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October 27, 2011 1:56 am

Let’s Face it: Dawkins Is Chicken

avatar by Moshe Averick

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Dr. William Lane Craig, renowned Christian theologian. Richard Dawkins refused Oxford University's offer to debate Craig.

Richard Dawkins, the highest ranking clergyman in the hierarchy of New Age Atheism, recently informed us of the “real” reason why he refuses to accept the invitation from Oxford University to debate the renowned Christian theologian, Dr. William Lane Craig. Dawkins self-righteously declared that since Craig is an “apologist for genocide,” he is “proud to leave that chair in Oxford empty.” The “genocide” in question is the war of the Israelites against the morally debauched Canaanites that took place some thirty-three centuries in the past. (For those who find the math difficult, that is 3,300 years ago.) Whether or not one is prepared to agree with Dr. Craig’s analysis of the biblical passages in question is really beside the point. Not even a hater of religion like Christopher Hitchens (who did debate Craig) would ever dream of accusing Craig of advocating gratuitous violence against non-believers and certainly not genocide.

What makes this entire melodramatic episode even more curious are the rather questionable moral stances of Richard Dawkins himself. Consider the following: In an article in Scientific American (November, 1995) Dawkins informed us in blunt, raw language his existential view of reality, “The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.” This of course is an honest and candid expression of the atheistic worldview. In a purely materialistic universe there is no room for metaphysical realities like good and evil. As atheistic philosopher Joel Marks has pointed out, “The religious fundamentalists are correct; without God there is no morality…atheism implies amorality, and since I am an atheist, I must therefore embrace amorality.” This echoes the disturbing observation of another famous atheist, Sigmund Freud: “The moment a man questions the meaning and value of life, he is sick; since objectively neither has any existence.”

In an article written for Edge in 2006, Dawkins explained that in a materialistic, deterministic universe, “blame and responsibility“ [emphasis mine], “indeed evil and good” are nothing more than mental constructs and “useful fictions,” that are “built into our brains by…Darwinian Evolution.” Atheistic philosopher Michael Ruse heartily agrees: “Morality is an illusion put in place by your genes to make you a social cooperator.” If there is no metaphysically existent good and evil, if atheism implies amorality, if morality is a useful fiction and an illusion, if in objective reality life has no meaning and no value; why exactly is Dawkins so morally indignant about a war that took place 3,300 years ago and a modern Christian theologian’s rather dispassionate and thoughtful attempt to understand the meaning of that war? Dawkins also conveniently ignores that the greatest mass murderers in the history of mankind have all been atheists; Josef Stalin: 20-30,000,000 Mao Tse Tung: 50-70,000,000 Pol Pot: around 2,000,000. It’s worth noting that these men committed their atrocities, not 3,300 years ago, but in middle of the 20th century! I am not even remotely suggesting that Dawkins is capable of mass murder, but one would think that this simple historical fact might temper his righteous indignation just a bit.

All of this leads us to the conclusion that the accusation which Dawkins has hurled at Craig is not the reason for his refusal to engage in the debate, it is the excuse. The real reason why Dawkins will not debate Craig is the same reason why he refuses to debate Dr. Stephen Meyer, of the Discovery Institute, about the Origin of Life. He is afraid. He is afraid of debating opponents of the caliber of William Lane Craig and Stephen Meyer. Atheist author Sam Harris has observed that Craig is “the one Christian apologist who seems to have put the fear of God into my fellow atheists.” Even a non-believing blogger for The Guardian, Daniel Came (“As a skeptic, I tend to agree…regarding the falsehood of theism.”), writes that, “Hence, it is quite obvious that Dawkins is opportunistically using these remarks as a smokescreen to hide the real reasons for his refusal to debate with Craig.” C’mon Professor Dawkins, you’re not fooling anybody; it’s time to come out of the hen-house and fight like a man.

Rabbi Moshe Averick is an orthodox rabbi and author of Nonsense of a High Order: The Confused and Illusory World of the Atheist. It is available on Amazon.com and Kindle. Rabbi Averick can be reached via his website.

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  • Mal B

    JP, theres no option to tag a message onto your reply to me so il stick it here.
    All we know is life happened, thats why speculation and debate on how it happened continues. You hope (wish or desire) it happened abiogenetically, your hope compels you to defend science that has yet to be done! Jerry Coyne shares your optimism but predicts it will be 50 years. Thats a lifetime of defending pseudoscience, speculation which may never be anything more than a failed hypothesis. A wasted life imo but good luck with it.

    • jp

      It wouldn’t bother me if it took 200 years, or if we never found out. Either option is better than just making up an answer and pretending it’s right.

      There’s no pseudoscience in saying “we know it happened but we don’t know how yet”. That’s what doing science is: enquiry into the unknown. If you want pseudoscience, go to the Discovery Institute, where they do science ass-backwards, starting with a conclusion, and sifting the evidence, throwing out whatever directly contradicts their conclusion, and calling what’s left evidence for creation.

      I’m not defending science that’s yet to be done because (and you really don’t seem to get this) I don’t have a faith position on the matter. If we find out, that’s great, and if not not, that’s fine, too. Not bothering with supernatural explanations is simply based on the evidence – which is at present 100% against the existence of any supernatural agency. People continue to do research into supernatural agency, and that’s great if they feel fulfilled doing that.

      Research in any field just for the sake of increasing the accumulation of human knowledge, and without a guaranteed payoff, may seem a wasted life to you, but to many it’s noble and fulfilling. There’s no need to disparage anyone who thinks that.

  • jp

    And again Moshe, you write:

    “Not even a hater of religion like Christopher Hitchens (who did debate Craig) would ever dream of accusing Craig of advocating gratuitous violence against non-believers and certainly not genocide.”

    I do not hate religion, and yet I can read Craig well enough to see him defend the gratuitous killing of non-Israelite infants. You don’t believe me? Believe Craig:

    “Moreover, if we believe, as I do, that God’s grace is extended to those who die in infancy or as small children, the death of these children was actually their salvation. We are so wedded to an earthly, naturalistic perspective that we forget that those who die are happy to quit this earth for heaven’s incomparable joy. Therefore, God does these children no wrong in taking their lives.”

    That EXACT logic could be used to absolve ALL child-murderers of guilt: they were just doing their victims a favour by giving them a shortcut to heaven’s incomparable joy. If we just take the long view, then infanticide is a moral act for you, and for me, right? If not, then why not? If you went out and killed a child right now, by Craig’s logic you would be providing them with salvation, and would be doing that child “no wrong in taking its life.”

    Seriously, the man is revolting, as are you for defending him.

    • moshe averick

      JP,
      It seems that you did not read the entire piece by Craig.
      The passage above is based on the assumption that God actually did command the Israelites to wage war against the Cannaanites. It also is assuming that the Canaanites were as morally corrupt and wicked as the Biblical text describes them. If we posit the truth of those two notions, Craig then tries to understand from “God’s perspective” the justification of killing the children.
      There is no: “Ergo, we are allowed to kill any children we see fit and we are doing them a favor” The only possible justification is a direct commandment from God himself, not human logic.

      Please remember that we killed many hundreds of thousands of Japanese and German men, woman, and children in WW2. I will not argue with you whether or not these deaths were justified. As far as I’m concerned they were completely morally justified, and the decision to carry out the bombing raids that caused these deaths were made by human beings. It stands to reason that if human beings have the moral authority to bomb Tokyo and kill 100,000 in one night, then God almighty, the infinite Creator of the universe and all mankind, also has the authority.

      Two questions remain: 1. Does God actually exist? 2. Did God actually command the Israelites to wage war against the Canaanites?

      If God does not exist, then frankly, who cares? As atheistic philosopher Michael Ruse says: “Morality is an illusion put into your genes to make you a social cooperator” He goes on to say that Objectively speaking there is no reason not to rape, pillage and
      murder like a Roman soldier.

      The answer to question 2 is way beyond the scope of this forum, although it obviously needs to be answered.

      • jp

        I did read the whole piece. Craig advances many options:

        1) The genocide didn’t really happen
        2) Including infants in the genocide was necessary to God because letting a single infant live would pollute Israel’s spiritual purity.
        3) Including infants in the genocide was not a moral problem because salvation of the innocent means you’re doing them a favour.

        Craig, in a form of argument usually described as “clutching at straws”, has a go at all of them. And all of them are problematic.

        1) suggests that the bible is errant, and it requires human judgement to sort the errant from the accurate, thus elevating human judgement above biblical authority. This is not a problem for me, but it is for Craig.
        2) is the “master race” argument used by Hitler to justify his own genocide.
        3) is an argument that killing innocents and speeding them to heaven “does them no wrong”.

        Many people have engaged special pleading to justify God’s actions, but in this genocide, unlike the global flood for example, God doesn’t make an exception for himself to do the killing himself, but orders soldiers to do it. These days, when people say that God’s voice told them to kill, we lock them up in a psychiatric ward within a prison, rather than glorify their righteousness. I think that’s progress, but your mileage may vary.

      • jp

        Also, to specifically address your concern, I think that regardless of the morality of the bombing of Toyko, it would be disgusting to say “the kids we killed will go to heaven anyway so we did no wrong to them”.

        Sane people understand we did wrong to those children, and argue whether the benefits of winning and ending the war were sufficient to justify the costs. To argue that there WERE no costs is a psychopathic response. Craig is severely morally deficient for making such an argument, in my view.

  • jp

    Hitler thought the Jews were morally corrupt, and set about killing people purely because they were Jewish. We call this a genocide.

    The Israelites thought the Amakelites were morally corrupt and set about killing them, on God’s orders purely because they were Amakelites. 1 Samuel 15 is very clear that not even babies were to be spared. When Saul committed 99% of the genocide, leaving a single human and some livestock alive, God punishes Saul for not finishing the job, and indeed is not happy even when the killing is completed at Gilgal.

    Craig’s position is that this act was a moral good, on the grounds that God ordered it, and Dawkins position is that that makes Craig an apologist for genocide.

    You say that “Whether or not one is prepared to agree with Dr. Craig’s analysis of the biblical passages in question is really beside the point.”

    How is it besides the point? It’s the whole point. A debate with Dawkins is not the only forum Craig has to defend his views. And defend genocide he does:
    http://www.reasonablefaith.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5767

    In that rather offensive piece of apologetics, at one point Craig defends genocide on the basis that the alternative would be for the Israelites to abandon their policies of apartheid, and we couldn’t have that now, could we. It’s sickening, and contemptible, and human being with a functioning moral compass are right to hold such views with contempt, and not see them as fit for polite discussion over tea at the university.

  • wormhole

    Why must we continue to endure the tired arguments about 20th century despots? Steve Pinker says it best: The premise that Nazism and Communism were “atheist” ideologies makes sense only within a religiocentric worldview that divides political systems into those that are based on Judaeo-Christian ideology and those that are not. In fact, 20th-century totalitarian movements were no more defined by a rejection of Judaeo-Christianity than they were defined by a rejection of astrology, alchemy, Confucianism, Scientology, or any of hundreds of other belief systems. They were based on the ideas of Hitler and Marx, not David Hume and Bertrand Russell, and the horrors they inflicted are no more a vindication of Judeao-Christianity than they are of astrology or alchemy or Scientology.

    • Wormhole,

      First of all I mentioned the 20th century atheistic mass murderers just as a counterbalance to Dawkins’ self-righteousness about Craig’s Christian apologetics. It is as absurd to accuse Craig of supporting genocide as it is to accuse Dawkins of supporting the mass murder of Mao Tse Tung, even though he was an atheist.

      But aside from that you are factually wrong. Communism specifically did reject Judeo-Christian values and tried very hard to stamp out religion, both Jewish and Christian.

      • jp

        I’m sorry Moshe, was the bit where you left out the genocidal maniac whose goons wore “Gott mit Uns” belt buckles before, or after, the bit where you said that the infants killed in the bombing of Tokyo were killed as punishment for their wickedness?

      • jp

        Also, it’s frankly idiotic to say that Mao or Pol Pot specifically tried to stamp out Jewish and Christian religion. And yet that’s what you are claiming when you say that it’s a defining feature of communism to “specifically reject Judeo-Christian values.”

        Besides, and this is an irony lost on most American Christians, Christ himself was pretty big on redistribution of wealth.

        If you want an example of a society that rejects Judeo-Christian values, you could start with modern America, ruled over by forces of greed and deceit. Is fighting tooth and nail against universal health care something Jesus would do? America is far closer in values to Imperial Rome than to any Judeo-Christian ideal.

  • Raymond Koepsell

    @salvage

    I moved to a new post to avoid those skinny little columns

    >>I urge you to read up on the subject because you clearly have no understanding of it.

    When debating the existence of God, atheists usually resort to condescension. I am not a scientist, but I am not required to be a scientist to understand that accepting that “the correct configuration of chemicals and energy” bumping into itself at random over untold eons produced life by accident. Science lacks the ability to prove that theory, yet is accepted as fact universally by atheists. Answer me these two questions: 1) What caused chemicals and energy to correctly configure in such a way that life could begin at all? 2) What caused the exponential growth in the complexity and diversity of life? Darwinian evolution, in theory, could explain why complex life became sentient, why sentient life became intelligent, and why intelligent life developed language, emotion, ethics, and a host of other traits that separate humans from animals and animals from plants. But evolution doesn’t answer questions 1) and 2). If our universe tends toward entropy, what explains 1) and 2)?

    >>I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume your being obtuse to protect your delusions.

    When debating the existence of God, atheists almost always resort to the use of words like “obtuse” and “delusion.” I will never make the argument that humans always listen to and obey the word of God. Nor did I or will I ever make the argument that scientific discovery has removed a great deal of mystery from the natural world; science is invaluable and has benefited the human condition tremendously. Sun gods that used to be supernatural, were eventually understood to be natural and science deserves credit for that paradigm shift. However, you and I both know that science will never adequately explain everything in the natural universe that requires explanation. Some of those unanswered questions undoubtedly contain perfectly legitimate explanations that will forever evade human comprehension, but are natural nonetheless. Other of those things, such as the nature and character of God, will never be fully revealed to earthlings and are, consequently, supernatural.

