9/06/2007                                                                                       View Comments

Separation of Church and State



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63 comments:

Anonymous said...

Honor thy First Amendment.

Prakster said...

This is a really good video, and it shows that people can live in peace without the shackles of religion controlling every aspect of american life.

It also shows that people can believe or not in whatever, which is their personal right. Instead of a dictator ship it is a democracy, and it is the 'seperation of church and state' that qualifies as the first amendment.

Considering these points, and looking to how fundie america is, I can see that the first amendment is not honoured by the people elected to lead the country. So, how does this disease get cured?

Will bush get impeached? Is he going to veto every controversial thing? Can a veto be recalled or cancelled by another president?

Is Britain (where I live) ever going to have an amendment such as this?

who knows!

RubyHypatia said...

I believe congress needs a two-thirds majority to overide a veto. It's part of our "checks and balances." This if I remember correctly from government class.

I see no reason for the president to be impeached. Does he not believe we should worship, or not, as we choose?

THE ACE said...

If only we could all live according
to the opinions of the people in this video. I have never had a
problem with people worshiping at the house of worship of their choice. It is indeed a precious right. Sadly, the fundamentalist
attempt in recent years to hijack
the American government must keep
us all vigilant. As the man said
in the video, mixing religion with
government has made a mess of the
countries that have tried it.

Dan Marvin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dan Marvin said...

It is called religious freedom NOT freedom from religion.

I feel very blessed to be born in the US to be able to freely worship God. Do you understand the numbers each year that get tortured for their faith in Christ as Christians.

Guess how many people this year 2007 will be either arrested and/or tortured for their Christianity. Take a guess. This year alone 200 million will either be arrested or tortured for their faith in Jesus Christ.

Have you ever asked yourself why would they go through all that for Him?

SEO said...

The Bush administration is blurring the line between church and state. These are just a few things we should be concerned about.

From Robin Morgan’s ‘Fighting Words: A Toolkit for Combating the Religious Right,” page 10 of the introduction says this: “Reginald Finger, an evangelical Focus on the Family member and Bush appointee to the CDC Immunization Committee, says he might actually oppose an HIV vaccine if one becomes available: ‘With any vaccine for HIV, dis-inhibition…would certainly be a factor and it is something we will have to pay attention to.’” (Mr. Finger also protested against the HPV vaccine).

Also, Bush administration policy dictates that one-third of all government HIV-prevention spending must go to the ‘abstinence until marriage’ program, while government funding for programs that support condom use have been eviscerated.

Page 17, introduction

Bush administration initiates or supports:

-Proving funds for ‘faith-based” social-service programs to practice religious discrimination and to hire only staff who belong to the same church.

-A school voucher program, which would give parents federal tax dollars for tuition to private, religious schools.

-Pressuring staff in the White House, Justice Department, and other federal agencies to begin their workday with attendance at “voluntary” Bible study and prayer sessions.

-Approval of a federally funded health plan for Catholics only, which excludes insurance coverage for contraceptives, abortion, sterilization, or artificial insemination.

-Instituting a “religious test” for judges, promising to appoint only “commonsense judges who understand that our rights were derived from God.”

SEO said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SEO said...

DM said: “Have you ever asked yourself why would they go through all that for Him?”

I answered: “Sado-masochism? Boredom? Power-hungry? Money?”

And actually yes religious freedom and separation of church and state also includes not having religious bullshit shoved down your throat and up you ass when there is a perfectly reasonable, and rational secular answer to something.

Dan Marvin said...

You have heard of Julius Caesar and I am sure you believe that he existed right? Well there were 10 manuscripts of antiquity that explained who he was as we know him today. 10 that is it, in one language, everything we know today about him came from just those 10 manuscripts. Do you know how many manuscripts of antiquity about Jesus? Any guess?

The New Testament we have either in fragments or partials within 25 years, 40 years of events we have 5,400 partials or complete manuscripts in Greek (the original language) and 19,000 other languages. You want a reliable book and you believe Julius Caesar existed? You can believe that Jesus existed and he did exactly what it says in the Bible because you have eye witness accounts that were willing to die for it.

ellytoad said...

As for why Christians would undergo such torture for their beliefs... Spiritual belief is a powerful thing and Christianity isn't an exception in that. It doesn't indicate the presence of some innate theistic force.
Also, let's not start thinking that it's solely because of Christ that the persecution itself is taking place: maybe the folks doing the persecuting aren't handling their OWN beliefs very well? Christianity doesn't exactly have a stellar track record when it comes to persecuting, either!

Anyway, I loved that video, and went to the website to sign the petition. I think it's a worthy cause to support. No one is getting hurt by not being part of a Christian theocracy.

Kevin Manges said...

In response to Dan Marvinn and the wonderful video:

1)Shit loads of documents don't mean something exists or not.

2)Dating of those documents might be key to understanding the significance of them. And stating dates doesn't really make a difference.

3) The original language doesn't really help especially when noting how long Greek was being transcribed.

4) Please only post comments on something that has a remote (at least) connection to the actual original posting.

5) Sorry for giving you precisely what you want: a listening ear so that you can list all your apologetics "knowledge" just so that you feel more justified for ranting.

6) Sorry I posted something that was irrelevant to the original post.

7) Never mind that apology.

8) I loved the video, even though I don't believe in an easily attestable or rationalized type of God, if any at all. I think that this video symbolizes a perfect world! One that we should all strive to live in, but I also believe that it may be impossible to be so tolerant, because there are so many people out there that are not (perhaps like our friend Dan Marvin, though I am not trying to make a condescending remark...it could be true). I believe that tolerance leads to a protective barrier for those who are intolerant.

I am done.

