Religious factors may influence changes in the brain

Brain diagram. Credit: dwp.gov.uk

(Medical Xpress) -- Researchers at Duke University Medical Center have found an apparent correlation between religious practices and changes in the brains of older adults.

They measured changes in the volume of the hippocampus, an area of the involved in . All human brains tend to shrink with age, with different shrinking at different rates. Shrinkage (atrophy) in the hippocampus has been linked with depression and Alzheimer's disease.

The researchers found that Protestants who did not identify themselves as born-again had less atrophy in the hippocampus region than did born-again Protestants, Catholics, or those having no . Study participants who reported having had a religious experience that changed their life were also found to have more atrophy in the hippocampus than those who did not.

The study measured relationships between religious factors and changes in the volume of the hippocampus over time in older adults. In standardized interviews, 268 people aged 58-84 were asked about their religious group, spiritual practices, and life-changing religious experiences. Changes in the volume of their hippocampus were then tracked, using MRI scans, over a period of 2-8 years.

The study was published recently in (Public Library of Science ONE), an open-access science journal.

Authors Amy Owen, Ph.D., and David Hayward, Ph.D., research associates at Duke University Medical Center, said these findings were not explained by other factors related to hippocampal atrophy, such as age, education, social support from friends and family, being depressed, or . In addition, other religious factors (such as prayer, meditation, or Bible study) did not predict changes in the volume of the hippocampus in this study.

The authors speculate that stress might play a role in their findings.

"One interpretation of our finding -- that members of majority religious groups seem to have less atrophy compared with minority religious groups -- is that when you feel your beliefs and values are somewhat at odds with those of society as a whole, it may contribute to long-term stress that could have implications for the brain," said Owen, who was lead author of the study.

"Other studies have led us to think that whether a new experience you consider spiritual is interpreted as comforting or stressful may depend on whether or not it fits in with your existing religious beliefs and those of the people around you," Hayward said. "Especially for older adults, these unexpected new experiences may lead to doubts about long-held religious beliefs, or to disagreements with friends and family.

"Several studies have found that, for many people, belonging to a religious group seems to be related to better health in later life, but not all religious people experience the same benefits. This study may help us to understand some of the reasons for those differences," Hayward said.

While this stress may be a plausible interpretation of the findings of this study, the authors caution that not enough detail is known about the mechanics of how stress affects brain atrophy.

This study is among the first to examine religious and spiritual links to changes in volume of specific areas in the brain, and is the first to explore religious factors such as life-changing religious experiences. Rather than suggesting that particular religious experiences or groups should be avoided or promoted, the emphasis of this study was to help clarify possible relationships between religion and the brain.

Learning which factors are associated with hippocampal atrophy is valuable, as previous research has established that smaller hippocampal volumes are related to health outcomes such as depression, dementia, and Alzheimer's disease in older adulthood.

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dogbert
2.1 / 5 (11) May 19, 2011
It is unfortunate that scientists are running out of useful projects and must spend their time and resources on bogus religious projects.
Mayor__Dooley
4.6 / 5 (9) May 19, 2011
"Study participants who reported having had a religious experience that changed their life were also found to have more atrophy in the hippocampus than those who did not."

LOL, says it all.
Doug_Huffman
3.3 / 5 (8) May 19, 2011
@dogbert: Hmm, really? You presume no value in the size, larger or smaller, of the hippocampus and that a correlation with a potential cause for size variations is also valueless.

You may practice your life as you will to make your hippocampus larger or smaller. I wonder if there is a correlation with IQ?
Felix_Petrar
3.5 / 5 (4) May 19, 2011
"Religious factors may influence changes in the brain" is a stupid title that has nothing to do with the explanation and the conclusion of the article.

This could be a title for the article (maybe it doesn't look good but at least it is not misleading):

"Religious minority status, like other minority statuses, is a source of stress".
or
"Religious minority status, like other minority statuses, leads to stress that also leads to a subsequent shrinkage of hippocampus".
macsglen
4.4 / 5 (7) May 19, 2011
Religion shrinks your brain.

'Nuff said.
freethinking
1.9 / 5 (9) May 19, 2011
But other studies have shown that Born Again, Religious people have less stress, better health and better memory. So where does this leave this study? In the trash heap.

Faults with this study. Number of participants, not high enough to make a valid comparison.
Selection of participants not random, etc. etc.

Poor science once again used to denigrate religious people. I wish at least scientists with agendas would do better science...
FrankHerbert
2.5 / 5 (13) May 19, 2011
Religion shrinks your brain.

'Nuff said.


lmao literally.
FrankHerbert
1.7 / 5 (11) May 19, 2011
But other studies have shown that Born Again, Religious people have less stress, better health and better memory. So where does this leave this study? In the trash heap.


This makes sense and doesn't contradict the current article. Being around people with similar (in this case identical, handed down from on high) beliefs would reduce stress, leading to better health and memory. You'd probably get a similar result with Hindus vs some less popular religion in India.
spectator
2.1 / 5 (11) May 19, 2011
Religion shrinks your brain.

'Nuff said.


Riiiight.

That's why the Apostle Paul was fluent in something like a half dozen languages of different root origin.

Isaac Newton was an avid student of Bible propphecy, and one of the most intelligent and influential people ever to live, and practically founded modern mathematics, optics, and other branches of modern physics. Not only did he discover the physics and laws in these branches of science, he formalized the mathematical equations that describe them to within then degree of accuracy and precision of measurement.

Try again.

Having sai all that, I think both Paul and Newton would be offended with the degree of anti-intellectualism in many protestant circles, as I am also offended, but that doesn't mean the people are "less smart" or "less intelligent".

God gave people brains to think for themselves.

Einstein (I hear he had a big brain,) along with Ben Franklin and Jefferson were all deists as well.
spectator
2 / 5 (8) May 19, 2011
Plus, who's to say smaller is even worse or "weaker"?

Maybe their brain regions are "miniaturized" because they are actually more efficient.
jamesrm
4.1 / 5 (9) May 19, 2011
So delusional and brain damaged, who would have guessed. :)

Some follow up studies I am waiting for:
Can religious people reason like grown-ups
Do they need to have their hand held while crossing the road, and
religiosity and bed-wetting

rgds
James
freethinking
1.5 / 5 (8) May 19, 2011
iamesrm, some followup on athiests like you would be appropriate. Can athiests like james reason, why can't athiests like james understand what makes a bad study. Do athiests like james know they make reasonable athiests look stupid?
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.1 / 5 (7) May 19, 2011
Hmmm brain changes... reminds me of this recent article:
http
://medicalxpress.com/news/2011-05-ecstasy-chronic-brain-function.html
But other studies have shown that Born Again, Religious people have less stress, better health and better memory. So where does this leave this study? In the trash heap.
Yah cite your religionist templeton julia roberts university studies so we may pick them apart please.
That's why the Apostle Paul was fluent in something like a half dozen languages of different root origin
-Was this conclusion drawn before or after it was understood that 40% of his OT works are forgeries? Maybe these different languages were only just the different forgers claiming to be him-
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (4) May 19, 2011
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.7 / 5 (6) May 19, 2011
Isaac Newton was an avid student of Bible propphecy, and one of the most intelligent and influential people ever to live
Isaac Newton- Mystic, heretic, Arian. He knew that jesus was no god.

"Biographer Richard Westfall says: "Well before 1675, Newton had become an Arian in the original sense of the term.", that is, Newton did not believe that Jesus was God. Westfall adds, his views "remained unaltered until his death."[1] Arianism was considered heresy as it was an opposing view to the Trinity Doctrine. Newton KEPT HIS SECRET because heresy would lead to termination of his appointments at Cambridge University and the Mint. Nevertheless, says Westfall, "He identified himself with Arius, both intellectually and emotionally."

"he said, "I have a fundamental belief in the Bible as the Word of God, written by those who were inspired. I study the Bible daily.""

