The Instigator
incredulous1972
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Stonewall
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Creationism (and Intelligent Design) advocates are necessarily liars

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/25/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 736 times Debate No: 38123
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
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incredulous1972

Pro

My argument is that in order for someone to be a creationist one must necessarily be a liar. My opponent will attempt to dispel my assertion that creationists, by their very definition of BEING a creationist, are in fact liars or dishonest.

Since we can delve into this particular subject twelve ways from Sunday, let's limit our debate with just this one rule, please: Let's not SELECT examples of "dishonest" people. I could easily make a list of all kinds of people that we all know are patently dishonest, and yes, we can even find a *few* in the creationist movement (wink wink), but I believe that this would only lead to some mud-slinging from both sides. So instead, let's talk about the core issues of creationism, and how they stack up to observable phenomena.

You can pick any scientific issue, any part of science, logic, etc.

Let me start with the core assertions of creationism: Inerrancy of the bible. Clearly, creationism is born from the belief in inerrancy of a biblical text, and anyone could easily point to all those wonderful passages that teach us morality, history, and medicine. Or could they?

The fact is, that the bible contains at least 100,000 transcription errors just from the original texts into other ancient texts. By the time we get to our modern languages, this number is easily quadrupled. Not to mention that there are numerous factual errors such as "rabbits chewing cud" and entirely made up sections that were added much later (including the names of the gospels themselves), plus about 26 gospels that somehow managed to disappear between then and now. Unfortunately, even though these 26 gospels managed to disappear for various historical and political reasons (it is felt that they weren't as popular, they didn't hold enough religious value, or they had too many contradictions with other parts of the bible), we still have 4 gospels that are factually contradictory with each other. I'm sure I don't have to point out that wonderful graphic image that pops up when someone does a search for "bible contradictions" in google or bing (do turn on your images, please) - at this point it's several years old and there have been multiple additions to it already. A picture does say a thousand words, or in this case: A thousand contradictions.

Furthermore, let's talk about that morality: We don't follow it. We don't murder our children to make smoke rise, we don't destroy entire villages (including their pet hamsters) just because they don't believe, we don't sell virgins into slavery, we don't make our raped daughters marry their rapists for a few extra beer-sheckels, we don't stone people that sleep around (we make them our pop icons, in fact), and we don't even punish those "evil" gay people anymore, etc. We don't follow it. We don't even follow the big ones: Turn the other cheek, don't kill, don't lie, don't steal, etc. Each and every single "biblical morality" has perfectly logical and social reasons why we don't follow them, and yes - I will readily admit that many are grey areas at best, but there are good explanations for every single one of them - even adultery if you want. We could get into each and every instance if you like, I've allowed 10,000 characters for each round, so ... be my guest. My position is clear: We don't follow biblical morality, and once more, I will even state that historically we never did in the first place. Morality has always come from our society, has always been enforced by it, imposed by it, changed by it, and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future.

Science and medicine in the bible you say? Let me be crass: The bible contains none of it. The fact that (hopefully most of us) aren't wrought with diarrhea as we sit here looking at my words has nothing to do with the bible telling us where to crap vs. where to eat. It clearly does not say a single word about this, anywhere. Such simple advice which would have saved countless lives over the eons. In fact, it goes on all kinds of diatribes on how to clean food using methods that would get any McDonalds shut down by the Health department these days.

Historically we were held back for hundreds of years by "inerrant" interpretations of the bible - just look at the debacle of heliocentricity. We have known models of heliocentricity since Greek times, but it wasn't adopted until the 16th century because the poor sap who (for the umpteenth time, I might add) discovered it managed to print it and publish it just before he went to his deathbed (his name begins with a "C", and ends with a "opernicus").

We know the dark ages and middle ages as several centuries of nothing more than suppression of progress due to dogmatic religious beliefs - "inerrancy". "Inerrancy" in the bible, the pope, the Catholic church, the local inquisitor, and yes, even those "divine" kings and queens went around for a long time proclaiming how EVERYONE else was always wrong, but they could never, ever, be wrong. We still have that today: The pope still is never, ever wrong (except when he goes into retirement and then tells us that he made some mistakes earlier...?). They stopped calling him "inerrant" a few hundred years ago, but changed it to "infallible" instead, I believe.

Clearly, we know better know.

So clearly, between rabbits actually not being rumen animals (chewing cud?), all kinds of examples of the world not being flat, and furthermore most historical facts being wrong, geography being lopsided, morality being a non-starter, and even the titles of the chapters (gospels) being mostly made up, we can clearly state that the bible is not inerrant.

Your counter arguments are clearly going to go into the usual epi-cycles of apologism, including the various methods of "people make mistakes, but God doesn't" or "separate interpretation from religion". In the end, to have any semblance of inerrancy of something, one must first have that something. If you take either tact, you are essentially admitting that there are problems with the bible - that it isn't error free. Even the earliest known versions of texts have errors in them, and we don't know what happened to the originals. Obviously, all we have are versions with errors then, and this is what creationists count on their scoreboard as "inerrant". The fact that we know they have errors even without knowing the originals is a clear indication of just how nonsensical the entire concept of biblical inerrancy really is.

Folks, inerrancy is a lie. When you call a book full of errors a perfect "inerrant" book, you're lying. Since creationists base their core beliefs on inerrancy, and let's not quibble about that particular subject because I'd be glad to include the mission statements of every major creationist website which clearly state "belief in the inerrancy of the bible despite of any discipline in science, including history", they are believing a lie. The core value, the rock on which they base all their other assertions is a complete and utter lie, so wrought with bad advice and lousy examples of morality, that even the Catholic church has distanced itself from biblical inerrancy decades ago. Clinging to something full of known error isn't going to get you to the truth, no matter how much someone attempts to back-peddle.

My position in this round is thus: Creationists base their core beliefs on inerrancy of the bible. The bible is not inerrant and we know this from a moral, scientific, and historical point of view. Even in theology there are clear contradictions in the bible with itself, and by the concept of "exclusive rightness" - i.e. only one side of a contradiction can be correct or they both can be false, but not both can be correct - this is a factual acknowledgement of errors in the bible (i.e. by the bible itself). Therefore, since the very foundational value of inerrancy is nonexistent, it makes every creationist who believes in creationism a liar. Without inerrancy, there is no 6,500 year old earth. There is no presuppositional, circular argument of where everything came from, as explained in the bible because it's not a true text in the first place. People that continue to follow that logic (or lack of logic, to be more precise) are necessarily lying. Lying to themselves, the school boards, their kids, neighbors, etc. Inerrancy is false; Therefore creationism is a lie, and creationism's followers are liars.
Stonewall

Con

I accept your argument by taking the Con side, saying, "No, one need not be a liar to be a Creationist." I also assume you're not saying this in an "Everybody lies, so Creationists are liars too" way. If that were the case, I'd toss the debate. Thank you for establishing that we needn't nitpick individuals for our cases; both efforts would be futile.

"Let me start with the core assertions of creationism: Inerrancy of the bible. Clearly, creationism is born from the belief in inerrancy of a biblical text."

You've shot yourself in the foot with the very first statement of your argument. First of all, not all Creationists are Christians, and thus, not all read the Bible. This statement will be passed on through each point and each round of this debate. Second, many theists of all walks do not consider the Bible to be inerrant. Anyone can do a quick Google search and find where the Bible contradicts itself. Not many think the Bible is a literal text, and certainly not all do.

Frankly, I could stop my argument right here. I, personally, don't believe the Bible is literal, or even supposed to be, and thus your argument could be completely refuted right now. For the sake of the debate, I will continue to argue.

"The fact is, that the bible contains at least 100,000 transcription errors just from the original texts into other ancient texts..."

Anyone who can do a Google search (or read a bit of the Bible) can find how many times the Bible errs. There are very few people who think the Bible doesn't have errors. Despite what you may think, not all theists are backwards and stuck in the past. It's not like the Middle Ages. We've kind of progressed a little since then. Only the worst close-minded bigots (we're looking at you, Westboro) can't admit that. That, of course, doesn't speak ill of the rest.

"We don't follow biblical morality, and once more, I will even state that historically we never did in the first place. Morality has always come from our society, has always been enforced by it, imposed by it, changed by it, and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future."

Yeah, because we aren't barbarians. Being a theist does not mean you must follow all the rules of the Bible or whatever religious text you follow. Intelligent design is, by definition, "the theory that life, or the universe, cannot have arisen by chance and was designed and created by some intelligent entity." Nowhere can you find that belief in every word of the Bible is necessary for being a theist. Or in any holy book, for that matter.

"Science and medicine in the bible you say? Let me be crass: The bible contains none of it."

It just feels like I'm reiterating the same points. Nobody these days takes Biblical medicine/science seriously, save for religious nutjobs.

"Such simple advice (on which to defecate) would have saved countless lives over the eons."

I'd like you to find any time in history in which someone died from fecal-related issues because they couldn't find where in the Bible they could take a dump. Nobody through history has died from pooping in the wrong place because the Bible didn't tell them. The Bible also doesn't say how to fix my sink. If my sink goes out, I'm not gonna consult the Bible and then give up. Nobody has ever been that stupid. Your talk as such is ridiculous to the point of being offensive.

