A word on evidence

Today, I’m going to take to task this silly idea that there is any evidence for God.  Cliff notes version: If you think there is evidence for god, you’re wrong and you don’t understand what evidence is.

Wow, that’s a pretty bold statement, you say!  Not really.  No, it’s not even controversial, actually.  The only controversy to this statement is by believers who are desperately trying to justify their belief.  And a quick note on the word “proof.”  Proof is a specific mathematical term that has nothing to do with demonstrating a hypothesis correct.  However, I know it is often used in common language to mean “demonstrated to be correct.”  But since we already have words for that, and because the word “proof” fails to take in account the concept of confidence in a conclusion (how sure we are of our conclusion) I’ll stick with evidence.

I’d also like to note that throughout this blog, I’ll refer to evidence as it is used in courts or in science.  I don’t to this by accident, and yes, it applies here.  If you wish to discuss faith, that’s another topic.  Evidence is evidence, and since courts and science deal with evidence every day they have advanced the field.  Evidence of the type used to burn witches at the stake are no longer admissible in courts because, as you may have noticed, it resulted in the wrong conclusion.  So I’m relying on the experts here.

What is evidence?

The first thing to understand is that evidence is information that can point toward a particular conclusion.  Information is completely useless as evidence unless it is reliable.  Unreliable evidence is not evidence.  This seems pretty obvious, but unreliable evidence is the basis for ALL arguments in defense of religion.  As I go through these types of unreliable evidences, think back on every discussion about religion you have had on either side of the debate.  Think about the specific information that was brought forth, and how that was used to substantiate the claim that followed.  I’m here to tell you, it was useless evidence.

Tainted evidence

There are a few ways that evidence can be unreliable.  One way is if the evidence is tainted. In the age of crime-solving TV shows this seems obvious, but it wasn’t always so.  When we examine evidence for any claim, it is very important that the evidence is pure and untainted.  How are religious “evidences” tainted?  Usually by forgery.  And to really understand forgery in the religious history, it’s helpful to know that until a mere couple hundred years ago, a book was essentially the notebook of today.  It was hand-written, frequently copied by scribes, and often by illiterate scribes that just mimicked the letters.

Owners of these books thought nothing at all about scribbling editing notes in the margins, and having those notes copied into future editions.  But these changes and mistakes pale in comparison to the intentional forgeries.  A Roman historian named Josephus made mention of Jesus, calling him a wonderful man that is the messiah.  Only he never did.  The passage language doesn’t match the rest of the book, so it seems like an insert.  The fact that Josephus never converted makes it pretty clear he didn’t write it.  But the nail on the coffin is that for over 300 years the apologists of the day were busy scouring every shred of paper they could find to justify their belief in a real Jesus, including the available works of Josephus, but were unable to find any.  Then one day, a dude called Eusebius, who inherited his books from another apologist, suddenly found in Josephus a super clear, super exited passage about this Jesus guy.  Clear forgery. Hell, Christian writers back then knew it was a forgery.  They said so.  But this is trotted out as evidence.  It is not.

Forgeries took many other forms, especially in the medieval church. Prosperous entrepreneurs “found” the bones of John the Baptist, or other such characters, and sold them for a nice profit.  If you add up the mass of remaining John the Baptist bones still in existence today, it still amounts to dozens of skeletons, including four full skulls.  The Shroud of Turin is a well-known forgery, not only because we’ve tested it, but because church leaders in the day called it a forgery.  Until they changed their mind later, that is.  But it’s a forgery.  The list of church forgeries could fill volumes of encyclopedias, and I don’t have the time to list them all.  But if you hear someone talk about a supposed object or writing that counts as evidence for Jesus, they’re wrong.  And I don’t mean to leave other religions out, by the way, Jews and Muslims and Rastafarians and Hindus and all the other religions as far as I’m aware have some forgeries in their camp.  Again, no genuine articles, all forgeries.

Specificity

Another way evidence can be unreliable is if it isn’t specific enough to point toward a particular conclusion.  Think of it like this.  One of your neighbors borrows your lawn mower while you are away.  You know this because it has moved, but also because there is grass all over it, and you put it away clean.  The fact that there is grass on it can’t be used as evidence as to which neighbor borrowed the mower, because either one of them would get grass on the mower if they borrowed it to mow their lawn.  And what if you have three neighbors, or four?  Yeah, the information is useless as evidence.

An example of people actually using such useless nonsense as evidence is the “look at the sky, there must be a god” argument.  So now our two neighbors are, on one side “god did it”, and on the other “natural processes”.  Both could form a sky.  Therefore, the “evidence” is useless.  And we still haven’t accounted for our third neighbor “Vishnu”, and fourth neighbor “aliens.”  And there’s lots more possibilities.  Without pointing at any particular conclusion, this information is completely useless as evidence.  But it never fails to show up any time a believer “feels” something or is the recipient of a stroke of good luck.

Unreliability

A big way that evidence can be unreliable, is simply the unreliable nature of the evidence!  This is information that points to a specific conclusion, but because it is not reliable, we would be kidding ourselves to use it.  Let’s say there is a murder trial, and we take 8 suspects and sit them around a table and spin an arrow in the middle of them.  Let’s say you are one of the 8.  Are you gonna let your guilt or innocence reside in where that arrow lands?  Hell no!  Because that’s unreliable as hell.  It is information that most definitely points in a direction, but as evidence it is useless.  But how do we determine how reliable evidence is?  We test it, of course.  Have eight of your best friends over, and tell one of them to steal a couple cookies without anyone else knowing.  Place that one friend at a table with the other seven and spin the arrow.  This exercise will clearly not result in an accurate result.

And to add complexity to the subject of reliability, some kinds of evidence results in more error than others, which means we can rank evidence for reliability.  Eyewitness testimony, often trotted out in courts as a sort of nail in the coffin of a case, is notoriously unreliable.  Numerous tests have been done on this, where individuals or groups were exposed to a scenario, and then questioned.  Answers are all over the map.  In another experiment, a class of college students witnessed a person walk in to the front door of the room, grab the instructors purse, and run out.  Almost every student described the thief as tall, but since it was an experiment we know for a fact that the thief was quite short.  They all got it wrong because the instructor, who was in on the ruse, mentioned in the moments before campus security arrived that she just noticed how tall he was.  Do you realize what this means?  The memories of almost every student in that class were altered by a dropped comment.  How fallible our memories!

So, eyewitness evidence is only marginally reliable, and in fact it barely squeaks in as allowable as court evidence.  What is more reliable?  In somewhat of an order, documentation, recorded observations (video, audio, or electronic), forensic methods based on repeated and tested methods, blind studies, and evidence that leads to accurate predictions.

