Posting:

Due to the current troll infestation we will be requiring you to sign in to leave a comment. Also, please note that we will be very nice in the regular posts, but we will not be gentle in the Sunday Blaspheme posts. You will be expected to back up any ideas with facts.

I am always happy to answer any questions I can:)

New Rule! Staff reserves the right to cuss you out and post your correspondence if you send us annoying emails.

Best!

Brett

Sunday, November 6, 2011

This Sunday: Hail the Cosmic Kitty!


Pulled from here. It's been photoshopped, but it is funny! And it shows how easily the human mind can be tricked, fooled or messed with. I watched a show a few months ago on either NatGeo or Discovery, were they pulled a 'crime' on some observers, half the people in the initial interview got everything wrong, and later they planted some ringers who purposely gave out wrong info and that got assimilated as fact by those same original observers for a mock trial. The conclusion? Eyewitnesses are NOT evidence nor should what they say happened be trusted. Why is this important? Well the whole notion that people saw Mohammad raise to the heavens or Jesus dying on the cross or even him existing is based on eye witness testimony, if that's unreliable then what proof is there?

It all boils down to a book, or in this case 2 books. Books that offer a few tidbits on morality, some of which are actually good and found in other religions and culture all over the world BEFORE said books were written. And others that are completely bat shit crazy or harmful. So what does it really have to offer? Good feelings? Can't you get those WITHOUT all the red tap and hate that goes with religion?

Sorry, I could go on, but I've read just the most incredible BS about religion these last few weeks, I simply can't get around how people can take it seriously anymore. Boggles the mind

Best,

Brett

45 comments:

steve said...

Got to be careful, so you are arguing that all of human observation is unreliable. So if someone saw Christ, that is unreliable, if someone did not, that too is unreliable.

Evolution which is a deduction and never seen, therefore is doubly unreliable.

-Steve

Brett said...

Gah!

People who might have seen Jesus, or watched him die and wrote about it years after his death can't be trusted. Of course all those stories were written 75 years after he died and since the average lifespan was much shorter, well you do the math. Stories upon stories, stories from one generation to the next. People being influenced by others who might not have even been there... it's ridiculous and that' this seem to trumps actual observation and genetic studies. Argue all you want Steve, you're just denying things because they don't agree with your religion. That's just lying to yourself to make you feel better.

Evolution has indeed been seen and documented. Sticking your fingers in your ears and going LALALALALALALALA! Won't change that.

Best,

Brett

Anthony said...

@ Brett
You and Steve have issues, lol

Why the hell do you read so much about religion if you don't care for the stuff? I don't get it. Is this a personal crusade? What's the goal? Are you trying to convert people?

I understand the notion of seeing something on TV and getting ticked off or whatever but you seem to almost go out of your way for this stuff...

Brett said...

Anthony,

Everyone has issues;P

It's called researching your opponent. Know thy enemy or whatnot. I am only trying to get people to think, I'm not part of any organization so I'm not looking to convert you, just to make you think. ACTUALLY thinking not just falling back on dogma like Steve does.

As an Atheist, or even someone who is non Christian, in this county you can not get away from all the religion all around you. As someone who likes science I read lots of science blogs and as most scientists are not religious and are actively attacked by the religious it comes up... over an over again.

So why do I do it? To show others who are not religious that they are not alone, that other people also share their views and are not afraid to speak out. You do know that I can't run for office in Texas, my current state, because Im an Atheist right? We dont get all the same rights as Christians, that we are in effect second class citizens. I speak out because the religious need to see and understand that not everyone thinks like they do and that maybe they need to start learning that this is supposed to be a secular Nation, that condemning people and killing them over something as trivial as religion is wrong and NOT moral and maybe they don't actually have all the answers.

But mostly because it's pisses me off that people can actually believe what amounts to badly written fables and take them as fact AND then attempt to force others to obey them. They claim 'free will' but don't seem to understand what that actually means.

Sorry, I tend to ramble when worked up:)

Best,

Brett

Brett said...

Interesting read about why religion is bad:

http://www.dcscience.net/?p=4813

Retrieverman said...

http://retrieverman.wordpress.com/2011/09/02/jesus-makes-an-appearance/

Brett said...

Retrieverman,

I do like that image, but I fear that's also been photoshopped a bit. It is funny!

Best,

Brett

dhr said...

this photo may have been photoshopped or not, but...

sure, Nature is the greatest Surrealist artist!

***

fustsfu! [word verification]

steve said...

Brett,

You can’t make a general comment like eyewitnesses are sometimes unreliable and then apply it to a specific historical incident. Logic would say you would have to apply it then to how you view all of history. Again your arguments would be strengthened if you actually understood the Biblical evidence. People were not predisposed to believe someone could come back from the dead. This was not wishful thinking.

Perhaps you would like to learn more and argue with a bit better understanding of the relevant info? The Lee Strobel audio books I sent you mp3's of would be a good primer.

The earliest NT writings are much earlier than 75 years, there is some dispute on which is the first, but most agree it was an epistle, not a gospel book. If this doesn’t mean anything to you, think about it for a moment. The epistles were written clearly after the gospels because they reference back to the gospels, so if the earliest discovered book is an epistle then the gospel events happened earlier. It isn’t like there is a dispute historically about what the Christians believed or what events surrounded the early church. Again you have never answered me on what criteria you use to judge the validity of historical events. So far you seem to reject all Christian history and any secular history which references Christianity.

Saying a glacier sort of looks like a cat is not the same as saying people actually believe it is a living cat. No one is tempted to worship or die for the ice kitty.

Not all eye witnesses are unreliable. Do you believe this? Or do you believe nothing can be trusted we have observed.

You state Darwinian macro level evolution has been observed, that people have watched one animal turn into a completely different animal. What animal turned into a totally different animal? Who saw it? Is there a video of it? Are you sure it isn’t something you read about? Or perhaps maybe someone extrapolated micro evolution and deduced that macro level changes also happened?

