Atheism Stands Alone? Don’t Fool Yourself

One of the most basic tenets in all of atheism is that atheism is not a belief, it is only a lack of a belief.  If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard it  . . . I’d have at least ten dollars.  The statement that either precedes or follows this is more than likely, “Atheism doesn’t take any faith”.  I’ll be honest, it took me a few months of hearing this statement to form a coherent response to it.  Only recently have I been able to do more than shout, “No, it takes TONS of faith!  You don’t know that God DOESN’T exist!”  As you can probably see, while true, that argument didn’t get me anywhere. 

A quick thesis:  The atheist is deluding themselves into thinking that atheism, or any belief can stand independent of a system of beliefs.

I am in three current conversations at different stages of development, so some of this might be repetative to those of you who am in the middle of this with, but the redundancy is necessary for me to clearly articulate my argument. 

To make sure we’re all on the same page, the most basic question becomes . . .

How Do We Know Things?

The study of that question is called Epistemology.  Atheists and Christians have completely different methods of epistemology.  However, we can all agree that there are three basic ways to know something (I’m stealing this from Eugenie Scott because I like it so much): 

  1. Personal state or insight — a.k.a. intuition or internal knowledge;
  2. Authority or revelation — including religious/spiritual revelation 
  3. Scientific inquiry — Which can only be related to the natural world around us

What this means to us:  Every piece or statement of knowledge such as “atheism is not a belief, and therefore takes no faith” must be scrutinized under, “how do we know this?”. 

This will become important later on. 

Firstly, NO Belief Stands Alone

That is, everyone has a system of beliefs, also known as a worldview.  Truly, an individual could not survive without an entire system.  When I get up in the morning to go to work, I must first believe that I’m truly awake, that I’m not mistaken about which car is mine, and that the interactions I have at work are with real people. 

Can you see what I did there?  I asked myself the all important “how do I know _____?”  in regards to my waking state, the accuracy of my memory, and the existence of reality.  When I ask this question, I must be honest and realize that scientific inquiry can answer none of those questions for me.  The knowledge must have come from one of the other sources of knowledge, either personal insight or authority/revelation.

Can the belief that my car exists be taken separately from my belief that reality exists?  Of course not.

As you can see, in order to function in the real world, I must have a very basic set of beliefs.  However, we must have these beliefs in order to function, so we merely acknowledge them and move on. 

In The Same Way

In order to be a Christian, you must have some very basic beliefs that science can’t inform you about.  That there is existence of things outside of matter (spiritual things), that God is able to speak with humanity, and that the Bible is that communication.  Those pieces of knowledge must come from either personal insight or authoritative revelation.  Of course, Christians believe that our knowledge of God’s existence and His Word comes from the ultimate authority!

Atheism is no different.

In order to believe that God doesn’t exist, you must first or concurrently believe that the natural world is the cause of all things and that only the material exists.  These beliefs are called naturalism and materialism.  Once you believe those two, then you’re free to believe that no god exists.  The modern atheist adds the beliefs of uniformitarianism and empiricism as well. 

Note: It was pointed out to me that perhaps Buddhists would call themselves atheists but still believe in a spiritual realm.  Even if this is true, the Buddhist would then have other beliefs that are inseparable from their atheism, the Buddhist is not an exception.

The Atheistic Delusion

One of my conversations is with morsecOde.  In his most recent comment he made a very interesting and telling statement.  This statement is the crux of the issue, and is one of the main reasons I was moved to write this article.  He said:

 Evidence backs up naturalism and materialism.

When morseOde talks of “evidence” he means evidence as a result of scientific inquiry.  This is the most basic of atheistic assumptions, that all the scientific evidence we have backs up their position and that God is an added, unnecessary and illogical conclusion.  You’ll hear it all the time, “If I saw evidence to believe in a god, I would”.  If it can be shown that scientific inquiry can not back up the big four atheistic beliefs, then their atheism becomes nothing more than personal preference.  So here it goes.

Note:  If, as an atheist, you want to object to my assertion that you must believe in these things.  Then please do so by more than just claiming that you don’t have to.  Please show me.

1. Naturalism

Let’s ask the all important question, “How do we know that nature is responsible for all phenomena?”.  Can scientific inquiry answer any question in the form of an absolute positive?  Of course it can’t.  Any attempt to use science, which only deals with the natural, to prove that the natural is responsible for everything only begs the question.  Does scientific inquiry test the natural world?  Of course, but it can’t test naturalism.  That’s the difference.

The atheist will attempt to get out of this trouble by saying, “The only thing we have is natural evidence so why add the assumption of a god?”  This is a cop out and part of the delusion.  If God doesn’t exist then nature MUST account for all phenomena.  There is no middle ground. 

2.  Materialism

How do we know that only the material exists?  In the same way, using the material process of scientific inquiry to test if only the material exists is circular reasoning.  Also, just like naturalism, there is no middle ground cop out.  Either a god exists or only the material does.

3.  Empiricism

How do we know that scientific inquiry (sense experience) is the only way to true knowledge?  Using scientific inquiry to show evidence that only scientific inquiry is true knowledge is circular. 

4.  Uniformitarianism

How can we know that the present rates of growth and decay stayed exactly the same in the past?  Using present growth and decay rates, can scientific inquiry tell us of past growth and decay rates?  Of course not. 

So Then What Do We Say?

Since scientific inquiry cannot give us evidence about the atheistic beliefs of naturalism, materialism, empiricism, and uniformitarianism, those pieces of knowledge must be decided by one of the other ways of knowing, either personal insight or authority.  The question then becomes, since science didn’t tell you about it, how do you know it’s right?  How does the atheist know his big four personal beliefs are more accurate than the Christian belief of a benevolent God? 

They don’t.

They ignore the inability of science to give evidence for their big four, or ignore the big four altogether, and delude themselves into thinking their atheism can be absent of any type of “belief” or “faith”.  When put under the microscope of epistemology, the big four degrade into nothing but pure personal preference.

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32 Comments on “Atheism Stands Alone? Don’t Fool Yourself”

  1. joeynelson Says:

    Great post. Atheism IS a worldview; and it is a denial of how we come to know things. You have articulated this well. Also, many don’t want God to exist; I will proclaim his non-existence in order to get back at Him. God is God, but I don’t want him to be. This causes us to be epistemologically dishonest.

  2. Eric Kemp Says:

    Joey

    Thanks so much for the encouragment, it makes all the difference. You are exactly right, the atheist must be epistemologically inconsistent in order to deny God.

  3. aforcier Says:

    Reality dictates that there is no “God”.

    To bring “God” into reality you must rely on repeated ancestral stories. And then you must convince yourself that these stories are true. (How much harm has been brought against humanity to make the story real.)

    Sadly, like all religious promoters, you are attempting to deny your senses, and your natural existence. It will not work.

    http://www.ANaturalPhilosophy.com

  4. Eric Kemp Says:

    Aforcier

    You ignored every argument I made in the post. Let me ask you a question that I know you won’t answer (because you won’t have one); How do you know that reality dictates that there is no God? What source of knowledge told you this?

