Thursday, November 24, 2005

IDiots and the Flying Spaghetti Monster

The biggest smirks in society today are on the faces of participants in the rhetoric of ridicule known as the "Flying Spaghetti Monster." We should not let this dishearten us; it is something from which we should gain encouragement and confidence. The very fact that the most popular and influential defense of the naturalistic theory of origins is a pop culture fad reminiscent of juvenile schoolyard taunts is evidence of which side of the debate will likely have the last laugh.

As further evidence for encouragement, even when the an attempt is made to intellectually defend naturalistic origins (cosmological and biological) it is done in such a shrill, mean, hateful manner that the argument is obscured by the explosive behavior from the Darwinian Jihad. The tenor of Darwinian Fundamentalists has become so rancorous that many are beginning to doubt the credibility of the priests of the Darwinian religion. In fact, the childishness, overt deceptions, and intentional mischaracterizations, and lack of intellectual dialogue have been so commonplace that elements of pop culture have even noticed. For example: Scott Adams, who specifically said he is not a believer in Intelligent Design, said over at the DilbertBlog:
    I’ve been doing lots of reading on the subject, trying to gather comic fodder. I fully expected to validate my preconceived notion that the Darwinists had a mountain of credible evidence and the Intelligent Design folks were creationist kooks disguising themselves as scientists. That’s the way the media paints it. I had no reason to believe otherwise. The truth is a lot more interesting. Allow me to set you straight.

Dean Esmay, a self avowed atheist and science geek over at Dean’s World, said:
    Adams, who appears to be about as religious as a bowl of Cheerios, recently committed the crime of being less than absolutely condemning of the idea of Intelligent Design, and, even worse, of suggesting that maybe they raised some valid points worth considering. He was, predictably, avalanched with ugly criticism.

Click here for More Fallout from Scott Adams’ ID Post

The failure to recognize the Intelligent Design proponents as serious intellectual challengers will only serve to inhibit the humanistic evolutionists from mounting an intellectual response. The use of the rhetoric of ridicule and the law as a bludgeon has had its short term successes in shaping political debate; don't knock the mock. Nonetheless, it always fails to “move armies or pull down empires. Intelligent design is already more than a simple matter of academic speculation, it has matured well past being a mere scientific hypothesis and is well on its way (if not already) a genuine scientific theory.

On the other hand, it must be acknowledged that Scott Adams also directed his statements at the proponents of Intelligent Design. Even if he is “just a comic strip artist,” we have to take heed of what he says because most of what he says is correct. He says:
    To me, the most fascinating aspect of the debate over Darwinism versus Intelligent Design is that neither side understands the other side’s argument. Better yet, no one seems to understand their own side’s argument. But that doesn’t stop anyone from having a passionate opinion.

Here is some direction that I would like to leave you with. It is what I believe we should understand about this topic and some of how we need to precede to be relevant and creditable.
    Now we Reformed Christians are wholly in earnest about the Bible. We are people of the Word; Sola Scriptura is our cry; we take Scripture to be a special revelation from God himself, demanding our absolute trust and allegiance. But we are equally enthusiastic about reason, a God-given power by virtue of which we have knowledge of ourselves, our world, our past, logic and mathematics, right and wrong, and God himself; reason is one of the chief features of the image of God in us. And if we are enthusiastic about reason, we must also be enthusiastic about contemporary natural science, which is a powerful and vastly impressive manifestation of reason.

    To think about it properly, one must obviously know a great deal of science. On the other hand, the question crucially involves both philosophy and theology: one must have a serious and penetrating grasp of the relevant theological and philosophical issues. And who among us can fill a bill like that? Certainly I can't. The scientists among us don't ordinarily have a sufficient grasp of the relevant philosophy and theology; the philosophers and theologians don't know enough science; consequently, hardly anyone is qualified to speak here with real authority. This must be one of those areas where fools rush in and angels fear to tread. Whether or not it is an area where angels fear to tread, it is obviously an area where fools rush in.
    - Alvin Plantinga

We need for our theologians and philosophers to more diligently pursue the study of science. We need for our scientist to more diligently study philosophy and especially theology. We need to learn not only how to construct an argument, but the purposes, responsibilities, and consequences of engaging in one. Ours should be a rhetoric of logic, humbly applied to an area where we cannot foolishly rush in, even if we are reasonably well informed.

