default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

Letter: Thanks for the discussion on theory of evolution

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Friday, August 8, 2014 11:30 pm

Thanks to the Lodi News-Sentinel and Tom Baker for opening up a discussion on the truth (or not) of Darwin’s theory of evolution.

It’s written that philosophy is the art of learning more and more about less and less until we know everything there is to know about absolutely nothing at all, such as the case with evolutionism, including theistic evolution.

Truly, the greatest fraud and hoax ever perpetrated on foolish man is that God really doesn’t say what He means or mean what He says and the theory of evolution. Evidence of the tree of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil right smack in the middle of our beautiful little garden of secular education.

It’s said that religion is the fig leaf we wear to try to hide our guilt and shame and evolutionism is no less a religion, except it seeks to eliminate our guilt and shame by eliminating our accountability to a Creator altogether.

Evolution is just a scientific name for atheism.

William Van Amber Fields


Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don’t pretend you’re someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don’t threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don’t insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the ‘Report’ link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.
  • 9 Don’t be a troll.
  • 10 Don’t reveal personal information about other commenters. You may reveal your own personal information, but we advise you not to do so.
  • 11 We reserve the right, at our discretion, to monitor, delete or choose not to post any comment. This may include removing or monitoring posts that we believe violate the spirit or letter of these rules, or that we otherwise determine at our discretion needs to be monitored, not posted, or deleted.

Welcome to the discussion.


  • Christina Welch posted at 7:50 am on Wed, Sep 3, 2014.

    Christina Welch Posts: 460

    Thomas, History has shown us far too many examples of demagogues and zealots who have used their personal charisma for evil purposes, many under the guise of religion and others not. I personally would not fall under their spell, so to speak, because I have a conscience and belief system that would keep me from doing anything violent or extreme. I think I am well-grounded, and thank you for noting that, and I do think you might be right about the gender differences, too.

    For me, I believe in God, I don't believe in a preacher or a pastor. I have my own personal relationship with God (and, no, I don't mean I converse with him or anything like that) and I don't need a religious leader to guide me in that relationship. I think that's where many religions get it wrong, they make it about themselves and not about God, although they say it's all about Him. Why so many others fall prey to religious whackos, I do not know. People are always looking to find meaning in their lives, and the Jim Jones and David Koresh types sadly take advantage of that. They may say they are men of God, but really they are not.

  • Thomas Heuer posted at 12:05 pm on Sat, Aug 30, 2014.

    nth degree wise Posts: 1669

    Ms Welch
    I feel you missed the point. How do you tell what is acceptable at any given time in your beliefs when others have been led to extremes by ideas that seem sensible to them and leading them to extremist and and violent notions? As I said your probably the wrong person to ask because you are seemingly well grounded and you are female who generally aren't prone to the extremes males fall prey to.

    People often are not that familiar with the bible and their only notions usually come from a religious leader or mentor. I am always amazed at followers of David Koresh or Jim Jones who had convinced numbers of people into radical beliefs based on religious ideas whether christian or otherwise. When you have leaders that can steer you wrong how do you know?

    By the same token christianity began as an off shoot of judaism but so did islam. Buddhism started as an off shoot of hinduism. Martin Luthor led protestants away from catholicism. How do you tell when you are being led to extremes or a better" ism?"

  • Rick Houdack posted at 7:50 pm on Fri, Aug 29, 2014.

    Rick Houdack Posts: 188

    What, exactly, does "fundamentalist" mean?
    It refers to those who abide by the fundamentals of that religion. To the faith, they are not extreme, they are devout true believers. When clerics like Frank Nolton beseech readers to join him in revival of fundamental zeal at his church, or Ron Arthur chastises those who do not, like him, reject "Vatican II", they are following the core beliefs of their faiths. Normal people may grow uneasy around true believers because of their perceived extremism, but if people would only read for themselves what the bible is actually selling, they would drop the silly notion of "faith" like a hot rock.

  • M. Doyle posted at 6:56 pm on Tue, Aug 26, 2014.

    M Doyle Posts: 187

    For future reference, your participation would not have seemed intrusive, at least as far as I am concerned. Sometimes it takes another approach to make a point or break a stalemate.

  • Christina Welch posted at 11:06 am on Tue, Aug 26, 2014.

    Christina Welch Posts: 460

    Thomas, I totally agree that organized religion (particularly extremist or fundamentalist ones) have done some major damage in this world throughout history and to this day. Religion has been used to justify murder, rape, and persecution. Not at all the "loving and caring doctrine of Jesus," as Walter said on another thread.

  • Thomas Heuer posted at 5:55 pm on Mon, Aug 25, 2014.

    nth degree wise Posts: 1669

    I had to dig down deep to find an original post by M. Doyle that launched a series of back and forth comments that went in some interesting directions but never quite reached the desired objective. The comment was ;
    " M. Doyle posted at 3:14 pm on Wed, Aug 13, 2014.
    "To any of the theists who wish to respond:

    How do you decide what is real and what is not?
    How do you decide what claims are true and which are not?"

    It seems the conversation has concluded so I feel I can raise the issue without feeling I'm intruding.

    A couple of stumbling blocks kept dodging the main question. First the word facts. It is the some total of all that is is "experinceable" in the known world. The second stumbling blocks are the two words truth and belief or all that is subjectively experinceable by an individual.

    In the "experiencable" world we have the ability to verify factual claims that are made by verification with other factual sources. However when things are presented to us about the beliefs we hold they can have claims that I feel Mr Doyles question is asking.

    My thoughts come from history when claims were made to peoples beliefs that there was such a thing as witches. The claims were not simply to accept that fact but also to act on that claim, in other words, torture and punish them. It was held in the bible that adulterers when discovered were to be stoned to death. We have somehow decided not to do that any more at least in our western civilization.

    Now we are faced with radical islam and currently it is in the form of ISIS or ISIL where radical religious beliefs are reacting to more religios claims being made that is acquiring more followers causing many to take extreme actions against people based on the new beliefs.

    So the question is how do you differentiate religious claims within religious contexts as to whether they are true or not? Do you believe in witches or not? If not why not? Do you believe adulterers should be stoned to death? If not why not?

    If I may presume an answer for you your beliefs are structured not so much on what is found in the bible, or koran, or torah but from your socially accepted norms. Lets save the discussion for later that our social norms are based on religious beliefs. So if you are presented with a radical idea you will most likely dismiss it. But if the radical idea is slowly started from a simple idea that you can say OK to then another simple acceptable idea then another and another till you have accepted the very foundations of that original radical idea it is merely a rousing speech and fast talker to have you totally committed to the radical idea and ready to act on it even if it means hurting people. Any idea can be fitted to a divine idea and has.

    I know it would be hard to admit to but I just wanted introduce the thought that after all the discussion here it should boil down to how do you guard your beliefs against what tries to get into your belief systems. What is true and what is not and how do you tell. New religious claims are made regularly and have resulted in our multiple christian denominations and off shoots. Why would you not celebrate christmas or accept modern medicine or remain in a society based mostly on the norms of the 18th and 19th centuries?

    Please forgive me Mr Doyle if I have in any way misspoken your original intentions with your question. I will respectfully dismiss my interpretation and leave my remarks totally independent of your question if I have.

  • Christina Welch posted at 1:12 pm on Mon, Aug 25, 2014.

    Christina Welch Posts: 460

    I think Nedderman said we both write "tomes." I consider myself in good company, Thomas. [smile]

  • Thomas Heuer posted at 12:30 pm on Sun, Aug 24, 2014.

    nth degree wise Posts: 1669

    Boy. And they accuse me of being long winded.

  • Thomas Heuer posted at 11:42 am on Sun, Aug 24, 2014.

    nth degree wise Posts: 1669

    Ms Kaur

    I find myself indebted to you again. Thank you for sharing the links below. It confirms what I came to understand about Mr Nedderton. Rick was more on top of it than I was. I really appreciate your efforts and in your son recognizing him as being a "troll" who blogged here in the past. And BTW I consider David Diskin a friend.

    Thanks again

  • Michael Nedderman posted at 11:33 am on Sun, Aug 24, 2014.

    Mike Nedderman Posts: 63

    "...the heart that will not move." I like that turn of phrase, Jien Kaur. Very good. I hope you don't mind if I use it in the future. I can tell that English isn't your native tongue, which presents certain difficulties, but this phrase is a good one, and I suspect it may be how your native language expresses the same thought. I find language is fascinating, I just wish I had been a better student.

    In light of my appreciation for your writing generally, it is often a bit difficult to follow. In light of that difficulty, I hope I wonder if I'm misunderstanding your statement:

    "...I will pray for you that your heart will stay without the abuse and hate of you fellow humans that might the disagree with you belief and opinion."

    First, thank you for the prayer and kind sentiment. However, I am concerned about why you are praying. Correct me if I'm mistaken, but are you asserting that I need such prayer because you believe that I hate and have abused others on this page? If that is what you are saying, Jien Kaur, please support it by quoting whatever I have written that leads you to make that accusation.

    If you cannot produce any reference at all, I would urge you to recant your accusation, if that is what it is, for it will be, ipso facto, a false accusation and, therefore, abusive of me. I'm sure a nice person like you would not want to intentionally abuse me as such a false accusation would most certainly do.

  • Thomas Heuer posted at 11:28 am on Sun, Aug 24, 2014.

    nth degree wise Posts: 1669


  • Christina Welch posted at 8:43 pm on Sat, Aug 23, 2014.

    Christina Welch Posts: 460

    Absolutely, M, I gave you that thumbs up, and I totally agree that it is family and love that gives meaning to this life. All those subjective human experiences are what defines a person’s life, what helps to create truth for them. And in no way have I been saying these experiences have been missing in your life, and I apologize if that’s how it seems. I never doubted you experiencing love, passion, beauty, and all those human constructs, M, we just differed on the significance of them in terms of understanding what is truth.

    As a social science major, I am well aware of the nature of study in this discipline and with that, the incredible significance of human constructs in the making of society. How can anyone ignore human emotions, perceptions, and realities when studying people? Social Science is very relative in its approach of studying the human condition, and truth is highly subjective. Consider the dropping of the A-Bomb to end WWII; if you were to read a US textbook and a Japanese textbook’s account, that “fact” would be handled quite differently. Objective facts do not stand alone in history, sociology, psychology, or political science; there is always a subjective quality to determining what is “real.” That is probably why I radiated toward that in college, I have always been fascinated by the human condition (and I wasn’t that great in math and science in high school anyway.)

    It seems clear to me now that you were not having the philosophical debate with me that I thought we were having. You have wanted this to be specifically about the role of religion and God in establishing truth, and you aren’t going to listen to anything I have to say until I explain my position specifically on that (even though there is way more to life than religion.) So, yes I believe in God. I do not believe there is any objective fact to prove it, but I don’t need it to be proven; that’s why it’s called faith (remember our science vs faith discussion? I said it then, too.) I also believe there is objective fact to prove evolution (not that I remember the details from high school), and I believe the theory to be true. I am not a Creationist and I do not think it should be taught in public school. God is part of my truth, and I am not alone; some belief in a higher power is the truth for over 80% of people in the world. And I bet the vast majority of them also don’t think there is objective proof; it doesn’t matter. We don’t believe in Elvis, we believe in some sort of God(s) and that is universal in the human experience.

    Faith is absolutely a human construct, M. Along with beauty, love, passion, art, literature, music, and all those wonderful aspects of humanity. And they all help contribute to what one sees as truth in their lives. Of course, there are those zealots who will look at faith in absolute terms, as something to be proven, but I think they miss the mark. I think that is in part why I replied to your original questions, to show you that not all people who believe in God are like Mr Nedderton. As a theist, I find truth in my faith in God. I do not need to attend church for this, and I certainly don’t think I need to preach about it and judge others for it. I see religion and faith as different concepts, and I know religion has been used to create some horrible meanings of truth. But simple, personal faith can be a beautiful thing and very real in someone's life.

    I also find truth in my daughter’s beautiful blue eyes, and the touch of my husband’s lips. Truth in a Led Zeppelin song, or a delicious meal. Truth is hiking in Yosemite and hearing the laughter that is often in my home. Truth in helping and accepting others and appreciating mankind. Truth in a beautiful painting and the loyalty of a dog. You reflect your truth in how you live your life and you find truth by living it. To me, the meaning of truth is not just objective facts, it is the human element.

    There is an affective quality to truth and understanding as much as there is an effective quality. We are not robots or Dr Spocks that live in a purely objective world and can think and analyze without human constructs. We are human, and that comes with all the unmeasurable, philosophic, interpretive stuff that can’t easily be assigned a simple “true” or “false” label. That over-simplifies the human experience.

    I don’t believe this way because I am trying to justify the existence of God, M. I don’t need to, not even in a religious sense. Many religions say that our behaviors are what gets us into heaven, but I don’t believe that. I haven’t been baptized, I don’t believe in missionary work, or Sunday School, seminary, or tithing. I don’t read the Bible. I am not a compassionate person because the Bible tells me to be, I just am. I don’t have to justify my existence in terms of God or the Bible. I just have faith. And that, along with everything else, is how I find truth. Tell you what, I think the world would be a much better place if more people stopped thinking in terms of absolutes. There are far too many “absolute truths” out there for any of them to be solely absolute. When looking past the objective world, what “actually exists” is quite relative.

  • Jien Kaur posted at 6:55 pm on Sat, Aug 23, 2014.

    Jien Kaur Posts: 370

    To the big surprise of you that sure you do not believe I do not like to be fan of the abuse discussion that the mr Nedderman enjoy to have.

    Like the mr Kinderman that I say I will pray for you that your heart will stay without the abuse and hate of you fellow humans that might the disagree with you belief and opinion. No necessary to discuss any more the heart that will not move.

  • Rick Houdack posted at 12:58 pm on Sat, Aug 23, 2014.

    Rick Houdack Posts: 188

    Thomas, you have arrived at the conclusion I predicted a week or two ago. The "usual suspects" among the zealots who habitually blog here understand their positions look only sillier when defended and explained, leaving them only word games (Paglia & Nedderman) or retreat into silence (Kinderman). Their brand of logic works only on children.

  • Michael Nedderman posted at 12:17 pm on Sat, Aug 23, 2014.

    Mike Nedderman Posts: 63

    Hi Ms. Kaur. I am flattered to learn that you are a fan of mine. And thank you for pointing Thomas and M to two of my debates with David Diskin, one of which appeared under a letter that I wrote. I'm glad you enjoyed them.

    I have written many others around that time, and earlier in 2009, which I hope you and they will also seek out and read (I actually once wrote a book on writing letters to the editor).

