Excuses to Believe


Ever meet up with your friends at a bar on a work night? You know, a drink or two at happy hour and then you’ll head home, right? Well after a few beers someone suggests ordering some food and you think that would be the smart thing to do so you go along, and order another beer. A few beers later you’re thinking it’s time to go but then your one friend brings up that time with the midget at the strip club and quickly that leads to shots, followed by the call from the wife, but by this time there’s nothing you want more than to be right where you are so your brain kicks into overdrive. Work? What the hell are you working for if you can’t enjoy a night with your friends? Wife? How can she not understand that, too? And so you turn off the phone and order another round, and shots of Jager.

Look, we’ve all been here to various degrees…
“I might as well finish this bag of chips or else they’ll go stale.”
“I jogged a little, so I can have that pint of ice cream.”
“I’m really stressed out about work, so a smoke will take the edge off.”
“We have to fight them there so we don’t have to fight them here.”
All excuses for indulging in whatever it is you really want to do even though it doesn’t make sense, from partying with your friends on a work night to invading a nation. One of the biggest indulgences for people all the world over is religion. Oh how they’ve got some excuses! They certainly should of course after thousands of years. What’s strange about this is religion isn’t supposed to be about excuses, it’s supposed to be about faith. Faith, for the religious, is a virtue yet most get quite irate if you claim their beliefs are based on just faith. “Oh no” they say, “there are reasons to believe”. This brings me to a guy named Chip Crush.

Chip really likes believing in his god, but he feels he needs excuses to justify doing so, so he put together one massive list entitled Reason To Believe. Now of course his excuses are silly. They’re old and tired and laughable like a kid saying, “my dog ate my homework” so the knee-jerk reaction is to laugh and, dare I say, Crush poor Chip. However, I kind of feel sorry for Chip, because religious leaders use these excuses on their flocks all the time despite knowing they’re bunk because they work if you WANT to believe. If you want to believe in your god and a guy says, “well how else could we have gotten here?” or “how else can we imagine god if he didn’t exist?” you immediately say, “yeah, that proves it!” Well I see Chip as that guy, and he’s always been surrounded by others like him, so he honestly thinks all the excuses he’s heard over the years are legitimate reasons to believe. His massive list is a compilation of these excuses, but unlike most religious people we encounter online, I don’t think he’s peddling these to trick people. No, I think he honestly thinks these are all valid. So I feel his excuses need to be addressed, but not harshly. I’d like to do it the way you would try and explain to a kid there’s no Santa when he points to his toys and the now gone cookies and milk he left out before going to bed.

At first I thought I would go through them one by one, but the problem is many of them rest upon two primary things. The first is uncertainty. Like cockroaches who scurry into the dark when you turn on a light, rest assured you will find religion hiding in the dark and empty places in our knowledge. It’s the old “god of the gaps” trick. Can’t explain it? God did it. Don’t know where we came from? God. Don’t know how that happened? God. Not sure? God. Can’t comprehend it? God. What’s the problem with this? Ask Gallileo, because sadly these cockroaches don’t easily run out of the light, but rather try to flip the light back off and threaten to break your knees if you touch that switch again. This lurking in the dark is the basis for reasons such as the origin and nature of the universe, origin of life, consciousness, emotions, and of course his rejection of evolution, or specifically “macroevolution”. Can’t make it happen in a lab? Well then, god did it. Ignoring of course these 29+ Evidences for Macroevolution, I would like to point out no experiment has ever been done on a human in a lab to definitively know whether smoking will kill you, yet there’s plenty of evidence to show it will and no one but a fool today thinks smoking isn’t hazardous to your health so think there’s no proof for macroevolution? Have a cigarette!

The other major mistake is his presuppositions which mostly focus on the definition of his god. These are beliefs that under no circumstances can be scrutinized or doubted, and as long as you don’t, then everything works. For instance, take the universe. If they say there’s no evidence for the universe being eternal, then we need to explain it’s start. If they say “god did it”, then the natural question is “where did god come from?” Well they just say he’s eternal by definition. If you point out there’s no evidence he’s eternal, in fact no material evidence he even exists, they just say he just is, and since he’s super awesome he’s beyond the material world so finding material evidence is impossible by definition. What’s wrong with this? Well I could dream up anything then can’t I? I just need to give it properties by definition which will make it exempt from being proven false. A great example of this is Carl Sagan’s A Dragon in My Garage. Ironically Chip cited this in his list, but defended against it by saying his god is real and really is a non-material being. Well, that settles that then! LOL! With his blinders still on, he said atheists presuppose miracles are impossible therefore when faced with a miracle, we’ll dismiss it due to our faulty presuppositions, yet how would Chip know a miracle was a miracle? How does he distinguish between currently unexplainable natural events and supernatural miracles?