My name is Kevin Manges so that it doesn't look like I am scared to share my identity. If a name means anything at all anyway :()

Sonny said...

Politicians are worthless without a topic to "run" on, and the only thing that seems to be consistent in the U.S., is how much God can be used as a tool to create controversy... Personally, the word God is as useless as a lead balloon.

Uh, if any believer wants to chime in here, and argue what a God is based on biblical scripture, I await the naif intellectual; one who is clearly head and shoulders above the most erudite of christian apologists to proffer such insight.

I tend to ignore the word God, the word is used as a tool... I tend to focus on how and who is using it. Politicians, use the word as a political smoke grenade, in order to hide obvious ineptitude.

gimmeadrinkawater said...

Kevin, it may not be a perfect world, but without this right, we would be nowhere. Thank you Dave for posting this, as I sit here with tears in my eyes. I have suffered as an atheist hiding in christian communities as I grew up, and the statements in this video mean the world to me. With this right, written into our consitution, we have the one tool to fight all the bushes of this country with. The rest is up to us.

Poltergoost said...

DAN MARVIN SAID:

"I feel very blessed to be born in the US to be able to freely worship God. Do you understand the numbers each year that get tortured for their faith in Christ as Christians."

You know Dan, I get so sick and tired of the way you Christians Belly Ache about "How you are such victims, and everyone persecutes your precious little rosey butts".

Let's talk about the way "you christians" persecute those who are part of the "GLBT" community for choosing to live an alternative lifestyle, and the way "you christians" stick your noses in the business of other's who choose to live their lives the way they see fit.

You christians have done nothing but alienated people who do not subscribe to your beliefs.

DAN MARTIN SAID:

"Guess how many people this year 2007 will be either arrested and/or tortured for their Christianity. Take a guess. This year alone 200 million will either be arrested or tortured for their faith in Jesus Christ".

BLAH! BLAH! BLAH! Would you like some wine with your cheese sir? Once again more "Self-Righteous" Christian Belly Aching.

"Have you ever asked yourself why would they go through all that for Him?"

Because they live in a fantasy world and most christians do not have a life. They are too busy sticking their damn noses in everyone elses lives.

Maybe if christians would learn how to mind their own damn business they wouldn't get themselves into so much trouble.

They bring it on themselves. I have no sympathy for the right winged losers.

Now quote your scripture all you want. It is irrelevant to what most of us believe who have rejected your faith.

"Jesus said, "BLAH! BLAH! BLAH!"

John 3:16 says "BLAH! BLAH! BLAH!"

J. C. Samuelson said...

Very good video. Thanks for posting it. I've just added firstfreedomfirst.org to my list of favorites.

Mr. Marvin,

It is called religious freedom NOT freedom from religion.

I remember saying the exact same thing not many years ago. I was wrong then, and you are wrong now. Freedom of religion automatically includes the freedom from it. No one has the right to impose their religion upon those who reject it. No one.

Do you understand the numbers each year that get tortured for their faith in Christ as Christians.

And who is doing the torturing? Other religionists. Religion is the single most divisive cultural force on the planet. During the rise of Christianity, guess how many were tortured and killed for lacking the 'correct' faith in Christ, or not believing in him as a god? Much of this torturing and killing was done by Christians to Christians, or by Christians to pagans. Why? Because of a dogmatic belief in a particular version of Truth™.

Incidentally, Christians are hardly a persecuted minority, so please take that argument elsewhere.

Have you ever asked yourself why would they go through all that for Him?

Have you ever asked yourself why Muslim suicide bombers go through what they do for Allah? That some believe so strongly that they are willing to endure great hardship, pain, and even death is no indicator of the validity of their beliefs.

You have heard of Julius Caesar...

First, this line of argument is rather off-topic, don't you think? Who said anything about the existence of anyone? Second, the mere existence of a man has no bearing on whether any miraculous stories told about him are true. Third, that you opened this line of argument at all is revealing of the level of education you have on the subject, which is to say very little. Finally, well-attested myths are still myths.

IAm_Lucifer said...

“Have you ever asked yourself why would they go through all that for Him?”

And Muslim fundies fly themselves into buildings.

I have an idea. Why don’t you Christians and Muslims kill yourselves for your God to prove your faith. We'll turn it into a competition. The religion that has the most sacrifices wins.

Left of Center said...

Dan Marvin. I highly doubt 200 million christians will be jailed and "percecuted" this year. Where do you get your figures? I mean your talking 2/3 of the US population.

Steven Bently said...

In all actuality if you are a white person or a black person, you have no "Right" to even be on this land.

If you are a white person or a black person, what you have is a self-elected "Forced Right" to be here on this continent.

It seems that time has let us forget how the Bible and it's make believe god got to this land.

Before 1492, a bible nor a church had been on American soil.

The white supreme conquers and their black infidel slaves that they brought with them along with their self-righteous religious ideology.

The white christians claim to came over here to flee reigious persecution, so they killed over 50 million Native American Indians the original owners of this land.

We boast on how we have freedom of worship a god after killing the original owners of this land and the remaining ones that were not killed were forced on to reservations. We tend to forget how those freedoms came about, don't we?

The white and black peoples have absolutely no "Right" to be even on this land.

How do you worship a god after taking and stealing the original owners land and killing them?

Time has let us all become complacent on how the bibilical nonsense got to this continent in the first place.

Well we're here now and there's nothing that can easily be done about it, but yet Christians have the audacity to boast worshipping an invisible god in freedom that was taken by force.

If you want to worship a god, I say go to the middle east where that pile of shit came from, but don't brag on American soil on how you have freedom here to pretend that you worship a make-believe god.

You may have freedom here to pretend to worship, but it was forced freedom, taken by hook and crook and religious deception.

