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Loaded Question

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Loaded Question
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AronRaContributorUser avatarPosts: 559Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 1:47 pm

Post Loaded Question

Yesterday I got the following email from a financial adviser in New Zealand.
As you strike me as an honest and sincere authority in the atheist worldview, could you please help me by advising me:

1. How can I be an intellectually honest atheist when it seems to me that atheism itself, logically demands that I distrust my brain, because it’s merely a cosmic accident - evolved from a random, mindless and unguided process in the 1st place?

I’ll donate $10,000 to a mutually agreeable charity for the 1st person who can answer my honest dilemma.

Your help would mean a lot to me.

Thanks in advance
.
So I replied:
It’s not an honest dilemma for two reasons.

(1) Being a product of undirected incidents and natural processes is no indication that you shouldn’t trust your brain. On the contrary, your ancestry of survivors of life-and-death struggles is one good reason why you should trust your brain. There are two basic perspectives here, those with a deep-seated emotional need to believe impossible nonsense, and those who have a desire to understand the way things really are. The latter group has a very different way of judging information. The only value any claim can have is how true we can show it to be. If you can’t show that it’s true at all, then it has no value at all; it is only an empty assertion unsupported by anything, and therefore beneath serious consideration. The fact that no one can show that religion isn’t just a product of human imagination is further exacerbated by the fact that there is so much that we can show religion to be wrong about. Then there is the point that the only way to improve understanding is to seek out the flaws in your current perception and correct them. You can’t do that if you believe anything on faith.

(2) Religion is the only thing telling us not to trust our brains. Faith is an unreasonable assertion of complete conviction which is assumed without reason and defended against all reason. You’re supposed to believe things that are not indicated by any evidence, and you’re supposed to maintain that belief despite all evidence to the contrary. It is already dishonest to assert as fact that which is not evidently true, yet that’s what all religions do. They pretend to ‘witness’ things they’ve never seen, saying they know things no one can honestly say they know, and they claim facts that are not facts. As if that wasn’t bad enough, faith also requires an unreasonable resistance to reason itself, in the form of apologetics. This is the practice of making up excuses to rationalize, justify, or dismiss all the arguments against your position. That’s where your challenge comes from, prompting you to misrepresent the situation as if there was ever any reason to distrust our own brains. That’s also why you won’t really donate $10,000.00 to Médecins Sans Frontières. You never intended to do that. Instead your goal was to pretend to present an unanswerable dilemma and arbitrarily dismiss every perfectly good answer you get -without any transparency. So there is no way for anyone else to see all the answers like this one that you actually did get.

So I’ve decided to post your question to my blog, just so that people have some way to know that I did answer it.


For whatever reason, this guy decided to continue the conversation:
Thanks Aron.
I've a computer software program for sale.
It serves no objective purpose.
It was created from an unguided process.
There was no mind behind its creation.
It's also the result of a random series of cosmic accidents.

If you'd like to buy it from me and have blind faith in the answers that the software gave you, then I applaud you for you own naive intellectual honesty.

Perhaps you'd like to add that to your blog as well.
I however don't share the same blind faith you have in your brain when it informs you that atheism is true.

In New Zealand we tend to have s greater understanding of irony than those in USA.
Obviously your computer system would have to be biological and subject to natural selection in order to be refined to the level of perfection worthy of purchase. But this would be immediately demonstrable and would not require any faith at all. Since faith is the most dishonest position it is possible to have, then any belief which requires faith should be rejected simply because faith is required. Let's work with things we know and can show to be correct instead.

You should post what you just did as a comment to my blog. I want everyone to see how dishonest your position is, and that would be the best way to show them.


Another thing I’d have to logically admit to (if I was an intellectually honest atheist) is that dishonesty is a legitimate evolutionary survival trait.

So therefore I am having great difficulty reconciling your very own self-righteous moralising on the matter of dishonesty with your claim that you’re an atheist.

I.e what you say does not make sense to me.
Dishonesty is reprehensible. Yes it can get one out of trouble, just like violence, but it also causes harm, just like violence, and should avoided except as a last resort in self defense, just like violence.

