James Rebuts A's Answers


James Rebuts A's Answers

(1) Although it is unclear what on earth my opponent is on about, it seems to me that after conceding to evolution as the reason for how things happen my opponent has retreated to his final bastion of hope: How things started happening (at the beginning of time). I assume this is the only reason my opponent has left for believing that his particular god is a necessary being. It is no coincidence that my opponent has lead us back to somewhere nobody on earth can possibly fathom to build his argument. Indeed it is necessary for him to do so, because to find an imaginary god we must look to a place that exists only in our imagination.

So we come back to a point I have already made over and over again and that is that, although (as far as we can comprehend) something must have happened first in order for evolution to begin, there is no reason to believe that a fully formed all powerful, intelligent, conscious being just popped out of thin air, well actually out of infinitely thin space! I could go on and on pointing out just how ridiculous this sounds but I will give my opponent a chance to change tack towards something less preposterous, arbitrary and perhaps, if it's not too much to ask, a little closer to home.

(2) Obviously my opponent has ignored my arguments against the validity of the 'facts' held within the good book. It appears my opponent is hoping that if he provides me with an argument with so heavily laden with flaws (like the inaccuracies in the bible) then failing to know where to begin I will give up.

The exclusion of important parts of the gospel like the book of James (Jesus' brother) by the bible's 'editors' because of it's contradictions with other gospels help to replace my opponent's misnomers 'facts' and 'evidence' with more accurate terms like 'embellishments' and 'stories'. There are innumerable flaws and contradictions within the bible each one working to undermine it's historical validity. This is completely understandable as the word of someone desperately trying to sell you something is always likely to be full of inaccuracies, embellishments and the magical notion that the product will some how change your life.

Furthermore many religions make claims of miracles, humans endowed with supernatural powers and other such things and to be fair I give their stories no more weight than I give yours. So in conclusion I must return to my question and add: 'are you simply saying that your religious predecessors are speaking the truth and that all others are simply lying?' This seems to be implied, and if so is not, to my mind, a very firm ground for your argument. And finally there is obviously no naturalistic explanation for Jesus rising from the dead, and none is needed as it never happened.

(3) 'A complexity with an independent pattern requires an intelligent design.'

Says my opponent. Really? Is that right? Once again my opponent is using science much like a drunk uses a lamp post -- to lean on rather than to light the way.

This is an assumption that flaws my opponent's argument, it is not provable and therefore requires no argument. This is also non-sequitur with my opponent's agreement with existence of evolution because through evolution independent patterns are made all the time in the production of new species. My opponent appears to be preaching creationism.

One more point, in a vain hope to halt my opponents incessant strawman tactics -- to find an atheist with at most a limited scientific background who is not knowledgeable or intelligent enough to work out how DNA came about is not proof of a wholly arbitrary god, it's not even close, but good try. Once again my opponent has placed more emphasis on what he doesn't know than what he does -- this is the only way one can argue for something that doesn't exist.

(4) First of all an SAT test is not a debate it is a test. Once again my opponent has only proven that SAT answers (like the rules of Basketball) are objective -- and through analogy has contradicted his previous statement that debate around moral objectivity is meaningful; about as useful as debating your SAT scores.

My opponent thinks that having a practical approach to morality means that Nazi Germany and the 9/11 attacks were not wrong. Nothing could be further from the truth, for under my understanding of the world and from my experiences from which I have shaped my views about right and wrong these two extreme examples of hatred and terror are abhorrent to me and there is no doubt in my mind that they are wrong. 

This is a view held by the overwhelming majority of people of all walks of life all over the world, I don't know about my opponent but I imagine most of these people did not have to consult some higher power to conclude this. Ironically, my opponent believes that under a system of practical morality (one that works), without some one handing him the rule book, he could not conclude whether these were right or wrong. This simply shows my opponent's inability to think for himself.

Important to note also is that by blindly labelling acts or groups as purely evil we learn nothing about how to solve problems and prevent them in the future.

With regards to his examples I wonder if my opponent believes that Germany in 1938 just happened to be full of evil people in the same place at the same time just waiting for their chance? especially taking into account that many of these people prayed to his god for guidance (and it was not the first time a Jew had suffered at the hand of a Christian). And to make an example involving a fanatical religious sect makes no strong point for the value of blindly following (easily misinterpreted) rules. It seems as though your objective morality falls victim to subjectivity whether it means to or not. The only difference is that a moral relativist learns from their mistakes and an 'objective' moralist keeps making them.

(5) 'I believe what the Catholic Church teaches, that is, that anyone who, outside the visible structure of the Church, through no fault of their own, but follows the truth in some way, can be saved.'

This seems a good policy. I would just concede this but would like some further clarification, if you wouldn't mind -- a bit of friendly exchange, a change from the sometimes hostile field of debate. A hint of sarcasm is difficult to avoid but I assure you it is wholly unintended.

One thing that pops into my mind is running into one of your religion salesmen a few years back, now he showed me this kind of flow diagram of where I would be headed if I didn't let your God into my life. Obviously I wasn't too phased about this fictional hell portrayed by a cheesy looking red midget wearing bondage gear but I thought other Christians like yourself might be bothered by someone misrepresenting your religion, because by the sounds of the statement above he was incorrect, because most people think I am a good person and I am always seeking the truth. Then again this is not surprising as we have already been over how easily the bible can be misinterpreted and misrepresented.

That's about all really, how about people who choose the 'wrong' religion, can they get in? Do they get parole or something like it for good behaviour?

Refer to this website http://www.awitness.org/contrabib/history/unrely.html for just a few examples of the bible's contradictions.

James Brown
JBrown@slingshot.co.nz

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