Saturday, September 03, 2011

William Lane Craig puts the fear of God into British Humanists

177 Comments:

Blogger AncientBriton said...

Excellent. That should stir things up a bit!

3 September 2011 at 19:24  
Blogger Mark said...

The fact you're prepared to publish the Fox 'fair and balanced' moniker without any sense of irony is alarming.

I've seen William Lane Craig 'debate' (inverted commas used deliberately)and can't honestly blame Polly Toynbee for pulling out.

3 September 2011 at 19:43  
Blogger A is for Atheist said...

I have already defeated many of Craig's arguments on my blog, and if he ever decides to debate in my area, I would gladly take up the challenge. His arguments are actually very weak, and easily defeated if you know how.

3 September 2011 at 20:01  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Well there's 15 minutes of my life I'll never get back. :(

3 September 2011 at 20:03  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Your Grace

A real shame three of the most prominent GB atheists won’t be there. Perhaps there might be ‘a next time’

3 September 2011 at 20:06  
Blogger Mark said...

Debating with someone who believes in intelligent design rather than evolution is like debating with a three year old who thinks the poo in his pants is chocolate because it's brown.

Honestly Bish, you'll be telling me there are fairies at the bottom of my garden next!

3 September 2011 at 20:16  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

The problem with this is that WCL is a professional debater. A master debater, if you like. He's polished his technique and rehearsed his arguments and the permutations over and over for exactly this sort of thing. It's essentially a show rather than a debate.

He'd wipe the floor with Toynbee. He'd drop in something about (say) the Euthyphro dilemma and she'd probably just look blank and wish she were at her second home drinking champagne and thinking socialistic thoughts. No wonder she pulled out.

One can look at his past debates and see holes and potential rebuttals but whether one could prepare enough for a live event to bring them out on demand like he has is very unlikely.

3 September 2011 at 20:30  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3 September 2011 at 20:46  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

More info about the tour + a much better (& shorter) promo video can be found here

I know Cramner doesn't allow youtube links as a rule, however on this exception, I hope he will make an exception: my favourite William Craig clip of Atheist ass-kicking

3 September 2011 at 20:47  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

@Mark ..."Debating with someone who believes in intelligent design rather than evolution is like debating with a three year old who thinks the poo in his pants is chocolate because it's brown."

Can I safely assume that you have never actually listened to the evidence or arguments then?

Debating someone who believes all life & matter exists because of a series of fortuitous mutations rather than with design or purpose is like debating a 3 yr old who believes the poo in his pants "just happened" because he didn't know he was doing it.

3 September 2011 at 20:54  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

@DanJ0 ... You are right that these "debates" are nothing but point scoring entertainment - boxing for the intellectuals. But hey, nothing wrong with a bit of boxing now & and again. And Craig is the Tyson of the debating ring. He'd certainly wipe the floor with Toynbee, just as Dawkins does with the likes of Haggard or Robertson.

Dawkins won't debate him because he's Frank Bruno at best, but more like Chris Eubank in reality.

3 September 2011 at 21:01  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Your Grace

Turn my back for several weeks and find the blog infested with humanists and the like. Ugghh. Must be DanJo's mates? They argue along similar trains of thought so obviously all attended the University of McDonalds, 1-3 Market Street, Leicester.

Mark said (of sorts) 3 September 2011 19:43

"I've seen William Lane Craig 'debate' (inverted commas used deliberately)and can't honestly blame Polly Toynbee for pulling out." AD HOMINEM (Debaters should avoid ad hominem arguments that question their opponents' motives such as appealing to personal considerations rather than to logic or reason.). Hope that helps?

DanJo said 3 September 2011 20:03

"Well there's 15 minutes of my life I'll never get back." Ooh the times I have said that and more after reading your guff on this blog sweetie!

Finally

A is for Atheist 3 September 2011 20:01 (I thought of a much better A myself..you are sitting on it!)
"I have already defeated many of Craig's arguments on my blog, and if he ever decides to debate in my area, I would gladly take up the challenge. His arguments are actually very weak, and easily defeated if you know how." HeHeHe. Are there no academic "Professional" Debaters in this atheistic world that you inhabit or just WCL.. Utterly Deluded seems appropriate here.

Good to be back in old Blighty, Your Grace.

Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

ps

DanJo PURE GOLD 3 September 2011 20:30
"One can look at his past debates and see holes and potential rebuttals but whether one could prepare enough for a live event to bring them out on demand like he has is very unlikely." Would you like old Ernst to email Grayling's, Dawkin or Toynbee's email addresses so you and others here can pass this wonderful news and evidence to them?? HAHAHA.

"

3 September 2011 at 21:02  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Can we "prove" the existance or non-existence of God? Unlikely. You can't prove a negative and 'evidence' for God is not indesputable.

Dawkins is right in so far as he argues we should not infer God's existence on the basis of the appearance of design in the universe.

This does not disapprove God's existence. We may believe in God on the basis a cosmological, ontological or moral argument. We may have had a religious experience or divine revelation. Maybe we simply have Him faith.

As Dr Lane Craig puts it:
"Rejecting design arguments for God's existence does nothing to prove that God does not exist or even that belief in God is unjustified. Indeed, many Christian theologians have rejected arguments for the existence of God without thereby committing themselves to atheism."

Random evolution or intelligent design? What does it prove one way or the other?

3 September 2011 at 21:13  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Marvellous, look who's back. Jesus must be so, so proud of that one.

3 September 2011 at 21:14  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

The Intellectual Giant spoke 3 September 2011 21:14

"Marvellous, look who's back. Jesus must be so, so proud of that one." (marks out of 10 = 1.5..wooden spoon territory)

AD HOMINEM as per.. duckie.

E S Blofeld

3 September 2011 at 21:19  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Blofeld, Christianity's top-ranking recruiting sergeant is back in the UK. I can hear rejoicing in heaven already.

3 September 2011 at 21:28  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

The Ad Hominem Genius stated 3 September 2011 21:28

"Blofeld, Christianity's top-ranking recruiting sergeant is back in the UK. I can hear rejoicing in heaven already." Heaven, Jesus? Goodness me, places and people you deny exist vehemently. You really live up to your moniker at the top of this comment.
Hope that helps?

You are up late? So many people to annoy, hmm?

E S Blofeld

3 September 2011 at 21:45  
Blogger albion said...

"Well there's 15 minutes of my life I'll never get back. :("

Give your life to the Lord and you will get it back. Open up to his love and light. It's the best thing you can do with the one life you have!

3 September 2011 at 23:37  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

E S Blofeld

Welcome back and up to your usual mischieve I see. Still, life would be boring without a touch of sarcastic irony. No doubt we'll cross swords before too long but for now enjoy.

3 September 2011 at 23:43  
Blogger Gavin said...

Well, I don't agree with almost anything Ms Toynbee writes in the Guardian, but I can empathise with DanJ0's opinion (20:30). If Polly thought "this chap is well-rehearsed in this debate, and will spin me in circles with his clever words and make me come out looking stupid", then I don't see why she should feel obliged to accept the challenge.

Any attempt to help a person come to faith (if that is what they want) should be done lovingly and respectfully towards that person, not as a point-scoring exercise.

3 September 2011 at 23:54  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

That cheeky flightless bird chappie said 3 September 2011 23:43

"Welcome back and up to your usual mischieve I see.(I merely puncture the pompous likkle birdie) Still, life would be boring without a touch of sarcastic irony. (indeed but always understated, as more is just being bombastic for the sheer hell of it) No doubt we'll cross swords before too long but for now enjoy.(Ooh dear dickie birdie, are you admitting to being several personages commenting here or is Ernsty being merely presumptuous"

Ernsty, my fine Raphus cucullatus.

ps Gavin 3 September 2011 23:54

"Any attempt to help a person come to faith (if that is what they want) should be done lovingly and respectfully towards that person, not as a point-scoring exercise."

Polly Toynbee? HUMBUG!!!

4 September 2011 at 00:37  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

I think several people seem to be missing the point. These debates aren't attempts at evangelism. They do nothing but reinforce the viewpoints of the faithful (on both sides).

Nobody (to the best of my knowledge) has ever been won over 'to the other side' by a debate.

It's just a bit of sport and a chance to spar on an intellectual level.

So, DanJ0, if you think Craig is "Christianity's top-ranking recruiting sergeant is back" you are very much mistaken. Mass evangelism events of the "Billy Graham Crusades" are actually quite ineffective & we tend to see fewer & fewer of those kind of events. And the likes of J John & Reinhard Bonnke are probably some of the "top-ranking" ones in that dept.

The true "top rank recruiting sergeants" are the same as they've always been - individual Christians praying for, and engaging with, the people they know & love.

So we're under absolutely no illusion: it won't change anyone's mind. But seeing one of the pompous, self-righteous, high-priests of atheism getting their intellectually-snobby ass kicked is great fun from time-to-time ;o)

4 September 2011 at 00:43  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

That cheeky flightless bird chappie said 3 September 2011 23:43

Correction.

(I merely puncture the pompous, likkle birdie)

Just so you don't get paranoid and think it was directed at you and ruffle those feathers of your's..aah.

Thoughtful Ernst

4 September 2011 at 00:43  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Rebel Saint said 4 September 2011 00:43

"Nobody (to the best of my knowledge) has ever been won over 'to the other side' by a debate.
It's just a bit of sport and a chance to spar on an intellectual level." Absolutely correct, however the pompous, self-righteous, high-priests of atheism tend to hunt in packs so they do not like the opposition putting up any credible candidates such as WLC, who can challenge them on an intellectual level and pick them off one by one.

No arguments may be decisive for "people to be won over to the other side' but as Christopher Hitchen discovered, when advised by concerned fellow atheists to try his best, once the fear is spread throughout their ranks, it puts a positive spin for WLC and others and passes that fear on to others such as Toynbee etc, that feigned condescension and name dropping will not be enough.

"So, DanJ0, if you think Craig is "Christianity's top-ranking recruiting sergeant is back" you are very much mistaken. " DanJo is extracting the urine out of me, dear boy.

Ernst S Blofeld

Like the cut of your gib, sir!

4 September 2011 at 00:59  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

E S Blofeld said ...
"Ooh dear dickie birdie, are you admitting to being several personages commenting here or is Ernsty being merely presumptuous"

If you think such you are most certainly being presumptuous in presuming such was inferred by my comment.

The Dude

4 September 2011 at 01:24  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Dear Dude

Wash my mouth out with carbolic soap and water.

Ernst S Blofeld

Everybody loves a bit of conspiracy, what?

4 September 2011 at 01:29  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

A debate about the existance of God, you mean we have useless eaters doing that.

Why Commoners are robbed of a living and made out to be useless eaters.

Its time both sides had a taste of reality, completely free of their preconceived ideas.

Maybe it will turn out there is just food and water or death. Or food and water then death.

Followed by your arrival in the next existance that you never believed in before this existance that you never believed in happened to you.

When I needed a neighbour were you there, were you there?

Maybe you was too busy debating the matter.

4 September 2011 at 01:33  
Blogger English Viking said...

ESB + T

How nice to see you again.

Long time no see.

