Credible reactions to Kitzmiller

| 442 Comments

442 Comments

Daniel Dennett had a problem with Judge Jones saying: “…and that it in no way conflicts with, nor does it deny, the existence of a divine creator…”

Dennett, and me too, have a bit of a problem with 4 words in there: “in no way conflicts.” There are some conflicts caused by evolution that it seems Christians can only resolve by grasping at straws or by clinging to some inner experience they can’t share and then reading the Bible as a huge metaphor.

There are some conflicts when one gets down to specific religions, or specific interpretations. The only religion evolution doesn’t seem in conflict with is front loading Deism. But as Thomas Paine noted before evolution existed, in his book “The Age of Reason,” the Bible was in deep trouble before Darwin came along.

Norman, I can see no conflict between evolution and Christianity. Please point out to me why I would need to “grasp at straws” to accept both.

Stephen Elliott asked:

Please point out to me why I would need to “grasp at straws” to accept both.

Answer this question: What is original sin and what exactly is Jesus saving you from?

Norman, I do not believe in original sin. But to answer your question; some people believe original sin was Adam and Eve eating from the tree of knowledge. That is not a view that I accept.

As far as I can see, Jesus was an example of how to live and treat people and therefore a way of saving myself from my worst tendencies.

Christianity cannot really be ENDLESSLY plastic, can it? There must be, at some point, a shape that it just can’t be bent into. Do you people ever draw a line, anywhere, regarding what you believe? If you’re just going to follow scientific evidence anyway, what exactly is the point of your “revelation”? Your “faith”? Why not just be honest, admit that the revealed religions are obsolete in light of actual evidence, and give up this shabby pretense of believing something so bereft of any content as to be able to accommodate absolutely anything that comes down the pike.

Stephen Elliott said:

As far as I can see, Jesus was an example of how to live and treat people and therefore a way of saving myself from my worst tendencies.

An example? If you want examples of that there is better art to turn to. I don’t think going around walking on water and getting yourself killed are good examples for human beings.

Have you ever bothered to read the Bible you claim to believe in?

Have you ever bothered to read Thomas Paine’s “The Age of Reason”?

http://libertyonline.hypermall.com/[…]R-Frame.html

Stephen (whose patience and openmindedness have been well-displayed here, most recently on the Larry FarOut thread), I think that all that’s being said is that some specific factual claims of some specific subspecies of religion cannot easily be squared with the well-evidenced findings of science. Stated that way, it’s pretty hard to deny that science does call some specific religious claims into question.

Beyond that, we’re just back to the same old-same old. Some folks here see no reason to appeal to religion in order to make their way through reality in a satsifactory manner. Other folks here still find comfort, guidance, and the answers to deep non-scientific concerns in religion. And other folks here remain deeply religious, but see nothing contradictory between the specific claims made by their religion (usually not the highly-intolerant, literal, fundamentalist variety) and the reality-based methods and statements of science.

Norman, Yes I have read the “bible”, but have not read “age of reason”.

Are you claiming that science disproves God?

That is as invalid as the fundies claiming “the bible disproves science”.

IMO. Science and Religion are two completely different subjects. Just like comparing oranges and apples.

Science: Evidence based explanation of the universe we inhabit.

Religion: Personal view of everything.

Are you trying to claim that to believe and respect scientific findings I need to stop believing in God first?

How can Jesus be an example on how to live? his performance,(if he ever existed) was that of a con artist.Jesus gave wrong information,lied, called people unsavory names,orders killings and threatens to kill children.Gave bad advice about marriage income and future plans, then ended his life in suicidal death,some role model.

Posted by jonboy on December 27, 2005 05:03 PM (e) (s)

How can Jesus be an example on how to live? his performance,(if he ever existed) was that of a con artist.Jesus gave wrong information,lied, called people unsavory names,orders killings and threatens to kill children.Gave bad advice about marriage income and future plans, then ended his life in suicidal death,some role model.

Please give links or examples.

That is not the way I read it.