  • M. Doyle posted at 9:44 am on Sat, Aug 23, 2014.

    M Doyle Posts: 187

    I thought I was very, very clear about my point of view, Christina. Just to sum it up again, I think that without evidence, it is impossible to claim that something is real, true, or a fact. Claims without evidence are all equal--underbed monsters are equal to Zeus are equal to the Hebrew God. I had no idea how theists sorted this out, so I asked all of you. It was always a discussion about God and religion at it's core. I asked theists (God people), not everyone, where they draw the line between fantasy and reality. After all, this is a thread about religious claims. No one seemed to be able to state an answer. I don't think it's something theists have ever given any thought to, but I thought I'd ask to see if there was some logic that I had missed. It seems not. If you could answer that question--which was the basis for this discussion--then that could have moved the conversation forward, but no answer was given. Please excuse me for making inferences--I had no actual answers with which to make a judgement.

  • M. Doyle posted at 7:54 am on Sat, Aug 23, 2014.

    M Doyle Posts: 187

    Christina, I recently posted a statement on another thread to the effect that no one needs the supernatural to find meaning in their life and need look no further than their family and the people they love. You gave that a big thumbs up. Now you appear to be saying over and over that this (as part of all things subjective) is missing from my world view and you need some sort of mystery intangibles for meaning in life. I have no idea what any of that has to do with how you know what is real and how you know what is made up, which was my original question. You've never answered that although I kept trying. If you were a social science major, you know how social scientists study the human condition, so I don't understand your questions about the subjective nature of love and beauty and what not, or what they have to do with how you know what is real, true, factual, and what is myth. I kept trying to steer the conversation back to that point, but you weren't going there. It's ok. Like I said, you seem like an intelligent person to me, just not willing to address the question at hand and it was becoming more and more frustrating with the detours into word definitions. No worries. Maybe some other time we can address the original question. For now, it seems impossible. I think "real" for you involves what makes you feel good and fills a need in you life, and for me it means that which actually exists. Communication is impossible on this. Good luck. I wish you no ill will.

  • Jien Kaur posted at 7:45 am on Sat, Aug 23, 2014.

    Jien Kaur Posts: 370

    Mr Heuer and mr Doyle - it take long time to find these discussion because I not remember well when but here are link to two discussion that the mr Nedderman have with the mr Diskin many months past. I remember it not wise to make the engage in discussion with this person because he end with insult and the be little of others. My son who love internet discuss say this is like the internet 'troll' of the rules here.



  • M. Doyle posted at 7:37 am on Sat, Aug 23, 2014.

    M Doyle Posts: 187

    Again, what Mr. Heuer said.
    You've negated your own statement and rendered it moot. Your goal appears to be self aggrandizing word games. No logic, only chest beating. Good luck with that. Maybe a corvette would help.

  • Christina Welch posted at 10:33 pm on Fri, Aug 22, 2014.

    Christina Welch Posts: 460

    The questions I have asked have been to you, M, for your point of view, I and I had to repeat myself because you never answered the first time. We were having a discussion, M. You would call me on something I wrote and I would respond, sometimes with a question, in defense of my position. And you did the same; you already "knew the answers" to the questions you asked of me. Why the above comment, to make me look like I was being disingenuous?

    So sorry that I seem so unintelligent in my comments, M, I wasn't trying to cite theories I learned in college, I was just speaking from the heart. This hasn't been a contest or a game for me, M, and I'm sorry to see that it seems like it has been for you. (BTW--I never took a Psych class, and the only humanities were my lower division stuff over a decade ago. I was a social science and history major.)

  • Michael Nedderman posted at 6:18 pm on Fri, Aug 22, 2014.

    Mike Nedderman Posts: 63

    Finally, M, you did something right! Now I can show you how it is done! This is how you answer a hypothetical question:

    In response to your hypothetical question, M, the answer is "yes," it is hypothetically possible that God is a figment of my imagination. However, in actuality (the converse of hypothetically), God is not a figment of my imagination because He is the Creator of all which exists.

    See how easy that was. Why couldn't you, Thomas, or Rick have done that? Of course, that's a really easy question to answer, isn't it, M?

  • Thomas Heuer posted at 6:13 pm on Fri, Aug 22, 2014.

    nth degree wise Posts: 1669

    Mr Doyle
    Be advised that Mr Nedderton doesn't like answering questions. Your questions can only be considered secondary, or tertiary or non sequitur. He is only interested in playing games where he is in total control and doesn't have to explain himself. Failure to answer his "primary" question only leads to insults and him elevating his own self importance in his own mind to levels that reality fails to share.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 6:12 pm on Fri, Aug 22, 2014.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2106

    Well then. I guess we will have to table the discussion for about 50 years when we are both dead and have the discussion again.

    Of and congratulations on mastering invisibility. It came naturally in my family but I understand that others can acquire it through effort.

  • Christina Welch posted at 6:00 pm on Fri, Aug 22, 2014.

    Christina Welch Posts: 460

    I am parsing words, M? Sir, I’d say that’s been more your game in all this. I’m willing to call this a stalemate, but I’m not willing to let you imply that it’s because I won’t open up my mind to your thoughts. I have done that in spades.

    You say, "I have explained the word fact more times than it is productive. " so I was right earlier, you haven't been reading my words. I was explaining my meaning of the word fact, too, M (after you wanted to drop the word truth, which was the original point of discussion.) I thought the exchange of ideas is part of a debate. But it is now confirmed for me again that it never was a debate for you, you just wanted to teach me something that you believe to be true, and you never cared to hear what I had to say. You just wanted to prove me wrong without even really hearing what I said. How many times have I had to repeat myself in all this, M? More times than I should, if you had really been listening to me. Not agreeing, but at least listening, as the courtesy that I gave to you time and again. And now you’re saying that it’s ME with a closed mind? Talk about a hypocrite!

    You said, ..."[I} explained your questions about objective and subjective ideas..." Really? This debate, if one follows it (which is hard to do since you kept replying at the top and ruining the train of thought) was pretty much me answering YOUR questions, M. The questions I did ask of you were often ignored. And where am I “...still claiming confusion?” Just because someone disagrees with you, M, it doesn’t mean they are confused. That statement only further confirms what I have just written. Man, what an ego.

    For the record, M, this discussion has never been about faith or religion. We covered that on a different thread, the science vs faith discussion. This conversation has been a philosophical discussion about what is real and true. At least that’s what I thought it was; you clearly had other motives in mind. You wanted to debate the supernatural? Wish you would’ve started with that, ‘cause you would’ve saved me a lot of time and effort. Geeze!

  • M. Doyle posted at 3:58 pm on Fri, Aug 22, 2014.

    M Doyle Posts: 187

    Just for kicks:
    Hypothetically speaking, is it possible your god is a figment of your imagination, a fantasy crutch to assuage your fear of death, and/or simply a myth?

    Be brave in answering.

  • Thomas Heuer posted at 3:57 pm on Fri, Aug 22, 2014.

    nth degree wise Posts: 1669

    Mr Nedderton,
    Thats it, we're done.
    You want to continue the insults that now include paranoia so we have nothing more to discuss. Thanks for letting me know I didn't have to explain what I thought was subtle hostility since you clearly exhibit open hostility. Don't reply because I don't want you to confirm my new suspicion that you are one s..k puppy. There's no fear in admitting to a god. I've done it many times in my life and then figured out it was all in my head. I don't wish to know anymore whats in your head. Bye

  • Michael Nedderman posted at 11:18 pm on Thu, Aug 21, 2014.

    Mike Nedderman Posts: 63

    Thank you for your reply, Thomas. I now understand you much better.

    I realize, based upon your last post, that your problem is much, much deeper than merely having a closed mind, which you clear have. You have my deepest sympathy, Thomas. You are so paranoid that you might somehow admit God exists that you cannot answer a simple hypothetical question—and so you write two posts totaling 3,309 words rather than just giving the correct answer, which is a single word, “yes.”

    There is only one correct answer, Thomas, to any hypothetical question, and you couldn't bring yourself to do it with this one. “Why” is the question you need to ponder.

    Please reread what you wrote, my friend, convoluted as it is, and ponder why you are so afraid (to the nth degree of paranoia) to give the correct answer to my hypothetical question, which is, and can only be that single word affirmative, “yes.”

    Not wanting to exacerbate your paranoia, but as you reread your last post, my friend, imagine what others are thinking as they read it. Again, you have my deepest sympathy, Thomas.

  • M. Doyle posted at 8:03 pm on Thu, Aug 21, 2014.

    M Doyle Posts: 187

    Christina, I want to add that I believe you to be far more intelligent than your comments here portray. I am assuming that you have taken at least a few humanities or psychology courses, and you already know the answers to many of the questions you've asked over and over.

  • M. Doyle posted at 7:54 pm on Thu, Aug 21, 2014.

    M Doyle Posts: 187

    Christina, I agree. we are at an impasse. you want to parse words and that will lead us nowhere. I have explained the word "fact" more times than is productive, explained your questions about objective and subjective ideas, but you are still claiming confusion. There is a lot of cognitive dissonance involved in questioning one's faith. Defending an untenable position is stressful, and it's felt like you've used the parsing of words to avoid any real debate about the supernatural.

  • M. Doyle posted at 7:44 pm on Thu, Aug 21, 2014.

    M Doyle Posts: 187

    Kevin, the burden of proof is on the person making the claim. If you want to make a claim for the existence of a higher power, you have to provide evidence. there are mountains of evidence, though, discounting various events and miracles that Christians claim to be true. We could go there, but I don't think you ever intended to. Because so much fear is instilled in children regarding "god", examining one's faith is a scary proposition. I completely understand your reluctance.

  • M. Doyle posted at 7:35 pm on Thu, Aug 21, 2014.

    M Doyle Posts: 187

    What Thomas Heuer said.

  • Rick Houdack posted at 7:21 pm on Thu, Aug 21, 2014.

    Rick Houdack Posts: 188

    Kevin Paglia, wants the mountain of evidence proving his version of god doesn't exist? Well, I think it is piled just as high as the mountain of evidence that Zeus is not really THE god and the evidence that Mohamed did not fly to heaven on Pegasus and the evidence that certain flavor combinations of frozen yogurt can grant you the ability to fly. Did you know that I have the ability to become invisible, Kevin? It's true. All I have to do is teach you the five magic words and you can become invisible, too. Using your logic, all these statements are equally true unless you can prove them to be false?

  • Thomas Heuer posted at 3:33 pm on Thu, Aug 21, 2014.

    nth degree wise Posts: 1669

    Ms Kaur
    Thank you again

  • Thomas Heuer posted at 11:50 am on Thu, Aug 21, 2014.

    nth degree wise Posts: 1669

    Mr Nedderton
    Like I said there are no difficult questions just convoluted ones.
    Now so we are clear I am responding to your request to explain my earlier remarks. You have referred to it as an accusation which wasn't clearly an accusation but more like an insinuation. There is a difference.

    Let’s begin with your early post where you were rather new here, at least to me, and you seemed to have a predetermined strategy rather than just simply joining in the discussion to rebut a point. At first you did seem to want to counter Rick’s original statement about being misled by religion for eons. I don’t have the exact quote because trying to piece together the train of dialogue especially, chronologically, is tedious. And since you, awhile back, announced you discovered or rediscovered the “Reply” button you’ve used it trying to follow posts that have been now lost to the depths of long ago and far between.

    Now when I read your words there was a controlled sense of carefully choosing words. If you ever saw 2001: A Space Odyssey and remember the voice of the talking computer HAL that is what your writing sounded like in my head. That controlled speech masking true intentions. You present your hypothetical question to Rick. That was all well and good until you decided you weren’t getting the response you wanted. Then you started with the insulting, goading , taunts like a kid who just learned a slight of hand card trick trying to get someone, anyone (in this case a non-believer) to pick a card to show off a dazzling skill.

    For example you offer “However, I am stunned, Rick, that you don’t seem to mind proclaiming that your mind is closed: “…we both know how this exchange will go.” Either that is evidence that you have a closed mind, or you are God and know the future."

    “Evidence that you have a closed mind is insulting and not very neighborly which is goading someone to participate in your “trick”. Then the “…or you are God and know the future." What is that? Added insult? Yes its rude and I should correct myself that it’s not very subtle either.

    Now when I made my comment, I’m not sure to whom, it redirected your remarks to me which I chose to ignore but you insisted and presented your hypothetical question to me. I looked at all your unanswered questions and decided to answer them all. And you weren’t satisfied with my answers as well. You began the goading and insulting remarks about open mindedness (or lack of). I resented the setting up of the parameters of the debate with an untenable proposition. Most people would begin such a discussion with “I would like to prove to you...” or I” would like to demonstrate to you…” and then acknowledge that you wish to use a hypothetical question (or series of questions) to prove or demonstrate your point or “trick”. Instead you keep the game plan to yourself with the hope of a grand surprise in the end. Presumably to display your cleverness like the kid with the card trick.

    Now at this point you’ve already let Ed know, in your discussion with him, that there are primary questions and secondary questions. Ed was focusing on specific questions you deemed secondary and refused him demonstrating you’re desire to structure a debate and not answer questions here. This is after all an opinion forum.

    Now you also revealed that you worked with an attorney (not sure in what capacity or for how long). This would tend to explain some of your writing. But even more revealing is your comment “…I am very careful not to let emotion enter into my comments, but it appears that neither you nor Rick appreciate that. It seems that you infer hostility simply because someone disagrees with you and asks you difficult questions." No Mr Nedderton you make the wrong inference as I told you there are no difficult questions only convoluted questions and people disagree with me all the time let’s not be silly. However you chose not to deal with Ed’s questions so who is open minded or not, and who is trying to control the discussion? This guarding your emotions is the “subtle and stealth” I picked up on with the manner of your speech. That carefulness lends to ‘OK, what’s he really thinking under all that control.’

    Now once again to the hypothetical question(s).

    “Hypothetically speaking, Thomas, if there is an all-powerful, all-knowing God who created everything which exists, then what the Bible depicts is not out of the realm of possibility. Can you agree with that?”

    Let me repeat my answer to the hypothetical question. No.

    Why, again because you mix several debate elements into a single proposition. If I agree there is a god that doesn't validate what is depicted in the bible in any realm of possibility even hypothetically. I can say OK hypothetically there is a god. Does that therefore mean the bible has validity in the realm of possibilities? How is it you believe the bible has anything to do with a god? What is your connection? I don’t know how to make this clearer for you?

    Realm of possibility? If god therefore bible? What is the connecting link? Only you have made a connection in your head.

