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Atheist Raises Money for Vandalized Church

For those who are not intimately familiar with the ID debate and its substance (I assume that some who visit this website fall into this category) there is an acronym, FSM: Flying Spaghetti Monster.

This is an attempt by those who oppose any inference to design (the evidence be damned) within the cosmos or living systems, to portray such proponents as being out of touch with reality and incapable of thinking logically or rationally.

Of course, it is the Darwinist who has abandoned reason and logic in pursuit of a materialistic philosophical agenda that is being devastated on a daily basis by the discoveries of legitimate modern science.

As anyone who is familiar with the ID debate is aware, any dissent from Darwinian orthodoxy is attacked, especially in academe, not just with hostility, denigration, and outright wickedness, but with the literal destruction of careers and people’s lives.

If the “overwhelming evidence” is on the side of materialistic evolutionists, why must they resort to persecution of dissidents?

The link above provides some hope that perhaps sanity will prevail.

Comments
Well said, Lizzie.Bruce David
June 21, 2011
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Chris Doyle wrote:
atheism is a worldview that has no place for good or evil and no place for meaning or purpose in our existence
This simply isn't true in any sense of the word "atheism" that I recognise. Some atheists are convinced that there is no God; others simply do not think there is any evidence for god or gods and thus do not "believe" in god or gods any more than they would believe in any other entity for which they had no evidence. And if you insist on combining these positions into a single "worldview", then it is simply a view of the world that does not assume a creator god. It does NOT follow from that view that there is "no place for good or evil and no place for meaning or purpose in our existence". We are, as human beings, clearly "meaning makers" and no sensible person would deny this, or have any motivation for doing so. We all have a purpose in life - most of us have many - why should the failure to see any evidence for a creator god nullify that purpose? As for good and evil - of course there remains a "place for good or evil" in such a worldview. It's just that instead of taking it from some supposed Divine authority, we have to figure out ethics for ourselves. You could even argue that it's the morally superior position - doing right because you've figured out that it's right, rather than simply doing what you've been told is right. But leaving that aside, the main difference between the average atheist and the average Christian, I would say, is that the average atheist considers that purpose, good and evil are emergent properties of the universe, whereas the average Christian would consider them designed in from the beginning. We can argue about whether the former is a defensible position, but the idea that average atheist considers that lives have no purpose and that ethics are meaningless really needs to be binned IMO! There maybe the odd atheist nihilist around, but then there a few theists with pretty strange (and unhealthy) ideas around as well :)Elizabeth Liddle
June 21, 2011
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deric davidson: "Btw the “moral” justification or otherwise for divorce is a complex subject and cannot be addressed in full on this blog. However the actions of the woman in question were obviously un-Christian in the Johnny Cash example you cite." But the woman clearly thought that she was being a good Christian according to her understanding of what that means. Both you and she get your understanding of moral right and wrong from the same source (the Bible), yet you come to different conclusions regarding what it is. And this is not limited to you and her by any means. Christians (and members of the other major religions as well) have this belief that there is an absolute standard of good and evil coming to us from God as recorded in scripture, yet they cannot agree on what that standard is. It very much calls into question whether there is any such standard at all in reality. "Surely this is the logical outcome of saying that good and evil are simply human inventions. If they are human inventions then humans can reverse these 'moral' positions." If you look, you will see that humans do exactly this repeatedly, and they frequently justify it with religious belief. I am convinced that Hitler actually believed that he was doing good--purifying the human race according to Darwinian principles by eliminating the "inferior" races and other misfits. Pope Urban II believed that he was doing God's will when he urged the initiation of the first Crusade, leading to the slaughter of thousands. The Muslims who flew the planes into the twin towers certainly believed that they were acting according to God's will, and I am also convinced that President Bush believed he was doing God's will when he ordered the invasion of Iraq, which predictably resulted in the deaths of 10s of thousands, the maiming and wounding of 10s thousands more, and the displacement and major disruption of the lives of countless others. I submit that it is precisely the idea that there is an absolute standard of good and evil, that we can know what it is, and that we are justified in acting in accordance with it that is responsible for the majority of the inhumanity that humankind has visited upon itself throughout history. I submit that if we instead take as our operating principle to always act in answer to the question, "What would Love do now?", in the understanding of the Oneness, and with a reverence for the truth, the world would be totally transformed.Bruce David
