Saturday, June 07, 2014

Leaving the fold, atheist style

Apparently, children of atheists don't always keep the, uh, un-faith.

Here. 

208 comments:

1 – 200 of 208   Newer›   Newest»
Ilíon said...

The 'atheists' know this, and they know that, as a group, they reproduce at below replacement levels even if they did manage to keep all their kids in the unfaithful fold. That's why they're always wanting to use the organs of The State to propagandize Christians' kids.

John Moore said...

Atheists generally say it's good for people to think for themselves. So you wouldn't expect them to indoctrinate their kids with forceful discipline.

Ilíon said...

^ Don't "freethinkers" say just the cutest things?

B. Prokop said...

Boy, I don't recall any "forceful discipline" in matters of religion as a child. What were my parents doing wrong? Also, there no such thing with my own children - and yet they are both mysteriously practicing Christians. (Only one is a Catholic, however, the other being a confirmed Anglican. Gee, you'd think that with all that "forceful discipline" we'd have avoided such an outcome!)

What's really "cute" about John's comment is that it's the children who have been subjected to "forceful discipline" in the home who generally break away as adults. The ones who stay are mostly brought up in rational, intellectually honest families.

Dave Duffy said...

Looking at the chart my first thought was, "Hindu 1st, Jewish 2nd?" Can't be! But, then my experience is in secular California where, it seems like, everyone has given up their faith and tradition for some narcissistic leftism.

I don't know if the chart is accurate, but it makes sense to me that Hindus and Jews live in tight community and atheist leave their children wanting.

B. Prokop said...

The chart is accurate. Pew is not known for sloppiness in its findings. I would imagine you are on to something there about "tight-knit" communities. But I think there's an even more powerful force at work here, which is what Catholics call liturgy, as well as a liturgical calendar. The many feasts of Hinduism and Judaism, with their emphasis on family, cannot be underestimated.It's a big part of what makes us human (and why atheism is in the long term doomed).

Dave Duffy said...

Bob,

As a former Catholic turned Anglican, I am in agreement on liturgy. The Anglican Church is where I found I could be both Protestant and Catholic. Two of my children, after many long inquisitive (think three children like Illion) conversations over the dinner table, made the Anglican Church their own. My middle son, the philosophy student, joined the Mennonite Church.

Papalinton said...

What is more telling in the ARIS survey is the wholesale commodification of belief in the religious free-for-all-market. "The survey finds that constant movement characterizes the American religious marketplace, as every major religious group is simultaneously gaining and losing adherents. Those that are growing as a result of religious change are simply gaining new members at a faster rate than they are losing members. Conversely, those that are declining in number because of religious change simply are not attracting enough new members to offset the number of adherents who are leaving those particular faiths."

People are trading and selling their religious belief systems not unlike any other free market commodity that is out there and up for sale. One can't really say that about atheism, can they? Indeed it seems those that fill the ranks of the unaffiliated [atheists, agnostics and others] seem to be doing so at a three-to-one ratio; three becoming unaffiliated for every one that leaves the unaffiliated to join a religion. What's also interesting, Catholicism is the big net loser in this survey, but even their numbers are skewed and inflated resulting from much of the influx coming via immigration from Catholic Hispanic countries.

Anyway, what little succour Vox gets out of the statistics for atheists becoming religious is small bikkies compared to the significant growth of the unaffiliated sector.

Dave Duffy said...

Thank you Papalinton for the analysis of the data provided. There is comfort on being on the winning side, even if it is temporal.

Hugo said...

Ilíon / Mr. Prokop,

You missed John's point, or got it but prefer to use ridicule I don't know. Anyway, there seem to be much less Atheists that attempt to force beliefs in their kids than there are Religious people doing so. Great if you're not like that, and most people are not, but it's simply something that happens more among religious ultra conservatives. And dont forget society/family pressure.


Hence it's no surprise that fewer kids would follow their Atheist parents' "religion"... on top of that, the fact that very few people self-identified as Atheists until recently, and still today, means that very few kids are actually raised in a "real" atheistic environment.

B. Prokop said...

I wasn't using ridicule. But I was strenuously objecting to the idea that "indoctrinating with forceful discipline" could be at all effective in "keeping children in the fold". Perhaps I didn't make myself clear the first time, but children so brought up would be the most likely to leave their birth religion, and those brought up in an atmosphere of reason and inquiry (as I was) the most likely to stay.

Ilíon said...

Hugo: "You missed John's point, or got it but prefer to use ridicule I don't know. Anyway, there seem to be much less Atheists that attempt to force beliefs in their kids than there are Religious people doing so. ..."

Since it appears that *you* missed Mr Moore's point, please allow me to translate it into straight-up English for you -- "We 'atheists' are so morally and intellectually superior to you (side-long glance down the nose, with a sniff) 'theists' that we don't even bother to teach those few of our children whom we allow to enter this world what we assert is the truth about the nature of the world and of themselves, despite that we spend a great deal of time and effort and money screaming that the tax-payers (i.e. *you*) must be compelled, under threat of violent death, to pay for the atheistic indoctrination of *your* children."

Of course, no one believes much of anything that God-deniers say, including when they claim that they don't try to indoctrinate their children into God-denial.

Hugo: "Hence it's no surprise that fewer kids would follow their Atheist parents' "religion"... on top of that, the fact that very few people self-identified as Atheists until recently, and still today, means that very few kids are actually raised in a "real" atheistic environment."

Here's a better explanation of what's going on -- God-deniers *do* (of course they do) indoctrinate their children into God-denial ... but as the children don't yet have the emotional need to hide from themselves the meaning and entailments of God-denial, they quickly grasp the part that the old folks studiously hide from themselves -- you, and everyone else, are accidents of no particular significance; your "folk psychology" belief that you even exist is just an illusion, a "buzz in your brain", as it were; whether I as your parent love (which term, of course, denotes just another "buzz in the brain") you, and demonstrate that by words and deeds, or whether I hate or am utterly indifferent to you, and demonstrate *that* by words and deeds, it's all the same in the end -- and once they (the kids) figure out that they simply cannot believe such things to be the truth about the nature of reality, and of themselves, and of their parents' love for (or indifference to) them, they start looking around for something that does make sense, and they tend to find it in "religion".

im-skeptical said...

This is really rich.

The religious believers deny that they indoctrinate their children while insisting that it is atheists who engage in indoctrination. No motivated thinking going on here, is there?

Ilíon said...

^ What a pathetic petty fool.

Do I care that he is so obstinately self-blinded that he can't even see past his leftist/atheistic misdefinition of the word 'indoctrinate' (so as to use it as a smear word) and thus *must* say something blatantly false so as to protect his pose of being morally and intellectually superior? Hell, no, I don't care. I used the word on purpose, knowing full well how such fools would react to it.

BenYachov said...

>The religious believers deny that they indoctrinate their children while insisting that it is atheists who engage in indoctrination. No motivated thinking going on here, is there?

In my teenage years in a moment of stupidity I told my devout Catholic Mother too her face I didn't want to be Catholic or I was a Protestant or something.

She was upset but I was not grounded or sent to my room or anything.

So this "indoctrination" mishigoss is just wishful thinking and a sterotype.


B. Prokop said...

My younger daughter told me (at age 16) that she had decided to be an Anglican instead of a Catholic. Although I was (secretly) disappointed, I supported her decision (I still do), after she convinced me her decision was sincere and well thought-out. No "forceful discipline" there!

By contrast, a relative of mine is an atheist, and I have witnessed him ridiculing religion in front of his children and discouraging them if ever they wonder whether there's anything to it. Indoctrination? Well, if it walks like a duck...

Dave Duffy said...

Anyone who cares about their children, atheists or theists, "indoctrinates" them. If you have learned something in making your way through life, of coarse you want to pass that truth and those values on to your children. If you haven't learned anything, or value nothing, or don't give a damn about your kids (but the sex was pretty good!), then your life has been utterly pointless. I'm always lost when people either deny or seem stunned by the obvious. If your kids adopt some of your lessons at least they didn't think you were a total fraud.

I think the whole "motivated thinking" is a bunch of BS, at least when trying to apply it others. At best, it is a form of self-examination.

im-skeptical said...

Teaching is not the same as indoctrination, which involves a doctrine, such as that of the church, or some other ideology-based organization. If atheists had some kind of doctrine like that, then you have a leg to stand on.

im-skeptical said...

And for the record, I never discussed religion or atheism with my child until he was an adult. So don't try to tell me I indoctrinated him.

Dan Gillson said...

It's always obvious to me when someone doesn't know the classical languages, like when Skep says that teaching isn't indoctrination because indoctrination requires doctrine. If he knew Latin, he'd know that the word 'doctrine' comes from the latin docere which means 'to teach', and he'd realize that he is, in effect, saying that teaching isn't indoctrination because indoctrination requires teaching, which is just plain stupid.

Dave Duffy said...

"And for the record, I never discussed religion or atheism with my child until he was an adult. So don't try to tell me I indoctrinated him."

This is incomprehensible to me. Here are two of the greatest influences on human civilization (both for good and for ill), veiw points in the news constantly, a multitude of personal relations with people who identify strongly with these views, and you did not discuss this with your children???? My goodness, what did you talk about, sports?

im-skeptical said...

Dan,

Perhaps you should learn English instead of Latin.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/indoctrination

Dave,

It was my intention specifically to let him make his own decisions about religion. I don't care if you don't believe that my attitude is different from yours. It happens to be the truth.


Dan Gillson said...

"Indoctrination, noun: the act of indoctrinating, or teaching or inculcating a doctrine, principle or ideology, especially one with a specific point of view: religious indoctrination."

Well, consider me proven wrong ... NOT!

im-skeptical said...

"Well, consider me proven wrong ..."

Yep. (And you're sounding rather like little Karly now.)

Dan Gillson said...

Care to explain to me how one can indoctrinate without teaching? Or, to use your favorite trope, is the evidence all around, but I just need to look at it unbiasedly?

amorbis said...

Holy shit, Skep, you're old enough to have an adult child?!? I thought you were like, 15 or something.

Karl Grant said...

Skeppy,

Yep. (And you're sounding rather like little Karly now.)

How many times do we have to tell you? Get your own damn insults; this copying other people grew out of style in kindergarten. And oh, just to disabuse you of any idiotic notions that Dan and I are the same person, ask Dr. Reppert if we have the same IP address when making our posts. I am pretty sure the IP address for a computer in Minnesota is rather different for one in South Carolina. Of course, considering the way you have been responding to Bob the last few days you will probably accuse our host of "Lying for Jesus" or some shit when he tells you me and Dan's IP's are very different. By the way, Dan at his worst is a lot nicer that I am and you ain't seen me at my worst yet.

B. Prokop said...

Skep,

I'm fairly proficient in Latin. I set aside two times each day to read from the Vulgate. I even read Winnie the Pooh last year in a Latin translation. (You can buy it on Amazon (search for Winnie ille Pu).) At any rate, Dan is 100% correct. The English word indoctrination has the Latin verb docere (to teach) as its root. That's just a fact. Indisputable. "Indoctrination" does not originate from the English word doctrine.

Dave Duffy said...

I'm-skeptical,

"It was my intention specifically to let him make his own decisions about religion."

I understand that point of view.

For me, there were things I thought worthy of passing down to my kids, like having a summer job, reading books, being loving and sexually faithful to their mother, are random examples that pop into my mind. The faith and our christian community was something else I thought worthy of passing on.

I didn't doubt the truth of what you said, I just found it odd that the topic of religion and atheism wasn't discussed. Thinking about my own experience with the people who sat around our dinner table: leftist, religious zealots, scoffers...my kids always hung around the table even though they were excused after they cleaned their plate. I'm not sure if I was the best advocate for my beliefs, but the kids at least listened to the conversation and would ask questions about it before bed.

im-skeptical said...

Holy shit. I didn't say that the root word for indoctrinate isn't the Latin word for 'to teach'. A docent doesn't indoctrinate. He teaches. They're not the same thing. Unless you want to hold that all teaching is indoctrination. I provided the definition. Read it.

B. Prokop said...

Then why did you write this? "Teaching is not the same as indoctrination, which involves a doctrine." Are you now disavowing that statement?

im-skeptical said...

I said it because teaching is not the same as indoctrination, which involves a doctrine.

Dan Gillson said...

Conversations with Skep tend to go in a circle, don't they?

im-skeptical said...

I said the same thing consistently from the beginning. No contradictions, no circles here. You seem to have a problem understanding English.

Dan Gillson said...

Yes, right: doctrines aren't teachings. One is indoctrinated with doctrines, but taught teachings. I get it now--they are entirely different concepts.

im-skeptical said...

Perhaps you're being deliberately obtuse. Sure, indoctrination is a kind of teaching. But teaching is much broader than indoctrination. Teaching geography is not indoctrination. Inculcating religious doctrine is indoctrination. The two things are not the same.

Dan Gillson said...

Well, I'll sleep on it. A quick question though, does one learn from indoctrination like one learns from teaching, or is there a difference there as well?

Ilíon said...

""Indoctrination" does not originate from the English word doctrine."

Even if it did, so what? There is nothing inherently sinful about doctrine, nor about having doctrine, nor indoctrinating one's children to one’s beliefs.

What is sinful, and inhuman (and possibly inhumane), besides being absurd, is the leftist/post-modernist (and atheistic) denigration of the concept of doctrine, coupled with the pretense/lie that they have no doctrines, and their demonization of others' indoctrination of their own children (to at least workable doctrines), even as they work to hijack the resources of the State to compel everyone else’s children to be indoctrinated into their (mostly unworkable) doctrines.

B. Prokop said...

Whoa! Have you tried diagramming that last sentence, Ilion? (I just did - It's a true work of German Expressionist Art.)

B. Prokop said...

Do they even indoctrinate, I mean teach, diagramming sentences any more?

im-skeptical said...

Lots of people putting words in my mouth. Read what I said. Nothing negative about either doctrine or indoctrination. If you are defensive about religious indoctrination, you might perceive my statements as negative. I was merely saying that religious people are, in fact, indoctrinated by their churches and their families. This may account for why religious people have less tendency to leave the fold. There are many kinds of indoctrination, including some indoctrination that occurs in the public schools.

im-skeptical said...

""Indoctrination" does not originate from the English word doctrine."

According to Oxford Dictionaries, it comes from the French word 'doctrine', which is the same as the English word 'doctrine'.

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/indoctrinate

Ilíon said...

