Atheism creates a moral vacuum which only a religion can fill.

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Valiya's picture
I don’t understand why you

I don’t understand why you are getting so emotional when we are engaged in an ideological discussion.

Throughout this thread people were blaming all the ills of the world on religion. There were comments saying that it’s the people of religion that were behind all immoralities in the world. I didn’t get offended by that, because I knew they were not attacking me personally. They were only looking at it from an ideological angle. I could appreciate that.

I expected you would appreciate it in a similar sense.

You accuse me of bias. I can turn the same logic against you. Whenever you hold a strong opinion, there is a bias. It could be right or wrong. Yet a bias is a bias.

You said, you do what you do because you choose to. That’s precisely what I am saying. You may have chosen to do good. But when a person chooses to do bad, why would you say that he can’t choose to do what he has chosen to do. You said “there is no should or shouldn’t.” Therefore, do you mean you will never say that a bad guy who chooses to do bad should never be stopped? You talk as if we are living in some utopian world. We are living in a world where corruption and crime is rampant. So, my question is very valid. Why shouldn’t a person be corrupt if he chooses to?

And then you talk about feeding all the hungry people in the world. It is common sense that one person can’t solve all of world’s problems. Each person has to do his mite. If I have only enough food to feed 3 people… I will only be responsible to that extent. When each of us do what we can, then the hunger in the world can be wiped out. But the problem is not everyone is willing to do his bit. And when a person thinks that he has nothing at all to benefit by sacrificing what he has, he wouldn’t be willing to do his bit. After all you can’t blame a person who thinks like that. In an uncertain world, you would only want to save for tomorrow. What guarantee do you have that if you fall to bad times tomorrow someone will come to help you? That’s why I am asking, why do you indulge in moral acts?

But when you believe in God and that you are accountable to him, then you have a very strong motivation to do good.
You may want to call God belief a lie, that’s your freedom. But once I believe, then my morality is not vacuous. It has a strong foundation.

With your last point: “I may or may not tell him a damn thing,” you just proved that you have nothing to tell him. That’s my whole point. You have no reason to do good. Then why should you do good?

ImFree's picture
I would tell him the god of

I would tell him the god of the bible is a poor example of moral behavior:

35 Now the sons of Israel had done according to the word of Moses, for they had requested from the Egyptians articles of silver and articles of gold, and clothing; 36 and the LORD had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have their request. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.

Exodus 12:35 - 36

Valiya's picture


1. I was asking about generations just to get some perspective on mutation rate. Though, it’s not of much consequence, I think you have got it wrong. Because you don’t take each baby born to a mother as a generation. If I have two daughters, they both make one generation, and not two. Therefore, in 140 minutes, I think you have 7 generations, and not 64. Or is there something that I am missing. Correct me if I am wrong.

If in seven generations we have a mutation that adds selective advantage, there must have been several more that were harmful. That’s how probability works. I am not getting into any high math here. Just applying common sense. Once again I could be wrong.

What I am getting at is, from this experiment, we come to know that the organism evolved in just 7 generations. What it readily tells us is that the mutation rate in this organism is extremely high. It’s hard to believe that the bacteria had the right kind of accident in the first try. As far as we know, it’s been more than a hundred years since this organism (flavobacterium or pseudomonas) were first discovered. And that must have been millions of generations, and yet we find that these bacteria are fundamentally the same.

If the rate of mutation as deduced from above is anything to go by, these organisms must have either evolved into some other species or self-destructed because of the high rate of mutation (more than 99% of which are bound to be harmful). As both these have not happened… does that tell us anything?

2. From the readings I did so far, I got this notion, that whenever you put a colony of pseudomonas in a nylon environment in the lab, you get a nylonase enzyme in about 9 days. If that’s the case, it’s a strong case against random evolution. (ONCE AGAIN, I DIDN’T SEE ANYONE ARGUING AGAINST THE NYLONASE EXPERIMENT AS AN EXAMPLE OF EVOLUTION RAISING THIS POINT). It’s merely my take. I could be wrong. Is that the case? Please clarify. If you agree that nylonase is a repeatable experiment, then does that look like random mutation to you? Or does it hint at some mechanism that is programed to mutate in a specific way under specific stress conditions.