June 20, 2011
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Did someone say Flying Spaghetti Monster? Think back to the first "Ghost Buster" movie and the Staypuff marshmellow man. Now take the four horsemen of Revelations and replace them with flying spaghetti monsters just because God does have a sense of humor. Just sayin'...Joseph
June 20, 2011
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Bruce David says: "I believe that good and evil are human inventions and do not come from God at all". On this basis then it is possible that good and evil are arbitrarily reversable. There is no absolute superior arbiter of what is good and what is evil. So one could argue if one wanted to that Hitler and Stalin were doing good things when they murdered millions. That serial killers are commiting good acts in killing their victims. It pleases them, satisfies them. It must be good. Surely this is the logical outcome of saying that good and evil are simply human inventions. If they are human inventions then humans can reverse these "moral" positions. A matter of choice. Whatever suits. In your heart of hearts Bruce do you really believe this? Btw the "moral" justification or otherwise for divorce is a complex subject and cannot be addressed in full on this blog. However the actions of the woman in question were obviously un-Christian in the Johnny Cash example you cite.deric davidson
June 20, 2011
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deric davidson: "Since all humans are 'made in the image of God' they possess in their very being intrinsic morality and goodness...It’s just that atheists don’t reconize this God-given quality that they possess or better still have been awarded." I recently watched "Walk the Line", the bio of Johnny Cash. There was one scene in which a woman accosts June Carter in a voice dripping with judgment and condemnation, saying that she was surprised that June's father still had anything to do with her, since she was divorced, and divorce is "an abomination", and "marriage is for keeps". June was deeply hurt and humiliated by the exchange. Was this woman being "good"? What would God say? I submit that it depends on who you ask. There are those who would agree completely, those who would say that God does not condemn divorce, and those who would say that God does condemn divorce, but that the woman's way of accosting June was morally wrong. Who is right? How does one decide? I believe that good and evil are human inventions and do not come from God at all. I believe that being made "in the image and likeness of God" involves being, at our core, totally loving beings with a reverence for truth, and that when we come into the world from love and with a reverence for truth we are not being "good", but rather true to ourselves, and that this is the most deeply satisfying way to live. Furthermore, when we judge and condemn, like the woman in the movie, we do not love, so the very notions of good and evil, with their corollaries, judgment and condemnation, are antithetical to unconditional love. Thus, they form no part of God's nature (since He is unconditionally loving), and thus no part of our own ESSENTIAL nature, being, as we are, made in His image and likeness. Can you imagine the sweetness of living in a world in which God actually loves us unconditionally, in which there is nothing we can do to lose that love, in which we will never be judged nor condemned by Him (although there are always consequences to our actions--what goes around comes around)? This is the world I inhabit, and it is such a relief not to have to fear God any more, to know that He is my friend, in the deepest sense of the word.Bruce David
June 20, 2011
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semi OT: John Lennox at Berkeley 2011; Is Anything Worth Believing In? Lessons from the Eastern Bloc - video http://vimeo.com/22847445bornagain77
June 19, 2011
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Since all humans are "made in the image of God" they possess in their very being intrinsic morality and goodness. Which they might rebel against as is their free will right (also God-given). It's just that atheists don't reconize this God-given quality that they possess or better still have been awarded. So moral and righteous behaviour is indeed possible amongst atheists. What I can't understand is the view that material objects possess any sort of fundamental moral content in their existence. If we are just material objects as atheists say we are then "moral content" has to be some kind of fanciful invention surely?deric davidson
June 19, 2011
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semi OT: David Sneddon - Stop Living The Lie 'live' in concert - music video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fo3c0ODTmzIbornagain77
June 19, 2011
