I got the book and I am going to read it carefully.
I am a staunch believer , 68, of Latin descent.
I was born in Argentina of Italian parents and always went to religious schools. I was often first in Religion, I liked the subject a lot.
At the age of 19 we came to Europe (I wish we had never done) and it was only much later that I spent lots of times reading all kinds of essays in order to choose the kind of personality and beliefs I wanted to have.
As a result, considering also that I travelled a lot and had a chance to see the devastating state of mankind, I eventually decided that I was going to live the Gospel as literally as I could, because that was the only thing that made sense to me.
I am glad I did, because to me formal education is important but learning to live a satisfactory way of life is much more important.
I do not give a hoot whether the Universe and life appeared as the Bible says or not. That means nothing to me and it is certainly not on that issue that I am going to base my belief in God.
My belief in God and the Gospel is strong because it has given me the tools to understand almost everything I needed to understand about life and mankind.
Before I read all those essays I went around the world looking for someone who could teach me useful , honest and reliable things about why the world is as it is, how mankind eventually rotted to the state it is now and what to do about it. But I had no luck. I had to do the job on my own and today I can say I am satisfied.
There is no longer any Christian way that we could consider trustworthy in practice and it is certainly not the atheists who can teach me to live a purposeful life.
I did not travel as a tourist (that is a waste of time and money), I spent years in every place I went, South, East and West.
The result can be criticized (I don't care) but what is beyond any doubt is that at least I lived the way I wanted to live and I did not have to waste my whole life doing all the irrelevant things a boss would ask me to do only so that I could get to the age where I was entitled to pension money.
I did not get married or have children but that does not bother me. Luckily, I never felt I wanted to start a family. From an early age, what I wanted most was to have an adventurous life, and I did.
My parents wanted me to go to university and I did so for one year (and passed it) but I could not care less about becoming an engineer.
I had to sweat to get a job and I worked as an office clerk until I was 35 but that was not my cup of tea either. First I wanted to learn about life. Work was secondary. I said to myself: before I die, I want to get to know in what kind of world I am asked to live.
Today people sometimes tell me that I am one of a kind and I take it as a compliment. Having known the world and mankind well enough, I would hate to be just one more of many.
Not without enormous difficulties, I leart to live the Gospel way and I can testify that the result, including all the "irrational" aspects of it, do in fact happen once you got the hang of it.
After all, one could question the fact that Jesus died on the cross, but no one can deny that Gandhi was killed, Luther King was killed, Kennedy was killed. In this world, when you want to improve it, you have to have the guts to face hatred and opposition.
Anyway, I am going to read this book and post my comments.
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For fuck's sake fergie, you said you were leaving.
Why should anyone hold credence to a proven liar?
...*groan*... Well, hell. Fuck me sideways running naked through a briar patch... *shaking head in dismay*... Our dear Fergie kept telling us we've gotta have Faith, and then he said he was leaving us to never return again. He even made promises... Promises-Promises! And we all took his word for it, because he is such an honest and honorable soul. A true man of his word with the same steadfast personal integrity of his mighty Lord and Savior to guide him. Yet, now, here we are. Fergie has returned. And, now, that's me in the corner Losing My Religion. All I can do now is tell myself, "Carry On, My Wayward Son. There'll be peace when you are done."... *tears starting to fill eyes*... But I know I Can't Find My Way Home - ... *sob*... - because I don't have Blind Faith. Woe is me!... *placing pillow over face and bawling uncontrollably*...
Before I post my first comment on the book, I wish to say this:
If God exists, He isi such a superior being that we cannot even imagine Him. It will not certainly be because an atheist graduate asks for verifiable proof of his existence that God will lower Himself to do what the graduate (a common, finite being) demands.
All the more so if we consider that a graduate is normally so dumb that he cannot understand that God requires FAITH.
The faith that God demands is not simply faith in His existence, but faith in His advice and promises regarding the way in which we should live.
It is only when we live the life that He wishes us to live that we can see with our own eyes that in fact things happen as He said they would happen.
I doubt very much that God will give proof of His existence to an atheist who spends his useless life trying to insult, demolish God and get people to abandon His ways.
Another thing that an atheist graduate is too dumb to understand is that the Bible is NOT a science book, NOT a history book, but simply a spiritual book.