What is considered useless as evidence?  Second-hand testimony or hearsay.  If first-hand testimony barely squeaks in as admissible evidence, second-hand testimony is clearly out.  Just ask any child that has ever played “telephone” if the message relays correctly.  Gut feelings also don’t make the cut.  The entire bible is at best second-hand accounts, and at the worst at least 4 generations later.  The Koran, according to the devout Muslims, was written down by people listening to Muhammed (because Muhammed was illiterate) who was repeating stuff an angel said.  The story IS an account of third-party documentation, and is known through third-party knowledge.  What a mess.  Mormons have a similar tradition, with the addition of translation to muck up the result.  One thing is clear, no religious text passes even basic evidentiary standards.

Evidence to conclusion

A quick note on the conclusions of religious people that argue for their faith.  If you don’t have reliable evidence, you don’t have a reliable conclusion.  Back to our neighbors, I can believe all I want that Bob is the guilty neighbor.  I can base it on the grass.  I can base it on my cousin telling me that his friend has a sister that said they saw someone with a certain description using my mower.  I can base it on a photograph that was taken 4 weeks before the mower was even used.  But in all cases, it’s fairly possible that I could get the wrong conclusion.  And I am therefore NOT JUSTIFIED in holding my conclusion, and the only honest thing to do is to abandon the conclusion until I get more evidence.

Religious people don’t do this.  Once the evidence fades away, the belief remains.  They struggle to believe so much that they seek out more information to use as evidence.  But as I stated up front, there is no evidence for God.  They therefore are latching on to useless information and pretending that it is evidence.

There are a few honest theists out there that realize the search for evidence is useless.  They have only one remaining card to play.     “Faith.”       That’s a topic for another blog.

 

The Spartan Atheist

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153 thoughts on “A word on evidence

  1. A very fine post!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Excellent and well laid out.
    You may have already deduced how Mel presents his case: Stridently tells his audience how deductive logic will obviously point to the god he is championing, and yet he will also be at pains to inform the reader that he is not really punting his god, merely the Prime Mover (which by marvelous happenstance actually IS his god, as it turns out. How lucky is that, right?)

    So he will present reams and reams of metaphysical horse manure, replete with ”cor wow, look at that!” style diagrams and a few large dollops of appeals to authority in the form of Aquinas, Bentley and any other name he can pass off as if he has actually read them rather than snippets of them, which is usually enough to convince the slavering groupies. He then sits back to wait and see who has the patience and fortitude to actually wade through the dross and tell him he is merely blowing smoke OUT his backside. Then he will put on his Hat of Piety and inform the reader that in the end it really is all about the heart and faith, just on the off chance someone might think he is nothing but an ignorant arrogant arsehat. Not that anyone would of course, right?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. In this case, since he was talking about evidence, I went ahead and just scanned through for any. One weak piece of information that excludes no possible explanation was all he had.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “A big way that evidence can be unreliable, is simply the unreliable nature of the evidence!”
    I’ve never heard it put like that before.

    What evidence can you provide to point toward the conclusion that this article is reliable?

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    1. I’ll direct you to any academic study in legal, historical, or medical evidentiary standards to support my claims on what evidence is and why it is or isn’t reliable.
      For my claim that there is no evidence, I submit to you that if there were evidence, the thousands of apologists that are trying desperately to find some would have put it forth in their arguments, much as if someone asks anyone else for any proof of anything ever, they present the evidence first, and not a long thought experiment. But I welcome new information.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Are you familiar with the arguments from classical theology? If so, how do they not qualify as evidence?

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      2. I’m aware of them. I could do this a number of ways, but I’ll just go with demonstrating one of them is false. I could list them too but let’s go this way.
        Pascal’s wager is a classical theological argument. It’s also now known as a classic example of a false dichotomy. It unequally sets up two options as the only options, avoiding all other possible options. For example, I can either kill girl scouts or buy their cookies.
        The first other option Pascal hasn’t considered is if heaven really is the better place. He just assumed that. Secondly, he hadn’t considered Janism. If you perfectly follow God’s law in the bible, you are most definitely going to hell in Janism. So it’s an example of classic theology that has been thrown off the table of serious philosophy long, long ago.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Pascal’s wager is not generally considered to be an argument from classical theology.

        Are you aware of Aquinas’ argument of the prime mover? If so, can you explain why it does not count as evidence?

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      4. Well, it’s not evidence because logical reasoning isn’t by itself evidence. You input evidence via claims into a logical framework, if the evidence is correct and the logic is correct, the conclusion is correct. If either the evidence or the logic is incorrect, your conclusion can be incorrect.
        Before I even start, I’d like to point out that the prime mover, or the watch maker, or the ontological argument, even if true, barely lead to a god. They absolutely don’t lead specifically to the Christian god or Jesus. That’s just a giant leap with no logic the dishonest apologists take. So if you hope the prime mover proves Christianity specifically, that’s a damned easy argument to refute.
        But “god” in general? The argument is based solidly on the fallacy of special pleading. Everything needs a prime mover except this one thing that doesn’t need a prime mover.
        As for the evidence? We have billions of examples of something. We have zero examples of a nothing. So we don’t actually know what a nothing is capable of doing. And this sounds kinda silly like I’m just using semantic crap, but actually, when you break down our physical world to the smallest thing, smaller than atoms, smaller than atomic particles, smaller than subatomic particles, we are actually a whole lot of nothing. And this nothing does stuff. So I’m not saying positively that nothing can do something, but I’m saying that the history of human kind is thinking we already had the limits of the physical world figured out and therefore god did the thing right before, right up until we discovered a natural force to do that thing too. So he’s arguing from ignorance on the subject of nothing, when all he knows about is something.

        Liked by 2 people

      5. I give him props for trying though.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. “We have billions of examples of something. We have zero examples of a nothing. So we don’t actually know what a nothing is capable of doing.”

        I take billions of examples of something as evidence for how reality works. You seem to be unwilling to follow the logic when it points in the direction of a prime mover. The arguments of classical theology still count as evidence even if you reject them as such.

        You should consider altering your position from “there is no evidence for the existence of God” to “there is no evidence that persuades me for the existence of God”.

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      7. No, I’m just trying to explain that merely not knowing something is not evidence. Just because we don’t know what caused the big bang doesn’t mean we get to posit a magical man. This isn’t evidence, it’s wishful thinking.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Agreed.
        I didn’t posit a magical man.
        I asked why the argument for a prime mover didn’t qualify as evidence. You responded with, “The argument is based solidly on the fallacy of special pleading. Everything needs a prime mover except this one thing that doesn’t need a prime mover”. That is NOT what the argument for the prime mover states.

