Exciting Times We're In

Discuss arguments for existence of God and faith in general. Any aspect of any orientation toward religion/spirituality, as long as it is based upon a positive open to other people attitude.

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Re: Exciting Times We're In

Postby Metacrock on Sun Apr 18, 2010 9:43 am

Ophir's Gopher wrote:@meta

It's absurdly rash to think this is the end of anything. It's probably not even the end of Child abuse in the Catholic priesthood.


Like I said, we're either in the midst of the dying or it's evolved into a shadow of what it once was. Clearly, only a liberal remnant in each major faith has a clue as to what's going on.


If so that's probably a good thing.


The fundies and dogmatists are in lala land. The Pope is an example of a dogmatist and the worse that religion get, even without the child abuse cover up. That's where I think you and I depart. Consider the efficacy of the Catholic church. Its head is clearly up its ass with respect to sex education and STD and pregnancy prevention in Africa and all over the world. This is not an anomaly.


so you really just want to punish him because you hate the opposition?


Atheism is dying out. It's gone way down from 12% i the 90s to 1.5% now. That's assuming adherence.com and the Pew study. 2 billion people are Christians something 35% world wide, 3% are atheists world wide. You are vastly underrating the importance people place upon religion. those Billion people will not let Christianity die out.


Sorry, but atheism is definitely not "dying out." The number of people who declare themselves non-religious is increasing drastically.



No it's not. Look, you can't make that be true just because you want it. The most scholarly sources show its' not true. The Pew study showed 1.6% atheists in America. That's down from 2% (at least) who were communists during the cold war. So it has gone down. The figures people quote which are around 12? fail to weed out the 9% who say they believe in a higher power (God) but don't like religion.


One wonders why you dedicate so much time to lambasting the scourge of of new atheism -- the bloggers, the Harrisses, and the Hitchenses -- if atheism is rapidly dying.


they preventing people from listening to the truth. The are creating a lot of havoc. Just because they haven't increased the ranks of atheists drastically doesn't mean they aren't doing some bad things. Besides, remember I'm not going with the 1.5% I spot them 3% and it may be as high as 6%. That's still extremely small and it's not really growing. It have grown some over the last 10 years but not amazingly so. If it went from 3 to 6% it doubled and still pathetically small.




But you are too youg to know what exciting times are. In my life I remember from the news media and from knowing some people where in each catasrophy I've "seen" or been around durning

coup de etat agisnst american President


Oswald killed Kennedy. He was an expert marksman (proven)and a delusional madman (proven). Conspiracy theorizing itself is a quasi-religious delusion. I say this as a former conspiracy theorist.



that's rubbish. nothing about conspiracies that requires religious thinking. I don't know why you bring up Oswald? I don't doubt that was a conspiracy. In fact I know it was.




America losing first war that the majority of it's people are aware it obviously lost
Man lands on moon!
Counter cultural movement forever changes nature of American society
end of cold
demise of communism
Berlin Wall comes down
Western Eruope experincing a boody war on it's on contenant
Mass genocides around the world (Guatemala, Bosnia, Croatia, Ruwanda)
Total absolute idiot elected President two terms in a row (two different Presidents)
First women on Sup court
First woman speaker of house
First woman to mount major presidential camapign
first two female secretaries of state
The whole woman's movement totally widely unimaginably more successful than anyone wildest dreams when it began, reversing 5,000 years of sexism.
First Black President in American History
Major U.S. city almost wiped out by flood
Volcano holds the world's air line industry hostage
Major landmark destroyed by terrorists kills 5000 people.


I agree. all of this is amazing. You know what else is amazing? The self implosion of the Abrahamic religions triggered by its ignorant leadership and laity. If you don't see signs of that, I'd encourage you to look harder.


LOL


remember when you told me you know very little about christian apologetics? That's what I'm talking about. You have to scratch the surface of William Lane Craig's untenable arguments regarding evolution (for example) to even begin to see what's happening. Many other examples of such stupidity in the other religions. Young folks are getting wise to it. That's all I'm saying.


I know a lot about the classic arguments for God. They are good arguments. they immanently defensible. Nothing stupid about Craig, But Craig is not the typical fundie he's a good guy> he 's a nice guy. Ask Loftus if Craig is an asshole. Atheist author John Loftus was Craig's student. ask him.


Arguments for God are good. The standard apologist is shallow and bound up on conventions so he can't argue outside the box.

you and I have no yet done the debate thing on a God argument. I'm not going back that bull shit we were doing "You can't think you are no good." You can think, you are good, not stupid. I want to be friends and I'm really sorry I fell into that shit.

when we have a real discussion on the God arguments I am not going to "beat you" I'm not going to try and show you how smart I am, not about that. but I think you will see these arguments are good ideas and have a lot of commend them.

Christianity dying out is far from one of them.


It's definitely morphing into something unrecognizable and far more liberal.


I doubt that. O am I know it will eventually. Its' done it before. A Christian Palestine in 332 would n ot recognize a Christian from England in 1242, who would not recognize a Christian in Teas in 1852 who would not understand or recognize me and I believe.

There was a time when the average popular conception of Christianity was that you had to die for your faith to go to heaven. change is not death. It doesn't' matter how it changes the reality of God is there.

That was my point all along. Perhaps these religions aren't dying. Maybe only the dogmatic/fundamentalist core is collapsing. either way, it's incredibly interesting to watch and certainly nothing to be threatened by or depressed about. This is a good thing, and I'm priveledged to see it happening.



Yea, I'll go along with that.

