Sunday, 5 September 2010

Born again or peer pressure?

I was in first year college when a group of senior students invited me and my close group of ‘first year’ friends to a picnic at the end of what they called the ‘ragging season’. The spiel they gave was that they wanted to get to know us better, to bury the hatchet and become friends. It sounded like quite an offer considering that this could be an opportunity to finally live out Nehru’s words of ‘where the mind is without fear and the head is held high’, for till then most of us, barring the few madmen like me, were living like African slaves in the midst of Klu Klux Klan territory. The deal was simple. The seniors would pick us up on the following Sunday morning, drive us out to their friend’s farm house, spend the day ‘getting to know each other’ and have some fun feasting on biriyani. For those of you who have gone through college in a land away from home, you would know that the bait of a biriyani is irresistible.

Came Sunday morning and our bunch walked toward the designated pick up spot and lo and behold stood a big bus that could fit forty people in it. We soon realized there were other freshers invited to the same do. This was going to be bigger than we thought. Before long we set off from there to the farm house. Being new to Bangalore, my only gauge to finding out how far we were then venturing was based on the dwindling traffic count and on the width of the roads getting narrower. The last fifteen minutes of the journey was on unmettled roads with no other vehicle in sight. We were soon in the middle of nowhere. When the bus finally stopped, the sight that greeted us was another surprise. There were five more buses like the one we travelled in already parked at the venue. It was only on entering the farm house that we realized the magnitude of what we had gotten ourselves into and we were subjected to our final jolt on reading the banner that welcomed us – ‘The Jesus Retreat’

We had been lured to a religious camp with the promise of biriyani. We were now no different from the donkey that followed the carrot at the end of a stick, which again is not very different from those who wait to die and go to heaven. We were fools stuck in the middle of nowhere in an era with no cell phones or GPS devices. There was no access to public transport, heck there was no road, our itinerary was decided and we had no escape. That day I saw things I had never seen before. There were people crying asking forgiveness for sins, jumping around possessed by the spirit, experiencing the spirit knock illnesses out of them, dunking themselves in water (baptism) being born again and so on. The last time I had seen something like that was at a trance party where everyone was stoned on acid and grass. Though they’d protest to classify the former as ‘sacred’, the emotions I saw at both the events were exactly the same – psychotic.

Years later, I saw glimpses of a similar event on the facebook wall of a pastor. Pictures of people being lured to a farmhouse with the offer of a picnic suddenly interspersed with the pastor standing in the middle of a swimming pool dipping people in it in the name of baptism. It’s herd mentality and peer pressure at its best. I responded and here is the story –

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Interactions with a creationist

Here is another attempt at preserving the hours of exchange that was done on my facebook

Stephen Hall posted the following status message:

It is amazing to me that we live in an era that should produce the greatest intellectual advances in history but instead we embrace the fairy tale claims of evolution; the only absolute truth is that there is no absolute truth; and the only moral standards are those which we impose upon ourselves. This looks less like intellectual progress and more like a severe loss of reason and critical thinking skills.

Brian Phillips ACK Steve! I can't type a response fast enough! I'll leave you alone on that one.

Lori Flannery Chacon Ditto....

Monte Henson What? No rebuttal? You feeling well today?

Stephen Hall I wrote that, Brian, after seeing a video of Matt Damon during the last election deriding Sarah Palin for allegedly believing in a "young earth." He said that he would want to know whether she believed the earth was only a few thousand years old (young earth scientists date the age between 6500 and 12000 years typically) before he voted. His implication was that if someone believes in a young earth they are far too ignorant to be president.

I ardently believe in a young earth as there is no other reasonable conclusion when approached through philosophy, the queen of the sciences and the mediator of all other sciences. The best minds in the world have severe issues with evolution. I do not count myself equal to those minds or to the task of understanding biological engineering. I am, however cursed with just enough curiosity and acumen to be able to understand the conversation and to recognize that academia has been led down a biologic path that is not fostered with fact or supported by empirical science, but is very much a religious passion of the anti-religious.

Adithya So you are upset because Matt Damon disagrees with your 'ardent belief' in a young earth .. the age of the earth is not a matter where one can choose an arbitrary number of years to suits one's comfort .. you may believe it is between 6500 and 12000 years but there is ample evidence to suggest otherwise. BTW one does not approach the question of the earth's age through philosophy .. you would be asking the wrong people. Just as you would have to rely on a vintage car expert to know the age of a vintage car, you would have to ask an earth expert like a geologist. 

You claim that 'the best minds in the world have severe issues with evolution' .. could you name a few please with reasons that qualify them to be the best minds. I am always looking out for people who can help me learn new things and show me new perspectives.. would love to know what these issues are that they have with evolution .. from the years of reading and research I have personally done I have never come across one qualified mind that disagrees .. except for people who have not taken the time to educate themselves about evolution and hence believe in a fairy tale story of a god who created everything all the others unanimously agree that life on earth could only have evolved from one life form into another.. 

Just to end my comment, I am curious about where you get your knowledge from.. you have made a series of claims in your comments, like 'the only absolute truth is that there is no absolute truth; and the only moral standards are those which we impose upon ourselves'..'..... philosophy, the queen of the sciences and the mediator of all other sciences' .. on what grounds are you stating them?

Brian Phillips Thank you, Adithya! I let someone else state the other side this time. Well said. I'm not the only one, Steve!

Brenda Snoddy Alexander yeah babee! I knew this was going to be interesting! (Steve and Adi)

Brenda Snoddy Alexander Alright philosophers. Here's a little tidbit of information I found:...

Oldest human skeleton offers new clues to evolution -
The oldest-known hominid skeleton was a 4-foot-tall female who walked upright more than 4 million years ago and offers new clues to how humans may have evolved, scientists say.

Brenda Snoddy Alexander oh, sorry, the link, if you wanna click on it, is on my page...oopsie!

Stephen Hall Adi, I only have a moment to respond as I am faced with a series of meetings today. I do hope to respond more adequately later but let me address this much. There is no science that escapes bending the knee to philosophy because all observational sciences must process their observations through some sort of philosophic rubic in order to interpret its observations. A geologist is not necessarily the best source for earth age depending on the biases with which he/she enters the conversation. The dating tools (carbon, thermodynamic measurement, etc) are not empiricist but just as vulnerable to subjective interpretation depending on the worldview of the one measuring. Human reason is a filter through which all information must pass; and human reason lives under the duress of convoluting influences.