But faith REQUIRES dishonesty, and gullibility too. In fact gullibility is the sole criteria for redemption. Your religion is all lies and nothing but lies. If you cared at all about truth, then I can prove to you that evolution is an inescapable fact of population genetics and phylogeny, and that the Bible has already been proven wrong on every testable claim that it makes, and that there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever to support it. But you can't take that challenge, but defending your delusion is more important than understanding the way things really are. Unsupported belief matters more to you than does demonstrably accurate knowledge.


Could you just please spare me the ad-hominem diatribes when corresponding.

Rather than having to wade through this constant onslaught of tiresome and clichéd diatribes against my faith, may I instead please merely get from you a better understanding of:

1. how it is that you can be clearly so self-righteously indignant about my alleged (unproven) dishonesty on one hand, while on the other hand
2. you subscribe to your very own (and indeed unproven) faith in your brain to inform you that atheism is true?

I make this honest plea, because if atheism is true, then what rational basis is there to:

a. believe that what my brain is telling me is the truth and

b. to in anyway treat dishonesty as being even remotely reprehensible?

Please also rest assured that I’m not going to regurgitate my previous unanswered query, when I asked you to “show it that you know it” when you continually trot out the (so-far) unsubstantiated “If you can’t show it then you don’t know it” slogan.

I found the irony from your failure particularly remarkable and also a resounding blot on your slogan.

I appreciate you’ve a large fan following. E.g I can imagine The Americanised hype of “RaRa AronRa” being trumpeted whenever you’re introduced at the self-proclaimed “Reason” Rallies.

I also realise that your views appeal to a certain character type and how you seem to be wedded to your faith views in such a way that my very own counterpoints represent a pesky challenge that you’re having difficulty in intellectually addressing, which is perhaps why you’ve resorted to ad-hominem attacks.

So please let us keep the exchange of ideas and opinions on a civil basis.

Let us get one thing clear.
That is, that evolution itself bears no threat to my religious faith. Therefore I don’t need anybody to prove to me that evolution is either true or false.

However one thing I’d dearly love for you to prove to me (from your atheistic standpoint) is that:

1. How do your “shoulds” arise to the point that you’ve the “right” to tell me what I should and should not do?

And

2. What is reprehensible about violence or dishonesty, when after-all we are merely just fellow lumps of meat on legs who populate the animal kingdom and possessing no more dignity or worth than a zebra being mauled by a lion?
After hundreds and hundreds of these type discussions hidden away in personal email, I've learned that there is no purpose in continuing a private dialogue with someone determined to dismiss or ignore everything I say. So the only value this conversation can have is if we move it to an open forum, where it will be available in public archives.

I would ask that anyone else reading this thread not contribute to it, at least until after I see whether this guy will participate in this forum.
"Faith means not wanting to know what is true." - Friedrich Nietzsche.
"Faith is believing what you know ain't so." - Mark Twain
Tue Jul 21, 2015 5:12 am
AronRaContributorUser avatarPosts: 559Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 1:47 pm

Post Re: Loaded Question

Could you just please spare me the ad-hominem diatribes when corresponding.
OK, you quit lying and I'll quit calling you out for it.

Rather than having to wade through this constant onslaught of tiresome and clichéd diatribes against my faith, may I instead please merely get from you a better understanding of:

1. how it is that you can be clearly so self-righteously indignant about my alleged (unproven) dishonesty on one hand, while on the other hand
2. you subscribe to your very own (and indeed unproven) faith in your brain to inform you that atheism is true?
Your dishonesty was first proven by your initial question, and your offer of money that you never intended to donate. As I said, atheism never implies in any way that you should not trust your own brain, (how could it?) but your religion does demand that.

You proved your own dishonesty again when you tried to project the fault of faith onto one whom you know to be fundamentally opposed to faith. This is one of the lies of equivocation and projection that always come up when arguing with superstitious people. You acknowledge that faith is a bad thing, but you also try to project that fault onto me, as if I'm "just as bad" as you are. No. I am not just as bad as you are, because I do not have faith. You know I don't have faith, but you accuse me of it anyway, because you're a liar.

