Category Archives: Religion

I might discuss some of the history of some of the various world religions, the issues with what they do, either in the name of their religion, with motivation of their religion, etc. I do not claim to be an expert, I only double and triple check each source on the subject, and given the differences which may present themselves amongst followers of each religion, try to avoid making sweeping statements.

No More Meaning Than a Rock or Tree

Rereading an earlier post, I found a comment, that should be addressed thoroughly. It has been done so repeatedly by others, but, to be able to better at addressing it, I should do it myself.

The truth is that if someone really were to be an atheist, he could never complain about being judged.  Judgment, justice and injustice would have no more meaning to the atheist than to a rock or a tree.  When you think about it, if there is no God, there is no purpose in anything.

I really have to ask. How does one conclude that concepts such as justice and injustice have no more meaning to somebody than things which one doesn’t tend to put value on? The problem with the thinking presented is that it ignores how we tend to react as a species.

We are, regardless of how we came to be, a social species. Among social species, a few behaviors have been observed. Among them are

  1. Positive
  2. Negative

The first one consists of rewards for good behavior. This can range from treats, to favorable treatment, and other responses to behavior which benefits the group.

The second one consists of punishments for bad behavior. This can vary significantly, although, it isn’t good for those that go through it.

And, regardless of if a society holds a belief in a deity, these are still acknowledged. Why would that be? Is it because these ideas are of value because a deity exists, or are they of value because we are part of a society which has the goal of prospering?

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Problem of Conspiracy Theory Shows Applied to Religion – Introduction

Is there anything less credible than shows that take the stance of buying into conspiracy theories, and say that so and so controls the media? Because either

  1. the group does exists and controls the media, in which case one can say that they’re inaccurate enough that the group doesn’t care to take them off TV, or disrupt their Internet access so they can’t post online, as there is nothing being revealed about them
  2. the group doesn’t exist or can’t control the media, in which case they get significant aspects wrong
  3. one could propose a third set, that the group exists, they control the media, but it does so much more to discredit the claims by leaving them as is.

The difference in outcomes between the three simply can’t be distinguished, in which case, we can’t determine which one accurately explains the outcome of having a show taken off TV, preventing a particular episode from reappearing, or conspiracy theorists prevented from posting online. A similar set can be proposed in response to various criticisms regarding the involvement of a deity

  1. a deity does exist and does have absolute control, it simply doesn’t care about the concerns of humanity to intervene
  2. no deities exist or, if at least one exists, it doesn’t have control, meaning that significant aspects of religions are wrong
  3. a deity does exist, and does have absolute control, it simply lets bad things happen to test our faith

While variations of #1 and #2 aren’t used very often by theists or apologists, they do provide just as much of an explanation as to why a deity would not be involved. So then, how do conspiracy theorists and theists conclude their respective versions of #3? Posts entitled PoCTSAtR will be looking at the explanations provided for coming to that conclusion.

If religion were to vanish, what would fail to improve?

Its not uncommon for some to ask if religion were to vanish, what would change? Of course, most tend to focus on the means through which it vanishes, as that would have some impact (a discussion to take place at a later date), but I’ll focus mainly on what would happen if religion were to vanish as determined by the impact of religion which ultimately depends on religious ideas or practices. To make it unambiguous, that means that there will be that there is no other justification for the actions or ideas than those provided by religion. After all, if religion were to disappear, the things which are dependent upon it would likely go too.

Under Christian rule, homosexuals have been denied the right to express their love in much the same way as heterosexuals do by entering into legal agreements that would give them the same rights as their heterosexual counterparts. In some instances, influenced by fundamentalist ideologies, there are those such as Pastor Martin Sempa of Uganda who have not simply been content to deny those rights, but to actively support laws which would result in death. Under Islamic rule, the same has been the case, often taken to the extreme of murder even in modern times, along with pressure not to practice any other religion, as Coptics (a denomination of christianity, perhaps older than Catholicism) experience in Egypt. Under both religions, free speech has been suppressed until such time as the religions ceased to be influential in government.

Regarding rights, be they influenced by religion or not, the ultimate question being asked is “what rights are we willing to deny others?” Of course, any person hearing that question without bias would say that there are no rights that we would be willing to grant to ourselves that we should be willing to deny others, either by active intention or by negligent complacency. But if the rights that devoutly religious people have been willing to deny others is any indication, that sense of equality does not apply among everybody else in the society. Take for instance the numerous right wing priests who’ve made declarations regarding religious minorities (a large number of which can be seen on the youtube channels RightWingWatch and OnKneesforJesus, along with the site RightWingWatch.org) in North America. Or one can also include the Imams and other religious authorities within Islam who are more than willing to condemn people to death, for the act of no longer believing, the “crime” called apostasy. In what other way could these be justified? Without religious dictates of what rights other people should have, in what way could the actions be justified?

While tying into rights, the ability to find better reasons for any of the rights or actions than what religions have provided or practice would be an example of what would improve. As an example, donating to help people. All to often within religion, donating tends to be done with the hope of a reward to be obtained during the afterlife, otherwise obtained through guilt and peer pressure. So which is a better reason? Personal greed for something for which there is no reason to think exists, fear of being rejected from the group, or compassion, empathy, and the desire to see improvement in the lives of others? While there are those who are religious who donate to help others without expecting any type of reward, they would do so without religious influence, as religions don’t produce good people, good people join religions.

The Abrahamic religions have imposed guilt for engaging in behaviors that are perfectly healthy (such as masturbation), instilled a sense of terror for thinking any thoughts which are considered blasphemous, both by means of childhood indoctrination with emotional manipulation, and do not need to be experienced. By establishing thought crimes and fear of eternal punishment for finite acts, religious parents and the various authority figures have caused undue fear, guilt, and regret for things that children and those who join do not need to fear. Perhaps most damning of religion is the abuse of a psychological process known as regression, combined with the use of emotional manipulation to convert people and keep them in the religion. In what way is the emotional health of those who endure it considered? Is it even considered?

In regards to the desire to help people, which ultimately lies at the heart of religious attempts to convert people who are going through regression, it can be done through means which do not leave people dependent. Through the application of therapy by those qualified to do so, one can begin to adjust to their situation, take control, empower themselves, and be prepared for similar situations in the future. While not entirely perfect, the therapies are gradually improved upon by those with the same desire to help people in need, but also possessing the desire to see it happen in such a manner that those going through it are as healthy as possible at the end of the process, with the practice of careful consideration for the ethics behind the methods.
When it comes to medicine and the health of people, religion has a long tradition of claiming to know what is best for health. Starting with the likes of Martin Luther, who claimed that doctors were fools for not thinking of diseases as though they were the product of demonic possession.