-And pragmatic, politically-motivated suckup.
spectator
2.6 / 5 (5) May 19, 2011
Was this conclusion drawn before or after it was understood that 40% of his OT works are forgeries? Maybe these different languages were only just the different forgers claiming to be him-


Not sure what you're going on about, as Paul didn't write anything in the Old Testament, as even the newest of the Old Testament books was written several hundred years before he was born.

In the Book of Acts, a letter written by Luke, we actually find Paul speaking fluently in Greek, Hebrew, and Latin, and by implication, Aramaic, and at least one other language.

In fact, he never once needed a translator, even when speaking to foreigners, and always talked directly to anyone in their own native language, often the text specifies the language he spoke in for each particular conversation. (Acts 21,40 and chapter 16 and 22.)

What you find is when he appears before the governor, he speaks in his native language. When he appears before jews, he speaks Hebrew, etc.
gmurphy
3.4 / 5 (5) May 20, 2011
@spectator, referring to the Bible on a scientific website isn't going to win over critical minds. This study does not suggest that being religious means you're brain damaged but does link "life-changing religious experiences" to specific types of brain damage. I suspect life-changing means going from an amoral existence to a 'moral/religious' existence. Since this sort of transformation is usually reserved for drug addicts and alcoholics, it is perhaps not surprising that these individuals are correlated with degraded neural function, just sayin'...
dogbert
1.9 / 5 (9) May 20, 2011
This study does not suggest that being religious means you're brain damaged but does link "life-changing religious experiences" to specific types of brain damage.


No, the so called "study" meets its design criteria, which is to imply that there is brain damage associated with religious experience. The supposed study does not link anything to anything except the bias of the Duke University Medical Center researchers to their supposed research.
RobertKarlStonjek
3.5 / 5 (8) May 20, 2011
Brain fortifying diet and medication may help cure rabid religiosity such as biblical literalists and those 'born again' (which, no doubt, is a form of delusion, sometimes brought on an epileptic-like seizure).
Skeptic_Heretic
4.6 / 5 (9) May 21, 2011
But other studies have shown that Born Again, Religious people have less stress, better health and better memory. So where does this leave this study? In the trash heap.
An empty head, free of the world's probems due to utter ignorance will do that. Most children are incredibly happy due to their lack of knowledge. Ignorance is bliss after all.

Poor science once again used to denigrate religious people. I wish at least scientists with agendas would do better science...

You mean as opposed to poor religious people denigrating science?
Scientist_Steve
not rated yet May 24, 2011
I suppose the relevant question is, who cares? So religion might be bad for your cognitive health....... It's depressing that someone actually funded this study.
freethinking
1.9 / 5 (9) May 24, 2011
SH and Crazy Otto ignorance of Religion shown once again.

I do agree with Scientist Steve, it is depressing that Government tax dollars (actually money taken from those that work) went to study this. But hey, progressives athiests need something, even bad science, so that they can have the belief they are superior to commoners.

Other bad parts to this study. They did not compare Yoga, Tai Chi, or other eastern religion. They did not define born again. Jimmy Carter (a progressive) claims to be born again so does the wrestler Sting, and in 2003 41% of the US population claimed to be born again. Without defining the terms studies like this are a waste of tax payers money (not that progressives hate wasting other peoples money)

But again facts get in the way of progressives like SH or Crazy Otto. This same study could say Progressives who claim to be Born Again have brain damage. (Hey that would explain Jimmy Carter :))
ryggesogn2
1.8 / 5 (10) May 24, 2011
If the fascists can find a 'scientific' reason to suppress religion, why wouldn't they? It's been done before.
freethinking
1.8 / 5 (10) May 24, 2011
According to Early Progressives, Nazi doctors and the founders of Planned Parenthood, Jews and Blacks have mental deficiencies. They even backed up their claims with science.
Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (2) May 25, 2011
This same study could say Progressives who claim to be Born Again have brain damage.
THis study says everyone who claims to be born again is brain damaged. I don't disagree.
that_guy
3 / 5 (2) May 25, 2011
So then, there was nothing wrong with the inquisition, the excommunication of galileo and relentless persecution of other truth seekers (IE scientists), the crusades, the persecution of the jews by the catholics as well...the pope's utter silence during the holocaust, the strong christian endorsement of slavery until the 19th century, ad nauseum.

Evil is evil, and I'd like to point out that the christian tradition has plenty of blood on its hands as well. Keep throwing stones.

Oh, and by the way, the hippocampus has to do with memory, learning, and emotion - so someone who is at 'peace' and stable emotionally, and is religiously indoctrinated is not going to use it as much - seriously, if you believe in the bible in the literalist way, then there is no reason to learn a lot of scientific things that conflict with it. It makes sense, but it actually has nothing to do with your intelligence as a whole.
freethinking
2 / 5 (8) May 25, 2011
SP that guy. Please study history. I don't know why you would be against the Inquisition. Government controlling what people thought is very progressive. Crusades, mostly self defense, but I understand that progressives hate it when christians defend themselves. Yes Jews have been hated throughout history, but christianity comes from the jews. I'm not catholic, but research why the pope was quiet and how much he actually helped jews.

Evil is Evil, When progressives control religion, evil is sure to follow. Now in the last hundren years how many millions have died because of progressives? Remember Hitler was a progresssive, Stalin was a progressive, Moe was a progressive. The most evil people in the last 100 years were and are progressive.

BTW you ignorace of christianity and the amount of lifelong learning and memorization we do is laughable. Some of the greatest scientists in the world are christian.
FrankHerbert
1.7 / 5 (11) May 25, 2011
Please study history... Crusades, mostly self defense...


Irony.
Johannes414
2.7 / 5 (7) May 26, 2011
Many people that have had a born again experience also suffered some life trauma (such as depression, illness or near death) before they became Christians. Usually people with a broken heart are touched by the Lord, and this is Biblical.

Jesus came to heal the sick, open the eyes of the blind and break the bondage of sin and death. He came for the poor and the trodden down, not for the healthy and powerful people. They have their own god already.

The Bible says that "a broken heart and a contrite spirit I will not deny."

It would be natural to expect those Christians to have some detectable bruise. After all, coming to Jesus means dying to the world, and being made alive in heavenly places with Christ.
ryggesogn2
2.1 / 5 (7) May 26, 2011
the christian tradition has plenty of blood on its hands as well.

All in violation of their founding principles.
And don't forget that the Holy Roman Empire played a large role in preserving civilization after the secular Roman Empire collapsed from its immoral welfare state.

Are the murders committed by the socialist regimes in violation of their 'principles'?
that_guy
1 / 5 (1) May 26, 2011
I give johannes 5 stars because I read his comment 3 times, and each time it said something else. Not that I necessarily agree with everything he says (I don't think that physical trauma is necessarily predicator of christianity/religiousness), but it does inject multiple philosophical angles into the conversation :)
Johannes414
2 / 5 (8) May 26, 2011
Every evolutionist who uses a moral argument against Christianity is in fact confirming the existence of God. The evolutionary worldview does not allow for universal moral laws to exist. Right and wrong are just temporary and limited human conventions. So moral outcry over any Christian wrongdoings by a humanist is just self-deception of the brain.

After all, people are just evolved animals and animals do what they want to secure their own interest. Bacteria are not aware of any difference between right and wrong. Only in a universe created by God and constrained by absolute moral laws does a moral judgement make any sense.
FrankHerbert
1.9 / 5 (13) May 26, 2011
Every evolutionist who uses a moral argument against Christianity is in fact confirming the existence of God.


Everyone who exists proves abiogenesis by existing. See, I can play this game too. You prove evolution by your very existence.
that_guy
3 / 5 (2) May 26, 2011
Every evolutionist who uses a moral argument against Christianity is in fact confirming the existence of God. The evolutionary worldview does not allow for universal moral laws to exist. Right and wrong are just temporary and limited human conventions. So moral outcry over any Christian wrongdoings by a humanist is just self-deception of the brain.

After all, people are just evolved animals and animals do what they want to secure their own interest. Bacteria are not aware of any difference between right and wrong. Only in a universe created by God and constrained by absolute moral laws does a moral judgement make any sense.


