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Letter to an Atheist by Michael Patrick Leahy
Posted: 12 April 2007 08:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]  
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waltercat,

Again, nicely argued.

One point of clarification, though.

Many of the atheists responding here seem to think that I am trying to disprove atheism.

I am not.

I am simply defending myself from a myriad of intellectually dishonest attacks that Sam Harris and others make upon my Christian faith.

It’s trite but it’s true : some of my best friends are atheists !

The point is, honest dialogue on matters of faith—or atheism—matters a great deal.

Slopply, careless, and dishonest dialogue is harmful.

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Posted: 12 April 2007 08:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]  
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Mr. Leahy:

Your recent posts finally raise a few questions worth pondering.

How do you view the Christians who ardently believe the world is less than 10,000 years old?

Or how about the Christians who truly believe that certain traditions, such as long hair, long skirts, etc. are required to worship correctly?

Do you believe you belong to the only organized religion officially sanctioned by god?  You have stated you are an evangelical, but we all know you define your beliefs much more narrowly than that.

Also, to what weight do you give to the arguments presented by Bart Ehrman in his analysis of the faulty assumptions made by most Christians about their own Bible?

And last but not least, how do you see yourself as the person who should be arguing on behalf of “Christians” rather than one of your own clergy?  I don’t know your personal credentials, as they are auspiciously absent from your website.

By the way, I am an agnostic, so my problem is more with your reliance on your version of organized religions, while refusing to seperate yourself from the Christians you disagree with.  It appears this is being done so as not to perturb potential readers, instead of intellectual honesty. 

However, I should also state my belief or disbelief in god is not even remotely the most important belief in my repertoire.

Michael Beach

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Posted: 12 April 2007 08:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]  
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Since you are the one giving a dishonest portrayal of Sam Harris, Mr. Leahy, you should heed your own words.

NOWHERE* have you conclusively shown that Sam Harris is lying, or deliberately misleading, his readers.

What you have shown, is that some of the source material Mr. Harris RELIED upon (relied, not lied) is spurious, and in some cases, incorrect.

You deserve credit for pointing this out, thank you!

What is NOT to your credit is to shift the blame onto Mr. Harris and say he is dishonest because he hasn’t studied French gynecological practice in detail!

What you are doing here is, quite simply, to twist the truth to suit your own agenda.
That is, you are the dishonest one here.


*Caveat: That I have seen.

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Posted: 12 April 2007 08:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]  
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Mr. Beach,

Thanks for posing your questions.

Here are my responses:

How do you view the Christians who ardently believe the world is less than 10,000 years old?

Nice people, fellow believers who mistakenly and incorrectly apply theology to science.

Or how about the Christians who truly believe that certain traditions, such as long hair, long skirts, etc. are required to worship correctly?

I think they miss the point entirely.

Do you believe you belong to the only organized religion officially sanctioned by god? You have stated you are an evangelical, but we all know you define your beliefs much more narrowly than that.

I don’t think God sanctions any one organized religion. I think God has revealed through the life and words of Jesus Christ how he wants us to conduct our lives. I think individuals may live their lives in ways that are consistent with God’s will in many ways, as part of, or not part of specific organized denominations or religions. Utlimately, it’s really about a personal relationship between you and the unseen God.

Also, to what weight do you give to the arguments presented by Bart Ehrman in his analysis of the faulty assumptions made by most Christians about their own Bible?

I confess I am not familiar with Mr. Ehrman. I will read up on him and report my thoughts back to you.

And last but not least, how do you see yourself as the person who should be arguing on behalf of “Christians” rather than one of your own clergy? I don’t know your personal credentials, as they are auspiciously absent from your website.

I guess I am arguing on behalf of one Christian. It is the United States of America, after all, and I have that right and I am glad to have the opportunity to exercise it.

As to my credentials, I am a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard, have an MBA from Stanford, was an adjunct professor of management at Vanderbilt University for six years, and have worked for many years as a marketer of software.

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Posted: 12 April 2007 08:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]  
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Mr. Leahy:

Very good response, especially to the reasons for writing this book. 

I have no major problem with any of your statements EXCEPT your reliance on Jesus as supernatural.  How do you view Jesus? 

