?”

One cannot prove a negative, so one cannot say that Jesus never existed. What I can say is that based on the available evidence, or more accurately, the lack of available evidence, it is more probable that Jesus, as the Christ, never exist. Is it possible? Yes. It is probable? No.

Anything is possible – unicorns, Big Foot, Loch Ness monster, leprechauns, gremlins, ghosts, vampires, werewolves, etc. I’d rather deal with the probable than the possible. Are you willing to admit that leprechauns exist because they possibly exist and no one can prove that they don’t exist?

I would remind you that the burden of proof is in your court. You have made the exceptional claim that a man around 30 CE performed miracles, was executed, died and was buried, resurrected and then ascended up to Heaven where he awaits to return on his whim to Earth to wage holy war against the sinners.

Tell me a great teacher lived in 30 CE and taught a form of Judaism then you’re getting a little more credible, more believable because you have less exceptional claims. Start throwing in all the miracles and metaphysics and you are crossing into the realm of exceptional claims – a realm for which you have no proof.

One mistake of the Christians is to use the Bible to prove the Bible. Where are the outside sources and verifications? None of the so-called references of Jesus that apologists often quote are even remotely legitimate (not a single one). Do Christians fail to recognize the works prior to 30 CE and the supposed life of Jesus? The stories of older gods and goddesses that match the story of Jesus – why aren’t these taken into consideration by Christians?

IAN: “The obvious solution to me is the Bible is your proof. No other book has “survived” like the Bible has.”

That’s an awfully bold statement to make, especially considering that it is wrong. The Bible, as you know it (66 books), has only been around for approximately 1,700 years. The Tanakh, Torah, and Talmud have been around for much longer. The books of Judaism have been around longer than the Bible.

If you are going to use longevity and durability as an argument for accepting a theology, then perhaps you should consider converting to Judaism?

Or perhaps you should consider Hinduism? The Vedas has been around hundreds of years longer than the 66-book Bible. Of course there are other books that are older than the Bible and still around, too.

As to longevity being a proof of something, you are leaving a lot to be desired. How does the longevity of something make a statement of its truth or proof? We’ve seen the destruction of many doctrines of the Christian church fall during the 1,700 years that the 66-book Bible has been around.

The idea of a hard firmament that is described in the book of Genesis fell. The idea of a flat Earth described in the OT and NT fell (although a few die-hards still believe that the Earth is flat). The idea of a geocentric solar system, as described in the Bible, fell.

IAN: “Don’t you think that if people knew Jesus didn’t exist, they would have not spread Christianity so zelously [sic]?”

No, I don’t think that at all. Often the most zealously spread doctrine is a doctrine of lies and deceit. One need only view the historically recent Nazis to see how such zealousness can be produced on a doctrine of lies, deceit and fabrication.

During the time that Christianity was gaining a foothold, the religions of the world were replete with miracles, virgin births, resurrections and other such mythology. The people of the time, not having the technological advances of our time (as we discussed earlier), were not inclined to find the stories false. That does not mean that there were not critics at the time. Unfortunately, the early Christian church set out to destroy all critics and criticisms and few remain to this day.

IAN: “I’m not certain of what some modern day translations have done, but most (in almost every language imaginable) are based off the earliest manuscripts.”

The KJV is a good example. The original manuscripts (which do not exist) would have been written in Hebrew of Aramaic. What remains is the Greek Septuagint. The Greek was translated into Latin. The Latin was translated into German and the German was finally translated into English in order to create the KJV.

If you want a version that is more accurately translated from the Greek Septuagint, I would recommend the Scholar’s Version (SV). Unfortunately, the SV only covers the NT. However, the Tanakh and Torah, the Jewish sacred texts, are good sources to get closer translations to the original Hebrew, as they are still written in Hebrew to this day. You can view the Tanakh, Torah and Talmud online at Sacred Text Archive: Judaism.

And Ian, like most, disappears into the masses…

Debate 012: Cyclo and Blair debate Evolution

NOTE: I usually don’t post the quick and silly debates. I get a lot of these and the majority of them are from people that have absolutely no clue about what they are arguing about. I don’t have a problem with people engaging in debate; but at least know the subject before you get into a debate. I’ve decided to start posting these debates so that people can see the silliness that enters my inbox. Be warned, in these quick and silly debates I tend to be more facetious and brutally honest. Someone needs to let these people know that they are unarmed.

Cyclo Rebuttal #001:

How ludicrous is the theory of evolution?

Evolutionists believe humans began as tiny sea creatures swimming in the ocean (what kind?) which evolved into wet four-legged amphibians (what kind?), which evolved into furry little rodents (what kind?), which evolved into tiny primates (what kind?), which evolved into biped humans.

Each stage of evolution would have existed for tens of thousands of years (if not millions), but there is no scientific evidence that the above process ever took place! If there is, please identify the specific species’ of each creature identified in the evolutionary chain mentioned above, including the transitional forms. Remember, the evolutionist believes these to be the ancestors of human beings, but the evolutionist is unable to identify any of them. Then again, to proclaim a little prehistoric amphibian (which existed as such for thousands of years) as a direct ancestor of man would surely destroy one’s credibility!

Even amongst dinosaurs, only completed species exist in the fossil record. There is no evidence, for example, that the Tyrannosaurus Rex ever evolved from another type of creature.

The evidence says creation.

The theory of evolution is a LIE of epic proportions.

Response to Cyclo #001:

I want to personally thank you for giving me a good laugh. I haven’t laughed like that in a long time and it felt good. I appreciate it. Of course at the end of your letter I realized that you weren’t joking and that kind of stole the laughter away, but alas…

CYCLO: “Evolutionists believe humans began as tiny sea creatures swimming in the ocean…”

That is not what evolutionists believe. Perhaps you should study up on evolution a bit more before making an arse of yourself in “trying” to discredit it.

CYCLO: “…(what kind?)…”

I’ve heard Creationists like Duane “same-old, same-old” Gish and Kent “Man’s law sucks” Hovind use the word “kind”. I’ve asked them on several occasions to define what a “kind” is and they have never done so. Can you explain what a “kind” is? No one in the scientific community uses this term, so I don’t know what you mean.

CYCLO: “…which evolved into wet four-legged amphibians, which evolved into furry little rodents, which evolved into tiny primates, which evolved into biped humans.”

Is that what you really believe? You honestly believe that evolution is what you describe above? No wonder you’re so lost. I wouldn’t accept the scientific validity of evolution if I thought it was what you described, either.

CYCLO: “Each stage of evolution would have existed for tens of thousands of years (if not millions), but there is no scientific evidence that the above process ever took place!”

Considering that your “above process” is seriously flawed and doesn’t even come close to the actual evolutionary process – then your statement is correct. However, there is a considerably vast amount of evidence to back up the actual evolutionary process – not the imagined one that you created in your little tirade.

CYCLO: “…including the transitional forms.”

You Creationists are funny. Here’s how this works. Every time that science finds a transitional species, the creationists refuse to recognize it. Instead they insist that there should be two transitional on either side. This means that every time a transitional species is found – they Creationists make up two more “gaps” on either side of it. It’s as if they expect transitional fossils to appear like pages in a flip-book cartoon, with each species only altered minutely so that if you scan all the pages you’ll see the species “glide” into new form. That only shows the ignorance of creationists and their lack of scientific ability.

CYCLO: “Remember, the evolutionist believes these to be the ancestors of human beings, but the evolutionist is unable to identify any of them.”

Any of what? Your “above process” is careless and uninformed. Perhaps if you care to elaborate or at least behave like an actual scientist instead of a religious creationists with no scientific knowledge, then perhaps I can help you understand. If you’re looking for the transitional species from the ancestral species that spawned the modern primate and modern human lineages, then those species have been identified. Certainly not all of them. There will always be “gaps” because we haven’t dug up every corner of the earth looking for fossils.

What you should keep in mind when it comes to transitional species is that we are always filling in the “gaps” that creationists love to talk about. Over the last 25 years there have been remarkable discoveries made that have filled in “gaps” that the creationists used to point to (now they point at others) and several species have been identified closely to the flip-book cartoon that creationists like to think of (whales, for example).

CYCLO: “Then again, to proclaim a little prehistoric amphibian (which existed as such for thousands of years) as a direct ancestor of man would surely destroy one’s credibility!”

That’s why you have no credibility – because you are the one that has claimed amphibians are the direct ancestor of man. Science has made no such claim. Your ignorance of evolution is astounding – but also explains why you’re a creationist.

CYCLO: “Even amongst dinosaurs, only completed species exist in the fossil record. There is no evidence, for example, that the Tyrannosaurus Rex ever evolved from another type of creature.”

Again, your ignorance of the process is revealed. Do you expect us to find a Stegatyranatricerasaurus? A hybrid between Stegosaurus, Tyrannosaurus and Triceratops? If we ever find that elusive “cat-dog” that creationists demand then it will be proof of creation – not evolution. To expect the pre-Tyrannosaurus species to look like a Tyrannosaurus again reverts back to the “flip-book cartoon” that ignorant creationists expect. Science does not expect such because they know better and understand the process – unlike ignorant creationists.

CYCLO: “The evidence says creation.”

What evidence? If you have evidence of creationism then you better identify it because the creationists are wallowing in the sewage of ignorance and religious dogma without a ray of light from any scientific evidence. They are drowning in their own ignorance.

CYCLO: “The theory of evolution is a LIE of epic proportions.”

Seen any black helicopters lately?

Cyclo Rebuttal #002:

BLAIR: “That is not what evolutionists believe. Perhaps you should study up on evolution a bit more before making an arse of yourself in “trying” to discredit it.”

Then how did the ancestors of humanity begin if not as tiny sea creatures in a pre-human from according to the theory of evolution? Did tiny rodents pop up on dry land and start the evolutionary process?

BLAIR: “Can you explain what a “kind” is? No one in the scientific community uses this term, so I don’t know what you mean.”

I simply want you to identify each and every pre-human species on the human “evolutionary ladder” leading up to human beings.

BLAIR: “Is that what you really believe? You honestly believe that evolution is what you describe above? No wonder you’re so lost. I wouldn’t accept the scientific validity of evolution if I thought it was what you described, either.”

Sir, that is what you believe! Unless you believe the creation account involving the fully formed, fully human Adam and Eve. I asked you to list all of the pre-human stages of “human evolution” beginning with the first few cells and leading all the way up to human beings.

BLAIR: “Considering that your “above process” is seriously flawed and doesn’t even come close to the actual evolutionary process – then your statement is correct. However, there is a considerably vast amount of evidence to back up the actual evolutionary process – not the imagined one that you created in your little tirade.”

LOL! Then by all means, list the evolutionary process … but you can’t, because there is no conclusive evidence! Just desperate speculation that depends on stuff like a dog becoming a horse. A dog has four legs and a tail = a horse has four legs and a tail!!! A horse evolved from a dog!!! Or did a dog evolve from a horse???

BLAIR: “That only shows the ignorance of creationists and their lack of scientific ability.”

No, it shows the ignorance of evolutionists who cannot support their secular religion with anything but known violations of scientific laws.

BLAIR: “If you’re looking for the transitional species from the ancestral species that spawned the modern primate and modern human lineages, then those species have been identified. Certainly not all of them. There will always be “gaps” because we haven’t dug up every corner of the earth looking for fossils.”

Sorry, extinct monkeys and apes don’t count. Then again, where did monkeys and apes come from? For that matter, what were primates before becoming primates? Were they furry four-legged rodents?

BLAIR: “Over the last 25 years there have been remarkable discoveries made that have filled in “gaps” that the creationists used to point to (now they point at others) and several species have been identified closely to the flip-book cartoon that creationists like to think of (whales, for example).”

Uh, the transitional gaps have not been filled and will never be filled, because they don’t exist!

Then again, one could show an evolutionist the fossils of a mouse and a porcupine or a horse and a dog and the evolutionist will claim, based on certain similarities, that one evolved into the other or vice versa, but that doesn’t make it true!

BLAIR: “That’s why you have no credibility – because you are the one that has claimed amphibians are the direct ancestor of man. Science has made no such claim. Your ignorance of evolution is astounding – but also explains why you’re a creationist.”

I believe creation, because it’s true. I asked you to list the pre-human ancestors of man starting from the very beginning of life on Earth, and you’ve been unable to do so.

BLAIR: “Again, your ignorance of the process is revealed. Do you expect us to find a Stegatyranatricerasaurus? A hybrid between Stegosaurus, Tyrannosaurus and Triceratops? If we ever find that elusive “cat-dog” that creationists demand then it will be proof of creation – not evolution.”

No, that would be evidence of evolution, because the creationist believes each animal was created complete in the macro-sense, whereas the evolutionary theory requires thousands of transitional forms … with thousands of animal species changing into completely different species, which completely and utterly violates the laws of science.

From the very beginning…

Please list the creatures in the evolutionary chain leading up to a giraffe.

Please list the creatures in the evolutionary chain leading up to a saber tooth tiger.

Please list the creatures in the evolutionary chain leading up to a t-rex.

Please list the creatures in the evolutionary chain leading up to gorillas.

Please list the creatures in the evolutionary chain leading up to a whale.

Please list the creatures in the evolutionary chain leading up to brontosaurus.

Please list the creatures in the evolutionary chain leading up to a stegosaurus.

Please list the creatures in the evolutionary chain leading up to a woolly mammoth.

Please list the “creatures” in the evolutionary chain leading up to human beings.

