Archive for the ‘YouTube’ Category

Misunderstandings about Atheism

Inferno
Inferno
Wed Nov 05, 2014 3:42 pm by Inferno

I recently saw an interview with David Mitchell. One topic discussed was his stance on religion. Here’s what he said:

1) Up until 0:30, it’s rather uninteresting: So he’s not an atheist, he’s an agnostic. I’d point out that he’s wrong, he’s an agnostic atheist, but that’s not a huge problem.

 

I’ve mentioned it a few times all over the forum, so I won’t go into it here, but “agnostic” is a qualifier about the position of God, it’s not a position in and of itself. You can be an agnostic about everything, aka. claiming that nothing is knowable, but you can’t purely be an agnostic about whether or not God exists: If your life does not include a God or gods, then you’re an atheist.

 

2) The first real problem I have is between 0:30-0:40. David says that he “wants there to be an all-powerful, benevolent God”. That’s fine, lots of atheists want that. In fact, I’ll use two definitions now:

An atheist is a person whose world view does not contain a God or gods.

An anti-theist is a person whose world view does not contain a God or gods, sees both organized religion (i.e. churches) and religion itself (i.e. the belief in a God) as something detrimental. Such a person would not like for there to be a God.

 

Christopher Hitchens famously said:

Such a person [an atheist] might very well say that he wished it were true [the existence of a god]. I know some atheists who say, ‘Well, I wish I could believe it. I just can’t. There’s not enough evidence for it’ … I say I’m an anti-theist because I think it’d be rather awful if it was true … you would never have a waking or sleeping moment where you weren’t being watched, and controlled, and supervised by some celestial entity from conception until, well, not even until your death because it’s only after death when the real fun begins, isn’t it? It’d be like living in North Korea.”

This is what I understand anti-theism to be: Absolute opposition to both organized religion and the hope of an afterlife. I’ll be absolutely clear: I agree with Christopher Hitchens that any god yet proposed* would be ghastly and I seriously hope that there is no god.

 

*That needs extra clarification as well: The gods of ancient Greece do not count as gods in this context. They are basically humans with super-powers, not gods. If they do count as gods, then I’d have no problem with them, they’re awesome.
What I do have a problem with is the bogus claim that a god can be both all-powerful and all-loving and that there can be a heaven.

3) The next problem I have is between 0:45-1:01.

David says that there are, and I have to be fair here, “some atheists” who want to tear the comfort of religion away from people. While it may be true that there are some people who want to do that, that’s not the position of the vast majority of atheists. Or anti-theists, for that matter.

Instead, most atheists I have talked with are perfectly happy to let people pray in their own homes or even in churches as long as religious stupidity (genital mutilation, fanaticism, religiously motivated killings, opposition to homosexual marriage, etc.) stays within the confines of their own homes or even churches. Another famous Christopher Hitchens quote goes as follows: “What about the most important minority in the history of the world? … We have to be insulted and outraged every day by what we see and what we read. By slaughter and murder. Slaughter and murder and barbarism and insult and superstitious nonsense.”

If religion and the insanity associated with religion wasn’t shoved down our collective throats, I think few people would have a problem with religion. As it stands however, I see it as my duty to stand up to it.

 

4) The last problem I have is between 1:25-1:35. David says (roughly) that “the idea that you take away one of the excuses, that the killing will suddenly stop happening is absurd.”

Quite right, that is an absurd proposition. That’s why I’ve never seen anyone make it. There is one argument put forward by Christopher Hitchens that there would have been peace long ago in Northern Ireland if there had been no religion, but I think that’s wrong. There certainly might have been a better chance, but I think the struggle would have been largely political instead of largely religious.

However, things like 9/11 would undoubtedly never have happened. If not for the crazy idea that you get rewarded for your death in an afterlife, nobody would have strapped a bomb to themselves and blown themselves up. It’s ridiculous.

Much of the opposition against evolution would be gone, a good deal of anti-science would simply vanish. Genital mutilation would be gone almost entirely. Abortion clinics would be largely safe. And so on and so forth. A lot would definitely change and the way David explains it is a simple misrepresentation.

I hope this clears up some of the misunderstandings about what atheism is and what atheists believe. There will be, I hope, a fair amount of discussion on this issue.
Some people may disagree with the distinction of atheism and anti-theism, nor atheism and agnosticism.
Some people may disagree with the notion that a god is by definition a bad thing.
Some people may disagree that religion interferes too much.
Some people may disagree that the things I listed under 4) will go away if religion were to disappear.

