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« Radio Guest Sunday | Main | Extraordinary Claim, Extraordinary Evidence? »

March 01, 2010

Comments

btmbo

"EpistletotheApostles made the claim:

[...] you have zero evidence.

Would you kindly support your claim?"

Ill go with this obvious derail for now. And its a derail because it prevents the evidence coming forward, yet again.

Well its not a claim so much as a statement of fact. However, surely its easily refuted: if you just put forward some of this evidence (=independent corroboration from an outside source, or a direct, methodologically rigorous, repeatable empirical demonstration) then we can move forward. For now, I support my 'claim' by reasserting that I have yet to see any evidence that fits the definition above. A difintion that needs to be applied because we are considering claims about how the universe works. You could retreat to deism, but whats the point of worshipping that?

If you want to claim faith, then fine. You dont need to defend faith, but then its automatically irrational.

EtA

""I don't know" becomes a stop-gap tactic that can shut down any epistemological search."

Entirely incorrect. This is the stimulus to investigation.

Eta-

Only if faith is defined as a straw-man type, such as irrational, unintelligent, "leap of faith", contrary to evidence and reason, as you have proposed.

The problem is you've defined "faith" as opposite of what it is in my understanding. You've succumbed to a David Hume or Immanuel Kant definition of faith.

Biblical faith is not defined this way.

ryan

Just a thought. The "I dont know" answer is not a derail, despite how you perceive it. If you are answering the question "does a deity exist" and an atheist says "well there isnt any/enough evidence to support the hypothesis" then thats the end of story. "I dont know" aint an issue.

However, I imagine that you then ask supplementaries like "so how did life come about?" If the answer to that (and questions like it) is "I dont know", then you are dealing with someone who is representing our current state of knowledge. We dont even know much about the sea floor, let alone origins of life, or the universe - but people are working on it. And so far, I have yet to see ONE science paper that says "I conclude goddunnit". We can get into materialistic naturalism tedium if you so wish.

EtA

ryan

I just used a common dictionary defintion of faith. I see no reason to ascribe a more rigorous defintion than that, tho' quite willing to be corrected.

What is your defintion of "biblical faith?"

The reality is atheists make claims all the time. They’re sprinkled everywhere – even on this very thread. From Danny claiming that theistic beliefs “cause harm” to EtA claiming theism has “no evidence” (Even many prominent atheists don’t make the claim of “no evidence”!!) to the atheist that has Darwin eating the fish on the back of his car – there are claims abound. There is no avoiding it.

The atheist described in this thread is an atheist that doesn’t exist – but it’s convenient to pretend he does because then he doesn’t have to answer anything. It’s pure intellectual laziness.

EpistletotheApostles:

1) Your description of faith ('belief without evidence') has been discussed and rejected by most here for rational reasons. See this for a fuller discussion.

2) Asserting that '[William Lane Craig's] 'argument' begins by assuming God as axiomatic' simply does not follow from the text. He begins by illustrating a decision tree for Theism, Atheism (non-theism) and agnosticism. He does not take sides in this illustration.

3) You said: Your staring point is that God exists. No, it isn't. There isn't enough space to fully convey my story, but suffice it to say I was an agnostic who evolved to become an atheist; I vigorously debated pastors and other Christians. In my early 20's my MIT physics and science education raised philosophical issues that pointed to a creator. To use a statistical analogy, an expectation-maximization (EM) algorithm is used to find the most likely model using incomplete data where the model depends on unobserved latent variables. In this case, the model is our worldview, and observations of the world reflect the incomplete (though sufficient) latent data. The question we are asking is, "Given our observations of the world, which world view is most likely explanation?" For a variety of reasons I conclude the worldview that claims a creator is the most likely.

But recall, this thread does not address specific evidence; it is focused on whether atheists need to support their claims. As is the case for anyone who holds a worldview (and I believe that's everyone), atheists are not free from the burden of supporting their claim.

Epistle-

Before I give you a biblical definition of faith, I would like to ask you some questions?

First, are you ready for it? By that I mean if i give a biblical definition, will you please consider?

Rather than immediately dismiss, insert definition into your "faith" equation, and see if it doesn't change your sums.

Let me know if you really want to hear my answer.

Ps-

You can enlighten me on your dictionary definition too. I would like to compare and contrast.

Jon-

"The one that asserts the claim has the burden to prove the claim."

You've now asserted this. Can you prove it?

