Pharyngula

Maybe it’s news, but at this point all I can say is…who the hell cares what you say, Benny.

Comments

  1. #1 Wobert
    August 3, 2007

    Clever bastard that Pope.

  2. #2 Caledonian
    August 3, 2007

    There is ‘much’ proof?

    It doesn’t matter how much or how little proof there is – one tiny bit of proof means we have to acknowledge something as true as a heaping pile of it.

    How much proof is there for Roman Christianity, O Pope?

  3. #3 nickpol
    August 3, 2007

    B16, aka Benny, :) got his Maddog the Bishop of Augsburg in Germany. He has declared, a few days ago that not teaching the genesis such as the Evolution theory at the schools, is a fact of »totalitarism«.

  4. #4 Wobert
    August 3, 2007

    Second thoughts, I take that back.He’s a total fuckwit

  5. #5 Brian
    August 3, 2007

    News just in: Pope declares that science works (whilst simultaneously lying out his arse by intimating that the 1st law of thermodynamics is bunk thus allowing a unmeasured, unknown, unknowable, totally imagined middle eastern sky fairy to influences matter and energy in the known world.) Fucking liar. PZ have at ‘im.

  6. #6 MartinC
    August 3, 2007

    According to the newspaper article….
    “His comments appear to be an endorsement of the doctrine of intelligent design.”
    I didn’t get that, to me it seemed to be an endorsement of theistic evolution, akin to Miller or Collins views, maybe I’m missing some of his remarks that were explicitly pro intelligent design.
    The point about evolution not answering where we came from (I presume he means the bing bang theory rather then abiogenesis) is technically true but irrelevant since it doesn’t attempt to answer a question that is probably firmly within the scope of physics rather than biology or biochemistry.

  7. #7 Obeah
    August 3, 2007

    Why, why, why, do they think that if science can’t explain it, god did it?

  8. #8 Caledonian
    August 3, 2007

    Last April the Vatican sponsored a scientific conference on climate change to underscore the role that religious leaders around the world could play in reminding people that wilfully damaging the environment is sinful.

    So is masturbation. But due to the Blood of Christ, any sin can be forgiven. So, how many ‘Hail Mary’s do you think it takes to atone for destroying the planet?

  9. #9 Brian
    August 3, 2007

    Caledonian: “So, how many ‘Hail Mary’s do you think it takes to atone for destroying the planet?”
    Probably more than it takes to atone for buggering an altar boy. That seems to be a fringe benefit….

  10. #10 DaveX
    August 3, 2007

    In other news…

    Earlier today, speaking from his personal residence in the United States, DaveX declared that grilled cheese sandwiches are a “pretty good” lunch.

    DaveX also said it is his intention to eat “at least one” grilled cheese sandwich today.

    It is unclear at this time if DaveX will choose Coca-Cola to wash his sandwich down, though unnamed sources indicate this is likely.

  11. #11 Brian
    August 3, 2007

    Further breaking news: Pope declares DaveX god. Eating a cheese sandwich is partaking of his body and drinking Coca-Cola is drinking his blood. Transubstantiation accepted practice…..

  12. #12 David
    August 3, 2007

    It must feel so good, so… “moral” to do nothing but bitch about religion. Really makes you feel like your standing up for “truth” I bet. After all, you are uncompromising. Who cares if the pope’s support of evolution might lead to Catholics accepting evolution. As long as people don’t believe, and act, exactly like you do in regards to science, they are the enemy. Classic fundie behavior. Oh, sure, you can differ all you want in regards to what symbol your movement has. Even the worst fundie churches allow differences in the inconsequentials. You can differ in which particular militant atheist you follow. Fundies differ in that too.

    Fundie vs. Fundie.

    If it wasn’t so sad… it would be funny. Heck, even if it is sad, it’s still a little funny.

  13. #13 Steve LaBonne
    August 3, 2007

    Tiresome morons like David, who think we should get on our knees and humbly beg delusional people to “accept” just a little dose of rationality, make me call to mind Thomas Carlyle’s famous dismissal of Margaret Fuller’s fatuous declaration, “I accept the universe!”: “Gad, she’d better!”

  14. #14 Brian
    August 3, 2007

    David: “It must feel so good, so… “moral” to do nothing but bitch about religion. Really makes you feel like your standing up for “truth” I bet. After all, you are uncompromising. Who cares if the pope’s support of evolution might lead to Catholics accepting evolution.”
    A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet. Thusly a lie by any other name would still be an abomination. But you’re so sure of you moderation that you couldn’t possibly be in error.
    Remember, just because there are 2 sides, doesn’t mean one side can’t be completely in error. I’ll be honest and take the side that has evidence. Not the fundie side that says 3 people can be one person as the pope affirms.

  15. #15 windy
    August 3, 2007

    “Our Earth is talking to us and we must listen to it and decipher its message if we want to survive”

    Damn hippies!

    Although this wouldn’t be the first time his church has embraced animism…

  16. #16 No One of Consequence
    August 3, 2007

    Brian – Probably more than it takes to atone for buggering an altar boy. That seems to be a fringe benefit….

    It’s a nice day and Father Benny wants to go golfing, but it’s his turn in the confessional. He sees Tom, the janitor cleaning the church and ask if he can handle the confessions.

    “It’s easy,” he says. “Two Hail Mary’s for a curse word, One Our Father for anything minor. If you have any questions, just ask Billy the alter boy.”

    Reluctantly the Tom agrees. Things are going fine until a young woman steps into the confessional and informs the janitor that she gave her boyfriend blow job.

    Tom leans out of the confessional and says, “Psst, Billy, what does Father Benny give for a blow job?”

    “Sometimes a Snicker bar, sometimes just a pat on the head.”

  17. #17 Brian
    August 3, 2007

    When I heard it it was: “2 mars bars and a ride in the parish car”….

  18. #18 David
    August 3, 2007

    PZ, there’s something I wonder about. The Secret is still a big hit, still popular. Still number 1 on the NYTimes best seller list. I would think that for all your screeds about the “truth”, and all that, you would have posts about the Secret as well.

    That, and some posts about evolution. Since you are just SO concerned about science education. You post a few, but most seem to be your traditional “I’m PZ. I’m teh atheist. Atheists smart. Look at religious person. Religious people dumb. Hahahahaha”.

  19. #19 CalGeorge
    August 3, 2007

    What’s the punch line?

    …but scientific evidence is for suckers?

    Pope declares his farts are also god’s farts, because the Rat is god’s representative on earth.

    Pfffffffrrrrrt!

  20. #20 Brigit
    August 3, 2007

    David, most Catholics where I come from believe in theistic evolution. The problem was that some time ago this pope, which I remind you a lot of catholics are pretty uneasy with, made some comments dissing ToE. That pissed off a lot of congregations (and a bunch of my family members too). This statement is nothing more than another PR attempt from the pope, and the guy is not as good at it as the previous one.

  21. #21 David
    August 3, 2007

    Steve, if your goal is for people to accept “rationality” then I would think you would welcome any furtherance of that goal. All your little screed goes to show is that you aren’t really looking for people to be rational, you just want to be against relgion. Which is not surprising. Fundies always define themselves by what they are against.

    Not the fundie side that says 3 people can be one person as the pope affirms.

    Ah, virulent ignorance + hatred. A wonderful combination. Why bother actually learning about the Trinity when you can just attack a strawman?

    Now, let me guess. You’ve actually read the Bible “lots of times”, right? You could “school me”, right? That’s been tried on this forum before. But reality has no place on atheistblogs.com.

  22. #22 Brian
    August 3, 2007

    David, can you explain and offer evidence to how something without energy or matter can influence something with energy and matter. In other words, how a god can influence a human or this world? Because if you can, I’ll happily adopt your hypothesis. If you can’t can you please stop helping the liars like the pope. Stop complaining and offer evidence or accept that it’s dishonest to respect faith.

  23. #23 Zeno
    August 3, 2007

    who the hell cares what you say, Benny

    About a billion people do, in terms of having given their allegiance to the organization that Benedict reigns over. That’s quite a bit of influence, for good or ill. We know about plenty of ill and this blog is frequented mostly by people who have recovered from childhood religions. At the same time, though, any “good” statement by the pope (such as “there is much scientific proof in favour of evolution”) is an occasion for some mild satisfaction because it denies the anti-science fundies a weighty influence on their side. Ken Ham and other creationists will fulminate against Benedict’s remarks and gibber about Genesis, but he and his ilk won’t be able to count on Catholic support for their anti-science position. That pleases me.

    It’s not even half a loaf, of course, because the pope is one of those religious guys. That means his support for evolution is tempered into some kind of theistic evolution that to my eyes often looks like ID. Nevertheless, you can chalk up a tentative point for the side of the good guys. And that’s way better than if the pope had come out strongly in favor of a literal six-day creation and added Catholics to the pressure groups lobbying school boards for creation nonsense.

  24. #24 Caledonian
    August 3, 2007

    Steve, if your goal is for people to accept “rationality” then I would think you would welcome any furtherance of that goal.

    We don’t want them to accept “rationality”, we want them to accept rationality.

    All your little screed goes to show is that you aren’t really looking for people to be rational, you just want to be against relgion.

    Rationality requires being against religion.

    Which is not surprising. Fundies always define themselves by what they are against.

    Actually, Fundamentalism is defined in terms of the most basic aspects of the Christian faith, including a concern with a simple interpretation of the scriptural texts. It doesn’t define itself in terms of what it’s against.

  25. #25 David
    August 3, 2007

    This statement is nothing more than another PR attempt from the pope, and the guy is not as good at it as the previous one.

    Yes, of course. Its a “PR attempt”. You know this… why? Evidence… why? Come on! People here don’t believe things that are without evidence! That’s the cardinal tenent of atheism.. I mean rationality!

  26. #26 Gerard Harbison
    August 3, 2007

    As a former altar boy, my reaction to the unspeakably vile, scurrilous, derogatory joke in post number 16 was…

    …hot coffee exhaled rapidly through the nostrils. I though I’d heard them all, but that’s a keeper. ROFL!

  27. #27 CalGeorge
    August 3, 2007

    “Our Earth is talking to us and we must listen to it and decipher its message if we want to survive”

    Does it sound the same as when he talks to god?

    God: Hello, Rat. How’s it hanging?

    Earth: shwshwshwhshwshwhshwshwhshwhshwshw. [translation: good riddance]

  28. #28 John Danley
    August 3, 2007

    “Above all it does not answer the great philosophical question ‘where does everything come from?’”- Benedict

    It came from a mousetrap. Behe told me so.

  29. #29 stogoe
    August 3, 2007

    Ah, the classic “Why isn’t this post about topic X discussing topic Y, which is far more important to me?!!” Except in this case, it’s “Why is this post about topic X talking about topic X? Talking about topic X is mean and hurts my feelings and go shut up and get back in your closet!!@#!”

  30. #30 Brian
    August 3, 2007

    David, I get my definition of the trinity from the catholic encyclopedia. Here it is , if you don’t like it, tell the pope: “The Trinity is the term employed to signify the central doctrine of the Christian religion — the truth that in the unity of the Godhead there are Three Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, these Three Persons being truly distinct one from another.”
    So, 1 (the godhead) is 3 persons which are distinct from each other. So don’t lie and tell me that the pope doesn’t say 3 people are 1 you silly person. It’s a logical fallacy and to believe it is to be a liar.

  31. #31 David
    August 3, 2007

    Yes.. of course stogoe. That’s exactly what I’ve been saying. After all, there’s just so much evidence that I want you to get back in your “closet”. (I like the comparison to the homosexual movement. Makes you seem like real victims). Of course…

    You know, for people who only believe things with evidence, you sure are willing to believe a lot of crap. But hypocrisy has been, and always will be a hallmark of fundie behavior.

  32. #32 Oran Kelley
    August 3, 2007

    And if Benedict had said there was no evidence for evolution, that good Catholics should reject it, and that Catholic schools and universities would no longer teach it you still wouldn’t have cared what he said?

    Admit it, you do care. You just couldn’t think of anything good to write about it. In fact, I’d say this isn’t news (it represents no discernible change as far as I can see), but is worth caring about.

  33. #33 David
    August 3, 2007

    So don’t lie and tell me that the pope doesn’t say 3 people are 1 you silly person.

    Well let’s see if your definition really says what you want it to say.

    The Trinity is the term employed to signify the central doctrine of the Christian religion — the truth that in the unity of the Godhead there are Three Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, these Three Persons being truly distinct one from another

    Funny… it doesn’t say that! For some who’s so concerned with the “truth” I would think you would practice good reading comprehension. Reading into the definition that the Godhead is a person like the Holy Spirit, Father and Son are is hardly being truthful. It does allow you to laugh at religion though, and since that’s what you want to do anyway, you don’t need to… think.

  34. #34 quantum
    August 3, 2007

    Very late indeed

  35. #35 Brian
    August 3, 2007

    David: read the link.
    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15047a.htm
    Stop lying it does say what I posted. It’s a logical fallacy.

  36. #36 Tom @Thoughtsic.com
    August 3, 2007

    Not even Catholics truly care. He’s like the Queen of England.. people listen but ultimately believe what they want. After all, doesn’t Catholicism claim to be the most popular religion in the United States? And yet over 50% of America’s population believes in creationism?

    The Pope gives himself way too much credit.

  37. #37 Brian
    August 3, 2007

    So according to you Unity doesn’t mean 1. So the godhead isn’t 1. It’s 3. Therefore there are 3 gods and it’s polytheism.
    Make your mind up, it’s either monotheism and 3 distinct persons are 1 god (a logical fallacy) or it’s polytheism.

  38. #38 NC Paul
    August 3, 2007

    Flag on the play: ongoing Blake’s Law violation. More after these messages…

  39. #39 J-Dog
    August 3, 2007

    You guyz is all crazed! Hold on to your Mitres!

    This is No Papel Bull, but God-Damned 100% Good-Time Stuff from the point of view that “noted IDest Mike Behe is put in the position of having to oppose the Pope – just one more mistake by an IDiot. It also slaps Dembksi sycophant DaveScot upside the head, and puts paid to his nonsense that the Pope is anti-evo. So, in honor of the REAL best release of the summer, Eat My Shorts Dave.

  40. #40 NC Paul
    August 3, 2007

    Actually, come to think of it, should this blog have a FAF (Frequently Advanced Fallacies)page to point to when someone trots out hackneyed old trollfodder like “Atheists are fundies too”?

  41. #41 CalGeorge
    August 3, 2007

    How much does he get paid to say this crap?

    “Our Earth is talking to us and we must listen to it and decipher its message if we want to survive.”

    Coming from someone who has failed miserably to decipher that there is no magic sky deity controlling our destiny… this is beyond laughable!

    Push people into a permanent state of infantile ignorance by spouting nonsense at them non-stop for centuries and then you expect them to wake up and think about the planet – all the while continuing to swallow your steaming piles of bullshit?!

    What, your god isn’t going to make it all better?

    What an incredible fuckhead.

  42. #42 MartinM
    August 3, 2007

    If any Catholics are reading, I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome them to the 19th century.

  43. #43 Reginald Selkirk
    August 3, 2007

    I care even less about what “David” has to say than I care about what the Pope has to say.

  44. #44 Marcus Ranum
    August 3, 2007

    >I’m teh atheist. Atheists smart. Look at religious
    >person. Religious people dumb. Hahahahaha”.

    Hahaahahaaaa!! That’s pretty good!! You nailed it!! Religious people dumb!!!!

    So, uh, which are you?

  45. #45 David
    August 3, 2007

    Brian, it’s not my job to teach you about the trinity. If you want to remain ignorant, that is not my problem. If you want to read something into the definition that isn’t there… well you are the one who’s standing up for “truth”. I suppose you gotta do what you gotta do.

  46. #46 Brian
    August 3, 2007

    I’m just reading the definition David. You aren’t. It says the god head is the unity of 3 distinct persons. 1 can’t be 3. That’s where it ends.

  47. #47 David
    August 3, 2007

    Reginald, that does not surprise me whatsoever, as you only care about yourself.

    Now, let’s wait for the inevitable response. Shall it be more insults? Or will Reginald try to claim that he really does care about other people?

  48. #48 Brian
    August 3, 2007

    You are a liar if you say unity means trinity (1 means 3) and trinity means unity (3 means 1). It’s so simple, only a person who was practiced at lying to themselves would say it doesn’t mean that.

  49. #49 David
    August 3, 2007

    I’m just reading the definition David. You aren’t. It says the god head is the unity of 3 distinct persons.

    Yes, it does say that. You go from that to, “The Godhead is another person, just like the Holy Spirit, Father and Son”. This is not in the definition. It’s not my fault that you read stuff into the definition. You can just join the rest of the atheists with poor reading comprehension.

  50. #50 windy
    August 3, 2007

    PZ, there’s something I wonder about. The Secret is still a big hit, still popular. Still number 1 on the NYTimes best seller list. I would think that for all your screeds about the “truth”, and all that, you would have posts about the Secret as well.

    Ask the Sidebar Search, and ye shall receive.

  51. #51 Brian
    August 3, 2007

    All I’ve said is that according to the definition the godhead is the same person as the 3 distinct persons. I’ve never said the godhead was different. My only point was that 1 cannot be 3. That is the definition is self-contradictory. It’s quite simple something cannot both be and be. Thus god cannot both be the godhead and 3 distinct persons. He’s either 1 or 3.

  52. #52 davidm
    August 3, 2007

    Nice to check in for a good laugh. Let’s just focus on this one comment:

    If any Catholics are reading, I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome them to the 19th century.

    If MartinM is reading, I’d like to take this opportunity to inform him that Catholic-run schools have a long-standing reputation as providing rigorous and excellent education, including in-depth education in the theory of evolution. This is in contrast to untold numbers of public schools, where kids who can barely read are routinely promoted.

    Of course, the whole “religion necessarily and historically is against science” paradigm is utter bullshit. But, oh well! Don’t let the facts get in your way. Carry on, sirs! Let a thousand weeds grow.

  53. #53 Brian
    August 3, 2007

    I meant: It’s quite simple something cannot both be and not be. You can’t be god and father, son and holy spirit in the one being. It’s a contradiction. Simple logic.

  54. #54 AlanWCan
    August 3, 2007

    David: Fundie vs. Fundie

    I call Blake’s Law on David. Game over. Off to the killfile Weeeeeeeeee!

  55. #55 Brian
    August 3, 2007

    Davidm: “Of course, the whole “religion necessarily and historically is against science” paradigm is utter bullshit. ”
    I went to a catholic schools, and to their credit the science wasn’t bad. To their discredit when anything scientific was mentioned that showed that the god explanation was contradicted by evidence it was a “mystery”. No mystery, if something doesn’t have matter or energy, it doesn’t influence this universe. Thus if god doesn’t have mass or energy, you can’t say he influences this universe, let alone exists……

  56. #56 CalGeorge
    August 3, 2007

    Dante (b. 1265) loved the number three.

    Went on and on about it. He saw threes and multiples of threes everywhere. He organized the Commedia around the number three.

    I wonder if he had Asperger’s?

    Maybe we should blame this whole trinity thing on Asperger’s disorder.

  57. #57 David
    August 3, 2007

    My only point was that 1 cannot be 3.

