Tuesday, March 16, 2010

David Wood vs. John W. Loftus: Does God Exist?

Not really on the topic of Islam, but since Christians and Muslims are all interested in this question, here you go.

Opening Statements


1st Rebuttals


Cross Examination, 2nd Rebuttals, Conclusions

97 comments:

SD said...

First video says I need a "friend request".

Can you make sure it is set to public Mr. Wood?

Thanks, can't wait!

Adam said...

Atheist are better than satanic cult of Kaaba worshipers.

Adam said...

Attention Muslims

To Zakir Naik Idolater Please Forward This below message from the Hindus to IRF

Zakir Naik challenged for debate by Paropkarini (2009-09-02)

http://www.aryasamaj.org/newsite/node/717

-Paropkarini Sabha is the apex intellectual body of Arya Samaj
Arya Samaj a monotheistic sect of Hinduism. Zakir is know for using Arya Samaj literature against Lay Hindus. Just the way he uses Jehova witness literature Against Christians, Protestants against Catholics-


Dr. Zakir Naik shy away from Arya Samaj's challenges (2010-02-10)

http://www.hindujagruti.org/news/8787.html

mkvine said...

Dr. Wood great job! I think that John completely avoided your question on "what solid independent evidence do we have that a moral command/teaching is right or wrong." His answer to this was that certain moral teachings are widespread throughout the world and humanity. However, this is a double standard, as you rightly pointed out, because belief in the supernatural is also widely spread throughout the world and humanity. I think you stumped him on that question.

mkvine said...

Wow I have never seen an atheist who has admitted that the evidence for God is too overwhelming lol.

nkonx said...

i believe one day true science and true religion will confirm each other.

Tory said...

Any reviews of this debate?

Adam Tucker said...

Great job David, and my appreciation to John for stepping up to the plate to tackle such a debate in such a setting. That is commendable. I do hope, however, that John will recognize the boat load of red herrings he was throwing out virtually the entire debate and choose to actually engage the issues at hand one by one.

mkvine said...

Dr. Wood, I think it's time to move up to bigger fish like Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett.

Odo said...

Cannibalism in Jeremiah (19)?
Me thinks not, at least not the way Mr. Loftus presented it.

God is simply saying: "you abandon me, and this is what you will succumb to with no God"

Loftus should take heed of Jeremiah.

Thank you graciously Mr. Wood

Yo said...

John Loftus sounds like a "stoner" when he talks. I can't take the guy seriously. He definitely needs to retire from debating since he obviously can't answer questions and has to resort to just calling them ridiculous."

Good job David! You and Dinesh have thoroughly spanked this poser.

Does David Wood have his PhD yet? Where is he getting, or where did he get, it from?

Kirk said...

Apparently we are drawn to deadly spiders and fault lines and poisonous plants...

Great job David.

The Fat Man said...

All I suggest you read John W. Loftus Profile. He is truly a sad man.

He writes that he is "PRETTY MUCH GUILT FREE" and that his "Ethical standards are not as high"

"Today I am pretty much guilt free. That is, I have no guilt in regards to the Christian duties mentioned above. I am free of the need to do most of the things I felt I had to do because I was expressing my gratitude for what God had done. And yet, I am still grateful for my present life, even more so in many ways. I love life. I’m living life to the hilt, pretty much guilt free, primarily because my ethical standards aren’t as high."

http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/2006/02/my-conversiondeconversion-story.html

He list three reasons why he left Christ.

1) A major crisis,
2) plus information,
3) minus a sense of a loving, caring, Christian community

He only discusses the "Information", he discusses his problem with the Genesis account of creation.

I find this hard to believe do to the fact that he is a very smart man, and some how when he is at the peak of his intellectual career he came to the conclusion that the Genesis account was not scientific?

No something painful happed to this man, and he felt abandoned either real or imaginary by his "Christian Community"

So now he lashes out at GOD.

Tim Dunn said...

John was asked by a lady in the audience if he has mad at God (as a reason he no longer claimed to be a Christian) and he said he wasn't... I thought it was interesting that he said he wasn't considering he claims he does not believe in God. I would have expected him to just say how can I be mad at someone that I don't believe in?

Royal Son said...

Mkvine said : "Dr. Wood, I think it's time to move up to bigger fish like Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett."

Unfortunately, Dr. Dawkins will not debate anybody who is not a bishop, cardinal, pope or other such thing.

Even William Lane Craig was snubbed by Dr. Dawkins because he didn't meet the criteria.

When I look at people such as Dawkins and Naik, I think - "You gentlemen have amassed a huge following, and you are afraid to lose it... time to front up and face up in public debate"

minoria said...

I haven't seen the debate yet,but will in a minute but I tell you,Mr JOHN LOFTUS has certainly posed some difficult questions in his book "Why I Became an Atheist:a former preacher rejects Christianity" but it is good to have difficult arguments given.I believe in his critique(in the book) about OT prophecies being applied to Jesus,that he utterly missed out on the MIDRASH technique.It is still valid,as long as all(like the NT writers)knows it's Midrash.Also he seems not to know the usage and ACCEPTANCE of PARAPHRASE in ANTIQUITY,as being valid then.So that disqualifies alot of his criticism.Just my humble view,for whaever it's worth.

Bryant said...

Wow, I just visited john's blog, and even the Atheists are saying that he lost. I haven't watched this as yet, but when the other side admits defeat, you know you had to have had a solid victory.

Can't wait to watch this.

Nakdimon said...

Dr Wood, I will wear a hat for the specific purpose of taking it off for you. This was one of the best Theist-Atheist debates I have ever seen. You BOTH had good arguments, which were well answered by the opposite side. Although I found that Mr Loftus' answers were somewhat wanting and self-refuting at times.

I thank and praise the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob for the wisdom he gave you to glorify Him.

Nakdimon

Nakdimon said...

Just to clarify: Mr Loftus had a very strong opening statement, but it steadily went down hill from there. Dr Wood had a steadily and consistently strong flow of argumentation going throughout the debate.

I especially liked the relaxed atmosphere. Appreciate the jokes throughout the debate also.

Thanks again to both debaters.

Ed Link said...

I do think our believer did a better job answering points (and had fewer points answered), but he did drop a few balls (reliability of scripture, for instance, was not addressed).

It would have been even more interesting if our atheist would have addressed the fact that he was debating a former atheist - but that was ignored and he talked about his dog(?) instead.

Ed Link said...

@Adam said...
"Atheist are better than satanic cult of Kaaba worshipers."

Not in God's eyes. Atheists worship science, they put it in place of God, making it a false God, breaking the first commandment.

Thomas said...

David,

Just FYI, Here's what Loftus said in the comments section about the debate:

"I conceded the debate in my first few sentences if you paid attention."
http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/2010/03/david-wood-vs-john-w-loftus-does-god.html

I think this is his way of saying you won while trying to save face. Well done!

Negeen said...

That was a FANTASTIC opening statement from David.
It was interesting to see just how much Loftus DIDN'T have to say.
I would add that David only had one hour of sleep, (because of picking me up from the airport) and he still rocked the debate! The Jugguernaut succeeded :)

The Fat Man said...

The Jugguernaut does not fail :)
David your opening statement sounded like you have been reading Hugh Ross

Sepher Shalom said...

"I’m living life to the hilt, pretty much guilt free, primarily because my ethical standards aren’t as high."

Anyone else see this as an admission of embracing the philosophy of Hedonism?

I suppose once you remove the concept of absolute and external morality, Hedonism is the natural result. Doing "what feels good" and "what makes me happy" seem to be the creed of the modern atheist.

THE STUDENT said...

David Wood clearly did an awesome job

minoria said...

Adam:

I agree.Atheists are better than Muslims(I refer to the religious kind).They agree to freedom of speech and religion,while a religious Muslim is generally in favor of sanctions on all non-Muslims.

minoria said...

And Davd,you did a great presentation,but I never once suspected you had only slept 1 hr.Very admirable.I wouldn't be able to do it.

leviMichael said...

David, u cracked me up :-)

may The Lord Jesus Christ bless u!

Gem said...

Just listened to the debate and I must say how disappointed I am to see John Loftus in his pride refuse to admit he did not have any hard compelling reason to present. he only came up with what he finds things difficult for him to understand. He did not even understand the difficulty of one thing does not mean that thing does not exist. That only means he still can't grasp it. That's all.