Ah well…

Answers for Eight questions for Evolutionists

he_who_is_nobody
he_who_is_nobody
Tue Mar 18, 2014 1:48 pm by he_who_is_nobody

(Ian Juby, seen here playing a scientist)

Last month Ian Juby asked eight questions for us silly evolutionists to answer. Here are my answers in the order they were asked.

 

 1) Let’s start at the beginning: How did the first life arise? If you have no life, then you have no evolution. Following the laws of science and nature, how did that first life arise?

 

We do not know, yet. However, saying that we do not know does not open up the question for Juby to insert a god(s). Modern science’s inability to answer this question completely is not a victory for magic (a.k.a. creationism).  However, I would encourage Juby to look into the field of abiogenesis. Lots of progress has been made in that field in the past decade.

 

 2) How do you explain the origin of Grand Canyon without a world wide flood?

 

Seeing as how a worldwide flood does not and cannot account for the Grand Canyon, I will give a truncated explanation for it. The layers one observes in the Grand Canyon were laid down at different times. Near the bottom of the canyon, one can easily see an angular unconformity, where the land was laid down horizontally, than uplift happened to one side raising that side higher than the rest. Erosion than happened, which flattened down the raised layers to an even plain, after that, more layers of sediment were laid down on top of the angular unconformity. Some of these layers are made up of limestone, which cannot form rapidly in an aquatic environment; others are made up of sandstone that had to have come from a vast desert. Both of those observations alone expose that the earth is not young and there was not a worldwide flood in recent history.

After all the layers were formed, the Colorado River started to make its way across the area were the Grand Canyon is now found. It was once a slow meandering river, which one is able to see when looking down on the Grand Canyon (it meanders around the Colorado Plateau). Slowly the Colorado Plateau uplifted making the Colorado River cut down into it more and more. This is how the Grand Canyon was formed.

Again, this is a truncated response, one could write a whole book about the history of the Grand Canyon.

 

 3) How do you explain the copious numbers of dating methods which point to a young earth, and a young universe?

 

One wonders what Juby means by copious, because as far as modern science is concerned there are no dating methods that point to a young earth or young universe. Perhaps Juby could point some out.

 

 4) What scientifically factual information can you supply to support your contention that the universe is billions of years old? Don’t give me your assumptions and theories, and don’t give me the speed of light problem because it’s also a problem for you, and I already answered it with my response. I want scientifically factual information.

 

Seeing as how Juby will not accept the speed of light (i.e. the only reason we can see stars billions of light years away is that their light had to travel billions of light years to get here) I guess we will have to settle for our observations of the cosmic microwave background radiation, globular clusters, white dwarf stars and radiometric dating. All of those establish the universe to be billions of years old.

 

 5) How do you explain the origin of information, such as the information contained in the DNA, without violating the laws of thermodynamics?

 

Well, it would be nice if Juby defined information for us. Using the correct definition of information when talking about DNA (Shannon information), information can arise in a system without violating the laws of thermodynamics. No doubt Juby will take issue with this, but that is because Juby tries to equivocate the different definitions of information in his arguments.

 

 6) How do you explain the PRESERVATION of the information in our DNA over MILLIONS and MILLIONS of years, seeing as how thermodynamics is observably and quickly removing bits and pieces of that information in every single generation? 

 

Since Juby again does not define information, one can only assume he is talking about Shannon information. It is untrue to say that thermodynamics is removing bits and pieces every generation. Thus, this question is invalided because it is based off a flawed premise.

 

 7) How did sex arise? Seeing as how there are miriads of sexual reproduction systems in organisms, pretty much NONE of which are compatible with one another in reproduction. See CrEvo Rant # 13 Ian’s Sex Video for the quick low down on the problems you face in explaining this dilema. I’m not interested in sexual fantasies of how one system evolved into the other, I’m interested in factual, scientific evidence – observed changes, like any good scientist would expect of a theory.

 

Once again, we do not know the exact answer, yet. However much like the first answer I gave, science not knowing an answer does not make room for Juby’s god(s).

 

 8) Do you think your brain was intelligently designed? And if not, then how can you trust your thoughts if they are the result of unintelligent, undirected forces? Random chemistry?

