From hate to deep respect

Nov 7, 2016

Dear Professor Dawkins

 
I hope you’ll perhaps permit me to call you Richard. I know I thanked you when we met last night at the opening reception for writing The God Delusion – a book that has changed my entire existence – but after having spent time with you personally, I feel compelled to try to explain how much this weekend, meeting you in particular, has meant to me. I cried last night. Sobbed, actually. You wouldn’t know, but for years your name was one I hated – was taught to hate – someone who actively stood for everything in opposition to what I held dear. To pick up a book by you and read it would have been unthinkable just 10 years ago. Dan Barker (& the desire to understand “the other side”) started my deconversion process, but reading your book unlocked an entiely new world for me. The best new world. This conference has been nothing short of transformative for me.
 
I apologise if I’ve appered to stalk you a bit 🙂 but I’ve been so drawn to you, to know and understand and learn from you as a real live person instead of the bogeyman of the past. . .
 
It has been an absolute pleasure to spend time with you and I hope to encounter you again many times in the future. For the very first time in my life, I feel that I’ve found my people. This is just the beginning of the most exciting journey, and you have been and will continue to be a true inspiration for me to not only change my own life but to go out and change the world. . . the world became much smaller today, by becoming bigger.
 
With much love and with my deep respect. . . 
Melissa Krawczyk

48 comments on “From hate to deep respect

  • Thank you for publishing my letter. I’m so truly glad I had a chance to meet and talk with you and to thank you for the impact you’ve made in my life. An experience I’ll remember forever. -Melissa

  • @ Melissa – I apologise if I’ve appeared to stalk you a bit but I’ve been so drawn to you, to know and understand and learn from you as a real live person instead of the bogeyman of the past. . .

    It is indeed sad and a feature of hate preaching, that many only know of the caricature bogeyman straw-Dawkins image, and the pseudo-criticism of Richard’s evidence-based books, which is put about by the bigoted and ignorant who cling to their uneducated fundamentalism!

  • I used to post in the old forum of Dawkins, then it melted down.

    I came again to now the new for me new forum of Dawkins, because I got banned in atheistforums.org just now for excessive trolling – that is their reason though, and started looking for another forum to join in, that is why I am now here, after I came upon your thread here on surfing the net.

    Maybe this comment will not come out because this thread is already I guess too old to be receiving new posts, some forums do not accept posting in an old thread.

    I will know now whether this thread is still open for new messages, after I post this message and it comes out; otherwise I have to seek another thread to post my thoughts or start my own thread.

  • Thanks, my first message post in this forum comes out, so I will just go and do other things then return to see if someone has reacted to my post.

    In case this is useful to everyone here, I am a theist, and Christian calling myself diy Christian, liberal in my practice of the Christian faith: for one thing I don’t go to church service anymore, but I talk with God and Christ and live a moral life.

    I take for a certainty that God exists in concept as first and foremost the creator of everything with a beginning, and I have this certainty from reason working on truths, facts, logic, and the best thoughts of mankind from since the dawn of man’s conscious intelligence.

    Is that an instance of trolling?

  • Gerardo #4
    Jun 21, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    I take for a certainty that God exists in concept as first and foremost the creator of everything with a beginning, and I have this certainty from reason working on truths, facts, logic, and the best thoughts of mankind from since the dawn of man’s conscious intelligence.

    That certainty is “faith” based on indoctrination.

    It has nothing to do with evidence, facts, or reason.

    Most gods and versions of gods, lack a definition, let alone any evidence supporting claims of their presence or their activities.

    Th best physical evidence is that of an imagined god-image in a believer’s brain.

  • Gerardo, Alan and others are usually very generous with their time. This topic has very recently been discussed ad infintum in the following thread:

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2016/11/i-had-to-take-my-dirty-panties-to-a-rabbi-and-so-has-every-orthodox-jewish-woman/

    Do yourself a favor and read through the comments. Prepare some tea and crumpets as there’s a lot to slog through. Don’t be misled or put off by the tawdry post title which seems way off topic to what you’re asserting. Another believer (of the older version of the testament you ascribe to, whether it’s in DIY fashion or not) confidently asserted the same certainty to his god. Our responses to him are no different than they would be to you.

  • Thanks for your replies, and I will try my best to experiment with the posting mechanics here; I am most familiar with vBulletin, but I get along with all kinds of forum softwares, by just employing ordinary intelligent approach to what I might call basics common to all forum softwares.

    Now, I always tell myself and atheist colleagues in forums I have been to and now banned forever (owing to like for example engaging in trolling), that I can get along without knowing all the codes available, still the substance of my message is clear, and it is the most important part of my post.

    In connection with trolling as a cause for banning a registered member forever, I see it to be a one size fits all motivation to ban a member.

    In the Internet Infidels Forum prior to its bad meltdown, I commended it time and again for not ever allowing any member to accuse any other member of trolling or calling him a troll.

    The instruction was that if a member has something against another, he should report the latter, but no member is allowed to accuse another one of trolling or call him a troll.

    Okay, now dear new colleagues here, you will see my kind of writing now, it tends to bring in incidental matters, but I always go back to the heart of the issue at hand.

    The issue right now is what you might agree with me, in the issue of God existing or not, this has been debated to death already, so what new things can I add at all?

    Yes, it has been debated since man first came to the knowledge of powers that be in charge of things in the existence of everything that is with a beginning.

    Yet my observation is that atheists today think that they know already all the aspects and tactics involved in the issue, and they do not take to the necessary work to study past history of millennia on the arguments pro and contra God existing.

    Anyway, to come to the end of a possibly long post, I will tell you what is my approach to the resolution of this debate: God exists or not.

    Here, I invite you dear atheist colleagues to work with me, so as to arrive at concurrence on the concept of God, on Whose existence we are arguing.

    There, that is my approach on how we all can resolve the issue.

    What about again my past sojourn in the Internet Infidels Forum? I got banned forever, and I from my part blamed the overly domineering moderators there because they could not out-reason me, of course they have their reasons which I now cannot recall.

    You see, dear atheist colleagues: rules, policies, etc., of internet forums are like the rules, policies, etc. from the government of a country: when the government wants to get you, they will definitely get you, period, and they have all the reasons in the laws, policies, etc. of the land to do so.

    So, the main issue at hand is my invitation to us all work together as to come to the concept of God Whose existence we are arguing about, what do you think of my invitation, or to the point: what is your concept of God?

    NB
    Not to worry too much, as I get on with the issue, I will try my utmost will power to cut down on incident matters.

  • Gerardo #7
    Jun 21, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    Yet my observation is that atheists today think that they know already all the aspects and tactics involved in the issue, and they do not take to the necessary work to study past history of millennia on the arguments pro and contra God existing.

    There are many ancient arguments but very many use fallacious thinking and almost all of them lack any material evidence for their claims. Large numbers of them not only lack evidence, but contradict or fly in the face of the evidence from modern science.

    So, the main issue at hand is my invitation to us all work together as to come to the concept of God Whose existence we are arguing about,

    The obvious question is, “Which god?” There are, and have been thousands of them and the claims of their followers mostly conflict with each other, so they can’t all be right!
    There are also severe conflicts between the science of the origins of our Universe, and strange claims in biblical accounts or the origins of the Earth and living species.

    what do you think of my invitation, or to the point: what is your concept of God?

    The conclusion is clear, that the image all these conflicting gods in whose existence and powers their believers hold with certainty, are indoctrinated self-delusions, arising from god-delusions implanted in their brains, originating as memes from their regional social cultures or parents.
    Different conflicting god-delusions arise in geographically or historically separated cultures. (Aztecs, Hindus, Greeks, Romans, Buddhists, Incas, Christians etc)

    For the existence of gods, there is no physical evidence.
    For the existence of god-delusions, there is increasing neurological and psychological evidence as research continues with a series of progressively more detailed technologies and investigation techniques.

