Sunday, September 19, 2010

Open thread on show #675

Okay kids, here's the fight cage for today's show. No time tonight, but Monday at some point I will post my email conversation with Troy, so you can see what led up to today's final call. Enjoy.

Oh yeah...arrrrrrrrrrrr!


  1. my eyes glazed over :(

  2. He started with 'I believe that something can't come from nothing' and then a few minutes later he changed this to 'we know that the universe didn't come from nothing'.

    You were right to call the other fallacies, but this bit of equivocation is not only fallacious for equating his belief with truth but also equating his simplistic 'nothing' with what physicists mean by 'nothing'.

    The next time someone starts with 'I believe that something can't come from nothing', I'm going to just stop them and ask them if they "know" that something can't come from nothing...and what they mean by it...and everything else that will avoid this particular fallacy.

    GREAT job, though...getting him to admit that he sees no problem at all with claiming that something is true simply because someone else can't prove it wrong or provide a better explanation.

    When you guys called him out for going from the abstract concept of a first cause and leaping - with NO justification - to a Biblical god and Jesus...I almost fell out of my chair when he tried to claim that was a valid.

  3. I would also point out what they really mean is "except when god makes something from nothing, which is perfectly reasonable".

    They will listen to a detailed account of known physics and cosmology. With a completely straight face they will then outsmart you by saying it makes no sense, because "something can not come from nothing. Everyone knows that" Then, with no apparent irony, "so the only other possibility is that god (who came from nothing or didn't need to) created everything (out of nothing)". It is a failure in listening, comprehending, and reasoning built upon a solid foundation of fallacy. So much is wrong in this little statement that it's difficult to confront. It's like a two sentence Gish gallop.

  4. As I wait in anticipation of this e-mail transcrypt, I'll post my 2 cents. I assume that most fans of the show are aware that when a caller's evidence is; "(a) is impossible... and (b) is simply silly to believe... therefore (c) is the only option left, and by the way (c) also proves Jesus was right when he said...." he's in for a world of hurt!!! But then I ask myself, does this show exist to affirm what freethinkers already know? Or is it to raise the awareness of believers on how far they are prepaired to push their point, regardless of the countless flaws in their argument. I agree with Matt's post, this conversation could have been squashed from the getgo!! ( do you know (a) is impossible?...who cares if YOU think (b) is silly!..ect) But lets face it, THESE are the types of arguments that makes this show so FREEKIN AWESOME! Right? Maybe it's a little optomistic to take such a caller with 10mins left, and then get upset when he doesn't see your point. Martin did GREAT, but what did he expect? Besides, it's not at all for the caller's benefit that you create such a discussion, they seldome call in with an open mind, but the viewers listen with one!! It makes me wonder if the topic of "having a discussion in a specific frame in order to get through someone's thik skull" on the "non-prophets 4.14 episode" has some truth to it, i think it does.

  5. Here's a third cent for Matt. I've heard you use the analagy of ;"back in the days when everyone "knew" the world was flat (huge argument from ignorance but accepted thruth that no one could prove otherwise), yet some "nutjob" claimed "no! I think it's round!" (for the sake of agrument, let's say it was an "educated" guess, not a lucky one) Of course we agree that the burden of proof lies on the first guys and not on the second, but lets face it, the ;"we're not buying what your selling speech doesn't at all help the suckers who's already bought (and invested everything) into the bullshit. I guess what i'm trying to say is, this show is way past "we're not buying!!!" it can actually show people why "they shouldn't buy" AND what great things they can do with the extra money if they didn't "waist it on buying" (pardon the metaphores). I understand that the burden of proof doesn't lie on us but... doesn't knowing the truth, knowing "the earth is round", obligates us to go one step further?

  6. My apology for spaming the blog, maybe I should be e-mailing these comments directly to the e-mail adress. To make a long story short, I began watching this show over a year ago, totally convinced in my mind that my "sound christian beliefs" couldn't be "turned" by athiest logical arguments. But you grinded me down, and supprisigly, the day came where I could no longer logically support my beliefs. The turning point was during a few months ago during a show, when Matt and Don hosted and Don identified the "reacuring" fallacies in apologetic arguments and Matt (wisely) decided that he would no longer waist time on callers unless they first answered this question correctly; "Is it important to you that what you beliefs are true?" Holy f!@@#@#@#$en sh%t!! Did that ever hit me like a tone of bricks!! If "yes"..lets talk, if "no"... goodbye!! (and rightly so). I guess what I'm saying is.. after that show, there seemed to be a lack of interesting callers, almost like you guys set the bar too high, lol ("the truth?? like...who gives a crap about that?" seemed to be going through caller's minds). (that question should be asked more often cause the answer would give a heads up to your listners). So I'll get to the point... For the sake of "HAVING" a conversation, should we eliminate this constent unecessary(repeditivness) "laying of the ground rules of discution", before the discution even begins? (i know some things must be defraged in the beginning but who are we kidding, the beliver won't continue if none of his flawed premisses are accepted). As a solution, I simply suggest the caller to replace word like; "I belive, we all know, it's impossible that, unreasonable that...ect with; "LETS ASUME!!!" and then continue. Of caurse if the point trying to be made IS the assumption, then lets discuss "that point", but if "the point" is further down the line, isn'tb "let's assume" a smooth way to get to the point (of course if "too much is assumed" were going up sh!t creek without a paddle, but the athiest will not be to blame in the end) Am I the only one that thinks that "THIS", along with "is it important for you that what you believe be true" be the 2 main premisses that any argument on the show be structured on? Not that I see anything wrong with the current "dotting the i and crossing the t" before putting the gloves on is wrong, but what does that really do? Your fans already know you are experts in the art of arguing, seeing you do this prepares them for what they already know is coming(useless), but to the intriged believer, to watch you put on a helmet and gloves before the fight, gives the impression that you know you're outmatched and are simply looking to soften blows. But in truth, it is the caller who came to the fight unequiped, yet "WE" lose cause our prizefighters have enough experience to equip themselves. Sorry to get off track, the point was; New Rule! if callers excpect to discuss point (c) they must replace "We all know (a)" with "lets assume (a)"!! (unless of course they want to get dirty and discuss (a)... if they do, they already lost!).
    Sorry for the lengthy comments, but discussing this on the show would take me forever!!
    Keep up the good work, I'm living proof that this show doesn't fall on deaf ears!!

  7. It is also a confirmation bias: "I take what confirms my beliefs, and reject what could infirm them".

    Your caller dismissed the simple fact that if his religious explanation is true because there is no scientific explanation (or since he prefers to dismiss them), then any other religious explanation can be true (the "sneezed universe" hypothesis).

    Here is a small test I looove to take as example of the confirmation bias.

    Here is a list of numbers following a law: (2,4,6). To discover the law, you can give me other examples of lists you think match the law, but keep the law secret : I'll only tell you whether the list are correct or not. After 3 correct attempts, you'll give me your guess about the law, and I'll tell you whether you're right.

    I made this test several times, mostly on my workmates (I'm a research engineer, working on logical people). In all cases, the lists were : (4,6,8), (10,12,14), etc. and the guess for the law was "even numbers" ...

    In fact, the law is: "any succession of 3 numbers", but NO ONE (in my experience) has ever dared try a list that would not match the law one guessed.

    By the way, we're monday (at least here in France) ... so, Martin ?

    Great job, I wait eagerly Monday mornings when I can listen to the show. And, by the way, listening to the show greatly (I hope) enhanced my understanding of spoken English.

  8. This comic explains most conversations with people like that

  9. By the way guys, if you were interested in the conversation with the apologist, you might like to know he's basically having a solo conversation with himself over at his Biblocality forum in this thread. If you wish to add a little more depth to the conversation, feel free to go over and try to register. Be sure and let us know if you they refuse to let you register, but please don't lie about who you are just to sneak your way in.

  10. What's eternally stupid about this argument? Many things, but the one that springs to mind for me is that ridiculous presumption that if the universe had a beginning then automatically means that some sort of super-intelligence "made" it. Sorry, that doesn't follow, as much as Troy wants it to.

    What Troy in his ignorance is forgetting, is that even if the universe "began" and had a "cause" in the traditional sense of what those words mean, we have ZERO reason to simply presume that cause is what Troy says it is. He's just making shit up and pretending it's established fact and/or impeccable logic. It's not.

    Cause-and-effect is a property of the universe, and there's no reason to assume that cause-and-effect exists "outside" or "beyond" or "before" the universe, if those words even have any meaning in this context - which they might not. It's like saying gravity exists inside the universe, so it must exist outside it, too. Wrong.

    Troy's doing what most people of his ilk do, which is taking an area in which many things are counter-intuitive, and about which the greatest minds on earth know practically nothing, and pretending he knows an incredible amount about it based on...uh, believing the bible and thinking William Lane Craig is some kind of brilliant mind.

    Underwhelming, to say the least.

  11. I personally enjoyed the conversation with "failure of imagination man." I personally would not be able to engage with him without continually mocking his "something from nothing" premise or his "eternity of time" premise. Not to mention his giant leap from there to Bible god.

  12. Thanks for the link to the discussion, but it's as hard to read as he was hard to listen to on the show!

    One question I'd ask him is how come he doesn't have to posit any "plausible naturalistic explanation for the origin of the disciples' beliefs" of any other religion? Especially an explanation that cannot be applied to chrsitian disciples.

  13. If I've learned anything from talking to theists like Troy and other woo-peddlers is that you point out logical fallacies to them morning, noon, and night and they just don't care.

    To them, fallacies don't exist and explaining to them why their argument is flawed is an exercise in futility. It's all about what rhetorically sounds good. In a world where most members of the human species are too stupid to wipe their arse, sounding good is all that matters.

  14. Ok this pisses me off.

    Why do people presume Something cannot come from nothing?

    We live in a universe of something, we have NEVER observed a true nothing. Since we've never seen it, never observed it and never qualified nothing's qualities how can we just say by fiat that it cannot create ex nihlo.

    My claim is that nothing has no qualities. It is without cause and effect restrictions, therefore it is free to inevitably after enough time spontaneously create something...if that something has a quality of preservation of cause and effect in place then it can't go back to nothing and you are stuck moving forward with something. In order to claim that ex nihlo is invalid they are insisting that you have a state of nothing that STILL has qualities of our universe (cause and effect). This just seems logically invalid to me.

    The other thing is infinity. The ten base number line is infinite in 2 directions...and yet EVERY point on it exists and can be quantified and expressed, despite there being no true origin. If you start counting any direction and any point of reference to number (+/-)5000089259 you will get to it despite that there is an infinite sequence beyond it and behind it. Claiming infinity means nothing can happen due to infinite time is infantile. It's a zeno's paradox redressed since you're just replacing distance with time.

  15. And why are people unable to accept an infinite time line for the universe but not God? Wouldn't the same problem of "never getting to now due to infinite time" come into effect there and prevent God from ever getting around to making the universe?

  16. Hi guys, loved your show as always and shared your frustration with the biblocality guy.

    Can I just point out a wee flaw in something Russell said regarding the Pope's visit. Its not really correct to say the Pope visited England and then go on to mention his time in Edinburgh, you should really say the UK (or Great Britain if you prefer).

    He toured through Edinburgh and did an open air mass in Glasgow; cities which are in England in the same way that Austin is in New Jersey. :)

    I know it sounds petty but i hate to hear otherwise sensible guys make such a common mistake.

    Cheers, and keep up the excellent work.

  17. If I had to sum up the core essence of any atheist/theist debate in, like, 20 words or less it'd be something like:

    Theist: I believe god X exists/walked the earth as Jesus/created P,Q,R....

    Atheist: Evidence for your claim, please?

    I think this throws theists harder than any other aspect of the debate. There's just something about not accepting the claims to start with that makes the software in their brains simply lock up.

    And it would also seem to me that this long predates even this call into the show; instead, it has gone on with theists ever since the scientific revolution where the terms "belief" and "knowledge" were finally clarified.

    I'd say the caller had already been been pre-thrown before he even rang the show, mostly likely long before by Martin in the email exchange.

    So I'm with Matt on this one - this tired old thing short-circuits right away with "I believe something can't come from nothing".

    The questions (already) at that point are:
    - do you just believe this or do you know it?
    - if you know this to be true, how do you know it?


    Great call, tho it's tough to argue with someone who just keeps talking during your rebuttals....


  18. FYI, I managed to sign up for Biblocality; membership does not appear to be moderated, but is available by automatic email verification after you answer an amusing series of quiz questions about your Biblical beliefs.

  19. "Can I just point out a wee flaw in something Russell said regarding the Pope's visit. Its not really correct to say the Pope visited England and then go on to mention his time in Edinburgh, you should really say the UK (or Great Britain if you prefer)."

    Sure, Edinburgh is in Scotland not England. But on the plus side, hearing Russell attempt to pronounce Holy-rood and Eee-din-burg made my day.

    We love you Russ, it's not your fault British place names don't have sensible spelling.

    For bonus points try Loughborough, Greenwich and Salisbury. It's ok all of those are actually in England, you're safe ;-)

  20. From his thread, the guy is clearly not worth responding to.

    The amount of work he seems to put in to being inconsistent in a way to support his existing beliefs is amazing.

    He even thinks he won the debate on TAE & in the next post goes on to try & use arguments he dismissed as invalid when used against him, not seeing the hypocrisy.

    People like this obviously aren't interested in anything but continuing their delusion.

  21. Hey, I DO know how to pronounce "Grenitch", and we have a dish often available in fine school cafeterias and microwave dinners called Salisbury (solz-bree) steak, so that's actually pretty common.

    As for Loughborough, I don't know that one but for comedy's sake I would go with "low brow."

