Bertrand Russell on God (1959)

(via Atheist Media Blog)

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50 Comments so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. Right on Russell. Plain talking sense.

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  2. Max,

    They tell me there’s this place called “Papua New Guinea.” There are so many people out there that tell me it exists, and there are countless books (these so-called “magic maps”) that try to convince me that this silly island actually is there just above Australia. Such bullshit!
    I am so sick and tired of these smug, arrogant punks telling me I’m wrong and always pointing to that stupid map saying it’s there. “Just look, will you?! It’s right there! All you have to do it look and you will believe like we do!!” Idiots. I’ll be a damned monkey if I’ll succumb to their idiotic belief structure.
    No offense to anyone, but you just keep your map-thumpin’ radical beliefs the hell away from me and I’ll do the same. You’re going to have to try a lot harder than that before I’ll believe in some mythical mass of land that’s just “floating” in the ocean. LOL.
    Sheeple.

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  3. gerryfromktown,

    OK Max – you want analogy, lets play analogy.

    I’ll tell you something concrete about Papua New Guinea, you tell me something concrete about your God. Go ahead, be specific (please, be specific).

    Gerry
    PS – Almost forgot: I claim that if you type -4.5,142 into Google maps you will see an image of said Island. Your turn.

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    • Dan,

      Can you prove to me that there is NO god – I mean really prove it – don’t just quote some self important Atheist of the past or present but actually prove right here on this very blog that there is no god.

      Then the world can move on and we can all be happy that we are here totally by accident, aimlessly floating in the middle of nowhere on a big chunk of unstable rock and water.

      I cannot prove to you (the proof you are looking for anyway) that there is a god but likewise YOU CANNOT prove that there is no god.

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      • TS Greenie,

        Shouldn’t you be worshipping Zeus and the Flying Spaghetti Monster? Unless you can prove to me right now that they don’t exist, get down on your knees troll boy. And bring back some unicorn meat. Papa smurf is hungry.

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      • Axton,

        I believe Mr. Russell addresses this in the video. There is no way to prove or disprove that existence of god(s), so the only logical thing to do is suspend judgment. I can’t know for sure if there is a god so I’m sure as hell not going base my whole life of the assumption that it exists.

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      • Rev. Snarfleez J. Cattleprod,

        Dan, you can’t be serious with this tired, played out argument. Google “argument from ignorance”.

        Go on. I’ll hold.

        To propose that we accept all that isn’t disprovable is to propose the existence of god ALONG WITH zombies, fairies, Thor, and Cthulu.
        It’s patently absurd.
        Please use a form of logic that is valid.

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      • Gary Generic,

        Of course you can’t prove God doesn’t exist. The Abrahamic religons are Faith-based, and as such are inherently structured to resist being either proved or disproved; if they’re proved, they’re science, disproved, mythology. You can’t have Faith with any kind of proof.

        We can, however, prove Biblical facts wrong, as we have with both Genesis and Exodus, for instance. If all we know of God comes from the Bible, and the Bible is a fallible record, what can we really claim to know of God? Does He really think homosexuality is an abomination? Are women really inferior creatures to men? Is it really okay to beat your slaves?

        Let’s just make up our own minds and hearts and leave the “Good” Book out of it all.

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    • Max,

      lol. I’m sorry, but you’re going to have to define “concrete.”
      Careful, now. This is most likely the very word that started the whole debate!

      By the by, I never said I believed in a god. I just don’t want the majority of people telling me something that I choose not to believe. But, I’m sure you would know nothing of that, would you?

      God or no god, land mass or not, it’s never about proof. We all know damn good and well it’s about waiving a banner. This mindless intrinsic motivation which propels one to the top of the mountain so they can be “the one who’s right” has been done to death. And the funniest thing to me is that since it’s all nothing more than one camp crusading louder than the next, that would make you no better than those people who do believe in some wackadoo god in the sky. ouch!

      This debate is going to keep going, unfortunately. But if those people believe in some god, who is the bigger idiot; them for believing, or you for wasting your time and effort trying to convince them they are wrong, knowing their minds can’t be changed? The only thing I see proven is that blatant arrogance is a two-way street.

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      • landru,

        Yet aren’t you wasting your time by telling others that they are wasting their time? Aren’t you also guilty criticizing other for wrong-headed thinking? Unfortunately, your point would be stronger if you said nothing. Pot meet kettle.

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      • Max,

        Question asked, question answered. I’m content with my statement.

