An invitation to Andrew to explain why he believes in Biblical Numerology and Intelligent Design

I received this comment from Andrew under my post Debunking Myself: What A Long Strange Trip It’s Been.

…….So…. I have a lot to say after reading your debunked page/adventure testimony. Unfortunately, if i get started in this comment box I will quickly run out of room.

That being said, I wish to simply share that I have had my own “life adventure”. I have spent the past 8 years scouring through physics and metaphysics looking for some confirmation in the legitimacy of faith.

Long story short, I found what I was looking for. My questions were answered and my faith confirmed.

My physical proof was found in the mathematical functions of Pi and Golden Ratio. 2 different formulas expressing similar function. Later I discovered that they are only 2 examples of an infinite variety of that Function. (I would be willing to expand on that if you choose to ask.)

My Metaphysical proof was found “in the wind” so to speak. I experienced something a few years back which led me to the confirmation that the complexities and flawless mechanical nature of the natural universe could not have spontaneously come into existence. I know what I saw and the Truth is the Natural Universe was expertly designed by Intelligence. (again I would love to elaborate if you were curious enough to ask me.) Although, I do admittedly choose for myself to place my faith in that that designer was the Hebrew God and His Son the Christ.

Well, I better leave it there, like I said, if I go into anymore detail I would end up writing you a book. (yes i have been putting a book together over the last 3+ years.)

I simply wanted to thank you for putting this all together and sharing your story and to share back with you some things I went through that allowed me to relate to your story.

-Andrew

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54 Comments

  1. Andrew
    Posted June 15, 2016 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for the invitation. As far as my original comment goes, I wasn’t sure what the word count limit was. Since you invited me to elaborate, I’m assuming this box will allow for a sufficient word count.

    First, I’m not sure that it is entirely accurate to say that I believe in biblical “numerology”. Since, generally speaking, I don’t place any substantial faith in Numerology. However, I have found there to be a certain level of generalized consistencies. Much like astrology, though I don’t believe astrology has the power to tell the future or have any concrete data within the practice. However, I have come to see that astrology does posses a certain general consistencies, much like numerology. Such as in the description of personality traits within each sign. Some traits being more dominating then others depending on the individual. So do numbers share and generate certain relationships and patterns which are undeniably fascinating, even powerful.

    That being said, as far as numbers are concerned, I have found a very powerful and concrete mathematical Function in the natural universe. The two generally known examples of that Function are Pi and The Golden Ratio: aka Fibonacci Sequence.
    These two formulas both stand apart and are one in the same. When plotted on a graph they both produce a spiral which has infinite potential. The infinite nature of their shared Function is governed only when these numbers are manifested into the physical world. From the mechanics of a galaxy to the growth guidelines of a dandelion, I have even developed an equation which can apply the Spiral Function to Time itself. The only forces powerful enough to hinder the potentially infinite growth of objects within Nature is Time and Gravity. Since neither Time nor Gravity can exist without the other, their presence is required on every scale in order to keep the proportions throughout the Universe held together. I have even discovered that there is nothing in the known Universe which does not posses it’s own unique Spiral Function. This Function is what gives shape, proportion, dimension and Life to every object in Nature. The only Natural force I have yet to find the Spiral application for is Gravity.

    This level of Mathematical complexity and mechanical perfection, to me, can NOT have spontaneously come together. To me, I don’t think that it’s even remotely possible that if one were to take apart, piece by individual piece, any kind of time keeping device, a clock or wrist watch (a galaxy or a solar system, an elephant or a mouse, a tree or a flower) and were to throw it into a tumble drier, the pieces would Never, in thousands of millions of years, assemble themselves and then function to keep time. Therefore, to me, this level of Functionality demands Intelligence.

    I am afraid to go into any more detail, call it academic preservation or possibly paranoia, but I have found no other reference to this phenomena and I don’t want it stolen. I have put a lot of time and energy into putting together an independent dissertation/book on the subject.

    So, that was the physical proof of Higher Intelligence I found which led me to re-examine the potential existence of the Hebrew God.

    I mentioned before, in my original comment, that I had discovered metaphysical proof as well. I understand that that may sound like a contradiction. How can anything metaphysical provide Proof of Anything? Well, before I made my original comment post, I had read about your Life Adventures and the experiences you had with LSD. For me it was Psilocybin. That being said, during a time in which my Brain was in a state processing visual information so fast, my eyes were acting as high speed cameras. Bringing the world around me almost to a crawl. I discovered that in the time between just as the sun begins to illuminate the sky and the fullness of day, there is a period of roughly 10mins where one can witness the waking of the natural world. First, the stretching of plant life. I watched as all flora and fauna stretched their limbs, pedals and stems. Second, the waking of all manner of bugs and insects began buzzing about. By the time this process ended, the sun was now fully illuminating and the Day had begun. This experience, though it happened a number of years ago, is still fresh in my mind as though it were yesterday and had changed me and my life so profoundly that I began my search for who or what was responsible for this Beauty and mechanical unity within nature.

    Being an amateur scientist, I questioned the validity of my state of mind under that influence. I continued to experiment and evaluate. Unfortunately, I allowed my curiosity and enthusiasm to take the experimentation too far. Thankfully I recognized this just before cracking and going the way of Syd Barrett. So, I switched from first hand experimentation to researching the second hand. This second hand research was fueled by the question; “Is there legitimacy to the accounts of the existence of God and validity in the placing of Faith in that Deity?”

    So I started at the beginning, literally. First, the chemical; Psilocibin, legitimate experience or ferry dust? Then I discovered this: (4-PO-DMT) Who cares? Well, what I found interesting was that it contains DMT. Further research shows that DMT is present in every green living thing, including the human brain. I chose not to believe this was a meaningless ingredient to life. It must have purpose.
    Second, Human History and our continued connection to all things spiritual. All stories have a basis of either fact or first hand experience, no matter how far buried beneath subtext it may be. So, I gathered all I could on the earliest known cultures and studied them. Comparing them to Biblical testimony and archeological history. I found more correlations then contradictions. In fact, I discovered links between all the major religions of the world. The broadest of connections being that somehow every culture tells a flood story. Also, the the Muslim faith, Judaeo faith and Christian faith are all fighting over the same God, each for their own contexts sake. Furthermore, Christ was the only Teacher who had a known Divine Nature. Buddha never claimed Divinity only knowledge of a Sacred Truth which he shared, Muhammed is called “prophet” excluding him from Divinity in my eyes. Also, the ancestors of Sumerian culture, the oldest known culture to archeology, spoke of their encounter with God in the Garden. On the subject of Sumerians, I discovered a book called “The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross” written by John Allegro, who specialized on the Sumerian culture as a linguist. He discovered that they referred to the “Sacred Mushroom” and documented it as the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden. Interesting fun-fact to be sure.

    I could go on like this for pages, fact is that I am putting another book together to clarify this point. That there is too much information in this world pertaining to Gods existence. Archeological, historical, literary, mathematical and physical. All providing a strong case for not only His existence but the legitimacy and validity in Spiritual Faith.

    In conclusion, I would absolutely recommend picking up that book by John Allegro. Blew my mind right open. Also, if you like I will save your blog page and, if I am able, re-contact you when either of my books finish.

  2. Posted June 16, 2016 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    Thank you for the invitation. As far as my original comment goes, I wasn’t sure what the word count limit was. Since you invited me to elaborate, I’m assuming this box will allow for a sufficient word count.

    Hey there Andrew,

    For all practical purposes, there is no character limit on the comments. But it’s usually a good idea to keep them small enough to easily answer. Otherwise points tend to be missed.

    This level of Mathematical complexity and mechanical perfection, to me, can NOT have spontaneously come together. To me, I don’t think that it’s even remotely possible that if one were to take apart, piece by individual piece, any kind of time keeping device, a clock or wrist watch (a galaxy or a solar system, an elephant or a mouse, a tree or a flower) and were to throw it into a tumble drier, the pieces would Never, in thousands of millions of years, assemble themselves and then function to keep time. Therefore, to me, this level of Functionality demands Intelligence.

    I am afraid to go into any more detail, call it academic preservation or possibly paranoia, but I have found no other reference to this phenomena and I don’t want it stolen. I have put a lot of time and energy into putting together an independent dissertation/book on the subject.

    Unfortunately, I have no idea what you are talking about because you don’t want to share the actual details yet. Why did you post such extravagant claims if you are not willing to back them up? They sound like the typical kind of claims about “incontrovertible proof of design in the Bible” that have never stood under scrutiny. I know, because I have pretty much reviewed them all. That’s why I extended this invitation for you to share your work here. After wasting many years pursuing illusory “patterns in the Bible” I have made it a hobby to debunk such claims. I thought you were looking for someone to challenge your assertions so you could show the world that they are legitimate.

    I mentioned before, in my original comment, that I had discovered metaphysical proof as well. I understand that that may sound like a contradiction. How can anything metaphysical provide Proof of Anything? Well, before I made my original comment post, I had read about your Life Adventures and the experiences you had with LSD. For me it was Psilocybin.

    That being said, during a time in which my Brain was in a state processing visual information so fast, my eyes were acting as high speed cameras. Bringing the world around me almost to a crawl. I discovered that in the time between just as the sun begins to illuminate the sky and the fullness of day, there is a period of roughly 10mins where one can witness the waking of the natural world. First, the stretching of plant life. I watched as all flora and fauna stretched their limbs, pedals and stems. Second, the waking of all manner of bugs and insects began buzzing about. By the time this process ended, the sun was now fully illuminating and the Day had begun. This experience, though it happened a number of years ago, is still fresh in my mind as though it were yesterday and had changed me and my life so profoundly that I began my search for who or what was responsible for this Beauty and mechanical unity within nature.

    Being an amateur scientist, I questioned the validity of my state of mind under that influence. I continued to experiment and evaluate. Unfortunately, I allowed my curiosity and enthusiasm to take the experimentation too far. Thankfully I recognized this just before cracking and going the way of Syd Barrett. So, I switched from first hand experimentation to researching the second hand. This second hand research was fueled by the question; “Is there legitimacy to the accounts of the existence of God and validity in the placing of Faith in that Deity?”

    I’m not surprised that psilocybin helped open your mind to the wonders of life, consciousness, and the universe. And neither am I surprised that it gave you an interest in “God”. Psychedelics are are well-known for producing mystical experiences. That’s why some refer to them as “entheogens” (from theos, god). I had many such experiences which inspired me to search for the “one truth” behind all religion. Unfortunately, my pattern-seeking brain got seduced by the occult “sciences” of Kabbalah, Tarot, Astrology, I Ching, etc., and soon I was lost in a magical mystical dream world driven by “synchronicity” and “numerical archetypes” that “revealed the Mind of God”. Everything I encountered seemed to fit into some larger, very meaningful, pattern. Confirmation bias kicked in hard. I began ignoring things that didn’t fit the “pattern”. Any “hit” went off like fireworks in my ever growing network of “mutually confirming” connections. I had become deluded. The rest is history, as I explain in my post Debunking Myself: What A Long Strange Trip It’s Been.

    So I started at the beginning, literally. First, the chemical; Psilocibin, legitimate experience or ferry dust? Then I discovered this: (4-PO-DMT) Who cares? Well, what I found interesting was that it contains DMT. Further research shows that DMT is present in every green living thing, including the human brain.

    I chose not to believe this was a meaningless ingredient to life. It must have purpose.

    I am not so sure that was a wise choice. Projecting “agency” onto natural phenomena is one of the oldest errors of the human brain. It’s called “hyperactive agency detection.” I think it’s why some people tend to see “coincidence” as evidence of “design” by an “agent.” That’s a big part of numerology and pattern finding.

    Second, Human History and our continued connection to all things spiritual. All stories have a basis of either fact or first hand experience, no matter how far buried beneath subtext it may be. So, I gathered all I could on the earliest known cultures and studied them. Comparing them to Biblical testimony and archeological history. I found more correlations then contradictions. In fact, I discovered links between all the major religions of the world. The broadest of connections being that somehow every culture tells a flood story.

    I followed a similar path, as have many others. I read books like Frazer’s The Golden Bough and Campbell’s Hero with a Thousand Faces that explored the common themes of mythology and religion.

