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Atheism, Christianity

Why Do Christians Distrust Atheists?

Randal Rauser, associate professor of historical theology at Taylor Seminary, Edmonton, Canada, has penned an interesting blog on the foundations of the widespread Christian distrust of atheists.  The popular notion that Christians regard atheists as immoral is wrong, he says.  Making note of the now familiar study in which atheists were rated by Americans as the least trustworthy group — below Muslims — Rauser supposes that it’s not morality but the nature of the worldview itself.

Citing a passage from an epistle of Paul, Rauser compares atheists who deny the “obvious” evidence for god’s existence to (ironically) a medieval bishop denying the clear telescopic evidence that the earth revolves around the sun.  Atheists are viewed by Christians the same way, he proposes.  “In short, this means that atheists who deny the knowledge which is generally available to everyone are wickedly suppressing evidence that is available to them.”

So it’s not really about morality, at least not directly.  Instead, Christians distrust anyone who is either so evil or so dumb that they can’t see and accept the obvious.  How can someone who makes such an elementary error be trusted with more “nuanced” decisions, especially the kind that dominate politics?  Or morality?

READ THE REST ON EXAMINER.COM http://www.examiner.com/atheism-in-atlanta/why-don-t-christians-trust-atheists

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Discussion

60 thoughts on “Why Do Christians Distrust Atheists?

  1. When I was theist, I raised a few eyebrows about the rejection of the “obvious” existence of god. So what we need to do is to show them that it’s NOT obvious. Such as my example of die that seemed obvious to have been designed, but wasn’t. Only after overcoming the “obvious” argument was I able to see that it didn’t make sense.

    Back over at the “R” RS, I’m in the middle of a lengthy debate about the subject of “informed educated opinion[i.e obvious]” vs scientific evidence so it’s clear that both theist and atheist alike could learn a thing or two.

    The more we chip away at instincts and intuition and how they require scientific conformation, the more we’ll chip away god belief and belief in a design/purpose.

    Posted by cptpineapple | June 10, 2011, 5:32 pm
  2. I have dealt with Rauser before:

    http://shaunphilly.wordpress.com/2009/07/17/burden-of-proof-and-the-null-hypothesis/

    I have run into this problem of obviousness before with theists. They see god as obvious, but their reasons why it is obvious are almost always fallacies. When the are not explicit fallacies, the are issues of personal experience; “You can’t tell me I didn’t experience [insert personal story here]!”

    No, I can’t. However, I can be skeptical about their interpretation; why did the conclude it was god, and not something more mundane? Ockham’s razor usually comes in at that point.

    Shaun

    Posted by shaunphilly | June 10, 2011, 5:56 pm
  3. William, thought you would find this of interest?

    New post: What causes wedge issues and why can’t you win an argument on the Internet – http://youarenotsosmart.com/2011/06/10/the-backfire-effect/

    Posted by Greg Neal | June 10, 2011, 6:09 pm
  4. Wow, Alison!

    I have to know… were you specifically trying to be completely agreeable? Because I don’t have even a nitpick with your comment. I feel like you have been trying to make a point to mention when you agree with me… and that’s awesome.

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | June 10, 2011, 6:19 pm
  5. Thanks, Greg. If that’s the “backfire effect” I’m familiar with (I haven’t checked the link yet), it’s something I’ve spent quite a lot of time thinking about. Specifically, I’ve done a lot of research on marketing and sales techniques, and how salesmen overcome the effect.

    In any case, thanks for the link. I’ll check it out tomorrow or Sunday. Right now, there’s raw fish calling my name…. Mmmmm… sushi…

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | June 10, 2011, 6:21 pm
  6. Ah yeah. The old double switch-a-rooney on the burden of proof. I’m quite familiar with it, of course. I think the three step exercise I gave in the thread is a possible approach to defeating the switch-a-rooney, especially on a personal level. If we can begin from a point of a theist imagining a set of circumstances in which their belief could be overturned, we are (rather sneakily) getting them to question their faith on a fundamental level.

    I don’t want to give away all my secrets yet, but this is part of something I’m developing…

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | June 10, 2011, 6:24 pm
  7. Personally, I trust my Atheists friends more than my Christian friends because my Christian friends believe its better to ask for forgiveness, than permission.

    Unfortunately for Atheists, society’s preception of them has not changed……

    “…those are not at all to be tolerated who deny the being of a God. Promises, covenants, and oaths, which are the bonds of human society, can have no hold upon an atheist. The taking away of God, though but even in thought, dissolves all” (J. Locke, Letter Concerning Toleration, 1689)

    Posted by PG | June 10, 2011, 6:27 pm
  8. Personally, I trust my Atheists friends more than my Christian friends because my Christian friends believe its better to ask for forgiveness, than permission.

    Credit where credit is due, PG. That’s not bat-shit insane.

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | June 10, 2011, 6:50 pm
  9. Will, pretty much. I even liked the post.

    Hell, I even citied one of your other posts in the debate.

    Posted by cptpineapple | June 10, 2011, 7:18 pm
  10. The ground literally just got a little colder…

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 10, 2011, 7:20 pm
  11. I think they distrust us because they see God as the source of morality and goodness. Without God, they fear that Atheists could at any moment start eating babies.