Science and religion are only “apples and oranges” if one doesn’t consider both to be “true.” The instance any religious proposition which runs counter to known scientific laws is believed to be factual, then the conflict between science and religion is very real.

Jesus was just a cool guy: no conflict.

Jesus was a god who rose from the dead: conflict.

Science doesn’t have to be able to disprove god before the conflict arises. It arises as soon as someone makes the claim that god is real and is operating in this Universe.

Personally, I agree with Dennett. Their are certain conceptions of “God” that are excluded if you accept evolution and more generally, science.

Science won’t accept a “god of the gaps,” because it is an instant show stopper: it precludes any further discussion and exploration without adding any substance to a subject. Any conception of god based on a literalist interpretation of revealed scriptures will also be in conflict with science. However this is a conflict more with empirical reality itself, rather than science and evolution.

Fortunately for the faithful, these are both very weak conceptions of god, and there are many more coherent and moderate ways of believing if you feel the need.

Stephen Elliott asked:

Are you claiming that science disproves God?

That depends on what you mean by “God.”

What I said was: “The only religion evolution doesn’t seem in conflict with is front loading Deism.” The Bible doesn’t seem to stand up in light of modern science (or even the logic and science of Thomas Paine’s days before Darwin). I think it was not the intention of the Bible’s writers to have their work be interpreted as a huge metaphor for Deism. I think the Bible writers were mostly taking themselves literally and were just dead wrong.

Religion: Personal view of everything.

Schizophrenics have a personal view of everything too – that doesn’t make them right.

Are you trying to claim that to believe and respect scientific findings I need to stop believing in God first?

It depends on what you mean by “God” and how you interpret the Bible. My guess is that your interpretation of the Bible doesn’t hold water when considering what its writers most probably meant.

Jesus might have been a good guy in some respects, if Revelation is not true. In Revalation he is a mass murderer far beyond Stalin or Mao.

Family values,try Matt 10:35/36,Luke 14:26 Luke 12:51/53 Peace on Earth,try Matt 10:34 Luke 22:36 Matt 5:17/18 There are hundreds of examples that they fail to teach in Sunday schools ,go to Dennis McKinseys Biblical Errancy webb site and take a open minded look for your self

Dawkins and Dennett are much like Bethell, equally stupid and prejudiced

Michael Roberts wrote:

Dawkins and Dennett are much like Bethell, equally stupid and prejudiced

Spoken like a true Christian.

If Judge Jones had truly been an activist judge, he would have addressed the following question:

Are religious people permitted to mandate the teaching of lies or gross misrepresentations about reality in public schools for the purpose of shielding their children from all consensus views of professional scientists and/or historians that conflict with their religious mythology?

Or do such actions lead to the excessive entanglement of government and religion?

From my perspective the answer to the two questions is NO and YES, respectively. One has only to consider the results of holdings to the contrary, where public schools and the students who attend them are beholden to the bizarre theories – racist, misogynist, anti-gay or just plain wacko – of whatever “religious” cult happens to set up camp nearby.

What is so remarkable about Judge Jones’ opinion is that he recognized that the “intelligent design” and “teach the contoversy” sham is a Christian invention. The hypocricy of the self-identifying “religious” people on the school board in Dover was breathtaking, as is the hypocricy of the allegedly “religious” people employed by the Discovery Institute.

Judge Jones also recognized what is patently obvious to most of us who have been paying attention to this garbage for years and that is there is no credible “scientific” purpose to the sham. The only way to make sense of the evidence is to simply accept documents like the Wedge document and the statements of Phil Johnson and Howard Ahmonsen for the truth of what is plainly written on them: Jesus is Lord is the One True God and until that fact is broadcast continually by all channels the fight must go on.

Politically the only groups that are likely to have a profound effect on reducing toxic fanatical fundamentalist religious garbage are non-fanatical non-fundamentalist religious groups who recognize the disgusting way that the fundamentalists trivialize personal spiritual beliefs by using their religion as a blunt weapon to attack scientists, gays, divorcees, women, recreational drug users, blacks on welfare, rock musicians, sexually active people who use birth control, Muslims, Buddhists, atheists, Jews, and every other group they find some political advantage in castigating.