  22. For anyone interested, here is a video of Lawrence Krauss explaing how something indeed comes from nothing, just as Hawking states in his recent book.

    'A Universe From Nothing' by Lawrence Krauss, AAI 2009

  23. "People like this obviously aren't interested in anything but continuing their delusion."

    Yeah I read a little bit of the thread on Biblocality a little bit ago and it's pretty much a dry hole of mental onanism for the believers.

    For instance, he doesn't even know the basics of the atheist position. Martin corrected him on this at one point but he simply declared "of course it's an idiology. Therefore....". Pretty much a fatality right off the bat.

    I encountered the same thing in another online debate where the theists didn't accept correction on what the atheist position actually was. Even after pointing them to Austin Cline's blog which abounds in clear definitions of our position, one guy came right back with "you're one of the best advocates for your belief system I've seen in a while....". I of course didn't take that as much of a compliment at the time since my attempt to clarify the term atheism had clearly failed.

    Until I discovered that this is more of a staw-man tactic than a mere intellectual opacity - that seems to be what this guy is doing too.....

    That's the true character of the whole theism/atheism debate if you ask me - only one side seems to be concerned about what's true and going to the effort to make those discoveries. The other seems content to rehearse their own fantasies and little else.

    Kind of sad, really....


  24. I was happy with the way you guys handled the collapsing wave physics guy. With so many of these cosmological type arguments people try to argue to the point of some vague consciousness and then they just arbitrarily slap the label god on it. A label that carries a lot of baggage and people need to be called out when they do that.

    As for the other caller... I am all 'first caused' out after the lengthy discussions with Jonathan in the other threads. Actually their arguments are so similar it almost seems like they are the same person. The only thing I'd say on this guy is when Russel asked him "Can something exist without being created?" and he said "Yes" I wished Russel would have asked him why the universe itself can't possess such a property.

    More interesting to me are people like Pat (Patty?) who just don't seem to understand that personal experiences for one person is not in any way shape or form evidence for anything for any other person. This is the fundamental principle behind science is that it is never, NEVER unique for any person. If it is truly scientific then whatever I sit down and do, you can sit down and do the exact same thing with the exact same results. This is the reason we can trust science and some people seem to need this point drilled into their heads.

  25. 1st cause apologetics are so lame.

    Its just a special pleading fallacy.

    Everything has a cause EXCEPT what I want to label god.


  26. Just a few remarks on the Biblocality thread. Troy said:

    "I almost forgot to mention Glasser and Wagner were disagreeing with each other. Wagner was still contending for no uncreated Creator while Glasser (an atheist) conceded the uncreated Creator."

    Man, that's a doozy of a misunderstanding. If I thought there was an uncreated creator, I would be a theist. It just goes to show that apologists hear what they want to hear.

    And really what do spectral analysis and the Salaam Witch trials that Glasser mentioned have to do with what we were talking about?. They must have been tired from arguing so long. I tried to get him off that tangent. You can't tell me the center of the truth of all things fall upon Salaam and spectral analysis.

    Since the guy cannot even SPELL "Salem," and cannot distinguish "spectral evidence" from "spectral analysis," I'm not surprised that he misunderstands the point, but it's still valid.

    Troy read a quote from Simon Greenleaf, whom he called "The most famous lawyer of the nineteenth century." (Incidentally, I've remarked on this tactic from apologists before. You can always tell that they are about to make a fallacious appeal to authority when they describe someone who is fairly obscure to most of us as "The most famous X of the nineteenth century" or "Unquestionably the greatest X who ever lived." Since fame and greatness are inherently subjective qualities, this claim is generally overblown at best and completely bogus at worst.)

    Anyway, Greenleaf was a lawyer and apologist with a strong influence on fellow lawyer-apologist Josh McDowell. He claimed that that the documentary standards of the Bible are so excellent that they would be solid evidence in a court of law. Which, of course, completely ignores hundreds of years of actual legal standards that were instituted after the Salem witch trials.

    Now Troy's Canadian, so I suppose we can excuse him from being aware of these trials (although I would have assumed they were a fairly famous episode of our history). However, neither Greenleaf nor McDowell have any such excuse. Basically, many women were condemned to execution as witches based on no more than the testimony of people who "witnessed" supernatural events in dreams or visions.

    Part of the reason the Salem witch trials ended was because the court finally decided that spectral evidence is inadmissible in court; i.e., you cannot take unprovable word of a person giving testimony to prove that some sort of supernatural or miraculous event has taken place.

    This is exactly what shows up all over the Bible, from Moses speaking all alone to the voice of God through a burning bush, through Paul's imaginary visit with the ghost of Jesus on the road to Damascus, to the raving lunacy of Revelations. NO court of law could claim such things as "evidence" for anything except the notion that some people sincerely believed this stuff. And for any lawyer to claim any of this as solid legal evidence means that he is either completely ignorant of this aspect of the law, or he is aware of it but deliberately misleading his audience.

  27. How is this for a proof?

    1) Something can not come from nothing.

    2) God is an "uncreated creator"

    3) An uncreated creator did not come from something, otherwise it would be a "created creator".

    4) By (1) God is not something.

    Therefore, god is nothing.

  28. I watched the Lawrence Kraus video, and I am in the middle of Stephen Hawking's book: "The Grand Design", and although I am cross-eyed trying to wrap my mind around this concept, I am starting to think that it IS possible for a universe to come from "nothing".

  29. I took a look at this website caller Troy mentioned, "Biblocality". Don't feel like going down the rabbit hole of their rather inactive forum (most threads are created by a dude named Churchwork with about 0-15 replies each).

    As far as I can make sense of it, Troy considers himself to be some kind of new apostle. Making lame apologist arguments for the existence of God doesn't strike me as something an apostle should bother with though. Personally I like my apostles proselytizing wrath-of-god-style, preaching hellfire and eternal damnation for the unrepentant.

    If, as Russel suggested, you want to join their forum you need to complete a questionnaire first. I think you can become an internet apostle yourself if you choose to answer every question with 'Yes' and there are still apostle slots open.

    So, yeah, that's apostle Troy. He's from the internet.

  30. One thing I'd like to highlight about Troy's ramblings is his use of infinity.
    I've heard this recently(probably mostly taken from William Lane Craig's arguments, that he probably himself borrowed from somewhere) by those who try to justify the existence of God with Logic.

    From what I know of infinity is that it is best analysed mathematically. Mainly due to when you apply logic to it, it creates all sorts of paradoxes. This in my view is because it both is & isn't a fixed value depending on what you are doing to it.

    Anyway claiming that something that is known to be paradoxical cannot have a certain property based on an application of logic to it is from my perspective unjustifiable.

    That is even before considering that he is applying infinity to time. Something that is known to be relative & very weird itself.

    I'm neither enough of a physicist or Mathematician to fully comprehend time & infinity. I do however have a passing interest(beyond my early level University classes in the subjects before I specialised in something else). I'd love to hear someone with a better understanding to make a debunking of William Lane Craig on this.

  31. I'll go to go out on a limb and try to interpret Troy's chain of reasoning:

    Once you've "disproven" the scientific evidence for first cause, you are left with the case presented by the Bible (of course he's ignoring other supernatural claims, such as the Great Green Arkleseizure or the Norse cow licking humans from a piece of ice, etc.). This is bolstered by the Simon Greenleaf quote which, as far as I can tell, is based on actual US law (and I'm getting this from wikipedia). The gist is that a document that's over 20 years old, in a condition consistent to be authentic and acquired from the proper location is assumed to be authentic.

    The problem, and again I'm going out on a limb, is that

    1) the standards of law aren't the same as the standards of science;

    2) the Bible doesn't even pass the "Ancient Documents" standard as being in a condition that "makes it free from suspicion concerning its authenticity".

    And here's the kicker; according to the Federal Rules of Evidence, (I'm quoting the wikipedia article) "By admitting an ancient document into evidence, it is presumed only that the document is what it purports to be, but there are no presumptions about the truth of the document's contents. A jury can still decide that the author of the document was lying or mistaken when the author wrote it."

    Case closed.

  32. Just to clarify my previous post(Which seems to have not show up yet, but hope it worked).
    By weird I mean non-intuitive. Just couldn't think of the word earlier.

    So my point is, it's naive to make assertions containing Infinity, the universe & time like troy & William Lane Craig do. When they have very little understanding of any of them.

  33. OMG, Troy called?! That's hilarious. He used to use the same arguments on the Infidel Guy forums and got banned repeatedly for spamming and sockpuppeting.

    He had a "perfect proof of God" or something like that with a monetary reward. Basically, it worked like this: go to his forums and refute his (perfect) argument. If he doesn't ban you after three or four posts, you win!

    It really was perfect; nobody ever got the money! Imagine that!

  34. The new version of ITunes doesn't let me go back in the archives to download older episodes of the AE even when I click "show all availible episodes", it only goes back to March 2010.

    The archive on the main AE page doesn't go back beyond 2010 also.. Where can I download episodes from say, as far back as February 2009?

  35. How is this for a proof?

    1) Something can not come from nothing.

    2) God is an "uncreated creator"

    3) An uncreated creator did not come from something, otherwise it would be a "created creator".

    4) By (1) God is not something.

    Therefore, god is nothing.

    You forgot to apply 1) to 4), which gets you

    5) something cannot come from Gpd, let alone the universe.

  36. I did a video response to Marting Wagner in response to the last 10 minutes of show #675, hope you enjoy it.

  37. Got too much work today to enjoy Troy's little opus at the moment, but I'm sure the rest of you will have plenty of feedback to offer in the interim.

  38. Yes, I certainly am glad that Troy left the comments section open.

    What I am wondering, though, is this. Troy has already gotten several dozen comments worth of feedback to his show right here on this very post. Since he is clearly aware of the discussion, why doesn't he respond to what people are already saying to him, rather than talking to himself some more in a one-sided video?

  39. This comment has been removed by the author.

  40. Because Wagner has A) work and B) a life. He is well aware you want attention, but he will respond to your latest on his schedule, not yours. Perhaps this evening, assuming he isn't vacuuming the dog.

  41. Martin can, of course, answer on his own time. In the meantime, I'd love to hear your explanation of your confusion over the admissibility of spectral evidence in court, which I've pointed out right here.

  42. Troy's concept of "nothing" is elementary at best.

  43. You're missing the point. He could be doing a million things and it wouldn't matter, for if he doesn't deal with the issue before us which is the central issue of his very faith, the he is really just spinning his wheels and living a life towards Hell,

  44. Cute. That removed post there? That was Troy, wanting to know why I hadn't yet watched his latest video. I guess he thought it wasn't strong enough, and so wrote a second one (which I've ignored) where he did the Bill O'Reilly thing of suggesting I am avoiding him. Considering that all of the arguments I've seen from Troy up to this point have been thoroughly trivial to destroy (literally, they're just exercises in spot-the-fallacy), this is somewhat amusing, but not nearly so much as his assumption that no one should have anything on their schedule on a given day than to give him attention right when he demands it. And this is the guy who pontificates about humility. Heh.

    Anyway, Troy, yes, I'll watch your video when I can, and compose a very thorough response afterwards, which I'll post here. In the meantime, perhaps you could take the time to address the numerous comments made in this thread, in response to you. After all, it's best to follow the discussion to its conclusion instead of avoiding...don't you agree?

  45. First you have to show how this spectral evidence is relevant to our discussion that since nature can't always have existed and can't start up from nothing, therefore, we are left with the only option the uncreated Creator. As was already said group hallucinations are the matter at hand not individual hallucinations, visions, spectres, etc. Think about that.

  46. Unless you can find a naturalistic explanation for the universe and the origin of the disciples' beliefs, realize you are living a lie. This lie you live special pleads for a mysterious as yet undiscovered 4th option to the uncreated Creator, something from nothing and infinite regress, but that is just the argument from ignorance, false dichotomy and pretentious false humility as explained in the video. I am justing giving you the brass tax down to the nuts and bolts of what is going here...

  47. I'm now convinced Troy is worth about as much time as our old friend SoG...

  48. I have a feeling we're going to see history repeat and witness a razing of Troy.

    Seriously, though people like Troy tax me. I don't want to be the guy who just goes to "you're an idiot" but Troy gives things that rely on profound misunderstandings of science/math and logic that has been refuted a thousand times before and then generally acts like a smug twit. I mean we just went through this bull from John on the blog...are they reading off the same Craig script? What is the right way to respond to someone who is talking AT you not to you.

    Sigh, on that note; Troy, how does God avoid the Zeno Infinity causality problem?

  49. When I say "nothing that which does not exist" I mean "nothing that which does not exist". I don't mean obviously empty space that has still many particles in it. That should be obvious to our discussion.

    Furthermore, when all known possibilities are exhausted and you demand there is still some as yet unknown possibility, that is special pleading and false humility and in your own delusional self actually are committing the the fallacy from ignorance and false dilemma. You really are. I can see that's what you are doing. The evidence is in, nature can't always have existed, someting in nature can't come from nothing, so therefore the natural is not the answer but the supernatural. Everyone intuitively knows this, but not everyone subjects themself to it. Free will is a bitch!

  50. @Troy

    To give Martin a break

    Spectral evidence means the bible cannot be used to prove the bible as it relies on phantasmagorical revelation which is unverifiable. The point was that even with a first cause you can't jump to Jebus by using the bible to justify it.

    Also as it's explained, we dont' NEED a naturalistic explanation, because a lack of one does not make "any bullshit" valid without evidence. I don't even buy you're first caused thing because it's self contradictory, which people have explained to you why, and because you're commenting with smug certainty on states which are by definition you have never observed.