    In that, you are wrong. 1 of one thing, can be 3 of something else. There is no contradiction in that. Now, you can be personally incredulous as much as you want. You have the right to trust your feelings over your reason.

    windy,

    One post. That was basically PZ ripping something from another article. Obviously, that’s all that’s necessary… right? 99% of his posts are about his hatred of religion, but apparently he’s fine enough with the secret that he only needs to make one post.

    davidm,

    Great… now people will accuse me of posting under two names.

  58. #58 MartinM
    August 3, 2007

    If MartinM is reading, I’d like to take this opportunity to inform him that Catholic-run schools have a long-standing reputation as providing rigorous and excellent education, including in-depth education in the theory of evolution.

    I know. It’s not just the Catholics, either. Even some evangelical Protestant colleges do a fine job of teaching evolution. Point?

  59. #59 Brian
    August 3, 2007

    David: “In that, you are wrong. 1 of one thing, can be 3 of something else. ” When please, remember the trinity is indivisible. It’s not like 2 hydrogen atoms and an oxygen atom forming water. Because Hydrogen and water don’t have the property of wetness. Whereas god is always god, and simultaneously the father, son, and ghost. That is a contradiction.

  60. #60 David
    August 3, 2007

    You know, I really love Blake’s Law and all that rubbish. You make up your own law, and the act like that discredits the whole argument. Why deal with reality when you can just make up a “law” and laugh like its a great joke?

  61. #61 WCG
    August 3, 2007

    I agree with Zeno (#23) and Oran (#32). I don’t care, myself, what the Pope says, but a LOT of people do. And if he came out against evolution, that would be very, very bad news for the teaching of science in the U.S.

    So I’m never going to agree with the Pope about everything (about most things). So what? Almost anything he does to tick off the fundamentalist creationists is good news in my book. Since we’re a distinct minority in America, the best thing we have going for us (besides the truth) is that the true believers can’t agree among themselves.

    Although, like Martin (#6), I don’t understand this article’s statement that “His comments appear to be an endorsement of the doctrine of intelligent design.” Either the author doesn’t understand what ID is or he didn’t report the Pope’s remarks accurately. That IS something to rant about.

    Otherwise,… well, we sometimes seem to be a bunch of children here. Of course this religious stuff is a bunch of baloney! Duh! But this particular news seems to be very favorable for science education, nonetheless. If Catholic kids can actually learn biology, maybe they’ll start seeing that there’s no need for an imaginary friend.

  62. #62 David
    August 3, 2007

    Otherwise,… well, we sometimes seem to be a bunch of children here.

    There is a reason for that. You are a bunch of children.

  63. #63 apy
    August 3, 2007

    “who the hell cares what you say, Benny.”

    Uhhh…I’m under the impression a lot of people? Saying evolution has a lot of evidence might be old news to us but it’s not to everyone else. I know quite a few educated people who let their insane religious ideas infect their brain and don’t believe in evolution so I’m quite glad that someone they look up to is telling them there is something to this crazy evolution theory!

    Hey, it’s not perfect, but it’s a better start than him saying believing in evolution is a sin. Change won’t happen in a day.

  64. #64 Brian
    August 3, 2007

    We may be children David, but we’re not lying by saying 3 is 1 indivisible unity.

  65. #65 Matt Penfold
    August 3, 2007

    If Oran et al are right, and what the Pope has said IS important then it shows what a danger religion poses. If people were rational they would take no more notice of what the Pope has to say about scientific matters than they would of what PZ has to say about catholic theology. The fact that it is considered to be helpful by some that the Pope has said there evidence to support the Theory of Evolution tells us that the influence religion has over people is oppressive.

  66. #66 Brian
    August 3, 2007

    Nite all, it’s bed time here. Keep lying David. God loves lies in his name.

  67. #67 NC Paul
    August 3, 2007

    “You make up your own law, and the act like that discredits the whole argument. Why deal with reality when you can just make up a “law” and laugh like its a great joke?”

    No – I believe that’s what the religious do.

    They make up things like the Trinity for which they have no evidence (go on David, give us your evidence for the existence of the Trinity). They act like their made up dogmas discredit actual scientific evidence. Why should they deal with reality when they can just make up a Godhead and use it as a means to enforce ignorance?

  68. #68 windy
    August 3, 2007

    You can’t be god and father, son and holy spirit in the one being.

    Now, now… as the prophet said, there is no problem involved in becoming your own father or mother that a broadminded and well-adjusted family can’t cope with. (Of course, the family in question seems to be neither!)

  69. #69 apy
    August 3, 2007

    “If people were rational they would take no more notice of what the Pope has to say about scientific matters than they would of what PZ has to say about catholic theology. The fact that it is considered to be helpful by some that the Pope has said there evidence to support the Theory of Evolution tells us that the influence religion has over people is oppressive.”

    I’m not sure I agree with this. We all weight an argument based on some measure of how much we trust and feel comfortable with someone. No matter how smart your mechanic is, most people will not give much thought to his thoughts on quantum theory. PZ has his supporters and it would be dubious to claim that each and every one of them is an independent rational thinker on their own that gives equal weights to all arguments they hear. No, I suspect the more supporters he gets the less independent their thought process is. Is that showing science is oppressive? No, just showing how people work.

  70. #70 littlefishies
    August 3, 2007

    Guys,
    Don’t feed the troll. He may say otherwise, but David is not interested in discussing anything. If he was he would have put forth a definition of the Trinity to correct what he sees as mistakes. He has not because he is not interested in that. Classic trolling. Don’t feed him please.

  71. #71 commissarjs
    August 3, 2007

    Well that’s two popes in a row that have stated that there’s evidence supporting evolution. In another 100 years the Catholic Church might actually state that it’s the best theory for the variety of life on Earth.

  72. #72 Steve_C
    August 3, 2007

    No needs to understand the theory of the trinity to know that’s it’s complete nonsense.
    I was confirmed. It’s nonsense. All of it.

    Father, son and holy ghost.

    As if.

  73. #73 Matt Penfold
    August 3, 2007

    Apy,

    You miss my point. The Pope is NOT a scientist. His views on the validity of the Theory of Evolution are no more valid than mine, as neither am I a scientist. PZ is a scientist, a biologist in fact and so his views on evolution do matter. What the Pope has to say on evolution SHOULD be irrelevant. That some people think it is not shows that Catholicism has a problem. To paraphrase, it needs to learn to “render unto to Ceaser”. Scientists would not think of pronouncing on Catholic dogma, so why the hell does the Pope think he can do the same in science ?

  74. #74 Steve_C
    August 3, 2007

    I type very poorly when I’m hungover;

    GOD KILL ME.

  75. #75 Tulse
    August 3, 2007

    David, you’d be more convincing if you actually offered some kind of arguments, rather than just insults. By the way, this ex-Catholic was taught that the Trinity is a divine mystery, and thus not amenable to human understanding. You might, for example, look at this source, especially the “The Trinity as a Mystery”.

    Also note the slippery language in the Nicene Creed, where the belief is in “one God, the Father, the Almighty”, but also “one Lord, Jesus Christ”, the “Son of God” who is “eternally begotten of the Father” and is “true God from true God” (sounds like He’s separate from Dad, and counts as another God), and the Holy Spirit, which is also “the Lord” (I thought there was only one!), and who “proceeds from the Father and the Son”. So we’ve got one God, but a Son (also a God) that was “begotten”, and a Holy Spirit (also a Lord) that “proceeds from” the other two.

    You are welcome to make sense of that in rational terms. Please show your work.

  76. #76 MAJeff
    August 3, 2007

    (I like the comparison to the homosexual movement. Makes you seem like real victims).

    I’m a queer and an atheist. I got no problem with this. But I’m sure you were equally supportive of queer folks as you are of atheists. Indeed, if you’re busy defending the pope, you’re pretty much required to believe that i’m inherently disordered because I’m gay. Fuck off on all accounts.

  77. #77 Steve_C
    August 3, 2007

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VABSoHYQr6k

    If you’re Catholic you will more certainly be offended.

  78. #78 Tulse
    August 3, 2007

    As for the Pope, if his views were important then Catholics wouldn’t get divorced, or use birth control and condoms, or in vitro fertilization. As Tom said, most Catholics I know in the US treat him like the English treat the Queen — a warm and fuzzy symbol that is good to have around, but not really relevant as far as their day-to-day lives are concerned.

  79. #79 MAJeff
    August 3, 2007

    And I’ll add, fuck Ratzi the Nazi.

  80. #80 CalGeorge
    August 3, 2007

    If people were rational they would take no more notice of what the Pope has to say about scientific matters than they would of what PZ has to say about catholic theology. The fact that it is considered to be helpful by some that the Pope has said there evidence to support the Theory of Evolution tells us that the influence religion has over people is oppressive.

    PZ is smart. He has thought about science and religion in an intelligent manner.

    The Pope hasn’t.

    I regard PZ as more of an authority on Catholic theology than the Pope.

    Why?

    Becasue PZ has come to the right conclusion: it is bullshit. The Pope slogs on, his whole being invested in making sure people adopt a positive attitude toward his enterprise. He’s deeply invested in the con. Anything he says about theology is going to be suspect.

    Who’s opinion deserves to be listened to and trusted?

    PZ’s.

    End of story.

  81. #81 Hypocee
    August 3, 2007

    Good job, Your Holiness. Now, let’s talk about the primary cause behind the destruction of the foundation of our existence. Is it…overpopulation? How could we fix that?

  82. #82 CJColucci
    August 3, 2007

    How hard is it to understand that this is the best that can reasonably be expected on the subject from any Pope, and far better than we could reasonably fear? The head of the largest and best-organized religious denomination in the world has told his followers there is no religious problem with evolution. That is one for the good guys. It’s not everything we could want, of course, but the complaints amount to: “The Pope is Catholic.”

  83. #83 apy
    August 3, 2007

    Matt,
    It seems like you are arguing for ‘appeal to authority’. Why should PZ being a scientist affect the validity of his argument? If PZ was a biologist who came out and said that evolution is not true would he have an actual argument because he is a scientist (in this case a really bad one). No, it’s the argument that matters. Scientists tend to have the information and training to combat a poor argument but that doesn’t mean non-scientists don’t.

  84. #84 Rey Fox
    August 3, 2007

    Father, son, and holy spirit! Humperdoo!

  85. #85 David
    August 3, 2007

    Don’t feed the troll. He may say otherwise, but David is not interested in discussing anything.

    Actually you are right. I’m not interested in discussing religion here. One needs to have a certain amount of intelligence to discuss religion. As this intelligence is lacking here, there’s very little point.

    Anything he says about theology is going to be suspect.

    I like this. Don’t trust Pope’s, or theologians to talk about theology. Listen only to the scientists talk about theology.

    One wonder’s then, why I should trust the biologists to talk about biology?

    Allow me to rephase your post in another context.

    Behe is smart. He has thought about evolution in a fair and unbiased manner.

    Militant Atheists like PZ haven’t.

    I regard Behe as more of an authority on evolution than PZ.

    Why?

    Becasue Behe has come to the right conclusion: it is bullshit. Behe slogs on, his whole being invested in making sure people adopt a positive attitude toward his enterprise. He’s deeply invested in the con. Anything he says about evolution is going to be subject.

    Who’s opinion deserves to be listened to and trusted?

    Now do I believe this rephrase? No. But its the same “argument”. Same lack of intelligence.

    But I’m sure you were equally supportive of queer folks as you are of atheists.

    Actually, I’m more supportive of queers than I am of atheists. I actually think people persecute homosexuals.

    Scientists would not think of pronouncing on Catholic dogma

    As much as I agree with you on this, it seems like you have been outvoted. PZ seems quite willing to “pronounce” lots of stuff about Catholic dogma, as well as Protestant Dogma… and pretty much any other type of religion.

  86. #86 Matt Penfold
    August 3, 2007

    Apy,

    Do you not think years of study actually matter ? Is becoming an expert is a subject a total waste of time ? Of course not. Expertise and experience matters. The Pope, and the Catholic church in general, have never shown much comprehension of science and I see no reason to suggest that has changed. That idea that the Popes announcement means something is ridiculous. If Catholics want to know about science they should listen to those with knowledge in science. When it comes to Catholic dogma I will freely admit the Pope will have the edge on me. When it comes to evolution I do not look to the Pope for answers, I look to biologists like PZ whilst keeping in mind that although they maybe experts they are not infallible. To my mind the Pope should have simply said that he is not an expert in science and that any Catholics wanting to know about science would be served listening to those who do it.

    There are a number of atheists who argue the likes of PZ and Dawkins need to keep quiet about science and religion being incompatible as they see science and religion as being totally seperate. I wonder how many of those atheists will now call on the Pope to shut up ?

  87. #87 TR
    August 3, 2007

    Behe slogs on…

    hee hee, I think you meant to say PZ. Good slip.

  88. #88 Matt Penfold
    August 3, 2007

    “Scientists would not think of pronouncing on Catholic dogma

    As much as I agree with you on this, it seems like you have been outvoted. PZ seems quite willing to “pronounce” lots of stuff about Catholic dogma, as well as Protestant Dogma… and pretty much any other type of religion.”

    David,

    Can you really be that obtuse ?

    When PZ talks about religion he is NOT doing so as a scientist. When the Pope talks about science it is very clear he IS doing so as head of the Catholic church. Do you see the difference ?

  89. #89 David
    August 3, 2007

    David, you’d be more convincing if you actually offered some kind of arguments, rather than just insults.

    So would most fundie atheists. However, as their entire argument is “Wah! I don’t get it! It’s gotta be wrong! I’m teh atheist and I’m smart! Wah!”, its not terribly surprising they don’t say much.

    By the way, this ex-Catholic was taught that the Trinity is a divine mystery, and thus not amenable to human understanding.

    Not amenable in any way shape or form? Or just not totally amenable?

    They act like their made up dogmas discredit actual scientific evidence.

    You have scientific evidence that the trinity is impossible! Really! Please! Enlighten me! What evidence do you have, oh great atheist sage! Or is it just… “I’m teh atheist, I’m smart, I don’t get the trinity so the trinity must be dumb and not real”.

  90. #90 TR
    August 3, 2007

    …any Catholics wanting to know about science would be served listening to those who do it.

    yeah, but many of those Catholics wouldn’t be able to distinguish between Dawkins and Behe (for example) as far as credibility goes.

  91. #91 Evolving Squid
    August 3, 2007

    It must feel so good, so… “moral” to do nothing but bitch about religion. Really makes you feel like your standing up for “truth” I bet. After all, you are uncompromising. Who cares if the pope’s support of evolution might lead to Catholics accepting evolution. As long as people don’t believe, and act, exactly like you do in regards to science, they are the enemy. Classic fundie behavior. Oh, sure, you can differ all you want in regards to what symbol your movement has. Even the worst fundie churches allow differences in the inconsequentials. You can differ in which particular militant atheist you follow. Fundies differ in that too.

    Fundie vs. Fundie.

    If it wasn’t so sad… it would be funny. Heck, even if it is sad, it’s still a little funny.

    People should accept the truth of evolution on the basis of the immense mountain of available evidence in favour of it, not because some German in a pointy hat says it’s OK.

    Although the latter would certainly lead more people to accepting evolution, the ends do not justify the means.

  92. #92 negentropyeater
    August 3, 2007

    “…who the hell cares what you say, Benny.”

    I don’t, PZ doesn’t, neither do most people on this blog. That’s quite obvious.

    But to say that noone cares about what the pope says is scientifically incorrect.

    Personally, I really don’t care about what the pope says, but I must also admit that some people will.

    At least, more people will care about what he said about ToE than what I said… or that PZ said.

  93. #93 CL
    August 3, 2007

    apy–

    Yes, it’s an appeal to authority. But since so much of our “daily argumentation” necessarily relies on appeals to authority, there’s no harm in correctly pointing out that some authorities are better than others.

  94. #94 Matt Penfold
    August 3, 2007

    To build on what Squid said in post #91, the danger is that having the Pope speak on scientific matters is that it gives further credence to the idea religious organisations have anything of value to say about science. The Pope has it right on evolution, he may not have it right on other issues.

  95. #95 Matt Penfold
    August 3, 2007

    CL,

    Thank you, you put it better than I did. Although “an appeal to expertise” might be better!

  96. #96 Blake Stacey
    August 3, 2007

    Empirically speaking, the statement by the previous Pope did a piss-poor job of settling the whole fact-vs-myth debate. I don’t see why I should get all in a lather about the summer sequel, Papal Bull: Episode II.

  97. #97 David
    August 3, 2007

    When PZ talks about religion he is NOT doing so as a scientist

    Can you really be that obtuse? He is doing it as a scientist. The whole point of every militant fundie atheist is that “science” (which gets equated with clear thinking) has basically eliminated God as a viable option.

    But I’ll tell you what. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he isn’t speaking as a “scientist”. If not, what is he speaking as? An arrogant shock jock? An ignoramous? Any other option?

    Moreover, the belief that evolution poses no conflict with religious belief is a theological point. Not a scientific one. So the Pope need not be making a scientific statement.

    But good try.

    If Catholics want to know about science they should listen to those with knowledge in science.

    What if they want to learn something about theology? Should the listen to those with knowledge of science? After all, some posters here seem to think that PZ understands Catholicism better than the pope. Maybe I should just trust PZ on everything! Why not? After all, he is teh atheist. And as we all know atheism = rational thinking. Just like religious belief = delusion.

  98. #98 Morgan
    August 3, 2007

    Reginald, that does not surprise me whatsoever, as you only care about yourself.

    Now, let’s wait for the inevitable response. Shall it be more insults? Or will Reginald try to claim that he really does care about other people?

    Reginald says he doesn’t care about what you have to say; you say he doesn’t care about anyone but himself. There’s certainly one person flinging insults there, and it’s not Reginald.

    David, since it seems you get no value at all out of this blog, why do you read it in the first place, let alone comment on it?

  99. #99 Matt Penfold
    August 3, 2007

    David,

    “But I’ll tell you what. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he isn’t speaking as a “scientist”. If not, what is he speaking as? An arrogant shock jock? An ignoramous? Any other option?”

    Try a member of the human race. You forgot that one somehow.

    And the idea that religion is incompatible with science can be addressed by science. I presume all these religious people praying are praying to something and for something. Most of those people will believe their prayers can be answered. That IS a scientific claim. The only way for religion to avoid the conflict is to have a god that does not intervene in the universe. I need hardly mention that is not the type of god worshipped by most.

  100. #100 Loc
    August 3, 2007

    David,

    Take a breath. First, rationale and logic are human characteristics not confined to science. Second, why can’t we question your theLOGY. Logos = knowledge last time I checked.

    Third: PZ could possibly know EVERYTHING.

  101. #101 David
    August 3, 2007

    David, since it seems you get no value at all out of this blog, why do you read it in the first place, let alone comment on it?

    It’s great for a laugh.

    I presume all these religious people praying are praying to something and for something. Most of those people will believe their prayers can be answered. That IS a scientific claim.

    It is, if the claim is “If I pray for it, it will happen”. It is not if the claim is “If I pray for it, and it is in the will of God, then it will happen”. I’ll give you a clue, since you seem to be rather ignorant of theology. (Gee… what a surprise). One’s an accurate Christian doctrine. One is prosperity preaching.

    If you want use prosperity preaching as a straw man, you certainly have that right. Free speech and all that.

  102. #102 CalGeorge
    August 3, 2007

    Maybe I should just trust PZ on everything!

