God vs. Science.

Someone sent me a link to this blog entry at some random weblog that appears to be a new variation on the popular Evil Atheist Professor versus the True Believer student chain letter that’s been making the rounds for years. Previous versions were much shorter and attributed the student as being Albert Einstein, but this version has replaced making the student someone famous with making the fiction considerably longer. This isn’t the only blog with this email up as of late and just about every site that has it marvels over what a great bit of logic it is.

Well I’m hear to say it’s a load of crap, but first I should start by relating the sad story in question:

A science professor begins his school year with a lecture to the students, “Let me explain the problem science has with religion.” The atheist professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks one of his new students to stand.

“You’re a Christian, aren’t you, son?”

“Yes sir,” the student says.

“So you believe in God?”

“Absolutely.”

“Is God good?”

“Sure! God’s good.”

“Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?”

“Yes.”

“Are you good or evil?”

“The Bible says I’m evil.”

The professor grins knowingly. “Aha! The Bible!” He considers for a moment. “Here’s one for you. Let’s say there’s a sick person over here and you can cure him. You can do it. Would you help him? Would you try?”

“Yes sir, I would.”

“So you’re good…!”

“I wouldn’t say that.”

“But why not say that? You’d help a sick and maimed person if you could. Most of us would if we could. But God doesn’t.”

The student does not answer, so the professor continues. “He doesn’t, does he? My brother was a Christian who died of cancer, even though he prayed to Jesus to heal him. How is this Jesus good? Hmmm? Can you answer that one?”

The student remains silent.

“No, you can’t, can you?” the professor says. He takes a sip of water from a glass on his desk to give the student time to relax.

“Let’s start again, young fella. Is God good?”

“Er…yes,” the student says.

“Is Satan good?”

The student doesn’t hesitate on this one. “No.”

“Then where does Satan come from?”

The student falters. “From God”

“That’s right. God made Satan, didn’t he? Tell me, son. Is there evil in this world?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Evil’s everywhere, isn’t it? And God did make everything, correct?”

“Yes.”

“So who created evil?” The professor continued, “If God created everything, then God created evil, since evil exists, and according to the principle that our works define who we are, then God is evil.”

Again, the student has no answer. “Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things, do they exist in this world?”

The student squirms on his feet. “Yes.”

“So who created them?”

The student does not answer again, so the professor repeats his question. “Who created them?” There is still no answer. Suddenly the lecturer breaks away to pace in front of the classroom. The class is mesmerized. “Tell me,” he continues onto another student. “Do you believe in Jesus Christ, son?”

The student’s voice betrays him and cracks. “Yes, professor, I do.”

The old man stops pacing. “Science says you have five senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Have you ever seen Jesus?”

“No sir. I’ve never seen Him.”

“Then tell us if you’ve ever heard your Jesus?”

“No, sir, I have not.”

“Have you ever felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus or smelt your Jesus? Have you ever had any sensory perception of Jesus Christ, or God for that matter?”

“No, sir, I’m afraid I haven’t.”

“Yet you still believe in him?”

“Yes.”

“According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your God doesn’t exist. What do you say to that, son?”

“Nothing,” the student replies. “I only have my faith.”

“Yes, faith,” the professor repeats. “And that is the problem science has with God. There is no evidence, only faith.”

The student stands quietly for a moment, before asking a question of His own. “Professor, is there such thing as heat?”

“Yes,” the professor replies. “There’s heat.”

“And is there such a thing as cold?”

“Yes, son, there’s cold too.”

“No sir, there isn’t.”

The professor turns to face the student, obviously interested. The room suddenly becomes very quiet. The student begins to explain. “You can have lots of heat, even more heat, super-heat, mega-heat, unlimited heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat, but we don’t have anything called ‘cold’. We can hit up to 458 degrees below zero, which is no heat, but we can’t go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold; otherwise we would be able to go colder than the lowest -458 degrees.”

“Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy. Absolute zero (-458 F) is the total absence of heat. You see, sir, cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat we can measure in thermal units because heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.”

Silence across the room. A pen drops somewhere in the classroom, sounding like a hammer.

“What about darkness, professor. Is there such a thing as darkness?”

“Yes,” the professor replies without hesitation. “What is night if it isn’t darkness?”

“You’re wrong again, sir. Darkness is not something; it is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light, but if you have no light constantly you have nothing and it’s called darkness, isn’t it? That’s the meaning we use to define the word.”

“In reality, darkness isn’t. If it were, you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn’t you?”

The professor begins to smile at the student in front of him. This will be a good semester. “So what point are you making, young man?”

“Yes, professor. My point is, your philosophical premise is flawed to start with, and so your conclusion must also be flawed.”

The professor’s face cannot hide his surprise this time. “Flawed? Can you explain how?”

“You are working on the premise of duality,” the student explains. “You argue that there is life and then there’s death; a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can’t even explain a thought.”

“It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life, just the absence of it.”

“Now tell me, professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?”

“If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, young man, yes, of course I do.”

“Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?”

The professor begins to shake his head, still smiling, as he realizes where the argument is going. A very good semester, indeed.

“Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you now not a scientist, but a preacher?”

The class is in uproar. The student remains silent until the commotion has subsided.

“To continue the point you were making earlier to the other student, let me give you an example of what I mean.”

The student looks around the room. “Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the professor’s brain?” The class breaks out into laughter.

“Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor’s brain, felt the professor’s brain, touched or smelt the professor’s brain? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, with all due respect, sir.”

“So if science says you have no brain, how can we trust your lectures, sir?”

Now the room is silent. The professor just stares at the student, his face unreadable.

Finally, after what seems an eternity, the old man answers. “I guess you’ll have to take them on faith.”

“Now, you accept that there is faith, and, in fact, faith exists with life,” the student continues. “Now, sir, is there such a thing as evil?”

Now uncertain, the professor responds, “Of course, there is. We see it everyday. It is in the daily example of man’s inhumanity to man. It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are nothing else but evil.”

To this the student replied, “Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God’s love present in his heart. It’s like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light.”

The professor sat down.

This students statements are true, can you or can you not make night darker?

Is it possible for it to get colder after absolute zero -458 degree’s F.

Can you feel,taste,see,hear,or smell your brain,

If anyone can contest this please do.

So I did. I left the following comment at the blog I pulled this from and, as it’s rather lengthy and there’s a good chance the site owner will just delete it outright, I thought I should post it here as well.

Here’s my reply:

It’s a fictional story that’s been attributed to any number of people including Albert Einstein, but has no basis in reality. It’s also a very flawed argument that’s only really impressive to the scientifically illiterate. It’s kind of sad to see it making the rounds once again, but at least the latest incarnation isn’t attributing it to Einstein.