Very interesting that you mentioned 9/11. The self-implosion of religion is WAY more interesting to observe than the fall of the twin towers. Religious terrorism is just the same bullshit that has happened for millenia. Nothing new or unprecedented about it at all, except for the effect it had in triggering the collapse of religion.
[/quote]

Atheists have propagated the myth that the motive behind 9/11 was religious and seeing it as a product of religious thinking. That's utterly stupid it proves my point about how illiterate atheists are (sorry--in some quarters). If you have studied the politics of the middle east and the Arab movement you should know religion is just a tool it is not the motive force of those guys actions. They are closer to being a product of Marxism than of religion.
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Re: Exciting Times We're In

Postby Metacrock on Sun Apr 18, 2010 9:48 am



that article quotes my Pew study and shows a rise from 90s to the oughts. So it's actually going up for generation X.

CARM (02/28/2008)

a thread called

"Good News--New Study supports rising tide of non belief!"


The Study in Question is the Pew Forum on Religion and public Life study

Title:

U.S. Religious Land Scape June 28, 2008.



Great news--new study supports the rising tide of Nonbelief

The Pew Center for Religion and the Public Life just came out with a new large poll on religious affiliations in the U.S. http://religions.pewforum.org. Tally up the numbers, and you'll see that Christians make up about 76.8 percent of the U.S. population, and those with no affiliation (atheists, agnostics, don't identify with any religious group but may consider themselves vaguely "spiritual") was 16.1 percent. Another .8 percent said the don't know or refused to answer--since that is not what any God-fearing religious person would say, I would add it to the "No Affilation" side of the ledger. Rounding, we have Christians as 77% and the non-religious at 17%. All other religions are in the low single digits.

The study overall found that people move around quite a bit religiously and a large percentage don't have the same religion as their parents. However, the "no affiliation" group was clearly growing and were losing far few people than they were gaining. The non-belief crowd is like a slow rising flood--there was a time we would have been in the low single digits, but now we are up to 17% overall and are an even higher percentage of the young. With each passing generation, more and more people are considering themselves as non-religious.

In my lifetime, I expect to see this number get up to 25% or more overall, and my kids could see a USA where the majority of Americans are finally secular rather than religious in their world view. Hallelujah!




Despite the positively stated title and the exultation in the closing line, some atheists actually said "no claim has been made."


he's trying to claim atheism at 17% this is such folly. They are assuming affiliation is synonymous with belief in God! So clearly foolish and when one examines the study the breakdown of unaffiliated the actual number given to atheist population in America is 1.6%! they are counting anyone not a Christian as an atheist!

(for the first page of the study).




This study actually shows atheism shrinking as the research I have done previously indicated it was at 3% of US pop. they have at 1.6%.


I find atheists doing this all the time. I've seen them count all of Buddhism as atheism so they can say they are a major world religion. IF they really believe they are right, why aren't they just content to be right? why do they take such solace in bogus inflation of numbers? Gallop shows more people in Japan are Christian than ever before.

The category of "non affiliated" leaves room for religious belief. but to be fair, he wasn't just ignorant of what decimal points do. The whole category happened to be 16% and the atheists 1.6% so he was going by the category, not taking out the decimal.

still, he should have known.


*Adherents.com = 4% U.S. Pop is Ahtiest


Adherents.com shows Atheists at 0.4% of U.S. Population.


Atheist 1990 adult pop: 902,000 2004= 1,272,986 Percentrage of Pop = 0.4%

a note on this statistical table says:



*Gallup polls show 6% U.S. Pop with 3% error


Gallup organization

finds 6% atheist in U.S. 2008, within 3% margin of error this agrees with the other polls.

May 9-11, 2008.

Which of the following statements comes closest to your belief about God -- you believe in God, you don't believe in God, but you do believe in a universal spirit or higher power, or you don't believe in either? (findings: 6% say Neither, 78% believe in God, 15% beleive in universal spirit, 1% no opinion).



*Pew Study at top = 1.6% U.S. Pop



2004 total population numbers were calculated by multiplying each group's percent of the total adult 2001 population (207,882,353) by the 2004 total population (using the June 1, 2004 U.S. Census Bureau extrapolated estimate of 293,382,953 total Americans). The U.S. Census Bureau total U.S. population estimate for 2000, based on the actual 2000 Census, was: 281,421,906. The U.S. Census Bureau total U.S. population estimate for July 1, 2001 was: 293,655,404. The adult (ages 18 and over) population estimate for July 1, 2001 was: 220,377,406. The total adult population for 2001 used in the 2001 ARIS study (apparently counting only adults aged 21 and over) was: 207,882,353. For 2001 figures, see: 293655404http://www.census.gov/popest/states/asrh/SC-est2004-01.html. This method of extrapolating the 2004 total population of each religious group from the 2001 adult population of each group does not factor in differences in the average number of children per adult for each religious group.




While stats on Christian population have been underrated! New study finds more Christians in Japan than previous thought.

Moe People Claim Christian Faith in Japan

By
Audrey Barrick
audrey@christianpost.com
Sun, Mar. 19 2006 10:24 AM ET


The latest Gallup poll revealed a much higher percentage of Christians in Japan compared to previous surveys, including a surprising high number of teens who claimed the Christian faith.

More People Claim Christian Faith in Japan


Japanese people walk along Omotesando, a fashionable street in Tokyo, March 8, 2006. The latest Gallup poll revealed a much higher percentage of Christians in Japan compared to previous surveys, including a surprising high number of teens who claimed the

In a country where only one percent is Christian among those who claim a faith, findings from one of the most extensive surveys of the country ever taken showed a Christian population of six percent. Meanwhile, the most popular and traditional religions – Buddhism and Shintoism – suffered declines.