    If you can’t answer this, then you should reconsider making the statement.

  5. Daniel Says:

    He knows that reality dictates there is no god because no god appears to be present. Dictate may be too strong a word, but reality certainly hints that there is no god.

    In response to the materialism portion of this, if there is something besides material, why couldn’t god in his infinite wisdom communicate through something besides material? Once again, a small hint that no god is manipulating the strings.

    To the empiracism: We don’t know that scientific inquiry is the only way to true knowledge. What we do know is that reading a book over 2 millenia old is not a reliable way to acquire knowledge, especially when it speaks of the supernatural as non-fiction.

    Uniformitarianism: What evidence do you have to suggest that past decay rates are different than today’s, besides your precious bible? I’m asking for something RELIABLE.

    Atheism is the choice to choose what reliable knowledge we have, based on empiracal evidence, instead of what an age old book would lead us to believe. Yes, it is a matter of preference. Preference of either blind faith or scientific discovery.

  6. The Cynic Says:

    I realize that there hasn’t been ample time for aforcier to respond to that question, but allow me to give one.

    Personal state or insight- my past experiences as a Christian has gradually given way to my current experiences as an Atheist. Meaning that as I became more involved in Christianity, the more I saw and felt that God just isn’t there. There are experiences that can be considered spiritual, like the feelings of goodwill and happiness you can feel when you are amongst a group of friendly people (when you attend church).

    Authority or revelation- Why would you chose to have a system of beliefs that science cannot tell you about? If something is unexplainable, why would you want to follow it? I can understand the belief of existence outside of matter, for there truly are some things we cannot explain. But to believe that there is a God that is only able to speak to us through a book that is over two thousand years old, to base your life upon it? You say Atheism is delusion; I say religion based upon the Bible a delusion.

    Scientific Inquiry- This is the easiest to debate in favor of Atheism. If you look at reality around us, you will see wondrous things. You will see technology and science becoming more and more sophisticated, the world growing and becoming more intelligent. But you cannot scientifically prove that there is a God or Gods behind the changes. There is the theory of evolution, which has so far been a fairly good stab at explaining humans, but none else that can come close to truth.

    Also, maybe the reason aforcier ignored your arguments is because his counter-arguments are in the link? (Not to put words in his mouth)

  7. Daniel Says:

    I’m always in the mood for a good debate, so I think you might enjoy responding to my blog.

    http://www.faithistheenemy.blogspot.com

    Specifically, my posts are the ones by Daniel. The other 2 are from one of the two co-authors on the blog.

  8. Eric Kemp Says:

    Daniel

    I’ll respond to both your comments here.

    “He knows that reality dictates there is no god because no god appears to be present. Dictate may be too strong a word, but reality certainly hints that there is no god.”

    Reality is just as much evidence for God (can reality create itself) as for none God. It’s all about your beginning presuppositions and that’s my point.

    “In response to the materialism portion of this, if there is something besides material, why couldn’t god in his infinite wisdom communicate through something besides material? Once again, a small hint that no god is manipulating the strings.”

    How do you know He’s not? That’s my point. Science can’t tell you that He’s not communicating through non-material means, so what source of knowledge told you that He isn’t?

    “We don’t know that scientific inquiry is the only way to true knowledge. What we do know is that reading a book over 2 millenia old is not a reliable way to acquire knowledge, especially when it speaks of the supernatural as non-fiction.”

    Again, you’ve missed the point. Did science tell you that the Bible isn’t a good source of knowledge? If so, how? If not, then how do you know it’s not?

    “Uniformitarianism: What evidence do you have to suggest that past decay rates are different than today’s, besides your precious bible? I’m asking for something RELIABLE.”

    Nope, I won’t let you do this Daniel. You are merely asking a question to deflect that there can be no scientific evidence for uniformitarianism. Again, I’ll ask, since science can’t tell you about it, how do you know uniformitarianism is MORE accurate than any other assumption? Remember, your worldview is the one making the claim.

    “Atheism is the choice to choose what reliable knowledge we have, based on empiracal evidence, instead of what an age old book would lead us to believe. Yes, it is a matter of preference. Preference of either blind faith or scientific discovery.”

    You have again purposefully missed the point. Scientific discovery CANNOT give you knowledge about the big four assumptions that you, as an atheist, are making. How do you know they’re “reliable” if they are outside the bounds of science? Empiricism, itself, can’t be proven by science, so how do you know it’s the only “reliable” way to evidence? More directly, if science can’t tell you about empiricism, naturalism, materialism and uniformitarianism (points I made clearly in my article and points you have not formed an argument against) aren’t you subscribing to them by blind faith? If not, please be specific on how you “know” they’re right? Please, this time, consider the point being made.

    I’m also always in the mood for a good debate, I’ll definetly check your site out.

  9. Eric Kemp Says:

    Cynic

    Like Daniel, you have completely missed the point. Perhaps it is a fault of mine, but I thought I was pretty clear. Let me explain.

    “Why would you chose to have a system of beliefs that science cannot tell you about?”

    The point is that this is exactly what you’re doing too. You merely delude yourself into thinking you’re not. Science cannot provide evidence for uniformitarianism, materialism, naturalism, and empiricism. I made this case in my article. The question I am asking is, “Since science can’t inform you of your big four assumptions, why do you consider them correct?”

    “But to believe that there is a God that is only able to speak to us through a book that is over two thousand years old, to base your life upon it?”

    Who ever said that God can’t speak to us on a personal level today? Indeed, this is a basic tenet of the Christian faith. You know, Holy Spirit and all.

    “If you look at reality around us, you will see wondrous things. You will see technology and science becoming more and more sophisticated, the world growing and becoming more intelligent.”

    And the Creation model rejects these things?

    “But you cannot scientifically prove that there is a God or Gods behind the changes. There is the theory of evolution, which has so far been a fairly good stab at explaining humans, but none else that can come close to truth.”

    Again, that’s the point. You can’t scientifically prove that naturalism or materialism is behind these changes either. Surely, we observe natural and material phenomena. However do those observations prove that spiritual/non-material forces CAN’T BE at work? Of course not, science could never do such a thing. And yet, that is what naturalism and materialism claim.

    Evolutionary theory is only the answer to all things if the big four are assumed a priori. That’s the point.

    “Also, maybe the reason aforcier ignored your arguments is because his counter-arguments are in the link? (Not to put words in his mouth)”

    The link is only to a description of his book. And the only reason aforcier commented on my blog in the first place was to put his link somewhere else on the blogosphere. He had no intention of responded to anything I said.

  10. Daniel Says:

    Reality is just as much evidence for God‭ (‬can reality create itself‭?) ‬as for no God.‭ ‬It’s all about your beginning presuppositions and that’s my point.

