This one is for the Atheists here

Discussion in 'Faith and Religion' started by tacmotusn, Oct 5, 2010.


  1. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    THE LAST SENTENCE IS A SHOCKER... very interesting!
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    'Let me explain the problem science has with religion.'

    The atheist professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks one of his new students to stand.

    'You're a Christian, aren't you, son?'
    'Yes sir,' the student says.
    'So you believe in God?'
    'Absolutely.'
    'Is God good?'
    'Sure! God's good.'
    'Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?'
    'Yes'
    'Are you good or evil?'
    'The Bible says I'm evil.'

    The professor grins knowingly...'Aha! The Bible! He considers for a moment. 'Here's one for you. Let's say there's a sick person over here and you can cure him. You can do it. Would you help him? Would you try?'
    'Yes sir, I would.'
    'So you're good..!'
    'I wouldn't say that.'
    'But why not say that? You'd help a sick and maimed person if you could. Most of us would if we could. But God doesn't.'

    The student does not answer, so the professor continues. 'He doesn't, does he? My brother was a Christian who died of cancer, even though he prayed to Jesus to heal him. How is this Jesus good? Can you answer that one?'

    [FONT=Times New
    Roman]The student remains silent. 'No, you can't, can you?' the professor says. He takes a sip of water from a glass on his desk to give the student time to relax. 'Let's start again, young fella. Is God good?'[/FONT]


    'Er... yes,' the student says.
    'Is Satan good?'
    The student doesn't hesitate on this one. 'No.'
    'Then where does Satan come from?'

    The student falters. 'From God'
    'That's right. God made Satan, didn't he? Tell me, son. Is there evil in this world?'
    'Yes, sir..'
    'Evil's everywhere, isn't it? And God did make everything, correct?'
    'Yes'
    'So who created evil?'
    The professor continued, 'If God created everything, then God created evil, since evil exists, and according to the principle that our works define who we are, then God is evil.'

    Again, the student has no answer. 'Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things, do they exist in this world?'

    The student squirms on his feet. 'Yes.'
    'So who created them?'
    The student does not answer again, so the professor repeats his question. 'Who created them?'
    There is still no answer.

    Suddenly the lecturer breaks away to pace in front of the classroom. The class is mesmerized. 'Tell me,' he continues onto another student.
    'Do you believe in Jesus Christ, son?'
    The student's voice betrays him and cracks. 'Yes, professor, I do.'
    The old man stops pacing. 'Science says you have five senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Have you ever seen Jesus?'
    'No sir.. I've never seen Him..'
    'Then tell us if you've ever heard your Jesus?'
    'No, sir, I have not..'
    'Have you ever felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus or smelt your Jesus? Have you ever had any sensory perception of Jesus Christ, or God for that matter?'
    'No, sir, I'm afraid I haven't.'
    'Yet you still believe in him?'
    'Yes'
    'According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your God doesn't exist... What do you say to that, son?

    'Nothing,' the student replies.. 'I only have my faith.'
    'Yes, faith,' the professor repeats. 'And that is the problem science has with God.. There is no evidence, only faith.'

    The student stands quietly for a moment, before asking a question of His own. 'Professor, is there such thing as heat? '
    'Yes."
    'And is there such a thing as cold?'
    'Yes, son, there's cold too.'

    'No sir, there isn't.'
    The professor turns to face the student, obviously interested. The room suddenly becomes very quiet.

    The student begins to explain. 'You can have lots of heat, even more heat, super-heat, mega-heat, unlimited heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat, but we don't have anything called 'cold'. We can hit down to 458 degrees below zero, which is no heat, but we can't go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold; otherwise we would be able to go colder than the lowest -458 degrees.

    Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy. Absolute zero (-458 F) is the total absence of heat. You see, sir, cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat we can measure in thermal units because heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.'

    Silence across the room. A pen drops somewhere in the classroom, sounding like a hammer.
    'What about darkness, professor. Is there such a thing as darkness?'
    'Yes,' the professor replies without hesitation.. 'What is night if it isn't darkness?'
    'You're wrong again, sir. Darkness is not something; it is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light, but if you have no light constantly
    you have nothing and it's called darkness, isn't it? That's the meaning we use to define the word. In reality, darkness isn't. If it were, you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn't you?'

    The professor begins to smile at the student in front of him. This will be a good semester. 'So what point are you making, young man?'
    'Yes, professor. My point is, your philosophical premise is flawed to start with, and so your conclusion must also be flawed.'

    The professor's face cannot hide his surprise this time. 'Flawed? Can you explain how?'

