Atheism 3.0?

Here’s a little piece that talks about Atheism 3.0. Presumably, Atheism 1.0 was the original atheism, 2.0 was the New Atheism of Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris and Dennet (“we hate all theists”, or so it goes), and 3.0 is “We hate all theists, but religion might not be so bad”. I’m extrapolating here, but I surmise that there are some people who don’t believe in gods, or the supernatural, or are agnostic on the question of divinity (they live in Missouri, the Show Me state), but feel that religion is a positive force in society, and hence has qualities that are worth keeping.

“I don’t know if anybody is going to be able to convince me that God exists,” Sheiman said in an interview, “but they can convince me that religion has intrinsic value.”

I almost fell prey to this thinking myself the other morning. There was a news story on the Today show about a little boy who contracted a rare brain tumor when he was 11, and succumbed to the cancer about 10 months later. Clear and convincing evidence of an omni-benevolent  god’s non-existence, but that’s not my point. His mother was interviewed, and at some point, she wistfully related a story about her son before he died, something to the effect that “He looked up and pointed to the sky, and said ‘soon everybody there will know me'”.

As one might expect, that quote brought a tear to my eye, having children of my own. I thought how nice it was for that boy to find some solace in his beliefs that made his terrible disease, one without cure, more bearable to accept. He actually believed that he wasn’t going to completely die, just leave this existence for another one, and it made the horror of his situation more palatable to both himself and his parents.

So I thought to myself “What’s wrong with that? What’s wrong with him believing in something for which there is absolutely no evidence, if it makes the rest of his short life, and his impending death, easier to live with.” I began to wonder whether  there was some value in religion after all, even if its value meant deluding little children, who don’t have the adult capacity of knowing or comprehending the reality around them. As compassionate, empathetic  humans,  i.e. as parents, it’s natural to want to see our children shake off suffering. We try to cushion the blow as much as possible, rationalizing that they will figure it out, and understand it more, when they become adults, as we did.

Unfortunatley, this child wasn’t given that opportunity.

It’s not like there’s no precedent for it. We create the fictional character of Santa Claus to bring joy, and mystery, into our children’s lives, and only destroy the fantasy when they’ve reached the age of reason, the age where they can figure it all out for themselves. Childhood is a difficult age, and hard for some children. It’s only been the last hundred years or so of civilization where we began to expect children to use the time of childhood to educate themselves, rather than working the fields, factories or shops of their parent’s existences. So why not create delusions where there is none in order to soften the cold hard reality of life.

Religion is a useful vehicle for this.  It has a ready made explanation for why bad things happen to good children (and note: the brain tumor child of the Today show was described over and over as a wonderful child). It gives them something nice to envision, when all they are looking at is the end of their existence – never seeing mommy, daddy and their friends and siblings again.  What better way to make it better for your child?

The problem with this is that it continues to propagate a lie. In effect, we have to lie to our children to make them feel better.  I’m not saying that a little white lie now and then is not acceptable to help push children in the right direction, but this is not a little white lie. This is THE BIG LIE. The ultimate foundation of all truth.

We don’t continue the lie about Santa Claus into adulthood (though, with god, really we do, but that’s a different post, too). We don’t do it because it’s not true, and we want our children to live rational existences, rather than believing that some fat guy in a red suit provides them with goodies. It’s OK when they are young, because the expressions on their faces prove that they believe, and are happy with the explanations, and it provides us happiness to see it.  To a certain extent, we do it for ourselves, not them. But, no harm, no foul.

You might say the same thing about telling a child that when he dies he will be embraced by those who came before, but I won’t. I see the harm in the perpetuation of this lie, not just to the child (who frankly will never know) but to the rest of the world, from the family, siblings, friends, neighbors and Today show viewers. With this treatment of a sick child, we reinforce the delusion for the rest of the world, such that it’s that much harder to shake when it becomes clear that there is no justification for the assertions underlying the lie.

What’s wrong with the truth? What’s wrong with an honest, forthright discussion about mortality? Some of the most comforting things ever said to me were the most honest ones, because I knew that I was being treated as an equal in knowledge, and that I was trusted to handle it.

When your terminally ill son asks “Am I going to die”, there is always an age appropriate response that contains the truth, albeit difficult to confront and relay, but still there. “Yes son, the doctors say you have a tumor in your head and they can’t make it go away. We are going to spend as much time with you as we can. What would you like to do today?”  Essentially the same thing is said by the religious, but they temper it with “And once you’re gone you can look down from heaven and say hi.” Rather than emphasizing the end, emphasize the time left, and how to maximize that time.  Dwell on the wonderful life he’s already lived.  Make sure he knows he won’t be forgotten. Not only will the child actually have a better experience prior to death,  and do all he can that he knows he won’t be able to do once he’s gone, he’ll be setting an example to those left behind to do the same thing. On the other hand, if he believes that he’ll still be alive  (“up there”) after he dies, he may forgo maximizing the time left, maybe even wallow in depression, waiting for the better life being promised.

It’s cruel, in my way of thinking, to lead a child to believe that he’s really not dying, but that’s what’s being done when he’s told he’ll be in heaven.  Perhaps in the end he won’t have any regrets, because he won’t know any better.

But everyone else will. And those same people may have a terminally ill child of their own some day, who they will need to talk with about mortality.

And the pattern repeats.

For dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.

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357 thoughts on “Atheism 3.0?

  1. I think 3.0 will require some Service Patches. Clearly there wasn’t enough beta testing before rushing it to market.

    You know what else might make the kid feel good? Shoot him up with heroin or morphine, perhaps bring in some porn or even better, the real thing, maybe get him liquored up, and of course explain to him how he’ll get to become part of the Force soon and hang out with Yoda and Luke Skywalker. Hey, if the ends justify the means, then why not?

    • Is that what they did with you, Chief? Got you liquored up, brought in a copy of Playgirl and then broke the news to you that you’d always be fat and dorky-looking, and a tad on the retarded side? Yep, I could see some benefit in that, alright.

      What you gonna tell your kid when you both are standing before God in judgment? “Oh, sorry, Junior… you’re going to have to miss out on eternity, now, because I was a pig-headed infidel that couldn’t be wrong even if I had to die and take you with me.”

      I’ll bet he’ll love you for it!

  2. What’s wrong with the truth? What’s wrong with an honest, forthright discussion about mortality? Some of the most comforting things ever said to me were the most honest ones, because I knew that I was being treated as an equal in knowledge, and that I was trusted to handle it.

    Okay, I genuinely applaud you for that, because it really is a great moral principle and statement you’ve expressed. The problem I see with the rest of the post is, there’s no intrinsic flaw in religion or the idea of an afterlife that precludes truth and honest discussions about mortality with our children.

    I think when my child asks what happens when we die, I’m going to flip the question back to them first, then go from there. Which makes me curious to know: what have you told your kids about death SI? Have any of them asked? If so, what did you say?

  3. My kids are all grown, well beyond the age of reason, though not necessarily completely rational. If you have kids, you know what I mean.

    Thank doG I’ve never had to tell a 4 year old, or an 8 year old, or any other child, about death, but I think I could, without buttering it up with magical tales.

    Flipping the question is nice, but I suspect in your household they would repeat what they’ve been taught from birth, cl, and simply regurgitate the heaven shtick, like the kid on the Today show. Unless you’ve brought them up different than most Christians.

    Seriously, I don’t think kids should be indoctrinated with the beliefs of their parents. They should get a neutral, or if possible, balanced upbringing, and then be allowed to make up their minds when they hit the right age. If that occurred, I think you’d have far less religion. Problem is in 99.999% of all households, that never happens. Including atheist ones, though from what I’ve been told by atheists who have been brought up by atheist parents, admittedly anecdotal evidence at best, their parents don’t force atheism on them.

    • See, I have had to tell my kids about death when they were young, they had family members dying, pets dying, etc. I never candy-coated it, I never make believe they’d ever see these people again, I spelled it out to them in plain, straight English and they didn’t freak out, they accept reality as it was and they understand what death means. They don’t think some magic man in the sky is going to reunite them with their dead loved ones later on, they know people die, they are remembered by those who are left behind and that’s just how life works.

      Far too many people treat kids like they’re idiots, maybe because they themselves are terrified of death and cannot handle being honest about it.

      • How come you didn’t tell them that they won’t really die, just return as zombie-odd bloggers dressed like Michael Jackson cloned with Christopher Hitchens, Feces?

        Yet another bozo with a lot of explaining to do before the High Court…

  4. Telling kids about death is very tricky.

    When I was stationed in Alabama a co-worker wound up caring for a niece for a while. She was about six years old, her father (my friend’s brother) had died, and she really acted out. Refused to leave the house, other things, and her mother had enough on her own plate and couldn’t cope, so she went to my friend for a while.

    He often brought her to our radar site, and she was a very nice, very smart little girl, and she just loved the radar room.

    One day she told us all that she felt good there, “he” couldn’t see her, there were ‘big men’ around who would keep “him” from “Getting” her, and she was sure she couldn’t be seen in the dark room.

    And please, don’t EVER make her go outside and play.

    Some questioning revealed that when she had asked about her father, where he was, why he wasn’t home, why all the upset, a well-meaning relative had told her that her father wouldn’t come home anymore because when he had been crossing a street, “god reached down and took him home”. (He had been killed by a hit and run driver)

    This young lady could see that this wasn’t “good” no matter what was being said around her and had resolved that she wasn’t going to be in any position where anything could reach down and take HER.

    I wonder how long it took her to finally get over it…

    Yhe truth would have been better I think.

    And what I hear and see when I go for cancer treatments, well, I shake my head.

  5. The Wifeguard and I don’t have any kids yet, but I’m inclined to think I’d tell my kid(s) that I don’t know what happens and share with him the different things some religions believe about heaven, reincarnation and that some people believe that “after I die” is the same as it was for me “before I was born.”

    Although, if pressed, I certainly don’t think I’d lie to my kids about what I believe.

    Tough questions, great post, and thoughtful thread.

  6. cl

    I had not resolved my latent atheism when my children were of the age relevant to this post, so I’m not sure what I would have told them at the time. I’d like to say I wouldn’t give them happy-clappy stories of heaven, but I was intellectually lazier then than now, and probably would have deferred to my wife, who might have.

    Now, if they came to me now, as adults, I think you know what I would say to them. It’s in my post.

    Sarge

    That is exactly what I was trying to say. Give kids credit, at any age, to understand the truth. In fact, when you lie to them, expect them to completely misunderstand the lie, and concoct their own explanations, which could be potentially far worse.

    Remember the story in Dawkins’ The God Delusion (which theists tend to misunderstand and/or mis-characterize) about the little girl who was told that her friend who had died had gone to hell, and how that affected her all her life, far more than actual physical abuse?

    Cephus

    I agree that much of what we tell the kids is simply based on our own misunderstanding and fears. We really need to try to be objective when dealing with their little minds. I know that’s hard, and maybe even impossible, but it’s something to strive for.

    Lifey

    If it’s possible to give them balance, considering that they will not be getting all their info from you, then yes, I agree that trying to discuss all possibilities, rather than asserting the truth of your own worldview, is a good way to do that. As I said in the post, neutrality or balance, or better yet, some combination, is better than dogma.

    • SI: The problem is, we’re expecting people who are fundamentally irrational to pass on rational positions to their offspring. It’s just not going to happen for the most part. It’s only when people have thrown off the shackles of religious irrationality that they can actually present factual reality to their children and that makes it a catch-22. It’s only the lucky few of us who realize just how idiotic religion is and reject it later in life, but before we end up breeding, that spells any real hope for future generations.

      • What do you care about future generations, Feces? You’re not going to be around, you’ll be dust, right?

        Do you think they’ll remember you for your good looks?

        😉

        • Well look who crawled back out from under his rock! Look everyone, the laughing stock is back! Let’s thrill as he mindlessly prances around the blog, acting like he’s got a single functional brain cell!

          Not fooling anyone, you know.

  7. There’s no easy way to break the concept of death to a child. That’s because it’s death. Teaching them how to tie their shoes is hard enough, and that’s tactile. This is the big D. Even adults are bad a dealing with it.

    “Son. Grandma’s in the hospital. The doctors say she doesn’t have much time left.”

    “So she’s gonna die?”

    “Yes, son. She’s lived a long life. Her time is at its end.”

    “What happens when we die, dad?”

    “Well, son, you remember when you had a goldfish?”

    “Yeah.”

    “One day it was swimming around, and the next it…just…stopped.”

    “Oh.” (Son’s eyes go wide) “So…you’re gonna flush grandma down the toilet?”

  8. While we’re talking about the comforts of the afterlife as opposed to the consciousness ends at death idea, nobody has brought up the idea of hell.

  9. While you’re focusing on the warm-and-fuzzy Santa Claus benefits of religion, my first thought on reading this:

    I’m extrapolating here, but I surmise that there are some people who don’t believe in gods, or the supernatural, or are agnostic on the question of divinity (they live in Missouri, the Show Me state), but feel that religion is a positive force in society, and hence has qualities that are worth keeping.

    was Gollum/troll! I shudder to think what the G-meister would do if he didn’t have the wrath of his god and his eternal damnation to hold him back…

    I’m just rooting for a Star Trek world where we’ve evolved past the carrot-stick approaches to controlling human behavior; that is, getting people to function as self-actualized individuals who are able to make the sacrifices necessary to function as part of a community, also.

    Religious rituals could also be practiced as form of cultural identification and as a way of harnessing the mind’s right-brain powers; e.g, visualization, non-linear thinking, etc. In the U.S. we’ve done that a bit already with Buddhism (meditation) and Hinduism (yoga).

    • Hey, Babe! Missed me, did ya? Yeah, I know… when you’ve been riding the ol’ Gid-meister, every other guy is just a pale comparison, but, don’t worry, we can do it longer, next time, because I’ve got an extra supply of brown paper bags to put over your head… I even gave you eye-holes, this time!

      Star Trek, eh? Want me to dress up as a Klingon, and slap you around a little? Would you like that, toots? You won’t need much make-up, yourself, and I kinda go for the Lursa/B’Etor look!

      😎

    • Well, I think I already answered that, both in my post, and in my comments. It would really depend on the age of the child, but I think there is an age appropriate response that doesn’t sugar-coat or promise something that I don’t believe exists.

  10. I didn’t see that you actually answered what you would tell kids of age relevant to this post. I just see what you said you wouldn’t tell them. I get the whole thing about emphasizing time left and all that, I’m just wondering what you tell them if they were to say, “What happens when I die?”

    • He said it would depend on the age but it wouldn’t consist of telling them of a heaven or being reunited with their dead loved ones. That’s pretty simple: he’d tell them that people die and that’s that. The people left behind have to deal with it.

      In nicer words, of course.

      • What he said. The question, cl, is too vague, because the response would be too fact specific. What age are the kids, which one is it? What prompted the question? What discussions have I had in the past about the issue? Etc. Etc.

        My answer would depend on too many variables of the moment, and might even change from child to child, and age to age, and circumstance to circumstance.

        What would you say? Could you answer such an open-ended question?

        • Nice to see PhillyChief still thinks the whole world should be like him.

          WritingShadows,

          He said it would depend on the age but it wouldn’t consist of telling them of a heaven or being reunited with their dead loved ones.

          Correct, but again, I asked what he would say, not what he wouldn’t say.

          SI,

          I told you exactly what I’d say: I’d flip the question. I’d say, “Well son / daughter, nobody really knows for sure, what do you think?” Then, I imagine we’d have some kind of discussion, perhaps about different alternatives and such, then we’d go from there.

          My answer would depend on too many variables of the moment, and might even change from child to child, and age to age, and circumstance to circumstance.

          Surely you could give some kind of example though, right? I mean, presuming you have a kid “of relevant age” right now, what would you say to them if they were to ask what was going to happen when they died?

  11. Especially tragic for a child who thinks that ‘this world is all there is’. Techie Worlds, written for mechanical types, confirms that there are better worlds and that we will all rise to live iin them.
    A hundred and sixty-six years ago Edwin Abbott wrote ‘Flatland ‘ so that any logical person would understand that contiguous dimensional worlds allows any thinking person to geometrically know how Christianity’s’ spiritual world could be right beside ours. Now ‘Techie Worlds’ examines Christian phenomena: Trinity, Resurrection, Judgment, Soul, and finds that Abbott’s concept provides mechanistically for those phenomena. This is the approach science uses: establish understandings of the real world by testing facts in the context of the theory. With such logical understandings, thinking people can accept Christianity’s teaching of love without bending their intellectual integrity. ‘Techie Worlds’ gives pause to Moslems and pagans by showing how and why the Trinity is. It explains realities that profit all mankind.
    It is so nice to be able to spread the word to people who want to learn important new views. ‘Techie Worlds’ is available at amazon.com. It completely reformats all discussions about God and where He is. Get it, and get with it, and cheer up when you understand that you will have a friend on that side who is ‘on your side’.
    GeorgeRic

  12. Now, now, George, it’s not nice to go spamming about your book in the third person on atheist web sites, is it? LOL, George has also written a glowing review of his own book in the third person on Amazon!

    Your work is fiction, and you’re an engineer, not a scientist, which sadly shows in the word salad you posted here.

    Brent on the “unscrewing the inscrutable” web site quotes from your book:

    But we also have great arguments about how to properly use science in dealing with mankind. An example: It is now possible to discover DNA defects of a child who is still in the womb. Materialists say “Kill that child….by law… as a public health measure that will save millions of dollars in medical costs.” Believers in the greater worlds say “God knows what he is doing. He sends us special people so we can help others.”

    Nuff said.

    • When are you going to publish a book, Brun-ildi, about your many sexual exploits in the dumpster behind the 7/11? Truckers and sailors still talk about you wherever fine anatomical enhancements are sold!

      😀

  13. SI

    Why does belief in continuation of life have to be religious? Cant you have the belief and still hold to the mystery of life. In other words, if I tell my child that I think there is a continuation of life after our physical body dies, who does that hurt? Actually if they choose to believe that too, how can you say thats wrong? The truth is, you cant be 100% sure that it is wrong. Maybe science will one day prove that belief is right. 😉

  14. My oldest son reminded me of this when I talked to him last night:

    In the 1980’s and 2004 I wound up in the hospital and my wife was told that I would probably not come out alive. My sons were in school, and this was coupled with the fact that my wife’s parents were also quite elderly and well past normal life expectancy.

    My family had made some remarks about the fact that I would not go to ‘heaven’ in their hearing, and this disturbed them, and we did talk about it.

    I DO believe in immortality of a sort, and I explained it to them.

    I had passed on certain things that they would never forget and would in turn pass on: how to track, shoot, sharpen a knife, tie knots, use the Beaufort scale, make a fire, play musical instruments, knap flint, fix certain things, make certain things, and I would ‘live on’ as long as these wer passed on by people I’ve had contact with even after my name was long forgotten. And they should do the same in their turn.

    That’s the only immortality I can see evidence for.

    He said that they weren’t happy, but it gave them something to think about.

  15. You know T4T, all of your rationales boil down to ‘you can’t prove 100% that what I want to believe to be true isn’t true, so I’m gonna believe what I want.’

    So what’s wrong with that? Well for starters, that’s not a very practical way of understanding anything, and it’s quite worse if you’re going to teach a child that such thinking is ok. And that’s also the answer to where’s the harm, which always comes up in issues like this. Where’s the harm in believing in fairies or the power of crystals or the continuation of life? You’re indulging in beliefs with nothing supporting them other than ‘you cant be 100% sure that they’re wrong’.

    If you’re going to play numbers, how about this – even 1% sure that they’re wrong trumps 0% sure that they’re right. 😉

    • “You know T4T, all of your rationales boil down to ‘you can’t prove 100% that what I want to believe to be true isn’t true, so I’m gonna believe what I want.’”

      Yeah, it’s worked for you, hasn’t it, Porky? Speaking from experience, aren’t you?

      I’m 100% sure YOU’RE wrong, Chief. See? It’s possible to be sure. You, on the other hand, are 100% sure you’re right, although any thinking person knows you’re not, but, that doesn’t stop you, does it? I imagine your kids are well-versed in fairy stories… and fairies, too, given that your hero, Richard Dawkins, is one!

  16. Philly

    The difference is Im not advocating any religion or set of standards to be put on anyone. What I am suggesting is a belief that there could be more to this existence than what meets the eye. To a caveman going to the moon would have seemed nuts also. But we now know better dont we. So if my belief doesnt hurt my child and in some sense actually benefits them, then why say its harmful?

