Should We Respect the Apologists?

Respect-Is-Not-A-GiftI was talking to someone on Twitter about the recent Sean Carroll/William Lane Craig debate and he said that while Craig lost the debate badly, in general he had a lot of respect for the guy.  I don’t.

Respect, as far as I’m concerned, isn’t something that is just granted, it’s something that’s earned.  A person has to do something that garners respect, they don’t get it just because they bothered to wake up in the morning.  It’s something you get for actually being on the right side of an argument, for performing above and beyond the call of duty, etc.  It’s not automatic.

William Lane Craig has not earned any of my respect and so long as he keeps being a dishonest, intellectually bankrupt religious moron, he won’t.  Neither has Ray Comfort.  Neither has Ken Ham.  Neither has any religious person on the planet, at least with regard to their religion. Certainly, they can earn it via other avenues, but not with their religion.  I don’t have respect for people who act in disrepectful ways and that includes those who are dishonest, disingenuous and disgusting, three things that I think apply to religion in general and most theists in particular.

So what do I mean?  Anyone who holds a belief, any belief, without significant objective evidence to back it up, or at least a logical, rational framework, based on reality, to work from, is being disingenuous.  In the modern age, there is no excuse for anyone not searching for the truth. You can find it in a minute or two on Google.  I don’t care what you feel, I don’t care what you prefer, I care what is actually true in the one reality that we all share.  Those who say they’ve studied their religious book and found it to be objectively and demonstrably valid are being dishonest.  They simply cannot be justified that way, no matter how much you twist and turn and let’s be honest, there are a lot of theists who do convolute their reading of their holy books to make virtually any proposition true.  Finally, those who use these ridiculous beliefs to rationalize away the horrors created by religion are out-and-out disgusting.

That reminds me of another guy on a forum who goes by the absurd handle of “Logicman”.  He wouldn’t know logic if it whacked him upside the head.  He firmly believes that the Bible is right because the Bible is right.  Why? Because the Bible is right.  He is utterly incapable of rationally evaluating his religious beliefs, he’s a complete fanatic and he’s happy to tell everyone that his mind cannot be changed.  The problem is, he follows rational people around and tells them they’re wrong because they disagree with his Biblical beliefs.  Should this person be respected?  Is he any worse than William Lane Craig?  I don’t think so.

I know these people don’t care and that’s a problem.  They hold their beliefs and they have their fanatical followers and that’s all that matters to them.  So long as their followers keep sending in money and buying their books, they’ll keep spouting their irrational, dishonest rhetoric.  I only care what’s actually true, they only care what feels good and makes them money.  Sorry, there will be no respect for them until they become better, more rational people and I just don’t see that happening.

339 thoughts on “Should We Respect the Apologists?

  1. Should We Respect the Apologists?

    Yes.

    I have often heard people say that respect is something that must be earned. Those who hold to this view are misers in the same vein as Ebeneezer Scrooge. Why? Because, like Scrooge they are self-centered. Concerned largely for their own welfare and no one else. A more caring, compassionate person offers respect up front rather than holding it in reserve. I suggest that when we hold to the idea that respect must be earned, we give it less often. This, I strongly suspect, makes one more prone to thinking of our fellow human beings in more demeaning terms. You tend to become dismissive of the value and worth of others. Now some people – hateful people – deserve to be dismissed to some extend. But the more dismissive we become the more inclined one becomes to treating others as inferior. And when this begins to happen we are more likely to slide into the banality of evil. But if we treat the value and worth of the beliefs of a person separate from the value and worth of the person, we are far less likely to travel toward or down the road that has all to often led to the most heinous acts in our history.

    "Respect, as far as I’m concerned, isn’t something that is just granted, it’s something that’s earned.  A person has to do something that garners respect, they don’t get it just because they bothered to wake up in the morning.  It’s something you get for actually being on the right side of an argument, for performing above and beyond the call of duty, etc.  It’s not automatic."

    I disagree. Respect is something given freely and that one has do something to retain, not earn. All humans have a basic dignity and worth that demands they be respected. But retaining the respect offered should be conditioned upon behavior that is respectful of the dignity and worth of others, including those who extend you respect.

    As for the relationship between respect and the ideas and beliefs a person holds, you are confusing things here. If you find ideas or beliefs obnoxious, offensive or wrong then you are not obligated to respect the ideas or beliefs. But this does not mean that the person is thus also deserving of no respect. Respect of ideas and respect of a flesh-and-blood person should be and are conditioned upon different factors. You are wrong to claim that one must be on the right side of an argument to garner respect. If this is true, then every person with whom you disagree deserves not to be respected. Thus you are telling me that you disrespect as living beings all the libertarians, liberals and others who are decent, ethical, moral human beings but happen to be on what you consider to be the wrong side of the argument. If so I think this makes you an ethically and morally bankrupt individual. It calls into question whether you should be respected as an individual.

    I don't respect the religious beliefs and ideas of William Lane Craig. But I do respect the actual person of William Lane Craig. Craig is not a horrible person. He is a loving, decent human being who in his personal life and actions shows considerable regard for other human beings. And for this he should be respected. He has, to my knowledge, engaged in his lifetime in no behaviors toward other human beings that show a disregard for their value and dignity as fellow human beings.

    It is true that he has said some really stupid things over the years as a result of his beliefs. But I challenge you to produce one example of a behavior or an action where he has actually inflicted injury upon the dignity or worth of that individual. If you can't do this then you have no justification for disrespecting him as a person. Disrespect a person's beliefs but not the person, unless that person has engaged in behavior that shows they have no or little concern for their fellow human beings.

    The individuals whom I tend not to respect as persons are the hate-mongers and act out this hatred and/or prejudice some way. This includes but is not limited to racists, misogynists, sexists, rapists, apologists for any of these, and all those who judge a person's worth on the basis of some physical attribute or the beliefs they hold rather than the content of their character and the actions they take. I want to emphasize that it is the actions that stem from these beliefs to cause my disrepect for the person. I disrespect these beliefs but do not disrespect the holder of these beliefs provided they do not act upon them. I don't extend respect to those who treat others as a means to an end rather than as an end in-of-themselves. In this regard, I am somewhat Kantian in my philosophy, since he was the first major western philosopher to put respect for persons at the center of moral theory.

    Because I am a humanist, respect of the person and for each individual's dignity and worth as a human being is one of the core principals of my worldview. This is the reason I do not share your view that it is acceptable to withhold respect from a person because of their beliefs. I don't know what philosophical viewpoint is at the heart of your worldview, but if it includes the notion that a person's belief is alone sufficient reason to disrespect the person then I think your value system is stunted, immature, and tragically deficient in some very important way.

    1. I entirely disagree. People do not have value just because they bothered to get out of bed in the morning. Their beliefs are not useful, just because they happen to get emotional comfort from them. They are only worthwhile or valuable insofar as they are actually true. Those people who believe nonsensical things have not earned my respect because they do nothing to advance the human cause or improve the human position and society. That's why I'm not a humanist, I value people who have earned my respect and shown that they have dignity, I will not assign such things to people whose beliefs cause damage and whose actions do not advance humanity as a species. I see no point in valuing an individual, just because they happen to share the same genetic structure as you do. I want mankind to advance, you don't seem to mind if he just stagnates. I find that view reprehensible and repulsive.

      1. I did not say they have value "just because they bothered to get out of bed in the morning." I said something more deeply significant than this. I said they have value because they exist. And when I use the word value here, I am talking about an ethical principal. Whatever system of ethics you employ – if you actually hold to a set of ethical principals, something I am beginning to doubt – is by any level of decency and rationality obnoxious and odious if you actually believe what you said. I'll take your characterizing my views as reprehensible and repulsive as resulting from poor reading comprehension on your part. Go back and reread my comments again, carefully. And this time try not let your dislike for those who disagree with you cloud your understanding of what was actually written. Stop projecting.

        "Their beliefs are not useful, just because they happen to get emotional comfort from them."

        Please point out in my comments where I said anything that even remotely implies this? However, since you bring it up you have pointed to the incorrectness of your statement within the statement itself. If a person gets emotional comfort from a belief then that belief is useful by the very fact that it provided something of use to that person, emotional comfort. Just because you don't like or approve of the particular use that person got from the belief does not mean it was of no use.

        "Those people who believe nonsensical things have not earned my respect because they do nothing to advance the human cause or improve the human position and society."

        I am constantly amazed at your lack of reflection upon the thoughts that enter your brain and find their way onto your blog. I am forced to wonder just how deeply you thought about this before you wrote it. This statement is so easily refutable it is surprising to me that you couldn't even see the problem with it before you let your fingers type out those words. Martin Luther King Jr., who had the very nonsensical beliefs you are railing against, did more to improve the human position and society in general than I think it likely you will ever do. Most of the recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize held these same irrational and nonsensical beliefs and have done more to improve the human position and society than I think you are likely ever to do. Need I go on? The number of people who have held irrational and nonsensical beliefs in the supernatural and who have accomplished great things that have improved the human position and society is so great that your comment above is just laughably stupid.

        "I want mankind to advance, you don't seem to mind if he (sic) just stagnates. I find that view reprehensible and repulsive."