    Posted by Athol Kay: Married Man Sex Life | June 10, 2011, 11:11 pm
  12. I have stated it many times, As a Theist, I must conclude that Christians have done more harm to Christianity than any Atheist ever could.

    Posted by PG | June 11, 2011, 1:21 am
  13. My Christian upbringing included being taught that atheists were hopelessly stupid and worthy of contempt, and also that they were villainously committed to fighting morality. That’s how I first heard of Carl Sagan and Isaac Asimov–from diatribes against them on Christian radio. When I actually met some atheists, and read Sagan and Asimov, the difference between what I expected to find and what I actually found was so great that it gave me substantial motivation to rethink my beliefs.

    For those Christians who are raised to believe those things, and who never grow out of it–I admit that I distrust them. But that’s a distrust born out of familiarity rather than fear.

    Posted by Ian | June 11, 2011, 5:11 pm
  14. Unfortunately Ian,
    I know its wrong, but Atheism is perceived as historically part of the failed experiments of Marxism and associated with Stalin,Mao, and Hitler. Today, the current faces of Atheism are the ilk’s of Dawkins and PZ Myers. All I can recommend is for Atheism to choose better public relations firms then those two if they want to change the publics perceptions.…

    Posted by PG | June 11, 2011, 5:49 pm
  15. @PG

    Have you ever actually listened to Dawkins or Myers? Have you met them? I have met both. They are articulate, intelligent, and very nice and compassionate people. I dare you to demonstrate how they are bad at communicating to the public. The public perceptions of these people seem to be based upon hearsay rather than facts. Most of the time the people who say such things have little to no experience really listening what they have to say. Personally, I think they are both great examples of communicators of atheist ideas, even if I do occasionally disagree with them (I’ve publicly disagreed with Myers on my own blog, for example).

    Posted by shaunphilly | June 11, 2011, 7:13 pm
  16. “Dawkins and Myers are both biologists, and both share the same strong ideas on evolution (fact) and religion (fiction). Myers believes it’s OK to practise religion, but that it should never be taken seriously. “I compared religion to knitting – a hobby,” he said. Both claim they would remain skeptical about the existence of God even if a 15ft Jesus stood in front of them and boomed “I exist!””

    “If you teach a child that it’s a good thing to believe that just because he has faith you don’t have to justify it, then those children are going to grow up in a minority. They’re going to say, well, my faith tells me to go and bomb skyscrapers.”

    They also tackled the question of whether believers should be respected. “I will not tolerate this excuse of faith, of wallowing in faith,” said Myers. Dawkins agreed, complaining that “they teach children that faith is a virtue”.

    http://www.newstatesman.com/2011/06/dawkins-myers-religion-faith

    So Shaunphilly, you believe that Dawkins and Myers are great communicators of Atheists ideas, but then wonder why society trust Atheists less then muslims. Put yourself in the shoe’s of Believers who have just been told that their core beliefs are not to be taken seriously and that their religion tells them to go bomb skyscrapers.

    They keep Atheism from advancing forward. Im fine with that. Are you?

    .

    Posted by PG | June 11, 2011, 9:10 pm
  17. My issue with Dawkins/Myers/Hitchens et al, is basically the crux of this article. They just say it was “obvious” that religion drove those people into skyscrapers, however empirical research casts doubt on that. The atheist movement has to get over the “obvious” “meme” before it can move forward.

    That said, I don’t think PG’s examples hold water, seeing as they are basically saying that you should question religion and faith and there’s nothing wrong with that. Also, it doesn’t seem to be how they’re communicating that bugs PG, it’s what they’re communicating that bugs him.

    Posted by cptpineapple | June 11, 2011, 9:31 pm
  18. I agree with the ideas you cite. These ideas are not detrimental to atheism, they are detrimental to faith and superstition and people’s view of atheism. The problem that people have with atheism is not that there are people like PZ and Dawkins who say such things, the problem is that their opinions are (generally) true. There is simply no way to say the opinions that people like us have without making enemies. Growing atheism is not merely about making us liked or trusted (although it would be nice), but to advance the cause of reason in the long term

    Accommodationist ideology, similar to that which you are arguing, is short-term thinking and self-defeating. Yes, theists like people like Chris Mooney more, but Chris Mooney has many of the same opinions as PZ and Dawkins. He just does not say them. So, in reality Mooney is actually not trust-worthy, while PZ and Dawkins are. I prefer a long-term strategy, since people won’t like my opinions about their silly beliefs anyway.

    Popularity did not mean success in high school, and it does not mean so now.

    Posted by ShaunPhilly | June 11, 2011, 9:58 pm
  19. Shaunphilly,
    Let me get this straight. You state that these ideas are not detrimental to Atheism. Currently, Society views Atheists as being less trustworthy than Muslims, a religious group that is (unfairly) characterized as harboring radical Jihadists.
    Nope! Nothing detrimental is hampering Atheism.
    I would laugh but that’s pretty pathetic, even for Atheists. Let’s ponder this for a moment again. Even though America is at war in the Middle East, Americans trust Muslims over Atheists. That speaks volumes.
    And if you suggest that atheists continue this long term strategy of Atheist Jihad, condoning pompous and arrogant behavior from the ilks of Dawkins and Myers, just remember that stunts like that got you your ass kicked in High school, and if the latest survey is an indicator, it’s the same today!
    Americans trust Muslims over atheists. How fucking humiliating!

