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The Big Picture: On the Origin of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself :

SamAdams1776 writes [via]

I stopped reading Scientific American some time ago, when it became apparent they had become a shill for left-wing, bad science like anthropogenic climate change, and sustainability. However, my phone news app caught my attention with this title: “Godless Universe: A Physicist Searches for Meaning in Nature.” In the article which discusses this new book, “The Big Picture: On the Origin of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself,” by one Sean Carroll, the article’s writer interviews Carroll, who is hopefully a more competent scientist than he is a philosopher . . .

Apparently he thinks that the supernatural element, if it had existed, should be able to be examined scientifically. That rather implies the supernatural realm is subject to natural laws.

Strange thinking! Carroll extols some philosophy of “poetic” naturalism where one can have meaning in life without a God, and after life he says does not exist. Not sure how he gets that meaning in life thing with a universe that started from nothing by accident and ends up as nothing as though nothing ever was. What would be more futile and any less full of meaning than that? Like I said, not much of a philosopher.

Now you may well ask, what has any of this to do with the Second Amendment? Plenty!

Along without any hope of any real ultimate justice in this world; hope in an after life; service to our creator; or just plain old hope even; we lose so very much more sans a creator God.

I have never met this Sean Carroll, but dollars to donuts, he is politically on the (far) left, as well as being an atheist—the two do seem to go together—always in favor of gay marriage, gender-bending bathrooms and most especially in favor of disarming the civilian population of its arms, and most especially of the scary-looking arms—you know—the kind that might actually be useful in throwing off an increasingly tyrannical government! But Sean Carroll, like other liberals cannot without a creator God, explain natural rights.

Leftist’s ideas of rights are not to be found in natural rights as understood by John Locke and our founders. And given the (false) premise of there being no God, it would be impossible to argue natural (God given) rights. Some liberals may try to say we have innate rights, but it falls flat. Where can these rights come from without a God?

Moving forward with the atheist’s (generally liberal but not always) no-God universe idea, how could one argue that we, who are in their minds mere Bayesian accidents, have innate natural rights? They cannot possibly, sanely, argue that we simply self-appoint us our own rights. No man, or group of men, has any such authority to grant rights, innate or otherwise! And they generally agree, even if not wholly publicly.

Disarming us is no trick at all philosophically to them; none of us, have any rights! Of course in such a universe there can be no ultimate justice to those who have escaped earthly justice and life is futile, however rosy Carroll paints his dark universe minus God. There can be only what rights the class of bullies in political control, dole out as privileges, if such can pass as “rights.”

Let us then celebrate that there is a creator God who has endowed each of us with inalienable rights and remember the words of our founders in our Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,… That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it …

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes..But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government…

Never forget that our rights do not come from men. We don’t get rights from the Bill of Rights, which itself comes from men. Rather, the Bill of Rights is a document designed to restrict government from interfering with our natural and pre-existing rights.

Our rights, of course, come from God! And among those rights is the right to defend our lives from evil men, especially from tyrants, and therefore we posses the right to arms. If ever a protected natural and pre-existing right is ever threatened by the repeal of that protection, it will already be past time to take up arms against tyrants and would-be tyrants.

And never forget that the Second Amendment is a prophylactic against tyranny and failing that (as it increasingly appears to be the case), it serves us also as a remedy.

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  1. Oh boy, knowing some TTAG commenters, I predict a lot of “FLAME DELETED” in the comments section….

    • Since this conversation revolves around the universe and what not… I’ve noticed you’ve chosen “the grey man” as your name. Creepy. But I like it.

  2. The only actual atheist I have ever known was a co-worker who regularly went shooting with us. He is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and while he thinks global warming might be partially caused by humans, he is no supporter of Hillary Clinton.

    • I know a bunch of atheists. Most are either libertarians or anarchists of some flavor or another (meaning they obviously do not support gun laws). The two seem to go together to me since they are both rejection of centralized power systems and “top men” thought.

      The author fails at basic philosophy. A freshman college course in the philosophy of morality and ethics gets past “god determines morality” in the first week. You need only to assume that god exists, is good, and is rational. If god is rational, then the rules he lays out must have a reason. We can therefore study morality to discover these reasons. As a bonus for the religious, this means you are studying for a better understanding of god.

      • As a VTAero, I mostly agree. As a once agnostic/libertarian/progressive, now, as a christian/libertarian/constitutionalist; I find the laws of G-d as revealed to us in the laws of nature and the revealed word of G-d in the bible. And to me, they are both completely rational. The part that is left out is my experience of G-d was also complete and utter unconditional love.

        But the laws of nature, and the laws of G-d show us one driving directive, that the reason we are here, whether in the plant kingdom or animal kingdoms, is the creating of a safe place to have and raise offspring.

        The bible is ultimately, a manual on how to do just that. And when people do this, we prosper and grow, when people reject these laws of nature, these laws of G-d, we disentagrate and collapse.

        So in the sixties, of the world, the US had the highest level of marriage, one of the highest literacy of all classes and races, of economic wealth, we were a creditor nation to the world, top of the field in engineering and science, we had landed on the moon. (We also had some if the baddest ass muscle cars on the planet) All of this with one of the highest public acknowledgement of being a christian nation. And yes civil rights movement in addressing segragation was addressing a real wrong, especially in the south; but the total agenda of the progressives ultimately threw out the baby with the bath water, literally, as well as figuratively.

        But the rot had already been in place since the late eighteen hundreds and into the early 1900’s with Roosevelt and later with Johnson. The progressives broke out, and started the overt “cultural revolutuon” . Now, today, with Christians looked at as a fringe group and progressives and statists dominating academia, the media, and much of government; we have some of the lowest level of marriage with a concomitant rise in drug use and illegitamacy, the lowest level of literacy, highest level of debt, with lowering world standards in engineering, math and science.

        If one needs proof of how corrupt and degenerate we’ve become, we even have to bum rides from Russia to get to space, how pathetic is that?

        The norm now of high school students needing remedial classes in reading, writing and arithmetic before going on the college level classes is another example.

        And if it wasn’t for legal and illegal immigration, we would not be having enough children to replace ourselves, which would lead our own extinction as a species.

        So in the end, all civilizations collapse. Progressive thought and attitudes, with the rejection of all the “old Ways” that built tbe wealth, safety and security in the first place, was the norm at the end of the Greek and Roman republcs as well. This is also what led to their destruction. Like Ben Franklin said, (paraphrasing) A republic only lasts until the people realize that they can vote themselves largess from the public treasury, then they will vote for politicians that will continue to give that largess, leading to fiscal irresponsibility, leading to economic collapse, and the tyranny that rises in the chaos. There is nothing new under the sun.

        But in the end, I’m not worried, those that abide by the laws of nature will prosper, those that don’t will simply fade away, it’s one of the laws of G-d.

  3. >Where can these rights come from without a God?

    Translation: I depend on a make-belief entity to justify my own humanity and the human rights that come with it. And a quick history lesson: the British tyranny that created 2A to begin with was justified by the same make-belief entity for hundreds of years.

