Area clergy make room for evolution with the divine

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Link Sunday, October 02, 2005 BY MARY WARNER Of The Patriot-News

Darwin and God seem irreconcilable to many Americans. That’s why evolution remains a flashpoint in public schools.

Many others see no conflict, though. And that reconciliation has been a subtext of a closely watched federal trial in Harrisburg about teaching evolution.

“Faith and reason are not only compatible. They are complementary,” testified Ken Miller, a biologist who took the stand to affirm Charles Darwin’s theory as established science.

The article continues to explain why religious faith has nothing to fear from Darwinian theory and presents an excellent overview of some prevailing opinions. People familiar with ASA may recognize Ted Davis. He commented

Ted Davis Wrote:

Ted Davis, professor of the history of science and director of the Center for Science and Religion, Messiah College: “As a Christian, I believe that God, the wise and powerful creator of the universe, cared enough about the creation to dwell among us, setting aside power to suffer for our redemption. The modern scientific picture of the world is not only compatible with my faith, it actually enhances my faith.

70 Comments

Okay, religion can survive naturalism (Darwinism?) and Darwin’s theory of evolution, but can it survive AI and modern theories of intelligence (Turingism?)?

For example, Dawkins says: “To explain the origin of the DNA/protein machine by invoking a supernatural Designer is to explain precisely nothing, for it leaves unexplained the origin of the Designer. You have to say something like ‘God was always there’, and if you allow yourself that kind of lazy way out, you might as well just say ‘DNA was always there’, or ‘Life was always there’, and be done with it.” –Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker : Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe without Design

Such a view as Dawkins’ (and mine) assumes intelligence is a natural product of evolution (intelligent designers have to be explained by natural means eventually). But to believe in God (whatever God is) don’t you have to assume an intelligence existed prior to the universe and thus cannot be naturally explained by merely the properties of the universe?

So, what do religious people make of the fact we are explaining intelligence by natural means?

But to believe in God (whatever God is) don’t you have to assume an intelligence existed prior to the universe and thus cannot be naturally explained by merely the properties of the universe?

One might think that God cannot be explained by merely the properties of the universe, but that evolved intelligences can be so explained.

Human intelligence can be explained by natural means, but divine intelligence is unknowable by natural means. For those of faith, it is knowable to them through their faith, apparently. For those without faith, I guess it’s just not an issue. But some kind of religion is endemic in everyone, so the anthropologists say.

Ken Willis wrote: “Human intelligence can be explained by natural means, but divine intelligence is unknowable by natural means.”

So, there are two kinds of intelligence, natural and supernatural. The natural we can not only explain with neural net structures and brain chemicals but eventually but hope to create our own. But supernatural intelligence is spooky and leaves no evidence except for those who believe they experience it…

Sounds like N-rays to me: http://skepdic.com/blondlot.html

To explain the origin of the DNA/protein machine by invoking a supernatural Designer is to explain precisely nothing, for it leaves unexplained the origin of the Designer. (Dawkins)

I am surprised that Dawkins is credited with inestimable insight in this matter, when all he asks is a slightly dressed-up version of the four-year-old-child’s question: “Who made God?”

So, what do religious people make of the fact we are explaining intelligence by natural means?

First of all, you overstate the case. Secondly, religion recognizes something supernatural called the “soul” which is distinct from intelligence. So religion has nothing to fear from the advancement of AI, even if it ever, for once in its history, lives up to its own hype.

I am surprised that Dawkins is credited with inestimable insight in this matter, when all he asks is a slightly dressed-up version of the four-year-old-child’s question: “Who made God?”

Or “who designed the designer”.

Four year olds should also ask “why is your religious opinion any better than anyone else’s? What makes yours any better than mine, my next door neighbor’s, my car mechanic’s, or the kid who delivers my pizzas?”

Trouble is, as Heddle demonstrates, no one evey wants to ANSWER those simple questions.

I am surprised that Dawkins is credited with inestimable insight in this matter, when all he asks is a slightly dressed-up version of the four-year-old-child’s question: “Who made God?”

If you have the answer to this 3 word question, please do share.