    And your right, I already find what you write untrustworthy!

    Posted by PG | June 12, 2011, 1:02 am
  20. I tried to make a distinction between detrimenta; to atheism per se and detrimental to how society views atheists. You still are conflating the two. Perhaps English is not your first language, but when I, a native speaker, hear the phrase “detrimental to atheism” I do not conclude that we are talking about detrimentality to atheism’s social standing. Similarly, those people who beat me up in high school (which didn’t happen, but I’ll allow the analogy) were not making any point about me, but their view of me. How valuable and worthy I am is not determined by the view of idiots. How valuable and worthy atehism is is not determined by idiots either.

    Atheist jihad? That demonstrates your bias and your status here as the bully. More often it is the theist’s view that is pompous and arrogant, especially at debates. The atheist claims that the unproven proposition is unjustified, and the response is to make a unjustified assertion. William Lane CRaig, thought to be the best apologist by many, is perhaps the best example. It is highly ironic that Dawkins and PZ are called arrogant when there are WIlliam Lane Craigs in the world.

    It is humiliating that atheists are trusted less than Muslims. But not for atheists, but for the society that harbors such opinions. This world is full of idiots, and Americ ahas more than its equal share. I really don’t care what your opinion is of me. I’ve seen your comments on this cite, and you don’t have a perspective that I find respectable. You seem pompous and arrogant, at times. ANd yes, I am arrogant. But sometimes arrogance is warranted.

    Now, go away, or I shall taunt you a second time!

    Posted by ShaunPhilly | June 12, 2011, 10:08 am
  21. bah!

    Must remember to proof-read for typos!

    Posted by ShaunPhilly | June 12, 2011, 10:10 am
  22. Shaunphilly,
    You’re like a pigeon. The more I feed you, the more you will crap all over the place!
    You haven’t demonstrated that you even have an original thought, but simply put on your Atheist armband, pledge allegiance to the atheist party, then vomit your rhetoric along with all the other Dawkins clones. The basic tenet and justification you promote can be reduced down to you believing that anyone who disagrees with you is an idiot, your intelligent view of the world is more valuable to society, and must be implemented. Keep drinking the kool-aid my Simpleton friend!
    The unfortunate reality for you is that you greatly underestimate the intelligence of society which year after year continues to summarize your philosophy as a failed Marxist experiment. Society finds your unfounded arrogance repulsive, inhibiting any intellectual discourse that may alter perceptions, and contributes to the perception that Atheists are untrustworthy!

    Keep up the good work!

    BTW, you’re taunting like a pigeon that just got a piece of bread. PerhapsI should stop feeding you before I step in some of your philosophy.

    Posted by PG | June 12, 2011, 12:45 pm
  23. Speaqking of Dawkins and Lane, this his video is fucking hilarious. .

    Posted by PG | June 12, 2011, 1:54 pm
  24. As shocking as it may be, there seems to be some merit in this conversation, PG’s contributions included. Basically, we have three rather incompatible ideas:

    1. PG – Atheists are bad communicators. Their main spokesmen are media disasters. (Or something like that. It’s always hard for me to ferret out exactly what PG is saying.)
    2. Pineapple – Atheists have the right idea about faith being bad, but my six studies and two books that cast doubt on the connections between terrorism and religion mean that they’re doing it all wrong, and religion doesn’t cause anything. Except for what it causes. Which isn’t what you think. But I won’t tell you.
    3. Shaun – I’m old-school baby! Atheism and theism are incompatible, and you’re going to make people mad when you tell them you’re right and they’re wrong. Conflict is part of the deal when you sign up for atheism.

    I think there is truth in all three positions, believe it or not. Shaun and I go way back (in atheist years), and I was one of the main folks advocating “in your face atheism” when the Blasphemy Challenge was big enough to make national news. I think at the beginning of any social movement, you have to risk making enemies. You have to make waves. People don’t notice polite movements. And frankly, when there are only a half dozen atheist groups in the country, you have to do a few extreme things.

    Atheism has grown to the point where the city of friggin’ Des Moines, Iowa, in the heart of the Bible Belt, was home to the largest American Atheist Convention ever, and the people there were really nice and accommodating. There are atheist sections in many bookstores now. There’s a genuinely atheist movie at Sundance this year. (How many gay/lesbian movies have there been? This is a big deal…) We have a lot more recognition than we used to, and the typical atheist is no longer a goatee wearing, rolled cigarette smoking philosophy major with more Star Wars figures than sexual partners. Regular people are coming out as atheists.

    This means that there’s a change necessary in atheist marketing. It’s no longer about saying, “We’re here, and we are used to being outcasts, so fuck you.” Now it’s about saying, “Your neighbors with the blue eyed blond children, the backyard barbecue, and the awesome Fourth of July party? Atheists.” It’s about letting people know that there are, and have always been lots of non-believers, and they’re regular people. It’s about growing beyond a fringe movement to a real voting bloc. And that means appealing to more “mainstream” markets. So yes… the advertising has to change.