    • Take away a few of this knuckleberry Sean Carrolls’ GOD GIVEN RIGHTS, and we’ll see how long it takes for him to see the true light!

      • So you’re going to physically assault this guy until he converts?

        I guess that is fairly standard procedure from the religious crowd. 🙂

        • The context of the entire article is guns and the right of self-defense, ergo your remark implies assault because of the atheist’s supposed surrender of this right.

        • >some mass murderers may have been atheists therefore atheism is their shared ideological motivation

          This is what religious nuts actually believe.

        • >posts: “So you’re going to physically assault this guy until he converts?

          I guess that is fairly standard procedure from the religious crowd.”

          >then posts: “>some mass murderers may have been atheists therefore atheism is their shared ideological motivation”

          Nice cognitive dissonance, brah. Also, atheist regimes did (and do) specifically target Christians and other religious groups for suppression and elimination to promote atheism. So yes, promoting atheism was their shared motivation.

        • How is that cognitive dissonance? We know that the “no compulsion” part of islam is a lie to this day, and that is the justification of the vast majority of anti-christian prosecution today (not by atheists). Then there is the many religious wars in history… today’s version of christianity is a very modern, very recent face.

      • Ugh, human rights are human rights, they aren’t granted by some deity, any more than they are by a government. I’m an atheist, I have no more and no fewer rights than you do. Though as a Texan, I’m pretty sure you’d like to change that.

        The FFs used the “god given” language to sell the idea of inherent human rights to the plebes, who hadn’t spent their lives reading philosophers and world historians.

        • If you can’t dazzle them with facts, baffle them with bullshit.

          When you can’t even produce bullshit, you’re left with just saying “No.”

          Despite all evidence to the contrary.

        • 16V,

          “… human rights are human rights, they aren’t granted by some deity, any more than they are by a government.”

          How so? Says who?

          If there is no Creator, no Grand Architect of everything, then everything exists unto and only to itself. There is no transcendent meaning nor importance to anything because everything exists unto itself and there is no existence before or after self. Therefore, nothing matters outside of self.

          The problem with that philosophy is that there are no bounds whatsoever on any behavior because each person exists only unto themselves and other people (including their “human rights”) are just as arbitrary and meaningless as a grain of sand or a mosquito. And when the person standing next to you is just as arbitrary and meaningless as a grain of sand or a mosquito, you are “free” to do whatever you want to them, just as you would do whatever you want to a grain of sand or a mosquito.

          All manner of atrocities happen when mankind declares that there is no Creator. The extreme irony: such “atrocities” are only atrocities in the context of Creation. Without a Creator “atrocities” are nothing more and nothing less than one meaningless entity interacting with other meaningless entities. In that context might makes right. Or not … since everything is meaningless and all interactions between meaningless entities are meaningless.

        • It is sad to see a moral framework that requires a boogeyman. Pascal’s wager is for the weak-minded.

          Also your point was parodied in “The Watchmen” graphic novel by one of the main antagonists.

        • More Dead Soldiers,

          Are you responding to me? If so, please clarify why your “moral framework” has any relevance beyond yourself since you exist only unto yourself and everyone and everything else exists only unto themselves.

          This is the problem when you eliminate a Creator: there is no baseline, no standard, no point of reference, and no transcendent meaning/value in anything: your notion of anything is just as valid, or invalid, as mine … an inherent logical inconsistency. After all, it cannot be both okay and not okay for Person A to kill Person B for any reason or no reason whatsoever.

          And before you try to claim that there is some authority or “rightness” in a “common” moral framework that many people share, how many people have to share that framework to obtain the status of authority or “rightness”? How do you resolve the paradox when one group of people deem something to be “moral” and another group condemns the same thing to be “immoral”? Which is it?

        • “If so, please clarify why your “moral framework” has any relevance beyond yourself since you exist only unto yourself and everyone and everything else exists only unto themselves.”

          Humans can agree with each other on a moral framework just as much as they agree on a fictional entity watching them from space. One wonders how you believe a religion philosophy can tie people together, but an atheist philosophy cannot.

          You question the validity of any framework without a bogeyman, which is little more than outsourcing your own moral decision-making to whomever claims to channel the voice of said bogeyman. Just as priests and clergy can espouse their framework and try to convince people, humanists do the same. But they do it with logic reason, not because some man-in-the-sky told them so and so.

          And believe it or not, anthropologists have found evidence that murder was considered a “bad thing” by many ancient societies long before monotheism or even polytheism ever came about. Go figure.

        • More Dead Soldiers,

          You stated,

          Humans can agree with each other on a moral framework just as much as they agree on a fictional entity watching them from space.

          Sure … and since the Third Reich and the German populous agreed on a moral framework that empowered them to execute Jews, Gypsies, and physically disabled Germans, it was right and good, correct? And since the Aztecs agreed on a moral framework that empowered them to conquer neighboring tribes, enslave the conquered, and murder people under the guise of “human sacrifice”, that was right and good, correct? Oops, I almost forgot about slavery in the good old United States of America. Since the humans in the U.S.A. agreed on a moral framework that allowed the enslavement and exploitation of people from the African continent, that was good and right, correct? Finally, since our society today agrees on a moral framework that condemns all those institutions, they are wrong, correct?

          Oh, wait a minute. Which is it? Is killing Jews, Gypsies, and physically disabled Germans right, or wrong? Is it both? How about conquering neighboring clans, tribes, states, or countries, enslaving the conquered, and human sacrifice? Is that right or wrong? Is it both?

          This is the problem with your position. It is logically inconsistent with itself. Somehow slavery, murder, etc. are both right and wrong depending on who is speaking, when they are speaking, or how many people espouse it, or how many people condemn it. Up is down, down is up, down is down, and up is up all at the same time. Or not.

          One wonders how you believe a religion philosophy can tie people together, but an atheist philosophy cannot.

          I never said nor implied that atheist philosophy cannot tie people together. The shared philosophy of killing all Jews, Gypsies, and physically disabled Germans tied the people of Germany and the Third Reich together. That doesn’t make it good.

        • Heh. You bring up a mish-mash of atrocities in history, two of which (Aztec human sacrifice and American slavery) were totally and heavily justified on religious grounds respectively. Is that supposed to be an argument against atheist frameworks? I don’t see it.

          And you cite Nazi Germany, for what? As an example that a bunch of people can believe in something bad? Well gee, you don’t say… I could stoop to your level and point out the millenia of religiously motivated atrocities but then that wouldn’t add anything to the discussion.

          Your argument that humanist moral frameworks are doomed because they are subjective to human decision is absolutely no different than a religious moral framework: the arbiters of religious morality have shown themselves to be just as morally pliant and flexible as any of the purported atheist monsters of the 20th century.

          And let’s stop pretending that religion is not a man-made institution with man-made beliefs. Every single one of your arguments about the supposed relativity of atheist frameworks can be thrown back at the religious morality: is the morality of organized religion not dictated by the clergy and agreed upon by the flock? Did Christendom not tolerate slavery for hundreds of years because the clergy said it was a-ok?

