Posts Tagged deception

Evolution of Skepticism Daily – July 10th, 2012

If you have a news article or would like to have something you’ve done highlighted email me at derikeos@gmail.com

The Weed Blog – The Nevada Supreme Court Is Likely To Clarify State’s Medical Marijuana Laws
http://www.theweedblog.com/the-nevada-supreme-court-is-likely-to-clarify-states-medical-marijuana-laws/

The Weed Blog – Ohio Decriminalizes Most Marijuana Paraphernalia
http://www.theweedblog.com/ohio-decriminalizes-most-marijuana-paraphernalia/

Books Live – Witchcraft-related Crimes Place Traditional Religions Under the Spotlight
http://uctpress.bookslive.co.za/blog/2012/07/10/witchcraft-related-crimes-place-traditional-religions-under-the-spotlight/

AlterNet – Are Parent Trigger Laws Our New ‘Superman’ – Or Union Kryptonite?
http://www.alternet.org/story/156222/are_parent_trigger_laws_our_new_%27superman%27_%E2%80%93_or_union_kryptonite?akid=9044.1081060.bVviOU&rd=1&t=2

AlterNet – The Death of Critical Thinking in Texas Public Schools
http://www.alternet.org/story/156216/the_death_of_critical_thinking_in_texas_public_schools?akid=9044.1081060.bVviOU&rd=1&t=8

AlterNet – Church in School? In New York, A Judge Says ‘Yes’
http://www.alternet.org/story/156202/church_in_school_in_new_york%2C_a_judge_says_%27yes%27?akid=9044.1081060.bVviOU&rd=1&t=12

AlterNet – How Far Is Too Far in a College Sexuality Course?
http://www.alternet.org/story/156213/_how_far_is_too_far_in_a_college_sexuality_course_?akid=9044.1081060.bVviOU&rd=1&t=15

AlterNet & MSNBC – Obama Campaign Advisor Goes in on Romney’s Secret Tax Havens
http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/article/1025775/obama_campaign_advisor_goes_in_on_romney’s_secret_tax_havens/

Washington Post – Obama dares GOP to oppose middle class tax cuts
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/post/obama-dares-gop-to-oppose-middle-class-tax-cuts/2012/07/09/gJQAqfBYYW_blog.html

PoliticusUSA – Obama Devastates the GOP Argument for Extending the Bush Tax Cuts for the Rich
http://www.politicususa.com/obama-devastes-republican-argument-extending-bush-tax-cuts-rich.html

PoliticusUSA – Obama Explains Exactly Why He Will Veto Bush Tax Cuts For the Wealthy
http://www.politicususa.com/obama-explains-veto-bush-tax-cuts-wealthy.html

Huffington Post – Mitt Romney On Offshore Investments: ‘I Don’t Even Know Where They Are’
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/10/romney-offshore-investments_n_1661708.html

PoliticusUSA – Mitt Romney Tells America His Finances are None of Our Damned Business
http://www.politicususa.com/mitt-romney-tells-america-finances-damned-business.html

Listen to the interview here – http://www.radioiowa.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Romney2.mp3

Huffington Post – Las Cruces Tea Party Sets Off Controversy With Confederate Flag Display
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/09/las-cruces-tea-party-confederate-flag_n_1659619.html

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Evolution of Skepticism Daily – July 9th, 2012

Evolution of Skepticism Daily – a new show highlighting Pagan and Atheist news from around the globe. If you have a news article or would like to have something you’ve done highlighted email me at derikeos@gmail.com

Tucson Citizen – One HELL of a Sunday (Thoughts About Religion)
http://tucsoncitizen.com/from-the-soul/2012/07/07/one-hell-of-a-sunday-thoughts-about-religion/

GlobalGrind – Say What! Brad Pitt’s Mom Is Homophobic?!?
http://globalgrind.com/news/brad-pitts-mom-jane-pitt-homophobic-mitt-romney-springfield-news-leader-letter-details

Huffington Post – Brad Pitt’s Mom: A Lesbian Mom Responds
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robin-mcgehee/i-stand-with-brad-pitt_b_1655187.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009

Christian Post – Richard Dawkins Calls Church’s Tax-Exempt Status a ‘Disgrace’
http://www.christianpost.com/news/richard-dawkins-calls-churchs-tax-exempt-status-a-disgrace-77879/

CatholicCulture – Vatican prefect challenges Congo’s laity to strive for peace, reject polygamy, witchcraft
http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=14853

News24 – In response to ‘It is really easy to be an atheist’
http://www.news24.com/MyNews24/In-response-to-It-is-really-easy-to-be-an-atheist-20120709

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I hate politics…

I truly have a  love/hate relationship with politics, even as I sit and think about this post I can’t help but feel somewhat annoyed by the fact that I have decided to write it.