To claim that you are a Christian, plainly tells us non-beleievers that you don't understand fully the implifications of what you are claiming to be and the violent legacy that Christianity has left behind.

freethinker05 said...

Dan, I bet if two million christians are arrested and put in prison, it won't be for the lawd; It will be for some hypocriticle crime they've commited.

freethinker05 said...

Hail "Great Lucifer"

Huey said...

Left of Center said:

"Dan Marvin. I highly doubt 200 million christians will be jailed and "percecuted" this year. Where do you get your figures? I mean your talking 2/3 of the US population."

Looking at it another way, in just 5 years, at 200 million, 1/5 of the human race is going to be tortured and killed. 1 billion people.

Like Left of Center, I love it when people give me numbers!

nm156 said...

Dan Marvin, you said:

" It is called religious freedom NOT freedom from religion."

There is a video near the top of the screen. Click on the button in the lower left corner (the play button) and watch it. Or better yet, try reading the Constitution after taking off your Christian goggles.
As far as I know the Constitution contains no provisions for a federal religious squad that interrogates people to make sure they follow some religious creed. That means we can choose to worship or not to as we please.

Aspentroll said...

I think Iam Lucifer has a great idea:

"I have an idea. Why don’t you Christians and Muslims kill yourselves for your God to prove your faith. We'll turn it into a competition. The religion that has the most sacrifices wins".

It would be like the rapture for them. A perfect chance to show their faith.

SEO said...

If the two faiths were going to fight, it should be fist-to-fist and eye-to-eye. This would first limit the collateral damage and second, maybe, eye-to-eye they would recognize not the Christian and not the Muslim fundamentalist but the human element.

Has anyone seen the DOW chemical (propaganda) commercial? The visuals are breathtaking. www.dow.com/Hu

Franciscan Monkey said...

Dan Marvin wrote:

"The New Testament we have either in fragments or partials within 25 years, 40 years of events we have 5,400 partials or complete manuscripts in Greek (the original language) and 19,000 other languages."

I am assuming that you mean 400 years, not 40 years. Even the most generous list (from Thiede, who is very controversial, to say the least) of the earliest NT manuscripts has just 6 fragments (P4, P46, P64, P67, 7Q4, & 7Q5) from the entire first century. Please note, that most of these dates are disputed, even by very conservative theologians.

For proof of Julius Caesar, we have thousands of coins minted in his lifetime and shortly after his death still in existence today. Julius Caesar wins the historicity contest hands down.

Respectfully,
Franciscan Monkey

StevenCody said...

First off-the Steven Bently guy left a great post. I just wanna add that we shouldn't allow any religion that seeks control of the state to operate in our country. That would go for all Jew based religions.

I guess I don't agree with this video because I don't believe in peoples right to worship whoever they want because it effects how they think and "vote" and whatever candidate says no to gay marriage and abortion they latch onto.

I believe we, as human beings, need to focus on US and THIS world. It is the only world we get and it could be like the biblical heaven if we could get over our silly ancient superstitions.

NO MORE GODS.
FIGHT FOR HUMANITY.
OUR FUTURE US AT STAKE.

Steven

StevenCody said...

Oh PS...not to sound preachy BUT can we keep the satan references and lucifer stuff to a minimum.

I think we should try (no matter how frustrating) to reach out to people stuck in the faith. I realize this seems futile since most will never hear you out, but at the very least never let them say you were hostile.

PEACE

Dan Marvin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dan Marvin said...

J. C. Samuelson said... During the rise of Christianity, guess how many were tortured and killed for lacking the 'correct' faith in Christ, or not believing in him as a god?

I remember saying the exact same thing not many years ago. I was wrong then, and you are wrong now. In fact they were called the crusades and were done by Catholics.

The Bible says to evaluate everything to see if it is of God by its fruit, good tree = good fruit; a bad tree can never bear good fruit. We don’t even have to address the Catholic Church and the mass pedophiles, and the crusades to determine the fruit, it is obvious.

”Have you ever asked yourself why Muslim suicide bombers go through what they do for Allah?”

Again look at their fruit to determine if it is of God.

IAm_Lucifer said... “And Muslim fundies fly themselves into buildings.”

That is why they drove the planes into the towers, because they believed they could "do something to earn" heaven, but they were wrong and most religions are wrong. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Left of Center said...“I highly doubt 200 million christians will be jailed and "percecuted" this year.”

You are correct I thought I had my numbers right but I meant to say 200 thousand (per year) thanks for pointing that out and I apologize for the misrepresentation. “More Christians died for their faith in the twentieth century than at any other time in history, says Christian Solidarity International. Global reports indicate that over 150,000 Christians were martyred last year, chiefly outside of the United States. However, statistics are changing: persecution of Christians is on the increase in the United States.” Old Map of Locations

Franciscan Monkey said... ”For proof of Julius Caesar, we have thousands of coins minted in his lifetime and shortly after his death still in existence today. Julius Caesar wins the historicity contest hands down.”

Your presuppositions will not allow you to examine without bias the evidence that I present to you for God's existence.

Your presupposition is possibly that there is no God; therefore, no matter what I might present to you to show His existence, you must interpret it in a manner consistent with your presupposition: namely, that there is no God. If I were to have a video tape of God coming down from heaven, you'd say it was a special effect. If I had a thousand eye-witnesses saying they saw Him, you'd say it was mass-hysteria. If I had Old Testament prophecies fulfilled in the New Testament, you'd say they were forged, dated incorrectly, or not real prophecies. So, I cannot prove anything to you since your presupposition won't allow it. It is limited.