What I do have is evidence, which you don't have, meaning there is no reason to believe you. Gods, ghosts, and magic apparently emanate from nowhere but human imagination. This is important, I repeat, it is dishonest to assert as fact that which is not evidently true, yet that's what all religions do. One should never make a positive claim without any indication that it's true. The default position with regard to any positive claim is the null hypothesis, that the claim is not true until or unless otherwise indicated.

The rules are very simple:
Image

I make this honest plea,
Your plea is not honest.

because if atheism is true, then what rational basis is there to:

a. believe that what my brain is telling me is the truth
What choice have you got? What reason could you even imagine for why your brain would be lying to you? I mean, it's possible you're insane, but there are ways to determine that, just like there are ways to test virtually any uncertainty. That's why the scientific method was invented, to require that all postulations have prior support of evidence, to distinguish observation from speculation. To minimize or eliminate biases, all interpretations of data must be critically examined in peer review, to make sure you got it right or find out what you got wrong. All hypotheses must be testable, in order to winnow fact from falsity. But if we're talking about something that can't be indicated or vindicated, verified or disproved, then it is without any value as it cannot contribute to knowledge and is therefore beneath serious consideration.

Likewise, if Theism is true, then what basis do you have to believe anything on faith? Why not just assume that God is testing your faith, or that you're being deceived by the lord of lies? Actually you are being deceived, but the "Lord of Lies" isn't what you think it is; it's the religion telling you to believe impossible nonsense for no good reason.

and

b. to in anyway treat dishonesty as being even remotely reprehensible?
For the same reason that violence is reprehensible. Why is it that religious believers always claim to have the moral footing but show that they haven't any idea what morality even is?

Please also rest assured that I’m not going to regurgitate my previous unanswered query, when I asked you to “show it that you know it” when you continually trot out the (so-far) unsubstantiated “If you can’t show it then you don’t know it” slogan.

I found the irony from your failure particularly remarkable and also a resounding blot on your slogan.
I have substantiated that comment, and I have answered your question also. You're being dishonest again. Or should I say 'still'?

I appreciate you’ve a large fan following. E.g I can imagine The Americanised hype of “RaRa AronRa” being trumpeted whenever you’re introduced at the self-proclaimed “Reason” Rallies.

I also realise that your views appeal to a certain character type and how you seem to be wedded to your faith views in such a way that my very own counterpoints represent a pesky challenge that you’re having difficulty in intellectually addressing, which is perhaps why you’ve resorted to ad-hominem attacks.

So please let us keep the exchange of ideas and opinions on a civil basis.
I have been civil, and I haven't made any "ad hominem" attacks either. Neither can you "realize" something that is not real. I don't have faith, and the reason that I don't is because faith is the most dishonest position it is possible to have. You're demonstrating that right now. You're also not offering me any challenge.

Let us get one thing clear.
That is, that evolution itself bears no threat to my religious faith. Therefore I don’t need anybody to prove to me that evolution is either true or false.

However one thing I’d dearly love for you to prove to me (from your atheistic standpoint) is that:

1. How do your “shoulds” arise to the point that you’ve the “right” to tell me what I should and should not do?

And

2. What is reprehensible about violence or dishonesty, when after-all we are merely just fellow lumps of meat on legs who populate the animal kingdom and possessing no more dignity or worth than a zebra being mauled by a lion?
Both questions warrant the same answer. Imagining that the universe was created just for you, and that you're timeless and immortal with some imagined purpose behind your design does not give you value as an entity. Being a few dozen pounds of ape-meat isn't what gives you value either. It is important to note though that it is a fact that you're a lump of meat on legs, and what you believe instead is apparently a fantasy. The reason there are zebras being mauled by lions is because life is a product of evolution and natural selection and not the work of any infallible magic being who cares about anything.