    No.‭ ‬You are applying double standards.‭ ‬The way‭ (‬most‭) ‬Atheists see it,‭ ‬matter just always was,‭ ‬the same way you see god‭ (‬god just always was.‭ ‬Never needed creation,‭ ‬has always existed‭)‬.‭ ‬If you are so sure that god has always existed,‭ ‬then why can’t matter do the same‭? On a side note,p‬erhaps not all matter is “material.”‭ ‬A‭ “‬god‭” ‬is not the‭ ‬only‭ ‬ explanation to the unexplainable in known material terms.

    How do you know He’s not‭? ‬That’s my point.‭ ‬Science can’t tell you that He’s not communicating through non-material means,‭ ‬so what source of knowledge told you that He isn’t‭?

    God is clearly not communicating through material means,‭ ‬because no credible source has heard him,‭ ‬and obviously not through‭ ‬non-material means because his point has‭ ‬still‭ ‬not been transmitted.‭ ‬If he was,‭ ‬this debate would not be taking place,‭ ‬as any message your god sends would be quickly understood. After all, a god of such wisdom could make a message everyone could understand and no one could refute.‭ ‬If god can tell me himself,‭ ‬be it through material means or non,‭ ‬I will gladly concede this debate.

    Again,‭ ‬you’ve missed the point.‭ ‬Did science tell you that the Bible isn’t a good source of knowledge‭? ‬If so,‭ ‬how‭? ‬If not,‭ ‬then how do you know it’s not‭?

    Logic told me the bible is not a good source of knowledge.‭ ‬Why‭? ‬It was written several thousand years ago when man was still vying for a seat at the table of existence.‭ ‬People‭ ‬needed something to believe,‭ ‬a symbol of unification,‭ ‬and someone,‭ ‬a‭ ‬human gave it to them.‭ ‬A human wrote the bible as a motivation and structure by which others could live.‭

    ‬Another point:‭ ‬You consider most pagan religions to be absolutely false,‭ ‬yes‭? ‬Assuming your answer to that is a yes,‭ ‬then maybe you should do some research.‭ ‬Your entire religion is based on older Pagan religions.‭ ‬When‭ ‬you discredit your own religion’s very‭ ‬base,‭ ‬that doesn’t speak wonders about its reliability.

    Nope,‮ ‬I‮ ‬won‮’‬t‮ ‬let‮ ‬you‮ ‬do‮ ‬this‮ ‬Daniel.‮ ‬You‮ ‬are‮ ‬merely‮ ‬asking‮ ‬a‮ ‬question‮ ‬to‮ ‬deflect‮ ‬that‮ ‬there‮ ‬can‮ ‬be‮ ‬no‮ ‬scientific‮ ‬evidence‮ ‬for‮ ‬uniformitarianism.‮ ‬Again,‮ ‬I‮’‬ll‮ ‬ask,‮ ‬since‮ ‬science‮ ‬can‮’‬t‮ ‬tell‮ ‬you‮ ‬about‮ ‬it,‮ ‬how‮ ‬do‮ ‬you‮ ‬know‮ ‬uniformitarianism‮ ‬is‮ ‬MORE‮ ‬accurate‮ ‬than‮ ‬any‮ ‬other‮ ‬assumption‮? ‬Remember,‮ ‬your‮ ‬worldview‮ ‬is‮ ‬the‮ ‬one‮ ‬making‮ ‬the‮ ‬claim.

    I won’t let‭ ‬you use that argument while denying me usage of it.‭ ‬If there is no evidence‭ (‬material or non‭) ‬going either way,‭ ‬the point is null.‭

    You have again purposefully missed the point.‭ ‬Scientific discovery CANNOT give you knowledge about the big four assumptions that you,‭ ‬as an atheist,‭ ‬are making.‭ ‬How do you know they’re‭ “‬reliable‭” ‬if they are outside the bounds of science‭? ‬Empiricism,‭ ‬itself,‭ ‬can’t be proven by science,‭ ‬so how do you know it’s the only‭ “‬reliable‭” ‬way to evidence‭? ‬More directly,‭ ‬if science can’t tell you about empiricism,‭ ‬naturalism,‭ ‬materialism and uniformitarianism‭ (‬points I made clearly in my article and points you have not formed an argument against‭) ‬aren’t you subscribing to them by blind faith‭? ‬If not,‭ ‬please be specific on how you‭ “‬know‭” ‬they’re right‭? ‬Please,‭ ‬this time,‭ ‬consider the point being made.

    Science does not prove empiricism.‭ ‬It works the other way around.‭ ‬Science is fueled by empirical evidence.‭ ‬I never said that empirical means are the only means to acquire evidence,‭ ‬simply the only method I’ve witnessed to work‭ ‬with my own eyes..‭ ‬I’m not subscribing to blind faith.‭ ‬I’m subscribing to my five senses.‭

    Naturalism:‭ ‬Nature‭ ‬does account for all phenomena.

    Materialism:‭ ‬You find a new method of acquiring knowledge,‭ then ‬prove it’s reliable,‭ ‬and reveal it to the world.‭ ‬Then your argument might hold some validity.

    Uniformitarianism:‭ ‬Your point is completely null,‭ ‬because no evidence supports it either way.

    The difference between people like you and people like me: I’m willing to concede my claims when something significant and reliable refutes them. You are not willing to, under any circumstances, abandon your position no matter what evidence points the other way simply because you believe god is on your side.

  11. Daniel Says:

    One thing about science, it doesn’t test the unfalsifiable. You cannot test to see if “spirits (such as god) exist” because there is no way to prove that false. You can, however, test to see if they don’t exist, because as soon as a spirit presents itself, the hypothesis is proven false.

    Your empiracism, naturalism, and the other 2 (not coming to me atm…) are all 4 unfalsifiable. You prove their inverses false, and we’ll hold your argument to be a lot more truthful.

  12. aforcier Says:

    in your response to Daniel, you ask: “can reality create itself?”

    the answer is simple: yes. (reality creates and destroys itself in the very present instant.)

    You bring up “naturalisim” and then denigrate the concept of “sciense”. The word science originates in the word sense. The way of nature is the way of the senses. and none of nature’s senses “hints’ at a god. as a matter of fact, nature does not require a god to create it. nature creates itself.

    the reason i commented on your blog Eric: the nature known to “atheists” is worth a look… even from very religious people.

    http://www.ANatruralPhilsophy.com

  13. Price Says:

    I wrote an article on this: http://bittersweetdistractions.wordpress.com/2008/12/12/atheism-and-faith/

    I argue from epistemological standpoint that atheism does not require faith; that faith is, in fact, the opposite of atheism.

    Check it out and comment! Sorry, Eric, I’m just trying to general some traffic because it gets boring over there without any challenges or discussion!

  14. Price Says:

    “You have again purposefully missed the point. Scientific discovery CANNOT give you knowledge about the big four assumptions that you, as an atheist, are making”

    Eric, assumptions and faith are not as related as you seem to suggest. There are necessary and universal assumptions (that must be made in order to obtain an epistemological foundation). Faith, however, is beyond assumption. It is a belief (an inference from valid premises) that is maintained despite epistemological contradictions.

