WIRED: The Crusade Against Religion

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dysfunction

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WIRED: The Crusade Against Religion
« Reply #30 on: November 11, 2006, 09:34:00 PM »
Quote from: "thedigitalnomad"
Completely disregarding the concept of "Nurture" in the game of nature and nurture, of course.


Of course. That would only amplify the differences.
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Nomad

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« Reply #31 on: November 11, 2006, 09:38:52 PM »
Being raised by the same people, I don't see how the differences in personality could be that great.  However, gender could certainly be a problem.
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mjk

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« Reply #32 on: November 12, 2006, 02:13:57 AM »
back on topic anyone?

"Myself, I've decided to refuse the call. The irony of the New Atheism -- this prophetic attack on prophecy, this extremism in opposition to extremism -- is too much for me."

i tend to agree with.  if people are incapable of realising truth theres no point trying to shove it down their throats as they might end up vomiting in your face.

i thought one of the best things about atheism was that it wasnt out to convince anyone.  if you look at it logically then its so obvious that the possibility of god is so remote that its not worth worrying about no matter what other people say.  just like the feeling of needing to defend RE.
quote="diegodraw"]you never mentioned anything about antagonizing naive idiots who have reason to believe they should defend what everyone already knows is logical....Not like anybody would ever have fun doing that, of course[/quote]

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beast

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« Reply #33 on: November 12, 2006, 04:32:43 AM »
That's a noble argument but you need to have a sense of perspective and see the power that religion has in the world and how much control people have over issues where their only "qualifications" are their belief in a falsehood.  It's not a question of if people should have a right to believe whatever they want, the problem is that it's impossible to name a politician in Australia who has publicly stated that they're an atheist yet you can name plenty that have publicly stated that they're religion.  It's a problem that moral decisions are based not on thought and reason but on what deluded people interpret a fictitious book says we should do.  Countless studies have shown that people who do not believe in God have an average IQ significantly higher than people who do not believe in God and yet that lack of belief makes it harder to be elected into a position of power.  If we want society to go forward we need to start making our decisions based on reason instead of faith.

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mjk

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« Reply #34 on: November 12, 2006, 04:49:21 AM »
i dont see how you can say it will "make society go forward".  in what direction?  communism thought removal of god was important and spat rhetoric that it was "the opiate of the masses"( i know that might be wrong, but its makes the point).  what grand scheme does new atheism propose we move toward? a godless world?  thats about as thought through as greenies wanting to stop logging permanently.  i'd prefer a broader explanation of how new atheism is going to move us "forward" before i jump on the band wagon of atheievangelism.

i basically just cant see how new atheism on a global scale wont start another war about religion.
quote="diegodraw"]you never mentioned anything about antagonizing naive idiots who have reason to believe they should defend what everyone already knows is logical....Not like anybody would ever have fun doing that, of course[/quote]

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mjk

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« Reply #35 on: November 12, 2006, 05:06:40 AM »
Quote from: "beast"
It's not a question of if people should have a right to believe whatever they want,


i see that it is.  either in that article or another one dysfunction posted dawkins was talking about should society allow parents to teach their children falsities(existance of god).   surely if your new atheism is going to start questioning if parents have a right to teach their children what they believe then we're infact moving backward to times when you believed or were persecuted.  when *i* look at history and see people taking such extreme stances in their belief like i believe new atheism is the follow up has always ben more bloodshed.

because if this is the line new atheism is going to be taking, i'm not going to call it "moving forward".
quote="diegodraw"]you never mentioned anything about antagonizing naive idiots who have reason to believe they should defend what everyone already knows is logical....Not like anybody would ever have fun doing that, of course[/quote]

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beast

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WIRED: The Crusade Against Religion
« Reply #36 on: November 12, 2006, 05:12:38 AM »
Nobody in new atheism is suggesting we legislate in any way against religion.  They're saying that it's immoral to teach your children lies, not that it should be illegal - that's a pretty significant difference.

By "going forward" - I mean towards a direction of enlightenment and a new renaissance - I mean aiming to create a world where decisions are made based on reason and objectivity, not lies and delusions.

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Ubuntu

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« Reply #37 on: November 12, 2006, 09:22:16 AM »
Quote from: "mjk"
i thought one of the best things about atheism was that it wasnt out to convince anyone.