    Shared mythology does not imply historical validity. Case in point: Nothing like Noah’s flood ever happened. Do you think it is a myth relating to something spiritual?

    I do not think the method of “looking for connections” in massive data sets is a reliable path to truth. How do you avoid cognitive errors like cherry picking and confirmation bias? You are almost guaranteed to find anything you are looking for because the data set is so large and you can ignore all the misses. “Seek and ye shall find” pretty much sums up the problem of cherry picking and confirmation bias. That’s what the scientific method was designed to overcome. It is why science is so successful whereas all “proofs by numerology” have failed.

    Also, the the Muslim faith, Judaeo faith and Christian faith are all fighting over the same God, each for their own contexts sake. Furthermore, Christ was the only Teacher who had a known Divine Nature. Buddha never claimed Divinity only knowledge of a Sacred Truth which he shared, Muhammed is called “prophet” excluding him from Divinity in my eyes. Also, the ancestors of Sumerian culture, the oldest known culture to archeology, spoke of their encounter with God in the Garden. On the subject of Sumerians, I discovered a book called “The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross” written by John Allegro, who specialized on the Sumerian culture as a linguist. He discovered that they referred to the “Sacred Mushroom” and documented it as the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden. Interesting fun-fact to be sure.

    The fact that some Christians came to claim Christ was God is no evidence of anything. That claim was (and is) hotly disputed by other believers.

    I read Allegro’s book long ago. It was interesting but felt like a pretty big stretch. I was never convinced by it.

    I don’t quite follow the connection from the doctrine of Divinity of Christ to the Sacred Mushroom. Are you saying you believe Christ really was a mushroom, and the mushroom is God?

    I could go on like this for pages, fact is that I am putting another book together to clarify this point. That there is too much information in this world pertaining to Gods existence. Archeological, historical, literary, mathematical and physical. All providing a strong case for not only His existence but the legitimacy and validity in Spiritual Faith.

    I understand how you could feel that there is a lot of evidence, but I’m pretty sure it’s all an illusion created by cognitive errors common to such claims. I very much doubt they will stand under scrutiny. I would be delighted to review them for you if you would like them to be “peer reviewed.”

    In conclusion, I would absolutely recommend picking up that book by John Allegro. Blew my mind right open. Also, if you like I will save your blog page and, if I am able, re-contact you when either of my books finish.

    Yes, it would be great if you wanted to contact me when your book is done. But I think you would benefit more by sharing your results now so I could help correct any errors. There really is no need to worry about your work being “stolen.” The world is awash in claims about proof of God and the Bible and numerical patterns that prove “Intelligent Design.” If your claims are true, why worry about them being “stolen”? Isn’t that what you really want – for the world to know what you have discovered? If there is any truth to your claims, they will be attached to your name forever. There is no way they could be “stolen” because you would have proof that you introduced them to the world right here on my humble little blog. It would be epic. I encourage you to take the plunge and share your work.

    All the best,

    Richard

  3. Andrew
    Posted June 16, 2016 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    McGough: Unfortunately, I have no idea what you are talking about because you don’t want to share the actual details yet. Why did you post such extravagant claims if you are not willing to back them up? They sound like the typical kind of claims about “incontrovertible proof of design in the Bible” that have never stood under scrutiny. I know, because I have pretty much reviewed them all. That’s why I extended this invitation for you to share your work here. After wasting many years pursuing illusory “patterns in the Bible” I have made it a hobby to debunk such claims. I thought you were looking for someone to challenge your assertions so you could show the world that they are legitimate.”

    Please understand, This is the first time I have even tried publicly sharing any of my work. I do have a mentor who has been helping me plug holes over the past 5 or so years. I trust this person not only personally, but also to have adequate knowledge on both subject matters. He posses Phd’s in multiple disciplines, including Physics and Theology. That of course doesn’t go without saying that just because someone has multiple degrees doesn’t mean their not “bat-shit”. I have spent many hours studying with him, re-researched what I learned from him and I have come to have a unique trust in his knowledge.
    That being said, I do believe you have a point. Perhaps I have been a little too paranoid about sharing my research. Perhaps it would be academically healthy. Give me some time to organize the appropriate details to each of your questions. I will respond to each question. Please bear with me, this work is precious to me.

    In the meantime and just as a preliminary response, I would like to clarify the “Sacred Mushroom” issue. I believe that the mushroom is only a singular representation of all psychoactive plants and is but a gift. A “tree of some kind” which was placed in the garden meant to be consumed at the appropriate time (why else would it have been placed there in the first place?). But the “gift” was consumed at far too early an age and without permission or preparation and therefor caused panic and destruction. God is God and Christ is Christ and the Spirit shared between them is bestowed on those who would receive it. The mushroom and all plants like it, today, act only as a catalyst or conduit through which we as humans may use as a Secondary means of accessing that spirit. However they are by default, neutral. An unbiased means accessing generalized Understanding of things both Physical and Spiritual.

    If DMT is present in ALL flora and fauna, from Memosa Bark to the grass in your back yard, and again in our brains, then does it not go beyond coincidence?

  4. SublimeKnightTemplar
    Posted June 16, 2016 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Hey Richard,

    As for Spiritual answers– I think that happens all the time “if you are inclined to believe” because then you map whatever seems significant and picked onto your belief. This doesn’t mean that there are absolutely no authentic supernatural-like events or even “answered prayers,” (Who the Hell Knows?) but it does mean that many people more often than not attribute mere coincidences to “Divine-Agency” to God, Angels, Demons, Lord Xenu, Allah, Bob, Frank, the Cosmic Mind, the Secret of Attraction, or whatever the hell else you can imagine. LMAO.

    The real problem is that “folks are very gullible and they will easily fool themselves!” (Yes, including me. LOL.) And Charlatainism is a such a vile and evil thing to perpetrate on those who do not understand and an evil we could do without.

    However, I don’t discount the possibility of all sorts of supernatural-like events, but neither can I believe that there is a 2,500-year-old Biblical O.T. Demiurge-God of the cosmic soap-opera style” that actually answers personal prayers or wishes as a general rule. It’s not easy to discern between chance and design in my personal life because I am too closely involved and invested in everything having to do with me. DUH!

    So it’s very easy to fool ourselves…

    I myself have had enough “Experiences” to evoke a sense of the “Mystical,“ “Divine” and “Spiritually-Numinous” in my life- but so has everyone else on the dam planet! LOL. But hat doesn’t prove Jack! So my own personal experience and axioms doesn’t really “Prove” anything. But it only motivates me more to discover more the Truth…

    What “Proof” would I require of Supernatural-Intercession and Divine-Agency and Answers to Prayers? That’s very easy – just have to do exactly what He/She/It says! For example, the sick would have to be actually healed and limbs-restored instantly meaning a doctor could scientifically falsify and verify it.

    And incidental personal testimonies and anecdotes here or there don’t count a rip for me! The conman Benny Hinn claims many healings at every one of his shows. Hank Hanegraaff asked him for his best three headlings that could be confirmed by doctors. Benny complied, but not one panned out.

    Bottom Line: Humans will supernaturally and magically-believe what they want to believe (talking-snakes included! LOL.) regardless and have very fabulative selective-memories.

    To my Knowledge, God has never healed one person, cured acne, colds, cancer, restored or caused missing-limbs to be magically and instantly restored in congenital-deformities and amputees. Not one. Period. Never. Nada. Zero. Null. Caput. Zilch! (Please feel free to correct me.)

    Hey, that’s OK and just fine with me…Our Universe in which we live demonstrates absolutely no so-called “Intelligent Design” of any cosmic supernatural two bit cosmic-player like a Creator that intervenes or manifests in any kind of detectable way whatsoever.

    Imaginary conversations with make-believe aetheric aery creatures, god, spirits, including angels, fairies, elves, devils, demons, and aliens. No supernatural-claim that I know bout it has ever been “popper-falsified or scientifically-demonstrated” itself to be even remotely likely to be true.

    I will assert with almost 100% metaphysical-certitude that there is absolutely no primitive theistic-god of any kind whatsoever. And it only makes perfect sense to assert that there is none since the existence of such a god would “would have direct-implications that contradict direct observed reality” which we do not see!

    And if there is an infinite intelligent logos-creator (and also “conscious”) – which is a contradiction- simple observation of nature through observation, scientific-method, common-sense, reason, rationality and our logic and reasoning skills should be all that is required to reveal it!

    A so-called Infinite-God would literally have no space-time, no room to do so, and no reason to do so…Nothing for a Creator God to do! A universe in which magical-superbeings intervene in the affairs of humans is a measurably different universe than one in which such superbeings do not, and “there are absolutely no indications that any such super anthrop-beings ever affected the material world in any way.

    IMO it is our natural in-built propensity to form a “Self-Image” and a Theory-of-Mind or Psyche/Soul leads quite naturally to the “Projection-Idea” of Divine-Agencies- God, Angels, Demons, Souls, Ghosts and Spirits. We ascribe to other people a mind or ego-self, we perceive the natural world as capricious and perhaps therefore possessed of One Big Mind, Super-Ego or “Spirit.”

    There is a famous saying that goes like this: “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence,” and this phrase is often trotted out by these Apologists.

    However, “absence of evidence is most definitely evidence of absence” in situations “where we would expect to see some modicum evidence.”

    ‘Nuff said.

    23- Skidoo!

  5. SublimeKnightTemplar
    Posted June 16, 2016 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    One More Thing,

    Theists (Creationists) accuse ‘ole Richard Dawkins of being a bigot for his wise refusal to share platforms with idiot creationists since it gave credence to their views. I think we can all agree with that people, inspired by religion, have produced some beautiful art, literature and architecture.

    People, inspired by religion, have produced, and continue to produce, terrible devastation, misery and suffering. It is true that many distinguished, successful and clever people have been inspired and seduced by religion, satisfied by religion, and have been active in supporting religion.

    But the fact that some clever people enjoy “the intoxication of religion and magical-thinking” doesn’t change the fact that belief in the existence of theistic supernatural beings is a pretty piss-poor basis for understanding real phenomena. (IMO Richard Dawkins is right to refuse to try publicly to reason with idiots who refuse to reason.)

    Religions have been sources of human imagination and creativity, and thus claiming that religious thought is on a par with scientific reason is making the common mistake of conflating metaphysics (so-called “metaphysical-proof” or woo) with objective physical fact and reality.

    Believing that something is true simply because one believes it applies only to the former! It is quite wrong to say that nature, complex numbers and the big bang are unjustified and incomprehensible concepts.

    The first is simply a mathematical and thought construct – both justified and comprehensible – while the big bang was discovered through scientific enquiry, an ongoing process that has not yet fully answered many of our questions about the physical nature of the universe.

    I’m quite sure that Richard Dawkins could not create an artwork such as the Sistine Chapel. But neither could the pope. LOL. People of any dogmatic-faith “make the world safe for the fundamentalists and extremists” because they legitimised believing “something without evidence, without the need to justify it”.

    You may wonder why some creationists suggest there was a canopy around Earth before Noah’s Flood. Genesis says that during creation God separated the waters under the heavens from the waters above the heavens. Creationists know there’s no water in space, but they also believe the Bible cannot be wrong about the waters above the heavens! Go Figure. To solve this, some of them postulated that there was a vapour canopy in the sky, which fell as rain during Noah’s Flood. Now, though, even creationists admit to the problems with the vapour canopy, and that’s before we ask how they got from water to a pink canopy of metallic hydrogen.

    Material is being used to ‘educate’ children that is simply wrong. It will implant misconceptions in the minds of young people and once implanted, misconceptions are very difficult to challenge and almost impossible to deprogram and overcome.

    Teaching this to children misleads them not only about scientific facts, it distorts their view of the nature of science. If students accept what it teaches, they will not only believe in falsehoods, they’ll be confused about the distinction between science and pseudoscience.

    To Creationists, the Bible is the Word of God and is free of error. Unless it’s clear that a verse is intended metaphorically, creationists take it literally. This is the starting point for creationist science. They know the Bible is true, so they go and look for confirmation of what it says. If the evidence contradicts the Bible, either the data is wrong or it has been misinterpreted. Either way, you go back and try again until you confirm the truth of the Word of God!