Problem of Evil only indicates that there is God. How does he know one thing is evil and the other is not? Only when there is an absolute truth. Absolute truth will never exist dangling in the air but in the existence of the abosule being. To admit there is evil in the world indirectly confess there is God.

The problem of evil is not God does not exist. But human can't understand the degree of evil.

That's only my opinion.. I salute David for his clear cut answer..

I definitely say David has overwhelmingly won over John by far. John was also rude in his behaviour which I believe in order to hide his incompetence to respond to David's argument.

Christ be glorified.

The Fat Man said...

Finally watching the last video of this debate.

David was John Loftus drunk or under the influence of any substance in any way. I say this not because he has a lazy draw to his speech at times.

But because some of his actions seem over exaggerated?

The Fat Man said...

I didn't mean to insult the man in my last post. I mean when he gets going his presentation is really good clear and concise I was impressed over all with his speaking.

Its just that as someone who has been their for many years I can kind of pick up on things.

Now it may be that his actions are just his personality and that his over exaggeration is due to being nervous.

However some of his actions remind me of arguing with another drunk sitting on the bar stool next to me at 3 AM on the meaning of life or what woman want.

I feel for this man, I think he is just in rebellion now as I was.

Jim Jordan said...

"I feel for this man, I think he is just in rebellion now as I was."

Good observation. David Wood focused on showing that God does exist. Loftus seemed to be trying to show that he can trip God up. He appears to be rebelling against something that he supposedly doesn't believe exists. If I had to choose a lame moment, it would be when Loftus made the point that some heretical OT Jews believed God had a wife named Asherah, which proves.....what? :-)

Theodoris said...

Great Job David, may the Peace of the Lord be with you always.

I want to also thank John for stepping up to the plate and agreeing to the debate - I certainly learned a lot from it.

John appears to be a very likeable guy who in my opinion had a pretty good opening statement but went downhill from there (Atheists really don't have much to go on once you begin to examine the details).

I just wanted to briefly touch on a couple of points David made that really resonated with me:

1) The concept that atheists believe everything in the room (computer, tables, chairs) was created but ironically the most complex thing in the room (human beings) did not have a creator

2)The idea that atheists have a problem with most people inheriting a religion from their parents but don't have a problem inheriting morality (which most atheists believe in)

I hope and pray that God has mercy on John and he one day returns to his father as the prodigal son did.

BlackBaron said...

David did a fine job. Very concise and sharp.

One question about the argument from design which has bothered me in the past: How is evidence of ID supposed to be obvious when looking at a watch or cell phone compared to a rock, when the rock is also the product of ID?

Thanks.

Sepher Shalom said...

BlackBaron,

I think the comparison is that watches, cellphones, etc, are all complex systems, and comparison is drawn with the complex systems within living intelligent creatures. The rock, on the other hand, is essentially uniform throughout and lacks this complexity (of course that is true to a lesser extent with sedimentary rocks that are obviously "composite" and less uniform, but still they lack the complexity of working systems).

Maybe I missed the point entirely, but this is what I gather from the comparison.

RP said...

Loftus was utterly crushed, especially in the cross examination. Great arguments, David and very logical.

Loftus on the other hand was surprisingly weak. His opening statement was one big fallacy. The double standard of a judge weighs only on the credebility of his judgements, but not on the matter of the case. Furthermore, who is the judge in this debate? Its obviously the spectator, who judges. John was completly off the mark. He committed the fallacy of ignoratio elenchi.

Thank you for this debate. Is there a transcript of the arguments somewhere online?

Doug Benscoter said...

BlackBaron, it depends on how one first understands teleology. For someone like Thomas Aquinas, design or purpose can be inferred if something meets two conditions: 1) if it lacks intelligence; and 2) acts always, or for the most part for a certain end.

One example of this is the archer (intelligence) who shoots the arrow toward its mark (object designed for a purpose). So, given that the laws of nature meet these criteria, Thomas would infer that the laws of nature have an Intelligent Designer. And, of course, human beings are the product of nature, so they are designed as well.

Others, like Paley, may have had these criteria in mind, but he was never really explicit about it. From his perspective, we just know that something is designed by examining its complexity.

Blaise Pascal said...

Great debate. Thank you. Is there a transcript of the arguments online somewhere?

Dk said...

Nice easy going, polite debate. I'm glad David Wood isn't raising his voice, getting upset and acting like a shamounian crazed nutcase like on certain aramaic channels. Sam is a bad influence, but without him David comes across normal. I wonder if David yells and shouts and screams in philosphy class or whether he is just a normal, chilled laid back kinda guy, who wants to investigate and study philosphy without "sending to hell" anyone disagreeing, or unable use reason.

I would like to see a Christian theist, like Denish De Sousa, William Craig or David Wood debate an actual postive Atheist. This means an atheist who claims to "believe" or "know" that God doesn't exist through philosphy and he/she provides actual argument with premises and conclussions (Michael Martin for one!).

For some reason it's constantly incompetent negative atheists who have the spot light, they have limited debate skills and bad rhetoric (dan barker, richard dawkins). Maybe they just enjoy debating and having a laymen audience appreciate them, but for those of us who are interested in the truth of the matter, we want professionals, articulate, well spoken, intelligent postive atheists who know christianity and materialism inside out, and have been forced to accept on logical grounds the reality that God is a logical impossibility. I think Richard Carrier if he studied well, would be a could choice for a debate like that, he also is a materialist, postive-atheist, he is the genuine deal.

Dk said...

As for Davids six arguments. Sorry i'm not convinced. But i'm pleased he didn't totally copy william craig ver batim, like alot of theists seem to. The first argument contains a non-sequitor, the third premise doesn't follow the second.. the second one has a false analogy(comparing biological diversity and complexity to human inventions), huge categorical fallacy.

David also says we can't trust our faculties if God doesn't exist (which is a non-sequitor) he just begged the question by giving an explanation that does not logically nessacery follow, or atleast he didn't make it clear how it nessacerily follows from his explanation. But there is a further problem, David Wood we know which parts of our faculties are effected by evolution, but these same effected faculties are the same ones that give rise to your second argument meaning the projection of our anthropocentric scheme which evolved in aparticular environment therefore as a intuition is not reliable, blowing your second argument out the window.

"Naturalism cannot account for human conciousness/the human mind".

In fact consciousness is completely dependent on the human brain. Short term and Long term memory lost show us without doubt that identity is buried within the subconcious part of our mind. This means when we have an accident or a stroke or whatever or alzheimers, depending on which part of the physical brain is effected determines, what we memorize and for how long. which means human conciousness does not supercede the physical brain, otherwise the "soul" conciousness would enable a believer or human being to maintain there identity and keep there self identity since it transcends the physical brain, but alas this doesn't happen, consciousness doesn't exceed the physical.

The problem of abiogenesis or "requiring the information to be there in the first place" is simply a red herring, irrelevant. Whether a super-being or alien, or the current reigning abiogenisis theories are closet, doesn't effect naturalism or prove God, even if it was designed, that only proves design, not God as defined by theism.

keep it real

cbohrson said...

Big problems with David's points here

First, he misuses the big bang: just because the big bang happened doesn't mean the universe is not eternal. For all we know there may have been events before the big bang which caused it, going back ad infinitum.

Even if this is not true, his second claim, that the universe must have a cause, also falls short. He says the universe must have a cause or must have just come into existence, and since the later is absurd the universe must have a cause, and that this cause could not be physical, unfree, and unintelligent because such causes' existence would presuppose the universe.

However, the question which logically follows this is then what caused this free, intelligent, immaterial cause (God), since we've already established that something just coming into existence is absurd. This either invalidates God, as if what was thought to be God was in fact caused by something else it would not be God, or makes the hypothesis of God overly complex. In the second case the universe is assumed to not be able to come into the existence without a cause, and a new being is then assumed which can do just that. It makes fewer assumptions to assume that the universe itself just came into existence without a cause and that there was no other being. Thus the argument fails by Occam's razor.

And if it were then claimed that the universe demonstrably cannot cause itself based on the fact that there is no such thing as an uncaused physical event (or, philosophically phrased, we have never observed an uncaused physical event), it should then be pointed out that this makes the error of ascribing characteristics to the whole of the universe based on its constituent parts. A similar error would be to say that since each hair on my head is thin, my full head of hair must also be thin. In the same way that does not follow, that things are caused in the universe does not guarantee the universe itself must be caused.

