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'Mommy, why are atheists dim-witted?'
Jerusalem Post ^ | 12-18-06 | JONATHAN ROSENBLUM

Posted on 12/18/2006 8:12:55 AM PST by SJackson

Reviewers have not been kind to The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, professor of something called "the public understanding of science" at Oxford. Critics have found it to be the atheist's mirror image of Ann Coulter's Godless: The Church of Liberalism - long on in-your-face rhetoric and offensively dismissive of all those holding an opposing view.

Princeton University philosopher Thomas Nagel found Dawkins's "attempts at philosophy, along with a later chapter on religion and ethics, particularly weak." Prof. Terry Eagleton began his London Review of Books critique: "Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the British Book of Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology."

Dawkins's "central argument" is that because every complex system must be created by an even more complex system, an intelligent designer would have had to be created by an even greater super-intellect.

New York Times reviewer Jim Holt described this argument as the equivalent of the child's question, "Mommy, who created God?"

Nagel provides the grounds for rejecting this supposed proof. People do not mean by God "a complex physical inhabitant of the natural world" but rather a Being outside the physical world - the "purpose or intention of a mind without a body, capable nevertheless of creating and forming the entire physical world."

He points out further that the same kind of problem Dawkins poses to the theory of design plagues evolutionary theory, of which Dawkins is the preeminent contemporary popularizer. Evolution depends on the existence of pre-existing genetic material - DNA - of incredible complexity, the existence of which cannot be explained by evolutionary theory.

So who created DNA? Dawkins's response to this problem, writes Nagel, is "pure hand-waving" - speculation about billions of alternative universes and the like.

As a charter member of the Church of Darwin, Dawkins not only subscribes to evolutionary theory as the explanation for the morphology of living creatures, but to the sociobiologists' claim that evolution explains all human behavior. For sociobiologists, human development, like that of all other species, is the result of a ruthless struggle for existence. Genes seek to reproduce themselves and compete with one another in this regard. In the words of the best-known sociobiologist, Harvard's E.O. Wilson, "An organism is only DNA's way of making more DNA."

THAT PICTURE of human existence, argues the late Australian philosopher of science David Stove in Darwinian Fairytales: Selfish Genes, Errors of Heredity and Other Fables of Evolution, constitutes a massive slander against the human race, as well as a distortion of reality.

The Darwinian account, for instance, flounders on widespread altruistic impulses that have always characterized humans in all places and times. Nor can it explain why some men act as heroes even though by doing so they risk their own lives and therefore their capacity to reproduce, or why societies should idealize altruism and heroism. How, from an evolutionary perspective, could such traits have developed or survived?

The traditional Darwinian answer is that altruism is but an illusion, or a veneer of civilization imposed upon our real natures. That answer fails to explain how that veneer could have come about in the first place. How could the first appeal to higher moral values have ever found an author or an audience? David Stove offers perhaps the most compelling reason for rejecting the views of those who deny the very existence of human altruism: "I am not a lunatic."

IN 1964, biologist W.D. Hamilton first expounded a theory explaining how much of what appears to us as altruism is merely genes' clever way of assuring the propagation of their type via relatives sharing that gene pool. The preeminent defender of Darwin - Dawkins - popularized this theory in The Selfish Gene.

Among the predictions Hamilton made is: "We expect to find that no one is prepared to sacrifice his life for any single person, but that everyone will sacrifice it for more than two brothers [or offspring], or four half-brothers, or eight first cousins," because those choices result in a greater dissemination of a particular gene pool.

To which Stove responds: "Was an expectation more obviously false than this one ever held (let alone published) by any human being?" Throughout history, men have sacrificed themselves for those bearing no relationship to them, just as others have refused to do so for more than two brothers. Here is a supposedly scientific theory bearing no relationship to any empirical reality ever observed. Stove offers further commonsense objections: Parents act more altruistically toward their offspring than siblings toward one another, even though in each pair there is an overlap of half the genetic material. If Hamilton's theory were true, we should expect to find incest widespread. In fact, it is taboo. Finally, the theory is predicated on the dubious proposition that animals, or their genes, can tell a sibling from a cousin, and a cousin from other members of the same species.