BLAIR: “To expect the pre-Tyrannosaurus species to look like a Tyrannosaurus again reverts back to the “flip-book cartoon” that ignorant creationists expect. Science does not expect such because they know better and understand the process.”

They don’t know the process, because scientists have been unable to identify an evolutionary chain leading up to dinosaurs and mammals. A lot of species yes, an evolutionary chain no. The fanatical evolutionist then gets desperate and claims that species gave birth to completely different species (like a pig suddenly giving birth to a moose!), which violates the laws of science of course, but makes for a good laugh.

BLAIR: “What evidence? If you have evidence of creationism then you better identify it because the creationists are wallowing in the sewage of ignorance and religious dogma without a ray of light from any scientific evidence. They are drowning in their own ignorance.”

You’ve already drowned in ignorance. I made a simple request and you’ve been unable to fulfill it … which is why the scientific evidence, in all intellectual honesty, points to creation!

But then I never expected you to fulfill a request which cannot be fulfilled.

Response to Cyclo #002:

CYCLO: “Then how did the ancestors of humanity begin if not as tiny sea creatures in a pre-human from according to the theory of evolution? Did tiny rodents pop up on dry land and start the evolutionary process?”

Your statement oversimplified the issue and you stated that humans evolved FROM sea creatures. Sea creatures and earlier single-celled organisms are certainly in the ancestral lineage of the evolutionary path and development of the hominids, but we did not evolve directly from sea creatures or rodents, as you stated. As I have stated before, you need to be specific and discuss this issue scientifically. If all you are going to do is rant and rave then there is no point in discussing anything with you. Sweeping statements will not get you anywhere and neither will mischaracterized statements.

CYCLO: “I simply want you to identify each and every pre-human species on the human “evolutionary ladder” leading up to human beings.”

What does that have to do with kinds? Why can’t creationists define “kinds” that they constantly use? I know the word comes from Genesis, but Genesis and creationists fail to define their use of the word. Care to actually define kind?

Anyway, I can only identify the pre-human species that we have actually found and identified. It is fair to say that there are still “gaps” of missing species. Until we dig up every piece of earth and look for fossils we can never be sure that we’ve filled in all the “gaps”. Transitional species are found all the time as we uncover more examples.

There’s no point in duplicating information that is available elsewhere. Here are some good sources for the evolutionary lineage of hominids:

CYCLO: “Sir, that is what you believe! Unless you believe the creation account involving the fully formed, fully human Adam and Eve. I asked you to list all of the pre-human stages of “human evolution” beginning with the first few cells and leading all the way up to human beings.”

That is not what I believe. Four-legged amphibians did not evolve into furry rodents and furry rodents did not evolve into primates. You are grossly oversimplifying the process in order to make it sound ludicrous. While this methodology may sound impressive to the uninformed and scientifically illiterate, it will not work here. Until you can accurately describe the evolutionary process, as stated by evolutionary science, then you are in no position to debate the issue.

CYCLO: “LOL! Then by all means, list the evolutionary process … but you can’t, because there is no conclusive evidence! Just desperate speculation that depends on stuff like a dog becoming a horse. A dog has four legs and a tail = a horse has four legs and a tail!!! A horse evolved from a dog!!! Or did a dog evolve from a horse???”

Perhaps we should start out simple since you obviously have no clue when it comes to evolutionary science. I certainly don’t have the time to teach you basic biology and evolutionary science. Instead I will direct you to some beginner web pages that are designed to teach kids about evolutionary science. After you get up to at least a high school level of understanding science and evolutionary science then I can direct you to more complicated sources. In the meantime, I suggest you check out:

CYCLO: “No, it shows the ignorance of evolutionists who cannot support their secular religion with anything but known violations of scientific laws.”

Obviously, this is not the forum for a detailed listing of transitional species. The “Book of Life” takes up so much space that it had to be separated on tons of web pages that share resources. You’ll just have to do the research on your own. I suggest you start at a comprehensive list of evolutionary links at: TMA Evolution Links (I no longer maintain the massive link database).

CYCLO: “Sorry, extinct monkeys and apes don’t count. Then again, where did monkeys and apes come from? For that matter, what were primates before becoming primates? Were they furry four-legged rodents?”

Why don’t extinct species count? 98% of all the species that have ever walked on the Earth are now extinct. Your statement only exaggerates your ignorance when it comes to science and specifically evolutionary science. Monkeys and apes, as you call them, which we refer to as modern primates, all evolved from a common ancestor that hominids share. Hominids did not evolve *from* modern apes – they evolved *alongside* them from a common ancestor. The australopithecines are good start.

“Furry four-legged rodents” evolving into apes is again a good example of your ignorance. You can oversimplify the process all you want to make it sound corny, but all it does is make you look stupid to the scientifically educated. Until you are willing to discuss the issue scientifically and prove that you at least have a working knowledge of evolutionary science (college level) then there is no point in discussing this with you. Until you grasp the basics then I’m wasting my time. Do your research and learn about evolutionary science. Then come back and talk to me.

Again, I’m not going to teach you basic biology and evolutionary science. You’ll have to study on your own by using some of the suggested links above or purchasing a scientific book about evolutionary science.

CYCLO: “Uh, the transitional gaps have not been filled and will never be filled, because they don’t exist!”

Congratulations. You have successfully fallen into the typical Fundie episodic fits that are normal in these types of discussions. I’d rather argue the non-existence of Santa Claus with a 5-year-old than debate with a Fundie that hasn’t a clue about evolutionary science and not what he’s been brainwashed with a Sunday School by a preacher that wouldn’t know science if it smacked him in the face.

CYCLO: “I believe creation, because it’s true.”

Prove it. No other creationist has been able to do so – even the ones that actually have a basic understanding of rudimentary evolutionary science.

CYCLO: “I asked you to list the pre-human ancestors of man starting from the very beginning of life on Earth, and you’ve been unable to do so.”

No, you asked me to list “kinds”. It wasn’t until this email that you clarified your question and asked for a complete list of hominids. I have provided you the links above to get that information.

CYCLO: “No, that would be evidence of evolution, because the creationist believes each animal was created complete in the macro-sense, whereas the evolutionary theory requires thousands of transitional forms … with thousands of animal species changing into completely different species, which completely and utterly violates the laws of science.”

That is a false statement. Transitional species does not mean that you’ll find 50 species with a set of nostrils slowly moving away. Transitional species mean an intermediary species between two others. The debate over environmentally exacerbated change or punctuated equilibrium and other methods are still a debated issue.

CYCLO: “Please list the “creatures” in the evolutionary chain leading up to human beings.”

For all your lists you will need to dig into a book and get the information. The information is too comprehensive to list here. I can only say it so many times: I can’t teach you basic biology via email – you’ll have to learn it on your own.

CYCLO: “The fanatical evolutionist then gets desperate and claims that species gave birth to completely different species (like a pig suddenly giving birth to a moose!), which violates the laws of science of course, but makes for a good laugh.”

Please point me to one evolutionists that said anything remotely close to “pig giving birth to a moose”. Remember, that to the scientifically literate person, which you are not, your ramblings sound stupid. You only sound “smart” to the uneducated creationist.

CYCLO: “You’ve already drowned in ignorance. I made a simple request and you’ve been unable to fulfill it … which is why the scientific evidence, in all intellectual honesty, points to creation!”

You made no simple request. You asked me to list “kinds”. “Kinds” is creationist lingo for “I’m an idiot that thinks the Bible is literal because I’m too stupid to understand what an analogy is”.

If you’re as smart as you think you are (only stupid creationists agree with you) then you should be able to prove creationism. If evolution is as fallacious as you claim and creation so sound, then you should have absolutely no problem presenting that evidence here and proving to me that evolution is false and creationism is true. Can you do it? Or are you ignorant of creation “science” as well?

I could argue for creationism better than you can. Do your fellow creationists a favor. Shut up before you further tarnish their reputation for being ignorant buffoons.

 NOTE: Cyclo never responded back. Hopefully he went and did some research.

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.

Debate 003: Clay and Blair debate the “search for God.”

Clay Rebuttal #001:

A friend alerted me of his recent discussions with you concerning Atheism and his argument for the existence of God. He is a good friend, an old friend, and out of care for him, and at his request, I went to view your conversation.

Hoping to find some provocative discussion, I read through what are common, yet good, arguments from a non-Christian vantage.

You are a bright man with an earnestness in your discussion, and I respect that. The reason I do is simply because I know that you are not a chemical random product of a chance universe. On the contrary, Atheists, by definition, must see life and morality and love and reason as a fool’s errand because humankind is simply a species at the top of the cruel food chain, amoral beasts living in some developed system of law which, ultimately, is simply an arbitrary game. Please, refrain from any absolute moral statement for fear of being exposed as a hopelessly inconsistent hypocrite.

You have dignity. You are a human being made in the image of the personal God of the Universe. You have a conscience and creativity that separates you from the flora and fauna. Your questions and analysis are not anything that hasn’t been wrestled with throughout the ages, and I am confident that scholarly secular history, archeology (a relatively new discipline) and the history Western philosophy challenge your positions at every turn. I know because I have studied them for years. By the Grace of God, He has opened my eyes to His reality. I cannot boast of any good behavior or moral reason that he has done so. This is His world, His reality, and His rules. His purposes are often far above our understanding, but also they are right in front of our eyes, like BOBBYMAC7 has seen. Sure, these events could be arbitrary. But just as sure, they could not be.

I would enjoy hearing your discussion. But more, if you truly are inquisitive about the condition of reality, if God is actually real, then search for Him like gold, dig for Him like treasure. Consider praying to Him to reveal Himself, and do not give up easily. I know that if you are His, He will open your eyes. I will seriously pray that He does.

Response to Clay #001:

CLAY: “On the contrary, Atheists, by definition, must see life and morality and love and reason as a fool’s errand because humankind is simply a species at the top of the cruel food chain, amoral beasts living in some developed system of law which, ultimately, is simply an arbitrary game. Please, refrain from any absolute moral statement for fear of being exposed as a hopelessly inconsistent hypocrite.”

I think you are confusing atheism with religion and a belief system. Atheism is nothing more than a lack of belief in gods. Nothing more to it than that. The beliefs and ideals that atheists hold are as unique as our fingerprints. I debate atheists more than I do theists on “beliefs”. Out of the six rebuttal pages only two are from theists, one is from an agnostic, and three are from fellow atheists.

I’m not sure where you are getting your definition for atheism – but it is far from the truth. Life is wonderful in my view. I get up every morning andlook forward to learning something new and watching my children grow up. I look forward to spending time with my family and friends. What I don’t do is get up and submit to an invisible man in Emperor’s clothes. Regarding love. our emotions are real and tangible. I can feel and have emotions. atheists are not automatons that are lifeless and cold-blooded. We are mammals just like you.

You obviously associate atheism with immorality and theism with morality. Why does morality need a God to dictate that morality?

I cannot be exposed as a hypocrite by responding because you do not know what atheism means.

CLAY: “You are a human being made in the image of the personal God of the Universe.”

Not to sound facetious. but you forgot to add, “in my opinion” to your statement.

CLAY: “You have a conscience and creativity that separates you from the flora and fauna. Your questions and analysis are not anything that hasn’t been wrestled with throughout the ages, and I am confident that scholarly secular history, archeology (a relatively new discipline) and the history Western philosophy challenge your positions at every turn. I know because I have studied them for years.”

There is a reason that Christian Apologetics are called “Apologetics.” They are apologizing for the loopholes in their beliefs and doctrine. Should we ignore those loopholes and continue on as if nothing is wrong with religious ideology? Should we not answer the questions that our conscious has? Should we not grapple with questions because someone else failed to answer them or answered them incorrectly? I grappled with my questions and I found the answers. I am not grappling anymore. I am secure in my atheism and secure in the answers I have found – because I worked hard for them.

Why are you sure that secular history, archaeology and Western philosophy challenge my positions? History has only shown religion to be and ideology that comes and goes. If you have studied them for many years then you should know basic Humanities and what our physical, emotional, and psychological needs are and what purpose religion serves in meeting those needs.

CLAY: “This is His world, His reality, His rules. His purposes are often far above our understanding, but also they are right in front of our eyes, like BOBBYMAC7 has seen. Sure, these events could be arbitrary. But just as sure, they could not be.”

When theists discuss their gods the words “above our understanding” always seem to come up. Why is that? Because religion is a way of explaining what we do not understand and what we fear. If you feel the need for religion to extinguish your lack of understanding then that is your prerogative. I personally choose to look into what I don’t understand and come to understand it. Should I shrug my shoulders and say, “to hell with it. I’ll never understand it.” Why is religion so defeatist in that manner? I don’t give up that easily. I have an understanding of everything I need to understand and everything I want to understand. Am I content? No. I am constantly searching for more knowledge and asking more questions so thatI can look for the answers.

CLAY: “But more, if you truly are inquisitive about the condition of reality, if God is actually real, then search for Him like gold, dig for Him like treasure. Consider praying to Him to reveal Himself, and do not give up easily. I know that if you are His, He will open your eyes. I will seriously pray that He does.”

I am an ex-Christian. I’ve been there before. I figured out what was wrong with religious ideology when I was in the seventh grade. I didn’t understand my atheism back then and kept it in the closet for a long time mostly from fear of repercussions. I am now confident in my atheism and I understand it. I have inner strength and courage – prayer is not necessary.