        Why do you discard “billions of examples” in favor of uncertainty?

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      9. Because we had billions of examples of things being lifted up and then carried and then set down, which absolutely was evidence that Helios was carrying the sun across the sky in his chariot.
        Until we learned the real reason.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. You haven’t thrown out the evidence for Helios. You’ve learned there is a better explanation for the evidence.

        Why do you prefer the uncertainty of something from nothing over the evidence for a prime mover?

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      11. John, the point was there was no evidence for Helios. I say again: There was no evidence that Helios carried the sun.
        It just made sense to people at the time that everything that went across the sky that didn’t have wings had to be carried. But “sounds good” and “makes sense to me” isn’t evidence.
        In exactly the same way, it “makes sense” that there was a prime mover. But just like Helios, we have no evidence FOR that prime mover.
        The prime mover is simply a place holder for something we don’t understand and have no evidence for.
        I prefer uncertainty if I know that the answer given by some is probably made up. I would rather not pretend I know the answer until the answer can be known. I’m totally comfortable saying “I don’t know what started the universe.” because I don’t. And you don’t either.

        Liked by 5 people

      12. Let me try this another way.

        1) Evidence for Helios chariot – “The sun appears to move across the sky.”
        2) Evidence for Earth rotation – “The sun appears to move across the sky.”

        The evidence is the same. The conclusions differ. To say there is “No evidence that Helios carried the Sun” is incorrect. We have the same evidence for Helios that our ancestors had but we’ve acquired more knowledge than they had. We are better at interpreting that evidence.

        The question remains: Why do you prefer uncertainty to billions of bits of evidence?

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      13. Ah, now I see the problem. You didnt read my article. If information can not point in the direction of any particular conclusion, it’s not evidence. Please read it before you comment further.

        Liked by 1 person

      14. I read your article before I made my first comment.

        Individual pieces of evidence don’t always point to a “particular conclusion”. That is why the more pieces of evidence we have, the better our conclusions. When our ancestors saw the sun move across the sky, that was the only piece of evidence they had. More evidence was gathered as time went by but the new evidence did not negate the sun moving across the sky. The sun’s “movement” fits with the other pieces of evidence.

        I’ve noticed that you haven’t answered my question. Why do you prefer to form your hypothesis based on no evidence instead of using the billions of pieces of evidence provided by nature?

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      15. John, I don’t know what you’re driving at. I’ve answered your questions clearly and with examples. Information, including observation, are not evidence unless they can be used to point to particular conclusions. Yes, a weak piece of evidence can be supported by other weak evidences. But information that points in no direction can not be piled on top of one another to turn them into evidence.
        If I see a stranger walking down the street, and you ask me if he is married, the only correct answer is “I don’t know”. And I don’t feel like I am forced to give you an answer because I have no evidence. And you can tell me there’s lots of bits of evidence like he’s tall, and he’s walking with his chin up, or he has shoes on, or he’s wearing a t-shirt, but those aren’t evidence as to the status of his relationship with anyone.
        A ring, however, is evidence. It’s not 100% proof, but it points us to a particular conclusion.
        I’m not sure which hypothesis you’re talking about so I’ll briefly cover a couple candidates. 1) As with the man walking down the street, simply looking at nature and knowing there is stuff that moves is not evidence for a god. 2) There is no evidence for god- you’re demonstrating the voracity of my hypothesis right now by not providing any evidence.

        Liked by 4 people

      16. 1) As with the man walking down the street, simply looking at nature and knowing there is stuff that moves is not evidence for a god.
        Correct. Noticing that stuff moves is not evidence for a god.

        Do you agree that noticing stuff moving is evidence that something is causing stuff to move?

        2) There is no evidence for god- you’re demonstrating the voracity of my hypothesis right now by not providing any evidence.

        You are still conflating “evidence” with the conclusions drawn from evidence. You’ll have to answer the above question before we can move forward.

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      17. I agree that stuff moving is an observation, it is not evidence at all.

        In our local universe, where we postulate that something has to move something, is codified in Newton’s 1st law of motion. Newton didn’t say “wow, shit moves, must be a mover” because Newton was smart. He watched objects move and did some math and predicted their movement. THAT is evidence.

        Liked by 1 person

      18. Okay.
        So we agree with Newton that that movement qualifies as evidence.

        Do you know how potentiality vs. actuality applies to this evidence?

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      19. No! No, no, no, no, no! Movement isnt the evidence. An accurate prediction based on math is the evidence.

        Liked by 1 person

      20. John, do you accept evolution as true? I don’t wanna get into a debate about evolution, I’m finding an example.

        Liked by 2 people

      21. Predictions are not evidence.
        Newton observed the evidence and formed predictions based on those observations.
        Then, the observation of evidence determined the validity of the prediction. Scientists do not offer their predictions as evidence.

        Newton believed in a prime mover based on his observation of the evidence.

        Why do you prefer “nothing” to the billions of pieces of evidence discovered by scientists like Isaac Newton?

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      22. John, predictions ARE evidence. They are the strongest evidence! I even mentioned it in my article. Look, it’s obvious that you have some conclusion in mind that you’re trying to steer me toward. It won’t work, because I simply understand evidence. And it is clear you don’t.

        Liked by 3 people

      23. Please site your source for stating that “predictions are evidence”. I’ve never heard anyone say that before.

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      24. John, if you have a hypothesis, and make a prediction based on that hypothesis, and the prediction is observed, it supports your hypothesis. That means it POINTS TOWARD A CONCLUSION. If the prediction is not observed, it NEGATES A CONCLUSION.
        As you may remember from reading above, information that points toward a conclusion or rules out a conclusion is evidence.

        But if you’re dying for a link, here’s wikipedia. Go down to the science section.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prediction

        Liked by 1 person

      25. Yes! This is all correct! I agree completely!
        Nowhere in the Wikipedia article does it suggest that scientific predictions are the same as evidence.

        “As you may remember from reading above, information that points toward a conclusion or rules out a conclusion is evidence.”
        Yes! Information that points toward a conclusion is evidence. Another way of saying this is, information used to formulate a prediction is evidence. We agree.

        Why do you prefer no evidence over billions of pieces of evidence observed in nature?

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    2. I asked why the argument for a prime mover didn’t qualify as evidence.

      In the 13th Century it appeared reasonable. It doesn’t in 2018.

