Anonymous Strikes Again!
It's as if Anonymous hasn't read the rest of this blog at all. I'm going to respond here to his latest nonsensical comment.
Besides arguing with someone whose best defense is "I'm right and you're wrong"
isn't really much of a debate.
I couldn't agree more. When are you going to stop using that defense, then? After all, I've written over 250 articles on this blog and you have yet to actually refute a single argument I have made. Methinks he doth protest too much.
You still can't disprove the existence of God any more than you can prove the
big bang (it remains even when taught in school, a theory).
I'll take theist canards for $500, Alex! For the umpteenth time, the one making the claim is the one who must provide evidence for the claim. I can't disprove the existence of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, or a teapot in orbit around Mars, but I can safely discount that any of these things exist until sufficient evidence is presented. Note I did not say "proof." Proofs exist only in mathematics. In science, everything is provisional.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Until and unless anonymous can offer some extraordinary evidence for his extraordinary claim that a magic man lives in the sky and that his son will save me from sins that my ancestors committed, I will continue to discount his claim. Until and unless some extraordinary evidence is offered, Anonymous is simply offering no more to support his claim than, "I'm right and you're wrong." I'm not the one making a claim here. I am simply applying the same rational filter to his claim as I do to all others, and rejecting those claims with insufficient evidence.
As it was once said, "It's important to keep an open mind, but no so open your brains fall out."
In regards to the Big Bang, there is vastly more corroborated, valid evidence of the Big Bang than of any supernatural forces or entities including the Christian God. It is true that we will never be able to "prove" the Big Bang without a time machine, but we can collect sufficient evidence to make it reasonable to believe such a thing happened. The evidence is commensurate with the claim in the case of the Big Bang, unlike the claims made by theists.
Also, let me remind my readers that a "theory" is the highest state of knowledge in science. Theories do not graduate to become facts. Anonymous is attempting, as theists often do, that theories are somehow lacking compared to the facts and truth they hold. Wrong.
I believe in the big bang by the way, I just think there was more to it than a
random interaction of atoms and plasma. My little degree in physics is worth
something after all.
Here, we have it all. Passive-aggression, Argument by Authority, and bad science to boot. First off, I think Anonymous might want to get his money back on that "little" physics degree. There was no "interaction of atoms and plasma" involved with the Big Bang, my friend. Atoms and plasma didn't exist until after Big Bang occurred. And whether or not the "interactions" that caused the Big Bang were random or not has yet to be determined.
I've got to tell you and your buddies that if you view Pat Robertson and Jerry
Falwell as the pinnacles of Christian teaching, you are booing the wrong team.
They certainly don't represent the morals and beliefs I have any more than Osama
bin Laden represents the values of mainstream Islam. Every religion has it's
share of kooks, and I think that is mainly due to the man becoming larger in his
own mind than the belief which drives him. We call that fanaticism.
I don't really view anyone as the "pinnacle" of Christian teaching. But they are symptomatic of what can happen when one accepts irrational beliefs. They are Christians and they do represent the beliefs of millions of Americans. They are symptomatic of the perils of irrational belief, and I hold them up as such. If Christians don't like what Falwell and Robertson represent, they have to clean their own house. That's not my job as an outsider and critic, nor is it my job to try to tell the "good" Christians from the "bad" ones. All Christians hold irrational beliefs, and it is in a breeding ground that encourages those kinds of beliefs that Falwell and Robertson have sprung.
And, in any case, I think mainstream Christians are pretty fanatical too. States have been passing amendments banning gay marriage right and left, generally by huge margins, and on what basis do those voting think they should deny civil rights -- rights they themselves enjoy --to others?
The answer, overwhelmingly, is because of religious objections. And the vast majority of those voters are Christians. And when Christians start legislating their morality into law, especially in regards to denying freedom to others, that makes them religious fanatics in my eyes, so I have little sympathy for Anonymous on this count.
One thing I cannot figure out is why we cannot be anti-semitic, we can't be
anti-gay, and we musn't be racist nor can we offend any religion save one. Why
is it okay to mock my God and call Christians idiots and write all sorts of
drivel about them when we can't do all of these other things? My short answer is
that we're right and just ticks everybody else off.
How wonderfully self-serving. Of course it's how right Christians are that ticks everyone else off. Oh, wait. Then why do atheists and Muslims tick American Christians off so much?
Now, for a little lesson. Anti-Semitism isn't the same as being opposed to Christianity because Judaism is a religion and a race. Anti-Semitism isn't about whether the central tenets of the Jewish religion -- that Yahweh, the God of the Torah, is the one true God -- are true or not. It's about thinking that the Jews are an evil, conniving, backstabbing, money-grubbing race out destroy Gentile society and culture and take over the world. It's a whole other pile of beans.
Criticizing Christianity and saying that the Jews are vermin to be wiped out are two very different things and they are not at all comparable.
Further, victims of racism, anti-gay bigotry, and anti-Semitism have one thing in common: they are all minorities being terrorized by the power-wielding majority. Christians are the majority. They are the ones in power. Christians are governors in all 50 US states, are the majority in all 50 US state legislatures, are the majority in Congress and the US Supreme Court, and hold the Presidency. They are the ones trying to legislate their morality into law, they are the ones trying to tear down the separation of church and state, and they are the ones who want their religion to be supported by government over all others. And then they still have the gall to complain, as Anonymous does here! The persecution complex some Christians have developed despite overwhelmingly having the power in the US is quite amazing.