"Historically we were held back for hundreds of years by "inerrant" interpretations of the bible...We know the dark ages and middle ages as several centuries of nothing more than suppression of progress due to dogmatic religious beliefs "

Historically, we were not. Heliocentrism: http://www.iep.utm.edu... - You'll find that science and religion never really clashed over the subject, and Churchmen never persecuted those who tried to push for heliocentrism.

Furthermore, science owes a supreme debt of gratitude to religion and the church: http://blogs.nature.com... - The only reason any science even made it past the Middle Ages is solely the responsibility of Churchmen- they were the only ones who could read and write, and thus spent their years passing on ideas the scientific community had proposed. Rarely, if ever, did religion hinder scientific progress. The idea is an incredibly misleading one.

...you know what, really. Realize that the reason we are this far ahead scientifically is because of religion. It's done us a major, major favor.

"Your counter arguments are clearly going to go into the usual epi-cycles of apologism, including the various methods of 'people make mistakes, but God doesn't' or 'separate interpretation from religion'... If you take either tact, you are essentially admitting that there are problems with the bible - that it isn't error free."

Wow, dude, you're right! You've actually strengthened my argument! I've been saying this whole time, "The Bible does err, but that has absolutely nothing to do with theism and intelligent design." Thanks a bunch, man! Sincerely, and from the bottom of my heart, thank you very much for making my job that much easier.

"When you call a book full of errors a perfect 'inerrant' book, you're lying."

Yeah, if you do that, I whole-heartedly agree. If that was the argument, you'd win, hands down, no contest. But that isn't your argument. Your argument is that theists must believe the Bible doesn't err, and that argument isn't true in the slightest. Most theists/Creationists/Christians/monotheistic religions don't believe it is an inerrant book, or even an infallible book. It errs. Very, very few think it doesn't, and yes, they are liars. Or just ignorant. But this idea you have... you must be a liar to believe in intelligent design... is flawed beyond belief. It is simply a weak argument. Frankly, I'd like to see you get out of this hole you've dug yourself into. I look forward to your response.
Debate Round No. 1
incredulous1972

Pro

On the surface, CON appears to have valid arguments against my assertions. Unfortunately, CON's points don't go very deep. His assertions seem to hinge on the idea of "the bible" and that creationists don't necessarily need to believe in the bible to be creationists. I will concede that his assertion is true.

However, let's separate what is from what could be.

First of all, we don't have a series of Hindu creationists and other mythological religions (Greek, Viking, etc) pounding on the doors of our educational institutions and insisting on "equal time" for creation-science. What is currently seen as the creationist movement is completely made up of various ultra-conservative sects of judaism, christianity, and islam. All three have their roots in the Old Testament, all three are considered judaic religions, and all three are interconnected through both religious beliefs and historical background. Be that as it may, if CON wants to reject the idea of these three being "biblical", I can understand that position, as I left the door wide open to that argument. However, let's look at that argument one more time:

Essentially, CON has done nothing more than a reverse version of the "True Scotsman" fallacy, by making the creationist group broader in scope. Essentially he has undermined the concept of biblical inerrancy by removing the supposed dependence of whatever religion in the bible. However, I would like to point out that BOTH OF US can play that game. If CON insists on playing by that rule, then clearly it should also be applied to my side of the argument. Simply substitute "bible" with the words "religious text" and any particular religious group being mentioned by a more general term (e.g. "orthodox religious believers"), and we will quickly find ourselves right back with that pesky little idea of inerrancy.

Ultimately, no creationism comes from science. None of it comes from observable phenomena, none of it is born in a lab under a microscope, and certainly none of it has ever appeared in peer reviewed scientific journals. Not one assertion even survives a peer review from members across different religious backgrounds and countries. For example, Indian Hindu folklore has several different creation ideas, none of which are even known to the average American Baptist Creationist. Hence, it must come from some other place, other than mutual observation and deduction. My position is thus: It comes from make-believe and religion. It comes from a group of people agreeing on some completely made-up story of how things come to be, how they "poof" into existence, and then running with it until a critical mass has been achieved, and we call it "religion" and "dogma".

Please note how even our very own US constitution plus several other countries' laws agree with the idea that such concepts are not science. Witness how we now have laws in place that insist on the separation of church and state, similar to what many other countries have done. Read Kitzmiller vs. Dover, for example: A judge (conservative, I might add) has never made such a condemning statement at a movement before - "innanity".

Let's see what science is, or more specifically what the scientific process boils down to: It is the observation of natural phenomena which are peer reviewed for accuracy and to remove bias. It is a process by which new discoveries are filtered and tested against other ideas, observations, methods, and theories. At it's core is the idea that THE TRUTH is the same, no matter who observes it.

I'd like to mention this in particular for all our biblical (see above) readers, because essentially, the concept of "BIBLICAL TRUTH" and even "ULTIMATE TRUTH" (aka: "Revelation", "Gospel", "Commandments", etc) , when compared to this scientific standard actually do turn into nothing more than word games. As I have pointed out before, and by the way, this is true for more than "just the bible" - it is true of EVERY RELIGIOUS TEXT - there are inconsistencies. Not one deity was ever found on Olympus, not one rabbit ever chewed its own cud, and not one giant turtle ever held the world on it's back. Wotan never carried the dead to the afterlife, we don't have a single photograph of Chinese monkey-gods, and even the great Cetan hasn't been added to our science journals even though every Lakota knew of him.

And yet, we have Creationists actively engaged in attempting to explain existence in terms of make-believe deities. Clearly, none of this has ever been observed, or even remotely sensed, but instead it has been reported in various oral traditions and texts even though anyone with half a clear mind would easily discern these creation assertions to be fantasy. Especially if this person was not indoctrinated in that particular religion, but instead indoctrinated in a competing religion. Thus, the creation stories all appear to cancel each other out by virtue of not being compatible.

As I've stated before: When you have contradictory statement before you, there is only one of three possible outcomes in light of scientific truth.

(a) The first statement is true and the second is false.
(b) The first statement is false and the second is true.
(c) Both statements are false.

Given that creationist assertions pretty much all come from the ether that is "imagination", clearly they are false; Regardless of what religion they come from.

I suppose the idea could be forwarded that an "atheist creationist" somehow wiggled into this debate. I would like to point out that this is patently wrong, as for someone to be an atheist one would first have to not believe in deities, which are a necessary component of any Creationism idea. You can't have it both ways.

I need to raise the question: Separate what IS from what COULD BE. We have religious zealots at our doors today pounding away at science and politics. Witness how our 2012 Presidential GOP candidates responded on public television when asked about their "beliefs" regarding evolution: Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, and Rick Santorum openly raised their hands for "creationism"! We're not talking about anyone's views on Zeus still being in charge, but we are talking about world leaders who may have their hand on the BUTTON deciding what is going to be our educational policy for years to come. Do we really want leaders that openly profess that they trust in make-believe of religious creationism rather than factual science? Imagine applying this type of logic to finding weapons of mass destruction in a desert country like Iraq? But wait - didn't one of our creationist Presidents do just such a thing, despite the intelligence agencies decrying the lack of evidence for months prior to the war? Or in other words, aren't we currently still paying for the concept of decisions based on "made up belief" vs. factual scientific data right now?

Lastly I have to take aim at your ridiculous assertions that we owe our scientific knowledge to our wonderful church or that the entire story of Copernicus' suppression is bunk.

Check the date on which Copernicus' book was finally released. He worked on it for thirty years of his life. He died the same year that it was published. Or in other words, he feared publishing it while the church could punish him: He was a catholic in a protestant region. He had already been questioned by several inquisitors and spent the last few years of his life under constant ridicule by protestants. A little known fact is that Copernicus wasn't even original in his assertions. Heliocentricity had been around since at least Philolaus in the 4th Century BC. There were numerous attempts between Philolaus and Copernicus all of which failed - not just because of mathematical errors, but many times for nothing more than religious and philosophical differences (and yes, lighted pyres were often involved). It is also a well published fact that the Christian movement clearly aligned itself with geocentrism in the 2nd century. The relationship between religious dogmatism and centuries of erroneous modeling is so deep it oozes from history like a thick ketchup.

In addition, your assertion that religious schools are responsible for our scientific gains is simply backwards. Remember that Greeks and Romans had schools which did not require religious affiliations. All of this was destroyed when Rome fell, and nearly forgotten. It was not revived until ~800 AD under Charlemagne (aka: Charles the Great), who reopened something akin to schools, but only with the aid of the clergy, which until then had become the keepers of knowledge by continuously purging all other rival factions. I could go into the papal edicts of the 12th century against the Jews as proof of willful destruction of competing beliefs, but I promised not to point fingers.

A perfect example of what happens to science when religion steps in would be to look at Islam. Prior to Islam (~640 AD), the Middle Eastern Region led in mathematics (arabic numerals), astronomy (most constellations have arabic names), medicine, etc. . Neil Degrasse gave a lengthy talk on just such a subject, the link will take you to a shortened version of the video.