    Personally, I don’t think there’s anything especially wrong with PZ or Dawkins. Just look at google analytics. They’re very, very, very popular. And well.. that’s the measure, isn’t it? By contrast, accommodationists like Dan Barker rarely make big news. However, I do believe it’s time for atheism to move beyond reliance on three or four public figures to speak for it. And we have: Tim Minchin (who I’m going to see next month!), Ricky Gervais, Eddie Izzard, and other genuine entertainers are as out as out gets. And they’re still immensely popular. While Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert remain tight-lipped about their “true feelings” on religion, they are extremely critical of religion and believers. And if you haven’t noticed, Jon Stewart + Steven Colbert = more viewership than all of FOX.

    So… I think PG’s position is a bit anachronistic. We already have lots of good advocates for atheism who ARE genuine entertainers, and are well liked by many people. Shaun’s exactly right — there WILL be some conflict. And there are better ways to cause it than just being in your face.

    Alison is sort of like an astrophysicist who refuses to work any equations at all since she doesn’t know precisely what dark matter is. She’s found some evidence that faith doesn’t cause every evil in the universe, so she refuses to concede that it causes any… and constantly berates us for doing what we can with what we believe.

    Having said that, Alison’s attitude (if not her conclusion) is important. Movements tend to gain their own momentum, and sometimes they forget to fact check themselves. Alison’s insistence that I read up on terrorism and religion led me to recant earlier statements about suicide bombing, and if you’ll notice, I haven’t been tooting that horn for… well, at least a couple years now. Religious faith doesn’t cause suicide bombing. (Not directly.)

    I’m a huge advocate of the scientific study of religion, faith, and the brain. The more we know, the more we know. And that’s great. However, I’m not so trepidatious that I refuse to get out there and do whatever I can to try to make things better, even if it’s not the mathematically optimum strategy, and even if I may have a couple of false or exaggerated beliefs about what religion causes directly. The fact is, the religious right in America is dangerous and needs to be stopped, and I don’t care what stops them in the end. If we waited til we had a 100% understanding of religion and marketing and human nature, we’d be back in the Dark Ages. The Right has proven that it’s willing to censor or legislate against disagreement. That’s a call to action. NOW. And if there are a couple of things religion *doesn’t* cause, and we’re wrong about them… well, we’ll sort that out as it comes, but our central message is strong: It’s better to live in a world of fact and science, live and let live, and admit when the facts prove you wrong.

    I don’t think there will be any major breakthroughs of religion that will prove that message wrong.

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | June 12, 2011, 2:39 pm
  25. yeah…I’ve been told…

    I don’t think everyone who disagrees with me is an idiot. Just the idiots. I know many intelligent and thoughtful people who disagree with me about many things. I also know many idiots who agree with me. The difference between knowledge and accidental true belief, or something.

    That video was pretty stupid, although it is inevitable considering the meme’s prevalence (also interesting, considering the meme concept is Dawkins’). Dawkins considers WLC to be unworthy of debating, as I do. And yet there will continue to be arguments with him for the same reason I reply to you; because we hope that after enough times you might actually start listening. WLC does not pwn anyone, he simply repeats the same retarded argument again and again, and refuses to respond to challenges with anything more than assertion and rhetoric.

    If you think WLC’s arguments are even respectable on an undergraduate level, then I simply don’t know what to say to you. Because his arguments are sophomoric at best. They are the kind of arguments I might expect a room of stoners to ‘oooh’ and ‘aww’ about. That is, they sound deep and sophisticated, but they are not. They actually demonstrate a passing familiarity with philosophy speak while ignoring scientific knowledge. The physicist Lawrence Krauss, in his debate with WLC, demonstrated much of this (and don’t forget the after comments on blogs about it). “Things that begin to exist have a cause”? Really? That’s his bullet?

    [shakes head in sympathetic shame]

    I have written a response to the Kalam argument (it was the original version of the kalam argument that still exists on the ironchariots wiki, and has since been added to and edited), and it took me about 20 minutes to compose and write. WLC has admitted that if the evidence (I assume empirical or rational) proved his theism wrong, he would still believe. This is not an intelligent and intellectually honest man, and he does scare atheist debaters. The atheist community is, or at least it should be, coming to the conclusion that debating him is a waste of time, because he’s dishonest and intellectually lazy. If he’s the best, then I’m afraid that this station is completely operational…and you can sit back and watch your friends die (this is a reference, not a threat of death, in case you missed that).

    [and yes, I just associated the atheist community with the Empire, but don't read too much into that. It was just a literary device]

    The problem with your criticism that I don’t have an original thought is this. There are really only so many arguments theists have, and the number of responses we have is directly related to the number of arguments theists have, because we are responding to theists. So, if we have a small number of arguments and they all sound the same, remember we are responding to something limited in scope and diversity, and so our limitation is derived from that. Any criticism of the similarity of our arguments is related to what are responding to.

    Further, because you refuse to actually address or rebut our responses, we have to repeat them (over and over and over…). So from your point of view you can claim to be hearing the same “stock arguments” (not your term, but one I have heard when making the same claim) and sit back and call us Dawkins clones. But this is a rhetorical trick (much like what WLC does) and not an argument. It tries to place a blame on us, when the same pot could be placed in your kettle…or however that saying goes….

