Intelligent Design Naturalism

Flying Spaghetti Monster vs. ID

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From Got Questions:

Answer: Flying Spaghetti Monsterism (also known as Pastafarianism) is a “religion” created by a man named Bobby Henderson. Mr. Henderson created this satire in protest of the Kansas State Board of Education’s decision to teach intelligent design as an alternative to the theory of evolution. In essence, he was asking, “If foolish religious ideas like that of Intelligent Design have to be given equal time in high school biology classes, then why can’t other foolish religious ideas be taught alongside with it?” So, in protest, he made up a silly set of religious beliefs and demanded that they be given equal time in biology classes alongside the theories of evolution and Intelligent Design. His point seems to be that to teach Intelligent Design in schools is as absurd as teaching that the Flying Spaghetti Monster made the world and deceived scientists into believing evolution. (Note: Flying Spaghetti Monsterism is simply a new, and more entertaining, variation of Russell’s teapot and the Invisible Pink Unicorn.) More.

My sense, based on some  years of coverage at Uncommon Descent, is that Pastafarianism has changed its focus.

 Recent adventures, including getting beat up in Russia, appear to be aimed at ridiculing religious exemptions from various licencing requirements and really do not concern ID at all.
They could not stay in the game with ID indefinitely because they would need to be something other than just a big practical joke that went on way too long.
For example:
Pastafarian lodges complaint with ACLU
“A Pastafarian woman is fighting for her right to wear a pasta strainer on her head, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.”

Our advice would be, look out. It’s one thing to do this in a free society where people sort of get the intended joke, even if they think you are a dullard and out of touch. It didn’t go so well when they tried it in Putin’s Russia.

See also: Legal workplace accommodation of pastafarianism as a religion

and

Wow: Court rules for common sense… updated No, not a religion; an overelaborate prank.

I’m surprised more bureaucrats don’t notice this: It’s one thing to allow persons who would always wear a certain type of religious headgear if they were out in public to pose for a licence photo in that headgear.  Or a Christian clergy collar. But these people don’t, in fact, wobble around in public with a spaghetti strainer on their heads.
We need smarter bureaucrats or else fewer of them.

28 Replies to “Flying Spaghetti Monster vs. ID

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    Actually, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is small potatoes in the atheist’s infinite multiverse:

    Why Most Atheists (must) Believe in Pink Unicorns – May 2014
    Excerpt: Given an infinite amount of time, anything that is logically possible(11) will eventually happen. So, given an infinite number of universes being created in (presumably) an infinite amount of time, you are not only guaranteed to get your universe but every other possible universe. This means that every conceivable universe exists, from ones that consist of nothing but a giant black hole, to ones that are just like ours and where someone just like you is reading a blog post just like this, except it’s titled: “Why most atheists believe in blue unicorns.”
    By now I’m sure you know where I’m going with this, but I’ll say it anyway. Since we know that horses are possible, and that pink animals are possible, and that horned animals are possible, then there is no logical reason why pink unicorns are not possible entities. Ergo, if infinite universes exist, then pink unicorns must necessarily exist. For an atheist to appeal to multiverse theory to deny the need of a designer infers that he believes in that theory more than a theistically suggestive single universe. And to believe in the multiverse means that one is saddled with everything that goes with it, like pink unicorns. In fact, they not only believe in pink unicorns, but that someone just like them is riding on one at this very moment, and who believes that elephants, giraffes, and zebra are merely childish fairytales.
    Postscript
    While it may be amusing to imagine atheists riding pink unicorns, it should be noted that the belief in them does not logically invalidate atheism. There theoretically could be multiple universes and there theoretically could be pink unicorns. However, there is a more substantial problem for the atheist if he wants to believe in them and he wants to remain an atheist. Since, as I said, anything can happen in the realm of infinities, one of those possibilities is the production of a being of vast intelligence and power. Such a being would be as a god to those like us, and could perhaps breach the boundaries of the multiverse to, in fact, be a “god” to this universe. This being might even have the means to create its own universe and embody the very description of the God of Christianity (or any other religion that the atheist otherwise rejects). It seems the atheist, in affirming the multiverse in order to avoid the problem of fine-tuning, finds himself on the horns of a dilemma. The further irony is that somewhere, in the great wide world of infinities, the atheist’s doppelganger is going to war against an army of theists riding on the horns of a great pink beast known to his tribesman as “The Saddlehorn Dilemma.”
    https://pspruett.wordpress.com/2014/05/12/why-most-atheists-believe-in-pink-unicorns/

    “The multiverse idea is exactly one of those examples, and is not fundamentally any different from the claim of a trans-dimensional cosmic tortoise laying eggs that become universes.”
    Intelligent Design blogger
    It’s turtles all the way down! 🙂
    gif – trans-dimensional cosmic turtle
    http://i.imgur.com/QTEpjry.gif
    The sarcasm continues:
    From now on in discussions of the origin of the Big Bang, I will insist that a better explanation is the cosmic turtle hypothesis—that a cosmic turtle, one among many, is the origin of the cosmic egg that started our universe.
    There are several reasons that the Cosmic Turtle (CT) hypothesis is superior to the multiverse alternative:
    (1) It disallows two or more Big Bangs from occurring in the same place and time
    (2) It disallows a Secondary Big Bang, SBB(tm), from occurring *within* our universe
    (3) It enables the integration of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution to be applied to the Cosmic Turtle
    (4) It promotes spiritual unity between Chinese, Indian, Native American, and scientific mythologies.
    And Terry Pratchett, of course.
    -Q
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-614150

    Multiverse and the Design Argument – William Lane Craig
    Excerpt: Or again, if our universe is but one member of a multiverse, then we ought to be observing highly extraordinary events, like horses’ popping into and out of existence by random collisions, or perpetual motion machines, since these are vastly more probable than all of nature’s constants and quantities’ falling by chance into the virtually infinitesimal life-permitting range. Observable universes like those strange worlds are simply much more plenteous in the ensemble of universes than worlds like ours and, therefore, ought to be observed by us if the universe were but a random member of a multiverse of worlds. Since we do not have such observations, that fact strongly disconfirms the multiverse hypothesis. On naturalism, at least, it is therefore highly probable that there is no multiverse. — Penrose puts it bluntly “these world ensemble hypothesis are worse than useless in explaining the anthropic fine-tuning of the universe”.
    http://www.reasonablefaith.org.....n-argument

    Of related note: The materialist/atheist, without realizing it, in his appeal to an infinity of other universes to ‘explain away’ the fine-tuning of this universe, ends up conceding the necessary premise to the ontological argument, (i.e. which is merely that it is ‘possible’ that God exists in some possible world), and thus guarantees the success of the argument and therefore insures the 100% probability of God’s existence!

    What is the Ontological Argument? (William Lane Craig) – video
    “It (This argument) puts the atheist in a very awkward position. The atheist must deny, not merely that God exists, he must maintain that it is impossible that God exists. And that is certainly a radical claim that would require great justification.”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rlxuHK49KY

    God Is Not Dead Yet – William Lane Craig – Page 4
    The ontological argument. Anselm’s famous argument has been reformulated and defended by Alvin Plantinga, Robert Maydole, Brian Leftow, and others. God, Anselm observes, is by definition the greatest being conceivable. If you could conceive of anything greater than God, then that would be God. Thus, God is the greatest conceivable being, a maximally great being. So what would such a being be like? He would be all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good, and he would exist in every logically possible world. But then we can argue:

    1. It is possible that a maximally great being (God) exists.
    2. If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being exists in some possible world.
    3. If a maximally great being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.
    4. If a maximally great being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world.
    5. Therefore, a maximally great being exists in the actual world.
    6. Therefore, a maximally great being exists.
    7. Therefore, God exists.