I haven’t “given up” – I have “left completely – never to return”.

Clay Rebuttal #002:

How I appreciate your diligence in breaking down my rather quick note to you. Had I known the effort you would employ, I’d have been more attentive to delivering carefully my position.

In this fast world, we all too often do not allow time to discuss eternal matters with any depth, so I appreciate your genuine desire to do so. It’s rare and special, thus my desire to think critically and carefully.

Be advised that my thoughts are aimed at the realm of ideas, not personalities or institutions. My position contends that people are gloriously made in the image of God, not merely in my opinion, but in reality, meaning that their individual personality takes its form from the personality behind the universe and behind all of reality, that being the personal Triune God who preceded the universe/creation/matter.

My first cause where I begin this discussion is with the infinite personal God, the Triune God of Biblical Christianity, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God who came near in the Incarnation and who physically arose from the dead after having lived a morally perfect life. I contend that, based on the science of Textual Criticism and the generally accepted criteria for accepting creditable historical narrative, especially historical narrative from antiquity, the Bible is a reliable source. Though many would tout that is replete with errors, that is a new argument based on 18th century rationalism, the Emmanuel “Kantian” watershed, if you will. For every argument about gross inconsistency, there is an equally credible reasonable response to the contrary. These academic discussions wind up being intramural arguments not soon solved in front of the watching world. Blind faith has no home with me, or the bulk of biblical historians who see Orthodoxy as both reasonable as rational and historically valid. I ask that you bathe yourself in these various Orthodox approaches before you boldly wave the banner of atheism. I would start with the three larger arguments, the Ontological, the Cosmological and the Teleological arguments. Reasonably disprove them and effectively criticize their adherents’ work over the last 2,000 years before you say that you have concluded, without the shadow of a doubt, that based on all knowledge you have gathered, or that can possible be gathered, God is a psychological necessity for man but not an objective reality.

For example, the substitutionary atonement, the death of Christ on the behalf of sinful man as it’s called theologically, I contend is a real thing necessary to bridge the gap between morally broken man and the personal God who must have justice for harmonious relationship with man to be restored. That’s the reason the Faith says that Christ died for us. We could never merit the merit of Christ. He, our elder Brother, covers us by His moral perfection and death on our behalf. Without an able covering, we, sinful humankind, would never be able to withstand the absolute holiness of a perfect God. As I read the law, the 10 Commandments, I see that I have broken every one of them, hundreds of thousands of times in some cases. Objectively, compared to the Law, I am guilty of eternal death as a lawbreaker who must one day face an infinitely moral perfect and just personal God. Faith in Christ’s work on my behalf, “Christ’s blood shed for me” as we say in the Holy Communion, is a great mystery. Yet, it is what a believer in Christianity must humble himself under to be rid of the burden of guilt and shame that all humans face…ultimately from the common curse of death. That’s the good news of the Christian Gospel over and against all other religions…there is real restored relationship with the Creator where ultimate personality meets our fulfilled personality. The separation is bridged by the only one morally able to be the bridge.

This, I’m sure you know, is basic Christian theology 101. Yet, I must clarify my definitions because in the post-modern world, historically understood concepts are often twisted from their original intent. Vocabulary words mean things. They have historically understood definitions, and I want to agree/disagree over word usage before I strike off in a conversation and before we know it, we are not on the same page. That would be futile, as we would have quite different concepts in mind from the outset. For example, the reason I defined a classic understanding of the pre-existence of a personal Triune God and the need for a substitutionary atonement is so that I define myself from liberal Christianity, higher criticism or Bartism…take your pick of definitions.

Your letter to me used words I use, words like “wonderful,” and “love.” These are words that reflect morality, would you agree? To quote the late 20th century poet/philosopher, Madonna, if “we are living in a material world,” then how do you explain the obvious presence of the love you feel? Is it merely chemical deception? An atheist believes that we are random products of a chance universe, that we are simply biological results of chemical reactions, mammals, carbon and oxygen and the like. Are we computers of complex chemistry? If the beginning of the creation/matter was impersonal, how do you value the person? To speak of morality, love, language, communication, creativity…these are meaningless if we are simply matter. Anything precious simply doesn’t exist in a purely material world. There is no freedom, no dignity at all in a world without an ultimate personality as its first cause. The atheist’s world clearly can have no room for these concepts and concepts of justice and truth. They don’t exist in a material world. Nothing stands behind them. There is no transcendent personality to validate the urges.

I say that’s terrible! An atheist can’t make that statement because there is no morality, ultimately. For the atheist, there is no good, no bad. If this life is just a social construct created by man, evolving along with his chemical evolution as a means of keeping social order and restraining chaos in his devised system, then all of life is temporary. Justice, love, good and bad are arbitrary. Nothing stands behind anything except complex chemistry. How dare you, an atheist, ever make an absolute moral judgment!

God is necessary for personality, morality, and love. That’s why the theist begins here. It is consistent with his/her experience, for one. We see morality and immorality all around. We see love and hate. We experience longing and anxiety. Are these simply chemical reactions? Is there ultimately, as Woody Allen says, only sex and death? From your words, you seem to believe that there is more.

Everything begins either impersonal (Western materialism, Scientific rationalism, Marxism, Eastern religions) or personal, as Judeo-Christianity uniquely maintains. Biblical Christianity claims that God is there and that He is not silent. Life is thus meaningful because He is there. All questions are valid in this, our Father’s world. Honest answers to honest questions are there for the taking and debating. As the book of Colossians reads, “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” All things. Atoms, reason, conversation, tensile strength, gravity, love and justice. God’s image in us is why we are who we are. How do you explain our individuality? Whereas Modern Liberalism ultimately calls God the whirlwind, in that He cannot really be known, Orthodoxy says that we can communicate with Him. Though God is infinite and we are finite, He is personal, as are we. The mammals are not personal. You and I are gloriously fashioned, and we can even debate His reality using language and emotions and reason, elements foolishly useless in a world of rigid determinism evolved from dust and ending in dust.

Now, if God is One personal entity, in three distinct Persons (Orthodoxy), why do I say that personality is needed in this life for morality and humanity? He communicates because He wants to. He loves because He wants to. Whereas in Islam, the personality of God disappears, Allah becomes totally arbitrary. Love and compassion are not fundamental to his being. We cannot love Allah as our Father. In contrast, the God of Christianity is true love as fundamental to Himself. Mohammed rejected the Trinity, and fear is the dominant feature of the Muslim, rather than love. In the Eastern religions, personality is lost in the Ground of collective Being. In Materialism, there is no ultimate answer for our personality. Thus, for morality to exist, there must be someone behind it. Morality is purely personal. Truth is purely personal. Where does the atheist stand on the absolute necessity of justice and love and morality in this world if in the end it is simply a chemical existence?

Why then the suffering and death and hate and cruelty in our existence if God is love and He made the world/reality? Great question. The scriptures contend that God is radically distinct from the creation. The creation has death and destruction, not an expression of God. In the creation, His divine power and divine nature are revealed, but He is not part of the creation. Sin entered the world. God is not its author. He is sovereign over evil, or He wouldn’t be God. We know that Orthodoxy claims that there is personality behind Evil, yet that personality is bound to move only where the particular providence of God allows. This is an ancient argument, “why evil?” but our limited perspective cannot exhaustively contain the mysterious purposes of God in history. We do know that God commands that believers avoid evil and that they are warned to be on their guard from it. We also know that we are told to simply resist the Evil One and he will flee. In the Last Days, it is the archangel, Michael, who defeats Satan, not God directly. The “B” team, if you will. So, evil will one day, in space and time, be no more. Admittedly, there are mysteries here.

But life is full of mystery. Have you traveled the globe extensively to find God absent? I doubt that you have. I know that you haven’t left the planet. Maybe He’s out there. How can you, a mere fragile man, dependent upon daily food and sleep and shelter be so confident that we are alone? And if we are alone, how dare you make any moral judgment.

I contend that your world of atheism is arbitrary and meaningless. In your world, you are meaningless. Yet, in my world, you and I have value because the personal God of the Universe has fashioned us to be in relationship with Him.

If for some reason the future finds my faith, on which I’ve constructed my entire being to be false, and then I will die like a dog and simply cease to exist. At least I’ve constructed a pattern of behavior where I function in a system of charity, forgiveness and self-denial for the material and psychological benefit of others. My existence would ultimately still be meaningless. If I’m right, I will inherit the Eternal Kingdom and be in a glorified body in the New Heaven and the New Earth with restored, perfect fellowship with my fellow Saints.

If you are right, then you die like a dog and simply cease to exist. Yet, if you are wrong, you risk being eternally separated from the personal God who freely offers ultimate meaning and peace through faith in Christ.

If the atom is our only related element, then emotions and morals and opinions and beliefs are mere illusion. They have no foundation in the universe, no reality.

You say that you were once a Christian. I say that, theologically, that is impossible. Either you are a Christian and are in serious sin and denial of your true state, or you had an experience with legalism, masquerading as Biblical Christianity, and you have rejected what you see as an intolerant, provincial morality-based system. I believe the later to be the case. You’ve actually never been exposed to the true faith or else you would see the rational errors in your rather pedestrian atheism. I know. I was once there, too. In my ignorance and pride I created my own reality in my head, living arbitrarily, synthesizing what I wanted to from a universalistic amalgamation of shallow studies. But God had mercy, and in His perfect love, He came near and opened my eyes, eyes that had tried to reject Him at many turns.

If you are His, my friend, you will not escape Him. He will drag you down and smother you with His compassion. Yet, if you openly parade around and foolishly claim that He is a stupid idea based on foolishly minded humanity and you encourage others to slander Him, you risk being destroyed. Though He will take no pleasure in it, it will be a moral necessity because He is perfect justice. The Law will find you guilty, deserving eternal death.

Consider this. In the privacy of own home, quietly pray that He reveal Himself to you. Ask for mercy, not miraculous signs. Ask that your heart be humbled. If He’s there, He will not deny you. If He’s not, you’ve simply played a game in a chemical, material experience with no meaning, so nothing is lost.

But, if I’m right, everything is to gain.

Response to Clay #002:

I wanted to start off by saying that I couldn’t agree more with your assertion that we, as a social species, do not discuss eternal matters in depth enough. Perhaps if we did there would be more skepticism in the world today. When I say skepticism, I do not mean to the point of total dismissal – but to the point of not taking things told to us without questioning sources and evidence. I mean Skepticism to the point of conducting our own investigations and verifying what people tell us to the best of our abilities. As the founder of the Mobile Atheist & Skeptic Alliance (MASA) I discuss these matters often and in great depth. Let me assure you that I am not about converting people. It is not my intention to convert people to atheism. Specifically because there is nothing to convert people to – there are no beliefs involved with atheism (as discussed in my previous message to you).

As a Constitutionalist I respect your right to have any opinion and your right to believe in any god or gods as you see fit. However, I do not necessarily respect your views. While that may seem harsh – it is the lifeblood of the Constitution as it stands. You have the right to believe what you want – but you do not have the right to have those beliefs respected. I hope this makes sense and does not come across as insulting, as that is not my intent. Simply put; I respect your right to believe in God – but I do not respect the belief in God.

You said, “…the Bible is a reliable source” based on the science of Textual Criticism and generally accepted criteria of creditable historical narrative. You further emphasized the historical narrative from antiquity. You then asserted that those whom aver that the Bible as not being a reliable source rely on something “new” as of the 18th Century and the introduction of Kantianism.

Let me assure you, that while Kant had some fine ideas, he is not the ultimate authority. Each of us, as individuals, is our own ultimate authority. When I first started reading and studying the Bible I had no idea who Kant was and I had never been exposed to Biblical criticism. As I was studying the Bible I realized the errors myself – I understood the verses instead of just reading them. I saw past the “faith in no errors” and viewed the scripture as what it is; an error-filled mythological account with some historical insignificata contained therein.

For every error in the Bible there has only been rationalization of that error and feeble attempts to justify those errors. Interpretation of the Bible has caused the formation of over 3,500 Christian sects alone – not including Old Testament Judaism and its sects. The Bible is not meant to be interpreted – it was written as a literal word, at least according to Biblical scholars.

Jesus himself insists that the Bible is without errors,

John 10:35 (KJV)

“If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken.”

So what happens if errors are identified in the Bible? How important is inerrancy to Christendom and Biblicists?

In his book Basic Theology, Charles Ryrie, a professor at the Dallas Theological Seminary, addressed inerrancy by writing,

RYRIE: “Can one be a biblicist and deny inerrancy? Not if the Bible teaches its own inerrancy… If the Bible contains some errors, no matter how few or many, how can one be sure that his understanding of Christ is correct? … Even if the errors are in supposedly “minor” matters, any error opens the Bible to suspicion on other points that may not be so “minor”. If inerrancy fails, other doctrines will fail, too.”

If inerrancy fails then core beliefs of Christianity come into question. If Genesis is discounted then the entire concept of Original Sin disappears. When Original Sin disappears then the crucifixion of Jesus Christ was in vain in dying “for our sins”. If the crucifixion of Jesus Christ was in vain then the identity of Christianity dies a slow death. Death finally comes when the Resurrection itself comes under fire when inerrancy fails. It is a historical fact that a less than total view of inerrancy among Christians has, at a minimum, resulted in a denial of some or all of the miracles of the Bible.