That's a pretty invalid statement to say to anyone who hasn't started with your presuppositions. It rings false to anyone who doesn't absolutely believe in god in the first place.

It's like an atheist calling god a fairy tale. I don't condone it, but it's no worse than your statement there.
Johannes414
2.3 / 5 (6) May 26, 2011
Hi that_guy,

If you don't agree with the argument then try and refute it.

It's easy to refute the idea that God is a fairy tale. Fairy tales are literary devices invented in the 19th century. But people believed in God before the 19th century. So God cannot be a fairy tale.

Atheist presuppositions are useless to build a moral argument. Even Dawkins admits this in his books. So do launch any argument against Christianity, but don't use God's moral laws if you don't believe in Him, that's inconsistent and even a bit rude, like stealing (The Bible says: thou shall not steal).
Johannes414
2.6 / 5 (5) May 26, 2011
Likewise, any atheist who tries to use reason against the Christian faith has provided irrefutable proof that God exists. An atheist must first assume the Bible is true before he can attack the Bible.

The reason is simple: if man is just a bunch of cleverly arranged atoms and electrons, any form of reason and logic would just be a chemical reaction inside the brain. For the atheist, there would be no way of telling if his thoughts are correct or real in the absence of any external standard of truth.

The atheist universe contains only matter, and matter cannnot give rise to immaterial things such as logic, rational thoughts or even real feelings. All these things would just be chemical illusions that have no value whatsoever. Only the Biblical God can account for real knowledge and rational thoughts.
that_guy
1 / 5 (1) May 26, 2011
Johannes, this is a science site, so please keep the religious dogma to a minimum. Our comments should be on logic.

The core definition of a fairy tale is a story that includes magical beings or places. That's a pretty wide net. If you don't presuppose god to be real in the first place, then yes, you would logically believe that God and Heaven are make believe and magical. That simple. In this case, the term is not used to denote that specific literary genre. Would it make you happier if they called it a myth? A legend?

Sure, there is definitely historical context in the bible, which i don't dispute, but still, many legends are based on a grain of history or truth, as we find from some of the greek legends. However, that is not reason to believe in aphrodite or zeus.

The atheist presupposition is simply that there is no god, and the extension of the humanist principle is the presupposition that you want a society that is compassionate and that
...continues...

that_guy
1 / 5 (1) May 26, 2011
You want to create a culture that provides the greatest benefit for the members as a whole, while preserving the best freedoms and rights of minorities.

At least with the humanist presupposition, you have a starting philosophy that doesn't need any beliefs in something unprovable. If you look into the new testament, you'll realize that jesus had "humanist" principles as well. It's very simple: For a society to survive at it's best, it needs certain principles that are fairly universal. You don't see buddhist societies falling because they don't believe in god, and yet they believe murder is wrong, just like any other thriving society does.

So moral judgement is valid for a humanist, in keeping with their principles. Even if that humanist is a moral relativist. (you can also have a moral absolutist humanist, but i doubt you would be open to understanding that explanation)
that_guy
1 / 5 (1) May 26, 2011
Basically, if all your arguments stem from an unprovable supposition, then there is no logical argument to convince me of your position if I don't already believe in said presupposition.

The only way to 'prove' any part of your argument is in action, and although i am personally not predisposed to necessarily judge christianity as false, I do percieve you and others on this site to be false examples of it.

Consider this, buddhists are already a very peace loving people, and many buddhist countries experience a large amount of harmony and modest amount of success for their people. Buddhism is one of the hardest cultures for christianity to convert, even though christians are allowed to freely proselitize. Why? Because christianity offers nothing that the buddhists don't have already.
Johannes414
2.6 / 5 (5) May 26, 2011
Hi that guy,

Humanism is about preserving freedoms you say - so it's best to leave it up to me how to do my own comments - thanks. By the way, the topic is about religion.

Why should I be compassionate in an atheist world? If we are just bags of molecules, compassion is simply a chemical state of the brain. Acting compassionately and believing it would be a form of self-delusion. In fact if there is really a thing like compassion, it can only be because a loving God exists.

If moral codes are just conventions, then any moral judgement is meaningless. No one should feel morally obliged to obey them. Without absolute moral laws, no one can accuse a murderer from a moral point of view. Perhaps technically he would be liable because of breaking a certain rule, but not based on a real difference between right and wrong.

Let me ask you a question: would you consider child abuse always morally wrong, regardless of cultural, temporal or other types of human conventions?
ryggesogn2
2.3 / 5 (6) May 26, 2011
create a culture that provides the greatest benefit for the members as a whole, while preserving the best freedoms and rights of minorities.

Sounds quite socialistic.
If you reverse that, and state the the best culture is one where human rights are considered to be inherent and unalienable. Such individuals then build a culture that supports and protects each individual. This type of society recognizes and acknowledges that humans have a soul and are more than flesh and bone.
The key difference is that the individual rights don't flow from 'society' or the state, they come from God or whatever higher power you like. The source of our souls.
Johannes414
1.8 / 5 (5) May 26, 2011
Hi that guy,

If you are skeptical about Christian writings, then there is even more reason to be skeptical of Buddistic literature. The accounts of the life of Buddha were written hundreds of years after his death.

You seem to suggest that Buddhists are always peace loving people. Although I certainly would tend to agree to a certain level, I also remind you of the Tamil population of Sri Lanka that has been terribly persecuted my the Buddhist majority for decades. Many of them have been brutally killed by buddhists. In Japan, buddhism did not stop the Japanese soldiers from forcing thousands of Allied soldiers to their death, and starving families in horrible prison camps.

Christ does have something to offer to buddhists. Jesus came to save people from sin. Sin leads people to hell. Buddha himself had no medicine against hell as he admits. Buddha is dead and buried, and hell still captures people in their sin. In that sense Buddha did not change anything. Jesus did.
that_guy
1 / 5 (1) May 26, 2011
Humanism is not about preserving absolute freedom, just as you wouldn't want someone murdering you without justice.

I have no issue discussing religion from an objective point of view. dogma is telling me that I'm wrong because I don't believe in an unprovable or illogical point.

Why should you be compassionate in an atheist world? Many atheists find human interaction, love, friends, etc. to be a 'spiritual' experience of sorts. The human condition predisposes us to be fair and not want to subject ourselves to unnecessary pain or agony. So it is a natural extension of atheism in a way. But mind you, humanism is not necessarily predicated on atheism.

There are nihilistic atheists that you describe, and it is unfortunate. I personally reject the full atheist view, because it conflicts with my view on free will - mind you that free will is also, mind you, and unprovable presupposition.
ryggesogn2
2.3 / 5 (6) May 26, 2011
Humanism is not about preserving absolute freedom,

What is it about?
that_guy
1 / 5 (1) May 26, 2011
Not all buddhists or buddhist cultures follow the best path. Obviously through history, we can see that christians and christian cultures have experienced the same issues.

@rygg - your socialist comment. Those are exactly the same principles that the constitution is based on. idiot. This isn't a political argument, and I won't comment on which way someone believes is best.

Your child abuse question. I am a moral absolutist, so it is hard for me to answer that question from the relativist point of view.

You could say that given enough child abuse/neglect that hitler would have died or committed suicide and saved the world a lot of trouble and a lot of jews lives.

However, in my view, to be a true moral relativist you would have to have precognition and no free will, so I reject that view - as you can not necessarily know ahead of time if a kid will turn into a monster - and of course, abuse will generally turn them that way in the first place.
that_guy
1 / 5 (1) May 26, 2011
Why would a buddhist believe that jesus changed the world?

And for your moral code theory. Since when did anyone have to believe or even know about god to have a successful moral code? There are many cultures that have survived thousands of years without a christian moral code - and it did them good.

Even you adhere to many moral codes that are societal or cultural and not based in christianity whatsoever. They are there to make society run more smoothly as a whole - say for example email etiquette - typing in all caps is annoying to the other person, so generally its only a small, but still moral thing to use good punctuation when you can.