That's a generalization. Atheism isn't organized like most of the religions are, and really, "atheist" shouldn't even be a word. Is there a word for not being a astrologer?

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Ubuntu

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« Reply #38 on: November 12, 2006, 09:28:01 AM »
Quote from: "beast"
Nobody in new atheism is suggesting we legislate in any way against religion.  They're saying that it's immoral to teach your children lies, not that it should be illegal - that's a pretty significant difference.


Sam Harris (Letter to a Christian Nation) has made it very clear that it would be unwise to use legal force to restrict religion, or even Holocaust deniers.

WIRED: The Crusade Against Religion
« Reply #39 on: November 12, 2006, 09:41:17 AM »
"Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet."
--Napoleon
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WIRED: The Crusade Against Religion
« Reply #40 on: November 12, 2006, 10:19:17 AM »
"Religion is the Opiate of the people"

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Nomad

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« Reply #41 on: November 12, 2006, 10:23:48 AM »
Wasn't it "Opiate of the masses"?  ;P  Not that the wording really matters, of course.
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beast

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« Reply #42 on: November 12, 2006, 05:35:40 PM »
Quote from: "thedigitalnomad"
Wasn't it "Opiate of the masses"?  ;P  Not that the wording really matters, of course.


Wasn't it written in Russian and then translated?

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mjk

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« Reply #43 on: November 13, 2006, 02:40:11 AM »
Quote from: "Ubuntu"
Quote from: "mjk"
i thought one of the best things about atheism was that it wasnt out to convince anyone.


That's a generalization. Atheism isn't organized like most of the religions are, and really, "atheist" shouldn't even be a word. Is there a word for not being a astrologer?


yeah.  my main concern with "new atheism" is that if they dont believe religion should be "tolerated" then its only going to be a few generations when they gain power and will want to enforce their idiology.  i cant see how new atheist mentality will result in anything except more religious wars.
quote="diegodraw"]you never mentioned anything about antagonizing naive idiots who have reason to believe they should defend what everyone already knows is logical....Not like anybody would ever have fun doing that, of course[/quote]

WIRED: The Crusade Against Religion
« Reply #44 on: November 13, 2006, 05:52:29 AM »
New Atheism doesn't sound very cogent to me.

Sounds like they're waiting for a huge philosophical backhand.
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dysfunction

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« Reply #45 on: November 13, 2006, 07:38:05 AM »
Quote from: "mjk"
Quote from: "Ubuntu"
Quote from: "mjk"
i thought one of the best things about atheism was that it wasnt out to convince anyone.


That's a generalization. Atheism isn't organized like most of the religions are, and really, "atheist" shouldn't even be a word. Is there a word for not being a astrologer?


yeah.  my main concern with "new atheism" is that if they dont believe religion should be "tolerated" then its only going to be a few generations when they gain power and will want to enforce their idiology.  i cant see how new atheist mentality will result in anything except more religious wars.


The point is that atheists do not intend to enforce atheism, though there should certainly be classes in public schools that would make children question their religious beliefs; these classes should begin very early.
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cadmium_blimp

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« Reply #46 on: November 13, 2006, 10:14:34 AM »
Quote from: "dysfunction"
Quote from: "mjk"
Quote from: "Ubuntu"
Quote from: "mjk"
i thought one of the best things about atheism was that it wasnt out to convince anyone.


That's a generalization. Atheism isn't organized like most of the religions are, and really, "atheist" shouldn't even be a word. Is there a word for not being a astrologer?


yeah.  my main concern with "new atheism" is that if they dont believe religion should be "tolerated" then its only going to be a few generations when they gain power and will want to enforce their idiology.  i cant see how new atheist mentality will result in anything except more religious wars.


The point is that atheists do not intend to enforce atheism, though there should certainly be classes in public schools that would make children question their religious beliefs; these classes should begin very early.

Wouldn't that be your average science class, at the very least, Biology?

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Nomad

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« Reply #47 on: November 13, 2006, 12:09:27 PM »
Quote from: "cadmium_blimp"
Wouldn't that be your average science class, at the very least, Biology?


I hate to burst your bubble, but science doesn't disprove the existence of a Creator.  It pretty thoroughly can debunk the Creation story in the bible (which the contradictions in just the first two books of the bible are plenty enough to debunk it for me anyway), sure, but not disprove a Creator.

