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Atheist Community of Austin
Theism

I have seen many people ask you what evidence or proof you have that atheism is accurate, i see your response and you make a comparison. i have one question about this comparison. it is part of gods characteristics to be not contingent. i therefore ask, how you can make a comparison between a unicorn in a box (which IS contingent) and god.

i am aware of what atheists believe and their dark matter philosophy on how they counter the cosmological argument, i would like to however counter that with the idea of design in a way that allows the cosmological argument to happen, i use this as the universe is only able to be designed once, even on an infinite timeline.

my second question is, if you are correct and you could convert everyone to atheism. what alternative would you give, to encourage people to use moral values. currently where i live religion is disappearing but the crime rate is increasing, i am not suggesting all atheists are evil, and all theists are good, but i would like to point out, the idea of a god can motivate people to do the right thing where they would otherwise. also theism can bring people together in a community and can help people who are less fortunate. when you say that you want people to make the most of their lives rather than living for a god. do you honestly believe that this is the best way to live. it would likely result in many more people becoming customers to prostitutes, strippers and doing drugs. some people will have a lot less respect for other people and others may take your survival of the fittest idea literally. this could potentially cause much exploiting of the poor as if you have one life and no one can judge you, exploiting them could lead to a better life for yourself. how would you stop people thinking like this? not everyone thinks like yourself.

Your first paragraph is based on a logical fallacy called "special pleading". You're asserting that your god has a particular property without first proving your god exists. I could claim that I have an invisible pink unicorn in my garage. I could then claim that he exists, but only I know about him because he only talks to me. Have I convinced you the unicorn exists?

On your second paragraph, you are assuming that the universe is designed. You have to have evidence for that. It's a "leading" statement. The universe exists, which begs the question of how it happened, but to day it had to have been designed (presumably by a Designer), you're assuming the type of conclusion you'd like to reach.

From what I understand, morality is based on reason+knowledge, compassion, and responsibility. Reason and knowledge help us understand the consequences of our actions. Compassion helps us identify with how those consequences impact others. Responsibility ties our self worth to our actions and motivates us to do the right thing. None of these is supernatural. All of them are enabled by our big brains and our evolutionary history as a social animal.

In the US, religious belief is declining and crime rates are declining. There was a study by Gregory S. Paul looking at various "first world" countries comparing their religious beliefs and various social ills. He found that religious belief was correlated with lower life spans, higher infant mortality, higher teen pregnancy rates, higher teen suicides, higher sexually transmitted disease rates, and higher abortion rates. The idea the religion is somehow beneficial to society is false.

I know of no (real or claimed) benefit provided by religion that can't be done as well or better by secular means. Do you?

Also, look at the systematic moral failings of, say, Christianity: Centuries of persecuting and killing Jews, sabotage of medical research, tens of thousands of pedophile priests and an organization that could do nothing about it until secular juries started giving million dollar rewards to victims. God, prayer, the Bible, and Christendom together couldn't solve a problem that secular institutions have begun to solve. How does that compare to religious morality?

"Survival of the fittest" is not and was never meant as a moral prescription. It was meant only as a description--a way of describing what is going on in nature. By the way, a big part of our fitness as humans is due to our ability to work together. Christian propaganda would have you believe that evolution is somehow a license to go kill people. That's false.

So you've got a lot of lies and logical fallacies used to promote your religion. I guess instinctively, you know they're necessary. You know the religion is crap and It can't be sold without deception. I already know this. You don't need to tell me it's crap.

No, there is a difference between what i am doing and special pleading as you call it. there is a difference between a unicorn in a box, and god. the difference is contingency. for example

if you claimed julius Caesar didn't exist, you could argue that the coins that have his face on where not made by him and he was a story. he was created by the roman empire as a character that we now believe to be real. who would need to prove this statement, you are saying you don't believe that he existed, i say he did. ( i know julius caesar is contingent i am just making a comparison) julius caesar however shaped the roman empire and we can see evidence of him around us as he was the one that took over gaul and turned the roman empire into a success for a long time.

god created the universe, or i can argue on probability that he did, just as i can argue julius caesar existed. is it for me to convince you julius caesar exists or for you to prove he didn't (as we can see the consequences of his existence around us.

as of your next argument, quite honestly with few exceptions all atheists i know are selfish idiots. i would never consider being anything like them, and you come across as similar by the way you immediately pull out insults and avoid the question i was giving.

atheism is a pitiful excuse to be selfish and care about nothing apart from themselves, it was started by grown children who didn't want to worship god and have NEVER managed to establish a satisfying argument. at least the atheists i know (who are incredibly unpleasant) have the honesty to admit that actually they just don't care about religion rather than actively dismiss it. Over 40!!! studies have shown religious people live LONGER!!! that non believers - check your facts. you can have one study but we have 40 - but i will be happy to say nothing, i can also say nothing about the surveys that show religious people live HAPPIER lives. so you can say that its all bullshit, i just wanted to help you see the failure of your ways.

you claim your so much smarter than everyone else because your atheist - lets look at the facts, we live longer happier, more fulfilling lives according to surveys, and all the atheists i know are quite frankly rude! why would anyone with any braincells choose rude shorter and unhappy lives over the alternative!!!

- we can get into that or you can respond to what i said about whether god is real or not. but down that road - your not helping yourself.

When you say god has the property of non-contingency, you have made the assumption that the god exists. Non-existent things don't have properties. You are assuming the very thing you're trying to prove--that some god exists.

I honestly don't know which argument you're referring to when you call me a selfish idiot. That's an ad homeneim (logical fallacy), by the way. If you feel I haven't addressed one of your questions, please re-ask it. What question was I avoiding?

I see evidence of the universe existing, but I don't see evidence of your god. I see logical fallacies and lies being used to try to define a god into existence. I'm rejecting those.

As to the idea of atheists not caring, consider that I am speaking out against raping children and killing Jews--two things that Christians don't seem to know is wrong.

Atheism is the lack of belief in gods. We are not convinced that we should believe given the lack of evidence. It's the same position that any sane person would take with respect to belief in fairies. The only reason we have for raising this lack of belief in importance is to distinguish ourselves from those who do believe and to set ourselves as not supporting the harm that is done in the name of belief. I consider myself an anti-thiest, someone who is against religions. Belief in nonsense is harmful and I am against that.

Of your 40 studies that showed religious belief leads to a longer life, how many of them controlled for being part of a community? I'd be interested in references to any that did. As for happier lives, why is it that Sweden is considered the happiest country when it's mostly atheist?

I'd also be interested in knowing whether in the situations where religious people live longer happier lives, whether they aren't doing this at the expense of others. I wouldn't say this is "better" according to my challenge. In the US, we have religious people actively persecuting non-believers and gays, for example. Here in the US, Christian groups are actively sabotaging the teaching of evolution and interfering in the reproductive rights of non-believers. I wonder, too, how a Christian could be happy knowing that the beliefs he promotes were so strongly associated with the centuries-long persecution of Jews.

"The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality of happiness, and by no means a necessity of life." -- George Bernard Shaw (Androcles and the Lion: An Old Fable Renovated)

None of this has any Bering on whether gods exist.

I don't claim to be smart. I claim to have examined the evidence for claims of gods. You're welcome to ask me for the evidence behind anything I've claimed.

Is your last sentence a veiled threat? Believe or be tortured? If so, I don't consider emotional manipulation to be convincing. I consider it to be a hallmark of someone who has run out of logical arguments. If you are concerned about my happiness and longevity, I'd rather deal with reality as it is an not be party to the exploitation of another.

i had something to do - continuing on

I love how you claim that religious people persecute you, but in your thread just above you argued that i knew god didn't exist and suggested this is some kind of thing to make me happy. something which i find firstly insulting (which is probably why people don't like or trust atheists) secondly your putting me down because of my belief system.

my second point would be if over 80% or so of americans believe in some god, why should 80% of the schools be removed from classrooms to pray, (i think thats what one of your atheist complaints about american schools where) rather than 20% who don't believe in anything so is there any problem. i would like to enlighten you with a european policy (or one from most europeans) called getting over it - i had to use this when i was younger a lot with my siblings.

what happens is, if it doesn't bother me (which prayer in schools shouldn't - revise or something when its going on, its a couple of minutes of silence from your point of view, ignore the people praying and gather your thoughts and think of it as a time of relaxing) then let it go. i don't understand why americans get so worked up about what seems like everything.

claim what you want about happiness but I and obviously 80% or so ( i heard somewhere it was around that much) of americans agree that happiness is worth it.

I'm sorry if you feel persecuted when someone points out the moral failings of the religion you're promoting. I have yet to meet a Christian that feels any sense of responsibility for the systematic harm caused by their religion. I see that as a strong indication of moral bankruptcy. I can only assume this is because believers are far more interested in the bait of a perpetual orgasm in heaven than the well being of their fellow man. What is your faith number? (http://www.atheist-community.org/library/articles/read.php?id=747).

I find it insulting that the majority of people in this country buy into the idea that I deserve to be tortured for all time because I don't believe in a con game. Christianity is a sick religion and I'm sorry you defend it.

Nobody's preventing you from praying or fantasizing about your perpetual orgasm. We are for church-state separation as established in the first amendment of the US Constitution. We object to government-led prayer and other forms of religious coercion. We're following and supporting the US law when we're stopping such activities.

Now answer me this: If God is real, why does he need advertising? You people aren't stopping education to blather on about how the sky is blue. That's true, so I guess it doesn't need such promotion.

As for the happiness thing, some of us care about whether our beliefs are true. Christians remind me of the character Cypher in The Matrix. They prefer a pleasant fantasy to reality.

Since you didn't respond on the contingency thing, I assume you concede the argument -- that you don't really have any good reason to believe.

Dear Somebody,

I'm tempted to see your response as satire, given that you appear to almost comically exemplify the complete opposite of the 'happy long-living' religious-person you claim we should emulate.

But I'm afraid you must be serious, and if so that's rather sad. I'm sorry to hear you have so much anger at your atheist acquaintances who have purportedly left such a bad impression. If may interject the notion that 'it takes two to tango', and if your message above is any indication, its likely that they have had every reason to have responded to you in a cycle of anger.

I don't see anything in Don's post that attacks you personally, so in truth your angry response really isn't justified. If you'd like to correspond with us cordially, please do so. I think we could have a much more productive and enjoyable interaction if we try to keep the blood pressure at a reasonable level (please?).

actually i enjoy a debate before it gets confrontational - as soon as you start using insults it gets rude but before i do enjoy a debate which is probaly the only reason i came to this website. im not preaching but i am taking my view and actively seeking people with an opposing one just to have a civilised debate on a matter. i am happy with my life, i am young so i can't say i am going to be long living, but i dont smoke or anything, i eat healthy and theres no reason i shouldn't live long. i do however know many atheist aquantaninces that are very hostile, atheists i went to school with do drugs and generally make the community an unpleasant place. no he doesnt attack me personally but you can put an argument across without putting down the other side. i know american politics are different to europeon but instead of critising other people, explain a way that your view comes across as more likely. that is what atheists have always failed to do in my opinion.

It is just as probable that there is a unicorn in a box as a god in the sky.

Just in case you're not pretending to be ignorant - there is no dispute by historians, scholars or any atheists that I know about concerning the life of Julius Caesar who lived 100 years before the alleged Jesus. We have plenty of evidence that Julius Caesar actually lived. There are coins, dwellings, paintings and sculptures depicting Caesar's likeness. We have writings about Caesar by historians of his time. We have letters to and from Caesar and we have Caesar's own writings. There is no evidence that the savior/god Jesus ever existed. We have very sophisticated methods of proving something really happened or someone really existed now days. Scholars and scientists who look for the truth have found the answer. There is not one shred of evidence that Jesus ever existed. There are no eyewitness accounts of his life. The gospels were written long after the facts by unknown authors - there are no original manuscripts. No contemporary (living at the same time and place) historian wrote a word about this celebrated savior/god. The Jesus story can be found in pagan myths that existed long before the Jesus story was made up. The child genius and savior god/man Jesus had an incredible message for mankind but never wrote one thing. He gave the responsibility of imparting this incredible message to the world to the illiterate peasants. That's because the scholars only heard of this story long after the events and they rejected the story.