If you think that somehow the West was different, I would like to point out what every history class will tell you: It's called the "Dark Ages" because the church reigned supreme. It's called the "Enlightenment" because the church retreated from several different positions in light of the ancient version of the internet; We know it as the printing press. Once Martin Luther made copies of the bible available in native languages, all hell broke loose in Europe, and the Catholic church has never recovered from those losses. It was only in this atmosphere of religious retreat that science and medicine were finally able to thrive. Even today - and still not in the Middle East.
Stonewall

Con

"First of all, we don't have a series of Hindu creationists and other mythological religions (Greek, Viking, etc) pounding on the doors of our educational institutions and insisting on "equal time" for creation-science."

This paragraph doesn't refute any of my points, nor does it introduce any new ones on the Pro side.


Simply substitute "bible" with the words "religious text" and any particular religious group being mentioned by a more general term (e.g. "orthodox religious believers"), and we will quickly find ourselves right back with that pesky little idea of inerrancy.

...yeah, and my entire argument was that any religious text could be replaced and it would still make sense. I even said, "Nowhere can you find that belief in every word of the Bible is necessary for being a theist. Or in any holy book, for that matter." I fail to see how this manages to change any bit of my prior argument. It, instead, reiterates it. So, thanks again.


"Ultimately, no creationism comes from science. None of it comes from observable phenomena, none of it is born in a lab under a microscope, and certainly none of it has ever appeared in peer reviewed scientific journals."

Yeah, and neither does any form of philosophy. None. By that logic, since philosophy isn't scientific, it is thus useless/irrational. And that's ridiculous.

"For example, Indian Hindu folklore has several different creation ideas, none of which are even known to the average American Baptist Creationist. Hence, it must come from some other place, other than mutual observation and deduction."

So, in order for beliefs/thoughts/ideas be considered valid, it must be known by others who might not even care? There's a whole lot you and I don't know about science/religion/philosophy/fill-in-the-blank, but that doesn't make it any less valid.


"Please note how even our very own US constitution plus several other countries' laws agree with the idea that such concepts are not science. Witness how we now have laws in place that insist on the separation of church and state..."

Here we go again... No rationally thinking theist thinks that religious texts are scientific or should be a part of our legal system. That's just common sense, and it has absolutely nothing to do with believing the source text.


"It is the observation of natural phenomena which are peer reviewed for accuracy and to remove bias."

From here on out, any reference to science can be thrown out due to the simple fact that religion is not, and never has been, a science. That's totally irrelevant to whether one who believes in a higher power is a liar.


"As I have pointed out before, and by the way, this is true for more than "just the bible" - it is true of EVERY RELIGIOUS TEXT - there are inconsistencies."

As I have pointed out before, and by the way, this is true for more than "just the bible" - it is true of EVERY RELIGIOUS TEXT - there are inconsistencies. Whoa, you reiterated my point again. One: I said this more than a handful of times; I acknowledged this heavily. Two: Any religious text is hardly supposed to be considered a literal one. Even if they were, it does not dismiss the idea of a higher power in the first place.


"And yet, we have Creationists actively engaged in attempting to explain existence in terms of make-believe deities."

It's a theory, man. You don't know where we came from. I don't know where we came from. Einstein and Hawking and Dawkins and Darwin and Lincoln and Hitler don't know where we came from. Yeah, we all have ideas, but nobody knows. There's just as many religious nutjobs who "know" where we came from as there are atheist nutjobs who "know" where we came from. And they're all liars, every last one. And you cannot deny that. If you did, you would be a liar.


"Thus, the creation stories all appear to cancel each other out by virtue of not being compatible."

But as far as "where we came from," they're all more-or-less equally valid.


"When you have contradictory statement before you, there is only one of three possible outcomes in light of scientific truth..."

Oh, come on. This hypothetical crap is baloney, and you know it. As if religion/belief is so black and white. More realistically:


1. This statement might be true (Christianity)
2. This statement might be true (Judaism)
3. This statement might be true (Atheism)
4. This statement might be true (Islam)
5. This statement might be true (Buddhism)
6. Ad infinitum...
7. Some of these are true.
8. One of these is true.
9. None of these are true.
10. All of these are true.
11. You can't handle the truth.
12. Ad infinitum.

Clearly, your hypothetical situation is false. Regardless of what belief it comes from.

"I suppose the idea could be forwarded that an "atheist creationist" somehow wiggled into this debate."

...what the Hell are you talking about? You're the only person who mentioned it, and it doesn't make any sense.


"We have religious zealots at our doors today pounding away at science and politics."

Likewise, we have atheistic bigots throwing temper tantrums and saying, "I'm right, you're wrong! I'm right right right right right!!" Belief systems are a two-way street, buddy.


"(So-and-so) openly raised their hands for 'creationism'!"

Well, at least they have balls. How many political atheists have the guts to say, "I don't think there's a God"? Say what you will, I'd take my chances with a guy who can stick to his guns and say, "Yeah, I believe this. I know not everyone does, but I do" as opposed to the ninny who will hardly raise a finger when asked what his beliefs are. That, and religion hardly plays into real politics. Obama's a religious man, and he's done nothing in regards to how schools treat evolution.


"...aren't we currently still paying for the concept of decisions based on "made up belief" vs. factual scientific data right now?"

Oh, please. Every single president has been (at least to the public) a theist, and far more than half of them did great, great things for this country. Like the president who went against the Bible, depite being a deeply religious man, and said, "Slavery is inhuman" and died for that cause. Oh, and by the way, that president goes against your ideas of theists being liars.


"Lastly I have to take aim at your ridiculous assertions that we owe our scientific knowledge to our wonderful church..."

Welp, I had a legitimate source, and dozens of scientific historians would like to disagree with you. I just think it's funny that you call out theists for ignoring science when you yourself ignore basic history. That speaks volumes.


"He worked on (his book) for thirty years of his life. He died the same year that it was published. Or in other words, he feared publishing it while the church could punish him: He was a catholic in a protestant region."

I don't even think you checked out those nifty links I sent ya! Well, no problem; I'll just post 'em again. Here's my source for why you're wrong: http://www.iep.utm.edu... here's a list or people who say you're wrong: http://www.iep.utm.edu...

Check out that the fourth paragraph. So, just because Copernicus didn't want to release an idea that he wasn't entirely finished with doesn't mean he was scared of being persecuted. I mean, he might have been. But good luck finding a similarly academic source to justify that thought.

"There were numerous attempts between Philolaus and Copernicus all of which failed - not just because of mathematical errors, but many times for nothing more than religious and philosophical differences... Remember that Greeks and Romans had schools which did not require religious affiliations."

But Philolaus was Greek... if he had no affiliations with religion, then what was he hindered by? I understand that Philoloaus was only half (Copernicus being the other) of your point, but that still doesn't account for the contradiction of that statement.


"...your assertion that religious schools are responsible for our scientific gains is simply backwards.... All of this (knowledge) was destroyed when Rome fell, and nearly forgotten. It was not revived until ~800 AD under Charlemagne (aka: Charles the Great), who reopened something akin to schools, but only with the aid of the clergy..."

...the clergy that was, one, able to pass on all that knowledge, as well as, two, stopping the spread of religion which is an act you yourself would praise!


A perfect example of what happens to science when religion steps in would be to look at Islam.

You know what, you're right too. Religion does have its drawbacks to the field of science (as well as its advantages, say, passing on all that information in my previous example). But to think that religions are even comparable today is ludacris. Science is much more advanced today, and religion can't do anything to stop it like it could "back in the day". Furthermore, both of our points and accusations are grasping at straws, because both sides are equally valid. That, and this whole "religion vs. science" thing has very, very little to do with whether or not theists are liars. I've said time and time again, the two are not exclusive as you make them out to be.


In conclusion, your argument was that to be a theist, you must read a religious text, and you must follow every single word of that text, and you must believe them despite scientific evidence that completely 100% refutes them. None of this is necessarily true. Admittedly: Some people do this. And with that, I concur- you must be a liar, or just ignorant, to believe every iota of whatever religious text you follow. But very few people do that in the first place, and so the rest (a good chunk) fall into the category of "Theists who do not follow their religious text," thus proving you wrong. You are wrong. That's not an opinion thing. There's no middle ground. There's no ifs, ands, or buts. Your premise- To be a theist, you must read a religious text, follow every single word of that text, and believe them despite scientific evidence that completely 100% refutes them- is completely and inarguably wrong.
Debate Round No. 2
incredulous1972

Pro


"Nowhere can you find that belief in every word of the Bible is necessary for being a theist. "

Ah, but what about CREATIONISTS? What words are necessary in their religious views in order for them to prefer the idea of a creator over naturalistic influences? You keep tapdancing around the central issue: Creationism.

Creationism at it's core is a belief in a deity that created the universe and/or life. The problem with that core belief is that it has absolutely no basis in any kind of fact, and if we follow where these ideas come from, i.e. the root of who thought this stuff up, it always leads back to religion.

You have agreed that creationism isn't science:

"Ultimately, no creationism comes from science. None of it comes from observable phenomena, none of it is born in a lab under a microscope, and certainly none of it has ever appeared in peer reviewed scientific journals.

