Born Again Atheist

I was brought up in a christian house, I went to church every sunday with sunday school, and youth camps and everything. I even did that whole thing where you stand up in front of the whole church and ask to be saved. That night me and my dad sat in my room, and prayed to god to save my soul. Pretty laughable if I think about it now.
There came a time in my life, about 15 years ago or so, when I just stopped lying to myself. I was in church, and everyone was singing and saying things to someone, who I realized, I couldn't even see.
That was the day I was struck with a blinding realization...god didn't create man, man created god. I have been a born again athiest ever since then, and never looked back.
TCat TCat
26-30, M
104 Responses Jun 8, 2007

no no no the devils just got you by the balls thats all.. lol

Yup, that's me. I absolutely hate having my views challenged which is why I take the time to respectfully impugn these and vindicate my own (in THE most inhospitable and venomous forum in EP, no less) ...

Yeah I know, this is out of place in the thread, not my fault, Max blocked me. Because he does not ;like it when people challenge him. Poor thing.

In response to

The assumption that an observer somehow interacts with the photons fired through a double slit was experimentally refuted in 1999 with the Delayed Choice Quantum Eraser Experiment.

Go to

And from that page"
Comment: To the physicist, the results "are all consistent with prediction." To the layperson, the results should be shocking. Let us review the course of the experiment as it unfolds, beginning when the incoming photon from the laser generates an entangled pair at the crystal.

Max is a lay person. He is shocked. When shocked he goes: "therefore god"

Max: "THE most inhospitable and venomous forum in EP"
Too funny!
Show Max that the stuff he copy-pastes is in error ie. challenge his views... and you'll be blocked.
When he blocked me waaaaaaay back in the mists of time, apparently it was because i 'wasn't interested in having a real discussion' (that came from Jena).
Max, who simply regurgitates whatever his indoctrinators feed him, and then becomes unresponsive when cornered.
Max, who simply starts a new topic whenever the sophistic nonsense he copy-pastes is exposed.
Max, who squirts clouds of copy-pasted ink before scurrying away from a discussion when his nonsensical pap is exposed for what it is.
Max... who always tries to start any thread so that those he has blocked can't respond to him directly (that rather speaks to character, i feel).
Max, who has required, and abused, more tolerance from the members of this group than any proselytising troll has a right to even hope for.

This is the man who apparently said that i 'wasn't interested in having a real discussion' .

Run along, Max

At Max: That's right: I challenged your views, and you ran away. Thank you for admitting that.

Max, we all know that it wasn't P245's 'attitude' that caused you to run away from him.
Running away from your own mess is one thing, but trying to blame someone else for it is just despicable.

Actually, it's astonishing that you wrote to P245: "Exactly the attitude that got you banned in the first place"
From what?
Certainly not from this group, of which he's a sincere and honest member,
Certainly not from those stories in this group that were written by sincere and honest members.
So, banned from what, Max?
Oh, did you mean 'blocked'?
Blocked from responding directly to a proselytising troll who dishonestly and cravenly spams the stories of the sincere and honest members of this group?
Hmm, as i said, Max, i don't think it was his attitude that led you to do that... i think it was part of your constant attempts to mask the emptiness of your postings.
Too late!


"Max - the loser who blocks people who challenge his views"

Exactly the attitude that got you banned in the first place.

The assumption that an observer somehow interacts with the photons fired through a double slit was experimentally refuted in 1999 with the Delayed Choice Quantum Eraser Experiment.

An observation is necessarily an interaction.

The effect of the observation constrains the histories of the components of the interaction to those that are consistent with the observation. If the observation is lost (the quantum eraser), the histories are no longer constrained.

Another (functionally equivalent) way of looking at the situation is to consider that the superposition of states never goes away. Instead, you, the observer, have "joined" the superposition and there are now two versions of you. Each version would perceive a different outcome, and perceive that outcome as though it were classical in nature, as if the superposition collapsed.

Max - the loser who blocks people who challenge his views says:


Wait, Merriam-Webster doesn't know what logic or logical means?"

And then


Please explain how I've misunderstood a definition quoted from Merriam-Webster?

It would seem, rather, that you're simply misapprehending Merriam-Webster's definition and its applications."

And then


More like,

"Electrons don't follow a logical path. It changes when you're not looking. That's illogical!"

Well Max, I checked the dictionary, and it does not say anything about paths.

Now, scientifically, it is not the act of looking that changes the path of the electron, it is the fact that it interacts with something - and, of course, the observer is one example of something.

FAILED, again.

i have a hunch that Max thinks 'observing' means 'a person looking at the electron with an eye'... no, seriously!

I'm sure he does. That's probably why he referred to this article. The non-scientist will see the sexy headlines and go "go enough for me!" and therefore god.

We could eventually have an extraordinary situation where all the bona fide members of this group have been blocked by a proselytising troll! lol!

i rather think that Fastolfe will be next...

Yeah, he might be next. Unbelievable.

Well, Max has blocked me. Yeah!

OK, here is someone - Max, who comes to an atheist forum, trolls the heck out of it, and basically ends up saying "prove that my imaginary friend in the sky does not exist, do not challenge my belief, or else I'll block you."

This make Max a first class pathetic loser.

Max has a tough time understanding that non-believers do not need to prove that god does not exist. That much has been proven over and over as I and others have explained it to him at length.

This makes Max an intellectual midget.

Max seems to spend a lot more time looking up fancy words - I presume he gets his money worth out of the thesaurus. In spite of that, there is not substance to his claims.

This makes Max a pedantic ***.

Max requires, even demands proof - I say proof - of the non existence of god while all we ask for for is evidence - some evidence, something.

This makes Max intellectually dishonest.

Max does not understand the concept of answering question. One example out of many, when asked what makes quantum illogical all we get in return is "it's illogical" or "is the dictionary wrong?"

This makes Max a pain in the ***, and an idiot.

Makes makes claims that have little or nothing to do with the argument. One example out of many "Light has no mass but yet it exist".

This makes Max a manipulative creep.

Next time the JW come a-ringing on my doorbell, I'll think of Max.

The next time someone says 'jehovah's witness' to you, just remember max, and remember also that there was once a time when theists ruled everything and belief in gods was mandatory... that time was called the Dark Ages - characterised by unprecedented misery, ignorance, confusion, and suffering

i have posted a story at:
that might provide pleasant and productive diversion from Max's trivia

Thank you for starting that other thread.

@ Max
You claim "Actually those bizarre results are the very antithesis of a predictable "interrelation or sequence of facts or events", hence they're illogical.

This is why quantum mechanics concerns itself with the probability of events, not their perfect prediction: (same useless link as before)"

Again, you have FAILED to tell what specifically in quantum breaks the rules of logic. The results are bizarre, indeed, but that does not make them illogical. Quantum mechanics is indeed probabilistic, but "perfection" is a subjective term. You don't like it, well, I got news, nature does not care whether you like it or not. That's just the way things are. The laws of quantum are quite surprising the first time we learn them - even later I guess, and one has a really hard time figuring out a way one could have anticipated the laws to be the way they are. But, at the end of the day, if your apply the laws FOLLOWING LOGIC (yes, I'm yelling at you) and FOLLOWING MATH (yes yelling again) they do describe what is observed.

Still waiting...

@ Max

Again, you are not getting it. It is not up to us to tell you what you beliefs are ground in, that is your job. But, to answer, your beliefs are just that, beliefs. And yes, that is what theists do, as they are unable to provide evidence for their claim, while non theists reserve judgment and adopt provisionally the default position.


If, as you claim, my "beliefs are not grounded in reason" what are they grounded in?

Beliefs generally arise from what "feels" true, whatever convinces you that they're true. Conviction in a belief does not require rationality.

Does this apply to you as well or just theists?

I think this is just human nature. People believe things they're sufficiently convinced of, where "sufficiently convinced" is a personal notion.

And if I may preempt your next reply, please note that I said "does not require rationality" not "is never rational". Some set of people are more able to recognize and practice rationality than others. Some independent set of people are more interested in centering their beliefs around rationality than others. The two sets are not the same, meaning some people desire to have rational beliefs but are unable to realize that they're failing at it.

And, in your opinion, belief in God is irrational, yes? (at least that's what you've impressed upon me)

Yes. But not because I "know" it's true, but because every rational argument presented has relied on at least one logical fallacy or presupposition that itself has no evidence. I am grateful to you for all of your attempts because if this is the best of the "please copy-paste these talking points to offer the best rational argument" your religion has to offer, and its so easy to see where the fallacy is needed to accept them as truth, I am increasingly confident in the inference that the evidence simply does not exist.

2 More Responses

I think, I am not sure, but I think I may have been blocked by Max. I don't believe I have been blocked by any one before, but I don't see the "reply" to his post. Is that what that means?

If you can find a thread that wasn't started by Max (good luck with that), but which contains one of his comments, try to reply to the comment. If it tells you that you are not allowed to reply to the comment then yes, you have been blocked.
Have you frightened Max too?