    Now it might be a surprise to learn that steps 2–7 of this argument are relatively uncontroversial. Most philosophers would agree that if God’s existence is even possible, then he must exist. So the whole question is: Is God’s existence possible? The atheist has to maintain that it’s impossible that God exists. He has to say that the concept of God is incoherent, like the concept of a married bachelor or a round square. But the problem is that the concept of God just doesn’t appear to be incoherent in that way. The idea of a being which is all-powerful, all knowing, and all-good in every possible world seems perfectly coherent. And so long as God’s existence is even possible, it follows that God must exist.
    http://www.christianitytoday.c.....ml?start=4

    Interestingly, in this following video, entitled “The Ontological Argument for the Triune God”, refines the Ontological argument for a maximally great Being into a proof that, because of the characteristic of ‘maximally great love’, God must exist in more than one person:

    The Ontological Argument for the Triune God – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGVYXog8NUg

    i.e. without this distinction we are stuck with the logical contradiction of maximally great love being grounded in ones own self which is the very antithesis of maximally great love.

    In the following video, a former Muslim confesses that this form of the ontological argument for the Triune God, i.e. maximally great love, is a devastating argument against the Muslim conception of God:

    Abdu Murray AMP 2016 (16: 00 minute mark – former Muslim admitting that God must exist in more than one person because of the characteristic of maximally great love, i.e. the ontological argument for the Trinity)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGLM3CC5-EY&index=8&list=PLUwTeBAi_JFFxNDq-sp0_Soxlxnlv9YRG

  2. 2
    rvb8 says:

    Pastafarianism is a recognised religion in several countries, meaning it legally gains tax exempt status. One reason for this is that they have established a $3,000,000 trust for micro-loans to small businesses worldwide; it is legitimate, well run, I have donated, and is 100% transparent (Catholic church, and other religious monopolies take note.)
    It is recognised legally in several of the states in the US, and has a bible, of sorts; Who knows what tall tales will swell around this sound beginning, in a couple of thousand years of course.
    “They could not stay in the game with ID indefinately..”
    This is an extremly telling slip from the author. ID is a game that seeks to gain more credibility than a plainly bogus religion? Really!?
    This of course says much more about the honest opinions of the place that ID holds in the modern scientific world; It seeks to displace fabricated illusion, with what exactly?
    Enter BA to jump on the ‘fabricated illusion’ phrase. Heh:)

  3. 3
    News says:

    As rvb8 of course realizes, what was meant by “not stay in the game” was “not continue to maintain public interest” if they only made their anti-ID hoax a one-joke show.

    Good for maybe six months before they’d be booed down at a comedy club night. Glad they decided to go do something useful.

    Too bad fools with pensions recognized the joke part as a religion. That invites further pranks.

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    rvb8 states:

    “Enter BA to jump on the ‘fabricated illusion’ phrase. Heh:)”

    Actually, I had my answer ready for any atheist’s reply long before you wrote the phrase ‘fabricated illusion’.

    Much like the Flying Spaghetti Monster is nothing but a fabricated illusion, Darwinian evolution, and atheism/naturalism in general, are built entirely upon a framework of illusions and fantasy, i.e. they are in fact ‘fabricated illusions’:

    “Materialism is adept at transforming illusions of possibility into settled verities.”
    — William Dembski, Being as Communion (2014), p49

    Atheistic Materialism/Naturalism – Where All of Reality Becomes an Illusion – video
    https://youtu.be/At6YNLBa2p0

    Contrary to popular belief, Darwinian evolution, and atheism/naturalism in general, far from being ‘scientific’, are built entirely upon a foundation of quicksand that quickly engulfs our conception of reality itself into a quagmire of illusions and fantasy.

    First off, in regards to Darwinian Evolution itself, atheists hold that the design that we see pervasively throughout life is merely an illusion, i.e. merely an ‘appearance of design’. Richard Dawkins puts the situation this way.

    “Yet the living results of natural selection overwhelmingly impress us with the appearance of design as if by a master watchmaker, impress us with the illusion of design and planning.”
    Richard Dawkins – “The Blind Watchmaker” – 1986 – page 21
    quoted from this video –
    Michael Behe – Life Reeks Of Design – 2010 – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hdh-YcNYThY

    Can Darwinian Evolutionary Theory Be Taken Seriously? – Stephen L. Talbott – May 17, 2016
    Excerpt: Julian Huxley, who coined the phrase “Modern Synthesis” to describe the now canonical, twentieth-century formulation of what is also called “neo-Darwinism”, wrote in 1942:
    “It was one of the great merits of Darwin himself to show that the purposiveness of organic structure and function was apparent only. The teleology of adaptation is a pseudo-teleology, capable of being accounted for on good mechanistic principles, without the intervention of purpose, conscious or subconscious, either on the part of the organism or of any outside power”.11
    Here, again, we are said to be saved from the “intervention” of an alien force, as if real purpose and intelligence would be an offense against the natural world.
    And, several decades later, the author who gave us the “selfish gene” warned us how hard it can be to escape illusion: “So overwhelming is the appearance of purposeful design that, even in this Darwinian era when we know ‘better’, we still find it difficult, indeed boringly pedantic, to refrain from teleological language when discussing adaptation”. And yet, Richard Dawkins is ever ready to remind us, “the theory of natural selection provides a mechanistic, causal account of how living things came to look as if they had been designed for a purpose”12
    http://natureinstitute.org/txt.....ogy_30.htm

    Julian Huxley and Richards Dawkins are far from the only prominent atheists who seem to be afflicted with the mental illness of seeing this apparent ‘illusion of design’ pervasively throughout life. The well known atheist Francis Crick, co-discoverer of DNA, seems to have been particularly haunted by this illusion of seeing design everywhere he looked in molecular biology:

    “Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.”
    Francis Crick – What Mad Pursuit – p. 138 (1990)

    “Organisms appear as if they had been designed to perform in an astonishingly efficient way, and the human mind therefore finds it hard to accept that there need be no Designer to achieve this”
    Francis Crick – What Mad Pursuit – p. 30

    Yet, despite the fact that, according to many leading atheists themselves, life gives the overwhelming ‘appearance’ of having been designed for a purpose, all the purported scientific evidence, that is suppose to demonstrate for us how this overwhelming appearance of design in life came to be by unguided material processes, turns out, itself, to be ‘illusory’.

    Franklin M. Harold, whom I believe is also an atheist, calls Darwinian accounts ‘a variety of wishful speculations’. Specifically he states:

    “,,,we must concede that there are presently no detailed Darwinian accounts of the evolution of any biochemical or cellular system, only a variety of wishful speculations.”
    Franklin M. Harold,* 2001. The way of the cell: molecules, organisms and the order of life, Oxford University Press, New York, p. 205.
    *Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry, Colorado State University, USA

    James Shapiro, main founder of the anti neo-Darwinian group “The Third Way”, makes an almost verbatim statement to Harold’s statement:

    “The argument that random variation and Darwinian gradualism may not be adequate to explain complex biological systems is hardly new […} in fact, there are no detailed Darwinian accounts for the evolution of any fundamental biochemical or cellular system, only a variety of wishful speculations. It is remarkable that Darwinism is accepted as a satisfactory explanation for such a vast subject — evolution — with so little rigorous examination of how well its basic theses works in illuminating specific instances of biological adaptation or diversity.”
    Prof. James Shapiro – “In the Details…What?” National Review, 19 September 1996, pp. 64.