I think that everyone knows that Julius Caesar lived - nobody disputes that is a fact. The problem is with your Jesus there seems to be no evidence of his existence.

If the alleged atheists that you know just don't care about religion they are not atheists. Only after a careful study of the evidence do atheists dismiss the religious claims. Atheists know a great deal about religion; many atheists are biblical scholars. The people who objectively investigate religious history have concluded that there is no credible evidence that it is based on truth. Religion is based on ancient mythology. Atheists are not people who just do not want to go to church. Atheists do not want to support something that is a fake.

I don't know if Don Baker thinks he smarter than everyone or not - but for sure he is much smarter than you are - and that's not saying a whole lot.

Somedude said, "I have seen many people ask you what evidence or proof you have that atheism is accurate, i see your response and you make a comparison. i have one question about this comparison. it is part of gods characteristics to be not contingent. i therefore ask, how you can make a comparison between a unicorn in a box (which IS contingent) and god.

I never make comparisons if I'm asked what evidence or proof I have that atheism is accurate. The atheist does not have to prove a thing because they are not making any claim (for which there is no evidence). Those making all the claims have to prove a god exist. I think it would be hard to compare something that has not been defined with anything.

However, the unicorn in a box comparison is similar to Carl Sagan's story about "a fire-breathing dragon that lives in my garage. It is an invisible, incorporeal, floating dragon who spits heatless fire - what's the difference between that and no dragon at all?"

Somedude said, "i am aware of what atheists believe and their dark matter philosophy on how they counter the cosmological argument, i would like to however counter that with the idea of design in a way that allows the cosmological argument to happen, i use this as the universe is only able to be designed once, even on an infinite timeline. Since you didn't explain 'the cosmological argument' I will. It is really not a specific argument; it is inferences from certain so-called facts about the universe to support the existence of a supernatural being. The argument starts out with the world came into being, and the world is contingent or could have been different, or that certain beings or events in the world are causally dependent or contingent. From these facts certain philosophers infer either deductively or inductively that a first cause, a necessary being, an unmoved mover, or a personal being God exists. The cosmological argument is part of ancient (Greece or Rome) classical natural theology, with the objective being to provide some evidence for the claim that God exists.

Aristotle was a Greek philosopher who claimed that Earth was the center of everything and that the sun and all the planets circled the Earth. Copernicus claimed that the Earth and the planets moved around the sun and Galileo agreed, which got him lock up in prison until he renounced science. The cosmological argument is not new, so presenting a new-fashioned version does nothing to change the basic assumptions. That 'something' couldn't come from 'nothing' and there had to be a 'first cause'. How does introducing a Creator overcome these problems 'something can't come from nothing' or there has to be a 'first cause'? What did the Creator come from - what is the Creator made of - what was the cause? An argument that doesn't answer any questions is not evidence of anything.

Cosmological argument advocates say that cold dark matter would throw off the rotation of galaxies, when in fact we need it to understand their rotation. Recent measurements indicate that cold dark matter makes up twenty six percent of the matter in the universe and increases the rate of expansion of the universe. The vacuum fluctuations open up the possibility that the universe covered by the Big Bang model is only part of a larger whole. It is now almost certain the vacuum fluctuations during an early period of rapid inflation gave the universe the microstructure it needed to eventually form the physical structures that have condensed out of it, eventually leading to galaxies and everything in them.

The first cause argument falls because the laws of reality allow matter and energy to pop into existence, given small enough time frames and small enough distances. Self-consistent understanding of physics demands that universes can and will be spontaneously created from nothing. Gravity makes it possible for the universe to spontaneously come into existence, as a necessary outcome of the way physics operates. Time did not exist before the universe. Time came into existence at the Big Bang, so nothing came 'before' the universe - before is meaningless.

The Big Bang theory has plenty of evidence to back it up, but (as with any theory) there are still questions being answered. Evolution is considered a theory and a fact, but we are still finding new questions and answers. That is how science works. It never stands still, which is apparently about all that religion is capable of doing.

Somedude said, "my second question is, if you are correct and you could convert everyone to atheism. what alternative would you give, to encourage people to use moral values. currently where i live religion is disappearing but the crime rate is increasing, i am not suggesting all atheists are evil, and all theists are good, but i would like to point out, the idea of a god can motivate people to do the right thing where they would otherwise.

There is no proof that religion makes any difference in the level of crime or any of the things you are blaming on a lack of religion. There have been numerous studies that have proven religion makes no difference in the morality or ethics of any society. Some of the wealthiest and most advanced countries are the least religious, and the most socially equitable. This indicates that education and economics is a much bigger factor in producing a better society. They also found that they tend to care more about their people. The poorest and most violent countries in the world are the most religious. America is one of the most religious countries (it's right up there with Egypt as one of the most religious countries) and America is also one of the most violent countries with very high rates of murder and rape. America is also one of the most indebted countries in the world. The crime rate is rising in certain countries because of disparity between those who took everything and those who have nothing. That's what happens when the bank robbers are working inside the banks.

Somedude said, "also theism can bring people together in a community and can help people who are less fortunate. when you say that you want people to make the most of their lives rather than living for a god. do you honestly believe that this is the best way to live. it would likely result in many more people becoming customers to prostitutes, strippers and doing drugs. some people will have a lot less respect for other people and others may take your survival of the fittest idea literally. this could potentially cause much exploiting of the poor as if you have one life and no one can judge you, exploiting them could lead to a better life for yourself. how would you stop people thinking like this? not everyone thinks like yourself.

You must be overlooking all the scandals that have gone on with the Evangelicals. In terms of the tawdry behavior that you described - what does that have to do with making the most of your life? If there are people who have to be constantly threatened with punishment to stop them from reeking havoc on others or behaving like guttersnipes - I feel sorry for them - mostly because it doesn't work. All that you described in terms of evil is going on in America right now with a fanatic dome on every corner.

In all of the industrialized and more developed countries, with greater wealth and development, religion is in decline and this is always the case. They have a much lower crime rate than we do. We have a higher prison population than many countries that are far less religious. Religious people commit more crimes than educated people who are taught that they are capable of developing their own ethical system, and they do not need a sky fairy and they know that they are one hundred percent responsible for what they do; not the devil. People who never face the facts are lost without someone telling them what to think. If religious people tend to be more violent (and they are) there must be a correlation. This so-called Christian Nation has military bases in 200 countries and two wars going on for no reason. Iraq never had weapons of mass destruction (that is a proven fact) and they had nothing to do with the attacks on the Trade Towers. The war in Afghanistan is not about finding the culprits because Bush said he really didn't care about that before he left office. It's not a war on terror either because terrorism is a global network. So, why are we spending all of this money on a quagmire just like Vietnam with little resistance? Because there are people who are brainwashed by religion and patriotism. There is a lesson to learn in 'The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire' all of this will fail just like it did in Rome; the first Christian Nation that waged war in the name of Christianity.

People get more religious during times of economic depression and unrest. They seek otherworldly intervention to end their agony instead of making demands, which only prolongs their agony. Religion is a good thing for politician and Wall Street. Religion is not the root of all evil but it sure does help. Japan is one of the most non-religious countries in the world, yet they have one of the lowest crime rates. But religious countries have the highest crime rates. Detroit is a city where the people are afraid to walk down the street at night with over 2,500 murders in a year. Other cities in America are very quickly become just as bad. Religious people are incapable of developing ethics because they have no moral compass

atheists are making a claim there is no god, an agnostic would make a claim they dont know and so are making no claims. secondly there is evidence in the universe that is right in front of our eyes, this isn't proof but can be called evidence. the difference between there being a god and not at all would be the same as there being a universe and one not at all. if there is no god, why does science allow there to be a universe, the laws of physics and biology allow life to form but who or what designed them in a way that allowed that. if noone did, then why is it like that. it could just be coincidence - but then that is alot of atheist arguments, too much coincidence isn't convincing.

a creator does solve these problems simply because of free will. if i choose to push the dominoes over then that is a choice and doesnt need to be started by anything else, but without choice then there must be something that started the effect that is not effected by time and space.

when i was talk about the idea of design, i am saying who made the laws of reality that what they are, that what allows life to be created, that that allows spontaneously come into existance. i dont dispute whether or not it happened.

my next question is not whether or not religion causes crime or stops crime, but how if everyone was atheist would you be able to pass on values and morality to the young without something to attract them to it. only because i have had personal experience not neccessarily always breaking the law, but atheists generally being unpleasant. how do you convince them that drugs are wrong, not to get strippers and prostitutes, and to give to charity, not be selfish, and attain good qualities.

Atheists don't believe in gods. We're not making a claim. See the front page of this web site for our definition.

That said, we know some gods can't exist. An omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent god can't exist because of the problem of evil. Most verifiable claims that Christans make about their god have been shown to be false, such as prayer working. See Victor Stenger's "God: The Failed Hypothesis", for a long list of such claims for which the evidence is against there being such a god.

Meanwhile, us atheists have been begging theists for evidence of their god, but we have yet to hear anything. Too bad prayer doesn't work or they could just pray and get the evidence.

Free will is a cop out. If god gave me free will and I WANT evidence it's not a violation of my free will for him to give it.

Listen to yourself: You're saying how awful it is to be "attracted" to not believing in harmful crap (I've listed only a small part of the harm above). How "selfless" of you. Seriously, why do you wonder why atheists have such a bad perception of Christianity.

I don't think you should be tortured for believing in nonsense. I guess that makes me nicer than you, by the way.

Please ask your god for help and answer my earlier post.

you say you known some gods cant exist, which is a claim. secondly the problem of evil doesn't show that their cant be a omniscient, omnipotent and omnibenevolent god, there is many answers that could explain it, i personally agree with the soul making idea.

One of the most cited studies in prayer literature was conducted by the physician Randolph Byrd in 1988. Byrd looked at the effects of prayer in the Judeo-Christian tradition in a coronary care unit (CCU) population. Over ten months, 393 patients admitted to the CCU were randomly assigned to a treatment group that would receive distant prayers, or a control group that would receive no prayers.

Three to seven people prayed daily for the rapid recovery, and prevention of complications or death, for a single patient in the treatment group. The end result was that statistically significantly fewer patients in the prayer group required ventilation, antibiotics, had cardiopulmonary arrests, developed pneumonia, or required diuretics.

Neither the participants nor the doctors treating them knew who would be receiving the healing and who wouldn't. All participants had ongoing medical care during the study. After six months AIDS patients who had been sent distant prayers had significantly fewer AIDS related illnesses, less severity of illness, less frequent visits to the doctor, fewer hospitalisations, and an improvement in mood. All improvements were statistically significant.

so i would dismiss your view of prayer not working. there will be cases where it might not work, but i find in general it works, when i look at my own life, i find not always that i get what i want when i pray, but if i really want something, i will end up in a better position on the matter than i was originally.

evidence for me is in the amount peoples lives have been changed for the better from religion, yes there are cases where religion has done wrong, but normally thats been more our failings than the religions. for me the evidence is in the tests of prayer i showed you, for me the evidence is in the likelihood of science being in a way to allow life come from nothing, without someone designing it in a way that makes it possible. i don't think religion is harmful. people who are part of religion can be harmful but the religion itself if nothing else, and nothing else is true, can help us attain some simple moral standings, not everyone will need help getting moral standings but some people do.

i dont think anyone should be tortured, i don't see how you think that i would have somebody tortured.

On the problem of evil: Consider that my left shoe is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent. It just has a deeper understanding of the universe and it chooses not to mitigate evil because of the higher purpose only it knows about. Are you convinced that my left shoe is god?

