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Theologian Attempts Censorship After Losing Public Debate

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the evolved-sensibilities dept.

Censorship 943

RockDoctor writes "Theologian John Haught publicly debated prominent evolutionary scientist and atheist Jerry Coyne at the University of Kentucky back in October. Before the debate, both parties agreed to the debate being video-taped. Coyne is of the opinion that he convincingly won the debate over Haught. But we'll never know, because Haught, with the assistance of staff at the University of Kentucky, who sponsored the debate, is banning publication of the video of the event. They are even refusing to release the half of the debate containing Coyne's comments and questions."

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943 comments

Suggestion (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37916556)

I propose cruxifiction.

Re:Suggestion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37916712)

Crucifixion? Could be worse. Could be stabbed. Crucifixion at least gets you out in the open air.

Re:Suggestion (3, Funny)

Manos_Of_Fate (1092793) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916720)

Crucifixion? Could be worse. Could be stabbed. Crucifixion at least gets you out in the open air.

Always look on the bright side of life!

Streisand Effect (4, Informative)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916558)

'Nuff said.

Wait! It gets better! (3, Informative)

khasim (1285) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916584)

From the update to TFA:

Anyway, Rabel has threatened legal action against me, so donâ(TM)t make it worse!

So not only is the guy refusing to release the record, but he's now threatening legal action because people are calling him names and being mean.

When your in a hole, rule #1 - stop digging.

Re:Wait! It gets better! (4, Funny)

Spigot the Bear (2318678) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916644)

rule #1 - stop digging.

Dig up, stupid!

Re:Wait! It gets better! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37916710)

Coyne probably did win, and Captain A-hole saw the the video and realized he looked like a fool.

1. Release the tape it should be what you would call "gods will" you agreed to tape it.

2. Maybe this is "gods way" of telling you, that you are an idiot, and should become a priest and spread the word of the good book.

Re:Streisand Effect (1, Interesting)

mjwx (966435) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916912)

Streisand effect indeed. Like most things that go on in Kentucky I had no idea about this until I saw it on /.

Unlike most things that go on in Kentucky, I may actually care about this.

What was the point of this exercise? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37916568)

Facts are facts, and debating them with someone whose world-view is predicated on the existence of an imaginary friend offers no opportunity to increase our knowledge.

Persuade, inform, advocate, and entertain (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37916598)

The point of public debate is to sway those (perhaps few) in the audience who are undecided on the matter being debated; to inform in a dramatic manner; and to raise the profile of an issue that the debaters and venue consider important.

Re:What was the point of this exercise? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37916606)

Facts are facts, and debating them with someone whose world-view is predicated on the existence of an imaginary friend offers no opportunity to increase our knowledge.

That is an awfully unscientific statement. One fact is that there is no proof that his friend is imaginary. Your worldview seems to be predicated upon an article of faith. A truly scientific worldview would lead to opinions such as: we don't know, there is no proof one way or the other.

Re:What was the point of this exercise? (4, Insightful)

turbidostato (878842) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916680)

"A truly scientific worldview would lead to opinions such as: we don't know, there is no proof one way or the other." ...therefore, till new proofs appear, we'll stick to the simplest explanation, the one without the imaginary friend, that is.

Occam's razor, they call it.

Re:What was the point of this exercise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37916708)

Weird, I see imaginary friend as the simpler explanation. Again, it's all about personal bias.

Re:What was the point of this exercise? (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916740)

Weird, I see imaginary friend as the simpler explanation. Again, it's all about personal bias.

Me too. "God made the world in 7 days" sounds far simpler than anything science has come up with. As simple as the explanation might be though, I still don't believe in God. Occam might have been a smart guy but his razor isn't the answer to every question.

Re:What was the point of this exercise? (5, Insightful)

theLOUDroom (556455) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916870)

It's not simpler because now you have to explain:
Who is god?
Why did he make the world?
Why 7 days?
What made god?

That last one is important, because whatever your answer just was, could probably be applied to the original question.

Re:What was the point of this exercise? (1)

slashbart (316113) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916978)

And what is a day before god made the Earth? Or do you use the 'day' timestandard, and then apply it back to before he made the earth. Oh, which day, the one we have now, or the one a couple of billion years ago? Oh oops, there was no couple of billion years ago, It all started 6000 years ago or something.

