Sketches on Atheism

The God-Hypothesis

Imagine, if you will, a bright young chap proposing an intriguing hypothesis for something. It doesn’t really matter what. What’s important is that it was a hypothesis that, at least on paper, sounded quite compelling.

So, an Abstract was written, and following the Abstract some justifications for the probable truth of the idea were published… and with that, efforts to prove this hypothesis began in earnest.

Now imagine 2,500 years elapsing since the proposal was first suggested, and in those 2,500 years absolutely NOTHING was discovered to even remotely suggest the hypothesis was, in fact, true.

This is not to say the hypothesis had lain dormant. It hadn’t. Generation after generation of bright people embraced the hypothesis and dedicated their entire lives to proving it true.

However, despite every effort, after 2,500 years the only progress that could be shown was that from time to time someone had reviewed the Abstract and had changed the odd word or two here and there.

100 generations of work, millions of man-hours, and the needle was not moved a single millimetre.

Given this, why after 2,500 years of complete failure should anyone still suspect the hypothesis held merit?

 

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457 thoughts on “The God-Hypothesis

  1. Hello John. Great question. I suspect it is because of emotion. They use emotion instead of reason to evaluate the work. They also get emotional feedback they enjoy from the companionship. Hugs

    Liked by 5 people

      • Rubbish! I died and went to Heaven: God said they weren’t ready for me yet and had to spend some years in Purgatory, so they sent me to God’s Own Country.

        Now all I gotta do is be good, not bite anybody, roll over on demand and next time I die I am absolutely guaranteed all the booze I can drink and virgins I can eat.
        But YOU, you heathen: brrrrrrrr …

        Liked by 2 people

  2. For the same reason Ponzi and pyramid schemes work: we fundamentally want what is denied to others in order to feel special and so we become more respectful and credulous to get it. Add to that the increased expectations of reciprocity based on the very human willingness to trust our closest communities and we find we continue to invest in the Ponzi belief because we continue to receive some kind of return on investment. When the reciprocity factor is met, this is usually sufficient to maintain trust not (necessarily) in the fiction so much as the justified confidence we will continue to earn a return on the investment. In the religious model, we get a return on social investment. And that’s where apologetics steps in and does just enough rationalizing in the theological area to make everything appear to the reciprocity believer to be above board and reasonable.

    So when the belief itself is challenged on merit, most believers don’t want to hear it because that’s not why they believe as they do. They will continue to pay the membership fee to the religious framing in order to continue receiving the return on investment (they themselves will prop up the scheme) and so it’s a very big deal when someone actually stops investing because this means one realizes the Ponzi scheme in action and understands their investment has been wasted, that the return on investment has created no social wealth outside of those involved in the scheme.

    Liked by 12 people

  3. I am reminded of the neologism “deepity” referring to a statement that sounds “deep” or wise or profound but is really just gibberish. There are benefits to religion, but these are not linked at all to belief. People coming together around shared beliefs has some value but that is not linked to what the beliefs are. Advocates for religion keep confounding these factors, and words like ordinary belief as opposed to religious belief to sell their nefarious goods to their marks. It is embarrassing to us as a species that we cannot shed this pox on our thinking.

    Liked by 10 people

    • Read Tildeb’s comment, it’s pertinent to this pox.

      And it is fascinating that apologists spin deepity while ignoring (or simply forgetting) that the entire ride is based on a massive presuppostion. Philosophy is guilty of giving theism too much validity.

      Liked by 5 people

      • Hang on a sec, JZ.

        Because reality utterly fails to comport to the various woo-laden religions both in evidence for its claims as well as an absence of evidence where it should be found if true (tough to get around those facts that, when combined with the absolute lack of any advancement in knowledge using this ‘other way of knowing’ religion likes to state as if true, should be three strikes and you’re out), the only other ‘tool’ to try to pretend there is evidence for religious belief in the supernatural comes from metaphysics, that ancient branch of philosophy that can be used to ‘prove’ anything at all based as it is on assuming the premises from which you draw the conclusion you want are to be taken as if true (it helps if one also assumes the premises are true because some god says they are)… which is why it is the cornerstone of all religious apologetics. To mix metaphors, the use of metaphysics is what produces the circular thinking needed to think it is a legitimizing tool of reason (circular and cornerstones don’t mix well in my mind).

        It’s actually the only tool beyond tradition and revelation.

        So my point is that philosophy that requires premises first to comport with reality remains quite useful in matters of human concerns (and especially in formulating clear and concise logical thinking even if relying on fuzzy language as the means) and so I would hate to throw out the baby with the dirty bathwater here.

        It is metaphysics that is the historical guilty party… so what I’m finding now is a slow redefinition of it within the discipline (abstract concepts dealing with first principles on the one hand – such as cause, identity, knowing, etc. – to abstract theory that has no basis in reality on the other – such as the POOF!ism needed for creationism) that makes it just as handy for the theist to mix and match when convenient as the term ‘belief’ (confidence born of experience on the one hand but belief in the absence of convincing evidence on the other); again, metaphysics as a term that has two very different meanings and two very different applications but mixed and matched for convenience by the apologist.

        I think you are quite right that all of us should treat philosophy with an added amount of critical skepticism when its claims leave the natural world and starts relying on nebulous terminology.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Wish I had you on Twitter last night, was discussing just this distinction/criticism with godFreeWorld (a biology professor who’s anti-philosophy because it produces nothing)/SecularOutpost (a philosopher and atheist advocate)/ and an odd chap going by the handle of MetaChristianity.

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      • It’s not philosophy at fault—it’s human nature.

        The philosopher tells that contradictions can’t exist, but his words are dry and unemotional. Excellent analyses but no hope.

        The religionist tells us things that can’t possibly be true and are based entirely on blatant contradictions, but they are what we (afraid of the dark? Tut~!) desperately want/need to hear and they are delivered with confident conviction.

        So who ya gonna believe? Me, offering you an inevitable cold grave with no time off ever—or the vibrant smiling confident religionist offering you Eternal Bliss?

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I heard someone once describe ‘successful’ religions having the characteristic of a virus/parasite, that is it needs to spread to new hosts to survive.

    The propensity with which people accept conspiracy theories, not because of compelling evidence but rather due to bias confirmation is telling. It shows that deep in human nature ‘we’ are prepared to accept ‘bullshit’ uncritically if it makes us feel good.

    Of course when the religious are in positions of power they can quash free thought. We saw this with Christianity for a millennium, and now see Islam is using the same playbook (astonishingly with the willing support of sections of the modern West).

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    • There is a benefit for the average believer, especially when it comes to existential death anxiety. What I find curious is how *professional* apologists keep it all going when the hypothesis is so obviously wrong. I was 9 when I first put a moments thought into all this, and I saw the flaws then. How on earth adults do it (if they’re serious) is beyond me.

      Liked by 5 people

      • When a person has invested so much of themselves in a belief, they sort of need it to be true to validate the past effort. This is part of why folk double down, it is too psychologically troubling to accept reality.

        The You Tuber Thereamin Trees make some excellent videos on this matter. The irony is that it does not matter about intelligence, as the very smart folk can be very inventive in coming up with excuses to believe.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Great observation. I saw something similar said about people who voted for Trump. They hate that they did, but can’t admit it was wrong, so they remain on the crazy train and justify it in whatever way they can.

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      • On the matter of Trump voters I suspect that one interlocutor in this thread, the lion, might fit the bill. Quite a way with words as The Pink Agendist noted, but either is a troll or a completely deluded fool, probably the latter.

        I spent many years working in the finance industry and found that one class of business seemed to attract charlatans at a great rate, that was property development. Indeed I was set the task to analyse my banks considerable losses in the Australian great recession of the early 1990’s. I graphed the losses by industry and had to use a log scale or it would essentially be a flat line except for property developers.

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  5. John, is this post a direct post addressed to the proponent of globe/ball theory, a THEORY which exists on paper only, and has. Even been proven by one person, be they prince or pauper, scientist or weather man.

    Your post made me laugh , for you in so many ways have spoken also about the loose leaf tenets of the religion of atheism, a pretended substitute for intellect.

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      • Agreed pink- – typo- difficult to type from phone format- I fixed the mistake: should read never.

        ‘ a direct post addressed to the proponent of globe/ball theory, a THEORY which exists on paper only, and has NEVER been proven by one person, be they prince or pauper, scientist or weather man.’

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      • Any compass proves ALL land mass is south. Seriously John you need to really consider WHY a compass can only work on a horizontal surface.

        True science and all that, you know, things observable, testable, repeatable, not baseless assumptions or theories. 😉

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      • Yeah that would be a problem for you eh, locating it because it allegedly moves at 67,000 mph.

        Good luck with that, but you do have your theories to suffocate common sense right ? Hilarious.

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      • Gee John, I’m having trouble locating it on your cartoon painted blue marble, that ‘exquisite’ monument dedicated to CGI artists worldwide, an image mind you, PAINTED, because out of the very words of astronots, they have gone on record saying ‘it has to be.’

        Are you listening Zande? The ‘photos’ are ‘painted, ‘ because, well, they HAVE TO BE.

        Embarrassing to they who demand proof. Ask your friend the arkman how the magic of fish yes lens’s can even corrupt the shore line at oceans edge, as if to pretend a water skier is traversing a basketball.

        How do these clowns who promote such stupidity sleep at night?

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      • In addition to your ill-advised foray into apologetics, you’ve also taken up the mantle of flat-earthers. I applaud you for at least being consistent in your ability to argue vehemently for ideas which are based on large volumes of evidence to the contrary. It gives you a unique quality, because you can go around telling everybody you spent your life, at every opportunity, advancing absolutely nothing useful or true. I hope there is some group out there who gives lifetime un-achievement awards. You’re a solid candidate.

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      • Tks gill.

        But surely you must appreciate my demand for EVIDENCE, evidence which sober minded people accept as vital to correct conclusions. Thus does your own false science condemn you.

        It is YOU who ASSUMES a non sensical 67,000mph orbit of earth, while I agree with what my eyes see, as well as facts, logic, science, and of course scripture.

        As an atheist, you should be embarrassed to put so much faith in that which you have never been seen, yet that which has proved you to be quite religious.

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      • Sorry, but if you think there is no evidence for the Earth being a sphere, I’m not going to debate with you. For someone who believes in grand ideas like God, who you can’t see with your own eyes, it’s surprising to me that you can’t understand that a sphere can be so large than from the perspective of a tiny human it appears flat. Now I know you like to co-opt words like logic to mean the exact opposite as how you use it, so I’m not going to argue with your interpretation of the English language. But to summarize:

        Earth looks flat to own eyes – thus Earth exists as a flat object
        Never seen God before with own eyes – yet God exists

        If you want to use your eyes as some sort of arbiter for truth at least be consistent.

        Liked by 5 people

      • Nice try gill-

        I have walked many miles, as have most people on earth, and have NEVER had the opportunity to walk upside down like an insect on a ceiling. Maybe you have.

        Unlike you, I have also never seen a common railroad having to negotiate such impossible heights and depths, scenerios that are only wishful thinking to they who specialize in ASSUMPTIONS.

        As far as ‘eyes’ btw, nature is a fine enough teacher, and confirms what our conscience instinctively knows.

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      • LOL…you actually think walk around a large globe is akin to walking upside-down? Your inability to grasp even the simplest of physics is phenomenal. The fact that you actually think there is an “up” in a 3-D space is hilarious. Oh and I’m not trying. You are quite delusional and I have no interest in trying to set you straight. It’s impossible. You are pure entertainment. If Branyan had half your material he’d actually be funny too!

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      • Your ball gill. You own it. If you cannot see the physics of an ant walking on a ceiling, and its obvious connection to your very own inability to do likewise, I cant help you.

        If you will not take the unbiased instruction of nature, my words will also fall on deaf ears.

        Perhaps I should instruct you in the trinitarian truths of the level, the plumbline, and the compass? All tools which forever put to bed the absurd notions of an earth moving at warp speed, a speed no one has witnessed or seen. 😉

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      • Perhaps I should instruct you in the trinitarian truths

        If I felt you ever expressed anything resembling truth, I’d take you up on that offer. Until then I’ll be thankful I only am aware of a portion of your fantasy reality that you live inside. You may even be more fictional than Jesus!

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      • I’ve done this experiment around 100 times for my middle school science students. All it takes is a powerful laser, a very large lake that is a minimum of 1 or 2 miles (or more) across in breath, a boat, and an 8-12 foot measuring board for the laser to hit. This one was orchestrated by Stephen Hawking, but even ColorfulSprinkles could do it too — yes, that’s how easy it is. No matter what large water surface you are on across the planet, the results are always the same. You don’t even need astronauts going out into space and taking pictures of our VERY ROUND Earth.

        But John, Swarn, and Clubshadenfreude… I guarantee you CS will still delusionally deny it. LOL 😆

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    • hmmm poor CS, more incoherent than usual. It seems that this poor Christian thinks that the world is flat and that we’ve never been to space. Amazing how Christians keep attacking each other’s claims. It’s even funnier that he thinks he’s fixed his post.

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      • @club

        It seems the irony of my intervention here is lost on you as well. The Fact of God is no hypothesis, while the ASSUMPTIONS of a zany, spinning, orbiting ball IS pure hypothesis, and lives on paper only.

        Sorry if this is above your pay grade and thus escape you. You say the earth orbits at 67,000mph?

        You made the claim. Prove it. Assumptions will not do. Hypothesis will not do. Theories will not do.

        Prove it. Off you go. Hint: you will die before you can prove it, and any good atheist should be agreeing with me and my demand for evidence.

        Embarrassing is it not then, to have the confederacy and alliance of sooooooo many believers who agree with you as to your BALL theory, while you despise them for their faith in other things.

        Truly a massive conundrum for you to be so aligned.

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      • Wow, CS is just as stupid as ever. Still no evidence for CS’s very own version of his god. So, CS’s god isn’t a hypothesis. It’s just a delusion on his part. And no, dear, no matter how you lie, reality doesn’t change and we have plenty of evidence for a spheroid planet.

        The orbital speed is around 67K MPH. It’s not hard to figure out by just knowing the size of the orbit and how long it takes us to get from one point and to return to it again. We know we orbit since we have seasons, and the stars are seen with parallax. However, I know that those basic facts are simply beyond someone who wants to be willfully ignorant. I’m more than happy to treat you as a cat toy, someone who so profoundly needs to believe that he is special that he constantly lies.

        And funny how I’ve already proved that the earth orbits and I’m happy and healthy. Not dead at all. Poor CS, another prophecy failed. Per your god, you should be stoned to death, for being a failed prophet. It’s so cute to see a desperate Christian hope that an atheist will agree with them. I see you can’t get any Christians to agree with you so now you are looking for anyone to give you validation.

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      • Aah you played your hand, JUST AS I SAID club, ‘not hard TO FIGURE OUT,’ just as I told you, this place where you live, is in your head alone, and ON PAPER.

        It is rather embarrassing for you to continue and further persist, then boast of your alleged orbital speed.