Now I let me rephrase that a little, I don’t hate politics in general, I hate modern U.S. politics but more over modern U.S. politicians. These people constantly attempt to use the government and law to force their belief systems onto those that do not share similar beliefs and then use the statement “[insert belief] is the foundation of this great country!” Yes typically this reflects towards the Christian vocal majority, but is not limited to religious context by any means. They believe that using dead people that can’t speak for themselves as a reference point validates their statement and desires.

So here’s a quick little rant before I get into the real reason I am writing this:

  • Our forefathers did not draft any documents related to the foundation of this country in an attempt to describe anything near what is currently labelled “Free Market”.
  • Christianity was not the foundation of America, as a matter of fact, once you can actually label which sect of Christianity is the “right” version of it, let me know because each of these cults are setting foundations that contradict each other on every thing except the belief in the Judeo-Christian God and JC, speaking of Judaism, most “True Jews” as I like to call them find your little book and stories of JC and “God” as far fetched as most Atheists do.
  • Most of our forefathers would be closer to modern libertarians than any other political party represented today and if you actually read what was written, all they wanted was liberty from an Oppressive government, if you listened to those that you represent you would realize that we currently are establishing an oppressive government similar to the one that our forefathers fought to be free of.
  • Two party system will never work, all you are ever doing in that case is choosing who will do a less terrible job rather than choosing the right man for the job.
  • The current candidate system is flawed beyond belief, if there was one thing I would personally gut from the process of becoming an elected official it is the fact that you must raise money to be nominated. The nomination process should not be a matter of who can collect the most money but rather who has a better plan and foundation to lead this country, state, county, city, town, neighborhood in the right direction.
  • If we maintained a fund raising scheme it should be to give that elected official the means to live during their “tour of duty” as an elected official, this is because I believe that political office should be a volunteer assignment and if that person cannot raise the funds to live off of during their stay in office, they can have a real job like the rest of the country.
  • All claimed “plans” or ideas for improving the “system” should be required to be published and unable to be altered once nominated. This publication should be freely available to anyone who would like to understand it and/or question it.
  • It should also be required that once in office anyone that gives a “donation” to an elected official, whether it be buying lunch or giving a cash donation should be publicly available for viewing, the day to day interactions regarding political agendas or advancement should be public record, this could entail but should not be limited to video surveillance of the political official whenever acting in an official manner or while under the protection of federal agents.
  • If a politician mentions any form of religious sect/cult/denomination as a reason or motivating factor in a decision that they are to make their vote/nomination/submission should be disqualified for reasons similar to that of a public official receiving a bribe.

Those are just a few things that I think are currently wrong, or could be corrected in the current U.S. political scene. Yes I understand that these changes could easily create more issues, but if you can think of an issue that can be created by them, then it is something that can be corrected. That is one of the major problems with our country as it currently stands, we see problems but hold no power to change them due to the fact that we have so many lifer’s as politicians or we are choosing the “lesser of two evils” so to speak. This is exactly how I feel about our current presidential election that is coming in November, we are not choosing the best man for the job, instead we are choosing the lesser of two evils in our own eyes. Neither truly deserves to sit in office, in my personal opinion Obama didn’t deserve the Democratic nomination in 2008, I was a Clinton fan for the Democratic candidate and it wasn’t because she was a woman, it was due to her understanding of political office, her track record in foreign policy and her blatant understanding of the working class American. Sure Obama paints youth centers and volunteered to aid inner city youth, but what good does that do if those same kids parents don’t have the money to put food on the table?

“So what Derik? This is a lot of bitching but no substance.” is what I am assuming everyone who has read this far is saying, well, here’s my ultimate statement. Mitt Romney should win the 2012 presidential election. Not because he is the best man for the job, not because he is the lesser of two evils, but rather because he is the greater of two evils. He has shown his true colors and we know what he is truly about, this is an oppressive dictator of a man who would take the U.S. for everything it has and then apply for Canadian citizenship or move to a Non-extradition country so that we could not pursue him. This is the man that would take all of the asphalt roads in America, tear them up and milk all of the petroleum out of them to make gas despite us not having the roads to drive on, this is the man that would clear cut America for an extra nickel on his hourly wage. He would have us living in hovels and caves so that he could sell the timber and building materials from our homes to China or Columbia just so that he could buy a new vacation home. We know this about him, we understand the true evil this man represents.