The rest stand on these two feet of clay. He cites experience, but of course if you believe your god made everything you’ll see him in everything. If you think he’s responsible for your laughter, you’ll see no other explanation for laughter than him. If you believe the bible gives prophesy then you’ll see events as played out prophesies. If you see the bible as the word of your god, you could never see it as being false or made up in whole or in part. If you believe there is a god then you’ll see the existence of religion as evidence that he’s real. If you believe Jesus was real you’ll ignore the lack of evidence for his existence and accept false evidence like Eusebius’ forged passage in Josephus. Speaking of false evidence, he cited one David Robertson’s reference to something in a German science magazine which claims to have done a scientific study that concluded that there’s a 62% chance of god. I would very much like to read this so-called “scientific study” which has concluded that “there is a 62% chance that god exists”, but in the mean time I found two things very comical and curious about this reference:
1) How does one arrive at such a statistic?
2) Why is it that religious people who so adamantly attack and discount science hold it up as an authority when it suits them?

So two flaws and all his reasons, including his preamble melt away?

Well yes, but there are two things I’d like to focus on a little closer but I can hit them with the same stones. The first is especially silly and that is the focusing on the Christian god by atheists of the West is somehow a validation for the Christian god. Why most atheists of the West focus on the Christian god is because it’s Christians who we have to deal with, who continually impose their beliefs upon everyone else and they use their god as justification to do so. It’s not Muslims who threaten science education, Hindus blocking contraceptives and birth control, Jains blocking sex education, Buddhists denying gay rights, or Sikhs trying to get their beliefs on government property. There’s also no one being denied public office in the US because they refuse to acknowledge the existence of Santa or the Easter Bunny. Christians dominate the scene. THIS is why they get our attention and not because we know that one is true. How ridiculous! Furthermore, the arguments against the Christian god claim apply to all god claims. Epicurus’ arguments, which pre-date Christianity by 300-400 years, shatter the basis of theistic worship. Euthyphro poses a moral conundrum for theists of all flavors, which brings me to the other and last thing from his essay – morality. Objective morality requires a source, his god of course, but then there’s the question from Euthyphro, “is something good because god says so or does he say so because it’s good?” Also, how did humans manage to survive for so long before his god showed up to tell everyone what morality is? Hell, the bible is actually proof that not only don’t you need it to be moral, that having it is no guarantee that you’ll be moral. Just read the Good Samaritan parable. If one still thinks his god is necessary for morality, then I offer Christopher Hitchens’ moral challenge to name one ethical statement made, or one ethical action performed, by a believer that could not have been uttered or done by a nonbeliever and then name a wicked statement made, or an evil action performed, precisely because of religious faith.

But let’s face it, if Chip or anyone REALLY wants to believe, what could we say to them? There are warnings on cigarettes, yet people smoke. Hundreds of sad examples of fetal alcohol syndrome yet you see pregnant women drink. We have AIDS and all those nasty STDs we saw videos of in health class as kids yet how many guys are still not using condoms? Drunk driving statistics and DUI penalties yet still people drink and drive. Crack is still smoked, heroin still shot into veins, people still over eat and eat unhealthy food, fail to exercise, and on and on. Humans will do what they want, and create all kinds of excuses to do them regardless of the facts. The best we can hope for is piling on the facts and denying excuses, but ultimately each person has to come to the right conclusions on their own.

Atheist Spot Bookmark and Share

36 Responses to “Excuses to Believe”

  1. But let’s face it, if Chip or anyone REALLY wants to believe, what could we say to them? There are warnings on cigarettes, yet people smoke. Hundreds of sad examples of fetal alcohol syndrome yet you see pregnant women drink. We have AIDS and all those nasty STDs we saw videos of in health class as kids yet how many guys are still not using condoms? Drunk driving statistics and DUI penalties yet still people drink and drive. Crack is still smoked, heroin still shot into veins, people still over eat and eat unhealthy food, fail to exercise, and on and on.

    Wizard’s First Rule: “People are stupid.”

  2. I never heard of that series. Good rule.

  3. Nice post.

    What the hell’s that thing with the gravy all over it?