One of those convoluting influences is the theory of evolution. It is convoluting because it makes great leaps without substantial foundation (i.e. the origin of the living cell, vastly written about but never supported). Evolution backdates its experiences so as to suggest human life to be 6 million years old and earth's existence to be 14 billion years based on a highly interpretive view of thermodynamics and on an estimation of years necessary to accomplish certain evolutionary tasks, which is extremely cyclical and volatile reasoning. These estimations are made without asking the most basic questions concerning existence and experience. For example, consider the technological and academic advances in just the last 200 years. We have exponentially advanced in engineering, travel, flight, communication, industrialization, and technology. Recorded history as we know it only dates back about 4500 years to Sumer at the southern end of Mesopotamia. The rudimentary absurdity of evolutionary thinking is that the progress made in 4500 years or even the last 200 years has no reasonable narrative to suggest why such little development (i.e. written language, developed agriculture, etc.) never happened in human creativity over the space of 6 MILLION YEARS before Sumer. I need to leave but hopefully we can pick up later.

Brenda Snoddy Alexander hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...............

Brian Phillips Predictably, I couldn’t just let it go. Too much fun in store. Let's take your words and replace one of them. "Human reason is a filter through which all information must pass; and human reason lives under the duress of convoluting influences. One of those convoluting influences is the notion of creationism. It is convoluting because it makes great leaps without substantial foundation." Your logic works that way too.

Reason would tell a rational human that the formation of Earth by an unseen man in the sky is incredulous. If I told you that we were all placed on this planet last week by an alien race and that all of our memories of events prior to that point had been planted inside our brains, then that too is a pretty big leap wouldn’t you agree? But what if I told you I knew it to be true, and I wrote it all down because I saw it happening after I was placed here, and the aliens spoke to me telepathically to explain it? What if I was the only one they chose to divulge their secret? Would you ask me to prove it? Or would you think I was a complete whackjob? I would show you my transcription from the aliens, but you would most likely think that I was indeed a complete whackjob because the whole thing just simply defied reason. There is no substantial foundation.

You point out the recent (historically speaking) exponential advances in technology and how in the period of time prior to Sumer, there was little development over millions of years. So this substantiates your claim that evolutionary thinking is absurd? That’s sort of like saying “well, if we know that there’s light and we know about how fast it travels, then how come we can’t travel at the speed of light?” Thought, innovation, invention, trial & error, experimentation……it all takes time to develop, much the same as learning a musical instrument. When I started playing drums, it took a little while to be comfortable with the way the sticks are held. Then, awkwardly, rudiments were slowly mastered. Over the course of years, I learned how to execute more complex rhythms in 7/8, 9/8, three over four, hiding 1, etc. And relatively speaking, those last things all developed rapidly far later than the lengthy development and learning process.

Furthermore, what use is there really in claiming the age of the earth other than as another mechanism with which to declare one’s beliefs by falling on one side or the other?

Adithya @ Steve – Wow.. I am honestly speechless. I feel like a plumber looking at a tank with multiple leaks .. I’m thinking of which of the holes I should start plugging first .. will it even make a difference if I point out all the errors I wonder .. is it worth both our time? My approach to solving doubts of the nature you have pointed out involves studying the suggestions/theories/hypothesis available at hand made due to the presence of overwhelming evidence. These are further scrutinized by methods that are repeatable/reproducible and verifiable by independent parties. Emotions do not come in the way of making a judgment, therefore if there exists an opinion that say, my father likes but can be proved wrong with evidence, that opinion goes out the window .. this same process is applicable to claims made in religious books as well. By the same yard stick I keep my ears and eyes open to any evidence that can prove any of my present understandings wrong .. if a verifiable evidence is provided I will stop believing in it instantly for I do not wish to believe in what is false.. the question now is would you Steve, do the same? Do you even remotely think that you could be wrong?

At the onset you did not respond to the questions I posed in my last comment. I give it to you that you were probably hard pressed for time as you had mentioned and hence you might want to respond to them next. Please do respond however, for it would be difficult to make progress in trying to understand your point unless you clarify the sources of your claims. I am sure you will appreciate that we all posses the power to conjure ideas and concepts about truth and morals. It would be pointless if I too quote such sentences on philosophy to counter a scientific question. Therefore we must rule out that what you say was not just made up to support your argument.

I completely disagree with you that philosophy has anything to do with understanding science. Science is unemotional and interpretations are based on observations .. these observations do not go through any philosophical ‘rubic’ filter. Unless you care to clarify that statement with an example on how observations are philosophically processed, I will call it bullshitting in poetry for those string of words don’t make sense.

A geologist spends his/her whole life studying about the earth so it sounds absurd to me that they might not be a good source. The biases you refer to.. should I assume you mean believer in the theory of young earth or not? Who according to you is a good expert at commenting on the earth and what is it that qualifies him/her as an expert? The dating tools seem far more reliable as compared to a bunch of people guessing an age based on a book .. incidentally multiple scientists come up with the same age when each of them measure independently.. in fact that is a criterion in science that measurements be repeated before it is proclaimed so no one individual with his/her world view can make a claim. How sure are you that the ‘convoluting influence’ you refer to is not the religious close minded approach of looking for answers in a book? You have continued to make a series of guesstimates after that .. a simple google search would have helped you verify before you typed. Here are a few facts as can be verified with tests available to us today (I can provide you with details if you so please) – 

1.Human life, as in Homo Sapiens originated about 200000 years ago on the grasslands of Africa not 6 million and we know this because all of us carry that proof in our DNAs .. these homo sapiens left the continent to populate the rest of the world as late as only 60000 years ago..

2.The oldest known earth samples are 4.54 billion years old pegging the age of the earth at the same and not 14 billion years .. the big bang itself happened less than 14 billion years ago. The first form of life appeared 3.8 billion years ago. 

3. “………….based on a highly interpretive view of thermodynamics and on an estimation of years necessary to accomplish certain evolutionary tasks, which is extremely cyclical and volatile reasoning. These estimations are made without asking the most basic questions concerning existence and experience.” – and that is another example of you bullshitting in poetry. There are no estimations made here as you claim. The assertion of scientific claims are based on evidence.

4.Recorded history dates back to about 32000 years ago in the form of cave paintings

5.We continue to exponentially advance. Your average cellphone today has more data storage and processing power as compared to advanced computers just 10 years ago. It is what is called a parabolic growth curve. Like a stone rolling down a hill it picks up speed later.. another example is the airplane.. in less than 100 years from the wright brothers invention, aircrafts have become highly sophisticated.. Progress in anything happens exponentially, it is never a gradual rise.

Steve, your ignorance cannot be claimed as proof and since you hold an influential post in society as a pastor I suggest you educate yourself before misinforming your flock.

Brian Phillips Really enjoy your words, Adi. I was just taking a look at your page - brilliant.

Adithya @Brian - glad you like it and glad to know there are people like you out there :) I liked your reasoning with the 'alien race' example .. it is so valid. Theists dont realize that their god stories sound as absurd to people who can also see other perspectives. The world needs more rational thinkers.. the religious have been screwing up things for centuries now. I am fed up with their bullshit and their attempts at fitting a square peg into a round hole. 