"Whoa! Have you tried diagramming that last sentence, Ilion? (I just did - It's a true work of German Expressionist Art.)"

Well, English is a Germanic language, and I did take German in high school and college (can't speak it now, of course).

The important point, I think, is that most persons who can read English at more than a Dick and Jane level can read-and-understand what I write.

B. Prokop said...

Skep, Since you love your dictionaries so much, then why do you consistently refuse to go by the number one definition of faith in most dictionaries?

confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability. (dictionary.com)

allegiance to duty or a person: loyalty; fidelity to one's promises; sincerity of intentions (Merriam-Webster)

Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing. (The Free Dictionary)

Complete trust or confidence in someone or something (Oxford)

Faith is confidence or trust in a person, thing, deity, view, or in the doctrines or teachings of a religion. (Wikipedia)

Faith is not about belief. Faith in fact has very little to do with what beliefs you hold, other than that it allows you to hold them. (Patheos)

etc.

Instead you insist on Boghossian's made up definition, accepted by no one other than himself and his camp followers.

B. Prokop said...

Ilion,

Don't get me wrong. I wasn't criticizing; I was in awe. That thing had more flying buttresses than Notre Dame!

Ilíon said...

And I wasn't reacting as though I though you were (negatively) criticizing the sentence.

I was pointing out that I know I sometimes write complex sentences.

Ilíon said...

... and that I am not at all ashamed to write complex sentences when I think that's what it takes to say what I mean to say.

Ilíon said...

I'm-a-whiney-little-hypocrite: "Lots of people putting words in my mouth. Read what I said. Nothing negative about either doctrine or indoctrination. If you are defensive about religious indoctrination, you might perceive my statements as negative. I was merely saying that religious people are, in fact, indoctrinated by their churches and their families ..."

I'm-a-whiney-little-lying-hypocrite: "This is really rich.

The religious believers deny that they indoctrinate their children while insisting that it is atheists who engage in indoctrination. No motivated thinking going on here, is there?
"

Repeating myself -- "^ What a pathetic petty fool.

Do I care that he is so obstinately self-blinded that he can't even see past his leftist/atheistic misdefinition of the word 'indoctrinate' (so as to use it as a smear word) and thus *must* say something blatantly false so as to protect his pose of being morally and intellectually superior? Hell, no, I don't care. I used the word on purpose, knowing full well how such fools would react to it.
"

im-skeptical said...

Ilion imagines that he has caught me in a self-contradiction, because I made two statements (paraphrased as): 1. Religious people are in fact indoctrinated, and 2. I said nothing negative about indoctrination. So he gloats and pats himself on the back for being so much smarter than the heathen.

News flash: I did not use indoctrination as a "smear word", except in your own ideology-addled mind.

B. Prokop said...

"I did not use indoctrination as a "smear word""

Sorry, but you most certainly did. Let's examine the evidence, shall we?

Here you say: "Religious believers deny that they indoctrinate their children while insisting that it is atheists who engage in indoctrination." Now you're insisting that your use of the term "indoctrinate" is totally neutral. If that's indeed the case, let's flip the sentence around: "Atheists deny that they indoctrinate their children while insisting that it is religious believers who engage in indoctrination." According to you, there should be no substantive difference in those two statements, since, after all, you have put no weight, either positive or negative, upon the word "indoctrination". But even a cursory reading shows the intent of the two is completely different, with a clear bias against the word. Not quite a "smear word" yet, but let's wait a bit...

Next, you write: "Teaching is not the same as indoctrination, which involves a doctrine, such as that of the church, or some other ideology-based organization. If atheists had some kind of doctrine like that, then you have a leg to stand on." Interesting. So here you have set up a false dichotomy between teaching and indoctrination, with a clear preference for the former. So now the term is not neutral in your view.

But it doesn't end there. You backtrack a bit when caught in not knowing the etymology of "indoctrinate": "I didn't say that the root word for indoctrinate isn't the Latin word for 'to teach'." Good for you, because, after all, it is.

You would have been wise to just drop it right there, but no... you couldn't help yourself. Keeping on, you wrote: "Teaching geography is not indoctrination. Inculcating religious doctrine is indoctrination." Tell me again about how you had no intention of using indoctrination as a smear word?

Did you forget that we can still read your previous comments?

im-skeptical said...

Sorry, Bob. I did not use it as a smear word. I still say that religious doctrine in inculcated. Is that a smear? Not by my dictionary. Perhaps you think it is. If the shoe fits, wear it.

...

You ask why I don't go by the number one definition for the word 'faith'. I do, but only in cases where the use of the word fits the sense of the definition. 'Faith' is one of those words that is used in many senses, and you have to select the correct definition in the dictionary for the manner in which the word is used.

For example if I speak of your faith (as in Catholic or Christian), and you refer to the Merriam-Webster online definions,

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/faith

you will see that #3 is the appropriate definition for the way the word is used. The #1 definition is typically not used in a religious context.

Victor Reppert said...

Suppose a parent were to tell a child the following:

Now, son (or daughter) I am not telling you what to believe. As the great Richard Dawkins says, if I were to label you as a child according to my beliefs, I would be guilty of child abuse. But, when you decide what to believe, just remember that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and no religion is worthy of belief unless it passes that Outsider Test for Faith, as defined by John Loftus.

Indoctrination? Yes, no, maybe so?

im-skeptical said...

You don't know what our rituals are. We send our children to secret indoctrination centers to learn the proper way to worship the Great Dawkins.

BenYachov said...

>Teaching is not the same as indoctrination, which involves a doctrine, such as that of the church, or some other ideology-based organization. If atheists had some kind of doctrine like that, then you have a leg to stand on.


In essence he is saying teaching anything that a Church teaches is "doctrine" but if an Atheist does it then it is mere "teaching".

What would Sherlock Holmes say at this point about slept?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcXHEdNW2-0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CgJnwrGUiM

im-skeptical said...

What Ben is saying is that he doesn't have a clue what is being said.

B. Prokop said...

I think Ben got it spot on, Skep. That's what you've been saying this entire conversation.

religious instruction = indoctrination
atheist instruction = teaching

Care to deny this?

im-skeptical said...

Bob,

Show me where I said what you claim.

You're putting words in my mouth.
Ben's putting words in my mouth.
Ilion is putting words in my mouth.
Victor seems to have the same idea.

Just show me where I ever said such a thing.

B. Prokop said...

Again, do you not realize that we can read your previous comments? You said it right here: "Teaching is not the same as indoctrination, which involves a doctrine, such as that of the church, or some other ideology-based organization. If atheists had some kind of doctrine like that, then you have a leg to stand on." The last sentence in that quote explicitly states that atheists do not indoctrinate. The second subordinate clause in the first sentence explicitly states that religious people do.

There, I showed you.

im-skeptical said...

"The last sentence in that quote explicitly states that atheists do not indoctrinate."

Can you identify the supposed atheist doctrine? Now here's the part where you trot out the old canard about communism. Yes, they have an ideology and they indoctrinate people. I never denied that. And I would never make a blanket statement that no atheists engage in indoctrination. But communism and other specific ideologies aside, atheism is not an ideology in its own right. What is the general atheist doctrine that we supposedly indoctrinate our children with? Victor suggests that we worship the Great Dawkins. That's pure bullshit. What is the doctrine, and where's the indoctrination?

Karl Grant said...

Skeppy,

Can you identify the supposed atheist doctrine?

Well according to Merriam Webster's dictionary doctrine is a set of ideas or beliefs that are taught or believed to be true. So if you make the following statements (and you have made all of these over the last couple of months):

There is no God.

The mind and brain are not separate.

There is no after-life.

Christianity is false.

Religious ideas should not influence government policies.

The New Testament was extensively modified from what original manuscripts and accounts were before being incorporated into the Bible (despite no evidence to back up said assertion).

The world would be better off without religion.


Oh I could go on for a while here but the fact is that you do have a set beliefs. The fact you feel the need to come onto a Christian blog and ram said beliefs into everybody's faces means you want other people with opposing beliefs to know what they are. And the fact you throw a fucking hissy fit whenever somebody shows that you have no damn clue what the hell you are talking about implies you would love other people to accept them without question (which is further evidenced by how you will suck up to anybody, like Paps, who tells you are smart or you have the right idea despite their obvious intellectual short-comings, like a tendency to plagiarize) .

im-skeptical said...

So nobody can identify this supposed atheist doctrine?

B. Prokop said...

Skep,

So you admit that you said it. You now write, "What is the doctrine, and where's the indoctrination? But when I paraphrased that as "atheist instruction = teaching" (which is a pretty accurate paraphrase), you accuse me of putting words into your mouth, and deny that you ever said such a thing.

So all you've managed to do is to give me yet another opportunity to answer your request, "Show me where I said what you claim." Do you even understand what you yourself are writing, let alone what others are saying? All that you have to do now is repeat after Britney Spears and say "Oops, I did it again!"

B. Prokop said...

"So nobody can identify this supposed atheist doctrine?"

It appears that Karl did just that (in seven bullet points), right in his most recent posting. Did you not bother to read it?

im-skeptical said...

"atheist instruction = teaching"

You're trying so hard to make me sound hypocritical, you have to put your own words in my mouth to prove your case. I never said that. I don't agree with it. I thought I made that clear.

If an atheist indoctrinates someone it's still indoctrination. However, I still maintain that teaching is generally not equivalent to indoctrination. Certainly we all teach our children things - atheists and theists alike. That doesn't equate to indoctrination unless it amounts to instilling an ideology. Instilling a religious ideology probably fits the bill. If you don't instill some kind of ideology, it isn't what I'd call indoctrination. Little Karly invented his own "atheist ideology" and thinks that we all must "indoctrinate" our children with it. He's wrong. As usual, he has no idea what he's talking about. It might just happen that there are some atheists who agree with all the tenets of his supposed atheist ideology, but I don't, and many others don't either. Fact is, there is no atheist ideology. There are ideologies that various atheists have. But don't project your own attitudes and faults on me unless I am actually guilty of those things.

Karl Grant said...

Skeppy,

Certainly we all teach our children things - atheists and theists alike.

Oh, so you are saying religious people don't indoctrinate their children now?

That doesn't equate to indoctrination unless it amounts to instilling an ideology. Instilling a religious ideology probably fits the bill.

Spoke too soon.


Little Karly

You know, I suspect amorbis has your age pegged right. Around fifteen or so; the claim you have an adult child is bullshit.

invented his own "atheist ideology" and thinks that we all must "indoctrinate" our children with it. He's wrong. As usual, he has no idea what he's talking about. It might just happen that there are some atheists who agree with all the tenets of his supposed atheist ideology, but I don't, and many others don't either.

Really? And which part do you not agree with? There is no God? Or maybe Christianity is false? Or maybe you want to give us a real good laugh by saying you don't agree with the statement "The New Testament was modified from what original manuscripts and accounts were before being incorporated into the Bible"? Do tell, which one of those statements you don't agree with. :)

Fact is, there is no atheist ideology

Oh, but that would mean there are no organized atheist groups working towards a common purpose. And since there are said groups that statement is demonstrably false.

B. Prokop said...

"I don't agree with it."

Then why, oh, why do you say things like atheists have no doctrine and therefore do not indoctrinate? Why do you challenge people to identify said doctrine (which you deny exists)? Why do you make a distinction (don't deny that you do) between religious instruction and atheist instruction. You've gone to great pains to do so, not only in this conversation, but in many previous ones. You identify doctrine and therefore (in your rather idiosyncratic definition of the term) indoctrination with religion, and deny that it can properly be used about True Scotsmen... excuse me, I meant true atheists.

So "I thought I made that clear"? No, you made the reverse crystal clear.

You claim you did not discuss religion with your son until he was an adult? Probably for the best, because if you had, he wouldn't have had a clue as to what you were talking about! I think THIS is most appropriate at this point.

B. Prokop said...

"I suspect amorbis has your age pegged right. Around fifteen or so.

Amorbis was most likely referring to Skep's mental age - or perhaps to his IQ.

B. Prokop said...

Skep: "It might just happen that there are some atheists who agree with all the tenets of his supposed atheist ideology, but I don't" (my emphasis)

Karl: "Really? And which part do you not agree with?"

Me too. I want to know which parts of Karl's 7-point proposed atheist doctrine you disagree with, Skep. I'll refresh your memory - here they are again:

1. There is no God.

2. The mind and brain are not separate.

3. There is no after-life.

4. Christianity is false.

5. Religious ideas should not influence government policies.

6. The New Testament was extensively modified from what original manuscripts and accounts were before being incorporated into the Bible (despite no evidence to back up said assertion).

7. The world would be better off without religion.

So let's have it, Skep. Which of those 7 points do you disagree with? You don't have to wear yourself out. Just give us the numbers.

im-skeptical said...

It's not my ideology, and I believe it's better to teach children how to think rather than what to think. I know there are many atheists who agree with my position.

Papalinton said...

You keep stickin' it to 'em, Skep. Faithheads have no idea the difference between indoctrination and teaching. In fact any teaching that does NOT include a mention or an invocation of god in each sentence, would to them, be labelled as indoctrination.

I say THIS MOTHER - SON CONVERSATION" is significantly more common than one could even possibly imagine.

And boy, is she some pissed off catholic Mum.

Papalinton said...

Who I truly adore is Dad. Sits there quietly drinking his coffee right throughout the show, without a sign of animation. I suspect he has already ditched the god nonsense and looks on with untroubled amusement.

B. Prokop said...

So it appears that Skep doesn't disagree with any of the 7 points, despite his claim "It might just happen that there are some atheists who agree with all the tenets of his supposed atheist ideology, but I don't"

This is just like him. He will repetitively recite his mantra "The evidence is out there", but ask him to cough up the least little tidbit of his supposed evidence, and you get nothing. Or at times you might get something that turns out, upon examination, to directly contradict his own position. Or he might link you to an Islamic terrorist website, or to Jack Chick, or maybe to one of the Whore of Babylon conspiracy crazies.

Bu my favorite was when, to show why he had no doubt that the Gospels had been somehow doctored (prior to their having been written down, mind you), he linked to an essay that was chockablock with words and phrases like "must have been", "So we have to imagine", "probably", "maybe", "Surely", "one has to imagine", "one could imagine", "it could be", etc. And from this stew, he somehow arrives at having "no doubt"!

Just as I have no doubt that Skep will never tell us which of the 7 points he disagrees with. There's got to be at least one - he told us so.