Of the 30 percent of adults who claimed to have a religion, 75 percent considered themselves Buddhists, 19 percent Shintoists and 12 percent Christians, according to the Gallup Organization. Japanese youth revealed even more alarming statistics. Of the 20 percent who professed to have a religion, 60 percent called themselves Buddhists, 36 percent Christians and Shintoists.

"These projections mean that seven percent of the total teenage population say they are Christians," said George Gallup Jr. who called the numbers "stunning."

The study - the single largest study ever attempted, according to the social scientists in Japan - examined preteens, teens, young adults, adults and seniors.

"When they saw the design of the questionnaire, Japanese experts argued that the Japanese would never answer the socially delicate and/or the highly personal questions," said Bill McKay, project research director. "However, it was our professional hunch that the Japanese were ready to talk and when they did they told us more than we had asked for. The data is the most revealing look behind the face of Japan and shatters many WWII myths of the Japanese culture."

McKay is also one of the producers of a documentary that is slated for release later this year. The poll was conducted in association with American Trademark Research and MJM Group in 2001 for use in the documentary.

"In my 50 years of polling, there has been no study that I would consider as important as this one, because it provides insight into a fascinating culture," said Gallup.

Delving into more specific attitudes, the poll also found a note of hopelessness in the responses to questions related to morality, spirituality and general views about life.

"And there is little evidence of eternal hope, although a considerable number do believe in some form of life afterlife," noted Gallup. And "there is little belief in 'absolutes,' and this is true across the all-generational groups."

In comparison to teens in the United States, Japanese teens showed a pessimistic outlook on life. Previous studies found that 85 percent of teens in Japan wondered why they existed while 22 percent of U.S. teens had the same thought. Additionally, 13 percent of Japanese teens always see a reason for their being on Earth compared to 76 percent of teens in the U.S, and 11 percent of Japanese teens wished they had never been born while 3 percent of U.S. teens wished the same.

Within an estimated population of 127.4 million in Japan, academics estimate that 20 to 30 percent of adults actively practice a particular faith, but the Agency for Cultural Affairs reported in 2003 that 213,826,700 citizens claimed a religion, according to the U.S. Department of State's latest International Religious Freedom Report.
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Re: Exciting Times We're In

Postby Metacrock on Sun Apr 18, 2010 9:59 am

from the Pew article about thier study linked in the article Fleet quoted:

http://pewforum.org/Age/Religion-Among-the-Millennials.aspx

Yet in other ways, Millennials remain fairly traditional in their religious beliefs and practices. Pew Research Center surveys show, for instance, that young adults' beliefs about life after death and the existence of heaven, hell and miracles closely resemble the beliefs of older people today. Though young adults pray less often than their elders do today, the number of young adults who say they pray every day rivals the portion of young people who said the same in prior decades. And though belief in God is lower among young adults than among older adults, Millennials say they believe in God with absolute certainty at rates similar to those seen among Gen Xers a decade ago. This suggests that some of the religious differences between younger and older Americans today are not entirely generational but result in part from people's tendency to place greater emphasis on religion as they age.
A Note on Sources
and Methods

This report is based on data from a variety of sources, including Pew Research Center surveys, which are used primarily to compare young adults with older adults today. General Social Surveys and Gallup surveys are used primarily for cohort analyses, which compare young adults today with previous generations when they were in their 20s and early 30s. While the surveys explore similar topics, exact question wording and results vary from survey to survey.

Present-day comparisons are made between adults ages 18-29 and those 30 and older. By contrast, the cohort analyses define generations based on respondents’ year of birth. There is significant - but not complete - overlap between the two approaches. That is, in the present-day analyses, depending on the year of the survey being analyzed, some in the 18-29 age group are actually young members of Generation X (defined here as those born from 1965 to 1980) and not true members of the Millennial Generation (defined here as those born after 1980).

In their social and political views, young adults are clearly more accepting than older Americans of homosexuality, more inclined to see evolution as the best explanation of human life and less prone to see Hollywood as threatening their moral values. At the same time, Millennials are no less convinced than their elders that there are absolute standards of right and wrong. And they are slightly more supportive than their elders of government efforts to protect morality, as well as somewhat more comfortable with involvement in politics by churches and other houses of worship.


It's a big mistake to think that young people represent the same views they will hold in middle age. It's common that their rates of disaffection for traditional affiliation will be higher in youth than in middle age.


Notice on the chart at the bottom of the page on the Pew article it shows the percentages for young people. the total for 18 to 29 is 68%. That's the general Christian category. Meaning all Christian groups taken together.

Total for over 30 81%

18-20

for Evangelical 22%

Mainline 12%

30+ 27

19 respectively.

The older group always has a higher level of identification to the group. Look at the chart it's true across the board.
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Re: Exciting Times We're In

Postby Ophir's Gopher on Sun Apr 18, 2010 12:32 pm

Gwarlroge wrote:
(Warning: hastily composed--lots of "I think" and "I don't think.")

I don't think Craig is agnostic about all interpretations of the evidence: he specifically singles out the neo-Darwinian account as the one he doesn't believe. He often says that random mutation and natural selection are not efficacious to produce the variety of life that we see, and that there is disagreement among experts about whether the neo-Darwinian account is adequate. I think he does subscribe to some vague form of evolutionism, or Old Earth Creationism, which suggests that humans might have evolved from "lower" primates. (See here.