3. I didn’t question the frameshift theory because I heard some creationist ranting about it on his personal clips. This was a finding in a research paper by Japanese scientist. This was the same team that first put forth the theory of ‘Frameshift’ mutation, but after further research changed their opinion. The reasons they give are the existence of the Non-Stop-Frame (NSF) sequence in the new enzyme. This is highly improbable in a frameshift mutation. The lack of stop codons is something that has troubled the scientific community, looks like that to me.

About the NSF, the paper stated this in the Abstract section: “Unless an unknown force was maintaining the NSF, it would have quickly disappeared by random emergences of chain terminators. Therefore, the presence of such rare NSFs on all three antisense strands of the nylB gene family suggests that there is some special mechanism for protecting these NSFs from mutations that generate the stop codons. Such a mechanism may enable NSFs to evolve into new functional genes and hence seems to be a basic mechanism for the birth of new enzymes.”

You can read about it on:

Prof Sieji Negro in another research paper published in 2007 is quoted to have said: “in fact no frameshift mutation was involved in the evolution of the 6-aminohexanoic acid hydrolase.”

What I mean by all this is that while there is definitely an increase in information in the nylonase mutation, there are real solid reasons to suspect the randomness of the mutation. It looks like the organism is reacting to external stress according to some programed mechanism that we are only beginning to understand.

I think there is already enough evidence for environment-induced mutations. I think you would agree with me. If that’s the case, then we have to concede that at least to the extent of mutations occurring in high frequency under stress there is some sort of a mechanism (design) built into the organism. The rest is only about finding out if those mutations have any direction. This is indicated by the Japanese researchers, as I showed you above.

I am still discovering and learning. Looking forward to your opinions.

Minion's picture
You were not alive, you are

You were not alive, you are born, your morals are a construct and then you die. It's as if you were never here.

Travis Paskiewicz's picture
It's possible that, like many

It's possible that, like many of the common chemicals on earth, certain mutations happen with a higher degree of commonality than rarer types. But after reading this whole post on mutations in bacteria, which proved to be quite thought provoking, I'm left with a very huge question regarding on how you view the world Valiya.

Ok, first let's get the term that comes to my mind out. Fatalism. It's the belief that all things that happen, were predetermined to happen. Everything occurs according to its own fate. From genetic mutations, evolution, and even human thought patterns which are quite ordinary biological functions. This is the predominant outlook of any theist, am I wrong? Everyone believes their God made the world, and the world reacts according to his plan. Or the fate it has determined.

So there we have it. I am openly addressing the possibility that a god has designed everything. The entire universe.

However, the fundamental problem with fate, is that it directly contradicts the idea of free will. If everything is predetermined, then what can we choose? At the biological level, our brains work by processes of chemical interactions. If even this is predertimined, then all our choices are fated to occure.

This completely undermines the idea of a god that wants anything from us. If we accept both a god and his design as truth, then are we not a part of the design? How can he want the world to unite under his religion, when he intentionally makes those who won't? At some level, if a god does exist, at what point does he ever try to take responsibility for his creation?

The very idea of god having a design implies that we all have a fate. That fate is unavoidable. Valiya, you would have to accept that god had both designed and incorporated atheists and other religions into his plan. The idea of you converting someone is now ludicrous, as whether we live and die as Atheists, Christians, Muslims, or any other religion, is already predetermined to be our fate by the great creator. And there is not a thing you can say or do to subvert another's fate.

Child molestors, mass murderers, addicts... if all things are truely fated, even these people have no ability to subvert gods plan. They are simply victims of fate. So if you truely believe in your gods plan, what are you trying to accomplish here? You could not convert a single person out of his or her fate. Or is your fate to spend time and energy, perhaps your entire life, to a task you will not succeed at? Perchance your fate only has you at the task of conversion for a minute, before you create the next new fashion trend. Maybe you get hit by a car tomorrow.

But perhaps my biggest burning question, is how can you say for certain there is a plan? To look at all things science has helped us understand has occured, such as the formation of the earth and evolution, is merely finding evidence for what happened. To say there is a plan implies you know to what end we move and the how we will get there. Science will offer you no indication of the future. Neither will religion. Because if you accept gods fate for you, do you even know whether your own will die out? How can you be at all certain yours is right, and you are not playing the demenstrating instrument for a false religion?