    'You are working on the premise of duality,' the student explains.. 'You argue that there is life and then there's death; a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can't even explain a thought.' 'It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life, just the absence of it.'

    'Now tell me, professor.. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?'
    'If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, young man, yes, of course I do.'
    'Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?'
    The professor begins to shake his head, still smiling, as he realizes where the argument is going. A very good semester, indeed..

    'Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you now not a scientist, but a preacher?'

    The class is in uproar. The student remains silent until the commotion has subsided. 'To continue the point you were making earlier to the other student, let me give you an example of what I mean.'

    The student looks around the room. 'Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the professor's brain?' The class breaks out into laughter. 'Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor's brain, felt the professor's brain, touched or smelt the professor's brain? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, with all due respect, sir..' 'So if science says you have no brain, how can we trust your lectures, sir?'

    Now the room is silent. The professor just stares at the student, his face unreadable. Finally, after what seems an eternity, the old man answers. 'I guess you'll have to take them on faith.'

    'Now, you accept that there is faith, and, in fact, faith exists with life,' the student continues.

    'Now, sir, is there such a thing as evil?'

    Now uncertain, the professor responds, 'Of course, there is. We see it everyday. It is in the daily example of man's inhumanity to man. It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are nothing else but evil.'

    To this the student replied, 'Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God's love present in his heart. It's like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light.'

    The professor sat down.

    If you read it all the way through and had a smile on your face when you finished, mail to your friends and family with the title 'God vs. Science'




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    dystopia likes this.
  2. bnmb

    bnmb On Hiatus Banned

    ROFL! I know about this. A good philosophical showdown...I did plenty of those in my time. I always liked a good, friendly arguing...
     
  3. Falcon15

    Falcon15 Falco Peregrinus

    +1 to you. [applaud] Bravissimo!
     
  4. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    EXCELLENT!
     
  5. wildone_uk

    wildone_uk Monkey+

    dont you jest love it when the little guy wins
     
  6. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Sorry if the reply is a tad longish

    Before theists get too self-congratulatory, feeling that the narrative in the opening post has performed an heroic slam dunk against the perfidious atheists and against the onslaught of science against their god/s…..perhaps the following response to the spam e-mail’s theodic gauntlet might be in order.

    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com[​IMG]Reading through the David (aka Albert Einstein) vs Goliath (aka the big bad atheist professor) rhetorical debate in the OP, I came to the conclusion, without needing to verify the provenance of the story….that the story stank of HOAX….and so it proved to be.

    My reasoning for this conclusion is as follows……

    Dead rat #1

    Although Albert Einstein was identified as one of the protagonists…the putative Professor was elusively anonymous…..as was the university or educational institution that he purportedly taught at. A careless oversight?…or a deliberate omission to prevent the fable’s exposure as a fraud? It seems rather strange that the author is also conveniently anonymous. It is also passingly remarkable that the fable’s author/s could describe in the most precise detail when the professor drinks a glass of water…and when he paces and pauses in the interrogation of his hapless student victims…yet the author/s are not prepared to provide any honestly verifiable reference as to exactly where, and when this supposed scene took place. It does make authentication something of a challenge, but then again that was probably something that the author/s didn’t want their marks to look too closely at.


    Dead rat #2

    Student victim #2 (later at the climax of this rather tawdry theodic farce, identified as Albert Einstein), is painted in the narrative as a believer in Jesus Christ, and by inference, a Christian. Given that this narrative would seem to be set in a post-secondary college or university, the (figurative) alarm bells clanged loudly that student victim #2 could not have been Albert Einstein. Albert Einstein was born to a Jewish family and it would be highly improbable that he would have held to a christian’s belief in the divinity of Jesus Christ. My understanding of Albert Einstein’s spiritual beliefs is that from at about the age of 12 onwards he did not hold to a belief in a personal god.


    Dead rat #3

    The narrative is structured in the form of a “straw man” argument, the apparent object of which is the refutation of the “problem of evil” argument against the existence of god, and presumably thereby offering theists with pat answers to arm themselves with against an atheist’s use of the “problem of evil” gambit. Some side swipes at evolution, and the supposed limitations of the scientific method are also grist for the narrator’s mill. For theists, particularly of the monotheistic religions, “The problem of evil” is a significant chink in the their armour of faith. The “problem of evil" has been debated backwards and forwards since at least from the time of Epicurus and various defences, or theodicies against the “problem of evil” have been posited by, among others, Augustine of Hippo, C.S Lewis and Plantinga. It would seem that the “evil is an absence of god” apologetic is merely a variation of the theist’s good old stand-by, the “free will” defence. In short, it would seem that the author/s of this little fable fabricated the narrative to provide the climactic conclusion that would suit his/her/their theistic agenda.