There are people who are convinced their holy books are the ultimate truth purely based on faith .. no one can touch this delusion. I am not even interested in them .. many of them make a living out of selling faith thats the only job they know.. so be it. Its the gullible who they can influence that I am interested in. Rationalists also have a duty toward society, we should not remain meek bystanders watching these religious salesmen sell crap to the undecided .. even though I dont benefit financially in anyway I make it a point to scream bullshit when I see it being served.

If your belief system is based on facts and evidence then you should take the time to educate yourself .. Theists too will benefit from researching just to validate their claims .. Just like how I, an atheist, spend hours reading religious scriptures to see if there is any truth in them for how else can I say it is nonsense unless I read them .. My fight is against mis-information. If you are a theist and you believe everything you experience has been created by this invisible god and all things happen for a purpose that has been decided by him or her, I dont give a rats ass but if you use this lie to bait others to join your cult, I will fight you.
Brenda Snoddy Alexander I am thoroughly enjoying this "thing" ya'll have going on here! Maybe learning a bit and making me think...that's the point, yeah?

Stephen Hall Brian, I enjoyed your analogy and understand your perspective. Your purposeful absurdity demonstrates your strong feelings about religion and God clearly. When I have a little more time I intend to work through your analogy under the magnifying glass of teleological and ontological presuppositions. I think you will see that you analogy, as creative as it is, bears no reflection on the reality of divine existence.

My dear Adi, I see you are a passionate and confident fellow. I am flattered that you find my comments to be poetic and not surprised that you find them to be bullshit. If you found them otherwise I would not consider you much of an atheist. You have, however, tried to make me a square peg in a round hole. You have made attempts to number me among the mindless religious zealots who would believe anything as long as it suited some religious ambition.

Here is what you need to know about me: Most of my life has been spent in search of truth, not to affirm what I believe but to discover what is believable. I actually began this pursuit in a season of my life when I wanted nothing to do with the church or God or religions. Since, I have studied philosophy, science, sociology, psychology,theology, and every major world religion. I am a fellow of Princeton Seminary's Center for Theological Inquiry, which is now under the auspice of a Pastor/Theolgian program nationwide. I absolutely feel the responsibility of my pastoral post, as you admonished, and I study to show myself approved so that I do not witlessly lead people astray.

Stephen Hall Scientific knowledge changes quickly (or as you say, exponentially). In discussing natural science, however, the reality that is being modeled and observed does not chane in its basic tenents at all. That is a first clue as to the weaknesses in evolutionary theory.

As I understand it, there are 4 essentials of scientific method:
1) Observing and describing a phenomenon or group of phenomena.
2) Formulating hypothesis that explain the phenomena.
3) Using hypothesis to predict other phenomena or to predict quantitatively the results of new observations.
4) Performing experimental tests of predictions by different, independent experimenters.

So, to some degree, per some of your statements we are in agreement to this point. We would also agree that experiments that bear out a hypothesis will cause that hypothesis to be regarded first as a theory and after many failed attempts to disprove said theory it can be considered a natural law. (As we both know, the goal of science is not to prove matters but to disprove them and when it is found incapable of being disproven it is acdcepted as proven.) With this in mind, there is good reason that Evolutionary Theory has never been able to progress from theory to Law. But that doesn't seem to stop you from speaking of it as law. It makes me wonder, between you and me, who the "religious zealot" is.

The "Facts" that you provided concerning dates are inconsistent with what I have learned in both secular and Christian institutions and your encouragement to visit the internet before I type (suggesting blatant ignorance on my part) is a bit telling. Our access to information today is convenient but it is destroying true academia. This is my bias. People are grabbing info off of the net and not doing the research and work to own the information. You and I have just met and I hope that our conversations continue, but I have debated your mind-set many times and have learned that progress is only made on both sides when our passionate rhetoric is kept to a minimum, our arrogant egos are kept in check, and our willingness to trust that truth can emerge for all of us are our first priorities.

Stephen Hall Here is a prime example of the untrustworthy foundations of Evolutionary Theory: In the 20th century great effort was made to purport evolution over and against our nation's historic commitment to creationism. One of the fundamentals that was championed was the foundational evolutionary principle that mutation and natural selection produce continuous genetic improvement in a population of higher plants and animals. Because you like specifics let me provide the scientists that led this paradigm shift in our culture; Fisher, Haldane, and Sewall Wright. They essentially birthed neo-Darwininian Synthesis also known as Modern Evolutionary Synthesis. When this was integrated with Mendelian Genetics we produced a Theory of Evolution that has become the standard for academic institutions worldwide and that is propagated by most professional biologists today.

Here is the problem: Our modern understanding of molecular systems totally debunks the supports and claims of this basic fundamental that led to the formation of Evolutionary theory as it is presented in classrooms today but that hasn't caused us to stop teaching the foolishness. This is mostly due to the fact that the only real difference between many scientists and religious zealots is the name on the cover of their sacred writings. Dr. Frank Wolf, professor of Physics at the University of Rochester said quite unashamedly, "Personal and Cultural beliefs influence both our perceptions and our interpretations of natural phenomena." He is right.

Here is the proof I offer of my position: Find me one paper in professional Genetics Literature that explicitly demonstrates that mutation and natural selection produces genetic improvement and I will acquiesce to your implorement of me to being willing to see that I am wrong.

Brian Phillips Steve, you never answered my question whether you thought I was a whackjob for believing my alien story. You can textbook and analyze my crazy analogy all you want but if you remove emotion, it is no more absurd or unbelievable than any other faith-based doctrine. What do you think about the Book of Mormon, by the way?

Stephen Hall Brian, you are absolutely right in both of these positions: first, that you can use my same arguments to argue against me and, secondly, the age of the earth is irrelevant to the rest of our conversation. Using my arguments against me does not demonstrate a weakness in my argumentation. That will be decided by those who read this and which seems absurd compared to which seems plausible. You are simply demonstrating that my approach is valid by employing it yourself.

You seem to correlate faith with conjecture but Christian faith is based as much on the classic studies of history, science, world cultures, etc. It has nothing to do with conjecture. Nor is it really appropriate to classify Christian faith as a religion, even though most of the world does. Christian faith is a worldview rooted in philosophy and the philosophy that it purports is of such a transcendent wisdom and proven prophetic record that those of us who adhere to it do so because we see the inescapable divinity in it.

History of religions in the world is treacherous, and Christianity (in the hands of reprobates) has been sadly no exception. I would not stake my dog's life on the "truth" propagated by the Christian Church in its various forms through the centuries but I would stake my own life on the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and then consequently the existence of a Supreme Being commonly called God.

And, Christianity is not solely based on observations in the Word of God. Romans 1:18-20 (as well as several other passages) is essentially declaring that God has from the beginning been revealing himself through nature, the cosmos, and all creation. Read the rest of Romans 1 if you want a real sobering challenge.

If you are whackjob it's not becuz of you're alien illustration or your atheism. It's becuz you shave your legs and where tight shorts.