Your presupposition cannot allow you to rightly determine God's existence from evidence -- providing that there were factual proofs of His existence. Don't you see? If I DID have incontrovertible proof, your presupposition would force you to interpret the facts consistently with your presupposition and you would not be able to see the proof.

For Him +†+,
Dan

Dan Marvin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dan Marvin said...

I did find this which also agrees with my original 200 million

This website

“However, statistics – such as the estimated 200 million Christians around the world who are being persecuted for their faith– can make many of us wonder what on earth we can do to change things. We can be left reeling by the stories we hear. Three generations of a family will be thrown into barbaric concentration camps in communist North Korea – the world's number-one persecution hot-spot – if just one of those family members is caught with a Bible.”

There is another one HERE

Dan Marvin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dan Marvin said...

I agree 200 million is a lot but it seems to be true

More proof

Really, so much pain for a fairy tale? Come on there is not a mass-hysteria like I said. These are real people that KNOW the truth and understand the consequences. In fact, the only guarantees for us here on earth according to the Bible are persecution, temptations and tribulations.

Prakster said...

'In fact they were called the crusades and were done by Catholics'

Same dung different smell!

'Come on there is not a mass-hysteria like I said. These are real people that KNOW the truth and understand the consequences. In fact, the only guarantees for us here on earth according to the Bible are persecution, temptations and tribulations'.

Isn't this similar to the myth of the guy who killed his father and married his mother? Where the father gets so obsessed with the prophesy that he himself made it come true? Except in this case jesus aint coming down the second time cos he didn't come down the first time!

And as for presuppositions, what is your presupposition? What, by your standards, does the bible qualify as accurate?

Do you have any physical, testable evidence? Can you show consistancy? Reliablity? Have you actually read it from cover to cover? Do you base your morality on it (after reading the whole lot)?

The catholic church is the FIRST CHURCH who established the belief of jesus. It is the first church who 'translated' those scriptures into latin then into english. It is the catholic church who put the books of the bible together as it is (the difference is the wording by different people and demoninations).
Then later down the line, the kings and queens of england started to seperate into protestant and catholic.Then, further on, you get so many denominations, which also includes jehovah witnesses, for jesus down the line. But the common factor or guide is the bible.Jesus is the (supposed) goal.

Therefore my presupposition, is that the source is corrupt, power hungry, controller of the masses and money, inconsistant, brutal, blood thirsty, blind and ignorant, and like a mutant virus, exhibits different forms for different denominations. And the further back into history I go, the less reliable it gets.

So how would you convince me that jesus is real? The bible is real?

IAm_Lucifer said...

"That is why they drove the planes into the towers, because they believed they could "do something to earn" heaven, but they were wrong and most religions are wrong. (Ephesians 2:8-9)"

They did what they did because they BELIEVED their holy book came from God, just like you. Quoting the bible does not somehow make your religion true.

People of all religions BELIEVE 100% that their religion is true. It takes more than a statistic from a fundy website and a quote from book of crap to make a convincing argument.

.:webmaster:. said...

Dan,

Christians persecuted Christians for centuries, and it began long before the Crusades. It started after Emperor Constantine ordered the First Council of Nicaea. Keep in mind that Constantine was not a Christian. He didn't care one whit what the final decisions would be. He had no interest in Christian doctrine, or the nature of Jesus, or what books would be included in the New Testament. He was interested in uniting his army. There were just too many versions of the "one and only truth," and the various factions were all arguing and fighting amongst themselves -- all the time. His army was in disarray because of the huge variety of religious ideas in his ranks.

Constantine realized his empire was torn between the old pagan religions (which were losing popularity and support), and variously divided and growing sects that were all claiming to be "Christianity." To unite the masses in his kingdom and army, he ordered Christianity to be the official religion of the Roman Empire. Then he promptly ordered the leading bishops from all over the empire to figure out which version of Christianity was the one and only correct one. Once the Council handed Constantine its decision, all versions (denominations) of Christianity that didn't conform in every point to the new authority established by Niceae (soon to become the Holy Roman Church), was persecuted to extinction.

That was in 325. The Crusades were a good 700 years later.

Now, while I highly doubt your stated number of suffering Christians around the world, just for the sake of argument, let's say you have a good number.

How many of those 200 million are "True Christians™?" Do Roman Catholics count? Do Jehovah Witnesses and Mormons? You do realize that your number that is being constantly repeated on fundie websites are including members from every sect and version of Christianity out there, many of which you might consider heretical.

Then, let's consider who is doing the persecution. I'd posit that the bulk of the persecution of Christians is coming from people of competing religions. Religion does that to a person: "My religion is the one true religion. Your religion is false, and I must resist it in some way or other." Meanwhile, Christians believe they should be propagating Christianity, all the time. There is bound to be a clash when people call each other's religions false. In Malaysia, for instance, it is illegal for any religion to evangelize. Do you consider that law persecution? Malaysia has that law because when evangelizing occurs in that country, violence breaks out and people die. Malaysia is a poor, ignorant, and primarily Muslim country. Now, Christians and Muslims have been killing each other for over a thousand years. Because Muslims persecute Christians, does that mean Christianity is true?

Finally, where in the world is all of this "persecution" happening? Is it happening in the Industrialized West, where the masses eat regularly and have a fairly decent education, or is it primarily happening in the Third World, where poverty and ignorance reign supreme? And, in those same countries where religious people suffer, is that the only problem in those countries? Or are those countries generally a mess, ignorance and corruption running rampant? There is no doubt the Third World is screwed up, but does that fact really prove that Christianity is true?

Anyway, just some thoughts for your consideration.

fjell said...