    Now you’re getting it!

    Phew!

  103. #103 David
    August 3, 2007

    Second, why can’t we question your theLOGY.

    Oh, you can question my theology all you want. And if your questions are stupid, if your “points” are stupid, I will simply call them for what they are, and it at that.

    If you want to have an intelligent conversation, ask an intelligent question, or make an intelligent point. I don’t discuss things with virulent ignorance.

  104. #104 David
    August 3, 2007

    Third: PZ could possibly know EVERYTHING.

    Maybe I should just trust PZ on everything!

    Now you’re getting it!

    Sure… atheism isn’t a religion. We now have a new atheist prophet, PZ Meyers, knower of all things.

  105. #105 MartinM
    August 3, 2007

    It is not if the claim is “If I pray for it, and it is in the will of God, then it will happen”.

    You appear to be assuming that there is no correlation between what is prayed for and God’s will. Is God so ineffable that his own followers have literally no clue what his will involves?

  106. #106 Matt Penfold
    August 3, 2007

    David,

    “It is, if the claim is “If I pray for it, it will happen”. It is not if the claim is “If I pray for it, and it is in the will of God, then it will happen”. I’ll give you a clue, since you seem to be rather ignorant of theology. (Gee… what a surprise). One’s an accurate Christian doctrine. One is prosperity preaching.”

    There is no difference between the two. Nice try though.

    How often do you hear people saying it was ogd that got then through a serious illness, or stopped them from being killed in an accident ? You hear it all the time, and that is also a scientific claim and one that is full of bollocks. These people are deluding themselves as well as denying the people who really saved their lives the true credit.

  107. #107 Pete
    August 3, 2007

    Yeah, stop feeding the troll. Not only does it lower signal to noise (who wants to read all that?) but you won’t get back that hour and 15 minutes of your life.

    @82:”It’s not everything we could want, of course, but the complaints amount to: “The Pope is Catholic.”

    Of course Ratzinger’s tentative acceptance of evolution is far better than if he were to tell his flock they must believe in YEC. But the point is that his opinion shouldn’t matter! let’s unpack the complaint. It’s not just “The Pope is Catholic” – it’s “Hundreds of millions of people are willing to obey the whims of one man whose sole claim to authority is based on patently ridiculous nonsense”. I’d say this is a fair complaint to make.

  108. #108 MartinM
    August 3, 2007

    Sure… atheism isn’t a religion. We now have a new atheist prophet, PZ Meyers, knower of all things.

    You know damn well CalGeorge wasn’t being serious. You really need to stoop that low to score cheap points?

  109. #109 DMLou
    August 3, 2007

    Matt Penfold:

    Despite the obvious screwups that the Catholic Church has performed with regards to science over its 2000 or so year history (*cough* Galileo *cough*), historically they have shown a fair bit of comprehension of science. Many of the great scientists of the Middle Ages also were Catholic monks. The classic example of this is Roger Bacon, who in the 13th century was one of the originators of what lead to the modern scientific method, performed many observations on the motions of the planets, was a huge proponent of the experimental method, and discovered the property of prisms to split white light into multiple colors four centuries before Isaac Newton.

    Then there is Gregor Mendel, a Catholic priest, whose work in the 19th century was the foundation of modern genetics, which of course constitutes a big part of the overall Theory of Evolution. Apparently, some of Mendel’s writings were influenced by Darwin’s Origin of Species since both he and Darwin were contemporaries. Just think — it was a Catholic Priest who provided a big chunk of the background material required to form the modern theory of evolution — the same topic we’re discussing right here!

    Need I go on to provide other experiments of Catholic clergy who were also excellent scientists? Yes, the Catholic Church isn’t always perfect, but they have produced a fair bit of good science over their history as well.

  110. #110 Stanton
    August 3, 2007

    I regard Behe as more of an authority on evolution than PZ.

    Why?

    Becasue Behe has come to the right conclusion: it is bullshit. Behe slogs on, his whole being invested in making sure people adopt a positive attitude toward his enterprise. He’s deeply invested in the con. Anything he says about evolution is going to be subject.

    Actually, anything and everything Behe has said about evolution has been and is going to be wrong.
    David, if you actually took the time to read a textbook on evolution written by competent writers, such as Futuyama, you would have realized that Behe does not, and has been unable to demonstrate that he even has an elementary grasp of evolutionary processes. With Behe’s alleged definitions of how bacterial flagella are manufactured, and of how the immune system works, I suspect that he does not even have an elementary grasp of cell biology.

  111. #111 Stanton
    August 3, 2007

    Speaking of Gregor Mendel, can anyone verify a legend I heard about him, in that, after he passed away, was it true that the abbot who succeeded him burned all of his notes and journals, saying that his research on gardening and peas was unbecoming of a man of the cloth?

  112. #112 David
    August 3, 2007

    There is no difference between the two. Nice try though.

    If you are attached to your strawmen, that’s unfortunate. Not much I can do though.

    How often do you hear people saying it was ogd that got then through a serious illness, or stopped them from being killed in an accident ? You hear it all the time, and that is also a scientific claim and one that is full of bollocks.

    How is this a scientific claim? How can you test in a specific instance if God acted or if he did not? Sure, there might be a few specific cases where this is possible, but as a general rule, what can you do to “test” this?

    These people are deluding themselves as well as denying the people who really saved their lives the true credit.

    Your opinion, followed by the usual lack of understanding of religion. You’re on a roll. Keep it up. I’m really enjoying reading this stupidity.

    You know damn well CalGeorge wasn’t being serious.

    Neither was I.

  113. #113 NC Paul
    August 3, 2007

    “They act like their made up dogmas discredit actual scientific evidence.”

    “You have scientific evidence that the trinity is impossible! Really! Please! Enlighten me! What evidence do you have, oh great atheist sage! Or is it just… “I’m teh atheist, I’m smart, I don’t get the trinity so the trinity must be dumb and not real”.”

    I never said I had evidence against the Trinity. However, you surely won’t deny that there are religious groups that refuse to accept scientific evidence because it contradicts their scripture and dogma?

    But while we are on the subject of evidence, perhaps you’ll supply us with some evidence for the existence of the Trinity?

    If we are, as you say, stupid, unintelligent atheists, then why not enlighten us? If the Trinity is real, show us the evidence. Or (again in your own words) shall it be more insults, David?

  114. #114 negentropyeater
    August 3, 2007

    I really don’t understand why everybody is picking at David when essentially what he said was that some people (about 1 billion of them) do care about what the pope has to say on the ToE.

    We might not like it, but it is a fact. Anf for once if the pope doesn’t say something too stupid, there shouldn’t be reason for so much animosity.

    Wether it is a good thing that the pope has so much influence is another question…

  115. #115 Whosawhatsis
    August 3, 2007

    Haha, Benny, I like that. I was going to keep calling him Ratzinger (members of the Hitler Youth don’t get to change their names) or Pope Palpatine I, but now I don’t know what’s more disrespectful…

  116. #116 Matt Penfold
    August 3, 2007

    David,

    So let me get this clear. It is now your contention that your god no longer intevenes in anyway in the universe ? In otherwords you god is Spinoza’s god ? Nothing more than the rules by which the universe works.

  117. #117 David
    August 3, 2007

    Stanton, read what I wrote. Don’t just misquote me for kicks. Its a fundie tactic I know, and its enjoyable, but maybe you can be slightly more honest than that.

    Then there is Gregor Mendel, a Catholic priest, whose work in the 19th century was the foundation of modern genetics, which of course constitutes a big part of the overall Theory of Evolution.

    I guess he was just good at compartmentalizing his religious delusions so they didn’t affect his science.

  118. #118 MartinM
    August 3, 2007

    I really don’t understand why everybody is picking at David when essentially what he said was that some people (about 1 billion of them) do care about what the pope has to say on the ToE.

    Because from his first post on this thread he’s been acting like a contentious jackass? Just a thought.

  119. #119 David
    August 3, 2007

    However, you surely won’t deny that there are religious groups that refuse to accept scientific evidence because it contradicts their scripture and dogma?

    Sure. There are tons. Shall we then go through the usual atheist screed of “Since there are some religious believers who do this, then all must…. except for those rare few who are good at compartmentalization”.

    So let me get this clear. It is now your contention that your god no longer intevenes in anyway in the universe ?

    When your reading comprehension becomes better than that of a monkey, let me know. We might have an intelligent conversation then.

    I really don’t understand why everybody is picking at David

    I do. I’m a theist, a Christian moreover, who is not a creationist, who doesn’t believe in ID, and who converted from being an atheist. None of the usual atheist screeds actually apply to me.

    If we are, as you say, stupid, unintelligent atheists, then why not enlighten us?

    Unfortunately I’m just not that good.

  120. #120 flybirdiefly386sx
    August 3, 2007

    Unfortunately I’m just not that good.

    That’s okay. Neither is the Pope. :-) You are in good company sir.

  121. #121 Matt Penfold
    August 3, 2007

    David,

    I asked you a simple question. You inability to answer suggests those of us who think you are intellectually challenged are correct. You either think you god intervenes in the universe or he does not. The former would be a scientific claim. The latter would make your god a pretty feeble god.

  122. #122 negentropyeater
    August 3, 2007

    well, if I read his first post #12 :

    “Who cares if the pope’s support of evolution might lead to Catholics accepting evolution. As long as people don’t believe, and act, exactly like you do in regards to science, they are the enemy. Classic fundie behavior.”

    that’s the reaction you would expect from a Christian when reading PZ’s original post. Doesn’t make him a Jackass for that.

  123. #123 Stanton
    August 3, 2007

    I read what you wrote, and you wrote that you:

    regard Behe as more of an authority on evolution than PZ.

    Why?

    Becasue Behe has come to the right conclusion: it is bullshit.

    If you were trying to be sarcastic, please be less subtle, as it’s very difficult to understand a person’s talking points if that person is trying to be subtle in their sarcasm.
    Furthermore, it does not help your case at all if you regard, even in jest, that a person like Behe, who does not even have an elementary grasp of so many vital biological concepts and mechanisms, as a greater authority than PZ Myers.
    Your illusionary talking points and insulting arguments are like joking in a convention of Hassidic rabbis that “maybe President Ahmadinejad is right about Israel,” and then complaining that the rabbis’ negative reactions are unfair.

  124. #124 David
    August 3, 2007

    You either think you god intervenes in the universe or he does not. The former would be a scientific claim.

    You have yet to show that the claim “God sometimes intervenes in the universe” is at all a scientific claim. You have not given any tests that can be run to show whether or not this is true, you have not given any evidence that is capable of falsifying this claim, you have given nothing but your own opinion.

    What you have done, is basically show that you cannot tell the difference between a God who acts as he wills, and a God who is little more than a slave, at the beck and call of the praying Christian. Your stupidity in regards to religion Matt, is not my problem.

    Like I said before, when you get beyond the reading comprehension of a monkey, maybe we can have an intelligent conversation.

  125. #125 Stanton
    August 3, 2007

    If we are, as you say, stupid, unintelligent atheists, then why not enlighten us?

    Unfortunately I’m just not that good.

    Doesn’t it seem, shall we say, extremely unChristian of you to linger around here with the specific purpose of antagonizing and insulting us, then?

  126. #126 Brownian
    August 3, 2007

    I see a certain someone has given up on his whining about being insulted and gone back to calling insulting everyone else. Is there some religious holiday I’m unaware of?

    What a hypocrite.

    Anyways, he had his chance to make his case. He bailed.

    He’s got nothing to offer but weak apologetics. He’s not interested in learning anything else. He just wastes everyone’s time.

  127. #127 NC Paul
    August 3, 2007

    If we are, as you say, stupid, unintelligent atheists, then why not enlighten us?

    Unfortunately I’m just not that good.

    Shall we take that to mean you have no evidence?

    Doesn’t that put the Trinity on the same level as Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, or from your Christian perspective, Vishnu and Zeus?

    There’s no evidence for any them either and I take it you don’t believe in those.

    But why not?

    Why choose to believe in the Christian god with such an intensity that you feel you have to come here and insult people (which, by the way, is hardly very Christ-like behaviour; as your neighbour (metaphorically speaking) I’m not really feeling the love)?

  128. #128 MartinM
    August 3, 2007

    What you have done, is basically show that you cannot tell the difference between a God who acts as he wills, and a God who is little more than a slave, at the beck and call of the praying Christian.

    And you’ve yet to say whether there’s any correlation at all between what is prayed for and what God wills.

  129. #129 David
    August 3, 2007

    Stanton.

    Actually read my post. Read WHY I posted that particular section. Read what I said, in that very post, about that section. It’s really not that difficult. It merely requires you to read the whole post. Not just find a section and go “Haha! Teh Christian said stupid things. I laugh now”.

  130. #130 Rey Fox
    August 3, 2007

    “How can you test in a specific instance if God acted or if he did not? Sure, there might be a few specific cases where this is possible, but as a general rule, what can you do to “test” this? ”

    That’s kind of the rub, isn’t it? You can’t test it. So it’s functionally meaningless to posit a god behind any action since there is essentially no way to tell the difference between when he is acting and when he isn’t. Unless you posit the blanket assertion that this god is behind everything, but that doesn’t really answer anything either.

    Although I am intrigued by the notion of “a few specific cases” where he can be tested. Sort of brings God back into the open where we can get a handle on him and examine the evidence for his existence, doesn’t it? But I suspect I’m just too darned stupid to understand.

  131. #131 Matt Penfold
    August 3, 2007

    David,

    “You have yet to show that the claim “God sometimes intervenes in the universe” is at all a scientific claim.”

    I had assumed I would not have to. Clearly I credited you with more intelligence than you deserve. That you cannot understand that material effects are exactly what science studies, thus ANY claim that something has a material effect in the universe is a scientific claim.

    It has become clear that you do not wish to be honest here. No doubt if you ask nicely your god will forgive you. I though will not.

  132. #132 Tulse
    August 3, 2007

    David:

    If you want to have an intelligent conversation, ask an intelligent question, or make an intelligent point.

    I gave you the official position of the Catholic Church, which states that the Trinity is a mystery beyond human understanding (and therefore outside the domain of scientific discourse). You haven’t responded to that, or really to any of the arguments that people have made here — instead you have made bald claims laced with insults. I’m beginning to believe that’s all your capable of. If you want to engage the issues, do so — otherwise, don’t bother.

  133. #133 Matt Penfold
    August 3, 2007

    Rey Fox,

    Well in some case we can test for intervention by god. Studies on prayer have done just that and have shown that praying for someone has no effect on the health. Which leads to the question, what do all those religious people who pray for ill people think they are doing ?

  134. #134 Stanton
    August 3, 2007

    David, can you answer my other question of why you insist on lingering around here with the specific purpose of antagonizing and insulting us, then, even when some of us also happen to be Christians?

  135. #135 David
    August 3, 2007

    Shall we take that to mean you have no evidence?

    You can if you want to. It’s not true, but when has that ever stopped atheists before?

    (which, by the way, is hardly very Christ-like behaviour; as your neighbour (metaphorically speaking) I’m not really feeling the love)?

    I’m sorry, but this is wrong. Christians don’t have to be doormats, and just take it while atheists hurl their insults. They are allowed to call out stupidity when they see it.

    And you’ve yet to say whether there’s any correlation at all between what is prayed for and what God wills.

    I’m waiting for Matt to prove his claim, or at least give some evidence. If he doesn’t, then I’ll take the usual atheist route, and say that with the lack of evidence I won’t believe it.

    He’s got nothing to offer but weak apologetics. He’s not interested in learning anything else.

    Brownian, if I honestly thought you had anything to teach about religion, or specifically Christianity, I would be all ears. As you have shown no signs that you do, Why should I bother thinking that there is anything here that I CAN learn?

    There are other blogs that I go to when I want to learn something. As they actually have something to teach.

  136. #136 Matt Penfold
    August 3, 2007

    I’m waiting for Matt to prove his claim, or at least give some evidence.”

    I have done. Time for you to put up or shut up.

  137. #137 Stanton
    August 3, 2007

    I’m sorry, but this is wrong. Christians don’t have to be doormats, and just take it while atheists hurl their insults. They are allowed to call out stupidity when they see it.

    How does your behavior here exemplify Christ’s urgings to turn the other cheek? Oh, wait, your behavior here does not.

    They are allowed to call out stupidity when they see it.

    They are doing this right now, and you’re too stubborn to realize this.

  138. #138 MartinM
    August 3, 2007

    I’m waiting for Matt to prove his claim, or at least give some evidence. If he doesn’t, then I’ll take the usual atheist route, and say that with the lack of evidence I won’t believe it.

    Won’t work, I’m afraid. You made the specific statement that:

    “If I pray for it, and it is in the will of God, then it will happen”

    …is not a scientific claim. This is only true if what is prayed for is not at all correlated with what is in the will of God. If a correlation does exist, then what is prayed for should occur more frequently than chance would predict. That is a testable claim.

  139. #139 386sx
    August 3, 2007

    Why choose to believe in the Christian god with such an intensity that you feel you have to come here and insult people (which, by the way, is hardly very Christ-like behaviour; as your neighbour (metaphorically speaking) I’m not really feeling the love)?

    That’s only if you read one verse. Jesus insults plenty of people if you read other verses. He insults his mom in John 2:4 when He and his Gang run out of booze, for example.

  140. #140 David
    August 3, 2007

    That you cannot understand that material effects are exactly what science studies, thus ANY claim that something has a material effect in the universe is a scientific claim.

    That’s unfortunate. I had hoped you would reveal this supersecret atheist test that determines whether or not God actually has intervened in a situation. But apparently, all you can do is just assert that it’s scientific. Unfortunate.

    So it’s functionally meaningless to posit a god behind any action since there is essentially no way to tell the difference between when he is acting and when he isn’t.

    I see. So if you can’t test it, it’s meaningless. I got it. What’s the test for your claim?

    You haven’t responded to that Yes, I did respond. There is a difference between being a complete and total mystery, absolutely not-understandable, and not being completely understandable by us. If you can’t tell the difference between the two, go back to school.

    If you want to engage the issues, do so — otherwise, don’t bother.

    I don’t feel the need to engage stupidity to any greater extent then pointing out that its stupid.

    Well in some case we can test for intervention by god. Studies on prayer have done just that and have shown that praying for someone has no effect on the health.

    Let’s see. As I’ve stated before, the correct Christian doctrine is not, “If you pray for it, it’ll definitely happen”. The correct Christian doctrine is “If you pray for it, and it is within God’s will” it will happen. There’s a difference. In the first case, those studies on prayer actually mean something. In the second case the studies don’t mean jack.

  141. #141 Brownian
    August 3, 2007

    David, my comment referred to you, but wasn’t addressed to you.

    If I wanted your opinion, you fuckwit, I would have asked for it.

    Go shove a crucifix up your ass, you whiny, lying, hypocritical little troll.

  142. #142 David
    August 3, 2007

    If a correlation does exist, then what is prayed for should occur more frequently than chance would predict.

    Only if God’s will is to answer prayer “more than chance would predict”. Besides that though, atheists will reject the testimonies of people who believes that God DID answer their prayer. As long as ANY naturalistic explanation exists, mass hypnosis, instantaneous conspiracy, people simultaneously having the same delusion… whatever, the atheist will claim that prayer wasn’t actually answered.