    As Steven007 suggests @#6, I also recommend that you click on the link he has provided, and read the detailed discussion on Orthodox Judaism, which covers many of the issues you raise.

  • No need to bring in all the gods worshipped by mankind from way back, but just the most ambitious God, and He is the God in concept as first and foremost the creator cause of everything with a beginning.

    And I am not going to bring in revelation, and I suppose you will concur with me, that we will talk without bringing in revelation data from religions which claim to have received revelation, like in Christianism and in Islamism and in Judaism.

    Still we can use the data of revelation from these religions, not as revelation, but as records of man’s thinking in their historical times and circumstances.

    Now, in Judaism and in Christianism there is already in the ancient age of the book of Genesis, in Chapter 1, verse 1, there is this statement:

    In the beginning God made heaven and earth.

    And in the Apostles’ Creed of Christians there is this first article of the said creed:

    I believe in God the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

    So in Genesis and in the Apostles’ Creed which are ancient records of man’s thinking, there has been already the concept of God, namely, creator of heaven and earth.

    That is the concept which I put in my own expanded and reformulated wording into the following line:

    God in concept is first and foremost the creator cause of everything with a beginning.

    So, dear atheist colleagues here, today and from since Genesis and the Apostles’ Creed, there have been humans who know that God is in concept first and foremost the creator of heaven and earth; this concept of God has been with mankind, and has reached today everywhere among men, who have come to contact with the Christian and the Islamic and the Judaic religions.

    So, there is no need to bring in all other gods, unless they are also in concept first and foremost the creator of heaven and earth.

    What do you say about my concept of God, which is based on the concept of God from ancient records that God is the creator of heaven and earth, again, here as follows in my expanded and reformulated thus:

    God in concept is first and foremost the creator cause of everything with a beginning.

    Can you concur with me to take this concept of God, as corresponding to the entity be proven or disproven to exist: on truths, facts, logic, and all the best thoughts of mankind from since the dawn of man’s conscious intelligence?

    Two items for us to concur on:

    Negatively: No need to bring in all other gods, just one, the most ambitious god.
    Positively: The concept of God as [in concept] first and foremost the creator cause of everything with a beginning.

  • Gerardo #9
    Jun 21, 2017 at 11:59 pm

    No need to bring in all the gods worshipped by mankind from way back, but just the most ambitious God, and He is the God in concept as first and foremost the creator cause of everything with a beginning.

    Not at all! When comparing the god-delusions of followers with certainty of their internal “revelations” it becomes VERY obvious that to each believer his/her god is THE GOD with responsibility for all or a section of nature.

    And I am not going to bring in revelation, and I suppose you will concur with me, that we will talk without bringing in revelation data from religions which claim to have received revelation, like in Christianism and in Islamism and in Judaism.

    Why not? The preconceptions of “revelations” from the subconscious parts of the mind are a key element of the processes of thinking from the assumptions of “faith” as a fake substitute for investigated, discovered, and confirmed evidence!

    Still we can use the data of revelation from these religions, not as revelation, but as records of man’s thinking in their historical times and circumstances.

    Yep! That applies to all of them – including yours.

    Now, in Judaism and in Christianism there is already in the ancient age of the book of Genesis,

    . . . and before that there is the archaeological evidence of the evolution of that god from the earlier polytheistic pantheon of Canaanite gods (El, Asherah, Yahweh, Jehova, etc)

    in Chapter 1, verse 1, there is this statement:

    In the beginning God made heaven and earth.

    Written by the ignorant of the bronze age who had no understanding of geology, planetary sciences, or cosmology.

    And in the Apostles’ Creed of Christians there is this first article of the said creed:

    I believe in God the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

    Probably written by fourth century Roman bishops who edited “THE bible”, and unthinkingly repeated in churches ever since!

    So in Genesis and in the Apostles’ Creed which are ancient records of man’s thinking, there has been already the concept of God, namely, creator of heaven and earth.

    As in many other religions! Turtles all the way down! ( see the link to the earlier discussion @#6).

    That is the concept which I put in my own expanded and reformulated wording into the following line:

    God in concept is first and foremost the creator cause of everything with a beginning.

    Which is of course the god-image in your brain patching over a lack of understanding of cosmology, the evolution of the Universe, the evolution of solar-systems, planet formation and the geological history of the Earth, with the god-did-it-by-magic, filler hiding gaps in knowledge.

    So, there is no need to bring in all other gods, unless they are also in concept first and foremost the creator of heaven and earth.

    Which of course most of them do – as can be easily check by an investigation which only needs to go as far as Wikipedia!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_creation_myths

    This linked page allows you to find any one of them and compare it with the Nature Timeline based on carefully researched and confirmed scientific evidence.

    What do you say about my concept of God, which is based on the concept of God from ancient records that God is the creator of heaven and earth, again, here as follows in my expanded and reformulated thus:

    God in concept is first and foremost the creator cause of everything with a beginning.

    It is the standard patch over ignorance of the physical nature of space-time, and ignorance of the history of our Universe.

    Can you concur with me to take this concept of God, as corresponding to the entity be proven or disproven to exist: on truths, facts, logic, and all the best thoughts of mankind from since the dawn of man’s conscious intelligence?

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2016/11/i-had-to-take-my-dirty-panties-to-a-rabbi-and-so-has-every-orthodox-jewish-woman/#li-comment-221989

    Most god-did-it claims can be readily refuted by scientific evidence when they are defined and stated clearly enough to be comprehensible.

    Two items for us to concur on:

    You must be joking!!

    Negatively: No need to bring in all other gods, just one, the most ambitious god.

    You can’t simply dismiss everyone else’s gods and assert your is a default god!

    Your choice of god has no more basis than most of the others.
    Their followers would just as happily dismiss your god image on the basis of inconsistency with their own!
    A god can’t be “ambitious” (or have any other properties), unless it exists!
    Your argument is therefore, circular from the assumption that your god-delusion in your head tells you, you have chosen the “correct god” and god-myths, so all the other gods in other people’s heads are wrong choices made by them!

    Positively: The concept of God as [in concept] first and foremost the creator cause of everything with a beginning.

    Nobody knows the origin of the earliest stages of big-bang.
    We do however know the origins of the Solar-System, the Earth, and the sequence in which astronomical events and the emergence of life on Earth happened. – and Genesis is bronze-age mess with the whole lot mixed up in the wrong order, with many events BILLIONS OF YEARS out of place!

    Again I suggest you read the linked discussion @#6 where most of these issues are already covered.

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  • Gerardo #9
    Jun 21, 2017 at 11:59 pm

    No need to bring in all the gods worshipped by mankind from way back, but just the most ambitious God,

    But your Judaeo/ Christian god is one of “the gods from way back”, and one whose priests insisted he was the chief god in the pantheon of Canaanite gods!

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2016/11/i-had-to-take-my-dirty-panties-to-a-rabbi-and-so-has-every-orthodox-jewish-woman/#li-comment-216039

    @link – “I am your God and you shall have no other God but me”.

    @ link – But this comes from the time before Israelite monotheism and the killing off of the other gods and their priests, if you read history rather than listening Bible ranters!

    El, who morphed into Yahweh, Jehovah, and “God”, was the chief god, and ruled along with his wife Asherah.

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2016/11/i-had-to-take-my-dirty-panties-to-a-rabbi-and-so-has-every-orthodox-jewish-woman/#li-comment-221970
    @ link – “Every “Trooo believer” KNOWS their their own religion is the right one!”