Dan said: "Your presupposition cannot allow you to rightly determine God's existence from evidence -- providing that there were factual proofs of His existence. Don't you see? If I DID have incontrovertible proof, your presupposition would force you to interpret the facts consistently with your presupposition and you would not be able to see the proof."

The above assumes to know more about any of us than you can possibly know, Dan. Yours is incredibly arrogant language. You have basically asserted that we are intellectually dishonest, that atheism is an assumption rather than a conclusion and that we can only be counted on to misinterpret any available evidence to help stabilize our preconceived ideas - at which point I have to ask:

How do you think any of us deconverted? Don’t you know we used to bat for the other team? If, as you assert, we at ex-Christian are blind to evidence that contradicts our assumptions (which was, at one time, that the Bible was the inerrant word of god), how do you account for us having ever entertained evidence which contradicted the claims of Christianity when we were Christians? I actually tend to think that our having deconverted speaks in favour for us being honest in this regard.

On the other hand, it seems not impossible that your assertion about others – as often – in fact tells us something about the speaker. What if I were to make the same claim about you, Dan? How does that feel? (Can this accusation ever really be constructive?):

Your presupposition cannot allow you to rightly determine God's existence from evidence. Don't you see? If I DID have incontrovertible proof (that the claims of the Bible were in untrue), your presupposition would force you to interpret the facts consistently with your presupposition and you would not be able to see the proof.

fjell

.:webmaster:. said...

Dan,

I was all into Presuppositionalism the last few years of my Christian life. You appear to be accurately parroting what you have been taught, but I doubt you've given the ideas much serious thought beyond desperately trying to wrap your head around it all.

Presuppositional rhetoric is just another way to keep you, the believer, from thinking too much about the vast inconsistencies within Christianity. Presup apologetics are impotent toward convincing former Christians. For instance, the foundation of the Presups is that Christianity is true and the Bible is God's word. There is no attempt at all to prove this presupposition. However, all the rest of the movement is founded there. In other words, there is no challenge to that foundation, no questioning of that foundation, and no doubting that foundation.

Once your mind is fully under the control of the presups, then they can direct your time and energy into establishing a "New Geneva" or a "Christian Theocracy" or some other baptized version of activist politics. Held any pickets or prayer vigils outside a porn shop or an abortion clinic recently? I did my share during my presup days. I also worked for weeks on a campaign to help a Christian Reconstructionist become a state representative. He won, too!

How about that: A Christian Church using its pulpit and membership to get a politician elected, all for the glory of GAWD.

Is that really the religion that Jebus had in mind? In the end, Presuppositionalism is all about controlling the minds of the flock to achieve some lunatic's agenda.

Good luck with your current religious direction, but under no circumstances should you drink the Koolaid.

Jim Arvo said...

Dan,

Everybody has presuppositions. The question is whether we can allow ourselves to admit that they are there, periodically examine them, and on rare occasion correct them. If you argue that someone disagrees with you simply because of their presuppositions, and is therefore incapable of seeing "the truth", then you are indulging a useless tactic. The very same thing could be said of you, and via that road there is no possibility of gain on either side. For example, slightly paraphrasing your own words, I could say...

"Your presupposition is that there is a God; therefore, no matter what I might present to you to show that his existence is dubious, you must interpret it in a manner consistent with your presupposition: namely, that there is a God. Your presupposition cannot allow you to rightly examine the question of God's existence from evidence..."

See? Does that help my case at all? No, it does not, for the simple reason that it shifts the focus away from the relevant facts and toward an unobservable brain state and its presumed consequences. It's a dead end. Worse than that, it's actually a well-known fallacy (it's a species of ad hominem attack). So, can we agree to shelve the "your presuppositions have blinded you" tactic?

If we cannot focus on the evidence, then there is little point in having a discussion, is there? I, for one, and quite happy to admit that my brain is full of presuppositions, and I'm also quite happy to examine them. In the past, I've successfully corrected a few that I discovered to be in error. How about you. Do you admit that you too have presuppositions? Are you ready and willing to examine them?

Franciscan Monkey said...

Dan Marvin said:

"Your presuppositions will not allow you to examine without bias the evidence that I present to you for God's existence."

As fjell already pointed out, most of us on this site are ex-Christians (hence the name). I was a Christian for 25 year, graduated from Bob Jones University, was a church youth director, and taught Bible classes at church. Yet, even with my presuppositions that Christianity and the Bible were true, I came to the realization that they were not.

"Your presupposition cannot allow you to rightly determine God's existence from evidence -- providing that there were factual proofs of His existence. Don't you see? If I DID have incontrovertible proof, your presupposition would force you to interpret the facts consistently with your presupposition and you would not be able to see the proof."

So, I challenge your assertation that there is massive manuscript evidence for the NT, and instead of refuting my point or admitting that you were wrong, you basically state that the problem lies with my presuppositions. Interesting.

Respectfully,
Franciscan Monkey

Maurice said...

Oddly, Jesus gave a basis for the separation of church in state with his "give unto God that which is God's, and give unto Caesar that which is Caesar's" remark.

I have been looking, but can find nothing similar in the Koran.

Anyone got any takes on that?

.:webmaster:. said...

"I have been looking, but can find nothing similar in the Koran."

Which is one of the reasons no one really wants that wall of separation to come down... except idiots.

Huey said...

Dan your "proof" consists solely of a story ran by one, and only news media, the Sunday Express Magazine. No other news media carried this. Not one, nada, zip. Further more, the ONLY source for this claim is the Cathlic News Agency. No one else makes the claim that the Sunday Express carried this story. Also strange are the testimonies of some individuals who have searched for this "report" and have been unable to find it.

Why would a a British Secret Service agency release such a report only to a not well read publication (circulation approx 760,000) and not to the larger media types? Why would every single reference on the internet for this ultimately refer to to the single Catholic News Agency article as the source?

