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AyameTan
New Member

Japan
36 Posts

Posted - 04/22/2011 :  02:51:37  Show Profile Send AyameTan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A few reviews I recently did for Amazon.com:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A1K7X23UDT0R7V/ref=ya_26?ie=UTF8&sort_by=MostRecentReview

The End of Faith by Ravi Zacharias

Chock Full of Lies, Deceit and Emotional Manipulation

This review is from: The End of Reason: A Response to the New Atheists (Audible Audio Edition)
I listened to this audiobook twice before writing this review (it's only about 150 minutes long).

The book begins with a disingenuous foreword from Lee Strobel, whose "magnum opus", The Case for Faith, has already been thoroughly debunked. Not only does Strobel have a strong vested interest in Christianity, but apologists like Zacharias and Craig would lose their livelihoods if they lost their faiths.

For a full refutation of Strobel's work, simply google "case against faith."

There is no evidence for Christianity outside of the bible, theologians and New Testament "historians." I would trust them no more than I would trust Muslim apologists.

Ravi opens his "case" with an emotional tug, introducing us to a fictional case study about how atheism can lead to pain, suffering, family breakups and suicide. Wow. His only saving grace here is his clarification that his story is indeed completely fabricated.

He touches briefly on the Problem of Evil and Suffering, ONCE AGAIN IGNORING the definitions of "omnipotence" and "omniscience." He presents the example of CIPA - Congenital Insensitivity to Pain, with Anhydrosis. Doesn't he believe in heaven? Will we be suffering in heaven? If not, then this planet, this life is just a soul-filter for his deity.

Free will is no excuse - if god exists, then he valued Ted Bundy's free will more than that of his victims.

He then attacks Harris' statement on eradicating religion before rape. Well, eliminating religion would certainly reduce the rape rate. Just take these verses from the "good" book:

Genesis 34:31: Dinah's brothers, to justify the massacre of a town for the rape of their sister, say: "Should he deal with our sister as with a harlot?" To the author of Genesis, rape is a crime against the honor of men rather than against a woman.

Deuteronomy 22:23-24: If a betrothed virgin is raped in the city and doesn't cry out loud enough, then "the men of the city shall stone her to death."

Deuteronomy 22:28-29: If a man rapes an unbetrothed virgin, he must pay her father 50 shekels of silver and then marry her.

And how DARE Ravi equate atheism with paedopillia and eugenics!? Without a single solid quote (save Peter Singer's) to back this up!?

He equates the ENTIRE sex industry with human trafficking. Unsurprising that such a socially fascistic conservative is also so Puritanical, and disrespectful of informed consent. In *every* jurisdiction with easy access to pornography (and lower rates of religious sexual repression), sexual crimes have either fallen or remained constant.

Even if atheism is a naked Emperor, at least there is substance behind it.

Ravi seems to have inspired Dinesh D'Souza's belief that Christianity made it possible for religious freedom to exist. Utter bunkum. A look at religious theocrats of WLC's stripe and the Tea Party would completely refute this. Mr. Craig would have us trust the internal witness of the holy ghost over proper evidence.

Almost every minute of this audiobook is filled with the very demagoguery and lies that he condemns. Harris is quite right to be angry and emotional when it comes to Christianity; after all, which segment in society has the most clout, and which is trying to strip and deny civil rights from everyone else?! Conservative, gay-loathing Christians, naturally.

While respect is warranted towards individuals because of their contribution to society, their religious beliefs (baseless by definition) do not deserve any such preferential treatment.

Although Ravi's suicide attempt was tragic, wouldn't Christianity and its eternal carrot of Heaven be more likely to encourage on to leave this life sooner rather than later? Ravi also doesn't seem to view the many millions of atheists who have NOT ended their own lives and who HAVE found meaning in their mortal lives to be worthy of comment.

Avoid at all costs, save to refute Ravi and his disciples.

Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics

Craig Destroys his own Case for Faith

This review is from: Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics (Paperback)
Craig's own quotes demonstrate his dearth of reason. He has claimed, repeatedly, that the internal witness of the holy spirit is enough to quench any evidence that opposes his religious views. How is that reasonable in the slightest?!

"When they say that Christian beliefs about Jesus are derived from pagan mythology, I think you should laugh. Then look at them wide-eyed and with a big grin, and exclaim, 'Do you really believe that?' Act as though you've just met a flat earther or Roswell conspirator.

William Lane Craig, "Question 90: Jesus and Pagan Mythology", Reasonable Faith, 2009"

How ignorant does one have to be to spew such drivel!?

1. But the argument is still unsound, because the first premise is false: there are other unmentioned alternatives, for example, that Jesus as described in the gospels is a legendary figure, so that the trilemma is false as it stands. [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics, (Revised edition, Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1994), p. 39.]


2. What, then, should be our approach in apologetics? It should be something like this: 'My friend, I know Christianity is true because God's Spirit lives in me and assures me that it is true. And you can know it is true, too, because God is knocking at the door of your heart, telling you the same thing. If you are sincerely seeking God, then God will give you assurance that the gospel is true. Now, to try to show you it's true, I'll share with you some arguments and evidence that I really find convincing. But should my arguments seem weak and unconvincing to you, that's my fault, not God's. It only shows that I'm a poor apologist, not that the gospel is untrue. Whatever you think of my arguments, God still loves you and holds you accountable. I'll do my best to present good arguments to you. But ultimately you have to deal, not with arguments, but with God himself.' [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics, (Revised edition, Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1994), p. 48.]