Remember no one is arguing that evolution explains inter species modification, or reduction in information at a genetic level. We all believe information can be lost, function can be lost, things can change; that isn’t Darwinian theory. What we differ on is if random mutations or environmental conditions can created more sophisticated new information.

Also I must ask why you believe evolution and the historic Jesus person are so closely connected? They are two different areas of study but you constantly pit them against each other.

Brett said...

No Steve,

There is NO evidence OUTSIDE the Bible to support anything in it. Don't give that BS I don't 'understand' the evidence. There isn't any to understand other than your 'feelings'. It just make you look like you are making shit up, which is actually whats happening. There is more evidence that Bigfoots exists than there is that the Bible it true. You have produced NO evidence, I'm not going to waste my time with more Woo bible BS, put up or shut up.

LOL! I just watched something last night that says that yes indeed people were predisposed to believe others could come back from the dead. It was in the epic of Gilgamesh. See this is you're problem you ONLY study the bible you ignore all other religions and past religions. You live in a vacuum of knowledge, anything that disagrees with you you ignore

Are you fucking kidding me? I reject all history that references Christianity?!?!? I reject you're Epistles idea because its not supported by evidence. And the reasoning you supplied is circular. Show me the gospels that are older. That's called evidence. There is nothing that doesn't show the gospels weren't changed to fit the epistle later. I reject you're bibles version of some of the history because it's simple wrong. Some of it is right, but most has nothing more than the bible saying it's true. No exodus, no flood, no Garden of Eden. How am I supposed to take it seriously when these have been proven false? I don't believe in the Epic of Gilgamesh either for those same reasons.

See it's actually the ceiling kitty, but I digress, and you have proven my point. It has been proven false yet you ignore this and cling to your religion even dying for it (never a good thing) when all it does it make you stupid by not allowing you to actually learn things like facts, it prevents you from having fun OR from allowing others to because you guys keep insisting that everyone must follow what YOU think.

Once again you show your ignorance regarding science. They don't just observe, they document, AND those observations are repeated and repeatable. So it gets tested, you simply don't accept everything at face value... people lie. You seem to not understand how this works.

Yes I agree genes can and do get lost, dog breeding/eugenics is a perfect example of this. It's not natural selection but it does happen. What you fail to understand is that new genes can and do crop up and that sometimes things get copied wrong making a new genome, sometimes positive sometimes not. That's how it works. I don't use evolution with Jesus, I use it to show your book is wrong. And for that it's prefect;)


Best,

Brett

steve said...

Brett,

Perhaps you are not understanding me. Please be patient with me and help me to understand.

Please fill in this sentence.

Macro evolution has been observed and documented by science in the example of _______ turning into ________.

Over and over again this has been repeated, man continually observes _______ turning into ________.

This is not an example of what is referred to as micro evolution or inter-species modification (not dogs to dogs, nor even wolves to dogs, for example), but it has been observed that a completely new species has been repeatedly observed in the lab. Macro level evolution is true because we have repeatedly documented _______ turning into ________.

I would like to repeat the above experiment, as you said it is repeatable and documented. What animal can I turn into another, what do I need to do to it to get it to work?

steve said...

Now if you can’t give me an example of actual macro level evolution we are both in the camp of believing in the empirical evidence for micro evolution. Genetic information can decrease, it can change, it can create modifications, but it has not been shown for nature to evolve upward-the simple constantly becoming the advance. Light sensitive pits have not been shown to become eyes; it is far easier to show how eyes could devolve into light sensitive pits.

Evolution is also not saying anything is possible, the whole monkeys given enough time they will eventually mistakenly type Shakespeare thing. It is saying the theory fits the known data; ie: possible time lines, and gathered information on what conditions existed. This is not the case.

Please help me know at what point in history I begin to be so totally ignorant.

Please answer these questions for me

1.) Do you believe in Jews? Do they exist or are they similar to mythical fairies?
2.) When in world history do you begin to believe in Jews? At what point do you accept the recorded history of the Jewish people as real people and not just a myth created by the Bible?
3.) Where do you trace the Jewish people’s origin if it is not the Biblical nation of Israel?
4.) Do you believe there are real people who follow the Christian faith? (hint: I’m one.)
5.) When in history did Christians first appear? (hint: it is sometime before me.)
6.) What fits the historical data for the cause of the beginning of Christianity? You have stated you reject it was because people followed a man named Jesus who was crucified as the Bible records.
7.) Since it wasn’t Christians, who was the non-Christian Roman historian Tacitus (56AD) referring to in his annals? Or maybe I should back up, was Rome real? Are Roman historians to be trusted? Or are they too mythical creatures?

I know, I’m being a bit of jerk, but I’m trying to show we don’t really disagree as much as you would like to protest. I’d like us to move up from arguing to the level of disagreeing. You can say you believe in evolution, as I do to an extent. You believe it explains all of diversity in life, I don’t. I think you believe Jews exist, and I bet you believe Christians exist. What I would like for you to say is when you believe they came into existence, that isn’t the same as saying you believe the miraculous, but you are willing to accept recorded world history.

Also, why do you rip apart every Discovery channel Dinosaur special as containing misinformation, but you believe whatever TV tells you about Christians or Jews?

I am familiar with the Epic of Gilgamesh, I always understood it to be fiction, written as myth, and never taught as history. Are you saying this TV special said it is factual or even written in the form of historical narrative? One of the keys in approaching the Bible, is even if it isn’t true, it predates any known popular writing of historical fiction. In other words it is written in the form of a historical account. It isn’t written to be read as a legend, myth, or fiction. Gilgamesh was written in the form of a myth, similar to how all myths of the time were written, totally different from the writing style found in the Gospels.