    A bit of advice for you: you will never find God by looking for proof alone in the absence of faith. There is not a believer on earth who ever came to the Lord without faith, so as long as you follow the “Proof First, Belief Later” mentality, your journey will bear no fruit. One of the words I frequently employ when debating the existence of Gods with atheists is “hypocrisy.” To me, it is blindly hypocritical for an atheist to demand proof of God when so much of science is based on theories that will never be proven in the lifetime of that atheist. Theist and atheist can at least agree on this point: Not everything that is true can be proven true by peer-reviewed scientific evidence.

    >>It takes a humble man to admit he was made by a god!

    False modesty is another typical modus operandi employed by atheists when debating the existence of God. Atheists believe that there’s little fundamental difference between a human and a bag of rocks. (“Humans and rocks are all made of the same elements, just humans have had a lot more time and space for anti-entropic spontaneity to majik humans out of those elements. Just keep waiting, and eventually those rocks will think and feel – I mean if you put them with other rocks at the right temperature and the right gravity, and add the right amount of water, and of course, keep waiting and waiting.”) As a believer, I will tell you that my walk with God requires more humility on a daily basis (even an hourly basis) than my walk without God. Because I am human, I have to empty myself daily and invite the Lord into my life. To the Godless, life is an event that takes place for benefit of self. Altruistic behavior in the absence of God is done for one of only two reasons: to look good to the audience of self and others or to avoid looking bad to that audience.

    >>”Yes, humans are just that important!” Stop being so humble!

    God’s creation clearly placed man (not me, mankind) in a place of importance. I am loved by God as a person, but humans are loved by God as his favored creation. Accepting God’s love is not leisure cruise sailing the seas of my own ego. His grace and mercy is the single most humbling element of our existence.

    >>If your god wants my worship he should adopt more reasonable policies.

    This is why I say atheistic modesty is always false. (“After all, humans and tapeworms share DNA!!”) At the end of the day, the atheistic self must wear blinders adjusted to near pinpoint sharpness to accept the theory of evolution but demand that the Author and Finisher of Life prove himself. Richard Dawkins himself is still only mostly sure that there is no God. His is one of the loudest atheistic megaphones, but Dick Dawkins and many of his Dickbots would believe in God if only God would prove himself in such a way as to leave no room for doubt.

    >>Two child like beings tricked into misery, and you worship this monster why again?

    God didn’t trick “poor little” Adam and “poor little” Eve. He merely gave them free will for them to make a choice; they were tempted, and they disobeyed. God knew what they were going to do, but Adam and Eve didn’t have foreknowledge because they were human. How is that a trick? If you come to an unoccupied toll booth where you’d been given the instruction to drop your quarter into the bucket, and because there was nobody there you ignored the instruction and went through without paying, and if you were later ticketed a traffic camera caught you breaking the law – have you been tricked? Is the Highway Toll Division “monstrous?”

    >>”If you look for God, he will reveal himself to you.” Yeah, I looked and only found crazy stupidity in the form of a mythology.

    You looked for God? Would you care to elaborate?

    >>Odd that they (the Greeks) don’t mention it (Yahweh),

    Much of the original text of the Bible was written in Greek. Alexander was in what is now modern-day Israel in 332 BC. You think Yahweh escaped Alexander’s notice? C’mon. That the Greeks worshiped other Gods is neither debatable nor surprising. God foretold of both idol worship and worship of pagan gods over thousand years before the reign of Alexander. Man-God Alexander the Great had no ear for Yahweh because he was too caught up in the greatness of himself, an oft-repeated error for earthly kings.

    >>You never really notice all your contradictions do you? Well if you did you wouldn’t be a theist I suppose.

    Here’s are two other traps in which atheists often find themselves – scenario fulfillment and selective comprehension. Pay close attention here and I’ll say it for you once again. God, who is perfect, made man, who is imperfect. There’s no contradiction. If God made man perfect and mankind stayed perfect, our world would be vastly different today.

    >>”Well I’d make our brains less RAM, our eating and breathing holes separate and…”

    Excellent, I’ll look for you to implement those upgrades on next years’ models. God gave us what we have for a reason; your inability to decipher what that reason might be disproves God no more than my inability to tell you what’s inside a black hole disproves black holes.

    >>I think you do [pretend to know what the design should be for human brain, etc.]

    No, I really don’t. I could venture a guess that that God didn’t want us swallowing food at the precise moment we were forming words. I could guess that humans have emotion, memory, decision-making ability, etc. so that we could comprehend him. You asked about lizard brain. It would seem silly if the Bible said “and on the sixth day, God created lizard,” but God’s highest, most-loved creation had no faculty whatsoever to comprehend what was needed to make a meaningful relationship its creator.

    >>So your perfect god makes imperfect things? You don’t see a bit of a contradiction there?

    I do now. It is a logical fallacy to assume that God’s perfection would make it impossible to make an imperfect creation. On an earthly level, did Led Zeppelin not write some bad songs along with the good? Does Mariano Rivera not blow a save occasionally? Have you never had a bad glass of beer? Do not misunderstand me. God did not make man imperfect by mistake, he made us imperfect intentionally; it defies reason however to assume a perfect, omnipotent God would not have it in his power to make man imperfect.

    >>Sin that he created, once again your god is a pretty sick puppy, you’d think an omnipotent being would have better things to do.

    Make no mistake, God did not create sin. God made man, and man sinned against God. Those sins hang over our head even know, and we must ask God to forgive us our sin. It matters not at all whether you think this plan is an efficient, effective use of God’s time. As long as you continue to insist that you can or even should know the heart and mind of the Lord your God, you will be lost.

    >>I can’t believe in something that doesn’t exist, if I did I would have a dozen restraining orders from Katy Perry.

    Your point here about Katy Perry is unclear. However, as an advocate of science, you should know better than to claim that something that cannot be proven to exist does in fact not exist.

    >>I’m giving [Matthew Stafford] the next game before I comment on [him being in a slump]

    They should have no trouble with the Broncos, which would put them at 6-2 halfway through the season. I don’t think anyone could have predicted that last February. I sure didn’t.

    >>So unless Jesus comes on back and does REAL miracles this time (all that stuff in the Bible he did is so lame and hack) he and your god will still be in the mythology column.

    Would a “REAL miracle” be a 3D, effects-laden CGI extravaganza like something out of “Inception?” You can rest assured that all Old Testament and New Testament miracles were as real as they needed to be to for the recipients and the people who were there to witness. Think about this: If Jesus hadn’t overcome death, how could Christianity grow from nothing to the largest religion in the world in 2 centuries? There are over 2 billion Christians in the world, making the linear trend line a million people per year. What, if not miracles, could cause a phenomenon like that? I acknowledge that Christianity got an eight century head start on Islam, but Islam is the state religion of 26 countries where it is almost always against state law to proselytize. Islam is not a personal decision it’s 1.5 billion believers like Christianity is, the decision is made on behalf of the individual.

    >>Next time you read the Bible do a body count, add up all the people your god has killed vs. how many the devil has whacked.

    I can honestly tell you I’ve never read the Bible with that purpose in mind, and doing so would be a year-long endeavor if I was doing primary research. Can you save me the time and give me the “rather stark” results yourself? I’m curious.

    • Raymond Koepsell

      Drat – two typos!

      >>So your perfect god makes imperfect things? You don’t see a bit of a contradiction there?

      “I do now” should read “I do not”

      Also, “how could Christianity grow from nothing to the largest religion in the world in 2 centuries?” That should read “20 centuries.”

    • salvage

      >> When debating the existence of God, atheists usually resort to condescension.

      Yes, because you don’t understand stuff, if you read more about the subject you would.

      >I am not a scientist,

      Nor am I but thankfully scientists are able to explain their findings in a way that layman can understand. This is one of the things that Carl Sagan and Richard Dawkins excel at.

      >but I am not required to be a scientist to understand that accepting that “the correct configuration of chemicals and energy” bumping into itself at random over untold eons produced life by accident.

      Please read Stephen Hawking’s latest book “The Grand Design” it explains this sort of thing at great detail. Dawkin’s latest also touches on it using a deck of card to illustrate that long shots are more likely than you think.

      >Science lacks the ability to prove that theory, yet is accepted as fact universally by atheists.

      You are confused, atheism is not science, and once again atheism is the sensible idea that there are no such things as gods. For instance if I were to say that Zeus never was you’d most likely agree yet the same reasons why we know Zeus not be real can be applied to your god but suddenly those reasons don’t work. This is because you want your god to be real so you ignore simple logic.

      1) What caused chemicals and energy to correctly configure in such a way that life could begin at all?

      An excellent question, hopefully one day we’ll know for sure but the theory is they simply came together in the right way, like flipping a coin a 10,000 time and getting heads each time. Yes, the odds are against it but if you do it over a billion years or so it become inevitable.

      2) What caused the exponential growth in the complexity and diversity of life?

      Various environmental pressures and factors…. look all of this stuff is talked about in books, lectures, websites, magazines and papers, why don’t you go find out from the people who know?

      >But evolution doesn’t answer questions 1) and 2). If our universe tends toward entropy, what explains 1) and 2)?

      Once again, you do not understand what you are talking about, entropy has nothing to do with any of this.

      >>When debating the existence of God, atheists almost always resort to the use of words like “obtuse” and “delusion.”

      Yes, because often theists resort to being obtuse, like you are with “entropy” and when people try and protect their delusions they often become deliberately obtuse, bit like trying to wake a man pretending to be asleep.

      >However, you and I both know that science will never adequately explain everything in the natural universe that requires explanation.

      Sure, but it’s explained more than religion ever could or will.

      >Some of those unanswered questions undoubtedly contain perfectly legitimate explanations that will forever evade human comprehension, but are natural nonetheless.

      Yes, various quantum scientists have said as much.

      > Other of those things, such as the nature and character of God, will never be fully revealed to earthlings and are, consequently, supernatural.

      Nope, your god’s “Character” (why would a supreme being have such a thing?) has been revealed, it’s described in Bible / Torah / Koran and it’s a lunatic.

      >A bit of advice for you: you will never find God by looking for proof alone in the absence of faith
      > To me, it is blindly hypocritical for an atheist to demand proof of God when so much of science is based on theories that will never be proven in the lifetime of that atheist.

      Yes, that would be the obtuse delusion I was talking about.

      >Theist and atheist can at least agree on this point: Not everything that is true can be proven true by peer-reviewed scientific evidence.

      Sure, but stuff that is obviously false, like the universe being created in six days can be dismissed as wrong and since that is the foundation of your god it too can be ejected. Your god isn’t real, it’s that simple, there are no such things, they don’t exist, they never existed, they are the stuff of mythology, it’s painfully, stupidly obvious.

      >>False modesty is another typical modus operandi employed by atheists when debating the existence of God.

      Ha! Ha! Yes! I am false modest in believing that my ancestors were a sort of lemur, and way before that a bit of slime.

      >Atheists believe that there’s little fundamental difference between a human and a bag of rocks.

      There you go again, being obtuse, atheists believe there are no such things as gods, it says nothing about anything else, I’m not sure why you can’t understand that.

      >As a believer, I will tell you that my walk with God requires more humility on a daily basis (even an hourly basis) than my walk without God. Because I am human, I have to empty myself daily and invite the Lord into my life. To the Godless, life is an event that takes place for benefit of self. Altruistic behavior in the absence of God is done for one of only two reasons: to look good to the audience of self and others or to avoid looking bad to that audience.

      Gibberish. You believe in your god because it makes your life easier, thinking that there is an omnipotent being who not only thinks as you do but will take care of you as long as you follow its prescribed lifestyle and activities. Religion is an airbag that cushions the blows that life deals, you can dress it up however you like but that’s the essence of it.

      >God’s creation clearly placed man (not me, mankind) in a place of importance.

      Really? Out here circling a typical star in some far flung bit of the 14.5 billion year old universe? Do you know that the dinosaurs were around longer than we’ve been? That there have been more worshipers of other gods than yours? That bacteria and parasites are really the most dominant species on the planet and will be around long after we’re gone?
      Ah but that would take knowing stuff that dilutes your delusion and that will not do.

      > I am loved by God as a person, but humans are loved by God as his favored creation. Accepting God’s love is not leisure cruise sailing the seas of my own ego. His grace and mercy is the single most humbling element of our existence.

      In addition to obtuseness and delusion there is a certain amount of dichotomy or “doublethink” in being a theist. Your god has a weird way of showing his love, he created a planet that has nearly killed every human on it not once but twice and it will eventually succeed, be it another “ice ball” Earth, meteorite strike or some other crazy apocalyptic end.

      Speaking of which isn’t your god’s “loving” plan to kill everyone with horsemen and fire and multiheaded monsters?

      Oh, wait, no, it’s going to kill everyone who DOESN’T think as you do, right.

      Kind of a terrorists your god isn’t it?

      >> Richard Dawkins himself is still only mostly sure that there is no God.

      That’s because he’s a scientist and they are loath to declare anything 100% without complete and utter proof and since it’s impossible to prove a negative he has no choice but to hedge a little.

      I on the other hand have no such compunction, there are no such things as gods, they are silly things made up by ignorant frightened people.

      >would believe in God if only God would prove himself in such a way as to leave no room for doubt.

      Well, duh.

      >God didn’t trick “poor little” Adam and “poor little” Eve.

      No? It just said “Don’t eat this!” and then went around the corner and waited until they ate it and then started asking angry question that it must have known the answers to.

      >He merely gave them free will for them to make a choice; they were tempted, and they disobeyed.

      I put out a poisoned doughnut, the kid eats, my defence is “They had free will!” you think the jury is going to let me go?

      >God knew what they were going to do, but Adam and Eve didn’t have foreknowledge because they were human. How is that a trick?

      Wow. It’s amazing that you don’t get the insanity of this.