    In fact, one of the main themes of many of Michael Behe’s talks is that all ‘grand Darwinian claims rest on undisciplined imagination’:

    “Grand Darwinian claims rest on undisciplined imagination”
    Dr. Michael Behe – 29:24 mark of this following video
    Evidence of Design from Biology. A Presentation by Dr. Michael Behe – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?f.....fM#t=1762s

    “Some evolutionary biologists–like Richard Dawkins–have fertile imaginations. Given a starting point, they almost always can spin a story to get to any biological structure you wish”
    (Michael Behe – Darwin’s Black Box).,,,

    Richard Sternberg comments on the supposed illusory ‘appearance of design’ in life

    “Darwinism provided an explanation for the appearance of design, and argued that there is no Designer — or, if you will, the designer is natural selection. If that’s out of the way — if that just does not explain the evidence — then the flip side of that is, well, things appear designed because they are designed.”
    Richard Sternberg – Living Waters documentary
    Whale Evolution vs. Population Genetics – Richard Sternberg and Paul Nelson – (excerpt from Living Waters video)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0csd3M4bc0Q

    Thus, since atheists themselves are self admittedly seeing the ‘illusion of design’ in life, and yet they have no experimental evidence whatsoever that unguided material processes can produce this supposed ‘illusion of design’ that they themselves are seeing, then of course the ID advocate would be well justified in saying that this ‘illusion of design’ that they are seeing in life is not an illusion after all but the design they see is indeed real and that these atheists are not really suffering from some sort of a mental illness after all.

    In fact, I hold that Darwinists are ‘naturally detecting design’ because of the inherent ‘image of God’ that they have within themselves. An ‘image of God’ that they are living in denial of.

    Children are born believers in God, academic claims – 24 Nov 2008
    Excerpt: “Dr Justin Barrett, a senior researcher at the University of Oxford’s Centre for Anthropology and Mind, claims that young people have a predisposition to believe in a supreme being because they assume that everything in the world was created with a purpose.”
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new.....laims.html

    Design Thinking Is Hardwired in the Human Brain. How Come? – October 17, 2012
    Excerpt: “Even Professional Scientists Are Compelled to See Purpose in Nature, Psychologists Find.” The article describes a test by Boston University’s psychology department, in which researchers found that “despite years of scientific training, even professional chemists, geologists, and physicists from major universities such as Harvard, MIT, and Yale cannot escape a deep-seated belief that natural phenomena exist for a purpose” ,,,
    Most interesting, though, are the questions begged by this research. One is whether it is even possible to purge teleology from explanation.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....65381.html

    Moreover, this illusory nature inherent to the evidence for atheistic naturalism gets worse for the atheist. Much worse! For instance, although reliable ‘observation’ of reality is a necessary cornerstone of the scientific method itself,,,

    Steps of the Scientific Method
    Observation/Research
    Hypothesis
    Prediction
    Experimentation
    Conclusion
    http://www.sciencemadesimple.c.....ethod.html

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    ,,, Although reliable ‘observation’ of reality is a necessary cornerstone of the scientific method, the reductive materialistic foundation that Darwinian evolution rests upon undermines this cornerstone.
    That is to say, Given materialistic/atheistic premises, not only are our personal beliefs about reality held to be somewhat flawed, but even our perceptions/observations of reality itself are held to be untrustworthy and thus ‘illusory’ given the materialistic premises of atheism.
    Richard Dawkins puts the awkward situation between Darwinian evolution and reliable observation like this:

    Why Atheism is Nonsense Pt.5 – “Naturalism is a Self-defeating Idea”video
    Excerpt: “Since we are creatures of natural selection, we cannot totally trust our senses. Evolution only passes on traits that help a species survive, and not concerned with preserving traits that tell a species what is actually true about life.”
    Richard Dawkins – quoted from “The God Delusion”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ff-5rsrDRGM

    In the following video and article, Donald Hoffman has, through numerous computer simulations of population genetics, proved that if Darwinian evolution were actually true then ALL of our perceptions of reality would be illusory.

    Donald Hoffman: Do we see reality as it is? – Video – 9:59 minute mark
    Quote: “,,,evolution is a mathematically precise theory. We can use the equations of evolution to check this out. We can have various organisms in artificial worlds compete and see which survive and which thrive, which sensory systems or more fit. A key notion in those equations is fitness.,,, fitness does depend on reality as it is, yes.,,, Fitness is not the same thing as reality as it is, and it is fitness, and not reality as it is, that figures centrally in the equations of evolution. So, in my lab, we have run hundreds of thousands of evolutionary game simulations with lots of different randomly chosen worlds and organisms that compete for resources in those worlds. Some of the organisms see all of the reality. Others see just part of the reality. And some see none of the reality. Only fitness. Who wins? Well I hate to break it to you but perception of reality goes extinct. In almost every simulation, organisms that see none of reality, but are just tuned to fitness, drive to extinction that perceive reality as it is. So the bottom line is, evolution does not favor veridical, or accurate perceptions. Those (accurate) perceptions of reality go extinct. Now this is a bit stunning. How can it be that not seeing the world accurately gives us a survival advantage?”
    https://youtu.be/oYp5XuGYqqY?t=601

    The Evolutionary Argument Against Reality – April 2016
    The cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman uses evolutionary game theory to show that our perceptions of an independent reality must be illusions.
    Excerpt: “The classic argument is that those of our ancestors who saw more accurately had a competitive advantage over those who saw less accurately and thus were more likely to pass on their genes that coded for those more accurate perceptions, so after thousands of generations we can be quite confident that we’re the offspring of those who saw accurately, and so we see accurately. That sounds very plausible. But I think it is utterly false. It misunderstands the fundamental fact about evolution, which is that it’s about fitness functions — mathematical functions that describe how well a given strategy achieves the goals of survival and reproduction. The mathematical physicist Chetan Prakash proved a theorem that I devised that says: According to evolution by natural selection, an organism that sees reality as it is will never be more fit than an organism of equal complexity that sees none of reality but is just tuned to fitness. Never.”
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/20160421-the-evolutionary-argument-against-reality/

    also see Plantinga’s ‘evolutionary argument against naturalism’ which preceded Hoffmans’s ‘evolutionary argument against reality’
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-613251

    Thus, in what should be needless to say, a worldview that undermines the scientific method itself by holding ALL of our observations of reality are illusory is NOT a worldview that can be firmly grounded within the scientific method!

    Why Evolutionary Theory Cannot Survive Itself – Nancy Pearcey – March 8, 2015
    Excerpt: Steven Pinker writes, “Our brains were shaped for fitness, not for truth. Sometimes the truth is adaptive, but sometimes it is not.” The upshot is that survival is no guarantee of truth. If survival is the only standard, we can never know which ideas are true and which are adaptive but false.
    To make the dilemma even more puzzling, evolutionists tell us that natural selection has produced all sorts of false concepts in the human mind. Many evolutionary materialists maintain that free will is an illusion, consciousness is an illusion, even our sense of self is an illusion — and that all these false ideas were selected for their survival value.
    So how can we know whether the theory of evolution itself is one of those false ideas? The theory undercuts itself.,,,
    Of course, the atheist pursuing his research has no choice but to rely on rationality, just as everyone else does. The point is that he has no philosophical basis for doing so. Only those who affirm a rational Creator have a basis for trusting human rationality.
    The reason so few atheists and materialists seem to recognize the problem is that, like Darwin, they apply their skepticism selectively. They apply it to undercut only ideas they reject, especially ideas about God. They make a tacit exception for their own worldview commitments.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....94171.html

    Moreover, completely contrary to materialistic premises, conscious observation, far from being unreliable and illusory, is experimentally found to be far more integral to reality, i.e. far more reliable of reality, than the math of population genetics predicted. In the following experiment, it was found that reality doesn’t exist without an observer.