Let’s start with the most obvious problem with this entire argument: The Christian God is supposedly omnipresent therefor if God is literally everywhere how can there be the absence of God anywhere? This is a fatal flaw to the Absence of God = Evil argument. Additionally there’s the problem with the simple fact that many believers commit acts of evil in spite of their belief in God and often because of their belief in God. This would also be an obstacle for the evil = absence of God argument.

Secondly it relies on conflating two different meanings of the word faith. Namely the faith required for something that’s pretty well established—the fact that the professor does have a brain—versus the faith required for something with absolutely no evidence—the existence of God. In the former there are any number of ways to prove the existence of the professor’s brain, some of which would be extreme but definitive (open his skull and look), but a simple cat scan should suffice for most people. The existence of brains is so well established, in fact, that most Christians wouldn’t be stupid enough to question that reality in the first place.

In comparison you’d first have to nail down exactly what you mean by the word “God”, because even among believers of the same religion there’s often a difference on opinion about the nature of God, before you could even begin to try and establish whether or not it would be possible to determine if he exists. Clearly the type of faith it would take to believe in such a being is miles beyond the faith it takes to accept our lowly professor as having a brain without resorting to cracking his head open to check, though that would at least be possible if it had to come to it.

This particular version managed to work in the anti-evolution angle as well though that too is a flawed and incorrect argument. Evolution has been observed in both simple lab experiments and by studying fossils from antiquity. That is an entire argument unto itself, however, and more time than I wish to expend at the moment.

Furthermore the definitions for heat/cold and light/dark demonstrate that the author of this fiction has only a limited understanding of the concepts he’s writing about. The whole paragraph where the student explains the concept of heat is wrong, but most people aren’t scientifically literate enough to grasp that fact. They just see a lot of scientific words and their eyes glaze over and they think something really intelligent was said.

The author contends that “heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy” and that is flat out wrong as heat is actually the transfer of energy caused by a temperature difference. If two systems are not in thermal equilibrium with each other then heat transfer will occur with the flow going from the higher temperature system to the lower temperature system until thermal equilibrium is obtained. Or, in other words, if one system is hot and the other one is cold then heat will transfer from one to the other until they are the same temperature. The statement that we can have “super-heat, mega-heat, unlimited heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat” is just nonsense. The author is conflating the word “heat” with the word “hot” the latter of which is, like “cold”, a relative term describing the temperature of an object in relation to something else.

So too the author goes on to demonstrate only a partial understanding of light and dark. He starts by conflating the scientific definition of light, which includes the entire electromagnetic spectrum, with what is known as “visible light.” What we refer to as dark is actually just a low level of visible light, but not the absence of light as is claimed in the text. Even in the total absence of visible light all objects will continue to give off infrared and gamma radiation due to heat transfer and as such there is no absence of light at all even though you can’t see. A simple pair of infrared goggles is all it takes to see in the darkest of environments. In order to remove all light you’d have to remove all energy (absolute zero) which isn’t possible to do outside of the realm of theoretical mathematics.

So the answers to the questions at the end of this missive end up as follows: Yes, you could make night “darker” by blocking out more and more of the electromagnetic spectrum. No, you can’t make something colder than absolute zero because that’s the point when a system has no energy. For that matter it’s not possible to reach absolute zero either, though you can get close and matter starts to do some funky stuff at those temperatures. Yes, you can feel, taste, see, hear, and smell your brain if you really wanted to, but some of those would be messy and probably leave you damaged in the process. For some folks, though, it might be an experiment worth undertaking.

Please feel free to chime in with any other flaws you find in either the original story or my rebuttal.

177 comments

  1. Back to high school science class with the git who wrote this!  Crikey…I can’t even begin with this. 

    A modest proposal, though:  I think that anybody who denies evolution should be made to put their money where their mouth is by being treated with the genetic equivalent of the first penicillin ever made.  Because if evolution doesn’t happen, then obviously the whole idea of drug-resistant microorganisms is a hoax, right?

  2. A play between 2 sock puppets that heads in a pre-decided, biassed direction, that gives no chance for questions because it assumes it answers everything. A common trick and one I don’t give time for – I don’t seriously think I’m going to get through to this kinda guy in one hit, and he wouldn’t give me time for more than one, if he read any replies at all.

    Les – It’s good practise that you replied (and a vent), but I don’t seriously think the writer/target audience is going to read and think on it. Conversations allow you to get a stronger connection and force them (a tad more) to think in order to respond – when they won’t respond they won’t often read

    But as the one who makes entries, I realise you’re bound to your role and I appreciate the time you give.

  3. I think that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, God gave us the ability to choose for ourselves.
    He will not force you to believe what He says or not.
    I don’t think there is any reason to attack you or the original poster.
    You are both expressing your opinions on what you believe is true.
    I do agree with one of you,
    But regardless of that,
    I am not going to put down your thoughts or his,
    But i also don’t think either of you should say bad things about each other,
    Because (like i said in the beginning) You are both entitled to your own opinion

  4. Macprincess- We are entitled to our own opinions, but we come here to debate, to test our ideas, to gain new ones and make our own available, it’s like one big exchange. We come here prepared for conflict and can be emotionally strengthened by it. Ultimately we know the deal when we choose to comment.

  5. hey bro thanks for the blog comment you should check out my other ones. I just would like some positive statements please no more dumb comments it just makes me look better. btw i like your Omish beard

  6. i did not choose to be a subject of your debate this was stolen from my site. i was unwilling people have the right to there own moral views and belief systems. understand i don’t want my blog on here. as for mac princess she is right.

  7. Joseph – You decided to release it into a publicly-viewable domain (your site), when you do that you cannot restrain the public from talking about it, it’s not even possible to, and you have to accept that as a consequence of the decision.

  8. hey bro thanks for the blog comment you should check out my other ones. I just would like some positive statements please no more dumb comments it just makes me look better. btw i like your Omish beard. // i did not choose to be a subject of your debate this was stolen from my site. i was unwilling people have the right to there own moral views and belief systems. understand i don’t want my blog on here. as for mac princess she is right.

    If the comment was dumb and made him look “better” why did he remove it?

    I read Les’ response above. I have to say, unlike the other comments Joseph received, it was well written and thought out. So that leaves me to believe that Joseph removed the comment to protect his fragile ego and his shallow Christian faith.  I’m not really all that surprised though. Anyone who needs a spam letter to reinforce their faith, would be most afraid to have their ideals so wholly challenged.