4 September 2011 at 01:55  
Blogger Oswin said...

Ernst! :o)

4 September 2011 at 02:25  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

I have listened to atheists castigating belief in God and those who subscribe to that view as being deficient in intellectual ability but it has always struck me that whereas they continually ask us to justify our position which we invariably do (perhaps not to their satisfaction) they in return generally refuse to answer when the question is turned around and accuse us of underhand agendas about belief in God even when we openly admit that our belief in God is in no way underhand but shouted from the rooftops. Polly Toynbee is quite ready to sit in a forum set up by the BBC to give her views an airing without much challenge but when she feel the heat she decides to get out of the kitchen. I wonder if the BBC will publish the fact that she has refused.

4 September 2011 at 03:34  
Blogger non mouse said...

Mr. Blofeld! How nice to see you.

4 September 2011 at 04:53  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Rebel: "So, DanJ0, if you think Craig is "Christianity's top-ranking recruiting sergeant is back" you are very much mistaken."

No, you misunderstood. I was talking about Blofeld, who is clearly the beatitudes all rolled up into one man when you look at his re-entrance here. He should produce videos for the Alpha Course in the style of those weight loss adverts on freeview: in only 1 day and with a bath in your clothes, you too can have a Christian spirit like mine, full of love, goodness and joy. It's even inspired me to want to join an Alpha Course to be honest.

4 September 2011 at 06:48  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Rebel: "So we're under absolutely no illusion: it won't change anyone's mind. But seeing one of the pompous, self-righteous, high-priests of atheism getting their intellectually-snobby ass kicked is great fun from time-to-time ;o)"

I'm not sure that video, with its American World Wrestling Federation style, is contributing to WLC's bouffant and blow-dried dignity or taking the high-ground on those attributes you list. But yes, Dawkins, Grayling, and Toynbee have not come out of this looking good at all and I'm sure they know it full well.

4 September 2011 at 06:58  
Blogger len said...

Prof Dawkins also declined to debate on 'revelation tv'he apparently will only debate with those he can 'win 'arguments with.
This debating issue is not about obtaining the truth about the reality of God but the atheist authors maintaining their credability and protecting their very lucrative markets.

4 September 2011 at 07:53  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

WLC has a whole string of books to his name and is clearly a media personality as well as an academic. I wonder what he does with his money. Things like homeless charities and 3rd world vaccination programs, I expect. Good on him, if so.

4 September 2011 at 08:37  
Blogger len said...

Pursues the Truth perhaps Danjo?

4 September 2011 at 09:14  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Len: "Pursues the Truth perhaps Danjo?"

You're wondering if he uses the revenue from these sales and marketing drives to pursue his own religio-political goals? Me too actually.

4 September 2011 at 10:04  
Blogger Albert said...

Atheism is running out of steam philosophically. The Atheist philosopher, Quentin Smith has written:

One conclusion is that the great majority of naturalist philosophers have an unjustified belief that naturalism is true and an unjustified belief that theism (or supernaturalism) is false.

Why? Well a later sub-heading in Smith's paper sums it up:

THE JUSTIFICATION OF MOST CONTEMPORARY NATURALIST VIEWS IS DEFEATED BY CONTEMPORARY THEIST ARGUMENTS

Frankly, if most naturalist philosophers have an unjustified belief that naturalism is true, then what hope is there for Dawkins or Toynbee? Or for matter, the atheist in the street (= perhaps in Smith's eyes the old image of the village atheist)?

It is amazing that we live in an age in which the secularists call the shots on the grounds of rationality, forbid religious contributions to debate but atheist philosophers admit that the theists have defeated naturalism.

But then, I suppose, the point is that naturalism is irrational!

4 September 2011 at 10:20  
Blogger graham wood said...

"It is amazing that we live in an age in which the secularists call the shots on the grounds of rationality, forbid religious contributions to debate but atheist philosophers admit that the theists have defeated naturalism."

Excellent point, and very good post Albert. Indeed so - tis mystery all why these things are so, and was it not always thus?

It is interesting that the greatest apologist for the Christian faith of all time, Paul the Apostle, started his debate with the secular humanists and agnostics of his day (Athenians in Acts 17) with unabashed Theistic arguments, starting with his familiar doctrine of God's creation of all things, his immanence, and 'knowability'.
And all without a mention of Jesus Christ at that point, though no doubt at all this would have followed)

Yet it is the same Paul who explains to us the mystery as to why great 'intellectuals' and high minded philosophers are, naturally speaking, the least able to believe the revelation God has given of himself.
1 Cor. 1:27. "But God has chosen the foolish things of this world to confound the wise....."etc.

All, but all, hangs on God's gracious revelation of himself to us, generally in the creation but more important, to us personally in the history of Christ and the meaning of the Cross.

4 September 2011 at 10:53  
Blogger graham wood said...

Shacklefree said.
"Polly Toynbee is quite ready to sit in a forum set up by the BBC to give her views an airing without much challenge but when she feel the heat she decides to get out of the kitchen. I wonder if the BBC will publish the fact that she has refused."

Got it in one there - Shackle!
The BBC is conspicuous by its absence in acting as the organiser and forum for such debates.
Wall to wall coverage of 'Libya' ad nauseam weeks on end through the summer, but no time at all for the rarefied atmosphere of real debate about far more important issues which should be aired, even if only occasionally.
IMO the BBC 'Moral Maze' series does not meet the bill.

4 September 2011 at 11:01  
Blogger Albert said...

Thanks Graham - compliments to you on a very balanced post on the relationship between reason and faith.

Here's a bit more from atheist Smith:

If each naturalist who does not specialize in the philosophy of religion (i.e., over ninety-nine percent of naturalists) were locked in a room with theists who do specialize in the philosophy of religion, and if the ensuing debates were refereed by a naturalist who had a specialization in the philosophy of religion, the naturalist referee could at most hope the outcome would be that “no definite conclusion can be drawn regarding the rationality of faith,” although I expect the most probable outcome is that the naturalist, wanting to be a fair and objective referee, would have to conclude that the theists definitely had the upper hand in every single argument or debate.

Due to the typical attitude of the contemporary naturalist… the vast majority of naturalist philosophers have come to hold (since the late 1960s) an unjustified belief in naturalism. Their justifications have been defeated by arguments developed by theistic philosophers, and now naturalist philosophers, for the most part, live in darkness about the justification for naturalism. They may have a true belief in naturalism, but they have no knowledge that naturalism is true since they do not have an undefeated justification for their belief. If naturalism is true, then their belief in naturalism is accidentally true.


So why don't more people believe in God? Answer (apart from ignorance): fear of religion. Here's atheist philosopher Thomas Nagel on fear of religion:

I speak from experience, being strongly subject to this fear myself: I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. It isn't just that I don't believe in God and, naturally, hope that I'm right in my belief. It's that I hope there is no God! I don't want there to be a God; I don't want the universe to be like that. My guess is that this cosmic authority problem is not a rare condition and that it is responsible for much of the scientism and reductionism of our time. One of the tendencies it supports is the ludicrous overuse of evolutionary biology to explain everything about human life, including everything about the human mind… This is a somewhat ridiculous situation… [I]t is just as irrational to be influenced in one’s beliefs by the hope that God does not exist as by the hope that God does exist.

What was it Dawkins said about reality not needing to be as we would like it to be?

A useful post including similar references here:

http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2011/07/so-you-think-you-understand.html

Smith's complete paper is here:

http://www.philoonline.org/library/smith_4_2.htm

I'm fed up of being lectured to and being told that religious beliefs have no place in the public sphere, by people who are demonstrably irrational.

4 September 2011 at 11:18  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

non mouse said...
"Mr. Blofeld! How nice to see you."

Is there a Skype connection on the blog?

4 September 2011 at 11:35  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Shacklefree
As someone who admits to having been taken in by creationist lies, that's a bit much :-)

4 September 2011 at 11:43  
Blogger len said...

Well, a few'rattled' atheists apparently......

When the High priests of the Atheist 'religion' have been found to be totally lacking in commitment or giving any valid reason for their beliefs(or lack of them) not surprising their followers are 'rattled'.

..............

Nice to see you back Ernst and tiddles.

4 September 2011 at 12:37  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Graham Wood,
Most thinkers are agreed that it's not possible to prove it one way or the other, and these debates are therefore utterly unimportant.

4 September 2011 at 12:51  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

"Most thinkers are agreed that it's not possible to prove it one way or the other, and these debates are therefore utterly unimportant."

I think they're important but are much better held in written form where nuance can be seen and detail pored over. These are not trivial or easily understood arguments. The written-form debates, including those by our Quentin Smith here, are available online. That's not to say that Toynbee or Dawkins would necessarily fare much better in that form either of course but at least those who want to crow and cheer like in a WWF tournament would need to do some intellectual work first for the privilege.

4 September 2011 at 13:07  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

What's interesting is that many, many people express some sort of belief in a God. They shy away from accepting a particular God and especially, it seems, the Christian God.

Rather than focus energy on creationism, intelligent design and evolution, the 'truth' of which cannot be demonstrated by 'evidence' or 'reason' alone, shouldn't evangelists concentrate instead on presenting the message of Christ?

Do we give up? Accept things have gone too far down the secular, materialist route? 'Religion' is seen so much nowadays as 'thou shalt not'. Can the focus shift to look what awaits you (and I don't mean hell-fire)?

4 September 2011 at 13:13  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

DanJO

I totally agree with your last comment.

4 September 2011 at 13:15  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Danj0.
Hmm..I think I probably meant what you said. I think the issues are important, but these type of debates where WLC outsmarms his opponent don't do justice to them.

4 September 2011 at 13:16  
Blogger Albert said...

Dodo,

shouldn't evangelists concentrate instead on presenting the message of Christ?

The problem I think is that while someone can present the gospel well, all it takes is Dawkins or someone else to express the prejudice that there are no grounds for believing in God, religous believers are stupid, ignorant etc., it's all wishful thinking etc. and then that's the end of the discussion.

In fact, there are really good grounds for believing in God. One of the benefits of the debates, is precisely that it shows just how clever and informed WLC is. He isn't having to go off and ask someone else for help or info. He knows how to answer. I am continually amazed at how good he is at spotting logical errors in his opponent's position. Anyone who has always held that religious people are stupid and ignorant immediately has that view challenged. Anyone who thinks there are no grounds for believing in God immediately has that view challenged. Then they are able to consider the Gospel or consider the arguments in more detail.

In addition, the audience gets to ask their own questions afterwards, and hear back from both contributors.

So I think these debates are a great thing, and they tend to spawn co-written books by both debaters, so they lead to deeper expressions of study.

In relation to Dawkins, he is so out of his depth in a real philosophical context, that nothing but good would come of him debating Craig. That's why Dawkins won't debate him!

If the boot was on the other foot and the atheists had the best debater and arguments, don't you think they'd think the debates were a good idea, and that Christians were cowards if they wouldn't show up?

4 September 2011 at 14:01  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

If "god" exiats, then why is he/she/it/they not detectable AT ALL?
Please answer, double-spaced, one side of the paper only.

Craig appears to be of the ID persuasion, which means he's a raving nutter.
There is also this slight problem with "theology" - does the subject of the discussion really exist at all? (see above)

Come on "your grace"...
even you shouldn't fall for this meaningless tripe!

4 September 2011 at 15:12  
Blogger English Viking said...

Aside from being a smug muppet, Is Dawkins a homo?

He looks decidedly iffy to me.

Middlesex Regiment, by the look of it.