If Jesus was just a man, how would it affect your perception of your particular faith? 

Are you arguing that only through the blood of Christ we have salvation, or are you arguing the broader principle that we must all strive to be Christ-like?  I hope you recognize the difference between these two distinctions.  One is attainable hypothetically without ever reading the Bible, while the other is not.  Or is this a non-issue for you?

Just to show I am not attempting to throw rocks without exposing myself, I will state that Jesus may well be one of the highly influential men of all time.  I would rank him with Ghandi, Muhammed, and every other man who happened to understand the way the world worked on a deeper level than most people.  However, apart from the specific books included in your Bible, I cannot make the leap of faith to assume Jesus had any more god inside him than you or I.  In fact, I do not believe Jesus even intended for his followers to assume he was divine in nature.

What say ye?

Michael Beach

(I also realize that this has nothing to do with your spat with Sam.  As I hope you realize, Sam is not anyone’s leader, but he is also a fellow American who has a view.  I’ll grant you the benefit of the doubt that you did not assume that Sam’s book is somehow being used by atheists as a war cry.  There were several parts of Sam’s book that I thought just plain wrong, however I am able to seperate the parts of the book I agree with from the parts I don’t.  I don’t rely on any other person’s word as bond when I am examining my beliefs, a sentiment I’m sure you agree with.)

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Posted: 12 April 2007 09:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]  
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Mr. Beach,

You pose another great question.

It is THE question after all, isn’t it ?

Was Jesus just a great philosopher or was he truly the son of God, the second element of the Divine Trinity.

And here is where belief comes in.

I believe Jesus was the son of God. I can’t prove it scientifically, but I believe it, and there are many logical elements that lead me to that belief, but there is an element of belief that is not provable.

Based on that belief, and based on the words of Jesus, I think I have a pretty good idea of what God expects of me. What my obligations are in this world. I am not saying by any means that I personally always am able to fulfill those obligations, but I know them, and try, fail at times, and try again.

So for me, I absolutely and completely believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ.

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Posted: 12 April 2007 09:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]  
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Mr. Leahy:

Thank you for your thoughtful and detailed reply.  I had assumed by virtue of your critique of Mr. Harris’ use of polling statistics that you were either a Christian, or perhaps a rabble-rousing Contrarian like myself, a person who enjoys poking holes in the arguments of others.  So I’m not surprised to learn you are an Evangelical Christian (though on some level am disappointed to have not found in you my long lost brother in mischief – although I will give you the benefit of the doubt on this one since it does appear you enjoy intellectual combat – so perhaps we’re not so different after all). 

You also correctly predicted that I am an atheist.  I enjoy intellectual sparring as a recreational pastime (one of my several careers has been as a trial lawyer, so perhaps this makes sense).  But to be clear, I am not exactly open-minded to being convinced of the existence of any god, let alone the Judeo-Christian God.  I will, however, show you the same courtesy you showed me, and while I do passionately disagree with your views, I will not ridicule them per se.  I may try to poke holes in your logic, but I see no need to lower the level of discourse to the exchange of insults (and I trust that both of us could trade barbs with the best of them, so I prefer to call it a draw with regard to that contest at the outset – that and I prefer to save my insults for those who insult me first – something about casting stones comes to mind, but again, I digress).  My beliefs are roughly as follows:

I view the likelihood of God’s existence to be so low as to fairly approach nil.  Without venturing too deep into the weeds here, I share most of the views found in Victor J. Stenger’s new book, “God:  The Failed Hypothesis – How Science Shows God Does Not Exist”.  Summarizing the book would be a disservice to Mr. Stenger, in part because he expresses himself better than I, and in part because as a non-scientist, I lack the background to do justice to his scientific analysis (though I do find it to be imminently persuasive).  In any event, I believe that given the evidence available contradicting many of the factual and/or historical claims asserted in the Bible, (as well as the lack of evidence in support of a deity of any sort), the extraordinary claim of a supernatural being as described in both Testaments of the Bible is so unlikely that a reasonable person has little choice but to conclude that he doesn’t exist.  Or at the very least, no rational person should live his or her life based on the assumption that God exists, until and unless reasonable, reliable evidence to the contrary is produced.  I rather doubt this will happen, and this is what I mean when I say I’m not very open-minded about the subject.  While I will not go so far as to say I know God doesn’t exist (indeed, the non-existence of God is unprovable, so such a statement would itself be unreasonable), based on the history of civilization (including the circumstances surrounding the authoring of the various books of the Bible), based on the number of Gods who have been worshipped and later discarded (or that continue to be worshipped to this day – all of which seeming to claim to be the only correct God), based on the evolution of the teachings of Christianity (and on the not insignificant atrocities that have been committed in its name, e.g., the Inquisition), and based on my limited experience and perception of the world in which we live – based on all this, it simply seems utterly absurd to believe that God does in fact exist.  And if he did, we would have to make some adjustments to the common view that he is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent, such that we would be talking about a very different God than the one discussed in the Bible.  Indeed, there seems to me to be so many logically irreconcilable notions about God, that disbelief is all that makes sense.

Pursuing this train of thought a little further—chief among these numerous irreconcilable notions of God (in my view) is the biblical description of a God who is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent.  These three attributes simply cannot be reconciled with the world around us.  If God is omniscient and omnipotent, then a simple look at the cruelty, violence, and unnecessary suffering ubiquitous to our world, leads one to the inevitable conclusion that such a God cannot be omnibenevolent.  If he is all-knowing, and all-powerful, then with the flick of his wand he could eliminate all of this violence and suffering (or surely limit it to those who deserve such suffering).  Yet he does not.  Indeed, the Bible is riddled with descriptions of this God as anything but omnibenevolent (if you want me to cite scripture to support these assertions I can do so, but lacking a specific request, I will assume that as a Bible-reading and obviously intelligent person you can think of several such instances off the top of your head).  He is further described as jealous and vindictive (see, e.g., The Ten Commandments).  Yet we humans intuitively reject such jealousy and vindictiveness as unworthy and destructive.  How can a perfect God display characteristics that we intuitively reject?  I can carry this line of argument further by supposing that God is not fully omniscient, omnipotent, or omnibenevolent.  If this is indeed so, then the God we are discussing is not the God described in the Bible.  And I ask you (purely rhetorically):  what use has humanity for a God that is not omnipotent?  Or omniscient?  Or omnibenevolent?  If he is not omnipotent, then why would we continue to adhere to the belief that he created everything and takes an interest in human lives?  If he is not omniscient, again, how could he have created everything (and indeed, how could he be fairly described as perfect)?  If he is not omnibenevolent, what then is he?  If he is the angry, destructive, jealous, vindictive, and capricious God that is so often described in the Bible, in what way is he GOOD?  A more proper name for such a God (to borrow from the Bible) would be Satan.  In any event, I cannot reconcile my understanding of the biblical description of God, with the reality of the world we live in.  If God possessed all three of the characteristics so commonly associated with him, I would expect the world to appear very different from the one I see when I leave my home, or turn on the news, or read the newspaper, (or when I travel to faraway places and see first-hand the execrable and violent conditions that so many people live in).  In summary, I simply cannot accept the notion of a God as thus described.  And if he lacks any of these important characteristics, then he is no longer the God of the Bible (which would then be presumably wrong), and I see no reason whatsoever to worship – or even admire – a God like this.