    I think we can debunk crystals and fairies seem to be a pretty concrete form that cannot be proven. What I am supposing is not hurtful or harmful. Though it does seem to challenge you a great deal. I still stand by my belief that it is reasonable and logical to suppose something started this whole thing off. I also believe science will one day show that. Probably not in our lifetime though. 🙂

    • And my point is it does harm but failing to teach critical thinking and encouraging not just indulgence in unsupported beliefs, but making excuses to justify those beliefs. That then can be applied to say justifying overeating, drinking in excess, gambling, you name the vice. Simply because your vice is seemingly harmless doesn’t mean teaching a child to indulge in it is therefore harmless, too.

  17. Ok, tell me how my supposition that something started the universe off is wrong. Tell me how that will prevent my child from not using critical thinking? What is the difference between supposing something started this or supposing it is all just random? Dont lump me in with your disdain of Theism. You do myself and many others a diservice. You are an ornery one arent you. 😦

  18. Interesting post on what can be a touchy subject.

    As a parent, I have held to the line that the truth can be reassuring in itself, but I understand why people would go down a different path. This does not, however, mean religion is either true or holds an intrinsic value.

    When I talked to my children about death, I never needed to bring up any nonsense about people looking down on them (where would you draw the line? Is there a puppy heaven in the bible? What about a cow heaven?). While this has not been an easy option, I hope it has produced more rounded individuals capable of reasoned thinkings.

    If you really must go down the aferlife route, the I think Christianity is a pretty poor one. Why not just plagiarise all the bronze age religions and have the dead person become a star looking down on us, along the lines of The Lion King…

  19. Again, first question is not an example of critical thinking but rather excuse making to justify an unsupportable belief. The harm is not only failing to teach critical thinking, but in teaching how to avoid and circumvent it.

    Something or “random” is a false dichotomy. The characteristics of a system make possible a finite number of possible outcomes. Furthermore, basing hypotheses on what’s known is rational. Basing hypotheses on pure imagination and wishful thinking like inventing a cause outside of the system is not.

    My disdain for theism is part of a greater disdain for irrational, uncritical thinking, so I’ll gladly lump atheist, theist, or whatever one wants to label themselves as into my circle of disdain if they exhibit irrational, uncritical thinking. Have a listen to PZ Meyer’s comment on a recent episode of the Non-Prophets where he said basically the same thing, only much more colorfully.

    • The world, according to the obese one, again!

      In other words, T4T, if you don’t think like an overweight pseudo-Indian, you’re DEAD WRONG!

      Waddling Bear, here, thinks that naturalism is the end-all, yet can’t prove one thing to support it, like he demands of theists. But, he has an axe to grind with whatever priest fucked him up the ass when he was a pseudo-papoose, so the baby got chucked out with the bathwater. There’s an example of critical thinking, Philly Chief style!

      Oh, he’ll quote some infidel’s book or paper that ‘proves’ what he’s saying is right, yet he’ll denounce any Christian writer as being uninformed. His prophets are better than yours, in other words.

      Well, I have disdain for fat, egocentric blowhards, too, especially when their religion is just as faith-based as anyone else’s.

    • The operative word here is “suppositions”.

      If my child asked me a serious question about the death of someone he loved, I wouldn’t start the answer with “I suppose…”

      Otherwise, I could tell him anything, and the whole point of my post is to tell him the truth.

      “I suppose your good friend Timmy went to the Great Burger King in the sky”. “I suppose there is a teapot in orbit around the Earth”. “I suppose there is an invisible dragon in my garage”. (Thank you Carl Sagan)

      Aren’t we beyond that?

  20. First, my “opinion” is an objective analysis in the way my “opinion” is that 2+2=4. Second, I doubt if exhibiting hurt feelings for being mistaken or attempting to disparage me for pointing out where you’re mistaken is really the best path to take when trying to claim you’re a rational, critical thinker and/or that your belief is a rational belief and not harmful. Are you also teaching your child this behavior as well?

    So let’s recap:
    • Unsupported beliefs
    • Arguments for beliefs are simply that they can’t be 100% disproven or asking what’s the harm in believing them
    • Taking challenges to the beliefs personally
    • Attacking the challenger personally

    So remind me again how that’s different from the M.O. of the religious?

    • “2+2=4”

      Wow… and here I’ve been going around telling everyone you’re an idiot, Chief! My mistake.

      Those points you cited: Why are you using the criterion for Atheism/Darwinism/Humanism/Evolution/bullshit as a guide for all other legitimate belief systems, oh portly one?

  21. i would imagine that philly chief’s response to his children if they posed cl’s question to him would be something like this:

    “What happens when I die?”

    absolutely nothing. you will cease to exist as if you never were born. you will be remembered…that is until all of the people that hold your memory die themselves and then it really WOULD be as if you never were born. i’m not going to lie to you – your short life here on earth holds no real value since you’re a product of blind fate. you’re just another creature that’s going to die – like the cockroach i stepped on the other day. anyway try to enjoy yourself as much as you can because whatever limited pleasure you can take from your five senses is all you have. if its any consolation, i’ll probably miss you – at least until richard dawkins writes that atheists shouldn’t miss dead people because its irrational to miss someone who doesn’t exist. love you – strictly speaking, of course, from the standpoint that is evolutionary advantageous to do so.

    • Exhibiting a failure to understand me is one thing, but exhibiting a failure to understand probability, human value and potential impact of individuals upon others, subjective versus the objective, empiricism, evolution, and of course why the ends don’t justify the means is quite another, very embarrassing thing, Jason. Of course not as embarrassing as failure to grasp the concept of capitalization. 😉

      • right.

        its all meaningful after all, then? i’m so happy to hear it. do explain.

        of course, NONE of those things are as embarrassing as rooting for the chiefs.

    • Brun-ildi-a, it’s three o’clock in the afternoon… shouldn’t you be bound and gagged in some dominatrix’s cellar, somewhere?

      😈

  22. So remind me again how that’s different from the M.O. of the religious?(Philly)

    I never claimed that I couldnt be as much as a shithead as you, did I? As far as what I teach my chidren. Well, I teach them its ok to SUPPOSE things and either try to find out if it is possible themselves or allow others to do it for them. So I wait to see which one it will be.

    SUPPOSE
    1. to assume (something), as for the sake of argument or as part of a proposition or theory: Suppose the distance to be one mile.
    2. to consider (something) as a possibility suggested or an idea or plan proposed: Suppose we wait until tomorrow.
    3. to believe or assume as true; take for granted: It is supposed that his death was an accident.
    4. to think or hold as an opinion: What do you suppose he will do?
    5. to require logically; imply; presuppose: The evidence supposes his presence near the scene.
    6. (used in the passive) to expect or design; require or permit (fol. by an infinitive verb): The machine is supposed to make noise. I’m not supposed to run fast.

    –verb (used without object) 7. to assume something; presume; think.

    Did I use the term inappropriately?

  23. NONE of those things are as embarrassing as rooting for the chiefs.

    Touche´

    I never claimed that I couldnt be as much as a shithead as you, did I?

    So embracing rational, critical thinking makes one a shithead in your belief system? Well that explains why you avoid them.

    As for suppositions, read SI’s comment above.

  24. Philly

    Youre right. My thinking on these matters is not critical or rational. Thank you so much for showing me that supposing that it is possible for intelligence to be at the roots of our universe as faulty thinking. My children and I will sleep much better tonight. I suppose I should have known all along that you were a much more objective and rational human. Oops my bad.

    • Well you’re emotional overreactions certainly show your irrationality, that’s for sure.

      Honestly, I can’t think of any better way to explain to you that your rationales for your suppositions are merely lame excuses to indulge in unwarranted beliefs. Of course I can’t think of any better way to explain that to the religious, either. C’est la vie!

  25. “Well look who crawled back out from under his rock!”

    Well, Feces, I smelled rotting flesh, and I said to myself, “Gid… there’s a zombie around here, somewhere, and I’ll bet he’s looking for a brain to replace the pea-sized mush that leaked out of his ear while he was digging up corpses to have sex with them. He’ll be after you, if you don’t get out of here, so you’d better high-tail it!” So, here I am!

    And, here you are, still looking for that brain that keeps eluding you. Try the landfill, son, maybe there’s an old dead cow or a pig laying around, and you can salvage it’s computer. I know, it’ll be a huge step up from what you’re accustomed to, but, I’m sure that learning how to moo or grunt won’t be much harder for someone that previously operated within the range of “brain… BRAIN… WANT BRAIN!

  26. Man, you got a lot of housework to do, SI. There’s trash all over this thread, if you know what I mean.

    • See, that’s what separates the successful bloggers from the nobodies… like you, TOG.

      SI, here, is smarter than you, he knows what draws traffic. You, on the other hand, could only draw flies.

      Comprendez?

  27. Blogging questions for anyone who has a blog:
    1. Why do you have a blog?
    2. Is developing traffic more important than developing content?
    3. Does how you get traffic matter, or no?

    • Answers to Fat Boy’s Queries:

      1. To promote an idea, philosophy, discussion.
      2. Content without traffic is pointless.
      3. No, because the Internet is (supposedly) the last bastion of free speech and expression. And, unlike some of us more insecure (or pudgy) types, we don’t take blog banter seriously.

      🙄

  28. TOG and Philly

    Gideon knows what he is and what he’s doing. It would be nice if he kept to the topic of the blog, and made intelligent comments about it, even if he disagreed vehemently. He’s apparently not capable of that, and prefers the juvenile approach. My blog traffic does not increase when he’s around.

    As I said before, he is the best advertisement for atheism I’ve ever seen. If you were on the fence, would you:

    1. Opt for the approach that is decided after sober, rational thought and discussion, or
    2. one that is espoused by the Trix Rabbit bouncing around saying “I’m cuckoo for Christianity, cuckoo for Christianity”?

    My next post is all about him, so stay tuned…

    • I dunno, I guess you’re just more tolerant of useless, oxygen-wasting, degenerate, self-absorbed trolls than I am. S’your prerogative, heh.

      • Pulling a Philly Chief-style whine, now, TOG? That’s what he does when he can’t get his way… that, and outright bans you from his site.

        The fat man would love for all dissenters to be banned from his little kingdom, which is why he drops his subtle hints to the blog owners that they’d be better off having him around than those Bible-thumping scum he so detests.

        He also likes to dish it out, but doesn’t like it when it comes back. Too bad… ’cause that’s what I do!

        So, if you want to talk about self-absorbed, you go to the guy that wrote the book on it. You can’t miss him… nothing can!

        😆

  29. TitForTat,

    What’s wrong with you? Don’t you know only atheist conclusions are pre-approved as “rational” here? I mean come on! Everybody knows only us irrational folks believe in anything besides post-mortem atomic dispersion! Duh!!

    Seriously though, I can’t believe some of the intellectually repulsive nonsense Philly and SI offer in the name of progressive thought. For example, they attack you via appeal to “supposition” as if their own sacred worldviews don’t equally drink from the wells of supposition.

    The question is, how do you get somebody who thinks they’re always right to even consider the possibility that they might be wrong?

    • “The question is, how do you get somebody who thinks they’re always right to even consider the possibility that they might be wrong?”

      Careful, cl, his eminence, the Walrus of The Internet may hear you, and petition the great Darwin to cast you into Abiogenesis-hell!

      Or worse… he may try and eat you!

      😆

  30. Now now Gideon.. don’t make everybody mad. After all, the (in)ability of other people to control their emotions is our fault, you know.

    SI,

    It would be nice if he kept to the topic of the blog, and made intelligent comments about it, even if he disagreed vehemently. He’s apparently not capable of that, and prefers the juvenile approach.

    Surely that goes for ChiefyBoy too, right? I mean, after all, he didn’t contribute anything genuine to the original topic, opting instead for attack mode on those who don’t think like he does.

    T4T,

    I’m quite the fan of the middle path and can readily say “cheers” to your distaste for extremes, but when it comes to (a)theism, but what would you say represents a reasonable “middle” between the two?

  31. Surely that goes for ChiefyBoy too, right? I mean, after all, he didn’t contribute anything genuine to the original topic, opting instead for attack mode on those who don’t think like he does.

    If he left inane comments in the same vein as Gideon, I’d agree. But none of his comments in this thread are even remotely the same. They all are pointed, albeit sometimes sarcastic and caustic, rebuttals or agreements with what came before. You cannot say the same thing for most of Gideon’s spewings.

    • Okay, SI, it’s time for you to come clean. If I’m such a bad-ass, then ban me, right here and now. Otherwise, you’re two-faced and hypocritical. Or, you can prove me right in my assertions about you, that you’re happy to have the traffic that follows me around taking pot-shots at me.

      You know damned well I’m capable of an intelligent debate, but, every time I attempt it, Lard Ass or some other SOB tries to make a reputation for himself at my expense. Then, when I give it back to them, they go whimpering to you like the little sucks they are.

      Well, here’s your chance to make them happy. They want me gone, and you have a decision to make. If I was a real troll, you wouldn’t be getting this offer.

      So, what’s it going to be?

      • Sorry, Giddy, if that’s what you want, you’re not getting it.

        And I do know you’re capable of intelligent debate. But 98% of what you post doesn’t amount to that, and you know it. Occasionally you let your guard down, and the real you pops out. So who knows? You may do it again. Odds are you will. 2% odds, but still odds.

  32. but when it comes to (a)theism, but what would you say represents a reasonable “middle” between the two?(CL)

    Maybe an acknowledgement that neither one knows for sure what the hell started this thing off. And that there may be potential for some intelligence behind it. But Im not holding my breath. 😉

  33. I’m asking you if you thought PhillyChief made any genuine contributions to this thread. Do you?

    Also, still wondering what you’d say to a child of relevant age here. What would you tell them about death?

  34. cl –

    If you read the last sentence of my response to you, you’d have noticed the answer. It’s a very simple answer: people die and those who live have to deal with that. That’s the overall message. How one actually goes about addressing that point is dependent on many, many variables. You aren’t going to get a hard-and-fast statement about it. There isn’t one.

    As for TitforTat;

    I’ve been reading for some time, and have even commented from time to time, and most everyone here admits that no one is certain of anything. But religion is still ridiculous no matter how you slice it. And the existence of God is still less plausible as an Uncaused Existence that operates outside of natural law than that of an Uncaused Universe. Therefore, I lean towards atheism, finding it more than likely there isn’t an existence of God.

    Which also has been stated previously.

    The thing which seems to pass over quite a number of people is that atheism makes no claim. It’s a response to a claim, a rejection of it, not any proposition. So, atheism can’t be certain or uncertain of anything. There’s no claim being made by the term atheism. There are only atheists who make claims about how the existence of such a God, or about the organizations which propogate such positions, are ridiculous in their very nature.

    • I agree, but they’ll spin it to sound like we’re the claimants. How are we claimants? By claiming that demonstrable evidence is required to warrant claims for one.

        • I don’t think we did. The argument we had at (((Billy)))’s was over whether there are positive claims one must accept in order to be an atheist. I’m not arguing that here.

          Here, I’m just simply noting that the person who whines the most about “demonstrable evidence” is the person with the biggest mouth and strongest opinions. Irony.

  35. T4T,

    Gotcha. IOW, you prefer not really stating oneself to be either atheist or theist? I can dig that. Still, regardless of the silly little labels we wear, what’s important for me is not closing one’s mind to the possibilities of new knowledge, and unfortunately that’s what people on both “bookends” tend to do – as we often see here, with the “FundyAtheism” and all.

    And yes, I agree that of course none of us “know for sure,” and we should always remember that to promote humility, but that’s no reason not to believe one way or the other in my book. There’s nothing wrong with informed and educated conviction; I don’t care what any blogger says. Neither is the person who believes one way or the other any “better” than the next – hence our issues with certain people who seem to think their views are superior.

    WritingShadows,

    I read your comment the first time. If I’d gotten what I was looking for out of SI, I wouldn’t have repeated myself, and I’m not sure what you think repeating yourself gains.

    As for your comments to TitForTat, well, yeah, in theory everyone hears knows they aren’t certain of anything. The problem is, people like PhillyChief then turn around and lap insults on the next guy, who’s behind just as much of an epistemological curtain as the rest of us. It’s the same thing the Fundy does to those they believe to be inferior, just turned around. It’s like whoever doesn’t share the official Team Scarlet A ideas is branded as an intellectual peon.

    That you find something ridiculous is evidence of just that – what you find ridiculous. Though it’s certain to not make sense to you, some people find atheism ridiculous. You simply assert that the existence of God is “less plausible” but in reality that’s just an assertion not grounded in any logic – at least not here. Even more, “God” and “Uncaused Existence” are synonyms in my book, so you essentially concede the very plausibility of that which you criticize.

    SI,

    What would you tell a child of yours (of relevant age) in response to the question, “What happens to me after I die?”

    PhillyChief,

    How are we claimants? By claiming that demonstrable evidence is required to warrant claims for one.

    If you really believe this, why don’t you start offering demonstrable evidence for your claims? You complain about naked assertion quite a bit for being the king of it.

    • Still, regardless of the silly little labels we wear, what’s important for me is not closing one’s mind to the possibilities of new knowledge, and unfortunately that’s what people on both “bookends” tend to do – as we often see here, with the “FundyAtheism” and all.

      I know you disagree with me, but I don’t see this at both ends. I don’t see the dogma you see in atheism. I see atheists totally open to evidence, it’s just that theist’s ideas about evidence differ significantly from that of atheists. For the most part.

      “What happens to me after I die?”

      I’ve already said a couple of times that it depends on a lot of variables, but generally, I’d tell him that I’m in the same place I was before I was born. Nowhere. Simply non-existent. My brain stopped functioning. Period. Remember me as I was, ’cause I’m gone.

    • I was stating exactly what he was getting at for you, cl. It was a restatement of what he was stating so that you could understand what he would say given the opportunity.

      Also, I tend to ignore PhillyChief and many of the others on here for obvious reasons. It’s not that hard to do. And it’s not even to say I disagree with Philly on some of his points, just that I don’t like how he approaches addressing them.

      It’s the internet, as I’ve said before, and you ignore ones you don’t want to deal with and maintain discussions with those you do. That simple.

      I never denied there’s a possible existence of a God. Nor do I find the belief in God that absurd. As I’ve said a few times. I find religion absurd which is a completely different assertion. And, while they may be synonyms in your book, it may not be in others. Hence the distinction. If it weren’t in your book and I hadn’t made that distinction, you’d have had me for that. See how that works?

      • As a note though, although I hardly think it bears any need of explanation, the reason I find religion, being the enterprise that it is, so abhorrent is because of its insatiable desire to rule over everyone and have ultimate authority. If it stays out of politics, stays out of schools and all of that… I’d be on good terms with it. If it stayed in the home, where it belongs, and on an individual level, I’d be fine with it.

  36. Writing Shadows:

    “There’s no claim being made by the term atheism.”

    I agree. I think most theists would counter that atheists are usually de facto naturalists, and that naturalism IS a positive claim. I tend to disagree for reasons that I won’t go into here, but I’m curious as to others’ opinions.

    • The problem is that most atheists tend to derive their atheism from their rationalism. And that same rationalism tends to predispose them towards naturalism, humanism, skepticism and a whole shitload of other compatible isms, so theists just naturally lump them all together as atheism, because the atheism part of their skepticism/rationalism is the flash point for their disagreement, and the bogeyman they can use to scare their children.

      cl tried to claim that atheism has positive beliefs that atheists MUST espouse in order to call themselves atheist. He did this over at (((Billy)))’s. I’m not interested in rehashing that one, but if anyone else wants to, feel free. (((Billy))) was probably getting sick of it anyway.

      • The whole conversation seems like a semantical tempest in a teapot to me. On the one hand, it’s an obvious theist ploy to level the intellectual waters again, bringing everything down to the descriptor ‘faith’. On the other, it hardly seems worth arguing about (after pointing out the strategy, anyway). The ‘My Dad’s bigger than your dad!’ thing hasn’t worked out too great, so the apologists seem to have changed it to ‘Your dad’s as weak as my Dad, and my Dad has a better job…nyah!’