Then you get the likes of Ellen G. White during the late 1800s who made claims of divine inspiration when it came to health, yet made claims that had already been deduced by medical science shortly before, or were blatantly false. Worth noting is that she had discouraged the Seventh Day Adventists from going to hospitals. Rather interestingly, they ignore that by going to the extent of running their own hospitals. Unfortunately, I’m unable to comment on the quality of their medical care, if they still follow most of her claims, etc.

Even in the last few decades, the practitioners of Christian science and faith healing who believe that all diseases can be cured through prayer. This is problematic in cases where, by relying exclusively on prayer, children end up dying as a direct result of negligence and ignorance, as they don’t have the right to act on behalf of their own medical interest. Within the last few years, one of the better known examples would be Madeline Newman.

But how about we ease off of Christianity when it comes to health. In the case of of Shoura, a Shiite ceremony primarily carried out by radicals in modern times, those involved create wounds with the intention of bleeding. Where this creates problems for those engaging in the practice is that they have been attacked. When paramedics show up on the scene, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to determine who was attacked and who wasn’t due to the amount of blood at the scene. Between the unnecessary exposure to the risk of infection, the possibility of attack, and the problems that follow from an attack, it puts the health of those involved at risk.

Of course, the one thing that allows you to read this now, is the knowledge developed through years of meticulous investigation. With the numerous claims of religious people who practice what can only be described as an idolatry of “sacred” texts are guilty of the next, the knowledge produced through that means is frequently misrepresented. The active denial and rewriting of reality to conform with their beliefs. Take for instance the frequent quote mining by creationists and apologists. As an example, William Lain Craig in the debate with Christopher Hitchens quoted a book by John Barrow and Frank Tipler (The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, 1986) citing it as contemporary cosmology. The problem is, the author (John D. Barrow) has pointed out that the opinion quoted is no longer contemporary.

As another example of quote mining, creationists have no limit to quote mines. It is such that it seems as though the only means of supporting their position is to do so. Take for instance the following quotes

“Those searching for specific information useful in constructing phylogenies of mammalian taxa will be disappointed

– Eric Lombard

“We conclude–unexpectedly–that there is little evidence for the neo-Darwinian view: its theoretical foundations and the experimental evidence supporting it are weak.”

–  Jerry Coyne

In the first example, the quote was taken from Lombard, R. E. 1979. Evolutionary Principles of the Mammalian Middle Ear by Gerald Fleischer. Evolution 33: 1230, in which the details left out by those who’d engage in quote mining leave out that he had expressed disappointment that Gerald Fleischer had not tried to use the data available on the mammalian middle ear in a means that might improve the understanding of the evolutionary relationships among mammals.

In the second example, Jerry Coyne addresses it himself in the link provided.

It is so widespread that anybody wanting to find quote mines of biologists has no trouble running across anything, and finding anything which addresses the quote mines is rather limited.

If we were to actively deny and rewrite reality to conform with our beliefs in any other field, we would be considered willfully ignorant. So in what way does doing such a thing improve our understanding of reality? In practice, it leaves those who’re exposed to it ill informed as they frequently don’t investigate the source, and more frequently, the context.  I doubt any would be inclined to say that misinforming people, hence limiting their knowledge, is ever acceptable

No matter which approach for evaluation you wish to use, if religion were to vanish overnight, or to cease to exist as a product of our continued progress, the disappearance of religion would infinitely improve everything. Be it the rights that have been long denied to people, the reasons we have for moral actions, the psychological, emotional, and physical health of people, and the denial of knowledge going all the way to misinforming others, I will ask. If religion were to vanish, what would fail to improve?

Now of course, some at this point might be saying something along the lines of “That might not be the case” while more perceptive readers might be saying “You stated earlier that they would likely go away.” Now of course, this could indeed be the case. What it depends on is if these elements of religion are indeed products of religion. Regardless of the case, outside of religion, there are no good reasons for any of the things mentioned. So as societies consider their actions more, the basis to those actions, and their impact, even if religions are not directly responsible for any of the things mentioned, it would be the case that societies would be less likely to endorse or condone these types of things.

References

Regression

Stress and Regression

The Ten Commandments Aren’t Great: Critique and Alternative set

The source that I’m using for the statements regarding the Ten Commandments, as found in Exodus chapter 20: The Ten Commandments of the Bible

Yes, criticism of something that is new this time if the age of the comments in the comment section are any indication.

The list

  1. You shall have no other gods before me
  2. You shall not make for yourself any carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
  3. You shall not take the name of the lord your god in vain, for the lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain
  4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
  5. Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
  6. You shall not murder.
  7. You shall not commit adultery.
  8. You shall not steal.
  9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

Commandment 1: have no other gods before me

As a means of promoting morality or well being within society (“These 10 commandments are good, basic, moral laws that will help keep us out of trouble with ourselves, family, friends, and neighbors”), it is inconsequential.

Commandment 2: Make no images, nor worship them

As a means of promoting morality or well being within society, on account of the previously provided statement from the site, it too, is inconsequential. The only basis on which it has a consequence, is on account of

For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

which I can use against another statement made.

God knows what is best for us and He simply wants all of us to stay out of trouble

If this were the case, then the basis for the basis for why people would be in trouble, is something which he can choose not to do. The value in the action is not dependent upon it’s direct impact on people around them, but on the actions of a deity.

Commandment 3: Don’t take the name in vain

Unfortunately for the person who worked on the site I’m criticizing, your claim that

The above 10 commandments need no explanation.

as demonstrated by those in the comment section (thank nia), there is need to explain. In regards to 20:7

It is uncertain what this command was intended to refer to: suggestions include deceitful oaths (as in Lev 19:12), unwarranted use of formal curses (Brichto 1963: 59–68), the use of God’s name in magic spells, or all of these and other things (Childs 1974: 410–12). But it is quite clear that the improper use of the name YHWH is prohibited. The command is closely related to 20:2–6. It is YHWH’s honour that is at stake. To wrest his name to one’s own private and deceitful purposes is to dishonour the one who bears it.

(2001-09-06). The Oxford Bible Commentary (Kindle Locations 4668-4672). Oxford University Press – A. Kindle Edition.

So, unless the people responsible for it think that the commandments require no explanation, then by all means, they should be informed of rather significant details such as the original context of the verse having been lost.

Commandment 4: Sabbath Day

A ritual law, which would be better suited to the ten commandments found in Exodus 34.

Commandment 5: Honour Your Parents

Quite frankly, I’m inclined to view this one negatively. Honour is not earned within the context of the commandments, it is given on the basis of who you are related to, regardless of if it is deserved. Say for instance, somebody’s parents kick the hypothetical person out because that person questioned their parents’ actions. A cruel action, which harms the individual, on a poor basis. On what basis should somebody be inclined to honour them? That might not be enough to demonstrate the absurdity of the commandment. Say that a parent kills two out of three of their children. On what basis should the last child be inclined to honour that parent?