      1) It starts with a MASSIVE presupposition of an artificial universe.
      2) It commits the Fallacy of Composition (what’s true for a member of a group is not necessarily true for the group as a whole).
      3) The argument rests entirely on the behaviour of matter. Matter makes up just 4.6% of this universe.
      4) It rests entirely on one-directional, time-dependent chain causation (cause followed by effect). Quantum entanglement proves causes and effect can occur simultaneously.
      5) Retrocausality has been demonstrated, most recently by Andrew Truscott at ANU. This demonstrates that at a subatomic level, time can go backwards. Cause and effect are reversed. In the experiments, the future caused the past. The arrow of time worked in reverse.
      6) Zero-energy universe. A gravitational field has negative energy. Matter has positive energy. Calculations reveal that the sum total of both is zero. What this means is that there was never “nothing.” “Nothing” is an imaginary state. It never existed. It can’t exist because “nothing” is unstable and therefore already in motion… meaning no need whatsoever for some external “prime mover.” The universe, therefore, is a brute fact. As Sean Carroll said:

      “So the universe exists, and we know of no good reason to be surprised by that fact.”

      Simply put, the deductive’ tools’ used in the argument are hopelessly antiquated.

      So, if the deductive tools are flawed (rooted as they are in disastrously obsolete MEDIEVAL notions of time, space, matter, and causation) then so too is the reasoning, and if the reasoning is flawed then so is the conclusion.

      Liked by 7 people

      1. You’re the bomb, John. Thanks for the assist, and thanks for the info!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. FYI: Zande hasn’t actually offered any counter-evidence for the billions of examples of causality you mentioned at the beginning of this discussion. Denying the evidence for causality is, to use your term, wishful thinking.

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      3. Hi, John. Since you’re so bent on trying not to understand the nature of evidence, and also bent on trying to ignore the fallacy you are propositioning even after alternative and evidenced examples are provided, I’m sorry but I’m just going to have to cut this off.
        It’s clear you have no desire to learn, thus I can not teach you. Good day.

        Liked by 7 people

      4. Thanks!
        You might want to talk to Spartan about saying stuff like, “Predictions are evidence”. Do you understand why that’s problematic?

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      5. @John Z. Thank you for this explanation. I will save it this time. I tired to show it to Mel by screen capture and he discarded it. Then John Branyan took my conversation with Mel and made it a post of ridicule. None of what either of them said disputed what you stated despite their wanting to make it go away. Mel dismissed it as you not addressing the topic and you being wrong, but did not say why. His insult king John Branyan decided just ridicule the whole idea. I wish they could be honest. Really they demand we accept things without evidence, and with their preconceptions, and on their logical terms, yet when you show clear scientific logical evidence they either dismiss it or in John Bs case try to obscure it to not making sense. Again I find I am learning a lot and grateful for your sharing this knowledge. Hugs

        Liked by 4 people

      6. Mel dismissed it as you not addressing the topic

        LOL. He likes doing that. Is he back talking about classical theism and his non-existent essentially ordered/accidentally ordered series again, is he? Ask him to give an example of essentially ordered series. He won’t be able to.

        The problem for Mel (and anyone trying to push classical theism, which is not new) is that the universe simply doesn’t behave the way they need it to behave for this tired old argument to work. The need for some ‘currently operative agent’ might have appeared somewhat sensible in the 1200’s, but it simply doesn’t hold today.

        Liked by 3 people

      7. I don’t know what Mel is upto these days, but the last time I argued with him I used your comment back to him and he got really upset by it. Hugs

        Liked by 2 people

      8. He’s allergic to being shown the flaws in his arguments. He really, really, really hated being shown that his current flavour-of-the-month, classical theism, completely contradicts his previous flavour-of-the-month, panentheism.

        The problem for Mel is his “god” of classical theism is a Barbie doll wearing every cocktail dress, beach outfit, skydiving jumpsuit, hat, scarf, and item of jewellery she’s ever owned all at once. Classical theism was once embraced by Christian theologians, but has long since been broadly rejected; principally because it not only contradicts the fundamental rules of fashion (and logic), but the Bible itself.

        Liked by 4 people

    3. This has all been quite frustrating to watch.

      Let’s say I had annual observations of climate from year one of Earth’s existence. In that case I would have billions of data points of climate changing naturally. Yet this would say nothing about the possibility of climate changing due to human interference.

      Similarly I could provide billions of examples of evolution happening naturally, this would say nothing about the fact that we can breed dogs and interfere with the process of natural selection.

      The observation of billions of causes, does not mean that we have evidence for a prime mover. Especially since as you watch these causes today, they are under different conditions than we would have had at the start of the universe. Thus observing cause and effect now doesn’t necessarily mean that there was a cause to the universe. God is a possible explanation, but it requires evidence to say that God is that prime mover. We have no evidence of such a being.

      By your logic, God would also require a cause, and that cause would need a cause. It is a never ending chain. I’m guessing somewhere along the way you are probably going to say God doesn’t need a cause, it just always was. How convenient of you to ignore billions of examples of causality.

      You are correct by the way about one thing. A prediction in of itself isn’t evidence. But it’s rather the verification of the prediction that is evidence. If we can reliable predict then this is evidence that we have developed a good theory. Effectiveness of prediction is one of the strongest lines of evidence for a scientific theory.

      And finally, movement isn’t evidence of cause and effect. It is an observation. Movement can occur for a variety of reasons, if we can divine physical laws from measuring movement that’s great. But it’s the nature of the movement that helps us determine physical laws. And we can know whether or not we’ve correctly determined a physical law by being able to make accurate predictions. Now movement could be considered evidence, if your hypothesis were that “things move”. Congratulations, your observations of things moving, prove that things move. But you know nothing about the nature of the movement and the cause. If you start doing that well you have the physical laws of the universe. You’d have evidence of the nature of the movement, and evidence of what could cause something to move in that way. You need both if you are going to say that there is a prime mover. This is what you seem to be missing about your observations of causality. We don’t know everything yet, but we do have a myriad of evidence of the causes and they all have natural explanations. Logically from that we might conclude that there is a natural and not a supernatural explanation for the origins of the universe.

      We have no evidence of a prime mover, we only have a universe that moves. We might infer there is a mover. But that is only a possible explanation. One that if we were to apply probably logic to, never ends, because there can be no prime mover without making the non-provable assumption that one mover required no cause. Since movement having no causes seems to bother theologians greatly it is truly a wonder why they stop at the answer of God…it’s almost as if it supports what they already believe. Theologians love to pin the unknown on the supernatural, even when billions of examples of naturally explainable events happen everyday over a time history of unknown things becoming known.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Thanks, Swarn. It can be frustrating talking to someone that has the conclusion already staked in. I appreciate your insight! Dont forget to like and follow!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m certain this has been frustrating for you.