    Again, WHY can't something be generated from a true nothing. With no time or cause and effect, there would be no causality and thus nothing preventing such an event.

  51. It is important to believe in the truth because it has consequences. What is the truth? The truth is that which is evidenced. What is evidenced? That nature can't always have existed, nor start up from nothing, since that which doesn't exist can't cause anything, and infinite regress is mathematically screwed up because of Hilbert's hotel and because if you had an eternity you would have happened already as well as not have have happened because there was an eternity going on before you came to be. The contradictions of infinite regress are clear evidence infinite regress is a lie and morally bankrupt. Therefore, the uncreated Creator exists; it is not as if there is a 4th option. Holding out for a 4th option is obnoxious since if there was still one last thing you didn't know in hopes to prove God does not exist, despite the evidence already gathered, you are effectively claiming you have to be God to know if God exists, thus admitting yourself into Hell, because only God could be God. You never could be. Get over yourself. The only question then becomes who the uncreated Creator is. Obviously it is God of the Bible because the multiple attestation of seeing Jesus alive from the dead in various group settings. Since all naturalistic possibilites are impossible, it must be true the Jesus is God and salvation is through Him, that there is other name under heaven by which one can be saved, so unless you confess Him truly and genuinely as your Lord and Savior, He will surely deny you before the Father in heaven, and you surely then will go to Hell. How sad for you if you remain this way. Free will is not really free if you don't have this choice.

  52. Troy WE know about the particles...YOU don't seem to get what we're saying.

    Also, please kindly refrain from making authoritative declarations in fields you are not studied in.

    In no way is "the jury in" on whether the natural world had to begin. The Big Bounce is still on the table last time I checked.

    Patience level=45% and dropping

  53. No, what you are giving us is a great deal of amusement at the magnitude of your ignorance and inability to argue your position. The part where you go through the list of all the logical fallacies you're making (in addition to making up one out of whole cloth -- "pretentious false humility" exists nowhere but in your bruised ego) and try to pin them on us? Yeah, that one's especially good, as it shows you couldn't even be bothered to Google the actual definitions of these fallacies to see if you were applying them properly. (Hint: you aren't. Special pleading doesn't mean what you think it does.)

    Your basic fallacy remains at the root of your whole position, and until you grasp that, you're never going to get out of the dugout, let alone to first base. To wit: "unless you have a naturalistic explanation, the only alternative is the Christian God." This is both the false dilemma and the argument from ignorance in a nutshell. Because it is rooted in fallacies, there really is no need to dissect it further. But I will.

    You're working on the false premise that if no naturalistic explanation for the universe exists RIGHT NOW, then it never will. In fact, some natural explanations for the universe's origins have been advanced, by Lawrence Krauss and Stephen Hawking. These may not be final proofs, but as hypotheses, they do a much better job than "an uncreated magic being" at adhering to Occam's Razor.

    So the very foundational premise of your whole position is just swimming in fail, Troy. I've explained all this to you, repeatedly, over several emails, but not only is it not sinking in, all you've responded with are defensive outbursts where you ineptly try to turn my criticisms back on me. That seems to me like you really aren't arguing in good faith, probably due to not knowing how to construct an argument in the first place. Or maybe I'm just having a hard time grasping your points because I'm blinded by your awesome humility.

  54. Also, since you are apparently having trouble following the arguments that you yourself put forth, I'm going to have to remind you why this came up.

    Yesterday you tried to prove that the Bible was correct by quoting Simon Greenleaf. I believe the direct quote was: "Every document apparently ancient coming from the proper repository or custody and bearing on its face no evident marks of forgery, the law presumes to be genuine and devolves on the opposing party the burden of proving it to be otherwise."

    I am presuming I have got the right quote since it is lifted directly off of a post of yours on Biblocality.

    So by citing this quote by a 19th century lawyer-apologist in defense of your argument, your point would be that the Bible would be regarded as true and accurate in a court of law. Am I understanding you correctly?

    Please stop jumping from one topic to the next; I would like you to actually address the point that you yourself raised before granting you permission to change the subject.

  55. What zeno causality problem? Apply it to our discussion. You and Wagner have a bad problem of alleging some fallacy or problem but never actually applying it?

  56. "I am justing giving you the brass tax down to the nuts and bolts of what is going here..."

    Ah if you can just hit that bullseye then the dominoes will fall like a house of cards....checkmate!

  57. Your fantasy life is that there must be a naturalistic explanation, but you have no basis for that since science tells us that any naturalistic explanation would be for infinite regress, but that has already been proven false, so now you just let your fantasy carry on and shut your minds down. Free will is not truly free if this choice is not afforded to you, but there are consequences including Hell.

  58. Christian scientists look for causes too, but they don't do it from the perspective of thinking there is no God, since God is already proven. Relying on God and His leading, we can better understand things and find those causes, avoiding pseudo-science, and put them into better perspective which is healthier. That's much better than searching for causes because you hate God. That's crazy.

  59. Oh, that's awesome. If God is already proven then I can't see why you're spinning your wheels so hard trying to prove it.

  60. Troy, I explained it. Learn to read

    You misunderstand infinity and claim you can't have eternal time because you would never GET to the present due to there being an infinite past. The problem is how you explain God getting around this problem...if your statement is right, God should never create anything as he'd never get around to it. This is an example of argumentum ab absurdum. I'm pointing out WHY your premise is wrong by showing in your language why it's invalid.

    And again you need to address the possibility of a ex nihlo universe, due to the reasons I AND others laid out

    1) There's no evidence precluding nothing making something
    2) There's no evidence that the universe is not eternal (big bounce and other models are still in consideration)
    3) A naturalistic explanation would be by definition the only scientific one...if a first cause was the answer then it would enter science AS the naturalistic explanation.

    You've threatened me with hell now, so my patience is really really low. I'm trying to be nice and not go into name calling, would it be too much to ask for you to also meet us halfway here and also try to be as civil?

  61. Watch the video on USTREAM or YouTube. Try to understand fallacy from ignorance, false dilemma and appeal to authority. All of these are committed by the atheist. The irony.

    Wake up!

  62. Why would anyone hate God enough to let it affect science? I disbelieve because a deity hasn't been found in science...why would I hate a discarded hypothesis?

  63. I don't feel like I am spinning my wheels, I am just repeating the very simple and basic proof that really all know intuitively. On the contrary you are spinning your wheels avoiding this very basic and simple proof. Your avoidance tells all. Christians have a motivation to tell you this truth, because we would not wish upon our worse enemy to go where you are going. You can't say the same.

  64. Troy, you really have to stop
    1)threatening people with hell
    2)insulting people
    3)misconstruing people's positions
    4)proclaiming authority in subjects beyond your expertise.

    in order to talk this over civilly.

    Now all of your points were addressed and you have yet to reply to a single point.

  65. What I have been telling you gives me strength too by the way. Since I don't know how to overturn the proof I have given you, that gives me strength, just as it gives me strength that you can't either. It's a Rock that can't be moved.

  66. What proof? THERE is no obvious proof you've shown. People have pointed out why the first cause doesn't fly. Stop ignoring it and address the responses.

  67. You have no naturalistic explanation. All naturalistic explanations depend on infinite regress. Since infinite regress is impossible, then atheism is a lie. Since atheism is a lie, theism is true: the uncreated Creator. Who is He? Well none can compare to Christ, since only in Christianity do we see proof of God by the multiple eyewitness testimony of the disciples in various group settings. The rest of the religions and their ethereal gods are just specters or unfounded assumptions. It's so simple, it's amazing how not everyone is saved, but free will allows for anyone to be delusional and go to Hell whosoever is willing.

  68. Someone needs to send a link of this to Plait.

    Here we have atheists trying to be nice and talk civilly..and a theist getting in people's faces screaming "WAKE UP!" and being a huge dick.

  69. I am sure it may feel like an insult that you are going to Hell, but since it is proven and I assure you it is not to insult you, but warn you, then clearly you are misprepresenting me, sinning bearing false witness. God hates that sin so much.

  70. Troy: It is important to believe in the truth because it has consequences. What is the truth? The truth is that which is evidenced.

    Ooooooooohhh, is that what truth is!? Gosh! How could I ever have missed that? see, here's the funny thing. When I asked you for evidence of this God of yours — you know, the one who gets to exist outside of time and nature, conveniently avoiding all the rules you tell us nature has to follow — you answered with this:

    You are asking some other questions like how does God do this? I don't know. I am not God. All I know is it would be necessary since no other option exists, and it is unreasonable to demand how God does things always since only God would know all things.

    And then, of course, you went on an endless cycle of repeating and repeating and repeating assertions, insisting that was the evidence, all of it interspersed with such monumental acts of projection I'm sure a psychologist could launch a whole career on you.

    I especially love all the petulant name calling, followed by requests for courtesy and kindness. Seems like ol' Troy needs to brush up on Matthew 7:5.

    Anyway, based upon the evidence of Troy's own words, I conclude scientifically that he is every bit as dishonest as he is ignorant and arrogant. I submit my findings for peer review.

  71. "What is evidenced? That nature can't always have existed, nor start up from nothing,... "

    Have to side with Martin, et. al. on this one.

    By what means have you arrived at this point of knowledge? Evidence, please.

    And BTW:

    "When I say 'nothing that which does not exist' I mean 'nothing that which does not exist'."

    Actually, "nothing that which does not exist" is not a grammatical sentence of English. So you'll have to clarify what you mean by this also. Alternative grammatical versions are:
    - nothing which does not exist
    - that which does not exist


  72. "Anyway, based upon the evidence of Troy's own words, I conclude scientifically that he is every bit as dishonest as he is ignorant and arrogant. I submit my findings for peer review."

    Well you and Russell already got him by the hairs you-know-where on the "something can't come from nothing" claim to knowledge already.

    He claims that this is a truth in evidence. I'd like to see what that evidence is before going further.


  73. You're misusing Matthew 7.5, for whatever sin I have obviously I don't have the sin of eternally separating myself from God. You do. I received what Jesus did for me. You didn't. Trust me any beam I have in my pales in comparison to the greatest sin ever committed rejecting your Creator. It is also illogical to use arguments from the Bible as though the Bible were true when you don't believe in the Bible. You're contradicting yourself, lol.

  74. am sure it may feel like an insult that you are going to Hell, but since it is proven"

    Um not it isn't. You keep using that word I do not think it means what you think it means.

  75. They clearly don't want to have a debate over there at Biblocality. It appears you have to believe a thousand silly things to register there.

    I just want to point out a few other possibilities for the existence of the universe besides the Christian god assuming (possibly incorrectly) that something really can't come from nothing:

    An eternal metaverse (omniverse) that this universe may have come from.


    Whatever mechanism is presented in Stephen Hawking's new book.

    The theist will say, "well the burden of proof is on you to prove these before they are viable alternatives to my unexplainable nonsense explanation."

    Retort: the reason you say atheists don't have a mechanism for the universe to be created is we are not going to state definitely we know something (make a claim) until we have good evidence for it.

    Finally, let's evaluate that particular theist claim that an eternal and unexplained deity created the universe and has revealed himself through the Bible. Well, the bible (especially the book of Genesis) makes very testable predictions about the world. These are predictions (even though they are about things that happened in our past) because they were made before people had the means to test them.

    World created in six days--false.
    Creatures appeared on Earth as it says in the Bible--false.
    The world was completely flooded at one point--false.
    The world was created 6,000 to 10,000 years ago (this is not explicitly stated like the others, but it was a prediction made based on the supposed word of God)--false.

    That is just the short list of false predictions, but they are damning enough to rule out that the God of Christianity is the only possibility.


  76. "Furthermore, when all known possibilities are exhausted and you demand there is still some as yet unknown possibility"

    Um, No. Buddy, it is called honesty. If I lived in the 5th century BC and was wondering what caused the moon to circle the earth and ruled out known possibilities given the limited scientific and technological abilities of the time and thus concluded "I don't know.", that would be the honest answer. If I said on the other hand, well I ruled out everything I know, therefore Osiris, the death-god must be causing it, that would be false and reckless.

    "What is evidenced? That nature can't always have existed, nor start up from nothing, since that which doesn't exist can't cause anything,"

    How is that evidenced? You are simply asserting it.

    And infinite regress is moronic. Did your god always exist? If it did then you have not solved the problem of infinite regress. If it did not then where did god come from? Now, take any explanation you have for the coming into existence of your god and simply apply it to the universe without a god. Works just the same.

    "since God is already proven"

    Since when?

    But I am wasting my time, not to be rude, but Troy, you are obviously not interested in arguing in good faith since you fail to address any point that is brought up. It is clear that we would have a more meaningful conversation discussing the merits of Humes is/ought chasm with polar bears than discussing logic with you.

  77. When I went to post my comments I left here, at their site it said this:

    Sorry. The administrator has banned your IP address. To contact the administrator click here.

    Also, I added this to my comment:

    Finally, at one point a theist would have claimed that the sun moves around the Earth on God’s power because clearly the sun can’t move itself and, therefore, it must be a God that moves the sun—it is the only explanation—but they would have been wrong.

  78. By the way, I now lay claim to the definition of the Argument from Noise, which Troy is now engaging in. The Argument from Noise will be an instance of someone just rapid fire spewing out a bunch of tired old canards in an attempt to snowball the opposition with so much BS that they can't possibly take the time to respond to each and every fallacious point and assumption. I mean, seriously, I don't think I have ever seen such a stream of consciousness of unfounded religious arguments before. We got first cause, sin, Jesus, bible literalism, atheists hate god, salvation, free will, the whole nine yards.