Re:What was the point of this exercise? (4, Informative)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916868)

Occam's razor is concerned with the simplest explanation in the sense of making the least number of assumptions. Introducing God in to an argument tends to require a great number of unevidenced assumptions. A man getting struck by lightning twice in a year is normally quite unlikely. A naturalistic explanation may appear complicated by comparison to invoking the wrath of an angry god, but the latter requires far more assumptions.

Re:What was the point of this exercise? (3, Insightful)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916702)

See, here's the problem with that. The ideas of god or no god, santa or no santa, unicorns or no unicorns is not some 50/50 odds thing. There is literally zero evidence of any of them. So on the one hand, we have an emerging scientific worldview that does a very good job of either accounting for things as they are, or tearing itself apart in very short order such that it can find a new explanation that fits the data, and on the other, we have a fairy story that fits no data at all.

Giving the truth/myth sides equal weight on these subjects, which are all identical in nature, is ludicrous, either the act of the deluded or the deceiver. When you have evidence for any of them, bring it forth, and that'd be of huge interest. Until then, it's just fairy stories, no matter how many people believe them.

Re:What was the point of this exercise? (5, Funny)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916820)

Any 6 year old can tell you there is more proof of Santa. When they ask Santa for something there's a good chance they will get it. When they pray for something there is little chance.

Re:What was the point of this exercise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37916878)

Touché =D

Re:What was the point of this exercise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37916706)

You talk of proof. If you tell me something insane (my imaginary friend created the universe), the burden is absolutely NOT upon ME to prove it correct. That's on YOU. Otherwise, YOU are the one who is insane. Not me.

Re:What was the point of this exercise? (3, Insightful)

FireFury03 (653718) | more than 2 years ago | (#37917026)

You talk of proof. If you tell me something insane (my imaginary friend created the universe), the burden is absolutely NOT upon ME to prove it correct. That's on YOU. Otherwise, YOU are the one who is insane. Not me.

Playing devil's advocate for a minute:

If you tell me something insane (the universe popped into being all by its self and life evolved through no external design), the burden is absolutely NOT upon ME to prove it correct. That's on YOU. Otherwise, YOU are the one who is insane. Not me.

Note: I'm actually an agnostic, but I can easily see how someone who has faith in a god can use *exactly* the same argument as someone who has faith in there being no god.

As an agnostic, I don't really have any faith either way. But to me, the existence of a god doesn't actually answer any meaningful questions (i.e. if we decide that intelligence couldn't possibly come about without design then how did the designer come into existence? It just pushes all the questions back a level). Also, by definition, there can be no evidence either for the existence or nonexistence. So since the whole thing is a fundamentally unprovable question that doesn't meaningfully answer any questions, I don't really worry about it.

Re:What was the point of this exercise? (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916734)

One fact is that there is no proof that his friend is imaginary. .

Um, proving a negative is impossible...

OTOH there's no evidence that he isn't imaginary and inventing imaginary friends isn't too difficult, why would his be the right one.

And yes, it matters. There's Christians in government/education/etc. and they're making national policies that affect you.

Re:What was the point of this exercise? (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916838)

Um, proving a negative is impossible...

Not entirely correct: you can indeed prove negative in many cases. But proving the nonexistence of something that isn't quantifiable? Well, that is impossible. Even proving the nonexistence of something that in theory could be quantifiable is more-or-less impossible, unless you specify a certain space and time within which to prove the nonexistence and the current technology and human understanding can handle that space and time-span.

Re:What was the point of this exercise? (5, Insightful)

Big Hairy Goofy Guy (866523) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916766)

Ah, but you're all just ACs. Just trolling, I guess, rather than interested in learning any new truths. For everyone else reading this, I thought I'd include a standard rejoinder about the nature of scientific 'proof', just in case.

When one does not have proof, one need not avoid any conclusions; evidence is sufficient. Most of the evidence suggests that there is no imaginary friend; all of the evidence otherwise is provided by anecdote, fallacy, fraud, or fiction. There is evidence that his friend is imaginary, in one sense of the word. There are indicators in the brain that are associated with religious activity; literally faith is all in your head.

