Posing a Question on Human Constructs

vulcan logic
To deny the existence of God, you are putting your full faith in logic, which is clearly a human construct. You then use this human construct (that you believe in) to deny what you say is another human construct (God, whom you don’t believe in) and to look down on believers for having faith in this particular human construct as opposed to your construct of choice. So isn’t denying God just as much an act of faith as believing in God?


This intriguing idea was posed by a very good friend of mine who was one of my professors in college. I really want to see what you all think of this. Keep in mind, this is a question posed by an agnostic who does not confirm nor deny the idea of god. So lets hear it! What do you think? I’ll be editing this post with my views later. It’s really late and I need to get to bed. Have fun while I’m gone!

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107 thoughts on “Posing a Question on Human Constructs

  1. Rana,

    You and I have had many lengthy conversations on this topic, so you’re well aware of my position on this. I’ll condense and post it here for everyone’s benefit.
    Atheism requires no belief or faith at all. It is simply the rejection of superstitious and supernatural non-sense. It is the rejection of belief, the rejection of faith (belief without evidence). This is not a belief system unto itself and never will be. Atheists take exactly the same position when dealing with matters concerning god (rejection of belief) as they take with matters concerning unicorns, leprechauns, tooth fairies, aliens and Santa Claus. In ALL cases, the amount of evidence that can be mustered to demonstrate the existence of the aforementioned entities, including ANY god is exactly the same. ZERO. Theists make an exception in the case of a god and make a virtue out of believing in non-sense without evidence. It’s an extremely curious and absolutely bizarre position to take. Now this would be bad enough if all humans could agree on a universal concept of god and whether or not to believe in it. However, what makes this type of believe even more profoundly absurd is given the fact that monotheists believe in 1 god maximum and reject all the other gods! In other words, of all the gods – the tens of thousands of gods and religions that have come and gone in the course of human history, they take the position that the one god that THEY believe in is the correct one and really exists. Christian theists are all atheists when it comes to Zeus and Wotan and Thor and Allah and Yahweh and so on and so forth – but hey man – Jesus – now he’s the real deal! What really puts it over the top, is the fact that they feel they should be RESPECTED for such a ridiculous delusion – that they shouldn’t be criticized for it. One can’t help but stand in absolute awe of the utter absurdity os such a position.
    So to sum up and make myself perfectly clear, I choose not to believe that a god exists because I haven’t been presented with any credible evidence nor have I heard any persuasive argument that hasn’t been convincingly rebutted. However for all I know, a god really does exist, but until such time as I am presented with convincing evidence, I will continue to withhold belief.

  2. Atheism is a logically incoherent position (as Richard Dawkins and Bertrand Russell both accepted). Agnosticism (in its weak form) is a philosophically coherent position for a non-theist (as is ignosticism). The final paragraph in the comment above is a perfect summation NOT of atheism, but of agnosticism. Atheism is locked on the horns of the “proof of a negative” dilemma, as it is not the statement of a hypothesis, but of a categorical. It is – as the original post quite correctly pointed out – a negative-belief system. It is NOT “withholding belief awaiting further evidence”. The clue is in the names: A-Theism (without god); A-Gnosticism (without knowing).

    • thecheesewolf,

      Atheism is NOT “locked on the horns of proof of a negaitve” AT ALL. Complete and total nonsense. Read the dictionary definition of atheism. Someone who witholds BELIEF in a god or gods. The rejection of BELIEF in a god or gods. Atheism no more requires the proof of a negative than does a-toothfariy-ism, a-santa clausism, a-alienism or any other crack-pot non-sense that someone makes up. The rejection of a belief system IS NOT a negative belief system. Because I reject the belief in a god, does not in the slightest obligate me to believe that there is no god. I don’t HAVE to believe in ANYTHING. I can withold belief in ANYTHING and EVERYTHING.
      Theism/Atheism deals with belief in god
      Gnostism/Agnosticism deals with knowledge of god
      I am an atheist. I do not believe in god. Period.
      People either inadvertently or willfully try to make this subject much more complicated than it needs to be. Its a very, very simple question. Do you believe in god? Yes or no? If you say yes, you’re either a deist or a theist depending on what you believe about this god. If you say no, you’re an atheist. It’s as simple as that.

  3. Fine. You have a simple answer you are happy with. As you say, period. But I would read the last paragraph you wrote again a few times. Breathe, and ask the question you yourself have raised. For me, I neither believe nor disbelieve, but await evidence. In the meantime I love the stories we construct. We really are fabulous storytellers.

    • Thecheesewolf,

      I’m talking about the beliefs in your own head. You either belief there is a god or you don’t. Are you telling me you are not capable of answering the question? I can answer it very easily. The answer is no, I don’t believe. What if we’re to ask you if you believe in Santa Claus? Are you also incapable of telling me what’s in your own head? I’m sorry but I just don’t understand what the problem is.

      • No, I’m not incapable. In my head is the “suspension of belief”. I am aware of the god/no god hypotheses – both of which posit a categorical position vis-a-vis the universe. As I have evidence for neither position I hold neither. The confusion I have with your statement is that you are attempting to hold both a categorical “no God” and simultaneously the more nuanced – agnostic position (withholding belief). They are different and are actually incompatible: the latter logical, the former rhetorical. As Bertrand Russell eloquently set out.

  4. Ashley is correct. The question centers on belief in a creator. Agnostics are simply one sect within atheism. The fact that agnostics reserve judgment is irrelevant…they still do not believe.

    In my discussions, the atheist rejects the idea that faith has any value. They also do not distinguish between faith which is based upon evidences, and blind-faith, which has no supporting evidences. The question then boils down to the evidence. The theist examines the evidence and accepts it. The atheist examines the evidence and rejects it. The agnostic, however, denies the existence of any evidence nor do they search for any evidence. Agnostics are lazy and sit back and wait for the deity to come to them and make a personal appearance, like Elvis. Basically, they don’t have the balls to move themselves from a state of apathy to a state of conviction. Moreover, if they had any significant doubts at all that there is no god, and if they had any significant interest in knowing, they would surely get themselves off the couch laziness and apathy and make some effort to prove/disprove him.

    Regardless, whether one believes or disbelieves, they are both a matter of faith. The question of god is a question pertaining to the origins, and therefore purpose, of mankind/life. The theist believes life (man) originated from life (god), while the atheist believes life (man) originated from non-life (matter), and the agnostic ‘skillfully’ evades the question altogether by having no conviction at all.

    • I’m afraid I have to disagree. Atheists do not believe in god at all. How then can agnosticism, which accepts the possibility of god, be a subset of atheism? Additionally atheists do not examine ‘evidence’ and reject it, they do not acknowledge anything as evidence of god at all. Agnostics are the ones who acknowledge the evidence as a possibility, but do not consider it substantial enough to make a final determination. I don’t consider it apathetic to say there is not enough evidence to prove something definitively. I don’t understand why a lack of conviction in god is such a problem. I refer back to my reference of Schrodinger’s cat in the box. If there is an apple on the table, I can see it, touch it, hold it, bite into it, I am convinced that yes, it exists. If there is nothing on the table, I am convinced that the apple, in the space of the table top, does not exist. If I am presented with a box and told that there is an apple in it, but I am not allowed to directly, physically observe the apple in the box, than I have three options: 1) be convinced by what I’m told and trust that there is an apple in the box; 2) not be convinced by what I’m told and trust there is not an apple in the box; or 3) accept the first two possibilities and reserve final judgement until the box is opened. What does it hurt to choose the third option?

      • Rana,

        I’ll address your shrodinger’s box analogy first. You’re sort of on the right track but have gone off of it a bit. There are 2 completely seperate questions that must be asked. Firstly, when asked whether or not you BELIEVE there’s an apple in the box, you have 2 choices. Yes or no. The logical position to take is to say no, because there’s no evidence to suggest that the apple is there. By saying yes, you’d be believing without evidence. This is the heart of the atheist/theist argument – simply replace the apple in the box with god.
        The second question, which is the heart of the gnostic/agnostic discussion is this: do you think it’s possible to KNOW whether or not there’s an apple in the box? The answer to this question is easy – it’s yes. Simply lift the box and you’ll have your answer. When dealing with matters of god, this cannot be done. There is no box to lift to unveil god. This is where the “I don’t know” or “I don’t think it’s possible to know” answers surface. These are 2 completely separate answers to 2 completely separate questions.
        So my answer to question 1 is: No, I don’t believe that a god or gods exist.
        My answer to question 2 is: No I don’t know whether or not a god or gods exist and I don’t think it’s possible to know. I don’t see how anyone on earth can answer question #2 any other way, unless of course one is completely delusional. Such people exist, but are not worth wasting your breath talking to. There’s no possible way to know the things they claim to know. They live in their own little world, inside their head, and are best left where they are.

        • Thecheesewolf,

          Agnosticism is NOT the position of withholding belief in god. Agnosticism is the position that it is not possible to KNOW whether or not god exists. Agnosticism has NOTHING to do with belief. A consultation with a dictionary will quickly clear up that misconception.
          You said in an earlier post that you neither believe nor disbelieve but await further evidence. If you’re awaiting further evidence, it means you’re reserving judgement. If you’re reserving judgement it means you don’t believe.

      • Agnosticism is a sect of atheism by virtue of the fact that they do not believe in a creator. Like any atheist, the agnostic claims there is no evidence to justify belief, thus they, like the atheist, do not believe.

        In my discussions, the agnostics do in fact claim there is a possibility of evidence, but have always stated that no evidence exists and were not even interested in hearing of any evidence, nor were they interested in searching for any evidence themselves. They were quite happy to remain ignorant of any evidence. Basically, by claiming a possibility of evidence, they allowed themselves to present the illusion of being open-minded, but when it came right down to it, it was very clear that they had already made up their minds that no evidence of a creator exists. It is therefore my judgment that agnosticism is nothing more than a ploy to deceive others into thinking that agnostics are open-minded, when in fact they have already made a decision.

        Regarding conviction, the problem is that the agnostic is double-minded/deceitful; he says one thing but does something else. He says there may in fact be sufficient evidence to believe, but does nothing to search for it and is quite content to die ignorant of it. In other words, for the agnostic it is unimportant to him to know the truth of the matter; the agnostic (if there truly is such a unicorn) remains stagnant, unable to move and free his mind of the doubts, indecisiveness and uncertainty of what consequences, if any, death may bring. The true theist and the true atheist are not like this; both have searched to find the truth and that search has lead them to a conviction of belief or disbelief. As a result, they are able to live their lives free from doubt, indecisiveness and uncertainty of what death has in store for them. For example, a theist may sacrifice his own life to save someone else’s because he knows that only his body will die and not his soul, and he may be rewarded for the noble deed. The atheist, however, knowing that he will cease to exist when his body dies, will likely refrain from sacrificing his own life for someone else’s because it does not profit him in any way; his body is all the life he has, and once it is dead he goes out of existence. The agnostic, however, is likely to be indecisive; he does not know what will happen when he dies, and so will not have any conviction to guide his actions. He is rendered hesitant/immobile by his fear of the unknown consequences of his actions.

        Regarding the cat in the box, the fallacy I see there is that you are assuming that only one’s eyes can be used to sense what is in the box. One may not be able to use their eyes to sense the shape and form, but it possible that the cat will meow and make scratching noises which can be sensed with the ears, and cats often have a distinctive odor as well as hair allergens which can be sensed by the nose. The size of the box will eliminate certain possibilities as well as the weight of the box when levitated. And, of course, one can research and observe and ask questions of the teller to discover whether or not he is a trustworthy and credible individual or has a reputation for practicing deceit.

        The analogy, however, really doesn’t fit the situation. In the first place, a creator would not be the one in the box, mankind would be in the box. What I mean is, a creator would not be confined by his creation, but would be free to go wherever he wills; it is man who is restricted. In the second place, you assume that a creator has not communicated anything, whether directly of indirectly, to the inhabitants of the box. In other words, you are assuming that the creator does not wish to be known by the box’s inhabitants. These are critical assumptions to be making, because they greatly affect the outcome. If these assumptions are in fact true, then all one can do is blindly guess because he has little to no evidence upon which to make a decision. If the assumptions are not true, and the creator desires to be known and has communicated with mankind, as some religions claim, then the cat in the box analogy is inappropriate. So I have to ask, did you intend to make these assumptions, and if so, why?

        • Geddy, I can’t discern a rational basis for your assertions about agnostics. It appears that you started with the opinion that any position short of strong theism or strong atheism is the result of laziness. Then you compound it by drawing character traits based on that opinion: religious people will sacrifice themselves, atheists will not, and agnostics will be indecisive. Again, this is entirely baseless and runs counter to existing evidence. If I follow your train of logic I could conclude that atheism is proof against suicide. Multiple studies have shown the opposite: that suicide rates are lower among people who claim a religious affiliation and higher among atheists and agnostics. So really, all you’re doing is stereotyping without evidence.

          I see the assertion that agnostics are lazy and deceitful as exactly equivalent to the argument put forward by Christians that atheists are deceitful because they actually believe in god and just choose to deny it because they want to be intentionally immoral. It’s a weak and baseless argument. I always wonder if, when Christians make this argument, they are being intentionally rude.

          That is an interesting question as to whether a creator would or wouldn’t wish to be known by his creations. If proof of a creator had been left, the answer would be known. If not, the answer would remain a mystery. But in the end, it’s the creator’s choice to leave such evidence, so you can’t assert that lack of evidence means lack of creator.

          What you can assert (and I do) is that lack of evidence invalidates religious imperatives. If god exists and yet leaves no proof, the implication is that he wants us to find our own way of things, living as if he doesn’t exist and making the most of the life we have. Falling into rigid thinking would be a failure on that score. But that’s my opinion.

        • I can’t agree with you from the start on this one, Geddy, as I am a believing agnostic. I reserve the fact that I don’t know truth, I only guess (aka believe) on the state of god. Ashley has this one right on. Agnosticism is not the belief or lack of belief in anything. It is the acknowledgement that belief is just that, belief. It is not knowledge nor fact, and will never be. Gnostics insist that belief is fact, or non-belief is fact, despite not having those facts to present in a way that can be universally accepted by man. Agnostics recognize this impossibility and roll with it. You can still believe in something without demanding it be true. It is a rare thing to be able to separate these two things, which is why gnostics and agnostics clash so readily. Gnostics cannot accept the possibility they are wrong.

          If the people you have described are the only agnostics you have come across, then they are lying to themselves and have no understanding of the real meaning of agnosticism. What I have posed above (and what Ashely expressed below) is the bare bones definition of agnosticism versus gnosticism. It seems that you are correct that those you have come across are deceitful, blinded by their inability to admit that they are atheist. If their basis is on the lack of evidence, and so they lack belief, that falls in atheism, not agnosticism.

          As an agnostic myself, that choice in a religious setting would have nothing to do with my conviction to help or protect someone if the need came. There are people in my life that I would gladly lay my life down for, despite my lack of knowing what will happen to my self after I am dead.

          I am not claiming in my Schrodinger’s box analogy that everyone is observing with only their eyes. Regarding other senses, it is as if people are at different distances from the box. Some are close enough to hear the ‘cat’ meowing and claim to the rest that there is indeed and cat and it is alive. Those farther away from the box cannot hear it, and so must either trust those who can hear it or trust their own senses and deny it. Some may want to hear it so badly, they think they hear a cat when it’s really just the wind. It is the same with smell. It’s also possible there are people with poor senses who, again, must trust others to explain the situation from a closer perspective, and decide whether to trust those people or not. It’s possible all those close to the box are imagining the sounds of the cat, again, because they want there to be a cat so badly. Observations from outside the box can be made, but ultimately one must open the box to determine the final result. And there are only so many observations that can be made. One would likely have no way of knowing the color of the cat. In other words, there are certain aspects of god which will never be known by man in this life.

          In your last paragraph, I believe you are taking the analogy a little too literally. Consider it not a box, but a barrier, an expansive space or wall between us and god. I also do not assume that god does not make attempts to influence us. Perhaps it does. However, what communications it may have given us are not made universal. I would not expect a creator to make a communication to its creations without making sure they all knew it and knew what it was. To selectively communicate with certain of its creations and not all of them would only breed misunderstanding, confusion, and contempt. It is the nature of man to fear and hate what it does not understand, to assume the unknown is an evil. If god does not communicate across the entire species of man, man will not agree on the communication being real and legitimate. God should know this, and so either communicate with us all or not communicate at all. If this assumption is wrong, and god is selective in its communications to man, directing them to certain people or trusting us to believe in each other about such communications, then it is either naive or sadistic, as Ashley has put so many times.

          In my personal belief, our life here on this earth is not meant to be spent getting to know god, when we have all eternity to know god after this life is over. Our life is meant to experience all of god’s creations, including good and evil. We are born with a general understanding of the extremes of good and evil, what we consider as morals or common ethics, and all the rest is up to us as individuals to determine. We are not meant in this life to know it all. I’ve previously speculated on the reasons god would have us experience, but speculations into the intent of god is a moot and futile point. I have discovered in trying to make sense of this intent that this is part of what is unobservable when it comes to god; what is sealed in the box as it were. God’s intent is its own, and there is no way to know that intent, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

    • I think the agnostic fence-sitter is far more rare than you imply, Geddy. I am first and foremost an agnostic, and I have a great deal of conviction about that. I am thoroughly convinced that the existence or non-existence of god is not knowable, and not provable. In my understanding, god is by definition supernatural and therefore can’t be detected by any natural means. So for me, agnosticism is the only logical and reasonable starting point.

      But from there every agnostic has to venture into the realm of opinion. They have to choose whether to live their lives as if god exists (agnostic theist) or doesn’t (agnostic atheist). If you believe god exists, that often has implications for how you live your life, and you may choose to live according to Christian guidelines, for instance. And if you’re agnostic atheist, then you’re likely to resist people who try to force theistic values on society because there is no evidence that such beliefs are valid. I think it’s difficult to live your life without choosing one way or the other, even if you think you are just “agnostic”.

      I call myself agnostic atheist. There is no laziness in this position. It took me the better part of a year to shed my Christian faith, and I spent several years after that reading and studying various religions and philosophies. Thirty years on I continue to hone my position. In that time I’ve met many agnostics including a bona fide agnostic theist, and not a single one who was a true fence-sitter.

      Regarding the original question of this blog post: it doesn’t matter whether logic is a human construct or a human discovery. It has an advantage over belief in god in that it works, like math or science. I can use it to reason out a course of action and if I explain to someone why I’m doing something, I’m open to the possibility they could show me flaws in my logic. If I do things because I believe that’s what god wants me to do, it’s much harder to change that path regardless of whether I’m right or wrong. Who can argue with god?

      • Stan and Geddy have both exemplified exactly what I mean about theism/atheism and Gnosticism/agnosticism being 2 completely different questions. Stan claims to be both an atheist and an agnostic which are 2 mutually exclusive and completely compatible positions to take. He doesn’t believe and he also doesn’t know or think its possible to know. I take exactly the same position. Many theists are also agnostic. When asked about their beliefs, they will admit that it’s taken on faith and that they don’t know or can’t know the things they’re claiming to know or believe in. Rana would be one such person. This is why I more or less think that the term agnostic is a rather superfluous and useless term. Everyone on this earth is agnostic, with the exception of the mouth-foaming, crack-pot hysterical lunatics who claim that they KNOW that their god exists. I’ve heard Al
        Sharpton in a debate with Christopher Hitchens claim that he doesn’t know that his god exists and is taking everything on faith – in other words, he’s an agnostic.
        The reason why there’s so much confusion about this subject is because of the mistaken (but oftentimes willful) misrepresentation of the atheists views: “The theist believes that there’s a god and the atheist believes that there’s no god, so they’re in the same boat”. This is not the case AT ALL. Atheism is not a belief system. It’s the rejection of a belief system. It’s the default position of not believing in god and it’s the exact same default position everyone else takes when taking about fairy tales and dragons and lochness monsters. They don’t believe.