If I'm as ignorant as you say, I'm in good company. Most of world history and academia on ancient writings, and the archeological finds of Rome, Europe, and the Middle East agree with me.

Steve

Brett said...

Fucking Blogger ate my comment. I'm not tyoing that all up again.


Basically Steve, you have proven that Mormonism is more real than Christianity, it has more 'evidence'. Your logic is beyond faulty. Just because Christians exist (as well as Jews so I don't have to 'believe' in them, they are facts.) DOES NOT MEAN God is real.

'Macro' evolution doesn't exists like you want it to. But A dinosaur did evolve into a bird. A hippo relative evolved into a whale and APES evolved into humans. We have DNA and fossil evidence.

Oh and the 'Biblical' nation of Israel is a joke. Putting biblical does not confim or deny any religion. Because you don't say the biblical city of Egypt or Rome as well do you?

Best,

Brett

steve said...

Brett,

No worries, blogger does eat a ton of posts, so I now try to write in Word.doc first!

What I wanted us to get to is the point of disagreeing. We use the same evidence and draw different logical conclusions. Logic is not the same as correct.

I often refer back to the talkorigins.org website you used to refer me to when we started this whole discussion something like a decade ago. (http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/)

Its article 29 Examples of macroevolution has always helped me understand our central differences.

It explains, and I’m not making this up, that when questioned most evolutionary biologists claim there are thousands and thousands of documented cases of macroevolution, but only 8 scientists could give 1 example and only 3 scientists could think of two examples. When the author researched it further he could find only 29 possible documented cases. All 29 cases are inconclusive and only work as macro if you don’t differentiate between macro and micro. Further it requires speciation as the main test for evolution. In other words no empirical evidence for Darwinian style evolution. No simple to complex, no moving up the evolutionary scale- if anything it is a lateral transfer.

Note: I see the article at talkorigins.net is now called 29+ cases for macroevolution, to be honest I have not reread the whole monster in at the last couple years-if someone has and there is groundbreaking new info point me to it and I’ll digest that as well.

Again, the case for macroevolution is chiefly based off of historical data, like the fossil record. Historical evidence is much different than empirical evidence. As I stated, it requires deductive reasoning and it requires different proofs and will give you different results. It should not be confused with empirical testable information. It is wrong/dishonest to confuse empirical info with historical. It is not ignorant of me to know the difference and state it.

So again we accept the same facts, draw different conclusions. We disagree, but it isn’t because we are ignorant of the facts or one of us is stupid; we view the same facts and come to different conclusions.

steve said...

The historical facts of Jews and Christians is central because you can’t argue the whole Bible is made up lies when it is dated within one life span of the writing of its events. Again, like macroevolution, it is looking at historical data to draw conclusions. Independent non-religious archeological information collaborates much of the Bible, not all of it, and it isn’t as cut and dry as some would make it. The timeline and events are still being studied, but the gaps aren’t there because the Bible contradicts known history, gaps exist where historical data is not yet discovered. So there is room for faith, there is room for doubt, but it isn’t like the Bible is made up of nothing but disputed facts or myths. You constantly state there is no evidence for the Bible. There is a recorded historical record of where it arose and how it affected the cultures it came in contact with. There is evidence of how it spread and there are hundreds of handwritten documents from within and without the church. In other words there is as much historical record for Christianity as for any other historical event. So as a cultural event it is without doubt. Something caused it to spring up and grow in a time and place hostile to its acceptance. It thrived in persecution and has become the major world religion.

Historical physical evidence for the supernatural is impossible. If there was such evidence it would by its very nature not be supernatural. So when you ask for an angel’s skeleton that is not a knock on Christianity, but on your proof requirements. Christianity will always be an open door to those who humbly wish to find God; for the scoffer who wishes to only mock and only has eyes for critical arguments against God they too will find what they look for. We don’t come to our conclusions based solely on sterile facts, but to a large part it is our culture and the condition of our hearts.

Also you need to stop reading only articles and watching shows which are anti-Bible. The fact that we can date some of its books within 50 years of their writing is fan-freak’n-tastic! That is a major phenomenal plus not a minus with ancient writings. Compared to other ancient writings that is an example of compelling information for its authenticity, all the naysayers who scoff and act like dating the Bible to within a few decades of its origin are either ignorant or deceitful when it comes to evaluating authenticity of ancient manuscripts.

Anthony said...

@ Brett

Aside from the banter between you and Steve, it's not fair that you stereotype Christians. You lump "religion" in a category similar to the way that atheists are often stereotyped which is truly unfair.

I get why you do it because you feel that you've been treated unfairly, and I understand the notion of "eye for an eye" but you know that winds up with just a bunch of angry blind people.

Do you truly believe that your approach is beneficial to others or to yourself? Your writing seems more therapeutic than anything, like a diary or journal, and that you almost are looking for someone to re-assure you of your outlook on life and religion.

My point is: I don't think you're getting the desired response or conveying your thoughts the way you intend just by pointing things out with links to science articles. We're not machines and people don't digest information easily like that. A lot of your thoughts are only partially conveyed and probably misinterpreted by many. Most will misunderstand/misread your post and not truly "get" that you feel that politicians with religious motives/backgrounds have an unfair advantage over atheists and may instead read this as just a bash on religion as a whole.

It's waaay to easy to read this and go off in a tangent like you do with Steve.

You're an artist. Is there maybe a better way to express your thoughts? As an artist it may be easier to properly express and convey your opinions in art rather than in written word. Why not work with your strengths?

Just my 2 cents.

Brett said...

Steve,

See that's the problem, there are logical conclusions based on evidence and then there is what you do. Which is make conclusions on badly reasoned assumption and what is at best VERY circumstantial evidence. That there were people back in the day called Hebrews is a fact that we can support from several sources, OUTSIDE of the Bible. Logic has NOTHING to do with feeling, it deals with evidence and probabilities. 