Apologist Clark Pinnock says in his book A Defense of Biblical Infallibility that,

PINNOCK: “The surrender of biblical infallibility would be a disastrous mistake having deadly effects upon the church of God and its theology.”

Apologist Professor Gleason Archer in his book A Survey of the Old Testament says,

ARCHER: “If this written revelation contains mistakes, then it can hardly fulfill its intended purpose, that is, to convey to man in a reliable way the will of God for his salvation. Why is this so? Because a demonstrated mistake in one part gives rise to the possibility that there may be mistakes in other parts of the Bible. If the Bible turns out to be a mixture of truth and error then it becomes a book like any other book.”

His point is simply, how do you know what is true or not? Every book contains some amount of truth, even if it is nothing more than the author’s name and publisher. Harold Lindsell in his book The Battle for the Bible says,

CLAY: “I contend that embracing a doctrine of an errant Scripture will lead to disaster down the road. It will result in the loss of missionary outreach. It will quench missionary passion. It will lull congregations to sleep and undermine their belief in the full orbed truth of the Bible.”

Even if we knew that only 10% was in error… which 10%? How do we know that what we are reading is not part of that 10%?

I think I’ve established the importance of inerrancy and how it affects not just the Bible but Christianity as a whole. What makes the claim of biblical inerrancy even more “suicidal” is the history of the Bible itself and how it was “formed”. In the book The Light of Reason, Schmuel Golding states,

CLAY: “First the NT was not written by any of the disciples of Jesus not by persons who even lived in that era. … When the church fathers compiled the NT in the year 397, they collected all the writings they could find and managed them as they pleased. They decided by vote which of the books out of the collections they had made should be the word of God and which should not. They rejected several, they voted others to be doubtful, and those books which had a majority of votes were voted to be the word of God.”

The three paragraphs below contain a serious error. I am leaving the error on the site so people can see it and be informed. The quote from Sisson’s book is out of context. The quote does in fact exist in Sisson’s book, but he is using it to quote a “myth” and then goes on to argue that it is not the case at all. While scholars may disagree with Sisson’s assessment, the quote is obviously unfair and incorrect to list here. My apologies to Mr. Sisson for taking his quote out of context. My apologies to readers for passing on incorrect information. I would like to thank Mr. Avery and Mr. Pearse for their diligent work in notifying me of this error. Your efforts are greatly appreciated gentlemen!

Imagine what the Bible would look like today if voting had gone differently? In the year 325, Constantine (a non-baptized Pagan) convened the Council of Nicea to settle disputes in the Church. The council changed Jesus from man to God in the flesh, they changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday, and the Passover was changed to Easter. So what does this say about the Bible? It says that MEN, not god, composed the Bible. Apologist Richard Sisson, in his book, Answering Christianity’s Most Puzzling Questions (Volume 1), states,

SISSON: “In fact, after the death of Jesus a whole flood of books that claimed to be inspired appeared … Disputes over which ones were true were so intense that the debate continued for centuries. Finally in the fourth century a group of church leaders called a council and took a vote. The 66 books that comprised our cherished Bible were declared to be Scripture by a vote of 568 to 563.”

568 to 563? If 5 people had voted differently the Bible would be nothing like it is today. You would be reading books that you had never heard of – or perhaps there wouldn’t even be a Bible. What happened to the books that are mentioned in the Old Testament? The Book of the Wars of the Lord is mentioned in Number 21. Joshua 10:13 mentions the Book of Jasher. First Chronicles mentions the Book of Nathan and Gad while Second Chronicles mentions the Book of Acts of Solomon. Where did they go? Why were they not chosen? Were they deemed by vote to not be the word of God? If that is so – then why do books they deemed the word of God mention those books?

End of error

What happened to the extra books from the New Testament era? Books like the Gospels according to Hebrews, Judas Iscariot, Peter, Marcion, Matthias, Eve, and Philip. The Acts of Peter, Book of Judgment by Peter, Hymn of Christ, Magical Book by Christ, and the Letter to Peter and Paul by Christ. If a letter BY Christ didn’t make the cut one has to wonder what criteria these men were using to influence votes. These books have become collectively known as the Apocrypha. Fundamentalist and apologist Josh McDowell has an answer in his book Evidence That Demands A Verdict, “They abound in historical and geographical inaccuracies and anachronisms.”

Apologist E. M. Blaiklock in his book Jesus Christ, Man or Myth says,

BLAIKLOCK: “…the wildly extravagant stories found in the so-called Apocryphal gospels.”

Bottom line is these books were kept out because they did not have the political alliance behind them that the others did. And the others only had a five-point edge. How different the Bible would be today if the Apocryphal gospels had been included. I am often asked to look at the original Bible to verify accuracy and errors (blaming translations on errors). What original Bible? There was/is no original Bible. Even today NO original writings exist. So the next time you pick up the Bible think to yourself, “this is a book of writings that was put together by a group of men who read some ancient manuscripts that purportedly are accurate representation of the originals, which no longer exist.”

The Fundamentalist book Biblical Criticism states,

BIBLICAL CRICITISM: “For over 1,400 years the NT was copied by hand and the copyists, the scribes, made every conceivable error as well at times intentionally altering the text. Such errors and alterations survived in various ways with a basic tendency to accumulate. Scribes seldom left out anything lest the omit something inspired. There are now in existence, extant, in whole or in part, 5,338 Greek manuscripts as well as hundreds of copies of ancient translations, not counting over 8,000 copies of the Latin Vulgate.”

And the kicker? Not a single two are 100% alike. There are over 200,000 variants in some 5,000 manuscripts. Then come the versions that are derivative of these variants. Fundamentalists often like to say that the variants do not affect the material question of historic fact or of Christian faith and practice. But is that true? Perhaps an example would be pertinent here. Let’s take Second Timothy 3:16:

  • 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.

Talk about variations and versions! On to other things…

You mentioned that I should “bathe myself” in Orthodox approaches before I wave my atheistic banner so boldly. You specifically mention the Ontological, Cosmological, and Teleological arguments. Let me assure you that I have done so. All three arguments fail and offer no rational reason to believe in God as a reality. We know that a belief in god is a psychological necessity for humanity – that is not in dispute. Attempting to rationalize that necessity to make one feel better is not very scientific at all.

You seem to associate love with morality. This is often used as a defense in Christianity to justify Christ’s love and the love one feels for Christ. Love is an emotion that is often associated with the release of dopamine in the brain. The poet Madonna insists upon what atheists “believe” but she obviously knows not what atheism is or is not. Again, as stated in my previous message, atheism is not a belief. While some atheists may have beliefs, atheism itself is not a belief. She would have been more accurate to say evolutionists – but still there is that word belief to confuse the issue. If you ask me if I believe in evolution then I will answer neither yes nor no. That is similar to the question, “do you still beat your wife?” Either yes or no will result in a trapped mouse. Children are asked if they “believe” in the Tooth Fairy. I don’t “believe” in evolution… I KNOW evolution based on current evidence, data, etc.

She states,

POET MADONNA: “To speak of morality, love, language, communication, creativity… these are meaningless if we are simply matter. Anything precious simply doesn’t exist in a purely material world.”

This is, of course, absolutely ridiculous and reeks of emotionalism and speculative pop psychology. Human beings have a conscious and a propensity to care. To want and offer love. We are social animals – and social skills such as love, kindness, friendship, etc., are extensions of our social behavior. Other emotions are directly linked to our evolutionary instincts of flight or fight (anger, fear, etc.)

What I find amazing is that even after my initial message addressing what atheism is you still insist that, “For the atheist, there is no good, no bad. If this life is just a social construct created by man, evolving along with his chemical evolution as a means of keeping social order and restraining chaos in his devised system, then all of life is temporary. Justice, love, good and bad are arbitrary. Nothing stands behind anything except complex chemistry. How dare you, an atheist, ever make an absolute moral judgment!”

I dare make an absolute moral judgment based on my experience as a human being with a conscience and propensity to care. A human being with self-awareness whom knows how it feels when I am treated a certain way. If someone steals from me it makes me sad. It is this knowledge of my emotions, my self-awareness, which leads me to the conclusion that stealing is immoral because I didn’t feel good when someone did it to me. The Ten Commandments are not original. They were stolen from Hammurabi’s Code, which was written almost 1,000 years before the Ten Commandments.

Your arguments for morality are vehemently arrogant and presumptuous. Especially considering the incredible immorality displayed in the Bible. Does a murdering lunatic have the right to dictate morality? Would you let a murderer dictate morality to you? If you answered no… you better change gods really quick. Divine Right of Rule was left behind after the Feudal System crumbled. You also seem to be confusing morality with emotionalism in several cases. Emotionalism may cause us to override our internal and learned morality – but they are separate.

From this point there are several paragraphs of religious rhetoric that I skipped over.

CLAY: “Have you traveled the globe extensively to find God absent? I doubt that you have.”

You would doubt incorrectly. I have traveled all over Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and the Americas. If God is in outer space, as you speculated, then what was the point of the Tower of Babel? A simple arrow fired from a tower was enough to anger God and confuse languages. Imagine what rockets and the Space Shuttle will do! But wait – they have already escaped Earth’s atmosphere and pierced the heavens far beyond what a simple arrow could ever accomplish. And what did God do to retaliate against mankind when we pierced the heavens with our “technological” arrows? Nothing. God is not in outer space… he simply is nonexistent.

CLAY: “How can you, a mere fragile man, dependent upon daily food and sleep and shelter be so confident that we are alone?”

And you? How can you, a mere fragile man, dependent upon daily food and sleep and shelter be so confident that we are not alone? How can you be so sure that God is not an extraterrestrial race from Planet X? How can you be so sure that God is not a creator that created the universe and kept on walking – to never care what you or I do?

CLAY: “And if we are alone, how dare you make any moral judgment.”

And if we’re not alone how dare you make any moral judgment? To tell me that I am immoral because I do not believe in your God is a moral judgment. According to you morality is God-given. So what makes you, a simple man, capable of making such a judgment of morality? I dare to make moral judgments based on my experience in this world and by what I have learned through said experiences.

You then go into a version of Pascal’s Wager. I must admit that at first I thought I was in for a good debate, but up until this point you have only recited already defeated arguments. I expected better from you. You said, “If you are right, then you die like a dog and simply cease to exist. Yet, if you are wrong, you risk being eternally separated from the personal God who freely offers ultimate meaning and peace through faith in Christ.”

This question comes from the root of Pascal’s Wager. Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) was a French mathematician, physicist, and inventor – but he is well known for his religious argument called “Pascal’s Wager”. Pascal was looking for a way to convert his friends to his sect of the Roman Catholic Church called Jansenism. He devised an argument that he thought was foolproof and that would cause instant conversion to his religious beliefs. Amazingly, many theists today still think this argument is foolproof. Simply put, Pascal’s Wager goes something along these lines:

  • Either the believer or the nonbeliever will be correct – one of them has to be wrong.
  • If you are a believer and you are correct – then you will be rewarded with eternal life.
  • If you are a nonbeliever and you are correct – then you will die and nothing will happen.
  • If you are a believer and you are wrong – then will you will die and nothing will happen.
  • If you are a nonbeliever and you are wrong – then you will be punished with eternal damnation in the pits of hell.
  • Therefore, if you are a believer you have a chance of eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven – even if you are wrong – you still have a chance of being right. If you are a nonbeliever you have zero chance. So why not be a believer? Just in case the believers are right?

Pascal’s Wager does not work – contrary to the persistent belief of some theists. Replace God with Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny, or the Tooth Fairy and re-read the wager… does it still sound okay to you?

First, the non-believer must forsake truth in order to be a believer. Should I stop searching for knowledge and forsake the truth for a “chance” that I might be wrong? The sky is blue – that’s the truth. Should I forsake that truth because a religion says the sky is green and that if I’m wrong I could spend an eternity in hell? I’ll stick to the truthful blue sky, thank you.

Second, the wager does not specify which god to believe in. Do I believe in Zeus, Osiris, Jupiter, Allah, Jesus Christ, Mother Earth, Ra, or UFO’s? To which god to I sacrifice the truth in order to have a chance… just in case? Which sect of the Christian cult do I choose to follow? Do I choose Pascal’s Jansenism or do I go with the Jehovah’s Witnesses? Do I choose the Baptists, Mormons, Catholics, or Lutherans? Choices, choices, choices… there are over 3,500 sects of the Christian cult – each believing differently – which one will be right. Should they all sacrifice their beliefs for others… just in case?

Third the wager says we should believe something solely for the prospective reward. Should we sacrifice knowledge and truth for rewards? What happens if a religion offers a better version of Heaven and worse version of Hell? Should I leave Christianity for that one? If you we so afraid of being wrong – shouldn’t we be looking for the best Heaven out there? An example will probably illustrate this better.

You’re with a real estate agent looking at houses. Along comes Mr. Pascal from another agency that tells you, “If you send all your money to my agency, I will get you the best house in the world. Is it worth not sending me your money – what if I’m right… what if you really can get that house just on the money you have already?” Mr. Pascal has no pictures of this awesome house, he has no address, he has no detailed description of the house… all he can offer you is, “if you’re wrong you’ll miss out on an opportunity of a lifetime.”

So you give all your money to Mr. Pascal and wait… and wait… and wait… and wait. And the house never shows up. When you turn Mr. Pascal into the authorities for fraud they tell you that no one has EVER received the house that Mr. Pascal is selling – but billions of people have sent him all their money… just in case he was right. So ask yourself… would you give Mr. Pascal your money – just in case he was right?