  9. MM- Perhaps both are caused by the same thing, or maybe in part their subculture is more casual on that issue (here and in the atheist community it seems more looked down upon because of the assumption that one is indicative of the other, as intellectual snobbism).

    It doesn’t affect the level of validity of the points itself, let go of that you think about a person to deal with the pure issue.

    Terrorance- Anyone who needs a spam letter to reinforce their faith, would be most afraid to have their ideals so wholly challenged

    Good point, they’re actually afraid, it undermines their security, what’s keeping them sane. It needs a dramatic forceful event to force them to deal with it and find another route to sanity

  10. Elwed, not surprising at all that it’s gone. I expected as much.

    Macprincess, you’re certainly entitled to your opinion no matter how wrong it happens to be. I apologize if I was wrong in thinking you wanted the truth and not just empty platitudes to make you feel warm and fuzzy about us nasty atheists. I should’ve known better.

    Joseph, it would take a lot more than this to make you look better based on the content and form of your replies thus far. My statement was positive, but you can’t seem to handle having your beliefs challenged. As for the content being stolen from your site, hardly. I’ve already pointed out that you’re hardly the first to post said content and you added next to nothing original to it. I’m willing to bet you either saw it someplace else and copied it or you got it in an email. Various forms of it have been around for years as can be seen in this entry on Snopes.com. Again, like Macprincess, you’re entitled to your views no matter how idiotic they are, but if you post them on the Internet where the public at large can see them then I have a right to point out what an idiot you are for holding them.

  11. hey bro first off i liked your beard thats why i posted and how come you didn’t post the original content. oh and challeng my belefs all you want i like free speech. Your very inteligent i like that but im not i have no answers i simply like this blog.

    you want an example of stuped look at me im a drop out i just like cool stuff. and please comment on my other stuff just limit it. i think that was longer than my blog.

    ps thanks for the comments

  12. Well, I have to admit, you’ve come up with an argument I can’t refute in that last comment. Thanks for the beard compliment.

  13. Joseph – don’t give up on youself, you can match us if you have the determination to analyse the world, give yourself a chance, we’ll give you all the time you need, we’ll provide you with thoughts and vice versa.

    Anyone is capable of virtually anything as long as they’re determined. As long as you’re determined you’ll ultimately succeed at whatever you’re trying to do, within the limits of science of course

  14. The follwing from me is waiting moderation on Josephp304’s blog

    Sorry, but this fiction has all the intellectual rigour of “Barry Bonds has never won a Superbowl, ergo Barry Bonds is not a sports man.”

    1) It would be perfectly possible to sense the professors brain, though he would probably be resistant to the idea of cranial surgery.  Perhaps the student could go first?

    2) Cold is a superlative that decribes a perception. Cold is just a temperature that the perceiver defines to himself, not a fixed temperature.  An Eskimo has a different definition of cold to a Egyptian. Hot/Cold is a personal thing, where temperature is a constant that can be defined in precise scientific terms.  Conversly religeon defines ‘Good’ and ‘evil’ as things in themselves.  However absence of one does not mean that the other replaces it.  If I play say Tetris, a game with no moral message one way or the other, I am not being Good, but nor am I being Evil, yet if God is Good and absence of God is Evil, then I must be one or the other.  If someone commits an evil act in the name of god (genuinely believing it to be divine command), is that an evil act?

    3) Evolution has been observed over a number of different time periods, both in nature and in the lab.  The evidence of evolution is fairly solidly understood, and biologists are able to make predictions in advance of testing new species, which the empirical evidence bears out.

    3.5)Re scientific ‘proof’. 1,000 years ago lightning was not understood. The explanation was that a god of some form did it.  Today we know that lightning is build up of static electricity caused by water molecules rubbing together, which then earths itself.  This leads to 1 of three possibilities. i)It’s always been static electricity, the god explanation was always wrong. ii) a god used to do it, until we figured out the physics, then he put it on auto or iii)Physics is wrong, a god still does it.  My point is absence of full understanding does not imply God, it merely shows our lack of knowledge.  Where Science conflicts with the ‘godidit’ explanation why should we continue to believe that the god actually did it?  Faith is belief in the absence of evidence.  Given that there can be no evidence, or faith would not be needed, why should we believe any one religeon to the exclusivity of all others.  Why is faith is Ganesh less than Faith in Yahweh?

  15. I don’t know if my comment will make it there, either, so here it is, for what it’s worth.

    The problem is that the story (which is just a silly chain letter that’s been passed around the internet for years) doesn’t make logical sense. I’m a Christian, and I don’t appreciate either the leaps of logic the “professor” tries to make or those of the student. The former uses simplistic views of God and religion in a parody of “what atheists believe” to make him sound like he’s initially got the upper hand, but leaving the supposedly Christian reader with a feeling of “ah ha! we’ve got him now!” The latter is just ignorant of science and makes the comparison that faith in God (or any divine being or force) is the same thing as belief in obvious natural principles that have been (or can be) easily proven.

    It doesn’t do anyone of faith any kind of service to display such foolishness. It just makes it harder on those of us with a brain AND faith in God to be heard over the din of Bible-thumping morons who proudly wear their stupidity like a badge of honor.

  16. A most excellent response, Solonor.

    I feel a little bad about picking on poor Joseph here as it’s clear he’s an easy target. Especially when so many others appear to be falling for the same nonsense.

  17. (MM) Why are Christians so often illiterate?

    You should rephrase this to read: Why are the fundamentalist Christians coming to this site or engaging in apologia elsewhere so often illiterate?

    As far as I know, there’s a negative correlation between a higher education and adherence to religious belief. I suspect that this negative correlation is particularly pronounced for fundamentalists.

  18. Solonor: It just makes it harder on those of us with a brain AND faith in God to be heard over the din of Bible-thumping morons who proudly wear their stupidity like a badge of honor

    Thinking about it, emotions (of self) reign high for a fundie. Maybe they have faith because they need it?

    Ignorance can protect pride, maybe emotions are feuling the barrier to what we’re trying to do (fear of the loss of pride and security, etc), cut that emotional connection and the resistence will stop, but only time and scenario can make that cut, even then gradually

    Les: Especially when so many others appear to be falling for the same nonsense.

    I think Joseph didn’t need as much work as some of the others, all need to reach that point, but I agree that he’s moved up a league and so is lower priority and also agree that with that comes a different approach with the different set of needs.

    Helping victims (which he was) is one thing but stopping the root cause bigots is not a role I am easily capable of with words unless I can force them to think. They need emotional feedback more than anything.