The best way to give max pause is to start a reply in a new thread, as he does. He'll immediately avoid answering, because if he can't control the thread then there's too much risk that others will be able to directly expose his nonsense for what it is.
Two things Max fears: honest debate and the understanding that follows knowledge

It's actually incredibly arrogant and reprehensible... max comes into a group to which he is inherently opposed, plasters comments throughout the stories in that group, and blocks sincere members of that group when they reply to his spam.
On the upside... he really is doing a wonderful job of spreading atheism :-)

(Incidentally, max, you're misusing the term 'apophenia')


Actually those bizarre results are the very antithesis of a predictable "interrelation or sequence of facts or events", hence they're illogical.

This is why quantum mechanics concerns itself with the probability of events, not their perfect prediction:

See, I knew once I got it out of you you'd demonstrate that you have no idea what the word "logical" actually means. I'll add that to the list, thanks.

Wait, Merriam-Webster doesn't know what logic or logical means?

No, the dictionary has it right, you're just really bad at comprehending what you're reading and applying it to the situation at hand.

Data are not logical or illogical. The theory advanced to explain the data could be. It is the theory that leads to the "prediction" that is such a fundamental part of the definition you're trying to advance. It has nothing to do with the experiment or its results. Neither data nor experiments "predict".

Again, you seem to think "logical" means something like "believable" or "something that I would expect/predict". I understand how reading that definition from the dictionary without fully understanding it that you might think it actually proves your point, but it doesn't.

Yeah, especially since I was quoting Merriam-Webster ...

See, now I don't think you're reading at all.

Please explain how I've misunderstood a definition quoted from Merriam-Webster?

It would seem, rather, that you're simply misapprehending Merriam-Webster's definition and its applications.

Yes, where a disagreement occurs, a belief that the other person has it wrong logically follows from a belief that you have it right. See what I did there?

"The path of that electron did not follow the straight line that I predicted! That's illogical!" <-- Wrong.

More like,

"Electrons don't follow a logical path. It changes when you're not looking. That's illogical!"

I'm going to decline arguing about definitions further for now. I invite you to poke through some other dictionaries and see if you can't find a common theme that might give you cause to reinterpret what you've read in Merriam-Webster.

6 More Responses


And Kylie's bigoted acrimony makes you all warm and fuzzy ... gimme a break ...

I just have to ask... You say you were struck with a blinding realization that man created God. I'm going to be honest with you. I don't think there's a Christian out there who hasn't had doubts, but what makes you so certain? I assume you did a lot of research and studying before reaching this conclusion. Would you care to share?

The default position isn't that there are gods... the default position is that gods are unnecessary (there's nothing known about the universe that requires us to postulate gods)... and any research and study would result in moving away from this position if, and only if, it produced evidence that compelled one to do so.

Max: "out of nothing ... nothing comes"
Out of nothing comes nothing... including the gods.
Your assertion simply removes the problem one stage, and thereby merely inserts an unhelpful complication while explaining nothing.
if you're going to claim that the gods always existed, why not simply cut out the middleman and say that the universe always existed?

Which, of course, leads right back to the default position

So, Max, we're agreed that there's no need for a middleman?

Max: "Because the universe is 13.70 billion years old"
No Max - the universe began expanding about 14 billion years ago... that's no necessarily when it came into existence. So, it's quite valid to say that the universe has always existed.

and so your 'necessity for a first uncaused-cause" isn't actually a necessity... it's just theistic folderol

Actually, the default position is that out of nothing (no relations, no state of affairs, no properties, or simply put, no anything) nothing comes. From this, God's necessary existence is quite easily extrapolated.

Because the universe is 13.70 billion years old. As such, the fervent belief that the universe is infinitely old, beginningless, or eternal has no basis in any respected mainstream scientific theories of the universe. It's just more atheistic folderol and wishful thinking.

This creates the necessity for a first uncaused-cause. After all, something cannot come from nothing as I've already shared. I've also explained that this first uncaused efficient cause must also, by necessity, be transcendent, beginningless, timeless, spaceless, immaterial, unchanging, omnipotent, personal and good. As it turns out, such is the very definition of God.

"This creates the necessity for a first uncaused-cause"

As discussed in your earlier stories about this, this presumes a great deal of knowledge about the moment of creation that we don't know is true, including that the creation event is occurring within a higher dimensional framework that includes a time-like dimension (time is necessary for causality to be a meaningful concept).

At the time, you responded by saying it was necessary for me (or whoever you were responding to) to prove that physics at the moment of creation *weren't* as you presumed they were, a notion which I reject.

At best, you can *infer* that causality works the same way and that therefore a cause *probably* exists, but your presumption of knowledge at the moment of creation means you cannot reasonably say this is true by "necessity". It's true because you *feel* it's true but cannot provide any evidence that it (the presupposition) *is* true.

The "default position"? As defined by whom?

As for the postulation that everything must have a beginning... That is only true of a strictly natural entity. If a being existed outside of "nature", it would not be bound by the rules of "nature". A god would necessarily be supernatural and therefore would not be bound by your rule that everything must have a beginning.

7 More Responses

@Kylie<br />
<br />
Sweetie, don't be mad 'cause I'm making you elevate the quality of your discourse. You should, instead, be grateful you're learning how to express yourself like an intelligent human being ... finally :*<br />
<br />

Max, that's the kind of remark that I'd expect from an immature middle schooler. You are not helping your cause.

An agnostic atheist is a hop, skip and a jump from theism :)


a. Argumentum verbosium. Select two or three prophecies and try again.

b. Prove it's mere apophenia.

c. Not to beat a dead horse or anything but, since you seem unaware ...

It is beyond human ability to accurately predict specific future historical events dozens or hundreds of years before they happen again and again and again and again and again and again.

Bye, by null hypothesis ...

d. All addressed and facilely refuted here:

a. That page has a bulleted list. Just because there are many examples of prophecies held by their believers to have come true does not make it an argument from verbosity. My goal is not to mislead you by overwhelming you with information, my goal is to demonstrate that Christianity is not unique in believing that they have prophecies that are of divine origin. Since this is a crucial part of your belief that the Bible must be divine, which in turn is offered as proof in the existence of God, I'm looking for you to provide some reason why I cannot apply the same rationale to the "divine" books of other religions that also have prophecies that seem to have come true.

No doubt you could look at some of these and come up with all sorts of reasons why the prophecy is untrustworthy. I'm interested in what happens if you try to apply the same rationale to your own religion's prophecies.

b. If your goal is to prove the existence of God by way of the divinity in the Bible, by way of the truth of its prophecies, shouldn't you have the burden of proof here? Otherwise I'm quite happy with the default (Atheist) position: lack of belief.

c. You don't seem to realize that the very premise of your statement is one of the points under debate: whether the prophecies in question are actually predictions.

d. All addressed and facilely refuted here:

a. Your burden was to prove their accuracy the way I have done with the Bible's prophecies. As such, my charge of argumentum verbosium is valid. Select a few of those prophecies you claim were accurately fulfilled and try again.

b. Why? So that I can see more of your hand waving claims of apophenia? You're making the claim. Prove it's apophenia.

c. See b.

d. See c.

a. Well, you know I don't think any of the prophecies are real/true, so why would I endeavor to write a long wordy essay in the style of Max (full of logical fallacies) about any of them? My question was really whether or not you would treat them with the same acceptance criteria you apply to Christian prophecy.

b. Can you point me to where I made the claim, because I think you're just inventing a claim to shift the burden of proof, much like you did with Atheism before I think we finally got you straightened out. I see lots of things like "Would you not consider the possibility" in my statements here, but that's about it. I guess the answer is "no"?

a. If you can't expatiate your question then it's meaningless. I don't know what you're asking.

b. You don't remember saying "More "but if you interpret things in such-and-such a way, it looks true!""? You're accusing me of apophenia.

a. If you were presented with evidence of a prophecy in another religion's Book that "came true" (i.e., has equal historical evidence to any of the prophecies in the Christian bible that you accept), would you acknowledge that that other religion's Book must be divine? If so, and if that book also contains something that clearly defies the Christian view, how would you reconcile that difference?

I predicted that you would say such a situation is impossible, and given the rat's nest of circularity, suspension of disbelief and other problems with your previous expositions on Christian prophecy, I'm inclined to believe you would never be able to rationalize another religion's prophecies the way you've done with your own.

b. "I have evidence for X! Here it is: ..." "Your evidence sounds a lot like a subjective viewpoint." "That means you claim I'm making X up!" No. A rejection of evidence for X is not a claim that X is false.

My goal here is not to advance evidence that your beliefs are wrong. It's to show you that your beliefs are not grounded in reason. It's OK for you to believe what you want to believe, just don't come into an Atheist forum armed only with a mastery of debate tactics, logical fallacies and a dictionary, claiming truth from a sound, valid line of reasoning, without actually understanding the basic concepts of reason and science which are the very foundation of many atheist philosophies.

It is not irrational for someone to hold an irrational belief. Just let it go and accept your belief system for what it is.