If something is moral or immoral, it can't be because any authority said so; there still has to be a reason which determines that, so that we can tell whether the authority was correct. In your sacred fables, the magic imaginary despot says not to steal or kill, and to honor your mother and father, and then turns around and commands pillage and genocide and says that you can't even follow your god unless you hate your parents. Thus his imagined authority is nullified by these contradictions.

What gives you value is the very fact that you are a sentient being, aware of your surroundings and of the value of those around you, and your collective experiences. Most compassionate people (I think) adhere to a bias that the more intelligent a species is, the more rights it should have, and of course everyone in this species deserves equal rights, unless you're a racist sexist prejudiced bigot such as the Bible commands you to be.

The best explanation of this is Scott Clifton's Treatise on Morality.

It is a beautiful in-depth explanation, but the most important quote from it is this:

“A particular action or choice is moral or right if it somehow promotes happiness, well-being, or health, or if it somehow minimizes unnecessary harm or suffering or both.
A particular action or choice is immoral or wrong if it somehow diminishes happiness, well-being, or health, or if it somehow causes unnecessary harm or suffering or both.”
"Faith means not wanting to know what is true." - Friedrich Nietzsche.
"Faith is believing what you know ain't so." - Mark Twain
Tue Jul 21, 2015 6:52 am
AronRaContributorUser avatarPosts: 559Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 1:47 pm

Post Re: Loaded Question

Nevermind, he's not going to play.
Thanks Aron for the invite to participate in the forum.

As I’m naturally sceptical about the dubious sounding “reason” tag and the cryptic pseudonyms (e.g “xenudarkwarriorlord666”) that “contributors” use I will respectfully decline participation, lest I encounter the sort of nut cases (with chips on their shoulders) who tend to proliferate in these chat rooms.

I say so in full realisation that this email will likely be posted into that site.

Wishing you and your fellow contributors all the best
.
I wonder how long this conversation would have gone on if I had kept it hidden away in email. It's a different matter when everyone else can see what you're doing, isn't it?
"Faith means not wanting to know what is true." - Friedrich Nietzsche.
"Faith is believing what you know ain't so." - Mark Twain
Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:12 am
SpecialFrogUser avatarPosts: 827Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:13 pmLocation: Great White North Gender: Tree

Post Re: Loaded Question

What is so cryptic about xenudarkwarriorlord666?
"Life is nothing but an electron looking for a place to rest" -- Albert Szent-Gyrgyi
Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:16 am
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatar
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Post Re: Loaded Question

Greetings,

SpecialFrog wrote:What is so cryptic about xenudarkwarriorlord666?

Probably afraid he'd be facing a Satanist or Devil-Worhshipper ... or some other "sort of nut cases (with chips on their shoulders) who tend to proliferate in these chat rooms".

Kindest regards,

James
Image
"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:39 am
CollecemallPosts: 384Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:53 am

Post Re: Loaded Question

Is there even a user by that name here?
"Every man is a creature of the age in which he lives, and few are able to raise themselves above the ideas of their time."
“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” ~~Voltaire
Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:55 am
MugnutsBloggerUser avatarPosts: 383Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2014 2:13 am Gender: Male

Post Re: Loaded Question

If he had no issues with evolution and his faith, why was the original question identical to questions from OFNF and other evolution deniers?
"In the end theologians are jealous of science, for they are aware that it has greater authority than do their own ways of finding “truth”: dogma, authority, and revelation. Science does find truth, faith does not. " - Jerry Coyne
Wed Jul 22, 2015 2:05 am
JRChadwickLeague LegendUser avatarPosts: 340Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 4:02 am

Post Re: Loaded Question

Oh wow, we have Reason in our name, therefore we must be unreasonable.

I've heard his arguments before. You could probably copy and paste parts of past responses or scripts from your videos to respond to his claim. You answered him very succinctly, but he refused to listen.
Wed Jul 22, 2015 2:20 am
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he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatar
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Post Re: Loaded Question

Mugnuts wrote:If he had no issues with evolution and his faith, why was the original question identical to questions from OFNF and other evolution deniers?