  • Dear atheist colleagues here, thanks for your interest in many gods, I am sure you can continue disproving their existence.

    For atheist colleagues who do care to concern themselves with the most ambitious god, which is the one I call in concept as first and foremost the creator cause of everything with a beginning, let us now work to see whether you want us to revise my concept of God, or you want me to abandon it for your concept of the most ambitious god.

    You see, there is the much more challenging task to prove or disprove the existence of the most ambitious god, than taking up indiscriminately all gods; but if you insist, then start first with say any four of all gods, and tell me what is your concept of each of the four gods, presented for a starter from all gods.

    Dear atheist colleagues here, again I propose that we not concern ourselves with giving equality to all gods, but put them up into a hierarchy of ambition based on their performance in regard to everything with a beginning.

    Why everything with a beginning?

    Because things which exist without any beginning, they don’t need any god to bring them to existence.

    So, if I may, for my atheist colleagues here who are keen to disprove the most ambitious god’s existence, think about this one, the one in concept [named God] is first and foremost the creator cause of everything with a beginning.

  • Gerardo #13
    Jun 22, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    You see, there is the much more challenging task to prove or disprove the existence of the most ambitious god, than taking up indiscriminately all gods; but if you insist, then start first with say any four of all gods, and tell me what is your concept of each of the four gods, presented for a starter from all gods.

    There is no requirement for atheists to DISprove any god, all gods, or any version of god(s), any more than there is a requirement for you as a believer to DISprove all the other god-claims made by alternative religions. –
    We can of course easily refute most clearly set out claims of the material interventions by gods in the material world. The laws of physics have no requirements for puppeteers to be fiddling with them, nor any evidence of such fiddling.

    In any rational claim, the onus of proof is on those claiming the existence of their gods, to first define them and their properties, and then produce supporting evidence of their activities.

    Burden of proof (also known as onus probandi in Latin) is the obligation on somebody presenting a new idea (a claim) to provide evidence to support its truth (a warrant). Once evidence has been presented, it is up to any opposing “side” to prove the evidence presented is not adequate. Burdens of proof are key to having logically valid statements: if claims were accepted without warrants, then every claim could simultaneously be claimed to be true.

    All believers have the equality of opportunity to do so, with no preferential assumptions of any unevidenced “default gods” whose existence is taken for granted.
    Then evidence is required to support any claims or actions, properties, or capabilities of these gods in the material universe.

    So far, you have not yet produced a definition of the god you claim to follow.

    So, if I may, for my atheist colleagues here who are keen to disprove the most ambitious god’s existence, think about this one, the one in concept [named God] is first and foremost the creator cause of everything with a beginning.

    After you have done that, to support your “creator claim”, you will need to show why the physical stages of the big bang require the participation of a god, and how any such god would be involved.

    You would then need to show how any of this related to the confused and muddled Genesis account of “creation” and why this is any more credible than any other creation myth, any how it is related to scientific evidence about the evolution of the universe and the formation of the earth BILLIONS of years AFTER the big-bang.

    @#9 + @ link –** “Every “Trooo believer” KNOWS that their own religion is the right one!”**

    Repeating the words “most ambitious god”, does nothing to achieve any credible case for any particular god, any more than any other god-delusion in the brain of a follower of a different god, let alone present a case that any particular god is responsible for the formation of the Earth, life, or mankind.

    So far the ambitions of your “most ambitious god”, seem to be limited to persuading atheists who live life free of god-delusions, that it exists somewhere other than in your brain, – feeding back assertions of its existence and images of its rather splendid powers, into your thought processes.

    Once again many aspects of this, including faith-based god-delusion requirements claimed by Orthodox Jews to perform rather strange rituals at Sabbaths and with panties, and the requirement of Hindus to bathe in rivers of chemical effluent and raw sewage for “purification”, are discussed in the linked discussion suggested earlier @#6 and #12.

  • Gerardo #13
    Jun 22, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    Dear atheist colleagues here, thanks for your interest in many gods, I am sure you can continue disproving their existence.

    The point of the explanations, was to illustrate the nature of god-delusions in others, so that you may be able to recognise the activities of the one you host.

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2016/11/i-had-to-take-my-dirty-panties-to-a-rabbi-and-so-has-every-orthodox-jewish-woman/#li-comment-222407

    There are very clear descriptions of god-delusions in the discussion linked giving issues you should address to answer your questions.

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2016/11/i-had-to-take-my-dirty-panties-to-a-rabbi-and-so-has-every-orthodox-jewish-woman/#li-comment-222409

    @link – Of course god-delusions program their hosts to keep them hidden, – so attention is directed far away from the neuroscience which is likely to locate them, and towards the most distant gaps in knowledge identified at that time in history.
    At one biblical time it was ” heavenly angels dancing around a bearded old man in celestial spheres above the clouds” – then telescopes and aircraft were invented and the gaps moved outward!
    Even the Earth lost its sacred status as the centre of the Solar-System and the Universe!

    Including the bathing in toxic chemicals and raw sewage on the link below!

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2016/11/i-had-to-take-my-dirty-panties-to-a-rabbi-and-so-has-every-orthodox-jewish-woman/#li-comment-222412

    Vague waffling about “an ambitious god”, is no substitute for addressing real issues of the effects of “gods” in human brains and on behaviours.

    You have been given the links to the relevant discussion already covering many of your questions, so I really should not need to spoon feed them to you piece by piece!

    It is up to you to take up any points from that discussion, as simply ducking issues and making vague assertions wastes everyone’s time.

  • Dear atheist colleagues, you are of the insistence that you don’t have to prove anything in re God does not exist.

    More on that later, let us be systematic and logically orderly in our exchange.

    At this point of the thread or in our discussion on the issue of God existing or not, my concern is to work or to invite us all you atheists and I theist to collaborate as to concur on the concept of God: because when we don’t have the same information on the concept of God, we will be talking past each other’s head, and that is irrational.

    I say time and again that for myself, God in concept is first and foremost the creator cause of everything with a beginning.

    When you know that information of the concept of God and you accept it to be the object of the determination of God existing, then we will go to take up what is your role and what is my role in the resolution of the issue.

    You say you don’t have to prove anything, period.

    But you still have to know for your own ascertainment, how you come to that position that there is no God, even though you don’t have to prove anything.

    So, first, do you have any information of the concept of God which God you are certain to not exist?

    Second, how have you come to your certainty?

    In my case I have arrived at the certainty of God existing in concept as first and foremost the creator cause of everything with a beginning, from studying what is existence, and the kinds of existing things.

    That is not the only way for me to arrive at God existing, but I was into that way when I was untimely banned from the atheistforums.org, on the ground of massive trolling.

    [Their side of the blame, from my side which I had no chance of explaining, it is pure incapacity from their part to be really into the issue, for they are all the time into evasiveness].

    So dear atheist colleagues here, in the way of systematic and logically orderly exchange of thoughts on the issue God exists or not:

    [One] What is your information on the concept of God; now when you say that there are many gods, then choose one and give me your concept of that god, and I will see how I can or cannot concur with you on that god, in comparison to my concept of God: when I cannot concur with you, then you have to present another god, for I am certain on the existence of my God, in my concept, viz., as first and foremost the creator cause of everything with a beginning.

    [Two] No, I am not asking you to prove, but there are ways and means by which atheists come to their certainty on no gods at all existing, like how? like for example, the way I am adopting at present, do investigation on what is existence, okay?

  • Gerardo #17
    Jun 22, 2017 at 7:48 pm

    At this point of the thread or in our discussion on the issue of God existing or not, my concern is to work or to invite us all you atheists and I theist
    to collaborate as to concur on the concept of God:

    There is no universally accepted “concept of a particular god”.
    There are thousands of different concepts of gods in the heads of thousands of believers who have implanted god-delusions.

