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EvC Forum Side Orders Coffee House Creationist Shortage

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Author Topic:   Creationist Shortage
dwise1
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Message 136 of 415 (662337)
05-14-2012 9:32 PM
Reply to: Message 113 by xongsmith
05-13-2012 3:50 AM


Re: What's the purpose here?
So here we are, inviting Creationists to come into debate with us, provided they adhere to the rules of presenting objective repeatable calibrated scientific evidence and rephrasing the conclusions thereof in such a manner as to demonstrate they understand what they are talking about.
When creationists claim to have scientific evidence for their claims, then when they come here to debate they should indeed be held to the standards that they claim. Therefore, indeed, they need to adhere to the rules of presenting objective repeatable calibrated scientific evidence and rephrasing the conclusions thereof in such a manner as to demonstrate they understand what they are talking about. And we are completely correct to expect that of them. After all, they chose their battle; we're just accommodating them.
Similarly, if an atheist were to claim to have conclusive scriptural evidence that supported a view totally at odds with Christianity and accept to engage in a debate on that basis, then he would likewise be expected to adhere to the standards of that discipline. If he refuses to adhere to those standards, then he will be in violation just as the same as a creationist refusing to adhere to scientific standards despite claiming to.
Of course, if a creationist wishes to not claim to have scientific support and to argue for his position purely on Scriptural grounds, then that is the standard that he must adhere to. But the moment he claims scientific evidence or support, then that is the standard that he must adhere to.
I ask us all - how can such a constraint produce anything other than defeat for the Creationists? We are asking them to walk into a buzsaw of trouble here.
It's their choice. They chose their battle, albeit not even remotely well. If they're not up to it, then they shouldn't engage.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 113 by xongsmith, posted 05-13-2012 3:50 AM xongsmith has seen this message but not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 140 by Buzsaw, posted 05-15-2012 7:24 AM dwise1 has replied

  
dwise1
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Posts: 5992
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 3.1


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Message 142 of 415 (662395)
05-15-2012 10:23 AM
Reply to: Message 140 by Buzsaw
05-15-2012 7:24 AM


Re: What's the purpose here?
And yet again you demonstrate your inability to understand simple English.
Sad, truly sad.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 140 by Buzsaw, posted 05-15-2012 7:24 AM Buzsaw has seen this message but not replied

  
dwise1
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Posts: 5992
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 180 of 415 (667412)
07-06-2012 10:07 PM
Reply to: Message 170 by Coragyps
07-06-2012 9:35 AM


Re: Did we win?
No, we haven't "won" by a long, long shot. See "Texas Board of Education" for a prime piece of evidence.
What precisely about the Texas Board of Education? Or did you really mean the Texas Board of "Education"? -- i.e., were your quotation marks misplaced?
Basically, you just received two creationist Foxtrot-Uniforms over that remark which contained near-zero information. Similarly, that near-zero information inhibits anybody's ability to respond to them.
Could you please be a bit more specific?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 170 by Coragyps, posted 07-06-2012 9:35 AM Coragyps has not replied

  
dwise1
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Posts: 5992
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 3.1


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Message 183 of 415 (667419)
07-07-2012 1:46 AM
Reply to: Message 175 by marc9000
07-06-2012 9:29 PM


foreveryoung writes:
You and many here show true hatred and violence toward creationists on almost every post.
I think you drastically overestimate our regard for you. I feel like I can speak for most of us when I tell you that we just don't think about you enough to hate you. The boot does not hate the ant, to paraphrase a recent movie.
In exactly the same way, this sums up why there aren’t many creationists here. Science is controlled by atheism, and scientists largely overestimate Christians regard for THEM. They don’t think about them enough to bother to post here.
No, you got it completely wrong. foreveryoung is kind of a special case, because the circumstances he finds himself in, both with respect to scientists and also with respect to "fellow" Christians who have been giving him a helluva lot more grief and and hatred than any "evolutionist" ever has. He is starting to break free from the really bad "science" that his religious sect had taught him and feeling isolated and hated (again, primarily because of his fellow Christians' reaction to his seeking truth) has turned to reacting with extreme negativity at any sign of disagreement with him. This has generated a lot of hatred within him, but to whom to direct it? While the obvious target of that hatred should be the "good Christians" who have been attacking and wounding him the most, he apparently feels blocked from blaming them and so directs his hatred against "the others", the "evolutionists". He is emotionally fragile, perhaps at a major turning point in his life. He is certainly not deserving of our hate, but rather of our concern, which to some amounts to pity.
It is unconscionable that you would try to exploit foreveryoung in this manner. Though certainly completely in line with what Christians will do.
But then you try to subvert the agony that foreveryoung is going through, mostly at the hands of other Christians, to your own pet delusion, that science is controlled by atheism! You obviously have very little idea what science is, and even less an inkling of what atheism is.
Christians are interested in the science that develops things like computers, medical procedures, chemical advances, etc. — things that promote better societies here and now, not the speculation of what happened millions and billions of years ago, branches of science that do little more than provide intellectual fulfillment for atheism.
What you are describing as "science" is actually technology. And your little diatribe there fully illustrates the problem. You want to enjoy all the pleasures of modern technology while wanting to feel free to reject all the science that lies beneath that technology and without which that technology could not exist. As Brother Orson Scott Card declared in his classic (albeit now disclaimed at the behest of his Mormon masters) Secular Humanist Revival Meeting (quoted here from memory):
quote:
But {the fundamentalists} don't want to attack science under its own name! They all love their flush toilets too much!
One of the Leitmotifs that shows up repeatedly is the "conflict between two different world-views". Well, Junge (oder "mi hijo" or whatever applelation you may wish, you kid in need of illumination from your seniors), here are those two "world views":
1. The Scientific World View -- the universe operates by consistent "laws". Everything operates by consistent "rules" that we mere humans are able to observe and derive from our observations. Everything must be consistent. Any inconsistency needs to be investigated and reconciled with our understanding of how the universe operates, including realizing through this inconsistency that our understanding of the universe is flawed and needs to be corrected. Everything is interrelated. One thing that no scientist can ever do is to pick one idea and ignore everything else; the scientific world-view is intricately interrelated, like a tapestry wherein every single thread must be in its exact place, or else the entire tapestry will unravel.
IOW, the scientific world-view is a totally integrated one. If any one part of it is wrong, then everything else will unravel. In the scientific world-view, you are not free to pick and choose what you want to accept and what you want to reject. Everything depends on everything else. That is the price you pay for reality.
2. The Religious World View -- Everything is fore-ordained in an ancient text written by fallible humans and interpreted by fallible humans in an astoundingly number of different and very different ways and purported to be divinely inspired, etc, etc, etc, etc. Everything in the universe that we observe must be in accordance with our own particular interpretation of that ancient text. Absolutely no exceptions must be allowed, not even the ones that just happen to be true (don't you just hate those inconveniences? No, wait, they're a problem for religionists, but aphrodisiacs for scientists!).
What happens when what's observed conflicts with the receive religious truth? Does it need to be dealt with and somehow integrated into the "integrated" religious world view? No, of course not! That "integrated religious world view" does not exist and must be maintained in direct opposition to reality.
IOW, the scientific world-view must forever remain true to observed reality, while the religious world-view feels free to ignore reality at every convenient occasion, taking reality up piece-meal, embracing the parts we want to and ignoring the parts that we don't want to. After all, everything is God's Creation, everything pieced together completely arbitrarily, such that no human could ever even dream to piece anything together. Law of Gravity? Laughable joke! At any moment, God can negate that! Thermodynamics, not that creationists have ever even begun to understand any of it? All of it smitten away by the mere Will of God.
Which is the one to follow?
OK, let's eliminate God from the equation. How does that change the scientific view? Not one iota. How does that change the religionists' view? Uff da! (Norwegian for "Holy shit!!!!")
OK, without God in the equation, science has no problem whatsoever. But for the religionists, everything is lost. They want to argue that reality means nothing? They want to argue that some things remain true while other inconvenient things remain true?
To the religionist, the choice is clear. Grab onto everything that appears to support your position while completely rejecting every thing that doesn't. Of course, what that leaves you with is a disjointed world-view. You cherry-pick and choose what you want to accept and what you want to reject and absolutely none of it had anything to do with reality, but rather with what your own personal theology will and will not accept.
And I guess that's what really divides us, isn't it? One side seeks a unified world-view whereas the other side wants to delude itself that the facts simply do not exist. And neither side can understand how the other side could even begin to start to function.
BTW, it's the religionists' side that's in denial and is delusional. Though, as always, you are entirely free to plead your case.
As countless thousands of Christians are saddened by forums such as these.
I am not in the least skeptical that thousands of Christians are saddened by forums such as this one. Especially since this forum is run completely contrary to how good Christian forums are run.
OK! Listen Up! Here is how GOOD CHRISTIAN FORUMS are run! The ENEMY (id est, any NON-Christian, which even includes the vast majority of Christians who just happen to not agree with US!) will try to infiltrate us! DO NOT ALLOW THAT TO HAPPEN! Eliminate them as soon as possible! They may be able to sneak through, but as soon as their nature is determined, ELIMINATE THEM! DESTROY THEM! MAKE AS THOUGH THEY NEVER EVER EXISTED! HU-RAHH!
Ever hear the term, desaparecido? "Disappeared". As used widely in South America and elsewhere. Remember the mothers of los desaparecidos marching month after month in plain sight of the Argentine government, trying to find out what had happened to their children? "Disappeared people". People who used to exist, but then suddenly no longer existed. "Disappeared" at the will of the government.
That is how Christian forums work all the time. If they decide that they don't like you (and it takes extremely little for them to arrive at that conclusion), then you are gone. You are more than gone, because you never even existed. You have been disappeared, you are a "desaparacido". All trace of your existence has been eradicated. And you never ever received any kind of notification that you were in trouble; one day, you just do not exist!
Compare that good Christian reality with how this forum is run. If you're treading in dangerous places, a moderator will try to communicate that fact with you. Not at all like what any fucking Christian moderator would even begin to think of doing! You're violating the forum rules? You get a warning first, and then when you're suspended you get some kind of explanation. What happens on some fucking "good Christian"forum? You are gone. End of story. No warning, no explanation, no fucking nothing! Can you return to this forum after having been suspended? Usually, yes. On a "good Christian" forum? Never! Christians never forgive! They only damn for eternity!!!!
As countless thousands of Christians are saddened by forums such as these.
Yes, because forums such as these actually allow some kind of exchange of ideas. While the Christian forums do their utmost to prevent any possible exchange of ideas. Because the Christian cause can only be served by ignorance and blind hatred. The very last thing that any thinking Christian would want would be any exchange of ideas.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 175 by marc9000, posted 07-06-2012 9:29 PM marc9000 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 185 by Itinerant Lurker, posted 07-07-2012 4:30 PM dwise1 has not replied
 Message 190 by marc9000, posted 07-07-2012 9:12 PM dwise1 has not replied

  
dwise1
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Posts: 5992
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 3.1


(4)
Message 200 of 415 (667988)
07-15-2012 12:15 AM
Reply to: Message 189 by marc9000
07-07-2012 9:00 PM


Re: What's the purpose here?
That list again. This is the ninth time that you've posted it (seventh if you don't count the apparent duplicates):
Message 112 03-Feb-2010 (apparently duplicated in another topic as Message 112)
Message 171 10-Mar-2010 (apparently duplicated in another topic as Message 171)
Message 432 02-Aug-2010
Message 18 01-Nov-2010
Message 84 16-May-2011
Message 56 18-Jan-2012
Message 189 07-Jul-2012
All that time and you still haven't bothered to read any of those books or to learn anything to dispell your ignorance of them. But at least you're being consistent.
I replied to your Message 84 (16-May-2011) with my Message 93 (17-May-2011):
quote:
No, atheist groups and atheist books are not a major cause of the growth and spread of atheism; they serve mainly those who are already becoming atheists. Rather, a major cause of the growth and spread of atheism is creationism. Contrary to the goal of education, which is understanding the material without compelling belief in the material, "creation science" materials try to compel the student to believe in creationism, which is documented to have caused those students who found creationism so ridiculous, and hence any religion that would require believing it, to decide to become atheists (eg, 5th and 6th grade students in Ray Baird's class, Livermore, Calif, 1981). Even worse are the cases of children who were raised on creationism only to grow up and learn how outrageously they had been lied to. I've seen the figures to be about 80% of those children growing up to leave the faith; Kent Hovind would quote from a home-schooling source that the figure of home-schoolers leaving the faith after transfering to public school as being 75%. What role does science play in this? Nothing more than to teach the truth about how the physical universe works, which is more than enough to expose the lies that creationism tells; eg, after having been lied to all their lives about what evolution is and teaches, then they study science and they learn what evolution really is and teaches.
I also directly addressed your ignorance of what's in those books (adding emphasis):
quote:
BTW, I would recommend that you read that last book by Dan Barker (not co-authored by Richard Dawkins, who only wrote the foreword; can't you get any facts straight?). Especially, the first part, which is autobiographical. Dan Barker was born and raised a fundamentalist and became a fundamentalist preacher. In that first part, he chronicles his journey from fundamentalism to atheism.
I will add that evolution had nothing to do with his deconversion, directly contradicting your thesis that evolution causes atheism. Rather, because he was a travelling minister coming in contact with a large number of different evangelical congregations, he also came in contact with almost as many different versions of evangelical Christianity, which blurred his own line of demarcation between "true" and "false" teachings, which in turn got him to start thinking. Once a "true Christian" starts to think, he's on the slippery slope of deconversion and he will eventually mature and grow out of his theology. Must be why you work so hard to avoid thinking.
You also never replied. As I'm sure you will not reply this time.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 189 by marc9000, posted 07-07-2012 9:00 PM marc9000 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 202 by marc9000, posted 07-16-2012 8:17 PM dwise1 has replied