B. Prokop said...

"You keep stickin' it to 'em, Skep."

Just curious, Linton, what exactly is Skep supposed to keep sticking? Is it perhaps his repetitious "The evidence is out there!" without ever providing the least shred of said evidence when asked for some? Or are you referring to his assertions of zero doubt over events that even he admits there are no records of? Or maybe it's his claiming he doesn't agree with all of the 7 atheist points as listed by Karl, but when asked to specify with which one he disagrees, can come up with nothing? Could it be that when he protests that people are "putting words in his mouth", he then proceeds to spout those very same words (amusingly, immediately after claiming he hasn't said them)?

Why even you, Linton, wish to be identified with this guy is beyond me. Every self respecting atheist ought to regard Skep in the same way that rational believers look upon Ken Ham. (The two are flip sides of the same coin.)

Papalinton said...

"1. There is no God.

2. The mind and brain are not separate.

3. There is no after-life.

4. Christianity is false.

5. Religious ideas should not influence government policies.

6. The New Testament was extensively modified from what original manuscripts and accounts were before being incorporated into the Bible (despite no evidence to back up said assertion).

7. The world would be better off without religion."


These are all perfectly reasonable assessments from both a naturalism perspective and from a reasoned intellectual perspective. Indeed there is little here that has any causal link with atheism. Atheism is simply the conclusion there is insufficient evidence of any substantive value to entertain in any serious manner the existence of a god. As a naturalist I am most happy to share the podium with these seven points. Christian aficionados have not convinced me of the veridicality of their claims. But then nor have Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Ju-juists, wiccans, satanists and Druids been won over to the christian mythos.

To be fair though, under the naturalist paradigm the seven points are better fleshed out in the following::

1. The existence of a god is redundant and unnecessary as an explanation about humanity, about society, about the environment about the world, the universe.
2. The mind is what the brain does.
3. Ecclesiastes 3:19-20 supports the naturalist view of death.
4. Christianity is superfluous to contemporary society.
5. Matters of public importance and public policy must supervene the self-serving interests of parochial religious demands.
6. Legions of scholars have researched, traced and mapped the countless instances of syncretization, harmonization, retrojected interpolation, pseudepigrapha, scribal errors and downright pious fraud during the seminal period spanning 4 centuries [1st - 4thC CE] over which the christian narrative was fabricated. And finally,
7. Religion is best practiced in the privacy of one's own home.

im-skeptical said...

The thing that Bob can't seem to fathom is that atheism is not a faith. It's not like his faith, which places requirements on how he should live. It has no dogma, no doctrine. PERIOD.

Are there things I believe? Certainly. Do I believe them because I have been instructed to and I fear rotting in hell for eternity if I don't? No, I believe what I do because they seem the most reasonable. Do I agree with all the 'tenets' of Karl's 'ideology'? NO.

Take the final one. I don't know if the world would be better off without religion. I understand that religious tendencies evolved in mankind because they afforded some kind of survival benefit. But I don't have enough evidence to decide one way or the other.

Take the first one. I definitely agree with it, but it is not a tenet of any ideology, as far as I am concerned. It's simply an item that can be judged to be true or false. It's like "Is the sky blue?" I don't go to some service on Sundays to laud the fact that the sky is blue, and I don't make it a central concept in my life. And I don't build an ideology around it.

This is what you can't comprehend, because your life is based on a religious ideology, and you think everybody must something similar in order to have a reason to live. The ideology is your master, not mine.


BenYachov said...

>The thing that Bob can't seem to fathom is that atheism is not a faith.

The lazy negative definition of Atheism.

Who are you skept that you get to speak for all Atheists? Especially those who define Atheism in the Positive sense?

Ilíon said...

"Every self respecting atheist ought to regard Skep in the same way that rational believers look upon Ken Ham. (The two are flip sides of the same coin.)"

Really?

So, because DarwinDefenders and rabid 'atheists' hate Ham, "rational believers" are obliged to look down their noses at him?

im-skeptical said...

"The lazy negative definition of Atheism."

Ben doesn't fathom the concept, either.

Karl Grant said...

Take the final one. I don't know if the world would be better off without religion.

And if I provide a link to a post where you actually made this statement, in fact you made it more than once, are we going to have a repeat of the little game you always play when somebody points out you made two contradictory statements or you have a double standard or you are using No True Scotsman or......You know, the same game you played with Bob earlier in this thread? Don't bother to answer, we already know what it will be.

I definitely agree with it, but it is not a tenet of any ideology, as far as I am concerned. It's simply an item that can be judged to be true or false. It's like "Is the sky blue?

Really? So you can provide definitive proof God doesn't exist? We know the answer to that one already; it's the same as your ability to provide proof the New Testament was altered before being incorporated into the Bible. In other words, it's an article of faith on your part.

The ideology is your master, not mine.

Really, let's hear some criticism of atheism or a big name atheist like Sam Harris out of your ass (especially on subjects like torture and preemptive war and racial profiling, which you claim to loath).

BenYachov said...

>So, because DarwinDefenders and rabid 'atheists' hate Ham, "rational believers" are obliged to look down their noses at him?

What does "hatred" of persons have to do with it?

If you hate stupid or flawed arguments in defense of the view you espouse that is merely reasonable.

If this Ken Ham makes bad arguments for Christianity(full discloser I don't know if he does or not since I know nothing about him) which I assume is the reason he is being compared to Skepo then what of it?

Is this about truth and reason or mindless partisanship.

Count me out if the later.

B. Prokop said...

"So, because Darwin Defenders and rabid 'atheists' hate Ham, "rational believers" are obliged to look down their noses at him?"

No, not for that reason. Rather because he is a horribly bad debater and cannot coherently get across what it is he believes in. Watch his debate with an objective eye (i.e., not caring which side is correct, but just as a debate) and see that Nye wiped the floor with poor Ham. He is so incompetent at making his case that he becomes an embarrassment to anyone associated with him.

B. Prokop said...

Ben,

If you can stomach it, watch the Ham-Nye debate HERE. (You have to go about 14 minutes in before the debate starts.)

In my very humble (and very personal) opinion, Ham got his clock cleaned in this embarrassing fiasco.

Ilíon said...

D.D.: "Two of my children, after many long inquisitive (think three children like Illion) conversations over the dinner table ..."
I'llll bet you're so proud of them. I know I woulld be.

Ilíon said...

Me: "So, because Darwin Defenders and rabid 'atheists' hate Ham, "rational believers" are obliged to look down their noses at him?"

Some guy who seems to think that the "respect" of people who hate Christ is worth chasing after: "No, not for that reason. Rather because he is a horribly bad debater and cannot coherently get across what it is he believes in. Watch his debate with an objective eye (i.e., not caring which side is correct, but just as a debate) and see that Nye wiped the floor with poor Ham. He is so incompetent at making his case that he becomes an embarrassment to anyone associated with him."

Things really aren't adding up, if you ask me. After all, you said, "Every self respecting atheist ought to regard Skep in the same way that rational believers look upon Ken Ham. (The two are flip sides of the same coin.)" ... which, to my understanding, indicates that you said that "rational believers look upon Ken Ham" as being intellectually dishonest, as being someone that no self-respecting person would care to be associated with in others' minds.

Now you're saying that he's poor debater -- oddly, some DarwinDefenders seem to disagree, or at minimum disagree that Nye wiped the floor with him (for instance: ... a Nightmare for 'Science!') -- and because he's a poor debater that makes him the "flip side[] of the same coin" as I-pretend-to-be-rational.

Hmmm .....

Ilíon said...

"Watch his debate with an objective eye (i.e., not caring which side is correct, but just as a debate) and see that Nye wiped the floor with poor Ham."

Watch a debate? Me? But I have so much paint I need to watch dry and grass I need to watch grow.

I don't care for debates anyway, but in this one you've got intellectual dishonesty (that would be Nye) and that ugly Aussie accent (that would be Ham): I just can't do it.


But, let's look at some of the reactions --

a DarwinDefender: ... a Nightmare for 'Science!' -- "After watching the debate, I’m leaning toward that second possibility [that Nye agreed to the debate because he's clueless]. Last night, it was easy to pick out the smarter man on the stage. Oddly, it was the same man who was arguing that the earth is 6,000 years old. ... Nye never had a chance. ..."

an evolutionist, though perhaps not a rabid DarwinDefender: -- "Ham spoke with the polish of a man who has covered this ground a hundred times before, has heard every objection, and has a smooth answer ready for each one. ... Ham used the debate as a way to argue that young Earth creationists deserved that respect. His presentation was peppered with video clips from scientists like Raymond Damadian, inventor of the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique. Ham's point was that, whatever views of origins someone holds, they are not necessarily Luddites—and they can still practice excellent "observational science." ..." [by the way, he also mentions this: "Nye misfired a few times when moving away from the science. For instance, he repeatedly blasted Ham's reliance on biblical "verses translated into American English over 30 centuries," comparing the process to a game of telephone in which words get mangled. Since we still have the many early texts used to generate all those translations, and since scholars can still read them, and since all serious English translations are translated directly from them, the point lacked rhetorical force." -- which to me sounds to me as though he's saying that it is *Nye* who is the from the same mint as I-pretend] "In the debate's aftermath, many of Nye's critics agreed that he had acquitted himself well. ..." -- which doesn't quite sound to me as though Nye mopped the

im-skeptical said...

"a DarwinDefender: ..."

An interesting article. He agrees that Nye was correct and Ham wasn't, but Ham wins because he pandered to the morons in the audience, while Nye merely sounded like a geek to them. This is precisely why Ilion thinks Ham won, too: he's with the audience.

BenYachov said...

I am going to rely on testimony here because I find
creationist vs evolution debates tedious unless it involves Thomism.

So Ilion relying on the testimony of others(persons sympathetic to Evolution & Darwin) said that Nye didn't do so well and Ham had an answer for everything. His style was more developed.

Bob who saw the debate in his view thought Nye wiped the floor with Ham?

Well that still has nothing to do with personal hatred of Ham.

Bob(who saw the debate first hand & knows something about science) thought Ham lost on substance even if we can claim based on other testimony Nye lost on style and made the mistake of going outside his field of expertise from time to time.

The point is if you are a bad defender of of a particular point of view you don't deserve any respect for your lack of skill or knowledge.

That not too few Atheists here take Skepo to task for his anti-intellectualism and bad argument for Atheism is to me telling.

That and the fact the guy is too dim to know what he believes or disbelieves.

im-skeptical said...

"That and the fact the guy is too dim to know what he believes or disbelieves. "

... says the guy who can't understand what I have said - the guy who puts words in my mouth that I have explicitly denied - the guy who has no concept of what it means to see the world without Thomist goggles clouding his view.

B. Prokop said...

Now I hope this will be my last comment on the subject of the Ham-Nye debate because, like Ben, I am mightily bored by controversies over evolution, ID, YEC, etc., and so don't really have a dog in the fight.

The reason Ham lost (and he did lose, big time) was because, whereas Nye came armed with mathematics and solid observations in the fields of geology, astronomy, chemistry, and physics, everything Ham said that evening could be boiled down to one sentence: "The Bible says it, and therefore it's true."

Now don't get me wrong here. I see nothing wrong with that way of thinking (although I don't myself operate that way), but I see everything wrong with that way of debating. Because unless your listener already agrees with you, you will never convince anyone with such reasoning. Ham was quite literally preaching to the choir. I am criticizing Ham in his role as a representative of Christian thought. In the same way, self-respecting atheists ought to be lining up to disavow Skep as a spokesperson for the atheist worldview, because he is such a pathetic failure at presenting it in a fashion that would cause any sane person (who is not already an atheist) to decide to agree with him. In fact, we Christians ought to be encouraging Skep to post more, and at greater length, because I have "no doubt" (hmm.. I've heard that phrase somewhere before around here...) that the ranks of believers swell with his every posted word.

As for YEC Christians, I flatly disagree with them, and believe the universe to be billions of years old, the Earth to be about 4.5 billion years old, and life to have evolved from simple organisms in the past to complex ones today. I see no conflict whatsoever between such beliefs and orthodox Christianity - none. Yet contrary to some of the assertions made on this website from time to time, people can be YEC-ers and still function perfectly well in the sciences. While I still worked at the National Security Agency (I retired from it in 2009), the Chief Scientist at the agency (there is such a position) was a firm believer in YEC, and in fact once baldly stated that little detail (as an aside) in an address to the entire workforce. In my own office, the Integrated Broadcast Service Support Office (IBSSO), at least two of my most brilliant programmers were both YEC advocates, but that did not stop them in the least from turning out superior quality work in an unbelievably complex field of expertise.

The idea we hear so often that ID or YEC or creationism is somehow a threat to our nation's scientific standing is pure hysteria on the part of people either afraid of or hostile to religion. There's nothing to the charge. These people like to chant "evidence" all the time. Well, show me the peer reviewed study that confirms such fears.

im-skeptical said...

"In the same way, self-respecting atheists ought to be lining up to disavow Skep as a spokesperson for the atheist worldview, because he is such a pathetic failure at presenting it in a fashion that would cause any sane person (who is not already an atheist) to decide to agree with him. In fact, we Christians ought to be encouraging Skep to post more, and at greater length, because I have "no doubt" (hmm.. I've heard that phrase somewhere before around here...) that the ranks of believers swell with his every posted word."

Bob, you're an idiot. Just to remind people, the discussion was about whether the gospel stories changed before they were committed to writing. I said no doubt they did, and Bob had a fit, and he's been on a tear ever since then.

Sorry to burst your little bubble, Bob. Of course they changed. I have no doubt about it. It is well known that stories passed by word of mouth do change over time. That's what was explained in the article I linked. Your main problem with it was that there was no before-and-after proof of this change, and they used phrases like "must have". Well duh! If you have such a problem with the lack of documented proof, why don't you go ahead and show us your proof that the gospels (even in oral form before being written) never changed.

B. Prokop said...

As usual, Skep, you miss the point entirely. I justifiably called you out on your "no doubt" (and will continue to do so) because you tout yourself as being "skeptical". Yet here you jump upon the latest fashionable hypothesis with no evidence whatsoever (despite your wearisomely repetitive demand for "evidence!"), and have the nerve, as a self professed "skeptic" to say you have no doubt. Some skepticism!

And on top of that, you seem to believe (there's that horrible word again) that simply by shouting "The evidence is out there!" loudly enough, that you don't need to actually, you know, produce some.