It is only when one, having adopted the Christian way of life, sees that things click exactly as explained in the Bible that one eventually surrenders to the evidence that God does exist.
If faith is your criteria, it is because any rational fact-based method is a huge fail. When you state "I use faith", translated it means "I have no good reason".
ferguson1951, from your first introductory sentence you have positioned yourself as hostile and antagonistic to atheists. Thank goodness for modern civilization and laws, yours were the types who persecuted and murdered atheists.
You believe your are unique, and I do grant that fact. But it is not that you are intelligent or have adopted a superior position, it is because you are a throwback to an age that mankind passed through a thousand years ago.
So far you have made two long posts in a thread that is supposed to be about a book review. Yet, you have made no comment on the book, instead focusing on hyping your life story and insulting learning and atheism.
I therefore submit to all that this person, ferguson1951 has created this thread, and made comments purely as a troll. I understand it is a serious accusation, but I see no other explanation.
"If God exists, He isi such a superior being that we cannot even imagine Him."
Non sequitur. You are only stating that if an undefined identity exists, it must have such-and-such properties, which is nonsense. This statement is equally valid: "If The Flying Spaghetti Monster exists, he is such a superior being that we cannot even imagine Him." The rest of your comment is therefore pure nonsense and bullshit, since it is based on pure wishful thinking; shit in, shit out.
"If God exists, He isi such a superior being that we cannot even imagine Him."
"The faith that God demands is not simply faith in His existence, but faith in His advice and promises regarding the way in which we should live.
It is only when we live the life that He wishes us to live that we can see with our own eyes that in fact things happen as He said they would happen."
Yet you imagine this!
Still preaching at us I see. So far not one word about the book. It's also worth pointing out the book may be poorly written and make erroneous claims and weak arguments.
This wouldn't remotely evidence any deity, something you have shown you cannot do. Simply making endless anecdotal claims, and citing similar claims from others and the bible, and seemingly not understanding why such claims are not objective evidence.
Another thing is this:
We live in a rational society, let us say for the sake of argument.
There are no longer any ghosts, any visions, any supernatural events, nothing. Only scientific evidence counts.
This is what the media pounds into our brains.
The thing is: YOU DON'T HAVE TO BELIEVE THAT.
If you get out of your university campuses and take a look around the world, sooner or later you will come across some evidence that life can be mysterious.I am a witness of that and you can be too.
When Western doctors discovered the use of tobacco for smoking, they took the tobacco plant as a cure-all plant. For ages they would advise patients to smoke tobacco.
Today, as they always do, they changed the tune.
Tobacco is people's #1 enemy.
Of course, they carefully avoid trying to explain how come American indians used to smoke tobacco and not die from cancer.
Only average clever people can understand that it all depends HOW you smoke.
As regards cancer, I would be curious to know exactly how many billion dollars have so far been spent on cancer research.
Also, I would like to know this: in Italy we are 55 million people. Every year 180.000 die from cancer.
Where is the infallibility of science? I wonder.
@ferguson1951: Also, I would like to know this: in Italy we are 55 million people. Every year 180.000 die from cancer.
Where is the infallibility of science? I wonder.
Until quite recently, millions of people died from smallpox. Now nobody dies from smallpox. That's the power of science. Science almost achieved the same result with polio. Unfortunately religious bigots stopped the progress and now the disease is spreading again.
it all depends HOW you smoke.
No. It depends on how much you smoke, and on your genetic makeup. Some people can smoke like chimneys all their lives and never get cancer, though of course, they leave a trail of dead collateral smokers in their wake. The first things to be damaged by smoking are respect and concern for other people. Incense in churches has similar effects on your mind and body.
Ferguson1951: "When Western doctors discovered the use of tobacco for smoking, they took the tobacco plant as a cure-all plant."
Western Doctors did not discover tobacco smoking.
Ferguson 1951 "American indians used to smoke tobacco and not die from cancer."
Fucking bullshit, how exactly are you claiming to know this? You really are ludicrously out of your depth in a debate forum.
Have presented a single word of critique against the book yet?
What objective evidence can you demonstrate for any deity?
That's all that matters in the end.
