The Raving Theist

Dedicated to Jesus Christ, Now and Forever

Love Thy Enemies

July 6, 2006 | 68 Comments

From now on, this site will devote itself to finding the best in people rather than the worst. Whenever possible, I will attempt to affirmatively advocate my own ideals rather than criticizing someone else. Sometimes, however, I will be discussing people, groups, ideologies or belief systems that I have disagreed with or attacked in the past. In such cases, the following rules will apply:

(1) The post will say at least one kind or favorable thing about the person and/or group under discussion. If I reject the relevant ideology completely, the compliment may pertain to some unrelated talent, accomplishment, or memorable post.

(2) All compliments will be sincere, not sarcastic or backhanded.

(3) The post will identify at least one false, cruel, inappropriate or unnecessary statement I have made about the person or group in the past, and explain why I was wrong to say what I did.

(4) Criticism or commentary will focus solely on ideas, not upon the person or people comprising the group to which he or she belongs.

(5) When commenting on a post that criticizes or attacks me I will not retaliate in any way, no matter how unkind, untrue or even vicious the commentary. I will not quote language from the offending post, or link to the post at all, if I believe that doing so will ultimately make the person look foolish or otherwise embarrass him or her.

(6) If I believe that there is a possibility that the person will be offended or embarrassed by my post, I will forward a draft and seek approval before posting.

(7) These rules will apply with equal force to religious people, atheists, agnostics, and political and social organizations, including pro-choice advocates or organizations.

I am not entirely sure that what I have outlined above will make for the most effective or interesting blogging. There are many blogs that I enjoy immensely that break these rules, and often it is precisely because they break these rules that I enjoy them. However, given my baser inclinations, I believe that this code of conduct will best serve my purposes, whatever they are, and I intend to adhere to it strictly.

Comments

68 Responses to “Love Thy Enemies”

  1. Dada Saves
    July 6th, 2006 @ 9:19 am

    So, even where there is nothing kind or favorable to say about someone or their group, you will say it anyway? That doesn’t seem very honest. When you manufacture a compliment, it’s going to come off as insincere and perhaps — God forbid — sarcastic.

    As long as Choobus continues to comment, maybe I won’t get diabetes from all the sugar around here.

  2. Choobus
    July 6th, 2006 @ 9:38 am

    RA, you mealy mouthed fop, this affected “love thy neighbour” bollocks is wearing thinner than an olsen twin. Why on earth must you post posts in which you lay out the rules for further posts, which do not seem to be forthcoming? You made some ill considered god squad review that was as insipid as it was shite, but other than that all you have been saying is how from now on you are going to be a super nice guy who might just believe in Jeebus (but maybe not). I ask you, what is it all for?

    Furthermore, I have been slagging you off for some time. The least you can do is acknowldge my efforts you inconsiderate mother fucker. This blatant rudeness on your part wholly negates all your foolish efforts to seem like some sort of spineless shitsucker. IF you want to tap that Christian ass you have to pull out all the stops and be the bitch Jesus wants you to be. Despite your malingering IO still remember the RA of old. Learning of Terry Schiavo’s “half open retard mouth” was just the beginning (I know you didn’t post that, but it was fucking funny just the same). Therefore, I still hold out some hope that this is an overly elaborate joke and you just don’t know how to end it.

    Give it up fool. Pascals wager doesn’t work, and by the same token, christ punching babes won’t bend over for you until you actually become the sort of wankstain who waits until marriage before stoking that fire. You cannot win, but you certainly can lose.

  3. Paul
    July 6th, 2006 @ 9:40 am

    How much sugar can you pour onto something before it becomes sickeningly sweet? Yikes, RA, life, blogs, etc., just shouldn’t be so one-sided as you are now making it out to be.

    It’s all about balance.

  4. Andy
    July 6th, 2006 @ 9:48 am

    Rule number one seems like some kind of Inverse Ad Hominem. Even though it’s nicer, it’s still a logical fallacy.

  5. Snap Crafter
    July 6th, 2006 @ 10:08 am

    Ya know, I wasn’t going to say anything about RA’s choosings of late, but for some reason I’m not buying it.

    Anyone else remember Eon 8? I’m sensing the same sort of vibe.

  6. sdanielmorgan
    July 6th, 2006 @ 10:50 am

    I swear to God he’s pulling our chain.

    Or he’s Jeebusified.