That is because no theist has anything new to say.

And on that note, here is where I answered a similar question from Ian Juby:

he_who_is_nobody wrote:
8) Do you think your brain was intelligently designed? And if not, then how can you trust your thoughts if they are the result of unintelligent, undirected forces? Random chemistry?


This question is a vague attempt to insult proponents of evolution, and never fails to make me laugh when I see it. Of course our brains are not intelligently designed; they are a product of natural and sexual selection. However, just because they were not intelligently designed does not mean our thoughts are based on unintelligent, undirected forces. The reason we can trust our thoughts is based on knowledge that we obtain through experience or learning. Because we live in a natural world, were the laws of physics do not change on a whim, we can base our prior experiences and knowledge on the facts of reality in order to gain a deeper understanding of the world around us.
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Wed Jul 22, 2015 2:27 am
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JRChadwickLeague LegendUser avatarPosts: 340Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 4:02 am

Post Re: Loaded Question

What more can be said? Our brains can't be trusted because they are the product of natural forces lacking an inelegant designer? How does he think natural selection works? The more successful a chordate's brain was, the more likely it was to be selected for. Of course we can trust our brains!
Wed Jul 22, 2015 2:53 am
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Master_Ghost_KnightContributorUser avatar
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Post Re: Loaded Question

AronRa wrote:Yesterday I got the following email from a financial adviser in New Zealand.

Are you sure he is not related to the millionaire Zimbabue prince who will transfer 10 million dollars to my bank account if I only pay the transfer fees for the value of 100 thousand dollars to this other generic bank account?

As you strike me as an honest and sincere authority in the atheist worldview, could you please help me by advising me:
1. How can I be an intellectually honest atheist when it seems to me that atheism itself, logically demands that I distrust my brain, because it’s merely a cosmic accident - evolved from a random, mindless and unguided process in the 1st place?
I’ll donate $10,000 to a mutually agreeable charity for the 1st person who can answer my honest dilemma.
Your help would mean a lot to me.


I see. An atheist using creationist logic. That is weird.

I've a computer software program for sale.
It serves no objective purpose.
It was created from an unguided process.
There was no mind behind its creation.
It's also the result of a random series of cosmic accidents.
If you'd like to buy it from me and have blind faith in the answers that the software gave you, then I applaud you for you own naive intellectual honesty.

Ok, so besides being a financial adviser he is also a software developer. Not just any old developer, that has a problem to solve and then designs a program to solve that problem.. No, no, no, he is more like an interpretive modern art kind of programmer, he just goes "Fuck it! We just do whatever, I will hook it up to a random number generator and see what comes out by accident". And not just any accident, it has to be cosmic... accident.
Right.


This is a bible thumping literal 6 day creationist, he is being disingenuous, facetious, and trolling you from email number one.
I have no idea why you even bothered.

But seriously, thanks for sharing, this sort of stuff with us. It is funny as hell.
"I have an irrefutable argument for the existence of...." NO, STOP! You are already wrong!
Wed Jul 22, 2015 6:29 am
JRChadwickLeague LegendUser avatarPosts: 340Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 4:02 am

Post Re: Loaded Question

The only reason her bothered is because presenting these discussions in a public forum and leaving a permanent record to show how dishonest these people are. 99% of the time, that's the best you can hope for.
Wed Jul 22, 2015 6:43 am
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VisakiUser avatarPosts: 812Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:26 pmLocation: Helsinki, Finland Gender: Male

Post Re: Loaded Question

Darwin had Huxley, Aron has us.

Well, not somuch me as you other folk. I'm sure the others don't mind though and I certainly don't since the ones who take the bait, so to speak, can cause conversations that teach me new things.

Come think of it, I don't think I've yet seen a "prove evolution and I'll give XXX $/£/€ to you/charity" that has been honest and given the money when proof was given, or even intended to do so.
Wed Jul 22, 2015 6:52 am
JRChadwickLeague LegendUser avatarPosts: 340Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 4:02 am

Post Re: Loaded Question

Anyone who makes that challenge has already decided to reject any evidence presented to them. It is so easy to find evidence on your own without a financial incentive.
Wed Jul 22, 2015 7:03 am
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he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatar
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Post Re: Loaded Question

Visaki wrote:Darwin had Huxley, Aron has us.


