#17: DEBATE “Is There Sufficient Evidence For The Christian God”

Listen Here: http://www.spreaker.com/user/cellardoorskeptics/17-debate-presup

This week is a first us here at Cellar Door Skeptics, a formal debate on the topic “Is There Sufficient Evidence For The Christian God?” Chris Hanna will be taking the moderator position in an effort to quell the fire and the flames between his co-host Christopher Tanner and our guest, Aaron Furlong. Aaron will be taking the positive with a strong background in presuppositional Christian apologetics and Christopher will be representing the skeptics and atheists who believe there simply just isn’t enough evidence.

Check out the link below for both of the presenters bios along with the rules for the debate.

Segments
——
00:00 Debate Introductions / Rules
05:21 Aaron’s Introduction
13:06 Christopher’s Introduction
21:00 Aaron Questions and Christopher Answers
37:58 Christopher Questions and Aaron Answers
54:11 Aaron’s Monologue Rebuttal
58:57 Christopher’s Monologue Rebuttal
65:00 Back and Forth with Christopher and Aaron
83:22 Audience Questions for Christopher and Aaron
113:30 Aaron’s Closing Statement
118:40 Christopher’s Closing Statement

Episode: http://www.spreaker.com/user/cellardoorskeptics/17-debate-presup
Subscribe: http://www.spreaker.com/user/cellardoorskeptics
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CellarDoorSkeptics
RSS Feed: https://www.spreaker.com/user/8326690/episodes/feed
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/cellar-door-skeptics/id1044088575?mt=2&ign-mpt=uo%3D4
Website: http://cellardoorskeptics.com

Bios: http://wp.me/p6yn1U-1Yp

Links
——
Aaron Furlong
http://proofthatgodexists.org
——
Christopher Tanner
http://www.justinsweh.com/#!debatespresentations/cemp

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularoutpost/2013/08/14/andrews-vs-schieber-2/
http://treesearch.org/debate/summary-giunta-schieber-debate-2014
http://www.apologetics315.com/2013/08/john-frame-interview-transcript.html#more
http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Presuppositionalism
http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Begging_the_question
http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Burden_of_proof
http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/evoscales_01
http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/evo_01

#13: Not Another New Year

#13: Not Another New Year

Ring in the new year with Cellar Door Skeptics. In our 2016 inaugural episode, we tackle fracking, gerrymandering and vote manipulation, and whether we should vote only vote two party in a close election year.

We also are joined by our friends in the podcast community, Jen and Keith from Not Another Atheist Podcast as help weigh in on these important topics. They will stick around for the full show to provide their expert and sometimes vulgar yet honest opinions on today’s show.

Segments
——
00:00 Not Another Atheist Podcast Interview
46:00 Voter Manipulation and Gerrymandering
01:15:30 Science Segment / Fucking Fracking
01:38:10 Two Party System VS Voting Your Conscious

Episode: https://www.spreaker.com/user/cellardoorskeptics/13-not-another-new-year
Subscribe: http://www.spreaker.com/user/cellardoorskeptics
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CellarDoorSkeptics
RSS Feed: https://www.spreaker.com/user/8326690/episodes/feed
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/cellar-door-skeptics/id1044088575?mt=2&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Links
——
https://notanotheratheistpodcast.wordpress.com/
https://www.facebook.com/NotAnotherAtheistPodcast/
@AnAtheistInYYC
@Insomnia_Mama
—–
http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2015/12/03/clerks-voters-rip-plan-end-straight-ticket-voting/76712546/
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/03/how-voter-id-laws-are-being-used-to-disenfranchise-minorities-and-the-poor/254572/
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2014/08/06/a-comprehensive-investigation-of-voter-impersonation-finds-31-credible-incidents-out-of-one-billion-ballots-cast/
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/03/01/this-is-the-best-explanation-of-gerrymandering-you-will-ever-see/
——
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-14432401
http://fracfocus.org/sites/default/files/average_frac_fluid_composition_2012.jpg
http://www.dangersoffracking.com/
https://fracfocus.org/chemical-use/what-chemicals-are-used
http://insideclimatenews.org/news/07122015/methane-emissions-texas-fracking-zone-90-higher-epa-estimate?utm_source=Daily+Carbon+Briefing&utm_campaign=bb68b24353-cb_daily&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_876aab4fd7-bb68b24353-303423917
https://www.earthworksaction.org/issues/detail/hydraulic_fracturing_101#.VnNCFfkrLIU
——
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ben-spielberg/hillary-clinton-is-better_b_8848632.html
https://m.dailykos.com/story/2012/10/30/1152687/-Why-You-Shouldn-t-Vote-Your-Conscience-An-open-letter-to-the-lonely-left
http://ivn.us/2015/12/21/discredit-two-party-system-vote-conscience/