Norman, I still see no links to prove or dissprove God.

I am not claiming that my religious beliefs are scientific. Do you seriously believe that ANY religious opinion can be proven or disproven by the scientific method?

I do not particularly want to have an argument here.

I think that the scientific method is the best way to find out how things work. I consider evolution to be the best description of how complex life came to exist on this planet.

Why do you object to my belief in God?

Jonboy, (after looking at the verses you quoted)you sound like a creationist quote miner (obviously for the other side, but same technique).

Stephen Elliott asked:

Do you seriously believe that ANY religious opinion can be proven or disproven by the scientific method?

Yes, if you’re a rational person who arrives at “beliefs” through consideration of the evidence. For example, the church had a problem with Galileo because of a “religious opinion” about Earth being the center of the universe. Most people today consider their opinion wrong and we can thank scientific proof for that.

As far as I can tell, the Bible writers thought the Earth was flat and the center of the universe.

What wonderful 18th century sounding arguments! We must be about due for another religious war on the forum.

Greg Peterson commented “Christianity cannot really be ENDLESSLY plastic, can it?”, sounding suspiciously like an echo of the bible literalists’ complaints about the ToE.

It’s pretty plastic, if you consider all the different versions over the years.

Stephen asked

I am not claiming that my religious beliefs are scientific. Do you seriously believe that ANY religious opinion can be proven or disproven by the scientific method?

Fact claims made by religionists – claims about the physical material world – are testable by scientific means and can be shown to be false. Trivial cases in point: the age of the earth and common descent. Religious beliefs that entail the false claims of fact that the earth is less than, say, 50,000 years old and that all the “kinds” (whatever they are) were independently created de novo, are in serious trouble. And to the extent that a religious belief either entails with necessity or depends upon the truth of those fact claims, that religious belief is in deep trouble.

RBH

I still see no links to prove or dissprove God.

Quite right. Since neither Norman nor I are asserting the existence of a supernatural superman, though, it is not our obligation to provide them.

Stephen Elliott asked:

Why do you object to my belief in God?

It’s not so much that I “object,” I’m just calling things as I see them and what I see in your belief is an irrationality that goes beyond any god of the gaps to an active re-interpretation of the Bible beyond what evidence says its writers intended.

Deism might be “arational,” something arrived at beyond what evidence says, but Christianity is irrational and actively distorts the evidence.

Posted by Norman Doering on December 27, 2005 06:12 PM (e) (s)

Stephen Elliott asked:

Do you seriously believe that ANY religious opinion can be proven or disproved by the scientific method?

Yes, if you’re a rational person who arrives at “beliefs” through consideration of the evidence. For example, the church had a problem with Galileo because of a “religious opinion” about Earth being the center of the universe. Most people today consider their opinion wrong and we can thank scientific proof for that.

As far as I can tell, the Bible writers thought the Earth was flat and the center of the universe.

But that church opinion was irrational. The church leaders fundamentalist.

I am neither (I hope).

As far as I see the church was wrong, but it was opinionating about nothing that was to do with Christs teaching.

Gav wrote:

It’s pretty plastic, if you consider all the different versions over the years.

So is schizophrenia if you consider all the different things schizophrenics have believed over the years.

I have no objection to a hope in a god or an afterlife or whatever. I just geta little miffed when people walk around acting as if any of the above were true. As soon as someone assigns the god hypothesis a value of “true,” I want evidence or I want the claim retracted.

I also wish people had higher standards of evidence for their own beliefs, but gullibility is an individual’s right I suppose.

Stephen Elliott wrote:

But that church opinion was irrational. The church leaders fundamentalist.

I am neither (I hope).

As far as I see the church was wrong, but it was opinionating about nothing that was to do with Christs teaching.