Some time ago, you made the charge that the Church modified the scriptures to conform with doctrine. I asked for an example of such - just one. You have yet to respond with anything other than to repeat the charge and crank up the volume. But as for substantive evidence? Nado.

You love to say, "faith comes first, and rationalization follows." Well, in this particular case, you fit this (erroneous) statement to a tee. You (unskeptically) believe the scriptures have been altered, and then search around (without success, by the way) for some sort of justification. And even more laughably, when you can't find any, you just double down and say it doesn't matter, your critics are only quibbling over words, and that you have no doubt.

Hey, Skep. The Skeptic Police are out looking for you. They've revoked your membership privileges and want your ID card back.

im-skeptical said...

Bob, my statements ARE based on evidence, and I DID provide you with some of it, but you chose to ignore it. You had concrete examples, and chose to brush them off. That's entirely because your faith comes ahead of any objective hearing of the facts. So go ahead and stick to your religious beliefs regardless of the evidence. Go ahead and tell me I'm the one who's not skeptical. You're only fooling yourself.

B. Prokop said...

"you chose to ignore it"

How on Earth can you say that? I read every word of it, and even provided you a critique of it - hardly "ignoring". Oh... unless you mean that, if I don't come to the exact same an undoubting conclusion as you, than I've ignored it. I see.

So you evidently belong to the John Loftus school of reasoning, wherein if you don't abandon your faith and join him in the ranks of unbelievers, you have obviously "failed" his OTF. (pause for guffawing)

" regardless of the evidence"

For the Love of God, for the one millionth time... show me this much vaunted evidence! Let's have it:

- Identify the portion of scripture that has been modified to comply with Church dogma (chapter and verse, please).

- Give us the "before" version, so we can confirm that it has actually been modified.

- Explain what dogma said modification is being complied with.

Why is this so difficult? Perhaps it is because no such modification has taken place? I'm not letting you off the hook here. I will dog your each and every last comment to this website until you either show us the concrete evidence or withdraw your accusation. There shall be "no rest for the wicked" (Isaiah 48:22).

im-skeptical said...

"I read every word of it, and even provided you a critique of it - hardly "ignoring"."

Sure. Your 'critique' was that Ehrman didn't provide any specific before-and-after examples. But he did. You also ignored the other material I provided. I can only conclude that you gave a cursory look at Ehrman's work (and he has written a lot more than that, by the way), and you didn't even read the others. Papalinton and I both gave you examples, which you blew off. And now you're playing crude's "dance monkey" game. To hell with that. You have plenty of information to work with, and you haven't addressed any of it.



B. Prokop said...

No dancing monkeys here, none at all. You claim that the scriptural texts have been altered. In order for you to know this without any doubt, you must know what they looked like before they were altered. Else, how can you reasonably claim that anything has been changed? So show us! Point me to the passage which you claim has been modified, and show me what it looked like prior to modification. If you cannot do this, then you are blowing smoke out of your ass.

You claim to have evidence? Then fork it over! If you cannot do this, then there are only two alternative explanations:

1. You are a liar, or
2. You are a fool.

im-skeptical said...

You are blinded by your faith. It doesn't matter what evidence is presented to you. You can't see it.

B. Prokop said...

"You can't see it."

Well, I'll never be able to see it, if you don't present it. Let's try it again:

- Identify the portion of scripture that has been modified to comply with Church dogma (chapter and verse, please).

- Give us the "before" version, so we can confirm that it has actually been modified.

- Explain what dogma said modification is being complied with.

Hugo said...

May I ask why you guys argue on whether the NT changed or not when clearly this would have no impact at all on your beliefs in it?

B. Prokop said...

Good question, Hugo. All I want is for Skep to either withdraw his slanderous accusations, or cough up the evidence that such alterations did occur. Remember that his original charge was that the [Catholic] Church "picked and chose" (with a negative implication) what books were to go into the New Testament canon, and then subsequently altered the texts as they saw fit, to comply with church dogma. When this was shown to have been impossible, he recanted (at least for now - knowing Skep, he may change his mind later and deny that he ever said this)from his insistence that the alleged changes were made after the canon had been fixed. Good for Skep! Now if only he had had the courage and common decency to repudiate the other half of his accusation - that such changes had been made at all. But no, he punts to a fantasy world of having "no doubt" about events he claims occurred, despite there being no evidence of such events. (He even admits this, writing that the alleged changes occurred prior to there being any written record! How convenient.)

But worse than any of that, he insists (over and over again) that "the evidence is out there". Well, if it is, why can't he show it to us? I must have asked for it about 200 times now, and still all he can manage to respond with is that I am supposedly ignoring or dismissing it. But ignoring what? Dismissing what? It's like nailing jello to the wall. I can't ignore what he doesn't present. So until Skep either points me to a passage which he claims has been modified (just one!), and shows me what it looked like prior to modification, or else he admits he has no evidence for his claim, I will not let up on him. This will follow him into whatever conversation he chooses to participate in on this website.

Hugo said...

Fair point; you are right in making sure he sticks to his words, and I don't see the references he is talking about here. At the same time, I don't see why he would be lying and he specifically mentions 'Ehrman' so he must have linked to some of his wokr on another thread? Where would that be im-skeptical?

That being said, there are examples of changes that can easily be found online, on this Bible.com article or this Christianity.com piece.

And again, it makes no difference imo whether it changed or not; it's still the same message, the same stories, the same core beliefs, etc...

im-skeptical said...

OK, Bob. I tried to be reasonable. There is no reasonable discussion I can have with you. I'm done with this.



B. Prokop said...

Hugo,

If it is so easy to produce links, why can't he (or you) just copy/paste the relevant evidence into his/your posting?

I read his links. The first provided not a single before and after example of any alleged changes to scriptural texts. His second link was to a fanatical Islamic extremist website, which was about as reliable as the "Whore of Babylon" conspiracy websites he used to link to. Then he throws Ehrman's name out. So I answer him, letting him know I am quite familiar with Ehrman's work, and that Ehrman provided no such examples. Skep responds that I didn't read him carefully enough. Fair enough - if that's the case, then it should be a slam dunk for him to simply copy/paste the relevant evidence into a posting and we'd be done here. Skep's response? Crickets.

Skep says in his last posting that he has "tried to be reasonable", but how? Saying "the evidence is out there" and then refusing to present any of it, is that being reasonable?

B. Prokop said...

"There is no reasonable discussion I can have with you."

Interesting. So what is your definition of a "reasonable discussion"? Is it one in which you can claim anything you wish, say that there's evidence for your claims, but when asked to produce any of this evidence, your only response is to call the other person unreasonable?

That's reasonable? Good luck with that!

Hugo said...

Mr. Prokop said...
"If it is so easy to produce links, why can't he (or you) just copy/paste the relevant evidence into his/your posting?"

Ok...

"In Mark 3:21 most manuscripts (including early and important ones) read, “When his family heard this they went out to restrain him, for they were saying, ‘he is out of his mind.’” The ‘they’ here is ambiguous: it might refer back to ‘his family,’ in which case Jesus’ family was calling him nuts; or it might refer to a general ‘they.’ Manuscripts of the Western text-type changed ‘his family’ to ‘the scribes and the rest’"

"In John 4:17, Jesus quotes the Samaritan woman’s words back to her: “Correctly you have said, ‘I don’t have a husband.’” However, in the Greek text, he didn’t quote her exactly. The word order is reversed: “A husband I don’t have.” The emphasis seems to be that she had someone at home but he was not her husband, a point Jesus will make explicit in the next verse. However, a few manuscripts change the word order to make both statements conform to each other---however, they don’t change Jesus’ word order but the woman’s! It’s as if the scribes were thinking, “He quoted her correctly; she just didn’t say it right in the first place so we need to adjust her words”! Other manuscripts both changed the word order of what the woman had to say and turned Jesus’ statement into an indirect statement"

"In Mark 9:31 and 10:34, most manuscripts change the wording of Jesus’ prediction of his own death and resurrection to say that he would rise from the dead ‘on the third day’ instead of ‘after three days.’ However, several important and diverse witnesses read ‘after three days’ in these verses."

"in Mark 1:14 we are told that Jesus came preaching the "gospel of God." However, some fifth-century (and later) manuscripts—such as Codex Alexandrinus (A) and Codex Bezae (D)—read the "gospel of the kingdom of God."

"One of the most commonly mentioned variants is found in 1 John 5:7-8 and is known as the Comma Johanneum.46 The italicized portion of the following verses is found in only a handful of manuscripts: "For there are three that testify: in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one. And there are three that testify on earth: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree." Out of hundreds of Greek manuscripts, only eight contain this variant reading—and four of those have the variants added by the scribe into the margin—and the earliest of these is tenth century.47 Moreover, the variant is attested by none of the Greek fathers and is absent from almost all our early versions."

"Mark 16:9-20, known as the long ending of Mark.49 Most modern English translations bracket off this portion of the text and note that two of our earliest manuscripts of Mark, Codex Sinaiticus (א) and Vaticanus (B), do not contain the long ending. Moreover, the long ending was unknown in a number of early versions (including a number of Latin, Syriac, and Armenian manuscripts) and was not mentioned by prominent Greek fathers such as Clement of Alexandria and Origen. There is also the problem of non-Markan vocabulary in the long ending, as well as the awkward transition between 16:8 and 16:9. In short, most scholars agree that the long ending of Mark was not original to his Gospel."

Now do you agree that these are examples of what you were asking for Mr. Prokop?

B. Prokop said...

"Now do you agree that these are examples of what you were asking for Mr. Prokop?"

No, not in the least. Such variant texts are not modifications, but simply a consequence of having so many extremely early manuscripts of portions of the New Testament. * In every case you presented, not one has any effect on Church doctrine - the specific motivation cited by Skep for his so-called alterations. Also (but of considerably less import), there is no "before and after" here.

The Comma Johanneum is a good case in point. Nothing is changed by whether it is included or excluded. There is well and sufficient scriptural attestation to the doctrine of the Trinity without these lines. And in any case, even if these were intentionally inserted by some scribe to make clearer the already clear doctrine of the Trinity, that would not have been the action of the Church, but simply of some anonymous scribe.

I've already dealt with the issue of the "long ending" of Mark in previous postings. I see no problem with more than one person having written Mark. There are many other books in both testaments that have multiple authors. Big deal.

The 2 fundamentally important issues that make your examples (and thank you very much for providing them - that's what Skep should have done) irrelevant to this issue, is that
1) variant texts do not equate to alterations, and
2) no doctrine is dependent upon any of these variant readings.

* Of note is that there are literally thousands of early manuscripts of the New Testament, of which many are quite close to the date of composition. In contrast, for the overwhelming majority of other texts from the classical era, we have as few as one text to go by, and that one text frequently dates to centuries after the author's time.

B. Prokop said...

Again, Hugo, I commend you for providing concrete examples. This gives us something to work with, rather than some amorphous, unbacked-up declaration, such as "the evidence is out there".

My previous comment was written while distracted with a phone call. Let's now take the time to look squarely at them.

Mark 3:21 - Variant reading, not a modification. As I said, a common feature in classical texts. Not a result of "modification" for doctrinal purposes, but simply the inevitable result of hand-copying.

John 4:17 - I fail to see the slightest doctrinal import here in any of the variant readings. Why on Earth would anyone be so uber-subtle, if they were indeed trying to ram some point of doctrine home by messing with the scriptures? If that were indeed the case, they have certainly failed big time, because the subtle differences change nothing of substance.

Mark 9:10, 10:34, 1:14 - Again, what doctrine is at issue here? These are nothing more than variant texts.

1 John 5:7-8 - Ah, now you're on to something. But the biggest problem with using this passage as evidence of textual tampering is that, on the basis of the universal silence on these verses by all the Early Church Fathers (including, most significantly, Saint Jerome) the comma Johanneum was not introduced by the Church to be in conformity with any doctrine. Had it been, then why was no one so using it? Yes, we can see similar wording crop up in numerous places, but nowhere is it referred to as a scriptural quotation. The writers are merely expressing orthodox thinking, which means you will inevitably end up using pretty much the same words and phrases. It's not until many centuries had passed before we get a hint of its existence - long after the Trinitarian doctrines were done and dusted, settled matters.

And finally, Mark 16:2-20 - I have no problem in regarding these verses as potentially having not been written by Mark. But so what? They change nothing, and contradict nothing. The solution to how they got into the Gospel will probably be forever unknown (well, at least until the Day of Doom), but multiple authorship of Mark (if that is indeed the case) should present no difficulties. Look at the Book of Job, for example. The speeches of Elihu are almost certainly a later addition, but they're still part of Job. Most scholars believe the last 27 chapters of Isaiah were written after the prophet's death, but they're still part of Isaiah. I could go on, but you get the point.

Bottom line: Kudos for providing concrete examples, but they do not constitute evidence of scriptural tampering for doctrinal purposes. If anything, they are evidence for the reverse. If the Church had been so intent on stamping out variant readings so as to promote some doctrinal agenda, we would not possess such texts to this day. Their very existence is evidence that no such "modification" was going on.

Hugo said...

I said...
" it makes no difference imo whether it changed or not; it's still the same message, the same stories, the same core beliefs, etc..."

Mr. Prokop said...
"In every case you presented, not one has any effect on Church doctrine [...]
1) variant texts do not equate to alterations, and
2) no doctrine is dependent upon any of these variant readings.
"

Yes we do agree on that, so I guess I was wasting my time ;)
And especially because:

"the specific motivation cited by Skep for his so-called alterations"

Which is confirmed by this quote by im-skeptical:

"the discussion was about whether the gospel stories changed before they were committed to writing. I said no doubt they did"

But I have no idea where that took place so clearly I should have stayed out of your "discussion". Also, it appears that he was referring to the oral-to-text conversion. ("[...]passed by word of mouth do change over time "), so I was clearly talking about something else, my bad... Plus, isn't this a valid point? How certain can we

Moving on, you did bring this new interesting thing:

Mr. Prokop said...
"there are literally thousands of early manuscripts of the New Testament, of which many are quite close to the date of composition. In contrast, for the overwhelming majority of other texts from the classical era, we have as few as one text to go by, and that one text frequently dates to centuries after the author's time."

Never heard of that whole idea; source? Also, what would be the implication here; are you trying to argue that this makes the New Testament more reliable? Let me say right away that this would be very unimpressive, as it could just have been very popular from the very beginning, which makes sense considering the fact that it led to the most successful religion to date!

"My previous comment was written while distracted with a phone call. Let's now take the time to look squarely at them."