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markf, man either has a eternal soul or he does not; material particles can either account for objective morals or they cannot. Thus, whether you consider it an insult or not, someone is living a lie!!! notes: Materialism simply dissolves into absurdity when pushed to extremes and certainly offers no guarantee to us for believing our perceptions and reasoning within science are trustworthy in the first place: Dr. Bruce Gordon - The Absurdity Of The Multiverse & Materialism in General - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5318486/ What is the Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism? ('inconsistent identity' of cause leads to failure of absolute truth claims for materialists) (Alvin Plantinga) - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yNg4MJgTFw Can atheists trust their own minds? - William Lane Craig On Alvin Plantinga's Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=byN38dyZb-k "But then with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?" - Charles Darwin - Letter To William Graham - July 3, 1881 It is also interesting to point out that this ‘inconsistent identity’, pointed out by Plantinga, which leads to the failure of neo-Darwinists to make absolute truth claims for their beliefs, is what also leads to the failure of neo-Darwinists to be able to account for objective morality, in that neo-Darwinists cannot maintain a consistent identity towards a cause for objective morality; The Knock-Down Argument Against Atheist Sam Harris – William Lane Craig – video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvDyLs_cReE "Atheists may do science, but they cannot justify what they do. When they assume the world is rational, approachable, and understandable, they plagiarize Judeo-Christian presuppositions about the nature of reality and the moral need to seek the truth. As an exercise, try generating a philosophy of science from hydrogen coming out of the big bang. It cannot be done. It’s impossible even in principle, because philosophy and science presuppose concepts that are not composed of particles and forces. They refer to ideas that must be true, universal, necessary and certain." Creation-Evolution Headlines http://creationsafaris.com/crev201102.htm#20110227a =============== Blind Woman Can See During Near Death Experience (NDE) - Pim von Lommel - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3994599/ Kenneth Ring and Sharon Cooper (1997) conducted a study of 31 blind people, many of who reported vision during their Near Death Experiences (NDEs). 21 of these people had had an NDE while the remaining 10 had had an out-of-body experience (OBE), but no NDE. It was found that in the NDE sample, about half had been blind from birth. (of note: This 'anomaly' is also found for deaf people who can hear sound during their Near Death Experiences(NDEs).) http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2320/is_1_64/ai_65076875/bornagain77
June 19, 2011
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semi OT to the 'morality' question: Rising star in GLBT movement says God liberated him from lifestyle Read more: 'Gay'-rights leader quits homosexuality http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=42379#ixzz1Pg7ndCsYbornagain77
June 19, 2011
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#27 Chris - I am not trying to exempt my views from criticism. I am just taking issue with: "Selfless, kind and moral atheists are living a lie." A lie implies deception. I think you have morality all wrong - but I very much doubt you are living a lie and if I were to accuse you of that it would be a personal insult.markf
June 19, 2011
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Mark, Fair enough, you're not trying to convince anyone that atheistic morality is not a contradiction in terms. But just because beliefs are non-trivial and sincerely held it doesn't somehow make them exempt from criticism. If the truth hurts on this occasion then shoot the atheistic worldview: not the messenger. And appealing to the authority of "pretty mighty intellects" is counter-productive unless it is accompanied by some sort of substantiation. I put it to you that Kant's Categorical Imperative rests on assumptions about the existence of God and the immortal soul. Atheism simply removes any rational basis for moral imperatives because it throws away the rule book.Chris Doyle
June 19, 2011
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further note: Quantum mind–body problem Parallels between quantum mechanics and mind/body dualism were first drawn by the founders of quantum mechanics including Erwin Schrödinger, Werner Heisenberg, Wolfgang Pauli, Niels Bohr, and Eugene Wigner http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_mind%E2%80%93body_problem "It was not possible to formulate the laws (of quantum theory) in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness." Eugene Wigner (1902 -1995) from his collection of essays "Symmetries and Reflections – Scientific Essays"; Eugene Wigner laid the foundation for the theory of symmetries in quantum mechanics, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963. http://eugene-wigner.co.tv/ Here is the key experiment that led Wigner to his Nobel Prize winning work on quantum symmetries: Eugene Wigner Excerpt: To express this basic experience in a more direct way: the world does not have a privileged center, there is no absolute rest, preferred direction, unique origin of calendar time, even left and right seem to be rather symmetric. The interference of electrons, photons, neutrons has indicated that the state of a particle can be described by a vector possessing a certain number of components. As the observer is replaced by another observer (working elsewhere, looking at a different direction, using another clock, perhaps being left-handed), the state of the very same particle is described by another vector, obtained from the previous vector by multiplying it with a matrix. This matrix transfers from one observer to another. http://www.reak.bme.hu/Wigner_Course/WignerBio/wb1.htm i.e. In the experiment the 'world' (i.e. the universe) does not have a ‘privileged center’. Yet strangely, the conscious observer does exhibit a 'privileged center'. This is since the 'matrix', which determines which vector will be used to describe the particle in the experiment, is 'observer-centric' in its origination! Thus explaining Wigner’s dramatic statement, “It was not possible to formulate the laws (of quantum theory) in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.”bornagain77