    Atheists are slowly coalescing into a real community, and we share similar stories of awful arguments and attacks we receive from people like you. Through this, we find responses we like, as a community, and use them in various ways, often with subtle tweaks. This is what a meme is; It does not make us clones, but it does make us united a little more.

    Is that thought original enough for you?

    Posted by shaunphilly | June 12, 2011, 2:56 pm
  26. Looks like Hamby and I were cross-commenting. I agree with much of what you said. I will continue to be a person with a hard edge to my atheism because that is my real personality about most things. I have a strong personality, and I don’t care much about whether the truth will affect people (most of the time). I’m glad there are other kinds of voices out there, but I cannot be one of them, because I’d be faking it.

    Authenticity is important to me. I like honesty and being honest.

    I’ve said I all intend to concerning this conversation here. It actually has compelled me to write about the issue of atheist clones on my own site, which I am currently composing. I may link to it later if nobody minds, since it became relevant in the comments.

    Posted by shaunphilly | June 12, 2011, 3:06 pm
  27. LOL Will, I don’t think religion doesn’t cause anything. I think it’s causing the ID movement to try to wedge it’s way into schools.

    I also agree that faith [i.e. non-scientific based thinking] is the worst thing that can happen.

    I’m, not saying we shouldn’t do something about the religious right. We should, it’s a very real concern that they’re trying to push for a fascist theocracy. We can defend the constitution, the seperation of church and state, and we should, as well as inform the ACLU of infringiments thereof.

    When I look at the atheist movement and their tactics I step back and think “What are our goals?” Is it to spread atheism or science?

    I think you summed it up here:

    It’s better to live in a world of fact and science, live and let live, and admit when the facts prove you wrong.

    But how can we do that if we don’t live up to it? That is by taking certain approaches, we’re saying it’s ok to operate sans scientific evidence. Isn’t that your concern with the moderates? Worse of all, it’s unnecessary.

    I fully believe the atheist movement has all the tools it needs to get rid of [and replace] religion. We have enough research on why people are religious to make more informed decisions. We have plenty of evidence that there’s no evidence for a god.

    We don’t need to get a 100% understand of religion, or wait for the dark ages again, we have more than enough scientific evidence to slow down and even stop the religious right.

    The ACLU is doing much more to stop the religious right than the atheist movement., That’s because they have facts on their side. That creation is religion, not science, that church and state should be divorced.

    But all the legal mumbo-jumbo won’t get the beliefs to go away. Only scientific understanding will. I’m not willing to throw out science in order to spread it.

    Posted by cptpineapple | June 12, 2011, 5:38 pm
  28. Oh another thing. i brought up the issue of terrorism for a reason. Let’s imagine the studies didn’t exist.

    Sam Harris’s approach for example won’t work. Even if there weren’t studies to show it, that wouldn’t magically make it work somehow. In other words he’s only thinking he’s helping…….but he’s not. He’s just getting in the way of what WILL prevent terrorism.

    Another example is our resident pigeon brain PG. He thinks he’s helping the atheist movement by pointing out our “flaws” [that aren't necessarily flaws but w/e].

    But he’s NOT helping the atheist movement. In fact he’s distracting from the actual flaws.

    He thinks he’s helping science by promoting ID, but he’s not. He’s only hindering science.

    In many ways rather than damage the atheist movement, PG is helping it by making these stupid comments.

    Posted by cptpineapple | June 12, 2011, 6:00 pm
  29. Sixth Commandment
    “Always seek to be learning something new”.

    Seventh commandment
    “Test all things; always check your ideas against the facts, and be ready to discard even a cherished belief if it does not conform to them”.

    Eighth Commandment:
    “Never seek to censor or cut yourself off from dissent; always respect the right of others to disagree with you.”

    The 10 commandments,
    Richard Dawkins,
    The God Delusion

    One only has to read the previous blog entries here to realize that Atheists talk a good game but can’t walk it! They claim that science supports their position, but then continue to reject the new science. I have presented over two dozen Peer reviewed articles from the highest respected evolutionary science Journals to support my positions and have yet to receive one single science paper from an Atheist to rebuttal my position. Just ad hominem attacks and plenty of deflections away from the subject matter.

    Why no scientific papers from the Atheists? Because there are none. Prove me wrong. Simply present the fucking scientific papers to support your position or shut the hell up! No rhetoric, no games, no name calling, just scientific papers. Is that too much to ask a group of people who claim evolutionary science supports their position?

    Or perhaps we should conclude that evolutionary science really doesent support the atheist belief.

    In the near future, I will be presenting even more papers from mainstream 21st century science. Will Atheists seek to learn something new or change their cherished beliefs if it conflicts with the new scientific evidence? So far, Nope!

    Posted by PG | June 13, 2011, 2:13 am
  30. Another example is our resident pigeon brain PG

    Invective, the standard “strategy” of someone lacking an actual argument.

    He thinks he’s helping science by promoting ID, but he’s not. He’s only hindering science.