Since Huxley was known as Darwin's bulldog, does that make us AronRa's chihuahuas?

:D ;)
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Wed Jul 22, 2015 2:03 pm
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SpecialFrogUser avatarPosts: 827Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:13 pmLocation: Great White North Gender: Tree

Post Re: Loaded Question

Dragan Glas wrote:
SpecialFrog wrote:What is so cryptic about xenudarkwarriorlord666?

Probably afraid he'd be facing a Satanist or Devil-Worhshipper ... or some other "sort of nut cases (with chips on their shoulders) who tend to proliferate in these chat rooms".

Maybe he was worried about getting pneumonia by learning about the OT III incident without proper Scientology preparation.
"Life is nothing but an electron looking for a place to rest" -- Albert Szent-Gyrgyi
Wed Jul 22, 2015 2:19 pm
AronRaContributorUser avatarPosts: 559Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 1:47 pm

Post Re: Loaded Question

You’re due the courtesy of knowing that when Ray Comfort challenged your assertion that faith is reprehensible, by bringing Ray up the matter of faith between you and your wife, that you then attempted to add another definition of the word faith and then go onto asserting there’s a difference between a faith in a God and the faith in a spouse.

While Ray did not quite drive home his point in the way that was obvious to a more critical thinking person and he let the flaws in your differentiation go somewhat unchallenged, he nonetheless raised a valid counterpoint which I think highlighted a double standard that you were insinuating.

What I think Ray (and other like-minded searchers of truth) was seeking from you, was too see from you some consistency in the way of you apply standards of evidence and proofs whenever you’ve display faith in whatever it is that you’ve faith in.

Therefore while Ray let you off lightly when he had you initially cornered I myself would have brought up a few more counterpoints to reveal the flaws in your reasoning.

Anyway it was good to listen to the debate and while Ray is well meaning, I do think he’s a bit of a lightweight in some aspects of his Christian apologetics, where he flirts around the core of some of the more brutal metaphysical truths.

Anyway I hope by me raising this issue with you that it may help you better prepare when your faith definitions are likely to be more rigorously challenged in future.

All the best.
Is the source of your dementia psychological? Or pharmaceutical? Because Ray Comfort is no "seeker of truth". He is a disreputable, dishonest, and disingenuous con-man who must avoid and evade truth. I don't know how you imagined any "flaws in my differentiation", but I can only assume you're hallucinating. Ray never had me cornered, nor did he ever have a point to corner me with; and he was the one using the double-standard, not me.

There are two different contexts in the dictionary, and one of them exists only in the dictionary, and in common vernacular. This other context does not relate to religion, and does not derive from any of the writings of religion. Defenders of the faith want to pretend that faith is a synonym of trust –as if the focus could be shown to be worthy of that trust. Or they deliberately use the wrong context, pretending that we must have ‘faith’ that an airplane will land safely before we get on it. That is quite a bit different than the religious context. They won’t admit what faith really is until they try to project their own faults onto non-believers in their frequent attempts at equivocation. Then they’ll either say that I believe on faith in lieu of evidence –just like they do, (ignoring all the evidence I present), or they’ll say that they have evidence just like I do, (though they can never show it) in which case my point is not yet proven.

If faith is defined as an unsupported conviction, then they have it and I don’t. If faith is defined as a secure confidence in the truth, value, or reliability of a given position, then I have it and they don’t –according to the behaviors I typically see when debating such people; like when they ignore all my questions and won’t acknowledge my answers either. But we are definitely talking about a religious context here, not my estimation of evident probabilities when boarding an airplane.
If I were arguing scientific terms, I would have to cite peer reviewed studies. Since faith is a religious term, I’ll have to turn to religious authorities, beginning with the most familiar scriptures in western society.