Yeah...." and later down "no rationally thinking theist thinks that religious texts are scientific", followed by your own admission of "due to the simple fact that religion is not, and never has been, a science".

You also failed to see the significance of competing religious beliefs, especially in regards to creation mythologies. Even a young child, given two different stories about the same thing, would recognize that only one of the stories can be accurate (or both could be lies), but that they can't possibly both be correct. Not knowing about the other stories doesn't make them any less "competitive" or any more truthful, for that matter.

But beyond that, let's get to the smoking gun of your counter arguments:

It's a theory, man. You don't know where we came from. I don't know where we came from. Einstein and Hawking and Dawkins and Darwin and Lincoln and Hitler don't know where we came from. Yeah, we all have ideas, but nobody knows. There's just as many religious nutjobs who "know" where we came from as there are atheist nutjobs who "know" where we came from. And they're all liars, every last one. And you cannot deny that. If you did, you would be a liar.

Let me reiterate your own words one more time, this time for emphasis:

And they're all liars, every last one.

I believe that you yourself are agreeing here that creationists are liars, but perhaps I'm misreading your argument.

Here's the crux of the issue at hand:

At least in science, people don't just blindly make up fables about talking animals, unseens and unheard powerful beings, ghosts, etc. I think we can all agree that such "stories" are just that - stories. I think even you in your previous posts openly admitted this. As soon as a religious assertion enters into the scientific arena, such as abiogenesis or big bang theory, there is certainly a clash of stories, even if it is JUST between religion and science (and we know that it is with ALL the other religions as well, including the 99% of religions that have become extinct).

As I've already outlined in my previous arguments above - I used it to describe the possible truth values of competing religious beliefs - let's apply that same idea here, except this time comparing religion vs. science:

(A) Religious ideas are correct about abiogenesis and their version of the cosmological genesis.

(B) Scientific ideas are correct about abiogenesis and their version of the big bang.

(C) Both versions are incorrect.

If you like you can add your little diatribe about the Greeks being wrong and the Romans, Jewish, Islam, etc. ad nauseum, but in the end I would like to point out that they are all summarized in (A).

Let's sprinkle in your own assertions that all are liars.

What is left? Nothing more than my original assertion that creationists are necessarily liars by virtue of being creationists, i.e. members of a religious group.


You deeply discount the one major value that science keeps bringing to the table, which is primarily the removal of bias. In science, it does not matter if a new theory emerges from a creationist or an atheist at all. What matters is the validity of the data, the strength of the arguments, and the logical progression to a higher state of knowledge. Scientists don't sign their papers with a degree in "bible studies". They sign with their career and integrity. And yes, there are numerous scientists who have broken that code and who have been excommunicated by their peers from their science. Creationists, in particular, seem to latch onto that idea - they claim that they are persecuted whenever they try to submit a paper to the Academy of Science, etc. However, in my investigations, all of them were kicked out of their position because they were academically dishonest, which is a death-blow to anyone's career in academia. The history books are littered with stories full of scientists on both sides of the debate who were caught with their hands in the cookie jar.

When people like Dawkins makes statements regarding the validity of the big bang theory, he does this with tens of thousands of scientists standing behind his statements, each with thousands of hours in experiments and theory, each with peer review and careful removal of bias in their science.

Is that what goes on in creationist circles? Are they peer reviewing their work, bouncing it back and forth from their labs to those of other scientists in India, Japan, and Europe? Are their credentials from academically recognized sources, did they pay for their degree through years and decades of understudy in labs? Or did they do the same thing that some slightly more educated sheepherder did 3,500 years ago and just "made stuff up"?

Do a search under the word "creationist". Look up what they assert every single day. Look up what their DNA experts say compared to what real scientists are saying about their ideas, and do bother to look up their credentials. You will quickly find weaknesses in their wedge strategy, which included the idea of actually doing "creation science", which they for the past twenty years couldn't even find credentialed scientists for; Invariably their "scientists" are in the wrong discipline, time and time again, for example. Invariably, their assertions are found so lacking in valid data, good observations, and logical conclusions that they are often given to undergraduate students as examples of how not to write a dissertation.

Just yesterday we find creationism in the national headlines again:

http://www.nytimes.com...

Is that what you think theists are?

This debate is about creationists. It's about people that lie all day long to themselves, each other, and anyone else they can. These are deeply deluded people that believe in inerrancy being more important that scientific truth, even though we all know that their position is a lie.

I believe you have agreed with me on the key point already.


Stonewall

Con

I would like to point out that my opponent has 1) ignored my main points in regards to fighting his stance, and 2) taken my quotes completely and utterly out of context, either by choice or ignorance. I will address these further on.

Creationism at it's core is a belief in a deity that created the universe and/or life.

You don't know what a theist believes, do you? Okay, from now on, I will use "Creationist" as opposed to the word "Theist", although they have the exact definition by your word. I just found "theist" faster to type. So, again, I reiterate my point (since you never refuted it in the first place):

"Nowhere can you find that belief in every word of the Bible [or any Holy text, per my opponent's stance] is necessary for being a theist[Creationist]."

Which is true. My opponent has yet to prove me wrong.

"You have agreed that creationism isn't science: [Quote]"

Yes, in the same way that philosophy isn't a science. Your point? You fail to mention one in the closely following paragraphs.

"You also failed to see the significance of competing religious beliefs, especially in regards to creation mythologies. Even a young child, given two different stories about the same thing, would recognize that only one of the stories can be accurate (or both could be lies), but that they can't possibly both be correct."

A child given two different stories about the same thing could also tell you they might be different perspectives of the same truth. I can't tell you what a Christian or a Muslim or whatever thinks, but they do all center on a belief in God, which is the only criteria for your definition of a Creationist.

"Let me reiterate your own words one more time, this time for emphasis: 'And they're all liars, every last one.'" - Audience, this quote is taken out of context.

You quoted the entire paragraph, and you still managed to take my words completely out of context. That is in incredibly poor taste. I'll reiterate if I didn't make it clear enough for you:

"There's just as many religious nutjobs who 'know' where we came from as there are atheist nutjobs who 'know' where we came from. And they're all liars, every last one. And you cannot deny that. If you did, you would be a liar."

Again, to be clear: "They" means people who "know" where we came from. Do you "know" where we came from, Pro? If so, you are a liar, more so than any Creationist who doesn't believe in a literal translation of their Holy Book.

"At least in science, people don't just blindly make up fables about talking animals, unseens and unheard powerful beings, ghosts, etc. I think we can all agree that such "stories" are just that - stories. I think even you in your previous posts openly admitted this."

I did openly admit that, you're right. I also said that we've advanced as a society. And just as we've advanced as a society, so too have religious people. You're under the impression that Creationists follow every single word of the Bible/whatever as literal truth. For the hundredth time, this is not true. So help me, if you try to imply this again, I'm willing to toss the debate because it's not worth the struggle. You refuse to even acknowledge this point and instead nitpick everything else. I'll go into more detail on this in my last point.

"...let's apply (my) same idea here, except this time comparing religion vs. science:

(A) Religious ideas are correct about abiogenesis and their version of the cosmological genesis.

(B) Scientific ideas are correct about abiogenesis and their version of the big bang.

(C) Both versions are incorrect.

Well, by your logic, not mine, that still leaves C as opposed to B or A. Frankly, I can't believe you so completely refuted your own point.

"Let's sprinkle in your own assertions that all are liars."

Again, a quote that was taken completely out of context, so you can't use it to your own distorted meaning anymore.

What is left? Nothing more than my original assertion that creationists are necessarily liars by virtue of being creationists, i.e. members of a religious group.

I just showed you that, by your own logic in your misleading A, B, or C chart, scientists are necessarily liars too. I'm not saying that's right, of course (I'm not an idiot), I'm just pointing out what you said.

"You deeply discount the one major value that science keeps bringing to the table, which is primarily the removal of bias. In science, it does not matter if a new theory emerges from a creationist or an atheist at all. What matters is the validity of the data, the strength of the arguments, and the logical progression to a higher state of knowledge."

I deeply discount it because it has nothing to do with what we're talking about. This is an irrelevant monkey wrench you keep trying to weasel into our conversation. Our debate is "Are Creationists liars if they don't read the Holy Book?" If they don't, then there's no need to bring science to the discussion. For more info on this, see my last point.

"However, in my investigations, all of them (Creationists) were kicked out of their position because they were academically dishonest..."

I'd just like to point out my opponent doesn't have a source, and so such a generalization has to be thrown out until shown otherwise. If he has none, that would make him... academically dishonest...

"When people like Dawkins makes statements regarding the validity of the big bang theory, he does this with tens of thousands of scientists standing behind his statements, each with thousands of hours in experiments and theory, each with peer review and careful removal of bias in their science."

Cool, good for him and those tens of thousands of scientists. When they prove the big bang actually happened, and it's no longer just a theory, I'll applaud them for their dedicated hours. Until then, we're all in the dark as to where we all come from.

"Is that what goes on in creationist circles? Are they peer reviewing their work, bouncing it back and forth from their labs to those of other scientists in India, Japan, and Europe?"