Rephrasing the question does not mean any thing to any one

I think Heddle is rewording the question into the mouth of a 4-year-old to imply that it’s a childish question, beneath the requirement for an adult such as himself to answer. But of course, all Heddle does is dismiss the question as childish, without venturing even a hint of any actual answer. Maybe he’s laying the ground work for subsequently saying “I already addressed that question”?

I wonder what Heddle would do with an AI that passes the Turing test. Would he conclude that it had a soul? Would he change his mind only AFTER he discovered that someone who had become his close friend turned out to be silicon-based? If he sincerely could not tell how “natural” this personality was (without peeking), what threat would he fear? Would his religion not admit such an intelligence into the congregation? What if it shared Heddle’s faith?

I’m not uncomfortable with the notion of a supernatural, untestable, unknowable, indetectible intelligence, evident only to those who were properly trained to agree it exists. Currently, human psychology is a very large, very black box.

Eugene Lai:

Rephrasing the question does not mean any thing to any one

Exactly. Why should Dawkins be celebrated for asking the same question a child would ask, just rephrasing it? Of course a child will ask from curiosity, while Dawkins asks as charlatan—meaning that his conclusion—that the supernatural doesn’t exist, is actually his premise.

Heddle:

I notice you simply ignore Eugene Lai’s question. Dawkins asked it, Lenny Flank asked you, and I asked you somewhat indirectly. So, what’s the answer? Who DID make your god?

Dawkins isn’t “celebrated” for asking a critically important question YOU can’t answer, he is simply reiterating that without a good answer, your faith is empty. He does not ask as a charlatan, he asks to illustrate this very important point. Your repeated ducking the question only underscores what Dawkins and others are saying: put up or shut up. Can we presume from your repeated pretense that nobody is asking, that you can’t read? Or that you are a charlatan and you hope nobody will notice that you can’t answer?

I have collected one answer to this very same question, “Who made god?” on my website, More Evolution Theories. The answer turns out to be quite surprising.

Do you think Dawkins invented the question? That theologians throughout the ages never pondered it, and it waited for Dawkins, the old fraud, to come up with it?

Answer: God is eternal, nothing made God.

Now, we could speculate how String theory gives us at least a glimpse of how that might be possible: a universe with more than one non-compactified time dimension for example, but that would be just that, speculation.

Answer: God is eternal, nothing made God.

Ah. Doubletalk. Well, I guess that’s as good a way of ducking the question as any other. Just invent a meaningless cosmology, devoid of any referent. But if miracles and bafflegab satisfy you, why do you bother with science? The goal of science is to learn, after all. If you must make stuff up, that’s MUCH easier. And clearly, you end up knowing exactly as much after you make stuff up as you knew beforehand, so you’re not about to be, like, wrong about anything.

Sheesh. Yet more evidence that faith causes genuine organic brain damage.

David Heddle Wrote:

Do you think Dawkins invented the question? That theologians throughout the ages never pondered it, and it waited for Dawkins, the old fraud, to come up with it?

Did Dawkins claim to have invented the question? I’d say it’s just part of the setup for the main argument - see below…

David Heddle Wrote:

Answer: God is eternal, nothing made God.

Dawkins Wrote:

“(…) and if you allow yourself that kind of lazy way out, you might as well just say ‘DNA was always there’, or ‘Life was always there’, and be done with it.”

That’s the real argument here. You’re welcome to try and tackle it, if you wish.

Bob Davis wrote “… one answer to this very same question, ‘Who made god?’”

And I saw another answer on the inside sleeve of Jethro Tull’s Aqualung album. (Does anyone know what I’m talking about?)

David Heddle wrote: “God is eternal, nothing made God.”

Then he shouldn’t be damaged by any evolutionary theories… let’s see, who really gets dropped down a peg in our estimations by Darwinian evolution – wait it’s us! Not goofy God ideas. We’re no longer the crown of creation, we’re just evolved apes … sitting on a tiny planet far from the center of the universe – and come to think of it, the church didn’t like that Galileo guy telling us that either.