    I thought that had been made abundantly clear in earlier comments, both stating and illustrating that point.

    Each unique “concept of god” is in an individual believer’s brain!

    because when we don’t have the same information on the concept of God, we will be talking past each other’s head,

    All of the information and links do seem to be passing by your god delusion, and its claim to be a default entity with claims taken for granted.

    Atheists recognise the numerous religions, denominations, and cults of the world, – past and present, – including the history and evolution of some of them.

    There is no way that the followers of the religions of the world are going to agree on a single “concept of god”.
    They have fought, and still fight, wars over this! Hindu against Muslim, Shia against Sunni, Protestants against Catholics, Zionists against Muslims, Inquisitors against Jews, Crusaders against Islam, Fundamentalists attacking “blasphemers”, etc

    Atheists recognise that individuals have their personal god-delusions, and that these are grouped by religions and cultures into associations which share similar indoctrinations, doctrines, and views.

    and that is irrational.

    It is indeed irrational to ignore the reality of the objective observations of the peoples of the world, all the evidence presented and linked, and pretend that some personal “concept of god”, is going to be universally accepted.

    Your personal god-delusion and closed perception bubble, is not going to be accepted by atheists, (or those of other faiths), without evidence – evidence you are very unlikely to be able to put together as a credible case beyond the circular thinking from preconceptions involved in self-deception.

    but there are ways and means by which atheists come to their certainty on no gods at all existing, like how?

    Atheists are not 100% certain that no gods can ever be found. – But then theists claim to be certain that all other gods than their own can be dismissed without further investigation or questioning.
    The neurological and psychological evidence for god-delusions is strong and a much more credible explanation of religious faith-based views.
    I am am also reasonably certain that evidence of fairies, leprechauns, and little green men from Mars, doesn’t exist, but “negative proof” is a fallacy!

    Atheists can however recognise to a very high level of probability, that there is no credible evidence for the numerous conflicting claims about gods, and nothing in the laws of science showing a need for gods to be involved in the workings of the universe.

    like for example, the way I am adopting at present, do investigation on what is existence, okay?

    Science has a vast array of data from millions of investigations on what constitutes existence in the universe.

    So far you have presented nothing of any substance on that subject!

  • Dear Alan, you keep talking about no god existing etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. …

    Suppose you just tell me what is it you are talking about that is not existing?

    And I am telling you that there is god existing corresponding to the concept of a creator cause of everything with a beginning.

    So, you are talking about nothing, that is irrational

    I am talking about something, that is rational.

    I mean the talking with you and the talking with me.

  • Gerardo.

    Most cosmogenies require only transformation not Creation. These theories, string theory and M-theory, the Hartle–Hawking initial state, string landscape, brane inflation, the Big Bang, and the ekpyrotic universe, sit with our own experience that nothing is ever actually created ex nihilo. Whilst it may be that experiences as we understand them are only possible within a spacetime and that spacetimes may represent non contiguous opportunities for experience, we have never ever seen anything “start to exist” only “forms emerge”.

    God solves no logical problem, that a quantum reality of some form cannot achieve from its own nature.

  • Thanks, phil rimmer, for your reaction to my presence here.

    Okay, dear Phil, are you an atheist? If so I like very much to exchange thoughts with you, on what is existence, is that okay with you?

    As usual I always seek to convince folks I am having exchange with, that we must first work as to concur on what we mean by the terms we use in discussing an issue, like for example the concept of God in the issue God exists or not, and now I am inviting you to exchange thoughts with me on what is existence, therefore we have to work together to concur on what is existence.

    You know a lot of things in re what, very deep science I guess.

    So, you are my resource person now, tell me what does science say about existence, what is it?

    [Off-topic comments about other websites removed by moderator.]

  • Gerardo #19
    Jun 22, 2017 at 11:29 pm

    Dear Alan, you keep talking about no god existing etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. …

    Not at all!
    I keep talking about god-delusions existing, as is the topic of this discussion.

    @ OP – I know I thanked you when we met last night at the opening reception for writing The God Delusion – a book that has changed my entire existence

    Suppose you just tell me what is it you are talking about that is not existing?

    I have already told you about fairies, leprechauns, and little green men from Mars not existing. – I could go on down the list of a thousand gods and another thousand variations and versions of gods, but what would be the point of pursuing a negative proof fallacy?

    And I am telling you that there is god existing corresponding to the concept of a creator cause of everything with a beginning.

    So are all the other supporters of creation myths, and supporters of other gods. . . . . .

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_creation_myths

    but like yourself they have assorted assertions of unevidenced beliefs, but nothing coherent or consistent with scientific evidence. What (apart from indoctrination) makes you think yours is any different?

    I think the “Turtles all the way down”, is a very good description of the anthropomorphic paradox of the creator, of the creator, of the creator, of the creator, ad-infinitum!
    The honest answer is, “Beyond a certain point, we do not (yet) know”!

    So, you are talking about nothing, that is irrational

    Logic and reason, are precise processes of deduction and induction, – not badges to be arbitrarily stuck on to vacuous assertions. It is perfectly rational to dismiss claims because of lack of evidence or conflicts with well supported evidence.

    I am talking about something, that is rational.

    No your aren’t! You are merely repeating unsupported assertions that you god – delusion is “ambitious” and deludes you into thinking it is an all powerful creator of the earth and the universe, when in fact (like the rest of the god-delusions in the world) it is only a creator of false images of self-delusion, which it motivates you to try to fit into perceived gaps in human knowledge.

    It is very obvious that you really, really, really WANT to believe in your god, and that your god-delusion is pressuring the other parts of your brain into asserting its existence and “superiority” to all other god delusions, so you don’t respond to constructively to challenges to it assertions, but merely unquestioningly repeat the assertions!

    I mean the talking with you and the talking with me.

    You seem unable to grasp, or constructively respond to the various concepts and explanations which you have been shown.

    You have still produced nothing to show the claimed properties of actions of your god in the physical world of reality, or given any reason why it should be considered in preference to anyone else’s god-delusion, associated beliefs, or consequential actions!

    You have made vague references to adhering to some form of the thousands of versions of Christianity, but have not even produced a definition of what your god is supposed to do, or shown any understanding of the mechanisms of creating planets or evolving life!

  • Gerardo #21
    Jun 23, 2017 at 4:54 am

    So, you are my resource person now, tell me what does science say about existence, what is it?

    Existence within our universe is, matter, energy and forces within our space-time continuum, as described by the laws of physics.

    I’m sure Phil can expand on this where necessary, as he has done in the past.

    Many aspects of material existence have been already been explained on the linked discussion.

    In the mean-time:-

    https://science.nasa.gov/about-us/smd-programs/physics-of-the-cosmos

    Our quest to understand how the universe works starts with the study of the very basic building blocks of our existence – matter, energy, space, and time – and how they behave under the extreme physical conditions that characterize the infant and evolving Universe.
    The Physics of the Cosmos (PCOS) program incorporates cosmology, high-energy astrophysics, and fundamental physics projects aimed at addressing directly central questions about the nature of complex astrophysical phenomena such as black holes, neutron stars, dark energy, and gravitational waves.
    By utilizing a fleet of space-based missions operating across the whole electromagnetic spectrum, PCOS ultimate, overarching goal is to learn about the origin and ultimate destiny of the cosmos.

  • Before judgements can be made, there needs to be the presentation of a coherent case to answer!

    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Ignosticism

    Ignosticism, or igtheism is a theological position.
    If followed to its logical end it concludes that the entire question about God’s existence is a non-question and that taking a yes, no or even ambivalent position is absurd.
    It is based on an expectation of strong critical rational analysis of any proposition including the existence of God.