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 5992
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 3.1


(7)
Message 205 of 415 (668058)
07-16-2012 8:52 PM
Reply to: Message 189 by marc9000
07-07-2012 9:00 PM


Re: What's the purpose here?
Do evolutionists start out as atheists? Or do they study evolution first and then become atheists? I can think of a lot of thread titles it could contain. The descriptive line that I suggested above, about what the mindset is of beginning evolutionists/atheists could be applied to the authors of the following books;
quote:
. . .
Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America’s Leading Atheists / Barker/Dawkins — 2008
We already know that you had never read Dan Barker's book. Nor have you ever even looked at the cover, because if you had then you would have seen that its sole author is Dan Barker; Richard Dawkins only wrote the foreword.
We also already know from Dan Barker's own testimony in his book that his deconversion had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with evolution and everything to do with evangelical Christianity and his having committed the unforgivable sin (to evangelicals, at least) of daring to think.
Similarly, my own deconversion was not caused by evolution, which we didn't even study until a couple years later. Rather, what turned me into an atheist was reading the Bible and realizing that I simply could not believe the weird stuff I was reading and reasoning that, if being a Christian required me to believe that stuff that I found I could not believe, then it was time for me to leave. Evolution had nothing to do with my decision, whereas the Bible and, to a lesser extent, Christianity had everything to do with it.
Over the years, I have read and heard many different stories of deconversion and the only role that I have ever heard of evolution playing would be when the person who had been raised on the lies of creationism would then learn what science actually taught and what evolution really is and he would come to realize that his parents and religious leaders and teachers had been lying to him his entire life. Many other deconversion stories involved having been lied to about other things or otherwise betrayed by their religion or their religious leaders.
Some deconversion stories involved having one's eyes opened by learning the truth. One such story involved a Baptist boy who went to college and started dating a Catholic girl, whom he really liked and for whom he felt really sorry because she was damned to Hell for not being a "true Christian". Then one day she suddenly burst out in tears and told him that she really liked him and felt really sorry for him because he was damned to Hell for not being Catholic. Hello! That got him thinking, so he decided to research the matter. He went into the college library and asked for the most complete history of Christianity that they had. The librarian tried to talk him out of it, telling him he didn't want to read it. He insisted and checked out a thick book on the history of Christianity. It took him a month to read the entire book, at the end of which he decided that while he was now no longer certain that God existed, but if He did, then He sure wasn't Christian!
While my own opinion is that it's the lies of creationism that cause believers to lose their faith, I've read that the humanities do much more than learning science does in undermining evangelical/fundamentalist Christian faith. Evangelicals and fundamentalists are locked into a mindset that allows for only one point-of-view, theirs, as being valid, plus that's the only perspective that they ever learn or hear. Far too often in my discussions with creationists, they would refuse to think about what I was describing and adamantly refused to learn about evolution, because they believed that that would require them to believe in those subjects -- to counter, the US Air Force trained us NCOs in Communism, obviously not for the purpose of turning us into Communists, but rather so that we would learn about the enemy. In the humanities, these evangelical/fundamentalist students learn that there are many other perspectives and they learn what those other perspectives are and they learn to discuss the valid and invalid points of those other perspectives. Even the process in literature classes of viewing the events of the story through the perspective of different characters is a major revelation for these students. And as they learn to think, the scales fall from their eyes and they begin to shake off the shackles their religion had clamped about their minds. It's not evolution nor science that you need to fear, but rather English class!
marc, you repeatedly and persistently demonstrate that you have absolutely no idea what atheism is nor how people become atheists. You need to learn, not to continue to stew in and spew your ignorant nonsense. Rather than continue to accept the lies that your church keeps telling you, go out and talk with atheists to see what they actually think and believe and how they had become atheists, for what reasons, and what had caused it. A good place for you to start would be the ex-Christian.net forum's testimonial section at http://www.ex-christian.net/...timonies-of-former-christians. Although it wouldn't come up in a search here on EVC, I'm positive that I have posted links to that forum several times before and I'm sure that some of those times have been in response to your clinging to your ignorance. Go forth and learn something for a change!
The new arrival of puberty, a desire to free themselves from the 10 commandments, a study of evolution, and presto — atheism!
Nonsense! Though I know that that is what your (plural) churches, in their blessed ignorance, teach. It seems that, unable to understand why they cannot convert everybody, they have had to rationalize it somehow, so they projected their own desires onto the unconvertable. And by teaching that nonsense to their children, they create a strongly compelling self-fulfilling prophesy. And then have the audacity to act surprised when children actually do what they had taught them to do, become atheists in order to "free themselves from the 10 commandments"! That's right, you're the ones doing it to your own children. Stop looking for scapegoats and take responsibility for your own actions!
I had a long correspondence with a local creationist activist, Bill Morgan, who had written an error-laden essay (here is a link to a forum where he posted it in 1997: http://www.bio.net/bionet/mm/mol-evol/1997-March/005421.html). I'm quoting here part of that essay in which he repeats your own pipe-dream, though greatly abbreviated to save space here; at that link, the complete text lies a bit more than half-way down:
quote:
I was raised in Buffalo, New York, and was fortunate to have great parents They took my sister and I to church every Sunday, we attended Sunday school and church camps in the summer. I believed in God, and never gave the issue much thought.
In sixth grade, I remember seeing a big colorful book produced by Time-Life. . . . This is called the ascent of man chart that nearly everyone is familiar with.
In sixth grade, I looked at that chart for a while, smirked, thought it was ridiculous, and went outside and played softball.
Eventually I made it to ninth grade. While in a Biology class, the teacher was teaching us about evolution and placed the same chart up on the wall. I still remember it. I sat there and studied that chart for a long time. It was on that very day that I recognized a major conflict existed between what this teacher was saying and what the Bible taught. Should I believe my science teacher, who is teaching man has ascended from ape-like animals, or do I believe mommy, daddy, and that book (the Bible) that says God made man instantly from the dust of the ground?" I reasoned that this teacher is a scientist after all, so this must be valid information.
. . .
In ninth grade I chose to go with the science teacher, and considered myself to be an atheist for about 14 years.
. . .
Question! Why in 6th grade did I think the drawings were ridiculous, but in 9th grade I believed them?
Was it because I was more intellectual? No. Was it because the Biology teacher explained it so convincingly? Not really. The real reason for my becoming an atheist in 9th grade can be summed up in one word...hormones. In 6th grade I did not have much temptation in my life. . . .
But in 9th grade a whole new world opened up to me. The temptation of drinking, drugs and premarital sex presented themselves to me at exactly the same time I was being taught evolution. I knew the Bible said that being drunk and having sex outside of marriage was wrong, but here is my science teacher, telling me the origin of man is completely contradictory to what the Bible taught as the origin of man. I felt excited.....and decided the Theory of Evolution was for me, after all the Bible was scientifically wrong on the very first page!! I considered myself to be an atheist. As an atheist I no longer had to abide by any rules but my own. If I wanted to get drunk, no problem, if I wanted to try to have premarital sex no problem, I now belonged to the evolution "religion" (religion meaning a system of beliefs built on faith) that allowed me to sin without guilt.
It was not the data that made me an atheist, it was the conclusion, a belief that made me the judge of right and wrong. Those cartoon drawings of ape men did look sharp, but I wanted to believe them emotionally, more than I really believed them intellectually.
He let a lot slip there. It wasn't evolution that caused his decision, but rather his desire to use evolution as an excuse, which doesn't disagree much with your own statement. But was it evolution that gave him those ideas? No, not in the least. Well where did he get those ideas from? From his own Christian teachings! He had been taught that the way to get around all those "thou shalt not"'s was to become an atheist and, sure enough, that's exactly what he did! In fact, he let even more slip when I tried to point that out to him: he stated that during all the time he was an "atheist", every night he prayed to God. What real atheist would do that? He wasn't even an atheist, but rather he was just pretending to be an atheist, fooling nobody but himself, the most important person for him to fool!
So your churches' false teachings about morality create the very scenario that you want to blame on evolution. Instead of teaching them the true importance of morality and the very real reasons why it is so very important (which it is, despite your (plural) attempts to trivialize it!), you teach them that it depends on whether God exists and that if God did not exist, then morality is meaningless. Then you don your seedy overcoat and hat and from a dark corner whisper sleazily: "Psst! Hey, kid! Lookin' for a good time? It's easy! Become an atheist and you won't have nobody to answer to. You can then do everything and anything you want to, free of quilt, because there's no god to answer to. You won't be responsible nobody! It's easy! You don't even have to actually become an atheist neither; all you need to do is pretend to be one! Give it a try! It'll be fun!" After feeding all those restrictive and arbitrary rules, you then offer them a great big gaping loophole like that and you don't think they'll grab it as quickly as they can? Especially when you also pound them with your false teachings that accepting evolution will turn them into atheists. Since that's your own big hot claim, that evolution turns people into atheists, that makes you personally responsible for the spread of atheism that you hypocritically decry. If you don't like it, then stop causing it to happen! When the ICR was still in Santee, there was a stone mason just down the street from them, who I would assume gave them very good rates on millstones because of the volume business the ICR offered them; you should contact the ICR to find out who's supplying them now that they're in Texas.
In summary, the true cause of atheism is Christianity, especially false teachings emphasized by evangelical and fundamentalist Christian sects. Those false teachings booby-trap the faith of sect members to self-destruct in highly predictable ways. They also teach non-members that their teachings are false and cannot be taken seriously. Even more, those false teachings, especially "creation science", accomplish what nobody else ever could do: prove that God does not exist. Proof by False Teachings such as "If evolution is true, then God does not exist", and "If even one error is found in the Bible, then throw it in the trash.", and "If the earth is more than 10,000 years old, then Scripture has no meaning." (John Morris, President of the Institute for Creation Research). Nor is that proof lost on outsiders, who accept it at face value and are eternally grateful to have nothing to do with Christianity.
You're creating the situation. Only you could possibly change it, but only by abandoning your false teachings and replacing them with true teachings. Which I am quite certain will never happen, so if there exists a award for promoting and encouraging the spread of atheism, you will win it.
marc, I'm quite certain that you will refuse to learn anything and will continue to cling desparately to your ignorance, so I'll conclude with a quote, reconstructed from memory, by a past Governor of Mississippi (circa 1990, give or take half a decade either way) who was defending his campaign for educational reform:
quote:
We know that ignorance doesn't work, because we've already tried it!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 189 by marc9000, posted 07-07-2012 9:00 PM marc9000 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 213 by marc9000, posted 07-17-2012 8:27 PM dwise1 has replied

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 5992
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 3.1


(3)
Message 243 of 415 (668240)
07-18-2012 9:00 PM
Reply to: Message 213 by marc9000
07-17-2012 8:27 PM