I’m definitely not afraid of being wrong. I’m not wasting my time on Sunday going to church… just in case. I’m not wasting 10% of my hard-earned money on tithes… just in case. I’m not wasting precious time on prayer and other silly religious rituals… just in case. I’d rather take my chances on being wrong than sacrifice truth, logic, rationality, critical thinking, and knowledge.

From here you go into the “no such thing as an ex-Christian” because a true Christian would never leave the faith. How arrogant that sounds. I was able to see the errors of Christianity and the Bible when I was in the seventh grade. I find it incredibly ironic that I found the truth as a pre-teen and yet there are grown adults out there that are still as gullible as when they were five and believed in Santa Clause.

Well… I must admit that I am impressed. In a single letter you have managed to use almost every single Christian tactic there is. Usually they don’t come at me all at once like that. All of your “arguments” have been countered and reduced to ashes by others far more qualified than I. I countered these arguments from the seventh grade and on. I have been an atheist for sixteen years. For a powerful God… he sure is impotent.

Clay Rebuttal #003:

You have entered the Christian theological realm of the doctrines of “effectual calling” and of the “creation mandate” as commonly known in ecclesiastical jargon under the subject of God’s sovereignty in the discipline of systematic theology. I will be glad to touch on these perspectives.

If you will be patient, not suggesting that you are impatient, I will respond in time.

In the meantime, please formulate why, as an atheist, do you purport such a keen sense of morality and such staunch opinions if you say you believe in nothing? If there is no God, then there is no transcendent standard by which we gauge behavior, agreed? How do you then tell me that my behavior is right/wrong/good/bad? Was Hitler just acting out events in time, or was he behind something with a motive that we can criticize as wrong? Why was he condemned? Was his condemnation justified? What is justice? How do you know?

I must know how you respond before I can understand from where you begin your thinking. While I am very willing to take as long as need be in our tennis match, you must play by the same rules, namely basic non-contradiction and reason as defined by the weight of Western thought. Again, I am not chastening you…yet. You simply need to explain to me why you go on living without sliding into the modernist vague and aimless sentimentalism…”because I feel this and that…”

Response to Clay #003:

CLAY: “In the meantime, please formulate why, as an atheist, do you purport such a keen sense of morality and such staunch opinions if you say you believe in nothing?”

You are the second person to ask me this question (obviously not verbatim) today.

To understand humanity and the morality thereof you need to understand the cycles of society behavior and establishment. For example, I can answer your question as an individual, as a member of the human race (humanity), or as a member of many societies. These societies are:

  • Immediate Family Society (spouse & offspring).
  • Extended Family Society (all other relatives).
  • Neighborhood Society (surrounding homes).
  • Cultural Society (religion, sex, gender, activities, hobbies, etc).
  • Village/Town/City Society.
  • State Society.
  • Country Society.
  • World Society.

Each of us plays a different role in each of those societies. Within each major category of society are mini-societies that we participate in both directly and indirectly. As a member of each society – we are required to justify ourselves to said societies. Take away the society – and the need for justification (or morality – which is a higher form of justification) goes away.

Now since I obviously know where you are going with this let me first establish some requirement on the subject of “God is required for morality”.

What morals have your God dictated to you? Remember that laws of worship have nothing to do with morality – so “have no idols before me” is not a moral issue. Also remember that laws of justice have nothing to do with established morality – so stoning someone to death for adultery is not a moral issue. The adultery is the moral issue and not the punishment. Also remember that laws are not morality, either. So “eat no pork” is not a moral issue – it is a law. Please write down every moral established by your God.

The reason I ask this is because before you can assert that there can be no morality without belief in a God you must prove several issues:

  1. There can be morality with the belief in God.
  2. God is a good moral role model.
  3. God does not promote, condone, endorse, or sanctify immorality.
  4. God defines morality and the morals thereof clearly and concisely.
  5. God adheres to his definition of morality and the morals thereof.

Once you have done that then you can begin to assert that there can be no morality without belief in a God. Once you assert it – you’ll have to prove it. You will have to prove that atheistic religions (such as Buddhism) are immoral. Or you will have to prove that atheistic beliefs derive their morality from God.

CLAY: “If there is no God, then there is no transcendent standard by which we gauge behavior, agreed?”

If a standard is transcendent then how can we gauge it in the first place? God or no god is irrelevant at that point.

CLAY: “How do you then tell me that my behavior is right/wrong/good/bad?”

See above.

CLAY: “Was Hitler just acting out events in time, or was he behind something with a motive that we can criticize as wrong?”

“Acting out events in time” insinuates a fate – which of course thrashes free will. Hitler was a paranoid schizophrenic Christian who hated anyone and everyone that wasn’t like him (even thought he was technically a Jew). Hitler was immoral because society viewed him as immoral based on our societal views and acceptance of right and wrong. Whether those views were influenced by people religious beliefs is irrelevant because none of the aforementioned criteria have been met.

CLAY: “You simply need to explain to me why you go on living without sliding into the modernist vague and aimless sentimentalism…”because I feel this and that.”

I have to admit that this question has become rather tedious in answering it because of the assumption that morality required a God. The key word is assumption – because morality with a God has not been proven nor have any of the other criteria been met.

I had the un-privilege of meeting an exceptionally rude, obnoxious, and pushy Southern Baptist the other day that just went on and on and on with the same rhetoric I normally hear but with more “fervor”. After all, the Southern Baptist has a quota to meet in order to get into Heaven, you see. Anyway, the conversation began to turn ugly and he became rather insulting when he realized he wasn’t “having his way” with me. To end the conversation (at this point I was annoyed, irritated, and a little angry) I asked him two questions;

If you die will you go to Heaven and sit by your “father’s” side? [an emphatic yes with exaggerated head bobs from the SoBap]

Then what’s the point of living? [the conversation ended and he walked away]

Clay Rebuttal #004:

Well, where to begin? I call this a “lob” return in our tennis, an overarching, slowly developing response.

I first want to say that a “game” is truly not my intention in these discussions. Far from it. If it were trivia, fine. But I take this development in my life, discussing eternal matters over the Internet with an avowed atheist whom I do not know, with extreme concern for I believe that human souls hang in the balance. This is not a debate with you in my mind. Rather, it is a discussion where I hope to present faithfully a consistent epistemology, a theory of knowledge, based on the logical development of my subjects from the position of orthodox Christianity. I hope both sides will openly consider the position of the other logically.

As an orthodox Christian, not “Orthodox” in the Eastern Church sense, I hold to a certain epistemology that claims to maintain that Christianity is consistent with reality. It explains reality in the three basic areas of understanding, namely philosophy, history and science. There are topics within these categories that demand logical discussion inside of their discipline. For instance, under philosophy I include epistemology, logic, the mind, ethics (under which I include ontology and the philosophy of religion), skepticism, and truth. Areas of knowledge would be perception, memory, induction, and a priori.

Then there is the second category, history. Here I include higher criticism and textual criticism.

Last, there is science where I include evolution, biology, and physics. I hope that you agree.

So often, these conversations cannot happen because atheists and theists don’t share the same epistemology and the result is that we categorically differ on all areas of this discussion. Further, to jump from ethics to historical criticism to feelings, as I believe your eight-page response to me included, confuses the discussion. Let’s keep the disciplines intact.

I begin by relaying a certain sadness. Your level of intensity and your commitment to your position overwhelms me. I respect it, but genuinely wonder if Christianity will ever get a fair shake with you.

That said, you seem intelligent, but I must say clearly that I will only enter this discussion if you and I are willing to learn from each other, seeking truth, not showing off our intellectual muscles…which, for both of us, are not too developed. Your commitment must be towards genuinely working through these disciplines. I will not allow emotional content to overshadow these discussions. If so, I don’t see us going anywhere.

In this vein, let me apologize for your recent Baptist altercation. Hopefully, his motives were good, i.e., concern for your soul as he faithfully bore witness to the Gospel of Grace. Evangelism is a Christian command, though in his zeal, he may have not “loved his neighbor as himself.” Of course, orthodoxy has no tolerance for “winning points” with God, as you said, by such conversations. If that was his motive, he is ignorant of the Gospel. His duty as a Christian is to proclaim the Gospel in love, leaving the Holy Spirit to affect your heart. Again, there is no room for name-calling or emotionalism. A Christian’s confidence is in God, not himself. His duty is to be transformed by the renewing of his mind as he humbly submits to the will of God, even in these three areas of discussion. Your Baptist friend would benefit by this conversation.

Mr. Scott, we have some common ground according to our words so far: morality and conscience, which puzzles me given your materialist epistemology. Other than that, we don’t have much. I say this because our base commitment, our central philosophy (epistemology), has to affect every sphere of our three categories. Your materialist atheism, and my Christian orthodoxy, penetrate and move throughout our own discussions of philosophy, history and science. You realize that we separate from one another through every sphere, thus this is a difficult task.

The presuppositions of most people today, and I am including you here, include: (1) an ideological presupposition that man is the measure of all things and that human reason must be entirely autonomous; (2) the methodological assumption that the “scientific” method is the only valid means for ascertaining truth; and (3) an assumption of attitude that there is no knowable “absolute” truth, but that “truth” is always relative to the knower. Would you agree?

But if one desires to know the Bible’s message on its own terms, taking it for what it says about itself, then one cannot use these presuppositions. They are incompatible with the Scriptures, which presuppose that God, not man, measures all things, that human reason is dependent and cannot penetrate to the very bottom of things, but that ultimate and absolute truth is knowable, by way of personal relationship. Thus my former letter concerning Ultimate Personality behind reality. With regard to method, the Scriptures claim that things do not always work the same way, and that some events have non-earthly or supernatural causes. Now if these claims are true, then it is inappropriate to apply to Scripture a modernist, naturalistic, “scientific” approach which assumes in advance that there is no supernatural intervention, that the “system is closed.” In essence, one cannot evaluate the Bible’s claims to truth by using methods that assume in advance that these claims are impossible.

I attribute my understanding of this effect through the academic writings of Cornelius VanTil in his work, A Christian Theory of Knowledge and a more popular work, Let the Reader Understand, by Dan McCartney and Charles Clayton. Though VanTil’s work is a dense one, it best describes our landscape here, especially my presuppositions as they relate to your philosophy. I suggest these works to your study if you truly want to see where orthodoxy begins its epistemology. It does not begin with your discussion of inerrancy. I believe inerrancy is a valid position, but I do not begin with it.

Christian J. P. Moreland and Atheist Kai Nielsen attempted our discussion (a much better job!) in 1988 in their work, Does God Exist? I suggest you also have this book available for your adherents and detractors, both. It would be most fair. It calls for us all to be totally honest, in our motives and passions and calls us to look at all evidence on both sides, not focusing on only one side or on only part of the evidence. I will let them exhaust our details for the sake of time and discipline. They cover all the ground that we don’t need to fumble through, as I’m afraid we both would. Obviously, their conclusions will probably not move many Christians toward atheism or visa versa, but those on the fence will probably move one way or another. It is really a fine work.

Thus, I’m not going to go line by line down your eight pages. Rather I’m going to ask the overarching question, “Why are you so committed to your position and why are you so bent on trashing Christianity?” I’m just curious. What happened?

Secondly, you seem greatly influenced by the Graf/Wellhausen theory, the higher critical school. Those gentlemen gave it their best shot, but in so doing they made grand assumptions, imposing an evolutionary theory upon Israelite religion. They extracted biblical history and rearranged it. They separated sources. Now, I am aware that this position is well accepted in the liberal world (I grew up under its influence), but Donald Guthrie and William Albright, to name two contemporary critics, have proved conclusively that the higher critical school is inconsistent with both history and archeology, respectively. Guthrie proves that the “late” theory of the New Testament writings is false while Albright went out and dug up evidence that the Old Testament was written by who it claims to be written by. Granted, Albright’s work isn’t exhaustive, but it’s darn convincing. You must make their historic criticism and scientific discoveries known to your debates and you must acknowledge their discoveries in your own arguments.

Lastly, an interesting work for your camp: I suggest Jonathan Dancy’s Introduction to Contemporary Epistemology. By no means a Christian work, Dancy’s book correctly presents the status of 20th Century secular knowledge. It concludes that, ultimately, modernism has nothing to stand on. You should read this work, as your Society wants to be circumspect.

I say all this for one reason, namely, that the Christian theory of knowledge has just as much right to be accepted in the arena of ideas as yours. You cannot look down your nose at my position or me. Saying that my “God is impotent” and words like “gullible” when attributed to my belief system is juvenile and emotional, and it’s harmful to our discussion. When you were in 7th grade and you made your decision to be an atheist, a decision, which I suggest, wasn’t that sophisticated given your age, I would expect such comments. But given the true landscape of this discussion in the academy, let’s leave such brashness alone.

Mr. Scott, I say that your worldview will collapse in on itself. I say this because you have belief, a component of the theory of knowledge, the theory of justification, inconsistent with your beginning materialist, closed system philosophy. I say that your whole approach to epistemology won’t hold up. Why? For one, you say that “we are each our own ultimate authority”. How can this be and we still maintain a common foundation of truth, logic, and theory of knowledge? People whom carry this to its logical conclusion are in jail or committed or dead. Do you really believe this?