    I’m with on the point that science (most notably, positive realism) is not the only source of knowledge; furthermore, it may not actually be telling us anything ‘real’ about the world. Nevertheless, modern science is the most efficient medium for phenomenal inquiry currently available insofar that empiricism is a valid epistemological theory and its truth claims are supported by its predictive power (and therefore explanatory power).

  15. Eric Kemp Says:

    aforcier

    The reason you commented on my blog was to sell books. Link your book again and it becomes spam.

    Along the same lines as my previous question, I ask: Does scientific inquiry tell you that “nature creates itself”? If so, could you tell me how? If not, then how do you know this?

    And you ignored my question, so I will ignore your dodge.

  16. Eric Kemp Says:

    Daniel

    “The way‭ (‬most‭) ‬Atheists see it,‭ ‬matter just always was,‭ ‬the same way you see god‭ (‬god just always was.‭ ‬Never needed creation,‭ ‬has always existed‭)‬.‭ ‬If you are so sure that god has always existed,‭ ‬then why can’t matter do the same‭?”

    Here’s the problem with that. The point isn’t that you can’t believe that matter has always existed, the problem is that there is no scientific evidence that can back up that belief. Since scientific inquiry can’t tell you that matter has always existed, how do you know this is true?

    “God is clearly not communicating through material means,‭ ‬because no credible source has heard him,‭ ‬and obviously not through‭ ‬non-material means because his point has‭ ‬still‭ ‬not been transmitted.”

    Nope, you’re dodging. “No credible source” has ever seen life create itself, ever seen the universe begin itself, never seen that God DOESN’T exist, yet you believe those things. You apply your criteria of a credible source to God but not to your own beliefs.

    “After all, a god of such wisdom could make a message everyone could understand and no one could refute.‭ ‬If god can tell me himself,‭ ‬be it through material means or non,‭ ‬I will gladly concede this debate.”

    So you would rather that God make everyone believe in Him by force? Oh, and I’ll make the exact same statement so you can see how ridiculous it is. If you can show me, right now, an amphibian evolve into a reptile, I’ll concede this debate.

    “Logic told me the bible is not a good source of knowledge.‭”

    Exactly, the only way you know the Bible is a good source of knowledge is your own personal preference decided through your big four presuppositions.

    “Why‭? ‬It was written several thousand years ago when man was still vying for a seat at the table of existence.‭ ‬People‭ ‬needed something to believe,‭ ‬a symbol of unification,‭ ‬and someone,‭ ‬a‭ ‬human gave it to them.‭ ‬A human wrote the bible as a motivation and structure by which others could live.‭”

    See? You immediately apply your evolutionary beliefs to the Bible. The Bible isn’t a good source of knowledge, not because of anything in itself, but only because evolution is true. You’re deciding factor is your big four assumptions, the assumptions science can’t tell you about, and that’s exactly my point.

    “I won’t let‭ ‬you use that argument while denying me usage of it.‭ ‬If there is no evidence‭ (‬material or non‭) ‬going either way,‭ ‬the point is null.‭”

    That’s exactly the point. You just admitted there is no empirical evidence for uniformitarianism. How do you know it’s true then? Are you really willing to base your denial of God on something there can be no scientific evidence for?

    “Science does not prove empiricism.‭ ‬It works the other way around.‭”

    That’s circular reasoning. It doesn’t work. You just basically said, “A process that only uses sense experience proves that only sense experience works”. How do you find this rational? You are attempting to say that science can prove the absolute negative of “there is no other way to knowledge except sense experience”. How can you say that this is possible for science to do?

    “Naturalism:‭ ‬Nature‭ ‬does account for all phenomena.”

    Again, you are attempting to say that science proves an absolute negative. This is a complete statement of faith that you have NO evidence to back up. In fact, I am honestly incredulous that you find this statement viable.

    “Materialism:‭ ‬You find a new method of acquiring knowledge,‭ then ‬prove it’s reliable,‭ ‬and reveal it to the world.‭ ‬Then your argument might hold some validity.”

    This shows that you actually have no idea what to say to me so you’re just shouting “prove it!”. I’ll ask again: Can science tell us that ONLY the material exists or not? If not, how do you then know that this is true?

    “I’m willing to concede my claims when something significant and reliable refutes them. You are not willing to, under any circumstances, abandon your position no matter what evidence points the other way simply because you believe god is on your side.”

    That’s funny coming from the guy that has just claimed, twice, that science can prove absolute negatives in order to keep believing that he has no faith in naturalism, materialism, empiricism and uniformitarianism. Being open to being wrong does not make your absolute negatives arguments valid nor does claiming I’m not make any difference to what we’re discussing.

  17. aforcier Says:

    Eric,

    i will accept your request not to add my link to your page.

    Threats are always powerful tools in the arsenals of religions. Accept what we say as your truth or else… follow the wars, the inquisitions, the conquistadores, the ostrisizations… etc…. and you will find why your mind is still stuck in the heavens.

    it would do you good to take a walk on this earth. on this planet. on this soil. you may even hug a tree.

  18. Eric Kemp Says:

    Oh aforcier

    And atheists say that Christian fundies won’t engage in debate.

  19. Mike Says:

    Eric,

    aforcier wrote:
    “i will accept your request not to add my link to your page.

    Threats are always powerful tools in the arsenals of religions. Accept what we say as your truth or else… follow the wars, the inquisitions, the conquistadores, the ostrisizations… etc…. and you will find why your mind is still stuck in the heavens.

    it would do you good to take a walk on this earth. on this planet. on this soil. you may even hug a tree.”

    I’m so sick of this crap about the horrors of religion – yes horrible things have been done in the name of religion, but they PALE in comparision to the horrors perpetrated by Atheistic regimes under Stalin, Pol Pot and Hitler. And don’t even try to claim that Hitler was a Christian because he was not, he had an atheistic world view.

    And maybe aforcier you might take your own suggestion and hug a tree and think about whether the tree came from the seed or if the seed came from the tree?

  20. Daniel Says:

    Here’s the problem with that. The point isn’t that you can’t believe that matter has always existed, the problem is that there is no scientific evidence that can back up that belief. Since scientific inquiry can’t tell you that matter has always existed, how do you know this is true?

    Once again, don’t test the unfalsifiable. There may not be scientific evidence for it, but there damn well is empirical evidence. Have you ever seen matter materialize or dematerialize before your eyes? I haven’t. Until I do, I will continue to hold that belief.

    Nope, you’re dodging. “No credible source” has ever seen life create itself, ever seen the universe begin itself, never seen that God DOESN’T exist, yet you believe those things. You apply your criteria of a credible source to God but not to your own beliefs.

    I see life created without god’s help at every hospital I visit. Not life recreating itself, but life creating new life. What I haven’t seen is a brand new species manifest itself on earth simply because a god willed it.