        • Ashley – If being agnostic means that something is both unknown and unknowable, then I would have to disagree with your assessment that everyone is agnostic.

          That is like saying that because no one alive today has first-hand knowledge of Julius Ceasar, that no one can base a reasonable belief of Julius Ceasar upon all the writings/historical accounts and archaelogical evidences of his life.

          Though Al Sharpton is not able to prove god, that does not mean that he has no basis for belief. Just as one believes in Julius Ceasar and the events surrounding his life and death based on the testimony of others, so Sharpton believes in his god based on the testimony of others.

          Just because you reject the testimony which Sharpton accepts, doesn’t mean that Sharpton is in fact wrong in his belief…even if his reasons for believing are wrong. You might choose to belittle and ridicule Al because you don’t like his reasons for believing, but since you haven’t any knowledge of the truth of god’s existence or non-existence, it would be wise of you to refrain from such foolish improprieties towards his god…unless, of course, you are convinced that his god does not exist…in which case you must have some knowledge of the truth of the matter and are just posing as an agnostic.

          • Geddy,

            Well sir, I invite you to please explain to me how anyone can actually KNOW there is an omnipotent, omniscient, Omni-benevolent, supernatural god, who is also apparently invisible, inaudible and exists outside the space/time continuum. I can’t wait for your response.
            Al Sharpton cannot prove his god at all, but he most certainly does have a basis for his belief. I’ve said this about 50 times already but it doesn’t seem to be sinking in yet. It’s based on servility, fear, wish-thinking and ignorance AND THAT’S IT. I don’t need to disprove god’s existence to ridicule his stupid beliefs any more than I need to disprove that aliens exist in order to ridicule crack-pots who claim they’ve been abducted by aliens.
            Julius Caesar was, by all accounts, a historical figure. There are numerous historical accounts of his life. NONE OF THEM contain any supernatural or superstitious nonsense. He is not purported to be a god that is to be worshipped. But in the end, I don’t really care if he ever existed or not. My worldview does not DEPEND on his existence. I’m not basing my life around his teachings and I’m not under the assumption that miracles attributed to him are evidence of his divinity. The existence of Jesus is the WHOLE basis for Christianity. Without him, the whole thing falls apart.
            Now it could well be the case that Sharpton may or may not believe in his god based on the “testimony” of others. What I say is that a thinking person CANNOT believe that nonsense. The New Testament was written DECADES after the supposed life of Jesus and was NOT written by any eye witness. It is not corroborated in any verified historical account anywhere and the “testimony” of the supposed life of Jesus is COMPLETELY CONTRADICTED by another holy book – the Koran.
            If you want to sit and indulge a dunce like Al Sharpton, be my guest. Don’t even suggest to me that I should. I’ll belittle that idiot any and every chance I get and I won’t even feel the slightest amount of shame for doing so. Don’t even try to make me feel guilty for doing it, because I can assure you, it won’t work. The guy is a 100% grade-A certified crack pot and an idiot. In his debate with Christopher Hitchens, he wasn’t able (and/or willing) to even discuss a single passage of scripture. It’s highly likely he has never ACTAULLY even read the bible.

      • Very well-put, Stan! And very good point that logic yields physical proofs, discernible to all people. If the math doesn’t work all the way through, someone else picks it up and works it through a different way until it does work all the way through. Do an experiment enough times, and get the same result over and over under differing circumstances, and it is obvious you have found the right answer. Belief only gives consistent results for the individual, and even then the individual has the liberty of dismissing when the belief becomes inconsistent, deny that inconsistency, or even lie to themselves, knowingly or unknowingly, in order to keep that belief.

      • Stan – To say that you personally don’t know whether or not a creator exists is one thing that I can agree with. However, to say that you in fact have a knowledge that no other person has, or has ever had, knowledge of a creator is quite a boast and not really something that I can readily grant you as being factual. Have you examined all persons who ever claimed to have communion with a creator and proven that their testimony is in fact untrue?

        Furthermore, you are making an assumption that a creator wishes to remain hidden from his creation so that he has made it impossible for man to know whether or not a creator exists. If he is spirit as you suggest, and cannot be detected by physical means, what is preventing him from communicating to us so that we can know that he does in fact exist?

        As far as not being able to reach a logical conclusion as to whether or not a creator exists, what do you believe is required in order to reach a conclusion?

        Regarding logic versus faith, I would propose that the strongest position is one composed of both traits. Blind faith often leads to disappointment because it is not founded upon any supporting evidences. Absolute logic also leads to disappointments because, just like a computer program, it is confined to thinking in only one dimension; like Mr. Spock, it is void of human emotions and empathy and inspiration. However, a person who has faith, which is supported by evidences, is far superior to a person of blind faith or a person of absolute logic, because he is not a one-dimensional thinker. Generally, logic restricts possibilities to a single outcome, whereas faith opens the door to multiple possibilities. There are many examples of this throughout history. Just look at the American Revolution and you’ll see that it was illogical for the colonists to hope that they could defeat the mighty British Empire and win their independence, but their faith (not blind faith mind you) allowed them to persevere until they triumphed. Logic, however, would have said it wasn’t possible, so don’t try.

        • Okay, you have some good points there. I can’t claim that every experience claimed to be direct connection to a creator is false because I haven’t investigated them all. Perfectly valid. But at worst that puts it on par with the claim that god exists or that he doesn’t exist because all three suffer the same malady. Religious people can’t offer verifiable proof of god’s existence and atheists can’t prove god isn’t hanging out at the center of our galaxy waiting for Ragnarok.

          I did chase down enough “religious experiences” to recognize a trend: they all had explanations that didn’t require god. From wishful thinking to mental illness to fraud, the common denominator was always man. So I extrapolated that to form my own ideas.

          As far as god communicating with us, that’s only a requirement if there is such a thing as a true religion. The biggest thing about religion that never made sense to me was that god would create a system that would only allow a tiny fraction of people to attain the ultimate reward. If we all have immortal souls, and those souls are at risk of being lost if we simply make the wrong choices, that seems too important for god to not provide a clear choice. But if we all end up in the same place regardless of what god we believe or even if we disbelieve, then those choices don’t matter. Communication isn’t required. Belief isn’t required. God could exist and we’d never need to know.

          What would be required to come to a conclusion about god? He could be proven through any event which has no natural explanation. (Mere existence doesn’t count.) I don’t know how to disprove god and I don’t feel it’s necessary to do so. I think it’s enough to disprove the various religious constructs that have brought us honor killings and the “pro-life” movement.

          • Stan – If a supernatural event is required to prove the existence of god, haven’t religions such as Judaism and Christianity already reported such supernatural events? Or are you suggesting that historical testimony is inadequate and a supernatural event must repeatedly appear for each subsequent generation to personally witness?

            Regarding a true religion, why do you say that a creator has made it so unclear? Of the major religions, which claim to be from god? Of those, which inherently teach to spread god’s message to the world? Of those, which established/validated the message with supernatural events? Of those, which message do you sense reflects an important reason as to why god would desire to communicate with us? (If he left us a message, it surely must bear some great importance for us to know it)

          • Geddy,

            I’ve been reading through your various comments and I’m trying to figure out where you stand on the issue (are you a believer or a non-believer) and I must say that I find such a task absolutely impossible. You came off sounding as an unbeliever in earlier posts but recent posts have had me confused. In any event I’d like to answer some of those questions you posed to Stan.
            Judaism and Christianity have not “reported” any supernatural events. The bible, the torah and any other “holy” book is not “historical testimony”. There is nothing “historical” about any of this. It is theology pure and simple. Look through any history book and message me back when you find the historical account of Jesus’ resurrection and the many people who rose out of their graves to walk around and greet old friends. It’s a rhetorical question because I know in advance you will not be able to find such an account in any book other than the new testament of the bible. Let me know when you find the historical account of the prophet Mohammed’s night journey to “the furthest mosque” and then his ascension into heaven on the back of a winged horse. This is another rhetorical question because I already know that you won’t find it anywhere other than the Qur’an and the Hadith.
            Why has the creator made it so unclear you ask? Does it not pique your curiosity even slightly to think that there are approximately 4200 active religions on the world right now? What about the fact that there are literally tens of thousands of gods and deities that have come and gone in the course of human history many of which are completely forgotten and are no longer worshiped? If there is only one creator and he wanted us to know him/her/it how on earth could something like this transpire? It would appear that he/she/it wants to make it as complicated as possible.
            Of the major religions, which claim to be from god? All of them. Of the 3 big monotheisms – Islam, Judaism and Christianity, all three require belief in a supernatural, supervising creator. All 3 require miracles and other supernatural events as part of the narrative.
            If any god has left us a message that he feels is paramount that we receive, I must say he couldn’t have done a worse job if he tried. First you’ll notice that this god never appears directly – or rather that he only appears to certain select people, in bronze-age Palestine and never appears again – and that all his messages are “interpreted” and relayed by human representatives who claim to act in his name. Surely, that much must be plain. Because of the thousands of different religions I mentioned earlier, there are so many messages, of which many are contradictory, that it’s absolutely impossible to follow every single one of them.
            I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. This stuff simply CANNOT be believed by a thinking person. There’s nothing scientific about any of this and there’s nothing logical about any of this. It’s complete and total nonsense from beginning to end.

  5. My belief in God has nothing to do with faith. It is the hypothesis that best fits the facts as I understand them. I could be wrong, of course, but until I am exposed to a better hypothesis, I’ll stick with this one.

      • The existence of the universe.
        The existence of matter within the universe.
        The existence of living things.
        The existence of consciousness.

        I believe that the existence of all these things requires an explanation, and the most likely explanation is that they were made by something that transcends this universe.

        • Misha – But how does the existence of those things PROVE a creator exists? It might be the most likely explanation, but proof is what you claimed, and proof shouldn’t have to be subject to an individual’s unique interpretation/opinion.

          • Where did I claim that I had proof? What I said was: “My belief in God has nothing to do with faith. It is the hypothesis that best fits the facts as I understand them. I could be wrong, of course, but until I am exposed to a better hypothesis, I’ll stick with this one.”

  6. Misha,

    Your belief in god requires faith (belief without evidence) in order to be sustained. You have no evidence to provide that any god (let alone the specific one that you believe in) exists. You can’t perform any test, you can’t falsify your hypothesis and you can’t use it to make future predictions. I’m not sure which “facts” you are referring to that your god hypothesis “best fits” but I can assure you its not based on any scientific, repeatable, testable evidence. If your hypothesis had any scientific and evidence-based grounding whatsoever, you and everyone who thinks and talks like you, would have been awarded a nobel prize a long time ago.
    We have 2 choices. 1) Hypothesis A – Using scientific methods for gathering evidence, examining it and drawing conclusions, making sure its repeatable and having it peer-reviewed and 2) Hypothesis B – God did it.
    Hypothesis B is a pointless waste of time. It says nothing. It explains nothing. It’s an outrageously arrogant way of saying “We know” when in reality, we don’t know.

    • Ashley – Regarding evidence, are you able to prove to us that you have ever had a dream while sleeping? Do you have any scientific, repeatable, testable evidence that you in particular have had any dreams at all?…or shall we take your word based on the indirect evidence of our own personal experiences of having dreams? And what of the content of your dreams?…shall we take you at your word and base our confidence upon your reputation for being an honest person?

      Or should we deny any claim you might make for having dreams, simply because we can’t prove it using the scientific method?

    • Any explanation of past events is non-falsifiable. One can not re-wage WWII to see who really won. So your hypothesis that the universe is causeless is no more scientific than my hypothesis that there was a first cause.

      I might point out that the vast majority of scientists who ever lived believed in god, in fact, the scientific method was invented by people who believed that the universe follows rational rules because the universe has a rational legislator.

  7. Rana,

    And here’s why that argument/statement posed by your professor friend is completely ridiculous. Take that same statement and in place of “God” substitute ANYTHING in its place.
    To deny the existence of Tooth Fairies, you are putting your full faith in logic, which is clearly a human construct. You then use this human construct (that you believe in) to deny what you say is another human construct (Tooth Fairies, which you don’t believe in) and to look down on believers for having faith in this particular human construct as opposed to your construct of choice. So isn’t denying Tooth Fairies just as much an act of faith as believing in Tooth Fairies?
    Does that sound absolutely absurd to you? That’s because it is. No more and no less absurd than the statement was. Your professor friend clearly does not understand the human concept of logic and its extremely useful applications. Maybe he should bone up on his logic and critical thinking skills before making any other utterly ridiculous arguments. It might save himself from making a complete fool of himself.

    • Ashley, I think you miss the point of the original statement a bit. The guy posed it is actually an agnostic atheist (basically). He has no belief in god, but acknowledges the possibility of one. I expect he only considers himself as agnostic, but by the definitions we’ve fleshed out previously, he would definitely be atheist in this respect. His point, I believe, is more that both logic and religion are human concepts/constructs, as you have admitted yourself in this last post. Therefore, even if logic provides a more substantial foundation of universally sharable knowledge, both logic and religion, as human constructs, have their flaws. Essentially, they are the same constructs, addressing the same issue, just from opposing perspectives. You prefer one perspective over the other, and I would say with very good reason, but people always have different perspectives on the same issues, as I’ve talked about before.

      And keep in mind that he, like me, enjoys posing questions like this, not because he leans one way or another, but to generate conversation and see where different people stand on the question. His personal opinion on the matter is not shown in any way through the question itself.

      • Rana,

        That could well be the case, but my original question still stands. What’s the difference between his question (using god) and mine (using tooth fairies). Its EXACTLY the same argument. If it applies to god then it applies to every other man made fable as well.
        Now I hope you don’t mean to say that since religion and logic are both human constructs, they are both somewhat equal in that they both have flaws – which I am sure you don’t. Logic does not require the use of any superstitious or supernatural nonsense as its foundation. Religion does – which is its fatal flaw. It presupposes the existence of supernatural deities that are capable of doing anything apparently. It requires its adherents to believe in nonsense without any proof. Logic is simply a reasoning process by which you separate the valid from the fallacious. It’s one of the few critical faculties that we have that separate us from lower order animals. Religion or belief in god is the process by which you take that critical faculty and toss it out the window to believe in fairy tales and miracles.

  8. Geddy Lee,

    I have no idea what the hell you are talking about with your bizarre statement on dreams. I never claimed to have any scientific theory about my or anyone else’s dreams. I am not trying to use my dreams to explain anything or make any scientific theory. I have no idea what point you are trying to make, but you have failed miserably. I couldn’t care less if you “denied any claim I might make for having dreams”. I will sleep just as soundly tonight as I have any other night knowing you don’t believe anything about the dreams I never claimed to have and never told you about.
    I must say that was probably one of the stupidest things I have ever heard someone say to me.

    • Ashley – thank you for your kind-hearted response. The point you failed to understand is that, just because someone cannot scientifically prove something, doesn’t mean it isn’t true, and neither does it mean that someone is an idiot if they believe it to be true, though they do not have definitive proof.

      In the dream illustration, if you told your mother about a dream you had, she would likely take you at your word because she has faith that you are not lying to her. On the other hand, if you tell a total stranger your dream, he has no reason to either believe you or disbelieve you because he has no evidence as to your trustworthiness for speaking truthfully. The one who has a relationship with you finds reason to believe, but the one with no relationship finds no reason to believe. So the question is, who is correct…the believer or non-believer? And how is it possible for one to convince the other using the scientific method that you say is required in order to believe in something/someone?

      • Geddy,

        Are you seriously trying to argue that dreams and religion and belief in god are about on par with each other? That since dreams can’t be scientifically proven and god or religion can’t be scientifically proven, they’re more or less even? Are you f*&king kidding me right now?!?!?!
        For starters, there have been numerous scientific studies done about REM sleep and dreams. They have linked the rapid eye movement beneath the eyelids and REM sleep and have found that that’s when most dreams occur. There are NO scientific studies that have ever even been attempted to prove the existence of any god. The whole this is reverse engineered. “Now that we know this information – wow! That proves god was even more ingenious than we thought!” There is nothing scientific or respectful about that.
        I’ll restate my original position and say I DON’T CARE if you believe that I had a dream or what the dream was about. I’m not basing my life on the contents of my dreams nor am I asking anyone else to live their life based on the contents of my dreams. Religious people and believers think that because they believe in superstitious nonsense, it’s a virtue and think they should be respected for telling everyone about their imaginary friend. Then they think that laws should be passed so that everyone else believes in their bullshit too or at the very least, that the laws and codes by which we govern ourselves should be based on the bullshit that they believe in. Then they say because they believe in bullshit, they should be exempt from criticism or ridicule. This is OUTRAGEOUS. I can sum it all up in one neat little package. You want to believe in god? – go right ahead. I can’t stop you and I have no intention of stopping you. All you have to do is keep your beliefs to yourself and you won’t have to worry about your feelings getting hurt when someone ridicules those beliefs. Have I begun to make myself clear yet?

        • Ashley – Stop your whining, please. You believe you are correct, and the religious folks believe they are correct. You can’t prove your position anymore than they can prove theirs. What’s logical to you is illogical to them, and vice versa. They are just as outraged at your views as you are of theirs. Better for you to suck it up and deal with it than die a whiner. Eat, drink and be merry for soon you will cease to exist. Isn’t that the atheist’s motto?

          • Geddy,

            I have come the realization that the idea of critical thinking and logic is completely foreign to you. Your earlier positions about “agnosticsm being a sect of atheism” and your absolutely idiotic statements about dreams are ample proof of that. Perhaps if I state it as plainly as I can, it might sink in through that think skull of yours. I had this almost exact same conversation with Rana which is how I came to be on her blog. It took her a while, but she was finally able to understand. I’ll still hold out hope for you.
            I don’t have a position to prove. I don’t have to prove that god doesn’t exist any more than I have to prove that Santa Claus doesn’t exist. The burden of proof is on those who claim he/she/it does exist, and that he/she/it has a plan for me, has created the whole universe just for me, knows what I should and shouldn’t eat and when, knows what sacrifices I’m supposed to make, knows what rituals I am supposed to follow and all the other ridiculous nonsense. I reject religious people’s positions. I don’t believe that I am “correct” about anything. I am choosing the default position of NOT believing in religious explanations for anything. I make no such demands of people. I offer no bribes for believing and make no threats for not believing – or vice versa in my case. Atheism CANNOT be “correct” or “incorrect”. Atheism is a position of non-belief. I don’t know how much clearer I can make it. Atheism = a-alienism = a-santaclausism = a-unicornism = a-leprachaunism. I DON’T BELIEVE IN ANY OF IT. I don’t believe in god, aliens, santa claus, unicorns and leprechauns. If you are not capable of understanding what I just wrote, then there is no point in any further discussion.

          • Ashley – Your position of disbelief in god is clear and unambiguous. I’ve never doubted that. However, your statement that you don’t believe you are correct in your belief is puzzling. You claim that you don’t know what is true and correct, and yet you know truly that no one else is correct either. If you don’t know what is correct and true, how is it that you are able to identify what is incorrect or false?

          • Geddy,

            Your last post is proof that you are not capable of understanding a simple concept and cannot follow logic at all.
            In the first sentence of you last post, you say that my disbelief in god is clear and unambiguous and then in the very next sentence you completely forget what you’ve just written and tell me you find it puzzling that I don’t find my beliefs “correct”. I just finished explaining how I don’t have any beliefs. You accept it for about 10 seconds, acknowledge that it’s a disbelief and then go back to arguing about my beliefs.
            I choose not to continue wasting my time with you. Good day sir.