  4. I couldn’t find a picture of melted cookies, but that looked close enough.

  5. Screw god. Did you get the midget’s phone number?

  6. … if Chip or anyone REALLY wants to believe, what could we say to them?
    Well, we could refer them to this post. Or give them a cookie and pat them on the head. Despite the fact that I think this essay is extremely well argued, I’m afraid the second alternative is no less effective at changing the minds of people like Chip.

  7. Sheesh, I got so excited at the idea of getting a cookie that I forgot to subscribe to this comment thread.

    Hence this extraneous comment. Do you have any biscotti?

  8. Mmmmmm… cookies.

    That 62% probability of god is hysterical. You can only work out a statistic like that by making some completely arbitrarily imposed assumptions. You’ve heard the saying “you can prove anything with statistics”? This is the poster child of that adage.

    I always enjoy your posts that start out with an analogy, Chief. I try to figure out where we are going; before the destination becomes obvious. I couldn’t on this one. Maybe I could have, had I bothered to read Chip’s original post. But you know how I am with religious blogs. And this was one of the few I’m even familiar with.

    Anyway, nice deconstruction of it. I think there is some small hope for these people who want to believe (fill in the blank). At least as long as they keep trying to show the “rationality” of their position. If they would just stick to “I have faith” and not debate it, they could remain in their comfy cocoons indefinitely.

    Another word about Chip’s assumption that Chrisinsanity is proven valid by the fact that atheists seem to make it their Public Enemy Number 1. It is true, as Chief points out, that here in America we atheists focus most of our kindly affection for religion on Christians. And he tells us exactly why this is the case.

    But Indian atheists, Asian atheists, African atheists, Middle-Eastern atheists and, lately, Euro atheists have bigger fantasy fish to fry than Christinsanity. Other than the Euro atheists (and, to some degree, the Africans), the others care almost nothing about the desert death cult. Not even those who presently live in that same desert.

  9. Toby – I kind of like the Wizard’s 10th rule. I think I’ll use it whenever some asks “yeah, but what do you get; what are the advantages of atheism”?

  10. Evo, you should have to read his post twice. It’s your fault he wrote it and also your fault for me even knowing there was a Chip Crush. You get one of the cookies that fell on the floor. It’s still good, once you get past the dog hair.

  11. You’re welcome.

  12. Being from the godless state of Nevada, when I see odds of something like 62%, I get excited because the payoff on betting against said odds is far greater than the payoff on betting for! Most games of chance have much lower odds. I think this clown just helped me go a little bit closer to the red pill.

  13. Apologetics and rationalization. That is all there is, intellectually, behind the religious curtain.

    Why does Santa always get chocolate chip cookies? That’s why there’s always a shortage at Christmas, I guess.

    Now I’m looking for Chip’s rebuttal. Must check the email follow-up box.

  14. Good stuff!

  15. Huh…

    I’m going to take the responses to this post as complete agreement with The Chief.

    Someone alert me if a theist replies to anything.

  16. They don’t come here, well except for one, and even that’s just here and there. I wonder if there’s a cycle I can chart of those visits. Does it coincide with the moon? Is it say a monthly thing?

  17. http://biblicalglasses.blogspot.com/

  18. Chip,

    A presupposition which you think we share but we don’t is the value of an appeal to authority. In essence, it means something is to be accepted unquestionably from a person of some believed authoritative and/or privileged position. In your primary example, you accept everything attributed to Paul because you believe he had his divine moment on the road to Damascus and summarily dismiss the words of Epicurus because he had no such experience. In contrast, an atheist doesn’t care what experiences Paul or Epicurus may or may not had, and we’re not even that concerned with whether they really existed or not, and that’s because we actually care about the words attributed to them. THAT is the most important thing, and something that if you never wake up and comprehend for yourself, at least comprehend that this is a major point of distinction between you and an atheist. Darwin is revered for his theories, but his theories are not revered as sacred because they’re his. Dawkins, Dennet, Harris and especially Christopher Hitchens are revered for things they’ve said but under no circumstances do we blindly accept everything they say. I personally object to various ideas of each, especially Hitchens when it comes to politics.

    As I said in my post, if you’re going to believe your god created everything unquestioningly, so be it. If you’re going to believe unquestioningly that your bible is the word of that god, so be it. If you’re going to accept completely the words of all ministers and apologists as true, so be it. If you’re going to blindly accept any source which supports your belief while blindly casting aside anything which doesn’t, then so be it, but in so doing you’ve completely proved my point. There’s no reason in play here, this is just blindly going with any excuse which allows you to keep indulging in your belief. Of course you’ll dismiss this assessment, but so be it.