    A quarter of Americans, for example, believe that the sun goes around the earth. Some absurd proportion of English school leavers believes, or will tell you, that the earth is no more than 10,000 years old. Surveys show clearly that the public believe in homeopathy and in astrology et al.

    When I examine my own revulsion from theism and creationism I find it does have a moral component. It is the same horror I feel when people are ignorant of history; it seems a betrayal of the human race, the fragile collective enterprise of civilization. Knowledge of history, like knowledge of science, is won with difficulty, and by moral virtues as well as purely intellectual ones. To throw them away dishonours our ancestors and cheats our descendants.

    The point of spirituality is to help us work through the existential dilemma’s we face, to overcome our psychological suffering and to live happy, meaningful lives. That’s it, in my opinion. All of the metaphysical claims and speculations about what we “really are” are just a lot of wasted air…though it is fun to talk about such things.

    Metaphysical positions and proofs “can’t be falsified or tested” for. Although Metaphysical masturbation has been around for thousands of years and produced “0” except interesting discussion. LOL.Physics for “woo believers” has become the god to fill in the gaps in our lack of understanding.

    There is NO need for Woo or New Age but again this is a typical look of a believer. You throw evidence on them they look for something to still believe. I am getting really tired of this lately. The Deepak Chopra on Consciousness demonstrates that woo woo is a much more powerful mind-changing intoxicant than booze. Increasing consumption of booze eventually causes unconsciousness, which is an innate protection mechanism. Unfortunately, many humans have no similar mechanism to protect them from their ever increasing consumption of supernatural and theistic woo-woo.

    Those who claim to be open-minded while presenting endless references to bullshit anti-science, fringe science, and pseudoscience to back their claims are being intellectually dishonest — mainly to themselves because the non-believers in unsubstantiated belief systems are simply being rational. If I were to deny the scientific method, evidence, and/or critical thinking then I would indeed be correctly labelled as a Denialist — which would not be a personal insult, it would be just an epistemic fact.

    Bottom Line: Believers always validate their woo-woo beliefs but they don’t care about any data against their phantasm view.

  6. Posted June 16, 2016 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    Hey Richard,

    As for Spiritual answers– I think that happens all the time “if you are inclined to believe” because then you map whatever seems significant and picked onto your belief. This doesn’t mean that there are absolutely no authentic supernatural-like events or even “answered prayers,” (Who the Hell Knows?) but it does mean that many people more often than not attribute mere coincidences to “Divine-Agency” to God, Angels, Demons, Lord Xenu, Allah, Bob, Frank, the Cosmic Mind, the Secret of Attraction, or whatever the hell else you can imagine. LMAO.

    Hey there James,

    Glad you stopped by. It’s been a while since you shared your wit and insights.

    I always try to be careful to avoid saying things I don’t actually know, such as “There is no god that every answers prayers”. I try to stick with what I know and can prove, such as “There is no god that can be trusted to answer any prayer.” Or more simply, “God is absolutely untrustworthy.” Nice thing about that statement is that it is impossible to refute since a refutation would also be a proof that God actually exists. Believers run from it like the plague. See my Is God Trustworthy? The Root of Religious Delusion.

    The real problem is that “folks are very gullible and they will easily fool themselves!” (Yes, including me. LOL.) And Charlatainism is a such a vile and evil thing to perpetrate on those who do not understand and an evil we could do without.

    Very true, and that’s why we had to develop something called the “scientific method” to overcome our gullibility, foolishness, and downright dishonesty.

    However, I don’t discount the possibility of all sorts of supernatural-like events, but neither can I believe that there is a 2,500-year-old Biblical O.T. Demiurge-God of the cosmic soap-opera style” that actually answers personal prayers or wishes as a general rule. It’s not easy to discern between chance and design in my personal life because I am too closely involved and invested in everything having to do with me. DUH!

    I don’t discount the possibility, but I tend to get more skeptical about it as time goes on. I used to be immersed in “magical thinking” which made me rather susceptible to “woo-woo” stuff.

    I myself have had enough “Experiences” to evoke a sense of the “Mystical,“ “Divine” and “Spiritually-Numinous” in my life- but so has everyone else on the dam planet! LOL. But hat doesn’t prove Jack! So my own personal experience and axioms doesn’t really “Prove” anything. But it only motivates me more to discover more the Truth…

    Me too. And no it doesn’t prove anything … except perhaps the amazing power of the brain.

    What “Proof” would I require of Supernatural-Intercession and Divine-Agency and Answers to Prayers? That’s very easy – just have to do exactly what He/She/It says! For example, the sick would have to be actually healed and limbs-restored instantly meaning a doctor could scientifically falsify and verify it.

    Yep. If they are going to pretend that God is a “person” who goes about “doing things” then he should be at least as real and demonstrable as the garbage man who took away my trash this morning. But nope! There ain’t no evidence of any such God. So the theologians retreat to the mystical “hidden” god who can only be “proven” by metaphysical speculations.

    And incidental personal testimonies and anecdotes here or there don’t count a rip for me! The conman Benny Hinn claims many healings at every one of his shows. Hank Hanegraaff asked him for his best three headlings that could be confirmed by doctors. Benny complied, but not one panned out.

    I take those testimonies very seriously because they show how people delude themselves with blatant bullshit.

    Bottom Line: Humans will supernaturally and magically-believe what they want to believe (talking-snakes included! LOL.) regardless and have very fabulative selective-memories.

    Yep.

    To my Knowledge, God has never healed one person, cured acne, colds, cancer, restored or caused missing-limbs to be magically and instantly restored in congenital-deformities and amputees. Not one. Period. Never. Nada. Zero. Null. Caput. Zilch! (Please feel free to correct me.)

    Agreed. I have never seen any evidence for any miracle that stands under scrutiny.

    Imaginary conversations with make-believe aetheric aery creatures, god, spirits, including angels, fairies, elves, devils, demons, and aliens. No supernatural-claim that I know bout it has ever been “popper-falsified or scientifically-demonstrated” itself to be even remotely likely to be true.

    Agreed.

    I will assert with almost 100% metaphysical-certitude that there is absolutely no primitive theistic-god of any kind whatsoever. And it only makes perfect sense to assert that there is none since the existence of such a god would “would have direct-implications that contradict direct observed reality” which we do not see!

    Agreed. I am a positive atheist with regard to all the gods we have inherited from our primitive ancestors. I can prove they do not exist because their properties are logically incoherent or contrary to reality. Case in point: Yahweh cannot exist because the Bible says he is “just, wise, and kind” even as it says he did things that are unjust, irrational, and cruel.

    But I am an agnostic atheist in that I cannot say that there is no god of any kind, since there could be a god I know nothing of.

    And if there is an infinite intelligent logos-creator (and also “conscious”) – which is a contradiction- simple observation of nature through observation, scientific-method, common-sense, reason, rationality and our logic and reasoning skills should be all that is required to reveal it!

    At the very least, such a god would not “guide” weak-mind gullible humans with nothing but “his spirit” which is indistinguishable from their own imagination! And neither would he give them a “book” which is indistinguishable from the blatantly false writings of contrary religions invented by primitive humans.

    A so-called Infinite-God would literally have no space-time, no room to do so, and no reason to do so…Nothing for a Creator God to do! A universe in which magical-superbeings intervene in the affairs of humans is a measurably different universe than one in which such superbeings do not, and “there are absolutely no indications that any such super anthrop-beings ever affected the material world in any way.

    A timeless god could never do anything because action is a temporal concept. And if he was omniscient he could not be free because he never had a chance to make a choice because he always knew what he would do. What then determines his nature? Nothing! He’s an arbitrary brute fact. Such a god is not an “explanation” of anything. Christian apologists are philosophically ignorant.

    IMO it is our natural in-built propensity to form a “Self-Image” and a Theory-of-Mind or Psyche/Soul leads quite naturally to the “Projection-Idea” of Divine-Agencies- God, Angels, Demons, Souls, Ghosts and Spirits. We ascribe to other people a mind or ego-self, we perceive the natural world as capricious and perhaps therefore possessed of One Big Mind, Super-Ego or “Spirit.”

    Yep. Religion is psychological projection. As the old saying goes: “Gods were made in the image of men, not the other way around.”

    There is a famous saying that goes like this: “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence,” and this phrase is often trotted out by these Apologists.

    However, “absence of evidence is most definitely evidence of absence” in situations “where we would expect to see some modicum evidence.”

    Very true. And it’s always so funny when believers use the word “evidence” as if they cared one whit for such an idea. They’ve made a freaking RELIGION out of a denial of evidence!

    ‘Nuff said.

    Indeed!

  7. SublimeKnightTemplar
    Posted June 18, 2016 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    A lot of people had to grow up in a fundamentalist christian religious upbringing where they were told if they don’t believe this or buy into in that particular cult/denomination they will be lost and burn in a transinfinite hell (eternal-hellfire) as it’s so called. So there’s a natural blow-back and reactive-hostility towards an “afterlife” and superstitious woo-view.

    Belief in a creator, personal god and an after-life is intricately wrapped up with cultural-baggage and script of dogmatic-religion. Most of have a hard wired inclination to believe and had it pounded into their heads inclination to believe in something transcendent or otherworldly, and to feel as if we are souls which ‘inhabit’ our bodies “rather than that we are our bodies.”

    The problem is that they’ve taken this conclusion, and instead of trying to honestly examine it skeptically and critically, or try to understand physiological/psychological/evolutionary/neurological bases for these inclinations, have set out “to find supporting evidence” for their biases. And what we’ve ended up with is a set of seemingly (to me at least.) mutually exclusive and contradictory-beliefs, with the only unifying factor being support for their ready-made cherished conclusions.

    Here’s a good suggestion: Go read ‘The Believing Brain’ by Michael Shermer, or listen to Steve Novella’s lecture series, ‘Your Deceptive Brain’.

    There are Denialists out there, and perhaps always will be, but that doesn’t make global climate-change and evolution any less true. The denialists are no less committed to an ideology or willing to happily use logical fallacies and accept low standards of evidence.

    I think humans will always be subject to this kind of magical-thinking, and in a way perhaps thinking critically and skeptically is contrary to our natural dualist-predispositions. What I really wish to emphasize was that after we (hopefully some day.) gain a full understanding of the physical processes that consciousness is the result of, there will still remain the question of qualia – the Hard Problem. Perhaps we can shrug and say that this requires no further explanation.

    On the other hand, perhaps it is precisely in some future insight(s) that would allow us to reframe this question (admittedly perhaps not as strictly scientific, but not necessarily as metaphysical either.) that the way forward may actually lie?

    Now I don’t deny that people have had psi and near death experiences, but I believe the burden of proof has not been met with the extraordinary claim that the experiences are supernatural and happen outside of the brain. The evidence they present for the claim that consciousness or soul happens outside of the brain has no controls and is a mixture of hearsay and testimonials.

    This is weak evidence, and to suggest the evidence is anything but weak is totally-dishonest. Of course, the natural explanations that do not ever fit their “cherry-picked conclusions.” They fail to rule these explanations out, but they’re more than happy to just outright ignore them altogether.

    They’ve been doing this sort of thing for years in here online debating with skeptics, nothing wrong with that I guess but they’ve been doing this for so many years now and in that time have not acknowledged any of the evidence that goes against their belief-system. LOL.

    Richard, you just can’t win with these guys! LMAO.

    P.S. Well, I’m sorry I’ve wasted your time and you can bill me for my two-cents worth! The check is in the mail! :)

  8. Andrew
    Posted June 20, 2016 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    wow, it would seem your elitist sense of self has caused you to completely and absolutely miss read and miss judged not only the material I have put forth but also my purpose for sharing. Glad you got a good laugh.

  9. Bruno
    Posted June 21, 2016 at 3:34 am | Permalink

    Richard said: Or more simply, “God is absolutely untrustworthy.” Nice thing about that statement is that it is impossible to refute since a refutation would also be a proof that God actually exists. Believers run from it like the plague.

    “Believers run from it like the plague.”

    Do they? Do they really?

    Name two.

  10. MichaelFree
    Posted June 21, 2016 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Bruno,

    Why not just refute it?

    The answer is because you can’t.

    Now you know why “believers” run from it like the plague.