 

This question is a vague attempt to insult proponents of evolution, and never fails to make me laugh when I see it. Of course our brains are not intelligently designed; they are a product of natural and sexual selection. However, just because they were not intelligently designed does not mean our thoughts are based on unintelligent, undirected forces. The reason we can trust our thoughts is based on knowledge that we obtain through experience or learning. Because we live in a natural world, were the laws of physics do not change on a whim, we can base our prior experiences and knowledge on the facts of reality in order to gain a deeper understanding of the world around us.

Hat tip to Bill Needle for transcribing the questions used above. 

Rebuttal to Ian Juby’s “’In 7 Days’ Crash Course in Creation” Day 1

he_who_is_nobody
he_who_is_nobody
Wed May 01, 2013 8:11 pm by he_who_is_nobody

Who is Ian Juby?

Ian Juby hails from Eastern Ontario, Canada. Inspired by Dr. Carl Baugh and the Creation Evidence Museum, he came back to Canada and set out to build Canada’s first Creation Museum, the Creation Science Museum of Canada.

– CreationWiki 

 

However, Juby is probably best known for his video response to AronRa.

On Ian Juby’s website, one of the first things one happens upon is his “in 7 Days” Crash Course in Creation. This delivers seven lessons over the course of seven days wherein Juby tries to prove the myth of creation over the science of evolution. I plan to debunk Juby’s crash course over the next few blog posts. So let us begin.

Day 1:  In the beginning…

 

The first lesson starts with Juby introducing the Origin Debate between creationism and evolution. There are no claims for creationism or against evolution until half way through the lesson. However, he does say this:

It has been my experience that evolution must hide behind assumptions, ad-hominem attacks, and lawyers.  It cannot be exposed to scrutiny because it will disintegrate.

 

Juby tends to do this throughout most of his work. He projects the faults of creationism on to evolution. Juby also goes on to state this:

I know when I first heard some of the information I’m about to share with you, I was angry.  I was not an evolutionist, and I was still angry because it became apparent that someone had lied to me.

 

I bring this up because Juby claims that he was upset that he was lied to by evil evolutionist, yet his whole crash course is full of half truths, blatant misrepresentations, and what could only be called lies.

After he is done projecting the faults of creationism onto evolution, he moves on to his first claim, which is:

Surprisingly, the debate did not begin with Charles Darwin.  The debate actually began with the age of the Earth, via one man, Sir Charles Lyell.  Lyell was a lawyer, and put his skills in arguing to work.  Though not trained in geology, he has become known as one of the founding fathers of geology.  I’m not arguing that a lawyer cannot do geological research.  I am simply pointing out that his “geological research” was everything from erroneous to downright fraudulent, and that he made an impression on the science of geology because of his argumentative tactics, not science.

 

Charles Lyell is indeed one of the fathers of geology because before men like him, there was no such thing as geology as we understand it today. Lyell could not go to school and obtain a degree in geology because no such subject existed until Lyell and others started to investigate the geologic formations found around them. Juby’s claim that Lyell’s research was “erroneous to downright fraudulent” is simply a lie. More importantly is the fact that Juby never brings up most of the evidence Lyell use to show deep time, such as many of the angular unconformities found in Scotland.

Juby moves on:

For example, it was Lyell who coined the phrase “The present is the key to the past.”

Notice what he has done here: He has effectively removed the idea of a global flood from the table, without ever mentioning it.  We do not see global floods occurring today, now, do we?  Therefore if only the present can be used to judge the past, then a global flood has just been disallowed in the interpretation of earth’s past – whether there was one or not!

 

No, he has not removed a global flood from the table. The idea of the present being the key to the past does not remove anything from the table except for miracles. One would be able to extrapolate the effects of a regional flood to a global system. A phenomenon happening today can be scaled up or down depending on the different variables we see. Juby simply does not understand how modern geology works.

Juby then goes on to speculate about Lyell’s intentions. According to Juby, the evil evolutionary conspiracy stretches back farther than anyone could have guessed.

In fact, he had secret intentions for his geological research, and his writings.  We would not have known his intentions except that after he died, his sister published his private writings and correspondence.  He wrote to one friend:

 

He follows this with a quote and his speculation as to how evil geologists got together to overturn the established teachings of the bible.

Whether Lyell had ulterior motives or not is not evidence against the ideas put forth in Principles of Geology. Lyell lays out the evidence for an old earth very clearly and the fact that Juby never mentions any of it is quite telling.