Cursed are the Meek, for They Dream of Being Enslaved

I’m going to keep this entry short ‘n’ sweet and get you thinking about something. (If you end up coming to the same conclusions I have under your own steam, the insight will be more truly yours than if I simply serve it up fully-cooked.) I want to spill just a little metaphorical ink over the most important verse in the Bible. I’m not talking about John 3:16. I have in mind a different saying attributed to Jesus, one that can be found in that compendium of aphorisms and apothegms known as “The Sermon on the Mount:”

 

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5, NRSV)

 

If I pull up my Microsoft Word thesaurus and search “meek,” here’s the list of synonyms I’m offered: humble, timid, submissive, gentle, docile, modest, compliant, mild, quiet, lowly, weak, cowed, fearful, and tame. That thesaurus suggests “assertive” and “overbearing” as antonyms. (Nominal synonyms for “assertive” and “overbearing” tend to be gender-specific: “leader” for the males, “bitch” for all the rest. Funny how that works, ain’t it? But that’s another essay.)

 

Meek. It’s a telling word, is it not? What message do you suppose “Jesus” was trying to send here? Let’s not forget there’s a good possibility that such a character never actually existed and the only reason we have these sayings of “Jesus” is that a powerful institution collected/concocted them to be promulgated to someone’s advantage. Whose advantage might that be? Isn’t it obvious?

 

There’s a reason that Nietzsche called Christianity a religion of slaves. There it is, in black and white (or red, if you’ve got one of those), straight from the mouth of Jesus of Nazareth, sitting right there like a shiny new dime on one of the gilt-edged pages of the Best Book Ever Written. And as Nietzsche understood full well, Christianity’s not the only religion designed to enslave its devotees. There have been hundreds, and plenty are still on offer.
Continue reading “Cursed are the Meek, for They Dream of Being Enslaved”

Why I Hate the Phrase: “True Christians Don’t Do That!”

It never fails. Any time a situation arises where a Christian, or group of Christians, is in the wrong Christians come out of the woodwork to distance themselves.

 

“A True Christian wouldn’t do that!”

“As a True Christian, I’m appalled and I wish you wouldn’t call these people Christians.”

 

Listen, folks. There are over 40,000 different denominations of Christianity. Each one values certain verses from the Bible more than others. Some denominations are more progressive and value the “nice” verses more than they value the “bad” verses. This does not make the more progressive denominations more or less Christian than the others.

 

The only thing most denominations agree on is that Jesus died for the sins of humans. If someone believes that they are Christian. Whether they support gay marriage or not isn’t a determining factor. Whether they charm snakes, believe in faith healing, disallow women from wearing pants, etc. isn’t a requirement for calling oneself a Christian. It may be a requirement to be members of certain denominations, but whether someone is Pentecostal or Methodist, they still fall under the umbrella of Christian. Whether they embrace or disregard Leviticus they are still Christian.

 

Stop saying “True Christians would never do that!” Christians do all kinds of things. Our prison systems are full to the brim with Christians. You don’t get to tell them whether or not they are allowed to call themselves Christian. If they believe Jesus died for their sins they are Christian. You can scream they aren’t Christian until you’re blue in the face, but they still are.

 

If they use the bible to justify their bigoted actions, they usually have verses to back it up. You don’t get to decide their interpretation of the bible is wrong. Just the same way they don’t get to determine your interpretation of the bible is wrong. There is no way to determine which denomination is following the bible the correct way. There is no one correct way to follow Christ. If there was 40,000+ different denominations wouldn’t exist.

 

Chances are they don’t think you are a True Christian, either. Can you guess why? Maybe because you aren’t following Christ the way they are. Funny how that works, huh?

 

Stop telling atheist not to call people you don’t like Christians. We’re tired of being dragged into this debate amongst the Christian community over which denomination is the right one. You’re all wrong.

About that God-Shaped Hole

This piece is a contribution from our good friend David Goza who can also be watched here.

Throughout most of my life, I’ve regularly heard one version or another of a shopworn claim made by pulpiteers, Sunday school teachers, Christian bloggers and authors, participants in Christian Facebook groups, and so forth. It goes like this: There’s a “God-shaped hole” inside each of us, and unless we fill it with God we’ll never be happy. Since nature abhors a vacuum, we’ll try to fill that void with something (a list usually follows, and will typically include sex, drugs and rock-‘n’-roll). But nothing we try to fill it with will ever really satisfy us since only God can fill it perfectly.