          As a sidenote, the humanist movement pushed the idea of an individual connection to “God” (they did not have the courage to take out the bogeyman yet in 1750) and therefore the ability for the individual to make his own decisions on morality, which is the very thing you condemn. Back then, they were condemned as nihilists by the clergy. Fast forward almost 400 years and you use the same argument… even though the “nihilists” have won and yet human rights now are far more recognized and extensive than they were in 1750. Funny that.

        • More Dead Soldiers,

          While I cannot provide any citations, I am certain that many religions in the world have agreed upon moral frameworks that allow murder, slavery, rape, etc. For that very reason, I do not support the concept of any religion creating any moral framework.

          I am only aware of one revelation whose moral framework has been unchanged for thousands of years. That is the moral framework revealed in the original manuscripts of what we call the Old Testament and the New Testament — the Bible. Notice that I am speaking about the revelation in the original manuscripts of the Bible, not the edicts and traditions of religious/church bodies. Unfortunately, religious/church leaders have been corrupted just like anyone else. The original manuscripts, the Bible itself however, has not been corrupted.

          The moral framework of the Bible is timeless. The most obvious and easiest to understand moral imperatives: it is wrong to steal, rape, and murder. Period. Full stop. No matter what. Other moral imperatives are somewhat less obvious and yet lead to a great way and standard of life: respect your parents, look out for your neighbors, do not covet your neighbors — neither their bodies nor their possessions.

          The reason for the less obvious directives: bad things happen when you do not respect your parents, when you ignore threats to your neighbors and refuse to help them after a calamity, and when you refuse to be content with what you have and obsess over your neighbors.

          As for slavery, the Bible condemns the concept of one human being owning another human being. The “slave owner” in such an arrangement would be stealing the life and property of the “slave” which violates the Biblical mandate that we shall not steal. In cases where someone owes a significant monetary debt to another person (the “lender”), the Bible allows for “slavery” in the sense that you have to work for that lender until you pay off your debt. This is much more similar to the current employer/employee relationship of today, especially situations where the employee is a live-in nanny, maid, or butler for example. It does NOT mean that the lender owns the debtor. And this makes sense: if the debtor never pays back their debt, they are stealing from the lender. And if the lender never releases the debtor, the lender is stealing from the debtor because a human life is more valuable than any monetary debt. And the Bible even recognizes this last detail with its mandate that lenders release debtors after a certain number of years whether or not the debtor has produced enough work to pay off their debt. (That detail also encourages lenders to avoid lending large amounts of money to people who are obviously incapable of paying back their loan … the very dynamic that triggered the major economic recession that slammed the entire United States in 2008!)

          Of course the final element that many people don’t like is the Bible’s moral framework that prohibits promiscuity, adultery, and homosexuality. The reasons for these are fairly simple. Promiscuity inevitably leads to unwanted pregnancies with the entire host of problems and hardships that accompany a pregnancy outside of a loving and stable family. (Ask single mothers how hard their lives are. Ask adopted children how deeply wounded they are because their biological parents did not raise them.) Promiscuity also inevitably leads to sexually transmitted diseases with their entire host of physical ailments and even death. Adultery, in addition to the risks of unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, is exceptionally painful for the spouse that was faithful. Finally, homosexuality, in addition to the risks of sexually transmitted diseases, does not produce children. Without children, there is no next generation. That also means there is no population of young and healthy adults who can care for elderly and feeble adults. In other words homosexuals acquire sexual gratification without the burden of raising children, and yet still expect someone else’s children to care for homosexuals when they are elderly and feeble. That is stealing from the families who did bear the substantial burden of raising the next generation. (Homosexuals expect the benefits of having a next generation without “paying” for that next generation.)

          I hope you get the idea. The moral framework of the Bible, when you read it in the original manuscripts (or accurate translations of the original manuscripts), provides the recipe for the most productive, happy, healthy, drama-free lives possible. Any failures are failures of people, not the moral framework in the Bible.

        • @uncommon_sense

          I’m late to the party, but who says there needs to be meaning or a point to anything?

  4. It really terrifies me when people tell me we cannot have morality without god or religion, because it means that the only reason they are behaving right now is that they expect a reward for it, and if the pope should suddenly get on TV and say ‘oh hey, we found this new bible chapter in the walls of the vatican that says it’s totally cool to kill whoever you want if they aren’t christian’ then they might actually try to kill me. Is it really hard to understand that people behave well towards others because they feel empathy towards others and they don’t want people to act like dicks towards them and their own?

    • The worst tyrants we know of were all atheists.
      Hitler, Stalin, Mao & Pol Pot.

      • Hitler was not an atheist. And the worst atrocities known to man were committed in the name of god.

        Not that this has anything to do with my original statement.

        • The problem Vhryrus is that you are blaming a symptom for the cause of mass murder through the ages. The cause of mass murder, up to and including the time of the birth of communism with no belief in a higher power, is the ability of people in power to take whatever the current belief system held by the masses, and then use that belief by those in power to commit mass murder.

          In our Christian history from when Christianity became the state religion of Rome around 300A.D., the belief in Christ by the many was used to rally the many to commit mass murder. Now, for the last some odd hundred years, it is communists and all of their spawn, socialism, marxism, progressivism and the masses that believe in no god, that have committed the hundreds of millions murdered, all in the name of no god.

          So it is the masses willingness to led by whatever mad man and their ‘useful idiots’ that is the problem, not whether someone believes in a higher power, or not.

        • Hitler was not an atheist. Hitler had his own religion which had nothing to do with Christianity.

        • False equivalence. Killing in the name of the state that has no religion, is not the same as killing in the name of religion.

          Russian Orthos survived during the reign of Stalin, Mao didn’t kill all the Confucians, were this “atheists are the worst” bullshit even close to factual, there would be heads on pikes outside of government offices. Hitler was a mixed bag, often professing belief in a god and some Christian beliefs. Towards the very end, one might perhaps make the case that he became hostile to churches.

          Islam kills in the name of religion every day – as it is commanded to by the Quran and Hadith. That’s who you might want to worry about, not the Americans who don’t believe in Thor, Zeus, and the tens of thousands of deities that have been created over the centuries to keep people like you under control. We just believe in one less.

      • >a few critics of traditional religion committed atrocities
        >ergo religious people have a monopoly on the definition of morality

        Hahahaha don’t think so.

      • All the Priests that raped children believed in God, so what? It doesn’t mean by extension all Christians are rapists, or even all priests are rapists.

        You realize all gun murders are committed by gun owners? That doesn’t mean all gun owners are murderers.

        • So nobody who steals a gun uses it to commit murder?

          Or if you steal something you then own it?

        • Any priests who molested children, or otherwise violated their vows to god, most certainly did not believe in god. They may have pretended like most everybody does, having been intensively brainwashed from the day they were born, to believe in something so silly, but no one who *actually* believed that a sentient gas cloud was peeking over his shoulder every moment, ready to strike him blind and deaf at a moment’s notice, could *possibly* commit some of the despicable acts they have been shown to revel in. Hell, there was one bishop, I believe, who had raped over 300 little boys, and you tell me he actually believed in a god? I don’t think so.