    “Knowing” something and being able to prove something is different than “believing” something and not being able to prove something.

  11. MichaelFree
    Posted June 21, 2016 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    An atheist dies and goes to Heaven. She finds herself standing before God. God asks her “what did you do on the Earth, account for your deeds”, and she says “I treated the chosen people well and did not abuse them”. God asks her “who are the chosen people” and she says “I don’t know”. To which God replies, haha, I love your very much.

  12. Posted June 21, 2016 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    Richard said: Or more simply, “God is absolutely untrustworthy.” Nice thing about that statement is that it is impossible to refute since a refutation would also be a proof that God actually exists. Believers run from it like the plague.

    “Believers run from it like the plague.”

    Do they? Do they really?

    Do they “really” run from it like the plague? I don’t know, that wasn’t my point. I used that idiom merely to express the sense of my experience with believers, not to make a numerical point. I had in mind the common methods (which are legion) that believers use to avoid dealing with the fact that God is demonstrably untrustworthy. Those I’d be happy to enumerate, with names and examples if you like. I’m talking about confirmation bias, rationalization, special pleading, misdirection, etc., etc., etc. and the countless apologists who use those methods. Here are a few examples of articles I’ve written on this issue:

    The Art of Rationalization: A Case Study of Christian Apologist Rich Deem

    Two Thousand Reasons to Believe Dr. Hugh Ross Might Not Be Entirely Credible

    Why most Animals are not Philosophers: Fatal Flaws in Dr. Craig’s Moral Argument for God

    Now to be clear that I am not suggesting myself to be any different than any other human, here are links to my posts debunking myself, including the good, the bad, and the ugly:

    Debunking Myself: What A Long Strange Trip It’s Been

    Debunking Myself: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

    Those articles are the result of having “cut my teeth” debunking other believers. They are the fulfillment of what I said I was going to do in the conclusion of my “Art of Rationalization” article:

    This topic is of keen interest to me because I was a fundamentalist Christian for about 15 years. I explain the cognitive dissonance that drove me out of the faith in my article called Why I Quit Christianity. I have left a very long trail spanning more than a decade on this site and many posts in other forums defending my work on the Bible Wheel. My next project is to apply the insights I gained by writing this article to myself. Most arguments raised against my work claimed that the Bible Wheel had no objective validity and that all my evidence was nothing but the product of cognitive biases like cherry picking, confirmation bias, pareidolia, and so forth. So now I will review those arguments and put my old responses to them through the same fire I have used to test Rich Deem’s arguments. It should prove enlightening.

    Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, perhaps you would like to refute my assertion that God is absolutely untrustworthy?

  13. Bruno
    Posted June 22, 2016 at 2:09 am | Permalink

    “Do they “really” run from it like the plague? I don’t know, that wasn’t my point.”

    Don’t know it, then don’t write it.

    “Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, perhaps you would like to refute my assertion that God is absolutely untrustworthy?”

    What’s to refute? You are just playing word games. Your assertion has actually nothing at all to do with any trustworthiness or lack of it by God. All you are saying is that God does not exist. Period. Then you are simply tacking on something else. You could have said: God does not drive a blue Ferrari. Logically it is identical. In that case, you would not be actually making any claims about what is in God’s garage. The point would be God does not exist, so he does not drive, or own cars, or eat steak, or offer answers to prayers, or exhibit trustworthiness, or anything else.

    All you are saying is God does not exist.

    Fine. To me, you are welcome to arrive at such a conclusion, but it is not something worth arguing about. I happen to disagree, but not for any reasons you could disarm. And vice versa. So there’s nothing to be said.

    But saying God is untrustworthy: that’s just trying to tweak the nose of Christians and say something provocative to get a reaction. It’s not really necessary, it’s kind of beneath you I think, and it’s not actually what you are trying to say, which is simply, in your considered opinion, for now (!), God does not exist.

    Hope that you find this helpful.

  14. Bruno
    Posted June 22, 2016 at 2:14 am | Permalink

    “An atheist dies and goes to Heaven. She finds herself standing before God. God asks her “what did you do on the Earth, account for your deeds”, and she says ….”

    The rest of your story makes no sense. Here, let me finish it for you:

    And she says: “Fuck, I was completely wrong. God does exist. Well, what do you know. My bad”.

    And God replies: “That’s fine. People make that mistake all the time. Their brains are small but their egos are huge. Oh well, I guess I made them that way, so I take some of the responsibility. Anyway, you wasted a life, but that’s fine. Come on in anyway. I am infinitely forgiving.”

  15. Bruno
    Posted June 22, 2016 at 3:31 am | Permalink

    “I always try to be careful to avoid saying things I don’t actually know, ”

    “Do they “really” run from it like the plague? I don’t know, that wasn’t my point”

    Lol….

  16. Bruno
    Posted June 22, 2016 at 3:50 am | Permalink

    Not careful enough apparently!!!!!!

  17. Posted June 22, 2016 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    What’s to refute? You are just playing word games. Your assertion has actually nothing at all to do with any trustworthiness or lack of it by God. All you are saying is that God does not exist. Period. Then you are simply tacking on something else. You could have said: God does not drive a blue Ferrari. Logically it is identical. In that case, you would not be actually making any claims about what is in God’s garage. The point would be God does not exist, so he does not drive, or own cars, or eat steak, or offer answers to prayers, or exhibit trustworthiness, or anything else.

    Not true. Saying “God cannot be trusted to do anything for anyone in any situation” is nothing like “God does not drive a Ferrari.” The two statements are not logically equivalent. God could be driving a Ferrari on Mars and nobody would know so the statement is non-falsifiable. My statement, on the other hand, would be trivial to falsify if it were not true. All you would have to do is name one thing that God could actually be trusted to do! What could be simpler? The fact that you cannot even address this point puts you in the category of those I referred to as “running” from this fact “like the plague.”

    There is nothing in my argument that could be accurately described as a “word game.” My assertion is that there is not one thing that God can be trusted to do for anyone in any given situation in this life. You cannot refute my assertion, so you ignore it, toss up a word salad of diversions, and run the other way. Did you really think I wouldn’t notice?

    All you are saying is God does not exist.

    Not true. The fact that God does not exist is the conclusion of my argument, not the premise!

    Fine. To me, you are welcome to arrive at such a conclusion, but it is not something worth arguing about. I happen to disagree, but not for any reasons you could disarm. And vice versa. So there’s nothing to be said.

    The demonstrable falsehood of the central claim of Christianity is “not worth arguing about”? LOL.

    Thanks again for making my point. Your response is well described as running away from my argument “like the plague.”

    But saying God is untrustworthy: that’s just trying to tweak the nose of Christians and say something provocative to get a reaction. It’s not really necessary, it’s kind of beneath you I think, and it’s not actually what you are trying to say, which is simply, in your considered opinion, for now (!), God does not exist.

    Ha! Repeating your evasion only confirms my point yet again. You are running from the demonstrable fact that God cannot be trusted. Parents who trust God for the health of their children end up with dead children and manslaughter convictions. If God were half as trustworthy as the average garbage man there would be no debate about his existence. But there is a debate. Therefore, he cannot be trustworthy. Asserting that “God is trustworthy” is therefore delusional. The word “trust” has been emptied of all meaning.

    Hope that you find this helpful.

    Very much so. You asked for a name of someone who runs from this argument like the plague? Try “Bruno”.

    PS: If you want to pursue this question, we should do it in appropriate thread where I establish my case: Is God Trustworthy? The Root of Religious Delusion

  18. MichaelFree
    Posted June 22, 2016 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    “God could be driving a Ferrari on Mars and nobody would know so the statement is non-falsifiable”.

    Haha, I love it

  19. MichaelFree
    Posted June 22, 2016 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Richard said:

    “Do they “really” run from it like the plague? I don’t know, that wasn’t my point.”

    To which Bruno replied:

    “Don’t know it, then don’t write it.”

    It is not a lie to use figures of speech (idioms), which Richard clearly was, you know this, and you know full well that he wasn’t trying to deceive anyone, and if anyone was genuinely deceived by it, I’m pretty sure Richard would immediately correct their misunderstanding. A lie is something that is meant to deceive someone about the facts in life. Using figures of speech is just like using sarcasm or using generalizations about a topic that aren’t meant to deceive other people. What Bruno is describing is tyranny over the minds of human beings, that we don’t have freedom of speech while still adhering to speaking the truth.

    Bruno said:

    “All you are saying is God does not exist.”

    Actually, Richard has already stated that he does not know if a God exists or not, and that he leans towards “not existing”. What Richard is saying is that no God shows itself for all the world to observe, to measure, and to document its existence. In addition, the character Jesus said that God answers prayers and can even heal people, etc, yet I’ve seen no objective evidence to trust prayer at all, in fact, I have seen objective and trustworthy evidence that God, if God exists, does not answer prayers. Think of all the dead children whose parents didn’t take them to the hospital to heal them and who instead tried to “pray” for their healing and instead of the children being healed they died; in this I see objective evidence that Christians have been deceived about the facts in life, indeed, genuinely lied to.

    Bruno said:

    “Their brains are small but their egos are huge. Oh well, I guess I made them that way, so I take some of the responsibility. Anyway, you wasted a life,”

    If God showed up on Earth and sat on a chair on a hill and proclaimed to be the God of truth, and then said nothing more, but just sat there, it is the religionist who said they were God’s chosen people who should shit their pants because they exalted themselves above their fellow human beings, so much so that an atheist who in truth did not see evidence for God is said to have “wasted a life”, although they followed truth. Objectively and factually, you should not call your God the God of truth if you are going to go around telling atheists that they wasted a life, because it is a lie if you do this.

    This is the meaning of the “good atheist woman who dies” parable:

    “An atheist dies and goes to Heaven. She finds herself standing before God. God asks her “what did you do on the Earth, account for your deeds”, and she says “I treated the chosen people well and did not abuse them” (most of what she heard on Earth regarding God was that all human beings didn’t matter, but only the chosen people mattered). God asks her “who are the chosen people” (God is actually a humanist and has chosen all of humanity) and she says “I don’t know” (she doesn’t know because she is a humanist and has chosen all of humanity, and doesn’t believe that there is a “chosen people”, but rather that ALL HUMAN BEINGS are “chosen people” and thus she treated EVERYONE well and did not abuse them). To which God replies, “haha, I love your very much” (a good God wants us to be good to one another, irrespective of gender, age, relgion, atheism, race, nationality, sexuality, or what someone looks like, and a good God doesn’t do violence, is not a hypocrite, and wants people to not do violence towards one another).

    And you call this a “wasted life”? More like your mind and your morals have been corrupted by your religion, so much so you don’t even know what a lie is!

    The “truth” is a plague that those with the “chosen person” curse run from. And objectively and factually it is a “curse”, in fact it is the “curse” of the Bible, just look at Jews, Christians, and Muslims, and every other divisive religion that has spawned from that book, who all refer to the same book, and who all think they are “chosen people” and everyone else is damned. That book begs you to put a knife to your neighbors (fellow human beings) throat and to spiritually, and even physically, murder them, all for God’s love.

  20. MichaelFree
    Posted June 22, 2016 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Bruno said:

    “Anyway, you wasted a life, but that’s fine. Come on in anyway. I am infinitely forgiving.”

    The good atheist woman says “no, I will not come into your house, you are a liar, I did not waste a life, but rather I was good to people and I followed the truth. You need to ask me for forgiveness for saying that I wasted my life, and then you need to change, or else you asking for forgiveness doesn’t mean a damn thing”. And just then the Universe, including Earth and Heaven began to collapse on itself, and a new Earth and a new Heaven were formed, and the God of truth came and took his rightful throne.

  21. MichaelFree
    Posted June 22, 2016 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    I have to add that one doesn’t have to interpret Jesus as being a liar or as being violent, one just has to be looking for truth and to be looking for peace.

  22. Posted June 23, 2016 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    “I always try to be careful to avoid saying things I don’t actually know, ”

    “Do they “really” run from it like the plague? I don’t know, that wasn’t my point”

    Lol….