        STOP LYING CLUB. It is not becoming. It is clubFRAUDulent. At least admit YOU have never seen this alleged orbit, but that you accept this by faith alone.

        Geeze, the hole you have dug for yourself; your allies here must be wishing you would stop hurting your cause.

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      • wow, CS has no idea what he is saying. Funny how CS has no idea on how we can see the stars. What a shame. Still no evidence for his god, still no evidence for a flat earth and still no evidence that we didn’t send people into space to see a spheroid.

        As usual, we have CS desperate to get validation from anyone since his fellow Christians have ignored CS and his claims of having the one true Christianity.

        It’s wonderful to see a Christian lying and showing that he has no more respect for his religion than I do. And funny how my allies think you are an idiot CS. I guess one more prediction failed. Christians like CS are the best argument that religion is entirely man-made.

        I have what I wanted. You claim I’m lying, CS. Do show how you know this. Surely you can, right?

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      • The earth IS flat-ish, and largely close to horizontal. Admittedly, the peaks of mountains are higher than the depths of the ocean floor, but those fluctuations are tiny in comparison with the lateral dimensions of the planet. I used a flat earth model before I could read and write, and I still use one today for most purposes.

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      • Listen, how many times must I say this: the earth is pyramid shaped! God sits on his throne at the top, and we lesser beings kinda hang onto the angled sides of it by shear force of his will. Lordy be, but will you foolish people EVER learn! You have eyes, but refuse to see; ears but refuse to listen! Awake to reality! PLEASE!!!

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      • JohnAllman.UK… please see my above YouTube video for one sure-fire proof for a round, spherical Earth.

        There are several other proofs as well, some dating as far back as the 3rd-century BCE (Pythagoras). And Eratosthenes around 238-242 BCE measured the circumference of Earth. Furthermore, there are well over 17 various methods to prove repeatedly that no matter where you are… the Earth is VERY ROUND. 🙂

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      • You don’t need to convince me that modelling the earth as an oblate spheroid is useful for example if one is planning to fly planes between continents. But I have reminded us that all children learn to think of the earth flat and horizontal locally. Children think of up and down as absolute directions, long before they learn to think about the globe or “gravity” – if they ever do, or need to. For most everyday tasks, humans don’t need to take into account the curvature of the earth. It is entirely possible that there are remote, illiterate, untravelled and small human populations that live far from the sea, amongst mountains, who have never considered that the earth might not be “flat”.

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      • Well, no matter what little children perceive in their understandably immature, yet to be well-educated minds throughout their youth and adolescence, that no matter age or intelligence human survival depends on a litany of motion, change, and experience. The more the better, in fact much better! Stagnation, in whatever capacity of living one might choose, leads eventually to naivety and premature death.

        However, that natural law being long established, I was glad to read on your blog JohnAllman.UK under “CV” that you seem to have a good background in advance mathematics:

        O-level in 1968 in 9 subjects including Mathematics and both English subjects. I obtained grade 1
        (equivalent to the top half of a modern GCSE grade A), in Mathematics, Latin and Scripture
        Knowledge.

        A-level 1970 in Mathematics (grade A), Physics (grade A) and Chemistry (grade B merit).

        First class honours degree, mainly in Mathematics and Physics, Open University, 1980. (An
        excerpt from my OU first degree Academic Transcript follows, showing the courses I took.)

        Therefore, at least the mathematical proofs of Earth’s circumference and spherical shape make total sense to you according to all your colleagues and the cumulative mathematical consensus for many many centuries. And as Nan noted, yes… of course there are indigenous peoples in extremely remote pockets of the world they have no desire whatsoever to improve or make safer their lives or that of their descendants. “You can lead a belligerent mule to water, but…” well, you know the adage. 🙂

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      • Just thought I’d mention a standard set of tests for children Piaget developed along these lines of what seems ‘obvious’ to the child.

        One of the teaching projects was for students to carry out these tests with willing children. A student teacher friend carried out these tests with my 4 year old and had some trouble keeping up with my child’s explanation that used balls of how orbits created eclipses on other balls and a positioned lamp. The teachers job was to move some of the balls in orbit while my child demonstrated the resulting light on the balls he positioned and then slowly orbited around the lamp. To my child, this demonstration of orbiting sphere was ‘obvious’ physics in action and so the student teacher was perplexed how such a young mind could not just grasp these ‘advanced’ ideas but explain them to an adult who never considered the same daily data! That’s the difference between a mind that truly wishes to understand and so can learn and minds that aren’t willing to do the same.

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      • An outstanding example Tildeb of how never-ending curiosity moves us forward as a species despite age. We should ALWAYS be students, eh? The best teachers almost always prefer to be students, yes? 😉

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      • @ clubschadenfreude

        “you are a flat earther it seems and have no idea how GPS works”

        In what sense do I “seem” to you to be a “flat earther”? What makes you think I don’t know how GPS works? Why would it be “silly” not to have bothered to read how GPS works?

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      • ROFL. hmmm, it seems that John can’t remember what he wrote. “he earth IS flat-ish, and largely close to horizontal. Admittedly, the peaks of mountains are higher than the depths of the ocean floor, but those fluctuations are tiny in comparison with the lateral dimensions of the planet. I used a flat earth model before I could read and write, and I still use one today for most purposes.”

        it’s interesting that an adult man, as you present yourself as, still apparently thinks like an illiterate child.

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      • So, John Allman, please do explain for lil ol’ me. What did you mean when you claimed that the earth was not a spheroid?

        Here is what you said again:

        “he earth IS flat-ish, and largely close to horizontal. Admittedly, the peaks of mountains are higher than the depths of the ocean floor, but those fluctuations are tiny in comparison with the lateral dimensions of the planet. I used a flat earth model before I could read and write, and I still use one today for most purposes.”

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      • I didn’t claim that the earth wasn’t a spheroid. I said it was flat-ish. look around you. The curvature of the earth isn’t something most people need to keep in mind, for most everyday purposes.

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      • Yep, again, you claim that the earth is flat (with the qualifier -ish) and by that you are saying that the earth isn’t a spheroid. It can’t be both. In case you can’t quite get it, flat doesn’t mean sphere. And yep, I can look around me and I know that I’m on a sphere, and that isn’t hard to do thanks to that nifty thing called an eclipse.

        You are in a discussion where it was claimed that the earth is flat. So, when you claim that the earth is “flatish” you are claiming that you think that the earth is flat not a spheroid.
        This also follows when you claim that the earth is “horizontal” (that depends on comparison to something else, but only makes sense if one thinks it is flat, with “up” being away from the “horizontal” surface) and that the height and depth of features of the earth are “tiny” to the lateral dimensions. Lateral means side to side and in this context imply a flat earth.

        You are also so terribly ignorant when you fail to know that the oceans are quite a bit deeper than mountains. https://geology.com/records/deepest-part-of-the-ocean.shtml

        It seems that John, trying to make a silly claim in evident defense of a very ignorant fellow Christian, has found out that it isn’t being accepted blindly, and now has to invent a reason why saying the earth is flat wasn’t what he was “really” saying at all.

        Then we get this silliness “You don’t need to convince me that modelling the earth as an oblate spheroid is useful for example if one is planning to fly planes between continents. But I have reminded us that all children learn to think of the earth flat and horizontal locally. Children think of up and down as absolute directions, long before they learn to think about the globe or “gravity” – if they ever do, or need to. For most everyday tasks, humans don’t need to take into account the curvature of the earth. It is entirely possible that there are remote, illiterate, untravelled and small human populations that live far from the sea, amongst mountains, who have never considered that the earth might not be “flat”.

        It’s hilarious that he says it is “useful” to think of the earth as a spheroid, not that it is true, which it most certainly is. He does his best to change the subject, and claim children think that the earth is flat. This has nothing to do with the idiocy that CS has claimed. We get all sorts of excuses for CS’s stupidity, and again it only seems to be for excuse a lying Christian.

        “the earth IS flat-ish, and largely close to horizontal. Admittedly, the peaks of mountains are higher than the depths of the ocean floor, but those fluctuations are tiny in comparison with the lateral dimensions of the planet. I used a flat earth model before I could read and write, and I still use one today for most purposes.””

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      • Indeed, Allman, “whatever”. Your willful ignorance is your Achilles’ heel. Such poor attempts to spread false information don’t work well with people who know about the world and are not limited to what they want to be true.

        All you have now is your whining about “elitists” who dare to side with reality and show you claims to be wrong. You want your ignorant mob because they are the only ones you might get validation from, to convince yourself how special you are.

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      • What “claims” have I made? I don’t “want” an “ignorant mob”. I find most threatening the mob I call elitist because they distinguish themselves from the masses, claiming superiority to them.

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      • You have a lot of questions but no answers or evidence, Allman. and what claims? I guess you can’t remember those either. The flatness of the earth, the nonsense about the heights of mountains and the depths of oceans, etc.

        I’m sure you find people with facts threatening. If someone is ignorant, as you have demonstrated yourself to be, then yep, I am indeed superior to you in that I know what it going on, not what I wish was going on.

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      • But it’s true. A flat disc is an excellent approximation for the portion of the surface of a surface defined by a circle of radius small compared to that of the sphere. That is why the curvature of the earth isn’t directly observable, except by looking out to sea from a cliff-top. The spherical earth model isn’t anybody’s first model of the earth. Human’s experience the earth as a plane with bumps and troughs, with a uniform gravitational field.

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      • Wow, the desperation to move the goalposts. You have claimed that the earth is flat, and again, it is not, not even mathematically and not even on a very small part of it. It’s pretty silly to watch you try to excuse your and your fellow Christian’s ignorant claims. It’s rather reminiscent of how theists often try to change the meaning of words to make their false claims seem true.

        Human experience is dependent on knowledge. Your claim is based on ignorance from several thousand years ago. And it’s wonderful to see you try to claim that mountains and trenches are just “bumps and troughs”. It is indeed no surprise that you still seem to use the reasoning of an illiterate child.

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      • “You have claimed that the earth is flat”

        I most definitely haven’t “claimed” that “the earth is flat”.

        The earth has mountains, valleys and oceanic trenches. The earth has curvature.

        I have claimed that the earth is “flat-ish”, because its bumps and troughs are small compared with the size of the planet. A flat earth model is adequate for most everyday purposes. If that were not so, we would not be able to use printed or on-screen maps as successfully as we do, for planning journeys around (say) Europe. Projections like the Mercator Projection (the best-known) would be useless.

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      • again, John, you claimed that the earth is “flatish” in a discussion where a Christian claimed that the earth is flat, not curved. Not a ball/globe/spheroid.

        You then tried to claim that children see the world as flat. This again in a discussion where an adult is claiming that the world is flat. You also failed in your claims about mountains and trenches in your attempts to try to make an argument that the earth should be considered flat. You also weirdly declared it was “useful” to consider the earth a spheroid, but not that it was true.

        Now, why did you do this, John? I postulate it was to excuse the idiocy of a fellow Christian. However, I am happy to be wrong. Why did you think your comments were germane to the subject?

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      • his attempts at claiming he doesn’t know what you mean by “flat earth” and that he hasn’t read enough of CS’s posts so he has no idea what CS meant is so pathetic. Funny how he knew enough to comment on such things.

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      • Don’t worry about him. We’ve discovered it’s Roy pretending to be someone else… again. He has a history of playing this game. Just ignore him. He’s disturbed.

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      • @ John Zande

        “are you a flat earther like Colourstorm?”

        I haven’t read enough to know what Colourstorm is saying that has so many people worked up into a rage. I would never describe myself as a “flat earther”, like anybody else, or in any sense, other than the sense that objects like the earth tend to be the shape they are, which is locally flat. I cannot understand the wilful misrepresentation of what I said initially.

        The surface of any solid planet is bound to look “flat-ish” to a human-sized hypothetical observer standing on the surface of that planet. Any bumps and troughs are going to be small in comparison to the dimensions of the planet itself. Even a perfectly featureless globe looks like an infinite plane when you’re standing on it. The naked eye cannot tell the difference between the horizon of a plane and the slightly lower horizon of a ball.

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      • Um, you still haven’t exactly said yes or no as to being a flat earther. It’s a simple question, John. No need for the dance around. Do you believe the earth is flat: Yes, or No?

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      • @ John Zande

        “you still haven’t exactly said yes or no as to being a flat earther”

        I thought I’d been as explicit as possible. I don’t know what *you* mean by a “flat earther”. I have told you that I have never identified as a “flat earther” in any sense of the phrase. I call that a “no”. Don’t you?

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      • That is correct. However, my recollection was of forming a mental model of the world in which the ground was largely flat and horizontal and boundless, what Euclid would have called a plane. Up and down seemed to me to be absolutes. When people said the world was “round”, I didn’t understand what they meant, until one day my father explained that down wasn’t an absolute direction, the same for everybody, but was relative to the observer. “Down” meant towards the ground. “Up” meant away from the ground, regardless of where on the *surface* of the (roughly) spherical planet one was standing. I must have been five at the time.

        I could see that my flat earth model, which I’d never been taught, was a good approximation to this spherical planet model *locally*, regardless of whether I was in the UK or in Australia. That is how I resolved the cognitive dissonance between my flat-earth intuition and my spherical earth learning.

        Activities that are local and everyday, do not require me, even now, to remember that the earth is approximately spherical like any other planet, just in order to be able to find my way around town without falling over or off buildings or getting lost. When Archimedes designed a deadly-accurate catapult that was used at the siege of Syracuse, he didn’t need to make adjustments related to the curvature of the earth or the Coriolis Effect. Nor do we, most of the time. We experience the earth as flat.

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      • Nor do we, most of the time. We experience the earth as flat.

        Satellite TV, telecommunications, weather maps, weather, climate, navigation (nautical and aerial), tides, geology…

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      • How do those satellites stay up there above a flat earth? That’s contrary to basic physics. Oh, right… unless some god Poofs them into position that keeps them up there on those invisible pillars.

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      • Satellites are NOT hanging above a flat earth. They’re hanging over a triangular one. We are all like infants hanging onto a triangular earth/crib by God’s will alone, and he is our pops dangling satellites over our heads to lull us to sleep each night. “The Earth is a triangle,” sayeth Da Lawd, “and all who think otherwise are idjits! $Amen$”

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    • I actually think, that Colorstorm is presenting here a fine point. The point being, that most people take a lot of stuff for granted and for no better reasons, than faith in auhtority. Why do people generally believe the world is a globe? Or, that any particular god exists? Not because they see these as scientific hypothesis, or theories, but because they are fundamental “truths” taught to them by “trustworthy” authorities, parents, teachers and everything in their surrounding culture.

      We can see the curvature of the world, when in flight, or even just sitting at seashore looking at the ships disappear behind the horizon, but most people do not pay attention to such, other than that it confirms their culturally ingrained expectations, if even that. Same with gods. Most people do not have personal encounters with anything they recognize as the supernatural. However, when something more or less extraordinary happens, that seems to fit the cultural pre-expectations about the supernatural, people all too easily jump to the conclusion, that the explanation is divine. Confirmation bias is the fuel of religions, but all sorts of other beliefs too. Or as in the example of Colourstorm the world being accepted as a globe.