I think actually teaching more world cultures at an early age would be beneficial to the Atheist cause.  The more people understand about other cultures and the other religions, the more likely I believe they are to question "which one is the real God," and eventually come to the conclusion like most of us atheists that none of them are.

That's just my theory, though.
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Ubuntu

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« Reply #48 on: November 13, 2006, 12:50:03 PM »
Quote from: "thedigitalnomad"
I think actually teaching more world cultures at an early age would be beneficial to the Atheist cause.  The more people understand about other cultures and the other religions, the more likely I believe they are to question "which one is the real God," and eventually come to the conclusion like most of us atheists that none of them are.


Early philosophy class FTW.

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« Reply #49 on: November 13, 2006, 01:36:17 PM »
I don't think it should be legal to raise children to be religious. Parents should raise their kids telling them that nobody is better than anyone else, and that they can choose whichever beliefs they want.

Raising a child to be religious is brainwash.

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Nomad

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« Reply #50 on: November 13, 2006, 01:39:04 PM »
Indeed.  As Daniel Dennett said in the last page of that Wired article, "if you have to hoodwink -- or blindfold -- your children to ensure that they confirm their faith when they are adults, your faith ought to go extinct," which is in reference to teaching a broad spectrum of religions and cultures in schools.
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WIRED: The Crusade Against Religion
« Reply #51 on: November 13, 2006, 02:59:12 PM »
but if you truely beleive in the religion, then you wont see it as brainwash, but as telling the truth. (i still think it is brainwash though)
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WIRED: The Crusade Against Religion
« Reply #52 on: November 13, 2006, 03:01:51 PM »
Whether it is brainwash or not, it serves a sort of tribal purpose.
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beast

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« Reply #53 on: November 13, 2006, 04:07:23 PM »
Quote from: "thedigitalnomad"
Quote from: "cadmium_blimp"
Wouldn't that be your average science class, at the very least, Biology?


I hate to burst your bubble, but science doesn't disprove the existence of a Creator.  It pretty thoroughly can debunk the Creation story in the bible (which the contradictions in just the first two books of the bible are plenty enough to debunk it for me anyway), sure, but not disprove a Creator.



Actually I would say that science comes as close to disproving the creator as anything else does.  The belief in a creator means that for no good reason you are allowed to say "something must have created the world" but you're not allowed to say "what created the creator".  The idea of a creator leads to a infinitely replicating question while what science teaches us does not.  The other point is that science has shown over and over that making up solutions to problems when you have no observational evidence to suggest what you're making up is true is a false logic that often proves you completely wrong.  There is no observational evidence that suggests a creator, just as there is no observational evidence that suggests a flying spaghetti monster.  If you refuse to believe in the flying spaghetti monster surely you have to apply the same logic to a creator.  

People sometimes put forward how complex life is as a reason to believe in a creator, because they find it hard to believe that things so complex could happen 'just by chance.'  This is false on two fronts.  First to create something so complex, surely the creator would also have to be amazingly complex which means you still have the exact same problem of explaining how something so complex came into being.  Secondly natural selection is not about chance - while each generation of an animal might be slightly randomly different to the previous generation, only the changes that are good continue - every step of evolution is not a step of chance but a step of a higher chance of survival.

Science doesn't disprove a creator, it just shows that there's absolutely no need to think that one existed and that the existence of a creator leaves the same questions open that we have without that explanation.

WIRED: The Crusade Against Religion
« Reply #54 on: November 13, 2006, 05:25:34 PM »
Quote from: "beast"
The idea of a creator leads to a infinitely replicating question while what science teaches us does not.


Nope.  I'd like to see how you can explain existence scientifically to where it can adequately jump this same hurdle.  I don't think it can be done any better than any religion.

Quote from: "beast"
The other point is that science has shown over and over that making up solutions to problems when you have no observational evidence to suggest what you're making up is true is a false logic that often proves you completely wrong.


What makes you so sure that nobody's ever had "observational evidence" to suggest that a creator exists?  That's not necessarily the case.

Quote from: "beast"
There is no observational evidence that suggests a creator, just as there is no observational evidence that suggests a flying spaghetti monster.