Mystery is evidence of our ignorance, by definition. No one has ever claimed science is infallible either so nice straw man, indeed you are a bare faced liar, because you've had this explained to you more than once. Again I am wondering if you even know your religion condemns such mendacity.
Based on evidence you cretin, or are you saying there is no evidence linking smoking to an increased risk of developing certain cancers? Unlike religions and the religious, science recognises it must be able to admit to an error, so that it can change it's views based on where the evidence leads, that way we are not left doggedly clinging to archaic myths in the ludicrous way religions and the religious do, and embarrassing themselves as you are now doing. This does not mean that science is always changing its mind, that's a laughably cretinous lie.
You don't need a university, you need an infant school to start with some basics.
This guy gives more farewells and final posts than Frank Sinatra or Kiss did Farewell Concerts...
The OP is an arrogant stew of bullshit. I am done with him.
Oh, fergie, fergie, fergie...your OP sounds pretty disdainful of folks who have chosen to lead what you would likely call mundane lives.
You wrote, “The result can be criticized (I don't care) but what is beyond any doubt is that at least I lived the way I wanted to live and I did not have to waste my whole life doing all the irrelevant things a boss would ask me to do only so that I could get to the age where I was entitled to pension money.”
I, too, have lived the way I wanted to live although you might say my life has been mundane. I’ve not traveled extensively, I’ve not been published, never been in a movie, I raised kids, cooked them tuna casserole, worked for a living (sometimes that work was far from irrelevant!), did the laundry, and tended a vegetable garden.
My life has been wonderful and amazing! I value it a great deal. I find it repellent that you seem to hold the way you chose to live your life as more valuable or better than my choice. It seems egotistical, conceited, self-absorbed. It smells a bit of pride and a holier-than-thou nature.
Perhaps you would benefit from an examination of your prejudice views.
One wonders if his life is so fantastic why he seems so angry and frustrated, and why he pursues atheists to rant his beliefs at?
"The lady doth protest too much, methinks"
I thought this individual was bailing out of here forever?
But no. He's back to peddle his asinine combination of dubious biography, anecdote masquerading as data, blind assertions, and, no doubt in the future, we'll see the predictable ad hominems and tiresome regurgitation of dribblingly encephallitic mythological assertions that no one here with functioning neurons takes seriously, except for the proper discoursive practice of dismantling them. I also expect, given the precedents he set here in the past, to see manifest and risible lies peddled as purportedly constituting fact, only for said lies to be roundly flushed down the toilet by the diligent posters here.
I see already he's peddling the "you have to have faith" garbage, despite having been schooled in the past on this matter, namely that faith is nothing more than uncritical acceptance of unsupported mythological assertions, regardless of how much observational data destroys many of those assertions. I also see he's vomiting up the similarly emetic and soporific sneering at science, despite the fact that science has achieved more in 250 years, than adherence to the sad little mythology he masturbates over has achieved in 2,000 years, and that his famine-free, disease-free life surrounded by expensive electronic toys, was made possible by the very science he sneers at.
It's also interesting to note, that in his eagerness to resume his stream of consciousness soiled nappy dumpings, he has singularly failed to post in a manner consonant with the thread title. He has not once mentioned any of the contents of Navabi's book, not once addressed any of its essential postulates, or even demonstrated that he has acquired the most minuscule level of familiarity therewith. As a corollary, I suspect the thread title was nothing more than click bait, in order to acquire another audience before which he can preen his cosmically inflated sense of self-worth, his smug, self-satisfied and complacent self-regard, and his hubristic pretensions.
Still, at least his fulminatingly gangrenous ramblings will once again serve as useful pedagogical material, for those whose inoculation against venomous bilge has been suitably successful. Anyone seeking substance from him will, of course, be as disappointed as they were during his first excursion into the wild, untamed prairies of fabrication, mendacity and oleaginous unctuosity. We will once again be treated to the tumbleweed of assertion, the nut grass of specious invention, and the hogweed of pomposity and bombast, with assorted moccasins and rattlesnakes of duplicity slithering amid this tendentious flora. Every once in a while, the chickenhawk of ad hominem will swoop in looking for an easy kill, only to be dismissed with empty talons, and the scuttling ants of scriptural regurgitation will crawl from their holes in the ground, posturing as possessing the potency of fearsome Solenopsis species, only to reveal their true identity as piddling, insignificant members of an altogether more feeble Genus.
