What if God Existed?

by Luke Muehlhauser on January 22, 2010 in Funny,General Atheism

Here is a hilarious 13-minute interview between Christian Todd Friel and atheist Christopher Hitchens.

Friel plays a game of “What if?” with Hitchens. Below is my condensed paraphrase:

Friel: “What if God exists, and what if he has provided everything for you… life, health, food, trees, royalties… would he not have been good to you?”

Hitchens: “No. If that were true, I would have an eternal supervising parent who would never let me get on with my life, never let me grow up, and constantly be asking me to thank and praise him. It would be like living in North Korea and having to continuously praise the ‘Dear Leader.’ I think it’s servile.”

Friel: “If God created you and provides everything for you, does he have rights on your life?”

Hitchens: “No. I don’t accept anyone’s right to own me. I created my children and provide for them, but I don’t own them. Besides, would this mean that the sick and starving for whom God has not provided are not owned by God?”

Friel: “Um… next question… does religion really poison everything?”

Hitchens: “Yes. If I am someone’s slave, that ruins everything. The Bible calls for slavery and genocide,  too, but that doesn’t make it right.”

Friel: “What if there’s a judgment day? How would you measure up to the Ten Commandments?”

Hitchens: “The first commandments are about pandering to God’s jealous and self-esteem. I’ve never obeyed those and don’t think anyone should. Same for the Sabbath. Murder, thefy, and lying… I don’t need a Bible to tell me those are wrong. As for honoring parents, it depends how well they treat me. And unfortunately the Ten Commandments do not prohibit child abuse, slavery, or genocide. Coveting, though, is a good thing because it leads to innovation. It’s good to want things, but of course not good to steal them.”

Friel: “Have you ever been angry, which is committing murder in your heart?”

Hitchens: “Yes, many times.”

Friel: “Have you ever lusted?”

Hitchens: “All the time.”

Friel: “Have you ever committed adultery?”

Hitchens: “None of your fucking business.”

Friel: “So if God saw you committing all these  sins, would he send you to heaven or hell?”

Hitchens: “Not heaven, I hope. An eternity of praise and groveling and thanksgiving would be my idea of hell.”

Friel: “But if you’ve broken the Ten Commands, you’d be going to hell, right?”

Hitchens: “Not by the God of the Old Testament, no. There is no hell in the Old Testament. The idea of eternal torture of the dead for minor infractions doesn’t arrive until Jesus meek and mild.”

Friel: “What if it’s true that Jesus died on a cross to save your sins? Isn’t that the ultimate act of kindness?”

Hitchens: “No. I didn’t ask for a human sacrifice and don’t want it. I would’ve tried to stop it. It’s barbaric. I don’t want anybody to immolate themself for me. And I’m not bound by it. It’s an act of extreme presumption to say that ‘What I’m doing now binds millions of unborn children and takes away their freedom.’ It’s a tyrannical act.”

Friel: “Is it possible the reason you rage against God is that you want to live your own autonomous life?”

Hitchens: “That’s highly probable, yes.”

As Andrew said, debating a professional philosopher is not Hitchens’ talent, but bitch-slapping somebody like Todd Friel sure is!

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{ 107 comments… read them below or add one }

MC January 22, 2010 at 10:01 am

A comedian turned radio apologist (and–no surprise–one of Ray Comfort’s former lackeys), Friel is one of the smarmiest, crassest, and low-aiming evangelists around. I’m glad Hitchens didn’t fall one bit for the Calvinist ad hominem modus operandi (viz. “You suck! Now, repent accept Jesus!”).

Like most of his Reformed ilk (John Piper, Mark Driscoll, etc.), he also reserves his derision for those who are identified as part of the Brian McLaren-style “Emergent Church”. For instance, here’s a video he made a while ago mocking a (well-meaning) man (and his “NOOMA” series) whose church has put me in many Sunday traffic jams, Rob Bell:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZIZesl2My0

(Also recorded down the road, I think Reasonable Doubts deserves to cause traffic jams instead).

Carrying proudly their infatuation with Paul’s epistle to the Romans, I’m always stunned how so many Calvinists, Campus Crusade for Christ kids, and Josh McDowell acolytes think that the admission that one doesn’t wish do be an eternal slave is somehow an indictment or accusation of their character and evidence of their “Total Depravity”. Such things only make R. J. Rushdoony’s sermons all the more terrifying.

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Justfinethanks January 22, 2010 at 10:36 am

MC: I’m always stunned how so many Calvinists, Campus Crusade for Christ kids, and Josh McDowell acolytes think that the admission that one doesn’t wish do be an eternal slave is somehow an indictment or accusation of their character and evidence of their “Total Depravity”.

I agree. If you find it a bit repulsive that these people argue that the greatest virtue is to be a grovelling servant, then you are in “rebellion against God.”

It’s Orwellian in a quite stark sense in that they literally argue that “slavery is freedom.” (Not to mention, as Hitchens points out often, that the Biblical God enforces “thought crimes.”)

While I do love Hitchens’ bite and eloquence, its a shame that he isn’t more philosophically literate. Sadly, atheism doesn’t yet have its own William Lane Craig. That is, someone who tackles academic and popular level work with equal skill and comfort, someone who can distill complex arguments into simple easy to understand constructions, someone who has decades of debate of experience, and someone who has a low, soothing, almost paternal voice.

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Leo January 22, 2010 at 11:14 am

Justfinethanks:
Sadly, atheism doesn’t yet have its own William Lane Craig. That is, someone who tackles academic and popular level work with equal skill and comfort, someone who can distill complex arguments into simple easy to understand constructions, someone who has decades of debate of experience, and someone who has a low, soothing, almost paternal voice.  

Maybe the existence of WLC increases the probability of the existence of the Christian God with a few percent ;-)

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lukeprog January 22, 2010 at 11:15 am

LOL @ “soothing, paternal voice”

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Josh January 22, 2010 at 11:28 am

Hitchens: “No. I didn’t ask for a human sacrifice and don’t want it. I would’ve tried to stop it. It’s barbaric. I don’t want anybody to immolate themself for me. And I’m not bound by it. It’s an act of extreme presumption to say that ‘What I’m doing now binds millions of unborn children and takes away their freedom.’ It’s a tyrannical act.”

That is seriously one of the best things I’ve ever heard an atheist say.

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foolfodder January 22, 2010 at 12:31 pm

How many times does Hitchens have to explain that he understands that he makes the assumption that it’s true in his responses? It’s like Friel thinks “He’s not giving me the answers I expected, therefore he didn’t understand the question.”.

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ayer January 22, 2010 at 12:58 pm

“As Andrew said, debating a professional philosopher is not Hitchens’ talent, but bitch-slapping somebody like Todd Friel sure is!”

Yes, I think this is the sort of encounter Hitchens was expecting when he launched his book tour and debate challenges. I don’t think he expected to run into the buzz saw of articulate and well-prepared apologists like Craig, Wilson, D’Souza, etc. One of atheism’s best assets was the perception that it held the high ground of intellectualism, but the debate strategy has generally put the lie to that, and may have actually set back the atheist cause. That is probably why Dawkins refuses to debate Craig (with some very lame excuses).

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Walter January 22, 2010 at 1:36 pm

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kennethos January 22, 2010 at 1:37 pm

If only there was a trained Christian philosopher who might be willing to engage in a debate and conversation with Hitchens. What would that be like?

….oh, wait, it happened last year. Doug Wilson, a pastor and theologian/philospher from Idaho, did a book/speaking tour/debate with Hitchens in NYC and Phillie, I think, seen in “Collision”….supposed to be pretty interesting.

Anybody seen it yet?

What I’m waiting for, of course, is someone (besides Doug Wilson) to debate with Hitchens, and mop the floor with him. Somebody who can do a better job than Friel, of course. Embarrassing when the Christian in a debate embarrasses other believers.

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Lorkas January 22, 2010 at 1:41 pm

ayer: I don’t think he expected to run into the buzz saw of articulate and well-prepared apologists like Craig, Wilson, D’Souza, etc.

LOL thanks for that

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Justfinethanks January 22, 2010 at 2:04 pm

I believe that Craig tends to duck some debates as well.

Yes, and I believe he also offers a some pretty lame reasons for ducking that debate:

http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/2009/03/dr-william-lane-craig-i-will-not-debate.html

I learned from DC member Darrin at the Carrier/Craig debate that Craig said he would not debate his former students. That’s what he said.

I am now classed with a group of people, i.e., the people comprised of his former students. And Dr. Craig says he will not debate anyone in that class of people. Okay, I guess. But given the fact that I’m probably the only member of this class of people who wants to debate him he might as well have said: “I will not debate John W. Loftus.”

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ayer January 22, 2010 at 2:13 pm

kennethos: What I’m waiting for, of course, is someone (besides Doug Wilson) to debate with Hitchens, and mop the floor with him.

Actually, William Lane Craig did that. The DVD is now available at Illustra Media.

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ayer January 22, 2010 at 2:17 pm

Lorkas:
LOL thanks for that  

Yes, it was quite funny how badly Hitchens lost to D’Souza and Wilson.

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ayer January 22, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Justfinethanks: But given the fact that I’m probably the only member of this class of people who wants to debate him he might as well have said: “I will not debate John W. Loftus.”

Let’s wait and see how Loftus does against D’Souza (in early Feb., I believe) to see if Craig turned him down due to fear of Loftus’ debating skill.

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Justfinethanks January 22, 2010 at 2:45 pm

ayer:
Let’s wait and see how Loftus does against D’Souza (in early Feb., I believe) to see if Craig turned him down due to fear of Loftus’ debating skill.  

I’m looking forward to that one as well.

But it really it makes sense for Craig to avoid Loftus. He really seems to have no qualms with debating people who are less versed in philosophy than he. But when he does debate people who are well educated on the matter and have actually picked through Craig’s arguments beforehand (Like Keith Parsons, Shelly Kagan, Ray Bradley) he gets shut down.

Considering that Loftus studied under Craig, that makes him uniquely qualified, and therefore a unique threat.

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Justfinethanks January 22, 2010 at 3:11 pm

ayer: Let’s wait and see

On another note, listen to yourself. You’re assuming that Dawkins turned down Craig because Dawkins is afraid, while at the same time assuming that Craig has some sort of legitimate reason for turning down someone as qualified as Loftus. Despite no real evidence for either claim. (Or perhaps you don’t need any because the Holy Spirit told you these things?)