  143. #143 David
    August 3, 2007

    Sorry Brownian.

    I don’t shut up just because I’m insulted.

  144. #144 Matt Penfold
    August 3, 2007

    “Let’s see. As I’ve stated before, the correct Christian doctrine is not, “If you pray for it, it’ll definitely happen”. The correct Christian doctrine is “If you pray for it, and it is within God’s will” it will happen. There’s a difference. In the first case, those studies on prayer actually mean something. In the second case the studies don’t mean jack.”

    So in every study it was the will of god to do nothing. That tells us something. It tells us praying to god to heal the sick is a waste of time. Of course if the Pope was honest he would tell his flock this.

  145. #145 Matt Penfold
    August 3, 2007

    What David seems to be saying is that god will answer prayers if he wants to, but even when he does answer them you cannot tell if he has or not.

    Do I have right ?

  146. #146 Matt Penfold
    August 3, 2007

    David,

    You god is a very cruel god. He must clearly decided to ignore the prayers for people who are part of a random trial into the efficiacy of prayer. That is not the action of a being who is compassionate.

  147. #147 Brownian
    August 3, 2007

    I don’t shut up just because I’m insulted.

    Whine.

  148. #148 negentropyeater
    August 3, 2007

    “God acts in mysterious ways”

    that’s always been the central point of christianity.

    Until now, religion had attempted to exclude from these “mysteries” the fact that god had created women from a man’s rib, caused the snake to ramp forever, and had also designed all other creatures.

    If one can see in the pope’s statement an admission that those mysteries have now a scientific, rational explanation, I think it is a clear point gained by science.

    Of course, they will still consider that there are some further “mysteries” (ie Jesus walking on water), but I do regard the pope’s admission as a great victory for science.
    Especially when you take into account the fact that 3 dumbheads candidates for the presidency still haven’t reached that minimum level of intelligence.

  149. #149 NC Paul
    August 3, 2007

    So you say it’s not true that there’s no evidence for the existence of the Trinity, but you choose not to present it. But why not?

    It’s obviously convinced you that there’s a rational reason to believe in Christianity and not in, say, the Greek or Aztec pantheons. That’s surely pretty momentous evidence.
    And if the evidence exists, why not share it?

    By not doing so, it’s hard to come to any other conclusion than that you don’t have evidence and than none exists. Without further enlightenment from you, I hope that you’d agree that that’s an unreasonable or stupid conclusion to come to.

    At the end of the day, though David, based on what you’ve written, I have doubts that you came here to do anything but insult people who, not unreasonably, insist that beliefs be back up by evidence. As I and others have pointed out, that’s hardly the message that Jesus preached (even if it is in the spirit of the more deranged parts of the Old Testament).

  150. #150 LM
    August 3, 2007

    Oh yes, davidm, let’s bash public schools, shall we? I happen to be a product of a public school system and take offense to your statement. My school was excellent, and it regularly churns out brilliant folks (most of my friends attended graduate school; almost all are highly successful). I’ll also add that my cousin, who attended an all girl Catholic school, is an alcoholic tart who can barely string together two coherent thoughts.

  151. #151 David
    August 3, 2007

    Do I have right ?

    I’m certain you have “right”(whatever that is), but you aren’t right. Although its remarkably close to what I am saying so you do get partial credit.

    So in every study it was the will of god to do nothing.

    No one got healed? Not a SINGLE person?

    Of course if the Pope was honest he would tell his flock this.

    Has the Pope ever said “If you pray for someone to be healed, they will be?” Or would you just like it if he said that?

  152. #152 Brownian
    August 3, 2007

    I’ll also add that my cousin, who attended an all girl Catholic school, is an alcoholic tart who can barely string together two coherent thoughts.

    So is she single?

  153. #153 Rey Fox
    August 3, 2007

    “So if you can’t test it, it’s meaningless. I got it. What’s the test for your claim?”

    You’re asking for a test to determine whether tests are useful? You’re really reaching now, you know that?

    “I don’t feel the need to engage stupidity to any greater extent then pointing out that its stupid.”

    And yet when we do it, we’re being “fundies”. As if we needed your double standards pointed out any more obviously.

    “Only if God’s will is to answer prayer “more than chance would predict”. ”

    Yeah Matt, you have to not only test whether prayer works, but whether it’s God’s Will for prayer to work. Dummyhead. And how do we do that? You’re too dumb to know, dummyhead.

  154. #154 Tulse
    August 3, 2007

    So is she single?

    And does she still have her uniform?

  155. #155 David
    August 3, 2007

    I have doubts that you came here to do anything but insult people who, not unreasonably, insist that beliefs be back up by evidence.

    Except that the evidence for atheism is… tada! Nothing. The whole point of atheism is “I don’t by the evidence that I have been presented, so therefore I think there isn’t any evidence, therefore God doesn’t exist”.

    For people who insist that beliefs be backed up by evidence, do you have any evidence for atheism beyond your personal incredulity?

    Otherwise I might as well call myself an a-athiest. I lack a belief in the lack of belief.

    You god is a very cruel god.

    That is your opinion. As you only (at best) have a second hand, biased, twisted, knowledge of God, I’ll take the opinion of those who personally know him over yours. Sorry.

  156. #156 Brownian
    August 3, 2007

    Why don’t you guys let the little weasel finish the argument he started here?

    The whiny wanker who considers us all children chickened out after he committed to finally making a cogent argument.

  157. #157 David
    August 3, 2007

    You’re asking for a test to determine whether tests are useful? You’re really reaching now, you know that?

    No.. you made the claim that claims are meaningless unless they can be tested. Well, what’s your test for that one?

    And yet when we do it, we’re being “fundies”.

    Nah. That’s not why you are fundies.

  158. #158 Matt Penfold
    August 3, 2007

    “No one got healed? Not a SINGLE person?”

    No due to prayer, no.

    There was NO difference between the groups prayed for and the control groups.

    Conclusion: Praying for someone to get better does not work. Thus god does NOT answer prayers, or at least not that type of prayer.

  159. #159 David
    August 3, 2007

    I knew it. Didn’t I say that I would be accused of running away, or chickening out if I didn’t respond fast enough?

    Thank you for proving me right, yet again Brownian. I appreciate it.

  160. #160 Stanton
    August 3, 2007

    I don’t feel like letting him finish his argument in the dysfunctional family circus thread.
    I have much more important things to do, like wash my dog, spray my cats for fleas, write a book and die of old age.

  161. #161 Brownian
    August 3, 2007

    You’ve apparently got all the time in the world to comment right now, you slimy little douchebag, so get your fucking ass in gear and answer over there, you pile of festering pus.

  162. #162 kemibe
    August 3, 2007

    This David must be the same David who bumblefucked his way through this discussion.

    He’s openly dismissive and scornful of evidence and reason, as if the scientists and atheists he calls “fundamentalists” have exhausted a given quota for requiring these and that as a result facts are now worth less than dogmatic lunacy. On top of that he can’t read his own Bible for comprehension. He is, however, good at repeating himself, like every deluded faithster.

    He’ll be here for as long as he’s kept fed.

  163. #163 Rey Fox
    August 3, 2007

    “As you only (at best) have a second hand, biased, twisted, knowledge of God, I’ll take the opinion of those who personally know him over yours.”

    There. You may all stop trying to argue with David on rational grounds now. Good night.

  164. #164 TR
    August 3, 2007

    David,
    Only if God’s will is to answer prayer “more than chance would predict”.

    are you saying God is indistiguishable from chance?

  165. #165 JohnnieCanuck, FCD
    August 3, 2007

    Hey, the clown troll is back. Dancing and capering, daring one and all to buy a pie. Missed me, missed me again, he cries while tossing out insults and lies.

    Why does he do it, all covered in pie? It’s a cry for attention, nothing more. Pity the sad clown who types so boldly, so often.

  166. #166 negentropyeater
    August 3, 2007

    Proposition 1 : “God exists and acts in mysterious ways”

    Proposition 2 : “God does not exist”

    As far as both proposition cannot be proven false, as far as I am concerned, both are valid. Please note, the pope admits now that proposition 1 excludes “God designed all species”

    The real question is then, which proposition best helps humanity ?

    That, I think, is where the real debate is. Religious people think prop.1 does, atheists think prop. 2 does.

  167. #167 dkew
    August 3, 2007

    “If you ask the wrong questions you get answers like ’42′ or ‘God’.” or 3=1.
    I do think it’s somewhat positive that the superstition-rationality landscape is shifting slightly toward rationality, if even a pope admits there is evidence for evolution (of some kind, anyway.)

  168. #168 Brownian
    August 3, 2007

    No TR, he’s not saying anything. In over 200 comments, he’s never said anything beyond “you’re all a bunch of fundies.”

    He will not respond to your question in any meaningful way. He’s a lying, hypocritical asshole who delights in word games.

    STOP RESPONDING TO HIM AS IF HE WERE GENUINE.

  169. #169 LM
    August 3, 2007

    Brownian: Well, she probably is. She’s not really known for being able to keep a guy around for very long. She’s a bit of what I like to call a “Butter Face.”

    Tulse: Yes, I believe she does!

  170. #170 Marcus Ranum
    August 3, 2007

    >”No one got healed? Not a SINGLE person?”
    >No due to prayer, no.

    I got into this one a couple years ago with a woo woo head who was talking about miracles. Which got me thinking… So I looked around and according to (this is all web-research so apply a B.S. filter – and these ##s are from memory so do your own research if you decide to quote me) Lourdes shrine something like 12,000,000 people have visited the site in the last 25 years. And there have been something like 20 genuine “miracles.” Which got me to wondering, if those 12,000,000 people STAYED HOME and used the money to PLAY THE LOTTERY… Yep… There’d be about 20 “didn’t go to lourdes miraculous millionaires”

    And there have been something like 20 miraculous cures of cancer. And, of course, other “miraculous” cures. So I was curious what the average rate of spontaneous remission for cancers happens to be and… Unfortunately they don’t give everyone who comes to the site a questionnaire “OK, what’s your problem?” So if I show up with cancer and God heals my hemmerhoids it’s still a miracle.

    Prayer has, however, never healed an amputee. :) Nor has a trip to Lourdes. The guy who did “why does god hate amputees” really cracks me up.

  171. #171 David
    August 3, 2007

    Brownian, my my. Such anger you have. I mean, I’m sorry that I’m not jumping through your hoops, but I don’t see why that has to get your panties in a wad.

    Did you ever consider that some good points were actually made in that thread? That maybe, just maybe I wanted to consider them all before answering? That maybe, just MAYBE since people actually responded without insults, and without the usual atheist screeds I wanted to answer in kind? Or did that thought not pass through your little head?

  172. #172 LM
    August 3, 2007

    I started skipping over David’s posts when he made the claim that atheists are not persecuted. Also, it really annoys me when a person can’t make a reasonable argument to support his claims and resorts instead to constant sarcasm and condescension.

  173. #173 negentropyeater
    August 3, 2007

    noone seems to want to reply to my question (which stems directly from PZ’s original post):

    isn’t it true that the pope’s statement is a great victory for science ?

    (especially when 3 candidates to the presidency haven’t even reached that minimum level of intelligence)

  174. #174 David
    August 3, 2007

    Also, it really annoys me when a person can’t make a reasonable argument to support his claims and resorts instead to constant sarcasm and condescension.

    Yeah, I find that really annoying too. I wonder why atheists do it all the time?

  175. #175 Brownian
    August 3, 2007

    David:

    Yup. or Nope.

    Whichever suits you best, dipshit. I could not care less.

    Go dunk your head in holy water, say a heartfelt prayer, then take a deep breath.

  176. #176 LM
    August 3, 2007

    You would do well to not make blanket accusations, my friend. I am an atheist, and I don’t do that. Ever.

  177. #177 Stanton
    August 3, 2007

    I started skipping over David’s posts when he made the claim that atheists are not persecuted. Also, it really annoys me when a person can’t make a reasonable argument to support his claims and resorts instead to constant sarcasm and condescension.

    And don’t forget the parts where he summarily assumes that any one who disagrees with him is a fundamentalist or militant atheist.

  178. #178 David
    August 3, 2007

    noone seems to want to reply to my question (which stems directly from PZ’s original post):

    isn’t it true that the pope’s statement is a great victory for science ?

    Apparently not. At least according to the atheists here. The only “victory for science” they will accept is if the religion died.

    People have been wanting that to happen, predicting that it would happen, and has it happened? No. Moreover, it shows no signs of doing so in the future. Despite the hopes and dreams of the atheist.

  179. #179 LM
    August 3, 2007

    “isn’t it true that the pope’s statement is a great victory for science ?”

    A “great” victory? No. A small one, maybe. I guess it would only be great if you are the sort of person who takes the Pope seriously.

  180. #180 Marcus Ranum
    August 3, 2007

    >Proposition 1 : “God exists and acts in mysterious ways”
    >Proposition 2 : “God does not exist”
    >As far as both proposition cannot be proven false,
    >as far as I am concerned, both are valid.

    They may be semantically “valid” and, because you can’t falsify either of them, then it’s pointless to argue about them, but if what you’re interested in doing is advancing your understanding, you cast the problem as:

    If God exists and acts in mysterious ways, what evidence is there of h* existence, and the mysterious actions? Until there is some evidence of God’s existence it’s best to assume that God does not exist.

    For example, when I pray, do I emanate “prayitrons”? When God hears my prayers and grants me relief from the stupid people that surround me, does this divine action take the form of normal physical laws, or is it somehow outside of physics? If it’s within the context of physical law, then can we measure where granted prayers alter causality? We should be able to. If divine action (THOG or “The Hand Of God”) operates outside of physical reality then we ought to be able to measure it at the point where it does interface with the real world, right? So if we sit around Lourdes with full-spectrum detection gear and I dunno what else, will we be able to measure THOG when it acts?

    And, after enough of that, we’d quit and go have a beer and conclude that God was just some child’s story – like The Tooth Fairy, except with an eternal torture-chamber and a psychotic mindset.

  181. #181 negentropyeater
    August 3, 2007

    just forget the discussion with David, it makes no sense to argue… and PLEASE let me know what you think of my questions in post 173 and 166 ?

    Please…

  182. #182 DMLou
    August 3, 2007

    Stanton:

    With regards to Mendel, apparently that myth is just that — a myth. Mendel actually presented his findings at the Natural History Society of Brunn and had a paper published in that society’s proceedings. Interestingly enough, the scientific community at the time did not accept his findings and instead thought that pangenesis was more likely than Mendel’s model of inheritance. The scientific community didn’t agree with Mendel until after his death. Oh well — guess it goes to show that science is willing to adapt/change once better evidence comes along, which is a good thing. :)

    Also, in the interest of full disclosure, I am what one could call a “ceremonial Catholic” — I go to church for weddings, funerals, baptisms, etc., but I am certainly not a regular church goer and my actual beliefs tend to randomly waffle between atheist, agnostic, and deist depending on my mood. However, being raised Catholic, I still have a soft spot for the Church and do like to support them when they do something right (though I’m equally willing to lambaste them when they do something wrong).

    Oh, and Ratizinger joined the Hitler Youth something like two years after everyone in Germany was required to join, so calling him a Nazi is certainly wrong. However, I do agree that he does strongly resemble Emperor Palpatine and is no where near the warm-and-fuzzy, kindly grandfatherly type figure that JPII was. :)

  183. #183 David
    August 3, 2007

    And don’t forget the parts where he summarily assumes that any one who disagrees with him is a fundamentalist or militant atheist.

    False. I do not accuse everyone who disagrees with me as being a fundie. Merely those who display virulent ignorance. Those who think they actually know something.

  184. #184 Rey Fox
    August 3, 2007

    negen: I don’t know. The Catholic hierarchy has been endorsing evolution for years. I guess at best it’s a sort of “whew, at least Count Popula isn’t getting in on the ID act when he showed some initial signs that way.” And also a “people shouldn’t be getting their scientific views from a religious figurehead anyway.” So it’s a mixed blessing, at best.

  185. #185 Brownian
    August 3, 2007

    Negentropyeater, it is a great victory for thinking Catholics, in that their substantial cognitive dissonance is reduced a smidgen.

    It means nothing to anybody else.

  186. #186 negentropyeater
    August 3, 2007

    LM,

    agree with you, but if indeed there are a lot of people who do take him seriously, wouldn’t you agree that it is a big (well, at least bigger than small) victory ?

  187. #187 LM
    August 3, 2007

    David, I honestly don’t understand how you can sit there and accuse US of ignorance. Am I ignorant because I don’t believe in god? That hardly seems fair.

  188. #188 LM
    August 3, 2007

    NTE: Well… I have mixed feelings about this. I think it is generally a good thing that the pope is sort of sticking up for science. But I am bothered that the people who do take him seriously would rather sit around and wait for their figurehead to TELL them that evolution has support rather than going out and finding out for themselves.

  189. #189 CalGeorge
    August 3, 2007

    He will not respond to your question in any meaningful way. He’s a lying, hypocritical asshole who delights in word games.

    Just like the Pope.

    Why does the Pope have a noose around his neck?

  190. #190 Brownian
    August 3, 2007

    Those who think they actually know something.

    It’s beginning to sound a lot like David, e-e-e-e-v’rywhere I go-o-o-o-o-o-o!

    Is Mister Knowledge finished thinking about his response on the Dysfunctional Family Circus yet?

    We’re waiting with baited breath to be enlightened, O Steaming Heap of Lies.

    Did I mention, Fuck you? I wouldn’t want you to have nothing to whine about.

  191. #191 tony (fundie athiest)
    August 3, 2007

    Ah, David: here you are….

    I wondered if you had crawled under a rock.

    Per your comment/dismissive response to Brownian: MESchlum & I both posted on that thread days ago… you have not even responded (as I did in that same thread) “I’ll get back to you – I’m considering your points”. That would be courteous.

    Regarding your statements in this thread. You still demonstrate that you are fundamentally an idiot. You are strill constructing (as Kseniya said in that other thread) strawmen out of your ‘respondents’.

    This is my last post referencing you. I have better things to do that attempt to communicate with someone who is nothing more than a fun-house-mirror.

    proud to be a fundie athiest

  192. #192 David
    August 3, 2007

    David, I honestly don’t understand how you can sit there and accuse US of ignorance. Am I ignorant because I don’t believe in god?

    No.

    Negentropyeater, it is a great victory for thinking Catholics, in that their substantial cognitive dissonance is reduced a smidgen.

    Man, what a superiority complex atheism gives you. Everyone else suffers from “cognitive dissonance”, or they are deluded, or they suffer from a delusion. Only you , the might atheist are “clear thinking”. Sure, you might give lip service to the idea that you have some small, inconsequential delusions, but you could never be deluded seriously. Of course not.

  193. #193 LM
    August 3, 2007

    I wonder if it would matter to David at all that I am an evolutionary biologist. ABD and moving into science ed, but a biologist nonetheless.

  194. #194 Marcus Ranum
    August 3, 2007

    David writes:
    >. The only “victory for science” they will accept is
    >if the religion died.

    I don’t agree. Because if all the religion goes away then we won’t have the faithful to make fun of anymore. Which would be really hard on the clog-dancers, morris-dancers, and curlers – who’d be next up in line as the “goofy people to laugh at.” And, really, there’s nothing wrong with curling or morris dancing so it’d be a pale, sad, world for us rationalists without the faithful to laugh at.