Thanks a lot for taking the time but since we agree on the fact that all these examples do not alter the message, I don't think this was necessary.

Hugo said...

Something got cut midway...

Plus, isn't this a valid point? How certain can we be that the oral stories were written down accurately in the gospels? Without even going back to them, I do recall several contradiction such as the number of angels at the empty tomb or the zombies coming out after the resurrection. They can all be rationalized and explained but no matter what they do cast doubt on the reliability of the eye witness accounts. Though, again, I insist that this makes no difference at all to me... I am just curious to read how believers interpret these differences and how literal they take the words to be.

B. Prokop said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
B. Prokop said...

"I do recall several contradictions such as the number of angels at the empty tomb or the [saints] coming out after the resurrection. They can all be rationalized and explained but no matter what, they do cast doubt on the reliability of the eye witness accounts."

I quite agree that there are details that do not quite line up. There had better be. Any police detective or trial lawyer will tell you that if the stories of multiple eyewitnesses match word for word, that their testimony is automatically discounted as being "cooked" - the product of collusion. How many times have you yourself said to someone, "Now, let's get our stories straight" before talking to anyone? I know my brother and I did all the time as kids before telling our parents about something with the potential for getting us in trouble. Small variations are actually indications that the witnesses are telling the truth. So your last sentence (in the above quote) is quite incorrect.

BenYachov said...

>Though, again, I insist that this makes no difference at all to me... I am just curious to read how believers interpret these differences and how literal they take the words to be.

Some of Erhman's examples of "contradictions" are a bit tedious.

The one with Jairus' daughter. In one Gospel Jairus literally says his daughter is dead & Jesus should come so that she will be alive again. In the other Gospels it has him saying his daughter is dying & Jesus should come etc...

It's obvious! One gospel writer records what Jairus literally said (after all he was likey nervous & in shock over his daughter so he might misspeak) & the other write what he literally meant.

Why is this hard?

Hugo said...

Mr. Prokop said:

"Small variations are actually indications that the witnesses are telling the truth."

There is a difference between not lying and saying the truth. I think most Gospels writers were telling what they thought was the truth; I just don't believe their stories.

According to other comments you made here, you don't believe in a literal Adam and Eve, yet the author of the Gospels most likely did. So they were not lying about that story but they were clearly not telling the truth either. In other words, they made a lot of references to things we know are wrong, but that does not make them liars.


BenYachov said...
"It's obvious! One gospel writer records what Jairus literally said (after all he was likey nervous & in shock over his daughter so he might misspeak) & the other write what he literally meant.

Why is this hard?
"

Sounds plausible, but what's the point?
- What you referred to here has little implication, whether the daughter was dead or not already, it's something quite normal.
- Other things in the NT, such as miracles, are not 'normal' things. So it does not matter if there 1, 2 or 3 angels. What matters is that there were angels in the first place! or zombies, or someone walking on water, a blind person getting his sight back, another one coming back to life instantly, another after 3 days, etc...

Why believe such abnormal things solely based on text? I don't doubt people back then believe it; I just find it amazing that you guys believe it 'now' and like to understand where you draw the line and why.

BenYachov said...

>Sounds plausible, but what's the point?

Apparently some Evangelicals reject inerrancy of scripture because of it.

Of course since we Catholics reject perspicuity we have some leeway.

>Why believe such abnormal things solely based on text? I don't doubt people back then believe it; I just find it amazing that you guys believe it 'now' and like to understand where you draw the line and why.

My amateur expertise is in the Problem of Evil and Natural Theology.

You should talk to someone who deals in the philosophy of Miracles and polemics against Hume.

I can't help you guy.

But I second Bob in complimenting you on bringing actual objections unlike certain people.

BenYachov said...

>According to other comments you made here, you don't believe in a literal Adam and Eve, yet the author of the Gospels most likely did.

The Catholic Church teaches there was a literal Adam (and Eve).

But we don't have to take Genesis One and Two literally or as literal stories about Adam and Eve.



BenYachov said...

>they were not lying about that story but they were clearly not telling the truth either. In other words, they made a lot of references to things we know are wrong, but that does not make them liars.

This is like accusing Don McLean
of not telling the truth about the History of Rock and Roll since the death of Buddy Holy, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper in his Song American Pie.

Neither Mcjagger nor Jim Morrison are literally Satan you know.

Hugo said...

"My amateur expertise is in the Problem of Evil and Natural Theology.

You should talk to someone who deals in the philosophy of Miracles and polemics against Hume.

I can't help you guy."

I was just asking for your opinion (or Mr. Prokop's originally)  but ok.

"But I second Bob in complimenting you on bringing actual objections unlike certain people."

Thanks. I still don't know what 'certain people' were referring to in their comments,  maybe they'll answer.

"The Catholic Church teaches there was a literal Adam (and Eve).

But we don't have to take Genesis One and Two literally or as literal stories about Adam and Eve."

I don't get that. We know that humans evolved and that the "real" Adam and Eve, the oldest x and y chromosomes bearer of our species, are at least a few thousand years apart. I would understand a 'symbolic' view of Adam and Eve, representing the first intelligent/moral/religious humans, or something like that?

"This is like accusing Don McLean
of not telling the truth about the History of Rock and Roll since the death of Buddy Holy, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper in his Song American Pie."

No, bad analogy. In my example,  what these people believed was wrong when they were believing it. They were not telling the truth, for sure, but not on purpose.

B. Prokop said...

" I don't doubt people back then believe it; I just find it amazing that you guys believe it 'now'"

Interesting. I fail to understand what makes "now" different from "then". People in the 1st Century, contrary to what some people say, were no more likely to believe fantastic stories than we are today. For evidence of this, see the reaction of the Athenians or of Festus to Paul's preaching about the Resurrection. The reason the Apostles were so successful in convincing thousands upon thousands of people (and eventually billions) is the case they (and their successors) made is so convincing (to anyone whose heart is not hardened, who has eyes to see and ears to hear, who listens with an open mind).

Ben and I disagree about the historicity of Adam and Eve. I think it unlikely; Ben regards it as dogma. But it's not really a big deal to me. If on the Other Side, I get introduced to my First Ancestor, my response will be to laugh at my (former) ignorance and say hello.

BenYachov said...

>I don't get that. We know that humans evolved and that the "real" Adam and Eve, the oldest x and y chromosomes bearer of our species, are at least a few thousand years apart. I would understand a 'symbolic' view of Adam and Eve, representing the first intelligent/moral/religious humans, or something like that.

Human beings are defined metaphysically not genetically in Catholic though. I have no belief whatsoever that Y chromosome Adam was Biblical Adam. What makes you human is being an Animal with an immortal soul made in the divine image. Biblical Adam & Eve likely came before Y Chromosome Adam and I would not be surprised if none of their genetic material survives in the modern human Gene Pool. But we did inherit our immortal souls from them by virtual of being descended from them. Mitochondrial Eve and Y Cromosome Adam are the earliest identifiable common ancestors of all human beings now living but they are not the only common ancestors. If you go back far enough along your ancestral line you will find 24th great grandparents from whom you inherit no DNA but they are still your ancestors.

I’ll come back to this because it is late but here are some links to tide you over Hugo.

http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2011/09/modern-biology-and-original-sin-part-i.html

http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2011/09/monkey-in-your-soul.html

http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2011/09/modern-biology-and-original-sin-part-ii.html

http://www.aish.com/tp/i/moha/48931772.html

http://www3.nd.edu/~afreddos/papers/kemp-monogenism.pdf

>No, bad analogy. In my example, what these people believed was wrong when they were believing it. They were not telling the truth, for sure, but not on purpose.

Rather they are interpreting it wrong. The snake is not a literal crawling reptile but the Devil. There is no literal apple or literal garden but a state of Grace and Divine fellowship. Satan temps the first woman to rebel and she in turn temps the first man. Grace is lost and the fall happens.
Philo of Alexandra give the oldest know interpretation f Genesis and it is an allegorical one. Many Church Fathers give an allegorical interpretation of Genesis while believing their literally was a first man and first woman.

I will get back to this later since I have to work one more day then I can vacation and devote more time to this.

Cheers.

B. Prokop said...

"There is a difference between not lying and saying the truth."

Good point! But at a minimum, the minor variations in detail are strong evidence that Skep's charge of the texts having been somehow doctored to comply with dogma is false. The first thing any competent liar would do is to make sure people got their stories straight. The fact that these quibbling differences have survived to this day shows that no one made any attempt to "modify" the scriptures. (Or, at least, no one in authority. Plenty of heretics and schismatics did so. And they were recognized at the time for what they were - frauds.)

BenYachov said...

The following are a list of Catholic doctrines on Christian anthropology from THE FUNDAMENTALS OF CATHOLIC DOGMA by Ott.

Any doctrine listed as De Fide is considered an Infallible Dogma by the Church.

The first man was created by God. (De fide.)

The whole human race stems from one single human pair. (Sent. certa.)

Man consists of two essential parts--a material body and a spiritual soul. (De fide.)

The rational soul is per se the essential form of the body. (De fide.)

Every human being possesses an individual soul. (De fide.)

Every individual soul was immediately created out of nothing by God. (Sent. Certa.)

A creature has the capacity to receive supernatural gifts. (Sent. communis.)

The Supernatural presupposes Nature. (Sent communis.)

God has conferred on man a supernatural Destiny. (De fide.)

Our first parents, before the Fall, were endowed with sanctifying grace. (De fide.)

The donum rectitudinis or integritatis in the narrower sense, i.e., the freedom from irregular desire. (Sent. fidei proxima.)

The donum immortalitatis, i.e.,bodily immortality. (De fide.)

The donum impassibilitatis, i.e., the freedom from suffering. (Sent. communis.)

The donum scientiae, i.e., a knowledge of natural and supernatural truths infused by God. (Sent. communis.)

Adam received sanctifying grace not merely for himself, but for all his posterity. (Sent. certa.)

Our first parents in paradise sinned grievously through transgression of the Divine probationary commandment. (De fide.)

Through the sin our first parents lost sanctifying grace and provoked the anger and the indignation of God. (De fide.)

Our first parents became subject to death and to the dominion of the Devil. (De fide.)

Adam's sin is transmitted to his posterity, not by imitation, but by descent. (De fide.)

Original Sin consists in the deprivation of grace caused by the free act of sin committed by the head of the race. (Sent. communis.)

Original sin is transmitted by natural generation. (De fide.)

In the state of original sin man is deprived of sanctifying grace and all that this implies, as well as of the preternatural gifts of integrity. (De fide in regard to Sanctifying Grace and the Donum Immortalitatus. D788 et seq.)

Souls who depart this life in the state of original sin are excluded from the Beatific Vision of God. (De fide.)

BenYachov said...

If you read the links above June 13, 2014 11:46 PM and accept their arguments and premises I can postulate the following to be true.

1. Biological monogenesis is not true.

2. Neither Mitochondrial Eve nor Y Chromosome Adam are in fact the Biblical Adam and Eve.

3. Evolution is True.

4. Biological Polygenesis is true.

5. There was a Biblical Adam and Eve from whom all human beings now living have as common ancestors.

6. Biblical Adam and Eve where the first true humans.

7. The existence of a literal Adam and Eve is compatible with a Theistic Evolutionary perspective.

im-skeptical said...

Bob,

Since you keep pounding the hammer, and also for the benefit of Hugo, I'll comment once again on this matter. The "charge of the texts having been somehow doctored to comply with dogma" is not mine. It has been made many times, by people with considerable expertise in their field. I cited material from books and articles that attempt to make the case from different perspectives, and you insisted that I must spell it all out in my comments. But I was pretty sure that it would be an exercise in futility, and I was proven correct when Hugo attempted to satisfy your demands, and you blew it off with a facile dismissal.

You say thay none of that matters from a doctrinal perspective. Really? The inserted ending of Mark is the part of the story where the resurrection of Jesus is surmised. This is perhaps the single most core element of Christian dogma, and you say it is inconsequential? According to experts, this story didn't appear in the original versions of the oldest of the gospels. Inconsequential?

This issue was explicitly brought forward by Papalinton in the earlier discussion, and I would have if he didn't. Yet you claim that by not providing any specific information, I was lying. Bob, you are the liar here. But as I said, I can understand, because you are so brainwashed by your religion, you don't even realize it.

BenYachov said...

additional:

Rabbi Khan's essay shows us that Jewish Tradition accepts the idea Adam and Eve existed side by side with humanoid contemporaries with whom they could interbreed with.

Thus the idea Adam and Eve's offspring might have mated with other genetically compatible hominids and reproduced metaphysically human offspring is not against a Judeo Christian understanding of the Bible.

B. Prokop said...

"and you insisted that I must spell it all out in my comments"

And I still do:

- Identify the portion of scripture that has been modified to comply with Church dogma (chapter and verse, please).

- Give us the "before" version, so we can confirm that it has actually been modified.

- Explain what dogma said modification is being complied with.

Put up, or shut up.

im-skeptical said...

"Put up, or shut up."

And you should do the same, if you expect anyone to take you seriously.

B. Prokop said...

"I was proven correct when Hugo attempted to satisfy your demands, and you blew it off with a facile dismissal."

That's hilarious. Evidently, you regard any conclusion other than one that matches your own thought processes precisely as a "facile dismissal". I in no way "dismissed" Hugo's examples. I answered them. I explained (and not facilely) why they were not examples of the Church modifying scripture in order that it comply with dogma.

But at least he provided something to work with. You - all you seem to think necessary is to incessantly bleat "the evidence is out there" without actually ever producing any.

BenYachov said...

>The inserted ending of Mark is the part of the story where the resurrection of Jesus is surmised.

You are kidding right? Forgetting the fact Paul wrote before the Gospels and testifies to the Resurrection

Here is the Shorter Ending.

QUOTE"16 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3 and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”

4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

6 “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”

8 Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.[a]END QUOTE

Calling Bob a liar? Skept you have been caught in so many fibs by Theist and Atheist alike it's not funny.

Bob is the nice one remember?

I'm not.

B. Prokop said...

"The inserted ending of Mark is the part of the story where the resurrection of Jesus is surmised. This is perhaps the single most core element of Christian dogma, and you say it is inconsequential?"

The important point about the ending of Mark is that it is indeed "inconsequential" in the sense that, were it not in the New Testament, were it to utterly disappear, not a single Christian doctrine would change in the slightest. The Resurrection of Christ is well testified to in all three other Gospels, in the letters of Paul, of Peter, of John, and in the Apocalypse.