SOCIOBIOLOGY, Stove demonstrates, is a religion and genes are its gods. In traditional religion, humans exist for the greater glory of God; in sociobiology, humans and all other living things exist for the benefit of their genes. "We are... robot-vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes," writes Dawkins. Like God, Dawkins's genes are purposeful agents, far smarter than man.

He describes how a certain cuckoo parasitically lays its eggs in the nest of the reed warbler, where the cuckoo young get more food by virtue of their wider mouths and brighter crests, as a process in which the cuckoo genes have tricked the reed warbler. Thus, for Dawkins, genes are capable of conceiving a strategy no man could have thought of and of putting into motion the complicated engineering necessary to execute that strategy.

Writing in 1979, Prof. R.D. Alexander made the bald assertion: "We are programmed to use all our effort, and in fact to use our lives, in production." And yet it is obvious that most of what we do has nothing to do with reproduction, and never more so than at the present, when large parts of the civilized world are becoming rapidly depopulated. Confronted with these obvious facts about human nature and behavior, sociobiologists respond by ascribing them to "errors of heredity."

As Stove tartly observes: "Because their theory of man is badly wrong, they say that man is badly wrong; that he incorporates many and grievous biological errors." But the one thing a scientific theory may never do, Stove observes, is "reprehend the facts."

It may observe them, or predict new facts to be discovered, but not criticize those before it. The only question that remains is: How could so many intelligent men say so many patently silly things? For Dawkins, the answer would no doubt be one of those evolutionary "misfires," such as that to which he attributes religious belief.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: dawkinsthepreacher; liberalagenda; richarddawkins; sociobiology
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To: -YYZ-
"I don't find conventional religions convincing, so I don't follow any of them, but I also don't look down on those who do have faith. I'd like to think I'd get the same level of respect from them."

I don't think a truly devout person would look on you disrespectfully, but out of love for their fellow human. What you may perceive as disrespect, may just actually be an effort on the part of that person to look out for the well-being of your soul.

51 posted on 12/18/2006 9:43:40 AM PST by Joe 6-pack (Voted Free Republic's Most Eligible Bachelor: 2006. Love them Diebold machines.)
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To: SJackson
I'm always astounded at how people can not believe in God but believe in "magic". Not only do they believe in magic but it's magic without a magician.
52 posted on 12/18/2006 9:44:13 AM PST by fish hawk (.)
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To: RussP

Had a wry smile when I heard the Vatican had appointed an Astronomer.


53 posted on 12/18/2006 9:45:08 AM PST by Brit1 (Not by strength by guile)
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To: Junior
Maybe they've seen the vociferously religious at work and it turned them off...

Like Mother Theresa? Or Ronald Reagan? Or Billy Graham?

I've seen the vociferously atheistic at work in the form of Stalin, Lenin; Pol Pot, and other political leaders that kind of turned me off towards atheism.

54 posted on 12/18/2006 9:45:12 AM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: RussP

The appearance of the very first living cell is outside of the scope of the Theory of Evolution, plain and simple.

No matter how that first cell got here, it wouldn't effect one iota of the Theory of Evolution. Is it really that hard to understand?


55 posted on 12/18/2006 9:46:01 AM PST by LiberalGunNut
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To: Junior; TaraP; Aetius; Alamo-Girl; AndrewC; APFel; Asphalt; Aussie Dasher; AnalogReigns; ...
"Maybe they've seen the vociferously religious at work and it turned them off..."

No Doubt! - It's the great falling away that was prophesied in God's word; God has hardened their hearts as he said he would, lest they believe and be saved.

Dawkins isn't worth this thread, but maybe you are Junior. Has God hardened your heart?

56 posted on 12/18/2006 9:48:15 AM PST by editor-surveyor
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To: Joe 6-pack
I don't think a truly devout person would look on you disrespectfully, but out of love for their fellow human. What you may perceive as disrespect, may just actually be an effort on the part of that person to look out for the well-being of your soul.