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      • ed,

        The assumption you make on the atheist theist argument is the motives of the arguers.For me it’s not about being on top or changing beliefs, obviously it would be pretty cool to change someones beliefs to the 1 I believe is right but it’s not realistic.Some people just genuinely like to argue, where’s the harm in it? If someone doesn’t want to argue it they don’t have to but the people going on about how it annoys them shouldn’t get sucked into other peoples argument especially as there is a good chance that neither of them are getting annoyed by it and their the ones arguing a third party can’t get pissed offabout it

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  4. I love the way Russell is so polite, yet adamantly matter-of-fact about religion. A giant brain and a gentleman’s demeanor.

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  5. Clairedammit,

    I love his point that you can’t just decide to believe something if it isn’t true. The converse works, too. Sometimes beliefs find you, even if you try to hide from them – it’s why I’m still a vegetarian after 10 years, even though it can be a pain in the ass. Also, once you know something, you can’t unknow it.

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  6. Dan,

    Is this the old man who said there was a little china teapot in space?

    He doesn’t exist any more according to his own beliefs (his existence ended when he died) so who cares what he thinks or thought / he is not here to back up his claims.

    I wonder if he believes in God now !!

    All these know-all Atheist yet NOT ONE bit of proof that there is no god.

    I’ll believe until proven otherwise thanks.

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    • TS Greenie,

      Ok I’ll bite Mr. Troll

      He doesn’t exist any more according to his own beliefs (his existence ended when he died) so who cares what he thinks or thought / he is not here to back up his claims.

      Yeah, and the theory of gravity went out the window when Newton died. Just because he no longer exists doesn’t mean he NEVER existed. It doesn’t mean that how he lived his life and his writings ceased to exist at the time his heart stopped beating.

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    • Electric Funeral,

      why are you even posting on this site?

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    • ed,

      By your logic you believe in the existence of all mythical animals and cryptozoology, you believe in all gods ever imagined, which must anger some of the that tell you they’re the only one, you believe aliens abduct people and perform the same experiments over and over but even though their so advanced they still haven’t learned anything, you believe in santa,the smurfs,optimus prime, care bears, excellsior, xenu, gaia, deceptacons, storks that deliver babies, satan, sherlock holmes(and don’t say he’s a character in a book because most gods are), the blair witch, bloody mary and everything ever imagined because you can’t disprove anything, life must be very strange for you.

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  7. Dan,

    “Shouldn’t you be worshipping Zeus and the Flying Spaghetti Monster? Unless you can prove to me right now that they don’t exist, get down on your knees troll boy. And bring back some unicorn meat. Papa smurf is hungry.”

    Hhhmmmm…are you feeling a bit off ?

    TSGreenie….. you and I are going to make great friends one day.

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  8. Belief in God and religious dogma are two different things. Belief in the former is possible without the latter. It’s easy to debunk belief in God, but if you do that you logically cannot believe in morality and therefore logically cannot oppose terrors such as fascism and the holocaust (why bother caring if you are atheist; after all it doesn’t matter does it?)

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    • tim,

      Quite the opposite actually. If there is no god or afterlife, then all that matters is what is here in this world. I find this an extremely compelling reason to act morally and try to make this life as great as possible, both for myself and others.

      If I believed in heaven, why would it make me so sad to see others suffer and die young? They would be heading off to a better place and I would be happy for them.

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    • landru,

      “It’s easy to debunk belief in God, but if you do that you logically cannot believe in morality”

      Humans existed before religion did. These humans formed tribes that worked together to hunt and gather food and learn to communicate. Eventually, this shared communication developed common religious practices.
      If humans lacked the morality that you posit, then we would not have been able to work together to build clans, fulfill are basic physiological and safety needs and/or develop some form of religion. Logically, morality comes before religion not the other way around. In fact, religion does not even necessarily follow from morality, though a slave trader might disagree.

      “and therefore logically cannot oppose terrors such as fascism and the holocaust (why bother caring if you are atheist; after all it doesn’t matter does it?)”
      This only makes sense to you. In a nutshell, you are a bigot who lacks critical thinking skills.

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  9. alterity, who said Atheists don’t believe in morality and why is it logical? On the contrary, your statement is completely illogical since morality has nothing to do with religion. Morality was not created by or is it solely reserved for those who practice religion. The rest of your comment is just as ridiculous.

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  10. What is the point in morality if there in no meaning whatsoever to life?