Finally, as a simple hillbilly southern boy (actually more redneck than hillbilly), I know full well the power of being underestimated and the ridicule that comes with it. My advice is to own it, enjoy it, and use it.

Viva la FSM!

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, here I am - the anonymous blogger from the UK who has been posting on the ARC website recently. You challenged me to come and take a look at your blog-site. Never one to keep a closed mind, I've had a look, and here's what I think.
Firstly, the people who have been chuckling about the 'Flying Spaghetti Monster' do indeed do themselves a dis-service. Or at least, they do at first glance. It's not fair to mock those with the wits and intelligence to come up with ideas that challenge long held stalwarts of science or knowledge. Mankind moves forward most often by great leaps rather than steady advance - every now and again, someone makes staggering claims that push our civilisation forward in ways that could not have been forseen before. The important point about such advances is that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence to affirm them as true. People who have achieved this include Copernicus, Bruno, Newton, Galileo, Einstein, and some would say Stephen Hawkins.
Each has had great ideas, and put forward papers outlining those ideas. Those papers (hypothesis) were tested by their peers, and found true, the experiments or observations repeated and replicated. Their hypothesis' became theories - foundations upon which further knowledge can be built, and upon which much of the contents of our modern world (technology, medicine etc) depend. If the method that they used was wrong, or incorrect, then I wouldn't be able to write this and you wouldn't be able to read it. Their theories, covering broad areas of science, produced advances in other areas - Newton gave us an understanding of gravity and proved that our planet reolves around the sun, aiding cosmology and astronomy. Relativity brought us the microship and nuclear power, brain scans and computers and satellites. Each benefited and complemented other, hitherto considered seperate, fields of learning. This is what a theory is, in science - a foundation of knowledge that is far greater than the sum of its parts.
Darwin's Theory of Evolution fits this pattern, because it predcicted devolution along with the existence of DNA and genes. Darwin went to his grave knowing nothing of these phenomena, but he stated there to be a mechanism at tiny scales which could drive his natural selection and adaption to environmental change. Genetics and DNA were found much later, and proved him correct.
Intelligent Design, a product of the late 1980's I believe, has expanded since and become a stalwart of the Creationist movement in the US. As far as I can asscertain from reading about Intelligent Design, it has made the following predictions;
1) "God did it."
And that's it.
The appearance of terms such as Irreducible Complexity make no predictions. They simply say - God did it. ID provides no evidence to contradict the vast corpus of observable and measurable evidence that our planet is 4.5 billion years old and that evolution has been ongoing for that period of time. It provided nothing to explain the expansion of the universe, the formation of stars or planetary systems, or the origin of life - it just says; "God did it".
No papers have been published, after peer review, supporting ID. Although there is much talk of science simply 'ignoring' ID, and of how this is deeply 'unfair', there is little or no mention of the fact that science has been debating the viability of ID with its supporters for over a decade, during which there has been not a single experiment made, observation tested nor mechanism provided for ID. Mainsream science hasn't turned its back on ID's supporters - it's got tired of them arguing in circles, and resorting to "God did it" when the science gets too tricky for them to oppose.
ID is Creationism. It posits that a 'god' created everything, and that because things like an eye are so complex, they couldn't have evolved on their own. This claim is made (not always, but usually) on the assumption that earth is only 6000 years old. If it were, then ID would have quite logical grounds. But our planet isn't 6000 years old, and every observation made in mankind's history supports that, across the breadth of modern science. Everything points to a very old earth and a far older universe (and that includes Einstein, not just Darwin). Evolution is ancient, and as an example;
Fossils of fish and ancient marine life are regularly found at the top of high mountains. The rocks of mountains were once the sandy seabeds of ancient oceans. Tectonic activity drives the movement of the plates in the earth crust, constantly changing the face of our planet, and eventually driving ancient sediment to the greatest heights - fossils and all intact. This activity takes millions of years, and can be observed in motion today. The US is 'drifting' away from the UK at a rate of several centimetres per year (and with G.W.Bush in the White House, for us that's not nearly fast enough!)
For somthing like ID to work, it must completely refute every other science (in this case geology and palaeontology) to do so. It does not achieve this, never has, and most likely never will.
Those who study and practice science do so with the will to learn. They have no interest in denying religion or the existence of gods, nor of this supposed 'victimisation' of Christians by what are called here 'Darwinian Fundamentalists' on their 'Darwinian Jihad'. Mr Deathrowbodine claims that science uses hateful, cruel and shrill manners to deny ID. Yet he used words that deliberately suggest terrorist connotations - cruelty in the extreme, sir. Would you approve of my labelling you a Creationist Nazi? A Kamikazi IDiot? No, I don't imagine that you would.
I don't care if religion is made to look silly by the advances of modern science. I don't even care if it's made to look 'correct' by modern science (as happened with the discovery of the Big Bang, a moment of 'creation' for the universe beloved at the time by theists). What I care about is finding the truth, no matter how wonderful, or difficult, it is to behold.
I wonder, just exactly what evidence you would require sir, to admit that ID was incorrect - or whether, as I suspect, you would soldier on no matter what was placed before you, to deny ID or the Bible or whatever.
I look forward to reading your reply, and hope there's nothing hateful in this message, or cruel or shrill.
DC