Rygg - last comment to you, if you had read the comments, you would have seen what it's about. More accurately, humanism is not about unlimited freedom. as the murder example states above, if you cannot understand that you never will.
ryggesogn2
3 / 5 (4) May 26, 2011
You can't define 'humanism' in positive terms?
Is there a difference between "the rights of man" and "the rights of men"?
Johannes414
3 / 5 (4) May 26, 2011
Hi that guy,

Your answer is a bit eclectic. I would just say that child abuse is always morally wrong and evil, independent of human conventions.

Human thinking is often corrupted as we can observe on a daily basis. So it is better to follow God's laws than the ever changing conventions of men.

Your bit on compassion is non sequitur. If humans are indeed predisposed to do good, then this begs the question. If we evolved randomly from a single cell then a universal need for goodness cannot be accounted for, and instead points to a Creator God.

You seem to accept certain aspects of theism, like free wil and universal morality, but reject the only viable source of these: God. That makes your worldview perhaps sympathetic, but also inconsistent.
Johannes414
2.3 / 5 (6) May 26, 2011
"There are many cultures that have survived thousands of years without a christian moral code - and it did them good"

That is because God has created humans with a conscience. Good and evil are built in concepts, and our spirit confirms to us if something is right or wrong. That is why people feel guilty when they commit adultery, steal or tell lies.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.8 / 5 (5) May 26, 2011
Hi FT
Crusades, mostly self defense, but I understand that progressives hate it when christians defend themselves.
Now this is funny. Self-defense, by invading the levant? Please elucidate.
Remember Hitler was a progresssive
I remember hitler was a good catholic. Read this:
http://atheism.ab...ious.htm

-or just keep pretending you know what youre talking about.
Jimmy Carter (a progressive) claims to be born again so does the wrestler Sting,
-Are you claiming that your particular flavor of bornagainity makes you superior to these commoners? How the hell would YOU know? Maybe jesus loves them better.
and in 2003 41% of the US population claimed to be born again
Now THAT is NOT true and will remain so until you provide a reputable source.
Evil is Evil, When progressives control religion, evil is sure to follow.
According to you jimmy carter and sting are Evil. Who else??
that_guy
1 / 5 (1) May 26, 2011
My answer is eclectic, because originally I was defending concepts in your arguments, not my own beliefs.

Child abuse being wrong regardless of human convention is my personal opinion, because, as I said before, I am a moral absolutist.

I suppose a better relativist argument is that what is considered abuse in one place is not in another, and the definition of abuse is dependant on the relative needs and culture of the society. For ex circumcism could be considered abuse. you could argue that what our society considers child abuse is generally negative for most societies. As you can see the arguments can go on and on in nuanced circles forever.

Lets agree that it can be that someone could defend this position with explanations to a point where it would be asonine to continue, because I do not want to go in those circles.

I do believe that in the humanist/agnostic/atheist and whatever worldviews there are stronger and weaker arguments.
Johannes414
2.6 / 5 (5) May 26, 2011
The brain centre that controls emotion and memory is smaller in born again people. I say amen to that. The control room for sin has lost it's communication lines literally.

The Bible expressedly states that God will not remember our sin and blot out our iniquity for ever. The born again believer has died with Jesus on the cross, and the old Adam is put off. New life has come by putting on Christ and His glorious body. Because when Christ was raised up, He could die no more, and death and all the things of the world were defeated.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (4) May 26, 2011
Hi Yohan
Usually people with a broken heart are touched by the Lord, and this is Biblical.
Yes the vulnerable are most susceptible to flim flam.

Hi ryggysoggy
All in violation of their founding principles.
Now this is obviously untrue. Let me start off with a source:

"34 "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn

"'a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law-
36 a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.'"matt10

-Jesus was the most flamboyant martyr in history. He demonstrated exactly how to get onesself horribly killed for ones faith. Millions followed his example.

Jesus is the god of revolution. Martyrdom is essential for any meaningful revolt. This is why the NT exists- it compliments the OT, which explains the essentials of conquest. Faith is essential for either to work.
that_guy
1 / 5 (1) May 26, 2011
I didn't say that humans were predisposed to be good. I said that wanting to be good was a viable belief in the atheist view when combined with the human condition.

From the evolutionary view, humans are predisposed to work together enough to survive, as evidenced by non god-fearing cultures. If not, then we wouldn't be having this conversation, understanding the caveat of your different viewpoint necessitates a different explanation to you.

No one disagrees that human thinking is often corrupted, but since there are honest non christians, I see no reason to believe god is necessary for a human to be uncorrupt.

You can make a house, a wall, or many things out of wood. That doesn't mean you have to have a wooden house to know the usefulness of wood. Just because I do have similar beliefs in some areas, doesn't make my system inconsistent, in fact there is a solid independant rationale for my views. You could say that these beliefs are human - so theism took them.
Johannes414
3 / 5 (4) May 26, 2011
"The human condition predisposes us to be fair"

So are we predisposed to be fair or not? If yes, then you need to explain how materialistic evolution can lead to the moral absolutes you believe in.

If no, then why do we need to be compasionate or fair? If man is just an animal we don't need any moral absolutes, just flexible ones to survive for ourselves. Either way your view leads you into a metaphysical dead end.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (4) May 26, 2011
If you are skeptical about Christian writings, then there is even more reason to be skeptical of Buddistic literature. The accounts of the life of Buddha were written hundreds of years after his death.
Meaning theyre both the same sort of flim flam. Tailored for specific target audiences. Each promising the same things in return for service and dedication, and the willingness to die for ones faith at the behest of its Leaders. Most likely concocted by the same Class of Leaders in the same time-honored Tradition.
Good and evil are built in concepts, and our spirit confirms to us if something is right or wrong. That is why people feel guilty when they commit adultery, steal or tell lies.
So do xians but they do them anyway. The majority of prison inmates are religious. They understand the tribal dynamic and the freedom it gives them to plunder and victimize outsiders. Religion is the institutionalization of this ancient evolutionary condition.
that_guy
1 / 5 (1) May 26, 2011
johaness, can you give me some arguments for your view that aren't based on the idea that god created this or that. All of these suppositions are that god created us that way. The obvious alternate supposition to all those arguments are that humanity evolved that way because it was beneficial, or something else created it.

Argue with me as if I won't believe a single thing that god created. I only see two logical angles to this argument.

a) Convince me that there is no other logical conclusion than god and his religion, all the while not once mentioning god or his religion (Anything else can be parlayed regardless of what the actual truth may be). I postulate this to be impossible.

b) agree that because each side needs it's own supposition, and is therefore unable to overcome the other.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (6) May 26, 2011
So are we predisposed to be fair or not?
We are predisposed to being fair with those in our own family and tribe, and extremely unfair with those outside our tribe. This was the dynamic which enabled tribes who were best at it to overcome others and propagate. It is what made us human.
that_guy
1 / 5 (1) May 26, 2011
"The human condition predisposes us to be fair"

So are we predisposed to be fair or not? If yes, then you need to explain how materialistic evolution can lead to the moral absolutes you believe in.

If no, then why do we need to be compasionate or fair? If man is just an animal we don't need any moral absolutes, just flexible ones to survive for ourselves. Either way your view leads you into a metaphysical dead end.


the majority of us are predisposed to be fair or compassionate at least some of the time. Our individual beliefs lead us to become more or less fair or compassionate. Suffice it to say, we are predisposed as a whole, to be fair or compassionate enough to survive and work together.

materialism is an extension of having enough to survive. We needed to stockpile to last through the winter. When people worked together, they survived better. If you think someone whil backstab you at any whim, you won't work with them. But otto said it better.
Johannes414
2.3 / 5 (6) May 26, 2011
"This was the dynamic which enabled tribes who were best at it to overcome others and propagate. It is what made us human"

Proof?