Re: What's the purpose here?
I learn most of what I know about evolutionists/atheists at these forums.
And since you've worked so hard to ensure that you would learn next to nothing, and most of that next to nothing would be ... next to nothing. Any number times zero is still zero. Simple mathematics, which I suspect you reject for being atheistic.
The church I go to says nothing about opposing views/politics.
Of course not, since they don't want you to learn about other views. Might make you start to think and they certainly cannot have that! Starting to think is what eventually led to Dan Barker's loss of faith and what causes 65% to 80% of youth raised as fundamentalists/evangelicals to leave the faith, especially if they go to college (beware the humanities departments and especially the English classes!).
Though the RE programs in mainstream Christian churches ("compromisers" to you) includes learning about other religions and even having the Sunday School students talk with members of other faiths. An anecdote our minister would tell was of a Baptist girl doing such an exercise and, upon learning from a UU minister that they don't believe in Hell, exclaimed, "But then why be good?" To which the UU minister replied, "Because it is the better way."
But then fundamentalist churches would never dare allow their students to conduct such an exercise, since their theology depends on isolating its members from the real world and to keep them from thinking.
The books I've read by Henry Morris (The Long War Against God) and Pamela Winnick (Science's Crusade Against Religion) square with the reality I see in the real world.
I'm not familiar with Winnick, but I certainly am familiar with H. Morris. That's not the only time he's lied to you and to everybody else.
And as for "the reality {you} see in the real world", with you keeping your eyes wide shut, how could you possibly see anything? My friend Gary from church also used to be an extreme fundamentalist. He described how every single day he had to filter out everything that didn't agree with his theology, which meant that most of the time he was keeping himself willfully blind to reality. The massive effort that kind of self-delusion required of him finally proved too much for him to maintain, so after a lot of thought (there's that "T"-word again!) he applied the Matthew 7:20 test on Christianity, which Christianity failed miserably. So he became "an atheist and complete humanist" and has been far happier and more spiritually fulfilled ever since.
Oh! Look! Yet another fundamentalist whose deconversion was not in any way influenced by evolution! What caused Gary's deconversion? Fundamentalist Christian theology!
If you want to use this forum to learn about atheists, then open your eyes and learn! You can also learn a lot more about the specific question of what causes Christians to become atheists by reading their actual testimonials. Why believe the lies that H. Morris and Wintery Knight and other fundamentalists tell you about atheists, when you can get the truth straight from the horse's mouth: eg, the ex-Christian.net forum's testimonial section at http://www.ex-christian.net/...timonies-of-former-christians. The only thing stopping you is your terror of exposing yourself to the truth, for fear that you might start to think (again with the T-word!).
If atheism "works" better than theism, why (since there is obviously more atheism in the U.S. today than ever before) is the U.S. more deeply in debt than ever before?
Religion has a direct effect on the economy? Which anal orifice did you pull that piece of nonsense out of?
Well, consider that mainstream churches are declining as their memberships get sucked and suckered into evangelical and fundamentalist churches (who need to proselytize and recruit aggresively in order to offset hemorrhaging their next generation, what with 65% to 80% of their youth leaving the faith) and consider how the fundamentalists and evangelical and conservative Christians wield inordinate influence on the GOP and form voting blocks that seek to vote into office candidates who are of their faith, while public opinion is only just now starting to come around to being able to start to consider voting for an atheist candidate. So then fundamentalists, evangelicals, and conservative Christians would hold much more sway over the US economy than would atheists. So by your peccable logic (the opposite of "impeccable"), that would mean that fundamentalist Christians are responsible for the US being more deeply in debt than ever before. Way to go, dude!
And, yes, atheism does work better than your form of theism does -- some forms of theism can actually work well, but then they are not fundamentalist.
Did you even listen to that Unbelievable radio program (that's the name of the program) that Wintery Knight linked you to? The program's format appears to pair up a Christian with a non-Christian (eg, an atheist or a Muslim) and that program paired up Dan Barker with a Christian author, Charles Foster. Foster and Barker kept mentioning how much they agree with each other on so many things, including what Barker was rejecting and his reasons for rejecting it; partially transcribed starting at 15:55 into the program (go there and listen for the original in its entirety -- you need to go through the Wintery Knight page, whose source garbled the show's URL):
quote:
The second comment is this: I had a chance to read some of the letters that were written to Dan by some of his Christian friends -- he puts them on the Internet. These are letters that were written as a result of his announcement to them that he was going to abandon Christianity. I don't think there was a single one of those letters which takes issue with Dan's characterization of his own internal conflict, battle between faith and reason. I found that curious and I found that enlightening. It's a false and corrosive dichotomy to assert. That perhaps tells us something about what Dan was rejecting.
. . .
What was Dan saying no to? Was he saying no to a Christian culture that was capable of asserting that dichotomy to itself?
. . .
What he was denouncing is something that I would denounce: a narrow, life-denying literalism which bears no acumen? to scrutiny {DWise1: cannot stand up to scrutiny?} ... which cannot begin stand against any of the trends in biblical scholarship.
In that section, Foster suggested that Barker in his arguments against Christianity is setting up strawmen based on his experience with fundamentalist Christianity and expressed the wish that Barker could have had the chance during his deconversion to have spoken with others from other Christian traditions so that he could have seen that fundamentalist Christianity is not the norm and that rejecting it should not necessarily lead to rejecting Christianity itself. And indeed, when I refer to Christianity in our exchanges, I am referring to fundamentalist Christianity, just as I am sure that your usage of "Christianity" refers to the same thing, what with all the other "Christians" being compromisers!
As a non-fundamentalist, I am free from that "narrow, life-denying literalism" that cannot stand up to scrutiny, whereas you are entrapped in it. I am free to question anything and honestly seek the answers, whereas you don't dare question anything and even if you could you cannot honestly seek any answers, since you must filter everything through your theology. I am free to learn about anything I want to, whereas you must avoid learning about anything that might possibly conflict with your theology. I can read and listen to opposing ideas and try to understand why they hold those opposing ideas, whereas you must never allow yourself to do the same. I can even test my own ideas, beliefs, and assumptions freely and when I find that I have been in error I am able to correct my ideas, beliefs, and assumptions; you could never possibly dream of allowing yourself to dare to attempt the same. And furthermore, I am able to read and evaluate others' claims and arguments, such as yours, and to respond directly to those claims and arguments, whereas you are unable to do the same and have to resort to making up even more nonsense.
While a non-fundamentalist theist should be as free to do those same things as I, I feel that being an atheist affords me a bit more freedom than they have, since they can easily be trapped into reinterpreting what they find into the terms of their own religion (eg, the infamous "So many different religions, but they all worship the same God, even the Buddhists" -- hint: the Buddha taught against believing in the gods, because that would only keep you from Enlightenment). But regardless, it is abundantly clear and blazingly obvious to even the most casual of observers that atheism works much better than fundamentalist Christianity does. Though of course, because of your theology's control over you, you cannot allow yourself to see that which is so clear and obvious to the rest of us.
I just hope you understand that your worldview isn't perfect, and it isn't something that should be forced on everyone.
No worldview is perfect, though atheism is still far better than fundamentalism. And atheists are not trying to force atheism on anyone, nor do they want to. Even though some individual ex-Christians, like ex-smokers or ex-drinkers or ex-drug addicts, may want to help those still trapped in those nasty habits gain their freedom as well, though there may also be issues raised by ex-Christians who still harbor a lot of anger towards Christianity for various reasons (eg, for its having lied to/betrayed him, for its having forced him into deconversion, for how it handled his deconversion). There is no atheist mandate nor motivation to recruit, unlike the Christian mandate to proselytize. Rather, the vast majority of atheists just want to live and let live, something that fundamentalist Christians cannot abide. Remember that when you see an atheist pushing, it's because he's pushing back in self-defense against unrelenting Christian aggression. In that Unbelievable radio program, Dan Barker made it quite clear that he's not trying to convert people to atheism and that he's quite fine with people being Christians -- he even mentions getting letters from people he had converted to Christianity and had talked into getting into the ministry; the name of the Freedom From Religion Foundation refers to their work to protect church-state separation, something that Christian co-guest Charles Foster agreed with completely, as I recall.
No, rather it's fundamentalist Christianity that's forcing atheism on everyone. Especially on their own members, though by painting Christianity in such a horrible light, they are showing non-members that Christianity is definitely not the way and they should not even consider it.
Again, thank you so much for your generous and untiring contributions to growth and spread of atheism.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 213 by marc9000, posted 07-17-2012 8:27 PM marc9000 has not replied

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 5992
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 3.1


(4)
Message 263 of 415 (668398)
07-20-2012 3:50 PM
Reply to: Message 202 by marc9000
07-16-2012 8:17 PM