  79. Okay, here's now this is going to work from now on.

    Troy has gotten tiresome. He is a case study in the Dunning-Kruger Effect, or something the writer Brandon Sanderson has coined "errorgance": "To be twice as certain as someone who is merely arrogant, while possessing only one-tenth the requisite facts." If the self-congratulatory hypocrisy isn't annoying enough, the simple fact that his comments here have now become completely bereft of any content means there's no discussion happening in a meaningful way at all. What we have is a histrionic believer showing up to shout at us.

    Not only that, he's one of the most — if not the most — dishonest people I've ever had the distinct displeasure of encountering. Troy is a guy whose "arguments" for his beliefs consist of nothing more than fallacies, repeated and unsupported assertions, and angry demands that we agree. Then he hypocritically attacks us, falsely claiming we are engaging in the very same fallacies and bad arguing techniques that he is, when he isn't just lying outright about what we've actually said to him.

    Now all Troy is doing in his comments is sermonizing, which is less than useless and frankly, constitutes trolling. So here's how this is going to go now:

    We don't censor theists out of hand here, but at the same time we expect them to display a modicum of integrity. (One of Troy's most annoying hypocrisies is the way he bleats about "courtesy" while throwing out personal attacks at every opportunity.) Also, we expect them not to ignore or completely misrepresent our rebuttals to them. We're not down with lies and straw man attacks, which Troy has been throwing around with impunity pretty much from the outset.

    So Troy, if you want to keep having your comments approved, you will have to do the following:

    1) Demonstrate that the Christian God is scientifically falsifiable concept.
    2) Explain how the realm in which you claim God exists -- that is "outside time and nature" -- functions, if not naturally and temporally.
    3) Explain how, even if God exists outside of time, he is able to perform the causal act of creation and not be caught in the infinite regress trap.
    4) Demonstrate why this creator God is any more real than any other God of any other religion.
    5) Demonstrate how you discern that this creator God is real and not something you are just imagining.

    In other words, support your position, do not just keep repeating it. Only comments that meet the above criteria will be accepted. (And don't just respond to the above requirements by shrieking "I've done all that!" Let's just hit the reset button, say you haven't, and give it all to us again from scratch.)

    Your comments will be rejected if they:

    1) Consist of sermons and threats of hell.
    2) Simply repeat your favorite catchphrases like "God is proven!" and "You can't get something from nothing!" We heard you the first 500 times, now give that a little support, how about?
    3) Misrepresent the positions of people who have responded to you.
    4) Include the URL back to your site. We've got it, no need to repeat it.

    You're going to have to start showing a little of this humility you enjoy lecturing us about, Troy, if you want a respectful hearing here. We're happy to give anyone a respectful hearing...provided they can show us they earn said respect. You've pretty much already lost it completely. But I guess I can be humble a little while longer.

  80. Think how illogical Wagner is when he said:

    " see, here's the funny thing. When I asked you for evidence of this God of yours — you know, the one who gets to exist outside of time and nature, conveniently avoiding all the rules you tell us nature has to follow."

    I said already in the forums, in the last 10 minutes of your program and in my video...

    How is God avoiding the rules of nature when He is not in nature?

    That's 3 times now Wagner avoids the points and repeats himself like a clanging bell.

    That's crazy. Amazingly crazy.

  81. Troy, being risible: You're misusing Matthew 7.5, for whatever sin I have obviously I don't have the sin of eternally separating myself from God.

    No, I wasn't misusing it, because Matthew 7:5 is a little passage about hypocrisy, which is a tiny little problem you have. I often use passages from Scripture to point out where believers are failing to be the perfect little Christians they think they are. It's sometimes helpful, speaking to Christians in their own language, you might say. Although in your case, you seem perfectly happy to ignore the advice of the very holy book of the God you so passionately revere! Must be more of that "humility" of yours.

  82. TLAADR
    (Too long and annoying, didn't read)

    You hooked yourself a live one, Martin. This should have been over the second he shifted form "I believe" to "we know"...or when he openly admitted that he saw no problem with claiming his answer was correct merely because no one had presented him with one he liked better.

    Hey, Troy...thanks a million. We need more apologists who are willing to publicly acknowledge their ignorance of logical fallacies and the burden of proof.

    You and Ray would get along famously.

  83. Troy, being errorgant: How is God avoiding the rules of nature when He is not in nature?

    And this makes far more than three times now that I have told you: you must now provide evidence that any realm outside nature exists at all, and that a universe-creating God exists within it. All you have done is assert the existence of such a realm. You must now present your evidence for it, which must, in turn, consist of more than repeated assertions that it must exist because there's no other alternative.

    And I see you're doing that dishonesty/hypocrisy thing again, you know, claiming I've avoided the point when I made this very point in my first email back to you. Silly boy, gotta stop that. Didn't you say your God hates false witnesses?

  84. Okay everyone, we're sticking a fork in Troy. He's done.

    All his latest comments have (you guessed it) ignored those ground rules I set. He's just (you guessed it) repeating yet again the unsupported assertions he's already made about a zillion times (nature can't have always existed, so no natural explanation for the universe will ever happen, so I can haz Magic Man!), and then going on a histrionic, raving tear about how Russell and I are just evil people with horrible lives whose egos can't handle the truth, or something.

    Seriously, this boy is mental. And since he's apparently satisfied himself we're just the worst of all possible sinners, then I see no reason to keep giving him any more of our time. I'm sure he'll be much happier hanging out with his timeless God, away from our corrupting influence. As for me, it's supper, dog-walking, then maybe I'll curl up with a good book or a game.

  85. "you must now provide evidence that any realm outside nature exists at all, and that a universe-creating God exists within it"

    I would add that he also needs to reconcile his apparent knowledge that his god both exists (somehow?) and does so outside the realm of nature (somehow?) with his (also apparent) rejection of naturalism period as an explanatory device.

    Putting it another way, he doesn't seem to understand that the statements:

    I know my god exists
    I know that something can't come from nothing.
    I know that the only alternatives are the natural and supernatural
    definitely _are_ naturalistic claims. They're assertions of certain properties extant in our world so he must be relying on natural explanations.

    It's the tired old thing of simply declare the god outside the mundane world of inquiry and therefore inaccessible to investigation. BTDT, bought the DVD and the iTunes copy too......

    That's not even crazy, it's just stupid ;).


  86. @ Martin

    I hear that. I just got Harlane Ellison's "I, Robot" screen play. Speaking of which for Troy, now THERE is an angry Atheist.

  87. Honestly, I think this particular aspect about believers will always stun me. When they say that something had to be uncreated and it was God. No matter what you tell them and how many times you tell them, they never seem to understand where they're wrong or where they're making fallacies. This one caller at the end was particularly dumber by saying it has to be the Christian God. All his argument (poor argument) can fight for is a supernatural force, but it doesn't tell us anything about that force. In fact, nothing about God beliefs ever tell us anything about our world from what I've seen so far and that's a lot if I consider everything I've heard in the past few years.

    I've heard a lot from believers, yet it's exactly as if they never brought anything. Atheists, skeptics and rational people have brought a lot of meaningful discussions to believers, yet it's as if they never heard anything.

  88. I liked the part where Troy wrote "brass tax" instead of "brass tacks." You know what I always say: Fundie trolls are never more entertaining than when their misguided arguments contain malapropisms.

  89. Well, it isn't often the phrase "talking to a wall" threatens to leave the realm of metaphor, but there you have it. Thanks, Troy.

    The bottom line is that if time only exists inside the universe, and things "outside" it are "timeless", (work with me here) then the concept of an infinite regress of causes and effects makes no sense anyway. The whole idea of cause-and-effect implies a temporal structure: An effect follows from a cause IN TIME. What we know as cause-and-effect makes no sense without time.

    So it's completely pointless for Troy to worry about infinite regresses and needing some "god" to stop it, because the whole idea is meaningless "outside" or "before" the universe anyway. And I put the words in quotes precisely because our language is really insufficient to describe supposedly timeless things.

    Troy is taking an area where the smartest people in the world know nothing; he knows much, much less than they do, yet he arrogantly pretends to have the answer to the problem. This is what all theists do when they posit a god as the supposed solution to the limits of our current knowledge about the so-called beginnings of the universe.

    It's a tiresome joke. It's even more tiresome when your antagonist is a hypocritical, falsely-humble Bible-swallower, rather than simply, say, an honest Deist with a decent education.

  90. I prefer this gem from his own site's blog:

    "I like this sentence because though it is grammatical correct it confounds you"

  91. All theists do indeed do this — conceptually, "god" is nothing more than rhetorical spackle believers use to cover up ignorance — but few of them do it with the staggering levels of cluelessness and hubris that Troy brought to bear. Religious belief mixed with narcissism is a volatile recipe. It's only there that you see such a degree of fractal wrongness as we've witnessed today.

    I still have no idea how a realm outside time and nature is supposed to interact with our own, or where a God is supposed to live within such a realm, or how this God is able to reach outside of this realm to create new universes. Also, if this timeless/trans-natural realm is where our natural, temporal universe came from, why would God have been compelled to create a whole new universe, particular one with limitations (such as time and nature) that his own realm lacked? And why would God need to do anything explicitly causal — like an act of creation — if he is a being beyond causality?

    These are some questions that I think ought to get good answers. But ask the Christian who totally knows how the universe was created, and he'll give you what Troy gave me: God is so far beyond the capacity of our puny human mind's knowledge that, blah blah...

    Ask a Christian questions he can't answer, and suddenly we're the "arrogant" ones. Heh heh.

  92. Indeed, the whole apologist notion of "arrogant atheists" is breathtaking in its hypocrisy. My new pet-response to that is going to be to simply say "OK, define 'arrogance'" and watch the fundie bend into a pretzel trying to come up with a definition that doesn't describe his own behavior.

  93. On the subject of believers not understanding why and how they're making errors or committing fallacies: This illustrates a key problem for them. Christianity does not give its followers the cognitive tools to discern whether God is real or merely something they are imagining. This is why guys like Troy can make assertions like "God is the only alternative" and think the issue is settled. To him it is, because he doesn't know when he's simply making up an answer and when he's referencing something real for which evidence can (and must) be provided.

  94. Ah if you can just hit that bullseye then the dominoes will fall like a house of cards....checkmate!

    Ing, can I have your mutant cyclops baby?

  95. The caller Pat was such a typical example of a standard mystical experience. It can be fully explained by actions in the brain. Specifically she mentioned an our of body experience and this can be directly linked to the posterior superior pareital lobe which is the part of the brain which gives us a sense of our position in world. If you influence the activity in this part of the brain, which is completely possible through meditation, you can get a sense of being outside of your body as opposed to the normal state which is where your sense of self is inside your own body.

    What I find interesting is tha she said that she was not brought up in a traditional religious home which fits with her experience being vaguely spiritual rather than having for example chrisitan imagery. This fits with the typical mystic experience where the person sees imagery of their own religion rather than another religion.

  96. Troy, you're a fucking idiot. If you cannot refute that scientifically, you must accept it, because the evidence is clearly in.

  97. This conversation is an excellent example of the trouble people can run into when they come to a problem with their minds made up, then look for arguments to support their belief. This approach is prone to problems as we see from the apostles argument. (Yes, he calls himself an apostle)

    Just one of the problems seems to be when one already KNOWS something is true, they jump onto arguments that support their statements without truly investigating the argument to determine its flaws, weaknesses and fallacies. Instead, they jump on it and claim that this is "proof". Sometimes they take it to the next level by claiming "this is the reason I know xyz". When that happens there is no way out for them. They cant acknowledge there are flaws when pointed out, because that leaves them with no just reason for their beliefs. So they cling blindly, appearing ever more ignorant.

    I sort of feel bad for them.

  98. Parture: "since nature can't always have existed"

    Why can't nature have always existed, Troy? You simply state this as an ipse dixit but you don't substantiate that position. I listened to the show but I never heard this fleshed out.

  99. Although Troy is now not responding, I'd like to offer a viable alternative to an uncreated creator. Even though his argument fails multiple times before he even gets to that point.

    How about the existence of something natural outside of our universe, where the laws of causality do not apply leading to the creation of the Universe? You posited something similar, but you made it necessarily intelligent without justification.

    Now you can't simply say you can see there must be intelligence behind the universe, because that's just your opinion & opinions aren't sufficient grounds to exclude possibilities.

    Personally I can think of many more possibilities, but since I only need 1 to demonstrate your fallacy there's not much point in listing them.

    I know from your forum that you are more than happy to see alternatives when you are trying to disprove science, so how about doing the same with religion?

  100. The exchange with Troy was worthwhile if only for the bible is more than 20 years old therefore it's true argument.

    I really don't think he sees the problem with it either.

    It tops the 'look at the trees' argument but doesn't quite touch the 'then why don't we get electrocuted when we have a shower' argument.

    Still, quite entertaining. Wait, am I being a dick?

  101. Ok, 103 comments on this topic, can't read them all, so my bad if this has been said previously.

    His argument was that something can't come from nothing, and nature can't be eternal because it is temporal and infinite temporal nature doesn't make us arrive to this moment. And this problem has no possible explanation other than his God and Jesus character.


    Books didn't come from Man, it doesn't contain any human flesh or bones. Books can not be invented by Man if it does not contain any parts (inc, paper etc). The parts has to exist to become parts of books, so that Man has the possibility to invent books to read from. So, the universe, even if created by God, have to have existed in some form already. And since we know it had to have existed in some form (it can't come from nothing, remember?), we can also see that it is possible that the nature we live in could have come about without God.
    We can't write stuff without stuff being there which can be used as pen and paper, and God can not create matter, unless there is stuff lying around which can be shaped into matter.