DeathRowBodine said...

DC,

Thank you! I knew you would make my point for me. When I saw your posts over at ARC, I was convinced that I had found someone who would take the bait and DO exactly what Scott Adams was talking about. You didn’t disappoint. I was convinced that you would fall right into the trap laid because you obviously aren't reading what others are writing but merely foolishly rushing in regurgitating what little information you have, without regard to whether it is relevant to the discussion at all.

For example, you said:
Intelligent Design, a product of the late 1980's I believe, has expanded since and become a stalwart of the Creationist movement in the US. As far as I can asscertain [sic] from reading about Intelligent Design, it has made the following predictions;
1) "God did it."
And that's it.
The appearance of terms such as Irreducible Complexity make no predictions. They simply say - God did it. ID provides no evidence to contradict the vast corpus of observable and measurable evidence that our planet is 4.5 billion years old and that evolution has been ongoing for that period of time. It provided nothing to explain the expansion of the universe, the formation of stars or planetary systems, or the origin of life - it just says; "God did it".


In that one statement you DID exactly what the thesis of my post and the thesis of Scott Adams’ post said you WOULD do. You mischaracterized the Intelligent Design positions.

Scott Adams said:
Darwinists often argue that Intelligent Design can’t be true because we know the earth is over 10,000 years old. That would be a great argument, supported by every relevant branch of science, except that it has nothing to do with Intelligent Design.

Intelligent Design accepts an old earth and even accepts the fact that species probably evolved. They only question the “how.” Creationists have jumped on that bandwagon as a way to poke holes in Darwinism. The Creationists and the Intelligent Design folks have the same target (Darwin), but they don’t have the same argument.


Intelligent Design very clearly makes a prediction. In my post, "Intelligent Design, Science, & Epistemology", I explain what that prediction is.

Intelligent design involves making a logical prediction for an intelligent designer of biological organisms based upon previous observations of manifestations of irreducible complexity and specified Shannon information (concept in information theory). The prediction that an intelligent designer is uniquely responsible for certain types of order found in complex systems can be and has been proven countless times with items all around us. Enough proofs that anyone should be able to legitimately call the hypothesis a "theory." Nonetheless, even a hypothesis is certainly a valid scientific concept that should be taught and scientifically considered. Clearly, the intelligent design approach is undeniably "science."

This prediction is falsifiable and is the answer to your question, "I wonder, just exactly what evidence you would require sir, to admit that ID was incorrect…"

Provide me with ONE example where you can prove observations of manifestations of irreducible complexity and specified Shannon information (or similar) have arisen from disorder against entropy from undirected random processes. I can provide you with countless examples of the inverse.

It is obvious that the Darwinist does not hold the high ground of “true” science, in fact the opposite is true as I demonstrate in the post "Intelligent Design, Science, & Epistemology"

First, the methodological naturalist must deal with logical inconsistency of his own beliefs. He subscribes to a deterministic world-view in which the universe is nothing but a chain of meaningless events following one after another according to the law of cause and effect. This world-view gives rise to the logical inconsistency of the inability to posit a first cause. Furthermore, he rejects any form of metaphysical volition which undermines the ability to think or do anything other than that which physical and chemical processes determined anything he thinks or does. This logical inconsistency undermines rationality itself.