        First, mankind is not a he. As for you statement, I would also find such a view as reprehensible and repulsive. It's a good thing I did not actually say this, explicitly or implicitly. You seem to be accusing me here of apologizing for religious belief. This is not true. Nothing I said implies this. The apparent fact that you think it does only reflects upon your poor reading comprehension. I was defending the innate worth and value of persons, not the beliefs they hold. Criticize those beliefs as harshly as you like. Hell, I have done so. I am a very vocal atheist when it comes to criticizing religious belief and the efforts of believers to impose their beliefs on the rest of us. I am what you would call one of those New Atheists. When it comes to criticizing religious belief I am no less forceful than any of those who have been labeled as New Atheists. But I do not make the blanket and sweeping generalized remarks that you do about the believers themselves as people. You lump them all together and think all of them are horrible people. Well, that is false and you are irrational for thinking so. You're brand of atheism is irrational. It is dogmatic. Your view of individual human beings is shaded by your emotionally-based outrage at their beliefs. I too have no respect for their beliefs, as I have said. I do not share your view that because of what they believe they as human beings are to valued less. What you are doing here is dehumanizing them. All of them. And that is a slippery slope that can lead to places that I should think you would not want to go.

      2. Many of the kindest, most decent human beings I have ever known, individuals who display great compassion and concern for the welfare of their fellow human beings, have been religious believers. While I disagree with their belief and often times let them know I don't respect their beliefs, basic human decency instructs me not to tell them that as person's they are not deserving of respect. You are not a decent human being. It is you who holds reprehensible and revolting beliefs. And it saddens me, truly saddens me, that you are not likely to see this and change because you are so blinded by the emotionally-held hatred you have for religion. Yes, you are being emotional. I have read dozens of your posts criticizing religion. Seldom do you confine yourself to a rational critique of their beliefs. You always direct rage at the person as well as their beliefs. This is not how a rational person formulates an argument against an idea or belief. I am convinced that you do this because you have a deeply-seated emotional-based resentment toward people who disagree with you. You do the same thing when you criticize liberals or libertarians. Your thinking is seldom very reflective on these subjects. And you rationalize what are essentially emotional-based comments as based on your conservative principles and/or your commitment to logic, rationality, use of reason and evidence. I don't doubt your commitment to these things. I just don't think you actually use them correctly or effectively. For example, as I have said on numerous occasions, you frequently offer assertions as facts without providing evidence or a coherent and internally consistent argument to support those assertions.. You just simply are very poor thinker. But I digress from the main topic of discussion.

        I admire and respect the likes of Jimmy Carter, Martin Luther King, the volunteers of Doctors Without Borders (most of whom almost certainly hold some of the nonsensical beliefs of which you have mentioned) and so many others for what they have done to improve the human condition, to alleviate human misery and suffering. I admire and respect them for what they have done regardless of what their beliefs are. But unless you are not articulating your personal views very well, it appears that you have no respect for these people because of what they believe. Afterall, you said that if a a person holds nonsensical beliefs then they are undeserving of your respect because they could not have done anything to "advance the human cause or improve the human position and society."

        I too want humankind to advance. If you were at all familiar with humanist philosophy you wold know that improving the human condition is at the core of its value system, its ethics, its principals. Instead you seem to have a picture of humanism that is a shallow and distorted strawman image of this philosophy. I want the human condition to be improved. I want suffering to be minimized as much as we can. I want the impoverished and the oppressed to be released from the misery of these conditions. If you find this reprehensible and repulsive then I question your self-declared commitment to improving the human condition. In fact, I wonder what you mean when you write that you want "mankind to advance." I suspect that your version of mankind's advancement is dystopian in nature.

        Finally, the overall phrasing of your position in this post leads me to suspect that you would have little issue with a society in which those who believe in nonsensical things are rounded up, put in camps, and exterminated. After all, by your stated reasoning they have no value. They have no worth. They contribute nothing to advancing mankind or improving the human position – all of which are false characterizations I have addressed. Now please read carefully here. I did not say that you would approve of these things nor that if society was so structured you would actively participate in these activities. Remember reading comprehension. I said I suspect these statements to be true because of the things you have written. It is possible that you don't believe these things and that you have just made some very poor choices of phrasing. If this is true then take a very good look at what you wrote and do a much more careful job of phrasing whatever is to be your next response.

        You can start by answering a few questions.

        Do you believe that a person is of less value as a person because you find their beliefs to be useless? (I remind you that to say yes is to find yourself in company with those who have no problem with ridding society of the less desirable.)

        Do you think a person should be given less regard and consideration because of what they believe?

        Should the rights we grant to persons and the way individuals and society as a whole treats individuals or groups of people be based on the usefulness and value of their beliefs?

        I share the same genetic structure as do you, yet I obviously do not share the same values and ethics as you.
        Am I less of a person because I think persons of belief should be respected because they exist and therefore disagree with your standard?

  2. You are free to believe as you do that respect is something that must be earned. But you are not free to hold the rest of us to this particular standard. For some of us – I count myself among them – respect is something we offer to another person because we value that person as a human being, regardless of whatever ideas or beliefs they may have or disagreement between us over these ideas and beliefs we hold. To think otherwise would logical require me to disrespect all those people with whom I disagree, even though they may are decent, caring, considerate persons. And there is nothing about your position on this subject that is ethically, morally, logically, or rationally superior to my view, though I do believe that your view is lacking in compassion and regard for other humans.

    "I don’t have respect for people who act in disrespectful ways and that includes those who are dishonest, disingenuous and disgusting, three things that I think apply to religion in general and most theists in particular."

    You find most theists "disgusting" because of their beliefs? I would say you are marching down that road toward the demonization of a particular group of your fellow human beings. You are sounding like one of those individuals whom I said are not themselves worthy of respect because they devalue and dehumanize other humans. You are walking very close to this line, if you haven't already crossed it.

    "Those who say they’ve studied their religious book and found it to be objectively and demonstrably valid are being dishonest."

    They are self-deluded. But I can't agree they are being dishonest. Dishonesty is the willful, knowing attempt to deceive others. Those who sincerely hold a belief, regardless of how false that belief is, can't be engaging in dishonesty. You are again using false characterizations of a group of people whom you personally dislike. You are using this characterization in a way that dehumanizes, demeans, and devalues them as human beings. It is you who is now engaging in rhetoric that is dishonest.

      1. If you are using the term dishonest to simply mean they they are saying things that contain false and unjustified facts and truths, then I will agree. But if you are using the term dishonest to state that they are intentionally stating false things in order to deceive others, then you are wrong. When I use the term dishonest I have always used it as a word that means a person is lying. They are intentionally making a false statement in order to deceive you, to misdirect you from the the actual truth. There are times, I am sure, when some religious believers will do this. But if one truly believes the things they are saying to be true, then there is no deceit intended and no attempt at dishonesty. Thus they are not being dishonest with others when they state and defend their beliefs. As for your charge that they are being dishonest with themselves, you'll have to explain to me how this is possible if you mean dishonest in the terms of intentional deceit. Makes no sense to me that a person will intentionally deceive themself. I don't even know how it is possible to intentionally deceive yourself. Believers have deluded themselves and are therefore victims of one or more of the various cognitive biases that afflict all of us at one time or another (you, nor Cephus, nor I are exempt from this). I suspect that t you are mistakenly using dishonest as a synonym for self-delusion or fooling oneself.

        When you call a believer dishonest because of what they believe you automatically eliminate any chance of getting them to see the thinking mistakes that have led them to their false beliefs. To call a person dishonest is to question the moral nature of their character. Most people see this as a very personal assault and become defensive and entrenched. So I don't call religious believers dishonest because of what they believr because (1) it is a false accusation and (2) it won't achieve my objective which is to get them to reflect critically upon what they believe.

        1. "If you are using the term dishonest to simply mean they they are saying things that contain false and unjustified facts and truths, then I will agree"

          That is what I am saying

          1. Glad we cleared that up. But I sill maintain that you achieve nothing constructive you actually call the believer dishonest to his/or her face or say it to them using the written word online. Because without you providing the definition of the word you are using they are going to interpret it in that second way and then there is little or no hope of getting through to them. And I should think that if we want to rid ourselves of religion then we need to persuade believers out of their belief. We certainly can't, or at least should not, legislate religion out of existence.

          2. I still think you're wrong. While in most cases, it won't make a difference because the theists beliefs are not open to rational evaluation, but sometimes, they need a swift kick in the head to knock a couple of neurons together so they can gain a clue. For the majority, it doesn't matter, there is no amount of insulting, arguing, debating and presenting evidence that will make them reconsider their faith and it's really not worth talking to them at all, it's more rewarding to bang your head on a brick wall. There is nothing constructive that you will ever achieve with these people regardless of what you do. Therefore, why should I care if what I do makes them feel bad or not? They deserve to feel bad. They believe stupid things.

          3. I call then dishonet because when I ask for undeniable proof to show their god is real they can't provide any. So baiscally that is being dishonest. Saying things like 'its gods will" is being dishonest since you can't provide evidence

          4. You are here. The apparent result of intelligent design.

            The moons of Jupiter rotate in different directions, the laws of physics indicate that after the big bang the same force would have acted on them in the same way with the same rotation happening.