Although, to be specific, the commandment doesn’t apply to children, so lets modify those examples to the demographic it would be applicable to. Adults looking after their parents who are old enough to have difficulty looking after themselves. On what basis should the individual who has endured either scenario be inclined to honour their parents?

Commandment 6: Do not Murder

Finally, one that promotes morality. Murder, usually used in the bible to refer to the unlawful killing of a member of the community (meaning that this excludes capital punishment). But there are problems with it. For instance, say that somebody is accused of a crime, found guilty, and executed, with new evidence which can be  a scenario that happens more often than what we might want to see. One might be inclined to suggest that commandment nine would address this, to which I’m inclined to ask: how would you account for facts which you are unaware of?

Commandment 7: No fucking around

Sure, that isn’t quite it, but it sounds a lot better than how they say it. Try enforcing this one. The best that has been attempted is to induce shame, guilt, and fear for even thinking about it, and that hasn’t done the job. Turkey attempted to enforce the law in about 2004, without success. All of the arguments that can be dragged out in favor of this one, such as limiting the spread of disease, the risk of pregnancy without support, and matters of trusting one another, can be undone by pointing out that the spread of disease can be limited by making informed decisions, that modern support is not solely limited to the person who is the father, and that people can have an open relationship without having trust issues, although, depending on the presentation of the arguments, the simple objections might not address them in whole.

Commandment 8: Don’t steal

Finally, one which promotes morality, and doesn’t have problems. One out of ten that promotes morality, well being, and doesn’t have problems. Think about that for a second. But it could go along with another commandment, number nine, in a sort of merge referred to as “Be honest.”

Commandment 9: Don’t bear false witness against thy neighbour

This one related to legal conduct, and quite frankly, can be expanded upon, to something akin to “Be honest.” It isn’t that hard to say, and does a lot more. It doesn’t have the limitation of being only to those who you regard as your neighbour or to be acknowledged in legal proceedings.

Commandment 10: Don’t envy your neighbour

A few problems with this commandment, as summarized by Hitchens

  1. It establishes a thought crime. Nothing to do with actions, but with thoughts
  2. It equates people, especially women, with property

On just the first point alone, it is flawed.

Unremarkable nature

I find it rather unremarkable that the commandments were written in stone, given the importance which has been attributed to them, the supposed capabilities of the deity to which the commandments are attributed by means of dictation, and that the tablets they are written on are shattered, causing the need for a new decalogue to be produced within Exodus 34. A more remarkable, and by the standard set of the site

“The fact that God would go so far as to have these basic 10 commandments manifested on a stone tablet really tells me they are very important

method would be to have them manifest clearly in the stars, not only in Ancient Hebrew, but other languages, depending on the time and distribution of the language, with explanations, and the author clearly defined, so that they would exist for a much longer period of time, that they could not be simply shattered, and would be better understood due to the lack of ambiguity on account of an explanation.

An Alternate Ten

But now that at the very least, a basic criticism of the ten commandments has been presented, what would an alternate set consist of? What set of ten, fairly straightforward statements, can be used to communicate morality and social well being?

  1. Be honest, especially in your dealings with others, in the search to learn about the universe, and to yourself.
  2. Acknowledge that you are not the only person, and as a result, that your needs aren’t any more important than the needs of another due to any perceived superiority such as wealth, fame, or affiliations, gender, sexual orientation, or ethnicity
  3. Admit when you are wrong, so that you can undo any damage that might have been done as a result of being wrong.
  4. Recognize that as a member of the species Homo sapiens, that your survival and health are dependent upon other species, and upon the Earth. Act accordingly to ensure that they are not harmed.
  5. Acknowledge when another being is suffering, either by circumstance or due to intent, and act to prevent their suffering.
  6. Learn and think critically so that you can improve not only your lot in life, but as many lives as you can.
  7. Never condemn or praise somebody for something which they have no control over. Condemn or praise people on the basis of their actions, contributions, and their character.
  8. Empathy and knowledge should be at the basis of every decision; when you lack them, do not commit any action which you cannot correct.
  9. Do not feel obligated to be completely for or against anything. If you regard only segments of something to be valid or good, state that, and criticize the things which you regard as bad or don’t regard as valid.
  10. The future generations are important. Don’t teach them what to think, teach them how to think.

While they might not be as memorable, they are good, basic, and moral laws, which promote societal well being, and would keep people out of trouble, which is what the Ten Commandments referred to earlier from Exodus 20 don’t really do that well, while being completely dedicated to those concepts, which the ten commandments are not. A fallible human being should not be able to do that which a supposedly infallible deity is not inclined to do.

And to Richard Dawkins who didn’t bother really trying to come up with his own list in the God Delusion, it isn’t that hard to come up with ten, but that tenth one is a real Christopher diCarlo.

Additional critique’s of the ten commandments

Christopher Hitchens: The New Commandments

George Carlin – The Ten Commandments (Comedy)

Mr Deity and The Top Ten (Comedy)

You think that proves the existence of a Deity?

Another rebuttal. This time to statements made by Zakir Naik.

Source of the statements

“An atheist on the other hand, even though he may belong to a religious family, uses his intellect to deny the existence of God; whatever concept of qualities of god he may have learnt in his religion may not seem to be logical to him.”