Observers will note the peculiar nature of this warped biotope and its mutant inhabitants, the vista comprising a mixture of post-nuclear apocalypse and genetically modified agriculture gone hideously wrong. A strong smell will then lead them to the overseer of this spectacle of blight, squatting toad-like upon a mound that is presented by said life form as a glorious mountain of diamond, upon which a glittering castle of wisdom and wonder has been built, whereupon the creature in question will howl with indignation at being informed that it is, in fact, seated upon a glutinous and pungent pile of its own faeces. Puffed up with every last atom of synthetic self-righteousness it can muster, the organism in question will then attempt to produce a withering, ferocious roar to instil terror into the onlookers, only for the sound emitted to consist of murine squeak followed by flatulent report.
Ah, if only Dr Seuss were here to delight us all with a cartoon rendering of this ...
@Fergie Re: Cali's post
Hey, Fergie, since you are so anti-university and not a fan of higher education, I realize you may not fully understand much of what Cali said. Therefore, I hope you don't mind if I explain the high points in a way you might understand.
In a nut shell, Cali was thanking you for being such an outstanding benefit to atheists worldwide. Your contributions to helping people see the adverse effects of religion on the human mind have been fantastic. Keep up the good work... *thumbs up*...
Hope you don't mind. Although, I admit I'm a bit confused. I don't have a university education, yet I understand your posts. And I can even explain them to Fergie. The Lord really does work in mysterious ways, I suppose... *shrugging shoulders*...
What are you running from fergie? You stated that at the age of 35 you left your job and began hopping around the world, never forming any permanent ties. Did you suffer some trauma, or are you in trouble with the law?
It is bothering me that this guy starts a book review thread and has not read the book. I am in this for the shits and giggles anyway but this is a first.
Sing to the tune of "Oh, Sherrie" by Steve Perry...
Well you should've been gone!
Knowing how we made you feel.
And you should've been gone!
After your last shitty spiel.
But you wanna be a preacher (Praise the Lord...)
And you wanna save us all from hell (From hell...)
But you couldn't win us over (Oh, my-my..)
Oh, Fergie, your god
Oh, Fergie, your god
I have had a similar sort of life as you, Fergus, with variations of course.
I never attended university; family obligations made that impossible and in the end I don't regret it. Knowledge can be acquired from many sources.
I was devoutly religious and prominently active in my congregation and at the same time I was an unfulfilled office worker.
At age 20 I had a revelation - I was forced to acknowledge that I knew nothing about life or reality and my existence was suffocatingly restricted. I had unwittingly followed what others had told me and I heard only what I wanted to believe and from there hubris, ego and ignorance informed me I was right and on the path to knowing everything.
Reality intervened, demolished that fantasy and I changed my life.
I left my church, but not my faith, not straight away. I quit the office work and took up manual labouring and a bit of travelling. I undertook a personal reading program that included comparative religions, philosophy, history, archaeology, science, psychology and baking (my favourite). I worked on dams, building sites, in factories, drove trucks and worked with, and befriended, a whole range of amazing people, from all ages, all walks of life and nationalities and who had attained all levels of educational achievements and everyone of them proved to me that every person has a life full of relative meaning and value despite however 'mundane' or unusual they might seem.
The family relations and friendships that radiated out from all these people, the happy and desperate events that tied them all together were the real kernel of life, the real meaning of being.
I married. We shared a love of books and knowledge and opened and managed a reasonably successful bookshop until the advent of the internet and e-books and had two children who still surprise me with their wit and wisdom.
And on the way I realised no god is ever as necessary as people, who are of supreme importance, especially to gods ironically. More importantly, I learned that all gods are created by people to comfort them against the fears of things they do not know or can't understand or fail to deal with in this natural and frightening universe.
So it kind of pains me Fergus that with all your lofty claims about how much knowledge and wisdom you possess, and living such an itinerant, "un-mundane", insular life, dominated by this imagined deity that can not be imagined, why is it you are so antagonistic towards others who do not share your views?