  37. I don’t see the dogma you see in atheism.

    Of course not; you’re an atheist who used to be a theist! Who wants to really accept the cognitive dissonance it takes to acknowledge the fact that deconverting from theism doesn’t unlearn the intellectual laziness acquired while once theist? I can see the dogma in religion, and that’s why I tend to slip through the cracks in that regard. I can admit that the larger subset of people who hold my position tend to express their beliefs in an irrational manner. Yet, you seem to have a serious problem giving your own arguments honest evaluation. It’s all based on reaction, not reason. I mean, no offense and I’m sure you’re getting sick of my new stock example, but you can’t even properly process the argument you’re refusing. How is that rationalism? And although it’s your blog and you have the right to do whatever you want, if you could visit this place for one day as a theist, you’d instantly see that Team Scarlet A is clearly not held to the same standards you demand from theists. Naked assertions are allowed from atheists. Theists who assert things with evidence are ignored, insulted or marginalized. But, I know, you can’t see it. You said so yourself.

    While we’re talking about not being able to see, I bet you also have difficulty seeing that you simply assert your personal truth-claim for the theist’s, effectively accomplishing that which you criticize. Just as they don’t know what they posit is correct, neither do you, yet somehow it’s okay for you to posit what you believe is correct, and not the believers. You go on about what you believe is “The BIG LIE”

    The problem with this is that it continues to propagate a lie… This is THE BIG LIE. The ultimate foundation of all truth.

    How do you know? What if YOU believe the lie? Your confidence mirrors that of the zealots you criticize. I could take the same exact words you typed there, put them in Pat Robertson’s mouth, change the context to atheism and it’d be the same damn thing. Just because YOU don’t believe in the afterlife does not make it a lie, just like the fact that I believe in the afterlife doesn’t make it true.

    Now, I’m not suggesting that anybody should brainwash their kids or even mince the truth with them, and without doubt, that’s what some religious folks do. But here when it gets down to it, we see that you’re equally willing to do the same: offer your opinion and call it a day. I just don’t see the justification for assumption of the moral high ground here. Qualitatively, your choice to tell them that nothing but cold death awaits them is the same damn thing as telling them they’re going to heaven or whatever. The belief asserted might be different, but we have the same thing in both cases: assertion of belief.

    To contrast, I said I’d say “I don’t know,” flip the question, and start a discussion, making sure to explore alternatives and at least create an atmosphere of openness and inquiry.

  38. The alleged “atheism dogma” is precisely what I was referring to when I said theists try to reverse things to make us claimants, like it’s as frivolous as a mere opinion that demonstrable evidence and corroboration are required and that that is dogmatic. So of course rejecting anecdotal tales and personal revelations then are evidence of being closed-minded.

    Anyone else find it amusing that they’ll cite our statements as evidence in arguments which basically defend the idea that evidence isn’t required? Why do they never just argue that they have faith that we’re wrong or that they had a personal revelation that we’re wrong? Oh right, that would be crazy. 😉

  39. The alleged “atheism dogma” is precisely what I was referring to when I said theists try to reverse things to make us claimants,

    Philly, when you claim the Bible is “internally inconsistent” that is an example of a positive claim. That would make you a claimant. The burden of proof falls to the positive claimant. That is exactly no more and no less than what you demand of theists, yet yourself consistently abandon your own standard. Big surprise.

    Why do they never just argue that they have faith that we’re wrong or that they had a personal revelation that we’re wrong?

    Who needs faith or revelation to adequately respond to naked assertion?

  40. I think it’s comical that Mr. Shadows wants to play Mr. Intellectual yet he decides to expend his/her energy on those who exhibit anything but an acumen for intellectualism.

    I also find it amusing that anyone else decides not only that it’s worth their time to to address such nonsense, that that’s primarily all they spend their time doing.

    Personally, I find my time worth more, and I feel sorry for the rest of you who feel the need to play with idiots. Is it a self esteem issue? Do you feel all full of yourselves trying to stick it to the idiots? If so let me tell you, the fact that you indulge in such behavior makes you just as pathetic as the idiots.

    Have a nice day.

    • I’m hardly an intellectual, Philly. Actually, I’m too young to be much of one. 😉 I’d actually love to have a discussion with you, possibly in another forum where there are less distractions. However, posting a comment saying that I mostly agree with you but I find your approach not to my liking… seems a waste, doesn’t it? I’d rather have an email correspondence of some sort with you where we can discuss things leisurely and without the interruptions of insults and where we can go into the depths of it.

      And you are right, it’s very clear it’s a waste of time in arguing anything with the most frequent contributors. However, I’m (perhaps) naively hoping that by continuing the discussion, it’ll go somewhere. I’m losing the patience for it. Though, it should be said that this is hardly a trying “hobby” of mine in regards to energy.

    • Yo, Rotundo…

      Well, seems like the head honcho finally saw fit to bless his infidel subjects with his humongous presence, after all! How’s it going, fat boy? Miss your old buddy, Gideon?

      What, is the refrigerator empty that you have waddled on down here to bestow your pudgy wisdom upon us mortals? Oh, Great One… enlighten us with further understanding in the realm of obesity, thou King of Hippos!

      *Prostrating self before the Mighty Porker*

      • Well, seems like the head honcho finally saw fit to bless his infidel subjects with his humongous presence, after all! How’s it going, fat boy? Miss your old buddy, Gideon?

        Yeah, did you notice he came here to tell his teammates how they were “pathetic” and “idiots” for going at it with us? Like, you know, Philly never spent countless hours digging into his keyboard to scream at those he thinks are idiots.

        That’s as good as an admission from PhillyChief that yes, all his prior commenting – which is exactly like that he now criticizes from his teammates – was “pathetic” and “idiotic.”

        I won’t disagree with him there!

        • No, cl, the Great One never engages any low-life Christian in debate if he can command a lackey to do it, without His Eminence having to dirty himself unnecessarily.

          It is amusing, though, the power the Chief has over this gaggle of infidel idiots. He’s probably smirking that Jabba The Hutt smirk of his, right now, basking in the limelight of our affirmations of his ‘godhood’ here at SI.

          Yup, Tubby’s a BIG man in Infidel Town, cl. Course, he’d be a BIG man in any town!

          😆

        • So you agree with Gideon’s juvenile remarks? Not a single argument in that comment, yet you agree with him.

          OK.

          There only so much of Gideon one can stomach, and frankly, I just regurgitated. My next post, I have decided, will be moderated on an ad hoc basis. That means if the comment is not responsive to a previous comment, or the post, or involves purely insults and ad hominems (like Gideon’s comment above), I will modify and/or delete it.

          It’ll be a test. These last two posts were a joke when Gideon was around.

        • Gideon,

          No, cl, the Great One never engages any low-life Christian in debate if he can command a lackey to do it, without His Eminence having to dirty himself unnecessarily.

          I know, but the utter hilarity of Chief lambasting his teammates for employing moves he perfected was priceless!

          SI,

          Telling Gideon I derive immense pleasure from Philly’s new High Horse does not mean I agree with or condone his juvenile remarks. I do find them funny, and I can’t believe he’s actually batted you back to the point you’re now going to become a censor. Alas, I knew it would just be a matter of time; all you have to to is ignore him, but you just can’t, can you?

          My next post, I have decided, will be moderated on an ad hoc basis. That means if the comment is not responsive to a previous comment, or the post, or involves purely insults and ad hominems (like Gideon’s comment above), I will modify and/or delete it.

          Hey, censor all you want. In fact, I’m all for it, provided that you hold your atheist commenters to the same standard. I will definitely be marking this post of yours SI. Stay on point: same rules apply to atheists, mmmkay?

          It’ll be a test. These last two posts were a joke when Gideon was around.

          These last two posts were jokes with or without Gideon: in one, you ended up doing that which you criticize, and the second one was nothing more than an attempt to rile Gideon up. Once you’ve succeeded, now you want to cry about how you can only tolerate so much of the guy.

          We all sleep in the beds we make pal.

        • And, I gotta point out to you:

          That means if the comment is not responsive to a previous comment, or the post, or involves purely insults and ad hominems (like Gideon’s comment above), I will modify and/or delete it.

          That’s exactly what I suggested yesterday. And lookie here! Maybe miracles do happen; Philly finally realized the “pathetic idiocy” of his previous ways, and now you’re making a commitment to clear debate.

          I eagerly await the next post.

  41. Ha! Hear ye, hear ye! The Chief has mounted the High Horse!!

    Personally, I find my time worth more, and I feel sorry for the rest of you who feel the need to play with idiots.

    Yeah, got that you guys? Philly’s above you now! He’s all of a sudden enlightened and above all the juvenile stuff, don’t’cha get it? Nevermind the fact that last month he was right alongside his brothers in the trenches of inanity, aptly calling the shots like the General he is/was/whatever.

    If so let me tell you, the fact that you indulge in such behavior makes you just as pathetic as the idiots. Have a nice day.

    Awwww, what’s the matter Pookie? You’re not having fun playing the game anymore, so now everybody else is a jerk for playing? That’s a riot!

    Tell me though, should I take this as the long-awaited concession that all along you actually *were* being just as “pathetic” as your buddies you now abandon and criticize? After all, for years, you were right there with them, doing the same thing as they are. Now you apparently have come to your wits and can admit that such was pathetic, and I agree!

    Look, you’re okay in my book ChiefyBoy, just back up the positive claims you do make. Is that too much to ask? Don’t sit there and accuse people of “shifting the burden” while you leave your positive claims unsupported. You say yourself that argumentation is an art, so quit doodling Mr. Suddenly Holier Than The Rest Of Team Scarlet A!

  42. Gentlemen

    I am not proposing “God” in a theological sense. I am just pointing out that it is perfectly reasonable to suppose that there could be intelligence behind the creation of the Universe. And I believe that supposition to be more logical than to say it all is just by chance. I also believe that affords me something that neither the atheist or theist has, and that would be a sense of anticipation and wonder for the possibilities. As we know with theists, they get to tell their children they will live happily ever after and with atheists they get to tell their children youre just going to die and rot in the ground. Neither one of those bookends works too well in my brain.

  43. that would be a sense of anticipation and wonder for the possibilities

    You must have missed Carl Sagan’s Cosmos series, NOVA on PBS, etc. It’s called science. Then, there are the creative arts… there are many ways of experiencing wonder and anticipation of life’s possibilities w/out proposing anything supernatural.

    they get to tell their children youre just going to die and rot in the ground

    This does not mesh w/ your first statement that you’re not proposing a theological god. Proposing an intelligent designer doesn’t lead to the conclusion that there is an afterlife. You have no awareness of existing before you were born; why does the idea of not existing after you die scare you so much?

  44. There are a lot of things that don’t work well in my brain, but that has no bearing on their realities. See argument from personal incredulity, and perhaps you’ll get a kick out of the argument from ignorance explanation, too.

    Also, I see “[theists] get to tell their children they will live happily ever after” the same way I see abusive parents “get to” beat their children. Some parents have all the perks, huh?

  45. there are many ways of experiencing wonder and anticipation of life’s possibilities w/out proposing anything supernatural.(ildi)

    What Im proposing/supposing isnt supernatural, it just hasnt been proven yet. Kind of like space travel was a few thousand years ago.

    Proposing an intelligent designer doesn’t lead to the conclusion that there is an afterlife.(ildi)

    Who says afterlife, why not just continuation of life just in a slightly different format. Kind of like the fact that the body you have now isnt the same as it was when you were a kid. It has completely renewed itself on a cellular level. Its all about energy. Mind you, Im sure atheists would know that, considering many think they are Rocket Scientists, eh Philly?

    • “What Im proposing/supposing isnt supernatural, it just hasnt been proven yet. Kind of like space travel was a few thousand years ago.”

      An intelligent designer /is/ supernatural, by default. Creation of matter and energy from nothing is, without a reasonable doubt, supernatural. You know, that natural law that says: matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed.

      “Who says afterlife, why not just continuation of life just in a slightly different format.”

      Who says that atheists don’t believe in that? It’s difficult not to. We die, we rot in the ground, that’s another format of existence. 😉 The worms eat the meat and flesh from the bones of the deceased and the soil soaks up whatever energy it can and forms new life. Hence, matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed. In that sense, we have eternal life. ha. Our energy, and our overall mass, will never cease to be. It’s constant.

      We can play at this all day, if you want.

    • Spare me the “energy” new agey crap. We are not energy. Our consciousness is not energy, but rather a result of brain functions. The brain expends energy as it functions but that’s no different than any other part of our bodies or on the whole when we expend energy to speak or walk.

      Again, you’re holding on to imaginative, unsupportable ideas.

  46. T4T,

    I am not proposing “God” in a theological sense. I am just pointing out that it is perfectly reasonable to suppose that there could be intelligence behind the creation of the Universe.

    I’ve understood that ever since you first said it. The reason I don’t mock and/or accost you for your belief is because it’s a belief that’s both sustainable by logic and valid scientific inference. For what it’s worth, I see absolutely nothing wrong or “irrational” about your position as you’ve stated it.

    And I believe that supposition to be more logical than to say it all is just by chance.

    There I would tend to agree with you as well. I think if we’re going to use Occam’s razor as a tool, we should use it consistently.

    I also believe that affords me something that neither the atheist or theist has, and that would be a sense of anticipation and wonder for the possibilities.

    Well, I don’t think that either atheists or theists are necessarily excluded from approaching God and/or the universe with a continually unfolding sense of awe and mystery. However, there are closed minds in every sect, and to them your comment is most appropriate.

    As we know with theists, they get to tell their children they will live happily ever after and with atheists they get to tell their children youre just going to die and rot in the ground.

    That’s why I took issue with SI’s response to my question: he lambasts the religious for promoting what he’s decided is “THE BIG LIE” when in reality what he said he’d offer as an answer could just as easily be the big lie.

    I know we got off to a bit of a choppy start, but you’re a reasonable guy in my book, T4T. I just want to make that clear so I don’t get accidentally lumped in with those who think your position is irrational because it doesn’t fit their party lines. I like your ideas about energy and I often find myself drifting along similar lines. Those ideas are much more fitting with modern understanding of what matter really is.

    • Considering that no one knows whether or not we have an eternal life, that is a lie. A big one. Now, you’ll counter with the fact that we don’t know that we’ll /only/ rot in the ground. True. But we really will rot in the ground. No matter if we have an afterlife or not. So, that’s not a lie.

  47. But we really will rot in the ground. No matter if we have an afterlife or not. So, that’s not a lie.(WritingShadows)

    I guess if you believe that you are only “matter” youre right.

    • Our bodies /will/ rot in the ground. I don’t see how your statement refutes that. In any way. Even if we had a “conscious” or “soul” or whatever else you want to call it… our bodies would still rot in the ground.

  48. Philly and WS

    Youre right, thats why I dont claim it as absolute truth. Its just my brain reasoning some things out and this supposition of mine does seems pretty logical to me. And if I care to share that supposing of ideas with my daughter, is there anything really wrong with that? Im just incoporating ideas that potentially benefit us in our walk through life.

    • In a way, it is. She’s impressionable and more than likely will take up your views without much critical thinking. My mother actually refused to discuss her beliefs with me for years. Until I came to the age where I was able to aptly reason through various arguments.

      But that’s my preference to yours.

      • In a way, it is. She’s impressionable and more than likely will take up your views without much critical thinking.

        So surely, the same thing should apply to SI’s comment that we end up “in the same place [as before we were] born. Nowhere. Simply non-existent,” right?

        I can agree with you that withholding discussion under later in life can be justified. Now come on WritingShadows – show me that it’s not about partisan nonsense with you. Say what you know in your heart is correct, that telling a child we’re “nowhere” or “non-existent” is just the same as telling a child we’re “somewhere” and “existent.”

    • I’ve already explained why its wrong, you’re teaching how to ignore critical thinking and instead go with beliefs that make you feel good or are easier for you to accept. Personal incredulity based on an argument from ignorance is no way to go through life son, let alone to impart upon a child.

      • Philly,

        I’ve already explained why its wrong, you’re teaching how to ignore critical thinking and instead go with beliefs that make you feel good or are easier for you to accept.

        Take your blinders off, will ya? Coming to the conclusion that there is an intelligence behind existence is NOT “teaching how to ignore critical thinking.” That somebody doesn’t accept YOUR version or definition of things doesn’t make THEIR version or definition of things irrational. You are an atheist fundamentalist of the highest order.

        Personal incredulity based on an argument from ignorance is no way to go through life son, let alone to impart upon a child.

        That’s not what T4T suggested he’d do. For (?)’s sake, you are so bent against religion that you literally can’t tolerate anything that’s not your version of atheism! And you can’t or won’t sustain your own positions with any sort of evidence or argument, you just draw an intellectual line in the sand and demand that the believer make you cross it.

        The world is full of people like that, and yes, most of them are religious.

  49. WritingShadows,

    Yes, our bodies “really will” rot in the ground. Problem is, SI’s claim wasn’t limited to “our bodies will rot in the ground.” He **also** said, “generally, I’d tell him that I’m in the same place I was before I was born. Nowhere. Simply non-existent.”

    Yet, SI knows that exactly as much as those he criticizes, right? Go ahead and say, “Yes, that’s actually right,” because it is. You can try to write pink slips for SI’s special pleading all day long, but I encourage you to apply the same standard equally.

    PhillyChief

    Dualism is pure fancy until demonstrated otherwise.

    That just goes to show how willfully ignorant you can be, Chief; people said the same thing about asteroids, airplanes and telephones. This is no less than arguing that whatever you don’t believe in is “pure fancy.” Sad, but I always had the gut feeling that personal preference was your measuring stick.

    • You’re an idiot who just proved the very thing you quoted, UNTIL DEMONSTRATED OTHERWISE. All your examples are things that were eventually demonstrated to be so. Until then, there was no warrant for belief.

      That’s been explained to you numerous times before, which probably makes me an idiot too for thinking one more time would make a difference.

        • SI / Philly:

          I have warrant for my belief. That certain “skeptics” don’t approve of that warrant says something only about the skeptics, not the warrant. Plug your ears all you want; nobody remembers the names of Einstein’s skeptics. Reality marches on.

          The best you can do is to simply deny whatever is presented, and we’ve already established that such is the norm.

      • PhillyChief,

        I thought you were suddenly “too good” to talk to us idiots? What happened?

        You’re an idiot who just proved the very thing you quoted, UNTIL DEMONSTRATED OTHERWISE.

        Ah, there we go. There’s the PhillyChief I know. Where did this High Horse guy using your name come from?

        All your examples are things that were eventually demonstrated to be so. Until then, there was no warrant for belief.

        You didn’t say “warrant for belief.” You said, “Dualism is pure fancy until demonstrated otherwise.” That’s clearly absurd; dualism either is or is not real regardless of whether it’s been demonstrated. Say what you mean, mean what you say, don’t debate like the dense matter you believe you are. 😉

        Now, if all you mean to do is re-assert your opinion that there is no justification for any other position than your own, save it. We already know you think you’re right. What I want to hear from you is some sort of actual argument, not just your silly opinions.

    • I’m going to assume you’re going to critcize Gideon from now on then? Specifically, on his consistent assumption evolution is both evil and entirely incorrect. Or, are you going to write pink slips there?

      And, on the contrary to your statements, SI only said that he wouldn’t tell his children something exists which isn’t proven to exist. As far as evidence goes: we die, people left behind have to deal with that, and we will only have the memories of that person for the rest of life.

      His only assertion, really, was that he wouldn’t promise them a heaven where they’re reunited with their families. Here, I’ll even quote, first what I said:

      “He said it would depend on the age but it wouldn’t consist of telling them of a heaven or being reunited with their dead loved ones. That’s pretty simple: he’d tell them that people die and that’s that. The people left behind have to deal with it.

      In nicer words, of course.”

      Now what he said in response to my comment:

      “What he said.”

      • Oh, as for that comment though, about what he generally would say… as far as we know, as far as all knowledge currently holds, that’s exactly what happens. To the living person, the person who dies, is now non-existent and, as far as all knowledge goes, we won’t be reunited.

        If you can show me where this is false… by all means.

      • WritingShadows,

        I’m going to assume you’re going to critcize Gideon from now on then?

        What do you mean “from now on?” I’ve criticized Gideon whenever I’ve seen that he’s actually made a false claim about science. If you think he’s made some factually incorrect claim that you’d like me to address, just show me the link and I’ll have a looksee anytime. However, I’m not going to criticize Gideon’s opinion of either evolution, or atheists. It’s his opinion. He’s entitled to it.

        Specifically, on his consistent assumption evolution is both evil and entirely incorrect. Or, are you going to write pink slips there?