  • Atheists don’t deny the existence of a deity, we reject the claim that a deity exists, and several on different basis. Myself, on the basis of being a lack of evidence indicative of a deity and poor definitions which don’t support the case.
  • To point out the difference between denying something and rejecting something, allow me to draw the distinction
  1. In order to deny something, it must first be proven. For example, when somebody is proven guilty of a crime, such as murder, close family will usually deny it, whatever their basis may be, sometimes justified, sometimes not justified.
  2. In order to reject a claim, it can either be proven or unproven, although, generally, it is unproven.
  • So, maybe we’ll see why Naik thinks atheists deny the existence of a deity.
“The reason that I am congratulating an atheist is because he agrees with the first part of the Shahada i.e. the Islamic Creed, ‘La ilaaha’ – meaning ‘there is no
God’. “
  • Not all atheists. I’ll point out the distinction between the two types of atheists
  1. Weak atheists, who lack a belief in any deities
  2. Strong atheists, who believe that no deities exist
  • So to say that all believe that there is no god is a misrepresentation or misunderstanding on his part.
  • There is another qualifier that you’ll see with the words theist and atheist, and those are gnostic and agnostic. On that subject: Atheist vs Agnostic
“My first question to the atheist will be: “What is the definition of god?” For a person to say that there is no god, he should know what is the meaning of god.”
  • And the question can also be directed at theists, and on the same basis. “What are the traits, characteristics, and qualifiers for an entity to be considered a deity?” After all, if you make the claim that a deity exists, you’ll need to qualify what a deity is, and what you have which indicates the existence of what you regard as a deity. It is for this reason that the term ignostic was developed.
  • Now, by this point, you might be wondering why I use the word deity instead of god. Its because the word god can be used capitalized, or in lower case, and when speaking, it is impossible to make that distinction. I’ve seen apologists define their “god” to be more along the lines of the deistic god to make a case for their deity, and then upon proving their deity to their audience, will go on to say that it is their deity, playing on the inability for people to tell which one they mean. I use deity because it can’t be used in such a manner. Should somebody read this, I don’t intend to have them able to misrepresent the meaning by using whatever meaning they wish to employ.
  • In the case that somebody decides to ask me what I regard as a deity, I’m not that picky. I generally define it as any supernatural entity which is not given another title (ex: ghost, jinn, demon, angel, etc).
“The god that a large number of people worship has got human qualities – therefore he does not believe in such a god. Similarly a Muslim too does not and should not believe in such false gods.”
  • Just about every deity, including the one in the Koran, have human traits and exaggerations of human traits. Some, such as Zeus, posses exaggerated behavior traits of people. Some, such as Allah, possess the characteristics that are like the exaggeration of a dictator (one can torture for a finite amount of time, while the other can torture for an infinite amount of time).
  • The human qualities and features a deity may posses do not change if it exists or not. So to say that it is because of the human features that atheists don’t believe in such a deity is likely a misrepresentation or misunderstanding on Naik.
“If a non-Muslim believes that Islam is a merciless religion with something to do with terrorism; a religion which does not give rights to women; a religion which contradicts science; in his limited sense that non-Muslim is correct to reject such Islam. “
  • Personally, I don’t really give a crap about the details about a religion. If a significant aspect of a religion is valid (ex: existence of an afterlife, practice of chanting a mantra), and the rest isn’t (ex: other beliefs and practices), the details that aren’t can be changed to become better. But, lets look at one of the details for a second.
  • “A religion which contradicts science” How religions such as Islam and how science come to their conclusions contradict. Science requires a few things, such as evidence, verification through repeated experiments from multiple scientists (referred to as peer review), a means of testing and falsifying a claim, and always subject to ongoing revision pending new evidence. Whereas religion depends on arguments from authority (ex: its true because <insert name of deity/spirit> said its true), make claims that can’t be tested or falsified (ex: the existence of a spiritual realm) which are fundamental to the religion, require the use of logical fallacies (ex: most religious people use the appeal to fear/argument from force to convince people that their religion is right in the form of Pascal’s Wager), and are rarely, if ever, subject to revision as a result of new evidence.

“Even I reject such a false picture of Islam, but at the same time, it becomes my duty as a Muslim to present the correct picture of Islam to that non-Muslim i.e. Islam is a merciful religion, it gives equal rights to the women, it is not incompatible with logic, reason and science; if I present the correct facts about Islam, that non-Muslim may Inshallah accept Islam.

Similarly the atheist rejects the false gods and the duty of every Muslim is to present the correct concept of God which he shall Insha Allah not refuse.”

  • I sincerely doubt the “merciful religion” statement, or any statement about it being peaceful for matter, on account of things such as this. A merciful or peaceful religion would not in any segment, condone activities like those described at the end.
  • “it is not incompatible with logic, reason, and science” Notice how he didn’t say skepticism? There is a position that skepticism has for unproven claims such as the existence of the Abrahamic deity, and the various interpretations of that deity: disbelief.
  • “if I present the correct facts about Islam, that non-Muslim may ishallah accept Islam.” “he shall Isha Allah not refuse.” There goes the freewill defense as a response to the problem of evil, and also makes the deity look malevolent with or without the problem of evil. I’ve been going over the freewill defense as a response to the problem of evil and plan on having a post on the subject sometime in the near future, so I’ll address why it is that it makes the deity look malevolent without the problem of evil through the use of an argument.
  • Premise
  1. A deity exists
  2. The deity set rules which govern behavior
  3. The deity makes decisions for people to carry out (if they will believe or not, break his rules or not, etc) (as indicated by isha allah. If not, it is questionable why such a phrase would have ever developed) which people cannot defy
  4. Hell exists
  5. Hell consists of eternal torment.
  6. Entering Hell is dependent upon not believing in the deity (premise 1) or breaking the rules that deity set (as mentioned in premise 2)
  • Conclusion: If premises 1-2 are valid, then the deity in question governs morality. No commentary based on the Euthyphro dilemma will be presented. If premise 3 is valid, free will does not exist as people cannot defy the decisions made by the deity for them to commit. If premise 4 is valid, then hell is something to be avoided. If premise six is valid, there is a way to avoid going to Hell. If all premises are valid, then people have no say in if they are eternally tormented or not. If the deity of another religion were to proposed which did something similar or exactly the same as the deity in Islam, then I doubt any Muslim would view that deity as being benevolent.

“The methods of proving the existence of God with usage of the material provided in the ‘Concept of God in Islam’ to an atheist may satisfy some but not all.

Many atheists demand a scientific proof for the existence of God. I agree that today is the age of science and technology. Let us use scientific knowledge to kill two birds with one stone, i.e. to prove the existence of God and simultaneously prove that the Qur’an is a revelation of God.”

  • Good to see that you’re playing my game.

“If a new object or a machine, which no one in the world has ever seen or heard of before, is shown to an atheist or any person and then a question is asked, Who is the first person who will be able to provide details of the mechanism of this unknown object? After little bit of thinking, he will reply, ‘the creator of that object.’ Some may say ‘the producer’ while others may say ‘the manufacturer.’ What ever answer the person gives, keep it in your mind, the answer will always be either the creator, the producer, the manufacturer or some what of the same meaning, i.e. the person who has made it or created it. Don’t grapple with words, whatever answer he gives, the meaning will be same, therefore accept it.