  7. Adam
    July 6th, 2006 @ 11:24 am

    Enough with the sappy soul-searching and passive aggressive posts… let’s get back to Raving Atheist!

  8. JUST_ANOTHER_PRIMATE
    July 6th, 2006 @ 11:47 am

    I’ve already said this is getting old – (particularly if it turns out to be some idiotic joke).

    Now it is just a plain old waste of time!

    BOYCOTT – time for a BOYCOTT !

  9. bUCKET__
    July 6th, 2006 @ 11:49 am

    Andy’s right, this is the first step towards losing any intellectual integrity you might be aiming for. When you find arguments ending completely one-sided you’ll also have the unfortunate consequence of boring people to death.

    Sometimes the best thing you can do for someone is to completely ridicule their beliefs, point out their inconsistencies and worry less about offending them.

    If this is a joke, it isn’t very entertaining. Thanks for the couple of years of entertainment, but there are other more interesting and equally rational blogs I could be frequenting.

  10. Lurker
    July 6th, 2006 @ 12:01 pm

    “The suspense is killing me, I hope it lasts.” – Willy Wonka

  11. Devout Atheist
    July 6th, 2006 @ 12:16 pm

    I’m tuning out.

  12. Tim
    July 6th, 2006 @ 12:27 pm

    Come on RA, the punchline is overdue …

  13. Christ d
    July 6th, 2006 @ 12:43 pm

    And don’t forget to pull your own site from the hate site list.

  14. Aaron Kinney
    July 6th, 2006 @ 12:50 pm

    BOOOOOOOOOO!

    :( What the hell happened to TRA? He’s a Catholic now, I swear it!

  15. Jordan Greenaway
    July 6th, 2006 @ 12:59 pm

    There’s three possiblities:

    (1) TRA is joking (in which case the joke isn’t particulary funny)

    (2) TRA is converted (worrying)

    (3) He’s just trying to be a little nicer. But what TRA doesn’t realise is that you can be both sarcastic and polite at the same time. Politeness doesn’ mean you have to deny your true thoughts – if you think Christianity is a burden on the human race. Saying so isn’t impolite it’s truthful.

    – Jordan

  16. qedpro
    July 6th, 2006 @ 1:13 pm

    BORRRINNNNGGGGG!!!
    people come to your site for your wit and sarcasm.
    If that’s gone there’s no reason for me to come back.

  17. Jahrta
    July 6th, 2006 @ 1:21 pm

    I pity the retards who fail to see that you’re just pulling a joke on them, but by the same token the “joke” 1.) isn’t really funny, per se, and 2.) has been going on way too long. Between this crap and your psuedo-intellectual defense of those who would seek to criminalize abortion, I had found I only really come here for two reasons: to bash theists on the forums, and to bash you on the threads.

    If you listen closely, you can hear atheists stampeding off toward better, more balanced atheist websites. Dawn Eden wants her ideology back, you gaping puss.

  18. SteveG
    July 6th, 2006 @ 1:24 pm

    Jordan:
    2) TRA is converted (worrying)

    I ask this in all sincerity. Why are you worrying? I am not looking for an argument, just trying to understand.

  19. Curious Onlooker
    July 6th, 2006 @ 1:26 pm

    Um… why?

  20. IvyLeagr
    July 6th, 2006 @ 1:29 pm

    Why do I still come to this site? Raving Atheist? More like pussy ass Jesus freak pyschotic theist.

    I love how much respect we’re forced to accord religion when the tenants of the belief system barely differ from that of the FSM or unicorns or flat earth. Its completely acceptable to call any of the aforementioned beliefs inidcative of a crazy person, but let’s put on our kid gloves when we handle the bullshit of religion.

    For a few moments, let’s just consider the God of religion (a personal one defined in various holy books) and not the deity of Spinoza or Einstein or one depicting the laws of nature. One could pose somewhat reasonable (yet, eventually completely false) arguements for a designer or creator of the universe. But adherents of religion go one step furthur and actually believe the shit in the bible. The fucking bible people?!?!? Noah’s flood, the resurraction, creationism, giants, fire breathing dragons, talking bushes, angels, satan, walking on water, samson, the miracles, the ten plagues, I could go on. The bible contains these ridicolous anecdotes and people derive a personal deity from this very same book. And we’re forced to play nice and respect everyone’s beliefs? Like evolution, we can only hope that theists soon decide to dispute the validity of gravity. I can only pray.