“So, what do religious people make of the fact we are explaining intelligence by natural means?”

not a religious person myself, but I’ve never had a problem with the diea that “god” and “natural means” can be synonyms. This actually solves a lot of metaphysical questions, as it effectively removes the spiritual/natural conundrum. Species originated and descended through evolution. Evolution is a natural mechanism that follows known physical laws. If you are a christian then you can accept that “known physical laws” are the same thing as us trying to understand the mind and the mechanisms of God as best we can.

I’ve always felt that simple belief in a supreme being is a non-factor in terms of acceptance or not of science. What effects acceptance of science is a belief that this God acted upon nature in unnatural ways.

“Area clergy” - that sounds like a headline from The Onion.

Don’t care about Heddle’s rubbish, but wow, do American local papers really use the word “Area” in headlines as an adjective to mean “local”? I thought that was something The Onion made up.

No, your response is just another of a semi-infinite number of examples of PT logic that goes like this:

PT: answer this question Whomever: here is the answer PT: that answer doesn’t count

You see, a child understands the answer, because a child is, well, smarter than Dawkins. A child recognizes, intuitively, that answers concerning God will reflect the supernatural.

Even a smart athiest would understand the answer to be sensible, for the same reasons, –even as he denied it.

Only a dummy like Dawkins would ask: who made God? and then declare victory when a naturalistic answer is not forthcoming. Like I said, he assumes his conclusion.

Hey BB, snap…

‘“Faith and reason are not only compatible. They are complementary,” testified Ken Miller’

See this is where Miller has always gotten lost to me. If you have evidence you don’t really need faith. It is simply not reasonable to by into the tenets of one religion over another. As to Gods existence you can never know.

Wathcing Heddle try to assault Dawkins is really funny.

‘Secondly, religion recognizes something supernatural called the “soul” which is distinct from intelligence.’

Just because it recognizes something doesn’t make it real. The reason the 4 year old’s question is embarrassing is because even a four year old can see through the most perverse apologetics. Shame many adults can’t.

Heddle I’m a Christian and your dishonesty when it comes to intellectual matters is an embarrassment.

‘PT: answer this question Whomever: here is the answer PT: that answer doesn’t count’

No they took your answer as an answer. They were commenting on it’s lack of quality.

‘You see, a child understands the answer, because a child is, well, smarter than Dawkins. A child recognizes, intuitively, that answers concerning God will reflect the supernatural.’

So sad. So sad. The child understands what it is told by those it trusts. If the parents are honest and say ‘Hey we don’t know’, then the child will be content with that. Or the child will accept whatever rubbish the parent runs into their helpless brain. To say what you said above is truly pathetic.

‘Even a smart athiest would understand the answer to be sensible, for the same reasons, —even as he denied it.’

I’m a Christian and I don’t think you answer was sensible on any level. And for the record most atheists I have none are very well read, and those that aren’t are usually good thinkers. I don’t paint them with a big brush just as I hope they don’t judge Christianity on people who offer up responses like yours.

‘Only a dummy like Dawkins would ask: who made God? and then declare victory when a naturalistic answer is not forthcoming. Like I said, he assumes his conclusion.’

Do you not understand that you can say anything in regards to the supernatural and have it go unchallenged? And to make swipes at Dawkins– a scientist many times your superior, is childlike and unChristian.

Please stop, just stop.

Norman,

Then he shouldn’t be damaged by any evolutionary theories

Well of course he isn’t. Nobody that I know of believes that God could possibly be damaged by evolutionary theories. The mere thought is laughable.

Uber:

If you have evidence you don’t really need faith.

This makes no sense at all, from the viewpoint of Christianity. Maybe that is why you don’t understand Miller, who on this point is spot on. Blind faith is never, ever called for, and “faith” used in the bible is much closer to “live by faith” or “walk the walk” than belief. Jesus forgave a man’s sins (an invisible act). If he intended blind faith to be what we had to muster, he’d have stopped there. Instead, he proved himself by healing the man. I won’t burden you with scripture that teaches the same thing: blind faith is never asked for. This is a misconception even among Christians.