  • The problem with it is that what is being discussed is an object or machine. We know that machines are generally designed with an intended purpose (some are just contraptions meant to see if something is plausible), and if functional towards that purpose, will demonstrate something that can be used to determine what it is (for example, a means of lift and propulsion would suggest a vehicle for flight).
  • In the case of a new object, if it is the product of a naturalistic process which nobody was involved in (say the formation of coal prior to its discovery and use as a fuel source), in which case nobody would know anything about it other than what can be determined by looking at it (such as colour)
  • And in either case, on account of “which no one in the world has ever seen or heard of before,” there is another acceptable answer to the question “Who is the first person who will be able to provide details of the mechanism of this unknown object?” is to say that nobody knows anything about it yet, so the first person who would be able to provide details about it would likely be among the first people to study it, depending on how much can be learned about it at the time it is discovered. I now ask anybody reading this to elaborate upon “Don’t grapple with words, whatever answer he gives, the meaning will be same, therefore accept it.” because as I’ve just shown, I can provide an answer without resorting to the use of “creator, the producer, the manufacturer or some what of the same meaning.” which defies what Naik has said (“What ever answer the person gives, keep it in your mind, the answer will always be either the creator, the producer, the manufacturer or some what of the same meaning, i.e. the person who has made it or created it. Don’t grapple with words, whatever answer he gives, the meaning will be same, therefore accept it.”).
  • There is one point which is dependent upon that question, so I’ll break from the order and address that one before getting around to the rest of it. The portion which is skipped is more or less irrelevant to the next point that I’ll make, as it is dependent upon the belief that there was foreknowledge in the Quran.
“The only logical answer to the question as to who could have mentioned all these scientific facts 1400 years ago before they were discovered, is exactly the same answer initially given by the atheist or any person, to the question who will be the first person who will be able to tell the mechanism of the unknown object. It is the ‘CREATOR’, the producer, the Manufacturer of the whole universe and its contents. In the English language He is ‘God’, or more appropriate in the Arabic language, ‘ALLAH’.”
  • Or the first people to have studied it. Using that consideration, it is possible that through the use of the Quran, that the existence of extraterrestrials or people having made similar conclusions prior to that time which were available in the region during the seventh century through some means or another, can be proven.
  • Just playing on the theme of extraterrestrials being a potential explanation, I just want to show a few things that can be used. As much as I hate their cult, Scientologists might love me for this next part, and as much as I regard their ideas as an appeal to ignorance, ancient astronaut theorists might enjoy it.
  1. It is possible that through the use of some sort of technology, the knowledge could’ve been communicated to Mohammad, such as shown in Battlefield Earth, therefore, avoiding the common “But he was illiterate” defense used to discount statements which discredit the claims of foreknowledge found in the Quran by attributing the statements found in other places which might have influenced what was known in the area.
  2. Should anybody ask “If that happened, why didn’t he write about it?” it could be that he was put into a hypnotic state in which his memories were suppressed or altered.
  3. It would explain why similar ideas (such as the association of the sky and high places with deities in many current and former religions) are found all over the world, with similar claims of knowledge prior to their discovery found in other religions, such as Hinduism.
  4. The advantage to the alien explanation is that it is falsifiable (if we don’t find any evidence of an intelligent species travelling to Earth, or at the very least, evidence of the existence of another intelligent species having existed somewhere in the universe after looking extensively) it can be said that the aliens might not have existed. Many of the definitions of god aren’t falsifiable.
  • With those criteria, L. Ron Hubbard was a prophet because he predicted the existence of machines which force knowledge upon people, and the existence of aliens with that type of technology. Now, go down to your local church of scientology and get an audit today. Where can I get the sarcastica font again?
  • Okay, onto the segment I skipped.

“At the time when the Qur’an was revealed, people thought the world was flat, there are several other options for the shape of the earth. It could be triangular, it could be quadrangular, pentagonal, hexagonal, heptagonal, octagonal, spherical, etc. Lets assume there are about 30 different options for the shape of the earth. The Qur’an rightly says it is spherical, if it was a guess the chances of the guess being correct is 1/30.”

The light of the moon can be its own light or a reflected light. The Qur’an rightly says it is a reflected light. If it is a guess, the chances that it will be correct is 1/2 and the probability that both the guesses i.e the earth is spherical and the light of the moon is reflected light is 1/30 x 1/2 = 1/60.

Further, the Qur’an also mentions every living thing is made of water. Every living thing can be made up of either wood, stone, copper, aluminum, steel, silver, gold, oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, oil, water, cement, concrete, etc. The options are say about 10,000. The Qur’an rightly says that everything is made up of water. If it is a guess, the chances that it will be correct is 1/10,000 and the probability of all the three guesses i.e. the earth is spherical, light of moon is reflected light and everything is created from water being correct is 1/30 x 1/2 x 1/10,000 = 1/60,000 which is equal to about .0017%.

  • Even though that looks like a small number, keep in mind, .0017% does not equal impossibility.
  • But you see, this is why the the section I skipped is irrelevant: Now, even if I presented how somebody at that time could’ve known those things, and you can argue against the idea of people knowing or thinking things prior to the time that the Koran was written, you still have a more plausible, testable, and falsifiable claim that can be justified through the same basis used to conclude that it must be a deity. If you can’t provide a method for testing the existence of and falsifying the claim that a deity exists, or go one step further to provide a method for testing and falsifying the claim that a deity with all of the characteristics of Allah exists, the claim of aliens having given Mohammad his information has being testable and falsifiable in its favor.

“Let me remind you that the Qur’an is not a book of Science, ‘S-C-I-E-N-C-E’ but a book of Signs ‘S-I-G-N-S’ i.e. a book of ayaats.”

  • Given the implications of the book, my standards just went up. By saying that its a book of signs, I’m more inclined to be skeptical of it, especially with things like eternal torment on the line.

The Qur’an contains more than 6,000 ayaats, i.e. ‘signs’, out of which more than a thousand speak about Science.

  • So 1/6 of the signs are related to science. If that really were the case, then it would be sufficient to say that it is a book of science and signs, in which case, the degree to which I am skeptical of the Koran when investigating claims regarding it has gone up.

I am not trying to prove that the Qur’an is the word of God using scientific knowledge as a yard stick because any yardstick is supposed to be more superior than what is being checked or verified. For us Muslims the Qur’an is the Furqan i.e. criteria to judge right from wrong and the ultimate yardstick which is more superior to scientific knowledge.

  • So the criteria to judge right from wrong. I find it remarkable then that the search “Zakir Naik Quran Science” gets 1.38 million results, whereas “Zakir Naik Quran Morality” gets about 841,000 results, and “Zakir Naik Quran right wrong” gets 58,000 results, while, finally, “Zakir Naik Quran Furqan” gets just over 60,000 results. It seems to me that Zakir Naik is saying one thing, and doing another, through focusing on the science and neglecting the part which he regards as “more superior” to scientific knowledge.

“But for an educated man who is an atheist, scientific knowledge is the ultimate test which he believes in. We do know that science many a times takes ‘U’ turns,”

  • On the basis of new evidence which requires that we reevaluate our current understanding and ideas.

“therefore I have restricted the examples only to scientific facts which have sufficient proof and evidence and not scientific theories based on assumptions.”