Re: What's the purpose here?
DWise1 writes:
All that time and you still haven't bothered to read any of those books or to learn anything to dispell your ignorance of them. But at least you're being consistent.
Why do you pretend to know what I’ve read? Are you trying to say that those books have different content than their titles suggest? Their reviews say otherwise, as do the contents of Stenger’s book, which I actually have on my shelf.
You've only read reviews of them? No wonder you have no clue! If those reviews were also by fundamentalist Christians (whom else would you ever bother to read?) and of the same caliber as Wintery Knight's tirade against Dan Barker (which completely misrepresented Barker's story), then there's no doubt that you've been lied to yet again.
The long established tradition in creationist "scholarship" is to simply repeat what other creationists have said, only claim that their "sources" as your own. Time after time with extremely few exceptions, a creationist will make a claim and cite a scientific source when in reality he had never ever seen that source, let alone read it. A classic example is Henry Morris' moondust claim in his book, Scientific Creationism (2nd ed., page 152), where he cites a "1976" NASA document as his source. In reality, his source was an unpublished work by creationist Harold Slusher which contained a number of glaring errors, including the date of that NASA document which was August 1965 and the volume number (eleven (11), whereas Slusher and Morris both claimed it was two (II). Since the truth of document's date and volume number was printed prominently on its front cover, it is obvious that Morris had never even seen that document let a lone read it; for that matter, I suspect that neither had Slusher, but rather even he had gotten his information from a third unnamed creationist -- this is the same reason why you knew for a fact that you had never read Dan Barker's book, because if you had then you would have known that Dawkins did not co-author it, so spare us your false and hypocritical indignity! In true scholarship, when you find someone referencing a source, you do not trust that reference, but rather you go back to that primary source yourself and read what it actually says. If Henry Morris had done that instead of lying about it in his book, then he would not have been called on it in public (see my page on it at http://cre-ev.dwise1.net/moondust.html; I was personally involved in researching that claim).
So, instead of blindly trusting those "reviews", read the book! See for yourself what they said and whether they fit into your pipedream of evolution causing atheism. Read the book!
... as do the contents of Stenger’s book, which I actually have on my shelf.
But have you read it? I've got many books on my shelf, though there are a few that I haven't read yet. One of them is Dennett's Darwin’s Dangerous Idea. Tell me exactly what your review said about him promoting evolution in order to cause atheism and exactly what part of the book that was supposed to have been written and I can go to the primary source and tell you what it actually says.
DWise1 writes:
I replied to your Message 84 (16-May-2011) with my Message 93 (17-May-2011):
No, atheist groups and atheist books are not a major cause of the growth and spread of atheism; they serve mainly those who are already becoming atheists.
So if someone who was already a completely converted atheist picked up one of those books, it would be completely impossible for them to get new ideas in how to convert others? Or to find new ideas for legal action against Christian organizations?
So if a person with no intention of becoming an atheist were to pick up one of those books, there is no way those books could inspire new curiosities about atheism?
If those books serve those who are already becoming atheists, that would include 5th and 6th grade students, college students, including future teachers, wouldn’t it? By saying it’s not a major cause, are you conceding that it’s a minor cause?
What I was talking about was the fact that Dan Barker and many others brought up about their deconversions: they had already started the process without knowingly having come in contact with any atheists or atheist writings. Rather, they all thought that they were the only ones to have ever gone through what they were going through -- it's a very painful process. Indeed, even after they had become atheists, they still thought they were alone and it was only later that they began to meet others who have also gone through the same thing and they learned that in fact they were not alone. In Barker's case, he finished the process in Southern California and had to travel more than half-way across the country before he could meet another atheist, all the while not knowing that there was an active atheist organization right next door in Los Angeles, Atheists United (remember, this was shortly after 1980; the IBM PC had just come out, the MacIntosh didn't come out until 1984, and public access and use of the Internet didn't start until mid-1990's, so discovering like-minded groups in your area was pretty much a crap-shoot). I first heard of Dan Barker when his speech at an Atheists United meeting was broadcast on radio (they used to have 15 minutes a week), at which he described his isolation as an atheist and shouted at the audience, "Where were you when I needed you?" They were there; he just had no way of knowing about them.
Books describing the process of deconverting from Christian fundamentalism do serve the much needed purpose of helping those who are going through that process by letting them know that they are not alone. In the Readers' Reviews for former-berfundamentalist Ed Babinski's book, Leaving the Fold: Testimonies of Former Fundamentalists, A Customer wrote:
quote:
There are other atheists who are former Christian fundamentalists--I am not alone! Some of them had, as I did, ties to Bob Jones University, perhaps the foremost incubator of fundamentalists. After reading "Leaving the Fold," I felt free to talk openly, for the first time, about my recanting Christianity. I even told my family--incorrigible fundamentalists! I am indebted to Mr. Babinski.
The fundamental problem with your list is that it doesn't really address the question of deconversion. How many of those books do actually deal with deconversion? Barker's book does, though you have bought into lies about what he wrote and/or made up your own lies about it despite your not having read it. I can find nothing in Dennett's book that has anything to do with deconversion. I haven't read Dawkins' The God Delusion, but I doubt that he examines deconversion either. Just where did you get that list from, anyway? What is it about those books do you think has anything to do with deconversion outside of your fantasy that evolution magically turns people into atheists, a fantasy that does not at all hold up when examined? No, we would need a better list.
This morning I woke up earlier than usual, so I went to amazon.com to look for former-berfundamentalist Ed Babinski's book, Leaving the Fold: Testimonies of Former Fundamentalists and immediately found another Leaving the Fold by psychologist Marlene Winell, whose description reads:
quote:
This book by psychologist Marlene Winell provides valuable insights into the dangers of religious indoctrination and outlines what therapists and victims can do to reclaim a healthier human spirit.... Both former believers searching for a new beginning and those just starting to subject their faith to the requirements of simple common sense, if not analytical reason, may find valuable assistance in these pages. -Steve Allen, author and entertainer
Read the reader reviews, especially the second one by "A Customer" which starts with:
quote:
For the person who has been moderately to severely hurt by their christian faith, Marlene Winell's book gives a voice to those whose personal lives have been filled with guilt, fear, shame, and repression, and authenticates their painful experiences with her own, and with quotes from others telling of their emotional trauma's inflicted on them by fundamentalist Christianity.
If you ever do go to read the testimonials at ex-Christian.net forum's testimonial section, the emotional and psychological damage that fundamentalism was inflicting on them is a recurring theme. For that matter, since you believe that they only become atheists in order to free themselves from the Ten Commandments, I propose a research project for you. Go out and find testimonials by those atheists who "deconverted" in order to indulge their hormones. Ask them about their own particular "deconversion process". What was it like for them? Did it induce any kind of anguish for them, or did they simply make their decision and then scamper off merrily and gleefully to whore about unhindered? I think we will find a great difference between the sham atheists you are talking about and the ones who truly endured the agonizing process of deconversion. Please, go gather those testimonials.
As do all amazon.com pages, that amazon.com page for Winell's book listed other-book suggestions which include such titles as:
Trusting Doubt: A Former Evangelical Looks at Old Beliefs in a New Light by Valerie Tarico
The Dark Side: How Evangelical Teachings Corrupt Love and Truth by Valerie Tarico
Leaving The Fold: Testimonies Of Former Fundamentalists by Edward T. Babinski
Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists by Dan Barker
Losing Faith in Faith by Dan Barker
Why I Became an Atheist: A Former Preacher Rejects Christianity by John W. Loftus
The God Virus: How religion infects our lives and culture by Darrel W. Ray
And that was without scrolling through the rest of the list, though Barker's earlier book, Losing Faith in Faith showed up after scrolling right a few times. With the possible exception of The God Virus and maybe The Dark Side (even though her other book definitely deals with a deconversion), those books all deal with the deconversion of the author and, in some cases, of other ex-Fundamentalists as well. As such, I would propose that this list is a far better one to work from than yours.
Now, back to your specific questions:
So if someone who was already a completely converted atheist picked up one of those books, it would be completely impossible for them to get new ideas in how to convert others? Or to find new ideas for legal action against Christian organizations?
Why would an atheist want to convert others? On pages 87-88 in Godless, Dan Barker lists the ad hominem arguments Christians have come up in their attempts to find the "true" reasons for atheism (none of which have ever involved listening to and thinking about what atheists have told them) and notes that most of them are the fundamentalists projecting their own emotions and desires onto their atheist opponents. Most atheists just want to be left alone without having their beliefs or their character constantly attacked, vilified, and viciously lied about. They have no problem with others believe what they want, but demand no less from those others. They believe that nobody should have to hide what their religious beliefs are, nor should anybody (including themselves) force their own beliefs on others (a forum member's analogy comparing religion to a penis comes to mind, which ends with: "Just don't whip it out in public or force it down everyone's throat.")
OTOH, it is the God-mandated duty of every evangelical Christian to proselytize, which is to say to attack and obliterate the beliefs of others and replace those victims' beliefs with a copy of one's own evangelical Christian beliefs. That is, after all, what proselytizing and inducing conversion is and entails. It is an evangelical Christian endeavor (albeit shared by several other Christian sects and cults), not an atheist one. Now, there may be some atheists -- most likely former evangelicals who still retain that part of the Christian mindset to proselytize, though they could also be like ex-smokers who feel they must campaign to save others for their old filthy and self-destructive habit -- who will try to convert others, but they are very rare. The vast majority of atheists do not seek to convert others, but rather will fiercely defend themselves from Christian attack, and so atheist materials will serve to support their defense as well as to show others that there is a logical basis for their being atheists (as opposed to Christian fantasies of "the true reasons for being an atheist"). And when having to defend themselves against Christian attack or responding to Christian nonsense (such as you keep posting), atheists give religion all the respect that it deserves (meant in the Woody Allen sense).
But "legal action against Christian organizations?" What the frak are you talking about? You're just making up nonsense again.
So if a person with no intention of becoming an atheist were to pick up one of those books, there is no way those books could inspire new curiosities about atheism?
Just as an experiment, answer a question honestly. Would you personally, as a fundamentalist Christian, having identified a book as "atheistic", pick it up and read it? I very much doubt it, especially considering that you hadn't read any of the books in your list (you do have one on your shelf, but you have not yet claimed to have read it -- if you do so claim, then you will be required to submit a book report on it, BTW). Not only have you displayed absolutely no interest in learning what atheists actually think, but your theology also bars you from learning other perspectives and from even wanting to. As long as you maintain your faith and refuse to allow any compromise, you would not feel any desire to pick up one of those books.
Rather, a non-atheist who would want to seek out and pick up one of those books would have to already have some amount of curiosity about the subject matter (remember, only some of the books in your list have anything to do with atheism; Dennett's certainly doesn't). Since they're already curious about the subject matter, they should seek to learn more. That's what normals do, incomprehensible as that may be for you. More knowledge is better than less, even though in order preserve fundamentalist Christian beliefs the opposite is true, but then that's the problem that you have created for yourselves.
If those books serve those who are already becoming atheists, that would include 5th and 6th grade students, college students, including future teachers, wouldn’t it?
College students would be far more likely than 5th and 6th graders. When I was that age (10-11), I had just transitioned from a mixture of books (mostly sci-fi) and comic books to purely books (starting with Edgar Rice Burroughs' Mars novels); around that age, my own sons were into Tom Clancy novels and the like. Philosophical books would not have interested me, nor would they be likely to interest others of that age. Interest in such reading materials would normally have to wait until high school and college.
However, we do have a documented case in which 5th and 6th graders did choose to become atheists. In 1981 in Livermore, Calif, Ray Baird taught a creationist "two model" class in the public school, Emma C. Smith Elementary School, using ICR materials (which, according to testimony in the 1981 Arkansas trial, were really the only creationist teaching materials out there) -- see an account of what happened here, and in the transcript of Creation vs Evolution: Battle in the Classroom, KPBS-TV, aired 7 July 1982. The way that the ICR lessons were structured was that they would present misinformation and misrepresentations of evolution and then at the end of each lesson pressure the student to make a personal life-long committment right then and there between "Godless evolution" and their "unnamed Creator" (remember, in order to deceive the schools and the courts, "creation science" was playing a game of "Hide the Bible"). IOW, the ICR lessons were nothing more than blatant fundamentalist proselytizing. So in accordance with what the creationist materials demanded of them, a number of Baird's students chose to become atheists. As a fellow student, J.J. Hunt, said in the KPBS-TV program:
quote:
Someone that I know has become an atheist because of this class, because the creationist theory was so stupid, he thought. Well, if religion requires me to believe this, then I don't want to have any part of it.
Was it evolution that turned those students into atheists? No, especially since they weren't even being taught evolution but rather creationist lies about evolution. Was it atheist books or materials that turned them into atheists? No, since it was ICR creationist materials that they were being subjected to. No, the inescapable fact is that it was creationism that turned them into atheists. Though this is a variation on that theme, since it wasn't finally learning what science really is and says thus exposing the lies of creationism that did the trick, but rather it was their seeing what a crock of nonsense creationism is along with the standard fundamentalist false dichotomy that it's either God or evolution and that choosing evolution means choosing atheism (or "common descent-Genesis is wrong-there is no God?" as you put it in Message 1).
Those books in your list would not cause 5th and 6th graders to become atheists, but creationism has been proved to.
By saying it’s not a major cause, are you conceding that it’s a minor cause?
Maybe a minor cause, but a very minor one that would normally only affect those who are already leaning in that direction.
At most, learning that there are atheists and learning what they actually think and what they actually are like might open one up to realizing that there are other options -- again, if you are a fundamentalist closed to compromise, this would have no effect on you, but if you are having your doubts ... .
Even though Dan Barker's religious experience happened when he was 15, he had been raised in a fundamentalist Christian family all his life. His father used to be a professional swing musician but had to give that up when he converted around the time that Dan was born. Dan's mother used to sing in tongues all the time as she went about doing her housework. When Dan had completed his deconversion and notified everybody of it, his parents came to So.Cal. to talk him out of it. His father had been trained in the seminary and tried his best, but to no avail and Dan calmly and lovingly explained his new position. In response to his mother, he calmly asked her whether she truly believed that he was going to Hell; that was the strongest and most influential thing he said to her. Shortly thereafter, both his parents and one of his brothers left the faith -- one brother is still a fundamentalist, so the rest of the family refers to him as "the white sheep of the family". His mother's quotable remark when she became an atheist (cited by Dawkins in the book's foreword) was: "Now I don't have to hate anymore." His father was finally able to return to his true passion in life, swing music -- for verily it is written: "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing" (I'll leave the chorus to the readers).
So, knowing that something is possible and that it does not result in the mean, ugly, nasty things that you've been brainwashed in believing could open that something up as a viable option. But as long as you are truly being held in thrall by fundamentalist Christian theology, you would never even begin to realize that. It could only be of influence if the doubts are already there.
DWise1 writes:
Rather, a major cause of the growth and spread of atheism is creationism.
Unless those who are becoming atheists have something to compare creationism to. Those books give them plenty to compare creationism to.
Which really is the problem for you, isn't it? Creationism is filled with lies about the sciences and especially about evolution. And after you have filled your children with those lies, accompanied with the corollary lies of "common descent-Genesis is wrong-there is no God?" and of the necessity of throwing your Bible in the trash should even one single error be found (etc, etc, etc), then the very last thing you would want would be for them to be able to compare those lies to anything else, most especially the truth! After having lied to them about evolution and the other sciences and about their very faith being wholly dependent on those lies, the very last thing you would want would be for them to find out what evolution and the other sciences really are and what they really teach. Because when that happens, your children will discover that you had been lied to and deceiving them their entire lives and they will abandon you and rightfully so!
After having raised your children on a steady diet of lies and deception, the only way you can prevent them from becoming atheists is to protect them from the truth, from reality. You need to keep them in the dark and feed them bullshit, but that will not work because they are not mushrooms! It used to be more possible because you could keep them isolated from the real world. You used to be able to keep them sequestered in fundamentalist communities with minimal contact with others outside that community, but now with the burgeoning growth of fundamentalist membership since the "Jesus Freak" movement of circa-1970 fundamentalists must live and work and interact with non-fundamentalists every day. You used to be able to control what they saw and heard and read, but that is a losing battle now with TV, radio, and the Internet (though you could implement extremely tight parental controls on cable TV). You used to be able to sequester them off into fundamentalist schools and colleges, which you still can, but that becomes prohibitively expensive and the demand to get into those schools exceeds openings, plus that schooling experience does not prepare them for their eventual awakening once they go out into the real world.
Rather then having to try to turn them into mushrooms, the real solution is for you to stop lying to them! Work out an apologetic that deals with the real world rather than the one you have now which just denies and tries to ignore reality. Use that new apologetic to teach your children the truth and how to deal with reality. If you were to do that, you would very little to fear from science or from reality. But as long as you do not do that and continue to raise your children on lies and deception, then you will live in constant fear. If you were to apply that new apologetic, you could develop a creationism that does not rely on lies, but as long as you cling to your false creationism that makes your faith depend on lies and deception, you will forever live in fear of reality and you will continue to hate the truth.
Your choice, as it has always been.
Something that doesn’t have 10 commandments. Something 5th and 6th graders find very appealing.
We've been through this before (see Message 205, to which you've yet to reply):
quote:
So your churches' false teachings about morality create the very scenario that you want to blame on evolution. Instead of teaching them the true importance of morality and the very real reasons why it is so very important (which it is, despite your (plural) attempts to trivialize it!), you teach them that it depends on whether God exists and that if God did not exist, then morality is meaningless. Then you don your seedy overcoat and hat and from a dark corner whisper sleazily: "Psst! Hey, kid! Lookin' for a good time? It's easy! Become an atheist and you won't have nobody to answer to. You can then do everything and anything you want to, free of quilt, because there's no god to answer to. You won't be responsible nobody! It's easy! You don't even have to actually become an atheist neither; all you need to do is pretend to be one! Give it a try! It'll be fun!" After feeding all those restrictive and arbitrary rules, you then offer them a great big gaping loophole like that and you don't think they'll grab it as quickly as they can? Especially when you also pound them with your false teachings that accepting evolution will turn them into atheists. Since that's your own big hot claim, that evolution turns people into atheists, that makes you personally responsible for the spread of atheism that you hypocritically decry. If you don't like it, then stop causing it to happen! When the ICR was still in Santee, there was a stone mason just down the street from them, who I would assume gave them very good rates on millstones because of the volume business the ICR offered them; you should contact the ICR to find out who's supplying them now that they're in Texas.
DWise1 writes:
I will add that evolution had nothing to do with {Dan Barker's} deconversion, directly contradicting your thesis that evolution causes atheism.
So if you can find ONE example of a person who converted from Christianity to atheism without a big interest in science, it proves that no one can be converted to atheism by science? Your conclusions aren't very logical.
No, look again. You offered that list of books in support of your claim that evolution causes atheism. I showed you that Dan Barker's Godless does not belong in that list because evolution had nothing whatsoever to do with his deconversion. Therefore, you were wrong to include it in an effort to support your claim. How many other of those books in that list also fail to support your claim? You don't even know what's in those books! What you need to do is to read those books and to quote from them with full citation of the source to actually demonstrate that they support your claim!
As for people being converted to atheism by science, that can only happen if they hold the false belief that science disproves religion. Science does not teach that, but rather fundamentalist Christianity insists upon, practically as an article of faith. Since you obviously view the growth and spread of atheism to be a problem, shouldn't you want to solve that problem? The way to solve that problem is not to kill science and to prevent anybody from learning science, but rather to get rid of your false teaching that science disproves religion. Duh?
I looked at this link to find a summary of what happened with Barker’s conversion.
A hatchet job filled with false claims. Why not read the book to learn for yourself?
A big part of his deconversion seemed to be a problem with money. He didn’t seem to be a very good minister, and found that it was much more financially rewarding for him to climb the corporate ladder at the Freedom From Religion foundation.
Blithering nonsense that is contrary to fact.
Barker was an itinerate minister, which meant that he travelled from congregation to congregation. He also had a long-term committment as a missionary in northern Mexico. Since he didn't have a single congregation to settle him and to pay him a steady salary, he had to depend on love offerings from each congregation. And he had a family, a wife and children, so he was a family man. I was also a family man, so I know that a family man does constantly concern himself with the welfare and well-being of his family and with providing for them. Of course his ability to provide for his family and the worry of whether they could receive enough love offerings to make it to the next congregation was constant. That is, after all, the life of an itinerate minister, regardless of how good a minister he is. For that matter, if an itinerate minister isn't very good, he won't be able to keep that life-style up for very long, whereas Dan Barker was able to keep it going, so that shows that he must have been a rather good minister.
What are you, some kind of prosperity theologist who measures how good a minister is by how many Cadillacs and rolexes he owns? I suggest you have a sit-down talk with your own minister about the realities of that profession (ooh! there's that R-word again that you really hate!). Having been involved in the process a couple times in our church, I know that when a congregation needs a minister, their denominational headquarters (or whatever hierarchical structure they're in) will have a list of ministers seeking positions and will provide that congregation with a list of applicants to consider. The congregation (through its officers) will consider the applicants and choose which ones to interview, which will eventually lead to one of those applicants being called to the pulpit. Of course, there are a few other possible scenarios, such as a minister with a large-enough personal following forming his own congregation. Or another form of itinerate minister who runs revival circuses.
The point is that for most ministers the only way to have a steady income is to have been called by a congregation, whereupon they receive a salary from that congregation. I am certain that you will find that there a lot more ministers than there are congretations (though large enough congregations, such as mega-churches, which is a more recent development, may employ more than one minister), leaving many to either take on some form of itinerate ministry, do missionary work (which requires financial support), or make a living at something else while doing ministry on the side. Talk with your own minister to learn about the realities of a minister's life.
quote:
Dan was PR Director of the Freedom From Religion Foundation from 1987 to 2004. He was elected co-president of the Foundation with Annie Laurie Gaylor in 2004, with whom he is co-host of Freethought Radio, a national weekly talkshow on the Air America network. He is a contributing editor of Freethought Today and is involved with the Foundation’s state/church lawsuits. He regularly travels the country and the world giving lectures, performing concerts, and participating in debates with theists, many at college and university campuses.
Atheism of usually defined as a simple, innocent lack of belief, yet for something described as a lack of something, it sure can be financially rewarding, can’t it?
Your nonsense about Barker deciding to become an atheist so he can make it big in that "biz" is just that, pure nonsense.
We already know that Barker didn't knowingly know any atheists and certain knew nothing about any atheist organizations when he was going through his deconversion, so that could not possibly have been a motivation. It wasn't until well after his deconversion had become complete and his wife had divorced him (out of respect for her, he simply says that she wanted to be a minister's wife, so when he left the faith she left him, but in his late-80's talk at Atheists United, he had described how the church had pressured her into leaving him), that he first heard of Annie Laurie Gaylor and the Freedom From Religion Foundation (Godless, pp 63-64) when he read a book by Annie (here we are back to how atheist books help other atheists far more than they convert people). He wrote to them and Annie's mother, the foundation president, asked him to write an article for their magazine, which he did. Then Oprah did a show on atheism and had the Gaylors as guests and asked them if they could recommend any other atheists, so they mentioned Dan Barker and Oprah invited him on the show. That was the first time that he had every knowingly talked with other atheists, again emphasizing the isolation in which many atheists have had to live. It was from that show that he eventually was asked to come to work for the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
As for atheism being "financially rewarding", I'm sure that them thar TV evangelists rack in all kinds of loot compared to a non-profit organization. Why don't you write to the FFRF to ask Dan how many Cadillacs and Rolexes he owns?
DWise1 writes:
Rather, because he was a travelling minister coming in contact with a large number of different evangelical congregations, he also came in contact with almost as many different versions of evangelical Christianity, which blurred his own line of demarcation between "true" and "false" teachings, which in turn got him to start thinking. Once a "true Christian" starts to think, he's on the slippery slope of deconversion and he will eventually mature and grow out of his theology. Must be why you work so hard to avoid thinking.
What he came in contact with was some new forms of theistic evolution — its recent compromises with secular subjects.
Just how many anal orifices do you have that you are able to pull so much nonsense out of them?
The first chink came in 1979 (Godless, pp 33-34). The "theistic evolution" was his being informed that a few of the congregation's members believed that Adam and Eve weren't historical people, to which Dan reacted in great shock, "What? And you let them remain members?" But even though that congregation believed in the literal truth of the Bible, they also considered this a small disagreement. It was that first compromise, that first bit of gray in an otherwise black-and-white perspective that led to more bits of gray in other congregations -- after all, reality is that there is no one monolithic fundamentalist Christian theology, but rather each congregation is a bit different and has slightly different beliefs in the black and in the white of their narrow minds, such that the overlaid composite of them all, which is what Dan Barker was seeing by coming in contact with so many of them, ends up with lots of gray areas. That led to him started to ask questions and seeking answers, which led him to thinking, which led to more questions and seeking more answers, which led to even more thinking, which eventually him to his deconversion.
"Theistic evolution" my eye! Why do you feel so free to lie about such things? Haven't you heard of the Ten Commandments? So why do you feel so free to violate them? Obviously, you don't need to become a fundamentalist Christian "atheist" in order to free yourself from the Ten Commandments!
Satan is very influential.
Oh, much more so than you know, or would want to realize.
I've brought this up before, but this is a good place to present it again.
I once received an e-mail from a creationist, one of the very few cordial ones, in which he proposed a variation on Omphalos. He suggested that since Satan was given dominion over the earth, it was He who had planted all that false geological and fossil evidence to fool us into not believing in God. After a moment of reflection, I responded with a different, far more likely scenario. What he described was an awful lot of work and Satan is, after all, a clever devil. Instead, all he had to do was to create a false religious belief, that if the earth is as we do find it then Christianity is false, and give it to some zealous fundamentalists who will knock themselves out spreading it. Worked like a charm. Clever devil, that.
"Creation science" is a deliberate deception that is built out of lies. Fundamentalist Christianity has enthusiastically adopted "creation science" and has made itself absolutely dependent on it, such that by demonstrating "creation science" to be false, you also disprove God -- thus creationism achieves what science and philosophy could never possibly do: disprove God. It also is adopting the practice of using lies and deception to serve God.
Tell me, marc, according to Christian doctrine, which Christian deity is served by lies and deception? I'd always been taught that that would be Satan. Think about it, marc, Whom are you really serving?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 202 by marc9000, posted 07-16-2012 8:17 PM marc9000 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 266 by marc9000, posted 07-20-2012 11:14 PM dwise1 has replied