        “Logically from that we might conclude that there is a natural and not a supernatural explanation for the origins of the universe.”
        Wrong.
        There is no logical reason to conclude that nature created itself. In fact, that is irrational based solely on the evidence discovered by science.

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      3. “In fact, that is irrational based solely on the evidence discovered by science.”

        In other words, all the evidence points toward this answer, but John doesn’t like it, so he marginalized the importance of evidence.

        Liked by 3 people

      4. There is no evidence that nature created itself. You are the one marginalizing that fact.

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      5. A natural explanation doesn’t necessarily involve creation.

        The evolution of the universe also more clearly lends itself to a bottom -up explanation of the universe and not a top – down explanation.

        But that’s just more data you ignore to support a prime mover chain of reasoning. And as John pointed out and I pointed out again you used the logical fallacy of competition to make your argument, so please stop trying to convince us that you are the one with a sound command of how logic works.

        Liked by 2 people

      6. “A natural explanation doesn’t necessarily involve creation.”
        Forgive me. I shouldn’t have used that word.
        I am not aware of any evidence that demonstrates nature can bring itself into being. If you have some, you should immediately publish a paper.

        I’m not trying to convince you of anything.
        I was asking Spartan to convince me of his position. As far as I can tell, he is claiming that evidence used to draw a false conclusion ceases to be evidence. But that’s just something you ignore to support your opposition to a prime mover chain of reasoning.

        Like

      7. “I am not aware of any evidence that demonstrates nature can bring itself into being. If you have some, you should immediately publish a paper.”

        Well John, I believe you are the one claiming a creator, aka prime mover, aka Christian God, therefore where is your evidence and do not tell me that an ancient manuscript written by primitive superstitious people about a father and son who are claimed to have magical powers are responsible for everything that exists? Surely you cannot be that gullible, even though you are severely indoctrinated.

        The Earth is thought to have been formed about 4.6 billion years ago and the history of life on Earth began about 3.8 billion years ago, initially with single-celled prokaryotic cells, such as bacteria.

        When you consider what we know today about quantum mechanics, 60 years of modern space exploration, black holes, the time and space complexity, ground breaking Biological Discoveries such as evolution, the Human Genome Project and cloning, this all comes together without creator magic and emphasises a biological beginning to life on Earth. This would have to be far more logical, feasible, predictable, reasonable and rational, would you not agree?

        Liked by 2 people

      8. Everything you said is conjecture.

        Like

      9. Once again, if John doesn’t like it, it’s conjecture. Forget all the evidence. Magic man did it.

        Liked by 3 people

      10. Oh yes, sklyjd, he can be that gullible. And is . Look at the evidence on this thread alone. . .

        Liked by 3 people

      11. I agree Carmen, his 5-word answer speaks volumes about exactly where his head is, never-never land.

        Liked by 1 person

      12. When you consider what we know today about quantum mechanics, 60 years of modern space exploration, black holes, the time and space complexity, ground breaking Biological Discoveries such as evolution, the Human Genome Project and cloning, this could not have come together without a creator and emphasises an intelligent beginning to life on Earth. This would have to be far more logical, feasible, predictable, reasonable and rational, would you not agree?

        Impressed?
        Or are you going to call it mere conjecture?

        Like

      13. No, John. Inseting magic man into the equation does not make any of this make sense, it makes it more complicated. Evolution is a natural process that leads to diversity all by itself. It doesn’t need a magic man. A magic man would only get in the way of the process. Waves crash on a shore naturally. Adding a magic man is just ridiculous.

        Liked by 2 people

      14. I agree.
        That is why none of my comments contain the words “magic man”. If you weren’t so busy shoving words into my mouth you might have time to actually address the arguments.

        Like

      15. Would you prefer magician? Spell caster? Suspender of time and space? Interrupter of the natural order? How would you prefer I insert a non-defined, unseen, unidentified, unknowable “Prime Mover”, John?

        Like

      16. “How would you prefer I insert a non-defined, unseen, unidentified, unknowable Prime Mover…”

        You have ascribed 4 adjectives to the Prime Mover. This indicates a bias. If you’re convinced that a Prime Mover is ‘unknowable’ there is little point in having a conversation.

        All I have asserted thus far is there is no evidence that nature can bring itself into existence. Assuming a “magic man did it” is speculation. Assuming the “big bang did it” is also speculation.

        We will not be able to have a rational conversation if you keep trying to make me defend stuff I haven’t said.

        Like

      17. John, The Big Bang theory is the total of all the evidence that shows nature came into existence on it’s own. That’s what that is. I don’t care if you don’t understand it.
        And no, as long as you pretend you “know” the magic man, we absolutely can’t have a rational conversation.
        Recap- big bang, supported by lots of evidence. Magic man, no evidence, speculation, wishful thinking.

        Liked by 1 person

      18. There was no nature before the Big Bang.
        I don’t care if you don’t understand that.
        As long as you pretend you “know” the big bang is a natural event, we absolutely can’t have a rational conversation.

        Like

      19. John, John, John. Now we’re just going in circles. I demonstrate a case, you ignore it. As long as you continue to close your mind to the evidence, I can not convince you.

        Like

      20. I have not closed my mind to any evidence.
        I’m all about the evidence!
        Evidence suggests that nature didn’t bring itself into existence.

        Like

      21. Oddly enough, John, I already gave you the quote. That’s exactly what they have found possible.

        Liked by 1 person

      22. Oddly enough, I gave you quotes from physicists that there is no evidence for that. But we’re free to believe what we want!

        Like

      23. No you didn’t. Now you’re lying again. You said Krauss would never say it, and I provided a direct quote from him where he said the universe came about by natural processes. And look, I don’t care if you ignore everything that science has learned about big bang cosmology and physics, but don’t pretend we don’t have evidence. Don’t pretend it isn’t a plausible explanation. And I don’t care if it sounds weird to you. Nature could have created itself, and we have the science to demonstrate that. The next time you say that nature can’t create itself, you’re done.

        Liked by 1 person

      24. We are free to believe what we want.

        Like

      25. Congratulations, John. You have now gotten to the core of your argument. Your actual position. You ARE free to believe what you want. I agree with this statement and support it.
        However, it is dishonest to say that your beliefs have evidence or your beliefs are justified if they aren’t.

        Liked by 3 people

      26. It is dishonest to say that my beliefs are not justified when you haven’t even asked what I believe.

        Like

      27. “Evidence suggests that nature didn’t bring itself into existence.”