  19. Bahamat: Anyone is capable of virtually anything as long as they’re determined.

    That’s a popular misconception.  Determination doesn’t beat incompetence

    Les: Especially when so many others appear to be falling for the same nonsense.

    It’s been on again/off again for me, but I was just writing about that today because some troll said something stupid on my blog in a comment about my Sylvia Browne post.  Here they were, spewing skepticism about my documented arguments while defending the kookiness of a pretend psychic.  It got me thinking that people must believe skepticism is impolite, and so many are therefore overly trusting and willing to give kooks the benefit of the doubt.  In addition, flame bait posts like the one on joseph’s blog just reinforce the stereotype of the impolite, atheist, skeptical scientist who has a fundamentally flawed (ie – not christian) worldview.

  20. MP: That’s a popular misconception.  Determination doesn’t beat incompetence.

    Rocognising and attempting to end incompetence as far as possible is one thing you’d do automatically if you were determined. People are often capable of far more than they’d ever willingly push themselves to, I have yet to see anybody hit their peak potential

  21. you forgot to mention his incredibly flawed evolution argument. we didn’t evolve from monkeys, there was a species which split humans from monkeys, the missing link. it didnt go monkey > human, but X > monkey and X > human

    i think ;o

  22. Joseph

    So sad…an extra inthe play of life who has not realized his true state.
    But you do advance the plot.

  23. I will always believe in the rights of people to have “faith” in whatever imaginary friend they want to have. Whatever lets you sleep well at night, and whatever makes you feel better about death just being the end of existence. My right to look down on you as an absolute fool will always be exercised.

  24. Well. I am a new kid on the internet block, and I for one have never seen this spam email, nor am I any sort of fundamentalist. I do believe in God quite strongly, and it is of my own mind and extensive thinking that I have come to that conclusion, in defiance of my mother’s fundamentalist Cathaholicism. Well, not in defiance of, but she sure thinks so…heh….
    Anyways, my two bits I’d like to add are as follows:
    Am I the only one who realizes that this story is not presenting evolution or the whole existence-of-a-brain arguments as something literal? I mean, COME ON, how many of you people have ever actually had an intelligent argument? Quite a few, I bet, and I also bet you used the structure of the statements of the person you opposed in your own arguments, and i bet you did so to make yourself sound far more correct than the other person. It doesn’t really matter if the story is true or not, and I personally don’t see how the student is saying that evolution does not exist, nor do I see how the student is calling for a literal examination to find the professor’s brain. The student makes his points using the logic process of the teacher, which is the best way to win an argument(without shooting someone in the face) as far as I know of: using their methods against them to show them how foolhardy they are. (btw, did you see how I used humor? or do you think I’d actually pull a gun on somebody? I mean, I’d THINK I was doing a good job of presenting myself as an intellectual, not some vulgarly violent vandal

    )
    Also, one more thing for the aspiring compulsive typist (that’s me) to say: does it really matter how well Joeseph can defend his blog? Isn’t it a little low to attack him personally? Aren’t we all just exploring the concepts he presented? Sheesh, if that isn’t what you guys set out to do, then I would put money on this comment falling on deaf ears.
      I’d love to hear you guys’ replies, it is my passionate desire to debate intelligently, but too few people do it well, smile, and i have been “lobbying” the idea that church is a foolish way to celebrate God, and that a good chat and a prayer between a small group of believers is incredibly more appropriate, and as a guest speaker at my girlfriend’s church plugs: isn’t that how people worshipped Jesus before it was a legal, worldwide faith? Behind closed doors, using secret passwords to show their faith to one another? It wasn’t until the roman empire, or rather, Constantine, embraced Christianity that it became a ritualized religion.
      Well that’s all I feel like typing for now, so toss as many pissed off, aetheist comments at me as you please, I’ll field as many as possible, and seriously, I was an aethiest for about two-thirds of my short, 18-year-old, life… not that my mother didn’t try to make me otherwise… heh…
      I apologize for any typos i made, as i am a great speller, but a crappy typist.

  25. Les, these are excellent comments of yours. It is good of you to take the time to hold the ridiculous up to account.

    Joseph is remarkably derelict, in his chain letter that you cite, in cavalierly evading the problem of evil.  The existence of evil is actually a major philosophical problem for Christians and other deists.

    The problem of evil is this: If God does not know there is evil, he is not omniscient. If God knows there is evil but cannot prevent it, he is not omnipotent. If God knows there is evil and can prevent it but desires not to, he is not omnibenevolent. If God is all-knowing and all-powerful, we must consequently conclude that God is not all-good. 

    The existence of evil in the universe excludes this possibility.  Indeed, it makes of God an absurd compendium of contradictions. Any attempt to absolve God of the responsibility for evil by claiming that, as deists sometimes do, “there is no such thing as evil”, or, as joseph (even less intelligently) does, “Evil is simply the absence of God”, is a bad joke.

  26. Heeheehee, i do so love your argument Mr. Dalton.
    See, this is my view on the whole “God doesn’t give a shit” mentality:
    I think God is kinda like a programmer, who makes a program and lets it run, making little adjustments where prudent, but more or less letting the little bytes run around doing as they will, with a few pushes for the ones that are willing to let him. And there, is what i call, “the Skeptic’s Quandry:” (caps make it look official, eh?) If a person does not wanna believe something, the wonders of the human brain let them enter a nice comfy state of denial, i.e. If a person does not WANT to see the genius behind a Picasso, they most certainly WON’T. In fact, the whole point of argument, in my opinion, is to make another person WANT to follow your ideals.
    See, there is a fundamental philosophical debate you fellas are skipping, and it has been the subject of lotsa stuff, not that my spazzy mind can recall specifics, heh… But ya, my point is: What is the freakin point of having good OR evil if the other does not exist? Wouldn’t the nonexistence of either of the two render the existence of the other useless and, in fact also nonexistent? The connotations of the words, “good and evil” may be a little out of proportion in some peoples minds compared to my idea of the concepts, that they are just basic concepts of right and wrong (which I would love to debate about also, if anyone is so inclined) but let me get to my main point:
      If God was supposed to make us all do the right thing, would we know how much better it is for us? would we know then, how radically better it feels to do the right thing? I would rather give my child (hypotheical one) a cigarette if he asks than merely tell him it is horribly bad for him. That was a point drawn from a lovely little Calvin and Hobbes strip. My child would be disgusted by the cigarette and would therefore be conditioned against such a habit, as I am. I smoked for two whole years before a friend made me drop the habit, and it IS hard to deny the easy pleasures of something that is bad for a person, but the ones that are on the higher shelf are much more satisfying to work for. But I digress… what I am saying is this: does a person not appreciate good more strongly when all they have known is evil? That is somewhat of an extreme example, but isn’t it true that using a little extra force to make a point quite often helps? A little gentle pressure? I am saying that God, whose mind I ain’t privy to, probably allows evil so that we have choice. i dunno, i ain’t no college professor, so my points are proly gonna get all picked apart by you big bad cynics, but do i mind? no. i really don’t. i won’t hold a gun to your heads and tell you to believe, i won’t slash your tires if you cuss me out, and i won’t make you beg for the mercy of my God, lol you guys are probably going to kick my butt for not being direct and to the point, but hey, i got adhd, and my mind is all over the place, so sorry… raspberry And if you guys are all aetheists, why do you CARE if god exists or not? Doesn’t the mere act of arguing make youthat much less of an aetheist? makes ya seem kinda preachy in fact, and rather stodgy, lol see there i go jumpin on the insult bandwagon…i bette cut myself off before i get too creative in telling you guys how i think it is wrong to attack the poor fella for not being as much of a brainiac as you guys, ya friggin elitists. raspberry