      • As others pointed out here, Hitler was NOT an atheist, here’s a few samples from some of his speeches:

        “My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before in the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice…. And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people…. When I go out in the morning and see these men standing in their queues and look into their pinched faces, then I believe I would be no Christian, but a very devil if I felt no pity for them, if I did not, as did our Lord two thousand years ago, turn against those by whom to-day this poor people is plundered and exploited.”
        -Adolf Hitler, in his speech in Munich on 12 April 1922

        “Just as the Jew could once incite the mob of Jerusalem against Christ, so today he must succeed in inciting folk who have been duped into madness to attack those who, God’s truth! seek to deal with this people in utter honesty and sincerity.”
        -Adolf Hitler, in Munich, 28 July 1922

        “In the Bible we find the text, ‘That which is neither hot nor cold will I spew out of my mouth.’ This utterance of the great Nazarene has kept its profound validity until the present day.”
        -Adolf Hitler, speech in Munich, 10 April 1923

        “In the life of nations, what in the last resort decides questions is a kind of Judgment Court of God…. Always before god and the world the stronger has the right to carry through what he wills.”

        -Adolf Hitler, speech in Munich, 13 April 1923

        “We are a people of different faiths, but we are one. Which faith conquers the other is not the question; rather, the question is whether Christianity stands or falls…. We tolerate no one in our ranks who attacks the ideas of Christianity… in fact our movement is Christian. We are filled with a desire for Catholics and Protestants to discover one another in the deep distress of our own people.”

        -Adolf Hitler, in a speech in Passau, 27 October 1928, Bundesarchiv Berlin-Zehlendorf

        There are MANY more examples. Shall I provide more? I’ve often heard the excuse that Hitler pretended to be a Christian to gain support. If that’s true it certainly doesn’t bode well for Christians. You’re telling me that in order to get Christians to commit atrocities all you have to do is say “god said it’s ok!”. Let’s also not forget that German soldiers all wore “Gott Mitt Uns” on their belt buckles as they exterminated Jews. Marinate on that for a bit.

        As for these communist leaders they didn’t kill in the name of atheism and I would argue they were certainly religious, it’s just that their religion was that of the state, not of a supreme being. When you get dogmatic and religious enough about ANYTHING you can use it to justify vile actions.

        I have nothing against common religious people in my daily life. In fact I’d die to protect their freedom to believe whatever they wish. I just want them to leave me the hell alone and stop electing moronic politicians who want to turn this country into an Iranian-like theocracy.

        • And that has, what, exactly to do with whether or not God exists? This comment section is filled with Argumentum ad Hitchens: a group of people did naughty things, ergo what they believe is automatically false. Needless to say (hopefully) that doesn’t follow and I’m not going to insult your intelligence by implying that’s what you actually think.

        • Hyperbole much BradN? “Iranian like theocracy”. Seriously?

          Like killing gays? Chopping the hands off of thieves? Stoning women to death that were raped?

          ,Personally, I find the mass murder of the unborn to be much more similar to an “Iranian like theocracy” than anything that Christians have created in this country. Outlawing public prayer, outlawing nativity scenes in public; the intolerance, hate and bigotry of progressives in universities and the public arena towards christians is more like the Sharia squads in Iran than anything christians have created in America.

          Personally, I believe it is projection by progressives. They are the ones pushing being “politically correct”, “a term from the tyrannies of Stalin and Mao, a tyranny of thought and speech that has more in common to Sharia squads and muslim intolerance than to what christian teachings or actions have been in this country.

          It is progressives and statists forcing the creed of the “joy” of being powerless, helpless and defenseless, of being disarmed prey in the homicidal maniacs empowerment zone called GFZ’s, of shutting down debate and discussion by calling anyone that disagrees as racists and bigots.

          No BradN, it is time to look in the mirror and ask, who are the ones really creating tyramny of thought, state enforced defenselessness and submission to the state.

        • Do you really believe that a political speech, given in the pursuit of power over the lives and deaths of others and control over the actions of a world, somehow demonstrates that a monster like Hitler actually believed in any god? That is in no way reasonable. Atheists are, historically, allowed by god to lie to everyone about their beliefs, and they do! Including the pope, the head of the Mormon church, and a bunch of lesser lights. And the dummies are commanded from on high to believe these losers, just ask them, they’ll tell you!

      • Yeah, remember when Stalin sent all those people to the gulag in the name of NoGod?

        Me neither.

    • So you’really talking about the “golden rule” as spoken of in the bible, ” Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. You mean the guy that died on the cross rather than hurt another human being, even to healing the cut ear of the centurion sent to arrest him?

      That law says, as taught by the christ, are essentially two laws, and all other laws are based on it; to love G-d with all your heart, mind, body and soul, and to love all human beings, even your enemy, as yourself. Everything else are the details of how the rest works..

      As for me, I am more afraid of a person that can justify the murder of the most helpless among us, the unborn, and call it a “right”. If they can justify something as horrendous as that, and actually call it a “right”, they are capable of justifying anything, even the mass murder of the those that have survived the womb. Like those athiests/agnostics that supported the hundreds of millions murdered under Stalin, Mao and Pol-pot.

      • So you’really talking about the “golden rule” as spoken of in the bible, ” Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.

        The golden rule did appear in the bible, but it’s not the only place it has appeared. It’s not even the first place it has appeared. Christianity doesn’t “own” it and a non-Christian citing it isn’t an own-goal as you seem to think.

        • Umm, no, Christianity doesn’t own the Golden Rule, there is much commonality in basic spiritual truths of many spiritual beliefs. And except for Islam, as one becomes more devout, one generally becomes more peaceful.

          In Islam, though, a devout Muslim is as Muhammad was, a mass murdering religious psychopath.

        • Don’t forget pedo (Aisha was 9) and the hundreds of other women from rape victims of conquests, to his relatives wives.

        • @Thomas

          As it happens, I’ve been unable to find the golden rule in Islam; in point of fact it’s probably counter to the teachings, at least when a Muslim is dealing with a kafir (infidel).

        • Yep. Pedophilia; rape, pillage and plunder, torture, the killing of any muslim that converts to another religion, or becomes an athiest. Assasination, betrayal and mass murder under a flag of truce; Muhammad committed every darkest and most despicable, perverted and deviant acts during his efforts in the spreading of Islam. And according to the Koran, his actions were the inspired and true acts of the last and only true prophet of Allah.

          Islam is the only major religion that commands that a devout muslim must embrace the darkest, most homicidal and deviant parts of the human spirit, and in doing so, will be fulfilling the desire of Allah, and will be rewarded in the after life in doing so.

    • if the pope should suddenly get on TV and say ‘oh hey, we found this new bible chapter in the walls of the vatican that says it’s totally cool to kill whoever you want if they aren’t christian’ then they might actually try to kill me.
      Actually it is more commonly known as the Koran and it really is totally cool to kill whoever you want if they aren’t muslim.

    • The biggest single problem with atheists is that they know so much that just isn’t so. But they always win on confidence and arrogance..See also globalwarmers.