On the subject of macro evolution.. I hate the term because it's not real, it doesn't happen like that, there are no spontaneous changes that would be large enough to speciate. It just doesn't happen. But we do have multiple ways of testing the idea, the fossil record and the all important DNA. You simply can't argue with it, if we didn't share common ancestors we couldn't use animals for medical testing, they would be too different. The fact that we can see and test when one animal branched off from another, that we can see that the human ancestor actually breed with the chimp ancestor AFTER they had speciated is amazing. That this DNA evidence aligns with the fossil evidence is even more of a slam dunk. there is no question is science that we evolved.  They can't name the 'macro' because we simply don't live long enough to see it. It might take thousands of years, took whales 10 million years to go from a hippo like animal to a whale... 10 MILLION years. How are we supposed to see this if it's that slow?  And how are we supposed to know that the new species we're finding aren't newly evolved? You can't know that.

As for the Christians or the Bible, it's NOT within one life span, the whole front half is like 4 thousand years. The back part, or most of it, is the Jesus stuff. Complete with 4 different origin stories. As I've said before the 'independent' stuff is only places and SOME dates and some people. And then what about all it got wrong Steve, you're only seeing the part that agrees with you. You toss out the rest. The part were the Earth was created in 6 days, we know this didn't happen, We know the way the animals appeared on the planet is also wrong and out of order. We know how everything got here, and it doesn't match. The Flood never happened, nor did a mass Exodus from Egypt. So at what point does the Bible start to become fact Steve? there is no direct evidence for Jesus... it's all from the book. Why should I bother with it if the only parts that can be verified are dates and places and a few names? How is that any different than one of those historical drama books? They aren't real yet they have places and date that are? What about comics is Spiderman real because he lives in New York? Or Hawk and Dove because they just had the President appear in 2 issues? 

Part 1

Brett said...

part 2

If there was a flood there would be evidence, if there was a mass exodus there would be evidence, the Sini is NOT a big desert. The fossils would match the biblical narrative, they don't... they REALLY don't. I ask for a skeleton because that's what i would need to convince me with one fact. I could be convinced if there were LOTS of smaller ones that were actually evidence. And I'm sorry, conclusions based on your' 'heart' is fine for love, but that is SOOOOO not anything I'd use to prove anything except you love something. It is NOT evidence for a creator and it never will be.

So I'm off by 25 years then? Still 50 is more than the average life span, and the whole point of the post was that people don't actually remember well. even MINUTES after an event. I've supposed to take the word of someone who's trying to remember something 50 years before.... when they were 1? No scientist is going to question the age if it's been tested and verified. IT still doesn't matter. If they had  new crews there and video taped Jesus on the cross it still would PROVE anything. Just that he existed and died. That' it's. 

You lost all credibility when you mentioned the 'heart' stuff. That's not anything a scientist is going to take seriously simply because the 'heart' is just a muscle that pumps blood, it doesn't feel, that's all in your head.


Anthony,

It's entirely fair they all get lumped together, ALL religions are untrue, one does not get privilege above the other. Christians get singled out because they are the dominant religion in the US were I live. And I'm sorry if it hurts their feelings but they get sooo much stuff, they claim soo much yet, can't take na honest discussion that points out their lies? They need to get a thicker skin. 

I'm not looking for an eye for an eye, I'm hoping that some people might actually start thinking about their religion, and why they think it's true.

I don't care if it's not beneficial to others, the point i to get people to think and to not question unwittingly. And the keeping quiet approach has been tried, it didn't work, the more vocal one does appear to be making headway. If it pisses people off, it's supposed to. If you don't like reading it... don't, no one is forcing you to.

I get it, shut up and draw right? When the religious finally seem to understand that everyone is equal I will, as there will be no need for people to speak out. And if you don't understand something look it up, the WHOLE point it to get to think. 

Brett said...

And just to beat a dead horse Steve,

The Pharaoh's were all great religious figures, we have their bodes, their tombs and temples, we have corroborating evidence they existed from nearby cultures, this does not prove their pantheon of gods existed. Now, how it this logical? Extraordinarily claim require extraordinary evidence.

Best,

Brett

Godless and Free said...

@Brett

CLAP,CLAP,CLAP,CLAP ,CLAP,CLAP,CLAP
CLAP,CLAP,CLAP,CLAP ,CLAP,CLAP,CLAP
CLAP,CLAP,CLAP,CLAP ,CLAP,CLAP,CLAP
CLAP,CLAP,CLAP,CLAP ,CLAP,CLAP,CLAP

It doesn't matter if there are moderate Christians,Muslims or any major religious denominations who quietly practice their faith. The point is, there are a LARGE number of religious who can and will do everything in there power to push their agenda on everyone
else. We can speak out about everything else under the sun we disagree with, but as soon as someone stands up and say's "you know what? I don't believe in your "god" I think it's silly and childish and I refuse to sit idly by and let you push an agenda based on what the voices in your head are telling you to do." Some one has to start up with the "why you hatin bro" Brett,me and every other atheist,freethinker and skeptic on the planet speak out because it's our right. Because when people sit by and do nothing, Kids get raped in locker room showers,Tyrants sweep across a continent unchecked and governments are allowed to abuse and discriminate against the population because an old book told them it was OK.
I will not be told to sit back, shut up and watch religion destroy the world because it's more comfortable that way.

Anthony said...

@ Brett

Idunno. You seem angry. I only suggesting drawing because well... I've been drawing since I was 9, (I'm 28 now), and I've been a practicing artist since that time. I guess it was improper to assume that you are an "expressive" artist. I often find that expression comes in many forms and I don't know how you approach "art" as to whether it being a form of expression for you or just a way to generate income. If you only draw to make money and occasionally show your appreciation of all things in the Speed Force that's fine. I love it actually! I was just making a suggestion to you as I would any person I knew who had a background as being an "artist" whether it's illustration, poetry, written word, or whatever.