      >If you come to an unoccupied toll booth where you’d been given the instruction to drop your quarter into the bucket, and because there was nobody there you ignored the instruction and went through without paying, and if you were later ticketed a traffic camera caught you breaking the law – have you been tricked? Is the Highway Toll Division “monstrous?”

      Adam and Eve had no knowledge of good and evil right? So how could they know what was the right thing to do?

      >You looked for God? Would you care to elaborate?

      I was raised by a theist, went to Sunday school, grew up, realized it was nonsense. So perhaps it was shown to me is a more accurate way of putting it.

      >>Much of the original text of the Bible was written in Greek.

      Translated into, Moses wasn’t Greek.

      >Alexander was in what is now modern-day Israel in 332 BC. You think Yahweh escaped Alexander’s notice?

      Yes, he didn’t worship your god.

      >C’mon. That the Greeks worshiped other Gods is neither debatable nor surprising.

      Once again you miss the point, your god is just one of the thousands humanity has dreamed up, if there were only one god there would only be one god.

      >Man-God Alexander the Great had no ear for Yahweh because he was too caught up in the greatness of himself, an oft-repeated error for earthly kings.

      Yeah, probably because he was too busy being, y’know, great. But to be fair it was his father that planned and set up the whole thing and by an amazing coincidence died just before launch and when Alex’s right to the throne was questioned.

      >>You never really notice all your contradictions do you? Well if you did you wouldn’t be a theist I suppose.

      >God, who is perfect, made man, who is imperfect. There’s no contradiction.

      Our imperfect design fits perfectly with evolution, it doesn’t not fit perfectly with a perfect “intelligent designer”, more darn logic.

      >>your inability to decipher what that reason might be disproves God no more than my inability to tell you what’s inside a black hole disproves black holes.

      Black holes were first theorized and then discovered and proven (they have fuzzy edges!) they make sense, once again your god does not.

      >> You asked about lizard brain. It would seem silly if the Bible said “and on the sixth day, God created lizard,”

      It would be because on the sixth day there was nothing but vastly expanding chemicals and energy, lizards wouldn’t show up for at least 12 billion years.

      >> On an earthly level, did Led Zeppelin not write some bad songs along with the good?

      They did not, everything Zeppelin did was exactly right, you want to be very careful here.

      >Make no mistake, God did not create sin

      Once again, your god made everything therefore he made everything if sin exists then he made it. Look you’re not arguing with me here you’re arguing with your beliefs. Did your god make everything? Yes? He made sin, the end.

      >>However, as an advocate of science, you should know better than to claim that something that cannot be proven to exist does in fact not exist.

      Your god has been described, from that data I can prove he does not exist, for example your god claims it made the cosmos in six days some 6,000 years ago we know that to be false, your god is described as perfect, a perfect being wouldn’t lie or make mistakes yet here we are so either your perfect god is a lying moron who can’t count and that’s impossible or it never existed and the Bible is just a mishmash of myth, superstition and outright fictions. That seems more likely.

      >> They should have no trouble with the Broncos,

      A bit of an understatement there, Tiblows once again demonstrates just how overrated and under seasoned he is. I’m still holding off on the Lions until they play a real game and not that… I don’t even know what that was.

      >Would a “REAL miracle” be a 3D, effects-laden CGI extravaganza like something out of “Inception?”

      Imagine this. Leprosy vanished around the year 0, the sources talk about this horrific disease that suddenly just stopped, no reported cases anywhere in the world. Hey, in the Bible it says Jesus cured it… well now, that would make me stop and think.

      But no, your silly god only helps a few lepers, leaves the rest to suffer.

      That’s the sort of thing, all of Jesus’ miracles were rehashes from past demi-gods. I mean he can feed a wedding but can’t feed people starving elsewhere in the Empire? Walking on water? We walked on the Moon, that’s a miracle. Polio? Boom! Gone! Science! Real miracles happening every day, no magic required.

      >You can rest assured that all Old Testament and New Testament miracles were as real as they needed to be to for the recipients and the people who were there to witness.

      Nope, the only “witnesses” are described in the Bible. Isn’t it strange your god comes to Earth and it took 30 years before anyone wrote anything down? Julius Ceaser left more a mark on history than your god.

      > Think about this: If Jesus hadn’t overcome death, how could Christianity grow from nothing to the largest religion in the world in 2 centuries?

      It’s not the largest religion in the world and never has been.

      And it was three centuries and what actually happened was a Roman civil war followed by several more to spread Christianity around Europe via conquest.

      Constantine needed a base to support his run for the throne, the Christian community was perfect so he “converted” and it paid off. Your religion grew because of ambition and greed, not just the Emperor but the Popes and Kings that followed.

      And if Christianity is the right choice, which one? You are aware of the Reformation? Tell me during the massacres of the 16th century, which side did Jesus cheer?

      >There are over 2 billion Christians in the world,

      Not really, the actual number is impossible to set because one group of Christians will say that another group of Christians aren’t real ones.

      But what we do know is that the number of Christians are going down, weird that.

      >What, if not miracles, could cause a phenomenon like that?

      At one point the same percentage of people believed that Ra was god, so that means they must be right?

      Just because a million people believe a silly thing it doesn’t stop being a silly thing.

      >> Can you save me the time and give me the “rather stark” results yourself? I’m curious.

      2,476,633

      http://dwindlinginunbelief.blogspot.com/2010/04/drunk-with-blood-gods-killings-in-bible.html

      And the devil a paltry 10.

      • Raymond Koepsell

        You ignored both my questions, salvage. ONE – By what process did elements yield life? TWO – By what process did single-celled organisms become so complex as to develop consciousness, intelligence, language, emotions, ethics, memory, etc?

        >>>Please read Stephen Hawking’s latest book “The Grand Design” it explains this sort of thing at great detail.

        I haven’t read it, but I couldn’t help but notice that the third word in your explanation of “this sort of thing” is DESIGN! Who’s the designer??? Martians? Alpha Centaurians? Does Mr. Hawking provide the ever-evasive “evidence” atheists are yearning for? Because Hawking’s book has not been reported as the single most important breakthrough in the history of mankind, I can tell you that it does not contain said evidence. It’s just another theory. Dick Dawkins can explain all the card tricks he wants; there are not enough cards in a deck to begin to approximate the odds necessary for life to happen by accident in a universe guided by entropy. Before you tell me entropy has no bearing on our discussion of the origin of life, please research entropy first. It is neither obtuse no delusional.

        Christianity is, in fact, the largest religion in the world. This is from the CIA: (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/xx.html)

        Regarding the Lions, if a 35-point pummeling won’t convince you, then I’ll suggest they’ve hurt too many times for you to let your guard down. Regarding Led Zeppelin, if you tell me “Carouselambra” is a good song, there’s just no hope for you!

        • salvage

          You ignored both my questions, salvage.

          I did not, I told you to read a book, website, take a lecture, go to a museum, watch a BBC / Discovery Channel, National Geographic documentary. The theories and answers are out there and better and smarter minds than mine have gone through the hassle of making them understandable to anyone who cares to.

          You will not because your god is far too important to your stability to ever risk losing it so you will content yourself by thinking “Well that guy on the Internet didn’t answer my questions therefore God!”

          Please read Stephen Hawking’s latest book “The Grand Design” it explains this sort of thing at great detail.
          I haven’t read it,

          You should, it’s brilliant and it answers many of your questions.

          but I couldn’t help but notice that the third word in your explanation of “this sort of thing” is DESIGN! Who’s the designer???

          Sigh. Read the book, the book answers that question (SPOILER ALERT: No One!) and more.

          It’s just another theory.

          So is gravity, electromagnetism, nuclear fusion, neutrinos and a host of other theories that are beyond any reasonable doubt, facts. Evolution too.

          Dick Dawkins can explain all the card tricks he wants; there are not enough cards in a deck to begin to approximate the odds necessary for life to happen by accident in a universe guided by entropy.

          Guided by… what? You keep on saying that word I don’t think you know what it means. Once again, read the book then you can argue that it is wrong. I have read the Bible, (well not all of it of course) and that’s how I know it’s wrong, I can’t help but notice that you’ve ignored my points on that. Pretty crazy how many people your loving god has murdered huh?

          Before you tell me entropy has no bearing on our discussion of the origin of life, please research entropy first. It is neither obtuse no delusional.

          Yes, yes it is:

          http://ajp.aapt.org/resource/1/ajpias/v76/i11/p1031_s1?isAuthorized=no

          Quote:

          “Quantitative estimates of the entropy involved in biological evolution demonstrate that there is no conflict between evolution and the second law of thermodynamics.”

          Why? The short answer: THE SUN replenishes the tiny bit of energy lost when evolution (and everything else literally under the sun) occurs.

          You do not understand what entropy is, you do not understand how evolution works read and learn.

          Christianity is, in fact, the largest religion in the world. This is from the CIA:

          Well the CIA is well know for being factual about stuff but you once again skipped over my point; how many different Christian factions are there? Do you think Catholics are real Christians? Do you think they think that Protestants are real Catholics? Are Mormons real Christians? How about all the sub-sects of Catholics and Protestants? How about the Amish? How about Jews for Jesus? How about people who go to Church at Christmas and call themselves Christians but really? In their hearts? Not so much. I suppose if you insisted that they are all the same people with the same beliefs and rituals then sure, but in reality they are not so no.

          Regarding the Lions, if a 35-point pummeling

          Of arguably the worst in the league, hey if they beat a real team I’ll start to believe, part of me is pulling for them, I’m a sucker for the underdog but the G-Men still rule.

          .Regarding Led Zeppelin, if you tell me “Carouselambra” is a good song, there’s just no hope for you!

          I repeat everything Zeppelin did was perfect, I will allow that Robert Plant’s solo career has been… disappointing.

          • Raymond Koepsell

            You answer questions by referring me to a book you haven’t read? You refute me on the topic of entropy by sending me a link to a site I can’t read without a subscription?? You defend “Carouselambra???” And you’re a Giants fan???? (Actually, it’s hard not to like Eli)

            The Hawking you haven’t read leans heavily on something called M-Theory, which from what I gather is the next phase of super string theory and a contender for the Theory of Everything.

            Let’s pretend that in 10 years or 1,000 years, M-theory is somehow proven into law and we can have a purely scientific explanation for every question you could ever imagine about the natural universe.

            Here’s the main point you appear to be missing: Having rock solid scientific proof wouldn’t disprove God, it would instead give us insight into God’s methods for creating something from and for enabling space dust to think.

  • Mark Orman

    Is it possible that Richard Dawkins doen’t want to do this because having debated creationists a few times, he’s concluded that its a waste of time and energy?

  • Mal B

    Great article, Im glad someones pointed out the hypocrisy of Dawkins ‘moral outrage’. Surely not even the most devout dawkinist really believes this clucking excuse is the genuine reason for his no show!
    Hed have been better standing by his original “im busy” comment and maintaining a low profile til the danger had passed.

    Since i followed a link to this site ive had chance to read more of your work. Hats off to you for your direct style and ruffling some feathers. I see youve picked up some cyber stalkers along the way, shows youre having an impact when non believers devote a good chunk of their valuable time to keep commenting. Good job!

  • Raymond Koepsell

    Does anyone besides me marvel at this age? Our ability to have this conversation is just amazing

    • jp

      Yep, it’s absolutely astonishing what has happened to our knowledge since people started using a method of building knowledge on systematic observations of reality, rather than simply taking comfort in dogmatic pat answers and pretending that the unknown is really known.

      • Mal B

        Interesting point. Its not a bad thing to have faith though is it, a mans reach should exceed his grasp. Many have faith that matter came into existence from nothing, miraculously expanding into a finely tuned universe. They also have faith that that same lifeless matter magically became the first organic life on earth. Maybe there really are billions of other unobserved universes made from the same magic dust. ‘Pretending the unknown is already known’ and presenting science fiction as science fact are vital for this kind of faith to flourish.

        • jp

          Mal, our point is extremely unclear to me. Although you write of having faith in the “miraculous” or of things that happen “magically”, which both relate to the religious explanations (and specifically not to science’s approach that the unknown is not a call for “magical thinking” explanations, but a call for further research) it somehow seems that you’re talking about the opposite. Sorry if you’re actually agreeing with me and I’ve misread you.

          I agree that it’s beneficial for one’s reach to exceed one’s grasp, but I can’t see how faith helps that. To me, it seems it’s science that keeps reaching out for what remains beyond its explanatory power. As Dara O’Briain said “Science knows it doesn’t know everything; otherwise, it’d stop.” Faith on the other hand, leaves nothing beyond your grasp. Don’t know how life began? God did it. Don’t know how to construct a system of ethics? Get one from the book. Or in old days: Don’t know why there’s thunder? It’s Thor fighting. See, nothing beyond the grasp. Answers for everything. Nothing learned. No attempt to even TRY to learn.

          • Mal B

            My point is simply this; Science is a method of understanding the world around us. So far the body of work we call science has no plausable explanation for the origin of life on earth or the origin of matter. So anyone speaking of these things does so from a position of faith, either faith in a god or faith in events which are currently ‘beyond the range of normal experience or scientific explanation’, in other words belief in the paranormal. Science indeed doesnt know everything and what it reveals in the future may not be what has been predicted.

            Id agree with your assertion that ‘god did it’ is a science stopper if it wasnt for the historical fact that many of the great scientists from history were men of faith. They didnt stop with the belief god did it, it drove them to find out how god did it, very much a science starter!

          • jp

            That’s still one more premise than is necessary. Every time science has found out “how God did it” they found out that no god was necessary (please don’t misunderstand the word necessary, it’s there for a reason).

            I understand that some people attribute ALL the laws of nature to God, in which case “how does it work?” and “how did God do it?” are the same question. And that’s the only way theism isn’t a science stopper, when it reduces it’s differences to pure science to zero.

            Taking something like abiogenesis research, there’s no “faith” involved in the scientific approach of “We don’t know, so we’re going to take a very detailed look.” Not even faith that there is a findable explanation. Hope, yes, but faith, not really.

