There comes a point with many creationists where their arguments escape the tug of rationality and logic and fly free into mysterious realms where meanings take impossible trajectories and jumbled conclusions flit every which way.
And when has any argument ever been settled without logic and rationality? Even arguments pertaining to belief?
Again, in the grand scheme of things, as a little planet whirling round in space, why does it matter if we get along, or if we exist or not.
It doesn't matter, but to the individual it does, that's the point.
If you say it matters "in the grand scheme of things," then why have we only existed for roughly 10 million years, why not from the dawn of the first organisms on this planet ... where were we then? We obviously didn't matter then ... we didn't even exist.
But it does influence how you live your life.
Not at all, not even a little bit. Other than musing on this site with you guys, I rarely think about god or atheism. It's completely irrelevant to me if there is a god or not.
In no way does atheism influence my life.
However, lying clashes with the christian belief, and so it is hypocritical. Atheism has no belief, so therefore lying is not hypocritical as such.
And Christians lie, so you're a bunch of hypocrities. I don't see your point.
I have a conscience. However, you would say that our conscience evolved in order to survive. Right?
There's a flaw in what you're saying: there isn't really a place in your brain that you have a "conscience".
What we describe as conscience is our behaviour toward one another; it's not located in your brain it is how you act. You are aware of your behaviour and check yourself (this is what we refer to as "my conscience got the better of me") because you know that certain things are not good for society/community/groups/friends/families.
But then is it wrong for someone to go against their conscience in order to become successful?
They aren't going against anything, they're just not acting in accordance to our social rules.
If you stoned to death a homosexual today, you'd be considered a horrible human being by todays standards. Your, what you call "conscience," would make you feel horrible (it would get the better of you).
However, if you did it 2000 years ago in accordance with the OT, you were a regular religious person taking action as instructed to. You would not feel bad at all, in fact, you'd probably feel pretty great about yourself.
The similarities are, that in both cases you are following social rules, and going against them is considered moral wrong, in both cases.
For example, Genghis Khan and his descendants went around raping and pillaging, and in an evolutionary sense he was very, very successful leaving behind many descendants.
That's not how evolution works, bad example. Evolution takes place at the genetic level; you could have sex with a different woman everyday for the rest of your life and not affect the evolution of humanity in any way.
Your example is a conscience effort by Khan to do what he personal felt was right, to conquer. In fact, didn't the god of the OT instruct the Israelites to do the same?
I guess this is what happens to murderers, etc. even today. I would say it is wrong to go against our conscience because it is God-given. What would you answer? Remembering that going against your conscience can mean that you are more "successful" in an evolutionary sense.
Well, the problem is that it has no bearing in an evolutionary sense, you are grossly misrepreseting evolution - perhaps because you view it as a single "mechanism" instead of viewing it as an accumulation of various, independent mechansims.
As I explained, there is no "thing" called a conscience, it is just our selfawareness, awareness of others around use, and an inner need to maintain order in society. Doing wrong against these social rules is not in our best interest.
Like I also said, if god gave us this capability then cool. But it's still by our own necessity that we choose it.
You add nothing to it by saying god gave it to us; if we have freedom of choice, and free will, then it is by our own choosing that we pass on these traits to our children for the future benefit of society.
You wouldn't want to raise children in a society that didn't follow these rules, right? Well, even when everyone was Christian in most of the world, people still acted horribly. What then was the point of saying god gave them a "conscience" or told them to be good? They still choose not to act that way, but only because society didn't see anything wrong with what they were doing.
If god gave it to us it doesn't matter, what matters is that we choose to do it.
But it (atheism) does influence how you live your life.
This is a common misconception among religious people. Atheism is a belief there's no god, and nothing more than that. It isn't, in itself, any sort of moral compass.
We atheists don't need an invisible policeman in the sky, nor an old (and morally questionable) book, in order to know how to behave ourselves properly.
On the whole, atheists are more intelligent and better-educated than are religious believers. Perhaps religion plays a useful role in regulating some members of society. But, in general, I see religion as a force for evil in human societies.
The bible is not exhaustive knowledge i.e. It doesn't say everything about everything e.g. how to build a car. However it does contain sufficient knowledge which is true. So many models have a biblical conerstone which remains unchanged while the rest of the model may adapt according to the latest evidence.
... except that, in the case of the YEC religious/world view, when the latest evidence clearly indicates that the earth is a few billion years old and the universe is a few times older, their "model" cannot adapt to that, and the evidence must be denied, regardless of its merit.
BTW, your handling of this multi-directional discussion, holding forth against so many debaters at once while remaining calm and concise, is really impressive and admirable. My sincere and highest compliments! (Even though I think you are still not quite understanding a number of important points.)
I look forward to your participation in the Great Debate with Ned and the others.
Edited by Otto Tellick, : changed where I put the "scare-quotes"
autotelicadj. (of an entity or event) having within itself the purpose of its existence or happening.