    Stick around. Every joke needs its butt and you’re doing great.

  195. #195 David
    August 3, 2007

    “I’ll get back to you – I’m considering your points”. That would be courteous.

    You are right. I do apologize for that.

    This is my last post referencing you.

    Great. Then I don’t have to bother responding to the points you made in the other thread. Frees up some time to focus on MESchlum.

  196. #196 Evolving Squid
    August 3, 2007

    You know, it might go far for the Pope’s credibility if he’d stand up and say that he’s giving up his magic chair of infallibility, and that as good Catholics, followers have a responsibility to God to learn about the world and think for themselves.

  197. #197 David
    August 3, 2007

    I wonder if it would matter to David at all that I am an evolutionary biologist. ABD and moving into science ed, but a biologist nonetheless.

    It matters a great deal, in regards to evolutionary biology. Doesn’t mean all that much in regards to religion.

  198. #198 Stanton
    August 3, 2007

    False. I do not accuse everyone who disagrees with me as being a fundie. Merely those who display virulent ignorance. Those who think they actually know something.

    In otherwords, everyone else in this blog, including those who aren’t actually atheists.

  199. #199 LM
    August 3, 2007

    Why? Does a person need to study religion for decades to be able to think reasonably about it? If that’s the case, than there are precious few individuals whose ideas on religion really matter (those with advanced degrees in religion).

    Do you have an advanced degree in religion, David?

  200. #200 negentropyeater
    August 3, 2007

    LM,

    but we are not going to change that over a long time (that so many people just wait until some “authority” tells them something so they can believe it), wether it’s Bill O’Reilly, the president, the pope, or their local imam.

    But we have to make sure that at least, what those authorities tell them is scientifically correct. That is the battle worth going for.

  201. #201 Brownian
    August 3, 2007

    Negentropyeater, it is a great victory for thinking Catholics, in that their substantial cognitive dissonance is reduced a smidgen.

    Man, what a superiority complex atheism gives you. Everyone else suffers from “cognitive dissonance”, or they are deluded, or they suffer from a delusion. Only you , the might atheist are “clear thinking”. Sure, you might give lip service to the idea that you have some small, inconsequential delusions, but you could never be deluded seriously. Of course not.

    David, I was raised Catholic, went to Catholic school, had Catholic friends, was an altarboy in a Catholic church, served mass for a Catholic Archbishop, etc. etc.

    I know what kind of cognitive dissonance I, and most other Catholics I knew had. It served the basis for many a sincere and heartfelt discussion about our beliefs and values.

    You don’t know me, you bigoted fundamentalist fuckhead.

  202. #202 Stanton
    August 3, 2007

    It matters a great deal, in regards to evolutionary biology. Doesn’t mean all that much in regards to religion.

    In other words, a militant fundamentalist atheist.

  203. #203 LM
    August 3, 2007

    NTE: I agree. This is the reason why I’m moving into science ed. My focus (and passion) is informal science ed, a.k.a. public understanding of science.

  204. #204 David
    August 3, 2007

    David, I was raised Catholic, went to Catholic school, had Catholic friends, was an altarboy in a Catholic church, served mass for a Catholic Archbishop, etc. etc.

    This does not make you a Christian, or a Catholic. Any more than existing in a garage makes you a car.

    Why? Does a person need to study religion for decades to be able to think reasonably about it? If that’s the case, than there are precious few individuals whose ideas on religion really matter (those with advanced degrees in religion).

    Would you trust comments made on evolution by an individual who never studied the subject? What about chemistry? Would you go under the knife if your surgeon wasn’t a surgeon, but actually a car mechanic?

    No, a person does not need to study religions “for decades”. But unless you pull the atheist trick of just thinking that theology is a useless subject, unfit for rational study, you do need to know SOMETHING about it to make theological claims.

  205. #205 Brownian
    August 3, 2007

    Well, David? Aren’t you going to tell us all more about what and how I think?

    I haven’t been called a fundamentalist by you in a long while.

    I’m waiting, you predjudiced jerk.

    Or are you ‘thinking’ about your response to MESchlum, you trolling liar?

  206. #206 David
    August 3, 2007

    I haven’t been called a fundamentalist by you in a long while.

    I’m waiting, you predjudiced jerk.

    Sorry.

    You’re a fundamentalist.

    Do you feel better now?

  207. #207 Brownian
    August 3, 2007

    This does not make you a Christian, or a Catholic. Any more than existing in a garage makes you a car.

    Yes. It does.

  208. #208 Tom @Thoughtsic.com
    August 3, 2007

    I’d like the Pope to comment on a couple other things, too, while he’s at it. But will he? Absolutely not.

  209. #209 David
    August 3, 2007

    Yes. It does.

    Ladies in gentlemen, virulent ignorance at its finest. Even a cursory reading of the Bible shows this is false.

  210. #210 kmarissa
    August 3, 2007

    Brownian, we all know you were never a true… uh, car.

  211. #211 Brownian
    August 3, 2007

    “Even a cursory reading of the Bible shows this is false.”

    So you say.

    You say a lot of things.

    Over and over again.

  212. #212 Greg Peterson
    August 3, 2007

    Hey, David–I have a biblical studies degree from an evangelical college and worked for Billy Graham. I realize that you would hand-wave away any religious or spiritual bona fides I could mention as in some way defective–wrong denomination, wrong translation, insincere conversion, blah blah blah. I’ve heard it all. So I just want to ask you this: Have you ever noticed how when you’re really full of the Holy Spirit, it feels just like Jesus is giving you a rim job AND a reacharound? Damn that’s good. And pretty strong evidence for the trinity, too, I think. I commend you, sir! Keep fighting the good fight.

  213. #213 Brownian
    August 3, 2007

    Yeah, the ol’ fundie argument. You’re not a true Catholic….

    My born-again ex-roommate (and ex-friend) used to say such things about me and everyone else who disagreed with him(when he wasn’t mistaking me for someone with no connection to religion at all.)

    Of course, he only like the parts of the bible that justified his misogyny. (Perhaps due to guilt over the fact that he was a date-rapist?)

    He talks just like David. But with more random Bible quotes.

  214. #214 Stanton
    August 3, 2007

    David, I was raised Catholic, went to Catholic school, had Catholic friends, was an altarboy in a Catholic church, served mass for a Catholic Archbishop, etc. etc.

    This does not make you a Christian, or a Catholic. Any more than existing in a garage makes you a car.

    On this planet, being raised in a particular religion is an automatic guarantee of admission into that particular religion. Saying that Brownian isn’t a Christian because he was born into and raised within a Catholic household, and participated in several events in a Catholic church which specifically require the participants TO BE CATHOLICS is nonsense. Furthermore, only a very few fundamentalist Christians, such as Fred Phelps or Jack Chic, claim that Catholics are not Christians.

  215. #215 LM
    August 3, 2007

    David: But I DO know something about religion.

    What you need to understand, I think, is that most atheists think what they do because they’ve spent lots and lots of time reflecting on, thinking about, and studying religion. Most of us don’t dismiss it out of hand. We’ve considered it very carefully and came to the conclusion that it just doesn’t make a lot of sense. I struggled for a long time to make those two pieces of my life fit together. In the end, they just didn’t, and atheism came out on top.

    People do good things in the name of religion. This is true. People also do horrible, unspeakable things in the name of religion. But how many people that are religious do good things for the sake of doing good things, and how many do good things because they think it is going to get them into heaven?

    I don’t believe in heaven. I do good things because it makes me feel good to do good things. Doesn’t that make me more moral than a person with ulterior, religious motives? Or is this a case in which one would argue that all that matters is the outcome?

  216. #216 negentropyeater
    August 3, 2007

    David,

    you have to concede that defending your beliefs (what Brownian and others want to be able to do) doesn’t automatically make you a “fundamentalist”.

    A fundamentalist is more like someone who goes and blows himself up in a bus loaded with people under the cover of his beliefs.

  217. #217 David
    August 3, 2007

    David: But I DO know something about religion.

    Give me some evidence. Or do you think that for some reason, I should take your word for it?

    What you need to understand, I think, is that most atheists think what they do because they’ve spent lots and lots of time reflecting on, thinking about, and studying religion.

    Some do, yes. Certainly that was why I was an atheist.

    But how many people that are religious do good things for the sake of doing good things, and how many do good things because they think it is going to get them into heaven?

    It depends. If you believe a false account of Christianity (do good things and get into heaven) then you would probably be in the latter. If you have an accurate account of morality and religion, (that good things are really good), then you would do the former. How many people do one more than the other? Beats me. Probably more people do good things because it will get them into heaven (so they think) than I would like. Not much I can do about that. I can’t change people’s minds.

    I don’t believe in heaven. I do good things because it makes me feel good to do good things.

    Great. And of course a serial killer may kill be cause if makes him feel good. “It made me feel good” hardly means that the thing you do IS good. Morality needs more than feelings. At least, if it can be enforceable. (You could, of course, be a moral relativist. Live and let live and so on).

    Doesn’t that make me more moral than a person with ulterior, religious motives?

    Depends on the motive. For instance I don’t do good things because I think it’ll get me into heaven. I do good things because I actually think those are the things I should do. For me though, its a religious motive. Are you more of a moral individual than I am?

  218. #218 negentropyeater
    August 3, 2007

    I was wondering, are we seeing some form of speciation at work :

    species 1 : need to believe what they are told to believe

    species 2 : only believe what their reason tells them to believe

    I wonder what would be the long term effects of such an evolutionary process ?

  219. #219 Zeno
    August 3, 2007

    I’m relieved to see that this thread has progressed from an argument concerning the doctrine of the Holy Trinity to a dispute over whether one is (or was) or is not (or wasn’t) a Christian. Good stuff.

    And I think David should spend more time on his knees praying for our enlightenment and less time exasperating people with his trolling. These are not fertile waters in which to go fishing for men, to borrow a biblical phrase.

  220. #220 LM
    August 3, 2007

    I can’t talk with you seriously when you say such ridiculous, offensive things, David. I’m a nice, reasonable gal. A tad miffed that you would compare me with a serial killer. I said doing GOOD things make me feel good. Also, I think I am just as moral an individual as you, even without religion. The difference between the two of us is I do it for me (or rather BECAUSE of me), and not for or because of anyone else (real or imagined).

    Also, how do I prove to you that I know something about religion? I’m not going to start quoting scripture. I went to church and read the bible like most people. Short of studying it in college, I think I know just as much as most people do. That’s not satisfactory?

  221. #221 LM
    August 3, 2007

    Also David… NOW you’re worried about evidence???

  222. #222 tony
    August 3, 2007

    Negentropy:

    You have two propositions in 166:
    Proposition 1 : “God exists and acts in mysterious ways”

    Proposition 2 : “God does not exist”

    there should be (at least) a third to complete the set, as follows.

    Our complete set definition is A/NotA

    We need three sets to define the population.

    GOD : God Exists / God Does Not Exist
    Action : God Acts / God Does not Act
    Mystery : God Acts Mysteriously / God Does Not Act Mysteriously

    Mystery is a subset of set ‘God Acts’ (and has no intersection with ‘Does Not Act’)

    God Acts is a subset of ‘God Exists’

    Therefore the propositions to answer are:

    A: God Does Not Exist
    B: God Exists and God Does Not Act
    C: God Exists and God Acts and God Acts Mysteriously
    D: God Exists and God Acts and God Does Not Act Mysteriously

    A is simply prop 2.
    B is observationally equivalent to A, since there is no measurable difference between “a god that exists and does not act” and “no god at all”

    C & D are in the purview of theism…
    so you need prop 1 (C), as well as a new prop 3:

    Prop 3: God Exists and God Acts and God Does Not Act Mysteriously

    Prop 1: is ‘unproven’ and unprovable – if ‘god’ acts mysteriously – then how can we tell?
    prop 2: is ‘unproven’ and unprovable – we have no documented, observable evidence of the existence of ‘god’ – only a historical human inspired ‘meme’ – so why would we need to posit the existance of such an imaginary entity?
    prop 3: is unproven but provable – if a god exists, and acts in an observable and non mysterious way, then this should be amenable to science – at least from an observational perspective — we may still be ‘clueless’ as to mechanism for such ‘acts of god’.

    With regards to my ‘opinion;’ on the likeliness of these three props:

    prop 1: outside the realm of science and man — this is equivalent to attempting to prove the existance of ‘moby dick’

    prop 2: this is a tautology, from a scientific perspective – we have no observations that require a theory of god, so why would we postulate a theory of god. We might as well postulate a theory of gringlesnarps.

    prop 3: within the realm of science – but similar to (2) we have no observations that demonstrate the need for a theory of god…

    If theists wish us to accept either (1) or (3), then the burden of evidence is on their shoulders.

    Provide evidence, and ‘god’ becomes scientifically acceptable (if not yet understood).

    without evidence, we have no basis for god to be considered by or of science.

    In terms of ‘helping humanity’ since none of these propositions mention ‘effect on humanity’ the question is irrelevant. None of the propositions ‘help’ humanity.

    In a broader sense: if we can suggest that humanity is helped by ‘logic’ and harmed by ‘illogic’ then prop 2 is the only logical conclusion (barring evidence), so prop 2 is the ‘least harm hypothesis’.

    This should also answer your other question. Since no statement about god can be considered congruent in any way wioth science (see above) then the pope’s statement is irrelevant to science, so it is neither a small nor large victory.

    It may, however, be a victory against biblical fundamentalists.

  223. #223 Stanton
    August 3, 2007

    I can’t talk with you seriously when you say such ridiculous, offensive things, David. I’m a nice, reasonable gal. A tad miffed that you would compare me with a serial killer. I said doing GOOD things make me feel good.

    LM, you honestly think he cares about that?
    So long as you disagree with him, he’s probably going to assume that you get a warm and fuzzy feeling every time you lure a child into your gingerbread condominium for dinner, too.

  224. #224 negentropyeater
    August 3, 2007

    David, what do you think of my post 216 and 218 ?

  225. #225 G
    August 3, 2007

    I’ve noticed this mindset with some religious people where they believe that in order to say anything at all about the validity of religion as a scheme for explaining the origin and purpose of the universe, one needs to be an expert on the subject of theology. I submit that this kind of thinking is useless. The claim that expertise in theology has any bearing on the existence of God (or gods) presupposes the existence of said god(s). If someone has looked at and thought about ways in which she might think about the universe, and has decided that the arguments and evidence for the existence of god(s) are unconvincing, then she has no obligation to study theology as a subject that informs her on the nature of the universe.

  226. #226 Stanton
    August 3, 2007

    David, what do you think of my post 216 and 218 ?

    He thinks you’re a fundamentalist atheist, of course.

  227. #227 MartinM
    August 3, 2007

    Only if God’s will is to answer prayer “more than chance would predict”.

    Well, true. The correlation could go in the opposite direction. Or God could rig everything so that his various effects exactly cancelled; for example, in a power of prayer study, for every patient he saved from death, he could kill another. Or he could heal people in both treatment and control groups at similar rates, so that it looks as though the natural healing rate is simply higher that it actually is.

    This essentially leaves us with four options:

    1) People are praying for things exactly in line with chance
    2) There is no correlation between prayer and God’s will
    3) The effect of prayer is to shift God’s will in line with chance
    4) Prayer has a net testable effect

    All of this indicates a deeper problem, however; theism is consistent with both positive and negative results in prayer studies. Atheism favours negative results.

  228. #228 LM
    August 3, 2007

    Sigh. I guess I’m just a hopeless optimist to think that I could engage him in pleasant conversation.

    David, for the record (and this is simply based on my own observations), you seem very angry. You also don’t seem to be a very nice person. Granted, most people here aren’t nice people (on this board, anyway), but since you’re religious I thought maybe you would abide by the Golden Rule… and I think I have been fairly civil toward you.

  229. #229 Tulse
    August 3, 2007

    And, really, there’s nothing wrong with curling or morris dancing

    Oh Marcus, you are so, so wrong…

    negentropyeater, you keep saying that people take what the Pope says seriously, but as I pointed out earlier, Catholics in the US quite happily ignore his injunctions about birth control, and IVF, and divorce, positions that are far more fundamental to the official Catholic faith, so why should his position on evolution matter to them all that much?

    That said, I’m not as dismissive about this news as PZ is. If the religious can fight among themselves about evolution, perhaps they will have fewer resources to use fighting scientists. Division in the religious ranks is always helpful.

  230. #230 tony
    August 3, 2007

    David is simply a troll. Hos comments here echo his comments in previous threads.

    Demanding evidence, yet presenting none.
    Demanding bona-fides, yet presenting none.
    Constructing strawmen, and answering none.

    a troll.

  231. #231 MartinM
    August 3, 2007

    As far as both proposition cannot be proven false, as far as I am concerned, both are valid.

    But that’s not a reasonable standard. The list of things which cannot be proven false is literally infinite. Some things are more probable than others, however.

  232. #232 MartinM
    August 3, 2007

    Catholics in the US

    Others exist.

  233. #233 David
    August 3, 2007

    I’m a nice, reasonable gal. A tad miffed that you would compare me with a serial killer.

    Certainly you don’t kill people. But from a moral point of view… you do “good” things because you feel good. A serial killer kills because he “feels” good. Now, if we had some objective way of saying that the things that you enjoy are actually “good”, and the things the serial killer enjoys are bad things, then that would be great. Wouldn’t it?

    Also, how do I prove to you that I know something about religion?

    That’s not my problem. I’m just following the atheist doctrine of not believing things that have a “lack of evidence”.

  234. #234 El Christador
    August 3, 2007

    Pope declares that science works (whilst simultaneously lying out his arse by intimating that the 1st law of thermodynamics is bunk thus allowing a unmeasured, unknown, unknowable, totally imagined middle eastern sky fairy to influences matter and energy in the known world.)

    David, can you explain and offer evidence to how something without energy or matter can influence something with energy and matter. In other words, how a god can influence a human or this world?

    I’m a little puzzled by these. One could still have a God influencing events in this world without violating conservation of energy (I’m assuming that the invocation of the First Law is an appeal to the more general principle of the conservation of energy): conservation of energy doesn’t uniquely specify a system’s trajectory, in general there are many trajectories consistent with conservation of energy. For example, in classical mechanics with N degrees of freedom, the constant energy surfaces are 2N-1 dimensional surfaces in the 2N-dimensional phase space of the system. One has only to consider magnetic forces, which alter the trajectories of particles without performing any work on them, because the magnetic force always acts at right angles to the particle’s velocity.

    It’s also good to keep in mind what “conservation of energy” means: whenever a situation has been discovered in which the total energy in known forms of energy can change, it’s always been possible to define a new quantity E’ to add to the known forms of energy to give a constant quantity. You then call this E’ a new form of energy.

    Anyhow, arguing that there can’t be a God because the laws of physics exclude it is logically backwards. The laws of physics are arrived at from the observed phenomena. Also, if the point at issue is precisely the completeness of the known laws of physics in describing everything in the universe, appealing to them and their completeness isn’t allowed. A better argument (which also appeared) is to ask for examples of observed phenomena inconsistent with the known laws of physics.

  235. #235 kmarissa
    August 3, 2007

    Now, if we had some objective way of saying that the things that you enjoy are actually “good”, and the things the serial killer enjoys are bad things, then that would be great. Wouldn’t it?