Yes, but to those of us who don't believe, it is incredibly condescending. Consider a Christian told by a Muslim that they were not living a moral life and that they should convert to Islam for the well-being of their eternal soul. And that Christian is then told that although he thinks he understands the nature of God and the universe, he is actually completely wrong. The Muslim knows this for sure because he has been told so by God, and he does not even consider the possiblity that he might be wrong. So what a Christian might perceive as disrespect for believing in the wrong God, following the wrong book, and believing in the wrong morals, might just be an effort on the part of that Muslim to look out for the well-being of his soul. And yet, I'm not sure many Christians (or any believers of a system) won't view it as disrespectful to be told that everything they believe in is wrong.

Now change Muslim to Christian and Christian to atheist in the above example, and you might get an idea how many of us atheists feel when proselytized to on a regular basis.
57 posted on 12/18/2006 9:52:47 AM PST by Stone Mountain
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To: metmom

(Of course not, because it would complicate things too much and blow the theory apart, but it is a perfectly logical question to ask.)

No it wouldn't. You can insert ANY reason for how the first living cell arrived on earth and the Theory of Evolution STILL WORKS. You can say God created the first living cell. It doesn't change ONE IOTA of the Theory of Evolution.

(So then, where did life come from? What's the dividing line between living and non-living?)

There are a few explanations as to where life came from. Every single on is outside of the Theory of Evolution. Meaning, if all of the current ideas about the Origin of life were debunked, the ToE would remain unaffected. I don't know why this is so hard to understand.

Do you deny that evolution has been observed? Google "FRUIT FLIES AND EVOLUTION" and you will find a very good example of observed evolution.


58 posted on 12/18/2006 9:53:22 AM PST by LiberalGunNut
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To: Rembrandt_fan
And you will keep hearing it, since Creationism--as a movement, as a set of ideas--is a literal interpretation of the creation story in the Book of Genesis. Any time any Creationist claims that the world was made in literally six days, then that person is claiming the Bible as a source of scientific authority.

*Scientific authority* is not the same as your previous statement that creationists act as if the Bible were designed as a science textbook. This was your previous quote...Creationists, on the other hand, act as if the Bible was designed as a science textbook, which it most emphatically isn't. So which creationists act as if the Bible was designed as a science textbook?

Besides, the definition of creationism is simply your definition. Where did you get it? What authoritative source specifically requires it to be a *literal* interpretation? Evos rarely speak of creation without trying to cram it into the *literalist* box.

59 posted on 12/18/2006 9:55:29 AM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: -YYZ-
I don't find conventional religions convincing, so I don't follow any of them, but I also don't look down on those who do have faith.

Well that isn't very convincing.

60 posted on 12/18/2006 9:58:12 AM PST by subterfuge (Today, Tolerance =greatest virtue;Hypocrisy=worst character defect; Discrimination =worst atrocity)
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To: trisham; <1/1,000,000th%; betty boop; Alamo-Girl
"It's difficult to imagine what an atheist would celebrate."

Really its not so difficult; they celebrate their own Perfectability; their ability to achieve godhood by their own bootstraps. That is why they prop up evolution; they wish to believe that all is improving, rather than decaying as is evidenced by everything around us.

61 posted on 12/18/2006 10:03:22 AM PST by editor-surveyor
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To: -YYZ-

“If I knew God I’d be Him.”

Though it seems from the first few seconds of the creation event when nuclear strong and weak forces, the latter of which electromagnetism segregated from, and somehow also therein gave rise to gravitation, from which there gradually coalesced various galactic types and structures.

And as we live in one spiral galaxy out of billions, two thirds of the way out from its dense center between whirling arms which are relatively debris and dust free; where metals are fairly well concentrated, but rarer in the Milky Way’s outer reaches…. Where too, were we further in, we wouldn’t be able to see the universe outside.

That we live in the habitable zone of a single G2V star, in a system with a large outer planet to sweep up a considerable amount of debris that might otherwise be drawn to the inner solar system and collide with Earth.

That we have a magnetic field which protects us from too much cosmic and solar radiation, and allows us too – geometrically by the more distant stars – to navigate around our planet.