Moving on, his arguments for fine tuning and design are also flawed. Although it was at one point thought that the universe was so finely tuned that this was essentially the only universe in which life could arise, it has now been shown that if a number of physical constants are changed simultaneously many different possible laws of physics could generate the kinds of conditions necessary for life, and in some cases even better for life (longer lived stars for longer planet life-span, for example).

His design argument suffers a similar problem to his cosmological one. If humans were designed, then the principles of regularity/purpose we see in humans must be due principles of regularity/purpose in a designer in the same way principles of regularity/purpose in machines are the product of principles of regularity/purpose in human designing minds. This begs the question: where did the designer get his mind? This suffers a similar problem to Wood's cosmological argument: either God was designed, which would make him not God, or God's just God, at which point it makes fewer assumptions to assume instead that rather than the universe being designed and principles of design being inherent in the mind of a designer that the principles of design are inherent in the universe and that there is no designing being.

cbohrson said...

Wood makes yet another error with his argument for God based on trust in our logical faculties. He argues that logical truths must transcend human minds and exist in all possible universes, and therefore must exist in some grand, transcending mind (God). In reality there is no reason to believe logical truths are any more than impositions of the human mind upon our own experience, evolved because they happened to be the way of interpreting experience most conducive to our survival. Evidence for the subjective existence of logic exists via the fact that logic is inconsistent: Russell’s paradox (does the barber that shaves all barbers who don’t shave themselves shave himself) shows that you can, using logical principles, tie yourself up in irrevocable paradoxes. The fact that it’s a flawed system, besides the lack of evidence for the existence of an objective, logic-guaranteeing God in other contexts, supports the idea that logic is a faculty imposed on the world by us rather than a faculty inherent in the world itself.


And we haven’t even gotten in to why evil exists, or why we should believe what random books tell us to.

I have nothing wrong with faith but I have problems with people who try to prove God from the natural world. Serious tomfoolery.

I should note that much of this comes from David Hume’s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion

cbohrson said...

Appealing to the complexity of biological organisms to refute evolution merely misunderstands what evolution is. Complexity will come about naturally, because those creatures which happen to have better ways of surviving will pass on their genes to the next generation. Sometimes those ‘better ways of surviving’ won’t be more complex, and hence we still have some relatively simple life forms. However, sometimes increasing complexity slightly will generate some kind of survival advantage, and thus in lots of tiny jumps very complex creatures can come about. Various mechanisms for the origin of life have been suggested, especially very recently, which involve the initial, random formation of a very simple phospholipid bubble in a larger soup of water and organic molecules and from there natural selection of those bubbles which could reproduce similar offspring to themselves.

Theists often want real time empirical evidence. Well, while I can’t provide you with such for life as this happens over a very long period, for a simpler demonstration of evolution, I turn anyone who is interested to a particular demonstration in an open source computer program called breve. You can set it up so that it works as a screensaver on your computer. What the program does is generate random configurations of blocks in generations of 25, track how far they move from a set starting point in roughly 5 seconds, and then generate a new generation of ‘block-creatures’ based on the most successful ‘block-creatures’ from the last generation. The blocks are born with random joints with other blocks of random size which move in random ways. However, after a large number of generations, complexity evolves. Through different runs of the program I myself have seen a worm-like block-creature, a tower-creature which tries to get as far as possible by falling over, and most successfully a block-creature that rolls. The website is http://www.spiderland.org/.

Woods’ point about the mind-body problem is a debate to be had another time, and delves into complex issues in the philosophy of mind. However, just looking at the evidence, as this is where he turned his argument to next with reference to people reporting experiences while clinically dead, it seems to me he makes the mistake of believing the evidence he wants to believe. When evaluating these things we have to ask which side we have more evidence for: that we are our brains or that we are not. His evidence would seem to support the later, but there are obvious questions to be asked: did these people really experience something while they were dead, or does it just happen that this is an after-effect of an oxygen deprived brain restarting. The fact is that most of the clinical evidence supports the idea that humans are their brains, as is seen in many cases where humans’ brains have been damaged and they’ve undergone vast changes (Phineas Gage, for example) or countless cases of Alzheimer’s.

Sam said...

Wow, DK-man uses logic to demonstrate why Wood's case is not convincing (gee, I am shocked at the fact that DK is not convinced. But does he have the courage to debate Wood and see how far he gets with his arguments? I don't think so)! To show how inconsistent and hypocritical DK's criticism of Wood is I want to ask DK to account for logic in his worldview. Please explain how you know that logical reasoning is a valid criterion to determine the truth or falsity of a claim. Explain why should anyone accept your appeal to logic to invalidate Wood's reasoning if, per your atheistic worldview, this is nothing more than a human construct which has no metaphysical reality independent of ourselves. Let me quote your atheist friend cbohrson:

Wood makes yet another error with his argument for God based on trust in our logical faculties. He argues that logical truths must transcend human minds and exist in all possible universes, and therefore must exist in some grand, transcending mind (God). In reality there is no reason to believe logical truths are any more than impositions of the human mind upon our own experience, evolved because they happened to be the way of interpreting experience most conducive to our survival. Evidence for the subjective existence of logic exists via the fact that logic is inconsistent: Russell’s paradox (does the barber that shaves all barbers who don’t shave themselves shave himself) shows that you can, using logical principles, tie yourself up in irrevocable paradoxes. The fact that it’s a flawed system, besides the lack of evidence for the existence of an objective, logic-guaranteeing God in other contexts, supports the idea that logic is a faculty imposed on the world by us rather than a faculty inherent in the world itself.

Now if you think your fellow co-religionist is mistaken and do believe that logic is a metaphysical reality which is universally true and exists independently and irrespective of whether our species exists or not then please account for its existence in your naturalistic, materialistic worldview. I love it when atheists end up refuting each other.

Now I want DK account for his inconsistency. You are starting to make Naik sound reasonable.

cbohrson said...

Please explain how you know that logical reasoning is a valid criterion to determine the truth or falsity of a claim. Explain why should anyone accept your appeal to logic to invalidate Wood's reasoning if, per your atheistic worldview, this is nothing more than a human construct which has no metaphysical reality independent of ourselves. Let me quote your atheist friend cbohrson:

In short, in the same way which we use inductive reasoning to demonstrate the truth or falsity of a claim. As David Hume showed, there is no logical reason why the future should resemble the past, and thus whenever we believe, say, that the sun will rise tomorrow, this is not based on any objective certainty but rather on the fact that we have experienced many sun rises in the past and that it is ingrained in our psychology to believe that because this has happened in the past it will continue to happen in the future.

In the same way the inductive principle is demonstrably a tool of the human mind and not something that's inherently true about the universe, logical principles are tools of the human mind and not objective parts of the universe. And to answer your original query in full, we cannot determine the truth or falsity of a claim, we cannot prove anything to be true knowledge. We live in a world in which all decision comes down ultimately to dogmatism and subjectivity. And although you might think this invalidates my criticism of arguments for God's existence, even if it does it also invalidates arguments for God's existence, and thus throws us back into the realm of uncertainty and faith, as is the case with tooth-fairies, santa-clauses, flying spaghetti monsters, the greek pantheon of gods, etc.

Sam said...

Cobohrson, my comments weren't directed at you but to Dk. However, as soon as he replies I will also interact with your claims to show why your response doesn't address my questions and simply further exposes the incoherency and irrationality of your worldview.

Sam said...

BTW, cbohrson thanks for making my job easier since just destroyed dk's tirade against Wood when you wrote:

In the same way the inductive principle is demonstrably a tool of the human mind AND NOT SOMETHING THAT'S INHERENTLY TRUE about the universe, logical principles are tools of the human mind and not objective parts of the universe. And to answer your original query in full, we cannot determine the truth or falsity of a claim, we cannot prove anything to be true knowledge. We live in a world in which all decision comes down ultimately to dogmatism AND SUBJECTIVITY. And to answer your original query in full, WE CANNOT DETERMINE the truth or falsity of a claim, WE CANNOT PROVE ANYTHING to be true knowledge. We live in a world in which all decision comes down ultimately to dogmatism and SUBJECTIVITY...

So basically, your coreligionist DK man was being conniving and inconsistent when he pointed out alleged logical fallacies in David's arguments since in his worldview he cannot account for why logic is a valid criterion to determine whether an argument is sound or not since logic doesn't objectively exist but is the mere subjective construct of our human minds.