2 More Responses

So, Max, you won't enter into discussion with P245. Will you block him as you block me and others who shine light into the dark corners of your unsupported claims, your misrepresentations, and your outright nonsense?
Or will you just run away as usual and look for another story to infect?
it's instructive to read through the questions you were asked on this story alone, and to collate the evasive or non-responsive manner in which you reacted to them.
Max, have you ever considered that deliberately wasting other people's time is totally unethical... or do your personal faith-fantasies excuse you from such 'mundane' considerations?

Hello kylie. Yes, Max's usual behaviour is to block someone, and then to always be the one to start a new thread, so that the people he has blocked can't comment on the thread directly... of course, it's just cowardice, as is his penchant for abandoning a thread when someone shows Max's claims to be nothing more than vacuous pap

Well, Max has his uses, Kylie. For example, i have two female relatives (one 17 and the other 18 years old) who have been reading Max's postings (more precisely, the postings in reply from such thoughtful correspondents as OrdinaryGuy, P245, and Fastolfe). In that time they have gone from being agnostic theists tending towards gnostic theists to now stating, firmly and happily, that they are agnostic atheists.
It is wonderful that they have been saved from a life spoiled by delusion and superstition, and i freely acknowledge that it was Max who acted as a catalyst for that result. So, as i said, he has his uses (i rather imagine that those two are not the only ones who have been enlightened in this way).
Two less of them - two more of us! :-)

When Max says:
"Argumentum ad lapidem. You've done nothing to dispel the argument presented nor the facts that support it. Try again"
the meaning is "I have a list of latin phrases. I presented no coherent argument. I offered no facts. I will now ignore the entire thread and start a new thread (from which I will eventually hide... yet again)"
How tediously predictable!

Max: "The observed vs. unobserved results of double slit experiments are illogical ... but true"
"...the type of scattering an electron undergoes determines the mark it leaves on the back wall, and that a detector at one of the slits can change the type of scattering.
Stefano Frabboni, Gian Carlo Gazzadi, and Giulio Pozzi. “Ion and electron beam nanofabrication of the which-way double-slit experiment in a transmission electron microscope.”
Applied Physics Letters 97, 263101 (2010).
Well, yes, that sounds, umm... logical

Max, once i would have hesitated to point out something so basic, but now i know better, so i'll just remind(?) you that in actual double slit experiments there is always a physical mechanism involved in making the observation; these experiments have nothing to do with consciousness, i.e. it doesn't matter whether or not someone in the lab is actively watching


The observed vs. unobserved results of double slit experiments are illogical ... but true.

Max, repeating is not justifying. Here is what is going on:

Max: quantum mechanics is not logical.
Me: no it's not. What law of logic does it break?
Max: the double slit experiment is not logical.

If you say "blah blah blah is not logical" you are merely repeating yourself. What is it about it that is not logical. And, again, do not confuse illogical with unexpected.

Argumentum ad lapidem. You've done nothing to dispel the argument presented nor the facts that support it. Try again.

Still waiting. Specifically, what is illogical about quantum?

And what would your argument be? Saying the quantum is illogical but true is not an argument. Argument has a premise, a conclusion, a a description of how the premise leads to the conclusion. You offered none of that.

Apologies. I thought I was addressing one who was familiar with the nuances of quantum mechanics:

Still waiting....

Max, talking about knowing quantum. Your source is popular science writing, which is not without value, but hardly makes you a expert. Try this:, read through volume 1and 2, and do many of the end of the chapter problems. I did. That does not make me a world expert, but it's better what you got.

I think, once again, this can be explained by a difference in definitions. Here you seem to be using "illogical" to mean "inconsistent with what we previously understood."

It's as if you grew up learning something (such as the nature of light), and then cemented that understanding in your mind and refuse to acknowledge that we as a society continue to learn new things and invalidate things we once believed to be true. There's nothing "illogical" about the double-slit experiment, but it is counter-intuitive and inconsistent with the way we viewed the universe before the arrival of quantum mechanics. The world has moved on and accepted quantum mechanics as a more accurate model of the universe, but you are seemingly stuck because the pre-quantum mechanics model is what you grew up with, and you don't let go of childhood learnings easily. This probably contributes to your stalwart adherence to your religious beliefs as well.

Experimental data can not be "logical" or "illogical". Please find a more appropriate word.

Exactly, well said.


You misapprehend. The experiment is perfectly logical. The observed vs. unobserved results, on the other hand, are not.

Still waiting...

So that we're clear:
1. Please define "results" in your statement. Do you mean "data" or "an argument making some conclusion derived from the data" or something else?
2. What is an "unobserved result", or do you mean "the results, including that which we observed and that which we expected to observe but did not" or something else?
3. Please define "logical". Do you mean "a valid line of reasoning" or something else?


What happens to the results of a double slit experiment when one tries, for example, to observe a beam of electrons passing through them?

They get recorded and become data.

You didn't answer any of my questions, which I believe are fundamental to understanding how we seem to be miscommunicating.

I'm well aware of the double-slit experiment, and ones with even more bizarre results like the delayed choice quantum eraser experiment. I find the theories and interpretations of quantum mechanics quite logical and the results entirely consistent with any of them. What point are you trying to make here?

You're still avoiding defining the words that I suspect we're using differently, such as "result" and "logical". You appear to be using them in an unexpected way (suggesting data must be "logical" for it to be acceptable) and I'd like to better understand your point by better understanding what you mean when you use these words.

Max, I understand the value of rhetorical questions, but at some point, you need to go past that. Asking others questions is not the same as presenting an argument.

Still waiting for what, specifically, breaks the rules of logic in quantum. Remember that not meeting your a priory expectations is not per se illogical.

Keep in my mind that the longer you wait to make your point, the weaker your argument gets.


Which is why you need to prove your claims here and throughout EP that God does not exist.

Last chance ...

Still waiting. The fact you are ignoring that you have the burden of proof is not unnoticed. Your failure to provide proof of the existence of god is additional evidence that it does not exist.

We are still waiting for what, specifically is illogical (and not merely surprising) about quantum.

We are still waiting for what the mass of light has to do with the existence of god.

Still waiting...

15 More Responses

Interesting views, but they do seem pretty uniform were atheist are concerned. You should probably sit on it for a little while. I know quite a few atheist and some of them have very interesting beliefs of how religion came to be. Whatever the case you are entitled to believe what you want to. I am religious and I have studied Christianity, Islam, and Judaism quite a bit. You get an interesting perspective on things when you look at then from a broader picture.

Hey Max, when you have a moment, can you tell us what the mass of light - or lack thereof - has to do with atheism? Should we worry about the mass of the neutrino too?

Well, Max, I will write down your point for you, then state why that point is a sad attempt at converting the unbeliever.

Here is what you wrote: "Photons have no mass, take up no space and cannot remain in a stationary state. Does this make light an abstract concept? Why or why not?"

The implied, but unstated, point is that there is this thing out there - the photon - that has weird proprieties, like its lack of mass. And yet that thing is very much real; rather than just abstract. Therefore, god, which also is described has having weird properties, (timeless? Mass less? etc.) can, (or is it must? ), be real as well. Perfect example of a leading question.

The proper way way to look at this is that there are many things that we know are out there. There are several ways those things manifest themselves.

Photons do exist, they have no mass and no electric charge, but they have (among other things) momentum (which we detect through collisions as in the Compton effect) and energy, we we observe in the photoelectric effect..

Protons have plenty of mass (which can can measure as weight for example) and charge.

Neutron. Neutrons have as much charge as protons, but no charge, which made them harder to detect than protons, but we did discover them, albeit several decades after the proton.

My point is that everything we know to exist has *something* by which we can interact with them. Of all the things we know (charge, mass, spin, momentum, etc.) all real things have at least one - that's how we know that they're out there.

Now let's talk about god. What does if have? That is has no mass is not a problem. That it has no electric charge is not a problem. That it has no spacial extent is not problem. The problem is that god has NOTHING.

This comes back to who has a burden of proof. If someone tried to prove that the neutron did not exist but pointing out that it has not charge, of course the reply is that the lack of charge of the neutron is not proof of non-existence of the neutron because the neutron has something (like mass). Likewise, no one is saying god does not exist because it has no mass, or no spacial extent. What atheists are asking is: what does god have? All we get in return is a mix of stories from old books, tales of things that look a lot like hallucinations, "you just have to believe" statements, "why are you angry?", "some brutal dictator did not believe", but nothing serious.

Hey Max, don't forget to let us when you find an example of something in quantum mechanics that breaks the rules of logic. Again, breaking the rules of logic is not the same as being surprising or counter intuitive. I am asking because I did study quantum. It has a set of laws (Pauli's exclusion principle, Schrodinger's equation, etc). One can apply those laws to correctly model what is observed, and make testable predictions. Besides the fact that they have stood up to scrutiny, surprising as they are, those laws are self consistent, and if you work out the math, they are right on. So, if you found them to break the rules of logic, you are onto something really big, the kind of thing that would make you, if you right, a famous scientist. I want to know about it.

Sure, as soon as you finish supplying evidence for your extraordinary claim that God does not nor cannot exist.

Max, are you dumb or are you playing dumb? I do not have to provide proof that god does not exist, YOU have to prove that it does. How many times do I have to say it until it clicks?