This is merely one of the contradictions I find fatal to Christian dogma.  There are many, many more, but this is already becoming a rather long posting.  Although I will mention another favorite of mine, which is that God is often presumed by the religiously inclined because “existence exists, and therefore something (namely God) must have existed to create existence”.  This argument is logically bankrupt for a number of reasons.  For example, if one adheres to the Essential Causality argument for God, then a skeptic such as myself may fairly ask, “ok then, God created existence . . . but if, as you argue everything must have a cause or a creator, who or what created (or caused) God?”  I personally suspect that the Essential Causality argument is a purely human and essentially meaningless construct.  What I mean by this is that we, as humans, perceive a beginning and an end, (and thus causality) with regard to everything around us, starting first with our own lives.  This can also be carried forward with thousands of other examples (e.g., the finite lifespan of a plant, an animal, or a physically constructed object).  Everywhere we look we see beginnings, ends, and a causal relationship between these.  Phrased another way, we see the finite everywhere we look.  Indeed, mathematics (and I believe physics as well) is the only area where the infinite is conceived possible, and even then we find it incomprehensible to grasp the infinite – we simply cannot wrap our minds around the concept of infinity.  Thus, instead of allowing for the theoretical possibility that existence has always existed (or is infinite), we seek beginnings or causes in everything.  It is difficult for us to conceive that the universe may always have existed – may never have begun, and may never end (in some form or another).  Theoretical mathematics and physics allows for this possibility, but because our daily life shows us nothing but objects and living things that exist for a finite period of time, we are hard-wired to presume that this must also be so for the universe and for existence.  I too have difficulty grasping the implications of infinity, but I see no reason to resort to a supernatural hypothesis to explain the enormity and complexity of the world and all that is in it.  Indeed, I find it deeply illogical to invoke the notion of God to explain this.  There have been innumerable subjects in history that were once a mystery or otherwise inexplicable to us.  And in most such cases, the lack of knowledge was explained by invoking a god.  As humanity developed a body of knowledge using scientific principles, these areas of ignorance have shrunk.  One by one, these unexplained phenomena have been explained by science, so that a supernatural influence was no longer needed to fully describe the mechanisms at work.  I hope I don’t need to offer examples on this point, as I trust you can readily think of plenty without my help.   

I’ve done my own mental calculations, and believe the most sensible way to live my life is based on my own conceptions of morality (and I do believe most notions of morality are largely universal - at least to an educated society - in spite of all the violence around us), and that I don’t need to insert an imaginary God into my life to give it structure, meaning, or morality.  I’ve known right from wrong since early childhood.  And though I was raised by church-going parents, my earliest memories include a complete bafflement and lack of belief that any God such as the one described in the Bible ever existed.  Like you said, it’s a matter of personal belief, and I have never been able to suspend logical thought long enough to convince myself to believe that the God spoken of in my church might actually exist.  Even as a child I recognized the contradiction inherent in a supposedly omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent God juxtaposed against all of the suffering I saw around me.  The standard explanatory refrain that God allows such suffering for the purpose of testing our faith, or to provide us opportunities to display righteous behavior – or the fall-back line that “God’s ways are mysterious and we should not question his motives, which are surely just” – all of these struck me as utterly credulous, even as a child, and even before I knew what the word credulous meant.

The world I’ve lived and traveled in since that time has done nothing but reinforce these beliefs.  Humanity as a whole is irrational, tribal, violent, self-centered, and hypocritical.  And while I wish I could say otherwise, I don’t see it improving.  In fact, I’m rather pessimistic about the humanity’s future.  It seems that our violent, irrational, tribal behavior – coupled with increasingly destructive weapons – will inevitably spell the end for mankind.  One way or another we seem determined to destroy ourselves.  While I strongly suspect this is irreversible, if this trend is to be slowed or reversed, as a minimum prerequisite, I believe the human mind will necessarily have to evolve or develop to the level where we abandon superstition and irrational beliefs wholesale.  And this means that, in my view, for humanity to have any hope of a future, religion must go.  I do not advocate eliminating religion by violent means (though it may take care of that itself), but I do firmly believe that unbending, irreconcilable and irrational beliefs (i.e. competing religions) must go the way of the dodo – or else we will instead.

I’d much, much rather believe in God.  Who wouldn’t prefer the comfortable belief in a happy future, and a happier afterlife?  Alas, I simply can’t convince myself of any rational basis to believe in a supernatural deity.  Thus is the pessimistic and depressing outlook of a confirmed atheist.

Wow – now I’ve really depressed myself.  Thanks a lot Mr. Leahy.  I look forward to your response.

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Posted: 12 April 2007 09:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]  
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Mr. Leahy, you have based your entire argument in this thread on Sam Harris’s reading (“Half of the American population believes that the universe is 6,000 years old”, versus the the Gallup question of asking about how man was created) of a Gallup poll.  Had Sam cited the Gallup poll exactly as you have in your blog then you would need to bring your point to Gallup itself, not Sam.