Thanks for helping me to demonstrate why your coreligionist is inconsistent and dishonest.

hugh watt said...

2-2

6) "What do you mean by the comment being an ex jw is confusing me? Are you saying that if I joined your faith I wouldn't be confused anymore?"

I've heard ex J.W's who became Christians say how confused they were for, in some cases, years after leaving the WTS. Some are a psychological wreck. If you came to Christ you would know the Truth, that will set you free. Even then it may take a while for the garbage to be flushed out of your mind.

7) "If Jesus is the answer, what does he have to say about aliens and the possibility of their existence? I asked this question earlier with no response..."What do your bibles say about the possibility of life (intelligent or otherwise) on other planets?"

Jesus mentions angels, Satan and demons.

8) "I will put more stock in that explanation than I will in the bibles explanation of how god created Adam from dust and then blew into his mouth, and then having to take a rib from him to make Eve. Why two different methods of creating a human?"

Do you see any problem with different ways of impregnating a woman? How about pregnancies that don't run their "natural" course?

9) "When it comes to aliens, I am more inclined to believe in their existence before god...based on what I have seen first hand growing up and even just a few years ago."

Keeping it brief. If seeing is believing you're in big trouble. David Blaine, illusionist!

10) "No one ever told me that all religions were the same....what they did say was most religions read from the same book only to come up very different beliefs."

Had you checked you would find most religions do not read from the same book!

11) "Strange that such a 'perfect' book can lead to such mass misinterpretation."

You didn't check. Satan likes laziness. You do however give the impression of this being an excuse for your beliefs.

12) "I am actually very philosophical....which to me makes it very easy to be agnostic." Satan likes laziness!

If you're going to deny God's existence you need to bring something more convincing than denial based upon your life's experiences. Strange this all started because your dad left you with an open Q.

hugh watt said...

1-2: 420.

Confusion 1) "I have the luxury of knowing that I didn't choose any path to guide me."

Agnosticism!?

2) "There are many religions out there...are they all correct? If not, then is any one correct? If only one is correct, does that make everyone else fools for believing in the wrong religion?"

I'll try to deal with something you can relate to more easily because of your background, J.W beliefs; but not just yet, it would take too long.
Basically, people are not "fools" for believing in a particular religion etc, deceived, yes, but not "fools." If you ask why someone converts from Islam, Hinduism, etc to Christianity, they will tell you they found a Person who loves them and wants them to know God in a personal/intimate way. Religion can not do that for you. Do you want religion or a relationship with your son? This will answer your Q.

3) "Do we then blame 'god' for creating all the confusion at Babylon instead of just stopping the construction of the temple to the heavens?"

Why blame God for what people chose to do? Do you blame God for every bad thing you do? Your ex took your child, was that God's fault? Do people ever like to blame God!

4) "If god aided Moses with the parting of the sea, why couldn't he have just demolished the temple every time they tried to build it?"

Why doesn't He demolish you when you do bad things too? Sometimes things just have to run their course so when we get to the end we find why He allowed it. Why did He not kill your child in the womb, (glad He didn't), it could have saved you having problems down the line.

5) "Do whatever works for you and keeps you at peace with your beliefs...thats what I do."

420, you're not at peace; i can tell, be honest.

axisoflogos said...

Arriving for continuation of dialog started at:

https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=6590312557191237519&postID=8326780668517302272

lyndon420 said...

To axisoflogos:

You said - "Where would a higher power come from in a materialistic universe? What would the relation between the aliens and the higher power be?"

My response - No idea. Followers of the bible are focused on their perception of their creator (God), but to me the higher power that created us doesn't necessarily have to be a spiritual being or an energy. For all I know, we could have been put on this planet as an experiment by aliens. Now what created the aliens? Who really knows for sure....definitely not me because I am only human with limited knowledge, so why waste my time by saying "yes... there is a god", or "no...there is no god". I would have to be very full of myself and sitting very high on my pedestal in order for me to dictate to everyone 'the way it is'. But you see that's not me....that's religion.

You said - "Do Scientists always agree? Is there pure consistency in thought about global warming, cold fusion, aliens, evolution...? Is the scientific method even rational? Why did scientists attack Galileo for his theories?"

My response - No...obviously scientists working on the same project may disagree with each other, and still publish their findings regardless. But at least their findings have a name attached to them so they can be contacted for further debate if necessary (provided they are still alive that is). When you have a disagreement on the bible, who do you go to....your local minister? Scientist write their books, while your ministers are only trying to decipher yours. You probably believe every single thing your ministers say without question. I'm sure you've seen numerous people in church nodding their heads up and down to what they are being told....but how often do you see them nodding side to side as the minister speaks? Do you honestly believe in those wild stories portrayed in the bible? The flood? Moses and the sea? You want to talk about illusionists? Talk about gullible.

lyndon420 said...
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lyndon420 said...

I said earlier - "If Jesus is the answer, what does he have to say about aliens and the possibility of their existence?"

And this was your response - "Have you stopped beating your girlfriend?"

?????????!!!!!!!!!

My response to your twisted and downright ignorant reply - Are you serious??? I'm not a muslim...but then again they put all their faith in the Quran that apparently gives men every right to beat their wives for whatever reason they see fit. My first wife could have gotten what she deserved had I been a muslim because I would have had a precious book allowing me to do so. This comment of yours has totally blown my mind as to its meaning, and now I have doubts about furthering this conversation with you. Thanks a lot for the insult axisoflogos....and just as I was beginning to enjoy this conversation, you go and totally mess it up.

Next....

lyndon420 said...

To hugh watt:

1) I'm agnostic yes....if you consider that to be a path...fine - think what you like, but good luck with trying to sway my opinion of what it means to be 'on a path'. A path takes you somewhere...one destination (it's impossible for one fixed path to take you to more than one place simultaneously). Try taking your usual path to work and see if you ever miraculously appear in front of your church.

2) Actually...as far as I can see, you didn't answer my question. Instead you turned it into something about relationships and my son. Of course I want a relationship with my son, and no I don't want or need religion. I have enough daily stress to deal with....why add a form of brainwashing into the mix? I'll re-word my question for you..."Do you belong to the 'one and only' true religion....the one 'god' intended everyone to be a part of?"

Oh...and please give me something that I can relate with my background as a J.W. You seem to be coming across as somewhat of an expert on their beliefs, so now I can't wait to see what it is you are wanting to tell me.

3) I think it is pretty much human nature for society to blame their gods when something horrible happens. After all...you (and others) believe that 'god' made everything with the intentions of perfection...but then he turned his back sometime after creating eve. According to the bible everything 'was' perfect before that. Sorry...that's not correct either, because 'god' created that one angel knowing that it was going to turn on him (satan). Why create something knowing that it is going to fail and disappoint you?

axisoflogos said...

First, welcome back lyndon420. You were gone so long I was afraid you had been abducted.

@lyndon420 said - No...I wouldn't pressure my son to stay away from any specific religion. Nor would I insist on him being agnostic....it's his choice to believe whatever he wants to believe. But if he was to ask me what my opinions were, I would give them.

@axisoflogos replies - If I take what you have said strictly, if your son said he was going to become a JW, you would not provide any guidance about his choice unless he formally stated, 'what is your opinion about it'?

@lyndon420 said - I believe it's possible that you and I both believe in the same entity. I look at it as a higher power that we have little knowledge on, and you look at it according to how the bible depicts it...right down to the very sex of this entity by referring to it as a 'he'. Why it even has a gender is beyond me...

@axisoflogos replies - Since God is spirit, he does not have a sex. He is not named Father (or 'He') after the male parent, but rather, earthly fathers are named after him and were meant to reflect his characteristics of honor and authority (although far too few fathers do this well).

@lyndon420 said - ...unless you feel it has to be male just because society associates the dominate being in a species to be the male? (With the exception of a few species on earth ( for example ) where the female eats the male after she gives birth).

@axisoflogos replies - I don't look to animals for clues on how either God or Man should behave.

@lyndon420 said - So...if god is a 'he', is there a 'she' god to compliment him?

@axisoflogos replies - No, not in the way you understand things.

@lyndon420 said - Is 'he' the only one of his kind?

@axisoflogos replies - Yes.

@lyndon420 said - Again...it boils down to believing whatever works best for you.