4 September 2011 at 15:49  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

EV, Non Mouse, Oswin, Len, Preacher, D Singh and all others..Ernst's spirit leapt for joy at seeing you all still frequenting this blog after the attacks by morons on arguably the best blog in the blogosphere!

Hope that Not A Machine and others will go to the effort of getting a google account as their loss will most definitely be noticed. Proof of why I have no trust in the secularist plonkers who say all is safe in their hands..Yeh, right.

Nice to be back after several weeks in Spain but have a lot of catching up to do on His Grace's previous posts.

Keep up the good fight chaps.

Ernsty, peeps.

ps

Albert said 4 September 2011 14:01

Dear boy, Your comment above shows why old Ernsty's respect grows daily at your ability to enlighten in a "plain english" style manner". Outstanding!


EV 4 September 2011 15:49

You are a rascal and completely irreplaceable, my boy. PURE 24 CARAT EV!! *Chuckle*

4 September 2011 at 16:14  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Albert

Very good points but at the end of the day the outcome is that there may be a God as Dawkin's et al cannot 'prove' there is not. Craig might be able to argue convincingly there is a God but revelation is required to know Him and Christ. This is a bigger step.

Like DanJ0 I'm a bit uneasy about the presentation of these debates as tele-vision spectaculars.

4 September 2011 at 16:48  
Blogger albion said...

"Like DanJ0 I'm a bit uneasy about the presentation of these debates as tele-vision spectaculars."

They are polite and good natured affairs for the most part, free of rancour, and with a level of thought and expression that shames political debates. Watch them on Criag's site or on youtube, or best of all, go along and see for yourself.

4 September 2011 at 17:38  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

I have listened to the debates between William Craig and other speakers such as Christopher Hitchens. Both Craig and Hitchens are educated articulate individuals. Hitchens is an experienced TV debater, a newspaper reporter and has published books. I’m not sure of Craig’s other achievements but what comes across very clearly is the way in which Christopher Hitchens is left speechless. I do not mean speechless in the sense that he cannot get words out of his mouth – I mean that he is reduced to the level desperately trying to search for answers and replies to Craig and having a great deal of difficulty in finding them. Now what can this mean? Hutchens is undoubtedly intelligent and articulate so this cannot be the rerason. Can it be that his arguments do not stand up to rational debate?

Whitespacebug, Yes I have admitted that there have been some wrong arguments presented from the Creationist position which I regret. However, the overall balance of the evidence has so far not convinced me to change my view. I have listened to your argument which was valid in terms of that particular item of evidence but I would need positive evidence in favour before I could change my view

4 September 2011 at 18:22  
Blogger Albert said...

Dodo,

but revelation is required to know Him and Christ. This is a bigger step.

Absolutely, and that is the fundamental issue. But what about the following individuals leaving the debate? Before the debate they felt:

Person 1 was drawn to the gospel but had troubled by the assertions of atheism.

Person 2 was a cock-sure atheist.

Person 3 was an MP who thought that religion and religious categories must be kept out of public policy because there is no truth to such claims.

Person 1 is more likely to become a Christian, person 2 is less likely to be dismissive of Christianity, and may even be prepared to give it a hearing. Person 3 may well be less likely to support the sidelining of religion.

Each of these things would be good. Naturalism has already lost its intellectual hedgmony, but that serves no benefit if the public and those who form policy, are unaware of the fact.

4 September 2011 at 18:48  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

So why don't more people believe in God? Answer (apart from ignorance): fear of religion.

Damn right religion should be feared - just look at the mess it has spawned in the Middle East. Look at the chaos what it brought to Europe. Look at the religions that required human sacrifices, encouraged slavery - and Albert thinks this is nothing to do with 'ignorance'?

Religion needs ignorance to survive - gods do not exist.

4 September 2011 at 18:49  
Blogger Albert said...

Shacklefree,

Can it be that his arguments do not stand up to rational debate?

Yes, it's telling that the Common Sense Atheism website review of the debate said:

Frankly, Craig spanked Hitchens like a foolish child.

and points out that:

[Hitchens] did not even bother to give his concluding remarks, ceding the time instead to Q&A.

Yet, of course, by himself (such as in his book) Hitchens is a mouthy atheist - "dismissing" the arguments for the existence of God. Not so strong when facing a Christian philosopher.

It's time atheists became a bit more humble, and stopped pretending that the naturalistic voice is the only rational one.

4 September 2011 at 18:55  
Blogger len said...

All this searching for 'proof' of God by intellectuals debating the matter unfortunately proves nothing either way.
The proof of God is plainly presented to all by His Creation and through Prophetic statements in the Bible by which God proves His Word.
However many of the famous(or should it be infamous) atheists set out to disprove God and all their 'intellectualising' is taken from this standpoint.
God is spirit so how do you perceive God ?
Well no points for guessing this one.....with your spirit.
Fallen man has a dead spirit so he needs Life breathed into his dead spirit.
Only God can breathe His Life into dead spirits awakening them to Him.
This takes faith ,commitment,and belief that God is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do.
...................
If you prefer to remain in ignorance of God and to reject His offer of Life He will with regret respect your wishes and not interfere with your free will.

4 September 2011 at 19:00  
Blogger Albert said...

Oh Dreadnaught!

Firstly, the fact that something may be fearsome does not make it unreal. That is just wish fulfilment.

Secondly, you seem to blame religion for every human evil. Take away religion and you still get violence, because you still have human beings - or did you miss the last couple of centuries?

Thirdly, you miss any good religious people do.

Religion needs ignorance to survive

I notice you haven't made any effort to respond to the arguments given here - to those of Craig or (frankly) of the atheists philosophers I have cited.

But you're missing the real point, Nagel's issue, I think, is psychological: he doesn't want there to be a higher moral authority than him and he doesn't want to be responsible to it.

4 September 2011 at 19:03  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

Dreadnaught, the mess in the Middle East is not the result of Christianity. Bush and Blair were repeatedly appealed to by Christian leaders telling them that the war had no justification and they rejected all of the arguments. Let's not equate Christianity with Bush and Blair. I am not a fan of Islam but I do not claim that Osama bin Ladan was the authentic voice of Islam. The war in the Middle East was more likely planned by those who want to instigate war to make money out of the arms industry and/or by those wishing to bring about the New World Order.

4 September 2011 at 19:05  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Shax

I specifically avoided pointing the finger at Christianity.

'Gods' do not exist.

4 September 2011 at 19:09  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

Dreadnaught, Christianity gets lumped in with Islam by those who wish to denigrate it. I think rather than saying religions should be feared we specify which ones and why.

4 September 2011 at 19:22  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Shacklefree: "Now what can this mean? Hutchens is undoubtedly intelligent and articulate so this cannot be the rerason. Can it be that his arguments do not stand up to rational debate?"

I want to drawn attention to "his arguments" there. If one were to list and detail all of Craig's arguments then I have no doubt there will be an answer or rebuttal or alternative to each of them. They're stock items when it comes down to it. He's an accomplished performer who has practiced and practiced his art. But that doesn't make the content of his ensemble correct. Similarly, Dawkins is an evolutionary biologist and would wipe the floor with someone like me but that doesn't necessarily mean his arguments are correct either. I would just look a fool to a crowd of onlookers because I wasn't prepared enough to argue it all down.

4 September 2011 at 19:24  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Secondly, you seem to blame religion for every human evil

I said nothing of the sort - you made this up to fit the argument that avoids addressing what I did say and that is 'gods to not exist' either that or are you saying you have a better god than all the rest.

As for the Craig issue and being a great showman debater, I agree that he probably is and that's quite a talent, but its not what he says that matters, it still boils down to the matter of suggesting fear and intimidation to those who dissent - no one can prove that a god, Christian or other exists but that still does not stop them from slaughtering (now and historically) non believers.

Or would you excuse that as being some form of 'natural' human behaviour - in which case then I would say that the presence of a god is simply the excuse.

4 September 2011 at 19:33  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

Dreadnaught, Historically there have been examples of Christian violence. However, when we compare Christianity with secular organizations or other religions it comes out a lot better. We can point to the Inquisition and ignore the Boer War or the dropping of atomic bombs but individual anecdotes can be used to discredit anything. Do we Brits reject our country because of colonialism or other evils. We have to look at the teaching. Is it not legitimate to warn people about the risks of drink driving - is that fear mongering or legitimate concern for a persons welfare.

4 September 2011 at 19:46  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Danjo bolloped his stollio 4 September 2011 06:48 (As Professor Stanley Unwin was wont to pronounce)

"It's even inspired me to want to join an Alpha Course to be honest."

Ahh, pulling on my Heartloder streels.
Well rubbedly me kneeclappers and graspedingly me Basic Engly Twentyfido, Remarkibold.

Deep joy!

The time is scole to chunderbus Goodlibilode, DanJo.

Professor Ernst S Blofeld.

Ps G Tingey

Posy Remarkibold question that "If "god" exiats, then why is he/she/it/they not detectable AT ALL?
Please answer, double-spaced, one side of the paper only."

Begrail or similarigode on the other emma "What is the use of atoms?"

Deeply fully enters here and the calculodes of the incubus soon send the pi-R-squared up the polly, which is enough in all condescience to make the useful ploy in the atomole. . .Simples!

4 September 2011 at 19:50  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Shax

I can't in all honesty say that I have anything physically to fear from Christianity today, but I certainly would have a couple of hundred years back. As for fear of religion now I would say that Orthodoxy or Fundamentalism in any of the three monos is a cause for concern. After all, they all say they believe in the same god and back each other up (well in the UK at least) as to not do so would weaken their individual arguments.

Where was support from the European Christians when their Serb co-religionists tried to reclaim their religious cultural integrity in the former Yugoslavian Sates?

As for the state of Christianity in the US, that is just totally bizarre in its diversity - to say the least. How come?

4 September 2011 at 19:56  
Blogger Albert said...

Dreadnaught,

I said nothing of the sort - you made this up to fit the argument that avoids addressing

If you read my comment in context, my point holds. I would say that such evils happen with or without religion. No one will accuse me of boldness if I add that non-religious people have performed a disproportionately large amount of violence and evil.

As for the Craig issue and being a great showman debater

As well as being a great debater, Craig is an internationally published philosopher. His book on the history of the Cosmological Argument was clearly a large source for (atheist) Mackie's book on philosophy of religion for instance. He has co-written books with leading atheist writers.

But in any case, I referred to numerous other philosophers, some of whom are atheists, which you haven't engaged with (not that you've engaged with Craig, you've just given an inaccurate ad hominem against him).

it still boils down to the matter of suggesting fear and intimidation to those who dissent

No, it's about following where the evidence leads - as (atheist) philosopher Anthony Flew found out when he came to believe there was some kind of deity - similarly ex-atheist philosopher Ed Feser.

that still does not stop them from slaughtering (now and historically) non believers.

Indeed, and it is clearly objectively wrong on Christian grounds. What are your atheist grounds for it being objectively wrong?

I would say that the presence of a god is simply the excuse.

Well that's my point! Violence is a human behaviour, you don't need religion! Religion is brought in to excuse it sometimes. But if religion isn't on the cards, then political ideology, nationalism, utilitarianism have all been pressed into service.

Serb co-religionists tried to reclaim their religious cultural integrity in the former Yugoslavian Sates?

It is frankly bizarre to abstract the religious element from the historical context. If Christianity was the cause of the problem, we would be fighting each other all the time. As we are not, clearly there are other factors.