I'll believe in god when there is more evidence in favor of its existence than there is against it. I won't do it because some random clown on the the street with a bullhorn (or on the Internet) yells about it. That isn't evidence. You believe; too bad for you. If I knew more about you, I might even be able to explain why you believe (probably because you were raised with the notion of god as a child, but perhaps not). But your belief is not evidence.

See? An open mind that evaluates evidence and comes to a conclusion using the best data available. That's how you have to deal with the scientific worldview.

Re:What was the point of this exercise? (2)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916806)

No, it's very much scientific statement. Science has absolutely nothing to do with scientists having any obligation to and test every claim and statements based on anything that is not reasonably derived from existing knowledge, theories and observations. Religion, along with other superstitions, is based on wild guesses, wishful thinking, ignorance and fraud. There is nothing valid of worthy of any discussion in it -- it's a matter of folklore and psychology.

Re:What was the point of this exercise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37916840)

I'm sorry, but you are completely confused.

There is no proof that his imaginary friend EXISTS and as no one can prove a negative, the burden of proof is on the claimant not the skeptic.
(and no, a 1500 year old book is NOT acceptable as "proof".)

  I can claim to have unicorns in my garden but without PROOF I cannot expect you to believe me and if you decide to believe me without proof then you are the fool.

Re:What was the point of this exercise? (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916886)

How does one proof whether the invisible friend of your child is imaginary?
People rarely seem to have any problem identifying the invisible friend as non-existent, yet when the invisible friend does not abide by the laws of physics they assume he's real.
Seems like the more unbelievable an imaginary friend gets, the more people believe in him.

Re:What was the point of this exercise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37916694)

Sometimes debating the facts with these people is one of the best things, so many don't really seem to have thought about what they are believing in and a healthy dose of realism is all some need to recover, others like haughty realise this and think it is best to bury it so they don't lose credibility with those that matter to them (obviously this guy already has no credibility with the rest of us).

Re:What was the point of this exercise? (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916722)

Even worse, have you ever seen a trained scientologist arguing his/her point? It's possible to 'win' a debate without being right as long as you know how to play the game.

Re:What was the point of this exercise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37916874)

That really is the point of 'debate'. It is a game.

Re:What was the point of this exercise? (1)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916894)

Exactly! It's the same reason why the engineer who can knock-up a world-changing doohickey from paper clips and gum is not necessarily the person one would want trying to sell the thing.

Re:What was the point of this exercise? (2)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916924)

"Winning" a debate is simply a popularity contest with the audience as judges.
If you're defending a popular view for a particular audience, you'll win regardless of what you say.
If you're a charismatic person and your opponent isn't, you'll win regardless of what you say.
Debates should not be competitions, their goal should be to uncover truth or atleast create mutual understanding.

Re:What was the point of this exercise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37916862)

Facts are facts, and debating them with someone whose world-view is predicated on the existence of an imaginary friend offers no opportunity to increase our knowledge.

Now that is bang on imaginary friend yes never thought of it like that before but yes bang on target maybe he should be sectioned under some mental health act and put behind secure locked doors for the rest of time

Fundies just can't stand the heat (3, Interesting)

makubesu (1910402) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916582)

... wait a second, let me read the wikipedia article on this guy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_F._Haught#cite_note-Haught-Coyne-7 [wikipedia.org]
- Is an evolutionary creationist
- Testified against ID in a court case
What exactly were these guys debating about?
p.s. anyone have a real source on this article?

Re:Fundies just can't stand the heat (1)

Beardydog (716221) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916626)

Haught believes science and religion are "compatible", and Coyne disagrees.

Re:Fundies just can't stand the heat (4, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916802)

I believe they are, but only if you water down the religion side so much it's barely a religion at all.

Re:Fundies just can't stand the heat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37916898)

There is no real problem of compatibility. But you mustn't be an american protestant that wants to understand the Book in a extremely literal way. Here are also few like this, in Europe. But few.

Re:Fundies just can't stand the heat (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916942)

Just say "god created evolution" and let the believers keep believing.
Unless they think their god is incapable of creating such an intricate mechanism as evolution.

Re:Fundies just can't stand the heat (2, Insightful)

tempmpi (233132) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916950)

I believe they are, but only if you water down the religion side so much it's barely a religion at all.

Some religions claims are incompatible, yes. But even when you water these down, it is still religion. Stuff like wonders and virgin birth are a really small part of what religion is all about. Religions care way more about stuff like values, morals and rituals. Sciene can never be incompatible with these because science describes things, it doesn't assign moral values to them.