@axisoflogos replies - If this mortal life is all there is, life is pointless. However, whatever works best for you in this life may work very poorly for you if there is an eternal afterlife - 'boils' may be a prophetic choice of words. I would rather say, it comes down to what is logical.

@lyndon420 said - There is a fine line between fact and fiction. And for me...that same line resides between fact and faith. One of them is proven to be true while the other is...well...'hopefully true'.

@axisoflogos replies - However, there is a clear line between logic and irrationality. So-called facts are often just asserted and illogical. You should talk with your science pastors about their faith and their hypotheses which are 'hopefully true' but can never be proved, only asserted.

axisoflogos said...

@lyndon420 said - Did any of the people who wrote the bible witness the creation of Adam and Eve, and then see Eve talking to that nasty snake that was trying to convince her she could be as powerful as god? ( You want to talk logical?).

@axisoflogos replies - Yes, there was a witness; and yes, I want you to talk logical.

@lyndon420 said - You sparked some curiosity in regards to those theological reasons [for the method of man's creation] you mentioned...would you be willing to share some with me?

@axisoflogos replies - Some of those reasons express the design of male and female roles. God proclaimed that it was not good for Man to be alone - even though Adam was in direct communication with God, there was no one like Adam among the animals as a companion. Eve was created from Adam, the only creature God derived from another creature. This indicates the close relationship they were meant to have: 'flesh of my flesh, bone of my bone.' Together, they were called Mankind.

@lyndon420 said - ...obviously scientists working on the same project may disagree with each other, and still publish their findings regardless. But at least their findings have a name attached to them so they can be contacted for further debate if necessary (provided they are still alive that is).

@axisoflogos replies - Is that why Al Gore has refused to debate anyone about climate change? Is that why Richard Dawkins refuses to debate Dr. William Lane Craig or someone else of substance? Why proponents of evolution typically refuse to interact with intelligent design or any other argument but stay committed to their faith rather than engage in rational argument?

@lyndon420 said - When you have a disagreement on the bible, who do you go to....your local minister?

@axisoflogos replies - It depends on what the disagreement is about. I have gone to my pastor with questions before, but there are plenty of human and other resources for most types of questions.

@lyndon420 said - Scientist write their books, while your ministers are only trying to decipher yours.

@axisoflogos replies - I'm sorry, the argumentation is so poor here, I will not spend my time with it unless you restate it.

@lyndon420 said - You probably believe every single thing your ministers say without question.

@axisoflogos replies - Um, no. I am obligated by God to test things for truthfulness - for alignment with his self-revelation.

@lyndon420 said - I'm sure you've seen numerous people in church nodding their heads up and down to what they are being told...

@axisoflogos replies - I don't pretend to know exactly what each individual is thinking when they nod their heads. Perhaps they understand the argument and they will wrestle with the implications later, or perhaps it is a way to collectively re-affirm the 'common sense' that you claimed was authoritative.

Question: what looks more like blind allegiance, individuals collectively nodding heads in agreement at particular truth statements at church, or obligating the economies of entire countries by signing the Kyoto Protocol without allowing any debate?

@lyndon420 said - ...but how often do you see them nodding side to side as the minister speaks?

@axisoflogos replies - It would be disrespectful to express my disagreement in that way at that time. As an analogy, if someone was extremely rude to me, I might not open the door for them (lack of response vs a yes-nod), but I would not hold it closed against them either (a no-nod).

axisoflogos said...
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axisoflogos said...

@lyndon420 said - Do you honestly believe in those wild stories portrayed in the bible? The flood? Moses and the sea? You want to talk about illusionists? Talk about gullible.

@axisoflogos replies - As I said before, materialists believe that...

nothing becomes something
disorder becomes order
inorganic becomes organic
the unintelligent becomes intelligent
the impersonal becomes personal
the amoral becomes moral

...with only the influence of time and chance. Talk about gullible.

Sheesh, you probably also think the Scientific Method produces truth.

I am still waiting for your explanation on how a collection of atoms attains personhood.

Perhaps this last statement about wild stories delineates why you and I can't be referring to the same entity: your 'higher power' does not really seem to be higher than you are.

Perhaps giving it the name of lyndon421 will help clarify things...

lyndon421 is supposed to be higher than lyndon420, but strangely doesn't have any ability to communicate. Is it because lyndon421 is actually lyndon419, a lesser-being created by lyndon420 in the image of lyndon420?

This might explain how you have the ability to communicate with other non-alien low-lifes, but you also have certainty that your higher power cannot communicate with you: because that is how you designed him in your mind so you can control him and make knowledge claims about him and use him as a mental refuge against the God who exists.

The Bible describes this as 'suppressing the truth in unrighteousness'.

Because my higher-entity created and sustains all life as well as all the physical laws and logical laws in the universe, those wild Bible stories are well within his capabilities - as is communication and personhood. I expect to see communication from him at every turn.

I can be in relation with him and give honor to his authority over me as I call him 'Father'.

@lyndon420 said - I said earlier - "If Jesus is the answer, what does he have to say about aliens and the possibility of their existence?"

And this was your response - "Have you stopped beating your girlfriend?"

My response to your twisted and downright ignorant reply - Are you serious???...[etc]...Thanks a lot for the insult axisoflogos....and just as I was beginning to enjoy this conversation, you go and totally mess it up.

@axisoflogos replies - Your question was illogical and I responded with an illogical question to prompt you to reconsider your starting point. Surely, you recognized the form: 'have you stopped beating your wife?'...'have you stopped being ugly?' I do not make insults for pleasure as I consider the conversation too important for that. I actually avoided the 'wife' form of the question out of sensitivity for your revealed history...that it would distract you from the logical implication.

Let me help you with your initial statement: where does it say that 'Jesus is the answer'? What is the context of this statement?

:-? said...

Some babies die in the first few minutes of their lives in horrible pain because of incurable genetic diseases, children die of cancer, huge numbers of people die in arbitrary natural disasters. Heck, in the Lisbon earthquake in Portugal it was all the religious believers who died horrible, painful deaths in the churches (the quake happened on a Sunday) while all the drunks who were still in bed survived. Ergo God doesn't exist (though an omnipotent, Loki-like figure is not ruled out) or your belief in him is ludicrously faith based and I can't have an argument with you.

hugh watt said...

420:

1) Your philosophy is agnosticism, right? Did you choose it, or did it foist itself upon you? I understand it takes you into the realm of uncertainty, why would it not; there are no definites.
Q. What does it have to say about aliens and the origins of life?
A. It boils down to whatever works for you best?

"I have the luxury of knowing that I didn't choose any path to guide me."
"I am actually very philosophical....which to me makes it very easy to be agnostic."


See any contradiction in these statements?

2) I answered your Q. They found a Person, not religion.

"Instead you turned it into something about relationships and my son. Of course I want a relationship with my son, and no I don't want or need religion. I have enough daily stress to deal with.."

Matt.11: 28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

"Do you belong to the 'one and only' true religion....the one 'god' intended everyone to be a part of?"

God intended for us to have a father child relationship. See above text.

"Oh...and please give me something that I can relate with my background as a J.W. You seem to be coming across as somewhat of an expert on their beliefs, so now I can't wait to see what it is you are wanting to tell me."

420, you're not at peace; i can tell, be honest. I'll not try reasoning with your anger.

"I think it is pretty much human nature for society to blame their gods when something horrible happens."

Why blame God for what people chose to do? Do you blame God for every bad thing you do? Who do you blame when things go wrong? When you do wrong?

"Why create something knowing that it is going to fail and disappoint you?"

Do you know your son will most likely fail you at some stage? Why have him in the first place? Your wife/girlfriend: did you think it would be perfection all the way? How about your wedding vows; did they leave out the, "for better or worse" part?

Do you believe seeing is believing? Do you not find it strange agnosticism leads to such mass interpretation? Talk about gullible.

You wouldn't mind your son becoming a J.W/Muslim? See no problems with them?

"There is a fine line between fact and fiction."

Agnosticism? You want to talk logical?

axisoflogos said...

To the inscrutable :-? - Where did you get your standard for what God must be like or what he must do in order to exist? What is the standard for a non-ludicrous, faith-based belief?

lyndon420 said...

To hugh watt:

4) You said - "Why did He not kill your child in the womb, (glad He didn't), it could have saved you having problems down the line."