You're the dummy who claims here and throughout EP that God does not exist. All I'm asking is that you prove your extraordinary claim.

Your are the one claiming that god exists. In spite of your claims, you yet yet to bring any evidence.

In the absence of evidence for god, I will not believe in it.
In the absence of evidence or god after centuries of searching, I'd say we have case that it in fact does not exists - unless, at long last last, someone find something.

By the way, did I get your point right vis a vis the mass of light?

Oh, when you have time, tell us what specifically what you think is illogical (not surprising or counter intuitive but illogical) in quantum? And please don't waste internet space but just repeating yourself.

You're a hypocrite. You celebrate evidence but, when pressed to produce evidence for your outlandish claim here and everywhere else on EP that God does not exist, you suddenly become blind, deaf and dumb.

So, until you recover from your noetical bigotry and produce compelling evidence for your bizarre claim we have nothing more to discuss.

Still waiting for evidence in support of your claim that god exists. Nice try with the name calling and with shifting of the burden. Remember, you are the one with the claim.

Oh, by the way, when you have a minute, tell us more about the mass of light and what that has to do with atheism, or did I nail it with earlier post?

Oh, and you have a chance, tell us specifically what in quantum break the rules of logic.

Are you hard of reading? My rejoinder still stands.

Still waiting...
I least you learned something, (I'm referring to my "hard of reading" quip). Maybe there is hope.

5 More Responses

@Fast<br />
<br />
Intriguing. A few more questions: <br />
<br />
I. What evidence is there that this book was written then?<br />
<br />
II. What exactly does the prophecy say about Obama?<br />
<br />
III. Also, you still haven't told me when unicorns became extinct.

I. A copy of it exists now. Therefore it must have been written before now. Can you prove it wasn't written in 2000 BC? Because if you can't, that means it was.

II. It says, "A leader will come to power in the midst of division and struggle." That could only be about Obama.

III. So Unicorns aren't extinct? I'm afraid you'll have to provide evidence for that.

II. Oh sorry there is a chapter at the end that says, "A man that surely none of you will know, it being the year 2000 BC and all, will come to power in one of earth's great nations four thousand years hence, and his name will be Barack Obama." How can this not be a true book? It predicted this in two separate prophecies FOUR THOUSAND YEARS AGO.

Oh, I found another one in a different chapter: "Once Upon a Time, there will be a woman with hair as red as fire, who will take the reins of one of Man's great countries in combat against another. Only one will survive." That's also about Obama. I know the bit about him being a woman with red hair is a little confusing, but there's an earlier chapter that I'm not going to quote here because it's really long that makes it objectively, absolutely irrefragably clear that this part is meant to be interpreted figuratively. You have to remember they were squirrely with language back then. The rest of the prophecy is totally Obama.

This reverse role play has shown me that I've failed to impress upon you how uniquely specific Bible prophecies.

A few examples, then:

i. Edom was prophesied to become like Sodom and Gomorrah, uninhabited for all time -

ii. During the era of the Babylonian world power, the Bible specifically foretold that the succeeding world powers would be Medo-Persia and Greece -

iii. Isaiah predicted accurately predicted centuries in advance that Babylon would never again be inhabited -

If you didn't already believe the Bible was divine, and was just some really old book that was about some other religion, would you read these prophecies and conclude that they were true? Would you not consider the possibility that the specific prophecies were written at or after the events they foretold? Would you be so willing to interpret the vague ones as prophetic without considering the null hypothesis? Would you be so eager to ignore large parts of others so as to accept what remains as evidence of a true prophecy?

a. Why wouldn't I? The facts are still the facts.

b. Not possible for i or iii. The only plausible explanation for their accuracy is a preternatural source (which, btw, is entirely consistent with Godel's Second Incompleteness Theorem).

c. What vague ones? All the ones I shared earlier are incredibly specific.

d. What "others" are you referring to?

a. So if I sent you some other religion's prophecy that "came true", you would acknowledge that this other religion's book is divine as well? What if it disagrees with Christianity? How can you have two divine books that disagree? How do you decide which one isn't actually true?

b. Of course, I forgot that "believable by Max" was a prerequisite for truth.

c/d: Tyre, for one: I pointed out the large swaths of prophecy that you have to ignore in order to say it was fulfilled in exact detail. You never really addressed this in the comments except to keep pointing out the parts that did appear to come true.

a. Instead of playing "what if" why not actually present your evidence?

b. Argumentum ad lapidem especially since both Alexander the Great and Sadaam Hussein both attempted to rebuild Babylon:

c. You mean where you claim historical coincidence as a "proper" explanation for Bible prophecies' accurate fulfillments?

a. First Google result seems illuminating:

b. More "but if you interpret things in such-and-such a way, it looks true!"

c. It's called the null hypothesis, and it doesn't appear you've even attempted to test it before proclaiming your own to be true. Consider also that there were many biblical stories that were chosen to be excluded from Biblical canon, and many of these stories contained prophecies that turned out to be completely false. If you were on a committee trying to establish canonicity, how would you treat these stories?

d. Unaddressed?

6 More Responses

Comparing God's necessary existence to the existence of a Flying Spaghetti Monster is just very weak sauce. Spaghetti has defined physical properties, thus, a monster cannot be created from it. Moreover, our understanding of aerodynamics makes it glaringly obvious that spaghetti cannot travel sustainedly through the air. As such, the Flying Spaghetti Monster has no basis in reality.

Want one more?

Russell's teapot also has no basis in reality because space is an extremely hostile environment. Just the constant bombardment of meteorites, cosmic and/or solar radiation alone would be enough to obliterate it.

That's because you accept only scientific evidence. If you used existential evidence, you would know that the fsm exits. I feel sorry for you as you are limiting yourself to an impoverished life. The Flying Spaghetti monster has filled my life with meaning, and He would touch you with His Noodly Appendage too if only you were not so closed minded. Why do you hate him so much?

How adorable!

Your burlesque still does nothing to address the issues raised by the very physical characteristics of pasta.


Thank you for the compliment! I appreciate it greatly :)

And let me just say, no one deserves to be mistreated simply for holding a different point of view. That is wrong and most unloving.

Also, truth is well within the reach of everyone no matter their level of education or mental aptitude. Why? Because the truth is always simple and straightforward.

For instance, one of the arguments I've presented here is that something cannot come from nothing. Does this make sense to you?

So basically, long story short, god is fake, we created god, and we don't know who created us. -.- this makes sense. I'm a atheist, yet people sometimes treat me with hostility to me because they think I'm a smartass. Well, I'm not. I'm not even that smart. Just the whole atheist and Christian thing for me is too complicated. But who knows, maybe I'll be smart as maxi or Janine.

Oh Eduardo, i wouldn't wish that on you, hon! :-)

Besides, there really isn't any atheist/christian thing.
Think of it as 'there i was, happily sitting in my 'i am an atheist' group', when some proselytising troll comes up to me and..." (well, you know the rest).

Thank you.

Sadly, the hostility that you experience from others is common. People react very defensively when their delusions are threatened, and for some reason theists find proximity to atheists to be quite threatening... maybe it's just embarrassment?

1 More Response

Only Max (well, there are others, but they'd be mortified to be lumped in with Max) could try to turn "defining god does not make it true" and "the definition is the correct definition of something that does not exist" into "Prove your claim that God doesn't nor cannot exist".
Anything, any wriggly, evasive, diversion at all, to (unsuccessfully) mask your unresponsiveness, your inability to explain your terms (well, those of the people whose work you copy-paste), and the intellectual bankruptcy of your babble.
Max, it's that sort of self-serving arrogance that makes you a standing joke in this group.


you can defend your references to Gödel’s Second Incompleteness Theorem, show that light has no mass, and explain what you mean by 'radical positivism'. After all, Max, you brought these things to the table... and you're the one who blocked me because, so i'm told, i'm not interested in debating with you.

Actually, i find that i just sighed, because i think i can guess which one it'll be... you'll find something on a website that looks kind of 'sciencey', copy-paste it, falsely make it sound like you have some even basic comprehension of what the words say, and then, when called to account... pee your panties and run away (yet again).
Nor exactly an effective debating method, Max!

Oh Max, your indoctrinators have just got to give you better material!
"Light has no mass"
Want me to give you the bad news, or would you prefer to just let this foolishness fade away?
i particularly like the way you use questions like this (sudden tangents) when your previous attempts to sound like you have any idea at all what you're talking about are shown to be phoney... and full points for the pseudo-authoritative manner in which you present them.
Sadly, their only purposes are camouflage and evasion.
Even more sad is that you have the effrontery, the absolute gall, to waste other people's time in such a manner.
Nevertheless, let's discuss light and mass... would you like to do that, Max? Why or why not?

Incidentally, we're all still waiting for your explanation of what you mean by 'radical positivism'... or were you just wasting everyone's time yet again?

Fastolfe, you did Max's homework for him!
Light "has mass since it has energy, just not "rest" mass, which is meaningless for light"
and the clue, max, was there in your own comment "... cannot remain in a stationary state"
Now, when you say that photons take up no space, what do you mean by that... and do you think that i can show it to be an incorrect assertion?