    Well, that certainly wouldn’t be the Bible then. The serial killer could justify a hell of a lot of “good” killing if he were to use the Bible as his source of morality.

  236. #236 LM
    August 3, 2007

    David, you’re not making a lot of sense. Why else should I do good things? If not because they make me feel good, then because some book or some guy in a collar or some man in the clouds tells me to? What’s better, to do good things of my own volition or to wait for someone else to tell me to do them?

    “That’s not my problem. I’m just following the atheist doctrine of not believing things that have a “lack of evidence”.”

    See now, if you thought like this every day then we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

  237. #237 Stanton
    August 3, 2007

    I’m a nice, reasonable gal. A tad miffed that you would compare me with a serial killer.

    Certainly you don’t kill people. But from a moral point of view… you do “good” things because you feel good. A serial killer kills because he “feels” good. Now, if we had some objective way of saying that the things that you enjoy are actually “good”, and the things the serial killer enjoys are bad things, then that would be great. Wouldn’t it?

    Like I said, so long as LM has the audacity to disagree with David, he will regard LM’s positive feelings towards doing good deeds in the same manner one regards a person who gets their jollies from eating children.

  238. #238 David
    August 3, 2007

    you have to concede that defending your beliefs (what Brownian and others want to be able to do) doesn’t automatically make you a “fundamentalist”.

    True. I’m certain they want to be able to defend their beliefs.

    A fundamentalist is more like someone who goes and blows himself up in a bus loaded with people under the cover of his beliefs.

    That is a certain type of fundamentalist yes. Not every fundie is like that, but some are.

    As for #218 I think you should read Abolition of Man.

  239. #239 David
    August 3, 2007

    Why else should I do good things?

    Beats me. Why is the fact that you do “good” things because you want to, make you any different from any other individual who does “good” things because they want to?

    What makes your “good things” actually good, while a serial killer’s desire to kill people bad? Your opinion?

    Also LM, are you going to give me some evidence that you understand Christianity? Or religion? Or do you just want me to believe something without evidence?

  240. #240 Brownian
    August 3, 2007

    David: But I DO know something about religion.

    Give me some evidence. Or do you think that for some reason, I should take your word for it?

    Again, the dog’s infected anal gland impugns everyone else’s knowledge, but expects us to accept his claims that he knows something about religion.

    If he knew anything about Catholicism, he’d know why I claimed what I claimed in post #185.

    But he’s merely a protruding hemorrhoid. He’s a real credit to his god. A real fucking credit.

  241. #241 LM
    August 3, 2007

    David, honest question: Because you know that I am atheist, would you be suspicious of any good act I commit because I am not doing it in the name of god or religion?

    If you did not know that I was atheist, would you assume that I was doing that good act because my god or my religion compelled me to do so?

    I’m interested in your answer, because for some reason everyone I meets thinks I am a “good little christian girl.” It’s very strange. Other than being a nice person who genuinely likes people and does good things for people (for no reason, usually!), I give no indication that I might be religious.

  242. #242 David
    August 3, 2007

    If he knew anything about Catholicism, he’d know why I claimed what I claimed in post #185.

    Evidence please?

  243. #243 Stanton
    August 3, 2007

    you have to concede that defending your beliefs (what Brownian and others want to be able to do) doesn’t automatically make you a “fundamentalist”.

    True. I’m certain they want to be able to defend their beliefs.

    And yet, you consider it to be your birthright to insult everyone here, and regard everyone, especially Brownian, as “militant fundamentalist atheists,” never mind that not all of us are atheists, and none of us are militant fundamentalists.

  244. #244 negentropyeater
    August 3, 2007

    Tulse,

    it’s clear that not all catholics take the pope’s words for granted. Especially if they’ve been told for so long that T0E was a fallacy.
    The question is wether it can have a long term important impact.
    I mean, I saw this scary video of a kid in colombia who had been trained to make a show in catholic gatherings where he claimed “we don’t come from the monkey, those people who talk about the theory of evolution are liars”, with only evidence that “so far papa monkey and mama monkey only make monkeys”. Maybe he would listen to the pope…

    The point I want to make is that PZ is not correct to say “who cares?”

  245. #245 David
    August 3, 2007

    Because you know that I am atheist, would you be suspicious of any good act I commit because I am not doing it in the name of god or religion?

    Probably not. That is, I can’t think of an act that would make me suspicious.

    If you did not know that I was atheist, would you assume that I was doing that good act because my god or my religion compelled me to do so?

    Nah. Most likely I would think that you either hoped to gain something out of it, or you simply just wanted to do it. Again, it would depend on the act in question though.

    Other than being a nice person who genuinely likes people and does good things for people (for no reason, usually!), I give no indication that I might be religious.

    It wouldn’t surprise me at all if you just happened to have a generally good disposition.

  246. #246 LM
    August 3, 2007

    David: First of all, you’re really starting to make me angry. I do good things, not “good” things. I help people. I give to people who are in need. I listen to people when they need someone to listen. Even little, seemingly inconsequential things: I open doors for people, I smile and say hello, I pick up something a person has dropped, I hold the elevator door. These are good things.

    Now it seems to me that the argument you are trying to formulate is that a person cannot possibly be moral if they are areligious. That is of course a nonsensical argument.

    I already gave you my evidence. I don’t understand what more you want.

  247. #247 kemibe
    August 3, 2007

    David has posted 43 comments here since 8:49 this morning. That’s one every eight minutes. In other words, he has done nothing all day but post howlingly idiotic things on Pharyngula.

    This can be viewed in a couple of ways. One, David is helpless as well as hapless; PZ has hooked him through the ballsack without even having to participate and caused him to waste a fine summer day standing up for an invisible airlord and its manual, a self-imploding book of lies.

    On the other hand, something tells me it’s not likely he can me made to relent by dint of rational argument. Either he lacks the ability to recognize when he’s been thrashed or he doesn’t care. He’s going to sihere for as long as it takes, desperate in the hope that he can get under the skin of atheists whose mocking but on-target words threaten him and his world view so.

    Just some things for you good people to keep in mind when deciding to engage him.

    On an unrelated note, doesn’t the Pope look like a genuinely crazy man? He’s got that particular feverish glitter in his eye, very Mansonesque. I mean that.

  248. #248 David
    August 3, 2007

    And yet, you consider it to be your birthright to insult everyone here, and regard everyone, especially Brownian, as “militant fundamentalist atheists,”

    Nah, it’s not my birthright. I’m just working off the evidence I have. If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck and acts like a duck… I’m going to call it a duck.

  249. #249 CJColucci
    August 3, 2007

    To follow up on G’s point about how much one does or does not have to know about religion: some years ago, I had reason (too long a story to go into now) to need to know something about theological disputes in early — really early — Christianity. I learned what the issues in dispute were and read about the councils called to settle them. Before even getting to the arguments put forth, it was glaringly obvious to me, as I think it would be to anyone, that there was no way of “settling” them that a dissident would be bound to respect. The existing source materials available to them and me simply had no answers to the questions being asked. (For example, the question of the Real Presence in the eucharist is literally unanswerable by reference to scripture. Indeed, there is no good reason for having an answer or even asking the question. Surely it would be enough that the founder of the religion wants the adherents to perform the ceremony and certain good things are supposed to flow from it.) Ultimately, the only way to settle such questions would be — and was — for one side or the other to outvote, kill, or split off from the other.
    I can no longer, blessedly, recall any of the details of those controversies. It may take years of study to play the game, but it doesn’t take much to determine that it IS a game.

  250. #250 David
    August 3, 2007

    David has posted 43 comments here since 8:49 this morning. That’s one every eight minutes. In other words, he has done nothing all day but post howlingly idiotic things on Pharyngula.

    Not true. I can multi-task pretty well.

  251. #251 Brownian
    August 3, 2007

    If he knew anything about Catholicism, he’d know why I claimed what I claimed in post #185.

    Evidence please?

    I’m not your fucking tutor, you pissbucket, go read up on it.

    Sheesh. Now I can add lazy to your list of virtues.

  252. #252 LM
    August 3, 2007

    “What makes your “good things” actually good, while a serial killer’s desire to kill people bad? Your opinion?”

    I have a personal moral code by which I live. I believe that taking away another person’s rights (and murder would definitely qualify, I think!) is bad.

  253. #253 kmarissa
    August 3, 2007

    negentropyeater, in all fairness, PZ did say, “Maybe it’s news” (and furthermore, he posted on it in the first place).

  254. #254 MartinM
    August 3, 2007

    Why else should I do good things?

    ‘Should’ implies a moral question. Why is it good to do good things? If there exists an objective standard of ‘good,’ why should one follow it? Because according to that objective standard, it’s good to do so?

  255. #255 Peter McGrath
    August 3, 2007

    Damn, the man might have a read another book. Imagine if he said: ‘Zere is another bearded vite haired old man in ze sky mit de answers to everysink: Charles Darwin!’

    That’d shoot a few of our foxes.

  256. #256 LM
    August 3, 2007

    “It wouldn’t surprise me at all if you just happened to have a generally good disposition.”

    Well then see? I am living proof that atheism isn’t a bad thing! :)

  257. #257 Tulse
    August 3, 2007

    What makes your “good things” actually good, while a serial killer’s desire to kill people bad? Your opinion?

    What makes the things you think you god(s) tells to do actually good, rather than just his/her/its/their opinion?

  258. #258 littlefishies
    August 3, 2007

    Alas,

    They kept feeding the troll and it grew to be twice as ugly as Shrek and not half as funny.

  259. #259 LM
    August 3, 2007

    “If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck and acts like a duck… I’m going to call it a duck.”

    … but what if it’s a platypus?

  260. #260 tony
    August 3, 2007

    David is a child. A particularly spoiled child, in that he wants others to “do” things and “act” is specific ways – but does not see the need to reciprocate.

    Maybe we should rename him Veruca Salt.

  261. #261 David
    August 3, 2007

    I have a personal moral code by which I live. I believe that taking away another person’s rights (and murder would definitely qualify, I think!) is bad.

    These are just your beliefs though, right? Why should anyone hold those same beliefs? You certainly don’t hold many of my beliefs.

    Well then see? I am living proof that atheism isn’t a bad thing! :)

    Ok. Fine by me.

    Brownian,

    So when I claim that you should read the Bible, and get a little knowledge, and when I don’t lead you by the hand… that’s wrong. But when you do it, that’s ok?

    Why is it good to do good things? If there exists an objective standard of ‘good,’ why should one follow it? Because according to that objective standard, it’s good to do so?

    Why is it that 1 is the identity element of the multiplicative group of rational numbers?

  262. #262 Stanton
    August 3, 2007

    Maybe we should rename him Veruca Salt.

    Only if we can then throw squirrels at him before tossing him down a garbage chute.

  263. #263 David
    August 3, 2007

    What makes the things you think you god(s) tells to do actually good, rather than just his/her/its/their opinion?

    That’s actually a good question. The fact that they are good, doesn’t come from the fact that God says to do them. Now, should you go through the rest of the Dilemma? Or can I just finish it up?

  264. #264 LM
    August 3, 2007

    “These are just your beliefs though, right? Why should anyone hold those same beliefs? You certainly don’t hold many of my beliefs.”

    I don’t expect anybody to live their lives by what I believe. I am not so arrogant.

  265. #265 Brownian
    August 3, 2007

    “But when you do it, that’s ok?”

    I don’t answer fundie questions.

    Read your posts. Think just a little.

    Maybe you’ll understand when you’re older.

    And fuck you, you whiny crybaby.

  266. #266 David
    August 3, 2007

    I don’t expect anybody to live their lives by what I believe. I am not so arrogant.

    So you ARE ok with serial killing? After all, the serial killer isn’t living his life according to your beliefs, but you’ve just said you’re ok with that.

  267. #267 Firemancarl
    August 3, 2007

    I do lots of good things, especially every 3rd day. I am not relgious and I sure dont hear a voice in my head telling me to do good things. Neither does the other nonbeliever I work with. Nope, we do it cuase we’re human and to make sure of species survives, we got risk ourselves to ensure we’ve got a fighting chance. It has nothing to do with god(s) making it so-otherwise, everytime we treated someone, they’d be 100% healed and that hasn’t happened yet.

  268. #268 David
    August 3, 2007

    Brownian, if I didn’t know any better, I would think you were trying to imitate me.

    Thanks for the flattery, I do appreciate it. But really, you don’t have to.

  269. #269 kmarissa
    August 3, 2007

    David, how do YOU define “fundamentalist”?

  270. #270 LM
    August 3, 2007

    “So you ARE ok with serial killing? After all, the serial killer isn’t living his life according to your beliefs, but you’ve just said you’re ok with that.”

    *Rolling of eyes* You’re ridiculous.

  271. #271 negentropyeater
    August 3, 2007

    David,

    about Abolition of a Man, Lewis essentially makes the point that some values about what is good or bad have to be inculcated to children via education, as they are not “natural”.
    Ok, but who decides what is good or bad ? The pope ? So Abortion is bad, homosexuality is bad.
    I mean, women used to be inferior to men, slavery was good, etc…

    Don’t misunderstand me, I do see a role for religion, but only if religion sticks to the things that are objectively praiseworthy. Not just what is written in some old book that has never been updated for close to 2000 years.

  272. #272 Steve_C
    August 3, 2007

    Ignore the fundamentalist catholic.

    I don’t really care if he thinks I’m a fundie because I laugh at his silly elaborate superstition.

    It’s not going to stop his religion from being a goofy myth.

  273. #273 Berlzebub
    August 3, 2007

    David:

    I don’t expect anybody to live their lives by what I believe. I am not so arrogant.

    So you ARE ok with serial killing? After all, the serial killer isn’t living his life according to your beliefs, but you’ve just said you’re ok with that.

    She said “expect”, you arrogant, self-indulgent, pig-headed piece of troll dung. Sorry, but you don’t even deserve to be called a troll.

    She’s even trying to be nice to you, and hold a decent conversation. However, instead of attempting the same, you come back with a condescending comment, that completely misses what she was pointing out.

    You’re an ass, David. You demand evidence from others about their “qualificiations” without giving any of your own, you pick and choose which questions you will answer, and you dismiss the ones you don’t want to by insulting the askers.

    Now, I will ask, for the record, why is the “Father, Son, and Holy Ghost” not a trinity that is unitary? It’s a simple question, and you’ve spent more than enough time commenting here to answer it. My qualifications don’t matter, because I’m not telling you squat until you answer that question. If you don’t, I’m going to use your reasoning and consider you unqualified for a reasonable discussion.

  274. #274 Stanton
    August 3, 2007

    David, how exactly do you presume to be a morally superior Christian when you’ve done nothing to answer anyone’s questions, save to accuse everyone, including me, of being militant fundamentalist atheists, even though I am neither a militant fundamentalist nor an atheist?
    Doesn’t the Bible say it’s blasphemy for one Christian to falsely accuse another Christian of atheism?

  275. #275 MartinM
    August 3, 2007

    Why is it that 1 is the identity element of the multiplicative group of rational numbers?

    You’re arguing that doing good is good by definition. Good! Then objective morality requires an objective way to judge the morality of an act, not merely a set of rules handed down from upon high. Of course, your post #263 says as much anyway.

  276. #276 David
    August 3, 2007

    David,

    about Abolition of a Man, Lewis essentially makes the point that some values about what is good or bad have to be inculcated to children via education, as they are not “natural”.

    Not quite, but close. Very close.

    Don’t misunderstand me, I do see a role for religion, but only if religion sticks to the things that are objectively praiseworthy.

    Who decides what those things are? Society? You, I? Is abortion praiseworthy? Depends on who you talk to I suppose.

    I agree that we should stick with those things that are objectively praiseworthy. How then to do decided what those things are is a good question.

    LM, can you answer my question? You stated:

    I don’t expect anybody to live their lives by what I believe.

    So, you are ok with people not believing the same things as you do. That’s fine. But what then, should we call your opinion about serial killing? Your opinion? Your belief? But with both of those, you’ve already stated that you are fine if people don’t share that belief. Don’t live their lives according to it. So, what is it?

  277. #277 David
    August 3, 2007

    Then objective morality requires an objective way to judge the morality of an act, not merely a set of rules handed down from upon high.

    Yup. Or failing that, one that we think “works” most of the time.

  278. #278 David
    August 3, 2007

    David, how exactly do you presume to be a morally superior Christian when you’ve done nothing to answer anyone’s questions, save to accuse everyone, including me, of being militant fundamentalist atheists, even though I am neither a militant fundamentalist nor an atheist?

    I don’t presume to be a morally superior Christian.

  279. #279 LM
    August 3, 2007

    It is both my opinion and my belief. I wish you would quit fishing or baiting me or whatever and get to the point.

  280. #280 tony (fundie athiest)
    August 3, 2007

    David has spend almost his entire time on every thread insulting others…. to the point where Brownian, Steve_C, myself, kmarrisa, and Kseniya are exasperated to the point to exhaustion.

    He’s a kid playing king of the castle, and we’re all dirty (fundie) rascals that deserve nothing more than insults.

    Stop feeding him. I’ve seen no articulate or meaningful response from him in literally hundreds of posts. Based on that observation, I can only conclude that he is either incapable of such, or wilfully refusing to do so. Neither makes for a worthwhile dialog.

  281. #281 Tulse
    August 3, 2007

    The fact that they are good, doesn’t come from the fact that God says to do them.

    Ah, so we don’t need a supernatural being to give us morality? We’re making progress.

  282. #282 Loc
    August 3, 2007

    David,

    I think you’re confused. Are you saying that your deity dictates all societal common law? This is absurd. Civilizations evolve and what the norm in one doesn’t equate to all. Dogmatic institutions, for example your worship place, are the epitome to this observation. They strive and strive to remain concrete,powerful…and you…ignorant.

  283. #283 negentropyeater
    August 3, 2007

    David,

    but don’t you think that religions so far have only demonstrated their inability at asserting what is objectively praiseworthy.
    Look at the world today, we are going in a deeper and deeper clash between the American judeo christian value system and the muslim value system. Where is this going to lead us ?

  284. #284 tony
    August 3, 2007

    So David: Let us all know when you’re going to respond to MESchlum at dysfunctional family circus.

    I’m waiting to see what your response will be. I presume it will be evidence based, and will indeed be startling and revelationary.

    Can’t wait.

  285. #285 stogoe
    August 3, 2007

    Despite all the whining and crapping of pants and evasion of questions, sometimes everyone just needs a good troll-whomping.

    By that measure, I should say we’re good for a good long while after this.

  286. #286 stogoe
    August 3, 2007

    Just to see if we can spark up a whole other troll-spiral:

    Is abortion praiseworthy?

    Yes! Having the option of contraception and abortion frees women from unwanted pregnancies and allows them to be full participants in their own agency.

  287. #287 windy
    August 3, 2007

    Now, if we had some objective way of saying that the things that you enjoy are actually “good”, and the things the serial killer enjoys are bad things, then that would be great. Wouldn’t it?

    Paging Socrates, paging Socrates. Mr. Socrates, please report to the white courtesy phone.

  288. #288 thalarctos
    August 3, 2007

    Just to see if we can spark up a whole other troll-spiral: Is abortion praiseworthy?

    Or we could just summon him by saying his name three times:

    Ian!

    Ian!

    Ian!

  289. #289 MartinM
    August 3, 2007

    Yes! Having the option of contraception and abortion frees women from unwanted pregnancies and allows them to be full participants in their own agency.