Here's an article that points out the problem in the Byrd study (http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/gary_posner/godccu.html). Note that they used a technique not unlike shooting a shotgun and circling one of the hits as a target. Take a look at what is considered to be a well-run study by a pro-Christian group called the Templeton Foundation (http://www.templeton.org/newsroom/press_releases/060407step.html).

So I would dismiss your view of prayer working. Seriously, read Matt. 7:7, Matt. 17:20, Matt. 21:21, Matt. 18:19, Mark 11:24, and John 14:12-14. Then try it for yourself. Ask God to make me a believer. You can prove in 15 minutes that it's utter bullshit. Either the Bible is false or Jesus is a liar. Take your pick.

It may be true that some people have benefited by religion, but I don't think you can honestly claim that the overall benefit to society is positive. That's what really matters. If you'd like I can give you a long list of the moral failings of religion. Please understand that you're not going to learn these tings in church. They value your ignorance too much. Did you know that the founder of Protestantism incited a war in which a hundred thousand people were killed? Did you know that hatred of Jews was part-and-parcel of his theology? Did you know that Hitler loved his "On the Jews and their Lies" so much that he put his "theology" into action during the Holocaust? Did you know that he started Christal Night on Martin Luther's birthday in commemoration of this love? Did you know that very few Protestants know any of this about their founder?

As for the torture thing, I'm glad to hear that you don't think anyone should be tortured. I think there's hope for you. Why, then, do you believe in a religion that believes the vast majority of people will be tortured?

I get that you don't understand how life came into existence. The proper response is to say "I don't know", rather than invent just-so stories about gods who you can't explain or have no evidence for. "I don't know" is an honest answer. Inventing stories is a dishonest answer.

this is to don: your argument is pointless -your shoe does not posses though qualities and so it wouldn't be god. if are suggesting god doesn't do anything then i would disagree, religious experiences, the saints and such would say that he was very active in the world around us. i have found personally when i felt things were getting too hard prayer in my life has had significant results which when atheists ask me personally what they are, they say coincidence.

i looked at your http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/gary_posner/godccu.htm response and honestly i LOLED. you are saying that people might of prayer for the other guys and so its INVALID!!! god has a plan and his plan may well of been show prayer works, it may well of been that the people who were given prayer were also needed for something else. honestly though, even you need to admit that is a laughable response. to me, the author of this website is just plain stubborn and is looking for excuses on why he can say its invalid.

if you don't want to believe then theres not point praying for it. the fact you don't believe he exists doesn't mean he doesn't exist. i could pray to god that you would believe, god gave you free will, he could come down and stand right in front of you in a physical form, 100 feet high even, say i am god demonstrate his power and you could just say that your hallucinating, or dreaming. if you don't want to believe then you won't believe. this doesn't change whether prayer works or not.

I know our history - but you must understand that was the people, not the religion - king henry the 8th killed two wives separated himself from the catholic church and murdered catholics. thats not christianity, thats him.

the pope during ww2 times said it was okay for hitler to kill jews, thats not christianity, thats him. religion is just what the holy book says, christianity is just what the bible says, judaism is the torah and for muslims is the Qur'an. what does the bible say, not what do we do, yes we are supposed to represent the bible, but we are only human, look at jesus, let jesus represent us - he's the one we follow. the crusades where not jesus, that was us.

i dont believe though that hell is necessarily a place of torture. i just believe its somewhere, where god is not, that can feel like torture but i believe when we are on earth we are either saying yes god, we want you in our life, or no we don't and hell is for the people who don't want god, its like you don't know what you had till he's gone.

i will say if i don't know but i will answer to the best of my abilities. but for me, the laws of physics that allows a universe full of life to come from nothing without a designer is, unlikely. that mixed with my personal experiences of coincidence with prayer and such. i choose to believe in god.

It's amazing to me that you can be so convinced that your god is acting in this world, yet not be able to come up with any evidence such a god exists. I think the Christian god is merely a synonym for ignorance. "I don't know X, therefore God must'a done it." I think my left shoe is clearly better than your god: it exists.

The critique of your prayer studies brought up at least two valid (fatal) criticisms of the prayer study you suggested. Seriously, though. If prayer worked Christians wouldn't be among the poor and ignorant, would they?

I WANT you and your god to convince me that your god exists. I'm willing to believe, if given sufficient evidence.

My Martin Luther comment was just one example. Christians have systematically persecuted and killed Jews for centuries. He was just one of a long line. If I can't judge the religion by the overwhelming behavior of it's believers, then you're just trying to work a con here. "By their fruits ye shall know them."

On hell: Wouldn't it be nice if Christians would pray to the (claimed) same god and get consistent answers about these theological questions. There are about 30,000 recognized sects of Christianity. There can be that many lies, but there can only be one truth. You do the math. When did your sect take the lies of its parent sect, add a few more, and arrive at the truth.

So it comes down to this: You want to believe your god is true. I can't argue with that, but it doesn't make it the truth.

My argument is on possibility. i can only believe in so much coincidence. the fact that science can allow a universe and life to come from nothing is why i believe there is a god. yes there is a possibility there is no god. but the probability is that there is a god. i understand that it is possible i am wrong. its not jumping to conclusions, its evaluating the probability.

why are christians poor and stupid. we have some of the most smart people in the world, and we have some of the richest people in the world. i disagree that the points were valid in any way. saying something like people could of being praying for the other people is a child's excuse. if god used these tests to show that prayer worked, if that was in his plan, then he would of worked harder of the people who were being prayed for. thats a possibility of gods plan which must be taken into consideration.

the different denominations of christianity don't believe in anything different - its just the technique. some believe in believers baptisms, some believe in children baptisms, some believe in structured mass, some believe in spontaneous mass. some believe in divorce, some don't. the beliefs are still the same.

if you judge christianity of its followers, then why do you judge on the negative rather than the positive, look at mother teresa, look at the countless christians working in africa. christianity is about what jesus did, let jesus be our representative.

the crusades were not because of christianity. it was because they were different from us, thats what humans do - its horrible and pathetic but look at the slave trade because their black, look at 100 year war between the title of french and english, the english still hate the french. i think the best example of titles separating two groups causing war is rwanda tutsis vs hutu. there are atheists doing the same thing, if you don't want theists to generalise atheists why do you generalise us. if you claim the crusades represent us, can i not say stalin represents you!

look at what we believe, not the people that believe it. we are all individuals, we are all different and what some people do, doesn't represent us all.

just because there is not proof for something doesn't make it false either. i look at probability and make a decision, its not that i cant imagine an alternative. i just consider god, a more realistic solution to the problems. i also am convinced that god is acting in this world too, and the combination i can build my faith upon.

if you claim god is ignorance, could i claim atheism is arrogance. with probability, religious experiences, success in prayer study, longer living and happier followers, records of jesus execution and NDEs which is something to consider all on our side. i consider this evidence.

On possibility: You claim to be doing a comparison, but I don't believe you've computed the likelihood of an all powerful, all knowing god popping into existence from nothing. You might look up "Zero-Point Energy", which has been measured.

Your god answers prayers, except when he doesn't. My left shoe answers prayers, except when it doesn't. My left shoe is still better than your god.

"the different denominations of christianity don't believe in anything different". False. We've already discussed variation in the concept of hell.

If I judge Christianity in its totality, the net is very negative.

The Crusades were a "faith based initiative" if there ever was one. Slavery was condoned based on the "curse of Ham". Look it up.

"just because there is not proof for something doesn't make it false either". But why would you believe in it? Christians are trying to get the benefit of their belief in a perpetual orgasm in heaven while trying to evade the responsibility for the harm their beliefs have had on the world. That is the epitome of hedonistic selfishness, wouldn't you agree?

Atheists are happy to say "I don't know" when we don't know something. Ignorance is inventing a story to fill in the gap.

Got to run. I'm sorry you've bought into such a harmful belief system.

an answer can be no. yes but christianity is the bible and jesus, you can believe in different concepts as long as it sticks to what the bible says, the bible says very little about hell.

if i judge christianity i look at it as positive. if i judge atheism i look at it as negative. so we can either look at it from a negative perspective or we can think logically and look at what the actual view is, rather than the people that take up the view.

crusades, rwanda slave trade are all because they are different to what we are. its something humans have done since the start of time. even if you try and justify crusades and slavery as not part of these reasons i challenge you to look at rwanda - rwanda was no doubt titles that separated them.

i believe in it because of probability which i will now explain to you.

what laws are required for this all to be possible: - lets start basic

gravity - without life would be impossible. electromagnetic forces strong forces - his is a very short range force which binds the basic building blocks of baryonic matter (quarks) together. This force is mediated by gluons. dark matter -which does not emit any kind of electromagnetic radiation and the only thing that it responds to is gravity. It plays a major role in the evolution of the universe through structure formation. There are indirect evidences of its existence, but its nature is unknown. dark energy -The mystery of the millennium for astrophysicists today is dark energy! The cosmic microwave background radiation predicts that there is a dark energy which drives expansion of the universe and with time, its only going to accelerate it. Astrophysicists today have no idea about the nature of this energy which constitutes 70% of the energy content of the universe! The weird thing about it is that dark energy is unclustered and exerts negative pressure! organisation of amino acids, what they can do, and what they do. early gases being gases found together.

- im just taking a few random elements or factors that would need to create life. without any of these life would be impossible.

so lets role a two sided dice to see if the universe is luckily enough to have gravity, rather we'll play heads or tails - if heads the laws of gravity don't exist and so life's impossible - but since we know they do exist this points to intelligent design, if they do exist then its coincidence and no intelligent design needed. what we will do is do this for every single bit i have mentioned ( and i have mentioned almost nothing in comparison to what there actually is) if you fail on 1! because thats all that was needed) then intelligent design is more likely (or at least to me).

are you ready?

gravity: heads - i win

electromagnetic forces: ooh heads i win again - i am actually flipping a coin here, im trying to make this as simple as possible for you - this would be how i show little children about probability.

strong forces: heads i win

dark matter: heads i win

dark energy: heads i win

early gases:tails you win

amino acids: heads i win

i just did that with a british pound coin. the point i was trying to make in all this, is if one thing was off then life is impossible. not only that for some of it, a universe existing is impossible. this universe is crazy and with so many aspects all contributing to something, intelligent design does sound more probable.

if you want you can give me more aspects in which i can play heads or tails with.

Someguy,

Let's take stock of where we are.

You've propose a bit of circular logic based on "non-contingency". You presented an inaccurate definition of atheism. I pointed out the bankruptcy of Christian moral values. You claimed that atheists are "selfish idiots" without justification-- an ad homeneim fallacy. You couldn't come up with a reason for why child molestation is moral. You argued that religious people have a longer life, which is debatable at best and has nothing to do about the truth of Christianity. You issued a veiled threat. You showed a lack of understanding of the US Constitution. You made a failed attempt at a free will rationalization for the problem of evil. You tried to pass a leading argument of "who" created the universe. You never answered why god needs advertising. You haven't come up with anything (for which you have evidence) that your god can do that my left shoe can't also do. You cited a flawed prayer study, but didn't address one that wasn't flawed. I gave you and your god a chance to prove prayer works. <!Crickets chirping.> I pointed out a few of the many systematic moral failings of Christianity. You responded that while Christians all believe the same thing, you have no responsibility for the beliefs of your fellow Christians. You gave a concrete example of how Christians have some non-trivial variation in their beliefs, but denied that there was any variation in their beliefs. I gave you a lesson on the founder of Protestantism, and you claimed that you knew that already. I doubt it. You insist on presenting the logical fallacy of an "argument from ignorance" concerning the creation of the universe I gave you more evidence that prayer fails forcing you to choose between Jesus being a liar or the Bible being false. You did not respond. You argued falsely that Christianity was not the reason behind the Crusades.