    Dead rat #4

    ‘The student looks around the room. 'Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the professor's brain?' The class breaks out into laughter. 'Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor's brain, felt the professor's brain, touched or smelt the professor's brain? No one here appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, with all due respect, sir..' 'So if science says you have no brain, how can we trust your lecture?”’


    Because the date of the narrative is unknown, it is difficult to determine how old “Albert” was when the supposed narrative took place. As a precociously knowledgeable young man with an intense interest in physics, he would have been likely to have been familiar with theories concerning the electromagnetic radiation spectrum which also included the existence of X rays. The first observable images of human organs using vacuum tubes were made by Wilhelm RÖntgen in 1895 and the first working X-Ray diagnostic machine was demonstrated in 1896. Einstein was 17 and at the Zurich Polytechnic in 1896 and could have empirically tested the existence of his professor’s brain, simply by having an x-ray of his professor’s head taken. At least the technology, and the methodology of doing so would have been known at the time. Alternatively ‘Bert could have done some DIY empirical research in the lecture hall by getting his theist mates to hold the professor down and have the professor’s head trepanned…..a surgical procedure known and used since ancient times which invariably yields empirically predictable, if somewhat gory results.….but why spoil a rollicking good atheist bashing tale with logic and evidence!


    I guess I could go on and on exhuming other rodent corpses, for instance, logical fallacies attributable to the sophistry scripted by the fable’s author/s and subsequently put into the mouths of the big bad atheist professor…and valiant ‘Bertie the bold believer….but, let’s examine the evidence available from a very superficial trawl of the internet that decisively busts the spam e-mail flyer as just a cynical if somewhat amusing hoax.


    The anonymous author makes the inference that Albert Einstein was a believer in Jesus Christ, a claim that is not supported by the documentary evidence. Believers (aka theists), and disbelievers (aka atheists) on their respective ends of the faith spectrum, have both quote-mined Albert Einstein to claim him as their own. The evidence is largely ambiguous as to his actual beliefs, other than that he did not seem to believe in a personal god, and what he actually can be reliably referenced as saying contradicts what the author/s claim in his/her/their spam e-mail. At best Albert might be described as a pantheist, but it is doubtful that Albert Einstein would accept that or any other “label” as describing his spiritual beliefs. His scientific exploration of the natural world was evidently mystical enough to keep him enthralled and awed.


    Note well paragraphs 5 and 6 of Albert Einstein’s paper titled, “Science and Religion”presented <CITE>" in The Conference on Science, Philosophy and Religion: at the Jewish Theological Seminary, 1941. Referenced in the link below.</CITE>
    <CITE></CITE>
    http://being.publicradio.org/programs/einsteinsgod/einstein-scienceandreligion.shtml


    <CITE></CITE>

    <CITE>Further references to Albert Einstein’s actual thoughts on science and religion may be read at your leisure as follows:</CITE>

    At http://www.sacred-texts.com/aor/einstein/einsci.htm


    For a critique of some of the spurious arguments put forth by the spam e-mail author/s , go to

    http://andrewindie.tumblr.com/post/209868859/the-evil-is-the-absence-of-god-argument-refuted


    For information concerning the hoax status of the spam e-mail, take a trip to


    http://www.snopes.com/religion/einstein.asp

    AND

    http://urbanlegends.about.com/od/religion/a/einstein_god.htm


    oh…and by the way….there is no verifiable evidence that Albert Einstein ever authored a book titled “God vs Science”…..in 1921 or at any time.


    I find it sad, that fraud, and intellectual dishonesty have been used to gull the naïve into believing that Albert Einstein would have actually had anything to do with pushing a particular sectarian barrow…evidently the spam e-mail’s author/s would seem to have forgotten, or had conveniently rationalised their failure to observe their Lord’s 9<SUP>th</SUP> Commandment. It is even sadder that the basic script of the spam e-mail has been lifted and made into a mawkishly sanctimonious propaganda piece to inveigle religion into education….in Macedonia. Follow the link below


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JgpARGvBnc&feature=related


    apparently the promoters of religion in Macedonian education are not above some intellectual dishonesty and fraud either.


    Let Albert Einstein have the last word on the matter….


    It is this mythical, or rather this symbolic, content of the religious traditions which is likely to come into conflict with science. This occurs whenever this religious stock of ideas contains dogmatically fixed statements on subjects which belong in the domain of science. Thus, it is of vital importance for the preservation of true religion that such conflicts be avoided when they arise from subjects which, in fact, are not really essential for the pursuance of the religious aims.”