Stephen Hall BTW, Adi and Brian, my reference to evolution as a fairy tale is not original to me. I stole that assessment from Professor Louis Bounoure, the president of the Biological Society of Strasbourg, Director of the Stasbourg Zoological Museum, and Director of the French National Centre of Scientific Research. His exact quote, "Evolutionism is a fairy tale for grown-ups. This theory has helped nothing in the progress of science. It is useless."

Can I get a chorus of "Amen" going here or what?!!? Come on, at least a little Kum-Bah-Yah....

Adithya @Steve - Lol :)) . Firstly you continue to leave all the questions unanswered and now you want me to back up a position I never made .. You see my dear, you have built your whole argument on a false foundation. How can I find you a paper on a topic that no evolutionary scientist has ever claimed? You lack a basic understanding about evolution so let me tell you how to re-word that question to sound consistent with the claims made in the study of evolution .. you would want me to 'find a paper that claims that mutations create genetic variations in individual species and natural selection eliminates the genetic variation that is less suited to its environment and favors the genetic variation that can adapt better to its environment within the said species'... this paper I can get plenty of .. so please stop bullshitting by making up scientific claims. You said, ' I will acquiesce to your implorement of me to being willing to see that I am wrong' - what happens to this offer now that I have pointed out your lie?

Either you are deliberately lying or you are just plain ignorant about the topics you try to debate on. You try an appeal to credibility by informing me of a 'season in your life when you wanted nothing to do with the church or God or religions' .. equating yourself with me are you? Terrible attempt Steve.. a typical theist approach ... preparing the scene by saying, 'I used to be like you but I then got enlightened'... It does not matter, nonsense continues to be nonsense.

Listing out subjects you studied, in order to gain credibility for your argument wont work either .. am I supposed to view an illogical argument with awe just because you have a few degrees? I am an Engineer from a proper Engineering College does that make any difference if I concoct stories? Either ways, proclaiming that you studied science at a Center for Theological Inquiry is like saying you learnt how to make a pizza at a pottery class .. Science is not a subject that your school is qualified to teach.

You said, 'As we both know, the goal of science is not to prove matters but to disprove them and when it is found incapable of being disproven it is acdcepted as proven' - 
1. Dont speak for me
2. ...when it is found incapable of being disproven it is accepted as the most probable.. not accepted as proven. Even at this I must highlight that there are theorems that scientists are aware are incomplete and research is on to find a complete answer.. for instance the theory of relativity ... the theory of evolution however comes under the category of the 'most probable' because no other possibilities suggested especially by theists come anywhere close to it. Go back and read what I typed.. I have used words that do not imply evolution as law... watch before you point a finger

Go check my 'facts' again.. show me where it is inconsistent in your secular source. I am sure it will not be taught at christian institutions for it debunks christian claims .. you say, ' I have debated your mind-set many times' .. and what mindset is that? You have a problem with a rational approach. I too have debated your mind-set many times .. and a holy book cannot be accepted as an answer to our observable surroundings

Yes Steve I am confident, passionate and arrogant. I am this way only with people who make outrageous claims. I have evidences to back me up and you have a book .. You still have not answered any of the questions I have been asking you throughout the thread. The reason I'm being so aggressive with you is that there might be people who read your posts believing that you are imparting knowledge .. I wish to let them know that you are just making up stories.

Adithya @Steve - You hold that quote like a trophy you shameless man.. you continue to make up lies to support your argument. You should read 

.. its a copy of a mail from The Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique = The National Center for Scientific Research. 

Steve.. BULLSHIT again.. AMEN ;)

Stephen Hall Your response is sad. I was given to understand that you were an academic, but really you are nothing more than a bombastic blowhard apparently who is incapable of discussion around sound reason. I have been answering your questions and given you great minds to consider, but you are not considering them. You are dismissing the ideas without processing.

Then you go after my character calling me a liar or ignorant, which until this moment I have not suggested anything of the like about you. You act like I'm using evangelistic ploys on you by trying to make myself sound like you. I have never been an atheist and haven't suggested that I was. And quite frankly, if you want to face hell as an ultimate destination that is your business. I thought are discussions were around truth, not who could be the most bombastic.

Your response is a sorry and pathetic attempt to distract from sincere conversation and to try to appear knowledgeable when in fact, so far, it is obvious you don't have a clue about the subjects we have been discussing. Your "facts" have been wrong from the outset.

You have been trying to put me on the defensive from your first post, a remedial debate trick of the first order, but so far you have shown me nothing more than your own religious zealotry.

Stephen Hall I took that quote from a book, Adi, not the internet. I checked out the link and the site. It is obviously a site that is the work of evolutionists as it calls intelligent design and creationism "pseudo-sciences". Also, its discussions around Lemoine were conflicting from the top of the page to the bottom. The claims that he did not make the statement were not supported adequately.

What a frivolous attempt to discredit a quote.

Brenda Snoddy Alexander @Adi, up until now, I figured you for a nice and decent human being and have been trying to see things from your perspective, however, now, I too am seeing who the religious zealot is. Funny that a man who doesn't believe in God goes around talking about Him all of the time. You keep talking about people and their "Holy Books" and that they believe in it totally as written while pawning off their religion onto everyone else.That is ridiculous! There are so many parables and passages in the bible that are NOT meant to be taken literally and it seems like that's what YOU are doing AND shoving EVERY SINGLE RELIGION into a whole because it suits you. That is so wrong! It is correct that some religions have their zealots but now, you are coming across as some sort of religious zealot yourself just waiting for the chance to piss on everyone except those dinks who think exactly like you do. So now, I'm seeing you in a whole different light and what I see is an angry man who likes to flip everyone's words around just to suit yourself and to push YOUR belief system on everyone else! Who would've thought that you and your atheist buddies would come to my door with a pamphlet telling me to convert! I am seeing you as a pompous blowhard that thinks he needs to be in control of everyone on the stinking planet and won't stop until you think you've converted enough people to atheism. What a crock of donkey crap. And that's aside from the fact that you allow yourself to cut people with your words, which you like to make BIG to make yourself seem smarter. I am much more aware of your asinine and sometimes just plain MEAN comments...this is a public and open forum, but you don't have to be the biggest ASS on Facebook just because everyone doesn't believe like YOU do! You have honestly pissed me off with your bullshit rhetoric. No, that didn't come from a nobel prize winner or some dumbass theist. That opinion is my own.