Every time I've won an argument, you've changed the subject. Let's face facts. You've got nothing. I even let you use your god's help. You still got nothing. All Christians have is lies, logical fallacies, and emotional manipulation. I have yet to see anything of substance. I think deep down, you know you've been conned and you're trying to save face.

All you've done is waste my time. I can't even think of one thing I've learned from you. I think I'm done at this point. I don't pretend that I'll live forever. My life is finite and I'd rather not waste it "debating" with someone who has nothing to teach me.

Best of luck to you.

look, you want to know what a world without god would be like? correct?

so a universe without god would be build on chance correct?

so heads or tails every single thing that is required for a universe to exist, and life to exist and then perhaps your'll understand why intelligent design is more likely.

thats all i can really say. its getting silly. i didn't argue christianity wasn't behind it - it was part of it, but its not because of it. if you knew anything about christianity, you would know it does not say - kill all jews, and kill all muslims. christianity is about forgiveness. people separate themselves from each other with titles which is what causes war, genocide etc. - example rwanda hutu vs tutsis.

no i claimed atheists as selfish idiots as you claimed christians to be all like the crusades. my point was your NOT selfish idiots, and so christianity is NOT like the crusades, its not what its about. its about the belief, not what people with it do. i know atheists that are selfish idiots - do they represent all of you? and so how can you claim these minority of christians represent all of us?

you have not won a single argument. i have said the exact same argument again. and again, just explaining in more detail because you have not addressed the point i was trying to make.

my definition was straight of google definitions - the top 1. its not inaccurate!

so look at it like this - i gave a way to justify ( not prove) theism with contingency. i then expanded on it with probability which is explained comparing a universe of chance and a universe of choice. i took a dictionary definition of atheism which you disagree with. you attacked christians as people i pointed out that atheists can be bad as well, i pointed out unless you want to be judged by the worst of you, don't judge us on the worst of us. i never claimed child molestation is moral, the bible doesn't either - christianity is the bible, christianity is jesus, not some catholic priest. if an atheist went around and murdered everyone then i wouldn't stand here and say that all atheists are murders. you used the problem of evil, which is justified in a well accepted reason by philosophers. again i have talked constantly about intelligent design. you never said why does god need advertising, its not about advertising either.

il give you one thing god can do that your left shoe lace cant - god can become loved and preached about by 3/5 of the world (as islam, mormons, Jehovah's witnesses, jews, and christians all believe in the same god. i citied a prayer study which you made pitiful excuses like a child. grow up.

Christian beliefs

Below is a list of some things that Christians believe:

1. God created all that is seen and unseen Christians believe that God is the creator of all people, the world, the universe, and everything seen and unseen. This is based on various Bible passages, including the first chapter of the Bible's book of Genesis.

2. Jesus is the Son of God and is one with God Christians believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that he is one with God, and that he was sent here for our salvation. In John 10:30 (NIV translation), John the Apostle quotes Jesus as saying, "I and the Father are one."

3. Jesus was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary Christians believe that Jesus was conceived of the Holy Spirit of God and born through the Virgin Mary. As explained in Matthew 1:18 (NIV), "This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit."

4. Jesus suffered and was crucified Jesus suffered and died for our sins. Jesus was falsely accused of being an anti-government rebel and, as explained in Matthew 27:23-56, he was brought to Pontius Pilate to be executed through crucifixion. He was mocked, beaten, taunted and crucified by the Romans.

5. Jesus died and was buried Jesus died after being crucified. He was buried in a tomb that was owned by a man named Joseph of Arimathea, who was a follower of Jesus. In Matthew 27:57-60 (NIV), the Bible says, "As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus' body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away."

6. Jesus rose again (the Resurrection) Jesus was resurrected, which means that he died and was brought back to life again. The resurrection of Jesus is described in various places throughout the Bible's New Testament, including in the New Testament book of John, chapter 20. As explained in the Bible, all people who die before Judgment Day will be resurrected. The people who believe in Jesus will be resurrected to eternal life in Heaven. Those who do not believe in Jesus will be condemned, eternally, by their own sins, as explained in John 3:18, and elsewhere.

7. Jesus ascended into Heaven Jesus ascended into Heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father. This happened after Jesus was resurrected. We too can go to Heaven, through faith in Jesus Christ. As explained in Mark 16:19-20 (NIV): "After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it."

8. Jesus will return to judge the living and the dead Jesus will return to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. In Matthew 24:30 (NIV), Jesus is quoted as saying that he will return: "At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory." Additional details are provided elsewhere, such as in the New Testament passages of John 5:28,29 and 2 Timothy 4:1-3. You can learn more about Jesus at the www.About-Jesus.org web site.

9. Anyone can have salvation All people may receive salvation in the name of Jesus Christ. In Romans 10:12 (NIV), for example, it says: "For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile - the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him".

10. People who repent of their sins will be forgiven People are forgiven and saved if they confess their sins and confess their belief in the resurrection of Jesus. As explained in Romans 10:9-10 (NIV), "That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved."

this is christianity - the rest is subjective. the rest is ways of preaching, teaching, baptising, showing, doing mass, what is okay and what is not in grey areas.

someguy said.."so a universe without god would be build on chance correct?"

-So would a universe with a god, because there is "chance" that a god exists, as well as a universe that it would create. So a universe with a god is also built on chance and thus your argument bears no weight. You fail again.

someguy said.." so heads or tails every single thing that is required for a universe to exist, and life to exist and then perhaps your'll understand why intelligent design is more likely."

-You are just demonstrating more and more how irrational and utterly laughable your "arguments" are. lol Okay let's use your heads or tails example that you for some reason think validates your point.(But it doesn't) Heads or tails that life exists? 50/50, heads or tails that a universe exists? 50/50.(Note that this is theoretical probability, which is not the same thing as empirical probability, which is based on testable information and results) So either the earth exists or it doesn't according to theoretical probability. It exists. The only thing that you have shown is that the universe exists. You haven't demonstrated "How" it came to exist. Using theoretical probability, your idea that a universe with a god is no more probable than a universe without a god. Both are 50/50 chance using this kind of logic. Here's the dichotomy, either the universe exists with a god as it's creator, or it doesn't. Either the universe exists without a god needed, or it doesn't. Both cases are 50/50, thus your view isn't any more plausible or probable than the atheists view. Thank you for failing to understand how probability works once again and falsely claiming victory based off your own ignorance and lack of understanding of logic and reason. LOL

-Are you going to keep demonstrating your ignorance and lack of education? Or am I going to need to keep explaining to you how you're wrong? lol

Somebody said: "atheists are making a claim there is no god, an agnostic would make a claim they dont know and so are making no claims."

Then you admit that the burden of proof is on you (at least if you're presenting to an agnostic).

Somebody said: "the difference between there being a god and not at all would be the same as there being a universe and one not at all"

Incorrect. If there was no universe at all, we wouldn't be here to <!not> know it. We are here, as best we can tell.

What you might want to attempt to first answer is 'how different would a universe with and without a supposed god look?'. Could you tell the difference? What would it be?

You saw my argument but completely missed it - i was saying because there IS a god there IS a universe. a universe without god would be non existent which is what i was trying to say.

someguy said.."You saw my argument but completely missed it - i was saying because there IS a god there IS a universe. a universe without god would be non existent which is what i was trying to say."

-Yeah, and you're wrong. That's a false dichotomy.(logical fallacy) You cannot claim that a universe can't exist unless there is a god there to create it, that's begging the question. You must provide evidence that a god is necessary for a universe to exist. You haven't done that. You are just boldly asserting this without any good reason to do so. That's no different than me looking at the grass growing and thinking.."I can't think of any reason for why the grass would grow unless the grass gods magically make them grow."

Q: Why does grass grow? A: Because the grass gods make them grow. Q:Why is there grass gods? A: Because there is grass, and grass can't exist unless there are grass gods there to create them. Now let's insert the terms "universe" and "God" in there.

Q: Why is there a universe? A: Because god created it. Q:Why is there a god? A:Because there is a universe.

This is called circular reasoning, and it's a logical fallacy because the person who uses this argument assumes that both the god and universe exist., when in reality we only know that the universe exists.(And the grass, but not the grass gods)

If I missed it, then explain it: Convince me beyond your testy ramblings. Why should I believe in your fairy godfather?

Someguy said.."atheists are making a claim there is no god, an agnostic would make a claim they dont know and so are making no claims."

-Wrong. Atheism is simply the position one takes when the theists have failed to meet their burden of proof. It's no different than one not believing in unicorns because the unicornists have failed to provide evidence for their existence. We are not convinced that a god exists. That's it. Agnosticism and Gnosticism deal with knowledge, while theism and atheism deal with belief. An agnostic theist believes that a god of some sort exists, but thinks we can't prove it. A gnostic theist believes in god, and thinks we can prove it. An Agnostic atheist doesn't believe a god exists, and also thinks it's not knowable. While a gnostic atheist doesn't believe a god exists, but thinks that we know whether or not one does for sure....Simply because someone is an atheist doesn't mean that they are making a claim. And even if they were making the claim that a god doesn't exist, it nonsensical to try and prove that one doesn't, just like it's nonsensical to prove that fairies don't exist. The BOP rests on the person making the positive claim, not the person making the negative claim. (There is no god, unicorn, fairies, etc...)

Someguy said.."secondly there is evidence in the universe that is right in front of our eyes, this isn't proof but can be called evidence."

-Wrong. That's called the begging the question fallacy, you are already assuming your premise to be true without evidence. (That god exists) You cannot simply say god exists because the universe exists. That's circular reasoning. The universe existing isn't evidence of anything other than that the universe exists. You can't just attach add-ons to that. That's like me saying that unicorns exist because the universe exists. Doesn't work buddy.

Someguy said.."the difference between there being a god and not at all would be the same as there being a universe and one not at all."

-Wrong again. That's a false dichotomy as well as another repeat of begging the question fallacy. A true dichotomy is.."The universe exists/The universe doesn't exist." and "A god exists/A god doesn't exist." You don't get to combine them.

Someguy said.."if there is no god, why does science allow there to be a universe, the laws of physics and biology allow life to form but who or what designed them in a way that allowed that."

- You are asking nonsensical questions that assume that a god must exist in order for a universe to exist. That's an argument from ignorance. Simply because you don't understand how the universe works and how life is able to form and evolve doesn't give your beliefs any merit or truth value. In order for your question to have any merit, you must provide evidence that a god exists. Simply pointing out that the universe exists or demonstrating that you don't understand how things work therefore your beliefs are justified....isn't a pathway to truth or evidence. You are just spitting out logical fallacy after logical fallacy.

Someguy said.."if noone did, then why is it like that. it could just be coincidence - but then that is alot of atheist arguments, too much coincidence isn't convincing."

-Doesn't matter. Just because you can't imagine it happening by coincidence or through natural means doesn't make your alternative beliefs any more plausible or justified. Argument from ignorance.

Someguy said.."a creator does solve these problems simply because of free will. if i choose to push the dominoes over then that is a choice and doesnt need to be started by anything else, but without choice then there must be something that started the effect that is not effected by time and space."

-Freewill has nothing to do with whether or not a god exists. We can make decisions and act on them because we have brains that allow us to do so. Science shows that it's not necessary for some "supernatural deity" to give us the ability to make decisions. You are simply backing yourself into a corner and must provide evidence that a god is required for making decisions by ourselves.

Someguy said.."when i was talk about the idea of design, i am saying who made the laws of reality that what they are, that what allows life to be created, that that allows spontaneously come into existance. i dont dispute whether or not it happened."

-And science shows that through the natural processes of this universe, life can and has come into existence and evolved over billions of years. If we don't understand how exactly this happened, the correct position to hold is "I don't know, but let's find out." Sitting there pretending like you know without any evidence to show for it isn't a pathway to finding those answers out.