    Ha! So you think that was a smart move? LOL indeed. When I said “I don’t know” I was talking about your emphasis on “really” as should have been obvious because I put it in scare quotes. I get the impression you don’t understand English very well. Here is the definition of scare quotes:

    “quotation marks used around a word or phrase when they are not required, thereby eliciting attention or doubts.”

    When I said “I don’t know” I indicated it was because I was questioning what you meant by “really” by putting it in scare quotes. I didn’t want to waste time disputing the meaning of the idiom since my intent was perfectly clear and I suspected you were more interested in empty rhetoric and meaningless “gotchyas” than serious discourse. Of course, that suspicion is now demonstrable fact.

    There is no contradiction between the two statements you quoted. I did’t write anything I didn’t know when I said that believers like you typically run from my argument “like the plague.” On the contrary, it is my consistent experience and you just provided yet another very entertaining example. You didn’t even dare to address, let alone refute, my argument at all. You tossed up an incoherent word salad and ran as fast as you could, saying that the falsehood of the central doctrine of Christianity was “not worth arguing about.”

    Thanks for the LOLs dude!

    PWNED.

  23. Posted June 23, 2016 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    Bruno said:

    “All you are saying is God does not exist.”

    Actually, Richard has already stated that he does not know if a God exists or not, and that he leans towards “not existing”. What Richard is saying is that no God shows itself for all the world to observe, to measure, and to document its existence. In addition, the character Jesus said that God answers prayers and can even heal people, etc, yet I’ve seen no objective evidence to trust prayer at all, in fact, I have seen objective and trustworthy evidence that God, if God exists, does not answer prayers. Think of all the dead children whose parents didn’t take them to the hospital to heal them and who instead tried to “pray” for their healing and instead of the children being healed they died; in this I see objective evidence that Christians have been deceived about the facts in life, indeed, genuinely lied to.

    Hey there Michael,

    Thanks for taking time to correct the record. Just to be clear, I reject all the gods we have inherited from our primitive ancestors, such as Allah, Yahweh, and Zeus, because there is more than enough evidence that they do not exist. For example Yahweh cannot exist because the Bible says he is kind, wise, and just even as it says he does things that are cruel, irrational, and unjust. But I can’t say that there is no god of any kind, since obviously there could be a god I know nothing about.

    As for prayers, I do not say that God never answers prayers because there is no way to prove that. I’m careful on this point because most believers will insist that you cannot prove God doesn’t answer prayers with “yes, no, or wait” which is impossible to refute. But I can say that there is no god that can be TRUSTED to do anything for anyone in any situation. It would be trivial to falsify my statement if it were not true since all they need do is name one thing that God can be trusted to do. They cannot do this, so they run from the argument like the plague it is to their delusional belief that “God is trustworthy”.

  24. MichaelFree
    Posted June 24, 2016 at 2:50 am | Permalink

    Richard,

    I said:

    “Think of all the dead children whose parents didn’t take them to the hospital to heal them and who instead tried to “pray” for their healing and instead of the children being healed they died; in this I see objective evidence that Christians have been deceived about the facts in life, indeed, genuinely lied to”.

    I looked again at what I said above about prayers being answered by God in order to make sure I didn’t make an assertion of fact where I had no evidence. I did not, which is good. Christians have been given a manual of what to do in order to have their prayers answered, and then one person has a prayer seemingly answered and another person does not have their prayer answered at all. To me this is not healthy and is a form of witchcraft. But maybe some individual somewhere has all their prayers answered just fine, who knows, I think it’s bullshit though and it definitely gets puts into the bullshit pile. If one can prove prayer works they would also have to prove God’s existence.

    You said:

    “Just to be clear, I reject all the gods we have inherited from our primitive ancestors, such as Allah, Yahweh, and Zeus, because there is more than enough evidence that they do not exist. For example Yahweh cannot exist because the Bible says he is kind, wise, and just even as it says he does things that are cruel, irrational, and unjust. But I can’t say that there is no god of any kind, since obviously there could be a god I know nothing about.”

    I agree that if a God in any of those traditions is said to be kind and just “always” and then at some point is anything but kind or just then that statement about God being kind and just “always” is bullshit, making the whole thing a lie, bringing down the whole house of cards. If however God is like Hitler in that he’s cool to the Nazis and particularly to the SS but is an absolute tyrant and murderer to everyone else, then God could also be said to be both kind and unkind, just and unjust.

    You said:

    “But I can say that there is no god that can be TRUSTED to do anything for anyone in any situation. It would be trivial to falsify my statement if it were not true since all they need do is name one thing that God can be trusted to do.”

    And of course naming one thing that God can be trusted to do then requires showing God’s existence so that you can measure his trustworthiness to do the thing entrusted unto him.

  25. MichaelFree
    Posted June 24, 2016 at 3:36 am | Permalink

    I said:

    “And of course naming one thing that God can be trusted to do then requires showing God’s existence so that you can measure his trustworthiness to do the thing entrusted unto him”.

    That was some messed up language but I think you get the point.

  26. Posted June 24, 2016 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    I looked again at what I said above about prayers being answered by God in order to make sure I didn’t make an assertion of fact where I had no evidence. I did not, which is good. Christians have been given a manual of what to do in order to have their prayers answered, and then one person has a prayer seemingly answered and another person does not have their prayer answered at all. To me this is not healthy and is a form of witchcraft. But maybe some individual somewhere has all their prayers answered just fine, who knows, I think it’s bullshit though and it definitely gets puts into the bullshit pile. If one can prove prayer works they would also have to prove God’s existence.

    Yep, I agree. Your last sentence sums up my argument: “If one can prove prayer works they would also have to prove God’s existence.” I state it slightly differently though because some believers will argue that God ALWAYS answers prayers with yes, no, or wait, which can’t be falsified (which is why they made up that rationalization). So I tried to sharpen the point to “God cannot be trusted to do anything for anyone in any given situation” which could easily be falsified if it were not true.

    I agree that if a God in any of those traditions is said to be kind and just “always” and then at some point is anything but kind or just then that statement about God being kind and just “always” is bullshit, making the whole thing a lie, bringing down the whole house of cards. If however God is like Hitler in that he’s cool to the Nazis and particularly to the SS but is an absolute tyrant and murderer to everyone else, then God could also be said to be both kind and unkind, just and unjust.

    Yes, that would work if God were not said to be perfectly kind and just. Of course, the common rationalization is that God really is kind and just in all things, and that skeptics err when they assert it is genocidal murder to command his people to slaughter every man, woman, and child of various communities. They say the parents deserved it cuz they wuz wicked and God did the children a favor cuz they all went to heaven. William Lane Craig is the most famous Christian “philosopher” who spewed that ludicrous line of crap.

    And of course naming one thing that God can be trusted to do then requires showing God’s existence so that you can measure his trustworthiness to do the thing entrusted unto him.

    Your sentences has it a bit backwards. Proving God can be trusted would itself be proof of his existence. You do not first need to prove he exists. For example, lets say I define Santa Claus a man who delivers presents to every child on December 25. If this happened every year without fail and we could eliminate any other source of the presents, we would have good reason to infer the existence of Santa Claus. If, on the other hand, the presents did not arrive we could infer that no such man exists. There could be someone named “Santa Claus” but he would not be the Santa Claus that delivers presents, and so that Santa Claus would be proven not to exist.

  27. MichaelFree
    Posted June 24, 2016 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    You said:

    “Your sentences has it a bit backwards. Proving God can be trusted would itself be proof of his existence. You do not first need to prove he exists.”

    Thanks Richard, this was exactly what I meant by saying “That was some messed up language but I think you get the point”.

    Obviously if some invisible supernatural force can be shown to be trusted to do something then the invisible supernatural intelligence behind that force is also proven to exist. If one can show that prayer works, or that a supernatural intelligence can be trusted to do something, then that supernatural intelligence, although invisible, is also shown to exist by extension.

  28. MichaelFree
    Posted June 24, 2016 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    The funny thing about “yes, no, or wait” regarding prayers being answered by God is that it’s counterpart in the atheist/agnostics world-view (nature) is called “I wish” and “I hope” which coincidentally yields the same answer: “yes, no, or wait” in terms of measurable results. At least with “I wish” and “I hope” there isn’t anyone else in life to blame, so God doesn’t have to have negative energy come toward it from disgruntled people who’s prayers have failed. That’s some weird shit to do that to a God. Should see God as righteous always in my view. The door becomes open for not loving God when a prayer measurably fails, and to me this is witchcraft. I don’t think it’s cool.

  29. Bruno
    Posted June 26, 2016 at 12:34 am | Permalink

    Thanks for clarifying a few points there.

    So now I understand in regards to your assertion, that you DID know that believers ran from it like the plague, but that you DIDN’T know if believers REALLY ran from it like the plague. Much clearer now. Thanks for sorting that out. We still don’t get any names of these alleged believers, running from your argument like the plague, but at least we know that you know they did it, even if you admit you dont REALLY know if you know they did it.

    Thanks also for clarifying to Michael that you have indeed rejected the Christian God, rather than, as Michael thought, you were merely tending towards this. I think Michael was confused by your insistence that the rejection of God was the conclusion not the premise of the God is untrustworthy thing. What Michael didn’t grasp was that assuming God exists for the sake of the argument was just the “trick” to trip up the believers, as they ran away from it like the plague. It wasn’t intended as a statement of Richard’s position, which is, that God doesn’t exist. Except when arguing that he is untrustworthy, as a premise, in order to arrive at the conclusion that he doesn’t exist. Michael I hope that is clear now.

    In regards to the falsification of God doesn’t drive a Ferrari, I’m afraid you’ve botched that one though. Obviously, such a statement is indeed falsifiable: all that is required is a single sighting of God driving a Ferrari. I get the sense that you don’t understand basic cognitive concepts. Perhaps you should enroll in an entry-level logics class. There are some excellent programs around these days.

    And finally, thanks for the argument proving that Father Christmas doesn’t exist. That was logically impeccable, very impressive. But I was left wondering: does your argument imply that Father Christmas is untrustworthy? What’s your position on that? Would you assert as vigorously as you do about God that Father Christmas is untrustworthy? Do you think it is important to assert that? When discussing Father Christmas with believers, ie children, is this the main point you drive home? Or do you just tell them that he doesn’t exist and leave it at that? I guess it would be more satisfying in terms of winding the children up if you insisted that he is untrustworthy, rather than just that he doesn’t exist.

    Finally, to your argument: God is untrustworthy. Apart from the fact that it is logically illiterate, the problem with your assertion is obviously that you will simply reject, a priori, any positive evidence that anyone would offer that God is trustworthy. If I was to quote the experience of someone who had found God trustworthy, you will simply disallow it, no matter how it is phrased or presented. So it is impossible to provide any positive evidence which you would permit. Thus the entire argument is nothing more than a silly game.

    If the discussion was whether Richard McGough was trustworthy, however, suddenly, all the rules would change. If I was to make that assertion, and bandy it about on the internet, you would demand that I back it up with positive evidence that you had been untrustworthy. If I breezily asserted, as you do now, that there is no burden of proof on me, and that the only way to disprove my assertion is for you to provide examples of when McGough has been trustworthy, and then I simply disallowed every example you cared to provide, as a possible example of self-delusion, or wishful thinking, or pattern recognition, you would be beside yourself and would object, rightly, in the strongest possible terms.

    So your entire assertion is just an asinine, too-clever, rhetorical trick, which even your only supporter Michael, doesn’t properly understand, and needs to be briefed on to get it straightened out. Meanwhile, believers continue to trust God, and He continues to be perfectly trustworthy to those who know him, and love him.

  30. MichaelFree
    Posted June 26, 2016 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Bruno said:

    “Thanks also for clarifying to Michael that you have indeed rejected the Christian God, rather than, as Michael thought, you were merely tending towards this.”

    It’s very clear that Richard has rejected any God that has attributes attributed to it that contradict each other, including the Christian God, so please don’t put words into my mouth. It’s also very clear that Richard has not rejected the possibility that some God could exist of which he knows nothing about. It’s also very clear that Richard “leans” toward there being no God at all that exists.

    Bruno said:

    “I think Michael was confused by your insistence that the rejection of God was the conclusion not the premise of the God is untrustworthy thing.”