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 5992
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 267 of 415 (668420)
07-21-2012 12:13 AM
Reply to: Message 266 by marc9000
07-20-2012 11:14 PM


Re: What's the purpose here?
So what I say causes you to lose sleep?
Not in the least. Quite the opposite, actually. As I've gotten older, I'll often wake up a few times during the night and have to fall back to sleep. I slept through the night this time.
Besides, you're cutting your own throat and the throats of your religion's next generation, metaphorically speaking, with a dull razor. You're the one to be losing sleep, if you had any kind of conscience.
... , I have 11 opponents in this thread.
Perhaps if you didn't post such wildly false accusations that you either refuse or fail to support in any way, you'd have more correspondents and fewer opponents.
If you expect me to respond, you’re going to have to learn to condense it some.
I have made my position very clear, so I'll take that as you making up an excuse to avoid facing the truth that your (plural) false teachings are what is turning an extremely high percentage of your (plural) kids (65% to 80% according to Christian sources) into atheists. Neither science nor evolution have anything to do with their deconversions except to unwittingly trigger the booby traps that you (pl) have implanted into their minds. You are reaping what you have sown.
And, also, you repeatedly demonstrate that you don't know what you are talking about.
Condensed enough for you? Re-read my replies for the support of that condensation.
PS
I can't believe that I made such a colossal blunder! Please pardon my mistake. I should have known that you never read my replies in the first place. So that should have read, "Read my replies for support of that condensation."
I'll try to be more careful in the future.
Edited by dwise1, : corrected blatant mistake with PS

This message is a reply to:
 Message 266 by marc9000, posted 07-20-2012 11:14 PM marc9000 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 277 by marc9000, posted 07-24-2012 7:42 PM dwise1 has replied

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 5992
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 269 of 415 (668426)
07-21-2012 2:08 AM
Reply to: Message 266 by marc9000
07-20-2012 11:14 PM


Re: What's the purpose here?
BTW, I was dead serious about that research project for you:
quote:
If you ever do go to read the testimonials at ex-Christian.net forum's testimonial section, the emotional and psychological damage that fundamentalism was inflicting on them is a recurring theme. For that matter, since you believe that they only become atheists in order to free themselves from the Ten Commandments, I propose a research project for you. Go out and find testimonials by those atheists who "deconverted" in order to indulge their hormones. Ask them about their own particular "deconversion process". What was it like for them? Did it induce any kind of anguish for them, or did they simply make their decision and then scamper off merrily and gleefully to whore about unhindered? I think we will find a great difference between the sham atheists you are talking about and the ones who truly endured the agonizing process of deconversion. Please, go gather those testimonials.
As much as you would wish to ignore the very existence of that request, you really must honor it. Or else admit that your fantasies about why your (pl) children are deconverting and fleeing your religion in droves are completely in error.
Please also report on your readings in ex-Christian.net forum's testimonial section. Or else confess that you abhor the very thought of actually learning something rather then your standing operating procedure of pratting on in complete and willful ignorance.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 266 by marc9000, posted 07-20-2012 11:14 PM marc9000 has not replied

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 5992
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 3.1


(4)
Message 282 of 415 (668851)
07-25-2012 1:07 AM
Reply to: Message 277 by marc9000
07-24-2012 7:42 PM