            You've had answers the entire time, saying there hasn't been answers is not being very honest on your part.

          5. Just because I am here does not prove ID and the moons on Jupiter does not prove a thing either.

            Any documented evidence that your god is real?

            You don't have any and please do not come her eand wreck this site like the rest of them

          6. I just gave it, evidence that you are too complicated to be an accident and that God put the moons in place, rotating in directions to confound science trying to explain it.

            You don't believe in God, you have that choice. But don't pretend you haven't been given answers and evidence.

          7. So you have no evdience.

            Why do you stalk me to this web site? Trying to bring down another site huh?

          8. Examples are the best kind of evidence.

            Examples of gravity are evidence it is real.

            Do you have other evidence for why two moons and a planet rotate backwards? Other than they were put there by a higher power?

          9. Are they? I wil remember that. I have no evidence and and can only say we don't understand space yet. Back in biblical days when something could not be explained tthey used religion to try and explain it. Then when scientist excplained it religion was tossed out the window. I would rather figure out why they rotate backwards then just using one sided religious thinking saying "god did it" which proves nothing

          10. Newton's laws of motion is what we use for understanding orbits, projectories and in our space program.

            And those laws can't explain the reverse rotation if the big bang was one large event that effected everything at the same time.

            Saying 'God didn't do it' doesn't really prove anything either.

            That's why it's up to personal opinion. You asked for examples and I provided them.

          11. You had a point? Where? Retrograde rotation doesn't prove the existence of God until you can objectively show God is real and is actually responsible for it. All you're doing is asserting it. The cause is just as likely to be leprechauns.

            So where is your actual, objective proof for God or are you going to continue to make a fool of yourself?

          12. Yes, I had a point. There is no natural explanation for their rotation.

            In the absence of your natural laws explaining it, then my beliefs are just as valid as your guesses.

          13. Except for people posting the natural explanation for their rotation, you might have had a point. It can be EASILY explained naturally.

            Have you had this reading comprehension problem long?

          14. what natural explanation? One made up without any observation, one that hasn't happened in recorded history?
            "
            That would be hearsay according to the standards imposed on everything I've said. I haven't heard any actual natural explanation, but I am waiting for one.

          15. Seriously, do you have the slightest understanding of physics or any other science? We know how things operate in the universe because the universe works in a predictable and consistent manner. That's why science works.

            It's no wonder you're such a laughing stock, you're utterly clueless.

          16. And then if you can't show or replicate your explanation of retrograde rotation it's not science and it's not proven. It's just a theory or opinion.

          17. Which is exactly why I'm so adamant on my 30-second debate system. The only thing that makes the Christian view valid is if they can actually prove God really exists. Until they can do that, all of their arguments are nonsense, just as someone who wants to claim leprechauns are real and use all the same philosophical arguments that Christian apologists do, but at the end of the day, they still haven't validated their belief in leprechauns.

            Until Roger can actually prove God is real, he's just wasting everyone's time.

          18. I've proven that you have been given a shred of evidence. One you ignore, spit on and reject.

            But you have been given that shred dozens of times all the same.

          19. And that's all you've offered.
            Can't you actually prove anything to the same standards you demand from me?

            And not from any biased secular site, since they're biased. If I'm not allowed to use any site familiar with religion than you shouldn't use any familiar with atheism. They would be biased, isn't that the term you use when I refer to archeology sites that accept the past?

          20. I am questioning your claims and asking for proof. That is all and you have failed to provide them

          21. "No evidence at all only opinion"

            That's not questioning a claim that's saying it's wrong.

            So, go ahead and prove your statement.

          22. That's not evidence. You don't seem to understand what evidence is. In order to demonstrate what you claim, you would have to prove that God exists, then present a direct causal link between God and the "creation" of man. You can do none of that. You can only make empty claims based on blind faith. You can only assert the existence of God and employ the argument from ignorance to point to things that you wish were true, but that you can't actually prove.

            That's why apologetics is so pathetic, it not only can't do what it asserts, it doesn't even understand why it fails so badly.

          23. Why would I? You would reject it, and we would both be back where we started.

            But even you should admit that you are here. And you have an amazing complexity that indicates no random occurrence made that possible.

          24. That's a common claim among theists who have jack shit. Oh, I have all this evidence but I'm not going to tell you because you wouldn't believe me anyhow!

            Come on Roger, we all see through your nonsense. Stop being a child. Put up or shut up.

          25. You haven't seen through anything, or you would 't be so defensive.

            Unlike some, I have tried to remain respectful.

            I have tried to discuss evidence and reasons for conclusions, not to preach to you. If you want to find proof of God, I find it in things you would reject so it would just be an exercise in futility for both of us.

          26. No, retrograde moons are thought to be satellites that were created elsewhere in the universe then later captured in a gravitational orbit.

          27. And that is based on what? If the big bang was a single event then there wouldn't be more than one kind of orbit from all the bodies that it exerted force on.

          28. Silly Roger, while the big bang theory is thought to be a single event, it certainly doesn't mean everything happened in a single moment. Stars are still being born and dying, orbits decay, comet paths altering. Your understanding of the big bang theory is intentionally simplistic.

          29. Your link proves his point.

            And it says nothing about the Big Bang meaning that planets or moons can't change their orbits.

          30. Does it?

            "If true, the rapid engorgement would solve paradoxes like why the heavens look uniform from pole to pole and not like a jagged, warped mess."

          31. And that is another example that atheists perhaps ignore the flaws in their own beliefs.

            Your video is less than hearsay, using the level of proof demanded of me.

          32. This isn't about agreement, it's about proof. You have not provided proof. You have provided assertion. You have linked to others making assertions.

            Let us know when you figure out what objective evidence is.

          33. And I have been given no proof on anything here.
            Retrograde inclinations? All that is proof of is angles of inclination, not the source of the retrograde rotation.

            I hope I do get some proof here on the things I've had tossed at me as if they were scientifically proven.

          34. Really?

            "He was trying to understand why there was no trace of some exotic particles that should have been created in the Big Bang."

          35. It's conveniently simplistic, but that's really why theists tend to fall for their religious beliefs, because they intentionally don't know any better and aren't willing to find out. They have an "answer" in which they are emotionally invested and therefore, they go to any length to keep believing that "answer", even if it's by clenching their eyes shut and screaming "I'm right! I'm right! I'm right!" They can never actually demonstrate that they're right but they're not open to any other alternatives.

          36. The newtonian laws of motion are simplistic, but iron clad.

            I still haven't seen you lay out a case for your position.
            I have seen you claim it is settled, and you claim different things are settled science. But I haven't seen you lay out a case.

            Of course I'm open to it, I just haven't seen it.

          37. Roger, please educate yourself on the subject and quit pretending to be an expert. Newtonian physics was a great break through at the time, but it is certainly not considered "iron clad". Newtonian physics have two giant downfalls namely when applied to tiny particles (quantum mechanics) and to objects traveling at or near the speed of light.

          38. And the bodies I'm discussing are not traveling at the speed of light nor tiny particles.

            Trust, can't you go dig your well and try to behave here as you would demand on your own site?

          39. None of the bodies I used as examples travel near the speed of light.

            And I've heard of Einstein, he had that time-relativity issue. But I don't see how that applies to the orbits revolving in retrograde.

          40. You do know modern theories argue that the universal is still expanding near the speed of light, right?

          41. No. That's Ken Ham's stupidity. In order for Jesus to be credible, you'd have to find CONTEMPORARY accounts of his existence, people who actually saw him with their own eyes and wrote it down in their own hand. You'd have to have multiple independent accounts, people who didn't know each other, people who didn't have any reason to collude on an account, people who didn't copy from each other, etc. You simply do not have that with Jesus.

          42. No, they were first hand accounts.
            Two, Matthew and John very clearly were first hand accounts. Mark was secretary to Peter who told his first hand account.

            So, while you can quibble on one, the other two were very specific on it being what they saw and heard.

          43. The author of Matthew had obviously gotten his information from Mark's gospel and used them for his own needs. He fashioned his narrative to appeal to Jewish tradition and Scripture. He improved the grammar of Mark's Gospel, corrected what he felt theologically important, and heightened the miracles and magic

          44. Nope Matthew was a tax collector used to recording details in a way that could be used in the Roman courts.

            He fashioned his narrative based on his experiences and his recorded facts.

          45. I know you're too stupid to get this, but none of the Gospels were written by the people whose names are on them. That's a very well understood fact.

            I know facts don't matter to you, but come on.

          46. Matthew did, John did.

            You may not know enough about my religion to make that call.

            I realize you will reject any truth that you find challenges your preset ideology, and that's you right.

          47. I don't care about your particular brand of religion, I care about the sources that you provide and I know more than you do about the Bible.

            But please, do try again.

          48. Please try to explain again just what you want, and the levels of proof that both sides should provide.

            Fair is fair. Why not have a level playing field?

          49. John,, presents us with long theological discourses from Jesus and could not possibly have come as literal words from a historical jesus. The Gospel of John disagrees with events described in Mark, Matthew, and Luke. Moreover the unknown author(s) of this gospel wrote it in Greek near the end of the first century, and according to Bishop Shelby Spong, the book "carried within it a very obvious reference to the death of John Zebedee (John 21:23)."