I’ve also noticed you are prone to making incendiary comments (liar, dishonest, militant atheist, evangelical atheist) and absolutes while at the same time accusing other members of the same and using it as a basis to discredit their posts.  It would behoove you to take the higher road and avoid making or responding to such if you wish to be taken seriously.

Thanks for posting your Christian beliefs and background, it helps to understand the angle from which you are arguing.  My question to you is, did you arrive at your conclusion of Christianity through a reasoned approach that all evidence for it outweighs the evidence against it, or did you already believe in Jesus and are using and searching for evidence to support your pre-existing conviction?  I went to a Catholic high school and university and while in high school concluded I don’t believe the Bible is true.  I didn’t search for evidence against it, but instead found very little evidence for it.  I believe my finding to be intellectually honest, and Sam Harris is asking his readers to do the same.

Also, I hope you are aware that as an atheist I don’t believe any religion that asks me to accept a divinty.  Christianity is just easier to argue against since I’m more familiar with it, but the arguments are just as effective against the Greek gods, Hinduism, Islam, etc., so don’t take it as an attack on only Christianity.  You are welcome to use atheistic arguments to attack other religions, but beware of having the arguments backfire onto Christianity.

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Posted: 12 April 2007 09:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]  
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Skipshot,

An excellent reply and one well worth a detailed response.

Let’s talk about the use of incendiary language first.

To be precise, I don’t think I use the term “liar” (if I do it was not intentional) though I imagine it is rather a fine point to accuse Sam Harris of telling a Big Lie without using the term “liar” to describe him.

I do use the other terms you object to, such as “intellectually dishonest”, “militant atheist”, and “atheistic evangelist” and I think I use them properly. Hear me out on this, and then tell me where you think I may be wrong.

Sam is intellectually dishonest and is telling a big lie when he makes the assertion that
“ half of the American population believes the universe is 6,000 years old” and I think Sam is a very smart guy, and I think Sam knows it’s not true.

You say “Had Sam cited the Gallup poll exactly as you have in your blog then you would need to bring your point to Gallup itself, not Sam”, but that misses the point entirely.

It is Sam who is making this bold claim, and it is Sam who has the responsibility to prove it. The Gallup Poll is not making the claim. And, if you look at the citation Sam references to back up this statement in his notes section, it’s not even a statement on the poll from the Gallup Organization, it’s a biased misrepresentation of an article in Editor and Publisher Magazine.

So, I will stay it again loud and clear for you and everyone else on this forum to hear.

Sam is telling a big lie when he claims “half of the American believes the universe is 6,000 years old.”

He keeps telling and telling the same lie, and he needs to acknowledge that it’s a lie and then retract the statement publicly. Part of his 12 step recovery program to return to the land of the intellectually honest.

As for “militant atheism” and “atheistic evangelism” I think I use those terms properly also.

If you are an atheist you do not believe in God, yes ?

If you are a “militant atheist” you do not believe in God and you want to tear down my faith using the combination of misrepresentation and ridicule rather than reasoned logic.

If you are an “atheistic evangelist” you do not believe in God, you want to tear down my faith using misrepresentation and ridicule rather than reasoned logic, and you want to convert everyone around you to your brand of atheism.

If you are an atheist, I wish you well. I respect your world view and will only engage you in conversation on the topic of faith if you have a particular question for me.

If you are a “militant atheist” or an “atheistic evangelist”, it is you who have declared war on me, and I will defend myself with every neuron of intellectual horsepower I possess. So if you are in either of these latter two camps, bring it on. Give me your best shot. But don’t complain when a strong shot to your bow knocks you off your feet.

As to your Catholic background, I too attended Catholic elementary school, where I was taught by Sister Theophane and Sister Joseph Marie. In high school I attended a public school. When I was 15 my questions of the poor nuns brought to teach our Friday afternoon religious classes drove them to such distraction that they politely but firmly asked me to leave the class and never come back. It was a 13 year journey from there to my baptism as an Evangelical Christian.

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Posted: 12 April 2007 10:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]  
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[quote author=“Michael Patrick Leahy”]I state I am an Evangelical Christian whose approach to conversion .....