Heddle you are wrong about this. No matter how you dress it up its still ‘blind’ faith.

You’ve never seen God. You’ve never seen Jesus. You never have seen Jesus rise. That doesn’t mean he didn’t. It just means you have no evidence that he did.

It’s the very definition of blind. And you talk about hi healing the man or forgiving sins. Again blind faith. You weren’t there and frankly neither was the man who wrote the story. Even using your example Jesus provided evidence of his power to those who were there. So it seems he knew the power of evidence. You have none.

And I’m correct, with evidence you don’t need faith. Jesus acts allowed those that witnessed to follow him. He knew evidence was required. Evidence that you don’t have.

David Heddle seems to be obsessed with Dawkins. Can it be that Dawkins has so forcefully hit Heddle’s puerile faith that poor David has to resort, in his impotent fury, to insults and name-calling, as otherwise he has no means to save his faith? However many times he calls Dawkins fraud, charlatan, etc. this in no way can change the simple facts: Dawkins offers simple and clear notions while Heddle offers only empty assertions based on his blind faith. I’d not say Heddle is a charlatan or fraud, he is, imo, just a religious fanatic, captured by emotions stemming from his childhood experience. That is why he is so mean and malicious. Let him be - no sense arguing with such guys.

Comment #50697

Posted by David Heddle on October 3, 2005 06:15 AM (e) (s)

I am surprised that Dawkins is credited with inestimable insight in this matter, when all he asks is a slightly dressed-up version of the four-year-old-child’s question: “Who made God?”

Who made you arbiter? Or apologist for the thousands of years of failure of each and every religion to explain “where did the gods/god come from?”

The Mormons have their answer. Do you subscribe to it? Do you want a mormonistic version of ID taught? In the highly simplified version of where “God” was once a “man” who worshiped “God” before him and once elevated to “god-hood” went out and made his own universe?

First of all, you overstate the case. Secondly, religion recognizes something supernatural called the “soul” which is distinct from intelligence. So religion has nothing to fear from the advancement of AI, even if it ever, for once in its history, lives up to its own hype.

Religion could recognize magical flying ponies for that makes them “real.” Any crack-pot can “recognize” what ever they want. Ghosts. ET visits. Gods living on mountain tops. Gods magically impregnating women, in divine or beast or human form. It still doesn’t make it so.

Richard Lewontin Wrote:

Christianity demands, at the very least, the inevitable emergence of creatures capable of sin. Without a history of human sin, there is no Christ.

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/18363

As a Christian, I agree with Lewontin’s characterization. As long as the physical process from beginning (Big Bang or whatever) to end necessarily results in agents capable of sin (i.e., possessing reason, will, etc.), any other feature of the process is compatible with Christianity.

To refer indirectly to Dawkins once again, Heddle’s answer boils down to “Maaaagic!” and I find that unfulfilling. Indeed, I find it absolutely astounding that *anyone* would be satsified with such an answer. I agree with Uber that the 4-year-old’s question implies he’s seen through the nonexistent wardrobe, and his acquiescence to the non-answer implies he realizes he isn’t going to get a sensible answer because there is none to be had.

Answers regarding the supernatural, as I said before, are simply things people make up, knowing their fabrications cannot be subjected to any sort of testing or verification. The disadvantage is, these answers are intellectually hollow. They lack any content, any meaning, any relation to reality. They reinforce ignorance at the most fundamental level – by eliminating curiosity.

I can understand the need of the Believer to create make believe answers. I will never understand his ability to think he actually HAS an answer.

Moses Wrote:

Who made you arbiter? Or apologist for the thousands of years of failure of each and every religion to explain “where did the gods/god come from?”

I do not by any means wish to take up common cause with Heddle, but on this narrow topic I would reply that Aquinas resolved the question: God did not come “from anywhere”; his essence is existence.

And lest you ask “Who made Aquinas arbiter,” Aquinas’ argument prevails on the merits (as all arguments must). What those merits are wants a long discussion that is out of place here (see his brief treatise Being and Essence).

Flint wrote: “Answers regarding the supernatural, as I said before, are simply things people make up, knowing their fabrications cannot be subjected to any sort of testing or verification.”