John 20:29 "how blessed are they who have not seen but yet believe."
Romans 1:20 "the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood from the things that are made."
Romans 14:22 "The faith which you have, have as your own conviction-"
2 Corinthians 4:18 "We look not at things seen, but at things not seen."
2 Corinthians 5:7 "for we walk by faith, not by sight."
Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."

Here we have things hoped for, but not seen, looking at things that are not seen, not seeing what is seen, and Romans 1:20: the most common combination of logical fallacies; the circular argument routing back to an assumed conclusion. Note that we are expected to see what is not there. Not only that, but we are blessed if make ourselves see what cannot be seen. This is not a reasonable request. These are not reasoned responses. Faith is the very opposite of reason, and where faith is encouraged, reason is discouraged. We are expected to believe without reason; in fact we are blessed if we readily believe the most outrageous illogical, inconsistent contradictions from even the most credulous and questionable people without any evidence at all, according to the sermons of theologians past and present.

"Faith is the acceptance of the truth of a statement in spite of insufficient evidence. ...Faith is a cop-out. If the only way you can accept an assertion is by faith, then you are conceding that it can't be taken on its own merits."
-Dan Barker, Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist

“What makes matters worse is that one-half of ourselves, our own reason, stands against us. ...To turn one's eyes away from Jesus means to turn them to the Law. …When the conscience is disturbed, do not seek advice from reason or from the Law, but rest your conscience in the grace of God and in His Word, and proceed as if you had never heard of the Law. …The person who can rightly divide Law and Gospel has reason to thank God. He is a true theologian. I must confess that in times of temptation I do not always know how to do it. To divide Law and Gospel means to place the Gospel in heaven, and to keep the Law on earth; to call the righteousness of the Gospel heavenly, and the righteousness of the Law earthly; to put as much difference between the righteousness of the Gospel and that of the Law, as there is difference between day and night. If it is a question of faith or conscience, ignore the Law entirely. …We have two propositions: To live unto the Law, is to die unto God. To die unto the Law, is to live unto God. These two propositions go against reason. …When we pay attention to reason, God seems to propose impossible matters in the Christian Creed. To reason it seems absurd that Christ should offer His body and blood in the Lord's Supper; that Baptism should be the washing of regeneration; that the dead shall rise; that Christ the Son of God was conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary, etc. Reason shouts that all this is preposterous. Are you surprised that reason thinks little of faith? Reason thinks it ludicrous that faith should be the foremost service any person can render unto God. …Let your faith supplant reason. Abraham mastered reason by faith in the Word of God. Not as though reason ever yields meekly. It put up a fight against the faith of Abraham. Reason protested that it was absurd to think that Sarah who was ninety years old and barren by nature, should give birth to a son. But faith won the victory and routed reason, that ugly beast and enemy of God. Everyone who by faith slays reason, the world's biggest monster, renders God a real service, a better service than the religions of all races and all the drudgery of meritorious monks can render. Do not consult that Quackdoctor, Reason. Believe in Christ.
–Rev Martin Luther, founder of Protestant Christianity
excerpts from his Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians, 1535

Faith requires that we literally make-believe, that we presume, presuppose, and pretend; that we ignore what we really do see, and imagine something is there when it apparently isn’t. It means that we lie to ourselves and fool ourselves. Worse than that, faith requires that we believe the unbelievable. As you can see, this is reflected in hymns of Michael Card:

"to hear with my heart,
to see with my soul,
to be guided by a hand
I cannot see,
that's what faith must be."

"So we follow God's own Fool,
for only the foolish can tell.
Believe the unbelievable,
and come be a fool as well."


This isn’t just willful ignorance; this is dementia, a deliberately induced delusion. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the definition of delusion is a persistent false belief that is maintained despite indisputable evidence to the contrary, to falsely claim something even when there is evidence otherwise. What makes these beliefs delusional is that they don’t change when the person is presented with conflicting information; the beliefs remain fixed even when the facts contradict them.