That we have a moon massive enough to stabilize our planetary axis, and which perhaps also couples gravitationally to assist plate tectonics in recycling our oceanic crust and mantle, yielding a balance of nitrogen/oxygen and carbon dioxide to our atmosphere.

That the laws of physics at both the macro- and micro levels should be so fine tuned - and unified! - allowing these processes to be carried out at all.

That we are alive!

It seems inconceivable that there isn’t that God who – being God sets the values of good and evil, and cares that we should prefer that Good.

I'll take Pascal's Bet, thanks.


62 posted on 12/18/2006 10:05:12 AM PST by onedoug
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To: Stone Mountain; Joe 6-pack

If I had a cure for cancer, I'd want to share it with people. This is not much different in the Christians eyes. One cure takes care of physical death, the other cure takes care of spiritual death.

If you truly believed that someone without Christ was going to hell for eternity when they died, wouldn't you want to warn them? And really, what kind of Christian would they be if they DIDN'T warn others?

I can appreciate that some people's approach is less than desirable. I've been on the receiving end myself and so understand the offense taken. At that point, I guess you just have to figure some people don't have much in the way of people skills. But don't discount the message because of the messanger. There's too much at stake.


63 posted on 12/18/2006 10:05:39 AM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: SJackson; Coyoteman; Alamo-Girl

Not fair....this title.

I'm a conservative, evangelical pastor and retired Army chaplain, and I guarantee you that the atheists I've run across have all been on the intelligent side.

I think they're wrong, but I don't think they're "dim-witted" by any means.

That's one reason I'm interested in talking to them and discovering those on whom God has written the word "Christian," and they just don't know it yet.

Dawkins, I think, is into his "shtick." I think he goes overboard for attention and money. Apparently, he succeeds.


64 posted on 12/18/2006 10:05:51 AM PST by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and proud of it! Supporting our troops means praying for them to WIN!)
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To: RussP
"Speculation is fine, but the problem is that too many evolutionists take that speculation as tantamount to additional corroboration of Darwinism. As long as any Darwinian explanation is *plausible*, they are contented. In other words, they simply believe what they want to believe and belittle anyone who does not see it the way they see it."

Bravo! - You have therein captured the essence of Evolutionism.

65 posted on 12/18/2006 10:06:09 AM PST by editor-surveyor
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To: metmom
You wrote, "So which creationists act as if the Bible was designed as a science textbook?"

All of them; i.e., anyone who is a self-identified creationist. And I'm not hedging here--I used the term 'scientific authority' synonymously with the term 'science textbook' but was taught by a very good English teacher in high school to avoid repetition for the sake of readability. 'Textbook', in this context, is (clearly, obviously) another word for 'authority'. Lastly, the very terms 'Creationist' and 'Creationism' are universally understood to be referring people and ideas advocating a literal interpretation of the Biblical story of creation. It isn't my own definition.

I attempt to write and think as plainly and as clearly as I can. Pointlessly attempting to 'fisk' every word in every sentence in a showy attempt to disprove my argument does you no credit.
66 posted on 12/18/2006 10:08:40 AM PST by Rembrandt_fan
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To: editor-surveyor
Has God hardened your heart?

Only to idiots who throw over the benefits of modern science, such as medical advances, simply because it interferes with their religious worldview.

Of course, YMMV.

67 posted on 12/18/2006 10:10:48 AM PST by Junior (Losing faith in humanity one person at a time.)
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To: My2Cents
The Darwin Central crowd have apparently stormed off of FR in a huff. They may be back, but clearly they were frustrated that their agenda wasn't making much headway here.

No one stormed off in a huff. However, the loss of so many folks with scientific knowledge and training from FR is appalling.

PhDs in Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Math, Astrophysics, Computer Science, etc.

Huge loss to FR.

68 posted on 12/18/2006 10:11:55 AM PST by RadioAstronomer
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To: metmom
Mother Theresa wasn't vociferous. She did her work quietly. Ronald Reagan never wore his religion on his sleeve. Billy Graham, of course, is a professional preacher.