    What is the point in morality if life on planet Earth is entirely inconsequential?

    I would appreciate it if you thought about these questions rather than stooping down like neandertals and making personal insults — yes this is a logical contraction, I know :)

    Logically, the atheist should be completely unconcerned about anything that happens here on good old planet Earth, because once we are gone, that’s it, nothing. Zilch. Blackness, darkness, the END.

    So why care? What’s the point? Under the doctrine of atheism, the holocaust was nothing. Millions of people were brutally murdered but if they were going to die anyway what essentially has been lost? The meaning of their lives is nothing under atheism, the meaning of ANYTHING under atheism is nothing – hardly surprising really as atheism is nihilism.

    At least religion, spiritualism or whatever you call it, tries to value life with a view to what happens after death. Under atheism, in contrast, we are merely some sort of animal which is just a bit brighter than the average Orangutan. From this arises the interesting question: if we can justify the killing of animals – which we do – then why can’t we justify the killing of humans? What’s the difference. Why should humans have morality and not orangutans?

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    • TS Greenie,

      What is the point in morality if there in no meaning whatsoever to life?

      Logically, the atheist should be completely unconcerned about anything that happens here on good old planet Earth, because once we are gone, that’s it, nothing. Zilch. Blackness, darkness, the END.

      Ummmm Wow. There’s so much fertilizer in that comment that mushrooms should be sprouting out of this post.

      You ever think that perhaps Atheists may believe there is nothing after life which is why that they want life for themselves, neighbors and descendants to be THAT MUCH BETTER? But no. You’ve made up your silly argument and you’ll fit everything into your myopic mold.

      You can live for your afterlife, I’ll live for my life now.

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  11. I’m really enjoying how trolls like Max, Dan & alterity hit the same basic points – but are completely deranged. I don’t think I could replicate the asshattery if I tried. I mean, I’m trying to see their perspective(s), but it’s so filled with CRAP that it boggles the mind. It’s so blindingly backwards, it has to be a put on.

    But that’s one of the joys of the comments on this blog: cognitive dissonance. It brings me great joy.

    None of these mental midget trolls are worth the effort. They won’t engage in debate because they have nothing to gain. And they have zero incentive to be honest (intellectually or otherwise). I wonder if any of them actually watched the video?

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    • Dan,

      I see you have questioned my honesty.

      Hi Butchrobotpope (is that your real name !?), my name is actually Dan.
      I’m a 35yo male who works for a manufacturer’s agent (wholesaler) where I do graphic design and also sales. I also do design work on the side as a home business. I’m married and have a son. Whoops I forget to mention that I live in Brisbane / Australia.

      I can’t remember how I stumbled onto this blog. The reason I come back here is because not all of the threads are Atheist related. Some are funny and some interesting. The name of the site is “Cynical” not Atheist.

      When I see a thread that I feel needs an alternate view, rightly or wrongly.. I give it.

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      • Oh Dan, you lovable troll, this is the internet – nobody cares you really are (or claim to be). You’re not interested in debate, or you would have answered the responses given to your demented question. To wit:

        >>Dan,
        Can you prove to me that there is NO god – I mean really prove it – don’t just quote some self important Atheist of the past or present but actually prove right here on this very blog that there is no god.
        … I cannot prove to you (the proof you are looking for anyway) that there is a god but likewise YOU CANNOT prove that there is no god.

        >>Axton,
        I believe Mr. Russell addresses this in the video. There is no way to prove or disprove that existence of god(s), so the only logical thing to do is suspend judgment. I can’t know for sure if there is a god so I’m sure as hell not going base my whole life of the assumption that it exists.

        >>Rev. Snarfleez J. Cattleprod,
        To propose that we accept all that isn’t disprovable is to propose the existence of god ALONG WITH zombies, fairies, Thor, and Cthulu.
        It’s patently absurd. Please use a form of logic that is valid.

        Honesty is about a whole lot more than simply not lying – it’s about not being deceitful and not misleading people about your intentions. Put that in your troll-pipe and smoke it.

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  12. Try and be open minded for God’s sake! And with the moniker “butchrobotpope” I have to say it raises a few questions about your intellectual credentials as well.

    All in all, though, this is an interesting thread and shows how narrow minded and insular a lot of the posters here are. That’s sad really.

    Open your minds a bit people, and visit a few foreign countries like India, Indonesia and Poland. It might make you realize you are not wrapped in some infallible blanket of truth!