There isn't any disagreement about whether naturalistic processes exploded the variety of life. None. Precedent and the scientific method tell scientific experts to look for those naturalistic processes (where else does Craig propose they look? LOL). That's the only approach that works; the other approach -- positing a supernatural force that explodes the varieties at certain points in time during the earth's history -- is useless in science. Craig and you are wrong to equate the healthy disagreement about mechanism in the scientific community to a troubling schism that justifies a "probing agnosticism." For example, no legit scientific expert would ever give nod to Craig's sentiment here [from his blog]:

WLC wrote:Moreover, maybe your model of God is all wrong. Maybe God is not like the engineer who can be faulted if his machine doesn’t function perfectly without his meddling. Maybe God is instead more like the artist who enjoys getting His hands dirty in the paint or the clay to fashion a spectacular world. Why not?


That's ID/creationist dogma pure and simple. Craig should know there's no precedent in science to consider an external consciousness "hocus-pocused" things into existence randomly throughout earth's history. That's positively useless, not to mention archaic and dangerous. So why is he then saying his "probing agnosticism" is scientifically grounded? There's not one instance Craig can cite in which science gained insight into the natural world apart from proven naturalistic modes of investigation.

I don't think Craig is agnostic w/r/t the neo-Darwinian synthesis of evolutionary theory because he's a theologian with no scientific credentials. I don't think he disbelieves it because he's secretly afraid of being not only a sinful human but a primate. I also don't think he is skeptical of evolutionary biologists without good reason. Craig's position on evolution does nothing to damage the credibility of Christian apologetics or evangelism, either, because to discredit everything someone says because you think he's a kook on one issue is simply bad logic--it's a red herring fallacy. The majority of Craig's work is world-class, from what I've read.


"World class" is laying it on a little thick. The man founds his work on the following methodology [emphasis mine]:

What, then, should be our approach in apologetics? It should be something like this: 'My friend, I know Christianity is true because God's Spirit lives in me and assures me that it is true. And you can know it is true, too, because God is knocking at the door of your heart, telling you the same thing. If you are sincerely seeking God, then God will give you assurance that the gospel is true. Now, to try to show you it's true, I'll share with you some arguments and evidence that I really find convincing. But should my arguments seem weak and unconvincing to you, that's my fault, not God's. It only shows that I'm a poor apologist, not that the gospel is untrue. Whatever you think of my arguments, God still loves you and holds you accountable. I'll do my best to present good arguments to you. But ultimately you have to deal, not with arguments, but with God himself.' [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics, (Revised edition, Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1994), p. 48.]


That's a circular methodology. It says that evidence ultimately doesn't matter if God is giving you an inner assurance. It also says that he is a poor apologist if I don't believe him. Well I don't.

Now I do disagree with Craig on one thing: namely, I don't think that Biblical Christians are the only ones who get to "follow the evidence where it leads."


In the context I just laid out, it's stupendously and hilariously wrong, isn't it? It completely contradicts his statement that an "inner assurance" (a warm Goddy feeling) trumps all evidence no matter what the evidence says. That's "world class"?

Naturalists can adhere to naturalism without believing in evolution--the one does not entail the other.


If you a naturalist who doesn't accept evolution, you are a poor naturalist. And evolution isn't a "belief." It is backed by strong interdisciplinary evidence and is one of the most successful theories in the history of science. Craig says the only evidence for it is Darwin's finches and peppered moths. =)

Again, Craig's "probing agnosticism" is religiously based and has nothing to do with great schisms in the scientific community about whether naturalistic processes created biological diversity. That fierce stubbornness and obvious attempt to delude new converts has greatly contributed to the death of conservative Christianity in the world.
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Re: Exciting Times We're In

Postby Metacrock on Sun Apr 18, 2010 12:49 pm

It's a big mistake to think that young people represent the same views they will hold in middle age. It's common that their rates of disaffection for traditional affiliation will be higher in youth than in middle age.


Notice on the chart at the bottom of the page on the Pew article it shows the percentages for young people. the total for 18 to 29 is 68%. That's the general Christian category. Meaning all Christian groups taken together. Note: the chart is showing not the percentage of identification but the percentage of young who accept Bible as literal word of God!

Total for over 30 81%

18-20

for Evangelical 22%

Mainline 12%

30+ 27

19 respectively.

The older group always has a higher level of identification to the group. Look at the chart it's true across the board.

What we see above shows that Generation X is increasing (somewhat) it's identification, we find that the older generations are always more identified with an institution or tradition than young people. young people in America still possess the core values necessary to Christainity.

Notice that the charts in the article from the blog were not about the percentage identification but the percentage of young people believing the Bible is literal and inerrant. When the Pew article shows us their worth with young people we find 18-30 is still above 60%. It goes up as the ages go up. What this tells us is, it's not slipping that far with the youth and it's not hopes that they will come back as they get older.

The actual figure (pew) of percentage of disaffected is 22% and that does represent a doubling of the 70s. The 70s were the "Jesus freak ear" the great revival the Charismatic movement began. We should not expect that to be the norm of participation of youth a religious tradition. So we really shouldn't care the current era to the 70s. There is cause for concern and the disaffection I would think is lately due to hypocrisy. There is always going to be hypocrisy in the chruch, the Regan era galvanized the fundamentalists for the right wing making it worse.

None of this indicates dying out of Christianity.
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Re: Exciting Times We're In

Postby Metacrock on Sun Apr 18, 2010 12:53 pm

OG:That's a circular methodology. It says that evidence ultimately doesn't matter if God is giving you an inner assurance. It also says that he is a poor apologist if I don't believe him. Well I don't.


It's not circular. Its' premise doesn't rest upon it's conclusion. It be some other fallacy but not that one.

It's not contradictory either.