  21. EclecticGuru
    July 6th, 2006 @ 2:17 pm

    I am glad that you’re letting us know where you’re going with this new angle on blogging, RA. And your honesty is very appreciated. I don’t think I’ll get the cutting insight that I used to enjoy so much here any more, however.

    I really wish there was something that could be said to change your mind, but it appears you’ve put a great deal of thought into this and made up your mind.

    I’ll continue checking in for a while to see if you can keep educating and entertaining like you used to. Hopefully these explanation posts will stop and you’ll get back to some content soon, sanitized or otherwise.

    I’m willing to give you the benefit of the doubt, but as I’ve said, I have very deep reservations about this whole “new RA” thing.

    Perhaps you can post a follow-up about the state-funded kosher-police, or the ten-commandments in courthouses or the in-god-we-trust stuff on our money.

    You know, back to the basics.

    Peace.

  22. Michael Bains
    July 6th, 2006 @ 2:30 pm

    Uh… I really couldn’t condemn the Born Again scenario; Laugh and groan about it, sure. But whatever dude. Just remember that Sep of Religious and Government laws is as much in defense of religious freedom as of Government integrity. Looky to our good “christian” preznit for confirmation on that idea.

    Check out the Christian Alliance for Progress if you’re really convertin’. Heh! Maybe you can switch to reviewin’ them instead of the populist ignorami of the God Squad.

    Anyway, I still think you’re aiming to ridicule and, while I suppose I can understand it in the abstract, the folks I think you’re gonna dog the hardest are unlikely to be deserving of it.

    Then again, it’s only words on a website.

    L8

  23. Oz
    July 6th, 2006 @ 3:12 pm

    So, uh, when are you redoing the site to remove all the nastiness? That subtitle at the top seems pretty demeaning. You have a blogroll of “Godidiots.” You have an archive of “Godidiots of the week.” Keeping track of “Hate Sites” sounds pretty negative too.

    Yes, I think a redesign is in order here. Perhaps something with a pink motif, no?

  24. Lancelot Gobbo
    July 6th, 2006 @ 3:28 pm

    So RA has not only been converted, he’s gone all the way to the scarlet whore of Rome, seen a priest to get shriven, and now we know what the priest told him he had to do as penance.
    Looks like I have an empty slot coming up in my bookmarks.

  25. Choobus
    July 6th, 2006 @ 5:21 pm

    (6) If I believe that there is a possibility that the person will be offended or embarrassed by my post, I will forward a draft and seek approval before posting.

    Repentant Atheist, I have been deeply offended by some of your recent posts. Therefore you should probably send me drafts for approval, just to be on the safe side. In order to save you time you should know that any post that can fairly be described as “a bit gay” will be rejected out of hand.

  26. darwinfish
    July 6th, 2006 @ 5:39 pm

    the subtitle definitely needs to go. lies offend me greatly

  27. NH
    July 6th, 2006 @ 6:05 pm

    As a usually quiet audience member, if any future posts follow ANY of the rules as stated by Mr RA, I think I’m going to take this blog off my favourites list.

  28. Paul
    July 6th, 2006 @ 6:18 pm

    I don’t think anyone has hit on this as a possible explanation for TRA’s incredible behavior:

    Is this, like, a “step,” in like, some 12-step thingie? I can usually spot them a mile away when someone pulls a “step” on me in person. Over the ‘net it’s more difficult, but I think I’ve hit on something here.

    Doesn’t it feel *exactly* like a step in a 12-step brainwa . . . er, I mean, program?

  29. Realityhack
    July 6th, 2006 @ 6:44 pm

    Modified 3 posibilites

    1. RA got gebusified.
    2. RA is doing some 12 step or psychobable BS.
    3. RA got a significant other who opposes the whole raving thing and has him totaly whiped.
    4. This is a joke… a throughly retarded one at this point.
    5. RA thinks this is a good idea because offending people is bad or something. In this case RA is a LOT stupider than I previously gave credit for.

    Still visiting the forums but I think the site is about done now.

  30. Tenspace
    July 6th, 2006 @ 6:54 pm

    Surprising that RA has not answered the challenges posted here. RA, you up for a throwdown?

  31. Choobus
    July 6th, 2006 @ 7:22 pm

    I’m down for a throw up, what with all this stomach churning vapid christ spanking tripe.