          • @Geddy – Regarding your comment to Ashley that his disbelief in god is unambiguous, but that his ‘doesn’t believe his beliefs are correct,” etc. is wrong two fold. First, Ashely does not claim to believe anything, his atheistic position is the refusal of all belief systems, aka he has no belief in anything. The fact that he concedes the possibility that there may be a god has nothing to do with his refute of belief systems. From what I understand, he simply feels that none of the belief systems that currently exist have offered substantial proof that god does exist. God may exist and it may not, but the explanations that man has come to regarding god are mostly unfounded in concrete proof, and so are a pile of nonsense, to use Ashely’s words.

            Ashley, if I have that explanation wrong, let me know. XD You two have really been going at it, haven’t you? XD

            • Rana – Thank you for interjecting, but as an atheist Ashley actually does believe in many things, whether he realizes/admits it or not. If he did not believe in anything, then there would be nothing for him to argue about. But he does believe something…he believes that all those who believe in a god are foolish for having believed….because he believes that there is no evidence on which to believe. He believes that the idea of god arose from fear and is a man-made contrivance, like Santa Clause, leprechauns and aliens. He believes that only absolute scientifically verifiable proof is satisfactory for substantiating belief in something and that faith must not play any role in that belief. He believes that the burden of proof rests solely upon the individual making a claim, and that those who hear the claim must not take any actions upon themselves to test whether or not the claim is true by investigating/searching for evidences. He believes that it is impossible to know whether or not god exists. And in these beliefs, he believes he is correct. How foolish he is to say that his idea of atheism does not have a belief system. It’s not a formally declared belief system, but it’s there.

              Did you note how Ashley avoided answering my question regarding the dichotomy as to how the universe was created? I made a logical proposal that it was created either by a living entity or by non-living forces, and then asked him what other possibilities there could be…to which he gave no response…because there are no other possibilities. There is life and there is non-life, and other than these there is nothing. As an atheist he rejects the idea (disbelieves) that a living being created the universe. Therefore, by default, he is left with no other option but to believe that the universe was created by non-living forces. He can’t admit this position either, however, because it would then become obvious to everyone that he believes that all life came from non-life, a position which contradicts scientific facts. This is why all atheists are perpetually frozen in a state of ignorance regarding the question of origin.

              Remember, atheism is all about denial of and disbelief in god, not simply a rejection of religion which is the result of belief in god. Ashley is not simply rejecting religion, he is rejecting god. Logically, since there are no other alternatives, this means that he embraces an irrational belief that all life originated from non-living magic fairy dust and that order and design are born from random chaos; notions which are refuted by scientific facts/observations. To reject both options (life vs. non-life) means that Ashley believes in at least one other option for which he has absolutely no evidence…just wishful desires/fantasies…which makes him a hypocrite because it is those wishful, unscientific, unproveable causes of our existence for which he condemns the beliefs of others. Ironic isn’t it?

          • Rana,
            You have correctly and succinctly explained my position. You and I had this discussion and it didnt take that long for you to grasp the concept. Atheism is a position of non belief. In other words, the EXACT OPPOSITE of a belief system. Unfortunately Geddy simply CANNOT understand that. Until he can, there is no point in any further discussion with him.

  9. Misha,

    You are absolutely correct. The existence of the universe, the existence of matter within the universe, the existence of living things and the existence of consciousness does require an explanation. I readily admit to you right here and now, I don’t have an explanation and as far as I know, neither does anyone else. YOUR explanation – God did it – is a not an explanation at all. You can’t prove it, you can’t test it and you can’t falsify it. It’s a baseless, evidence-less, groundless assertion that explains ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Why? Because the second I grant your premise that “god did it”, the next questions out of my mouth will be: How did he create the universe? How did he create living things? If the universe had to have a creator, then didn’t god require a creator? Why or why not? How did he create non-living things? Why did he create them the way he did? I could go on for another 10 pages with my list of questions that I am certain you will NOT be able to answer.
    This statement “Any explanation of past events is non-falsifiable. One can not re-wage WWII to see who really won. So your hypothesis that the universe is causeless is no more scientific than my hypothesis that there was a first cause.” is the most extraordinary example of gibberish I have ever read. We already know who won WW2. It was the Allied forces. I never claimed to have a hypothesis that the universe is causeless. I say that your (and every other religious person’s) hypothesis, that the universe had a first cause, is a pile of unsubstantiated bullshit. For all I know, the universe could very well have a first cause, but excuse me sir if I don’t just take your word for it. When you get some actual evidence to substantiate your claim that it was a god, then we’ll talk some more.
    The scientific method is a process of discovering evidence, forming a hypothesis , performing tests, trying to falsify the hypothesis, and then having it peer reviewed before it can become an accepted scientific theory. Religion and belief in god is the EXACT OPPOSITE. It begins with the conclusion and then works backwards trying to shoehorn “evidence” and “facts” to make the conclusion seem plausible. Many, many scientific discoveries have been published in the teeth of religious opposition because it contradicts so much of the made up nonsense of religion. If you’re trying to assert that without religion, there would be no science, I guess I can kind of agree with you in a way. People were tired of living in fear and ignorance and decided that the answers that religion provided were useless and idiotic, and so began looking for real answers based on substantiated evidence and tests. In other words, they began thinking for themselves – something that is absolute death to religion.

    • Obviously you are very emotionally invested in your worldview, and I am sorry that I have offended you. I would appreciate it, though, if you would refrain from telling me that what I think is bullshit when you clearly have no idea what it is that I believe.

      For what it is worth, I was raised to be an atheist, and I came to believe otherwise when I realized that atheism rejects science in favor of blind faith. Thinking for myself and following the evidence where it leads is what has led me to believe in the existence of god.

      As I say, I could be wrong. I keep an open mind on the subject. Judging from your replies, you are unable to do that.

      • Misha,

        You haven’t offended me so much as you have alarmed me. People who think and talk like you frighten me because it’s very scary to talk to someone and see how badly their mind has become poisoned by ridiculous non-sense to the point where they can’t think for themselves. It’s a demonstration of someone who is willing to take the precious human faculties of logic, reason and common sense – the only one’s we have that differentiate us from other animals – and throw them out the window so that they can believe in fairy tale nonsense like god and religion. I am sorry sir, but what you believe in IS BULLSHIT. I’m sorry if that offends or upsets you, but it just has to be said. As I have said numerous times already, you can’t prove it, you can’t falsify it and you can’t test it, something I notice you haven’t even attempted to do. You did not “follow any evidence that led you to believe in god”. All you have is blind faith. The whole thing is based on nothing more than wish thinking, fear and above all else IGNORANCE. You don’t know the answer to a question (ie. how the universe came in to existence – something that the greatest minds on this planet still don’t have an answer to) and therefore you make up garbage – “god did it” and think that that’s an answer. It might be an answer for someone as incurious as yourself, but it’s not an answer that has any explanatory value whatsoever.
        You have betrayed just how horribly poisoned your mind has become with this idiotic statement ” ..and I came to believe otherwise when I realized that atheism rejects science in favor of blind faith”. Atheism is nothing more than the rejection of superstitious and supernatural nonsense. It’s reading any “holy book” and recognizing that it is so obviously the work of many inexpert, ignorant, fearful HUMAN hands writing fairy tales and fables and miracles and making up shit as they go. It explains why there are thousands of different religions. It explains why so many holy books contradict themselves and can’t even get their own story straight. There is no “blind faith” involved in atheism.
        As I have said NUMEROUS times already, I am very open to the idea that a god exists and created the universe. Until someone provides me with EVIDENCE, I’ll withhold belief.

      • Misha,

        You haven’t offended me but rather you have frightened me. Its very scary to think just how badly your mind has been poisoned by the nonsense that you believe in to the point that you can’t think for yourself. This idiotic statement is ample proof of that: “…and I came to believe otherwise when I realized that atheism rejects science in favor of blind faith” To think that you really do believe that you have “evidence” that a god exists is very alarming. I am sorry sir but you haven’t “thought for yourself and followed any evidence” AT ALL. I’m sorry if this offends you but what you believe in IS TOTAL BULLSHIT. As I have said numerous times. you can’t prove it, you can’t test it and you can’t falsify it – something I notice you haven’t even attempted. You have nothing but blind faith. The things you believe in are based on nothing more than wish thinking, fear and above all else, IGNORANCE. You don’t know the answer to a question – How did the universe come to be or how did we get here? – (something that the most brilliant minds on the planet haven’t been able to answer yet) and you simply say “god did it”. People who think and talk like you accept garbage like that as an answer. That might be an answer for someone as incurious as yourself, but it is not answer that has any explanatory value whatsoever.
        Now as I have also said numerous times, I am perfectly open to the idea that a god could be responsible for all of this so you’ve either forgotten or haven’t read my replies. For all I know, there really does exist a Flying Spaghetti Monster. Until someone provides me with EVIDENCE that such things exist, I will take the rational, logical position of withholding belief in any and all gods and other superstitious bullshit.

          • Misha,

            EVIDENCE SON, EVIDENCE. Do you have any? NO. So stop feeling sorry for yourself and stop whining. If I told you that the earth was ruled by aliens that take on human form, you’d call that bullshit too. Why? Because I have no EVIDENCE to back up that assertion. What is it about the word EVIDENCE that you don’t understand?!?!?

            • Evidence? Oh, I have plenty of evidence. There is an entire universe that exists that had to come from someplace. Let’s start with that, and then we can discuss particulars. However, when you have already said that you will reject whatever I say a priori, it doesn’t invite a dialog.

  10. Ashley – As far as having an endless list of questions, why must all those questions be answered in order to believe in a creator? If you were walking along the beach and saw a sand castle, would you have to be able to answer all those same types of questions before you would be able to believe that the structure was created by an intelligence and not by the random actions of wind and waves? Why then do you feel the need to have all the answers regarding a creator in order to believe that one exists?

    • Geddy,

      Do you need proof to believe that aliens from the planet Zorgon have really invaded the bodies of approximately 15% of the earth’s population. I don’t have any, but can’t you just believe without any evidence? Why do you need to have all the answers in order to believe that? Do you see how stupid that line of argument is?
      Why do I need all the answers to believe that there’s a creator? Because only a FOOL believes in unproven unsubstantiated non sense without evidence. How did the universe get here? How did we get here? “I don’t know but I can tell you god did it. I can’t prove it but just believe me”. Someone who thinks and talks like that is a FOOL. People who swallow wholesale the garbage that people like that promulgate are COMPLETE AND TOTAL FOOLS.

      • Ashley – A ceator and aliens from the planet Zorgon are not the same kind of question. The reason why men find that a creator is plausible is because it answers, in a logical manner, the question of origins; how did life and the universe come into being? Men examine the universe and find that it is an orderly and well-designed system, which cannot be explained as having been caused by random, chaotic forces. In other words, complex order and design are consistently observed to be the products of intelligence, not the products of naturally-occurring unintelligent matter/energy. Reasoning men also understand that life is only observed to originate from life. Therefore, it’s a logical conclusion that life on earth originated from life elsewhere. Put the two observations together, intelligence and life, and your logical conclusion is an intelligent creator (i.e. god).

        Atheism fails to provide any logical exlanation for the question of origins. Indeed, it cannot do so without contradicting scientific observations and laws: life begets life and chaos does not produce order. In fact, the law of entropy states that all matter goes from a state of order to a state of disorder, and an orderly universe derived from chaotic matter is clearly unscientific and irrational without a powerful and intelligent force directing it.

        Though no one was present when life and the universe began, whether one believes the driving force to be chaos or an intelligent creator is a matter fo faith. Such evidences as order/design and life only serve to support the concept of a creator, however, because both characteristics are only observed to be associated with intelligent life, not lifeless and unintelligent chaos.

        • Geddy,

          Wow, I don’t know what to say except just….wow. What a tremendous collection of logical fallacies and gibberish and clap trap, all put together in 1 response. Let me address them in an ordered format if I may.

          1) “A creator and aliens from the planet Zorgon are not the same kind of question.” They are EXACTLY the same kind of question. You even say so yourself. “In other words, complex order and design are consistently observed to be the products of intelligence, not the products of naturally-occurring unintelligent matter/energy”. YOU say the intelligence is from a “creator”, I say the intelligence is “aliens from the planet Zorgon”. Both of our positions are EXACTLY the same and equally absurd. I have no more proof for my assertion than you do. My aliens are just as intelligent as your creator. They are so far technologically advanced beyond us puny humans, we can’t even comprehend it. How you can take the position that YOUR explanation of the intelligence (a “creator”) is any more reasoned or logical than mine (aliens) is absolutely beyond me. It’s completely laughable. (P.S. I don’t ACTUALLY believe that aliens created life; I’m using that invented explanation to show how ridiculous and unfounded your “creator” position is.) This “creator” story of yours has been propagated for thousands and thousands of years by 10’s and 100’s of thousands of people. It comes from a time of great fear and ignorance. Thousands of religions and god explanations have come and gone over the centuries and millennia. Just because they have been around a long time, DOES NOT make them any more or less plausible than my alien explanation.

          2) “The reason why men find that a creator is plausible is because it answers, in a logical manner, the question of origins; how did life and the universe come into being?” NO IT DOES NOT. It answers ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. It is unsubstantiated, superstitious, illogical, idiotic nonsense, based on nothing more than fear, wish thinking, servility and above all else IGNORANCE. Asserting that a “creator” created life on this planet does not answer a damn thing. Providing evidence that such a being exists and can do the things you claim he can do, will go a long way to making your case for you. I notice I haven’t had a single person present anything that even remotely resembles evidence. “Because we’re here” is not evidence. “Because it just has to come from somewhere” is not evidence. “Because I just can’t think of anything else” is not evidence.

          3) “Atheism fails to provide any logical explanation for the question of origins”. Atheism is nothing more than the rejection of superstitious and supernatural nonsense. Atheism cannot ever be an explanation for anything. Atheists however (and many theists for that matter), reject creationism nonsense (unproven, un-provable, untested, untestable garbage) and instead on focus on finding REAL explanations for the origins of the universe, how life came to be, etc. by observing phenomena, forming hypothesis, testing them, trying to falsify them, having them peer-reviewed and then coming to a consensus. If new evidence is discovered that seems to contradict previous conclusions, those conclusions are discarded and the process begins again. Do they have all the answers? No they don’t. They’re continuing the research every single day. Someone like you says “Hey, why bother? We already have all the answers – It’s a creator!” If you choose to live your life wallowing in that kind of ignorance, go right ahead. Don’t expect me to respect you for doing so, and don’t expect me to share in your indulgence.

          4) If you look at life and earth and the universe and see order and design, then I am afraid we have a fundamental disagreement on what order and design are. In what little we know of the universe right now, earth is the ONLY planet that can support anything like a life. Every other planet, moon, star and sun in this galaxy and beyond, that we’ve been able to discover, is completely LIFELESS. Of all the species that have ever appeared on earth, 99% of them have now disappeared – gone extinct. Now I can’t prove you wrong. I can’t say this wasn’t done by a creator or designer. What I can say though, is that IF it was done by such an entity, he/she/it is surely the most inept, incompetent, capricious, bungling, cruel designer that could possibly be imagined.

          5) “Though no one was present when life and the universe began, whether one believes the driving force to be chaos or an intelligent creator is a matter of faith”. The preceding is an excellent example of a false dichotomy. It’s either a design or its chaos. There could be NUMEROUS reasons and explanations as to how the universe and life on earth came to be. Boiling it down to those to choices is completely ridiculous and still does nothing to strengthen your case that a creator ACTUALLY exists.

          Now I’ll end by saying thank you for raising all of these “objections” and “arguments” but I would hope that you read what I have written in here and take it to heart and sit and think about it for a while. I have spent a great deal of time thinking about such things. It’s the reason I am an atheist. I listen to religious nonsense and creationism nonsense and I wait and I wait for the evidence that they have to substantiate their claims and it never materializes. I wait and I wait for them to explain how they know what they know and I don’t hear any plausible answers.
          Clear out of your mind this “atheism can’t solve anything or provide any answers” nonsense. Science (using evidence and tests, etc) is trying its best to provide plausible, substantiated answers. That’s the ONLY way we’re ever going to find out what’s going on, if it’s even POSSIBLE for us to find out what’s going on.

          • Ashley – Have you been smoking crack again?

            1) Contrary to what you said, the idea of god and the idea of aliens from the planet Zorgon DO in fact answer two completely different and unrelated questions. Therefore, the answers to those questions are also UNRELATED. God is a logical conclusion to the universally recognized and legitimate question regarding the origin of our existence, as EVIDENCED by the propagation of living creatures and the intricately designed systems which comprise our universe. The aliens from Zorgon pertain only to your personal question regarding your single-person claim of body-snatching, which you CONFESSED is a baseless claim for which you have NO EVIDENCE, not even eye-witness testimony.

            The conclusion of god is logical for the following reasons: Because all life on this planet has a beginning and an end, and because life is only observed to originate from life, it is a logical hypothesis that all life on earth was derived from life which existed prior to the earth’s creation…and as you have so aptly stated, life is observed to exist nowhere else WITHIN the universe than right here on earth. And because there are many systems within the universe which display the characteristics of intelligence – order, design and purpose – it is a logical hypothesis that an intelligent life form was essential to its creation, for intelligence is not observed to exist apart from life. Furthermore, since the intelligence and power required to create both life and the universe is so far superior to that of man’s, one arrives at what we understand to be god…an omniscient and omnipotent living being which exists OUTSIDE of his creation. This is the logical conclusion. Other than this conclusion, no other hypothesis have been put forward which do not contradict the universal observations/facts that (A) life originates from the living, and (B) order/design originates from intelligence. That is why atheism has no alternative logical and/or scientific explanation to our existence…apart from god, there simply is none to put forward. Thus you have spoken correctly that atheism, since it denies the existence of a god, is incapable of espousing any reasonable answer to the origins of life and the universe.

            2) Again, god answers the questions regarding origins logically for the following reasons:

            There is absolutely no evidence of non-living things generating living things, but there is a whole world full of evidence that only living things can produce living things. If you disagree with this observation, please provide us with an example of a living organism found in nature which is not created by another living organism.

            There is also no evidence that complex ordered and well-designed systems are created as a result of random, chaotic and unintelligent forces, but there is evidence that such systems can in fact be created by a guiding intelligence. If you disagree with this observation, please provide us with an example of a complex ordered system which you have observed to be created by the actions of unintelligent forces.

            3) Contrary to what you assert, atheism actually rejects the natural and embraces the supernatural. It is a well known and scientifically proven fact that only life can naturally create life. It is also a well known and scientifically verifiable fact that all life on earth has a beginning and an end. Because atheism rejects god, it is rejecting the idea that life originates from life. In other words, the atheist by default believes that all life on earth originated from non-living forces, which is wishful thinking and believing in supernatural magic fairy dust.

            4) Yes, you misunderstand the concept of order and design of the universe. Has nothing to do with animal extinction or the number of planets known to contain life. What it means is that there are so many intricacies by which one thing depends upon the workings of another, that it is far beyond mathematical probability for them to all have been the product of coincidental random forces acting without intent and purpose (i.e. intelligence). For example, in order for life to exist on earth, the earth must be in the exact orbit around the sun with regards to distance and speed; too far and the earth would freeze; too close and the earth would become hot. It must also rotate on its axis at a certain speed and tilt; too fast and the atmosphere becomes too thin; too slow and the atmosphere becomes too thick. The moon must orbit the earth at its current distance; too close and the tides will cover all land with water; too far and the tides would cease. You get the idea.