Don’t you get it? You are the only one here that has an “approach to conversion”.
No one cares that you think that your approach is somehow less coercive than someone else who shares your conversion delusion. Are we supposed to thank you?

I think that Sam was just making the point that here in the “modern” world we seem to have a number of nutty people that is disproportiate to our “modernism” yet proportionate, or better, to our ability to engage in massive acts of violence and destruction that are motivated by that medieval nuttiness.

If you want to take issue with Sam’s arguments, then address the argument and the reasoning. All you are doing is trying to hyper intellectualize the minutiae of his analysis. There are enough crazy religious people in the world to account for most of the world’s most pressingly dangerous events.

I think that you are being intellectually dishonest if you continue to believe things for which you have no evidence. And however moderate you think you are, and however much you cherry pick your ancient documents, your belief in the same basic nonsense supports and enable those whose are not moderate and are not selective in their readings.

I dont’ want to destroy your faith, I just want you to grow out of it so we all avoid the problems that come of it. It’s ok to let go of your god and have him drift off into mythology along with all the rest. Then we won’t have to worry about him any more.

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Posted: 12 April 2007 11:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]  
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That piece, Spencer H Kelley, was a persuasive and clear account of why belief in god (particularly the christian version) is not reasonable.  Congratulations on taking the effort to explain your perspective so lucidly.
I’ve been on this forum too long now to go into such precise and patient explanation of my non-beliefs, because I have done it about 1000 posts ago and now respond with blunt frustration to every newly arrived theist.

To Michael Leahy, I realized that you might take offense to my blunt approach when compared to your own well thought out arguments.  However, You were the one who suggested that Sam Harris had used that particular poll statistic maliciously in order to show how “stupid and anti-intellectual” christians are.  So, I simply turned that accusation back on you, not in order to insult you but to express my own view (one that perhaps Harris might share with me?).  The facts on their own speak for you in that you wish to bring that 53% down to 18% (or less), because you must also feel that it is plainly stupid to believe that the earth is just 6,000 years old.  If you didn’t believe that the young earth creationists were in fact stupid and anti-intellectual (your words not mine) why would you be so adamant about bringing those numbers down.  That being the case maybe in as much as Sam is inflating the numbers you are deflating the numbers so you are both to blame for some exaggeration.

I actually do feel that any theistic account of the beginning of life or the evolution of life on earth is a fraudulent one, not because those who hold them are malicious or idiotic, but that they are simply inacapable of understanding Darwinian evolution and have an unreasonable aversion to abiogenesis.  I feel that it is not purely a case of stupidity, but more a case of religious belief standing in the way of a proper understanding of reality.  It seems to me that christians are offended by the thought that they evolved from some sort of ape-like ancestors.  They are offended by the idea that god did not choose them or that he did not choose humanity for a special status among the creatures of this earth.  These two arrogant assumptions about one’s ultimate place in the universe (very close to god) seem to block their intellectual capacity for understanding the workings of evolution or the theories about the natural origins of life on this planet.

Your own version of how god picked out a certain “Adam” when the genetics had reached a certain stage of development (perfection?) is a good example of this inability to comprehend how the mechanisms of evolution work.  What you (like other theists) are doing is misrepresenting the basic tenets of the theory in order for it to fit in with your particular theistic beliefs. It’s amazing to me what a graduate of Harvard will believe in the larger scheme of things, and a university professor to boot.

Bob

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Posted: 12 April 2007 12:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]  
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Bob,

I must compliment you on your very good and well stated most recent response.

I was particularly intrigued with your thoughts on abiogenesis. So educate me here.

It’s a scientifically unproven concept correct ? No experiment has ever proven that life can be created from inanimate matter.

How is abiogenesis not merely the scientific wish of the atheistic world view ( I am tempted to say “atheistic religion” here, but out of respect for the quality of your most recent post I won’t do that now !)

Persuade me.

I do take exception, however, to your hypothesis that I tried to manipulate the numbers to show that 18% at best of the American population believe the universe is only 6,000 years old, not the big lie Sam keeps telling that it’s 50%.