No, 'cause we're not scientists. We don't claim to be. Just like philosophers, we occassionally group together, talk about our beliefs, try to justify them in an existential sense, then go back to our normal lives. See my last point.

"Do a search under the word "creationist". Look up what they assert every single day."

Occassionally a Creationist will try to justify his beliefs scientifically. These are those liars you mention in your initial debate question. They try to factually back up their Holy Book, which can't be done. Again, not all, or even a whole lot of Creationists do this. See my last point.

"Is that what you think theists are?"

This question's pretty vague, so I'll do my best: Do I think theists should try to force their beliefs? No. Should they try to skew science to look their way? No way. I think a theist/Creationist is a person who believes in a higher power. So, yeah, this person is a creationist, in the same way an atheist who wants the big bang in a science textbook saying, "That's what happened, we only have a little evidence, but that is what happened." (That sounds ridiculous, one atheist doesn't represent the whole group.) Exactly. Don't try to judge creationists based on one nut. See my last point.

"I believe you have agreed with me on the key point already."

What? That people who try to justify their Holy Book with science and fail but try to skew results so they succeed are liars? Yeah, of course.

Here's my last point. The one you've been reading about. I'm gonna make it big, because not only is it really important, but I've said it multiple times throughout these rounds and you ignore it and ignore it and ignore it like liars ignore facts. See what I did there?

You are under the impression that all creationists take their Holy Book literally, and thus, do not believe scientific facts to the contrary. This is not true. By your definition (yes, you said this), "Creationism at it's core is a belief in a deity that created the universe and/or life." If your definition included, "One who thinks their Holy Book, whatever it may be, is literal" you would be right. But you didn't. A creationist/theist/one who believes in intelligent design, per your argument, and by your definition, is a person who believes in a higher power. That is all. They do not have to take their Holy Book literally, if they read one at all. Creationism isn't science, much like philosophy, and so does not try to base itself in it. You cannot make that connection, because it is an incorrect one. If you try to skew these facts, you are a liar. This is not an opinion thing. This is not up to interpretation. By your debate and your definitions, you are wrong.

If you refuse to address this major, major point, I will assume, perhaps rightly, that you do not read my debates at all. I am sorry if the excessive text seems uncivil, but with the amount of times this point has been made and ignored, I am at my wit's end and feel the need to draw major attention to it. I look forward to your response.
Debate Round No. 3
incredulous1972

Pro

You don't know what a theist believes, do you? Okay, from now on, I will use "Creationist" as opposed to the word "Theist", although they have the exact definition by your word. I just found "theist" faster to type.

I believe the word CREATIONIST is mentioned in the title of this debate, and I would hope that you have the fortitude to limit your responses to that group. For some reason, and honestly it is an event I have seen all too many times in creationist debates in particular, pro-religious people have absolutely no trouble at all moving up and down the ladder on issues such as “kind”, “macro evolution”, “C14 dating”, etc. This one is new to me though: Apparently CON doesn’t know the difference between CREATIONIST and run-of-the-mill theist. I was raised a Lutheran. Does that make me a Creationist, I wonder?

"Nowhere can you find that belief in every word of the Bible [or any Holy text, per my opponent's stance] is necessary for being a theist[Creationist]."

In order for one to be creationist, and I believe I’ve made this clear, one has to AT LEAST believe the portions of their religious beliefs regarding (1) cosmological genesis and/or (2) biological genesis. These two items, point blank, full stop, PERIOD, are the issues that will make one a CREATIONIST. If you don’t believe in the inerrancy of these, then you are NOT A CREATIONIST. You can’t claim that you are a creationist and try to pull these ideas from science (which I believe I’ve mentioned as well and you haven’t bothered to address in the least). Nowhere, in all of science, has a scientist looked down a microscope and found “turtles holding up the world” or “clay turning into elephants”. NOT ONCE.

I can't tell you what a Christian or a Muslim or whatever thinks, but they do all center on a belief in God, which is the only criteria for your definition of a Creationist.

Perhaps in your neck of the woods EVERY theist is a creationist. Unfortunately, that isn’t what MOST people identify themselves as. You seem to believe that all theist believe in whatever portions of the bible INCLUDING what I had defined being necessary to be a creationist. The fact is that most theist believe in whatever portion of the bible, MINUS the belief that life came from “breath magic”.

"Let me reiterate your own words one more time, this time for emphasis: 'And they're all liars, every last one.'" - Audience, this quote is taken out of context.

You quoted the entire paragraph, and you still managed to take my words completely out of context. That is in incredibly poor taste. I'll reiterate if I didn't make it clear enough for you:

"There's just as many religious nutjobs who 'know' where we came from as there are atheist nutjobs who 'know' where we came from. And they're all liars, every last one. And you cannot deny that. If you did, you would be a liar."

Again, to be clear: "They" means people who "know" where we came from. Do you "know" where we came from, Pro? If so, you are a liar, more so than any Creationist who doesn't believe in a literal translation of their Holy Book.


This entire statement is absurd and showcases a typical creationist way of debating. On one hand you’re decrying the fact that I “misquoted you”, even though I clearly used your entire statement, and then you turn around and USE EXACTLY THAT LOGIC IN YOUR OWN REASONING JUST A COUPLE OF PARAGRAPHS LATER….

For the hundredth time, this is not true. So help me, if you try to imply this again, I'm willing to toss the debate because it's not worth the struggle. You refuse to even acknowledge this point and instead nitpick everything else.

If you can’t find logical and consistent reasoning backed up by some kind of evidence outside of your own “inerrant” beliefs – and apparently you seem to believe that I too must believe the things you believe in order to be logical and consistent in my beliefs – I would humbly suggest just quitting now.

I'd just like to point out my opponent doesn't have a source, and so such a generalization has to be thrown out until shown otherwise. If he has none, that would make him... academically dishonest...

CON – this is called AD HOMIMEN attack; I believe it is against the rules of this forum. I’ll let this one slip by unreported, but let me tell you my experience in the last 2-3 years: NOT ONCE, when someone raised the idea that some creationist was laughed out of office/school/job for their religious views did it turn out to be a case of religious persecution. Every single time they were removed for academic dishonesty, and I was ALWAYS able to get the facts from nothing more than (a) a quick email to the institution asking for clarification, and/or (b) an even quicker google/bing search. If you can find me someone that successfully won a persecution case, please let’s make that our next debate. Let me warn you beforehand: My library of “creationist martyrs” is long and distinguished, and ALL OF THEM have PROVEN themselves wanting in honesty. If you want to attack my personal integrity, I will take it personally. I would not say this if I didn’t know this and I still have many of the emails including the header information which would fully prove the emails as true and genuine to anyone that knows 2 cents worth in IT. I also have lots of emails of quote-mined scientists who were pleased to be able to clarify their position in a public forum, rather than let creationists kidnap their life’s work. I am armed with THE TRUTH, not just “a truth”.

Occassionally a Creationist will try to justify his beliefs scientifically. These are those liars you mention in your initial debate question. They try to factually back up their Holy Book, which can't be done. Again, not all, or even a whole lot of Creationists do this. See my last point.

This is exactly where our views differ: I have yet to find any such creationists. Ever. There is no such thing, and stating this openly in a debate forum is basically like starting an expedition looking for pink elephants in Australia. From the educational panel in Texas, the candidates in our presidential debates, the daily TV evangelists, the bananamen and crockoduck scheisters, and finally our debate right here: I have never seen a Creationist just say “my religious view is thus” when someone mentions the evolutionary world view, mentions that the earth is 4.5+ billion years old, or that they just found another transitional fossil this past weekend. EVER.

Instead, what I have seen in my circle of acquaintances, friends, family, and yes – internet “buddies”, is that every single time they get C14 dating so wrong that it makes the hair in the back of neck stand up. A subject which is so easily explained in less than 100 words that small children could handle the math. And not even two days later, there they are yet again mentioning how C14 dating makes living underwater snails appear to be thousands of years old. THIS IS NOT TRUTH.

If your proposition were the case for even just a small percentage of creationists, I would agree with you wholeheartedly. The problem is that in order to be a CREATIONIST, it requires a certain level of suspension in science and truth. And here, I MUST insist on THE TRUTH, and not some biblical version of "a truth", please.

You yourself said this: “HOW CAN I KNOW”. I can know the same way that I know the earth is a sphere. I’ve never seen it myself personally, I’ve never circumnavigated the planet, or flown only West to arrive back at my origin. I’ve never seen an electron, nor have I snorkled to the Titanic, seen any part of WWII or WWI, counted the ovens in Auschwitz, or visited the lunar lander. BUT I KNOW ALL OF THESE TO BE TRUE. None of this is based on blind faith or “belief”. It is based on observation, critical thinking, and the scientific knowledge of many people across all facets of life, in different disciplines and on different continents, with religious beliefs and cultures.

When I deal with creationists in particular, there seems to be some strange magnetic attraction by creationists to hover toward fuzzy logic, outright lies, misquotes, and unguided pseudo-science so deep that it poisons every aspect of their ability to deal with reality.