  32. Therese Z
    July 6th, 2006 @ 7:59 pm

    This whole thing proves the genius of blogging. It’s your blog and your brain and you’re entitled to think any way you want, and taking the time to post it is awful damn nice of you.

    Enjoy your journey. It’s fascinating to watch.

  33. Pascal's Wager
    July 6th, 2006 @ 10:41 pm

    Choobus,
    From your first post, it appears you have some form of a sexual fixation or disfunction. Is that all necessary to make a point? The way you attempt to make a point truly undermines your credibility. Are you some lonely person staring at a computer screen in a dimly lit apartment needing to be vulgar to feel important, or is it something deeper? Either way, RA do what you feel you need to do. You are the one who lives with the decisions you make. If you want to take the high road, good for you, there are enough people already traveling quite furiously on the low road.

    **Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools talk because they have to say something. ~ Plato

  34. Pascal's Wager
    July 6th, 2006 @ 10:41 pm

    Choobus,
    From your first post, it appears you have some form of a sexual fixation or disfunction. Is that all necessary to make a point? The way you attempt to make a point truly undermines your credibility. Are you some lonely person staring at a computer screen in a dimly lit apartment needing to be vulgar to feel important, or is it something deeper? Either way, RA do what you feel you need to do. You are the one who lives with the decisions you make. If you want to take the high road, good for you, there are enough people already traveling quite furiously on the low road.

    **Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools talk because they have to say something. ~ Plato

  35. Pascal's Wager
    July 6th, 2006 @ 10:41 pm

    Choobus,
    From your first post, it appears you have some form of a sexual fixation or disfunction. Is that all necessary to make a point? The way you attempt to make a point truly undermines your credibility. Are you some lonely person staring at a computer screen in a dimly lit apartment needing to be vulgar to feel important, or is it something deeper? Either way, RA do what you feel you need to do. You are the one who lives with the decisions you make. If you want to take the high road, good for you, there are enough people already traveling quite furiously on the low road.

    **Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools talk because they have to say something. ~ Plato

  36. R and All
    July 6th, 2006 @ 11:38 pm

    –Therefore you should probably send me drafts for approval, just to be on the safe side. In order to save you time you should know that any post that can fairly be described as “a bit gay” will be rejected out of hand.–

    Not just hilarious, but a brilliant idea!! What RA needs now is an editor, and Choobus is just the one to save the site!

  37. Choobus
    July 6th, 2006 @ 11:57 pm

    Pascals wager, what’s it to you pissface? If I wish to converse with RA, or anyone else, in a manner you find distasteful just use the scroll button you fucking retard. If you need instructions don’t be afraid to ask.

  38. bernarda
    July 7th, 2006 @ 3:49 am

    This is one of the oddest and most nonsensical statements of ifaith that I have run across. Logic seems to have completely fled from RA.

    ” (6) If I believe that there is a possibility that the person will be offended or embarrassed by my post, I will forward a draft and seek approval before posting.

    (7) These rules will apply with equal force to religious people, atheists, agnostics, and political and social organizations, including pro-choice advocates or organizations.

    I am not entirely sure that what I have outlined above will make for the most effective or interesting blogging. ”

    Point 6, that would lead to an official press if it were applied to journalism. Never publish anything anyone might think criticizes them; come to think of it, that is the press we have insofar as criticism of the rightwing politicians is largely absent.

    Point 7, everything and everyone and every point of view is equal. A reasoned scientific argument based on facts and study is the same as delusional rants of a tv preacher or guru.

    If every blogger, including posters here, followed these rules, blogging would not only be not very interesting, it would not be very informative.

    The best you can say about RA’s creed is that it is naive.

  39. a different tim
    July 7th, 2006 @ 4:48 am

    Looking at the last week’s posts, I’ve realised that this conciliatory approach is generating more controversy, insult, hatred and amusing outbursts of swearing than the previous 6 months combined.

  40. Lily
    July 7th, 2006 @ 6:39 am

    I don’t see how it could have been otherwise, ADT. I am reminded of what happens when one kicks over an ant hill. There is a frenzy of rushing around aimlessly (or so it seems from my perspective) and in bewilderment, while they try to figure out what to do.

    RA has done us the courtesy of sharing with us his thoughts on the direction in which he wants to take his blog. While I understand that it is a huge change and, therefore, shocking, it is time to get past the initial shock and start offering support or, at least, constructive criticism.