I just took Sam’s statement and tried to find the evidence of the actual percentage of Americans who believe that the universe is 6,000 years old. The research data is clear on that. It’s 18%.

Tell you what.

Let’s you and Sam and I commission Gallup to ask that very question in a poll and find out the results of THAT poll.

Have we a deal ?

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Posted: 12 April 2007 12:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]  
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Mr. Kelly,

You do not give yourself enough credit for you literary excellence.

Your recent long post on why you are an atheist was extraordinarily eloquent and obviously heart felt.

If you’ll pardon the expression, you’ve given me plenty to say grace over.

It seems that many rational people feel trapped by their own intellectual integrity and belief that science reigns over all. Therefore, they must not believe in God, for to do so would be to surrender that which they value most—their honesty.

One of my very best friends, whom I have known since my freshman year in college feels that way. To him, religion is just a way to “ameliorate the concept of death.” Give us false hope, in other words, that there is a glorious after life instead of there just being nothingness. A world in which we are no longer, simply do not exist.

I don’t like at it that way at all.

I think that the recent advances in science show us that there is so much that we still do not know about the structure of DNA—the information technology of our very existence—about how life really began, about how life evolved, that many new discoveries actually bring the possibility of that God created it all more to the fore front.

Isaac Newton, the greatest scientist of all time believed this way.

Michael Faraday believed this way.

James Clark Maxwell believed this way.

My favorite scientist Louis Pasteur believed this way.

Were they all wrong ? I don’t think so.

Consider, for a moment, that they might be right, and that the pessimistic nihilism of Thomas Huxley and Ludwig Buchner was wrong.

You sound to me very much like Charles Darwin.

This is a compliment to you, because he was a remarkable person as well as a remarkable scientist.  My views on God are different than his (he was an agnostic as I am sure you well know) but that does nothing to diminish my admiration for his—and your—sincere desire to know the truth of life.

Try reading anything by Hubert Yockey, or Michael Behe or Francis S. Collins.

All great scientists.

All firm believers in God.

Give yourself permission to at least consider the possibility.

There is no effort more noble than to sincerely seek the truth.

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Posted: 12 April 2007 12:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]  
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Mr. Kelly,

You do not give yourself enough credit for you literary excellence.

Your recent long post on why you are an atheist was extraordinarily eloquent and obviously heart felt.

If you’ll pardon the expression, you’ve given me plenty to say grace over.

It seems that many rational people feel trapped by their own intellectual integrity and belief that science reigns over all. Therefore, they must not believe in God, for to do so would be to surrender that which they value most—their honesty.

One of my very best friends, whom I have known since my freshman year in college feels that way. To him, religion is just a way to “ameliorate the concept of death.” Give us false hope, in other words, that there is a glorious after life instead of there just being nothingness. A world in which we are no longer, simply do not exist.

I don’t like at it that way at all.

I think that the recent advances in science show us that there is so much that we still do not know about the structure of DNA—the information technology of our very existence—about how life really began, about how life evolved, that many new discoveries actually bring the possibility of that God created it all more to the fore front.

Isaac Newton, the greatest scientist of all time believed this way.

Michael Faraday believed this way.

James Clark Maxwell believed this way.

My favorite scientist Louis Pasteur believed this way.

Were they all wrong ? I don’t think so.

Consider, for a moment, that they might be right, and that the pessimistic nihilism of Thomas Huxley and Ludwig Buchner was wrong.

You sound to me very much like Charles Darwin.

This is a compliment to you, because he was a remarkable person as well as a remarkable scientist.  My views on God are different than his (he was an agnostic as I am sure you well know) but that does nothing to diminish my admiration for his—and your—sincere desire to know the truth of life.

Try reading anything by Hubert Yockey, or Michael Behe or Francis S. Collins.

All great scientists.

All firm believers in God.

Give yourself permission to at least consider the possibility.

There is no effort more noble than to sincerely seek the truth.

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Posted: 12 April 2007 01:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]  
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Joined  2007-03-10

Hey Mr. Leahy:

One of our members is on the air right now.  He welcomes callers.  He posts under NobleSavage.  http://www.infidelguy.com

Perfect chance to prove your worth.

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