    On the other hand, were 100% effective contraception freely available to all, that would change things. So, context is key, perhaps.

  290. #290 Uber
    August 3, 2007

    About a billion people do, in terms of having given their allegiance to the organization that Benedict reigns over. That’s quite a bit of influence, for good or ill.

    There are not a billion catholics. They claim itbut it should not be repeated. Those that actually are catholic and listen to the pope are ven fewer.

    I findthe cathoolic religion especially odious compared to mainline Protestant religions. It’s history is bloody and corrupt.

    On this today though they score a few points for accepting the obvious although I do think it trashes their theology beyond repair. But what does it matter to their dogma?

    would think that you either hoped to gain something out of it, or you simply just wanted to do it.

    You mean like go to heaven or avoid punishment? Huh.

    Moreover, it shows no signs of doing so in the future

    Thats false. Religion is regressing and has been for sometime. Compare the numbers in the past to today and it is obvious especially in Europe.

  291. #291 tony
    August 3, 2007

    Stogoe: re trolling, I think we’re good for a few dozen years!

    re: abortion.

    I agree with your statement. However I’d prefer some context.

    in terms of preference:

    education plus contraception (‘safe’ practices are important for health reasons, and contraceptives are often not 100% effective)

    early abortion (accidents happen)

    late term abortion (bad things happen)

    ‘Compassionate Conservatives’ and fundie Xians seem to wish to deny women the latter two options, while ‘demonizing’ the first, and making sex fundamentally more risky by removing education from the mix.

  292. #292 David
    August 3, 2007

    but don’t you think that religions so far have only demonstrated their inability at asserting what is objectively praiseworthy.

    In regards to modern day Christianity and Islam, yes. There has been a dismal failure there as being moral leaders. Or in some cases moral period.

    Are you saying that your deity dictates all societal common law?

    No.

    Ah, so we don’t need a supernatural being to give us morality?

    It depends. How else shall we find it?

    It is both my opinion and my belief. I wish you would quit fishing or baiting me or whatever and get to the point.

    It is your opinion and your belief, i.e. it is subjective to you. You don’t expect others to hold your opinions or beliefs, yet in regards to serial murder you find that wrong. Wrong enough that you would impose your beliefs on the serial killer, by locking him up.

    Someone is experiencing cognitive dissonance here, and it is not I.

  293. #294 LM
    August 3, 2007

    I don’t EXPECT others to hold my beliefs. I am lucky to live in a society where most people also feel that murder is bad.

  294. #295 stogoe
    August 3, 2007

    Seeing as we don’t currently have 100% safe and effective contraception, I think we need to keep as many options open as possible, including adoption and single parenting (and multi-parenting, too). Choice!

    And of course, comprehensive sex education is a must.

    So now you know.

    And knowing is half the battle!

  295. #296 LM
    August 3, 2007

    G.I.JOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOE!

  296. #297 David
    August 3, 2007

    I don’t EXPECT others to hold my beliefs. I am lucky to live in a society where most people also feel that murder is bad.

    Yes, you don’t EXPECT others to hold your beliefs. Yet you think that when they don’t, its wrong. At least in the case of serial killers. Or are you fine with serial killers?

    I don’t expect many people to hold the same beliefs that I do, on many different subjects. I don’t think its wrong that they don’t, I don’t get angry, and I don’t throw them into jail. Yet, for some reason, you give your moral beliefs some sort of “special-ness” which allows you, (even though you don’t expect people to follow them), to get angry when they do, and even feel that some sort of punishment should be enacted.

    Unless of course, I’m completely not understanding you, and you don’t get angry at serial killers, and you don’t think that they should be put in jail.

  297. #298 David
    August 3, 2007


    Seeing as we don’t currently have 100% safe and effective contraception, I think we need to keep as many options open as possible, including adoption and single parenting (and multi-parenting, too). Choice!

    And of course, comprehensive sex education is a must.

    I agree.

  298. #299 LM
    August 3, 2007

    I don’t expect many people to hold the same beliefs that I do, on many different subjects. I don’t think its wrong that they don’t, I don’t get angry, and I don’t throw them into jail. Yet, for some reason, you give your moral beliefs some sort of “special-ness” which allows you, (even though you don’t expect people to follow them), to get angry when they do, and even feel that some sort of punishment should be enacted.

    Wait wait wait. So it sounds like YOU are actually the one who has no problem with serial killers…

    I have ideas about what is right and what is wrong. It is not for me to decide if what person does is ultimately moral or immoral. Yeah, I personally think killing is immoral. Most people would agree with me. No, I don’t think abortion, or homosexuality, or same sex marriage is immoral. Most people would DISagree with me there. So is it right for me to impose my personal morals on the whole of society? No, it’s not. I can try to have some impact, because I would *like* to live in a place that caters to my personal sense of decency, and that’s why I vote.

  299. #300 Tulse
    August 3, 2007
    Ah, so we don’t need a supernatural being to give us morality?

    It depends. How else shall we find it?

    How would the existence of a supernatural being give us an objective morality in the first place?

  300. #301 Marcus Ranum
    August 3, 2007

    See, this is evidence that arguing with these retards is less effective than simply laughing at them. He keeps responding to those of you who are attempting to reason with him, but he’s got nothing to say to those of us who just treat him like a laughable religion-addled dimwit.

  301. #302 Stanton
    August 3, 2007

    Someone is experiencing cognitive dissonance here, and it is not I.

    That statement is false, as, you refuse to realize that LM does good things simply to be good, as opposed to doing good things with the express purpose of earning brownie points with God, and especially since you continue to equate this with the condoning of serial killers.
    Can you show us the logic in saying that it’s hypocritical to not attempt to force one’s own personal beliefs on others while condemning serial killers because we all live in a society where wantonly murdering other people is illegal?

  302. #303 LM
    August 3, 2007

    I just don’t understand what his point is. He doesn’t seem to have one.

  303. #304 Stanton
    August 3, 2007

    LM, maybe he’s just jealous because you live in a gingerbread condo?

  304. #305 David
    August 3, 2007

    So is it right for me to impose my personal morals on the whole of society? No, it’s not.

    What do you call locking up serial killers, if not “imposing your personal morals on the whole of society”?

    How would the existence of a supernatural being give us an objective morality in the first place?

    It might, or it might not. I don’t know. Wouldn’t you agree though, that an omniscient being would know such an objective morality?

  305. #306 tony
    August 3, 2007

    Marcus: right on! don’t feed the troll. he doesn’t bite, but you’ll get a rash from the drool. (and he talks about cognitive dissonance! hah!)

  306. #307 LM
    August 3, 2007

    Humans are social creatures. In order to live peacefully together, we collectively need to come up with rules that are fair to everyone. Condemning murder is a no-brainer, since being dead isn’t really good or fair for anyone, is it? That doesn’t have to come from a deity. That’s just common sense.

  307. #308 Stanton
    August 3, 2007

    What do you call locking up serial killers, if not “imposing your personal morals on the whole of society”?

    In this country, we call that “Enforcement of justice as according to state and federal law”

  308. #309 Uber
    August 3, 2007

    At least in the case of serial killers. Or are you fine with serial killers?

    You are a bizarre individual. Simply having empathy should tell you this act is not a good one.

    Morals are simply opinions. All actions are the actions of a being operating in the environment. These opinions vary from person to person, group to group.

  309. #310 Josh
    August 3, 2007

    Why does a supernatural being HAVE to be omniscient?

  310. #311 LM
    August 3, 2007

    “What do you call locking up serial killers, if not “imposing your personal morals on the whole of society”?”

    Since when is the whole of society composed of nothing but serial killers???

    Stanton: You may be right, sir.

  311. #312 negentropyeater
    August 3, 2007

    wow, 300 posts in about 8 hrs, is that a good score ? I am quite new here, just wanted to know…

  312. #313 tony
    August 3, 2007

    LM: You’re going to regret that last comment. You said “no-brainer” – that obviously means you’re an evil and misguided fundie athiest who eats babies, and wants to open a chapter of “serial killer’s are cute and cuddly”

    you’re feeding the troll. (but I agree with everything you’ve said. I even ‘understood’ it!)

  313. #314 thalarctos
    August 3, 2007

    What do you call locking up serial killers, if not “imposing your personal morals on the whole of society”?

    That was *you*, LM? *Very* cool; I wish I could have my own personal morals enforced by the legal and judicial systems. You’ll have to tell me your secret.

    And thanks, about that whole getting Ted Bundy off the streets thing, by the way. I should have you over for dinner or something in appreciation.

  314. #315 Steve_C
    August 3, 2007

    If you ignore him. He will go away.

    Maybe.

  315. #316 Loc
    August 3, 2007

    David,

    “Ah, so we don’t need a supernatural being to give us morality?
    ‘It depends. How else shall we find it?’”

    You didn’t respond to what I mentioned earlier. Secular societies can sit down over some tea and construct common law without a spooky deity keeping tabs. You’re living in the Bronze Age. Seriously…wake up. Atheists aren’t running around raping and pillaging people because some man upstairs doesn’t dictate the law.

    The more I write the more demeaning and sarcastic I get. I apologize up front…but you’re being childish.

  316. #317 Stanton
    August 3, 2007

    I mean, really, is there someone smart enough to explain to this idiot that there is a difference between personal opinions and the law of the land, and that there is no law, religious, state, federal or royal decree, that forbids one’s personal opinions from agreeing with the law(s) of the land?

  317. #318 tony
    August 3, 2007

    negentropy: 300+ in a few hours is not ‘normal’ — except when we have a troll as dense and annoying as david. he’s a fun-house-mirror.

  318. #319 tony
    August 3, 2007

    thalarctos: “that was *you*” — thanks – I just spewed coffee all over my desk & keyboard!

  319. #320 LM
    August 3, 2007

    thalarctos: Yeah. I’m pretty awesome like that.

    For dinner, may I suggest boiled troll with a delicate caper sauce?

  320. #321 Stanton
    August 3, 2007

    I recommend a cream and mushroom sauce, actually.
    Helps mask the musky odor.

  321. #322 David
    August 3, 2007

    Condemning murder is a no-brainer, since being dead isn’t really good or fair for anyone, is it?

    Certainly not for the dead person no. But maybe its good and fair for someone else. Depends on the definition. Who gets to define what is “good” and “fair”? You?

    Why does a supernatural being HAVE to be omniscient?

    He doesn’t. I was just thinking of a particular one when I wrote that.

    In this country, we call that “Enforcement of justice as according to state and federal law”

    Got it. A group of people (the law makers) decide what “justice” is. (After all, its not like justice is objective), and then enforces it with the aid of weapons. So justice now is decided by some group of individuals, not just any one person.

    You are a bizarre individual. Simply having empathy should tell you this act is not a good one.

    Morals are simply opinions.

    Why should I trust my empathy? It’s just an emotion. Its even worse than an opinion. Do you trust all of your opinions to be correct? Do you trust all of your feelings to be correct? If not, why trust your empathy?

    If morals really change from person to person, what right does any one person have, or any group of people to decide what morality is, to decide to enforce any beliefs they have, on anyone else?

  322. #323 tony
    August 3, 2007

    LM: I think for david, you’de need a sauce with a little more covering power — maybe habanero-caper-lemon sauce in a vinegar-mollasses reduction. Otherwise he may be as unpalatable on a plate as he is in writing.

  323. #324 Moses
    August 3, 2007

    I’m so glad I erased my rebuttle of David. Note to self: One brownie point for not feeding the idiot.

  324. #325 Steve_C
    August 3, 2007

    Troll meat is really tough.

    I suggest marinating it over night then slow cooking for 6-8 hours in a smoker.

  325. #326 LM
    August 3, 2007

    “Who gets to define what is “good” and “fair”? You?”

    S…. Sss……Sssssssss….. SOCIETY.

  326. #327 tony
    August 3, 2007

    and after smoking the meat – use it to feed some other trolls. it’s really no good for anything else (I wouldn’t feed it to a mangy dog)

  327. #328 lolkadu
    August 3, 2007

    OMG!! I SO BORD!! KILL THRED PLZ!

  328. #329 David
    August 3, 2007

    S…. Sss……Sssssssss….. SOCIETY.

    Ah. Society decides it. So as long as the German people of WWII were ok with the Holocaust, then it was fine. Right? After all, they decided it was “good” and “fair”, and you don’t have the right to impose your beliefs on them, now do you?

  329. #330 tony
    August 3, 2007

    lolkadu: that’s not how you spell ‘david’, not ‘troll’. please keep up.

  330. #331 LM
    August 3, 2007

    David, I sure would like to impose my beliefs on YOU right about now…

  331. #332 tony (fundie athiest)
    August 3, 2007

    sometimes even a fundie athiest feels a need to invoke a higher power….

    PZ! HELP US! PLEASE!

    The troll is using up all the good oxygen and leaving us with this used up garbage……

    HELP!

  332. #333 David
    August 3, 2007

    David, I sure would like to impose my beliefs on YOU right about now…

    Well, unfortunately you don’t have the right.

    Shame. I was actually expecting a rational defense of your morality. Oh well.

  333. #334 David
    August 3, 2007

    It was a rather nice conversation LM, until I started to question your beliefs. For someone who only believes things because you have evidence, you seemed to have remarkably little evidence, and you got remarkably annoyed.

    Shame.

  334. #335 Steve_C
    August 3, 2007

    PZ doesn’t kill threads because of trolls like David.

    He either disemvowels them if they deserve it or ban them if they’re really offensive.

    David doesn’t really qualify. He’s just really really annoying. He’s a troll. Here to incite negative reactions.

    He loves him some triple scoop of god.

  335. #336 David
    August 3, 2007

    He either disemvowels them

    He’s going to prevent me from using vowels? An odd tactic, but I have to admit, it would be effective. Rather hard to communicate without them.

  336. #337 Rey Fox
    August 3, 2007

    PZ is also on his way to California right now.

  337. #338 David
    August 3, 2007

    Ah. I wonder if he will ban me when he gets back. I doubt it, but you never know.

  338. #339 thalarctos
    August 3, 2007

    Shame. I was actually expecting a rational defense of your morality.

    You know what would really teach us a lesson, David? I wouldn’t blame you a bit if you stomped out of here and never came back again.

    It would serve all of us right.

  339. #340 Cairnarvon
    August 3, 2007

    He either disemvowels them

    He’s going to prevent me from using vowels? An odd tactic, but I have to admit, it would be effective. Rather hard to communicate without them.

    I know you think you’re joking, but yes, that’s what he does. It’s a pretty common practice on weblogs and internet forums.

    As for the rest of you, I’m disappointed. A random troll makes the common “you can’t have an objective moral standard without God” and not a single one of you is capable of tearing the argument to shreds?
    Come on now.

  340. #341 Stanton
    August 3, 2007

    David, I sure would like to impose my beliefs on YOU right about now…

    With an electric cattleprod, The Rack or a crotchety English captain wielding a cat’o'ninetails

  341. #342 kmarissa
    August 3, 2007

    Cairnarvon, considering his posts here and on the dysfunctional family circus thread, do you REALLY think there’s any point in tearing up yet another of his arguments? I mean, come on. I read troll posts longer that most people, it seems, and even I’m getting tired of this joke.

  342. #343 Cairnarvon
    August 3, 2007

    kmarissa, I’d agree, except that some people seem genuinely to be trying, and failing.
    I do agree discussion with common theist trolls is usually less than productive, though.

  343. #344 LM
    August 3, 2007

    Cairnarvon: Well, I was going to say that if I don’t have an intrinsic morality and it was placed there instead by god, then I would agree with everything that is written in the bible. But I don’t. (I even sleep in the same bed with my husband when I’m menstruating!!!! :O I’m such a sinner…).

    I guess I’m not coming up with anything really good because it’s such a stupid argument.

  344. #345 kmarissa
    August 3, 2007

    Yeah, but when LM started up with the culinary suggestions, I figured even she was done ;)

    Could be wrong, though.

  345. #346 Zeno
    August 3, 2007

    Boy, when PZ sees what a mess we made of the place …!

    There’s going to be paddling.

  346. #347 LM
    August 3, 2007

    Well I thought I was too. Poo.

    You know what song I really dig? Under Pressure. David Bowie and Freddie Mercury rawk my freaking socks off.

  347. #348 Graculus
    August 3, 2007

    “science” ….. has basically eliminated God as a viable option.

    No, you twit, God has eliminated Himself by not existing.

  348. #349 kmarissa
    August 3, 2007

    Mine as well, but that’s what happens when you raise a child on Labyrinth.

  349. #350 Kseniya
    August 3, 2007

    Right, kmarissa, though this is the actually his third go-round here.

    David must really love the attention he’s getting. After his complete failure to defend his position over on the “dysfunctional” thread, he bailed out and started his little game all over, right here, provoking well over 300 comments in the span of a single workday.

    I’d ask David to explain, for example, how the zealotry and cruelty of the Inquisitions proceeded from the absolute moral authority of a kind and loving God.

    But I won’t, because I know from bitter experience that trying to engage him fairly is like pulling teeth from a stone baby. Begging him to explain his position or to answer any questions is not my idea of fun. The few drops of actual communication that may eventually drip from his honeyed lips are likely not, if past experience is any indication of future performance, worth the effort to extract.

    I will, however, wish him a good day. Good day, David.

  350. #351 CalGeorge
    August 3, 2007

    The perennial questions:

    What are the Pope’s qualifications to pronounce his opinion on anything?

    Why do we give any legitimacy to a person whose main mission in life is to sucker a billion people every day?

    When is the world going to wake up and tell Ratzo where to shove it?

  351. #352 Jay Hovah
    August 3, 2007

    No, you twit, God has eliminated Himself by not existing.
    Posted by: Graculus | August 3, 2007 05:45 PM

    OOO…I am SO smiting you.

  352. #353 kmarissa
    August 3, 2007

    Right, kmarissa, though this is the actually his third go-round here.

    Ooh, it’s like Troll Memory! You know, the game where you have the cards all in rows face-down on the floor and when it’s your turn, you have to match the troll with the tread. The person with the most pairs at the end wins!

    I’m afraid I don’t remember his third thread.

  353. #354 Pete
    August 3, 2007

    David has made 66 posts so far.
    They average 7 minutes 44 seconds apart.
    He has been at it for 8 hours 23 minutes.

    What a waste of a day. Of course, all of you arguing with him aren’t much better.

  354. #355 Kseniya
    August 3, 2007

    What a waste of a day. Of course, all of you arguing with him aren’t much better.

    Pete, it just goes to show that none of David’s opponents on this board “have a life.” Or, so he would say.

    Kmarissa, the third thread (the first of the three, actually) comes to a head approximately here. ;-)

  355. #356 negentropyeater
    August 3, 2007

    Just an idea :

    why does everybody always talk about the theory of evolution ?

    Now, we can officialy say “the laws of evolution”, even the pope will not contradict us. :-)

  356. #357 Kseniya
    August 3, 2007

    11. THOU SHALT EVOLVE
    12. BUT NOT JUST YET

  357. #358 Louis
    August 3, 2007

    350+ posts and no one has yet pointed out that morals and ethics are relative, not absolute, and almost entirely dependant on social context? Wow! I thought that would be the first place people went. No one has mentioned the curious cross cultural moral coincidences either. Hmmm interesting. No mention of social contract, socialisation, assumption of moral norms etc. No mention of the evolution of altruism, game theory and the rational, evidence based derivation of things like the golden rule and other moral and ethical precepts? {sigh}

    I’ll suggest that David, or any interested party, look up the works of Hume, Russell (assuming they already haven’t)and a few other more modern ethical philosphers and discover that (perhaps sadly for some) morals and ethics are for the most part socially dependant and relative, except for a curious few which seem to be innate and evolved.