    Happy new year one and all – don’t worry i won’t mention Christmas less you slag me off for that as well!

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    • tim,

      Dude accuses us of having no morality because we don’t believe in god, and then accuses us of being close-minded. Nice one!

      Did you not read any of the posts regarding morality? It is easy to remain ignorant if you so desire, but it is also easy to become knowledgeable if you so desire. Look, you’re on the Internets already! I’m sure there has been plenty written on the subject, with nouns and verbs much nicer than mine.

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    • Thanks, but I don’t do anything for ‘God’s sake’. Ha!

      Maybe you should look to your own name, ‘alterity’ and not cast stones. I’d suggest you try venturing abroad. Maybe Central & South America, or Antarctica, or Greenland. I hear the Congo is lovely this time of year… Wait, what was my point?

      I hope you had a happy xmas. Troll. Cheers!

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  13. Dan,

    The more you engage with an Atheist the more you realise they are insular, one sided, insulting, basically full of shit and themselves.
    (The same way they describe Religion)

    They say they want a proper argument yet produce drivel in every post.

    Face facts your belief or what you know or whatever other way you want to describe it is nothing more than a BELIEF. Smugness is not a sign cleverness.

    Humans are the mental midgets compared to god.

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  14. Alterity your arguments are bordering on insane. What does the fact there is nothing for us after we die have to do what what happens today? seriously, do you realize that logic is so fucked up it’s not even funny?

    The reason and Atheist such as myself care about morality is because we understand that treating people the same way we want to be treated often times results in nice happy environment to live in. It also teaches our children about morality which helps perpetuate a cycle of good human behavior vs those that teach their kids there is a magic man in the sky and if you pray, things will get fixed.

    “So why care? What’s the point? Under the doctrine of atheism, the holocaust was nothing. Millions of people were brutally murdered but if they were going to die anyway what essentially has been lost? The meaning of their lives is nothing under atheism, the meaning of ANYTHING under atheism is nothing – hardly surprising really as atheism is nihilism.”

    That is one of the most idiotic things I have ever heard. you obviously have no clue about atheism if you think that because there is no after life the current life is meaningless. Why do you keep trying to equate what happens after death with to being a better person? It makes no difference what so ever in who you are or how smart you are. The fact that you think this way really shows how fucked up your logic is on the whole view of life. I feel really sorry for your kids if you have any, cause they are going to be seriously fucked up.

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  15. Trance220,

    It seems that most hardcore Christians like to either combine atheism and nihilism into one, or they just confuse the two completely.

    They also just cannot understand how anyone could have upstanding morals and not run around murdering babies because god is not part of their lives. They think you have to believe in god in order to do the right things in life…

    That is the Communication breakdown between Christians and atheists that they are unable to understand or unwilling to understand..

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    • landru,

      As posited by some christians, if morality is dependent on the existence of god, then run for the hills if proof of the negative, god doesn’t exist, comes to light. While I’m sure most christians would deal adequately with their additional cognitive dissonance, there still would be a few funda-mental-ists who would feel they have license to go on a killing a spree.

      While I suspect the traffic has died down from this thread I will ask these question for any christians who feel that morality is dependent on the existence of a christian god, nonetheless.

      Is morality necessary for civilization?

      Are humans older than the religions formed around the Judeo-Christan god?

      If no, then how old are humans and the religions approximately according to you and your citation?

      If yes, then where did humans learn the rules of morality prior to the above mentioned religions?

      It would help to know if the people debating from side of faith are young earth creationists. ‘Cause if that’s the case I have little tolerance in giving elementary science lessons.

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      • Dan,

        Hi Landru,

        I’ll reply honestly !

        Is morality necessary for civilization? NO. (I fear to think of how that civilization will be though)

        Are humans older than the religions formed around the Judeo-Christan god? YES. (I believe so anyway)

        If yes, then where did humans learn the rules of morality prior to the above mentioned religions? Most likely through meeting others who held similar moral views and building societies from there whilst defeating/ or fleeing those who had a different set of morals . The human idea of morals is an evolving one that adapts to it’s present surroundings.
        ———————————
        My turn for questions

        If the human race had never heard of the concept of religion, what would it look like today ? (You can’t really prove an answer to this as we can only base our views on reality, which is that religion has shaped our existence in a lot of ways – But I would like to hear your views regardless)

        Where did the original big bang explosion come from that sent rock and a biochemical soup into an what appears to be an empty a vacuum creating universes as far as we can see?