Re: What's the purpose here?
I looked at your ex-Christian testimonials. Most of them don't mention science, but that seems to be because they are far more consumed with a hatred of the word of God. These didn't take too long to find however, and I'm sure there are many similar ones;
Considering what they had suffered through at the hands of their fundamentalist communities in the name of that "word of God", then any anger or hatred they may feel towards it would be perfectly understandable. After all, fundamentalists produce some of the most anti-Christianity atheists and for very good reason.
Now, let's see what you chose:
quote:
The more I learned about the scientific explanations for the origin of the planets and the diversity of life, I was more sure that there was no need for a supernatural explanation.
http://www.ex-christian.net/.../49030-my-journey-to-unbelief
That quote came far down-stream of what had caused Reason Quest to start to deconvert. After having recounted his conversion at age 6, baptism in junior high, and after most of a life-time in an evangelical church:
quote:
Where the doubting started:
About the time when Intelligent Design was in the news with the whole Dover trial, someone presented a class on the subject. Now I remember going over evolution in high school, but never really had a problem with it or thought about it much. I was never really a strict Bible literalist. Among my friends from my youth, the talk was along the lines of God could have used evolution, and a day to God in the bible could have been many days in our time.
But, the class got me to start thinking about evolution, and kind of put off by the strong opposition to it in the church.
On a trip to Washington DC we visited the Natural History museum. There was an exhibit showing the skeletons of many species. Just looking at that was kind of my Ah Ha moment. The skeletons of all these different species were so similar. It just makes sense that they are related.
That made me hungry to learn more about evolution and what it really said. I read lots of books and watched videos online.
It was Intelligent Design that had gotten him started doubting. He could tell that something was wrong about it and it bothered him, so he sought to learn more, in keeping with his self-description from college ("I always have been a thinker, who wants to understand people and why they do what they do.") Since ID was attacking evolution and everybody was siding against evolution, he wanted to see what it was actually about. Of course, you would have wanted him to embrace ignorance instead of seeking the truth.
Just to remind you, it wasn't evolution that got him started doubting, but rather Intelligent Design, which in the churches is just a front for "creation science."
quote:
The first cracks in my Christian foundation started to appear my freshman year, when, as a science major, I took a class entitled the "Evolution of Biodiversity".
http://www.ex-christian.net/...om-the-shores-of-christianity
Again, you quote-mined instead of having read the testimonial. At the point that you pulled out of context, marmot grew up in a strict Christian family, but one which took a more intellectual approach to their faith. And he had not been exposed to "creation science":
quote:
The first cracks in my Christian foundation started to appear my freshman year, when, as a science major, I took a class entitled the "Evolution of Biodiversity". I had never really thought much about the whole evolution/creationism debate -- I can legitimately say I had really not thought about it much because my school did not teach evolution in my biology class, but they also did not teach creationism. I was an empty vessel...and the overwhelming evidence in favor of evolution won me over to thinking that evolution was true. In order to reconcile this with my faith, I explained my theistic evolutionist viewpoint with the logic that "God and Science" are not mutually incompatible. I read a lot of books that made me feel better about that but this was my first real departure from popular Christian doctrine. It would play a role in the next major event in my life that caused those cracks to widen.
That next major event was as a counselor at a church camp when the camp director made up a really ludicrous story that was supposed to be how evolution works (there's a bit more to it, lurkers, so read it yourself). Then in senior year philosophy class "made {him} realize there was not a reasonable argument for the existence of God" while world religions class showed him that the Bible is not unique. Just as I told you, marc! It's not so much science that fundamentalism has to fear, but rather the humanities!
But what really did the trick was his involvement in Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, whose goal is to proselytize to the student body, but which he found to be little more than a pyramid scheme. And it didn't help that he had also watched the film, "Jesus Camp", and was sickened by how they were blatantly brainwashing those young kids. For a long time, he gave up on Christians but not on Christianity, but he continued to drift away until a few months prior to his testimony when he realized that he could no longer believe in it.
quote:
Once I was no longer under the influence of drugs, I marvelled at the use of my brain again. At that point I started doing research in many different scientific areas out of my own interest, one of which was Evolution. I was awe struck at how much sense it made to me, everything was proven and calculated by science. This led me to read the book The God Delusion. From that point on I was 100% I was an Atheist,
(A reference to a book that is on my list. Probably safe to say he isn't the only one at that forum who didn't have a serious issue with the influence of drugs)
http://www.ex-christian.net/...-from-christianity-to-atheism
Gunvalk was raised in a fundamentalist Christian school, which was very likely what had screwed him up and made him more susceptible to drug abuse when he transfered to a public school. For example: "I asked Jesus to my savour again and again, out of fear not belief." That is a very common theme in other testimonials, the emotional and psychological strain that kids raised fundamentalist will go through as they are in constant fear of straying and of not being saved.
Plus, he had been raised on "creation science" and on the fundamentalist teaching that evolution would turn him into an atheist, so the fact that it did is just the kind of self-fullfilling prophesy that I've been warning you about.
quote:
One thing that struck me was something that our saintly old teacher said regarding Genesis. She said that we should study genesis well, as it was "...the hinge-pin of Christianity... With no original sin, there was no need for a saviour. The journey started by Adam was completed by the second Adam, Jesus." This was the first time I'd had my faith directly challenged. I'd always thought Genesis was an allegory, but I hadn't considered how important it was to the need for Christ. No original sin, no saviour. I believed in Jesus, therefore Genesis must be true!
http://www.ex-christian.net/...525-my-own-deconversion-story
He "always thought Genesis was an allegory" Something that is clear throughout those testimonies is the fact that so many of them weren't converted to atheism from Biblical Christianity, they were converted from some form of Christian compromise with science/evolution. Evidenced in the the following two examples as well.
But you left out the next line! The one where AaronOz converted at that point to bibilical literalism! Converting to the exact opposite that you describe:
quote:
I decided at this time that I'd never question the bible and I would accept it at face value.
How could you have possibly missed that? Unless you had decided to lie to us deliberately.
But fortunately for AaronOz, he did eventually become saved, but it took a lot of pain to get there. After many years of being constantly battered emotionally and spiritually by his dysfunctional church, he and his wife eventually left and did not seek another church. Filled with questions that he struggled with, he felt all alone while his faith was crumbling around him. Then he found a video on YouTube, a deconversion testimonial. He discovered that he was not alone and that he was not the only one to ask those questions! And part of his conclusions:
quote:
Perhaps you think that I've taken the bible too literally. Well, yes, I have. That's what we're supposed to do. Isn't it the inerrant word of God? {But now} I disagree on that, I hold no more faith in it then I do in 'The Belgariad by David Eddings'. Both are masterful stories that inspired me throughout the years. But both are pure fantasy in my opinion.
But his having taken the Bible "too literally" (you would say, "not literally enough!") was very much part of what had set him up to lose his faith. Just as I've been telling you!
And now he is saved! No more hate, no more fear.
quote:
At the same time, I was beginning my very first romance with the man who is now my husband. He was an agnostic and we would often have discussions about evolution and creation (luckily I wasn’t a young-Earth creationist), god’s existence and influence on our lives, and other philosophical points. His arguments for evolution began to make more and more sense, and creationism make less and less. I held on for awhile, calling myself a theistic evolutionist, but eventually even that fell away. When I ceased to believe in creation altogether, the rest of my faith began to die, as well.
http://www.ex-christian.net/topic/46127-slip-sliding-away/
"Luckily I wasn't a young-Earth creationist" - she wouldn't have been as easy to convert to atheism if she was.
If Thalia had been a young-earth creationist, then it's doubtful that they would have been able to continue talking, given creationists' drive to make that impossible. But if she had been and she had listened to what he had to say about creationism, then she wouldn't have been slowly slip-sliding away, but rather it would have killed her faith very quickly. That is, after all, what you (pl) teach your kids to do: if you start to understand evolution, then you are required to become an atheist. You're the one who insists on teaching them those self-fullfilling prophesies, so stop your hypocrisy of blaming evolution for what you yourself are doing!
My emphasis added:
quote:
When we moved to finish our bachelor’s degrees, going on to get our masters, we didn’t attend church at all, and most of my friends were non-religious, which helped my continued de-conversion. I made friends with atheists, homosexuals, people with tattoos . . . all the sorts of people I’d been raised to despise. I continued to learn that what I’d been taught as a child was wrong.
We moved again so I could work toward my doctorate, and we made one last attempt to go to church. The service we attended included a video arguing for young-earth creation, and neither of us could take it at all seriously. We haven’t been inside a church building since.
So, what we have is that she had been raised on lies -- just as I keep telling you that you are doing -- and realizing that just pushes her further and further away from Christianity (Baptist, BTW, since I'm sure you hadn't bothered to read that part either).
And the effect that young-earth creationism has is to drive the normals away. Now that she's become a normal.
BTW, her photo isn't of her, but rather of Summer Glau in the role of River Tam.
quote:
College was what really opened my eyes. Even though I went to a Southern Baptist college (and got a degree in church music!) I was free to study things on my own, and there were a few professors at the school who were much more open-minded than anyone I'd come across in my life. One was an evolutionist, even!
http://www.ex-christian.net/topic/42011-the-atheist-minister
And just what the hell does that have to do with anything! One professor in the Southern Baptist college was an "evolutionist" (whatever that's supposed to mean, given Christians' prediliction for blowing everything out of proportion). So tell us, so what? What did that have to do with TheSecretAtheist's deconversion? Absolutely nothing; read the rest of the testimonial instead of stopping as soon as you've found the "e-word"! TheSecretAtheist had simply grown out of Christianity, helped along by his studies in theology:
quote:
My studies in theology had led me to see that there was no truth to be found in Christianity.
So then, that means that you will now claim that theology causes people to become atheists? The proof is right here!
quote:
About 8 or 9 months ago, I learned about the great Dr. Sagan. I've always been a big fan of science and new and interesting ideas.
http://www.ex-christian.net/...21-to-make-a-long-story-short
seeboh is -- was, since this is from Dec 2010, two years ago -- 17 years old. A Roman Catholic in a Roman Catholic high school. You people wouldn't even consider him to be a Christian ... or if so, then only by a technicality. And actually, his first exposure to Sagan was 8 or 9 months prior, whereas he had started his deconversion a year and a half prior when he devoted himself to logic. Rational thought is the enemy of faith, as I've pointed out to you several times already (and you have ignored as many times). Well, actually, he had started having his doubts 10 years prior, so Dr. Sagan did not cause anything here.
It's been two years. I wonder where his head is now. Not being a member, I can't see when his 85th message was posted.
Though there is an interesting quote of Bertrand Russell I encountered some years ago that may shed some light. From memory:
quote:
When a Catholic becomes a freethinker, he becomes an atheist. But when a Protestant becomes a freethinker, he merely founds a new religion.
You see, to a Catholic, there is only one True Universal Church; outside of the Church there's only heresy. But the history of Protestantism is one of one schism after another, such that when members of one church came to disagree on some minor point of theology, they would split off and form their own church. The pattern of repeated splintering of Protestant denominations is so striking that former ber-fundamentalist Ed Babinski drew a cartoon of an accurate evolutionary tree of Christianity with the statement, parodying standard creationist clap-trap, that the sheer complexity of the tree is proof that there could not have been a single "Christ event".
Though now ironically with fundamentalist Christianity we find them embracing the Catholic view that the only alternative to their theology is atheism. And that is what I've been trying to warn you about, despite your selective blindness.
You must have been doing some heavy-duty cherry-picking there. None of those testimonials are on the first page of that section, http://www.ex-christian.net/...timonies-of-former-christians. You were being quite selective in which ones you cited, even though you misrepresented them.
Not counting the 8 pinned threads, there are 30 threads before we arrive at marmot's on Page 2. Another 125 before we arrive at Gunvalk's on Page 9. That was on 16 Dec 2011. seeboh's was on 22 Dec 2010, TheSecretAtheist's on 17 Oct 2010, Thalia's on 27 May 2011, and AaronOz' on 09 June 2011. You certainly would not have gone through all those hundreds of testimonials in order to have chosen these six that you quote-mined.
Instead, I propose that we start from page one and go through each one to see what they have to say. No more of your cherry-picking and quote-mining.
And go out and find those multitudes of atheists who deconverted just so they could sleep around. You believe that it's such a primal reason, you should be tripping over them everywhere you turn! I already gave you one!
Though what I have found is that fundamentalists have no problem abandoning the Ten Commandments without pretending to become atheists. Creationism being based on lies is evidence of that. And there's a mega-church with a 15,000-strong singles ministry, the majority of which are women (including a sizable age 40-60 cohort). They're some of the easiest lays in the county.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 277 by marc9000, posted 07-24-2012 7:42 PM marc9000 has not replied

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 5992
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 3.1


(2)
Message 289 of 415 (668900)
07-25-2012 4:14 PM
Reply to: Message 277 by marc9000
07-24-2012 7:42 PM