I disagree -This is to mamba24 - i would say that an agnostic doesn't make a claim, and i would make a distinction between an agnostic and a atheist. a lot of agnostics i know also say they are very separate from atheists, it is only atheists who claim you two are the same. To me a atheist is someone who doesn't believe in god, to be an agnostic is someone who would not argue either way or could not say. just as believers are making a claim god exists, atheists are making a claim god doesn't exist.

i have said you cant compare god to something contingent - i said there would be no universe if there was no god, and provided an argument on it - who designed science in such a way that it allows a whole universe to come from nothing. then i based it upon probability assuming the laws of science could only be written once the likely hood that it would be in such a way that could not only make a universe but make life, with such complexion, i say there is more likely a designer who created the laws of science that created the dark matter % and such that allows the universe to create itself. since there are infinite possibilities of science then your arguing that a 1 out of infinity chance happened. therefore i said a god is not contingent and so comparing to a contingent unicorn is silly and inaccurate.

but if you claimed you don't believe the internet existed and rejected the evidence of websites, computer networks and this very conversation, would it be for me to justify and prove that the internet exists or would it be for you to justify your belief. in the same way you are denying the evidence of a universe against the chances and probability, and then further rejecting the teleological argument, so is it for me to prove god exists or for you to justify your view.

Someguy said.."i would say that an agnostic doesn't make a claim, and i would make a distinction between an agnostic and a atheist."

-Yeah which is what I did, apparently you don't understand what you're reading....So read my first post again, where I make the distinction between an atheism and agnosticism.

someguy said.."a lot of agnostics i know also say they are very separate from atheists, it is only atheists who claim you two are the same."

-That's why I pointed out the difference between the definitions, one deals with belief(Theism/atheism), while another deals with knowledge(agnosticism/gnosticism). You lack any understanding about my points. You can be an atheist and an agnostic at the same time. Your friends...just don't know what they're talking about and have no education about epistemology, same with you.

someguy said.."To me a atheist is someone who doesn't believe in god, to be an agnostic is someone who would not argue either way or could not say."

-Wrong. You either believe a god exists, your you don't. There is no middle ground. The position of "I don't know, or I can't say"(As you put it), puts you in the atheist position, because you don't hold a belief in a god. Whether or not you believe a god doesn't exist, lack a belief that a god exists, aren't convinced a god exists, or just don't know.....are all atheistic positions. You just ignored my last post where I explained what gnosticism/agnosticism and theism/atheism are. That's called ignorance. Whether it's willful or genuine is up for you to decide.

someguy said.."just as believers are making a claim god exists, atheists are making a claim god doesn't exist."

-Wrong. You don't have to make the claim that a god doesn't exist in order to be an atheist. Simply not believing a god exists based on lack of any evidence...is also an atheistic position. Lacking a belief or not being convinced, isn't making a claim. It's the rejection of a claim. If you can't understand the difference between terms and positions, it's no wonder you keep repeating these flawed/unsound/illogical arguments.

someguy said.."i said there would be no universe if there was no god, and provided an argument on it."

-Yeah and your argument carries no weight. It's flawed and filled with logical fallacies. You have been shown these flaws repeatedly and still don't seem to understand that your position is illogical and irrational. You keep making the claim that a universe like ours can't exist unless a god exists to create it....and you have no evidence or good reason to think that. You are already assuming a god exists by making this claim, and you have yet to prove that assertion. This is called circular reasoning. A logical fallacy. For example, "Why does god exist? Because the universe exists. Why does the universe exist? Because god exists. Why does god exist? Because the universe...........See how that doesn't work? You aren't actually proving anything. You are just assuming an answer without evidence to do so.

someguy said.."Then i based it upon probability assuming the laws of science could only be written once the likely hood that it would be in such a way that could not only make a universe but make life, with such complexion, i say there is more likely a designer who created the laws of science that created the dark matter % and such that allows the universe to create itself. since there are infinite possibilities of science then your arguing that a 1 out of infinity chance happened. therefore i said a god is not contingent and so comparing to a contingent unicorn is silly and inaccurate."

-Actually it isn't any different. You could use your pathetic attempt at trying to make an argument for the existence of a unicorn as well. Essentially you just made one big argument from ignorance here. You just demonstrated that because you can't understand how this universe came to be, or how the earth formed, or how life started and evolved, you think that your beliefs are somehow justified. Pointing out probabilities doesn't make your beliefs any more justified, let alone true. Because one could make the argument that's it's even more unlikely/improbable that a supernatural deity magically created the current universe as we see it and understand it. So pointing out that you happen to think it's improbable that life could have formed from non-living material isn't helping your argument. And science continually shows and reveals that it isn't as improbable as theists like to make out, considering how extraordinarily big the universe is. Scientists estimate that there are around 100 billion galaxies in the universe. With about 30 billion planets per galaxy.(Or more)So if the odds of life arising on a planet are one in a billion, that would mean that there a about a billion planets with life. So not as improbable as your tiny little mind may think.

someguy said.."but if you claimed you don't believe the internet existed and rejected the evidence of websites, computer networks and this very conversation, would it be for me to justify and prove that the internet exists or would it be for you to justify your belief."

-LOL It would be on you to provide the internet existed and on me to provide the internet doesn't exist. Obviously I wouldn't be able to disprove the existence of the internet, because we have evidence that it exists...as we are using it currently right now to converse. It's a technological invention.

someguy said.."in the same way you are denying the evidence of a universe against the chances and probability, and then further rejecting the teleological argument."

-Wrong. No one ever said they were denying the evidence of the universe. Now you are just putting words in our mouths that we never said, you don't get to lie to try and prove a point.

someguy said.."so is it for me to prove god exists or for you to justify your view."

-It's your responsibility to provide evidence that a god exists, which you haven't done. All you have done is resort to arguments from ignorance and circular reasoning. You have also demonstrated that you don't understand the difference between "beliefs" and "knowledge", or how the BOP works in arguments of existence. Pointing out that the universe exists, is totally irrelevant to whether or not a supernatural deity exists. It's ignorant thinking and flawed logic. You are simply begging the question and assuming that god exists before you actually make an argument. You are trying to lead the evidence to your own presupposed beliefs, that's not a pathway to truth and it's not how we attain knowledge.

i apologize, i didn't really read all your point as i feel like i'm trying to have 5 conversations on the same thread.

i have a friend who will argue for a god, to atheists and against a god to theists - what would you call them apart from argumentative. stephen hawking identifies himself as an agnostic. he has made many arguments both for and against the existence of a god. he has said he doesn't believe in a personal god, but otherwise he has not argued from what i have read and heard either way.

considering though, atheism and agnostics are all definitions, if we take google definitions for example it says "the doctrine or belief that there is no God" and so no you are wrong.

no its not a logical fallacy, its based on probability. since there is no proof for or against god, the best way to determine things is through probability. i have also identified between a unicorn and god. they are different as one is contingent and one is not. there is an argument against what i am saying and i am waiting for you to present it as it will justify the atheism belief but also the theistic one.

your next argument should not be a unicorn in a box, it should be since it is part of gods characteristics to be in contingent, but the universe can be made without god. then doesn't this show that god doesn't fulfil his characteristics and so cant exist. to which i would say if god created it in a way that allows it to create itself without god it would not be able to do that and so god is in contingent. i have good reason to think that though on probability. the universe can only be designed once.

what i am not doing is arguing for the existence of god in these arguments but showing and justifying that these beliefs are not irrational. my point in arguing for god is on probability which is what you are missing.

i DO identify on how it came to be - what i am arguing is why it came to be like that! not on a science level but beyond that.

i guess i have to spell this out for you.

Universe exists because of laws of physics. laws of physics allow a universe to be created from nothing. laws of physics keep us on the ground. laws of biology and chemistry allow life.

WHO WRITE THESE LAWS THAT ALLOW ALL THIS TO HAPPEN!! - I accept it COULD be coincidence. i just don't believe that all these different aspects of it could ALL be coincidence.

someguy said.."i apologize, i didn't really read all your point as i feel like i'm trying to have 5 conversations on the same thread."

-Then it's no wonder you can't understand anything I am trying to tell you because you are only reading part of my posts.

someguy said.."stephen hawking identifies himself as an agnostic."

-Yeah. I would identify myself as an agnostic as well. I would also identify myself as an atheist. If you don't accept the claim that a god exists, you're an atheist. I've explained this to you for the third time now and you keep ignoring/misunderstanding my point. It doesn't matter what Steven Hawking personally believes, he doesn't have final say on issues like these. Yes he is incredibly smart, but that doesn't mean he is right. And if you read his new book "The Grand Design", he explains how the universe came into it's "Current existence" without there being need a god. Notice how I said current existence, hence implying that there wasn't actually "nothing" before the big bang. When scientists say "nothing" , they don't mean there wasn't anything at all. I don't know if it's even possible for there to be "nothing". I would suggest watching the youtube video "A universe from nothing" by Lawrence Krauss.

someguy said.."considering though, atheism and agnostics are all definitions, if we take google definitions for example it says "the doctrine or belief that there is no God" and so no you are wrong."

-So no actually I'm not. LOL I agree...I belief there is no god based on the lack of any evidence for one. Thanks for proving my point. "Belief" is the keyword here buddy. Not "Know". There is a difference. So I'm not exactly sure what you are trying to prove here other than that you're just continuing to demonstrate you don't understand what you're talking about. Besides, google doesn't get the final say on what definitions are, stop appealing to authority and bring up a real argument. (Although I don't believe there are any. lol)

someguy said.."no its not a logical fallacy, its based on probability. since there is no proof for or against god, the best way to determine things is through probability."

-...Actually, it is a logical fallacy. You keep spitting out "Probability" and yet you don't have any information to determine what is probable. All you are doing is saying "I don't understand how the universe came to be or how probable life is, therefore I'm just going to determine that a god must exist."......This is a logical fallacy. It's called the argument from ignorance. Look it up. I have explained this to you for the third time, yet you keep ignoring it or just genuinely don't understand it. If you actually read my last post about how probable life might actually be, and how much more improbable it is for a magical sky-daddy, maybe you wouldn't keep repeating your flawed logic and useless arguments.

someguy said.."what i am not doing is arguing for the existence of god in these arguments but showing and justifying that these beliefs are not irrational. my point in arguing for god is on probability which is what you are missing."

-And you have no statistical information to determine what is probable. At least you haven't presented any. All you have done is say that you think it's probable the universe exists because some supernatural thing that you call "God" made it happen. Yet you have no data to support this bold assertion either. Hence you are arguing from an irrational viewpoint. In order to determine if something is "probable", you need statistical data, of which you don't have any. So now you are demonstrating that you don't understand how "Probability" works.

someguy said.."since there is no proof for or against god"

-Okay good job. You have just admitted that there isn't any proof or evidence for the existence of a god. And that's all I need to not "believe" that one exists. Thank you for conceding our point of view. You don't need proof against a god, the BOP lays with the person making the positive claim of existence.

someguy said.."WHO WRITE THESE LAWS THAT ALLOW ALL THIS TO HAPPEN!! - I accept it COULD be coincidence. i just don't believe that all these different aspects of it could ALL be coincidence."

-The caps isn't necessary my friend. Calm down, this isn't going to make your beliefs any more justified. Anyway.. Natural Physical laws....aren't the same thing as legal laws, which are human concepts. They're scientific laws. There is no evidence that physical laws need to be "written" by someone or something. They're natural forces and behaviors that we humans observe and describe by using the process we call science. They aren't laws like the ones we must adhere to in a court room. So this argument is once again, pointless to use, since it doesn't get you anywhere buddy. Frankly you are just wasting your time spewing out logical fallacies and misunderstood terminology.

okay okay, please i have not read everything you have all said but i see you are getting upset by probability.

lets compare a universe with god, and a universe without god.

a universe with god will be how it is, created but if an alternative is likely, the alternative would win on probability. god is unfavourable in probability unless its incredibly unlikely that the universe can be created without intelligent design.

now think what the universe requires to exist, take all these factors and since in this universe we will base it on a universe where god does not exist we will base it all on chance - if you disagree that its based on chance explain why. proceeding assuming i'm correct you must base every single part of the universe that is required on chance, which is why i said flip a coin, theres a 50/50 chance that it would exist, and to me is incredibly slim chance that every single aspect that would be needed made it.

someguy said.."but i see you are getting upset by probability. "

-LOL No I'm not upset at all. I'm just pointing out that you don't understand how probability works and that it has nothing to do with whether or not something is true. Your probablility examples are false also.

someguy said.."a universe with god will be how it is, created but if an alternative is likely, the alternative would win on probability. god is unfavourable in probability unless its incredibly unlikely that the universe can be created without intelligent design."