4 September 2011 at 20:13  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Shacklefree,
The dropping of the atomic bombs was ordered by Harry S Truman, a Christian. Things are a little more complicated than you think.

Going back a bit further, the positive evidence would include Java man, which you had rejected on the basis of arguments which you a have now acknowledged to be false

4 September 2011 at 20:26  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Albert,
Have you considered the effect on someone who comes away interested in Christianity but later finds he has been taken in by false arguments? That doesn't advance the cause of theism one jot.

4 September 2011 at 20:29  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

"I can't in all honesty say that I have anything physically to fear from Christianity today, but I certainly would have a couple of hundred years back."

I'm pretty sure a fair bunch of them would see me and my type in prison, or worse, if they had free rein. Islam may have cornered the market in god-informed psychopaths, but they're elsewhere too.

4 September 2011 at 20:43  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

albion: "They are polite and good natured affairs for the most part, free of rancour, and with a level of thought and expression that shames political debates."

They are but that's not really what Dodo said. He said he uneasy about the presentation of them as TV spectaculars. Look at the video in His Grace's OP. It's portrayed as a wrestling match.

I simply don't think one can do justice to a philosophical topic like the existence or not of god in a formal verbal debate. It's the wrong medium. It's the same here; all one can really do is to outline the main form and pick up on a few points.

A verbal debate is more suited to political debates, where personality is intrinsically important and one can argue on whether this action or that action is better for the country based on appeal.

4 September 2011 at 20:59  
Blogger Roy said...

Dreadnaught said...

So why don't more people believe in God? Answer (apart from ignorance): fear of religion.

Damn right religion should be feared - just look at the mess it has spawned in the Middle East. Look at the chaos what it brought to Europe. Look at the religions that required human sacrifices, encouraged slavery - and Albert thinks this is nothing to do with 'ignorance'?

Attacks on "religion" are as pointless as attacks on politics. Some political views are right, others are wrong.

Your remarks on slavery are ridiculous. Haven't you heard of Wilberforce? Like most of the abolitionists he was a commited Christian.

4 September 2011 at 21:05  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

funny how humanists come on here and make farfetched claims about their opinion of christianity 200 years ago but don't define how they would be physically harmed. Dreadnaught and Danjo seem to think it's acceptable to make vague statements but not back it up.
Were atheists burnt at the stake for not believing. Unbelievers thought that homosexuality was morally wrong over the last 200 years as well as christians, so whats your beef?

Or are you just a better class of informed atheist?
E S Blofeld

4 September 2011 at 21:07  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Humanity seems to be preprogramed to accept and appreciate a higher form than themselves – the same selfish, resource wasting, and arrogant humanity we are today as has ever been...

4 September 2011 at 21:17  
Blogger Albert said...

Whitespacebug

Have you considered the effect on someone who comes away interested in Christianity but later finds he has been taken in by false arguments? That doesn't advance the cause of theism one jot.

That is a very fair point. Obviously, I don't think that all arguments for the existence of God are false arguments. In any case, there is still a level of judgment to be made, no one is suggesting that the arguments force someone to believe. So it is not so much that someone finds an argument false (I'm not sure what is meant by that) only that they may find an argument less persuasive than they did previously.

But the arguments are not the only aspect, and provided the person has ended up with living faith, then the fact that they find some arguments less persuasive than before won't be a problem.

4 September 2011 at 21:25  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I'm minded to avoid 'vexations to the spirit' but, hey, what the hell: Sir Patrick Devlin/James Fitzjames Stephen vs H.L.A. Hart/John Stuart Mill.

I think it's quite fair to say that there would be considerable sympathy with James Fitzjames Stephen and his view on the extent and purpose of the law here.

Not that he was a god-informed psychopath of course. I simply meant that there are surely some of those around even today and they need to be denied any temporal power in my opinion as they cannot be reasoned with when god is on their side.

4 September 2011 at 21:28  
Blogger Preacher said...

Well it certainly seems the fox is near the hen house & the chickens are in somewhat of a panic as to who should face him.
With due respect Atheism is a faith without foundation it's message is based on a fabricated ideology that one is not responsible for ones actions. That their is no afterlife, judgement, Heaven or Hell the technical term for this wishful thinking faith is, annihilationism.
If it's true, there should be a queue of contenders for the world title, ready to step into the ring & prepared to fight their corner.
But what is this?- frightened clucking, ruffled feathers!
I smell roast chickens.

Welcome back Ernst & Tiddles, good to see you both.

4 September 2011 at 22:43  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

DanJo 4 september 2011 21:28

Seriously, all that for an outpouring of Utilitarianism.

How is this better than other ethical systems?

As there are differing expressions or classes of this hedonistic approach to life,(As society only functions within legal boundaries which need to be distinctly assigned) which one do you choose.

It appears that hedonistic pleasure seekers cannot be reasoned with either!

When in the past several lines of comment would have sufficed, you offered a short novel whereas in this instance vague assertions are made where some defined argument would be nice to the uninformed reader coming onto this blog...or is Ernst being a naughty god-bothered psychopath??

E S Blofeld

Preacher, good to see you too, tiddles says Hi.

Smell of roasting chicken indeed!
Maybe Graham Davis should remove the cross with the forbidden sign and stick up KFC moniker..yummy and finger lickn good too..HEHEHE

4 September 2011 at 22:57  
Blogger non mouse said...

Well said, Mr. Len... including: If you prefer to remain in ignorance of God and to reject His offer of Life He will with regret respect your wishes and not interfere with your free will.

I think they should firts define their terms: thos who direct the "guilty until proved innocent" approach at Communicants here by demanding "proof" of "existence."
Ours are, were, and remain:
"And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and He said, "Thus shalt thou say unto the Children of Israel,'I AM hath sent me unto you'" (Ex. 3.14).

The New Testament links and affirms: "I AM the Alpha and the Omega, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come" (Rev. 1.8).

Thus we perceive that God, BEING Omnipresent, IS also Omniscient and Omnipotent. (And, even, the fount of all words... a-z- don't you know).

For those who idolise Nature, the Romantics contributed:
"Row, row, row, your boat
Gently down the stream;
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Life is but a dream."
... to which some later Realist enjoined:
"And if you see a crocodile,
Don't forget to scream."

[And do wonder where it comes from, should you scream: "Oh God, Please help me"....]


wv: osing

4 September 2011 at 23:35  
Blogger non mouse said...

sigh... 'first'; "those." Very fallible, these keyboards.

4 September 2011 at 23:38  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Now, call me controversial, but I'm interested in knowing why those who subscribe to the "born again" theology think all this really matters?

As I understand this theology, and, I confess, I may well be wrong, God's Grace will be freely offered. Some will accept this and others reject it.

Is God's power constained by the materialistic and secular world view? Is the person to whom He offers Grace restrained by the culture of the times and unable to positively respond?

Alternatively, are the personal circumstances of individuals and their intellectual understanding of Christianity significant factors in their receptiveness to the call God makes to each of us?

5 September 2011 at 00:16  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

Whitespacebug, There are lot’s of people in addition to Harry S Truman who call themselves Christian but who do not follow the teachings. We therefore should not use them as examples of legitimate Christian authority. Are we going to argue that the Iraq war was a Christian war because Tony Blair and George Bush call themselves Christian? If so, are you going to accept the rationale behind the concentration camps set up during the Boer war just because they were set up by a British field marshall. If not, are you thereby compelled to change your nationality? It is not legitimate to criticize the teachings of Christianity because of the people who do not follow them.

With regard to Java Man, I accepted your argument that some of the evidence presented to refute it was dishonest. That does not prove that Java Man was a genuine missing link – merely that a dishonest argument had been used. I did not reject Java Man on the basis of evidence which I knew to be false. Wikipedia tells us that “Dubois' find was a very incomplete specimen, consisting of a skullcap, a femur, and a few teeth” so the evidence that Java Man is definitely a genuine missing link is not conclusive. We have had people rejecting the existence of God for example because we have never seen him and cannot detect him but we have the same people accepting the existence of dark matter which is by definition unmeasurable and undetectable. What is sauce for the goose should also be sauce for the gander. We have to recognize the limits of our arguments and not extend them beyond what can logically be deduced from the evidence. None of the so called missing links between Apes and Man represent conclusive proof that mankind and apes descended from a common ancestor by natural chance. Maybe the day will come when the evidence will appear but that day has not yet been reached and there is other credible evidence to suggest that evolution could not have occurred by natural chance.

5 September 2011 at 00:55  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

way of the dodo

Dear Dude

Born Again theology? As if it is mere ism!

The very words of Jesus Himself to Nicodemus. Did He say 'it would be lovely/charming/optional if you were 'born again'" Is this an ism?

Is there another way that Jesus stated regarding salvation into the kingdom of God, do tell?

You open a can of worms because I know God stated 'Come, let us reason together' so the intellect is not seperated from the heart..both must act in unison in making the choice of eternal life over a guaranteed 2nd death.

Born once, die twice.
Born twice, die once.

To answer your final paragraph, Read conversation between Nicodemus and Jesus again..the blind leading the blind perhaps? Intellect and circumstances can be so crucial they become a hindrance. Most definitely YES!
YOU ARE BEING CONTROVERSIAL.

nighty night dickie bird.
E S Blofeld

5 September 2011 at 01:12  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Preacher: "Atheism is a faith without foundation it's message is based on a fabricated ideology that one is not responsible for ones actions."

Is there any atheist who would think that one is not responsible for one's own actions? Bizarre.

5 September 2011 at 06:39  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Blofeld: "Seriously, all that for an outpouring of Utilitarianism. How is this better than other ethical systems?"

You see "JS Mill" and think it's about utilitarianism, I suppose. No. It's about liberalism, which is his political aspect.

Those names up there and the divide is initially about the Wolfenden Report. But the older names are advocates of two very different approaches to law and the purpose (in part) of the State.

JFS thinks the law has a place in managing a morality, including in one's private life and including sexual matters. JSM thinks the opposite. The JSM position won out, in the Wolfenden Report and more generally.

What is happening now, and always happens when a conservative government comes in, is the development of an undercurrent towards JFS whilst talking about liberalism on the surface so as not to scare the horses.

If we were to revert ... regress, to my mind ... to a JFS approach to law then I'd be in trouble, as would a lot of other people. And that is what I beleive Christianity as a whole is trying to do to the UK.

But don't let any of that bother you. I wouldn't want you to lose 15 minutes of your life learning about something quite important but not widely known about these days.

5 September 2011 at 06:55  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Danj0
I would think that atheism neccesitates the opposite, that human beings bear sole responsibility for their actions. Rather than, for example, being able to say that God or Satan made them do it.

5 September 2011 at 07:48  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

With due respect Atheism is a faith without foundation it's message is based on a fabricated ideology that one is not responsible for ones actions.

This is a perfect example of religious double speak - non belief is a belief?

Regarding the issue of slavery, are you telling me it took 1800 years of Christianity before they grudgingly accepted that slavery was 'un-Christian' - how come some bright spark cleric failed to pick up on that - or was matter of Christianity revisited and revised; surely a god would have seen this to be an oversight and set about making the correction much earlier.