June 19, 2011
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“Life is just a brief interlude in an eternity of oblivion”,,, 'There are many, many atheists who are moral are not stupid and not living a lie. That would imply deception.',,, "I see no truth in the word death. I think it is a really bad, nasty lie." - Pam Reynolds The Extremely Monitored NDE of Pam Reynolds - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4045560 =================== In 1951 C S Lewis wrote that evolution was “the central and radical lie in the whole web of falsehood that now governs our lives” and modern civilization. Evolution, Lewis explained, is a picture of reality that has resulted from imagination and is “not the logical result of what is vaguely called ‘modern science’.” ================== Notes: Of related note; there is a mysterious 'higher dimensional' component to life: The predominance of quarter-power (4-D) scaling in biology Excerpt: Many fundamental characteristics of organisms scale with body size as power laws of the form: Y = Yo M^b, where Y is some characteristic such as metabolic rate, stride length or life span, Yo is a normalization constant, M is body mass and b is the allometric scaling exponent. A longstanding puzzle in biology is why the exponent b is usually some simple multiple of 1/4 (4-Dimensional scaling) rather than a multiple of 1/3, as would be expected from Euclidean (3-Dimensional) scaling. http://www.nceas.ucsb.edu/~drewa/pubs/savage_v_2004_f18_257.pdf “Although living things occupy a three-dimensional space, their internal physiology and anatomy operate as if they were four-dimensional. Quarter-power scaling laws are perhaps as universal and as uniquely biological as the biochemical pathways of metabolism, the structure and function of the genetic code and the process of natural selection.,,, The conclusion here is inescapable, that the driving force for these invariant scaling laws cannot have been natural selection." Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piatelli-Palmarini, What Darwin Got Wrong (London: Profile Books, 2010), p. 78-79 4-Dimensional Quarter Power Scaling In Biology - video http://www.metacafe.com/w/5964041/ Though Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piatelli-Palmarini rightly find it inexplicable for 'random' Natural Selection to be the rational explanation for the scaling of the physiology, and anatomy, of living things to four-dimensional parameters, they do not seem to fully realize the implications this 'four dimensional scaling' of living things presents. This 4-D scaling is something we should rightly expect from a Intelligent Design perspective. This is because Intelligent Design holds that ‘higher dimensional transcendent information’ is more foundational to life, and even to the universe itself, than either matter or energy are. This higher dimensional 'expectation' for life, from a Intelligent Design perspective, is directly opposed to the expectation of the Darwinian framework, which holds that information, and indeed even the essence of life itself, is merely an 'emergent' property of the 3-D material realm. Information and entropy – top-down or bottom-up development in living systems? A.C. McINTOSH Excerpt: This paper highlights the distinctive and non-material nature of information and its relationship with matter, energy and natural forces. It is proposed in conclusion that it is the non-material information (transcendent to the matter and energy) that is actually itself constraining the local thermodynamics to be in ordered disequilibrium and with specified raised free energy levels necessary for the molecular and cellular machinery to operate. http://journals.witpress.com/paperinfo.asp?pid=420 Quantum entanglement holds together life’s blueprint - 2010 Excerpt: When the researchers analysed the DNA without its helical structure, they found that the electron clouds were not entangled. But when they incorporated DNA’s helical structure into the model, they saw that the electron clouds of each base pair became entangled with those of its neighbours. “If you didn’t have entanglement, then DNA would have a simple flat structure, and you would never get the twist that seems to be important to the functioning of DNA,” says team member Vlatko Vedral of the University of Oxford. http://neshealthblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/quantum-entanglement-holds-together-lifes-blueprint/ Quantum Information/Entanglement In DNA & Protein Folding - short video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5936605/ It is very interesting to note that quantum entanglement, which conclusively demonstrates that ‘information’ in its pure 'quantum form' is completely transcendent of any time and space constraints, should be found in molecular biology on such a massive scale, for how can the quantum entanglement 'effect' in biology possibly be explained by a material (matter/energy) 'cause' when the quantum entanglement 'effect' falsified material particles as