  41. Southern Freethinker
    July 7th, 2006 @ 7:25 am

    Is it me, or has this once-edgy blog become so introspective and navel-contemplating that it’s no longer edgy? I come here for news and opinions on the religious war front, and now all I’m getting is “gee, I wonder if I’m being too harsh in my comments?” Snap out of it (slap slap)!!! Get back to what made this blog interesting in the first place. Forget manners and protocols, and go ahead and offend some people, for God’s sake (to make an inside joke, heh heh). Let the testosterone run freely again! Jesus!

  42. Just June
    July 7th, 2006 @ 8:04 am

    I’ve pointed out elsewhere that – to justify their bizarre illusions -believers must constantly assert that atheists are confused, sad, lonely, angry, chaotic, bewildered, and ready to be converted in a few moments. Next we will get some choice Bible verses to prove that the Bible exists.

    TRA’s new rules are obviously tongue-in-cheek. He is making a grand point of what this blog would look like if he applied Christian rules. For one thing, it would offend all atheists, and hence he could never post a damned thing.

  43. Emanuel Goldstein
    July 7th, 2006 @ 9:37 am

    Practitioners of atheistic philosophies killed 100 Million people in the 20th century alone!

    I will never have anything good to say about that!

  44. Jordan Greenaway
    July 7th, 2006 @ 9:52 am

    Trackback – 3 reasons why to mix truth, humour and respect in an argument.

    “The atheist blogosphere is about to erupt and the consequences will shower ash over many other religious blogs…”

    “Personally I think you can be both respectful, truthful and sarcastic at the same time

  45. Thorngod
    July 7th, 2006 @ 10:11 am

    EMANUEL, neither will I, BUT, while the instigators of these atrocities may very well have been atheistic (though I’m not too sure they all were), the millions of rank and file fools who did the actual killing were 95% religious “believers”!

  46. a different tim
    July 7th, 2006 @ 10:28 am

    Lily wrote

    Actually, Lily, I’ve decided I like it like this. As an appreciator of irony, I kinda like how the new peace and love direction is causing more controversy and acrimony than when he insulted theists. This probably says terrible things about human (and specifically my) nature, but hey, whatever.

  47. Christ D
    July 7th, 2006 @ 10:37 am

    Emanuel Goldstein said:

    Practitioners of atheistic philosophies killed 100 Million people in the 20th century alone!

    I assume that you are referring to the Nazis or various State Socialist gangs. There may well have been many atheists in these gangs, but the ideological nature of their thoughts and actions puts them in the same camp as religious True Believers; irrationalists, obfuscators, lazy thinkers.

  48. Ulysses Paxton
    July 7th, 2006 @ 10:39 am

    Or the other explanation is that he’s conducting an experiment, gauging the reactions and behaviors of non-theists and theists alike.

    Hmm…

  49. Lily
    July 7th, 2006 @ 11:29 am

    It seems to me that we are in danger of missing something of real value that is being offered to us– we already have the forums where people can (and do!) vent, rant, spew, etc.

    However, here on the front page, it seems to me, we are being offered a place where real discussion; serious discussion will be encouraged and welcomed.

    However, we conduct ourselves (hopefully in accordance with our better natures), RA has made it clear that he intends to pursue the better way. I, for one, wish him only the best.

  50. Choobus
    July 7th, 2006 @ 12:16 pm

    “we already have the forums where people can (and do!) vent, rant, spew, etc.?”

    Let he who is without sin cast the first stone

  51. Lily
    July 7th, 2006 @ 12:27 pm

    Whatcha talking about, Willis?

    If you mean me, why, I have ranted with the best of them. In fact, in the non x-rated language category, I am #1!

  52. Choobus
    July 7th, 2006 @ 2:47 pm

    Sorry, lily, but number 2 is the sobriquet for you!

  53. realityhack
    July 11th, 2006 @ 4:52 am

    We HAVE offered constructive critism like pointing out how the RA’s new rules destroy any posiblility for legitimate debate, and are at best massively naive. Or how he is hardly ‘raving’ any more.

    As for this BS about “RA has made it clear that he intends to pursue the better way.” get a clue. His way isn’t better. He has gone way WAY beyond trying to keep the debate civil all the way to stifling it for the sake of not hurting anyones feelings. That alows for absolutely zero actual debate espcialy on a topic like religion.