“Derik you’ve gone off the deep end with this one buddy! With all of that we should be fighting to keep him out of office!” is what I am sure you’re thinking at this point, that is if you haven’t stopped reading and closed this by now. But hear me out, when the revolutionary war occurred it was an outcry due to taxation without representation, it was a statement that enough was enough and we were through with being oppressed by a blind dictatorship that did not hold our well being as their main concern, but rather just desired to line their own pockets and live the good life. So, this is what Mitt Romney wants to do with America, it’s evident in his speeches and his blatant acknowledgment of his backers. So why do I want him to become president of the U.S.? Because he’s the man that will likely insight a new revolution, he is the man that will push this country and those that go about their lives blindly into standing up and recognizing the culture that we currently live in. He will start the revolution and usher us into a new United States of America, we will have a civil war again, but this time it will be the embodiment of the majority versus the vocal majority, there will be an uprising and a reclaiming of the power that the people once had, once again the majority of the people and the voice of the people will be heard rather than manipulated and tossed by the way side for a profit. We will no longer be marginalized. It will take someone like Mitt Romney to finally wake us up and get the majority to fight back rather than watch and live vicariously through people like the Occupy Movement or Anonymous.

So, at this point I say we have two options (1) we continue to hobble along with false representatives like Obama or (2) we elect a person that will unify the country in the desire for a true democracy again and inspire a revolution, we elect Mitt Romney the man we all know will happily drive this country into ruin, and then we stand up and we fight back.

No longer should we accept “almost enough”, no longer should we feel as if our hands are bound due to a blatant disconnect between the people and those that are elected to represent us. No longer should we have a feeling of dread when we hear about a new law or a new bill being considered or passed in congress, our elected officials should be celebrated as heroes and heralds of our political ideals, not puppets of the wealthy.

So, I say if you truly desire a return to “the good old days” or truly believe in democracy and the voice of the people, that in November you elect Mitt Romney, he may be the worst of the worst, but one good thing will come of his term in office, and that is the people taking this country back and making it ours again.

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Evolution of Skepticism Daily – July 5th 2012

Evolution of Skepticism Daily – a new show highlighting Pagan and Atheist news from around the globe. If you have a news article or would like to have something you’ve done highlighted email me at derikeos@gmail.com

Opposing Views – Video: Atheist John Wolff Files Complaint Against Restaurant’s Church-Goer Discount
http://www.opposingviews.com/i/religion/christianity/video-atheist-john-wolff-files-complaint-against-restaurant-s-church-goer

LifeSiteNews – Dismantling the new atheism
http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/dismantling-the-new-atheism/

BBC News – Casey Kearney killer ‘told pagan priestess of demon attack’
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-18727098

CNN – American Atheists Fly “Atheism is Patriotic” Banner Over NYC on July 4th
http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-811494?hpt=hp_bn1

Huffington Post – Lose Your Illusions and Find Infinity: A Jewish Mystical Take on Atheism and God
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eitan-press/jewish-mystical-take-on-atheism-and-god_b_1603976.html

TechDirt – UK Pensioner Could Face Arrest For Atheist Poster
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120703/11594019568/uk-pensioner-could-face-arrest-atheist-poster.shtml

News24 – It is really easy to be an atheist
http://www.news24.com/MyNews24/It-is-really-easy-to-be-an-atheist-20120705

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Christian Wicca doesn’t exist and Christianity isn’t a religion? Wha?

So, I had an interesting conversation via Twitter last night (June 21, 2012) with a Christian gentleman by the name of Rich Wharton. He had some interesting claims, as you will see in the twitter conversation below it all started with me asking for feedback about the Trinitarian Tradition and the video response I put together regarding it. He got very upset by me even asking the question about it and began to claim it was impossible to exist, when I informed him that it did, he became even more annoyed and so the conversation went as you will see below. I apologize for some parts seeming disjointed, piecing together a Twitter conversation via time stamps can make things a bit weird sometimes.

But I must say the part that really got me confused was that he claimed Christianity was not a religion, and his claims made it seem that to understand the meaning of things within the bible would require knowledge of ancient Hebrew and/or Greek.

I also think he attempted to lie to me, but quickly found out he was dealing with someone who would not take his claim without verifying or having prior knowledge, this happened when he tried to claim that at least 4 different “Historian’s” wrote about Jesus during the time of his life, yet none of them lived until well after 100 years after JC’s supposed death. Then he claimed that because I would not accept Historical claims from well after the death as being written during the life of JC that I was claiming the Holocaust and Civil War did not occur. Which is obviously false, due to the fact that we have writings pertaining to the Civil War that were written during the Civil War, we also have pictorial evidence regarding the time period, and as far as the Holocaust we still have people that lived through the situation that we can refer to for validation of the claims.