        • It’s been proven over and over again for about fifteen hundred years, champ. Just because you failed to look into the arguments, evidence, and debates doesn’t mean it’s not out there, it just means you need to acquire some agency and go find it.

      • This was certainly on display during Dr. Carroll’s debate with Dr. Craig a few years back. Carroll showed masterful use of style and rhetoric, but aside from correcting a minor mistake by Craig, had no substance whatsoever. “Argument from authority” pretty much sums up Carroll’s performance.

        • You suggest that Hitchens merely argues that the ancients did bad things and that discredits them.

          If that is your level of understanding, you are way out of your league.

      • WTF does atheism have to do with global warming? Atheism is truth and global warming is a crock.

  5. A critique of a scientific viewpoint of the universe by a person who is totally wrapped up in a supernatural, faith-based universe concept that cannot and most likely will never be proven by scientific method. What could possibly go wrong?

    Not to mention that he is a bigot who cannot conceive of an intelligent conservative agnostic/athiest existing in his universe. So much fail when you are blinded by a faith-based argument.

    “My mind is made up! Don’t confuse me with facts.”

  6. The government gives you rights, silly. You need to worship at the church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and listen to the teachings of St. Trayvon of the Blessed Hoodie.

  7. Before anyone here attacks the author of this piece for its religious aspect, I would like to point out that his point still stands without it. Modern lefties have no strong( or maybe any at all) conception of individual rights, and from this stems their willingness to attack the Second Amendment and other individual rights for a “greater good”. This seems to be the case whether or not they are religious. On the other hand, we have the (usually more libertarian) righties, who regardless of their religious practice, always have a strong belief in in individual rights. In converting people to the pro gun camp, I think we need to find a way to sway antis and fence-sitters from this view of weak individual rights and the triumph of the collective good, to a conception of strong individual rights. Personally, it seems the best way to do this is to convince them the best way to achieve a greater good is through strong individual rights. After all, “society” is made up of a great number of moving parts we call people, and you can only ignore the well being of individuals and their abilities to protect themselves and pursue their goals for so long before the food shortages start and the comissar has to start executing people.

    • Your point has merit, but it is hard to take the writer seriously when he somehow equates atheists with leftists, that is simply nonsense, and detracts enormously from any respect for his opinions.

  8. And one other point. I remember an interview with an Athiest some time ago who commented, “I would have been more likely to consider religion as valid if at any time in the Bible God had even mentioned in passing to any of the Prophets the concept of DNA. I have failed to find mention of this scientific fact in ANY of the major religions I have studied.”

    • Since every living creature on earth shares common DNA, it could be argued that Science indeed proves the biblical story of creation.

      In the end everything comes down to faith. Either you have faith in the religious explanation of why things are as they seem, or you have faith in the scientific explanation.

      Unfortunately science has gaping holes in its explanations or no explanation at all. Additionally those scientific explanations have changed or have been modified over time. Science did say that the earth was indeed flat, and people had faith that those scientists were correct.

      • Scientific answers have changed over time as more data has come to light. THAT is the difference between those who accept scientific explanations and those who accept religious ones. Science means a willingness to take into account new information and modify your worldview accordingly. Religion is sticking your fingers in your ears and saying “no it’s not no it’s not no it’s not”.

        Also, care to give some examples of the “gaping holes” in answers provided to us by science?

        • I remember one of them. The creationist r-tards put together an equation with how much water humans and animals consume, then showed the amount of water on the planet and said “See! We have proved that we have only been here 6000 years since we haven’t run out of water! (Pseudo)Science for Jeebus!”

          I would have busted a gut in 1st grade hearing this ‘argument’. And felt that remedial special ed was required to anyone who actually believed it.

        • “Scientific answers have changed over time as more data has come to light.”

          Actually, scientific answers have changed as proponents of the old answers died. Science, which you evidently hold in high regard, is based on the assumption that people are rational creatures who can accurately perceive and quantify physical phenomena. This assumption is unique to Christian (and ergo post-Christian or Western) metaphysics. The Greeks did not share that belief, they thought all true knowledge was gained through introspection and rejected experimentation and observation (aka science) on the grounds that observer bias inherently flaws the results.

          To say that the assumption of rationality is somehow explained by science is to beg the question.

          “Religion is sticking your fingers in your ears and saying “no it’s not no it’s not no it’s not”.

          Interesting assertion. The slew of Christians who pioneered science would beg to differ.

          “Also, care to give some examples of the “gaping holes” in answers provided to us by science?”

          Naturalist origin of life studies have largely been a bust, the timing problem of neo-Darwinian macro-evolution, the information loss problem, the functionality loss problem, the problem of consciousness (mind-body dualism), the fine tuning of the universe problem (usually answered with hand-waving and multi-verse mutterings which doesn’t answer the question), etc.

          You’ve also got the readily admitted-to problems like the fact that General Relativity and quantum theory, though useful explanations, aren’t actually true because of their irreconcilability and will eventually be replaced. If that isn’t a “gaping hole,” I don’t know what is.

          And you’ve got the less readily admitted-to problems like the ongoing reproducibility crisis in professional science, the biggest issues being AGW and nutrition, IMO.

        • Naturalist origin of life studies have largely been a bust, the timing problem of neo-Darwinian macro-evolution, the information loss problem, the functionality loss problem, the problem of consciousness (mind-body dualism), the fine tuning of the universe problem (usually answered with hand-waving and multi-verse mutterings which doesn’t answer the question), etc.

          If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, attempt to baffle them with pseudoscience nonsense. I’d go Sam Harris on ya, but it’d be as much a waste as it is on Dinesh D’Souza. I’m sure the mouth breathers are enthralled by your use of sciency-words, and your made-up understanding of the concepts.

          There’s a Mark Twain quote about playing chess with pigeons appropriate to your level of discourse.

        • The planet has been round for many billions of years, that might have been mentioned at some point as well, rather than allowing his students to believe the world was flat and the universe revolved around it, and to teach that he himself created it. Is god a deliberate deceiver, or are his inventors simply criminal for lo, these 6000+ years?

        • Interesting assertion. The slew of Christians who pioneered science would beg to differ.

          Christians did pioneer a lot of science, but that doesn’t mean that Christianity itself is not completely at odds with modern scientific understanding of things.

          Naturalist origin of life studies have largely been a bust, the timing problem of neo-Darwinian macro-evolution, the information loss problem, the functionality loss problem, the problem of consciousness (mind-body dualism), the fine tuning of the universe problem (usually answered with hand-waving and multi-verse mutterings which doesn’t answer the question), etc.

          The study of the origin of life is called abiogenesis, and I wouldn’t at all say it has “been a bust.” To the contrary, it’s pretty obvious what happened. In the early oceans, there were trillions of chemical experiments occurring, especially with the gravity from the Moon churning the oceans as it was much closer then. Eventually some self-replicating molecules formed. We know these exist as there are some still today. Over time, certain of these would have increased more and more in complexity, and over a period of about a billion years, eventually the first cell was formed. Then from thee came multicellular life-forms.