        I won’t contest his opinion that evolution is evil, although, I would be more than willing to share my opinion with you. As for “entirely incorrect,” well… show me the original quotes you allude to. Don’t expect me to just respond to some naked assertion you make that completely lacks context.

        ..on the contrary to your statements, SI only said that he wouldn’t tell his children something exists which isn’t proven to exist.

        Then you must be overlooking clear statements SI’s made to the contrary: “He **also** said, “generally, I’d tell him that I’m in the same place I was before I was born. Nowhere. Simply non-existent.”” I put those words in quotation marks because they were SI’s original words, not because I was making them up. You’re simply incorrect when you claim that “SI only said that he wouldn’t tell his children something exists which isn’t proven to exist.”

        Here, I’ll even quote, first what I said:

        “He said it would depend on the age but it wouldn’t consist of telling them of a heaven or being reunited with their dead loved ones. That’s pretty simple: he’d tell them that people die and that’s that. The people left behind have to deal with it.

        In nicer words, of course.”

        Now what he said in response to my comment:

        “What he said.”

        Very good. Now, does that mean that this transaction represents the full sum of what SI’s said about the matter? Once again, SI SPECIFICALLY SAID: “generally, I’d tell him that I’m in the same place I was before I was born. Nowhere. Simply non-existent.”

        SI knows that exactly as much as the religious person knows there is an afterlife, so SI deserves exactly as much criticism as he showers upon the religious. Stop making excuses for teammates.

        • SI knows that exactly as much as the religious person knows there is an afterlife…

          I keep feeling a certain amount of disconnect here, because that’s exactly wrong, and I keep saying it’s wrong, and while my saying it doesn’t make it wrong, you keep saying this as if I’m never shown WHY it’s wrong.

          SI knows far more about it than a religious person knows about the afterlife. The religious person knows NOTHING about the afterlife, because there has never been anyone who has come back to confirm it’s existence, and there has never been any independent evidence, convincing or otherwise, that it actually exists (e.g. Houdini spent his life on the subject, with no success).

          Conversely, and to the contrary, I know, and can prove, that no one has ever come back to describe the afterlife. (Absence of evidence in this case being good evidence of absence). Everybody that has ever died has remained dead. Untouched graveyards full of decomposing bodies are solid and convincing evidence of that fact.

          So as far as all the evidence, both for and against, there is 0% evidence of an afterlife, and 100% evidence that there is no afterlife, hence I am justified in saying that when I die, I (meaning SI) no longer exists, and telling my children that, because at the end of the day, that’s all I know, which is far more knowledge than the religious have of the afterlife i.e. nothing more than a fervent desire. So your claim that “SI knows that (after-death non-existence) exactly as much as the religious person knows there is an afterlife…” is simply wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

          Skewed logic notwithstanding.

        • SI,

          SI knows far more about it than a religious person knows about the afterlife.

          No, SI doesn’t, SI imagines he does, presumably because it absolves the cognitive dissonance a truly honest person must face given that fact that none of us actually know anything about this matter.

          The religious person knows NOTHING about the afterlife, because there has never been anyone who has come back to confirm it’s existence,

          Yes, we already know that’s what you believe.

          Conversely, and to the contrary, I know, and can prove, that no one has ever come back to describe the afterlife.

          No, you don’t, and no, you can’t. The most you can do is believe in your own assertion by faith. You are not being intellectually honest here. What you should say is that you don’t know and you can’t prove either the existence or non-existence of an afterlife. That’s the honest truth, anything beyond is faith whether adorned in Scarlet Red or priestcloth. I really hope somebody you respect can help you with this. It’s totally obvious from the outside.

          Everybody that has ever died has remained dead.

          Again, we already know that’s what you believe.

          Untouched graveyards full of decomposing bodies are solid and convincing evidence of that fact.

          Neither myself nor Scripture deny that bodies rot; you attack a strawman.

          So as far as all the evidence, both for and against, there is 0% evidence of an afterlife, and 100% evidence that there is no afterlife,

          Well sure, if you want to hijack all existing evidence for your own point of view, and simply deny ALL anomalous evidence that challenges your point of view, but why pretend that is either 1) rational, or 2) scientific?

          I am justified in saying that when I die, I (meaning SI) no longer exists, and telling my children that, because at the end of the day, that’s all I know,

          No; that’s more than than what you know. It’s an overstatement influenced by your own belief system, exactly like the overstatement you criticize. You don’t know that death entails the end of your existence; all you know is that death almost certainly entails the end of your existence on this planet, or in this state. That’s it. Anything beyond that is faith, regardless of which direction it swings. The sooner you realize that, the better, methinks.

          So your claim that “SI knows that (after-death non-existence) exactly as much as the religious person knows there is an afterlife…” is simply wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

          No, it’s actually “right, right, right” because you don’t know that physical death signifies the end of your existence, just as the religious don’t know that physical death signifies the continuation of theirs. The error is the same in both cases.

          And, when you were saying “wrong, wrong, wrong,” why did I just get a visual of this? No offense intended, but couldn’t it be perhaps because you haven’t thrown off the intellectual laziness you were accompanied to as a believer? Seriously. Anything more than, “I don’t know” is a statement of faith.

          Why do you think I selected the question? I knew you’d walk right into it.

    • That just goes to show how willfully ignorant you can be, Chief; people said the same thing about asteroids, airplanes and telephones.

      And that’s got to be one of the dumbest things you’ve ever said, cl. Asteroids, airplanes and telephones were “pure fancy until demonstrated otherwise”. It’s all about the state of knowledge at the moment, not the supposition of what might be, that we operate under in real life. Science fiction is just that until it becomes science fact. You want to believe in hyper-drives and teleportation devices, have fun, but saying they exist makes you just as much a candidate for the funny farm as saying there is an afterlife. Believe it?:fine. Act on it?: (twirls finger next to ear).

      So today, based on the state of our knowledge, there is no dualistic consciousness/soul, there is no god, and there is no afterlife. Maybe there is, and when someone shows me and most other “intelligent” people that there really is (Philly’s “demonstrated otherwise” concept), it is not a BIG LIE to tell my kids what the state of human knowledge tells us, rather than your fanciful beliefs. It is, however, a BIG LIE to tell them something you cannot support, that are strictly taken on faith.

      It has nothing to do with “gut feelings” or “personal preferences”, (unless you are arguing for your beliefs, ironically), your protestations to the contrary not-withstanding. Until you can substantiate your beliefs, they are nothing more than self-delusion. You can twist logic till it looks like a pretzel, as you are fond of doing, but it won’t change that fact.

      • And that’s got to be one of the dumbest things you’ve ever said, cl. Asteroids, airplanes and telephones were “pure fancy until demonstrated otherwise”.

        Perhaps a little hasty, as airplanes and telephones are in a different category than asteroids, but don’t miss the forest for the trees here SI: asteroids WERE NOT pure fancy until demonstrated otherwise; they existed before we were able to demonstrate otherwise, EVEN THOUGH the evidence for their existence was always there. The point is, it’s perfectly possible to deny valid evidence. The holes in Earth’s ground that are the evidence of asteroids have been there all along.

        Same with dualism: it is either correct or incorrect regardless of whether it’s been demonstrated, and any evidence that would actually prove dualism could similarly exist AT THIS MOMENT yet remain overlooked. I’ve seen the evidence I refer to, and testify that sans better “rational” explanations from people like yourselves, I believe that willful overlooking of the evidence can account for your denial. In fact, I’ve already shown this, and you yourself testify to the fact that you will visit my blog to troll, but not to learn.

        Point is, for Philly to say, “Dualism is pure fancy until demonstrated otherwise” is an untrue statement. Philly may have meant that he personally will consider dualism to be pure fancy until the priests in white coats say it’s okay for him to accept it, but that’s different, not to mention both wholly predictable and redundant.

        It’s all about the state of knowledge at the moment, not the supposition of what might be, that we operate under in real life.

        Correct, and the state of knowledge I currently find myself in justifies the vast majority of my beliefs. That you want to stick your head in the sand and continue to deny the validity of the knowledge I rely on as warrant says something only about you, and nothing about the knowledge which I rely on as warrant.

        Science fiction is just that until it becomes science fact. You want to believe in hyper-drives and teleportation devices, have fun, but saying they exist makes you just as much a candidate for the funny farm as saying there is an afterlife.

        That comment just suggests how much you rely on best-selling and popular books to dictate your beliefs — er, uh LACK of beliefs. You’ll say, “Oh yeah cl, where’s your evidence for the afterlife then?” Well, if you came to my blog for something besides the stated intent of trolling, maybe you could expand your mental horizons?

        I’d like to see how you’d explain the findings of a certain anthropologist … ah, nevermind, don’t even bother unless your amenability to new knowledge has changed since last time. Else, we’ll probably just go at it for 200 comments, only to have you say something at the end like, “Wait a minute cl… are you saying the shaman **actually** continued to visit the anthropologist and provide factually correct statements about empirically verifiable phenomena, **after** she died?”

        So let’s just cut to the chase: I have no evidence for my beliefs that you’re willing to accept, and even though you can’t better explain said evidence, I’m an idiot who doesn’t understand epistemological warrant.

        So today, based on the state of our knowledge, there is no dualistic consciousness/soul, there is no god, and there is no afterlife.

        No. No, no, no: today, based on the limited knowledge you are aware of, you see no reason to believe in souls, God, and the afterlife. That’s the difference. You seem to think this condition of the scales being tipped in favor of your own conclusions is some external reality, when such couldn’t be farther from the truth.

        I know the drill SI: you used to be an “intellectually lazy” believer (your own words, not my insults), and you’re never going back. That’s cool. Believe me, I commend you for your desire to throw off intellectual laziness; religion can and does encourage intellectual laziness and that’s one of its biggest turn-offs to me.

        Still, I encourage you to cut through the mistaken idea that intellectual laziness can’t possibly have followed you in your deconversion, and that since you were an intellectually lazy believer, all other believers must be intellectually lazy. You’ve not stated that last sentiment directly, but such is what I hear expressed in the subtext of your comments to me.

        It is, however, a BIG LIE to tell them something you cannot support,

        Correct, and that’s why your statement that, “generally, I’d tell him that I’m in the same place I was before I was born. Nowhere. Simply non-existent,” is AS BIG A LIE AS THE ONE YOU CRITICIZE. I’m not surprised you can’t see it, or that if you can, you won’t admit, because such would be a blow to your pride. All I’m saying is that in your earnest to present yourself and your position as intellectually superior, you fail to realize you commit the same error as the people who share the position you criticize.

        The correct answer is, “I don’t know what happens after we die, son / daughter…” You simply trade one lie for another and fancy that progressive thought.

        Until you can substantiate your beliefs, they are nothing more than self-delusion.

        Same goes for your beliefs, right?

        • Same goes for your beliefs, right?

          Sure. But I’ve substantiated my beliefs in the non-existence of an afterlife. So what’s your problem? Do you need a definition for substantiate? Is that were we disagree?

          When you substantiate the existence of the afterlife, I retract my statement that it is a BIG LIE.

        • SI,

          But I’ve substantiated my beliefs in the non-existence of an afterlife.

          No you haven’t: you’ve asserted them, and asserted that you think whoever doesn’t share them is an ass. That’s not substantiation of anything other than the fact you think those who disagree with you are an ass.

          Do you need a definition for substantiate? Is that were we disagree?

          Apparently: the word substantiate means to “establish by proof or competent evidence.” Now you tell me SI: if your atheism is only the “lack of belief” you constantly demand we treat it as, then what positive claim are you making that you can “establish by proof or competent evidence?

          Do tell. If you’re not making a positive claim, there’s nothing you could possibly substantiate.

  50. She’s impressionable and more than likely will take up your views without much critical thinking.(WS)

    Well, thats the thing about assumptions. If you met my daughter you probably would know what I mean. Little Brainiac that does lots of critical thinking. 🙂

    You’re an idiot who just proved the very thing you quoted, UNTIL DEMONSTRATED OTHERWISE(Philly)

    Well one thing is for sure, there’s lots of Idiots sprinkled throughout history. 😉

    • It doesn’t much matter what type of person your daughter is. I’m sure she’s quite a bright girl. But it doesn’t stop her from being impressionable and trusting her father.

      But, that’s about all that can be said on that matter.

      • How are you sure she’s bright? Maybe you meant you wish to believe she is. I’d like to think so as well, so maybe she’ll see those beliefs for what they are.

    • The fact that someone believed something before evidence was produced for that something has zero to do with the validity of your afterlife and creator beliefs. Furthermore, those examples by Chris were first hypotheses based on facts, rather than purely imaginative thinking, so that makes for a huge difference, too.

      History is sprinkled with idiots believing lots of unwarranted crap, often with dire results. Sadly, there are quite a bit of sprinkles still around causing harm due to believing unwarranted beliefs.

      • The fact that someone believed something before evidence was produced for that something has zero to do with the validity of your afterlife and creator beliefs.

        And not once did I claim otherwise, strawmaker. I was disputing your claim that “dualism is pure fancy until proved otherwise.” That claim – as stated – is incorrect. Dualism is either true or untrue regardless of whether it’s been tested. If what you meant to say is that you’ll consider dualism pure fancy until the whitecoats approve it as an acceptable concept for you to hold, then yeah, you’re correct, but like I said, we’ve heard your opinion a thousand times.

  51. On a side note, has anyone noticed that when Gideon is not commenting, the discussions actually are more civil, and at least take on a semblance of an intellectual hue?

    I’m not saying we are all Einsteins. But everyone, including cl (even with his maddening twisted logic) at least discusses, rather than berates, insults and adhominizes (I just made up that word – like it?)

    Oh, we can get a little testy, calling each other idiots and our arguments dumb, but really, that’s normal in any valid discussion, and only indicates a lack of ability to find the right civil word. It’s shorthand for “I disagree”, and since it’s usually followed with reasons why we disagree, it far better than hearing about our mother’s sexual predilections, or our experience with bestiality. As reasoned argument, it’s not.

    • Civility isn’t the issue. I could care less if he’s civil. It’s the fact that his comments are purely moronic which is the problem, and why I just skip over them like I usually do with Chris.

      It wouldn’t be so bad if everyone ignored them. In that case, they’d be like little popup ads you skip over to get to what you want, but it’s the time wasted by the people worth reading responding to them that gets to be tedious. Imagine if during your favorite show, the characters started talking about how soft their clothes are now after using Downy or how much better they feel after drinking a V8? It’s like that. You wouldn’t be able to easily ffwd past that.

      • That’s what I meant when I said it’s been a joke. The main purpose is disruption, he’s as much as said that’s what he’s doing, and i really don’t feel like being his little playpage.

        If I could ignore, I would, but it doesn’t work. I tried that.

        If I can edit him, fine, otherwise, if he makes me spend too much time editing, I’ll just ban him. If he wants to admit that in advance and save me the time, he can ban himself.

        • I’m not going anywhere, SI. Go ahead… edit/ban/whatever. You tried it before, remember?

          Go, and do what any other blogger with etiquette and guts would never do.

          The EASIEST course open to you, would be for you to grow some balls and muzzle those dogs of yours, then I wouldn’t have to kick their skulls in every time they come for me, but you won’t do that, will you?

          So, again, you gotta make a choice. I’m not doing anything for you.

        • If I can edit him, fine, otherwise, if he makes me spend too much time editing, I’ll just ban him. If he wants to admit that in advance and save me the time, he can ban himself.

          How about a normal conversation with the guy? He is a human being, you know. How about starting over next post, and making it about something else besides your negative opinion of others? How about everyone treat everyone with a little bit of respect?

          I mean gimme a break: do you really not see how you’ve invited and encouraged all of this??

      • “but it’s the time wasted by the people worth reading responding to them that gets to be tedious.”

        You brilliant thinker, you’re the smartest one around here. From day one, you’ve gone after me, simply because I am not as smart as you, and it’s true. You do that to every Christian, because you’re right, and because you know far more than me.

        You would be welcome at any reputable blog, and I know it. You’re content with being a very handsome fish in a very, very, very, very, very big pond with ugly fish like me. You’re content with the encyclopedic knowledge you have, and I’m content to keep it that way, too.

        Hey, no skin off my ass, bub! I like complimenting you! Looking forward to a LONG relationship with you, boy!

        😈

        [Test Edit}

        • Just so you know, asshole, I’m taking screenshots and posting it on my blog.

          I’ve already started spreading the word about your terrorist tactics.

          Soon, the only ones posting here will be your butt-lick infidel buddies, because people don’t appreciate being misrepresented.

          Just what you’ve always wanted… I mean, Philly’s always wanted.

          And, Philly gets what Philly wants… right, slave?

          LOL!

      • Geez Mr. Mauriello, what great detective work! Put half that much thought into an argument and you might have a chance.

        Imagine if during your favorite show, the characters started talking about how soft their clothes are now after using Downy or how much better they feel after drinking a V8?

        So, this is just entertainment to you isn’t it? Look Dave, instead of just passing judgment on those you can’t overpower with your mouth, why don’t you actually try?

        Let’s all try on SI’s next post. I’ll talk to you and everyone with the same respect I’d give a new commenter on my own blog. You guys behave and do the same. Don’t be afraid to give a compliment; sometimes it can work wonders.

        You say you can talk reason, let’s see it. Grow up. No more name-calling.

    • You can rationalize all you like, SI, your whoresome (my new word – like it?) pandering to the insane jealousy of Philly @ Co. is revealing. You’ve never acknowledged your bum-buddies’ transgressions and you never will. The reason can only be that you’re scared of them… end of story.

      Whenever I’ve attempted a civil debate, your attack dogs were never long derailing it. You know I’ve tried, too, by your own admission.

      So, when they get what they ask for, they cry like babies.

      I might be offended if this were actually a reputable blog. It’s a joke, and so are you, the way you let Philly & Co. push you around. A bunch of sissies sitting around stroking each other’s egos, regurgitating party dogma till it lies in a sickening pool around your feet!

      I told you I’m not playing your game, anymore. Now, you’re playing by MY rules!

      And, the fun is only beginning!

      👿

    • I’m not saying we are all Einsteins. But everyone, including cl (even with his maddening twisted logic) at least discusses, rather than berates, insults and adhominizes (I just made up that word – like it?)

      Sorry, but **that** was THE BIG LIE!!! Every one of you (and by you I refer collectively to Philly, yourself, Evo, TOG, jim and ildi) DIRECTLY INSULT & BERATE other people and you know it. I’ve documented it here before, any rational person can click that link and see the truth.

      Again – that you don’t “insult and berate” is a BIG LIE, SI, here’s a recent example from your own mouth that proves it:

      You are a waste of time, cl. A big fat black hole of bullshit sucking in everyone who comes into contact with you. SI, to cl

      Nope! We don’t insult and berate others! Not us!! Not us respectful, intellectual atheists!! BWAHAHAHAH!!!!!!! [YARF]

      How about these, all actual comments of yours, made to me over the course of only three threads:

      You truly are an idiot.” (SI)

      “If Satan came up and tried to butt-fuck you and Jesus saved your virgin ass,” (John Evo)

      “..being a douche… ..douchery… …he is desperate to spread his message of “Douche Equivalence”… He knows he is a douche… “ (John Evo)

      “I’d pick up a rock and brain you with it.” (PhillyChief)

      “I dunno, I think maybe you’re just a jerk..” (ThatOtherGuy)

      “I woke up to a ton of comments here, in my email… all about SI’s nudes. WTF?” (John Evo)

      “Fuck me. …There’s a fucking understatement for you!” (John Evo)

      “Thank you Lord……The Titties are back.” (TitforTat)

      “..stop being a pussy and answer the question.” (John Evo)

      “Right, I’ll put you down for option “douche” then. “ (PhillyChief)

      “The fuck you will. You’ll attempt to support the claim that there are flaws, redact the claim, or do neither and thus add to the mountain of evidence that shows you exhibit douchey tactics.” (PhillyChief, to a claim I supported here and he sidestepped 6 comments later)

      “I swear to my lord and savior, bloody Jesus on a cross.” (John Evo)

      “..how fucked up is my life that I’d waste all that time to prove some guy on the internet is a douche?” (PhillyChief)

      “There once was a man named See-El, Whose beliefs in heaven and hell, He claimed were quite sensible, Tho’ clearly irrational, Resulting in a terrible smell.” (SI)

      Nope! We don’t insult and berate others! Not us!! Nope! We don’t insult and berate others! Not us!!
      Nope! We don’t insult and berate others! Not us!!
      Nope! We don’t insult and berate others! Not us!!
      Nope! We don’t insult and berate others! Not us!!