Re:Fundies just can't stand the heat (1)

dcollins (135727) | more than 2 years ago | (#37917048)

"Stuff like wonders and virgin birth are a really small part of what religion is all about. Religions care way more about stuff like values, morals and rituals."

I guess that's debatable. (Personally I call that the "Gould Gambit", and do not ascribe to it).

Speaking as an Creationist and Evolutionist (1, Funny)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916596)

I would like to see this debate. It should not be censored. Even if dude lost the debate, that doesn't mean much except he should analyze his theology. Let us analyze the outcome and create better theories. I think we should have more public talks and awareness of this. People with bad theology are coming to bad conclusions that is bad for the souls of men.

So far, I haven't found a better theory than the "Long Day Theory" which lets evolution fit perfect with a literal interpretation of Genesis. Here is my old take on it. [goodnewsjim.com] God himself actually approved of this article and my book. I prayed over the publishing of this book if what I said was theologically sound,"I pray everything is cool" and instantly my coauthor IMs me,"Everything is cool." That was the second time I know God interacted in my life in a way he wanted me to know. You can get a copy of my book for free or you can read my articles online for free.

Re:Speaking as an Creationist and Evolutionist (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916636)

Re:Speaking as an Creationist and Evolutionist (-1)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916882)

You can call it a coincidence, but God seems to only really work in noticeable ways in my life when it is super important. As for this first book, this was the official prayer on the book. You might think my prayer doesn't sound great and glorious as something God would treat seriously. I said,"God I hope everything is cool." I guess it makes me sound like a surfer dude, and I can understand if people think it is funny :) But I know the Holy Spirit translates prayers to God for him to know exactly what you mean. If you read the things I write in this book, it stretches the very bounds by which one interprets the Bible like the "Long Day Theory" article. If you teach people something that goes against how God wants us to live(Peace and Love), it can have dire consequences for your own soul! So I was seriously worried upon publishing this book that I was going outside the bounds by which God allows you to interpret scripture. Because God worked in my life to let me know the book [lulu.com] is approved by God it gives me great confidence by which I can share it with others. The only other book I know that is approved by God is the Bible. As such, you might even be able to say the book that Victor and I wrote is holy.

And if you think that is a coincidence:
God only ever spoke to me once that I know of,"Good News" then my dad hands me a Good News Bible. People have called me names on forums for saying the voice of God has spoken to me. And people have called it a coincidence. But neither really makes sense alone, and the miracle happened with two pieces.

Do you know nothing of Christianity? God says,"Love everyone and try to live in peace with everyone." If you think that is a pretty cool philosophy, read my book and read the Bible.

Re:Speaking as an Creationist and Evolutionist (1, Funny)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916926)

I know a little about religion.
I know a great deal more about mental illness.

To be blunt, there is far more evidence of mental illness than there is of gods. We know for a FACT that eyewitness testimony is unreliable because people can: be delusional, be confused, be misled, be mistaken, have brain attacks and seizures that can cause them to see things, can misinterpret what their sense are feeding them, and lie.

In fact they do all of the above very frequently. That's all the evidence I need to deal with your claims, unless you come up with something more concrete than 'I know because I know, and the evidence that I know is that I know."

Re:Speaking as an Creationist and Evolutionist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37916958)

We know for a FACT that eyewitness testimony is unreliable because people can: be delusional, be confused, be misled, be mistaken, have brain attacks and seizures that can cause them to see things, can misinterpret what their sense are feeding them, and lie.

In fact they do all of the above very frequently.

Your thesis hinges on "I could be crazy."

Re:Speaking as an Creationist and Evolutionist (4, Insightful)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916638)

I think I speak for many /.ers when I say... "Oh Jesus". Honestly, if you attempt to justify religion on anything resembling logic you lose. Speaking of "faith" at least gets you out of the logic trap, assuming the person you're speaking to accepts faith as a viable substitute for logic - and of course atheists do not.

Re:Speaking as an Creationist and Evolutionist (0)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916902)

My Christian video games boss would probably want to talk to you. The corporate document our company runs on is that you need to express yourself logically. Christianity worships truth. Logic is a tool for truth.