I feel as if I'm getting some of the "Steve" enmity you have mainly cus I spoke "at the wrong time".

Also, I mentioned in the past that a lot of your posts are very specific to your region. As a New Yorker we have very different views and well... just different lifestyles. Your blog reaches people on a much broader scale than your region and it's not always clear that you're being specific to a certain area.

I disagree with the idea that it's fair to lump all religion together in this posts' context. I understand your point that you feel all religion to be untrue and your method of "lumping" them together in that aspect but the difference with me is that I never presumed you were up to debate. I'd find it insulting if I were you.

I wanna ask your opinion about something. don't answer if you don't want to:

Someone I met in my youth had a healthy apprehension toward me. It was at a camp. She wouldn't much talk to me, and never smiled in my direction but was very cordial to my friend Colin. When inquiring with people in her "circle" as to whether she had a problem with me they explained that her younger had just been group raped by a group of young African American men and as a result she "doesn't like black people" as a result of the trauma her sister suffered. Would you believe it's fair to lump all black people together as far as her fear?

Brett said...

Thanks Godless and Free!

Anthony,

First off, it's not my religion, I don't have a religion. I'm angry because Steve keeps insisting his 'logic' is better than actual logic. He makes little digs and eventually I get exasperated because his arguments gets really... well bad.

You're getting ire because you basically just told me to shut up and that my opinion is best left unheard on my own blog. Your trying to oppress me by guilting me to be quiet. As I said if you don't want to read about it don't read these posts. I will not be nice if pressed and I will get agressive to prove a point. I believe that's mentioned on the opening page of the blog.

You can disagree all you want but there is no evidence that supports any one religion over another. If they are all false then they all get lumped together. I do understand that most Catholics accept evolution... and that most Jews do as well, but you all believe in the same god, the same 'evidence' for his existence so you get lumped, saves time.

That's not the same thing, apples and oranges. You CHOOSE to follow a religion you can't choose to be black.

Best,

Brett

Godless and Free said...

Would you believe it's fair to lump all black people together as far as her fear?


I know Brett can and probably will answer his own question, but I ad to say something about this one. And mean this in the nicest way possible,
But are really serious?
That is horrible analogy. Blacks,whites,reds and every other color on earth are PEOPLE, individuals with there own distinct backgrounds,thoughts and ideas, there is no parallel to religion. Religions all have a central doctrine that ties everything together. Sure you going to have different ideas about said doctrine and that is where different sects come from but the majority of people in a religion believe the dogma, THAT is why they can mostly be lumped together. Religion has a central doctrine or Dogma...People are individuals and don't necessarily have a central doctrine binding everyone together. See the difference?

Godless and Free said...

Oh and I didn't realize I was signed in under a different name. This is Fatboy73/Chris in case there was confusion

Anthony said...

@ Brett

I didn't mean to tell you to "shut up". I think you mistook me as being snarky. Sorry, the monotone world we live in when communicating solely by text.

The point I meant with bringing in art is that I don't believe your posts are expressing what you try to convey. I was just talking about art. Again, I just wasn't sure if you used art to express yourself or not. If you think written word if your best method of expression then that's fine. some people play guitar, some people paint, other people go online and write blog posts.

the black and white thing? a bad experience can lead to stereotypes. If you don't get what I mean, that's fine. It's almost always taboo subject to bring up so I understand if you get defensive. You take what you want from it but if you don't take anything that's because you choose not to.

Wish you the best...

Anthony

Anthony said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brett said...

Hi Chris!

Anthony,

That is what was implied, I've heard it before. I know I'm not much of a writer, in fact, I dislike writing. But SOMEONE needs to speak up, even an 'artist' (I don't like the term since it's too broad.) With my limited fan base, I have a larger chance of actually reaching people than your average Joe, why not use it? Again, no one if forcing anyone to read these posts.

So, what message do YOU think I'm sending? I've noticed that people now seem to read into things and then not read into others. So what do you think I'm saying?

Chris seems to get it, so maybe it's not me or him but something you can't quite wrap your head around? You can ask questions:)

I use my 'art' to make money or have fun. I don't use it to express myself... that might be cool for others. just not something I do. I think it might piss off more people if I even attempted to do it. Plus comics takes up an incredible amount of time, I have no time for 'art' right now.

You don't seem to get that the analogy was not what you thought it was. You can't compare the two, as one is a CHOICE, following a religion and the other is something you are born with, in this case being of African decent. It might have made you unhappy but it has nothing to do with anything here. This is about religion not race. For the record, there are differences amongst the races, we are different, but that's what makes evolution so fricken cool! Basically all races are subspecies of Africans. Science showed us that, not the religions that try and make Africans subhuman.

Best,

Brett

Anthony said...

Thanks Brett. I know your busy so I dont want to keep you from churning out pages of TT.

I feel like you're trying to express why you choose to be an atheist and you are using science to reinforce arguments of evolution to coincide with your choices. Your view is very personal to you and that isn't easily interpreted. I sometimes think when I read your posts that Evolution is 1 topic you discuss and "why i'm an atheist" is another topic.

You probably disagree and I could see why. It's personal so how do you divorce the two from a single person's perspective? Why you're an atheist and evolution could go hand in hand in certain conversations.

I think there's a difference between the two for you.

P.S. I read your posts about religion and often choose not to comment. My apprehension is because it's probably hard to discern one conversation from another and I feel I pick up enmity from other folks you talk to in a single comment thread.

If I do comment it's mostly out of empathy because I still feel like you're a person who doesn't deserve the flack you get/witness from the religious nuts in your area.

Brett said...

Anthony,

That's called backing up your argument;) I'm not arguing from my 'heart' I'm using evidence and logic to show that religion isn't true. Evolution is what put the final nail in the religious coffin for me (take the pun as you will.)