3. Therefore, when a person refuses to come to Christ it is never just because of lack of evidence or because of intellectual difficulties: at root, he refuses to come because he willingly ignores and rejects the drawing of God's Spirit on his heart. No one in the final analysis really fails to become a Christian because of lack of arguments; he fails to become a Christian because he loves darkness rather than light and wants nothing to do with God. [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics, (Revised edition, Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1994), pp. 35-36.]


4. Should a conflict arise between the witness of the Holy Spirit to the fundamental truth of the Christian faith and beliefs based on argument and evidence, then it is the former which must take precedence over the latter, not vice versa. [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics, (Revised edition, Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1994), p. 36.]


5. The Bible says all men are without excuse. Even those who are given no good reason to believe and many persuasive reasons to disbelieve have no excuse, because the ultimate reason they do not believe is that they have deliberately rejected God's Holy Spirit. [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics, (Revised edition, Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1994), p. 37.]

Pure disingenuous drivel. The man is a professional liar.

And to add insult to injury, Christianity has caused his compassion to implode on himself. He has defended genocide in the bible on his website:



"So whom does God wrong in commanding the destruction of the Canaanites? Not the Canaanite adults, for they were corrupt and deserving of judgement. Not the children, for they inherit eternal life. So who is wronged? Ironically, I think the most difficult part of this whole debate is the apparent wrong done to the Israeli soldiers themselves. Can you imagine what it would be like to have to break into some house and kill a terrified woman and her children? The brutalizing effect on these Israeli soldiers is disturbing."

Smile or Die by Barbara Ehrenreich

Norman Vincent Peale was a Charlatan; Thank You Barbara!

Barbara's fractally correct in every possible way here; one simply *cannot* choose to be happy. We would all be better off if we dismissed this blatant lie touted by Norman Vincent Peale.

She shows how right-wing demagogues often cite pithy positive thinking platitudes as an attempt to blame those in perpetual poverty. And as we all know, those who fail to "will" the cancer away are never the subject of happy positive thinking books. And perhaps worst of all, positive thinking removes all motivation to improve societies and living conditions. External conditions are almost always dismissed by these gurus and charlatans.

Reading Smile or Die, I was reminded of a horribly callous sermon in Japan, where the pastor extolled the benefits of frugality and unequivocally spoke out against materialism. For his example du jour, he cited victims of the Haiti earthquake and how "happy" they were. Really? Is that the best they can do? If I lost everything and everyone I held dear in an earthquake, smiling might be the only way I could cope. It most certainly would not be a sign of happiness or satisfaction after going through such a grueling natural disaster.

Positive thinking has a horrible dark side that would lead to the instant dismissal of any doctor who prescribed positivity in lieu of radiotherapy for cancer. As anyone with any experience with the bile that Pollyannas spew forth on a daily basis, one of their implied mantras is "if you fail, it's your own fault." Spare me, please.

The author's research is impeccable. She unearths the deadly, fatalistic roots of positive thinking that came from the Calvinist branch of Christianity. Every word is enlightening and well worth reading.

Barbara ends this book with a clarion call to reason, citing some of the most cruel, heartless and ignorant consequences of positive thinking, including that of Rhonda Byrne, who claimed that tsunamis could only happen to those who are "on the same frequency as the event."

Everyone who has been deceived by positivity needs to read this book.

Hard Questions, Real Answers by William Lane Craig

I'm just going to tackle Craig's arguments on the Problem of Evil, since most people are likely to pick up this book believing it refutes it. It doesn't The PoE is completely invulnerable when a tri-omni (omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent) god is being debated.

1. Omniscience utterly, unequivocally, negates free will.

Perfect foreknowledge entails that god set A&E up to fail, as well as Hitler to murder 6 million Jews, start a world war that slaughtered many millions more, famine, drought, the Spanish flu...

Need I go on?

Eternalism doesn't work as a dodge. If a god has perfect foreknowledge, then he's still responsible. And as we experience a coherent, cohesive set of events, I don't see how eternalism could be true.

NONE of the theodicies thus far created hold any water. Why? Because an omnipotent deity does not need to use evil to achieve greater goods.

Any such being could achieve the desired outcome from the get-go, no suffering required.

Craig engages in numerous logical fallacies. He commits special pleading to let his god off the hook. He clearly does not hold his god to the same moral standard as his god supposedly holds humans to. An all-powerful, all-knowing being who did nothing while billions starved to death is just as guilty as someone who caused such deeds personally. Might does not make right.

Painting his god as a loving father who "suffers with" us is almost as bad. Such a god doesn't do a thing to alleviate suffering.

The Kalam Cosmological Argument is another example of blatant special pleading, and does nothing to take us past deism, if in fact we accept his premises.

This book is best avoided lest his self-contradictory "Reasonable Faith" website continues to propagate its mendacity.

God Is Great, God Is Good: Why Believing in God Is Reasonable and Responsible by William Lane Craig

Anyone who has seen Craig's debates on the Problem of Evil or the sources of morality will know that he as nothing to offer. This book does little but cement his place in history as one of the least compassionate individuals to ever live.

And no, compassion most certainly does NOT mean to "suffer with" someone. That's a defeatist attitude. Etymology is not almighty.


On the Problem of Suffering:

1. Omniscience utterly, unequivocally, negates free will.

Perfect foreknowledge entails that god set A&E up to fail, as well as Hitler to murder 6 million Jews, start a world war that slaughtered many millions more, famine, drought, the Spanish flu...