Re:Speaking as an Creationist and Evolutionist (0)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916682)

I happen to have come across this beautiful unicorn horn, would you perhaps be interested in it?

Re:Speaking as an Creationist and Evolutionist (5, Insightful)

troff (529250) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916690)

A "literal interpretation of Genesis" tells the reader that God lied to Adam and Eve; punished them for disobedience; and then chose to throw them out because their disobedience had made them more like God, so they had to be prevented from living forever and becoming even more like God.

(Chapters 2 and 3, if you want to cross-check that for yourself.)

You really sure you want Genesis to be literally interpretable? Because it makes your God out to be evil, selfish and kinda insecure.

Re:Speaking as an Creationist and Evolutionist (-1)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916936)

Yet, God comes around, lives a life of suffering, restraint, goodness, and then ultimate dies a horrible death while being scored by many... Because he loves us. The result is we can get to Heaven and live forever in peace. If this doesn't make sense, read my article, Why Christianity Makes Sense [goodnewsjim.com]

Now if you agree finite suffering is less than infinite suffering, God could do anything basically anything he wants in order to let us avoid infinite suffering right? Many people with immature theology can't see this. Maybe this was part of his plan to confuse his spiritual enemies too. There are all sorts of things that might have been headfakes to accomplish the Gospel. Create all the stars in the sky, and even if we don't get there, his opponents need to strategize,"What if humans get to the stars?" Are the stars useless if we never get there then? I mean they give us something to spark our imagination of exploration. God can create infinite universes in Heaven, so if we wanted, we could own a Starship and explore our own personal universe, populated with more intrigue, action and life than Gene Roddenberry could come up with. I can guarantee Heaven will be better than anything you can even imagine. But who wants to listen to me, you know.

Re:Speaking as an Creationist and Evolutionist (2)

kyuubi (1355069) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916884)

I agree with you, these two things are not mutually exclusive. But you're missing the point. Most people believe in god b/c the concept "appears" to answer questions we don't have answers to. As science answers each question in turn, religion is giving ground and the foundation (raison d'etre) for faith is being eroded.

This is what Evolution is. An answer to a MAJOR question that we previously believed necessitated the existence of a god. It doesn't refute god, it just removes one of the reasons for believing in him.

Sure, there are still many things we don't know. And religion is still pretending to explain them, or at least imply (dishonestly) that unless science can answer absolutely everything or have all answers perfectly correct to whatever arbitrary resolution the faithful requires, then by implication religion must have a point.

An explanation is describing something we don't understand in terms we do. In this way we can understand the new concept or phenomenon well enough to be able to predict it's impact on our lives. Saying "god did it", or "god works in mysterious ways" is not an explanation. It's an assertion completely devoid of rational arguments or evidence.

Your "evidence" that something random happened in your life that you see the hand of god in is called selection bias. Look it up. We understand human psychology well enough to be able to explain (and refute it as a basis for understanding or proof) it well enough to discount it. You believe because you were indoctrinated as a child the same way every other religion's adherents were. Or you simply like the way it makes you feel.

Try taking LSD, it's even better, but it doesn't make your life any better or more meaningful.

Re:Speaking as an Creationist and Evolutionist (0)

dave420 (699308) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916932)

I really, really hope you are joking! The long day theory doesn't work at all, as it requires each day to be a different length. It's a blatant example of lazy thinking.

Re:Speaking as an Creationist and Evolutionist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37917016)

The days are also in the wrong order, e.g. God creates plants on the third day, and the sun on the fourth day.

Re:Speaking as an Creationist and Evolutionist (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916984)

So far, I haven't found a better theory than the "Long Day Theory"

I have. It's called "there is no god". It's basically the same but doesn't introduce an additional variable ("god") that does nothing to change the equation.

Re:Speaking as an Creationist and Evolutionist (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37917034)

I went to you're web site, read your 'Long day' theory. Has the usual bunch of statements without supporting argument that is the norm for creationists. No proof here, move along!

The video tape will disappear... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37916630)

... God wills it to be so, and so it is done, and thus I win the debate.

How could a creationist win a debate exactly? (2, Insightful)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916652)

Its pretty hard to win a debate where the creationist cites a very old book written by countless of authors at a time when they thought the earth was flat, sickness was evil spirits and a invisible dude run around killing people because they dont worship him properly. The whole story is much more insane than anything David Lynch could ever dream up in a LSD induced trip.