You've offered no proof here.

(Is it presupposition to assume that the is no elephant with green and yellow diagonal stripes painted on it's side grazing in my back yard? Does my refusal to get up and look constitiute a failure on my part? I don't think so.)

Dan Marvin said...

fjell said... “Your presupposition cannot allow you to rightly determine God's existence from evidence. Don't you see? If I DID have incontrovertible proof (that the claims of the Bible were in untrue), your presupposition would force you to interpret the facts consistently with your presupposition and you would not be able to see the proof.

Yes, besides faith, I do have an experience with God that no one can tell me otherwise because I know the truth and have a presupposition that correlates.

A mother tells a child not to touch that hot Iron and the kid listens and believes his Mom. As soon as the Mom leaves the room the child touches the Hot Iron and gets burned. He just went from a belief the Iron 'was' hot to an experience that the Iron 'is' hot with 100% assurance. No one can come and tell him otherwise because his experience tells him different. He is 100% certain the Iron is hot and he has the burn to prove it.

Well I have felt the Hot Iron of God's hand on me and cannot be persuaded otherwise because I have an experience that removed ALL doubt; I am 100% certain there is a God. God will manifest himself to you as promised in John 14:21

On the other hand atheists cannot make the same claim because of their non experience. Because you lack experience does not mean that God doesn’t exist. It only means that you haven’t had the experience yet. You just haven’t touched that Hot Iron like I have. If you had then all doubt would be removed and no one could convince you otherwise.

Doubt does not = faith.

On different religions a friend wrote me this and I placed it on my blog:

“That is, our religion is from the Creator. It is a result of our hope and trust in God. It is the natural fruit. False religions have stolen from God and not the other way around. False religions have a common denominator and that is there assault on the term "Justification." They are working toward their salvation. We are working as a result of our salvation.

We have to separate the biblical Jews from religious Jews. One had hope in the Messiah's coming. They acted as a result of this promise. King David loved God because of the promise given to him by faith. The religious Jew (Judaism), as in the case today, denies Jesus and attempts to bring to God their religious efforts.

A religion that is pure in the sight of God is a "discipline" which results and originates, from God. We do these things as a result of being justified. We do these things because God has declared us "not guilty" because of the passive/active obedience of the Messiah being given to us as a gift. His works are what save us. In contrast, the religions of the world who deny justification seek to bring their "religious" efforts to God to "save" them.

Don't let that word religion, be a hindrance. We as believers have a beautiful religion because it is a fruit which comes from God. It starts with him and ends with him. Like I said; the religion we show is a result of what God did. It is an external response. For example, we love because he first loved us right? The false religions out there have a completely different gospel. As a result they bring their filthy rags and present then to God thinking they are working their way to God. We have been made clean by the word. The false religions make themselves clean." (Moshe, carm.org)

freethinker05 said...

ok Dan, please tell us the TRUE religion/denomanation you are refering too. Roger

nm156 said...

As far as the true religion/denomination, nobody knows what that is. Either that or we haven't discovered/invented it yet.

It isn't Christianity though. As Dan said earlier, you must judge a religion by its fruits. Christianity has yet to produce a perfect person. No matter what Christians say, they are still just 'sinners' like the rest of us.

Jim Arvo said...

Dan,

There is no such thing as 100% certainty in empirical matters. Whatever you think you know with "certainty" about your god is actually infused with assumptions and presuppositions, guaranteed. The first-hand "knowledge" that you speak of required you to infer from some observation that the source of some event(s) was an invisible being; and not just any invisible being, but the very one described in the particular ancient book that you endorse. We all make myriad inferences from observations, by the way. Not all such inferences are equally plausible, however. When I observe an object falling, and then hear a crashing sound coincident with it reaching the floor, I infer that the object produced the sound. That's a safe inference (albeit not 100%) based on previous experience, both my own and those of innumerable ancestors. Moreover, I can test similar inferences. When you infer that it is the god of Abraham who is responsible for some event that you experienced, what is that based on?

You are correct that reporting NO event (e.g. as an atheist I have seen no evidence of invisible beings) is fundamentally different from reporting an event (e.g. you, as a believer, purport to have experienced god directly). The absence of an event does not disprove the existence of a thing that CAN cause it, whereas the occurrence of an event DOES constitute evidence for *a* cause (albeit not necessarily the cause you attribute it to).

So the matter comes down to your evidence and reasoning that the event you "witnessed" was indeed caused by the agency you claim. Millions of people the world over claim that invisible beings of various sorts interact with our physical environment. Can we agree that the vast majority of them are in error? (I hope so, otherwise you would believe in hundreds of different gods and invisible beings.) Then perhaps you can appreciate that your claims to have experienced god, in themselves, do not constitute credible evidence for us.

As I often point out, it seems that you are in one of two categories: Either 1) you have verifiable credible evidence for the existence of your purported god, or 2) you do not. If it's the former, then you might reasonably expect to convince somebody by sharing that evidence. If it's the latter (which included private experiences that cannot be shared or verified), then you cannot reasonably expect others to adopt your beliefs. If there is another category, I'm unaware of it. Which category are you in?

Jim Arvo said...

By the way, Dan, you argue in circles when you claim that all "false religions" have this or that property. The reason, of course, is that you are simply *assuming* your religion is correct in asserting these criteria. Since other religions, if assumed true, negate yours, you are in no better position than they.

Misty said...

Listen folks, after viewing and reading Dans blog, I do not think he can handle reality and truth very well.

He's so full of god and jesus, he's apparently not ready for a cure. This is the type of disease we're up against.