Adithya @Steve - You have an issue with someone calling a spade a spade .. I do not indulge in pseudo diplomacy. Stop certifying your own argument as a ‘discussion around sound reason’ & ‘sincere conversation’ .. let the people reading this decide that. Your form of reasoning is to distort scientific discoveries and to selectively edit quotes to claim credibility, like how you so pompously tried to establish that a certain Professor Louis Bounoure, made a statement that supports your claim. Your point – he’s a scientist, and if a scientists can say that they how can you dispute that? Well guess what, none of what you said is true.. so which book did you take it out of? A creationist’s book? Now you can throw it out of the window. You wanted a ‘Kum-Bah-Yah..’ here’s a Kum-Bah-Yah to busting your bullshit on that one. Whence you should be repenting for distorting the truth, you accuse me of ‘a frivolous attempt to discredit a quote’ and come back with, ... Hello??!! Intelligent design and creationism ARE "pseudo-sciences" .. no matter how badly you want it to be true so you don’t look like a fool for believing in a god, it’s a lie concocted by the religious who try hard to claim credit for scientific discoveries AND people like you spread that lie .. to top all this you desire to be treated with respect. Steve you are feeding the uninformed with untruth from your position of influence as a pastor so don’t expect me to treat you with respect. I cannot respect a liar who is concocting fairy tales for a living.

My response appears sad to you because I refuse to pussyfoot around your bullshit without screaming it out loud. I want to present the side of the story you hide from the people who think you are credible, so I come along and attack each lie of yours with verifiable proof (unlike your, ‘its in the book’, response) to show that your claims are not true and hence you are not a credible source. I you were to discuss religion, a vague topic with no defined boundaries, I could only refute you on an ideological level but you are dabbling in science. Science has defined boundaries and you are attempting to smudge that by making outrageous assumptions such as ‘philosophy is required as a filter to interpret science’ .. that assumption is also bullshit. You are a man who is making a living out of selling religion, you are not qualified to comment on science let alone make claims on scientific understanding. If you do accuse scientific understanding, such as the theory of evolution, calling it a ‘fairy tale’ back it up with evidence else shut up. 

I have been responding to each and every one of your claims but you have yet not answered many of my questions. You responded with unrelated (to the questions I asked) references and claim it is backing your stand. Let me list them out again:

Q1.You claim that 'the best minds in the world have severe issues with evolution' .. could you name a few please with reasons that qualify them to be the best minds.

Your references to Fisher, Haldane, and Sewall Wright is not an answer because Modern Evolutionary Synthesis not only concurs with Darwin’s claims but strengthens it further by explaining it at a micro level. You were indulging in misdirection not answering.

Q2. Where do you get your knowledge from.. you have made a series of claims in your comments, like 'the only absolute truth is that there is no absolute truth; and the only moral standards are those which we impose upon ourselves'..'..... philosophy, the queen of the sciences and the mediator of all other sciences' .. on what grounds are you stating them?

You responded to that with not an answer but another claim, ‘There is no science that escapes bending the knee to philosophy because all observational sciences must process their observations through some sort of philosophic rubic in order to interpret its observations’ .. this just adds one more to my question.. where did you come up with this bullshit from? You are shooting off claim after claim without substantiating it. I suspect you are making claims based on your theology books. Theology has no qualification to comment on science.

Q3. I will stop believing in a concept if it is proved wrong with evidence would you Steve, do the same? Do you even remotely think that you could be wrong? – you have not even attempted to answer this

Q4. Who according to you is a good expert at commenting on the earth and what is it that qualifies him/her as an expert? The biases you refer to.. should I assume you mean believer in the theory of young earth or not? – you have not attempted to answer this either

Q5. How sure are you that the ‘convoluting influence’ you refer to is not the religious close minded approach of looking for answers in a book? ¬– this too you have not attempted to answer

Q6. How can I find you a paper on a topic that no evolutionary scientist has ever claimed? You said, ' I will acquiesce to your implorement of me to being willing to see that I am wrong' - what happens to this offer now that I have pointed out your lie? – Waiting for this too.

I disagree with your concept of hell so don’t try to threaten me with that crap. You never suggested you were atheist but I am accusing you of trying to say that you were like me, a non believer, but your journey led you to believe otherwise .. because you made the following statement, “I actually began this pursuit (to discover what is believable) in a season of my life when I wanted nothing to do with the church or God or religions”.. there are others reading this too… let them decide whether this is or not an attempt at you trying to establish that you were beyond religion and your discovery of truth that is ‘believable’ made you feel otherwise … (truth that is believable?? Truth is truth where you believe it or not .. it is established with evidence not with the comfort of belief). 

You cannot attack my character or call me ignorant because I am not making outrageous claims like you are, I am not concocting stories to claim credibility, I am not hijacking religious claims as being scientific.. the claims I make can be verified by anyone… but if you still wish to stick to your accusation that my ‘"facts" have been wrong from the outset’ .. prove it or accept you lied. Also please spare me this ‘poor me, I’m so innocent’ image.. I am not claiming to be knowledgeable, you are .. starting right from your status message you are asserting unverifiable claims as truth.. all I am doing is attacking your claims of being knowledgeable. You accusing me, an atheist of ‘religious zealotry’ is like condemning a bald man for bad hair style. Truth to you is bitter for it shatters your myths and I refuse to package it in a face saving format for you by toning it down. If you were really ignorant I would have been compassionate but you are blatantly lying and denying the evidence presented just to make a livelihood.

Adithya @Brenda – I can understand you emotional outburst. You were instrumental in introducing Steve and I to each other however I disagree that one must be nice to be right. My words are sharp when it is directed at people who willfully offer solutions without being knowledgeable about the topic they speak on. I have accused him of being a liar. I know it is a personal attack but it is the truth. If you are a witness to a crime and you confront the perpetrator, you too would scream out. I am backing my accusations with evidence. Steve is an influential man. People look upto him for guidance by letting their guards down. Steve imparts his so called ‘knowledge’ at this point to these people and misinforms them. I say he misinforms because his so called ‘knowledge’, like his ‘knowledge’ on evolution for instance is flawed. I am highlighting the flaw, his concocted story and his points for ridiculing it with evidence to support the opposite. You don’t have to take my word for it,… it is not merely my opinion, you may all independently verify the evidence. 

Let me present to you another perspective to show you how dangerous Steve’s misinformation can be. Nuts from another branch of religion called isalm impress upon people that there is no god but allah. Anyone opposed to that is considered a non-believer and such a person should be looked down upon because he/she does not conform to the tenets of the belief. They strengthen their position by laying claims to all the observable events around them as being the work of allah. So far so good.. it is not harming anyone, but now comes the next brigade .. the fanatic brigade quote the understanding propagated by the so called ‘sane’ nut to justify the annihilation of all those who do not agree with them. Will Steve’s misinformation lead to such a tragic consequence? Hard to say, but it has been observed through history that his kinds are the ones who give legitimacy for crimes committed in the name of religion. If you now view my actions in this light you will see them as being noble and not a loose cannon firing away.. I am directing it at a man of influence who is spreading a lie.

My attack on Steve is not against issues that do not suit me but against all that is against humanity. I am passionate and spending my time to highlight the nonsense. I could very well sit at home being oblivious to what he preaches because it is just a waste of time for me to express the other side.. I benefit in no way. This however is not the case with Steve. He is a man who makes a living by selling religion. Do you see the difference? I am angry.. I am as angry as an irritated bull because he is lying, however read what I have accused him of again, I have not flipped any words.