  102. It can be a funny thing thinking about the nature of the larger universe. Like M-string theory talks about how our known universe with all it's vast distances and galaxies could simply be a small speck in a larger construct of branes and mulitverses. It would be kind of mind blowing to think that all of our existence is just a small blip in the larger multi-verse but entirely possible.

    The thing is that possible does not equal probable, and certainly doesn't equal fact. Speculating about things outside our current experimental capabilities can be fun but until the results are actually in it is just hypothesis. Science recognizes this, religion does not. Certainly I wouldn't go around saying that the multiverse model is fact and the one true explanation. This is the bottom line that theists always seem to jump off the track at, no matter how you contort things to make a god fit with observable reality it still isn't remotely close to being something that could be considered in any way a 'fact'.

  103. I wanted to comment so many times, but I bit my tongue.

    He's like a creationist Voltron - an assemblage of the worst parts of apologists. How do you even have a conversation with someone who is so utterly divorced from reality?

    You don't, I suppose. There's little point. As intellectually honest people, we wish to adhere to standards of evidence and logic, and these people are the antithesis.

    It's like you're trying to sit down to a game of chess, and the other guy disregards rules, makes up his own rules, punches you in the face, regurgitates on your pieces, and declares himself the winner.

    ...and you're left sitting there wondering "wtf just happened?"

  104. "Christianity does not give its followers the cognitive tools to discern whether God is real or merely something they are imagining."

    I'd even reinforce this and say something a little stronger than that - namely, that inherent in religions like Christianity is the notion that this distinction isn't actually even _important_, never mind the lack of facilities it might otherwise provide to make it.

    Soren Kierkegaard, for instance, wrote about the virtues of the "leap of faith" - essentially, understanding and knowledge are not only profound to the faithful, they're practically irrelevant as components of faith. The real spine of faith is the _certainty_ involved in acting on your convictions anyway, despite any moral/material consequences they may have.

    In fact, I think you can generalize this philosophical idea: maintaining and acting on your true convictions, regardless of doubt, opposition, etc., is inherently virtuous and indicative of strong moral character, etc., rather than simply stupid (especially if you're uninformed).

    Perhaps before the scientific revolution (when it was discovered that the outside world actually _is_ a viable path to truth), this notion of faith as a virtue was considered a worthwhile line of reasoning when it came to matters of "truth".

    Of course, nowadays it's not in more enlightened pursuits (i.e. based on the scientific method), but religion seems to hold fast to the faith == truth archaism and is suitably baffled and shocked when it's challenged.

    Troy struck me as this type of retrograde mentality when it came to matters of truth and evidence - If I simply believe it strongly enough => it is true.

    I see this disconnect all the time when trying to argue with believers. They simply do not accept that mere belief alone (the strong "faith" version) is an insufficient basis for asserting something as true.

    Basically, a dark-ages mentality that's been long since shown to be insufficient as an explanatory device, but still clung to by religious charlatans to "shout down" the scurrilous atheists....


  105. Troy,

    That was the finest demonstration of speaking in tongues in English I have yet seen. Bravo.

    Yours in Christ,
    George from NY

  106. Also...


    Shall we Latinize Argument from Noise as argumentum ad sonitus?


    "Creationist Voltron?" You win the Internet, good sir.


    "He claimed that that the documentary standards of the Bible are so excellent that they would be solid evidence in a court of law."

    To have said this 150 years ago is one thing... to approvingly quote it now is just jaw-dropping.

    Do you think Voltron realizes that even divinity schools no longer pretend this is true, or teach it?

  107. Troy is a wonderful example of the Dunning-Kruger effect in action.

  108. We humans currently know so little about the true nature of reality that it is ridiculous to make statements like "Something cannot come from nothing" or "There cannot be infinite regress". The only honest statement we can make here is

    "WE DO NOT KNOW... yet, but we are working on it".

  109. Just found you guys today. What a breath of fresh air. Thank God! :)

  110. Chris:

    "How about the existence of something natural outside of our universe, where the laws of causality do not apply leading to the creation of the Universe?"

    Exactly. I like to imagine a 'ball' of stuff, which always existed, in a realm in which causality does not hold. It then 'exploded' to create the Universe that we know. I call this the 'progenitor' of the Universe. It has no mind or intelligence, and it certainly doesn't love me.

    I do not assert that it did exist, just that it is one possibility which negates the "therefore god(s)" argument. If their god(s) can exist eternally and without being created, why can't my progenitor?

  111. penguinman, exactly! I think the statement that "something can't come from nothing" is highly suspect, and I do not accept it.

  112. Where does the idea that something cannot come from nothing originate?

    Whilst its the laws of this universe, before the universe existed whatever was there (if anything) would have had a completely different set of laws. There is no way to tell, so it could easily just pop into existence either directly as our universe or as a pre-cursor.

    As it was, that last guy had his head buried so far down into the sand that not even BP could have drilled down to him. Its clear he is used to just talking over people and completely and obviously not listening to a single word they say, when they walk off he declares he must of won!

  113. Normally, I don’t like to poke fun at people, but after being called an arrogant, mindless, dumb, zombie tool of the devil, I decided that I was justified at having some fun.

    You can see him doing that on his youtube page, but I would not waste your time going to view it.

    Hello name is Parture,

    I am going to present my intellectually flawed deductive argument and call it evidence. When you suggest that my argument is flawed or ask for some inductive (empirical) evidence to back the claim up, I am going to insult you, threaten you with hell, repeat my argument without acknowledging your retort, and throw tired platitudes at you.

    I clearly have no idea what induction, deduction, or evidence actually is, and I probably don't have any formal education.

    I am going to repeat this process regardless of what you say, and each time I am going to gloat by saying see I win, and you are going to go to hell for eternity for having the gall enough to disagree with me.

    Again, I feel justified because in the past two days he has insulted me many times.

  114. Greenleaf? Who? I must have missed that in my governments classes, and all the readings and discussions, especially those involving the Constitution. Somehow the greatest lawyer of the 19th century has never come up. Some authority. Although if he influenced the infamous (and horribly debunked) Josh McDowell and his pseudo-historical mishmash, he must be pretty pathetic.

    Definitely an interesting show. I know we have a skeptics bingo app, but someone needs to make a "logical fallacy" bingo app, then we can follow along with just a bit more fun.

    Also, anyone referencing William Lane Craig as an authority (or even knowledgeable) in any area of science needs to be ignored until they learn the relevant knowledge to see just how ignorant and deceitful that Liar For Jesus is. Gah!

  115. Well, I read the thread, and saw (I gather) Troy get banned. Is it something that gets in the air. We have Troy, DM, and Robert Byers (I'm sure some here are familiar with him, if not, look at the Panda's Thumb for one site) - all from Canada. Wasn't Celene Dion enough?

  116. I've seen some insane creationist blogs and websites but that registration form at biblocality is awesomely crazy.

  117. Jeremiah: I'm afraid your "Argument from noise" already has a name it's the Gish Gallop.

  118. Badger3k:

    "We have Troy, DM, and Robert Byers (I'm sure some here are familiar with him, if not, look at the Panda's Thumb for one site) - all from Canada."

    Don't forget VenomFangX.

    But also remember that James Randi is Canadian.

  119. Ah, yes, the old 'locked room' argument.

    So Sherlock and crew come upon a locked room in which the butler is lying dead, his skull crushed to smithereens by a heavy candlestick which is now sitting, in all its bloody glory, upon the otherwise pristine desk on the other side of the room.

    Since the butler could not have smashed his skull in, put the murder weapon across the room, and staggered back to die, he could not have killed himself. Yet because the room was locked from the inside, and there is absolutely no evidence that anyone else could have gotten in to do the nefarious deed, it is then blatantly obvious to all (yes, even you adetectivists!) that the Most Holy High Purple-Banded Unicorn poofed into the room and did the deed, then poofed out again.

    As proof I present you a direct quote from our sacred text, "The Only Horn": "Ye, verily I say unto thee that the cleaning-man shall be dashed upon the rocks of the ground, my wroth shew in the lifeblood painted upon the Holder of the Eternal Flame. All who believeth not shall be similarly smote and burn in the flickering flame forever and ever." Blinkyboo 5:13

  120. Ok this guy has nothing. When you question him on his 'logic' he simply repeats it over and over, he is either unable or cannot be bothered to comprehend the errors being pointed out to him.

    He simply repeats the position even when it has nothing to do with the question asked.

    When you point out logical fallacies his reply is basically "I know you are but what am I".

    You can have more fun banging your head with a small plank of wood.

    He IS Ferrous Cranus. (Google for info).

    No one can win against such an immovable object, you just build your railroad around him. Best thing to do IMO.

    Dave G

  121. My favorite pet theory isn't a ball of stuff which explodes, but rather something for which we already have tons of examples.

    Over in CERN, you have that massive particle accelerator. And what happens when two particles smash into one another at near the speed of light?

    A big bang.

    So what if we're not a point of...something...that suddenly explodes, but rather the natural EFFECT of two other things smashing together, and we are, simply, the detritus of the explosion of those things colliding?

    CERN particle acceleration on a massive scale. And we ARE the explosion.

    There was nothing there that existed as we exist now, two extrauniversal particles collides, BANG! And here we are, living in an eternal explosion.

    No causal agent, no intelligence, no nothing. Just two dumb particles that weren't watching where they were going, and SMASH.

    This has the benefit of already having been proven in the smallest scale possible with particles, so it stands to follow that it could happen outside our universe as well, since pretty much everything follows these natural laws.

  122. @Coelecanth People are always ruining my great ideas by coming up with them before I do. :'(

    @isleoflesbos I've kind of wondered something similar. String theory talks about subatomic particles being kind of vibrating strings and wave-particle duality tells us that matter has properties that are both like particles, which is what we would expect looking at things from out macro scale, matter as points. But it also shows how matter has the properties of waves which is more in line with string theory and it's vibrations. Makes me think of a shockwave, like if you strike a bell it sends vibrating sound waves. So what if that is basically what the universe is? A shockwave of some event, composed of vibrating aftereffects we are calling strings that we observe as particles on our scale of perception? Maybe our universe was created more from a Big Gong than a Big Bang. :)

    Of course it is all speculation, and I am a rank amateur when it comes to cosmology so I probably am missing some stuff, but still it is something fun to think about on a slow day.

  123. @ isleoflesbos
    I'm entirely sure, but I think that relies mostly on the bad science reporting of the media. The "scientists are recreating the big bang" in the LHC is just something that people misunderstood and then ran with.

    Also, aren't there non-caused, random appearances of small amounts anti-matter, which are then annihilated with contact with regular matter? I think I heard once that it could just be that we're the result of a random zap of matter/antimatter which just appeared and there was more matter then anti-matter or something which meant there was still stuff to make the universe with, then cue big bang. (could be remembering that wrong though)

  124. But clearly the universe is the remains of Lord Ao, who was destroyed by a rebellion of the gods led by Mystra, goddess of magic, who then banished him to an empty dimension, the gods then used a massive magical explosion to expand his remains so that he couldn't use his regenerative powers to come back to life.

    Pretty quickly however, parts of him tried to gather other parts in order to reform, although by then he was too scattered. His energy eventually was so dispersed that it cooled down and started to form matter, which led to an abundance of protons/hydrogen, which formed together to form the stars, etc etc.

    Isolated parts of Ao's consciousness have survived, stored in super massive black holes at the center of galaxies (which are the effect of his body reforming, funny they look a lot like cells huh...).

    He has been able to reform to the point he can start to amass his powers, and has spawned the creation of life forms in order to store their souls as they die to ignite them and use the power to pierce the barrier keeping him prisoner in this dimension.

    Select life forms he has made into soldiers and hopes to enlist in his battle against Mystra and the other gods, these are Angels, and they are always looking to spread their message and enlist more in the fight against the usurpers, and Sylvia Browne is their emissary on Earth (obviously, otherwise she wouldn't be able to see angels)

    Those who join Ao and his angels against Mystra will be given treasures everlasting, those who don't will have their souls burned as energy for a massive magical wave motion cannon (which since it has to go through a black hole where time stretches on into infinity, it can hurt for a while)

  125. From an ex christian perspective, let me suggest that when somebody say's "God is the only explanation left", is because they think it's simple process of elimination. The problem is: why that option is even on the table to being with.

    And secondly, when you tell someone who doesn't know what logic is that they've just made "an argument from ignorance", they probably think you just said "you've made a dumb argument". Which might be why the caller failed to see his argument was fallacious. Logic to most people is synonymous with reason, intelligence, etc., and is only used rhetorically to imply that you've made a sound argument.

  126. @ithonicfury:

    I'm not taking this from something I read in the media. It's pretty much what I've thought for nearly 47 years now. The CERN only made it a little more easy for me to see. I don't think CERN can recreate the "Big Crunch" or whatever. I just always thought we were the result of two other things banging together.

    Like I said, it's my own pet theory, and I'm only a nurse. I'm sure it's as wrong as wrong can be, so I'm entirely openminded to the real thing when it finally comes. :)

    Uncaused causes happen all the time, tho. (And this is not to you directly but more to the point of the post.) If I come out of Publix with my groceries and see a huge dent in my car, and I see no paint chips, no note on my windshield, and no red-faced shopper waiting for me, hat in hand, insurance card out, then I have a number of ways to see that "big crunch".

    It could have been done on purpose, sure. Maybe I parked crooked, or stole a spot, or someone didn't like silver cars and bam...dentsville.

    Or maybe it happened by accident. Car A's driver was texting while she was backing out of her spot and BANG...also dentsville.

    OR maybe a gust of wind stated a shopping cart down the little hill and my car happened to be in its path.