    So you would rather that God make everyone believe in Him by force? Oh, and I’ll make the exact same statement so you can see how ridiculous it is. If you can show me, right now, an amphibian evolve into a reptile, I’ll concede this debate.

    Putting proof on the table is not in any way forcing anyone to believe anything. You should also know better than the evolve quip. I doubt you’re dumb enough to forget that evolution takes thousands to millions of years. Sometimes longer.

    Exactly, the only way you know the Bible is a good source of knowledge is your own personal preference decided through your big four presuppositions.

    Based on my preferences, I choose justified sciences that refute the 6,000 year old theory. Science does not, however, (contrary to popular belief) refute OEC (Old Earth Creationism), nor does science refute creationism. Evolution and creationism are not mutually exclusive, just as the big bang and the 6 day theory are not mutually exclusive.

    While not refuted, OEC and Creationism having nothing to back them.
    See? You immediately apply your evolutionary beliefs to the Bible. The Bible isn’t a good source of knowledge, not because of anything in itself, but only because evolution is true. You’re deciding factor is your big four assumptions, the assumptions science can’t tell you about, and that’s exactly my point.

    No. I’m simply stating that the bible was a book of necessity to keep humanity from destroying itself. Times weren’t exactly easy-leaving back then, and without sufficient motivation…

    The bible provided some of that motivation, as well as a tool for the leaders (religion is a very useful tool)

    That’s exactly the point. You just admitted there is no empirical evidence for uniformitarianism. How do you know it’s true then? Are you really willing to base your denial of God on something there can be no scientific evidence for?

    Don’t put stock in the unfalsifiable. Test for the truth-value of its inverse.

    That’s circular reasoning. It doesn’t work. You just basically said, “A process that only uses sense experience proves that only sense experience works”. How do you find this rational? You are attempting to say that science can prove the absolute negative of “there is no other way to knowledge except sense experience”. How can you say that this is possible for science to do?

    No, that is not circular reasoning. Empirical evidence proves science, not the other way around.Also, you are putting words into my mouth. I never said science is the only way to find knowledge, just that it is the only way we know to be reliable. If you don’t believe science is reliable, you were born in the wrong time.

    Again, you are attempting to say that science proves an absolute negative. This is a complete statement of faith that you have NO evidence to back up. In fact, I am honestly incredulous that you find this statement viable.

    Unfalsifiable. Test its inverse.

    This shows that you actually have no idea what to say to me so you’re just shouting “prove it!”. I’ll ask again: Can science tell us that ONLY the material exists or not? If not, how do you then know that this is true?

    Prove it. That is exactly what I’m saying. Your entire argument is a WHAT IF. That holds no value to anyone but yourself and those malleable enough to “take it on faith.”

    That’s funny coming from the guy that has just claimed, twice, that science can prove absolute negatives in order to keep believing that he has no faith in naturalism, materialism, empiricism and uniformitarianism. Being open to being wrong does not make your absolute negatives arguments valid nor does claiming I’m not make any difference to what we’re discussing.

    God Exists. That is what you. That is unfalsifiable, so we (I) assume the inverse, god doesn’t exist. Do know that my beliefs are not set in stone as yours are, they change based on reason and science. Science IS. Science is NOT one of the four “what ifs” that you seem to believe “prove” your religion true.

    Yes, I meant assume, because unlike you, I don’t know my belief to be true. My mind is not yet closed, all it takes is a slight pole change to send my magnetic north elsewhere (Yes! Cheapest metaphor I’ve made up in a long time).

  21. Eric Kemp Says:

    Daniel

    “Have you ever seen matter materialize or dematerialize before your eyes? I haven’t. Until I do, I will continue to hold that belief.”

    The point is, have you ever seen matter always exist? Of course not. Science cannot test that matter has always existed. So, again, why do believe that this is true if science can’t tell you it’s true?

    “Not life recreating itself, but life creating new life. What I haven’t seen is a brand new species manifest itself on earth simply because a god willed it.”

    Daniel, honestly, I want you to be a rational thinker, so what I say is not meant to insult, but to help. That may be cliche, but it’s also the truth.

    So, the quote above is simply irrational. I said, “no credible source has ever seen life create itself” and what you said was “I’ve seen life creating new life”. Uh, yes Daniel, that’s the point. The only time you’ve ever seen life created is from other life. That’s the point. Yet you seem to think this was a counter to my argument when in fact in only made my argument.

    Also, you lack any self-reflectivenes or rationality when you ignore that you ALSO haven’t seen new kinds manifest themselves on earth evolving from other kinds. You’ve never seen the kind of evolutionary change your atheism demands. Not even close. So why do you believe it happened?

    “Putting proof on the table is not in any way forcing anyone to believe anything. You should also know better than the evolve quip. I doubt you’re dumb enough to forget that evolution takes thousands to millions of years. Sometimes longer.”

    Putting proof on the table is exactly what you did. I only did it to show you how ridiculous it is. So thank you for again proving my point. You say that I shouldn’t be dumb enough to forget that evolution takes millions of years, you’re right, I shouldn’t, and was only doing this, as I stated, to show you the ridiculousness of your own tactics. However, using your own language, you seem to be dumb enough to think that God is bound by your word in demanding that He show you Himself so that you’ll believe in Him. Please, be self-reflective about your arguments.

    “Based on my preferences, I choose justified sciences that refute the 6,000 year old theory.”

    You say this, then you say that science “doesn’t refute creationism”. I’m truly confused.

    But what you ignore is that science can’t give you evidence of the big four presuppositions, the presuppositions that make your atheism possible.

    But it’s true that you just prefer, for no other reason than you just do.

    “I’m simply stating that the bible was a book of necessity to keep humanity from destroying itself. Times weren’t exactly easy-leaving back then, and without sufficient motivation…”

    This shows you have ZERO knowledge of the Bible. And I’m even talking in a secular sense. You don’t have to believe the Bible is the Word of God to know that your above statement is pure hogwash.

    “I never said science is the only way to find knowledge, just that it is the only way we know to be reliable.”

    What is the definition of “reliable” except that we know something? You are just repeating yourself. You just basically said, “I never said science is the only way to find knowledge, just that it is the only way we know to be truly know”. It’s the same thing, you again confirmed my argument.

    “If you don’t believe science is reliable, you were born in the wrong time.”

    Oh, I believe it’s reliable. But only when it’s observed, testable phenomena. Macroevolution, atheism, naturalism, uniformitarianism, empiricism, and materialism are not observed, testable phenomena.

    “Prove it. That is exactly what I’m saying. Your entire argument is a WHAT IF. That holds no value to anyone but yourself and those malleable enough to “take it on faith.””

    I’ve never once asked, “what if”? Not once. You seem almost incapable of following an argument. My point is that you claim science is in your favor. Yet you can’t use science to give any evidence of your beliefs. I’ve said this several times, I won’t repeat myself.