Secondly, to call the Bible “an error-filled mythological account with some historical insignificata” is an emotional value judgment that doesn’t sound rational. You have overstatements and rationalizations and sweeping statements that I don’t follow. Your saying that “there are no beliefs involved with atheism” commits you to a worldview, a commitment from which you depart in your approach, as evidenced by your free admission to hold conscience and morality. I believe that you have borrowed some capital from Western Theism, particularly Judeo-Christianity.

Further, some potpourri: you are aware, for instance, that the Resurrection doesn’t depend upon inerrancy? Also, you misunderstand Gleason Archer. He’s an excellent scholar, and I’m glad you mention him, but he sees no arguments with the “autographs.” Another; Christianity doesn’t rely on councils. Councils can provide good insight and summarize positions, but they are not authoritative. More, I say that, as mentioned earlier in a discussion of textual criticism, Golding’s argument is poo-poo and has been proved wrong by Guthrie, just to name one. For a correct orthodox presentation of the canon, I suggest The Origin of the Bible, edited by Philip W. Comfort, a collection of essays dealing with many biblical formulation issues.

Are you really serious about me following your reasoning when you freely admit, “we know that a belief in god is a psychological necessary for humanity” – a devastating admission! Rationalizing the necessity is science and scientific. More, your traveling “the globe extensively to find God absent” is consistent with your assertion of the psychological necessity. But the final “God is not in outer space…he simply is nonexistent”…this is belief and it has no basis in observation. Please. And for the record, God’s anger at those who built the Tower of Babel was not because they tried to fling arrows but was based on their trying to be God, their desire to be autonomous from Him, much like the atheistic position.

Of particular note, I am disturbed by your popular belief in the theory of evolution, a philosophically flawed “theory.” Your argument must admit that this is still theory as no transitional forms are documented, no answer for biogenesis exists, and the second law of thermodynamics has not been reversed. Evolution has no explanation of what mechanism results in the transitions, what causes the shifts. Darwin’s Black Box admits that biology is so complex that modern science cannot explain its complexity. Darwin on Trial, though written by a lawyer and not a scientist, exposes the theory further, regardless of Johnson’s academic discipline. Even Gould’s “Monster Mechanisms” had to be devised to replace the missing transitional forms. Your marriage to this position hinders your intellect and blinds you from the evidence…or lack thereof.

Mr. Scott, I don’t know where we go from here. I believe that there are valid, scholarly responses to every one of your questions concerning Christianity. Maybe you have been digesting the wrong sources? There sure are some out there! But I think it’s more than your sources. I think that Atheism is intellectually appealing to you because you choose it to be. You probably chose your position before you entered the argument. You cannot choose Atheism based on its intellectual appeal for there is none. And, I contend that I believe in Christianity on the same basis as you do Atheism that is by faith. Before all the evidence for all my questions was in, I submitted myself to Christianity.

As a former agnostic who grew up in Christian liberalism and higher criticism, I feel that I understand much of your position, your dissatisfaction with the Church to which you’ve been exposed, to Christians who haven’t extended intellectual arguments to you or who did not love you, and shallow or incomplete arguments for the truth claims of the Bible. Christians are often the worst example of Christian teaching, but not all are. A Christian’s only personal comparison is to be made with Jesus, from whom every one of us falls woefully short. Let Christ be the example. Our goal as Christians is, after all, to become more and more like him and less like our sinful selves.

The Christian Gospel is one of Grace, of hearts being metaphysically changed from “stone” to “flesh” by God and God alone in an “open system” of communication and providence. We say He’s there because we say we see with the mind’s eye. We see love though we can’t measure it. We see language though we cannot scientifically explain it. We are God’s work, both as creatures and as developing beings for no good reason other than for His Glory and our enjoyment. A Christian has no moral high ground over another human. In my heart and mind, I have no moral superiority over you. Only Jesus Christ does, and it is His life that compels us to witness to His Truth. After all, we say that He is that Truth. It is also He who calls us to investigate His world as we dig through philosophy, history and science. Again, maybe your Baptist friend needs to be reminded of all this.

I cannot argue you to this conclusion, for it is not within my power to do so, only God’s, but I can define logical arguments that reasonably show that Christianity is not the foolish mistake you unfairly present it to be. History is replete with excellent Christian minds, from Augustine to Anselm to Aquinas, to name three foundational contributors. Have you read Augustine’s Confessions? You are missing a wonder if fail to do so. In his work, you face one of the world’s brightest minds and most honest hearts. Your broad sweeps against Christian theism should be reserved in the face of such philosophical discovery. But there are many others, men who were brilliant, men who gave us the patterns from which we consciously or subconsciously approach our modern world. And they were ancient Christian apologists. Are you saying that they were foolish in their conclusions? Am I? For I, like they, have banked my entire life on the Truth of the Bible and the reality that a Triune Personal God stands behind eternity. The stakes are high. Let’s stop the games.

Ball’s in your court.

Response to Clay #004:

It seems that you are offended by some of my views on theism and more particularly Christianity. Let me assure you now that I will not dilute my views to appease to someone’s sensitivity regarding their theistic beliefs – just as I expect the same of you (and you came through). I’m sorry you find some of my views offensive – but I will not apologize for my views on theism. If my last response invoked this response from you then more than likely this response will cause you to terminate our discussion. If you wish to conclude this discussion because of this problem then that is okay by me. I will not hold it against you nor think any less of you. The choice is yours at this point. For now I will assume that you wish to continue and I will address your last rebuttal.

CLAY: “It explains reality in the three basic areas of understanding, namely philosophy, history and science. … I hope that you agree.”

Yes, I can agree with that. While I might nit-pick at the sub-categorization – I can agree with that premise.

CLAY: “I begin by relaying certain sadness. Your level of intensity and your commitment to your position overwhelms me. I respect it, but genuinely wonder if Christianity will ever get a fair shake with you.”

I’m not sure what you mean by a “fair shake” or why you feel any sadness for me. I can only assume that your sadness is from the Christian basis of “Christ denial”. I have heard of Christ yet deny him – so I am destined for hell because the only way to heaven is through Christ. Besides the obvious question of what happened to all the people that died before Christ was identified? Did they go to hell because they did not know Christ? Do stillborn children, mentally retarded, feral children, and lost tribes go to hell because they have never heard of Christ?

Does the spreading of the Gospel become “good” or “bad” with this knowledge? If the denial of Christ after knowledge of Christ is obtained results in eternal damnation then is not the very spreading of the knowledge of Christ condemning people to hell? As apologist and Biblicist Kenneth Boa states in his book I’m Glad You Asked (page 146),

BOA: “These concerns have led some people to the conclusion that those who have never heard about Christ will escape the judgment of God. If this is true, then Christian missionaries are not only wasting their lives but may be doing great harm by preaching the gospel to those who are unaware of Christ, they have brought people from a state of innocence to a state of moral culpability if they do not respond. This would mean that passages such as the Great Commission (at the end of Matthew, in which Jesus tells people to go unto all the world and preach the gospel) make no sense at all. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ should have been kept a secret.”

R. C. Sproul addresses the same problem in his book Reasons To Believe (page 50),

SPROUL: “Since the native is not guilty of this we ought to let him alone. In fact, letting him alone would be the most helpful and redemptive thing we could do for him. If we go to the native and inform him of Christ we place his soul in eternal jeopardy. For now he knows of Christ, and if he refuses to respond to Him he can no longer claim ignorance as an excuse. Hence, the best service we can render is silence.”

I was a Christian early in my life so by Christian biblical standards I am already damned to hell because I have “rejected” Christ. So by this standard when I tell someone that I am ex-Christian they should make no effort to convert me because, by the very standards that forces them to spread the gospel in the first place, it is too late for me. So was the Baptist that confronted me really doing good, as you suggested? What if I had never heard of Christ until that point? I would, based on the interpretation of some, be comfortable in the non-knowledge that I would ultimately escape God’s judgment just as the stillborn, child, and mentally retarded are. Of course the lack of God’s judgment for “ignorance of Jesus” is only an interpretation because there is no scripture to back that up. The scripture clearly states that the only way to Heaven is through Jesus Christ. As Robert Mounce says in his book Answers to Questions About the Bible (page 173),

MOUNCE: “If there is some third alternative, we know nothing of it from Scripture. The specter of a new-born babe suffering eternal punishment is entirely unacceptable in a moral universe.”

While it may be morally repugnant in a moral society – it is certainly not unacceptable from the scriptural point of view. The Bible does not allow for exceptions when in John 14:6 it states, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, NO man cometh to the Father but by me.” It doesn’t say some men, most men, a few men, or even men and women. It says no man leaving no exceptions to the rule. So while the above arguments by Mounce, Boa, and Sproul sound feasible and morally correct – they are not supported by scripture.

By the sixth or seventh grade I had become somewhat of an atheist. Looking back on that part of my life I think it is probably more accurate to say that I had become agnostic. It was not until my late teens and early twenties that I fully understood my atheism and had a firmer grasp on why I had arrived at that conclusion. By my mid-twenties I had looked into almost every religion there is (there are a lot of them out there). Also during my mid-twenties I decided to come out of the closet when I realized that I could care less what everyone thought of my atheism. I was a closet atheist because I feared retaliation from the theistic community and from my family.

To this day there are still members of my family that refuse to talk to me because of my atheism. Earlier in my life that would have upset me – now I realize that it is their loss – not mine. My wife’s parents blame me for her atheism. What they fail to realize is that my wife was already agnostic when I met her but she was afraid to tell her parents. I would not have married her if I thought she were a devout Christian. I would not have placed either of us in the position of having to compromise our views and philosophies. While it could have been avoided for a while – sooner or later children would have forced the issue. Whomever “caved” would have held some resentment toward the other and created a gap in the marriage.

CLAY: “Your commitment must be towards genuinely working through these disciplines. I will not allow emotional content to overshadow these discussions. If so, I don’t see us going anywhere.”

Please elaborate on what you mean by “genuinely working through these disciplines.” I can assure you that I am not an emotional person. I live my life by logic and reasoning. It is for this reason that I was a mass casualty coordinator for a hospital – because I didn’t let emotions dictate my life and was able to use quick critical thinking to get us out of situations.

CLAY: “His duty as a Christian is to proclaim the Gospel in love, leaving the Holy Spirit to affect your heart. Again, there is no room for name-calling or emotionalism.”

Is it possible to convey the message of Christ without emotionalism? If one has truly accepted Christ as their savior then they convey a sense of emotionalism. Whether that emotionalism is elation, excitement, enthusiasm, or glee – the emotions are there. It is for this reason that I do not argue with the “power” of faith. Faith can be very powerful for those that believe on faith. That is why so many become offended when the very foundation of their faith is called into question.

CLAY: “Mr. Scott, we have some common ground according to our words so far: morality and conscience, which puzzles me given your materialist epistemology.”

Why do my views on morality and conscience puzzle you so? What is your definition of a materialist? I want to ensure that when the word materialist is used that we are saying and meaning the same thing.

CLAY: “Your materialist atheism, and my Christian orthodoxy, penetrate and move throughout our own discussions of philosophy, history and science. You realize that we separate from one another through every sphere, thus this is a difficult task.”

Very rarely are discussions of philosophy, science, and history easy. That is what makes them so intriguing in the first place. I have found that most of the time the discussions end in a stalemate. When it comes right down to it, all facts, evidence, and data aside, faith (or lack thereof) is what is left. And faith is a very powerful ideology, as I’m sure you can attest to. It is that very power of faith that usually prevents these discussions from extending over a prolonged period of time.

CLAY: “An ideological presupposition that man is the measure of all things and that human reason must be entirely autonomous.”

While many assume that man is the measure of all things – I do not. I think it is typically egotistical of mankind to assume such. While I base a lot of my personal philosophy on my person, as a member of mankind, that does not make me the “center of the universe”. What we have to realize is that philosophy, science, and theology are centered on man because we are the creators of those practices. We base reality on our perception of reality. It is for that very reason that science never states much with 100% certainty unless they are specific about the reality of that statement. The laws of physics are good examples. They are laws because it is understood that those laws are based on the reality of our physics, in this reality we call the universe. Should that reality change – so to might those laws of physics.

CLAY: “The methodological assumption that the “scientific” method is the only valid means for ascertaining truth.”

I will agree with that statement. I’m glad you put the word scientific in quotations. While science, as an “entity” provides great tools and resources – there are other means of ascertaining the “truth”. We don’t need science to tell us the sky appears to be blue. We can see for ourselves the sky appears to be blue. What we need science for is to tell us why the sky appears to be blue. Science tells us that the sky is not actually blue – it is every color except blue. Blue is the color that the sky reflects and the sky’s true color is every color in the light spectrum that is absorbed other than blue. So by claiming that the sky is blue, as most people, do – are we speaking the truth? Or are we speaking what we perceive based on our own reality?

CLAY: “An assumption of attitude that there is no knowable “absolute” truth, but that “truth” is always relative to the knower.”

I think the statement that there is no knowable absolute truth is more of a theistic or agnostic view, wouldn’t you? While “truth” is relative to the viewer based on their reality – we can know the truth based on that reality. Should that reality change then the truth will also change.

CLAY: “But if one desires to know the Bible’s message on its own terms, taking it for what it says about itself, then one cannot use these presuppositions. They are incompatible with the Scriptures, which presuppose that God, not man, measures all things, that human reason is dependent and cannot penetrate to the very bottom of things, but that ultimate and absolute truth is knowable, by way of personal relationship. Now if these claims are true, then it is inappropriate to apply to Scripture a modernist, naturalistic, “scientific” approach which assumes in advance that there is no supernatural intervention, that the “system is closed.” In essence, one cannot evaluate the Bible’s claims to truth by using methods that assume in advance that these claims are impossible.”