-And you have no basis for making any of your claims. How do you know that a universe without a god...wouldn't look exactly like the one we live in? lol. You don't, so that's why you are trying to use an argument from probability, but your argument is flawed and irrational because you have no statistical data to support your argument. How do you know that it's incredibly unlikely that the universe can be created without intelligent design? lol You are just making bold assertions without any good reason for doing so. It could be that's it's incredibly likely that a universe like ours can exist without an intelligent design and my idea would just as plausible. It all comes down to your argument from ignorance, which you keep using by trying to use probability. Just because you don't know how the universe came to be, doesn't make your "Probability ideas" all of a sudden plausible, because you don't have any good reason to think what is probable in the first place.

some guy said, "okay okay, please i have not read everything you have all said but i see you are getting upset by probability."

When someone makes the claim that something "exists" they are required to present proof; like an observation, or the existence of an observer, or the use of a model, formula or an exact method to reach a conclusion about the plausibility of the existence of something that we cannot observe. The purpose of these methods is to allow scientists to quantify the uncertainty of the factors, which determines if there is an experiment that could be done to prove the existence of something. What is the formula or equation for the existence of an omnipotent, omnipresent supernatural god and what is it based on, and how does anyone construct a model? How do you test or falsify your answer? Why just believe it? Why is deciding there has to be something (with no evidence) a better decision than there is nothing? Without evidence no experiment could support the hypothesis 'there is something' because the lack of any observation (of the supernatural) obviously implies there is nothing that is supernatural.

some guy said, "lets compare a universe with god, and a universe without god. a universe with god will be how it is, created but if an alternative is likely, the alternative would win on probability. god is unfavourable in probability unless its incredibly unlikely that the universe can be created without intelligent design.

The Big Bang Theory is the basis for all scientific research because it has stood up to every test. The Big Bang theory is the theory that the universe started with a huge and rapid expansion of a singular zero size condensed point about fourteen billion years ago. Hubble's observations are proof of that expansion. He observed that distant galaxies are moving away from us and that the more distant ones are moving away more rapidly. He found that the rate at which they were receding from us was proportional to their distance from us. This proportionality is known as Hubble's Law. This observation exactly matched what was predicted for an expanding universe. At the Big Bang (time is zero) and (mass had to be zero.) The singularity had to be mass less. If there is no time (beyond Planck time - smallest amount of time possible), mass does not exist. If space did not exist in singularity and mass was not the origin of the universe we have to consider its energy equivalent as the initiator. According to the Big Bang Theory, the notion of time does not exist in singularity. Time is a property of space-time universe. In the energy-time version time is a computable element that cannot exist in singularity. Singularity is not time-bound. Steven Hawking, George Ellis, and Roger Penrose the British astrophysicists and mathematician worked on the Theory of Relativity and its implications regarding the notion of time. According to their calculations, time and space had a finite beginning that corresponded to the origin of matter and energy. The singularity didn't appear in space; space began inside of the singularity. Singularity by definition is zero size. There are many evidences that zero point contains energy. Casimir force and Lamb shift are proof for the presence of energy in point zero. According to the Big Bang Theory the simplest form of matter (quarks) first appeared after cosmic inflation. The vacuum energy transformed itself into particles and anti-particles of matter in equal number. There is no evidence that at the beginning of time mass was present. With the ultra-dense mass model the matter would turn to pure energy before the reformation of mass particles. The universe started with a burst of energy and that was the source of the expansion of space. The starting point does not have to contain matter. In such a scenario, we do not have a positive gravity force for the singularity. If mass is removed from the singularity. Zero is representing the singularity. The real value of matter has to disappear at the singularity; Singularity does not contain matter (with common definition of matter.) If there are no dimension in singularity space is not a property of singularity. Space and time are bendable and play a very active rule in the universe Einstein mentions that singularity cannot contain topological space. It means there is no spatial dimension in singularity. In other words, singularity is a mathematical point. If space did not exist in singularity and mass was not the origin of the universe then its energy equivalent is the initiator. There are arguments that support the claim that space did not exist in singularity, and that mass was not the origin of the universe. Enormous energy was the initiator. The Big Bang Theory, space started at time 0 and has been expanding ever since. The Big Bang was the expansion of everything and energy was before. With quantum mechanics things happen spontaneously. If the point of energy that started the expansion was (spontaneous) the cause is meaningless. If the cause is meaningless it doesn't need to be considered. Stephen Hawking in his book "The Grand Design" states that given the existence of gravity, "the universe can and will create itself from nothing." God cannot have created Time - in order for time to be created it must be finite, and god would have had to create time before there was time, which is not possible. Therefore, God did not create such things as the dimensions of the Universe, major physical constants and the mass/energy sum total. If God created the universe, then God existed before the universe, and if god created everything who created god. God did not create the universe and the "Big Bang" was an inevitable consequence of the laws of physics, according to the British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking. The new book 'The Grand Design' by Stephen Hawking and physicist Leonard Mlodinow say that a new series of theories made a creator of the universe unnecessary. "Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing."

some guy said, "now think what the universe requires to exist, take all these factors and since in this universe we will base it on a universe where god does not exist we will base it all on chance - if you disagree that its based on chance explain why.

The 'Big Bang' was an inevitable consequence of the laws of physics. That means given the laws of physics the Big Bang was certain it was not by chance. The creation of the universe (that is in addition to everything I stated above about the 'Big Bang' and all the evidence I provided) you have provided no actual credible evidence of anything you stated. "Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist." Stephen Hawking

Life's basic building blocks comprise a group of chemicals known as nitrogenated aromatics. They form the very foundations of all life on Earth. Astrophysicists study the composition of the universe by analyzing spectra - the unique signatures of light either emitted directly by stars or reflected by non-luminous objects, such as moons, asteroids, comets, dust and gas. Using sensitive instruments called spectrometers; scientists can detect elements and compounds at great distances. Nitrogenated aromatics exist throughout the Milky Way galaxy. That is how scientists know that the chemistry that underlies life on Earth is abundant throughout the universe. The Drake equation statistically determined that intelligent life is virtually a guaranteed proposition by estimating the probable number of technologically advanced civilizations in the galaxy.

A theory (about anything) is based on an accumulation of facts that are testable. If the results contradict the hypothesis then it is either revised or discarded. If the results support the hypothesis then it becomes stronger and more tests are done. This is a process known as the scientific method; that method requires thoughtful, plausible and logical reasoning that gives credence to the hypothesis that is presented to be tested. Nobody has ever proven any claim (by controlled tests) about the supernatural. Most people will dispute unsubstantiated claims, with the exception of those people who are so indoctrinated that they can't think for themselves,

some guy said, "proceeding assuming i'm correct you must base every single part of the universe that is required on chance, which is why i said flip a coin, theres a 50/50 chance that it would exist, and to me is incredibly slim chance that every single aspect that would be needed made it."

There is no theory that requires a Supernatural Being (creation) for us to exist. That is why it is necessary to have "faith" to believe in God. There is no logical theory about the existence of god, if there was they would present it like Darwin did with the theory of evolution, and then let the experts examine the evidence. There is no evidence of (design) or that anything was created, but there is plenty of evidence of evolution. Scientists first evaluate the plausibility of an explanation for some phenomena before they apply it to a theory.

Stephen Hawking "1992 discovery of a planet orbiting another star other than the Sun helped deconstruct the view of the father of physics Isaac Newton that the universe could not have arisen out of chaos but was created by God. That makes the coincidences of our planetary conditions -- the single Sun, the lucky combination of Earth-Sun distance and solar mass, far less remarkable, and far less compelling evidence that the Earth was carefully designed just to please us human beings."

someguy said.."which is why i said flip a coin, theres a 50/50 chance that it would exist, and to me is incredibly slim chance that every single aspect that would be needed made it."

-And your argument has no weight to carry it. I could say the exact same thing about the probability that a god created everything. All you are doing is breaking everything up, and then applying a coin flip to it, and that's not a realistic way to test things. What's the probability that a god created gravity? 50/50. What's the probability that a god created life? 50/50. What's the probability that a god created the earth? 50/50. Then I could just say I don't think it's probable that a god could have created all those things and my opinion is just as valid as yours, since this is exactly what you're doing.(Which is arguing form ignorance) When you're using coin flips, you are using theoretical probability, which is just based on the possible outcomes, which in this case is just about existence, so it's just either "It exists" or "it does not exist". When you break it all up and say that you don't think it's probable that everything could exist without a god creating it, you're arguing from ignorance. It may be the case(Or may most likely), that it has nothing to do with probability, that the universe has physical properties like gravity, earth, suns, galaxies, or the universe itself, because the physical laws permit it to do so, if this is the case, then probability really has nothing to do with it. Either all the properties exist, or they don't. No need to attribute it to a supernatural god. So you can't argue that the theistic position is rational because firstly there is no evidence, which you admitted to. And secondly there is no logical syllogism or theory or hypothesis that requires a god to exist. Arguing from theoretical probability does nothing to help you, all you are doing is pointing out the possible outcomes in a 50/50 coin flip, but there is a reason why it's called theoretical probability, it's because it can't truly represent what's going on in reality. The only thing that we have for finding out anything about the universe is the process we call the scientific method. This just goes back to the last show where Tracie talks about logic and empiricism. Just because something is true logically, doesn't mean it's true realistically. When empiricism has a different answer than logic, empiricism wins....You neither have logic nor empiricism.

someguy said, "apologize, i didn't really read all your point as i feel like i'm trying to have 5 conversations on the same thread."

That shouldn't be a problem since you actually never answered most of my comments that were first. Like the Julius Caesar fiasco - and the cosmological argument. Go back and read my comments - then give it a try.

someguy said, "i have a friend who will argue for a god, to atheists and against a god to theists - what would you call them apart from argumentative."

There are people doing that on all the atheist message boards. They don't fool anyone. These fakes always give themselves away - it's not what they say - it's how they say it - and what they don't say. When they argue the atheist side of the issue (most of them) only make the atheists look stupid (theist were told to stop arguing with atheists because they made the theists look stupid) maybe that's why they are arguing as atheists.

someguy said, "stephen hawking identifies himself as an agnostic. he has made many arguments both for and against the existence of a god. he has said he doesn't believe in a personal god, but otherwise he has not argued from what i have read and heard either way.

'The Grand Design' by Stephen Hawking, sets out to contest Sir Isaac Newton's belief that the universe must have been designed by God as it could not have been created out of chaos. "Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing," he writes. "Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. "It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going." Stehpen Hawking says, physics not a creator made the Big Bang happen in his book 'The Grand Design'.

I have never seen a thing that indicates that Stephen Hawking was trying to prove the existence of God. In 'A Brief History of Time' Hawking (after he explains the beginning of everything) he asked where is there room for a creator? Hawking is trying to prove things about the Cosmos. Where do you get your information? It sounds like xian propaganda? Many writers have claimed that Einstein was anything but an atheist. There is no doubt from Einstein's personal letters that he was an atheist. There is no doubt that many scientists in those days kept their position on God to themselves. Like many scientists today who do not publicize their true position on God because they don't want to be attacked.

someguy said, "considering though, atheism and agnostics are all definitions, if we take google definitions for example it says "the doctrine or belief that there is no God" and so no you are wrong.