      As reasoned argument, it’s not.

      You’re right. None of the crap you talk is a reasoned argument. Why do you think Gideon hands it back to you tenfold?

      • T4T,

        Sorry one of your comments made their dirt-list. I had selected yours for its humorous value, I did not intend to imply that you’re among those I was criticizing above. Like I said, I think you’re a reasonable guy.

  52. SI:

    On a side note, has anyone noticed that when Gideon is not commenting, the discussions actually are more civil, and at least take on a semblance of an intellectual hue?

    Derailing comment threads is the raison d’être of trolls. That’s why they eventually get banned.

    Titfortat:

    Kind of like the fact that the body you have now isnt the same as it was when you were a kid. It has completely renewed itself on a cellular level. Its all about energy.

    You’ve been reading Chopra-woo? If by energy you mean neural impulses, yeah, I guess, but there’s no evidence that there’s any energy that survives our death. The more neuroscience develops as a field, the more evidence there is for a physical basis for consciousness; no mind-body dualism.

  53. “Derailing comment threads is the raison d’être of trolls. That’s why they eventually get banned.”

    Not around here, Medusa-in-training. Around here, trolls like you are king! That’s why they’re allowed to disrupt comments by non-infidels!

    Just as you are drawn to the streets, every night, to ply your ‘trade’, trolls are drawn to SI, because he gives them free reign. He’s actually the nerd the jocks exploit to get what they want. How many of YOU trolls have blogs? You’d rather haunt other folk’s blogs, because you’re too fucking lazy and stupid to come up with anything on your own. Better to parasite off of someone else, and let them deal with the aftermath of your ‘work’.

    I’d love to see you start a blog, Brun-ildi-ot. What a laugh THAT would be!

  54. No, it’s actually “right, right, right” because you don’t know that physical death signifies the end of your existence, just as the religious don’t know that physical death signifies the continuation of theirs. The error is the same in both cases.

    And, when you were saying “wrong, wrong, wrong,” why did I just get a visual of this? No offense intended, but couldn’t it be perhaps because you haven’t thrown off the intellectual laziness you were accompanied to as a believer? Seriously. Anything more than, “I don’t know” is a statement of faith.

    Why do you think I selected the question? I knew you’d walk right into it.

    Aren’t you just so fucking clever? You set traps and we stoopid atheists fall into it. Yup. Dum de dum dum. Whoops!

    There. Proof positive. Theists are right and atheists are wrong. Now let’s go solve the Mid-East crisis.

    Man did you get over on us. We didn’t know what hit us! Gotta run down to the local RC church and re-up. All those years I’ve wasted. Damn that CL, he so fuckin’ smart. Showed me. Praise god and Alleluia!

    There’s just one problem. You’re being a philosopher, with your “we really don’t know anything” routine, and I’m simply being an empiricist, with my “show me” routine. We’re talking all around each other, and we’re not even talking about the same thing.

    Why aren’t you an agnostic? Philosophy is just mental masturbation, totally meaningless, unless you want desperately to believe something that’s not there.

    I’m just not that desperate. You are. I don’t care, until you “show me” I should. So far, you haven’t.

    I am looking forward to my next post. I’m beginning to get a germ of an idea…

    • Reply with lashing all you want SI, it doesn’t resolve the conundrum you’re in when you claim atheism is just “lack of belief” on the one hand, then turn around and imply that your “lack of belief” has been substantiated.

      That’s just silly, and I’m not surprised you glossed right over it. All I’m saying is that you have no more basis for your claims (as made in this thread) than the people you criticize. You want some kind of special **out** that would justify your assertion of intellectual superiority, but it just ain’t there. If we can’t know there’s no afterlife, you can’t know there’s not. It’s that simple, except of course for those who really do prefer twisted logic.

    • There’s just one problem. You’re being a philosopher, with your “we really don’t know anything” routine, and I’m simply being an empiricist, with my “show me” routine. We’re talking all around each other, and we’re not even talking about the same thing.

      Sorry to not have addressed this in my last comment: this is not how I see the problem at all. In specific context of this discussion, your empirical demands are exactly what hand you out to dry: it is impossible to empirically demonstrate the atheist conclusion. IMPOSSIBLE!! It can only be inferred correct, or proven wrong. So, there’s QUITE LITERALLY no way you can know what you claimed you’d tell your child, yet you “insult and berate” the person who does the same.

      In general, I’ll meet you on whatever grounds you want to argue: you want to argue philosophical warrant for belief vs. non-belief? Let’s do it. We tried to argue empirical warrant for belief vs. non-belief, but honestly, you dismissed and insulted me for hundreds of comments before you even understood my argument correctly. That – along with the fact that you refuse to accept any responsibility for such a blunder – speaks volumes about what you were, what you are, and what you think you are. While I hate to ascribe intent to others, I’d go so far as to say that pride blocks alot of progress we could have. I just provided a list of typical comments you make to me. You can pretend you don’t insult and berate others, but it’s just not true my friend. It’s just not true.

      In my honest opinion, there are a few reasons why you and I have not made sufficient progress:

      1) Your cronies. Straight-up; the company you keep here is disruptive to reason. I know, I know, you can’t, don’t or won’t see, but I’m telling the truth. I refer mostly to Philly and Evo, but also TOG and a few others not worth naming right now.

      2) I believe that because you’ve already deconverted, that it would be impossible or near-impossible for you to return to any sort of religion. I think the best one might get from you at this point is something like what T4T expresses: an honest acknowledgment that, “Hey, maybe something might be out there.” Any more than that would likely incur significant cognitive dissonance the average person simply could not bear.

      3) Lastly, I don’t mean this to insult or berate you, but I believe that you really are a mocker at heart. Several times, where we could have kept pursuing logic, you would turn to me with examples of the comments I left. You really do believe that you are right. Don’t get me wrong, I do too, and I’m not criticizing conviction, but your overconfidence and arrogance. You write and act as if this has all been decided.

  55. Philosophy is just mental masturbation, totally meaningless

    It served a purpose prior to the development of the scientific method. Now, I agree, it’s just word games. Took me a few go-rounds to realize that philosophical “evidence” is not what scientists mean when they use the word. “I have evidence of god’s existence!” -not.

    • There are a lot of men out there with evidence of your yeast infections, too, Brun-ildi-ot. You still insist you’re clean, though?

      Isn’t it about time you went and got hubbo’s supper ready? Do what a woman was meant to do, bee-otch, and STFU!

      • Brun-ildi-slut, I have some suggestions for the title of that blog of yours:

        The World According To a Douche-Bag
        Sexual Fantasies of A Noon-Day Drunk
        Ugly CAN Be Beautiful!
        The Medusa Speaks!
        Blogging Bee-otch
        The Soiled Mattress
        Done By Everyone
        Big-Knockered and Stupid in (insert location, here)
        Philly’s Philly
        Whore On A Rant…

        … and, many more!

        If you need any advice on setting it up, let me know!

        😉

  56. It served a purpose prior to the development of the scientific method. Now, I agree, it’s just word games.(ildi)

    I see there is no point in discussion with you. If it aint science it obviously has no merit in your world. 😦

    • Wrong, TFT, if it ain’t BULLSHIT it has no merit, here.

      This is an infidels-only club. I’m only here, because I find the stupid fascinating.

      Welcome to the land of Nod!

      😆

      • You’ll have to wait a while for a response, TFT. See, they’re ‘IGNORING’ me, now. In fact, they’re just scared! They’re more scared of me than Philly! That pisses Philly no end, which is why he’s got this vendetta going.

        He ain’t man enough to take me on. He’s hiding like the litle chickenshit Kansas pussy he is! Scared of the tough Canadian, that’s weathered more sandstorms and blizzards and idiot drivers than he’ll ever see in his sheltered life!

        C’mon, pusscake! I’m callin’ ya out!

        😆

        • They’re more scared of me than Philly! That pisses Philly no end, which is why he’s got this vendetta going.

          I agree that such is at least consistent with the hypothesis that the “dominant male” has been forced away from the rest of his pack. Hilarious!!

    • I see there is no point in discussion with you. If it aint science it obviously has no merit in your world. (T4T to ildi)

      Ain’t that the truth: “give me whatever the men and women in the white coats say, and I’ll believe it!” Nope, no faith here!

      I would rather trust my own sense of reason and burn to death in error than proceed only by the sanctioned permission of other fallible mortals and call myself a freethinker.

  57. Like I said, there are other blogs where intelligent folk welcome Christian views, unlike this place. They get and deserve respect, this trash-heap deserves neither.

    This blog is a clique of fools. I view it as a place to shit, thereby keeping the other rooms of the house clean. The out-house, if you will.

    It’s possible to disagree and be civil. You dummies haven’t learned how, yet, and at the rate you’re going, you never will. I don’t think that was ever your purpose. My research into all of you reveals a pack of abused, vindictive, vengeful ex-churcher’s with an axe to grind. You want the world to apologize to you for whatever it is you imagine was done to you. Typically, in my experience, there isn’t anything that can be done with people like yourselves. You won’t allow it.

    I’m not a bleeding-heart that you can manipulate. I know what you’re about, and, I know you have no intention of being told anything. You’re here to tell the world you’ve been wronged… period. I also know that some of you still think you’ll be saved regardless of how you exact your revenge.

    Again, I’m not buying into your pity-party. I’ll kick your sorry asses and think nothing of it. You’re just spoiled brats wanting attention.

    Here’s a quarter… call up someone who cares!

    👿

    • Maybe you could make it your new wallpaper, cl, cl, cl, cl, cl, cl, cl, cl, cl, cl, cl, cl, cl, cl, cl, cl, cl, cl, cl, cl, cl, cl, cl, cl, cl, cl, cl, cl, cl…

  58. I was totally going for that jim. I even took a screen shot. I’ve got a second one with me an Gideon on a 60/40 split. I laughed to tears, and nobody was even insulted. Come ‘on. You and I are doing pretty good this week. Lemme have a ‘lil harmless fun before SI tightens up the slack.

    You know this one was off the hilarity / inanity charts!

  59. S.I.

    I wrote a couple of pieces addressing your OP’s concerns. I’ve always felt uncomfortable lying to my children. I was against the Santa Claus thing, though I sort of got overruled by my wife and the rest of my family. Also, I’ll admit I wanted them to experience the ‘wonder’. However, I’ve always regretted it, for two reasons…

    1. It encourages kids to expect miracles from magical sources. You can say that they grow out of it, but I think a lot of this sticks, and paves the way for future delusional expectations, as well as grave disappointments.

    2. It’s a lie. When I find out, one of the first things I remember thinking was “wow, my parents make it a practice to lie to me. What else do they lie about?”

    If I had it to do over again, I’d stand my ground, no matter the dissension my decision might cause.

    • SI,

      Just so you know, I’m interested in moving forward and hearing you host a conversation that actually proceeds according to the pre-stated rules you laid down earlier. I’m interested in hearing you actually support the reasoning for your beliefs, or lack of beliefs, or whatever it is or is not that do or don’t have. I don’t want to hear your opinions of me or of theism any more. I want to see what makes you tick. Same with your cronies.

      I am very anxious to **actually** debate you, Philly, Evo or any of your guests on any topic, to the end. I think we often agree more than we realize. Better, at the end of the day, I know that I really don’t judge you guys. Sometimes you piss me off, but in my heart I believe you’re all pretty good people. I’ve recognized times where it at least appeared you were extending an olive branch; maybe I’m just imagining things. I think it’s sad that not of all us can do the same. Some of your regulars are just relentless haters and I don’t see why.

      So here’s what I think: you should **politely ask** everybody to either treat all commenters with the same respect they give those they respect, or simply not comment to them at all if that’s not possible. I think if it’s really about the arguments, then people should be able to suspend and/or ignore their silly little emotions. And, call anyone and everyone on their naked assertions. Be fair and impartial. That’s another big complaint of mine; you tolerate and participate in that which you decry from theists. That’s a no-no.

      On to the next!

    • Don’t worry, Gutless, my range extends further than your view of Philly Chief’s penis! I’ll be sure and let everyone I know and run across what they can expect if they ever get desperate enough to come here. And, Philly’s face stays up in it’s place of honor on my sidebar for as long as it takes you to grow a spine.

      I’m sure your kids would be proud of their pussy-assed father, who tilts anus to a fat pervert from Kansas! Will they be raised as lying-assed pagans like their dad?

      Now, it’s getting late, Wimpy. I’m sure Philly needs you to ‘milk’ him, so grab your microscope and tweezers and run on over to his blog. Tell the kids that ‘mommy’ has to work late, again, but you’ll be back after the Chief is satiated.

      😆

      • Okay, see,

        Don’t worry, Gutless, my range extends further than your view of Philly Chief’s penis! … Now, it’s getting late, Wimpy. I’m sure Philly needs you to ‘milk’ him, so grab your microscope and tweezers and run on over to his blog.

        Those are funny and fitting for all the things I’ve shown them saying here. OTOH:

        I’m sure your kids would be proud of their pussy-assed father, who tilts anus to a fat pervert from Kansas! Will they be raised as lying-assed pagans like their dad?

        I dunno, I just get queasy when the family / deep psychological stuff starts coming out. A lot of people have had really jacked lives (not insinuating anything about anyone here) and although strong response to arrogance is certainly expected, I can’t really get behind this type of stuff.

        We’re all people behind these screens.

        • I dunno, I just get queasy when the family / deep psychological stuff starts coming out.

          About time.

          Cl, I read your list of what you call insults, and I have to agree with you to a point that insults flow both ways. But there is a difference in character and kind between all of the rest of them (including those from you) and Gideon. His insults are personal, and wholly unrelated to the content of the discussion, or the topic. At least when you’re called a douche, or an idiot, the comment is directed at what you are arguing, not you personally. Whether you take it that way, or not is your problem. I’ve been called lots of names, and as they say, “sticks and stones…”.

          Compare your example:

          “I dunno, I think maybe you’re just a jerk..”

          with

          Brun-ildi-slut, I have some suggestions for the title of that blog of yours:

          The World According To a Douche-Bag
          Sexual Fantasies of A Noon-Day Drunk
          Ugly CAN Be Beautiful!
          The Medusa Speaks!
          Blogging Bee-otch
          The Soiled Mattress
          Done By Everyone
          Big-Knockered and Stupid in (insert location, here) Philly’s Philly Whore On A Rant…

          … and, many more!

          Some of the scatological name-calling, especially directed to some of the women, is just downright uncalled for. And, more to the point, completely pointless. I doubt Giddy would appreciate someone talking to his wife and/or daughter that way.

          How about a normal conversation with the guy? He is a human being, you know.

          I tried that. Every single time he wrote a sober, thought-out comment, I responded accordingly. I even left a compliment on your site once actually praising his ability to write a thoughtful comment. I thought that might encourage him to continue in that vein. We had a short exchange a few posts back where I thought there was hope. But if those comments constitute 1% of his output, I’d be surprised, and he usually turns around and spews invective. Pointless, off-topic invective. By any definition of the word “troll” he clearly is one. Yet I tried to tolerate him. Truly, he’s a wonderful example of the worst of Christianity, and underscores everything I’ve ever written on this blog.

          It was probably a mistake to create a post just for him, but I thought rather than write something, with that one poster I found on the internet, he could see how his beliefs are viewed. He actually wrote a non-invective response, and if left at that, it would have been fine. I told him that. But every other post thereafter was the same damn thing.

          So he’s wasting my time, now. I have work to do, leaves to rake, income to generate. This is pointless. I’m not doing it anymore. He’s worn out his welcome.

          • Well, well… After four days away from the computer, I decided to come back and see this crap with a fresh mind.

            About time.

            “About time” nothing. You need to read your own blog better, I’m afraid. This is not the first time I’ve said this about certain things Gideon has said. Quit trying to play me up as his lapdog. The extent of my affection for Gideon is that he’s hilarious, he writes well, he gives you a taste of your own medicine (even if it is amplified), and, well… he’s just Gideon. I’m still not even 100% convinced he’s not another one of Team Scarlet A’s sockpuppets, like Trinity.

            I think it’s sad that you attempt to once again justify your insults and namecalling here, but sorry SI – I’m not having it. You can say whatever you want; it doesn’t take away the fact that you call me, “a big fat black hole of bullshit sucking in everyone who comes into contact with you.”

            That you don’t even check yourself on stuff like this is a big part of the reason I’ve been so supportive of Gideon’s unruliness.

            Some of the scatological name-calling, especially directed to some of the women, is just downright uncalled for.

            Excuse me prosecutor or attorney or whoever the hell you think you are, but calling referring to people who just want you to answer a few questions about your claims “a big fat black hole of bullshit” somehow called for? What planet do you live on? Is that the same as misogynistic insult? No. Does it mean you’re any less of an insulting person? I don’t think so.

            I tried that.

            If you’ve tried “normal conversation” and found it doesn’t work, then why don’t you ignore him? It’s that easy, but I know, you already said you can’t do that, either. And, you won’t ban him. So, you’re just gonna change his actual comments to things he’s not said?

            I even left a compliment on your site once actually praising his ability to write a thoughtful comment.

            I remember that, and it’s quite a bit more than I can say I’ve ever got from you. Still, do you think that just washes over everything else? Like, it’s cool to treat people like total dung so long as we give’em a single compliment? If that’s the version of human relations you’ve acquired from your philosophies, I’ll have none of it.

            By any definition of the word “troll” he clearly is one.

            No: by definition of the word “trolling” he spends most of his time here trolling. He’s not a troll. Trolls have no genuine interest in the arguments. If Gideon’s not one of you in Christian drag, I believe he’s genuine.

            I have work to do, leaves to rake, income to generate. This is pointless. I’m not doing it anymore.

            Cry someone else a river! Nobody forces you to submit to Gideon, except perhaps maybe your self. But, you’re intellectually free now SI – you’re an atheist! It’s time to stop letting others control you, but I don’t know how well that’s going to go over with the men and women in the white coats.

  60. Titfortat:

    Maybe science will one day prove that belief is right.

    Oh, so science is only good when it bolsters your wishful thinking?

    If it aint science it obviously has no merit in your world.

    If by “merit” you mean “understanding of how things work.” People have always had questions about how the world works. Now we have a powerful tool that we can use to help us answer them.

    SI:

    Thanks bunches for reposting the troll’s vomitus! I don’t read his comments, only others’ responses to them… hmmm some of those names could work, with a bit of re-wording…

    Some of the scatological name-calling, especially directed to some of the women, is just downright uncalled for. And, more to the point, completely pointless. I doubt Giddy would appreciate someone talking to his wife and/or daughter that way.

    He may not appreciate it, but on some level he holds all women in that same low level of regard. “Fat and ugly” are standard schoolyard taunts, but his over-the-top sexual threats and taunts that are meant to intimidate under the guise of humor display the mind of a hard-core misogynist. I think that’s why his version of xianity appeals to him so much; old Yahweh hated the ladies, too. Lot of raping and owning going on in the OT…

    • He may not appreciate it, but on some level he holds all women in that same low level of regard. “Fat and ugly” are standard schoolyard taunts, but his over-the-top sexual threats and taunts that are meant to intimidate under the guise of humor display the mind of a hard-core misogynist. I think that’s why his version of xianity appeals to him so much; old Yahweh hated the ladies, too. Lot of raping and owning going on in the OT…

      He’d never admit it, because he can’t be objective about himself. He thinks he’s a well hung stud who the infidel women are just pining for. His fellow church members probably wouldn’t see it, because they believe a woman’s place is in the oven.

      I doubt you’d even get cl to agree with that one, because he’s too wrapped up in supporting his worldview. He thinks Giddy’s a riot.

      But you’re right. Giddy’s got some deep-seated problems.

  61. Oh, so science is only good when it bolsters your wishful thinking?(ildi)

    Where is this idea coming from? For f…. sake man, I work in the health field, I deal with science all the time. Just because I have a belief that there could be intelligence behind our origin doesnt mean Im anti science. Geez………..

    • TitForTat,

      Where is this idea coming from? For f…. sake man, I work in the health field, I deal with science all the time. Just because I have a belief that there could be intelligence behind our origin doesnt mean Im anti science.

      I’ve told you: you gotta tow the party lines exactly in step to get respect here.