    I think its time we either limited ourselves to the rather un-regulated forum or just found another site. The blog section of RA now officialy sucks monkey nuts.

  54. realityhack
    July 11th, 2006 @ 4:54 am

    um… wasn’t Hitler christian?

  55. realityhack
    July 11th, 2006 @ 5:26 am

    A vivid example:

    RA could do a post on this:
    http://www.worldovercomers.org/statue/home.htm

    But it violates his rules:

    Rule 1: Nothing good to say about them. Certainly not anything relevent. Thus at best degrading the debate for a FOX news sence of ‘balance’.

    Rule 3: No past comments to take back. Rules out the entire post in RA’s new retarded scheme.

    Rule 6: RA would have to seek aproval as the post would definately offend them. No chance of getting aproval.

    Rule 5 sortof: The post will ultimately make the group look absolutely rediculus. But as it is not critisizing RA it gets a pass on this rule for some reason.

  56. June
    July 11th, 2006 @ 9:36 am

    Taking TRA at his word [which is always risky], I was intrigued to hear him guarantee that comments would not be edited. In other words, he has for some reason imposed this restriction of not maligning JC on himself, but not on us. Perhaps he saw the daVinci Code and liked the stricture that albino put on his leg.

    Anyway, is it possible that TRA has “left the building” to see what will happen in the comments? The best thing that could happen now is for us to make this blog even more interesting without him! But don’t hold your breath. We seem to be more like Roman soldiers arguing over JC’s clothes [Matthew 27:35].

  57. bernarda
    July 13th, 2006 @ 3:11 am

    Is informing jesusfreaks that jesus never existed a form of maligning their superstition?

    Is pointing the the numerous contradictions in both the old and new testaments a way of insulting them?

    How about when you tell them that their ignorant belief in ID is just plain stupid?

  58. Annie B.
    July 18th, 2006 @ 10:51 am

    a different tim said:
    Looking at the last week’s posts, I’ve realised that this conciliatory approach is generating more controversy, insult, hatred and amusing outbursts of swearing than the previous 6 months combined.

    Not sure that’s the primary focus of TRA’s intentions, but I agree with you, adt.

    reality hack said, “RA’s new rules destroy any posiblility for legitimate debate.” Legitimate debate can’t be held without being mean and nasty and calling one another “pissface” and “fucking retard”??

    bernarda, “jesus never existed?” Hmm, how did you prove that? Seems to me there’re lots of secular historians who found that he really did.

    Maybe you ought to write to all the Ph.D’s. in math, biochem, molecular/cell bio, comp.sci., physics & geology, from Princeton & UPENN (both Ivies), MIT, U-Chicago, Cambridge (UK), UCLA & Nat’l. Science Foundation about their “ignorant belief in ID.” You can get their names here, http://www.spectator.org/dsp_article.asp?art_id=8543

  59. Thorngod
    July 18th, 2006 @ 3:52 pm

    ANNIE B, have you read any of the criticism of ID by scientists on the Darwinian side? The Discovery Institute is a quasi-scientific organization (“pseudo-scientific” would be more accurate) that was established by fundamentalist Christians to provide an air of respectability to their efforts to get Creationism (under the new and less obviously religious name of “Intelligent Design”) taught in the public schools. It’s true that some of the institute’s leaders are PhDs. So was Lysenko, who ruined Soviet agriculture with his anti-genetic “science.” It’s also true that Richard Dawkins and other leading spokesmen for Darwinism are reluctant to lend prestige to the ID proponents, because they know very well what their agenda is. The truth, Annie B, is that Darwinism provides the basis for all the natural sciences, and there has been no experimental evidence offered by ID “scientists” to refute any of it.

  60. Annie B.
    July 18th, 2006 @ 6:22 pm

    Yes, actually, I have, Thorn. Have YOU read any of the criticism of scientists on the Darwinian side by the ID scientists? I am not an anti-evolutionist. I am not a creationist (which really, to those of us who aren’t Christian fundamentalists at least, is not the same thing as ID though the courts are now “deciding” that is the definition).