    You say that God is unfalsifiable yet ignore that non-God is equally unfalsifiable. It’s getting ridiculous actually.

  22. Daniel Says:

    The point is, have you ever seen matter always exist? Of course not. Science cannot test that matter has always existed. So, again, why do believe that this is true if science can’t tell you it’s true?

    I have not seen it exist forever, but as I said, I have never seen matter materialize or dematerialize before my eyes. I have no reason to believe that either of those has ever happened.

    So, the quote above is simply irrational. I said, “no credible source has ever seen life create itself” and what you said was “I’ve seen life creating new life”. Uh, yes Daniel, that’s the point. The only time you’ve ever seen life created is from other life. That’s the point. Yet you seem to think this was a counter to my argument when in fact in only made my argument.

    A mother has a child. No god needed.

    Also, you lack any self-reflectivenes or rationality when you ignore that you ALSO haven’t seen new kinds manifest themselves on earth evolving from other kinds. You’ve never seen the kind of evolutionary change your atheism demands. Not even close. So why do you believe it happened?

    No, I haven’t seen a species evolove, but I’ve looked at numerous skeletons and skeletal structures, models, and genetic info to see that many species have a common root or roots.

    “Based on my preferences, I choose justified sciences that refute the 6,000 year old theory.”

    You say this, then you say that science “doesn’t refute creationism”. I’m truly confused.

    Science does not refute creationism. However, it does refute the 6,000 year old creationist theory. The earth/universe could have been created by god, but it was a hell of a lot longer than 6000 years ago if it turns out to be true. Make sense now?

    But what you ignore is that science can’t give you evidence of the big four presuppositions, the presuppositions that make your atheism possible.

    Science can test uniformitarianism. How long does it take a rat to decompose now (hypothetical)? Test it, record it. Wait 200 years for another scientist to dig up your work, and then test it then (hell, just wait 10 or 20 and test it again yourself!) . Does it take longer? Shorter?

    Empiricism: You still can’t seem to grasp that Empirical evidence fuels science; science does not fuel empirical evidence. Its not circle logic. Gasoline fuels your car, your car does not fuel gasoline.

    This shows you have ZERO knowledge of the Bible. And I’m even talking in a secular sense. You don’t have to believe the Bible is the Word of God to know that your above statement is pure hogwash.

    Very true.

    “I never said science is the only way to find knowledge, just that it is the only way we know to be reliable.”

    What is the definition of “reliable” except that we know something? You are just repeating yourself. You just basically said, “I never said science is the only way to find knowledge, just that it is the only way we know to be truly know”. It’s the same thing, you again confirmed my argument.

    I’m telling you to FIND a different way to acquire knowledge. Not ask if there is more, not guess there might be more. Find it. Show it to me, and I’ll give it a shot.

    “If you don’t believe science is reliable, you were born in the wrong time.”

    Oh, I believe it’s reliable. But only when it’s observed, testable phenomena. Macroevolution, atheism, naturalism, uniformitarianism, empiricism, and materialism are not observed, testable phenomena.

    I’ve never once asked, “what if”? Not once. You seem almost incapable of following an argument. My point is that you claim science is in your favor. Yet you can’t use science to give any evidence of your beliefs. I’ve said this several times, I won’t repeat myself.

    Non-material is a complete what if.

    You say that God is unfalsifiable yet ignore that non-God is equally unfalsifiable. It’s getting ridiculous actually.

    I really try to refrain from personal insults, but that is the stupidest thing you’ve said throughout this whole blog.

    There is an easy way to refute a belief in no god. Its really simple, actually. Find god.

    You have just shown that you know about as much about science as I know of the bible.

  23. Eric Kemp Says:

    Daniel

    “I have not seen it exist forever, but as I said, I have never seen matter materialize or dematerialize before my eyes. I have no reason to believe that either of those has ever happened.”

    Exactly, you prefer to believe that it’s always existed because it suits your worldview.

    “A mother has a child. No god needed.”

    You’re being willfully disingenuous because you can’t possibly be this daft. The question is, where did the first life come from? There is no evidence it came from non-life naturally, since we’ve never seen such a thing. Life comes from life, God is alive and created biological life. That’s more supported by the evidence of the Law of Biogenesis than anything else.

    “No, I haven’t seen a species evolove, but I’ve looked at numerous skeletons and skeletal structures, models, and genetic info to see that many species have a common root or roots.”

    Let me ask you a question. Looking at the fossil record, is evolution the ONLY conclusion possible? Think about that before you answer it. Also, can you give me a specific reason why you believe that similarity = evolution?

    “The earth/universe could have been created by god, but it was a hell of a lot longer than 6000 years ago if it turns out to be true. Make sense now?”

    I know the answer to this question, but I want you to answer think for yourself: By what evidence do you conclude that the Earth is older than 6000 years? Do you see any problems with concluding that this evidence leads to an old Earth?

    “Science can test uniformitarianism.”

    Your rat example isn’t uniformitarianism and you know it. Please, stop being purposefully disingenuous just to hold onto your atheism. Uniformitarianism states that the current rates of growth and decay (specifically isotope decay) has ALWAYS, SINCE THE BEGINNING OF TIME been the same. This is something science cannot test not matter what stories you make up. It’s just outside the bounds of science, it just is, sorry. So, I’ll ask again, since science can’t tell you about it, why do you believe it to be true?

    “Empiricism: You still can’t seem to grasp that Empirical evidence fuels science; science does not fuel empirical evidence. Its not circle logic. Gasoline fuels your car, your car does not fuel gasoline.”

    Again you use an example that has nothing to do with the discussion at hand. Gas in our car, you can’t be serious! You are using these examples to completely ignore the point. Empiricism states that scientific inquiry is the ONLY reliable source of knowledge. The argument is this, “Scientific inquiry CANNOT tell you that ONLY scientific inquiry is reliable”. It’s circular reasoning. Please, respond to this particular argument or just admit that you can’t know that empiricism is true and acknowledge the circular reasoning.

    Also, since you admitted that you have no knowledge of the Bible, please refrain from making statements about it.

    “I’m telling you to FIND a different way to acquire knowledge. Not ask if there is more, not guess there might be more. Find it. Show it to me, and I’ll give it a shot.”

    This is more disingenuousness. You are pretending that you are open to a new source of knowledge when you know darn well you are not. Watch, I’ll give you that source of knowledge and you’ll go right back to empiricism:

    The God of the Universe, who proved the Bible to be His Word through many fulfilled prophecies, and then proved Jesus to be His Son, to be God in flesh, through many convincing proofs and through the Resurrection of the dead has spoken to me personally and through His Word. Since He is all-powerful and all-knowing, His knowledge is the ultimate knowledge; He is the ultimate source of knowledge of any type. You may think you are learning something from a secular textbook, but truly you are using the mind God gave you, and so God is still teaching you, even if you acknowledge His existence or not. Through His Word, God has promised that “knock and the door shall be opened to you, ask and you shall recieve”. The point is that if you truly seek Him, with sincerity and openness, He will find you. It may not be today or tomorrow or in ’09. But He’ll find you.