        As science keeps evolving, is it possible for science to one day find an existence of god ?

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  16. Panthus,

    Human beings are awesome. Without a god, all those ideals, morals and holiness came from within the minds of those strangers that walk passed you everyday. That is well enough reason for me to respect my fellow human. I would not wish harm on anyone for the simple reason that their thoughts and ideas may elevate the human condition to a new place of understanding in the natural or imaginative world, or really just contribute to my enjoyment of the life I have. Nothing outside of me has to tell me to do this and no reward could be greater than knowing I did my best for this species of thinkers and dreamers before my cells gave out and the thoughts went away.

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  17. landu,

    Hi Dan,
    For some reason there isn’t a REPLY link under you post. So, I’ll respond here.

    Thanks for your honesty

    “Is morality necessary for civilization? NO. (I fear to think of how that civilization will be though)”

    I suppose we have our own different implicit definitions of morals and civilization. My take on civilization is that it is an organized society. To be organized, IMO, there needs to be a social contract – don’t steal, don’t harm, don’t kill or basically don’t upset the social order. Without this social contract or morals there would not be civil order, civilization. What examples of (a) civilization(s) without morals are there? Not a rhetorical question.

    “Are humans older than the religions formed around the Judeo-Christan god? YES. (I believe so anyway)”

    I should hope so too. How is an idea independent of a brain? ;)

    “If yes, then where did humans learn the rules of morality prior to the above mentioned religions? Most likely through meeting others who held similar moral views and building societies from there whilst defeating/ or fleeing those who had a different set of morals . The human idea of morals is an evolving one that adapts to it’s present surroundings.”

    This makes sense. This suggest a couple of things. A) morals do not logically follow from the bible and B) morals do evolve as is the case that slavery which was once considered morally acceptable but now considered immoral. Leviticus 25:44-46, Exodus 21:2-6, Exodus 21:7-11, Ephesians 6:5, Timothy 6:1-2 and Luke 12:47-48 are biblical examples of where slavery is approved. Fortunately, we humans have evolved beyond the bible, the errant word of god (more likely goat herders).
    ———————————
    My turn for questions

    If the human race had never heard of the concept of religion, what would it look like today ? (You can’t really prove an answer to this as we can only base our views on reality, which is that religion has shaped our existence in a lot of ways – But I would like to hear your views regardless)

    Hmmm, you might want define religion. Do you mean formal organized religion with all the associated rituals and dogma or just a belief deities? An ancient tribe believing that an earthquake or lightening is an indication of angered gods might be considered religion. Humans categorize things, look for patterns and explanations. Prior to science, it makes sense that ancient uneducated people would believe in deities. But you are right, I can not prove what the human race would be like if they never believed in deities. As you said, “we can only base our views on reality,” perhaps employing the scientific method and not generating conjecture based on superstition or the supernatural. I agree that religion has shaped our existence in a lot of ways, both good and bad. By analogy, a fear of the bogey man can shape a child’s existence. Generally rooted in the fear of the dark, the child is challenged to overcome his/her fear and grow to become a more confident child. Like a childhood fear of the dark, we humans have learn from the good and bad of religion and abandon the fear of god(s) to become confident, healthier people.

    Where did the original big bang explosion come from that sent rock and a biochemical soup into an what appears to be an empty a vacuum creating universes as far as we can see?

    I can explain angular momentum, accretion and why certain planets are made of rock, gas and others of ice (frozen methane). I can explain the early chemical composition of the earth that led to the infamous primordial soup. But I think you are specifically asking about the Big Bang.
    I don’t know, but I am not an expert on quantum mechanics or string theory. More importantly, we have not learned all there is to learn. You mentioned earlier that morals are evolving, so is knowledge (as you mention later of the possibility of science evolving)
    (in fact even religion evolves… please check this out. The following link suggests that the Jesus story is plagiarized from the Egyptian god Horus myth: http://paganizingfaithofyeshua.netfirms.com/comparsison_horus_jesus_chart.htm ).
    We have not reached the finish line of what humans could know. The Big Bang is theoretical, but for argument sake, let’s say it is wrong. Then what? The Judeo-Christian god is not the default explanation. There is still more evidence for an incorrect Big Bang than any god. Further, if it were a god that started it all then you open many more problems. Which god or gods and who is/are the creators of that god and/or those gods and their creators and so on and so on?
    Bit off topic:
    Now, one can believe that it is particular god but then you return to the inflated variation Pascal’s Wager which I think is closer to Pascal’s roulette table. A believer puts all his/her chips on one number (his/her god) of table of 1000 numbers (assumes 1000 religions/gods) hoping the marble lands on the his/her number. The wheel is so far away that the believer does not even know if a marble is in the wheel. Chances of being right is .1% (and interestingly enough the percentage of a believer’s atheism is 99.9%). Penalty of being wrong? I think nonw, but you would need to research each religion’s penalties if you feel there is validity to their religious claims.