P245 "The photons carry no mass at all "
Max: "isn't that what I said?"
No, Max, what you said is that light has no mass... you didn't say that photons have no mass (and somehow you think that's the same thing, apparently)

Must be time for a quick diversion and a new thread, huh, Max? Might i suggest 'radical positivism'?

1 More Response

@Fast<br />
<br />
Photons have no mass, take up no space and cannot remain in a stationary state. Does this make light an abstract concept? Why or why not?

And your point is...?

The point being prove your earlier claim. Prove that God does not nor cannot exist.

Again, max, you are not listening. I responded at great length to that already.


When did you prove God does not nor cannot exist? A link will suffice.

I don't know which is the case, either you forgot, or you never paid attention, choose to ignore, or do not have the intellectual capabilities to understand, but you are telling me that you don't remember all those longs posts I posted in response to this, posts to which you yourself responded, not that long ago. It sure looks like you you were too busy doing your copy-paste magic rather than read what other people wrote.

No. Light is real. It is a form of energy that we can directly measure. (Also, it has mass since it has energy, just not "rest" mass, which is meaningless for light.)

Light has no mass, but it has momentum and energy. Not that it does anything to hour point though,

It all depends on what you mean by mass. Light has "relativistic mass" just not "rest mass". m=E/c^2.

There are indeed two ways to think of mass, rest mass and relativistic mass. We cannot speak of rest mass for light because light cannot be brought to rest. I guess technically you could say that light has relativistic mass, but that mass is zero.

The (relativistic) mass of light is zero.

The e=mc2 formula does not say that energy has mass. It says that in physical processes (some) energy can become mass, and vice-versa. For example, if an electron and a positron meet (as happens in PET scans), they disappear, and in their place appear photons. The combined masses of the positron and electron vanishes altogether, and in its place appears energy in the form of photons. The photons carry no mass at all, but they carry the energy-equivalent (per E=Mc2) of the combined masses of the particles that gave their lives to create them (so to speak).

So light has no mass ... isn't that what I said?

It has no mass. That's not what I or Max say, it's what people who study light have observed. What does that have to do with the bigger picture?


The big picture is you need to prove God does not nor cannot exist. Otherwise your Atheism is untenable as (dare I say it) noetical bigotry.

And the connection between that and the mass of light would be...?

So, why did you bring up this discussion about the mass of light?


Was that question addressed to you?

Now, stop stalling and prove your earlier claim that God does not nor cannot exist.

Max, why do hate Albert Einstein so much?

Max, quit stalling and explain what the mass of light has to do with the existence of god.

Should I say that you need to prove that the Flying Spaghetti Monster does not exist, other it is YOUR atheism that is untenable as noetical bigotry?

15 More Responses

Max, what do you mean by 'radical positivism'? We all know that 'at its heart' is Max code for 'i'm about to completely misrepresent something', so let's have a definitive and concise explanation of what you mean by this term.
OK, i realise that losing Gödel’s Second Incompleteness Theorem completely derails your pseudo-argument anyway, but for the sake of completeness, let's see how your 'radical positivism' holds up.
By the way, what relevance does a quote from Maxwell hold today... he lived in the 19th century, Max! You're seriously offering us the personal opinion (which is all it was) of someone from the Victorian era? Not exactly informed, cutting-edge stuff, is it?

Max, when you write about Gödel’s Second Incompleteness Theorem, do you understand that:
1. it applies to mathematics
2. even in mathematics, it applies only to formal theories that satisfy the necessary hypotheses, and therefore does not apply to all (or even most) axiom systems
3. this means that your entire post is just confused nonsense?

i'm reminded of creationists' penchant for offering the 2nd law of thermodynamics as some sort of refutation of evolution, while knowingly (and therefore unethically) omitting the first four words ('in any closed system') because those four words make a nonsense of their argument

Oh Max, still trying to peddle macroevolution and microevolution as being some sort of meaningful distinction?
Despite your attempt to invent pointless terms, Max, there's just evolution


Indeed. I reject the supposition that microevolution necessarily implies macroevolution the same way you would reject the supposition that the Iraq War is proof the War of 1812 actually took place.

@Fast<br />
<br />
Your personal beliefs are very much germane since you protest being lumped together with Dawkins Level 7 Atheists, like P245. <br />
<br />
If the problem is you need a more finely gradated scale feel free to use this one:

It is not necessary for me to be individually outraged at your misdirected attack on atheism for me to point out that your attack on atheism is misdirected. But since you prefer to think of these things in personal terms: Believers in Zeus and Jupiter are worshipping false gods. These people are theists. Therefore, theism is the worship of false gods. Therefore you are worshipping false gods. How dare you!

Except that I've clearly identified my theistic beliefs as those expressed by Christian Jehovah's Witnesses. So while you're barrage might work for one who just identifies himself as a Theist, it fails against Christian Jehovah's Witnesses since.

But thank you for proving my point :)

So you agree that my attack on believers of Zeus and Jupiter is a valid attack on theists generally, but you just define yourself as a special case so as to exempt yourself from it? So you're OK with me pointing out that Theists generally are wrong because some of them believe in Zeus?

It is not logically incoherent so, sure.

Wow. I'm kind of speechless. I didn't actually expect you to agree with something so clearly wrong. I'm not really sure where to go from here.

Also, doesn't your earlier statement mean that Jehovah's Witnesses aren't theists?

How do you figure?

1. People believe in Zeus.
2. People that believe in Zeus are theists.
3. Zeus is not a real god.
4. Therefore, all theists believe in false gods.
5. Jehovah's Witnesses don't believe in false gods.
6. Therefore, Jehovah's Witnesses aren't theists.

Can you please tell me where my error is?

You need to show that all theists believe in Zeus, otherwise 4 is a non sequitur.

Bingo. You need to show that all atheists claim God does not exist before you can make that claim about Atheism.

7 More Responses


The principles of Gödel’s Second Incompleteness Theorem absolutely gainsay Radical Positivism’s fundamental philosophy. After all, Science is suffused with suppositions that cannot be scientifically substantiated. The epistemology of radical positivism, thus, abrogates science itself. For instance, the principle of induction cannot be scientifically justified. Trying to provide a good inductive argument for radical positivism is hopeless since it necessarily begs the question by presupposing the validity of inductive reasoning in the first place!

Even more fatal is that radical positivism is self-refuting. At its heart, this pernicious philosophy tells us that we should not accept any proposition that cannot be scientifically proven. But what about that very premise? It cannot itself be scientifically tested much less corroborated. Therefore we should not believe it. Your Radical Positivism thus asphyxiates itself.

Or, as Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem revealed, ‘Whatsoever can be bounded cannot explain itself without referring to that which is without itself - some postulate whose certainty is unobtainable.’

This is what renowned Physicist and Mathematician James Clerk Maxwell alluded to when he concluded, “Science is incompetent to reason upon the creation of matter itself out of nothing. We have reached the utmost limit of our thinking faculties when we have admitted that because matter cannot be eternal and self-existent it must have been created.”

Demonstrably, then, your contention with and distaste for the notion of God’s existence is not evidentiary but purely philosophical. It is your philosophy - and only your philosophy - that occludes the path to knowing your Creator’s truths.

Nevertheless, the day you finally decide to open up the confines of your epistemology of truth is the day the bounteous ken of God will at last be within your grasp. Then, with great shock and piercing regret, you'll realize you've been needlessly depriving yourself all this time of staggering and precious truths.

"It is your philosophy - and only your philosophy - that occludes the path to knowing your Creator’s truths."

Just like it is your philosophy--and only your philosophy--that occludes the path to knowing Zeus's truths about unicorns.

Really? What does Zeus have to say about unicorns? Inquiring minds want to know :)

I read a book once that said Zeus thinks pink unicorns are the best unicorns, and it says "some day, unicorns will go extinct." I know the book is true because:
1. It says "This book is true" at the start; 2. My uncle is a historian and he believes the book is true. 3. Its prophecy came true so clearly the entire book must be true. 4. I believe in Zeus so it makes total sense that this book would say these things, because I pretty much imagined that Zeus would think pink unicorns are the best. Can you prove that this book is false? If not, it seems to be consistent with your philosophical views on truth.

What was that prophecy you claim was accurately fulfilled?

That unicorns would become extinct. There don't appear to be any unicorns alive today. Therefore, my book predicted the future, just like it said it would. It's a magic book.

When was this prophecy written and when did unicorns become extinct?

More importantly, what other prophecies does this book contain?

The date on the copyright page says 2000 BC. So that must be when it was written. It also said something about Obama becoming president. I'm telling you, it's totally legit. It even says "This is totally legit" beneath where it says "This book is true" and above "No rly". Is it logical that there would be THREE separate endorsements that were all wrong? I don't think so, because that's totally how logic works. I think there may be a chapter about that in the book also.

4 More Responses


My rejoinder responded to your observation that human beings aren't logical machines. This has no bearing on the veridicality of any belief.

So your point then was essentially unrelated to the discussion. You like tangents, don't you?

Not at all, I was simply highlighting the argumentum ignoratio elenchi fallacy you were committing.