On the other side you have the atheist who cites facts, proof and logic.

How the heck could a creationist win except by hypnosis of the audience or successful brainwash?

Re:How could a creationist win a debate exactly? (0)

jamesh (87723) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916752)

"Science" believed a whole lot of things that turned out not to be true too, and I bet you can find a whole lot of books with those "truths" in them for the creationists to waggle their finger at...

Re:How could a creationist win a debate exactly? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37916830)

Not this granola bullshit again. Science has methods to revise the wrongs. I haven't seen anyone updating the bible with new info. Hell, try it. A lot of fanatics would burn you at the stake for "desecrating" their "holy works".

Both wrong does not mean equally wrong.

Re:How could a creationist win a debate exactly? (2)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#37917020)

The funny thing is that the known errors in those books have all been corrected and published in new books, which will again be corrected and improved upon in books still to come.
What happens with the errors in the bible?

The religious use facts, proof and logic too (4, Insightful)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916764)

Wow, you sound like the open minded leading scientists who rejected the big bang theory back in the day because it was developed by a priest and "smelled of creationism".

As demonstrated by the priest referred to above, the religious may also use facts, proof and logic. They just don't do so on religious matters, there they have articles of faith. Of course some atheists seem to have articles of faith themselves, their faith is merely of the opposite polarity. When true scientists are asked about God the answer tends to be: I don't know, there is no evidence one way or the other.

Re:The religious use facts, proof and logic too (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37916880)

When true scientists are asked about God the answer tends to be: I don't know, there is no evidence one way or the other.

Because they know the guy asking the question will react irrationally to any reasonable answer. The scientific answer is - obviously not, there is no evidence whatsoever for anything like that. Once you refuse to dismiss outlandish, untestable ideas because there is no evidence against them you may as well start giving the benefit of the doubt to Nigerian email scams.
 

Re:The religious use facts, proof and logic too (1, Insightful)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#37917028)

When true scientists are asked about God the answer tends to be: I don't know, there is no evidence one way or the other.

Because they know ...

Article of faith #1.

... the guy asking the question will react irrationally to any reasonable answer. The scientific answer is - obviously not, ...

Article of faith #2.

... there is no evidence whatsoever for anything like that.

Both theism and *atheism* require faith in the face of a lack of evidence. Faith in the face of a lack of evidence is not very scientific.

Once you refuse to dismiss outlandish, untestable ideas because there is no evidence against them ...

Agnosticism is a position of logic based upon a lack of evidence. Logic is more characteristic of science.

... you may as well start giving the benefit of the doubt to Nigerian email scams.

And that's just a straw man, and not a very good one at that. There is no benefit of the doubt when the opinion is I don't know. Both theism and atheism are systems where one gives the benefit of the doubt, they merely differ in the boolean state assumed to be correct.

Re:The religious use facts, proof and logic too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37917038)

When true scientists are asked about God the answer tends to be: I don't know, there is no evidence one way or the other.

When true scientists are asked about invisible unicorns the answer tends to be: I don't know, there is no evidence of them so most likely they don't exist. And if someone were to claim they exist they better have some proof to back those claims up.

Re:How could a creationist win a debate exactly? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37916842)

To be fair, Haught is not a creationist. As for how creationists can win debates, you have to remember that debates don't decide the truth. They decide who the better debater is. A commonly used creationist tactic is called the "Gish Gallop" named after the young-earth creationist Duane Gish. Basically the person using this dishonest debating tactic spews as much bullshit as they possibly can in the time allotted. Their opponent loses the argument by wading into the bullshit and attempting to correct the record. It's much easier to spew bullshit than it is to show how it is wrong, and the creationist ignores anything the scientist refutes and simply vomits forth another load of bullshit. The end result is the creationist gets to claim that the scientist hasn't managed to refute the bulk of the bullshit, and so the creationist wins. It's pretty effective, especially when used in conjunction with other tricks like picking the turf (churches and bible colleges), picking the moderator or at least making sure they're not a scientist, changing the topic of the debate immediately before the debate is to begin, busing in supporters, and above all else making the debate one where the creationist gets to go on the offensive without ever having to present, or much less defend, their views. Creationists tend to come from theology or legal backgrounds, areas where rhetoric and debating skills are central. Scientists are pretty much untrained in debate and rhetoric because for us it's all about the evidence. However if one were to hold a written debate where arguments can be read at leisure and picked apart at leisure, the creationists can only win if the pro-science side doesn't do their homework. Which is why you don't see creationists engaging in written debates past what you see on web forms and the like, and why they're pretty one-sided.