 

One encounters many variations on this theme, including the often-heard claim that atheists make a religion of evolution or a god of Richard Dawkins (or of themselves) and that those who do not embrace the Kingdom of Heaven will almost certainly become political activists of the communist variety, bent on establishing their own substitute heavenly kingdom on Earth.

 

That claim is a gross distortion of a metaphor coined by Jean Paul Sartre, who spent much of his career teasing apart the particulars of our uneasy relationship with the culture in which we find ourselves embroiled without having chosen it. His “God-shaped hole” metaphor points at the essential emptiness at the heart of our industrial civilization, with its pointless routines, infuriating distractions and glut of cheap, toxic crap. It’s a poignant metaphor meant to capture the poignancy of our predicament.

 

The misuse I cited earlier represents a warping almost beyond recognition by those who employ Sartre’s metaphor casually without having read what he had to say about it. I want to try to couch it in terms that make better sense, that are truer to Sartre’s meaning.

 

It’s obvious that most humans feel a deep need for meaning in their lives, and thus pursue it in various ways. Many – surely most to at least some degree – seek meaning outside themselves, in something “larger” (the family, the community, the state, the church, the cosmos), but this isn’t true of everyone. A few seem to locate meaning only in themselves, and this leads to some distressingly predictable behaviors. Those so described almost inevitably end up at the top of whatever ladder it is they’re climbing and thus join the ranks of the most dangerous people alive: the narcissists and sociopaths who wield great power and command vast wealth. Like black holes, they take but do not give. In their case, it may be that “meaning” is the wrong word: perhaps “fulfillment” would be a better choice.
Continue reading “About that God-Shaped Hole”

A response to “Religion and science can we talk?”

We here at Atheist Analysis don’t usually create formal response letters to blogs or news stories unless they are of immense social and humanistic consequence, but recently a link was given to me that lead to a progressive christian blog.  This more compromising version of faith is, to me, less harmful and overall a step in the right general direction, while still providing enough material for all of us here on the blog team to continue picking apart the hypocrisy; it’s the cutting off heads and hellfire damnation that is lacking – for the better, most would concede.

 

For this short reply blogger Moonlit History and I, Deafilosophy (or Chris Hanna as there are a lot of pseudonyms being thrown around at the moment), will be commenting on some of the points, perspectives, open-ended questions, and conclusions made in the article linked above.  So without further ado, I will begin.

 

Deafilosophy

Aside from the horrendous grammar in the title of the article at hand, or, more accurately, the lack thereof, I was initially quite content with just perusing the content with a smile as any time people of faith accept science over empty pseudo-superlatives I get all warm and fuzzy inside.  But, that title just ate at me. Let’s try, “Religion and Science: Can We Talk?” instead.  There, isn’t that better?

 

As an engineer and open atheist almost all my life, I did not know atheism had a name until high school. I am quite familiar with most of the apologetic and progressive arguments for God that absorb scientific explanations.  Immediately the fine tuning argument is casually implied with an invocation of the cosmological constant, and, of course, mentioning Albert Einstein, a noted Spinozan deist at best.

 

Two things and then I will give the floor to my esteemed colleague; the fine tuning argument is the most basic argument for the prime mover, for classical deism, and it is also the limit of our understanding of the universe at the moment.  But using this argument to prove the personal Christian God is to overextend and ultimately, as C.S. Lewis was so apt to do, try to prove too much with too little:

 

“Sigmund Freud wrote that the voice of reason was small, but very persistent. C. S. Lewis tried to prove too much by opining that the presence of a conscience indicated the divine spark” (Hitchens, “god is not Great,” 2007, p. 256).
Continue reading “A response to “Religion and science can we talk?””

Moving the Values of Myth: A Reflection on Easter

© David Teachout

1428362424_thumb

From moment to moment, our lives can embody any of the multiplicity of purposes that we can identify with. The stories we tell, from socially created myths to benign exaggerations expressed to friends and colleagues, project the particular purpose we want to make front and center. This can be due to a desire to express an idea to another or to make sure we’re on the same track we first set out upon. Whatever that purpose is, the values that come along for the ride, both in the telling and the type of story chosen, do so in the form the story takes. Thankfully stories are more than single-use thought-devices, else we would never be able to reuse them or get something new regardless of repetition. Because of a shared human experience, we are able to remember lessons imparted through literature or voice because they continue to resonate with new situations. Importantly, this allows us to determine whether the form the value took before is how we’d like it to continue. Take the example of a father telling a joke, a form of story, about how he’d scare his daughter’s date with shotgun in hand. The value on hand is paternal care, a value most of us hold in some fashion and have no problem promoting. However, the form it takes in the joke makes that value so prominent that it overshadows any other, for instance respect and personal integrity. As time has gone on the joke is no longer the best form to express paternal care, precisely because the values of respect and integrity have increased in significance in association with that situation. Consider it like a movable hierarchy, where the original story form presented paternal care at the top of the pyramid and respect and integrity being derived and below it. It’s not that respect and integrity didn’t exist, it’s just that rather than being equal, they were subservient to the form of paternal care being presented.