Second, Methodological Naturalism lacks empirical foundations for an evolutionary progress emerging from undirected random events. Nowhere in nature can it be proven that specified and irreducible complexity has come about by anything other than direct influence by intelligence. In fact, the opposite is universally found. Without the influence of intelligent interaction, order naturally proceeds to disorder and a lower energy state.

Third, the modern form of strictly empirical scientific investigation into nature is plagued by an inevitable confusion over a central philosophical issue, that of knowledge. By rejecting absolute truths derived from a priori rational knowledge, they necessarily reject the very foundations of the scientific method.


I go further to demonstrate the irrationality of those how hold the religion of the Darwinism (Methodological Naturalism) in the post entitled "A Nonrational Fantasy World of Experience"

As I get time, I will come back to address more of the wonderfully absurd statements made by DC in his post above. Hopefully he will add more fodder for our cannon in the coming weeks.

Anonymous said...

"Intelligent Design accepts an old earth and even accepts the fact that species probably evolved. They only question the “how.”

ID's answer; "God did it." Exactly as I said. It doesn't matter which branch of ID or Creationism one is supporting, whether one supports an old earth or not, both are ultimately saying the same. "God did it". Or perhaps "God does it". Irrelevant really - it's an argument that cannot be falsified, no matter how you try to dress it up with so called 'science'.

"you obviously aren't reading what others are writing but merely foolishly rushing in regurgitating what little information you have"

A bit like going up against a million proven scientific theories with an ancient little book that says "God did it", spitefully calling others Darwinian Jihadists before using another person's words to say that IDers don't oppose Darwin's Theory of Evolution, whilst simultaneously rambling on about the 'scriptures' elsewhere on this site. Presumably you reject 'Genesis'. Or don't you? If you can reject Genesis, then why not the rest of the Bible? If you support Evolutionary theory, then why bother with ID? The "how" of evolution is not in question and your grasp of science and its methods, whilst often robust, rather childishly uses the fact that science does not yet know 'everything' as a weapon against it. I wonder how far mankind would have gotten had the Enlightenment not occured - religous rule would still dominate Europe, and we'd all be starving in poverty whilst being burned at the stake in our thousands by people who also claimed to know the 'truth' about God. Praise be! Not.

"Provide me with ONE example where you can prove observations of manifestations of irreducible complexity and specified Shannon information (or similar) have arisen from disorder against entropy from undirected random processes"

Irreducible Complexity is a non-existent phenomena. Full stop. It's analagous to asking me to prove the existence of your Flying Spaghetti Monster. The term means nothing, it just portays a wilful ignorance of evolution over enormous time spans. Why not challenge the existence of wings or ears or any other physical trait of known species? Each and all appeared over aeons of time. Saying that "God did it" is an unnecessary complication that defies all of science, including some of its oldest foundations such as Occam's Razor, which slices all gods out of the picture quite neatly.

You mention that my comments are 'wonderfully absurd'. Which ones exactly? And in light of the flagrant confusion in your own reply, perhaps you could make your actual standpoint on Biblical world views as opposed to scientific ones clear for once and for all, so that everybody (anybody?) reading this will know where you're coming from. As far as I'm concerned, all of your rhetoric can be sliced down in exactly the same way as ID, to leave remaining;
"God did it".
DC

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that neither scientific evidence through observation, nor philosophical reasoning can ever provide near sufficient enough knowledge to say whether ID or Darwinism is correct. Having such a passionate opinion about either side takes a great deal of 'faith' or belief without sufficient knowledge. The whole idea even, that a created, or evolved being could ever presume to be able to come to a complete understanding of itself or its origin makes me snicker.

Nonetheless, from what I have read, observed, experienced, and reasoned over the years, ID makes so much more sense, and Deathrow by far has the stronger arguments. Lack of a first cause in the chain of cause and effect, first of all, certainly gets me thinking... And tell me, DC, how does Ockham's Razor slice all god's out of the picture? He suggested that, in science, the simplest answer to a problem tends to be the correct one. It seems to me "God did it" is a much, much simpler explanation to the incredible variety of today's complex organic life than does billions of years of random chance, apparantly operating against the tendance towards entropy.

SPF

Anonymous said...

I like your response in general, SPF, but you're missing the point. Natural evolution is a theory tested for over 150 years now and found secure - the vast majority of the entire planet has no problem with natural evolution. The unnecessary addition of ID remains totally unsupported by any evidence, observable or not. Only those with a creationist agenda support it, for the reasons I stated above - they refuse to acknowledge the possibility that a creator god may not exist, and thus continue to anthropomorphise the cosmos and its creation in general. It is a Biblically driven cause - nothing more.