Yes, the church was wrong and so are you wrong in the way you are interpreting the Bible. It’s not just “Christ’s” teachings (which to me seem to be about heaven and hell and saving people from “sin” something you won’t really be judged for). It’s the old testament too. Christ’s teachings have no credibility in light of evidence.

The problem isn’t so much that people shouldn’t be allowed to believe as they choose, but that the religious seem to believe that their personal belief in a meddling sky fairy privileges them to opine on science, law, medicine, philosophy, education, carpentry, mudwrestling, or whatever other occupation flits past their eyeballs. It doesn’t.

If someone were to say, “My passion for philately informs my belief in evolution,” we’d laugh the pompous twit out of the room. Unfortunately, if someone says, “My deep abiding faith in Jesus has led me to my conclusions about evolution,” he gets a spot as a talking head on CNN.

Dudes, are we gonna have ANOTHER pointless religious war?

Didn’t we learn anything from the LAST one?

Shoot people who are NOT on our side. Shooting people who ARE on our side is … well . . kinda stupid.

if it wasn’t so clear that Lenny Flank thinks we’re scum.

(sigh) If you say so, PZ.

I’m gratified to see that fundies aren’t the only ones with a massive martyr complex.

Telling me that this is a nation of pig-ignorant putzes is another admission of failure, but don’t pin it on me. You’re the one advocating that we just keep on doing as we have been, fighting the symptoms of the problem in the courts and not at the root. My strategy hasn’t been tried, just yours. This is a country where the godless have been equated with communists for the past century–and attitudes like yours perpetuate the bias by treating “atheist” as a dirty word.

Take a look at Europe. There we have a thoroughly secular society, where religion is tolerated, but only held by a waning minority…and they look at our continual struggles with these dingbat creationists like we’re crazy. That’s the direction we should be taking.

Your assumption that atheists are planning to convert every Christian at gunpoint doesn’t help. It’s your failed assumptions, that an admirable minority should be disparaged because they are not the majority (no matter how wrong the majority’s opinions might be), that blocks progress.

Telling me that this is a nation of pig-ignorant putzes is another admission of failure, but don’t pin it on me. You’re the one advocating that we just keep on doing as we have been, fighting the symptoms of the problem in the courts and not at the root. My strategy hasn’t been tried, just yours.

So we’d be a better nation if the 15% of the country who are atheists were running things, and if all the rest of us thought the same way you do (whether we like it or not), huh PZ.

How very democratic of you.

When I hear people talking like that, I reach for my gun.

This is a country where the godless have been equated with communists for the past century—and attitudes like yours perpetuate the bias by treating “atheist” as a dirty word.

Let me repeat this for you again, PZ, and I’ll say it veeeeerrrryyyy sssslllooowwwwllllyyyy this time:

I do not assert the existence of any god, gods or goddesses.

None of them exist.

They were all, every one, without exception, invented by humans.

There are no holy texts. They were all, every one of them, without exception, written by humans.

Is that clear enough for you, or will I need to repeat it again in the near future.

(sigh)

BTW, PZ, I am a “commie”. I have an FBI file. So don’t whine to me about how repressed you are.

Lenny, you seem to be arguing (I’m not sure, this thread is 67,000 words long) that atheists like PZ should not try to promote their beliefs. Is this correct?

This is a country where the godless have been equated with communists for the past century—and attitudes like yours perpetuate the bias by treating “atheist” as a dirty word.

PZ, we are here fighting to keep IDers out of science classrooms. That fight isn’t about “atheism” or what people think of atheists.

Although I do recognize that you would like to turn it INTO one – just like the Maoists would have liked to turn my environmental fights into “smash the fascist state” ones.

That’s the thing about ideologues — they view EVERYTHING as, well, as an ideologue. (shrug)

Um, we won, PZ. Dover.

We won a court case. That’s good. There will be more. Do you plan on just hoping we don’t lose one, ever? Let the public stew in ignorance and keep electing pols who will eventually appoint enough fundies to the bench, and then we’ll be sitting here with a legal precedent against us and public opinion against us? This is not a wise strategy.