After this, Juby talks about Lyell’s visit to Niagara Falls where he points out that Lyell’s calculations were incorrect thus Lyell’s estimated age for Niagara Falls was also incorrect. For some reason, Juby feels that pointing out that Lyell was wrong about this is important to know, probably because he believes that if one thing Lyell said was wrong, than everything must be wrong.

Juby never comes out and says it, but it seems clear that he is trying to claim that the age of Niagara Falls is a good estimate for the age of the earth. This is wrong because there is no evidence that the river that created Niagara Falls has existed since the beginning of the earth.

Now we get into Juby’s big guns:

Lyell was also well aware of “polystrate fossils,” due to his visit to the Joggins Fossil cliffs of Nova Scotia, Canada.  Polystrate fossils are so called because they are buried vertically in the rock, cutting through several strata or layers of rock.  Hence, “poly” for many, “strate” for the strata of rock.  It cuts vertically through many layers.

 

That is right folks; Juby is still claiming that polystrate trees disprove deep time. First off, these fossils are not what creationist wish they were; they do not cut through vast expanses of geologic time, they belong to the same geologic period. They are found in depositional environments that form rapidly, such as swamps. In a depositional environment, such as a swamp, there can be many layers formed that all represent the same geological period that formed over hundreds to thousands of years and not millions.

Juby concludes:

Lyell’s research was fiction, yet everyone who read Lyell’s book concluded it was the Bible that was fiction.

 

Again, no it was not. The fact that Juby could not be bothered to bring up the bulk of what is found in Principles of Geology (essentially removing his ideas from the table, without ever mentioning them) speaks volumes.

Coming up in lesson two:

You want millions of years?  You got it.  It doesn’t solve the problems for evolution, and instead causes problems for evolution.

Ray Comfort’s such a Genius isn’t he?

theyounghistorian77
theyounghistorian77
Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:42 am by theyounghistorian77

Well not really!

For those who haven’t kept up to date with his ramblings, Banana-man has decided to write a new book titled “The Beatles: God and the Bible” (sounds really exciting). Now i know I’m not supposed to judge a book by its cover but in this case i can infer at least that stylistically there could be much carried over from an earlier screed titled “Hitler: God and the Bible” (which I’m not going to review unless someone mysteriously sends me it as a Christmas present) in that Comfort’s using “Historical Character X” only to disseminate his own evangelical nonsense regardless of whether or not said evangelical nonsense has anything to do with said Historical character. With the latter book i mentioned, as you all may remember, he turned it’s intellectual comments into a short 33 min video which i proved the case to be. In that video he basically equated abortion to the Holocaust and added in to the mix that Hitler was not a christian by using quotations of dubious origin. Because that obviously helps his evangelical message. But even if we somehow accept that Hitler was Anti-christian anyways it would still remain the case that the comparison of the Holocaust to Abortion (which was the main point of that film) is silly, especially in the context of what the Nazis actually did with regards to the subject as i pointed out.

I mention all of this because Ray Comfort’s made a brand new movie, based upon his latest evangelical work which i guess in the spirit of the last one, i have to review right?

Here it is in all it’s Christian Glory

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A Demon in the rough!

theyounghistorian77
theyounghistorian77
Thu Mar 29, 2012 6:53 pm by theyounghistorian77

I believe i have caught our little Romanian friend being … lets just say “economical with the truth again”! Remember his ranting about apparent “atheist myths” in which the examples provided in that League of Reason thread at least turned out not to be so? Well he made a little video about it which what, is it meant to be another thing? Anyways one of the first things he pointed out was an atheist group misquoting Thomas Jefferson, which to be fair is a legitimate complaint. Seeing as I raised it too (in these forums). It may be useful to just keep it in mind.

With regards to the latter point, it seems our friend cannot quite hold himself to quite the same standard he uses to judge others (its hardly news to some I know). He recently made a video critiquing a Zomgitscriss video about “disproving god”, an expected enough thing for a theist to do right? I’m not going to dispute Vyck’s main case against Zomgitscriss here, that is not my Forte. I’ll leave that to someone else, if they dare.

What this post adressess instead is just one point of the video, perhaps a minor point yes, but one nonetheless. He asked about 1:25 into the video “why so angry?” to paraphrase before bringing up this obviously meant to be “suggestive” quotation as an answer:

“We shall unleash the Nihilists and Atheists, and we shall provoke a formidable social cataclysm which in all its horror will show clearly to the nations the effect of absolute atheism, origin of savagery and of the most bloody turmoil.” – Albert Pike’s letter to Manzini (August 15, 1871.)