Need I go on?

Eternalism is no dodge. If a god has perfect foreknowledge, then he's still responsible. And as we experience a coherent, cohesive set of events, I don't see how eternalism could be true.

NONE of the theodicies thus far created hold any water. Why? Because an omnipotent deity does not need to use evil to achieve greater goods.

Any such being could achieve the desired outcome from the get-go, no suffering required.

Craig engages in numerous logical fallacies. He commits special pleading to let his god off the hook. He clearly does not hold his god to the same moral standard as his god supposedly holds humans to.

The Kalam Cosmological Argument is another example of blatant special pleading, and does nothing to take us past deism, if in fact we accept his premises.

This book is best avoided lest his self-contradictory "Reasonable Faith" website continues to propagate its mendacity.

0/100.

"Tatti hitori no inochi wo sukuu mono wa zensekai wo sukuu."

Baxter
Skeptic Friend

USA
131 Posts

Posted - 04/22/2011 :  12:01:31   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Baxter a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, you certainly have a way with rhetoric.
In *every* jurisdiction with easy access to pornography (and lower rates of religious sexual repression), sexual crimes have either fallen or remained constant.
I would be interested in sources for this.

"We tend to scoff at the beliefs of the ancients. But we can't scoff at them personally, to their faces, and this is what annoys me." ~from Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey

"We can be as honest as we are ignorant. If we are, when asked what is beyond the horizon of the known, we must say that we do not know." ~Robert G. Ingersoll
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AyameTan
New Member

Japan
36 Posts

Posted - 04/22/2011 :  15:50:40   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send AyameTan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Baxter

Well, you certainly have a way with rhetoric.
In *every* jurisdiction with easy access to pornography (and lower rates of religious sexual repression), sexual crimes have either fallen or remained constant.
I would be interested in sources for this.


As you wish.

http://www.bay-of-fundie.com/archives/3488/be-safe-use-porn

http://www.hawaii.edu/PCSS/biblio/articles/2005to2009/2009-pornography-acceptance-crime.html

A vocal segment of the population has serious concerns about the effect of pornography in society and challenges its public use and acceptance. This manuscript reviews the major issues associated with the availability of sexually explicit material.

It has been found everywhere scientifically investigated that as pornography has increased in availability, sex crimes have either decreased or not increased.

It is further been found that sexual erotica has not only wide spread personal acceptance and use but general tolerance for its availability to adults. This attitude is seen by both men and women and not only in urban communities but also in reputed conservative ones as well. Further this finding holds nationally in the United States and in widely different countries around the world.

Indeed, no country where this matter has been scientifically studied has yet been found to think pornography ought be restricted from adults. The only consistent finding is that adults prefer to have the material restricted from children’s production or use.

BroadSnark pulls out a few of the juiciest details from the article itself:

rapists were more likely than non-rapists in the prison population to having been punished for looking at pornography while a youngster
rapists and child molesters use less pornography than a control group of “normal” males
sex offenders requesting treatment commonly disclose that pornography helps them contain their abnormal sexuality within imagination as a fantasy instead of their aggressively acting out in real life
what does correlate highly with sex offense is a strict, repressive religious upbringing

BroadSnark also gives us the appropriate conclusion that may be drawn from these findings:

In short, if you want less rape and child molestation, you would be better off banning religion than porn.

"Tatti hitori no inochi wo sukuu mono wa zensekai wo sukuu."
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the_ignored
SFN Addict

2548 Posts

Posted - 04/22/2011 :  20:12:48   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send the_ignored a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, about suicide:
Although Ravi's suicide attempt was tragic, wouldn't Christianity and its eternal carrot of Heaven be more likely to encourage on to leave this life sooner rather than later?


They regard it as a sin...self murder. It's a sin that one really can't ask forgiveness for later.

Logically speaking, xianity is very much against suicide. A sure fire way to go to hell.

Now, for some potentially useful sites:
Case against faith

Set Free. That site deals a fair amount with WLC.

Of course, you all know how I feel about him.






>From: enuffenuff@fastmail.fm
(excerpt follows):
> I'm looking to teach these two bastards a lesson they'll never forget.
> Personal visit by mates of mine. No violence, just a wee little chat.
>
> **** has also committed more crimes than you can count with his
> incitement of hatred against a religion. That law came in about 2007
> much to ****'s ignorance. That is fact and his writing will become well
> know as well as him becoming a publicly known icon of hatred.
>
> Good luck with that fuckwit. And Reynold, fucking run, and don't stop.
> Disappear would be best as it was you who dared to attack me on my
> illness knowing nothing of the cause. You disgust me and you are top of
> the list boy. Again, no violence. Just regular reminders of who's there
> and visits to see you are behaving. Nothing scary in reality. But I'd
> still disappear if I was you.

What brought that on? this. Original posting here.

Another example of this guy's lunacy here.
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AyameTan
New Member

Japan
36 Posts

Posted - 04/24/2011 :  03:47:39   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send AyameTan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by the_ignored

Well, about suicide:
Although Ravi's suicide attempt was tragic, wouldn't Christianity and its eternal carrot of Heaven be more likely to encourage on to leave this life sooner rather than later?


They regard it as a sin...self murder. It's a sin that one really can't ask forgiveness for later.

Logically speaking, xianity is very much against suicide. A sure fire way to go to hell.


Thanks. I like the sites you recommended.

And of course, Jesus committed suicide by cop (but it ain't a sin if god does it).