  • I take it he doesn’t know what a scientific theory is. It means something very different from the standard use.

“Using the ultimate yardstick of the atheist, I am trying to prove to him that the Qur’an is the word of God and it contains the scientific knowledge which is his yardstick which was discovered recently, while the Qur’an was revealed 1400 year ago.”

  • And you proved to me that the Quran is the word of aliens. I’d praise Xenu if I had the money to do it, so I’ll praise Spock.

“At the end of the discussion, we both come to the same conclusion that God though superior to science, is not incompatible with it.”

  • Remember what I said about science depending on claims being testable and falsifiable? Demonstrate that the claim that Allah exists is falsifiable, and you would have a deity that is compatible with science. Pending that, you don’t. With the metaphysical claims regarding the existence of the deity, it would be incompatible with a significant aspect of science known as methodological naturalism.

Francis Bacon, the famous philosopher, has rightly said that a little knowledge of science makes man an atheist, but an in-depth study of science makes him a believer in God. Scientists today are eliminating models of God, but they are not eliminating God. If you translate this into Arabic, it is La illaha illal la, There is no god, (god with a small ‘g’ that is fake god) but God (with a capital ‘G’).

  • Neil DeGrasse Tyson, take it away.
  • “are eliminating models of god, but they are not eliminating god.” I just have to ask, how would scientists be able to test to see if a deity exists so that they can falsify the claims?

Surah Fussilat:
“Soon We will show them our signs in the (farthest) regions (of the earth), and in their own souls, until it becomes manifest to them that this is the Truth. Is it not enough that thy Lord doth witness all things?”

  • Do a better job of it next time
Feel free to leave your criticisms in the comment section.

Answers In Genesis: Twelve arguments that Evolutionists should avoid – Refutation

  • Still working on the long point by point rebuttal. To provide some reading material, I’ve decided to do a quick rebuttal to the Answers In Genesis page on arguments that evolutionists should avoid. I’ll provide their comments on various arguments that some have used, ver batum. In the off chance that you don’t believe me, I’ll provide the link to the site where I’ve found their reasons. This one won’t be point by point, so this one won’t be nit picky or thorough.

Answers In Genesis: Twelve Arguments that Evolutionists should avoid

Argument 1, Evolution is a fact

When our core beliefs are attacked, it’s often easy for humans to retreat to statements such as this: “My belief is a fact, and yours is wrong.” That’s exactly why we cannot trust mere human understanding to explain the unobservable past—emotion and pride get in the way. Evolution is not a fact, no matter how many times evolutionists say it is. It’s a framework built on assumptions about the past—assumptions that will never have direct, first-hand, observational proof.

“Evolution is not a fact, no matter how many times evolutionists say it is.”

  1. Genetic Isolation among lizards in Croatia
  2. Artificial selection on plants
  3. Genetic drift
  4. Sexual selection
  5. Artificial Selection

“It’s a framework built on assumptions about the past-assumptions that will never have direct, first-hand, observational proof.”

  • Unfortunately, there is first-hand, observational proof for the variation of allele frequencies within a population.
  • I’m unconvinced that this one should quit being used.

Argument 2, Only the uneducated reject evolution

Besides the arrogance of such statements, this argument has no footing and should be cast off. Mainly, those who make this claim usually define “educated people” as those who accept evolution. Anyone who disagrees fails the test, no matter what their background (e.g., if we follow this ideology, Isaac Newton must have been uneducated). There are many lists of well-educated scholars who look to the Bible for answers (here’s one)—and we could point out Darwin’s own deficit of formal education (he earned a bachelor’s in theology). But the bigger issue is that education—or lack—does not guarantee the validity of a person’s position.

  • Isaac Newton died in 1727. The publication of On the Origin of Species was in in the mid-1800s. Using Isaac Newton as an example is rather poor, since even the Lamarkian idea of evolution started to be spread during the early 1800s.
  • If they wanted an example, it might be a good idea to use somebody who was around, at the very least, started studying after 1860, and studied biology, either zoology or botany, from a qualified source.
  • Although, for a flaw with this argument, there are those who are well educated in regards to biology, but reject evolution on the basis of things such as a literal interpretation of religious texts, so they don’t reject it on an intellectual basis, or, like Behe, just don’t see how something could’ve originated (his main example is the flagellum), and even when shown how it could’ve originated by being presented features which match on several different points (such as the type III secretory system). If you want people who accept the theory of evolution, are well qualified to speak on the matter, and believe in the Bible, you’d look to the likes of Robert Bakker and Kenneth Miller.
  • This argument, as presented, shouldn’t be used. What would be more accurate is that “Educated people, excluding those who hold a position based on unquestioning dogma, or wanting to have an answer no matter how little evidence there is for it (in response to the statement “I don’t know how that evolved.”), accept the theory of evolution as an explanation for the diversity of species, and the variation within each species.”

Argument 3, Overwhelming evidence in all fields of science supports evolution

The irony, of course, is that for centuries prior to Darwin’s publication of On the Origin of Species, the majority of scientists found the opposite to be true: the “evidence” supported creation. What changed? Not the evidence. Rather, the starting point changed (i.e., moving from the Bible, God’s Word, to humanism, man’s word). Creationists continue to see everything in light of God’s Word and all evidence as supporting the biblical account. In reality, there is no “neutral” starting point; everyone—whether they acknowledge it or not—interprets the “facts” according to a particular way of thinking (i.e., worldview).

  • The starting point is irrelevant in science as it is the method and conclusion that matters. The only way that it can be argued that the starting point is irrelevant is due to biases, and they will be revealed in the method in the form of confirmation bias.
  • The evidence did change though. For example, we started to learn about cells in the 1665. We learned about genetics, such as the structure through the work of Watson and Crick revealed in 1953, within the last little bit. About a decade or so, the Human Genome Project was completed. Those are only a few examples. To say that the evidence hasn’t changed, is to ignore the discoveries that have been made since then which contribute to our understanding of biology. If you are unwilling to acknowledge that, let’s try a different example.

evidence in all fields of science supports Heliocentrism

The irony, of course, is that for centuries prior to Copernicus’ publication of De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium, the majority of scientists found the opposite to be true: the “evidence” supported geocentrism. What changed? Not the evidence. Rather, the starting point changed (i.e., moving from the Bible, God’s Word, to humanism, man’s word). Geocentrists continue to see everything in light of God’s Word and all evidence as supporting the biblical account. In reality, there is no “neutral” starting point; everyone—whether they acknowledge it or not—interprets the “facts” according to a particular way of thinking (i.e., worldview).