    Actually it’s quite clear that the rejection of the God of Christianity who purportedly answers prayers and who purportedly is trustworthy to do things in life, is both the premise and the conclusion of the statement Richard has made regarding the Christian God’s purported trustworthiness. The problem you have Bruno is that you haven’t named one thing that the Christian God can be trusted to do for you that would prove the Christian God’s existence to a third-party who uses reason and facts to justify their assertions about the nature of the Universe and about the nature of life.

  31. MichaelFree
    Posted June 26, 2016 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Bruno said:

    “If the discussion was whether Richard McGough was trustworthy, however, suddenly, all the rules would change.”

    Of course the rules would change as Richard is a person who actually exists and whose deeds could thus be observed and measured and quantified as being either trustworthy or untrustworthy, just like a dentist or a garbage collector.

  32. Posted June 26, 2016 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for clarifying a few points there.

    You are most welcome. It was my pleasure! Thank you for providing grist for my mill.

    Thanks also for clarifying to Michael that you have indeed rejected the Christian God, rather than, as Michael thought, you were merely tending towards this.

    I think you misunderstood what Michael said. He accurately stated that I do not know if “a God” exists and that I lean towards “not existing”.” The “a God” includes all possible gods, such as a god I know nothing about. Therefore, I cannot justify the assertion that no such god exists. But I can justify the assertion that Allah, Yahweh, and Zeus do not exist because they possess properties that are self-contradictory and/or contrary to demonstrable facts.

    I think Michael was confused by your insistence that the rejection of God was the conclusion not the premise of the God is untrustworthy thing. What Michael didn’t grasp was that assuming God exists for the sake of the argument was just the “trick” to trip up the believers, as they ran away from it like the plague. It wasn’t intended as a statement of Richard’s position, which is, that God doesn’t exist. Except when arguing that he is untrustworthy, as a premise, in order to arrive at the conclusion that he doesn’t exist. Michael I hope that is clear now.

    Deducing the fact that the Christian God does not exist is not a trick. It appears you do not understand how deductive arguments work. Or to use your exact words “I get the sense that you don’t understand basic cognitive concepts. Perhaps you should enroll in an entry-level logics class. There are some excellent programs around these days.” You would do well to take your own advice. But let me save you the trouble – I will spell it out for you at a most elementary level. I begin with this definition of “trustworthy” from Webster’s:

    Trustworthy: able to be relied on to do or provide what is needed or right

    1) If God is trustworthy, then there is at least one thing God can be relied on to do or provide.

    2) There is not one thing that God can be relied on to do or provide.

    3) Therefore, God is not trustworthy.

    The argument is logically valid. If you want to refute the conclusion, you must show that at least one of the premises if false. Good luck with that!

    Is there anything in my argument that presumes the existence of God? Of course not. It is valid no matter what entity you put in place of God. Let me generalize it for you:

    1) If X is trustworthy, then there is at least one thing X can be relied on to do or provide.

    2) There is not one thing that X can be relied on to do or provide.

    3) Therefore, X is not trustworthy.

    As long as there is not one thing that X can be trusted to do, it cannot be said that X is trustworthy. It doesn’t matter if X actually exists or not. The logic is impeccable. Of course, if X does not exist, then we know that Premise 2 is necessarily true, and since Premise 1 follows by definition, we know the conclusion is true. And this leads us to my conclusion that God does not exist:

    1) If God exists, then God is trustworthy.

    2) God is not trustworthy (as proven above).

    3) Therefore, God does not exist.

    QED

    And finally, thanks for the argument proving that Father Christmas doesn’t exist. That was logically impeccable, very impressive.

    The logic of my argument against the existence of Father Christmas is identical to the logic of my argument against the existence of the Christian God. If one is impeccable, so is the other. Your judgment for one and against the other is logically inconsistent.

    But I was left wondering: does your argument imply that Father Christmas is untrustworthy?

    Absolutely. Replace “X” with “Father Christmas” and you will have your proof.

    What’s your position on that? Would you assert as vigorously as you do about God that Father Christmas is untrustworthy? Do you think it is important to assert that? When discussing Father Christmas with believers, ie children, is this the main point you drive home? Or do you just tell them that he doesn’t exist and leave it at that? I guess it would be more satisfying in terms of winding the children up if you insisted that he is untrustworthy, rather than just that he doesn’t exist.

    When dealing with children who are open to truth and not committed to delusional religious claims, a simple “Santa doesn’t exist” would do just fine. But with adults committed to blatantly irrational belief systems like Christianity and it’s claim that “God is trustworthy” you need to drive the point home with more force. Case in point: You know absolutely that there is not one thing that anyone can actually TRUST God to do or provide in any given situation, and yet you persist in your delusion that he is “trustworthy.” How is that possible? The answer seems to be that you have emptied the word “trustworthy” of any content relating to the real world and have changed it to mean that God can be trusted to have a “good reason” for not doing or providing what is needed in this life, and that you will understand and agree when you finally get to heaven. Is that accurate? Is that what you mean when you say that “God is trustworthy”?

    Finally, to your argument: God is untrustworthy. Apart from the fact that it is logically illiterate, the problem with your assertion is obviously that you will simply reject, a priori, any positive evidence that anyone would offer that God is trustworthy. If I was to quote the experience of someone who had found God trustworthy, you will simply disallow it, no matter how it is phrased or presented. So it is impossible to provide any positive evidence which you would permit. Thus the entire argument is nothing more than a silly game.

    Not true. Mere anecdotes about unverifiable “experiences” prove nothing, especially since believers are notorious for believing bullshit and mistaking their own imagination for the “voice of God”. Or what? Do you accept every story made up by every lunatic cult member as “evidence” that their cult is true? Do you accept the Mormon burning in the bosom? The Catholic claims of miracles? The claims of Hindus about the supernatural powers of their gurus? The healing powers of crystals? Astrology? Tarot cards? Are you really saying we should be so gullible as to think that unverifiable private experiences are valid “evidence” for the existence of all the gods that have ever been invented?

    If the “positive evidence” is entirely subjective and non-verifiable, then yes, it would be rejected as “evidence for God’s trustworthiness” not only by me, but by all courts of law, all scientists, and all rational thinkers. It would not be rejected as “evidence” per se because it could tell us something about the psychology of belief and many other things. But it could not be taken as evidence for the trustworthiness of God because the concept of “trustworthiness” entails VERIFIABLE EVIDENCE.

    Again, your rhetoric fails to touch my argument. You could refute it in a heartbeat if you simply stated one verifiable thing that anyone can actually trust God to do or provide in any situation.

    If the discussion was whether Richard McGough was trustworthy, however, suddenly, all the rules would change. If I was to make that assertion, and bandy it about on the internet, you would demand that I back it up with positive evidence that you had been untrustworthy. If I breezily asserted, as you do now, that there is no burden of proof on me, and that the only way to disprove my assertion is for you to provide examples of when McGough has been trustworthy, and then I simply disallowed every example you cared to provide, as a possible example of self-delusion, or wishful thinking, or pattern recognition, you would be beside yourself and would object, rightly, in the strongest possible terms.

    Not true. The rules would remain absolutely invariant. If you charged me with not being trustworthy, I would immediately refute your claim by presenting a massive amount of evidence that I most certainly have proven trustworthy in many cases. I would present my bank records and show the bank says I’m trustworthy. I would present testimony from my employers that I could be trusted to arrive on time and provide the services I was paid to do. I would present records of my car payments, my house payments, and my healthy kids who would testify that I have proven absolutely trustworthy over the span of their entire lives to provide them with food, shelter, and love. Your words are utter crap. It appears your religion has so corrupted your mind and your morals that you now have no concept of what the word “trustworthy” actually means. This is typical of believers who say utterly delusional things like “Only God can be trusted. God is more trustworthy than any human.”

    So your entire assertion is just an asinine, too-clever, rhetorical trick, which even your only supporter Michael, doesn’t properly understand, and needs to be briefed on to get it straightened out. Meanwhile, believers continue to trust God, and He continues to be perfectly trustworthy to those who know him, and love him.

    Yes, “believers” continue to blindly believe the delusional dogmas taught by their cult. No news here!

  33. Posted June 26, 2016 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Of course the rules would change as Richard is a person who actually exists and whose deeds could thus be observed and measured and quantified as being either trustworthy or untrustworthy, just like a dentist or a garbage collector.

    Actually, the rules would remain invariant. The difference is in the FACTS – the fact that I exist and can be trusted to do and provide things that I promise. The Christian God cannot be trusted to do or provide anything, so that God does not exist (since he is defined as trustworthy).

  34. Posted June 26, 2016 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    It’s very clear that Richard has rejected any God that has attributes attributed to it that contradict each other, including the Christian God, so please don’t put words into my mouth. It’s also very clear that Richard has not rejected the possibility that some God could exist of which he knows nothing about. It’s also very clear that Richard “leans” toward there being no God at all that exists.

    Thanks Michael. That is exactly correct. And now that it has been repeated three times (twice by you and once by me) maybe Bruno will finally understand. But I wouldn’t hold my breath …

  35. Posted June 26, 2016 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    Actually it’s quite clear that the rejection of the God of Christianity who purportedly answers prayers and who purportedly is trustworthy to do things in life, is both the premise and the conclusion of the statement Richard has made regarding the Christian God’s purported trustworthiness. The problem you have Bruno is that you haven’t named one thing that the Christian God can be trusted to do for you that would prove the Christian God’s existence to a third-party who uses reason and facts to justify their assertions about the nature of the Universe and about the nature of life.

    Thanks again Michael. You are correct. It’s very simple stuff. Perhaps Bruno could find understanding if he could just bring himself to actually try to answer this one simple question:

    What does it mean to say that God is trustworthy if there is not one thing that anyone can actually trust God to do or provide in any given situation?

  36. MichaelFree
    Posted June 26, 2016 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    Richard,

    You said:

    “Actually, the rules would remain invariant. The difference is in the FACTS – the fact that I exist and can be trusted to do and provide things that I promise. The Christian God cannot be trusted to do or provide anything, so that God does not exist (since he is defined as trustworthy).”

    I agree.

  37. MichaelFree
    Posted June 27, 2016 at 3:57 am | Permalink

    Richard,

    You said:

    “The Christian God cannot be trusted to do or provide anything, so that God does not exist (since he is defined as trustworthy).”

    And of course Yahweh or Jesus could exist but they would have to be different than what is presented in both the Bible and in the religions it has spawned because Yahweh and Jesus’ attributes are presently contradictory, adversarial. and even untrue, as you have illustrated.

  38. Posted June 27, 2016 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    And of course Yahweh or Jesus could exist but they would have to be different than what is presented in both the Bible and in the religions it has spawned because Yahweh and Jesus’ attributes are presently contradictory, adversarial. and even untrue, as you have illustrated.

    That’s exactly my point. There could be a god called Yahweh who has a subset of properties of the god described in the Bible, but it cannot have them all because the set is logically incoherent and/or contrary to demonstrable facts. Therefore, the god of the Bible does not exist.

  39. MichaelFree
    Posted June 27, 2016 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Richard,

    You said:

    “Therefore, the god of the Bible does not exist.”

    Exactly. I totally agree.

  40. Bruno
    Posted June 29, 2016 at 1:23 am | Permalink

    ” When dealing with children who are open to truth and not committed to delusional religious claims, a simple “Santa doesn’t exist” would do just fine.But with adults committed to blatantly irrational belief systems like Christianity and it’s claim that “God is trustworthy” you need to drive the point home with more force. ”

    Ah. Do you indeed. Thank you for admitting that your claim is not generated by logical necessity, but by your desire to “drive the point home with more force”. This is all driven by your personal embarrassment that you followed Christ for so long. You are overcompensating. You are gilding the lily. You are lashing out irrationally, to “drive home the point with more force”, whereas, as you admit, a simple admission that God does not exist would be perfectly satisfactory from a logical point of view. You are blinded by your own irrational hatred of Christianity, based on your own experience. You need to calm down.