Taking btmbo's guidance to stay on topic, suppose I claim that the evidence for common ancestry of man an chimp is better than the evidence that God made Adam from dirt.

Does this obligate me to defend the claim, say, that there is no God?

RonH

RonH,

>>”suppose I claim that the evidence for common ancestry of man an chimp is better than the evidence that God made Adam from dirt.”

Also, suppose you claim that the evidence that life sprung from nonlife (or nothing) is better than the evidence that life had a Creator.

Of course, that's not as fun for you to claim : )

EpistletotheApostles you said:

    And its a derail because it prevents the evidence coming forward, yet again.

Please recall, this thread does not address specific evidence Instead, this thread is focused on whether atheists must support their claims.

'Evidence' and 'Supporting Claims' are 2 different issues. This site is replete with discussion of the evidences, and I would point you to this, this, this, this, this, and this as examples.

ryan

I am fully prepared to listen to your definiton of biblical faith. You believe you have a point and I would like to hear it. I will certainly consider it.

Dictionary definiton @ http://tinyurl.com/3lub7 - number 2. For what it is worth....

btmbo

Thanks for the link re: faith Ill have a better read when I have more time.

Re: Lane Craig.... My first difficulty with it is the denition of atheism. For me its a matter that is open to debate! Atheism is a lack of belief in deity(ies). That isnt some semantic wiggle! I have yet to have any evidence presented to me that supports the hypothesis that 'a deity exists'.

Secondly when someone states this:
"To prove his position the atheist has his task cut out for himself: What he must do is show that (a) the epistemic situation in which we find ourselves with respect to belief in God’s existence satisfies the above Criteria; and (b) demonstrate that we lack sufficient evidence for knowing that God exists. Equivalently, he must show that all the arguments for God are unsound and then argue that if God existed then we would expect to be in a position to know whether God exists. But as we’ll see, there is good reason to think (a) is false because our epistemic situation in which we find ourselves with respect to belief in God’s existence does not satisfy the above Criteria" It CLEARLY entails a precondition that God is axiomatic. If you think there is another way to interpret this then show me where I am wrong.

I see your MIT physics education and I raise you a degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University, included a much enjoyed module in the History and Philosophy of Science in my second year. So tell me, how can I produce evidence for my lack of belief? Belief in God is an assertion, is it not? Are you suggesting that this is the default position? Because the conclusion is that somehow, in a way that escapes me, you know, absolutely, that god exists and so I have to offer evidence to the contrary. What is ground zero in this - because I my assertion is that I hold the default position - not only do I lack belief in your god, I am a loss to even understand what you mean by the concept.

KWM

"Also, suppose you claim that the evidence that life sprung from nonlife (or nothing) is better than the evidence that life had a Creator."

Absolutely correct. What evidence do you have that life was created. Points will be awarded for arguments that dont amount to personal incredulity or 'god of gaps' arguments. Of course, your argument assumes a deity as axiomatic, a hurdle that no-one here seems to be able to get over neatly.

I am really interested by the way!

EtA

EtA,

>>”Absolutely correct”.

Okay then, what evidence do you have that meets your own standards, meaning: “methodologically rigorous, repeatable empirical demonstrations” that the world and life came from nothing.

KWM

Do you want the list of papers?

EtA

EtA,

No. Just direct me to the “repeatable demonstration” of abiogenesis.

KWM

As you well know I cant do that. I dont have a test tube as large as the earth, nor concrete knoweldge of the exact conditions, temp, chemical mix, etc etc etc. But that isnt a show stopping issue for me, because one is allowed to make deductions in science.

However, there is FAR more evidence that abiogenesis was the means by which life came about than your version, which I assume is that a creator did it, and at least my theory has some evidential support. That isnt to say that that your version is wrong - I am just saying that you need to clear 2 hurdles. 1. Provide evidence that your creator exists. 2. Propose a mechanism by which he created life. Until you do so, your creator dunnit version gets parked on the shelf. If you want to meander into my assumption of materialistic naturalism, then I will happily do so.

The thing is that my not being correct about abiogenesis doesnt mean automatically that creatordunnit. You still have to cross those hurdles. I want to find out what happened - you want to show that your creator did it. There is a big difference nbetween those 2 viewpoints.

EtA

EtA

EpistletotheApostles said,

    "I see your MIT physics education and I raise you a degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University."
I'm not sure that's a raise. ;)

"I'm not sure that's a raise. ;)"

Ha ha! Got any evidence for that?!!