5 September 2011 at 07:53  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

Dreadnaught, Slavery was opposed by Christians from the beginning:


…that the rights of each and every individual were championed and slavery was condemned. As explained by the third-century Christian theologian L. Caecilius Firmianus Lactantius,
“The second constituent of Justice is equality. I mean this … in the sense of treating others as equal … For God who gives being and life to men wished us all to be equal … since human worth is measured in spiritual not in physical terms, we ignore our various physical situations: slaves are not slaves to us, but we treat them and address them as brothers in spirit.”
C. S. Lewis and the Poverty of Naturalism by David Theroux, March 6th, 2007, The Independent Institute

The fact that some people always wanted to have slaves has been constant throughout history and we continue to have (different forms of) slavery today. You attribute to Christianity faults of people who were not Christian or who did not follow its teachings.

5 September 2011 at 08:16  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

DanJo 5 September 2011 06:55

"is the development of an undercurrent towards JFS whilst talking about liberalism on the surface so as not to scare the horses." I disagree but you raise interesting points in your explanation.

Thank you.

E S Blofeld

5 September 2011 at 08:38  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

Shacklefree
LIAR

Slavery was NOT opposed by christians from the beginning.
Nor was it, in some parts of the world, as late as 1861 ....

The appearance of apperently-demented ESB (who appears to be a repeat phnomenon) does noting for rational dabate.

Talking of which:
"Intelligent Design" and YEC.
Anyone AT ALL who advocates either or both of these, falls into one of three categories:
A] Deluded and demented idiot
B] Deliberate public liar
C] ( A+B )

The follwing are proven (in that anything at all can be proven, i.e. 99.999....9% )
This planet is ~4.5x10^9 years old.

Life arose here, some time between 4 & 3 x10^9 years ago.

It evolved to the multiplicty of forms we now see.

OK?

5 September 2011 at 09:21  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

I fail to understand that the focus of Christians to see atheism as 'the enemy' to their beliefs when atheism is not in any way an organised entity with a specific remit to deny them their right to follow the religion of their choice. The biggest threat to global and domestic Christianity comes from similarly committed 'believers in God' and their own reluctance to face up to the ever present threat to their existance in the same way now as it was in the 11th - 15th Centuries.

"Our goal is not simply to invite people and give da'wah [call to the faith]. Our goal is to create the True Believer, to then mobilise those believers into an organised force for change who will carry out da'wah, hisbah [enforcement of Islamic law] and jihad [struggle]. This will lead to social change and iqamatud-Deen [an Islamic social, economic and political order]."
IFE (Islamic forum for Europe)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2010/mar/04/islamic-forum-europe-dispatches-gilligan

The Pointless circular arguments engaged in here is truly irrelevant apart from providing a spot of mildly entertaining philosophical (and occasionally gratutously intolerant) jousting. If the god of Islam is the same god of the Jews and Christians it does not take a leap of divine inspiration to identify the inherent weakness of this wobbling axis of 'Faith'.

5 September 2011 at 09:30  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

Dreadnaught says “If the god of Islam is the same god of the Jews and Christians …”. Clearly the Christian God is not the same as the God of Islam. Please recognize this. We have a good blog here with genuine contributors of different persuasions but I get very disappointed when Islam and Christianity are spoken of as if they were identical. Islam is a heresy and I give a number of reasons for this in my book which I have previously mentioned on this blog. For example, Islam does not exhibit continuity with the Judaeo/Christian tradition. The Koran has rewritten some of the Old Testament and New Testament stories. Christianity has not changed the Old Testament but has accepted these scriptures as coming to us from the Jews. Christianity interprets some of the passages differently but has not changed the texts. For example, Jesus corrected some of the mistakes that had crept into Judaism but Islam has taken us back to these earlier errors such as the idea that eating certain foods can make you spiritually unclean. They also resurrected the idea of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth which appears to me to be a rejection of the idea that thou shalt not kill. In the modern day the violence of Islam is evident every time you go to an airport. Christianity does not teach that God is completely free to do evil and that our responsibility is simply to submit without question.

5 September 2011 at 09:49  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Shax

I'm not disagreeing with much that you say being at least a culturally Christian atheist.

But where is the organised Christian opposition to the 'same god' argument? On the contrary, the Church seems to actively support the concept of monotheistic divine equivalence.

5 September 2011 at 10:00  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

G Tingey

"The follwing are proven (in that anything at all can be proven, i.e. 99.999....9% )
This planet is ~4.5x10^9 years old.

Life arose here, some time between 4 & 3 x10^9 years ago.

It evolved to the multiplicty of forms we now see."

Your arguments are half baked like that wit of your's (four or five billion, give or take, what's the difference, yeh. Aware of the size of the number quoted glibbly ..IDIOT).
Mathematics is just numbers to silly old fools who simply lay them out as self justifying facts, irrespective of the vagueness implied, are'nt they. Scattergun effect eh. Grey Numpy, more like.

Take it you were there watching it all happen matey, I know I wasn't.

Sad, pathetic presumption presented as fact, 99.999999%. What book have you written laying this all out, professor?

Look forward to seeeing your series on BBC.

E S Blofeld, ooh deluded, ignorant fool.

"It evolved to the multiplicty of forms we now see." Let's see your evolutionary links, boyo. The wait continues....HUMBUG!

5 September 2011 at 10:07  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

Dreadnaught,
I agree with you. There seems to be a desire by politicians and even by some Christian to accept the idea that all religions are worthy of equal respect. Personally I reject that. I can respect individual Muslims but I think Islam is a cancer in any society and that we should be coming out and saying that. I think there is no point following a religion if you do not believe it to teach God's one true law and therefore that all others by definition are at least inferior to some extent. With regard to Islam, I consider it to demean the very idea of God because of their belief in predestination and the idea that God is so free that he can if he wishes, perform evil and can legitimately ask us to do the same if he commands it.

5 September 2011 at 10:14  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Shax

Dave Allen used to say 'may your god go with you' which I liked for its simplicity and honesty - the trouble is which 'prophet' to follow is where it gets a little crazy.

How does one qualify to be a Prophet in the 21st Century without being Sectionable?

5 September 2011 at 10:42  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

Dreadnaught, Indeed but I would think one of the qualification for being a prophet is making prophesies which actually come true. When Mohammed was asked to prophecy, he refused.

5 September 2011 at 11:53  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Shacklefree,
I didn't claim any wars were "Christian wars", but you did claim that they were "secular": in fact it is quite common for Christians to claim that the two world wars were somehow "atheist" wars. Well, of course they were if you re-define an atheist as "anyone who takes part in war", and a Christian as "someone who did not take part". But I'm sure that you have a dim awareness that this over-simple picture does not conform to the reality, which is that there were countless millions of Christians involved in both world wars, and thus complicit in millions of deaths, and that there was no mass recourse to conscientious objection by Christians, except Quakers, in either war. Similarly Christians are complicit in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

What did Harry S Truman do that disbars him from being a Christian, that would not also disbar almost every Christian who has ever taken part in a war from being labelled a Christian? Was it the sheer number of people he killed by ordering the atom bomb to be dropped, if so, what's the cut-off point? Should Truman have continued to wage a conventional war at a probable cost of vastly more lives - would that have been the Christian response? Or should he have refused the office of President? Should all Christians taking any form of high office be considered non-Christians? I struggle to see anything coherent in your views.

5 September 2011 at 12:19  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Shacklefree,


"With regard to Java Man, I accepted your argument that some of the evidence presented to refute it was dishonest. That does not prove that Java Man was a genuine missing link – merely that a dishonest argument had been used."

Agreed. How many more of your views have you formed with the support of dishonest evidence, do you think?

"I did not reject Java Man on the basis of evidence which I knew to be false."

Agreed; however if you had been willing to question the information you had been given with even 5 minutes worth of Googling, you could have found out the truth; I suspect you didn't do this because the information you had conformed to your existing beliefs.

"Wikipedia tells us that “Dubois' find was a very incomplete specimen, consisting of a skullcap, a femur, and a few teeth” so the evidence that Java Man is definitely a genuine missing link is not conclusive".

But that wasn't and isn't the ONLY example of Java Man or of homo Erectus, was it? So your objection is disingenuous.


"We have had people rejecting the existence of God for example because we have never seen him and cannot detect him but we have the same people accepting the existence of dark matter which is by definition unmeasurable and undetectable."

Since I do not reject the existence of God I'll ignore this.

"None of the so called missing links between Apes and Man represent conclusive proof that mankind and apes descended from a common ancestor by natural chance."

What they show is a succession through time of creatures that are less ape-like and more man-like. Perhaps this isn't conclusive, but it is very compelling. And I've asked you to tell me what would constitute conclusive proof and you've avoided the question. How do you explain a succession of creatures through time that display more and more man like and less and less ape-like characteristics? A practical joke by God?

Your posts do raise interesting questions!

5 September 2011 at 12:30  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Shacklefree (5 September 2011 09:49)

When the Inspector wandered into His Grace’s debating chamber in his virtual palace, he did not realise the education that lay ahead for him.

Your profound statement, that the god of Islam is not the Christian God deserves the widest circulation. The very idea that the Christian God would ever lay on 75 virgins for acts of hate and destruction was always troubling him, yet the established churches issued no public denial of any connectivity between the deities.

The Inspector is in little doubt that this blog is followed by the advisors to ++Canterbury and ++Westminster. Must we wait until the next Islamic atrocity before this truth is given the wider pastoral circulation it deserves.

The coming decades will see an ever greater manifestation of Islam in the UK; before it’s eventual suppression after regular atrocities convince our (hopefully still Western) leaders that it has come down to a “it’s them or us” fight for survival. It’s not to early to have the tenets of our defence in place...

5 September 2011 at 13:02  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

G Tingey, I should have used the word Christianity as opposed to Christians. When Wilberforce was opposing slavery he was receiving a lot of opposition from people who called themselves Christian but were more interested in profit as opposed the prophet. If Christianity is true they will probably now be suffering an even worse fate as the reward for their greed. Early Christianity did not as I understand it campaign for the abolition in Roman times for obvious reasons but the third century quote I used does indicate that those who were serious about their faith opposed it in their personal relations with those who were officially slaves. Chesterton says that the pagan cosmopolitan society of ancient Rome: “was as much a slave state as South Carolina. By the fourteenth century it was almost as much a state of peasant proprietors as modern France. No laws had been passed against slavery; no dogmas even had condemned it by definition; no war had been waged against it, no new race or ruling caste had repudiated it; but it was gone. The Bodley Head, G. K. Chesterton. I have not suggested that Christians are perfect. Just read the Acts of the Apostles to see that. However, this indicates the essential relationship between God and his people. He doesn’t compel but he lays out the rules which people have the free will to accept or reject.

Whitespacebug, fair point. There are as we know many virtuous atheists who live by a reasonable ethic and for genuine reason cannot accept the notion of a God. Can I just make the point that on balance, if we compare the result of the secularism of the French and Russian revolutions and the current results of secularism of the modern day (in the form of sex slavery and the inevitable impoverishment of millions to the benefit of the few by means of the current financial lottery system), that the Christian ethic would have served us better as the philosophy on which to base our laws for the benefit of all people as opposed to the few. I am very happy to concede that there are very many Christians whose actions we would regard as being seriously sinful.

5 September 2011 at 13:34  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

OIG, Agreed. It would be nice if our leaders would call a spade a spade. However, I do recall Cardinal O'Brien complaining about the money the British Government had allocated to a nation i.e. Pakistan which was in the process of convicting a Christian to death merely for comments she had allegedly made about Islam.