    New Mind-blowing Experiment Confirms That Reality Doesn’t Exist If You Are Not Looking at It – June 3, 2015
    Excerpt: The results of the Australian scientists’ experiment, which were published in the journal Nature Physics, show that this choice is determined by the way the object is measured, which is in accordance with what quantum theory predicts.
    “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” said lead researcher Dr. Andrew Truscott in a press release.,,,
    “The atoms did not travel from A to B. It was only when they were measured at the end of the journey that their wave-like or particle-like behavior was brought into existence,” he said.
    Thus, this experiment adds to the validity of the quantum theory and provides new evidence to the idea that reality doesn’t exist without an observer.
    http://themindunleashed.org/20.....at-it.html

    Apparently science itself could care less if atheists are forced, because of the math of population genetics, to believe that their observations of reality are illusory!

    Moreover, as Nancy Pearcey alluded to in her ‘Why Evolutionary Theory Cannot Survive Itself’ article, given the materialistic/atheistic premises of Darwinian evolution, not only are our observations of reality itself held to be illusory, but even our sense of self, i.e. the belief that we really exist as real persons, which is the most sure thing we can know about reality, becomes illusory too.
    Thus, in what I consider to be a shining example of poetic justice, in their claim that God does not really exist as a real person but is merely an illusion, the naturalist also ends up claiming that he himself does not really exist as a real person but is merely an illusion. Here are a few quotes to that effect,,,

    “that “You”, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules. As Lewis Carroll’s Alice might have phrased: “You’re nothing but a pack of neurons.” This hypothesis is so alien to the ideas of most people today that it can truly be called astonishing.”
    Francis Crick – “The Astonishing Hypothesis” 1994

    “We have so much confidence in our materialist assumptions (which are assumptions, not facts) that something like free will is denied in principle. Maybe it doesn’t exist, but I don’t really know that. Either way, it doesn’t matter because if free will and consciousness are just an illusion, they are the most seamless illusions ever created. Film maker James Cameron wishes he had special effects that good.”
    Matthew D. Lieberman – neuroscientist – materialist – UCLA professor

    The Confidence of Jerry Coyne – Ross Douthat – January 6, 2014
    Excerpt: But then halfway through this peroration, we have as an aside the confession (by Coyne) that yes, okay, it’s quite possible given materialist premises that “our sense of self is a neuronal illusion.” At which point the entire edifice suddenly looks terribly wobbly — because who, exactly, is doing all of this forging and shaping and purpose-creating if Jerry Coyne, as I understand him (and I assume he understands himself) quite possibly does not actually exist at all? The theme of his argument is the crucial importance of human agency under eliminative materialism, but if under materialist premises the actual agent is quite possibly a fiction, then who exactly is this I who “reads” and “learns” and “teaches,” and why in the universe’s name should my illusory self believe Coyne’s bold proclamation that his illusory self’s purposes are somehow “real” and worthy of devotion and pursuit? (Let alone that they’re morally significant: But more on that below.) Prometheus cannot be at once unbound and unreal; the human will cannot be simultaneously triumphant and imaginary.
    Per NY Times

    Atheistic Materialism – Does Richard Dawkins Exist? – video 37:51 minute mark
    Quote: “You can spout a philosophy that says scientific materialism, but there aren’t any scientific materialists to pronounce it.,,, That’s why I think they find it kind of embarrassing to talk that way. Nobody wants to stand up there and say, “You know, I’m not really here”.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVCnzq2yTCg&t=37m51s

    At the 23:33 minute mark of the following video, Richard Dawkins agrees with materialistic philosophers who say that:
    “consciousness is an illusion”
    A few minutes later Rowan Williams asks Dawkins
    ”If consciousness is an illusion… what isn’t?”.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWN4cfh1Fac&t=22m57s

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    Thus, given materialistic premises, people become illusions whose observations of reality are illusory.
    And why in blue blazes should anyone trust what illusions having illusions have to say about reality?

    Moreover, as Nancy Pearcey alluded to in her article, free will itself also becomes illusory. Thus, under atheistic naturalism there is not really a real person with the free will to choose to believe in, or to not believe in anything, be it believing in God or be it believing in naturalism. There are only illusions of persons who are fed illusions of free will. Illusions of free will that somehow miraculously coincide with the illusory intentions of their illusory self.

    Do You Like SETI? Fine, Then Let’s Dump Methodological Naturalism – Paul Nelson – September 24, 2014
    Excerpt: “Epistemology — how we know — and ontology — what exists — are both affected by methodological naturalism (MN). If we say, “We cannot know that a mind caused x,” laying down an epistemological boundary defined by MN, then our ontology comprising real causes for x won’t include minds.
    MN entails an ontology in which minds are the consequence of physics, and thus, can only be placeholders for a more detailed causal account in which physics is the only (ultimate) actor. You didn’t write your email to me. Physics did, and informed (the illusion of) you of that event after the fact.
    “That’s crazy,” you reply, “I certainly did write my email.” Okay, then — to what does the pronoun “I” in that sentence refer?
    Your personal agency; your mind. Are you supernatural?,,,
    You are certainly an intelligent cause, however, and your intelligence does not collapse into physics. (If it does collapse — i.e., can be reduced without explanatory loss — we haven’t the faintest idea how, which amounts to the same thing.) To explain the effects you bring about in the world — such as your email, a real pattern — we must refer to you as a unique agent.,,,
    some feature of “intelligence” must be irreducible to physics, because otherwise we’re back to physics versus physics, and there’s nothing for SETI to look for.”,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....90071.html

    And although Dr. Nelson alluded to writing an e-mail, (i.e. creating information), to tie his ‘personal agent’ argument into intelligent design, Dr. Nelson’s ‘personal agent’ argument can easily be amended to any action that ‘you’, as a personal agent, choose to take:

    “You didn’t write your email to me. Physics did, and informed the illusion of you of that event after the fact.”
    “You didn’t open the door. Physics did, and informed the illusion of you of that event after the fact.”
    “You didn’t raise your hand. Physics did, and informed the illusion of you of that event after the fact.”
    “You didn’t etc.. etc.. etc… Physics did, and informed the illusion of you of that event after the fact.”

    A few more notes along this line:

    Physicist George Ellis on the importance of philosophy and free will – July 27, 2014
    Excerpt: And free will?:
    Horgan: Einstein,,, seemed to doubt free will:,,,
    George Ellis: ,,, if Einstein did not have free will in some meaningful sense, then he could not have been responsible for the theory of relativity – it would have been a product of lower level processes but not of an intelligent mind choosing between possible options.
    I find it very hard to believe this to be the case – indeed it does not seem to make any sense.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....free-will/

    Human consciousness is much more than mere brain activity, – Mark Vernon – 18 June 2011
    However, “If you think the brain is a machine then you are committed to saying that composing a sublime poem is as involuntary an activity as having an epileptic fit. …the nature of consciousness being a tremendous mystery.”
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/comm.....n-activity

    Finally, this unconstrained ‘illusory’ nature inherent to naturalism/materialism becomes even more acute when atheists try to explain the origin and sustaining of the universe, i.e. try to explain the origin, fine-tuning, and quantum wave collapse of the universe.
    That is to say, every time an atheist postulates a random infinity to try to get around the glaringly obvious Theistic implications of the Big Bang, fine-tuning, and the quantum wave collapse, of the universe, then the math surrounding that random infinity tells us that everything that is remotely possible has a 100% chance of happening somewhere in that random infinity of possibilities that the atheist had postulated. Even an infinite number of Richard Dawkins riding on an infinite number of pink unicorns becomes assured. Since that absurdity is epistemologically self-defeating, then the atheistic worldview is falsified as a coherent theory of knowledge. Scientific knowledge or otherwise.