    Albert Einstein A response to a greeting sent by the Liberal Ministers' Club of New York City. Published in The Christian Register, June, 1948. Published in Ideas and Opinions, Crown Publishers, Inc., New York, 1954.


    http://www.sacred-texts.com/aor/einstein/einsci.htm


    and various quotes referenced to Albert Einstein

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKt9EgENzGI&feature=related
     
  7. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Or, you could check Snopes, where some doubt of the authenticity might be found.
     
  8. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    And miss the chance of some soap box spruiking??? ; )
     
  9. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    Well since for some reason I am not being allowed to even edit out the ps and Einstein reference, something I would perfectly be willing to do, I will say this. While I had this questioned by a mod on the 6th, It certainly took the rest of you long enough. I agree that no reference to Einstein writing the book stated is pretty definative that he did not do so. As to whether he believed in God or Jesus, I would have to say that in my research that would be a bit of a toss up. It is not a clear issue. Whether or not Einstein did bandy this about with a professor, it certainly is possible. No one here can definatively state that they are a contemporary of Einstein, and that they were practically at his side in public 99.9% of the time, and they know for a fact it didn't happen. I would also note it is an excellent anecdotal story, fiction or fact, even without the student named. Since this thread is about Faith and Religion, I will take it on faith that it some way or form it did happen. Have a wonderful life. Last but not least, Snopes is hardly the end all source to the truth. After all they are only biased humans.
     
  10. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    Liberals too they tweek they agenda
     
  11. bnmb

    bnmb On Hiatus Banned

    I see all this as good fun...Whether it really happened or not is absolutely irrelevant...I mean, Einstein was free to believe whatever he wanted...like anyone else is now. No Atheist will become religious if he suddenly finds out that some great person in history was religious...and certainly not because of the "pro-god" "points" in the story...as I said, all good fun...
     
  12. Clyde

    Clyde Jet Set Tourer Administrator Founding Member

    It is simply a logic discussion and shows that it takes faith to believe either side. One faith says there is something more than this and the other "faith" says this is all there is.
     
  13. bnmb

    bnmb On Hiatus Banned

    Well...as Einstein said: everything is relative...only relativity is absolute!... :)
     
  14. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    Could a mod explain to me what is going on that I can not edit my thread starter here, but can the second post here? Is that normal? I don't believe that has happened to me before.
    .
    ? Okay I am really confused now. I looked at the last 4 posts started by me. 3 have responses posted. One doesn't. None are locked threads. Two have my starter post where I can not edit it ???
     
  15. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Adventure Riding Monkey Founding Member

    Tac, you apparently never got the new super-de-dooper 'updated' Secret Decoder Ring'....... :D

    Yeah, the Einstein bit was a telling Red Herring, and the bit against the already-too-well-proven concept of Evolution is childish, but it is a fairly cute story to push a point.
     
  16. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    Awhhhhh, the super dooper one is out already--yehhhh. Einstein or no the answers are correct and to the point. There is a theory about life and I forgot the gent's name. It states that we should live as though there is an eternity waiting for us and act accordingly. We and those around us will be benefited from a well lived life. If you are wrong then no one is hurt--if you are right then you will be the one to enjoy the fruits. I would add that the Bible urges us to accept Jesus as our way there.
     
  17. Ivan

    Ivan Monkey++

    pascals wager? rather unpersuasive. this is not a binary choice between faith and unfaith. there are hundreds of religions with untold thousands of sects on the planet. nearly all of them have mandatory conditions for entrance to the everafter that preclude participation in any of the others. how likely do you think you are to pick the right one?

    I would also dispute the 'no one is hurt' claim. the bible and most other holy contain instructions that will cause a great deal of harm to many people.

    furthermore, even if there IS a god, and you can demonstrably prove it what authority does it have to make apparently arbitrary rules about how people should live? what lends this beings opinion more weight then any other being capable of thought(if god is indeed capable of thought)? simple strength? this is not much of a basis for a comprehensive system of morality.
     
    chelloveck and Barbosa like this.
  18. CRC

    CRC Survivor of Tidal Waves | RIP 7-24-2015 Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

  19. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Adventure Riding Monkey Founding Member

    DITTO! I hate getting the danged things..... I delete them immediately. :rolleyes:
     
  20. Pax Mentis

    Pax Mentis Philosopher King Site Supporter

    And then there are those of us who just don't care...
     
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