All of that depends upon the nature of the claim mad. If he said "the only reason to bleieve in God is through logical proof," that would be a contradiction.IF he said:

I can prove it logically

but if you don't buy that then buy the emotional appeal that would be something like special pleading.

but he's not basing the truth content on his argument he's only offering it as one avenue to understanding. So then there are other avenues like the emotional appeal.
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Re: Exciting Times We're In

Postby Ophir's Gopher on Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:58 pm

this is I, Metacrock, not Ophir talking.I screwed your post. I am truly sorry.

I hit edit and I thought I hit reply and it posted my replsy over your original post. I am truly sorry.


I still have the second half of your post and I'll


OG wrote:The fundies and dogmatists are in lala land. The Pope is an example of a dogmatist and the worse that religion get, even without the child abuse cover up. That's where I think you and I depart. Consider the efficacy of the Catholic church. Its head is clearly up its ass with respect to sex education and STD and pregnancy prevention in Africa and all over the world. This is not an anomaly.


Meta wrote:so you really just want to punish him because you hate the opposition?


OG:1) When did I ever advocate punishing the pope?

2) When did I ever say I hated my opposition?



so what is your position?


You extrapolate too much from too little. All I said was that the Catholic church exacerbates the STD and pregnancy problem in the mission field. This is irrefutable. Birth control is not evil. Preventing further pregnancies and the spread of STDs is noble and good.



Yea I have to agree with you there. I've never supported their take on birth control.

Meta wrote:Atheism is dying out. It's gone way down from 12% i the 90s to 1.5% now. That's assuming adherence.com and the Pew study. 2 billion people are Christians something 35% world wide, 3% are atheists world wide. You are vastly underrating the importance people place upon religion. those Billion people will not let Christianity die out.


OG wrote:Sorry, but atheism is definitely not "dying out." The number of people who declare themselves non-religious is increasing drastically.


Meta wrote:No it's not. Look, you can't make that be true just because you want it. The most scholarly sources show its' not true. The Pew study showed 1.6% atheists in America. That's down from 2% (at least) who were communists during the cold war. So it has gone down. The figures people quote which are around 12? fail to weed out the 9% who say they believe in a higher power (God) but don't like religion.


OG:More people are declaring themselves "non-religious" than ever before.


that is not atheist. Non religious does not equate to atheists.

non religious //= atheist!

Of the 12% who say (America) "I am not religious" only 3% say "I don't believe in God." the other will support either the of a god directly or of "some higher power." those are not atheists. you can't have it both ways. you can't define atheist as a simple lack of bleieve and nothing no ideology or doctrine or anything, just lack of belief, then start including people with belief in God as atheist! CONTRADICTION!



Whether those same people hold to a "higher power" doesn't counter my observation that the Abrahamic religions are doing a shitty job of passing the baton to the next generation. That's resulting in non-belief and the liberalizing of people's religious views.


Yes it does because they still only represent a 9% decrease and there's proof that they coming out of the ranks of those religions. Christianity has declined in self identified membership in America over the past 2 decades by about 10%. That's hardly dying out, it's also booming membership around the world the last two decades. In Asia, African and Latin America it's booming.

How what's probably happening is it's becoming a theirs world religion. But guess what? the first world is becoming the third world. It's going to grow in America agian because the Hispanics both indigenous to USA and imports (legal and illegal) are going to increase population and as they do it will increase the Catholic pop.







OG wrote:One wonders why you dedicate so much time to lambasting the scourge of of new atheism -- the bloggers, the Harrisses, and the Hitchenses -- if atheism is rapidly dying.


Meta wrote:they preventing people from listening to the truth.


Abrahamic dogmatists distort the truth on a much wider scale. They FAR exceed the 1.6% of atheists you cited.


that's a matter of opinion and it's not true. Look at CARM. The atheists on CARM, with notable exceptions granted but the main body of those who are always most vocal hate liberal arts. Go look at the "useless degree" thread that Username started. Username is a business fart who says liberals arts are useless and stupid, literature is just little entertainment and not worth studying and they shouldn't even have degrees in social scinece. That's the attitude of the brain washed New atheist!

a few of the older type progressives like Hermit are angered by that talk, but most of the young agree with him. Recall and some others (who me be a sock a puppet) are in there pitching with him. Madmax, Dr. Pepper (which is anger me because he ruined a good product name that I loved) and others. 4tune*chance, accruacy, I think are also in that group.



Meta wrote:The are creating a lot of havoc. Just because they haven't increased the ranks of atheists drastically doesn't mean they aren't doing some bad things.


Name the "havoc" they cause and the "bad things" they do.



I know this was water off a ducks back to you but they do mock and ridicule and their attitudes are arrogant, pushing, bullying they are bullies. they are there to put down Christians and make us feel small because it makes them feel big.

they are right wingers and hey are anti-art, sciensitic types.

they don't understand logic, they are always pushing really stupid arguments based upon bad logic, they mock and ridicule my augments because they are stupid and they don't get logic so they wont listen and hey wont allow others to listen.



I thought we agreed that the doubt atheists encourage is efficacious in getting people away from dangerous systems of fundamentalist belief. I find it odd you see atheists as so threatening given the tremendous good they can do in leading people out of ridiculous beliefs (Christian fundamentalism, Mormonism, Branch Davidianism, Scientology, etc). You demonize doubt overmuch. Doubt is healthy.


There is a certain sense in which that's true, but not wholesale. They will not let liberal theology be heard. they do everything they can to destroy my reputation. you don't even know the hears of crap I've had to take form them. They have lied about me and ruined by reputation.

For example one of them in arguing about my studies and the book I wrote realized I was goaded in to telling about the guy who helped me with the book, the shrink who is a major researcher. He actually contacted that guy through his university and tried to poison the well by telling him what a bad guy I am (he doesn't know me) so that he would work with me any more. that's how totally unfair and almost criminal they are in their dealings with people. They have no honor, no courage no sense of fair play.