And you may use the word "inserted" if you wish. I've no problem with it, although I wouldn't use it myself. I suspect the process was far more complicated than such a simple procedure. But in the long run, however either you or I believe it got where it is would be the sheerest speculation.

B. Prokop said...

Ben,

Skep is guilty of the worst case of projection I have ever seen. He makes bold (indeed serious) accusations (that the Church intentionally distorted scripture to fit its purposes), but when asked to produce the slightest shred of evidence for his calumny can only respond with "the evidence is out there" - and then gets upset if you have the nerve to ask for some of it.

And then, having done (or, not done) all that, he thinks it is everyone else who is behaving in such a manner!

BenYachov said...

Bob

Sometimes I like to phone it in when I am bored, lazy or my short attention span has been lead elsewhere.

But at least I am up front about it.

Also I have a strict policy against discussing anything I don't have sufficient knowledge of to fake it. ;-)

Skept would be more successful if he only learned my system.

I should give a seminar.

Cheers.

im-skeptical said...

"Also I have a strict policy against discussing anything I don't have sufficient knowledge of to fake it. ;-)"

Oh, but the bitching I hear if I attempt to link the opinions and assessments of others.

http://www.bible-researcher.com/endmark.html

B. Prokop said...

"Oh, but the bitching I hear if I attempt to link the opinions and assessments of others."

And you'll continue to hear it. No links. Put up, or shut up. You say there's evidence? Well, you ought to be able to produce it - here.

C'mon, Skep. Just rip off the scab. Three little items, that's all.

- Identify the portion of scripture that has been modified to comply with Church dogma (chapter and verse, please).

- Give us the "before" version, so we can confirm that it has actually been modified.

- Explain what dogma said modification is being complied with.

Get used to these words. You're going to see them in response to every post you make on this site until you either:

a) cough up the evidence
b) retract your accusation (i.e., admit that the Church did not modify scripture to conform with doctrine).

im-skeptical said...

Get used to these words.

Go to hell.

Ilíon said...

B.Pro-rah-rah: "Get used to these words. You're going to see them in response to every post you make on this site until you either:

a) cough up the evidence
b) retract your accusation (i.e., admit that the Church did not modify scripture to conform with doctrine).
"

I don't get it, really. I mean, sure, I-pretend-to-value-truth made a factually false claim, intentionally; so I get the opposition to his intellectual dishonesty (after all, I hold the copyright on exposing and opposing that). But, I don't get the passion -- the anger -- over this matter. It's as though you see him not only as having made a factually false historical claim, but also as having intentionally made a false accusation against "the church" (*).


I put "the church" in quotes there so that the phrase could function so to stand both for Christianity and for that subset of Christians who like to pretend that their bureaucracy is the true Christianity.

Ilíon said...

... you know, not just a false historical claim, not just an intentional misrepresentation, not just a lie, but a vile lie and calumny against “the church”.

BenYachov said...

Skepo like Paps you are so free of the ravages of intelligence.

>Oh, but the bitching I hear if I attempt to link the opinions and assessments of others.

My links provide back round information on the specific subject I was referring too.

Your link gives arguments as to why one might doubt the authenticity of the longer ending of Mark.

So what?

It doesn't provide us with an example of a portion of scripture that has been modified to comply with Church dogma.

It can be shown from the writings of the very early Church Fathers who never quote the longer ending of Mark that the Resurrection was believed by them as a dogma of the early Church. Plus we have the other Gospels and Paul too. Plus the shorter ending clearly attests to the Resurrection.

Good grief what is the point of you?

B. Prokop said...

Ilion,

People can slander me all they want, but the Church is the Bride of Christ, and worthy of our greatest possible respect, as a man would respect his own wife (or, for that matter, another man's wife). * Heck, even Protestants agree with that.

But you might say the "passion" comes from the principle of the Final Straw. Skep has been touting this meme of "the evidence is out there" for as long as I can remember, but he never, ever, actually produces the least shred of any. And then he accuses us believers of facilely dismissing something that isn't even there.

And if that wasn't enough, he has the unmitigated gall to style himself as "skeptical" when he can confidently claim "no doubt" about matters of which, not only is there no evidence, but he even admits that there can be no evidence (as in, "before there was a written record"). In a just world, im-skeptical would be calling himself i-have-no-doubt.

But I am dead serious here. I have had enough. This was the camel's last straw. He needs to cough up the evidence or recant from his slander. And I will hold his feet to the fire until he does one or the other.

A while back, we had the "Paps challenge" - it's time for a "Skep challenge".

* You might recall that the harshest words I ever directed against you (and some other poster whose name I forget) was when I interpreted a comment you made as an insult to my late wife. A Red Line had been crossed.

Ilíon said...

B.Prokop: "People can slander me all they want, but the Church is the Bride of Christ, and worthy of our greatest possible respect, as a man would respect his own wife (or, for that matter, another man's wife). * Heck, even Protestants agree with that.

* You might recall that the harshest words I ever directed against you (and some other poster whose name I forget) was when I interpreted a comment you made as an insult to my late wife. A Red Line had been crossed.
"

I think that's a wise attitude for you to cultivate. I mean, considering your penchant for slandering others.

At the same time, clearly you're hallucinating again: I've never said the first word in reference to your wife. Heck, until you mentioned being a widower, I didn't know for a fact that you had a wife. Even stating it that way can be misunderstood -- I have never given the first thought to *any* aspect of your private life, nor that of anyone else here.

=======
B.Proto-Protestant: "People can slander me all they want, but the Church ..."

Yes, exactly: slander. Your response seems to me just a bit over-the-top reaction if to a mere lie, but if to a slander, then not over-the-top.

And that's what I'm telling you I don't understand. Why, in what way, for what reason does the lie that "the church" doctored the Biblical texts so as to make them conform to Christian doctrine become not merely an historical and factual lie, but a slander? That's what I'm hoping you'll expand upon.

B.Prokop: "But you might say the "passion" comes from the principle of the Final Straw. ..."

Was I a bit too subtle? I was mildly mocking your recent hand-waving-away of something I'd posted by the simple expedient of saying "Whoa! Whole lotta anger goin' on here!"

B. Prokop said...

Ilion,

Just looked up the comment. Seems my memory did not serve me well. The offender was one "Gimli 4 the West" and not you. Apologies for giving the wrong impression.

(I stand by that tirade, by the way - every word of it.)

im-skeptical said...

So now it is clear that Bob goes off the edge if you dare make comments against his beloved religious institution - the Church.

I never present any evidence? Bob, I produce more evidence in a week than I have EVER seen you produce since I started coming here. Sorry if it doesn't meet your ridiculous standards (no links - just text). The few times I have ever asked you for evidence, you have failed to produce, so unless you are willing to cough up some of your own, why don't you shut your whiney, hypocrite mouth? How about if we have a "Prokop challenge"?

And I will say whatever I like against your beloved Church. I have had my own experiences with that institution, and I have every right to call them out for what they are. I don't care if you don't like it.

B. Prokop said...

"The few times I have ever asked you for evidence, you have failed to produce"

Name one time this has happened.

Hugo said...

Mr. Prokop said...

"I fail to understand what makes "now" different from "then". People in the 1st Century, contrary to what some people say, were no more likely to believe fantastic stories than we are today."

I get what you mean but this is not really the point. It's the bit like the distinction between 'lying' and 'not telling the truth' again. I agree that they were not more likely to believe fantastic stories, but what constituted a fantastic story for them was quite different. They already believed a lot of stories that are fantastic to us now. That is the difference between "now" and "then".

" The reason the Apostles were so successful in convincing thousands upon thousands of people (and eventually billions) is the case they (and their successors) made is so convincing (to anyone whose heart is not hardened, who has eyes to see and ears to hear, who listens with an open mind)."

At least 2 problems here:
First, not that many people need to be convinced to get a point where billions follow a religion, and very few people actually a total 180 on their beliefs. We tend to stick to what we are told as child and our beliefs change very slowly over time. Hence, very few people were actually convinced by the Apostles' story, be it directly or not. It's way more complex than that.
Second, pardon my reaction but I literally burst laughing at the 'to anyone with an open mind'. As if the Christian stories were something that can be told and believed in the blink of an eye by anybody. I would love to see you discuss with my Hindu in-laws.

BenYachov said...

"What makes you human is being an Animal with an immortal soul made in the divine image."

Fair enough, but I have no good reason to believe that I have such a 'soul' in the first place.

"Biblical Adam & Eve likely came before Y Chromosome Adam and I would not be surprised if none of their genetic material survives in the modern human Gene Pool. [...]If you go back far enough along your ancestral line you will find 24th great grandparents from whom you inherit no DNA but they are still your ancestors."

I think you made a mistake here so I will ask instead of jumping to a conclusion... you don't mean that the genetic material of the first humans was literally completely different from ours? This is just too absurd; I am not sure what you mean.

"I’ll come back to this because it is late but here are some links to tide you over Hugo."

Same here. Thanks for the links!

But I am even slower than you guys apparently... what I would comment on right now though is that it seems to me that all the doctrine components you listed here are examples of what im-skeptical was referring to earlier in this same thread. Religions teach things that are "true" just because they are "true". There is no questioning needed/offered/discussed; they just are "true" and no explanations, or very little, is given. If you believe that it is the case and that is is important to you, fine, but you cannot at the same time argue that your religion is based on rationality, evidence and sound arguments.

B. Prokop said...

"I would love to see you discuss with my Hindu in-laws."

Maybe not with your in-laws, but where I live, I am practically surrounded by Hindus, to include my next door neighbors and the family across the street. Indians are the largest "minority" (hate that word) group in my locality, followed by Koreans.

I have had many a conversation about religion with Hindus, especially on and around their amazing holidays (My personal favorite is "Holi"). No one has ever attempted to "convert" the other, but I've come to a great respect for Hinduism, and they (those I've talked to) have learned a good deal about Christianity/Catholicism. I've even read the Mahabharata (well worth the reading, by the way). I've yet to come across a Hindu who rejected Resurrection "out of hand" (like some people on this website). The usual response is "That's an amazing story, and there might be something to it. I'll have to give it some thought."

B. Prokop said...

I did convert my good friend Govind to the hobby of amateur astronomy, however. He now has a much bigger (and far more expensive) telescope than I do!

Hugo said...

Oh sure if you were talking about the resurrection alone, I wouldn't be surprised if non-Christian who are already inclined to believe miracles will buy it.

B. Prokop said...

"who are already inclined to believe miracles"

You say that like its something bad, or as Jerry Seinfeld would say, "Not that there's anything wrong with that!"

Hugo said...

B. Prokop said...
""who are already inclined to believe miracles"

You say that like its something bad, or as Jerry Seinfeld would say, "Not that there's anything wrong with that!"
"

It is a bad thing yes and there is something wrong with being too credulous. It does not make the person stupid overall or anything like that but as a trait it's definitely not a good one imo. Why would it be?

BenYachov said...

@Hugo

>Fair enough, but I have no good reason to believe that I have such a 'soul' in the first place.

That is a different argument. I am explaining how Evolution and belief in a literal Adam and Eve are compatible. The proof stage and rational argument stage & what constitutes proof or rational argument is something else.

>I think you made a mistake here so I will ask instead of jumping to a conclusion... you don't mean that the genetic material of the first humans was literally completely different from ours? This is just too absurd; I am not sure what you mean.

Well in theory they could have been an earlier species of hominid(from which homo sapiens sapiens descends) but that is not what I am saying. I just said humans are defined metaphysically not by post Darwinian biological concepts of species and I meant that. If Adam and Eve are rational animals then they are human even if they where an earlier species of human/hominid different from the present species of humans.

But I was arguing genetic descent. You Hugo objectively have ancestors who can be identified as 24th great grandparents from whom you inherit no genetic material. Since it would only be with in a few hundred(thousand?) years you 24th great grandparents would be homo sapient sapients.

But only from a fraction of them would you inherit any genetic material. Remember you only get half your # of chromosomes from each parent and that is divided each previous generation. But you only have 46 chromosomes and you can’t inherit half a chromosome. So logically you have ancestors from whom you inherit no genetic material. The same can be said for Adam and Eve even if they are homo sapient sapients in species like us.

I hope this clears it up.

>Same here. Thanks for the links!

Your welcome. Enjoy.


>I am even slower than you guys apparently... what I would comment on right now though is that it seems to me that all the doctrine components you listed here are examples of what im-skeptical was referring to earlier in this same thread. Religions teach things that are "true" just because they are "true”.

No Skepo is just lazy. Each category of religion requires a different category of argument. After all you wouldn’t use Math theorems to prove chemistry nor would you use scientific verification for philosophical arguments. Skepo reduces everything to Positivism and then he turns around and claims he isn’t arguing in a Positivist manner.

It’s like trying to explain natural selection to a militant Young Earth Creationist. In the end he just doesn’t want to know. We have been dealing with this for some time.

>There is no questioning needed/offered/discussed; they just are "true" and no explanations, or very little, is given. If you believe that it is the case and that is is important to you, fine, but you cannot at the same time argue that your religion is based on rationality, evidence and sound arguments.

At the moment Bob was challenging Skepo to prove his weird claim the Church changed Scripture to make it conform to her dogma.

To date Skepo has provided no evidence. You at least made an attempt. So I give you credit for that. In the Atheist vs Theist argument both sides have a burden of proof. We where discussing Skepo’s burden & he failed.

B. Prokop said...

"but as a trait it's definitely not a good one imo"

We'll just have to respectfully disagree on that one.

Hey, my "prove you're not a robot" word is prayer.

im-skeptical said...

"Remember you only get half your # of chromosomes from each parent and that is divided each previous generation. But you only have 46 chromosomes and you can’t inherit half a chromosome. So logically you have ancestors from whom you inherit no genetic material."

I love it when you spout your scientific ignorance. You have no idea what you're talking about. And for the record, I gave Bob plenty of evidence, which he chose to ignore, because HE was too lazy to click on a link and read it and/or too lazy to pay attention to what was written.

B. Prokop said...

"because HE was too lazy to click on a link and read it and/or too lazy to pay attention to what was written."

Oh, this is just too rich. I DID click on your links, including the one to the Islamic extremist website (nice touch there - always give 'em the unexpected). They were not quite up to your classic "Whore of Babylon" conspiracy websites, but hey, you can't expect to bowl 300 every day. And as to not paying attention, heck, I gave you a line by line critique of one of them. Ooohh... I see, if I don't immediately come to the same batshit conclusion you do, then I'm "not paying attention".