  19. Once again, you misunderstand my position. I don’t “accept unquestionably” the words of Paul. I have questioned and doubted him, and I have misinterpreted him. Sadly, there are many Christians – you must be thinking of them and categorizing me and perhaps all Christians with them – that do “blindly accept” what Paul says. On the contrary, I’ve wrestled with Paul and the theologians of the Reformation era, and the Greek philosophers and the 19th century Darwinists, and the modern day experts in many fields. I’ve weighed their claims, found some to be wanting, and held fast to the claims of others. But that process was a rational one; my faith is reasonable. That’s been this whole point.

    You make a worthy observation with your final remark, and if the blind are leading the blind, so be it. But what if a sighted person came to a group of blind men and suggested that they try to follow him? You can bet that many would be reluctant; most wouldn’t dare leave their comfort zone. The majority would deny the possibility of a sighted man, for blindness is all they’ve every known. But occasionally, a blind person will risk what they deem to be their security, and by following the sighted person to safety and truth, realize that they were blind and standing on a precipice over a bottomless pit. Alas, this illustration can’t apply to the atheist being the “sighted man,” because there’s no safety in falsehood. “Jesus said, ‘If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’” (John 8:31-32).

    I don’t accept what anyone says because they say it. I accept what the trustworthy ones say because they speak the truth.

  20. Chip, I'm sure it all "feels" like a rational process that you have been through. If you soaked in half of what PhillyChief has said, you'll realize it's not. If you compare your "rational" search for truth to how you would approach a search for information on how you would treat a disease that a loved one was dying from, you would quickly see the difference. The fact is, deep inside you realize that we would not be here without the use of rational thought and reason. Therefore it's important to you to convince yourself that this same rational process has been used in assessing god's existence. In fact, you believe because you have faith. Period. There is no true rational process that has led you to where you are. You obviously want to believe there was such a process. But that is just another "belief". @ Philly – let me know…

  21. I read your response to Philly, and it’s really just a string of nonsense phrases. First, of all, no one accused you of accepting anything “unquestionably.” The word is “unquestioningly.” It means that you don’t ask questions, or, at least, reasonable ones.

    You say:
    I’ve wrestled with Paul and the theologians of the Reformation era, and the Greek philosophers and the 19th century Darwinists, and the modern day experts in many fields. I’ve weighed their claims, found some to be wanting, and held fast to the claims of others. But that process was a rational one; my faith is reasonable. That’s been this whole point.

    That sounds like a shitload of wrestling. Did you do any thinking during that activity, or did you just try to pin one another? Who challenged whom? And, in the end, who won?

    In any case, in what way was all this boy-on-boy action rational?

  22. Another excellent post, Philly.

    Chip: I’m assuming that, as you wrestle with various theologians, your ultimate standard is the Bible. Is the final arbiter actually the biblical text itself or simply your interpretation of that text? How have you arrived at your interpretation? Does the RSV trump the KJV? Does the Greek text trump English translations of the New Testament? Does the Tanakh trump Christian translations of the Old Testament? Does Paul trump Luther or Calvin? If so, why; if not, why not?

  23. “I don’t accept what anyone says because they say it. I accept what the trustworthy ones say because they speak the truth.”

    See, that’s exactly the same thing. You’re accepting what someone says because you think they’re trustworthy, not because you’ve actually studied what they said. Here’s a test – can you acknowledge the wisdom or the facts of a statement without delving into a character study of the author? Let me give you an example. I always forget who said this, I think it’s Socrates, but I’m not sure – “a fool tries to convince me with his words, a wise man convinces me with my own”. Now despite knowing the author, I can recognize that’s a profound statement. Were it to have come from Torquemada, Socrates, Hitler, or a bum on South Street wouldn’t matter a shit to me. That phrase is brilliant.

    Here’s another test – say Craig or one of your apologists came out tomorrow as an atheist, a pedophile, a tax evader, whatever. Would you then throw his arguments in the trash bin? Would his words no longer be considered worthy because the man is no longer trustworthy? Imagine if they had proof Paul didn’t write most of the letters attributed to him, would you then revere those letters less?

    Your original post is evidence that when you were “wrestling” with various claims, you didn’t take what anyone said into account as much as who said them, or else your comments about science wouldn’t have been so uninformed. Of course I hope that you didn’t stop with 19th century “Darwinists” and actually looked at 20th and 21st century evolutionary biologists, neurologists, physicists, theoretical physicists, astrophysicists, and some other modern eggheads but of course most of them are non-religious, so why bother reading what they have to say, right?