    WHAT SCIENTIFIC IDEA IS READY FOR RETIREMENT? Infinity – Max Tegmark – January 2014 and Feb. 2015
    Excerpt: Physics is all about predicting the future from the past, but inflation seems to sabotage this: when we try to predict the probability that something particular will happen, inflation always gives the same useless answer: infinity divided by infinity. The problem is that whatever experiment you make, inflation predicts that there will be infinitely many copies of you far away in our infinite space, obtaining each physically possible outcome, and despite years of tooth-grinding in the cosmology community, no consensus has emerged on how to extract sensible answers from these infinities. So strictly speaking, we physicists are no longer able to predict anything at all!
    http://blogs.discovermagazine......OsRyS7cBCA

    Why Most Atheists Believe in Pink Unicorns – May 2014
    Excerpt: Given an infinite amount of time, anything that is logically possible(11) will eventually happen. So, given an infinite number of universes being created in (presumably) an infinite amount of time, you are not only guaranteed to get your universe but every other possible universe. This means that every conceivable universe exists, from ones that consist of nothing but a giant black hole, to ones that are just like ours and where someone just like you is reading a blog post just like this, except it’s titled: “Why most atheists believe in blue unicorns.”
    By now I’m sure you know where I’m going with this, but I’ll say it anyway. Since we know that horses are possible, and that pink animals are possible, and that horned animals are possible, then there is no logical reason why pink unicorns are not possible entities. Ergo, if infinite universes exist, then pink unicorns must necessarily exist. For an atheist to appeal to multiverse theory to deny the need of a designer infers that he believes in that theory more than a theistically suggestive single universe. And to believe in the multiverse means that one is saddled with everything that goes with it, like pink unicorns. In fact, they not only believe in pink unicorns, but that someone just like them is riding on one at this very moment, and who believes that elephants, giraffes, and zebra are merely childish fairytales.
    Postscript
    While it may be amusing to imagine atheists riding pink unicorns, it should be noted that the belief in them does not logically invalidate atheism. There theoretically could be multiple universes and there theoretically could be pink unicorns. However, there is a more substantial problem for the atheist if he wants to believe in them and he wants to remain an atheist. Since, as I said, anything can happen in the realm of infinities, one of those possibilities is the production of a being of vast intelligence and power. Such a being would be as a god to those like us, and could perhaps breach the boundaries of the multiverse to, in fact, be a “god” to this universe. This being might even have the means to create its own universe and embody the very description of the God of Christianity (or any other religion that the atheist otherwise rejects). It seems the atheist, in affirming the multiverse in order to avoid the problem of fine-tuning, finds himself on the horns of a dilemma. The further irony is that somewhere, in the great wide world of infinities, the atheist’s doppelganger is going to war against an army of theists riding on the horns of a great pink beast known to his tribesman as “The Saddlehorn Dilemma.”
    – per ps pruet

    Too many worlds – Philip Ball – Feb. 17, 2015
    Excerpt:,,, You measure the path of an electron, and in this world it seems to go this way, but in another world it went that way.
    That requires a parallel, identical apparatus for the electron to traverse. More – it requires a parallel you to measure it. Once begun, this process of fabrication has no end: you have to build an entire parallel universe around that one electron, identical in all respects except where the electron went. You avoid the complication of wavefunction collapse, but at the expense of making another universe (and another you).,,,
    http://aeon.co/magazine/scienc.....a-fantasy/

    A Critique of the Many Worlds Interpretation – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_42skzOHjtA&list=UU5qDet6sa6rODi7t6wfpg8g

    Thus, basically, without God, everything within the atheistic/naturalistic worldview, (i.e. sense of self. observation of reality, free will, even reality itself), collapses into self refuting, unrestrained, flights of fantasies and imagination.

    Verses, Videos and Music:

    2 Corinthians 10:5
    Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

    2 Peter 1:16
    For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

    Shroud of Turin: From discovery of Photographic Negative, to 3D Information, to Quantum Hologram
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-TL4QOCiis

    The Resurrection of Jesus Christ from Death as the “Theory of Everything” – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uHST2uFPQY&list=PLtAP1KN7ahia8hmDlCYEKifQ8n65oNpQ5&index=4

    Hillsong United – Taya Smith – Touch The Sky – Acoustic Cover – Live – HD
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pyl34fHQi3U

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    In regards to materialists claiming consciousness itself is an illusion:

    At the 23:33 minute mark of the following video, Richard Dawkins agrees with materialistic philosophers who say that:
    “consciousness is an illusion”
    A few minutes later Rowan Williams asks Dawkins
    ”If consciousness is an illusion… what isn’t?”.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWN4cfh1Fac&t=22m57s

    Since materialism denies the reality of consciousness, i.e. mind, then it is not all that surprising that atheistic materialism collapses into such catastrophic epistemological failure in science. Consciousness was, and is, the necessary prerequisite of all the prerequisites for the the practice of science.

    The truth about science and religion By Terry Scambray – August 14, 2014
    Excerpt: In 1925 the renowned philosopher and mathematician, Alfred North Whitehead speaking to scholars at Harvard said that science originated in Christian Europe in the 13th century. Whitehead pointed out that science arose from “the medieval insistence on the rationality of God, conceived as with the personal energy of Jehovah and with the rationality of a Greek philosopher”, from which it follows that human minds created in that image are capable of understanding nature.
    The audience, assuming that science and Christianity are enemies, was astonished.
    http://www.americanthinker.com.....igion.html

    “No, I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”
    Max Planck (1858–1947), the originator of quantum theory, The Observer, London, January 25, 1931

    “Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else.”
    Schroedinger, Erwin. 1984. “General Scientific and Popular Papers,” in Collected Papers, Vol. 4. Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences. Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn, Braunschweig/Wiesbaden. p. 334.

    “In any philosophy of reality that is not ultimately self-defeating or internally contradictory, mind – unlabeled as anything else, matter or spiritual – must be primary. What is “matter” and what is “conceptual” and what is “spiritual” can only be organized from mind. Mind controls what is perceived, how it is perceived, and how those percepts are labeled and organized. Mind must be postulated as the unobserved observer, the uncaused cause simply to avoid a self-negating, self-conflicting worldview. It is the necessary postulate of all necessary postulates, because nothing else can come first. To say anything else comes first requires mind to consider and argue that case and then believe it to be true, demonstrating that without mind, you could not believe that mind is not primary in the first place.”
    – William J. Murray

    Of related interest to the overarching question of “How do we know what is really ‘real’ anyway?”, in the following study, researchers who had a bias against Near Death Experiences being real, set out to prove that they were merely hallucinations by setting up a clever questionnaire that could differentiate which memories a person had were real and which memories a person had were merely imaginary.
    They did not expect the results they got:

    ‘Afterlife’ feels ‘even more real than real,’ researcher says – Wed April 10, 2013
    Excerpt: “If you use this questionnaire … if the memory is real, it’s richer, and if the memory is recent, it’s richer,” he said.
    The coma scientists weren’t expecting what the tests revealed.
    “To our surprise, NDEs were much richer than any imagined event or any real event of these coma survivors,” Laureys reported.
    The memories of these experiences beat all other memories, hands down, for their vivid sense of reality. “The difference was so vast,” he said with a sense of astonishment.
    Even if the patient had the experience a long time ago, its memory was as rich “as though it was yesterday,” Laureys said.
    http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/09/.....periences/