Accepting a point of view without proof just for the heck of it or to pretend to be liberal is stupid. If someone claimed eating cow dung will protect your dying child you too would not give that someone a hearing just to accept a point of view.; Steve’s claims are as absurd. Do not be fooled by his calm demeanor, for underneath the calm, well mannered preacher is a man looking at increasing his flock of followers and nothing else. BTW no one is asking you to convert into atheism.. I am busting the bullshit of a theist.. whether you wish to be rational or not is your choice.

Brian James I deleted my previous comment about "agreeing to disagree" because I read more of these comments and realized that it was useless. I can't intellectually back up my faith or even define it for that matter... I feel passionately about this discussion but that's all I have - "feelings" and I know that's what atheists don't relate to. It's all logic to you people and I can't logically explain in scientific terms who God is. I can't talk you into believing you have a loving Creator and that is frustrating. I have a new found respect for Steve - I knew you were a man of faith but this is an arena in which I'm glad to have you on our side.

Kevin Dickens Adi, trust me, we don't need you to defend us from "all that is against humanity" as you stated above. Implying that Steve, his beliefs or religion in general is against humanity, even dangerous, is ludicrous, especially since most the worlds population believes in a God of one form or another. You implied that Steve or the members of the church he pastors are akin to terrorists plotting to annihalate all who oppose them. You owe Steve an apology for crossing the line. Not only are you the minority here, you are an arogant bitter man. You have the right to choose to not believe, and I can respect that. But know this. I have known 3 people (wow, 3!) that claimed to be athiest in their beliefs. These were people I knew very well and they too argued over and over again the points you bring here now. All three have since changed their direction because they learned to expand their minds beyond themselves.

So I ask this of you. Prove there is no God.
As far as I am concerned, the fact that I have the power to Love and be Loved proves, to me, that there is a God. Self awareness, for me, is further evidence of Gods influence. So as for being "rational" your claim to be "bust"ing Steves beliefs is as irrational as can possibly be. 
I will give you this, you are a thorough debator. You appear to be intelligent. But to me, NOT believing in God is irrational and very small minded.
More questions. Do you know everything there is to know? If you do, how would you know? Is it possible for a "being" or a "God" to be so much more advanced than your comprehension can fathom? Obviously, yes, it is possible. To claim otherwise would put you in the status of "all knowing", so don't bother to argue that point.
Soooo.... By definition, God is beyond our intellectual grasp as a race. We can't possibly grasp all that is God, so to not believe in God is like a caveman saying "man will never fly", or "take a bite of this apple and you will be equal with God". 
As for putting belief in a book, know that it's not the book itself, but rather the message within. A message that science itself has already started to confirm through archeology and other sources. So the bible represents real events and is at least in part based on factual evidence. To dismiss it as a simple "book" is, well, assenine. Imagination is the fuel of science, it is what propels us forward to ask the questions to be answered. Assuming you have an imagination, I ask that you sit for moment and "imagine" that there IS a God and that this "God" is so much more than you and well above your minds capabilities. Then tell God he doesn't exist. You will likely not get a response, but if you really truely use your intelect, you will have to concede that you do NOT know that God wont respond. I for one hope you get a response, but, hey who am I? To assume the absence of God, doesn't prove he (or she) isn't real. I pose this to you. Those who believe in God often all say "God is Love". I contend that if you have ever loved before, then God is part of you already.
There are points Adi that I do agree with you on. Sorry Steve, but I cannot accept the claim that the earth is a mere 16,000 years old by human standards. Too much science proves that incorrect. But I do believe that God made the earth and the heavens in 7 days. How long is Gods day anyway? Let's imagine Gods day is say a million "human" years, or even 10 million (assuming he didn't hit the snooze button of course). As for evolution versus creationism, I have to say I believe in both. Based on our VERY limited understanding of God, I believe that God created all that there is. I believe he created beings that did evolve into the species we are today and that it was Gods own hand that made us aware and this state of "awareness" is when we became known as "man" instead of just another animal. I believe that every aspect of the universe is by his design.
How arogant is man, that he can think he knows God?

Adithya @Kevin - I am defending humanity from the likes of Steve, a salesmen of religion ... there are also others who constitute humanity besides you. You are at liberty to assume that I am a fool and move on. Just because you have numbers on your side does not make people who oppose you ludicrous. It does not matter if most of the world believes in a god what matters is the observed effects of religion. By your logic, since most of Afghansitan believe in caging a woman behind a veil, the practice is legitimate. It takes an outside observer to identify and condemn the negativity.

You seem to have an issue comprehending text. Show me where I equate Steve to a terrorist. Even if I did, I don’t owe him any apology. If an apology is to be extended each time someone’s feeling is hurt because of another person’s statement, then you would have to start with the theists who hurt the feelings of rational minded folk each time they sell a fictitious fantasy story of a god. I am emotionally scared because people like Steve (implying religious advisors) give legitimacy to all those who commit an ill against humanity in the name of religion. So what shall we do now?

I know I am arrogant .. I see nothing wrong in it and I might be in the minority now, but I am in a growing minority and you are in a dwindling majority, so think about it before you harp. churches & other places of religion across the educated world are going empty (I’m not just making this up.. I can back it with evidence). About your ‘Wow 3!’ .. anecdotal evidence is quite a juvenile argument. Even if your personal experience is accepted it still makes no dent in falsifying my claim. If I were to play that card of harping about the people who quit, ever consider how many apostates of christianity I could point out to you? 

You ask, “Prove there is no god” .. I am not the one who asserted the existence of a god. The burden of proof is not on me but on those who claim there is a god. Also be informed that it is not possible to prove the non existence of a make believe or invisible creature. For instance, you can never prove that Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy does not exist.. 
Atheists too have self awareness and the power to love and be loved .. that is proof of your existence not a god.. Atheists like me also have the power to be compassionate toward people I don’t even know, by helping them see quacks and dream sellers.. and all this for no gain except the satisfaction that lies are not left unexposed. I further egg you to show me how I am being small minded. Is it the one who is searching for answers beyond a book or the one who tries to fit the holy book as the answer to everything who is small minded?

You ask, ‘Do you know everything there is to know? If you do, how would you know?’ .. my answer is No .. but I don’t claim the answers to everything is in a book either.

You responding to your own question with an ‘obviously yes’ is very premature.. I would answer that question with, we don’t know .. we don’t even know if the existence of such a being popularly referred to as god is possible let alone the possibility of it being advanced. BTW your caveman example, its actually the other way around. A caveman saying, “Man will never fly”, is asserting an absolute like asserting ‘there is a god’ .. if the caveman said, “I don’t know if man can fly.. lets experiment and find out if its possible or not” .. that’s more like the atheist approach … looking for evidence. I cannot say for sure if there is a god or not.. all I can say is that there is no evidence for a god … further more there is absolutely no evidence for the god mentioned in the bible, the god of jesus.. there is no evidence for anything that yahwe is claimed to have done. 