      I have had several discussions about wether people in the middle ages knew the world was a globe. Most people did not even dwell upon such issues. It was totally irrelevant. Those scholars in universities who knew about the Ptolemic model, may have “known” that the world is a globe, but may we claim they did actually knew it, if they had no clue as to how this conclusion was drawn, but merely relied on the ancient experts authority?

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      • Well at least one person is admitting I am being fair in my observation rautakky- At least we agree as to the nature of the argument.

        That said, I must politely correct you in your very popular ‘theory’ of seeing ‘curvature from oceans edge at ground level, a misunderstanding that initialed globe ball theory in the first place.

        Some were not fooled-others did not understand-and others thought they were ‘seeing’ something that was really and only incorrect.

        If you ‘saw’ curvature raut, the earth would be a very very very very small place.

        As it is, because of reality, the nature of water, the horizon, perspective, the human eye, the vanishing point, mirroring, lensing, the entire idea of seeing ships disappear from bottom up, has NOTHING to do with curve. Sorry, tis a fact. And it was THIS simple lack of appreciation for how things act on water that created a cottage industry which resulted in further theories, equally unfounded, unprovable, and are only assumptions.

        Bill Nye the alleged science guy who swears ‘ships disappear at the horizon because of curvature’ is one such unthinking disciple.

        Ships DO NOT disappear because of curvature. There is no curvature, from 3 miles, 10 miles, a hundred,, a thousand, or any distance, but the horizon, ALWAYS rises to the level of the observer, something impossible on a ball.

        Any amateur balloon has proven this, at 120,000 ft. Zero curve. Yet you see ‘curve’ at a 3 mile shore line?

        In Myrtle Beach USA, there is known the Grand Strand, a 65 mile shore line of continuous sand- with a laser edge, ZERO CURVE. 65 miles. do the math using the NEEDED curvature chart of 8 inches per mile squared.

        It would be impossiBALL to have a shoreline raut traversing east to west, north to south at that distance, UNLESS, it was dead horizontal, which it is.

        The Suez canal is 100 miles long with no locks- and the water is level from the Meditteranean to the Red Sea- IF a ball- either port would be hidden under 1.26 miles of curvature. There is none.

        This is science. Observable. Testable. Repeatable. No fish eye lens needed from space cameras. Remember Piccard and his balloon? Read what he saw word for word in he unfiltered Popular Science in the 1930’s.

        Embarrassing really to NASA and govt space agencies. But I trust my eyes raut- and I distrust assumptions which have never been proven which suggest the earth rattles through space at 67,000mph, while the mountains of K-2, Everest, the Rockies, cottage chimney smoke wafts lazily floating above, and still lakes prove otherwise, just as they appear, motionless and comfortable.

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      • Even though it might seem ColourStorm is consistent in their assumptions about the shape of the planet and of gods, to me it seems more like there is some sort of an attempt at disrupt the actual topic point, that they could not find an answer. Thus this red herring of flat earth, that has absolutely nothing at all to do with the failure of the notion of any gods as a scientific hypothesis. It is like trying to undermine the plausibility of fundamental beliefs such as that science is reliable, because some morons are unable to confront even the most simple facts, though not necessarily most obvious, such as the form of the earth. However, I like to take people as they like to represent themselves, and though I find it unlikely that ColorStorm really holds the belief, that the world is flat and though I first thought, that they were trying to make a comparrison point about beliefs, I now try to address this point about the world being round as their honest view.

        The theory of the world being a globe was first presented propably by ancient mathematicians and philosophers of Greece. In Egypt during the Hellenistic period it was the idea was presented to king Ptolemy and it had even been counted the circumference of the globe (quite close to correct) by measuring shadows of obelisks in upper and lower Nile on the same day of the year. It is a rather simple mathematical task.

        On a clear day from Helsinki one can see Tallinn across the sea. If you look with binoculars from the seashore islands of the Viapori fortress you can see the television tower of Tallinn. It is sticking from beyond the horizon. From an elevated position you can see more of the Estonian shoreline and of the city. I have spent more than enough time on a boat at sea to tell that this phenomenon of ships disappearing behind horizon is not due to weather conditions, other than that it has to be clear enough for one to see far enough. However, if the world was flat, one could expect to see from southern tip of Finland all the way to Germany, or from Eastern seaboard of the US to Europe and Africa, that is, if one had powerfull enough telescope. Yet, this is impossible.

        Yet, even if I were blind and had never seen the actual curvature of the globe with my own eyes from a plane or at sea, I would still find it hard to believe the earth is not a globe. This is because it would require an enormous conspiracy for all the airline travellers and seafarers to participate in to makebelief the world was flat. Even if the windows of all the airplanes from around the world were built convex to keep up this pretence at all the airline passangers and if water somehow mislead viewers to believe a ship disappears behind the horizon, it would still require an enormous conspiracy to hold all the astronauts, kosmonauts, taigonauts, airliner pilots, fighter pilots, balloonists, their passangers, geologists, cosmologists, astronomists and what have you professionals to participate in. It is a ridiculous notion on the same level that practically all the scientists are in cohoots to lie to the people about climate change or about evolution. Yet, there are billions of people uneducated and simple enough to believe the two latter ones, so why not that the planet is flat?

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      • Deflection is a common tactic, but, to his credit, CS really does believe the earth is flat. I say “to his credit” because he’s following the bible to the T, no deviation, no excuses. The bible says the earth is flat, so he *believes* the earth is flat… and he maintains this belief despite being lambasted by other (less literal) evangelicals. For example:

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      • I can respect a person holding to what they are convinced of, despite others lambasting them. But if a person beliefs the earth is flat today, I find that kind of sad. If one were to believe everything in the Bible to be true, it would submit them to far more dangerous and harmfull beliefs, like that owning a slave is just fine by some divine objective standard. Also a lot sillier things has to be then believed on authority of the book alone, like for example, that iron chariots are something even the creator entity of the universe can not defeat. For some reason…

        None of it has anything at all to do – however – with the hypothesis of a particular god. Even with all of the convincing in the book, the Bible does nothing at all to test, nor prove the hypothesis in any remotely reliable way. In this sense (and a bunch of others) it is no different from any other fairybook or religious holy text.

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      • Nice to see you carry it an excellent step forward. And thank you—this was superbly demonstrated. I know the biased answer would be god working his mysterious ways, but the psychology behind “faith before knowledge” is quite telling. People set themselves in a course to prove they’re not crazy, and through that repetition the excuses for belief become hardwired (and even more delusional).

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  6. It is astonishing, from a rational viewpoint at least, that anyone would still believe the “God” hypothesis after thousands of years of futile efforts to discover evidence which does not exist. The psychology of this “faith” paints a disturbing picture of humanity.

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      • Could not agree more Maka. And sadly, that psychotic mentality feeds (no pun intended in the least!) straight into the religious fanatic’s self-fulfilling prophecy (pick a religion) of Armageddon and complete destruction of Earth and all living species. The Abrahamic religions are actually the tool and pawns of the real death and destruction by the mere fact that they do not care to stop it or avoid it, but help it along. “Rapture” is what they “believe” awaits them. LOL

        In other words, way too many Jim Joneses and David Koreshes running around. 🥺😬

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      • Hang on, Prof. Humanity has never had it so good as today.

        Yes, there is exploitation. And there always will be. But when one compares and contrasts today’s version in its historical setting, we have progressed significantly. And this is a result of elevating reason, science, and humanism over ideologies that would curtail them. That is a proven path to social progress and advancement and a means to tackle exploitation. And we easily forget just how profound the benefits from these are.

        We do face regression, however, by any ideology that gains strength when people endowed with individual rights think it wise to exchange or remove or suppress them in law for other reasons (specifically, to advance group rights over the individual – be they religious or political or economical – which is an action that attacks the basis for consent of the governed, which is why any such ideology is toxic to social progress. Simply put, it’s just as easily forgotten that it is the individual who is exploited and who then individually suffers. That’s why it’s the individual whose individual rights and individual freedoms must be supreme in law if we wish to actually reduce exploitation of the many. But it’s hardly a descent into barbarism we are living and the aggregate data on populations supports this progress… maybe not as fast as some would like or as widespread as some might wish it to be but a global progress nevertheless.

        Just an aside: no one demonstrates this ideological GroupThink idiocy better than the satirical Titania McGrath, Twitter’s favourite polyracial ecosexual who has just published a book called Woke: A Guide to Social Justice. Poe’s Law in action.

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      • Yes, you are indeed correct Tildeb when all available lenses are viewed. I am reminded of Dr. Steven Pinker’s wonderful book “Enlightenment Now.” From Wikipedia’s assessment:

        [His book] argues that the Enlightenment values of reason, science, and humanism have brought progress; shows our progress with data that health, prosperity, safety, peace, and happiness have tended to rise worldwide; and explains the cognitive science of why this progress should be appreciated.

        And from Pinker’s standpoint, broad history, bibliography and data sets it is difficult to argue against. So I’m in agreement with you about the over all progress is wonderful — in all branches of medicine especially! — and yet there is indeed a large sector of the population who resist and refuse to advance out of Antiquity, the Medieval Era, or Puritan Era of the 16th and 17th centuries.

        Thank you for your clarifications. 😉

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      • Elitists? I presume those who disagree with you and can articulate why belong to that dismal group in your mind. You can take the position you do and misplace your trust in the mob because you can on the State to protect your civil and legal rights when needed against the mob. The people of, say, the Arab Spring have no such luck. Get rid of those legal rights and then tell us about the benefits of mob mentality.

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      • so we get this nonsense from Allman “I’ve more faith in the mob than I have in some of the elitists, wise in their own eyes, who tut-tut on the internet about how stupid the masses are compared with their clever selves.”

        Seems that Allman is upset that reality doesn’t agree with him. This is the common nonsense from a conspiracy theorist who can’t support his claims and then whines that ignorant people are somehow smarter than anyone else. Alas for him, the universe is on the side of the “elitists”.

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      • @ Makagutu

        “Allman should consult history books to find out when education- free of religion indoctrination- became accessible to the masses. ”

        Anybody nowadays can consult Wikipedia, and its articles’ cited sources (including “history books”), to find out when this or that happened in history. But why *in particular* should I do this, specifically about the history of education? I haven’t said anything about that aspect of history, and nor has anybody else. I therefore have no need to be knowledgeable on that topic for this thread, even assuming I’m not already knowledgable about it, something which you have no way of knowing about me.

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      • If Percy Shelley is correct that ignorance and fear brought us gods and further that these have been maintained through fear, then to dispute the statement about humanity’s ignorance for the greater part of our history is naive.

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    • Hello Robert. While I agree with you, after I read your comment I remembered there are still people claiming the loch ness monster exists, space aliens have visited earth and are possibly still here, and a host of other seemingly silly things that there is no evidence for and have been widely debunked. I was reading CS above and his Poe / troll like ability to stick to a conspiracy by claiming knowledge others do not possess. Could a lot of this come down to people needing to feel they have special information denied to others? Hugs

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      • The psychology here is fascinating, no doubt. I think John Z’s point is illuminating, however. We’re talking about thousands of years of no evidence for God (and billions of believers) versus tens or perhaps hundreds of years of no evidence for “Nessie” and E.T. visitors (with far fewer believers). The difference is important.

        We should, however, make a distinction between what people claim to be true (without evidence) and what curious people are simply exploring or researching. For example, I had a UFO sighting not long ago which I cannot explain and which compels me to discover what it actually was. To paint everyone having such questions with a broad brush of ridicule would be very wrong, IMO. We humans are not the epitome of knowledge, and we have much to learn about a great many things.

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      • Hello Robert. You are correct that people looking for an explanation is different than people inventing one. I also have things I can not explain which I would love to discover the reality of, but I am still not willing to accept my friend Patty’s unproven explanation of pixies being the cause of things moving and reappearing in our home. Many wonderful discoveries have been done by people asking the questions why, and how. Then trying to find out. Sadly some people simply do not try to find out the reality and just accept what emotionally feels good to them. Hugs

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      • Hello Robert. Patty is a Wiccan and believes in candle magic, other magic, and all the woo. When I was making candles she claimed my candles had special energies in them and they held powerful magic. Not by me I assure you. Like others with their favorite mythical fables she would find some way to justify her belief regardless of evidence. Hugs

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  7. Yes, nothing but beguiling human imaginations for 2,500 years. However, there has been MORE THAN ENOUGH tangible, manifested evidence and documented human behavioral, emotional, and mental cases of disorders as far back as 1067 BCE in Babylonia. Mental-illness and disorders have shown that not only do many types of supernatural beings exist in thousands to millions of people’s brains, they all vary according to that person’s genetic neurology and ancestry, their family and immediate environment, type of food sources and its abundance or scarcity, and culture, to name just six psychological factors. In other words, there exists no uniform orthodoxy about any invisible god of history or today. Period.

    The fact that neuroscientists can stimulate the Right Parietal Lobe of any human brain resulting in various “spiritual” perceptions, hallucinations, and divine self-creativity and expression, but no one case is exactly identical.

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/20/god-spot-in-brain-is-not-_n_1440518.html

    Further advancement of these sciences will most definitely further humanity and hopefully DECREASE a litany of religiosity-inspired atrocities, oppression, and imprisonment by “gods and man-made” religions!

    Liked by 6 people

  8. “Given this, why after 2,500 years of complete failure should anyone still suspect the hypothesis held merit?” Well….cause….well…cause that’s how I was raised, OK?! Gosh, you gar’darned atheists gotta go ‘n make things SOOOOO complicated!!! STOP THAT!!! You’re givin’ me a headache. (I’m learning ta be snarky and dismissive from the Christian apologists who reply on your blog here, John. How’m I doin’ so far, you illogical, un-learned man, you?)

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  9. I think of this often too John. The whole project has not even advanced in all this time…and I would say 2500 years is really too short of a period. While we might understand how easily humans long ago might subscribe to the type I errors necessary to subscribe to the supernatural, and perhaps for much time it was (even though the onus was on the theist to prove their assertions) difficult to counter such a hypothesis, we have been well beyond this type of magical thinking for centuries. And it doesn’t change the lack of advancement in providing any evidence for this hypothesis. The only thing the theist benefits from is the increased range of vocabulary they have to choose from in the modern world to try and re-package the same old tired arguments in shinier wrapping paper. Whatever good intentions might have gone into a religion at the start it has mostly been used as a tool by the more powerful because nothing exposes human cognitive biases like religion. Making others ripe for exploitation.

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  10. well, the Christians who surfaced here are such excellent examples of how it takes willful ignorance and, in many cases, pure stupidity to cling to religion. The poor things seem to be getting more and more desperate, doubling down on their nonsense in an attempt to convince their god to finally show up. Alas for them, it never will. Each will go to their death wondering what happened.

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  11. CS: “Any compass proves ALL land mass is south”

    I just tried it. Either my wee globe (atop the ‘Frozen’ bikkie tin atop the printer) is wrong or most land mass is north …

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    • Bugger this dude (CS)~! He’s got me thinking; at the north pole which way is north?