    These are but three of a billion explanations. And only one of them is a deliberate cause. The others are accidents, one caused by an intelligent agent, the other by a shopping cart who won't answer my prayers no matter how much I pray to it. :D

  127. All of our significant others are secretly disguising themselves as someone else and sneaking out at night to cheat on us....

    Crap! Since we can't disprove it, that makes it true. How could she do this to me?

  128. Pastor:

    You are, of course, absolutely right that there was a failure to communicate with Troy, and it came to basic misunderstandings of various fallacies, historical background, and methods for laying out a logical argument.

    However, we obviously can't take the time to execute a complete crash course in logic for every caller who needs it, especially when, like Troy, they leave us with less than minutes to wrap everything up. Troy's not our audience anyway; he is the kind of person who we hope to bring on because he generates conflict and entertainment.

    We have to speak to our core audience, and what I expect of our core audience is that they are intellectual curious. Most will have a certain basic level of education, and those who don't have it will have the resources to get it, and we can provide demonstrations of what approach to take and how to look for such resources in a variety of circumstances.

    Trying to get through to Troy directly through our show would be sort of like having a fifth grader wander into a math class intended for high school seniors, then hearing him complain that he doesn't understand all the funny symbols. There are other venues for educating the fifth grader, but we're not going to slow things down and talk at his level when there are other people who are benefiting from the concepts.

  129. @Admin

    A "Timey Whimey Ball' perhaps?

  130. Someone named "Tyler Overman" is making a valiant attempt over on biblocality to start from basic principles and common definitions, but Troy can't even manage that.

    Tyler makes some very basic claims, and Troy's response is to misunderstand the comment, jump 15 steps ahead, and then insult Tyler. For example, Tyler's simple analogy about a basketball changing condition over time is changed to "Your analogy proves that atheism is a lie of the Devil," with a later follow-up of "I wonder how many brain cells I just lost talking to an atheist?" and "Stop being so dumb around me."

    This is entertaining on a 17-car pileup level.

    Do we get to rename the Dunning-Krueger effect?

  131. @Lance

    woah! thanks for the link to that. This guy Tyler seems like the most tolerant patient guy on the net after rooting through all this garbage and still trying to give it a good basis to restart.

    And then he gets this: "All you have done is show that time proves you are going to Hell. Stop boring me to death."

    Woah! Troy has gone from just ignorant to "asshole deserving a slap"

  132. Tyler Overman you are my hero, please don't stop until he bans you.

    This guy is such a nut job, and he just seems to be getting crazier.

    Is he the only guy over at the Biblocality site?

    I really wish I could be on that forum. I love how calm you have been Tyler and how you have not stooped to his level.

    Whoever you guys are over there, your not wasting your time, I for one find it amusing.

  133. We have Troy, DM, and Robert Byers (I'm sure some here are familiar with him, if not, look at the Panda's Thumb for one site) - all from Canada. Wasn't Celene Dion enough?

    Buddy, with all the bilge we have to put up with coming out of the States, Celine ain't even a down payment. :)

  134. @Russel I can understand not wanting to spend a lot of time on definitions but while saying, "you are making an equivocation fallacy" might mean something to people that have read up on logic and/or apologetics I can see it being totally lost on a lot of your target audience. People that are curious about the ideas, but not educated in formal logic. Saying, that is an equivocation to them would be like saying your argument is blue. The point would just be lost.

    Maybe it would be neat to have like a short 2-3 minute "fallacy of the week" type of thing where you guys explain a certain class of fallacy and what it means. Then when people hear a host use it they would (hopefully) be like "Oh! I know what that means, and I see why it applies to this argument." I don't know, just a thought.

  135. Poor Troy is still clamoring desperately for my attention via email, sending me stuff with subject lines like "There Is No Debate!" Well, then, why should I even read it? Delete. Goodbye. Someone with his tiny head so far up his ass that he's already demonstrated an unwillingness to even hear what someone else's viewpoint is, plus an inability to form any original thoughts — even his criticisms of me and the people who try pointlessly to engage him are merely exercises in "I'm rubber and you're glue, whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you!", usually followed by reminders we're all evil tools of Satan doomed to hell — is really not someone worth wasting time with. We're all grown-ups here, and he's a little manchild who treats interaction with others on the level of a 5th grader promising that he'll kick our butts at recess. Bye bye, Troy. I'd wish you a speedy recovery from adolescence, but I'm not one for lost causes.

  136. I'm a mathematician, and I just want to take a moment to talk about the misuse of infinity in the Kalam argument and Troy's use.

    The claim that an infinite amount of time must not have passed since by now everything would have happened, unless the "first cause" had free will, because then He/She/It could choose, misses a very simple possibility.

    Suppose that the beginning of the Big Bang (whatever that was) would start at time t with probability according to the Normal Distribution curve with mean 13.7 billion years ago and a standard deviation of 1 second. This would be a completely non-free-will but completely deterministic description that would perfectly explain how an infinite amount of time could have passed before the creation of the universe (whatever pre-universe time means anyway). The Normal curve, as a probability distribution, asymptotically approaches 0 as t-> intfinity and as t-> negative infinity.

    In short, an "Elementary Statistics" level of understanding of probability theory is enough to demonstrate that Troy's claims about infinity are without merit. Hence the rest of his argument is futile.

  137. What I find funny about those forums is that they actually created a section amusingly titled "Minimal Facts Approach".

    A truer statement has never been spoken, but I am sure the irony is lost on them.

  138. I am the "Tyler Overman" from the Biblocality forums.

    First of all, thanks for the support. I didn't realize I had an audience on that discussion. As you may have noticed, their boards are pretty dead.

    I should point out that though their registration form includes a huge Bible quiz, you don't have to answer yes to everything in order to join. I answered "no" to most all of them and "not sure" to a few others (the ones I didn't understand), and I registered no problem.

    However, I don't think there's anything more to be gained from this conversation. I would encourage you to read all of the exchange between myself and Troy. The conclusion is quite satisfying. My first post is #14 on the thread that Russel linked to earlier.

    I set out posting there with the anticipation that I would be met with nothing but hostility. Rather then try to win at that game, I decided it would be best to be very conciliatory (but not to excess), and come to as much as an understanding as possible, so that Troy and I could identify precisely where we disagree. On the show, Troy tried to talk like a logician on the show, so I figured this conversation would be right up my alley.

    But that broke down before too long. I don't think Troy had a single post addressed to me without an ad hominem fallacy (sometimes going so far as to accuse me of being deceived by Satan). There were several times where I attempted to articulate his own argument for him in a more sensible manner, even stating at one point where I disagreed with Martin and agreed with Troy, but that was met only with unkindness.

    And that's basically the running theme throughout the conversation. One person trying to reach a better understanding, and the other just angrily yelling at the clouds. It's like the opposite of all those "angry atheist" mischaracterizations you see.

    So if anybody has any questions on any points I have made, feel free to ask. I fully acknowledge that logic tends to be counter-intuitive, especially in regards to discussions of time.

    And check me out on Youtube

  139. I'm a mathematician, and I just want to take a moment to talk about the misuse of infinity in the Kalam argument and Troy's use.

    We Kalam like we see 'em, Yog.

  140. Hi i'm from thinkingaloudforum. We used to get this guy, at least i'm pretty sure it's the same guy because he follows all the same rhetoric. We know him as Parture. He would come in with the same crap and when people would get fed up with him and ignore him, he'd spam our chatroom with guests and "biblocality forum" or these long winded copy/pastes about how it's PROVEN that nothing comes from nothing, etc.

    I showed up on his chat one day because he SWORE that he could convert me to christ in one hour. His argument? The first cause. Of course, we couldn't agree at all and spent most of the time arguing about that. I granted him that the first cause was proven and asked for how it was his god and pretty much the best I got was "It is because it is".

    He has another argument for morality and since it has been an exponential increase since the beginning of time, god exists. I asked him by what metric he determined this. Of course, he had no real answer or understanding of mathematics it would seem. "Well it's obvious, since it's not linear it's exponential" or something to that fashion.

    This should be his original site as I remember it and I think his youtube page is still up

  141. Even someone with basic Math should understand that Troys infinity was bullshit. the las one to do that nonsense had to argue for a difference between real infinity and "potential infinity. A great display of this bullshit is putting two mirrors across from each other and standing in the middle. Despite there being infinite images of you on either side (negative and positive) you can still be quantified and reached.

  142. "He has another argument for morality and since it has been an exponential increase since the beginning of time, god exists."

    Why would it be an increase? Either Gods the source or he isn't. And why would it INCREASE in a world that is fallen and is separated from God...AND even if they argue JEsus provided a jump 9one set of clamps to our morality the other to his nipples I guess) The world is STILL becoming less Christian and should be getting less moral. The idiot has admitted to the superiority of secular morality!

  143. I have never really known how to respond to the infinity argument because it makes not even a little bit of mathematical sense. I mean, my best response is "You are absolutely innumerate"; but on the other hand, innumeracy is so common that it's hard to explain to a general audience how bad that argument is.

    The short version of the argument is "If there were infinite time in the past, then we could never arrive at the present." Which is just plain stupid. It is like pointing at an arbitrary point on a number line (which stretches infinitely in both direction. Say that you point at the number 57,898. Then you say: "Because there are an infinite number of points on this line, the number 57,898 could never be chosen; therefore, I am not now pointing to it.

    Obviously pointing at a spot on the number line (or regarding any particular date as "the present") has to get you SOMEWHERE. If you think of time as a fourth dimensional, even if it WERE infinite, every point on the timeline "exists" somewhere, and it's only our subjective frame of reference that indicates some spot on that line and designates it as "now."

  144. One of the previous posters stated that analyzing infinity logically does not work. You have to analyze it mathematically. I disagree entirely. Quite the opposite is true.

    When we look at time as a series of situations, one after the other (like a number line), we can say that situation that occurs precisely at noon today CST is situation 0. From situation 0, we can state, "Is there, or is there not, a situation preceding this one?" If there is, we repeat the exercise at situation -1. If there is another situation before that, we do it again from situation -2, and so on. From this, we can extrapolate another dichotomy: Is it the case, or is it not, that such an exercise will ever result in a negative answer? In other words, will we ever reach that situation in which we state, "It is not the case that a situation precedes this one?" If it will, then we have a first situation, the beginning of time. To ask what "caused" or "came before" this moment would be nonsense.

    Otherwise, we have an infinite series of events. I won't go into details now, but analyzing infinity paradoxes from a logical view, as opposed to a mathematical standpoint, will allow you to make sense of them. Treating infinity as though it is in the realm of mathematics will typically lead you to trouble. Math is a way to measure quantities, and infinity represents that which is beyond quantification.

  145. Kazim, I agree with you that the infinity argument is bullshit, but I think I see where their thought process is going off the rails.

    In saying that (if time reaches back without bound) you "could never get here," what they're thinking is that there was a beginning, it's just that it was infinitely long ago.

    What they don't get is that if something has existed forever, then there was no beginning. It's a subtle distinction but it makes all the difference, and for some reason William Lane Craig makes this argument and his followers just swallow it without understanding it.

  146. Poor poor Troy. He just tried to sockpuppet the TV show email again, using a different email address and asking the very same first cause bullshit he hit us with last time. He was even dumb enough to link to Biblocality. Really, it's so offensive that he thought he could insult our intelligence with so little effort.

  147. @Ing
    "Even someone with basic Math should understand that Troys infinity was bullshit. the las one to do that nonsense had to argue for a difference between real infinity and "potential infinity. A great display of this bullshit is putting two mirrors across from each other and standing in the middle. Despite there being infinite images of you on either side (negative and positive) you can still be quantified and reached."

    Actually, if we go by the ideas of potential vs actual infinity, the mirror images are in fact a potential infinity and not an actual one. The speed of light is finite, hence in any finite period of time there are a finite number of images in the mirror.

    Nonetheless, even with this distinction made between actual and potential infinity, I haven't really seen a good argument as to why there can't be an actual infinity of time. The whole "if time was infinite we would have happened already" argument is nonsense at best.

  148. Call me stoopid, but I don't see what temporal infinity or lack thereof has to do with us existing or not existing.

    But then, I also don't get the Schroedinger's Cat thing.

  149. That guy Parture is like nothing I have ever seen before. Wow... Do you guys get people like him often? Or is he a special breed of crazy?

    I posted a youtube response video, which really wasn't even arguing against him, but he denied it because he is crazy.

    I love that he turned off comments to his youtube clip.



  150. I don't get why an "infinite past" is brought up as a point of discussion at all. As far as I understand it, the finite age of the universe is one of the few issues on which both the Christian creation myth worldview and modern physics agree. Argueing against an infinite universe thus seems like another straw man to me as noone is actually making such a claim.

    Although this seems to get quite off-topic, I also have to disagree with the previous posters who see "mathematics" and "logic" as opposites or one excluding the other. Formal logic is actually an important field of mathematics. Conversely, and probably more importantly, one of the biggest achievements of modern mathematics is the axiomatic approach: The idea that one comes up with a few, simple statements called "axioms" which one excepts without proof, and from which all other mathematical truths then can be deduced. Famous examples are the Peano axioms for the natural numbers, Hilbert's axiomatization of the reals and the Zermelo-Fraenkel set theory (ZFC). In each case, a small (finite) set of axioms (expressed in a formal, logical language) is sufficient to uniquely define a certain infinite structure. As everything in mathematics can somewhat be shown to be expressible within set theory, ZFC thus in a sense shows that all of mathematics is indeed "founded" on logic.