    Memories of Near Death Experiences (NDEs): More Real Than Reality? – Mar. 27, 2013
    Excerpt: University of Liège
    ,,,researchers,, have looked into the memories of NDE with the hypothesis that if the memories of NDE were pure products of the imagination, their phenomenological characteristics (e.g., sensorial, self referential, emotional, etc. details) should be closer to those of imagined memories. Conversely, if the NDE are experienced in a way similar to that of reality, their characteristics would be closer to the memories of real events.
    The researchers compared the responses provided by three groups of patients, each of which had survived (in a different manner) a coma, and a group of healthy volunteers. They studied the memories of NDE and the memories of real events and imagined events with the help of a questionnaire which evaluated the phenomenological characteristics of the memories. The results were surprising. From the perspective being studied, not only were the NDEs not similar to the memories of imagined events, but the phenomenological characteristics inherent to the memories of real events (e.g. memories of sensorial details) are even more numerous in the memories of NDE than in the memories of real events.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....190359.htm

    Here are a few testimonies to that ‘more real than real’ effect in NDEs:

    A Doctor’s Near Death Experience (NDE) Inspires a New Life – video
    Quote: “It’s not like a dream. It’s like the world we are living in is a dream and it’s kind of like waking up from that.”
    Dr. Magrisso
    http://www.nbcchicago.com/on-a.....31791.html

    Medical Miracles – Dr. Mary Neal’s Near Death Experience – video (More real than real 37:49 minute mark)
    https://youtu.be/WCNjmWP2JjU?t=2269

    “More real than anything I’ve experienced since. When I came back of course I had 34 operations, and was in the hospital for 13 months. That was real but heaven is more real than that. The emotions and the feelings. The reality of being with people who had preceded me in death.”
    – Don Piper – “90 Minutes in Heaven,” 10 Years Later – video (2:54 minute mark)
    https://youtu.be/3LyZoNlKnMM?t=173

    Dr. Eben Alexander Says It’s Time for Brain Science to Graduate From Kindergarten – 10/24/2013
    Excerpt: To take the approach of, “Oh it had to be a hallucination of the brain” is just crazy. The simplistic idea that NDEs (Near Death Experiences) are a trick of a dying brain is similar to taking a piece of cardboard out of a pizza delivery box, rolling it down a hill and then claiming that it’s an identical event as rolling a beautiful Ferrari down a hill. They are not the same at all. The problem is the pure materialist scientists can be so closed-minded about it.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....51093.html

  8. 8
    kairosfocus says:

    My comment on that philosophically illiterate parody of theism: http://www.uncommondescent.com.....-theology/ KF

  9. 9
    harry says:

    I think John Sanford’s Genetic Entropy & the Mystery of the Genome might provide the explanation for the rise of atheism in our times. Historically, the vast majority of humanity has known intuitively that the Universe and the living things within it couldn’t have come about mindlessly and accidentally. Why are there now so many people who are just incapable of grasping that all too obvious fact? Could it be due to the loss of information in the human genome? This loss of information may not be uniform across humanity, and could be more severe in atheists, who, as a result of not having all the marbles the rest of us do, are simply no longer capable of grasping that which is obvious to everybody else.

    Maybe atheists should be forced to only breed with other atheists so we can keep this not-quite-fully-human version of humanity localized. After they, as a group, degenerate sufficiently we can use them as smart pets who are capable of doing manual labor for us.

    ;o)

  10. 10
    rvb8 says:

    I understand (I think) the bile heaped upon mock religions by the religious. Russell’s teapot, the unicorn, FSM, and my favourite, Last Thursdayism, all have the ability to pass the, ‘what makes a religion’ rubric. This is galling to the standard Three faiths, and causes angst amongst Buddhists, Hindus and the lesser religions. What is the basis of this angst? I am often accused by guests here of being angry at God, honestly I’m not, religion and talk of God usually illicit merely a wry smile. However the obvious bile heaped upon these truly harmless, rapscallions, is quite an eye opener. I am truly glad western culture succeeded in ousting religion from power, if only their Muslim bretheren could achieve the same intellectual achievement.
    FSM has adherrants, ministers, ministries, a legitimate charity open to the Tax Dept, and most important a creation story, a holy book, and a god. Every aspect of this structure is real, or cannot be disproved.
    If Kairosfocus has rebutted this nonsense, then by extension has he rebutted all religion which is based upon exactly what founding prophet Bobby Henderson created?
    BA, please restrict yourself to rebutting the post.

  11. 11
    bornagain77 says:

    rvb8, contrary to what ‘you’ think, (if there were even a ‘you’ to think within atheistic materialism instead of an illusion of a person who thinks it is thinking), showing that all of reality becomes illusory within atheistic materialism, (and at the same time also showing that ‘reality’ can only be rationally grounded within the Theistic worldview), is a most appropriate reply to the false accusation that Christianity is a ‘fabricated illusion’.

    Shoot I didn’t even have to go that far to refute your false accusation of ‘fabricated illusion’. For ‘you’ to even presuppose that illusions can be ‘fabricated’ in the first place is for you to refute yourself. i.e. ‘Fabrication’ presupposes an intelligent agent who ‘designed’ some artifact he first envisioned in his mind. Nothing that has ever been ‘fabricated’ has ever been fabricated absent an intelligent agent bringing that fabrication about.

    Basically, you have presupposed that agent causality is true in your attempt to refute the truthfulness of Agent causality.

    A Professor’s Journey out of Nihilism: Why I am not an Atheist – University of Wyoming – J. Budziszewski
    Excerpt page12: “There were two great holes in the argument about the irrelevance of God. The first is that in order to attack free will, I supposed that I understood cause and effect; I supposed causation to be less mysterious than volition.
    If anything, it is the other way around. I can perceive a logical connection between premises and valid conclusions. I can perceive at least a rational connection between my willing to do something and my doing it. But between the apple and the earth, I can perceive no connection at all. Why does the apple fall? We don’t know. “But there is gravity,” you say. No, “gravity” is merely the name of the phenomenon, not its explanation. “But there are laws of gravity,” you say. No, the “laws” are not its explanation either; they are merely a more precise description of the thing to be explained, which remains as mysterious as before. For just this reason, philosophers of science are shy of the term “laws”; they prefer “lawlike regularities.” To call the equations of gravity “laws” and speak of the apple as “obeying” them is to speak as though, like the traffic laws, the “laws” of gravity are addressed to rational agents capable of conforming their wills to the command. This is cheating, because it makes mechanical causality (the more opaque of the two phenomena) seem like volition (the less). In my own way of thinking the cheating was even graver, because I attacked the less opaque in the name of the more.
    The other hole in my reasoning was cruder. If my imprisonment in a blind causality made my reasoning so unreliable that I couldn’t trust my beliefs, then by the same token I shouldn’t have trusted my beliefs about imprisonment in a blind causality. But in that case I had no business denying free will in the first place.”
    http://www.undergroundthomist......theist.pdf
    A Professor’s Journey out of Nihilism: Why I am not an Atheist – 2012 lecture
    University of Wyoming J. Budziszewski – above quote taken at the 34:30 minute mark
    http://veritas.org/talks/profe.....er_id=2231

    Agent Causality (of Theists) vs. Blind Causality (of Atheists) – video
    https://youtu.be/7pnnT0QvWr4

  12. 12
    asauber says:

    Coincidentally, on the way to the office this morning, I saw that the car in front of me had a sticker on the back that said “RELIGION: Because Thinking is Hard.” It also had a Flying Spaghetti Monster logo underneath the sticker. I thought, yeah it takes some pretty tortuous thinking to conclude that reactionary, ignorant stickers and Flying Spaghetti Monster logos are good things to put on your car.