  62. Just because I have a belief that there could be intelligence behind our origin doesnt mean Im anti science.

    You’re right, it doesn’t. I’m also thinking about your comments about our cells changing up all the time and it all being about energy, etc. Ok, ok, let me guess, if it’s not Deepak Chopra, then it was the movie “What the (Bleep) Do We Know!?”

  63. Perhaps it’s more like science is good UNTIL it gets in the way of wishful thinking(Philly)

    Well seeing as you dont know everything(though im sure in your mind you do), maybe my wishful thinking is scientific. 😉

    • You know, you’ve got to let go of this juvenile crap. Trying to deflect the fact that you’re wrong by labeling those pointing out your errors as know-it-alls isn’t productive.

      • PhillyChief,

        You know, you’ve got to let go of this juvenile crap. Trying to deflect the fact that you’re wrong by labeling those pointing out your errors as know-it-alls isn’t productive.

        Ha! Touchy, touchy! What is T4T wrong about? Because he believes the idea of an Intelligence behind the universe makes sense? That’s an opinion; it can’t be wrong. IOW, you just mean that you don’t like it, but it’s funny that when you get mad, “what you don’t like” = wrong.

        I hate to say it Philly, but T4T’s belief that there might be an Intelligence behind the universe is supported by logic and valid scientific inference.

        You get mad because he implies you think you’re always right, but in my experience (and others), that’s exactly how you come across. And when you can’t bully your views down others’ throat, you attack and denigrate them.

        Why?

        TitForTat,

        Well seeing as you dont know everything(though im sure in your mind you do), maybe my wishful thinking is scientific.

        You got it: Philly’s “almost always right” as he once described himself in my blog, either in conscious jest or Freudian slip.

  64. Ok, ok, let me guess, if it’s not Deepak Chopra, then it was the movie “What the (Bleep) Do We Know!?”(ildi)

    Im curious, do you know much about the body and its ability for renewal? Tell me something, does your pretty face still have the same skin it had last year?

    • I’m curious, wtf does that have to do with believing things like dualism and that we’re all going to exist as pure energy after our matter dies?

  65. Well for starters Philly. What matter of you do I believe is you. The matter of your pretty face now or the matter that it was when you were younger. Because it does matter if the matter has renewed itself. Dont you think it matters too. 😉

  66. Right back at you. Again, you are talking matter, so if your matter is constantly renewing, what matter is really you? You keep talking in these absolutes about science, so I would love it if you could explain this simple question. From second to second which form of matter is the “real” you?

    • I see, it’s argument from ignorance again (ie – until proven 100% wrong, I’m justified in my belief) which also is a ploy to shift the burden of proof away from having to give a warrant for the energy belief. You know, logic is only difficult to grasp if you refuse to reach for it.

      So how about instead, make some attempt to give warrant to the energy belief? For starters, if our consciousness is an energy state independent of matter, why does it appear that it’s dependent upon matter? In other words, what does your belief have to say about Phineas Gage?

      • No, it’s not an argument from ignorance, Philly: don’t break out the logical fallacy accusations you used to whine so much about. He’s asking you a (not-so) simple question, and you’re wiggling in your chair.

        if our consciousness is an energy state independent of matter, why does it appear that it’s dependent upon matter? In other words, what does your belief have to say about Phineas Gage?

        Well, one reason might be because you close your mind to the people who are trying to discuss evidence and real-world fieldwork that suggests this might not be so cut-and-dry, preferring instead to call them names and treat them like children.

  67. I see, it’s argument from ignorance again(Philly)

    Well I am ignorant of many things. So I have a supposition that there could be intelligence behind the creation of our world. You(I am assuming) have a supposition that it was a random chance of creation. Why is your supposition right and mine wrong? Both need science to back them up, and neither(to this point in time) have a complete answer. Mine may have more questions but the potential for science proving me right is just as possible as yours.

    For starters, if our consciousness is an energy state independent of matter(Philly)

    I have not stated anywhere that consciousness is independent of matter. Who knows maybe consciousness just shifts to different forms of matter? Do you know whether that supposition is right or wrong? Or will you just leave another gentle insult? You know, the funny thing is, you and Gideon seem to be cut from the same kind of stone(matter). 🙂

    • Tit

      Or will you just leave another gentle insult?

      He’s not insulting you, he’s asking you to back up your reasoning.

      Why do you and cl and Gideon always claim you’re being insulted? Your thinking, your argument, your rationale may be insulted (if it’s possible to insult an idea), but not you personally. He hasn’t said that your mother likes to fuck pigs, like Giddy tends to do (as a kid we used to insult people by claiming “your mother wears army boots” – Not sure that’s an insult any more – but I digress)

      Don’t get your tit in the ringer, Tat. I see Philly just pushing you to tell us where your beliefs come from. Your “science” seems to be kinda vague, all wrapped up in a new agey sense of wonder that smacks of “my beliefs”. He’s trying to pin you down, and you’re squirming away from the point. Meet it head on.

      At least, that’s how I see it.

      • Why do you and cl and Gideon always claim you’re being insulted?</blockquote

        Are you even serious? How about, because you say stuff like, "You are a waste of time, cl. A big fat black hole of bullshit sucking in everyone who comes into contact with you." And there's many, many more. Same with Philly.

        Your thinking, your argument, your rationale may be insulted

        Did you insult my thinking, my argument, or my rationale in the example above? No. You simply call me a “fat black hole of bullshit” and “waste of time.”

        Are you blind, mortal? Honestly SI – show me I’m dealing with a human being here.

        I see Philly just pushing you to tell us where your beliefs come from.

        Right: then Tat pushes back with his “which matter are you” question, and Philly gets all defensive and offensive. Philly – so far (I’m just working my way down the thread after being gone for a few days) – avoids the question. Why won’t Philly do that which he always demands of theists?

          • Does that mean you’re not coming back? {waving}

            For anyone else, including non-trolls, the word “Gideon” is in my spam trap. If you use the word in your comment, it will be caught in the trap until I see it and release it, which I will do.

    • Right, well first you’ve presented a false dichotomy (either A or B must be correct). Within that false dichotomy, you’ve fabricated an option which you allege is mine. That’s known as a straw man argument. The underpinning is of course the argument form ignorance (ie – until proven 100% wrong, I’m justified in my belief), and to bring it home, you make a purely naked assertion (ie – an unsupported statement) that “the potential for science proving me right is just as possible as yours”. Nice. Going for some kind of record for number of fallacies one can make in a paragraph? And of course the fault lies with me pointing all this out and not in you making the fallacies, right? Doing so is, in your mind, is insulting, whereas the truth is that you’re embarrassing yourself by both making such arguments and attempting to deflect deserved criticism of them. 🙄

      • In lieu of an answer, something born solely from one’s imagination (what you’d call a “supposition”) can not legitimately be labelled an answer. In such a situation, the only answer warranted is “I don’t know”.

      • The origin for the existence of what we behold as reality is currently unknown, as is whether it even had an origin.

      • What warrants belief in a hypothesis is what it’s based on. Yours are based on ignorance and/or fancy. Currently, there is nothing to warrant belief in an internal, constant energy or soul; therefore, beliefs concerning that’s where our conscious lies, within or through it our consciousness exists and will one day exist after our bodies die, or anything else you can imagine which relies wholly or in part on the existence of this energy is unwarranted.

      • In continuance of the last point, there’s nothing to warrant belief in the existence of the supernatural, so any beliefs dependent, wholly or in part, on the supernatural are therefore unwarranted as well.

      Now perhaps you’d like to try going back and explaining how cell regeneration in any way supports your beliefs?

  68. He’s trying to pin you down, and you’re squirming away from the point. Meet it head on.
    At least, that’s how I see it.(SI)

    Im not squirming, I am supposing. Am I not allowed to suppose? I have made no concrete or absolute statements. Why is it I dont seem to be given the courtesy of having a supposition and thinking that it is “possible” science may verify that? I think it more logical and rational to suppose that, than to think it is by random chance we are here. So seeing as Philly avoided my question why dont you take a stab at it. Which form of matter is the “real” absolute you? The one who posted several minutes ago or the one who is about to post? 🙂

    Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”(Albert Einstein)

    • The mistake lies in supposing the “you” is defined solely by the matter which comprises you. It’s defined by actions. Replacing the matter isn’t relevant. I’m sure you can suppose some entertaining sci-fi scenario where one figures out how to transfer their memories to another brain or a machine somehow, and that would become complicated, especially if the original brain dies or if transfered to multiple brains and machines. Personally, I would say those new “you”s would be independent entities (like the two Rikers resulting from the transformer incident in an old STNG episode).

      I believe there was a scifi short story once about a man, knowing he was going to lose his mind due to illness, where he transferred his mind to a computer. Before the body was dead, which is the “real” man, the failing one or the new one? The machine man then killed the body man once it determined brain deterioration was severe enough. Was that murder, suicide, or neither? Complicated.

      Still, none of this has anything to do with whether believing in dualism is warranted, is it?

  69. It’s defined by actions. Replacing the matter isn’t relevant.(Philly)

    But arent your actions defined by what the matter can do? So in theory you are never the same person because as we age some of our actions are diminished or downright not possible anymore. So doesnt that theoretically mean we are never in any constant form if you base it on our actions?

  70. I believe there was a scifi short story once about a man, knowing he was going to lose his mind due to illness, where he transferred his mind to a computer.(Philly)

    Would it be ok in your mind for me to suppose that maybe our consciousness is able to transfer itself to something else before it dies? Also I suppose maybe we could prove that one day with science. Remember I am just supposing. 😉

    • Suppose what you want and believe what you want, but if you’re asking if you can put that forth as a legitimate hypothesis, I’d say no.

      1) Define “itself”.
      2) If we’re unaware today of what our consciousness is and further, how to transfer it, by what means will our consciousness both gain this self awareness AND the knowledge of how to transfer itself to something else at the moment our bodies die? Magic? Perhaps some self preservation element of our consciousness switches on precisely at that moment? Transdimensional gnomes?

      • Perhaps some self preservation element of our consciousness switches on precisely at that moment(Philly)

        Great point, maybe its part of our evolutionary process. I always love it when people suppose new ideas. Thanks. 😉

        • Right, and the warrant for that, or the warrant for that claim over claiming transdimensional gnomes escort our consciousness to new homes would be…?

  71. T4T:

    Your questions about identity are interesting ones. Personally, I think autonomous self-existence isn’t a real thing. All of us are just ever-changing patterns in the flux of the universe; like you say, constantly taking in new matter and expelling other matter moment to moment. What we call consciousness is just part of that physical process. I don’t think you could ‘shift’ consciousness, but maybe you COULD replicate approximately that same pattern, though upon replication it would immediately deviate from its template due to occupying a different place in time and space.

  72. transdimensional gnomes escort our consciousness to new homes would be…?(Philly)

    I thought your other supposition to be much more rational and logical. Im not sure I can get on board with this one. But hey, you can suppose or believe whatever you want, but I dont think you can put forth a legitimate hypothesis for this one.

    • I think you’re either choosing to ignore what he was getting at or just don’t see what he’s getting at. He’s still asking you for your reasoning behind your “supposition.”

      He merely turned to sarcasm to try to get you to see his point.

    • Whereas consciousness gaining self awareness that it’s energy, that it can be transferred to a new host and how that can be accomplished, plus having the means to do so all being kick started by a self preservation mechanism (which of course is an evolutionary development) is a completely warranted hypothesis?

      So feel like addressing any of that nagging science bit about no evidence for the existence of this energy, which all the rest of your notions are based on?

  73. Gosh, I go away for a few hours and the discussion flies on w/out me…

    Titfortat: (btw, not to tell you what to do, or anything, but if you don’t like blockquote or em tags, how’s about good old fashioned quotation marks for readability?)

    maybe my wishful thinking is scientific

    Well, that’s why I keep asking you for the basis of your suppositions. You’re the one who brought science into the discussion. If you had just said “I believe in a purpose to the universe and that I will exist after my death in a form I recognize as myself because it makes me feel good” that would pretty much have been the end of it for me. However, you’re implying that science is going in the direction of proving you right (at least in the afterlife thing), and the language you use implies a pseudoscience misunderstanding of quantum mechanics which both DC and the movie do. So, I’m not sure why you’re being a bit coy about this.

    Im curious, do you know much about the body and its ability for renewal? Tell me something, does your pretty face still have the same skin it had last year?

    You’re implying that it all happens at once. At any given time you’re [insert proper percentaqe here] yourself; it’s not like you’re beamed up and all your cells change at once. Old cells communicate information to the cells that replace them.

    Who knows maybe consciousness just shifts to different forms of matter?

    Well, that’s going to be some awesome form of matter shifting that scientists have not discovered yet, so that would be a serious scientific revolution. Hey, I read sci-fi, too, so I guess I can postulate the human race evolving into a pure energy form billions of years from which makes us eternal? Again, though, the interesting question is that whatever this energy/matter is, it doesn’t translate our consciousness from birth into our current meat, sham past-life regressions notwithstanding.

    The one who posted several minutes ago or the one who is about to post?

    Good point, and even though this sounds very po-mo at first glance, this is the direction that neuroscience is taking us; that the perception of continuous consciousness is an artifact of our highly-evolved brains. There’s some initial work with case studies to support this, studying how people w/ various forms of brain damage/lesions react to the world. I recommend Oliver Sacks’ work if you’re interested in this area. In particular, his book The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales is a good read, if a bit dated.

    Another interesting area of consciousness is robotics; if AI becomes complex enough, will robots evolve consciousness?

  74. He merely turned to sarcasm to try to get you to see his point.(WS)

    Really?? Thanks, I never would have been rational or logical enough to figure that out.
    But let me restate this for you. I think it more reasonable to suppose intelligence behind the origin of our world, rather than just believing it to be random chance. The complexity of the world with its evolutionary processes and many other wonders lead me to this conclusion. I may be wrong, but I conclude that whoever believes it to be random could be wrong too. The “FACT” is none of us know for certain. Just in case you were not aware of this, intelligence doesnt necessarily mean a God. But I would suppose you gentlemen are smart enough to know this. At least I base that supposition on how well read you all are.

    • When you mindlessly keep repeating the same things, you also keep repeating the same mistakes as well.
      1) It’s not a choice between “other” conscious or random chance – false dichotomy
      2) Random chance is only random within the limits of the system, and each event similarly influences the set of possible next events – gross misunderstandings on your part there, which leads to…
      3) “I think it more reasonable to suppose intelligence” – argument from personal incredulity

      The FACT that two ideas can be wrong does not make them equally valid. For instance, thinking my engine stopped because I ran out of gas or due to gremlins are not equally valid hypotheses.

    • Actually, it would necessarily have to be a God-like being. One which can operate outside our laws, who can create and destroy matter from nothing, etc. That’s entirely irrational given our knowledge. I do believe I’ve stated that to you before (or to someone else within the same conversation).

      And I never said it was ‘random chance’ nor did anyone else. It was a selective process and based on rules that have never been refuted effectively. Why people wish to equate Darwin and other theories (such as the Big Bang) to ‘randomness’ is confounding to me. There’s not much random in it.

  75. Oh, Tft, I expected better than the usual trite argument from incredulity.

    Intelligence also doesn’t mean an afterlife, either. ’cause, after all, you really wouldn’t give two s&*ts about any intelligence creating the universe if you didn’t think that somehow gave you a pass to eternal life, also.

  76. after all, you really wouldn’t give two s&*ts about any intelligence creating the universe if you didn’t think that somehow gave you a pass to eternal life, also.(ildi)

    Youre right, my ego is very much wrapped into my existence and wanting to understand and potentially continue its consciousness on some level. So, maybe if there is intelligence behind our origin, science will help us figure that out. And who knows what happens if that possibility comes to pass. But isnt supposing things of such matters what helps us grow in certain areas? I guess my beef is the feeling I get from many of the posters, that they “know” for certain I am wrong. At least several of the posters write in words that give me that impression.
    Not all Bullies are overtly obvious. Some use their fists, others use their intellect.

    • my ego is very much wrapped into my existence and wanting to understand and potentially continue its consciousness on some level.

      NEWSFLASH – simply wishing for an afterlife and then dreaming up ways it could happen which aren’t based on anything other than your imagination doesn’t accomplish either of those goals, I’m afraid. It just makes you feel good, like a stiff drink or praying to a god.

    • I guess my beef is the feeling I get from many of the posters, that they “know” for certain I am wrong. At least several of the posters write in words that give me that impression. Not all Bullies are overtly obvious. Some use their fists, others use their intellect.

      I’m beginning to feel that I’m somewhat of a moderator to this interesting dialog, so I’ll interject a bit here.

      You may be feeling that you are being bullied, because the “bullies” are making some sort of sense to you, and are relentless in pursuing it. But unlike a physical bully, they (we?) are not trying to beat you up psychologically for the feeling of superiority it brings to the physical bully. They’re trying on one hand to understand your reasoning, while at the same time expose it for its unreasonableness.

      Again, ideas don’t have feelings, so don’t get your tat in a ringer. (deferring to your wife’s tit.)
      Your perception of being bullied is just that – subjective. No harm intended.

  77. Not all Bullies are overtly obvious. Some use their fists, others use their intellect.

    So, whenever someone says you’re wrong, that’s bullying? Maybe the interwebz is not the best place for you…

    But, to continue, I can give you a good example of where this sort of thinking can lead you astray, and that’s in the health care field that you work in. Reiki, acupuncture and reflexology are woo medical treatments where the healers are tapping into some mysterious energy fields unknown to science. Who needs the scientific method when they have their anecdotes that this stuff works?

  78. NEWSFLASH – simply wishing for an afterlife and then dreaming up ways it could happen which aren’t based on anything other than your imagination doesn’t accomplish either of those goals, I’m afraid(Philly)

    NEWSFLASH- Many of the great discoveries known to the world started this way. They had their fair share of naysayers too.

    • Again, two hypotheses are not equal because they can both be wrong. Their value comes from what they’re based on. Wishful thinking and willful ignorance do not make for good foundations.

      2nd, there’s the issue of falsifiability.

  79. “But, to continue, I can give you a good example of where this sort of thinking can lead you astray, and that’s in the health care field that you work in. Reiki, acupuncture and reflexology are woo medical treatments where the healers are tapping into some mysterious energy fields unknown to science(ildi)”

    I agree the basis of several of those practices may be false. Interestingly enough though, much of what they do benefits the human body(scientifically speaking).

    • Interestingly enough though, much of what they do benefits the human body(scientifically speaking).
      No, not scientifically speaking. The supposed benefits haven’t been shown to exist beyond the patient believing it worked (ie – see placebo). When you cross into ailments that can be documented (ie – muscle or tissue damage, nerve damage, failure of organs, tumors, etc), then there’s nothing to show they address things at all, scientifically speaking.

      • Well, the placebo effect has been shown to be true scientifically, so technically there is some science involved. Unfortunately, the placebo effect shows that the reputed claims are false, and only psychologically induced.

  80. Many of the great discoveries known to the world started this way. They had their fair share of naysayers too.

    It’s probably fair to say that most discoveries started this way. What is your point?

    You have this unfortunate habit of making connections where none exist. Just because valid discoveries had naysayers doesn’t mean that everything that has naysayers is valid.

  81. Interestingly enough though, much of what they do benefits the human body(scientifically speaking).

    Two words: placebo effect. And saying ‘much’ is really overstating the case.

  82. Touch and its painkilling effect are not placebo.

    One of the “bullying” tactics of scientists is to ask for evidence. Citations, please.

  83. Ok, I’ll check it out; meanwhile, don’t think I haven’t noticed the goal post moving. Evidence for the painkilling effect of touch IS NOT evidence for acupuncture, reiki or reflexology.

    As a side note on the “you’re wrong” equals “bullying” comment, I want to make an analogy here: critical thinking is the mental version of, say, basketball:

    1) you have to know how to do it right, and
    2) practice, practice, practice.

    So, if you went for a pickup game w/ minimal playing skills and got knocked about and snarled at a bit as a result, you wouldn’t call that bullying, would you?

  84. Evidence for the painkilling effect of touch IS NOT evidence for acupuncture, reiki or reflexology.(ildi)

    All three of those include touch. So go check out the authority on touch. Dont take my word for it.

    About the bullying part. Its more of an intuition thing. I was referring more to one person inparticular(philly).

  85. All three of those include touch.

    One could argue that most medical interventions involve touch Do you really not see how evidence for touch per se as a pain management technique would NOT be evidence for meridian/chakra/Chi-based woo that also incidentally involves touch?