In the beginning, Man created GOD in his own image. On the first day he created animal spirits and polytheistic gods and men lived in small tribes. On the second day Egyptian Pharaohs declared themselves gods. They then went out and conquered the small tribes and made a great nation. On the third day Moses took Pharaoh Amenhetep IV’s monotheistic ideas about Aten, the sun god, and gave birth to a new religion. On the fourth day, Rome kicked the asses of the worshippers of the new religion but good. On the fifth day the worshippers of the new religion came up with yet another new religion and called it Christianity. On the sixth day the neighbors of the new religion makers gave birth to Allah and Islam. On the seventh day I woke up from the dream of gods and realized that our gods had been evolving right along with us and the preists never knew a damn thing from the beginning.

Mr. Heddle,

you think your ideas are right, and cannot possibly think they are wrong.

This is just because your ideas are your ideas, i.e. it has no bearing on whether those ideas are indeed right or wrong.

You also look at the universe and claim it is fine-tuned to allow life; yet, if it did not allow life, you wouldn’t be here claiming anything.

This, too, has no bearing on whether the universe is indeed fine-tuned or not.

I already made the point that the universe looks like it is expanding away from us, yet this is due to being looked at from our specific point of view. You have so far failed to give any reason to think otherwise about your claims.

As to your other question, I think my opinions are as correct as I can make them; in fact, I try to form them on the basis of evidence. Which is why I have no religious opinion, but only opinions on religion.

Heddle Wrote:

…but certainly some intellectuals declare the bible inerrant and compatible with science, such as Francis Schaeffer. …PZ has labeled the entire Roman Catholic Church as idiots, because Rome declares the bible to be inerrant.

Fundagelical Schaeffer’s and the Catholics’ views on the Bible’s “inerrancy” are quite different. The Second Vatican Council (1965) says the authors of the Bible were preserved from error in matters of “moral and dogmatic teaching, excluding everything in the bible relating to history and the natural sciences.”

Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 1999 “For Roman Catholics, inerrancy is understood as a consequence of biblical inspiration; it has to do more with the truth of the Bible as a whole than with any theory of verbal inerrancy. Vatican II says that ‘the books of Scripture must be acknowledged as teaching firmly, faithfully, and without error that truth which God wanted put into the sacred writings for the sake of our salvation” (Dei Verbum 11). What is important is the qualification of ‘that truth’ with ‘for the sake of our salvation’.”

New Advent, massive Roman Catholic website “Although inerrancy isn’t limited to religious truths which pertain to salvation but may include non-religious assertions by the biblical authors, this doesn’t mean Scripture is an inspired textbook of science or history. Inerrancy extends to what the biblical writers intend to teach, not necessarily to what they assume or presuppose or what isn’t integral to what they assert.”

So PZ may not have “labeled the entire Roman Catholic Church idiots.”

It may be just me but I find that Catholic material in quotes above to be an illogical mess. I can at least respect fundies for their consistency on this issue. If you can’t accept the bible as a whole you have no real way of weeding out the parts that you find unacceptable.

I mean either God inspired it or he didn’t. I mean I think Genesis being intact is an important part of the Christian salvation plan. Likewise I think the Catholic doctrines of the virgin Mary, wafer to flesh, and all the rest ARE science claims to a large degree.

So really they are picking and choosing which verses apply to salvation. Which leads to lots of inconsistency and confusion.

Flint, I wasn’t raised a Christian, so Dawkins’s asinine statement doesn’t apply to me. I am actually your worst nightmare—I was converted to Christianity after being exposed to cosmological ID in college.

And with all the world’s current and historical religions to choose from, you chose Christianity? What does some probably apocryphal peasant said to have lived thousands of years ago have to do with cosmological ID? Nearly any religion at all could have suggested to you that there may be some external purpose for your existence; why pick a religion with such a mountain of irrelevant baggage?