    As with any topic, and especially in the realm of the supernatural and woo, the subject of any debate should be coherently defined.
    If one offers a clear definition of an entity, then in order to take a position whether it exists or not the definition of the entity must be one in which its existence can be falsified (there is a rational and logical method by which we can test the existence of the subject as it has been defined).
    Few theists ever offer a clear definition of God. The few who do offer a definition almost never offer one in which the existence of that God could be tested.
    The rare falsifiable definition offered regarding God’s existence is easily falsified. And so as with any subject (such as the existence of almost all supernatural entities) debate about the existence of God is, for the far majority of such conversations, pointless.[1][2][3]

    Ignosticism goes one step further than agnosticism; while agnosticism states that “you can’t really know either way” regarding the existence or non-existence of God, ignosticism posits that “you haven’t even agreed on what you’re discussing”

    It is of course ludicrous to claim that vague incoherent, obfuscating, waffle about gods, cannot be refuted because it is too lacking in substance to allow an objective analysis or clarity about claims!
    Popper falsification (in scientific methodology), is the key to realistic, rational evaluations!

  • Dear Alan, I see that you are also into very deep science.

    Now, you say:
    “Existence within our universe is, matter, energy and forces within our space-time continuum, as described by the laws of physics.

    […]

    Many aspects of material existence have been already been explained on the linked discussion.”

    You have not defined existence but you give examples of things that have existence, and you mention a term, namely, material existence.

    So, I invite you and me to talk about existence.

    First, as you are into deep science, may I learn from you what is existence in science.

    Second, you mention material existence, is there non-material existence?

    I notice that you are now into talking by yourself without reacting to my talking, so you do have an interest to teach even though you are not facing learners, thanks a lot.

    So, please tell me what is existence in science, though you give already examples of existence in science, and also is there non-material existence, yes or no?

  • Gerardo #13:

    So, if I may, for my atheist colleagues here who are keen to disprove
    the most ambitious god’s existence

    Gerardo #17:

    …like for example, the way I am adopting at present, do investigation
    on what is existence, okay?

    Gerardo #19:

    Suppose you just tell me what is it you are talking about that is not
    existing?

    Gerardo #21:

    So, you are my resource person now, tell me what does science say
    about existence, what is it?

    Gerardo #25:

    So, I invite you and me to talk about existence.

    In between all these permutations of the same question were a slew of generous responses trying very hard to get you to critically think about something, perhaps for the very first time. Clearly you did not peruse the links and other information that does not agree with your blind faith. You just resubmit different forms of your word salad and hope your “atheist colleagues” flatter you with more attention. And you wonder why it’s thought that you’re a troll?

  • Gerardo #25
    Jun 23, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    Dear Alan, I see that you are also into very deep science.

    It would appear that you are not even into the basics of science!
    That is a poor position from which to try to debate the origins of the Earth or the Universe.

    Second, you mention material existence, is there non-material existence?

    Not in our universe as far as we know! The space-time continuum is everywhere, with matter and energy at differing intensities in different places.

    So, please tell me what is existence in science, though you give already examples of existence in science,

    NASA link @#23 – Our quest to understand how the universe works starts with the study of the very basic building blocks of our existence – matter, energy, space, and time – and how they behave under the extreme physical conditions that characterize the infant and evolving Universe.

    What part of the NASA quote did you not understand?
    It is quite explicit as to the fabric of existence.

    @#22 – You seem unable to grasp, or constructively respond to the various concepts and explanations which you have been shown.

    You have still produced nothing to show the claimed properties of actions of your god in the physical world of reality, or given any reason why it should be considered in preference to anyone else’s god-delusion, associated beliefs, or consequential actions!

    You have made vague references to adhering to some form of the thousands of versions of Christianity, but have not even produced a definition of what your god is supposed to do, or shown any understanding of the mechanisms of creating planets or evolving life!

    Do you have replies to requests for definitions and descriptions of your god-claims, or are you indeed just a troll who has nothing to contribute to this discussion?

    24 on igtheism seems to describe the lack of definitions in your posts to describe what you are talking about, as starting points to enable a coherent debate!

  • Gerardo,

    I doubt if I will be much use to you, simply because there is so much to know.

    Existence is the existence of one or more properties.

    Experience of existence can only happen in spacetimes where thermodynamics exists and time is directional and correlated events can be described as causal.

    Spacetime is not the fundament of existence but rather nonlocal Quantum Reality is, a bizarre world we can glimpse where time is symmetric and actions happen in a way that defies mechanistic cause but appears entirely lawful in say its statistical attributes. Einstein sought to promote the idea that hidden (unknown) local variables were the mechanics that created these lawful yet apparently acausal macro-phenomena. He was wrong and John Bell demonstrated this in 1964.

    For experience to exist we have to have a clock and this is enacted in a spacetime by the net accumulation of entropy, which simply(!) is the unavailablity of energy to do work. Universes move towards their own “heat deaths” as energy becomes finally fully homogenised and unable to perform any work.

    Most theories include the possibility of arbitrary numbers of spacetimes or universes, none of which can overlap.

    Minds, like life, simply are a product of the initial substrate properties and the clock/driver of thermodynamics of a spacetime. The structures produced (minds, lives) are lower entropy than their immediate surroundings. The creation of structure and lower topical entropy is seen in a myriad ways in energy fluxes (from stars say or a nuclear core of a rocky planet) and their effect is to hasten the homogenising of heat and speed us to our heat death a few hundred billion years in the future….

  • Well, dear atheists here, you are all atheists reacting with me, or there is here a scientist who is not an atheist?

  • Gerardo #28
    Jun 23, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    Well, dear atheists here, you are all atheists reacting with me,

    We have given you opportunity after opportunity to present your case and learn from this discussion – , but still nothing?

    Some of us are also carrying out more constructive discussions on other topics.

    or there is here a scientist who is not an atheist?

    In advanced level scientific bodies the membership is usually over 90% atheists. – It is related to the ability to carry out objective investigations, reason, and do calculations to arrive at reliable answers, without the disability of preconceptions from religious faith-type thinking, or blocking from god-delusions!

  • Dear atheist colleagues here, it seems that you require me to master say quantum mechanics and all its enigmas, before you will present based on your own thinking: what is is your concept of existence.

    As I am waiting to see a scientist appear here who is not an atheist, to talk with me on what science says about what is existence, and hope that he does not require me to master say quantum mechanics and all its enigmas:

    I will present to you, dear atheist colleagues here, my concept of what is existence and four examples of existence, from my own thinking, and you comment on it.

    My idea is for us to get to concur on what is existence, then we will go into my explanation why God has existence, on my concept of God as [in concept] first and foremost the creator cause of everything with a beginning; this is also what I wrote in my erstwhile sojourn in atheistforums.org, on what is existence, as follows below:

    [Quote starts]
    From my part, existence is the reality which reality is the object of a living man having awareness, i.e. being conscious of his experiencing the presence of the said object.

    An example of existence is our nose.

    Another example of existence is the computer monitor screen we are looking at to read this post.

    A third example of existence is the rose in our flower garden.

    A fourth example of existence is the sun in the day sky and the moon in the night sky.
    [Quote ends]

  • Gerardo,

    So the problem here is you have muddled existence and experience, right in the first sentence indeed. You have to conceive of the possibility of existence preceding any experience if you are able to evaluate the theories and hypotheses of science. If not then we cannot even begin….