      At the north magnetic pole, does the compass still point anywhere, does it spin, or does it go begurky trying to point straight down?
      Sheesh—another night’s sleep to be lost … I’m still working on that Christian conundrum about the dancing angels and the pin.

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      • Hello Argus. My spouse has Hemochromatosis which is way too much iron in his blood. Before we knew what the problem was he could hold a compass and it would point to him. No joke. It was frustrating as heck to have him try to use the compass to sight in the RV sat TV system. He couldn’t wear a watch as they would self destruct on him. Remote controls simply stopped working. It really was a weird thing until we found out it was simply a matter of getting the iron in his blood down to normal levels. Hugs

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      • SCOTTIE:

        Getting the levels right—was that a diet thing, medicines, or a combination?

        I had a friend some time back who couldn’t wear a wristwatch because they always went out of kilter, and it was nothing he was actually doing that upset them. Glad it’s under control, and hopefully stays controlled.

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    • Well CS does live in the past…when standards of evidence were less rigorous. In this case however he’d have to be living well in the past. Early Paleozoic to be precise. Where if you were standing on North America which was tropical, all land would be to the south in the super continent of Gondwanaland. Of course for him the world is flat and only 6,000 years old, but that’s the best guess I can make.

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  12. Greetings,

    If faith in God requires independent scientific confirmation, what about the colossal faith atheists place in science itself? Exactly what are the independent scientific experiments, we might ask, that could provide “evidence” for the hypothesis that all true knowledge must be based on the example of scientific inquiry? If faith requires independent confirmation, what is the independent (nonfaith) method of demonstrating that their own faith in the all-encompassing comprehension of science is reasonable? If science itself is the only way to provide such independent assessment, then the quest for proper validation only moves the justification process in the direction of an infinite regress.

    The basis of faith is not deducible reason. It is a personal encounter. God is the one who liberates us from evil and who fills the heart with spiritual joy. To have faith is to entrust your life to God. But neither faith nor abstract argument establishes that God exists. Reason tries, often rather feebly, to make belief in God rational, self-consistent, coherent with other knowledge, and fruitful for understanding. Belief in the actuality of God, like belief in the actuality of anything real and vital, is rooted in encounter with a personal, moral, liberating, and transforming power and presence.

    It’s an unfortunate fact that we can neither prove nor disprove the existence of God. Things like beauty and morals may indicate to us that there is something more, but they prove nothing.

    We are all complex creatures in a complex world, wrestling with the same fundamental questions. In the end, each of us must choose to take this data, sift through it, and make an informed decision. Is there a God, or isn’t there?

    Regarding God as a hypothesis, a scientific theory to be studied by the methods of empirical science (and rejected if no clear evidence is found) is neither a sensible nor a productive way to approach the Divine. It is truly ironic that this notion is embraced by the two opposite poles in the spectrum of science and religion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Raymond.

      Faith exists *only* because you have no evidence, and that is why you’re trying to elevate it to a virtue. It’s not. Faith would be jettisoned in a second if you could believe based on evidence.

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      • Hello John,

        With all respect I think you are wrong. Faith is independent of evidence. Faith as in, a firm belief in something for which there is no proof. Like I said earlier, it is a personal encounter, sensing this Almighty Creator Of All Things, thing.

        With faith in Jehovah and Yeshua we have a role to play but only God can make the word come alive in our hearts. Ultimately, He is the granter of faith. Just because you do not have it, or most likely rejected it at a point in your life, does not make it not true.

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      • On the flip side of that, you have it (faith and a personal encounter with a god) so then it must be true, is that it?
        Do you realize how ridiculous you sound?

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      • “Do you realize how ridiculous you sound?”

        You have brought back a memory for me, of something that happened in the period 2008 – 2010.

        A regular customer called Roger once walked into Fleet Charity Shop, where he announced that no Christian could refute Richard Dawkins’ “arguments” against Christianity. I replied that that was so because mere “ridicule” (I said) wasn’t the sort of emotional, so-called “argument” that *could* be logically refuted.

        Roger denied that Dawkins’ only argument was ridicule, so I invited Roger to summarise another of Dawkins’ arguments, in two minutes, for me to then have a bash at refuting the argument logically.

        During the following two minutes of Roger’s emotional blustering, I lost count of the number of occasions on which Roger used the word “ridiculous”, in his confused and vain attempts to explain one of Dawkins’ arguments other than ridicule, if he could. I think there were at least ten occasions. It was all I managed to understand, from everything he said. I pointed this out to him, and he walked out of the shop in a huff, accusing me of being “ridiculous”.

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      • Absolutely agree; Faith is independent of evidence. Faith and evidentialism cannot coexist. If something can be believed based on evidence it cannot also be believed on faith, and yet faith is the cornerstone of all religious belief. The minute evidence appears faith is cast aside in favour of evidence. Simply put, you would not have faith in your god if you had evidence. You don’t, and that is why religion promotes faith to a virtue, whereby the faithful are rewarded for enduring what is called, “tests of faith.”

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      • I wouldn’t call it ridiculous. It is true for me. It isn’t true for you, pretty simple to understand.

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      • There is no evidence John, none that you can hold in your hand or place under your microscope.

        You said, “Simply put, you would not have faith in your god if you had evidence.” I assume you mean evidence of non-existence. But that is impossible, right? Nothing can satisfy your need of scientific proof.

        You must have a Christian upbringing if you refer to Tests of Faith. Someone who has never studied the Christian faith would not know of this.

        In both the Old and New Testaments, the words translated “test” mean “to prove by trial.” Therefore, when God tests His children, His purpose is to prove that our faith is real. Not that God needs to prove it to Himself since He knows all things, but He is proving to us that our faith is real, that we are truly His children, and that no trial will overcome our faith.

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  13. Hello Ramond. The scientific method is the independent verification needed.

    sci·en·tif·ic meth·od
    Dictionary result for scientific method
    noun
    a method of procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses.
    “criticism is the backbone of the scientific method”

    It is not possible to equate a non self correcting system like religion with a self correcting system of science. The two are opposites. One is faith based and the other evidence based. One ( religion ) strives to silence dissent where the other ( science ) promotes it as a way to discover truth.

    As to personal encounters of / with god(s). There are believers of every religion that feel they have had a personal emotional experience with their god. Yet they cannot all be correct as most religions claim they alone are true and have the true god. So personal revelation can not be used for determining if a god is real. How many religious beliefs depend on the charisma of the leader promoting it? Hugs

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    • You look like my brother, we both got cool grey beards, but how come your hair didn’t go gray with it? Mine sure did.

      You said, “It is not possible to equate a non self correcting system like religion with a self correcting system of science.” That is exactly my point above. Like you said, “One is faith based and the other evidence based.”

      Again I’ll repeat, “Regarding God as a hypothesis, a scientific theory to be studied by the methods of empirical science (and rejected if no clear evidence is found) is neither a sensible nor a productive way to approach the Divine.”

      I’m just a simple guy working 6-3. I want peace and I want to follow my own path and I want to worship and give thanks to a being I believe made all the wonderful things I feel.

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      • We are down here now…

        A hypothesis is an assumption, an idea that is proposed for the sake of argument so that it can be tested to see if it might be true. But there is no test available. There is now way to scientific prove one way or the other that God exists. So saying “God exists” is a hypothesis is disingenuous, it’s a deception and deceitful.

        So what do we have besides the testimony of the faithful.

        We have history. Are your seriously going to deny the fact that in a specific point in time there arose Christians? That Nero burned them to light his gardens, that men who followed Christ followed the creed to teach and that they died in their faith that God walked with them? Are you going to deny written history of Roman historians hostile to Christians writing about this phenomenon?

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      • Not disingenuous at all. Religion makes claims (truth claims), and central to all those claims is the hypothesis that a god exists. Your particular hypothesis is that a Middle Eastern god named Yhwh exists, and that the attached cosmogony is true. You might not like it being called a hypothesis, but a hypothesis it is. We do not have a hypothesis, for example, that trees and long eared jerboas exist. They exist, we have the evidence.

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      • Hello Raymond. My beard and my hair changed due to high pain levels and my state of health. While my beard shows it more clearly my hair use to be a nice dark brown, but was first a nice bright red. Pain over a lifetime will do that to a body.

        How else can we approach any question without looking at empirical evidence. You position makes no sense. If no evidence can be found supporting a thing, than that thing simply must be ruled not to exist. That is common sense and logical. If I say I have a dragon in my garage, and yet no one else can see it and no test can prove it, it is most likely I am wrong.

        I did not understand your last paragraph.
        You came here and expressed your belief and now you seem to not want to be questioned on your ideas? Did I misunderstand? I don’t know where you are from. However if you are in the USA you have the right to worship and give thanks to anything you wish as long as you do not harm others. There is a push in the USA for religious people to be able to enforce their doctrines on others not following their religion and enshrine this into law. That is wrong on all accounts. Hugs

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      • We have evidence Scottie, if we could meet you would see evidence. Your very existence is evidence. Do you really think your an accident or that you exist by pure random chance. Billions upon billions of billions of specific events had to happen before there was every you.

        I live in the USA and I don’t want to “enforce” anything on anyone. I just want to be free to worship as I choose. Good thing I live in a free Country.

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      • I don’t know John, seems your position is a bit unsound. It lacks logic really.

        Everyday life demonstrates that an effect has a cause. Simple causes can create simple effects. A sticking point is that simple causes don’t create complex effects.

        You walk onto a beach and there are 100 rocks in a row. Each rock is numbered (painted) from 1 – 100 and they are in exact sequence, 1 to 100. Simple causes such as wind/water/sand would not (likely? impossible?) line those rocks in perfect order; as a starting hypothesis it leaves much to be desired. Another hypothesis would be that the rocks were numbered by either a human being or a very smart animal. We have heard of horses that could count, isn’t it possible that a smart horse arranged these rocks?

        If you walk up the beach and see a house, you would have to decide whether driftwood, wind, rocks, etc. are an adequate cause of the house’s existence. If your friend says that he believes the house was built by intelligent human beings (maybe space aliens?) you could then argue for your point of view. Your friend could counter by saying that he has never seen a house build itself.

        A dog can knock over cans of paint onto a canvas and ‘create’ simple patterns. But a portrait or still life requires an artist: complex patterns requires a complex (intelligent) cause. We can study large phenomena with orbital mechanics and be awestruck (or not, depending on your awe-level) by the precision of celestial objects. We can also wonder why we have a perfect Sun (correct type, distance — any one factor and we would be fried or frozen), a perfect Moon, in the perfect place in our galaxy, a perfect solar system, etc. etc. By mathematical probability it would be highly improbable (actually, impossible) that any planet in the universe would have all these factors, and this includes Earth. Carl Sagan estimated the probability of life originating by chance anywhere in the universe as something like 1 in 10^5 billion zeros. I am probably off by a billion or so; but the point is that any event with 1 in 10^50 odds will never happen by chance, no matter the time or circumstances.

        We can study small phenomena such as molecules and be awed that each molecule is basically impossible to have been created by blind chance. Note that in a protein molecule with 100 amino acids (some have more, none have less than 50) that must be in perfect sequence, somewhat like our 100 rocks on the beach, except there are 20 different kinds of amino acids. The chance that this chain would be link in perfect sequence is 1 in 10^130. There are 10^80 molecules in the universe, so this is basically an impossible number. And this has to occur for each molecule in existence, not to mention everything else in existence. For example, why do we have a perfect gravity? The odds are again impossible. What is a working hypothesis here? Is each molecule somehow self-ordered by unknown natural forces by definition blind and random? Or is each molecule engineered by intelligence? And while the amino acid chain is critical to create life, it is far from life itself.

        Just from each molecule added to each other, what are the odds all of these have perfect sequences, etc. 1 in 10^near infinity>? A DNA molecule has 186,000. It’s codes far surpass any human codes (the ones that have been found so far). They even reverse, and in three-dimensions. A reasonable hypothesis : an Intelligence created this code; another would be that these codes are created by unknown forces. Depending on your worldview, both require enormous intelligence or ‘intelligence’ (if we can assume Mother Nature has infinite intelligence/power).

        So yes, disingenuous. You say, “Religion makes claims (truth claims), and central to all those claims is the hypothesis that a god exists.” God exists is true for me and many others, not you and, also, many others like yourself. By definition “God exists” can’t be a hypothesis since it can not be tested using the scientific method.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ahh… an Intelligent Design advocate. There’s your scientific claim you are making, Raymond… that someone or something ‘designed’ the examples you raised from nature. Just because you neither understand how nor accept the overwhelming evidence for naturally occurring unguided complexity – all of which is available to you but contrary to and incompatible with your creationist claim about design – but side fully with your own challenged credulity to be the arbiter is not a logical argument, not reasonable, not rational, but an anti-scientific position created only by contrary religious belief that has no equivalent evidence from reality. You are imposing your religious belief claim on a scientific claim and refuse to allow reality to arbitrate it. That’s why it’s anti-scientific. And that’s the problem with relying on a faith-based belief in matters that lack evidence: it allows you to utterly fool yourself into a state of ignorance masquerading as ‘another kind of knowledge’ or ‘another way of knowing’ or an equivalent ‘truth’ to reality. Those are all synonymous with having zero knowledge, zero insight, zero truth merit. And you think this anti-scientific commitment to believe contrary to what reality shows us is the case is a virtue when it is clearly a vice in any other area of human knowledge-based endeavor. That’s how profoundly you have fooled yourself. And feel really good about it. That’s the perniciousness of your religious beliefs. You can sometimes find religion without creationism but you never, ever find creationism without religion. That’s a clue…

        Liked by 2 people

      • As Tildeb has pointed out, you’ve made the scientific claim, aka, your hypothesis.

        As to your description of molecular complexity, you seem to have omitted about 3.5 billion years of terrestrial evolution, starting at the rather complex contemporary product without noting the steady (verifiable) passage to this state. It’s really not complicated. You need only take a bottle of water, oil and sand, shake it up, and then watch. Organisation. Cooled gases become liquids, cooled liquids become solids, and solids arrange themselves into increasingly complex, ultimately self-replicating patterns, no driver required. Hydrogen fuses into the heavier and more complex helium, helium fuses into the heavier and more complex carbon, helium and carbon combine to make the heavier and more complex oxygen. Single atoms come together to form simple compounds, simple compounds bind to produce double compounds, double compounds bond to fashion simple molecules, molecules marry to create amino acids, amino acids coalesce to model catalysing proteins and enzymes, and proteins and enzymes experiment to prototype self-replicating systems where, according to the accepted paradigm of evolutionary biology, there is a continuum from simple to more complex organisms.

        This is the simple fact of this world.

        Now, you’re certainly free to propose that your god, Yhwh, ‘guides’ evolutionary processes (which is another hypothesis), but then you’re left with two immediate problems:

        1) the requirement to clearly demonstrate this guidance (a difficult task if you wish to posit a competent, caring creator considering 80% of all mutations are harmful to an organism’s fitness), together with predictions as to final design (are humans the end product? If so, demonstrate that we have stopped evolving);

        2) the ontological question of WHY? Why evolution? What possible rational reason could the Creator have had to invent—literally invent—this slow, messy, painful, error-rich process? What purpose does it serve?