C'mon, Skep. You say you gave "plenty of evidence". Great. Then it should be no trouble, no trouble at all, for you to summarize it here:

- Identify the portion of scripture that has been modified to comply with Church dogma (chapter and verse, please).

- Give us the "before" version, so we can confirm that it has actually been modified.

- Explain what dogma said modification is being complied with.


Is that so hard?

Put up, or shut up.

im-skeptical said...

Keep pounding the hammer, Bob. When you respond seriously to the material I gave you, then I might start to believe that you are something more than a loudmouthed blowhard.

Hugo said...

Mr. Prokop said...
""but as a trait it's definitely not a good one imo"
We'll just have to respectfully disagree on that one.
"

Sure it's the smart thing to say when we find a divergence of opinion. I doubt we disagree that much though since you would most likely agree with the more extreme version: it's not a good trait to believe any story you are told. The difference between us 2 then is more in terms of degrees; I suppose you think there is some good into believing miracle stories but only the ones where there is a lot of support.

To me however, it's never good to believe such stories when they are nothing more than stories. A million people could come to me and tell me they saw Jesus' resurrection, even if it were last week, and I would still not believe them. Bring me 2 people who never met each other but filmed the whole thing in HD from different angles and I would start to listen... though again, I saw some pretty good magic tricks and never heard of anyone concluding they were miracles.

BenYachov said...
"I just said humans are defined metaphysically not by post Darwinian biological concepts of species and I meant that."

As Mr. Prokop told me, we will have to agree to disagree on this I think. To me a human is defined metaphysically as a physical body first and foremost. I reject the primacy of consciousness as it is being discussed in a more recent thread.

" But I was arguing genetic descent. You Hugo objectively have ancestors who can be identified as 24th great grandparents from whom you inherit no genetic material. Since it would only be with in a few hundred(thousand?) years you 24th great grandparents would be homo sapient sapients.

But only from a fraction of them would you inherit any genetic material. Remember you only get half your # of chromosomes from each parent and that is divided each previous generation. But you only have 46 chromosomes and you can’t inherit half a chromosome. So logically you have ancestors from whom you inherit no genetic material. The same can be said for Adam and Eve even if they are homo sapient sapients in species like us.

I hope this clears it up.
"

Well, it does clear up something... I read this carefully and you did repeat the same weird claims regarding genetic material. I am afraid you don't understand how reproduction works at the gene level...

The biggest problem I see is this: we get "exact" copies of the chromosomes so it's the same genes that are passed down generations, not some brand new re-shuffled version. They so have small benign mutations, which is why nobody is exactly alike even when closely related, but they perform the same basic functions. The gene that tells a cell to build a michocondria is the same in ALL living creatures. So forget not sharing genetic material with our ancestors, we do share genetic material with all animals dead or alive.

The fact that I have blue eyes with 2 brown-eyed parents is a great example. I inherited the blue gene from my grand-parents through my parents who each had 1 brown gene and 1 blue gene. So the blue gene that would otherwise be "lost" in your example above, being "diluted" in my parents, is actually expressed again with me. Technically, this blue gene can go on forever and some of my descendants will have blue eyes if both parents pass on the blue gene, but it will (almost certainly) not be the case with my own children because my wife is Indian and has no blue eyes at all in her family.

BenYachov said...

Hugo I think you better re-read what I wrote oh and don’t treat Skepo like he has any real knowledge of Science. Most of the people here with a professional understanding of science have called him out on his ignorance & gross mistakes.

>Well, it does clear up something... I read this carefully and you did repeat the same weird claims regarding genetic material. I am afraid you don't understand how reproduction works at the gene level…

How is my claim we have ancestors from whom we inherit no genetic material false? Are you claiming the opposite because that would be weird and biologically and scientifically absurd.

>The biggest problem I see is this: we get "exact" copies of the chromosomes so it's the same genes that are passed down generations, not some brand new re-shuffled version.

What does this have to do with my point & where have I contradicted any of this?

>They so have small benign mutations, which is why nobody is exactly alike even when closely related, but they perform the same basic functions.

I don’t deny any of this what does this have to do with my point? How does it falsify my claim we have ancestors from whom we inherit no genetic material? What does subtle mutations that might happen generation to generation have to do with my claim?

>The gene that tells a cell to build a michocondria is the same in ALL living creatures. So forget not sharing genetic material with our ancestors, we do share genetic material with all animals dead or alive.

Hugo I clearly said “We have ancestors from whom we don’t inherit any genetic material". I NEVER SAID we inherit no genetic material from any of our ancestors. I certainly don’t doubt 90% plus of the existing population inherited their mitochondria DNA from Michocondria “Eve”.
But what does any of this have to do with my modest and obviously factual claim? A claim I learned from reading science articles?

Nor have I denied common descent which is trivial since we where discussing Adam and Eve & I was knocking any claim Y Chromosome "Adam" had to be Biblical Adam. The same with Mitochondria "Eve" being biblical Eve.

I wasn't denying I likely share similar genetic material that can be found in other species because of common descent.

I accept Evolution. Remember?


>The fact that I have blue eyes with 2 brown-eyed parents is a great example. I inherited the blue gene from my grand-parents through my parents who each had 1 brown gene and 1 blue gene. So the blue gene that would otherwise be "lost" in your example above, being "diluted" in my parents, is actually expressed again with me. Technically, this blue gene can go on forever and some of my descendants will have blue eyes if both parents pass on the blue gene, but it will (almost certainly) not be the case with my own children because my wife is Indian and has no blue eyes at all in her family.

Hello I cited as examples 24th great grand parents. That is 24 “greats” after the word grandparent not mere great grandparents.
Oy vey!

Hugo read more carefully next time.

BenYachov said...

Hugo and Skepo.

read this. Note it is not a creationist website or affiliated with religion in anyway.

http://www.senseaboutscience.org/pages/genetic-ancestry-testing.html

QUOTE"Our individual ancestry is much shallower than people might imagine – the best estimate is that the most recent person from whom everyone alive today is descended lived just 3,500 years ago.

- As we look back through time we quickly accumulate more ancestors than we have sections of DNA, which means we have ancestors from whom we have inherited no DNA."END QUOTE.

im-skeptical said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
im-skeptical said...

Ben,

Surely you could find a better source of scientific understanding than these guys.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2010/jan/05/sense-about-science-celebrity-observations

The quote you gave is incorrect, and even if it was correct it wouldn't make your point. You don't understand what they are trying to say.

The quoted statement was an attempt to dispel the notion that we are all descended from some particular historical figure. But the most recent common ancestor of all humans is 3500 years old? So isolated groups such as Australian aborigines or the Sentinelese share an ancestor from 3500 years ago? Doubtful. And the fact that the number of our ancestors increases as we go back in time, would mean that we have more ancestors than there have ever been humans on earth, if not for the fact that they cross-breed. This does not imply that we have ancestors that contribute nothing to our DNA. It implies that whoever made the statement you quoted from doesn't know what he's talking about.

You are confused about the difference between chromosomes and genes, and you have no idea how DNA combines in sexual reproduction. You should try reading a book that isn't about Thomism.

Hugo said...

Oh I see what you meant! It is indeed true that we do not share genetic material with ancestors in that sense. Perhaps I don't even share genetic material with my sister!

Let me get this straight:
- We get half of each parent's chromosome
- Let's say my mother has A1-A2-...A23 and B1-B2-...B23
- My father has C1-C2-...C23 and D1-D2-...D23
- Hence I received a combination of 23 As and Bs and 23 Cs and Ds
- It's possible, though unlikely, that I got only As and only Ds
- It's possible, though unlikely, that my sister got only Bs and only Cs
- Hence by your definition of 'shared genetic material', my own sister and I can possibly share no genetic material
- After multiple generation, only a few actually, it becomes less and less likely that any of the As from my great-great-grand-mother are still there

Is that what you meant?
And yes, I will need to re-read what you discussed if that's what you meant. I never heard of this distinction between 'shared genetic material' and 'common genetic material', or whatever you want to call the distinction, I am not sure...

im-skeptical said...

No, he just plain gets it wrong.

"But only from a fraction of them would you inherit any genetic material. Remember you only get half your # of chromosomes from each parent and that is divided each previous generation. But you only have 46 chromosomes and you can’t inherit half a chromosome. So logically you have ancestors from whom you inherit no genetic material."

The fact is you CAN inherit half a chromosome, and that is precisely what happens in sexual reproduction. Half from each parent. I would agree that it is possible that we inherit nothing from a particular ancestor, and the likelihood increases as we go back to earlier generations, but then so does the likelihood of duplicative ancestry.

BenYachov said...

Hugo you are paying attention!!!!!

I am K’velling!:-)

Too bad poor skepo is smoking something. My only remaining questions for Skepo is what is it
& where can I score some?

>We get half of each parent's chromosome.

Naturally we all assume you mean half their base pair. Which is not what I meant when I said you can’t inherit half a chromosome.
We have 46 chromosomes and thus 23 base pairs. You can’t inherit half a specific chromosome in nature but you can and must inherit half a base pair.

You can inherit C1 from your Father vs D1 but you can’t inherit half of C1.

>Is that what you meant?

Yes though I was actually thinking in terms of deep ancestry not something as close by as a 3rd great grandparent. Thought you present an interesting thought likely very very very rare scenario by which one might not inherit DNA from a 3rd great grandparent.

Since we where discussing Y-Adam, Mito-Eve, Biblical Adam and Biblical Eve I was thinking in terms of 150,000 years to half a million time frame.

>And yes, I will need to re-read what you discussed if that's what you meant. I never heard of this distinction between 'shared genetic material' and 'common genetic material', or whatever you want to call the distinction, I am not sure…

I beg your forgiveness if I am not(and I am likely not) using the proper traditional biological terms. I am a layman. I am discussing concept here. But I was not discussing immediate parentage or how your parents transmit DNA to you their offspring. I was addressing the idea (that not too few confused Theist sometimes fall into as well as Atheists) Y- Adam and Mito-Eve where somehow to be identified as Biblical Adam and Eve. They don’t have to be if there really was a biblical Adam and Eve.

Catch you on the flip side dude.

Should I bother correcting Skepo at this point or is it a total waste of time?

I think it’s a waste of time but if anyone else wants to point out to him why he is wrong I wouldn’t stop them.

Cheers Hugo.

B. Prokop said...

"or is it a total waste of time?"

History tells us it's a total waste of time.

im-skeptical said...

"Should I bother correcting Skepo at this point or is it a total waste of time?"

Oh, please do. Like I said, I love it when you spout your scientific ignorance.

BenYachov said...

Ok Skepo you asked for it.

My scientific ignorance?

You conceded my point "I would agree that it is possible that we inherit nothing from a particular ancestor, and the likelihood increases as we go back to earlier generations, but then so does the likelihood of duplicative ancestry."

Of course if that last bit is true then what is to stop a Young Earth Creationist advocate of biological monogenesis from claiming their view of Adam is therefore plausible and not refuted by science I wonder?

I think you should re-think that.

(Ironic Skepo believing something YEC's believe but I reject. The irony!).

>>Surely you could find a better source of scientific understanding than these guys.

>http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2010/jan/05/sense-about-science-celebrity-observations

So this dude who posts this article objects to the far left political views of those who run the website I cite? That’s an argument?

This is ironic considering what a Right winger I am and what a lefty you are Skepo. Except I don’t see what politics has to do with the scientific accuracy of their claims on genetics?

Even the guy in that article admits not everything they say is wrong and he offers no refutation of my citations from them on genetics. So I don't see the point in quoting him?


>But the most recent common ancestor of all humans is 3500 years old? So isolated groups such as Australian aborigines or the Sentinelese share an ancestor from 3500 years ago? Doubtful.

I hate to break it too ya Skepo but not everyone living today is a descendant of Y-Adam & or Mito-Eve.

The figures I read are greater then 90%. I seem to remember one figure being 97% for one of them but their are a minority of persons who do not have Y-Adam's Y chromosome or Mito-Eve's Mitochondria DNA.

You are taking them to literally like most fundamentalist do.

Let me see anything else in this mess I can answer?

No, bored now.......

I be playing SWTOR if you need me.

im-skeptical said...

Ben,

"(Ironic Skepo believing something YEC's believe but I reject. The irony!)."
- Even an idiot believes some things that are true. Much of what they believe is bunk, as is the case with your own unscientific beliefs. Here's a genuine scientific view of human origins:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recent_African_origin_of_modern_humans

"So this dude who posts this article objects to the far left political views of those who run the website I cite?"
- I don't know or care what his political views are, but he recognizes that SAS is not the voice of science, and so do I.

"I hate to break it too ya Skepo but not everyone living today is a descendant of Y-Adam & or Mito-Eve."
- The comment I made (and SAS, too) has nothing to do with that. It is about most recent common ancestors foe people living today (which does not necessarily apply for people who lived 200 years ago, when there were certainly more isolated groups of humans). Still, I would rather go with the scientific consensus than anything I hear you say.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitochondrial_Eve


Bottom line, you haven't refuted anything I said, and you are still apparently ignorant of genetics. Try looking up genetic recombination to get a basic understanding of how it works. And then we can have a serious discussion about it.

BenYachov said...

Well Skepo since you are doing science by Wiki
How about this?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Most_recent_common_ancestor

QUOTE"In genetics, the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) of any set of organisms is the most recent individual from which all organisms in a group are directly descended. The term is often applied to human genealogy.
The MRCA of a set of individuals can sometimes be determined by referring to an established pedigree. However, in general, it is impossible to identify the specific MRCA of a large set of individuals, but an estimate of the time at which the MRCA lived can often be given. Such time to MRCA (TMRCA) estimates can be given based on DNA test results and established mutation rates as practiced in genetic genealogy, or by reference to a non-genetic, mathematical model or computer simulation. Assuming that no genetically isolated human populations remain, the human MRCA may have lived 2,000 to 4,000 years ago.[1] This estimate is based on a non-genetic, mathematical model that assumes random mating and does not take into account important aspects of human population substructure such as assortative mating and historical geographical constraints on interbreeding.[1]”


Since the article I cited was on human genealogy this is likely what they where referring too.

Yah think?

Skepo your bluster that you understand science, genetics, the origin of man etc or that you even remotely have the competence to judge which websites are science or not……..is beyond comical!

Stop before you hurt yourself.

PS Ya still agreed with me in the end so I don't get what ya still bitching about?