          There is no timing problem of Darwinian macro-evolution. We know for a fact it exists as it has been observed multiple times. Microevolution has also been observed, and microevolution implies macroevolution.

          You’ve also got the readily admitted-to problems like the fact that General Relativity and quantum theory, though useful explanations, aren’t actually true because of their irreconcilability and will eventually be replaced. If that isn’t a “gaping hole,” I don’t know what is.

          And you’ve got the less readily admitted-to problems like the ongoing reproducibility crisis in professional science, the biggest issues being AGW and nutrition, IMO.

          AGW’s main problems lie in predicting the future, not in figuring out whether or not it is happening or not, which relies on pretty solid science. It’s figuring out the effect it will have that is the issue.

          That Christians have to continually completely distort things like Big Bang theory, evolution, etc…to argue against them, all the more shows how lacking in science in Christianity actually is. Dr. Ben Carson is an excellent example of someone who does this. It’s fine if Christians want to argue against such theories, but they need to argue against what they actually say, not what they claim, out of their own ignorance or desire to mislead, what they say.

  9. Yeah, right. Nitwits that get all their information and opinions from a 2000 year old book of fairy tales telling me what to think.

    • Not exactly 2000 years old. There have been dozens of rewrites to make it suit the political climes and/or facts of the current day.

      • [citation needed]

        Do you lie for attention or do you actually believe the stupid things you say?

        • Analysis of the Bible reveals that even within a single page there are clearly multiple authors. We also know that different versions of the Bible have different wording and that religious authorities have determined the “true” meaning of different passages throughout the years, sometimes with political motivations.

      • First book of the new silliness was not begun until around 300 AD. Then it was claimed to be eyewitness BS.

        • It was earlier than that..there is a fragementary bit of the Gospel of John dated to the early second century.

          But you are still correct it wasn’t eyewitness; even the date of 70AD that even secular scholars agree on for the first gospel (Mark) is much too late to have been an eyewitness account. Furthermore whoever wrote it (the text itself makes no claim about the name of the author) was highly literate in Greek, which doesn’t match up too well with the original 12 apostles. Likely even Mark was putting down word-of-mouth stories about Jesus.

  10. Wow the straw men here…… acres and acres of them…… as far as the eye can see……
    This is anecdotal but I’m an atheist, my close friends are atheists and we are all pro 2A. We are all supporters of small and unobtrusive government, its not exactly that I am jumping up and down and celebrating gay marriage, I’m certainly not against it because I don’t see where the government gets to define private contracts between individuals.

    You have your right to believe whatever you want to believe, but if someone wants to take me as a slave do I have a right to resist? Do they have the right to keep me as a slave? I would assume Christians would agree that no one could own me, but the Bible, or the Torah, or the Koran never say this, and as far as I’ve read none of them condemned slavery. I’m not saying they justify it, but they don’t condemn. So where do I acquire my natural right not to be a slave? Do I have a natural right not to be a slave?

      • Would you say you don’t own ground unless you can defend it? In this situation it’s rights and not ground you are willing to defend?

        • The society that you live in and it’s structures and rules give you the “right” to own ground so long as you follow those rules. Without society, tribe, nation, etc. you cannot own ground unless you proclaim it yours and hold it against all comers.

          The only natural rights are those you’re strong enough to take for yourself. All other rights are those that are afforded to you by your society.

      • And that is it in a nutshell.
        We are entitled to absolutely nothing.
        We have only what we can take, hold, and keep for as long as we can keep it.

    • Religions do no condemn slavery because that would imply that individuals are free to choose not to follow the religious hierarchy that would oppress them. Religion is codified power structures whose main function is to preserve/increase the powers that be. You know, like a government.

    • “small and unobtrusive government”

      THERE IT IS!!! Finally! A definition of a “true conservative” cannot be composed without including those words! But I do not believe that any of the people all worked up about “true conservatism” believe in that, want that, or would support that. Possibly not Trump, either, but right now I think he would go for that if able. He claims he will wipe out a $19 trillion debt in 8 years, the only way to do that, and the best way, is to decrease the size and cost of government by around 90%, and I support that. Seeking fanatically the leadership of the most powerful nation in the world in order to decrease your own power by 90% is not something I believe Bush, Cruz, or Clinton, et al, were seeking to do, *they* are not conservatives, they simply wish to spend even more of other people’s money in ways which will increase their own power.

  11. We seem to think that the divide in our society comes mostly from philosophical or religious beliefs. Actually, I believe that much of the divide is despite these beliefs.
    Consider this: WWJD? When the feds came for him, he healed them rather than defend himself with arms or supernatural powers. Even though he didn’t do anything wrong.
    I think a lot of leftists have New Testament beliefs despite not being religious at all. Yeah, a lot of them praise anything that goes against Christianity (not to mention other religions and beliefs that preach morality). But at the same time, they tend to believe it’s better to submit than to harm their enemies. This is actually very parallel to what Jesus taught.
    Having considered all this, I still believe it’s better for those with morals to retain their ability to defend themselves and their families from criminals and tyrants. They still have the choice of whether or not to use force when the time comes. For the greater good.

  12. Yay Jesus. You want 60 million dead try China or the old Soviet Russia. Or some disarmed wasteland. The fool has said in his heart there is no GOD. Great article. I’m sure a few decent folk will be around shortly to expand on this. Have a swell eternity…and I know some so-called agnostic/ anti-GOD folk too. Every last one hates guns and gun owners(cling baby).

    • Now you know one who doesn’t, at least through the Internet. As someone who holds very distinctly minority religious beliefs (that is, none), I realize who’s more likely to have control of power and it’s not people like me. Therefore, it’s completely in my self-interest to promote strict Constitutonalism, including and especially the Second Amendment.

      • And I still don’t know you CarlosT. You could be some kid living in your moms basement. Or worse-a paid troll. So could I. That’s the wonder of internet commenting with your identity hidden.(very few on here use there real names/identities). The Christian bible is true because of fulfilled prophecy. Literally thousands. No other so-called sacred tome comes close. And one prophecy concerns scoffers in the last days. We’re there anonymous one…

        • So you’re basically accusing every pro-gun atheist/agnostic you’ve seen on the internet of being a fake.

          Get out more. We do exist, and it’s a shitload easier to prove that than it is to prove the existence of god, because there’s concrete evidence rather than inferential “evidence.”

          Don’t let your head explode when you find out you’re wrong about a simple matter of fact.

        • Sure, you don’t personally know me and I don’t personally know you, but what do I gain by “trolling” you this way? It’s not much of a “gotcha”, is it?

          As for prophecy, those would be much more convincing if they were specific and unambiguous, but they’re always the kind of thing that makes people go “aha!” after the fact. In other words, they’re stacked for confirmation bias.

        • WTF does religion have to do with guns or 2A? As I understand it most churches prohibit arms. Christianity certainly does not appear to support my RKBA (look at Europe, Mexico, the rest of the damn world), yet some here seem to believe the two are somehow linked? Where do you get this crap, you can’t even make this shit up.


    Please address all comments about TTAG’s editorial stance or style to [email protected]. They will be answered promptly.

