"When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen F Roberts

More Letters from adoring fans!!!

...Occasionally, I get e-mail from people who check out my site and have this comment or that. Most are supportive. Occasionally, I get some interesting personal attacks insulting me, my family, my ancestry, my kind... whatever... Strangely, most of these attacks come from "loving Christians"....

...Darn... Forgot this one for several weeks :-/ I really should work on a way to keep track of these things! Anyway, time to wrap this up and finish it.

My words are in blue, his in red


Envelope-to: sroberts AT
From: "Dustin Jones" <FROM EMAIL REMOVED>
Subject: Silly Silly Silly....
Date: Wed, 23 Apr 2003 00:45:22 -0500

     I have met smart atheists and silly ones. You sir are just silly.

...Hmmmm. Never claimed to be smart, tho "silly" seems a bit extreme.

You should use more specific examples when you ramble through your vague anti-god thoughts.

...Well, I do call them "Atheist Ramblings" for a reason, mostly because I bounce from idea to idea as they occur to me. When needed, I try to be specific, but I'm not here to win "converts", just to talk. But most of my thoughts are not "anti-god" per-se, mostly they are comments against some of the more silly "pro-god" statements theists make.

And, I take serious issue with your problem with faith (it even makes me giggle). How many times is 'evidence' given and believed widely in a scientific community only to be completed discounted later.

...Happens occasionally, but not all the time. We all make mistakes, but the beauty of the scientific method and peer review is that it is rare for mistakes go for long. Even accepted theorems are challenged, probed and either improved or discarded.

How about the laws of physics? Any serious study of quantum mechanics turns the 'LAWS' of Newton on their ear.

...Well there you go. Quantum Mech does not turn the laws of Newton on their ear any more than the electromagntic theory of light invalidates the prismatic effect. QM explains how things act at the tiny scale. Newton's laws are more than adequate to explain what happens at the huge level (say, bigger than a grain of sand). QM in no way explains or contradicts Newtons Laws.

...You should do some reading on the subject. Or at least pull up some google pages first.

The problem with the scientific method is that it starts with a hypothesis that may be impossible to prove or disprove. There is a God. There is no God. Prove either scientifically.

...The scientific method does not start that way and makes no such hypothesis. The "scientific method" is a just a method of making predictions that explain facts or observations, testing those predictions, then seeing if they fit the observatios.

...That's perhaps why you think it "starts with" no god... because the scientific method makes no statement either way. Its like getting upset that math "starts with a hypothesis that there is no god". 1 + 1 = 2 whether or not carrots are orange and whether or not there are gods.

...When making a deduction or statement, you dont include information that is just not relevant. The existence or lack of existence of god(s) is not important to what temperature the sun burns at or what the half-life or plutonium is. Last I checked, Geometry books dont make a claim about god... but triangles can still be created. You don't need to make a statement about god's existence to find out the orbits of the planets or what makes rainbows.

You can only take a side and set out looking for the 'evidence' that makes you happy. And if you find 'evidence' that makes you unhappy, you'll set out to discount it.

...Sometimes the evidence is wrong. If I drive a car at night and occasionally see lights, should I conclude that night may not be dark or discount the few error points?

...Sometimes you cant discount "evidence" and you have to revise your theories. How willing are you to admit you can be wrong?

You've taken your side, and I respect that. You should show some similar respect back our way.

     When will you atheists just admit you don't know and you can only assume. Quit acting like you've reached your viewpoint through some higher intellect or 'real' facts (giggle giggle.) It makes you look silly.

...What exactly would be an "unreal" fact? What is silly is criticizing scientists for using reason to reach viewpoints. The only way to show reason is invalid is to use reason, which would validate what you are trying to disprove... if you don't use reason to disprove reason, you are (by definition) being irrational.

...So who looks silly?

You have faith in your beliefs. You have faith in atheism. Don't tell me that facts point toward the absence of God.

...They don't point to an absense of god(s). It is not easy to prove something isn't there. Prove to me there isn't an Invisible Pink Unicorn in your living room right now, bet ya cant.

...The facts do not point towards the absense of gods... however, there is an overwhelming lack of evidence that there are gods. When you can't find any evidence of the unicorn in your living room, are you going to say "Well, she's there, just somehow I can't see her" or are you more likely to say "Because I have no evidence that she exists, I can tentatively say that she doesn't exist, pending further information"? Do you believe everything you can't disprove?

Ask a scientist what causes something as simple as gravity. Guess what, they don't know. They call these things 'forces'. There are four of them. Forces like magical gods that cannot be understood.

..."Cannot be understood"? Is that like how lightning "could not be understood" a few hundred years ago? Or the spread of disease "could not be understood"? Or how chemical reactions "could not be understood"?

...If we had stoped with "god did it", we would still be convinced that angels held up the planets, god caused lightning, and little demons or sin caused disease... I think we're better off saying "I don't know".

...As for the four forces. We do understand what causes 3 of them, and there are several good theories that produce gravity. Now, we can do one of two things. We can say "I dont know" and keep looking... or we can say "some unknowable god-like thing did it, so lets just stop looking".

We hear of things like 'dark matter' that can't be seen or detected. Why do we have dark matter? Not because there is ANY proof of it. It exists only to preserve the reputation of scientists who said for a hundred years-- with their 'evidence'-- that the universe would contract back down only to BANG again. But now we know that it is expanding faster and faster. Shoot! Let's invent dark matter to explain that. You people can have faith in dark matter if you like.

...You really really should look these things up. The "Big Bang" theory isn't even a hundred years old, barely even fifty. "Dark Matter" was propsed to explain why the universe seems "flat", not curved like it should be based on how much matter we can see.

I'll take God. But we both have faith. You should not be so arrogant that you can't admit it.

...cant admit I had faith? I don't. My support for what science currently says is totally contingent.

     Ps you are just wrong about the fossil record.

...In what way?

You will never convince anyone unless you are factual.

...I would like to convince people, but that's not really my goal. Because of that, I don't really go out of my way to fully footnote all my claims or provide corresponding links to every possible supporting website. I'm not a journalist, just a guy with a website.

...In the past, when someone has shown a claim of mine to be wrong, I have corrected it (as happens when I attribute statements to one person when another was the source). If you have real examples of when I was factually wrong, I will gladly correct my mistakes...

...However, if you think my statements on the fossil record are wrong, you have a steep hill to climb. I'd recommend starting with - the archive of the talk-origins newsgroup. Check there to see if your "facts" against the fossil record have not been thoroughly debunked by the scientists and researchers who have contributed to that source. If you pass that test, then you can bring them to me.

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