Or do you just bitch because your a Gnu and that is what you do?

BenYachov said...

Geez skepo I could have told you Y-Adam or Mito-Eve are individuals whose existence we surmise based on models.

Unlike that scene in the Final episode of Battlestar Galactica we don't have the bones of Mito-Eve(or Y-Adam).

Worst then a moron!

im-skeptical said...

Ben,

Do you have any idea what you are saying? In an earlier post you seem to claim that there is no common ancestor - "but their are a minority of persons who do not have Y-Adam's Y chromosome or Mito-Eve's Mitochondria DNA" - (despite the scientific consensus that there is) and now you are claiming that there IS a common ancestor who is only 2 to 4 thousand years old (despite the scientific consensus that it is probably older than that). None of this has anything to do with the discussion of genetic inheritance. But I do believe that if you can find some article on Google that sounds relevant to you (because it includes the term 'DNA'), and despite the fact that you have no idea how it makes the case or refutes what you have already said, you think that somehow you have scored points against the stupid atheist. This is really bizarre.

"Stop before you hurt yourself."

Well, it's too late for that - you have already shown that you know nothing about the topic, and you don't understand the articles you link, nor how they relate to the discussion.

BenYachov said...

Skepo

You are so Benson.

>Do you have any idea what you are saying?

The point is Skepo you don’t even know what you are saying.


>In an earlier post you seem to claim that there is no common ancestor - "but their are a minority of persons who do not have Y-Adam's Y chromosome or Mito-Eve's Mitochondria DNA" - (despite the scientific consensus that there is) and now you are claiming that there IS a common ancestor who is only 2 to 4 thousand years old (despite the scientific consensus that it is probably older than that).

What scientific consensus says 100% of existing males descend from Y-Adam? All the literature I’ve read over the years places it in the high 90 percentile? (Thought science is aways changing) Dude I didn’t claim anything. I cited a scientific article that said we have ancestors from whom we inherit no genetic material.
You got all butt hurt over it’s innocuous claim the nearest common ancestor is about 3.5 thousand years. & you proclaimed it was against science and unscientific. Based on what? Your expertise? Plueez? You don’t know science from your own arsehole. You put up all these links from the Wiki pretending I don’t agree with their findings SO I CITE THE VERY SAME WIKI & it contradicts your weird claims.

As has been shown in the Past by Crude or persons like Grod who actually has a professional understanding of science. You don't know what you are talking about.

The Irony is I am as much an amateur as you except I make modest claims.

>None of this has anything to do with the discussion of genetic inheritance.

Of course not because I was discussing the Biblical Adam and Eve and explaining why they don’t have to be identified with Y-Adam and Mito Eve. Hugo (who clearly has forgotten more science then either of us knows) got what I was trying to say in the end. But that is because he wanted to know what I was really saying.
He isn’t playing your Gnu games dude.

> But I do believe that if you can find some article on Google that sounds relevant to you (because it includes the term 'DNA'), and despite the fact that you have no idea how it makes the case or refutes what you have already said, you think that somehow you have scored points against the stupid atheist. This is really bizarre.

This is your concession that you really don’t know what you are talking about and if you make some more outrageous claims about science I am but a few clicks away from exposing your ignorance.

>Well, it's too late for that - you have already shown that you know nothing about the topic, and you don't understand the articles you link, nor how they relate to the discussion.

In psychology we called this projection.

Really Paps I mean Skepo. Don’t hurt yourself.

Trying using your intellect rather then worshiping it.

im-skeptical said...

Ben,

"Dude I didn’t claim anything. I cited a scientific article that said we have ancestors from whom we inherit no genetic material"

Yes, you did, and you are still ignorant about genetic inheritance. You didn't understand what you were citing, and you have no idea how it works, even after I attempted to point you in the right direction.

"This is your concession that you really don’t know what you are talking about and if you make some more outrageous claims about science I am but a few clicks away from exposing your ignorance."

This is the hubris so common among people of your ilk. Truth will never come between you and your fantasies. But I'll try once again: read up on genetic recombination if you want see where your understanding of genetics goes off track. Then you can toss this idea around: Maybe, just maybe, you could be wrong about something. And if the day ever arrives that you come to that realization, then consider that you just might be wrong about some other things, too.

BenYachov said...

History yet again vindicates Bob!



im-skeptical said...

It is no surprise that you refuse to learn the science that you pretend to know. As I said, truth will not come between you and your fantasies.

BenYachov said...


My current knowledge of science is sufficient for my current needs.

My learning science is not at issue since I take no position in opposition to the current science.

I don't oppose Evolution. I don't support so called "Intelligent design". I offer no polemics against the former nor apologetics for the later.

You the one who wants to attack belief in God and refuses to learn any philosophy.

If I wanted to oppose Evolution but was as careless about learning science as you are in both learning science and philosophy?

I would look quite foolish indeed.

Like you do.

Ilíon said...

B.Posrtruth: "(I stand by that tirade, by the way - every word of it.)"

Of course you do, you're a lying leftist, after all, as witness --

"Just looked up the comment. Seems my memory did not serve me well. The offender was one "Gimli 4 the West" and not you. Apologies for giving the wrong impression."

You didn't "give the wrong impression", you made a factually false accusation. One understands that memories can get scrambled -- especially when one's politics lend credence to the thought that "thus-and-such is just the sort of thing that So-ans-So would do or say". However, "apologizing" for "giving the wrong impression" is simply another insult.

Ilíon said...

So, on June 15, I asked B.Prokop to *explain* why it is a calumny, why it is a slander, rather than simply an historical falsehood (and, in context, a lie), to assert that "the church" doctored the Biblical texts so as to conform to Christian doctrine.

Here it is, June 22, and still no answer -- even as he continues to accuse I'm-a-liar-and-don't-you-forget-it of slander and calumny (using those very words) against "the church", not only in this thread, but in newer threads.

So, once again, _*WHY*_ is it a slander, on what ground is it a calumny, as distinct from merely the allegation of a falsehood, to assert that "the church" modified the Biblical texts so as to conform to Christian doctrine?

B. Prokop said...

"_*WHY*_"

No deep or complicated reason or motive. Was just looking for the strongest language possible. It's that simple - no hidden agenda.

However, since my use of the term, I have learned that Skep is not only an infidel, he is also an apostate. (He himself admitted this: "And don't forget, I was raised as a Catholic. I was taught the Catechism, too.") So ex post facto, I have a far greater justification for employing the most damning words I can come up with. Skep is not just a tiresome bore like some other atheists on this site. With every keystroke, he puts his immortal soul in ever greater peril. It may not be me who manages to draw him away from the Fearful Precipice, but it is certainly incumbent upon me to shout out to him, "Look out!"

Ilíon said...

B.Skeppy: "[yadda, yadda, yadda about I-pretend's intellectual hypocrisy]"

I *still* don't know *why* his false assertion is a slander, rather than merely a lie.

im-skeptical said...

"With every keystroke, he puts his immortal soul in ever greater peril."

I presume you have evidence of this, and that you are willing to provide it. Or are you still nothing but a blowhard?

Apostate, to be sure - and proud of it. At least I have been willing to critically examine what I believe. It makes no logical sense that you could hold that a soul is in unity with the body and also has an independent existence. But you believe it because that is the dogma of your church, and like so many of the absurd things they teach you, you simply accept it, having cast aside reason, while desperately trying to maintain the pretense of reason, which you do by a process of rationalization.

Dan Gillson said...

I think the fact that Skep revels in his incorrigibility is magnifying the severity of his lies. He was merely a nuisance. Now he's a childish boor.

im-skeptical said...

"Now he's a childish boor."

And what have you contributed to the conversation, Dan? Anything other than your own childish chiding? Why should anyone care what you have to say?

Dan Gillson said...

That you don't realize just how childish your parting question is proves my point entirely.

B. Prokop said...

"I *still* don't know *why* his false assertion is a slander, rather than merely a lie."

What I'm curious about, is why is this such a Big Deal to you? I could have called Skep a bald-faced, habitual liar and left it at that, but that didn't sound strong enough. He's much more than that. His intent was not only to lie, but also to impugn the reputation of those he lied about. Isn't that the definition of slander?

Ilíon said...

B.Skeppy-dancin': "... His intent was not only to lie, but also to impugn the reputation of those he lied about."

HOW does this particualr lie "impugn the reputation of those he lied about"?

B.Skeppy-dancin': "I could have called Skep a bald-faced, habitual liar and left it at that, but that didn't sound strong enough."

I don't see any substantive difference in that hypothetical reaction and the one you actually presented.

B.Skeppy-dancin': "What I'm curious about, is why is this such a Big Deal to you?"

Help me ... and the lurkers ... to understand *why* his lie was not merely a lie, but a slander that "impugn[s] the reputation of those he lied about", and then we can see whether it's a Big Deal.

im-skeptical said...

"His intent was not only to lie, but also to impugn the reputation of those he lied about."

You're making a pretty bold assertion of your own. Got any evidence to back it up?

B. Prokop said...

The intent is obvious. If Skep's accusations were true, then the Church is guilty of committing fraud of the worst possible nature, i.e., lying about what the Word of God was, and taking steps to make the alleged lie look like the truth. And one cannot imagine such actions having been taken for innocent motives, but only for nefarious ones. Ergo, Skep's lie is slander, because he is saying something he either

a) knows to be untrue, or
b) has no evidence whatsoever to back up his claims,

and he's doing all this with the intent of besmirching the reputation of the Church with charges he knows to be false.

All of the above = slander.

B. Prokop said...

There, I just did.

im-skeptical said...

No, Bob. You didn't provide evidence of anything. And your "reasoning" is nothing but pure fiction. What a blowhard.

B. Prokop said...

So then, enlighten us. What was your motive for accusing the Church of falsifying the scriptures?

im-skeptical said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
im-skeptical said...

Bob,

You are much too emotional to carry on a rational discussion. Had you been paying attention to what I said earlier, you might have heard me say I was merely passing on what has been said by others - others who have done their own research into the matter. And while I didn't copy and paste their material into the combox, I did cite it for your benefit. Unfortunately, rather than engaging that material in a rational manner, you have been overcome by emotional responses to what you evidently see as a threat. That's OK. We're all human here. I'm guilty of it too. But a little respect does go a long way. I tend to lose respect for those who don't show it.

B. Prokop said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
B. Prokop said...

Unfortunately, Skep. Your "sources" provided not the least scintilla of evidence for the charges you made. None, nada, zip, nichego, nil, zero, bupkis, null set - nothing. I read them carefully, and even provided you with an almost word-for-word commentary on one of them. Your response? To simply bleat repetitively, "The evidence is out there!" Is it too much to ask that, if it is supposedly "out there", maybe you could show us some of it? The reason you didn't copy/paste anything from your links, is that there was nothing relevant there to copy/paste! Had you the tiniest shred of decency, you would have long before now taken back your slanderous (yes, Ilion, they were slanderous) accusations and apologized.

This is not an "emotional response" - it is holding your feet to the fire until you either

a) cough up the evidence (in which case, I will apologize, or
b) admit that you have no evidence to show us.

Still waiting.

im-skeptical said...

Me, too.

Hugo said...

@Mr. Prokop and im-skeptical,
From the outside, it's pretty funny because it looks like you are both emotional about this back-and-forth you're having. One thinks early versions of the Gospels were altered, on purpose, by early Christians, the other disagrees. That's it... but for some reason, you won't let it go; pretty weird imo as you both agreed (I think?) that this point is not relevant to whether or not you think the story is actually true. Agree to disagree?

im-skeptical said...

I have no problem with that. I haven't brought this up repeatedly in thread after thread.

B. Prokop said...

"[whether or not the Church falsified the scriptures] is not relevant to whether or not you think the story is actually true"

Yes and no, Hugo. You are quite correct that no amount of sausage making would alter the truth or falsity of the Gospel. But... and this is a huge but. That is not what Skep insinuated. He made the claim that, after deciding which writings were to go into the canon, the Church, with the purpose of shoring up subsequent man-made teachings, (his exact words were "to comply with doctrine") retroactively went back and "modified" the texts to suit their purposes.

Such an accusation does indeed make a lie of more aspects of the Gospel than I could possibly put into a blog posting. It would take an article, or even several chapters of a book, to fully elucidate the import of such a state of affairs.

No, if anything I have been too kind to Skep in this exchange. I actually held back at the start, under the false impression that Skep was much younger than he apparently is, if we are to believe his comment about having an adult son. (I had guessed his age to be no more than 20 at the most, judging by his level of discourse.) So I purposefully went easy on him, figuring he'd eventually grow out of his ridiculousness.

But it's not a matter of "agreeing to disagree". Skep is lying. He says there's evidence for his charges, but cannot produce any. In such a case, he must either retract his accusations, or prove them - here, on this website, not with links. How hard can it be? I even gave him a simple format to follow:

- Identify the portion of scripture that has been modified to comply with Church dogma (chapter and verse, please).

- Give us the "before" version, so we can confirm that it has actually been modified.

- Explain what dogma said modification is being complied with.

He could settle this with one posting. The fact that he doesn't merely proves my point.

Dan Gillson said...

As far as I'm concerned Skep is just another one of the internet's dumb bullshitters. If he had any sense at all he'd find another forum to troll. He has overstayed his welcome here.

Hugo said...

Mr. Prokop, you said you replied to his links already, hence you admitted already that he did present evidence; you disagree with the conclusion.

im-skeptical does the same mistake too apparently, just like so many atheists we can read online, claiming that Theism is not based in evidence. Wrong, atheists saw the evidence but find it unconvincing.

im-skeptical said...

"Wrong, atheists saw the evidence but find it unconvincing."

Quite right. It's funny, really. Ask Bob about the evidence he has. He talks about the feelings he gets when he looks at the stars. He says "The evidence is out there!"

Ilíon said...

"(yes, Ilion, they were slanderous)"

Did I say anything, one way or the other, about whether his his was slander?

But simply reaffirming your charge does nothing to help me (or the other readers) understand *why* his lie is a slander.

B. Prokop said...

"you said you replied to his links already, hence you admitted already that he did present evidence"

No, not at all, not at all. My replies to his links demonstrated that they contained NO evidence. None of the links identified a single line of supposedly altered scripture. And not having done even that, they of course could not show how an unidentified text had been altered. If that constitutes "evidence", then the word has no meaning.

So I have in no way "admitted that he did present evidence", because he hasn't.

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 208   Newer› Newest»