My response - Wow...what the f*ck???!!! Either you and axisoflogos are related, or you must sit together in church. What a horrible example...killing my son in the womb to make everything peachy-keen? Maybe you have come to terms with your 'god' killing children on a daily basis...I wonder how you sleep at night with that mindset. Did it escape your reasoning that the death of a child (born or not) has an immense impact on ones sanity? You could have given a more reasonable example like, "Maybe 'god' could have prevented you (meaning me) from meeting that psychotic b*tch in the first place..." and in the process preventing a child from being conceived at all. But no....

You know what? I've lost any respect I thought I had for both you and axisoflogos....you are horrible people who should be ashamed of yourselves.

**For the record...I will do everything in my power to prevent my children from becoming muslims (for reasons that are obvious)**

Thanks to the both of you, you have strengthend my opinions on why religion is (for lack of a better and more descriptive term)...evil.

You can obviously respond to this if you want (and you most likely will just to save face with your like-minded followers), but I won't be receiving or reading them because I am done with the both of you and this blog, and I will not be returning. Regardless of what you may think, I am happy with how I view things. Yes...I have endured more stress than I would wish upon my enemies (if I had any)....but no amount of stress will ever deter me from my views on your 'god'...'his story book'....or the political front and facade we decided to call 'religion'.

Before I sign off, I would like to wish David and his crew well in their efforts of exposing Islam for what it really is....the end.

Signed off.....

axisoflogos said...

Hello @lyndon420,

I have reviewed our conversation from the beginning, including the previous strand, and find the emotive blow-off surprising.

I was not paying much attention to your discussion with @hugh_watt, so maybe the two convos at once were a bit much for you?

You stated you were philosophical, and you certainly have a range of options to represent yourself while you are participating in the discussion, including rebuttals, clarifications, challenges, counter proposals, analogies, satire, etc.

You seemed to have a handle on these concepts and used them until your invective at the end.

I said several times during our dialog, most of humanity gets uncomfy approaching the logical conclusions of their personal philosophies.

If you cool off and want to continue - and I sincerely hope you do - I am still willing.

hugh watt said...

420:

Seems, when confronted with simple fair logic you are offended. How often do I hear aths'/agnostics/
evos' use the line by :-?. If you're so offended perhaps it's because you see fault in others that you can't see in yourself. You either missed the point I was trying to make with the'offending'
comment; or you can't refute it. Aths' etc have no problem in using such reasoning to argue against the existence of God; or, 'oh and, if He does exist He must be a pretty evil God.'
As I said; you have no peace.

"You could have given a more reasonable example like, "Maybe 'god' could have prevented you (meaning me) from meeting that psychotic b*tch in the first place..."

Yep. It's all about you hey. God should've given you the perfect everything to please you. I find when peoples personal god (your self beliefs that suit you) are challenged, they respond in the way you did. You're angry 420: Before you came here you were angry, and still are.

I reckon you can't refute what I said and have put on an act of being offended. I'd probably do the same if my ego was hurt.

420, next time you hear an ath'/
ag'/evo' use that line about God not existing because of the evil in the world; say what you said to me.

Marcus said...

We have an interesting debate going about this topic at the following link:

http://www.surveymagnet.com/2010/07/does-god-exist/

Come and join the fun!

donna60 said...

I'm a little curious about the mind and the soul myself. Just because a patient is pronounced clinically dead, I don't think means they are really dead. I just think that the methods we have to measure brain activity are technically limited.

donna60 said...

It appears that Mr. Lofton isn't interested in debating the existance of God, but rather whether the God who exists is the God in the bible.

I would like to see him in that debate rather than this one, because he isn't prepared for this one, and he might be very good in a debate in which he supports deism.

His arguments are more philosophical about the nature of God, than arguments based on evidence, science or history. Not that I object. Every single Christian I have ever talked to has anguished over why God allows pain and horror--especially to children.

And I should say, at some point in their life. --I myself, have wondered why God took my mother at such a young age.

Why her? What had she ever done to God? And what about me? I was just a kid. What could I possible have done to the great Almighty so as not deserve a mother?

So, if Mr Loftus would debate that subject, I would very much like to hear him, and would like to hear the debate. He might very well act as my spokesman. Some miserable times, I might be cheering him on.

But as it seems so far, (and I haven't finished it) There seems to be two debates going on. Dr.
Wood is discussing whether a Intellegent Designer exists, and John Loftus seems to be discussing the nature of the Intellegent Designer.

Nothing is getting accomplished.

donna60 said...

You know what, it seems like right around the first of this century, I remember there was some debate among biologists regarding the biology of morality, and whether or not it was caused by natural selection. Altruism among the animal world has been debated since Darwin's time.

That just comes to mind. I didn't pay that much attention to it at the time, so I would have to read up on it to have any informed opinion at all.

To a certain extent, I can see how morality could be a matter of natural selection, and survival of the species.

However, men who remain faithful to a monogamous marriage are absolutely blowing themselves out of the competition. A male with multiple females to bear his genetic offspring is going to win, hands down.

Which may explain why Jesus' statements on divorce have never been part of any universal code of ethics or morality.

Then on the other hand, males who stay with one family have healthier children, who are more able to carry his genes into the third generation--which would make the opposite true.

Didn't Gould have something to say about this?

hugh watt said...

Donna60:

Often when I see atheists debate it's not just about whether God exists or not but, I like you have noticed they tend to pick on the biblical God. For now though I'd rather deal with the other part of your post. This is not going to be easy. Peoples emotions get stirred, quite understandably so. But you did put this out to the general public. I ask that you step back and think before replying [if].

These are common Q's and reasonable ones to ask, "And I should say, at some point in their life. --I myself, have wondered why God took my mother at such a young age.

Why her? What had she ever done to God? And what about me? I was just a kid. What could I possible have done to the great Almighty so as not deserve a mother?"


I saw the testimony of a man whose family suffered during the W.W.2 Holocaust. His mother went through such pain, I'll spare the details. Sometime after the war, he began to ask God why all these terrible things happened to his mum, family and himself. He was a non-religious Jew. As he cried out to God for answers he said God spoke to him and told him; "Because you've broken My commandments." Bet you were not expecting to read that!

I read another story some years ago of a pastor whose son died. It really shook him. He too asked why. This story I read when I was going through a difficult time. I read other things along the same lines, but this will do for now.

Donna, ask yourself, as I do when trouble comes, you may not like this: Have you broken God's Law? Did your mother? If God spared not His only Son but gave Him up for us sinners, who are we to Q God when life becomes hard? What did Jesus do to deserve what he went through?

Ok, let's look at it from another sinners situation. Job. Ever read ch. 1 & 2? What did Job do to deserve all that? Read Job, it covers a lot of the why's.

What I'm saying is, instead of asking 'why' ask, 'why not'. Who are we but Law-breakers.

I'll leave the rest for now.

donna60 said...

Hugh, I'm really old now. My mother died a long time ago. It just never quits hurting.

I became a Christian four months after my mother died; because I knew I could see her again. It took me a few years longer to completely understand what God had done for me to give me that hope, and to love Him, because He loved me.

When it comes to death, there has only been one Supreme Being on earth Who can honestly ask,"What did I do to deserve this?"

donna60 said...

lyndon420,
If I understand you, you are willing to, perhaps, agree with the concept of a Creator, but just not the Creator described in the bible.

However, every other putative Creator lacks the one quality that scientists agree is an absolute essential. That is documentation.

The God of the bible was documented in the first century by eye-witnesses. For that matter, their documents and histories are falsifiable.

We can argue every single point to the records of Matthew and John, from the dates of their authorship to who the acutal authors were, and everything in between,-- essentially for this reason--they are here.

Luke claimed to have interviewed eyewitnesses, and his two documents, Luke and Acts can be criticized just as completely.

Since I earn my salt with my Biology degree, I can earnestly tell you that 100% of my work is reported with my name attached. I sign off that I did specific tasks to prove that my tests were performed with specific protocols and that my QC was within allowable ranges.

And "if it wasn't signed,...it wasn't done."

hugh watt said...

Donna60:

I understand grief, since I too have suffered loss. What I've come to fully know is the truth of God's Word where He says to, "Cast your burdens on Him...He cares." A non-+ian cannot know what that means.
I cannot speak concerning your situation, it's your life's experience. It's kinda like trying to explain loss to someone who's never felt loss, they just don't know. You ever tried using that when trying to explain the Gospel? People just can't see unless they go through the experience.
God takes notice of sorrow, from Hagar [Gen.21:17-20] to where Jesus wept.