Well evolution and logic are different than morals an ethics... feelings if you will, so on logic grounds, there is no evidence from science that god exists, even the evidence for Jesus is very scrappy and could go either way. It's a simple disconnect, like if you had to choose to save one person or a thousand you would choose the thousand. Morals are different would you choose the love of you life over a plane of strangers?. I reject religion because while some see a loving god, I see a monster who dooms people for an eternity for a small crime, who orders his followers to kill men, women AND children and who demands you worship him. I find that morally repugnant. I can move between the two easily, lots of practice, but I stay mostly on the logic side.

Generally it's a free for all, but just quote what you want if there is something specific that needs clarification:)

I don't get flack from the religious in my area, well sometimes the mormons at the local grocery store;) This area is pretty religious, I really don't interact with the local people much.. mostly because we have nothing in common, it being Texas;)

Best,

Brett

Anthony said...

@ Brett

I disagree about the "argue from your heart" line. I think you occasionally argue from your heart because you sometimes get irritated, mostly @ Steve, and it is reflected in a comment.

I, personally, think topics about "evolution" and topics about "religious zealots" are separate conversations. I think the Texan religious zealots have issues of moral, ethical, and superiority complexes that are a big problem for most people.

It's one thing to be religious and another thing to be an @sshole.

Loving God/Monster who dooms - sounds like the jekyll and hyde I see in my own parents.

steve said...

To be fair you really can’t lump all people together by race, sex, or beliefs. When evaluating people it is always important to look at how they individually treat those who disagree with them. Are they fair? Patient? Kind? Are they out on a witch hunt? Are they trying to humiliate and defend their egos? Do they villify and create inaccurate caricatures? It isn’t just what you say, it is also how you say it. Now I have a sarcastic and cynical sense of humor, I try not to over do it on injecting a few good natured sarcastic pokes, but I also don’t try to pretend I’m an emotionless Vulcan. I like a good debate, but it isn’t personal-I’m not attacking Brett as a person. I try to disagree without being a jerk, Brett is pretty good about letting me know if I’ve crossed the line.

You always want to do as Brett suggest and not only know your own position, or only read articles or websites of those who agree with you. You want to look at the best and brightest from both camps. This is why it gets a bit frustrating when I want to discuss the work of Michael Behe, William Dembski, William Lane Craig, or any of the other people I get information from and Brett is only familiar with say Ken Hamm and says all you creationists are the same; or worse, he only knows how to repeat the arguments of others, then you often get especially with Behe’s work, people repeating the same empty counter arguments which show they never understood the science in the first place. Or if someone acts like all of academia is lined up in agreement against the religious zealots; scientists disagree with each other; it isn't religion vs. science. It gets boring to discuss something with people who don’t care enough to understand what the actual counter argument is. I don’t agree with Brett but I usually without distortion can repeat what he believes.

In every discussion it is important to understand what the other side is saying. For instance Brett totally mis defined Macro evolution. He stated a false definition and then went onto attack his false understanding of macroevolution. Brett is attacking something neither of us believes, you see how that would create a bit of a disconnect and create room for an argument rather than discussion?

Macro-evolution is seeing progressive minor modification which when tracked shows evidence of an increased adaptability as well as an increase in complexity. Not major evolutionary jumps in a single generation or simple speciation. I guess it lines up more with the Modern Synthesis school of thought.

Anthony said...

@ Steve

I like your approach. I do. I just don't think it's a universally effective approach. Brett is a prime example of a person where this approach is futile. You often get caught up in arguing sciences rather than the ultimate goal of whether "it's good" or "it's not good" to follow organized religion.

There are too many tangents and too much opportunity to lose sight of the conversation and instead relish any pyrrhic victories achieved in the conversation.

After a while you have to step back and think "what am I truly trying to achieve?". Are you trying to prove one philosopher is better than another or are you trying to understand someone's point of view?

steve said...

Anthony where in NY are you from? I miss the big apple! Freak'n best mix of restaurants in a single block.

Are you familiar with Tim Keller the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, New York?

He describes the misunderstandings which spring up in discussing religion and evolution much better than I.

If interested you could check this pdf out:

http://biologos.org/uploads/projects/Keller_white_paper.pdf

Scan down to mid page 4 where he starts discussing Sam Harris and the Grand Theory of Everything. I think that is where we often get tripped up on this blog.

-steve

Brett said...

Anthony,

Just because I might use more aggressive language doesn't mean it's not rational. I do sometimes argue from a moral ground, but thats tempered with logic as well.

You can personally think what you like, but they aren't. If evolution disproves the genesis account then how would that be a separate argument? It's not. It's evidence against it, and evidence is what I'm looking for.

And a conversation naturally moves and changes, but basically it comes down to no evidence, so Steve moves to his 'heart' which is basically the same thing to me as no evidence. And tries a different approach.

No he won't convince me, nor will any religious leader. Some scientific evidence would, but I still wouldn't worship a deity…. ever.

Steve,

Yes you can, they are called humans;) I can compare their DNA to that of say a dog and they would be different. But the humans would all group with humans.

I am familiar with the works of Behe and the others, the problem is it's all be proven false, so why should I argue about it, why should it get time?

I'm not wrong about 'Macro' evolution, the term means nothing. It's simply the creationists attempts at science. That's not how evolution works, you simply can't seem to get that. Macro is really just lots of micro evolution. As I have said over and over again. Which is what you just said… yet you expect to get a dog from a cat in the matter of years… which is why it can't be shown in the lab, but small changes can and have. I went on the aggressive, because you were trying to use a trick, that you know isn't true. That is annoying and transparent.

Best,

Brett

Anthony said...