5 September 2011 at 13:38  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

Whitespacebug, I’ve not sure we are in much of a disagreement. Do you for example, believe that evolution occurred with direction from the Creator or purely by natural chance? As I stated in an earlier blog, I do not have a problem with evolution directed by an intelligence and the Book of Genesis itself gives us the outline of an evolutionary process up to the development of man.

With regard to your question about the positive evidence against evolution it is such a huge area that a blog cannot do it justice. However let me list the sections in my book “The End of Heresy” published by authorhouse.com which detail the evidence: Mutations, Fossils, Irreducible Complexity, the Need for Inheritance, Mitochondrial Eve, The Fine Tuning of the Universe, The Second Law of Thermodynamics, The Standard Model of Cosmology and Darwinism as a Political Philosophy. It takes 61 pages.

5 September 2011 at 13:55  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

Danj0, I’d like to re-iterate an earlier statement about the education one receives from a blog such as this. Can I say it is interesting to consider your mention of utilitarianism with the idea of subsidiarity. Subsidiarity is the Catholic doctrine that a higher body in a hierarchy should not arrogate to itself power and authority which can be exercised at a lower level. The Catholic view is that the Church can define morals but that there is plenty of room for discussion and disagreement about the practical application of the philosophy. I would consider that to be a utilitarian principle.

5 September 2011 at 14:15  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Shacklefree:

I absolutely agree that the current social/ political system is broken. I'm confused by the reference to sex slavery though. I wouldn't necessarily trust Christians to look after the benefit of all; in fact I would be entirely unsurprised if this resulted in widespread discrimination against non-Christians, and even against Christians of certain groups, as happened in the past.

5 September 2011 at 14:56  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Shacklefree:

Again, your position on evolution confuses me. If you "have no problem" with the idea of evolution directed by the creator, then why do you have a problem with the evidence for evolution? It seems to me that the same evidence could be used to support evolution by natural selection and as directed by a creator: it's not obvious what the difference would be unless you're expecting a "made by God" label to be found somewhere. If this is what Genesis might suggest, where's he problem?

As to your second para, you seem to have misunderstood: I was asking what you would consider to be acceptable evidence FOR evolution. I wasn't asking what the evidence against was.

Looking at your list of headings, most of it looks like the standard Young Earth Creationist arguments; I've spend years looking into these arguments and they are entirely bogus.

5 September 2011 at 15:04  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

Well the "gods" of the christians and muslims appear to be different, but they are still non-existent imaginary sky fairies.

I'd agree that the biggest enemy of "faith" is OTHER faith.
One of the give-aways about a religion is: Does it persecute all the others, and proclaim itself to be the one true way?
And divide itself into warring sects?
As christianity, islam and communism all do ... oops.


ESB @ 10.07
LIAR
Produce ANY EVIDENCE AT ALL that what I have quoted is untrue, or that the planet is LESS THAN, say 3 "billion" years old, or that life did NOT evolve from simple forms.
Put up, or shut up.

Shacklefree - or alternatively, that all religions are worthy of the same amount of disrespect and ridicule?

5 September 2011 at 15:47  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

@G Tinley ...

Please provide some evidence that proves your are not, in fact, a trolling prize tit of the highest order and therefore undeserving of disrespect & ridicule. Put up or shut up.

Thank you.

5 September 2011 at 16:25  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

Rebel Saint

LEARN TO SPELL, first!

I put up a testable, falisfyable proposition: which is standard scientific/laboratory practice.
You are free to produce evidence, which will stand up in a court of law or a laboratory.

That is how the rules work.

Oh, and do you have any academic qualifications, or are you just an ignorant, brainwashed gullible follower of Bronze-Age goathereders' myths?

5 September 2011 at 18:13  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

G Tingey

Perhaps you should learn to spell before telling others they should...etc etc

5 September 2011 at 18:15  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

@G Tinley

The "sky fairy" I follow once told a story about planks & splinters. You should look it up!

And yes I have some qualifications: Grade 1 piano and 25m swimming, so nah nah nee nah nah.

5 September 2011 at 18:31  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

G Tingey, there is an argument that says if you cannot prove God exists then we have to assume he doesn’t. Turn it around and you get “If you cannot prove that he doesn’t exist then he must be real. Neither argument is proof. With regard to the universe being so many millions of years old, I don’t even think that matters. If it is 3+ billion years old so what? Does that by itself preclude the existence of God? I don’t think so. I can accept 3 billion as much as I can accept 20,000 providing the evidence is convincing. You have got to abide by the same standards of proof you insist we conform to and as yet you have offered no proof for your position only complaints that we haven’t proved ours. Let me make it clear, I don’t think either proposition can be proved with 100% certainty so we have to look at the negative evidence. My position has been that the evidence in support of evolution purely by chance without any input from an intelligent designer is weak. On the other hand the evidence that the conditions for life to evolve and continue in existence are so stringent that it is virtually impossible for it to have occurred by chance. Let me say again it is evolution by chance I do not accept, not evolution per se. It is very frustrating to have to re-iterate the same point over and over again. I fully accept that evolution within a species can occur so the idea that Darwin’s Galapagos finches evolved from a common ancestor is not under debate. What is under debate is that a giraffe and a geranium can have evolved from a common ancestor purely by chance. Now if you can prove that evolution across the species barrier has occurred I will listen so let’s see you put up.

Whitespacebug, I think there is a difference between evolution by chance and evolution which is directed by a creator. Both could conceivably suggest a similar evolutionary process but the mechanism whereby it occurs would be different.

5 September 2011 at 18:45  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Rebel Saint / whitespacebug

The Inspector thought he would be the last one to speak up for G. Tingey, and yet here he is in his defence.

G. Tingey is nothing if not negative, a real expert in negativity come to that. One would wonder why he bothers with this site. Perhaps he ‘wants’ to know the meaning of it all and what it’s all about.
He does come across as someone who wants to run up and touch God, and then step back a few paces. Childlike behaviour of course, but the man is clearly educated, so let us help in his quest, as he may well find the answer in his inner thoughts, one place where we can detect God.

G. Tingey, if the Inspector has completely misrepresented you, do let him know...

5 September 2011 at 18:46  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

Certainly:

YOU are the one putting up the proposition that a Big Sky Fairy ("god") exists.
Let's see some evidence, please.
The default position, if no evidence emerges, is that there isn't a sky fairy.

Contrariwise:
I am putting up the positive, again testable, falsifyable proposition that, even if "god" exists he/she/it/they is/are not detectable, and therefore irrelevant.
This is a POSITIVE proposition.

To prove me wrng, ALL you have to do is detect "god" ... get on with it!

OK?

These are standard both laboratory and philosophical positions.
Why you don't like it, isn't MY problem!

5 September 2011 at 19:19  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

Oops - "wrong"
not ... "wrng"

5 September 2011 at 19:20  
Blogger English Viking said...

'Falsyfiable'?

Doh!

5 September 2011 at 19:20  
Blogger English Viking said...

Even better - 'falisfyable'.

Double Doh!

5 September 2011 at 19:22  
Blogger English Viking said...

G Tingey,

I detected God at work in a kitten I held today.

Only a blind could fail to see Him there.

5 September 2011 at 19:24  
Blogger English Viking said...

'Man' is missing from the above.

Always best to leave him out of things when considering God.

5 September 2011 at 19:26  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

shacklefree said 5 september 2011

Succinctly put.

Ernst's complaint regarding humanists is the one size argument fits all approach to explaining life and it's meaning. As if?

I know not if the earth is billions of years old or 20,000 but await distinct proof that is knowable..imagine saying that something had a one in a billion chance of being correct...Why figures such as 4 or 5 billion, glibly thrown into a conversation, infuriates me when presented as a statement of fact!

However my belief in instantaneous creation is Christ's power whilst present on earth and His declaration that He is God and the creator. All miracles He displayed were public and instantaneous and conveyed as historical fact by disciples and confirmed by Pharisee's and scribes. He never asked someone to go away for 3 weeks and all would be accomplished in the meantime..leprosy gradually fading, eyesight slowing developing, withered limbs eventually working perfectly or the dead raised from the tomb sometime in the near future! He commanded storms to cease, fish to jump into nets and gave new hearts and minds to those who trusted and still will trust in Him and His declaration of who He really was.

So instantaneous creation is no problem for me.

E S Blofeld

ps

G Tingey the simpler.

Historical fact that Jesus existed, did miracles, rose from the dead and did things, which was not denied by His enemies who sought for and had Him killed, only GOD COULD DO..Why I hardly ever waste my time with humanists..they always ignore the elephant in the room called history..

5 September 2011 at 19:38  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

G.Tingey

At the turn of the 20th century, a famous American stated that all that was to be discovered in science had been.

He was no fool, though he was sticking his neck out...

How do you propose we test for God in the laboratory when He’s in the room watching us ?

5 September 2011 at 19:39  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

G Tingey said "YOU are the one putting up the proposition that a Big Sky Fairy ("god") exists. Let's see some evidence, please." Turn it around. You are the one proposing that God does not exist. Let's see some evidence. So far you have done all the asking and none of the answering even a small request to prove that evolution across the species barrier has occurred.

5 September 2011 at 19:40  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Shacklefree,

You've only answered a fraction of what I posted, but: you say there is a difference between evolution directed by God and by natural selection. You say the mechanism would be different. Different in what way? Where is your evidence? You wouldn't be making a fact-free assertion, would you?

5 September 2011 at 21:55  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

English Viking
I can detect tom-cat and queen-cat at work in a kitten at any time.

Please try harder - you are NOT detecting "god".

ESB
You really ARE brainwashed arn't you?
Look, just for your benefit ..
I repeat:
I WAS a confirmed member of the CofE - I'm now a card-carrying atheist.
I know all the usual christian ( and muslim ) lies, and you can't con me with "spiritual" crap.

Yeshua ben Joseph probably existed, he was a man who said interesting things. He may have been crucified, he may have survived (hyssop is a powerful drug, capable of inducing a death-like coma ......)

So what?
Show me evidence for the detectability of "god" ...

Stick to facts and tests and evidence.
OK?

NO Shackle free.
Your positive proposition is that "god" exists.
If no evidence, then your proposition fails.
That is the way logic and testing work.

Got it yet?
I do not have to try to prove a negative.
You and I have to try to demonstrate that our respective positive propositions can be falsified (sp!) if not, then they stand.
You claim "god" exists.
OK - show?

5 September 2011 at 23:52  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

@ G Tinger

Wow. Now you put it like that I'm convinced.

Thank God ... er, ... I mean thank my lucky stars, for people like you. I never thought I'd be intelligent enough to be an atheist but thanks to your razor sharp mind and erudite writing you've elucidated it to a humble idiot like me.

Have you considered putting yourself up to debate with William Lane Craig. You'd wipe the floor.