No, the folks to whom I refer are those who basically condemn everyone who does not believe exactly as they do -- and condemn them in a loud and public manner. Anyone who has been on a Religion Forum thread, or any of the science threads here knows exactly the person to whom I am referring.

69 posted on 12/18/2006 10:13:33 AM PST by Junior (Losing faith in humanity one person at a time.)
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To: Pietro
That's just pitiful jr. But then I suppose you didn't have much faith to begin with.

Lighten up, Francis.

70 posted on 12/18/2006 10:14:10 AM PST by Junior (Losing faith in humanity one person at a time.)
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Comment #71 Removed by Moderator

To: 50sDad
As I have said before, an anti-theist would be the kind of person who, having decided volentarily to have no breakfast of his own, would come over and whizz in your Wheaties.

LOL!! Nice one!

72 posted on 12/18/2006 10:14:38 AM PST by Albion Wilde (...where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. -2 Cor 3:17)
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To: TaraP

LOL!

That works for me too.

But whatever happened to Opie? He's gotten weird in his old age. ;)


73 posted on 12/18/2006 10:14:52 AM PST by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: Cicero
"Mere chance cannot explain the supposed process."

Neither can the mere injection of God into the question, for it is contrary of the nature of God as he has made himself known. God is not a passive, lassez-faire creator; he has declared his love for all of us,and never given any indication of a willingness to discard billions of generations of evolving, almost, but not good enough beings until Adam arrived on the scene, nor is Adam himself good enough; he sinned.

74 posted on 12/18/2006 10:15:22 AM PST by editor-surveyor
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To: trisham

They drift towards Hedonism.


75 posted on 12/18/2006 10:15:24 AM PST by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: cubstoworldseries07

Indeed. I know many like that, too. The Holier-Than-Thou types one encounters in one's daily business have done more to turn folks off to religion than anything cooked up by the most scheming concept of Satan.


76 posted on 12/18/2006 10:15:39 AM PST by Junior (Losing faith in humanity one person at a time.)
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To: tacticalogic
Are you sure those are all really atheists?

I give it about 90-95%.

77 posted on 12/18/2006 10:16:22 AM PST by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: RadioAstronomer
Huge loss to FR.

Amen.

78 posted on 12/18/2006 10:16:26 AM PST by Wormwood (I'm with you in Rockland)
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To: <1/1,000,000th%

The ACLU got a hold of him!


79 posted on 12/18/2006 10:17:36 AM PST by TaraP
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To: Jack Black
Are you this guy?


80 posted on 12/18/2006 10:17:39 AM PST by RockinRight (Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. He's a Socialist. And unqualified.)
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To: LiberalGunNut
The appearance of the very first living cell is outside of the scope of the Theory of Evolution, plain and simple.

Why? Didn't it evolve from something, like viruses? What about viruses? Are they living or not? What's the transition between viruses and single celled bacteria and if viruses are living, that would be evolution. And if viruses are living they had to evolve from something else. What was that?

81 posted on 12/18/2006 10:19:27 AM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: LiberalGunNut; betty boop; Alamo-Girl; .30Carbine
[ Sorry, but the Theory of Evolution does not concern itself with how life got here or how the very first lifeforms were created. Evolution is the foundation of biology and is definitely used in everything from developing antibiotics to industrial fermentation.(microbiology anyone?) ]

Really... Where did the third human on earth come from?...

82 posted on 12/18/2006 10:20:36 AM PST by hosepipe (CAUTION: This propaganda is laced with hyperbole)
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To: RadioAstronomer
"Coming from an anti medicine anti science nutball. Why folks still even listen to your crap is something I find amazing."

Keep propping up your strawman RA.

Anti Dow-Jones false medicine, and anti dreaming false science, is not anti medicine nor anti science.

83 posted on 12/18/2006 10:21:30 AM PST by editor-surveyor
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To: LiberalGunNut
Do you deny that evolution has been observed? Google "FRUIT FLIES AND EVOLUTION" and you will find a very good example of observed evolution.

OK, I couldn't find out what they got the fruit flies to evolve into. What was it?

84 posted on 12/18/2006 10:22:59 AM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: <1/1,000,000th%
They drift towards Hedonism

I do not agree. I work with a number of Atheists and they are fine moral upstanding folk.