    ” I would present my bank records”

    Right, so you want receipts. There are no receipts, because, obviously, of the very nature of the matter under discussion. God doesn’t issue receipts. The only evidence is the testimony of believers, which you reject out of hand. Which is very handy for your argument. In any case: a thousand receipts proving that you paid your bills on time does not prove you are trustworthy. A single example of your untrustworthiness would be enough to negate all of that. So let me go ahead and cite a single example: many times you wrote on your website and around the web that you would serve God forever, in different ways, in different words. Your wedding band proclaimed the same thing. I’ve seen your online signature at forums where you proclaim yourself a servant of Christ for ever, or again, words to that effect, as recently as 2008. And yet, now you have completely abandoned your faith. You failed to keep trust. If I was God, I would be entitled to accuse you of exactly the same thing as you accuse him of: untrustworthiness. Your word could not be relied on. You promised one thing, and then failed to deliver. You may have paid your car payments on time. Well done. But you betrayed your commitment to God. No wonder you feel the need to, what was it, “drive the point home with more force”. It’s pure projection.

    In any case, and for all that, you want one example, I will give it to you. I won’t bother with the names, as they don’t matter, as you will reject it anyway. Recently I was reading a book about a woman who wanders freely across the USA, trusting in God to provide. And He does. At one point, she was in pouring rain, freezing cold, and night was falling. A little voice spoke in her ear: “go down into that valley where there is a bridge, and under the bridge you will find somewhere to sleep”. She went down there, and there was a dry sleeping bag in a box. She was able to sleep the night in warmth, protected from the rain and elements. Simply put, whether you like it or not, God answered her prayer. She wasn’t challenging him for proof. She wasn’t asking for a Ferrari. She wasn’t playing clever theological games. She was just a simple humble woman living her life on earth by trusting God. And she is never let down, as much as you would love to be able to say that she is delusional. Her life is proof of God’s trustworthiness.

    That is an example of God being trustworthy to those who love Him. That’s an example of someone not tempting God, not demanding receipts, not driving home a point with force, but someone in humility and love simply trusting that their basic needs will be met, and in their hour of need, finding those needs met by a simple humble miracle.

    You are already getting ready to reject this, out of hand, with a rhetorical flourish and a well-chosen put-down, as delusion, as irrationality, as the twisted minds of the believer poisoned by the corrupting influnece of religion, but so what. She slept dry and warm that night, which is worth far more than your ego-fuelled desire to “drive the point home with more force”. But this is an approach to the whole question which is utterly alien to you, because you are a hard-headed rationalist on a take-no-prisoners mission to slam Christianity, because, well, obviously you were very disappointed that God failed to provide you something that you wanted. Peace I guess, but I don’t know. Whatever it is, it doesn’t seem like you have found it yet. When you have found the peace you crave, you will move on from your self-appointed task of attacking Christianity, and take up archery, or aikido, or chess, or something positive into which to pour your energy, instead of waking up every day and logging on to bait Christians. Give it up already. You aren’t convincing anyone except MichaelFree. Move on. Get a life.

  41. Bruno
    Posted June 29, 2016 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    Ok enough games. Let me break it down for you. A being can only be said to be trustworthy or untrustworthy if that being exists. (No, just shut up for a second). If the being does not exist, then there is no question of attributing either trustworthiness or untrustworthiness to them. It’s just as simple as that.

    If you want to argue that it is impossible to verify a trustworthy action by God, and therefore, as he claims to be trustworthy, this proves that he doesn’t exist, then fine! You have proved (to your own satisfaction) that he doesn’t exist. You haven’t proved that God is a being that exists and is untrustworthy. At all. You have proved (to your satisfaction) that the being called God doesn’t exist.

    MichaelFree clarifies that for you, the existence of God is both premise and conclusion. I will leave it to you to help him out here, but in a way he has put his finger on exactly what you are doing. You want it both ways. You want to conclude that God doesn’t exist, but you also want God to exist so that you can pronounce him trustworthy. It’s a bit like Schrodingers cat: alive and dead. Existing and non-existing. Depending on your observation.

    But your argument about Father Christmas shows the vacuity of your entire approach. Because there is no point or necessity to mess with children’s minds, you don’t feel any need to express your conclusion as Father Christmas is untrustworthy. Of course not. Anyone who went around claiming such a thing would be laughed at. It would be a stupid thing to say. Because it would be claiming two things conjoined: first that Father Christmas actually exists, and secondly, that he is untrustworthy. No one would let you get away with such a ridiculous conclusion.

    As you said right at the start of this thread, what’s “nice” about your clever little trick is that anyone daring to argue with you (who hasn’t run away from it like the plague lol), is obliged under your rules to first prove that god exists. And there you have them. Because you’ve already proved that he doesn’t exist. The premise becomes the conclusion. The conclusion becomes the premise. Schrodingers cat is alive, no wait he’s dead, and now he’s alive again! It’s just a big circular meaningless argument.

    By all means, argue that God doesn’t exist because you don’t accept anyone’s testimony of their experience. Fair enough.

    But insisting on “driving home the point with more force”, as you put it, is letting your emotion cloud your logic. You haven’t proven that God is not untrustworthy. You’ve proven, to your own satisfaction, that God doesn’t exist. To then want to attribute untrustworthiness to him is to magically pop him back into existence, long enough to make your point. Then he pops back into non-existence once you have whacked the Christians over the head with it. And you sit back smug and proud as if you’ve actually achieved something. You’ve achieved precisely as much as if you went to the watercooler at work and proudly proclaimed to your co-workers that Father Christmas is untrustworthy. Try it. They will laugh their heads off at you. Because it would be a ridiculous assertion to put about.

    As you pointed, your arguments about Father Christmas and God are identical. So the conclusions should have the same identical form. But they don’t at all. Your argument is logically coherent in regards to father Christmas, but because you cannot resist tacking on the extra bit to the God argument, you reduce it to nonsense.

    One or the other. If God doesn’t exist, then fine, proclaim that and invite argument. If God exists, and can’t be trusted, then fine, argue that. But you want it both ways. You want God not to exist, and also for the attribute of untrustworthiness to be assigned to him as a being that exists. It’s nothing but a cheap trick, and it reveals your agenda, and as I say, it is not worthy of you. You don’t need to drive home the point with extra force. Logic itself ought to be sufficient. The fact that you feel the need to go beyond logic shows that, frankly, you are being driven by emotion, and not logic.

    But you are like a dog with a bone. You won’t give this one up, because you derive such tremendous negative pleasure from being able to repeat the mantra over and over, God is not trustworthy, God is not trustworthy. You’re like a child you didn’t get the present they wanted at Christmas so wants to take out their frustration by badmouthing Father Christmas. That’s all. But the present came from your parents, not Father Christmas. Father Christmas doesn’t exist. It’s not a question of him being untrustworthy at all. No need to insult him. He doesn’t exist.

    So am i arguing that God doesn’t exist? Well, depends how you define God. If God is defined like a kind of cosmic ATM machine, where you just go up and punch in how many dollars you want the machine to spit out, and it never seems to work, well then, yes, I agree, there is no such God. Is this the Christian God? That’s a different question. Jesus was asked to perform the same kind of tests as you demand, by the Devil himself, and was content to reply, it is written, you shall not tempt the Lord your God. That’s what you are doing. Demanding of Christians that they present receipts for their prayer success. Not going to happen. So go ahead, conclude God doesn’t exist. And now take up a new hobby. Move on. Leave Christians to their delusion, if that’s what you think it is. You had ten years to work through your own delusions. Leave others to find their own way through this mystery called life. You don’t need to drive home your point with force. You don’t need to keep insulting God or believers. Unless, you feel that you do need to. In which case, quit pretending that it is logic driven. It’s not.

  42. MichaelFree
    Posted June 29, 2016 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    Add the word miracle to the list of words that have lost all meaning to the “believer”.

  43. Posted June 29, 2016 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    Ah. Do you indeed. Thank you for admitting that your claim is not generated by logical necessity, but by your desire to “drive the point home with more force”.

    I admitted no such thing. On the contrary, it is perfectly logical that more “force” is required because the adults are committed to irrational beliefs supported by years of rationalization. The proof should be obvious, since believers continue to assert that “God is trustworthy” no matter how untrustworthy he proves to be. And it’s not just your particular beliefs we are talking about. The world is filled to overflowing with irrational religious beliefs that we know cannot all be true because they contradict each other. We have Protestants who declare Catholics to be Antichrist, we have JWs who say both are wrong. We have Mormons and Muslims and Hindus and Scientologists all holding to grossly irrational belief systems.

    This is all driven by your personal embarrassment that you followed Christ for so long. You are overcompensating. You are gilding the lily. You are lashing out irrationally, to “drive home the point with more force”, whereas, as you admit, a simple admission that God does not exist would be perfectly satisfactory from a logical point of view. You are blinded by your own irrational hatred of Christianity, based on your own experience. You need to calm down.

    So now you are a psychic psychologist who can diagnose the “motivation” of your opponents? Isn’t it just a tad too convenient that your diagnosis also happens to be an attack on me personally? Do you not realize that such an attack is not only irrelevant, but also fallacious? Specifically, it’s a textbook example of the ad hominem fallacy. It wouldn’t matter even if it were true since the truth of my argument does not depend upon my motivation for making it.

    Your self-exalting pseudo-parental command that I “calm down” is entirely unjustified and out of line. I am perfectly calm. You are just trying to find another way to irrationally discredit me because you can’t answer my logical arguments.

    Right, so you want receipts.

    Not true. Many other forms of evidence would be perfectly acceptable.

    There are no receipts, because, obviously, of the very nature of the matter under discussion. God doesn’t issue receipts. The only evidence is the testimony of believers, which you reject out of hand. Which is very handy for your argument.

    Not true. The fact that some people feel that God answered some prayers is not evidence of anything. We can get testimony like that from any religion. JWs, Mormons, Muslims, Catholics, every variety of Protestants, Scientologists, Tarot card readers – they ALL will give “testimony” of how their beliefs were “confirmed” by some coincidences. All those testimonies have one thing in common – they are based on cherry picking and confirmation bias. No serious thinker would simply accept “testimony” from people committed to a religious dogma! That kind of testimony cannot be valid or it would validate all those contradictory religions.

    You are missing the key point: the word “trustworthy” entails reliability, not the kind of “hit and miss” we would expect (and see) from the “testimony” of religious believers.

  44. Posted June 29, 2016 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    In any case: a thousand receipts proving that you paid your bills on time does not prove you are trustworthy. A single example of your untrustworthiness would be enough to negate all of that.

    Your concept of “trustworthiness” is confused. A single failure does not mean that something is thereafter absolutely untrustworthy. We all know that cars, planes, and cell phones are extremely reliable. The fact that they fail once in a while only means that they are not absolutely trustworthy, not that they are absolutely untrustworthy!

    So let me go ahead and cite a single example: many times you wrote on your website and around the web that you would serve God forever, in different ways, in different words. Your wedding band proclaimed the same thing. I’ve seen your online signature at forums where you proclaim yourself a servant of Christ for ever, or again, words to that effect, as recently as 2008. And yet, now you have completely abandoned your faith. You failed to keep trust.

    Not true. I showed that I could be trusted to abandon falsehood in favor of truth, which is much better than maintaining my “trust” in falsehood. And I showed that I am willing to admit my error publicly.

    Your attack is transparently perverse. If Muslim converted to Christ, would you condemn him for abandoning his faith in Allah?

    If I was God, I would be entitled to accuse you of exactly the same thing as you accuse him of: untrustworthiness. Your word could not be relied on. You promised one thing, and then failed to deliver. You may have paid your car payments on time. Well done. But you betrayed your commitment to God. No wonder you feel the need to, what was it, “drive the point home with more force”. It’s pure projection.

    Not true. If God really existed, he would applaud me for admitting that I was wrong about the evidence I thought confirmed the Bible. He would be smart enough to see that I was using the same kind of biased judgment that misleads believers in all sorts of religions like JWs, Scientology, Islam, etc., etc., etc.

    In any case, and for all that, you want one example, I will give it to you. I won’t bother with the names, as they don’t matter, as you will reject it anyway. Recently I was reading a book about a woman who wanders freely across the USA, trusting in God to provide. And He does. At one point, she was in pouring rain, freezing cold, and night was falling. A little voice spoke in her ear: “go down into that valley where there is a bridge, and under the bridge you will find somewhere to sleep”. She went down there, and there was a dry sleeping bag in a box. She was able to sleep the night in warmth, protected from the rain and elements. Simply put, whether you like it or not, God answered her prayer. She wasn’t challenging him for proof. She wasn’t asking for a Ferrari. She wasn’t playing clever theological games. She was just a simple humble woman living her life on earth by trusting God. And she is never let down, as much as you would love to be able to say that she is delusional. Her life is proof of God’s trustworthiness.