It kind of reminds me part of why I am no longer Christian: dealing with the cognitive dissonance required to maintain that particular network of beliefs was just too exhausting. Frankly, I admire your mental stamina.

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Hansen January 22, 2010 at 3:14 pm

ayer:
Yes, it was quite funny how badly Hitchens lost to D’Souza and Wilson.  

LOL! Wilson and especially D’Souza lose the minute they start talking – regardless of their opponent.

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Naug January 22, 2010 at 3:55 pm

Hitchens was made to verbally crush loonies like Friel. Match made in heaven.

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Sly January 22, 2010 at 5:05 pm

ayer: “I don’t think he expected to run into the buzz saw of articulate and well-prepared apologists like Craig, Wilson, D’Souza,   

If it was not clear enough that ayer is not *really* concerned with who has the best argument, here it is. D’Souza? Really? Hitch destroys D’Souza.

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Scott January 22, 2010 at 5:12 pm

Hitchens is always better as a social critic than philosopher. He was excellent in the previous debate over whether the Catholic Church is a positive influence, but that had nothing to do with any god’s existence.

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Neil C. Reinhardt January 22, 2010 at 5:36 pm

Gee, all this praise for Hitchens, who agrees with other highly intellignt & informed Atheists like Cliff Walker and Eugene Volohk, that the Iraq War was both Fully Justified and Necessary. My, My will Wonders never cease.

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Hermes January 22, 2010 at 5:39 pm

Luke, I just tried the link and it was broken. The correct (?) link is;

http://www.brianauten.com/Apologetics/frielhitchens.mp3

Length: 19.10

Tip: Skip first 45 seconds of fluff. The audio is blank after 14:40 for some strange reason.

Other commentary at PZ’s blog including links for people who prefer YouTube to an audio file;

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/04/how_to_frustrate_an_evangelica.php

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TH January 22, 2010 at 5:57 pm

“Is it possible the reason you rage against God is that you want to live your own autonomous life?”

Ah, smugly getting in the last word.

Does an atheist rage against moral strictures, civil and criminal law because he wants to lead an autonomous life? No. We are comfortable with constraints on our freedom that are necessary for all to lead happy, productive lives. But we don’t tolerate slave masters, in any way, shape or form.

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ayer January 22, 2010 at 6:04 pm

Justfinethanks: You’re assuming that Dawkins turned down Craig because Dawkins is afraid

It’s not just me. As Luke said in a comment to a previous thread, Dawkins refuses to debate Craig “because he knows he would lose badly.”

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ayer January 22, 2010 at 6:15 pm

Sly: Hitch destroys D’Souza.

That certainly wasn’t the consensus of the atheists responding to the debate over at richarddawkins.net. In fact, many expressed frustration at Hitchens’ poor performance:

http://richarddawkins.net/articleComments,1776,Debate-between-Christopher-Hitchens-and-Dinesh-DSouza,Kings-College-Christopher-Hitchens-Dinesh-DSouza,page3

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Hermes January 22, 2010 at 7:03 pm

It was wise of Dawkins to turn down Craig’s request for a debate for a few reasons;

1. Craig is a very good live debater. Dawkins’ strength is in his writing to an audience that knows what science is and that tentitive conclusions and reasonable doubt are systemic strengths to be embraced. His strengths in a live performance are not in going for the kill while ignoring interesting details that are intended to distract or set someone up. For that skill, you’d need someone like Hitchens.

That said, while I love watching Hitchens tear into his opponents in a live debate or on the printed page, I prefer his writing if I want to be enlightened. The same can not be said of Craig. Craig’s writing is quite good but not on the same level as either of the others.

2. As a fork of #1, Craig slides in his preferred deity in a blob at the end of his debates, protected by a barrage of comments along the way that would each require substantial time to address. To me, it seems as if he argues for a generic non-Biblical deity for 45 minutes and then swaps in Yahweh in the last minute thirty, leaving me with this impression;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qb0vquRcys

Who wants to deal with that? The only proper way to do it is in print, or if forced to do it live to disassemble his pasted on conclusion up-front and repeatedly if you know it’s going to drop in later.

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Bill Maher January 22, 2010 at 7:37 pm

ayer:
Yes, it was quite funny how badly Hitchens lost to D’Souza and Wilson.  

are you high? He steamrolled both of them. Stop drinking the Jesus kool-aid, its impairing your judgement.

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Neil C. Reinhardt January 22, 2010 at 7:43 pm

I feel so sorry for believers who are so clueless as to think Atheists are “raging against any God” when there are no gods to rage against.

This Atheist does not rage against a mere figment of imagination, rather I rage against the actions of those who are so mind conditioned they actally believe they have both the right and the duty to force others to accept their childish myths and superstitions.

RELIGION = MYTH INFORMATION!

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Bill Maher January 22, 2010 at 7:53 pm

D’souza blamed Abu-Gharib and 9/11 on democrats and the hell trolled out of him on the Colbert Report.

In debates, he goes through every logical fallacy and dishonest debate trick I can name. In his blog, he admitted he changed the subject when debating Hitchens because he could not answer his objection to Jesus’ historicity.

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Neil C. Reinhardt January 22, 2010 at 7:57 pm

Dan Barker has kicked every Christians butt he has ever debated and he always will as there is NO Christian who knows as much about the Christian religon as he does and Dan is also one of the very smartest people in the world.

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lukeprog January 22, 2010 at 8:31 pm

Hermes,

Thanks. Fixed.

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Hermes January 22, 2010 at 8:33 pm

Neil, Dan is great but if the Christian debating ignores Yahweh for most of the debate or has Yahweh implied but not stated he’s not going to get the same level of traction he’ll get with someone who argues explicitly using the Bible.

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Neil C. Reinhardt January 22, 2010 at 9:00 pm

Hi Hermes,

Sorry only from your comment, I don’t think you know much about Dan as the odds of any Christian knowing more about the Bible than he does is so close to zero, it may as well be zero.

And, I’m NOT BS’ing when I say Dan IS ONE OF THE VERY SMARTEST people in the Entire World as his IQ puts him (I think) the top .0003%.

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Hermes January 22, 2010 at 9:52 pm

Neil, you misunderstand. I wrote, “Dan is great”, so we are in agreement. Yet, Bible knowledge won’t get you past some of these people, neither will raw horsepower. Both are important, that I don’t doubt. What I am saying is do not oversell him. Doing so does nobody any good, including him.

Why? There are so many ways that Christians and other theists attempt to sell their religious and theistic beliefs that nobody can address all of them in a debate format.

For example, the shotgun approach. This happens when the theist (or anyone for that matter) spews out dozens of grand claims briefly without backing them up. This tactic is hard to address by anyone. If the debater countering the shotgun waves all examples off as unimportant, the audience (the real target in a debate) will rightly consider that the debater is not being fair. If the debater addresses one or two items, then the audience may not like one of the neglected items being ignored. Which one? It might differ from person to person. The only hope is that the audience sees this tactic as a cheap attempt at bluster, and ignores that the individual pellets are not neatly deflected or returned to the shootist.

Conversely, there are some theistic beliefs that I can not refute at all — and neither can Dan. The Christian deity? Yes, that one I’m convinced is not credible. Yet, the deistic or pantheistic deities in general are logically consistent, consistent with reality, and there are no negative bits of evidence against them. Yet, I’m not a deist or a pantheist because there is no positive evidence for them and I personally require positive evidence on grand claims like the ones proposed by most theisms including generic categories. Other people could say they believe in those types of deities without that positive evidence (but not both) and neither you, I, nor Dan can effectively argue against those positions if the person promoting them has a good understanding of the issues.

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Steven Carr January 23, 2010 at 12:22 am

Friel: “Have you ever been angry, which is committing murder in your heart?”

JESUS ‘Yes, I have.’

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Steven Carr January 23, 2010 at 12:32 am

Friel and William Lane Craig believe exactly the same things.

The difference is that Craig knows enough to refuse to debate the historical reliabilty of the Gospels with a trained historian like Richard Carrier.

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Sly January 23, 2010 at 2:58 am

ayer:
That certainly wasn’t the consensus of the atheists responding to the debate over at richarddawkins.net.In fact, many expressed frustration at Hitchens’ poorperformance:http://richarddawkins.net/articleComments,1776,Debate-between-Christopher-Hitchens-and-Dinesh-DSouza,Kings-College-Christopher-Hitchens-Dinesh-DSouza,page3

You want me to read through the comments on the *richard dawkins* forum?

Hitch and DSouza have debated many times. And the few debates of theirs that I saw resounded in Hitch winning soundly. DSouza always seems to place a great deal of import on placing the blame for Stalin on atheism.

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Hermes January 23, 2010 at 6:26 am

Ayer, I’ll grant you that Hitchens had a bad performance in that debate.

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drj January 23, 2010 at 6:51 am

ayer: That certainly wasn’t the consensus of the atheists responding to the debate over at richarddawkins.net. In fact, many expressed frustration at Hitchens’ poor performance:

They have debated numerous times, if I recall. Its a pretty mixed bag – sometimes Hitchens seems to have the upper hand, and sometimes Dinesh seems to have the upper hand.

And really… by upper hand, I mean the other hangs himself. Both of them are generally poor debaters.

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Dan January 23, 2010 at 7:36 am
steven carr January 23, 2010 at 8:28 am

Craig refused to debate Carrier on the subject of the historical reliability of the Gospels.

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lukeprog January 23, 2010 at 8:48 am

Lol, Carr.

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Briang January 23, 2010 at 9:13 am

Walter: http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/2010/01/william-lane-craig-avoiding-more-debate.htmlI believe that Craig tends to duck some debates as well.  

The list of people Craig refused to debate:
Robert Price

Hector Avalos

Richard Carrier

John W. Loftus

He’s has already debated everyone on this list except Loftus. I seriously doubt he’s refusing to debate these people out of fear. His debate with Avalos got very emotional. So I can see why he wouldn’t want to do that again. Loftus likes to portray himself as a genius atheist, whom Craig is scared to debate. However,in my opinion, the other people on this list are more competent in the area of historical Jesus research.

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Briang January 23, 2010 at 9:47 am

Craig addresses the issue of the Carrier and the historical reliability of the Gospels.
http://www.reasonablefaith.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=6981

His explanation seems reasonable to me. Carrier gave him three debate topics and his chose the one on God and morality, instead of the one on the reliability of the Gospels.