        If you can’t explain why this world exists, in the manner that it exists, your entire worldview (your ontological foundation) is not only irreparably incoherent, but historically absurd.

        Liked by 1 person

      • You guys reject the probability of a Divine Creator based on the complexity from the smallest molecule to our solar system and how every single billion of billion of things has to be exactly how it is for it all to work, all by chance. Everything about us and our environment is because it evolved on it’s own that way.

        I have another way to look at probability, if I may.

        To illustrate this concept, look what happens when different people have different information about the nature of a single coin. Suppose that I flip a coin, and you have to guess whether the coin lands on heads or tails. From your perspective, you estimate that the probability of a head occurring is 50%, based on what you know about coins in general. I, on the other hand, am aware that this is a trick coin with a head on both sides. So from my perspective, the coin has a 100% chance of landing on heads. Little do I know, however, that the coin is in fact a magic coin (the creator who sold it to me at the carnival forgot to mention this fact) — 30% of the time this two-headed coin is flipped it magically changes into a two-tailed coin before landing. Hence, from the warlock’s perspective, the probability that the coin will end up showing heads is 70%, whereas from my perspective the probability is 1%, and from your perspective it is 50%.

        Let’s substitute the coin illustration and use God. Consider a man has severe headaches, see’s a doctor and learns he has an inoperable brain tumor. Being a Christian he prays, his family prays, his pastor prays, his church prays. Soon they get the word out and hundreds of people he has never met are praying. Weeks pass and the headaches are gone and the doctors tell him the tumor is gone. For him, his belief in God is 100%. Another man lost is 7 year old little girl to cancer. He prayed, his family and church prayed, but she died anyway. The man was grief stricken and now rejects his faith in God. For him there is no God, 0%. And finally we have another man. He was taken to church as a boy by his parents but as an adult he never goes to church anymore. If asked he tells us he isn’t really sure if there is a God and when pressed for an answer says that since there might be, but he doesn’t know, he’s 50% certain. Hence, from the man who was miraculously cured, his perspective the probability God exists is 100%, the one who lost his child and now rejects God gives the probability 0%, and the last man 50%.

        So getting back to the God question, we cannot talk about a single, universal probability that God exists. Rather, this probability will necessarily be dependent on the information that you happen to have. There is no repeatable scientific test available to prove God. It can’t be a hypothesis because a hypothesis is usually an assumption or suggestion made strictly for the objective of being tested.

        To maximize your chance of believing the truth, you must not assume that what you were taught is necessarily true, you must define your terms as precisely as you can, you must surround yourself with the best possible arguments both for and against a particular belief, and you must evaluate these arguments objectively, without regard for what you want to be true.

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      • I do John.

        I believe species can evolve. There’s about 1,900 species of accepted (living) starfish known. Do I think God created 1,900 different species of starfish, no.

        It has long been recognized and documented that insects are the most diverse group of organisms, meaning that the numbers of species of insects are more than any other group. In the world, some 900 thousand different kinds of living insects are known. Do I think God created 900,000 insects, no.

        There are many unique species on the Galapagos Islands, like Iguanas that swim in the ocean to feed off algae, so yea, they evolved that way.

        Given isolation, like in the Galapagos, we see unique evolution and adaptation.

        What I think is this complexity starts at a specific point in time, that the wheel of life and how it evolves, was set in motion by an architect, that the purity of it all points to design. Our quality of health in life is written in our DNA, life is refereed to as a blueprint, we call DNA nucleotides building blocks. Building blocks have to have a builder. The chemicals that make nucleotides are adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymin and the precise amount of each necessary to actually make a DNA string has an impossible probability to arrange themselves by mere chance.

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      • “This is rather as if you imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, ‘This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting hole I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!’ This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, frantically hanging on to the notion that everything’s going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for.”

        Douglas Adams.

        Liked by 2 people

      • The harmful mutations are not God’s fault it is ours. The release of extremely deadly chemicals into our environment causes harmful mutations. We pollute our air, oceans, lakes, rivers, and food. Plastics, asbestos, carbon-monoxide, heavy metals, weed killer, and on and on and Earth wants to vomit. We are killing this Earth. The bees are at risk and when our pollution kills them off life is going to be a lot different. All life is in jeopardy for what a few have done all for the sake of a buck. Their are harmful mutations, starvation, desperation, genocide, war, and it’s humans running the helm.

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      • Human beings have only been around for 200,000 years, most of that time nomadic/agrarian with mass chemical usage only in the last 80-odd years (but first used in the 1730’s). Our lineage is 7 million years (Sahelanthropus tchadensis). Evolution has been going for 3.8 billion years. Mutations have been occurring for 3.8 billion years. To you, does that speak to competent guidance or randomness?

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      • You and I and every other great ape shares identical damage to a portion of our DNA that was caused by a simian virus. Not a human virus. Simian. If we were created, why duplicate this now useless piece of DNA in all the great apes? How does this better relate to humans causing their own degraded mutation vs what you reject, namely, sharing a common ancestor?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Wow. That’s a log time John. Seems like we are still here. We still got animals around and things are pretty good. I don’t think any harmful mutations are that big of a deal. I mean we don’t really have human mutants with three eyes walking around. If a harmful mutation occurs the organism dies off yet the species still lives on.

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      • Could you address the question, please.

        Does the fact that 80% of all mutations are harmful to an organism’s fitness speak to competent guidance or randomness?

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      • Yes it does. Two synonyms of mutation are anomaly and freak of nature. My instinct tells me any mutation is not good and I wonder what catalyst moves an organism to mutate. I’m not a scientist nor have I studied mutations but I feel they are errors. A mutation in DNA is not normal, an anomaly. By definition a mutation in the blueprint is not good and I think we see that in real life. Most all mutations in human DNA cause disease or defects, bad stuff.

        If your claim is indeed a fact, then 20% of all mutations are beneficial. I feel its randomness, to answer your question.

        You mention competent guidance, I don’t think the Creator manages the day-to-day happenings of Earth like a hands-on CEO runs a Company. And I don’t think He built into his creation a predisposition for bad mutations.

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      • The name doesn’t matter John, the words and meanings they convey do. I know you so well, not personally but those like you, and won’t follow you down your rabbit hole. You done then?

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  14. So….being a Godbot is bad enough. But Colourstorm is also a Flat Earther? I thought that was just a joke theory, a har de har internet meme?

    I am amazed.

    Good to see you back, John! I mean, Maka holds down the fort pretty well, but you have an inimitable style in your Just Asking Questions mode!

    Has your Generalissimo started rounding unbelievers and dissidents yet? Brazil is a lot bigger than the Philippines, but that is my fear for you all.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Dude, that’s extremely generous of you to elevate Judeo-Christian religion to the level of hypothesis. And the ungrateful minions of the late JC don’t even thank you for it. There’s no civility these days.

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    • Perhaps Zoe, perhaps though my apologetics might also help one soul struggling but more often it’s for me. I study, read, contemplate and pray and want to be better, love more.

      Having sound arguments for the existence of a Creator and Designer of the universe or evidence for the historical credibility of the New Testament records of the life of Jesus in addition to the inner witness of the Spirit increases my confidence in the veracity of Christian truth claims

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      • Nan, I just realised “Raymond” is Roy, a guy who used to comment quite a lot here. IP address gave it away. Hurst, Texas. He has a history of masquerading as different people. Don’t bother replying to him. He’s unwell.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Ah, SANDRA/ROY/BILLY!!!! Our transgendered/multiple personality disordered Christian angry person!!!! Been awhile since she/he tried to sneak in another split identity! Too bad he/she can’t split off into a personality that’s not an asshole.

        Liked by 3 people

      • That’s the classic cry of an atheist when in a losing argument. “Your ridiculous”, “your unwell”, “asshole”, and now Carmen calls me a religious nut. It is a desperate attempt to save face. It’s childish and unbecoming of grown ass men and women.

        No one wants to be wrong. Sentient beings need comfort and comfort comes with confidence and confidence demands a surety.

        When an atheists surety is attacked they demean, because in the end all the hope they have to give society is nothing.

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      • Ray, you are in the running for being as clueless as CS. You have no evidence for a creator and cannot show that one is necessary or is your version. You have no evidence for the essential events of the bible happening. Historical documents do mention Christians and what they believed, not that what they believed is true. Those same documents also mention believers of other religions in the same way. Now, do you want to claim that the mere mention of believers means those gods exist too?

        And you claim that you have the feelies that you are right, just like every other theist. Funny how you doubt those very things when claimed by someone you don’t agree with.

        It’s a shame that you think that even though you have no idea about evolutionary theory, your imagination is better than evidence. Ray doesn’t believe in something so it simply can’t be true. Way to use the fallacy of personal ignorance. Your “instinct” is nothing more than your need to be right and have a god that agrees with you. As for there being no way to test your god, that’s not true if the bible is accurate. Your bible says that “every” prayer is answered, quickly (the mountain doesn’t erode eventually into the sea, it moves when commanded), and positively (this god would not give a snake if asked for a fish). If this is true, then both the man and the child would be alive and their cancer cured. If the bible is true, then a prayer will get a noticeable reaction. Of course, you will do your best to claim you bible doesn’t say what it does, and invent reasons why your god fails repeatedly. You’ll try to claim that this god will give what it wants not what is asked for, which makes prayer for a certain action pointless. You’ll try to claim that this god for some reason needs people to die of cancer. You’ll try to claim that we aren’t praying in the “right” way but will not be able to offer the magic formula that *will* work.

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      • Hello Club,

        Necessity? Every element of life is fine tuned. The blueprint, our plant and solar system, are all exactly the way they need to be in order for life to thrive, necessarily.

        “Historical documents do mention Christians and what they believed, not that what they believed is true.” So I ask you, if you witnessed certain events and were given a choice to disclaim those events or be put to death, what would you do? Would you stand firm as a witness, and go to your death, or would you disclaim those things you have seen?

        I do not “need” to be right, as you say.

        Your last paragraph is Bible teaching twisted into falsehoods. What you say about prayer and mountains moving is falsehood.

        We pray for a lot of things, some good, some bad, some really pointless. But God listens to all of our prayers, regardless of what we ask (Matthew 7:7). He does not ignore His children (Luke 18:1–8). When we talk to Him, He has promised to listen and respond (Matthew 6:6; Romans 8:26–27). His answer may be some variation of “yes” or “no” or “wait, not now.”

        Roy

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  16. There isn’t such a thing – “God-Hypothesis”. We have so many and so different ideas for God that cannot talk in common.
    2,500 or 250000 years – it doesn’t matter how old is the hypothesis. The years are no measure for correctness.

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    • Hi Dimitar, your site looks interesting.

      You’re right, there are many ideas of the gods, but they do all stand as hypotheses. They are each the core to a proposed explanation of the world. The years (cited here) actually apply to philosophy (across all branches, including the advent of scientific enquiry) and it’s (on-going) efforts to uncover the truth of the god claim.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thanks! I am very interested in the theme of God. But not the religious one where you need to believe. I am looking for the real God. Maybe the universe itself is the real One, or something else. I hope as we research our reality we will find something big, something which is in front of us, where we are not told “You have to believe”.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Well, whatever the case may or may not be, I think it’s safe to safe to say this journey of discovery of ours is only going to get stranger and stranger, and that’s exciting.

        Liked by 3 people

      • I think we should not discount history. I mean, there are Jews, seems they are not some new invention, and these Jews were occupied by Roman back in the day.

        They were looking for a Messiah to free them and along came one claiming that title, yet his mission did not conform to their idea. He claimed he did not come with a sword, but with love. Historians recorded the events, Roman historians who were hostile, and Jewish historians who rode the fence.

        I think another word might be more accurate than “hypotheses”, perhaps assumption or presupposition. We have to rely on history as it was recorded and piece together some form of consensus.

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    • And let’s not forget gravity. If the earth were flat we wouldn’t be pulled down. And if the whole disk was rising, which some flat earthers propose, then unless we were standing on the north pole we’d be pulled sideways, steadily stronger the further we moved from that point.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Is it valuable to argue logically with cranks and faith-besotted trolls, John?

        They are beyond logic, beyond evidence, beyond their own eyes. All can be hand-waved away by appeals to a (very minority) religious “trooth”.

        Except for the sheer amusement value, of course. 🙂

        Carry on, Good Sir. At least until your Caudillo decides you are a threat to Brazilian Christian values! 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

  17. To play devil’s (or god’s) advocate for a bit, it was approximately 2400 years ago that Democritus hypothesized that all matter consists of indivisible atoms. And I think it was maybe less than 200 years ago that the atomic theory had begun getting some hard supporting evidence. Which means that the atomic hypothesis had been offered but not proved for some 2200 years, so the fact that another hypothesis hasn’t been proven for 2500 years doesn’t really prove it is false.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fair argument, but we knew matter (material stuff) existed, and how it behaved. Uncovering it’s composition didn’t change the fact that we knew it existed, rather simply satisfied the nagging questions of what it was.

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  18. Ye gods … thank heavens my own posts, being unarguable and perfect, attract no such attention—
    —I gave up trying to figure where/how to make my comment so that it would be pertinent to/with the topical topic at the the time; so hereby am making a wild punt:

    CS

    Sir, if you were in a free falling windowless elevator (we Brits call such a ‘lift’) then after the original accelerations had passed you’d have no idea at all from inside your elevator that you were falling, or even moving at all.

    Not until that brief moment at the end of the ride when reality kicks in.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Words from a man who died in 1813…

    The Fear of Death

    “So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and Its purpose in the service of your people.

    Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide. Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and bow to none. When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and nothing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.

    When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.”

    Chief Tecumseh, Shawnee, March 1768 – October 5, 1813

    https://www.indigenouspeople.net/tecumseh.htm

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  20. You wouldn’t have success if you didn’t have failure. You wouldn’t have black if you didn’t have white. If follows you wouldn’t have truth to counter those speaking lies.

    But the hundred thousand dollar question is what is truth? Truth lives in the heart of the one that knows it to be true.

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    • I know what your thinking, Roy says what lives in our hearts is truth, but in truth, real truth, demands we must transcend.

      To transcend means to go beyond. To transcend we have to go beyond, we have to be better. We have to love more. We have to emulate.

      We have to be independent of time and we have to excel. We have to see all peoples as we see our selves, worthy. Our lives are but a wispier in time and this knowledge is to see the Creators face.

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      • Me and John go round about. He’s a kindred spirit I would die for. For the life of me I couldn’t tell you why, perhaps it’s a God thing, I mean, don’t we all need our other? The impression I feel is to let my feelings loose, tell him I love him regardless of anything since souls are love. Hum.

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      • God gives us everything we need. He gives us people with another path. These others liken to us and speak. I am amazed and live with wonder. How is it I learn and grow and am always ready? It has to be love. My Creator defines Himself as love. My prayer tonight is I am filled with His promise that love will be supreme.