            We know abiogenesis has happened, as the earth has a finite age. The open question is “How?”. While we have not discovered the mechanism of abiogenesis, that does not mean any speculation must lean towards supernatural agency, paranormal or theistic. Beyond current science and beyond nature are not the same thing. And so you left out the option of “by an as yet unknown natural mechanism.” Now that’s not to say that scientists include that option through faith that that’s where the answer will lie. It’s included because of past evidence showing that when the mechanisms of previously unexplained phenomena are understood, the current score is: God 0%, Other paranormal causes 0%, Natural mechanisms 100%. There’s no rounding there – the zeroes really are zeroes, and the 100 really is 100. Good scientists are aware that this could be a black swan problem, but, like with the first black swan what it will take to move those zeroes is evidence. If evidence of supernatural agency is forthcoming, then science will expand to study it, but again, all well-conducted experiments into supernatural agency have come to the conclusion that it doesn’t exist. If you can find that black swan though, Mal, go show it to the Nobel committee, they’d be very interested.

  • Raymond Koepsell

    @salvage – I take issue with a couple of your points.

    “DNA does not lie.”
    Perhaps, but neither does DNA speak in complete sentences, nor do scientists always correctly interpret what DNA is telling them.

    “The supernatural is unreal.” Wrong again, the supernatural is that which lies beyond our current understanding of the natural world.

    “Your creation mythology has gotten far more right than wrong so that too can be safely dismissed.” This is commonly referred to as a Freudian slip.

    “or chaos which is like an angry nothing” How could “nothing” be angry?

    “the problem with having a perfect god, its creation is anything but.” You argue from ignorance. Our imperfect world is the result of the sin of man; God did not make an imperfect creation. God made creation, then man who then sinned against God bringing us to where we are today. Without doubt, God knew man would sin, which is why the loving, Most High God offers us a chance for redemption from our sin.

    “The Greeks at least made their gods fallible.” The Greeks were idol worshipers who made their gods in their own image. The Lord our God made man in his image. That doesn’t mean we are perfect like God merely that his stamp, his touch, is design is upon us.

    “Your god? Too good to be true.” God is too good only for those who refuse to accept is sovereignty, his provision, his grace. You are looking at God through the unfocused lens of your human eye, applying human standards, and a human perspective. The Lord our God is not too good to be true. To the contrary, you are too unworthy for his truth. Repent, and you will be forgiven.

    • salvage

      >Perhaps, but neither does DNA speak in complete sentences, nor do scientists always correctly interpret what DNA is telling them.

      Sure, we don’t know it all but we do know that every single scrap of DNA on this planet came from a singular source.

      > Wrong again, the supernatural is that which lies beyond our current understanding of the natural world.

      No, our understanding has nothing to do with it, the supernatural is beyond the natural and therefore reality. Everything that humanity has thought of as supernatural has been shown to be natural. It’s hysterical that you think that suddenly is going to change.

      “Your creation mythology has gotten far more right than wrong so that too can be safely dismissed.” This is commonly referred to as a Freudian slip.

      Ha! Ha! Yes! I am secretly a theist!

      >”or chaos which is like an angry nothing” How could “nothing” be angry?

      Ask a hurricane.

      > You argue from ignorance.

      Hmmm… I’m pretty sure I’m not but let’s see…

      Our imperfect world is the result of the sin of man; God did not make an imperfect creation. God made creation, then man who then sinned against God bringing us to where we are today. Without doubt, God knew man would sin, which is why the loving, Most High God offers us a chance for redemption from our sin.

      Ah.

      So let me see if I got this right, your god made the universe perfect, this perfect creation included man and then man screwed up creation and it’s not your god’s fault it’s man’s fault despite the fact that man did an imperfect thing while being part of the perfect creation?

      Your omnipotent universe creating supreme being’s perfect creation was ruined by a mortal creature who couldn’t make a fire without two rocks?

      Is there any part of your mind that is screaming at you about how none of that makes the slightest bit of sense?

      I assume you’re referring to Adam and Eve and the magic fruit talking snake story? let’s say you have two kids and one day you bring home a doughnut filled with poison. You call the kids into the kitchen and you tell them “You can eat all the cakes, cookies and ice cream you like but don’t eat this donut!” and then you put it on the table and walk away.

      Do you think the police would charge you with any crime when they find the body? Do you think your excuse of “I told them not to eat it!” would absolve you of responsibility?

      And where was your god when all this apple snake business was going down? I thought he was all knowing? What? His Internet was out? He didn’t notice the snake near the magic fruit tree?
      So

      a) your god set us up to fail for reasons that could only be twisted

      b) your god isn’t omnipotent and screwed up

      c) There are no such things as gods, talking snakes and magic fruit.

      Listen… do you hear any little voice saying “c! the answer is c!”?

      >”The Greeks at least made their gods fallible.” The Greeks were idol worshipers who made their gods in their own image.

      Yeah, weird that your god never spoke to them huh? Just let them pray the wrong way for thousands of years while their civilization flourished. Why is that?

      >The Lord our God made man in his image.

      That would be the man who very quickly screwed things up? Hmm, not a good image I’m thinking.

      >That doesn’t mean we are perfect like God merely that his stamp, his touch, is design is upon us.

      Ah, the conceit of the theist, yes you were made by a god, you are special… but why the heck did your god base our brain on a lizard’s? And what’s up with wisdom teeth, anaemia and exploding appendixes?

      I know, I know, all that stuff was perfect then darn it, we had to go and sin and now it’s all ruined! This is why we can’t have nice things!

      >God is too good only for those who refuse to accept is sovereignty, his provision, his grace.

      Yeah, it’s not a refusal by choice; I can no more choose to believe in your silly angry sky god than I can unicorns, leprechauns or the Detroit Lions.

      >You are looking at God through the unfocused lens of your human eye, applying human standards, and a human perspective.

      Well being human does that, it’s weird that your god didn’t make me in a way that I could see it. I guess he just doesn’t like me.

      > To the contrary, you are too unworthy for his truth. Repent, and you will be forgiven.

      Nah, your god’s a nutbag, even if it were real I’d side with the adversary, he never destroyed any cities, murdered any babies in their cribs or demanded foreskins. Obviously the sensible one.

      • Raymond Koepsell

        “Sure, we don’t know it all but we do know that every single scrap of DNA on this planet came from a singular source.”

        —And as a man of science, that singular source is what – a random orgy of elements and cosmic forces that went on so long that eventually you came out of your mommy’s tummy and typed this post? Why don’t you do this instead of writing your next post: fill a plastic bag with letters, shake them up, and pour them out on the table next to you just type what you see? No wait, I’m not being fair because you don’t have enough time for randomness to break the second law of thermodynamics in which the universe tends toward entropy? Okay, get an atheist friend and have him or her do the same thing. That way you’ve shaved off 3 billion years. Still too long? Get a million atheists, 10 million atheists, a hundred million, and have them shake bags of letters simultaneously and type what they see. I’m so very sure that if enough atheists do this enough times I’ll get a persuasive, coherent reply. I’m holding my breath….. beginning…..now!

        “Everything that humanity has thought of as supernatural has been shown to be natural”

        —Ding ding ding! Exactly!! By arguing against me, you are making my point for me. Another Freudian slip? Mankind’s understanding of nature continues to evolve (oops, I typed the dreaded “E” word). Nature just plain exists, regardless of how much humans understand or misunderstand. Every generation, humans arrogantly convince themselves that they have now corrected the errors and fallacies of the past and have access to “real truth,” or the “real understanding” of the natural universe. In 2011, however, that “truth” is no less riddled with holes than that of the flat-earth society. Whether the universe has a shape is currently under debate. (If the universe is finite, what’s on the other side?) Whether there is more than one universe is currently under debate. (Which one is the “real” reality?) The cause of the big bang is unknown. (What was the big banger?) The reason(s) for inconsistent expansion of the universe is unknown. What causes time to go in the direction it’s going? Why are the universal constants that allow our solar system to support this planet and this planet to support life arranged they way they are? In your words, we now accept as natural things we used to regard as supernatural. What makes you so certain that God will not one day be revealed to be a natural part if his creation? Since so much is unknown, it is illogical to buy into the belief system that we understand as much of the natural world as necessary to conclude that God is indistinguishable from a leprechaun.

        “It’s hysterical that you think that suddenly is going to change.”

        —Science has never produced a revolutionary discovery that caused a shift in the accepted paradigm?

        “I am secretly a theist!”

        —You are, but you’re unwilling to humble yourself.

        “Ask a hurricane.”

        —C’mon salvage. You can do better than that. A hurricane is no more angry than a rainbow or a sunrise are happy.

        “So let me see if I got this right, your god made the universe perfect, this perfect creation included man and then man screwed up creation and it’s not your god’s fault it’s man’s fault despite the fact that man did an imperfect thing while being part of the perfect creation?”

        —Yes, exactly.

        “Your omnipotent universe creating supreme being’s perfect creation was ruined by a mortal creature who couldn’t make a fire without two rocks?”

        —Yes, humans are just that important!

        “Is there any part of your mind that is screaming at you about how none of that makes the slightest bit of sense?”

        —Not one single bit, although I used to think this was a garbage. (I’ve only been a believer for that past quarter of my life.)

        “‘You can eat all the cakes, cookies and ice cream you like but don’t eat this donut!” and then you put it on the table and walk away. Do you think the police would charge you with any crime when they find the body? Do you think your excuse of “I told them not to eat it!” would absolve you of responsibility?”

        —That’s a good one salvage! Do think the police can take God into custody? Pretending to understand all of God with your limited human perception, reason, and perspective is folly. To hold God to human standards makes as much sense as expecting light to behave according to everything you know about water.

        “And where was your god when all this apple snake business was going down? I thought he was all knowing?”

        —God was right there in the thick of it, where else could God be? The point is, Adam and Eve didn’t know God was there and were exercising their free will in God’s perceived absence. In doing so, they acted precisely according to how God knew they would act.

        “C) there are no such things as gods, talking snakes and magic fruit. Listen… do you hear any little voice saying “c! the answer is c!”

        —No, all I hear is you pretending to know things you do not know because you don’t want the truth to be as it is. If you look for God, he will reveal himself to you.

        “Yeah, weird that your god never spoke to [Greeks] huh? Just let them pray the wrong way for thousands of years while their civilization flourished. Why is that?”

        —God did speak to the Greeks, as well as every civilization before and since. God has been speaking to man since Day 6. He was speaking to the Greeks during the peak of their civilization, and he continues to speak to Greeks after their culture was absorbed by Rome.

        “That would be the man who very quickly screwed things up? Hmm, not a good image I’m thinking.”

        —God didn’t make a race of “little Gods.” He made humans, and we pretty much suck. Do you believe to the contrary?

        “but why the heck did your god base our brain on a lizard’s? And what’s up with wisdom teeth, anaemia and exploding appendixes?”

        —What would your design for the human brain be, or the human mouth, or the circulatory system and internal organs? I don’t pretend to know, but nowhere in the Bible does it say that the human body was designed to be perfect.

        “all that stuff was perfect then darn it, we had to go and sin and now it’s all ruined! This is why we can’t have nice things!”

        —Yes, that’s pretty much it. The nicest thing God gave us isn’t material, it’s his plan for salvation from our sin.

        “it’s not a refusal by choice; I can no more choose to believe in your silly angry sky god than I can unicorns, leprechauns or the Detroit Lions.”

        —Your refusal to believe is, in fact, a choice – one based upon arrogance, pride. Are there world religions that worship unicorns or leprechauns? Matthew Stafford is just in a slump, not unusual for young developing QBs.

        “It’s weird that your god didn’t make me in a way that I could see it. I guess he just doesn’t like me.”

        —I understand your feelings and once felt just like you. Unless you plan on dying tonight, you will continue to evolve (that E-word again!!), your views will sometimes be gently reshaped, sometimes abruptly and painfully, your understanding will grow, your values will change, your heart will melt. The person you are today is not the person you were when you were a child, but it is childish to think that your paint has dried and you’re all your ever going to be. Through it all, God loves you.

        “even if [God] were real I’d side with the adversary, he never destroyed any cities, murdered any babies in their cribs or demanded foreskins.”

        —That of course is your call, but I urge you to reconsider. The greatest lie the devil ever told was convincing people he didn’t exist. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour.”

        • salvage

          -And as a man of science, that singular source is what –
          The correct configuration of chemicals and energy, much has been written about it and new experiments have revealed quite a bit, I urge you to read up on the subject because you clearly have no understanding of it.
          -Ding ding ding! Exactly!! By arguing against me, you are making my point for me.
          Wow. You really have trouble understanding stuff, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume your being obtuse to protect your delusions.
          It’s simple. A long time ago people looked up at the sun and asked “What is that?” and every culture decided it was a god of some sort. Now this seemed reasonable enough, the sun after all literally gave life, it moved, it seemed to have moods, sometimes it was helpful, sometimes deadly. People prayed to it, sacrificed to it and did all the stuff that you do to your god.
          Of course we know the sun is just a common ball of gas, a fusion engine that is in fact the source of life but is also not magic, a giant chemical and physical reaction is all.
          As we understand nature it stops being supernatural.
          Like many theists you look at the bits of science and declare the unknowns proof that your god is real, how you make that conclusion is a bit of a mystery but none the less the “god of the gaps” is an old dodge and I will pay it no further attention.
          -Science has never produced a revolutionary discovery that caused a shift in the accepted paradigm?
          Of course it has, that’s all it does but at no point has science decided that something is the result of magic, gods or the supernatural, in fact it doesn’t the exact opposite, it’s weird that you haven’t noticed.
          -You are, but you’re unwilling to humble yourself.
          Yes, it takes a humble man to admit he was made by a god!
          -Yes, humans are just that important!
          Stop being so humble!
          -Not one single bit, although I used to think this was a garbage. (I’ve only been a believer for that past quarter of my life.)
          Pity that.
          – Pretending to understand all of God with your limited human perception, reason, and perspective is folly. To hold God to human standards makes as much sense as expecting light to behave according to everything you know about water.
          How do you live with the dichotomy I wonder? So humans are made in the image of your god and your god is perfect except when it doesn’t make any sense, it’s still being perfect but we just don’t get it!
          Yeah, I doubt I’d waste my time with such nonsense, if your god wants my worship he should adopt more reasonable policies.
          -In doing so, they acted precisely according to how God knew they would act.
          So, your god set up Adam and Eve to fail? Two child like beings tricked into misery, and you worship this monster why again?
          -No, all I hear is you pretending to know things you do not know because you don’t want the truth to be as it is. If you look for God, he will reveal himself to you.
          Yeah, I looked and only found crazy stupidity in the form of a mythology that has been retconned more than DC and Marvel comics combined.