Job 22:29When men are cast down, then thou shalt say, There is lifting up; and he shall save the humble person.

I wouldn't say it if I didn't know it, personally.
Do you see your affliction as God's minister to you? Sound strange? You're in a place where you can tell others how God can bring them through the heartaches. Lots of people lose their loved ones, but without God's grace many become bitter. It's one way of finding out if our faith is genuine or not. Job was a good example of true faith. He was real in his grief and God knew this. Yet many will say, as they did to Job: 'give up on that God thing, look what He did to you.' This is what Satan's after, hence my ref' Job, if you noticed.
I don't think we should try to forget our loved ones, I don't believe God wants us to. I do believe that He wants us to lean on Him and like Job, move on. Ask for His help, and to show you how He wants you to use this for His glory.

Approx' 2wks after my brother died I met someone who seemed to want to use some line against God because someone close to him had died. When I told him of my brother's death he shut his mouth, that ended that excuse.
People die. With Christ, there's hope. Without Him...I'm glad I'm not there.

It's easy to pick out Bible verses, it's another thing to know them.

Psalm 46:10.

donna60 said...

John 11:35 just about says it all.

Psycho Critic said...

Sir,
Your claim that the perfect structure of the DNA is evidence of the existence of God seems off the mark. The DNA that we see today is the DNA that survived. DNA that didn't survive cannot be seen today (obviously). So the perfect structure of the DNA cannot be attributed to a hypothetical God since the perfect structure can about through evolution and survival of the fittest.

It's like seeing a perfect birthday cake and saying God created this because it's so perfect. However, in making that naive statement, you fail to notice the 5 (or 6) other birthday cakes that fell by the wayside.

David Wood said...

Psycho Critic,

Your entire response is based on me referring to "perfect DNA." Please post the time when I called DNA perfect, since I don't recall ever saying this.

BTW, do you know what a "straw man" is?

Adam said...

It's also interesting how Psycho Critics claim is great evidence for intelligent design! There would be no perfect birthday cake, or any type of birthday cake, without intelligence behind it!

hugh watt said...

Psycho, define "perfect." Do you have an example of evolutionary perfection?

jonnykzj said...

@David Wood

Perhaps here it would be appropriate for me to ask you a few questions about science and also mention my suggestion of a statistical test in order to verify the efficacy of prayer.
1stly Id like to ask whether you accept evolution i.e. do you accept that all living things we know off, including us, share a common ancestor?
2) Do you accept that the earth is billions of years old?
3) Do you prefer sole human witnesses over say humans witnessing e.g. DNA samples at the relevant site, adding to it tht the DNA in qs is tested by many humans employing the scientific method eliminating bias as much as possible?
4) NOW with that said what do you think of devising a test of say 10 ppl from all the major religions and their main denomination taking part in genral knowledge + logic tests? All of them would have equal access to the information required to prepare for the tests and the same time. Each would offer their prayer before taking the test. The control group wld be atheists/agnostics. Shouldn't you predict now that the Christian denomination most closely representing God's Nature and most closely following Him would come out significantly higher than a) all other Christian denominations, b) all other religious grps and c) atheists/agnostics?

Simian said...

Like so many of these kinds of debates, the 'victor' is the one who is better prepared, and a better orator. On this basis I think Wood wins. But wasn't it Wood who invited Loftus to debate him on his own turf? Might Wood have selected an opponent he knew he could master? Why would he not? Don't judge a book by it's cover...
But this is a futile debate anyway. It is not logically possible to prove or to disprove this concept called God.
And Christians have a double job on their hands. It is not sufficient to prove there is a God, even were this possible. They also have to prove that it is their God and not someone else's God that is the true God. At that point we are firmly into Faith territory, and that defies debate.
So, I guess this has some beleivers feeling smug that their faith is vindicated, but does it really?

hugh watt said...

Simian

Would you be prepared to lose your job, family, liberty and life for something you were not certain of?

Psalm 34: 8 Taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the man who goes to him for safety.

Watch this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XBbJl_49B4

Simian said...

Thanks Hugh. I'm not clear how your comment is relevant, but to answer your question: Probably not. Could you be more specific.

hugh watt said...

Simian

Read your second paragraph from this point on:

"But this is a futile debate anyway. ..."

If there's no God and it was all about [blind] faith - which is what you seem to be alluding to - why would people suffer humiliation, torture, imprisonment, abandonment and die, as so many have and are doing so now?

Did you watch the video?

jonnykzj said...

Peace of Christ be on everyone,

Although I love my brother David Wood, there are some serious problems in his arguments I'd like to point out. To go right to them he mentions the "fine tune" argument AND INDEED IF it cld be shown that our universe is the only universe THEN this argument would be powerful. BUT atheists argue that this need not be the case AND THAT there might be an INFINITE NR of universes out there, all arising out of black holes or quantum flux, and ours just happened to have the constants to make biological life possible. THATS WHY I always allow for the atheist to make his/her case and say that our universe evolved from random flucations. THEN I TAKE that and say IF SOMETHING QUANTIZED CAN EVOLVE out of randomness and give rise to anything possible especially in the quantum realm where even logic breaks down THEN WLDNT THIS INC GOD BECOMING POSSIBLE? THEN I TAKE IT ONE STEP MORE N SAY SO "IF GOD THUS BECOMES POSSIBLE SINCE HE'S NOW THE KIGHTIEST POWER HED THUS THEREAFTER LEAVE NOTHING MORE UPTO CHANCE N SINCE THIS WLDV HAPPENED IN THE TIMELESS QUANTUM REALM "ALREADY" TECHNICALLY GOD WLDVE ALWAYS BEEN THERE TOO". Infact I remember when I was just arnd 7 years old and read(even thogh it was in Quran BUT BIBLE MENTIONS IT TOO) that God is Light, i formulated a similar argument in my mind INDEPEDNETLY. Today this very argument is the MOST SATISFYING TO ME in face of what atheists/agnostics have argued. It was infact the one which kept me from atheism.
2ndly there's a problem with the "design argument" like humans looking at stuff like curtains, computers, chairs, windows and "obviously" knowing the're designed. WE NLY KNOW they're designed COZ WE'RE BEING CONFRNTED FROM CHILDHOOD OF THESE PATTERNS OF HUMAN MANUFACTURING. Let me give a simple example. You may consider a paiting designed, right? NOW what if i made one painting of a forest with trees N ANOTHER JUST SCRIBBLY LINES? BOTH R DESIGNED BUT when asked u can say the 1st is designed n the 2nd random. ANOTHER ONE. I can go out, take a HAND FULL OF LEAVES N DISTRIBUTE THEM ALL OVER MY TERRACE IN A CERTAIN PATTERN APPEALING TO ME. AGAIN how can tell those r designed? SO IT'S NOT THAT SIMPLE. IN ORDER TO KNOW DESIGN UVE TO TRACE TINGS BACK TO THE DESIGN WHICH MEANS U MUST KNOW, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, THE DESIGNER N HOW HE/SHE/IT OPERATES OR WHAT PATTERNS HE USES. THIS IS WHY CONSISTENCY IN OT N NT R SO IMPORTANT INC PATTERN OF PROPHECY N OFCOURSE MIRACLES WHICH REVEALED THE LORD FROM THE FALSE gods IN THE FIRST PLACE.
NOW on to the brain and mind issue. Bro David says one can do a CAT scan and see the brain pattern but not what's in ones mind. ACTUALLY ONE CAN USING fMRI. The technology is ofcourse still in its infancy BUT ONE CAN CLEARLY SEE MANY DIFFERENT BRAIN STATES INC WHETHER THE PERSON IS HAPPY, SAD, EVEN THE THINKING ABT CERTAIN OBJECTS can be displayed as a certain brain pattern. Ofcourse this doesn't disprove the soul and i happen to support the quantum brain interface hypothesis rather than the pure neuro computational one, BUT THTS ANOTHER ISSUE.
Regarding pure naturalism and reliability on reason here it can be argued that reliability ITSELF IS HUMAN DEFINED i.e. ATHEISTS WLD ARGUE BRAINS AUTO DEFINE IT ULTIMATELY BASED ON SIMILAR PATTERNS ARISING OUT OF A FLUX OF RANDOM ONES. When lots of similar patterns add up, coming from various sources deemed mildly or completely unrelated, our brains at one pt term it as reliable.

jonnykzj said...