its own 'causation' in the first place? (A. Aspect) Appealing to the probability of various configurations of material particles, as Darwinism does, simply will not help since a timeless/spaceless cause must be supplied which is beyond the capacity of the material particles themselves to supply! To give a coherent explanation for an effect that is shown to be completely independent of any time and space constraints one is forced to appeal to a cause that is itself not limited to time and space! i.e. Put more simply, you cannot explain a effect by a cause that has been falsified by the very same effect you are seeking to explain! Improbability arguments of various 'special' configurations of material particles, which have been a staple of the arguments against neo-Darwinism, simply do not apply since the cause is not within the material particles in the first place! Yet it is also very interesting to note, in Darwinism's inability to explain this 'transcendent quantum effect' adequately, that Theism has always postulated a transcendent component to man that is not constrained by time and space. i.e. Theism has always postulated a 'eternal soul' for man that lives past the death of the body. Quantum no-hiding theorem experimentally confirmed for first time - March 2011 Excerpt: In the classical world, information can be copied and deleted at will. In the quantum world, however, the conservation of quantum information means that information cannot be created nor destroyed. http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-03-quantum-no-hiding-theorem-experimentally.html The Unbearable Wholeness of Beings - Steve Talbott Excerpt: Virtually the same collection of molecules exists in the canine cells during the moments immediately before and after death. But after the fateful transition no one will any longer think of genes as being regulated, nor will anyone refer to normal or proper chromosome functioning. No molecules will be said to guide other molecules to specific targets, and no molecules will be carrying signals, which is just as well because there will be no structures recognizing signals. Code, information, and communication, in their biological sense, will have disappeared from the scientist’s vocabulary. http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/the-unbearable-wholeness-of-beings It is also very interesting to point out that the 'light at the end of the tunnel', reported in many Near Death Experiences(NDEs), is also corroborated by Special Relativity when considering the optical effects for traveling at the speed of light. Please compare the similarity of the optical effect, noted at the 3:22 minute mark of the following video, when the 3-Dimensional world 'folds and collapses' into a tunnel shape around the direction of travel as an observer moves towards the 'higher dimension' of the speed of light, with the 'light at the end of the tunnel' reported in very many Near Death Experiences: Traveling At The Speed Of Light - Optical Effects - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5733303/ The NDE and the Tunnel - Kevin Williams' research conclusions Excerpt: I started to move toward the light. The way I moved, the physics, was completely different than it is here on Earth. It was something I had never felt before and never felt since. It was a whole different sensation of motion. I obviously wasn't walking or skipping or crawling. I was not floating. I was flowing. I was flowing toward the light. I was accelerating and I knew I was accelerating, but then again, I didn't really feel the acceleration. I just knew I was accelerating toward the light. Again, the physics was different - the physics of motion of time, space, travel. It was completely different in that tunnel, than it is here on Earth. I came out into the light and when I came out into the light, I realized that I was in heaven.(Barbara Springer)bornagain77
June 19, 2011
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#23 Chris On this occasion I am not trying to convince you there is a rational basis for morality. Only to accept that I believe I have such a rational basis and that it is sincerely held and not trivial. Remember that are some pretty mighty intellects that believed that morality was independent of religion - including deeply religious people such as Kant. To claim that these people were either stupid or living a lie is a fairly dramatic claim.markf
June 19, 2011
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Hi Mark, Unfortunately, if you don't "go over the whole foundations of ATHEISTIC morality" then all you are doing is asserting that you have one without explaining why. Good and evil are exclusively religious concepts. I have spent many years looking for a rational basis for atheistic morality and have not yet found one that overcomes the fatal problem of free-riding. Why should I believe that the foundation of your morality overcomes it too?Chris Doyle
June 19, 2011
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#19 Chris Doyle Highlighting the fact that there are good and wonderful people who call themselves atheists should not in any way obfuscate the fact that atheism is a worldview that has no place for good or evil and no place for meaning or purpose in our existence. Life is just a brief interlude in an eternity of oblivion. In terms of morality, atheism teaches us that nothing really matters and anything goes. Chris - I don't want to go over the whole foundations of morality thing again. But please understand that while I believe that "Life is just a brief interlude in an eternity of oblivion" I do not think it follows that there is no place for good or evil. You may find this view irrational but it is sincerely held and thought out in detail. There are many, many atheists who are moral are not stupid and not living a lie. That would imply deception. If they are wrong it is a genuine mistake and an easy one to make. I believe that you are wrong about the foundations of morality but I am sure you are sincere and I expect your views are based on intelligent reasoning.markf