It is not necessary to evaluate the claims of supernaturalism in the Bible. If the Bible is to convey, as a God-breathed work, a doctrine of inerrancy, then it must be inerrant and sound. It is not inerrant and it is not sound. The claims made in the Bible are brought into question not necessarily because of their supernatural nature – but because the very thing that makes these claims is filled with errors, contradictions, and inconsistencies. If the Bible were 100% accurate with zero errors, no inconsistencies, and not a single contradiction then the claims of supernaturalism would perhaps be perceived with less skepticism.

In other words – there is obviously no way to prove if a god does or does not exist. We can look at the definitions of a god and through logic, philosophy, reasoning, scientific data, and evidence begin to break down those definitions and ultimately show said defined god as having a higher probability of non-existence. So when the Bible says god performed a supernatural event there is no way to prove either way if god exists in the first place, and if he does if that supernatural event actually occurred. But when the source of the account is erroneous then the likelihood and probability of said events and event creator decrease.

For example, the Christian God is defined by the act of the Global Flood. Since evidence shows that this global flood never occurred then the likelihood and probability of the defined Christian God decreases. While the Christian God has not been completely ruled out by this evidence – his likelihood and probability of existence has decreased.

You have taken the long way around the statement I hear a lot to the effect of, “It requires an infallible critic to question the existence of God or declare that the Bible contains errors.” Biblicist Clark Pinnock is a huge proponent of critics needing to be infallible themselves – to be equal to God. In other words, by those standards, one cannot criticize the Bible or question God unless they are infallible themselves. It takes someone whom is omniscient to say that God does not exist with certainty. As I stated before – it is not about certainty. It is about likelihood and probability.

The obvious mistake in this line of reasoning is that it assumes the very point in dispute. Because one alleges supernaturalism, omniscience, or inerrancy does not mean it is so. Biblicists assert the Bible is infallible and inerrant – and have yet to prove so. Christian philosophers assert that God is omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, et al – and have yet to prove so. If the Bible were indeed infallible and contained no errors then the assertion of requiring infallibility before criticism might hold some water. The Bible and the defined parameters of the Christian God are errant and therefore subject to the materialistic criticism of skeptics and scholars.

CLAY: “I suggest these works to your study if you truly want to see where orthodoxy begins its epistemology. It does not begin with your discussion of inerrancy. I believe inerrancy is a valid position, but I do not begin with it.”

If inerrancy is truly secondary then one’s faith or belief is irrelevant, is it not? Does it really matter if one goes to Christ, Mohammed, or Buddha? Does it really matter if one goes to God, Allah, Jupiter, Thor, Osiris, or Ra? If I am looking for a God then I expect the writings of that God to be inerrant. If a God is not powerful enough to make his sacred text 100% accurate then what good is he? I should base my decision on god on better criteria at that point. Which belief has the best heaven? Which belief has the easiest rules to follow? Which belief has the easiest hell to endure (just in case I muff it up)? Which belief fits my current lifestyle the best (this explains the 3500 plus sects of Christianity)? I think inerrancy plays a larger role then you would suggest.

For Christianity the basis is the Resurrection of Christ. If, through identification of errancy, it is shown that the accounts of the Resurrection are contradictory (as they have been), then the very foundation of Christianity is lost. If errancy is identified in Genesis and the accounts of Adam and Eve then the very foundation of Original Sin comes into question. And if Original Sin is eradicated then Christ died for naught and he becomes irrelevant to the Christian doctrine.

CLAY: “Thus, I’m not going to go line by line down your eight pages. Rather I’m going to ask the overarching question, “Why are you so committed to your position and why are you so bent on trashing Christianity?” I’m just curious. What happened?”

I am committed to my position because it is the most logical position there is. I am committed to my position because I have researched almost every religion on this planet and found that all are irrationally based and do not warrant my beliefs. Instead of seeing God in nature – I see nature in nature. Instead of praying to God in times of crisis I tell myself to get off my arse and do something about it. Instead of thanking God for my accomplishments I congratulate myself on a job well done. I have not seen any gods nor have I seen any evidence that insinuates that said gods even exist. I completely understand the reasons why people need religion and do not hold it against them. I simply do not have those reasons and therefore do not need religion.

I’m not bent on trashing Christianity. I am bent on protecting my personal freedoms from Christianity. I would be just as happy to sit on my couch and watch TLC and Discovery Channel all day long. Christianity has become an issue to me through no choice of my own. Christianity is attempting to put prayer in my children’s classroom. Christianity is attempting to hand the Ten Commandments in my children’s school and my city’s courthouse. Christianity is attempting to place its assumed higher morality upon me through legislation. Christianity is abusing the very thing that protects its followers – the Constitution of the United States (COTUS). As a Constitutionalist I am flabbergasted at the recent abuse of the Amendments by Christianity. Should others and I sit back and watch Christianity take control of this country and turn it into a Theocracy?

Non-Christians should be gravely concerned over recent developments in this country. The Christian movement is threatening the personal freedoms that are dictated and protected by the COTUS. While obviously not all Christians are involved and many are against this latest movement – who will make a stand? Who will protect our constitutional rights from those that abuse the very substance of what gives them their freedoms? Who will stand up at the PTA meeting and argue against the implementation of school prayer? I will.

I would rather sit at home and not have to be politically active. I would rather shut my web page down and not worry about Christians calling me a Satanist because their preacher told them that atheists are in league with Satan. I would rather go about my life and not feel threatened by “Bible Thumpers”. I would rather sleep in on Saturday and not have Jehovah’s Witnesses’ come to my door at seven in the morning. I would rather not receive evil glares because I am a known atheist. I would rather not have to defend my position of atheism every time I turn around. I would prefer to not get fired by my Christian boss because I’m an atheist.

Christianity is a “target” because it has made itself a target. One need only look at the Southern Baptist Convention and their recent attacks on Muslims, Hindus, and Jews for support of this. One need only look at Election 2000 to see the changing face of religionist politics and the move of the Christian religious right. The COTUS protects the Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Wicca, Shaman, and Atheist from a Theocracy and from suffering through the hypocrisy of Christendom in the public classroom.

Regarding your concerns over “what happened” (or more pointedly, “why are you an atheist?”) I can only say that it is not that complicated. To avoid regurgitation I’ll post my reply to this question from my web page. Keep in mind that my web page was designed to keep it simple for all visitors. If you need any further elaboration then please do not hesitate to ask for it.

ATHEISM AWARENESS: “Usually when I am asked this question people are looking for a sign that I was driven away from religion because of a psychological event or some traumatic time that I associated with the church, religion, or god. It’s not that complicated, though. I don’t hate god because someone close to me died or anything else like that. I would have to believe in a god in order to hate that god.

There are people out there that claim to be atheists because of emotional or psychological reasons (associated with a traumatic event). I call them “emotional atheists”. If you hate a god – then you at least have some belief (however miniscule) that the god exists in the first place. Seems kind of futile to hate something that you supposedly don’t believe in. To me, emotional atheists are not really atheists by all technical means of the definition. Many emotional atheists end up becoming “logical atheists.”

I am an atheist because theism cannot and does not provide the answers that I seek. Basic Humanities teaches us that as human beings we have needs. Physical, emotional, and psychological needs.

Our physical needs include the need for food, water, and shelter.

Our emotional needs include the need to feel loved, needed, and have a social circle.

Our psychological needs include the need to leave our mark on society (from writing a book to graffiti), the desire to know the origins of fear, the need for explanations, and the drive to answer a few questions:

  • “Why am I here?”
  • “Where did I come from?”
  • What is the purpose of life?”

Man has tried many ways to take care of these psychological needs. Then one day someone came up with a “silver platter” answer that took care of everything in one sweep… a god. Didn’t matter what god it was. The point is the god answered those questions and quenched the psychological thirst of early man.

Shamanism is the oldest known “organized” religion in the world (approx. 27000-years-old). But man has been inventing explanations to help eradicate his fears longer than that.

Even the Romans and the Greeks needed peace through knowing – and they chose the path of gods – and lots of them. Everything had a god. They explained the things they were afraid of and the things they loved. Mothers would tell their children, “Don’t be afraid of the lightning my child, it is only Zeus moving around in the clouds.” Gods like Jupiter, Zeus, Mars, Nimrod, Mithras, Horus, Osiris, and Thor explained away fears in a simple way.

There was one other thing those invented gods did. They created positions of power and an infrastructure within the societies that believed in those gods. Suddenly the societies needed someone to explain the behavior of gods and to appease the gods when they were mad. They needed someone who could communicate with the gods and whom had knowledge of appropriate actions and sacrifices to keep the gods happy. And the priest was born…

Theism, in my view, is just too silly. It is too abracadabra, hocus pocus, and shazam! Instead of intelligently looking for the answers to those psychological needs – people just grab the easy answer off the religious silver platter. No thank you – you can keep your silver platter answers. I will not take the road more traveled and forsake my intelligent, rational, and critical thought. I will not forsake the search of truth for a psychological crutch.

I’m sure that calling theism a psychological crutch has upset a few people. Let me assure you that it is not a bad thing (usually). In the society in which we live most humans beings need theistic beliefs or some form of elevated spirituality. Could you imagine the psychological disaster we would face if the foundation of religion were stripped from under the feet of worshipers tomorrow? I’d rather not deal with that issue. Most people need a form of spirituality. There are, as I’m sure most people know, many forms of spiritualism without gods. These non-theistic religions and spiritualities resolve the same psychological needs but eliminate the following of an imaginary being that controls the lives of theists.

Why do you think that the church resists science so fervently? Why do you think the church called scientists witches and wizards in history past? Why does the church say that atheists are in league with Satan? Why do you think the church says that if you do not have faith and question god that he will punish you? Why does the church need to instill fear into the people? Because fear keeps a flock in line and keeps the flock members from thinking on his or her own.

I am an atheist because I refuse to take the silver platter answers that the religions of the world dish out. I will travel the road less traveled and find the answers on my own. I will investigate all possibilities and intelligently eliminate those that are irrational.”

CLAY: “Secondly, you seem greatly influenced by the Graf/Wellhausen theory, the higher critical school.”

They did not influence me at all. They make grand assumptions on the History of Israel based upon the very thing that I find erroneous. And it is actually the Graf/Wellhausen hypothesis (not theory) because it has not met any criterion to be called a theory.

I arrive at my own conclusions and conduct my own research. My views are my own and no one else’s. While others may have arrived at the same conclusions that I have – I do the research myself and make my own choices.

CLAY: “You must make their historic criticism and scientific discoveries known to your debates and you must acknowledge their discoveries in your own arguments.”

Since I consider most of Graf and Wellhausen’s work presumptuous I’m not really concerned about any of what their critics have to say. I have read some of Albright’s work and find most of his rationalizations and justifications rather ludicrous at best. He has a tendency, just like those that he accuse (Graf/Wellhausen) of re-writing the scripture to suit his fancy. He displays the typically characteristic style of apologists of not adhering to the same standards they impose upon the critics of the Bible. The say the Bible is error free then when an error is obvious they blame it on copyists. They say not to interpret the Bible that it should be literal but when a contradiction is presented they interpret their way out of it.

While epistemology is wonderful philosophical endeavor I’m not much of a proponent. I don’t need anyone to tell me how I should arrive at my knowledge and what my knowledge means. I look at what is available and I make my own conclusions. No single person influences me.

CLAY: “I say all this for one reason, namely, that the Christian theory of knowledge has just as much right to be accepted in the arena of ideas as yours.”

What exactly is the Christian theory of knowledge? Epistemology does not necessarily equate to Christian thought. Epistemology is simply a branch of philosophy that studies the nature of knowledge, its presuppositions and foundations, and its extent and validity. Any specific association to Christianity is self-assigned. Why does the Christian feel a necessity to formulate a theory of knowledge that they can “call their own”? Knowledge is knowledge – why is there a need for separation?

CLAY: “You cannot look down your nose at my position or me. Saying that my “God is impotent” and words like “gullible” when attributed to my belief system is juvenile and emotional, and it’s harmful to our discussion.”

Those are my views and you only find them “juvenile” because they do not agree with your views. The Christian God, if he exists, is impotent and not worthy of worship. Where is God? If he’s really there why have the biblical miracles disappeared? Why does he not reveal himself? When debating the issue of faith a while ago with some fellow atheists we concluded that atheism does require some element of faith. It takes an element of faith to say with 100% certainty that a god cannot exist. The god in particular that we were discussing is the impotent God that created the universe then walked away and could care less about what happened. It was jokingly said that a great Supreme Being was walking along one day and had a bit of flatulence. This incredible Big Bang of methane created the known universe. He then went on to his universal sofa, popped a beer, and is watching cosmic soap operas. We affectionately call him the Universal God of Flatulence and Sofa-Sitting, or UGFSS for short.

It is my view that religion is an issue of gullibility. If you find that statement to be “emotional”, then so be it. I make that statement (and have that view) because of all the research I have done and what I have encountered in my lifetime. As I stated before I have no intention of watering down my views in order to appease the sensitivity of others. For example, let’s look at some of the things you have said:

CLAY: “I respect it, but genuinely wonder if Christianity will ever get a fair shake with you.”

You assume that Christianity deserves a “fair shake” at me in the first place.