Peace again everyone,

Ok now im going to refute some of John Loftus' arguments. He talks about the miracles having to be both improbable and probable. This is not the case. Lemme explain. Say we for the first time come across a back rock, analyse it's pattern and notice for the first time it attracts other such rocks like it, iron and some other metals. We now have different people independently all WITNESSING the same phenomena OVER N OVER. We can now conclude that there is magnetism. WITH JESUS something similar HAPPENED. Independent people WITNESSED Jeus performing certain miracles OVER N OVER. All these vents are totally improbable IN THE SENSE of to be carried out be men YET PROBABLY TOOK PLACE IN ANOTHER SENSE which is the SOILD HISTORICAL EVIDENCE. NOW EVEN IF one were to say ok this evidence is still weak THEN LETS COMPARE THIS EVIDENCE TO THAT OF ANY OTHER RELIGION N ONE WLD SEE CHRISTIANITY CLEARLY STANDS OUT. SO NOW Pascal's Wager, which atheists say is nonsensible coz threes many religions claiming a god, NOW ONCE AGAIN BECOMES APPLICABLE COZ WERE NOW LEFT WITH THE CHOICE OF EITHER 1) NO GOD OR 2) THE CHRSITIAN AND THUS THE BIBLICAL GOD. The choice to be safe is then obvious.
Regarding the trinity SURE IT IS COUNTER INTUITIVBE JUST LIKE EVOLUTION AND SO MANY OTHER FIELDS IN SCIENCE. Im amazed how Loftus accepts so many counter intuitive stuff especially in mathematics but when it comes to the Trinity he's not even willing to listen to some of the powerful examples the early Church Fathers gave. For example the "sun and it's rays". They're both distinct in one sense and yet they're also one in another. ALSO there was no time when THERE WAS ONLY THE SUN WITHOUT IT'S RAYS AND YET THE RAYS APPEAR TO BE BEGOTTEN/GENERATED BY IT.
Regarding all the bad stuff in Christianity AGAIN IF U COMPARE THAT WITH ATEHSIST SOCIETIES WHO LIVED TOTALLY OR ALMOST ISOLATED FROM CHRISTIAN BACKGRND IT'S BEEN MUCH WORSE AND IRONICALLY THIS DESPITE CALLING THEIR SYSTEM TITLES LIKE "SOCIALISM" OR "COMMUNISM" WHICH if we go by the words carry very positive meanings like all humans caring for another(being social) and everyone receiving equal amounts property, etc. YET they failed and the Christian based societies OVERALL, which had free market and yet a Christian based morality, succeeded. HOW AMAZING IS THT?

jonnykzj said...

@David Wood

Bro i have to address the moral argument of yours. You see bro, I think by arguing there the way you did you're going down a very dangerous route. I understood you saying that there is no way to determine what is truly right and wrong MORALLY apart from Divine or Biblical revelation, meaning morality is ultimately based on people's whims and desires without reason. BUT IF this were so HOW could muslims OR other ppl of different faiths EVER see the beauty of Christian morality? And dont forget much of the arguments used by yourself and our other bros and sisters against islam, is it's absurd moral standards. BUT WITH this position of urs these same muslims can now say "Well WHO'RE YOU to say your morals are better than ours?" and every argument made e.g. against pedophilia, marital rape, wife beating etc etc becomes moot and useless. SO THERE HAS TO BE A WAY TO DETERMINE, INDEPENDENT OF DIVINE REVELATION, how to establish these morals in the first place N THEN SEE WHICH RELIGION BEST MATCHES THEM AND STATE METHODOLOGIES TO MAGNIFY THESE MORALS EVEN MORE SUCH THT SOCIETIES WLD PROSPER. Id much rather prefer youd use this argument.

jonnykzj said...

@David Wood

Wanted to address the "law of contradiction" as well. It is defined as "A statement cannot be both true and false at the same time in the same sense". THIS I say is problematic. Here's an example. "The sky is blue." I will now show how this statement can be BOTH true and false at the SAME TIME and in the SAME SENSE. Let's say there are two people looking at the sky. One sees it blue. The other has taken some drugs OR not even that but just has an eye problem and due to that he/she sees the sky's color as say greenish or redlike. Another example. "Peanuts cause allergies". We can give peanuts to two different people at the same time and one will experience nothing whilst the other experiences immediate allergic reaction. SO WE SEE that this statement IS OBSERVER DEPENDENT AT BEST. Adding this we now have the "law of contradiction" as follows:
"A statement cannot be BOTH true and false at the same time, in the same sense WITH RESPECT TO THE SAME OBSERVER". This is better BUT STILL the problem cannot go completely away SINCE BASICALLY EVERY OBSERVER IS A COMPOUND ENTITY i.e. CAN BE BROKEN DOWN INTO MORE OBSERVERS. Our brain for example can be reduced to various regions EACH MAKING SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT INTERPRETATIONS N ACT AS INDEPENDENT OBSERVERS. So there can come a time when say a person looks at the sky and cannot make up his/her mind whether it is red or blue coz one region in the brain interprets it say as red and the other say as blue. An overall conflict arises. OFCOURSE this is a very rare condition and can be ignored. In most cases there is a little more tendency towards one color which wld then OVERRIDE the other. SO this definition of "law of contradiction" is satisfactory in most cases:
"A statement cannot be BOTH true and false at the same time, in the same sense WITH RESPECT TO THE SAME OBSERVER".
THE OBSERVER PART is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT and it also explains as to WHY IN THE QUANTUM REALM ALL LOGIC BREAKS DOWN.

hugh watt said...

JK

The atheists and agnostics at http://raycomfortfood.blogspot.com/
would deny just about everything you said. It was interesting though.

jonnykzj said...

@Hugh Watt

Cld u be specific bro? WHT EXACTLY of my arguments wld they deny? That Christianity has boosted morality and has created a background like no other society has in order for people to live socially amongst each other without even having to call it socialism, perhaps?
NOW i know atheists like to bring up the "scandinavian countries" as an example BUT TWO PTS HERE. Fist of all THEY ALL HAVE A CHRISTIAN BACKGRND NO MATTER IF THE MAJ TODAY THERE R AGNOSTIC/ATHEISTS. SECONDLY NORWAY FOR EXAMPLE HAS ENGAGED IN EXTREME SENSORSHIP. IT'S THE LIBERALS TTHERE WHO SAY "DARE U NOT CRITICIZE RELIGION". THEY have ALL KINDS OF LEGAL RULES AGAINST OFFENSES, IMAGINE THT. Atheists like to call themselves defenders of free speech BUT ACTUALLY CHRISTIANS R THE CHAMPIONS OF FREE SPEECH.
Finally ONE ONLY NEEDS TO PT OUT TO ATHEISTS wht happens ONCE THEY FORM GOVS IN ISOLATION OF ANY CHRISTIAN BACKGRND like in case of Pot, Stalin n Mao. IT WAS A TOTAL DISASTER. Atheists might give the excuse tht it was not due to their atheism BUT WHY HAVNT ATHEIST ONCE, NOT EVEN ONCE SHOWN US THT THEY CAN PRODUCE FRUITFUL SOCIETIES IN ISOLATION OF ANY CHRISTIAN BACKGRND? ALL these r powerful arguments.

hugh watt said...

JK

You make some good points. Atheists are quite irrational in their logic. I read some of the comments over at Ray Comforts blog. If you posted there it would be interesting to see the response.

crujjy said...

David Wood, you did an amazing job! By the end of it, you had clearly won, and you helped my faith in God. Although we don't actually need to oppose evolution. Go to www.biologos.org It was pretty awesome towards the end though:

Loftus: I mean, I want to believe in Christianity, I....
Wood: No you don't. Who do you think you're fooling? I wanna believe in atheism, but the evidence against it is just too overwhelming.
Loftus: That's true, that's true, the evidence is overwhelming against it.

To be fair, he was talking against Christianity, but dang, both of those comments by David were awesome!

Jay Small said...

Incredible. Wood offers some hyperbolic, scientifically empty assertion that the mind is independent from our brains? This is only the pretending of wishful facts that might support the other wishful facts that the minds of make believe gods could exist when, try as we might, no physical evidence or even evidence of the activity of any gods can be found. The likes of Dawkins or Harris would turn this rhetoric into rubble, I'm afraid.

Raeshad said...

Wonderful job David! May the Lord Jesus Christ bless and keep you forever and ever!