"Tatti hitori no inochi wo sukuu mono wa zensekai wo sukuu."
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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9648 Posts

Posted - 04/24/2011 :  06:53:10   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by AyameTan

And of course, Jesus committed suicide by cop (but it ain't a sin if god does it).
LMFAO!
Priceless!




Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

Support American Troops in Iraq:
Send them unarmed civilians for target practice..
Collateralmurder.
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AyameTan
New Member

Japan
36 Posts

Posted - 04/25/2011 :  18:16:10   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send AyameTan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Tyler Vela (Fundie) says:

The problem is that you clearly arent reviewing the book (a collection of essays written by over a dozen authors in which Craig's article wasnt even about the moral argument which you critique) so it makes one wonder if you ever even read it or if you just saw his name and shot from the hip.

First I'll respond to your review then to your comments that follow in response.

1. Omniscience in no way negates freewill. Only certain CONCEPTIONS of omniscience and freewill are contradictory (such as existential omniscience and libertarian freewill) but there are many conceptions that are not contraditory, such as compatibalistic conceptions as put forth by many reformed theologians (notably, Luther, Calvin, Edwards, Van Til, and Feinburg.)

It is also not clear how knowledge of a temporally buond fact is causally linked. I have have knowledge of past and present realities and we would never say that the knowledge is causally bound to those facts and thus we would need good reason to assume that knowledge of future facts would be causally bound to them. In fact if God knows the future in terms of middle knowledge he actually knows "tensed" facts only. So you would need to provide more than mere conjecture to prove why any knowledge of future events stands in causal relationships to those future events.

2. An omnipotent deity would not NEED to use evil to accomplish his ends, but that does not entail that he could not or that he would not have sufficient reason for using evil to bring about the greatest possible world. In fact to say that God could have created the greatest possible world without the use of evil assumes that you have the very thing you reject to God - omniscience. You would have to know all possible outcomes and the total factual future to know that such a reality is possible. It is simply wrong to say that the best possible world would include any different quantity or quality of evil and suffering. (This is actually why pretty much all professional philosophers and theologians have abandoned the logical argument from evil even though it still survives in the blog-o-sphere.)

3. You accuse WLC of special pleading. Examples from THIS book please. (since I dont think you read it...)

4. God, as the basis for the moral law and the moral law giver is not required to be bound by the same moral law. In fact we have cliches like "dont play God" that reveal that this is a very common understanding. We commonly understand that our obligations/prohibitions to give/take life is NOT of the same order of God's. To object based on the difference of ontology between God and humans shows that you are unable to think of God AS God but rather God as human.

5. The kalam cannot be guilty of special pleading unless the conclusion is assumed within the premises - which is demonstrably not the case. So you may not like the argument, but you dont get to accuse it of fallacies just because you dont like it.

6. WLC readily admits that the Kalam does not lead to Christian theism and has numerous times said that it only gets us to a thin slice of what we mean by "God"... so I'm not sure how objecting to smoething that he readily admits gets you anywhere...

7. You said the book is best avoided... something you clearly did.

Now as for your comments in the ensuing thread.

1. Antony did nothing of the sort. I think you should watch the debate again. If Antony is correct (which I dont think she was) all that she would have proven is HOW we would come to KNOW certain moral facts. She provided no possible basis for why certain actions are in fact morally good/evil or why we have real obligations/prohibitions.

2. You said suffering is, by definition, bad. Besides the obvious case of special pleading (its bad because its bad) you make quite an equivocation on the meaning of "bad". Is it bad as in unhelpful, painful, hurtful, or is it bad as in immoral and we OUGHT not to do it. (Ditto for you comments on pleasure). What your comments also reveal is that you seem to miss that we recognize some suffer as moral (dying for a loved one) and some pleasure as immoral (the pleasure a rapist or cannibal gain from fulfilling their desires).

3. IF you decide to use those equivocations and faulty logic as a basis for morality you STILL have the problem of showing why THOSE are morally obligatory. Why OUGHT we not inflict suffering? Because it causes harm? why ought we not harm? because it vicitimizes others? why out we not vicitimize others? etc.

4. You said the book is a "load of garbage" but if we only have this review to go on, it seems you never even opened it.

5. WLC got his Phd in philosophy and not in theology. Plus, should we only call people "doctor" who got their phd in the natural sciences? Tell that to all the Phds in the majority of other phd programs like english, history, sociology, etc. Watch out, your unfounded scientism is showing...

6. I have NEVER seen WLC slander or liable an atheist. Or do you think that just disagreeing with them is slander? If not, examples please.

7. We dont know what languages WLC knows... but even if he couldnt translate Latin does that mean he didnt get the right kind of philosophy phd? (Although I know in his work he would need to have working knowledge of German and French). This was just a very wierd objection that you really just seem to make a last ditch effort to grasp at straw.

8. If you cant see X, then X cant exist? That is a very wierd standard considering you dont see all kinds of things that we know exist. Did I not exist until you saw me type to you? Do you see numbers? Do you see other minds? Do you see laws of logic? I mean we could literally list an innumerable amount of unseen realities that you believe in. Not to mention you would have to provide the basis for your standard of what you would expect to "see" if a being like the traditional conception of God existed.

9. You appeal to logic, but out of curiosity, what is the basis for laws of logic like the law of noncontradiction in a naturalistic world?