In any case, permit me to doubt your claim, on many grounds. First, I submit that a mind of college age is simply not capable of such a conversion, without some truly personality-shaping groundwork already in place. Second, you picked a silly religion for your purposes. Why not pick one that doesn’t obligate you to spinning in tight circles for the rest of your life? Third, Dawkins’ statement is solidly supported by available facts. Religion of the adult is explained by religion of the (acting) parents in all but a vanishingly small number of cases; conversions between substantially different faiths are rare as hens’ teeth. Fourth, you are taking a creationist position, and ironically Dawkins has identified the only know honest creationist ever sighted – one who’s willing to claim that evidence is irrelevant, regardless of what it might be. You, on the other hand, are attempting to distort, fabricate, and rationalize evidence required to suit your convictions, as dishonest as any other normal creationist.

But nonetheless, I’m convinced you believe what you say. I once again credit Orwell for having an insight I might never have recognized.

Uber, your defense of Dawkins boils down to nothing more than you agree with him.

Gee, did you somehow miss the boat? Why is was relevant whether the bible actually is inerrant? The point is that PZ called these intellectuals, all with credentials in the same ballpark as Dawkins, idiots for believing it to be so. So you are not consistent, not at all. At least I don’t see where you say PZ was wrong for such language. No, all you do agree with him, in effect.

Why would that be anyones nightmare?

Because I thought ever one was terrified that ID in the classroom would lead to an army of Jerry Falwell’s. I am prove of your worst fears, that ID can be used to evangelize.

You argument position is no more substantive than saying “it’s okay to call someone (whatever), as long as I agree they are (whatever)

This is in evidence when you excuse Dawkins’s stupidity because you believe that images of hell do constitute abuse (worse than molestation??) But that is just an opinion. No better than if I said raising a child as an atheist is abuse because it risks eternal damnation for the child. Just an opinion (one, as a Calvinist, I do not hold)–but nevertheless just as defensible as Dawkins’s and your opinion.

Arden and DougT showed some integrity. Not you.

John K, your conclusion is wrong, for a number of reasons. What your sources really state is that the bible is not a science book. In other words, it does not state that the bible (in its original form) contains errors in history or science, it says that the bible’s purpose is not history or science. Second, you are wrong for a technical reason. Nothing you quoted was issued Ex Cathedra. (Even Vatican II is not binding, as I understand it–hence while Vatican II acknowledges that one can be saved outside the church, Catholics are not compelled to believe that–and for example Mel Gibson belongs to a Catholic Church that denies the pronouncements of Vatican II (he thinks his wife, a Protestant, is not saved.) And yet his Church is not a rogue church–he is a Catholic.) The last Ex Cathedra statement addressing inerrancy was, I think Pope Pius XII, and he affirmed inerrancy. The Catholic church would have to magesterially change its position–a conference of bishops, for example, does not have that power.

Finally, I would like to know the exact reference you have from Vatican II. Because I have read Vatican II and never saw it. What I know of is the statement

“Therefore, since everything asserted by the inspired authors or sacred writers must be held to be asserted by the Holy Spirit, it follows that the books of Scripture must be acknowledged as teaching solidly, faithfully and without error that truth which God wanted put into sacred writings (5) for the sake of salvation. Therefore “all Scripture is divinely inspired and has its use for teaching the truth and refuting error, for reformation of manners and discipline in right living, so that the man who belongs to God may be efficient and equipped for good work of every kind” (2 Tim. 3:16-17, Greek text).” (DOGMATIC CONSTITUTION ON DIVINE REVELATION DEI VERBUM SOLEMNLY PROMULGATED BY HIS HOLINESS POPE PAUL VI ON NOVEMBER 18, 1965, article 11)

But you wrote

The Second Vatican Council (1965) says the authors of the Bible were preserved from error in matters of “moral and dogmatic teaching, excluding everything in the bible relating to history and the natural sciences.”

Your quotes indicate that the “excluding everything in the bible relating to history and the natural sciences.” is actually in the Vatican II pronouncements. Do you have a reference?

Aureola, surely you know it is impossible to have no opinions on religion, even if it only to reject all religions.