    “As science keeps evolving, is it possible for science to one day find an existence of god ?”

    Yes it is. Still awaiting evidence, though there are more pressing matters to research – cures for diseases and such. How about an easier one? If one believes the bible is the inerrant, infallible word of the judeo-christian god then evidence of unicorns should exist. I personally think unicorns belong in fairy tales not the real world, but unicorns are mentioned in Numbers 23:22; 24:8; Deut. 33:17; Job 39:9,10; Psalms 22:21; 29:6; 92:10; and Isaiah 34:7.
    Sorry for the long post, but it is fascinating.

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  18. Dan,

    ” Rev. Snarfleez J. Cattleprod, DECEMBER 30, 2009 at 11:34 AM
    Dan, you can’t be serious with this tired, played out argument. Google “argument from ignorance”.

    Go on. I’ll hold.” >

    Are you still holding ? because I did what you suggested

    But what did it prove ? that the Atheist uses this very mentioned technique
    Christian “You say there is no evidence of a god, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true
    Atheist “I see no god, you cannot prove his existence so therefore it cannot be true.” – So what was your point ?

    “To propose that we accept all that isn’t disprovable is to propose the existence of god ALONG WITH zombies, fairies, Thor, and Cthulu.
    It’s patently absurd.
    Please use a form of logic that is valid.”

    Valid Logic / I propose that one day cancer will be cured, we cannot prove this will happen nor disprove it – yet some make it their life endeavours to find the cure – so in a way they have accepted that the “disprovable” may be “provable”. (I hope that makes sense to you)

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    • landu,

      But why is Thor, for instance, patently absurd?
      Thor is god, what evidence is there the he does or does not exist?
      Doesn’t the same judeo-christian god argument apply to Thor?
      If not why not?

      How does the analogy fail?
      Do Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma exist? Do they not hold equal waiting with the judeo-christain god? All have the same evidence amount of evidence.

      I believe what the other poster was stating is that if conjecture is accepted without evidence then all conjecture without evidence is acceptable. Thus zombies, fairies, Santa, all other gods and any hypothesis which cannot be tested is viable (in the extreme).

      I am not sure how the poster’s logic fails. Please elaborate and possibly reply to my other comment as well.

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      • Dan,

        You would have to ask the Rev why Thor is patently absurd as he is the one who said it. (Look again and you’ll see I have quoted his words / I should have bolded it too differentiate it from mine)

        A conjecture is a proposition that is unproven but appears correct and has not been disproven / – That fits on both sides of the coin.

        Unicorns, I believe it is “possible” that a horse like animal with a spikey horn on it’s head existed. I don’t believe it was magical or shot rainbows out of it’s bottom, but it is a possibility. Plenty of horned animals out there, look at a narwhal (it is not a unique trait).

        Slaves, yes the bible mentions slaves and I do believe it to be the first and only religion to acknowledge the problem. I don’t believe the bible encourages the act but it doesn’t entirely condemn it either. It is safe to say that modern Christian countries no longer have the problem, yet it still exists in other nations.

        Why are we so quick to blame god, blame the bible etc ?!

        Do we blame “science” or “the scientist” for a failed experiment ?

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  19. landru,

    Hi Dan,

    Sorry for misreading. I suppose then that all gods from all religions and zombies and fairies et al. do exist simultaneously; we just lack evidence of all of the above?

    I concede that narwhal whales and rhinoceroses exist, but I wasn’t asking if you thought it was possible if unicorns exist. Since you used the word ‘possible’ does that mean you have some doubt of their existence? Does this mean you have some doubt (however limited it is) that they do or did exist? I gave reference to where unicorns are mentioned in the bible, yet you said it is ‘possibility’. Obviously, this would imply the ‘possibility’ that the bible, the inerrant word of the judeo-christian god is in error, god is wrong. No? Or do you believe in unicorns?