What makes us human is our DNA coding, language skills and abstract thought such as is leading to a belief in God. God is love, and love between people is a touchstone for humanity. Not a supposed process of millions of years of tribal war and genocide.
Johannes414
2.3 / 5 (6) May 26, 2011
"agree that because each side needs it's own supposition, and is therefore unable to overcome the other"

Of course you have your presupposition, and I have mine. Yours is atheism, mine is theism. Only your atheism is easy to refute because it's self-contradictory. Theism is the only system that can account for the existence of absolute morality and universal logic and reason. Atheism must assume these things but cannot account for their existence.
that_guy
3.7 / 5 (3) May 26, 2011
I think we're getting to a point where you are refusing to see obvious things. People choose to be good, because they think it will benefit society, because they think by extension, they will benefit too, because others will do the same and appreciate it. This is a common view among compassionate people, including christians.

What does it matter if we are compelled by our biology, or that our logic naturally brings us there by a backwardly selfish logic.
Johannes414
3 / 5 (4) May 26, 2011
"the majority of us are predisposed to be fair or compassionate at least some of the time"

Majority? Some of the time?...This is a self-refuting argument. Something is either predisposed or not. When predisposition is relative it's no longer predisposition, it's not existing. I express the hope you could at some point understand that you can't have your cake and eat it as well.
Johannes414
2.6 / 5 (5) May 26, 2011
"People choose to be good, because they think it will benefit society"

This is a rather silly assertion. Society is an abstract concept far removed from people's daily lives.

Do you love your family/wife/children/close ones because you think it will benefit some abstract entity? Of course not. You love them because that is the way God created you, with the ability to express love.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (4) May 26, 2011
Dont mean to be stepping all over you TG
Proof?
Youre asking ME for proof?? Haha thats funny. Ive posted this link for you before:
http://rechten.el...RID2.pdf

-It presents compelling THEORIES based on EVIDENCE which your faith-based pap totally LACKS.
What makes us human is our DNA coding, language skills and abstract thought such as is leading to a belief in God
Our DNA coding is the result of millions of years of EVOLUTION within a tribal context and the presence of endemic CONFLICT due to technological developments which gave us an unfair ADVANTAGE over the environmental forces which had previously kept our numbers in CHECK.

Why is it that there is this huge obvious GAP between the Fall from Grace and the Cain/Abel farmer/herder symbolic conflict? Where are all the hunter/gatherers which obviously existed? Did one have to be a farmer to warrant jehovahs attention? OOh I know- they were devo-
Johannes414
2.3 / 5 (6) May 26, 2011
"Our DNA coding is the result of millions of years of EVOLUTION"

Proof?

DNA represents coded information. Creation of information always requires intelligence as far as we have evidence. It's up to you to provde proof that a random process can generate coded information. Good luck.
Johannes414
3 / 5 (4) May 26, 2011
"Youre asking ME for proof??"

Yes I am asking you my friend. You are not above it. He who avers must prove. So go ahead. Provide evidence that tribal wars over zillions of years are responsible for the advent of humanity.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (6) May 26, 2011
No, really, backbreaking farming and manure-shoveling were penalties for the Fall.

"Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat food from it
all the days of your life.
18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground..."

-Which, when you think about it, succinctly describes what the development of technology did to the species. Overcrowding created the need to cultivate food. Constant conflict selected for the more clever in scheming against the enemy and communicating among tribal members. This caused our brains to grow and resulted in the agony of childbirth.

And it defined the difference between Good and Evil. Good is what benefits your tribe and harms the other tribe. Evil is what benefits them and harms you.

The book IS useful. It DESCRIBES HUMAN EVOLUTION EXACTLY. The Authors were Brilliant.
that_guy
4 / 5 (4) May 26, 2011
I am not atheist, and you did not make any non refutable arguements.
Predisposed some of the time being "self refuting"
I am predisposed to eat some of the time, like when I'm hungry. People who are not predisposed to take care of their children are less likely to reproduce successfully.

"People choose to be good, benefit society, and then back to themselves" a silly assertation.

Who cares if it is? I don't think it is, but the point is that assertation is a common reasoning. It doesn't even have to be right if people believe it. Whatever their motivation. You get what you want often when you treat people with kindness respect or fairness. That is motivation enough for many people.

A society that does not have family love will be less successful than one that does.

Just because you refuse to see a logical argument does not make it illogical.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.8 / 5 (5) May 26, 2011
"Youre asking ME for proof??"

Yes I am asking you my friend. You are not above it. He who avers must prove. So go ahead. Provide evidence that tribal wars over zillions of years are responsible for the advent of humanity.
You first. And your book doesnt count- Ive already begun to show you it was written to describe something completely different.
Johannes414
3.7 / 5 (3) May 26, 2011
"I am predisposed to eat some of the time, like when I'm hungry"

Fallacious analogy. You are predisposed to supplying yourself with sufficient nutrients during your whole lifetime. If you stop eating, eventually you will die. Nothing relative here.
that_guy
3 / 5 (2) May 26, 2011
Johaness, the burden of you is to prove to us. We are on an "atheist" science site after all.

Here's every argument you will have.
What about this? How does this benefit society? God must have made it.
answer:
Well, obviously there is this unit, family, or non christian culture that benefits from it in this way, so it helps us get along/survive/reproduce.

Why would you be an atheist/agnostic/nontheistic when you're beliefs here here and here (Cherry picking beliefs that are similar to christian ones) are like out in the bible.

I choose my own beliefs based on merit. any successful society will have a number of similar beliefs that needed for a good society. The bible in it's least has a lot of good idioms and rules for a society, as that was a large part of the reason for it's creation, as god says in the bible, or some man wrote, depending on your view.

My "theistic leaning" beliefs as you so call them, are actually closer to nontheistic buddhism than christianity
Johannes414
2.6 / 5 (5) May 26, 2011
"You first. And your book doesnt count- Ive already begun to show you it was written to describe something completely different."

You have not demonstrated anything. You are just repeating yourself, and worse- you are getting boring. If you are not willing or able to answer questions, then you are simply unfit for a debate.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (6) May 26, 2011
DNA represents coded information. Creation of information always requires intelligence as far as we have evidence.
Multiple lies strung together like prayer beads. DNA records the results of countless generations of successful interaction of organisms with their environment. No 'intelligence', whatever that is, required. What mean 'we' kimosabe? Certainly not people who are most qualified to investigate and comment on these sorts of things- them being SCIENTISTS and not conjurers and sorcerors and infernal book wizards like yourself.
that_guy
3 / 5 (2) May 26, 2011
"I am predisposed to eat some of the time, like when I'm hungry"

Fallacious analogy. You are predisposed to supplying yourself with sufficient nutrients during your whole lifetime. If you stop eating, eventually you will die. Nothing relative here.

I am predisposed to do what I need to survive or reproduce. Otherwise I die early or do not reproduce. If my ancestors did not have these predisposions, I would not be here. This is pretty simple, very similar to the argument for eating.

So yes, I am predisposed to be compassionate towards those that I rely on, and those under my care. But I am not necessarily predisposed to be so compassionate to those who attack me, regardless of whether I show compassion to the attacker or not.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (6) May 26, 2011
You have not demonstrated anything. You are just repeating yourself, and worse- you are getting boring. If you are not willing or able to answer questions, then you are simply unfit for a debate.
Translation: "I am losing here so I will accuse the otto beast of the very tactics I use- Repetition of lies, lack of convincing demonstration, stupifaction of opponents. Yah, maybe that'll work."

FAIL
The bible in it's least has a lot of good idioms and rules for a society, as that was a large part of the reason for it's creation, as god says in the bible, or some man wrote, depending on your view.
That, unfortunately, is because religion appropriated (stole) tribal law for its own uses, and to hide behind while compelling adherents to do the most immoral things at the behest of their god and its earthly minions.
Johannes414
2 / 5 (8) May 26, 2011
"Johaness, the burden of you is to prove to us. We are on an "atheist" science site after all"

Your arguments show a level of desperation now. The world is not a fair place - get used to it. You atheists want it to be that way after all.

Like I said, the existence of absolute morality, laws of logic and uniformity of nature is predicated upon the existence of God.

The opposite of this argument, that material atheism is responsible for these things, leads to a contradiction, because dead matter from a random explosion cannot account for their existence. If you don't agree with that, you are free to provide better arguments. If not, I assume you don't have them.
that_guy
4 / 5 (4) May 26, 2011
"You first. And your book doesnt count- Ive already begun to show you it was written to describe something completely different."