        You’re wrong.

        Liked by 1 person

      28. Do you believe chickens exist?

        Like

      29. Are we going to change the subject again, because I’ve backed you into a corner on what is or isn’t evidence, what is or isn’t logical fallacies, what Krauss did or didn’t say, and if you are or aren’t just believing what you want despite the evidence?
        No, I’m not going to go down anther ridiculous road with you, John. You still haven’t conceded that Aquiana’s Prime Mover argument is fallacious.

        Liked by 1 person

      30. It’s a simple question.
        Do you believe chickens exist?
        If yes, where do they come from?

        Like

      31. Nope, not doing it. I’m not going to let you keep changing the subject every time your argument sucks. Admit the Prime Mover was a fallacious argument, and you were wrong about Krauss, before I even think about letting you change the subject again.

        Liked by 1 person

      32. I’m not changing the subject.
        I think you know that and that’s why you’re not answering this simple question.

        Like

      33. I have no idea where you are going with the Chicken thing, John. Despite constant demonstration that information that could lead to two completely different conclusions can not, therefore, be evidence, you ignore and move on.
        Then you insist Prime Mover is good stuff, only when I demonstrate that it is clearly the argument from ignorance fallacy, you move on again.
        Then you say Krauss believes non-natural forces started the universe, and when I quote him directly, and provide the link, you change the subject again.
        I’m not doing it. You’re running away from admitting fault, and I’m not letting you run anymore.

        Liked by 1 person

      34. If you have “no idea where I am going with the Chicken thing” then you cannot accuse me of running away from admitting fault.

        I asked my 4-year old grandson the chicken question and he answered it immediately. He believes chickens exist and they come from eggs. For the record, that’s what I believe too.

        I don’t want to speak for you. I think it’s appropriate that you speak for yourself. I have no idea why you’re reluctant to answer this easy question.

        Like

      35. Link it to a previous answer that you ducked or I won’t answer it. I won’t let you constantly change topics.

        Like

      36. I am not changing topics.
        The question applies directly to the argument for the prime mover. Do you have enough evidence for chickens to answer the question?

        Like

      37. No, John. I don’t want you to prove the prime mover. I simply want you to acknowledge that in the argument about what makes things move, there are two possible options- natural, and something else.

        Liked by 1 person

      38. You know what REALLY makes things move? Metamucil. Take it for about two or three days, and BAM!!! Things’ll really move fer ya’.

        Liked by 4 people

      39. No problem. In the argument about what makes things move there are two possible options, natural and something else. I totally agree.

        Like

      40. Then Aquinas’ Prime Mover argument is fallacious. Concede.

        Like

      41. Either the prime mover is natural or something else.
        How is the argument fallacious?

        Like

      42. Because you’re either fallaciously using the phrase “prime mover” to mean nature, or you have just admitted that the god of the Prime Mover argument is nothing but nature. Your pick.

        Liked by 1 person

      43. Read it again.
        The Prime Mover is natural or something else.
        That is a perfectly rational statement.
        You asked me to acknowledge it and I did. Why are you still unhappy?

        Like

      44. Because you have just changed the definition of Prime Mover. But like I said before, if you want to use Aquinas to prove your god doesn’t exist, that’s on you.

        Liked by 1 person

      45. I changed no definitions.
        I repeated your own thesis back to you.
        There are no fallacies.
        If you want to reference Aquinas to prove that nature doesn’t explain itself, that’s on you.

        Like

      46. So now your lying ass is going to tell me that Aquinas’ Prime Mover argument concluded that god wasn’t needed?

        Liked by 1 person

      47. If you’re going to keep calling me a liar, I’m going to quit talking to you. It’s rude. I haven’t been disrespectful to you.

        Like

      48. You’ve been absolutely disrespectful and deceitful. You have continually changed the definitions of evidence, proof, conclusions, nature, and the Prime Mover to suit your needs. In doing so, I have yet again caught you in a lie. That’s twice. Once again, John, you have been outed as a charlatan. You know not what you speak of, you make it up as you go. Charlatan.

        Liked by 1 person

      49. What you’ve witnessed, Spartan, is JB chasing his own tail – he’s an expert at it. At first, it’s entertaining. Then it just gets wearisome. He never tires of it, though! 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

      50. I never tire of calling out his logical inconsistencies!

        Liked by 1 person

      51. Awww TSA … be gracious. He’s simply following the example set before him on another blog!

        Liked by 2 people

      52. Let us assume the prime mover\God did zap the universe, the world and human life into existence. What now? What has this almighty entity done since then? Nothing, absolutely nothing. Wars, murders, rapes, paedophiles still claim victims, Christians are being murdered in thousands by Muslim terrorists, natural disasters are wiping out communities, cancer and disease is claiming thousands, so where does your hand of God fit into all this?

        Ok, let’s believe that maybe God knows all about it and causes everything to happen. All Christians praise the Lord if one person survives where many died in some disaster or they all thank God for uncle Joe’s miraculous recovery from cancer where it just happens on the same day and on every single day that nearly 17,000 children under 5 years of age die from starvation but absolutely ignore this fact?

        Why do you believe this drivel, how can you defend this God with a straight face, why can you not see the illogical and the ludicrous in this faith or in fact the stupidity when you defend your God with “Gods plan” or similar excuse? This is how the Muslim faith is defended, so much the same God as yours.

        Wake up, ditch the indoctrination, your God is only in command of your humble Christian minds.

        Liked by 2 people

      53. No not conjecture just fantasy. Why? Because not any scientific field has identified anything, not even a bolt of lightning created by any spiritual beings or found evidence of Biblical claims, miracles, prayers, heaven or hell. All these things are based on nothing we can actually see, hear or feel (unless you are indoctrinated just as you are) and absolutely nothing points to any gods ever existing at any time in the past, present or future.

        Therefore, the natural human standard logical brain will kick in and tell us there is no creator until we find some actual evidence of a creator. Is that not simple enough to understand?

        Liked by 3 people

      54. “Therefore, the natural human standard logical brain will kick in and tell us there is no creator until we find some actual evidence of a creator. Is that not simple enough to understand?”

        Yep. I understand completely.
        Logically, nature explains itself.

        Like

      55. Why can’t matter/energy simply always have been? Again why the strawman of saying that we went from a state of not being to being. I mean if God has always been is a sufficient answer for you, why is it a problem that there was always something in the universe a problem?

        Coincidentally I know of not a single thing that was created by a supreme being. If you have some evidence that demonstrates this, you should publish a paper.