    For the same reason that parts of scripture should not be taken literally because they aren’t meant to be (I’ve already had to explain to some on this blog in earlier days that hell isn’t really “an eternally burning fiery pit of gaseous sulphur called Gehenna” but rather Gehenna was Jesus’ way of explaining hell because it was an actual rather toxic waste landfill in the time of Christ that was always burning its refuse heaps, hence it was a m e t a p h o r that the uneducated folk of his time could u n d e r s t a n d)….I don’t see the story of “Creation” in Genesis as necessarily, literally done in 6 days. There is nothing in any of my understanding of the creation story or Darwin’s Theory of Evolution (and that is what it is, a theory, as I was always taught it) that makes them incompatible with each other, when you think of the use of metaphors. Often, elsewhere in scripture, “one week” is the phrase used to represent an actual 7 year period. So “seven weeks” actually meant 49 years. But unless you are a studier of scripture one won’t learn that. Other times a specific number of thousands of days was referenced. It didn’t actually mean that many days.

    In much the same fashion, who’s to say that one day in the creation story wasn’t actually one eon or millenium? To my thinking, the Creation story doesn’t preclude the development of mankind and all else in this universe as “evolving” over all of time to just as it is today.

    This really is quite the fundamental thing in ID, contrary to what the liberal press, the ACLU, and several misguided, angry judges have concluded. I do admit though that several of those cases were decided against ID because the school boards were couching creationism (i.e., anti-evolution) to look like ID. So we have some misguided, reactionary Christians, but also misguided, radical (opposite of reactionary) judges. Those Christians did themselves, their children, and ID a great disservice by having creationistic, anti-evolutionary motives.

  61. Annie B.
    July 18th, 2006 @ 6:41 pm

    (sorry, hit wrong button and published too soon)

    Evolutionism (or Darwinism) is espousing that all existence can be explained in solely secular, temporal terms, without any Creator. That, I do object to, and its proponents are often as rabid and strident as the opposing side.

    Evolution, however, is a scientific theory (even still doubted by some scientists, even Nobel Prize winners) that “there are cumulative genetic changes in a population from generation to generation.” But why couldn’t a Creator, if He created this universe, use evolution to create us too? Both evolution theory and ID can be taught without conflict, I think.

  62. June
    July 18th, 2006 @ 9:18 pm

    AB, you have been misinformed. Evolution says nothing about the origin of life or about God or the Bible. Evolution basically means adaptation, in the sense that organisms have to adapt to their environment or perish. When the climate gets colder, animals develop fur. Where the sun shines a lot, human skin adapts and becomes brown.

    If you pour jello into a mold, it adapts to the shape of the mold. If you type a lot, your fingertip skin adapts and develops callouses. If you use medicine to kill most of a certain bacteria, the strong bacteria will survive and – in a few generations – become more resistant to the medicine. We have seen this effect with Penicillin since the 1930s, when it was discovered.

    If some fish of a species can escape their predator by jumping out of the water for short distances, they will tend to survive and pass this skill on to the next generation. After a million years or so, you have flying fish! There are now over 50 species; you can easily google them using the phrase “flying fish”.

    There are lots of arguments among scientists about the exact mechanisms of Evolution, and I am very sure we have not yet learned even half of its aspects; but Evolution is a basic fact of life on Earth and a cornerstone of today’s science.

  63. Thorngod
    July 18th, 2006 @ 10:32 pm

    Annie B, June’s last paragraph just above points up the reason why the Theory of Evolution is not the LAW of Evolution. A scientific law describes a universal effect that can be mathematically and otherwise precisely defined. Evolutionary effects are multifarious and can’t be confned to a mathematical construction. But every facet and process of life yet examined in the many fields of the natural sciences all testify to the ubiquitous effects of evolution.

    An important thing to understand is that “theory” in scientific usage is virtually a different word from the “theory” of common speech. A scientific theory is not just speculation, or a mere guess. It is a well established body of knowledge which has stood up to scientific inquiry. The Theory of Relativity, for instance, has passed every test scientists have been able so far to come up with; yet it remains a scientific “theory.”

    Intelligent Design theory, on the other hand, is that other sort of “theory,” a conclusion based only on an untestable supposition and attempting to make its case on the fact that science cannot possibly trace and explain the precise evolutionary path of every organ and organism on Earth. ID is unable to establish any positive evidence for its claim, and consequently does not qualify as science.

  64. Annie B.
    July 20th, 2006 @ 12:16 pm

    Juen, where did I write that “Evolution says [anything] about the origin of life or about God or the Bible”?? I didn’t. All I wrote was “Evolution, however, is a scientific theory (even still doubted by some scientists, even Nobel Prize winners) that “there are cumulative genetic changes in a population from generation to generation.””