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Walter January 23, 2010 at 1:35 pm

from Richard Carrier’s blog concerning his debate with WLC:

The topic of the debate will be “Did Jesus Rise From The Dead?” even though I originally insisted we first debate “Are the Gospels Historically Reliable?” for the simple reason that you can’t honestly debate the former until you’ve debated (and in fact settled) the latter. Craig simply refused to debate that topic, claiming it was too big to cover in an oral debate, which I found odd since it’s a necessary component of the resurrection debate, and if a necessary component of a resurrection debate is too big to debate, the resurrection itself must be too big to debate. So for a while we considered instead debating the Moral Argument for God, since we were at an impasse otherwise. But we eventually negotiated a compromise: I would concede to debate the resurrection if I can go on record with (and criticize) his reasons for refusing to debate the reliability of the Gospels.

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MauricXe January 23, 2010 at 1:47 pm

Justfinethanks: While I do love Hitchens’ bite and eloquence, its a shame that he isn’t more philosophically literate. Sadly, atheism doesn’t yet have its own William Lane Craig. That is, someone who tackles academic and popular level work with equal skill and comfort, someone who can distill complex arguments into simple easy to understand constructions, someone who has decades of debate of experience, and someone who has a low, soothing, almost paternal voice.

Perhaps Luke can begin a debating “career?”

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ayer January 23, 2010 at 6:54 pm

Walter: “Are the Gospels Historically Reliable?”

The historical reliability of the Gospels in their entirety are irrelevant to Craig’s case for the resurrection. His case relies on treating the Gospels according to secular historiographical standards whereby different portions of the Gospels are judged to have different levels of veracity based on established criteria (multiple attestation, criterion of embarrassment, etc.).

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Walter January 23, 2010 at 7:43 pm

ayer:
The historical reliability of the Gospels in their entirety are irrelevant to Craig’s case for the resurrection.His case relies on treating the Gospels according to secular historiographical standards whereby different portions of the Gospels are judged to have different levels of veracity based on established criteria (multiple attestation, criterion of embarrassment, etc.).  

I have read Craig’s arguments and was not impressed. This blog gives a good refutation of Craig’s ‘minimal facts’ apologetic.

http://evaluatingchristianity.wordpress.com/2009/03/05/why-the-minimal-facts-model-is-unpersuasive/

And here is another:

http://gretachristina.typepad.com/greta_christinas_weblog/2009/01/the-big-guns-greta-answers-the-theologians.html

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ayer January 23, 2010 at 8:00 pm

Walter: I have read Craig’s arguments and was not impressed.

Fine, but your view of the strength of his argument is irrelevant to the point I was making, which is that Carrier’s proposed topic is irrelevant to Craig’s minimal facts case.

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Joel Duggins January 23, 2010 at 9:48 pm

I’m afraid I must apologize to you. I sat down and began to write my disagreement with you, but then I actually listened to the recording. While it is true that Hitchens did not respond to some of Friel’s quotes very honestly, that is a minor issue compared to Friel’s own refusal to interact with what Hitchens says. Friel, instead, gives his pre-packaged presentation of everything he wants to say, with no regard for the other person. As many Christians would point out, Friel may have been motivated out of love, but that doesn’t make it right. I believe that his (Friel’s) chance to interact with Hitchens was totally, utterly, and spectacularly wasted, and I mourn this and hope that similiar things will not continue to come from even those who are true Christians.
I apologize sincerely for the mistakes of my brother in Christ, and I hope that this does not lead to any worse problems.
If there are any other Christians who read this and who disagree with me, please, contact me through my blog and I will try to show you why we should be apologizing.

Joel Duggins

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Briang January 23, 2010 at 10:21 pm

I agree with Ayer and Craig. A defense of the resurrection is not depended on first establishing the historical reliability of the Gospels. I’d argue that those who think otherwise are not really familiar with critical scholarship of the New Testament. For example, the Jesus Seminar, rejects the historicity of the the majority of the Gospels; however, they still believe that they can establish certain features of the Gospels as historical. For example, they accepted the story of Jesus healing the leper as historical (voted pink). (This should be surprising given that they reject miracles in general and that John Meier who is arguably much more orthodox is not convinced of it’s historicity). They also thought that Mary Magdalene had a “visionary experience” of the resurrected Jesus, even though they voted against the Gospel account of the experience.

I understand that this may go against the “common” view that the Gospels are either the infallible word of God or their completely rubbish. However, I think most (probably all) biblical scholars would find this view to be a false dichotomy.

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Briang January 23, 2010 at 10:48 pm

Another example is Dale Allison. He’s skeptical of the resurrection appearances of the Gospels, but he accepts the historicity of the appearances. Why? From the evidence of Paul.
In spite of this he’s skeptical of the resurrection in general.

It’s worth noting what Craig says about Allison:
“Indeed, I’ve never seen a more persuasive case for scepticism about the historicity of Jesus’ resurrection than Allison’s presentation of the arguments.”
http://www.reasonablefaith.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=6887

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lukeprog January 23, 2010 at 11:09 pm

I haven’t had time to read Allison but I look forward to it.

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Neil C. Reinhardt January 23, 2010 at 11:17 pm

Jeeze, Get a GRIP on this Resurrection BS!

Being killed and then being “resurrected” (usually in Three days) is NOT a biggie as it was supposed to have happened to (at least) several others before the Christians STOLE the story!

Just liKE they have STOLEN all kinds of other things including the Golden Rule and the Pagan Holiday, Winter Solstice

FYI Children, there were NINE “Golden Rules BEFORE the Christians LIED and claimed they came up with it

Last, Anyone who believes JC was a real person who actually lived is UNINFORMED and ILLOGICAL!

There are UNINFORMED as there is NO SECULAR PROOF he ever existed and they are ILLOGICAL as there is NO Way the Christian Church would NOT have treated him as being REAL for the FIRST THREE HUNDRED YEARS of the Christian Religion.

AND NO, I am not going to waste my time debating those FACTS!

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Steven Carr January 24, 2010 at 1:34 am

AYER
His case relies on treating the Gospels according to secular historiographical standards whereby different portions of the Gospels are judged to have different levels of veracity based on established criteria (multiple attestation, criterion of embarrassment, etc.).

CARR
Criteria which are not used when examining other ancient works.

‘Multiple attestation’? If 4 Mormons say something is true, then it is true….

So you don’t need to judge the ‘entirety’ of anonymous works to see how true they are?

I have a Rembrandt for sale. The paint is still wet on some parts of the canvas, but some bits are dry. It is not ‘entirely’ wet.

Anybody want to buy?

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Steven Carr January 24, 2010 at 1:36 am

Bonus points to any Christian who can come up with a first century Christian who put his name to a document saying Mary Magdalene existed.

She is as well attested as the Golden Plates of Joseph Smith.

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Joel Duggins January 24, 2010 at 6:29 am

Briang, I don’t think it’s a false dichotomy. Either you believe the Bible is true, or you believe that it is at least partly false, in which case it is only potentially useful as a historical document (not so much as a moral document, since it claims to be completely true). If, for example the resurrection is not a historical fact, then (as Paul says) Christians are the people group worthy of the most pity.

Niel, I strongly contest all of those so-called facts, but, as you have already refused to discuss them, I’m not going to bother responding in detail. (I will though, if you are willing to have a bit of rational conversation)

Steven Carr, if you are excluding the Bible from those documents, of course I can’t name one, as she is (comparatively) historically insignificant, and so, simply by probibility, there aren’t going to be a lot of documents mentioning her.

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Steven Carr January 24, 2010 at 6:33 am

So not one Christian in the first century put his name on a document saying Mary Magdalene ever existed.

And still believers have no doubt she existed, although not even Christians mentioned her, apart from the works of fictions called the Gospels.

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Steven Carr January 24, 2010 at 6:36 am

Christians can’t put up any evidence except to say that these people are in the Bible, so they must have existed.

Even if Christians in the first century never mentioned Judas, Joseph of Arimathea, Mary Magdalene, Barabbas, Thomas when writing letters to each other, all you have to do is write an an anonymous , unsourced, unprovenanced work and Christians will lap it up as eagerly as Mormons lap up stories about the Angel Moroni.

The second gunman who shot JFK is better attested than the characters in Mark’s Novel.

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Walter January 24, 2010 at 6:43 am

ayer:
Fine, but your view of the strength of his argument is irrelevant to the point I was making, which is that Carrier’s proposed topic is irrelevant to Craig’s minimal facts case.  

And if you had followed the links that I provided you would see why a skeptic is justified in not accepting Craig’s minimal ‘facts’.

Everything that a Christian thinks he knows about the resurrection comes from both the Gospels and Paul’s letters. Determining the reliability of these documents would be the foundation of ANY argument concerning Jesus. Cherry picking some so-called facts does not really get us anywhere.

Whether a person follows Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, or Joseph Smith does not much matter to me. Just be honest that your beliefs are based on faith and not empirical or historical evidence. According to the Christian tale, the last person to get empirical evidence was Doubting Thomas. Everybody else just gets hearsay stories that must be accepted by faith.

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Briang January 24, 2010 at 6:44 am

Joel Duggins: Briang, I don’t think it’s a false dichotomy.Either you believe the Bible is true, or you believe that it is at least partly false, in which case it is only potentially useful as a historical document (not so much as a moral document, since it claims to be completely true).  

What I said was in the context of treating the Bible as a historical document. One need not accept it as inspired to accept it’s usefulness as a historical document.

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Steven Carr January 24, 2010 at 6:50 am

But the Gospels, or Novels, as they should be called are not useful as historical documents.

They are filled with people nobody ever heard of – Judas, Thomas, Mary Magdalene, Joseph of Arimathea, Barabbas,Nicodemus, Lazarus, Bartimaeus, Joanna, Salome, Martha, the other Mary.

There is no evidence for these people.Nobody met them. They are literally nobodies.

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ayer January 24, 2010 at 8:46 am

Steven Carr: But the Gospels, or Novels, as they should be called are not useful as historical documents.
They are filled with people nobody ever heard of – Judas, Thomas, Mary Magdalene, Joseph of Arimathea, Barabbas,Nicodemus, Lazarus, Bartimaeus, Joanna, Salome, Martha, the other Mary.There is no evidence for these people.Nobody met them. They are literally nobodies.  