 

I know of no situation where a person’s values have utterly disappeared, though certainly they will rise and fall in conscious consideration as time and experience go by. I grew up with stories, my father sending me and my siblings to sleep with short made-up stories that imparted humor or whatever lesson he’d considered that day. I am also a voracious reader and, like the bed-time stories the form they take has changed over the years. There came a point when the bedtime stories stopped and simplistic fiction no longer sufficed. I still held the same values of honesty and valor, dedication to an ideal and perseverance in the face of adversity, but the way those values stood in form had become more complicated. For others the original form no longer made any sense.
Continue reading “Moving the Values of Myth: A Reflection on Easter”

“God is just Ego, Misspelled….My Ego has Better Credentials than your Ego.”

My Anti-theist Friend, Marchal: “God is just Ego, Misspelled….My Ego has Better Credentials than your Ego.”

 

559108_323158267770827_2114634478_n

One of my favorite people to converse with about religion is my good buddy, Marchal. I met Marchal in college, and like me, he was getting a bachelors degree in psychology. We lost touch after Heidelberg, but we recently rekindled our friendship. He contacted me after he read a couple blog posts, he was excited to share with me that he too, is an atheist. Marchal has an interesting story as well, and I would like to share with others, some of the conversation that we recently had.

 

After Heidelberg, Marchal went to Ohio State University, where he received a PHD in psychology. Marchal did not spend any time in the field though, because after he graduated he co-founded a start up company and has been traveling the world ever since. He has spent more time in other countries, than he has in his own, over the last couple of years.

 

“What is the most frustrating thing when it comes to dealing with religious people?” Marchal asked me.

 

“Their ego. They are extremely ignorant, yet so arrogant. They believe they are entitled to whatever they want,” I replied.
Continue reading ““God is just Ego, Misspelled….My Ego has Better Credentials than your Ego.””

Sometimes, For All to Live, Something Must Die

Christianity’s most outrageous and ruinous conceptual coup has also been its most brilliant, and has positioned the church for success in perpetuity by poisoning the well of humankind until the end of time. In a single stroke, this odious religion has enslaved a large portion of the human species by implanting the following malignant, two-headed brainworm into a hundred generations of potentially reasonable people:

 

 a) Instead of being an integral and necessary part of the way the universe works, death is a curse (hence dreaded – not simply feared, as our biology would have it) incurred by “sin”(hence “a shame,” especially if self-inflicted).

 

b) Christianity offers a way to avoid that curse even as one appears to succumb to it.

 

The latter an inconvenient datum that is rationalized to insignificance (Granny didn’t really die, she just went home to be with Jesus), a way into eternal life. And it indoctrinates children with that nonsense before they’re old enough to recognize the difference between fantasy – especially of the wishful thinking variety – and reality.

 

That’s why Christianity is never going to go away. Talk about brilliant! Is any more effective program of mind control even conceivable?
Continue reading “Sometimes, For All to Live, Something Must Die”

Hiding Behind a Mask Of Religious Persecution: Deny a Michigan Gay Couple’s Child Medical Treatment

By now most of you reading this have probably already heard about the Michigan Doctor who refused to treat a Lesbian couples young child for medical service. Now lets make one thing clear, she 10897904_10100399546023366_4555240943183328609_nrefused to treat the child, but there were other adequate medical professionals in the building who could treat the child. This is important, as I do not want anyone to feel that I am trying to make a case that this child went without care. The child did get care, but the question of what morals of individuals who hold deep religion beliefs should be upheld verses what is a violation of personal rights and human flourishing of the species.

 

This story hits croi-slose to home because I live in Michigan; and as an atheist, I feel that the doctors religious beliefs trumps a persons lifestyle choice and their biological sexual orientation. It would follow that they would be able to discriminate against others who do not match their religious fundamentals, which is a slippery slope that could restrict treatment to others or deny it all together.
Continue reading “Hiding Behind a Mask Of Religious Persecution: Deny a Michigan Gay Couple’s Child Medical Treatment”