    You need to further define from all-powerful, all-knowing, created everything which exists god which was a onetime act (creation-hardly takes up a page in Genesis). However the bible (all the rest) has a god who worked beyond (or even separate from) creation and talked to people, impregnates women, has off spring, crumbles Jericho with some fancy trumpet work, floods the world, de-floods the world, uses bushes as torch light, carves stone with no tools, make wood turn into snakes, causes all manner of plagues, etc. This changes the realm of possibilities. Until god is defined to reconcile with the bible the hypothetical is untenable to draw any inferences from as I’ve said all along.

    Realm of possibility? If Chang Beer therefore bible? What is the connection?
    (I don’t know but it seems it would go down a lot easier)

    My concession to multiple elements and undefined elements (god, bible) leaves you open with several avenues to further pursue "hypothetical" questionings (remember primary and secondary) like a shell game. You want me to agree to a pig in a poke. You want to turn a discussion into a chess match and you are operating from a game plan you don't wish to share. You’re like a Pharisee with the trick questions. This has nothing to do with my having an open mind. You are free to draw any conclusion you wish however if you continue to accuse me of having a closed mind based on a game then I will only assume you are continuing to insult which ends all discussion. And in case you might consider calling your goading taunts merely an urge to be “sporting” I won’t buy it. Now I have taken some time to answer your several questions (I have several counts as to the lengths I went) and if you have other questions I will be glad to answer. I have fulfilled all of your requests.

    BTW I wasn't doing a brief as you jokingly posited. I was doing an interrogatory. As you should know they can be quite lengthy.

  • Jien Kaur posted at 8:49 am on Thu, Aug 21, 2014.

    Jien Kaur Posts: 370

    Thank you for you answer mr Heuer. I think that you and I agree in some what of the same manner. I looked very quickly at the book you talk of on the Amazon and it obvious more complex than the little page I read.

    I have study some of many religion to compare and understand to my own and have read other books a little but to a history view much like you book you the recomend and the many agree that some person was living the ancient time but he or a combined persons have very very little to offer to the story of the bible that the Jesus diciples make. Most of traveling prophets seem to be a civil problem of the Roman rule of ancient time and make the story of the Jesus into a much big fantasy story.

  • Michael Nedderman posted at 11:14 pm on Wed, Aug 20, 2014.

    Mike Nedderman Posts: 63

    First, M, the format here is confusing enough if you post under the comment to which you are replying, but putting your comment on top, as if it were not connected to my earlier post, makes a difficult situation impossible for anyone trying to follow this debate.

    Having read you (M), Thomas, and Rick, I got the distinct impression that none of you were willing to engage in an honest debate with an open mind. But before giving up on each of you, I conducted a test--merely prudent before investing the huge amount of effort that others have done here (I have invested a fair amount of effort). I'm sure you will agree that discussing evidence is important AFTER determining whether or not ones debate partners are reasonable people. After all, debating with a close-minded person is like arguing with a drunk, right?

    Therefore, I asked a hypothetical question regarding my side of the argument just to see if Thomas or you were capable of seeing the other side's argument (I've kinda given up on Rick...or he's given up on me?). I also asked and personally answered the converse of that question to demonstrate that I am reasonable, have an open mind, and can answer a simple hypothetical question that demonstrates I see your side of the debate.

    I passed, and you failed that test, M. Thomas and Rick fail by default--obviously, neither of them are capable of even trying to answer my hypothetical question. I suspect they understand how you have exposed the fact that you have a closed mind to everyone reading this thread.

    Why should I waste any further time debating someone (you, Thomas, and Rick) who is so stubbornly, and so blindly, attached to his position that he literally refuses to answer a simple hypothetical question, especially when I have clearly explained that it is a test of your veracity?

    In other words, I gave you the answer, M, but you hate the argument of the other side (likely it's God you hate) so much that you still couldn't bring yourself to even type the words of the opposing argument with the explicit qualification that it is NOT your belief (that is what a hypothetical question is, M)--simply amazing, M, simply amazing. The depth of your close-mindedness is truly scary. In all sincerely, please reflect upon this dialogue and consider reevaluate your position.

  • M. Doyle posted at 10:02 pm on Wed, Aug 20, 2014.

    M Doyle Posts: 187

    I'd like to correct a misstatement typed in haste. Leaving out words inadvertently makes meaning unclear.

    Without evidence, we can not claim that something exists, and extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

  • Christina Welch posted at 9:42 pm on Wed, Aug 20, 2014.

    Christina Welch Posts: 460

    M, again, I never said facts are beliefs. I have already described them as objective, etc etc many times. I thought we had cleared that up. And, where did I ever say Thomas confirmed for me that using “truth” in this conversation is unsatisfactory? Quite the opposite, really. From the reading I did at his suggestion, I actually felt my thoughts were confirmed. You are the one that doesn’t want to discuss truth anymore, even though it was your original question of how does a theist determine what is real and true that began this whole discussion. Words are important, M, and I have time and again explained my understanding of truth. And I have explained where I see facts fitting into my understanding of truth.

    Now we are on to the idea of existence... I am not claiming that objective things can exist without factual evidence. Objective facts are provable rights or wrongs, correct or incorrect. The stuff of your statement “some things exist and some things do not.” But, I still don’t see how you measure love or beauty or passion or how subjective things can fit into your statement. ( I asked you how you measure love and beauty, but you didn’t directly answer me. And that’s fine, those are pretty personal questions. ) Love, emotion, empathy, etc may have been studied and observed, but what “fact” has been determined about them? Just the fact that they exist is not enough for me and doesn’t create any meaning or understanding.

    My point has been about the subjective, and that there are subjective “things” that exist outside the realm of objective fact. This is what I see as truth, both the objective and subjective, and human emotion is the latter. Yes, emotions exist, but that hardly makes them fact as you seem to be asserting. How are they universally right, as an objective fact must by definition be? How are they correct or incorrect? They are only “fact” in a subjective sense. Are you saying that the existence of something alone makes it fact? If that’s true, then crazy websites like Infowars would be fact simply because they exist. If human constructs like art, literature, music and the like are facts simply because they exist, then wouldn’t that include religion and faith, too? I'm sorry, but I just don't see these human experiences as objective fact. I am afraid that we are not agreeing on our definition of fact, either. Perhaps we are just at an impasse.

  • Thomas Heuer posted at 8:37 pm on Wed, Aug 20, 2014.

    nth degree wise Posts: 1669

    Ms Kaur
    Thank you for your Aug 19 (1PM) comment and giving me the opportunity to explain my claim. First you are expressing the common understanding, as it stands today, that Jesus existed. I tend to agree with that (its complicated) however if you notice in this one claim I offered support, referencing the book and author, where this claim comes from. The book and the author (whom I met) makes a compelling case for the scant evidence of Jesus existence. And truly there is very little. If you review the Wikipedia topics of 1 Josephus on Jesus and 2 Historicity of Jesus the evidence of support is scant however the scholars involved have much of their opinions being based on circumstantial rather than direct evidence. The book I mentioned looks at all of these claims and refutes them. So we have a theory that goes against common accepted knowledge kind of like when Galileo tried to tell the world the sun was the center of the solar system which went against common knowledge of the earth centered solar system. Time will make a determination.

    Now accepting the existence of Jesus is as far as most scholars will go. Any other claims as to who he was or what he did does not have the same kind of scholarly support. So was he the man as described by the new testament? There is no evidence therefore that a man as described in the bible has any proof of actually being or doing what is said of him. The man, in essence, has no evidence of ever existing. Only that a man named Jesus (and there was more than one) existed. So you are correct a man named Jesus most existed but the man as described in the bible has no proof of existence.

    I have no idea what your experience with christianity is so it leaves me with a wide expanse of history to assume in brief. Anything about the man was written 70 to 80 years after his death. What was written underwent multiple editing’s. Jesus never wrote anything. Paul of Tarsus invented christianity (never knowing Jesus) so he is questionable as a source and the 4 gospels do not tell the same tale consistently so they are questionable sources as well. So if you have more information or anything considered direct evidence I would be most appreciative in seeing it.

    And yes Jesus apparently didn’t like sacrificing animals which was contrary to his religion of the day. He and I would be in agreement there.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 5:25 pm on Wed, Aug 20, 2014.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2106

    "If you adhere to a religious dogma, then you undoubtedly hold beliefs that are contradicted by mountains of evidence."

    I'm sorry, where are these mountains of evidence that a supreme entity does NOT exist?

    Weird how I use something as simple as the experience of riding a bike as a COMPARISON for explaining how experiencing something can change ones skepticism on something. And YOU take it to mean I am saying there are NO atheist bikers. I talk about there being something more beyond science that some experience and YOU take it to mean that I am saying you don't know what emotions are.

    You repeatedly mock and ridicule my belief system while I have repeatedly said science is valid and (in the original letter on evolution) praised science as something I love.

    It is obvious that communication between us on this issue will only bear negativity and I avoid negativity.

  • M. Doyle posted at 4:45 pm on Wed, Aug 20, 2014.

    M Doyle Posts: 187

    Christina, words are important. Thomas confirmed for you that using 'truth" is unsatisfactory in this kind of discussion. Facts are not "established" beliefs (ideas without support of evidence) and you will never get any academic or reasonably articulate person to agree with you in any context. If we can't agree on the meaning of words, then we only talk past each other and can not communicate effectively.

    This is not a complicated concept. Things exist because we have factual evidence that they exist. We have factual evidence that dogs, trees, germs, wind, art, literature, music, emotion, empathy, and hatred exist. They can and have all been studied and observed. We form subjective opinions about all of these things too. We like some trees more than others and have our own reasons for why. It doesn't change the fact that trees exist. They exist apart from subjective judgement of them.

    You seem to be claiming that things can exist without factual evidence. If this were true, then purple monsters with furry feet would exist because some child believed it due to a vivid dream, elvis would be both alive and dead, people would be convicted of crimes that never occurred, swamp water would be a cancer cure, etc. People BELIEVE these things are true, but you and I know they are not. Both theists (Nedderman) and atheists have confirmed this for you.

    If you adhere to a religious dogma, then you undoubtedly hold beliefs that are contradicted by mountains of evidence. If you have created your own spirituality dependent on supernatural beings, then you have conjured something no different than mythology, magic, or fairy tales. You believe these things because you have been indoctrinated, or it fills a need for you, or comforts you. some folks are very uncomfortable with uncertainty of mystery. Not saying that's you. People have different reasons for believing in ancient mythology and ghost stories. Not everything you have been told is true. People can have different opinions, but not their own facts.

    There are many kinds of belief, Christina. "Belief" can mean "hope." I believe I will have a wonderful time at the party. "Belief" can be an opinion. "Belief" can be holding something to be true without any evidence. This is a loaded word for many people, so where I have difficulty with "truth" due to convoluted meaning, I can understand where you might have difficulty with the multiple meanings of belief. We have agreed on the term fact and honestly, I think that is all we need to proceed.

    I am sorry you think I do not care what you have to say. Debate is an exchange of ideas. When we can't agree on the terminology, then we can't do that effectively. The theists here have made some wild accusations about me that can be disproven just from reading what I have repeatedly typed. I do not care only about facts; I respect them. Over and over, I say that there is much more to life, much, much more. There is no amount of emotion, mystery, awe, dreams, imagination, art, or literature that can make it true that the moon is made of cheese or that a bearded man lives in the sky. Some things exist and other things do not. I only asked how you know the difference.

  • M. Doyle posted at 3:58 pm on Wed, Aug 20, 2014.

    M Doyle Posts: 187

    Nedderman. I'm open to any and all evidence in support of whatever you want to claim. If you could demonstrate a violation of the laws of physics, you would probably win a nobel prize and absolutely deserve it.

  • M. Doyle posted at 3:52 pm on Wed, Aug 20, 2014.

    M Doyle Posts: 187

    Kevin, there is no logic in your disingenuous argument. Repeatedly I acknowledged that there was more to life than facts. Repeatedly, I stated that I experience the same emotions, joys and sorrows as everyone else. You've made up a lie about me because that's the only way you can understand someone who does not believe in magic.

    There are lots and lots and lots of atheist bikers, Kevin. google it--they have their own clubs. Secular humanists find exhilaration in the same activities as everyone else. I do not find excitement in riding motorcycles, but I have enjoyed some crazy exciting experiences--some you might enjoy too and others that would not be your cup of tea.

    Of course I have experienced a sense of awe at the mysteries of the universe. I stated that. All atheists experience this as far as I know. Sam Harris, one of the most well known atheist writers, calls this a kind of spirituality, a sense of wonder and appreciation for the natural world. You can't know the unbelievable things I have seen in my adventure travels. The difference between us is that I just marvel at it, but refuse to make up a fairy tale to explain it. Maybe some day it will be deciphered, but if it's not, I'm good with that. You need magical stories to explain the mysteries.

  • Michael Nedderman posted at 11:50 am on Wed, Aug 20, 2014.

    Mike Nedderman Posts: 63

    Your answer and comments are most welcome, M, especially since your answer confirms what I suspected about you.

    I hope you aren't so closed-minded that you can't see that your total inability to answer a simple hypothetical question betrays the fact that you, indeed, have a closed mind. That is true because you are so locked into what you believe that you can't even bring yourself to state the hypothetical position of your debate opponent.

    I asked the question of Thomas to test him for that negative condition because, and I'm sure you understand, trying to reason with a close-minded person is akin to trying to reason with a drunk. Perhaps Thomas will read this now, understand that I'm testing him, and answer my question correctly even though his mind may be as closed as yours, but I kinda doubt it. Or, he may avoid answering because he just can't bring himself to articulate the position against which his mind is closed. We shall see.

    But for the sake of those whom you debate, M, if not for your own sake, please reconsider your locked in mind-set because of its negative effects.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 11:32 am on Wed, Aug 20, 2014.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2106

    I should learn to refer to others to explain what I mean. This is a real world explanation of what I was trying to say http://www.near-death.com/experiences/atheists01.html

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 11:26 am on Wed, Aug 20, 2014.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2106

    I say you experience ONLY facts cause that is what you have said through out this discussion. The Mysteries of the universe, that which science cannot explain and you call "magic", are dismissed by you as mass hysteria, mental disorders and other rationalizations to dismiss the very real experiences people have had.

    And I never said or indicated a facts only person can'y enjoy life. I know and enjoy spending time with many people who are facts only type people. They experience something and quantify the experience. Others, like bikers, sky divers and such experience something and it moves us BEYOND the quantifiable experience. Maybe that is what this all comes down to, one's ability to quantify an experience or go beyond that quantification. Some just ride a motorcycle, some EXPERIENCE the ride.