If you believe this is true, how do you apply this to the actual discussion about whether an appeal to authority is actually a logical fallacy? Are you saying you reject the argument that it is fallacious and that you believe the beliefs of an authority are a valid part of a deductive line of reasoning?

It's all contingent on the nature of the argument. If you have three doctors tell you, God forbid, that you have two weeks to live would you simply retort, "Sorry but arguments from authority are never true so :P"?

No. That's not the way lines of reasoning work. A conclusion can be true despite the line of reasoning being invalid. You would not tell someone, "I only have two weeks to live because the doctor said so." You would say, "I only have two weeks to live because I have an incurable virus (or whatever)." Put another way, this is not a valid line of deductive reasoning: "A doctor told me that I only have two weeks to live, therefore I only have two weeks to live." It is possible for a doctor to tell you this and for you to live longer than two weeks. The doctor could be wrong. The tests could be wrong. The doctor could be lying to you. Lots of things. Because the conclusion could be false with the premise being true, the line of reasoning is invalid. This is basic Deductive Reasoning 101. An appeal to authority is a logical fallacy.

2 More Responses


Thanks for your input!

D.1. All matter, energy, space, time and natural forces are bottom up phenomena that constitute the universe in its entirety.
D.2. All phenomena in the universe subject to its natural laws have a naturalistic explanation.
D.3. God is a living being who is spaceless, timeless, immaterial, not a force and not energy. (Per:
D.4 Information is that which is conveyed or represented by a particular arrangement or sequence that produces a specific effect.

A.1. Per D.4, information is not matter, energy, space, time, or a natural force.

T.1. Therefore, information is immaterial.
T.2. Therefore, per T.1 and D.1, information is not of the universe.
T.3. Therefore, per T.2, information originated outside the universe. (cf. Godel Incompleteness Theorem)
T.4. Therefore, per T.2 and T.3, information is a top down phenomena.
T.5. Therefore, per D.2, the origins of information do not have a naturalistic explanation.

A.2. Per D.3 and D.1, God is not of the universe.

T.6. Therefore, God is a being who exists outside the universe.
T.7. Therefore, per T.2, T.3 and T.6, information originated with God.

How cute. Why don't you keep it simple and say:

Definition: D1: God is the being as it is described by Jehovah's Witnesses,

Theorem: by D1: god exists.

You cannot define something into existence. I can describe cyclops as one-eyed 12-ft-tall giants. That does not mean that has anything to do with reality. Likewise defining god does not make it true.

If you look verrrrry carefully, you'll see a link at the end of D.3. It constitutes the body of evidence for the veridicality of the definition.

I saw the link. The definition is the correct definition of something that does not exist. Just like my example with the cyclops. I'm not impressed.

Does not exist?

he he heh eheh e hehe

You know I'm really going to enjoy this :)

Prove your claim that God doesn't nor cannot exist.

This is where the dialog breaks down, we had this conversation before, with many long threads on my part, and unlike yours, they weren't copy paste jobs. And here you are as if that never happened. I don't have any appetite for that.

I'm not terribly interested in understanding God from the perspective of how we can think of what "information" is. His point is valid: in an argument about whether God exists, you can't put "God exists" in your premise, write up a bunch of stuff drawn from that and other premises, and then act like you've proven "God exists" in your conclusion.

This is actually exactly what I expected to happen once I got you on the track of trying to think deductively. You're finally seeing the circularity of your arguments.

I don't think you're reading the same syllogism I am. It does not, I repeat, **does not** address the question of God's existence.

It only deals with the nature and origins of information, that's it.

So your theory that information exists outside our universe requires that God exist? Since I don't believe God exists, why do you think any of that is of any interest to me or anyone else in this forum? If your premise is wrong, nothing that follows from it is a sound argument. I also don't think it's a valid, because you seem to be conflating the concept of information (a product of *our* minds) with information itself. Effectively your flaw/point of disagreement is whether an abstract concept exists without an intelligence to contemplate it, or whether information in our minds is essentially simply a configuration of synapses and neurons in a brain.

Are you suggesting you subscribe to the absurd notion of Platonic Forms?


Thing is, neither T.3, T.4 or T.5 are predicated on D.3 so your objection does nothing to impugn the validity of those statements.

So why is it in there?

To see whether or not you'd perlustrate the entire argument or simply do some more hand waving :)

10 More Responses


You say we're not perfect logical machines and I can't help but ask, "So what?" Quantum Mechanics is far from logical. Does that make it false?

I take it you're unaware of Godel's Incompleteness Theorem and it's far reaching implications, yes?

Quantum mechanics is quite logical. It is however counter intuitive. Big difference. Really big. Max is not logical, but he probably is a real human being. So not being logical does not mean non existence. However, if one attempts to prove something by an argument, and said argument has a faulty logic, then the conclusion of the argument is neither reliably correct nor reliably incorrect.

Quantum entanglement and quantum teleportation are anything but logical.

No, quite logical. Very unexpected, not intuitive, not easy to wrap your brain around, not what one would guess before studying what actually happens, but there is absolutely nothing in quantum mechanics that breaks the rules of logic.

If these don't break the rules of logic then nothing does ...

I think the problem is that you seem to think "logical" means "believable to Max."

You do break the rules of logic. Quantum mechanics does not. I defy you to find any result in a quantum mechanics textbook that breaks the rules of logic. Be careful and do not confuse breaking the rules of logic with being unexpected.

Tell us more about Godel's Incompleteness Theorem and it's far reaching implications.

Just so that I may tailor my response, as you so kindly suggested, please tell me what you know of Godel's Incompleteness Theorem and it's implications.

You're the one who brought it up, what was your point in doing that?

You keep moving replies up to the top-level, which causes it to lose context. I pointed out that humans aren't perfect logical machines, so as to justify my statement that authorities are not perfect and their beliefs are not necessarily truth. This is why an appeal to authority is considered a logical fallacy. That doesn't mean all beliefs are false, it means you cannot use someone else's belief as evidence in a logical argument. Your response "So what?" suggests you're trying to advance an argument that an appeal to authority IS in fact appropriate in a logical argument. Is this what you're trying to do? Second, is your point about Godel that things can be true despite being unprovable?

Perhaps one area where you may be confused is on the question of deductive versus inductive reasoning. It's probably a useful inductive line of reasoning to say that because experts all agree that X is true, then X is probably true, any truths that you derive from inductive reasoning are necessarily probabilistic. If this is how you prove the existence of God, at best, all you can say is "God probably exists," with a list of all of the elements that aren't deductive so that your readers know what's probabilistic about it.

8 More Responses

Max, 'information' can been taken to characterise a measure of physical organisation (or decrease in entropy), a pattern of communication between source and receiver, a form of control and feedback, the probability of a message being transmitted over a communication channel, the content of a cognitive state, the meaning of a linguistic form, or the reduction of an uncertainty.
In which sense are you using the word here?

A1 is more than dubious... it's transparent nonsense... popped in there without any justification
D.3 is even more so, and without D.3 all that follows is pointless
D.3 describes Max's version of gods that he hasn't even shown to exist... all that follows is therefore nonsense

To summarise:
Step 1: the process begins as planned
Step 2: a miracle occurs
Step 3: the process ends as planned

I am a Christian and choose to have faith in Jesus Christ, but I do agree that we make a lot of mistakes in the way we organize religion and the salvation experience, which should be divinely personal is often about numbers and the self worth of the person "leading" you to salvation. We disagree at the core, but I respect your intelligence and personally (you will disagree with this) I am much more impressed with your faith then mine. Reading below, I am not nearly intelligent enough to debate this topic nor do I wish to. I choose to have faith and as a result I am at peace. Have a great day.

I do not doubt your faith, and if this faith makes you happy, then OK - to each his own. I am intrigued by your use of the word "choose". Was it really a choice? Or was it conformity to the predominant surrounding culture?

very much a choice.. we are seldom true victims and never victims of how we react. I understand your question and I agree that we are influenced by our surrounding culture for good or bad. but one has to choose to conform or rebel or think independently. It doesn't make me happy. I experience happiness and sadness, victory and tragedy, but it brings me an inner peace. As a fiercely independent, self reliant man, I have often struggled with my faith, because I can't control the source. I hope I always continue to struggle. When I have all the answers, I am confident I will be the most foolish I have ever been.
Thank you for your respectful reply. My guess is that you "know" more than I do and can debate this very intelligently, but I would never trade with you.. not an insult, rather a compliment, but an affirmation of the peace that I feel.

Oh. Sorry to hear that.

D.1 - Please tell me that you're kidding, Max! You differentiate matter and energy? You speak about time as if it existed as some sort of category? Natural forces... well, there's a general sludge term if ever i heard one... right up there with 'cosmic energy'.
"All phenomena in the universe subject to its natural laws..." Slipped that one right in there again, huh? Begged the question and did it with a straight face... and then favoured us with your deep, insider knowledge of your cheaply-claimed gods.
i particularly liked your use (abuse) of the word 'information'.
Max, information is anything that lowers uncertainty... anything else is noise
(come on, Max, this is basic stuff!)