    Wow.

    Really, if you think Philly is being bullying, STAY AWAY from science blogs like Respectful Insolence or Pharyngula. They would have excoriated you for most of the stuff you’ve posted here. But then, they’re actual scientists, so that’s not a pick-up game over there…

  86. ildi

    I said its an intuition thing. I have seen some of pharyngula and there are some bullies there to. Being smarter or more well read has nothing to do with being a bully. Just like being a great fighter has nothing to do with it either. I have seen both, I know the difference. Also I didnt claim anything other than touch for the pain management thing. All 3 of those do use touch so this could be a reason why some get results.

  87. intuition… feelings…

    bah, humbug!

    (You know they’re killing witches again in Africa based on intuition and feelings?)

  88. Whenever Christians come to a blog and point to AiG or some other apologetics site when pressed to explain their argument, our friend Ex would always insist that the Christian explain it in their own words instead. Why? Well aside from trying to avoid the annoyance of having to go elsewhere to read what often was a lengthy piece, the request would reveal whether the Christian actually understood the reasons for his/her position or whether he/she was merely taking it on faith.

    So T4T, can you explain in your own words what you linked to, or are you just taking it on faith that it’s correct since it supports what you want to believe?

    As for bullying, constantly being told you’re wrong and that you’re ignorant as to what you’re talking about could be a case for bullying if those comments were mere assertions, but damn it man, each time we’ve explained why, and those aren’t opinions, those are facts. To borrow ildi’s analogy, if your coach keeps explaining to you that you have to dribble or else it’s a foul called “traveling”, that you have to get the ball in the hoop and not your underpants, or that the score doesn’t change simply because you wish it to, then he’s not bullying you. He’s trying to set you straight.

    Anyway, go run some laps.

    “Practice?! Practice? We’re talking about practice. Practice.” – Allen Iverson

  89. ildi

    lol, talk about hyperbole. I never suggested killing him. Hmmm, though I may enjoy a round of mma with him. 😉

    Philly

    I dont need you to believe what I believe, I was hoping more for an understanding that there is at least some rationale and logic for which I suppose. I guess that aint happening.

    • I’m fully aware that you and others have rationales for believing the nutty things that you believe. I’m also aware that logic can come into play. For instance, if you believe the government is trying to read your mind, then it could be logical to get a lead helmet to block the transmissions. If you’re gay and you believe there’s a god who will torture you for eternity if you behave gay, then it’s logical to restrain from behaving gay. However, the premises for such logic (what you’d call “suppositions”) are simply nuts.

  90. Philly

    It is my understanding that touch increases our dopamine and serotonin levels and lowers are cortisol levels. Top 2 help with pain management. The other helps us deal with stress better.

    • Those treatments don’t just claim to help with pain, but to cure ailments. They cure things like a sugar pill cures things. Athletes can play better if they think their socks are lucky. Is that scientific proof that those socks are lucky?

  91. The witches comment wasn’t referring to killing Philly (funny you should read it that way) but rather I was tying it back to the original question of “what’s the harm?” Everyone likes to focus on the warm and fuzzy aspects of feelings and intuition, and not the other side of the coin.

    As an example, a friend of mine who is currently unemployed and is as a result watching way too much daytime television was talking about “The Secret” and the “law of attraction.” She was asking what’s the harm? The harm is that if you believe that good people can effect positive actions through their thoughts or by controlling “energies”, then it is just a hop-skip and a jump to believing that bad people can effect negative actions and harm you w/ just their thoughts or their ability to manipulate energies.

    Ergo, witches and killing of same.

    Which is why most religions really, really want to control your superstitious beliefs and make sure you only go the sanctioned route.

  92. Everyone likes to focus on the warm and fuzzy aspects of feelings and intuition, and not the other side of the coin.(ildi)

    Interestingly enough, I wasnt focused on the warm and fuzzie aspect when I made that claim.

    Those treatments don’t just claim to help with pain, but to cure ailments.(Philly)

    Youre right. But that doesnt mean they dont help with pain,right?

  93. Youre right. But that doesnt mean they dont help with pain,right?

    At what cost? If a 5 cent pill has the same effect as a $75 treatment, why have people pay through the nose for the placebo effect? If it just takes some empathy and human contact from your health care provider to reduce your stress and thus your pain levels, why pretend that someone is manipulating energies to “heal” you?

    I’m looking through the Touch Research Institute’s web site now…

  94. Keep meaning to ask Tft; does your wellness center practice CAM, perchance? If you’re peddling this stuff, shouldn’t you be able to summarize the research results or lack thereof?

    I do have to agree to this from your web site:

    And here in North America, couldn’t we all use a little more touch and caring that doesnt have anything to do with sex.

  95. I figured you wouldnt listen much to a Massage Therapist. PHD seems to get people’s ears to perk up that much more. Plus Im Canadian, I figured if it was an American Unviersity to boot you might be more persuaded.

    • Your Dr. Field suggests getting a Ph.D. not to impress people into believing your made up crap is real, but to have the means to conduct research into whether it may be real and if so, how, to what degree, and more importantly, be able to demonstrate what you’ve found.

  96. Very coy, aren’t we? Why won’t you tell us what type of CAM you’re offering at your wellness center? I notice you own the place, so you must have a lot of control re. what the setup, right?

    It takes more than just a PhD to conduct quality research, and crap research can come from any university (e.g., Skeptico covers badly-conducted research coming out of Stanford on energy-healing).

    It may shock you to realize that people in graduate school spend inordinate amounts of time in seminars evaluating research articles; it’s not the scientist or the school, its the research protocol. It’s not enough to just read the abstract. Our evaluation of studies usually involved coming up with what we thought the results should be based on the research method and statistical analysis used, and then read the author’s results section to see how it matched up.

    What you call bullying is how the scientific method works. Adjustment for human fallibility is built into the process.

  97. ildi

    Im not being coy. You just never asked. I guess we offer some of the Woo you talk about. I now realize the error of my ways though. So I think Im going to have to inform many of my regular clientele of the past 16yrs. that our treatments werent really helping them feel better. Though they have been extremly happy with many of the results I think it important that I tell them the science just doesnt back it up and its just all in their heads(Placebo/wishful thinking). I am sure they will be quite relieved to know the difference.

  98. Though they have been extremly happy with many of the results I think it important that I tell them the science just doesnt back it up and its just all in their heads

    You and a bunch of churches…

    Yeah, that would be the honest thing to do, wouldn’t it?

  99. Massages are always good. Reflexology feels awesome, too.

    I work in the health field, I deal with science all the time.

    Hmmm…..

  100. To recap, you’re not anti-science, except for when it gets in the way of selling woo.

    Is that absolute enough for you?

  101. Oh, I thought it was just a rhetorical question you were posing as a deflection, sort of like “I know you are, but what am I?”

    There’s a big difference between providing spa services such as massage therapy and selling woo as medical therapy when there’s no evidence that anything beyond the placebo effect is going on. The internet is chock-full of anecdotal evidence of this treatment or that helping an individual; however, the plural of anecdotes are not data.

    Hopefully people don’t go to a woo purveyor in place of a real medical practitioner, and hopefully they’re only spending disposable income on it. I have no idea what CAM you offer, nor what claims you make for the efficacy of what you offer. Based on your comments so far, though, it sounds like scientific evidence for it is not high on your list of criteria for whether to offer it or not.

    So, I guess I have to go with my intuition and call you anti-science. And, just to continue to bring this discussion full circle, when it comes to health care,

    If it aint science it obviously has no merit in your world.

    Bloodletting was practiced for thousands of years…

  102. So, I guess I have to go with my intuition and call you anti-science.(ildi)

    Interesting, you use intuition too. 😉
    Or subtle sarcasm.

    The truth is you dont know what I do. In fact I could be a therapist that has skills that are comparable to most physiotherapists or many of the other reputable hands on therapies. Its always interesting that when the term massage is used its either a luxury(spa) or what is found in a brothel. The truth is I dont necessarily agree with the majority of claims that come from “alternative” type services. But I also dont write them off completely as I have found through the years that many people derive great benefit from them. Regardless if it is woo/wishful thinking/placebo. Many of the practitioners actually provide a loving and beneficial enviroment. So much so that many people have no issue with the cost, for they feel they are well served by it. The reason I asked you if all your absolutes are absolute is because in life there is much gray. Its not all black and white. I would imagine you know this, but it just seems in regards to whether it is “scientific” or not, you dont have much wiggle room. Though I leave room for the fact I may be wrong about that.
    If you ever come to Canada, maybe you can check out our clinic. You may be surprised what you find. 🙂

  103. or what is found in a brothel

    you say that like it’s a bad thing…

    Many of the practitioners actually provide a loving and beneficial enviroment. So much so that many people have no issue with the cost, for they feel they are well served by it.

    No argument there. So do brothels.

    it just seems in regards to whether it is “scientific” or not, you dont have much wiggle room.

    What kind of wiggle room would you like? Are you trying to cheat at basketball again?

    Let’s count that as a basket, because it was really close, and it bounced the same way as if it had made it in… and it makes me feel really good that I’m even playing…

  104. ildi

    Lol. Glad to see youre feeling good. Here’s the thing, you seem to be playing a game to win, Im more along the lines of a pickup game. Hoping everyone gets to play and enjoy themselves. Not just the really “skilled” players. Tell you what, I concede your greatness. You win. 😉

  105. Here’s the thing, you seem to be playing a game to win, Im more along the lines of a pickup game. Hoping everyone gets to play and enjoy themselves. Not just the really “skilled” players.

    This, from someone in the health profession?

    *facepalm*

  106. Key word is Health. Something of which I may know a little more than you.

    Hey, I acknowledged you were the man, why the need to kick me after I missed my layup?

  107. Key word is Health.

    Exactly! People’s health! I would think you’d want to use the most powerful tool at your disposal rather than rely on anecdotal evidence.

    Something of which I may know a little more than you.

    You really have not demonstrated that; quite the opposite. Much of CAM has been demonstrated to be an unnecessary dead-end at best; harmful at worst, and is an excellent example of why wishful thinking is not something to tout. This is one area where I’m an absolutist in having very high expectations of medical professionals re. their embracing and understanding of the scientific method.

  108. How many people have you actually helped with their health?
    Actually Im curious, how old are you? Are you male or female? Black or white? Who are you???

  109. Oh, I see, you’re unwilling to have a substantive discussion about your mysterious CAM practices and what health benefits you’re touting for them, but you want my life story?

    And wtf do my age, gender and ethnicity have to do with anything? Your answers should stand on their own merits, not who you’re giving them to.

    Do you run the business and hire the practitioners? That would explain a lot.

  110. LMFAO….It just occurred to me. Im having a disagreement with words on a screen. Unlike many of the posters on here, you have no blog site. No profile. Nada. For all I know you are a brilliant 8yr. old. Somedays Im such a sucker. Good night. 🙂

  111. If it helps you to sleep better at night to think that the issues I’ve brought up regarding CAM, health care and the scientific method are invalid if they are raised by an eight-year-old, go for it.

    You have been less than forthright. You started off with this dreamy “what harm does it do?” to believe in things that make you feel better, with “maybe science will support it one day.” I gave examples in the health field, because you brought it up as an example of you not being anti-science because you “deal with” it all the time. Come to find out you are a woo practitioner, which you won’t defend on scientific grounds.

    I very rarely go to people’s blogs unless they seem interesting enough in the comment thread to make me want to read more of what they say. I don’t know why you think having a blog provides some gravitas; people can lie pretty much as much on their own blogs as they can in comment threads.

    Concepts such as critical thinking and the scientific method are not person or personality-specific. They stand or fail on their own merits. Unfortunately, I think you are more of a sucker for selling woo than for possibly listening to words on a screen.

    • Ooh, yeah, that’s a cl trick right there. “You don’t even have a blog!” Yeah, so? Any shmuck can have a blog, I think that is fairly well established… even oftentimes by the people objecting to you on the grounds that you don’t have a blog.

      As if it freakin’ matters. Geez.

      • Unless something new comes up, I’ve got one last thing to say on this thread:

        ildi, TOG, TitForTat,

        LMFAO….It just occurred to me. Im having a disagreement with words on a screen. Unlike many of the posters on here, you have no blog site. No profile. Nada. For all I know you are a brilliant 8yr. old. Somedays Im such a sucker. Good night.

        That’s exactly why I don’t take ildi / That Other Guy’s views seriously. The problem is, instead of realizing what I’m **really** saying, they process it through their anti-theist blinders in order to marginalize the criticism. For example, as TOG notes, “Any schmuck can have a blog.” Of course! Have I ever disagreed to that? “Having a blog” is not the criteria; it’s “having a brain and using it” that counts. I believe TOG has a brain, I don’t believe he always uses it, often opting for emotional undercurrents instead.

        My point in noting TOG and ildi’s lack of a blog is not that they’re somehow “less” than anyone else because they don’t have a blog; it’s that we can’t go to their blog and check on them, to see if they actually do have their head screwed on straight the rest of the time. For example, if TOG had a blog where he showed that he actually understood the subject matter of these discussions – for example things like the differences between macro/micro evolution, and the history of world religions – I could make somewhat of a legitimate assessment on TOG’s overall “state of capability,” and I could also determine the extent to which I should take him seriously. As it is, people like TOG ask us to believe them on their word, and nothing else, which is hard when they’re saying stuff like, “There’s no difference between micro / macro, creationists made it up,” and “Joseph Smith never claimed to have received revelation from God.” All three of those statements are factually incorrect, yet here we have TOG putting off this big pretense of interest in factual correctness.

        And so, I don’t take TOG seriously.

          • The difference is that I can provide a list of factually incorrect statement you’ve made. On the contrary, the best you can do is insult me because you disagree with my conclusions, or some perception of my character. Keep resting on that laurel, I guess.

          • I noticed, as I was wiping the copious tears of rejection from my cheeks, that he ascribed two statements to you, not three…

            factually correct – ur doin it rong

          • See ildi? You unknowingly confirm the things I say:

            ..which is hard when they’re saying stuff like, “There’s no difference between micro / macro, creationists made it up,” and “Joseph Smith never claimed to have received revelation from God.” All three of those statements are factually incorrect, yet here we have TOG putting off this big pretense of interest in factual correctness. (cl, to TOG)

            I noticed, as I was wiping the copious tears of rejection from my cheeks, that he ascribed two statements to you, not three…factually correct – ur doin it rong (ildi, to cl)

            Yet:

            1: No difference between micro / macro;

            2: Creationists made said difference up;

            3: Joseph Smith never claimed to have received revelation from God.

            That’s THREE claims, folks, and just more evidence confirming that it’s all about team politics here. Instead of being like, “Dang cl, I didn’t realize TOG says such factually incorrect stuff,” ildi again gave in to the temptation to insult.

            And this is what passes for rationalism, and freethought – here.

      • Good question, and, keeping in mind that pain has emotional as well as physical components, I would say yes.

        Here is a meta-analysis from Cochrane Reviews:

        Touch therapies for pain relief in adults They state:

        Touch therapies (Healing Touch, Therapeutic Touch and Reiki) have been found to be useful in pain relief for adults and children.

        however,

        This review suffers from a major limitation: the small number of studies and insufficient data.

        • So there are some scientific studies that show that it is factually correct that some “touch” therapies can help with pain management in certain physical conditions. Though it can be shown that more studies are needed.
          In that case, Is a therapist of some of the CAM based therapies “Truthful” when making the claim that they can help with pain management of certain conditions?

          • Chiropractic and massage therapy can also help relieve pain. Music and mood lighting can relieve pain. Sex is awesome for relieving pain (unless you get too acrobatic and pull something.)

            Short answer: yes.

          • Ok ildi

            So if someone who is a CAM based therapist does not make specific claims to “healing or curing” conditions, but they do lay claim to possibly helping someone manage their pain, are they not being “honest” and scientific within their bounds? See the thing is not all CAM based therapists are charlatans. In fact, many know exactly where the line between science and being a Charlatan is. The truth is our understanding of different modes of healing is ever evolving and science helps us understand what many of us know intuitively. Let me give you an example of this instinct.

            Little ildi and little Titfortat are playing in the school yard. Little ildi is a brainiac and also somewhat of a smartass. So after one of his sharp verbal jabs, little Titfortat pinches his arm hard. After screaming Owwww “why did you do that” little ildi vigorously rubs his arm.
            Do you wonder why he does that? Seems his instinct knows it gives him pain relief.

          • T4T,

            See the thing is not all CAM based therapists are charlatans. In fact, many know exactly where the line between science and being a Charlatan is. The truth is our understanding of different modes of healing is ever evolving and science helps us understand what many of us know intuitively.

            Your comment couldn’t be more spot-on. It stands out like a beacon of light amidst the darkness of thinking in absolutes. Remember though, most of the debaters here aren’t like that: they’ve already decided what’s this and what’s that, and whoever disagrees is “dense” or a “douche.”

            Keep rockin’

          • So if someone who is a CAM based therapist does not make specific claims to “healing or curing” conditions, but they do lay claim to possibly helping someone manage their pain, are they not being “honest” and scientific within their bounds?

            That’s perfectly fine, but…

            See the thing is not all CAM based therapists are charlatans. In fact, many know exactly where the line between science and being a Charlatan is. The truth is our understanding of different modes of healing is ever evolving and science helps us understand what many of us know intuitively.

            And now you’re back to healing claims. Managing pain does not equal healing, and wtf is “different modes of healing”? Either you’re healed or not, there are no modes. See, that kind of subtle word play can trick the average person, and the idiots? Well, they’d see such a comment as spot-on brilliant.

          • PhillyChief,

            There are many “different modes” of healing, ranging all the way from nutritional to orthopedic to chiropractic on and on down the line. And, nobody was ever debating that one is “either healed or not.”

            See, that kind of subtle word play can trick the average person, and the idiots? Well, they’d see such a comment as spot-on brilliant.

            And once again, you puff up your chest and open your mouth to assert the superiority of your opinion about X, Y or Z! Hey everybody, the silverback is here!

            The truth is, not one iota of the following can be disputed:

            See the thing is not all CAM based therapists are charlatans. In fact, many know exactly where the line between science and being a Charlatan is. The truth is our understanding of different modes of healing is ever evolving and science helps us understand what many of us know intuitively. (T4T)

            Let’s list the claims:

            1: not all CAM based therapists are charlatans

            2: many know exactly where the line between science and being a Charlatan is

            3: our understanding of different modes of healing is ever evolving and science helps us understand what many of us know intuitively

            Which of those do you dispute, and why? Stay on task now.

  112. After four days away from the computer, I decided to come back and see this crap with a fresh mind.

    Hey, don’t do us any favors. Me? I stay away from sites that are full of crap.

    • So? You acknowledge that that your blog is full of crap? Thank you for your honesty.

      This is where the “giant black hole of bullshit” comment I made gets a little clearer. You know full well that all I did with that comment was take one of Gideon’s comments from here, rephrase it a bit to fit the post, and tongue-in-cheek render it on your blog to illustrate that his comments were not helpful or welcome. Perhaps the fact that I left in the reference to Philly’s Chiefs or maybe the parenthetical “in troll costume” would have given it away?

      Yet, in typical cl fashion, knowing that, you use it to illustrate to the world that I’m a troll on your crappy blog.

      It’s a vernacular phrase capable of lots of meanings, but “bullshit” fits you like a glove.

  113. Cl- Actually, you’re making the errant claim of saying there is a significant difference between that of micro and macroevolution. And, yes, the term has been greatly misused by creationists for ontological reasons.

    The only difference is the size of the change. Macro is a prefix, as is micro, that affects size. Obviously. There’s still that pesky term evolution though which means that it’s the same process on different levels.

    Macroevolution is a term used to describe a occurrence of a new species after many, many small changes that happen in microevolution. Microevolution leads to macroevolution. The process is the same, though, so there’s no usefulness in creating a distinction.

    And, if you don’t like this place, just stay away. It’s not that difficult.

  114. SI,

    You acknowledge that that your blog is full of crap?

    No, what I acknowledged was that you don’t visit sites you think are full of crap except to troll them, but I realize you do see what you want to see.

    This is where the “giant black hole of bullshit” comment I made gets a little clearer.

    You cannot justify your utter hypocrisy in this regard SI, I’m sorry. You talk all big about how you don’t “berate and insult” and that’s a total lie.