    You have already demonstrated elsewhere that you don’t have a whisper of a clue as to what ID actually is, so you are hardly in a position to judge it’s value to science. I have posted a link to an essay which points out a number of Darwinian predictions that the evidence has simply failed to support, but rather than being falsified, the hypothesis just keeps lurching forward with more “epicycles” tacked on to account for that evidence. If anything, the Darwinian paradigm has shown itself to be the hindrance. Witness the whole “junk DNA” debacle, for example. Fortunately, the sections of DNA formally dismissed as “junk” by the Darwinian True Faithful have been researched and shown to be a vital part of the genome, in utter spite of the prognostication that it was nothing but a genetic garbage heap.

    But it’s this kind of colossal arrogance I keep witnessing from the Militant Atheist Camp. Perhaps this unmitigated arrogance has something to do with why atheists aren’t trusted…that and the unending spew of name-calling (another aspect of that arrogance).

    Posted by CB | June 13, 2011, 9:20 am
  31. One only has to read the previous blog entries here to realize that Atheists talk a good game but can’t walk it! They claim that science supports their position, but then continue to reject the new science. I have presented over two dozen Peer reviewed articles from the highest respected evolutionary science Journals to support my positions and have yet to receive one single science paper from an Atheist to rebuttal my position. Just ad hominem attacks and plenty of deflections away from the subject matter.

    No one rebuts what you say, because the papers don’t say what you claim (quotes out of context) or they have already been discredited and you’ve been told that but just ignore it. Oh, and the ad homs are because we enjoy them (some people are assholes, that’s just the way humanity works).

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 13, 2011, 10:09 am
  32. If anything, the Darwinian paradigm has shown itself to be the hindrance.

    Yeah, because ID would have given us the past 100+ years of scientific breakthroughs all related to a better understanding of evolution… Oh wait…

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 13, 2011, 10:10 am
  33. Yeah, because [blah blah blah please wait while I move this goal post over a few dozen feet blah blah blah]…

    I see you utterly ignored the example I provided, which is par for the course for you guys. Evidence obviously means nothing to you, your whining appeals to it notwithstanding.

    Posted by CB | June 13, 2011, 10:52 am
  34. I see you utterly ignored the example I provided, which is par for the course for you guys. Evidence obviously means nothing to you, your whining appeals to it notwithstanding.

    People tend to ignore that which is meaningless. The only evidence you’ve presented is that you’re incapable of rational thought. Sorry, but reality is what it is.

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 13, 2011, 12:30 pm
  35. here’s a test. Lets see if Atheists can back up their beliefs with the actual science and not dodge the facts by being assholes as Alex readily admits occurs frequently to deflect from the subject matter..

    Alex says:
    “No one rebuts what you say, because the papers don’t say what you claim. (context) or they have already been discredited and you’ve been told that but just ignore it. Oh, and the ad homs are because we enjoy them (some people are assholes, that’s just the way humanity works) ”

    PG says:

    Alex,
    Being an asshole to deflect away from this subject will not help you this time. Lets test your claim regarding context or discredited science.

    Start with Yockey, perhaps the worlds foremost scientist in Bioinformatics :
    “Information, transcription, translation, code, redundancy, synonymous, messenger, editing, and proofreading are all appropriate terms in biology. They take their meaning from information theory (Shannon, 1948) and are not synonyms, metaphors, or analogies.” (Hubert P. Yockey, Information Theory, Evolution, and the Origin of Life, Cambridge University Press, 2005)

    What’s Yockey’s position regarding DNA being a code Alex?

    I’ll wait.

    Posted by PG | June 13, 2011, 12:49 pm
  36. People tend to ignore that which is meaningless.

    And what people consider to be “meaningless” says a lot about their character, or lack thereof…

    The only evidence you’ve presented…

    …was an example of a failed Darwinian prediction. Scientific progress was made by ignoring the standard Darwinian Orthodoxy in this particular instance.

    Sorry, but reality is what it is.

    No need to apologize, but I can easily see why you’re sorry. Reality is indeed what it is, and the reality is that scientific progress was made by ignoring the standard Darwinian narrative.

    The fact that you consider that to be “meaningless” is very revealing…

    Posted by CB | June 13, 2011, 1:30 pm
  37. Living Life Without a Net:

    I was with you up until this point:

    “Now it’s about saying, “Your neighbors with the blue eyed blond children… ”

    Are you aware that that sounds pretty racist?

    Posted by craig45 | June 13, 2011, 1:57 pm
  38. Start with Yockey, perhaps the worlds foremost scientist in Bioinformatics :
    “Information, transcription, translation, code, redundancy, synonymous, messenger, editing, and proofreading are all appropriate terms in biology. They take their meaning from information theory (Shannon, 1948) and are not synonyms, metaphors, or analogies.” (Hubert P. Yockey, Information Theory, Evolution, and the Origin of Life, Cambridge University Press, 2005)

    Not being enough of a scientist to directly refute anything said in this book, I was able to quite quickly find dozens of well accredited scientists who have done so. When I can find more people who agree with him (and by people I mean established scientists), I’ll care what he says. I’m sorry, but that is how science works (we have to pick experts to trust, my choice is influenced by who has the most people making the most sense on their side).