This debate is about this very disconnect with the truth by creationists. CREATIONISTS. How many more times are you going to flip-flop between theists and creationists, science and philosophy, knowledge and belief, and religion and science?

Creationism (and Intelligent Design) advocates are necessarily liars

Thus far, you’ve only managed to dance around the issue. If someone calls himself a CREATIONIST, in order for their religious views to jive with what we KNOW about the universe, please DO CORRECT ME IF I’M WRONG: They must believe in a deity which created the universe and/or all life on earth.

If there is one thing that we have absolutely no evidence of - not one shred in all of science - then it is any trace of a deity in either part of science. At no point is any astrophysicist looking for a picture of Shiva in the night’s sky, nor is any biologist looking for god-code in DNA. As soon as a creationist is asked even the simplest questions regarding phylogeny, micro-evolution, tectonic movement – even childish questions like “what’s a kind” or “where did mountains come from”, they squarely run into the issue of truth. They either accept the scientific view and pay the price of lying to their core religious beliefs, or (the more prevalent mode, I might add) make up epi-cycles of pseudo-scientific statements (science calls those LIES) in order to make their “creation science” jive with their beliefs. The knife must NECESSARILY cut both ways.

That, CON, is my position. Is it clear now? Are you going to keep mentioning “theists” and lump bhuddist monks in with your ideas? Are you going to argue the truthfulness of science some more? Are we *beginning* to settle into the crux of the debate or are we going to need a few more pages of arguments?

Stonewall

Con

Dear voters, please take a note:

In many of my previous rounds, I've left Pro with statements that he has, in four rounds of debate, either been unable to refute or completely ignored. One, namely, is the one with enlarged text at the bottom of the previous round. This is the main point of my debate, one that I have had since my very first post, and he has been unable to respond to it. Following it, I said, "If you refuse to address this major, major point, I will assume, perhaps rightly, that you do not read my debates at all." Since he hasn't made mention of it, I am inclined to believe that he can't or won't refute this point, or he has truly not been reading my debates at all. I've made this text enlarged as well, to draw attention to my major point again. This is Pro's last chance to refute it. I'd post it here, verbatim, but a lack of character space has made that impossible (this was written after responding to all his debate points for this round). I wish Pro luck in trying to refute it, since it uses his own logic and definitions to completely render his argument entirely useless.

___

"I believe the word CREATIONIST is mentioned in the title of this debate, and I would hope that you have the fortitude to limit your responses to that group."


I apoligized for using the word "theist," even though your definition of the word "Creationist" is exactly the same.

"I was raised a Lutheran. Does that make me a Creationist, I wonder?"

I assume you are currently an atheist. Your definition of "Creationist" is, "a belief in a deity that created the universe and/or life." So, no. I don't really get where you're going with this.

"In order for one to be creationist, and I believe I’ve made this clear, one has to AT LEAST believe the portions of their religious beliefs regarding (1) cosmological genesis and/or (2) biological genesis. These two items, point blank, full stop, PERIOD, are the issues that will make one a CREATIONIST. If you don’t believe in the inerrancy of these, then you are NOT A CREATIONIST."

Well, you kind of said this. Your definition of "Creationist" in every single round prior to this has been "a belief in a deity that created the universe and/or life." That's all. Furthermore, you used the phrases "Creationist (and Intelligent Design) advocates." Forgive me for thinking you meant the both of these interchangably. You just keep reiterating this, and I have never once said you were wrong. Cool it with the caps lock, there.

Just to clarify, I take you mean, "portions of their religious beliefs" as just that. "Religious belief" does not mean "Holy Book beliefs". Thus, since a creationist does not have to read or believe a Holy Book, they can be a creationist without believing any Holy Book's literal interpretation. Correct me if I'm wrong.

"Perhaps in your neck of the woods EVERY theist is a creationist. Unfortunately, that isn’t what MOST people identify themselves as."

Yes, by your definition of a creationist (well, the one you had been using for the first three rounds) was exactly the same as the one for theists and intelligent design advocates. You are shooting yourself in the foot every time you refute one of your former points.

"You seem to believe that all theist believe in whatever portions of the bible INCLUDING what I had defined being necessary to be a creationist."

No, I've said time and time again that THEISTS don't have to believe in ANY portion of the Bible: "Nowhere can you find that belief in every word of the Bible is necessary for being a theist..." The fact that you're ignoring that shows how ignorant you're being.

"...you’re decrying the fact that I 'misquoted you'"

Because you tried to make it sound like I said all scientists, and all Creationists, and everyone else are liars. I merely said that anyone who "knows" where we came from is a liar. Which is true. So you're intentionally trying to ignore I said anything else. That's "misquoting."

"If you can’t find logical and consistent reasoning backed up by some kind of evidence outside of your own “inerrant” beliefs... I would humbly suggest quitting now."

If you call my beliefs "inerrant", that's only because yours are. I've been using your definitions to define theist/Creationist/intelligent design, and then you say I have no "reasoning." That just shows how contradictory your state of mind is.

"CON – this is called AD HOMIMEN attack."

How so? Really, how so? I asked for a source. You keep saying you have sources, but fail to show them. This is not an ad hominem attack. You wish. Don't threaten me when you don't have any reason for doing so, because that is an ad hominem attack. That's against the rules of this site.

"I have yet to find any such creationists (who don't read their Holy Book literally). Ever. There is no such thing..."

Ladies and gentlemen, the following is a list of who believe that there is/was an intelligent designer and do not take whatever their Holy Book is literally: http://en.wikipedia.org... appears that my opponent has not be looking hard enough, or has been ignoring basic common sense that there are people who can believe that there is/was a high power without reading a Holy Book. This isn't an "ad hominem" attack as my opponent would like to think, but just pointing out how simple it is to do a basic Google search. Might wanna start searching for those pink elephants.

"I have never seen a Creationist just say “my religious view is thus” when someone mentions the evolutionary world view, mentions that the earth is 4.5+ billion years old, or that they just found another transitional fossil this past weekend. EVER."

You're debating one, thus proving your entire argument a useless one.

"If your proposition were the case for even just a small percentage of creationists, I would agree with you wholeheartedly."

I don't have any exact numbers, but I am/met with/spoken to many people who believe that a higher power created the Earth that gave us the ability to evolve. This is called "general providence." We are all still Creationists/intelligent design advocates. Right here, your entire debate is proven wrong. When can I expect the whole-hearted agreeing?

I’ve never circumnavigated the planet, or flown only West to arrive back at my origin. I’ve never seen an electron, nor have I snorkled to the Titanic, seen any part of WWII or WWI, counted the ovens in Auschwitz, or visited the lunar lander. BUT I KNOW ALL OF THESE TO BE TRUE.

The difference is you could do all these things. But no scientist has ever said, with 100% correctness and certainty, "The big bang did happen. I know this for a fact. 100%." And if a scientist doesn't know this, how would you? Thus, my point remains: You are a liar.

"...there seems to be some strange magnetic attraction by creationists to hover toward fuzzy logic, outright lies, misquotes, and unguided pseudo-science so deep that it poisons every aspect of their ability to deal with reality."

If that's true, I'm genuinely sorry you've never spoken with a creationist who will admit where science outright trumps their Holy Book. I promise, there are some out there.

"How many more times are you going to flip-flop between theists and creationists...

I was using your definitions for creationism for theism, so you tell me how much longer.

...science and philosophy...

I'm merely saying religion is more like a philosophy than a science. When are you going to stop drawing comparisons?

...knowledge and belief...

I'm not flip-flopping; there is a very real difference between knowledge and belief. I addressed this numerous times.

...and religion and science?"

I never compared the two; quit putting words into my mouth.

"If someone calls himself a CREATIONIST, in order for their religious views to jive with what we KNOW about the universe, please DO CORRECT ME IF I’M WRONG: They must believe in a deity which created the universe and/or all life on earth."

Yeah. Haven't I said this already?

"If there is one thing that we have absolutely no evidence of - not one shred in all of science - then it is any trace of a deity in either part of science."

Because higher powers aren't a science. Haven't I said this already too? Faith isn't a science. Religion isn't a science. Thus, they don't have to run in accordance with science. There doesn't have to be a gene, or any strand of "god-code in DNA". The same way philosophies don't. Would you call philosophy an "outright lie"? No (at least I hope not). It's simply a way of thinking- more trying to find out "why" than "how". Again, contrary to your beliefs, not all creationists think that their Holy Book tells what literally happened "in the beginning."

"They either accept the scientific view... or (make up lies) in order to make their 'creation science' jive with their beliefs."

Except that's wrong. Creationists, again, do not have to believe in the literal interpretation of a Holy Book.

"Are you going to keep mentioning “theists” and lump bhuddist monks in with your ideas?"

I've stopped mentioning theists since you've explicitly stated that you no longer want me to (even though, by your definitions they mean the same thing). And I never "lumped" Buddhist monks with my ideas (unless you're talking about that multiple choice thing I made, which is still relevant). And even if I did, they are still, by your definition, all Creationists.

"Are you going to argue the truthfulness of science some more?"