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      • No matter how rose-colored our glasses are, there’s nothing good about cancer, sex trafficking, or death. Until Jesus returns and conquers Satan once and for all, sin will continue to drag its poisonous tentacles across our world, damaging and destroying everything in its wake.

        But God gave us a promise. God is promise. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

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      • Life is so short. Days turn into weeks that turns into months that turns into years. In a whisper we find ourselves in old age wondering, are we right?

        Is our Atheists friends right and we just go into nothing, or, are our Christian friends right and our souls live on, living under the alter of God in eternity ready to come into the world again?

        I see my death straight away, what is it, after? NOTHINGNESS. Being sentient, being conscious and aware, I think not. I think there is a beyond for those like me, those willing and demanding of a promise.

        The words and ideas we all posses transforms us. History, those that lived and told their tells transforms us and it seems we all have a choice. We all have the ability to define our present and future.

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    • Words have real power. God spoke the world into being by the power of His words (Hebrews 11:3), and we are in His image in part because of the power we have with words.

      Of all the creatures on this planet, only man has the ability to communicate through the spoken word. The power to use words is a unique and powerful gift.

      “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit” (Proverbs 18:21).

      Jesus said, “But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned”.

      The apostle Paul wrote, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen”.

      Sticks and stones can bruise your body for a few days, but words can scar your soul for life.

      David, who knew a thing or two about having enemies in high places, wrote that evildoers “sharpen their tongues like swords and aim cruel words like deadly arrows” (Psalm 64:3).

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      • It is indeed an interresting question wether human beings are the only animals that have actual speech. We certainly are not the only ones who have words. Our cousins the gorillas can learn sign language from humans and use it to a great extent in expressing themselves to humans even in rather abstract terms. Many animals make a variety of signal noises for their emotions and express themselves individually but comprehensively to other individuals of the same species about their desire for a mate, challenge for competitors, warnings of predators etc. Some humans are quite restricted in what they are able to transmit to other humans, but we do not consider them any less human. Whales have very complex languages, that we as of yet do not really understand, but we have learned that they do actually communicate over great lengths by what is described as singing. Some species of whales have more braincapacity than us humans. Many animals have a variety of communication methods, that we humans totally lack, like smells and colourfull presentations. Even insects such as bees can communicate their flight routes to other individuals of their own species by dancing.

        The fact that humans do stand apart from most animals in communication skills does however tell us absolutely nothing about wether the hypothesis that anything supernatural, let alone some specific god exists. Or does it?

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      • I’ll answer that, rautakyy – I don’t think so. The way I look at is this: what would have EVER given the idea – to an invisible, outside-of-time-and-space spirit – that it could make a human being?? Where did the idea come from?

        However, when you consider the opposite – that humans created god(s), (using their imaginations) it makes perfect sense.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Interesting indeed RAUTAKYY, but speech is not the only thing that sets us apart of all creation.

        You err in thinking monkeys are our cousins. Your mama’s sister or brother’s child is your cousin, not a monkey.

        If it wasn’t for a human teaching a monkey sign, they would not know sign.

        Some animals communicate with each other in their respective species but they do not do it with words and they do not talk to other species..

        You ask the question of all questions, “Or does it?”. I think most of you tremble that deep down in your marrow the answer vibrates YES, YES, YES. “The fact that humans do stand apart from most animals in communication skills tell’s us absolutely everything about the supernatural, that god exists.”

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      • You got it backwards Carmen. You label God, “an invisible, outside-of-time-and-space spirit”, yet He showed Himself to Moses and He came in the form of Jesus and made written history.

        You ask, “Where did the idea come from?” How about the Jews Carmen? You know those of the Holocaust. The JEWS are very real, not “invented”. To say they BECAME Jews who first arose, then invented their God, is pretty naive. It lacks a stark understanding of history. Denial in it’s purest form. There is no Jew outside of the one who made it Jew.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Nan wants silence. She want’s censorship. She wants to silence the God she labels a demon. She wants to delete and ban, and again, silence any word that brings her pain.

      John will never succumb to censorship Nan. It just doesn’t fly in open debate,

      My impression is inspiredbythedivine1 is 15. I feel he is a young one. If he is actually 23, or 41, that be my bad, but still young, damaged, and unforgiving.

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  21. JZ, have you heard from Ark lately? A number of us are a little worried as he’s gone silent in the last while. . someone else suggested to me that they thought he might be having techno troubles. . . any ideas?

    Liked by 2 people

  22. I’d love to just fly to Brazil and meet the John Zande. I’d ask him if it was OK that I come, that he would welcome me so we could meet and if he could arrange a driver to take me there, where it be if only I was a millionaire.

    I would think it wonderful we share a cold beer and talk and it doesn’t have to about the God thing, talk about how well his garden is growing would be just fine. I’d love on his dogs and make a very generous donation to the pups he cares for.

    I love his hat, the one picture we get to see, I’d ask about that. I’d ask about what it is that he loves and what it is he fears. I’d want to know everything…I’d want to shake his hand, give him a hug and tell his lovelies how special it is that they have this man.

    That’s how it is with the unknown, do we not we crave to know everything?

    Like

      • Your hypothesis about me might be wrong. You assume a lot of things, but perhaps it seems we all do, regardless, I think the things I’ve written stand on their own accord.

        I’m just looking for an intelligent interpretation of written history and dialog into the why what we have, is what we have. Peoples and their identities do not just materialize out of thin air, traditions, or call them myths, have a basses in history. There is some truth there somewhere.

        I’ll quit playing, talking to myself as you put it, and will only respond to a reply from now on. Thank you for your patience and tolerance and being a stand-up guy.

        Like

      • So,
        I wonder Nan, what you think about that our President has been exonerated? I would ask JZ but he doesn’t live here. Any one is welcome to reply, even the big guy, but I’m interested in Americans.,. The only thing that separates the Atheist from the Believer is common ground. Common ground is that we both persevere. I’m a realist. I know there are you and them and I know there are we, but what we all need to know is philosophies are hard to change, maybe impossible really, so how do we make things right? Neither of us are going to ever “win”, but we have to live together. How do we reconcile our different beliefs and make a world where our children move past hate. We are all going to die and should it not be that when we leave this Earth, things are better, that our kids have better, that they tolerate others ideas and build it even better than we have?

        Like

      • Exonerated? Have you read Mueller’s report, or are you commenting on the Barr Memo? LOL! About as convincing as the infamous Nunes’ Memo. Let’s see Mueller’s report, shall we? And there is absolutely no doubt the Russians attacked the U.S. in 2016. Are you OK with this? And to remind you, on Jun 3, 2016, Rob Goldstone wrote to Don Jr.:

        This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.

        And Roy, collusion is different to blackmail. Why all the lies? Why does Trump need to meet with Putin privately, for hours, and break every clause in The Presidential Records Act by STEALING the translators notes?

        You have a Russian pawn in the White House; a “useful idiot” as the Kremlin refers to compromised assets they’re running. He’s not there because Putin likes him. He’s there because Putin knows he’ll do nothing but break things and ruin the U.S’s standing in the world.

        Liked by 5 people

      • I say he’s COMPLETELY exonerated of EVERYTHING!!! To celebrate, I’ve legally changed my name to Individual 1 and have had myself named as an un-indicted conspiratorial in a federal felony; I’m freely grabbing EVERY pussy I come across (I’m now FAMOUS for it); I’ve hooked up with Roy Moore to help him cruise for 14 year girls in shopping malls, and my lips are now firmly planted on the ball hairs that hang off of the testicles of Vladimir Putin EVERY time I see ’em. Oh, also, I now have a major woody–that happens EVERY time I mention Vlad’s name. He’s so HOT, ain’t he?!

        God bless America! And I propose gas chambers and crematoriums be placed in ALL of our major cities to free us from the poor, the disabled, the libs, and every undocumented immigrant who’s not taking care of my lawn or children for 10 cents a day.

        Jesus loves you, John, almost much as he loves Trump. Almost. $Amen$

        Liked by 4 people

      • Your the master of twisted truth John, everyone knows it. The Christians see it plainly and the Atheists know it and follow lock-in-step. Barr gets the report and gives a summary. How many days has it been and Mueller hasn’t came forward saying anything Barr summarizes is not true, so it is true.

        The reason we might never see the full report is the guy actually told the truth and said what everybody already knows, that he DNC, and Hillary, started all the lies, paid for it in fact with a fake dossier on our President and then lied to the the FISA courts to get wire taps.

        The reason Russia wanted President Trump to win is because this business man has his head screwed on right. It’s all about winning and it’s ALL about adding to your purse. This idea about prosperity goes way back. The guy knows that if all his fellow Americans make more money then he makes more money. You do not get to be a Billionaire by being stupid and profit is the driving force of all creation… And Russia wants the same thing. We do not have to be enemies, we can all get what we want. It parallels a bit with North Korea. We can bend them to give up aggression and Nukes be making them prosperous. With someone less intelligent like Kim, as apposed to Putin, it takes a little time and it takes sanctions and a big stick and a Billionaire President knows this.

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      • Billionaire? Please.

        In studying a loan proposal, Deutsche Bank found that Trump’s net worth is just $788 million. Others have put it at $250 million.

        Of course, he could prove his wealth by simply releasing his tax returns. Easy fix, right?

        https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-03-19/trump-has-some-stories-to-tell-about-deutsche-bank

        Successful businessman? LOL! If he had put the money his dad gave him in 1988 in the bank and did NOTHING ELSE from that day on he’d have 10-times what he *actually* has today. He’s gone bankrupt 5 times. U.S. banks won’t even lend him money he’s such a failure. Simply put, Trump is one of the dumbest and most incompetent people I’ve ever had the misfortune of reading about. His entire life is a negative return.

        Trump’s FAILED businesses:

        1. Trump Airlines

        2. Trump beverages

        3. Trump: The Game

        4. Trump casinos

        5. Trump magazine

        6. Trump Mortgage

        7. Trump Steaks

        8. Trump’s travel site

        9. Trump’s comms company

        10. Trump Tower Tampa

        11. Trump University

        12. Trump Vodka

        And if you think he’s been fully exonerated, then there should be NO PROBLEM in releasing the Mueller Report to verify that, right? If that’s what it actually said, then Barr and Trump should be racing to release it. So, let’s see it…

        Liked by 2 people

      • The American Dream is a national ethos of the United States, the set of ideals (democracy, rights, liberty, opportunity and equality) in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, as well as an upward social mobility for the family and children, achieved through hard work in a society with few barriers. In the definition of the American Dream by James Truslow Adams in 1931, “life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement” regardless of social class or circumstances of birth. We work hard, save, and move into better.

        This “dream” is given to us by God. The Creator wrote this into our DNA and we fight unto the death to protect it. Satan, and those possessed by evil, work to take take our freedom. They want to rule over us in opposition to what the Creator designed. The only right way is that your hard work and perseverance increases your purse and that only happens in a free society.

        Like

      • Loving unconditionally is a commitment to love an imperfect person. Remember I am an imperfect person too. This type of love does not include revenge or purposely hurting someone. Loving unconditionally is scary and vulnerable. In reality love causes pain and hurt. To love someone with complete vulnerability that they can cause hurt in your life is scary. Being vulnerable while loving wholeheartedly is part of living fully. Love with your whole heart and mind. Be open to the magical experiences that love can bring even if it is just for a short moment in time. This type of love is worth it!

        To that end I have written my admiration to JZ. More than once I’ve expressed a want to meet and share a beer and talk guy talk. All this Bible and God stuff and who is right and who is wrong is BS, what;s is worth, ZERO.

        Sleep tight my friend, Thursday is a new day.

        Like

      • Thank You Sir,

        Tax returns do not prove wealth. I can show you every single tax return I’ve ever filed and you will have no idea of what I am worth.

        Bankruptcies? Protection really. It’s the law dude, don’t like it then change it.

        Dumbest and most incompetent? Yet he is the President of the United States. Those four words John prove your a hateful, biased, damaged and untruthful soul. How in the world can a man be the “dumbest and most incompetent” and attain the status of the President of the United States. I read that and I feel I’m living in Bizarro Land.

        You mention a long list of failures…

        YET to fail from time to time, or even if what you say is true-dozens, is only human, but to be a “failure” is when we are defeated by failure, refusing to rise and try again. President Trump is NOT a failure by definition. Christians sometimes believe they should be immune to failure by virtue of their relationship with God, but the truth is that God often allows us to fail for a variety of reasons. Job 14:1 says, “Man born of woman is of few days and full of trouble.” That doesn’t say “unbelievers” or “the ungodly.” It says man born of woman. What does that mean? Everyone. Life is full of trouble, even for those who belong to God through faith in Christ. And even you who hate his guts. We are to expect it. This means God does not promise life to be without problems, sorrow, tragedy, sickness, evil, and, yes, failure, just because we believe in Him. 🙂

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      • How in the world can a man be the “dumbest and most incompetent” and attain the status of the President of the United States. I read that and I feel I’m living in Bizarro Land.

        Exhibit 1

        Exhibit 2

        Exhibit 3

        Exhibit 4

        I can go on and on and on…

        Liked by 1 person

      • One thing about JZ not censoring comments — the rest of us get to discover, first-hand, what goes on in the mind of the wingnuttery. Jesus H. Christ.

        Liked by 4 people

  23. So what? The guy was a guy before he became President. He is not perfect and he will never say perfect things and that’s why millions of people voted him into office, he’s a guy working the system to be better. He chased tail and talked shit about grabbing pussy, HE IS A DUDE. We LOVE women, it’s the most ever greatest thing God gave us dudes. My wife is the salt of the Earth and in the same vein, you can bet your last dollar all the Presidents ex’s will never have to worry about money.

    Again, he is not perfect just like every swinging dick on this planet, but the alternative is way worst. We need a guy, an on the streets player businessman, someone who will not take shit from anyone because he already got his coin.

    Guys like Trump look at dollars in their purse and he knows, drag 99 percent of Americans into the win column and his purse bursts.

    Like

    • Common sense is sound practical judgment concerning everyday matters, or a basic ability to perceive, understand, and judge what is shared by (“common to”) nearly all people.

      What President Trump offers is common sense. He is the President of the United States and his only focus is that, making America Great.

      That is his job and that’s what he was elected to do, make our interests first and foremost. He was elected in the hopes that he keeps us safe and returns us to prosperity.

      Our national motto is In God We Trust. It’s written on our currency and displayed in our courts. Our laws are structured on the tenants of the 10 Commandments. Our moral code was designed by the ultimate Law Giver. No man wrote the code. No man invented morals because there is no man sinless and morally above any other.

      Our founders structured our three houses, executive, legislative, and judicial, in such a way that they remain independent of religion. We are a nation of immigrants bent on a free society, free to worship as we crave, free to being free, forever.

      Like

    • Trump doesn’t fit the “mold”. He is not a “politician”. What I meant by “guy” and “dude” is he is like a lot of guys-unfiltered-girl chasing til one sticks like glue-carnivorous.

      He’s spent his whole life getting what he wants and now that he is the Pres he doesn’t see it any differently. He is tough, borderline bully, and it rubs some people the wrong way.