CLAY: “Hopefully, his motives were good, i.e., concern for your soul as he faithfully bore witness to the Gospel of Grace.”

You make the fatal mistake that so many Christians have made (and why they have become targets) – that people actually want to hear the Gospel. You assume that my soul is in jeopardy and needs concern. Guilty until proven innocent?

CLAY: “Mr. Scott, I say that your worldview will collapse in on itself.”

Gee… thanks.

CLAY: “People whom carry this to its logical conclusion are in jail or committed or dead. Do you really believe this?”

So my atheistic views are criminal?

CLAY: “You cannot choose Atheism based on its intellectual appeal for there is none.”

Just as much of a personal conclusion as I made regarding theism to be for the gullible and a psychological need.

CLAY: “Your marriage to this position hinders your intellect and blinds you from the evidence…or lack thereof.”

Funny, exactly what I said about creationism.

Are we not both doing the same thing? Are we not both present our personal views and ideas?

CLAY: “Mr. Scott, I say that your worldview will collapse in on itself. I say this because you have belief, a component of the theory of knowledge, the theory of justification, inconsistent with your beginning materialist, closed system philosophy.”

Why do you assume that my philosophy is materialistic and closed?

CLAY: “I say that your whole approach to epistemology won’t hold up. Why? For one, you say that “we are each our own ultimate authority”. How can this be and we still maintain a common foundation of truth, logic, and theory of knowledge? People whom carry this to its logical conclusion are in jail or committed or dead. Do you really believe this?”

My approach to epistemology has held up rather well and continues to hold up. I said that we are each our own ultimate authority because there is no God above us. But we are social animals and, as I indicated in the response to you about morality, those societies justify morality and sustain morality. By doing so also establish other standards such as science, religion, philosophy, etc.

I do not “believe” that. I have come to that conclusion based on what I have seen and done.

CLAY: “Secondly, to call the Bible “an error-filled mythological account with some historical insignificata” is an emotional value judgment that doesn’t sound rational.”

Of course it sounds emotional and judgmental to you – it is attacking the very foundation of your faith and placing you on the defensive. My statement about the Bible is accurate. The Bible is full of errors, contradictions, and inconsistencies. There are numerous mythological accounts in the Bible. There is some historical insignificata (such as the names of cities and actual historical characters). Therefore, the statement of “an error-filled mythological account with some historical insignificata,” is an accurate statement.

In my view to read the Bible and walk away without seeing the errors, inconsistencies, and contradictions and denying the evidence to the contrary is a betrayal of intellectual integrity and is not rational. Each of us has come to the same conclusion – that each other are irrational. We’ve made a lot of progress here, haven’t we?

CLAY: “Your saying that “there are no beliefs involved with atheism” commits you to a worldview, a commitment from which you depart in your approach, as evidenced by your free admission to hold conscience and morality.”

You’re really having a hard time understanding what atheism is. Atheism is nothing more than the lack of belief in a god and supernatural beings. That’s it. That is the only thing that ties atheists together is the lack of belief in a god. There are no beliefs involved with atheism. That does not imply that an atheist cannot have beliefs. It means that atheism is not about beliefs – but the lack thereof – when regarding gods and supernatural beings.

Atheism does not commit me or any other atheists to a worldview. There are atheists that do have a worldview – but it does not ride hand-in-hand with atheism.

I have beliefs (not many, though). If you ask me if I “believe in” something I will more than likely tell you no. People “believe” in God, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny. Belief is a very potent word and insinuates a lot when used. I have come to many conclusions about life, morality, science, theology, philosophy, et al based on what I have researched, learned, experienced, seen, etc. I can say that I believe in the Constitution. I can say that I believe in Capitalism. But when I say those things I’m not really talking about a “belief”, per say, but more of an understanding and acceptance. I am saying that I appreciate and acknowledge those things and have come to the conclusion that they deserve my support. It’s just easier to say I believe in them.

I know atheists that believe in UFOs. I know atheists that believe in ghosts. I know atheist that believe in astrology. The only thing that ties them together is the lack of belief regarding gods and supernatural beings.

CLAY: “I believe that you have borrowed some capital from Western Theism, particularly Judeo- Christianity.”

Since I was a Christian in my early years – that is highly likely. But it is also irrelevant to the issue.

CLAY: “Further, some potpourri: you are aware, for instance, that the Resurrection doesn’t depend upon inerrancy?”

Then why are apologists, Biblicists, and fundamentalists so keen on defending it and proving inerrancy? Because if the Resurrection fails then so does the very foundation of Christianity. If Christ was not resurrected then what’s the point? That shows he was a man and not the Son of God. The Resurrection is extremely dependant upon inerrancy.

CLAY: “Another; Christianity doesn’t rely on councils. Councils can provide good insight and summarize positions, but they are not authoritative.”

It was the Council of Nicea that formulated and introduced the Triune God that you claim to follow. Had the Council decided to keep Jesus as a man instead of God in the Flesh you would be worshiping a Bi-God instead of a Trinity. The Creed of Nicea is still recited to this day. While modern councils may be nothing more than a political show of arms – the councils of ancient times built the very stage that you dance upon – and even choreographed your moves.

CLAY: “More, I say that, as mentioned earlier in a discussion of textual criticism, Golding’s argument is pooh-pooh and has been proved wrong by Guthrie, just to name one.”

Guthrie has not proved Golding to be wrong. Guthrie has simply presented his views and used what I guess you would call the Christian Theory of Knowledge to “reduce” Golding’s argument. While Guthrie’s arguments sound formidable they are nothing more than wanton rationalizations and justifications that amount to nothing more than personal opinion. You can go to hundreds of Christian archives and retrieve the same information that Golding presents. The information is historical and documented in a letter by Alexander to his home. Arius and the Arians documented the events leading up to the Council and the events afterwards because of the exile of Arius (as he disagreed with the founding of the Trinity).

CLAY: “Are you really serious about me following your reasoning when you freely admit, “we know that a belief in god is a psychological necessary for humanity” – a devastating admission!”

Yes I am serious. I take this issue very seriously. Take any Humanities class and this information is discussed. I also covered the subject in minor detail when I posted from my web page earlier. Scientists have also identified a part of the brain associated with religious thought – lovingly called the God Module. This is not something to be ashamed of nor is it mean to berate. I am simply stating what I know and what my view is.

CLAY: “But the final “God is not in outer space…he simply is nonexistent”…this is belief and it has no basis in observation.”

On the contrary it has everything to do with observation. I cannot smell God. I cannot hear God. I cannot taste God. I cannot see God. I cannot touch God. There is evidence against the very definitions of the Christian God and almost every other defined God. There is only one god that when I say it doesn’t exist requires faith – and that is the UGFSS. It is my observations that have led me to the conclusion (not belief) that God does not exist. The likelihood and probability of specifically the Christian God existing are less than 1%.

CLAY: “Of particular note, I am disturbed by your popular belief in the theory of evolution, a philosophically flawed “theory.””

So it’s okay for you to feel “disturbed” by my “belief” in a theory that you consider to be flawed but when I assert that religion is a psychological necessity and there are many flaws of the Bible it is juvenile and full of emotionalism? I feel so much better knowing that.

Since you have made that statement I’m going to assume that your knowledge of the evolutionary facts and supporting theory are elementary at best. To look at Biblical creation and evolution side by side and still choose creationism is to forsake one’s intellectual integrity. There is simply no comparison whatsoever.

CLAY: “Your argument must admit that this is still theory as no transitional forms are documented.”

Incorrect. There are multitudes of transitional fossils. What type of transitionals are you looking for? Are you looking for the elusive cat-dog or fish-lizard?

CLAY: “No answer for biogenesis exists.”

Incorrect.

CLAY: “The second law of thermodynamics has not been reversed.”

The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics does not apply to life. Nor does it contradict the evolutionary or cosmological theories. This statement clearly shows a misunderstanding of the Laws of Thermodynamics and especially the 2nd Law. I have been debating a hardcore creationist that has conceded the fact that the 2nd Law does not conflict with evolutionary theory. He could not deny the formulas and evidence and still maintain his intellectual integrity. You can read the debate at Atheism Awareness.

Each of your “arguments” against evolutionary fact and theory have been addressed and shown to be invalid. I suggest you look further into the issue. A good place to start is the Talk Origins Archive.

I don’t want to get into another Evolution vs. Creationism debate here. I’ve already got a very long one going that is VERY involved and detailed. I also have a simplified one with a “beginner”. That doesn’t even include my numerous debates on the Forums and at local events.

CLAY: “Maybe you have been digesting the wrong sources?”

If you consider sources like William Arndt, Harold Lindsell, Charles Ryrie, James Boice, James Packer, Clark Pinnock, Gleason Archer, Josh McDowell, Don Stewart, Richard Sisson, David O’Brien, Maurice Baucaille, E. M. Blaiklock, Norman Ward, Peter Ruckman, Vernon McGee, Norman Geisler, Oscar Culmann, Robert Mounce, Dwight Pentecost, M. R. DeHaan, Henry Morris, Martin Clark, James Sire, R. C. Sproul, Kenneth Boa, and Larry Moody (to name a few) to be the wrong sources for the Christian perspective – then sure.

CLAY: “I think that Atheism is intellectually appealing to you because you choose it to be.”

Atheism is intellectually appealing to me because I refuse to forsake my intellectual integrity and forsake truth for mythology. You bet I choose it to be.

CLAY: “A Christian’s only personal comparison is to be made with Jesus, from whom every one of us falls woefully short. Let Christ be the example. Our goal as Christians is, after all, to become more and more like him and less like our sinful selves.”

Too bad Jesus wasn’t a very good moral example himself.

CLAY: “A Christian has no moral high ground over another human.”

If only you can convince the rest of Christianity about this. If only the conversion process and the corruption by missionaries would cease at the realization of that very statement.

CLAY: “In my heart and mind, I have no moral superiority over you. Only Jesus Christ does, and it is His life that compels us to witness to His Truth.”

Jesus has no moral superiority over me, either. He was just as corrupt as the next Tom, Dick, and Harry. It’s in the Bible – but most Christians refuse to see it. There are accounts in the Bible that place Jesus in a not-so-perfect position of immorality. If you have to ask me to give you the scriptures then you have not really read the Bible or you have subconsciously overlooked these passages in order to maintain your faith and deny your intellectual integrity.

CLAY: “I cannot argue you to this conclusion, for it is not within my power to do so, only God’s, but I can define logical arguments that reasonably show that Christianity is not the foolish mistake you unfairly present it to be.”

You have yet to do so. Christianity will ultimately fall among the other religions in the theistic graveyard. It won’t be long before Yahweh and Jesus are sitting next to Jupiter, Zeus, Thor, Ares, Ra, Horus, Mithras, and Mother Earth. To be discussed in a High School mythology class. Even as we speak Christianity is on the decline and non-theistic spiritualism is on the rise. It is only in the United States were the gullibility remains so high. Religiously speaking we are ranked next to Bangladesh when it comes to our views on science. We are the only industrialized nation that still has a large population that believes in literal creationism. We are a culture of gullibility. From Christianity to Astronomy to Psychic Hot Lines. It’s an intellectual shame and rather embarrassing. The British have no concept of fundamentalism and don’t understand what is going on over here. It’s rather ironic don’t you think, that Americans are fleeing for England to escape religious persecution?

CLAY: “History is replete with excellent Christian minds, from Augustine to Anselm to Aquinas, to name three foundational contributors.”

History is also replete with excellent Atheist minds, Muslim minds, Hindu minds, Jewish minds, etc. Just because there were wise Christians does not make Christianity any truer.

CLAY: “Have you read Augustine’s Confessions?”

I live 15 minutes from St. Augustine, Florida. Every bookstore down there sold his works. I’ve read Confessions and The Literal Meaning of Genesis.

CLAY: “But there are many others, men who were brilliant, men who gave us the patterns from which we consciously or subconsciously approach our modern world. And they were ancient Christian apologists. Are you saying that they were foolish in their conclusions?”

Their acts and achievement were not necessarily foolish. I don’t condemn the works of Isaac Newton and his contributions to physics just because he was a deist. His belief in a god, as a deist, was foolish – but at least he was intellectually honest with himself and admitted the faults in Christianity. His faith had a major grip on him though and he could not shake it. So he adopted a deistic view and left Christianity behind him. I think most Christians would be amazed to find out just how many people they claim were Christians were actually deists or Unitarians.

CLAY: “Am I? For I, like they, have banked my entire life on the Truth of the Bible and the reality that a Triune Personal God stands behind eternity. The stakes are high. Let’s stop the games.”

Since you have gagged me from presenting my opinions and views because you find them juvenile then I guess I cannot answer that question. But what the hell… Yes. I find your belief in the Triune God of Christianity to be foolish and a break in your intellectual integrity.

The stakes are only high in your view because you consider yourself eternally damned to the pits of hell unless you follow the teachings of your God and bow before him in submissiveness. You’ve mentioned several times my “attacking Christianity”. Christianity does not stand by itself (it just has the loudest mouth in the group). Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, Zoroastrianism, Shamanism, African Religions, Gnosticism, Hasidism, Jainism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormonism, North American Indian Religions, Protestantism, Quakerism, Catholicism, Seventh-Day Adventism, Shakers, Sikhism, Sufism, Tantrism, Taoism, and Zen all stand next to Christianity in the booth of psychological necessity.

I never heard back from Clay.