June 19, 2011
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Hi nullasalus, We all have to be rational, surely. The alternative is to do stupid things, making decisions that are clearly detrimental to our aims and interests. Naturally, we all act irrationally from time to time. But atheistic morality is systematic stupidity.Chris Doyle
June 19, 2011
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Chris Doyle, Given these unavoidable features of the atheist worldview, the only rational thing an atheist should do is take care of his own self-interest: free-riding and enjoying himself wherever possible. Granted, but who says an atheist has to be rational? I want to stress that I'm not arguing that an atheist can never act charitably, even towards a religious person. Heck, an atheist can actively wish to be religious or believe in God technically. But yes, sometimes charity is done with PR in mind. And considering how often the motives of ID proponents are second-guessed or maligned, I thought I'd apply some of the same (but more justified) criticism towards this incident.nullasalus
June 19, 2011
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Bruce David, I’m sure your atheist brother is a top man and in my own dealings with Markf I have no reason to doubt that he is a gentleman and a scholar. One of my children’s grandfathers is an ardent atheist and I have the utmost respect for him: a society filled with the likes of such atheists would be a much happier, fairer society than the one we live in now. Highlighting the fact that there are good and wonderful people who call themselves atheists should not in any way obfuscate the fact that atheism is a worldview that has no place for good or evil and no place for meaning or purpose in our existence. Life is just a brief interlude in an eternity of oblivion. In terms of morality, atheism teaches us that nothing really matters and anything goes. Given these unavoidable features of the atheist worldview, the only rational thing an atheist should do is take care of his own self-interest: free-riding and enjoying himself wherever possible. Raising money for vandalized churches is a completely irrational act for an atheist. Selfless, kind and moral atheists are living a lie. But that is just a testament to the power and influence of religious truth: the only true and reliable source of morality. The fact that many atheists still strive to lead the moral life that only makes sense in the religious worldview serves only to highlight how counter-intuitive and false the atheistic worldview really is.Chris Doyle
June 19, 2011
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markf, Of course. It made a point through a story. I was trying to make a further point by embellishing the story. By saying 'I bet the jews thought the guy in the parable had a motive'? Swing and a miss, Mark. And sometimes they are not. Why assume the worst? What's 'the worst' here? And is it really an assumption, when I can go to the blog and see people talking about the PR benefits of the donation right there? When atheists have been loudly talking about spreading atheism over the past few years? You seem to consider atheists to be some kind of organised pressure group or at least a community with its own identity and culture. It is just not true. No, Mark, I consider this particular atheist - an atheist blogger, with an express goal of reducing religion's influence, in tandem with his regulars - to have possibly, even likely, organized a fundraiser for a PR purpose. Believe it or not, atheists can and do form communities. Even governments. Check the graveyards to see some evidence of that. Really, guys like you make it sound as if there are no organized atheist or anti-theist groups out there, or that atheists never cooperate. Spare me. Bruce David, I question stated motives when there is reason to do so, which is usually either because the motives conflict with actions or they conflict with other statements. Do you consider the New Atheist movement to provide a reason? Do you consider the fact that this was an organized response by an atheist blogger who has a stated goal to advance atheism, reduce the influence of religion, and convert religious believers to be a reason? How about the claims of 'this is great PR' and the justifications for the act on PR reasons, on the very blog by supporters of the act? I generally do not question motives simply because I disagree with someone’s political or philosophical position. So, you'd just assume the white supremacist group had no ulterior motives? No eye on public relations?nullasalus
June 19, 2011
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Nullasalus: "Do you think questioning the motive is valid? Or do you just accept the stated motive of everyone without further consideration?" I question stated motives when there is reason to do so, which is usually either because the motives conflict with actions or they conflict with other statements. Occasionally, I get an intuitive feeling that a person is simply not trustworthy, but I got no such intuition from the man I saw being interviewed in the video. I generally do not question motives simply because I disagree with someone's political or philosophical position.Bruce David