Nyarlathotep's picture
For sure. Freewill and

For sure. Freewill and omniscience lead immediately to contradictions. At MOST only one of them can exist.

Valiya's picture
Hi Travis, nice to hear from

Hi Travis, nice to hear from you again.

First of all, when I say ‘design’ I am not referring to fatalism or God at all. Yes, I believe in both, but that is not the premise of my argument.

I am just saying that specified complexity (as can be found in life, and I hope you understand what I mean by that) is a hallmark of design, which shows an intelligent purpose, and rules out randomness. What is that intelligence is another topic of debate.

However, let me answer your question on free will.

Free will and predestination are not contradictory. First of all, you are right when you said that everything happens as per God’s design. Therefore, yes these mutations and so on are all part of god’s design.

But then God designed one more thing. That’s called free will. This is for humans to exercise in making choices between good and bad. God does not make us bad or good. We choose to be so… and that’s why we are responsible for our actions.

One example I can think of is a computer that has been designed to throw up random numbers to select the winner of a lottery. While it is designed, the designer does not interfere in the choice of the numbers. I know it’s not a very accurate example, but we are trying to compare our creative powers with that of God’s who is not limited by our dimensions.

Therefore, the short of it is that God designed the free will and it can be exercised by us. However, God in his infinite knowledge knows what we would be choosing. And he let’s that happen (which is part of the design), because if he controls our decisions, it wouldn’t be free will any more.

Therefore, when I am preaching Islam to you, I am only giving you a chance to exercise the free will that God gave you and make a choice, so you can enjoy the rewards for making that choice.

And regarding your biggest question, how I can be certain there is a plan. On the contrary, I am amazed when you say that there is absolutely no plan, and everything is random.

How can you say that? Would you accept it if someone said that a monkey wrote a couplet by randomly fiddling on the computer? If you won’t attribute randomness to even this degree of specified complexity (just two verses), then how can you believe that the complex information of life came about by chance?

Just look at our discussion on mutation? I have raised some very key points about nylonase, which Travis (not you) is yet to reply. I hope he will reply soon. But what I want you to consider is this simple fact. Scientists of very high level are thinking that nylonase is not random and that there is a mechanism in it, which we are yet to discover.

Design and plan is strongly implied in all these examples. While randomness is getting ruled out. That’s the key point I want to direct your attention to.

Nyarlathotep's picture
For what it is worth,

For what it is worth, computers don't make random numbers. Computers use a highly chaotic function to produce pseudo-random numbers based on a starting point (a starting number) provided by the programmer. The starting point is often declared by the programmer to be the number of seconds that have transpired since January 1st, 1970. This way when you start the program at 2 different times, you will likely get 2 different results. However, if you use the same starting point (typically if you use the same starting time), you will get identical results; this is why computers do not make random numbers.

Valiya's picture
This is the reason I put in a

This is the reason I put in a disclaimer saying that this is not an accurate example. God's creative powers can never be compared with what we humans create. However, the moot point is that God has created free will and he has given us the freedom to exercise it. We make choices using that free will. Therefore we are responsible for our actions.

Nyarlathotep's picture
If god knows every detail

If god knows every detail about the future, you can't have free will. You can not have your cake and eat it too.

Valiya's picture
If a teacher knows that a

If a teacher knows that a particular student will fail in the exam because she knows the student well... will you say the student failed because the teacher knew?

If God knows every detail about the future, you can still have free will.

Nyarlathotep's picture
You are playing fast and

You are playing fast and loose there. Notice how in your example a teacher does not actually have knowledge that the student will fail, at best the teacher can make an educated guess.

Or in the language you used: A teacher who does not know every detail of the future, does not ruin free will. A teacher who did know every detail about the future would prevent free will.

1)When Bob drives to work he can either turn east or west out of his driveway.

2)Bob will attempt to use freewill to determine which way he will turn when he reaches the end of the driveway.

3)Eve wants to kill Bob and her plan is to put a land mine on the road, either east or west of Bob's house the night before.