The one's on secular web spread the lie that I had actually said that I know I can't debate and I'm no good in making arguments. I would never say anything like that. I am very proud of my debate abilities.

Before I got John Loftus to prove that I was a Ph.D. student they were just opening saying that I'm saying. one of them actually tired to imply that he had proof that I never went to a Ph.D. program. Loftus called the department secretary and proved it.a nd I started telling them that and I acutely put the number up to call. none fo them ever had the guts to call it but even with it up there they continued to say "you are lying you never went to graduate school."

One time one of them who had don a little masters work was teeling another who was going to go to graduate school about how it is. I chimed in and began adding to the anecdotes because I was trying to help to. and they both go "O Meta you know you are lying, you never went to college with your bad sepllind and your inablity to reason!"

I exchange emails with Plantinga about logic I've had one dispute with him. Other world famous theologians think my logic is fine. Abraham studies logic at Oxford he thinks my logic is fine. these guy don't know shit about logic. some the thins they say about it are just absolutely stupid. they wouldn't even let me join in helping him prepare for graduate school.

I guess you are going to say it 's personal. But they made it personal.



Atheists actually help you. You should recognize the good they do and use it to your advantage.


being called a liar, having your experiences of life and the knowledge you spent a life time gathering denied that's real helpful. That guy trying to destroy my friendship with that shrink so he wont help me with my books, that's truly low. It didn't work either becuase the shirk saw through him.

I can understand some of what you say. I can appreciate the old way that atheist were but not the new way. when I was an atheist it was about ideas. now it's about ideology. It's about denying any form of knowledge but science, and personal ridicule to feel big.
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Re: Exciting Times We're In

Postby Gwarlroge on Sun Apr 18, 2010 5:34 pm

Ophir's Gopher wrote:There isn't any disagreement about whether naturalistic processes exploded the variety of life. None.


That's not what I said, though--or what Craig said. Craig usually mentions only two of the possible naturalistic mechanisms of evolution and then says he doesn't think that they could have exploded the variety of life. (I love that phrase, BTW--"exploded the variety of life"! :D)

Precedent and the scientific method tell scientific experts to look for those naturalistic processes


Agreed.

That's the only approach that works; the other approach -- positing a supernatural force that explodes the varieties at certain points in time during the earth's history -- is useless in science.


I'm not sure what Craig's argument about this is. I think he says that ID theory is actually useful as an explanation, but (TBH) the issue doesn't interest me.

Craig and you are wrong to equate the healthy disagreement about mechanism in the scientific community to a troubling schism that justifies a "probing agnosticism."


It could be a healthy schism, too. And hey--at least he's probing.

For example, no legit scientific expert would ever give nod to Craig's sentiment here [from his blog]:
WLC wrote:Moreover, maybe your model of God is all wrong. Maybe God is not like the engineer who can be faulted if his machine doesn’t function perfectly without his meddling. Maybe God is instead more like the artist who enjoys getting His hands dirty in the paint or the clay to fashion a spectacular world. Why not?


Well, that statement isn't about science, but theology. A legit scientific expert could agree with it on a theological basis--say, if he is a Christian. But Craig isn't explaining any explicit biological facts here--he is simply pointing out that given the facts we have, we can't reasonable call God unjust for, say, creating hunchbacks.

That's ID/creationist dogma pure and simple.


Yes, but in this case Craig brings it up (I think?) as a plausible scenario to show that moral arguments against ID fail. If we assume that there is a Designer, for the sake of argument, then we can't judge him to be immoral based on imperfections in a creature. That's all Craig is saying.

Craig should know there's no precedent in science to consider an external consciousness "hocus-pocused" things into existence randomly throughout earth's history.


What do you mean by precedent? (I don't know much about science, btw. Are you a scientist, OG?)

That's positively useless, not to mention archaic and dangerous.


(1) It doesn't matter if it's archaic.
(2) Why is it dangerous?

The useless part I can agree with--well, no, I can't. If it explains the facts, and we want to explain the facts, then it's not useless. (This isn't to say that I agree with Craig, though!)

"World class" is laying it on a little thick.


No it's not!

The man founds his work on the following methodology [emphasis mine]:

What, then, should be our approach in apologetics? It should be something like this: 'My friend, I know Christianity is true because God's Spirit lives in me and assures me that it is true. And you can know it is true, too, because God is knocking at the door of your heart, telling you the same thing. If you are sincerely seeking God, then God will give you assurance that the gospel is true. Now, to try to show you it's true, I'll share with you some arguments and evidence that I really find convincing. But should my arguments seem weak and unconvincing to you, that's my fault, not God's. It only shows that I'm a poor apologist, not that the gospel is untrue. Whatever you think of my arguments, God still loves you and holds you accountable. I'll do my best to present good arguments to you. But ultimately you have to deal, not with arguments, but with God himself.' [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics, (Revised edition, Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1994), p. 48.]


That's a circular methodology. It says that evidence ultimately doesn't matter if God is giving you an inner assurance.


And it shouldn't.

It also says that he is a poor apologist if I don't believe him. Well I don't.


Do you disbelieve him based on legitimate criticisms of his arguments? And besides, I meant that his work as a philosopher and a Historical Jesus scholar is world class--I know very little of his work on ID.

In the context I just laid out, it's stupendously and hilariously wrong, isn't it? It completely contradicts his statement that an "inner assurance" (a warm Goddy feeling)


The two are not equivalent. In some cases, one can feel a cold, judgey feeling and reject God. Sometimes the witness of the Holy Spirit comes without emotional effects.

trumps all evidence no matter what the evidence says. That's "world class"?