June 19, 2011
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#11 Nullasus It was a parable, mark. You know that, right? Of course. It made a point through a story. I was trying to make a further point by embellishing the story. And do you think some Jews said it about the Munich Agreement too? Sometimes things are done for PR reasons. And sometimes they are not. Why assume the worst? I note again: The church was trashed by, apparently, anti-theists. Yes there are badly behaved atheists just as there are badly behaved Christians. #12 If a black church was burnt down, and a member of a White Supremacist Group raised money to rebuild it – arguing that their particular group rejects violence against blacks (they simply want them to get out of the country) – would you regard it as a sign of decency by the White Supremacist Group? Would you suspect it was a strategic move? Or would you conclude that it just goes to show you that White Supremacists are sometimes decent folks? Actually could be all three at once. They are not mutually exclusive. You seem to consider atheists to be some kind of organised pressure group or at least a community with its own identity and culture. It is just not true. It is not like a religion. All sorts of people are atheists with absolutely nothing else in common. Some are good. Some are bad. Some are virulently anti-theist (naturally these are the ones you are most aware of), others really wish theism were true but cannot find any reason for believing it, most just get on with their life.markf
June 19, 2011
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Nullasalus, why do you reject the atheist’s stated motive that he and his compatriots value civil discourse? Why don’t you accept the possibility that there is more than one kind of atheist, and that some of them are in fact kind, decent, and fair (like my brother, for instance)? Would you accept the White Supremacist's stated motive, Bruce? Would you do so even if, on the White Supremacist's blog, you had various group members saying 'This is great PR' and 'Whew, we were going to look bad from this, but this will undo some of the damage' and 'We shouldn't have done this, screw that church, I don't want to give a red cent to these people'? Do you think questioning the motive is valid? Or do you just accept the stated motive of everyone without further consideration?nullasalus
June 18, 2011
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Nullasalus, why do you reject the atheist's stated motive that he and his compatriots value civil discourse? Why don't you accept the possibility that there is more than one kind of atheist, and that some of them are in fact kind, decent, and fair (like my brother, for instance)?Bruce David
June 18, 2011
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Incidentally, the FA thread on this is interesting. Go have a look for yourself: A number of 'This is great PR for atheists' comments, and quite a number of upset comments from atheists that money is being given to a church (particularly because said church has an ex-gay ministry.) I suppose, if the FA giving money to this vandalized church is considered a demonstration that some atheists can behave well, we should regard the litany of comments that 'this is good PR for atheism' and 'you shouldn't have given a cent to these guys, screw them' as a demonstration that many atheists behave poorly, eh?nullasalus
June 18, 2011
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Secondly, I think that the atheist’s comment at the very end was noteworthy: he said, “It’s possible to be good without God.” What do you all think? I think it backs up my view about this being a PR move. What do you think of the evidence that the trashing of the church was done by atheists, motivated by anti-theism? And let's ask another question: If a black church was burnt down, and a member of a White Supremacist Group raised money to rebuild it - arguing that their particular group rejects violence against blacks (they simply want them to get out of the country) - would you regard it as a sign of decency by the White Supremacist Group? Would you suspect it was a strategic move? Or would you conclude that it just goes to show you that White Supremacists are sometimes decent folks?nullasalus
June 18, 2011
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markf, I expect some Jews said that about the Good Samaritan. It was a parable, mark. You know that, right? And do you think some Jews said it about the Munich Agreement too? Sometimes things are done for PR reasons. I note again: The church was trashed by, apparently, anti-theists.nullasalus
June 18, 2011
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Two points strike me here. First, the news is so full of misery, cruelty, war, bloodshed, polarization, and inhumanity of all sorts, that it is hard to be optimistic about the future of this planet. Acts of kindness, consideration, mercy, compassion, or love, which I suspect are actually much more common, get much less coverage. Being a liberal, I'm not generally very fond of Fox news, but I have to give them credit for reporting this one. Secondly, I think that the atheist's comment at the very end was noteworthy: he said, "It's possible to be good without God." What do you all think?Bruce David
June 18, 2011
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