        Spartan made no such claim. The prime mover arguments is logically falsifiable, and lacks evidence to support it. Seems pretty simple.

        Liked by 2 people

      56. “Why can’t matter/energy simply always have been?”
        That’s what people thought right up until the Big Bang theory was suggested. You’ll have to talk to a physicist about this.

        “…The prime mover arguments is logically falsifiable, and lacks evidence to support it.”
        I’m trying to get Spartan to tell me if he believes Chickens exist and where they come from. He is refusing to do that for some reason. I have my suspicions but I can’t say for certain.

        Do you believe chickens exist? If you do, where do they come from?

        Like

      57. That’s what people thought right up until the Big Bang theory was suggested. You’ll have to talk to a physicist about this.

        Well it’s more complicated than that. Maybe you should talk to the physicists. There has been some research that the big bang, and the idea that the universe always existed are not incompatible. However even if that were the case you are thinking of time linearly. Time didn’t begin until the universe began, so there was no before. Something didn’t have to arise out of nothingness. That’s what people thought right up until the Big Bang theory was suggested.

        http://earthsky.org/space/what-if-the-universe-had-no-beginning

        Also chickens came from other chickens. No belief in chickens is necessary. We can watch them lay eggs and see the whole gestation and birth process. Seems like a silly question. We have proof for the cause and the effect. Let me know when you have proof of God.

        Liked by 1 person

      58. “Also chickens came from other chickens. No belief in chickens is necessary. We can watch them lay eggs and see the whole gestation and birth process. ”
        Great! That wasn’t so hard, was it?
        Can you tell me which came first, the egg or the chicken? Or do you think chickens have simply existed for eternity?

        Like

      59. No I don’t think chickens existed for eternity. They evolved. Of course the existence of life is not the same as the entirety of the universe. There is no reason to believe that the ingredients needed to make chickens haven’t always existed. There is no reason to believe that the existence of life isn’t a natural process albeit rare. Your reasoning here still doesn’t support the prime mover argument.

        Like

      60. “No I don’t think chickens existed for eternity. They evolved.”
        So which ‘evolved’ first?
        Put another way, do you believe in a ‘Prime Egg’ or a ‘Prime Chicken’?
        I’m not going to hold you to either answer because it’s impossible to know for certain. The point is that it is logical to say at some point in the past, there was either a chicken or an egg that doesn’t fit neatly into the causal chain.

        Like

      61. I don’t see what your argument proves? It’s imprecise insofar as describing how evolution works and it’s still doesn’t preclude a universe that has always existed, nor does it require there to be a divine omipotent and omniscient being as some prime mover. Why should chicken and eggs help us understand anything about the nature of the universe given what a small portion of the universe it represents? Why should a lack of a neat chain mean the supernatural is involved?

        In addition to ignoring the many arguments put to you, composition fallacies and moving the goalposts you continue to try to hammer a square peg into a round hole. Using bad logic to confirm your own view of the universe will never work. In the end there is no evidence of God without redefining what evidence means or using logical fallacies. The prime mover argument is simply flawed and without evidence regardless of whether you want to accept it.

        Liked by 1 person

      62. “I don’t see what your argument proves?”
        It doesn’t prove anything.
        As I told Spartan, we all believe what we choose to believe.

        “Why should chicken and eggs help us understand anything about the nature of the universe given what a small portion of the universe it represents?”
        Indeed. Why should particular aspect of the universe help us understand anything about the universe as a whole?

        “Why should a lack of a neat chain mean the supernatural is involved?”
        Why should a lack of a neat causal chain help us understand anything about the nature of the universe? Why should we care about mysteries at all?

        “The prime mover argument is simply flawed and without evidence regardless of whether you want to accept it.”
        The prime mover argument is logically sound and derived from evidence found in nature whether you want to accept it or not.

        Like

      63. Swarn, John just changed the definition of Prime Mover, and inadvertently proved his god isn’t needed. That’s kinda what happens when you lie all the time, those lies eventually don’t match up.

        Liked by 2 people

      64. Well I can definitely agree that his god isn’t needed. Lol

        Liked by 1 person

  4. @ Branyan

    Do you agree that noticing stuff moving is evidence that something is causing stuff to move?

    Is it? How do you know?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Excellent post. Extremely well thought out and argued.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. you did well to back out of that spiral. He does that, you know, and you end up trying to chew your own ear off…
        beautifully articulated, btw. thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks, I appreciate it! Part of getting the word out is showing how illogical they can be.

        Like

  6. It is actually difficult to fathom why Branyan and his ilk bother.
    Either he does not have the intellectual capacity to grasp even the most basic take down of his presuppositional bullshit, or he is simply a liar.
    In fact, even if he were prepared to make an effort to at least try to understand and be marginally open to reason instead of purposely being the asinine, condescending fuckwit that has become the hallmark of his blogging career it would, in the end, be pointless.
    As his god will not feature in any scenario other than the one he is indoctrinated into he will reject every proposition that does not have Yahweh/Jesus as the foundational block.

    There is a YEC – I forgot who – (Dawkins referenced him in one of his lectures) who stated that even if everything he believed about the bible was proved to be false he would still reject the evidence and believe in god.

    Mel Wild suggested something similar, and Branyan is very much in this vein.

    People like this are borderline psychotic, and as there is some documented mental illness in Branyan’s family his commentary technique here, and across numerous blogs would suggest he may also be a sufferer.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. What I see here … and also on the “other” blog … is a refusal to admit to anything that doesn’t “agree” with whatever has been put forth. Plus, the words and phrases used in response are so convoluted, one almost has to go back to the beginning and read everything again just to get a grasp of the original discussion point.

      When people can’t converse in common, everyday language, it does make one wonder why …

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Thanks Ark and Nan. As You pointed out, Ark, he doesn’t seem to care to understand my article. I twice corrected him for very basic stuff that I covered. He clearly has an agenda, not an interest.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Spot on. I did try this approach on Mel in his last post:

        Deduction is based on information at hand (around us), so your dismissal of contemporary data that drastically alters the fundamentals of those deductive tools is the height of intellectual (and personal) dishonesty. After all, is not the cosmological argument based entirely on how we see physical causation? If our understanding of causation (and the world in general) has changed, and changed dramatically, then you are simply being thoroughly and knowingly dishonest by presenting a ludicrously obsolete medieval understanding of cause and effect (and the world in general).

        Tantrums don’t change that fact, I’m afraid. In fact, your tantrums (completely ineffective on me) appear to be nothing but an attempt to gaslight your less-informed readers.

        That’s a horrible thing to do.