    I’m not saying he’s not correct, just that most scientist say he’s not.

    …was an example of a failed Darwinian prediction. Scientific progress was made by ignoring the standard Darwinian Orthodoxy in this particular instance.

    So Darwin didn’t have all the answers. Man, talk about breakthrough of the century. I thought this had been well established already? My point still stands. Evolution = thousands (at least) accurate scientific predictions (theory updates where predictions are not accurate). ID = zero (theory continually adapts trying to find some way to garner some scientific respect).

    Let me know when the score changes…

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 13, 2011, 2:11 pm
  39. Man, talk about breakthrough of the century.

    Man. talk about missing the point.

    That point is that the prediction/narrative was a science-stopper. Science moved forward when the Darwinian narrative was ignored.

    But yes, there are many such failed predictions, and like I said, the “theory” simply grows more complicated and cumbersome to accommodate new evidence, evidence that tends to surprise evolutionists. I guess Occam’s Razor doesn’t apply when dealing with the Darwinian model — complex and cumbersome are okay in that case, like Ptolemy’s epicycles.

    Let me know when the score changes…

    Let me twist the knife in your gut by quoting another scientist…

    “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it”

    Max Planck

    That’s how the score will change.

    Posted by CB | June 13, 2011, 3:51 pm
  40. “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it”

    Max Planck

    Nice quote. Too bad you need some scientific truth for that to happen. When ID becomes accepted as science, then you’ll at least be playing the right game (hard to score when they’re playing chess and you’re playing tiddlywinks).

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 13, 2011, 4:44 pm
  41. Why does every post get turned into ID/evolution by PG?

    Posted by cptpineapple | June 13, 2011, 6:12 pm
  42. PG wrote:

    That’s how the score will change.

    Um, actually, that already happened. About a hundred or so years ago, when the scientific truth of evolution triumphed over intelligent design.

    Posted by Ian | June 13, 2011, 6:46 pm
  43. Why does every post get turned into ID/evolution by PG?
    Posted by cptpineapple | June 13, 2011, 6:12 pm

    I will direct ID/evolution to its proper thread.

    Why doesent society trust atheists? Trust is earned!.

    Posted by PG | June 13, 2011, 7:46 pm
  44. Nice quote. Too bad you need some scientific truth for that to happen

    Kinda making Planck’s point for us, chief…

    About a hundred or so years ago…

    …in a land far, far away, they all lived happily ever after…

    Dream on, Ian.

    Posted by CB | June 13, 2011, 9:09 pm
  45. Why doesent society trust atheists? Trust is earned!.

    Yeah, and stupidity indoctrinated. Let’s be honest, if trust were earned, no one would trust any church at this point (exactly how many things has been wrong about).

    Kinda making Planck’s point for us, chief…

    I guess time will tell. Wonder which side history is on? Which point of view has gotten progressively stronger and more widespread as time passes? Oh that’s right, science grows while religion withers. Evolution = science, ID = religion.

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 14, 2011, 5:17 am
  46. Which point of view has gotten progressively stronger and more widespread as time passes? Oh that’s right, science grows while religion withers. Evolution = science, ID = religion.

    All of these assertions are, at best, debatable, if not outright false.

    Posted by CB | June 14, 2011, 9:04 am
  47. PG says:
    How odd that a group of people would even bother to care or wonder why they are not trusted when one of their main constructs is to rationalize away mental concepts like “trust” as some metaphor for the firing of neurons in a physical brain.

    Posted by PG | June 14, 2011, 9:58 am
  48. All of these assertions are, at best, debatable, if not outright false.

    Let me get this straight. You’re going to argue that science hasn’t expanded historically? That religious answers to how the world works haven’t contracted? So says some guy typing on a computer. I guess it’s a prayer powered PC? Oh that’s right, science is responsible for literally every aspect of your life…

    PG says:
    How odd that a group of people would even bother to care or wonder why they are not trusted when one of their main constructs is to rationalize away mental concepts like “trust” as some metaphor for the firing of neurons in a physical brain.

    So we’re back to troll time I guess? That’s cool, I’ll play for a bit.

    Alex says (what’s up with the talking in third person, are we royalty now?),
    Fuckin’ morons…

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 14, 2011, 11:52 am
  49. Thanks for the comment, craig. Yes, I’m perfectly aware that it sounds racist. That’s part irony and part social commentary. The social commentary part goes like this: “Middle America,” is a very homogeneous group, and marketing to them is generally quite specific. Show them people who look just like them, and they’re more likely to want to buy the product. PG (or CB… I get the peanut gallery confused sometimes…) was trying to say that atheists are not good at marketing to the “average American” and he’s got a point. Atheists are far more accepting of gays, lesbians, poly’s, ethnic minorities, and other such groups than a lot of middle America. And that’s actually a negative for us in terms of mass marketing. You don’t want to seem like you’re too different than middle America if you want to have mass appeal. Thus the catch-22.

    (By the way, craig, I encourage you to spend some time digging around this site. I can be accused of an awful lot of things — and some of them are even true — but bigotry is not one of them. I spend at least a third of my time advocating for minorities of all stripes. And if you want references, I’ll point you to several of my minority friends. And yes, I know that sounds racist. See the trap in this kind of thinking/criticism?)