          50. John presents us a narrative based on what he saw and heard first hand.

            "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched–this we proclaim concerning the Word of life."

            The discourses he saw and reported, you may not think they were possible, but that's just your opinion until you prove otherwise.

            And your opinion, biased and without proof is not nearly as credible as the contemporary records of a first hand eye witness.

          51. Mark appears deceptively after the Matthew gospel, the gospel of Mark got written at least a generation before Matthew. From its own words, one can deduce that the author of Mark had neither heard jesus nor served as his personal follower. Whoever wrote the gospel simply accepted the story of jesus without question and wrote a crude an ungrammatical account of the popular story at the time. Historians tell us of the three Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke), Mark served as the common element between Matthew and Luke and provided the main source for both of them. Of Mark's 666* verses, some 600 appear in Matthew, some 300 in Luke. According to Randel Helms, the author of Mark, stands at least a third remove from jesus and more likely at the fourth remove

          52. Just debunking and showing you have no proof for your claim. It's up to you to prove what you claim until it can be debunked. You're not doing very well and your anger is showing

          53. Yesterday I was told that wasn't acceptable.

            That I hadn't provided a shred of evidence, so clearly you need to provide at least a 'shred of evidence' before you can expect to have your opinions taken seriously.

            I'll wait of course. You know very well the standards laid out yesterday were so reasonable, it shouldn't be a problem for you.

          54. And yesterday when I rebutted your claim that nobody had presented a shred of evidence you told me I didn't provide evidence since nothing I said would rise to the standards of admissibility in court.

            You haven't either, so you haven't rebutted anything, you haven't presented a shred of evidence. You simply gave your opinion, nothing more.

            This is how debate works. You don't 'get to artificially impose one standard on me, then use another for yourself.

            Until you are ready to prove something, or even give evidence admissible in court, why are you here?

          55. Nope. I'm still waiting.

            I'm still patiently waiting.

            And remember, you haven't shown a 'shred of evidence' that would be admissible in court, so you are still not playing on the same field of debate you demand from me.

          56. No, you're the one who doesn't understand debate. You need to produce evidence to support your claims and that includes showing that the sources you use are factually correct and demonstrably accurate. You have done none of that for the Bible. Your faith doesn't make it so, you have to be able to produce justifiable evidence for your claims.

            When do you think you'll start doing that?

          57. You could try google.

            You gave that to me earlier today.

            Now, I do owe you an apology, I try to not lower myself to being childish.

            I have been waiting for you to explain all sorts of things, since you do understand debate I can now expect that list of things from you on your beliefs too.

          58. Although the new testament does not provide the ages of the disciples, most christians think their ages came to around 20-30 years old. jesus' birth would have to have occurred before Herod's death at 4 B.C.E. So if jesus' birth occurred in the year 4 B.C.E., that would put the age of the disciples, at the time of the writing of the first gospel, at around age 60-70 and the last gospel at around age 90-100! Based on just life expectancies alone, that would make the probability unlikely they lived during the writing of the first gospel, and extremely unlikely any of them lived during the writing of the last gospel (and I have used only the most conservative numbers).

          59. That is all opinion, and not proof.

            I was told yesterday that Christ needed contemporary records and I provided that.

            If you don't like those records, that's your right. But you haven't proven that they are 'wrong'. Just that you and others don't want to believe them.

            That's opinion and not fact, "not a shred of evidence' has been presented that they are false.

          60. Sure I did, contemporary records of the life of Christ.

            You havne't proven them wrong, and I'm still waiting. Remember, you need to provide evidence that rises to admissibility in court.

            It was what you said yesterday, and surely you were being reasonable, weren't you?

          61. Initially, perhaps. But rotating objects change direction and velocity when they bump into each other. Put enough spinning tops together in an enclosed space and you can observe this phenomenon.

            That is one possible explanation for retrograde. It is an hypothesis, not evidence. Same goes for divine intervention.

          62. The bodies in discussion are globes, round. They don't show evidence of a collision of sufficient force to not only stop rotation but spin them the other way.

          63. Indeed they are big marbles. Perhaps they belong to you, as you seem to have lost yours.

            Anyway, I'm off. My well is down today and needs repair. Good luck to you.

          64. Actually, we know how retrograde planetary bodies work, we understand captured body physics quite well. The theist's idea that somehow, retrograde moons are a sign from God or whatever makes no sense, it's like claiming that they were produced by unicorns.

          65. There's no such thing as believing in science. Science is the only method we demonstrably have that explains how the world around us works. Whether you like it or not, whether you agree with it or not, the real world continues to operate in a real and predictable manner. Rejecting science is idiotic, just like rejecting gravity. You can hate gravity all you want but you're still going to fall when you jump off that tall building.

          66. Nor do they have to. Are you playing from Ken Ham's playbook? We have a firm understanding of gravity, we have a firm understanding of physics and it all breaks down to mathematics. So long as the math works, and it does, we can infer events that we haven't seen.

            So why would you believe in Jesus? You weren't there!

          67. So you can't or won't explain anything and based on second hand narratives accept them on faith?

            You won't do that even about the authors of the Gospels.

          68. No, I won't accept anything on faith and I won't allow you to do it either. Faith is the excuse we give ourselves for believing things for which there is no good evidence. Faith is nonsense. This isn't about faith and if faith is all you have, you will consistently lose in every single debate you have, which, judging by what I've seen, is exactly what you do.

            If you want us to take your claims about the Gospel authors seriously, you need to be able to demonstrate that the claims of the Gospel authors, whoever they are because they're all anonymous, are valid. Since they can't even get the details right between them, at events you want us to believe they were actually present for, that's a mighty tall order. When do you think you'll actually do any of that?

          69. Fine then examine them in the light of historical facts that are accepted and supported by archeology.

            That's enough for me to accept them as contemporary authors writing and taking them at face value, even if I may or may not agree with their conclusions.

          70. Great, please point out these demonstrable historical facts with links to scholarly validation of them. You have yet to do any of that. We understand mythic writing in the old world, we understand that whoever wrote the Gospels lifted a great deal of the details of Jesus' life from other mythic writings of the time. These things are demonstrable. There are stories in the Jesus narrative that are simply not original but borrowed. The same is true of virtually every supernatural story in the Bible. You don't want to accept that, who knows, maybe you're just unaware of it, but the fact remains that it's so. There really is no excuse for your ignorance though, you have a wealth of information at your fingertips if you'd just be wiling to go look for it. Unfortunately, you're not.

          71. I provided more than half a dozen in this thread to TNM

            He of course said they were Christian sites and didn't even discuss the finds or evidence uncovered.

            What standards do you want me to meet, and if I meet them are you going to accept that even if you don't like it or agree with the conclusions?

          72. Now I'm not speaking to any particular link because I don't know which ones you're talking about and it really doesn't matter. The fact remains though that just because you provide a link to someone saying the same thing you're saying, that doesn't prove that either of you are factually correct. There are all kinds of conspiracy theorist nutters online and they all cross-link with each other, but since none of them actually produces evidence that their claims are true, it's just a bunch of mutual masturbation. The only reason to post a link is to point someone to the scholarship behind the claim, the evidence, the arguments and the science. Do your links do that? Or are they just religious people who are making the same kinds of unjustified, unevidenced claims that you are? Just finding someone who repeats the same kind of irrational blather doesn't make it any less irrational.

            And no, we ought to come to the same conclusions if we're both dedicated to finding the truth, based on the evidence, no matter what that truth happens to be. If you follow the evidence to where it logically leads and don't try to force the evidence to go to a conclusion that you already emotionally expect, then everyone ought to get to the same conclusion by following the same evidence. If we don't, there's something wrong with one of our conclusions and that needs to be debated until a single conclusion is achieved. That's how reason works.

          73. There goes all your arguments then,
            There goes all of TNM's comments.

            If providing links isn't effective, and opinions don't matter, and no one backs up their side's accepted arguments, I'm at a loss as to how anyone can show anything.

            I used links that showed findings in the field. That would be evidence they have uncovered. To discount those would be more of a stretch then to discount someone repeating that a theory is accepted.

          74. No, a lot of the links provided, at least in my case, were links to those actual studies and scientific experiments and data that proves that what you've been saying is factually wrong. Apparently, you pay no attention to any of the links provided for your benefit.

          75. A lot of the links I provided gave equally credible information on my side, and you disregarded those out of hand.

            I read yours and while they had a lot of conclusions they didn't address the concerns I had with your conclusions.

            Retrograde spin for example, it had theory but nothing replicated or observable.

            Apparently you want to not have a level playing field. What does evidence require for you, and will you accept evidence even if you don't agree with the conclusions?

          76. I can't say I've seen any of those links but I suppose I might have missed them, it's hard to keep up with hundreds upon hundreds of comments posted every day. So please, post your best link, pointing to objective evidence, that the Gospel writers were actually written by demonstrable eyewitnesses to Jesus. I'll check it out. Or, post a link that shows the natural explanations that we've all posted for retrograde spin are scientifically invalid, with the hard science behind it to prove it. I'll check that out too.