          -God did speak to the Greeks, as well as every civilization before and since.

          Odd that they don’t mention it, you do know they worshiped other gods right? That later on the Romans knew about the Jews and their one god and while the Romans respected the age of that god (Romans dug anything older than they were) they thought it goofy. Just one god for a whole world? Didn’t make sense to them.

          -God didn’t make a race of “little Gods.” He made humans, and we pretty much suck. Do you believe to the contrary?

          You never really notice all your contradictions do you? Well if you did you wouldn’t be a theist I suppose.

          -What would your design for the human brain be, or the human mouth, or the circulatory system and internal organs?

          Well I’d make our brains less RAM, our eating and breathing holes separate and I would do away with the organs that don’t do anything until they explode. (Well to be fair the appendix might have some use in digestion but they’re not super sure what).

          -I don’t pretend to know,

          I think you do.

          -but nowhere in the Bible does it say that the human body was designed to be perfect.

          So your perfect god makes imperfect things? You don’t see a bit of a contradiction there?

          -Yes, that’s pretty much it. The nicest thing God gave us isn’t material, it’s his plan for salvation from our sin.

          Sin that he created, once again your god is a pretty sick puppy, you’d think an omnipotent being would have better things to do.

          -Your refusal to believe is, in fact, a choice –

          Nope. I can’t believe in something that doesn’t exist, if I did I would have a dozen restraining orders from Katy Perry.

          -Are there world religions that worship unicorns or leprechauns?

          Unicorns I don’t think so, leprechauns, not world but locally they were, equally silly objects of worship were once prayed to by the majority of the larger cultures for thousands of years. The Egyptians with the animal head gods, the Greeks and their cast of “Dynasty”, the South Americans worshiped jaguars at one point, the Australian aboriginals worshiped a snaked, the Far East had dragons, the European pagans had equally weird critters and so on.

          -Matthew Stafford is just in a slump, not unusual for young developing QBs.

          I’m giving him the next game before I comment on that.

          -I understand your feelings and once felt just like you. Unless you plan on dying tonight, you will continue to evolve (that E-word again!!),

          Sure but evolution requires environmental pressures to work and in this case all the “pressure’ has been exerted, I know all about your god and its story and none of it makes a lick of sense so my opinion on it is like the shark; no further evolution possible. So unless Jesus comes on back and does REAL miracles this time (all that stuff in the Bible he did is so lame and hack) he and your god will still be in the mythology column.

          -The greatest lie the devil ever told was convincing people he didn’t exist..”

          Well him and your god do an excellent impression of things that don’t exist so it’s understandable. Next time you read the Bible do a body count, add up all the people your god has killed vs. how many the devil has whacked, the contrast is rather stark. And the people the devil did take out? He only did it with your god’s approval.

  • Mike

    I wanted to stress this: It is ironic that you would call anyone else out as a coward when you have demonstrated clear cowardice time and again on these very webpages. I, a person no one has heard of, have challenged you again and again to actually defend your idea of a deity. Again and again, you have refused. You have e-mailed me personally to try and get me to stop (don’t deny it, I will produce the e-mails 🙂 ) badgering you. Yet still, you cower, not answering, not replying, only begging pitifully that I buy your book.

    Defend your views openly, here, or stop airing them, you damned lying coward. Stop accusing others of what you are so manifestly guilty of.

    • Mike,

      No, No, don’t produce the emails. I don’t think I could stand the humiliation! Haven’t you gone back to work yet? I wrote an entire book explaining why I think that atheistic philosophy is groundless and why the theist holds the intellectual high ground. If you are not prepared to spend a few bucks on the book and see what I have to say, then there is not much I can do about it. If you write a book I will buy it and see what you have to say.

      • Raymond Koepsell

        In the past few months, I have been speaking out more openly about my disdain for atheism. I read the blogs and the books and it’s all so much anger, condescension, and bullying.

        I asked myself “why all the anger?” and reached the following conclusion: Anger is really nothing more than thinly-veiled fear, which begs the question: “What are atheists afraid of?” Atheists, I assert, are afraid they are right. Further, they are even more afraid that theists are right.

        That said, I can’t say that I’d be enthusiastic about reading the book you’re encouraging Mike to write. Based upon his posts, it doesn’t appear that he has much original to say beyond “Look at me, I think I’m right!”

        • Mike

          This is typical theistic self-delusion. Why the anger? Stupidity makes me angry. Lying to children makes me angry. Attempts by religious zealots to subvert my country make me angry. Tolerance for religious zealotry and bigotry make me angry.

          In short, people like you make me angry… certainly not afraid, I am especially not afraid of your particular imaginary friend.

          Also, if you have read more of my little history with Moshe, you would know that I have time and again made my points and he has in a most cowardly way avoided replying.

          • Raymond Koepsell

            Where is the self-delusion in my opinion that militant atheism relies on anger, bullying, and condescension? Is your point that militant atheists are even-tempered, mild-tempered, passive and genuflect toward Christian beliefs? We both know that’s poppycock.

            In your short reply to me, you cite no less than five reasons for your anger, all of them external to you I noticed, which typifies the irrational nature of anger.
            Ponder this thought for a moment, because you dodged it in your reply to my post:

            Anger is nothing more than the manifestation of fear mixed with adrenaline and testosterone. Anger is the “fight” in the “fight or flight” response.

            Anger is impossible without fear. Anger is a response to a perceived or actual threat. It can be a physical threat to you or someone else, it can be a threat to your sense of control, self-esteem, or ego, it can be a threat to your worldview. People like me don’t “make” you angry, you’re already angry. You are like a tube of toothpaste and “people like me” just squeezed out what is already in there.

            What are you afraid of, or more to the point, why are you “especially not” afraid of God? Your boastfulness is nothing more than a peacock puffing up his chest when confronted with a rival (i.e. threat). If you step out from around the wall you’ve built to defend your beliefs, you’ll see there is nothing to fear. If your right, you’ll be dead in an eye-blink of cosmic time and this cyber-swordfight you’re having with Rabbi Averick is meaningless. All you’re doing is wasting what little time you have left trying to prove to yourself that you’re right. On the other hand, If I and people like me are right, you’ll be dead in an eye-blink of cosmic time and then spend all eternity wishing you weren’t too arrogant, too hard-hearted, too stubborn to hear the truth.

            Here’s truth: Without God, you’re not nearly the man you think you are. With God, you’re way more man than you could have ever hoped to be otherwise.

          • Mike

            Yes, Atheists for the most part even tempered. They certainly do not genuflect toward christian beliefs. They are false and hurtful. In response to the lies (there is no evidence for a deity and to claim that there is is a lie and to claim that such belief is positive is disproved by history) and bigotry so common is religion, anger is the sane response.

            You can claim all you want that anger is merely a manifestation of fear. It isn’t true. It can be, but it isn’t always, or even nearly always. To take a subject as complex as the evolved emotions and responses of humans and so simplify it is simply wrong and foolish. Anger is easily possible without fear. Yes, people like you make me angry. You are what is worst in society. You lie to children and cause or allow great hurts to people and society. Yes, you make me angry but I do not fear you. If you are too simple to see the difference, I am sorry, but the difference exists.

            It is foolish to claim, in face of the fact that we are mortal and no evidence exists for an afterlife (and thus no reason to believe in it), that our existence is meaningless. Yours may be meaningless to you without the crutch of false faith but that doesn’t mean mine is. Don’t assume everyone shares your limitations.

            Your opinion in your inane closing is wrong. You, as a theist, are hardly a man at all. You answer to a sky-father and rely on him to tell you how to behave and expect him to reward you. Don’t be absurd, if you can help it.

          • jp

            Ray, you give ourself away with the “militant atheist” slander.

            Militant theists fly planes into buildings. Calling atheists “militant” for pointing out that the Emperor really ISN’T wearing any clothes is an insult to all those who have lost loved ones to real militants. Think about that before you use it again. It’s equivocation of the worst kind.

      • Mike

        Of course I am not prepared to spend a “few bucks” if one red cent of it goes to you. You are clearly not prepared to defend your views unless you get paid for it. What can you do about it, you ask? That’s easy. Stand up like a man. Say what you mean. Theism is the idea that is groundless. Why? There is not any possible proof for the existence of a deity. Thus, the entire structure is faulty. Provide some evidence, if you can.

        Coward. Mercenary. Lets add hypocrite since you are so painfully guilty of what you so arrogantly accuse others of.

        I warned you about not denying the e-mails because of your history of a lack of intellectual honesty. It was warranted. Also, if you wanted them widely read, why e-mail them instead posting them openly? Keep your snide comments to yourself.

        Yes, I am back at work, but dashing a few trifling lines to a trifling little man doesn’t take a lot of time.

        • Raymond Koepsell

          Um…..Mike, calling Rabbi Averick a “coward,” a “mercenary,” and a “hypocrite” is itself hypocritical when you add, a few lines down, “Keep your snide comments to yourself.”

          Also, if you’re so absolutely certain of your being correct, why are you on-line asking for evidence?

          God has revealed himself to very few humans. Are you mad that you are not one of them?

          From Hebrews: “Without faith, it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

          The Bible does not say: Without accepting peer-reviewed scientific evidence, it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must accept the proof that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly accept his existence.

          Seems to me that the “trifling little man” has gone to great lengths to show you the tools you need in order to penetrate your wall of belief that God does not exist. I don’t know or care how much you make, but if your cyber-war with the Rabbi extends back in time so that it has “history” as you told me, then the opportunity cost of doing that at work is a great loss of productivity. If you are salaried, then you’re stealing from your employer. If you’re commissioned, then you’ve already spent way more money “dashing a few trifling lines” than you would on the Rabbi’s book.

          Every single post you write is further proof that you’re unable to think objectively.

          • Mike

            Yes, I was being purposefully snide and sarcastic there. Well caught.

            Moshe is a coward, having dodged multiple challenges to state his position here on evidence for a deity. He is a hypocrite because he is guilty of exactly what he condemns someone else for. He is a mercenary because he claims to have some of the evidence I mentioned but that he will not present it sine he expects to be paid for it. My charges are all valid.

            I make the simple request for evidence because none has ever been presented by anyone for the existence of any deity. Failing that, the entire teetering mountain of religion is faulty.

            God has revealed himself to any human? Provide evidence for your claim. Your word is simply not good enough.

            Quoting your scriptures is not proof. What the Bible says is the meaningless ramblings and distorted history form a primitive culture a long time ago. Show evidence first that some deity exists, then that this deity actually inspired that particular book and translation and there will be a reason to give it credence.

            It is ridiculous to say that Moshe, that trifling little man, has done anything other then write some foolish things, much as you have.

            Your opinions of my work habits is both wrong and inappropriate. If you have any character, you will apologize. I do not expect it.

            Why do theists become so agitated when asked to defend their beliefs? likely because they can’t.

        • Mike,

          Are you for real? Calm down.

          • Mike

            I am perfectly calm. What I am is contemptuous… of you.

      • Rabbi Miles

        I suggest that each of you not buy each others books, but calmly debate the issue here. Without insult and snide comments, just debate the issues.

        • Mike

          I have written no books, Mr. Miles. I would be happy to calmly discuss his proofs for a deity with Moshe. I have asked calmly and presented points but Moshe has repeatedly refused. Now, in light of his continued refusal, I can express nothing but contempt for him.

          I will commend you on a sensible suggestion.

    • Raymond Koepsell

      Here’s what is TRULY ironic Mike – a hypocrite crying “hypocrisy, hypocrisy!” The practice of atheism is built upon both self-deception and hypocrisy. Atheists must pretend that the human mind has a sufficient working knowledge to understand all that can be understood. There is no greater self-deceit. Atheists put the onus on theists to “prove God exists” based upon the hypocrisy that atheism equals non-belief. In point of fact, anything which cannot be proven must be believed. You have no proof that God doesn’t exist, yet you demand that the author prove to you God does exist. Your belief system is not the null hypothesis as so many academic atheists like to assert. Your belief system is every bit as much faith that there is no God as the theists’ faith that there is. You challenge the theist to defend his deity, when the challenge is as much yours as his. As an Evangelical Christian, it is my duty to tell you that your house of cards that will invariably fall. (“On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everybody drops to zero.” Narrator from “Fight Club.”) Make sure you’re willing to see this through all the way to The End after the end, which for you, sadly, has no end.

      • Mike

        “The practice of atheism is built upon both self-deception and hypocrisy.”

        This is simply false. No other way to reply.

        “Atheists must pretend that the human mind has a sufficient working knowledge to understand all that can be understood.”

        No one has said this but you. It may be a claim that can hold up, since the human mind is our only agent of understanding, there being no reason to believe in any deity.

        “Atheists put the onus on theists to “prove God exists” ”

        Yes. That is because theists are making the truth claim. They should be prepared to back it up. Sadly, none ever has.

        “In point of fact, anything which cannot be proven must be believed. You have no proof that God doesn’t exist, yet you demand that the author prove to you God does exist.”

        Surely you are not this dumb. You do realize that if this is true, then you must believe in Islam, Zeus, Santa Claus and leprechauns? None of those have any evidence, so I assume you must believe in them too.

        “Your belief system is every bit as much faith that there is no God as the theists’ faith that there is.”

        Incorrect. I believe in no deity because I have been presented no good evidence that says I should. Should some be provided, I would accept it. I invite anyone, especially the cowardly Rabbi, to do so.