    I’m sure these things are the result of some careful, lengthy intellectual consideration and not trying to be an attempt to yank someone’s chain or be proud announcements of one’s own belief system or something like that.

    Put another way, I’m sure dude affixed these to his auto because of the result of some algebraic calculations. Right? 😉

    Andrew

  13. 13
    kairosfocus says:

    RVB8, really? Have you considered the ontological contrast between a patently contingent being made of meatballs and noodles etc, and a necessary being? Or, what an inherently good and maximally great necessary being is like, by contrast with a meatballs and noodles dinner writ large? As for Russell’s imaginary unobserved teapot, start with that for this theist, my simply being here to discuss is a result of a miracle of guidance in answer to prayer of surrender by my mom, 40-odd years ago; and that is just one of many life-transforming interactions with God in my life and those of many people I know. As for publicly available evidence, what you have endorsed is pushing the report of 500 unbreakable witnesses — in the face of dungeon, fire, sword and worse — that transformed the world and still does so today, into the same epistemological category with a supposition utterly without evidence. In short, you just confessed to the fallacy of the selectively hyperskeptical closed mind that loves to label what he rejects as being “no evidence.” I suggest, a rethink is in order. KF

    PS: I note on pistis, the key word for faith in the NT, it is — crucially — the word for rhetorical proof. In context, soundly arrived at firmly confident conviction rooted in quality evidence and sources. In short, exactly the same general frame of argument that lies behind science solid enough to hang serious engineering and decisions on.

  14. 14
    Origenes says:

    Bornagain77: ,,, Although reliable ‘observation’ of reality is a necessary cornerstone of the scientific method, the reductive materialistic foundation that Darwinian evolution rests upon undermines this cornerstone.
    That is to say, Given materialistic/atheistic premises, not only are our personal beliefs about reality held to be somewhat flawed, but even our perceptions/observations of reality itself are held to be untrustworthy and thus ‘illusory’ given the materialistic premises of atheism.

    I fully agree and would like to add that there is no coherent perception without context. And I don’t mean any other context …

    The data of our perception of the world would be impossible to perceive without an overarching context of meaning. This overarching context can be said to consist of sub-contexts which accommodate color, form, distance and realness. All these aspects are harmoniously and hierarchically situated in what is ultimately a context of meaning.

    This ‘unity of perception’ is prerequisite to coherent perception.

    Put differently, when one observes one data element, one cannot see the correlation. When one observes each and every data point individually one still cannot see correlation. Coherent perception implies looking from a context, which assigns the proper place to the data of perception.

    Unity of perception is only possible from unity. This unity is the person. Consciousness.

    Such a “a priori” contextual unity, which accommodates ever-shifting data of perception, cannot be grounded by materialism.

  15. 15
    mike1962 says:

    rvb8: FSM has adherrants, ministers, ministries, a legitimate charity open to the Tax Dept, and most important a creation story, a holy book, and a god. Every aspect of this structure is real, or cannot be disproved.

    Does anyone actually believe the FSM exists?

    Is anyone teaching their children the FSM exists?

    I’m guessing, no.

    These guys have way too much free time on their hands.

  16. 16
    bornagain77 says:

    O, excellent observation. 🙂

  17. 17
    bornagain77 says:

    OT:

    A Billion Genes and Not One Beneficial Mutation – August 26, 2016
    Excerpt: Nature just published results of the Exome Aggregation Consortium (ExAC), the largest survey of human genes to date. (An “exome” is the portion of the genome that codes for proteins.) The exomes from 60,706 individuals from a variety of ethnic groups have been collected and analyzed. If we multiply 60,000 people by the 20,000 genes in the human genome (the lowest estimate), we get a minimum of 1.2 billion genes that have been examined by ExAC for variants.,,,
    ,,, we search(ed) the paper in vain for any mention of beneficial mutations. There’s plenty of talk about disease. The authors only mention “neutral” variants twice. But there are no mentions of beneficial mutations. You can’t find one instance of any of these words: benefit, beneficial, fitness, advantage (in terms of mutation),improvement, innovation, invention, or positive selection.
    They mention all kinds of harmful effects from most variants: missense and nonsense variants, frameshift mutations, proteins that get truncated on translation, and a multitude of insertions and deletions. Quite a few are known to cause diseases. There are probably many more mutations that never survive to birth. As for natural selection, the authors do speak of “negative selection” and “purifying selection” weeding out the harmful mutations, but nowhere do they mention anything worthwhile that positive selection appears to be preserving.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....03091.html

  18. 18
    Phinehas says:

    If Pastafarianism is “plainly bogus” as rvb8 claims–that is, if no one actually believes it is true–then in what way is it a religion again?

  19. 19
    Seversky says:

    There’s no doubt that Pastafarianism was created as a parody of established religions. I very much doubt that anyone, even in those places where it has been recognized as a religion, take it seriously. Unlike Scientology, which is equally bogus, in my view, yet apparently has a large following. This raises an interesting question, however. Suppose an alien visited Earth and knew nothing of terrestrial religions. You could explain the beliefs of the various faiths but how could you show which, if any, of them was the true faith, as they would all claim to be?

  20. 20
    bornagain77 says:

    The Twilight Zone ~ To Serve Man (1962)
    https://youtu.be/vrabZFhnBIA?t=1317

  21. 21
    rvb8 says:

    That is a good, even excellent question Seversky.

    Can anyone here prove to the visiting alien that their prophet, their holy book, their tale of creation, their “objective” morality, their God, was the one true God, or true Religion?

    How would you do it? You would speak of the life of Jesus, of His historocity. You would explain why Mohummad’s teachings were pure, and how the Koran was the last word on objective morality. You would tell the story of the Lord Buddha and his purity, or how Vishnu tamed Ganesh, and how Zoroastra proclaimed peace; this is what you would do, then you would add a healthy dose of New Agism, a smidgen of Veganism, a tad of Accupuncture, Vaccine denialism, Climate change angst, simmer and serve.

  22. 22
    Origenes says:

    Why the flying spaghetti monster reinforces one of the central contentions of the ID movement: that it is not religious teaching.
    http://www.reasonablefaith.org.....ti-monster

  23. 23
    bornagain77 says:

    Too funny, two atheistic materialists, who prefer to believe they are merely neuronal illusions rather than believe they are real persons, want to know what it would take to convince imaginary aliens which worldview is true.

    And, (if illusions could think), exactly why would imaginary aliens ever be concerned with what neuronal illusions were thinking about reality?

    Might I suggest that, first and foremost, dealing forthrightly with reality on a ‘personal’ level is a necessary perquisite for successfully dealing with reality on a worldview level?