Multiple attestation is not used when examining historical documents?

“If two independently created sources agree on a matter, the reliability of each is measurably enhanced.” http://www.textexcavation.com/historicalmethod.html

Are you familiar with the “minimal facts” methodology at all? If one is persuaded of the resurrection of Jesus based on the minimal facts approach (and thus that Jesus’ radical personal claims are vindicated by the resurrection) then the rest of the New Testament is established on the basis of authority. That’s the genius of the minimal facts approach; he uses the secular historical playbook to establish the resurrection, which then bootstraps to the divine authority of the New Testament as a whole.

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Neil C. Reinhardt January 24, 2010 at 9:07 am

Joel

In OVER 55 YEARS (I am 75) of my INFORMED discussion it has ANY ONE (that’s NO ONE) been able to refute what I said OR been able to come up with ANY thing NEW to say to me on it. I am damn tired of discussing it with Newbies who are either still PROGRAMMED Christians OR Ignorant Atheists who have not done suffient research.

So go “Believe” any B.S. you want to only stop trying convince others the childish Christian MYTHS are true as those of us who have done sufficent research KNOW they are NOT.

RELIGION = MYTH INFORMATION!

P.S. Progrmmed people (and animals) have NO Clue they ARE programmed! They DO NOT ever know they are until they, just like the Millions & Millions & Millions of FORMER Christians who have become Atheists have DE-Programmed themselves enough to realize it.

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Steven Carr January 24, 2010 at 10:05 am

So all Christians have are claims that if 4 Scientologists says something is true, it is likely to be true.

If enough people claim a second gunman shot JFK, then it is likely that a second gunman show JFK….

And multiple attestation is not used when discussing novels.

Produce evidence for these ‘minimal facts’. Show that anybody had ever heard of Mary Magdalene or Joseph of Arimathea.

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Walter January 24, 2010 at 10:07 am

ayer:
Multiple attestation is not used when examining historical documents?“If two independently created sources agree on a matter, the reliability of each is measurably enhanced.” http://www.textexcavation.com/historicalmethod.htmlAre you familiar with the “minimal facts” methodology at all?If one is persuaded of the resurrection of Jesus based on the minimal facts approach (and thus that Jesus’ radical personal claims are vindicated by the resurrection) then the rest of the New Testament is established on the basis of authority.That’s the genius of the minimal facts approach; he uses the secular historical playbook to establish the resurrection, which then bootstraps to the divine authority of the New Testament as a whole.  

What would you consider to be independent sources? The Gospels certainly are not independent of each other. Paul is silent on the earthly life of his “revealed” messiah.

Even if you could prove that the resurrection really did happen it still would not “bootstrap” the rest of the bible. You simply cannot know with any reliability if Jesus said or did any of the things attributed to him in the New Testament. If a text gets one fact right it does not automatically mean that it is correct in everything else.

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Jim J January 24, 2010 at 7:04 pm

I thought this was a comedic skit written by Friel about Hitchens (followed the link from a Christian website). But really, does Hitchens really look like the enlightened one in this interaction?

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Joel Duggins January 24, 2010 at 8:45 pm

Steven Carr,
Why WOULD anyone record any of those people outside the Bible? Their only significance is in relation to Christianity. However, those people who are mentioned in the Bible who are important enough that, if they were real, there would be historical record, are attested to in countless archeological finds.

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Joel Duggins January 24, 2010 at 8:49 pm

Niel,
If “Progrmmed people (and animals) have NO Clue they ARE programmed!,” how do you know that you are not the one who is programmed? How do you know that I’m not the “free” one, and that you aren’t only opposing Christianity because you were programmed against it?
I am not saying that you ARE programmed, I am only saying that, if you are right, then there is no way for you to know if you are programmed or not, because, by your own statement, if you were programmed, you wouldn’t know it.

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Neil C. Reinhardt January 24, 2010 at 10:12 pm

Well Joel,

While it amazes me how illogical most people are (As Luke proves by his views on the Iraq War) I have to accept that is the way most are. So my using logic is most probably just a further waste of my time.

Oh Well, here goes.

In order to be programmed, you NEED to HAVE one, or more, PROGRAMMERS!

The odds are about 100 % YOU were PROGRAMMED, as are NEARLY ALL religious people, by YOUR PARENTS and YOUR CULTURE!

Had you been raised by Moslems, YOU would be an Moslem. Had you been raised by Hindu’s you would be a Hindu and believe in MANY gods,

MOST American Atheists did NOT have ANYONE programming them to be Atheists! In fact, MOST American Atheists had to DE-Program THEMSELVES and many to most of them DID IT ALL BY themselves.

And No, they did NOT De-programmed themselves by repeating over and over and over again, THERE IS NO GOD.

They did it bay carefully thinking all
about what they had been taught and realizing their religion and their god are NO more true than Storks bring Babies, the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus.

—————-

Next Joel,

Ever STUDY any History? From your comments it seems you have not.

There were people living during the time JC was SUPPOSED to have lived (and for many years BEFORE then) just like there are today, who “Chronicled the times”. (That’s reporting on the happening’s of the day.)

IF your (non-existent) JC had been living then and done the things he was reported to have done, had all the followers he was supposed to have had, was given a trial, the executed and then 3 days late was risen from the dead, you can bet your sweet bippy, it would have BEEN WIDELY REPORTED AT THE TIME!

IT WAS NOT!

Because It NEVER happened!

Instead of your wasting your time arguing with those who know better, why don’t you spend it reading books written by former Christians who have probably forgotten more about your religion than you will ever learn.

People like Dan Barker and John Lotus. Who are only two of the THOUSANDS of Former Ministers who are now Atheists!

Dan Barker’s “Losing Faith in Faith” can be gotten from the Freedom FROM Religion Foundation

http://ffrf.org/

———

Debunking Christianity

By John W. Loftus

In my book Why I Rejected Christianity: A Former Apologist Explains I’ve written 40 pages about my DE-conversion to …

http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/…/my-conversiondeconversion-story. html

———

Positive Atheism (since 1995)

My Friend Cliff Walker many hundreds of
DE-conversion stories as well as a large List of Quotations

htp://www.positiveatheism.org/

Last Joel, there are THOUSANDS of DE-conversion stories on the net which prove even people who were as much a Programmed Religious Robot as YOU ARE can LEARN THE TRUTH and BE FREE!

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Briang January 24, 2010 at 11:51 pm

Neil C.,

You don’t seem to realize the fragmented nature of ancient history. There are sources that attest to the existence of Jesus, by both Christian and non-Christians. However, it’s not surprising that it’s not “widely documented” by non-Christians.

One example of this fragmented nature. There is very little documentation about a group called the Sadducees. They left us no writings. We learn about their beliefs from the New Testament, Josephus, and the rabbis.

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Neil C. Reinhardt January 25, 2010 at 12:31 am

LOOK CHILD,

1. The odds are I KNOW a LOT more History than YOU DO!

2. An event as important as all the things which SUPPOSEDLY happend to and about JC WOULD have been reported IF it had actually happened!

PERIOD!

3. Those who uses Josephous as some kind of authority on J.C. being real when he WAS NOT BORN until YEARS after JC was supposedly alive as well as his account of JC being a FORGERY, only PROVES how much they DO NOT Know!

4. Anyone who uses the Bible in some totally FEEBLE attempt to PROVE ANY thing about the Christian Religion is true is both IRRATIONAL & ILLOGICAL!

5. For rhe LAST TIME, there IS NO SECULAR PROOF JC EXISTED!

PERIOD!

END OF STORY!

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Steven CArr January 25, 2010 at 12:59 am

JOEL
Steven Carr,
Why WOULD anyone record any of those people outside the Bible? Their only significance is in relation to Christianity.

CARR
Why would anybody outside Mormonism record the existence of the Angel Moroni or the Golden Plates?

No Christian in the first centruy ever put his name to a docuemtn saying Joseph of Arimathea, Lazarus, Mary Magdalene Judas, Thomas, Joanna, Salome, Nicodemus, Barrabas, Martha, Bartimaeus etc existed.

There is no evidence for them except in anonmyous untraceable Novels. Not even Christians had heard of them outside the Novels.

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Steven CArr January 25, 2010 at 1:04 am

I like the way Chrsitians are busy explaining that there won’t be any evidence for Lazarus. But they believe he rose from the dead, because it is in an old book.

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Neil C. Reinhardt January 25, 2010 at 1:15 am

And I forgot to say:

Religious people CAN BE as logical as anyone else when they are discussing any subject OTHER than their OWN religion and/or anything subject connected directly there to.

Like thinking Fundamentalist Christians can ever be logical on Embryonic Stem Cells, Abortion, Prostitution, the Teaching Comprehensive Sex Education starting in, or before, Jr. High School, Homosexuals, and Evolution is TOTALLY CLUELESS!

Since we ARE discussing the Christian religion, the odds of any Christians being logical is ZERO!

Still, for anyone else, I will point out:

IF JC had been a REAL ACTUAL person the Christian Church WOULD HAVE treated him the SAME way as they treat him NOW during the FIRST 300 plus years of the Christian Religion.

AND, THEY DID NOT!

The Christian Church did NOT treated JC as being REAL UNTIL they STOLE Winter Solstice from the Pagans and used JC supposed birthday as an EXCUSE to TAKE OVER the Winter Solstice Celebration.

THIS FACT ALONE is ENOUGH for NON-PROGRAMMED people to realize JC was NOT, and IS NOT REAL!

Of course, the programmed will never accept such simple, direct logic a valid proof as there is NOT enough proof in the entire cosmos to convice those who refuse to be convinced. (Like Luke on the Iraq War.)

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Briang January 25, 2010 at 1:42 am

Neil,
Ad hominem is a poor substitute for an argument. You claim to know a lot about history so I googled your name. First one that came up:

http://reinhardt.worldwidewarning.net/

Sounds like you’ve made a name for yourself.

That reference to Jesus in Josephus isn’t a forgery. There are two places in Josephus that mention Jesus. In one of the passages, scholars generally acknowledge contains an interpolation. However, an interpolation isn’t the same as a forgery. The other passage concerns the death of “James, brother of Jesus who is called messiah.” So even if you reject the first passage you still have to deal with the second. There are several good reasons for thinking that this second passage is authentic:
1) it’s in all the manuscripts
2) Christian lituature didn’t describe James as the “brother of Jesus,” but as the “brother of the Lord” or “brother of the Savior.”
3) The account differs from the Christian account of the same event.