So your aim is to, uh, use science to stamp out religion

And your aim is to continually misrepresent other people’s opinions? No, I’m not planning to stamp out religion. What I’d like to see is that people purportedly on my side stop poisoning people’s minds against freethought, and stop giving bad ideas a free ride because they bear the label of “religion”. I think reason can win in the long run and that religion can wither away to a neglected hobby if the alternatives are given free rein…by choice. No stamping necessary. Although it is useful for reactionaries to claim we’re out to do some stamping.

Um, then why, again, do you keep attacking people for their religious affiliations

This is another reactionary tool. Criticize a bogus idea, and the maintainers of the failed status quo come swarming out to make accusations of “attacks”.

If you look through the first few posts on this thread, you’ll see that the only “personal attacks” were on the status of Jesus as a moral exemplar. This was apparently enough to convince people that they were being attacked. Like I said before, what you are supporting are attempts to remove criticism of religion from the table because it alienates your preferred majority…and now to support that, you are reduced to implying that atheists are going to seek out individuals and beat ‘em up for their Christianity. As an “organizer”, I guess demagoguery is one of your favorite tools, huh?

PZ, RU, Norman, et al;

For all of your talk about supporting “Free Thought” ™ (Patent Pending) and being “marginalized”, you sure are doing a good imitation of those that you dislike.

To perhaps provide an opposite perspective, let’s turn this argument around.

Stalin was an atheist. He was a terrible person that killed, tortured, and otherwise abused millions of people. Therefore, anybody that believes in atheism must support what Stalin did. Furthermore atheists must not believe in capitalism, since Stalin was a Communist.

Do you see any logical fallacies in my statements? Can you use this analogy to find any similar fallacies in your own position?

You have found many “data points” that support your “belief” that Christianity and science are in conflict. However, as many have pointed out, this is what many fundamentalist Christians do. They never go out and try to find information contrary to their position and if they stumble upon some, they ignore it.

I have no problems with your “beliefs”. I deal with people of many faiths all the time (Pagan, Atheist, Hindu, Muslim, & Christian are the most common) and I RESPECT their faith (and do not criticize the practitioners for their faith). They obviously see something of value in it. When I deal with them and the time is appropriate I ask them questions about it so I can understand it better. This respect for different beliefs is what you lack.

Lenny: don’t bullshxt us.

The goal is not to have a minority of atheist elites leading the country.

The goal is to decrease the number of people who hold silly religious beliefs.

We discussed this above and you seemed to agree except you thought it an impossible goal.

The problem, as PZ points out, is that in some parts of the world the goal appears to have been achieved without resorting to fascism.

All you really need to do is keep explaining to religious people why their religious beliefs are silly and unnecessary and, indirectly, promote fundamentalism.

It’s no surprise that religious people HATE hearing people criticize their beliefs and tend to run for the cover of some “right to be free of criticism of my religious beliefs.”

But they are going to have to get used to it.

And so are you, Lenny, for the reasons I set forth upthread.

So we’d be a better nation if the 15% of the country who are atheists were running things, and if all the rest of us thought the same way you do (whether we like it or not), huh PZ.

How very democratic of you.

When I hear people talking like that, I reach for my gun.

Are you, possibly, insane?

Where, in all of this long thread, have I ever advocated anything even close to that? Again, though, you demonstrate exactly what I have been saying: that you are attempting to demonize the people who disagree with you, imposing absolutely ludicrous interpretations of their words on them in order to pander to your frequently cited theistic majority.

And now you’re talking about reaching for a gun? Get help. But please, at least, stop trying to defend evolution – you’re not the kind of lunatic I want on my side.

jim

Do you see any logical fallacies in my statements? Can you use this analogy to find any similar fallacies in your own position?

Let me just say two words, jim: “Holy Bible.”

The issue is not whether anyone cares that some philosopher named Jesus walked around and said “Be nice to your neighbor.”

Understand?

It’s all the other crap.

Individual theists and theists are equally capable of insanity.

It’s inarguable, however, that theists are more susceptible to mass delusion.