Let's try this:

D.1. All matter, energy, space, time and natural forces are bottom up phenomena that constitute the universe in its entirety.
D.2. All phenomena in the universe subject to its natural laws have a naturalistic explanation.
D.3. God is a being who is spaceless, timeless, immaterial, not a force and not energy. (

A.1. Information is not matter, energy, space, time, or a natural force.

T.1. Therefore, information is immaterial.
T.2. Therefore, per T.1 and D.1, information is not of the universe.
T.3. Therefore, per T.2, information originated outside the universe. (cf. Godel Incompleteness Theorem)
T.4. Therefore, per T.2 and T.3, information is a top down phenomena.
T.5. Therefore, per D.2, the origins of information do not have a naturalistic explanation.

A.2. Per D.3 and D.1, God is not of the universe.

T.6. Therefore, God is a being who exists outside the universe.
T.7. Therefore, per T.2, T.3 and T.6, information originated with God.

A.1. is dubious. All known information is a configuration of matter or energy. I consequently reject T1-T5.

You also neglected the axiom: God exists.

A.2 implies that God cannot interact with anything in the real universe. Ergo, for many, this is an argument that he does not exist.

I. You're conflating information's qualities with the mechanisms that transport it. For example, all throughout you've been reading my thoughts. Does that mean my thoughts are the pixels on your screen, the light in the fiber optic cables that brought them to you, etc., etc.? Follow?

ii. Not if T.7 naturally follows. The presence of information in the universe evinces this.

Without the medium, information does not exist. If I use an Etch-a-Sketch to draw something really important, I've manipulated the configuration of the device to impart information into it. If I shake my Etch-a-Sketch, what has happened to that information? Does it disappear to Information Heaven where it lives out an afterlife? The information is destroyed because the configuration of atoms that "transported" it was changed. Can you describe some other way for information to exist that doesn't involve the configuration of something physical? Perhaps you're trying to start a conversation about your "soul" and how your thoughts and memories aren't actually configurations of neurons and synapses, but something not of this universe?

That doesn't mean information IS the medium. That's a non sequitur.

You're confusing abstract concept with real thing. Think about DNA. Is DNA information? Is the information within DNA separable from its physical medium? (Transcribing it to a sequence of letters is considered a translation; what about the original?) Real things have real manifestations. Abstract concepts have real manifestations in the brains of the intelligence that conceives it. You could say both are "real" depending on what philosophy you subscribe to about reality, but if you're going to launch into deductive arguments about God and whether He exists outside our universe or not, trying to link God to an abstract concept does more to demonstrate that he exists only in our minds (like concepts) than anything else.

2 More Responses

Max; "if Macroevolution is false then God exists. If it's true, however, then God does not nor cannot exist"
Macroevolution? As opposed to microevolution, i assume? Max, why don't you just say 'evolution'?
And no, your 'either/or' statement is false

So, to sum up, if Macroevolution is false then God exists. If it's true, however, then God does not nor cannot exist.

"Valid Lines Of Deductive Reasonings For The Necessary Existence Of God"

Calling something "valid" doesn't make it valid. Calling something "deductive reasoning" doesn't make it so. You're presenting links to the same tired, recycled, copy-pasted, fallacy-riddled arguments that you've presented repeatedly on this site. Repetition isn't going to fix its deficiencies or make it less wrong.

Since it seems like you need a primer on deductive reasoning, consider this statement:

"If butterflies can navigate to wintering ground, that means God gave them the knowledge to do that."

The validity of the deductive argument hinges on whether or not the conclusion (Q: God gave them the knowledge) can be false if the hypothesis (P: butterflies can navigate to a wintering ground) is true.

In other words, if it is possible that butterflies evolved this ability without the intervention of God (saying nothing about whether God exists or not), then the deductive argument is considered invalid. You are then free to restate your deductive argument like this:

"If butterflies can navigate to wintering ground, AND they could not have evolved the ability to do this instinctively, that means God gave them the knowledge to do that."

This may or may not be a valid deductive argument, but you've essentially pushed the point of contention to a premise that must independently be proven true for the deductive argument to be sound.

This is why the burden of proof is on you with statements like this. For your argument to be valid, the conclusion CAN NOT be false if the premise is true. For the argument to be sound, you have to prove that every element in the premise is true. Once you accomplish both, the conclusion is necessarily true.

Likewise, calling something invalid and irrational doesn't make it so. That's called hand waving and it does not sway.

Fortunately deductive reasoning doesn't work that way.


1 More Response

Max, changing it to "the systematic arrangement of multiple interconnected component parts or elements to effectuate an objective, intent or function is evidence of an intelligent mind" changes nothing (actually, it's even worse!)
'to effectuate an objective, intent, or function?'
As before, the same old (rather tedious) attempt to conjure up an agent

Oh Max, what an amusing jumble of... nothing.
And yet again, right at the end, just sort of popped in as if nobody would notice, we again have 'ordered complexity '.
As i've explained before, Max... orderly is not the same as ordered. You keep trying to sell the word 'ordered' because it helps your desperate attempts to introduce some sort of agent (where none is needed)
You keep claiming complexity where none exists... it really is a very simple universe, Max... what seems complex shows, when unpicked, elegant simplicity.
At which point your postulated 'intelligent mind' is clearly shown to be a fiction without justification or necessity

Problem is, nothing happens sine causa. Science certainly has no experience of things popping into being ex nihilo sine causa. Bohmian quantum mechanics, for instance, is fully deterministic and states that any indeterminacy is merely conceptual.

“Being does not arise from nonbeing”; “something cannot come from nothing”. These are putative metaphysical principles, like cause and effect, unrestricted in their application. Thence, we have very good grounds, both conceptually and scientifically, for believing that the systematic arrangement of multiple interconnected component parts or elements to effectuate an objective, intent or function is evidence of an intelligent mind.

"multiple interconnected component parts or elements to effectuate an objective, intent or function is evidence of an intelligent mind."

This is tautological, because the expression of an objective, intent or function necessarily requires intelligence.

Hence, ordered complexity is evidence of an intelligent mind.

Just like technology that could have only been created by advanced extraterrestrials is evidence for space aliens. Therefore, space aliens exist.

To what technology are you referring to?

To what ordered complexity are you referring to?

To the systematic arrangement of multiple interconnected component parts or elements that make the continued existence of life in the universe possible.

Please define systematic. I don't mean to be difficult but it sounds like your premise includes the consequent again. Where I see physics you see purpose. I won't accept an argument with that in its premise until it's independently proven.

"Carried on using a series of steps followed in a regular definite order."

Can you see this discussion going anywhere other than you saying, "See, purpose!" and me saying "See, physics!" ?

See my latest story comment!

7 More Responses

'figure out'??
Really, Max, that's just careless use of words.
'Sex and death' is the answer, not 'figuring out'... as you very well know.
It didn't 'pass this knowledge' onto subsequent generations. It did what we all do... it passed genetic material on to subsequent generations... the same ever-so-slightly different genetic material that led to the behaviour in the first place... the behaviour that gave such a tiny advantage that nevertheless gave a tiny increase in the probability of the genetic material surviving long enough to be passed on.
“A grain in the balance will determine which individual shall live and which shall die - which variety or species shall increase in number, and which shall decrease, or finally become extinct.”

@Fast<br />
<br />
Or take a look Paper Wasps. Did an insect with a brain roughly the size of two grains of sand figure out papermaking and nest architecture by itself? When it did, how did it pass this knowledge onto subsequent generations?<br />
<br />
We can ask similar questions about the feats salmon, Bar-Tailed Goodwits, schooling fish, clustering pigeons flying in circles, termites and other insects/animals accomplish.

Why do you believe papermaking and nest architecture are learned knowledge? You're exaggerating the skill needed to perform these tasks to validate your appeal to incredulity at these things being an expression of genetics.

Fine. Prove they're simply expressions of genetics.

You asked: "how did it pass this knowledge onto subsequent generations?"
I responded: "Why do you believe [this is] learned knowledge?"
You responded with effectively: "Prove it isn't."

Your original question was meaningless because it presupposed something not proven. I pointed this out by suggesting you prove the thing that would make your question answerable, and you shifted the burden of proof onto me. I decline to launch into a lesson on instinct and genetics. If that's all you have to say on the subject, I decline also to address your earlier question since it presupposes an assertion that is not proven, and so is unanswerable.

You could answer it by proving your claim " these things [are] an expression of genetics." Links will suffice.

What you really mean is "prove that it couldn't be God", right? I've already given you links discussing the neurological basis for instinct. The rest hinges on an understanding and belief in evolution, which I know you already reject, so I decline to engage further on this topic.

2 More Responses

Max: "Since instinct is imprinted in the brain you're appealing to Lamarckism"
Umm, Max, instinct isn't imprinted in the brain.
Instinct is what we call 'hard-wired'... it has a physical, neurological basis (genetic)
External stimuli are the only things that can be imprinted, and even then the neurological system has to be adapted to accept them... guess how it becomes adapted, Max

Max says: "Atheism is the fallacious claim that God does not nor cannot exist"
The two words that make this a nonsense are:
1. fallacious - this is just popped in there as if it were able to be justified in any way.
2. claim - this is just popped in there as if it were a general characteristic of atheists.

i know many, many atheists, and none of them, not a single one of them, has ever said that the gods do not nor cannot exist, nor do they make claims about the matter.