4)∴ If Bob has freewill; Eve can't know for sure where to place the landmine the night before (because Bob hasn't even decided which way he will go the night before; at best she can only make a guess).

5)∴ If Eve is omniscient; Eve does know for sure where to place the landmine the night before.

Notice if Bob has freewill and Eve is omniscient; we have a contradiction between 4 and 5. To resolve the contradiction we must remove Bob's freewill, or Eve's omniscience, or we must remove both.

To believe in freewill and omniscience requires doublethink.

Valiya's picture


I don't understand that logic. I can place in front of my daughter a box of chocolates and a box of broccoli... and allow her to choose. I can with 100% certainty tell in advance that she will pick the box of chocolates. Does that mean that she is not using her free will in choosing the chocolates? She is exercising her free will. I am exercising my knowledge of her. In this case with 100 % certainty. Therefore, both can exist simultaneously.

Nyarlathotep's picture
You can claim until you are

You can claim until you are blue in the face that you are 100% certain, but that does not make the probability 100%. There is a huge number of highly improbable events that could lead to her not choosing the chocolate.

Valiya's picture
Oh goodness me....

Oh goodness me....

Fine in that sense... let me give you a hypothetical example. Imagine you can time travel. Therefore, Eve (from your example) does time travel and learns which turn (East or West) Bob is going to take. And then she comes back to the present. Now, her knowledge is absolute. And then she carries out her plan. Bob applies his free will. Eve applies her absolute knowledge.

Now, the reason i am having to resort to hypothetical situations is because we can't find an equivalent to God in our world.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Valiya - "let me give you a

Valiya - "let me give you a hypothetical example. Imagine you can time travel."

Which fictional movie is this time travel from? Back to the Future, Terminator, or Primer? OK, I'm only kidding; well kind of...

Anyway if your goal is to remove contradictions or paradoxes, by introducing time travel to the past; I don't think that is going to work very well. Like using dynamite to save your house from termites.

Valiya's picture


I am trying to explain to you about an entity that is outside our dimensions of time and space. And then to think of an example from our dimensions is of course going to be very hard... however, i don't think there is any paradox between knowledge and free will. If i have absolute knowledge about what you are going to do... how will that affect your ability to exercise free will?

Nyarlathotep's picture
Yes, you are trying to escape

Yes, you are trying to escape a contradiction, by adding more contradictions.

Travis Paskiewicz's picture
I'm seeing a bit of a

I'm seeing a bit of a disconnect from reality. You say there is a plan, but what specifically is our end goal is something you didn't specify. But more so is this belief that that there is a plan in motion, but we are somehow able to make dicisions which ultimately effect the outcome. If you are truly scientific, if a supreme diety has a plan for every atom, to effect every evolutionary step, which in turn implies a direct control over every organism.

As I said, even human intelligence is a system of information storage involving electrochemical signals between biological cells. Human intelligence is firmly rooted in the laws of physics and matter. So how exactly in a perfectly ordered universe controlled by a supreme diety, can we exist outside of his control enough to have any semblence of true free will?

It seems to me to be a philisophacle sticking point. I think Nyarlathotep had it right. Free will can't exist alongside a predertimined fate, or a diety's plan as you so call it.

Valiya's picture


Take the same example I gave Nyarlathotep above.

I give my daughter a box of chocolates and a box of broccolis for her to choose any one. But as I know for sure that she will choose the chocolates, even before I present the options to her, I give a word to my neighbor that I am getting them a box of broccolis for dinner. The neighbor buys up the ingredients needed to make a broccoli soup based on my word. I give my daughter the options… she chooses, using freewill… I give the broccolis to my neighbor…they have a hearty dinner… everything works out to plan.

SO, you see how freewill can fit into a design.

Now, if you want to ask, why I had to give my daughter the choice at all… if I knew what she is going to choose… that’s another topic. That’s to do with the purpose of creation and all that.