6 September 2011 at 00:24  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

Whitespacebug, I suspect as I said earlier that we are very much in agreement and slightly in disagreement. My contention is that the similarity between different forms of life such as apes and humans, elephants and rhinoceroses, tulips and daffodils etc. can legitimately lead us to consider if they have a common ancestor. This is not proof but it is a legitimate question. I am sure we will agree on the idea evolution cannot occur without an inheritance mechanism between one generation and another. The question therefore is whether this can happen by random chance. My contention is that this is very unlikely to be the result of natural selection even if we postulate huge time scales. For example, before inheritance can occur from one generation to the next, DNA has to be in place fully functioning because all inheritance depends on DNA and it must also have a repair mechanism to correct errors which may appear from time to time. We know that DNA has the ability to repair itself so it would be reasonable to postulate that the repair mechanism must have been in place from the very beginning. Now the complexity of the DNA molecule is of a magnitude that would have taken millions of years to evolve by natural chance and the repair mechanism would also have to be present to ensure that errors would be corrected. How would the repair mechanism know what to do without direction? Remember that the inheritance mechanism of DNA only has relevance within the context of the nucleus of the cell controlling the multitudinal activities within the cytoplasm, all contained within the cell membrane. Everything has to be in place fully functioning before any part of it works. Our question is whether this can all arise by natural chance. Darwin in his book “On the Origin of Species” said “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. Darwinism teaches that any slight modification which does not produce a survival advantage will die out. It is clear therefore that for DNA to evolve, millions of slight modifications must be retained and not die out over millions of years even though they produced no survival advantage because it would take that length of time for DNA to self-assemble itself by chance. The mechanism of natural selection is therefore inadequate to explain the evolution of the DNA molecule and that is before evolution from one life form to another can occur because all inheritance depends on DNA. Chance therefore is simply not a legitimate explanation. The other alternative is that the changes involved in the evolution of one species from another were made by an intelligent power and it would seem reasonable to conclude that if a God had created the universe he would also have the power to create the DNA molecule, enclose it within the cell nucleus, within the cytoplasm, within the cell membrane and ensure that all the parts worked harmoniously together. Yes it is faith but believing that all this complexity can happen by natural chance represents an even greater leap of faith. Therefore I think that whereas we may be able to agree on an evolutionary process, I would hope that you would concede that random undirected chance is not tenable.

6 September 2011 at 00:37  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

G Tinger

Did you do a first year undergraduate course in Positivism? Surely you must know by now that post-Positivism has allows for an unknown and materially unverifiable factor to be presupposed?

Ever heard of Einstein?

6 September 2011 at 00:55  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

g thingeymebob

"Please try harder - you are NOT detecting "god"

However we are detecting pretentious, argumentative, lonely, billynomates, old git.

Take it you're the old Grinch sitting alone in the corner of the drop off center.

Take it that you were a great loss to the parish.

Take it that you live a completely empirical life and that love, compassion. justice and all that other 'spiritual' crap others see as detectable, is mere illusion and lies as they cannot be weighed, measured or analysed in a test tube, factualised or mathematically formulated to suit your criteria.

All those things that make mankind human you would say are nothing because you cannot see their height width and length.

Sitting next to you at BBC proms night would be hilarious, seeing you shoving Beethoven's 9th into a test tube seeing if its 'detectable'.

Deluded sad old fool?

Living the lie, eh?

ESB and lovin all that 'spiritual' stuff, robot boy.

6 September 2011 at 01:20  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Shacklefree.
We are agreed that an inheritance mechanism is needed. And there is one. Therefore evolution is possible. It could be directed. You agree this is possible. Yet you reject the evidence for it. How do you know you aren't rejecting evidence for directed evolution

6 September 2011 at 08:20  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

Rebel Saint
STILL can't spell my name!

Way of the Dodo
No, my qualifications are Physics and Engineering.
But yes, of course - why do you think I deliberately followed uncle Albert - who famously put up the proposition that: "The Luminiferous Aether cannot be detected".....

As for ESB, all the usual irrelevabt self-duluding lies... lets see shall we?
"Take it that you were a great loss to the parish."
Given that both my parents had been PCC members, and that I'd bee attending more-or-less from birth ... yes. I can still see said builing out of my front windows, and I go there for secular concerts ... (It's a GOOD music-venue)
"Take it that you live a completely empirical life and that love, compassion. justice and all that other 'spiritual' crap others see as detectable, is mere illusion and lies as they cannot be weighed, measured or analysed in a test tube, factualised or mathematically formulated to suit your criteria."
Oh dear.
Look, the "spiritual" nature of some thoughts and experiences are fairly well-mapped in some brain areas by now, and how and why we enjoy them is also beginning to be understood. As is the survival value of SOME of them.
I enjoy them as much as the next person.
And how a "fake" religious experience. either good or bad can be deliberately stimulated under laboratory conditions.
Your "arguments" so-called are at least 30 years out of date.
"All those things that make mankind human you would say are nothing because you cannot see their height width and length."
NO
You are deliberately putting words and thoughts I have NOT SAID into my mouth.
But then, you are a christian, arn't you?

Elgar Cello Concerto, the du Pre performance, please?
Or K. Ferrier, singing anything at all.
Which shows just how "not even wrong" you are.

Whitespacebug
IF there was "directed" evolution, it should leave a trace ... as in that messages and signals are traceable.
Another reason for my "god is not detectable" proposition, since this would include messages from/to such an hypothetical entity.
No signals so far ....

6 September 2011 at 10:31  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Tinkle,
Do you not think the information encoded in DNA, a set of instructions, might be the message? If not, what kind of message would you expect to see?

6 September 2011 at 10:57  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Tingeymagig said ...
"No signals so far ...."

Plenty of signals just your receiver isn't tuned into the correct channel!

6 September 2011 at 14:48  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

Way of the Dodo
What channel, where?
SHOW PLEASE!
EVIDENCE!

I think you are either deluded or lying, but much more likely the former ....
This applies to all religious believers, of course.....

6 September 2011 at 17:33  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Forgive Tingley
He's only twelve.

6 September 2011 at 18:03  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Tingeymagig

Generally it's located between ones ears to begin with.

If I might rephrase a quote:

"Delusion means mortality. And awareness means Eternity".

Forgive me, but I rush off now to measure the space-time continuum and film its curvature.

6 September 2011 at 19:20  
Blogger len said...

I have said this before but thought I might mention it again...
People search for God with their 'fallen' intellect seeking that they might prove or disprove God.They actually by doing this(inadvertently or not) have placed their intellect above and beyond the Word and the integrity of God).
Man fell because he desired wisdom (apart from God) and thereby opened himself up to all sorts of deceiving spirits who opposed God,man unwittingly or not aligned himself with all that opposed God.... Since the World in its Wisdom(fallen corrupted Earthly wisdom)did not know God He chose to reveal Himself through the 'foolishness' of the Cross.
What is more foolish than a crucified man?.But their- in lies all the wisdom of God!concealed from the wise,wise in 'their own eyes'.
So by accepting the 'foolishness of the Cross' one reverses the fall and gets True Wisdom, Wisdom from Above .

6 September 2011 at 19:23  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

G. Tingey

The Inspector senses bitter disappointment in your life, you’ve lost the faith you’ve never had, and does he detect homosexuality amongst it all.

Loosen up old man, we don’t want your final moments to be a bottle and a handful of pills, now do we ?

6 September 2011 at 20:42  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

?

6 September 2011 at 21:23  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

Whitespacebug, I think I am getting to the nub of our disagreement/misunderstanding. Sorry if I have appeared to avoid answering and so I will address the question of the positive proof for evolution. It seems to me (correct me if I am wrong), that this comes down to similarity between, daffodils and dahlias, rhinoceroses and rabbits and humans and chimps. Are we agreed that evidence of similarity is not proof? We don’t claim that all cars on the road came from a common factory although we might concede that an alien appearing on Earth might assume that to be the case because of their similarity.
Now within species we have more than similarity. For example, Suffolk Punch horses are similar to other forms of horse but we know from breeding records that all Suffolk Punch horses can be traced back to two parents about 300 years ago and the purity of the breed is maintained by ensuring breeding occurs between Suffolk Punch horses. If we were to allow interbreeding with other types of horse the purity of the breed would be lost so the maintenance of the sub-species is controlled by deliberate decisions by intelligent humans. In addition, all of this occurs within one species and so far (correct me if I am wrong but it appears to me, we have not seen positive proof that evolution has occurred across the species barrier.

6 September 2011 at 21:25  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

I give up.

6 September 2011 at 21:44  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

It is certainly located between my ears - its called a brain.
Which far too many persons are plainly not using.

As for whitespasecebug ... he's only a factor of 5+ out .....

Come on you chaps

Rhetoric doesn't cut it.
Nor, even though it is better, does dialectic.
EVIDENCE is what counts.
Produce some.

There's all this urging to "listen" or "look" - sorry I'm a trained scientist/engineer - I'm openly ASKING you for evidence, and none at all is forthcoming.
Not very convincing, is it?

6 September 2011 at 22:41  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

@G Tingley

Seriously, I'm in awe of your knowledge & intelligence. Just hoping they don't put you up against WLC. No one has ever asked such incisive questions before. You're cutting through 1000's of years of primitive folklore like a hot knofe through butter.

Christianity is doomed. Doomed I say.

6 September 2011 at 23:33  
Blogger Kenneth said...

Indeed, Mr Tingey asks questions which have never crossed anyone's mind throughout the whole course of human history.
I can see now that my father and his father, in fact every generation up until this one, were simple primitive, superstitious cavemen. Primitives, because they did not have computers and iPhones. We alone are the enlightened generation, we alone possess technology! What a huge leap of evolution took place in the 1960's! It's so sad to think of all those millions upon millions of Christians, who simply had the misfortune to be born before our scientific Enlightenment took place! Who could have told them that they were all just stupid barbarians?

6 September 2011 at 23:55  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

You lot are very mean. Lol.

7 September 2011 at 03:34  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

Oh dear.

Of course these questions are not new.

What is continually new is the increased knowledge and understanding of this universe, and the continued non-appearance of ANY big sky fairy.
What is, unfortunately, also continually repeated is the obscurantism, bigotry, lies, misrepresentation and point-blank refusal to look at evidence being perpetrated by believers.
And you lot are by no means the worst.

After all, there are quite a few muslims (and some christians) who don't even subscribe to cause-&-effect: Things happen because allah wills them to happen.
Pure mystical claptap.

7 September 2011 at 08:51  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

@G Mingey

You are a very funny man.

Love from

An ignorant, deceitful, deluded bigot.

PS - seriously ... get in touch ... see if they'll have you on the platform with WLC. I'd definitely pay good money to see that debate.

7 September 2011 at 09:08  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Tingey
Isn't the evidence all the same, just the interpretation different? And why be rude?

You seen to agree with Dawkins that religious believers are stupid. But surely on reflection you might reconsider that. I know I did.

7 September 2011 at 10:50  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

G. Tingey

The Inspector recalls his final RE lesson at school. We were all 15/16 years of age at the time, and keen to mate with the convent girls down the road.

Your man said that everything that is - has, had or will have a cause. Newton’s law bears that out. When you come to the ultimate part of the chain, there is the big sky fairy. In other words, what caused the universe into being, God. What caused God, er well that’s why He’s God.

7 September 2011 at 14:13  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Dear G Tingey

It is not that others are not prepared to engage but you submit a non sequitur as you well know or the language of the question is unsound by its presumed logic or inferrence.

Is God detectable..Can He be detectable. Why is He not detectable..This is plain scientific terms of reference yet the answer for most atheist scientist would be that the answer or conclusion would be 'incredulous' if brought to it's logical conclusion that He must be outside the closed system as HE IS IT's CREATOR.

How much does the colour blue weigh. EVIDENCE PLEASE! EXACTLY..False premise, yes? that colour in itself is weighable which is a scientific measurement but the question is false and Illogical.!!!!Do colours exist yes but the term of reference is false as it cannot be weighed.