    In the end the motorcycle analogy was simply a comparison to say I have experienced that which can be called the "Mystery" of the universe, you have not. You dismiss it solely because you have not had that experience, your perspective could change if you experienced some of that which I have. To use another analogy, much like the skeptic who sees a ghost for the very first time and realizes the skepticism was based on limited experience.

  • Christina Welch posted at 11:13 am on Wed, Aug 20, 2014.

    Christina Welch Posts: 460

    "Facts are the accepted beliefs in the various disciplines of academia" isn't the same as "facts are beliefs," M. And especially not in the context you were framing your comments to me. Sort of like the charlatan medicine thing...making it this big deal and leaving out the key word "established" that I used, thereby changing the meaning of what I was saying. You are very good at semantics, M, focusing an a word here or there rather than the full meaning of what someone is saying. I think it's because you really don't care what they have to say. You have your mind made up and nothing anyone can offer will change that. You don't really care about the conversation, you just care about being right and proving to others that they are wrong.

    Talking about "truth" hasn't worked out for you with me, so you now want to make it about "beliefs." Well, I don't think that term will work for me. Beliefs run on a continuum, M. "I believe I am hungry" is very different from having a belief system about something. Beliefs can be simple thoughts or ideas, or they can be truths. I think it is impossible to use that term in our discussion; I would rather stick with the term "truth."

    How do you measure love, M? Beauty? Passion? What kind of art or literature speaks to you? And if you measure it differently than me, who is correct? Those things I have described are subjective, M, and aren't fact, or right and wrong. Subjective means: "existing in the mind; belonging to the thinking subject rather than to the object of thought (opposed to objective)."

    You said, "People can make statements of fact about all these things, and they can offer their beliefs about them." Does that then mean you are conceding that truth is indeed relative? Because the statements of facts that people make about these things aren't going to be the same. Objective facts are correct or not. Subjective truth is changeable and differs from person to person.

  • M. Doyle posted at 8:56 pm on Tue, Aug 19, 2014.

    M Doyle Posts: 187

    Kevin, excuse my analogy, no insult intended, but you've asked a bunch of monkeys to explain why someone else might not like bananas. They can't comprehend it and have decided (as you have) that there must be some inherent flaw with the individual who is not fond of bananas. These folks are so egocentric that they have no ability to understand that different people have different interests. It's as simple as that. Do you think there are people who zealously skydive, deep sea dive, hike, mountain climb, skateboard, fly fish, marathon race, wine taste, ride horses, cultivate orchids, hunt wild game, handle snakes, etc who might feel the same in regard to their own passion???? Why is this so difficult for you to realize?

    Why would you decide that I can only experience facts? That's ridiculous. I respect facts and that's the sum of it. You ignore them for fantasy. I read today that 48% of Brits now claim to have no religious affiliations or notions. Do you think that 48% of the British population wanders though their lives like robots? I assure you, they do not. Again, you decide something is true and because you want it to be true, you do not fact check even the most obvious delusions. Kevin, I belong to a number of social groups, enjoy time with my family, have hobbies that bring me pleasure, travel for fun and relaxation, read voraciously, enjoy a good joke, drink too much on occasion, laugh until my sides hurt now and then, grieve when loved ones die, and have the same array of emotions, joys, and sorrows as every other human. The main difference between the two of us is that you believe in magic, and I do not.

    And just for the record, I've never been in a bike accident.

  • Rick Houdack posted at 7:11 pm on Tue, Aug 19, 2014.

    Rick Houdack Posts: 188

    Thanks, Jerome Kinderman, for taking time from your busy day of leisure to dam(n) my comments with faint praise; I consider your comment, along with detering Michael Nedderman's production of any more rambling manifestos, to be a double win.

  • M. Doyle posted at 6:40 pm on Tue, Aug 19, 2014.

    M Doyle Posts: 187

    Nedderman, I know you directed this question at Thomas, but I'd like the opportunity to answer it as well.

    "Hypothetically speaking, Thomas, if there is an all-powerful, all-knowing God who created everything which exists, then what the Bible depicts is not out of the realm of possibility."

    What the bible depicts can not be true. Period. Regardless of your hypothetical sky man. Archeological and historical evidence prove that most stories in the bible did not happen. Makes no difference if your magic man is real or not. The bible is a work of fiction.

  • M. Doyle posted at 6:33 pm on Tue, Aug 19, 2014.

    M Doyle Posts: 187

    Christina, you did say that facts were beliefs.

    From 9:29 pm on Sunday.
    "Facts are the accepted beliefs in the various disciplines of academia, . . ."

    No matter, I hope we have cleared that up, and I agree with Thomas that we can not use the word "Truth," and still speak the same language.

    You have asked about literature, beauty, love, art, passion, empathy, and a list of other ideas that people often judge subjectively. I don't understand your question. People can make statements of fact about all these things, and they can offer their beliefs about them. They are no different than any other concept. It is a fact that many people find the sunrise beautiful. It is not a fact that all people think this way. It is a fact that emotions can affect a person's actions, but we can not always predict in what ways. We can't always predict with accuracy which way a bird will fly either, and yet birds exist, and we can state facts about them based on evidence. All of these ideas you list exist and can be named and described, researched and measured like anything else. We have different opinions (beliefs) about them, but it doesn't change what they are.

    Can we agree that our notions held to be correct fall into the categories of either fact or belief?

    If so, what do you do when indisputable facts contradict your beliefs?

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 4:24 pm on Tue, Aug 19, 2014.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2106

    M. I posted this down below but it may be buried in all the since comments.

    I showed your response on a biker page and the unanimous response was that you may have rode a bike, but most assuredly did NOT get it.

    A couple wondered if you were in a wreck that turned you off bikes so much.

    The riding motorcycle is actually a very good parallel to spirituality. To someone like you riding a bike is nothing but facts and done for necessity. to a BIKER, it is much more than that. As the biker saying goes, Four wheels move the body, two wheels move the soul. The same biker love is true in this science vs religion, you experience the cold facts and little else, like when you rode. BUT others experience so much MORE of this creation we call the universe. We experiences it on a deeper, intangible level. Just because you can't measure that aspect, doesn't make it any less real.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 4:23 pm on Tue, Aug 19, 2014.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2106

    I showed your response on a biker page and the unanimous response was that you may have rode a bike, but most assuredly did NOT get it.

    A couple wondered if you were in a wreck that turned you off bikes so much.

    The riding motorcycle is actually a very good parallel to spirituality. To someone like you riding a bike is nothing but facts and done for necessity. to a BIKER, it is much more than that. As the biker saying goes, Four wheels move the body, two wheels move the soul. The same biker love is true in this science vs religion, you experience the cold facts and little else, like when you rode. BUT others experience so much MORE of this creation we call the universe. We experiences it on a deeper, intangible level. Just because you can't measure that aspect, doesn't make it any less real.

  • Michael Nedderman posted at 1:49 pm on Tue, Aug 19, 2014.

    Mike Nedderman Posts: 63

    Hi Thomas.

    A 2,006 word reply??? What did I do to deserve that? Years ago I worked for an attorney who used to call overly long briefs from opposing counsel "law by the pound," and it was not a compliment to their writing skill.

    And, why are you responding for Rick? Particularly relevant is the question: Why does your reply not address the primary question I asked you on the 13th? Are you conceding without conceding (a Bruce Leeism) that you, indeed, made a false accusation? Rick also made that very same false accusation, and has, like you, totally failed to support his accusation with whatever led him to believe that I was or am angry.

    Here's my 8/13 response to you:

    Quoting you Thomas: " If you follow his [referring to me] stealth attempt at subtlety you might glimpse his underlying hostility. I was going to respond to him but decided against it.

    "Reconsider, Thomas, and respond to me, but first quote whatever I wrote where you "glimpse[d my] underlying hostility." If you can't, then please withdraw your false accusation. I am very careful not to let emotion enter into my comments, but it appears that neither you nor Rick appreciate that. It seems that you infer hostility simply because someone disagrees with you and asks you difficult questions."

    That's the end of my 8/13 comment.

    Now, I'm going to take a wild guess that you won't be able to produce anything because you couched your false accusation in such vague terms: "...stealth attempt at subtlety you might glimpse his underlying hostility." Ponder your choice of words, Thomas, and the baselessness of your charge.

    = = = = = = = = = =

    Closed or confused mind, or both?

    Regarding whether or not your mind is closed, Thomas:

    I asked you a hypothetical question which you quoted and answered on the 14th. To illustrate my point, I asked and answered the converse of that question myself in my reply to you on the 16th. I did that so that you and I could evaluate whether or not either of our minds were capable of seeing the other person's position. I passed, but you failed.

    However, in your mammoth comment of the 17th, specifically in the 3rd paragraph (with numbers), it seems that you "didn't get it." In other words, it doesn't seem that you recognized my question as a hypothetical. Maybe you would like to take a second shot at it?

    Here it goes, and I'll add "hypothetically speaking" before "if" so there will be no confusion, as well as adding a conclusion for the same reason:

    Hypothetically speaking, Thomas, if there is an all-powerful, all-knowing God who created everything which exists, then what the Bible depicts is not out of the realm of possibility. Can you agree with that? If you can't, then there really is no point in this discussion because you have demonstrated that you cannot understand your debate opponent's position.

    Do you realize, Thomas, that your entire 2,006 word reply was based upon a failure to understand that I was asking a hypothetical question? Now, it might be useful to reread my post of the 16th completely, but I'll quote it in pertinent part:

    "To demonstrate that my mind is not slammed shut, I will submit to the same test: I agree that, hypothetically, if there is no Creator-God, most everything in the Bible is a fairy tale, certainly all the supernatural stuff which is the main theme. Let's call that Proposition #1.

    "However, the converse hypothetical is also valid, which was the point I futilely tried to make to your closed mind: if, hypothetically, there is a Creator-God, then the depictions of the supernatural in the Bible are at least possible—they still might not be true, but it is possible within the context of that hypothetical question. Let's call that Proposition #2.

    "Can you see, Thomas, that the question which must be pursued, the primary point of our disagreement is the question, 'Is there a Creator-God?' What do you say?

    "Perhaps you'd like to reconsider your debate ending mind-set?"

  • Christina Welch posted at 1:35 pm on Tue, Aug 19, 2014.

    Christina Welch Posts: 460

    Careful, Thomas, there are those on here that will ridicule you for using Wikipedia... But, I did look up truth during my lunch break. Wow. I, too, am amazed at the various meanings! In perusing the various schools of thought, this quote resonated with me:

    "Objective truths are concerned with the facts of a person's being, while subjective truths are concerned with a person's way of being. Kierkegaard agrees that objective truths for the study of subjects like mathematics, science, and history are relevant and necessary, but argues that objective truths do not shed any light on a person's inner relationship to existence. At best, these truths can only provide a severely narrowed perspective that has little to do with one's actual experience of life.[68]"

    I couldn't tell you much about Kierkegaard or what philosophy he represents, but I do agree with the quote. And I have enjoyed this exercise. Thanks for the suggestion. Truth definitely can have many different meanings, and I don't think any of them are necessarily "right" or "wrong." It's just a different way of thinking about it.

  • Jien Kaur posted at 1:00 pm on Tue, Aug 19, 2014.

    Jien Kaur Posts: 370

    I have to do the disagree with the mr Heuer on Jesus he say never lived. Much in history and sources of the ancient day about the man called Jesus of Nazareth. More that the Jesus was one of many of the prophets who want to make arguments against the rules of the Hebrews and the wrongs of making the animals the sacrifice for their god and the great money of the Hebrews priests. In the history sources the Jesus is very very of the different than bible story and not include story of miracles as later in bible story.

  • Michael Nedderman posted at 10:48 am on Tue, Aug 19, 2014.

    Mike Nedderman Posts: 63

    I'm hurt Christina. And yes, it is lazy. However, the threat of such a tome as you and Thomas produce has me cowering under my desk. I guess maybe I should thank you.

  • Thomas Heuer posted at 8:11 am on Tue, Aug 19, 2014.

    nth degree wise Posts: 1669

    Ms Welch
    Great commentary.
    However it does get painful stumbling over the word truth.
    I had to look up the word in dictionaries which helped only slightly.
    I finally looked up "Truth" on Wikipedia and was amazed at the variety of usages and meanings of the word truth. Maybe there it could be found a definition that matched your ideas of the word. The word does have fact based meaning while other meanings expanded from facts. It might facilitate communication and understanding.

    Otherwise good stuff.

  • Thomas Heuer posted at 7:58 am on Tue, Aug 19, 2014.

    nth degree wise Posts: 1669

    When you look at the end results of evolution it would appear somewhat haphazard and lucky to produce all the complexity of our primate based outcome. However if you were to look from the beginning of evolution facing an all things are possible proposition, you wouldn't have any idea what the end result could be. Each development in evolution would take place and you would have no idea where it was going to lead. A change at any point could lead to something entirely different. If the course followed a different path and we evolved into intelligent birds you would at that point say look how amazing and lucky it was for us to arrive at that point. But either way it is a haphazard and lucky process to become us with or without feathers. The alternative could have been no existence at all.

  • Christina Welch posted at 9:26 pm on Mon, Aug 18, 2014.

    Christina Welch Posts: 460

    I don't recall saying facts are beliefs, M. I totally agree that they are two different concepts. If you're bringing "beliefs" into our discussion now, then I would say they are more akin to my understanding of truth rather than to fact.

    So, again, I agree with you that facts are objective, observable, measurable. Facts don't just require evidence, often they are the evidence. I already said that, M. I also believe that truth is something bigger than mere facts alone, and I've said that. Not everything in life is objective fact. What about love, beauty, art, literature, philosophy, passion, compassion, empathy, and all those subjective, unmeasurable things? Those things are a part of what I consider to be truth, along with the facts, too.

    Facts are true, yes, of course, but they are not the totality of truth in my mind. Truth is bigger than that. I know you see them as one in the same, but I don't. And that's fine. I'm not in any way trying to convince you otherwise, and you aren't going to change my mind, either. I think we understand each other, we just don't agree.

    As for my reply to you about the charlatan medicine thing, you read way too much into that. I just hadn't considered it. No deep felt belief based on my life experiences, just something I didn't think of. I wasn't intentionally ignoring anything, and when it was pointed out, I agreed. "Oh, yeah, I hadn't thought of that, good point! " That's all.

  • Mike Adams posted at 7:35 pm on Mon, Aug 18, 2014.