    I gave you all the references in the bible where slavery is condoned, including selling one’s daughter as a sex slave. You may not “believe the bible encourages” but it most certainly does.

    I don’t blame your god or older gods. I don’t think yours or any other ever existed. I don’t blame the bible, it is only an old book with about 18 variations, the oldest does not even tell of the story of resurrection. Why do newer version have this resurrection story escapes me, but that is beside the point. I am not sure what the blame issue is that you are referring to. I don’t recall laying blame anyhow. Nonetheless, I lay the blame on people, specifically on immoral, unethical people (believer or non-believer). Though some believers justify their actions by reference to the bible (inerrant word of god).
    I was originally discussing how the bible is unnecessary for morality; you seem to agree. I also mentioned that bible condones/supports immoral acts and provided citation.

    Why is it, as you say, “safe to say that modern Christian countries no longer have the problem?” Why does modern christianity not support slavery which is condoned in the bible? Is the bible, the inerrant word of god, wrong?

    As far as blaming science, that would be silly. Science is a methodology and accumulated knowledge. Blame a scientist for unethical experiments, not failed experiments (those happen daily). Josef Mengele comes to mind. Just as I would blame a person for reading the bible and carrying out the immoral acts condoned in the bible. One could say that are good moral acts that the bible condones. I do not disagree, but then that would be cherry-picking and would suggest that the bible, the inerrant word of god, is sometimes right. And also meaning that god is sometimes wrong.

    I am open-minded enough to acknowledge where there is problem in science or any discipline or school of thought.

    As someone who lacks a belief in god, I am open-minded enough to accept the possibility that god exists.

    I ask you, as someone who believes in god, are open-minded enough to accept the possibility that god does not exist? Or are you close-minded?
    Not a trick question, but you may want to consider Matthew 12:31 before you answer.

    sorry for typos and such but I hope you do get the meaning of the content. Thanks Dan

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  20. I would like to complement both Landau and Dan for representing both sides of their respective arguments with class. This is the way people should discuss things that they disagree on.

    Well done gentlemen.

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    • Landru,

      Hi Stewmeat,
      Even though I spelled the name wrong a couple of times, it is actually Landru. “Are you of the body?” ;)

      I would have preferred a couple of my questions answered:
      1)Does Dan believe in unicorns?
      2)Does the modern church not condoning slavery mean that the bible, and by extension God, is wrong for encouraging (not just mere mentioning but actually encouraging) slavery?
      3)As someone who lacks a belief in god, I am open-minded enough to accept the possibility that god exists. But is Dan, someone who believes in god, open-minded enough to accept the possibility that god does not exist? Or is he close-minded (keeping in mind Matthew 12:31)?

      I doubt these are easy answers for him. I haven’t even gone into the bible condoning rape, incest, human sacrifice and genocide. I would ask Dan if hr thought these acts are moral and if the modern church does not condone these acts does that mean the bible and God continue to be in error. I suspect, though, that this the end of the thread and therefore the end of the current debate.

      Nonetheless Stewmeat, thanks for the kind words.

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  21. mike,

    its pointless talking to those who believe. they are lost.
    just expose their children to something that makes sense, and they will invariably come to choose it.

    flat earthers are a dieing breed because their kids aren’t stupid, haven’t yet invested their entire identity in the belief, and choose not to waste their lives on what is obviously nonsense.

    pointless arguing with those who have invested their entire lives in a ghost story, and who are too terrified to face that reality. their lives are made a joke if they admit theyve wasted their precious time praying to nothing.. so to save their ego they throw up anything they can.

    they’re lost, throwing good money after bad, but theres hope for their kids.

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  22. mike,

    The terribly frightening, but smarter choice would be to face the fact that it’s as likely that there is a god as its likely that any other summer-camp ghost strories you know are true, that you’ve wasted a good chunk of your life on something that isn’t true, take that hit and make something of the remainder of your life.

    Its a terrible thing to face, that you’ve wasted your life – so its no surprise that few older people manage to face and move through it. But that I think is the courages and honest and, ironically, Christian thing to do. God hates a coward, after all.

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  23. Landru,

    Hey Mike,

    Let’s just say that I am playing to the back of the room. Young fence-sitters might be reading the exchange between Dan and I and come to their well-reasoned, logical conclusion. Dan might be unfortunately fixed in his unfree thinking, but those on the fence can still break free.

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