            5) Dichotomy? Either the universe originated from a living entity (intelligence), or it originated from non-living forces (unintelligent chaos). What other option is there? Tell us what other options there are, and we will gladly consider them. Otherwise, you have no basis upon which to oppose my argument that there are only two options from which to choose; life or non-life.

          • Geddy,

            Thank you very much for pointing out the error of my ways. The only logical answer to how the universe got created and how we ended up here is “god did it”. “Because we’re here” actually IS evidence and atheism bases itself on the supernatural. Thank you very much for your time. I now consider myself enlightened.
            Is there any way you think you could ask god to refund the 4 or 5 hours I have spent discussing this with you? If not, don’t worry about it. Thanks anyway.

      • Ashley – (cont) I would likely not take you seriously regarding aliens from the planet Zorgon because I know from whom the claim originates and the intent behind its origination.

        Since you can’t say the same about persons claiming to relate a message from a creator, it would appear evident that you discount those claims, not because you have investigated them and found them to be false in some way, but simply because you already start with the prejudiced conclusion that there is no creator.

        • Geddy,

          And finally to throw your own words right back at you:
          “Since you can’t say the same about persons claiming to relate a message from aliens (I can assure you, I am NOT the originator of Pantheism), it would appear evident that you discount those claims, not because you have investigated them and found them to be false in some way, but simply because you already start with the prejudiced conclusion that there are no aliens.
          It is very evident that your grasp on logic is very thin.
          Because the origins of a claim cannot be known and the intent of the claims cannot verified by the unknown originators, does not make them any more true or plausible or logical IN THE SLIGHTEST. Just because the “creator” story has been around for a long time, has unknown origins and millions of people believe it, DOESN’T MAKE IT TRUE.

          • Ashley – You missed the point. I’m not saying claims are true by virtue of their origins and intents being unknown or by virtue of the number of people who believe the claims already. I’m only saying that the claims should not be rejected by virtue of a prejudiced opinion, rather than a careful examination/investigation of the claims. Do you not agree?

          • Geddy,

            If claims should not be rejected by virtue of prejudiced opinion (which is not what I’m doing but lets just say that’s what I’m doing for arguments sake), then on what grounds do you dismiss my “aliens from planet Zorgon” assertion? Have you conducted a careful examination/investigation for yourself to make sure that they aren’t there? Or have you just dismissed the claim because of your prejudiced opinion, by pre-supposing that that aliens from Zorgon don’t exist?
            Your fuzzy illogic is making me dizzy.

            • Ashley – silliness abounds within you. Did you not confess that you have no reason/evidence to assert that aliens from the planet Zorgon exist? if you’re not convinced of what you are claiming, how do you expect to convince anyone else?

              The fallacy with your whole line of reasoning, of course, is that you reject evidence where others accept it. You require absolute proof which is devoid of any faith at all, whereas reasoning theists require only enough evidence to produce a faith which leads to conviction. The atheist’s standard for believing in something is different than the theist’s standard…but only where the question of god is concerned. Where god is not concerned, the standards are the same. It is the theist, however, which keeps the same standard of faith for both god and all other subjects, and it is the atheist who changes his standard when confronting the question of god. For example, no one has absolute proof that they will be alive tomorrow, but both atheist and theist behaves as though they will. They continue to buy groceries for the week, save money for retirement, make travel plans for vacations, etc., etc., and yet they do not know on what day they will die. This requires faith, but faith that is based on evidences (age, peace, health, safety, etc.) which lead to a most probable conclusion. If we had no faith in tomorrow, which no one today can absolutely prove will arrive, then obviously we would have no incentive to prepare for tomorrow.

              So my question to you is this: What evidence do you require in order to establish faith in a creator?

              • @Geddy – I wasn’t going to get into this discussion on aliens between you and Ashley, but your responses are getting, frankly, quite silly. You seem to be responding as if Ashley literally does believe in aliens, and that you want him to provide his evidence in support of that belief. It’s a hypothetical example, not a literal one.

                The point is that, if a man says he was abducted by aliens and they experimented on him and then brought him back to Earth, many if not all people would not believe him. However, if a person says they received a message from God in a dream, if they say that God spoke to them to do a certain something with their lives, there are many people who would believe that person, on the grounds that they believe God does such things, according to their religion’s history. There are many people who do not find the ‘proof’ of religion to be well-founded. Just as with aliens, there is no physical, repeatable proof that can be shown to all people on the planet, proving the existence of a specific god of a specific religion.

                The fact of the matter is that the ‘proof’ of religion is subjective to the individual. There is no one with a picture of god in their wallet, there is no recording of god’s voice that anyone can listen to, there is no repeatable proof that prayer gives expected, predictable results. There may be some who find repeatable proof in their prayers, or choose to ignore when it is not repeated, or believe that ‘god works in mysterious ways,’ and ‘we do not know what we really need, only god does,’ etc. If they wish to live with that mindset, that’s fine by me, although people like Ashley will find that mindset to be illogical.

                I do not see what the problem is in wanting absolute proof instead of a little bit of proof and faith to get you the rest of the way. There were many people during the 1940s who knew a little bit about Hitler and put faith that his intentions were what they said they were. Obviously, their faith was not well founded, as Hitler’s real intentions and agenda were nothing like what the people expected. Not the best example, mind you. The point is that belief is vague, and allows for supposed answers which are not answers at all, but faith-induced hopes and unfounded expectations.

              • Rana – I’m well aware that Ashley doesn’t actually believe the alien scenario, but my observations remain valid. In the scenario, Ashley announces that aliens are snatching humans, and that’s all the details we have to go by. So, in my hypothetical investigation of the claim, the first step would be to gather as many facts about the claimant as possible to form a reasonable idea as to personal integrity/truthfulness and possible motivations for not speaking truthfully. Our hypothetical investigation reveals that the claimant, Ashley, has no known history of deceitfulness, but does have motivation in this case to make a knowingly false claim in order to prove a point to someone. Additionally, Ashley makes no impassioned pleas or compelling arguments or changes in habits/behaviors which would support a personal belief and conviction in his own claim; he continues to live his life as though he himself does not believe what he has claimed. Therefore, hypothetically, there is no compelling evidence upon which to base belief in Ashley’s claim.

                Obviously, the real-world scenario in which an individual claims to have received communication from a god cannot be judged based upon Ashley’s hypothetical scenario since each claimant inherently carries different and unique circumstances and characteristics which must be investigated. To do otherwise is to stereotype all claimants and to judge with extreme prejudice.

                Regarding proof of a creator, are you not going about it the wrong way? If a creator exists, he is most certainly not a part of this world, so how do you expect to use science, which is only concerned with this physical world, to absolutely prove his existence? When it comes to proof, science can only take us so far, because all things do not consist of physical traits. Can one use science to prove what a man is thinking inside of his mind at any given moment? Can one use science to determine whether or not a man truly loves a woman? Can one use science to determine whether or not a wife will be faithful to her husband until death? If god is not a physical being, but spiritual, then how do you hope to prove his existence by physical means alone? When it comes to a creator, the only physical evidence that science should be able to detect, is the physical clues which he chooses to leave upon his creation; order, design, purpose and the propagation of life. Obviously, these are all indirect physical evidences, which would require faith in order to achieve a state of belief/conviction.

                And so, just as faith is a requirement for other non-physical attributes/entities, it is logical to conclude that faith is a requirement for belief in a non-physical creator. We accept that faith is required for many things on a daily basis and never question it, but when it comes to god, suddenly doubts abound. So the question then becomes, why would a creator require men to have and develop faith? What is it about faith that is so important/valuable to the creator?

                So, Rana, do you know what faith is and can you answer the questions posed?

          • Geddy,

            The burden to disprove a claim or assertion does not lie with me. The burden of proof lies with the person making the claim. END OF STORY. Have a nice life.

            • Ashley – Actually, the burden of proof rests upon anyone who desires to know the truth of a matter. Those who have no desire to know, will make no effort to discover it. The only reason someone would sit back and wait upon someone else to prove something is because they are either lazy, disinterested, or both.

          • Hi Rana,

            I hope things have been well with you. Don’t worry about butting in on the conversation (it’s your website after all, lol). As far as I am concerned, its reached its conclusion. Geddy’s grasp on logic is non-existent and his arguments go in circles. He’s already got all the answers. “God did it”. That’s all you need to know. I don’t waste my time talking to idiots like that. In no particular order, his arguments have been as follows:

            1) When discussing my hypothesis about aliens from the planet zorgon, he doesn’t take it seriously because he knows I made it up – and since we can’t be sure of the origins and the intent of the creation story, its much more likely to be true. I point out the fallacy of that argument, then he says “No, no, you missed my point, the point is, you should investigate for yourself to make sure the claims aren’t real and then reject them, you shouldn’t just reject them flat out”. I then ask if he investigated my claim about zorgon aliens and he goes back to argument 1. There’s a smorgasbord of options you can use to refute any argument that doesn’t lead you back to “god did it”. Even if many of them contradict each other, just take your pick.

            2) He has “evidence” (“because only life can come from life”) – natural, physical, real-world based “evidence” that an invisible, inaudible, god that exists OUTSIDE the natural physical world exists. Natural evidence to prove that something outside nature (supernatural) exists. I think you can see how utterly absurd that proposition is.

            3) It’s either life or non-life that creates us and the universe and that it. It’s either/or – no 3rd option. Now, about 20 min worth of internet research will give you at a minimum 2 alternative, NON-SUPERNATURAL explanations as to how life arose on earth. Abiogenesis (organic life was created randomly using inorganic components of life) and Panspermia (the components of life came from another planet and/or solar system and found their way to earth via a meteor or asteroid.) Are these definite conclusions? No. There are problems with both theories and more investigation is required – except for Geddy, because he already knows the answer to the question. “God did it”. How someone like that has the audacity to call atheists (or anyone really) ignorant, is just un-fucking-believable.

            4) Carrying on from points 2 and 3, since I reject his creation garbage, I just HAVE to believe that it came from non-life. More proof that everything I have said, has been completely in vain. I don’t HAVE to believe anything. I don’t want to BELIEVE anything – I want to KNOW. Rana, you’ve already accepted and understand this. Geddy is absolutely incapable of doing so.

            5) Its just silly for me to say that I don’t think its possible for someone to know that an invisible, inaudible, entity exists OUTSIDE of our natural space/time continuum. What would it take for me to know this entity exists? Get me outside the space/time continuum and introduce me to said entity. Or if you’re not on personal terms with the guy, at least point him out so I can watch him in action. I am quite sure that such a thing has never been done, but hey, I’m always up for a challenge. In other words, how anyone can use natural explanations and evidence to explain that which supposedly exists outside nature is beyond me. It’s the reason why I say I son’t think its possible. It’s all summed up in a neat little line from Christopher Htichens: “that which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence” I would say it’s a reasonable view to take. Except for Geddy though – He seriously knows his shit. He’s a genius. He’s waaaaaaay beyond our capabilities of understanding. Move over Stephen Hawking, Richard Dawkins, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Lawrence Krauss. You’re wasting your time – Here comes Geddy!!!!!!!! He’s got all the answers you’ll ever need to know.

            Anywho, I done with this thread. I am glad you’ve been reading through this thread. I like to point illogic and non-sense and stupidity where I can. On to the next topic! Until then, take care and we’ll be in touch soon.

            • Ashley – Stop your whining and face the facts like a man. Running away from the discussion because you are unable to give a logical and scientific and honest defense for your position reflects very poorly upon you.

              1) Perhaps I assumed too much of you. In response to your hypothetical alien assertion, my hypothetical investigation revealed the claim as being false because it was discovered that the claimant (hypothetical you) had a personal motivation to contrive the alien story. Would it have helped to say that my hypothetical investigation revealed that the claimant’s story was found to be the result of psychotic delusions stemming from the claimant’s addiction to smoking crack? Or that it was discovered that the claimant was trying to weasel money from folks by attempting to sell some bogus glasses that would allow the wearer to see which humans were really aliens. At any rate, the point to the exercise was to demonstrate how one can distinguish between what is true and what is false, was it not? And so my hypothetical response was to demonstrate that one logical step in an investigation is to examine the motives of the person making a claim. I assumed incorrectly that you would understand that impure motives are a valid reason for disbelieving someone’s claim. I don’t know how old you are, but I would recommend at least watching some television shows, such as Matlock, so that you will develop a good idea of how factual investigations are carried out.

              2) Yes, believe it or not, every created thing reflects in some way, the nature of its creator. The Nazi state reflected the efficiency and brutality of its creator(s). Michaelangelo’s artwork reflect his intricate knowledge of the human form and his exquisite skills in carving stone and painting. The Taj Mahal reflects the love of a man for his wife. The writings of Shakespeare reflect his keen insights into human nature and his magnificence in forming vivid thoughts simply by his selection and arrangement of words. And the list goes on. Love, thoughts, cruelty, insight, knowledge, etc. are not physical attributes but are manifestations of man’s unseen attributes, yet they can all be known by their physical representations. In the same way, the invisible attributes (intelligence and power) of an invisible creator can be detected by his visible creations. It doesn’t take a genius, just a willingness to admit the obvious facts. We acknowledge this with respect to the visible creations of visible creators (i.e. men), so why would the same not hold true for the visible creations of an invisible creator (i.e. god)? The fact that the creator is visible or invisible has no bearing on the ability of his visible creation to reflect its creator’s attributes just the same.

              3) The truth of my position (life vs non-life) remains unchanged. The problem with the Abiogenesis and Panspermia hypotheses is that they both are STILL positing that the source of all life in the universe (i.e. earth) came from non-living magic fairy dust…which is STILL a SUPERNATURAL explanation. How did you not see this? I never cease to be humored that all the atheists will easily put forth a supernatural and unscientific and baseless explanation so long as it doesn’t include god. Imaginary aliens and magic fairy dust are perfectly plausible, but not god! Unbelievable is right!

              4) Silly. You say you want to know and not believe, but you can’t know anything until you first believe something. Just believe the scientific facts; life creates life, and lifelessness creates lifelessness. Lifelessness has been proven NOT to produce life, so just accept the facts. Why is that so hard for you to accept? Science is SHOUTING its knowledge to you and you are deaf to it because you wish to remain frozen and immobile and ignorant. And really, why do you have to have a scientist prove to you what even the most ancient and unlearned men have observed and known for ages…that life only originates from the living. Perhaps you should ask for a refund on your schooling.

              5) So you want to stand eye-to-eye with this creator and look upon him, and then you will believe? At this point, you can’t even believe in the visible evidences (such as life only originating from life) found within his creation, so how will you be able to believe in what you can’t see? However, there is no need for me to take you to meet him. If the religious folks are right, he has already appointed you a time to present yourself before him. Until then, you’ll just have to work on letting go of your fear of not having absolute proof and use a little faith like you so readily and liberally do with everything else for which you don’t have absolute proof.

              • I don’t have the time to respond to this whole comment, but I believe, Geddy, that you have proved Ashley’s point to the letter in your response to #1. Your hypotheical investigation resukted in the refutal of Ashley’s hypotheical claim due to, “a personal motivation to contrive the alien story.” Now, how is this any different than a person claiming god created the universe simply because they do not think there is any other explanation to the world around them? The motivation to explain the unexplainable, using only personally identifiable evidence, is no different whether you call that resulting explanation god or aliens. You have given a deduced hypothesis to support your claim, that life comes from life and non-life from non-life, but you cannot provide the final evidence, the life of origin. Without that, your theory is unprovable without faith, and it is the choice of the individual to put faith in what they choose. Additionally (as a sidenote), stars hold all the ingredients of life in them, just not in the proper mixture, so who is to say whether we did or did not come from star dust without a thorough investigation? After so many billions and trillions of years of existence this universe has known, to say that it is impossible that life came from non-life is to ignore all that time which we did not have the opportunity to experience.

              • Rana – How can an IMPARTIAL and UNBIASED investigation start out with the presumption that EVERY person making a claim, makes the claim as a result of impure motives? Unless you already have an intimate knowledge of what’s in a person’s heart (which would be a supernatural power for sure), or unless you already know for a fact that the claim is false, then you can’t know prior to the investigation’s results that the claim is false. In Ashley’s case, he claimed that he had no knowledge as to whether or not a god exists (that’s why he claimed to be an Agnostic), and he certainly can’t know what’s in the heart of any person he’s never known, so how exactly can he KNOW that everyone’s claims of god are false? If he’s truly agnostic, he can’t. The reason why he discounts everyone’s claims is because he already believes that there is no god (in other words, he has the answer to the question of god’s existence, and is not really an agnostic)…therefore he labels everyone who reports anything about god as a liar and a charlatan without feeling the need to investigate further. In that at least, he’s consistent with his belief. If he truly believed that a god’s existence was possible and had an open mind, then it would not be possible for him to discount all claims of god without truly investigating them. It’s like this: lf you as a juror are undecided as to whether George Zimmerman is a racist, then you will pay very careful attention to the arguments of both the defense and the prosecution so that you can make an knowledgable decision. If, however, you are firmly convinced prior to the hearing that Zimmerman is in fact a racist, then you will summarily dismiss any arguments from the defense as false, because you’ve already passed judgement. That’s why jurors are carefully screened before selection…so that prejudice doesn’t destroy the integrity of the trial and subvert justice.

                Here’s the difference between the alien story and the creator story. The alien story provides NO detectable evidence to support the claim, as stipulated by Ashley. The creator story provides detectable EVIDENCE which is visible for everyone to see; the evidence is not hidden but in plain view. Not even Ashley was willing to deny that only something that is alive can create new life, because he knows that it is true and repeatable and verifiable. The idea that life can spring from non-living material is the product of an overactive imagination and desperation to avoid the obvious conclusion of a living source; life from lifelessness simply doesn’t happen. Therefore, based on the evidence which is undeniably in favor of a creator, claims regarding a creator cannot be summary dismissed by virtue of their pertaining to a creator. One must look deeper to discover evidence which can lead to a justifiable reason for belief or rejection of the claim.

                To say that stars contain all the ingredients of life, but not in the right mixture, seems to support the already proven observation that only life can create life, not random chance and chaos. Furthermore, the only reason why time is required is to allow for all the myriad possible combinations and interactions to occur. To give you a glimpse into the absurdity of what you are suggesting, it is like saying that, given enough time, random and unintelligent chaotic forces will produce a finely tuned and exquisitely crafted Lambourghini from a pile of unformed, unmanufactured raw material. The only difference being that even the simplest bacteria is magnitudes more complex than a Lambourghini. So complex in fact, that it makes the possibility so mathematically remote, that it would be a miracle in itself. And if one believes in miracles, then you’re back to using faith. Additionally, such a great span of time makes such a claim impossible to prove, which was Ashley’s complaint regarding an invisible creator living outside the universe…it’s not subject to scientific testing…and so a second faith is required. To summarize, it’s not reasonable to accept your particular supernatural proposition at all because, unlike the god claim, this claim still contradicts scientifically proven evidence and common knowledge…that all life originates from the living, and order and design and purpose do not arise from unintelligent chaos. In other words, that option is ruled out because science has proven that the critical requirements for making it happen are founded upon verifiably false principles.

                Yes, faith is a matter of choice, but in the end, there are always consequences to our choices. And consequences are either good or bad. Therefore, a wise man will choose a course which follows the evidence wherever it leads because it is that course which carries the greatest hope of finding the truth. Faith prompts movement, and movement action and action results. Faithlessness results in immobility, stagnation and unprofitability. Look around and you’ll see that man’s greatest moments all involve faith in something. Faith results in hope, and faithlessness results in hopelessness. It is better to have faith, but a faith that is based upon evidence and not contrary to the evidence.