You have not demonstrated anything. You are just repeating yourself, and worse- you are getting boring. If you are not willing or able to answer questions, then you are simply unfit for a debate.


The answers are all the same. Your answers are because god gave it to us, our answers are all about survival as a species. We cannot prove that god doesn't exist, and therefore we cannot prove that it wasn't god who gave us the faculties needed to survive. But I also can't prove that there is not a clown named bobo in the andromeda galaxy. That doesn't mean that he does exist.

Like I said, i won't say that you're wrong, but I will say that you have no valid argument to say that you're more right than anyone here with a different belief system.
ryggesogn2
2.1 / 5 (7) May 26, 2011
the definition of abuse is dependant on the relative needs and culture of the society.

Virgin sacrifice is not so good for the virgin.

People choose to be good, because they think it will benefit society,

People choose to be good in their own interest. If someone tries to kill you or take your stuff, you may just fight back and injure the aggressor. So there is always a risk to an aggressor, unless, of course, he creates a government and gangs up you you.
Without a state monopoly on force, it is in everyone's self interest to treat others as they would like to be treated.
that_guy
3.7 / 5 (3) May 26, 2011
"Johaness, the burden of you is to prove to us. We are on an "atheist" science site after all"

Your arguments show a level of desperation now. The world is not a fair place - get used to it. You atheists want it to be that way after all.

You are correct, there is some desperation - more like exasperation - Why would I want to spend more time on an asonine argument that is going nowhere? Isn't that similar to the definition of crazy? I realize that I will not bring the slightest reason to you, so why would I waste my time. This argument isn't about us being right, its about you trying to be more right, which you absolutely cannot prove. How is the big bang crazier than "some unprovable god" creating it all. It all depends on your starting point of view.

You after all, have been attributing one view on me, not realizing that I'm arguing that every other view has its own explanations. maybe that's confusing to you. There is more than one way to skin a cat.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.7 / 5 (7) May 26, 2011
Your arguments show a level of desperation now. The world is not a fair place - get used to it. You atheists want it to be that way after all.

Like I said, the existence of absolute morality, laws of logic and uniformity of nature is predicated upon the existence of God.
PROOF Yohan PROOF. We have evidence. You Have NONE. Only a book which is obviously about something else, and a desert full of NOTHING.
Johannes414
2.1 / 5 (7) May 26, 2011
"DNA records the results of countless generations of successful interaction of organisms with their environment"

Proof?

DNA simply records the genetic instructions for the various functions in our body. That is fact. DNA is not a novel about Darwinian evolution. Again, coded instructions always require an intelligent source as far as we have evidence.

You have to provide evidence that in the case of DNA no such source of intelligence was involved, and random mutations created the information over millions of years.
Johannes414
2.3 / 5 (6) May 26, 2011
"We have evidence"

Then provide it. Explain how atoms can give rise to absolute morality, laws of logic and human conscience. Regurgitating tribal warfare myths won't do this time.
ryggesogn2
2.3 / 5 (6) May 26, 2011
What I find interesting about the Bible is its central theme of faith. The Bible was written over many centuries by many individuals and what God wanted was His people to have faith.
It's the same with Jesus. He has two commandments, love God and love your neighbor as yourself, and have faith.
Faith, positive thinking are quite powerful. That is what Napoleon Hill discovered after 20 years of reserch. It is documented in "Think an Grow Rich".
So if the Bible was a conspiracy to gain power, why would they promote faith and love? How would the conspirators personally benefit?
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.7 / 5 (7) May 26, 2011
"We have evidence"

Then provide it. Explain how atoms can give rise to absolute morality, laws of logic and human conscience. Regurgitating tribal warfare myths won't do this time.
So you didnt read the paper. I can understand, as it would only confuse you. But others may read it and- who knows? -change their minds about religionism when provided with a much more reasonable explanation of why we are the way we are.

Evidence mounts daily to reinforce scientific theories and make yours appear sillier and sillier. Whenever scientists and religionists meet, science always gains and religion always loses. Because science Makes More Sense. You guys can only ever exist in the absense of knowledge or the suppression of it.

Churches make great museums.
that_guy
3.7 / 5 (3) May 26, 2011
"We have evidence"

Then provide it. Explain how atoms can give rise to absolute morality, laws of logic and human conscience. Regurgitating tribal warfare myths won't do this time.


I believe this argument started with you convincing us that you were absolutely right, not that science knows everything. Obviously we wouldn't need science if we already knew everything. Just because science can't explain something doen't mean it's wrong.

So we are on a science site, the burden of proof is on you to convince us away from all presuppositions. You haven't given us any valid arguments that don't work without the god presupposition in the first place.

Lets suppose that the non-free will, non spirit/soul flaver of atheism is the correct belief. the line of logic from the quantum to the soul, and presumably back again, would be far too long, because you are demanding the minutaie of connections by your argument. It is an impractical question at best.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (6) May 26, 2011
It's the same with Jesus. He has two commandments, love God and love your neighbor as yourself, and have faith.
Uh thats 3
Faith, positive thinking are quite powerful. That is what Napoleon Hill discovered after 20 years of reserch.
-And napoleon Bonaparte discovered early in his career that faith in god and the afterlife, and in the evil of the enemy, was the most effective way to inspire ones troops to perform at their best. An old lesson. Their faith led them out into the vast russian steppes where most of them died, not unlike hitlers legions. Gott mit Uns.
that_guy
3 / 5 (2) May 26, 2011
I'm still waiting for the argument that knocks down cold hearted, morally relativistics, non free will atheism.

Then we have hundreds more belief systems after that.

It feels like the christians want us to write a bible of refutes before they think our views are valid
ryggesogn2
2.5 / 5 (8) May 26, 2011
"When we look at the history of science, we see that in fact it owes an immense debt to the religious world. In the early Middle Ages - a time when Christian Europe turned away from scientific thinking - the science, mathematics, and astronomy of the ancient Greeks was kept alive in the Islamic world, where it was further developed and enriched by Moslem scholars. In the thirteenth century when this scientific heritage began to filter back into Western Europe, it was originally taken up by Christian monks and theologians."
"Throughout the late Middle Ages and Renaissance, most scientific leaders were men of the church, They included the great medieval champion of mathematical science Robert Grosseteste (Bishop of Oxford, and the man who reinvigorated the science of geometric optics); the medieval champion of experimental science Roger Bacon (a Franciscan monk, sometimes known as the medieval Galileo);"
http://www.pbs.or...ody.html
Ethelred
3 / 5 (4) May 27, 2011
Every evolutionist who uses a moral argument against Christianity is in fact confirming the existence of God.
You do like to make such clearly false statements. Moral argument have nothing to do with a god. They CAN be based on religion but do not have to be.

That was another of your ridiculous 'whatever you say proves Jehovah exists' posts.

The evolutionary worldview does not allow for universal moral laws to exist.
True. There are no such things. Morals are NOT universal. IT was moral for Carthaginians to sacrifice their own children to their gods.

Right and wrong are just temporary and limited human conventions
Absolutely. You can see in the Bible when Jehovah tells the Israelites to murder everyone on a town. Even the pets. Jehovah was NEVER moral by Christians standards.>>
Ethelred
3 / 5 (4) May 27, 2011
So moral outcry over any Christian wrongdoings by a humanist is just self-deception of the brain.
LIE. My morals are based on the Golden Rule and that is NOT dependent on a god that is supposed to have murdered all the first born in Egypt. Indeed it is the opposite of much Jehovah's behavior. Please keep in mind that it the BIBLE that made the accusations not me. I am just reminding you of them.

After all, people are just evolved animals and animals do what they want to secure their own interest.
Those interests include their offspring and friends neighbors and pretty much everyone they have an interest in. Which is why Agnostics and Atheist rarely go to jail or prison.>>
Ethelred
3 / 5 (4) May 27, 2011
Bacteria are not aware of any difference between right and wrong.
Or anything else. You should use examples that have relevance. Israelites that murdered villagers because Jehovah said they should clearly had a major problem with telling right from wrong. They did wrong instead doing the right thing and telling Jehovah to stuff where the Sun doesn't shine. Which would be days 1 through 3 in Genesis.