    “There is an easy way to refute a belief in no god. Its really simple, actually. Find god.
    You have just shown that you know about as much about science as I know of the bible.”

    Ok, so through science, how do we find God? Not “evidence of God” and not a sign that says “God was here” but actually God Himself, that is your statement after all.

  24. Daniel Says:

    Exactly, you prefer to believe that it’s always existed because it suits your worldview.

    You prefer to believe that matter was created by god because a book told you. I believe what I believe based on empirical evidence. Empirical evidence is irrefutable. No one can attest against the fact that I’ve never seen matter materialize (or dematerialize), but the accuracy of your book is still up for discussion.

    You’re being willfully disingenuous because you can’t possibly be this daft. The question is, where did the first life come from? There is no evidence it came from non-life naturally, since we’ve never seen such a thing. Life comes from life, God is alive and created biological life. That’s more supported by the evidence of the Law of Biogenesis than anything else.

    You are applying double standards there. If something had to create life, something had to create god. You can’t have both ways and not be a hypocrite. On another hand, life must die. God does not die. Whether or not god is genuine life (biological life or other life) is sketchy at best. As such, that is not supported by the Law of Biogenesis.

    Let me ask you a question. Looking at the fossil record, is evolution the ONLY conclusion possible? Think about that before you answer it. Also, can you give me a specific reason why you believe that similarity = evolution?

    Of course its not the only conclusion, but it is well thought out and supported from what I’ve seen. Better supported than “it is all exactly as god created it” (I do acknowledge that you may or may not believe in theistic driven evolution, but many who claim evolution to be entirely false use the “exactly as god created” quip).

    I know the answer to this question, but I want you to answer think for yourself: By what evidence do you conclude that the Earth is older than 6000 years? Do you see any problems with concluding that this evidence leads to an old Earth?

    Geological layering, paleontologic studies. I can tell you that the dinosaurs just probably weren’t here before the earth was…

    Your rat example isn’t uniformitarianism and you know it. Please, stop being purposefully disingenuous just to hold onto your atheism. Uniformitarianism states that the current rates of growth and decay (specifically isotope decay) has ALWAYS, SINCE THE BEGINNING OF TIME been the same. This is something science cannot test not matter what stories you make up. It’s just outside the bounds of science, it just is, sorry. So, I’ll ask again, since science can’t tell you about it, why do you believe it to be true?

    Test it now. Just as objects resist change in motion, they resist change in stasis. In other words, if decomposition rates were changing back then, they would (most likely) be changing now.

    Again you use an example that has nothing to do with the discussion at hand. Gas in our car, you can’t be serious! You are using these examples to completely ignore the point. Empiricism states that scientific inquiry is the ONLY reliable source of knowledge. The argument is this, “Scientific inquiry CANNOT tell you that ONLY scientific inquiry is reliable”. It’s circular reasoning. Please, respond to this particular argument or just admit that you can’t know that empiricism is true and acknowledge the circular reasoning.

    Also, since you admitted that you have no knowledge of the Bible, please refrain from making statements about it.

    I don’t subscribe to the idea that scientific inquiry is the only way to knowledge. I’ve said that already. As it stands, science is the only way we know to work with reliability. If you believe there are more, it rests on you to discover them.

    As is, you have absolutely nothing to go on, and essentially no argument except “this Atheist is wrong.” Your “other ways to knowledge” have no factual base, no support of any kind, nothing to even hint as to what they are, how they work, or if they even exist. Once again, you are trusting in the unfalsifiable, using it as a shield for your potentially preposterous argument. Trusting in the unfalsifiable shows a closed mind, whereas at least I can be proven wrong with a simple counterexample. When that happens, my mind can swiftly change. Yours cannot.

    This is more disingenuousness. You are pretending that you are open to a new source of knowledge when you know darn well you are not. Watch, I’ll give you that source of knowledge and you’ll go right back to empiricism:

    The God of the Universe, who proved the Bible to be His Word through many fulfilled prophecies, and then proved Jesus to be His Son, to be God in flesh, through many convincing proofs and through the Resurrection of the dead has spoken to me personally and through His Word. Since He is all-powerful and all-knowing, His knowledge is the ultimate knowledge; He is the ultimate source of knowledge of any type. You may think you are learning something from a secular textbook, but truly you are using the mind God gave you, and so God is still teaching you, even if you acknowledge His existence or not. Through His Word, God has promised that “knock and the door shall be opened to you, ask and you shall recieve”. The point is that if you truly seek Him, with sincerity and openness, He will find you. It may not be today or tomorrow or in ‘09. But He’ll find you.

    Remind me again how that is a new source of knowledge? I can read just fine, and I remember what they told me in grade school… “Don’t trust everything you read.” Also, remind me how god proved the Bible to be his word and how he proved Jesus to be divine. I’m still waiting to know what makes the Bible more reliable than a book of Paleontology or ancient geology.

    Ok, so through science, how do we find God? Not “evidence of God” and not a sign that says “God was here” but actually God Himself, that is your statement after all.

    It doesn’t have to be scientific.Go ahead, find me a non-material symbol, a divine message that is so far out of the bounds of naturalism, materialism, empiricism, Pastafarianism that it couldn’t possibly be anything but your god. Oh wait.You can’t. I see devout catholics suffer bullying, verbal abuse, and from parental abuses quite often. God doesn’t seem to be helping them much; at least not any more than any other invisible friend would.

    Its time to take this to other places, because what you are currently saying carries no merit.

    You seem to ignore the possibility that a god that exists just might not be your god. In fact, your god can’t exist because your god is both omni-benevolent and all-knowing. Chain rule dictates that god knows all of our lives when he creates us, and thus it is his fault that some will be going to hell. That is not benevolent.

    No god can, while this reality exists and while hell exists, be both omni-benevolent and all-knowing.

    Care to explain why you still believe in that? A god who in all his benevolence, creates people whose lives are preordained (god already knows everything they will do), knowing it will be his fault when they go to hell.

    You mistake me for a strong Atheist, when in fact, I am a weak Atheist. I’m not sure that no god exists, nor that one does. Luckily, I don’t have to know whats right to know what is wrong. Your religion is wrong, as are the others of its kind.

  25. Eric Kemp Says:

    Daniel

    “Its time to take this to other places, because what you are currently saying carries no merit.”

    Let’s go with that. I have no time to waste debating with people who aren’t willing to be self-reflective and honest about their own beliefs. For instance, you said, “Empirical evidence is irrefutable.” Our conversation is over right there. In fact, it’s one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard, and it shows that you have actually spent zero time thinking about the philosophy, metaphysics, and scope of science. And I just don’t have the time to educate you.

  26. Daniel Says:

    Calling me dishonest about my beliefs is a bit of a stretch. I have no set beliefs, they constantly fluctuate. That is where you may see contradictions and inconsistencies; you mistake them for dishonesty. I do not know what is right, but I certainly know what isn’t.