85 posted on 12/18/2006 10:23:05 AM PST by RadioAstronomer
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To: metmom
If I had a cure for cancer, I'd want to share it with people. This is not much different in the Christians eyes.

You don't know God exists. You can't be certain God exists. But, you can believe God exists. I believe God exists, but I don't take it upon myself to assume the position of God and 'save' people. I don't have a problem with evangelizing itself (necessary for a growing church), just the attitude most bring to it (I'm saving the world, etc.).

God will sort everyone out when the time comes.

86 posted on 12/18/2006 10:25:31 AM PST by Swordfished
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To: SJackson
Not all atheists are dimwits. Some lecture at renowned Universities...

Lavrentii Beria

"By psychopolitics our chief goals are effectively carried forward. To produce a maximum of chaos in the culture of the enemy is our first most important step. Our fruits are grown in chaos, distrust, economic depression and scientific turmoil.... With it you can erase our enemies as insects... Use the courts, use the judges, use the Constitution of the country, use its medical societies and its laws to further our ends.... create chaos. Leave a nation leaderless. Kill our enemies. And bring to Earth, through Communism, the greatest peace Man has ever known." ... Lavrentii Beria, Lenin University, in a 1933 address to a group of American/Marxist Psychology Students

87 posted on 12/18/2006 10:30:13 AM PST by Gritty (Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? - God to Job, Job 38:4)
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To: metmom


YOu If I had a cure for cancer, I'd want to share it with people. This is not much different in the Christians eyes. One cure takes care of physical death, the other cure takes care of spiritual death.


I guess you missed my point. I know that you believe that non-believers will go to hell. Other people believe other things. Everybody thinks they have the correct belief system. Many, if not all are wrong. It is incredibly presumptuous of any Christian, or any religious believer to tell another person that everything that they believe in is wrong, because you KNOW that everything that you believe in is right. It is nice of you to try to save others. It is nice of atheists to try to explain their beliefs to theists because they believe that they are telling the truth. It is nice of Muslims to try to convert Christians because Muslims believe that they have the line to God for the truth.

The point is it doesn't matter. I have no problem with people sharing their beliefs. Some of the best conversations I have ever had started with this talking point. But I draw the line when ANYONE tells me that their belief system is better than mine, that they are more moral than I am because they are a member of a religion, or when anyone gives me the "I'm right, you're wrong" line.

If you truly believed that someone without Christ was going to hell for eternity when they died, wouldn't you want to warn them? And really, what kind of Christian would they be if they DIDN'T warn others?

I see this as the curse of being completely sure of one's belief system. Others call it faith. I don't believe that my failure to be a Christian will cause me eternal damnation. No matter how many times I am warned, it won't happen. How many times do Christians feel obligated to warn me? I would think once is enough. It's not like repeating the warning makes it any stronger or more believable.

But don't discount the message because of the messanger. There's too much at stake.

That's not why I discount the message. I have close friends who are Christian who I have discussed belief extensively with. I listened to what they have to say. And I don't belive it for myself. I don't believe in Christianity because it doesn't square with any of the reality that I have experienced in my life. I am no more capable of believing in God than you are of believing that Islam is the one true path.

Again, let me turn this around. A Muslim friend of yours wants to save you. He KNOWS that non-Muslims will be punished in the afterlife. He cares about you so much that he wants to warn you - after all, what kind of friend would he be if he DIDN'T try to warn you. And if you ignored his first warning, well, he should obviously keep after you because, well there's so much at stake. And he'll tell you that there are Muslims who don't have many people skills, and people who pervert the religion, so that you shouldn't discount the message because of some bad messengers.

As far as he is concerned if he is really your friend, he should try to convert you to Islam at every opportunity he gets, right? There's too much at stake to do otherwise, right? Why should I believe in the Christian who tries to save others more than I would believe in Muslims who try to save others?

(BTW, I'm using Islam as a generic example - substitute any religion you don't believe in above if you don't believe Islam applies)

88 posted on 12/18/2006 10:31:29 AM PST by Stone Mountain
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To: RockinRight
No.