Citation needed, you liar. Where did I ever argue the truthfulness of science? I never did. Not once, not one iota, can you find where I said anything remotely similar to "science is not truthful." I mentioned how far science can take us. Of course I did. Science hasn't given us all the answers, at least not yet. That's true. Making up something your opponent said? That's ad homenim.

"Are we *beginning* to settle into the crux of the debate or are we going to need a few more pages of arguments?"

Until you can refute my main point (see bottom of Round 3), this debate has had a winner since the very beginning.
Debate Round No. 4
incredulous1972

Pro

Con, if nothing else, has consistently attempted to drive this debate into some sub-heading called "religious people might be liars". This is not the essence of this debate. For this reason alone have I not addressed his accusations - doing so would be detrimental to this debate. Unfortunately, he doesn't seem to understand the difference between "creationist" and "theist" - they are more than just superficial differences, and instead chooses to keep pulling the debate into that other realm.

A THEIST is a believer in the existence of a god or deity.

A CREATIONIST is a believer in the existence of a god or deity who created the world, rules it, and/or created life.

Hopefully, at this late juncture, CON will understand the essence of my prior statements:

In order for one to be [a] creationist, and I believe I’ve made this clear, one has to AT LEAST believe the portions of their religious beliefs regarding (1) cosmological genesis and/or (2) biological genesis. These two items, point blank, full stop, PERIOD, are the issues that will make one a CREATIONIST.

The essence of my statements isn't that someone is a believer, it is that they believe in a deity's influence in the creation of the universe and/or life. For some reason CON seems to keep lumping in every type of religious person into this subset - even his own arguments are filled with this erroneous math.

A creationist is not just a run-of-the-mill believer as CON would have you believe. A creationist is someone who openly advocates for the idea that their deity is directly responsible for all life, all matter, and all energy, and their deity's influence in world matters, including the lives and humans, animals, and plants.

Creationists are a subset of theists just like Bhuddists are a subset, and Lutherans are a subset. CON seems to have no trouble moving "up" the scale (to all theists), but when it comes time to move back towards the target group of this debate - Creationists - he suddenly pulls a "three monkeys" and pretends that we're talking about all theists; This is what he's been saying for 3 argument rounds now, and he still keeps making the same "mistake", briefly apologizes for his infraction, and then goes right back to doing it yet again.

We. Are. Not. Debating. About. Theists.

Or at least, I'm not. At this point, CON still has to manage a single complete argument without using "theists" to muddle the waters, but there still is hope - he has one whole argument left.

-------------------------------

A Creationist has two choices:

(1) They can believe in creationism and discount science. In fact, this is the creationism found throughout our political and religious landscape today: Just last week it was announced that Texas now has three such people on their education board, and already they've made it clear that they have "issues" with evolution (just take a look at Kitzmiller vs. Dover to see where this is likely to be headed in the future). This is exactly why creationism is filled with lies: To make their beliefs jive with reality, they will inject religious views on top of clearly observable, easily verfiable facts such as: Tiktaalik (and about 400 other species) being a transitional fossil, animals and plants evolving over time and sharing traits and DNA, the various methods by which mutation increases genome information, bio-diversity being influenced by environmental factors (we call it: "Natural selection"), etc. Quite literally, these creationists who favor their religious views over science necessarily have to discount all of biology in order for their view to make sense to themselves. There is no part of biology that would remain untouched by this way of thinking - too many parts of biology hinge on basic concepts of phylogeny and natural processes; We couldn't even have a functioning process in place for something as banal as vaccinations which have clearly saved countless lives over the last seventy-five years.

(2) The second choice a creationist has is to be a "non-practicing" creationist, i.e. to not believe their religion and favor science. I believe my opponent CON's arguments hinge on the idea of this type of creationist. Let me be clear on this point in two ways: (a) If you're one of those, you're not a creationist. At best, you might be an agnostic. (b) I've never met, seen, or heard of anyone being like this. Every single creationist I've ever met has been a type (1) -see above. However, even if such a creature, a type (2) creationist were to exist, they would still be liars. Because now, they are going around proclaiming themselves to be creationists without believing in their own religion. It would be like me, an ex-Lutheran Atheist, going around and telling everyone that I'm a bhuddist monk with extra hair?!

Let me reiterate my basic thesis:

One is either a creationist that substantively lies about science, history, etc in order to internalize their beliefs, or a pseudo-creationist that lies about being a creationist when they instead believe in the non-creationist views of science, history, etc.


Either way, they are lying. And necessarily so.

At this point, I suspect that CON will attempt to find some kind of gap between these two ideas, but I should warn you now: He's going to have to find some kind of non-creationist who is a creationist or vice versa, and clearly, this will fall squarely inside of the two choices which someone must make: Believe in their religion or believe in reality. Creationists are not outside of that logic. They, like all of us, must make that decision.

This debate has been, continues to be, and will probably continue beyond this debate to be, about CREATIONISTS, and how they must either lie to themselves or lie to their peers. In either case, they must lie. They must necessarily be liars.

CON will probably try to find some kind of idea regarding a theoretical group of stranded island people that decide to be some form of creationist (i.e. perhaps not even Christian creationists), who through "natural" observation decide to create a new cult. They couldn't possible be lying to themselves and others, right?

Ask yourself - where does that first spark of creationism come from? Where does that first idea that some "powerful being" did ABC to DEF originate from? Does it come from factual evidence, verified statements, tested science? Does it come from superstitious ideas and completely made-up choices?

"Blood Libel". This was the idea that jewish people sacrificed various Christian groups to their god. It was an idea born from nothing more than superstitions and utter ignorance about one's neighbors who had a different religious view. Today, we look at the whole idea as if we had always "known" that it was based on lies, but for a long time (blood libels go back to ancient Greek/Roman times, and are first mentioned in 1144 in the context of Christianity) they were part of our experience, right up until the mid-20th century where superstitions like "blood libel" led to the industrial extermination of jews on a scale that is nearly unfathomable. Popes issued "Bulls" based on these superstitions: "Vox in Rama" in 1233, for example, and more anti-jewish bulls like the one that forced them to wear a star of David on their clothing in 1250 (!), signed by Pope "Innocent IV". The irony is obvious.

Why do I mention this? I mention this because these are religious ideas that grew from ignorance, just like today's idea that "allahu ackbar" is an expression of anti-American sentiment (it is the Muslim equivalent of someone saying "God bless"). Not the kind of ignorance that accompanies the question of "how do I accomplish ...", but the kind of ignorance that starts with "I don't know, so I'll just make up a story". This is the essence of creationism. 3,500 years ago, poor sheepherders in the Sinai didn't know something, so they just made up some stories and wrote them down. Some Australian aborigines didn't know what made the sun appear, so they made up a story about that one and painted them onto boulders. Some Chinese laborer didn't understand why plants grew, so he explained it with monkey gods and dragons. And all of them - lies. Every single one of them nothing more than something other than factual truth.

Just like when blood libels were first proposed based on lies about ritual jewish cannibalism, so to are the ideas of creationism carried forward into today from those very same made up stories. Clearly they are not true. Sifting through holy texts to extract 2% of "maybe it's still true" vs. 98% of stuff we outright reject these days (should I mention forced marriage of rape victims to their rapists, for example?) is openly disingenious.

Creationists, necessarily, in order to be creationists, by virtue of their own core beliefs, must believe in supernatural creation. A supernatural force which does not exist in any form, is never explained, and is favored over known naturalistic processes.

The "you can't unprove it"-fallacy does not make it true! This is one of the best known logical fallacies, and if we were to follow this nonsense in any other part of our lives, we would be considered insane! Think about it: 2+2 = 4. Is there any PROOF that 2+2 = "TELEPHONE" is false? Of course not, so it must be true?! Is there any proof that UFO's didn't deposit speckles of DNA to start all life in the oceans? Of course not, so it must be true?! Is there any proof that polar bears can't talk? Of course not, so it must be true?!


And yes, CON is using just such logic to keep us in the dark about creationism AND science:

"It's a theory, man. You don't know where we came from. I don't know where we came from. Einstein and Hawking and Dawkins and Darwin and Lincoln and Hitler don't know where we came from. Yeah, we all have ideas, but nobody knows."

Last words from S. Hawking:


"Every experiment ever conducted proves the big bang and quantum theory to be true. They have never been refuted." - The Grand Design
Stonewall

Con

"Con...has consistently attempted to drive this debate into some sub-heading called 'religious people might be liars.'"

Yeah. Exactly. You say, "Religious people are liars." I say, "Religious people can be liars." That's the purpose of this debate. What, you just want me to agree with you?

"A THEIST is a believer in the existence of a god or deity."

Merriam-Webster - Theism: "belief in the existence of a god or gods; specifically : belief in the existence of one God viewed as the creative source of the human race and the world who transcends yet is immanent in the world." 1 It should go without saying that I was using it in the "creator" sense. My opponent's attempt to derail my argument into nit-picky B.S. fails yet again.

"In order for one to be [a] creationist..."

No no no. Stop right there. We're not arguing this again. I've agreed in every single round since the issue came up. Go ahead, check it.