    Mike Adams Posts: 1561

    I am a definite evolutionist (because science can or will someday) nail down human evolution without all the gaps that exist today. I don't practice a religion (although I am Baptist) and I cannot believe the Earth and stars and humans were all brought about in one week. Or even the longer "a week doesn't mean 7 actual Earth days" week. Unfortunately, creationists rely on pseudo science and pseudo scientists, quotes out of context, "experts" without backgrounds in anthropology, biology, archeology, etc. Most of the works I have seen from creationists are one quote from someone with a title or degree in something other than sciences. It's much akin to the novelty songs of the 70's with samples of famous people saying things and puting it to a popular song.

    On the other hand, the great amount of luck that would have been necessary is mind numbing. Being trained in the sciences I can say absolutely that ghosts, demons, werewolves, and vampires don't exist, have never existed and never will exist. That doesn't extend to UFO's which could be real. I've had experiences, but I would not label them UFO's. Just what they are: unidentified flying objects (or just unidentified objects in the air).

  • M. Doyle posted at 5:56 pm on Mon, Aug 18, 2014.

    M Doyle Posts: 187

    This assumption you make is completely untrue. No scientist or freethinker would ever agree with you. Some things we understand and have evidence to explain. Other things we can observe and wonder about, but do not as yet understand. They exist because there is physical or historical evidence. If we do not understand them, we say so. We do not make up a story about what we want to be true. There are many things I can not know, at least for now, and am fine with that.

    As for what you have experienced: Anything that can be seen, heard, or otherwise detected by human senses, can most definitely be measured and studied. Facts can be ascertained over time.

    This idea you have about motorcycles confuses me. You are assuming that everyone who does not understand your zeal has never ridden one. Even you must know that can't be a fact. I have ridden many motorcycles and owned one--it's been quite some years, but I have an adequate amount of experience. There are reasons to ride them and reasons to avoid them, but even with experience, I don't get the zeal. Maybe it's age, but other than cheap transportation, they seem unreasonably dangerous to me. In the reverse, there are many people (often young adults and teenagers) who have never ridden one but would die for the opportunity--always wanted one, always seemed fun. You believe this bumpersticker slogan because you want to, not because it is true. The evidence is all around you, but you ignore it.

  • M. Doyle posted at 5:35 pm on Mon, Aug 18, 2014.

    M Doyle Posts: 187

    We can not use the word "truth" or "Truth" to discuss this. It can mean different things that are diametrically opposed, and we will not understand each other.

    Let's stick with the words "facts" and "beliefs."

    Facts and "beliefs" are two different concepts. There is still confusion on this, as you are stating that facts are beliefs, and that can't be.

    A belief is an idea unsupported by evidence--a personal decision about what is real based on intuition, life experience, culture, tradition, delusion, emotions, etc. but in fact completely unsupported by any evidence at all. Sometimes beliefs continue to be held even when there are mountains of evidence against them (The schizophrenic who thinks Elvis lives), and some beliefs are easily extinguished. For example, you believed that there are no medical charlatans practicing today probably based on confidence in your physician and your life experience with the medical community, but ignoring facts that are clearly evident to all of us. When these facts were pointed out, it was easy for you to drop your belief and accept facts. Until last week, Kevin apparently believed that lots of people on welfare were able-bodied childless adults refusing to work--a decision he probably made based on his political persuasion, the news he accesses, what influential people have told him, and our culture. When the facts were pointed out to him that those kinds of people do not even qualify for assistance, it is assumed that he dropped his belief in favor of facts. Some beliefs may eventually be supported by evidence and become facts--in the meantime, we call them beliefs--something we hold to be true but can not prove or support with any physical or historical evidence.

    Facts are bits of information that are indisputable because they can be observed and measured, over and over and over and over--the Earth orbits the sun. Always the same and mountains of evidence support them. Sometimes a working hypothesis, law, or theory backed by quite a bit of research is assumed to be fact for practical reasons, but because in science nothing is ever final, it may later be amended or changed based on new evidence. Please do not confuse facts with beliefs on any level. Facts require evidence, and lots of it.

    Can we agree on those basic definitions so we can understand each other?

  • M. Doyle posted at 4:28 pm on Mon, Aug 18, 2014.

    M Doyle Posts: 187

    I don't understand how "why?" can be a fact check for anything. "Why does the universe operate in such a precise way?" is not a statement of fact. It is a question.

    I am assuming that you are answering all of these why questions yourself, although I imagine sometime others answer them for you. How do you know these answers are facts?

  • M. Doyle posted at 4:20 pm on Mon, Aug 18, 2014.

    M Doyle Posts: 187

    I think a person would have to be completely incurious to NOT wonder about that stuff. It's human nature, and the subject is awe-inspiring. Evolutionary biologists have very good evidence to answer all of those questions. Part of the difficulty people have in grasping the process is the time span involved. Our lifespans only last 70-100 years, so even recent events, such as the birth of our country seem like they occurred eons ago. It's difficult to have an understanding of what a million years might encompass, let alone many million. Richard Dawkins, an evolutionary biologist, does a very good job of answering all of those questions. Search for "Richard Dawkins explains evolution" on youtube.

  • Christina Welch posted at 9:29 pm on Sun, Aug 17, 2014.

    Christina Welch Posts: 460

    I am glad to see we finally are on the same page in this discussion, M, and glad you appreciate the role of emotions, perceptions, etc in our lives. And, I get what you’re saying about how the human experience isn’t “fact.” I never said it was, either; I said it was truth that is relative to the human experience. So, now, with emotions, experiences, and all that aside, as you ask, we can look at the facts as our common language.

    For me, facts are what I was taught in public school and college, and what I continue to read about or research today. Facts are objective, measurable, quantifiable, and that which is provable. Facts are the accepted beliefs in the various disciplines of academia, part of the scientific and historic record. That is “fact” to me, and I very much believe we agree on this point. Where we disagree is in the role these facts play in establishing truth. I believe there is no absolute truth, that it is subjective and relative based on culture, ethnicity, backgrounds, historic context and the like, but I do see that facts are absolute, just as you do. I think we just differ in how we view the role of these facts in determining truth.

    Also, very good point about the charlatan medicine still existing today, and I apologize for my misstatement. While we no longer do blood-lettings or fear stepping on cracks, there are indeed hundreds of unscrupulous people out there who promote false cures and false hopes, as you said. Thankfully, consumer protection laws are there to get rid of the truly dangerous ones, but you are right, there are still many fakes in our world today.

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 6:57 pm on Sun, Aug 17, 2014.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2370

    Well thankfully Mr. Nedderman had Mr. Heuer standing by to clear things up with his approximately 170 lines of elucidation. Nice try though, Mr. Houdack.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 6:02 pm on Sun, Aug 17, 2014.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2106

    I think I am beginning to understand WHY you cannot see our perspective. It it cannot be measured and written as fact then it can not be. If there is not a rational (according to science) explanation then it cannot have happen, cannot be.

    For those of use that HAVE experienced the unexplained we understand there is more than what can been measured. The best (non-religious) analogy I can use is riding a motorcycle. There is a patch/saying I see a lot "If you don't ride one, you will never understand". Since I started riding I have had many people wonder why and give me all sorts of reasons WHY I shouldn't ride. They will NEVER understand WHY I ride because they have not experienced it.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 5:49 pm on Sun, Aug 17, 2014.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2106

    I determine "Facts" by having the very simple question of WHY answered. I had a lot of issues in school because teachers would present "facts" without the WHY and when I asked for the why I was told "Just because".

    "WHY?" may be a simple question, but it is also very complex. Questions like Why did billions of years of "coincidences" happen to create a life-form capable of understanding there can be more than facts in the universe. WHY does the universe operate in such a precise way to allow life to happen? The question "why" is my Fact check.

  • Mike Adams posted at 5:06 pm on Sun, Aug 17, 2014.

    Mike Adams Posts: 1561

    For the great thinkers here (really and seriously...some very smart people taking part in this)....Do you ever wonder how (and as scientists we think about this), and this is exactly what science can demonstrate to be true....how Man developed from simple proteins making amino acids building cells....all the generations and generations (millions of generations)....how a mutation occurred here and there and the millions of mutations that occurred just once and were never seen again...how that mutation relied a great deal on luck to make a better organism better suited to survive and that better organism had to mate with another organism and produce reproducing offspring with that beneficial mutation and how this process had to occur over and over and over....with new mutations making even better organisms (and of course some really great and advance organisms dying out because that's what happens in nature)...until we ended up with a smart, mobile organism that could plan ahead, form communities, store and eat food and so on...until you got modern man?

    Do you ever wonder just how that happened? How much luck it depended on?

    Take a good look at the mammalian kidney, how it is structured, what it does...developed over millions of years...that even better kidneys in better organisms (at least from the kidney point of view) that must evolved and were never propagated because some natural event befell them?

    How did humans get to be humans? Why didn't our close evolutionary cousins the chimpanzees or great apes become the smart ones?

    Please don't rely on any "Planet of the Apes" material to cite as reference.
    And don't assume it's a plot by the Free Masons to control the world.

  • M. Doyle posted at 3:41 pm on Sun, Aug 17, 2014.

    M Doyle Posts: 187

    Christina (and Kevin as well), we are having a failure to communicate due to a discrepancy in the usage of language. Have heard of "truthiness"?

    the quality of seeming to be true according to one's intuition, opinion, or perception without regard to logic, factual evidence, or the like:
    the growing trend of truthiness as opposed to truth.

    Religion has co-opted the words true, truth, Truth, real, and reality in an attempt to validate their faith and beliefs. This is your reference point and it makes it impossible for you to see these words for what they really (factually) mean.

    With the hope that you might understand what I am asking, I am going to adopt your syntax and use the term "fact."

    How do you decide what is a fact and what is not?

    I was not trying to imply that you are a Cheesy Moon theorist. Those were rhetorical questions used in an attempt to get you to think about what is fact and what is not. You state that charlatan medical practices are a thing of the past with strident certainty. How do you know that is true? It would only take a tiny bit of thinking for you to acknowledge that hundreds if not thousands of fake cures are being hawked around the clock in every corner of America. Just think about it--magnetic and copper bracelets, supplements touted as cures, homeopathic cures debunked by medical science, diet scams and cellulite removers, electrodermal testing, crazy cancer cures, detoxification schemes, colon cleansers, water ionizer scams, more. There are a few people calling themselves doctors in this town (in fact they are not medical doctors) stealing the money of gullible locals with fake cures and false hopes.

    I never, not once, said that facts are all there are to life. Not once did I imply that. It was your assumption. I asked a simple question only. Repeatedly I referenced emotion, feelings, desires, imagination, dreams, preferences, hopes, delusions, etc. These are all part of the human experience and influence our lives. They have absolutely nothing to do with facts. So, again, remove human constructs (intuition, belief, faith, emotion, etc.) and tell me how you decide what is a fact and what is not. That is a very straightforward question.

  • Christina Welch posted at 2:17 pm on Sun, Aug 17, 2014.

    Christina Welch Posts: 460

    Mr Nedderman, I have been reading Thomas on these posts for a long time, and in no way does he have a closed mind. He is one of the most thoughtful and even-tempered people I have ever "met."

  • Christina Welch posted at 2:13 pm on Sun, Aug 17, 2014.

    Christina Welch Posts: 460

    Thank you for your thoughts, Mr Nedderman, and your ideas are basically the same as M Doyle's. So, I will refer you to my reply to him so that I don't need to repeat myself. Perhaps it had not posted in time before you came to reply to me, but I think my reply to M addresses your same points. Please forgive me if this seems lazy, but I wrote a novel last night and I don't think anyone on here (especially you, Ed, right?) wants to read it again.

  • Thomas Heuer posted at 12:26 pm on Sun, Aug 17, 2014.

    nth degree wise Posts: 1669

    Mr Nedderman
    Mr Houdack did an excellent job of responding to your original questions. However you still seemed puzzled or unsatisfied with his responses. Please don’t confuse a decided mind with a closed mind. Because someone has been down a path and found it misleading or unsatisfactory doesn’t mean they have closed their mind if they choose not to repeat the experience. I have a very open mind and that’s why I’ve been down so many roads before.

    But in regard to your earlier questions to Rick;
    One questions, as already mentioned, includes "If there is an all-powerful, all-knowing God who created everything which exists, then what the Bible depicts is not out of the realm of possibility." Hheres the problems;
    1. If there is a god
    2. god created everything
    3. what the bible depicts must be at least possible
    Now for me to say there is no god puts me in the position of having to defend that point. It’s as indefensible as saying there is a god (sans personal experience). So for me it is simply, THERE IS NO EVIDENCE OF A GOD. Now the remaining topics begin to tumble like dominoes. If there were evidence of god then the debate might go differently as to identifying what he created, how powerful he is or what he knows. Without evidence to your first two points the bible remains the single debate point.

    What is depicted in the bible is a multi-faceted proposition. One element you have in the bible is history. Is the history as depicted there possible? You would have to say yes and no. There are historical facts, I mean Rome did occupy Israel and Judea. Then there is the creation myth but that would require a god which we, alas, have no evidence of. Not to mention the story requires a very stretchable imagination to literally accept. And Jesus? Now against all common ideas there doesn't seem to be much proof Jesus actually lived (see Nailed by David Fitzgerald). There are some interesting stories in the bible but usually involve a deity.

    So what the bible depicts is a mixed bag and you would have to pick something and evaluate its veracity with other sources or simply enjoy the different stories as entertainment. Since the bible was a cut and paste effort by Constantine crafting diverse ancient writings from all over the Mediterranean and Africa, not to mention plagiarizing the torah (old testament), it’s hard to accept it as a single work of a deity unlike the claims of the mormon book being found whole and divinely directed. If you can’t accept the Book of Mormon it is hard to understand your acceptance of Constantine’s handi-work.

    So now it’s hard to grasp your statement "The evidence for the existence of God is really quite overwhelming..." Really? You then declare your evidence, not literally but what I call poetically, as “…all of creation… being evidence for a god which really doesn't rise to a level of intellectual certainty that can be shared by everyone let alone act as evidence.

    Another question of yours "Do you really believe that nothing created everything? Or do you believe that the universe is eternal, that it always existed and will never cease to exist?” again uses multiple elements as a single propositions. The first problem "do you believe" which seems to suggest that scientific evidence is on some kind of par with religion or that science is a belief system. It is not. The scientific method is a system where hypotheses are tested and verified through experimentation and observation. Only facts are determined. Facts that are unexplained lead to working theories for further investigation.

    There is no evidence that the universe was created from nothing. We have determined the universe apparently experienced a big bang and that’s as far back as the theory has been able to go. What was before that or what the big bang was is part of the work in progress. To make a leap and say then god must be the catalyst is merely opportunistic to try to grab from science an extra chapter in Genesis. Now is the universe eternal? This question is too broad and again require us to go beyond the big bang.