      Common sense is sound practical judgment concerning everyday matters, or a basic ability to perceive, understand, and judge what is shared by (“common to”) nearly all people.

      What President Trump offers is common sense. He is the President of the United States and his only focus is that, making America Great.

      That is his job and that’s what he was elected to do, make our interests first and foremost and by doing that drag the rest of the numskulls of the world into reality. He was elected in the hopes that he keeps us safe and returns us to everlasting prosperity.

      Our national motto is In God We Trust. It’s written on our currency and displayed in our courts. All of you American Atheist are walking around carrying money proclaiming that very fact. Our laws are structured on the tenants of the 10 Commandments. Our moral code was designed by the ultimate Law Giver. No man wrote the code. No man invented morals because there is no man sinless and morally above any other.

      Our founders structured our three houses, executive, legislative, and judicial, in such a way that they remain independent of religion. We are a nation of immigrants bent on a free society, free to worship as we crave, free to being free, forever. A lot of men and women gave their lives for this, for us, and for Countries who for seem to have forgotten.
      ***
      I would hope that I bring a thoughtful and intelligent debate on things but sometimes I do tend to use foul language. I don’t think I have called any of you foul names like Carmen did, or Uninspired and I sense John hates censorship more than he dislikes me…No one is perfect, even I…

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      • There is nothing intelligent in calling other nationalities numskulls because you are a tRumpsky fan. We don’t give a fcuk whether your president is a dog or an orange. If that’s your idea of intelligent, it is no wonder others have found fine adjectives to refer to you

        Liked by 2 people

      • The substance of your comment is abuse Mak, and I’m not surprised… Being a numskull simply means someone who is stupid, but I didn’t reference a person, I reference Countries. The context of my use of numskull was the fact that if Trump is successful making America great, perhaps he can help other numskull Countries do the same.

        Do you have any idea how many BILLIONS of dollars the USA gives to other Countries Mak? But you don’t give a fuck, right? I wish our government would just cut all you ingrates off. Obama authorized 41.9 billion in foreign aid in 2017. Every year, for mostly forever, we give billions in aid.

        Perhaps you might study our world wars and the role the USA played and how many of our soldiers died fighting for other Countries.

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      • Leroy, I don’t think you’d recognize abuse if it hit in the face, Since you are ignorant of it, a country can’t be numskull as a country has no brains to think with but the people do and it is the people you are heaping abuse on.
        But you are right on one thing, I don’t give a fuck.
        Ooh, and about the billion of dollars you give in aid comes back from unfair trade deals, arms sales and all the shit the american government deals in.
        And about the American soldiers fighting in other countries, sure you jest, half of those wars were started by your idiotic government and the other half your government has interests in.
        Generally, I have a low opinion of soldiers. World wars were tribal affairs between Europeans, nothing too big for me to worry about.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m glad to see so many people from various African nations get scholarships to go to universities in China, Russia, and Saudi Arabia. And the Chinese and Koreans might be surprised to find out they were so involved with a European tribal war.

        Keep up the chant, Mak: USA bad, USA bad, USA bad. It sounds good to progressive ears.

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      • Tildeb, it seems you have been missing an opportunity to talk to me. I don’t know where, in my comment i said USA bad bad bad. Be that as it may, the Africans who fought in the war were fighting not because they wanted to but had been forcefully enlisted by the colonial powers. A sharp person like you would know this.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m actually commenting to a trend I’ve seen out of Mak over the past few years that always casts the US in a highly negative light never balanced or compared with the alternatives and never presented in any positive influence whatsoever. He even castigates 100s of billions in foreign aid as only self serving. Hence, the inevitable conclusion: USA bad. Just like a chant.

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      • And just for clarity, it seems China is increasing it’s number of uni scholarships from 30,000 to 50,000 this year; total combined program US$60 billion. *Total* US economic and military assistance to Africa is $49.87 billion. So, Chinese investment in education alone in Africa is larger than the entire US program, which includes military spending. China is the second largest recipient of African students. Only France takes more.

        “According to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, the US and UK host around 40,000 African students a year. China surpassed this number in 2014, making it the second most popular destination for African students studying abroad, after France which hosts just over 95,000 students.”

        https://qz.com/africa/1017926/china-has-overtaken-the-us-and-uk-as-the-top-destination-for-anglophone-african-students/

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    • Geez Carmen/Carmelita/Joke…you misinterpret the Idiom, expected.

      The original, literal meaning of the saying indicates that the speaker wishes that whatever the addressee has just said will be heard by God and answered. That is not why I used the same cuss work Mak did, that you would wish God would hear me say Mak doesn’t care. There isn’t even anything for God to answer. Very dumb.

      Is there anyone here with an IQ above average, say maybe, 130+.

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    • The reality you experience as a human being is only an infinitesimal fragment of total reality. Because it is relatively so small, it lacks context. When consciousness is not connected with the deeper meaning of things, life must be a struggle and in conflict to those others who are connected. This applies to every human being. There are those who have, and there are those who have not.

      We must begin with some general concepts that are absolutely necessary to eventually open locked doors, for how can you expand your consciousness unless you try out some new and wider-reaching possibilities? Scientists come to new findings the same way. They form radical assumptions, to which they temporarily give serious consideration. If their hypotheses turn out wrong, they have lost nothing. They put them aside and try other alternatives to reach deeper understanding. When they find the truth, their hypothesis becomes an experiential fact. The development of human consciousness is no different.

      And that takes us back full circle, that when consciousness is not connected with the deeper meaning of things, life must be a struggle. The deeper meaning is who created all we see, why our consciousness even exists in the first place, why we love and why we feel apathy. The human condition is a blueprint and we all share a common path, we breath the same air, we drink the same water, we eat the same food, and we all live in the same bubble.

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      • Now I know the real John Zane, comments are there for one second and gone the next. You may live in your fantasy better with out me whispering things of God in your ear, but really, the pain will never go away, better will never be, torment might just surround you for eternity. Read this then delete it.

        Like

      • Very funny. Now you want to be a comedian? It’s all good bro, comments of subscribers never go to spam as default and spam filters tend to ignore anything subscribers write, I mean after all, they have permission to comment, so whatever.

        I would think “ignore” is a bit of a slight slip-up. Though you pass over my comments without giving due attention, without giving comment, ignore, in this case, does not mean, “not read”. I get it, I understand I write by authority, and I understand the authority is outside our normal, and I understand the words I put together convict, but all that I am, all ideas I formulate, are inspired by the big guy who put breath in our lungs, and I know it scares you, and to be honest I tremble too, Will He Accept Me, with all my faults? Faith lives strong in my heart.

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  24. Wouldn’t life be grand if everyone settled down long enough to agree religion was born of necessity – imperative to offer hope to the oppressed while managing to secure absolute power, uninterrupted wealth and control over growing populations. Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Your talking about the Christian faith, right Notes? You ask, “Why am I so mad [and screaming], either I’m Christian, or not?”

        You would like it, “if everyone settled down long enough to agree religion was born of necessity.”

        John too would love to write off the Christian faith as, “imaginary.”

        But you two can not argue against written history. The fact that a guy long ago proclaimed to be the King of Jews and was put to death for it and all of a sudden there where “Christians”. That these “Christians”, many of them, went to their deaths as opposed to recounting their belief. Witnesses tend to do that, especially when given the choice between choosing God over life.

        We have history. Nero burned Christians to light his gardens, that’s written history, that men who followed Christ followed the creed to teach and that they died in their faith that God walked with them, again history. Are you going to deny written history of Roman historians hostile to Christians writing about this phenomenon?

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    • Agreed, Notes. Yet, for some inexplicable reason, there are millions who are content with the thought that an invisible entity waved a magic wand and, ‘poofed’ us all into being. Depressing, really, to think there are so many who insist on this childish view of reality.

      Liked by 2 people

      • If you would never consider anything evidence of God then why should I waste time. People adopt different fundamental starting beliefs. Mine is that I want to live a good life. Yours might be that you will not believe in God. If you did then it is a waste of time because any argument will just lead you to reject the premises so you can keep your conclusion. So again if you don’t think anything could even possibly be evidence of God then Ok – but then again people with a more open mind might not be so convinced by your constant claims that there is “no evidence.”
        https://trueandreasonable.co/2014/12/23/no-evidence/

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      • Speaking of “evidence,” I clicked on the link you provided and visited your blog (for the first time). IMO, in this particular discussion, Vel provided MORE than enough evidence to substantiate her claims. But then, I think you would agree, it’s all where our head is at.

        However, as related to an open mind, after an individual (like John) has studied and researched voluminous amounts of information related to “beliefs,” while others simply make assertions based on their study of one of two sources of information, I tend to favor the former over the latter in regards to open-mindedness.

        Liked by 4 people

      • I’m glad you read the blog. Certainly I would agree with you that what counts as evidence is going to depend on what a person goes into the discussion believing.

        That is why I would like to know if someone would even allow for the possibility of evidence of God before I waste time trying to offer arguments/evidence.

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      • Yes, nearly all have preconceived ideas/beliefs. No argument there. But beliefs and evidence are not quite the same. And verifiable evidence that substantiates the idea of an existent supernatural entity as referenced in ancient religions has yet to be produced. Many, many attempts have been made, but all have been wanting … unless you “believe.”

        Liked by 2 people

      • I understand evidence as defined by by the Federal rules of evidence.
        https://trueandreasonable.co/2014/12/23/no-evidence/

        I understand beliefs as explained by W.V. Quine:
        https://trueandreasonable.co/2014/01/09/do-you-belieeeeve/

        To the extent John or some other atheists want to redefine these terms in wonky ways that is not in line with traditional understandings – well I can’t be bothered.

        “And verifiable evidence that substantiates the idea of an existent supernatural entity as referenced in ancient religions has yet to be produced. Many, many attempts have been made, but all have been wanting … unless you “believe.””

        In essence you said verified evidence has not been convincing unless it was convincing. Because if it was convincing people would believe – right?

        But to be sure “verifiable evidence” is not necessarily the same as evidence. For example if someone tells me that a suspect told them they committed the crime I may not be able to verify that evidence. But it is still evidence. It is especially strong evidence to the person the suspect told even though he may not be able to “verify” it to others.

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      • In answer to your question, no. That’s not what I said … or meant. (For one thing, I didn’t use the words “convincing” — which changes the tone of the discussion.)

        Here it is in a nutshell. There’s nothing that any believer has offered so far that constitutes verifiable, empirical, undeniable (use any word you want) evidence that a supernatural entity exists. In other words, we’re still waiting for the missing limb to be regrown on the amputee.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’s true the evidence can always be denied. Many people still think OJ was innocent. Some people think Jussie Smollet was innocent of filing a false police report.

        That said I do not think atheists are nearly that bad. I would even agree I would like more evidence. But we have what we have the question is whether it is sufficient. And whether it is sufficient is dependent on what our goals are.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Maybe God answering my prayers to have ND win another National Championship. That would certainly be nice.

        But more seriously of course I wish God would answer prayers to heal people more often. It has always been the case that people tend to want more evidence of God. Isaiah even talks about it.

        The evidence of God are typically miracles.

        Liked by 1 person

      • So again if you don’t think anything could even possibly be evidence of God then Ok

        When you’re finished fighting with that straw man you should perhaps revisit my comment and read it again. I believe I said, “Provide what you have…”

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      • OK, read it. So your evidence is anonymous (contradictory) hearsay written down generations after the alleged events with no independent, contemporary historical corroboration?

        Beyond being hopelessly circular, I wouldn’t accept that, no. No rational person would.

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      • Its unclear what you mean by hearsay. In a legal sense just about every history book is hearsay. When they were written is somewhat in dispute. And there are of course multiple independent sources. And there is also lots of historical corroboration.

        The accounts are evidence of what they record.

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      • Ok I understand hearsay as “an out of court statement being used for the truth of the matter asserted.”

        But you think we should discount all history unless it is written by a person who actually saw what (s)he records him/her/self?

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      • Sure so for example we see that the romans did in fact crucify criminals and we see the physical evidence of this. This to some extent corroborates the gospels. We have evidence that a temple existed in Jerusalem, this corroborates the gospels etc etc.

        Whether anything short of having video tape of the death and the body lying dead for three days and then rising will be *enough* corroborating evidence depends on the person.

        I do not say people are irrational for saying there is not enough evidence. I would even say rational people have said there is insufficient evidence. I think rational people can disagree. But when someone says there is “no evidence” I suspect they are using some double standards.

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      • I am not just saying Rome and Jerusalem exist. But to answer your questions it corroborates it more than if no such cities existed at all.

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      • Right, and by that measure Tom Clancy’s The Hunt for Red October is a true story. The places are correct for the time; submarines and naval destroyers existed in that time; sonar is a time-correct technology; the names of the characters are historically accurate; their clothing and personal weapons match the era perfectly. True story, clearly.

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      • The measure of whether something is true is whether it accords with reality. In just about every court case people present evidence supporting opposite views of what in reality happened. That does not mean that reality is a blend of opposites. OJ simpson either killed his ex wife and Goldman or he did not. There may be evidence that supports opposing views on this but only one view is true.

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      • Yes I have tried many cases and understand the rules of hearsay quite well. And there are exceptions to the hearsay rule. And almost all history books would be considered hearsay if it was offered for the truth alleged in the book.

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      • What are you talking about. I never said I did proceed on court cases based 100% on hearsay. But that is certainly possible. Again hearsay in the law is defined as an out of court statment being used for the truth of the matter asserted. There are exceptions to excluding hearsay. That doesn’t mean they are not hearsay but they are allowed in anyway. It is certainly possible that some issues can be decided entirely on hearsay exceptions and there is nothing that says an entire case could not be so decided.
        https://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/fre/rule_801
        https://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/fre/rule_802
        https://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/fre/rule_803
        https://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/fre/rule_804
        https://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/fre/rule_805
        https://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/fre/rule_806
        https://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/fre/rule_807

        Above are the rules regarding hearsay in federal courts. If you need help understanding what is meant just ask.

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      • I am not sure what your point was but hearsay can certainly be considered reasonable evidence. Just about everything you read in a history book is hearsay.

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      • Do you think the historian who wrote the history books saw everything they are writing about with their own eyes? No they are mostly taking what other people said to be true. That is hearsay but it is almost everything in any high school history book cover to cover.

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      • The have external documents to cross-reference, physical artefacts, dating methods, and a host of other tools at their disposal to establish an approximation of the truth.

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      • Uh mostly history is based on taking other peoples claims. That is why “prehistory” is usually defined as those places and times before there were written records of what happened. And we know precious little about what happened in “prehistory” compared to historic periods.

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      • What do you think? Do you think we know who made what arguments for or our constitution by looking at fragments of bone? Do you think we know what the missouri compromise was from looking at old buildings? Do you think we know Martin Luther protested against the church because we have bits of his hair?

        We know almost everything we know about history because people told us what happened. That is we take their say so hearsay reports.

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      • Yes and how we know so much more after writing than before. Bits of bone and clothe can give us information and people can be quite creative in putting dots together. But there are huge limits. That is why history and prehistory is an important divide and it is based on whether we have written accounts that we can understand. That is it is based on whether we have hearsay.