  27. I think its kinda funny that this guy deleted your comment because It obviously made much more sense. I also like how someone said, He only deleted it because it was long. I was actually going to post a comment but then I realized, with all the proof that we have that should have convinced them by now that they are wrong, why would they listen to me. But much respect for your comment!

  28. I really like both the student-teacher arguement and the comment Les left towards it. It only goes toward refining what’s already there so that eventually it will be totally flawless.

    All I wanted to say is something concerning the arguement of proving that God exists and being able to see him. I do not agree with what the original arguement stated. I am a strong supporter of Christ (I don’t want to say Christian since society today has absolutely corrupted the term itself in televsion shows, on the Internet, and somehow the radio too).

    Anyways, how would somebody who does not believe that God exists be able to see Him? God would not trully reveal Himself to anybody unwilling to listen. I have only been to one missions trip in my life but I learned so much from it: God is real.

    One thing I don’t really understand is this: how come Christianity is the one religion everybody picks on? There are OH SO MANY OTHER ONES that are more controversial than Christianity. I know – it’s the major religion. But if I told you that less than 6% of all Christians in the world are really Christians, or a.k.a. Believers in Christ, what would you say? All the other ones just say they are Christians because it’s in their culture. They can’t defend Christianity because they do not have the faith, the passion, the guidance, nor the leadership for such a task. They don’t see a purpose in it except for going to church and falling asleep? or maybe lighting candles to saints and praying to Mary for the protection of their families? But that’s another story. My point is, if atheists are attacking Christianity just because it’s the most wide-spread religion, then they are attacking all those 94% of Christians who don’t really care AND all those fervent 6% who do. Therefore we narrow the number of people even more, so now Christians are even fewer than the smaller religions. You might say, well, if we used this analogy it would mean the same thing for the other religions as well, but alas it does not. Religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, and even Islam are an actual part of the government and politics of the certain countries they are a official religion of. The vast majority of citizens of those countries take into account those religions and therefore most, if not all people believe in them since it’s in their daily life. Muslims are called to pray every day. Everybody does it, so therefore it must be right. While Christianity on the other hand, that’s usually considered a “free-choice religion.” Not everybody does it. We in America and also the country I come from, do not have prayer in school nor in the public, therefore religion is not involved in those 2 countries. My point is though, on the premise of majority, atheists would be better off just criticizing all religion and making a HECK of a good arguement if they are going to do it too!

    If I am right, doesn’t atheism mean the belief in nothing? Therefore, why would somebody even argue for or against something if the only thing there is …is generally… nothing? no god, no afterlife. Doesn’t it sound scary?… no afterlife… Many religions…. oh so many have called towards afterlife as their main goal and main purpose in life (except Buddhism). To me, an afterlife where I wouldn’t exist would be.. I have thought about this so many nights when i couldn’t fall asleep… “what would it be like if I didn’t exist?” I know I am writing a lot all at once but ideas just come out of so many places, that I am super thankful I took typing class raspberry My thoughts on the previously stated question are very scientific. (By the way I am studying to become a scientist so HERE I COME!!! haha) The Law of Conservation of Matter in the Universe is a law, not a hypothesis. It is a law. Matter is kept equal throughout the Universe, so therefore if the mind is matter, like somebody posted up in the older comments, then wouldn’t it mean that when an individual dies, his or her mind/soul would be stil conserved somewhere? I jsut wonders what atheists believe in because even their thoughts are very full of flaws, yet they are so busy picking out the flaws of Christianity that they are totally ignoring their own “religion’s” flaws, and believe me there are many.

    Well, that was an awfully long comment and I only meant to write a couple of lines for the sake of my boyfriend who posted a couple of comments up top. Sorry to make you all read this, I know the backfround and this font kind of hearts the eyes, I know mine started hurting so I had to put the font on large. Thanks for your time

  29. God would not trully reveal Himself to anybody unwilling to listen.

    Told you this himself did he?

    One thing I don’t really understand is this: how come Christianity is the one religion everybody picks on?

    This statement is so wrong it’s laughable. In my city there are plenty of religions and we atheists pick on all of them. Perhaps you only notice people picking on christianity because it’s the most influential religion in your country/city/area whatever. Or more probably you’re only thin-skinned when it comes to your own religion.

    But if I told you that less than 6% of all Christians in the world are really Christians, or a.k.a. Believers in Christ, what would you say? All the other ones just say they are Christians because it’s in their culture. They can’t defend Christianity because they do not have the faith, the passion, the guidance, nor the leadership for such a task.

    Who are you to decide who is a Real True Christian™ and who is not? Maybe sheep can tell each other apart but from our perspective the only criteria for considering a person a christian is that they claim the label. And are you under the impression that the so called RTC™s are actually capable of logically defending christianity?

    Doesn’t it sound scary?… no afterlife… Many religions…. oh so many have called towards afterlife as their main goal and main purpose in life (except Buddhism). To me, an afterlife where I wouldn’t exist would be.. I have thought about this so many nights when i couldn’t fall asleep… “what would it be like if I didn’t exist?”

    So you believe a comforting lie because you’re afraid of the facing a disturbing (to you) truth. Big deal, that’s not news. We’ve know that Christianity is a religion of fear long before you showed up.

    Matter is kept equal throughout the Universe, so therefore if the mind is matter, like somebody posted up in the older comments, then wouldn’t it mean that when an individual dies, his or her mind/soul would be stil conserved somewhere?