Deal with it.

should be individual “atheists and theists” in my last post … sorry.

PZ,

On the education front, I haven’t studied it in detail so I can only offer guesses.

I think the actual results of any poll depend very heavily upon how the questions are worded. Even slight variations in the question might significantly alter the results. So before we decide there’s been no progress in the last 40 years, let’s decide how to best word the questions.

Furthermore, I think a very significant problem is the lack of understanding of what modern biology really says. When I was first introduced to it (I don’t even remember the grade), it made so much sense that I mentally said something like “of course, how could it be otherwise”.

I wouldn’t be surprised if a significant (but minority) percentage of people think that “evolution” means dogs turning into cats. I think the level of science education (as well as most other subjects) in this country is atrocious.

So introduce the concepts at a much younger age. For instance my 4th grader knows (and can explain) the basics already and I’ve explained it to my 1rst grader (though I’m not certain how well she understands it.

At one point we home schooled our kids (not for religious reasons, actually because of educational and social reasons). During that time, I explained several relatively advanced science and mathematical concepts 2-10 years before they’re normally introduced (set theory, evolution, etc.). My kids were able to grasp some level of these subjects quite well. When they encounter these topics in school, they find them very “easy” and often provide informal tutoring to their friends. I think that many topics (especially those that make intuitive sense) can similarly be introduced much earlier in school than they are.

Lenny, you seem to be arguing (I’m not sure, this thread is 67,000 words long) that atheists like PZ should not try to promote their beliefs. Is this correct?

No, that is not correct. It is not even close.

What I have been arguing hasn’t changed from the very beginning. It’s very simple, and I’m happy to state it again:

This fight is about defending the science of evolution and preventing IDers from forcing their way into science classrooms.

To do that, we need allies.

Theistic anti-IDers are allies. They want to defend evolution and to prevent IDers from forcing their way into science classrooms.

That makes them “on our side”.

Treating them as if they were NOT “on our side” or as “enemies” is stupid.

Attacking them over things that haven’t a blooming thing to do with either defending science or preventing IDers from forcing their way into our classrooms (such as, say “I think your religion is silly”), is not only irrelevant, it doesn’t help us. It DOES hurt us.

If atheists want to declare their atheism to the entire world, I couldn’t care less. But when they attack theistic anti-IDers simply because they are not atheists (as happened to Mr Elliott), then they are allowing their own personal agendas to interfere with the anti-ID fight.

I have asked, repeatedly, for someone to explain to me what good we accomplish by driving away anti-IDers who happen to be theists. What benefits do we gain from it. How does attacking people on our own side, help us. I haven’t gotten any answer yet.

If the atheists and theists would like to have their very own holy war over the matter, they are entirely welcome to do so. But the ID fight, is not that fight. And that fight doesn’t belong here.

I am not “anti-atheist”. As I have pointed out time again and again and again and again, I myself do not accept or assert the existence of any god, gods or goddesses.

My point is that this is simply not the place to fight that fight. If the anti-ID theists were to begin attacking PZ or anyone else simply because they don’t like his religious opinions, I would treat them exactly the same way as I am treating PZ. And for precisely the same reasons.

This respect for different beliefs is what you lack.

EXACTLY! Very good, you’re almost there.

I tolerate other beliefs. I think it is perfectly reasonable for people to believe in Christianity, Islam, Asatru, whatever sky fairy they like. I’m not going to say Christians should be put in cages or not allowed to go to school or should be spat upon when they go out in public. I’m not even saying that only non-theists should hold public office, as a certain recent remarkably idiotic distortion asserted.

But I will not respect silly ideas.

Why should I? I reserve respect for ideas that have earned it.

This is a central problem right now, that many people believe that the only way to show toleration for certain ideas is to absolve them of all criticism – they want their religion up on a pedestal, and they want to be able to throw stones at people who dare to point out that it looks mighty damned ridiculous. They confuse the words “respect” and “tolerate”. That atheists are very good at tolerating religion (we get lots of practice) doesn’t matter – their disbelief is an intrinsic expression of disrespect.