  • And in regards to “no “neutral” starting point;” there is one. Unconvinced of either. Personally, I started out from the position of convinced of creationism. Now, on the basis of evidence and research, I’m not, and convinced of the opposite. Watch, if somebody in favor of AiG comments on this, they’ll do the No True Scotsman fallacy.
  • I’m unconvinced that the argument that they use to counter the statement that an overwhelming amount of evidence in multiple fields supports evolution has any merit.

Argument 4, Doubting evolution is like doubting gravity

Why does this argument fail? We’ll show you. Take a pencil or pen. Hold it in the air. Then drop it to the floor. That’s gravity. Next, make a single-celled organism—like an amoeba—turn into a goat. Go ahead. We’ll wait. . . . No? As you can see, there’s a fundamental difference between operational science, which can be tested through repeatable experimentation, and historical science, which cannot.

  • The reason that the argument is made is due to the fact that both are objectively verifiable through experiments.
  • The criteria provided to demonstrate evolution (“Next, make a single-celled organism – like an amoeba – turn into a goat”) completely ignores the time and selective pressures required to produce a goat through evolution. But, if they want something going from a unicellular organism to a multicellular organism, it’s been done.
  • I’m unconvinced that the argument against the statement “Doubting evolution is like doubting gravity” has any merit.

Argument 5, Doubting evolution is like believing the earth is flat

Ironically, the Bible describes the earth as round and hanging in space—long before this could have been directly observed (Job 26:10; Isaiah 40:22). The appeal of this claim is that it stereotypes creationists as stuck in the past, since the common assumption is that people once universally believed the earth was flat before science “proved” otherwise (which wasn’t the case—only a few bought into the idea that the earth was flat). But even if this were true (it’s not), direct, repeatable observation shows us the earth is round and orbiting the sun. Evolutionary stories about fossils are not direct observations; they’re assumption-based beliefs.

  • Earth is an oblique spheroid, not a circle, as a few of the interpretations of the verses that they’ve ignored describe the earth as.
  • Only a few interpretations of Job 26:10 and Isaiah 40:22 vaguely match the statements made.
  • Unfortunately, to think that fossils constitutes all of the evidence in favor of evolution, is stuck in the past. If they think that’s the case, then through their own actions, they’ve supported something that they regard as a stereotype.
  • I’m unconvinced by the argument that AiG has presented against “Doubting evolution is like believing that the Earth is flat.”

Argument 6, It’s here, so it must have evolved

A conclusion does not prove the premises are true. That is, if the answer is “four,” we could arrive at that any number of ways: 2 + 2, 5 – 1, etc. In the same way, evolutionists often assume that since certain species or traits exist, this is proof of evolution because that’s how it must have happened. This argument, however, is self-reflexive and useless. The Bible offers another (and more sound) framework for how those traits and species came to be.

  • I’ve yet to see anybody use this reasoning to convince somebody of evolution.
  • The bible doesn’t provide a sound framework for how the traits and species came to be. If somebody wishes to say that, then on what day were nylon-eating bacteria created? How were they created? What experiment or method of testing would be able to demonstrate that they were created? Now, I know that they’ll say something along the lines of “the living descendants of any of the original kinds (apart from man) may represent more than one species today, reflecting the genetic potential within the original kind.” (Section 2, Number 4). Then define kind in such a way that is meaningful, and isn’t better described by another term.
  • The comments about argument six and argument eight provided by AiG are just about interchangeable in regards to multiple ways something could’ve come about (argument eight goes over “These observations have an alternate explanation”, and I address the point that they’ve made both here and in argument eight).
  • I’m unconvinced by this reasoning, and I’d like to see if they’d acknowledge something.
  • Bullshit argument for creationism 1: It’s here, so it must’ve been created. My counter argument:
    A conclusion does not prove the premises are true. That is, if the answer is “four,” we could arrive at that any number of ways: 2 + 2, 5 – 1, etc. In the same way, creationists often assume that since certain species or traits exist, this is proof of creation because that’s how it must have happened. This argument, however, is self-reflexive and useless.
  • You see, when I reverse engineer the argument they provided so that it is against creationism, they are apt to see problems with it, or fail to see the problems, in which case, they demonstrate a lack of critical thinking.

Argument 7, Natural selection is evolution

This is likely the most abused argument on the list—and most in need of being scrapped. Often evolutionists bait people into showing them a change that is merely natural selection and then switch to say this proves molecules-to-man evolution. However, this is quite misleading. Natural selection, even according to evolutionists, does not have the power to generate anything “new.” The observable process can only act upon existing characteristics so that some members of a species are more likely to survive. In fact, it’s an important component of the biblical worldview.

  • Natural Selection is one of the key mechanisms of evolution. If they think that evolutionists would equate a mechanism with the process, it seems like a straw man,, or at the very least, an appeal to ignorance.
  • And who would say that natural selection proves abiogenesis (theory regarding the origin of life) as the comment “and then switch to say that this proves molecules-to-man evolution” would imply? Saying that evolutionists hold that position strikes me as an atrocious strawman argument, and at the very least, an appeal to ignorance, because the two are separate. You can disprove abiogenesis, with no impact on evolution, and vice versa.
  • The reason that people who regard the theory of evolution as a valid explanation for the diversity of life don’t hold the belief that natural selection can produce anything new is that it isn’t the mechanism through which changes to the genotype occur.
  • I’m unconvinced that argument seven is valid on account of misrepresentation by AiG, and unconvinced that the counter argument that is provided by AiG is valid.

Argument 8, Common design means common ancestry

Historical common descent is not and cannot be confirmed through observation. Rather, certain observations are explained by assumptions about the past. These observations, we might add, have alternative explanations. Common body plans (homology), for example, do not prove common descent—that’s an assumption. A common Designer fits the evidence just as well, if not better.

  • Enough people have done refutations of the “Same genes, same designer” argument, which is what they try to propose towards the end.
  • Statement about argument six and eight: Any observation might have any number of alternative explanations. For example, retrograde motion could also be explained by the planets not really having an orbit that goes in one direction all the time. The problem with that alternate explanation is that it lacks evidence, just like the biblical account of creationism.
  • So because the criticisms of arguments six and eight are more or less the same, I’ll comment on both: I’m unconvinced by them.

Argument 9 Sedimentary layers show millions of years of geological activity

Sedimentary layers show one thing: sedimentary layers. In other words, we can—and should—study the rocks, but the claim that rocks prove the earth must be billions of years old ignores one important point: such an interpretation is built upon a stack of assumptions. When we start from the Bible and examine the rocks within the framework of a global Flood, the need for long ages vanishes.