So as you can see, I'm the one presenting consistent proofs, and the one talking out of your ass. For example, look at your last email to me:
Whenever you tire of too many arrows eroding what’s left of your “If you can’t show it then you don’t know it” security blanket of yours, then get in touch.

While I may be scathing, I’m at least sincere when I say that I know of something that’s a lot more secure and satisfying for you.
You are not 'scathing'; you have nothing to scathe with. Neither are there any errors in my still unassailable position. Since your now pretending to have a criticism against my epistemology, then I will refer to a famous professor of philosophy specializing in epistemology. This guy not only agrees with me, (he is a friend of mine) and endorses my interpretation of faith, but he also calls your lot out for pretending to know things you don't know.



Understand that I will not waste any time trying to reason with you in private messages. Your claims are so embarrassingly false that they deserve to be subjected to public scrutiny. So every email you send to me will be answered here, where everyone can see it.
"Faith means not wanting to know what is true." - Friedrich Nietzsche.
"Faith is believing what you know ain't so." - Mark Twain
Thu Jul 23, 2015 5:39 am
JRChadwickLeague LegendUser avatarPosts: 340Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 4:02 am

Post Re: Loaded Question

Keep them coming, Aron! We need a good laugh. I watched your discussion with Comfort 3 or 4 times, I have no idea where the hell he thinks you got cornered. Several times, Comfort showed both his utter ignorance and his cowardliness by refusing to answer your questions because he knew any answer he gave would have been an easily exposed lie or a statement of contrition.

The fact that he sees your discussion against Comfort as any sort of victory for creationism at all (although he tries to qualify it by calling him a lightweight) is just one more piece of evidence that this man has mastered the art of self delusion.
Thu Jul 23, 2015 5:57 am
WWW
AronRaContributorUser avatarPosts: 559Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 1:47 pm

Post Re: Loaded Question

Regardless of someone’s place on the con man – honest man spectrum - if he speaks the real truth on a particular matter, it does not make it any less the truth.

While your fawning acolytes may unquestioningly gobble up your perversion of faith in order to fulfil their self-serving desires, please note for the record that you can’t fool me.

For you to merely assert that your wife has been faithful to you (and you to her) fails your very own self-proclaimed standards of proof/evidence.

After-all, I see, not even the remotest evidence or proof that you’ve been faithful to your wife (and vice versa).

As such, by adopting your standards I am therefore rightfully entitled to treat your claims of fidelity with utmost contempt and derision.
Either you weren't paying attention, or you have a cognitive dysfunction. We weren't discussing fidelity. Ray asked if I had faith that my wife EXISTS. Then he said that no amount of evidence would ever change his mind, even if he met her in mind and saw all the documentation necessary to establish a positive ID. That's because he makes his fortune by being unreasonable. As I already showed, Ray wasn't speaking the truth either; nor has he ever, it seems. I'm not trying to fool you either, though you seem to be trying to fool yourself. That makes sense, since your belief system is the one with the self-serving desires, and is based entirely on make-believe. So I can only guess that you're playing a game of posturing, as if a display of cocksure confidence might conceal your complete failure in every point of this conversation. That won't work when you're not talking to religious people who want to believe you.

Finally, the other participants here are mostly scientists, and none of them will let any bullshit slide. If I say something wrong, they'll certainly jump me for it. That's another difference between science and faith. Accuracy and accountability actually matter to us more than whatever we'd rather believe. That means we won't lie about it like you and Ray do.
"Faith means not wanting to know what is true." - Friedrich Nietzsche.
"Faith is believing what you know ain't so." - Mark Twain
Thu Jul 23, 2015 7:07 am
VisakiUser avatarPosts: 812Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:26 pmLocation: Helsinki, Finland Gender: Male

Post Re: Loaded Question

he_who_is_nobody wrote:Since Huxley was known as Darwin's bulldog, does that make us AronRa's chihuahuas?

:D ;)

I've been called worse. Actually being one of Arons chihuahuas would be an honor I think.
Thu Jul 23, 2015 7:20 am
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