          • Rana,

            I think I’ve realized the error of our ways. We are clearly arguing with someone who is so much more intelligent and learned than we are that we don’t stand a chance. I just did a little research and have found that Geddy won the 2011 Nobel prizes in Physics, Chemistry and Physiology or Medicine. All those other stupid scientists were so blown away by the depth of his research and his amazing discoveries, they had no choice but to award him those prizes. His ground breaking research and scientific theories have led us to discover EXACLTY how the universe came to be and how life originated on earth. He honed his scientific investigative and research techniques by watching old episodes of Matlock. There is now no more arguement on this subject. Geddy is the ultimate authority on all matters concerning life and the universe.

  11. Misha,

    “Because there’s a universe” IS NOT EVIDENCE. “Because it just had to come from some place” IS NOT EVIDENCE. Aliens from the Planet Zorgon in another universe, made our universe. Prove me wrong. My assertion is just as evidence-less and groundless as yours is (that god did it). The difference between you and I is that I don’t ACTUALLY believe what I just wrote. It’s a pile of horseshit I just pulled out of thin air.

  12. Hey Rana!

    I understand you’re busy but I just thought I’d drop you a quick line and point you to a couple of pretty good websites that list and explain logical fallacies. http://www.theskepticsguide.org/resources/logicalfallacies.aspx and http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/
    These are excellent websites that you can consult and use in the future to recognize illogical arguments when you hear and/or see them. I don’t know if you’ve read through the entire conversation between Geddy and myself, but I have been able to identify at least 6 logical fallacies in his arguments. False Dilema/Dichotomy (only life vs non-life which is not really that, its really non-life vs HIS creator – since I posited that live aliens could have been responsible), Special Pleading (his “evidence” only applies to his creator and not my aliens and/or my alien story is verifiably made up but his creator story isn’t made up because he can’t verify that it wasn’t), Straw Man (because I reject his creator story I MUST believe in the opposite – non-life explanation), Ad Ignoratium/Burden of Proof (It’s up to me to investigate the claim to make sure its false, not up to him to prove his case), Argument from Personal Incredulity (He just can’t see how and just can’t explain how life couldn have gotten here randomly/by accident, therefore its not possible) and Confusing the currently unexplained with the unexplainable. (Since we do not have a current natural explanation of life on earth it therefore requires a supernatural explanation)
    If you have read through our discussion, I would ask whether or not you agree with my obervations and if you think you can see any such errors that I have committed. I don’t think I have because I am not asserting anything, merely refuting his explanations. But I am biased so I would like an independant 3rd party review – if you have the time. If not, just take a look at those websites anyways and I think they will be a very good help for constructing and refuting future arguments. Take care. Looking forward to your next post…

    • Hey Ashley! Thanks for the links! I’ll take a look at them tonight. BTW, you would have LOOOOOOOVED *heavy sarcasm there* the discussion I got in the other day. I got into it with a “Young Earth Creationist”. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard at terrible debate skills in my life! Here’s a link, if you care for a good laugh. Go to the top ‘Most Replied” comment, it’s from a guy named Starbucks.

      http://news.yahoo.com/irate-ivy-league-professor-calls-god-white-racist-123204682.html?bcmt=comments-postbox

      • Hey Rana,

        I had a quick look through the comments that you led me to. I saw very similar patterns that I am used to seeing in creationists arguments. The 3 big ones that almost always come up are the straw man argument, the false dichotomy and the argument from personal incredulity – the latter 2 are often combined together. I often see scientifically proven fact dismissed as absurd opinion (you made a point about 200 000 years of human evolution and it was dismissed as “absurd opinion”) – which is just plain old, flat out ignorance.
        Let me know when you’re having such discussions and I’d love to read them and/or weigh in if that’s alright with you.

    • Ashley – I always find it humorous how atheists, who say they are not a religion and don’t espouse any beliefs, sooner or later turn to some revered writings containing instructions/interpretations/dogma on what/how they should think and believe, and then try to use those teachings to proselytize others. It is like the unholy scriptures of atheism, and atheists like Hawking and Dawkins are their high priests, and you are their disciple.

      Nevertheless, here is my rebuttal:

      1. False Dichotomy – It’s only a false dichotomy if you can prove that there are more than two options. Saying that imaginary supernatural aliens are the creators of all living things within the universe, still falls inside the LIVING category, which doesn’t destroy the dichotomy. The dichotomy is life vs. non-life, not ‘my’ creator vs. alien creators vs. etc.; both of these options fall under the LIFE category.

      Think of it this way. Who creates (gives birth to) whom; parent or child? Is that a false dichotomy by virtue of the fact there may be siblings WITHIN the child category? Not at all, and to argue it is a false dichotomy for that reason, is just plain silly. There are only two categories to choose from; parent and child.

      2. Special Pleading – Did you forget that you stipulated your alien story has NO evidence? That was your own stipulation to your hypothetical scenario. How you think it OK to enforce that arbitrary stipulation onto a real-world case is beyond reason, since the real-world case has real evidences to consider. Because you are an atheist, you made a prejudiced assumption that the real-world situation also has no evidence, which is not true (remember, you have been unable to refute the EXISTING evidence) and just your personal opinion. You are trying to compare an apple to an orange and expect me to agree that they are the same. The error is yours.

      3. Straw Man – Look at this way. The question of a living creator vs. non-living forces is like a multiple-choice question regarding interpretive reading comprehension with exactly two answers from which to select, only one of which is true, and the two answers are complete opposites. Most all persons when ruling out only one of the options because they know absolutely that it is false, immediately knows by default that the other option is the correct answer, and his faith causes him to choose it with confidence, despite not being able to prove to himself by his own knowledge and understanding that it is absolutely correct. But not the atheist. What you are suggesting is that the atheist, if he KNOWS that one of the answers is absolutely false, but does not already have absolute knowledge that the other answer is in fact true, will refuse to select the one remaining unverified answer because he must first have absolute assurance that it is in fact the correct answer. After the tests are handed in, the atheist then goes about discussing with the other students which answer they selected and why. As soon as any student reveals he selected the option which the atheist was unable to confirm within his mind absolutely, he then rails against that student and mocks him for believing he selected the correct answer, although he himself is without any hope of passing because, not having selected any answer, he is guaranteed to fail the test, while the faithful students have a hope of being successful in making their choice. No one mocks others for making a choice in accordance with their abilities, when he himself is too frozen with the fear of making an incorrect choice, though it was the ONLY option left to make. You might be able to convince a naïve person that you behave in this most insane manner because you haven’t made a choice, but the tree is known by its fruit. You’ve made a choice; otherwise there is no basis for you to mock others for their choice, and doing so would make you indistinguishable from a vicious and unreasoning wild beast. Is this truly what you wish us to believe about you, Ashley? Besides, you still haven’t given us any alternative that doesn’t involve a supernatural explanation, which is one of your criticisms of the god option. Until you can give the world a non-supernatural explanation, the only options available to us are the supernatural.

      4. Burden of Proof – Ah, another dogma delivered down from a high priest of atheism. As I said before, the burden of proof is upon every man that desires to know the truth. I know of no law against someone investigating a claim if they so choose to resolve it for themselves, rather than relying upon someone else to take interest and act. And besides, who’s to say that your efforts would not be fruitful, where other’s efforts were not? Why would you want to take such a risk if the question has any importance for you to resolve? The only reasons why someone would wait for another to do the work of investigation and then rely solely on their unknown abilities, is because that person is either lazy or disinterested in knowing.

      But perhaps I’m misinformed and there are unholy laws within atheism by which a disbeliever can be excommunicated for the sin of taking initiative and interest to fairly and thoroughly investigate for themselves the existence of a creator. Kind of like when the Catholic church forbade it’s members from having and reading a bible so they could understand it for themselves, rather than relying exclusively on the understandings/interpretations of their priests. Do let us know if this is the case with the atheist’s religion as well.

      5. Personal Incredulity – It’s not personal incredulity, it is SCIENTIFIC incredulity. Remember, my argument is based upon scientifically VERIFIABLE and REPEATABLE and PEER REVIEWED FACTS; only the living can create life, and complex order/design is not the result of random accidents. It is neither scientific, nor common-sensical, nor true to say otherwise. Yet, in direct defiance of science and common-sense, you insist it is so. And in that, you have a much greater faith than most theists, for yours is without ANY supporting evidence (baseless and blind).

      Could life be the result of random chaos? Only if one throws away the evidence and relies on blind faith in imaginary and unverifiable causes…which is EXACTLY what you accused and condemned and mocked the theists of doing! I suspect that the next time I look up the definition of the word ‘hypocrite’, I will find your picture there, no? Yes!

      6. Confusing the Unexplained with the Unexplainable – Really? And yet you believe that evidence of a creator cannot be known. How do you explain this belief? How do you know that the evidence you require for a living creator’s existence, which you claim is not currently to be found, will not be found at a future time? In other words, if you can assume that physical evidence of a living creator is impossible, then what prevents the same assumption from being made of a non-living creator? We are very interested to hear your explanation as to why this is not also hypocrisy.

  13. @Geddy – In response to your previous post to me: I did not say that you began your investigation with a presumption, and I was not referring to the god debate, but the alien example, which you were addressing in the previous comment. You said, ” In response to your hypothetical alien assertion, my hypothetical investigation revealed the claim as being false because it was discovered that the claimant (hypothetical you) had a personal motivation to contrive the alien story.” In this, you say that if it is found that the claimant of an assertion because they claimant had personal motivation to contrive information to meet their own ends, which is exactly what you said, then I could deduce the same in an investigation of religious doctrine. Religion exists to answer the world’s questions which cannot be answered through observation, hypothesis, trial and error, and analysis. Religion answers questions which cannot be answered by man alone, and so assumptions and speculations are made, some with a degree of logic to back them, but none which can be literally, scientifically, or even completely logically proven.

    I’m not going to debate with you on what Ashley does or does not do or believe, as I think you and he have gone back and forth on it enough that you have your opinion of him, and nothing I say will change that.

    You say, “Here’s the difference between the alien story and the creator story. The alien story provides NO detectable evidence to support the claim, as stipulated by Ashley. The creator story provides detectable EVIDENCE which is visible for everyone to see; the evidence is not hidden but in plain view.” Again, you decline to acknowledge that the alien example is just that, a hypothetical example, not a real world event. It is very possible, that if Ashley had gone to such an extent, he could offer evidence, such as physical scars, memories, and accounts from others who claim the same as he does, that these aliens exist. In religion and the belief in god, it is no different. A religious person will offer the bible (the scars), personal accounts which cannot be proven beyond trusting the person’s word, and support from those who believe as they do. You say there is evidence all around which anyone can see, however this is inaccurate. This supposed evidence cannot be directly, physically proven to be tied to a god. Deductions can be made to attempt to give credit to god, but in the end, if god does not appear, say that the world is its creation, and creates in front of our eyes, there is no definitive proof that this is true. It is, again, like the scars of the alien-abducted man. He can show scars and claim that those scars came from an alien, and the scars may seem other-worldly or not able to be explained by any current means of analysis. Until that alien appears, takes credit for those scars, and makes another scar which matches the original, however, there is no definitively credibility to the alien-abducted man’s story. If you want to believe that there is no other answer to the question of the alien-abducted man, then you trust his word and believe aliens exist. If you want to believe in the words of the bible and assume that the world came from a creator, you believe in god. There is no difference in these situations, aside from the spiritual comfort which believers feel in their faith in god, which can be achieved through any religion, and if sought, can even be experienced without a belief in god.

    I believe the discussion on the elements which make up life being found in stars comes down to whether you put faith in god or faith in numbers and calculations. The statistical calculations can be made to determine the likelihood of life. The claim of religion is that we humans are god’s chosen people (which can be divided downward into different social groups like the Jews, Christians, or Muslims). However, through calculations like the Drake equation, based on information about the universe as we know it as well as based on our own evolution, we can determine the statistical likelihood of life throughout a galaxy (life which is specifically at an advanced enough state, or human-like, as to use interstellar communication), which currently estimates at least 2000 civilizations at that stage of development. We are currently not at the development level ourselves to test such a theory, as our space-travel capabilities have not been successful enough yet. It is something unobservable, and yet calculable. There is no calculation on the existence of god, however looking at it in basic terms, you can calculate by deduction. There is a 33/33/33 chance that god does not exist/god exists/there are multiple gods which exist. To address the credibility of any one religion being the truth, this 33% chance that god exists must then be divided into every different monotheistic position taken on god, which takes you into the dozens, if not hundreds (considering there are still minute cultures which we do not know about which might believe in a monotheistic deity). Another considerations for calculation would be the multitude of possible intents that god has for our existence, the multitude of possibilities of god’s afterlife, god’s direct or indirect influence on our lives, and I’m sure other points which I have not mentioned. I am no mathematician, so I won’t even attempt to go into all of these attributes and divide it down, but I think you get my point. The likelihood of god existing in a manner which we humans have developed in our religious systems would be astronomical.

    My point is that the calculations for the likelihood of our knowledge of god is minute. The calculations for life in the universe is gigantic by comparison, with 100-200 billion galaxies in the universe and about 2000 intelligent civilizations in each. To say that the minute chance the our conception of god is correct, and that god created every one of those 300 trillion civilized worlds, all with a multitude of different creatures, and god picked us, humans, as its favorite, chosen people out of that 300 trillion, is the more likely scenario then life developing from the elements on their own is to debate about the minutest of difference in likelihood. The calculations for life evolving out of stardust are very minute, but the odds of god are no better. All we have to decide as human beings is whether we prefer the idea of god or of no god. There’s no calculation which can support either as more credible, so there’s no point in debating which is the better choice of the two.

    Again, without provable evidence, one can only depend on what evidence they know to be true to themselves (the alien-abducted man knowing for a fact where his scar came from) and trust in that evidence. To trust in the evidence of others is to trust and believe in what one does not know, which you have emphasized should not be done. Ashley prefers the idea of evolution from nothing, as he has no personal evidence to prove otherwise. I prefer the idea of god, and have my own personal evidence to support my belief for myself and no one else. You have your own preference. The consequences are irrelevant when there is no way to prove who’s preference is truth.

    • Rana – Yes, when investigating a religious claim (or any type of claim for that matter), one can conclude that the claim is the result of personal motivations, rather than truth. And since, as you pointed out, it isn’t the purpose of religion to answer questions pertaining to the physical world, like a chemistry book would do, the particulars of a religious claim aren’t necessarily subject to physical examination.

      However, Ashley and I were discussing PHYSICAL evidence of a creator, although there can be the possibility of non-physical evidences as well. In Ashley’s alien scenario, he stipulated that there was no physical evidence from which to draw a conclusion, only non-physical (human testimony). By eliminating the physical evidence, he created a scenario which didn’t parallel the real world, and so the hypothetical conclusion from that scenario cannot be used as a basis of eliminating the possibility of a real-world creator. The reason why, is because, in the real-world, the physical evidence still exists and is unaltered by anyone’s claims, whether true or impure. In other words, if a real-world investigation of a claim reveals evidence of impure motives, that individual’s deceitfulness only reflects upon the individual, not the subject of the claim, where the subject ALREADY HAS verifiable PHYSICAL evidence. Look at it like this. If a global-warming scientist is discovered to have sent emails to his colleagues encouraging them to project falsely elevated temperatures over the next ten years in an effort to increase the likelihood of receiving more money from governments, does that justify a conclusion that there is currently no warming trend occurring, when in fact the historical record, which is available to everyone for review, suggests otherwise? Not at all. Only the scientist is discredited, because the physical evidence (which is not controlled by the scientist) has not been altered.

      I acknowledge that the alien story is hypothetical and not real. What I do not acknowledge is that Ashley’s hypothetical story was not intended to correlate to the real-world. On the contrary, I believe it was intended to correlate to the real-world, and that’s why I have pointed out that it doesn’t – because he’s assuming no physical evidence. Scars could have been included in the story as physical evidence, but the scars couldn’t correspond to the bible, as you’ve suggested, because the bible itself is not the kind of physical evidence I have been addressing. I have been addressing scientific/physical evidence, such as life originating from life, and order/design/purpose originating from intelligence. All men (except possibly Ashley) can see and know that life is proven to only originate from other living things, and that complex designs only originate from intelligence. These are known and verifiable truths and there is nothing left to individual interpretations/opinions. To correlate within the story, instead of just saying scars, it would be a more accurate analogy to say that the scars are unique in that 1) they showed indisputable evidence of embedded Zorgonite fragments, an element which doesn’t appear on earth and is only known to originate on the planet Zorgon, and 2) the scars are each in the form of a precise geometric shape, and when viewed as a whole, the scars together form what appears to be yet another precise geometric shape, which would rule out the possibility that the scars were acquired by accident. Now you have a one-to-one correlation between the alien story and the real-world; life only comes from life = zorgonite only comes from Zorgon, and complex systems/designs are not accidents = small scars in the form of geometric shapes are precisely positioned to form a larger geometric shape.

      Regarding statistics and probabilities, I believe you’re missing the point. Ashley is trying to project a non-supernatural explanation as to the origins of life in the universe. In his defense, you proposed the possibility of lifeless matter within stars as being the source, because the material is reported to be the same materials which comprise living things. I’m merely pointing out that both yours and Ashley’s entries are disqualified from being natural, since they are in fact supernatural explanations. I think you and Ashley both are incorrectly assuming that ‘supernatural’, in the context in which I use it, means ‘not consisting of things found in nature’, when the manner in which I am actually using it means ‘not found to occur in nature’. A dictionary definition for ‘supernatural’: of, pertaining to, or being above or beyond what is natural; unexplainable by natural law or phenomena; abnormal. Some dictionary definitions of ‘natural’: in conformity with the ordinary course of nature; not unusual or exceptional; happening in the ordinary or usual course of things, without the intervention of accident, violence, etc. This is the context in which I am referring to the supernatural. For example, we observe that men exist as part of nature, and we observe that there are natural physical laws to aerodynamics which enables birds and airplanes to fly. However, we do not observe that men fly through the air by their own power like Superman, and so we would consider that to be a supernatural event. Hence the name Superman; he goes beyond the normal and expected and natural manner of men. The fact that a man is involved and that physical laws are involved, doesn’t make the EVENT natural. In like manner, living beings originating from lifeless stars is not observed in the natural world, and so for such an event to occur is supernatural…and Lambourghinis spontaneously appearing from a pile of raw material is also supernatural because it has never been observed to occur. I was merely using statistical analysis to support the idea that even the possibility of the event ever occurring would be so extremely rare, that it is well beyond anything that can be considered naturally occurring. Is it possible that given enough time the action of wind and waves will produce an intricately designed sand castle on the beach? I’m sure that a mathematician could calculate the possibility of such an occurrence, but most educated persons would consider such an occurrence to be a supernatural event, because they recognize that spontaneously appearing sand castles would be an abnormal occurrence indeed.

      In the context in which I use the term ‘supernatural’, do you still not agree that life originating from lifelessness is a supernatural explanation because it is nowhere demonstrated to be a naturally occurring event?

      • Geddy, I am going to try to explain this. You say that there is physical evidence of a creator. This is your first flaw. There is physical evidence of creation, yes. With deductive reasoning, you can come to the hypothetical theory that creation originated from the supernatural, aka, “of, pertaining to, or being above or beyond what is natural; unexplainable by natural law or phenomena; abnormal.” This does NOT mean that the supernatural origin option of a creator, a god, is the only option. It is also very possible that there are aspects of our perception of nature, the natural laws of the universe, and other aspects of science which we have not completely come to understand. God can be a hypothetical theory, if that is what you wish to believe, but you must base some of that deduction off of non-physical attributions. One could also deduce and put faith in the idea that there are other states of being besides life and non-life which bridge the gap between the two, supernatural aspects of the world which are unknown to humans at this stage in scientific discovery.