Winston D. Jen (me) says:
Questions, Part 1

1. Omniscience means your god set everything up to fail in the Garden, and knew that Satan would tempt Adam and Eve, and so on up until everything goes south at the end of the world. Why would he create knowing things would go wrong?

2. Oh, so the ends justify the means! Incredible (that you can believe that). Until you can present a greater good or sufficient reason for letting child rape/murder and genocide occur (without invoking the special pleading fallacy), I see no reason to accept your blind proclamations. And if he was omnipotent, wouldn't the greatest possible world be heaven? Wouldn't it be a simple matter for him to start and end with heaven?

3. Every time he holds his god to a standard he doesn't hold humans to, he commits special pleading.

4. That's no different from Richard Nixon's hypocritical, ludicrous statement "If the President does it, that means it's not a crime."

5. The Kalam argument does commit special pleading. If your god can be eternal, why can't the universe?

6. And yet he's claimed Deism as sufficient for victory. Just watch his YouTube video clips where he attacks Dawkins' arguments.

7. Your point? WLC deserves no respect as an apologist or as a human.

Questions Part 2

1. We learn moral facts through moral debates and social experience, not from the supposed dictates of a god, and not from a book that purports to be holy without any evidence to demonstrate this.

2. Humans have defined suffering as something that is always bad. If you can show otherwise, please do so.

3. Oh, so you choose to jettison your humanity and empathy to defend your idol. If you can't or won't accept that suffering is objectively bad by definition, then you are a charlatan at best.

4. Why should I give money to a mendacious individual as WLC? His debates reveal all I need to know about him and his arguments.

5. Someone who uses his philosophy doctorate to lie and spout dogma from a soapbox does not deserve respect. Instead of helping humanity, he cares for naught but advancing his religion.

6. Then you define slander and libel differently. Haven't you heard him say that on atheism, there is "no basis" to say that child rape and genocide are wrong?

7. So what? Craig is a good debater and demagogue. He is also absent of compassion and empathy.

8. No, if I can't demonstrate X empirically, then there's no reason to believe in X until such evidence is found. I can write down numbers and demonstrate the laws of logic.

9. Naturalism has given us all of modern science. What benefits (except for fear of an imaginary totalitarian loveless dictator) has religion brought us?


Edited to fix link and quoting. Kil

"Tatti hitori no inochi wo sukuu mono wa zensekai wo sukuu."
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25909 Posts

Posted - 04/25/2011 :  22:30:49   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
AyameTan, have you read the books you're reviewing? I'm looking at your answer to #4 in the second set, and I see a clear "no" answer, despite the existence of libraries and used-book stores. But presenting these diatribes as "reviews" if you're not actually reviewing isn't the sort of intellectual honesty I would expect when arguing against the intellectual dishonesty I see in the likes of WLC. Dragging yourself down to their level is neither necessary nor desirable.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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AyameTan
New Member

Japan
36 Posts

Posted - 04/26/2011 :  02:53:13   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send AyameTan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.

AyameTan, have you read the books you're reviewing? I'm looking at your answer to #4 in the second set, and I see a clear "no" answer, despite the existence of libraries and used-book stores. But presenting these diatribes as "reviews" if you're not actually reviewing isn't the sort of intellectual honesty I would expect when arguing against the intellectual dishonesty I see in the likes of WLC. Dragging yourself down to their level is neither necessary nor desirable.


Good point. But I've read enough arguments for theism online and from Ravi's End of Reason book that I feel confident tackling anything they can throw at me.

"Tatti hitori no inochi wo sukuu mono wa zensekai wo sukuu."
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On fire for Christ
SFN Regular

United Kingdom
1255 Posts

Posted - 04/26/2011 :  07:14:06   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send On fire for Christ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Is it just me or are all your rebukes simply slightly-more-snarky repetitions of your original post.

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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9648 Posts

Posted - 04/26/2011 :  15:31:40   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by AyameTan

Good point. But I've read enough arguments for theism online and from Ravi's End of Reason book that I feel confident tackling anything they can throw at me.
...which is still a poor excuse for posting a "review" of a book which you did not read.

Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

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AyameTan
New Member

Japan
36 Posts

Posted - 12/03/2012 :  04:42:29   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send AyameTan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Some more reviews.

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

Ignores Science and Presents Lies as Truth

The Ninth Commandment certainly wasn't held in high esteem by the filmmakers (although they might argue that it only applies to witnesses held under oath in court). A thorough refutation would take several hundred pages and several years of biological education. As I specialised in business management and marketing in college, I will address the most egregious errors in the movie.

The lies and misrepresentations about what actually happened to the academics mentioned and interviewed in this "documentary" are already well-documented by Expelled Exposed, so I will not address them here. Suffice it to say that creationism isn't science and has no basis in academic journals until they can bring forth the evidence. So far, they have yet to do so.

The complexity of the cell - this is a red herring, and has nothing to do with evolution. It is more of an attack on abiogenesis (which we now know is possible). It certainly wasn't as simple as "lighting striking a mud puddle." The original cells that came into existence from self-replicating molecules and protobionts would have been much simpler than cells that comprise living beings that are the result of billions of years of evolution. Moving on.