        • Raymond Koepsell

          Atheists are the ones making a truth claim. Upon what “proof” is atheism built? Atheism isn’t based on proof of fact, it is based upon faith. Anything that can’t be proven to be true requires faith in order to be believed; it’s just that simple.

          So far, you have zero proof of the non-existence of God, so your belief depends on your faith that “there is no God.” So far, I have zero proof of the existence of God, so my belief depends on my faith that “God exists.” The theist’s burden to prove to you that God exists is identical to the atheist’s burden to prove to me that God does not exist. Both are faith-based claims that cannot be proven.

          If you ask me to prove to you that God exists, and I will tell you, as an intellectual – faith is required. If I ask you to prove to me that God does not exist, all you could tell me is that I have to have faith in that belief. You said so yourself: “I have been presented no good evidence that says I should [believe in God]. Should some be provided, I would accept it. I invite anyone…to do so.” By saying this, you are admitting that your position is faith-based rather than fact-based. You are, in effect, saying “Ray, I’m just not sure about this God/no-God thing. Can you help me with it?”

          I would tell you faith is a muscle you use every day. Faith that the plane you’re about to take is not going to crash and burn killing everyone on board. Faith that your car’s brakes are going to work next time you need them to avoid that pesky head-on collision on the rain. Faith that your next walk outside won’t give you Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and you’ll die in a week. People die all the time of plane crashes, car crashes, and ticks, but they are the exceptions. Without the exceptions to demonstrate the risk, no faith would be required, and we could all know from birth to death that planes, cars, and ticks don’t kill. Your God-muscle has been made weak by your culture. God understands this and is ready when you are.

          Lastly, equating God with imaginary creatures is a last-ditch effort to pull the wool over your own eyes. There are no world religions based upon Santa Claus or leprechauns, and life after death has nothing to do with whether the tooth fairy is real, or Bigfoot, or Nessie. Regarding comparative theology, I have my own beliefs as a Christian. Nobody proved to me that Jesus rose from the dead, but I have that belief now based upon personal and cultural influences in my life. Christianity is the world’s largest religion, as a Christian, it is my duty to spread the Gospel to all those who don’t believe. What you do with that information is your choice, but I will tell you that choosing a Godless eternity is not the right choice.

          • Mike

            Your first line is simply incorrect. Atheism makes no truth claim. The theist says “There is god”. The atheist says “Really? Got any proof”. The then theist fails to produce any.

            At least you admit that you have no proof and you believe on faith, which is by definition belief without evidence. Now, why is faith (accepting positions without evidence) a good thing?

            By the way, lumping your myth in with other myths is entirely appropriate. Sorry if that bothers you.

          • jp

            Ray, you say that you use faith when you assume your brakes will work, and then you quote statistics as showing that brake failure, as compared to well-functioning brakes working, is exceedingly rare. That’s not faith, that’s evidence. Without the evidence of millions of planes safely arriving at their destination for every one that crashes, why on earth would you have any expectation of safety? To expect safety without evidence of safety is insane and, ironically, is the sort of behaviour that could win you a Darwin Award.

    • Here’s one piece of evidence…

      The Jewish people for 2,000 years (and counting) lived in Galus. During that time there have been countless attempts to either assimilate, convert and/or destroy the Jewish people.

      These attempts have used almost every conceivable means imaginable to accomplish this – military, economic, cultural, religious, political, etc. Often times the manner in which these attempts were carried out were of the most fierce nature.

      At the same time, the Jewish people lacked all of the common or normal means of protecting themselves from these onslaughts. They had no power of state, no power of the military, no common economy, language, culture, etc. They were dispersed and vulnerable in almost every means imaginable.

      Furthermore, the Jews have oftentimes been divided during this time in various ways. For one there have always been different sects (the Hellinists, the Jewish Christians, the Sadducees, the Karaites, etc.) and obviously we were geographically separated.

      And yet, not only did the Jews survive intact as a people, in some ways they thrived.

      Now, this fact in and of itself is interesting and noteworthy. But it was also predicted. The Torah predicts that there will be an exile, it predicts that it will be fierce and it predicts that eventually their will be an in-gathering from the ‘four corners’ of the Earth to the land of Israel.

      And, lo and behold, we see millions of Jews again living in Israel after thousands of years of harsh, difficult, at times brutal exile.

      And not only have the Jewish people survived, but the Torah and belief in G-d has survived (and been one of, if not the, most influential forces in the entire history of mankind).

      Show me any other people with such a history. Show me any other people who have survived intact such an onslaught?

      All those other sects are gone, but Torah Judaism is still here. All the oppressors are gone, but the Jewish people are here. The idolotries and ideologies that tried to destroy us are gone, but belief in G-d is still here. Even Christianity has fundamentally changed in a number of ways.

      What force preserved the Jews? How did they do it? It was an economic force. It wasn’t a political or military force. What force brought all of this about?

      One can rightly look back at this and say that this whole entire history is one long proof of G-d.

      In fact, I believe that this point is at the heart of the following exchange between Jean-Baptiste de Boyer and Frederick the Great:

      FTG: “Can you give me one single irrefutable proof of God?”

      JBdB: “Yes, your Majesty, the Jews.

      • Rabbi Miles

        Moshe, well said. Judaism has survived, but unfortunately has undergone painful experiences getting to this point.

        I disagree with one if your points:

        All those other sects are gone, but Torah Judaism is still here. All the oppressors are gone, but the Jewish people are here.

        Yes, the Jewish people are in Israel, but are now being oppressed by “Torah Judaism.” When looking at the situation in Israel today, one has to ask why are the non-religious Jews being oppressed by the Chief rabbinate. A young couple getting married have to jump through hoops to be able to marry. Many secular Jews actually leave the country and go to places like Cypress to marry. And even if they marry outside of the country and later choose to divorce, the Rabbinate is involved in their divorce as well.

        The coercion is not just in matters of marriage, the rabbinate has rejected conversions of Jews, even many years after they converted, because they are not leading ultra Orthodox lifestyles.

        Moshe, the situation is very sad in Israel today. Last month I read of a religious girls’ school in Beit Shemesh where men threw human excrement at little girls, calling them whores, all because they were not religious enough. Have these people gone from being oppressed to becoming the oppressors? Is this the Torah Judaism that you describe? Is the spirit that preserved Judaism also the spirit that oppresses six-year-old girls?

        If what you are saying is true, that the Torah predicted the in-gathering of exiles, then we should take seriously the Torah’s warning :”And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you.”

        It is said that the temple was destroyed because of baseless hatred, we should learn from that lesson and reach out to others with love, not by oppressing secular Jews, not by calling little religious girls, prizot and not by attacking others that do not share the same belief.

        • Hello Rabbi Miles,

          I’m not sure how any of the points that you raised relate to the discussion at hand – we are discussing evidence for believing in G-d, not the political situation in Eretz Yisrael.

          Be well,

          Moshe

          • Rabbi Miles

            Moshe (are you a sock puppet?), your argument that the presence of Jews in the land of Israel today is a proof of Hashem is being confirmed by the warning of the Torah that defiling the land is reason for vomiting out the inhabitants. My post was in SUPPORT of your case, since Jews are now having to hold on to keep the land, possibly because of the terrible things that are going on now.

  • Mike

    There you go again, Moshe, with your lies, half-truths and foolishness. When every will you stop? Lets go down the list again…

    1. “Richard Dawkins, the highest ranking clergyman in the hierarchy of New Age Atheism…”

    No, no, no… Dr. Dawkins is not a clergyman. He is a professor of and a popularizer of science. Clergy, such as priests and rabbis, are charlatans who lie and fantasize for fun and profit. The main thesis of clergy is the existence of some kind of deity, an unproven and unprovable assumption believed only by the simple.

    2. “In a purely materialistic universe there is no room for metaphysical realities like good and evil.”

    My goodness you are a silly man. you keep saying things like when you have been told that you are wrong and why you are wrong. “Metaphysical realities” is a meaningless contradiction in terms. Good and evil as real products of behavioral exist and are what is important. They exist for misguided creationists like you whether you like it or not. They do not have any divine origin, since no divinity can be shown to exist. As always you are welcome to try to show that but you will as always not even try. Funny that you claim someone else is a”chicken” when you have again and again avoided defending your beliefs.

    3. Quoting the atrocities of fascistic and communist regimes as indicative of some lack of morality on the part of atheists is further indication of your simple-mindedness. Those people, without the use of reason, mindlessly followed an philosophy to an idiotic point and it led them to do great evil. In that they are very much like theists. Your point is meanignless.

    4. “The real reason why Dawkins will not debate Craig is the same reason why he refuses to debate Dr. Stephen Meyer, of the Discovery Institute, about the Origin of Life. He is afraid. He is afraid of debating opponents of the caliber of William Lane Craig and Stephen Meyer.”

    I can’t speak to Dr. Dawkins state of mind, but this is extremely unlikely. The people you name are jesters and clowns. They, like you, do not engage in honest debate. They, like you, are evasive and dishonest. I would not deign to lower myself to occupy a stage with such people as you or they. It is beneath me and would give you and they too much credit. Keep in mind that I am a simple man of reason, of no fame or great note, yet I am still a man of reason and that puts me on a plane they and you can’t approach.

    Again, Moshe, you demonstrate clearly why you are among the worst people I have ever read. You knowingly lie, you ignore counterpoints, you are a strident shill only interested in profit. Shame on you. There is nothing good about who you are or what you do.

    • Raymond Koepsell

      Two of my comments are awaiting moderation. If Rabbi Averick’s page is moderated rather than posting in real time, then Mike is wrong to call him “coward.” I coward would have merely left Mike’s rants un-posted. Kudos Rabbi!

      • Mike

        Moshe has stated in the past that he has no control over those aspects of the site. He has repeatedly avoided direct questions while condemning others for not engaging. He is a coward.

    • My name is Moshe, but I am NOT Rabbi Moshe Averick.

      With that said, a few thoughts on what you wrote:

      No, no, no… Dr. Dawkins is not a clergyman. He is a professor of and a popularizer of science.

      Dawkins goes about promoting atheism with the zeal and zest of a clergyman. In that sense it is appropriate to call him a cleargyman.

      Clergy, such as priests and rabbis, are charlatans who lie and fantasize for fun and profit.

      Interesting claim. I’ll have to juxtapose that to all the Rabbis I know who financially struggle, are extremely humble in their personalities, live serious, responsible lives and dedicate themselves in a variety of ways to helping other people (such as organizing tzedeka, listening to peoples problems and offering them advice, etc.). I’m sure you can point me to some counter-example, but outside of the world of the media I know dozens of Rabbis who are honest, caring, helpful, serious, inteligent, giving people.

      The main thesis of clergy is the existence of some kind of deity, an unproven and unprovable assumption believed only by the simple.

      I think actually it’s actually the idea that only the simple who believe in G-d which is a simple idea. Some of the world’s greatest genius from a variety of cultural, geopgraphical, political, and religious backgrounds have all believed in G-d. Newton’s a good example. Pretty smart guy – if you think of inventing calculus and coming up with his three laws of physics qualifies as smart.

      In terms of ‘unproven and unprovable assumption’ — what makes you think that G-d is either unproven or unprovable? I’m not asking for a counter-challenge, I’m asking for you to substantiate your claim. How do you know that G-d is unproven or unprovable? What makes you think that G-d is an assumption?

      …Stephen Meyer, of the Discovery Institute…the people you name are jesters and clowns. They, like you, do not engage in honest debate. They, like you, are evasive and dishonest.”

      Sounds to me like you are a) unaware of the works of Stephen Meyer and b) have never actually seen him in a debate (say with Peter Ward, Michael Ruse or Michael Shermer). I would start by reading his book Signature in the Cell and then Googling his debates with those people (I think you can also find links to them on his site signatureinthecell.com).

      Stephen Meyer has a Ph.D. from Cambridge, is a mentsch when he debates, has a solid handle on the science and philosophy that he discusses and gives a very solid argument for why he thinks that DNA indicates what he calls an intelligent designer.

      • Mike

        Your personal experience of some clergy is irrelevant.

        I am aware of Meyer and his work. It is of no value.

        I have repeatedly said that I am willing to here evidence that proves the existence of a deity if someone will present it. Moshe has repeatedly and in a most craven way refused to do so. He may believe he has evidence for an intelligent designer but he doesn’t. The scientific community agrees with me on that one.

        Newton also believed in astrology and alchemy. He was wrong about those things, just like he was wrong about religion. He was right about a lot of things… the things he was wrong about doesn’t change that.

        • Your personal experience of some clergy is irrelevant.

          You made a positive claim about the clergy. I have personal experience which directly contradicts your claim. Please explain why that is irrelevant and why one should accept your mere statement over repeated personal experience?

          I have repeatedly said that I am willing to here evidence that proves the existence of a deity if someone will present it.

          Please read what I wrote more carefully. I did not ask whether or not you are willing to hear evidence, I asked you to back up your claim that there is no evidence and that G-d is not provable and just an assumption.

          You made a positive claim, I’m asking you to back up that positive claim. Stating that you are not aware of any evidence or that Rabbi Averick hasn’t provided you with such evidence does not lead to the statement that there is no evidence or that G-d is unprovable.

          So, please, back up your statement. Explain to us why you are right, don’t just state that you are right. Give us a reason to believe you.

          Newton also believed in astrology and alchemy. He was wrong about those things, just like he was wrong about religion. He was right about a lot of things… the things he was wrong about doesn’t change that.

          You stated that only simpletons believe in G-d. I gave you an example of a man who was not a simpleton who did believe in G-d. Whether he believed in astrology or alchemy doesn’t change the fact that he is an intelligent man who believed in G-d. Furthermore, just as his belief in astrology and alchemy have no bearing on his scientific achievements, it also has no bearing on his religious beliefs. They are separate issues.

          Finally, one can go through contemporary life and history and find countless examples of sophisticated, intelligent people who believe in G-d. So again, I claim that your statement that only simple people believe in G-d is actually a simplistic and historically false statement.