"For some reason CON seems to keep lumping in every type of religious person into this subset - even his own arguments are filled with this erroneous math."

Well, not really. Any religious person who is, in fact, a creationist, yes. That's fair game, right? I figured this debate was over any and all creationists, not just the ones my opponent picked. That, and he doesn't really have any specific examples of my "erroneous math", so I find it hard to take him seriously.

"A creationist is not just a run-of-the-mill believer as CON would have you believe."

My opponent is trying to make it seem like I'm trying to derail the debate into a different territory by questioning my use of the word theist, but I've just been using Merriam-Webster's definition this entire time. Don't believe my opponent's attempt at sabotaging my argument, simply on the grounds that it makes no sense.

"Creationists are a subset of theists just like Bhuddists are a subset, and Lutherans are a subset."

Now Pro is showing misleading information. Theists and creationists are, by definition, anyone who believes that there is a higher power who had a hand in creating the world and life as we know it. These are not different subsets, but people who all share this same general idea of an intelligent designer.

"We. Are. Not. Debating. About. Theists."

Listen, buddy: By your definition and Merriam-Webster's, creationists and theists are the same thing. See: 1., and, of course, your definition of a creationist (mentioned throughout this debate): "Creationism at it's core is a belief in a deity that created the universe and/or life."

"A Creationist has two choices..."

Except that's wrong. Voters, this is known as a false dilemma fallacy, or the "either/or" fallacy. Pro fails to realize that there are more options than the ones he's presented here:

"1: (C)reationists who favor their religious views over science necessarily have to discount all of biology in order for their view to make sense to themselves."

Creationists can do this (they're mostly pointed out in mainstream media), but by no means have to make a choice between that and the following:

"2: I've never met, seen, or heard of any (creationist) being like this... to not believe their religion and favor science."

No, of course not. Frankly, that doesn't even make sense, and I never said anything even remotely similar to this.

Here's the third option: There are, however, plenty of creationists who believe that their Holy Book is not a literal interpretation, and thus are not dictated by it. I even gave you a list of people who do exactly this. 2 Many of the people in this list believe in a higher power who created the world and all who inhabit it, thus making them... wait for it... creationists. See my next point...

"(Con)'s going to have to find some kind of non-creationist who is a creationist or vice versa..."

Or a creationist who doesn't believe in their literal text. 2 The fact that you keep ignoring this is mind-boggling. They are not breaking any rules in being a Creationist. This fits perfectly in with your definitions and criteria. Voters need look no farther than this- Pro's entire argument is shot down with this alone.

CON will probably try to find some kind of idea regarding a theoretical group of stranded island people that decide to be some form of creationist... who through "natural" observation decide to create a new cult. They couldn't possible be lying to themselves and others, right?... where does that first spark of creationism come from?...
Does it come from factual evidence, verified statements, tested science?

Here you go again, comparing religion and science where there are no comparisons. It doesn't have to be verified through scientific means. As far as this hypothetical tribe is concerned, this is the truth. There's no such thing as tested science to them. Yes, we know their theory of a monkey pulling the sun through the sky is false, but they don't know that. And- here's the kicker- if they say they believe that a monkey controls the sun, they are not lying. That is what they believe. In what way is what they believe false?

Let's do a political example... if I asked you if you thought communism in modern America would work, you could say, "No, I don't believe that would work," or "Yes, I believe that would work." Either way, you wouldn't be wrong, because you believe it would/wouldn't work. There might be theories from political figureheads, but your opinion isn't wrong for just that reason: It's an opinion. It's a belief. It's a philosophy. And these things, by definition, can't be wrong. As a great man once said, "It's not a lie if you believe it."

"(Many people came up with stories to explain things they couldn't...) And all of them - lies."

Ooh, you make it sound so heinous and malevolent. "*maniacal laugh* I'll tell this to the townsfolk, and they'll all murder each other over it! Muahaha!"

Man, it was just people trying to come up with theories for the things that happened. Some of these people took it literally... there were literally Gods sitting on Mt. Olympus, there's literally a monkey carrying the sun across the sky... we can prove these incorrect. Then there's ideas and beliefs that escape scientific proofs. For example... the reason we're all here on earth is to get along and love each other. ("Well, where's your scientific proof of that?") It doesn't need one. Maybe it's just an idea to get us by so we don't feel so alone. Maybe we are here for that reason. Maybe, just maybe, it doesn't really matter whatever way you think.

By the way, if you actually thought that quote in parentheses, you are what's wrong with this world.

"Sifting through holy texts to extract 2% of "maybe it's still true" vs. 98% of stuff we outright reject these days... is openly disingenious."

Unless, like I've said probably 100 times, you don't take your religious views from a Holy Text. Which is a thing: 2. Again.

"The 'you can't unprove it'-fallacy does not make it true!... if we were to follow this nonsense in any other part of our lives, we would be considered insane!... Is there any PROOF that 2+2 = 'TELEPHONE' is false? Of course not, so it must be true?! Is there any proof that UFO's didn't deposit speckles of DNA to start all life in the oceans? Of course not, so it must be true?! Is there any proof that polar bears can't talk? Of course not, so it must be true?!"

Okay, are you ready for this? Following this little tirade, my opponent makes a closing statement, which he uses in an attempt to refute my entire argument:

"Every experiment ever conducted proves the big bang and quantum theory to be true. They have never been refuted." - The Grand Design

Last words from my opponent:

"The 'you can't unprove it'-fallacy does not make it true!... if we were to follow this nonsense in any other part of our lives, we would be considered insane!... Is there any PROOF that 2+2 = 'TELEPHONE' is false? Of course not, so it must be true?!... etc., etc."

Is there any PROOF that the big bang theory is false? Of course not, so it must be true?!

___

Final Words:

In Round 3, Pro misquoted me (either by mistake, choice, or ignorance) in an attempt to make me look foolish until I called him out on it. He attempted to justify this in Round 4, and I corrected him again.

In Round 4, Pro tried saying that the fact I asked him for evidence was an ad hominem attack (i.e., a personal attack). He threatened to report me for this. I informed him that such a threat without good justification is itself an ad hominem attack, and he never brought it up again. This is unnecessarily childish.

In Round 4, Pro attempted to put words in my mouth (for example, Pro said, "Are you going to argue the truthfulness of science some more?"). There are more examples in my post in Round 4, which shows how Pro tries to skew statements of completely different truths into ill-intentioned, unrelated jabs. This is another example of ad hominem, against the rules of DDO.

In Round 5, Pro decried the fact that I continued to use the word "theist" in Round 4 instead of "creationist." First: By his definitions and Merriam-Webster's (1) these words mean the same exact thing. Second: I never once mentioned theists in Round 4 except to point out Pro's contradictory statements.

Finally, in every single one of my posts since Round 1, I've tried pushing the idea that creationists, by my opponent's definition, do not have to follow literal interpretations of Holy Texts. Pro has ignored this major, major, point since the beginning, which is as follows: Point 3 in Round 1, my final point in Rounds 2 and 3 (esp. 3), opening statement of Round 4, and now here, referencing the formers. Please reread these to note how many times this huge point has been ignored.

Voters, please vote for the side you believe made the better argument. But note how many jabs and contradictions Pro has made, and how he has been unable to refute my main argument literally this entire time. Thank you for reading.

1:
http://www.merriam-webster.com...
2: http://en.wikipedia.org...

Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Sagey 4 years ago
Sagey
True incredulous1972, they might not start off as liars but mere misled, naive clots. Though when they have children or if they try to teach anybody else, they become Liars.
So, essentially they are either Liars or Potential Liars.
Especially when it comes to Young Earth Creationists.
There is no such Animal as an Honest Creationist.
They don't exist.
Posted by incredulous1972 4 years ago
incredulous1972
I just wanted to chime in with Sagey's comments:

On one hand Sagey makes the comment that "not all creationists are liars", but then on the other hand goes on and states with every other sentence how they are. How they are "misled by insatiable liars, milked by their leadership, and how monuments erected for creationism are telling massive lies".

Or in other words - exactly what I'm saying in this debate, with the caveat that I recognize that there is no such thing as "honest" creationists. They either lie to their religion and accept some form of fact based science, or they accept religion and reject science. In either case, they end up lying. And no, it doesn't just take "criticism" - they essentially, and necessarily, first have to start lying to themselves for the precepts of creationism to work.
Posted by Sagey 4 years ago
Sagey
I agree that not all Creationists are liars.
They are just believing the lies of the Creationist leaders who are the Liars and Usurpers.
The flock being fleeced by these usurpers, themselves are not liars.
Though to defend their position to criticism from rational thinkers, they often have to become liars, because their position and concepts are completely untenable, which in order to support such untenable concepts and misconceptions of reality, they need to create lies.
So the average non confronted creationist is not a liar, until confronted by criticism, where they tend to become liars.
Yet, their leaders and heroes are indeed insatiable liars, who consistently and unashamedly tell massive Lies For Money.
So the poor rank and file Creationists are being consistently milked by their leadership.
The "Creation Museum" is a monument to how easily Creationists are willing to part with money to support the Telling Of Massive Lies.
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