Scholars also acknowledge that there are a number of things in the New Testament documents that are regarded as historical. To claim otherwise puts you against the vast majority of New Testament scholars. I’m not just talking about conservative Christian scholars. Even highly skeptical scholars like the Jesus Seminar and atheists like Gerd Ludemann acknowledge some of the evidence of the New Testament as historical.
Scholars are not making these judgments based on what you call a “feeble” attempt, but by carefully weighing this historical data. They use criteria such as multiple attestation, embarrassment, dissimilarity, coherence, Palestinian background.

For example, the account of Jesus being baptized by John is primarily supported by the criterion of embarrassment. The first Christians believed that Jesus was the sinless son of God, but John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. It’s very unlikely that Christians would have invented a story that creates a theological problem like this.

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Steven Carr January 25, 2010 at 1:46 am

So still no evidence for Joseph of Arimathea.

All we have now are claims that if a bit of Matthew 1:16 is found in Antiquities, then no Christian would have put it there when they copied out Antiquities. (All manuscripts of Josephus were copied by Christians)

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Steven Carr January 25, 2010 at 1:48 am

And, of course, the original Novel, Mark , was the first Christian to ever mention John the Baptist and he is not the least embarrssed about th baptism so this criterion of embarrrasment is simply garbage.

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Joel Duggins January 25, 2010 at 9:27 am

Okay, in light of the sheer volume of comments on this post, I simply do not have the time to respond to what everything you, Niel and Carr, say. If you will condense your arguments and limit yourself to a few at a time (and preferably eliminate the sweeping insults you seem fond of repeating)

Also, I need you, Niel and Carr, to develop the intellectual honesty to listen and interact with the comparatively small amount of arguments that I have time to post. I would appreciate some common courtesy here, even if we aren’t going to be convincing each other.

“Why would anybody outside Mormonism record the existence of the Angel Moroni or the Golden Plates?” Because, if they existed, they would be of immense, incalculable archeological significance. Mary Magdalene simply would not be.

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lukeprog January 25, 2010 at 10:22 am

Neil,

Simma down now.

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Neil C. Reinhardt January 25, 2010 at 12:07 pm

Luke,

As I am 75 and the odds are I was old when any of you were born. Therefore, my calling someone a CHILD is, when compared to me, A FACT!

Briang,

Oh WOW!

You used your massive intellect to do an internet search on someone who has the courage and the integrity to use their full name! Someone who is not a coward and does not hide behind some phony screen name. I hope you did not did not strain any brain cells with such a Herculean effort.

Yes, there is a website on me which has both things I have actually said as well as LIES and Mis-Information. Like I doubt the punk liar who called me a drunk was not even born when I had my last drink with any alcohol in it. (August 20, 1983.)

And yes I have a severe temper problem which most certainly comes to the fore when dealing with LIARS & total FOOLS like the idiot who started the website.

He started it when he saw one of my posts supporting the Iraq war saying it is both fully justified and necessary part of our World Wide War on Moslem Terrorists who have been killing Americans and their friends for over 30 years. So this imbecile sends me an email telling me I can NOT be an Atheist and support the Iraq War.

So I informed him his comments were STUPID as the ONLY thing ALL Atheists have in common is a lack of belief in one, or more gods. As it seems he could not handle being told the truth, he started the website.

I guess he finally realized his comments to me were totally stupid as he now LIES and denies it was the reason he started the website. (Yet, he does NOT give any other reason for starting it.) Where he not lying about a Noni Juice, it would not piss me off as much as it does he decided to be a total jackass and not onlyu attack, he lists my email addresses

(I sure hope I get to meet him in person and see if he has the guts to say the same things to me in person. I doubt he would as such people are cowards. You will note his name is not listed in the website.)

Every day, there are people, their pets and their livestock suffering needlessly and/or dying prematurely simply due to a lack of knowledge about the Immune Boosting power of Noni Juice!

And his idiot comments about it may stop others from doing the research on it which will prove he is again being totally stupid!

As Noni juice, which has been used in it’s pure state for over 5,000 years, boosts our immune systems over 150%, many, many different medical problems have been and are successfully treated by it. Even though I have drinking it, and when needed applying it topically, for over 12 years now, it still just totally amazes me!

http://www.noniresearch.com

http://www.noni-is-good-for-you.com/

Next, IF you think someone has to have a degree in the study of history and/or be a professor of it in order to know a lot about it, you are very sadly mistaken. Bill Gates has no degree and he seems to know a lot about computers. Edison had no degree and neither does Sir Richard Branson, yet all have done very well in their areas of interest. (And FYI, ALL three are Atheists.)

Telling me some Christian wrote, or said something means it is true is total B.S.!!!

Sadly Christians LIE and LIE and then LIE some more.

They LIE about the who Founded the United States, While Christians founded some Colonies, they did NOT found the United States because at the time, MOST people living here were Deists! (LESS than 10% attended any Christian churches.)

They LIE about our Founding Fathers religion as MOST were NOT Christians, they were Deists. They LIE when they say the United States was founded on Christen Principals as those principals had been around, and IN USE long BEFORE the Christian religion was started.

They LIE when they say the United States is a Christian nation when a 1797 Treaty states IT IS NOT! This treaty was started while George Washington was President, was unanimously passed by Congress and signed by President John Adams

The other night I was watching & hearing another one of many Christian liars (John Edwards) stare right in to the camera and LIE AND LIE and LIE some more. In my seventy five years I have head and read Christians LIE so many times I would not even try to guess how many it as been.

In fact, ONE of the reasons some of he MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of FORMER Christians started on their journey FROM FAITH TO REASON was they were tired of being LIED to by other Christians.

YOU Said it is “Unlikely” Christians INVENTED a story? GIVE ME A BREAK! Christians have been inventing stories for their entire history!

Last, I KNOW JC never existed. End of story!

—————–

Joel,

Being “intellectually honest” IS the exact reason why I am an Atheist. And the odds of you ever meeting anyone who is MORE honest and truthful than I am is so close to zero, it may as well be zero. In 1964, was given a nickname because I was ALWAYS telling the Truth.

Sorry Joel,

YOUR “arguments” do NOT prove ANYTHING while the Christian Church NOT treating JC as a real man for over 300 years PROVES IT ALL!

While I understand many of you like to play endless world games, I do not.

SOME Day some of you Programmed Religious Robots MAY come to your senses and SEE THE LIGHT as the many, many millions of FORMER Christians (guys, like Luke) already have!

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lukeprog January 25, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Lol, Neil. I guess everyone is a child compared to you… :)

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Joel Duggins January 25, 2010 at 3:43 pm

Neil,
I’m perfectly willing to interact with any point you want to make against Christianity, despite your demonstration that you are not willing to return the same courtesy. However, I would appreciate it if you would cease your countless statements about the supposed absurdity of Christianity and about how morally corrupt all Christians are, and instead, starting with the facts that we agree on (that would be things like archeological finds, etc.) explain specifically how those things refute Christianity. In other words, stop just saying how, when, and where Christianity is wrong, say WHY Christianity is wrong. And “Christianity is wrong because it is stupid” or “Christianity is wrong because it is illogical” do not count. Explain in what ways it is stupid or illogical.
If you aren’t willing to interact on even this basic level of courtesy, I’m afraid I’m done here. If you will, though, I will even go back and respond to the few tangled arguments that are hidden in the immense mess of your insulting tirades. Otherwise, as I said, I refuse to keep dealing with you, and I will not be returning to this thread.
Please understand that I am grieved by your refusal to have a meaningful dialogue, but I am not going to keep reading your repetitive insults and accusations if you are merely going to monologue and ignore me.

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Neil C. Reinhardt January 25, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Hi Luke,

Yep, pretty much.

What is really sad is yesterday, I ran across one of my HS annuals and was looking at some of the pictures. In one of them were these two HOT classmate “chicks” in shorts and sweaters standing on a Home Comming Parade Floats.

Both of these girls were very popular. very nice people and like I said very good looking with great bodies. Sadly they, like many other of my classmates and other friends have died.

This is one reason I seldom look at my HS and Jr College annuals. I really hate being reminded of my many good friends, those I played football with and various others are now dead.

Makes me wish there really was a kind, loving, caring and compassionate god as well as a heaven. And, I think a lot of other Atheists wish the same.

Only as Joel said, there is a thing called “Intellectual Honesty’ and it would be very Intellectually Dishonest of me to believe in a god just because it would make me feel better.

I do hope that if any Atheists consider anything I have said about Christians to be incorrect, they inform me of why they disagree with whatever it was. I really do not mind at all being PROVEN wrong and have not trouble admitting when I am.

In fact, in each of my “Quotes, Jokes & Good Stuff” emails I send out when the mood strikes me ** I ask people to please prove me wrong if they disagree with any thing I state is a fact and they can prove it is not.

** (Which is normally once a month and yet can be anywhere from once a week to as it was in one year, twice a year.)

Thanks

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Neil C. Reinhardt January 25, 2010 at 4:57 pm

Joel

It is USELESS to “debate’ with you as there is NOT Sufficient PROOF in the entire Cosmos to change your mind! And there will not be UNTIL You decide to Change it.

YOU are JUST LIKE the many. MILLIONS & MILLIONS of Former Christians were BEFORE they decided to DE-program themselves. IF you ever DO De-program yourself you’ll find you WILL BE agreeing with EVERYTHING I have said about your childish MYTH and your fellow believers.

As former Christian composer, youth leader, and fundamentalist minister Dan Barker said something to the effect of:

“The longer I have been an Atheist, the more amazed I am I ever WAS a Christian.”

Here is a start for you:

——————–

Kill Followers of Other Religions.

Deuteronomy 13:7-12

——————————-

Death to Followers of Other Religions

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Neil C. Reinhardt January 25, 2010 at 7:06 pm

Joel,

A. IF you consider what I have said in this thread to be insulting, you have NO Clue how un-insulting it is compared to IF I was actually trying to be insulting.

B. Christians are always complaining that TELLING THE TRUTH about them is “insulting” which is as stupid as getting mad at a TV reporter for stating your favorite team lost.

C. I will back off of the subject of religion and quit pointing out ALL the Bad Things Christians Do when:

1. When religious people are not so ignorant (as they have in the past) as to say Atheists are not really Atheists, they only “Claim” to be Atheists.