Anonymous's picture
Valiya-I am horrified with

Valiya-I am horrified with atheists that continue to argue with you . The question of morality is a vague concept and the fact this conversation has gone on for12 pages reinforces the futility in debating with someone who believes when he dies he will find eternity in heaven with Allah and 72 or 73 virgins. Valiya =I am embarrassed for all the atheists who even argued with you as your belief in the Koran and its absolute word from God is sadly very stupid. A good analogy would be when "the Science Guy" debated Ken Ham(the creationist.) Debating someone who does not believe in evolution and the earth is 10,000 years old is ridiculous. Arguing with Viliya is equally a waste of time.

Valiya's picture
I only see whinings and

I only see whinings and assertions in your post... nothing of any logical import worth rebutting. if you any any bring them on.

Anonymous's picture
valiya--Yeah--you want a

valiya--Yeah--you want a piece of me--come on -lets do it. Islam is a perverted ,immoral, horrible, disgusting, fucked up piece of pig shit and elephant vomit. Allah is a fuck face and you are an idiot for believing in such bullshit. I challenge you to a duel. It cannot be a challenge of ideas cause your beliefs, morals, and thoughts are bankrupt. Valiva -meet me in Hell -libidos a blazing. .........................................

ThePragmatic's picture

Public information announcement:

"fred,k" is actually the infamous troll of the Atheist Republic forum.

Generally referred to as "Kenny", has been banned many times under different names.
Previously known aliases include: "Kenny Schweiger", "Kenny", "myself", "alleycat", "richardd", "Christopher", "marken", "punkin", "amber", "Simon".

Claims to be an atheist. But he has a fondness for using "sarcasm", even though no one ever gets his sarcasm and he has been told this many times, he keeps posting such deceiving comments.

He seems obsessed with religions, creationists and the stupidity of Fox News, Bill O'Reilly, Joel Osteen, Ted Cruz, Sean Hannity, Donald Trump, Vanna White, Sarah Palin, etc.

Valiya's picture
I should have guessed that

I should have guessed that about Fred. thanks for the information Pragmatic.

Anonymous's picture
Pragmatic-I may be

Pragmatic-I may be disagreeable or not funny(to you) or a troll(whatever that is) but I am not boring. Your repeating of "the public information announcement is boring. If you have a problem with my comments ridicule me if you want but repeating the same public information announcement is BORING. I would rather be a sometimes funny "troll" than an empty boring half face half a brain. You never express interest in my comments because you just don't like me even though I am a very nice fellow, often funny and attractive in a happy kind of way. Oh -one more thing---You don't know how to laugh and that is sad.... Sad is worse than boring.

watchman's picture
I think Pragmatics response

I think Pragmatics response to the problem of kenny is an excellent idea.....

seeing kenny's treatment of a newbie over on IssamAA's "My coming out thread" put this problem into perspective.....

I must now apologise to the forum for my language ....

@ kenny ... you are a puerile ,facile ,fucking disgrace.

ThePragmatic's picture


I have changed it multiple times. First I had "semi-troll", but you proved to be way too bad for that, so I removed "semi-". I also added names of the people you seem obsessed with, and I revised the text a few times to make it easier to understand and to be more informative.
In fact, I'm revising it again...

@Watchman, thank you.

Jeff Vella Leone's picture
Yea I might copy paste it if

Yea I might copy paste it if you do not mind(i'll give credit) when I see his posts.


Get a life !!!

ThePragmatic's picture
Sure, copy it or rewrite it

Sure, copy it or rewrite it as you see fit.

I have avoided using it as long as he keeps in line. But as soon as the spamming and confusing 'sarcasm' posts starts...

Here is the latest version:

Public information announcement:

"fred,k" is actually the infamous troll of the Atheist Republic forum.

Generally referred to as "Kenny", has been banned many times under different names.
Previously known aliases include: "Kenny Schweiger", "Kenny", "myself", "alleycat", "richardd", "Christopher", "marken", "punkin", "amber", "Simon".

Claims to be an atheist. But he has a fondness for using "sarcasm", even though no one ever gets his sarcasm and he has been told this many times, he keeps posting such deceiving comments.

He seems obsessed with religions, creationists and the stupidity of Fox News, Bill O'Reilly, Joel Osteen, Ted Cruz, Sean Hannity, Donald Trump, Vanna White, Sarah Palin, etc.

This announcement will be posted whenever he spams, agitates, confuses or flies of the handle.

Also, he finds these announcements 'boring'.


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