You should delight in all you claim to possess. And as a real christian you should be out in the world happily sharing your cheery knowledge and wisdom for the betterment of all and the promise your faith claims for an eternal afterlife.
But instead you come here, and to other atheist websites apparently, to abuse and bestow curses of eternal damnation on otherwise good people because they don't think like you do. Is it because you aren't really sure about what you think you know? Does the resistance of others to accept your views make you uncertain and defensive, maybe?
If I believed I had the unassailable knowledge of a god almighty and shared in his infinite wisdom, I would not have to take umbrage at what I knew to be the mistaken views of others. If I were absolutely certain I was ultimately right, their objections would be inconsequential and in the sense of godly love and fellowship I would not need to engage in insults, but instead in an intellectual 'turning the other cheek' if you like, and offer assurances of heavenly love and redemption, rather than unending torment.
And further in the matter of these 'mundane' lives you disparage, how do you know if these normal people, quietly living stable, presumably boring, lives aren't actually enjoying richly rewarding personal relationships?
And how would you know that these lives aren't supremely satisfying to your professed god who supposedly created them?
At the very least it seems to me that if you were a christian, it should have occurred to you that the lives of other people might be the creations of that same omnipotent god you claim to believe in? And that when you negate them and their lives, you criticise your god?
Or is it just that you feel disappointed your singular life decisions have denied you the happiness of a shared life you witness in those mundane lives?
I fail to see how your belief in your god makes you happy, beyond some arrogant self-satisfied hubris that you use to justify your snide criticism and disparagement of others. Is this how you represent your supposedly loving god?
If you truly are a good christian have you ever cured anyone of cancer with your faith, like Jesus promised his faithful followers would do? Or are you worried you might get infected with the horrid lowly disease?
Or do you just enjoy employing the authority of your god to condemn others as being unworthy and contemptible, to make yourself feel better?
Read the book Fergus, you could do worse. But when you come to writing your criticism can you leave out any puffed-up boring biographical information about you, your life, how clever you are and just stick to critiquing the salient arguments of the book as to why gods do not exist? Thanks. I will say I am not expecting an edifying review.
Good sir, that was simply wonderful to read. A sincere thank you for sharing it. Fantastic... *slight bow and nod of respect*...
This chapter is too stupid for comments but I shall make an effort.
Complexity by design.
In the Creed, I am asked to confess that I believe that God is the Creator of everything. In actual fact that does not mean much to me.
If I had to prove that God created life and the universe, I cannot. I cannot go back all those millennia and see what actually happened.
Nor can atheists prove to me that complexity was created naturally. We are on the same boat.
They cannot prove that ancient tribes saw deities in lightning and volcanoe eruptions. They would have to go back all those centuries and do a poll across people of those days to ascertain why they belived that.
Our theory is just as valid: God "wrote" His signature inside every human being, so that they would not completely lose touch with the Divine.
Evolution by natural selection is one more such theory. It is only a theory. It explains how species evolved from the beginning, but there is absolutely no proof, no evidence, that things actually happened that way. It is just one more theory. Plus, the scientific community is still divided between evolutionists and creationists, so you see . . . .
As regards hurricanes, Christians believe that God is quite capable of sending a hurricane in addition to those that happen naturally.
"4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains."
Science has explained, in its natural, anti-supernatural way, the origin od things: yet 86% of world population still believes in deities. How can you explain that?
Many scientists believe in intelligent creation, whether you like it or not. Mathematicians say that the chances that things came to life by chance are NIL. The scientific community is deeply divided on anything, just as the community of believers.
Take the Twin Towers and the Kennedy assassination. How may theories have been running around on both subjects? All claiming to be right. There is no longer any chance of finding the one and only truth. You choose one theory, you are just making a bet: you could be right, you could be wrong.
The idea of believing that only science can explain everything is just sheer arrogance and nothing else.
AS regards the question whether God was craetyed or not, the same reasoning applies.
Us catholics are asked to believe that God was generated, not created. I personally am unable to check things out. And in any case, it does not mean anything to me.
What matters to me is that thanks to the Gospel I was able to live a fulfilled life without having to go to university and without having to bend to the 9 to 5 standard. I was free, I took chances, I never knew how much money I was going to have, but here I am , at 68, still planning another adventure. You can keep your science as you like. It means nothing to me.