This is an INSULT as it infers that I, and other Atheists, are either so stupid we do not know what we believe OR we are lying!

2. When religious people stop saying totally stupid things like:

“There are no Atheists in foxholes” when there have been American Atheists fighting in every war the United States has ever been in.

3. When Atheist and Agnostic are capitalized just like the names of ALL religions are.

4. When somehow those who do the hiring find out we are Atheists and it does not cause us to not be hired.

OR cause us to be fired after we are hired.

OR stop us from being promoted.

5. When people knowing were are Atheists does not get our business boycotted.

6. When writing an article or a letter to the editor in which we state we are an Atheist does not get us fired. OR get us HATE Mail (unsigned of course) and HATE phone calls.

7. When bring a court case to enforce the Separation of Church and State does not elicit HATE Mail and/or HATE phone calls and/or DEATH threats from some “loving, turn the other cheek” hypocrite Christian.

8. When being an Atheist does not get your property vandalized JUST because you are an Atheist.

9. When being an Atheist does not get your children harassed and/or beaten up JUST because you are an Atheist.

10. When being an Atheist does not get your pets hurt, stolen or killed JUST because you are an Atheist.

11. When being an Atheist does not get you beaten up JUST because you are an Atheist.

12. When being an Atheist does not get you KILLED JUST because you are an Atheist.

13. When EVERY State in the U.S. treats Atheists just as well as they treat Christians.

14. When they STOP having Witch Trials in the United States. (Last one I know of was in Oklahoma in 2006.)

15. When they take their religious propaganda OUT of OUR pledge and OFF of OUR paper money.

(Thus putting our pledge and our paper money BACK to where they were in 1954.)

16. When they STOP trying to put THEIR (or any) prayers in schools where they do not belong in the first place.

17. When the American taxpayer STOPS having to pay EXTRA taxes to illegally support religion in the U.S. (It was an average of $900 a year BEFORE Bush got into office & so it HAS TO BE higher now.)

18. When Christians STOP LYING about the religious belief of our Founding Fathers

19. When Christians STOP LYING about the Founding of our country.

20. When Christians STOP LYING about the principals they United States was founded on.

21. When Christians STOP barring progress by doing stupid things like preventing embryonic stem cell research and stopping the sale of birth control pills.

(NO ONE makes the Christians do any thing they do not want to do and they have NO RIGHT to force others to live by their rules.)

During the Dark Ages, Christians held up progress for many hundreds of years. Had they not done that we would be hundreds of years ahead of were we are now!

“There was a time when the Christians Ruled The Known World, it is called THE DARK AGES!”

H. RUTH GREEN

This Most probably would have meant there would be NO CANCER now & many kinds of other fantastic medical advances.

22. When Christians STOP DENYING scientific facts!

23. When MOST Americans Atheists are NO longer so VERY AFRAID of what our Christian neighbors will do to us if they know we are Atheists, they will be very open about being Atheists.

TODAY, MOST American Atheists are SO AFRAID of what Christians might do the them if they know they are Atheists, they do not make it publicly knowledge that they are Atheists.

Some Atheists will not even tell their either their “friends” and/or their families because they are afraid of the poor treatment they will receive. And that is a SHAME!

24. When an Atheist, who has made it publicly known they are an Atheist, can be elected to any public office (including the Presidency) in the United States as easily as a Christian can be.

(I am very sure I have forgotten some things where Atheists are put at a disadvantage ONLY because we are Atheists)

We American Atheists have been nice, and meek and screwed over in the United States for more than long enough!

Just like the Blacks, Women and Gays before us had to take action to stop being stepped on, so should we. Once they stopped being nice, meek and not being heard from. Once they stopped putting up with being treated as lower class citizens, they took the steps they needed to.

Now. some of we Atheists are so sick and tired of the way Christians have been treating us, WE WILL CHANGE THINGS or darn well DIE in the attempt!

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Joel Duggins January 25, 2010 at 8:16 pm

Niel,
This is actually quite a bit better, not because it is less insulting or more courteous, but because it is divided neatly enough that I can merely bypass parts of it. It is still to long to respond to fully, but I will do my best. I am responding point-by-point to some of the things you have said. Please respond point-by-point to some of the things I have said.

A. Oh, I know you could be much more insulting if you tried. I know you aren’t trying to be insulting. I am asking you to try NOT to be insulting. (In other words, show me the same courtesy that I have been showing you)

B. You misunderstand me, if you think that I am offended because you have given me your opinion of me. No, your opinions of me are not offensive, but your method of communicating them is. Luke is a good example. He holds a roughly equivalent (though much more moderate) set of beliefs about me, and yet, he is not offensive. Why? He does not use capital letters to emphasize nearly every unflattering word, and he (often) gives sources or examples to back up what he says, and, above all, he is not (usually) harsh, caustic, and biting in his speech, even when he accuses people of being dishonest.

C. 1. Oh, I do know what you mean. I am not one of those Christians who insists that Atheism is impossible. Of course, I believe it is false, but it is just as possible to follow Atheism as any other false belief system.
But… you claim this is an insult because it either calls you dumb, or a liar. Well, you just finished calling Christians liars… don’t you think that might be an insult, when I don’t believe that it’s true?

2. Atheists in foxholes. Yes, Atheists have fought in many, if not all, wars in modern history. Even if Atheists have, historically, been worse patriots than Christians, this amounts to an ad hominum attack, and it is one I do not support. I apologize that this has become an issue in past, and I hope that it is never made against Atheism again.

3. Yes! YES!!! I have tried to convince Atheists that their belief system was a religion! I believe that “Atheism” SHOULD be capitalized, (though I often fail to do capitalize it) and that it should be treated as a religion. Of course you realize, though, that if it is a religion, honesty demands that you oppose the government’s support of Atheism just as strongly as you would oppose the government supporting any other religion.

4-13 I have my doubts about Atheists being persecuted for their beliefs. I’m sure it has happened, but I don’t know of any examples, and there certainly is not anywhere near as much persecution of Atheists by Christians as there is persecution of Christians by governments that are officially Atheistic. Still, if you have a list you can cite, I would like you to give some examples of Christians persecuting Atheists.

14. You say there was a witch trial in Oklahoma in 2006. Would you post a link to an article on it, please? Even a Wikipedia article would be helpful.

15. Would you please also give me a link to an article about the past removal of theistic mottos from currency? I’m afraid that this is a regrettable hole in my knowledge of history.

16. Now, I just plain object to sixteen. The right of a Christian to pray in school should be be protected just as much as the right of an atheist NOT to pray. If, however, you are speaking of public, school endorsed prayers in public schools, then I can see why you are offended. Private schools and homeschooling are another matter, they should be free to schedule their time as they wish, especially since, as a whole, they produce a better level of education that public schools.

17. I can see how you would be offended about the government supporting Christianity. (if they actually do- would you also post a link giving evidence of this?) However, this should give you a small idea about how I feel about the government supporting any project that would result in an unborn human losing their life.

18-20. You are correct in saying that many of the founding fathers were not even professing Christians. However, many of them were, and, as a whole, our founding fathers did subscribe to what is commonly known as a “Judeo-Christian value system,” which is roughly similiar to actual Biblical Christian values. I believe that many Christians do not take a clear enough look at history. The United States were not founded either as a decisively Christian country or as a decisively non-Christian country. The original USA was, however, (in many ways) more Christian than it is now, and especially more Christian than you are trying to make it be.

21. First, embryonic stem cell research has yet to achieve any significant success. Adult stem cells, (which do not require the loss of a life) however, have been successful, as many pro-life organizations are quick to point out. Second, even if embryonic stem cell research was making progress, you cannot truly expect me to sit idly by and allow people to commit what I believe is murder? After all, you have no problem forcing serial killers to live by your rules against serial killing.

22. What scientific facts do you refer to? Evolution? There are many Christian believers in evolution, and there are many non-Christians who believe that evolution does not fit the scientific evidence that we are presented with.

24. Hold on a second there. Elections are won by votes, and a majority of Americans still call themselves Christians. DO you really expect them to elect someone who regularly calls them liars? Or are you really saying that you won’t be happy until you are capable of overpowering Christianity?

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kennethos January 25, 2010 at 9:45 pm

Amazing. Mr. Reinhardt is one of the most religious atheists I’ve seen yet, at least when it comes to Noni juice, and religion and atheism. The “truth claims” regarding the juice are fairly similar to what Christian believers would make. The passion that he exhibits regarding the lack of the Christian God is equal to any believers I’ve seen, in virtually any board or forum online.
The lack of self-control, which even pagans and non-Christians see as a negative, is addressed throughout Scripture. Mr. Reinhardt as an atheist gives no credence to atheism as superior to Christianity. Atheists on this board and many others talk of how foolish and idiotic Christian believers are. Mr. Reinhardt, in his continuing homage to George Carlin, demonstrates the same folly as the most foolish believers ever does.
Mr. Reinhardt served in the military, and this is commendable. He is advanced in age, and as an elder is worthy of respect. As a verbally abusive, uncivil militant atheist, he is now worthy of our embarrassed pity.

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rhys January 26, 2010 at 12:31 am

Ayer says: Are you familiar with the “minimal facts” methodology at all? If one is persuaded of the resurrection of Jesus based on the minimal facts approach (and thus that Jesus’ radical personal claims are vindicated by the resurrection) then the rest of the New Testament is established on the basis of authority. That’s the genius of the minimal facts approach; he uses the secular historical playbook to establish the resurrection, which then bootstraps to the divine authority of the New Testament as a whole.

Yes, but the Bible is singled out because of it’s wealth of extraordinary claims. Therefore a historian is perfectly rational in approaching the New Testament on a strictly case-by-case basis. Even if Jesus did somehow crawl out of his box by some divine magic, it still leaves many core claims of Christianity up in the air. The burden of proof is still on the apologist to further establish the historical case for Christianity a a whole.

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Steven Carr January 26, 2010 at 2:02 am

So Joel cannot produce any evidence of Mary Magdalene, but I can produce named witnesses who swore blind that the Golden Plates existed.

While Christians never named themselves as having seen Mary Magdalene, or Joseph of Arimathea

or Lazarus or Bartimaeus, or Nicodemus, or Joanna, or Salome, or Martha, or Barabbas, or Simon of Cyrene, or Judas or Thomas.