I hope you enjoy the read, please feel free to leave your comments.


Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
Im looking for #feedback related to #Christian #Wicca, I posted what I found out on @Youtube – Anyone else have a take? http://youtu.be/wCILDC3aXsk

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS There is no such thing as #Christian #Wicca.

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem in fact there is, it’s called the Trinitarian Tradition. Check it out.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS Actually those who call themselves Christian and Wiccan are either one or the other. They are not both altho I know they say it

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@derik_EoS Christians and Witchcraft 1 of 3: http://youtu.be/ljoB69MItf8 via @youtube Wiccans are not Christians Never were Never will be!

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem How can you be certain of that claim when there are so many variants of #Christianity already?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS There maybe many variants in Christianity but there is only 1 Church that Jesus founded, not many 1 faith , not many.

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem is that because you saw it on the internet? I should warn you that the internet is not a guaranteed source of information.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS If the Intenet is not a good source, why did you tell me to check it out?

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem yet which one was it? Which belief system did JC found?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS no brainer.. The one Jesus founded over 2 millenia ago is the same one in existence today with NO pagan rituals!

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem it is a good starting spot yes, but not always reliable. You should always verify your sources especially on the internet.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS You said the internet is NOT a reliable source!! Which is it?

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem non-answer. The question was, which Church did he found? What was the standard of belief?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS Read the New Testament and you have the standard belief.

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem still non-answer. Since none of the bibles can legitimately be verified as the exact words he said.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS it is an answer, just one you do not accept.

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem still non-answer. Since none of the bibles can legitimately be verified as the exact words he said.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS They CAN be verified as accurate by the manuscript evidence internal and external evidence.

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem for example, the arguements that the new testament was written in the 1st & 2nd century and not by his true followers.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS documents dating to the 1st century have proven it to be accurate John Ryland Papyrus example

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem No, I asked a direct question. If there are variants of Christianity and they are not hte same, which was the 1 he started?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS There are NOT variants of Christianity, just varieties of religions that use the name Christianity

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem Who can verify them with the writters? There is no ability to verify with the claimed source.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS who can verify the writers? misdated? no all are accurate and can be verified

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem and there is absolutely no way of them being able to be forged? or misdated?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS there is too much ms evidence that coincides for them to have been forgeries

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem Yet they all claim the same superior being as their god. They all claim Jesus was their savoir. Which one is the correct one?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS Jesus said of those that He Never Knew Them!! Meaning they are not His

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem Yet they all claim the same superior being as their god. They all claim Jesus was their savoir. Which one is the correct one?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS the correct what?

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem Yet they all claim the same superior being as their god. They all claim Jesus was their savoir. Which one is the correct one?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS Christianity is not a religion as many believe.

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem the correct system of belief in Jesus and the Christian God.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS the belief system of Christianity is dictated by the Bible and anything outside of that is not Christian

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem if #Christianity is not a #religion what is it?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS it is a personal relationship with God

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem sounds like a religions claim to me.
Expand

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS not religious at all #Religion is what the Pharissees had and Jesus called them hypocrites #Christian faith is not religion

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem are #religion & #faith exclusive to one another?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS not really.. Faith is believing in something.. Religion is placing faith in a certain being or idol

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem so #Christians don’t have #faith in their #god?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS That is not what I said Derik! Read and learn

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem so #Christians don’t have #faith in their #god?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS Christians have a knowledge of Jesus Christ

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem so #Christians don’t have #faith in their #god?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS You could call it a 4th dimension

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem so I ask again, do Christians not place faith in their god?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS you don’t know?

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem as far as belief being intangible, you can’t touch it. It is not material thus intangible. You also can’t touch Christianity.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS Like I said, it’s like a 4th dimension and you can’t see it or touch it

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem I don’t know what? where I get my ideas from? they are from experential knowledge and evidence presented to me through research

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS you don’t know PERIOD

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem waiting for a description of the Christian god.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS again Wicca is NOT Christian That was the original argument

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem waiting for a description of the Christian god.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS YOU cannot understand if I explained Him to you thoroughly Blind cannot SEE

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem no Wicca is not Christian, but there are those that have used Christianity as a foundation for Wiccan beliefs.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS Those who practice Wicca if they had belonged to a Christian religion forfeited that religion to seek another

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem how are YOU the one who can level judgement upon me and my understanding?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS It is not judgment. It is #truth

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem how do you know they are not following the teachings of Christ in a manner that more closely resembles the way he taught?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS One thing I do know is that Jesus died was buried and rose from the dead on the 3rd day He is alive!!