"Science leads you to killing people." Get real, Ben Stein. Science is a process for learning about the world. It has produced innumerable benefits for humanity (and non-human animals as well). A short list would include:

- Smallpox eradication
- Measles vaccines
- Annual influenza vaccines
- DNA sequencing
- Exponentially higher harvests worldwide
- Contraception
- Safe childbirth and elective abortions
- Chemotherapy and radiotherapy (and soon, nanotherapy) cancer treatments
- Computers
- Calculators
- Social networking
- Skyscrapers
- Antidepressants
- Plastic
- Cardboard
- The Internet
- Radio
- Television

If Stein and his shills really believed in their nonsense, why don't they join the anti-vaccine movement? Is it because they see the consequences of dead children who were denied medical treatment from their parents? Vaccines need to evolve as diseases evolve.

As for his claim that "love of god and compassion leads you to a glorious place." He attempts to conflate Darwinian evolution with social Darwinism. "There would have been no Holocaust without Darwinism." A proper understanding of evolution would lead people to understand that mutual co-operation, rather than selfishness and genocide, leads people to a happier and more prosperous society. Stein doesn't know what he's talking about. He's far out of his depth on this issue.

Religion leads to scientific suppression, and does not have any methods or structures available for learning more about the universe. And before anyone trots out the nonsense about "the bible isn't meant to be a science book", why would the bible include "cures" for leprosy? Christians can't have it both ways.

Evolution has been observed in laboratory conditions. Fruit fly speciation and bacteria evolving to consume nylon prove this (see Michael Shermer's Why Darwin Matters). This is a propaganda piece filled with lies to promote the Creationist agenda. They won't be satisfied until Creationism has shoved evolution to the back of the bus, so to speak. And in a country like the US, where the majority of the population doesn't even understand evolution, this is sadly quite possible.


Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality

Specious Puritanism from a Jealous, Repressed Woman

Read Dines' books and listen to her speeches and you'll come to the conclusion that she believes that all sex is rape. She blames capitalism and cites sources from the left side of politics. But what's ironic and almost hilarious (it would be if she wasn't in favour of fascistic legislation), is the abundance of pornography usage in conservative regions such as Utah. To make matters worse, she ignores the varied and detailed studies conducted that have shown an inverse correlation between acceptance of porn, availability of porn, and the rape rate (i.e. the more porn is accepted and widely available, the less rape there is). More ignorance and blatantly false assertions abound. According to her, porn was created by white capitalist men to oppress women. Wow. I guess making sex illegal unless supervised by Dines and her cadre of Puritans should be implemented. We all know how well that worked with Prohibition in the US, right? Well, imagine that imposed on something that nearly everyone wants to partake in.

She'd love to see porn made illegal. Thoughtcrime, anyone? What she fails to do is propose any workable system that would protect women (and men, who are suspiciously played-down in this book). Not only that, but the multi-billion dollar LEGAL worldwide pornography industry provides jobs. Self-regulation will ultimately win out, as the sheer surfeit of corporations Why does consent mean so little to her? Why does she want everything but vanilla sex illegal in the privacy of one's own bedroom? No wonder she was welcomed and treated as a quasi-deity in Australia, a country with fascistic restrictions on pornographic content (no fetishes are allowed, not even spanking). I bet she was positively delighted when she learned that more books, films and video games were outlawed in that backwater island than any other first-world nation.

Most of her "quotes" are unsourced, which speaks volumes about her intellectual honesty. If she had any valid points to make, why engage in such deception?

Sources:

Pornography, Public Acceptance and Sex Related Crime: A Review.
The Porn Report (available on Amazon)
Why Conservatives Spend More on Pornography. Conservative states spend more on pornography--hypocrisy or repression? (March 7, 2009 by Nigel Barber, Ph.D. in The Human Beast)


Gay Rights Special Rights

Anachronistic and Bigoted

Luckily, this video is available for free online. Don't give the creators your hard-earned bucks.

One of their first assertions is the claim that granting equality to the LGBT community would invalidate the 1964 Civil Rights Act. They don't go into detail about this, and it's no surprise - no one in the LGBT community wants the legal and social situation in the US to revert back to the times when African Americans were denied the right to vote, forced to use separate water fountains, or being forbidden from using certain seats on the bus. This is dishonesty, plain and simple.

False premises abound, including the lie that homosexuality is a "choice" and is determined by one's behaviour, not one's feelings or attractions. This is nonsense, and many so-called "ex-gays" have recanted their statements claiming that they have been "cured" by reparative therapy groups. Robert Spitzer is one such psychiatrist who has publicly apologised and recanted his past statements claiming that gays can be "converted" to heterosexuality thusly.

They use the US Supreme Court's three-point test that determines whether a group qualifies for minority status (and with it, special protections). These are: 1) Immutability, 2) The ability to earn an average mean income (financial discrimination), and 3) Political powerlessness. They ignore the centuries of discrimination against gays in public employment, private employment and social life.

Funnily enough, religion is far from a mutable trait in the US. No one will be strung up at the gallows, stoned or beheaded in the US for switching from Catholicism to Protestantism, or from Protestantism to Islam.

They mention the anti-sodomy laws that prohibit homosexual conduct, but use an ancient supreme court decision as the basis for retaining this prohibition. There is no basis for this outside the bible and religion, and as such, these laws clearly violated the first amendment of the US constitution. They also prohibited certain kinds of heterosexual intercourse, but the laws were almost exclusively applied only to gays and lesbians in practice.

The film's climax is a rapid-fire shotgun attempt to demonise the LGBT community by describing fetishes and sex acts that most people would find sick and repulsive. Not only is this portion of the "documentary" offensive and revolting, but it is also a complete and utter red herring. Who cares about fisting and S&M practices done between consenting adults? Only Puritans and fascists, as far as I know. A great deal of heterosexual couples engage in these acts as well, but we don't see too many people calling for a nanny state's intrusion into their private business.