I chose my screen name in 1998 based on my favorite liquor at the time. (Jack Daniels). I've moved on to scotch since then, but the name stays. If Jack Black the actor was around in 1998 I was not aware of him. I've considered trying to change it but it seems like a pain for the admins, so I just ignore most comments about it.

89 posted on 12/18/2006 10:33:51 AM PST by Jack Black
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To: <1/1,000,000th%
I give it about 90-95%.

That seems a little high for some of them, but even that is enough to make declaring them "organized atheism" questionable.

90 posted on 12/18/2006 10:33:59 AM PST by tacticalogic ("Oh bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: metmom
If I had a cure for cancer, I'd want to share it with people. This is not much different in the Christians eyes.

Might it not be possible, in the case of the more vociferous atheists, that they feel it is their duty or mission to open others' eyes to the Truth As They See It™? Indeed, this is the same motivation that drives many evangelical Christians, so why shouldn't it drive atheists too?

91 posted on 12/18/2006 10:34:07 AM PST by Junior (Losing faith in humanity one person at a time.)
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To: Rembrandt_fan; metmom
"Creationism--as a movement, as a set of ideas--is a literal interpretation of the creation story in the Book of Genesis. Any time any Creationist claims that the world was made in literally six days, then that person is claiming the Bible as a source of scientific authority."

No, not as a scientific authority, but as a factual authority. God's word has been proven to be his word through analysis of its numeric undepinnings, and rejection of that fact is the biggest rejection of science that has ever occurred in history.

92 posted on 12/18/2006 10:35:00 AM PST by editor-surveyor
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To: RadioAstronomer
No one stormed off in a huff. However, the loss of so many folks with scientific knowledge and training from FR is appalling.

PhDs in Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Math, Astrophysics, Computer Science, etc

***********

I'm sorry they're no longer here.

93 posted on 12/18/2006 10:35:31 AM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: RussP

Quite.

While it is true that evolution can by 'reformulated to be far from tautological', and when so formulated is a proper scientific theory, the polemical defenders of neo-Darwinism, Dawkins at their head, go out of their way to render the theory unfalsifiable, and thus non-scientific.


94 posted on 12/18/2006 10:39:31 AM PST by The_Reader_David (And when they behead your own people in the wars which are to come, then you will know. . .)
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To: Stone Mountain
I enjoyed your comments above. I disagree with one point though, you wrote:

But I draw the line when ANYONE tells me that their belief system is better than mine,

Isn't that close to multiculturalism? Can't we say for instance that being a practicing Presbyterian is better than being a Pol Pot follower? A devout Buddhist better than being a Nazi. A productive agnostic better than being a serial killer? A stumble down drunk better than a terrorist suicide bomber?

that they are more moral than I am because they are a member of a religion,

Ultimately this is a claim of all religions. Follow these rule to be better and more moral. If you didn't believe that why would you be a believer and follower?

or when anyone gives me the "I'm right, you're wrong" line.

Are you objecting to them saying it or believing it? Saying it is rude, and perhaps obnoxious. Believing it is a part of the human condition. I prefer a gentle scepticism, myself, but that is for men of academic temperment. Men of action tend to believe they are right.

I chaulk much of "Bush hatred" up to academics hating the action-oriented stance of Bush, which is (to some extent I believe, though not to the extreme parody level promoted by idiots like the editors at the NY Times) based on his firm beliefs, including religious beliefs.

95 posted on 12/18/2006 10:42:35 AM PST by Jack Black
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To: editor-surveyor
No Doubt! - It's the great falling away that was prophesied in God's word; God has hardened their hearts as he said he would, lest they believe and be saved.

Dawkins isn't worth this thread, but maybe you are Junior. Has God hardened your heart?

The line about God hardening hearts (such as Pharaoh’s) is often misread. It is not that God actively reached out and forced someone's heart to harden. It was that, to Pharaoh, the thought of a God greater than him and his gods caused anger that hardened his heart.