In a democracy (really, a republic), it is important for minorities to be free to criticize the majority, to criticize those in power. Jews, racial minorities, and gays aren't the ones in power, and racists, anti-gay bigots, and anti-Semites aren't criticizing the dominant power structure to keep in check and protect their own rights: they're picking on those weaker than themselves.
Also, I would point out that criticizing Christianity is criticizing some beliefs some people hold, but, once again, since race and sexual orientation aren't choices but are inherent, it's the difference between criticizing someone's beliefs and criticizing them. I criticize Christians and Christianity because their irrational beliefs make them do crazy things. But it's not what Jews, racial minorities, and gays do that draws the criticism of bigots: it's what they are.
But unlike Islam or Judaism or even the reincarnation cycles of Taoism and
Buddhism there is no human act which can bring us closer to God save faith in
Am I right? Well I don't know, ask me when I'm dead. I'll have to
get back to you on that one.
If you don't know, then you shouldn't believe it. If the only way for me to know is to ask a dead person, well, that's pretty much an unprovable claim, isn't it? It's pretty convenient to set a claim up there way, so that you always have a reason not to present any evidence.
My only beef with you is to blatantly call my belief phony when you've never
experienced it. That's just kind of insulting and deserves a response. That's
the only reason I'm here.
No, I didn't every call your belief "phony." I take your word that you sincerely believe. But wishing something is true doesn't make it true. Just because you believe in something doesn't mean a damn thing about whether it is true or not. Unless you can provide me some extraordinary evidence to back up your extraordinary claim, I have no reason to accept it.
And I don't need to experience your "belief" to know that the claims you are making, base don those beliefs, are almost certainly wrong. I don't have to try crawl inside the experience of every UFO nut, Muslim extremist, neo-Pagan, New Ager, Branch Davidian, Heaven's Gate cultist, Moonie, Jehovah's Witness, Scientologist, or Christian Scientist to discount their claims either. Either their claims have objective evidence that gives me a reason to accept them, or at least look into them further, or they don't. They don't. And neither do yours.
I did call your belief "irrational," however. It is irrational to believe any claim in the absence of sufficient evidence, and thus your beliefs qualify until and unless you can support them.
Did you do what I asked? Did you genuinely ask God to focus on one thing in your
life and change it for you? Probably not because that's just stupid isn't it?
You see, it's easy to discount what you've never tried. You can even start a
prayer with "This is lame but I'm doing it for science." Approach it as
empirical research. But don't knock it till you've tried it. That's all I ask.
If you don't it changes nothing, you still don't know what you're talking about
because you've never done it yourself.
No, I haven't, and I wrote an entire article on why your request is ludicrous. Did you read it? Further, I doubt that you have "tried" all the other kooky religions, such as the ones I mentioned earlier, before "knocking" them. Because, from the standpoint of a rational outsider, your religion is no more or less likely to be tre than any of theirs. So, tell you what. Send me a picture of yourself with Reverend Moon and Tom Cruise and then maybe we'll talk.
It might take the rest of your life, but I promise you that something will
change for you.
I suppose it's possible that if I spent the rest of my life trying to brainwash myself into believing things irrationally, I could, and then something would "change" for me. Why, exactly, would I want to do that? I have no more desire to delude myself with your superstitions than I do anyone else's.
God understands doubt and He wants to change it. Denial is another story.
If He wanted to change my doubt, He could do it any time He wanted. He's supposed to omnipotent, right? He could send an angel down to me like he did for Paul or take me up to Heaven like Elijah. Or He could just make it so.
If, on the other hand, He doesn't exist, then He couldn't rid me of my doubt. And I'm not rid of it.
And before you start up with all the, "you have to want to believe" and "God won't force you" and "free will" bullshit, don't bother. It's bullshit. All those arguments are transparent for what they really are: backwards justifications for why things are the way thay are despite your omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent sky fairy. Those arguments make your case worse, not better, and if you go into them, I will dismantle them one by and one and show you how and why they fail.
I'd have more tolerance and respect for you if you believed in anything other
than I'm just a stupid kook with no proof.
Well, I'm not going to abandon reason and start believing in fairy tales to earn your respect or tolerance, so if you were hoping, you can stop.
Are you just a complex chain of proteins and molecules or are you something
Just a complex chain of proteins? A pretty amazing, self-aware chain of proteins, thank you very much. Why do I have to be more? And further, even if I wanted to be more, wanting it wouldn't make it true. (Argument from Negative Consequences again).
Oh and if you think Christianity is a magic religion that bestows sugar and love
on you after you believe apparently you haven't read the bible at all or you
would realize that Paul wrote most of his letters from prison and that most of
the remaining disciples were hunted down and imprisoned or killed for their
beliefs. Magic Fun Always Happy Christians? Never heard of one. You let me know
when you find one. God never promises anyone a bowl of cherries. In fact, Jesus
Himself promised adversity for belief in Him.
...and that should make we want to become a Christian why? Those seem like pretty powerful arguments not to adopt your beliefs. They are also more backwards rationalizations for why your God, despite his immense power, doesn't actually ever do anything. And, further, either your God can't deliver a "bowl of cherries," in which case he's not much of a god anyway, or else he chooses not to, in which case he's a sadistic madman. Take your pick.
You have once again failed to engage any of my arguments with anything resembling a coherent response. Arguments from personal experience seem to be pretty much all you have in your arsenal, and they are unconvincing. Please try to come up with something a little better before you post again.