Not even remotely true:
1) We know natural phenomena exist as an objective fact, in stark contrast no one can demonstrate a shred of objective for any deity or anything supernatural.
2) Atheism doesn't doesn't make the claim you are assigning them, that's an argument from ignorance fallacy. Not knowing how everything came to exist is not evidence for any deity.
3) You are making a claim, atheists are simply disbelieving that claim, therefore we are not remotely "in the same boat". As I can be content to admit there are things we don't know, and still disbelieve archaic unevidenced superstitious myths like creationism, especially when that myth makes risible erroneous claims, that are directly contradicted by objective scientific facts like evolution through natural selection.
Oh ffs ferguson, a scientific theory is defined as a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment. Such fact-supported theories are not "guesses" but reliable accounts of the real world. You cry and sulk when people point out how ignorant your posts are, then you post the stupidest creationist canard there is. If you can't even be bothered to Google the phrase scientific theory then how can you expect anyone to take you seriously, your all around ignorance is breathtaking, almost as breathtaking as your arrogance in thinking that ignorance justifies your hyperbole and bombast.
FYI If you're going to pretend to be critiquing a book you will need to produce the parts of the texts you are arguing against, not just the chapter heading, the atheists here are not nearly as gullible or easily duped by dishonest religious rhetoric as you'd like to believe.
Since you are denying the scientific fact of species evolution, would you please list ten other scientific facts you deny that in no way disagree with your religious beliefs? If you can't list any then along with how stupid the claim is, we can only infer the obvious bias your position is based on.
"Evolution by natural selection is one more such theory. It is only a theory. It explains how species evolved from the beginning, but there is absolutely no proof, no evidence, that things actually happened that way."
Holy crap, just go to any museum of natural history, or just take a few seconds to examine fossils. It is all laid out for anyone with eyes that are open.
fergie, really? Are you really that ignorant and stupid?
Evolution as a whole is not in doubt. Just like watering your indoor plants, or they will die, it is not in doubt by anyone that actually taken the time to study it. What is worse is you have not studied it at all, but been told by others to dismiss it because it does not "jive" with their 2000+ year old explanation of how everything works. People have even taken a lot of time and effort and money to show this in natural history museums, you can even buy kits online to see the evolution process take place in your own home over the course of a few months if you refuse to take the word of scientist and think its all some enormous conspiracy theory that has billions of people that dedicate a lot of time to studying have completely fooled.
FINE. I get it. You are not interested in the truth if it is different from what you want the "truth" to be. Can you at least.. at the very least study your own religion, holy book throughout history with a critical mind that does not just readily accept everything no matter how ridiculous it is? Read about the crusades, read about all the other "holy wars" and remember that victors write the history books. Huge percentages of populations have been wiped out simply because they did not "believe" in the same way others do.
Also on your OP, You talk about the decline of humanity. The evidence is everywhere that despite religion, and everything else, humanity is at its best state ever. Life spans are increasing world wide, child mortality rates are down, (well at least in most places besides the bible belt in the US!) We have conquered a whole host of horrible diseases and improved a bunch of others. War is down, way down, the list goes on and on. We even cured AIDS! And it is entirely possible we humans (NOT GOD!) will conqueror things like cancer within our lifetimes, (we are already well on our way!) And all this has happened as religion has declined in a huge way in many of the countries most involved in these wonderful advancements.
If you want a miracle to save a loved one from cancer, your best possible bet is to donate as much as you can to SCIENTIST that are working on solutions and making real progress. People that have spent years of study and dedicated their lives to being part of a solution to the betterment of all of us. You do not even have to do that. In many countries around the world, your tax dollars do that, (albeit a tiny percentage of it.) Because these are enormous projects of which we all benefit from.
▮I am an atheist that always likes a good debate
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your god is natural. so if it created us then we are natural too. in fact, maybe our universe is its child?
Where has god written anything on me?
Can anyone see the god writing?
Did your god create you, or did your parents have sex to make you?
I thought you were leaving? Nothing you have posted suggests you have the ability to critique any argument, let alone an entire book. Your grasp of English is fairly poor by any objective standard, and worse is the fact you are thoroughly closed minded on the issue.