    Oh and just to set the cat amongst the pigeons: I cannot make a valid moral judgement that a serial killer’s actions are any more or less moral than my own (non-serial killer) actions in the absence of social context. However, with a well defined common social context I can make such a judgement. This is because, whilst there is no universal, objective moral standard there are myriad local, subjective, mutable, social context dependant standards, and (should the serial killer and I share such a context) I can determine how closely the serial killer and I have conformed to the moral precepts of that social context and make a moral comparison. Hardly rocket science is it?

    And as we’ve already been Godwinned and Blaked, the adherence of the German people during the Nazi regime to their self declared societal moral precepts was almost universally poor. That’s why they feel ashamed about it. Collaboration by inaction in a society which valued standing against percived injustice and wrongdoing is an aborgation of that society’s self declared moral duties. It does however speak volumes about what people really valued: their own preservation. Unsurprisingly. Oh well. The lessons we should learn from Nazi history are not just derived from how horrific it was, but how easy it was to get almost an entire nation to participate in horrific atrocities, or at the very least permit them by dint of inaction. We dear, sweet humans do have certain tendancies we should be aware of.

    Louis

  358. #359 PZ Myers
    August 3, 2007

    Jebus. I go away for a few hours, and what happens? DON’T FEED THE TROLLS. David is an obsessed little lackwit with nothing to say who’s just been sitting there provoking everyone with little nudges of inanity, and you’ve been responding! Stop!

    This is exactly the kind of behavior MOST LIKELY to get someone banned — when I see piles and piles of nonsense suddenly accumulate in a thread, especially when it’s this stupid IKYABWAI crap from David, it means I’ve got more crud to wade through and more work to do … and making me work harder is the one thing certain to get you axed.

    Goodbye, David. Go wank somewhere else.

  359. #360 David
    August 3, 2007

    Thought I might as well try to address the only post of late that’s been half way intelligent.


    I cannot make a valid moral judgement that a serial killer’s actions are any more or less moral than my own (non-serial killer) actions in the absence of social context. However, with a well defined common social context I can make such a judgement. This is because, whilst there is no universal, objective moral standard there are myriad local, subjective, mutable, social context dependant standards, and (should the serial killer and I share such a context) I can determine how closely the serial killer and I have conformed to the moral precepts of that social context and make a moral comparison. Hardly rocket science is it?

    Unfortunately this doesn’t work. Because not only do we think that a serial killer is “wrong”, (in a social context), we think that whole social contexts can be “wrong”. But if everything is relative to the social context, we can’t do that. How does one compare two “local”, “subjective” social contexts?

  360. #361 Stephen Wells
    August 3, 2007

    Is it worth pointing out that in a world based on serial killer morality (“I can kill anyone I want to for my amusement”), EVERYBODY DIES HORRIBLY, whereas in a world based on helping each other (altruism) and studying reality (science) we mostly get to live out our lives and pursue happiness? I think I’ll support moral norms which don’t lead to my imminent death.

  361. #362 Kseniya
    August 3, 2007

    ?uch! Owie! OUCH!
    :-(

    Cr?pes. I haven’t b?tten my own t?ngue that h?rd in a l?ng time.

  362. #363 David
    August 3, 2007

    I think I’ll support moral norms which don’t lead to my imminent death.

    That’s fine if you want to support those moral norms.

    But you can’t impose your beliefs on others. (Apparently).

  363. #364 David
    August 3, 2007

    PZ, you don’t have any obligation to “wade through” any of this. If I’m as stupid and trollish as you obviously think I am, why bother?

  364. #365 David
    August 3, 2007

    One thing:

    During the course of a day, I usually end up on anywhere from 3-4 computers. So if PZ is going to IP Block me, it would be better if he simply stated that I was banned. Otherwise, there’s no garuntee that you will be immediately free of my “trollish” behavior.

  365. #366 Caledonian
    August 3, 2007

    He already has stated that you’re banned, fool.

  366. #367 David
    August 3, 2007

    No Caledonian, he stated that I most likely would be banned.

    But just the same, I’ll take your word for it.

    Though you hardly need an excuse, have a good time ripping into me while I’m gone.

  367. #368 Moses
    August 3, 2007

    350+ posts and no one has yet pointed out that morals and ethics are relative, not absolute, and almost entirely dependant on social context? Wow! I thought that would be the first place people went. No one has mentioned the curious cross cultural moral coincidences either. Hmmm interesting. No mention of social contract, socialisation, assumption of moral norms etc. No mention of the evolution of altruism, game theory and the rational, evidence based derivation of things like the golden rule and other moral and ethical precepts? {sigh}

    Posted by: Louis | August 3, 2007 06:41 PM

    I did a lengthy piece at #324 then pared it down to this:

    I’m so glad I erased my rebuttle of David. Note to self: One brownie point for not feeding the idiot.

    Posted by: Moses | August 3, 2007 04:42 PM

    Because, in my heart of hearts, I knew that a lack-wit like David would simply ignore that argument because he’s got a crucifix 8′ long up his ass.

  368. #369 MAJeff
    August 3, 2007

    Because, in my heart of hearts, I knew that a lack-wit like David would simply ignore that argument because he’s got a crucifix 8′ long up his ass.

    And that crucifix, the one no one could reach, grew three sizes this day.

  369. #370 El Christador
    August 3, 2007

    I think an interesting question is why is it that murder is considered wrong anyway. If the death occurs at time t0, then before t0, no murder and hence no victim, after t0, no victim. Unless you believe the victim is the mathematical construct of the trajectory that the dead person would have followed but for the murder.

    The crux is what happens at time t0. That is why for murder to be wrong it is necessary that time be complete i.e. that it be continuous and without “holes”. In a discrete-time universe, or one in which time isn’t (locally) isomorphic to the real numbers (i.e. isn’t a complete ordered field; i.e. there can be “holes” in time, which wouldn’t make any difference physically as long as they’re sets of measure zero), one runs into theoretical problems with murder being wrong. Note that current thinking in physics is taking the possibility of a discrete time universe more and more seriously.

    This is Zeno’s Paradox in morality.

    No. Not really. It’s a joke, of course. Because no one ought to think it is possible to demonstrate by logic that murder is wrong in the first place.*

    Although it remains true that after a murder, there is no wronged party that exists anymore so it’s worth asking who the victim is. Maybe the wrongness travels backward in time to before the murder.

    *discounting systems where one essentially takes it, or something like it as an axiom and then produces “murder is wrong” as a trivial consequence

  370. #371 blf
    August 3, 2007

    PZ insists (which he’s very entitled to do, it is his blog!):

    DON’T FEED THE TROLLS.

    But then they go and eat the poor defenseless billygoats…

    You want the animal “rights” nutters on yer case as well? ;-)

  371. #372 Stephen Wells
    August 3, 2007

    El Christador?- murder is wrong because we’d generally prefer got to get murdered.

    Your “logic” isn’t.

  372. #373 Chris
    August 3, 2007

    Are there many bitter trolls over at William and Mary? I don’t think Jefferson would have approved…You seem to have broken the Honor Pledge a few times in those 60-some-ought rubbish posts.

  373. #374 tony
    August 3, 2007

    I tell you all “don’t feed the troll”. You feed the troll (what should I expect – you’re here ‘cos you don’t bow to authority)

    As PZ says – David is a lackwit.

    A-dee-yos david. I’d like to say it’s been a pleasure, but that would be lying. So instead I’ll tell you the truth. If you were a neighbor – I’d move to a different country, and change my name, to get away from you. The alternative would require me to murder you, and you’re not worth a ‘justifiable homicide’ rap.

  374. #375 Kseniya
    August 3, 2007

    and you’re not worth a ‘justifiable homicide’ rap.

    Geez, Tony. Is anyone?

    This is what I do when I want someone gone:

    I shut my eyes really tightly, stick my fingers in my ears and mutter nursery rhymes under my breath over and over, , in broken Ukrainian, and eventually he goes away. Of course, so does everyone else, which is a side effect I haven’t yet quite worked out.

    Now. Regarding the Pope thing. I must have been living in an alternate reality until today. Hasn’t acceptance of the ToE – so long as it did preclude neither God as Creator and First Cause, nor the spiritual component of humanity – been standard RCC doctrine for quite some time now? If so, then what’s the big deal about Benedict coming out with this? Is it simply that many feared he would come out against the ToE altogether, and in that sense, this is news?

  375. #376 Dahan
    August 3, 2007

    I didn’t feed the troll! (for once)

  376. #377 Tulse
    August 4, 2007

    Hasn’t acceptance of the ToE – so long as it did preclude neither God as Creator and First Cause, nor the spiritual component of humanity – been standard RCC doctrine for quite some time now?

    That’s my understanding. The only reason I think this was at all newsworthy is that Benny seems to have been backsliding a lot lately in a number of areas (and some lower-level church types have made noises that sounded sympathetic to ID). So it’s only really news because it means things haven’t gotten worse in the Catholic Church regarding evolution.

  377. #378 Pygmy Loris
    August 4, 2007

    I’m going to do something nice! Somewhere upthread Ian was referred to as a troll in reference to his views on abortion and rather vocal advocation of those views on abortion threads. I don’t believe Ian is a troll. On non-abortion threads he often makes comments that are intelligent and rational. Even when he’s disagreeing with the majority of posters (including me!) here on abortion threads, Ian does try to explain his positions. In my view he doesn’t do this very well, but I have seen him defend his views without resorting to namecalling and such.

    I don’t believe david has defended his views very well and I really don’t like the manner in which he conducted himself today.

  378. #379 Alex
    August 4, 2007

    Got it. A group of people (the law makers) decide what “justice” is. (After all, its not like justice is objective), and then enforces it with the aid of weapons. So justice now is decided by some group of individuals, not just any one person.

    Study Law much?

  379. #380 andyo
    August 4, 2007

    350+ posts and no one has yet pointed out that morals and ethics are relative, not absolute, and almost entirely dependant on social context? Wow! I thought that would be the first place people went.

    Louis, probably the reason is that not many of us around these lairs consider themselves moral relativists, in fact it’s the second kind of relativism I have a beef with, right after epistemological relativism. Morals can be universal, and you can see it in, broadly speaking, how our moral compass has been advancing with knowledge in pretty much a linear way, towards a goal of equality and placating of suffering.

    In fact, I’m willing to bet that any species that evolved empathy and a certain degree of intelligence will tend in the long run towards equality and morals based on suffering and happiness, if the long run is long enough for them not to annihilate themselves before reaching a reasonable ground. Of course there still would be violence and evil, but it won’t be viewed as moral in any sense or culture.

  380. #381 Stagyar zil Doggo
    August 4, 2007

    On the (somewhat unrelated) subject of Virgin Birth, I just saw this NYTimes article at http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/03/science/03cell.html titled ‘Within Discredited Stem Cell Research, a True Scientific First’. Apparently, while he was busily lying to everyone about how he extracted nuclei from unfertilized ova using chop-stick kung-fu or some such, Hwang Woo Suk failed to notice that something truly remarkable did indeed happen in his petri-dishes. Namely that his cell line was generated from an unfertilized egg by Parthenogenesis.

    My first shocked thought was of course Wow! Virgin Birth is indeed possible amongst humans. We’ll all have to eat Mega-crow and beg forgiveness from Madre del Dios for ever having doubted her. Luckily, before taking that drastic step, I calmed down and remembered that no, Jezus’s Momma would have been XX and unable to generate a male offspring without some helpfull fella coming over and contributing the Y, parthenowhatsit or not. I read on –

    Although some creatures can reproduce by parthenogenesis, virgin birth would be a miracle in humans because the chromosomes from the mother and father each carry special chemical imprints, and both are required for normal development. Parthenogenetic embryos, in which both sets of chromosomes carry a female imprint, are not viable.

    So, phew! turns out my fears were quite exagerated. But hold on, there’s more –

    But Dr. Daley said that a case is known of a male patient who is a parthenochimera (“chimera” meaning an individual who is composed of two different types of cell). Two embryos, one normal and one parthenogenetic, fused in the womb. Some of the patient’s cells have the X and Y chromosomes of a normal man, but his blood has the two X chromosomes of parthenogenetic cells, evidently an instance of semi-virgin birth.

    So here’s my thought. What if Jesus’s Momma was such a Parthenochimera, either with XXY germ cells, or with dual XX and XY germ cell lines? That would solve the problem of sourcing the Y-chromosome. The imprinting thingy, … I dunno, couldn’t a germ-cell line which is XXY carry both male and female imprints? If both XX and XY germ cells existed, they could presumably carry the appropriate imprints. Some help from the biologists please, … (Obviously, I’m not one.)

    Then again, this can’t be the first time that someone said that the only way Jebus was born of a virgin would be if she were a Hermaphrodite. Anyone know what the Catholic Church’s official position on that is? You know, what with them being occasional science believers and all, …

    Also, the chick in Hwang’s lab who was coerced into donating these eggs, I wonder if they’ll christen her the Virgin Mother 2.0, or something. Maybe VM1.1, cos she didn’t actually give birth to a viable child. I can easily see a cult forming around her.

  381. #382 Louis
    August 4, 2007

    All,

    My point was not that ALL morals are relative, just that some are and that we should be cautious about what we base our moral judgements on. I believe I mentioned innate/evolved morals and theis.

    Sorry if this seems terse I had a bigger (and more cordial) reply disappear into the ether.

    Louis

  382. #383 thalarctos
    August 4, 2007

    In my view he doesn’t do this very well, but I have seen him defend his views without resorting to namecalling and such.

    If you don’t call “feminazi” name-calling, then I guess we have very different definitions of the term. And I find his sterotypical characterizations of women as flighty creatures who have abortions on a whim when it gets in the way of their high-powered careers and sex lives just as offensive as name-calling per se, not to mention the inherent anti-human rights stance of denying a whole population their bodily autonomy.

    But I agree that it’s all grown extremely tiresome–we’ve been around and around on this for years, and nobody’s going to change their opinion on it. I don’t see any reason to engage further with Ian, but until the Republicans finish trashing the Bill of Rights in this country, I can still think of him as an obsessed monomaniac troll on the subject of abortion and he can think of me as a “feminazi” to our respective hearts’ content.

  383. #384 Robert S.
    August 4, 2007

    “The fact that it is considered to be helpful by some that the Pope has said there evidence to support the Theory of Evolution tells us that the influence religion has over people is oppressive.”

    Well stated, Matt. That pretty much sums up the matter exactly.

    As for David’s fixation on the trinity. Having grown up a fundamentalist Baptist, I know all about the trinity. The belief *certainly* is that each member of the trinity is at once an individual and a single entity as a group. To suggest anything else is to ignore the obvious or engage in deception.

    On the other hand, the word “trinity” does not even appear in the Bible. It’s one of the those convenient retro-fitted doctrines.

  384. #385 Pygmy Loris
    August 4, 2007

    thalarctos,

    I must’ve missed it when Ian called feminazi on you. I’m sorry that really is inappropriate. I’m sure he thinks the same thing of me since I called him a misogynist for saying something about women having the right to get an abortion “just because they’re women.” I just refuse to be insulted by the term feminazi. It’s far more revealing about the person slinging it than the person being labeled. FWIW on the last abortion thread I read Ian didn’t do a very good job of defending his views and someone came up with an explanation of him that I liked.

    (I can’t remember who said this so credit to whoever did) Some people are ingrained with certain ideas from their religion when they grow up (like being against abortion) and when they quit believing they still feel these things are wrong, but now lack the justification of religion. Those people use some pretty lame “scientific” justifications for something they believe as a product of a religious past. Ian seems to be one of those people.

  385. #386 thalarctos
    August 4, 2007

    yeah, it’s not like “feminazi” is a real insult; it just reveals the user to have all the credibility of a Limbaugh listener. it’s not the term itself that bugs me, so much as the insistence in the same thread, with a straight face, that “feminazi” is not Godwin’s law in its purest form.

    As someone who works with educating people coming to logic and critical thinking late in life, I see people grappling with–and overcoming–cognitive dissonance all the time. So when Ian can’t see his own self-contradictions and logical fallacies, no matter how patiently and often it is demonstrated to him, that degree of sheer irrationality drives me bugfuck. If he were one of my students, I’d have to count myself as having totally failed in teaching him to think logically. His attitudes behind the illogic to me and all my kind, and his insouciance in the face of the sheer political tyranny and intrusion that carrying out his advocated ideas would require, are just icing on the cake.

    but yeah, I’ve decided not to engage with Ian anymore, because doing so just brings out the worst in me. I think your observation’s fair in as much as, if I’m not going to engage with him directly, cheap shots sideways at him aren’t exactly me at my best either. I think, in addition to not engaging with his irrationality, I’ll refrain from taking indirect swipes at him as well, as childishly amusing to me as it was in the moment. so I’d say your point was well-taken, overall.

  386. Well, I’m not going to be the only person to NOT post on this blog entry.

  387. #388 Mooser
    August 4, 2007

    The Pope? How many divisions does the Pope command?

  388. #389 CalGeorge
    August 4, 2007

    “We all see that today man can destroy the foundation of his existence, his Earth,” Benedict said.

    We all see today that power-hungry dumbfucks in pointy hats can snow the public for centuries, I said.

  389. #390 The Physicist
    August 5, 2007

    Yep, that’s my Pope, and I dearly love him. He is exactly right.

  390. #391 mothworm
    August 5, 2007

    As a minor addendum to a comment on abortion (which I consider a “good”): even if a 100% effective birth control existed and were available, we would still need abortion services since there are plenty of people who actually want to be pregnant, but are forced to terminate due to health issues (of the mother or the fetus).

  391. #392 tony
    August 6, 2007

    Stagyar zil Doggo: methinks you’re grabbing at straws…

    psuedo-hermaphroditic-parthenogenenetic fertilization and birth?

    WTF?

    Has Occam’s razor suggested itself to you?

    Imagine if you will, Mary. A young girl, pregnant (through normal but scurrilous means), discovered (around 3 months by Uma – these things are very closely monitored in such societies), and married off to the lurking Joe (a good Joe, but not so bright, and willing to take some damaged fruit in lieu of brideprice). Not virgin – other than societally. Joe not the father (because he ‘knows’).

    And this has *never* happened, so we couldn’t *possibly* suggest that such would ever be the case in the past, and surely not about the babble!

  392. #393 Stagyar zil Doggo
    August 10, 2007

    tony @392:

    Stagyar zil Doggo: methinks you’re grabbing at straws…

    Sheesh. I thought I was dangling one …

    psuedo-hermaphroditic-parthenogenenetic fertilization and birth?
    WTF?
    Has Occam’s razor suggested itself to you?

    Yes, I have heard of it once or twice. But invoking it here would just take the fun out of things. I mean, I’ll admit there are (religious) belief systems that need Ocham for refutation, but Catholicism isn’t one of them. It falls apart under the far too numerous logical inconsistencies it posits. Handicapping is required to ensure a tolerable spectacle.