I think theists also need lots of practice at getting along with atheists. Get used to some of us getting in your face – it’s the only way you’re ever going to learn.

The goal is to decrease the number of people who hold silly religious beliefs.

Well, good luck with that. (shrug)

My goal is to prevent the theocrats from taking over. Sepcifically, my goal is to prevent them from using the power of the state to push their religious opinions onto the rest of us by lying to us and claiming those religious opinions are really “science”.

“Atheism” has nothing to do with that fight, nor does “decreasing the number of people who hold silly religious beliefs”.

You are of course entirely free to fight your fight if you like. Have at it, and enjoy yourself.

But if your fight starts getting in the way of my fight, I will get in your face very very quickly about it.

It was interesting to hear all about the atheist agenda and how y’all plan to implement it. Good luck with that.

Alas, though, this blog isn’t here for that. It’s here to defend science against the IDers. So please don’t attempt to impose your own agenda onto the rest of us. Let’s just stick with defending science against the IDers.

RU,

I agree about the insanity bit and in fact that was my point. Religion has no monopoly on it.

I think your “inarguable” thing is wrong. After all we *are* arguing about it aren’t we?

I could even stipulate to much of your, PZ’s, and Norman’s arguments.

Do *some* religions make it easier to delude or brainwash people? Certainly. Does the Bible contain *some* terrible stories? Certainly. Is belief in a religion (at least partially) irrationally? Certainly. Are *some* religions repressive? Certainly

However, a few of them I disagree with. For instance: Are *all* religions repressive? No. Do some terrible stories make the Bible a “bad” book? No. Should the misbehavior of some religions/religious people condemn the rest? No.

Selecting certain (terrible) stories in the Bible and using them to condemn all of Christianity, would be like saying “because the US imprisioned Japanese American’s during WWII, all living US citizens are evil.”

I don’t think you’d make such logical errors if you were submitting a paper to a journal.

Well, good luck with that. (shrug)

Yeah, Lenny, I know: I’ll need it.

“Atheism” has nothing to do with that fight, nor does “decreasing the number of people who hold silly religious beliefs”.

Total bullshxt, Lenny.

But if your fight starts getting in the way of my fight, I will get in your face very very quickly about it.

If Carol Clouser can survive the onslaught, I think I can, too. ;)

For the record, Lenny, I appreciate your insights and read pretty much everything you post here.

Same with PZ.

This thread has been useful. Sort of a Panda’s Thumb “Festivus” celebration with the Airing of Grievances.

I think the next step is for Tim Sandefur to wrestle Nick Matske to the ground, or something like that.

I will get in your face very very quickly about it.

Yeah. With your gun.

That looks like a good place to end this over-long thread. If anyone wants to continue to get in my face about it, there is an open thread on Pharyngula.

PZ Myers Wrote:

But I will not respect silly ideas.

And you know that their ideas are silly because you’ve studied and practiced each of these religions for decades so that you know all of their intricacies?

You’ve also read the minds of all of those people that don’t ascribe to any particular religion so that you know precisely what they think?

You are an astounding person to have mastered the knowledge of every religion currently in existence plus all of the personal private beliefs in one lifetime.

I submit that you BELIEVE that these ideas are silly.

Oh wait, isn’t this what you are condemning the religious folks of?

Don’t get me wrong, you’re welcome to believe as you wish, just make sure you acknowledge it for what it is.

This is a book-length thread, but here’s the latest as I understand it:

Lenny says theism and ID aren’t linked, so atheists should not promote atheism in the same place they fight ID, since it would alienate some allies. PZ says theism and ID are linked, and that fighting theism is integral to the fight against ID.

I have to side with PZ on this. It’s a much bigger and harder fight, but that’s life.

I think essays about this central question would make some excellent PT posts.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by PZ Myers published on December 27, 2005 3:08 PM.

Alschuler’s confusions was the previous entry in this blog.

Analysis of Utah Anti-Evolution Bill is the next entry in this blog.

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