Anger at God's greatness is not the only way that hearts are hardened by thoughts of God. Overweening confidence that one is in good with God, correct or not, can lead to the arrogance of assuming that others are damned or otherwise doomed. Such arrogance can cut one off from other people and lead to a hardening of the heart as hard as Pharaoh's.

I suggest that you look to your own heart before condemning another's.

96 posted on 12/18/2006 10:42:47 AM PST by Celtjew Libertarian (Had to de-opus for this one.... Returning to opus mode now.)
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To: editor-surveyor

I don't put a lot of stock into a theory of divinely guided evolution, because I'm not at all wedded to the idea of general evolution, but it's at least a possibility. God could have created things over a long period of time rather than all at once. Genesis describes the creation as taking place in 6 days, but the meaning of "day" is not set in concrete when you consider that the sun and the moon weren't around to mark the passage of time in days and weeks for the first few of these days. Evidently the plants were created earlier than the fish and birds, they were created earlier than the beasts, and everything else was created earlier than man.

By a few days, or perhaps by a much longer passage of time.

There's nothing in the account to suggest one thing changing into another, so whether animals could have developed from plants with the help of divine guidance is still really nothing but conjecture, and still unproved by scientific evidence as far as I know. But with God all things are possible, so I don't think it can be entirely ruled out.

God could have developed earlier monkey like creatures toward the human, and then at some point made them human by inserting souls into a specific pair, Adam and Eve. Frankly, I doubt it. What similarities there are between animal and human DNA can be explained not only by inheritance, but also by God's choice in creating them by using partly similar building blocks. But in any case, general evolution certainly couldn't have happened without divine involvement in the process, for purely scientific and logical reasons.


97 posted on 12/18/2006 10:44:11 AM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: metmom

(Why? Didn't it evolve from something, like viruses? What about viruses? Are they living or not? What's the transition between viruses and single celled bacteria and if viruses are living, that would be evolution. And if viruses are living they had to evolve from something else. What was that?)

I don't know what you are trying to say, scientists have never said viruses evolved into single celled bacteria. There is a great to debate about whether or not a virus is a living thing. It is a microparticle that can only replicate by attaching itself to a living cell. It doesn't meet the requirements of a living organism. They did not "transition " into bacteria. If anything it is the other way around.

Look, you can keep saying "WHERE DID THIS COME FROM" or "WHERE DID THAT COME FROM" but it won't change the fact that whatever the answer is HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION.

Here is the definition of Evolution (courtesy of Wikipedia):

In biology, evolution is change in the heritable traits of a population over successive generations, as determined by changes in the allele frequencies of genes. Over time, this process can result in speciation, the development of new species from existing ones.

All contemporary organisms on earth are related to each other through common descent, the products of cumulative evolutionary changes over billions of years. Evolution is thus the source of the vast diversity of life on Earth, including the many extinct species attested to in the fossil record

---

Notice something? There is NO MENTION OF THE ORIGINS OF LIFE. It doesn't matter. ABIOGENESIS is the area of science that concerns itself with the Origin of Life.

If every single idea in abiogenesis science is debunked, the Theory of Evolution would remained unscathed. Ok, get it now?


98 posted on 12/18/2006 10:44:26 AM PST by LiberalGunNut
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To: My2Cents
The Darwin Central crowd have apparently stormed off of FR in a huff.

It took awhile, but they finally figured out they were wasting their time.

They may be back, but clearly they were frustrated that their agenda wasn't making much headway here.

True Believers never allow facts or logic to penetrate their brain. Whether you want to believe that the "Darwinists" are the True Believers, or the "Christians" are the True Believers is irrelevant. Both are equally immune to reason.

99 posted on 12/18/2006 10:51:28 AM PST by narby
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To: Joe 6-pack

No, it's not a case of perception. There is plenty of outright hostility for all atheists on this board, not for anything any individual among us has done, but merely for being members of this unorganized grouping of atheists, a small number of which are strident and vocal in their anti-religiousness. Nonetheless, I will continue to treat individual Christians with respect, despite the fact that as an atheist I get little but abuse from Christians as a group.


100 posted on 12/18/2006 10:55:24 AM PST by -YYZ-
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