          In terms of Meyer – care to explain why his work is of no value.

          It’s easy to make bold claims, it’s harder to back them up. Please try and back them up.

          • Mike

            My goodness, aren’t you a puffed up fellow?

            In the first place, I do not know you. You may be insane or simply a liar about your personal experiences. Thus, your anecdotes are meaningless. Still, here goes:

            Clergy support themselves or gain social standing and personal authority by claiming special knowledge of a deity or some other universal truth. There is no universal truth discoverable by personal revelation. If there were, then all personal revelations would be the same and they are not. There is no evidence for any deity, so no one should accept their existence. Thus, clergy either hypocritically (if they realize their falsehoods) or ignorantly (if they do not) deceive and misguide children and the innocent. Thus my claim.

            Now, why do I claim there is no possibility of evidence of a deity? This is a long list. I will go with one to start. A deity is most often defined, especially in modern, western religion, as omniscient and omnipotent. It is always possible for the misguided believer to merely say that a being of infinite power can always hide. Any claim that can’t be falsified is worthless.

            Finally, an individual can be quite competent and knowledgeable in one area and quite stupid and simple in another. Newton is a good example. Anyone who accepts, without evidence since no one has ever presented any that has held up, a claim about a deity, is a simpleton in that regard.

            There. I have, in my own small way, done what Averick (to differentiate the writer iof this piece of claptrap from you) has time and again been afraid to do. I have presented arguments.

          • My goodness, aren’t you a puffed up fellow?

            Interesting how you so easily resort to insults.

            In the first place, I do not know you. You may be insane or simply a liar about your personal experiences. Thus, your anecdotes are meaningless. Still, here goes:

            I may be, but I may not be. If I’m not then my anecdotes are meaningful. Supposing that I may be insane or a liar doesn’t make it so, it just allows you to psychologically and intellectually ignore my claims. But it doesn’t falsify my claims.

            As such, if you are the truth seeking guy that you claim to be the honest approach would be to consider that in fact such Rabbis actually do exist and that you may actually be wrong about your claims about them.

            Here’s a famous, although not contemporary, example. The chofetz Chaim. Hard to argue that he made money by being a Rabbi.

            There is no universal truth discoverable by personal revelation. If there were, then all personal revelations would be the same and they are not.

            I didn’t talk about personal revelation, I talked about personal experience. The Torah records a national revelation (somewhat unique, I believe, in religious traditions, the idea of a national revelation). People can tap into that national experience.

            There is no evidence for any deity, so no one should accept their existence.

            YOu keep saying that, repeating a line over and over again is not an argument. I presented one example of proof above. Here are a few more:

            * The Fine-Tuned Universe
            * The design found in the animal kingdom (particularly if the neo-Darwinian mechanism is not true)
            * The influence of the Bible throughout history
            * The radical difference in moral, legal, and political ideology found in the Chumash (ideas such as equality under the law, taking care of the poor, the inherent dignity of man, and the evil of oppression).
            * The information, information and communicatoin systems and code found in the cell in general and DNA in particular.

            Thus, clergy either hypocritically (if they realize their falsehoods) or ignorantly (if they do not) deceive and misguide children and the innocent. Thus my claim.

            Yes, it’s a claim, one that you repeat over and over again. What I want is a proof, example, evidence that this is true of ‘clergy’ (not individuals, but an inherently so).

            Now, why do I claim there is no possibility of evidence of a deity? This is a long list. I will go with one to start. A deity is most often defined, especially in modern, western religion, as omniscient and omnipotent. It is always possible for the misguided believer to merely say that a being of infinite power can always hide. Any claim that can’t be falsified is worthless.

            You have not well articulate what you are trying to say, but I will make a guess. If G-d is omnipotent and omniscient then why isn’t that perfectly clear and obvious? Why doesn’t everyone see, why doesn’t G-d ‘reveal’ Himself to everyone? Please correct me if I misunderstood your point.

            First of all, for those willing to look there is plenty to find. If you spent less time on the offensive and more time saying – okay, let me honestly, thoroughly and rigorously check this out then you might actually find out that G-d is not quite as hidden as you think.

            Secondly, it’s not sufficient to take wo aspects of G-d (His power and knowledge) and ignore the full theological picture. A lot has been said about G-d, how He interacts with the world and why He created the world. Without taking the time to understand what has been said, why it has been said and the source of the ideas you can’t hope to understand why G-d might not be as obviously visible as you think He should be.

            Finally, an individual can be quite competent and knowledgeable in one area and quite stupid and simple in another. Newton is a good example. Anyone who accepts, without evidence since no one has ever presented any that has held up, a claim about a deity, is a simpleton in that regard.

            You assume that Newton accepted G-d without evidence. I imagine you haven’t read any of Newton’s religious works. I haven’t, but I have heard some quotes. You may find that he actually thought there was evidence for G-d — including his own theories in physics.

            In terms of never held up – well, we’ll have to disagree there. I personally think that modern science, the history of the Jews, the influence of the bible and its content all overflow with evidence of G-d and the response to that (particularly from the new atheists) have been weak theories and empty (and oftentimes rude) rhetoric.

        • jp

          Moshe not-Averick, you state that a proof of God is that:

          “* The radical difference in moral, legal, and political ideology found in the Chumash (ideas such as equality under the law, taking care of the poor, the inherent dignity of man, and the evil of oppression).”

          How do you reconcile even one of the concepts that you listed with the Torah’s blithe acceptance of the keeping of human slaves?

          Did the Torah say that slaves were equal under the law? No, it said the opposite?

          The Torah says that a man who cannot pay his debts may be taken as a slave by his creditor. That doesn’t sound like taking care of the poor to me.

          Does the Torah, in acceptance of slavery, uphold “the inherent dignity of man”? Take your time on that one. Read Exodus 21:21 (which states that a man who beats a slave nearly to death with a rod shall suffer no punishment if the salve takes a day or two to die, as the loss of his property – the slave – is punishment enough) before you answer. If you can reconcile that with the concept of “the inherent dignity of man” then you should petition the International Olympic Committee to include “Ethical Gymnastics” in the London 2012 program – you be a shoo-in for gold.

          And does the Torah, in accepting slavery, treat oppression as evil? Ummmm…..

  • Dear Rabbi,

    I think you are (partly) right. I think, however, that there is another reason why Dawkin’s doesn’t want to debate Craig – strategy.

    Dawkin’s has a cause and for him debates are useful insomuch as they help him further his cause. If he can engage in a debate where he can help promote atheism (or himself) then the debate is worth it for him. If not, then it’s counterproductive.

    In terms of the Lennox debate – I don’t know how easy it is for Dawkins to refuse to debate a professor from a top British university. He couldn’t offer such lame excuses for not debating Lennox.

    Same goes for credentialed religious figures [it’s also easier for him to debate them since more often than not they are not well versed in science].

    In short, Dawkin’s is on a mission and will choose his debates and venues with an eye towards promoting that mission.

    Be well,

    Moshe

    • Rabbi Miles

      You just replied to your own post, certainly not mine.

      • My name is Moshe, but I am not Rabbi Averick.

        I replied to Rabbi Averick’s post. I didn’t reply to your comment.

        • Rabbi Miles

          Moshe (not Rabbi Moshe), sorry for the confusion. Maybe post with your last name so people can know that the two of you are not the same person.

  • Rabbi Miles

    Moshe,

    I think it is a weak argument to state that the Jewish sages “knew exactly what the value of Pi is.” We know that when the sages spoke of science, they were often terribly wrong.

    Look at Rashi’s commentary about Yaakov and Esav. Rashi claims, first one in, last one out (a reference as to his claim that Yaakov was actually the bechor). He took this from a Midrash and both sources are obviously 100% wrong about women’s physiology.

    One of the most idiotic scientific ideas stated in the Talmud is that lice are spontaneously generated and thus, permitted to be killed on Shabbat. How wrong could they be?

    The sages, who obviously had limited knowledge of science, thought the world was flat (Pesachim 94a/b).

    But then again, who knows what the sages actually said. The Talmud was an oral collection that was not put to paper till a thousand years after it was given. The Torah, which was written in a different alphabet, has also has changed through the years.

    Moshe, when sages write great commentaries over a single letter in text, it is difficult to take them seriously when the text is not the same as the one studied thousands of years ago.

    Just like the great sages were VERY wrong about science, I wonder how many present-day rabbis have a clue about science.

    • Rabbi Miles,

      That was a different Moshe who replied. When I said that the sages knew about Pi, I was responding specifically to what was said by the commenter. As far as the Sages opinion about the shape of the earth it is not as simple as you made it out to be. There was disagreement among them whether the Earth was round or flat. Practically speaking it did not make much difference, they worked with the science of their time. As far as lice and spontaneous generation it is also not as simple as you make it out to be, there are differing interpretations about the precise meaning of their statement because halachically speaking, anything that is not observable to the naked eye has no halachic status. However, it certainly COULD mean that they had the same belief as scientists until the time of Pasteur, namely that there was such a thing as spontaneous generation. So what? If leading scientists believed it, why is it “idiotic” for the Sages to believe it?

      As far as the cycles of the moon, upon which the entire calculation of the months and holidays rest, the exact length of the moons cycle is as accurate as NASA’s calculation which not made until late in the 20th century. This was obviously revealed to Moses at Mt. Sinai. There is no other explanation how they could have had such an accurate knowledge of this scientific fact.

      Most of the great commentators on the Talmud all agreed that the Sages worked with the scientific concepts of their time and discussed these matters with Greek Sages and others. I’m not quite sure what your point is.

      I assume you are not an Orthodox Rabbi and this is not the place to discuss your notions of what the Torah is and where it came from vs. mine.

      Again, the Sages were NOT wrong about science, they reflected the scientific knowledge of their times. Their view of science was as “idiotic” as Plato’s or Aristotle’s. As far as present day RAbbi’s knowledge of Science, it is the same as anyone else’s. Those who apply themselves and study it understand the science, those who do not, don’t.

      One thing I can tell you with absolute confidence is that scientists today do not have the slightest clue how life could have emerged through an undirected process. You can read my book on the subject, “Signature in the Cell” by Dr. STephen Meyer or “The Fifth Miracle” by Dr. Paul DAvies, etc.
      I also highly recommend “The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions” by Dr. David Berlinski (agnostic).

      • Rabbi Miles

        Dear Moshe (Averick),

        The sages did not know about Pi. Their calculations are off and if you are familiar with Eruvin 14a, you are aware of the differences.

        Knowledge of the sages’ understanding of a flat earth is quite simple if you know your sources. Even up to the point of the Chatam Sofer (1762-1839), “and the waters surround it on all sides — there is no part empty of them, and the earth is not seen at all from any side” there were Jewish leaders who believed that the earth was flat. Yes, there were minor opinions that the earth was round (Tosfot on Avodah Zarah 41a), but the mainstream belief was in a flat earth.

        The Chatam Sofer did not work “with the science of their time”, he rejected the common belief and chose to cling to the writings of the sages, which were incorrect then and are incorrect now.

        Again, the issue of lice is quite simple, when you know the rules of how we learn Gemara. The reference to lice in Shabbat 107b specifically says that lice are produced from dust, and the term lice eggs does not refer to eggs produced by lice, but to a different form of insect called lice eggs. The issue has nothing to do with what is not visible to the naked eye, and everything to do with the fact that the conclusion by most sages was based on a lack of knowledge of science. Today, there is a debate about the practical implications of the sages’ mistakes, and whether one should avoid killing lice on Shabbat, based on the truth, versus those that say that one can continue to kill lice on Shabbat, based on the erroneous views of the sages. You say, “so what?, but this concern is important in terms of practice, thousands of years after the debate occurred.

        Speaking of which, are you making the claim the sages had daat Torah in matters of halacha (Jewish law) but had no clue as to the truth about science?

        “Cycles of the moon”, “NASA:, what are you talking about? Did you cut and paste your response from an Aish handbook? I didn’t mention the calendar or NASA, I wrote about Rashi’s view of women’s physiology that defies modern science and medicine. Yaakov and Eisav, Rashi was wrong about the science. Or is it your view that one day we will come to learn that Rashi was correct and science is incorrect? which one correct?

        Rabbi Moshe Tendler, the late Rabbi Moshe Feinstein’s son-in-law, is very knowledgeable in matters of science and halacha. In fact, you are probably aware that he advised Rav Moshe in matters of science as it pertained to halacha.

        Rabbi Moshe Tendler stood up in a Jerusalem synagogue recently and accused his fellow Orthodox rabbis of perpetrating one of the worst desecrations of God’s name in American Jewish history. Concerning a four-year study on the Jewish legal criteria for death. Rabbi Tendler said the paper was “pages of drivel” and “as close to a blood libel as you can come…” He believes that there were many errors of scientific fact in the 110 page document. Here we are in 2011 and these Rabbis have the ability to speak with scientists, but instead seem to cling to outdated and incorrect concepts. You claim that the “great commentators on the Talmud all agreed that the Sages worked with the scientific concepts of their time and discussed these matters with Greek Sages and others.” Yet our “sages” are so clued out about science that Rabbi Tendler even slams Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, chief rabbi of the United Kingdom for his lack of understanding of science and medicine.

        You claim that the sages were NOT wrong about science, and claim that “Their view of science was as”idiotic” as Plato’s or Aristotle’s…” yet today, as in the past, our “sages” reject the science of others. Today, Rabbi Tendler bemoans the fact that Rabbis still are clued out about science and make halachic decisions that defy the rules of science. Yes, there are some rabbis who are familiar with science, just as there were minority opinions in the talmud, but when the chief rabbi of the the UK gets it wrong, and a four-year study of the RCA gets it wrong, you have to question why mainstream Orthodoxy still clings to views that go against more knowledgeable scientific sources.

  • Randy

    There is no value for Dawkins in debating Craig because in the end it’s a draw with the audience blogging about who “really won” the debate. All Dawkins does by debating Craig is lend the credibility of his name to Craig as though Craig’s arguments have any merit.