The overarching concept of the film, that gays want "special" rights, is based on a false premise. Gays want equal rights; the right to marry an individual of their own choosing and who they have romantic love for. Heterosexuals are granted this right unequivocally. Bisexuals are granted half of this right. But gays can only marry those of the opposite sex (at least in most US states), and that leads to misery, broken marriages, and more suffering for both parties and their families. To claim that equal rights exist because "no one can marry someone of the same gender" is to callously ignore the point.


8: The Mormon Proposition

A Powerful Look at Social Justice and the Cardinal Virtue of Church-State Separation

Utah has the highest teen suicide rate. But why? Isn't it forbidden by the bible? Well, no; Samson's suicide is generally held up as a laudable event. The bible even clearly states that god granted him superhuman strength during his final moments. Therefore, god approves of suicide (at least if you take out several thousand of his enemies simutaneously). By extension, the bible gives Christians no reasons to oppose suicide bombing.

The tragedy behind Utah's youth suicide rate is quite simple once you learn that the majority of the state is Mormon. It is also profoundly and undeniably tragic. Under Mormon teachings, being gay is second only to murder under their collection of "sins." The threat of hell is certainly no match for the oppression, "reparative" therapies and condemnation from pulpits and parents alike. And yet the Mormon hierarchies aren't satisfied with tormenting those who were unfortunate enough to live in their state. They funded and supplied countless volunteers to pass Proposition 8 back in 2008. Needless to say, the pool of Mormon sheep blackmailed with excommunication amounted to tens of thousands of flyer-distributors, yellers and election-day "advisors." As anyone well-versed in political science is well aware, dedicated (or in this case, at least partially-coerced) volunteers can run circles around a smaller but more well-funded opposition.

Families sacrificed their childrens' college funds, retirement funds, and whatever else was demanded of them by comfortable, affluent and above all lazy clergy. And for what? For holding back social justice, compassion and understanding for a few years until the Judge Walker of California's district court declared it unconstitutional. Are the families going to receive aid from their conservative leaders who fleeced them of so much money? I highly doubt it. Utah will be profoundly dependent on the government teat (i.e. welfare) for the near future. So much for right-wing conservatism and personal responsibility. This was religious blackmail at its most pernicious.

Or consider this - convicted mass murderers on death row and sex offenders can marry the person of their choice, but gays and lesbians cannot. That likens them to slaves in the Antebellum South, who were not allowed to marry. Like the emancipated African Americans before them, members of the LGBT community gathered in throngs to get married. To equate them to slaves and imply that they are worse than murderers is both profoundly callous and bigoted. Such discriminatory laws have no place in secular societies.

By sticking its unwanted neck into the public sphere, the Mormon community unequivocably and unforgivably violated the first amendment of the US Constitution. There can be no freedom of religion without freedom FROM religion. The Mormons would no doubt throw childish hissy fits if their tax-exempt status was revoked and they were held accountable for their pernicious actions in shoving their baseless religious beliefs on the rest of California. Yet that would only be fair. There should be no governmental representation without taxation. This guiding axiom of democracy must work both ways for healthy societies to function and thrive.

I am ecstatic that NOM is now under investigation for violating the US tax code. Justice for them, and the rest of society, is past its due date, but better late than never. Hiding financial figures and the names of one's donors is a clear sign of guilt (or at the least, a profound fear of embarrassment). As the recent 2012 referenda showed, it is only a matter of time before social justice spreads across the developed world. Religion cannot stop it, and their efforts to try only make things worse for us all (how many foster children could have been helped by the money thrown down the toilet on Proposition 8?).

I would highly recommend Marriage On Trial's re-enactment of the Prop 8 Trial to see just how flimsy and unsupported the case against marriage equality is. Black, Cowan and Greenstreet deserve our respect and admiration for bringing these clandestine truths to light.


Reasonable Faith Study Guide

Beyond Worthless

Why trust someone who holds the "internal witness of the holy spirit" in a higher regard than empirical evidence? How can one have an honest discussion with an individual who accuses everyone who doesn't subscribe to his religious view as one who "loves darkness rather than light"? It can't be done (at least not without redefining terms such as "honesty."

In a debate with Mark Smith, the apologist was asked, "Dr. Craig, for the sake of argument let's pretend that a time machine gets built. You and I hop in it, and travel back to the day before Easter, 33 AD. We park it outside the tomb of Jesus. We wait. Easter morning rolls around, and nothing happens. We continue to wait. After several weeks of waiting, still nothing happens. There is no resurrection- Jesus is quietly rotting away in the tomb.", Craig replied, that he would still believe because of the "self-authenticating witness of the Holy Spirit."

Christopher Hitchens also brought up this point in their debate shortly before his death. Craig's faith isn't reasonable. It isn't intellectually vigorous to conflate blind faith with trust and the acceptance of scientific principles that have proven themselves over hundreds of years. They can be demonstrated to work. Craig's faith has no such basis in reality. There is no evidence that would cause Craig to deconvert, as I have just demonstrated.

Additionally, Craig has also claimed that if evolution occurred, it would be a miracle. Well, I guess he doesn't need vaccines or the other fruits of that branch of biological research. Hypocrite.