@ Brett

Never thought your comments were irrational, just a bit difficult to read because of the "free for all" nature. I don't mind reading your points it's moreso as a suggestion as a fellow blogger to maybe offer a bit more clarity. Feel free to give me any pointers if you ever peruse any site I write for.

you marry the topics which is your choice. I respectfully disagree. If your reasons for not following religion were purely based on scientific findings I could see myself understanding how why you feel the way you do, but if I remember correctly you once admitted that you initially began looking to science after suffering some bad experiences due to the practices of the religious folks in your area. I feel like the experiences with these people nurtured your interest in the science of disproving the existence of a deity.

Only person who could make a person change their mind is the person in question. Anything else is a lesson in 'futility' so I'll just wish you the best and hope you aim to live your life as a good person.

@ Steve

I'm in the city! Not familiar with the guy but that's mostly by choice. I have my reasons as to why I don't read into these articles but I do appreciate the intent.

steve said...

So some might ask why I continue to debate this with Brett, as Anthony has.

Brett is smart, perhaps more intelligent than I, so I am confident that it is not time wasted when presenting reasoned proofs for my faith.

Brett and I share many interests, and we seldom argue on the phone when we talk-except about why the Godfather 1 and 2 are good films. You wouldn’t believe it from this blog, but we get along quite well outside the realm of religion.

Many of Brett’s arguments and weapons against the Christian faith are either based on misunderstandings or sometimes a minor peripheral matter which is not essential or shared by all Christians.

Brett is highly critical of the Creation story, so are many Christians who do not prescribe to a literal 6 day Creation account. It is not a hindrance to the Christian faith. You can be an evolutionist in the sense of the empirical science and still be a Christian.

There are also Christians who are theistic evolutionists who accept the empirical scientific evidence as well as the historical deductive evolutionary evidence as it is taught today. It is when you move from applied science into philosophy where all Christians agree with each other and disagree with materialists-God is real, God is the creator of the Universe, and the Universe looks designed because it is. Brett and I agree on most of the empirical science, it is when it leaves what is testable and knowable by the scientific method (testable, observable, falsifiable, repeatable) that we disagree.

It is important to note much of what is accepted today as fact can not be proven by the scientific method. Much of science is dependent upon this. What we know of stars and distant stellar bodies is all inference. You can’t put a star in a lab or repeat the conditions necessary to create a galaxy in a lab, but we can infer by observation some properties, and form theories. So in evolution, as with most of science, singular events can not be proven or disproved by empirical science. They can be sound theories, and even scientifically be accepted as a fact.

It is when the scientific term “fact” and the layman’s use of the word “fact” gets confused or interchangeably used conversations turn into disagreements. A scientific fact still may be false when it comes to reality. Science is a field of study, not a definition of reality. Science is always lower and less than reality; no one believes reality expands as science increases. So science humbly has to admit it can be wrong (and frequently is) and it is not the yardstick for reality. For this reason a good scientist would never insist scientific facts are all true for reality. Some are, some may not be, but for scientific discovery they are “proven” and useful, but to say they are the boundaries for reality that is a philosophical misapplication of applied science.

Any philosophical claims move from the natural world into the metaphysical, the areas of faith, beliefs, and religion. Brett does not believe there is anything beyond the physical realm, that the material world is all there is. This is a popular belief but untestable and improvable unless you apply circular reasoning.

This is why you can understand evolutionary theory, even use it as a fact in the science realm, because of its great explanatory power; but at the end of the day say evolution and science are incapable of fully describing and explaining reality and so I can be scientific and spiritual. It isn’t a cop out, and it isn’t bad science, it is just incompatible with the world view known as Materialism.

steve said...

Brett,

This heart thing seems to have you confused as well. But I’m using it as you often accuse me of being a Christian only because I was raised that way. The heart and the emotions have no effect on actual reality. The whole Ayn Rand thing A is A (one of the few things she got right). Facts are or are not, our perception and our will does not change them (except for possibly quantum mechanics-which I am not going to go into!).

Our hearts do alter our perceptions is what I was stating, not the truth of a matter.

Imagine a game between the Cardinals and the Bears, the Bears win and the Cardinals lose. The fact of the game is a reality, but the reaction of the teams and the fans is all based on their heart. Their perception of it is a good game isn’t based on the fact as much on the condition of their hearts. So when I agree with social scientists and say our environment effects our perceptions of reality I am not being foolish. No the heart does not determine truth, but the condition of the heart is a factor in perceiving truth. To put it another way, your personal internal truth alters your perception of external impersonal truth. And that is a fact.

Brett said...

Anthony,

Ummm…. yeah, I fail to see how having more than one reason invalidates anything. And you remember wrong. I never had problems with religious folks in my area… or any area. I left religion based on my study of paleontology and paleo anthropology. I would not go back to a religion even if facts come to life an support a deity on moral grounds. You can disagree all you like but that means nothing as your facts are incorrect and disagreeing with why I do things assumes you know what I'm thinking.. trust me, I've actually be very restrained in the comments.

If you are a rational person you will change your mind if new facts are presented.

Steve,

See all that you just said is the OPPOSITE of science. Yes people can and do taint what they see, but you need to put your person views aside, sometimes it's not possible to do this but that is why science is done the way it is. It's repeatable to anyone, all the time. Because your feel things differently is irrelevant. You drop a large ball and a small ball they will still fall at the same speed regardless to how you feel about it. Your argument only works for philosophy and religion.



Best,

Brett

steve said...

"Your argument only works for philosophy and religion."-Brett

Nope.

My argument is only applicable when people are involved. The history of science tells us we never discover in a social vacuum.

"I would not go back to a religion even if facts come to life an support a deity on moral grounds...If you are a rational person you will change your mind if new facts are presented."-Brett

Ummm...Yeah, you said it not me.

-Steve

Brett said...

Steve,

No your argument is pointless, if all types of people test it and come up with the same results.

"Ummm...Yeah, you said it not me."

And you seem to not get the difference. If there are new facts that prove say, your god, exists, I won't deny his existence. I simply won't bow down and follow him. If he allows free will he'll have no say in the matter. If he exists I simply won't do what he says or obey his rules. I don't listen to the Queen of England, I know she exists but I don't obey her rules same thing.