    As for Troy/Parture: I think he is one of a type of personality that I encountered quite often in certain discussions on the Internet: Totally convinced to be in possession of the ultimate truth (TM), but absolutely incapable of processing (or even letting himself perceive) any information that does not agree 100% with his worldview. Instead of addressing the points brought up by others in the discussion, they then repeatedly keep spouting off the very same sermon over and over again. I found this kind of mindest to be common among proponents of conspiracy theories (Moon hoax, phantom time hypothesis etc.). Once you have brought up all your arguments (without them responding to any of them), continuing the discussion is usually a waste of time as even the lurkers will recognize that from then on one will keep runnig in circles with it. So banning Troy at this point was the right decision, and I guess you guys have enough experience with such things to not feel frustrated about that he probably now is thinking that he won this argument and is even more convinced than before that he is the one who is right...

  151. Actually, it seems kind of a common tactic lately. Come up with some song and dance, hand waving routine for god. Make it pretty simple so you can remember it. Repeat it over and over again without subjecting yourself to any real discourse on the matter. Troll from place to place. Maybe you can get some people to repeat it with you. Poor Troy apparently resorts to sock puppetry for this step. That's actually kind of creepy.

  152. I Am The Scum said...

    "One of the previous posters stated that analyzing infinity logically does not work. You have to analyze it mathematically. I disagree entirely. Quite the opposite is true."

    I think I said that, but I didn't mean it like you think I meant it. Yes use logic, but start with the Mathematics. Main reason for this is Infinity does not act intuitively. I didn't intend to mean a completely logic devoid analysis of it. I infact count logic as based in Mathematics.

    All I really meant was Infinity doesn't act like most people expect, so don't assume anything until you look at how it actually does act. The only way infinity can reliably be represented at this time is Mathematically. You can however do all the logical interpretation you want after that.

    So in respect to what Troy said, I was just saying it was naive to think an infinite past was impossible based on a intuitive leap rather than a looking at it's actual behaviour.

    I probably still haven't explained it clearly, but hope it's better.

    Edit. Think I worked out what it was.
    I probably should have said it couldn't be analysed intuitively instead of logically. The misunderstanding is just me using the wrong terms.

  153. Argueing against an infinite universe thus seems like another straw man to me as noone is actually making such a claim.

    Jens, this is how apologetics works. I've been listening to this stuff for 20 years, and I believed in it for years before that.

    Apologetics is not about presenting and defending a coherent philosophy of which theism is a component.

    Apologetics is, simply, what happens when you turn epistemology upside-down and declare that you "know" something for which there is no proof - then walk backwards from the "known" thing, grasping at every possible lifeline of support no matter frayed.

    Hence the dog's breakfast composition of apologetic arguments; everything from Tertullian to CS Lewis goes in the bowl. It's a song & dance, as RR says.

  154. Actually a beginning to the current state of the universe is all that naturalists can agree on. There is no evidence ruling out say an infinite osculating universe.

  155. i heart this thread!! hahahahahahah

  156. Apologetics is, simply, what happens when you turn epistemology upside-down and declare that you "know" something for which there is no proof - then walk backwards from the "known" thing, grasping at every possible lifeline of support no matter frayed.

    That's a pretty dern good definition.

    It's always astonishes me how many apologists and theologians will candidly admit that their arguments are not proper arguments. That is, their arguments begin with the conclusion, and literally look for any and all justifications for what they "know" to be true. In the "Collision" documentary, Douglas Wilson says that he agrees with Hitch that (I think it was) the cosmological argument is not very convincing--but the reason he is convinced by it is because he already believes that God exists. Again, I'm struck by the candor: he's basically saying that he loves him some confirmation bias.

  157. Troy continues to be pitifully dense and dishonest. He has tried to post here again, but as I explained to him, days ago, in plain English, any comment he submits which simply repeats his tired, cut-and-pasted assertions, and fails to address five specific demands (if only so that we can have any indication at all the boy is capable of independent, original thought and not merely mindless parroting), they will be rejected. So it's no use, Troy, asking why we're "afraid" to post remarks that you have already been allowed to make here, and whose failings have been explained. When you're so self-absorbed that you don't even know when you're lying to yourself anymore, you've lost any claim to legitimacy.

    Just for grins, I will take apart the last attempted comment you left, to explain, once again, why there's not even any meaningful content to it. And then, as I mentioned, you'll continue to be banned until you address the five points.

    Since nature has been proven to always have a cause by the overwhelming preponderance of evidence beyond a reasonable doubt of trillions and trillions of cause and effects...

    False assertion, false premise. We know that uncaused events happen at the quantum level.

    and no hard evidence something comes from nothing...

    Note the slight shift in wording here from before, to "no hard evidence." But even if this were true, to go from this to "It must be the Christian God" is the fallacy of the false dilemma.

    this necessarily leads to an infinite regress, but you would have happened already having had an eternity to do so

    As people who actually — unlike you, Troy — have a background in mathematics have explained here, there is no mathematical basis to assume that infinity would mean this at all, and you have given no indication you understand what either mathematics or physics means when you talk about infinity.

    But once again, an infinite God would be subject to infinite regress too. Simply insisting God exists "outside time," without any clear explanation of what you mean by that phrase, is a special pleading fallacy. There's no way that you have offered to demonstrate that a realm "outside time" exists anywhere but in your confused mind.


  158. (...cont'd)

    so therefore, there cannot be an eternity of the past of cause and effects. Pure and simple!

    What of quantum fluctuations, which occur at the subatomic level and are known to be uncaused? Don't bother trying to answer, because you don't know anything about these and so any dismissal of them will hardly be coming from a position of expertise in physics.

    Since nature can't always have existed, that which is outside of nature-time, space and matter-necessarily must be the cause. This is whom we call God.

    And as you've been told a trillion times, it's one thing to assert this as a hypothesis, but now you must provide evidence of such a realm and an understanding of this realm's properties. Additionally, why assume the cause is a "whom," and why call it "God"?

    So the question then becomes who is God? Many can claim to be God or make claims about who God is, but unless they have some evidence they need not be considered.

    Which is why we're not considering yours. Just sayin'.

    Forget about any claims where God is not intelligent, personal and accessible, for how can God's standards be lower than our own?

    Why forget these? You give no reasons other than to ask a question about "standards" that is an utter non sequitur when dealing with the basic question of whether this "God" entity exists and whether it created our universe. Until you can even refer to this creative source as "God," let alone begin discussing its "standards," you have some unfinished work to do.

    Any belief system that does not effectively address sin would be deficient.

    What has the concept of "sin" to do with anything here? Again, you have not provided any evidence at all to justify belief your God even exists, just a hypothetical assertion. You are far, far away from having any basis to discuss such tangential topics as "sin."

    By holding out for the future there could be some evidence to prove God does not exist eventually requires that you be all-knowing but only God could be all-knowing.

    And this is what I meant by saying you're deeply confused at a very basic — like, Step One — level of epistemology. You're committing the fallacy of shifting the burden of proof. We do not, in fact, have to hold out for evidence that your God does not exist, because you have never, and continue not to offer any whatsoever that he does. The burden of proof is entirely on your scrawny shoulders, and you've crumbled under the weight of it each time.

  159. (...cont'd)

    Only does Jesus prove He is God! After saying He is God and predicting His death and resurrection, the original disciples testified to having seen Him alive from the dead in various group settings.

    Again, jumping again into Christian myth is irrelevant to the topic at hand. You haven't proven God exists yet, so it's hardly time to drag out Bible stories. You haven't yet left square one.

    Since all naturalistic explanations are impossible, then no naturalistic explanation can account for their testimony.

    Yes, there is one, and it's a nuke: They're simply stories. No reason to consider them factual.

    Hence, Jesus rose from the dead proving His deity as the uncreated Creator, that He died on the cross for the sins of the world and salvation is only through Him. No atonement would be satisfactory unless it was God Himself. If a person is unwilling to come to the cross as a helpless sinner, they are saying they want to be eternally separated from God.

    And you wrap up in a flurry of standard-issue Sunday School preaching. Like I said, you're still on square one. Until you've proved God exists, none of these quaint Bible stories have any relevance to anything. There is nothing in any of what you have written that counts as evidence that the Bible is any kind of reliable source to be taken seriously as an accurate accounts of the events it describes, and there is plenty of evidence it cannot be taken as such. (All four Gospel accounts of the resurrection are inconsistent with each other, and even if they were not, there's no extra-Biblical or archaeological evidence to support its account of a three-day-old corpse returning to life than there is to support any of the myths of ancient Greece or Rome.) By citing the Bible as proof of the existence of the Biblical God, you're making a tautology.

    So there you are, Troy. Address the five points I asked you to, and you may yet move to square two. Until then, further attempts to just repeat the above claims and preaching will meet with the delete button.

  160. Good post Martin, and I think that pretty much puts that to bed.

  161. He's right that only CHristianity can address sin...after all they came up with the concept.

    dismissing Hinduism or wiccan for not addressing sin is like dismissing the ancient chinese for not having silverware etiquette.

  162. Martin Wagner asks..1) Demonstrate that the Christian God is scientifically falsifiable concept.

    You can disprove God of the Bible by finding a naturalistic explanataion for the origin of the disciples. None exist of course.

    2) Explain how the realm in which you claim God exists -- that is "outside time and nature" -- functions, if not naturally and temporally.

    There is no realm, there is just the uncreated Creator outside of time and space. You don't need an explanation of the explanation.

    3) Explain how, even if God exists outside of time, he is able to perform the causal act of creation and not be caught in the infinite regress trap.

    Why would He be caught in your infinite regress trap since He is outside of time?

    4) Demonstrate why this creator God is any more real than any other God of any other religion.

    The proof already supplied this to you, by the proof of the resurrection. Why be a clanging bell?

    5) Demonstrate how you discern that this creator God is real and not something you are just imagining.

    By the evidence given, nature cannot always have existed so there needs be the timeless and spaceless Creator and by the proof of the resurrection of Jesus.

  163. Very good, Troy, you took a stab at answering my five questions. See, that's all it took to be allowed back here. Thanks for finally addressing some points put to you instead of repeating your previous sermons. Now, let's have a look at your answers and see how they satisfy:

    1) You can disprove God of the Bible by finding a naturalistic explanataion for the origin of the disciples. None exist of course.

    Excuse me? This is strange, but... the origin of the disciples? You're preferring to the dozen guys in Jesus's posse? That's all it takes to disprove the God of the Bible?

    Okay, Troy, I'll take you at your word on that. I suspect that, like any other human beings, they had one male parent and one female parent each, who engaged in sexual relations, resulting nine months afterward in the birth of the baby who would grow up to become a disciple.

    As this would appear to be a perfectly acceptable natural explanation for the origin of the Bible, then by your own criteria, I guess we can consider the God of the Bible disproved.

    So, I think we're done here. Still, I'll go ahead and take a look at your other four answers to see if you get any extra credit.

    2) There is no realm, there is just the uncreated Creator outside of time and space. You don't need an explanation of the explanation.

    Well, yes Troy, we do. You see, that is how things are done in science. You may get an explanation of a certain phenomenon, but if the explanation itself raises questions, then you investigate it further to increase your knowledge. This is why the scientific method is a rational process and religious belief is an irrational one: science encourages the constant increase in knowledge, while religion seeks to shut knowledge down by saying "You don't need to know that."

    You have now proposed a God who lives outside of time and space, but who does not do so in any kind of realm (like an alternate universe of his own or anything). So now you have to explain, again, the nature of this being and how it can exist without a realm to exist in, and how it is possible to determine that this is actually a fact that can be known and not simply something you are making up. So far you are still not explaining how to distinguish that God exists in reality and not simply in your imagination. If you're still confused as to what I mean, then here's an example. Explain how there is any epistemological difference between the following sentences:

    "There is no realm, there is just the uncreated Creator outside of time and space."
    "There is no realm, there is just the lord Vishnu, in the great emptiness outside time and space."

  164. (cont'd)

    3) Why would He be caught in your infinite regress trap since He is outside of time?

    Okay, this is not an answer, this is a dodge. The question was, if time and space do not apply to God, then why would this God engage in a causal act such as creation in order to establish a temporal universe? This is not me setting an infinite regress trap, it is me pointing out the infinite regress trap you have set for your God by not noticing this little inconsistency in the mythology you're trying to sell.

    4) The proof already supplied this to you, by the proof of the resurrection. Why be a clanging bell?

    The resurrection is not proved. There are only four accounts in a holy book, each of which conflicts in significant ways with the others. You don't seem to have gotten past the realization that you can't use the Bible's supernatural claims to prove themselves.

    5) By the evidence given, nature cannot always have existed so there needs be the timeless and spaceless Creator and by the proof of the resurrection of Jesus.

    But as has already been pointed out to you countless times on this thread, this is simply a bit of inductive reasoning you've been doing based on inaccurate premises. Still, even if we were to accept the premise that "nature cannot always have existed," it does not necessarily follow that the explanation has to be the Biblical God more than any other deity.

    So yeah, it looks like you're still badly stuck on some epistemological basics. But at least you gave it a good try, I'll credit you that.

  165. At this point, I'm actually embarrassed for Troy.

    This is how religion warps rational thought. Troy has already decided that X is true. Therefore, any argument or line of reasoning that ends with X being true, is in some sense "valid." Martin, time after time, patiently points out the objective flaws in these arguments, and Troy ignores it, going right on with more bald assertions. Troy needs to pick up a freshman-level textbook on the elements of argumentation. Such a book will cover logical fallacies and basic syllogistic reasoning, two things he should read up on.

  166. Excuse me? This is strange, but... the origin of the disciples? You're preferring to the dozen guys in Jesus's posse? That's all it takes to disprove the God of the Bible?