    And always the question "...what evidence supports your "NO GOD!!!" position?" And I said earlier I don't accept the question as stated here. You may have read somewhere statements saying there is no god but that would be as erroneous as saying there is a god. The correct answer is there is no evidence for a god. Proving there is no god is like saying prove there wasn’t a dog in your front yard an hour ago. Absent any tell-tale signs I must say the burden of proof is on you not me. I have made no claims. You make the claim there is a god without evidence. I simply say there is no evidence one way or the other. I don’t need to prove anything.

    See a problem arises in admitting there is a god which leads to OK so now what? Of course you would say then you must accept gods word, the bible. Whoa, having previously discussed the cobbled 3rd century effort by costantine s gods word now that would be a real leap. You mean that’s the best god can do for a manual of instructions? A few millenium later and thousands of biblical scholars agonizing over vague, contradictory passages trying to make sense of it and we are still scratching our heads. We still have multiple denominations with different ideas of what to believe?

    So I have a couple of exercises for you. The first where ever you are sitting now turn off your TV, radios and every noisy device and sit quietly alone. Look around. Do you see anyone else in the room? Is one of them god? OK go outside and do the same thing and describe what god looks like out there. Please be literal and not poetic saying you see god in the trees and grass. This is your first empirical evidence there is no god in your life.

    In the second exercise you imagine your house is on fire who do you turn to for help? The fire department right, 911? And if you don't have a fire department you ask your neighbors for help of course. If none are around what do you do? You could sit down and cry from the devastation or in an ACT OF DESPERATION you begin to pray. However no matter how hard you pray it isn't going to stop that fire. You can hope for a freak down pour like you hope for the big jack pot in Vegas but for a change you’d have better luck in Vegas.

    So here is what I'm getting at:
    When you DON’Tneed god, god doesn't exist. Only when you need god do you HOPE he exists.

    So when we go about our daily lives god doesn’t exist. You have to force the thought into your head for him to exist. The difference between us is when we are at our wits end you find it plausible to hope god exists and then begin praying. I on the other hand keep looking for more earthly solutions if not simply give in to the inevitable.

    In yet another question you ask "...if you really believe that a fraud/hoax of the truly universal and trans-historical nature as you describe could merely have human actors as the perpetrators..." of course the whole question is multifaceted and in trying to wrap this up I can’t really explain this in any detail but I start with a quote I love. It kind of sums up god for me;

    “god is nature in the image of man.”

    Yes we created god. It seems anything that is bigger than us or louder than us is an inspiration for god. Volcanoes, earthquakes, yes floods, tornadoes, lightening, droughts and large storms. We get a sense of awe with high mountains, deep holes like the Grand Canyon, still lakes, shadowy forests, broad deserts, deep caves, etc. All have the size and mystery to make us think bigger than us. Anytime those things churn our imaginations there is someone ready to spin a tale that run with our imaginations. Then comes the men who in an attempt to impress or extract an easy buck claim they can control or predict the forces bigger than man. Fortune telling was big business from the earliest time and remains today. Madison Ave is full of idea men that are able to spin tales to separate you from your dollars. So this is how it has been through the ages in all walks of life. Not a big mystery. Yes man created god to do our bidding and we have created the tales to keep religious leaders in satin robes, nice suits and free from doing an honest day’s work.

    Now the biggest draw for religion has been grieving widows or mothers. How to console them. Their lives were wrapped around the now lost loved one and can’t see life without them. Death is probably the single most perplexing concept. Even Kings, military generals and extremely rich people can’t buy or stand against the prospect of death. It is a given and any ACTS OF DESPERATION (ie. Praying, offerings) can’t alter the course. Enter the story tellers who vow they can predict the future or stem the coming tide.by spinning a tale to console them. This has been going from the beginning of speech. If you can’t fight the tide invent heaven.

    Heaven, that place where no one knows what’s there but allows everyone the opportunity to fantasize what they might want there they couldn’t have on earth. You know the kinds of things we expect from a vacation resort. We can more easily relate to pain and suffering especially the poor when the prospect of hades is presented. So it’s like our elections we don’t vote for someone we vote against someone. In this case we vote against hades we know is bad and go for door number two the heaven we hope will be better even though we have no idea.

    Throughout early history life was a very risky proposition especially for the poor which most people were. Life hinged on bountiful crops, successful hunting, fresh water, keeping thieves at bay, etc. If any of this goes badly it can be your demise. Of course after you exhaust all your earthly options you’ll resort to an ACT OF DESPERATION when something does go wrong like the Mongol invasion. This may include sacrifices of whatever, offerings or prayers in the variety of temple choices available. And there are the men there who will accept you offerings and intercede on your behalf to that unseen deity to make it all better even when you know for a FACT nothing can be done.

    You aren’t the first poster here that draws the conclusion that if a non-believer rejects your beliefs they are closed minded. It makes an assumption all atheists were born atheist. Well that is true of all of us however many atheists have been religious in the past including myself. When you seriously look at the foundations of your religion they are built on sand. The only things that keep people going to churches is the tales that have been told over the centuries, your family and friends concern about your soul and the idea that religion is the easy insurance plan against the great unknown much like your fire insurance. It’s right up there with regular tire rotation and oil changes.

    Finally your “…that a Creator exists regardless of the differences in the details of the deity’s (or deities’) nature? While they can’t all be right, you must admit that the possibility exists that one could be.” You need to remember that the possibility exists as well they could all be right under the circumstances.

    When you said to Rick “I understand that you deny God…” really needs to be made clear the confusion of terms you use leads to false assumptions. To DENY god is a declaration that you believe he exits and you choose to ignore the deity. There IS NO denying that which does not exist or is not evident.

  • Jien Kaur posted at 11:43 am on Sun, Aug 17, 2014.

    Jien Kaur Posts: 370

    Very nice example of the politics changing mind which I think does happen to the very often no matter the Carl Sagan. But to the religion? Not very much the often unless it is a very bad personal happen that a person loses the faith in God or maybe happen in peoples who follow the religion cults and later find they are bad.

  • Jien Kaur posted at 9:12 am on Sun, Aug 17, 2014.

    Jien Kaur Posts: 370

    I think the M Doyle just point out that when sometime people speak of A (the mother) many time there is forgotten the B C and D - that is the mother does not stand by herself and has others that must need the care also. That is what sometimes the people against the unemploy check and the welfare check and the food help forget. They only see the lazy person in their head and not the other responsibles of that person.

  • Christina Welch posted at 10:19 pm on Sat, Aug 16, 2014.

    Christina Welch Posts: 460

    Of course the moon is not made of cheese and Elvis is dead, M. Talk about a couple of disingenuous questions to start out your reply to me. You know I don’t believe those things. And, I doubt a colorblind person walks around with the instruments necessary to measure wavelengths either. In the modern world, charlatan medicine and superstitions are no longer a part of established medical practice.

    As far as the world being a mess if every individual's perceptions were to guide the whole society... We have laws and a judicial system which define those kinds of realities for us. And even then, I might add, there is a touch of relativism to those laws as well, in the various degrees of injury or wrongness that one may be charged with and such. Those laws are an “absolute” truth in our lives and so even if our perceptions or own personal beliefs differ, we know we still have to obey. Of course, as you pointed out, the mentally ill can have delusional perceptions, and the law deals with that as well. As for the sane, people can very much so be relativists without society falling into chaos.

    I think maybe where we are on different wavelengths, M, is in how we are looking at the concepts being discussed. I think you (and please correct me if I’m wrong) are thinking of truth in terms of facts, and I see truth in a broader sense. This is similar to the science versus faith discussion we’ve had before, and I used this quote then: "Truths, as opposed to fact, are much more fluid and malleable than their empirical counterparts."

    For me, the truth is what you do with all the facts that exist in the world. Facts cannot stand alone in human existence, they have to be interpreted and analyzed by humans, who bring their emotions, their personal backgrounds and realities into the equation. Facts are objective, yes, but how people use them to achieve truth is subjective and relative. Truth to you is an absolute because facts are; truth for me is relative because I don’t see facts standing alone, I see them at play with the human element.

    As for the comment I made regarding Eastern religions, that was really meant more for Mr Nedderman than for you, but since you ask, I’d have to say both. My school district offers a World Geography/World Religions class and I have taught it in the past and the information is presented in both ways. Eastern religions have a relativist philosophy in their beliefs and that is put to use in the real world for them. They are often much more tolerant and accepting than the Western religions can be, in many ways because of their relativism. You’ve quoted Gandhi before, and I think he’s a great example. Gandhi was Hindu, and that greatly influenced his life. His open heart, his great love and empathy, his good works, everything. In his fight against the British, his religious philosophy was his real world, too.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 8:53 pm on Sat, Aug 16, 2014.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2106

    Case in point: http://conservativetribune.com/saturday-night-live-star-leaves-democrats/

  • M. Doyle posted at 7:07 pm on Sat, Aug 16, 2014.

    M Doyle Posts: 187

    Pardon me for asking, but if this creator is so nearly incomprehensible and so far beyond our understanding, how is it that you discovered it?

  • M. Doyle posted at 6:58 pm on Sat, Aug 16, 2014.

    M Doyle Posts: 187

    All of this is fun.

    You said that people should work for their public assistance and at some point suggested field work. Apart from the elderly and infirm, most of the recipients of public assistance are children and their single mothers. These women have no childcare assistance. What else was I supposed to think? You also agreed with Hagee that those not working should starve; you just didn't like his name calling. I could not have known that you were referring to able-bodied childless adults as it is general knowledge that that group does not qualify for assistance. Any objective observer would have come to the same conclusion.

    Part of your problem segues well with this current discussion. How do you know what is real? You BELIEVED that there were many able-bodied childless adults sitting around all day playing video games on the taxpayers dime. (based on what you were taught?) it wasn't true. It would have taken very little checking to see that this notion was mistaken, but it was far more satisfying to hold tightly to your belief.

  • M. Doyle posted at 6:42 pm on Sat, Aug 16, 2014.

    M Doyle Posts: 187

    Those are some interesting thoughts, but I don't see how they answer the question, "How do you know what is real?"

  • Michael Nedderman posted at 1:21 pm on Sat, Aug 16, 2014.

    Mike Nedderman Posts: 63

    Hi Rick.

    Maybe you can explain why you believe I'm angry. What it seems to be is projection on your part because I am not angry, and nothing I've written could possibly give that impression.

    Does it help you condescend to both falsely assign that negative emotion to me AND follow it with a misrepresentation of what I've written? Why do you bother to debate here if you won't do it honestly?

  • Michael Nedderman posted at 12:55 pm on Sat, Aug 16, 2014.

    Mike Nedderman Posts: 63

    Dear Christina Welch:

    Truth and reality are not dependent upon, or changeable by, what any individual thinks of them because they are outside of ourselves as objective reality, and objective truth—in other words, neither is “relative” to the subjective opinions of the multitude of people (reality can only be changed in very limited ways with lots of effort, but not merely by perception or with opinion).

    While each person has his own perception which informs his subjective opinion, such perception and opinion cannot change that which is outside of him. Mere humans don't have that much power. If we did, then our perceptions and opinions could alter reality and the world would be in great trouble because we would, naturally, abuse that power.

    For example: Can that which is real (reality) also be unreal at the same time? Can truth also be false? Can love also be hate? Can immorality be moral (that one may actually be happening today)? Can a dog be a cat simply because I believe it is so?

    Words must have clear meanings or clarity fails, communication is impossible, and confusion reigns.

    When lies become the truth, we will have arrived at George Orwell's “1984,” but it still won't actually be “the Truth,” just some oppressor forcing you to say it is in spite of reality. Have you ever know someone who grew up in a communist country? It is in such societies that reality and truth are warped by the subjective perceptions and opinions of man.

  • Michael Nedderman posted at 12:33 pm on Sat, Aug 16, 2014.

    Mike Nedderman Posts: 63

    Do you realize, Thomas, that you have just admitted that you have a closed mind? I was asking a hypothetical question to test you for that very purpose, and you failed.

    Since your mind is truly closed, as you assert, then there is no point to further discussion--it was a waste of time from the very beginning...but why do you engage here at all if your mind is slammed shut, if, as you seem to understand, "there's really no point..."? What are you trying to prove? Are you an apostle evangelizing for "NO GOD!!!"?

    To demonstrate that my mind is not slammed shut, I will submit to the same test: I agree that, hypothetically, if there is no Creator-God, most everything in the Bible is a fairy tale, certainly all the supernatural stuff which is the main theme. Let's call that Proposition #1.

    However, the converse hypothetical is also valid, which was the point I futilely tried to make to your closed mind: if, hypothetically, there is a Creator-God, then the depictions of the supernatural in the Bible are at least possible—they still might not be true, but it is possible within the context of that hypothetical question. Let's call that Proposition #2.

    Can you see, Thomas, that the question which must be pursued, the primary point of our disagreement is the question, “Is there a Creator-God?” What do you say?

    Perhaps you'd like to reconsider your debate ending mind-set?

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 11:31 am on Sat, Aug 16, 2014.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2106

    I will answer the question aimed at the Thiests:

    How I decided is very simple. I have had enough personal experiences that tells me that there is MORE than science can explain. That there is a Positive Creator Entity out there that is so far beyond our understanding that he/she/it is near incomprehensible. I also have learned through personal experiences that there is a Negative force that seeks to separate creation from the Creator.

    WHAT this Positive Creator Entity IS, I can not say for sure. BUT My faith and beliefs built off what I have been taught, experienced and learned tells me that we (as Creation) are MEANT to seek it out. AND as we grow as Creation, we come closer to understanding. Which means in 1000 years our understanding of this Positive Creator Entity could be radically different than it is now, BUT built off what we know now.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 11:23 am on Sat, Aug 16, 2014.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2106

    That is interesting because I hear/read from religious and political people who admit, in the light of new insight, that they were wrong and change political or religious views.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 11:03 am on Sat, Aug 16, 2014.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2106

    It's not fun when someone turns YOUR own tactic against you. In the discussion about compassion for the poor you took what I had said and twisted it to mean that I was advocating for children to starve or CHAIN kids to post while the mother works when you KNEW full well that was not what I meant.

    Maybe next time you feel like being disingenuous in YOUR reply, you will remember what it is like when it happens to you.

    "Kevin wants her out picking tomatoes. He has no plan for childcare for her kids. Maybe she should tie them to a fence post."

  • Christina Welch posted at 8:51 pm on Fri, Aug 15, 2014.

    Christina Welch Posts: 460

    Again, Thomas, you are able to better express my thoughts than I am able to myself. You seem to have a strong understanding of the human psyche and experience. You seem to understand the subtle shades of grey in human existence while understanding the scientific workings of the world as well. Did you study psychology, I wonder? Regardless, I thank you for your insights.