  • Gerardo #32
    Jun 23, 2017 at 5:53 pm
    .
    As I am waiting to see a scientist appear here who is not an atheist, to talk with me on what science says about what is existence, and hope that he does not require me to master say quantum mechanics and all its enigmas:

    The thing about science is that it works on objective observations and measurements, repeatedly tested by as many reputable scientist as wish to check it, and it stands as long as it is not refuted.
    Consequently unlike religions, asking different scientists the same question on established and confirmed science gets the same answer on what the consensus view is!

    From my part, existence is the reality which reality is the object of a living man having awareness, i.e. being conscious of his experiencing the presence of the said object.

    All conscious and mental activity is a function of the brain, which is made of atoms of matter, and runs on the energy of electrical circuity and biochemistry. The sensory organs providing inputs to the brain (eyes, ears touch taste small etc) are also made of atoms and work on radiation sound, temperature etc. as biologists and medical staff well know.

    An example of existence is our nose.

    Another example of existence is the computer monitor screen we are looking at to read this post.

    A third example of existence is the rose in our flower garden.

    All of these are made of atoms and molecules of matter – (solids, liquids and gasses), and run on the forces and energies of the physical universe as part of the space-time continuum, according to the laws of physics.
    There is no evidence of any gods participating in any of the mechanisms involved.

    A fourth example of existence is the sun in the day sky and the moon in the night sky.

    This is of course a perception from a fixed point on Earth. The Sun is visible and lights up the side of the Earth currently facing the Sun, while the opposite side is in darkness. The Moon is normally only bright enough to be visible in the dark of night, but can be seen in daytime when the sky is very clear of clouds and observers are not dazzled by the reflected sunlight.

    The precise details of the positions of the Sun, Moon, and Earth and planetary orbits, are known and calculated by scientists far back into the past, and far into the future. – Along with the length of days at different places on Earth, the seasons, the variations in the length of years, and the climatic cycles over thousands of years.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milankovitch_cycles

    No gods are involved in the mechanisms!

    My idea is for us to get to concur on what is existence,

    All you need to do is say you agree with the NASA link I provided @#23.
    It is the view of all the expert opinion on the subject.

    then we will go into my explanation why God has existence,

    I think you will struggle with that unless you move into the physical reality of the neuroscience within brains.

  • Gerardo #32

    then we will go into my explanation why God has existence,

    I think you will struggle with that unless you move into the physical reality of the neuroscience within brains.

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-human-beast/201208/the-god-spot-revisited

    The evolution of religion
    Religious beliefs and rituals are found in every society studied by anthropologists. This implies that religious/spiritual experience is a universal characteristic of human beings just as the capacity to see in color is.

    Religion could not have evolved and could not have affected the lives of the majority of the world’s human inhabitants if it had not helped them to solve the problems of surviving adversity and of raising children successfully who would propagate their supernatural belief systems after they had died (1).

    So it makes sense that the brain might be specialized for religious experiences. Indeed, an evolutionary perspective on religion implies that humans are inherently susceptible to religious views.

    This view is bolstered by evidence that spiritual experiences (including religious experiences) have a neural basis. Although there is no single “God spot” in the brain, feelings of self-transcendence are associated with reduced electrical activity in the right parietal lobe, a structure located above the right ear (2).

    Self- transcendence, or a sense of the otherworldly, is the opposite of being self-focused and is a convenient definition of spirituality and/or religious sensibility used by researchers.
    This perception is generated by many experiences in addition to religion, including brain trauma, drug states, and epileptic seizures.

    Spiritual experiences use many different parts of the brain: the God spot is functional rather than anatomical. So what are the likely benefits of having such neural mechanisms for spiritual experiences?

    In an earlier post, I argued that a primary function of religious beliefs and rituals is as a form of emotion-focused coping with the difficulties of life. It functions rather like the security blanket that a small child employs to soothe itself when distressed.

    The security blanket concept of religion has a lot going for it.
    It explains why people pray during a crisis, and why people living in the most miserable places on earth are universally religious.

    On the other hand, in societies that experience a good quality of life, religion loses its importance, and atheism breaks out (1).
    This is what is happening in the social democracies of the world from Sweden to Japan.

    Such “comfortable” modern societies are an anomaly, of course.
    Prior to the emergence of such uniquely favorable conditions, life was always full of difficulties
    . That is why religion is a human universal.
    It is also the reason that our religious sensibilities are served by specialized functions of the brain.
    These snap us out of the self-absorption otherwise induced by misery and produce self-transcendence or a feeling of otherworldliness.

    This is not exactly a God spot because it is neither localized as a spot, nor peculiar to experiences related to a deity. Yet it adds a dimension to our understanding of religious experience and explains why even people in secular countries remain deeply spiritual

    Where life is desperate, dangerous and short, the delusional comfort from religion eases the stress!

    Where social frameworks provide security and good living conditions, people have no need for delusional comforting or optimistic pseudo-assurances of well-being, or relief in an imaginary after-life.

    The also have time beyond eking out a living in which to study, and can seek real answers to the mysteries and problems of the world, rather than using the god-did-it patch to cover their ignorance, and pretend to have knowledge or answers they do not possess.

  • Well, dear atheists here, you are all atheists reacting with me, or there is here a scientist who is not an atheist?

    The relevant question is this. Is there a scientist who can prove scientifically that his or her belief in God can be proven? To that the answer is there has never been one, never. There have been many scientists who where Christians who have argued for god but never scientifically.

    If a scientist existed or ever existed who could establish that there was indeed proof for a god (any god) then I for one would concede it.

    The problem with your question is that it is an attempt to make an argument from authority, that is because X person who is very smart thinks this it must be so. I’d go as far as saying because X person is very smart you should be prepared to listen to them. But, it in no way makes anything they say true. Hence you need to put up some facts to support your assertion that there is a god before anyone else (who cares about being right) will agree with you.

  • From my part, existence is the reality which reality is the object of a living man having awareness, i.e. being conscious of his experiencing the presence of the said object.

    Are you suggesting before men existed there was no existence?

    You appear to be making a Descarte like “I think therefore I am” statement. The best that you can hope to do is establish that you may as well think you exist because you can think. If there is some hidden puppet master pulling the strings I can not know that is the case unless there is some evidence for it. It is not because I don’t believe a god could exist that I don’t believe in one. It is because so far I’ve never seen any good evidence to support the proposition, or at least none that could not be equally used to establish the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny and Santa Clause.

    I’m assuming you are trying to get us to agree with your conception of existence so you can trap us into thinking that by doing this we will be forced to concede the existence of not only a god but your god in particular. Now I am interested in having the debate about god with you. I’m really genuinely interested – there are some amazingly smart people on this site who I learn a heap from but we mostly agree and I develop my thinking in other ways by arguing with theists so you are most welcome to be here and disagree and I hope you stay and continue to throw objections at us. However, I for one don’t fancy spending the next week playing 20 questions with you about the nature of the universe. You have been given several definitions on the state of existence if you have issues with these then please state the area in which you think these are wrong and get on with making your argument.

    You see you are the one making a positive claim (that a god exists). We are simply not convinced of the evidence. You seem to be heading down a classic presuppositionist line or argument however you want to dance around a bit first. Please, enough of the foreplay let’s get our pants down and get at it. What is your evidence for a god? If that requires you to give a definition on the basis of your understanding of existence then by all means give a definition but until you do we will get no-where very quickly.

  • Gerardo #32
    Jun 23, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    From my part, existence is the reality which reality is the object of a living man having awareness, i.e. being conscious of his experiencing the presence of the said object.

    This is of course not physical reality, but the image in a person’s brain of a model of reality based on what information they have from their senses and memories.

    None of us have a perfect image of reality.
    It is the model image our brains have put together and built up over the years. – Some from direct observations, other parts copied from family, friends, teachers, and role models, or acquired from books, videos, newspapers etc.