Am I speaking a different language lately?

Best,
Brett

steve said...

Again, you aren’t speaking a different language; you are being inconsistent, perhaps slightly illogical.

We just agreed much of what you believe about Evolution and how you choose to see the world is not based off of testing, but deducing. Progressive micro evolution (which most people in science call macro evolution) is not observed or tested, it is deduced. Deduction is not a sterile process. So what you said is true in nature but can not be applied uniformly as you have attempted. There is no universal test which has been observed. The truth is many scientists have come up with different deductions, not the same. You tend to ignore those who don’t agree with your position…and that leads right back to why deducing is not conclusive evidence of truth. We all would like empirical evidence for how life got here, but we have to work with what we actually have.

Remember we kind of went through that whole thing of if there is a test, tell me what I need so I can repeat it? And you said that is wrong, it is by looking at the historical facts we “prove” evolution and I was wrong (ignorant) for insisting on empirical testable evidence for evolution. So now you are kind of flip flopping and saying there is no test, but since we can test it and get the same results, it is true. See the inconsistency? Different types of “testing” empirical (the scientific method) and deductive-different types of results, different methods.

Remember also at the heart of Christianity is the belief God is not explaining Himself, or his methods to us. We get an invitation into a relationship and know him as a person, not a topic; not like Algebra, but like a close friend. He seeks to build relationship. There is information involved in relationships to be sure (it is of a secondary importance), but that is not the core of a relationship. Being known and knowing, involves the heart as much if not more than the brain.

Is it the word heart that troubles you? Too much of a Hallmark sentiment. Perhaps understanding it as being closely related to the will. It is that part of you which as you stated would refuse to follow God even after you had it logically proven to you that a moral God existed. You have illustrated the point, even if you do not accept it.

You don’t follow the Queen because you do not live in her territory. You live in God’s territory, where he allows you to choose or not to choose to follow Him. You can choose to be a rule breaker, but you also must accept the consequences for your actions.

And finally I would also remind you that at the foundation of Christianity is not a God who functions only at a logic level, but at a love level. It was illogical for Christ to sacrifice himself for those who hate him. Logic was to let them be and let them die his enemies. Love compelled Him to seek and save those who would accept Him. Love is the only thing which explains God’s actions and also why it is how we must learn to relate to Him. Love puts the focus on Him, if it was only head knowledge people would focus on acquiring only head knowledge rather than pursuing the deeper stronger work of building a relationship.

steve said...

Oops, I left out one chief point, and then I am done with this thread.

The little ice kitty reminded me.

You started this thread to show human observation is not always reliable. That would fit nicely with the idea of why any process (including science) which is dependent at least partly on human observation is not purely reliable.

Brett said...

Oh now I see what yo're doing Steve! Because you think the ID guys actually practice science! They are universally said to be wrong by other scientists but because you FEEL they are right because they agree with your belief then everyone else must be wrong and thus science is unreliable because it doesn't agree with you! This is not the case, they are purposefully ignoring evidence, and this has even been proven in a court of law.

See, yes human can and do sometimes taint what they see, that is why science is tested over and over again. If you keep coming up with the same answer, you can not deny it's reality. 1+1 always equals 2.

No Steve you are again purposefully not listening. WE can not prove macro evolution happens by observation, it takes too long so we can't see a species split (this may change in the future of course.) But we can and do see species evolve via small steps, like the pepper moths and fruit flies ect. This has been tested and retested it's a proven fact. DNA confirms this, which is also tested and retested. Multiple lines of evidence, then if you add the fossil evidence and again we can use some of the DNA we've recovered to show relationships. Neanderthals were not humans, different genome, but they were related to us distantly the DNA shows when the split happened and its confirmed by fossile evidence. Fossils and DNA confirm this. These are testable and repeatable. Sure humans can read into things but the beauty of science is that it's constantly tested so if there is something that gets by some studies eventually it will get found out and corrected. Religion can not say that.

So, by your logic, if science isn't reliable than how on earth can I trust a book written 2-3,000 years ago? Why does your religious book win out over actual testing? Makes no sense. Then of course you have to consider all the other religions who claim they are real as well. You seem to have no problem dismissing them yet they have the same evidence you do.

Science is the best tool we currently have to explain how things work, if it didn't work your butt would be sitting in a rock hut with a thatched roof. No computers, no medicine, no TV. That's ALL science. So tell me Steve, if it's all 'tainted' by human feelings why does it work? Why does your car drive? If science is not reliable then only some cars should work, some phones, some computers. But it's funny they keep making ones that run, and run better and better. As we learn more we improve our science skills and thus scientific observations become facts.

Best,

Brett

steve said...

I said I was done with this thread. I will not correct all your faulty statements, but I will answer your one genuine question.

Why does science work? Christians are for science. Wasn't it a Christian who came up with the scientific method? Empirical science is testable and repeatable.

Unreliable does not mean broken. My car is unreliable, I still drive it. Observation is unreliable on its own, like you said you must also look at historical evidence.

So your statements help support pretty much all I stated, and your type of questions show you are starting to understand how many of our arguments are just a misapplication of a shared incomplete pool of knowledge.

Brett said...

LOL! I love it!

"I will not correct all your faulty statements"

" I can't correct them and so this why I don't have to try.' Got it!

Unreliable means it doesn't work, maybe sometimes it does but sometimes it doesn't. I don't know what do YOU do when that happens? I toss it and get something that does work.

And again, we might be using the same evidence, I just don't toss out whatever I don't want to hear, OR what doesn't work with my preconceived ideas.

So why should I bother listening that YOUR religion is true as opposed to any others? They all have the same evidence... zero.

The Pope and his gay lover, more on the Nazis and a new book on the evolution of the eye!

Best,

Brett