Your appeal for the authenticity of the bible based on information fed by people like Steve is exactly my bone of contention. Don’t take my word for it.. if you were to spend sometime reading up books written by real scientists you will realize that science and archeology are proving the opposite of what the holy book claims. There are innumerable proofs discovered through scientific research that establish without an iota of doubt that claims made in holy books are nonsense. Come back to me with specific claims and I will tell you what science really says about it and not what creationists claim science says. You can then deciden whether its my stand or Steve’s that is assenine.

Another oft-sold bullshit that holy-men spread is that atheists are refusing to even imagine the possibility of a god. Consider this, atheists are imagining the possibilities of everything all the time so why would they not think of the possibility of a god?… True to scientific processes, atheists before they become one start by imagining the possibility of a god and then they look for proofs to confirm that what they believe in is true. Despite searching everywhere from religious preachers, so called experts on the holy books to personal investigations.. they find no proof.. in the absence of proof the person becomes an atheist .. an atheist is not someone who is denying god, an atheist knows there is no reason to believe such a thing exists because there is no proof. Kevin think for a moment… why should the capacity to experience an emotion qualify as proof for the existence of a supernatural? Theist then take it to the next step of equating all positive emotions to god and all negative emotions to satan (which also btw is imaginary nonsense like god)… and how would you define ‘truly using one’s intellect’? Shutting one’s mind to the presence of contradictory evidence all pointing to the non-existence of a god and submitting to a possibility can hardly be referred to as using intellect.

I’m presuming that you truly & genuinely wanted to engage me in an exchange of ideas and was not merely responding to disagree.. I am presuming this because your ending statement tells me that you are a man who will consider that there are errors in the bible. Since you did say what you did, I am going to point out the deficiency in your thinking. You are indulging in a practice called ‘cherry picking’ .. You very happily threw out the young earth claim because it didn’t suit you .. intelligence tells you otherwise.. that is what rational thinking is however what goes wrong is that you choose to keep bits that so far is beyond your comprehension and that is what you cherry pick.. you further try to justify that by changing the same laws that debunk ‘young earth’ and assume 1 god day = x number of years… how convenient :) From the tone of your mail I gather that you hate my ‘gutts’ .. I know I am rude but that is always directed only at people who willfully lie .. my intuition tells me that you are genuine .. peer pressure might force you to make a stand but that will change if you continue to search. Crosscheck all the claims that the preachers make and I assure you, that you will discover their bullshit yourself.

Stephen Hall Adi, I simply do not understand your need to attack my character and vocation in order to have a discussion about origins. I do not sell anything and my livelihood is acquired as much in the secular business world as it is in my pastoral role. The income I receive for ministry is for working with people; relationships, marriages, addicts, troubled children, the needy, the sick, and those who are simply lost in life. My pay is not commensurate with the number of converts I make to the Christian faith.

You have repeatedly try to portray me as a "snake-oil" salesman full of agenda to deceive the world with lies. You have made me a "scarecrow" adversary where you can present my ideas in your own ludicrous manner and then defeat the ideas with passionate heroism, and never realizing that people reading this are just watching you be contemptuous. Why am I your enemy? Because I believe in the God of the Bible? So what! So do millions of other people. Are we all to be your enemies?

I appeal to you once again, let's exchange ideas with a propriety and decorum befitting gentlemen. Let the ideas stand on their own.

Stephen Hall Oh and btw, Adi, I am not writing posts to impress "my following." There are some church members on my friend list but I got on facebook so that I could stay in touch with friends and family from my home town area from which I live a great distance now. I am not trying to cultivate a following of any kind, though I can see by your page and posts that this is not true about you.

Kevin Dickens Adi, I think you missed my point. I am not saying there are errors in the bible, I am saying there may be errors in our interpretation of it because we have such a limited understanding of God. Look closer at the "text" regarding the young earth comments I have responded to. The key to my statement is "in human terms". In fact the earth may be 16,000 years old, on someone elses comprehension of time, which is why I followed up with Gods day being a variable we cannot know. So, yes I can comprehend text, now it's your turn to go back and re-read what I wrote regarding time. The thing is that I can comprehend not only the text but beyond the text to the implications you make regarding the religious "nuts". I agree, that I would not be the first to be accused of "cherry-picking" in religious terms. I am from a faith other than Steves and my faith simply does not goin the direction of a young earth approach. It is common, very common for people to cherry-pick in religion ( bad) and this could ultimately be their demise when it comes time to face the God of their choice. Of course "cherry picking" is not a good practice and is, in my experience, the the most popular and last defense left for those who try to evangelize athieism. Yes you too are a saleaman of religion Adi. You are simply trying to sell a version that does not believe in a God. Who is to say that the world doesn't need Steve to defend us from the likes of you? No Adi, I don't hate your gutts. I passionately disagree, but the one lesson I took from my mothers last few days here on earth is that life is too short to hate. I don't hate anyone. As for the observed effects of religion and the application of religion in societies, again that is not religion that is the problem, but the interpretation (and application of the interpretation) that is the problem, so much for the veil. Again because small minds try fit a giant God into their friendly little box. It is nearly impossible to separate the effects of society from the effects of religion, especially since so many societies are driven ONLY by religion. I understand why you argue your point, I just disagree with your opinion. As for scientific facts supporting the religious books of the world, yes there is support to show the existance of places and events depicted in these books. The discovery of ancient cities destroyed by an act of God, evidence of a worlwide (as was known back then as the entire world, again our interpretation) of a massive flood is out there. It is not up to me to do your research and I am not here to convert you. I can only guess that your next argument will likely be a rebuttle to this to the tone of, proving that there IS a God in opposition to my request of you. To that end is my entire point. You cannot dis-prove the existance of God anymore than I can give you his email address. We must simply accept that people will believe what they want, and how they want. They are free to decide. All I know is there have been mutiple profound moments in my life that I have felt the presence of God and those moments are all I need to believe. They cannot be verified scientifically.....but I contend that as science evolves, it will. OK, I'm running out of time, one of Gods little miracles is asking to play cars right now....

Brenda Snoddy Alexander I'm getting the feeling that everyone has sunk their claws and teeth into this one.Criminently, it is getting OLD! Interesting at first, but now,....It is MOOT!! CAT'S GAME! GAME OVER!...( It's a dead parrot..gone to join the choir inivisible! )

We need to keep in mind that we really ARE PEOPLE behind these screens and keyboards! Let's treat each other with respect
and dignity...I'm guilty of forgetting that one.

I don't like arguing and it hurts me to see my friends fling shit at each other ( pardon the language if it offends).

Oh, I think it's time to move on to another topic;.......c'mon, humor me?

Brenda Snoddy Alexander yeah, I keep reading this stuff over and over and what is blatantly obvious is that not one of you is going to agree with what Adi has to say, because ya'll are Christian and he is an atheist.