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    • It’s been really dull on this site so just like clockwork, Robert will post one of these articles, sit back and laugh!

  14. I probably won’t make many friends with this, but here goes:

    Firstly- there is no call for the anti gay, anti trans stuff. Leviticus may say that’s abomination, but Jesus said only he can judge. LBGT folks have the highest per capita rate of violent crimes committed against them and are a community I, for one, dearly want to see on our side.

    Secondly I would argue that the right to self defense as a natural right in no way requires a creator as every creature I know of will respond with violence when threatened, at least if escape is not an option. We are alive and that is right enough to defend ourselves.

    The meaning in life is wholly subjective – You find meaning in your religion and your language implies that you look with scorn on those who haven’t found your “truth;” scientists find meaning in the laws of physics and look down on those who still believe in “silly superstitions.” You are both wrong and you are both right and so long as you don’t harm others that’s perfectly ok. The simple fact is no one is going to know one way or the other until they die, so there’s no reason for either side not to be civil.

    It is odd to me, however, that a large percentage of scientists identify as Atheist rather than Agnostic, as a lack of evidence for something (the common justification for Atheism) does not equal evidence against it. The rules of scientific theory dictate that any theory is valid until relatable evidence is discovered to refute it, in which case the theory must be amended or discarded. Following these rules the religious theories are still valid possibilities, to varying degrees of plausibility.

    Please understand that, though someone shares your views on one or more subjects does not mean they share your views on all things. Divisive language does nothing to help our cause, and does much to hurt it. First and foremost POTG need to stick together and fight for a common cause. Just because fewer Democrats and even fewer liberals are gun people doesn’t mean those who are are any less important to our cause, in fact I would go so far as to say they are more so because the only way the liberal side will ever lay off guns is from pressure from liberal gun owners (they do exist, I know a few, there just aren’t very many and they don’t feel accepted in the gun community because of posts like this.)

    For me, I will continue to follow the evidence as objectively as possible because it is my (subjective) belief that an objective analysis of fact will produce superior results, so far this theory seems to hold water.

    That was long and rambling, but so was the original post, so I don’t feel too bad.

    P.S. In case anyone is wondering, I am a Constitutional Libertarian of the vein of Jefferson and Madison and strongly that any government infringement on private persons is unconstitutional and immoral.

    • >The rules of scientific theory dictate that any theory is valid until relatable evidence is discovered to refute it

      You missed the part where a scientific theory can be discarded without consideration if no backing evidence is presented alongside.

      • You are correct and I in no way disagree with you, though historically such evidence has often been quite weak while still being at least considered by the scientific community. In this case the traditional argument would be that the unknown of the singularity immediately preceding the Big Bang is evidence of the existence of a creator (as was the contention of the Catholic priest who originated the theory.) As there is no current means of disproving this “evidence,” strictly speaking the theory remains possible, however unlikely.

        • That which can be asserted without proof, can be dismissed without proof.

          Scientists are overwhelmingly atheists because there is absolutely zero proof for any deity. Proving a deity doesn’t exist is proving a negative – a basic logical fallacy.

        • @16v

          I don’t disagree with your conclusion, but I have to argue your logic insofar as we are discussing a scenario where the available evidence is being interpreted in two different ways, both “explaining” the same phenomena in different ways (at least in my previous example re the Big Bang.) Historically many viable theories were discounted through the logic you are employing until new evidence conclusively supported one over the other. Admittedly todays topic is a larger departure than those previous examples, and I’m certainly not saying it is so, but a lack of evidence for is certainly not evidence against. It is contrary to the scientific method for any scientist to say “this theory is proven conclusively” instead of “this theory maintains viability.” Remember, it only takes one verifiable piece of evidence to disprove a theory ever, that includes the future to the end of intelligent life. Many theories far older than those of today were brought down this way. Is it likely to happen? No, it is so unlikely that you could (as you have) round down to zero, but that doesn’t negate that trillionth of a percent or so that it could happen.

        • DrewR, You still have ZERO testable, repeatable evidence for the existence of any deity. None. I have lots for mine…

          You can dance around that fact with Dinesh D’souza gobblydook bullshit all day. The reality is that you can assert anything you want, and I can dismiss it out of hand, as you have absolutely nothing to support your position but your “beliefs”.

          Believe as you want, I don’t care, until it interferes with me and mine. That’s the way we designed this great experiment.

        • @16v –

          At no point inany of my comments did I promote a Deist point of view nor condemn Atheist or Atheism apart from specific examples in a response to FormerWaterWalker. In fact my comment directly above your excellent quotes to Mack Boulan are equally critical of his remarks as yours was. Of my personal beliefs I merely remarked on Agnosticism (the acceptance that any religious belief system may prove valid without an endorsement of any. I do not believe in a god or gods, I believe there is a possibility, however remote that such a being exists.) I feel that this definition of Agnosticism better represents the precepts of the scientific method than Atheism because it doesn’t flatly preclude a theory. I apologize if you felt as though I was attacking you, as I was merely attempting to dispel the notion that I was acting under a logical fallacy. As an aside a second response may show up to that same point, it had originally appeared as though the first response hadn’t gone through, if that does occur I apologize, though I do feel the second one was a more well reasoned rebuttal on my part. Anyway, when I wrote my original comment I was highly concerned I would be alienating the Christians in the audience, it had not occurred to me that that single comment would spark such rancor amongst the Atheist set. I’m sure that if you reread all of my comments with an open mind you will see that I was in no way attacking any belief system (or lack there of.)

        • DrewR, Christians aren’t worried about alienating atheists, I don’t worry about alienating them – even though that has proved dangerous historically, they’ve been pretty well behaved for the last 500 years. We can argue this all day, at the end I have no problem buying us all drinks and going to dinner. If one wishes to believe in anything, that’s up to them. Until they tell us that it’s the only way, their book has it figured, and we should live as they do. Then I will not go willingly.

          I appreciate the social utility of some sort of cultural touchstone, and group gathering for the sake of business/political connections.

          Sorry if I was rude, but one either believes in the unprovable, or one doesn’t. Agnostics know that they’re atheist, they just don’t want the societal hate that comes from admitting you don’t believe in gods. I quit caring years ago, but it has cost me, a price I’ve willingly paid.

        • @16v –

          Apology accepted and appreciated. I strongly agree with your first point – No one has a right to force their belief system on anyone else, and, as someone else here pointed out our rights end where another’s begin.

          I’m not completely sold on the binary nature of the Theist/Atheist, but the point is worth consideration. I doubt that all Agnostics merely wish to avoid social disdain, at least on a conscious level, though I accept the possibility that that reasoning exists in the subconscious. Further study is warranted.

        • Nah, agnostics are a different animal, and if you can casually disrespect them like that be prepared to receive the same in return. I was an agnostic for several years, until challenged to reevaluate, which I did and became an atheist. The difference is that an agnostic realizes that he is unsure of the existence of a god, but also realizes that he does not give a shit. There are often a few years (as there were with me) when god could show up and change my direction, but since no such creature exists, that does not happen, ever.