What about the 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics.

The 1st law states that within it is a Conservation of Energy Law that demands, as a key principle that all energy in a closed system must be conserved. Okay, fancy language my angry old fella, but what does that mean? It means that while energy can convert into matter (physical “stuff” old chap), and matter into energy, however much total “stuff” there is (matter and energy, dear boy), there can never be an increase in that total amount or a decrease in that total amount. So however much total “stuff” (naughty, unscientific old ernsty)there is in the universe, (matter and energy combined), there can never have been more and never have been less. All it can do is convert to different forms, like matter to energy or energy to matter, but the total amount of all of it has to remain the same.

or

If it states that you can never have an increase or decrease of energy/matter, which means that matter/energy can not be created from nothingness, how did we get all the matter and energy in the universe? If science is all there is and there is no God, Mr G Tingey, then the 1st Law of Thermodynamics reigns supreme and therefore it would be impossible to have matter and energy in existence right now. Simply put, when you open your eyes and see matter and experience energy, what you see is impossible according to the known Laws of science if, in fact, there is no God as you brazenly declare. Therefore, science itself says there must be a God. QED!
Three options, old boy.
Option A: Everything came into existence by itself anyway, without the help of God, (even though science has proven that impossible). Option B: Everything in the universe has always existed for all of eternity, (which, by the way is also scientifically impossible due to something called the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics), or Option C: There must be a God, a Being greater than science, who created the Laws of science and has the ability to disobey them. Not only is a belief in God the only logical conclusion to draw, it's the only one scientifically possible because remember, if there is no God, the first two options are scientifically impossible according to the actual Laws of Physics.
Lets not talk about the theory of relativity and believed possible multiple dimensions outside our sad little 3D detectable universe eh?

Looks like you are a believer of sorts too..Oh dear!

Ernst, my angry old atheist, Bless you.

7 September 2011 at 15:15  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

G Tingey

PS

"Elgar Cello Concerto, the du Pre performance, please?
Or K. Ferrier, singing anything at all.
Which shows just how "not even wrong" you are."

As a lover of Elgar I take offense at your presumption shown and that K Ferrier is unknown to me whereas I have that great english contralto's recordings..Too few recorded in my opinion.

So say sorry, you old misery guts or must I state all my recordings and music scores on my google account to please you.

E S Blofeld

7 September 2011 at 15:29  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

"Not only is a belief in God the only logical conclusion to draw, it's the only one scientifically possible because remember, if there is no God, the first two options are scientifically impossible according to the actual Laws of Physics."

I want to shoot this one down but I find I can't actually be arsed. Will someone do it for me please? A couple of paragraphs ought to do. Thanks.

7 September 2011 at 17:29  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

"I want to shoot this one down but I find I can't actually be arsed. Will someone do it for me please? A couple of paragraphs ought to do. Thanks."

HEHEHE.

DanJO, you make old Ernst giggle for all the wrong reasons, sweeie.HAHAHA

Take it that this being left unanswered will give you a sleepless night or two..Here's hoping!.

Ernst, my poor sulking boy.

7 September 2011 at 17:43  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

I think Tiddles would enjoy Ernst's argument. There's certainlky something fishy about it.

7 September 2011 at 17:58  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Or even certainly.

7 September 2011 at 17:58  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Whitespacebug said 7 September 2011 17:58

Tiddles wonders if you are edible as she is partial to the odd spider or moth that scrambles or flutters by.

Yummy.

Tiddles..Ernst, my master, typed this for me.

7 September 2011 at 18:06  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Ernst,
I have read a fair few books by key figures in the science/ religion area, such as Polkinghorne, Ward, Davies. I don't think any of them would touch your argument with a bargepole.

7 September 2011 at 20:03  
Blogger GOD said...

G Tingey

I AM WHO I AM

Enough 'evidence' for you?

7 September 2011 at 20:34  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Whitespacebug said 7 September 2011 20:03

Dear WSB

Ernst is most learned too however Ernst is not of the opinion that his statement is a Definitive/Destroys All argument for the existence of God (as if) but a declaration that you can positively believe He does because...(Sssh, don't tell DanJO or other atheists Ernst has told you this).
The 1st and 2nd Law are defined absolute laws but atheists merely avoid it's conclusion by taking the argument elsewhere.

The atheist can try a counter but the argument must go back a step, however by taking that step it only opens up an even greater question that no scientist whether christian, agnostic or atheist can answer except God Himself.
If only, dear communicant, if only.
Ernst is certain He will tell His beloved one day. *wistful sigh* (WOW, Ernst can hear Messiah's Hallelujah blasting out from the TV)

Ernst, my colour free area hemipteran.

ps

The laws of thermodynamics are important fundamental laws in physics and they are applicable in other natural sciences.

7 September 2011 at 21:07  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

This discussion seems to have reached the wall-to-wall-bollocks stage.

If I can't get serious answers, I am (temporarily) retiring...
Until the next time, of course, when I can hope for a serious dicussion, rather than the childish insults that are currently flying around.

Remeber, the magic word is: EVIDENCE.
Not rhetoric, not quotes from long-dead goatherders, or camelherders, or 19thC economists ... evidence.

7 September 2011 at 22:48  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Tingley.
You started it :-)
I guess you didn't read my answer then. Many people would see the existence of something like DNA As evidence of an intelligence at work. There are countless other examples but the point is it's all about the interpretation, not the evidence.

7 September 2011 at 22:59  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

G Tingey said through gritted false? teeth 7 September 2011 22:48

"This discussion seems to have reached the wall-to-wall-bollocks stage." Really, is there any need for such language?

"Until the next time, of course, when I can hope for a serious dicussion, rather than the childish insults that are currently flying around."

Old boy, you sound like a super villain escaping by the skin of his teeth, saying 'Next time, penelope pitstop, next time' whilst shaking his fist or was it Dick Dastardly??"

G Tingey: Hissy fits and flaunts off via stage exit left. End of Act 1 scene 4.

Ernst. Toodlepip old chap.

Ps

WSB 7 September 2011 22:59

I appreciated your DNA post, my colour free area hemipteran. :-)

7 September 2011 at 23:03  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Ernst. I'm glad.
And now, to sleep..

7 September 2011 at 23:06  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

WSB said 7 September 2011 23:06

Nighty night, sleep tight, watch the bed bu...oops. bit inappropriate, what.

Sweet dreams.

Ernst.

7 September 2011 at 23:13  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

@G Tingery

All the EVIDENCE points to you being a silly toss-pot. What other possible interpretation could there be?

I wish you a long and happy retirement.

Yours bigotedly

8 September 2011 at 00:55  
Blogger Serpents and Doves said...

"Jesus said to him: Because you have seen me, Thomas, you have believed: blessed are they that have not seen and have believed."

8 September 2011 at 01:14  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

As I remember, Quentin Smith, whom Albert introduced here recently, has an argument about what a universe means. The argument about the laws falls into that category I think and has about it a similar air to the question: Who or what created god? That is, it seems profound in its simplicity but there's potentially all sorts behind it and none of it can be completely resolved and answered it seems. In that particular case, I don't think the teleological approach does the job or avoids the dilemma. But as a atheist, I'm used to pulling myself up by my shoelaces too so I sympathise despite my not needing to have a definitive answer for stuff, remaining as I am, ultimately receptive to explanations or revelations as they arrive.

8 September 2011 at 06:30  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Steady on, Ernst!

Danj0 the "who made God question" has been dealt with by such people as Keith Ward thus: the question can be re-phrased as "is there a final explanation for the universe?". Such a final explanation perhaps makes more sense than an infinite regress of causes. Ward would suggest such an explanation must be "eternal", and of course he identifies God as this eternal final explanation. Thus the question of who made God is avoided.

8 September 2011 at 09:25  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

As usual. NO EVIDENCE.
Lots of referrals to historical and wrong "holy" books, lots of irreleveant insults (especially from ESB) NO SERIOUS DISCUSSION AT ALL.

Come on - please remember for next time (and there will be one) ...
Please produce EVIDENCE to back up your supposedly-testable claims.
No attemting to prove negatives - and note that I have not done this, either.

Rhetorical ridicule is all very well, but, it is not evidence.

Neither Augustine nor Aquinas would have been impressed with your childish level of "debate" - and you need to remember Aquinas comments on "observation" and supposedly-holy writ, as well ....

Got it yet?

Bye for now .....

8 September 2011 at 11:34  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

G Tingeymebob the shakespearian thespian 8 September 2011 11:34

"Lots of referrals to historical and wrong "holy" books, lots of irreleveant insults (especially from ESB) NO SERIOUS DISCUSSION AT ALL."

You cad, sir. It's called humour and it's not Ernst's or others fault that "NO SERIOUS DISCUSSION AT ALL." means you staring into a mirror, ears wedged on fingers, going bla bla de bla bla.

G Tingey: Storms back on stage, Hissy fits and flaunts right back off via stage exit right. Start and end of Act 1 scene 5.

Ernsty. Toodlepip old chap. (DEJA-VU...prove it?)

8 September 2011 at 11:45  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

G. Tingey

Before you p_ss off out of our lives temporarily, Mr Blofeld raised an interesting point. Where in non intelligent design does a sense of humour come in ? We shouldn't have one by rights; can’t see any evolutionary benefit of it. The Inspector just thanks God we have, to cope with what’s going on in the world, and you...

8 September 2011 at 12:11  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

G Tingeymebob the shakespearian thespian 8 September 2011 11:34

"Lots of referrals to historical and wrong "holy" books, lots of irreleveant insults (especially from ESB) NO SERIOUS DISCUSSION AT ALL."

You cad, sir. It's called humour and it's not Ernst's or others fault that "NO SERIOUS DISCUSSION AT ALL." means you staring into a mirror, ears wedged on fingers, going bla bla de bla bla.

G Tingey: Storms back on stage, Hissy fits and flaunts right back off via stage exit right. Start and end of Act 1 scene 5.

Ernsty. Toodlepip old chap. (DEJA-VU...prove it?)

8 September 2011 at 12:17  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

G Tingeymebob, the 'Kenneth Brannagh' of the atheist world


Good Lord man, did you see that, can you see it? 8 September 2011 12:17.

DEJA-VU!

HEHEHE. How's that for evidence, you old misery.

Ernst, my old boyo.

8 September 2011 at 12:21  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

@G Tingley

Out of retirement so soon?

I see you are refusing to answer my questions. Where is the hard EVIDENCE that you are not an utter arse worthy of nothing but contemptuous ridicule?

Prove to me that you are aren't what all the EVIDENCE suggests you are, then I might start taking you seriously.

8 September 2011 at 12:26  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

G Tingey, the 'non the wiser' said

"I WAS a confirmed member of the CofE - I'm now a card-carrying atheist."
Take it you never KNEW Him, then.

One man's missed fortune is a believer's great joy here on this blog..Go figure?

Ernsty, who NEVER fails to NEVER look a gift horse in the mouth

or

as in John Heywood classic rendering in 1546 ' A dialogue conteinyng the nomber in effect of all the prouerbes in the Englishe tongue', where he gives it as:

"No man ought to looke a geuen hors in the mouth."

The proverb is: when given a present, be grateful for your good fortune and don't look for more by examining it to assess its value!

Ernst.

8 September 2011 at 12:44  

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