Google definitions? Who is the author of the google definitions? I gave the origin of the word and references.

The word atheists means "god exists" expresses a false proposition. It is an answer to the theists' claim (without evidence) that "there is a God" the atheist didn't make the claim. The word atheist roots are in the Greek language; the word for god was theos (a) means negative. The word agnostic is about (knowledge). Thomas Huxley coined the term to answer the intellectual and philosophical conditions of the 1860s (we know a hell of a lot more scientifically today) he coined the word agnostic from the ancient Greek word (gnosis) meaning knowledge and (a) means negative; it simply means no knowledge. Agnostics can be theists or atheists.

Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy: "In the popular sense, an agnostic is someone who neither believes nor disbelieves in God, whereas an atheist disbelieves in God." Philip Pullman identifies himself as both agnostic and atheist. The word Agnostic or (agnosticism) can be applied to numerous other questions. Ignosticism is the view that a coherent definition of a deity must be put forward before the question of the existence of a deity can be meaningfully discussed.

someguy said, no its not a logical fallacy, its based on probability. since there is no proof for or against god, the best way to determine things is through probability. i have also identified between a unicorn and god. they are different as one is contingent and one is not. there is an argument against what i am saying and i am waiting for you to present it as it will justify the atheism belief but also the theistic one.

There is no difference in God and a unicorn. The authors of the bible described the mythological unicorn. All the Greek and Roman myths describe nonsensical animals one was half man and half bull. What would you base the numbers for the existence of a hypothetical anything on? Elves, fairies, witches and Cinderella's godmother. A valid probability has to be based on provable facts. If the number is not based on provable facts then the number is subjective (reflects a bias) concerning a viewpoint and that is not a probability based on empirical facts. The figures have to be based on something. So, the assumptions would be - there is one true God - the Creator of everything - in 6 days - wholly good - can do anything - is everywhere - saves us from evil. This eliminates all the hundreds of Gods and deities that came before the one true God. These are assumptions (not evidence) that are believed on faith. If the calculations are based on assumptions they can only reflect the convictions of the one doing the calculations. The only way you can have a valid probability calculation about anything is if you use a sample of eyewitness occurrences or observations of the thing in question. The instance of evidence for god existing is 0. Since there is no evidence of any god the statistical probability is exactly 0. This method can be applied to any god, religion or fairytale.

someguy said, your next argument should not be a unicorn in a box, it should be since it is part of gods characteristics to be in contingent, but the universe can be made without god. then doesn't this show that god doesn't fulfil his characteristics and so cant exist. to which i would say if god created it in a way that allows it to create itself without god it would not be able to do that and so god is in contingent. i have good reason to think that though on probability. the universe can only be designed once.

That is what the clergy has been doing for thousands of years. When what the clergy is teaching is proven wrong (based on scientific discoveries) they just erect a God theory. If the universe didn't need a creator to exist God must have "designed" the universe not to need a "designer".

The cosmological argument that 'something' couldn't come from 'nothing' and there had to be a 'first cause'. How does introducing a Creator overcome these problems 'something can't come from nothing' or there has to be a 'first cause'? Where did the Creator come from - what is the Creator made of - what was the cause? An argument that doesn't answer any questions is not evidence of anything.

someguy said, what i am not doing is arguing for the existence of god in these arguments but showing and justifying that these beliefs are not irrational. my point in arguing for god is on probability which is what you are missing.

If that is what you are doing - you are not succeeding.

someguy said, i DO identify on how it came to be - what i am arguing is why it came to be like that! not on a science level but beyond that. i guess i have to spell this out for you.

But first you will need to learn how to spell. Why (meaning the universe) came to be like that? I think what has been written explains things better than what you have assumed. God caused everything. What caused God?

someguy said, Universe exists because of laws of physics. laws of physics allow a universe to be created from nothing. laws of physics keep us on the ground. laws of biology and chemistry allow life.

Duh! Winning!

someguy said, WHO WRITE THESE LAWS THAT ALLOW ALL THIS TO HAPPEN!! - I accept it COULD be coincidence. i just don't believe that all these different aspects of it could ALL be coincidence.

It's not coincidence and that is not a scientific theory. There is plenty of scientific proof that the creation of the Cosmos was a process that took billions of years. What you should find hard to believe is that everything was created in 6 days. The transitional fossil record proves that life evolved and that nothing was designed or created. You do not understand science and I can only assume that you are not being taught science - that's what is very sad.

Linda said, "Where did the Creator come from - what is the Creator made of - what was the cause?"

Good questions, Linda! What is your answer? "It is as you say!"

Can it be that the Creator did not come from anywhere? That he always was and will be? Here, there, and everywhere? "Begotten, not made?" Infinite? Everlasting? With no beginning and no end? "The Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End?" May be, He is in your soul right now, asking you all these questions that you try to answer and urging you to have these discussions on the Internet? Do you have a soul or evidence thereof? How about mind? Is your mind real? How about heart? Have you searched for Him well? No evidence? Who needs the evidence? You or He? Why? May be, denying Him is one of the ways to find Him. May be, He has to die before He lives in your heart forever?

Apostle Paul started off by killing Christians. He ended up dying for Jesus. What happened? He met Jesus on the road to Damascus to kill more Christians. Never happened? Need evidence? "It is as you say." Nobody will answer these questions except yourself. God bless.

I said, "The atheist does not have to prove a thing because they are not making any claim" and right after my reply someguy posted this:

someguy said, (atheists are making a claim there is no god, an agnostic would make a claim they dont know and so are making no claims.

The word atheists means "god exists" expresses a false proposition. It is an answer to the theists' claim (without evidence) that "there is a God" the atheist didn't make the claim. The word atheist roots are in the Greek language; the word for god was theos (a) means negative. The word agnostic is about (knowledge). Thomas Huxley coined the term to answer the intellectual and philosophical conditions of the 1860s (we know a hell of a lot more scientifically today) he coined the word agnostic from the ancient Greek word (gnosis) meaning knowledge and (a) means negative; it simply means no knowledge. Agnostics can be theists or atheists. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy: "In the popular sense, an agnostic is someone who neither believes nor disbelieves in God, whereas an atheist disbelieves in God." Philip Pullman identifies himself as both agnostic and atheist. The word Agnostic or (agnosticism) can be applied to numerous other questions. Ignosticism is the view that a coherent definition of a deity must be put forward before the question of the existence of a deity can be meaningfully discussed.

someguy said, "secondly there is evidence in the universe that is right in front of our eyes, this isn't proof but can be called evidence. the difference between there being a god and not at all would be the same as there being a universe and one not at all.

There is 0 evidence for god. God isn't really the sort of thing that can be proven at all. So, there would be no reason to compare the "god' assumption to a scientific theory that does require evidence. Scientists did not assume (out of cheesecloth) that the universe exists. A scientific theory is based on an accumulation of facts that are testable. That is not equivalent to a conclusion based on (BS) or mere speculation about an imaginary supernatural being. Therefore, any conclusion about a theory based on facts and accumulated scientific evidence could never be analogous to a conclusion without one shred of evidence.

someguy said, "if there is no god, why does science allow there to be a universe, the laws of physics and biology allow life to form but who or what designed them in a way that allowed that. if noone did, then why is it like that. it could just be coincidence - but then that is alot of atheist arguments, too much coincidence isn't convincing.

Isaac Newton believed God created and conserved order in the universe. He believed that a creator designed it specifically for the existence of human life. The discovery of other solar systems outside our own, in 1992, proved that our world was not so uniquely designed and that human life could exist throughout the universe. It is not miraculous that there are planets that support life. There are untold numbers of planets in the galaxy; any form of intelligent life that evolved would adapt to that environment. The conditions would be perfect for them. Life's basic building blocks comprise a group of chemicals known as nitrogenated aromatics. They form the very foundations of all life on Earth. Astrophysicists study the composition of the universe by analyzing spectra - the unique signatures of light either emitted directly by stars or reflected by non-luminous objects, such as moons, asteroids, comets, dust and gas. Using sensitive instruments called spectrometers; scientists can detect elements and compounds at great distances. Nitrogenated aromatics exist throughout the Milky Way galaxy. That is how scientists know that the chemistry that underlies life on Earth is abundant throughout the universe. The Drake equation statistically determined that intelligent life is virtually a guaranteed proposition by estimating the probable number of technologically advanced civilizations in the galaxy.

someguy said, "a creator does solve these problems simply because of free will. if i choose to push the dominoes over then that is a choice and doesnt need to be started by anything else, but without choice then there must be something that started the effect that is not effected by time and space."

Therefore, proving that god (a supernatural cause) created the Universe and all life therein would be the most important scientific discovery of all time. It's not a philosophical question. Surely, it's a question for science, but neither scientists nor pseudo-scientists seem to be able to apply "god" to a single theory that is useful about the creation of the universe or life in the universe. A hypothesis has to be testable. A plausible tentative assumption or hypothesis may have a body of scientific theories, but if contradictions are found it will not become a theory. The god theory doesn't get to first base. I'm discarding the whole idea instead of waiting for a miracle, since that's what it would take to fix all the problems with the god hypothesis, but don't let that stop you, use your freewill to apply god indiscriminately whenever there is something you don't understand. You can't go wrong considering there is no possibility of falsifying a god theory that is so obscure that it is possible to shoo away any and all rebuttals. Neither a Creator nor freewill solves the "God of the gaps' problem. A scientific theory requires evidence or research; it is not a groundless claim. "God exists" is a groundless claim that is not based on reason, logic, research or evidence. "God does not exist" is a response to a groundless claim; I am separating what is information from attempts to produce information. A claim (God created everything) without any testable evidence is groundless. The origin of God was an attempt to explain the origin of life and the universe. The slightest belief that there could be a "god" is without one scintilla of evidence, and the "god" assumption cannot be applied to a single theory about the origin of life or the universe. Nothing was created or designed. Evolution is a fact and a theory. We were not created in the image of a supernatural beings (let us make them in our image) we are not supernatural. There are thousands of gods and goddesses that nobody can prove ever existed.

someguy said, "when i was talk about the idea of design, i am saying who made the laws of reality that what they are, that what allows life to be created, that that allows spontaneously come into existance. i dont dispute whether or not it happened."

Why doesn't the fact that nothing was created or designed eliminate the Creator as a possibility? There is no supernatural intervention involved in any scientific theory. The only reason believers attach supernatural intervention to the scientists work is to "save" their god from invalidation. They are trying to use the work of scientists to prove to themselves that the god theory is valid by introducing a needless factor (the supernatural) into scientific theory. Then they claim that nobody can disprove their theory. A real theory is precise enough to be testable; it will only be considered a theory if it cannot be falsified. A theory about "something" that exists with no possible way to prove it exists is the theme of every fairytale. The "god of the gaps" never explained how anything came to be. Science has filled in those gaps. There will never be any possibility of falsifying a theory without evidence, reason or logic. someguy said, "my next question is not whether or not religion causes crime or stops crime, but how if everyone was atheist would you be able to pass on values and morality to the young without something to attract them to it. only because i have had personal experience not neccessarily always breaking the law, but atheists generally being unpleasant. how do you convince them that drugs are wrong, not to get strippers and prostitutes, and to give to charity, not be selfish, and attain good qualities."

The claim that atheists (are not responsible and do not have a moral compass) are attempts to produce information. They are groundless claims. Ignorance has a far greater impact on the character of individuals. Religious countries have the highest crime rates. Japan is one of the most non-religious countries in the world, yet they have one of the lowest crime rates. Religious people must be incapable of developing ethics on their own because they have no moral compass - they have to be constantly threatened with burning in hell. I think the studies of religious and non-religious societies prove that it doesn't work. America is one of the most religious and one of the most violent and crime ridden countries.