            This is about having a level playing field and so far, we're all performing at a much higher level than you are and we're waiting for you to make your way up to our level. We don't give a damn what your faith says, we don't care what you believe, we care what you can prove. You haven't proven anything. You've just asserted it. The fact remains that you still haven't been able to prove the actual existence of God or Jesus or any of the other things you've claimed. It rests entirely on your shoulders to prove your own claims and you've done nothing whatsoever to do so. You've presented no science, you've presented no objective evidence, you've only made unjustified claims and waved your arms around like you know what you're doing. Rational people evaluate evidence. Not claims, not assertions, not faith, evidence. Now while I'm sure you're going to turn around and say "you guys aren't doing it either", that doesn't change the fact that it is still YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to prove your side. Until you do, you've got nothing worth paying attention to.

            So are you going to man up or continue to post a bunch of unsupported nonsense?

          77. I'm willing to give anyone the benefit of the doubt, but statistically, the chances aren't very good. I've debated tons of professional apologists who perform no better than Roger does. They don't care if their beliefs are actually true, they just want to keep clinging to their emotionally-comforting faith, even if it is "unsupported nonsense". This isn't about reality, it's about comfort for the apologists. I'm hoping Roger will either see that and actually look at the evidence objectively, or just admit that he has no interest in the truth.

          78. You say you were careful in researching things, but you still can't produce any objective, direct evidence that God exists. How careful could you have been when the virtual entirety of your belief structure remains wholly unproven? Come on, stop being silly.

          79. I never claimed God does exist. Quote me.

            I did say that people have given TNM shreds of evidence and he rejects them.

            Your entire belief structure remains unproven as well, since you can't prove God doesn't exist.

            It's really a draw, only you use more insults.

            And I notice you just totally ignored that I provided evidence that John the disciple was a real person, that he did write that contemporary account of the life of Jesus.

            Shreds of evidence. They are there, if you are honest enough to look.

          80. I've done so three times on this thread for you.

            Can you define you position on the complexity of not your entire body, but the complexity of your endocrine system and how it evolved by accident? What evolutionary advantage would a complicated system have over a more simple system have?

          81. No, that doesn't really define your position, it asks a specific question. Maybe you're afraid to actually define your beliefs because you're afraid you'll be asked uncomfortable questions about them and I understand that, but if your beliefs cannot stand up to those uncomfortable questions, then maybe you ought not hold those beliefs.

            You really do need to go read some simple books on evolution because, based on your questions, you really don't have the slightest clue what you're talking about.

          82. It does define it, and I have defined it three times here. Since you ignore a direct answer I tried another approach. If you can't or won't answer a simply question I'm not sure you want an answer.

          83. But you're entirely missing what I'm asking. What is your purpose in asking these things? What is your end goal? What is it that you are trying to support with these questions? What is the point of arguing that Josephus accepted that Galilee existed? Certainly there's more to it than you're willing to argue.

          84. Really Roger? Trolling an Atheist blog? Wow how far you have fallen. what's next, Trolling a kids magic pony site? that's right you have areadly done that.

          85. The Big Bang exerted no force on anything. You must have been sleeping through your science classes, assuming you even took any. The Big Bang and the formation of the planets are two events separated by approximately 8 billion years of time. The Big Bang could not have exerted a force on the planets because they did not exist at the time of the Big Bang.

          86. then force was involved, and the Newtonian laws of motion apply, the retrograde rotation is evidence that the big bang hasn't been laid out in ways that explain our universe.

            Educate yourself by examining facts then drawing conclusions instead of having conclusions and indoctrinating your talking points to match.

            Why the insults?

            I did examine the world around me before deciding to accept any faith. I understand that others will have different conclusions to the evidence in our reality. That's why I don't insult you conclusions. I realize that freedom that I want to decide for myself goes both ways. That's why I don't argue religion.

            Can you say the same?

          87. Roger only agenda here is to increase his ID comment tally. You cannot debate this monkey who is intellectually dishonest . he needs his url to be banned. Once he cannot add more to his ID account he will stop spamming this site with his special brand of stupid. Otherwise he has no interest. Every comment he makes is designed to bait others into replying so he can make his comment quota.

          88. Roger a monkey?
            You got that right.
            Henceforth, he will be forever known as Ko-Ko the monkey.

          89. The SBJ agenda is to not so much increase his tally, but to just go around insulting people. It's all you ever do. Why do you think your comments are above the spam level?

            Oh, is asking a legit question just baiting you?
            Debate is like that, and you're not up to it.

          90. Roger, you have stated before the facts are not important to you; just your comment tally. I would never lower myself to debate the village idiot. You debate like a five year old defending his belief in Santa. Your an IDIOT Roger!

          91. Nope, Wte took a partial comment and implied it.
            I said that to trolls agenda is more important that facts.

            You are the example of that being true. What else are you going to lie about?

            And you are a troll.

          92. Well, if you have no larger position to argue for, then I guess we're done here. You've left me nothing interesting to work with. Adios.

          93. You have ignored and side stepped everything I've said.
            You haven't noticed links, refuse to explain your accepted 'facts' as you claim them to be.

            You have done exactly what you pretend my side does.
            Adios.

          94. Because what you've said hasn't led anywhere. You seem to be asking questions, just to ask them, not because you're building a case for any actual proposition. To what end are you asking these questions? Are you trying to prove something? What are you trying to prove? There seems to be no point to what you're doing and I'm hardly the only one to think so.

            Maybe before you start your next fight, you might want to consider your battle plan.

          95. I've been asking questions, giving links to evidence backing up the Biblical accounts, pointing to scientific knowns like retrograde spinning that the big bang doesn't answer.

            All I've proven is you ignore facts, evidence, links, and any other comments that are questioning your conclusions.

            Before you pretend to be open minded you may want to just be honest and tell them you're not.

          96. When is a question a ruse? A ploy to avoid an honest answer? A cop out?

            I can only reconcile myself to an almighty who wants us to pursue knowledge to the best of our abilities. We are blessed with powerful minds and natural curiosity. A just God must only want us to make use of these tools to the best of our abilities.

          97. The Big Bang has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with retrograde spinning, as has been pointed out to you and you still don't get it. We've also pointed out that your claims about Josephus are utterly meaningless. Just because Josephus confirms that Galilee existed doesn't prove that any of the supernatural miracles of Jesus were real. The only way to provide evidence for Jesus is to present direct, demonstrable, objective evidence for Jesus, made by people who were demonstrably there. You have failed to do that. You don't understand how rational people come to conclusions based on evidence, you're operating by assertion and when that's pointed out to you, you stick your fingers in your ears and scream that you're right. No one has ignored any facts, we've just pointed out that the things you present don't mean what you seem to think that they mean. You're leaping to unwarranted, unsupported conclusions based on wishful thinking, not solid evidence and critical reasoning.

            I know you're incapable of understanding all of this or you wouldn't be arguing the way you're arguing. You need a lot more education in critical thinking and logic and you're simply not going to get that from apologetic websites.

          98. Exactly. So you admit that your theory on origins can't be part of the things we can see and prove.

            Then there are holes in your theory.

            And I do understand that.
            And since you like to not win on content but on points for insults that's the reason I'm arguing the way I am.

            The retrograde spin goes against the Newtonian laws of motion, if an equal energy force is putting things into motion the reaction should be equal on those bodies in contact with it. Even if those bodies were captured by other sources they should be spinning the same way.

            So, how are you going to ignore or discount that?

            I heard a term on the radio yesterday. Angry Atheists.

            Are you an angry atheist or just someone that wants to reconcile facts with your beliefs?

          99. There is no question whatsoever that the Big Bang happened. We have no way of knowing what came before it but we certainly know that from Planck time forward, the universe was a wholly natural event, following wholly natural laws. There is no evidence that gods were a part of any of it, or that they even exist. We've already shown you that retrograde motion does *NOT* go against Newtonian laws of motion, captured planetary bodies can spin whatever way they happened to be spinning at the time. Explain why they should be spinning the same direction. Back it up with solid mathematics and physics. We've already explained that you're wrong and provided links that prove you're wrong, but you're too busy thumping apologetics sites who are just as ignorant as you are.

            That's why this discussion isn't going anywhere. You just don't know enough to back up your claims with demonstrable facts.

          100. There is a question, not on your part, but in the world around you there is a question if it happened and that retrograde rotation is one example of why.

            The lack of sharp edges in the universe is another reason why.

            That's why this discussion isn't going anywhere You simply refuse to accept what you don't you like.

          101. Yes, a link I provided for TNM explained that if the big bang happens that there should be differences observed from what we see in space.

            " The problem is that the Big Bang model is seriously incomplete. The fact that we do not understand the nature of the dark matter and dark energy that appears to fill the Universe is a serious shortcoming."
            http://telescoper.wordpress.com/tag/big-bang/

            Are you honest with your comment?

          102. Nobody ever said we completely understood the Big Bang but we do learn more all the time, that's why we recently got the first pictures of dark matter, something the mathematical models showed had to exist, The same was true of black holes when Einstein first showed that mathematically, they had to exist, it was many years until we proved that they actually did. That's how science works, it makes predictions and those predictions are later proven to be true.