    You know full well that all I did with that comment was take one of Gideon’s comments from here, rephrase it a bit to fit the post, and tongue-in-cheek render it on your blog to illustrate that his comments were not helpful or welcome.

    Right – IOW – you consciously trolled without any interest in resolving an argument whatsoever. I got the point you were trying to make: thing is, we’re different. I can control myself. You could be the new Gideon on my blog, and I’ll just laugh at you, or ignore you. What I won’t do is get all mad and huffy-puffy, start swearing, and then compromise my principles via censorship and moderation.

    Yet, in typical cl fashion, knowing that, you use it to illustrate to the world that I’m a troll on your crappy blog.

    No. I said that as of late, you don’t visit my blog except to troll it. That contradicts your claims that you’re willing to evaluate evidence. Now, go stick your head back in the sand and let me slip outta here.

    WritingShadows,

    Actually, you’re making the errant claim of saying there is a significant difference between that of micro and macroevolution… The only difference is the size of the change. Macro is a prefix, as is micro, that affects size… Macroevolution is a term used to describe a occurrence of a new species after many, many small changes that happen in microevolution. Microevolution leads to macroevolution.

    Why repeat dogma? Study it, then get back to me. If you have studied it, maybe you can make a better argument that can actually account for the facts?

    Look, I don’t really want to open another can of worms on an already blown-out thread. My point wasn’t to debate micro/macro with you, though I’m more than happy to continue. The point was to show that team politics take precedent over the pursuit of truth here. Atheist mistakes get ignored and glossed over. You can get TOG’s back all you want; it just makes you look silly for supporting factually errant claims. Even if I agreed with you that “there’s no difference,” it’s still undeniable that TOG makes factually errant claims while operating under the pretense of dispelling them.

    • Oh for god’s sake, cl, stop poisoning the well. I said that those words, as the creationists use them, are completely made up. When creationists say the words microevolution and macroevolution, they do not mean what scientists mean when they say the same things.

      Macroevolution and microevolution AS CREATIONISTS TRY TO DEFINE THEM are not real scientific concepts. Stop acting like I said the words didn’t exist.

      • TOG – apparently you object to my paraphrase, so let’s revisit your original words:

        “I feel I should mention, outside of creationist attempts to discredit science, there are no such things as macroevolution and microevolution. Just as there is no microaddition for numbers less than one and macroaddition for numbers over one.”

        Problem is, there are legitimate differences between the two that contradict your statement, and creationists didn’t make them up.

        And besides, you’re missing the forest for the trees here: all these points center around the issue of team politics. Many of you apparently have no problem whatsoever with factually incorrect statements made by other atheists. It’s not freethought here. With open arms you welcome that which you decry in theists. You guys gang up on those you dislike. You cheerlead for SI. It’s like high school. I doubt you’ll be able to see it, but man, would it be nice to have one of you break from the pack. To each their own.

        I’m down to make some kind of real connection whenever you’re willing give it a try, but if you don’t want to hear from me, don’t address me. Nothing fruitful can come from the spirit in which you approach me.

  115. SI, are you really this blind?

    You said I troll crappy blogs,

    I did NOT say you “troll crappy blogs.” You had said that you “don’t visit sites that are full of crap.” That expresses your opinion that my site is full of crap.

    My comment that “you troll them” was not a concession that my site is full of crap. Rather, it’s a statement that you actually do visit the sites you think are crap – to troll them. IOW, you’re not interested in learning. It’s all just a game.

    Nice try though.

  116. Yes, they can, and if they do, they’ll see that not once did I say “you troll crappy blogs.” Contrary, they might see that you’re reading your opinion into things.

    Here’s the point SI: you claim to be open-minded and willing to consider evidence for God. Yet, what I present here gets ignored, and you refuse to visit my blog except to troll. Those are not consistent with what we’d expect from an open mind.

    • “Here’s the point SI: you claim to be open-minded and willing to consider evidence for God. Yet, what I present here gets ignored…”

      Here’s the classical christian fallacy, though. You seem to be unable to consider the possibility that your evidence is unconvincing. It’s a case of “they must be ignoring me, because if they seriously listened they’re definitely agree!” We’ve explained why we don’t agree, numerous times, and your response is to pretend we’re ignoring you.

      “…and you refuse to visit my blog except to troll.”

      No, he didn’t, he reposted a Gideon comment to demonstrate to you why we’re frustrated with him, so that you would see what it’s like to have that waste of space on your blog. It’s certainly no worse than your little “experiment” with sock puppets.

  117. Here’s the classical christian fallacy, though. You seem to be unable to consider the possibility that your evidence is unconvincing.

    You couldn’t be more incorrect TOG: Of the two examples of evidence we discussed in detail, I had actually told SI that I didn’t expect him to be persuaded by Kayla’s story. I myself said it was unconvincing, and this is what I mean when I say you gotta quit trying to dig into me. I actually freely conceded that Kayla’s story should be unconvincing to most atheists. So what’s the basis for your claim? Whatever it is, it’s not what I actually said.

    And as for the video game thing, well.. we all know how that went – it turned out SI hadn’t even properly comprehended the argument he denied and insulted me over for 100’s of comments. And none of you even batted an eyelash. To contrast, what would you say if you had undeniable proof that I had rejected and insulted you over one of your arguments for 100’s of comments, come to find out I hadn’t even comprehended it correctly? Break from the pack.

    And to date, not one of you has offered even so much as a semblance of a rational explanation for that incident, yet you all merely assert your opinions and say it’s unconvincing. I don’t care about your opinions; I want arguments and answers to the questions.

    We’ve explained why we don’t agree, numerous times, and your response is to pretend we’re ignoring you.

    Be real with yourself. Most of the time you just flap your jaw at me or cheerlead SI, and when you actually do address issues, the best you’ve ever done is to provide link-lists. Show me one link where you propose an original argument in response to one of mine. You don’t even format your own arguments. You take snipes. I would respect you if you actually came to my blog and explained why you disagree with any of the arguments there. But I can’t respect a heckler and insulter, especially when they make large pretense about correcting “factually errant claims” online, when they themselves have been shown to make quite a few.

    No, he didn’t, he reposted a Gideon comment to demonstrate to you why we’re frustrated with him, so that you would see what it’s like to have that waste of space on your blog.

    Right: in other words, he trolled. Gideon’s a troll according to y’all, correct? The answer to that is undeniably yes. Hence, if all SI did was repost a Gideon comment, and Gideon is a troll, then SI trolled – plain and simple.

    And, I already know what it’s like; I got the joke TOG. Like I said, troll my blog all day long. I won’t whine and let it distract me from the issues.

    It’s certainly no worse than your little “experiment” with sock puppets.

    I didn’t say it was. SI could troll my blog all day long for all I care. Again you miss the forest for the trees. The point was this: SI claims to be all open-minded to all this evidence, yet, when it comes down to it, he rejects it without even comprehending it, and he refuses to even visit a blog that claims to have stuff worth taking a look at.

    Just be real with yourselves.

    • “Show me one link where you propose an original argument in response to one of mine.”

      God, you’re just like the creationists who say stupid things and then demand people take them seriously. THAT is why you’re not getting the response you want; you say dumb things and then can’t imagine why people aren’t lining up to debate you.

      • Why is it “dumb” or “stupid” for me to ask you to show me a link to an instance where you’ve actually attempted reasonable discussion?

        • Because, cl, I do not have infinite time to spend on these… discussions… as you seem to. I do not have TIME to go peruse everything I’ve ever posted to find whatever it is you want this second, I have things. To. Do.

          • Because, cl, I do not have infinite time to spend on these… discussions… as you seem to. I do not have TIME to go peruse everything I’ve ever posted to find whatever it is you want this second, I have things. To. Do.

            I have things to do, too, so you can’t say “TIME” is your excuse for avoiding reasonable discussion. It is undeniable that you find the time to insult others, so is it that you don’t have time for reasonable discussion, or actually that there’s no time left for reasonable discussion after you’re done with your insults?

            If you’d dedicate even one-tenth of the time you dedicate to insulting me, we might be able to have a reasonable discussion.

        • “Why is it “dumb” or “stupid” for me to ask you to show me a link to an instance where you’ve actually attempted reasonable discussion?”

          They’re still looking for Bigfoot, too, cl. They’ll find him before you find anything of TOG’s that could pass for civil discussion.

          Oh, and I wouldn’t let those astronomical utterances of ildi’s bother me if I were you, cl. [last sentence deleted]

          😉

          • “Your comment is awaiting moderation.”

            Awwwww, you’re SUCH a party-pooper, SI!

            😦

            [EDIT: Not really Gideon. Your comment is intact, albeit minus the scatological ad hominem. There is nothing deleted that affects the substance of your comment.]

          • “[EDIT: Not really Gideon. Your comment is intact, albeit minus the scatological ad hominem. There is nothing deleted that affects the substance of your comment.]”

            It changes the substance almost entirely! You , sir, are a control freak, and a nasty-wasty-wasty-wasty (x100) person! Scatological, my arse! Was the word ‘shit’ or any referral to it, present there? I think not!

            I was merely paying the lady a compliment. Luckily, as is my custom with nasty-wasty-wasty… (x100) persons, I took a screen shot of it.

            Phooey-balooey on you!

            [EDIT: Post it on your own blog. If you think that deleting your pointless reference to Ildi’s sexual experience was the primary substance of your comment, then your comments are truly deviant. You need counseling.]

          • You’re absolutely right, SI. Posting anything here IS a waste of time. As for counseling, I might suggest that anyone that goes around modeling himself after the most insidious and morally-bereft organization that ever existed on this planet, and dresses his kids up in their garb, might not be flying fully trimmed, either.

            You know, it is tantamount to going around sporting a swastika on one’s arm, what you do. The Inquisition murdered millions more than Hitler ever did. But, maybe that’s the kind of thing you admire in people?

            I’d pay real money to see the psychiatric assessment on a few others around here. Those ‘tortured souls’ that think God or Christians had something to do with their lousy lot in life. But, then, that’s how it is, these days, never blame yourself when there are others handy.

            Keep up the good work, SI. You’re a real credit to your profession!

            • Giddi-yawn

              If you remember, you challenged me to moderate you. So now, why are you complaining?

              And as for L’il Inquisitors, how do you expect anyone to take you seriously, when you take clear photo-shopped, humorous pictures so seriously? You really don’t believe they are actually my kids, do you?

              And if you actually read my pages, the name of the blog is not based on the low point of your wonderful religion, but on a Monty Python sketch. More humor.

              tsk tsk. Lighten up. Maybe a good counselor WILL help.

            • Oh, don’t get me wrong, SI, I don’t give a fuck about you or your retinue of fools. I just like pointing out your many contradictory traits. And, Catholicism isn’t by religion, son, it never was. Just because some priest waylaid you at your mom’s funeral, doesn’t make me a cohort.

              And, I know about your background, too, that was the first thing I looked at when I first started commenting here. I guess it doesn’t matter whose kids they are, just as long as they help get the message out, right? If you were a Nazi, they’d have been sporting swastikas and jackboots.

              As a fan of Monty Python, I know they did lot’s of Hitler sketches, too, but, I don’t see any of those up here, do I? You know why? Because, little SI had his itty, bitty, feelings hurt by a Catholic guy, and now, according to his warped reasoning, anything even remotely Christian has to pay!

              Again, I don’t care.

              And, as for lightening up, YOU lighten up! As if I can hurt your little friend ildi with TEXT! LOL! I’m sure she really worries about a few lines of TEXT, SI!

              What, you her legal guardian, or something? Let her be the judge and put me in my place, if she wants. She’s never been wont for the right insult for anyone else, any other time!

              [EDIT: This one got close to deletion, but I thought I’d let it go, despite the fact that it’s just Giddy-yawn self-stroking again, and has nothing to do with the post. The next one like it will be deleted, however, unless it’s remotely responsive.]

        • ildi,

          Make an actual argument, else move along, please. I’m not interested in quarreling with you, but if you think I’m missing something that could improve things, I’m all ears.

          • Make an actual argument, else move along, please

            Now, now. I’m in charge of moderating here. You stick to comments or ignoring comments, as you choose.

            I liked her allusion; it had a point and was funny. I know it was at your expense, but I like humor on the blog. Even Gideon had his moments, which is one reason I tolerated him so long, until he degraded to causticity.

          • SI,

            Now, now. I’m in charge of moderating here. You stick to comments or ignoring comments, as you choose.

            I mock your authority. I can ask ildi to back off if I want.

            I liked her allusion; it had a point and was funny. I know it was at your expense, but I like humor on the blog.

            Yes – it’s point was to make me look small – regardless of truth. That’s all she does when it comes to me, and she’ll even say that 1 + 1 + 1 = 3 to do it.

            Don’t get me wrong; I like humor too, but not at the expense of reality.

          • Oh don’t be so butthurt, you laughed your ass off when Gideon said far worse things. Soon as someone even so much as pokes you the whinging starts in immediately.

          • TOG,

            Oh don’t be so butthurt, you laughed your ass off when Gideon said far worse things. Soon as someone even so much as pokes you the whinging starts in immediately.

            See what I mean about how you just show up to take snipes? What comments of yours in this thread have any relevance to the OP whatsoever? I’ve counted 11 comments from you in this thread, and not one relates even a single scintilla to SI’s original post. To contrast, all 11 of those comments were spent taking snipes at me. I realize SI, Philly, ildi and many others seem to enjoy calling names and insulting others, but I just can’t shake the feeling that most people aren’t impressed.

            You say you don’t have time for reasonable discussion, but couldn’t you just re-allocate the time you’ve dedicated to insults?

  118. …it turned out SI hadn’t even properly comprehended the argument he denied and insulted me over for 100’s of comments.

    That’s a good bit hyperbolic, but if it’s what you choose to believe, I really don’t care.

    And to date, not one of you has offered even so much as a semblance of a rational explanation for that incident,

    I did. I believe there was alcohol involved. Though, really, don’t bother to refute that. I’m not interested. It’s your anecdote, it can’t be confirmed, so it’s not worth discussing any more, despite your repeated and constant attempts to resurrect it, ad nauseum.

    • SI,

      That’s a good bit hyperbolic, but if it’s what you choose to believe, I really don’t care.

      What I don’t understand is how you choose not to believe it. Quite literally, after the end of that exchange, you asked, “Oh, you mean they shot across the room as if thrown?” I mean, even if I disliked you as much as you dislike me – which seems to be quite a bit – if I blundered that hard, I would still apologize, and try to make a stronger commitment to both respect and accurate assessment of the evidence. You’re a lawyer for God’s sake! You didn’t even read my argument, yet there you were denying it. Who does that?

      I mean come on. What if I was insulting you and rejecting an argument of yours for literally 100’s of comments, and I came back with something like, “Wait a minute SI, you mean to say X” where X = some easily deducible claim? You’d laugh me out of the thread, and rightly so.

      That, more than anything, proved to me that you’re arguing from emotion. All I’ve ever wanted from any of you was a fair shake and an honest stab at explaining some of the things I’ve blogged about, because I initially thought you guys were serious about pursuing what’s true in this crazy-ass world we live in. Instead, I get a bunch of vitriol.

      It doesn’t surprise that you’d opt for the “alcohol” explanation. jim also seemed to believe that 3 adults who hadn’t gone through a twelve-pack of regular beer can somehow lead to group hallucinations. Gimme a break.

      It’s your anecdote, it can’t be confirmed, so it’s not worth discussing any more, despite your repeated and constant attempts to resurrect it, ad nauseum.

      It’s not my anecdote, there were three witnesses and they can confirm it. It is your choice whether to believe or doubt. We know what we saw, and I’m not saying it’s proof of anything, but it is most certainly consistent with what we might expect were what you refer to as “supernaturalism” correct. And, I don’t want to resurrect it. I’m well over it. I realize you’re unconvinced by that incident. Unless something changes, you will not be convinced by any incident. You can prove me wrong by offering an hypothetical incident that would convince you there was a God.

      You can’t find the truth if you’re not searching. I realize it’s been trying with Gideon and all, but realize that you asked for it by taunting and encouraging him just as much as anyone else, and you the owner of the blog at that. Point is, I wish you could just chill out a bit, detach yourself from this whole little charade, and get down for some normal conversation. I will facilitate that by trying my best to avoid further replies to you in this thread, but no guarantees.

      I mean hell: can’t we just have a friggen’ talk? I would honestly love to hear an explanation for the video game incident that doesn’t involve casting doubt as to the credibility of the witnesses and evidence. Take it like: if my accounting of the data is in fact correct, what might have caused such an incident? When and to what extent are such incidents reliable as evidence in these matters? You say you prefer science over philosophy; here I am coming at you with something empirical. Why not try to explain it, and parse it out?

      Gag me with a spoon.

      I wrote it that way on purpose; I’m glad it worked. It’s true though; T4T’s correct, and I’m certainly not incorrect for stating my opinion that accuracy is preferable to absolutes. ildi came at him with fire and sword, and when he finally gets her to slow down and think it out, it turns out they’re closer to agreement on some things than realized.

  119. The truth is our understanding of different modes of healing is ever evolving and science helps us understand what many of us know intuitively.

    Sometimes science supports “intuitive” beliefs. Sometimes it does the opposite.

    Have you read Trick or Treatment: The Undeniable Facts about Alternative Medicine by Simon Singh, and Edzard Ernst, MD?

    From Publishers Weekly:

    Noted science writer Singh and British professor of complementary medicine Ernst offer a reasoned examination of the research on acupuncture, homeopathy, chiropractic, herbal medicine and other alternative treatments. Singh (Fermat’s Last Theorem) and Ernst work hard to be objective, but their conclusion is that these therapies are largely worthless.

    Science-Based Medicine has a review of it. According to the web site,

    Edzard Ernst, based at the University of Exeter in England, is the world’s first professor of complementary medicine, a post he has held for 15 years. An MD and a PhD, he also embraced alternative medicine and used to practice homeopathy. He has done extensive research and published widely.

    I’m sure the vast majority of CAM based therapists aren’t charlatans. It doesn’t mean they’re not mistaken.

  120. I’m sure the vast majority of CAM based therapists aren’t charlatans. It doesn’t mean they’re not mistaken.(ildi)

    So lets get back to the science. Is a CAM based therapist wrong when they state that there is some science that shows that touch based therapies can be beneficial in dealing with certain types of pain?

    • Perhaps touch therapies are useful for some reason, but if you go into reiki and start people that you are manipulating their energies, you are being obtuse, dishonest, and are debauching the very concept of scientific medicine.

  121. Is a CAM based therapist wrong when they state that there is some science that shows that touch based therapies can be beneficial in dealing with certain types of pain?

    Haven’t we covered this, or did I fall into some sort of space-time warp? I freely grant you this one. Now, what other benefits of CAM do you tout to your customers?

  122. Now, what other benefits of CAM do you tout to your customers?(ildi)

    See this is the thing, I earlier wrote that I didnt agree with many of the claims from “Alternative” practitioners. Or did you miss that one. We offer pain relief which in turn can help the body help itself in healing itself. NO therapies heal anybody. The body heals itself. Hopefully the therapies act as catalysts to help the body help itself.

    Thanks for you verifying what my 16yrs of “alternative” therapy is doing. Whew, I will sleep better knowing the science backs me up. All that anecdotal stuff was too wishy washy.

  123. We offer pain relief which in turn can help the body help itself in healing itself. NO therapies heal anybody. The body heals itself. Hopefully the therapies act as catalysts to help the body help itself.

    Ooooh, the woo it burns so badly! My head hurts; I need pain relief! Maybe if I turn the lights down, and rub soothing oils on my forehead, and put some Enya on the stereo… what are you charging for your self-healing therapies? Mine is much cheaper and works just as well; no chakras or chi to invoke. No water, er, homeopathic remedies to sell.

  124. Dont believe in Homeopathy. Dont sell anything other than hands on therapy. No chakras, no chi, just good old fashioned hands on pain relief. Like I said in the past. I’d bet my hands on against most physio’s and trainers out there. Hey if your head really hurts, Im great with that treatment. Just some perfectly applied pressure to your carotid and whoops its all over. 😉

  125. Hey, now you’re trying to kill me? That’s not very nice when I’ve been willing to play the straight man to your carefully fed lines…

    Now, I could use a serious deep tissue massage… damn this recession!

  126. Pingback: Tweets that mention Atheism 3.0? | SPANISH INQUISITOR -- Topsy.com

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