    And I could give you a thousand examples of coincidences that “confirm” any belief under the sun. Would you accept such testimony as evidence for Allah or L. Ron Hubbard? I think not. Therefore, your standards are inconsistent and self-serving.

    That is an example of God being trustworthy to those who love Him. That’s an example of someone not tempting God, not demanding receipts, not driving home a point with force, but someone in humility and love simply trusting that their basic needs will be met, and in their hour of need, finding those needs met by a simple humble miracle.

    If it’s an example of anything, it is an example of your confirmation bias. You would not accept similar testimony for religions you disagree with.

    You are already getting ready to reject this, out of hand, with a rhetorical flourish and a well-chosen put-down, as delusion, as irrationality, as the twisted minds of the believer poisoned by the corrupting influnece of religion, but so what. She slept dry and warm that night, which is worth far more than your ego-fuelled desire to “drive the point home with more force”. But this is an approach to the whole question which is utterly alien to you, because you are a hard-headed rationalist on a take-no-prisoners mission to slam Christianity, because, well, obviously you were very disappointed that God failed to provide you something that you wanted. Peace I guess, but I don’t know. Whatever it is, it doesn’t seem like you have found it yet. When you have found the peace you crave, you will move on from your self-appointed task of attacking Christianity, and take up archery, or aikido, or chess, or something positive into which to pour your energy, instead of waking up every day and logging on to bait Christians. Give it up already. You aren’t convincing anyone except MichaelFree. Move on. Get a life.

    You condemn yourself, not me. You are the one who is obviously not at “peace” with the simple fact that your belief in your religion is logically indistinguishable from all the other beliefs in all the other religions that you reject. Your assertion that I am on a “mission to slam Christianity” is false. I hold all relgions to the same standard, and they all fall by that standard. Why do you think they all demand blind “faith” from their followers? It is time for you to realize that your arguments to justify your personal religion would apply equally to all the other religions that you reject. Your logic is inconsistent and invalid.

  45. Posted June 29, 2016 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Ok enough games. Let me break it down for you. A being can only be said to be trustworthy or untrustworthy if that being exists. (No, just shut up for a second). If the being does not exist, then there is no question of attributing either trustworthiness or untrustworthiness to them. It’s just as simple as that.

    It appears you have no understanding of deductive proofs. They are used all the time to prove that something does not exist. For example, suppose you believed that the square root of two is a rational number (expressible as the ratio of two whole numbers a/b). The Greeks proved that such a number could not exist by assuming that it DID exist and then deriving a contradiction. Likewise, to prove that God does not exist, you presume that he does exist and then derive a contradiction. That’s what I did. The Christian God is defined as having the property of trustworthiness. I proved he did not, and so cannot exist. QED. Nothing could be simpler.

    If you want to argue that it is impossible to verify a trustworthy action by God, and therefore, as he claims to be trustworthy, this proves that he doesn’t exist, then fine! You have proved (to your own satisfaction) that he doesn’t exist. You haven’t proved that God is a being that exists and is untrustworthy. At all. You have proved (to your satisfaction) that the being called God doesn’t exist.

    That’s not my argument and you know it. I have repeated it more than enough times so there is no excuse for you to misrepresent it with such a blatant strawman. My argument is that the Christian God is not trustworthy. This follows by the definition of trustworthy. There is not one thing that anyone can trust God to do in any given situation. Not. One. Thing. Why do I have to repeat such a simple fact?

    I then proved that the Christian God does not exist because he is defined as trustworthy. QED.

    I have proven this with impeccable logic. I am not like you – I do not “prove” things to “my own satisfaction.” I hold all things to the same standard. If you think there is a flaw in my proof, then you will need to quote what I actually wrote and show my error. You have not come close to doing anything like that.

  46. MichaelFree
    Posted June 29, 2016 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    Richard’s logic is perfectly clear and has produced facts which cannot be gainsaid. Well done.

  47. MichaelFree
    Posted June 29, 2016 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    The Christian God would also have us believe that there are demons in the world and right now in the Congo there are 50,000+ children who live on the street who have been kicked out of their homes by their families and accused of being witches and demon-possessed. These children, some real young, join other homeless youth on the streets and do what they must to get by. They begin to think that they are really possessed and bring mind games upon themselves. They are taken to the local Catholic priests who do “exorcisms” ON THE CHILDREN. The “establishment” plays along and doesn’t inform the kids that there is no such thing as the invisible man, there are no ghosts, there are no devils, and there are no demons, and they are not possessed but rather they live in a very poor country without enough resources to live comfortably. So what’s wrong with the Catholics telling the kids the truth, what is wrong with the truth, and why the filthy lie instead, and even make a ceremony of it?

    QED #2 THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS DEVILS OR DEMONS IN THIS WORLD (YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE TO ANSWER TO THE KIDS IN THE CONGO IF YOU WANT TO DISPUTE THIS ONE, ALONG WITH ALL THE SCHIZOPHRENIA PATIENTS WORLDWIDE). Don’t harm the children righteous Jesus said, and I assume this means their mental health also.

  48. Posted June 30, 2016 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    The Christian God would also have us believe that there are demons in the world and right now in the Congo there are 50,000+ children who live on the street who have been kicked out of their homes by their families and accused of being witches and demon-possessed. These children, some real young, join other homeless youth on the streets and do what they must to get by. They begin to think that they are really possessed and bring mind games upon themselves. They are taken to the local Catholic priests who do “exorcisms” ON THE CHILDREN. The “establishment” plays along and doesn’t inform the kids that there is no such thing as the invisible man, there are no ghosts, there are no devils, and there are no demons, and they are not possessed but rather they live in a very poor country without enough resources to live comfortably. So what’s wrong with the Catholics telling the kids the truth, what is wrong with the truth, and why the filthy lie instead, and even make a ceremony of it?

    Excellent point Michael. The Bible deceives and deludes people into believing in demons and witches, and so adds to or creates great suffering by causing gullible believers to murder people they mistake as demon-possessed. This is but one of many reasons to reject the Bible and the God it proclaims.

  49. MichaelFree
    Posted June 30, 2016 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    I said:

    “THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS DEVILS OR DEMONS IN THIS WORLD”

    I should add to that sentence:

    “THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS DEVILS OR DEMONS IN THIS WORLD, AT LEAST NOT IN THE WAY THAT THE GOSPELS PORTRAY” (FACT)

    If devils or demons actually existed and were shown to exist then the Universe itself is evil, which would be a devastating realization for good people worldwide.

  50. Posted June 30, 2016 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    If devils or demons actually existed and were shown to exist then the Universe itself is evil, which would be a devastating realization for good people worldwide.

    Why would you say that the universe would be necessarily “evil” if demons existed? Coudn’t it be seen as a battle ground in which both good and evil exist? That seems to be the view held throughout Christian history.

  51. MichaelFree
    Posted June 30, 2016 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    This is my opinion: The Universe creates all within it, so if it created a supernatural being dedicated to evil then the Universe itself is evil. The only evil that I see in the Universe is the evil perpetrated by human beings. Nature is not evil, animals are not evil, but human beings have the capability to do not only great good in the world but also great evil, and in this way the battleground is not the Universe itself but rather it’s within each and every human being.

    It’s bad enough to have to deal with all the evil perpetrated by human beings in life, so if there were a supernatural evil being its too much for me personally as I couldn’t “trust” such a Universe nor would I want to live in such a Universe. Thankfully in my view most people in the world are good people and want to live a good life, which gives me genuine hope for the world and a reason to be alive.

  52. MichaelFree
    Posted July 1, 2016 at 2:06 am | Permalink

    If the Universe created a supernatural being dedicated to evil then things in life like black widow spiders, rattlesnakes, or mountain lions, which clearly are not evil, could be said to be evil, and that is the life we would have to live with. All the inherent honor that is built-in to nature today would disappear with the knowledge that certain things were created for evil. Things like earthquakes and tornadoes could be said to be evil. That is not a reality I want to live in. There is no honor in it as nature was robbed of its honor through the disclosure that the Universe created a supernatural being dedicated to evil. That’s why I believe that nature and the animals are perfect in that they do their job in life just fine, whereas it is us human beings who don’t always do our job, in regard to how we treat nature, the animals, and other human beings.

  53. SublimeKnightTemplar
    Posted July 3, 2016 at 3:29 am | Permalink

    Hey R.A.M.

    Just think, somewhere there is a tree in the rain forest tirelessly producing oxygen so that the be-LIE-vers may breathe. They owe that tree an apology. How can they intentionally go out of their way to be so willfully and unabashedly stupid?

    If an ultimate kosmic-god did exist, it’s intelligence would be on a scale so impossible, unimaginable different, so unequivocally great, the limited senses and feeble mind power of humans would be unable to detect and understand it, especially in our tiny lifespans. And as far as being “Trustworthy,” able to be “relied on” as honest or truthful: reliable, dependable, honest, honorable, upright, principled, eh? If you look for actual rhyme and reason in “God’s Books” you realy are lost indeed.

    It is Proof of how much the be-LIE-ver “trolls” make themself to easy to distinguish, acting like irrefutable evidence is crazy or try to dismiss it negatively without discussing it unbiasly. Still further proof of how much they fear knowlege, truth and information in the minds of humanity. With them everything is a conspiracy and secret agenda, looking for anything they can use to support their already self-established dogma of a FLAT earth.

    It seems they can’t grasp basic logic and reason, and just label anybody who does, a satanic conspirator! Yep, the intelligence of the human race is seriously going downhill, and I mean fast! LOL. We should stay skeptical and ask questions always about everything, think critically and independently before falling for any dogmatic or superstitious “woo-thing” that makes the truth get lumped into the pile of these dumb tin-foil hat kids.

    To Quote You: “You are almost guaranteed to find anything you are looking for because the data set is so large and you can ignore all the misses. “Seek and ye shall find” pretty much sums up the problem of cherry-picking and confirmation-bias.” ALL will give “testimony” of how their beliefs were “confirmed” by some coincidences…”All those testimonies have one thing in common – they are based on cherry picking and confirmation bias. No serious thinker would simply accept “testimony” from people committed to a religious dogma! That kind of testimony cannot be valid or it would validate all those contradictory religions.” Case Closed. (‘Nuff Said.)

    Finally, we aren’t even brilliant enough yet as human species where we can grow up and stop killing each other and ourselves and environment. Oh, this nonsensical-crap makes my head want to explode the more and more think about it. Mental-illness, and that’s what it is…mental illness and strong-delusion! LOL.

  54. MichaelFree
    Posted August 24, 2016 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    The true word is that the character Jesus in the Gospels is a liar, because he’s not the truth as the truth is not a person, he is a thief, because he’s not the truth as the truth is not a person, and he is an instigator and promoter of violence here on Earth toward all of us who refuse to bow to a violent God, and he is an instigator and promoter of violence in the afterlife toward all of us who refuse to bow to a violent God. The character Jesus is the leader of the Christian demons who if it weren’t for the enlightenment and secular governance would want to rule as they always have, through violence and forced conversion to bowing to a violent God. The character Jesus is evil. There is no righteous Jesus. Even leaders of demons don’t want the demons lying to each other, stealing from each other, or doing violence to one another, so cherry-picking these good words from the leader of the demons does not make the leader of the demons righteous. Jesus is not a servant of non-violence and is not a servant of the truth, but rather is a servant of violence, a servant of the biggest of lies, and a servant of the biggest of thefts. Jesus hates nature and dishonors nature because nature defeats his witchcraft and his demons.

    Previously I stated that the only evil I’ve seen in the Universe is that done by human beings, but this is not true, but it is also not a lie. The supernatural thing that I saw started out benign, and many years later it became good, and just a short while later it became pure evil, and this is where it belongs, and the intelligence behind it knows it, and yet it won’t battle me when I call it forth to battle in righteousness and honor.

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