Only in a universe created by God and constrained by absolute moral laws does a moral judgement make any sense.
Lie. Moral judgement makes sense to me. I would find Jehovah morally repugnant if it existed. Since Jehovah doesn't exist it is the claims that Bible has absolute morals that I find repugnant.

The world isn't going to become 6000 years old and Flood won't suddenly become a real event just because you claim 'whatever say proves Jehovah exists'. You clearly are completely incompetent when it comes to using logic.

Ethelred
Ethelred
3.4 / 5 (5) May 27, 2011
Then provide it. Explain how atoms can give rise to absolute morality, laws of logic and human conscience.
Did it for you already. You ran away. Of coures I refused to make silly lies to support ABSOLUTE morality since that doesn't exist. Not even in the Bible as it shows Jehovah violating his own rules, frequently. The rules aren't absolute if the creator of the rules is not beholden to them.

Atoms are an emergent property of the physical laws of the universe and the energy in it.

Chemistry is an emergent property of the physics of atoms. Mostly the interactions of the electron shells.

Biochemistry is an emergent property of the physical laws regarding atoms that can form complex molecules in combination with a strong energy source and iterative chemical processes that drove the start self reproducing molecules.>>
Ethelred
4 / 5 (4) May 27, 2011
Self reproducing molecules are capable of evolving to via natural selection.

Eventually that resulted in sexually reproducing species. Sexually reproducing MUST have cooperation thus morals MUST arise.

If you want details you can start answering questions instead of evading them. Like for instance you could tell us when think the Great Flood occurred or produce evidence that grass evolved before the Sun existed. How about ANY evidence that shows the world is young?

Ethelred
Ethelred
3 / 5 (2) May 27, 2011
DNA simply records the genetic instructions for the various functions in our body.
It also has things that DON'T do that. Legacies of past instructions that have been turned off by mutations for instance. So you claim of simplicity is false.

That is fact.
Its false. LOTS of evidence of in DNA for evolution. There are SEVEN hemoglobin variants in human DNA. In EVERYONE. Your false statements of fact are based on YOUR ignorance not on actual DNA.

Again, coded instructions always require an intelligent source as far as we have evidence.
False. DNA is evidence that intelligence not needed. You just made a claim and hoped no one would notice it is just bullshit. Your reasoning was purely circular. Mine in this paragraph is a mirror of your circle. However those hemoglobin variants are in my favor not yours.

You have to provide evidence that in the case of DNA no such source of intelligence was involved,


More
Ethelred
3.4 / 5 (5) May 27, 2011
YOU have to provide evidence that an intelligence is required. I don't see any need for one. The only need you have is religious. And I read Dembski's crappy paper. Did you?

I find it interesting the way you demand proof and never give any. A clear indication that you don't have any such proof. Hypocritical as well. Also immoral as it is very much against the Golden Rule.

and random mutations created the information over millions of years.
Straw man. You really seem to think you can make up shit and demand we prove it when we never made such a claim.

Evolution is NOT the result of random mutations and I pointed that out to you before. You have a serious learning disability.

Mutations are random or mostly so. Natural Selection IS NOT RANDOM. Anytime you want to actually discuss this instead of engaging in disingenuous posts feel free. I like honest discussion and I am still waiting for one with you.

Ethelred
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (4) May 27, 2011
hey ryggy
"When we look at the history of science, we see that in fact it owes an immense debt to the religious world.
Yeah.

"What is objected to in the Galilei case is not so much the historical fact of the blunder, as the permanent claim of the Church to be, by Divine right, the guardian of the Scripture; it is the principle by which she adheres to the literal sense of Holy Writ, as long as either the context or the nature of the case does not suggest a metaphorical interpretation. Granted that the evidences, which convinced Copernicus, Kepler, and Galilei, should also have convinced the theologians of the time, the latter committed a blunder. It cannot be this, however, that is continually held up against the Church." Catholic encyclopedia

-More!

The science of faith
"Although faith is not science, yet there is a science of faith. The knowledge acquired by faith, on the one hand, rests upon science, and on the other lends itself to scientific methods."

hahahahaha
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (4) May 27, 2011
Morals are NOT universal.
Indeed they are, and confer evolutionary advantage.

"Darwin was also aware of the ethnocentrism and xenophobia in social organisms. In animals living in groups, he wrote, "sympathy is directed solely towards members of the same community, and therefore towards known, and more or less loved members, but not to all the individuals of the same species" (Darwin, 1871, Vol. I: 163).
As regards humans, Darwin stated that "the confinement of sympathy to the same tribe" must have been the rule. This was for him one of the chief causes of the low morality of the savages. "Primeval man", he argued, "regarded actions as good or bad solely as they obviously affected the welfare of the tribe, not of the species". Among the living tribal peoples, he added, "the virtues are practised almost exclusively in relation to the men of the same tribe" and the corresponding vices "are not regarded as crimes" if practised on other tribes (Darwin, 1871, Vol. I: 182, 179)
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (4) May 27, 2011
Religions are able to suspend and subvert natural intra-tribal morality as needed. Infanticide is another form of population control. It was practiced by amerinds and germanic pagans to restrict their growth and reduce the need for conflict. Hebrews in jerusalem threw unwanted babies into the gehenna ravine for the same reasons, and blamed it on the canaanite god moloch.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (4) May 27, 2011
More on natural morality, the tribal dynamic, and human evolution:

"Apparently Darwin had formed the opinion that natural selection acts to a great extent through intergroup competition. In his own words, "natural selection, arising from the competition of tribe with tribe,...would, under favourable conditions, have sufficed to raise man to his high position" (Darwin, 1871, Vol. I: 97).
This competition, in his opinion, could be carried out through direct conflict, even in bloody forms. "When of two adjoining tribes one becomes less numerous and less powerful than the other", he maintained, "the contest is settled by war, slaughter, cannibalism, slavery, and absorption" (1871, Vol. I: 202). He was quite aware, however, that competition between groups had to be combined with cooperation within them (e.g., Melotti, 1987)."
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (4) May 27, 2011
"Let it be borne in mind how all-important in the never-ceasing wars of savages, fidelity and courage must be. The advantage which disciplined soldiers have over undisciplined hordes follows chiefly from the confidence which each man feels in his comrades. Obedience, as Mr. Bagehot has well shewn, is of the highest value, for any form of government is better than none. Selfish and contentious people will not cohere, and without coherence nothing can be effected. A tribe rich in the above qualities would spread and be victorious over other tribes... (Darwin, 1891,Vol. I: 199-200)."

-I suppose I could post the whole freeking article, or you could just read it.
http://rechten.el...RID2.pdf
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (4) May 27, 2011
"Every advance in morality and social solidarity would have survival value for the group in which it occurred, Darwin added:
At all times throughout the world tribes have supplanted other tribes; and as morality is one important element in their success, the standard of morality and the number of well-endowed men will thus everywhere tend to rise and increase (Darwin, 1871,Vol. I: 166)."

Morality is natural. NO GOD NEEDED.

Natural inclinations can be suspended with the proper conditioning. It is unnatural for doggys to do backflips for biscuits. It is understandable that humans would do backflips if they expect to see their dead relatives in heaven for the effort.
ryggesogn2
2.1 / 5 (7) May 27, 2011
The science of faith

Anybody who has been seriously engaged is scientific work of any kind realizes that over the entrance to the gates of the temple of science are written the words: 'Ye must have faith.'
Max Planck

Read more: http://www.brainy...NZY7AxzH
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.8 / 5 (5) May 27, 2011
The science of faith

Anybody who has been seriously engaged is scientific work of any kind realizes that over the entrance to the gates of the temple of science are written the words: 'Ye must have faith.'
Max Planck

Read more: http://www.brainy...NZY7AxzH
Is that in any way related to 'Arbeit macht Frei'?