FTFY (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37916654)

s/'University of Kentucky'/'University of Fucktard Rednecks'/

A fatal flaw in Christianity. (4, Interesting)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916696)

There is evidence to support the idea that Paul invented the idea that 100% of all Humans go to Hell with the exception of those saved by Jesus as a way of breaking the original covenant with Abraham the Jews had. The idea is that Adam brought Sin into the world, and at that point all Humans were damned to Hell. Jews of Paul's time were rejecting Christianity, while the surrounding "Pagans" were adopting it. The Jews were a disliked class, so this little poison pill was a way of condemning the Jews.

This also explains why there are Christian Creationists. For Christianity to be true, and the Jesus Crucifixion to have had any purpose, that particular story is the most important story after the story of Jesus. Without Creationism, Christianity collapses entirely because Yahweh has no original sin with Which to condemn us all to Hell from the start.

Paul provided Christianity with the rope to hang itself. Because he created the clause in the Bible that requires the initial original sin of Adam to take place for any of this to mean anything. The Original sin of Adam is the PRIMARY reason for the Crucifixion in Jesus, ordinary Human failings are SECONDARY.

I understand what Paul was trying to do, he was looking for a way to make the laws of the Torah invalid for salvation. He wanted to be able to go to the Jews of his time, and say "Yahweh doesn't care if you follow the laws of Moses any longer. You were bad followers so he no longer wants you because you have the audacity to reject the sacrifice of the savior. So, see you in Hell."

We know the world is not 6000 years old, we know that the Genesis myths were allegory because those desert nomads didn't know how the world began, Paul hedged the entire religion on the foundation of that myth.

So in conclusion, Christianity is the cult of Paul. This only applies to Christianity. But it is the critical fault in Christianity that disproves it. Thats why creationists cling tp the creation myth more than any other myth in the Bible. It's the corner stone that collapses the whole religion.

Re:A fatal flaw in Christianity. (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916736)

Mmm, and trying to find a way out through ID only opens you up to snooty computer scientist types who enjoy pointing out that in our neural network sims, we don't save any of the individuals other than the one that evolves the capabilities we're after. So if you're an ID-style creationist, see you in the the garbage collector unless you're Neo.

Christianity offers a wide range of opinions (5, Informative)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916844)

You are pretty uninformed regarding Christianity. Christianity has a wide range of opinions and only a very small minority are of the earth is 6,000 years old persuasion. Many are quite comfortable with the idea that the universe and earth are billions of years old. As a matter of fact a priest from one of these larger groups introduced the big bang theory to the world of science. They also quite comfortable that the bible often speaks in metaphors that are not to be taken literally, that an all knowing God can only communicate to man using concepts that man is capable of understanding.

Re:A fatal flaw in Christianity. (1)

mercurywoodrose (662183) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916848)

I dont use social media, but i am willing to mark you as "friend" (whatever that means in this context) for your dispassionate comments here about the origins of christianity. I love many of the ethical and spiritual principles found in christianity, but I also perceive an essential flaw, which you have described very elegantly. I would say this: christianity claims to be the final word, (so do other religions of course), thus it must be COMPLETE. however, we know logically that any system must have fundamental principles at its core that can neither be proved or disproved by the system. You have found 1 clear example of christianitys incompleteness. Until we can create some sort of evolutionary structure for religious belief, which doesnt have an end state to ever be reached, and which is capable of incorporating any new information, or combination of ideas, in a manner comparable with biological evolution, religions will always stand in the way of human growth, no matter how nicely dolled up they are.

Re:A fatal flaw in Christianity. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37916972)

"thus it must be COMPLETE."
 
This is not necessarily true–at least not without qualification. There is, within Christianity, the idea that God is constantly speaking, constantly at work. In that sense, Christianity is not complete. If you are at all interested in this idea I recommend The Last Word, by NT Wright. It is a very short and succinct explanation of God's involvement in history; focusing specifically on the role of Scripture.