    “What you’re doing is simply instantiating a self: the program run by your neurons which you feel is “you.””
    Jerry Coyne

    The Confidence of Jerry Coyne – Ross Douthat – January 6, 2014
    Excerpt: then halfway through this peroration, we have as an aside the confession that yes, okay, it’s quite possible given materialist premises that “our sense of self is a neuronal illusion.” At which point the entire edifice suddenly looks terribly wobbly — because who, exactly, is doing all of this forging and shaping and purpose-creating if Jerry Coyne, as I understand him (and I assume he understands himself) quite possibly does not actually exist at all? The theme of his argument is the crucial importance of human agency under eliminative materialism, but if under materialist premises the actual agent is quite possibly a fiction, then who exactly is this I who “reads” and “learns” and “teaches,” and why in the universe’s name should my illusory self believe Coyne’s bold proclamation that his illusory self’s purposes are somehow “real” and worthy of devotion and pursuit? (Let alone that they’re morally significant:,,) Read more here:
    http://douthat.blogs.nytimes.c.....oyne/?_r=0

    Darwin’s Robots: When Evolutionary Materialists Admit that Their Own Worldview Fails – Nancy Pearcey – April 23, 2015
    Excerpt: This is an amazing case of Orwellian doublethink. Minsky says people are “forced to maintain” the conviction of free will, even when their own worldview tells them that “it’s false.”
    When I teach these concepts in the classroom, an example my students find especially poignant is Flesh and Machines by Rodney Brooks, professor emeritus at MIT. Brooks writes that a human being is nothing but a machine — a “big bag of skin full of biomolecules” interacting by the laws of physics and chemistry. In ordinary life, of course, it is difficult to actually see people that way. But, he says, “When I look at my children, I can, when I force myself, … see that they are machines.”
    Is that how he treats them, though? Of course not: “That is not how I treat them…. I interact with them on an entirely different level. They have my unconditional love, the furthest one might be able to get from rational analysis.” Certainly if what counts as “rational” is a materialist worldview in which humans are machines, then loving your children is irrational. It has no basis
    within Brooks’s worldview. It sticks out of his box.
    How does he reconcile such a heart-wrenching cognitive dissonance? He doesn’t. Brooks ends by saying, “I maintain two sets of inconsistent beliefs.” He has given up on any attempt to reconcile his theory with his experience. He has abandoned all hope for a unified, logically consistent worldview.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....95451.html

    Verse

    Exodus 3:13
    And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? What shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I am that I am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I am hath sent me unto you.

  24. 24
    harry says:

    seversky @19, rvb8 @21,

    Aliens with the intelligence and rationality to assemble the advanced technology that would be required to traverse the vast distances between the stars and galaxies in order to arrive here on planet Earth would, no doubt, realize that the Universe and the life within it were not the result of mindless accidents. They would have their own theories about the nature of the necessarily existing, omnipotent, super-intelligence that brought the Universe/life into being.

    After reviewing the major religions of the inhabitants of planet Earth, they would be struck by the fact that the central figure of one of these religions, unlike the central figures of the others, claimed to be the human personification of that necessarily existing super-intelligence. They would want to know how those who believe that Christ was indeed Who He claimed to be, became convinced of that after the witnesses of His miracles and of His death and resurrection had long since perished.

    One of the methods used by Christian apologists of the Early Church to convince thoughtful, rational people who took pride in their intelligence and rationality, was this: To first remind them of the difficulty of knowing what events the distant future had in store for us, or even the near future for that matter; to know the events of the distant future with certainty requires a divine knowledge. And then show them how perfectly that which was foretold centuries before in a book written over millennia was fulfilled in the person of Christ.

    The Hebrew Scriptures were already considered very ancient, if not the most ancient literature known to man ca. 250 BC when Ptolemy Philadelphus had them translated into Greek. Christian apologists would show others where in the Hebrew Scriptures the life and person of Christ were foretold. There is no natural explanation for the composition of literature written over millennia having its prophetic statements fulfilled so perfectly centuries later.

  25. 25
    hnorman5 says:

    It would seem at first sight that Pastafarians belong under the ID tent but they don’t really. They have more in common with TE’s. They believe the Flying Spaghetti Monster carefully hid his hand in the act of creation. Theirs is a faith-based ID rather than a science-based ID.

  26. 26
    asauber says:

    Sev says,

    This raises an interesting question, however.

    It does. Why do we have to put up with your stupid Pasta-Brained friends?

    Andrew

  27. 27
    Seversky says:

    harry @ 24

    seversky @19, rvb8 @21,

    Aliens with the intelligence and rationality to assemble the advanced technology that would be required to traverse the vast distances between the stars and galaxies in order to arrive here on planet Earth would, no doubt, realize that the Universe and the life within it were not the result of mindless accidents. They would have their own theories about the nature of the necessarily existing, omnipotent, super-intelligence that brought the Universe/life into being.

    After reviewing the major religions of the inhabitants of planet Earth, they would be struck by the fact that the central figure of one of these religions, unlike the central figures of the others, claimed to be the human personification of that necessarily existing super-intelligence. They would want to know how those who believe that Christ was indeed Who He claimed to be, became convinced of that after the witnesses of His miracles and of His death and resurrection had long since perished.

    I’m sure the aliens would be fascinated by the many claims made by the various faiths but they would also want to hear explanations for the many discrepancies and inconsistencies in religious texts. They would want to know, for example, why so much reliance is placed on accounts of Christ’s life which do not agree with each other in all respects, where the authors do not actually claim to have been eyewitnesses to the events they describe and where it is not even known if the ascribed authors are the actual authors of those accounts.

    They might be curious about the ways in which the concept of the Christian God that can be derived from accounts of His behavior in the Old Testament is so much at odds with how He is currently understood. They might observe that apologetics is such a thriving branch of Christian scholarship because Christians themselves recognize these inconsistencies and have plainly gone to great lengths to address them. Whether the aliens would find those efforts to be successful, only they could say.

  28. 28
    harry says:

    seversky @27,

    they would … want to hear explanations for the many discrepancies and inconsistencies in religious texts

    Most of which in Christian texts were noticed and explained centuries before modern, incompetent Scripture “scholars” and other faithless critics of Christianity “discovered” them and then made mountains out of these molehills that had long before been dealt with. See, for example, St. Augustine’s The Harmony of the Gospels.

    They would want to know, for example, why so much reliance is placed on accounts of Christ’s life which do not agree with each other in all respects

    Of course they don’t agree with each other in all respects. If they did there wouldn’t have been any need for multiple accounts. Each account is from a different perspective, just like multiple witnesses to the same event each give an account of how it looked from their own unique perspective. If a historian found that all the accounts of a given event were exactly the same in every detail, he would rightly be suspicious that such agreement was artificial, planned and rehearsed with the intent to deceive, as would a detective if all of the witnesses to an event saw its details in exactly the same way. That just isn’t the way honest testimony really works; an honest group of witnesses to any complex event will together provide unanimity in major aspects of it and variance in the details. This is exactly what we find in the four Gospels.

    the authors do not actually claim to have been eyewitnesses to the events they describe

    Matthew was an eyewitness. Mark was the scribe of Peter, an eyewitness. Luke was a contemporary of eyewitnesses who appears to have interviewed many of them, including Mary the mother of Jesus. John was an eyewitness.

    it is not even known if the ascribed authors are the actual authors of those accounts.

    All of the extant texts of the Gospels, many of which are quite ancient, ascribe them to the authors to which each Gospel is named for. Any question of the authorship of the Gospels is an invention of the incompetent “scholars” mentioned previously. The writings of the Early Church Fathers unanimously testify to the fact that from the earliest times they were attributed to those for which they are named. There is simply no evidence that indicates otherwise.

    They might be curious about the ways in which the concept of the Christian God that can be derived from accounts of His behavior in the Old Testament is so much at odds with how He is currently understood.

    God’s revelation of Himself took place over millennia and was completed in the person of Christ. It should not surprise us that the revelation of the Old Testament is not the same as that of the New, except in a hidden way that can only be understood in the light of the New Testament. Augustine put it this way: The New Testament lies hidden in the Old and the Old Testament is unveiled in the New

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