-Indeed yes, in many ways, I think it is.
ryggesogn2
2.6 / 5 (5) May 27, 2011
I don't think that is what Planck meant.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.8 / 5 (5) May 27, 2011
I don't think that is what Planck meant.
I was thinking more of luther.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (4) May 27, 2011
Verily do not forget the wisdom that is religion:

"The assent of faith is a RATIONAL act; before it can be made it must be known for CERTAIN that there is a God, that God has spoken, and what He has spoken. The Apostles, the early Fathers, councils, and popes bear witness to it (Pesch, see below, pp. 18-22). St. Peter wants the faithful to be ready always to satisfy every one that asketh a reason of that hope which is in them (1 Peter 3:15). St. Augustine asks: "Who does not see that knowledge precedes faith? Nobody believes unless he knows WHAT to believe"."(emphasis ottos)

Faith is a RATIONAL act... based on CERTAIN KNOWLEDGE of gods existance... derived from KNOWING what god has SPOKEN... which can only be found in his BOOK... as interpreted by his PRIESTS... which of course will differ diametrically among all the many SECTS, DENOMINATIONS, and RELIGIONS ad infinitum, all of which are CERTAIN they possess the ONE TRUE FAITH in the one true GOD.

This is the science of faith.
ryggesogn2
3 / 5 (4) May 27, 2011
I don't think that is what Planck meant.
I was thinking more of luther.

The quote was from Max Planck. The quantum physicist.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.8 / 5 (5) May 27, 2011
I don't think that is what Planck meant.
I was thinking more of luther.

The quote was from Max Planck. The quantum physicist.
And the topic was Faith right? The sign implied to dachau prisoners that if they worked hard enough they would get out. Which was a lie, right? Religious faith promises eternal life- escape from the confines of death- which is also a lie. So perhaps you can appreciate the similarity.
ryggesogn2
2.6 / 5 (5) May 27, 2011
Planck was suggesting scientists must have faith in their process as there is no guarantee natural laws will be the same today as they were yesterday.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (6) May 27, 2011
Planck was suggesting scientists must have faith in their process as there is no guarantee natural laws will be the same today as they were yesterday.
And I am suggesting that you dont understand the difference between the kind of faith planck was talking about, and the sort of religious deception which you mistake it for. I thought I made that clear (I did).

Planks faith was in a discipline which increasingly becomes able to describe the world the way it is. It is akin to confidence. Your faith persists despite its decreasing ability to describe this world. It is akin to fantasy and delusion.

Planck had faith that science was on the right track. You have faith that he will ultimately be proven wrong.
that_guy
3.7 / 5 (3) May 27, 2011
Planck was suggesting scientists must have faith in their process as there is no guarantee natural laws will be the same today as they were yesterday.


In planck's quote, he was saying that you must have faith in the scientific process. In his time, especially with the theories that planck was putting forward, planck had a lot of doubters - quantum theory theory didn't make sense to classical physicists. But, he had done the math and experiments to confirm many of his observations. Especially for his situation, some of the results and theories that he gave us for quantum physics was very unintuitive. He needed to have faith in what he was doing, even though he had evidence, because what he was coming up with seemed so bizarre.

Besides, if you don't have faith in the scientific process at its most basic, then by extension, you don't believe in causality.
ryggesogn2
2.6 / 5 (5) May 27, 2011
Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are a part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.
Max Planck

We have no right to assume that any physical laws exist, or if they have existed up until now, that they will continue to exist in a similar manner in the future.
Max Planck

Whence come I and whither go I? That is the great unfathomable question, the same for every one of us. Science has no answer to it.
Max Planck

Read more: http://www.brainy...Nbe9DSzk

"It is perfectly conceivable that one fine day nature should cause an unexpected event to occur which would baffle us all; and if this were to happen we would be powerless to make any objection, even if the result would be that, in spite of our endeavors, we should fail to introduce order into the resulting confusion. In such an event, the only course open to science would be to declare itself bankrupt."
Planck
FrankHerbert
2 / 5 (12) May 27, 2011
"God exists." - Max Planck

Oh wait, that quote doesn't exist.
ryggesogn2
1.8 / 5 (5) May 27, 2011
Does the uncertainty of science make you uncomfortable Frank?

I wonder how many 'scientists' fear discovering something that would turn their world upside down? Fear it so much they either consciously or unconsciously won't look for it or see it?
FrankHerbert
2.5 / 5 (13) May 28, 2011
No, not at all. I am in total awe at the fact that simply my existence is the greatest miracle I will ever witness. That against all odds I am an emergent property of the universe. I am part of a line of succession that dates back billions of years to before life even existed. I am life that breathed life into itself. I don't need to figure it all out. It won't stop my from trying though. I am the universe attempting to understand itself, and if the universe involves a god I want to know this as well. Right now I have no reason to believe this. Maybe someday?
ryggesogn2
2.3 / 5 (6) May 28, 2011
Right now I have no reason to believe this.

Millions of others do have reason to believe.
Do you care?
that_guy
4.2 / 5 (5) May 28, 2011
Right now I have no reason to believe this.

Millions of others do have reason to believe.
Do you care?

Of course we care what other people believe, because it affects the world. Unfortunately, just because someone has a reason to believe something, that doesn't mean their reason is correct.

By your logic, it looks like you're trying to tell us we should believe something false because others do?
ryggesogn2
2.3 / 5 (6) May 28, 2011
By your logic, it looks like you're trying to tell us we should believe something false because others do?

I am not saying that, but the atheists here are.

"God exists." - Max Planck

Oh wait, that quote doesn't exist.

Prove it.
Skeptic_Heretic
4 / 5 (4) May 28, 2011
By your logic, it looks like you're trying to tell us we should believe something false because others do?
I am not saying that
No, that'd be exactly what your statement insinuated.

Are you telling us the only reason you believe in God is because other people do? That's a fairly distinct lack of faith in your belief and a rather strong belief that you're a gullible sucker.

Most of your commentary stands as evidence to this as well.
ryggesogn2
2 / 5 (8) May 28, 2011
As for my faith SH, it's none of your business.
Why would an atheist care anyway?
Ethelred
3.7 / 5 (6) May 29, 2011
As for my faith SH, it's none of your business.
Marjon LIES again. YOU made it other people's business by making Creationist posts here. YOU chose to push your religion here just like you chose to support Somalian pirates here.

Why would an atheist care anyway?
Why do you post your crap here? Why do you lie so much? Why are you in politics when you hate politicians? Why have you not killed the one politician you have the right to kill?

And above all why haven't moved to Somalia since you find it so perfectly Ann Rand like? If you do that you can stop wondering about the previous question.

Ethelred
Skeptic_Heretic
3.4 / 5 (5) May 29, 2011
As for my faith SH, it's none of your business.
Why would an atheist care anyway?

Did I strike a nerve there Mr False Christian?
ryggesogn2
2.3 / 5 (6) May 29, 2011
As for my faith SH, it's none of your business.
Why would an atheist care anyway?

Did I strike a nerve there Mr False Christian?

Nope.
ryggesogn2
1.6 / 5 (7) May 29, 2011
Ethel, the article is about religious beliefs. The first few comments were from atheists that ridiculed religion.
Why do atheists post their crap here?
Why don't you defend your socialist world view?
SH thinks he knows where I live and what I do(he should be more of a skeptic). But instead of defending their 'progressive' socialist policies, SH, Ethel,...make personal attacks. Of course this is a common tactic of 'progressives'.
ryggesogn2
2 / 5 (8) May 29, 2011
5.5+ million like Jesus Daily on Facebook.
http://www.facebo...susDaily
Skeptic_Heretic
3.9 / 5 (7) May 29, 2011
5.5+ million like Jesus Daily on Facebook.
http://www.facebo...susDaily

19 million like Zynga Texas Hold'em Poker. Should we make a new religion around it?
ryggesogn2
2.3 / 5 (6) May 29, 2011
Daily Atheist Quote has 61 active uses.
Not much of a populist are you SH.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.4 / 5 (5) May 29, 2011
Daily Atheist Quote has 61 active uses.
Not much of a populist are you SH.

Relevence?