No--lots of people know that who aren't world class philosophers (although Alvin Plantinga, a world class philosopher, did write a trilogy of books on the subject).

Craig says the only evidence for it is Darwin's finches and peppered moths. =)


Really?? Not even Lee Strobel goes for those! :mrgreen:

Again, Craig's "probing agnosticism" is religiously based and has nothing to do with great schisms in the scientific community about whether naturalistic processes created biological diversity. That fierce stubbornness and obvious attempt to delude new converts has greatly contributed to the death of conservative Christianity in the world.


But you have said elsewhere that, according to Craig, evolution does not challenge anyone's faith. (Well, OK, not anyone's faith, but not Craig's, either.) So why this "fierce stubbornness" or "delusion of new converts" if the ToE poses no threat? (And I don't think it does.)

A biologist at my church believes that evolution occurred and is well-explained by current theories; he rolls his eyes at most arguments against evolution. Yet he is still a conservative Christian.
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Re: Exciting Times We're In

Postby Ophir's Gopher on Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:35 pm

Ophir's Gopher wrote:There isn't any disagreement about whether naturalistic processes exploded the variety of life. None.


Gwarlroge wrote:That's not what I said, though--or what Craig said. Craig usually mentions only two of the possible naturalistic mechanisms of evolution and then says he doesn't think that they could have exploded the variety of life. (I love that phrase, BTW--"exploded the variety of life"! :D)


True, it's not what you said. Sorry. It's definitely what Craig says, though. He encourages his audience's skepticism of evolution by saying there's a serious disagreement among evolutionary scientists about whether evolution occurred. There isn't. The debate is about mechanism. Scientists don't question whether evolution occurred -- the fossil record and DNA screams that it does.

Craig performs a classic creationist trick. This is nothing new. I find it particularly irritating because I have to explain to Christians there is no controversy and that the "disagreement" is a component of the scientific method that inches us closer to the truth. You'd be annoyed, too, if you had to keep explaining this to people. Craig, Strobel, et al perpetuate it.

OG]That's the only approach that works; the other approach -- positing a supernatural force that explodes the varieties at certain points in time during the earth's history -- is useless in science.[/quote]

[quote="Gwarlroge wrote:
I'm not sure what Craig's argument about this is. I think he says that ID theory is actually useful as an explanation, but (TBH) the issue doesn't interest me.


That's what I suspected. You aren't really sure what Craig believes on ID, and "the issue" doesn't "interest" you. Odd that you'd jump to clarify his actual beliefs, then.

I'm well aware of his views on ID. He's a fellow of the Discovery Institute and subscribes to their anti-evolutionary views of teleology. IDers believe that God intervened in the creation process, hence the "sudden" appearance of new species in the fossil record.

OG wrote:Craig and you are wrong to equate the healthy disagreement about mechanism in the scientific community to a troubling schism that justifies a "probing agnosticism."


Gwarlroge wrote:It could be a healthy schism, too.


This he doesn't say. He's too busy trying to concoct the illusion that scientific certainty about evolution is premature.

Might I suggest that you actually familiarize yourself with his ID views before leaping to clarify them?

Gwarlroge wrote:And hey--at least he's probing.


Probing, my foot. If he actually probed the facts, he wouldn't be an agnostic about it. Science isn't agnostic about whether evolution occurred by naturalistic processes. Craig unnecessarily reinforces his audience's skepticism about evolution. You're saying his skepticism is grounded in a healthy scientific disagreement about mechanism, while ignoring the fact that Craig's audience sees it as much more troubling and malevolent than that. You see? No matter which way you look at it, it doesn't make a lick of sense.

OG wrote:For example, no legit scientific expert would ever give nod to Craig's sentiment here [from his blog]:
WLC wrote:Moreover, maybe your model of God is all wrong. Maybe God is not like the engineer who can be faulted if his machine doesn’t function perfectly without his meddling. Maybe God is instead more like the artist who enjoys getting His hands dirty in the paint or the clay to fashion a spectacular world. Why not?


Gwarlroge wrote:Well, that statement isn't about science, but theology.


No, it's not. It's about the ID view of science and only touches on PoE. In fact, the question Craig was answering was asked by a Christian member of his site who doesn't have a problem with PoE. He had a problem with Craig's misrepresentation of the evidence for evolution. Do your homework! =)

Gwarlroge wrote: A legit scientific expert could agree with it on a theological basis--say, if he is a Christian. But Craig isn't explaining any explicit biological facts here


Yes he is! He's explaining ID's position on how the variety of life came about. ID proposes that God supernaturally "stepped in" to tweak and fiddle with DNA. OF COURSE that isn't real science, but to IDers it clearly is a legitimate scientific explanation. That's why the Discovery Instutute promotes ID as "science."

You can't snow a guy who was deeply involved in ID/creationism, G. I'm very familiar with this culture and their tactics. Craig is very transparent.

OG wrote:That's ID/creationist dogma pure and simple.


Gwarlroge wrote:Yes, but in this case Craig brings it up (I think?) as a plausible scenario to show that moral arguments against ID fail.


Nope, that's not why he brought it up. He brought it up in response to this [emphasis mine]:

Reasonable Faith blog member wrote:Dr Craig as a fellow Christian but also one with a keen interest in science I was very disappointed by your recent podcast on the doctrine of creation. You seem to express considerable skepticism of macroevolution, which has in fact been frequently observed. Microevolution is defined simply as variation within a species whereas macroevolution is defined as variation at the level of, or above the level of, species. Speciation which is an example of this has been observed under various conditions and documented many times in the scientific literature so I was rather dismayed by you apparent readiness to emphasize the difference between the two.