'Lack of a first cause' is only something that DRB can say because nobody's worked out the mechanism for that first cause (except the possibility - hypothesis - that the singularity within black holes gives rise to the singularity from which universes emerge).

A passionate argument for science requires no 'faith' or 'belief'. There is no faith in science - only the search for answers. Some questions have been answered, many remain. The truth is only ever found by testing possible answers, and finally arriving at the truth. It's as simple as that. Against that there is ID, which says "God did/does it" and remains un-testable.

As for Occam's Razor, it slices gods out of the picture because the notion of gods is an unnecessary addition to existence. We know the universe exists because we're living in it. Thus there must be a mechanism that produced said universe. However, by adding a god, one must ask "who created the god?" It's an addition that isn't required, and complicates the matter further - Occam's Razor removes this complication. Most ID'ers and creationists might say "but god is eternal - he requires no creator". In which case, why should the universe need one? It too can thus be eternal.

The idea that a being can completely understand itself is far in our future, but not impossible. Very little is impossible - only time and learning will tell. In light of the last few hundred years of mankind improving our world through that learning, after a thousand years of theological oppression, I'd say the money's on science and observation being correct. Religion, in any guise, has always fallen. Search for people who follow Zeus now, or Osiris, or Thor or Seth. those supposed gods are all gone because the people who created and followed them are gone.
The Bible will, eventually, fall too in the same way.
DC

Sean said...

You are walking through the desert. There is nothing in sight but sand and sky. You are not sure what you are doing there, you aren't sure where you came from or even where you are going. You know nothing about the place you are in except for what you can observe. As you ascend the crest of a dune, suddenly you see something far off in the distance. You approach it, and find a finely crafted table. Wow, it is unlike anything you have ever seen, so you spend the next several years, in the desert studying it. After performing many highly controlled experiments, you observe that it is made of wood. What's more, is that it seems to consist of several separate pieces held together by some sort of metal spikes! Having never met a carpenter before (or even another person), you think to yourself, how, in the natural world, could something like this ever come into existence? After much theorizing, and many more tests, you come up with, what seems to you the most likely explanation, based purely upon scientific evidence. This tree is undoubtedly the result of millions of years of evolving characteristics and natural selection. Notice its hard, smooth surface, a perfect adaptation to the harshness of the desert climate. Its shape and form prove its evolutionary superiority over its more randomly shaped ancestors. Order can come out of chaos! You aren't sure of the exact details about how evolution could have produced this end result, but there is no other observable evidence available.

Oh, that the table-maker might come around and blow our scientific observations out of the water!! We are so busy looking down, at the things we can observe and experiment upon, that we leave no room for the obvious! Someone was here before us!

DeathRowBodine said...

[Deathrow Bodine laments his lack of time to respond to DC right now, he has some mighty fine responses in mind. Trust me, it's just that I fell through my porch and hurt ol' Hank the Hound...yeah yeah...that's the ticket...and my still blew up....yeah....and the the chicken's in the bread pan scratching out dough. That's the ticket.]

I will leave you all with something to THINK about and when I say think about it I want you to say it over and over to yourself a couple of times and consider what you are saying.

NOTHING DID IT!

Anonymous said...

Sean,
Get a grip. Your little story neither proves nor provides anything. It's not evidence, it's word-play. Here's a much shorter and simpler one for you;

"Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts, absolutely. God is all powerful - draw your own conclusions."

Doesn't achieve much does it? It makes sense, yet it proves nothing. Your example is once again an argument from ignorance, instead of addressing what's being discussed here and most likely on another thousand blog-sites around the digital world that is the internet.

DRB! Hope the Hound's OK...

"Nothing did it!"