I think you mean to say: "I have not observed anything that suggests that a creator exists.  But the people who have had observational evidence of a creator doesn't count because I haven't observed it."  That's okay, nobody is asking you to believe somebody else's observational evidence (well, some people are, but I'm not).

Quote from: "beast"
People sometimes put forward how complex life is as a reason to believe in a creator, because they find it hard to believe that things so complex could happen 'just by chance.' This is false on two fronts. First to create something so complex, surely the creator would also have to be amazingly complex which means you still have the exact same problem of explaining how something so complex came into being.


Good point, but you're still referring to the "Who created the creator?" question that can't be answered.  

Quote from: "beast"
Science doesn't disprove a creator, it just shows that there's absolutely no need to think that one existed


Your point is basically: "I can explain all that stuff with science, so there's no need to believe in a creator."  That's not a very good argument, because somebody can equally say: "I can explain all that stuff with my idea of a creator, so there's no need to believe in evolution."
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beast

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« Reply #55 on: November 13, 2006, 05:36:59 PM »
Quote from: "Knight"
Quote from: "beast"
The idea of a creator leads to a infinitely replicating question while what science teaches us does not.


Nope.  I'd like to see how you can explain existence scientifically to where it can adequately jump this same hurdle.  I don't think it can be done any better than any religion.



Show me an instance where the hurdle of infinitely replicating questions comes up in science.

Quote

Quote from: "beast"
The other point is that science has shown over and over that making up solutions to problems when you have no observational evidence to suggest what you're making up is true is a false logic that often proves you completely wrong.


What makes you so sure that nobody's ever had "observational evidence" to suggest that a creator exists?  That's not necessarily the case.


Show me some observational evidence.  I can give you textbooks of observational evidence supporting science.

Quote

Quote from: "beast"
There is no observational evidence that suggests a creator, just as there is no observational evidence that suggests a flying spaghetti monster.


I think you mean to say: "I have not observed anything that suggests that a creator exists.  But the people who have had observational evidence of a creator doesn't count because I haven't observed it."  That's okay, nobody is asking you to believe somebody else's observational evidence (well, some people are, but I'm not).


That's not what I'm saying at all.  Observational evidence isn't one person seeing a vision - it's evidence that can be repeated and observed by anybody who follows the experiment.  In the case of creationism there is none.  In the case of science, it's all observational evidence.  My point was actually suggesting to people who say that "absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence" that by that logic they also have to accept that there is much probability of flying spaghetti monsters as there is of God.

Quote

Quote from: "beast"
People sometimes put forward how complex life is as a reason to believe in a creator, because they find it hard to believe that things so complex could happen 'just by chance.' This is false on two fronts. First to create something so complex, surely the creator would also have to be amazingly complex which means you still have the exact same problem of explaining how something so complex came into being.


Good point, but you're still referring to the "Who created the creator?" question that can't be answered.  


Exactly, so it doesn't explain why life must have been created at all.  In fact you are still left with the exact same question you had before - how could something so complicated come to be?  It's just that you've replaced your complicated item with something even more complicated and instead of having an alternative solution to the one you've given (evolution) you now have no solution.

Quote

Quote from: "beast"
Science doesn't disprove a creator, it just shows that there's absolutely no need to think that one existed


Your point is basically: "I can explain all that stuff with science, so there's no need to believe in a creator."  That's not a very good argument, because somebody can equally say: "I can explain all that stuff with my idea of a creator, so there's no need to believe in evolution."


You're wrong, you can't explain things with the existence of a creator at all.  You can't explain how such a complicated being came into existence and you can't explain what evidence there is to believe such a theory.  If you believe in a creator, all the answers that the theory attempts to answer remain unanswered.  If you 'believe' in science then you either know the answers to the questions or you admit that we don't know everything about the world and that we need to keep working to find the answers.  Creationism means we can stop asking questions, stop learning.  Science means we need to continue to expand our knowledge.

WIRED: The Crusade Against Religion
« Reply #56 on: November 13, 2006, 05:54:12 PM »
Quote from: "beast"
Show me an instance where the hurdle of infinitely replicating questions comes up in science.


Scientist:  "Matter/energy exists!"

Philosopher:  "Where did matter/energy come from?"

Scientist:  "..."

Philosopher:  "Where did matter/energy come from?"

Scientist:  "I don't know."

Quote from: "beast"
Show me some observational evidence.