They only exist in the anonymous untraceable Novels.

Of course, nobody outside Mormonism saw the Golden Plates because they had gone off to Heaven.

Just like this ‘resurrected’ Jesus flew off into the sky on his way to Heaven.

While almost everybody else in the Gospels then vanished from history in the way that the Angel Moroni and the Golden Plates vanished from history.

Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Joseph of Arimathea,Thomas, Nicodemus, Lazarus, all vanish from CHRISTIAN history as though they had never existed.

And while Christians laugh at the vanishing acts of the Golden Plates and the Angel Moroni, they expect sceptics not to laugh at the vanishing acts of the characters in the Novels.

They actually expect sceptics to keep a straight face, and get offended when we start laughing at them as much as we laugh at Mormons.

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Joel Duggins January 26, 2010 at 5:08 am

Rhys, if the Christ did rise from the dead, it is extraordinary evidence that he is who he said he is.

Steven, I have already completely refuted this particular argument. Why do you insist on repeating it? Magdalene etc. don’t matter. To compare them to something/someone of immense historical importance is just plain dishonest.
Also, there have been several books written, explaining that the gospels, at several, several points actually do cite witnesses. The fact that many, if not most, of these witnesses wouldn’t have been able to read or write, and the fact that they lived in a hostile environment more than explains the lack of records of their life stories.

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Steven Carr January 26, 2010 at 5:19 am

So Joel explains why there is no evidence for Judas, Mary Magdalene, Lazarus, Nicodemus, Joseph of Arimathea, Thomas, Joanna , Salome.

Not even Christians named themselves as ever seeing any of them.

And Joel explains that we would never expect Christians to talk about these people as they were so unimportant.

And, of course, no Novelist named himself or his sources, despite Joel’s inability to quote a Novelist doing so.

They are as good evidence as the people who claimed a second gunman shot JFK.

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Neil C. Reinhardt January 26, 2010 at 7:25 pm

JOEL

1. The Christian PROPAGANDA ‘In God We Trust” and “Under God” was added in 1955 due to the anti communists hysteria caused by a LYING Catholic Senator Joseph McCarthy who was responsible for one of the saddest period in American History.

Christian insistence they remain On OUR Money and IN OUR Pledge PROVE Christians are very SELFISH & INCONSIDERATE of the over 80 million members of other religions, as well as more than 25 million Atheists. Their actions are in direct opposition to the intent of our Founding Fathers.

It VIOLATES one of the MOST BASIC and IMPORTANT Principals which SEPARATED the United States from the RELIGIOUS BLOODSHED which the NON-Separation of Church and State had caused for over a thousand years!

Only you SELFISH Christians DO NOT care because YOU ARE TOTAL JERKS!

As far as anything else you want links to, do your own an internet search.

2. As far your response to my listing o the MANY INCONSIDERATE and SELFISH things Christians CONSTANTLY do which PROVE they are Bigots and Total Jerks, You MUST have a PHD degree in RATIONALIZATION!

3. The following statement from, YOUR your Website PROVES you are the EPITOME of ARROGANCE, CONCEIT and IGNORANCE!

“Christianity is the only good faith. The only.”

YOUR ‘faith’ Child is ONLY ONE of many, many thousands and our “god” is ONLY ONE of over 25,000 gods. You have NO, that is ZERO proof YOUR god & religion are ANY more valid than are the gods and religion of others.

——————

kennethos

Don’t like Caps? Tough! I damn well do not like you.

That your REAL FULL Name?

OR are you another internet COWARD who attacks people while hiding behind their computer As NEARLY EVERY Christians who sends Hate Mail and/or who make HATE phone calls do NOT use any name much less their real name, I seriously doubt it is your real full name.

Poor Christians, here they have their god to protect them and they still hide like cowards. I guess their little mickey mouse god is not all that powerful.

Of course, were their god real, I would not only NOT worship such a TOTALLY INCOMPETENT God, (who just KILLED over 150,000 people in Haiti) I would not ever trust he/she/it to pick up my garbage.
Yes Children, the Bible DOES SAY your god IS RESPONSIBLE for ALL Natural Disasters. A totally Murderous jerk isn’t he?

I PITY you Retarded Christians who are so irrational, illogical and naive as to even go to Atheists website’s in feeble attempts to convince Atheists, many of whom WERE at least as religious, if not more religious than you are, to again be Christians and believe in your childish myths.

You troglodytes spend way too much time wallowing in your deep dark caves of ignorance to have a Clue you have better odds of wining ten lottos in a row as you do of convincing Atheists to “Return to the Flock.”

You are just a bunch of Little Sheep who need a make-believe “Shepard” to keep you on the “Straight and Narrow” as YOU totally lack the moral fiber to make it on your own as we Atheists do.

I will bet it really pisses Christians off no end to know just two Atheists (W. Buffet & B. Gates) have, and continue to, give MANY BILLIONS A YEAR to help others.

Of course, another Atheist, Ted Turner gave a Billion to the UN for their to use in humanitarian efforts.. Then another Atheist, George Cloony, JUST led, with many other Atheists participating, the huge TV Telethon to Help the people of Haiti.

I’ll bet it bugs the hell out of Christians to know Atheists, WITHOUT THE HELP OF ANY GOD are the LEADERS, and/or are among the Leaders in EVERY Field except religion and maybe, “rap” music.

(And Children, more than a few Atheists WERE Leaders in the Christian Religion BEFORE COMING TO THEIR SENSES.)

Probably bugs Christians to know there are only three people in history were EACH awarded TWO Noble prizes. Of course all of them were Atheists! M. Curie, A. Pasture and Burtrund Russel.

And all these extremely successful Atheist ALL DID IT ON THEIR OWN WITH NO HELP FROM ANY GOD!

Gee Wiz, should not all those who need a god to be honest, moral, courageous and to help others FEEL LITTLE and WEAK when we Atheists do all those things plus much more without ANY NEED a god, or gods help?

Why don’t those with some gods help ALWAYS come out ahead?

LOOK Children, we FORMER Christians have BEEN THERE and DONE THAT!

I think I speak for many, if not all Atheists when I say the following.

WE not only found the Christian religion to be totally lacking in substance, we found far too many Christians to be lacking in loyalty, honor, trust, logic, and honesty.

People who use Faith rather than Facts, Emotion rather than Logic & Dogma rather than Knowledge.

They do not care if what they do, or do not do is counter productive in solving a serious problems and/or it’s even causing suffering of both those who believe as they do as well as those who do not IF the logical, intelligent, rational and proven solution is not in accordance with their ARCHAIC Dogma.

Nope, they would rather people SUFFER than come into todays world. They want to hang on to beliefs which were arrived at by a bunch of ignorant camel jockeys living in the deserts of the Middle East over two thousand years ago.

Drafted by people who did NOT know the earth was NOT FLAT, the earth went AROUND the Sun, there was a Pacific Ocean or a Western Hemisphere. Much less Physics and the actual age of the earth.

Of Course, as it was these clueless camel jockeys who INVENTED the Christian god, their ignorant god did not know any of the above either.

Gee, a NON-Knowing, ALL-Knowing god, What a concept!

MANY former Christians LEFT because the Christian ranks are filled with Double Standard, Arrogant, Conceited, Lying Egotistical, Selfish and Inconsiderate Hypocrites!

So why don’t you Christians go bug other Christians?

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lukeprog January 26, 2010 at 8:11 pm

Neil,

You sound like a Poe.

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Joel Duggins January 26, 2010 at 10:19 pm

1. Whether or not it is true that the theistic (not necessarily Christian) statements were added in 1955, I may actually approve of them being removed. Why? Because America does NOT trust in God. I wish our country did, but it doesn’t, so, for the sake of honesty, remove the mottos.

However… the concept of separation of church and state, while pragmatically useful, is not as all important as you seem to think. Yes, religious wars involving and among supposed Christian (I.E., they called themselves Christians.) have caused much grief and pain throughout history. However, Atheism is at least as guilty as “Christianity.” If you are going to say that I am connected to the Inquisition or the Crusades,(which was perpetrated by people who do not fit any precise definition of “Christian) then you are obligated to connect yourself with the atrocities committed by officially atheist countries against Christians. Do not pretend that professing Atheists have the moral high ground over professing Christians.

Also, the principles of religious freedom established by our founding fathers consisted, not of a government’s freedom from religion, but in religion’s freedom from a government. That is to say, “separation of church and state” is important to prevent the government from keeping people from meeting for a particular type of religious gathering.

I wholeheartedly acknowledge that Christians are bigots and jerks. We are. So are you, as anyone can tell by reading your comments. All humans are evil. On the cosmic scheme of things, humans are “the bad guys.” That is a fundamental doctrine of my religion. Earthquakes… cancer… death and suffering in general… are the fault of humanity, Christian and un-Christian alike. Does God have control of things? Yes, and he would be justified if he brought earthquakes to my home too, and to your home too. You say that I’m a liar and an evil man. Trust me, you have no idea. I admit it. But, for me, it is changing. God is fixing me, slowly. I won’t always be evil. Can you say the same for yourself, or do you embrace all of humanity’s vices? I know you don’t believe in God, but explain to me how, if there is no God, how can anything really be good or evil? You say Christians are evil. Yes, Christianity teaches that all Christians, just like all atheists, are evil. But atheism is the belief that the natural world “just is,” in the same way theists believe God “just is.” If the natural world is ultimate reality though, how do you go from what “is” to what “ought?” That is to say, what makes something objectively evil?

3. Oh, yes, people have faith in many different Gods. Logic necessitates that they can’t all be real. I happen to believe that the Christian God is real, which means that Christianity is the only good faith. Hence the title of my blog.

As a final note, I would like to respond to your accusation that, though the Bible is not devoted to communicating scientific facts, it does mention the water cycle (as an analogy for God’s word) many years before the water cycle was to be discovered by science for what is (supposedly) the first time. There are other examples, but they are not common, (because, as I said, the Bible does not interest itself with explaining details of our surroundings. We can observe those for ourselves)

Niel, as I said before, I’d love to talk to you, but I’m not going to if you wont show some basic courtesy. You improved briefly, but now you are rapidly deteriorating. If you continue like this, I just refuse to deal with you. Shape up, or I’m just not going to stick around to be yelled at.
I hope you choose to improve and let this be a productive conversation.