Also word play, not anything to do with the subject at hand. What science says is "Something did it, and we don't know what yet, but we want to find out and we'll keep trying until we do."
I find it difficult to understand the mind-set of those who simply will not accept that, if there is indeed a 'God', then the only thing we know for sure about that 'God' is; nothing. Not a thing. The only way to find out is to search and learn and *try*, and the scientific method has proven itself over the last three hundred years to be the most reliable way of doing so. ID does not follow that method, and when the method is applied to ID, it fails.
I expect that most of the people reading these blogs and replying to them think I'm on of DRB's "Darwinian Jihadists", or one of his so called 'weak atheists'. I'm not. I'm me. I'm honest. Anybody who says they 'know' anything about god is basically lying - gods are man's invention, not a universal truth. Digging into the Bible or the Qu'ran or any other of the world's thousands of 'holy' books is just burying one's head in theological sand. Doing it almost destroyed humanity - getting out of that habit saved humanity and progressed us to where we are today. Nature provides a record of our planet's past, and the cosmos provides a history of the universe - only sufficient technology is required to access that knowledge.
ID, on the other hand, wants to prove the existence of the Biblical God, Yawheh. It won't, because that diety was invented by pastoral, xenophobic Hebrews several thousand years ago to provide them with a 'glorious history'. The Bible itself is filled with mythical characters, everyone from Abraham to Jesus.

I think the difference between an atheist like me, and theists like yourselves, is that I have an open mind. If 'God' was proven to exist, I wouldn't mind a jot. If God was proven false, I believe you would all experience a profound mental crisis, whereas once again, I wouldn't mind.

THINK about this instead;

WHAT DID IT?

Which is most likely to find the truth? Theology, in its various guises. Or science?
DC

vandræðiskáld said...

***Doing it almost destroyed humanity - getting out of that habit saved humanity and progressed us to where we are today.***

No... twisting scripture to make it say what we wanted it to say is what nearly destroyed society. Scripture tells us to love and preach and spread the gospel, and voila, the crusades were born and men murdered other men for being infidels. Scripture tells men to love their wives as Christ loved the Church, and gave Himself up for her, and check it out, women are forcibly oppressed/repressed in the name of God.
True Christianity, if those who say they are Christians truly obey, will only turn our hearts in love to one another. Compassion and love for one another, which God commands, has caused great medical and technological advances. Men who love their wives as Christ loved the church do not oppress their wives.
People who follow the Bible and seek to live godly, holy lives do not commit crimes, harm other people, or act in cruelty. I don't understand how setting aside this religion could make society better- instead we see increases in murder, theft, rape, domestic abuse, etc.
Men who know there is divine retribution for wrong will not commit wrongs. Men who know they can act how ever they want and get out of jail in 3-6 months will do whatever they want, and are usually pretty happy to have rent-free living and free food.

Whether you believe in God or not, that is up to you, but the moral code alone in the Bible is pretty darn awesome for society.

Anonymous said...

Sounds fair enough, doesn't it. Except that it ignores almost everything that has been observed today in society.
It has been proven through study that countries with an overtly religious moral code are correspondingly less ethical. Murder rates, teenage pregnancy, suicides, poor education and all social ills are higher in countries like the US, whilst lower in secular nations like the UK. France, a highly secularised nation, does even better.In addition, more than 90% of prison populations define themselves as Christian (in the US). Less than 1% are atheists.

These facts don't necessarily mean that religion *causes* the problems, but it certainly shows that it doesn't cure them. The assertion that people in history who committed atrocities during the Crusades / Inquisitions etc were simply twisting the so-called 'scriptures' is a distortion of the truth. They believed that they were right, and that they were acting in god's name, for his purpose. It doesn't matter whether Christians of today agree with their methods - they believed, and would allow no challenge to their belief, prefering to murder than consider that they may have been wrong. That is the same belief that exists today, faith via ignorance. History shows that religion has always followed this path, only changing when forced to do so when the evidence presented before them becomes overwhelming, and the population turns against their religious heirachy (the Enlightenment, French Revolution etc).

The above post-ee ignores the hundreds of passages within the 'scriptures' where the mythical Jesus Christ implores his followers to murder their families rather than deny him. It ignores vast genocide and betrayal by the 'kind and loving' god Yawheh. It ignores incest and paedophilia, incomparable brutality on an enormous scale. Christians are selective in their preaching - they pick only the 'nice' words to tell their children, and forget about the murderous blood-lust and carnage that is the Bible's signature.

The post-ee claims that people without fear of judgement wander around doing what they want (atheists, presumably). Yet the greatest crimes in humanity have always been committed by those with a religious agenda. Hitler is a great example, a fervent man of god if ever there was one. It is believing that one is doing 'god's' work that allows the individual to do whatever they wish. How many people have murdered with the name of a god upon their lips? They're still doing it today... The atheist, instead, has a *conscience*.