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      • Again the corroboration is usually very weak – like yes there were crucifixions at the time etc. The vast majority of what we know from history is hearsay. Without the reports we wouldn’t know it.

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      • When you’re talking religious history that many individuals base their entire life upon, then it would seem yes, more evidence is required than someone’s “word for it” — which is essentially all you have with the bible.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I just look at it a bit differently. At least this has a chance of being information about how we should live that is not just someones say so that they made up. It at least has a chance of being more than that.

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    • OED: the available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid.

      Nowhere in the definition of ‘evidence’ do we find anything to do with belief of the religious kind.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Again I use the federal rules of evidence definition of “relevant evidence.” If you want some other definition ok.

        But of course the general definition of “relevant evidence” wouldn’t specifically mention religious beliefs in particular. Why should they?

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      • Adding the term ‘relevant’ doesn’t alter the core of the definition for evidence, which has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with an imported a priori belief adding veracity to determine facts (or information) but of facts (or information) relevant indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid. In legal terms, relevant evidence means “body of regulations governing the proof of the existence of a fact before a court.”

        The focus of what constitutes evidence, Joe, is on facts or information.

        OED Fact: a thing that is known or proved to be true.

        So when you make a claim and then say that you have ‘evidence’ (presumably relevant) to support that claim, then you are , in fact claiming you have facts independent of your a priori religiously inspired imported beliefs that lead to validating your religiously inspired claim.

        So when you are asked for evidence, you are being asked for facts that most likely would do this job for any reasonable person. Lacking the presenting of these independent facts while insisting you have another kind of evidence means you are committing confirmation bias by selecting only information that appears to support the a priori belief claim you have imported while refusing to account for equivalent information that does not fit.

        I claim you are guilty of doing exactly this because the evidence for your confirmation bias is right here in this comment thread where you only use information that appears to support your beliefs (if squinted at just so) while 1) ignoring equivalent information that does not support the claim you make, and 2) failing to explain the lack of evidence where it should be plentiful if the claim were indeed true.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think the OED has a terrible definition of the word fact that does not at all comport to how the term is used in law or more generally in philosophy or even science. It was a fact that the earth revolved around the sun regardless of whether anyone knew it or proved it. Facts in law often are yet to be proven to a jury or a judge. When we prove facts we demonstrate their truth to another. We do not create facts with our proofs.

        This is yet another reason why the merriam webster dictionary is going to be your best bet:
        https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fact

        Facts are not at all dependent on our beliefs. But if you say facts must be known (knowledge implies belief) or proven – that also seems to implie it was proven to someone. This makes facts subjective. I mean you can continue to think in this way if you want but you will not be understanding what many people mean when they use the term. I did a blog on this:

        https://trueandreasonable.co/2017/04/24/scientific-imperialism-what-is-a-fact/

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      • Joe, you’re just trying to play a word game to make evidence subjective to your imported religious beliefs. The core concept remains (relatively) fixed regarding evidence and that concept is that whatever constitutes evidence must be independent of exactly that which you are trying to do, namely make evidence subjective. Evidence to be considered evidence must stand or fall on its own merit and not be shaped and framed by subjective beliefs. By analogy, you are taking the square peg called ‘evidence’ and shaving it of meaning to fit your round hole of religious belief so that you can then cherry pick whatever seems to support your imported belief and file it under the title of Evidence. But it’s nothing more than confirmation bias at work because it is fully subjective and has no compelling merit as independent compelling evidence. This is a failure of your methodology and the extent of this kind of warping word play and rationalization for it is the red flag of confirmation bias at work.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I use the definition of relevant evidence used by our federal rules of evidence.

        There is no question that the effects evidence will have is subjective. That is why some people watched the OJ simpson trial and were indeed convinced beyond reasonable doubt he killed 2 people but the Jury said they were not convinced.

        This fact about how different evidence can effect different people variously has nothing to do with my religious beliefs.

        The difference between us is that I am a trial lawyer and have been for several years so I have quite a bit of experience with what evidence is and how it works. My understanding has been shaped by trials and the law and is not at all based on my religious views. You have some theoretical understanding of evidence that has in fact been shaped by people who want to try to limit what evidence is to exclude even the possibility for evidence for God.

        The definition of “relevant evidence” in our federal rules is not some big christian conspiracy.

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      • As a trial lawyer, you would know better than most that’s true (relevant to a jury verdict) doesn’t matter. Lawyer shape the case to try to convince a jury. And that’s why you continue to insist that the role of evidence is to convince us. You think the role of evidence is about its effect and this is the rationalizing you are doing to assume your prior beliefs can be aligned with evidence rather that allow the evidence to shape your beliefs. Cart, meet horse. You’ve got the order backwards.

        Having consideration for effects on people has nothing to do with understanding or gaining insight into reality and the evidence it provides for claims made about it. That’s not how reality works. You are not going to convince reality to subjectively agree with you unless you assume this is a good method for gaining insight and understanding into reality. That assumption can be tested and we find this is the worst method possible because the metric being used is not independent when you try to align reality with your beliefs about it. And we see this played out all the time when incompatible religious beliefs compete with scientific models like creationism versus evolution. Assuming belief in creationism first is the correct explanatory model and then trying to comport evidence produced by reality to fit into it is exactly the same order in which you are trying to shape evidence to fit with your religious beliefs. What’s excluded from this method is any regard to what’s actually true… because you’ve made up your mind beforehand how you wish to shape your case. Calling this information that does this dishonest job for you ‘evidence’ is a load of bullshit and you know it. You are trying to cover up the inherent deceit of a subjective collection of information that may appear to support the imported belief (which is the only reason this information is ‘acceptable’) by trying to present it as objective, which is why you are trying to rationalize it as equivalent ‘evidence’. But you know and I know that you are trying to pretend that your faith-based beliefs that assume the conclusion and assume a high degree of truth value can be presented through carefully selected confirmation bias as if this information is independent verification called ‘evidence’. That is not true. Your religious belief is not adduced from reality because the vast majority of the relevant evidence from reality does not comport independently, does not convince independently, does not compel justified true belief. That’s why you have to reshape everything from the language to the information, carefully sifted to yield only the interpretation you wish it to provide as if this somehow demonstrates a reasonable belief without the imported assumption of the belief being true FIRST.

        But what’s true cannot be discovered this way because you’ve already made the ruling without ever considering anything from reality. You couldn’t give a fig leaf about any information, any evidence that is contrary to your assumed religious beliefs or you wouldn’t go through this horse and pony show to try to shape your case as if independent of you or you would allow reality to speak on your behalf and draw a reasonable conclusion from the preponderance of evidence it provides.

        Said simply, you must have faith first to assume it is reasonable to try to reshape reality to fit the explanatory religious model.

        In any fair and honest comparison reasonable people might allow about the evidence reality provides on how it works, on the one hand we have subjective faith-based conclusions that yield no knowledge about reality that can be demonstrated to offer unique insight (as well as a veritable host of superstitious explanatory models that equivalently fail the same independent evidence requirement as your religious beliefs) versus a method that produces applicable knowledge that works for everyone everywhere all the time that we can reasonably claim as objective. The difference is whether or not you have the courage to allow reality to arbitrate your beliefs about it when it conflicts with faith-adduced beliefs you exercise to rationalize and shape the case for your subjective beliefs. What you must decide is whether or not what’s true matters more than what you wish were true. As long as you assume the latter and reject the primary role for independent evidence, you can make no reasonable case that you can use evidence from reality to support your beliefs about about it. That horse has already left the barn.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Look if a thing does not lead someone to accept a belief X then that thing is not evidence of X for that person. I am not making this up it is just how things work.

        It may be evidence for other people. It may be that the person should see that the thing is evidence of X. But in the end if the thing does not make a person view x as more probable due to the thing than without it then it is not evidence for that person.

        Evidence is subjective facts are not subjective. Reality is the fact of the matter. Whether something is evidence (and how strong the evidence is) is dependant on the person. It is a fact that OJ killed his ex wife whether the jury things the evidence is strong or not. Their subjective view of the evidence does not change the facts.

        You are the one who wants to make facts subjective. You are the one who wants to say something is not a fact unless it is “known.” But there are plenty of aspects of objective reality we do not yet know about – and they are nevertheless facts of reality.

        My religious beliefs have nothing to do with how this works and is understood in law and philosophy. I did not make these rules. I am just telling you that this is how the terms are typically used and they are used in a sensible way.

        For you to say something is not a fact unless it is known then you run into all sorts of problems. Who does it have to be known by? What if the person who knows the fact dies – is it suddenly no longer fact? Etc.

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      • You’re making no sense here, Joe.

        The term ‘evidence’ means facts and information and does not have anything to do with convincing anyone of anything. You keep going back to this well and now go so far as to suggest that I mistakenly think that evidence is only evidence if it is ‘known’. I have no clue what part of the anatomy you’re pulling this from but it has zero to do with my criticism of your position that assures us that, “… what counts as evidence is going to depend on what a person goes into the discussion believing.”

        No.

        You don’t get to decide what is evidence based on what you believe. You don’t get to decide what is evidence and then go looking for only those bits of information from reality that you think supports your case and then call that ‘evidence’ from reality while discarding all other information from reality that does not support your case. That’s called confirmation bias but that is what you’re doing. Presenting this selected information and calling it evidence – as if independent from your beliefs – in favour of your imported beliefs is not reasonable because it is intentionally biased. That’s why you’ve selected it. This intentional bias is one issue but to then pretend this isn’t a personal choice by you but an established rule in law that defines evidence in such a way as to allow lawyers to disregard what’s true and substitute a Just So story (like the Red October issue JZ raises) that utilizes such selected information in order to effect jury is a doubling down of fundamental deceit.

        Again, this approach is both intentional and revealing: the method has no goal of adducing beliefs from reality that justify them but reverses the process and has you busy rationalizing what you are doing and relabeling it for effect as if independently supportive of your beliefs. The opposite effect is more likely to be true, in that people who see you doing this have greater cause to doubt your claims because these claims have not been adduced from the preponderance of evidence but cherry picked and then misrepresented as if adduced from reality, as if because lawyers do this the practice the method must be truth-based!

        I think we all know better than that.

        Liked by 1 person

      • You’re making no sense here, Joe.
        The term ‘evidence’ means facts and information and does not have anything to do with convincing anyone of anything. ”

        If the evidence does not convince anyone of anything then it is irrelevant evidence. That is why I think we should focus on “relevant evidence.” Courts agree that is why you can’t show star wars movies during a trial unless it has some relevance to the case. Sure you can mark it as an exhibit and call it evidence and if the other side has no objection it will come in as “evidence.” But we want to look at “relevant evidence.” And you simply reject the definition used by courts as to what that means.

        “You keep going back to this well and now go so far as to suggest that I mistakenly think that evidence is only evidence if it is ‘known’.”

        No I think you believe a fact is only a “fact” if it is known or proved to be true. But whether we or anyone “knows” a fact does not change its character. Facts are objective – that is they are not dependent on our knowing of believing them or proving them to anyone.

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      • Relevant and irrelevant additions to the term is what is confusing you, Joe. Evidence as a fact remains a fact… regardless if you think you have the right to decide your beliefs determine which is a relevant fact or irrelevant fact. You argue it is reasonable to decide the difference by using your faith-based belief that certain facts are relevant BECAUSE they appear to support your belief and irrelevant BECAUSE they do not comport with your belief. To support this method as if reasonable to get to the truth of some issue, you are using the legal idea of mutually acceptable and relevant facts as evidence!

        Do you see the problem here? All facts from reality should be mutually acceptable as we struggle to determine modeled explanations that work for everyone everywhere all the time that try always incorporate all facts… a struggle that is never ending because not all facts can be determined and so we are left with only tentative conclusions. With your method, you are cherry picking from the beginning and expect everyone to go along with this charade in order to be called ‘reasonable’ by you.

        I disagree.

        You are arguing that it is reasonable to use the metric of faith to determine which facts you will keep as relevant and which facts you will discard as irrelevant. I disagree because once again, you are either assuming the conclusion (that faith is the correct metric because it is true) or you are exercising confirmation bias to select only those facts that appear to support your faith based beliefs.

        Both are fallacies that divert us from finding out what’s probably true and substitute your belief as the preordained answer. That;’s not seeking what’s true; that’s going along with indoctrination.

        If a judge used the same metric you support here and allowed each lawyer to produce only those facts that appeared to support their client’s guilt or innocence, then no court case would ever be settled because neither – and this the problem you have created – will agree on what constitutes mutually acceptable relevancy if doing so imperils their client. You know this.

        Believe it or not, Joe, going along with your method is not reasonable because in both cases you are relying on a fallacy to justify how you decide which facts are relevant and which are not. But maybe that’s not necessarily a poor method. How might we know?

        Well, if your method produced insight into reality, then you would provide us with an example – even one – where this faith-based method produced an insight into revealing a fact about reality unavailable to the evidence-adduced method. I urge you to go ahead and try.

        In the meantime, I will continue to believe a much more compelling argument that faith-based methodology does not produce insight, not one jot or tittle of knowledge about reality, but is a guaranteed method to fool ourselves. You method diverts us from accepting mutual facts reality provides and you do this by discarding any importance of finding out what’s actually the case, what’s actually true, in favour of what is believed to be the case. Your method can be shown to regularly and reliably and predictably produce ignorance, superstition, and perniciousness under the guise of piety. No matter how one looks at this result, it is not a good example of what ‘reasonable’ looks like. Quite the contrary.

        Liked by 1 person

      • “Relevant and irrelevant additions to the term is what is confusing you, Joe. Evidence as a fact remains a fact… regardless if you think you have the right to decide your beliefs determine which is a relevant fact or irrelevant fact. You argue it is reasonable to decide the difference by using your faith-based belief that certain facts are relevant BECAUSE they appear to support your belief and irrelevant BECAUSE they do not comport with your belief. To support this method as if reasonable to get to the truth of some issue, you are using the legal idea of mutually acceptable and relevant facts as evidence!”

        No evidence is relevant when it cuts against my position! Evidence is irrelevant if it neither leads someone to accept of reject a position. If they played a bunch of cat videos in the OJ simpson trial that could in fact be evidence in that case submitted and labled as exhibits. But that doesn’t mean it would be relevant evidence. It would only be relevant if the person looking at the videos saw something in those videos that lead them to think he was guilty or innocent. One person might say this evidence is key another might say this evidence is not very relevant. See the dna evidence or the glove not fitting demonstration.

        Normally we only want relevant evidence in cases. And I can assure you my views here have nothing to do with my religion. I really think if I were an atheist or pagan I would have the same views.

        I don’t know what facts you think I am cherry picking. Rather I suggest it is you who are special pleading. Looking past how much of a huge role hearsay plays in our everyday life and understanding of so many things in order to try to claim hearsay can not be evidence of religious belief. Let me ask you this. Of all the science experiments you believe you have scientific knowledge of how many did you actually conduct yourself? How many did you just read about or did someone tell you about? Well unless you did the experiment yourself your knowledge of that science is based on hearsay.

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