Re: What's the purpose here?
It's important however, to look at the four key paragraphs from my earlier Wintery Night link that you hand-waved away.
I gave them all the consideration that they deserve, which is none. They are nothing more than the typical nonsense that fundamentalists make up without any basis outside of their own projection.
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1) They want to do something immoral with impunity. This type of person wants to do something immoral that is forbidden by Christianity, like pre-marital sex. They dump Christianity in order to feel better about seeking happiness in this life, apart from God and his moral duties.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
You don't really expect anyone in those testimonials to admit this do you? It's much easier to mock Christianity and Christians than to admit to things such as these.
Why shouldn't they admit it? The testimonial I provided for you admitted it; he even went so far as to point out that evolution had nothing to do with his sham deconversion except to serve as a convenient excuse.
This "key paragraph" only repeats your own false claim that atheists only want to be free of the Ten Commandments. Which is a popular lie that Christians, not only fundamentalists, have made up to explain something that they don't understand and don't want to understand: why someone would leave Christianity. You don't want to understand it, because then you would have to think about and evaluate their reasons, which would raise questions that you know you need to fear, the same kinds of questions that had led many to atheism.
What do you base this claim on (ie, that atheists only want to be free of the Ten Commandments)? What is your evidence for it? What objective observations had been made? What testimonials have revealed this to be the reason? What support can you offer for this claim? And how does the fact that you teach this loophole to your children factor into their subsequent deconversions?
Instead, when we read the actual testimonials of ex-Christians (and especially of ex-fundamentalists), we find other factors to be at work. Including the hypocrisy of fellow Christians as they preach those "moral duties" while violating them. Is it really "mocking Christianity and Christians" when you merely tell the truth about them?
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2) They want to pursue happiness in irresponsible ways. This type of person thinks that God’s job is to save them when they act irresponsibly while pursuing happiness. When God disappoints them by not giving them what they want in order to be happy, they leave the faith.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Those testimonials are loaded with evidence of that.
Please provide examples of that evidence of "irresponsible ways" that you claim those testimonials are loaded with. Please be specific. And refrain from quote-mining again.
Particularly odd is this sentence: "This type of person thinks that God’s job is to save them when they act irresponsibly while pursuing happiness." WintryKnight is talking about people becoming atheists in order to be able to "pursue happiness in irresponsible ways." So if they're already atheists, why would they expect God to save them when they do that? That doesn't make any sense.
And, yes, sometimes the deconversion process starts or is helped along by a feeling of betrayal. Such as in Lithoid-Man's story, wherein the church's theology (eg, prosperity theology) makes promises about what God will do and then that doesn't happen. At the very least, that gets people to start thinking and to start asking questions, even when they only keep those questions to themselves, which leads to seeking answers to those questions, which leads to a cascading effect of more thinking, more questions, more seeking. One of the really big problems for Christians and especially for fundamentalists is that they are taught what to believe, but they almost never learn the basis for those beliefs, where those beliefs came from. One of the things we saw in those testimonials you had cherry-picked was that the individuals started researching into Christianity and to learning where those beliefs came from, which of course greatly hastened their deconversion.
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
3) They want to be loved by people, not by God. This type of person thinks that Christianity is a tool that they can use to become popular. When they first try to articulate the gospel in public, they find that people don’t like them as much, and they feel bad about offending people with exclusive truth claims that they cannot back up using logic and evidence. So, they water down Christianity to get along with atheists, liberal Christians and other religions. Finally, they jettison Christianity completely and focus on making everyone feel good about whatever they believe.
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Again, obvious in those testimonials. "They want to be loved by people" - plenty of mushiness in those testimonials (and responses to them) to vouch for that.
Yes, emotional needs, human needs, relationship needs. Mushy stuff. Good thing you're inhuman and have no such needs.
But those needs are what fundamentals churches and cults exploit when they proselytize. That comes up in many testimonials where they recount who they had gotten sucked into fundamentalism in the first place. God's love is rather abstract with believers often worrying whether God still loves them (especially true of the youth raised in fundamentalism, which is part of the psychological damage being done to them), but the congregation's love for them is something for which they can get feedback. Churches are communities and joining a church is mainly to satisfy the human needs for belonging. And the hold that those churches have on their members is through the human needs for belonging, which is one reason why cults and fundamentalist churches do what they can to isolate their members from the outside, especially by cultivating a strong "them vs us" mentality.
IOW, there are no Christians, not even fundamentalists, who do not want to be loved by people, with the exception of certain psychopaths and sociopaths. It's just normal human nature that even you are not immune from (unless you're one of those exceptions).
Now, when they first try to articulate the Gospel in public, that is the first test of the strength of their understanding of it. Again, it's human nature to read feedback and to incorporate that feedback. It takes a lot of training to learn to ignore that feedback, as you advocate, but with that training comes the danger of not realizing when you're just plain wrong and preaching total nonsense, such as you repeatedly do here.
And again, as I've been trying to tell you, when you teach that only certain very narrow beliefs can be true and that your religion depends on those very narrow beliefs being true, such that finding any of them to be false requires becoming an atheist, then as believers start to discover that those beliefs are indeed not true (eg, belief that the earth is no more than 10,000 years old, belief in Noah's Flood, belief in a blatantly wrong caricature of evolution) they quite naturally will then do as you had taught them and will become atheists. The only way you offer to keep that from happening is to enforce ignorance along with installing defensive mechanisms in the believer's mind to actively filter out anything that could challenge those beliefs (as evidenced by the stories of Lithoid-man's father, my friend at church, Gary, and many testimonials). Children raised in the faith are especially at risk, because they've grown up trusting you and believing navely that what you have taught them is the truth; not realizing the need, they have not installed those defensive mechanisms that keep your mind rusted shut.
quote:
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4) They don’t want to learn to defend their faith. This type of person is asked questions by skeptics that they cannot answer. Usually this happens when people go to university after growing up in the shelter of the Church. The questions and peer pressure make them feel stupid. Rather than investigate Christianity to see if it’s true and to prepare to defend it in public, they dump it so they can be thought of as part of the smart crowd.
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Again, obvious.
Yes, since most Christians, including fundamentalists, don't know much about their religion. All they know is what they've been told to believe, but they don't know the basis nor the history of those beliefs. Decades ago, Doonesbury referred to it as "putting in their pew time". There was a book written by a rabbi whose thesis was that most people have a childish view of God and their religion because they're still using what they had learned as children; as the person grew up and matured, they never revisited their religious beliefs to question them so that their religious beliefs could also grow and mature. My personal belief is that everyone needs to periodically revisit and challenge old ideas and beliefs in order to either verify or correct them; unofficial UU motto: "To question is the answer."
And, no, if such Christians are asked questions by skeptics, who normally know much more about Christianity than most Christians, then they would not be able to answer them and, yes, that would make them feel stupid. So doesn't it make more sense to teach them what they will need to know rather than, as one ex-creationist put it, hand them a gun loaded with blanks and send them out to get creamed? Yet again, you should know that ignorance doesn't work, because you keep trying it over and over again without success. Your primary problem is that the only way your fundamentalist theology can survive is through ignorance.
"Rather than investigate Christianity to see if it’s true and to prepare to defend it in public, ..."
That is so incredibly ironic! In testimonial after testimonial, a common thread is that the person undergoing deconversion does exactly that! Because of the questions being raised, they do investigate Christianity and research it and as a result of that investigation come to realize that it's not true. Again, your theology depends on ignorance for its very survival, so the gaining of knowledge can only work to its detriment. Indeed, in TheSecretAtheist's case, a major factor in his deconversion was studying theology.
And the "prepare to defend it in public" part is just plain laughable. I've seen those training materials, which are usually broshures that depict an encounter between a Believer and a non-believer. One of the more infamous examples is the Chick Pub, Big Daddy?, the current edition of which has been attributed to Kent Hovind (I read the original back circa 1970). Such materials are then memorized as scripts to be used in real-life encounters. It's really hilarious to watch the Believer squirm when the non-believer doesn't follow the script; my encounter with a script in which Pascal's Wager is dressed up as a car insurance analogy is recounted on my After-Life Insurance page.
Rather, what happens in college is that fundamentalist students learn that other perspectives exist and they learn about them, along with discovering that what they had been taught all their lives isn't true. Again, it's been found that it's not science that plays such a large role in that, but rather the humanities. You should fear English lit classes far more than evolution.
My position is also clear.
Yes, it is. And also highly flawed and unsupportable. And just plain wrong.

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 Message 277 by marc9000, posted 07-24-2012 7:42 PM marc9000 has not replied

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 5992
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 3.1


(2)
Message 300 of 415 (669191)
07-27-2012 9:06 PM
Reply to: Message 291 by marc9000
07-26-2012 7:44 PM


Re: What's the purpose here?
Lithodid-Man writes:
If your goal is to find examples of people who have become atheists because they learned about the ToE or because they wanted be sexually active without guilt, I have no doubt you can find examples. But I do think it is a somewhat narrow view to find a few examples and claim an explanatory variable for the whole. My suspicion is that when someone goes through a conversion event, any conversion event, there is a complex story around it that is lost when summarized by "I became X when Y happened...".
I agree. But considering how so many children are raised, from toddlers through elementary school; share, listen to mom & dad, dont say bad words, dont steal, the U.S. Declaration says we were endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights then, middle school to high school biology there is no creator, natural selection doesnt care if you say bad words or steal etc etc. a LOT of the conversion events are largely rooted in the confusion that arises from those conflicting instruction periods.
The problem with your scenario is that science, not even evolution, does not teach what you describe. Oh, those kids do indeed get taught that science and evolution is telling them that there is no Creator and no need for morality, but if science and biology aren't teaching them that, then who is? The very same people who had taught them to not say bad words, to not steal, etc. So when they experience such confusion as you describe, it is a direct result of their religious leaders (which includes one's parents) having taught them that they will experience that confusion. And when their religious leaders had taught them (read "indoctrinated them their entire lives") that they have no other choice but atheism if science and evolution makes sense to them, then whose fault is that? Obviously not the fault of science nor of evolution, but rather of the lies that their theology had taught them.
Why do you (pl) continue to insist on lying to your children in order to set them up to lose their faith? Your actions make absolutely no sense at all!
As long as you persist in such gross and negligent systematic idiocy, the only ways you can keep your children from leaving the faith is to keep them completely isolated from reality or else brainwash them completely. The first is impossible to implement and the second is extremely morally reprehensible.
So, since you believe that learning science will turn your kids into atheists, and that is what you teach them, what are your demands? To close science class and to ban the teaching of science? And you expect the public schools to do that just because one religious minority finds science objectionable for purely sectarian religious reasons? And what about the subject matter that the other sectarian religious minorities object to? The Flat Earth Society is still around (went inactive with its president's death in 2001 and reactivated in 2004), so should the schools also ban the teaching of geography? Or Christian Scientists objecting to health class teaching germ theory ("It's only a theory!") requiring that heretical idea to be expunged from the curriculum? Or any other number of ideas that certain religious minority groups might object to on purely religious grounds? And how the public school system possibly justify and defend acceding to those demands? And not just eliminating entire courses (which appears to be the only thing that would satisfy you), but even keeping the courses but removing parts of them for purely religious reasons.
The primary problem would be legal, as confirmed with the striking down in Epperson vs Arkansas (1968) of the "monkey laws" of the 1920's, precisely the situation described above. But even the secondary problem raised is significant. Most parents what their children to learn and, since our economy and society is so technology driven, they want their children to learn science -- indeed, it was the wake-up call of Sputnik that panicked the US into trying to close the "science education gap", which included upgrading biology textbooks such that actual biologists (as opposed to textbook writers whom the anti-evolution movement had under their thumb since the 1920's) wrote a biology textbook that presented evolution as a cornerstone of biology, which is true, and which teacher Susan Epperson was required by her school to use, only if she did then she would be in direct violation of Arkansas' "monkey law", which would result in her being barred from the teaching profession for the rest of her life, so she had no choice but to file suit, which went to the Supreme Court, which resulted in the striking down of the "monkey laws".
So then, while most parents have no problem with their children learning science and even want them to, you don't want your children to learn science. So what's your solution? From the fuss you've been making about your book list, your solution would be that nobody would be allowed to learn science. OK, your "compromise" position (as I've discussed elsewhere, the usual creationist "compromise" position is exactly the same as having "creation science" taught in the classroom) would be to change the science curriculum so that those things that you object to are removed. Who are you to demand that? Who are you to dictate what everybody else's children can learn? Even if such things were subject to vote, you are clearly in the minority, so you would not prevail.
So, what is your solution? Of course, if you believe that I had totally misrepresented what you want (I do not believe that I did, though I may have been more forthright that you would wish to appear), then do please present just what it is that you want. And then please explain how that could be implemented and how that implementation could be justified and defended.
Now, a large part of why I think that you want to have censorship is your insistent objection to the very existence of the books on your list, in that you don't want anybody to read those books. How could you justify or defend preventing those books from being published? In this case, the fact that yours is a minority view is more pertinent. Just why should publishers listen to one small extreme minority who want to have certain books banned solely for narrowly sectarian religious reasons that are not shared by the far greater majority of the population? Why should you be allowed to dictate what everybody else can read? What about The Flat Earth Society? Don't they have a say? Or the Christian Scientists? Or believers in geo-centrism? Or any number of myriad special-interest groups? Why should any of these small minor minorities, including yourself, be allowed to dictate to everybody else what they will be allowed to read? And what happens when one minority's dictates contradict another's? How is that situation supposed to be resolved?
The answer is the First Amendment. No one group may dictate what everybody else may read, but every single minority group is completely free to publish their own ideas (OK, 9-11 has compromised this ideal, but you know what I'm saying here). Ideally, this creates a "marketplace of ideas", wherein all ideas can be presented and the marketplace will then ideally allow the better ideas to gain more of a following than the less worthy ideas.
You believe that science teaches everyone to become atheists and so you oppose books on science. You also more narrowly blame evolution and so you oppose books on evolution. So just because you have these absurd ideas of what causes atheism, nobody can be allowed to learn anything about science? Bullshit! Those who want to learn science need to have access to books on science. As much as your people need to be kept in ignorance of science (purely because of your own benighted idiotic teachings), everybody else needs to learn science! Those who want to learn about evolution need to learn about evolution!. Just because you want to keep your own people ignorant of evolution doesn't mean that you have any right to keep everybody else ignorant!
Here's the problem that you've created for yourself, marc9000. You've booby-trapped your children's and followers' psyches to self-destruct when faced with reality. Now you want to keep that from happening. How do you do that?
Here's your scenario: you completely isolate everybody from reality for the rest of their lives and for the rest of every one of their children's lives, for however many generations propagate out to the future.
Do you have any inkling at all what that will involve? You will have to place a black hood over everybody's head, as well as block out everything they might hear. Nobody will be able to see anything, hear anything, think anything. You will need to control absolutely everything that they will encounter. That degree of control is impossible for one person, so it will need to be delegated. That means that every single person being black-hooded for Christ will need a handler to guide him through life. What about the handlers? Can they be trusted to wander about unhooded? Of course they they themselves must have handlers. And what about the handlers' handlers, etc, etc, etc?
marc9000, do you not see how untenable your position is?
I have a modest proposal, though radical (by your perspective): Stop lying; teach the truth. If your youth know the truth beforehand, then reality will hold no surprises for them. But you must tell them the truth.
Most of what I had been taught about creationist and fundamentalist apologetics I learned through this article: Creationist and Fundamentalist Apologetics.
The two primary objectives is to harmonize perceived problems that believers have with reality and to show non-believers how reasonable Christianity is. Creationism and fundamentalism fail both goals -- since fundamentalist Christianity has adopted "creation science" as its apologetic, creationism's failure is also fundamentalism's (though fundamentalism's failure goes so much further and deeper).
Creationism's method of "harmonizing" their view of Christianity with reality is to ignore reality. Nobody can successfully ignore reality, so the outcome is obvious (for those to whom it's not obvious, creationism and fundamentalism lose out to reality).
So here's what fundamentalists have to do. Generate an apologetic that takes reality into account. Then use that more truthful apologetic to give your youth a much more realistic view of what to expect. If what you teach them is true, then nothing they encounter in reality could possibly shake their faith. Conversely, if you teach them only lies, then reality will shake them to their core. -- Rorschach: "Two-nothing. Your move."
Please refer yourself to a webpage by a PhD Physics named Allan Harvey, a believing an practicing Christian: Dr. Allan H. Harvey (he calls himself "Steam Doc" because he has specialized in the physics of water). Under his Things I have Written you will find some very interesting and instructive essays that he had written. His essays on the "God of the Gaps" are of particular interest since much of creationism and virtually all of "intelligent design" are based on that false theology.
Read. Learn.
And do not ignore.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 291 by marc9000, posted 07-26-2012 7:44 PM marc9000 has not replied

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 5992
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 3.1


(6)
Message 301 of 415 (669197)
07-27-2012 9:54 PM
Reply to: Message 279 by marc9000
07-24-2012 7:59 PM