        Additionally, there is no physical evidence to support your hypothesis any more than Ashley’s hypothesis about aliens. You make the assumption that, if your theory on life coming from life is the only option, that all life is evidence of a creator. This does not provide physical evidence of the nature of that creator. If you could provide physical evidence of the specific creator you are referring to, a photograph, a video, etc., then you might have something. Without that, the existence of a creator is only, again, a deduction made on other, biased deductions.

        You are right, my example, under your definition, is supernatural, but only due to the fact that this possibility has not been fully studied and tested to bring into the realm of natural possibility from the perspective of humans. Frankly, I think humans have created a third option, although I’m sure you would adamantly argue it would be a life from life scenario. Humans have successfully created artificial cells, synthetically generated the components of life in a lab. Now yes, man is a living thing which set this situation into motion, but all of the components in the creation itself were non-living components, put into motion by a living being. This is the only attribute of god which can be deduced by your reasoning, that god, or a creator, was the first living being, and that being began life as we know it. The issues here are that 1) the being which is the origin is, by default, an exception to the rule which makes it a viable answer in the first place, debunking the entire theory, 2) this creator, without access to any life but its own, must either have been an asexual creature which split itself, destroying the spiritual basis of all religions, or it used non-life components to create life, aka life from non-life, which also debunks the theory of life from life, and 3) if we go by this one attribute as the only ‘evidence’ of god, then the only defining factor of a god is a life which can create life from non-life components, then humans have now become gods through artificial cells.

        So yes, the act of life from non-life can be considered a supernatural event, however god, by definition of needing an origin of its own, as well as the nature by which is created life and the only defining factor of god being now an attribute of man as well, makes god a life from non-life option just as much as life from stardust.

        • Rana – Actually, there is physical evidence of a creator. Every created thing is evidence of its creator. An ant hill is evidence that ants are present. Claw marks on a tree is evidence of a bear’s presence. Paintings on a cave wall is evidence it was made by a man. And life and design are evidence of an intelligent living being.

          No doubt, there are many unknown things, but I see no need to scrap all knowledge and delve into pure fantasy. What would be the purpose of that? It would seem you are making it much more difficult than it needs to be. No, the way I see it, the only logical thing to do is to apply what we currently know, and reach a conclusion from that. I don’t believe I will live long enough to have the luxury of waiting for all of the unknown things in the universe to be made known before making a decision. Do you?

          As far as physical evidence of a creator’s nature, I would have to disagree. The creation is by far the greatest evidence of both his limitless power and intelligence. To create the sun and moon and stars and all life is no small feat, my friend!

          Evidence can be either direct or indirect, and created things are indirect evidence of its creator. Direct evidence is not needed to reach a correct conclusion. For example, a boy who’s father takes him on his first hunting trip will describe to the boy what signs to look for when hunting bear. While walking in the woods, the boy locates a sign which indicates the presence of a bear; scratch marks on a tree trunk. Father and son then proceed to setup a trap in the area and hide themselves in the trees to lie in wait. In a few hours, a bear comes and is caught in the trap. You see, because the two men knew what to look for, they were able to have faith that the evidence they found would lead to a bear, and it did. Direct evidence was not required for the men to take action, only indirect evidence…and they were not disappointed. This scenario happens in the real world all the time…just ask any hunter. So why would it be any different when searching for god?

          And yes, many an atheist has argued that scientists have achieved many steps towards creating life in the laboratory, and I love how they stumble for words when it is pointed out that all of those experiments involved intelligent beings working to assemble all the necessary ingredients in carefully controlled environments with much planning/forethought and design work. LOL!

          As far as the issues you see with concluding a creator, I would again disagree. In each point, you delve into extreme speculation and are relying on assumptions which you have no way of knowing are correct.
          1. Not sure I understand you here, but if you are suggesting that a creator must also have a creator, I would disagree. As the origin of life, you are incorrectly assuming that he is like us in every way. Yet, we already know that he possesses infinite power and intelligence which vastly differs from man’s finite power and intelligence. He is limitless and we are limited. He is spiritual and we are physical. He is not of this world/universe, but outside of it. Therefore, he is not subject to the natural laws which he established to govern the physical world.
          2. How do you know the creator had access to no life but his own? How do you know how and by what means he is able to create life? Where do you get this ‘knowledge’ from? Does it make any sense that a spiritual creator would subject himself to all the physical attributes/restrictions of his creation?
          3. Have no idea what you are saying here. Perhaps reword and try again.

          You assume that a creator also needs a creator, but making such an assertion is applying known attributes of a physical being to the unknown attributes of a spiritual being. Other than power and intelligence and possibly a few other attributes, I have no idea what the nature of his form/body is and how it functions, and so I’m not willing to waste time speculating about such things. However, if you have a true knowledge of such things, I would be most interested to hear how it is that you came by such knowledge. As far as I’m concerned, he is immortal, meaning he has no beginning and no end. After all, something has always existed, whether life or non-life…right?

          • Geddy, the reason we attribute claw marks on a tree to a bear is because it is possible to actually observe the bear doing it. It is the reason why we can determine, without the bear present, that the claw marks are from a bear and not a wolf. It is observable. Again, you are making the assumption that there are no other options besides god. You see no need to scrape for knowledge? What happened to agnostics being lazy because they were not willing to continue the search for knowledge and understanding? You are no better in this case, being satisfied with your deduction, despite the questions unanswered, and having no interest in making sure your deduction is correct, a fact and not a theory. That is all your deduction is at this point, because we have no observational proof of a creator, only an assumed deduction of logic.

            You say the only logical thing to do is, “apply what we currently know, and reach a conclusion from that.” People during the Middle Ages did the same thing with dinosaur bones, and invented the mythos of dragons. People of our own time do the same thing with individual’s stories, unidentifiable footprints, and blurring photographs, and create the story of Bigfoot. Deductive reasoning does not give truth, only speculative theory that needs to be proven. You have not proven anything, Geddy, you have only provided a theory to study, not a universal fact. You say, “I don’t believe I will live long enough to have the luxury of waiting for all of the unknown things in the universe to be made known before making a decision. Do you?” No, I don’t, because I am agnostic. I develop a theory, as you have, continuously study that theory and other theories, to determine the validity of my theory, and then accept that, despite my best efforts, my theory may still be wrong. You, on the other hand, are presenting a theory, demanding that this theory is truth that needs no more analysis, and using a distorted form of self-logic to denounce any other possibilities, instead of legitimately studying them. I will be honest, your deduction is reasonably sound at first, but there are loopholes, which I have already presented to you, which you have not addressed or simply brushed off because they don’t fit your plan, which is illustrated in your points.

            1) Once again, we know absolutely nothing of the nature of this creator, only that it created life, if your reasoning is to be believed. You make assumptions as to the nature of this creator, and fall into the realm of belief. You insisted adamantly to Ashley that non-physical evidence could not be used to determine if god exists or not, and yet here you are. You bring non-physical evidence of the assumptions of man on the nature of god according to religious belief. There is no evidence that the creator of life in our world is any greater than we living beings, only that it started the cycle. If life must come from life, and the creator is life, then there must be a living origin to that creator, that life, as well. You are picking and choosing when this conversation goes into the realm of natural and when it spills into the supernatural, with no dividing line of reference.
            2) You ask where I get my knowledge from? From deductive reasoning, Geddy, determined by your deductions. You are the only bringing in the unfounded ‘knowledge’ of god as a spiritual, otherworldly power, which does not fit your deductions logically without assuming the supernatural.
            3) You need to actually quote what you don’t understand. I have no idea what aspect of my previous post you are referring to.

            You assume the exact same thing, Geddy, that the source of life, the creator, a living being itself, will not have the same attributes as any other living being know to the universe. You assume that this creator is spiritual and not physical, despite the fact that there is no natural law which supports the possibility of spiritual beings. You are refuting yourself, Geddy, by not following your own rules.

            • Rana – Yes, we attribute claw marks to bears because we have observed it. In like manner, we can attribute order and design to intelligence because we have observed it, and we can attribute life to the living because we have observed it. And so, we deduce there is a living and powerful intelligence which created life and the universe. This living intelligence we call god, or a supreme being. Its simple deduction, really. What other options can one logically deduce based on these two observations about the origins of life and the universe? The two observations being true, what options can you think of which are based solely on these two facts, if not a supreme being?

              You are correct…I have only provided a deduction, not absolute proof. If I could provide absolute proof, then there would be no need for faith…and faith is what I have argued is essential all along. I do not have absolute proof, nor have I been trying to demonstrate absolute proof. I’m merely demonstrating that, of all the origin options currently on the table, that the option of the supreme being is the one which is supported by the observable evidences, and the other options are not supported because they contradict the facts.

              I’m open to hearing different ideas about origin, but so far I haven’t heard any which stand up to the facts. If they don’t stand up to the test, then naturally, I have no choice but to reject them as false and dismiss them from further study because they haven’t passed the litmus test. But perhaps I’ve missed something in all the discussion. If you feel I am wrong in my assessments of other options, then please restate which option(s) and present your argument as to why it does not contradict the facts: 1) life comes from life, and 2) design and purpose come from intelligence.

              For millenia now, no one has been able to state a third alternative to origin. The options are life and non-life. Therefore, I’m firmly convinced that there is no other option, and I can safely pursue these as the only options. Moreover, there is already evidence which supports the life option, and eliminates the non-life option, as demonstrated already in the discussion. If anyone can cast a reasonable doubt as to why I shouldn’t decide based on these time-tested observations, I’m all ears. Suggesting that there may be another undiscovered option out there would be more compelling if there was no supporting evidence for either of the existing options. Simply put, I find no compelling reason to doubt the direction in which the evidence points. To remain immobile and reserve judgement in the face of such strong evidence, would be to place more faith in there actually being a third and yet unknown option, than to place faith in a known option which is supported by the evidence. Again, I am not afraid of using faith, and so I do not need absolute proof before making a decision, but I do prefer to have some evidential basis for that faith…and a third option has no basis.

              Regading loopholes, I’m not certain which loopholes you are referring to. If you will kindly restate them in your next post, I will address them as well. I don’t always have lots of time to deliver a lengthy response, so it is possible that some questions go unanswered, but in such cases, please feel free to ask them again.

              Regarding non-physical evidence, I did not say that it cannot be used at all. In Ashley’s case, we already know that he will reject all non-physical evidence, because he FIRST REQUIRES physical evidence. And so, because all non-physical evidences require faith, there is no point in discussing with him non-physical evidences because he has no faith and summarily dismisses them on sight. That is why I told him that if he cannot believe the physical evidence, that he will not be able to believe any non-physical evidence.

              You, however, already believe in a god…and not because you found any physical evidence of his existence, if I understood you correctly. In your case, one could jump over the physical evidences and delve right into a discussion of non-physical evidences, because you apparently don’t require any physical evidences at all in order to have faith.

              1) Regarding a creator’s nature, a creator is always greater than his creation. Is a child greater than his parents? Is a statue greater than the one who carved it? Is the US Constitution greater than the men who conceived it? Is a computer program greater than the one who programmed it? None can be greater than its creator by virtue of the fact that each owes its very existence to its creator. To say that mankind is equal in power and intelligence to the being whose intelligence concieved and whose power wrought the universe and all life within it, seems to me to be wishful thinking and argumentative. Man cannot create life, or stars or galaxies, nor all the systems that animate and sustain them. Since you seem to disagree with this observation, perhaps you could go into more detail for us, so that we can more clearly understand your reasoning as to why man would be equal in nature to an omniscient and omnipotent being.

              2) It is logical to deduce that if the universe has a creator, that that creator exists within a realm that existed prior to our physical universe. By using logic, how can one deduce that a creator existed inside of his creation BEFORE he ever created it? I do not think that it can be deduced, but I’m all ears if you would like to try explaining logically how that is possible.

              Also, you say that you used deductive reasoning to conclude that a creator had access to no other living beings within his own realm (that realm which existed before he created the universe). May I ask you to detail for us your reasoning so that we may understand it for ourselves?

              3) Here is your remark which I did not understand: “if we go by this one attribute as the only ‘evidence’ of god, then the only defining factor of a god is a life which can create life from non-life components, then humans have now become gods through artificial cells. ”

              In particular, I am having trouble understanding the last line – “humans have now become gods through aritificial cells.”

              Regarding the creator’s spiritual nature, I would not classify it as an assumption, but a deduction based upon reason. Here is my reasoning. Because he existed before and outside of the physical universe in which we live, he is clearly not subject to all the rules and regulations which he set in place to govern our physical universe. Our physical bodies are completely adapted to life in this world, and in particular, on planet earth. Our bodies cannot survive anywhere other than earth, and even then, only on land (unless artificially aided). Moreover, man is subject to many things which cause him to die prematurely, and if he survives those, he will die after a few short years anyway because the physical cells of his body decay and wear out. In short, man is a very fragile being whose body is not designed to last forever. Therefore, because the creator existed prior to the physical universe we live in, he must possess a nature which is 1) not composed of physical substance (because it didn’t exist until he created it), and therefore 2) not subject to the frailties characteristic of those physical bodies (i.e. birth, death) which he created.

              Look at it like this. If a man creates a robot from wood and metal, does that infer that the robot’s creator, man, is subject to rust and rot or that he requires to be well oiled every 3,000 yards or have his battery recharged every 24 hours? Of course not, so why should we assume such things of our creator, who existed prior to the elements and components of the physical world from which our bodies are derived?

        • Rana,

          I can assure you sweetheart that you are wasting your time arguing with this guy. He cannot understand simple logic at all. For example, how many times have I said that I don’t have any beliefs? 15? 20 times? How many times have I said that I don’t believe it was god, I don’t believe it was chaos – I don’t have any beliefs as to how the universe came to be? I withhold belief in any explanation because no one knows, not even the smartest people on the planet. And neither do I. It’s such an incredibly complex question that I don’t even know if I’ll ever be able to know. But all that goes in one ear and out the other, because right in the very next post always comes a “How can you believe in…?” question. He is absolutely incapable of understanding the difference between “I believe that god is unknowable” and “I don’t believe that god is knowable”. He even admits it: “I don’t pretend to comprehend what you are saying about the ‘reverse statement construct…” The first is a belief statement and the second is not. The first statement carries with it the burden of proof because there needs to be something to substantiate the belief. The second statement does not.
          The argument changes to suit his imperatives and needs. First it was chaos vs design which somehow morphed into life vs on-life. For whatever reason panspermia (an idea that’s been around for centuries) posits that life on another planet was responsible for life beginning on our planet – which he admonishes me for not recognizing that it falls under the “life” category (which I do recognize), “doesn’t count”. Humans have human babies, dogs have puppies, and so on, so logically is stands to reason that a god created every single species that has ever been on planet earth (of which it only cares about 1% of them because the other 99% are long gone – extinct). If life comes from life, then who created the creator that created us? And who created the creator who created the creator who created us? How do you get around that infinite regress? But rest assured, there’s bound to be an explanation for that too. You have to realize, its not life vs non-life. It’s his creator vs any other explanation. There’s an infinite supply of reasons that every other explanation doesn’t work.
          Did you know that atheism is a religion? Did you know that logic is atheistic dogma? That’s news to me. He admits one of the fundamental principals of conducting a proper argument means nothing to him “Ashley – I’m not a disciple of the ‘Burden of Proof’ doctrine”. That says everything you need to know right there. Imagine walking into a courtroom and hearing a judge or lawyer say that??!?! LOL!
          DId you know he’s also telepathic? He can apparently read my mind:
          “And yet, there are so many instances in life where you act by faith, though you don’t have absolute proof.”
          “No, Ashley, you do not believe in the possibility of a god”
          How he can know these things, I have no idea. But given that he claims to have the mystery of the entire universe solvet, I guess it’s not really much of a stretch to think that he can read my mind.
          Anywho, I’m off to bed. Take care.

          • Ashley – There you go again, believing in things. So you believe that the question of a creator is immensely complex, and not simple. So complex in fact, that even the most learned of men are unable to answer the question, though many throughout history, both learned and unlearned, have claimed to answer that question for themselves.

            As I said, I am not a believer in the ‘Burden of Proof’ dogma. If I want to know something, I take responsibility upon myself to find out the answer. It is a good thing that I am not an atheist for I suppose that undertaking such responsibility would result in my excommunication from that religion. You, like all atheists, hide behind such dogma because you do not wish to know anything about a creator. But if your neighbor called you at work and told you they saw an intruder in your house, you wouldn’t hesitate to leave work to investigate and/or contact the police. No, I doubt very much that you would tell him that he must bring you proof and lay it at your feet before you can take any action because the laws of atheism dictates that your neighbor now bears the ‘burden of proof’. That would be silly to entertain such dogma in your everyday life, and it’s silly to entertain such dogma regarding the question of a creator. Like I said, if it’s important to you, you will act, regardless of the religious dogma.

            I understand completely the distinction you are trying to make between unbelief and disbelief. But alas, the end result is indistinguishable, and so that is what makes no sense. If there are two paths to being godless, unbelief and disbelief, both result in godlessness…so what is the purpose of making such distinctions? Do you feel that the godlessness of unbelief is any more justified than the godlessness of disbelief? And if so, how are you profited by being more justified in your godlessness?
            Your argument clearly demonstrates that you believe it is more important to justify an action, than to act, regardless of the consequences of not acting. Your argument also demonstrates that one must not make any judgment unless they can absolutely prove that there is no unknown evidence from which to make a judgment. But how bizarre such an argument seems when one considers how all trials of human affairs are conducted. A time is established at which a decision must be made, and so all sides gather together the available evidence to present their arguments. On the appointed day, the evidence is reviewed and arguments made and a judgment delivered. If the available evidences and arguments persuade the jury that a crime has been committed, the defendant is judged guilty. If the evidences and arguments do not peruade the jury, the jury declares the defendant innocent. But if the defendant argues that no judgment can be made because he believes there is more evidence to be gathered, though there is no evidence that there is in fact more evidence to gather, how will the trial ever come to a conclusion? It can’t. And how preposterous it would be if the defendant goes further by arguing that it is the responsibility of his accusers to find that unknown evidence! I have no doubt that such a trial has never been executed in the history of the world! And so, in the interest of doing justice to the accused, the trial is brought to a rapid conclusion based on the available evidences, because the objections are unfounded. The only reason I can see as to why someone would desire to wait around until the end of time for the unknown to become known is to prevent justice from being executed. And the only person that would have such a reason to wait is the one who knows the evidence and arguments weigh heavily against him.

            But let’s examine your ‘burden of proof’ argument further. Contrary to what you conveyed to Rana, I do in fact believe in searching for evidence. To be clear, I do not subscribe to the atheist’s dogma with regards to burden of proof. The atheist doctrine is that only the believer is responsible for searching out evidences and that the non-believer must do nothing. However, I was quite clear to point out to you that I hold the position that all parties are responsible for searching out evidence in order to establish the truth for themselves, as well as to be able to argue their case in the presence of others. And so, I would never dream of walking into a court room unprepared to provide evidence to support my position. However, you are agnostic, so you are neither on the side of the prosecution nor are you on the side of the defense. As a matter of fact, you claim to have absolutely no evidence, either for or against, to even merit a trial. Imagine walking into a courtroom and telling a judge that you have found absolutely no evidence to even mount an argument of either innocence or guilt, while the opposing attorneys each walk in with a suitcase full of evidence for his position? LOL!!!