Flint, you can read my semi-autobiographical novel for the details. I’ll send you a copy for free. I didn’t “choose” Christianity, I’m a Cavinist, remember–I was chosen. Also, when I was a professor I always taught one ID class a year. I know of at least one of my students who says that his exposure to ID was instrumental in his becoming a Christian. So the cycle repeats.

The title of this thread is misleading. It should be renamed The David Heddle show. So should several other threads.

Mr. Heddle:

You are even more reading-impaired that I thought possible.

I had written: “As to your other question, I think my opinions are as correct as I can make them; in fact, I try to form them on the basis of evidence. Which is why I have no religious opinion, but only opinions on religion.”

You respond: “Aureola, surely you know it is impossible to have no opinions on religion, even if it only to reject all religions.”

Read (slowly and carefully, this time) these two short excerpts, and try to understand why you are impossible to take seriously.

Also, I think you would have a hard time obtaining either a religious opinion or an opinion on religion by a three-month-old kid.

Aureola,

OK, change my comment to “surely you know it is impossible to have no religious opinion.”

And as to this statement:

I think my opinions are as correct as I can make them; in fact, I try to form them on the basis of evidence.

Do you think you have cornered the market on that approach? That’s what we all do. All you are saying is, based on the best evidence available, you think you are correct, but you may change if presented with new evidence. That is exactly how I think.

BB, it’s not my fault, I’m just responding. When it is N on 1, the “1” will have to respond to many digs.

Again Heddle I said I didn’t agree with Dawkins earlier. But I can see where he is going with his idea. His idea is more consistent that your thinking. Abuse is abuse. One is sexual the other is mental and lifelong. That is what he is thinking. Both punish the victim.

‘Gee, did you somehow miss the boat? Why is was relevant whether the bible actually is inerrant?’

It isn’t and I didn’t make a case of it. I just said some Protestants would agree with him about Catholism.

‘The point is that PZ called these intellectuals, all with credentials in the same ballpark as Dawkins, idiots for believing it to be so. So you are not consistent, not at all. At least I don’t see where you say PZ was wrong for such language. No, all you do agree with him, in effect.’

Then you can’t read. I said PZ could have been less abrupt. Meaning I feel he could choose better words. Same as you.

‘This is in evidence when you excuse Dawkins’s stupidity because you believe that images of hell do constitute abuse (worse than molestation??)’

I feel that placing horrific images of something you have never seen into a childs mind is terrible. Well shoot me then. If, usung your ploy, we were to take a poll of people who felt it ok to show torture and pain to children I suspect most would not. I would be among them. ‘ ‘But that is just an opinion.’

yes but a rational one

‘No better than if I said raising a child as an atheist is abuse because it risks eternal damnation for the child.’

your wrong, you have no evidence that hell even exists let alone knowledge of what it takes to send one there. However implanting such imagery into the head of a child can have very real and terrifying effects for a child in the real world.

‘Just an opinion (one, as a Calvinist, I do not hold)—but nevertheless just as defensible as Dawkins’s and your opinion.’

Not even close to being as defensible.

‘Arden and DougT showed some integrity. Not you.’

How on Earth can you come to that conclusion? I have been honest and upfront. I have said I felt PZ should have picked his words more carefully, I don’t even agree with Dawkins on his stance but am arguing what I feel is an inconsistent point on your end. The fact is your integrity is nonexistent. Your would likely argue against violence on TV and images harmful to children while at the same time subjecting children to that which you oppose. And then run the ruse that you are doing it for their benefit.

You attacked Dawkins a man neither your or I know with insults intended to demean him on a personal level. You have acted childishly by bringing a 3d party PZ into something he wasn’t involved in. Then accused others of poor behaviour or ‘lacking’ integrity.

You are interesting I’ll give you that.

Uber, Flint,Aureola, others.

Please stop. You folks have been honest and upfront with him. As a Christian man I appreciate all your candor and honesty. Even on the points I don’t share with you.

He started with insults and isn’t finishing any better. Please let the troll go away. I think he sees himself doing battle with the hordes of evil or something because he never makes any sense to me.

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This page contains a single entry by PvM published on October 2, 2005 9:24 PM.

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