Hmmm... I don't have any of my own observational evidence on me right now.  Well, really, if I ever have had my own observation (that served as evidence for a belief) of a creator, it would certainly:

(1) Only be a memory of an observation now, and

(2) Not be adequate enough for you to accept my observation.

Quote from: "beast"
Observational evidence isn't one person seeing a vision - it's evidence that can be repeated and observed by anybody who follows the experiment.


Oh I see.  So "observational evidence" isn't just "an observation that I have had that has led me to classify it as evidence for some belief"?  I would probably define it that way.

Quote from: "beast"
In the case of creationism there is none.


In the case of Creationism, there is some.  Just not your own observation, therefore, not your own evidence.

Quote from: "beast"
My point was actually suggesting to people who say that "absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence" that by that logic they also have to accept that there is much probability of flying spaghetti monsters as there is of God.


Sure, given that this character, God, has not bestowed upon a person or some people some kind of observational evidence that has led them to believe that God exists and not the flying spaghetti monster.

Quote from: "beast"
Exactly, so it doesn't explain why life must have been created at all. In fact you are still left with the exact same question you had before - how could something so complicated come to be? It's just that you've replaced your complicated item with something even more complicated and instead of having an alternative solution to the one you've given (evolution) you now have no solution.


Hmmm...

Observation:  "Life forms are so complicated.  This, to me, suggests that there must be a complex creator who created me complexly."

(btw, not my observation, just a general one)

You're saying that this doesn't answer why life forms are complex?  It certainly does answer that, just not why God (or, the creator) is complex (which cannot be answered).

Quote from: "beast"
You're wrong, you can't explain things with the existence of a creator at all. You can't explain how such a complicated being came into existence and you can't explain what evidence there is to believe such a theory.


You can't explain things with "science" at all either, then.  Because you can't explain how matter/energy came into existence, you cannot use this "matter/energy" character in your explanations.

Quote from: "beast"
Creationism means we can stop asking questions, stop learning. Science means we need to continue to expand our knowledge.


No, not really.  I admit that Creationists believe they have the "one True answer" to it all--which ends the conversation.  But really, some would argue that the creation story is not at all about the creation of the "physical universe."  In that case, the conversation can keep going.
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cadmium_blimp

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WIRED: The Crusade Against Religion
« Reply #57 on: November 13, 2006, 07:34:30 PM »
Quote from: "Masterchief2219"
I don't think it should be legal to raise children to be religious. Parents should raise their kids telling them that nobody is better than anyone else, and that they can choose whichever beliefs they want.

Raising a child to be religious is brainwash.

Raising a child any way is brainwash.

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Ubuntu

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« Reply #58 on: November 14, 2006, 09:15:16 AM »
Knight, you are being, or defending the ideas of, an absolute Sophist. Of course you can argue this and any point you wish, but it is so foolish no reasonable person could take it seriously. Much like the theory cradled in this very forum, I might add.

Magic is also a simpler and more complete explanation of the unexplained to the common man. However, this does not mean that magic is a better explanation, or that it exists.

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dysfunction

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« Reply #59 on: November 14, 2006, 09:56:00 AM »
Quote from: "Knight"
Quote from: "beast"
Show me an instance where the hurdle of infinitely replicating questions comes up in science.


Scientist:  "Matter/energy exists!"

Philosopher:  "Where did matter/energy come from?"

Scientist:  "..."

Philosopher:  "Where did matter/energy come from?"

Scientist:  "I don't know."


This is specious; we know matter and energy exist from evidence- whether that existence can be explained is moot. The reason problems of infinite regression are problems for religion and not for science is the claims of religion; that the universe's complexity and 'fine-tuning' can only be explained by a creator. By their own logic, then, the creator must have been created as well. Science makes no such assertions. Science does not demand that all questions be answered at once, and so does not dig that hole for itself. Science recognizes that it has answered certain questions, and has not yet answered certain others, but the lack of answers to these questions in no way reduces the value of what we do know.

Quote
Hmmm... I don't have any of my own observational evidence on me right now.  Well, really, if I ever have had my own observation (that served as evidence for a belief) of a creator, it would certainly:

(1) Only be a memory of an observation now, and

(2) Not be adequate enough for you to accept my observation.


You know perfectly well what is meant by 'observational evidence.' You are being purposely obtuse.
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