Religion causes more pain that it cures, a historical truth no amount of apologising can veil.

My only concession is that religion can provide *cohesion*. It can bring people together in a common cause. If the 'church' stopped chasing rainbows in search of divine enlightement, and focused more on realistic earthly redemption - if it admitted its wrongs and started actually HELPING those who need help, if it got out of the political arena in search of power and started spending some of its vast financial resources instead of hoarding them ("it is more blessed to give, than to receive") then people might start respecting the church once again, out of gratitude rather than the fear of death that was once its currency.
DC

vandræðiskáld said...

***The above post-ee ignores the hundreds of passages within the 'scriptures' where the mythical Jesus Christ implores his followers to murder their families rather than deny him.***

Point out ONE verse where Jesus says to murder their families. Please.
Jesus tells us to even love our enemies.
The closest he comes to what you have said is a comparative device- that we would hate our families- IN COMPARISON with our love for God. Our love for God must be so much higher than that of our families that that intense love we have for our families would seem like nothing.
You are building straw men. I would suggest you read the Bible thoroughly before you try to tell anyone what it says.
The only time killing is condoned in the Bible is in certain wartime situations, or capital punishment. No individual has the right, or has ever had the right, to put another to death, except in self defense.

Anonymous said...

Here ya go... You take your time and take your pick - there's plenty more where these came from.


Jesus says that he has come to destroy families by making family members hate each other. He has “come not to send peace, but a sword.” Matthew 10:34

Jesus says, “Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace on earth! No, rather a sword lf you love your father, mother, sister, brother, more than me, you are not worthy of being mine." Matthew 10:34

Families will be torn apart because of Jesus. “Brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death." Matthew 10:21

Jesus strongly approves of the law and the prophets. He hasn’t the slightest objection to the cruelties of the Old Testament. Matthew 5:17


Jesus condemns entire cities to dreadful deaths and to the eternal torment of hell because they didn’t care for his preaching. Matthew 11:20

Jesus, whose clothes are dipped in blood, has a sharp sword sticking out of his mouth. Thus attired, he treads the winepress of the wrath of God. (The winepress is the actual press that humans shall be put into so that we may be ground up.) Revelations 19:13-15

The beast and the false prophet are cast alive into a lake of fire. The rest of us the unchosen will be killed with the sword of Jesus. “An all the fowls were filled with their flesh.” Revelations 19:20-21


Jesus explains that the reason he speaks in parables is so that no one will understand him, “lest . . . they . . . should understand . . . and should be converted, and I should heal them.” Matthew 13:10-15

Jesus explains why he speaks in parables to confuse people so they will go to hell. Mark 4:11-12


Jesus advocates child abuse:

Jesus is criticized by the Pharisees for not washing his hands before eating. He defends himself by attacking them for not killing disobedient children according to the commandment: “He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.” Matthew 15:4-7

Abandon your wife and children for Jesus and he’ll give your a big reward. Jesus asks that his followers abandon their children to follow him. To leave your child is abuse, it’s called neglect, pure and simple. Matthew 19:29

Jesus criticizes the Jews for not killing their disobedient children according to Old Testament law. Mark 7:9


Jesus says that those who have been less fortunate in this life will have it even worse in the life to come. Mark 4:25

Jesus sends the devils into 2000 pigs, causing them to jump off a cliff and be drowned in the sea. Clearly Jesus could have simply sent the devils out, yet he chose instead to place them into pigs and kill them. This is called animal abuse. Mark 5:12-13

Jesus kills a fig tree for not bearing figs, even though it was out of season. Jesus must not be as smart as Christians believe, for he was retarded enough to do something this silly. You’d think the son of god would know that trees don’t bear fruit in dry season. Idiot. Mark 11:13

Luke 12:47 Jesus okays beating slaves.

The Bible is full of evil, idiotic, stupid, senseless and moronic rubbish, supported only by those without the sense to tell fact from fiction.
Have a nice day.
DC

Anonymous said...

http://www.livejournal.com/users/elsbet_vance/204317.html

I answered your scripture references here. Sorry it took me so long, am recovering from surgery and had a modem meltdown and can't seem to get into my blogger account at the moment.

Els (Vandraediskald)