            So where is your model of the universe that can make predictions that are proven true?

          103. Why don't I restate that to take the atheist spin out of it.

            You know you depend on the theory of the big bang, even if there is evidence that it didn't actually happen the way you say it did, and since there is so much evidence you keep trying to change the theory to be complicated enough to cover the things that might be used against it.

            And when did I claim I had a model of the universe that can make predictions that are proven true?

            I am waiting for proof, to the same level you demand from me that the big bang even happened.

          104. I don't depend on anything. The Big Bang isn't necessary for my atheism, only the lack of evidence for gods is. So where is there any objective evidence for the God you believe in Roger? Got any? Of course you don't.

          105. I've been providing it constantly. My evidence is the retrograde spin of these moons and one planet. There is not a provable fact that caused the way they spin other than perhaps a sense of humor from a higher power that left evidence of that power close enough we could see it.

          106. Thus, the inevitable conclusion to any conversation with Roger. Feel fortunate that you have arrived here. Like the Olive Garden's Endless Pasta Bowl, too many people will continue to gorge themselves long after they've realized there is no further benefit to be gained.

          107. He sure did and here is both quotes with nothing removed:
            Roger 169p • 57 minutes ago
            Facts are an inconvenient stumbling block until you learn to ignore them.

            Roger 169p • 6 days ago
            Ignore the facts, they aren't important.

          108. Why not tell the truth? It was a thread about your troll agenda.
            You ignore facts for your agenda.

            Your posting the comment as you did just proves my point all over again.

            It was so nice when you have your weekend off and don't sit at your work terminal cranking out propaganda all day long.

          109. Then you are using the word incorrectly. From Merriman-Webster online dictionary:

            dis·hon·est adjective \(ˌ)dis-ˈä-nəst also (ˌ)diz-\

            : saying or likely to say things that are untrue

            : containing information that is untrue

            : used to deceive someone

            The first two definitions are the ones you told me you were using. The third is the one that I said is how most people using the word. You are now telling me that you define it in a fourth way, which is not one of the meanings listed for it in the dictionary. The inability or unwillingness of a person to provide you an answer to a question or to provide you evidence for a claim is not a recognized nor accepted definition of the term dishonest.

          110. That really doesn't matter, sorry. It's not so much that people don't know that they're wrong, it's that there's really no excuse for them not knowing that they're wrong. We live in a wonderful world where information is at the fingertips of virtually everyone, especially someone posting on an online forum or blog. Anyone who is unwilling to verify their own positions using this wealth of information is a fool. Most of them, I would think, have already been confronted with data that shows their beliefs to be false, yet they refuse to acknowledge any of it. That makes them dishonest because they have not intellectually and honestly validated their own positions in the face of clear and present evidence to the contrary.

            But sure, if you want to worship your dictionary, go for it.

          111. Amazing. So you have granted yourself the authority to just change the meaning of words whenever it suits your purpose? Well this certainly is one dishonest way to always be right.

          112. Words are just a shorthand to facilitate understanding. Since you seem to be the only ones here that has a problem, it seems clear that it is, indeed, your problem.

            But please feel free to bow down to the dictionary if it makes you happier, the rest of us are having a conversation.

          113. Oh, I understand perfectly well. Cephus is never wrong. There is no actual understanding when words are arbitrarily changed to mean what you want them to mean. I'm guessing there are no dictionaries in your home since you appear to have no need for them.

          114. You spend all of your time worshipping authorities and none of your time actually thinking about the world around you. Dictionaries are useful to a certain degree but the meaning of words changes all the time, that's why they keep updating the dictionary. So long as people understand the ideas being discussed, there's no need to be anal about definitions.

            If that's what you need, I don't know what to tell you, you're likely to be a very unhappy person in the real world.

        2. "When you call a believer dishonest because of what they believe you automatically eliminate any chance of getting them to see the thinking mistakes that have led them to their false beliefs. To call a person dishonest is to question the moral nature of their character. Most people see this as a very personal assault and become defensive and entrenched. So I don't call religious believers dishonest because of what they believr because (1) it is a false accusation and (2) it won't achieve my objective which is to get them to reflect critically upon what they believe."

          But they're not, in general, willing to see their mistakes, they're not interested in whether they are right or wrong, they didn't adopt their beliefs rationally, they do so emotionally. They don't want to examine the underpinnings of their faith, they want to believe, no matter how absurd the belief is, because it makes them feel good. No matter how many times you present the evidence that they are factually incorrect, it won't change their outlook one bit and that is blatantly dishonest.

          Then you get to the professional apologists, the ones who make their living off of the gullibility of believers. They are absurdly dishonest and know it. Back in the late 80s, I heard a debate with Duane Gish and he was proven completely wrong about his Bombardier Beetle claims. He admitted it. It didn't stop him from using the same argument verbatim for years because his audience wasn't educated enough to know that he was wrong. He wasn't interested in the truth, he was interested in a paycheck. The same is true of the conspiracy theorists. Alex Jones is a fucking liar. He knows that the crap that comes out of his mouth is absolutely wrong. He's been corrected many times. He doesn't care, he has a revenue stream to protect.

          So enough with this accomodationist nonsense. The religious deserve all the derision that they get, they've earned it.

          1. "But they're not, in general, willing to see their mistakes, they're not interested in whether they are right or wrong, they didn't adopt their beliefs rationally, they do so emotionally."

            Unless you have some mystical powers of insight, you can't know this to be true for each and every believer when you enter into a debate or discussion about belief. And this can't be true of all believers, else there would be far fewer atheists, yourself included. Most atheists were once believers, Some form of persuasion, whether it be something said during a conversation or some persuasive information they encountered in a book that led them to rethink what they believe, got through to them. Obviously those believers who converted weren't as disinterested in finding out whether they are right are wrong as you seem to be implying for all believers. And you can't know before having a conversation with a believer whether they aren't interested in determining the truth.

            If all believers, as you appear to be saying, adopt their beliefs for emotional reasons, and this is a permanent block from seeing the falsity of their beliefs and abandoning them, then how did you manage to abandon your faith. You too must have adopted it for emotional reasons. Yet you managed to rid yourself of those beliefs. So emotionalism can't be the impenetrable barrier to abandoning belief that you appear to be saying it is. And if you adopted your religious beliefs for rational reasons rather than emotional reasons, how would you square that with your repeated argument that religions beliefs are irrational? How did you, if you did, manage to adopt irrational beliefs for rational reasons?

            "So enough with this accomodationist nonsense. The religious deserve all the derision that they get, they've earned it."

            You don't know what the term accommodationist means. I am not advocating that we should just accept the intrusion of religious beliefs into our culture and be quiet about it. I am not advocating that religious beliefs should not be criticized, and aggressively. Actually, I strongly believe in the separation of church and state principal. I strongly believe in criticizing religious beliefs. And I am active in doing this. Nothing I have said is accommodationist. My only point issue throughout this entire discussion has been with your assertion that religious believers deserve to be reviled and disrespected as human beings because of what they believe. Show contempt for the belief. But automatic contempt for the believer solely because of what they believe? This makes you a person worthy of contempt.

            I am willing to concede that contempt and revulsion may be appropriate for likes of Ken Ham, Fred Phelps, and Duane Gish. But you are saying that every religious believer deserves to be treated in a demeaning, dehumanizing way because of what they believe, regardless of their actual actions. By your standard I would be obligated to heap derision and scorn and disrespect upon the likes of Jimmy Carter, for example, as a human being because he believes in God. Regardless of what you might think of his politics, he is without question one of the most decent, compassionate, caring human beings to have walked the planet in modern times. He has done more to uplift people, to improve their condition than you, I am certain, ever have or ever will. And he is just one example of literally millions of people who believe in the supernatural but have and continue to do good things. In a conversation with Carter about religious belief I would point out the errors in his belief, and indicate that I don't have respect for those beliefs. But I would never tell him that he as a person is worthy of derision and contempt. If you would do so then you are just as worthy of contempt as Fred Phelps any one who behaved as he did. I would have to say that you are hateful if you believe the things you are saying.

          2. He's not going to wreck anything, he has nothing to say that makes any rational sense. At best, he's something to laugh at and point out all of his faults and failures.

          3. He\’s good as a demonstration of the absurdity of religious thought and how unrealistic and irrational it is. That\’s about it. Everything he says is ridiculously simple to disprove. He has no clue what he\’s talking about.

          4. Then go ahead and disprove the points.

            Not claiming they nave been disproven, but actually lay out the cases.

            The moons in retrograde, there are theories accepted as fact since it's convenient. Do you have any examples, do you have that 'shred of evidence' TNM mentions?

          5. Bitchspot
            Exposing stupidity wherever it hides

            Roger, you have come to the right place.

            Exposed at last!

            Welcome home!

          6. What is your explanation for the moons in retrograde? Or is this just a convenient way to throw in the old, tired "God did it!" without a shred of evidence?

          7. My explanation?

            This universe we find ourselves in doesn't seem to be chance. It seems to be well laid out with a sense of humor, enough exceptions are within our grasp to see they are exceptions.

            I don't say who that designer is. But I see evidence of His work.