VyckRo likes to parade himself as a beacon of “Christian rationalism” on youtube (its evident in the video). Ok sometimes he actually gets it right. I agree with him that the so called “Dark ages” is a myth (although i maintain it is a general misconception). Other times he gets it so completely horribly wrong, like maintaining that LoR is an “atheist forum”, and thats one of his more “milder” claims!

I happen to have two serious problems with his “quotation”!

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Critique Of Alvin Plantinga’s Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism

Dean
Dean
Sun Nov 27, 2011 10:45 am by Dean

On the Internet, I have encountered a prominent Philosopher of Religion called Alvin Plantinga who was once described by Time Magazine as a America’s leading orthodoxist Protestant Philosopher of God. He has made many anti-naturalistic arguments and theistic arguments in the past, has engaged in Public Discourse with atheists, rather like William Lane Craig. And also, William Lane Craig seems to be a fan of Plantinga’s misguided “Reformed Epistemology”. But that’s another story altogether. In our particular case, I intend to refute the various fallacious absurdities of Alvin Plantinga’s “Evolutionary Argument Against [Metaphysical] Naturalism”. Or rather more specifically, I will be critiquing all six parts together of a six-part series of lectures on YouTube. It is a talk by Plantinga entitled “An Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism”. —see here. I may not be able to address every point as meticulously as I would like to, but I will give it a fair shot. Of course, it is doubtful that he has not simply ignored these criticisms if they have already been made in the past. Oh well… also, for expediency, here is an overview of Plantinga from Wikipedia. You will notice that like William Lane Craig, he is a Christian apologist, and has authored such books as God and Other Minds, and has even written a book entirely dedicated to the argument he presents in this 60 minute lecture. :)

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Ray Comfort is 180 degrees from reality

theyounghistorian77
theyounghistorian77
Sat Oct 01, 2011 12:57 am by theyounghistorian77

Ok so i had a really good laugh today. I decided that a watching of Ray Comfort’s “180 movie” would be a good way to waste 33 mins of my life. The best synopsis of the contents of the film at present can be found on RationalWiki. But i can boil it down to two arguments Ray presents:

1) Hitler is Anti-christian.

2) Abortion in America is really akin to the Holocaust.

The second argument is really little more than the application of godwins law into a debate, furthermore the connection between abortion doctors in America today and the Nazis in the 1930’s and 1940’s is more silly and superficial than what Ray and his fellow religious propagandists make it out to be. Yes it is true that the Nazis used forced abortions upon women deemed “unAryan” (women who were Jewish or Slavic, etc.) in order to decrease their number as part of their eugenic policies, however for healthy Women of the Volksgemeinschaft it was a different story, because for them abortions were banned. Indeed in 1936, Heinrich Himmler created a Reich Central Office just for the purpose “for the Combating of Homosexuality and Abortion”! You know those two things Ray and his fellow religious fundamentalists don’t like. Being sarcastic here like i sometimes am, Does this mean that by ray’s logic he may be *shock horror* akin to a Nazi? In the real world, of course he isn’t!

But for the purposes of this, im going to attempt to rebut his other argument, that Hitler was no Christian.

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I have a few Questions about arguing with idiots

theyounghistorian77
theyounghistorian77
Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:11 am by theyounghistorian77

Ladies and Gentlemen: Let me introduce you to “Onefodderunit” [I’ll call him OFU for short]. He is by far and away the most Batshit crazy person i and my friends have ever had the displeasure of arguing with [the debate in the comments section of the video]. He’s a 9/11 truther. He’s a Creationist who regards atheism [and presumably Darwin’s ideas] itself as a “belief in Coincidental Chemical Creationism.” [Im not kidding] even though he also claims “Im not religious”. He’s a Holocaust denier. He regards the Nazis as Socialist [A silly piece of anti intelectual history revisionism in and of itself that i can deal with] and clearly regards himself given his “Anti left” rhetoric as something of a right winger. I regard him as a Neo-Nazi lunatic due to the clear and deep anti-semitism he displays though he denies he is a Neo-Nazi. Well at least to me he proves his type belong on the Far Right.

But in Short, He’s all my Nightmares wrapped up in one disgusting cowardly person who’se level of insanity approaches and possibly exceeds that of a “Nephilimfree” or “VenomFangX”

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