    I think he's referring back to an old, beaten-to-death apologetics trope, to wit: There are various aspects of the original, first-called disciples of Jesus which serve as confirming evidence of his divinity.

    At least, that's what I think he means. Who knows, though?

    Good luck.



  168. I've told Troy that none of his comments will be accepted if they simply include URLs back to his forum. But in case some of you would like to duke it out with him some more, I decided to let this latest one through. That's pretty much it though. For my own part I don't see much to be gained by continuing an exchange with him. As George has pointed out, his whole thinking process is one which turns epistemology on its head, and it seems to be an incurable state.

    Anyway, don't say I never gave ya nothin'.

  169. I find it funny that in most cases in History, coming back from the dead would be considered evidence of witchcraft or the work of the Devil by Fundamentalists.

    However in the case of Jesus, it's absolute proof he's God(Son of etc.)!

  170. No more likes Martin Wagner. No more!

    Change your life.

  171. Troy, I'm starting to think you're developing something of an obsession with me that is quickly becoming creepy.

    As I've stated before, everyone knows where your site is by now, so comments that just feature links back there will not be accepted. If you want to post your most recent reply here, you are welcome to submit it. Although I think you're still so hopelessly lost in basic epistemic errors that appear to be impossible for you to fix that I really see little point in continuing.

    Why you think I or anyone else here would be influenced by raw emotional appeals and terrible songs is simply baffling.

  172. "Anyway, don't say I never gave ya nothin'. "

    Gee...thanks for taking a shit in my Christmas stocking, Martin.

  173. Troy, in response to your latest attempted comment, which was even more pitiful than your usual: You know that projecting thing? You're doing it again.

    Seriously gang, this time he claimed I was both avoiding him, and that I was "obsessed" with him, all in the same post! Reality and Troy really do not seem to get along well at all.

    Please Troy, just go away and get a life.

  174. You're avoiding.

  175. @Troy

    Your argument gains no credibility by moving the proposed absurdity (in this case, that something can come from nothing) to God, and then redacting your premise. I can make any argument logically possible with this method. It's called special pleading

  176. It is an absurdity atheists propose that something can come from nothing in order to reject God, for that which does not exist can't cause anything. It doesn't exist. Ergo, nature needs a cause outside of itself, outside of time and space, and this is whom we call the uncreated Creator or God for short.


  178. Atheists are so easy to disprove, I don't waste my time on them. I'm more interested in exposing heresies within Christendom, those posing as Christians who are not such as Matt Slick. I just did a 5 hour presentation here,

  179. If you don't waste your time with us, why do you continually feel the need for our attention by coming here?

    Repeating the same failed arguments in the hope that by repetition they will finally come true is just sad, Troy. Especially on a thread that's five months old. Honestly, dude, it's not even pitiful anymore.

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  181. Your response was vague. My inbox in my email account showed someone posted (Pastor), so it was hardly difficult or time consuming to respond. I think it took less than 1 minute to respond. Compare that to the 5 hours and 16 minutes in the video I did about Matt Slick the Calvinist.

    You still have the same problem in logic. Since something can't come from that which does not exist and the universe can't always have existed, because you would have happened already, having had an eternity to do so, what you are left with necessarily is nature that needs a cause outside of itself, outside of time and space, and this is whom we call the uncreated Creator or God for short.

    So the issue is not whether God exists but who God is. Where does God reveal Himself?

    Since a God who is accessible and personal is better than one who is not, then we really only have 3 choices: Christianity, Hinduism or Islam.

    Islam is false since it has no evidence six centuries later to claim Jesus didn't die on the cross. And Hinduism is false, since obviously you are not going to come back as a bullfrog, since that never effectively deals with sin. Moreover, how can Brahma be said to be amoral with morals below our own? The Creator can never be less than the created.

    Your whole life has been a lie as an atheist. Alas, do not fret, but simply repent to the cross as a helpless sinner to receive the Lord Jesus as Savior. You are too scared in your self to give up the control you have had of self all your life, but the Bible says in order to gain your life you will need to lose it first. Just let go, since Jesus is fully proven, and place all your trust in Him and thou shalt be saved. Life will never be the same when you do, for you will be born-again, given a new life, forgiven and the Holy Spirit enters your spirit ousting the evil spirit. You'll have eternal life which can never lost: "they shall never perish" (John 10.28)-once-saved-always-saved! Praise the Lord! Amen.

  182. You have to admit, my fellow atheists, that's an airtight case...

  183. I should also say, Hinduism and Islam though accessible with combined over 2.5 billion souls they are not personal for to them they had no God who entered His creation and was loving enough to pay for the sins of the world to save whosoever is willing. They don't appropriately deal with the sin problem as God would have it. This is a top down approach.

    A bottom up approach is simply to observe the fact FOR THE GOOD REASONS most scholars concede the disciples truly believed they had seen Jesus alive from the dead in various group settings. Since all possible naturalistic explanations have been exhausted as this is not rocket science but relatively simple to figure out and no naturalstic explanations work like group hallucinations, fraud or swoon theory, then we are left with that which you don't want to accept that Jesus is God, died on the cross and resurrected the third day to atone for sins and give resurrection life which is everalsting life.

    You will go to Hell in everalsting perdition, always aware of your wrong choice.

  184. According to your logic Parture, it's impossible for God to have created us. If God has existed for eternity, than there's no way he could have created us [however many years ago we were created] because an infinite amount of time existed before we were created.

    My whole life hasn't been wasted as an atheist because I wasn't an atheist my whole life. I "found Jesus" in my teenage years even though I wasn't brought up with much religion. I heavily involved in Christianity in my late high school and early college years. I would cry out to God to strip me of my sinful flesh and make instrument of his will, strip me of my pride and earthly desires, and glorify only his name. I walk around my secular campus and share the gospel (by myself, I didn't have many church friends). I even preached on secular campus's. It wasn't until I decided to study apologetics and read my bible in order to defend my faith (1 Peter 3:15) and win more souls that I realized I had no good reason to believe any of this.

    Even if you did prove some sort of divine creator, you're argument shatters at "Since a God who is accessible and personal is better". What does "what is better" have anything to do with the truth? Its a non sequitur.

    And to the people of Atheist Experience, I don't mean to keep arguing on a 5 month old post. I can continue if you're enjoying it, otherwise I apologize, I don't mean to waste your time.

  185. Your infinite regress doesn't work, because if it were true, you would have happened already, having had an eternity to do so. But with God, since He exists outside of time and space, He is not subject to your fanciful alleged infinite regress of time, so you lose on that point.

    That's funny, you were preaching your gospel before you even read the Bible. Obviously, you worshiped a false Christ, were never born-again to begin with, were only deluding yourself, for the Bible definines a Christian excplicitly that those who are truly saved, truly born-again "they shall never perish" (John 10.28). That's once-saved-always-saved. Hence, you would never have been born-again even if you thought you were. So what happened to you is more like 2 Pet. 2.21, "For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known [it], to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them." This verse doesn't say you lost your salvation, but that you had known at least to some extent about Jesus in the way of righteousness, yet refused to walk through that door of salvation, for you clearly worshiped a false Christ.

    This verse says it would have been better you never even heard of Jesus because though you came close to the door of salvation, you never walked in. You're what is called s the unsaved tare trying to look like the saved wheat in Matt. 13, but never were you ever born-again to begin with. You tried to enter God's kingdom by your own self-strength, as you listed several efforts you boasted about. That's not how salvation works. This is something you have never underestood. The reason why it would have been better you never heard of Christ is because now your punishment in Hell will be worse than it would be otherwise, for you were graced with coming close to the door, yet rejected the One True God and Jesus Christ for a false Christ.

    As to God being better, better always trumps the not better. That's just a fact. There is no circular statement here. Since your god or some other god can't do what God of the Bible does, then God of the Bible is the One True God. The lesser can never create the greater. But if you don't like that top down approach, that's why I gave you the bottom up one also in which you can't find a naturalistic explanation for the origin of the disciples' beliefs, thus proving Jesus is who He says He is, God, the first and the last.

    My prayers is that in our discussion, though I would prefer to talk about it at biblocality forums because the format on this blog is terrible, is that you come to Christ because not only is God proven but who God is is proven also. Amen.

  186. This comment has been removed by the author.

  187. I am going to continue my responses here instead,

  188. The reason I am doing this of course is also because of the censorship Farenheit 451 type behavior at the atheist experience show as you can see all my words are scrambled by them if you enter in from their blog page.

  189. @Parture Crap... you know what, all of the people who were supposedly saved in the New Testament were worshiping a false Christ too. The books of the Bible hadn't been written yet, they just heard the gospel from someone else, just like I did from a youth pastor. I demand that, in the interest of saving as many souls as possible, that you no longer let any youth group remember, deacon, pastor, or member of your congregation share the gospel (or preach) until they have read from Genesis to Revelations.

    When I got saved, I wept like a little girl. I was at a Cracker Barrel with a youth pastor, he told me gospel, I open my heart and joy filled it. You see, and when I was a Christian, I knew I was saved. Not because I prayed a prayer, or because someone told me so, but because Jesus had died for me. "Only something of infinite worth could atone for infinite punishment. No a prayer, not because my youth pastor told me, but because JESUS DIED FOR ME", as I use to preach (before I had read the WHOLE Bible). I knew it was nothing that I could do, Christ's sacrifice alone was the only atonement for my sin, and the burden had been lifted. I could tell by my fruit, as it says in Matthew. I spread the gospel to a lot a people on my local campus, a few even came to know Christ.

    Of course, this is all predicated on the presumption that it is all true.

    All I'm going to say about the "not being a Christian" is: No True Scotsman.

    I'm not suggesting infinite regress, I'm saying: I dunno how the universe got here but infinite regress for the universe has the same implications for your God as it does the universe. You've solved nothing by turning your brain off saying the solution is something uncomprehending, a God outside the universe. I could just as easily say: "Actually, there's a Super God that creates Gods. Super God exists outside the "outside universe" that the God of the Bible exists in. Super God is the one true God and he is just testing us with all the lesser gods her created".

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  191. You're a goofball when you say those in the Bible worshiped a false Christ. They define what it is to be in Christ for they spent three years with Jesus and were with Him 40 days from His resurrection. These are the original disciples. As for others like Luke who may not have seen Jesus was a close worker with several of the original Apostles who set up the churches based on the appearances of Jesus alive from the dead. All the NT texts were written on time, nothing to suggest any late dating. I agree you should read the entire Bible before you start preaching to a Church. That would be the minimum standard.

    When you thought you got saved, you opened your heart to a false Christ. I had a similar experience so I know what you are going through. Ten years before I truly got saved I also cried a cracker barrel too and thought I was in the fold for 30 days, but after that month was up, I rejected it, challenged the one who prompted me in the first place, and he could not answer my questions. So I didn't think about it even once for ten years until that wonderful and blessed day I realized all things summed up in Christ. What happens to a lot of people is what happened to you and me, and we were not saved back then, because it is not an emotional appeal, but spirit must make contact with Spirit. Regeneration must truly take place in the spirit in which case then you can never be lost just as the Bible says. I freely concede I was not born-again that 10 years prior, but when I truly realized all things summed up in Christ, it was then and only then I was born-again and received eternal life which could never be lost. Praise the Lord!

    You're not applying the No True Scotsman fallacy correctly. So that's where I come in to help you.

    Teacher: All Scotsmen enjoy haggis.
    Student: My uncle is a Scotsman, and he doesn't like haggis!
    Teacher: Well, all true Scotsmen like haggis.

    God: All Christians have eternal life which can never be lost (here is the proof...).
    False Christian: I was a Christian once.
    God: Well, all Christians can't lose eternal life so you were never a Christian.

    If the statement "All Christians have eternal life which can never be lost" is qualified to exclude otherwise without proving the statement then this would be a form of begging the question. But since Jesus is proven to be God and it is proven that this is what Jesus taught, we can be confident you were never a Christian.

    You're avoiding what was already said. It was already said infinite regress would not apply to God because God exists outside of time, as there can only be one uncreated Creator.

    Don't think God is unknowable, for He reveals Himself to us entering His creation as proven by His resurrection.

    What you are proposing is called "Deism" where the God of the Bible would be created by the actual uncreated Creator rendering the God of the Bible a liar who claims to be the uncreated Creator, but the problem with that approach is that, as we have seen before, is that an atonement cannot be achieved by a lesser god, for only the actual uncreated Creator could atone for sins, since it requires a perfect solution - God no less.

    Moreover, God is personal since we are personal, and God can't be less than us. Your ultimate Creator would be impersonal, because he remains an absentee landlord and does not personally interact or reveal Himself with us but leaves that up to one of his created beings. So that theory of yours fails on its head. On top of that the Creator would never allow an evil being to atone for sins either, so you contradict yourself there also.

    You're a fool for the Devil.

    I put a copy here, since you know how much atheistexperience like to censor,

  192. The evidence we have of trillions and trillions of cause and effects in nature, and no hard evidence something coming from nothing, is an overwhelming preponderance of evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. So according to your infinite regress theory you would have happened already having had an eternity to do so. Thus, nature needs a cause outside of itself, outside of space-time being uncreated.

  193. The evidence we have of trillions and trillions of cause and effects in nature, and no hard evidence something coming from nothing, is an overwhelming preponderance of evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. So according to your infinite regress you would have happened already having had an eternity to do so. Thus, nature needs a cause outside of itself, outside of space-time being uncreated. Still waiting for you to deal with this. Why shut your mind down? The fact that you shut your mind down and don't deal with it shows you are not being honest with yourself. "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and [Triune] Godhead; so that they are without excuse" (Rom. 1.20).


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