@ Adi, you are really PUSHING IT, aren't you? Not that I would accept less from you, but it certainly seems that you are trying to convert us all and I think that is funny. 'Course, now, you're gonna say, "point out where and when I said that!" (thankful I don't know you in a domestic capacity!, you'd be an ass to live with! LMAO! You'd be the guy that remembers what happened exactly to the day hour and second....ACK!)

Ashamed that you told Steve he's a liar, "snake oil salesman", selling religion, blah blah...He is a good man and you're trying to make him look like Satan....oh, God, no Satan, right? But, no, I cannot believe you think he writes his posts to impress his, what? Followers??? hahahahahahaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!! C'mon! That is totally retarded...As he said, he has family and friends here in town and close by. No, we don't bow down to the mighty Steve....lmao!!!!!!

As I was reading and re-reading these posts, the picture came to me of the Reverend Jim Jones and his fabulous cult where grape koolaid got to be the drink of you know WHO I thought of when I got that mental picture??? YOU, Adi... Hey, it was just a thought. Anyway, If these loooong comment lines are going to end up with people going back and forth using personal affronts and such, maybe they aren't such a great idea? Men begin to behave poorly and obviously leave the "gentleman" in them outside....not a good thing, whether you're passionate about something or not. Like with me...I get don't claim that, but you do it too.Then we all get the finger pointing and word riots.....YOU know how it all goes....No matter what our religion or lack of, we can still be ladies and gentlemen.

Also wanted to say that the majority of people in the US believe in a higher power, whereas you guys over there believe differently a lot of times....different types of religions for different regions and all....

I love all of you guys....I don't want to see a bunch of HATERS....I don't care WHO you are......Hate is NOT acceptable!

"All you need is love..." ~ John Lennon ~

Adithya @Everyone – We have spent a lot of time on this already and I am going to conclude on this post. I will just make a few remarks, answers to some of the question and no more questions from my end.

As you can all see for yourself Steve till this point have left questions unanswered despite my repeated reminders. This is an oft witnessed practice among all religious preachers. The reason for this as I have understood is that they do not have answers to these questions except the lame ‘god knows best’ or ‘god works in mysterious ways’, response. If that is indeed so and god is anyway not going to tell you or give you an explanation it is quite stupid for any person who claims to represent god and calls himself his preacher to speak on his behalf. What is the point? God is going to do what he wants anyways .. so even if you are going to be a good believer, fear him/love him, repent for your sins/ never commit a sin he might still mysteriously work and screw your life up by giving you herpes for he knows best. In which case it would seem better not to bother about him even if he does exist because he’s got plans and he’s not going to change them just because you pray to him. Mind you I asked specific questions to the claims Steve made .. yet no answer. Any ordinary believer I would never attack the way I did Steve .. he earns the privilege solely because he proclaims that he is a man who is capable of guiding people in matters of faith. I don’t see him backing up any of his claims on faith with material that can prove without doubt that his claims are genuine. If a person who takes up the responsibility of being a teacher, is unaware of his subject, he should keep his mouth shut.

Let me elaborate on how speaking on subjects without being aware of it is a problem. Society today has evolved over the eons, distilling itself in all aspects of life, refining itself to the present form which by any comparison is light years better than our forefathers lived. I’m not getting into examples because I can proclaim without blinking that it encompasses everything you experience today from your quality of life, material comforts to everything you can imagine… yet we still have not completed the metamorphosis. So there still are quacks around.. despite the advances in medicine, snake oil salesmen are still around .. their presence alone does not make them legitimate.. they are still frauds. It is in this arena that Steve so rightly points out that I am equating him to such a whackjob.. it is true, he is bang on. You see he further confirmed my fears by elaborating what his duties/responsibilities are as a pastor – ‘working with people; relationships, marriages, addicts, troubled children, the needy, the sick, and those who are simply lost in life’. The sad part is that he really thinks he is qualified for such a job.. he thinks his snake oil really works. These people who study theology are of the opinion that they have the authority to practice serious subjects like psychology and counseling.

@Steve - you are not my enemy.. I have issues with your profession not you as an individual. Your conduct is impeccable but good behavior does not negate what I accuse you of. You make claims without evidence and sell false hope to all those you offer advice to (I am of course referring solely to your credits for supernatural interference). If you are doing this willfully aware of compelling evidence disproving your claims then you most definitely are a liar or else you are ignorant.. either way you are not qualified to impart advice on matters of science. Go back to the top from where you started.. you made specific claims… twisting and denying evidence by ridiculing scientific processes to make what is observed fit to your frame is cunning and I cannot see such a man as being good. One cannot pass judgment on such matters out of emotion it has to be through testable verifiable methods. Therefore, just because you want god to be true and want to see everything as his work, it cannot be true .. you have to provide proof. Verifiable proof that anyone can test for themselves.

@Kevin - to you it all boils down to interpretation. And who is to know if you are interpreting it right? For all you know you might be doing the exact opposite of what your god (if he/she exists) would want of you. Inaction on a topic because it is beyond comprehension is not my approach. Fearing the unknown is neither. I could sit and disprove each point of yours be it claims of lost cities or timelines but only if we were to follow a systematic approach of you first defining your claim and then letting me respond. BTW I am not selling anything… I am preventing salesmen from selling and I am struggling to inform people that what they see advertised are false claims and hence they shouldn’t buy from the salesmen.

@Brenda - what could I possibly convert anyone into? I am just presenting the other side.. a side that preachers don’t want people they sell to, to see. Think of me as a public awareness program. Despite the warnings on the beach asking people not to swim, if they so choose to .. by all means. People have the right to do what they choose. BTW Reverend Jim Jones sold the same crap that Steve is selling, it was in a different package that’s all.. I know I am aggressive but I am not a hater. My friends (the little I have) know me for speaking my mind out .. I don’t believe in being pseudo nice just so as not to hurt someone else’s feelings. I’d rather be a hated truth speaker rather than a well mannered liar. I never started this.. the claim was first made by Steve and yes I will try everything I can to expose a false claim. Indians are not very different from Americans .. the majority here too believe in a higher power .. all religions are represented in India and yes the hindus are poly theists .. but if you consider the various branches of christianity and sects worshipping ‘mother mary’, various ‘saints’, ‘infant jesus’ etc.. americans are not any different from poly theist hindus :)


Brian James Frankly Adi, I thank the God you don't believe in that you are not a religious man. I have to agree with Brenda about who's really making the sales pitch here, only you're not selling anything but your own intellectual, self-importance. Of all the "truth" you have imparted to the faithful here, the only thing I found remotely offensive is the Jim Jones reference. To say that christian leaders are capable of being Jim Jones is as intellectually vacant as a typical american red-neck saying that every Muslim is probably a terrorist. Prejudice comes in many forms and as the old corny saying goes, denial isn't just a river in Egypt.