    The mind is not matter itself but the arrangement and state of matter. It is very possible to loose something grounded in matter without loosing the matter itself. And tell me which religion claims that the mind/soul whatever actually has mass?

    I jsut wonders what atheists believe in because even their thoughts are very full of flaws, yet they are so busy picking out the flaws of Christianity that they are totally ignoring their own “religion’s” flaws, and believe me there are many.

    Atheists believe in a wide variety of things. There is no standard set of beliefs as we are not a “religion” as you put it. Since we don’t have a “religion” there are obviously no flaws in said “religion”.

  30. Tyranny and that kid: welcome.  As you might imagine, there have been quite a few discussions here about religion.  If you’re interested, you might check out the archives by clicking on the “religion” tag above.  A good sample thread is here.

    I believe I speak for most of the atheists here when I say that although I do enjoy debating the existence of God, it doesn’t really matter to me what people believe, as long as they behave nicely.  But that is precisely the problem: although religions have inspired many to make the world a better place, with great art and charitable works, religions have been and continue to be at least partially responsible for prejudice, restrictions on civil liberties, and war.  And as Julian pointed out, most of us here live in countries where Christianity is the main religion, so it comes in for more than its fair share of knocks.

    That kid: your answer to the problem of evil in religion (if you google “theodicy” you’ll find all kinds of stuff about it) is pretty much the standard one given by apologists: evil must exist, so we can know good, or choose to be good.  Another answer is that what seems to be evil is actually, ultimately, part of God’s goodness, because good comes from it.  The problem many have with these answers is that there seems to be much more evil, most of which is unfairly or randomly dealt, than one might imagine necessary.  Of course, the pat answer is that Heaven is there to reward suffering.  But that begs the question: why is there an earthly life at all, if we could all just have been born in Heaven?

    Tyranny- good luck with becoming a scientist.  It’s a lot of work, but well worth it.  Cheers from Vienna, zilch.

  31. Picking up at the end:

    My point is though, on the premise of majority, atheists would be better off just criticizing all religion and making a HECK of a good arguement if they are going to do it too!

    Atheists do criticize all religion, it just so happens that we criticize the religion that’s in our face most the most—Christianity.

    As far as the argument goes, you have the burden of proof backwards. And for that matter, I have yet to come across a good argument for theism and new and original thought on the side of the believers is rare to non-existent.

    If I am right, doesn’t atheism mean the belief in nothing? Therefore, why would somebody even argue for or against something if the only thing there is …is generally… nothing? no god, no afterlife.

    You are mistaken. All that makes an atheist an atheist is that he or she does not affirm the existence of a deity. Although Jonathan Miller nailed it in his series A Brief History of Disbelief:

    “I’m reluctant to use the word atheist to describe my own unshakable disbelief. And that’s not because I’m ashamed, afraid, or even embarrassed, but simply because it seems so self-evident and true to me that there is no god that giving that conviction a special title somehow dignifies what it denies. After all, we don’t have a special word for people who don’t believe in ghosts or witches.

    Other than their disbelief, no two atheists are likely to believe in the exact same things. It’s easier to herd cats.

    Doesn’t it sound scary? … no afterlife…

    Being non-existing will be as much of a bother the second time around as it was the first time. What’s so scary about that?

    The Law of Conservation of Matter in the Universe is a law, not a hypothesis. It is a law.

    You are mistaken again. Scientific theories that are considered laws are not absolutes; it just so happens that they are so fundamental to our understanding of nature that if they were shown to be deficient, the whole body of scientific knowledge would need to be rewritten. Thus, calling a scientific theory a law expresses a measure of confidence.

    Claiming that a law of physics is violated is a case of “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”…

    I jsut wonders what atheists believe in because even their thoughts are very full of flaws, yet they are so busy picking out the flaws of Christianity that they are totally ignoring their own “religion’s” flaws, and believe me there are many.

    I don’t believe you. I’ll leave it to somebody else to call you on the “very full of flaws”, but I doubt anything not previously debated on this site alone will be forthcoming.

    Sorry to make you all read this, I know the backfround and this font kind of hearts the eyes, I know mine started hurting so I had to put the font on large.

    I took me a few tries to parse this. Here’s a hint: “Select all” to invert to colors.

  32. What Julian, Zilch, and Elwed said. They beat me to it this time.

    Harry, it would help if we had a clue whom you’re referring to.

  33. (mixed but mainly for That kid because I feel I can make more contribution there)

    Dave: My right to look down on you as an absolute fool will always be exercised.

    Won’t you get sick+tired of disdain eventually?

    That kid: Well, not in defiance of, but she sure thinks so…heh….

    Sometimes people are determined to feel the minority

    That kid: student makes his points using the logic process of the teacher, which is the best way to win an argument

    And it’s more generally more likely to work, answers their questions, knows what they will permit, evades their barriers…

    does it really matter how well Joeseph can defend his blog? Isn’t it a little low to attack him personally?

    I agree – it’s done it’s job, and few things really matter (in fact the only things that matter are feelings)

    Carl Dalton: The problem of evil is this: If God does not know there is evil, he is not omniscient. If God knows there is evil but cannot prevent it, he is not omnipotent. If God knows there is evil and can prevent it but desires not to, he is not omnibenevolent. If God is all-knowing and all-powerful, we must consequently conclude that God is not all-good.

    Good point, we know something is wrong in order for there to be problems in the world and a need to improve. It’s also imperfect that it should require time to improve (not be instantaneous). If god is not omnipitent, he must be contained within overriding rules like the rest of us. It’s possible to have afterlife without god too… everyone being like us, starting from scratch

    That kid: I think God is kinda like a programmer, who makes a program and lets it run, making little adjustments where prudent

    And intervention would violate one of those rules or make it impossible for atheism to exist (which he might wish). Could be a dreamer…

    That kid: In fact, the whole point of argument, in my opinion, is to make another person WANT to follow your ideals

    One way is to get them fired up so they feel compelled to respond, and hence must read and think on what you say in order to respond

    That kid: Wouldn’t the nonexistence of either of the two render the existence of the other useless and, in fact also nonexistent? The connotations of the words, “good and evil” may be a little out of proportion in some peoples minds compared to my idea of the concepts

    I don’t think good and evil really exist, though people tend to strive for peace in their own mind and will do good things for the selfish reason of appeasing guilt. It’s useful to look at what the intentions are – what was the person trying to achieve or do? – that way it’s possible to put good motives behind deeds that make people upset – like vengence can teach people the effect they’re having, generally upsetting someone could be an attempt to mentally strengthen them and cut their dependancies, etc…

    That kid:  I would rather give my child (hypotheical one) a cigarette if he asks than merely tell him it is horribly bad for him

    Experience is deeper and more permanent than conditioning, I suppose, and people will do it for their own reason

    That kid: but isn’t it true that using a little extra force to make a point quite often helps? A little gentle pressure?