            Regarding the discussion, I believe you have missed the subject of our discussion altogether. The argument is about the question of there being a creator of the physical universe in which we live. Since the physical universe includes living things as well as non-living things, both of these facts can be used to support an argument. As far as I am concerned, the discussion was never restricted to chaos vs. design.

            Regarding Panspermia, that proposed explanation contradicts the scientific facts of life, as we know them to be in relation to our physical universe. Because a created thing cannot exist prior to its creator, it is obvious that the creator of our universe lives outside of his creation. Therefore, there is no logical requirement for him to be dependent upon anything that he has created, for he existed before our universe existed. And since he created the manner in which life is propagated in the physical world, it is logical to deduce that he himself is not subject to those rules. That would be like saying that because Ashley designed a car to only move in a forward direction, that Ashley himself is therefore restricted to having to move only forward and cannot go backwards, sideways, up, down, etc.. How preposterous such an assumption would be!

            And though I am speaking only to the question of what caused life and the universe to exist, by asking who created the creator, you have moved beyond the original question to a new question entirely: What is the origin of such a creator’s existence? And that question doesn’t appear to be relevant at all to the question of our origin. But if you disagree, then perhaps you would be so kind as to explain why it would be relevant.

    • Thank you Stephen, for the kind words and the follow! I was actually just browsing your site and thinking the same thing! Feel free to comment where you like, I always love a critique, compliment, or discussion. 🙂

  14. Hey Rana,

    Check out some perfect examples os more logical fallacies (which were used to refute earlier logical fallacy accusations! Ha ha ha. I could read that twit’s nonsense ALL DAY!

    False Dilema:

    1) Either claim X is true or claim Y is true (when X and Y could both be false).
    2) Claim Y is false.
    3) Therefore claim X is true.

    Or Conversely

    Either claim X is false or claim Y is false (when X and Y could both be true).
    Claim Y is true.
    Therefore claim X is false.

    Examples:

    1) Either Barack Obama is an alien or he is a woman
    2) Barack Obama is not an alien
    3) Therefore Barack Obama is a woman

    or

    1) Either Barack Obama is the president of the united states or he’s a black man
    2) Barack Obama is the president of the US
    3) Therefore Barack Obama is not a black man

    Fresh off the press, absolutely perfect, textbook example of a person admitting that their argument is a false dilema without them even knowing it:
    “Most all persons when ruling out only one of the options because they know absolutely that it is false, immediately knows by default that the other option is the correct answer”

    The choice is not a dichotomy or dilema (either/or, only 2 answers). It’s a multiple choice question with 2 answers

    “The question of a living creator vs. non-living forces is like a multiple-choice question regarding interpretive reading comprehension with exactly two answers from which to select”

    An excellent example of someone explaining what they think to be ridiculous but in fact posting the only honest approach to any question regarding any subject (I.E. NOT falling into the false dilema trap):

    “What you are suggesting is that the atheist, if he KNOWS that one of the answers is absolutely false, but does not already have absolute knowledge that the other answer is in fact true, will refuse to select the one remaining unverified answer because he must first have absolute assurance that it is in fact the correct answer”

    Using the precise reverse of a statement to construct a straw man argument (which is to say that I believe that it isn’t possible instead of what I ACTUALLY said – that I don’t believe it is possible):
    “And yet you believe that evidence of a creator cannot be known. How do you explain this belief?”

    • Ashley – Your understanding of what I am saying is completely amiss. Your example of the false dichotomy is only applicable if the choices are not opposites. Simply cutting and pasting atheistic dogma from the web isn’t any good for your argument if you don’t understand the argument.

      Example 1:
      1) Either Ashley WAS born on Friday the 12th or Ashley WAS NOT born on Friday the 12th.
      2) Ashley was born on Friday the 13th.
      3) Therefore, Ashley was not born on Friday the 12th.

      Example 2:
      1) Either living things are made alive by other LIVING things, or living things are made alive by NON-LIVING things.
      2) Non-living things do not give life to living things.
      3) Therefore, living things are made alive by other living things.

      Furthermore, I am addressing the very roots of the question (life vs. non-life), not the branches (Allah, Zeus, aliens, stars, etc.) stemming from those roots. You are lost in the branches and not examining the roots. Until the question of the correct root is established, you can’t start jumping from branch to branch because you don’t know which tree’s branches you should be jumping on.

      The example I gave is in fact a dichotomy because I stipulated the following in the remainder of the quote, which you conveniently OMITTED when retelling the story to Rana: “…, only one of which is true, and the two answers are complete opposites.” Multiple-choice simply means that there is more than one option to select from, NOT that there is more than one correct answer. Are you certain that you went to school at all? You leave with us with much reason to doubt.

      Sorry, not buying the ‘honest answer’ bit. I sincerely doubt that you have ever applied this philosophy to anything in life, except the question of a creator. If you did, and that were the way you handled everything which is unknown to you, then you wouldn’t be able to believe that evidence for a creator is unknowable, because you haven’t proved it to be unknowable.

      I don’t pretend to comprehend what you are saying about the ‘reverse statement construct’ in reference to my point that you do not believe it possible, and I don’t believe you comprehend what you are saying either. Either you believe it to be possible or you don’t. Are you saying that I misunderstood your meaning, and you actually believe that it IS possible?…or are you being petty and arguing over semantics and not meanings.

  15. I had to run to a meeting but here’s the rest of the logical fallacy argument list:

    More Burden of Proof Fallacies: “False Dichotomy – It’s only a false dichotomy if you can prove that there are more than two options” – Shifting the burden of proof to me to prove that there are more than 2 options (which, even though I didn’t have to, I already listed as Panspermia and Abiogenesis)
    Incapability of understanding what the phrase “burden of proof” even means (with other idiotic gibberish mixed in): “Burden of Proof – Ah, another dogma delivered down from a high priest of atheism. As I said before, the burden of proof is upon every man that desires to know the truth.”
    More Straw man arguments: “only the living can create life, and complex order/design is not the result of random accidents” I never asserted that life was the result of random accidents. For all I know, a god could be responsible for this. I don’t accept the “evidence” as such. However, the conclusion that “god did it” could be absolutely correct – and be arrived at by sheer accident. 64/16. Strike out the sixes. You’re left with 4/1 = 4 – the correct answer – arrived at for all the wrong reasons and by complete accident.

    This reminds me of a question that was asked of Christopher Hitchens in a debate and his response echoes my own sentiment. “Don’t you ever get tired of arguing with the religious? No! Absolutely I don’t, because you NEVER know what they’re gonna say next”. It’s the reason I can’t stop here! I wasn’t gonna read his last reply, but I just couldn’t help myself! Just when I thought I’d heard the most idiotic shit I have ever heard in my entire life, BOOM, out comes a whole ‘nother page just filled to the brim with complete and total nonsense, ad hoc reasoning and circular logic. This stuff is PURE GOLD. And do you think he’s gonna stop? Nope! He’ll just keep digging and digging until he wears the blade right off the shovel and then….he’ll go get another shovel and keep right on digging!

    • Ashley – I’m not a disciple of the ‘Burden of Proof’ doctrine, so there’s no need to keep harping on that. Besides, you haven’t yet proven to us that the doctrine is absolutely, scientifically true in any way, and not just a man’s opinion.

      Why you can’t understand that the supernatural options of Abiogenesis and Panspermia both fall under the LIFE category (remember, my proposition is at the higher live of examination; life vs. non-life) is beyond reason. Once again, you are confused and have jumped over the foundations of the argument to examine the branches, while I’ve asked you to start at the logical beginning of the argument by examining the roots. But perhaps you are not confused, and instead are purposely avoiding the roots because you know you are unable to mount a defense to your position.

      So you believe that a god could exist, but are unwilling to believe until you have absolute proof. And yet, there are so many instances in life where you act by faith, though you don’t have absolute proof. So why is it that you require absolute proof of a god, but are so ready to have faith in other things?

      And since you confess your ignorance regarding the existence of a god, why do you feel it appropriate to bash others for their belief in a god? If he truly exists, which you ‘confess’ is possible, then they are correct and you are incorrect. How ironic that would be, since you appear to be so afraid of making an incorrect choice. You would rather make no choice at all than make an incorrect choice (or so you say), and yet you will still end up suffering the same consequences as those who made an incorrect choice! It must suck to have this knowledge. In the end, all that matters is whether or not the correct answer is achieved. How one arrives at the correct answer isn’t the point at all because the consequence is the same. A person traveling from Florida to California will still arrive in California whether he chooses to fly an airplane or drive a car or take a train. Yet, you suggest they all must take the same vehicle to get from point A to point B, and that they must all agree on that vehicle or not go at all.

      In Rana’s tiger-in-the-box example, one might believe there’s a tiger inside because he heard a ‘roar’ come from the box, while another saw some long orange and black cat-like hairs on the outside of the box, and still another smelled what he recognized as a distinct cat-like odor coming from the box. Must they ALL agree to ALL the evidence before any one of them can believe? Does everyone see and hear and smell the same, or do they each have degrees of sensitivity? Perhaps one is blind, but can hear and smell. Perhaps one isn’t convinced that the odor is in fact a cat-like odor because he’s not as familiar with cats as the others. Should that lack of knowledge become an obstacle to others so that they must not believe? And wouldn’t it be silly for the non-believer to mock and hurl insults at the believers to discourage them from believing before the box is opened? And if, prior to opening the box, the believers step outside the caged room containing the box, while the unbeliever remains inside, what do you think will happen to that mocking unbeliever once the box is opened and a tiger jumps out? The believer’s hope is fulfilled and they will be joyful and triumphal in their correctness, while the unbeliever’s hopelessness will only result in great terror and despair because he refused to use any faith at all.

      No, Ashley, you do not believe in the possibility of a god. The tree is known by its fruit, and your fruit is clearly the sour grapes of disbelief, not the sweet apples of possibility.

  16. Rana, nice blog, adding it to my reader.

    Geddy, you are an idiot. Sweet apples of possibility my ass. Few things you might want to investigate. 1. Rationalizing 2. Pascals Wager 3. Cognitive Dissonance 4. Dunning-Kruger Effect 5. Just about every logical fallacy I can think of. Wikipedia covers these pretty well, you apparently have a computer, figure the rest out.

    Ashley, I think you should venture into the blog thing yourself. Your comments here are well done and follow my two favorite things very well. Logic and reason. Something creationists tend to run shy of.

    • Hey Shelldigger,
      Thanks for the vote of confidence. I always do my best to let reason and logic guide my rebuttals and arguments, but there comes a time when you have to realize that you’re dealing with a moron like Geddy who simply CANNOT understand those concepts. I ran into such an individual just the other day on another blog. This wacko had “proof” (scientific and mathematical of course) that god existed. After 10 or so posts of his nonsense, I just gave up. I like to argue and sharpen my wits but you have to have an opponent that understands the concept of what makes a good argument. That’s how I came to be on Rana’s blog. She and I don’t have to agree but we can banter back and forth. With people like Geddy it’s all “nope, you’re wrong, I’m right.” A pointless waste of time.
      As for my own blog, I think I’m better when provoked rather than starting off a conversation. I also don’t have a whole lot of free time so I don’t think I’d do a god job of keeping it up but you never know. Perhaps you’ve inspired me! Take care and hopefully I run into you here again sometime soon.

    • Hey Shelldigger,

      Thanks for the vote of confidence. I have never heard of the Dunning-Krueger effect. I’ll have to do a little research later on. As for Geddy, it’s good that you noticed his idiotic arguments but telling him to look up all the things you did, is a complete waste of time, I can assure you. If the research doesn’t lead to the ultimate answer “god did it”, it’s flawed, pointless or wrong. There’s no arguing with this moron. Apparently logic, such as the burden of proof, is a “dogma from high priests of atheism”. What can you say to a person who thinks and talks like that? I am perfectly content to leave a person like that wallowing in their own ignorance and living their life in a warm bath of semi-consciousness. I just really, really hope he doesn’t have any kids. That would truly break my heart.
      As for starting my own blog, it’s an interesting thought but I prefer to be provoked rather than start my own and I don’t have a whole lot of time for such things but you never know! Take care and I hope to see you on here soon.

    • Helldigger

      Do you have anything of value to add to the argument? Unfortunately, Ashley was not able to show any scientific evidence at all that life is created from lifelessness. Are you able to demonstrate that it does? If so, please enlighten us with your knowledge.

      • Geddy, any amount of logical theory which Shelldigger offers in response to you, you will nonsensically refute on the grounds that your theoretical hypothesis is truth. You don’t want to give credit to anyone’s thought processes but your own. Why do you bother to ask for evidence when you 1) have no intention to listen, and 2) have none to offer yourself?

        • Oh Sweet and baby Jesus Rana, now you’ve done it! Be prepared to be bombarded with an avalanche of the most inane, insane, illogical, mind-numbingly stupid garbage you’ve ever read in your entire life. Are you a closet masochist? LOL – just kidding! Take care and congrats on the pending nuptials!

        • Rana – – If Helldigger had anything logical to add to the discussion, he would have done so already. Instead, he, like the atheist Ashley, offers up sour words and bitter wishes because I am not persuaded by Ashley’s arguments. Moreover, I have not simply stated an objection to his arguments, but have in every case given a specific and logical reason as to why I object and offered Ashley the chance to respond.

          Ashley claimed that by submitting only two options as possible causes for the universe and life, life vs. lifelessness, that I have created a false dichotomy. However, he failed to give any option which did not consist of life or non-living matter, and so his claim of a false dichotomy was not proven. Therefore, I was unable to give any credit to his claim.

          Ashley also claimed to provide a completely natural explanation for the origin of life; Abiogenesis. However, I pointed out quite logically that this theory is in fact a supernatural explanation of the origins of life, because it requires that the laws of nature be suspended by positing that life arises from non-life, a notion which contradicts the scientific facts. Even you agreed that this theory involves the supernatural. Therefore, I was not able to give any credit to his theory.

          As far as me not offering any evidence for the creator position, have you not been listening? Did I not state that because science has proven that, without exception, life only originates from the living, that this is strong evidence that all life originated from a living source which existed prior to the creation of the universe? And did I not also present evidence that because the universe clearly exhibits design and purpose, that this is strong evidence that a living and intelligent being created it…because complex designs have NEVER been observed to be produced by the forces of random and unintelligent chaos? Yes, I did.

          And it is on these two scientific facts that I have argued the case and no one yet (neither you, nor Ashley nor Helldigger) has disputed those facts, and all three of you seem to be disappointed that I stand so confidently in those facts. So I ask you, why, if you agree with these facts, do you feel that I should abandon them by giving credit to Ashley’s assertions, which clearly contradict them?

          But if you are concerned that I have overlooked some logical assertion, simply state what it is and I will consider it. If, however, you insist that I must agree with your assertion just because you throw something out for consideration, or because you are offended that anyone would take an opposing view based on scientific facts/logic, then I should warn you that I cannot agree to those terms.

          Besides, last we knew, you were a theist and did not have any logical reason for believing in your god…other than simply feeling good about believing in one. If then you have a foundationless belief in a god, who are you to judge others for confidently believing in a creator based on what they believe to be real and scientifically verifiable evidences which every man can see?

          • “But if you are concerned that I have overlooked some logical assertion, simply state what it is and I will consider it.”
            Who the fuck are you trying to kid?!?!?!

            • Ashley

              I assure you it’s not a joke. All you have to do is present an arugment which doesn’t contradict scientific fact. When you can do that, then you will have an argument worthy of consideration.

              • You mean your scientific opinion. Honestly, Geddy, every argument you’ve ever posed on this blog has been a personal deduction of opinion. Perhaps you base that deduction on some facts, but just because your deduction of logic makes sense to you doesn’t make it fact or reality, let alone scientific. Your presentations have been philosophical in all respects, and philosophy is the science of no conclusions. Let it go.

              • Rana

                I agree. All of my posts are deductions based upon facts or logical reasoning/philosophy, and frankly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Science cannot answer non-physical questions, such as ‘Why do laws exist?’ or ‘Does my husband truly love me?’ To answer non-physical questions, philosophy is needed. Thus, reality is composed of both philosophy and science. Do you not agree?

                I strongly disagree, however, that philosphy is the ‘science of no conlusions’. Using the question above -‘ Why do laws exist?’ – clearly philosphy can give us a logical conclusion as to what the answer truly is. No bunsen burners and test tubes are required.

                As far as discontinuing the discussion, Ashley has made a comment that I won’t be true to my word, and I’ve merely assured him I would. Why do you show so much concern for our conversation? If Ashley wishes to flee the conversation because he shares your feelings, he is at liberty to do so…I am not holding him hostage. However, the fact that he came back here after two plus months to post his incredulity at my offer, seems to demonstrate that he does not share your feelings.

                Besides, are the readers of your blog not supposed to be discussing their opinions? Isn’t that the purpose of your blog…to discuss viewpoints/opinions on various topics with each other?

          • Geddy,

            Yes, reality is composed of universally proven facts as well as personal philosophy. However, an individual’s philosophy, just like their belief, is not universally provable. When you make a statement of philosophy, it is not a statement of fact, but of hypothesis; a hypothesis which cannot be tested to the point of provability. Therefore, philosophy is not conclusive, it cannot come to a universally accepted conclusion about the human condition. Multiple philosophies can attempt to answer the same question, and multiple philosophies can develop answers to that question from different perspectives. These answers, however, do not universally answer the question for all people, leaving no conclusion to the question.

            I have no interest in your ‘conversation’ with Ashley. I am the owner and sole admin of this page, I see every post made on it, and it so happens that I read them all for the sake of diligence. I have seen more than enough of your conversations to know that you demonstrate no interest in developing your knowledge from these conversations. You search for gratification through getting the last word. You have never once on this blog presented your own views. You question the views of others and tell them their views are illogical because they do not follow your own views, and you apparently have all the logical answers of the world. You cannot accept anyone else’s logical deductions. No one else’s philosophy in this world is acceptable to you for your own. You have demonstrated this position repeatedly throughout your comments here.

            I have no problem with you being content in your position for yourself. The fact that you refuse to acknowledge the logical deductions of others as valid, and must push the subject until your opponent accepts your logic and abandons their own (which has never happened), or they bow out for the sake of their own sanity, leaving you with the gratification of the last word. I don’t say this as an aggressive criticism, but state this from a psychological perspective. An example is this last back and forth with you and Ashley here.

            Again, not condoning Ashley’s random resurface of this conversation, but your reply is a challenge of debate, which against you is completely futile for anyone, not because you know everything, but because you refuse to admit that you don’t know everything. You refuse the logical deductions of others simply because you demand that your logic is irrefutable. Even after many times of opponents refuting your logic with theirs, you simply dismiss it as wrong. The fact is that logical debate can result in multiple answers, and is truly no different than philosophy.

            You are welcome to come here and debate as you wish, and refuse the logical deductions of those who reply to you. There is a point that I personally find your responses to simply be egging on the discussion to get more personal gratification from continuing to ignore others’ logical deductions and simply say, “Nope, I logically deduce away your argument, and I’m right again.” Shelldigger (and by the way, I will not tolerate you to call him ‘Helldigger’ again) and myself know how to bow out and accept that when a discussion of logical deduction or philosophy comes full circle and neither side will concede to the other, that the conversation has taken its course and it’s time to move on. This method does not satisfy your self-gratification, and so you never stop. Ashley does the same, but out of simple frustration, but even that ends in a bowing out of the conversation at some point.

            These are my observations of your character through your time on my blog, and this is why I responded to you.