    BTW, I love your analogy at the end... I think I must be more of a Captain Kirk or Deanna Troy I think you must be Dr. McCoy (and I mean that as a compliment.)

  • Jien Kaur posted at 4:17 pm on Fri, Aug 15, 2014.

    Jien Kaur Posts: 370

    Since we speak of science here a quote of interest from the Carl Sagan. Religion is of the complex and complicate nature so the information given of the wikipedia many often not explains the deep understanding. This quote of the Carl Sagan has much truth and I think even the true religious or of the politics cannot say not true.

    In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan

  • M. Doyle posted at 3:18 pm on Fri, Aug 15, 2014.

    M Doyle Posts: 187

    Kevin says:

    "Interesting, so according to M. either it is scientifically provable by modern science (cause obviously modern science has absolutely every answer to every science question) OR it is a mental disorder (cause there can not possibly be anything OUTSIDE/EXPLAINABLE of/by modern science)."

    Nowhere did I state or imply any of that. Nowhere. You are disingenuous in your reply.

  • M. Doyle posted at 3:15 pm on Fri, Aug 15, 2014.

    M Doyle Posts: 187

    Christina, do you truly believe that the moon can be made of both rock and cheese? Do you truly believe that Elvis can be both dead and physically alive at the same time? As Thomas explained, even color can not be both blue and orange based on someone's perception. We can measure the wavelength and decide based on that alone. Think of what a mess the world would be if each person had their own "real" or their own "truth." The color blind person would not be expected to stop at red lights, as red lights would not exist for them. How would we treat disease if there was no "true" disease to begin with (evil spirits, bad blood, stepped on a crack, whatever) and "cures" might be based on anyone's whim.

    Reality is not what you want to be true. As for your religion examples, are you referencing religious philosophy (a human construct based on culture) or statements about the real world?

  • Ed Walters posted at 2:40 pm on Fri, Aug 15, 2014.

    the old dog Posts: 633

    I have read most if not all of the 46 comments and have come to this conclusion, soaker guns and water balloons at 5 paces in order to determine a winner, come to think of it, there will be no winner. Perhaps Wet T shirts ?

  • Thomas Heuer posted at 11:48 am on Fri, Aug 15, 2014.

    nth degree wise Posts: 1669

    Well said Mr Doyle

  • Thomas Heuer posted at 11:40 am on Fri, Aug 15, 2014.

    nth degree wise Posts: 1669

    Ms Kaur
    Excellently stated point

    Let me add
    Personal experience does not alter facts.
    The color blue has a certain wave length. If you in fact see grey instead of blue whos to know till you compare wave lengths of grey and blue and say even though they look the same (to a blue color blind person) they are definitely not.

    Now beliefs without facts can be seen as truth
    It was once believed that the earth was the center of the universe and the sun, like the rest of the universe, orbited around the earth. Without all the facts this is considered a truth. It took us getting the telescope to get the facts straight.

    Human behavior is altered by perception.
    Words spoken by one person to several other people in the room can actually be perceived/understood differently by the different listeners. However when the speaker explains his words (giveing more facts) the listeners will have their perceptions now more in sync with each other.

    Human experience is subjective and often can't be quantified.
    When an odor is perceived by one person as enjoyable but another person finds it irritating the two experiences do have facts but may not be evident to us (yet). If either the enjoyed experience or the irritated experience is based on child hood associations it may prove elusive trying to nail down the facts. Often this is where the facts belabor the experience similar to many of the Spock or Data explanations (especially of feelings) on Star Trek.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 10:08 am on Fri, Aug 15, 2014.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2106

    Interesting, so according to M. either it is scientifically provable by modern science (cause obviously modern science has absolutely every answer to every science question) OR it is a mental disorder (cause there can not possibly be anything OUTSIDE/EXPLAINABLE of/by modern science).

  • Christina Welch posted at 8:49 am on Fri, Aug 15, 2014.

    Christina Welch Posts: 460

    To add to this discussion about relativism... many other religions also believe in it, rather than the idea of an absolute truth. Jainism, Hinduism, Buddhism all embrace the idea. Sikhs believe that many paths lead to God and they accept all faiths in a relativistic way. Seems only devout, fundamentalist religions are absolutists.

  • Jien Kaur posted at 10:28 pm on Thu, Aug 14, 2014.

    Jien Kaur Posts: 370

    Very excelent example of the terrible 'schizophrenia' mind disease. Young son of my friend have this terrible disease. He have a 'reality' that include many friends not seen by his family. He very convince they are real. He have many conversings with those friends all day. No they are not real. So the 'reality' is not relevant for this poor young person. The reality can not be accord to a people perception

  • Christina Welch posted at 9:06 pm on Thu, Aug 14, 2014.

    Christina Welch Posts: 460

    M, Isn't everything we perceive only a reflection of the inner workings of our minds? To me, perception is objective, yes, but it is also personal, so that makes it subjective or relative at the same time. The sky is blue, we all know that, but to someone who is color blind, isn't their reality different? So we will say they are "wrong" but what does that change for them? Their reality says it is not; they can't even see it that way. (BTW, I am not an expert on colorblindness, so I apologize if this example doesn't fit the scientific facts of said condition; but I think you get my point.)

    You said, "Truth about the world around us does not change because people have a different idea about it." But, can't truth vary according to culture, or ethnicity, even maybe gender? Hasn't truth changed and evolved through history?

    I guess I'm just a relativist, M, and you and Mr Nedderman seem to be absolutists. Funny, an atheist and a theist actually have something in common!

  • M. Doyle posted at 3:28 pm on Thu, Aug 14, 2014.

    M Doyle Posts: 187

    Maybe we are just not on the same wavelength. I'll try to be more specific. I am not asking about preferences or feelings. I am asking about reality, the world or state of things as they actually exist, not an idealistic or notional idea of them, an objective not subject to human decisions or conventions.

    For example, most people in the world understand that the moon is made of rock and dust. Humans have landed on the moon, examined the surface, conducted tests, etc. However, a few folks may still hold to the notion that the moon is made of cheese. The moon can not at the same time be made of rock and cheese. One is reality; one is not. Truth about the world around us does not change because people have a different idea about it. A schizophrenic may think they are having a conversation with Elvis Presley come back to life. The rest of us know that is not reality, but a disease involving chemical imbalance in the brain. Without this understanding of reality, it would be impossible for us to work together and help those who need it. We can each have our own feelings, hopes, dreams, imaginations, and like the schizophrenic, delusions, but those are not statements about the real world, only reflections of the inner workings of our minds.

    So, if I may, I'll ask again. How exactly do theists decide what is real and what is not?

  • M. Doyle posted at 3:03 pm on Thu, Aug 14, 2014.

    M Doyle Posts: 187

    Thank you, Jien Kaur. I couldn't have said that any better.

  • Jien Kaur posted at 1:07 pm on Thu, Aug 14, 2014.

    Jien Kaur Posts: 370

    Dear mr Mork. Perhaps you not understand some of the English here. The 'theist' is reverse of 'atheist' that mean theist is person who they believe in gods or God accord to they own religion. This one in one of recent lessons that I learn regard to the 'prefix' that is a letter or word before original word to make it the reverse or opposite. So the mr Doyle want the people who believe in the gods or God to respond - that mean not you.

  • Christina Welch posted at 12:46 pm on Thu, Aug 14, 2014.

    Christina Welch Posts: 460

    With all respect, Mr Nedderman, yes I can. Perhaps it is confusing to you, but it is not to me. You and I clearly find different meanings in those words, and that's fine. Have a good day!

  • Ed Walters posted at 11:54 am on Thu, Aug 14, 2014.

    the old dog Posts: 633

    Doyle, you ask the question concerning theists ( atheists ? ) who wish to respond to your post, back at you, answer your own question.

  • Michael Nedderman posted at 11:32 am on Thu, Aug 14, 2014.

    Mike Nedderman Posts: 63

    Hi Christina. To say that reality and truth are relative is to change the meanings of those words, and you can't do that without confusing yourself and others.

  • Thomas Heuer posted at 8:37 am on Thu, Aug 14, 2014.

    nth degree wise Posts: 1669

    Mr Nedderman
    To quote you " If there is an all-powerful, all-knowing God who created everything which exists, then what the Bible depicts is not out of the realm of possibility. Can you agree with that? If you can't, then there really is no point in this discussion."

    So to answer your question, no I can't agree with that so, as you said, there's really no point in any further discussion.

    BTW There are no difficult questions just convoluted questions with time consuming affirmations.

  • Michael Nedderman posted at 10:25 pm on Wed, Aug 13, 2014.

    Mike Nedderman Posts: 63

    Quoting you Thomas: " If you follow his stealth attempt at subtlety you might glimpse his underlying hostility. I was going to respond to him but decided against it. "

    Reconsider, Thomas, and respond to me, but first quote whatever I wrote where you "glimpse[d my] underlying hostility." If you can't, then please withdraw your false accusation. I am very careful not to let emotion enter into my comments, but it appears that neither you nor Rick appreciate that. It seems that you infer hostility simply because someone disagrees with you and asks you difficult questions.

  • Christina Welch posted at 9:37 pm on Wed, Aug 13, 2014.

    Christina Welch Posts: 460

    M, Very interesting questions, and you definitely got me to thinking. I guess for me, reality is relative. What I think is real might be very different from what others think is real because our life experiences have been different. And I don't assume that my reality is any better than anyone else, it's just different. Just because something is real for me doesn't mean I feel that it is "right." It's right for me, yes, but not necessarily for others.

    How do I decide what claims are true? I research and read and then make that determination in my mind. If you're talking about God, then my faith plays a role there, too. Again, I realize truth is relative as well since people may find a totally different interpretation than mine, even with the same information. Reality and truth don't have to be about an absolute right or wrong.

    I can't speak for the other theists, but that's how I see it. How about you? From our previous conversations, I gather it's very much based on science?

  • Thomas Heuer posted at 7:38 pm on Wed, Aug 13, 2014.

    nth degree wise Posts: 1669

    I have been writing volumes on my defense of intellectual freedoms. Has there been a change in medications or something?
    ?Theists cower?
    ? Might of science?
    ?us believers just go away?
    ?why tolerate people ?
    I am really at a loss as to where this comes from. I merely countered your accusation of intolerance by atheists with the fact that non-theists were out gunned when it comes to # of LTEs written by atheists as opposed to religious LTEs against non-believers . I also pointed out the fact that there is a religious section of this paper with no equivalent to non-believers.

    There is no complaint here simply the fact that there is no complaint as a result of this imbalance testifies to the tolerance of non-believers to the situation. I could never imagine in the short remainder of my life that the Lodi community paper would cater to a free thinking minority to the degree it now caters to the communities majority. There would have to be some serious shift in regional demographics for hat to hapen Lets be real.

  • M. Doyle posted at 7:22 pm on Wed, Aug 13, 2014.

    M Doyle Posts: 187

    I don't see where that was implied, Kevin.

    Speaking for myself, I think we would appreciate it if theists stopped using their religion as an excuse to discriminate. You have the freedom to hold whatever beliefs that you wish as long as you don't try to use it to take someone else's freedom away.

  • Ed Walters posted at 5:23 pm on Wed, Aug 13, 2014.

    the old dog Posts: 633

    Maurer: You state that Able and Cain ( fable ) were illegitimate children of an unmarried couple, so what else is new now a days. You don`t have a clue as to what happened to Adam and Steve when they were banished from the garden of Eden, other wise know as San Francisco, or really existed at all. So as far as your concerned, either by divine intervention or a monkey, some how, some way, here we are for better or worse.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 4:51 pm on Wed, Aug 13, 2014.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2106

    I understand Thomas, You would rather Theists would cower before the might of science and all us believers just go away. After all, why tolerate people who see the universe for more than the sum of it's parts.

  • M. Doyle posted at 3:14 pm on Wed, Aug 13, 2014.

    M Doyle Posts: 187

    To any of the theists who wish to respond:

    How do you decide what is real and what is not?
    How do you decide what claims are true and which are not?

  • Thomas Heuer posted at 2:17 pm on Wed, Aug 13, 2014.

    nth degree wise Posts: 1669

    It seemed like things were going better than you make this statement "...to prove how intolerant Atheists are...". Let me direct you to the comments of one Michael Nedderman in the earlier comments below. If you follow his stealth attempt at subtlety you might glimpse his underlying hostility. I was going to respond to him but decided against it. So much was wrong and Rick did such a good job.

    Non-theists are NOT the ones posting anti-religion letters on a regular basis but merely responding to the numerous slams against non-believers. The anti gay marriage letters are very religiously based, the anti women's reproductive health letters are mostly religion motivated, the anti science (evolution, big bang, etc) are mostly religion based, The author of this letter makes weekly contributions often with disparaging remarks against various demographic groups from his religious beliefs. No I can't agree that atheists have been more intolerant.

    However the onslaught of religious pronouncements in these pages cannot simply be allowed to go uncontested and imply they're in any way accepted as written. So please rummage through your files and determine how many letters are published disparaging religion. Then look at all the pro religion publishing's which includes anti gay marriage, anti women's reproductive health issues and while your at it see if you can find the atheist or humanist sections of the paper similar to the Saturday religious section. I think you'll find atheist and non-believers have been tolerating things just fine. Where is David Diskin when you need him?

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 11:56 am on Wed, Aug 13, 2014.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2106

    While you Rick, continue to prove how intolerant Atheists are and need to prove an intellectual superiority. Showing, once again, how much contempt and not even veiled malice towards people with faith.

  • Rick Houdack posted at 6:54 pm on Tue, Aug 12, 2014.

    Rick Houdack Posts: 188

    Michael Nedderman is angry because I implied he probably doesn't believe all religions are true (he apparently believes they are all true). Brian Dockter is all excited I may not have sufficient imagination to believe everything he can think of, from advanced space aliens visiting the Earth, to a multitude of gods and Kevin Paglia needs everyone to realize Adam and Eve are so named because they are the first humans and it is somehow vitally important to him that it be acknowledged, while Robert Maurer is concerned with getting as many thinly-veiled sexual innuendos into print he can manage (because that is what he thinks good Christians do - I guess).

    This is faith in motion.

    Thanks, guys. I couldn't have asked for more.

  • Thomas Heuer posted at 6:25 pm on Tue, Aug 12, 2014.

    nth degree wise Posts: 1669

    The story makes no more sense with this knowledge then before the knowledge. So the female collective is responsible for temptations and violations and leading the collective males astray? Please clarify. Interesting knowledge otherwise.