    If it highlights what you’re trying to say over the distracting background noise…

    That kid: and my mind is all over the place, so sorry

    A wandering mind explores concepts freely

    Tyranny: God would not trully reveal Himself to anybody unwilling to listen

    Why? Don’t they need it more? Or is it just their choice?

  34. The Kid/Tyranny

    Dawkins best explains why we are athiests. Folks here have seen this before from me, but it bears repeating to each new “why atheism” comment.

    Do you believe in Shiva, Thor, Ganesh, Ra, Osiris, Odin, Zeus, Jupiter?

    When you understand why you do not, then you will understand you are an athiest too.  We choose to go one God further.

  35. sorry… it is exactly as I said it.

    If God was to just poke his head out of the clouds and say “HEY PEOPLE!! I EXIST SEE ME NOW?” After some time, people will STILL doubt his existance and claim it was something made up from “the higher council of Christians” to fool the world there is a god. So why should he prove himself to those not willing to listen? Those who have never seen miracles, never will, and will laugh at those who have and rejoice in them. I have seen miracles of healing happen before my very eyes and I know it is not fake. hahahahahahahahahaha. and of course people blame it all on being psycho. I hate arguing about religion. Religion is not meant to be argued about. it is not. and I can tell you this: I don’t push people because i don’t see the point. It is not for everyone and it is not meant to be debated. it is meant to be shared and thought about, not debated. Debating is not a process of thinking about it, it is a process of resisting it. this is a decision meant to be from the heart, and don’t call me stupid, I am going in the field of astrophysics. the more you debate on something the more it loses its power. I agree with what the kid (why in the world did he chose a stupid name like that) that the more evil pne’s had in their life the more they appreciate god. but it’s not for everybody so if you guys don’t like it, don’t bother. it’s a personal choice, I was just wondering some questions I’ve had. All the atheists I have encountered in my life worked SO HARD in trying to persuade me god doesn’t exist and all I said to them was that I believed in Jesus Christ, not a word more. Is it because they feel insecure and they think that the image of a christian set forth on tv is how all christians are? but they all wanted to actually force me into believing differently without me saying even a single word. and I mean not just 2-3 people but 20.

    By the way, did anybody watch Osama Ben Laden’s newest message to America?  he said that if america accepts the Muslim faith, he’ll leave them alone.

  36. by the way I really want to hear your views on god and stuff i just want to hear your opinion because every atheist i have talked to seemed to want to strangle me and looked down on me, so all they did was criticize every single thing i do, like I was something less. I jsut want to hear the whole opinion for once in my life, so I know why my best friend and I are being looked down on when we talk about it amongst ourselves, which is outrageous.

    thanks

  37. This will be painful because it needs to be, beyond these issues you’re more than welcome to learn our side, but these need sorting out:

    Tyranny: So why should he prove himself to those not willing to listen?

    Why should he give a damn about the people who do believe in him?
    Besides, if he was kind and patient he wouldn’t bar people off out of frustration

    Those who have never seen miracles, never will

    You give up on people who you can’t yet reach, you write them off. Would god do that?

    hahahahahahahahahah

    You seem like a happy fellow

    I hate arguing about religion. Religion is not meant to be argued about. it is not.

    It’s not meant to be questioned? We’re supposed to just accept whatever the vatican tells us to believe? From mortals with their own interests?

    it is meant to be shared and thought about, not debated

    As long as it goes in the direction you want it to, eh? Still debate is one mechanism of sharing thoughts which you have previously thought about, sure, people resist, but a skilled debator can force them into a corner and force them to think about it in order to reply with saved dignity.

    and don’t call me stupid, I am going in the field of astrophysics

    Because it hurts? That doesn’t imply whether it’s true or not, though it does imply you can’t handle emotional pressure. BTW I’m in chemistry.

    the more you debate on something the more it loses its power

    Something isn’t any less true because someone debated it more – If you continuously debated the same astrophysics that wouldn’t make it any less true, would it?

    (why in the world did he chose a stupid name like that)

    It’s his bloody choice, why do you care? What right do you have to alter his decisions or make him feel bad when he hasn’t done anything.

    but it’s not for everybody so if you guys don’t like it, don’t bother

    Again, a loving god would write people off? Not even give them a chance? Not acknowledge any change they’ve made because they ‘missed their chance’ and now your not going to help them?

    he said that if america accepts the Muslim faith, he’ll leave them alone.

    Become a slave to me and you’ll suffer less negativity? Endure a painful life as a slave or else suffer more painful consequences for abandonment or suicide? Why does it always have to be negative? If we didn’t have a choice about being created what the fuck right does god have to expect things of us?

  38. Tyranny writes…

    If God was to just poke his head out of the clouds and say “HEY PEOPLE!! I EXIST SEE ME NOW?” After some time, people will STILL doubt his existance and claim it was something made up from “the higher council of Christians” to fool the world there is a god. So why should he prove himself to those not willing to listen?

    So you’re suggesting here that God is incapable of providing reasonable proof of his existence? There’s nothing he could do to convince people he actually exists? Not much of a “all-powerful” God then.

    Pray tell then you can explain the relevance of Doubting Thomas? And if God was willing to prove himself to Tom then why not anyone else?

    Those who have never seen miracles, never will, and will laugh at those who have and rejoice in them. I have seen miracles of healing happen before my very eyes and I know it is not fake.

    Seen anyone regenerate a lost limb? That’d make me a believer pretty damn quick. Yet these healing miracles are always of the sort that are hard to verify or which can go into regression or which tend not to be healed at all on further inspection by qualified physicians. Hard to fake a regenerated limb. Why does God hate amputees?

    hahahahahahahahahaha. and of course people blame it all on being psycho.

    Given the above, is it any wonder?

    I hate arguing about religion. Religion is not meant to be argued about. it is not. and I can tell you this: I don’t push people because i don’t see the point. It is not for everyone and it is not meant to be debated. it is meant to be shared and thought about, not debated. Debating is not a process of thinking about it, it is a process of resisting it.