EtA

EtA,

>>”But that isnt a show stopping issue for me, because one is allowed to make deductions in science”.

You’re comfortable with that? Despite the fact there is absolutely no evidence that randomly interacting chemicals produced enzymes, DNA, RNA and miraculously assembled into a viable complex information-rich cell?

This also reminds me of a joke: A man told God that creating life from nonlife was not that complicated and could be repeated. He said he could do it, so he bent down and grabbed a handful of dirt and God stopped him and said, “No, get your own dirt”.

There seems to be a lot of talking in circles going on. I think that is partly due to a lack of agreement on what people mean by 'atheism' and 'god'.
In their version of atheism, even Dawkins and Sam Harris allow that it is possible that there is Something behind our existence. But they don't see any evidence that Believers in a specific deity are in any position to really know what they are talking about. When these Believers do present non-subjective 'evidence' for their particular religion, it is less than convincing (and usually just horrible) (no offense).

As far as the definition of 'god' goes, it seems to me that Christians tend to go from "Something/Someone must have created all this" to "therefore Yahweh Bible Jesus" without even being aware of it.

Apart from God, what are human rights?
...They are broccli, carrots... Or apes, or swords, or atoms, or ice cubes... Or ocean waves, and the rocks they crash against.....

But they are certainly not a thing to be taken seriously,

"it is possible that there is Something behind our existence."

I agree with this. There could be.

KWM

"You’re comfortable with that?"

Abiogenesis is a possibility. We dont know the mechansim yet, but then again, we dont know an awful lot about anything. We have only known the structure of DNA for the last 57 years, a very short time indeed. Maybe we will find a naturalistic explanation. Maybe we wont/cant. In the mean time, you still have 2 hurdles to jump. But to stump up now and say "its impossible that it happened naturally, a creator definitely did it" is, surely a liitle rash??

btmbo:

Since this thread has been hijacked by eggheads I will present my credentials: a degree in geophysics from MIT (with all the physics core except the labs) and a PhD. in economics. I would offer the hypothesis that for a problem on the scale of the Universe the best algorithm for God to use in fine-tuning his creation would be an evolutionary one (a la Rechenberg). Or Satan invented evolution and God caused it to redound to his own purposes. Imagine a cosmic game of billiards between God and Satan. God could effected his creating by placing each ball in its designated pocket by hand, but thought it a greater humiliation for Satan to let Satan play and get beaten; even let him have the first shot.

There is atheism and there is antitheism. For proof of the latter, it would help greatly if believers knew where, when, and how their Scripture came from. Internet Infidels is the greatest website for historical, critical hermeneýtics against its authenticity and reliability.

But that would take a while, and ye could look at my Twitter account's favorite folder for quick work.

http://google.com/search?q=incompetent-design is a fun read.

(There was no resurrection evidenty, whether in history or in reality. But if you want to mock a resurrection, look up hýpnotics and Haitian zombis, or that Japanese guy who was stuck in snow for over two weeks without food.)

WL, there is no logical proof that those that positively assert must shoulder the burden. I think Greg recognizes that it is true in his "Tactics in Defending the Faith" but he seems ready to abandon it here. Anyway, it's not that it can be proved but that this principle "works" from a scientific perspective. Wikipedia has a decent summary. The whole brief entry is worth reading, but here's an excerpt.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophic_burden_of_proof

"Why does it seem nonsensical for a Thor believer, for example, to demand evidence for the non-existence of Thor? Why do we shrug off demands that we must either demonstrate that fairies do not exist, or seriously entertain them as a possibility? We understand that the best way to assure ontological parsimony is to have the side making the positive claim provide the positive evidence."

Ron, you say you embrace human rights “heartily.” Do you mean universal human rights? Do you believe that they’re objective?

>>Human rights stem from our nature which is a real thing that stems from our past.

What does that mean? Do you believe in universal human rights, yes or no? Do they objectively exist?

>>When I asked you the question, I was responding to your comment, “I'm much more interested in, for example, keeping religious views out of science classes and abortion law than I am in arguing that God doesn't exist.”

It seems to me that you’re perfectly comfortable discussing and even “embracing” the idea of human rights. So I’m wondering why you’re classifying it here as a “religious view” you need to keep out of law.

Perhaps you like the idea of rights, but you're just against human rights for all humans, and it's just the universal aspect of human rights that you find to be "religious"...? So human rights for all humans is a religious idea, but rights for some (but not all) humans is not religious? I'm not sure I understand your reasoning here.

Jon-

"We understand that the best way to assure ontological parsimony is to have the side making the positive claim provide the positive evidence."

Thought we'd get here eventually.

Thank you. You have now provided an argument for your claim that the one that asserts the claim has the burden to prove the claim. It's because that methodological principle insures ontological parsimony. You might have to dot a few i's and cross a few t's to really nail down the argument, but I'm going to grant that you'd be more than able to do it.

But this does give rise to another question:

What reason do we have to think that, all other things equal, the more parsimonious theory is the truer theory?

WL,

We can't prove that, but we use it because it works. The same is true of the scientific method. Can you prove that this is the best approach to inductive questions? Not really, except to say that it has a good track record. That's good enough. It's how you live your life when you are considering all other matters (questions related to fairies, chemistry, physics, leprechauns, etc). Why make an exception for the God of the Bible?

Hi Amy,
Sorry. I was pretty unclear.

No I don't think they're objective/real. No reason to think so. But - because I imagine lots of non-religious people think they are real - I don’t "classify them a religious view" either. (I couldn't think what you meant by that at first. Then I remembered about the idea that an FDE has human rights.)

I'll strike 'embrace' and say that on some issues, I'd side with the rights promoter. That's not really embracing.

RonH

PS. If you have the page open too long before you post your comment you get a little window that says "We're sorry, we cannot accept this data." I love that. I don't know why. I provoked it a couple extra times this time just to watch it come up. I always imagine the server has read my comment and decided it is simply out of bounds. :) (Solution: ^A, ^C, F5, cursor in window, ^V and "Post")

Jon-

Consider this proposition:

"All other things equal, the more parsimonious theory is the truer theory"

Isn't it up to the one who makes this claim to prove this claim?

Why shouldn't the Thor-lovers be able to demand proof the same as you do?

Don't get me wrong, I also believe the claim about parsimony above, aka Ockham's Razor, is true.

And it does give rise to the happy situation that it is not necessary for those who disbelieve in the flying spaghetti monster to prove their view. It is reasonable for them to demand proof of FSM believers.

But I have a reason to believe it's true. It's true because I live in a wisely-designed universe.

(This is also the reason, BTW, that I trust the scientific method.)

Eta-

A Biblical answer to faith can be best answered by the following definition.

"The Bible teaches that faith is trusting in what you know to be true because you have reason to believe it’s true." (Greg Koukl)

Hebrews 11:1, "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

It is not Kierikigaardian or Kantian or Humian or blind or irrational of a "leap of".

It is rather grounded in evidence and trust and good reasons. One example is the historical case for the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

You change your definition of faith to this kind of faith and your sums immediately change.

I for one am not staking my eternal life to a "leap of faith" or "blind faith". I became a Christian because I was fully persuaded, through solid evidence, that Jesus Christ claimed to be God and rose from the dead.

As Greg has said before (and I agree), we ought to completely abandon the word "faith" because it has completely been redefined and misunderstood by the vast majority of persons in our culture, both believer and unbeliever alike.

WL, I haven't claimed that the more parsimonious theory is the truer theory. I've claimed that it works.

Jon-

"I haven't claimed that the more parsimonious theory is the truer theory. I've claimed that it works."

If you've got a pragmatist theory of truth, these are the same. But even if, like me, you don't, The fact that is works, again, can only be explained by the fact that we live in a wisely-designed universe.

WL

"can only be explained by the fact that we live in a wisely-designed universe"

Why invoke design? Is that parsimonious? It seems that you are trying to square off an inductive circle. We dont have the full facts about the way the universe works, nor may we ever have access to all those facts, so how do you KNOW that parsimonious theories tend to work best because the universe is wisely designed? I think a better claim is "I dont know why this works, but it does, and while it continues to work, I'll keep doing it". Does not your rationalisation merely beg the question?

EtA

If my loved ones were organizing their lives around the belief that unicorns existed, giving tons of money to institutions that propagate unicorn belief, then I might write a book about how belief in unicorns is not justified. It's not that I can prove it. It's that there is not good evidence for them. I can't make any argument except that there is no evidence for them. He who positively asserts the existence of unicorns has the burden of proof.

This is correct, I think. Theists are the group making the positive claim; therefore, the burden of proof, as it were, lies with us.

Atheists are not arguing for non-existence of God but are rather arguing that there is not sufficient evidence to justify belief in God. Those are different claims.

Ron, if you don’t think it’s true in any real way that we are created equal and have unalienable rights (i.e., you reject the foundation on which all our law in this country rests), then I submit to you that you are the one trying to impose a new metaphysical view on our law.

Further, since you say you do not consider the idea of universal human rights to be a religious view, then I would appreciate it if you would not disingenuously use the charge of “religious view” to dismiss our call for universal human rights.

>>I'll strike 'embrace' and say that on some issues, I'd side with the rights promoter. That's not really embracing.

No, it’s not embracing. Sometimes you think humans should have rights, and sometimes you don’t because you don’t believe they’re objective. So it all depends on which humans your culture happens to like at the moment. I am curious, though, considering how this view has worked out for cultures in the past, doesn’t it bother you to bite the bullet on this one? Or is it okay with you as long as the other humans look different enough from you?

The Koukl quote doesnt add anything. If ones reasons to believe are objectively rubbish, is that still good enough to have faith? Is it really a subjective affair? I dont claim that there is such a thing as being entirely objective - but one should mitigate against subjectivity as much as possible. Thats why the design of experiments is so important (double blinds, controls etc) and why we have peer review. It might not be perfect, but its better than allowing subjectivity in through the front door, which Mr Koukl has.

"Hebrews 11:1, "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

How is this not the exact equivalent of "faith= belief without evidence"?

If you have evidence, and you claim you do, then its not faith. It is knowledge. So I think you are merely conflating faith and knowledge. I maintain that you have faith, but whilst you think you have knowledge, I suspect that I will dispute the evidence you claim supports that knowledge.

"through solid evidence, that Jesus Christ claimed to be God and rose from the dead"

I have to point out the obvious here that Jesus could claim what he liked, but that doesnt amount to truth. But I wont dwell. I suspect what you mean is that "Jesus was God and in fact rose from the dead"**
What evidence do you have, both 'historical' and 'solid' to support that assertion?

EtA

**(If I have this wrong then I apologise in advance)

Eta-

Yes you do have it wrong... I hate to say. I think you're still confused.

I'm not sure if I can state it any clearer than this:

"The opposite of knowledge is not faith, it’s ignorance. And the opposite of faith is not knowledge, it’s unbelief."

Faith is the active trust that one exercises when you know something to be true because you have reason to believe it’s true.

Example - I exercised faith (active trust) this morning when a co-worker friend of mine picked me up to take me to my final destination. I didn't just jump in any old car with any old person and say "Just drive and take me wherever and I hope I get to my destination."

My reasons (a friend of mine who I know and trust) informed my beliefs (that he was the one to take me there) and I placed my active trust in him and his vehicle (me getting into his car and him driving me there successfully).

Your definitions of faith and reasons are simply misinformed and mistaken.

As far as the reasons for my belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead... yeah I have historical and solid reasons. My ministry I am involved with has put together a 12-week curriculum on the historical case for the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, which was instrumental in bringing me to active trust in Christ.

However, I'd rather not go into all of them, as you probably wouldn't accept them anyways given your conflated notion of faith and reason.

Ryan

Firstly its not MY defintion of faith. Its the dictionary's. Go argue with the editors.

Your example about faith and your lift to work - it aint faith, because you had some 'evidence' to inform your decision. And I dont CARE that it may be subjective and parochial, because its ONLY a decsion about getting a lift into work - not about some being that lots of people like you claim created the universe/life on earth/biodiversity. If you want to make claims about things like that you need to be as objective as possible with evidence.

If you want to rename the problem of induction to 'faith', then crack on.

Im not confused about anything. Its you that is tied in semantic knots. It's you that is is trying to rationalise the irrational.

Even if I DID have a 'conflated notion of faith and reason' (what??) why would that render my assessment of your evidence invalid?

I wonder what you hoped to achieve by mentioning your 12 week course? It could be 12 years long - doesnt make it factual or speak of the quality of your evidence. People go on longer courses than that to learn about Scientology - and Im reasonably sure that you dont think much of that.

I find it extremely frustrating that every theist I ever talk to claims they have evidence for the existence of a deity, only to find that when one peels back the layers it boils down to some flaccid ontological, teleological or cosmological argument, or some circular argument based on the bible.