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | June 14, 2011, 4:52 pm
  50. A group of people = Atheists + Alex the Agnostic = no Bigotry

    Unless you are claiming that people who believe in the ideological theory of the evolution of consciousness are somehow subject to human or civil rights abuse and that any challenges to that ideal is bigotry, then being an ethnic minority myself, I would have to say your charge of bigotry is complete bullshit!

    Posted by PG | June 15, 2011, 12:28 am
  51. Let me get this straight.

    You are admittedly a master of moving goal posts and putting words into the mouths of your opponents. All I am saying is that…

    [S]cience grows while religion withers. Evolution = science, ID = religion.

    …are debatable assertions at best, if not outright false. You again demonstrate an inability to comprehend written English.

    You claim that “religion withers”, but religion is growing worldwide, whether you like it or not. You claim that “ID = religion”, but that is outright false. It may have religious implications, but so does the Darwinian explanation — so what? You claim that “evolution = science”, but you have demonstrated otherwise here on this blog by clinging to beliefs without evidence to back them up.

    Posted by CB | June 15, 2011, 1:51 pm
  52. …are debatable assertions at best, if not outright false. You again demonstrate an inability to comprehend written English.

    You claim that “religion withers”, but religion is growing worldwide, whether you like it or not. You claim that “ID = religion”, but that is outright false. It may have religious implications, but so does the Darwinian explanation — so what? You claim that “evolution = science”, but you have demonstrated otherwise here on this blog by clinging to beliefs without evidence to back them up.

    Feel free to debate them then. That might require you point out some facts. Religion is withering in the world. There are literally thousands of things for which we used to accept a religious explanation that we now have a scientific one.

    Although the fact that you keep responding to only a fraction of what is said (while blithely ignoring the rest) speaks volumes about what you’re able to actually refute. Might try tackling all of someone’s argument instead of an out of context quote. Seems to be the style of IDiots.

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 15, 2011, 2:09 pm
  53. Feel free to debate them then.

    I have been, quite effectively, and your apparent willfully inability to fathom as much is completely inconsequential.

    That might require you point out some facts.

    Again, I have been, and again, your apparent willfully inability to fathom as much is completely inconsequential.

    Religion is withering in the world.

    Religion Statistics by Growth Rate

    2.2 Billion: World’s Muslim Population Doubles

    Certainly with the world population set to reach 8.3 billion by 2030 the explosive growth of world religions is just as impressive.

    World Muslim population doubling, report projects

    “There is nothing in these numbers to indicate that in 2030 there would be more Muslims that Christians,” Cooperman said.

    In fact, both Christianity and Islam could be growing, both in absolute terms and as a percentage of the whole, he pointed out.

    Of course, you’re free to believe anything you wish, regardless of the facts on the ground…

    Although the fact that you keep responding to only a fraction of what is said (while blithely ignoring the rest)…

    Uh-huh…

    People tend to ignore that which is meaningless.

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 13, 2011, 12:30 pm

    Posted by CB | June 16, 2011, 8:39 am
  54. Here is another reason why society does not find atheists trustworthy, and it has to do with scientists like Dawkins who either suppress or trivialize scientific discoveries that conflict with their world view.
    Dawkins will never write about how Bioinformatics found that not only is DNA a literal code, its more complex than any ever imagined in the mind of man.
    Dawkins will never write about the discovery of the multiple cognitive error detection and correction mechanisms for the DNA code.
    The list goes on…
    Regardless,
    James Shapiro overviews verified several scientific discoveries that supplant Darwinian random mutation mechanisms. There are four kinds of rapid, multi-character changes Darwin ( Or Atheists for that matter) could not have imagined:
    • Horizontal DNA transfer in evolution;
    • Multiple cell types and cell fusions (symbiogenesis) in evolution;
    • Genome doublings at key steps of eukaryotic evolution;
    • Built-in mechanisms of genome restructuring = natural genetic engineering

    Watch the video: http://vimeo.com/17592530

    Posted by PG | June 16, 2011, 12:05 pm
  55. Repeating the same bullshit doesn’t change it into gold.

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 16, 2011, 1:54 pm
  56. Repeating the same bullshit doesn’t change it into gold.

    The same goes for repeatedly calling something “bullshit”, obviously…

    Posted by CB | June 17, 2011, 11:35 pm
  57. Christians, at least in principle, accept that they have an obligation to help those in need–the story of the Good Samaritan makes that clear. They may make excuses, give reasons, argue about what the most helpful thing to do might be, but they can not deny their responsibility.

    Atheists reject outside judges of their behavior and need recognize no such responsibility. One of my atheist friends explained to me that he may chose to help someone but has no obligation to do so. This was consistent with his beliefs.

    It is also exactly the attitude that causes Christians to distrust atheists. Accepting a responsibility one did not choose, one that arises from a gratitude for the life atheists see as accidental or from a relationship with a spiritual being that they do not accept is an unfair expectation. Expecting Christians to trust those who deny the responsibility we honor–even if in the breach–as the foundation for life is unfair as well.

    Posted by Sarah Caldwell | November 30, 2011, 2:43 pm

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