Atheism is the fallacious claim that God does not nor cannot exist:

Now you're just trolling.

Did you even bother to read the article and comments I linked?

Either you're being disingenuous or you're just very naive.

Yes. I have no doubt that there are some people that call themselves atheist that assert that God does not exist. That is not the position of Atheism generally. You can look at that image and clearly see that that is not the case by looking at the number of items that have "atheist" in their names and comparing that to the number of explanations that contain an assertion that God does not exist.

You have been told this repeatedly, and pointed to dictionaries and encyclopedias that attempt to explain this distinction to you, and every time this topic comes up you continue to demonstrate a fundamental lack of understanding of what atheism is. Are you unable to comprehend this point? It seems more probable that you are intelligent enough to comprehend what everyone is telling you, and that you are simply intentionally misstating the Atheist position solely so that you can continue to start up arguments such as this one. This is, by definition, trolling.

What, so those Atheists who claim God does not nor cannot exist are not true Atheists?

Can you say "Scotsman's Fallacy?"

Atheism is a rejection of belief in gods. An assertion that God does not, or can not exist implies a rejection of belief in God. Therefore, they are also atheists. But that is not fundamentally the atheist position.

There is no implication. It IS an explicit rejection of belief in God.

So, just out of curiosity, where do you rank on the Dawkins scale?

So are we in agreement that:

1. Atheism fundamentally does not require a claim that God does not exist
2. Those that claim a rejection of belief in God do not necessarily claim God does not exist.
3. Those that do claim God does not exist are a subset of Atheists
4. Attacking the position that God does not exist is not a meaningful attack on Atheism generally

And what do you call an Atheist who ignores any and all evidence for God's necessary existence?

In a fantasy world where a valid line of deductive reasoning existed proving the existence of a God, the Atheist position would be rationally indefensible. Does this mean you won't accept my four points above? You don't have to agree with Atheism to accept a definition around what Atheism means, so I don't know why you'd resist responding.

4 is a non sequitur because of 3. If 3 are Atheists then ~4 is necessarily true.

So now this is just a classic fallacy of composition.

1. Some people assert that God does not exist.
2. These people are atheists.
3. Therefore, all atheists assert that God does not exist.
4. If God does exist, then all atheists are wrong.

The error is in (3). It should read like this:

3. Therefore, some atheists assert that God does not exist.
4. If God does exist, then some atheists are wrong. The rest would presumably cease being atheists.

I could flip your argument around pretty easily, which perhaps illustrates the error more clearly for you:

1. Some people believe in Zeus and Jupiter.
2. These people are theists.
3. Therefore, all theists believe in Zeus and Jupiter.
4. If Zeus and Jupiter are not real gods, then all theists are wrong.

Which is why you need to confirm whether or not you're a 5 (Weak Atheist) or lower on the Dawkins Scale.


Otherwise you're just making a distinction without a difference.

What does my personal beliefs have to do with the definition of the word Atheism or the reasoning applied to your arguments against it? I'm pretty sure that's not how definitions and logic are supposed to work.

12 More Responses


Objectively true in that it reflects reality. How do you prove your philosophy is objectively true and everyone else's is false?

Maybe we look at the word differently, but I don't really see how a philosophy can be true or false. It's an approach to thinking. I'm pretty sure, though, that the methods of seeking truth that are more invasive and less willing to settle for easy explanations are more likely to find truth.

So Theism, then, is true?

I have no reason to believe that is the case.

So Theism is false?

There is no evidence for Theism so I choose not to believe it. How many times are we going to go around in this circle before you give up trying to get me to claim without evidence that Gods do not exist?

So Theism could be true?

In the sense that wizards and Unicorns could also be true, yes, I have to acknowledge the possibility for the existence of anything that I don't have evidence can not exist.

Then that makes you a 5 on the Dawkins Scale (Weak Atheist), yes?

5 More Responses


Hang on, hasn't Lamarckism already been discredited?

What on earth are you talking about?

Didn\'t you say, \"The naturalistic explanation is that the instinct evolved as part of our development as a social species\"?

And how does that relate to Lamarckism? Are you conflating instinct with culture? Culture is taught. Instinct is evolved. Both contribute to morality.

I'm referring to the other Lamarckism, to wit, "a theory of organic evolution asserting that environmental changes cause structural changes in animals and plants that are transmitted to offspring." Since instinct is imprinted in the brain you're appealing to Lamarckism.

Wow I never would have guessed that you would have no idea what "instinct" is. Start here:

"Any behavior is instinctive if it is performed without being based upon prior experience (that is, in the absence of learning), and is therefore an expression of innate biological factors."

Those that believe in evolution would say this is evolved and hard-wired.

More on how this relates to morality:

Don't be so jejune my friend. To put things into perspective consider that "it takes at least three generations of monarch butterflies to complete a single migratory journey [of about 2,000 miles]. The monarchs that return to [the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt pine-oak forests ecoregion on the border of Michoacán and Mexico State] each year have never been to the overwintering sites before, and have no relatives to follow on their way." - (Brackets mine.)

Who "told" the very first Monarch Butterfly to fly to this precise location and how did this information get passed onto subsequent generations? (And, again, you can't appeal to Lamarckism.)

It's as if we're reading completely different articles. The butterfly's drive to migrate is tied to elements of the environment, not the location of the destination. They were not "told" the location, they evolved instinctive drives tied to environmental cues (temperature and sun position are the ones discussed in the article). Natural selection kicks in because those butterflies that don't make it to the overwintering location freeze or starve to death, and those that get separated from the rest don't reproduce.

Prove "they evolved instinctive drives."

You're shifting the burden of proof. This is a conversation about morals. You appear to be asserting that instinctive "knowledge" can not be a part of genetics (or evolution), and as evidence of why this can not be, you're trumpeting the migration of a butterfly and appealing to ignorance and incredulity about how this could work without intelligent guidance. It is sufficient for me to point out your logical fallacy to disprove your point, leaving you with no rationally defensible evidence of your position. It is not necessary for me to prove that your point is wrong, just that your argument relies on a fallacy.

No. You made a critical claim (one on which your entire case now rests) and I'm challenging you to present evidence for it. Otherwise it's a fallacious argumentum assertio and your entire case comes crashing down.

I'm not following and I disagree. Would you mind giving a quick summary of where *you* think this line of discussion has gone? I've just done so and you've responded with "No," so I suspect we're not having the same conversation anymore.

Me: Moral intuition and instinct is designed and therefore constitutes proof of God.

You: Instincts are not proof of God because they needed no design. They simply evolved thanks to mutation and natural selection.

Me: Prove your claim.

You: No.

How about this:

Let's replace "They simply evolved" with "They could plausibly have evolved". It is not necessary for me to prove this has happened for me to present an alternative that must be disproven for your assertion to be true. In order to prove that these things are designed by God, you need to prove that they can't have happened naturalistically. Otherwise your assertion needs to be rewritten to say, "Moral intuition and instinct were probably created by God because it seems incredulous that they happened naturalistically."

10 More Responses

@Fast<br />
<br />
How about this: "The systematic arrangement of multiple interconnected component parts or elements to effectuate an ob<x>jective, intent or function."

See, I was right: by narrowing down what you\'re asking me for you\'ve effectively constrained the question to one of a creation by an intelligence. Physics doesn\'t have an objective or an intent. Do you believe the universe has an objective or an intent?

Now function, on the other hand, is a little more fuzzy. Clearly the sense of vision has a function: to allow an organism to perceive light. But I already know that you look at life as an example of an intelligent creation and not a manifestation of physics, so I don\'t think that\'s going to go anywhere.

But function is also subjective. A star could serve multiple \"functions\": the emission of energy, the conversion of lighter elements into heavier elements, a navigational aid, or an item upon which to wish. So if you\'re saying that an intelligence must ascribe function in order for something to have a function, then that, too, prescribes an intelligence as an only answer.

Which is why ordered complexity, i.e. \"The systematic arrangement of multiple interconnected component parts or elements to effectuate an objective, intent or function,\" is the lineament of an intelligent mind.

Nobody in their right mind who stumbles onto a sprawling air conditioned mansion fully stocked with food, water and medicine in the middle of a desert will rationally conclude the wind made it. That would be ludicrous!

Why, then, assume any less for our luxurious home, the Earth?

Your flaw is in presuming the Earth has an objective, an intent, or a prescribed function. Possibly you believe this because you believe God created the Earth for a specific purpose. If that's the case, since this discussion is about whether God exists, we've hit another circular argument.

Yeah the Earth has an objective: Life.

Can you provide evidence that the Earth has an objective that does not require I already believe in a god?

Sure, just take a look at what's happening in Detroit. It's slowly being reclaimed by the Earth's vegetation:

In fact, this is what all forests do. When left untouched they reclaim everything in their path. Life wins over.