So if you have something better than that, do tell. After all, if I criticise it, maybe it will reinforce your faith. Educate me.

So define faith in any way you feel comfortable with, and then get them to change all those pesky dictionaries.

EtA

Maybe your just looking at the wrong, pesky dictionary. Or better yet, the pesky dictionaries that your looking at define faith according to your presuppostions.

Dictionary.com for their #1 definition of "faith" is:

"confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability."

Merriam Webster online states:

"belief and trust in and loyalty to God".

Could it be that your looking at the wrong dictionaries? Its looking very probable.

The reason I brought up the 12-week study was the fact that you asked me if I had any solid or historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

I do, but I can't get past square one on the faith defintion. So I'd rather not waste my time.

Which is why I'll bid adieu.

Ryan

A risible response.

Merriam Webster also gives this definition of faith:

"firm belief in something for which there is no proof"

So how selective do you want to be? Its not about presuppositions - its about understanding the English language. Which I do absolutely.

Your definitons and the ones I have stated from dictionaries are not contradictory. However, your assertion that faith has something to do with evidence is. As I have demonstrated.

You cant 'get past square one on the faith definition' because you are the one fiddling with the semantics. The amusing thing is that I dont even think this is important - if you have faith (by my definition) thats an undefeatable position - but its also irrational and illogical. Frankly I dont give a damn, and if you 'rather not waste [your] time", then fine.

Lastly, I strongly suspect that you mentioned that it was a 12 week course in order to add some temporal quality to your 'evidence'. Compare the extreme case; what if you had said it was a 2 minute long course? You entirely miss my point that the length of your course doesnt matter - quality of evidence, as I said above in relation to your specious "faith in co-worker" example, is all that matters.

And above all, you still cant/wont bring any evidence to the table and have it crictically assessed. Which is what anyone on an endeavour to find out about how the universe works would do.

To cap this off. Atheists do not hold the burden of evidence; I make no claims and my default position is "I dont know whats going on - lets try and find out using as rigorous a method as we can that mitigates against emotion/bias/subjectivity as far as possible". Theists do hold the burden of evidence because they make the claim of existence of deity(ies). Throughout this thread this has been shown to be the case. So quit the amateur videos and general nonsense. It's cringeworthy.

Becuase next you'll be saying "Evolution is just a theory". rofl.

EtA

EtA:

Evolution is theory because all science is theory. But too many people think that being "just" a theory means assertions without evidence.

EtA-

The point is that if the universe is undesigned, just about the last thing I'd expect is that Ockham's Razor would be true or useful.

And I don't need to know the full facts about the universe to see this any more that I need the full facts of the universe to see any implication.

WL

"The point is that if the universe is undesigned, just about the last thing I'd expect is that Ockham's Razor would be true or useful."

In which undesigned universe did you test this hypothesis?

Surely your imposition of design is just Paley in disguise and begs the question - "who/what designed it". Its a pretty strong claim you make - "can only be explained by the fact that we live in a wisely-designed universe" - but its an unsupported assertion and I dont see where it gets you. Unless you are using it as evidence of a designer.

EtA

Hi Amy,
Why are rights real?
Ron

EtA,

>> "...Its not about presuppositions - its about understanding the English language. Which I do absolutely."

Absolutely? That's some claim.

Are we to use your previous vitriol and sarcasm as adequate evidence of your "absolute understanding" of the English language?

Sorry, we're going to require a bit more evidence. What you are proposing is that we trust that you have absolute understanding. I don't have that much faith.

Next thing you'll be telling us is that evolution is geniunely substantiated.

P.S. - ...rofl.

Ron, I could believe that we have rights because the Flying Spaghetti Monster told me so, and that wouldn’t make a bit of difference. The fact would remain that I’m in line with the basis of law for this country and in agreement with many atheists. Therefore, I’m not the radical one trying to impose new metaphysical views on this country. And my view is not confined to the religious, contrary to your claim.

Or are you saying that it’s okay for an atheist person to argue for human rights but not anyone else? Because honestly, that’s a little bizarre.

>>I don’t "classify them a religious view" either. (I couldn't think what you meant by that at first. Then I remembered about the idea that an FDE has human rights.) I'll strike 'embrace' and say that on some issues, I'd side with the rights promoter.

But I seriously am interested…does it really not bother you to say you don’t believe in human rights except when they suit you personally?

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