          8. He doesn't understand what evidence is. So long as it makes him feel good and justifies his pre-conceived notions, he thinks that's evidence.

          9. I know. I have been trying to explain to him what evidence is for years, he just dosen't get it

          10. He's incapable of getting it, that religious mind poison has ruined his rational faculties. Those same logical, rational processes that he has to use to get through the day on everything else, get rejected out of hand when it comes to his religious beliefs. I would certainly argue that constitutes a mental disease or disorder, wouldn't you?

          11. Nope, and this morning you failed to rise to the same standards you tried to impose on me yesterday.

            I'm patently waiting of course.

          12. He really isn't interested in real debate. He is just here because he follows Wee to every site.

            He saves every comment Wee makes, and gets thrills from upsetting him with nonsense.

          13. I enjoyed the debate yesterday at the von Misses website. He tried his best to educate folk about his understanding of Bitcoins and Fiat currency. He fell flat on his face.

          14. I like debating over there, too bad Roger followed me over there and wreaked the debate before it really got started.

            He reports my comments so that they are automatically deleted, and I can't get a word in.

          15. I agree. That is his M.O.
            He debates with the Report Button. He wore it out at Story Leak, until they eliminated it, and it backfired on him. He has no credibility there anymore. He does the same thing at Heritage, and LRC. He immediately deletes comments. To be sure, he is reporting everyone's comments here, but the Administrator is already on to his juvenile games. I wonder how long this can go on. He has harassed you and Wee for over four years. I often wonder, what did he do before the Internet? He must have drove his neighbors nuts. He is the epitome of an incessant screaming chimp.

          16. I haven't received any reports, for whatever that's worth. I don't take what he says seriously, he's here as a laughing stock, just as I'm sure he is everywhere else. He'll get no traction for anything else here at all.

          17. And to think evolutionists call Christians intolerant?
            I came, discussed my positions and waited for sane reasoning on why I was wrong.

            I've received name calling, but not much more.

          18. There are a couple of those people around, they just want to go around and disagree, whether there's any reason to disagree or not. They get off on being dicks. Just one more on the pile, I guess.

          19. I didn't come to just disagree, there were several guest profiles here that did that.

            I have been told my evidence wasn't evidence. Told that they have disproven what I said without supplying any evidence to the level they demand and then been called names. and on top of that told I was the one being a dick.

            I guess it depends on perspective.

          20. That was hearsay and not even evidence.

            Why not rise to the same standards of proof you demand from me?

            Prove it.

          21. I am not trying to prove anything you are. I am just debunking everything you say

          22. So, if all you're using is your own opinion then it can be safely disregarded, just as you did with everything I posted yesterday.

            Not a shred of evidence, you've not offered a shred of evidence.

          23. And you are doing a great job of it. There are things in this world I don't pretend to understand (like why Roger loves you), but that doesn't mean I am making a counter argument. His logic is fatally flawed.

          24. If I was spamming the site I would not have taken so much time to actually dialogue with you, instead of 'at' you.

            Iv'e really put a lot of effort in finding ways to find a level playing field and meeting you as an equal.

            I haven't mocked you, your positions, your evidence that you won't explain for yourself.

            Respect must be earned, and I figured you have this site and deserve to be treated with respect, and I've tried to do that.

            That isn't the MO of a spammer.

          25. But you're not. You're just making claims about things for which you have no evidence. If you want to have a rational discussion, please do so. Otherwise, you're just spamming the site.

          26. And you have provided no evidence. If I wanted to play your game, (besides having a site for people to mock you) I would just say my position is accepted science and not up to debate and not explain it beyond that.

            I have provided links with evidence and you conveniently haven't seen them.

            And there are a lot of comments, but don't blame me for you not having noticed anything.

          27. But it isn't the case. Please show where anything you have to say is accepted by science and not up for debate? You really have no clue what it is that you're saying, do you?

          28. This comes back to the dishonesty thread. Even when you show and explain why he is wrong he won't admit it. That is called being dishonest.

          29. You need to prove that. I don't think it's unfair to expect you to meet the same standards you imposed on me.

            You were reasonable yesterday, weren't you?

            Its' not like I was just debunking your claims or anything, was it?

          30. Josephus' birth in 37 C.E. (well after the alleged crucifixion of Jesus), puts him out of range of an eyewitness account

          31. And while it's nice that you remember the things discussed yesterday that doesn't have any bearing on the discussion this morning.

            And Matthew and John were eye witnesses and John was very clear in stating that.

            Can you prove that wrong? Not opinions, but actual 'shreds of evidence'?

          32. I already showed those accounts can't be proven.

            It does have a bearing in the discussion today since you brought it up

            Check Mate

          33. You don't seem to understand the levels of 'evidence' required to show things.

            You gave opinions, you showed nothing other than some people are as biased as you are.

            And you haven't a 'shred of evidence' behind that check mate claim.

            I'm still waiting for you to rise to the same standards you demanded yesterday, it was so reasonable you shouldn't find it difficult.

          34. You are the one trying to prove your claims and I am challenging them with questions you are unable to answer and provide any evidence.

            Tell you what. Why not just prove with undeniable facts that your god is real, and don't come back with "prove he is not real"

          35. I am not trying to prove anything you are. Do you understand that concept at all. Yuu are on site geared for non-belivers. I have questioned all your opinion you laid out and out and fired back with facts showing they can't be proven. You are no match for me. Just an annoying stalker

          36. Of course you are. You are pretending that your opinion is enough to show I'm wrong.

            If you want to say I'm wrong you need to prove it just as you demanded from me yesterday.

          37. I have used facts you can't deny and questioned your opinions waiting for you to produce some sort of evidence

          38. No, you haven't. What facts? Biased sources that make claims that can't be backed?

            You really need to figure out what level of proof is needed and then after you explain what levels of proof you are willing to provide, then we can have an actual debate on a level playing field.

            Your opinions, are just that and nothing more.

          39. I linked my facts and also showed that Josephus was born after jesus died so he could not be an eye witness, I linked you showing the law of physics change across the universe, and why moons rotate a different direction on Jupiter

          40. You linked opinions that had no proof, and that had nothing to do with the contemporary accounts that document the life of Christ.

            If you don't accept the Newtonian laws of motion as fact in space then you're going to need to provide proof equivalent to the standards you impose on me.

          41. Yes I did, you just did not like the factual answers I presented and you dismiss them

          42. Now come on, Wee….you know to Roger that is a first hand account of what happened….

          43. Now, you've openly reduced this to childish playground insults.

            The site just yesterday was claiming it was my side of the argument that failed and crumbled under scrutiny. What happened to that?

          44. And that shows more about you, than it does about me.

            To think this site considers you a person to take seriously? That's sad.

          45. I don't think we should necessarily insult people, but honestly, some people just beg for it. People need to be responsible for their own words and when one's words are as laughably pathetic as Roger's, getting a written boot upside the head is probably the only thing worth responding with.

          46. Then if I'm that wrong, you should be able to explain your own beliefs without just tossing out an unsourced and theoretical happening that can't be replicated.

          47. We can. We can show why your beliefs are factually incorrect as well. In fact, I've seen plenty of references go by that apparently, you don't even bother to read. You're just not interested, it gets in the way of your faith.

          48. I will lay out the real definition which is the one I use:
            hear·say

            /ˈhi(ə)rˌsā/

            noun

            noun: hearsay

            information received from other people that one cannot adequately substantiate; rumor.

          49. Then you should have no problem explaining why it's wrong.

            You've used atheist biased sites and I didn't use your name calling tactics. Why can't you match the same standards you expect from me?

            Or are you just not up to it?

          50. And can you prove that?
            It's nothing more than your opinion until you do.

            And what they laid out was more detailed than the opinion you just laid out.

          51. You claimed Josephus was discredited. You haven't shown his statements on Jesus were false.

            Where is your evidence that the life of Jesus never existed?

          52. You don't read well, do you? The only passage in any of Josephus' writings that is used to demonstrate Jesus is in Jewish Antiquities XVIII 63f. The passage, which reads:

            “Now, there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works; a teacher of such men as received the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.”

            That doesn't appear in *ANY* existing copy of Jewish Antiquities that dates to the day that Josephus was alive. Every single copy where that appears was produced after he died. He didn't write it. It was an early Christian forgery and a desperate attempt to lend credence to Christian legend. You know, exactly like you're trying to do right now. The passage is totally out of place in the context of the work, the writing style is completely different and it's awkwardly inserted and disrupts the flow of the rest of the narrative.

            Therefore, it doesn't matter if Josephus was a historian, he didn't write the passage!

          53. You seem to be selective in what you read.
            I dont' hinge my case on Josephus writing that passage, but on his comments in Galilee and the quality of the wooden hand plows.

            And you seem selective, most historians don't doubt the existence of Jesus just the implications and details of His life.
            http://www.sullivan-county.com/id3/robotwisdom.ht

            This site is an example of a typical examination of the historical Jesus.

            Some facts are disputed, but not the life of the man Jesus.

          54. But what does that have to do with Jesus or Christianity? If he didn't write the passage in question, then he has nothing whatsoever to say about the validity of Christianity and there's no reason to talk about him at all.