I also feel that you did a very poor job in attempting to describe the state of the fossil record. The only transitional fossil that you mentioned was archaeopteryx which is not even the only such fossil in the transition from dinosaurs to birds.There are huge number of fossils showing other transitions such as those from fish to amphibians, invertebrates to fish, and also the other major transitions. We also have extremely good fossils documenting the evolution of the whale, the horse, the elephant, and of course us, homo sapiens. I feel that this form of progressive creationism that you appear to espouse makes God into some kind of meddler and bungler, constantly having to help along the process that he must have originally set in place but which was inadequate for producing everything he required it to. Some things are apparently able to evolve as he requires whereas at other stages he has to directly intervene to essentially create new creatures. This also makes the fossil record full of his mistakes, which might suggest he is not very good at what he is doing, and this is not a God that I feel comfortable worshiping. You also mention books by people such as Phillip Johnson who is not a scientist, and Michael Denton whose book was written over 20 years ago and was not well regarded by scientists even then and is now very outdated, Then there is Michael Behe, who appears to accept common ancestry among all life but seems to think that God is required to fiddle about with bacteria flagella, and this again, I feel, rather demeans the glory of his creation.

Nobody taking an objective look at the facts, such as the fossil record, existence of shared endogenous retroviruses and pseudogenes, and the fusion of human chromosome number 2, can doubt that we share a common ancestor with chimpanzees and, as this seems to be the main point of contention among evolution doubters, I can see no reason why we should not extend this line all the way back to LUCA.

I hope you can clarify your views on this, which as I say caused me considerable dismay after having enjoyed your previous podcasts.


Note the bolded sentence is the only reference to PoE. The bulk of the discussion is on the supposed problems of life having come about through purely naturalistic processes, which it has! =P

If we assume that there is a Designer, for the sake of argument, then we can't judge him to be immoral based on imperfections in a creature. That's all Craig is saying.


There's a difference between "imperfections in a creature" -- which the member has no problem with being a theistic evolutionist -- and "things are apparently able to evolve as he requires whereas at other stages he has to directly intervene to essentially create new creatures." Natural science offers an elegant explanation for the record as we see it is his point. Force fitting a supernatural intervention for which there is ZERO evidence is quite another. (Not to mention God being in "rest" mode according to Genesis. Not surprisingly, Craig avoids that little problem.)

OG wrote:Craig should know there's no precedent in science to consider an external consciousness "hocus-pocused" things into existence randomly throughout earth's history.


Gwarlroge wrote:What do you mean by precedent? (I don't know much about science, btw. Are you a scientist, OG?)


Precedent (in this context) = a recorded, verifiable event. Nothing in the natural history record or our current observations suggests that anything pops into existence. We're bound to interpret evidence through the lens of natural law and have no reason to depart from it. Craig makes the appalling assertion that we should depart from it -- at least when considering the appearance of life. And no I'm not a scientist. I just understand the scientific method.


OG wrote:That's positively useless, not to mention archaic and dangerous.


Gwarlroge wrote:(1) It doesn't matter if it's archaic.


In some cases, it does. Holding to archaic views of reality in light of sufficient explanations can be dangerous.

Gwarlroge wrote:(2) Why is it dangerous?


Because the progress of science depends on a steady replenishment of good minds. Craig sullies minds by telling his audience that speciation is dubious when it isn't anything of the sort.

Gwarlroge wrote:The useless part I can agree with--well, no, I can't. If it explains the facts, and we want to explain the facts, then it's not useless. (This isn't to say that I agree with Craig, though!)


What Craig proposes -- what ID proposes -- doesn't explain any facts. Science and science alone explains biological facts.

OG']Again, Craig's "probing agnosticism" is religiously based and has nothing to do with great schisms in the scientific community about whether naturalistic processes created biological diversity. That fierce stubbornness and obvious attempt to delude new converts has greatly contributed to the death of conservative Christianity in the world.[/quote]

[quote="Gwarlroge wrote:
But you have said elsewhere that, according to Craig, evolution does not challenge anyone's faith. (Well, OK, not anyone's faith, but not Craig's, either.) So why this "fierce stubbornness" or "delusion of new converts" if the ToE poses no threat? (And I don't think it does.)


Because he disingenuously presents it. Like I said, he knows his audience has a higher degree of skepticism than mere doubt about naturalistic mechanisms for biological change. Craig's doubt, according to you, is solely rooted in a scientific non-consensus about mechanism. His audience is left with the impression that naturalistic evolution -- all naturalistic evolution -- can be reasonably doubted based on a supposed dearth of evidence. That's downright dishonest. He knows his fundy audience would rather believe God intervened supernaturally, and so he accommodates them with repackaged creationist bullshit. Nothing at all original in what he's doing. It's all he CAN do. =)

A biologist at my church believes that evolution occurred and is well-explained by current theories; he rolls his eyes at most arguments against evolution. Yet he is still a conservative Christian.


The ratio of anti-evo conservative Christians to evo conservative Christians is sobering. I disrespect and distrust the Christian church for its monumental lack of concern about this issue.
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Re: Exciting Times We're In

Postby met on Sun Apr 18, 2010 10:05 pm

Does 'Non-religious' equate to 'atheist?' . .. That is the question . .. .

IOW, IS a 'non-religious' label somehow a gain for atheists? Will the mewly non-religious side with(those who self-describe as) 'atheists' on many, or most, sociopolitical issues?

Maybe not. Masny young people who are non-religious are socially and politically conservative anyways
The “One” is the space of the “world” of the tick, but also the “pinch” of the lobster, or that rendezvous in person to confirm online pictures (with a new lover or an old God). This is the machinery operative...as “onto-theology."
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