  24. The Chaplain asked, “Does Paul trump Luther or Calvin? If so, why; if not, why not?” Since Paul, Luther, and Calvin are in agreement, there is no trumping. But if they did clearly disagree on a particular issue, you are right to suggest that I’d side with Paul since the Bible is my “ultimate standard.”

    Phillychief said that my statement, “I don’t accept what anyone says because they say it. I accept what the trustworthy ones say because they speak the truth.” was “exactly the same thing. You’re accepting what someone says because you think they’re trustworthy, not because you’ve actually studied what they said.” By no means! The point there is that those who speak the truth prove that what they say is the truth by their trustworthiness. I don’t easily trust a liar to tell me the truth, even though liars are capable of speaking the truth. I am more likely to trust a truthful person, because they are truthful and trustworthy. It appears, especially from your first “test,” that you have a problem with the idea of trust. Here’s another “wise saying”:

    Feed a cold and starve a fever. – C. Morley (1939)

    Now I have no idea who Morley is. I know nothing about his character, and like you, I don’t care. But I have tried his wisdom and found it to be effective. Therefore, his words are trustworthy. The same goes for the apostle Paul. I have tried his wisdom and found it to be effective for a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, his words are trustworthy. And it just so happens that his character further supports his trustworthy words.

    Your next test is a good one, one that, since we need to further consider the idea of trust, might be better applied to politics. Take Jesse Jackson. He claims to be a Christian, and he holds the title of reverend, but his character has proven to be questionable, and many of his statements are plainly ridiculous. That doesn’t mean he can’t speak the truth. But do you “trust” him? Would you vote for him if he ran for office? Why or why not? He may be trustworthy in some areas, but I find him to be untrustworthy on the whole. We ought to apply the same tests to the presidential candidates.

    One more example. Many people view the Book of Proverbs to be a conglomerate of wise sayings. I happen to believe, through testing, that they are flawless principles foundational for living well. But their author was far from a role model in terms of his character. Solomon had hundreds of wives and concubines and worshiped idols (literally). His character doesn’t necessarily make his words untrustworthy, but I wouldn’t want to be like him. This example represents one of the greatest truths of the Bible, that there are no perfect humans, other than Jesus. God speaks truth through dirty shepherds, arrogant kings, foul-mouthed advisors, pagan whores, and little children.

    Evo – nice of you to join us again!

    You said, “If you compare your “rational” search for truth to how you would approach a search for information on how you would treat a disease that a loved one was dying from, you would quickly see the difference.”

    Not at all! I have had a loved one die from a rare disease, and believe me, I searched reasonable and rationally and as quickly I as could for info on the various treatments available. But I’ve searched the Bible and wrestled with its claims, as well as with the claims of secularists and others mentioned previously. Through the testing I’ve mentioned, I’ve come to a different conclusion than you.

    My guess is that you have not poured 3 years into studying the Bible – not a cursory glance, not a brief scan, but a thorough perusal – to taste and see that Lord is good. It may be surprising to you, but I wasn’t raised a Christian. I did blindly believe in God from age 12-17 or so, but from age 18 until this very day, I haven’t blindly accepted bunk as truth; I search for truth. And I find it in Christian theism.

    You close with this statement, “In fact, you believe because you have faith. Period.” If that’s not redundant, I don’t know what is. I believe because I believe. No! I believe because it’s true. On the other hand, for the atheist, it’s true because you believe it. And we’re back to the point I’ve been trying – albeit poorly – to make from the beginning. Our presuppositions are too well-established to overcome to engage in productive dialogue; therefore, should you desire to chat further, visit my blog. I won’t be returning here.

  25. Chip, You’re just digging yourself into a deeper hole. Won’t be long before we’ll be able to fill it in.

    The point there is that those who speak the truth prove that what they say is the truth by their trustworthiness. I don’t easily trust a liar to tell me the truth, even though liars are capable of speaking the truth.

    And exactly what criteria do you apply to determine who’s lying and who’s not? Lies are not always self-evident. I’m sure Hitler seemed quite trustworthy to many people for a long time. Only the inspection of history and the passage of time has shown us what he was. Same can be said for a lot of people. What makes you so sure that Paul wasn’t lying about that little episode on the road to Damascus? Where is the corroborating evidence? You trust him because you like what he says, and because he confirms your pre-suppositions, not because you have any evidence that he’s trustworthy. That’s pure faith, brother, nothing less.