  • robert maurer posted at 5:41 pm on Tue, Aug 12, 2014.

    mason day Posts: 485

    Walters: You seem to think you are the all knowing one, accusing me of being the all knowing one, in a snide way. I simply believe that neither theory could ever prove beyond doubt whether we are here because of creationism or evolution, therefore I don't believe in either one, since both are a BELIEF. But in another attempt at humor which you did not get the first time, here is another: I don't have a clue what happened to Adam and Eve after banishment from the garden. My guess is their time was about 2800 years before Santa Claus, 2200 years before the Easter Bunny,and 2000 years before the Tooth Fairy. BTW , at the risk of being deleted, If Adam had not given Eve his bone, there would have been no Cain and Abel. Kind of strange that they were not banished for fornication without marriage,but from eating an apple from the tree of knowledge. That means that Abel and Cain were illegitimate children of an unmarried couple which are called B......s. Original sin?

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 3:21 pm on Tue, Aug 12, 2014.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2106

    Eve is an English given name for a female, derived from Eva, in turn originating with Hebrew חַוָּה (Chavah/Havah - chavah to breathe and chayah to live)

    āḏām, meaning "human". Coupled with the definite article, it becomes "the human

    So the Story of Adam and Eve it the story of Humans and life. Kind of changes the understanding of the story when you realize it was ORIGINALLY understood as a story about humans as a COLLECTIVE group, NOT just two people.

  • M. Doyle posted at 3:06 pm on Tue, Aug 12, 2014.

    M Doyle Posts: 187

    Since you're speaking in the plural ("Gods," "them"), I'd be curious to know exactly how many gods you think exist and what you have for evidence in that regard.

  • Ed Walters posted at 1:01 pm on Tue, Aug 12, 2014.

    the old dog Posts: 633

    Maurer: Your post is the best as far as fables are concerned, do you really believe that story? With all the amazing stories God has accomplished, he just couldn`t leave well enough alone and left Adam at piece. God put Adam to sleep and created Eve, even if I believed in a creator, this story goes to far as to make the Pope believe in that whacked out story. Since you are aware of this fable, after Adam, Eve, and kid, ( thats right, one was murdered ) were shown the door out of Eden, what became of them. You don`t know either. You know so much, where in time does Adam and Eve fit in, before or after the Jurassic period, the dinosaurs, cave man, all are known facts. The earth is around 10 billion years, so that give you a lot of room to come up with an answer. Google is waiting. [sad]

  • robert maurer posted at 9:26 am on Tue, Aug 12, 2014.

    mason day Posts: 485

    Adam was created by God. God realized that Adam needed a mate. God put Adam to sleep and removed a rib and created Eve from it. Thus my opinion: Eve had 208 bones of her own, but she liked the one she got from Adam the best.[wink]

  • Brian Dockter posted at 9:02 am on Tue, Aug 12, 2014.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2866

    Evolution is just a scientific name for Atheism?

    I would speculate even Gods believe in evolution. So, does that make them Atheists too?

  • Brian Dockter posted at 8:59 am on Tue, Aug 12, 2014.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2866

    I always get a kick out of the naysayers of the Bible who beleve the Parables in the Bible are meant ot deceive

  • Brian Dockter posted at 8:55 am on Tue, Aug 12, 2014.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2866

    Mr. Houdack,

    Do you consider it a fraud there is a possiblity there are higher dimensions in the cosmos where more intelligent and advanced forms of life may exist? Also, do you consider it a fraud there have been visitations to Earth by higher forms of life that are Godlike? Lastly, why is it so far fetched for you and your minions to contemplate beings far advanced than us humans? You do have an imagination. You do have faith. Or is it your type of faith is there will never be ample evidence for you to confirm there are God(s) in the cosmos?

  • Ed Walters posted at 8:52 pm on Mon, Aug 11, 2014.

    the old dog Posts: 633

    On second thought Paglia I do remember Adam and Eves original names, they were Adam and Steve. [beam]

  • Rick Houdack posted at 7:02 pm on Mon, Aug 11, 2014.

    Rick Houdack Posts: 188

    Thanks for confirming my suspicions about your response, Michael Nedderman! You totally fulfilled my prophecy! Turns out this godly omniscience stuff is easy peasy!

    Kevin Paglia, what are you talking about? People are either indoctrinated as children to believe bible fables are true or they are thought to think rationally for themselves. Some are taught to silly superstitions that psychologically cripple them well into adulthood.

  • Ed Walters posted at 5:33 pm on Mon, Aug 11, 2014.

    the old dog Posts: 633

    Paglia: Concerning those fictional characters Adam and Eve, take your time and yes you are correct they are Biblical stories. Your wrong, it seems you don`t know the answer either. Simple question for simple people. I am neither an atheists or fanatic

  • Michael Nedderman posted at 10:24 am on Mon, Aug 11, 2014.

    Mike Nedderman Posts: 63

    I didn't call you an atheist, Ed. I asked you if you were an atheist, and was hoping for an honest answer. I hope you can understand the difference between a false assumption and a sincerely asked question, and withdraw you expression of insult because none was given.

    Also, I was not defending the letter-writer's position, nor was I attacking yours. Based upon what you wrote, I assumed you were an atheist, and therefore asked if you were. I am interested in why atheists believe as they do, and would very much like to engage with an honest atheist--not with one who is as seemingly defensive as you appear to be.

    Again, there are primary questions that must be addressed before the secondary questions. If there is an all-powerful, all-knowing God who created everything which exists, then what the Bible depicts is not out of the realm of possibility. Can you agree with that? If you can't, then there really is no point in this discussion.

    If you can agree with that, then we must first discuss the possibility that there is, or is not, a Creator-God. What do you say, Ed? Are you an open-minded atheist willing to honestly discuss one of the most important questions any two human beings can investigate?

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 7:09 am on Mon, Aug 11, 2014.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2106

    Quick, can anyone give the ORIGINAL names for Adam and Eve?

    It really helps when you know the History AND context of the Biblical stories. Also opens up a whole new level of understanding. Two groups of people don't like doing this: The Atheists and the fanatics.

  • Ed Walters posted at 1:37 pm on Sun, Aug 10, 2014.

    the old dog Posts: 633

    Neederman: Not knowing me, never as-sum-me or anything about me that you don`t understand. I advise you to re-read my post, it is all about time and what it represents, nothing about religion or God. These are questions that people tend to shy away from since they cannot supply an answer, can you? You call me an atheist because questions are asked, you sound like you take everything for granted and are a member of the blind leading the blind association . If you read my post, lets start simple, for your sake and go with Adam and Eve and when they were conjured up, must be difficult to believe one man and woman could get this planet in so much trouble, I still waiting for a date in time, can you supply one for them, or anything in my post.

  • Michael Nedderman posted at 12:17 pm on Sun, Aug 10, 2014.

    Mike Nedderman Posts: 63

    (I finally remembered that this forum has a "reply" button after each comment instead of requiring posting above yours).

    You missed my point completely, Rick, as is apparent from your statement: “…if you think all the above religions are man-made hoaxes foisted upon the gullible, then…”. I think it is clear from both what you have written and from what I have written that that is what you believe, NOT what I believe. Why would you put your words in my “mouth,” Rick? Please, reread what I wrote.

    I was asking if you really believe that a fraud/hoax of the truly universal and trans-historical nature as you describe could merely have human actors as the perpetrators, working in every culture, in every decade and year of human history to convince 90% of the people in the world that a Creator exists regardless of the differences in the details of the deity’s (or deities’) nature? While they can’t all be right, you must admit that the possibility exists that one could be. I understand that you deny God, but it seems you are affirming a supernatural evil.

    And, while I try not to ask more than one question at a time, I did ask a second question because, as an atheist who accepts the scientific evidence that the universe is not eternal, it seems that you must believe that nothing created everything (please, correct me if I’m mistaken). I was just trying to see if you can bring yourself to actually confirm what it seems your “faith” must conclude. Here’s that question:

    “Do you really believe that nothing created everything? Or do you believe that the universe is eternal, that it always existed and will never cease to exist?”

    One final comment: As convinced as I am of what I believe, I try to keep an open mind in any debate. However, I am stunned, Rick, that you don’t seem to mind proclaiming that your mind is closed: “…we both know how this exchange will go.” Either that is evidence that you have a closed mind, or you are God and know the future.

  • Rick Houdack posted at 8:01 am on Sun, Aug 10, 2014.

    Rick Houdack Posts: 188

    What do I think about it?

    Well, mostly I think you don't know what you are talking about.

    Asserting that nonbelievers comprise some tiny minority is just hogwash and here is why; tell me, Michael Nedderman, about your deeply held devotion to Brahma. And then describe to us the joy you derive from your daily devotion to Allah. Then tell us how Zeus and Apollo fill you with joy and give your life meaning. And Ganesh, who guides you daily.

    I suspect you cannot honestly make these claims, because towards these religions you are an atheist. You do not devote your time to worshipping Ra the sun god because you do not believe he exists, nor do you believe in any of the tens of thousands of gods that have been worshipped by early man through the struggle for sentience. You no doubt believe them to have been (and still are) false religions. To you they are hoaxes. Whom do you "blame" for perpetrating the hoax of Quetzalquatl? Does it matter "who" did it?

    Are you a Mormon, Michael Nedderman? Do you believe there are various levels of heaven you may attain? Was the God figure of the Christian bible once a mortal man who was given the earth as his own and men (and only men) living now will one day receive a planet (from whom?) they may call their own? Do you believe the teachings of Nephi and Moroni and organize your life around the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard? Oops, I meant, of course, to type Joseph Smith... I momentarily confused the prophets. Do you feel Scientology and Mormonism are true faiths? Is it possible they are fraudulent in your eyes, as they are in my eyes?

    Of one thing I am sure, if you think all the above religions are man-made hoaxes foisted upon the gullible, then there is a possibility your religion is a man-made hoax (or fraud, if you prefer), foisted upon the gullible. Believers in all of those religions were and are as fervent as you. But the claims made by all, each more fantastic and, dare I say it, unbelievable, than the last, might all be wrong.

    You are free to produce evidence to the contrary, to prove your religion is true but, honestly, Michael Nedderman, we both know how this exchange will go. You will simply repeat fantastic claims of amazing magical powers possessed by your superhuman deity and prove nothing. Because your god does nothing. He has always done nothing. He, like the parade of gods who preceded him, is non-existent.

  • Michael Nedderman posted at 7:39 am on Sun, Aug 10, 2014.

    Mike Nedderman Posts: 63

    Good questions, Ed, and quite a lot of them. Can I assume you are an atheist like Rick and Thomas apparently are?

    It is good to ask questions about the details of a subject. But, I'm sure you'll agree, there are primary questions, and then there are secondary questions that need to be addressed once the primary questions have been answered because those primary questions will often shape the asking of the secondary questions. My point is that we ought to be discussing the primary questions first.

    For example: is there ANY evidence to support either position, the theist position, or the atheist position? Can you see how questions related to Jesus, or any regarding the nature of God, are secondary if we don't first understand whether or not any God exists at all?

    The evidence for the existence of God is really quite overwhelming (i.e., all of creation; the life and teachings of Jesus, the many other prophets; our sense of morality and conscience; the free will that justifies the punishment defined in the penal code; logic; etc.); which probably explains why the vast majority of people believe in a Creator. What I've always had trouble getting atheists to provide, and perhaps you are the one to finally come through for me, is what evidence supports your "NO GOD!!!" position?

    I sincerely hope you can help me, Ed.

  • Michael Nedderman posted at 4:04 pm on Sat, Aug 9, 2014.

    Mike Nedderman Posts: 63

    I should have related the first two comments in my previous post. I was trying to say that such a widely accepted, and historically universal belief would seem indicate that whoever was the perpetrator of what you assert is a fraud and hoax was incredibly successful like no other hoax in history. There would almost have to be a supernatural power to do such a thing. What do you think about that, Rick?

  • Michael Nedderman posted at 3:56 pm on Sat, Aug 9, 2014.

    Mike Nedderman Posts: 63

    Hi Rick. To say that a fraud and hoax has been perpetrated is to imply that someone did it. Who do you blame?

    And, why do you think atheists are such an infinitesimal minority? Even when the evil communists forced atheism on millions in the last century, it was still an insignificant fraction as compared to those who affirm a Creator.

    Do you really believe that nothing created everything? Or do you believe that the universe is eternal, that it always existed and will never cease to exist?

  • Thomas Heuer posted at 3:23 pm on Sat, Aug 9, 2014.

    nth degree wise Posts: 1669

    Thank you Mr Houdack

  • Ed Walters posted at 12:57 pm on Sat, Aug 9, 2014.

    the old dog Posts: 633

    Mr. Bill, with all your knowledge that makes it difficult for most people to understand, perhaps you could make it less complicated. By that I mean, back to basics, everything happened in a time period. Perhaps you can differentiate the time line before and after Adam and Eve were made, the Great Flood, the birth of Christ, a period of time was chosen for his birth, though no one has that knowledge, just a guess. Even the books of the Bible were written at different times. From John the Baptist to the last supper, now the real question, there is absolute proof that dinosaurs lived millions of years ago, also the Jurassic Period, the writings on the wall made by caveman millions of years ago. These are time dated and there is no way of getting around that. Perhaps you would care to give your interpretation BTW, is anything mentioned concerning Adam and EVe and family as they were shown the door evicting them from Eden.

  • Rick Houdack posted at 8:49 am on Sat, Aug 9, 2014.

    Rick Houdack Posts: 188

    Truly, the greatest fraud and hoax ever perpetrated on foolish man is ... God .


Recent Comments

Posted 1 hour ago by Tiffany Moffatt.

article: JoAnne Mounce: California gas tax is a …

As a Lodi city council member perhaps your time would be better spent focusing on local issues versus lobbying the federal or state governm…


Posted 1 hour ago by Eric Barrow.

article: Letter: Ron Portal’s letters repeat the…

OK, despite the outrage from the right Benghazi has been picked over with a fine tooth comb and their has not been one shred of evidence th…


Posted 3 hours ago by Brian Dockter.

article: Steve Hansen: Driving through the gaunt…

Ok Steve, Allow me to rephrase things. You all too often take the side of the progressives. Now, you may think it's not a big deal. Qu…


Posted 17 hours ago by Mike Adams.

article: Letter: Ron Portal’s letters repeat the…

" Also the alleged "Stand Down" order given by a high ranking official at the White House thus preventing US troops from ent…


Posted 19 hours ago by M. Doyle.

article: Letter: No one’s faith should be scorned

I think it was Ben Franklin who said, "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither lib…



Popular Stories



Your News

News for the community, by the community.

Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists