Sunday, August 26, 2012

Examining Atheist Propagadna

It's always instructive to examine atheist propaganda. Even though they may not being saying anything wrong, it's still interesting to note what they are saying. Almost every time I have said that atheism is a movement atheists have been incredulous. They always say "it's not a movement it's just the absence of a belief so atheists are all different." Yet if you look at what they do, they are always doing things to organize for a movement. Here is an example of a site where a woman is speaking to other groups about how to help atheists even if you are not one. I don't know why they would want to, but it shows them recruiting form beyond their own ranks. No one recruits for a non movement.

This woman is a sex writer and this is her private blog. She's an atheist and she wants to forge political alliances between atheism and other groups that represent her causes. There's still something contradictory about it, even though it's right to do it of course. It's not a movement and yet they have organized enough to speak of collectively and to be "alleys" of "them," or "it."

Greta Christina's Blog

Readers of this blog may have noticed that the comment thread on How To Be An Ally with Atheists has gone both completely off-topic and completely toxic. Regrettably, I've had to shut the comments on that post down -- which is a shame, since I think the topic is an interesting and important one, and I'd like to hear what people have to say about it. (And yes, I am all too aware of the irony of that particular post being the one where the comments went toxic.)

A quick disclaimer first: While I suspect that a lot of atheists will more or less agree with much of this list, I really am speaking only for myself here. Atheists are notoriously independent, and they don't like having other people speak for them. (Any atheists reading this: If you have disagreements with this list or things you'd like to add, please speak up in the comments.)

The-Atheist 1: Familiarize yourself with the common myths and misconceptions about atheists -- and don't perpetuate them.

There's a lot of misunderstanding and ignorance about who atheists are and what we do and don't believe. Needless to say, these myths and misconceptions are wrong. Don't believe them. Don't perpetuate them. Don't let them infect the way you speak and act, and please speak out against them when you hear them. Find out what we actually think and believe and do, instead of what anti- atheist propaganda says about what we think and believe and do.

Sam Harris has written a pretty good list of the most common myths about atheists, with short arguments against them. There's a touch of needless snark in the piece, IMO -- Harris can't quite resist the temptation to get in a few digs against religion when he should probably just be explaining atheism -- but overall, it gives a good, concise view of the most common misconceptions about atheism, and why, exactly, they're mistaken.

If it's an absence of belief and they are all different and it' snot a movement why should there be answers to myths and why recruit? How can form generalizations that are clear enough to deny myths about them when they are supposed to be bound together only by what don't believe?

At this point Harris's propaganda stuck in here. I'll answer it below.

back to the lessons on how to be an ally

2: Familiarize yourself with what it's like to be an atheist, both in the U.S. and in the rest of the world.

Discrimination against atheists, in the United States, and around the world, is very real. It doesn't look exactly like other forms of discrimination -- no form of discrimination looks exactly like any other -- but it is real.

Here are just a few examples.

According to a recent Gallup Poll, asking Americans who they'd be willing to vote for for President, atheists came in at the very bottom of the list: below blacks, below women, below Jews, below gays. Below every other marginalized group on the list. With less than half of Americans saying they'd vote for an atheist. Unless you live in a incredibly progressive district, being an out atheist will effectively kill any chances you have at a political career.

Why should that be considered discrimination? Why isn't it just the recognition that atheism is a threat to civilization? I can think we can argue that it is. I'm not advocating any sort of legal ramification. If Atheists want to band together politically they have as much of a right as anyone, but drop the pretense that it's not a movement. If they can organize to gain adherents among non atheist groups and come close enough to agreement to work politically they probalby are a movement. I would probably agree with a lot of Christina's politics. I don't agree that atheism is a persecuted minority and should be any more protected than who people who think property tax should be replaced by sight value tax or another group in politics. They are clearly a movement and they need to be honest about being one.

(3) find common ground (appeal to religious people)

4: Speak out against anti-atheist bigotry and other forms of religious intolerance.

If you're white, it's important to speak up about racism. If you're male, it's important to speak up about sexism. If you're straight, it's important to speak up about homophobia. Etc.

Anyone who disagrees with atheism or sees a danger in it is automatically going to be cast in the role of "bigot." So atheists get to be seen as persecuted minority who do they persecute? Religious people. So religious people are scum who don't deserve protection to assertion their beliefs means they automatically bigoted against atheists. This is nothing more than a political correctness card. They are just trying to unfairly gain support for a movement that wont own up to being a movement. I certainly do not trust them not to persecute religious people. I've already quoted too many atheists who say "it's fair to mock and ridicule and brow beat people out of their beliefs because we don't like their beliefs."

And if you're a religious believer, it's important to speak up about anti-atheist bigotry and ignorance. Familiarize yourself with the common myths about atheism and the truth about those myths (see above)... and when you hear someone repeat the myths, speak out.

What is anti-atheist bigotry? Belief that atheism is dangerous is obviously bigotry right? Is disagreement with atheism bigotry? Is Belief in God bigotry? Any religious person who allies with atheism and helps it to become a force in society is a sucker and is just throwing his own beliefs.

Harvy Cox, theologian form Harvard tried to develop a sophisticated concept of modern secularization which casted secularization in the role of a necessary liberal democratic movement. His whole approach and attempted has been dismissed and ridiculed collectively as par of the "evil stupid theology" that atheists refuse to think about. The atheist movement is an Orwellian totalitarian movement. Even left wingers such as The Guardian have made that observation.

I am not advocating making any kind of laws against atheism. If atheist want to act as a political force of course they have that right. It then becomes their responsibility to persuade the public that their cause is just and not dangers. I am advocating that if one believes atheism is a danger it doesn't make one a "bigot" to say so. Like most things in democracy it's a narrow tight rope we have to walk between protecting the rights of free speech and allowing irresponsibility to run riot. I would err on the side of free speech.

Here is the peice that Christina linked to:

Harris' take on so called "Myths" about atheism:

By Sam Harris

The Los Angeles Times

SEVERAL POLLS indicate that the term “atheism” has acquired such an extraordinary stigma in the United States that being an atheist is now a perfect impediment to a career in politics (in a way that being black, Muslim or homosexual is not). According to a recent Newsweek poll, only 37% of Americans would vote for an otherwise qualified atheist for president.

Atheists are often imagined to be intolerant, immoral, depressed, blind to the beauty of nature and dogmatically closed to evidence of the supernatural.

Even John Locke, one of the great patriarchs of the Enlightenment, believed that atheism was “not at all to be tolerated” because, he said, “promises, covenants and oaths, which are the bonds of human societies, can have no hold upon an atheist.”

1) Atheists believe that life is meaningless.

On the contrary, religious people often worry that life is meaningless and imagine that it can only be redeemed by the promise of eternal happiness beyond the grave. Atheists tend to be quite sure that life is precious. Life is imbued with meaning by being really and fully lived. Our relationships with those we love are meaningful now; they need not last forever to be made so. Atheists tend to find this fear of meaninglessness … well … meaningless.

There's a difference in precious and meaningful. Life can be meaningless and be "precious" in the sense that we don't want to loose it even if is meaningless. So this not an answer to the issue. The kind of meaning that atheists argue for is relative and discordable. It's not the kind of meaning religious people talk about. We talk about meaning in terms of the nature of the universe. Atheists talk about private meaning, the meaning they manufacture out of their own needs and relative tot heir own observations.

2) Atheism is responsible for the greatest crimes in human history.

People of faith often claim that the crimes of Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot were the inevitable product of unbelief. The problem with fascism and communism, however, is not that they are too critical of religion; the problem is that they are too much like religions. Such regimes are dogmatic to the core and generally give rise to personality cults that are indistinguishable from cults of religious hero worship. Auschwitz, the gulag and the killing fields were not examples of what happens when human beings reject religious dogma; they are examples of political, racial and nationalistic dogma run amok. There is no society in human history that ever suffered because its people became too reasonable.
This is just self serving propaganda. He assumes that if they were dogmatic and rigid then they are like religion. That's only becuase he uses the dogmatic rigid model of religion to paint an ugly picture of religion. This is like the atheists on carm saying I'm not a Christian every time I make a good point they can't answer. Hey it it's intelligent and open minded it's not Christian. Then that means nothing can ever count against their theory that Christianity is always narrow minded. We could have ten thousand examples of open minded Christians but because they are open minded they are not Christians.

The atheists Pol Pot, Mao, Stalin murdered a hundred million people and that is 100,000,000.

Of course Harris writes off their murders as "O that's like religion would do." It becomes evidence agaisnt religion because it fits his model of religion never mind that the people who did it were atheists and did it partly in the name of atheism. Atheism was a value of communism it was a Principe they fought for. The USSR did torture and imprison priests and nuns and other religious people for having their faith.

Disclaimer time: this is not proof that all atheists would be this way. This is guilt by association. Harris is not free of that fallacy because he places the guilt by association card by trying to paint these qualities as religious qualities (above) instead of just letting the chips fall where they may. I submit there are two aspects which make this danger more than just pot luck; atheism has a bit more to do with it then they would like to believe. The real issue of atheism is not just God or not-God, it's the reduction of all forms of knowledge to one form, empirical quasi scientific reductionist proof that those wielding power can control and manipulate. this is what gives the current new atheist movement it's Orwellian features. The other aspect is having restraint because atheists have no stable grounded ethical axioms that are not relative to culture and teleological value. Outcome oriented ethics an be used to justify anything.

3) Atheism is dogmatic

Jews, Christians and Muslims claim that their scriptures are so prescient of humanity’s needs that they could only have been written under the direction of an omniscient deity. An atheist is simply a person who has considered this claim, read the books and found the claim to be ridiculous. One doesn’t have to take anything on faith, or be otherwise dogmatic, to reject unjustified religious beliefs. As the programmer Stephen F. Roberts* once said: “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”

Here we go again with the essentialist. Religious belief is an evil essence. Anything bad that atheist do is being done in a way that is similar to religion. It's "like religion" as he says above. So bad is always religious and good is always atheist, even when we are talking about atheists. So nothing can ever count against their thing. He claims atheists are not dogmatic but it's clear they are dogmatic enough to advocate mocking and ridiculing those who disagree with them. They are dogmatic enough to advocate sticking religious bleief with the labels and and clearing themselves by appealing to "religious-likeness" for all transgressions. They are dogmatic enough to reduce all forms of knowledge to the one they can control.

4) Atheists think everything in the universe arose by chance.

No one knows why the universe came into being. In fact, it is not entirely clear that we can coherently speak about the “beginning” or “creation” of the universe at all, as these ideas invoke the concept of time, and here we are talking about the origin of space-time itself.

The notion that atheists believe that everything was created by chance is also regularly thrown up as a criticism of Darwinian evolution. As Richard Dawkins explains in his marvelous book, “The God Delusion,” this represents an utter misunderstanding of evolutionary theory. Although we don’t know precisely how the Earth’s early chemistry begat biology, we know that the diversity and complexity we see in the living world is not a product of mere chance. Evolution is a combination of chance mutation and natural selection. Darwin arrived at the phrase “natural selection” by analogy to the “artificial selection” performed by breeders of livestock. In both cases, selection exerts a highly non-random effect on the development of any species.

It's probably true that creationists do a bad job of understanding the role of chance in origin of the universe. It is certainly true they they do a bad job of understanding evolution. We must be careful trying to make arguments we don' understand. Chance is a tool just like necessity. Chance is the aspect of creation that allows for contingent beings. So if we bleieve God created the universe, however he did it, he had to employ chance. Yet he would have employed amid a larger framework of control. It would be better not to make arguments where we use tools of God as values when we don't understand them completely. Yet is is true that in the bottom line atheists do have chance as the ground floor so to speak; if one is an atheist it is all a big accident and thus the notion of ultimate meaning for an atheist is untenable.

5) Atheism has no connection to science.

Although it is possible to be a scientist and still believe in God — as some scientists seem to manage it — there is no question that an engagement with scientific thinking tends to erode, rather than support, religious faith. Taking the U.S. population as an example: Most polls show that about 90% of the general public believes in a personal God; yet 93% of the members of the National Academy of Sciences do not. This suggests that there are few modes of thinking less congenial to religious faith than science is.

That is total bull that science erodes belief in God. He's trying to have it both ways. He's aware that atheism is not the monopoly on scinece, yet he wants it leave open the possibility of implying that scinece is atheism's enforcement mechanism. It is my opinion that creationism has made a fool of religious belief. It's a huge mistake to play out the knee jerk reaction agaisnt Darwin. That reaction was not the only reaction of religious people. There were any minsters who embraced Darwin and used evolution to advocate belief in God. For a good read on this topic see the book God and Nature by Lindberg and Numbers.

Atheism is quite unscientific. As a movement it has generated the notion of a fortress of facts. It says "we have a big pile of scientific that supports our view and religions doesn't have any." Of cousre that's totally unfair becuase scinece is not about proving ideas. They cast scinece in the role of the enforcer the proof of their view. (see refuting atheist fortress of facts part 2)

6) Atheists are arrogant.

When scientists don’t know something — like why the universe came into being or how the first self-replicating molecules formed — they admit it. Pretending to know things one doesn’t know is a profound liability in science. And yet it is the life-blood of faith-based religion. One of the monumental ironies of religious discourse can be found in the frequency with which people of faith praise themselves for their humility, while claiming to know facts about cosmology, chemistry and biology that no scientist knows. When considering questions about the nature of the cosmos and our place within it, atheists tend to draw their opinions from science. This isn’t arrogance; it is intellectual honesty.

Everyone is arrogant. We have arrogance coming out our ears. I am arrogant. Yet I find atheism is arrogant about things they even refrain form learning about. Noting is more arrogant than the intellectually crippling BS the so called "courtier's reply." Theology si stupid even though I don't know what it says but I know it's stupid, so I don't have to learn about it, don't confuse me with the facts.

As an intellectual option atheism may be valid but as a movmeent it stinks. Any atheists themselves are coming to that conclusion. The Guardian (in America--not hte British version) is a left wing Newspaper and Andrew Brown (whose blog is on the Guardian site) is a left winger and he paints the new atheist movement as the fundamentalism it is.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

are atheists insane?

I think we really have to ask this question. On CARM they have a standard response every time I made a decent point. Just let me get them in a corner that they can't answer they say "but no one agrees with you. Most of the Christina on CARM think you are not one of them so therefore I don't have to listen to your thing.

Here is a typical example. It's one I get all the time. this is just a particular version but it's quite common for them to say this kind of thing. I backed this guy into a corner by getting him to see that the major modern liberal theologians don't accept hell as eternal conscious torment. so what's his response? Is it that "well maybe Christianity is not so bad?" NO it's that I'm the only one who thinks that.

Originally Posted by Metacrock View Post
so how do I prove that you are afraid.


Afraid of what?

I don't care about proving it.

Proving what? My supposed fear of something that you have yet to indicate or describe?
Let's observe he already done the op on how stupid it is to believe in hell so turning around here and saying "you haven't proved that I am afriad of something" is kind of silly. Granted I haven't proved it but it's obviously I'm implying that his protestations about hos stupid it is is a cover for his fear.

Meta:if you are not then fine but I don't see you arguing about the ideas of Bonhoeffer or Tillich. I see you picking on the notions of a literal hell. Which is the easy target.

Easy target indeed. Which you also, IIRC, do not believe in, Meta.

Most of the Christians in these forums do not consider you among their select elite group destined for Heaven, in case you hadn't noticed, Meta.

I can give you a reading list of need one btw.

I'll pass for the time being, thanks. I have your websites bookmarked if I ever feel a need to educate myself as to your intellectual influences.

Have a great evening, Sir.
In other words, don't confuse me with the facts.

It's even more insane when you realize I've already said all these great theologians don't believe in hell so he concludes I'm the only one who doesn't!

on a related note atheists think they alter truth by laughing at it.

Liberation Sarah post 4
Meta's 200 "studies" are based on the mysticism scale, which was laughed off the table here a few weeks ago. Not only are the answers subjective and self reported, the questions are also incredibly vague. See for yourself:

Putting aside these problems, at best what metacrock can show is that people have funny feelings in their head, and these funny feelings combined with religious practice can make them feel happy (again, subjective and self-reported). Ok, so what? How does survey data showing that members of religions are happier demonstrate that an invisible, immaterial creature exists who uses telepathic powers to cause funny feelings in people's heads which makes them happy? Does meta provide a mechanism for us to examine? Does he offer any conceivable means of connecting the dots from these self-reported surveys to the immaterial creature with magic powers he claims causes the feelings? Does he rule out non-magical factors that might be at play in causing religious people to report being happier? Nope. It's a complete fail..and yet (sadly) seems to be the best that he has.
These are the 200 studies that I"ve documented incentatly are good and accepted in the field. The M scale is accepted as the standard of proof in the field. So she thiniks you can alter truth just by mocking it.

again here's what the qualified experts say about the M scale.

Michael E. Neilsen
Georgia Southern University
Feb, 2000
Psychology of Religion in USA

Ralph Hood (1998), a major figure in American psychology of religion, suggests six psychological schools of thought regarding religion. The psychoanalytical schools draw from the work of Freud, and attempt to reveal unconscious motives for religious belief.

Dale Caird
originally in journal for the Scientific study of religion 1988, 27 (1) 122-126

"Research into mystical experience has been greatly facilitated over the last decade by Hood (1975). Utilizing the conceptual framework of Stace (1960) he devised a 32 item questionnaire tapping eight categories of mysticism. This questionnaire the M scale was shown by Hood to have respectable internal consistency and reasonable construct validity.

Michael E. Nielsen, Ph.D.
Georgia Southern University
feb 2000

"Ralph Hood (1998), a major figure in American psychology of religion, suggests six psychological schools of thought regarding religion. The psychoanalytical schools draw from the work of Freud, and attempt to reveal unconscious motives for religious belief. Although Freud reduced religious belief to a natural, if ultimately flawed, attempt to cope with life's stresses, contemporary psychoanalytic interpretations are not necessarily hostile to religious faith. Analytical schools find their inspiration in Jung's description of spiritual life. Most psychologists, however, consider such descriptions to be undemonstrated by scientific research, and therefore it plays a limited role in psychology. Object relations schools also draw from psychoanalysis, but focus their efforts on maternal influences on the child. Each of these three schools rely on clinical case studies and other descriptive methods based on small samples, which runs counter to the prevailing practice of psychology in America." \\

"Modern social scientific evidence does not refute the possibility that some mystical experiences are associated with scientifically unknown processes. Parapsychologists have accumulated a body of evidence supporting belief in paranormal phenomena (Broughton 1992). Even though their evidence has been criticized, the existence of universal features within collections of mystical experience accounts supports the argument that some forms of these perceptions are not fully cultural products but have important impacts on religious belief (Hufford 1982, McClenon 1994)"[/quote]

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Center for Inquiry, Jesus Project, Athiest Orgnaization


Once upon a time I wrote an article called "cracking the Jesus Myther's Phony Scholarship code." It was about things like the Jesus project which appears to be a true scholarly endeavor but is just a front for Jesus myth propaganda. Another good example of that is Religious It poses as a sight about religious tolerance but is really about how evil Christianity is.
This will be like a fourth "Quest for the Historical Jesus" (or fifth or sixth, depending on how you count), with two major differences that shall define the Project:
  1. It will exclude all theological and dogmatic bias--conservative or liberal (none attending were sympathetic to either the Jesus Seminar or conservative apologetics). It will instead attempt to develop objective methods (which won't inherently favor any pet theory) and establish the facts independently of theory before moving forward. All the scholars present agreed every past Quest had (and has) consistently failed to do either.

  2. It won't rule out anything just because someone attending thinks it's fringe. They will hear all the Dohertys, Tabors, Eisenmans, MacDonalds, Q-deniers, the lot. Hoffmann is intent on maintaining a wide and critical diversity of scholars in the Project. As his press release says, "Participants represent a wide variety of perspectives, ranging from Tabor's argument that there is substantial evidence that the tomb of the family of Jesus has been located, to the view that the evidence for the existence of Jesus as an historical figure is not persuasive." What we will require is an objective methodology from anyone who intends to argue anything to the group. It won't be a soapbox society. You will either explain how your conclusions can be proved to everyone's satisfaction, or you'll be shown the door.

In other words, Jesus myth propaganda. They "project" is ran form the stand point of convincing the world that Jesus didn't exist and selling that book. I'm sure the faitful wont see it that way. they are good honest secular minded God haters trying to spread the truth.

They mention Tabor who was attacked assiduously by the Jesus myth crowd. Even though he had a thesis that claimed to prove that Jesus was not divine and that Jesus' mission was just to put his family in power, he at least did seem to prove that Jesus existed as a man in history so they had to oppose it. This was so obviously a special collequy called for the pupose of putting Jesus mythism on a par with the Jesus seminar. That would give it a pretense of scholarship it has failed to obtain even today. Jesus mythers are more at war with scholarship.

When I wrote that old article there were an atheist who mocked and ridiculed me saying "He’s obsessed with linking the Jesus Project to Skeptical Inquirer magazine, a magazine..." We find that there is an organization called "the center for Inquiry." They run a blog called "The Jesus Project." Under "advocacy" they list:

The Center for Inquiry advocates for science, reason, freedom of inquiry and humanist values through the following specialized policy and political programs:

The Office of Public Policy

The Office of Public Policy (OPP) works on three levels:

  • At the grassroots level, the OPP works with CFI Centers and Communities on policy within the state and at the state level on federal issues. The OPP trains Friends of the Center to influence state and local level legislation, take part in political campaigns, and run for office.
  • At the federal level, the OPP lobbies the U.S. Congress and the Administration in three areas: science and reason; secularism, and humanist ethics. The OPP also cooperates with powerful coalitions to influence legislators through individual and group communications.
  • At the international level, the OPP supports the work of CFI at the United Nations by lobbying Congress and the State Department on UN-related issues.

CFI at the United Nations

The Center for Inquiry is a non-governmental organization (NGO) with special consultative status under the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). It maintains official representation at UN headquarters in New York and UN offices in Geneva and Vienna, where it works to defend the secular, scientific outlook in the international community.

Legal Department

The Legal Department files amicus briefs in cases involving First Amendment rights, reproductive freedom, assistance in dying and other issues of importance CFI and its supporters. Where appropriate, the Center or one of its affiliates, such as the Council for Secular Humanism, may file its own lawsuit. In addition, the Legal Department will also consider offering free legal assistance to individuals who believe that their constitutional rights are in jeopardy or that they have experienced discrimination because they are not religious.

Legal departments hire lawyers that takes money. It takes money to do all of this and money is indicative of organization. While they try to laugh off the connections to Organized propaganda it's quite obvious have have a have a huge moneyed propaganda machine. Follow the records on any one of their publicans and you can see they have all kinds of things, a huge structure. Look what it says about the "federal level" They have lobbyist! you think that doesn't take money?

under outreach they say:

The Center for Inquiry isn't just a think tank—we're a world-wide movement of humanists, skeptics, freethinkers, and atheists, all working together at the grassroots level to advance scientific and secular values where we live.

From social events to educational lectures, community volunteering to national advocacy, CFI members are living proof that there are good, ethical alternatives to religious and paranormal worldviews.

How many atheists have told me it's not a movement? Atheist always say 'it's not a movement." But here they say it's a world wide movement. Well that doesn't prove they are athiest, these are "Free thinkers." Look what they say then:

Whether we identify as atheists, freethinkers, humanists, secularists, or skeptics, we all share basic values rooted in inquiry, naturalism, and the scientific method—values that urgently need to be demonstrated and advanced in the broader culture.

There must be a system that can unite all of our voices when success requires our voice to be strong. That system is the new CFI Network.

Not only is it a movement but they are seeking to organize it and control for their agenda. They include atheists in their identification.

their announced goals include:

Fostering a secular society requires attention to many specific goals, but three goals in particular represent the focus of our activities:

  1. an end to the influence that religion and pseudoscience have on public policy
  2. an end to the privileged position that religion and pseudoscience continue to enjoy in many societies
  3. an end to the stigma attached to being a nonbeliever, whether the nonbeliever describes her/himself as an atheist, agnostic, humanist, freethinker or skeptic.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Nazareth Question Heats up

excavation in 1999

December of 2010 I did a piece updating a controversy from the early days (late 90s) of my apologetical life: the question of Nazareth as inhabited in the time of Christ. Of cousre the mythers say no. The Pfan excavation, which they had been sighting as documentation for their view (it was going around big time, every message board had posts on the mythers using Pfan excavation. I'm the who actually got hold of the guy to find his findings and who read his article to see they were misquoting him. Now a new gang is saying his findings were no good (now that they know he doesn't back them).

my most recent article on this topic, both on the Religious a prori and on Atheist watch is found here. My oldest article is on Doxa.

I recieved a comment to that old post from 2010:

Anne Carly Abad says:
I read this article about Nazareth:

And the author debunks the dating of some of Pfann's findings, claiming "It consists of eleven small pieces of pottery—shards to which the NVF scholars assign an early date but which the standard textbook dates as late as the second century CE. In other words, the NVF scholars were choosing arbitrarily early dates for a few objects, and resting their Jesus-case on what amounts to mere preference. Significantly, in my book I show that the rest of the material from the Nazareth basin dates after the time of Jesus. So, an early dating for the NVF objects in question is not consistent with the evidentiary profile for the area."

What is your take on this?
Looking at the sight she documents this is one of the most biased pro-myther sights.

Nazarethmyth Home

The Nazareth QUIZ

Mythicist Papers
Resources for the study of Christian origins

(American Atheist, January 2009. Used with permission.)

an article entitaled "Nazareth, Faith, and the dark option an update:"

By René Salm

American Atheist has always championed the no-nonsense view of religion, and readers may note with a certain pride that this magazine has now emerged as a leading—if not the leading—advocate for the wholesale revision of Christian beginnings. Atheists have never shirked the challenge to take on the goliath of establishment Christianity, and today that challenge must include the controversial archaeology of Nazareth, which Frank Zindler has called “the Achilles’ heel of a popular god.” Readers will recall two articles in previous American Atheist issues on this topic [1], articles which preview and alert readers to my recent book, The Myth of Nazareth: The Invented Town of Jesus (American Atheist Press, March 2008). The opposition has now responded with the literary equivalent of a scream, and I’d like readers to know that the popular Christian god is in a heap of trouble and may be teetering.

How is that for strident? There's no question these guys are in a war, they fighting an evil enemy, they are the good guys (or course) they have the truth. It's pretty clear from their article that their real arguments revolves around commercial interest who seek to make money off of the "Jesus home town" thing. That has nothing to do with Pfan's excavation. If you look at the history of this site these same guys have been spewing the same propaganda for years. they have produced a mounds of lies about it. Most of the Google picks are from these sites, the same people the same lies. They are all basically filling in the data for the two major atheist authors, Rene Salm, The Myth of Nazareth And Frank Zindler. Zindler is is currently the editor of American Atheist Magazine and Director of American Atheist Press. A member of scientific organizations such as New York Academy of Science. No indication he has any degree in Archeology. I am not able to find any credentials for Salm. The best article I've found defending the idea of habitation in the time of Christ, and arguing specifically against the original work of Zindler and Salm is an article on an apologetic site by a Kyle Butt. I'll come back to him latter in this article.

They always ignore the previous findings, they never reveal that they first used Pfan as their own before they understood him. They pretend the pot shards are the only pro Naz evidence and totally ignore the terraces, the houses, the first two excavations that are just written off because they were done by Franciscans. In the day (1930s--50s) Franciscan archaeologists were authoritative scholars. This was before the new atheist refused to believe anything a religious person says. These are the same guys and the same Orwellian movement that run around going "we don't to know what theolgoians we know they are stupid."

This is hardly scholar stuff. So who is the alleged scholar making the statements about Pfan's findings? You don't just look in a text book to determine the dating pot shards. I no longer have the original stuff I used to use on Nazareth, nor the article on Pfan's work but as I recall there's a lot more to it than just some pottery. There were prior excavations to his that arleady determined Nazareth was inhabited. Some of my research can still be seen on my old site Doxa. From that article:

First of all it's important to realize that Nazareth was only four miles from a major metropolis. It's hard to believe it wasn't inhabited until so late being that close to a major city.

There two mentions in Antiquity:

"Despite the Hellenization of the general region and the probability that Greek was known to many people it seems likely that Nazareth remained a conservative Jewish village. After the Jewish war with the Romans from AD 66-70 it was necessary to re-settle Jewish priests and their families. Such groups would only settle in unmixed towns, that is towns without Gentile inhabitants. According to an inscription discovered in 1962 in Caesarea Maritima the priests of the order of Elkalir made their home in Nazareth. This, by the way, is the sole known reference to Nazareth in antiquity, apart from written Christian sources... (next paragraph) Some scholars had even believed that Nazareth was a fictitious invention of the early Christians; the inscription from Caesarea Maritima proves otherwise." Paul Barnett[BSNT], Behind the Scenes of the New Testament, IVP:1990, p.42:

Also from my original article:

occupied since 7th century BC

"Despite Nazareth's obscurity (which had led some critics to suggest that it was a relatively recent foundation), archeology indicates that the village has been occupied since the 7th century B.C., although it may have experienced a 'refounding' in the 2d century b.c. " ([MJ]A Marginal Jew--Rethinking the Historical Jesus, (vol 1), p.300-301)...cites Meyers and Strange, Archeology, the Rabbis, and Early Christianity, Abingdon:1981. pp.56-57

Galyaah Cornfeld, Archaeology of The Bible Book by Book .(NY: Harper and Row 1976) p. 284 "What concretely about first century Nazereth? In the first two centuries AD it was a modest village built on Rocky soil in a valley far from the main trade routes [this was before Sarapis was discovered]...Two excavations, one led by Fther P. Viaud the other by Bagatti led to the discovery of the traditional site of the annunciation to Mary and the place which Jesus frequented as a growing lad...excavations of inscriptions there bear witness to a Jewish Christian cult of Mary from the very earliest times..." Some of those inscriptions also go back to the middle of the first century and identfy the place as the that of Jesus' boyhood home!

Excavations of Naz
Nazaraeth The Village of Jessu, Mary and Joseph

Franciscan cyerspot

The church of the Annunciation stands over the extreme southern end of the ancient village. Having examined the site occupied by the church of 1730, the outline of the Crusader church became clearer. In the northern nave the Crusaders had left the rocky elevation of the grotto and between two pilasters had made a stairway to the shrine. The excavations of 1955 unveiled the plan of the Byzantine church. Orientated as that of the Crusaders, it had 3 naves, with a convent to the S and an atrium to the W. It was 40 m. in length. Delving under the Byzantine construction the franciscan archaeologists found plastered stones with signs and inscriptions, which certainly formed part of a preexisting building on the site.

Excavations of the church led the pre Pfan archaeologist to conclude the place was already inhabited since pre Christian times. There's a lot about Pfan's work on that site too. I suggest the reader read the original article.

The mythers have been so anger they have over the years published a huge amount of Bull about this topic. most of what you find on Googling it is their propaganda. For example the site "Nazareth the two that theology built' is nothing but pure hog wash. The arguments on that site are so contradictory that he starts out making arguments from sensible 'the gospels don't tell us much about Nazareth" as though that disproves it's existence. then he also say the Gospels don't mention the major city it's near, Sepphoris, as though that somehow disproves its existence! Not mentioning Nazareth disproves Nazareth and not mentioning a place we know for a fact did exist also disproves Nazareth?

A source so unlikely it can't possibly be confused with Christian apologetic, the left leaning Guardian publishes an article about the discovery of Roman Baths at Nazareth, implying it was a Garrison town.

The American excavators are convinced that what Shama has exposed is an almost perfectly preserved Roman bathhouse from 2,000 years ago - the time of Christ, and in the town where he was raised. In a piece of marketing that is soon likely to be echoing around the world, Shama says he has stumbled across the "bathhouse of Jesus". The effects on Holy Land tourism are likely be profound, with Nazareth becoming a challenger to Jerusalem and Bethlehem as the world's most popular site of Christian pilgrimage.

Professor Richard Freund, an academic behind important Holy Land digs at the ancient city of Bethsaida, near Tiberias, and Qumran in the Jordan Valley, says the significance of the find cannot be overstated. Over the summer he put aside other excavation projects to concentrate on the Nazareth site. "I am sure that what we have here is a bathhouse from the time of Jesus," he says, "and the consequences of that for archaeology, and for our knowledge of the life of Jesus, are enormous."

David Hall, an amateur researcher.

Bellarmino Bagatti reported that during construction of shops along the Tiberias road there were found artifacts from the Iron, Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine periods outside of the central Franciscan area. These finds were unpublished until Bagatti reported them Excavations in Nazareth, Bagatti, 1969, pg. 237. The Tiberias road passed by within about a couple of blocks to the north-east of the the Church of the Annunciation. A Franciscan guidebook indicated the Roman village of Nazareth was between the Church of Joseph and the Church of the Annunciation on a hill bounded by two valleys that are at this time partially filled in. Tombs were located outside of towns during Roman and Talmudic times. Hebrew tombs have been found to the N, S, and W of the ruins. Guide to the Holy Land, E. Hoade, Franciscan Printing Press, Jerusalem, 1976

Bagatti also reported Herodian lamp fragments from grottos and rock carved silos under the Franciscan churches and subterranean areas of church compounds. All types of pots, jugs, jars, plates, pans, bottles, etc. from the Roman and Byzantine periods were found on church grounds. There were also Hellenistic forms found on church grounds with photos of the Hellenistic- Roman series of lamps provided. Bagatti stated that the area was occupied before and after the first Jewish revolt (66-70 A.D.). Herodian lamps and lamp fragments were distinctive in style and part of the evidence used to date the area. The Jewish Herodian lamps were at the height of their popularity before the Jewish revolt. After the Jewish revolt the Darom type lamp that was not wheel made, but mould made like other Roman lamps instead, was popular.

In 2002 Archaeologist Stanislao Loffreda published drawings of a rare type of lamp unique to first century Galilee. The lamp was found in Nazareth, Capernaum, Magdala, and Karm er-Ras (near Cana). The lamp was found in a datable strata in Capernaum. Capernaum yielded numerous Roman coins to the excavators, thus the strata and context there was more readily understood. This is additional evidence in support of the first century habitation of Nazareth.

Kyle Butt M.A.
(Yes I see it, it's no joke)

The town of Nazareth is “located in the southern end of the hills of Lower Galilee at about 1200 feet above sea level” (McRay, 1991, p. 157). Nazareth is about four miles southwest of Sepphoris. During the time of Christ, Sepphoris was the capital of Galilee, a major center of political and economical activity, and home of Herod Antipas (DeVries, 1997, p. 318). Primary research was done on the city in the mid-1950s by Bellarmino Bagatti. He discovered that the village during the time of Jesus was “an agricultural settlement with numerous winepresses, olive presses, caves for storing grain, and cisterns for water and wine” (1969, p. 25). McRay noted that pottery found in Nazareth dates “from Iron Age II (900-600 B.C.) to the Byzantine period (330-640), including Roman pieces from the time of Christ” (p. 158). Bagatti stated:

The entire village of Nazareth has very many subterranean cavities, some used as
The Church of the Annuciation in Nazareth
stores, some used as tombs. The earliest documentation is indicated both by their form and the ceramics found therein. The latter put us in the presence of tombs already existing in the Middle Bronze Period, and silos already in use in the Iron Period (1969, p. 25).

So it was inhabited before Christ, the people went away, then came back after the time of Christ? For the atheist propaganda to be true that would have to be the case. In fact this is the theory proposed by the atheist propagandist Rene Salm, the Myth of Nazareth. He bases that on his asserton that no artifacts are found between 700bc t0 50 AD. His argument is argument from silence and it's disproved not only by Pfan but all three excavations found evidence of first century habitation. In 2009 achaeolgoical evidence of a house was found at the site.

In December of 2009, Nazareth made worldwide headlines. Archaeologist Yardena Alexandre and her colleagues uncovered a small structure that they dated to the time of Christ (Hadid, 2009). The Israel Antiquities Authority official press release hailed this discovery as the first of its kind in which a residential structure was uncovered. The announcement noted the importance of the discovery, and quoted Yardena:
The discovery is of utmost importance since it reveals for the very first time a house from the Jewish village of Nazareth and thereby sheds light on the way of life at the time of Jesus. The building that we found is small and modest and it is most likely typical of the dwellings in Nazareth in that period. From the few written sources that there are, we know that in the first century CE Nazareth was a small Jewish village, located inside a valley. Until now a number of tombs from the time of Jesus were found in Nazareth; however, no settlement remains have been discovered that are attributed to this period (as quoted in “Residential Building...,” 2009). (ibid)
Salm's book was in 2006 so he didn't know about the data. Now the problem is this data was done by pottery too but there's no reason to think Yerdena's Pottery dates are wrong.

The dating method used by Yardena and her team, of matching pottery from the site to other pottery in an attempt to properly identify the time frame of the dig, is one of the most frequently used dating methods in archaeology. McRay mentioned this dating method as one of the most effective:
The potters of antiquity were careful imitators but reluctant innovators.... At any rate style did seem to change from period to period, slowly but decisively, and we are now able to observe those changes in style and from them establish a chronology. The methodology is not exact, but within reasonable limitations it does provide a workable typology upon which to construct a fairly reliable chronology (1991, p. 32). (ibid)

Another major dating method is lamps. Salm plays fast and loose with the lamp evidence. He adopts the date range that does his theory the most good and ignores that fact that a lot of evidence exists to date the lamps at the earlier range which would put habitation in Nazareth as late as 37 bc that would destroy his theory that they went away and came back. As Butt points out, even we accept the latter range as does Salm that still implies habitation in the time of Christ.

The incipience of a village is not equivalent to the arrival of the first settlers at the site. No village springs up overnight. It requires a certain amount of time—perhaps a generation or two—to come into existence.... The presence of tombs [in Nazareth] indicates both permanence and population, and it is strongly suggestive of a “village.” Thus, the earliest tomb at Nazareth is a significant clue regarding the existence of a village. Determining its date will be an important goal of these pages. The period of tomb use can be revealed by dating funerary artefacts found in situ (pp. 156-157, italics in orig.).
There are lamps found in the tombs. These are the bow spouted lamps that indexed in dating from their use in Jerusalem.

Thus, according to Salm’s reasoning, tombs show the presence of a village, and settlers in the area could/would have been in the area possibly two generations before that village came into existence. Using Salm’s personally concocted date of A.D. 25 for the earliest date of the lamps, that means that the earliest tomb could possibly date to A.D. 25. And, if settlers were in the area two generations before that (using 40 years as a generation), that would put people in the area in about 55 B.C. Taking that into account, there is absolutely no way that Salm can prove that Nazareth was not inhabited during the time of Christ. The most he can do is suggest that, if his arbitrarily chosen dates are adopted, it seems improbable. Yet even this “improbability” does not accord well with the ranges of dates that are often adopted for such artifacts as the “Herodian” lamps. (Butt article)

I recommend Jesus and His world: the Archaeological Evidence by Carig Evans.

Craig A. Evans is Payzant Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Acadia Divinity College, Acadia University, in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada. The author or editor of more than fifty books and hundreds of articles, Evans is a regular guest on many national media outlets, including Dateline NBC, The History Channel, The Discovery Channel, and BBC. He is an internationally distinguished authority and lecturer on the historical Jesus. For more information, visit
Evens is the only real scholar in this article. His book is highly authoritative but written to be accessible tot he layman. The publisher's blurb:

In this provocative work, world-renowned scholar Craig A. Evans presents the most important archaeological discoveries that shed light on the world of Jesus of Nazareth. Evans takes on many sensational claims that have been proposed in recent books and peddled in the media, and uses actual archaeological findings to uncover the truth about several key pieces of Jesus' world. For example, what was the village of Nazareth actually like in the time of Jesus? Did synagogues really exist, as the Gospels say? What does archaeology tell us about the ruling priests who condemned Jesus to death? Has the tomb of Jesus really been found, as has been claimed? Evans's engaging prose enables readers to understand and critique the latest theories--both the sober and the sensational--about who Jesus was and what he lived and died for.

Evans article in Huff Post
Posted: 03/26/2012 7:30 am
The archaeological evidence shows that Jesus grew up in a small village, Nazareth, about four miles from Sepphoris, a prominent city in the early first century C.E. This city had a Greco-Roman look, complete with paved, columned street, but its inhabitants were observant Jews. The evidence further shows that Nazareth was linked to a network of roads that accommodated travel and commerce. The quaint notion that Jesus grew up in rustic isolation has been laid to rest. The youthful Jesus may well have visited Sepphoris, whose theatre may have been the inspiration for his later mockery of religious hypocrites as play-actors.

The evidence for the existence of synagogue buildings in the time of Jesus is now quite strong. Archaeologists have identified at least seven such buildings that date before the year 70. It is in the context of the synagogue that Jesus would have matured in the religious tradition of Israel and heard Scripture read and interpreted. Although some historians think rates of literacy in the first-century Roman Empire were quite low, archaeological finds, such as the tablets found in Vindolanda, England, near Hadrian's Wall, or the thousands of graffiti etched on the scorched walls of Pompeii and Herculaneum, suggest that at least a crude literacy was widespread and reached all levels of society. This evidence, along with the Gospels' portrait of a Jesus who debates scribes and ruling priests, asking them if they had ever read this or that passage of Scripture, suggests that Jesus, founder of a movement that produced and collected literature, was himself literate.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Lowder on Mocking Religious Ideas


Lowder is a major voice on the Secular web and their blog secular outpost, where this piece is published.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

American Atheists Billboards and Ridicule of Religious Ideas

Prior to my earlier posts on American Atheists's billboards, an atheist, whose opinion I respect, mentioned his support for the ads. To paraphrase, his argument was something like this.
Religious beliefs should not get special protection from ridicule and doubt. They have had this protection for far too long and this needs to stop. Our society needs to get used to cherished religious beliefs being subject to the same kind of criticism and ridicule as that faced by any other belief. For example, socialists and capitalists regularly use ridicule and criticism when speaking of each other.

I agree that religious beliefs should not get special protection from ridicule and doubt. If by "special protection" one means "special legal protection," I agree. I (obviously) don't think there should be blasphemy laws. My point was (and is) different. Even if/when there is a legal right to ridicule religious beliefs, atheists would be well advised to think twice about whether and when to exercise that right. If an atheist's goal is to increase the social acceptability of atheism, I'm pretty sure that mockery and ridicule of widely held religious beliefs isn't an effective way to achieve that goal. If an atheist's goal is to convince people that atheists can be just as moral as theists, then it's downright stupid to waste $15,000 on a billboard ad which, in the minds of many, will only show that atheists are rude (=immoral).
I actually agree with him that there shouldn't be laws saying "one may not mock religious belief." The way he puts it it seems like more a practical matter of rhetorical strategy not get carried away so they don't turn people off, rather than a moral stricture agaisnt being cruel, I'm sure he has that. There's more to the issue than that. I have quoted atheists from different venues saying "we have to brow beat them into submission with mocking and ridicule"

the comments in response to Lowder's statement reflect the same prudential concern about how they appear to the public not the right or wrong of mocking.

Chris Hallquist 5 hours ago

The problem here is that we're trying to do several things at once.

We're trying to convince people we're not evil. We're trying to have our legal rights respected. We're trying to get people to be more comfortable being public about their atheism. We're trying to convince people we're right.

Billboards making fun of religion will piss people off. As will suing to get the government to follow its own laws. As will billboards with just the word "atheist" and the names of a few atheist groups.

But all those things have positive effects too. In the case of bilboards ridiculing religion: they tell people who've never said those things, but thought them, that they're not alone (and that's just the least-controversial possible benefit, I can think of others, but no need to debate them here).

In response to a statement by a theist "I'm tired of atheist mocking" a poster on carm says:


Wow, it must really suck to be you. How about this, stop caring what other people think about you, or your religion. If you don't want to be thought of as delusional, then you should stop posting/talking about your delusions. If you don't want to be thought of as gullible, then start using some critical thinking skills and stop believing everything you're told or you read in the dogma of your church. If you don't want to be thought of as imbecillic, then don't present imbecillic ideas as objective reality, expecting the rest of us to swallow it whole just because you did. NOTE: I am not suggesting that the author of the OP is any of these things, and I am only responding to the words he used in the OP.

We see the true compassion shining through. This guy has clearly thought it out.

an atheist says:

... the fact is that as long as you're having the discussion about your beliefs in a public forum... people will comment. When those beliefs don't reflect reality or depend on blind faith, then skeptics will point on the logical fallacies. That is simply a fact of the interwebs.

If you're faith gives you some measure of peace, take comfort in that and enjoy it. If you enter into the public discussion about the rationality of your beliefs, expect to see dissenting opinion.
This is a real atheist poster who said this. It's basically saying "unless you surrender and just give in we will continue to mock you." That's a frank admission that they know they are using it as manipulation and they don't see anything wrong with it.

..., as passionate as you are in your beliefs, I am equally if not more so, passionate about my disdain for Christianity and all that it is. If that upsets you, so be it, and yoiu have to live with it. Atheists are in a stark minority in America, and if anything, they are the ones who should be complaining about the constant bombardment of Christian beliefs and dogma....
Just imagine if we told this guy the same stuff the atheists are telling Delong? how would that be? Keep it to yourself, we will mock and ridicule you if say stuff not in accord with our brain washing. that's what they think they are fighting against, yet they wont extend any compassion to people in the same boat.

See the Orwellian aspects of atheism in action? They use a word that has meaning in a clinical setting ("delusion") they alter it to imply that if you don't see things the way I do you are insane. So any view that differs from mine is insanity. The atheist brain washing is defined as "reality." one must be an atheist to be sane. Look at what they are telling him, "unless you march in lock step with us then you are a target of our ridicule.

How any thinking person be part of this hateful totalitarianism? Why should we put up with it? Why should the 90% of bleieve in God allow themselves to be terrorized by this 3% of know nothings?

(those comments were posted on CARM and have been posted here before).

from anther venue, published on the barricades and atheistwatch Originally from atheist website "dangerous talk."

Yesterday I talked about the perception that criticism and mockery is often considered going negative. Today I want to talk about the value of criticism and mockery. Quite simply, it is how we learn.
When presented with an idea (good or bad) we have to think about the idea. Sometimes we don’t do that or we don’t think deeply enough about the idea. This is where someone else comes along and points out why the idea is poor by criticizing the idea. Their criticism may or may not have merit, but at least now we can think about those criticisms.
Sometimes however, ideas become deeply held beliefs and regardless of how valid the criticism might be, we still reject that criticism and cling to the belief. We might even insist that the belief be taken seriously and believed by others on insufficient reasoning and/or evidence.
This is where mockery comes in. When people refuse to take our deeply held beliefs seriously, we might dig in deeper in trying to get people to take our beliefs seriously. The more people mock the belief, the more we are confronted with the criticisms of the belief and he more we must try to deal with those criticism if we still expect our beliefs to be taken seriously.
Mockery is withheld as a last form of criticism for those who refuse to have their ideas criticized. It is more dismissive of the idea and usually only comes in when the particular idea is really ridiculous and worth mockery. It is a message that, “hey, your idea has way too many criticisms and is just so ridiculous that is really isn’t worth taking seriously at all.”

It's clear from what's being said that, if not all atheist, at least a segment have the idea that mockery and ridicle are valid tools for forcing people to agree with you. That's really must a matter of "brain washing." It's a matter of extortion.

Not all atheists agree of cousre. There are dissenting voices that council not to mock and ridicule. Paul Kurtz of the Free Thinking Blog (Center for Inquiry part of the atheist propaganda echo chamber) has some intelligent things to say about it.

It is one thing to examine the claims of religion in a responsible way by calling attention to Biblical, Koranic or scientific criticisms, it is quite another to violate the key humanistic principle of tolerance. One may disagree with contending religious beliefs, but to denigrate them by rude caricatures borders on hate speech. What would humanists and skeptics say if religious believers insulted them in the same way? We would protest the lack of respect for alternative views in a democratic society. I apologize to my fellow citizens who have suffered these barbs of indignity.

His readers disagree:

Randy on Tuesday September 29, 2009 at 4:10pm

Two problems I have with this post:
(1) Nazi reference, already in the second paragraph. Really, do we need to go there every time?
(2) “What would humanists and skeptics say if religious believers insulted them in the same way?” I nearly fell off my chair. This happens on a daily basis, in all media, and usually is not meant as a lighthearted joke either.
The old "they do it to us so we can do it to them." I never hear atheists ridiculed in the media. I think he's confusing general sense of disagreement and cultural unacceptability with actual ridicule.

so though I agree with Loweder in two ways:

(1) It is fair and fine to criticize ideas we don't accept. I don't expect any atheist to hold back form argument making except where it's inappropriate. For exampel I wouldn't want an atheist start bellowing about no after life in the middle of my mother's funeral. But should be no legal protection per se to prevent people from opening questioning any religious bleief. that even goes without saying becuase it's so basic to democracy (although it may be the time to start saying basic things again about democracy). I'm talking about rational intellectual arguments.

(2) I agree that there can't be legal perfection per see to prevent reducible of religion although there should be laws governing when and where and protecting privacy.

It's not just a simple matter of giving some guide lines and thinking all atheists will follow them. The segment of the atheist community (not all of them) who are carried away with hate and ridicule will not stop and will not play fair. There should be some kind of protection for people who are in danger of being extorted into beliefs or out of their beliefs. Those protections can't be just a blanket protection on ideas, they have to be protections for people. For example cyber bullying should be guarded against. Mocking and ridicule of religious belief might at times come under that heading.

one of major purposes of atheistwatch was to shame atheists into shutting up their own guys. It's worked partially but not nearly enough. We see the attitude of "we need to be cool so we don' turn people off" is known to some of them, the ideas of tolerance and fairness are known to some of them, but others don't get either idea.

the nuts on carm think they own the board. they were saying "don't come on here.," as though ti's their board. CARM is a Christian board it's not owned by the atheists. That's a matter for the administation of that particular board.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Atheism reduced knowledge to one thing: Atheism

In dealing with the WOT people I put up a statement about Atheist watch and how i have always distinguished between the hate group segment of atheism and the atheist community as a whole, which is diverse. One of them says "fundie, hate filled hate speech." I'm a fundie even though I don't accept inerrancy and have a Moltmannian view of Atonement, becuase they don't know what fundie means. They don't think of fundies as holding to certain aspect of Christian doctrine but they see it as anyone who is not an atheist.

I think atheists have gotten the terms down they have reduced knowledge to one thing: atheism. If you are not an atheist you have no knowledge; even science is worthless unless it's conducted by an atheist ideologue.

Scientific methodology is not improtant. the only way to do scinece is not spout the party line of the atheist movement, being careful not to call it a movement but foment the idea that is' real diverse all the while saying nothing but the approved opinions.

There is one thing and one thing that is knowledge that is atheism's party line. But you are supposed to call it "science."

The one and only alternative to being an atheist is being a fundie.

Atheist have called me fundie. they call atheist watch fundie. they call me a fundie. so they don't know what the word means. it's come to mean something else in their parlance, it means "you are not imitated."

Atheism is a cult int he sociological sense. If you are not initiated into the cult you are an outsider and outsiders are called "fundies."

clearly being a fundie has nothing to do with holding a particular set of Christian doctrines becuase I'm obviously not a funide that my measure. The one thing that would entail is inerreancy and I don't hold to inerrancy. First they began using the term for anyone who takes any aspect of Christianity seriously, no matter how learned or liberal one is. That's enough of a departure form the real meaning of the term. Now they begin to use it it o mean anyone who is not an atheist.

That's pretty much how I define ideology: the only alternative. Not accepting it is not a valid position regardless of the details. That's the way I see them thinking all the time.

this starched because I defended the idea that Luke's geneaology is Mary's rather than Jo's. So they began saying I'm a fundie. regardless of the reasons for saying it. they just say it.

I used Alfred Edershiem as my reason for saying so

Originally Posted by backup View Post
Hey look there was this one guy 100 years ago that I claim agrees with me.
If you have done any sarong on Rabbis or had any dealings whit them (what am i saying?) you would know (something for a change) that they know the Talmudic stuff far better than non Rabbinical readers can. So for a Rabbinical trainee to say that it's far more important than just saying some guy.

Of course you leave out the fact that Edersheim just happens to be one of the greyest schoalrs of the 19th century who was a professor at both Oxford and Cambridge at the the same time! very rare and proves he was the top of the line scholar of the day.

Originally Posted by backup View Post
So what?

Even if you are right about this one guy, nobody buys this idea anymore except fundamentalists.
you just prove I'm right. you don't give a damn abou truth, you admitted you don't. you only care what the cult tells you to say, you just said it.

"everyone says this." one knowledge, one pinon between you never mind the truth rep resat what everyone says.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Atheists Lauch Effective Scam Against Atheistwatch

this site is being attacked by an organized effort of atheist to drive it out of business. This is made known to me by a poster on the other blog, Dave.

This site now has a very low rating on the WOT (Web of Trust) browser ad on. Those who have the add-on are warned that it is rated as untrustworthy and asked if they still want to visit. Link
Looking up "wot" they have mostly stuff on detecting mal ware but they do some ratings on content. I also find most the way ratings are given is through members of their thing who vote on sites or report sites. So if we want a good rating, we organize a bunch of apologists to going wot and send in good ratings then we get the rating up.

There's no way to know if they actually go to the site and say "this is not good." Or do they just take their members word? did they actually look up the research I presented in the articles? there's no way to know. We know that atheist organize attacks. they organize to give books on Amazon low marks even thought hey didn't read them. They organize to have hundreds of roles on "read it' say "my site is stupid even they have no idea what they are talking about.

So they had a bunch of member join wot and give the site low ratings. Does that prove anything?

It prove atheists can organize and that they are vicious. It's nothing than a high class form of intimidation.

here's their page where they get the link to look at Atheist watch and see the rating on WOT.

they have their guys join WOT then give AW a low rating. wow that's a scame of their own. there's no way to know they are actually checking the research.

Join WOT and give it a good rating.

the rating for something called "vendor reliability." what does that mean? It means atheists organized a bunch of trolls to lie and say that I don't' know nothing.

here's an example o their extortion. they have a part where the site own cancer the 'charge' they are a bunch of vigilantes. but you have to join to say something to them. It's just a way to force people to join their group.

the organized atheist hate group are a gang of thugs they will stop at nothing.

WOt may be a fine thing but it looks like it's something a group could orchastrate. you can effect your site's rating when you join.

Your website's reputation rating is based on ratings from the WOT community, which tells you how much other users trust your site. A website's technical safety is an important factor when determining its trustworthiness. However, it is also a valid reason to rate a site poorly if you do not trust the content or organization behind a website. We provide our users rating guidelines, but in the end it is up to every person to decide what they consider trustworthy.

If you disagree with the rating or comments, we encourage you to do the following things:

  • Rate the site and write your own comment on the scorecard. Explain that you are the owner or employee of the company and why your service is trustworthy.
  • You can also ask your friends and customers to rate the site. In order to rate sites you need the WOT add-on. To comment on scorecards and post on our forum, registration is required.
  • Contact community members through their boards on the profile page and ask them to review or explain their comment and rating. You have to be logged in to do this.
  • Open a forum thread and ask our active members to review the site too. The more ratings your site has, the more accurate the reputation rating will be.
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they claim this:

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Note: Comments are purely informational and have no effect on the reputation. We do not remove comments unless they contain spam, profanities or clearly illegal material."

they also say it's up the to the individual to determine what they trust so what are they really rating? the rating is given based upon members so if they have a group of five atheists as members they can just rate the sight badly and it will have that rating.

then if that's true why do they give tips?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

M Scale Proved by My Own Test

The M scale (mysticism scale) is a method for determining weather or not one has had a personified mystical experience. It was invented by Dr. Ralph Hood Jr. of University of Tennessee Chattanooga. That's a secular university and Hood is a psychologist not a Christian and not a minister. The M scales gives us validty for religous experience because it enables us to know if one has really had one or is just "wool gathering." This means we now have a control for the experience so we can study it's effects. The M scale was developed in the early 70s and was re-developed in the 80s with what is called "the three part solution. " It's been used since that time and has become one of the standard procedures. Hood is a big name in his field.

Dale Caird
originally in journal for the Scientific study of religion 1988, 27 (1) 122-126

Research into mystical experience has been greatly facilitated over the last decade by Hood (1975). Utilizing the conceptual framework of Stace (1960) he devised a 32 item questionnaire tapping eight categories of mysticism. This questionnaire the M scale was shown by Hood to have respectable internal consistency and reasonable construct validity.

Michael E. Nielsen, Ph.D.
Georgia Southern University
feb 2000

Ralph Hood (1998), a major figure in American psychology of religion, suggests six psychological schools of thought regarding religion. The psychoanalytical schools draw from the work of Freud, and attempt to reveal unconscious motives for religious belief. Although Freud reduced religious belief to a natural, if ultimately flawed, attempt to cope with life's stresses, contemporary psychoanalytic interpretations are not necessarily hostile to religious faith. Analytical schools find their inspiration in Jung's description of spiritual life. Most psychologists, however, consider such descriptions to be undemonstrated by scientific research, and therefore it plays a limited role in psychology. Object relations schools also draw from psychoanalysis, but focus their efforts on maternal influences on the child. Each of these three schools rely on clinical case studies and other descriptive methods based on small samples, which runs counter to the prevailing practice of psychology in America.

Modern social scientific evidence does not refute the possibility that some mystical experiences are associated with scientifically unknown processes. Parapsychologists have accumulated a body of evidence supporting belief in paranormal phenomena (Broughton 1992). Even though their evidence has been criticized, the existence of universal features within collections of mystical experience accounts supports the argument that some forms of these perceptions are not fully cultural products but have important impacts on religious belief (Hufford 1982, McClenon 1994)

nevertheless this doesn't stop the carm atheists from slandering him.

Originally Posted by MFFJM2 View Post
The M-scale is a joke that purports to measure and determine the validity of transcendental experiences.

Deist: "the M scale is a joke, it's childish and laughable.
Of course these are people who have never read a single word about it.

One of the major issues has been weather or not a study done by surveying respondents can be valid. I quote sources to show that most social scinece research is done this way.

1) the no 1 major research mechanism in social science is written answers to pre conceived questions on a survey, studies, survey questions asked of respondents. that's how it's done! that's the 99% most used way of doing it. it's accepted ti's scientific there's unscientific about it.

GESIS-Summer School Survey Methodology
9-25 August 2012, Cologne, Germany

Surveys are the main method of systematic data collection in the Social Sciences. Surveys provide empirical data for researchers to analyse, and are an important source of information for business, charities and policy makers. There are numerous types of surveys suited for different purposes. Given the variety and complexity of survey research, designing and conducting a survey that effectively and efficiently serves a specific purpose requires specialised expertise and skill (as well as a good team). The GESIS Summer School offers high quality training in state of the art techniques and methods of survey research. It aims to equip participants with essential skills in the design, planning, execution, documentation and quality assurance of surveys of households, individuals or organisations

writing guide Colorado State U.

Surveys represent one of the most common types of quantitative, social science research. In survey research, the researcher selects a sample of respondents from a population and administers a standardized questionnaire to them. The questionnaire, or survey, can be a written document that is completed by the person being surveyed, an online questionnaire, a face-to-face interview, or a telephone interview. Using surveys, it is possible to collect data from large or small populations" (sometimes referred to as the universe of a study).

Statistical survey is a method used to collect in a systematic way, information from a sample of individuals. Although most people are familiar with public opinion surveys that are reported in the press, most surveys are not public opinion polls (such as political polling), but are used for scientific purposes. Surveys provide important information for all kinds of research fields, e.g., marketing research, psychology, health professionals and sociology.[1] A survey may focus on different topics such as preferences (e.g., for a presidential candidate), behavior (smoking and drinking behavior), or factual information (e.g., income), depending on its purpose. Since survey research is always based on a sample of the population, the success of the research is dependent on the representativeness of the population of concern (see also sampling (statistics) and survey sampling).

There is no way they could lie the M scale into validating the words of Stace. What they would have to do to do that is to have read Stace, to know that Hood's scale is about validating Stace, they would have to want to give the wrong information to validate Stace in a bogus fashion, and enough of them would have to want this to do it, in other words an organized movement. The studies were duplicated in Japan, Iran, India, Sweden and other such places. Since Stace has never been translated into those languages and the peasants in Iran for example would have never heard of him (Christian philosopher form UK) why would hey do that. Stace's theory is too complex to just accidentally validate by lying.

To prove this I made up my own survey. My sruve was much more simple than Hoods. It was a one factor analysis. I had 10 questions. six of them were white rabbits and four were about real mystical experience as Underhill discusses it. The object was to validate Underhill. If anyone got the right four questions and these were obviously about mystical experience, anyone with a brain could know which four to answer if they were even thinking about it, would be scored to validate. The misleading questions were designed to make them think I was seeking to validate Pentecostalism. It worked brilliantly. They call assumed that and one answers all four of the mystical questions, although some did get three of them. It's also obvious they were lying about their experiences becuase that was part of the test (they were instructed, lie your way into validating what I"m after).

Bigthinker (so called)
It makes the point that your questionnaire is nonsense. There is nothing objective about it. Your "correct" answers are arbitrary. Meta, its nonsense.
The most important thing is that "mystic" is a meaningless term. Basically, what you are saying is that a person who correctly answers the questions is a real mystic... So what? Outside of your belief system it is meaningless.

you just proved you don't understand any of it. you don't get what it's about at all.

The M scale is about verifying weather or not Stace was right. what did Stace say? He said that mystics are people who experience cert ian things. let's call them x,y,and Z. if you want to know if people have experienced this what do you do> do you tell them You experienced this. "No you have to ask them, see.

that' not self fulfilling they don't have to say it.

you say "did you experience x,y and z they don't have to say "yes I did." they can say "no." It' open ended. not self fulfilling.

but the problem is people suspect "O they are lying." The answer is they can't lie in the right way to validate Stace becasue to do that they would have to answer a series of things exactly right and the odds re vastly agaisnt it.

I proved that this works. I constructed a much much simpler version. the people taking my test have (a) heard me talk about mysticism for years (b) know they are suppose to try and guess in such a way as to validate Underhill and they they could not do it.

So that proves that you can't lie your way to validating Stace on the M scale, which is much more complex than my thing.

The highest possible score is 60. That's because certain questions have no value. There are some questions that if you get them in the right sequence you get 60 and if you only get some of them you don't the mathematical equivalent. in other words if you got all four you get 60 regardless of what else you said but individually they only amount to 10 each. I'll explain why in a minute.

If you get over 40 and up this means you are a real mystic. If get a certain question you are an advanced mystic.

the study used the theory of Evelyn Underhill about the nature of mysticism. I said up front I was going to use a different one than Stace.

so we can remember the questions:

(1) have you had an experience in which you felt yourself as one with all things?

(2) I have had an experience in which everything seemed to disappear from my mind until I was conscious only of a void.

(3) have you ever had dreams about God?

(4) have you ever had a dream in which you saw Jesus or an angel and he told you something?

(5) Do you speak in a language you didn't understand?

(6) Have you ever felt God was very far away and/or didn't exist, and life seemed black and hopeless, after a period of intense religious and spiritual progress in which things seemed revealed to you?

(7) Have you ever heard of voice speaking to you abut god when you were awake?

(8) I have experienced profound joy.

(9) I have experienced a sense of presence as though someone was looking at me, when no one was there, and a sense of being cleaned all over and loved.

(10) have never had an experience which I was unable to express adequately through language.

the answers atheists gave on my test

questions 3,4,5 and 7 are wroth 0. They were red herrings put there to create the wrong impression and get off so they wouldn't understand what I was doing.

Backup had the right general idea but he fell for the red herring becuase he though I'm a so stupid it would easy to guess. He said I was measuring Pentecostalism becuase I mentioned tongues. that's what I wanted him to think. Although I didn't make that with him in mind. I figured someone would grab on to that and think that's what I was doing.

These are dummy questions because they are not mystical experience at all. They are marked by the use of phrases that denote that they are not mystical. Mystical means beyond word, thought, or image. These questions all entail the five senses.

Deists original statement, the reason for all this, was that anyone who prays and goes to chruch and thinks he's spiritual would score high. I know if Deist had the guts to take hte test, which he didn't, he would have answered "yes" to those questions becuase he refuses to think about the meaning of the concepts. He thinks any old dream or whatever is "spiritual" and that's all mysticism is just fake ideas about things. So he would say yes to those and get 0.

question 6 was very special.

(6) Have you ever felt God was very far away and/or didn't exist, and life seemed black and hopeless, after a period of intense religious and spiritual progress in which things seemed revealed to you?

that is the dark night of the soul. Thea's a special thing that marks the path of an advanced mystic. The Dark night of the soul is described ST. John of the Cross as is taken to be a the mark of extreme advancement such as saints undergo. Underhill writes about it so I included it. The questions assumes you are already an advance mystic:"after a period of intense religious and spiritual progress in which things seemed revealed to you?" that describes a mystical career already advanced. There's nothing like that on the M scale. on my thing, I was feeling cocky I included this chance to win with one question but it doesn't prove anything.

if you said yes to 6 you get the 60 points automatically. no one did.

A couple of people got 3 of the four meaningful questions. no one got them all. because if anyone had said all four tether they would have been given the 60 points.

1,2,9,10 as well as 6 relate directly to mystical experience. the question. anyone getting all four of those is automatically in the mystical range. Then question 8 is wroth 10 points by itself and can add to the mystical score once you are in that range.

what all of this proves is that Deist could not do a serious test and value the questions seriously and score it correctly and make a high score by second guessing what the researcher is after.

he proved this by not trying.

the mocking the version that Backup made is not anymore than the little childish glee they feelings from mocking and ridicule. proves nothing.

Origninal statment that his mock test doesn't prove anything.

Posted by backup View Post
I think it does.
Of cousre you do. because you don't care about facts or logic.

Anyway, it is obvious not atheist would read beyond "(6) Have you ever felt God was..." before answering no.
Yes, but that proves atheists are stupid. they figure out this is research. It's not pinon it's not a debate it' a research project to determine hat percentage of anyone has had these exerciser. the issue was to determine the validity of Stace's ideas about mysticism not to give atheist a producer for mocking and bullying.

get your head out of the emotion of the moment try once to think analytically. if the questions are research then you can't contribute by making pronouncements about them. that doesn't' prove anything. the only thing that proves anything is the research findings.

All of this is bogus. Particularly calling someone a mystic if they have had a peak experience. So much of religious talk seems to be a disingenuous use of words. It seems like such an obvious trick to use words filled with so much baggage.
that's an ignorant opinion that's based upon not knowing anything about it. stop your ignorant tirade and answer logical. why is that so dumb to call someone a mystic if they fit the prediction of what mystics are like?

so puerile

here's Deist's argument when he finally showed up after his comrades did all the heavy lifting.

Originally Posted by Deist View Post
This wasn't the M Scale, unless you contend that it

Of course it wasn't! I told you that. It's must simpler. If you can't lie your way to acing this one you sure couldn't do it on the m scale.

qualifies because the person who made it up, Meta, has the same first initial as the scale, and it is is therefore the "M"eta scale. Who was the judge of what qualifies as being a mystic on your survey questions? You!? Does that mean I can make up a deist scale, and decide on my own who is a deist? How about an atheist scale? Perhaps a muslim scale.
what!??? good God!

The whole thing about the test in the first place is that it's a farce. There are humans who have nothing better to do that study religiosity (Do that get paid for that nonsense?), who make the rules and guidelines for what qualifies as mystic, and then give the survey to people across the globe, and are mystified that everyone that professes a belief in God answers many of the questions the same!!

what you are saying is you don't have to take the test to see if I can prove Im right because you already know in advance I can't be merely becuase it's religion and religion stinks. the evdience I offer proves that it doesn't but you don't have to look becuase it doesn't matter what the evidence says right?

so in other words you have to be right because you are you? you can't see how this is circular?

What a scoop!! Call the NY Times, the LA Times, CNN, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh. Stop the presses!!We have a big story coming up. A revelation so earth shattering that it will boggle your mind.
ahahahaahahahh it's so hilarious you don't understand you just proved my point further that don't know a circular argument form a logically valid one.

"PSST, hey kid, over here, Have I got a scoop for you. People in different parts of the country who believe in God give the same answers!!!! Can you imagine that!"

ahahahahaahahaha this guy he loves to make a fool of himself! what do you say to guy who thinks he's scored a prefect victory by arguing in a circle?

answers on my my test