    Feed a cold and starve a fever. – C. Morley (1939)

    Now I have no idea who Morley is. I know nothing about his character, and like you, I don’t care. But I have tried his wisdom and found it to be effective. Therefore, his words are trustworthy.

    But it’s blithering nonsense, yet you find it trustworthy. Colds are caused by viruses, and there is no cure for the cold. Food has nothing to do with it, only the passage of time, so that the virus burns itself out and the body’s defense mechanisms take over. Surely you’re not saying that if I eat something, my cold will disappear? If this is your idea of rationality, why should we trust any conclusions you’ve reached?

    I did blindly believe in God from age 12-17 or so, but from age 18 until this very day, I haven’t blindly accepted bunk as truth; I search for truth. And I find it in Christian theism.

    Since you blithely surmise about Evo, I’ll blithely surmise about you. You have not spent 3 years searching for truth, you found the truth prior to the start of the three years, then spent three years searching for confirmation of your conclusions. You certainly don’t prove me wrong with what you’ve written so far.

    I won’t be returning here.

    That’s typical of most Christians, so you’ve confirmed at least that.

  26. Then perhaps Chip, you’d actually consider addressing Epicurus’ words then, since you completely avoided them in your post, instead talking about his relative trustworthiness vs Paul. While your at it, give the Euthyphro question a try as well.

    As for what you call my problem of trust, I see it as irrelevant. Words should stand on their own merit; therefore, the character of the speaker is not a factor in studying the value of their words. If you are sincere in your claim that you agree with this (your examples of Morley and Solomon imply that you do) then I would expect you to actually address Epicurus and the Euthyphro question.

    “On the other hand, for the atheist, it’s true because you believe it.”

    No. We accept things based on their plausibility and/or the greater degree of evidence for it versus alternatives. Evolution isn’t true because I wish it so. The evidence for evolution fully eclipses any contrary hypothesis. Should new evidence appear to eclipse evolution, then that will be more acceptable than evolution.

    Well if you come back, you’ll come back. If not, so be it.

  27. Evo, if you’re at the bar and ready to slam down some shots, are you going to listen to somebody next to you lecturing on the dangers of liver damage due to alcohol? Let’s up the ante – jello shots off this chick’s tits. Are you going to listen? Hell, I’ve already forgotten what my point is

  28. “Feed a cold, starve a fever”.

    I am actually shaking my head as I type these words, Chip. SI said it all (nice job there, SI).

    I’ll just add this. Chip, I think I understand at what point we are talking past each other. You truly don’t understand the concept of “evidence” and you conflate it with “my personal experience”.

    Chip – I know it’s hard to believe (it’s hard for all of us) but our personal experiences are good for some things and horrible for others. When it comes to any topic that is widely debated, your own personal experience should be thrown out the window (or, at least, greatly minimized).

    If there are millions of people who say you are wrong, then you need to use empirical evidence and nothing else.

    I hate to use this example over and over, but it is just too perfect when dealing with the certainty of belief. People really believe we are visited by alien space craft, Chip.

    They can’t be dissuaded, because they have had some “personal revelation” from the aliens in the form of sightings or abductions. They aren’t making up the stories Chip. To them, they are as real as a living Jesus is to you. But you and I should encourage them to set aside what they “know” from personal experience. You need to stop thinking about how Christianity has “worked” for you.

    You are right when you say “Our presuppositions are too well-established to overcome to engage in productive dialog”. Until your presuppositions include honoring the empirical methods for arriving at knowledge, we are talking right past each other.

  29. Philly, are you saying Chip is doing jello shots with jesus?

  30. Objective morality requires a source, his god of course, but then there’s the question from Euthyphro, “is something good because god says so or does he say so because it’s good?”

    There are apologists who will give an answer somewhere along the lines of “God is good,” “good is an essential part of God’s nature,” and so on. In other words, argument by (re)definition. (I didn’t say it was a good answer!)

  31. Hahaha, Chip Crush went through the whole Bible…. what a sucker for dogma! There’s not much scientific reasons to read the book past page 1, the whole thing is wrong.

  32. QF – I’d say it’s OK (even good) to read on past that first page. But, as you say, looking at it with the knowledge we have gleaned from science, there isn’t a reason in the world to look at it literally.

  33. The joy of religion

    A jubilee to atheism

  34. Well done. :)
    I added some more responses to the list, mostly about scientific mistakes:
    Re: excuses to believe

  35. good post and excellent commentary.
    Chip has been well and truly Crushed

  36. I believe that one of your current advertisements initiated my internet browser to resize, you might well want to set that on your blacklist.

Leave a Reply