28 February 2010

Critical thinking skill

Our Chimp Ancestry

From Fora.tv's description:
Husband and wife team Frans Lanting and Christine Eckstrom describe their experiences, from eating termites to battling sweat flies, studying the fascinatingly sophisticated chimpanzees of Fongoli, Africa.

Bobby McFerrin Vs Lyrebird

27 February 2010

Morality Without God

God without morality is a better title:

23 February 2010


This is what happens when the bible's literal meaning is obeyed. This is only a scene from movie The Kite Runner. But such scene does take place in modern times. Is this morally wrong?

How a woman may get stoned:
1. Lost of virginity before marriage - or cannot produce the proof of virginity.
Deuteronomy 22:13-21
If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her, And give occasions of speech against her, and bring up an evil name upon her, and say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid: Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel's virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate: And the damsel's father shall say unto the elders, I gave my daughter unto this man to wife, and he hateth her; And, lo, he hath given occasions of speech against her, saying, I found not thy daughter a maid; and yet these are the tokens of my daughter's virginity. And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city. And the elders of that city shall take that man and chastise him; And they shall amerce him in an hundred shekels of silver, and give them unto the father of the damsel, because he hath brought up an evil name upon a virgin of Israel: and she shall be his wife; he may not put her away all his days. But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father's house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.

2. Being raped, but not cry loud enough
Deuteronomy 22:23-24 If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour's wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you.


There are 4 types of laws:
1. Law of Physics - laws which you cannot violate no matter how hard you try.
2. Fiat Law - laws which when you violate will result in some of your privileges removed (eg locked up in a prison)
3. Social law - People around you will feel unhappy/uneasy if you break it.
4. Personal law - Feel free to break and nobody cares.

Religion should be a personal law. Which religion you like to subscribe to is a matter of your personal choice. If you break the laws of your religion, nobody really cares.

It becomes ignoring when religious people want to make their personal law a social law. When winter solstice becomes christmas, the novelty display causes tension among people. This is basically a contest of personal law with fiat law. The logical conclusion should be that the public spaces is free from religious display. Puritan era is an example of religion entered into the social law space.

When religion enters into the domain of fiat law, human lives are lost and bad things happen. Examples include the conflict in the Middle East, the oppression of people in countries when a religion is part of the state (e.g. Iran) and the historical Crusades.

Is following logic a person law or social law? The debate between Puritan Lad and myself indicates that logic is essential for communication. The debate broke down and I did not want to continue because Puritan Lad just could not see the obvious logical flaw when I pointed it out couple of times. I felt very frustrated and saw no point of continuing.

20 February 2010

Live Biblically

Does intelligence only apply to human?

Did god only give human intelligence, not any other animal? Watch this and think again.

Islam vs. Christianity

Islam women vs christian man

An example of the divisiveness of religion

18 February 2010

Law-makers have nothing better to do...

Noah's Ark


He that will not reason is a bigot; he that cannot reason is a fool; he that dares not reason is a slave. - William Drummond

Religions have misconstrued human nature, freezing their understanding of who we are from barely enlightened ancient societies. - Nickolas Conrad


You can research a hospital for the frequency of mistakes.

You can research a bank for the security of their holdings.

You can research a car manufacturer for the integrity of their product.

Should any of these fail you in some way, you won't maintain any faith but simply take your business elsewhere.

There is a degree of a faith when dealing with the world, but we have ways to minimize it, and minimizing faith is far better than waltzing in blindly.

On the other hand, I cannot call up Heaven to see how God is handling things. The only research you can do is with an ancient book that is only verified via circular logic. - Azou

Stupidity and clear thinking compared

Rabbitpirate said...Let's play 'One of these things is not like the others'. Ok here we go: 1. Trust in Doctors, 2. Trust in Banks, 3. Trust in Pilots, 4. Trust in Mechanics, 5. Trust in God. Which of those things is not like the others? And the answer is....Number 5, Trust in God. All the others are based upon some form of evidence that allows them to demonstrate that they are trustworthy. A untrustworthy Bank would not get much business. An untrustworthy doctor would not get a lot of patients. However with God the trust is not based upon evidence but upon faith. You have faith that God is worthy of trust.
Ray Comfort:
RabbitPirate...I ask respectfully--what planet do you live on? You said that "an untrustworthy doctor would not get a lot of patients." Don't you know that doctors bury their mistakes? Medical mistakes are the eighth leading cause of death in the U.S.

You said that an untrustworthy bank would not get much business. They don't need it. They get bailouts.

Do you trust pilots? Did you know that most plane crashes are caused by “pilot error”?

Then there's your faith in car mechanics and manufacturers. Do you have faith in Toyota's mechanics?

You trust everyone but God, and yet He has never let one person down, ever. He is utterly faithful. If you don’t trust Him, that is a flaw in your character, not His.

However, I can think of no greater example of misplaced trust than the faith that believers have in the theory of evolution. They are an example of "blind" faith, with no need for any empirical evidence. The only "evidence" they have is a belief that what they have read or have been told, is true.

Cool, Ray used one of my comments for his post on my birthday, awesome.

Ok that aside. I never claimed that doctors, banks, pilots etc were perfect. I know that they are flawed and makes mistakes, that was in no way the point I was trying to make.

My point was, however badly I may have made it, that there is a big difference between trusting your doctor and trusting God.

For a start I have no doubt what so ever that my doctor actually exists. I have met him, shaken his hand, spoken to him. I have seen his medical licence and I could, if I wanted, research his career. I can do all of this first hand and get an actual response to my questions.

Also a doctor who constantly failed to do his job would have to account for their failures. In the UK, where I am, a doctor who constantly harms people is held accountable for those actions. If others believe him to be in the wrong then he is made to explain his actions, to justify why he did x instead of y and made to provide evidence that his action was the right one and that the negative outcome was neither intentional or the result of a failure on his part. Again evidence, and not just faith, is required.

This is NOT the same with God. For a start I can not, in any meaningful way, even prove that God exists. Now I know you "know" he does but as of yet you have provided no reason why we should just take you at your word on this. Millions of people all over the planet "know" that other Gods exist and yet you do not see this as evidence for their existence, so why should we see the same argument as valid just because the God in question is the one you believe in?

To even believe in God in order to trust him requires faith. I do not need faith to believe that my doctor exists.

You trust everyone but God, and yet He has never let one person down, ever. He is utterly faithful.

Seriously? Can you say Haiti? Oh sorry I forgot they were in league with the devil so it doesn't count.

How about all the people who have prayed to God for rescue from some terrible situation and have been given death as a reply? When two or more are gathered and all that. Anyone who asks in my name, ring a bell. The Bible seems very clear that if you ask in Jesus' name then your prayers will be answered. No where does it say that the answers might be yes, no or wait as Christians often claim. Heck my bedside lamp can answer prayers like that.

How about all those people born into other religions who have never heard the gospel and so die without repenting and finding Jesus and so go to hell? Did God not let them down by not getting the gospel to them?

But you know what, I will accept your claim at face value. Your God has never failed anyone, but then neither has Zeus for the exact same reason.

Who is thinking logically and clearly and who is not? You judge!

16 February 2010

Dalai Lama Finding Purpose in Life

My atheism manifesto

I am trying to make a distinction between the following two statements;
1. There is no evidence of god's existence.
2. There is evidence of the non-existence of god.

My atheism is based on (1) above.

Let me just change one of the word to see the effect:

1. There is no evidence of Zeus's existence.
2. There is evidence of the non-existence of Zeus.

Do you believe in Zeus? I don't think there is any Christian who would believe in Zeus. Do you have (2), ie evidence of the non-existence of Zeus? We don't need to, because the burden of proof is on the claimant who asserts that Zeus exist. If there is no evidence, the default position is Zeus does not exist.

Why, when I substitute Zeus with god, the whole argument has changed so that I need to provide evidence for non-existence of god? Is it not that (1), ie no credible evidence of god's existence is sufficient to put the debate of god's existence to its end? When someone comes up with some evidence that shows god's existence, we shall debate whether the evidence is valid and sufficient to support the god existence claim.

Without god, the whole christian argument falls apart. Without god, Jesus cannot be the son of god. Without god, Jesus cannot be sent to world to give salvation to people. Without god, there is no "original sin", we don't need Jesus.

If we take Jesus as a great teacher and try to live by his teaching, is there anything wrong?

Yes, the first thing is Jesus' teaching is based on him being the son of god - which when god's existence is in doubt, the teaching lost its credibility. When Jesus claim that he is the son of god - that's a false claim, deliberate false claim. That makes Jesus a fraud. Can we have our trust in someone who is propagating a false claim? Should we live by the teaching of someone who is a fraud?

There are many better moral teachers who do not require a god to "dupe" people into being good. For goodness sake, we can be good just because we want to, we like to and we enjoy being good to other human being. We empathy. We share joy, sadness, pain and excitement with our fellow travellers. We are mutually dependent.

Let this world be a better world when we are no longer divided by religion!

There is good people doing good things. There are bad people doing bad things. If these bad people can get away without ever being punished, so be it. If you really insist, you should become a law-enforcing officer. Do the right thing by the book. Let's improve the world by actively promoting fair and just laws.

Teach the Controversy

God does not like smart people

I have a funny feeling that the christian god does not like smart people. When he reveals himself 4000(?) years ago, he did not choose the more civilized people, eg Roman, Greek or China, but those who could not write at the time.

His description of the origin of the universe is basically BS, in wrong order, wrong time scale and everything messed up.

He likes Abraham because Abraham was dumb enough to kill his only son to please god.

No wonder more people today believe in him based on blind faith. He just does not like smart people.

15 February 2010

Victimless crime

Disclaimer: I do not endorse children abuse. I condemn sexual exploitation of minors.

Having put up the disclaimer, I must also say that I respect adults having private sexual fantasy in whatever kind as long as such fantasy are NOT forced upon non-consensual adults AND NOT performed with minors. Conviction of Christopher Handley, the Iowa man, being accused of possession of comic drawings of children being sexually abused is just wrong!

First of all, the manga are drawings - fantasy! No child was involved in the drawing nor the production. Handley was convinced of possession of such drawing - as one of the commenter on Boing Boing correctly pointed out, what about the person who drew the pictures? What about those who think about drawing such pictures?

I can understand photographs with minor being sexually abused should be banned, and rightly so. Such photograph would have been made sexually abusing minors. If possession of such photograph is banned, the photographer should bear most of the guilt.

I think a thin line has been crossed. Thoughts are not the same as actions. There is a big difference. Imagination is imagination. Imagination is not real.

Golden Rule

己所不欲,勿施于人 Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself. - Confucius

Putting oneself in the place of another, one should not kill nor cause another to kill.
One who, while himself seeking happiness, oppresses with violence other beings who also desire happiness, will not attain happiness hereafter. - Buddism

And if thine eyes be turned towards justice, choose thou for thy neighbour that which thou choosest for thyself. - Baha'u'llah

Do to no one what you yourself dislike. - Tobit 4:15

One should never do that to another which one regards as injurious to one’s own self. This, in brief, is the rule of dharma. Other behavior is due to selfish desires. - Brihaspati, Mahabharata

Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you. - Muhammad, The Farewell Sermon

Nothing which breathes, which exists, which lives, or which has essence or potential of life, should be destroyed or ruled over, or subjugated, or harmed, or denied of its essence or potential. In support of this Truth, I ask you a question - "Is sorrow or pain desirable to you ?" If you say "yes it is", it would be a lie. If you say, "No, It is not" you will be expressing the truth. Just as sorrow or pain is not desirable to you, so it is to all which breathe, exist, live or have any essence of life. To you and all, it is undesirable, and painful, and repugnant. - Acaranga Sutra

You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against your kinsfolk. Love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD. - Leviticus 19:18

The truly enlightened ones are those who neither incite fear in others nor fear anyone themselves. - p.1427, Slok, Guru Granth Sahib (tr. Patwant Singh)

14 February 2010

On Supernatural

The article linked in the title is awesome.
A couple of centuries ago, people might have agreed that a 747 taking off was a supernatural event, had they chanced to see one departing from the local airport, but not today... If you don't know how airplanes fly, they are supernatural to you, but if you do know, or perhaps even if you just know that someone else knows, then airplanes are no longer supernatural. The working definition is as much about the observer's state of mind as it is about the allegedly supernatural phenomenon. By that definition, the supernatural clearly exists. It just changes all the time.

So let's get a bit more serious and look at the actual definition, which is something like: outside of nature, or not following the laws of nature. By that definition, or any reasonable definition, the concept of the supernatural is barely coherent. It is easy for someone to say they believe in the supernatural, but if looks at the concept a bit closer, it simply loses meaning. The supernatural does not exist, by its very definition.

For example, let's say that we actually see Harry Potter disarm his opponent by pointing his magic wand and shouting the magic word, "Expelliarmus." Such an event is indeed supernatural -- until it actually happens. Once it happens, it is, by definition, natural. It might be new and surprising, but that does not matter. At one time, flight was new and surprising. For centuries, people believed that the laws of nature simply did not allow bigs hunks of metal to fly through the air. But they were wrong. That does not mean that the laws of nature changed. It simply means we did not fully understand them before. And of course, we do not fully understand them now, either.

[several paragraphs later]

Some may be tempted to try to rescue the supernatural by changing the definition to something like: things that humans can never fully understand. But that definition is not terribly interesting, and it certainly does not capture what people really mean when they speak of the supernatural. Those who know the most about quantum mechanics say that they do not really understand it, and never will. Richard Feynman, for example, admitted that he did not really understand quantum mechanics. Yet no one claims that quantum mechanics is supernatural. It is just really hard to understand.... Moreover, there may be things even more complicated than quantum mechanics. Some humans, like Richard Feynman, can understand quantum mechanics in the sense that they can show it is true and describe what occurs in mathematical terms. Perhaps there are natural phenomenon even more complicated, such that our minds are simply incapable of comprehending. But that does not make those events supernatural. It just means our minds are limited, something we knew already.

Anything that actually happens is part of nature, whether or not we understand how it works. If something does not happen, then it is not part of nature. The supernatural cannot, by its very definition, exist. So, in the end, belief in the supernatural comes down to belief in gibberish. No one can really believe in the supernatural if they think about it in any meaningful way. [my emphasis]

Letter to God

13 February 2010


Atheism is more than just the knowledge that gods do not exist, and that religion is either a mistake or a fraud. Atheism is an attitude, a frame of mind that looks at the world objectively, fearlessly, always trying to understand all things as a part of nature part of nature. - Carl Sagan

Science by religion

Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, head of the Pontifical Council for Culture, said while the Church had been hostile to Darwin's theory in the past, the idea of evolution could be traced to St Augustine and St Thomas Aquinas. [source]

Clergy and lay members of the Church [of England] said it was perfectly possible to believe in God and Darwin's theory of evolution, and said that religion can explain areas of existence that science cannot. [source]

In a way, these are good news, the two of the largest christian religion churches are acknowledging the truth of Darwin's evolution theory. While I cannot find the reason for the Catholic church why they did that, the reason of the acknowledgement from the church of England are less than convincing.

Peter Capon, a lay member of Synod from Manchester diocese who tabled the Private Member’s Motion on the compatibility of science and religious belief, said that Christians believe the world exists because of the will of God whereas atheists consider this to be a “complete delusion”.

He went on: “We wish to refute the idea promoted by atheist scientists that science is on the side of the atheist in answering these sorts of questions.

"We wish to refute the perception that you have to choose between science and faith.

"We wish to refute the crude caricature of faith, as being blind and irrational, propagated by some atheist scientists." [my emphasis]

Show us the evidence that christian belief and evolution theory are compatible! Wish can be just a wish. Without any proof or evidence, I will consider these just PR stunts. What I am seeing are actions of the large churches trying to regain members [read customers] lost to the smaller, more vocal creationist churches.

12 February 2010


Shepherds don't look after sheep because they love them - although I do think some shepherds like their sheep too much. They look after their sheep so they can, first, fleece them and second, turn them into meat. That's much more like the priesthood as I know it. - Christopher Hitchens

But I don`t have to know an answer. I don`t feel frightened by not knowing things, by being lost in the mysterious universe without having any purpose — which is the way it really is, as far as I can tell, possibly. It doesn`t frighten me. - Richard Feynman

11 February 2010


According to Victor Reppert, faith can mean
1. confidence
2. confidence without immediate perceptual evidence
3. evidence beyond a reasonable doubt
4. belief absent any rational support
5. holding on to a belief in the teeth of a mountain of counter-evidence.

What kind of faith you have in your religious belief?

What has god created?

If there were a christian god, what has s/he created?

1. Let us take Genesis metaphorically. The world and universe as it was 6000 years ago with all the tricks(fossils, galaxies at large distances, light ray coming from distant). What would be his purpose for all such illusion?

2. Let us take Genesis more metaphorically. S/he created the singularity which caused the big bang. From that moment onwards, S/he waited for 14.7 billion years before appearing before some men in the desert near the middle east to tell them he created everything. Why he waited so long? Why did he not go to China - a more civilized society at that time? Why did he not write the bible himself, instead of telling these men and has the story passed down as hearsay? If he thought human needed a saviour, we need another now. Why he does not send one today? The new saviour does not need to be born. Just pick a large city, has the saviour decent from heaven in day light in front of as many as possible. Repeat in other cities if necessary to convince as many as you like. Is it not what the god has always wanted?

The christian god is so illogical it would take only the religious to believe. But the world has plenty of those!

Reflection 2 - Debate with Puritan Lad

The argument that "God is the precondition of human meaningful knowledge" is a first cause argument similar to "God is the origin of life" and "God is the creator of the universe".

If god exists, god could have been the valid explanation for all the three observed facts: human's ability of meaningful knowledge, origin of life and origin of universe. However, the reverse may not be true.

Are these three observed facts evidence for god's existence? If yes, are they sufficient?

No scientific theory currently can deduce these three facts. However, there are ongoing research trying to find out the origins of these facts. If an objective, evidence-based explanation can be found for any or all of these facts, god's existence is less likely. At this point in time, since there is no accepted explanation, it becomes a philosophical debate between one of these: (1) acknowledgement that we do not have complete knowledge and do not know the explanation to these questions; (2) god exists.

My position is the first one. I am humble enough to admit that we still do not have the knowledge to know the answer to these questions. But I believe in an evidence based approach. Let us just assume we now take position (2).

Another way to test the hypothesis that god is the cause of all the three observed facts is by testing the "other predictions" of the hypothesis.

For a cosmic god, ie a god who created the universe (and everything within) and then left the universe to run its own course without interference, we cannot find any additional thing to test because all such testing would become a scientific test of the underlying working principles and nature of the universe. Such a god is also not a god of any religion.

For a personal god, such as the christian god, who cares about the nitty gitty details of human lives and answers prayer, we can test the god's hypothesis basing on one or more of the predictions. Answering prayer is one of them. All known religious god fails miserably in a test of the effectiveness of prayers. So a personal god cannot exist.

Some scientists, including Einstein, take position of the existence of a cosmic god. That's understandable. But any working rational scientists believing in a personal god would be in an untenable position to defend their scientific work ethnics against the irrational belief. Believing in a god who would interfere the normal working of the universe in answering someone's prayer is just stupid! Believing in a god as the first cause lowers the incentive to find an evidence-based explanation for the above three observed facts.

10 February 2010

Strongest Belief in God Contest - Winner announced

Who believes in god most? You cannot get any more than putting your own life for it!

09 February 2010

Reflection - Debate with Puritan Lad

Puritan Lad has put in his last comment to the debate thread. It is time for me to reflect on the debate. [transcript]

1. Obviously, we started off with very different views. Since it is impossible to prove non-existence, I demanded him to prove the existence of his god. That is a mistake because the debate went no where. He was unable to see the flaw of his logic structure - which unfortunately, I pointed out explicitly rather late in the debate. However, even when I pointed out repeatedly using different examples, he still could not get it. That has caused a lot of frustration on my part. He focussed on the "substance" of the examples while I was using the examples to illustrate the flaw of his logical structure. He thought he has defeated every examples!

2. He basically kept insisting that he has proved his god's existence by asserting that "god is the precondition for meaningful knowledge". I saw that as a circular argument. However, when I attempted to point to other possible causes of human meaningful knowledge, he argued that the epistemological base of science needs justification within an "atheistic" world view. He obviously was reckoning that science is the religion of atheists, yet failed to justify his own. I should have focussed more on getting a justification.

3. He continuously asked me to justify why I am an atheist. As I pointed out my atheist reasoning is the same as his reasoning that he did not believe in Zeus etc. He offered "his god exists" as an reason. I thought I have caught the best moment to insist on getting a solid proof from him. He quickly went back to pressing on my views. That's again very frustrating.

My conclusion of this debate is that I should not attempt any debate with people unable to use logic properly. I need to read up about the "transcendental" arguments and get myself more acquainted to their line of reasoning in order to put forward an argument they may be able to understand.

Since I am no going to respond to the debate any more, the points raised in his last comment will be left as is. The last comment has been included in the debate transcript hosted here.

07 February 2010

How many children need to die before ...

Another tragic story. 16-year-old Neil Beagley was suffering from an inflammation of his urethra. He was unable to pee as a result of this. His kidneys and bladder stopped working, he had heart failure, and he died a painful death. Why? because his parent prayed instead of seeking medical help. [source]

How many children need to die before the faithful understands that prayers do not work?

How many children need to die before the religious organisations start to tell their followers to seek medical care when they or their children are sick?

How many children need to die before the world wakes up and say enough is enough?

How many children need to die ...

Atheists SECRETLY believe in Yahweh

cartoon: reading the signs

cartoon: reading the signs

Posted using ShareThis

Debate with Puritan Lad - update

Here is the full transcript of the debate I have with Puritan Lad at his blog. I have not copied the links across. No editing has been made, except removing the time and merging multiple comments together to allow better reading.

Puritan Lad said...


It sounds like you, like Dawkins, have a problem with God being God. Typically, unbelievers have too high a view of themselves, and too low a view of God. Maybe you are aware of these passages as well.

"Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty? He who argues with God, let him answer it." (Job 40:2)

"But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?" (Romans 9:20)

"Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases." (Psalm 115:3)

The Psalms passage may be considered God's job description. He neither needs man's approval, nor requires it. Absolute sovereignty works that way.

If you think that God should do otherwise, I would refer to my previous comment. On what authority will you decide thus?

Let's take them one at a time. On what authority would you declare that God shouldn't be jealous? Does the Creator and Sustainer of the universe not have this right?

Albert Ip said...

I am an atheist, so I don't believe there is a god. I also do not think the bible is the words of god. So quoting bible has no effect on me. Let's discuss on a rational basis.

Let clear the deck, so to speak, so that we can engage in a gentleman discussion on this very important issue - whether god exists or not.

Your post was asking for discussions on the quote given by Dawkins. I have just reposted from http://dwindlinginunbelief.blogspot.com/2008/12/richard-dawkins-god-of-old-testament.html the bible quotes which supported Dawkins' claims. None of the adjectives used in Dawkins sentence comes out from nothing.

Now my opinion of the god of OT. Basically, I agree with Dawkins although I won't be able to use the correct adjectives to describe this god.

How are we going to judge the actions by god? Are we on the same horizontal plane with god?

Let me deal with the second question first. I agree human and god are not on the horizontal plane. Human created god in our own image. Just like pink unicorn, it is our imagination, but has been domesticated by people with selfish reasons. It has been around for a while now and it is time to get rid of it. Before the christian god, there are many other gods. We now know that none of them exist. The same for this christian god. It is a human invention and hence it is not on the same plane as us. Human and god are in a vertical relationship, as you said, but I disagree only with your order of the position.

The bible, according to your belief, is a code for human moral behaviour. All the adjectives used by Dawkins are also for human behaviour. I am not judging god. I am just using the same set of adjectives to describe behaviours which occur in human society. No matter who did those acts, the adjectives still apply.

Look forward to reading your response.

Sorry, the notion of the plane is from jazzycat. My apology!

Puritan Lad said...


Thanks for the response. I knew that your were and atheist, as was Dawkins. Therefore, complaining about the God of the Bible doesn't really make any sense for you if you don't even believe He exists.

So if is clear that you and I have differing worldviews and starting points. This will become more obvious as we continue this discussion. Let's separate your points and delve into them.

1.) I'm all for a gentlemen discussion, but I need to ask how we "clear the deck"? What do we need to clear?

2.) You asserted many times that God is merely a "human invention...just like pink unicorns". You didn't give any evidence for this, as this is precisely what we are supposed to be discussing.

3.) It is true that religion has been used by people for selfish and malevolent reasons, but that has no bearing on God's existence.

Hopefully, this should simplify our discussion...

Albert Ip said...

1. ok

2. If I claim I have found a pink unicorn, do you need to prove that I have not? The burden of proof of the existence of god is with you. Before anyone can prove the existence of god, the default position is god does not exist. I am waiting for your proof.

3. Good that you agree with me on the potential harm of religion. In fact, history has shown that religion was used, repeatedly for political reasons. Someone has said, "There are good and bad people. Good people do good thing and bad people do bad thing. It takes religion to make good people do bad thing." Since (2) above, religion is something we can do without.

Puritan Lad said...

1.) OK, but you didn't answer the question. What exactly do we need to clear from the deck?

2a.) The "pink unicorn" analogy is a Non Sequitur. The non-existence of pink unicorns has no bearing whatsoever on the existence of God.

2b.) Why is atheism the default position? Do you not need to justify your precommitment to atheistic naturalism? In any case, I will give you my proof for God's existence.

Premise 1: If the human mind can obtain meaningful knowledge, the God exist, since God is the precondition for meaningful knowledge.

Premise 2: The human mind can obtain meaningful knowledge.

Conclusion: God exists.

3.) Not only is your statement about religion a Dicto simpliciter, it requires what Dinesh D'Souza correctly refers to as "selective bookkeeping". On what basis will you generalize all religions as being equal? This is precisely what we are discussing. And as long as we are examining the "potential harm" that religions cause, we must note that atheism killed more people in the last century alone than all religions combined throughout the remainder of human history. Having said that, this really has no bearing on the existence of God. The discussion between atheism and Christianity is one of truth or falsehood, not which is perceived to be less harmful.

Albert Ip said...

1. I meant let us put Dawkins' opinion aside. We shall talk about our own opinions.

2a. Suppose I claim that pink unicorn is the creator of this Universe and us. My friends and I have written books about the miracles done by the pink unicorn. I also claim that if you believe in the pink unicorn, you will be blessed,... etc. To a non-believer like me, your god is exactly the same as pink unicorn. My pink unicorn has all the magic power your god claim to have.

Now, it is you or me who should bear the burden of proof of the existence of the pink unicorn?

2b. I suppose you don't believe in the existence of Zeus, Apollo or Jade Emperor. You are an atheist towards these gods. What is the difference between your god and all those gods before it?

Long before the OT god, Apollo etc were believed to be god. At that time, human mind can obtain meaningful knowledge, albeit not as much as today. Does that imply Apollo exist?

3. I have watched a few debates involving Dinesh D'Souza. I am not impressed by any of his arguments.

You are obviously very knowledgeable in logic - you have pointed out two of my faults. Is it not that the burden of proof rest with the claimant - the party which claims god exist? Logically it is impossible to prove non-existence.

3. Tell me who kill any other person in the name of atheism? Can you even name one? Crusades were wars in the name of religion. The motive behind the wars was another matter. A lot of religious like to cite people like Hilter. However, the fact is Hilter remained a formal member of Catholic church until his death. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Hitler%27s_religious_beliefs Stalin may be an atheist, but he did not kill people in the name of atheism. This is a point we should be careful to distinguish. Many people died under horrible political leaders - some are theist and some are not. So far in history, no one kills in the name of atheism, but there are numerous examples of killing in the name of a god.

I agree I am putting two issues into the same basket - may be we should separate them. Let's use (2) to discuss the truth and (3) for the perceived harm done by religion.

jazzycat said...


You said... Logically it is impossible to prove non-existence.

I believe this would make you an agnostic rather than an atheist. If you are not prepared to prove there is no God, then you are allowing for the possibility that the "uncaused cause" that is responsible for the universe is indeed a supreme being.

Enjoying the debate and sorry to interrupt.

Puritan Lad said...

1.) Good enough.

2a.) As I stated before, not relevant. If atheist want to justify Kant's "transcendentals" by way of pink unicorns, have at it. The non-existence of pink unicorns has no bearing in the existence of God. As far as the burden of proof, I have accepted it and proven God's existence in my previous comment. Let's deal with that argument.

2b.) Once again a Dicto simpliciter. The main difference between the Christian God and Zeus, etc. is that the Christian God actually exists. There are many other differences as well, but you may actually want to examine all religious beliefs before making a generalization. Zeus was merely a superpowerful humanoid, not all-wise, and unable to meet the requirements for imparting knowledge to humans.

With all due respect, you do seem to be rather ignorant in terms of world religions. Apollo was not older than the OT God. There are some who maintain that certain Babylonian deities may have been, but that is open for debate as well. I wonder if you have really studied religions enough to have rejected them.

I would also suggest that your problem with the existence of the Christian God isn't a lack of evidence, for you have the same evidence that I have. Instead, you have made a blind metaphysical precommitment to naturalism, have have given no reason for doing so (and apparently feel no need to).

3.) If you cannot prove God's "non-existence", then atheism becomes a matter of faith alone, a religion, Besides, if atheism is the "default" worldview as you claim, then any killing not done in the name of a theistic religion is done in the name of atheism, correct?

I'll give you Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot for starters. It is understandable that atheists would love to wash their hands of Hitler, but you aren't getting off that easy. Hitler was a diehard atheist and evolutionist.

"National Socialism and religion cannot exist together.... The heaviest blow that ever struck humanity was the coming of Christianity. Bolshevism is Christianity's illegitimate child. Both are inventions of the Jew. The deliberate lie in the matter of religion was introduced into the world by Christianity.... Let it not be said that Christianity brought man the life of the soul, for that evolution was in the natural order of things." - Adolf Hitler

For more quotes, see Was Hitler A Christian? Hmm, come to think of it, this would be a great Controversial Quote.

As far as separating the two issues, it's not entirely possibly. If Christianity is true, then to not be a Christian is very harmful in the long run, though it may give a superficial appearance of freedom in the temporal sense. The truth or falsehood issue must be dealt with first.

Albert Ip said...

Hi Jazzycat,

Bertrand Russell puts it best. Here is a quote from him:

If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is an intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.

While Russell using the teapot as an analogy to god, please remember that to atheist like me, your god is the same as the teapot - just an imagination - until proven otherwise. What I am demanding is proof to the existence of your religion's central claim - your god exists and your god cares about the nitty gitty details of our lives.

As noted in my earlier post, there are lots of gods before yours and you are an atheist towards each and everyone of them. Have you proved they don't exist before you reject them?

Hope you can enjoy the debate between Puritan Lad and me.

Albert Ip said...

2a. Your god is an imagination unless proven. It is therefore fair and just to compare your god with another imaginary object, ie the pink unicorn. If you want to disassociate this analogy, you need to prove that your god is NOT an imagination. The analogy is valid because it illustrates the absurdity of your shifting the burden of proof to someone for attempting to prove non-existence which is logically impossible.

2b. Your Premise 1 is wrong. Ability of human mind to obtain knowledge has nothing related to god. You set up the argument based on an assumption which we are debating. You said "since god is the precondition of meaningful knowledge". This assumption is our point of dispute! God does not exist and we have ability to meaningful knowledge. These two facts have no logical link!

Your god appeared about 4000 years ago basing on the estimated age of OT http://wiki.answers.com/Q/When_was_the_Old_Testament_written, before that time, there are many other gods. Obviously before that time, human can obtain knowledge. So the ability to think is NOT a proof of the existence of god - BTW, you also need to prove that even if a god exists, that god is your god.

2b. Again, you are assuming the existence of your god. How do you know Zeus does not exist?

I am sorry I am not very knowledgeable in Western myths. But I surely know the concept of the Jade Emperor (a Chinese heaven emperor - equivalent to a god) was in the folk myths over 5000 years ago.

There is nothing wrong being naturalism. We live in a natural world and our lives depend on the support from the natural material surrounding us. When you say you and I are presented with the same evidence and I cannot see the evidence of god from these evidence. May I ask how you see the existence of your god from these evidence?

I have a strong sense of logic and open mind, I hope you have that too. I am open to accept evidence and have my opinion changed. I also hope you can do so as well.

Atheism is NOT a faith. It is just a simple conclusion. It is very easy for you to change my view - provide me with evidence of the existence of your god and I will change instantly. The problem is many people have tried, none has come up with any evidence of the existence of any god. You are welcome to try and I am prepared to examine the evidence. If the evidence is verifiable, I am prepared to convert to your faith. Show me evidence of the existence of your god.

3. You seem to miss my point. No one ever kill anyone in the name of atheism. Hilter, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot all kill many of their own citizens and others for purposes other than atheism. Whether they are theist or atheist is not the problem, they killed people for selfish reasons! What I am asking you to acknowledge is the crusades which were wars in the name of religion. Lots of people died because of these as well.

Puritan Lad said...


I have proven to you the existence of God. In order to counter my argument, you are going to have to show that atheism can account for the ability of the human mind to understand the world. You have written that "Ability of human mind to obtain knowledge has nothing related to god". I'm going to have to ask you to prove this. To clarify, I never suggested that belief in God was the precondition for human knowledge, since obviously unbelievers can obtain knowledge. It is God Himself that is the precondition for human knowledge. Because of God's creative attributes and His Providence, unbelievers may obtain knowledge in spite of themselves. However, unless you can justify some sort of atheistic epistemology, my premise stands, and so does the proof. Keep in mind the atheistic naturalist theory concerning the development of the human brain as you do so. (I assume that you are a Dawkins naturalistic atheist and not a Buddhist or some other "spiritual" atheist.).

As far as the nature of the evidence goes, let me ask you. What would you consider to be sound evidence for God's existence? I hold that evidence isn't the problem, but your blind metaphysical commitment. We'll see that once you answer the question concerning the kind of evidence that you will accept.

And of course the Crusades were religious wars. No one suggested otherwise, but you'll get no apology from me for them.

And atheism is a faith, as you have all but admitted when you said that you could not logically prove it. You have an unjustified faith in...

,,,intelligible experience

...laws of logic

...uniformity of nature

...moral absolutes

...human rights and dignity

and other transdentals that are totally irrational in an atheistic worldview.

Albert Ip said...

You said, "It is God Himself that is the precondition for human knowledge." This is a statement which need evidence to support! Any?

Knowledge formation is a large topic beyond the scope of this debate. Just briefly, I will indicate a direction for you to do the proper scientific research into this area.

There are two important scientific discovery which may, combined, lead to the development of human cognitive ability:

1. Human Speech Gene Found.

2. mirror neurons

The mirror neurons are the neurons in our brain which enable us to learn. FOXP2 gene is likely to be responsible for our speech.

Once we are able to learn from other human and communicate the learning to the rest of the group without waiting for the genetic codes to change (which takes generations), human development accelerated. In other words, instead of taking generations to have a learnt skill encoded into the genes, we learnt by observing and through language which take minutes to days). The effect of this rapid accelerated skill of spreading ideas IS why human now dominated the Earth. This does not need god to be there in order to provide the reason for our thinking ability.

Since your god is almighty and answer prayers, you and your god together can prove your god's existence quite easily as follows.

My both eyes are still good (albeit I am getting old and hence need glasses). You can pray to your god and make my right eye (or left eye if you prefer) blind by 7th Feb, 2010 (I am giving you a week time to do that). Then when I repent, I get my eyesight back.

Simple, concrete and will have definite result in a set date! If this is true, I will convince the rest of the world that your god really exists!

Note, the theory about human capability to learn and organise knowledge is not related to atheism.

Atheists are just people who "do not believe in a god" - nothing more! There are atheists who believe in a lot of odd ideas - e.g. UFO, Crop circles etc. Most importantly, atheism (if it means anything at all) is NOT a faith. Let me address your 5 dot points.

Intelligible experience - We experience this world via our senses. This is part of the survival of any species. Fish, animals are able to experience too. How long a memory can last in different animals varies. Whether you like to call human experience to be intelligent or not is another issue. I have dealt with the issue of knowledge above.

Logic and nature - I will address these together. No, nature is NOT uniform. If nature were uniform, there would not be any life. Earth is continuously being bombarded with Sun's energy. In the process of "even-out" this energy, we have life! The underlying quantum mechanics inform us that nature is unpredictable. Today's universe is the result of the quantum fluctuations in the early stage of the big bang (not the tv show!). We live in a chaotic universe. But we are able to recognize pattern. Two greatest human inventions are "logic" and "scientific process". Logic establishes the underlying reasoning ability for us to communicate and understand our environment. There is a dark side to it, though - our continuous tendency to ask for causal relationship. For most things, there are cause and effect. But it is not true for everything! I have written about the science process last october. I will let you read about it yourself instead of repeating here. http://atheistbibleforum.blogspot.com/2009/10/is-science-religion-for-atheists.html

Please note that logic and how we understand nature do not require any faith. If we do not operate logically, we can - but we will not be able to communicate and understand each other. Scientific process also requires no faith. Everything is based on evidence.

Moral absolutes - again, I disagree with this. Moral is culturally dependent. Obviously killing each other's offspring for food will not make the species survive - that's why we do not kill each other. But killing occurs every now and then, but it is not the norm. Soldiers kill while still standing at a moral high ground! In bible time, slaves were accepted. Do you still accept slave as OK? That's relative! Women were oppressed in OT and slightly better in NT. In today's moral standard, women are free and at an equal footing as men. Again, the moral standard has improved/changed.

Human rights and dignity - interesting how Bush's administration re-interpret human right! According to the Geneva Conventions, which USA is one of the signatories, torture is not allowed for prisoner of war. The last USA administration called the prisoner of war enemy combatants (to avoid using POW) and redefine Water-boarding as an interrogative technique. Human rights and dignity is very much at the mercy of the people in power!

Once upon a time, we believed the Earth was flat. We believed Volcano explosion and earthquark were god's anger - oh, some still do today! We did not know why human became ill. These were the time known as dark ages. These were the time religion ruled.

Thank goodness, human has advanced!

Puritan Lad said...

You wrote that "Knowledge formation is a large topic beyond the scope of this debate". In fact, it is the focus of this debate, because it is the proof that I have offered for the existence of God. It is interesting that you would offer up "scientific research" into the area of knowledge formation. How can we have scientific research until we first establish an absolute epistemology? Does not science itself require knowledge (among other things). I'll deal more with science at the end of this post (uniformity of nature).

Your comment concerning the need to "logic" may be true, but that doesn't justify it in an atheist worldview. How does an atheist justify any sort of universal entity?

You ask if I have any evidence that "God Himself that is the precondition for human knowledge." In fact I do.

"in [Christ] are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Colossians 2:3)

This is very convincing evidence. However, it is evidence that you will reject, not because of any problem with the evidence, but because of you own blind commitment to materialism. So I will cross the aisle and give you evidence that fits your worldview.

Prove A: God is the precondition for human knowledge.

Step 1 ~A: (Assume the opposite): God is NOT the precondition for human knowledge.

Step 2 (~A -> B): If God is NOT the precondition for human knowledge, then atheism can account for human knowledge.

Step 3 (~B): Atheism cannot account for human knowledge (Contradiction!)

Step 4 (~~A): It is not the case that God is NOT the precondition for human knowledge. (Modus Tollens on 2 and 3)

Step 5 (A): -> God is the precondition for human knowledge. (Law of negation.)


I will assume that you find my logic sound, and therefore must find fault in premise #3. You have assumed, up to this point, that the human brain, which is a cosmic accident according to you worldview, can fire off electrons that we are supposed to hold as significant. That takes too much faith for me, so the burden of proof is still on you to account for human knowledge in an atheistic worldview. (Premise #3). Until you do so, the original premise stands, and so does the proof for God's existence.

You also have little understanding of the Christian God. This is shown by the "test" that you have offered up. Even if God were to bow to your demands, you still would not beleive. Instead, you would look for the secret pill that I snuck into your food, or for some naturalistic explanation for your blindness. Like I said earlier, your problem isn't with a lack of evidence, but with a blind precommitment to materialism.

Regarding intelligible experience, you explanation doesn't cut it. There are no philosophical freebies, so you are going to have to justify intelligible experience from an atheistic worldview, (Besides, sense experience doesn't even come close to accounting for all human knowledge, even if I were to grant you this freebie, which I won't).

Regarding the uniformity of nature, you really don't believe what you wrote, that nature is unpredictable. If this were true, than there could be no science, ie, if gravity would act differently in one area of the universe than in another. You wrote that science requires no faith. In that case, perhaps you can provide an answer to one of your own, David Hume. He wrote that cause and effect matters have no rational basis, since we have no way of proving that the future will be like the past. As a result, all science is undermined until you can answer him.

Regarding moral absolutes, you may suggest that you don't beleive in them, just like you don't believe in the uniformity of nature, However, you cannot live that way. (There are plenty of creature who eat their young that survive quite well.)

I won't get into a political discussion here (there are other posts in my blog for that), but...

1.) The Geneva Conventions only apply to soldiers operating under a national authority, not to terrorists. (Of course, if there are no moral absolutes, we can just change or ignore all of these rules anyway. Why not?)

2.) Waterboarding people who blow us up and cut off our heads in front of TV cameras in order to prevent future attacks is fine by me (and it was only done to two prisoners, and it worked).

In any case, my question concerning human rights is much more fundamental. How does an atheist distinguish between mass genocide of humans and spraying weed killer on one's lawn? Sure, humans may be a little more advanced in terms of "evolution", but both result in dead organisms. (Granted, I'm not suggesting that you do view human life this way. I'm just wondering why you don't.)

Albert Ip said...

Aren't you also guilty of Dicto simpliciter to assert that people without a belief in god do not have universal view on matters common to human?

I have been communicating with a lot of people throughout my life and one of the cornerstone of effective communication is adherent to logic, albeit some has obvious problem with logic beyond and and or. This is a fact. This fact does not require any epistemological exploration to arrive at the observation.

As I said, quoting the bible has no effect on me because it is kind of circular. God exists because the bible said so. Bible is the words of god. This is just circular!

As to your proof, there is a serious flaw in it. Your step 2 is wrong. "God is not the precondition of human knowledge" does NOT imply atheism can account for human knowledge. There is a thing called "we do not know". There are numerous examples in the past that demonstrated how wrong religion was in term of the understanding of the world we are living in. Just an example is the flat earth view. I suppose you don't believe that the earth is flat, do you? We do not have good understanding about what was before the big bang, and what caused the big bang. This does not imply god created the big bang. The correct answer is "we do not know".

As I have pointed out before, atheism is just simply that it is "not believing in a god". There is nothing more. Whether atheism can account of anything does not matter.

Let me rewrite your proof:

Prove A: God is the precondition for human knowledge.

Step 1 ~A: (Assume the opposite): God is NOT the precondition for human knowledge.

Step 2 (~A -> B): If God is NOT the precondition for human knowledge, then something else can account for human knowledge.

Step 3 (~B): Science can account for human knowledge (example established!)

Step 4 -> God is NOT the precondition for human knowledge. (proof by counter example.)


I understand your god answer prayers in three ways: yes, wait, no. That's nothing different to saying prayer does not work. I offer you the chance of proving your god's existence and I will stick to my words. I can assure you that I need not look for the secret pills you are planning to put into my food. I know what I am eating. So go ahead, do your prayer and prove to me, and the rest of the world, that prayers work! The only reason that you won't do it is BECAUSE you KNOW it will not work. The lightning rods at the top of churches is very telling about how religious have their faith against good science.

Let me remind you the debate that we are having at the moment. Does god exist? You are the affirmative. What do I believe, in fact, does not matter. Even if I believe in a god, I can still be on the opposite debating with you. Questioning my position does not help you. You have to prove that god exists. For all your "proposed" evidence, my task is to find a counter-example or disprove your evidence.

Your first evidence - god as a precondition of human knowledge has been disproved by a counter-example. A valid scientific explanation without the need of god exists and is accepted in the scientific community.

Your second evidence - existence of moral absolutes is again been demolished by counter example. We don't want to sidetrack to political debate, so let's just stop here. The fact that the moral viewpoint on slave have changed - an example of a moral stance which is relative - serves as a counter-example to disprove your claim.

ps I don't believe in afterlife. This is the only life I have and I am going to make the most of this unique fortunate experience. I also hope can leave this world with the knowledge that I have left something good and useful behind.

pps re: David Hume. In strict logic, what happens today does not imply the same will happen tomorrow. He is absolutely right in this sense. However, there is also absolutely have no reason to believe that our sun will suddenly disappear tomorrow. Again, my point of view of these matters do not in anyway influence the debate we are having - Does god exist?

Puritan Lad said...

Albert: "Aren't you also guilty of Dicto simpliciter to assert that people without a belief in god do not have universal view on matters common to human?"

Response: No. I'm asserting that atheist cannot justify such a universal view. The fact that they have this view is proof that they know God, because they live in God's universe, and cannot even function apart from acknowledging Him in some way. Holding human life as more valuable than weeds is one example. Most atheists believe this, but cannot justify such a belief in their own worldview.

Albert: "I have been communicating with a lot of people throughout my life and one of the cornerstone of effective communication is adherent to logic, albeit some has obvious problem with logic beyond and and or. This is a fact. This fact does not require any epistemological exploration to arrive at the observation."

Response: Sorry, but that is not acceptable. As I stated earliers, there are no philosophical freebies. Until you can justify any type of universal law (be it logic, science, etc.), then you are using borrowed capital from the Christian worldview in order to argue against it.

Albert: "As I said, quoting the bible has no effect on me because it is kind of circular. God exists because the bible said so. Bible is the words of god. This is just circular!"

Response: Straw man. I didn't use this argument.

Albert: "As to your proof, there is a serious flaw in it. Your step 2 is wrong. "God is not the precondition of human knowledge" does NOT imply atheism can account for human knowledge. There is a thing called "we do not know". There are numerous examples in the past that demonstrated how wrong religion was in term of the understanding of the world we are living in. Just an example is the flat earth view. I suppose you don't believe that the earth is flat, do you? We do not have good understanding about what was before the big bang, and what caused the big bang. This does not imply god created the big bang. The correct answer is "we do not know"."

Response: No flaw here. We are both operating in a different set of metaphysical presuppositions. I hold to a Christian Theistic worldview where God created all things, upholds all things by His Providence, and gives the human mind the ability to obtain knowledge. You, on the other hand, hold to an atheistic materialist worldview, one where everything, including the human mind, was a cosmic accident in an impersonal and chaotic universe. Therefore, you must somehow explain why the neurons firing off in your mind should hold any significance whatsoever. We need a starting point. How does a materialistic worldview account for meaningful knowledge considering its fundamental theory about the origin of the human brain? What is the foundation of your epistemology (theory of knowledge)? This must be answered before we can move forward. If you deny Christian revelational epistemology, then you must give us another, or else justify your autonomous mind.

Albert: "As I have pointed out before, atheism is just simply that it is "not believing in a god". There is nothing more. Whether atheism can account of anything does not matter."

Response: Sorry Albert, but you aren't getting away with this. I could use a similar argument, but I'm not sure that you would buy it.

"Christianity is just simply a belief in the One True God. There is nothing more. Whether Christianity can account of anything does not matter."

This type of reasoning won't satisfy anyone. You are simply trying to minimize the task before you by attempting to establish materialistic atheism as the default worldview. But I'm not going to accept your metaphysics. You are going to have to justify your worldview just like I have.

Albert: "Science can account for human knowledge (example established!)"

Response: Really? Where? Science cannot even account for itself in an atheistic worldview. Before one can even begin to do science, he has to make certain assumptions that an atheist has no right to make, as I have already pointed out.

Albert: "Let me remind you the debate that we are having at the moment. Does god exist? You are the affirmative. What do I believe, in fact, does not matter. Even if I believe in a god, I can still be on the opposite debating with you. Questioning my position does not help you. You have to prove that god exists. For all your "proposed" evidence, my task is to find a counter-example or disprove your evidence."

Response: I am well aware of that. I have already proven God's existence. On the other hand, you have failed to justify your materialistic worldview, claimed no need to do so, and minimized you own task in this debate. But even in this, you have failed. Despite your claims otherwise, you have failed to provide a counter-example or disprove my argument for God's existence. I hold that the human mind was created by God and provided with a fruitful connection with God's universe. His creative attributes and His providence are necessary for human knowledge, science, logic, moral absolutes, etc. Since you obviously disagree, you will need to provide an alternative epistemlogy. You claim to have done so, but I have yet to see it. At this point, I'm willing to let the reader decide whether or not you have backed up your claim. The ultimate proof of God's existence is that without Him, we could not know anything. Once again, I need for you to provide me with a starting point in terms of human knowledge. You want to establish atheism as the default without any justification. Sorry if I refuse to play along. I'll await your response.

Albert Ip said...

Hi Puritan Lad, hiding behind philosophical complexity does not mean you do not need to provide the evidence of the existence of your god. What is my world view has nothing to do with this debate. You need to prove the existence of your god. What is the world view of Christians, again, does not influence this debate. Either you can prove that your god exists, else you failed in this debate.

You claim that this is God's universe. What is the basis of this claim? (There is no philosophical freebies!) How do you know it is God's universe instead of just an accidental Universe?

You are using borrowed capital from the Christian world view in order to argue against it. I am never a Christian. How my world view has suddenly become "Christian world view"?

"Christianity is just simply a belief in the One True God. There is nothing more. Whether Christianity can account of anything does not matter." Great! Now show that "One True God" is not imaginary or a delusion! Your world view or my world does not matter!

My friend, let me give you a piece of advice. We live in a material world. Your body needs the food, water, air (these are all material) to continue to survive. What you think does not matter if your body dies. It is fine to think in higher philosophical realms, but these realms must base on reality. Human can imagine. But pure imagination does not make it true or real.

"I have already proven God's existence." I do not see any valid proof so far. Can you restate your proof so that we are on the same page? Just claiming that it is God's universe does not cut it. You must prove that it is god's universe by evidence.

"You want to establish atheism as the default without any justification. Sorry if I refuse to play along. I'll await your response." You don't believe in Zues, do you? Justifiy your atheism towards Zues. My reason to reject your god is the same as your reason to reject Zues.

Hey, do you pray to make one of my eyes blind by 7th February, 2010? I am waiting for your god's miracle if your god is real!

ps Giving more imaginative attributes to your god than Zeus does not make your god any more real than Zeus.

Anonymous said...
Albert in Australia, you have fun and will keep mocking. I want to go to one of your many blogs and tease you. For example, you monetized one of your blogs so you can make money on it and Bibles are being advertised on that blog! LOL I think Puritan Lad should decide who posts and keep you off of his now. He can go taunt you on your blogs if he has that amount of time as you do to write on his blog.

Puritan Lad said...

No worries Anonymous. Albert is here at my invitation. I have a pretty wide leeway in allowing comments as long as they are somewhat respectful, don't promote heretic websites, or use vulgar language. Besides, the purpose of these "controversial quotes" is to stir a little controversy and discussion.

Albert, calling Christianity "imaginary or a delusion" and referring to the atheistic worldview as "reality" may help you blow off some steam, but these are merely assertions. You haven't proven any claim you have made, and this is precisely what we are debating.

You also seem to object to the philosophical direction of this discussion. However, the question of God is a philosophical question.

You can keep throwing our Zeus as pink uncorns as red herrings, but no one is buying. You, like every other atheist I've come across, refuse to defend atheism. Instead, you want us to accept your metaphysical precommitments as (to quote you), "base[d] on reality". You haven't proven that atheism is based on reality. Instead, you argue over and over again that atheism is the default position, but haven't given us a reason why this is. But we simply don't accept your precommitment to naturalism, so the burden of proof is on you to justify this precommitment. You obviously don't accept mine, so fair is fair.

You also are living in a paradox, wanting to believe that the material world is all that there is, yet also relying on non-material things like logic, scientific laws, induction, etc. You cannot have it both ways.

I think everyone else has seen my proof of God's existence. Yet since you claim I haven't given it, I'll do so yet again.

Premise 1: If the human mind can obtain meaningful knowledge, the God exist, since God is the precondition for meaningful knowledge.

Premise 2: The human mind can obtain meaningful knowledge.

Conclusion: God exists.

Until you can justify some sort of atheistic epistemology, both premises stand, and thus the proof for God's existence.

Albert Ip said...

Anonymous. You are welcome to any of my blogs and discuss things relevent to the blog. Just like Puritan Lad here, I welcome comments as long as they are gentleman discussions.

Puritan Lad,

I do not regard believing in an imaginary god is philosophical. You are just hiding behind "complex philosophical arguments" and refuse to face the reality. I use the term reality as in everyday usage, meaning "the state of things as they actually exist." [wikipedia]

We can imagine. I can imagine myself flying like a bird. But in reality, I cannot fly like a bird. I can imagine a pink unicorn having all the magic power of your god, again that does not make the pink unicorn real. Here "real' means it actually exists. Whatever and however you want to argue, the basic premise - your god exists - is yet to be proven.

You do not need to worry about my materialistic view in this debate. You do need to bother with it at all. What I believe does not matter. What matter is whether your god exist or not.

In your proof, I cannot agree to your premise 1. In particular is your assertion "God is the precondition for meaningful knowledge." This is just an assertion which have no evidence support. On the other hand, I have indicate to you a course of study if you want to find out more about how knowledge and learning may arise from evolution. [Please see my previous comment - I am not going to repeat them again.] I use "may" here because I am no expert in Biology. I understand sufficient about the scientific process to trust the people making the scientific reports. The report cited were peer-reviewed, meaning they have been independently verified by one or more third parties. Any good science journal will have very clear and transparent review process which you can check out yourself.

An alternative which does not require god to explain the existence of human knowledge and learning ability is sufficient to nullify the validity of your assertion. For this, I have done.

If we cannot conduct our debate on a logical basis, the communication will break down very quickly. So I suppose you need to accept the defeat of the assertion that god is the precondition of human meaningful knowledge. Again, proof by counter example!

If god does not exist, every claims within Christianity collapse. That's where I like to focus our debate on.

Side notes:

Since you pointed out my naturalistic viewpoint, I may as well defend it here. Again, this section does not mean that you do not need to prove the existence of your god.

Our biological bodies depend on the existence of the material world. The fundamental driving force of life on earth is due to the energy delivered to the earth's surface from the sun. Since earth is not a closed system, the application of thermodynamics 2nd law implies that energy need to be "even-out". There are multiple ways for this to happen. The most basic is heat transfers like convections, conductions and radiations. However, when a more efficient path is established, the path will continue to act as an even-out path albeit the path itself may locally violate the second law of thermodynamics. At the beginning of the earth, the main energy balancing process are the physical process I just described. Later, chemical process kicks in because they are more efficient - while the physical processes continue even today. Since of the result of the chemical process is organic molecules (without life yet - just molecules like amino acids etc.). By chance, yes by chance, the molecules become larger and larger (more and more efficient as a dissipative path for the energy difference). One of the molecules happen to be able to store the information and kick-off the biological process. Evolution, through four hundred million of years, produced a species called human and we have dominated the earth at this point in time.

While there are missing links in my description above, there is no need to use god to explain any of such process. I do not know how acquainted with science you are. This is the currently best description we know (minus the inability of me giving the full details!)

If you require a god to explain where the big bang comes from, I will also require an explanation where your god come from. So going along this line obviously will not be fruitful for this debate.

Yes, somehow this complex biological bodies of ours are capable of imagination. Again, this does not imply there is a god. Different animals show different degrees of thinking ability. e.g. see Crows as Clever as Great Apes, Study Says or Scientists watch wild monkeys using tools or

"Bizarre" Octopuses Carry Coconuts as Instant Shelters

Ability to think is not unique in human, is not a gift from god. Ability to think is explained by evolution!

Puritan Lad said...


You did a nice job of explaining the materialist worldview, but did not justify anything. At the fundamental level, you still haven't given a reason for you precommitment to materialism. To begin with, you wrote that "Our biological bodies depend on the existence of the material world." You didn't prove this, but merely asserted this. (I hold that the existence of life depends on God, who meticulously designed our universe for that very purpose.) In your view, materialism is true by definition. In addition, your explanation about the "fundamental driving force of life" is very over simplistic. Just add a little sunlight to some amino acids and viola, we have life. The fact of the matter is that even the most basic life forms in existence are extremely complex, and have no real materialistic explanation (as most honest evolutionists will confess to.) Besides, if I am to be convinced of evoltion theory, I will need to see the transitional forms as well as the biochemical pathways that lead to advances in "evolution".

However, that is not the real focus of my objection, since this would only lead to a "god of the gaps" discussion about trying to fill the holes in materialism. At a more fundamental level, your materialistic worldview assumes that science can operate without the creative attributes and providence of God. That, then, leads us back to David Hume's skepticism of induction, which is the basis for all scientific inquiry. One cannot have universal laws of science, laws of logic, etc. based solely on personal experience, because no one has universal experience. Even Einstein was taken back at the uniformity of nature and had to honor sort of a "deistic" god, because by all accounts, the universe should have been chaotic and purposeless, making science impossible. So you will have to answer Hume yet again before you can appeal to "science". Until then, science only makes sense in a Christian Theistic worldview.

Besides, while you may believe, in theory, in only the material world, you find it impossible to live that way. You still believe in non-material things such as numbers, propositions, the laws of logic, and inductive inferences, human rights, etc. In fact, taken to it's logical conclusion, there is no reason to have a discussion in a purely materialistic world, because such a world is incompatible with rational thought, free will, and moral decisions, etc. In a purely materialistic world, we are what are genes say we are, and we think what our neurons tell us to. The purely materialistic world is one of genetic and epistemological determinism. You would have to cease trying to convince me of your "reality", because I am stuck with the "Christian gene", and cannot do anything about it. Once you open up to the ideas of free will, free thought, etc., you have relinquished strict materialism as a worldview. To quote a fellow :

"If the unguided machine of scientific materialism governs and perfectly determines every event in the universe, then it governs every event in the human body. There is no meaning behind the term "self" or "I" because humans are only cogs in an impersonal deterministic machine. We are, as one Darwinian thinker has put it, "complex computers made of meat." Every thing that we do and everything that happens in the world is determined by the laws of physics, including all of those immaterial concepts which give life meaning, joy, and ethical significance."

This would necessarily include our thought life. So in the end, having a discussion in a strict materialistic worldview is a self-defeating.

Albert: "I do not regard believing in an imaginary god is philosophical. You are just hiding behind "complex philosophical arguments" and refuse to face the reality. I use the term reality as in everyday usage, meaning "the state of things as they actually exist." [wikipedia]"

Response: Argumentum ad Circulum. You are begging the question here. Whether Christianity or Atheism is "reality" is what we are supposed to be debating.


What you believe about the material world does matter. The proof for God's existence that I have offered shows that it is impossible for God not to exist. The only alternative to a non-existent God is your strict materialism. As I have pointed out, not only can strict materialism not justify any of it's metaphysical presuppositions, but is also self-defeating. And you yourself don't consistently believe it.

You have asked for proof of God's existence, and I have given it. You have yet to even put a dent in it, but instead want to claim your own atheistic worldview as the "default" reality. Now I may not have given you any evidence thay will satisfy your metaphysical precommitments, but that doesn't make the evidence invalid. Just calling God and imagination and comparing him to a unicorn doesn't cut it. You'll need to justify your materialistic worldview in order to counter my proof. I don't need a complete justification on every item in your worldview, but I do expect that you should be able to justify the very tools that you use to debate with. How does an atheist defend the scientific method, intelligible experience, inductive reasoning, etc.? (Note: I'm not asking for a description of these things. I know what they are. I need you to justify them given your strict materialist worldview.) Until you have done so, the premises that I have used stand, and therefore so does the proof.

Albert Ip said...

1. "Our biological bodies depend on the existence of the material world." I don't believe in God and I continue to live without any problem. If you are deprive of air, water or food, you won't live long. Is that clear enough?

2. Abiogenesis is the study of how life on earth could have arisen from inanimate matter. It should not be confused with evolution. [source] Read it up and don't just ask questions.

3. You are obviously not a student of science. The scientific process is open and transparent. The scientific process is based on evidence - observable, repeatable measurements of the real world. A scientific theory is only established when the science community has a consensus that there is sufficient evidence to support the theory. Unlike religion which is messed with unpredictable magic and "depends on personal revelation", everyone can study, verify or disprove scientific principle/theory. I suggest you read about science (e.g. on evolution - The language of God by Francis Collins. Collins is a devoted christian so you do not have worry about him arguing for atheism. Collins is also the guy who co-ordinated the decoding of the human genome) I'll let a christian to tell you how elegant evolution is.

4. When there are gaps in our knowledge, the incorrect response is to invoke "god of gap". The correct response is an honest acknowledgement - "we do not know".

5. Numbers, logic, language, knowledge are non-material as you rightly pointed out. These are things our early ancestors have to live without. These were the days when the life expectancy was about 40 years. These were the days human was scared by thunder and lightning. These were the days death by deceases were regarded as cures from the devils. Numbers, maths, logic, language and knowledge are accumulated over millions of years. They were human invention. You can still live without all these - just that the life won't be as comfortable!

6. Yes, a biologically surviving life without all the culturally accumulated artefacts would be boring and may not worth living. You can, if you will, live a simple biological life. Without the biological living body, all the philosophical pondering would not happen. When the basic biological needs have been met, we can venture into the philosophical realms and talk about imagination. Many ideas come and go in our minds. Some of useful, many are useless. I imagine I can fly like a bird. I can imagine that. But in reality, I cannot. This is wishful thinking. Your god is one of these imaginations unless you can prove its existence. BTW, even if a good exist, you still have to prove that that god is your christian god. But let settle one before another.

7. You seem unable to understand this. You need to prove the existence of your god. What I think and what I believe does not matter! Atheism is not a reality. Atheism is just a system in which we do not believe in a god. Without god, we live. In fact we live with or without thinking about god or anything. A lot of people conduct their whole life without ever thinking about stuff like that. If god exists, there will be evidence of its existence. In this debate, your task is to show me the evidences and we will evaluate them.

8. Materialism, as you call it, strict or otherwise, is the biological basis for your life. Without it, you die. Without the material world, we will not be here to discuss anything. Coining words like "metaphysical". "supernatural", "god" is like coining the term "pink unicorn". These words refer to some concepts - the concept like flying like a bird. The concept can exist. But the object referred to by the concept may not be possible or exist. To show that the concept referred by the term is possible or exist, you need to come back to the physical realm and demonstrate that the concept can be done and the object referred to exist.

9. When biologists (I am not one of them) talk about evolution, they refer back to "material objects" they found or study. They do not "imagine". Scientific process likewise works in the same way. Einstein's relativity was not rewarded a nobel prize because his conjecture remained as a conjecture until proven - eventually in the 1919 solar eclipse [source]

10. I hope you have already pray to your god to blind one of my eyes. I am awaiting the miracle to occur.

Puritan Lad said...


Thanks for your description of science (though it does contain metaphysical presuppositions, see Hume, whom you have yet to answer.) I happen to love science, and have a degree in science. However, you've missed the point yet again. So let me repeat my last comment:

("Note: I'm not asking for a description of these things. I know what they are. I need you to justify them given your strict materialist worldview.) Until you have done so, the premises that I have used stand, and therefore so does the proof."

Still waiting...

Albert Ip said...

OK, just use your own wordsm "The only alternative to a non-existent God is your strict materialism."

God does not exist because we are living a material world without which you and I will die.

You have deleted one of my reply. Obviously you don't like to see of the word I used. Here it is again, rephrased:

1. Let me just say I justify my worldview based on pragmatics. We live in material world and die without material world support.

2. Let me rephrase your "proof" to demonstrate the circular nature of your proof.

Premise 1: If the human can talk, Zeus exist, since Zeus is the precondition for talking.

Premise 2: The human can talk.

Conclusion: Zeus exists.

Got it?

Puritan Lad said...


1.) You are begging the question. You have assumed that material support alone can account for human life (and knowledge), and the idea that we will dies without these things is begging the question concerning the afterlife. This is precisely what we are debating. The fact that you must have so many unjustifiable presuppostions for pragmatic reasons is most telling. It shows that you are committed to a strict materialistic worldview regardless of it's obsurdities. You want to hold that nothing exists but the material world, but are forced to "pick and choose" items from the immaterial world our of necessity (pragmatic reasons). This is even more obvious in #2.

2.) As a result of your precommitment to materialism, you are merely assuming that all deities are the same, which they clearly aren't. Not only that, but your argument does nothing to support the atheist worldview or refute the Christian one, even if I were to grant you your red herring. Finally, the argument is easily disproven.

Premise 1 is false. (Granting Greek Mythology) Humans were able to talk during the golden age of Kronos, before Zeus was even born. Therefore Zeus cannot be the precondition for talking.

Premise 2 is false. Not all humans can talk.

Therefore the conclusion is invalid.

Your syllogism also assumes that Zeus has divine qualities like transendance, omnipotence, etc., which he clearly does not (Zeus was deceived by Prometheus over sacrifices, etc.) I have argued for the Christian worldview, and you an atheistic one. Arguments about the non-existence of other deities are not relevant here, only a poor attempt to cover your failures to justify atheism. It's clearly not enough for you to refute the necessity of Divine revelation for knowledge (which you have failed to do). I'm still waiting for you to establish an atheistic epistemology.

Albert Ip said...

You don't get it, do you?

1. Material world is the only world which exists. The immaterial world does not exist in reality - that is why it is immaterial. Your "immaterial world' exists only in your imagination.

2. I don't need to justify my position. You need to prove your god exists. I use Zeus to demonstrate the flaw in your "proof". Your "proof" is logically wrong. It can be used to prove anything, from Zeus to your god.

3. Zeus does not have "divine qualities like transendance, omnipotence, etc.". Using the proof you gave, you god also does not have those qualities. I do not believe in Zeus, nor your god. The proof was to illustrate your flaw logic.

4. Can I just repeat again? My epistemology does not matter. The issue is whether your god exists or not. Your "proof" is logically wrong. It can prove the existence of Zeus as well. That means it can "prove" anything - hence it is not a proof at all. You know what I used originally - which is something every human can do. I only change to "talk" just to illustrate. "Talk" can be anything else!

If you do not want to debate using logic as a minimum, we cannot communicate effectively.

Yes, I do. Our life and thinking ability IS the result of the material world. Nothing more and nothing less. I have already pointed you to scientific research which indicates an explanation of life, thinking and learning. But again, this is my position and has nothing to do with your burden of proof of the claim made in books written by men thousand years ago in the desert!

Do not reply to this comment. Please respond to the comment I wrote earlier.

Puritan Lad said...


With all due respect, this is argumentum ad nauseum. You keep making assertion after assertion and haven't give any evidence to back up your claims. You also believe in the immaterial world, by your own admission, for "pragmatic" reasons. Therefore, you do have to account for your epistemology. You need to justify the use of logic and science in a materialistic world, and somehow explain how you can avoid genetic determinism. Until you do so, my premises stand, and thus the proof for God's existence. Using "science"to explain "thinking and learning" is clearly circular. Atheism cannpt justify science until it answer Hume's skepticism of induction. As it turns out, without God, we cannot know anything.

So you may continue to make empty assertions like the "Material world is the only world which exists" or the Bible is only "written by men thousand years ago in the desert". Just stating this over and over again doesn't make it so. Until you explain the atheistic theory of knowledge, we cannot go any further. If you don't have one, then my proof stands.

Albert Ip said...

Premise 1: If the human exists, material world exist, since material world is the precondition for existence.

Premise 2: The human exists.

Conclusion: material world exists.

Can't you see your logic flaw?

It seems that our discussion is leading to nowhere. You keep asking me to justify my atheism. Atheism is just not believing in any god, including yours of course. I told you my reason of rejecting your god is the same as that you used to reject Zeus. You said "The main difference between the Christian God and Zeus, etc. is that the Christian God actually exists." That's the point I want you to prove. You are making a big claim here. Your claim is that your god exists. I am challenging you to prove your god's existence.

You put up a proof - which is logically flaw. That's not a proof of ANYTHING. That set of statements can be used to prove ANYTHING -as I have demonstrated - making it not useful as your proof of the existence of your god. If you cannot substantiate your claim, your god does not exist. Period.

We engage in this conversation basing on two important human inventions - language and logic. If we cannot to converse using logic, we cannot communicate. If I am using my first language (Cantonese), most likely we cannot communicate as well. These are basic facts - these do not need any philosophical epistemological support. If you really want to understand this, google 'emergent properties'. What has my epistemology to do with your proving the existence of your god? You can attack my epistemology stance as much as you like, but you still need to prove your claim.

Can you tell me what other world beside material world that also exists in reality? There are imaginary worlds which exist in imaginations and stories. But these imaginary worlds are NOT real. They are imaginary!

Tell me who wrote the bible? Did the bible appear magically out of the blue? Did the bible fall from the sky? Moses wrote the Acts based on oral history, ie heresy. Moses was a human, right? The NT were also written by men 2000 years ago living in the middle east. If J K Rowling can write a fiction, why these men could not? If we want to believe what is written there, we need to find evidence to support the claims, otherwise they are just stories like Harry Plotter.

You believe the stories in the bible to be true. You believe your god exists. Prove it, else, they are just stories - bad stories!

Am I clear enough?

BTW, for all the other readers of this blog, if you think you have a proof of the existence of your god, you can help Puritan Lad by putting the proof forward, I will accept and discuss from there. Without proof of your god's existence, I confer with Richard Dawkins that it is a god delusion.

Ooops, did you mean logic and science are worlds?

Logic and science are tools for us to communicate and understand the reality. Without logic, we can each write a lot of things with no interconnection. We cannot communicate effectively. Science is a systematic study of nature. Human has survived hundred of thousand years without modern science. It does not matter. Obviously, I don't want to go back to the dark ages. :-)

Puritan Lad said...


We are still awaiting your justification for the atheistic worldview. Telling me that it doesn't matter, or that it is just pragmatic, or defining what it is doesn't cut it.

There is no flaw in your logic, and I would fully agree with your syllogism. However, you simply proved that the material world exists. Of course it does. I never suggested otherwise. God created the material world, and it's existence was never under question (though I doubt your argument would convince a Hindhu.)

But this statement is what you need to prove:

"Material world is the ONLY world which exists."

That is what you asserted, and your syllogism does not address this, much less prove it. Of course, the delimma that you face is that you cannot use a logical syllogism to prove this statement since the law of logic are not material.

And asserting the need to use logic and science does not justify the presuppositions required to use them. Again, once you have answered Hume, I'll accept that science is compatible with atheism. Until then, science requires God's creative attributes and his providence.

I will ask you once more if you can justify human knowledge in an atheistic worldview. If your response is anything other that that, it won't be accepted. This is getting too lengthy, and you have done nothing but repeat the same things over and over again, apparently believing that if you say it often enough, I will accept it.

So Albert. Can you give me an justification for human knowledge (not a definition) in an atheistic worldview?

Albert Ip said...

"Material world is the ONLY world which exists."

1. Material world exists. You agreed.

2. No other world which is material. Show me any if there is such an immateiral.

3. Material is the one and only world we have. Q.E.D.

Logic, science, language are not material - but they are not world too!

Logic, if you really want to get into epistemology is just a tool. Any philosophical argument must base on a set of axioms - agreed things. If you do not agree to use logic as the basis of our conversation, there is no communication.

Science is NOT circular reasoning. Science is based on evidence, observable events within the material world - which you agree to exist. Scientific knowledge, collectively, is an understanding of the physical world based on facts and evidence. Human do not need that understand - hundred of thousand years ago, human existence has no benefit from the knowledge accumulated through the use of the scientific methodology. Science is not used to justify itself. Science is only a tool, one way to understand the reality. In a way, it is like the purpose of early religions - human's attempt to understand the reality. Since the last 100 to 200 years, human has advanced. Our understanding of the reality (at least mine) is based on evidence and reality - not imagination.

Premise 1: If dog exists, human can think, since human can think is a precondition of dog's existence.

Premise 2: Dog exists

Conclusion: Human can think.

How's that as a proof?

Human can think and imagine. That's a fact. You said it is given by your god. I disagree. Because unless your god exists, human can think is just an observable fact. It can come from anything - not necessarily from my atheist view.

What do you think the muslims believe why they can think? According to your logic, it would be allah, their god. (It may be the same god, but what they do is quite different from what christians would do!) What do you think the buddhist believe why they can think? To buddhist, thinking is self-evidence. Knowledge come by within, via mediation. What do you think the scientist believe why they can think? Scientists will refuse answer this question. Scientists have evidence that the thinking ability is an emergent properties out of complexity.

In the last three questions I ask, the answers of first is based on belief, unsupported claims. The second is based on self-realisation. The last is based on evidence - observations. While I have given you three different explanations of the origin of meaning. Which one you believe is up to you. I guess it would be the first one. But it is justified? The last one is justified because it is based on evidence. Scientific explanation of knowledge is based on observations.

Here is my epistemology base. My value system is based on evidence - observable events. I have no need to call upon imaginary worlds to justify my thinking. Logic and science, may I repeat again, are tools - they are not part of my value system. If there are other better tools than logic and science, I am happy to use them, likely together with logic, science and mathematics.

Back to Hume. Hume wrote a great deal on religion. However, the question of what were Hume's personal views on religion is a difficult one.[18] He was writing at a time when being an atheist or a blasphemer could result in very unfortunate consequences. Less than 15 years before Hume's birth, an 18-year-old University student named Thomas Aikenhead was tried, convicted, and hanged in Edinburgh for blasphemy for saying Christianity was nonsense.[19] Hume was often thought of as an atheist, and his career suffered because of this (Russell, 2008); but no official charges were ever brought against him. However, the Church of Scotland seriously considered bringing charges of infidelity against him.[20] He never declared himself to be an atheist, but if he had been hostile to religion, Hume's writings would have had to be constrained to being ambiguous about his own views. He did not acknowledge his authorship of many of his works in this area until close to his death, and some were not even published until afterwards.[source]

I guess the reason why you bring up Hume to challenge me is to question the "uniformity" of universe. Scientific reasoning is based on the assumption that the universe will continue to behave as it has. This is a philosophical question Hume challenged us.

My own uneducated answer is that universe was once not like that (13 billions ago before the big bang). There are possibilities that some time in the future, the universe will not behave like it is now. However, for the immediate future, the best we have is based on the past to predict the future. If a disruptive event happens to cause the universe to behave differently, then we shall re-evaluation the situation and devise a new set of understanding based on the changed conditions. At this point in time, there is no evidence or reason why the universe will behave differently from the time since the big bang. In about 19 billion years, the current fuel in our sun will burn out. It will become a red giant and then white giant. The energy at the time will be too high to substance any life on earth. In about 1 quintillion year, the universe as we know it today will degenerate. Today's physics laws may likely not inapplicable.

By the way, if we do not induce a self destruction within the next 50 to 100 years, the earth will become lifeless in about 500 million years in the future. [see New Scientist 20 June 2009 issue, p31]

I will not attempt to argue against or for Hume. Again, epistemology does not matter because what I am after is your proof of your god. Why how I view the world matter? Does my view of world make your god non-existence? If your god exists, no matter how I view the world, your god would still exist.

The only reason you may want me to join your imaginary world is that your god only exists in an imaginary world. Your god does not exist in this material world, right? Where does your god exist, other than imagination?

Using god as a possible explanation for human thinking is NOT a proof of your god's existence. If god exists, then god may be used to explain something.

Puritan Lad said...


Thank you. We are finally starting to get somewhere. It took long enough to drag that out of you. For the sake of your argument, I'll grant you your syllogism (though #2 is clearly begging the question). Once again, you have confused justifying something with defining it. You defined logic (though quite incompletely), but haven't justified it. You cannot claim that the material world is all that we have, and then assume that logic is valid given that you agree that it is immaterial.

Using science to justify human knowledge IS circular reasoning. You claimed that "Science is based on evidence, observable events within the material world". I must ask how you know this. You cannot even define the term science without an epistemology, much less use science to establish an epistemology.

Besides, science is based on much more than "observable evidence" in the material world. If that was all that there was to science, then we could not have any universal laws, since no one has universal observable evidence. I won't bother to look up the source of your quote from Hume as I have read Hume myself concerning religion, He was clearly an atheist, and reluctantly a materialist, even though his own empiricism could not justify his belief. (Of course, whether he was or wasn't isn't really the issue. He still needs to be answered.) Science has to appeal to inductive reasoning. You wrote, "I will not attempt to argue against or for Hume." No one is forcing you to, but if you want to convince anyone that science is compatible with atheism, you will have to. In Christianity, we have an answer. Inductive reasoning makes sense because it stems from God's providence (Hebrews 1:3). In atheism, it doesn't make any sense until you answer Hume.

So it seems like we are stuck in terms if logic and science as you still have some explaining to do. Just saying that "epistemology does not matter" won't cut it. The way you view the world does matter, because atheism fails in any internal critique. The proof that I have offered up for God's existence is that His non-existence is absurd. Without God, there can be know science, logic, knowledge, morality, free thought, etc. Therefore, as an atheist, you will need to show me an alternative foundation (not definition) for these things. Until then, my premises stand, and thus the proof for God's existence.

TWo more items, one new and one you failed to address:

1.) How does an atheist avoid genetic determinism? Since everything is "material", that would include our thought life as well. As such, there is no sense in having a conversation since I am genetically wired to be a Christian (See "Genes contribute to religious inclination" from New Scientis Magazine). In a strictly material world, there can be no free rational thought.

2.) Since you base your worldview on "observable evidence in the material world", on what basis would you reject the sense experiences of Moses, Isaiah, and the 500 eyewitnesses of Christ's resurrection?

Albert Ip said...

I think it is time for you to do some justifications as well:

The most important one which I am still waiting;

1. Evidence of the existence of your god. So far your "proof" is flawed because its structure can be used to prove anything. You need to come up with a better one. BTW, you understand what is meant by disprove by counter-example, which I have used couple of times to demonstrate that your "proof" is flawed.

2. What is anther world which is not immaterial that you have in mind? You must have one question my assertion that the material world is the one and only world we have. In the material world, we found no evidence for your god. Where does he exist? Saying that our thought originated from your god does not cut it. If your god exists, then you may use your god to explain the origin of our thoughts. But not the other way round. Again, I have shown you how science can explain thought and learning. That is "disprove by counter example". Do you understand what "disprove by counter example" mean? Really?

Some new ones:

3. You said, "If that was all that there was to science, then we could not have any universal laws, since no one has universal observable evidence." What do you mean by "universal laws"? Can you name some so that we can discuss those.

4. You said, "Without God, there can be [know] no science, logic, knowledge, morality, free thought, etc.". Proof please. (Don't quote the bible, it is circular! and your previous proof is NOT a proof!)

Just a quick answer to the two points you said I failed to answer.

1. No, you are NOT genetically wired to christianity. You are bought up to become a christian. If you were born in middle east, you are likely to have become a Muslim. If you were born in India, you are likely to become a Hindu. You may be one of the 40% who are genetically inclined to be religious. The article you linked to said, "genes contribute about 40% of the variability in a person's religiousness." That's a statistical jargon meaning gene contribute 40% to the correlation between gene and religious behavour. It is NOT a statement of causal relationship. "Religious behaviour" in the article refers to religious behaviour - not any specific religion! In other words, gene can account for 40% why someone can be easily disillusioned by the false claims of religion.

2. The sense experiences of those people can be explained by several possible answers. It has been demonstrated again and again that eye-witness testimony is flawed due to our interpretative nature of our observation. Here are just some explanations that pop up: lies, heresy, hallucination, exaggeration, forgetfulness. The earliest book of the NT was written at least 30 years *after* Jesus died. How do your memory of the day 30 years ago, if you were older than 30? What is your earliest memory? How accurate will that be after 30 years?

Hey, tomorrow is 7th Feb, 2010 my time. Both my eyes are still good. I am forwarding to losing the sight on one of my eyes tomorrow!

Puritan Lad said...

1.) Your "counter examples" have failed so far. The fact that you have to search for other religions to find any type of epistemological starting point shows the weakness of atheism. You have no explanation, so you try to show that other religions are equal to Christianity. In this, you have failed. You are seeking evidence that satisfies your own precommitment to materialism, but that doesn't make the evidence that I have provided "flawed", plus you have failed to show any flaws. You may disagree, but I'm more than willing to let the reader decide.

2.) As far as the immaterial world, I speak of the transendental and spiritual world where free thought, logic, science, and meaningful sense experience are possible, since you have all but conceded that the material world cannot account for them. (Still waiting for your justification, and the one for your epistemology fails. See below.)

3.) Easy. How about the law of gravitational attraction? Keep Hume in mind when you try to justify this in your atheistic worldview.

New Ones

1.) Your explanation assumes that the physical laws of the universe do not govern our thought process. Not only does this contradict your previous comment that "the mirror neurons are the neurons in our brain which enable us to learn", it violates your assumption that the material world is the only world that exists. That, then, brings us full circle to square one. How does atheism avoid genetic determinism since the physical laws of our material universe govern everything? How do you account for any universal law with your epistemology built upon you limited "observations".

2.) You wrote, "It has been demonstrated again and again that eye-witness testimony is flawed due to our interpretative nature of our observation." I don't disagree that this is possible. However, you have already claimed that your "epistemology base. My value system is based on evidence - observable events". Are you now backtracking ans suggesting that such observable events are unreliable?

In addition, you really didn't answer the question. Why do you suppose that Isaiah and Paul lied, exaggerated, hallucinated, etc.? Just because it's possible doesn't mean that these men did this, especially if they really believed what they wrote about lying.

Albert Ip said...
1. re: Your proof

You still don't get it, do you? Your proof (Premise 1: If the human mind can obtain meaningful knowledge, the God exist, since God is the precondition for meaningful knowledge. Premise 2: The human mind can obtain meaningful knowledge.Conclusion: God exists.) can be used to prove anything - other religion's god as well. That means your proof is flawed. I am going to use your prove to prove that flying spaghetti monster is the origin of human knowledge.

Premise 1: If the human mind can obtain meaningful knowledge, then flying spaghetti monster exist, since flying spaghetti monster is the precondition for meaningful knowledge.

Premise 2: The human mind can obtain meaningful knowledge.

Conclusion: flying spaghetti monster exists.

Your readers should be very clear about whether you or I cannot logic!

2. Thought happens in our brain. During sleep, your consciousness also stops. Where the world has gone when this happens? In this sense, your transcendental and spiritual "world" is not a world - it is your imagination. Your spiritual world does not overlap with anyone's else. To be a world, do you imply the world is shared with other people? If yes, then you are wrong. Two persons sleeping in the same bed (married couple) do not share their dream world! If not, this is not a world at all. Just you own imagination!

I have explained already that logic, science and mathematics are tools human have invented to understand the reality. There was a time when logic, science and maths were not developed. Those were the dark ages. Do you imply at those times, the transcendental world has not formed? There is still a tribe in the world today who do not have any concept of number and color [source]

So your transcendental world does not exist for these people!

3. You said you have a science degree and love science. I wonder how you have missed the understanding of the formulation of scientific principles. Scientific laws are based on observation. Gravitational theory is the best explanation so far to account for the attraction between mass. It is universal only to the sense that it applies to the physical reality. In your imaginary world, as in some computer game virtual world, physics need not apply!

With regard to the criticism of Hume, my explanation is based on utility. Gravitation theory may be wrong one day if the underlying physics of the universe has suddenly changed. Until then, this is the best explanation we have. There is no evidence that the underlying physics of the current universe will change for another quintillion years. We shall worry about that when the time comes.

The current physics (our understanding of the physical reality) are based on the observations we have. There is an assumption which implies the underlying physics of this universe do not change abruptly. But it may. That is why we do not know anything before the big bang. That is called "singularity". Substituting "we do not know" with 'therefore god created it" is just nonsensical.

Now, if your god exists, there is a way for your god to demonstrate his/her existence. Change some of the physics constants and show us s/he is in charge! The velocity of light would be a good constant to change if your god exists. Of course, you would say that the scientist would adjust the theory to account for it. So, give us a time in the future and give us a prediction of what the velocity of light will be at that particular time. Better still, at a pre-announced time, the velocity of light will change back. If these times are announced beforehand, so that everyone can measure during that period, no one can argue against your god's existence. Oh, prayers work, right? I will leave it to you to declare the time of change and I will arrange to measure the velocity of light at that time period.

OK, I have said that human observations are liable to bias and interpretative nature of our observations. That's why scientific observations are NOT based on human observation and interpretation. When we say hot, it is meaningless in science. We measure the temperature using some known physical properties (and have standards to agree on how to calibrate these physical properties against an agreed temperature scale.) Are you really a science student some point in the past?

I am not going to guess why Paul lied, exaggerated, hallucinated, etc. But there are good reasons. Stephen Frederick was a Catholic priest. He has an explanation for the myths in the bible. Check out his book "No Gods, no guilt"

jazzycat said...

Albert lp,

For your atheistic material world to exist there must have been a point where material [matter] appeared from nothing apart from an immaterial source [eternally self existent intelligent being]. This is nonsense and is the bill of goods you are selling here.

The difference in the positions here:

1) We all agree that a material world exists and it is amazing and even magical.

2) Christians believe in a magician.

3) You believe in nonsense.

Puritan Lad said...


Since you think my proof can be used to prove anything, let see you use it to prove atheism. That's what I've been waiting for.

First, you tell us that you don't need to prove atheism, and that the burden of proof is on me. Then you tell us that there is no way to prove atheism, and yet atheism is not based on faith. You tell us that atheism is the default worldview, and yet offer no reason for this.

You tell us that the material world is the only world that exists, and yet you still believe that rational free thought exists. You still haven't told us how we can avoid genetic determinism. If the material world is all that there is, then how do we avoid have physical laws and genetics govern our thought process? We're still waiting for answers. You tell us that your epistemology is based upon observable evidence. However, if that observable evidence happens to support Christianity, then you write it off as either a lie, and exaggeration, or a delusion. Sounds rather arbitrary to me.

You want to establish universal laws of science, and yet when fellow atheist David Hume undermines this possibility within the atheistic framework, you feel no need to provide an answer. Hume shows that science itself requires assumptions that an atheist has no right to make.

In other words, atheism is just the way things are according to you. No need to prove anything, and when you cannot even account for the tools that you use to debate, it doesn't matter.

You see, the problem that you have isn't a lack of evidence. You have, for no reason whatsoever, commited yourself to an atheistic materialistic worldview. Yet you are forced to borrow from my worldview (or another religion) in order to make sense of the world. You cannot account for free thought, science, logic, or knowledge in your worldview. In atheism, there can be no laws, because no one has universal sense experience to make the observations that you require. You cannot prove that George Washington was the first president, because you have no observable evidence, only historical documents.

I don't accept your metaphysical presuppositions Albert. For example, I don't accept that the human mind is capable of free thought and meaningful sense experience in a strictly materialistic world governed by undesigned chance or blind fate. You will need to prove this in an atheistic world.

I have proven God's existence Albert. In order to show my proof to be flawed, you will have to introduce more than red herrings from false dieties. You will have to justify human knowledge in your atheistic worldview. Science cannot be the explanation for human knowledge, because science must presuppose that human knowledge is possible.

Until you can establish an atheistic epistemology (without being circular), my premises stand true, and thus the proof for God's existence.

Albert Ip said...


You have put words in my mouth. I never said I believe in nothing created everything. Are you humble enough to acknowledge that there are things we do not know. One of the things we do not know is the origin of the universe. We can account to the point of big bang. What is there before big bang is something we do not know - or we do not have an agreement of.

If the cosmos were created by a god, you still need to justify that the cosmos god is a personal god. In other words, the god who created the universe is also interested in the nitty gitty details of one species. I wrote the following about 1 year ago:

Do you realise how pathetic it would be for a creator to alter the working order of the universe in order to answer the prayer of 1 of the 6.75 billion human who is one of the 1.5 million species on Earth, which is one of the eight planets of the Solar System which is one of 200 billion stars making up the Milky Way which is one of the 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe [ignoring the possibility of multiple universes]?

It would be mad to say that this creator would be so obsessed by human recognition to the point that s/he created a hell to punish those who do not! [reference]

Using an unknown to explain an unknown leads us nowhere!

Albert Ip said...

Premise 1: If the human mind can obtain meaningful knowledge, then atheism exist, since atheism is the precondition for meaningful knowledge.

Premise 2: The human mind can obtain meaningful knowledge.

Conclusion: Atheism exists.


I am tired of explaining myself. How about you show us your god's existence.

This is 7th Feb 2010 here. Both my eye still have good eye sight. Did prayer work?

Here are the words I wrote about 1 year ago:

Most religions have an arrogant assumption, that men is the reason the universe was created, so as to support the pathetic attention god gives human. While this assumption is dumb and awkward, the arrogant ignorance of the believers ensures a sensible discussion cannot be carried out. - Albert Ip [reference]

Puritan Lad said...


I will ask you one more time to justify your atheistic epistemology. I have already disproven your syllogism in several previous comments. Until you can explain human knowledge from an atheistic point of view, than premise 2 is blantantly false. You me keep repeating the same failed assertions over and over again. Please do not respond until you have justified the items in my previous comments from and atheist worldview. We're still waiting. Until you do so, my premise stands, as well as the proof.

Albert Ip said...

You really did not get it!

Here is what we have so far:

1. Your prayer did not work. Both of my eyes are still perfectly fine.

2. You use a proof (whose structure can be used to prove anything) to "prove" your god's existence. I disagree with your proof. I have given you many examples of how your proof's structure can be used to prove anything. You still cannot get that your proof is invalid.

3. You insist on me to "justify" my stances. I have done it many times. Can you point out which part you don't understand? We will take it from there.

4. I reckon that your so-called proof is based on the human's ability to think and learn. You imply (please correct me if I am wrong about your belief) that god is the origin of thinking and learning. I disagree. If god exists, god may be used to explain human's thinking and learning ability. But not the other way round. Human's thinking and learning ability is a fact. There are different opinions on what give us this ability. You said it is god. Science said otherwise. Since there are multiple "possible" source of human knowledge, "god gives us this ability", hence, is NOT a proof of god's existence. That's called proof by counter-example!

5. To establish your god's existence, my stance does not matter. How I view the world does not matter. It is your responsibility to show how I can see that your god exists.

If you insist on me doing all the explanation without you making any effort to explain how you can establish the existence of your god, I think the verdict is clear that you cannot. I rest my case.

Puritan Lad said...

1.) I never said the prayer, because God has forbidden such prayers.

2.) Wrong. You have failed to show the flaw in my proof, and all of your counter examples have been refuted. I'm more than willing to let the reader decide.

3 & 4.) We'll let the reader decide this as well. You haven't justified anything in this entire discussion, and when pressed to do so, you either reason in a circle or claim it doesn't matter.

5.) I have no responsibility to show how you can see anything. I have proven God's existence. Your stance does matter, because I have shown time and again that God's non-existence is absurd. We are battling different worldviews with different metaphysical presuppositions. I have justified mine. You have not, but merely tried to assume them in advance. Your failure to justify an atheistic epistemology has proven my premises to be true, and thus my proof stands. The fact that my proof doesn't satisfy your precommitment to strict materialism is not my problem, nor my responsibility.

Once more, here is the deal. Until you can justify human knowledge in a godless world, my proof stands. We are still waiting.

And I doubt that you have rested your case, because you've made no case to rest. Let's see it. What is your case for atheism. You may (again) start with your epistemology.

On a positive note, I wish that more Christians were as stubborn as you are.

Albert Ip said...

1. OK, whether you pray for one of my eyes to fail or not is not the point. The point is that prayer does not work and has never worked. Prayer is preying on people's lack of understanding of randomness.

2. If you cannot see the flaw of the logic structure of your proof, I have nothing to add. I will wish you luck in your career, just hope that you do NOT teach. Children will not be able to benefit from people without ability to see logic.

3. I have told you many times that an atheist is just a person who does not believe in a god. I am an atheist. What else you need to know? You ask me to justify atheism. I cannot. There is *no* atheism. You are atheist too. You do not believe in Zeus, or all the other gods. You said that "The main difference between the Christian God and Zeus, etc. is that the Christian God actually exists." So why you are not an atheist towards your god hinges on your god's existence. So far, you have failed to demonstrate your god's existence. I am just one god more atheistic than you. If you want me to justify my atheistic belief, you also need to justify your athesitic belief towards all the other gods. Yes, you have given *a* reason. Show us that your reason stands. Show us that your god exists.

4. The basic premise of debate is the affirmative put forward a proof. The negative attempts to disprove the proof. The affirmative can than disprove the "disprove of the proof". If the affirmative is successful in disproving all the disproves, the affirmative's case stands, else affirmative's case failed. I don't have a case. Your case just failed!

5. I have attempted to show you how I see the reality. I have shown you that supernature is just a concept which is NOT reality. We can have concept of different kinds, some odd, some true, some ridiculous. I have an example to support this. I can imagine I fly like a bird. Yes, I can imagine that. But imagination does not make it true. I cannot fly like a bird. What I have been trying to tell you is that god is a delusion. God is a human invention. God is a concept which has no reality counter part. No one can prove the non-existence of a non-existence concept. The tea pot in the sky is a good example to illustrate how absurd it would be to ask someone to prove the non-existence of a non-existence god. Big claim needs big support. I think the claim that god exists is a big claim. You have not shown a single shred of evidence.

Obviously, you are not going to answer my comment any more since I have not put in any more material to "justify human knowledge in a godless world". I just hope that you have the decency to keep this last comment from me here.

I also found that our debate is fruitless. You remain at your position without further justification. You just keep on asking me to write more, wishing that I make a mistake, and hence provide you with material to attack. Frankly, I have written more than I should.

For all your readers who have been following this debate. I will leave it to you to evaluate all the points that have been raised during this debate. I know many of the concepts I have presented contradict what you have been told by people in authority. Although Puritan Lad said I am stubborn, that is, to me, is not a good attributive. Please be open to evidence. Human progress, rapidly in the last 200 years, is the result of open-mindedness and rigorous requirement of evidence.

Thank you the chance of this debate.

Puritan Lad said...
Friends, it is clear that Albert has, for no logical reason, committed himself to an atheistic worldview. Like most atheists, however, he wants a free ride in the debate over God's existence. He starts out by telling us that "The burden of proof of the existence of god is with you" and "the default position is god does not exist". He wants to establish atheistic materialism as the default worldview, and the only reason he can give for doing so is that "No one can prove the non-existence of a non-existence concept." In other words, he doesn't want to defend the atheistic worldview. In his mind, atheism is just the way it is, no proof needed. So he has tried to minimize his task in this debate.

But even in this, he has failed. I have offered up the proof for God's existence, being the impossibility of His non-existence. Without God, there can be no meaningful sense experience, laws of logic, science, human knowledge, free rational thought, etc. Without God, we live in a haphazard world governed by impersonal physical laws, laws that would necessarily govern our thought processes as well. In an atheistic world, there is really no reason to debate, because there is no free will or free thought, only genetic and epistemological determinism. Therefore, God exists.

I have given Albert ample opportunity to defend the atheistic worldview. I have not required him to prove God's non-existence (though that's what he really should be doing as an atheist). I have simply asked him to justify meaningful human knowledge in an atheistic worldview. However, in 41 comments in this thread, he has only made two feeble attempts to do so. He first attempts to use science as a basis for his epistemlogy. He gives us a syllogism with the premise that "Science can account for human knowledge ". He then tells is that "The mirror neurons are the neurons in our brain which enable us to learn." There are three problems with this view. 1.) Such a view of knowledge validates genetic determinism, that knowledge is the by-product of impersonal physical laws, and as such can have no real meaning. 2.) Argumentum ad circulum - Science itself requires an epistemology, therefore cannot be the foundation of that epistemology. 3.) Science itself cannot make sense in an atheistic worldview. (More on that below.)

His second attempt was to suggest that his epistemology was based on "observable evidence". There are three problems with this, 1.) Observable evidence (radical empiricism) cannot even begin to account for the vast amount of knowledge in the universe. (historical facts, induction, etc.) 2.) Observable evidence itself requires an epistemological commitment (what a person accepts as "evidence" depends on his or her metaphysical presuppositions). 3.) An epistemology based merely on "observable evidence" cannot justify any sort of universal invariant law, because that would require universal experience. The second problem was made quite evident when dealing with the sense experiences of Isaiah, Paul, etc. Albert, with no justification whatsoever, simply wrote these off as "lies, heresy, hallucination, exaggeration, forgetfulness." So Albert's standard of human knowledge is not only, in his own words, "flawed due to our interpretative nature of our observation", it is quite selectively and arbitrarily applied.

However, when pressed, Albert simply tells us that his worldview doesn't matter. Despite my premise that God is the precondition of human knowledge, he tells us that he has no need to justify human knowledge in an atheistic worldview. Instead, he tosses out red herrings like pink unicorns, Zeus, etc. One has to wonder if Albert has enough knowledge of religion to be able to reject it. When fellow atheist David Hume casts serious doubt upon the rationality of scientific laws in an atheistic universe, Albert simply tells us that "I will not attempt to argue against or for Hume. Again, epistemology does not matter..." Then, to top it off, he has to audacity to make the following premise. "If the human mind can obtain meaningful knowledge, then atheism exist, since atheism is the precondition for meaningful knowledge." Again, this is merely one of many unjustified assertions, like "the material world is the ONLY world that exists". The problem, aside from being totally irrational, is that Albert himself doesn't really believe this. Instead, he is forced to pick and choose items from the immaterial world such as logic, induction, free rational thought, etc. He is forced to do this in order to avoid the logical conclusion of the atheistic worldview, physical and genetic determinism.

He claims to have shown flaws in my proof, but 1.) He hasn't, and 2.) Even in the unlikely event that he can, he still hasn't justfied atheism.

Albert keeps claiming that I don't get it. In fact, I get it all too well. Albert wants to establish atheism as the default worldview, and is none to happy that I don't accept this.

Albert, there is only one acceptable refutation of my proof. You will have to establish an atheistic epistemology. There are no philosophical freebies Albert, so you will have to give us some idea as to how atheism can account for meaningful human knowledge. I'm not asking for a deep doctrinal dissertation, a simple explanation will suffice. I need a starting point. I hold that God is the precondition for human knowledge, so you will have to provide an alternative. Until you do so, my premises hold true, and thus my proof for God's existence stands. You may have the last word in this debate if you so desire, but if you don't give us a valid, atheistic epistemology, anything else that you say will be irrelevant to this discussion.