Re: What's the purpose here?
Percy writes:
All scientific evidence is eyewitnessed as scientists conduct experiences and make observations, but science goes beyond that and requires multiple eyewitnesses (replication of experiments and observations) and documentation (papers in scientific journals), as well as review and consensus building.
That sounds good, until we realize the imperfection of human endeavors. In the late 60’s, early 70’s there was a pretty sizable scientific scare about population explosion. Predictions of mass starvation and many other terrible consequences by the turn of the century if government wasn’t permitted to grow enough to control the masses. It was largely spearheaded by a young biology professor named Paul R. Ehrlich from Stanford University. In the words of author Pamela Winnick; Few in the scientific-intellectual community or in the media challenged Ehrlich’s claims or the coercive methods he suggested. Those who did were treated like heretics. He was eventually exposed, but it took too long, and no one can say that the propaganda he polluted many peoples’ minds with was completely erased. Just like no one can say that the 40 year existence of the Piltdown man hoax didn’t do irreversible damage.
Central to Christianity is the mistrust of human wisdom. From thousands of years ago to today, it's not hard to find its blunders.
"Central to Christianity is the mistrust of human wisdom." But no mistrust of theology, which is human wisdom. Indeed, for fundamentalists, their own human wisdom must trump reality.
There are two insurmountable obstacles to my ever being able to even begin to consider accepting fundamentalist Christianity. The second and more minor one (intellectually speaking, though hugely influential) is highly personal (ie, that I would need to become an unspeakable monster in accepting a foreign belief in the eternal damnation of my son), but the first is far more pertinent: the requirement to believe in human infallibility.
The problem for you, marc9000, is that your position requires belief in human infallibility, which is an absolutely ridiculous position to attempt to maintain.
You maintain an absolute position from which you cannot even begin to consider to compromise. Based on what? Based on what your minister told you? Is he supposed to be infallible? No, it was based on what his teachers had told him! So they were infallible? No, that was based on their teachers and their teachers on back countless generations. And those teachings are supposed to have been perfectly transmitted through generation after generation of fallible human handling? What kind of sense is that supposed to make?
Did you learn everything that your teachers had taught you without any error? Answer that question with complete honesty! No, you did not! Nor did your teachers from their teachers. Nor they from theirs, etc through all the generations. But what you must believe because of your theology is that they did indeed learn absolutely everything absolutely perfectly! Which requires human infallibility, which fundamentalist Christianity says it rejects, as do I (only I actually do reject it), but which fundamentalist Christianity absolutely depends upon.
Theology, while claiming to have Revelation as its core, is still nothing more than fallible human interpretations. For that matter, we have Thomas Paine's observation (oh, please, please challenge Thomas Paine!):
quote:
Revelation, when applied to religion, means something communicated immediately from God to man.
No one will deny or dispute the power of the Almighty to make such a communication, if he pleases. But admitting, for the sake of a case, that something has been revealed to a certain person, and not revealed to any other person, it is revelation to that person only. When he tells it to a second person, a second to a third, a third to a fourth, and so on, it ceases to be a revelation to all those persons. It is revelation to the first person only, and hearsay to every other, and consequently they are not obliged to believe it.
It is a contradiction in terms and ideas, to call anything a revelation that comes to us at second-hand, either verbally or in writing. Revelation is necessarily limited to the first communication- after this, it is only an account of something which that person says was a revelation made to him; and though he may find himself obliged to believe it, it cannot be incumbent on me to believe it in the same manner; for it was not a revelation made to me, and I have only his word for it that it was made to him.
Theology is a purely human invention. Even if we were to grant certain core assertions to be Revelation (since they are merely communicated to us from unknown predecessors to be "Revelation", even though they are now hearsay many times over regardless of their origin), the interpretations of which are of fallible human origin. For that matter, all translations are a product of fallible human interpretation -- personal experience: before becoming a student of computer languages, I was a student of human languages: every act of translation from one human language to another is an act of interpretation. Every time you read a translation, you are reading the translator's fallible human interpretation.
So then, your theology (which is your own fallible human attempt to copy your teachers' own fallible human attempts, down a long, long chain, of copying their own teachers' misunderstandings of what they were being taught) depends completely and entirely on human infallibility over two millennia! And that fallible theology must take precedence over reality? You may be able to embrace human infallibility, but I cannot!
Just like no one can say that the 40 year existence of the Piltdown man hoax didn’t do irreversible damage.
Let's take a brief look at this example you offered, since it tells a very different story than you think. It actually demonstrates how science is self-correcting and it serves as a sharp contrast to creationism's and fundamentalism's resistance to self-correction.
Piltdown Man was a deliberate hoax in which scientists were the victims, not the perpetrators (ie, the discoverer was not the perpetrator). The reason why it persisted for 40 years was that access to the original "fossils" was restricted. Scientific skepticism from the start, along with actual fossil discoveries that make Piltdown stand out more and more as an anomaly, led to scientists performed a chemical analysis of the original followed by microscopic examination which revealed the file markings, it was exposed as a hoax and Piltdown was not longer used by scientists. Indeed, only creationists use it anymore.
Nebraska Man is a similar case, only this time it was a mistake instead of a hoax. The find was a pig's tooth that had been rotated in its socket, which created an unusual wear pattern that resembled a typical ape/human tooth, which led to its misidentification. Many scientists were skeptical about the find. The next year, the discoverer returned to the site where further finds revealed his mistake. Upon discovering his mistake, he published the correction and Nebraska Man was no more. Except among creationists where he lives on.
Both of these cases illustrate a fundamental strength of science. Like all human endeavors, science is not immune from error nor from deliberate hoaxes. Nor is religion or creationism immune! But in science, everything is subject to testing and verification, nor is anything held sacred and exempt from testing and verification. Since every scientist's own research is based on the research of others', there is strong motivation to verify that that other research is correct. There's even a path to fame if you are able to show an accepted idea to be wrong, so that's even more motivation to test the findings of others. This drives the self-correction mechanism in science, such that while mistakes and hoaxes can happen, they will eventually be weeded out.
In contrast, creationism and religion are much more motivated by the need to convince themselves and others. This inhibits the testing and verification of claims. Indeed, most religious claims cannot be tested or verified except through logic based on untestable religious premises and axioms. But even when dealing with claims that are testable, such testing is avoided. I started writing a page that compares the motivations and actions of scientists with those of creationists: Fundamental Differences Between Scientists and Creationists:
Here is a classic example of how creationists typically deal with learning that their claims are false: An unsuccessful attempt to correct an error on a young-earth creationist website. The error in question is Walter Brown's "leap second" claim which, from the use of leap seconds in official timekeeping (brought to the fore by the GPS system that went online in 1980) to correct for the lengthening of the day due to the slowing of the earth's rotation, took a rate at the earth's rotation is slowing down and extrapolated back to show that millions of years ago the earth would have been spinning at an impossible speed, hence the earth must only be thousands of years old. Because he didn't understand what leap seconds really are, Brown came up with a rate of slowing that is thousands of times higher than the actual rate (which we monitor constantly and directly through the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS)).
The earliest presentation of this claim that I've found is from 1979 and it was soundly refuted in 1982 (As the World Turns: Can Creationists Keep Time? by William M. Thwaites and Frank T. Awbrey, Creation Evolution Journal Vol.3, No.3, Summer 1982). While Walter Brown appears to have dropped this claim (even though he continues to use his rattlesnake protein deliberate lie), you will still find it plastered all over the Web on countless creationist sites, despite it having been refuted thirty years ago. How soon after Nebraska Man and Piltdown Man were found to be false did they stop being used? Immediately! And yet creationist claims continue to be used unabated for decades after they had been refuted. You put on such a hypocritical show of heartburn over it having taken 40 years for Piltdown to be exposed and yet you (pl) continue to use a multitude refuted claims for nearly as long after you had learned that they are lies.
That page I linked you to, An unsuccessful attempt to correct an error on a young-earth creationist website, is a case-study in which that group found about 15 creationist websites that repeated that long-refuted leap-second claim and contacted the web-master of each site, explained the facts to them, and asked for corrective action to be taken. Most did not respond and most of the ones who did respond refused to make any corrections. As I recall, one did promise to look into it, but never made any correction. The conclusion of that attempt is:
quote:
Conclusions:
As of 2011-FEB, no further responses have been received; none are expected.
None of the 15 websites has been changed. Persuading the webmasters of these creation science websites to correct their error appears to be quite impossible. In fact, dialog seems to be hopeless.
One author, a supporter of an old earth, commented on the continuing use of the deceleration/pancake "proof" by creation scientists, even though their error has been pointed out to them many times. It seems applicable here:
"I really don't blame them for making this mistake initially. We are all entitled to a few mistakes. But this does not justify keeping this claim going for years and years. My question is, why is this claim still being made?"
. . .
The experiment has convinced the author that meaningful dialog is probably impossible. Supporters of creation science -- at least the 15 contacted -- seem to be totally resistant to change. Attempts to correct these websites are probably not worth pursuing.
The same page reports on the prevalence of this known-false creationist claim on the Web:
quote:
Unfortunately, by mid-2005, many of the URLs have since been broken. Some websites have been closed down; others have been reorganized with different file names. So, many of the hyperlinks are not valid today.
You can still find them by Googling pancake earth rotation. On 2005-JUL we found about 2,750 hits. A bunch of them are young-earth creationist websites. On 2011-FEB we repeated the search and found about 20,400 hits. In spite of the belief being clearly in error, it seems to be becoming more widespread.
marc, have you ever actually read the Bible or do you just depend on reviews? Maybe you've heard something about fretting over the splinter or mote in someone else's eye while ignoring the beam or boulder that is in your own eye. The fuss you made over the Piltdown Hoax while ignoring what creationists are doing is a prime example of that teaching. Take care of the beam/boulder in your own eye.
Edited by dwise1, : minor reworking, plus added final section on Piltdown

This message is a reply to:
 Message 279 by marc9000, posted 07-24-2012 7:59 PM marc9000 has not replied

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 5992
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 3.1


(6)
Message 311 of 415 (669370)
07-29-2012 2:44 PM
Reply to: Message 303 by Percy
07-29-2012 6:32 AM


Re: I agree with Dr Adequate about topic
Yes, I agree that we're drifting off, but I think that marc9000 is demonstrating one of the primary reasons why creationists don't stay here.
I think a primary reason for the shortage of creationists is because they don't normally stay for long. And a primary reason why they don't stay for long is because this forum is not a benign environment for them. The reason why this forum is not a benign environment for them is not because of how the forum is moderated, despite the endless whining of those creationists who have stayed, but rather it's because the forum operates in the real world and very few creationists are able to cope with that -- and I'm not even sure whether those very few are actually coping.
A possible analogy might be hot-house plants that cannot survive outdoors, but rather need a special environment in which to thrive. Creationists/fundamentalists would be those hot-house plants and "outdoors" would be the real world and reality and is where this forum operates. The special hot-house environment that creationists need is to be found in Christian and creationist forums, congregations, associations, and clubs. Places that shield creationists from the real world, that find ways to either keep non-creationists out or sharply curtail them from injecting reality into those places (eg, no allowing them to ask the embarrassing questions nor to present the embarrassing facts). Their special place where they can utter any nonsense they want and it will be praised so long as it appears to oppose evolution and pretty much toes the official theological line; the entire lot of them, sitting in a circle uttering nonsense and patting each other on the back in what amounts to a creationist circle jerk. No idea ever gets honestly evaluated or tested, since the only creationist criteria for a "good" argument is that it oppose evolution (or a related science) and that it sound convincing, at least to the other creationists.
And then a few of them, emboldened by all the stroking they got in the hot-house, wander outdoors and get a very rude awakening from reality. Gone is their protection from reality and from people who don't think the same as they do. Now they suddenly find themselves faced with questions, calls for them to support their claims or, far worse, to discuss their claims (for decades, I've found that there are few things creationists hate more than for someone to take their claims seriously and try to discuss them). And they keep getting hit with the real world facts that they were also shielded from back in the hot-house. Suddenly, their nonsense that they used to get praised for doesn't count for anything anymore, because now they're being put to the test and are found extremely lacking. They never did know what they were talking about, but now they're being held accountable for it. They had never learned how to deal with the real world and so they're completely unprepared for it. So they quickly vacate the real world and return to their hot-house environment, only now whining about how they were treated.
One of the "benefits" their "hot-house" environment affords creationists is protection from reality, in that they are protected from what science really says and from what evolution really is and from the fact that there are large numbers of atheists who used to be Christians, even fundamentalist Christians, and that they had very real reasons for leaving. And we are currently observing marc9000 engaged in a frontal assault against books that describe evolution and that discuss atheism. He bases that assault on the absurd claim that evolution causes atheism and he complains bitterly that people should not be able to read such books because they will turn those people into atheists. What he is demonstrating by all this is that he wants to suppress information and to keep people in ignorance, especially himself and other fundamentalists.
So then the bottom line is that on their own forums creationists are afforded extra and special priveleges and considerations that protect them from any opposing view. They have become completely dependent on that special treatment and protection and are unable to fend for themselves anymore or even to function in the real world. Like their political counterparts who complain bitterly about anti-Christian religious discrimination just because they are no allowed to impose their religion and beliefs on everybody else, the creationists here complain about moderator bias because they're not getting the same hot-house preferential treatment that they get on their own sites.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 303 by Percy, posted 07-29-2012 6:32 AM Percy has seen this message but not replied

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