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kennethos January 26, 2010 at 11:19 pm

lukeprog: Neil,You sound like a Poe.  

So, Luke, tell me, when atheists bash Christians, the way Mr. Reinhardt likes to scream at everybody, why does everybody tolerate it? He has major issues. Extreme pain. Etc. Much like most folks posting on this site. (Come to think of it, like many Christian believers on other websites, too!) This isn’t civil discussion. It doesn’t build anything up. It certainly doesn’t help build relationships between believers and atheists. Maybe all the atheists around here secretly enjoy watching one of their own say what they all wish they were saying also. But if believers were acting this way toward atheists, we’d get screamed at. This smells like a double standard, and I don’t see anybody telling him to act civil. Otherwise, atheists are coming across as human beings who act badly, with Mr. Reinhardt leading the way as your main cheerleader.

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Neil C. Reinhardt January 27, 2010 at 2:03 am

Well Luke

Your communications skills are lacking as I have NO idea what you are talking about.

Joal,

Your denial of the truth, of facts as well as your continued rationalizing make it useless to continue.

kennethos

YOU ARE A CLUELESS FOOL

I’ve NOT said one thing about Christians and/or the Christian Religion which is NOT TRUE and I DEFY YOU to prove otherwise.

I TELL THE TRUTH while you Christians are BIGOTS, conduct Witch Trials, Join HATE GROUPS, commit TERRORIST acts as well as beating and KILLING Atheists!

And then you are so stupid as to say I am the bad guy?

Tell me Child. how many LIVES have YOU saved? I have saved MANY!

How many years have YOU served your country? Ten years for me

How much Blood have YOU given? 37 pints for me and it would have been more only cancer stopped my giving more.

How many Crimes have YOU stopped? At least three for me.

Have you received awards for raising money for Charity? I have!

For doing things for a war effort? I have.

How many times have YOU put your physical well being and your life on the line for others?

I have done so MANY times including for Black Civil Rights.

So go to your own jack yard and back off!

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Neil C. Reinhardt January 27, 2010 at 2:18 am

WHOSE FAULT WAS HAITI’S EARTHQUAKE?

THE BIBLE SAYS IT IS GODS!

Is the Christian god is responsible for all “natural” disasters? It seems the answer is YES

“As the Bible tells me so.”

Nahum 1:2-8 NLT

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lukeprog January 27, 2010 at 7:23 am

Neil,

You are by far the most abusive person on my website. If you don’t settle down and show some affinity with your fellow human beings, you will have the honor of being the first person actually BANNED from commenting on this site.

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Joel Duggins January 27, 2010 at 8:05 am

Niel,

God is responsible for death in the world as a jury is responsible for the punishment of a criminal. If you are accusing the Bible of injustice, you should really be asking why everyone hasn’t been killed, because, according to the Christian religion everyone, including me and you, are the “bad guys.”
Also, I would really appreciate a response about Communist countries. You simply cannot claim that I am tied with the historic “Christian” witch trials without claiming that you are tied with the persecution of Christians in Atheistic communist countries.

Luke,
I do thank you for stepping in, and I do understand that it is your choice how strict to be about your site, but I also want to say that I would like to continue speak with Neil, provided he can reach a minimum level of civility.

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Neil C. Reinhardt January 27, 2010 at 11:10 am

Calling a spade a spade and telling the truth is abusive?

look Out Child, there is a REAL world out there,

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Neil C. Reinhardt January 27, 2010 at 11:41 am

Luke,

I should “show some affinity with your fellow human beings”

Really?

HOW MANY LIVES HAVE YOU SAVED?

How Much Blood have YOU given?

How many times have YOU put YOUR physical well being and YOUR LIFE ON THE LINE FOR OTHERS??

etc. etc. etc.

IF I remember correctly, YOU said something to the effect of “Serving your County” (as I did for Ten Years) is some thing which ONLY fools do voluntarily.

And YOU have the GALL to tell ME I have NO affinity for my fellow human beings?

The TRUTH IS the world is a better place BECAUSE of what I have done, and continue to do, for others!

——————–

for Joel “et al”

A great site with illustrated stories from the bible. Really funny stuff translated in easy to understand English with uncensored illustrations.

http://illustratedbiblestories.ca

While they are selling the book, but there are about a dozen free stories on the right side.

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Jeff H January 27, 2010 at 3:35 pm

Neil, regardless of the great respect I have for those who save lives, donate blood, etc., that in no way gives you the right to be an asshole to people.

Even if every word that you say is 100% absolute truth, your approach is completely unnecessary and works entirely against your goal – which I’m assuming is to convince people. If you goal is to vent your anger, then fine, you’re doing that splendidly. But if you actually want to convince anyone that what you say is true, you need to calm the fuck down and talk like a reasonable human being. In particular, your using capital letters to emphasize what you say comes across as “shouting”, and it’s bad form in an online environment. Nobody wants to listen to someone shouting at them all the time.

Just remember, it’s entirely possible to “call a spade a spade” and yet do it in a way that doesn’t make people roll their eyes and say, “Oh, here we go again.” People learn very quickly that those who have something of value to say can say it calmly and quietly, and don’t need to wave their hands shouting and yelling at people. That’s what street preachers do. And they’re not really known for their sanity…

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Neil C. Reinhardt January 27, 2010 at 4:44 pm

Well Jeff,

You can most certainly have your personal “opinion” only that is all it is.

IF I really cared what thin skinned people thought of me and the way I commutate I would not do it. ONLY, I don’t care

(And I assure you my comments in Luke’s
forums are not anywhere even close to
being as dismissive and nasty as I could be.)

The opinions of me by most are of no importance to me. Those who are TRULY INTELLIGENT, RATIONAL & LOGICAL
CARE LESS from whom, or how VALID information is related. Nope, what they care about IS THE INFORMATION.

(IF a Crazy guy is standing on the street
yelling “BOMB” it would be ill advised to take the chance he may not be telling the truth.)

When the PUMA forum was up & running, this is what I received from someone who has now become a great internet friend . She is now another one of the more than 400 I communicate with two or more times a week And, Jeff MOST of these 400 plus people have been getting email’s from me for at least eight years and some as long as ten years.

“Dice” said:

—————————–

THANK YOU
THANK YOU
THANK YOU
for being on the forum.

DON’T listen to those that say
“your posts border on hostility”

WE ALL NEED the dialog which evolves out of your posts no matter how
displeasurable they seem to some.

Your wisdom and insights are Valuable and,

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Frank Zappa January 30, 2010 at 6:13 pm

Hitchens, “There is no hell in the Old Testament.”

Really? There are over (70) clear references to Hell in the Old Testament.

Deuteronomy 32.22 My people. I will breathe out fire that sends you down to the world of the dead. It will scorch your farmlands and burn deep down under the mountains.

Hitchens’ a drunken ass who comes to debate armed with a squirt gun. His putrid support of the Iraq War is reason enough to disregard anything this self promoting fountain of misinformation spouts.

BTW Chris… Atheism is a religion as believing in nothing is a belief system.

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Hermes January 30, 2010 at 9:46 pm

Frank Zappa: Really? There are over (70) clear references to Hell in the Old Testament.

There are references to Sheol, not Hell. The two are different. Check your reference (Deuteronomy 32.22);

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy%2032.22&version=NIV

(Then again, you could say that the only reliable Bible is the KJV. In that case, I bid you good day and see no need to deal with such unlearned dogmatic insistence.)

Want to give it another try, while acknowledging that Hitchens — drunk or not — understands what you don’t?

I’ll leave you to your own ignorance on the other parts. Consider it a penance — but ask that you don’t mar a good name in your choice of an avatar.

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Wizz November 28, 2011 at 2:41 pm

You know what.. i pity all of you… you know what atheism is.. you deny the existence of god.. coz you have a personal grudge…

deep down you know god exists.. how else do you explain your existence… your intelligence etc.. do you leave it to evolution.. let me tell you something…

baboons and gorillas are stronger than humans.. as are alot of animals.. why would we evolve into a frail creature.. like a human..

if evolution was true.. we would be the superior being.. both physically as well as mentally..

whatever though.. you people probably won’t listen to what i’m saying…yol are lost… and its a shame.. you will see the truth.. christianity can’t show it to you.. they are just as lost as you are..

that’s why you don’t believe them.. or can mock them…

Oh for the record.. i’m a muslim… and the little i know about islam.. and god.. i know to be true… you deny nothing but truth.. because of your ignorance.. you are not intelligent.. nor have any common sense…

else you would see the truth of creation wherever you look… why do not your eyes.. come on the back of your head.. or your ass… for that matter.. though it looks like your head is up your own ass.. lol…

idiots… you can’t see the plain truth…

you think the whole cosmos.. just runs itself… fucking idiots.. you’ll see… you’ll see hell fire.. and you’ll know you were wrong.. but it will be too late…

sigh.. i shouldn’t attack you.. i really feel you sorry.. if you searched for the truth.. studied a bit of religion.. islam that is… go listen to a guy called Nouman Ali Khan… listen to him explaining a bit of the quran… and see how you cannot deny the existence of god.. but.. unfortunately… you won’t ..

I know already.. most of you have your mind set… and you are lost.. but perhaps.. someone.. one of you.. might be saved… and you will see.. clear.. truth.. not something you have to believe in.. without understanding.. but clear, concise.. logical proof…

you are illogical… you use high words.. to make yourself feel smarter.. when the truth is.. you are idiots in a disguise of intelligence.. could you argue in plain simple words.. in plain simple english.. in layman’s terms..

no.. not you nor the christian priests… all hide behind… high words… and pretend to be intelligent.. unless.. yol really are fools…

there is gods message.. with full proof for you.. if you care to know… but if you prefer to live with your heads up your asses.. by all means go ahead.. you deceive only yourself.. and idiots like yourselves… and you will find out too late that you are wrong..

and you will know it for a fact… where will you put your faces then… stupid, ignorant pricks… lol..

i’m not even angry.. i say this with lol.. i don’t know.. humor… but genuine concern.. and .. well.. ok.. disgust…

well i shouldn’t be… we all have our doubts.. but i am disgusted that you deny.. when i’m sure god has proven his existence to you… and you know it too.. but deny it..

but there were others like you and will be.. who see truth.. with their own eyes.. hear truth…. but still deny it…

good bye… and good luck… lol.. not that its gonna help if you don’t want to face the truth.. hehe

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