Any discussions with most theists is about them (trying to make sense) of their irrational assumptions. The more the opponent points out the defects in their assumptions the more irrational and angry they become. It takes a lot of patience to deal with people who have been so lied to that they don't know the difference in the existence of something that is observable (the universe) and an assumption about the existence of a deity.

What are we arguing about? There is ONE true reality. Everyone chooses how to perceive it. Is the glass half-full or half-empty? Can it be both? You say "half-empty" and that's YOUR reality. I say "half-full" and that's mine.

Perception of Jesus is very personal. You may perceive Him as a Savior, as a mere historic figure, or as a fictitious character. Everyone can perceive Jesus one way or the other. Does this mean Jesus is real?

Facing death, Jesus was asked several times about his identity. His answer always referred back to the person who asked.

...And the governor asked Him, saying, "Are You the King of the Jews?" Jesus said to him, "It is as you say." Matt 27:11 (NKJV)

I find this very symbolic. It does not matter what Jesus says about his identity. What matters is what YOU say. You say "no" and Jesus is dead *for you* and you are dead with him, for He IS reality. You cannot deny reality, can you? Otherwise you have to deny your own existence too.

The difference between an atheist and a Christian is that an atheist would worship nothing, and a Christian would worship nothing, but God. What's the difference? The difference is pride and humility. "Bow to nothing" vs. "Bow to the Infinite and only the Infinite".

Can you "bow to nothing"? Can you believe in "nothing"? If you truly believe in nothing, and ask for "scientific evidence" for everything, you HAVE to believe in "scientific evidence". Otherwise, you have no foundation for anything including Science, Logic, and Reason. "Scientific evidence" becomes your god. And it is not Infinite. The moment you believe in something which is not the Infinite (true and only God), you create an idol for yourself. And it WILL fail you, because it is limited. It is not Infinite. It is not perfect. It lacks something compared to the Infinite. In fact, it lacks infinity. And lack of perfection is sin. How can science have any progress if you do not acknowledge that it is limited, that it lacks something? Acknowledge your own limitation (your sin). Shred your pride. Repent. And you will go far. "I have no 'sin'," you say OK. Then you cannot improve yourself. You may as well die.

Even the name of the Lord is symbolic.

"God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.'" Ex 3:14 (NIV).

"I AM" what? "I AM" everything. The Being itself (or Himself). Which Being? THE Being (the Supreme Being). The reality. If you believe in your own being, you believe in God. Mr. Atheist, do you believe in your own being? You don't? Do you exist? "It is as you say."

Write on a card "The saying on this card is false.", look at it with your logical mind and watch it chasing its tail. Write "The saying on this card is true." and there is nothing wrong with it.

Finally, whoever says "atheists are idiots", does not follow Jesus.

"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."

Matt 7:1-5.

Bible has no value? "It is as you say." Let's insult and hurt each other and ourselves, by doing so. Why? Because we are so humble, and they are so proud and full of sin. "Common sense"? "Eternal human moral values"? "It is as you say."

Linda said, "Japan is one of the most non-religious countries in the world, yet they have one of the lowest crime rates... America is one of the most religious and one of the most violent and crime ridden countries."

Did Jesus teach violence? Violence comes from sin, not from religion. Sin is a moral category, therefore, should be shared by all human beings, including atheists. I can agree with atheists and humanists on that. There are ways to show that drugs are bad, that going to prostitutes may harm you morally and physically, and that helping others, you help society and yourself in the end. But where is the root of evil? Where do we start if we want to eliminate it? Impose "good" laws on your neighbors? What is the original sin according to the Bible? Pride. "We know better than God." Why did the first murder happen in the Bible? Pride. "How come, the Lord accepted his sacrifice and not mine?" How did Jesus redeem the original sin? By ultimate humility, self-denial and serving others. He showed the way. Everyone chooses whether to follow Him. Does humanism explain it in a more clear, logical, and beautiful way?

Japanese people are the most humble people I met. They will die for others much more readily than Americans. Americans are among the most proud. "Believe in yourself!" is written in the gym where I go in huge letters. We will spread our values of Liberty and Democracy to other nations! Even if we have to kill them!

What happens to the proud nations with any idea of supremacy? What happened to Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union? Why? Because they refused to admit that "all glory and honor is yours, Almighty Father, forever and ever."

Fear of hell is a very poor motive for not sinning - agreed. The real motive for Christians not to sin is love for Jesus, for sinning is rejecting Jesus. "Love your neighbor as yourself." If you sin against your neighbor, you sin against yourself and against Jesus whom you, supposedly, love. If you "profess your faith" in the church every Sunday and sin, you lie to yourself and to the Lord and live in a constant moral torment and constant disagreement with yourself. Which IS hell. Burning flames image is for the people who only understand physical reality. This is why atheists do not comprehend the idea of God or hell. Both do not make any sense to an atheist - agreed. However, I find the whole concept VERY logical. Much more simple and logical than the theories that moral behavior is encoded in our genes, etc.

Any theory explains reality in one way or the other. The one which explains it more fully and in a more simple way, wins. Any theory starts with propositions taken "on faith", without proof (infinitely small point, inertial reference system). Humanists and atheists have to present volumes of scientific evidence to their children to tell them why drugs and prostitutes are bad and why charity is good. Christians simply say "love Jesus as He loves you". What is your theory? How does it work? Does it explain everything? Why so many questions then? Why asking for evidence again and again?

"Violence comes from sin, not from religion." You should read your Bible. I suggest Deuteronomy. I especially recommend the passages on how to declare war and to treat your enemies upon victory. Ah, here we are, Deuteronomy 20:10-15. Google it.

It's very unlikely that any given atheist cares what you think is a sin or agrees that it's a "moral category."

"What is the original sin according to the Bible? Pride." Wrong, it was eating an apple. Specifically, it was being exceedingly naive (as they were made to be), not understanding the nature of good and evil (and how could they, without having eat the fruit of knowledge thereof?), and listening to a funny talking snake.

"Why did the first murder happen in the Bible?" Because God was a huge douche. "How come, the Lord accepted his sacrifice and not mine?" That's an excellent question, Cain.

"How did Jesus redeem the original sin?" Because God said he did. Of course, he could have saved a lot of trouble and just skipped right over the entire fiasco and simply offered forgiveness to anyone who wants it, or even better, just let everyone who hasn't done anything horrible into heaven. Just to be clear, eating shellfish is NOT on the list of horrible things someone can do. It is in the list of sins, though.

"Does humanism explain it in a more clear, logical, and beautiful way? " Explain what? To my knowledge, humanism doesn't attempt to explain your crazy myth of God creating a loophole in his own rules in order to prevent himself from casting his children into eternal torment for even the slightest infraction of his ridiculous rules.

"However, I find the whole concept VERY logical." That's because you don't understand logic.

"However, I find the whole concept VERY logical. Much more simple and logical than the theories that moral behavior is encoded in our genes, etc." Aww, it's not simple so it must not be true. To add to the complexity, it's not just genes. Environmental influences play a significant role. Of course, genes code for the reactions but two people with the same genes raised in very different environments will display very different morality.

"Any theory explains reality in one way or the other." Actually, I believe there are theories in conceptual fields which make no attempt to explain reality.

"The one which explains it more fully and in a more simple way, wins." The one which explains it more fully and accurately, wins.

"Any theory starts with propositions taken 'on faith', without proof" Certain assumptions are required in order to interact with that which we perceive as the real world, specifically that our perceptions have a degree of reliability, but that's not faith.

"Humanists and atheists have to present volumes of scientific evidence to their children to tell them why drugs and prostitutes are bad and why charity is good. Christians simply say 'love Jesus as He loves you'." Oh I would love to roleplay the child in that scenario with you because it would be all kinds of hilarious watching you try to actually explain how that counters drug use or prostitution.

"What is your theory?" Of what? "Does it explain everything?" Wait, is it supposed to be a theory of everything? No, I don't have one of those. Your theory doesn't explain anything, though, so I guess I've got less falsehoods cluttering the space where a theory of everything might go. "Why so many questions then?" Because I like to know things. "Why asking for evidence again and again?" Because evidence is all we have to determine the nature of our perceived reality.

"Violence comes from sin, not from religion." You should read your Bible. I suggest Deuteronomy. I especially recommend the passages on how to declare war and to treat your enemies upon victory. Ah, here we are, Deuteronomy 20:10-15. Google it.

Wherever violence allegedly comes from religion, the true cause is still pride (at least, so Jesus would say, IMHO). "Our God is true, and their's is false." If "our God is true and almighty", let God judge. Christian's job is to "love his enemy". Whatever facts Linda referred to can only show a mere correlation, and cannot be accepted as a proof of cause-effect relationship between religiousness and crime in societies.

As for Deuteronomy, there is a lot of stuff there which is weird to a modern civilization. These books were written very long ago. I view the Books of Moses as a manual for survival for the Jewish nation at that time. There are many requirements for hygiene, proper food preparation and other things. Killing enemies might have been necessary for survival at the time. There are no such things in the New Testament. In many places, Jesus confronts Pharisees on the issues of Mosaic laws (not only regarding the killings). Pharisees were taking them too literally and lost the true faith and the meaning of it. Faith is not about killing an animal in a specific way. That's what Jesus was trying to say, IMHO. It's very unlikely that any given atheist cares what you think is a sin or agrees that it's a "moral category."

I am very aware of that and not going to argue. My remark refers to a mere definition of sin according to the dictionary:

Definition of SIN 1 a : an offense against religious or moral law

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sin

Since there is no "religious" law for an atheist, at least, "moral" should apply, otherwise it's called "crime", or "misdemeanor", or whatever.

"What is the original sin according to the Bible? Pride." Wrong, it was eating an apple. Specifically, it was being exceedingly naive (as they were made to be), not understanding the nature of good and evil (and how could they, without having eat the fruit of knowledge thereof?), and listening to a funny talking snake.

I find it interesting how two people can look at the same text and one would see an apple and another will see pride. You have just confirmed Jesus:

This is why I speak to them in parables: "Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand." Matt 13:13

"Whoever has ears, let them hear."

I perfectly hear and understand what you say. I grew up looking at the portrait of Lenin every day at school and studying Lenin's works during the first year in college. My first acquaintance with the Bible was through Leo Taxil's "Amusing Bible" and "Amusing Gospel" books. You may enjoy reading them. All you say is there and more. (I have not found an English translation on Amazon, though). I don't think it's worth arguing. Everyone answers these questions for himself. It's impossible to answer them for others. Unfortunately, Marx does not answer many questions. E.g., "should I present more arguments and scientific evidence"? What does atheism say to this question? Jesus and Solomon are very clear on this issue:

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%207:6&version=NIV

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs%2026:4&version=NIV

Make all the excuses you like, your religion instructed violence, therefore anyone following your religion at that time would have committed violence. While we're at it, how do you know which rules to follow and which ones not to? Are you so prideful that you think you can determine whether the law about stoning unruly children is archaic? Why is it in God's enduring legacy, if it is archaic? Why didn't he release a version that was to be discarded when it past its expiration date?

"Whatever facts Linda referred to can only show a mere correlation, and cannot be accepted as a proof of cause-effect relationship between religiousness and crime in societies. " Um, correlation is all we can ever show for anything in reality. We infer cause and effect when the correlation is strong enough.

Did you just say that violating a moral law equates to a crime? The laws of the justice system are entirely capable of being at odds with someone's personal morality. I'm not aware of any moral laws.

Ah, so Jesus knew I would understand the passage and you would not. Now if only we could confirm Jesus existed and then that his existence was miraculous.

It's interesting that you think Marx and Lenin are relevant to this discussion. Are you actually one of those incredibly deluded people that think atheists are communists?

"'should I present more arguments and scientific evidence?' What does atheism say to this question?" Atheism is simply the lack of belief in gods. It has nothing to say on anything. If you want to know what a specific atheIST says to the question, you might want to make the question clear.

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From the officers:

The audio and video from Steve Bratteng's July 13th lecture are now available.