His comments page is full of endorsements, this only confirms to him in his mind that he has found the one and only universal truth.

He is so far removed from reality and he appears to be in love with himself for having found his personal savior.

.:webmaster:. said...

"On the other hand atheists cannot make the same claim because of their non experience. Because you lack experience does not mean that God doesn’t exist. It only means that you haven’t had the experience yet. You just haven’t touched that Hot Iron like I have. If you had then all doubt would be removed and no one could convince you otherwise."

Dan,

Please read some of the testimonies on this site before making blanket statements like that. I, for one, know exactly what you are talking about. Many times I felt the hot iron of God on my life. Let me rephrase that. Many times I believed I was feeling the hot iron of God on my life. I felt many tremendous emotional highs, as if the living creator Himself was touching me, in the room with me. I had those ecstatic experiences of which you mention.

Dan, it's all fabricated in our minds. We have a tremendous capacity for imagination and belief. Belief, when strong enough, can make nearly anything real to the mind of the believer.

I am a person who has experienced what you are talking about, Dan. Those experiences kept me locked in Christianity for three decades. Then, one day, I chose to educate myself. Christianity can give you some wonderful emotional experiences, so long as you disengage your ability to reason, question and use logic. As long as you remain addicted to the emotional high, you will deny reality. Drug users and alcoholics have much in common with the religiously addicted.

Dan, don't ever question your religion. Don't read anything that might give you doubts. Don't engage your brain beyond the four walls of your church and prayer closet. Don't read anything that isn't sanctioned by your religion. Use your emotions to judge all reality.

And above all, when it is eventually offered to you by your cult leader, don't drink the Koolaid.

Franciscan Monkey said...

Dan Marvin said:

"Well I have felt the Hot Iron of God's hand on me and cannot be persuaded otherwise because I have an experience that removed ALL doubt; I am 100% certain there is a God. God will manifest himself to you as promised in John 14:21."

My best friend is a Mormon. According to Doctrines and Covenants 9:8, "But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right." He felt, as millioms of other Mormons have claimed to have felt, a "burning in his bosom" when he read the Mormon scriptures. Are you suggesting he is right? Should we all be Mormons? Why aren't you a Mormon yourself, Dan? You seem to be denying God.

When I was a Christian, I argued for hours with my friend. I could not believe that he just couldn't see how false Mormonism was, but logic and rationality did not phase him. Like you, his experiences had removed all doubt; he was 100% certain of the truth of Mormonism. Like you, he was deluded.

Dan Marvin continued:

"On the other hand atheists cannot make the same claim because of their non experience. Because you lack experience does not mean that God doesn’t exist. It only means that you haven’t had the experience yet. You just haven’t touched that Hot Iron like I have. If you had then all doubt would be removed and no one could convince you otherwise."

When I was a Christian, I used to think that when "God" "answered" my prayers, it was a confirmation of my beliefs. Funny thing is, as an atheist, I never pray, and yet good things happen to me at the same rate as before. Looking back, it is obvious that prayer had no effect on reality, it just had an effect on how I perceived reality.

Respectfully,
Franciscan Monkey

AtheistToothFairy said...

Misty wrote in ref. to Dan,
"He is so far removed from reality and he appears to be in love with himself for having found his personal savior"
---
I think you hit the nail on the head Misty.

I looked at a couple of his video's on his website.

Does watching such preaching video's make anyone else here want to puke their lunch, like watching them does to me??
They truly are SICKENING to the 'free mind' !!!

Dan speaks of having 'touched the hot iron', which made him a true deluded believer.
I think perhaps it was Dan's head that was touched...Touched by the inside of a HOT OVEN, and for a bit too long.

When I was a boy it was the monsters in horror flicks that had the ability to 'scare the devil out of me'.
These days, that same fright emotion is more likely generated by fundies like Dan.
Fundies, who would have no problem with America giving up it's constitutional rights for the promotion of their idiot god delusions.

I can't imagine today having a worse fate, than being forced by our government to attend fundie religious services. If that ever happens, I sure hope they supply barf bags, like one gets when flying. I know that I for one, will need a handful of them.

P.S. to Dan
You are one VERY deluded individual, as your website CLEARLY shows you to be.
GO GET SOME HELP for your DYING BRAIN, and SOON


AtheistToothFairy

RubyHypatia said...

Maybe this is strange to some people, but I'm an unbelieving Republican. Sure, it would be nice if we could have an unbelieving president, don't think it will happen anytime soon.

About faith based initiatives, don't agree with it, but doubt it will be a significant source of new Christian converts.

About vouchers for school choice, my daughter is homeschooled and it would be nice if we didn't have to pay for the public school system while trying to educate our own in the way we wish.

What's weird is that I have a Christian friend is a major Bush-basher.

boomSLANG said...

DM: I am 100% certain there is A God. God will manifest himself to you as promised in John 14:21" [bold, and capitalization added]

Rational minds immediately see the problem with these back-to-back statements. What I'm talking about, of course, is the leap from point "A"....to point "B". To echo Jim Arvo; one either believes based on evidence, thus, they have evidence.... or, one believes based on "Faith", which, Faith is to believe in lack of evidence. The bible even says, it is written so that you shall believe.

I guess what Dan fails to grasp, is that for a Christian to stumble in here and talk metaphorically about being "touched by God's hot iron", etc... and then procede to quote holy text as means to substantiate exactly which deity, out the tens of THOUSANDS of known deities throughout history, is THEE "God", absolutely, is about as convincing as a Muslim going to a Christian website and saying that they were "touched by God's hot iron", and then attempt to "substantiate" it by quoting the Holy Qur'an.

To be sure---it wouldn't be convincing AT ALL to any Christian. So, here lies the problem with trying to substantiate "experience" with "Faith".