    Thorn, re: “A scientific theory is not just speculation, or a mere guess. It is a well established body of knowledge which has stood up to scientific inquiry. The Theory of Relativity, for instance, has passed every test scientists have been able so far to come up with; yet it remains a scientific “theory.”…I know a few physicists who’d beg to differ with you.

    Funny, right after this post of mine, I happened upon a PBS show called Nova (I think), about “The Elegant Universe” explaining the origins and multiple variations of string theory. In short, there are deep incompatibilities between quantum mechanics (the theories about the laws governing really microscopic things) and Einstein’s theory of relativity (those about really huge things, like galaxies). Einstein dreamed of finding one theory that could encompass and explain both, or everything, as it were.

    String theorists thought/think they’ve come up with just that. The only problem is, there were (and perhaps still are) FIVE different string theories, and other physicists decry it because since it encompasses something so infinitesimally small, there’s never going to be a way to test it scientifically or to observe it.

    For example, the scale comparison made was that “if an atom were magnified to the size of the solar system, a string would be the size of a tree on earth.” There was further discussion about how the theory involves between 6 and 25 MORE dimensions beyound the 3 spatial and one time one we already know and see.

    The link to the series is here: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/elegant/

    So the “scientific theory” of string theory, or the five versions of it, to many learned experts, is just speculation.” It is NOT “a well established body of knowledge which has stood up to scientific inquiry.” The Theory of Relativity falls apart when trying to explain the laws governing tiny microscopic entities. According to all those scientists, not to me. Relativity doesn’t explain subatomic particles, at all, never did, never will. So it doesn’t really “pass every test.”

    And to complicate your comparison further, the string theories ARE in fact “describing a universal effect that can be mathematically and otherwise precisely defined.” They have enormously complex mathematical formulas they say “define everything.” So according to your definition, that makes string theory “a scientific law.” But it isn’t.

    My point is, you can’t make global statements about “scientific theories” that they are all proven. They’re not. They call them string theory and theory of relativity for a reason. Relativity works for large entities, not for the tiniest. And vice versa: quantum mechanics doesn’t work for the largest stuff.

  65. Annie B.
    July 20th, 2006 @ 12:21 pm

    Sorry, June, for typo/juxtaposing the letters of your name.

  66. Annie B.
    July 20th, 2006 @ 12:30 pm

    June, saying that Evolution is “a basic fact and a cornerstone of today’s science” is a dangerous thing to say. They said kind of the same thing about leeching in medieval times, probably, or, regarding the science dealing with mental psychosis, about frontal lobotomies and shock therapy in the 50s and 60s. Don’t use that as a justification, is all I’m saying. It can be a fluctuating thing.

  67. Thorngod
    July 20th, 2006 @ 1:38 pm

    Annie B, one of the bedrock principles of science is that any scientific theory remains always open to alteration or disproof. To date, Relativity theory remains on more solid ground than quantum theory, though together they enable us to send space vehicles billions of miles to obit Saturn and Jupiter. (There were no instructions for such voyages in the Bible.) String “theory” remains more speculation than scientific theory, but all string theories are based on accepted scientific facts and principles, and it is through such efforts that new discoveries are made.

    What point is it that you are trying to make? Is it the one I’ve heard so often from religionists, that “Science doesn’t know everything?” Neither I nor any scientist nor any philosopher would make such a fabulous claim. If science “knew everything,” then I suppose we WOULD have a god. His name would be Science. Do you trust the science behind electricity and quantum mechanics? By god, you’d better! You and I are communicating under their auspices.

  68. oliver
    August 3rd, 2006 @ 4:45 pm

    The fact some people who were atheist also committed atrocities doesn’t mean their atheism was to blame, it was, as pointed out above, other aspects of their ideologies and/or the fact they were megalomaniac shitheads. Whereas religious people have often caused conflict and oppression as a direct result of tenets of their religions. And yes, Hitler was a Christian (or at least considered himself one).

    Not been on this site for a while and am a bit surprised at the direction the posts are going in! I also thank the RA for some of the incisive posts he made before, which I enjoyed and am curious as to what has changed his point of view. I am intrigued as to how a ”raving atheist” site can continue if its going to be really kind and respectful to relgious people and not say anything that could be construed as offensive to Christiainity, including denying the existence of God…

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