    That being said, I am a forty-six year old science student with an extended background in religious studies and I am a sleight-of-hand expert. I openly challenge Dr. William Lane Craig to a public and televised debate to discuss the origins of the Universe.

    My guess is that Dr. Craig, coward and apologist he is, will not debate me for fear of having his faith unraveled publicly.

    • Randy,

      Why don’t you write Craig and challenge him to a debate. I doubt he will ever see your post here. I don’t think Craig has ever backed down from a serious challenge from any atheist. He debated Kai Nelson, Lawrence Krauss, Sam harris and Hitchens. I am curious to see his reaction. Do you think you could do better than Krauss or Hitchens?

  • Richard

    Dawkins was willing to debate Lennox. Did Dawkins know that Lennox is a Christian, thus Lennox believes in the God of the Bible, the same God that Craig defends?The God that is accused of committing genocide?

    I see an inconsistency here?

    • Richard,

      It seems that Dawkins feels that Craig is a more formidable oppponent. If Dawkins does not want to debate Craig for his own personal reasons, that is his business and I don’t begrudge his right to devote his time to whatever he sees fit. My point is that he feels the need to make silly excuses for refusing the invitation. This clearly indicates that he feels that in some sense he should not refuse the invitation. It seems to me that he is acting like a “guilty” man.

  • Excellent article! Very good points and well spotted quotes.

  • Joe

    The contrast is interesting: some high priests try very hard to defend a book they did not write, but one high priest ran away from defending a book that he himself wrote…

  • salvage

    Richard Dawkins, the highest ranking clergyman in the hierarchy of New Age Atheism,

    Atheism is the sensible belief that there are no such things as gods, it is not “new”, quite old in fact. Nor is Dawkins anything of the sort, he’s an acclaimed and accomplished scientist who has expanded humanity’s knowledge in the field of evolution and biology. Clergymen (and their Rabbinic counterparts) constrict humanity’s knowledge with the mythology of Bronze Age savages.

    would ever dream of accusing Craig of advocating gratuitous violence against non-believers and certainly not genocide.

    Well your god is into that, or is all that stuff not in the Torah? It’s fascinating the way you get to pick and choose what is relevant in your holy books and what is not.

    What makes this entire melodramatic episode even more curious are the rather questionable moral stances of Richard Dawkins himself.

    So you determine Dawkin’s moral stances by quoting other people?  

    In an article written for Edge in 2006, Dawkins explained that in a materialistic, deterministic universe, “blame and responsibility” [emphasis mine], “indeed evil and good” are nothing more than mental constructs and “useful fictions,” that are “built into our brains by…Darwinian Evolution.”
    Look at all them quotes and ellipses! I’m guessing the full context doesn’t support your argument? This of course is typical of theists, it’s almost like they can’t make arguments any other way.

    Dawkins also conveniently ignores that the greatest mass murderers in the history of mankind have all been atheists; Josef Stalin: 20-30,000,000 Mao Tse Tung: 50-70,000,000 Pol Pot: around 2,000,000. It’s worth noting that these men committed their atrocities, not 3,300 years ago, but in middle of the 20th century!

    Ah yes, clichés really are your go to guys aren’t they? But still those atheist revolutions… oh wait, no, those were communists and their slaughter was not in the name of atheism but rather power that is them attaining and holding on to it.

    Or are you really suggesting that if those men were theists none of that would have happened? That there’s never been god-believing butchers?

    Hitler, Catholic, Nazi Germany, Christian, Italy and other allies, Christian, the slaughter of the American indigenous peoples, Christians.

    Kind of a glaring omission there Moshe.

    I am not even remotely suggesting that Dawkins is capable of mass murder, but one would think that this simple historical fact might temper his righteous indignation just a bit.

    Simple! There is nothing simple in history, only the very simple would think and or say so. Did you know there was violence in those counties before they went Commie? No! It’s simple! They forgot god and went on a killing rampage as a result!

    He is afraid.

    Ha! Ha! Yes! He’s terrified of the superstitions and mythology of theists!

    No, he’s afraid of wasting time debating with crazy people and he really should have stopped long before. What’s the point of arguing with your kind Moshe? You believe in magic, you think crazy stories of gods, magic fruit, talking snakes and the like are fact! You believe that a universe creating Supreme Being cares if you light a candle on a Friday night and if there is a bit of skin at the end of your penis! How can you even being to debate madness like that? You can’t and its crazy to even try.

    you’re not fooling anybody; it’s time to come out of the hen-house and fight like a man.

    Ha! Ha! Call him a gay next!

    • Salvage,

      Hey! YOu’ve gone too far! I would never call him gay.

      On a more serious note. “Your god is into that”
      In WW2 we slaughtered hundreds of thousands Japanese and German men, woman , and children in bombing raids. In one night alone, 100,000 were killed in a bombing raid on Tokyo. The decision to undertake that raid was made by human beings and I happen to agree, along with many others, that it was morally justified. If an infinite, almighty God exists, I think it stands to reason that he also has the authority to mete out justice to wicked people. In fact, not punishing the wicked is as immoral as punishing the innocent.

      I am very aware that to establish the truth of divine revelation would require a separate discussion and I would never ask someone to accept such a thing on faith, but that issue is well beyond the scope of this particular forum.

      Just to clarify my position: It is my contention that belief in God is rather obvious for anyone who examines the evidence objectively, it requires an incredible leap of faith to believe that a bacterium could assemble itself through some undirected process. The burden of proof is on the skeptic to prove that such a process actually exists. On the other hand, the burden of proof is on the believer to show evidence that this God revealed a message at any particular point in time.

      • salvage

        >he also has the authority to mete out justice to wicked people.

         

        According to your mythology your god is responsible for the creation of those wicked people so the idea that it metes out punishment for its own mistakes is a rather bizarre Mobius loop.

         

        Would it not have been simpler to “design’ humans not to be wicked? Please, don’t run to free will, the connection between wicked acts and desperation / stupidity / environment / culture is well documented. Since, according to your holy scrolls, your god made it all it eventually lands on its doorstep.

         

        Oh and don’t you celebrate at Passover the murder of babies in their crib by your god for the action of their parent’s tyrannical leaders? How wicked is that?

         

        >I would never ask someone to accept such a thing on faith

         

        Excuse me? Your whole “profession” is based on demanding people accept such things and worse on faith.

         

        > It is my contention that belief in God is rather obvious for anyone who examines the evidence objectively,

         

        I know that’s your belief, it’s as wrong as your belief that magic and gods are real. It is ‘obvious” at first glance that there are gods, hence primitive cultures coming to that conclusion but now that we can properly answer many of the questions that myths “answered” (or at the very least debunk those myths such as the six day cosmos creation) it’s anything but obvious, in fact the slightest application of critical thought makes it obvious that there are no such things as gods. The Torah makes an argument for atheism with far more authority than anything Dawkins has ever written.

         

        > it requires an incredible leap of faith to believe that a bacterium could assemble itself through some undirected process.

         

        Well yes, that is goofy, bacterium cannot and did not “assemble itself”, what did “assemble” it (for lack of a better word) is a combination of chemical and physical reactions to its environment and time, billions of years of time.

         

        Now if only your Holy Book had said “An ye, the Lord made first countless creatures so small that no eye but His could see it and from those low beings, over millions upon millions of seasons came all the beasts of the field and seas including man” than I’d be all “Whoa!” because that would be a genuine revelation of a fundamental truth that the Bronze Age primitives would have no way of knowing.

         

        Torah got anything like that? It didn’t even get Pi right.

         

         

        >The burden of proof is on the skeptic to prove that such a process actually exists.

         

        Wow. That is the exact opposite of true.

         

        And there is tons of evidence and theories that show just that, they’ve been around since the 50s. Naturally you throw up a wall of obtuse ignorance rather than acknowledge them.

         

        At any rate I’m not sure what all that has to do with your school yard taunting of Richard Dawkins other than you clearly demonstrating why such a man as he would not want to debate such a man as you. It’s a bit like playing golf with someone who insists on using a hockey stick to hit the football into the water traps claming victory with each splash.

         

        Why do I argue? Well I’m not a world renowned scientist with better things to do, file under sad but true.

        • Salvage,

          There is a million dollar Origin of Life prize that is being offered to anyone who can present a “highly plausible” explanation of a natural, undirected process that could result in the genetic information that is neccessary for life to exist. That prize is still waiting for someone to claim it. Dr. Paul Davies, a leading non-believing Origin of Life expert has stated explicitly that “we haven’t a clue” how life began. That is agreed upon by all scientists. In my book, Nonsense of a High Order: The Confused and Illusory World of the Atheist, I bring seven full pages of statements by leading scientists,including a number of Nobel prize winners, that all agree with Dr. Davies, including Werner Arbor, STanley Miller, Christian DeDuve, and others.

          Why don’t you tell the prize committee that you have the answer and the million bucks is yours.

          The Babylonian Talmudic sages state that “if you could see what is actually swimming around in your water, you would never drink it.” It is also clear from Tractate Sukkot that they knew exactly what the value of Pi is.

          The Torah also predicted 3000 years ago that creation was “something from nothing.”

          You say “don’t run to free will.” Why not? Would like to be a perfect robot or do you cherish your freedom, even if it means you can choose to do evil? The only option to free will is being a programmed robot; it seems that God did not want the crown of his creation, human beings, to be robots.

          >”I would never ask someone to accept such a thing on faith

          Excuse me? Your whole “profession” is based on demanding people accept such things and worse on faith.”

          I have a hard time understanding you Salvage. I explicitly state that I do not want people accepting Torah on faith and then you say that I do. I meant exactly what I said.

          • salvage

            Why don’t you tell the prize committee that you have the answer and the million bucks is yours.

            Because I don’t know, just like all those nerds, eggheads and assorted braniacs but your argument seems to be “Since we don’t know everything we know nothing therefore my god!”

            What we do know is

            a)    Every living thing on planet Earth evolved from a single cell, this is beyond any reasonable doubt, DNA does not lie.
            b)    The supernatural is unreal and unreal things are not real, that is they don’t exist so any explanation that relies on the supernatural can be safely dismissed.
            c)    Your creation mythology has gotten far more right than wrong so that too can be safely dismissed… well those of use who don’t define their lives by theism can do so, your mileage will vary.

            The Babylonian Talmudic sages state that “if you could see what is actually swimming around in your water, you would never drink it.”

            And that bit of wisdom may have come from observing people drinking water and then their bowels exploding in a brown and bloody mess and a rather obvious conclusion is made. Animals defecate, die and rot in water, even the ones we never see (even in our modern age we don’t see them all, look up “Cyclops shark” for a cool example) this is known now and then.

            But are you seriously suggesting that this little nugget was your god telling its creation about bacteria?

            It is also clear from Tractate Sukkot that they knew exactly what the value of Pi is.
            Nope, not exactly, rounded off at best, the Zeus worshiping Greeks got it right however, well to be fair they got it closer to right, we of course don’t know what Pi’s exact value.

            The Torah also predicted 3000 years ago that creation was “something from nothing.”

            Well that certainly excuses the whole 6 days = 14.7 billion years boo-boo, the sun not being a star, the complete absence of dinosaurs and so on.

            Oh and every single origin myth says something from nothing (or chaos which is like an angry nothing), or a variation thereof so let’s file that under ‘big whoop”.

            You say “don’t run to free will.” Why not?

            As I explained, since your god made every single atom and every quantum fluctuation that determines where those atoms are / going to be / were already there, everything is its fault. Free will is thus impossible, our destinies on rails. By your ‘logic” your god knew that Adam and Eve’s decedents were going to commit unspeakable evils well before it turned the light on.

            That’s the problem with having a perfect god, its creation is anything but. The Greeks at least made their gods fallible, you could trick them, they had emotions, they made mistakes, and they did bad things so it made sense that their creation would be a reflection of those qualities. Your god? Too good to be true.

            I have a hard time understanding you Salvage. I explicitly state that I do not want people accepting Torah on faith and then you say that I do. I meant exactly what I said.

            But there is no other way to accept it! My father was Jewish so I’m no stranger to the Synagogue (in fact it was my trip to Israel that sealed my atheism) and part of the scam is to make the Torah itself an object of demi-worship. From the ceremonial way they are created to the reverent way they’re interned it’s made clear that the scrolls have a supernatural quality thus every single word is an unerring truth. The stuff that is clearly wrong? Have faith, it’s the word of a god so it must be true thus logic, reason, facts thrown out.

            Only faith can do that despite your protestations, what you want is irrelevant, faith is the only thing that keeps your seats full.

            Well that and I assume your services are catered, first time I went to a Christian service I was shocked that there was no nosh afterwards.

    • Peter

      Could you do a little more research first please?

  • An excellent article, sir.

    Reading around the issue of Dawkins evasion another reason for the Professor’s avoidance of Dr Craig would seem to sit with Dawkins run in with Professor John Lennox which, by reports, was a bruising defeat for the misotheist. Dawkins would prefer to avoid another damaging run in.

    Avoiding debates with credentialled and knowledgable theists is entirely in Dawkins interest. He, like many other vociferous new atheists, erect myths of anti-intellectualism and anti-science for their theistic opponents. Interacting with theists laden with PhDs and other higher degrees exposes the untruth in the Dawkins delusion

    • Utar,
      Thank you so much. I also happen to agree that Dawkins performance in the debate with Lennox left quite a bit to be desired. One of the most interesting exchanges was when Lennox pointed out that the Bible offered a falsifiable hypothesis when it stated that there was a “beginning” and it turns out to be true. Dawkins cynically replied that there were only two choices to begin with so it hhad a 50/50 chance of being correct. What he refused to acknowledge was that although that is true, isn’t it interesting that all along the skeptical scientists were dead wrong and the Bible was right! It took Science 3,300 years to finally catch up to the Torah that the universe was – as stated in the classic Talmudic language – “yaish ma’ayin”, i.e. “something from nothing.”

  • Matt

    Great article. However, the quote at the end is wrong. I believe it was Christopher HItchens who said Craig puts the “fear of God” into atheists.

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