    I disagree. Debate is a means of discussing an idea to judge its worth. If the idea has merit it will stand up to debate and if it doesn’t then folks will get upset and say it’s not something you’re supposed to debate about.

    this is a decision meant to be from the heart, and don’t call me stupid, I am going in the field of astrophysics. the more you debate on something the more it loses its power.

    Stupid ideas often lose their allure when held up to scrutiny, it’s true. That’s an argument in favor of debate rather than against it.

    I agree with what the kid (why in the world did he chose a stupid name like that) that the more evil pne’s had in their life the more they appreciate god.

    I’d say that the more evil one has had in their life the more they take comfort in wishful thinking, but that’s human nature.

    All the atheists I have encountered in my life worked SO HARD in trying to persuade me god doesn’t exist and all I said to them was that I believed in Jesus Christ, not a word more. Is it because they feel insecure and they think that the image of a christian set forth on tv is how all christians are? but they all wanted to actually force me into believing differently without me saying even a single word. and I mean not just 2-3 people but 20.

    I’m not trying to convince you otherwise, you’re free to hold whatever delusions you find comfort in. But allow me to ask you this as a rebuttal:

    Say you have a friend who’s all excited because he just saw an ad for some Magic Beans on eBay that he says will grow a giant beanstalk when he plants them that will allow him to climb up into the clouds and steal a giant’s magic goose that lays golden eggs. The beans will cost him around $3,000 to buy and he’s off to get a loan so he can snap them up before anyone else does.

    It’s a harmless delusion based entirely on wishful thinking, might cost him a couple of grand, but otherwise won’t really do anything bad to him. Do you let him buy the beans or do you point out what an idiot he is?

    By the way, did anybody watch Osama Ben Laden’s newest message to America?  he said that if america accepts the Muslim faith, he’ll leave them alone.

    This is relevant to this discussion in what way? Other than pointing out someone deluded with a different religion?

    by the way I really want to hear your views on god and stuff i just want to hear your opinion because every atheist i have talked to seemed to want to strangle me and looked down on me, so all they did was criticize every single thing i do, like I was something less. I jsut want to hear the whole opinion for once in my life, so I know why my best friend and I are being looked down on when we talk about it amongst ourselves, which is outrageous.

    I don’t look down on you nor do I think any less of you for believing in God, but I am unsure what opinions you want to hear. Being that I don’t believe in God it’s hard to list off what I don’t believe in about him. If you present your definition of God then I’ll tell you what I don’t accept as true, but as every God is different depending on who’s defining it I can only tell you that I’ve seen no evidence of any kind of a God of any of the proposed religions thus far.

  39. Astrophysics, Hmm a study that shows that what many held as an article of faith (a universe 6000 years old) is wrong.  The response is one of three things.

    Science is wrong, it must be because it contradicts the bible. (Young Earthers). Aside from the fact it doesn’t fit with your mythology what evidence is there that science is wrong?  “Does it agree with xxx?” is not a good way to test anything. if science shows one thing, and the bible another, why choose the bible, how do you know it’s infallible?

    When Genisis says a day (as in “on the first day”) it actually means millions or billions of years.  So why say Day, why mislead for hundreds of years?

    Some of the facts are wrong, but it doesn’t alter other facts. So how do you know which facts are correct?

  40. The concept of god is undefined. No one can say what it is, because that places limits on it. No one can say what it isn’t, because that also undermines the idea. Without being able to define god, believers in that idea can only say your mind is too small and cannot conceive of it. But they can not assign specific characteristics to what they believe in. So that god has no particular definition, no particular characteristics, it is nothing in particular. But as Nathaniel Branden pointed out, to be nothing in particular is not to be. If cold then is the absence of heat, darkness the absence of light, and to go further, a vacuum is the absence of substance, then the undefined is the absence of knowledge and understanding. There’s nowhere else to go.

  41. If God was to just poke his head out of the clouds and say “HEY PEOPLE!! I EXIST SEE ME NOW?” After some time, people will STILL doubt his existance and claim it was something made up from “the higher council of Christians” to fool the world there is a god.

    Have any evidence of that? For someone claiming to be “going in science” you make a lot of unfounded assumptions.

    I hate arguing about religion. Religion is not meant to be argued about. it is not. and I can tell you this: I don’t push people because i don’t see the point. It is not for everyone and it is not meant to be debated. it is meant to be shared and thought about, not debated.

    Then what are you doing debating about religion on a website where people debate about religion? I guess you mean that you want to be allowed to preach without having to deal with anyone calling your bullshit. Not going to happen here.

    this is a decision meant to be from the heart, and don’t call me stupid, I am going in the field of astrophysics.

    Stupid is as stupid preaches. Don’t make stupid remarks and you won’t be called stupid. Claiming to be going in the field of astrophysics or neurosurgery for that matter won’t cut you any slack.

    All the atheists I have encountered in my life worked SO HARD in trying to persuade me god doesn’t exist and all I said to them was that I believed in Jesus Christ, not a word more.Is it because they feel insecure and they think that the image of a christian set forth on tv is how all christians are? but they all wanted to actually force me into believing differently without me saying even a single word.

    Strange. From here it looks like it’s you who is broadcasting your (unsolicited) beliefs on a website you know is frequented by atheists. It’s you working SO HARD to persuade us that god exists. You did not say “I believe in JC” and not a word more….you keep making assumptions about atheism and atheists, not to mention calling it a religion. By your logic I guess it means you’re insecure about your beliefs. And BTW I think your god has something to say about lying so don’t make statements like:

    but they all wanted to actually force me into believing differently without me saying even a single word.

    .
    Before you said a single word, I doubt that any of the atheists here knew or cared about whether you existed or not. And I still don’t think that anyone here cares what you believe. But if you spew garbage here, you’re going to get called on it.

    By the way, did anybody watch Osama Ben Laden’s newest message to America?  he said that if america accepts the Muslim faith, he’ll leave them alone.

    What does this have to do with anything? And learn to use paragraphs for the love of Thor.

  42. You want poetic?  This is poetic- the Ballad of Japing Jesus, by Oliver St. John Gogarty:

    I’m the queerest young fellow that ever you heard.
    My mother’s a jew, my father’s a bird.
    With Joseph the joiner I cannot agree,
    So here’s to disciples and Calvary.

    If anyone thinks that I amn’t divine
    He’ll get no free drinks when I’m making the wine
    But have to drink water and wish it were plain
    That I make when the wine becomes water again.

    Goodbye, now, goodbye. Write down all I said
    And tell Tom, Dick and Harry I rose from the dead.
    What’s bred in the bone cannot fail me to fly
    And Olivet’s breezy . . . Goodbye, now, Goodbye.

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