"Tatti hitori no inochi wo sukuu mono wa zensekai wo sukuu."
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sailingsoul
SFN Addict

2830 Posts

Posted - 12/03/2012 :  05:01:08   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send sailingsoul a Private Message  Reply with Quote

There are only two types of religious people, the deceivers and the deceived. SS
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25909 Posts

Posted - 12/03/2012 :  05:47:01   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by AyameTan

"Science leads you to killing people." Get real, Ben Stein.
That's from an interview, and not from the movie.
As for his claim that "love of god and compassion leads you to a glorious place."
That's not even an accurate quote.

If you're going to posts "reviews" on a website for skeptics, you're going to need to do better. Truth is important, and there is plenty to make fun of and criticize in the actual movie. But you couldn't be bothered.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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AyameTan
New Member

Japan
36 Posts

Posted - 12/21/2012 :  22:38:51   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send AyameTan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just updated my review of Lewis' The Problem of Pain. How can this asshat be so popular? Is it simply because his books are short? That would explain why it's currently Amazon's #1 seller in Religious Ethics (don't get me started on that oxymoron).

http://www.amazon.com/review/R1UNOP41DTN8MS/ref=cm_aya_cmt?ie=UTF8&ASIN=0060652969#wasThisHelpful

"CS Lewis is held by many to be the premier Christian apologist of the 20th century. Unless one is morbidly naive, or has yet to encounter the counterarguments to Christianity in particular and theism in general, I honestly cannot see where his appeal lies.

The Problem of Evil is an insurmountable one for Christians (and all other theists who believe in a perfectly loving, all-powerful and all-knowing god). There have been intense and motivated efforts over the past two millennia to defend such a position rationally, and they have all failed. Miserably. Utterly. And in many cases, dishonestly.

Some approached involve invoking an unknown "greater good" defense (which throws god's omnipotence under the bus. An omnipotent deity could simply actualise a desired goal without needing to use suffering as a "middle man"). Attempts to shift the problem by asserting that human happiness is not the goal of life (but knowing god is) removes the omnibenevolence and omnipotence of god (if you love someone, you don't want them to suffer. It really is that simple). On page 104, Lewis concedes that not everyone suffers equally. He does not give a reason for this, and indeed, admits that our puny human minds cannot understand why god would allow some to live decades in comfort and luxury while others suffer for months or years on end. To quote Lewis himself: "The causes of this distribution I do not know; but from our present point of view it ought to be clear that the real problem is not why some humble, pious, believing people suffer, but why some do NOT (emphasis Lewis', in italics). Our Lord Himself, it will be remembered, explained the salvation of those who are fortunate in this world only by referring to the unsearchable omnipotence of God."

That's not an explanation. Lewis is falling back on the ancient and ubiquitous appeal to ignorance. God's mysterious ways are beyond us. Well, by that "logic," he could send all Christians to hell and everyone else to heaven, and Lewis, by his own admission, would just have to suck up an eternity of torture.

The old canard of free will is often invoked. Unfortunately, free will is meaningless unless everyone has an equal amount of it. This is undeniably NOT the case. Not everyone is given the same lifespan, physical strength, mental acuity, political clout, financial resources, and so on. Lewis is pontificating from the luxurious confines of his residence, funded by conveniently gullible sheep. This has certainly damaged his ability to empathise with the billions who live on less than a dollar each day. And the thousands who starve to death every time the Earth completes a full rotation.

Lewis also, perhaps unwittingly, advocates a social Darwinism in which the rich and physically powerful are able to murder, rape and steal from weaker individuals (and are therefore less able to exercise their own free will to prevent their own suffering). Lewis worships a cosmic pedophile who revels in granting freedom to abhorrent individuals while getting his jollies from seeing the most vulnerable suffer and die in agony (only to get thrown into even more torture in the Christian vision of hell).

Lastly, a loving god would take away free will from those who would willingly surrender it in return for a life without suffering. Funnily enough, Lewis seems to believe in a heaven without suffering but with all the bells and whistles of freedom. So why not create that universe from the get-go and stick with it? Why create a universe with even the possibility of corruption? It certainly is not something a perfect god would do. Then again, a perfect god would not blackmail beings he supposedly loves for eternal worship.

While Lewis is usually a good writer, capable of spinning yarns to attract the attention of children and young teenagers, he also assumes that there is a deep, overriding purpose behind suffering. This purpose is so important that it is more critical to his god to NOT end suffering now, but to let things run their "natural" course until his plan is complete. In service of this goal, he creates a short story that is akin to an essay on theistic evolution, and how man is ultimately responsible for the Fall and his own corruption. If god knows everything, including the future, then he orchestrated the fall (and everything else) before setting his plan into motion. Arguing that god exists outside of time is a lazy copout, nothing more.

As a 'loudspeaker' for the Christian god, pain has done more to drive people away from him than anything else. An all-knowing, all-powerful and all-good god would not allow any suffering, even in the service of a so-called "greater good." And if such a god desires suffering for a greater good, then it would follow logically that his followers should cause suffering to convert more people. After all, that is god's best tool for getting our attention, is it not? Fortunately, CS Lewis and most Christians today do not follow this logic to its end point. Those who do open hospitals and hospices and waste money on bibles rather than food (explaining why only 25% of tithes go to benefit indigent people around the world)."

"Tatti hitori no inochi wo sukuu mono wa zensekai wo sukuu."
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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9648 Posts

Posted - 12/22/2012 :  13:52:20   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Who checks the source for ref´rence?
Not AyameTan
Makes fool of himself, again.




Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

Support American Troops in Iraq:
Send them unarmed civilians for target practice..
Collateralmurder.
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