            Regardless, even if there was a man named Jesus, it doesn't prove a thing about the supernatural claims made about him in the Bible. I used to have a gardener named Jesus, the fact that he was a real person does not give any credence to a supernatural claim made about him.

            Is there somewhere you're going with this?

          55. It shows that Jesus was a historical figure.

            And Josephus did write about Galilee and how the wooden hand plows were highly sought after. I'm not referring to the quote you keep tossing up.

            Even other religions don't dispute the historical Jesus, even Mohammed discussed him. They come to different conclusions on His life, but you're not even willing to consider that.

            Why?

          56. That only proves that Galilee existed. Does anyone doubt that? We have lots of historical evidence for that. How do you get from the existence of a verified area of dirt to the Son of God? Show your work, step by step, how you get from one to the other.

          57. 87 weeks ago @ Frontpage Magazine – Why an Israeli Strike … · 172 replies · -2 points
            I'm poking my head in here because I just can't stand it any longer. When you go to my ID page, Roger, you'll find I'm a nobody who hasn't even commented in months. But JezusHCrist, don't you ever tire of mouthing your same crap day after day, week after week? I starting seeing your idiocy months and months ago on that Pirates site and watched in disgust as you rambled on and on, constantly throwing out your same tired reference to this Brietbart comment; then you started with the goat garbage. Here's an idea: If you can't find something else to do in Nebraska other than stalking another commenter, go do some volunteer work in an area that goes along with your political beliefs.

          58. If you can't follow the discussion, why chime in?
            Why do you want to lower the discussion, disrespect the site and troll this thread?

          59. I don't think it can get much lower than where you've already taken it. You are a prime example of the absurdity of religious belief and your ignorance is legendary net-wide. All you're doing is making yourself look like a fool, ignoring actual evidence, making ridiculous claims, etc. You just make Christianity look even more stupid and that's saying something.

            Now if you want to actually have an intellectual debate, based on logic and reason and objective evidence, I'm happy to accommodate you. However, if you're just going to quote apologist websites, using arguments that have been soundly discredited for decades, and drawing irrational and fallacious conclusions based on your own wishful thinking, I don't know what to tell you. I don't know what you think you're going to accomplish, especially since you're clearly unwilling to go check out the arguments you use. Google is your friend. You're not going to get anywhere by this tactic, I'd have thought you'd have learned that lesson by now.

          60. Cephus, you might as well ban him. He is an idiot. He is so bad, he has been banned from Sexually Explicit websites because he was so vile.

          61. I don't ban anyone, he hasn't violated any of the comment rules, he isn't a spammer, so he's welcome to comment if he wants to. He's not going to be taken seriously because all of his arguments are so laughable.

          62. That will disappoint them. TNM insults what I believe to lure me to sites like this hoping he can drag me into the mud then get me banned and claim some sort of victory. Since he can't really do well in any debate he was letting you do the heavy lifting.

            You've told me what atheists believe and have discounted, but you haven't really proven anything. And I've patiently waited for it.

            Why don't we set the ground rules and try again?
            Any supposition however accepted on either side has to be laid out and explained and proven to at least a cursory level. For BOTH sides. Does that work for you?

          63. Why don't the two of you just head over to Debate.org. Perhaps you've heard of it. It's a great place for structured debate.

          64. Because he'd fall apart completely in a structured debate, he can't even manage on blogs. I'm more than happy to debate any apologist, they're just afraid to do it.

          65. I challenge what you believe with facts and evidence and you say that is insulting.I see you are trying to set the rules again. I will play along

          66. Wee, haven't you learned by now, that you cannot debate a person who knows everything about everything, and who is the worlds foremost authority on nothing?

          67. You challenged me with suppositions that lacked proof, then demanded I provide proof so conclusive it would stand up in court as admissible evidence.

            Why not play with a level playing field?

          68. Here is why you fail. We don't understand space as much as we think we do. So we don't have all the answers, but sit here and jump to the lame ass excuse that "god did it" does not prove a thing. Someday we wil be able to explain it

          69. The laws of physics are called laws for a reason.

            If you don't understand space, then how can you say with any certainty I'm wrong?

          70. You have used a biased site, one that doesn't prove any of it's assertions.

            Can you come up with any thing more credible?
            You know, use the same standards for your links that you demand from me!

            Unless they can replicate their findings then it's just opinion, surely you can agree to that?

          71. Sure it is. Instead of having archeological evidence it had theories and ideas with nothing to back them up.

            That would be 'not a shred of evidence'.

          72. Quote what I said that was actually vile.

            And I'm having a rather interesting discussion. Why would you want to ban me and stop that?

          73. I do not know what it was that caused you to be banned from your Sex Site. I don't hang out at such places, but it must have been serious enough, and offensive enough, to get you banned. I don't imagine they banned you for spreading the good word of Salvation.

          74. More kids are molested in secular state run public schools than in the Catholic Church. Any child abuse is too much, of course.

            But at least you'll be able to try proving your point in court.

          75. Proving what point in court?

            Most teachers in secular statee run public schools are christians

          76. Prove it. In fact now you need to prove two things.

            1) that 80% are actual Christians.
            2) those Christians are the public school teachers that abuse children.

          77. You didn't prove either point.

            You proved 80% might claim to be affiliated with Christianity for any number of reasons, you went with an unsubstantiated number and then didn't prove they were the ones involved with abuse in the schools.

            I'm still waiting, I'm not asking anything unreasonable, just that you reach the same standards you demand from me.

            Can that be so hard?

          78. That is a biased and unsubstantiated claim.

            You offered not a 'shred of evidence' to back it up and clearly you can't prove your points. Do you want to retract them, or just lose credibility?

          79. Well, they claim to be, although I suspect the vast majority are just doing it for the social benefits, they neither understand what they're supposed to believe, nor do they actually believe it. That's why religion is falling apart in this country, most people realize they no longer need to pretend to be religious to get the social benefits.

          80. I'm not really selling anything. I am just the Paul Revere of the Internet. Riding from town to town, alerting the good citizenry of your impending attack.

            Should I post that Petition from yesterday, where they were petitioning Intense Debate to remove your account?

            That was hilarious.

          81. He's a tired old frog that runs a site with a steel fist, they had 4 people posting very few comments yesterday, significantly down from before.

            He thinks all Dems and Rep people are exactly the same and while doing nothing says the country is failing.

            If he's so sure the country is failing, you would think he could do more than just sit and whine about it. But those french, who can explain them.

            He's not the Paul Revere unless Paul sat around in a pub and complained while someone else took that ride.

          82. Why do you continually harass an elderly, old, crippled, Veteran of the French Foreign Legion? That is not very Christian-like of you.

            Although, I would not expect otherwise. Especially from the likes of you.

          83. I have no doubt that your arrogance is entirely home grown and you wear your bad manners proudly, as you regard anyone whose opinions differ from yours as inferior.

            I can't speak to your physical feebleness, nor do I care. Intellectually, your status is apparent to everyone.

  3. One final note. You posted along with your commentary an image of a poster that states that "Respect Is Not A Gift. You Have To Earn It."

    This is an opinion. If you are making this claim as some objective, unimpeachable fact that we are all obligated as rational thinkers to accept, then you have gone to far. If I want to offer respect to another person as a gift then I am free to do so and there is nothing rationally wrong with doing so, nothing that is ethically or morally or logically inferior to my position compared to yours.

    1. Yup, my blog, my opinions, I'm not sure why that's something so hard to understand. You can offer anything you want and write your own blog to reflect that. However, I would argue that there's more to be said from my perspective than from the other side, that respect is something to be given blindly to anyone who you encounter. Of course, in the modern world, "respect" is more about validation of a belief and I wholly reject that.

      1. " I don’t have respect for people who act in disrepectful ways and that includes those who are dishonest, disingenuous and disgusting, three things that I think apply to religion in general and most theists in particular."

        Well said

      2. I wan't saying that you don't get to express your opinion. So don't be so condescending. i was saying that if you were asserting this as a fact then it is demonstrably incorrect. That is what my comment essentially said. If you got anything else out of it then you are guilty of projection and poor reading comprehension.

        No, you are wrong that there is "more to be said" from your side on this matter. These are questions of values, not matters of fact. I argue that your opinion is actually less informed by facts than is mine. I challenge you to produce an a compellingly convincing argument (an actual argument, with logical proofs and evidence) that it is only and always correct to give respect when it has been earned and never as a gift. If you can't do this then don't be so assinine and arrogant as to claim that your position on this is in someway superior to mine, at least not until you have actually provided an argument that convincingly explains in what way it is actually superior. And don't double-down by repeating anything you have already written. Because nothing you have said thus far, either in the original post nor any of your follow-up replies here, even remotely constitutes or resembles an argument. You've made a bunch of assertions. But assertions do not make an argument.

  4. I will say this about William Lane Craig, he is the least irritating (yet irritating in another way) apologist for me. It does not mean he is rational, he is just easier to deal with than others that keep screaming the same thing. He will at least listen (most of the time) while you explain something. So I can understand the persons sentiment, however he is ceratinly not rational that I agree with 100 %.
    My recent post Remember Osama -I am a dead coward- Bin Laden?

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