Nah... (4, Interesting)

onezeta (2484494) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916746)

They're using this 'ban' for people to become curious and demand to see the video. And both he and Coyne will have lots of money.

Tides go in, tides go out (1)

CheshireDragon (1183095) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916750)

O'Rielly gets slammed every time he debates an atheist or evolutionist and that show still airs. I guess it's a fetish...or just that this Haught guy had his face mushed into the dirt.

Re:Tides go in, tides go out (1)

IronSight (1925612) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916804)

"or just that this Haught guy had his face mushed into the dirt." -- Yeah, Haught said there was a god, and Coyne merely said, "Prove it". Enough of the Christians telling me to prove there isn't a god. They fail to recognize that it is not our job to prove them wrong, it's their job to prove themselves right. Something they can't do because they believe a story written long ago by men that wanted to control the barbarians. The scary stories are not needed today as now we have something called prison for people that don't want to follow the rules passed down from the government, and religion is no longer needed to scare people to do right.

Attempts? (4, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916770)

Sounds like he succeeded. Didn't publish a video is not merely an 'attempt'. Now then... you can call it an 'attempt' as soon as we see the content available despite their efforts.

Actually it sounds like the University itself is responsible for the censorship... specifically Mr. Rabel, and I would say based on the article... it sounds like the uni is a biased venue that would choose to publish or not publish based on who won. Shame shame.

The participant decided he didn't want it published after the fact, but since he had already granted his permission, the ball rests totally in the uni's court....

That's How God-Botherers Roll (0)

LinuxLuver (775817) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916776)

Have a look around YouTube or the Blogosphere. Religious folk will typically disable any rating or commenting facility. They want to tell you how to live. Listening just isn't in the mix. That's how the faithful remain faithful: Close their eyes, plug their ears and sing hymns as loud as they can. If reality intrudes....faith is at risk.

Re:That's How God-Botherers Roll (1)

CheshireDragon (1183095) | more than 2 years ago | (#37917000)

yeah, it is rampant on YouTube, yet they go to the atheist videos and preach all their sh1t because the videos aren't enough.

truly detestable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37916800)

yet, not very surprising

Reserve Judgement (1)

KeensMustard (655606) | more than 2 years ago | (#37916888)

I'm inclined to reserve judgement on this for the time being. At the moment, we only have one side of the story, with the content of the debate not given from the perspective of a disinterested observer. It would be good to see the tape, but not from the perspective of advancing the dialogue between these differing beliefs, since this doesn't seem to have been Coynes aim. From his blog, it's implied that he went in expecting to debunk Haught, on the presumption that debunking Haught would somehow demonstrate the truth of Coynes own position. From his blog, we see, though the clouded lens of Coynes own theology, glimpses of what might have happened in the eyes of an unbiased observer (a non-atheist, non-Catholic). For example, he claims to have drawn Haught on some point and claimed that Haught was tryign to offer a proof for the existence of God - which Haught denied. I would think it highly unlikely the Haught meant to offer those remarks as proof in the manner Coyne describes. It appears that Haught arrived not for the sake of making a defence of his books and certainly not covering Coynes views specifically (Coynes appears deeply insulted by this), but maybe to outline in general terms the consistency between the scientific position (with it's grounding in natural philosophy), and that of his own, theistic belief. What did Haught consider the debate to be about?

Who are these guys? Coyne describes Haught as Americas leading theologian on the subject - but I've never heard of him, nor Coyne himself up to this point.

Re:Reserve Judgement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37916930)

Uh... you don't reserve judgement on people who don't want you to see the evidence. It's okay to call them out for being liars at that point.

Shows the quality level of the Theo"logical" side (1)

gweihir (88907) | more than 2 years ago | (#37917056)

Basically, they have nothing. And whenever somebody demonstrates that, they lie, cheat and manipulate. Quite obvious, really. What is beyond me is that so many people cannot see what is in plain sight.

As to theo"logy", yes they are using logic and the logic sometimes is even sound. But the base assumptions needed are so messed up that common sense does not make any appearance here. In any pragmatic sense this does not qualify as "logic" at all. And formal logic teaches us that with you start with a false statement, you can derive everything and anything, i.e. the whole theory build on it is just a fantasy construct. ("False => something" is always a true statement.)

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