    Nor do I have the time to open your mind to the possibilities. If its closed, its closed. I really hope you don’t brainwash anyone else with your corrupted dogma.

    Remind me again though, how exactly do you refute empirical evidence…

  27. Eric Kemp Says:

    Daniel

    Right, your statement of “Empirical evidence is irrefutable” is definetly a pliable belief of yours (sarcasm). And it IS a belief. Along those same lines you ask . . .

    “Remind me again though, how exactly do you refute empirical evidence…”

    You asked a good question so I’ll do my best to answer it. Empirical evidence doesn’t prove anything. Any scientist will tell you this. Scientific inquiry could never prove anything. It only gathers evidence, not proof. So to say that it’s irrefutable, is to pretend that empirical inquiry proves things. It doesn’t. Also, that statement of yours pretends that empirical evidence stands alone. Another way to put this, is that you believe there are brute facts. There are no such things, facts don’t stand on their own. Empirical evidence must be interpreted by human beings. You and I can look at the same piece of evidence and come to completely different conclusions regarding this evidence based on our presuppositions about the universe. Saying, “Empirical evidence is irrefutable” is tantamount to saying “My interpretation of empirical evidence is inarguable truth” because you have to pretend that you hadn’t first intepreted that evidence to come to the conclusion you came to. You interpret the evidence and then say that it stands alone as absolute fact. It’s ridiculous. But it’s not just you Daniel, the entire evolutionary community does this.

  28. Daniel Says:

    You asked a good question so I’ll do my best to answer it. Empirical evidence doesn’t prove anything. Any scientist will tell you this. Scientific inquiry could never prove anything. It only gathers evidence, not proof. So to say that it’s irrefutable, is to pretend that empirical inquiry proves things. It doesn’t. Also, that statement of yours pretends that empirical evidence stands alone. Another way to put this, is that you believe there are brute facts. There are no such things, facts don’t stand on their own. Empirical evidence must be interpreted by human beings. You and I can look at the same piece of evidence and come to completely different conclusions regarding this evidence based on our presuppositions about the universe. Saying, “Empirical evidence is irrefutable” is tantamount to saying “My interpretation of empirical evidence is inarguable truth” because you have to pretend that you hadn’t first intepreted that evidence to come to the conclusion you came to. You interpret the evidence and then say that it stands alone as absolute fact. It’s ridiculous. But it’s not just you Daniel, the entire evolutionary community does this.

    You said we can look at the same piece of evidence and come with completely different conclusions. I am referring to the evidence; experience is evidence, not a conclusion. We can both see a bull chase a red cloth. It is the reason that we assume the bull chased said cloth that differs, the evidence itself is in practice, irrefutable. I say in practice because yes, nothing is absolute. Facts are, when put simply, a myth.

    No matter what philosophy you turn to, at the base of it you will ALWAYS end up with one/more presuppositions. I choose the presupposition that best fits my world view, as you said earlier. I interpret my life through my five senses (empiricism); you have a book act as a filter while you interpret yours (religion).

    You have spent this whole time proving that the existence of a god is possible (which we both already knew is true). However, you assume said god to be your god. Your god is a logical impossibility; a walking contradiction, for reasons I stated in the last comment.

    You interpret the evidence and then say that it stands alone as absolute fact.

    I live my life as if there is no god because a benevolent god (your god is anything but benevolent) will certainly understand why my reasoning gave me no reason to believe in him/her/it, if one exists. If one doesn’t, then I’ve lived my life to the fullest. It allows me to set up my own morals and doctrines, devoid of the prejudiced dogma that has plagued religion for so many years.

    Also, that statement of yours pretends that empirical evidence stands alone

    Well considering there is no other kind of evidence we know of… Yes, it does stand alone. You speak of spiritual (maybe that was someone else?) and non-material evidence. None of that has any base or support (besides unfalsifiability). Empirical evidence stands alone because we can experience it.

  29. Daniel Says:

    You interpret the evidence and then say that it stands alone as absolute fact.

    should have been removed from last comment.

  30. Eric Kemp Says:

    Daniel

    I don’t usually do this, but I’m forced to this time. This conversation is over, not due to any else besides your inability to follow an argument. I again read through our last few comments, and you pull things from what I’m saying seemingly out of no where. Truly, Daniel, I’m not trying to be mean or insulting. I’m saying that the responses you give me are not pulled out of my words, but out of somewhere else. For instance, you asked for a new source of knowledge, I gave you one, which is God through His Word and through personal experience. You respond with, “Don’t believe everything you read”. WHAT?! Since when were we talking about reading? Since when is God bound to words on a page? We were talking about sources of knowledge in general, not wether or not the Bible itself is reliable.

    And this is just one example, you literally do this with every point I make. You take it in a completely different direction that my words just don’t support. And I’m constantly trying to get us back on track and figure out upon what your rebuttals are based.

    Let me just quote another one for you so you don’t think I’m getting this from no where.

    I said: “You interpret the evidence and then say that it stands alone as absolute fact.”

    You responded: “I live my life as if there is no god because a benevolent god (your god is anything but benevolent) will certainly understand why my reasoning gave me no reason to believe in him/her/it, if one exists. If one doesn’t, then I’ve lived my life to the fullest. It allows me to set up my own morals and doctrines, devoid of the prejudiced dogma that has plagued religion for so many years.”

    Can’t you see how your response just has nothing to do with my comment? I mean, that’s so far away from a response to my argument that I don’t even know where to begin. If you don’t see it, then that is why this conversation is over. If you do see it, then perhaps it will make you a better arguer.

    Maybe in the future I’ll attempt to explain exactly how your responses aren’t responses at all. But now, we’re so far away from the original point that I just don’t know where to start. I look forward to having more productive conversations with you in the future.

  31. Daniel Says:

    I said: “You interpret the evidence and then say that it stands alone as absolute fact.”

    clearly you did not read the comment directly afterwards saying that should have been removed.

  32. Daniel Says:

    I gave you one, which is God through His Word and through personal experience. You respond with, “Don’t believe everything you read”. WHAT?! Since when were we talking about reading? Since when is God bound to words on a page? We were talking about sources of knowledge in general, not wether or not the Bible itself is reliable.

    The only “god’s word” around is the Bible. Any other way that you have “received knowledge” from any god is questionable delusion.

    Saying anything is god’s word is circle logic, if ever there is any. “Its true because its god’s word, and its god’s word because its true.” You remove the circle, and all evidence points to the bible being written by man.

    Your new source of knowledge isn’t a source of anything. God’s word is naught until you can support the removal of the circular logic, ie: get god to say it himself instead of you saying it for him.

    You tell me that what I say is off topic. When in court, they switch from the fingerprint evidence to the video footage. Nobody calls that off topic, because it still pertains to the crime. What I say may not directly pertain to what you say, but it is related to the question at hand.


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