        If you wanted to be honest about this whole subject, then make a genuine attempt to update the arguments, especially your favourite: the cosmological argument. Don’t just present a medieval understanding of reality and hope no one questions it. Bring it into the 21st Century. Be open about the fact that the medieval understanding of time, matter, and chain causation simply no-longer apply, and be forthright about how that presents serious problems to the arguments coherency.

        Liked by 5 people

      3. Key words … medieval understanding. That’s exactly what it is. Repeated quotes from the EARLY (centuries ago) church fathers and philosophers. As if modern discoveries and information have absolutely no validity … simply because they might (and often do) dispute the idea of a supernatural being having a role in creation.

        Liked by 6 people

      4. Well, after a tsunami of hand-waves and stubborn refusal to address the actual world, I have also said to him:

        Enjoy the 13th Century, Mel. Be careful of dysentery and bubonic plague. The people around you believe they’re both caused by demons.

        🙂

        Liked by 5 people

  7. If you read the last post at Mel’s, the very first comment Gary rejectt the post’s assumptions and asks Mel to provide evidence that Jesus was the Creator.
    Branyan leapt in diverted and derailed the thread which then went into a tail spin for around fifty comments before Gary came back on line and asked the question again – and it was immediately deflected once more!

    And as you see, Branyan does the same thing here.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. It feels deliberate. Like two people intentionally closing their eyes and refusing to acknowledge the goat on the roof, just to get everyone’s blood pressure up. It seems childish, more than anything else. You can almost hear the snickers.

      Liked by 3 people

  8. I agree Judy. It does seem childish. But then, so many of the bloggers worship their god with child-like wonder and intensity that I’d assert that it is childish.
    Excellent post, Spartan. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Yes, I like this post, evidence of god for the faithful is the voice inside their indoctrinated heads.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed! See my post on faith as well. Please follow me!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. The core of any argument that involves the invisible deity (no matter which one), is pretty basic. I believe, therefore it exists. It exists, and that is why I believe in it. It’s a Moebius loop with a Bible attached for versimilitude.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I would characterize the core of any atheist argument as “I do not believe, therefore God does not exist”? Essentially it’s a Moebius loop with nothing attached for verisimilitude.
      Would that be fair?

      Like

      1. I’ll let Judyt54 answer as well, but no, John. Not at all. I have not yet met an atheist that isn’t willing to consider the evidence. Many atheists DID go looking for evidence, trying to support their childhood beliefs. But we’ve found none. And you have none.

        Liked by 2 people

  11. It’s exactly as Judy contends. “I believe, therefore (a) god exists” is right where JB is coming from. He knows it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Carmen,
      You have completely misrepresented my position.
      Do you give a shit about that or not?

      Like

      1. Do you give a shit about the truth, JB?

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Yes.
        That’s what I asked you.

        Like

      3. Now JB you know I’m not one bit interested in witnessing today’s game of Branyan chase-the-tail. As I’ve repeatedly told you, you’re too smart for this.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. So is that a yes or no in regard to caring about truth?
        You fire off a statement about what I believe then accuse me of chasing my tail. I’m happy to discuss truth. I’m not one bit interested in watching Carmen distort it. I’m too smart for that.

        Like

      5. You just cannot resist that tail of yours, can you JB? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      6. You just cannot admit that you don’t care about truth, can you Carmen? 😊

        Like

  12. And you cannot just admit that your argument or lack of is flawed

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, not if you don’t point a flaw out. But I’m open to whatever you have.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s just it, Spartan. JB’s got nothin’. (Well, except a vivid imagination)

        Liked by 2 people

      2. You just can’t quit me, can you Carmen?
        The vivid imagination belongs to the one who assumes she has truth while never scrutinizing her beliefs.

        Like

      3. And Pot calls the Kettle …

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Great line, Nan! I think that’s the third time you’ve launched it into a discussion I was having with someone else. It’s a little stale. You should call up your grandmother and get some other thoughtless cliches for next time you dive bomb a conversation.

        Like

      5. Oh JB … you make me laugh! Of course it’s not like YOU ever “dive bomb” conversations on Mel’s blog … right?

        But not to worry … I won’t “interrupt” your heavy duty discussion with Carmen, except to say you’re on the losing side.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Oh Nan…you make me laugh!
        You blocked my comments at your blog so you need to “dive bomb” me in other spaces.

        I’m not worried about anything you decide to do. You’re a coward. I’d love to hear your explanation of how I’m on the “losing side” but you, like Carmen, will not support your statements.

        Like

      7. To others following on this thread: Both Nan and myself have been involved in JB’s chase-the-tail exercises in the past; we’ve both been enlightened — there’s no such thing as having a grown-up conversation with him. Oh, and then he reverts to his tried and true ‘rebuttals’. (Just for your info). He further explores the topic on his blog – if he’s really pissed off he dedicates a blog post just. for. you. – and then proceeds to malign said person’s character because, as everyone knows, that’s what insecure men do when they cannot explain themselves in a sensible manner – they revert to ad hominem.
        Quit your snivelling, JB, it’s childish.

        Liked by 3 people

      8. To others following on this thread: Carmen is absolutely correct about everything she says about me.
        I have a four-foot tail which is just long enough to be visible in my peripheral vision and I spend several hours a day spinning toward it to try and catch a fuller glimpse. I never learn.

        I’m horribly insecure about it and I can’t explain why (in a sensible manner) so I get angry and malign people. Not just any people, though. Good-natured, atheist people who have been nothing but kind to me. People like Carmen, who has always tried to understand my point of view and assume the very best about me.

        Since none of these kind-hearted heathen are interested in talking about evidence anymore, I’ll slink back under my rock and snivel for awhile.

        Like

      9. FINALLY! A moment of honesty!

        Liked by 2 people

      10. I’m always honest.
        You’re a coward.

        Like

      11. Even I (vixen that I am) have to admit that was a great reply, JB. My laugh for this Sunday morning. . . 🙂

        Like

      12. Ummm. ..my comment at 7:04 should have been a response to JB’s 6:28 comment. . .

        Like

      13. Matthew, 6:28 “And thou shalt soaketh thy head in brine water until it becomes soft to the touch and dance naked in a snow bank for I do love thee.”

        Liked by 3 people

      14. I was actually talking about almighty John Branyan

        Like

      15. I was actually talking about almighty John Branyan

        Liked by 1 person

      16. And now JB is holding “hostage” the “one” argument that could “destroy the faith.” Like there’s only one. I can rattle of dozens of arguments that demonstrate how silly Christianity is, it’s so hard to choose.

        Liked by 1 person

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