Argument 10, Mutations drive evolution

Perhaps because of movies and fiction, the popular idea is that mutations make evolution go. Given enough time, shifts in the genetic code will produce all the variety of plants and animals on earth—and beyond. The problem? Mutations cannot produce the types of changes evolution requires—not even close. Some may benefit an organism (e.g., beetles on a windy island losing wings), but virtually every time mutations come with a cost.

  • Are they being serious about mutations being unable to “produce the types of changes evolution requires”? If they are, I’m curious if they are mistaking a mechanism of evolution (speciation) with evolution (the variation of inheritable traits within a population).
  • “but virtually every time mutations come with a cost.” Most mutations are neutral, meaning that they have no effect on the organism. And even the beneficial mutations can be argued to have a cost, be it the need for higher nutrient intake, or, failing that, using the nutrients that would go somewhere else. So what makes a mutation beneficial? If members of a population of a species have a better chance of living long enough to produce offspring, in comparison to other members of the same population without the mutation, that is the basic criteria for establishing that it is a beneficial mutation.

Argument 11 The Scopes trial

Misconceptions about the Scopes trial run rampant. Often, accounts sound something like this: Fundamentalist Christian bigots arrested an innocent biology teacher fighting for scientific freedom, and while they won the court case, they ultimately lost the public perception battle to the well reasoned presentation of the defense. Thanks to the play Inherit the Wind, this common—though completely flawed—perception of the event continues to be used against creationists. But real history presents a much different account.

Argument 12 Science vs. religion

News stories thrive on conflict and intrigue, and one common meme presents science and religion as opposing forces—reason struggling to overcome draconian divine revelation. It grabs attention, but it’s bunk. Many atheists and humanists oppose biblical Christianity, but science does not. After all, the truth of a risen Savior and an inerrant Bible puts quite the damper on the belief that God cannot exist. However, science, as a tool for research, works quite well within (and, in fact, requires) a God-created universe. Otherwise, there’d be no reason to do science in the first place.

  • Science is agnostic when it comes to the idea of a god, be it the one described in Judaism, the gods in the Hindu religion, or any other deity, so it doesn’t require one to have developed the universe. And if any supernatural entity, be it a god, spirit, or demon, existed, and was able to interact with the universe in such a way that we could objectively test or measure, then it would also be impossible to make accurate predictions on the basis of what we do know.
  • The statement that “and an inerrant bible puts quite the damper on the belief that God cannot exist.” is really, REALLY, I used up all the capitals and happen to be regretting it because I can’t put more emphasis on it now, stupid. The sun stayed in place for a battle. If they wish to say that it is inerrant, then provide a mechanism for making Earth tidally locked for a short period of time, and cease once the battle is over, which would give the impression of the sun staying in one place. Then again, it isn’t surprising that they’d make such a statement, since they have admitted to ignore all evidence that contradicts their position (From Section 4: General, number 6, “By definition, no apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the scriptural record. Of primary importance is the fact that evidence is always subject to interpretation by fallible people who do not possess all information.” While they do say why, they also ignore the fact that science is a self-correcting process. Should somebody, or a group of people, make a mistake, in procedure or interpretation, they are going to be corrected as a result of testing to improve our understanding.) Should any errors be pointed out, the history be presented from credible, well supported, and reliable sources, etc, they will reject it. Not because they can reject it after evaluating it, but because they hold a position which they will not reject.
  • “Otherwise, there’d be no reason to do science in the first place.” Lets look at that carefully. It was through the use of science that we were able to eradicate smallpox. It was through the use of science that you are able to read this right now, as it is either on a screen or printed out. Because having knowledge, and being able to apply that knowledge to benefit our species and the world around us has use, without belief in god, it is possible to see why science is something that should be encouraged, regardless of if a deity exists or not.
  • The available evidence contradicts a significant number of the claims made in the bible.
  • I’m unconvinced by the counter argument to number twelve.

Why address these arguments?

Answers in Genesis wants to show the world that the creation-gospel message and the book that contains it are trustworthy from the first word to the last. We don’t try to hide that. Most of the attacks against the Bible and those who trust in it are based on flawed premises and faulty logic, which is why we point out the arguments above as just a sampling.

Beliefs about the past—and arguments against what God says—have real consequences. If we do demolish such strongholds, it’s because we want as many as possible to experience the fullness of God in Christ.

  1. people will do bad things regardless of what they think, or
  2. people will do bad things depending on what they think

So far, lets look at the number that were good arguments.

Argument

  1. Unconvinced by the counter argument
  2. Argument as presented wasn’t valid, slightly revised version presented
  3. Unconvinced by the counter argument
  4. Unconvinced by the counter argument
  5. Unconvinced by the counter argument
  6. Not an argument used for evolution, and the counter argument presented wasn’t that strong
  7. Based on a misunderstanding, and even then, the counter argument wasn’t really that strong.
  8. The basic idea behind six and eight is the same, and even, the counter arguments as presented aren’t that great.
  9. Just a pathetic counter argument.
  10. Unconvinced by the counter argument
  11. Rarely used, if ever, argument in favor of evolution. Also unconvincing counter argument.
  12. Not really relevant argument, but because AiG is more of a religious organization than a scientific one, they had to include it, and even then, their counter argument isn’t that strong.

Only one of those, number two, when given every point that could be made, was even close to an argument, and that one, if used to convince somebody of evolution, would be a logical fallacy, while as a comment about who it is that accepts the theory of evolution as an explanation, as it was originally presented, isn’t quite accurate. So as far as an page on twelve arguments to quit using, with counter arguments to each, with only one being arguable, it isn’t that successful. For a more thorough refutation of the page, see the rationalwiki article on it.

Now, most of that was to those who are convinced by the statements made. This, is to those who work as AiG. What you are doing, is counter productive to your cause. In order to maintain the ideas that you present, you need to heavily indoctrinate, and shelter the lives of the people that you present them to so that they never see the science that you attempt to critique at any point in their lives, because otherwise, they’ll see through your bullshit. Take it from one of those who saw the deception you’ve employed, and saw through it. It is from people such as us, christians and christian apostates who reject your claims, that you will, and have, seen the most vocal criticism.

Arguments for the Existance of Deities – Introduction

I’d like to begin the posts on the subject of arguments for the existence of a deity by saying one thing: arguments do not equal evidence. If that were the case, I could convince somebody who is gullible of something more ridiculous than many of the concepts of god which people have believed in at some point in history, and that convincing of somebody would equal proof. What does support a claim is evidence. Anything short of that I, and many others, would regard as inconsequential.

With this in mind, there is still a good reason for knowing, and understanding the arguments that one might present for a god. It is because people do not understand that basic fact, and as a result, regard an argument as a valid basis for reaching a conclusion. I already have some that I’m working on, although feel free to propose your own or one you’d like to see critiqued.