    Faith is belief (without evidence or proof) in what we have been told or have copied from others.

    The difference between modern science and bronze-age writings of holy books by priests, is that science has a whole range of technical tools for making precise measurements and observations (Xray scanners, MRI scanners, multispectral scanners, radar, sonar, microscopes, telescopes,), and a whole range of communication systems for many expert people, comparing, re-testing, and checking information, which were not available to the ancient writers of scrolls and books.

    Consequently modern science is vastly more capable of carrying out observations to establish facts, and can build images which match probabilities of physical reality to very high levels of accuracy.
    These give confirmed details of what is present in our modelled images, and where there are parts missing which require further investigations.

    This is in sharp contrast to the fake explanations of “god-did-it” made by peoples of the past who were posing as the oracles of the time, but who were being asked for answers they did not have, so they simply made up something which sounded plausible to their audiences.
    Many ignorant politicians and preachers still make up answers to sound knowledgeable and plausible today.
    Over the years such made-up pseudo-answers have been included in cultural “knowledge”, and written down, or passed on by word of mouth, as folk tales.
    Unfortunately these faith-based stories, lack the testing and correction mechanisms which science uses to up-date information and correct errors, so as geographically separated groups in each generation forgets some bits and adds its own made-up pieces, we get the conflicting diversity of religions, denominations, and cults, each arguing about their own “absolute truth” – full of uncorrected errors from the past, and ignorant of valuable and useful recent discoveries!

    Some foolishly set themselves up to contradict well evidenced science – which makes them look foolish to all except their own “faith” circle of fellow believers.

    From my part, existence is the reality which reality is the object of a living man having awareness, i.e. being conscious of his experiencing the presence of the said object.

    The universe existed for billions of years before the formation of the Earth, and the Earth existed for billions of years before humans existed.

    99.99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999…….% of the universe is not even observable by humans unless they have the tools of modern astronomers, and some of it is not observable at all!

    Physical existence is independent of human perceptions of it. We explore it to make discoveries and build our images and understanding.

    What we are talking about is mental images in brains! –
    Some which have been meticulously checked by scientific methodology to eliminate errors, and some which have just been accepted as traditions and passed on “as true”, without being checked objectively at all.

    Gods are just leadership images substituted for the parent images of childhood.
    Politicians find them useful for manipulating “humble” populations to their advantage, and giving imaginary hope! – particularly in oppressed and impoverished cultures.

  • The problem with god-delusions, is that they affect people’s behaviour in the real world, and conflicting god delusions based on the unchecked tribal thinking of “faith” leads to very unpleasant conflicts between opposing “true believers” in different versions of gods!

    https://www.reddit.com/r/worldnews/comments/6j8yt2/muslims_on_india_train_assaulted_because_they_ate/

    A man arrested in India for being part of a mob that attacked a group of four Muslim teenagers on a train has said on TV that he was goaded into it by others because Muslims ate beef.

    Speaking on camera Ramesh said that he was “Told by his friends to attack the Muslim boys because they ate beef”.

    While eating beef is not unlawful in India, it is taboo in some states where Muslims have apparently been killed amid heightened public rhetoric about the need to protect [sacred] cows.

    @link – Just to clear things, it was a quarrel over seats.
    Then the whole mob started beating them up because they were muslims and saying things like they are traitors and should not live in India.
    Killed a boy of 16 and 3 others were seriously injured.
    And story got out they somehow spin it into again the “beef talk” so that normal public can be swayed away from this.
    This is becoming quite normal in india after Modi govt came to power.
    Its just like Pakistan where Hindus are beaten first then they are accused of blasphemy,
    here muslims are beaten first then somehow it is spun into beef.

  • people, people, people,
    when ever anyone in any instance at all for any reason asks for disproof, walk away. WALK. AWAY. I mean it is a simple, fundamental manipulation of logic. Now, the person may be manipulating it on purpose (that is, for a cause) or as a result of a fundamental misunderstanding of exactly how “knowledge” works, but either way, you are dealing with a person who is not playing by the same rules. It is like an umpire who’s strike zone changes pitch by pitch.
    If a person is found murdered, does the judge ask you to disprove 7.8 BILLION people’s guilt to arrvive at the guilty party? This is fucking stupid. Here is a person with grace and manners who is eloquent and well read and AND IDIOT. you are not a troll. you are WRONG. Easy as that. And, I do not mean about the “god” question. I do not have the “ammo” to demonstrate that you are wrong about that. You are wrong because of the way you approach the problem. It’s systematically flawed. Would anything you’ve said, ANYTHING be admissible into any court of law? I mean, here is a place that you “swear on a bible” to tell the truth. Could anything said thus far stand up REMOTELY CLOSE as evidence?

    What an abject pile of shit this discussion has degenerated into. Manipulation of language does NOT constitute anything close to PROOF. Offer it or walk away. Ready????? i assert oranges exist. Want me to prove it? Now, your turn. You assert that this MOST IMPORTANT THING IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE exists. It should be easy. And, it should be especially easy to demonstrate evidence to a cohort of people who live their lives BASED ON EVIDENCE.

    SO—————Go.
    or fucking go away.

  • Allan4, surely you know that there are atheist vegans who will likewise accuse a human of “murder” for killing and eating a cow. The issue there isn’t confined to religion. I really don’t understand why so many Atheists like Dr. Dawkins (who sounds so incredibly reasonable 95% of the time) focuses so much time and effort on demonizing Christians who on the whole pose so very little threat to them or to their work.

    Within the educated circles in which Mr. Dawkins operates, Christianity from an objective sense poses less resistance than, say, our failure to fully embrace the metric system, or elevators that skip the 13th floor. Why are we the great Satan?

    I envy Melissa in the OP for her chance to meet with Dr. Dawkins personally and dispel her prejudices. I certainly don’t feel and have never been taught that he is the enemy, and have enjoyed reading most of his work, but it distresses me to be treated like the enemy.

    I accept that what I believe to be the answer to my prayers, the peace I find when I seek God, to be some sort of delusion in my mind. Dr. Dawkins may very well be right about that. I do not demand that he prove his argument and I’m not going to try to force my experience onto anyone else. But if it is a delusion, I don’t see how it harms any of you, or to quash your freedom of speech, or to keep you from teaching science in schools. Those who HAVE succeeded in getting Dr. Dawkins banned from speaking at various universities — those are not Christians, or members of anything that recognizes itself as a religion.””

    I urge you to reevaluate who your real enemy is.

  • The issue there isn’t confined to religion. I really don’t understand why so many Atheists like Dr. Dawkins (who sounds so incredibly reasonable 95% of the time) focuses so much time and effort on demonizing Christians who on the whole pose so very little threat to them or to their work.

    But it isn’t, Read his books in order if you can and you will get a real sense of the damage done by normal Christians. For years as a science teacher in the very secular Australia had to fight to get textbooks for our junior school year 7-10 that mentioned evolution by name! Years! Do you know how hard it was to find one? Why do you think this is the case?

    Let me tell you, it is because mostly harmless Christians and Christian schools (who are otherwise moderate) don’t want to highlight and talk about the underpinning theory of all of biology and life. They don’t want to name it in their textbooks because the happy clappy Christian schools will not buy their otherwise excellent textbooks. So they use weasel words like adapt and avoid talking about the fact of evolution. Noticing this trend to his field of study and the threat this has to all (remember evolution is the foundation of biology – medicine for example is a bit hard to do without some understanding of this).