Nice try, Dan...'got anything better?(rhetorical question---we know you don't)

99 said...

Well if John promised us that god will manifest himself to us, then it must certainly be true, right?

I mean what reason would John have to tell us all lie?

I'm jus wondering who this John is and what was his last name?

boomSLANG said...

99: Well if John promised us that god will manifest himself to us, then it must certainly be true, right?

The problem is with the language, specifically, with the word "manifest". Of course, to begin with, the bible itself, isn't exactly in unambiguous concise language. Then this is compounded when religionists come along and try to decipher it all. What will inevitably happen, is that the gullible..i.e..the "faithful", might construe a crucifix shaped toe-nail clipping to be a "manifestation" of "God", and say that "scripture" is "fulfilled". "Amen!" This is the kind of crap we're up against. Dolts.

Bruce said...

Dan, there are no ancient manuscripts referencing Julius Caesar that are less than 900 years after the original.

Dave8 said...

Obviously, Dan, who has obviously created his own "mini-thread”, has nothing to say of intelligence on Separation of Church and State...

Religion competes with government, if allowed to infest a nation's laws and constitution; everyone becomes a slave, except the religious dictator in charge...

Dan: "On the other hand atheists cannot make the same claim because of their non experience."

You do nothing here, but describe a mutual fact of life; everyone has experiences...

What you "fail" to do; is suggest why one persons' experience should be rendered as "more credible" than another persons'...

The "difference" Dan, is in the portability of an experience via communication...

In short, we can "all" say we have experience(s), but only "certain" experiences can be "shared" between two or more people, for all practical purposes...

I as an atheist "can" communicate my lack of a Christian God in my life; I say, "The Christian God has no identity to me, and therefore, "can't" be known or understood, until such time as an "identity" is given to that word, beyond the textual letters - God."

You see, I am not saying "something" in Nature beyond my understanding "doesn't exist", I'm saying... The word "God", by the Christian standard, has zero identity, and is therefore, "impossible" to "identify" and thus, be "known"... a person can not "know" what they can't "identify"... it sort of works like that you see...

To "know" means to have knowledge of, this implies evidence to me... What you have, is "unverified information"... I'll go one step further, and suggest that until you can "give" an "identity" to the word God, it will remain "unverifiable" forever, or at least as long as you live...

As well, since you can't provide an "identity" to the word God, you have nothing to "tie" your "heart-felt" experiences to; your "experience" doesn't validate a God, until you are capable of "citing" the source by "identity"...

Dan: "Because you lack experience does not mean that God doesn’t exist."

Wrong. Because you lack the ability to give an "identity" to the word "God", in fact, "means" your God object doesn't "exist".

As well; because I have not "had" an experience, I have no "identity" by which to "know" of a God, I can honestly say... God does not "exist" in my life, nor will I ever "know" of a God, until such time as an "identity" is given to me, by which I can use to relate to what I experience...

Dan: "Doubt does not = faith."

Faith does not = knowledge

Thus, Dan, you will "never" know about a God, yet, you will talk endlessly about a word and what it could "possibly" mean to you... thanks, but... no thanks.

Anonymous said...

Dan Marvin:

"It is called religious freedom NOT freedom from religion.

I feel very blessed to be born in the US to be able to freely worship God. Do you understand the numbers each year that get tortured for their faith in Christ as Christians.

Guess how many people this year 2007 will be either arrested and/or tortured for their Christianity. Take a guess. This year alone 200 million will either be arrested or tortured for their faith in Jesus Christ.

Have you ever asked yourself why would they go through all that for Him?"

First of all, I want to thank Dan Marvin for his comment. Then I want to say that there are very good reasons that peoplwe would die for their beliefs. If any of you have ever truly felt the presence of God working in your lives then you would know that. But I guess that it doesn't really matter if you believe him or not, God is still there.

AtheistToothFairy said...

Anonymous wrote:
If any of you have ever truly felt the presence of God working in your lives then you would know that. But I guess that it doesn't really matter if you believe him or not, God is still there
---
To the squeaking any-mouse,

I for one never FELT any presence of your god in my life, and if I had, I would still have greatly examined/questioned what I was feeling before concluding those feelings came from some god being.
Feelings just are NOT credible evidence to support the existence of such a thing as a 'god'.

You can PRETEND your god is still there, but it won't make him any more real than pretending Santa really brings your presents down your chimney.

Time to grow up any-mouse.
Childhood is OVER now.


ATF (who wonders if stomping one's foot helps god to exist more?)

stronger now said...

"This year alone 200 million will either be arrested or tortured for their faith in Jesus Christ."

Somehow, I doubt that.

Even if it were true, it is a testament to the idiocy of religious belief and not of the validity of christ.

Hi ATF! Nice reply.

AtheistToothFairy said...

stronger now wrote:
Fundie had claimed:"This year alone 200 million will either be arrested or tortured for their faith in Jesus Christ."

Stronger now replied: "Somehow, I doubt that"

-----
Hi stronger,

How's the popcorn making going over there by you?
Hey, toss me a few kernels, okay?

I can't even begin to imagine where are fundies get this 200 million number from.
Other than their usual outright lies, perhaps if they add up throughout the world, every xtian who's been arrested or tortured and then make a HUGE assumption that they were arrested or tortured for their christ, then maybe they might reach that number....MAYBE.

But to believe that this many are being arrested and/or tortured every single year for their belief in this jesus dude, well, that's just not possible in my opinion.

You'll notice when we hear this kind of stuff, they hardly ever give us the specifics, which is just why those urban legends tend to propagate so easily.


ATF (who thinks the holy spook is what makes xtian popcorn go POP)