        • Many atheists will insist that they are BOTH atheist and agnostic…here’s their reasoning. That “atheist” means *not believing* there is a god, but agnostic means they don’t *know* whether there’s a god or not. They say there’s no evidence one way or another (and it’s generally difficult to prove a negative). Therefore they don’t *know* with certainty there is no god, but there’s no evidence that there is one, so they default to not believing it.

  15. “I stopped reading Scientific American some time ago, when it became apparent they had become a shill for left-wing, bad science like anthropogenic climate change, and sustainability.”

    And that’s where you lost me. Before you went on to insult me for choosing to believe in things that can be proven before things that require me to imagine they are true, way before you insisted that a natural right like self-defense can only stem from God (being born with a mind and limbs/teeth lets me defend myself), and way before you insisted that my atheism implies an automatic connection to a political belief that supports disarming the populace, you lost me on the idea of Sustainability being “bad science.”

    COMMENT DELETED – Please address any questions or concerns about TTAG’s editorial stance or style to [email protected].

    • Show a “scientist” who can reproduce his “theory”/religion of man made global warmed (now recast as climate change). While duplicating the lack of warming for the last 17years.

      • Really easy. Show a trend line for the last 200 years. A little flat spot is meaningless in the larger inexorable trend.

        • If you are claiming a 200 year trendline to represent “global temperature” is somehow meaningful, there is no help for your thinking.

          It is well established and has been for nearly 20 years that I know of that 10, 100 and 1000 year timescale oscillations exist in the climate record. Large oscillations. (See, for example, a wonderful article written by Spencer Weart in Physics Today in the 1990’s or early 2000’s as a summary).

          To cherry pick 200 years, just because they are in “recent memory” as somehow descriptive of what the climate “should be” is the antithesis of scientific understanding of actual data.

        • So this dramatic climate change began 100 years before the man made creations which are supposed to have caused it? I think you have successfully proven that any real climate change has nothing to do with human activity, other that AlBore’s seeking riches, inventing a fictional correlation, which even then is not causation, as usual.

      • What he said. In the Neil Degrasse Tyson version of “Cosmos” he uses the visual of walking in a straight line on a beach with a dog on a long leash going this way and that across the path. His footprints represent climate (a long term pattern) and the dogs prints represent weather (a short term pattern.) Both prints ultimately ended up in the same place. Climate is nothing more than the measure of the changes in weather over time.

      • “Show a “scientist” who can reproduce his “theory”/religion of man made global warmed (now recast as climate change). While duplicating the lack of warming for the last 17years.

        Perhaps his issue was with the “sustainability” part of the comment rather than the AGW part.

        What, exactly, is pseudo-scientific about “sustainability?” That simply makes no sense.

        In fact, it’s idiotic. Sustainability at its core is nothing more than closing the energy loop of a given production system down as tight as possible. It is “Efficiency Seeking” in an energy sense.

        Why is that lumped into some big “pseudo-scientific” negative?

        • I agree with your main point here.

          The term “sustainability” has, however, been used by luddites and environmentalist extremists to demand zero impact on the environment. That COULD be what the condemnation is a response to.

          On the other hand the author of this piece is such a narrow minded bigot about anything that doesn’t match his conception of Christianity, that it could be either.

  16. The problem with “God given” rights is that God doesn’t do press conferences to announce or explain his positions. Instead, what we get are claims from people who say they represent him, which very often are in direct and total opposition to one another. So we’re back to where we started: which claims do I think are reasonable, and which sources do I trust?

    There are religious sects that believe that gays have no “God given” right to marry. Okay. There are others, specifically very radical Islamic ones, that believe they have no “God given” right to live. I can’t verify either claim because I can’t contact the source, or determine if he exists at all. All I know is I find both positions disagreeable; the latter obviously more than the former.

    • There are religious sects that believe that gays have no “God given” right to marry.
      Depends how you want to chase marriage, but offspring are usually not produced.

      • I’m not aware of any significantly sized sect that believes that infertile straight couples do not have the right to marry. Promoting the production and rearing of children is a purpose of marriage, maybe a highly important one, but it’s not the exclusive one.

        • How about Roman Catholics? As late as the early 1980s, the Church was not to keen on cripples, the retarded, or the known infertile getting married. If you couldn’t breed, they didn’t really want you in the Church.

          They have since softened that position.

    • There are cults which don’t believe that gays have a “god given” right to *live*. Without even trying to explain how the god they claim made us all in his image and is infallible managed to screw up so badly as to leave us with LGBT individuals who need to be exterminated for some unexplained reason. Why can’t religious fruitcakes just leave the rest of us alone, get over themselves and leave our punishment to god? The answer is obvious; they also know there is no god, and so we are completely escaping their control.

  17. Well….that didn’t take long to stir up the God haters/deniers. Keep at it RF. I like it when feathers get ruffled.

    • Yes. Laughable how desperate their need to rationalize and proselytize.with their religion. It so great shouldn’t I be self-evident and universally conviencing.

      • “Laughable how desperate their need to rationalize and proselytize.with their religion.”

        He was talking about atheists, not the Christians here in the comments.

        • Doesn’t change how laughable their desperate need to rationalize and proselytize their superstitions is.

    • I’ll never understand this virulent station currently infecting conservatism: the idea that something is good because it angers or irritates someone else.

    • So you believe in Jesus, right? When you’re standing before him and he asks you what did you do before the non-believers and you respond “Made fun of them” are you expecting a high five and “hell yah, bro!”?

  18. I have read a couple of Sean Carroll’s books and know some researchers who have worked with him — based on everything I’ve seen, he is not an extreme leftist (far from it, in fact) nor a gun control advocate.

    If you have evidence to the contrary please post it here.

    • An excellent point, And one I feel foolish for missing, I can only blame my lack of familiarity with Mr. Carroll. The author of this post immediately discredited himself by admitting that his entire argument was based on an assumption about the author of a book he hasn’t even read.

  19. Feh. A person doesn’t have to believe in god to be a good person. And a person who believes in god can be a bad person.

    And you clowns who like to disparage the deeply held beliefs of others — athiests and religious people alike — should just STFU. You are beclowning yourselves.

    • I normally keep my atheist stance to myself but when people call me out for being a so called “bad person” just because I don’t believe specifically as they do, it deserves a response. There’s a certain subset of religious people who’d prefer their ideas but more importantly the authority of their ideas not be challenged. I can’t abide by that, especially when there are attacks on my character sight unseen.

      I’d rather not respond but the absolute absurdity of it lures me in every time.

      • You’re confusing two issues. I’m not aware of any Christian philosophers or theologians who say atheists or pagans are inherently bad people, but rather that they have no ability to logically ground their morality. I have yet to see a good response when I ask “On atheism, why should I be a good person if there is no ultimate moral judgment?”

        • Just none you are willing to accept since they don’t come from your sky god.

          I’ve seemed to do OK living by the secular maxims of “do no harm” and “keep your promises” (which are almost the entire basis of Anglo-Saxon law, BTW). I don’t need anybody’s phony sky god to tell me to live that way.