    This is why he got involved. It is otherwise genuinely nice (I’m not being sarcastic) Christians who are damaging our education system (Tax free by the way). And that is not even talking about the areas of physics and astronomy that they wish to gloss over as well. Christianity makes otherwise smart people ignorant and an ignorant population is bad for society. The real question is, why aren’t more of us screaming from the rooftops about this and letting him get on and write his marvelous books on evolution? What has been the opportunity cost? How many more selfish genes, or my personal favorites the Blind Watchmaker and The Greatest Show on Earth have we missed out on while he has been fighting for the education of our children?

    Those who HAVE succeeded in getting Dr. Dawkins banned from speaking at various universities — those are not Christians, or members of anything that recognizes itself as a religion.””

    Look, you seem really, really nice so I’m not trying to offend you here, as I said above with another Christian poster I hope you stay here to discuss and argue with us. But you are simply wrong. Anyone who calls themselves a Christian is a Christian. Unless you are God I don’t think you get to make that call. They may be a type of Christian you don’t agree with but they are people who profess to believe in Christ. As a heretic I know enough history to know Christians have censored our views as long as they have had the power from burning down libraries and books, burning people (after considerable torture) to social exclusion.

    As for being offended at Dawkins describing God as a delusion perhaps you should read his book and you’ll find he is not nearly so severe as you seem to be implying. But to give you an idea of a reasonable comparison so you can see how your beliefs compare to others. I’ve know a couple of people who think they were abducted by aliens. Nice, intelligent guys. Now I liked them, didn’t think they were idiots but if I’m not prepared to grant that their experience is real (I grant it was real to them) then what are the options. The only I can come up with is that they were most likely suffering from some form of sleep paralysis. Having suffered from the same sort of delusion myself I attribute beliefs making wild claims with zero evidence most likely to be delusions. I get you don’t like that, neither did they, but it is most likely true. What you need to ask yourself is this. What belief that can’t be proven would you just take someone’s else’s word for? If there is a single one out there that you would label delusion then why are your beliefs immune to this criticism?

  • Pattertwig #42
    Jun 25, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    I really don’t understand why so many Atheists like Dr. Dawkins (who sounds so incredibly reasonable 95% of the time)
    focuses so much time and effort on demonizing Christians who on the whole pose so very little threat to them or to their work.

    He doesn’t!
    He deals with those numerous OTHER Christians, who do deny evolution and basic biology, and who also politically irrationally interfere in the medical services to other people.
    There are literally thousands of forms of Christianity – which is a consequence of the diversity of conflicting strange beliefs arising from “faith-thinking” (belief without evidence or proof) – accepted uncritically as traditions from parents and preachers.

    Within the educated circles in which Mr. Dawkins operates, Christianity from an objective sense poses less resistance than, say, our failure to fully embrace the metric system, or elevators that skip the 13th floor.

    These are features of the same types of thought processes which are promoted by preachers in the denials of evidence based objective science, – denials which are needed to prop up the doctrines of faith or ideologies, in the face of refutations from scientific and historical evidence.

    Why are we the great Satan?

    We are not! –
    But atheists are regularly painted as such from pulpits, where tribalistic “US” and “THEM” dichotomous thinking, is used in conjunction with the No True Scotsman fallacy, to pretend that a particular religion/denomination is in essence “good”, and that non-members are inherently immoral or “bad”!!

    I accept that what I believe to be the answer to my prayers, the peace I find when I seek God, to be some sort of delusion in my mind. Dr. Dawkins may very well be right about that. I do not demand that he prove his argument

    I think it is only a matter of time before neuroscientists using modern brain-scanning technology, do prove his argument about the delusional basis of religious thinking!

    Those who HAVE succeeded [or would wish to] in getting Dr. Dawkins banned from speaking at various universities — “those are not [true] Christians, or members of anything that recognizes itself as a religion.”

    Actually they are, – but they are some of the thousands or millions of Christians who are conveniently disowned by other Christians using the tribal “No True Scotsman fallacy”, and compartmentalised thinking.

    or members of anything that recognizes itself as a religion.

    There are theocratic religious countries, where people are imprisoned, beaten, or killed just for being atheists, or criticising the socially damaging irrational claims of the local religion!

  • Pattertwig #42
    Jun 25, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    Allan4, surely you know that there are atheist vegans who will likewise accuse a human of “murder” for killing and eating a cow.

    The difference is that atheist vegans apply their views to their own diet, and don’t go around attacking and killing beef eaters, or falsely alleged beef eaters, as Hindu gangs do! (@#39)

    The issue there isn’t confined to religion.

    Apart from some fanatical religion-like political ideologies and god-like leader personality cults, it usually is!

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2017/06/man-sentenced-to-death-for-blasphemy-on-facebook-in-pakistan/

  • Well it appears Patterwig has gone quite on us Alan.

    Patterwig, I really hope you are just busy or something because I meant it when I said you are most welcome here. I’m not saying it’s going to be comfortable to have your beliefs questioned but please believe I am genuinely happy to have the debate/s.

    Look, I was religious, seriously, fundamentally religious, when I became an atheist my IQ didn’t suddenly spike up 30 points I was identical in all ways other than the fact that I ceased to believe in a deity. So I for one do not think that your belief makes you stupid or lesser than. I do think it makes you wrong but I’m sure on most things I too am wrong, ignorant or misinformed.

    So while I and others will passionately disagree with you here, many were once believers and do not think you are an idiot for believing. If that is your reason for not posting then that of course is your choice, but surely if your beliefs are founded on anything more solid than a delusion then you should be prepared to do a bit of research and come back at us with some evidence?

    Have you considered the possibility that your posting to this site might be your chance to convert some of us. I was amazed considering I belonged to a religion that sends young men out on bikes at their own expense for about 2 years peddling their faith that on announcing I was leaving the religion was not met with a hoard of well meaning and well educated Mormons showing me why I was wrong, instead they formally send out two guys who were the least religious, who refused to look at or discuss any of the evidence I had, and one other individual who had been one of the blokes in our ward who wanted to have a go. The rest stopped their kids from coming over to our house and generally shunned us. So Pattertwig, here’s your chance to change our minds and bring them back to the fold.

    ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

    Come on Pattertwig please don’t give up on us that easily.

  • Pattertwig #42
    Jun 25, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    Allan4, surely you know that there are atheist vegans who will likewise accuse a human of “murder” for killing and eating a cow.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-40428067

    Protests are taking place across India against rising attacks on Muslims and Dalits (formerly untouchables) by vigilante cow protection groups.

    About 2,000 people turned out in Delhi. Protests were also being held in 15 other cities as well as in London, protest organiser Saba Dewan said.

    The campaign, #NotInMyName, started with a Facebook post she wrote after a Muslim teenager was killed last week.

    Many Hindus consider the cow a sacred animal.

    Wednesday’s protests come amid reports that a Muslim dairy farmer in Jharkhand state was assaulted and his house was set on fire after the carcass of a cow was found at his door on Tuesday afternoon.

    Cow slaughter is banned in several Indian states and those found violating the law can be jailed for up to 10 years. Parliament is also considering a bill to bring in the death penalty for the crime.

    But ever since the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in the summer of 2014, vigilante cow protection groups have been emboldened and there have been numerous attacks on Muslims and Dalits, for whom beef is a staple.

    Nearly a dozen people have been killed in these attacks over the past two years. Targets are often picked based on unsubstantiated rumours and Muslims have been attacked for even transporting cows for milk.

    Let me know if there are any reports of killings of other people by gangs of atheist vegans. 🙂

    This particular problem in India seems very much confined to religion, and religion’s intrusion into politics!

  • My what surprisingly long and convoluted thread that Gerardo began after my letter. Did you read the comment from the moderator?

    I was just back here to link to my letter in a footnote for the book I’m writing. Richard Dawkins is advising me. Feel free to follow my progress on Twitter at @LosingToSaveIt LosingYourLifeToSave

    -Melissa

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