            • Rana

              True. Personal philosophy is not necessarily universally accepted fact. In many cases it is just a hypothesis based upon evidences/reason…just like scientific hypotheses. However, I disagree when you say that ALL philosophy is not provable. Philosophy, of course, is not subject to scientific proof, otherwise it wouldn’t be philosophy. But it is subject to logical proofs.

              For example:

              Premise: Either life is created by the living, or life is created by the non-living.
              Evidence: Life is not created by non-living things.
              Logical Conclusion: Therefore, life is only created by living things.

              This is known as a logical proof. One may not agree with its conclusion, but that would mean he is in agreement with an illogical conclusion. For myself, I prefer to agree with the logical conclusions when applying philosophy to understand reality. I recognize that everyone does not wish to agree with the logical conclusion, but I certainly don’t force my conclusions upon anyone. They are free to conclude as they will. But if they state their reason for their conclusion, and I see something in that reasoning that tells me they may have overlooked some fact or observation, am I doing them a disservice by raising further questions for their consideration? That is what you are asking me to do, is it not?..to stop asking questions or bring to light new observations/facts which they haven’t considered, that may cause them to reconsider their position? For me, it’s not a matter of WHO is right or WHO is wrong, but rather WHICH CONCLUSION is right and WHICH CONCLUSION is wrong. To bow out of the discussion before having investigated all the arguments which can be made, is to leave stones unturned…which may lead to an incorrect or inconclusive conclusion. I suppose if one doesn’t really consider the question to be significant/important, they won’t pursue it very deeply. But of course, you have already passed judgment upon me – I”m only ‘gratifying myself to get the last word’. Yes, of course, that must be the reason why I suffer Ashley’s and Shelldigger’s abusive language and personal insults…which, to be fair, you don’t condemn by the way.

              As far as your assertion that I ‘simply dismiss’ eveyone’s arguments as wrong, I disagree. In each case, I present the reason(s) as to why I find their argument to be incorrect. There is no simple dismissing of opposing arguments. Do you have an example where I’ve simply dismissed someone’s argument without giving a reason for my conclusion or giving them the opportunity to respond to it? Isn’t this how men are supposed to discuss opposing views…or have I missed something?

              As far as me not having admitted to not knowing everything, I freely admit to you here and now that I don’t know everything. I do, however, admit to knowing some things, and if it’s not too much to ask of you, I would like to use what little knowledge I may believe I have to support me in my discussions. But since you object to my supposed knowledge, it would be most helpful to my own understanding if you would be so kind as to give an explicit example of a knowledge I’ve claimed to have which you know is in fact not true. In this way, I will know that you have a legitimate complaint and aren’t just desiring to suppress my beliefs because they may conflict with your beliefs. As far as that goes, Ashley and Shelldigger are invited to do the same.

            • Rana

              Some further thoughts for your consideration:

              1. “I have seen more than enough of your conversations to know that you demonstrate no interest in developing your knowledge from these conversations”

              On the contrary, I have learned a great deal. I have learned that there are people who do not believe in absolute truths, and the reasons why they do not believe in absolute truths. I have learned that there are people who reject religion, and the reasons why they reject religion. I have learned that there are people who reject the idea of a creator, and the reasons why they reject a creator. I have learned that there are people who create their own gods, and the reasons why they create their own gods. I have learned that there are people who desire to destroy religion, and the reasons why they desire to destroy it. I have learned that there are people who have opposing views, and how they go about dealing with each other. Need I go on?

              2. “You have never once on this blog presented your own views. You question the views of others and tell them their views are illogical because they do not follow your own views,”

              If I haven’t presented my own views, how can I tell anyone that they must follow those views…for how will they know what to follow? Aren’t you making a contradiction? Moreover, I don’t recall having told anyone that they must follow my views, and I strongly doubt that you can support your claim with any evidence at all. And last of all, isn’t it hypocritical of you to suggest that I’m demanding others follow my views, when it is you who were suggesting to Ashley that he forsake his militantism towards theists and instead adopt your personal view of what a ‘better man’ should be? Of course it was! And aren’t you doing the same thing here, when you interrupt my conversation with Ashley, to demand that I cease to pursue the absolute truth by continuing to question and get to the root of the matter being discussed? Isn’t it your belief that there is no absolute truths to be found, and that everything consists of mere opinions, such that in the end no one opinion is any better than any other contrary opinion? Why then are you demanding that I change my beliefs to conform to yours? And why are you not respecting my belief that truth is absolute, when you said that you respect all contrary beliefs? Yet, here you are contradicting yourself by trying to convince me that your beliefs are right and my beliefs are wrong!

              3. “Shelldigger and myself know how to bow out and accept that when a discussion of logical deduction or philosophy comes full circle and neither side will concede to the other, that the conversation has taken its course and it’s time to move on. ”

              Friend, is it up to you to decide when someone else’s conversation has come full circle? For your own conversations, that’s fine. But who are you to judge another’s conversation? If they wish to continue the discourse because they feel they haven’t come full circle, of what concern is that to you? Do they not have the right to do so? Is your view better than theirs? Or will you allow them to continue practicing their views/beliefs as to what constitutes a full circle without reprimand from you?

              4. “You refuse the logical deductions of others simply because you demand that your logic is irrefutable.”

              I don’t DEMAND anything, and I don’t see my logic as being irrefutable. On the contrary, I have freely offered my line of reasoning/logic for examination so that others may test it and discuss with me what logical errors they see in it, so that I may reconsider its integrity. If, however, the logic I use demands irrefutability, so be it, but that’s a completely separate issue than accusing me of demanding it. I only respond with more questions or facts or examples for further consideration. As I said before, when I see points of weakness in one’s logic, I strive to test that weakness with further dialog in order to understand their position better. If they give a response in which I can find no unsoundness, then I will agree that their deduction is logical and we can move forward together in the conversation. But, if I find it to be unsound in some respect, then we must continue to dig deeper until we can find a common ground and work back from there. If we exhaust all angles on the issue, without finding common ground, that is the point at which I will consider that we have come full circle and can abandon the discussion. To abandon the discussion prematurely, is to give up searching for the truth of the matter. It is my belief that truth, like anything of great value, is not something that suddenly appears to a person unwittingly, without having first exerted a great deal of effort to search for it. Like gold in a mine, it takes a lot of digging and exploration and personal investment to extract. That is my belief and I hope that you will respect it, as you said you respect everyone’s beliefs. By expressing my beliefs, I hope also that you will not assume that I am demanding that you also believe them, for I am not, and never have.

              5. “Nope, I logically deduce away your argument, and I’m right again.”

              Those are your words and sentiments, not mine. You can believe what you will, but that is a gross misrepresentation of the thoughts of my heart. What my heart tells me is that I must not agree with views which are contrary to logic and sound reasoning. Your heart may not be in agreement with mine when it comes to HOW to establish agreement, but, by your own standards, that doesn’t make my heart wrong. But since you claim that I am merely deducing away logically sound arguments, perhaps you could be so kind as to cite one of those arguments and explain to me why it is that my refutation of that argument is ABSOLUTELY wrong, and not just wrong in your own opinion.

              I would also note that neither you, nor Ashley nor Shelldigger has agreed with my views, but I am not whining about it. Every time I make an assertion, I am disagreed with in some respect. The only difference is that Ashley and Shelldigger go militant and start hurling personal insults and abuses, rather than focusing on a rational, thought-provoking discussion.

              • 1) You make no effort to reconsider your own views, to learn about the topic at hand and reanalyze your way of thinking, and if you do, you make no indication of such to those you discuss with. The closest you come is to say, “Yes, but…” I’m not saying you aren’t polite in your responses, you certainly are and I respect and appreciate that. But when you make no contribution of your own views as a rebuttal, and simply keep questioning another person’s views with no indication of simply saying, “Agree to disagree,” and move on can devolve into frustration for the person you are discussing with, and your polite language no longer matters.

                2) I never said a thing about you telling others to follow your views. I’m saying that you refuse to offer your views plainly and simply as a rebuttal to others’ views. You have no interest in other people questioning your views and encouraging you to think outside the box of your own deduced logic as you so incessantly do to others. Why? Because you have no interest in convincing others that you are right, you are only looking to say it to yourself. You reaffirm your own logic to yourself, with no interest in sharing it with others. You question others’ views incessantly until they either refute their own views or give up trying to explain themselves to you, because you never accept others’ deductions of logic, only your own. Unless they either give up, refute their views, or miraculously and coincidentally get around to what you want them to conclude, get to the ‘truth of the matter’ that you think is the only logical conclusion, you do not stop. You aren’t looking for answers, you’re looking to make people answer the way you want them to without actually telling them what you want. Your discussion with Ashley is proof enough of that.

                3) You ALWAYS have the last word in a conversation. Every conversation on this blog you have ever had ends with your words, not the other person’s. Why? Because you do not stop your conversation until you win, either by the other refuting their position or giving up on the conversation all together. Meaning that you never see an end to the circle, even when the other person does, so you keep going. I am not making judgment, I am making observation according to every conversation you’ve had on my blog. If you want to see what I see, go through your own comments. I already have, and citing them all will make this far longer than necessary.

                4) I never said you demand that others believe as you do. I said you demand that your belief, your logic, is the only appropriate conclusion. Again, without actually saying what that conclusion is. You question logical conclusions as if they are illogical, because it is not the conclusion you want them to come to. And I will say you never demand anything outright, however your behavior or incessant questioning, always leaning toward your form of logic versus another gives me a basis of logical deduction that concludes you will not stop until either your form of logic comes out on top, or the discussion ends without a solid conclusion.

                5) Refer to the last sentence of #4. And I am not whining about you not agreeing with anyone else’s views. I’m not asking you to agree with anyone else. I’m telling you that your comments create a picture of a man who wants nothing but to be self-justified, by any means necessary. You can be as polite about it as you like, but the bottom line is if the person you are discussing with does not either come to the same conclusion as your logic brings you to, or simply steps out of the conversation, you will not have your victory, and so you will not stop pushing the issue. And I will make no effort to defend Shelldigger or Ashley regarding their various outbursts toward you or even RT. However, on the side of Ashley specifically, you again only receive such outbursts when you do not recognize or care that the conversation has come full circle for the other person. When that other person has presented their views to you 4 different times in the same thread, repeating themselves because your questions are also becoming repetitive, and are not getting the results you want, the discussion is full circle, and pushing the issue further will get you nothing but frustration, and will result in either the other person stepping out of the conversation (Shelldigger’s typical response) or an angry outburst (like Ashley).

              • 1 and 2) “…you make no contribution of your own views as a rebuttal, and simply keep questioning another person’s views…”; “You have no interest in other people questioning your views and encouraging you to think outside the box of your own deduced logic as you so incessantly do to others. Why?”

                It is not my views I am discussing, so I am not compelled to solicit them. On the contrary, since my purpose is to understand the basis of someone else’s beliefs, an unsolicited discussion of my views is completely unneccesary/irrelevant to achieving my objective. If, however, the person with whom I am inquiring wishes to also inquire of me what my views are, I will not hide them. So far, however, no one on your blog has taken any interest in knowing my views as evidenced by their complete lack of query regarding them. And since most of my conversations have been with you, I am left to wonder why you would even think to lodge such a complaint, when the fault is clearly yours for lacking the interest to make inquiry into my views. I must confess also that I do find it quite ironic for persons who claim to know nothing, to then go about soliciting their views/beliefs as though they have an unshakeable confidence that there is some great value in those beliefs…but the moment you encounter someone who does not solicit what he does not know, you confront him as a trouble maker.

                2) “You aren’t looking for answers, you’re looking to make people answer the way you want them to without actually telling them what you want.”

                Like anyone, I simply want the person who espoused a view/belief, to explain the rationale they used which brought them to that conclusion. Unlike anyone, however, I also wish to examine the believer’s response to obvious questions regarding their conviction which they did not address in their explanation, but which are necessary in order for me to give full consideration to their views. Unless this latter part is done, I do not feel that full consideration can be given. It is unfortunate that we are not in agreement that such questioning is a genuinely necessary part of a complete assessment, as a common belief between us, in this instance, would definitely not have incurred your condemnation. As it currently stands, however, you do not respect my view (that to fully consider a belief, one must dive deep into understanding the root cause of the belief), and so you pass judgment against it.

                3) “You ALWAYS have the last word in a conversation.”

                Sadly, this appears to be true. That I recall, I’ve only conversed with you and Ashley, and as you confessed, everyone else is more prone to become quickly frustrated by my questions and to therefore exit the discussion first. Therefore, the only way to change this outcome would be for others to increase their stamina and remain in the conversation, or for me to leave my questions unanswered and thereby neglect a full consideration of a person’s views/beliefs. And since you have stated that you wish for me to fully consider other’s views/beliefs, the latter option is obviously not agreeable to either of us.

                4) “You question logical conclusions as if they are illogical, because it is not the conclusion you want them to come to.”

                If I understood them to be logical, there would be no need for me to question them. And so, as with any rational dialog, when one does not fully understand or agree with what is being said, it is the responsiblity of the hearer to ask the speaker to clarify his thoughts. A prime example of this is when Ashley claimed to have a completely natural explanation for how life began, and it was demonstrated that his explanation was in fact supernatural and not natural…and you agreed with my reasoning. Because it was shown to be a supernatural explanation, his assertion of a natural explanation was revealed to be illogical. But I’ll challenge you again, if you feel that I’ve ignored some irrefutable logic, state what it was and I’ll be happy to re-evaluate it. I’ve asked you to do this before (some months ago), and you haven’t done so yet. Without a specific instance being addressed, I’m afraid I can’t give much consideration/merit to your concerns, for there is no information from you upon which I can act…just a sweeping generalization.

                5) “When that other person has presented their views to you 4 different times in the same thread, repeating themselves because your questions are also becoming repetitive, and are not getting the results you want, the discussion is full circle, and pushing the issue further will get you nothing but frustration, and will result in either the other person stepping out of the conversation (Shelldigger’s typical response) or an angry outburst (like Ashley).”

                While I appreciate your concerns, I do not share them. I force no one to engage me in dialog, nor am I compelled by anyone. Each is free to speak as they will, or not speak as they will. For myself, I wish to understand a person’s convictions, especially where their views differ from my own. I’ve queried both those whose conclusions I agree with as well as those whose conclusions I oppose. That I agree or disagree is of no concern to me. What is of concern to me is the root cause of the belief. And to get to the root of anything, one has to keep digging until all the surface layers hiding those roots are removed. Some persons do not like having their roots exposed, and so draw lines and erect walls to prevent their discovery. In those cases, they often choose to exit the discussion, but neither party is injured by their leaving the discussion….so you need not concern yourself with that.

  17. Geddy,

    I my view, you last comment is a breakthrough, and I will explain why. I was in speech and debate all four years of high school. In that experience, I developed a concept of debate and dialog, one which specifically has both sides present their views as alternatives to the other person’s views, and openly offers those views up for scrutiny, just as they scrutinize the others’ views. Now, on this blog, Ashley, Shelldigger, and most especially Thunder, do this. When they do not agree with my rationale, my logic presented in my view, they not only question that view, they provide their own view as a rebuttal and an alternative, on which I can recognize why they ask the questions they are asking. I can see why my logic does not coincide with how they view logic, and so I can explain my logic more thoroughly. I can also see when there are points in my logic which do not extend any farther than their questions are asking me to expand, and I can note that to them, avoiding an endless loop of repetitive responses. I can note that their logic expands farther in detail than mine does, and to continue questioning under their logic would gain no more information from me.

    When I come across comments from you, all I see are questions, challenges to my view. In the beginning of a conversation this is understandable, acceptable, and expected. On answering those initial questions, from my past experiences, I expect either an, “Okay, I see where you’re coming from. Here’s how I see things. What does your way of thinking say to that?,” or a, “No, see, this is how I see things, which answers my posed questions differently from yours. What is your response to my views, and by the way, here are some other questions to answer regarding your own that I don’t feel you have elaborated on.” When coming into a posed debate of views, I have been raised to expect the other person I am debating with to pose their own views as a rebuttal. From my view, this is a common practice, as well as a common courtesy. Why? Because in both sides sharing their views, both sides get something out of the conversation. There is no reason to directly say, “What are your views?” in a debate, because the purpose of debate is to bounce to ideas back and forth, two answers to the same question, and decide if one of those answers is better than the other.

    When you come here and question my views incessantly, without contributing anything else besides those questions, I begin to question your intent. When your intent, in your own mind, is your want for knowledge, without any concern for what I am getting out of the conversation, I become frustrated. Answering your questions to justify myself to you, while having no opportunity to scrutinize your views to an equal extent, as well as not being offered an ultimatum from my views, I get nothing out of answering your questions. I am given no new knowledge to accept or reject. My whole purpose in our conversations turns into a cycle of justification. I’m here to learn about others’ views as well as expand on my own. When a conversation comes up where I get nothing out of it, then the purpose of my responses, for me, becomes useless. It becomes a waste of my time to get nothing out of answering all of your questions.

    When you question the way I deduce my logic, and in my view I answer all your questions according to my logic, yet you continue to question, the problem becomes this. Your logic may delve into more detail about a subject, but mine does not. In my mind, my logical response could be to say, “I’ve already answered this concern through my response [insert past reference here].” Your logic may develop more answers than mine does to more detailed questions. But if I begin to repeat my responses, it is not because I don’t have answers. It’s because I feel my previous responses cover those questions you are not posing. This goes back, again, to getting frustrated when you continue to question without giving your views as a reference. If the conversation was a debate, this would be a natural response, and in you presenting your own view, I could say, “Oh! You see, you go into far more detail in your logical deduction about this than I do. I have nothing more to share with you on this aspect of my view, but you seem to have a lot more detail in that aspect of your view. Let me hear about it and I may pose some questions. I also may learn something from your view which will prompt me to investigate my own further, and perhaps I will have a more detailed view on this aspect as well later on.” Without that comparative of your view to help me understand why you keep questioning, when from my perspective I have already answered any question you could pose, your questioning, from my view, sounds less of a want for you to learn where I’m coming from and more a want for you to convince me I’m not thinking properly. In other words, your questions become a challenge of my view simply for the sake of seeing me give up on my view. This, along with getting no new knowledge from the conversation, combines to make the person you are discussing with extremely frustrated with you, leading to them leaving the conversation and leaving your questions unanswered.

    And here, I will outwardly admit that I was not going to accept any more questions from you. I was very much planning on essentially blocking you, but for the first time, I actually got information from you in this response. I actually got your view on things. It gives me something to stand on, something to expand on in this conversation. It gives me a baseline to compare my logic to your logic, and help you understand why we don’t agree on things.

    So I offer a compromise here. If you begin a comment thread and pose questions for me, I will accept them and discuss. In return, I will specifically and directly make my first response to you a request for you to present your own views on the topic. You may take that or leave it as you will, but understand that in refusing and saying, “It’s not about my views, it’s about me understanding your views,” I will likely refrain from responding to you for the remainder of that thread. By making your questions all about you gaining understanding without considering what I am getting out of the conversation, I will simply no contribute to the conversation either. I want this to be an equal exchange of information. I want to get something out of these conversations just as much as you do. So either we both get new information out of the discussion, or neither of us do. In the same way, if our conversation comes to a head of repetitive questions and responses, I will directly say something along the lines of, “I do not have any further information to contribute to that question. All I have responded to you is all I have to offer. What do you have to offer as an alternative if you still feel my view is not logically correct?” Your response will give me building blocks on which to further delve into the conversation, as well as a baseline of further ways I can look at my own views.

    Fair?

*Insert your thought here*

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