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem is #magic present within the #Christian #bible?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS Magic is spoken of as being the works of Satan not of God.

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem if he’s alive where is he? @LasVegas?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS Nope not Las Vegas closer to home.

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem if he’s alive where is he? @LasVegas?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS He is coming again for his own so be ready to meet him!!

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem yet #Jesus was born & raised a #Jew & in Judaism there were non-evil magicians.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS no such thing as ‘ non evil’ magic!!

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem How is Jesus not a false profit when his words did not come to pass?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS his words WILL come to pass

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem impossible, his statements have already refuted his claim.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS NONE of them has!

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true that is a message the Lord has not spoken

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him” (Deut. 18:22)

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem Israel before the Son of Man comes. (Matthew 10:23)

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem Son of Man coming in his kingdom. (Matthew 16:28)

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS ALL true and all came to pass

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. (Matthew 24:34)

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS which generation? how long is a generation? whom was he referring to? Which generation?

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem And he said to them, “I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem kingdom of God come with power.” (Mark 9:1)

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS Kigdom of God IS with power

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death. (John 8:51)

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS you are trying to understand the Hebrew slang is w/o knowing the language. Very difficult and almost impossible

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem as far as a generation, I am pretty sure you’re capible of looking up the definition. We are not the same generation as them.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS READ it and it seems he is not talking about THAT generation!

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem yet you claim absolute interpretation of the writings of the same time period. Seems you are self refuting.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS The generation during the END times

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS Jesus was talking about what was to come not what that generation then would experience

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem where does it say “end times”?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS His own words or the words of His Disciples..

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem pretty sure they’re all dead

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS you do not know and you are assuming that Jesus referred to that generation that is dead.

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God. (Luke 9:27)

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem pretty sure they’re all dead

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS in law that call that ‘assuming facts not in evidence’

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem how am I to not know with the phrase “some who are standing here” were people from the future standing there?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS until they SAW the kingdom Well 3 days later Jesus was trans formed and they SAW His Glory! The KINGDOM

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem my point is that your claim of certainty is false & and attempt at creating a framework for your own beliefs

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS my claim is NOT false and you have no evidence that it IS!

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem and that you are not employing fact as a foundation of your claim.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS you base your assumptions on a book written in a language you cannot read or understand and you think you know?

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem wow, thank you.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS study the language

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem if I am basing my assumptions on the translation of a book written in a language I cannot read….

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem why are you basing your beliefs on it when you claim it is impossible to know the proper translation?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS I had studied the languages of the Bible both Greek and Hebrew

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem you really have no evidence that your claim isn’t false.

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem so you claim divinity then? or at least the ability to do what is said to be impossible?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS claim divinity? Nonsense!! Knowing a language is not claiming anything like that!!

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS you are trying to understand the Hebrew slang is w/o knowing the language. Very difficult and almost impossible
Retweeted by Derik ( EoS )

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem oh & why should I study the language when you claim that the translations of the bible are absolute?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS I studied the language so i COULD understand it better!!

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS the translations are as accurate as they had been and the Dead Sea Scrolls are proof of Old Test accuracy

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem then you are telling me that all current english translations or translations not in original greek or hebrew are unreliable.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS I am saying that the ones we have 2day are accurate. Understanding phrases in Hebrew requires a bit of knowledge of the language

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem so which is it? only the original text is correct or the translations that I am using to understand are correct?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS only the original ones are INSPIRED we have accuracy by comparing MSS

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem so by your statement unless every #Christian studies Hebrew they cannot truly understand what the bible is saying.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS I did not say you had to be #Christian to study Hebrew

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS You need the Ruach Ha Kodesh

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem so I need the Jewish holy spirit? I thought you would claim I needed to find Christ.

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem no, you are insinuating that a #Christian cannot understand the #bible without knowing Hebrew and/or Ancient Greek

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS that is not what I insinuated at all I said studying it helps one understand it better! one who thinks in English is not

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS heck yes!! The Jewish Holy Spirit is the best one! After all Jesus was Jewish the HS is not religion

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem but you are claiming that the bibles that I am using for my own understanding of Christianity do not provide me with knowledge

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS What is your reference point?

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem and that to have knowledge of the bible I HAVE to study Hebrew. which would mean anyone else trying to understand would also.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS to understand nuances yes to understand what God meant no

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem if Jesus was Jewish why is Judaism considered non-christian?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS dumb question the Jewish people were looking for a Messiah to come and set up kingdom.. acc to them Jesus failed

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem I have access to multiple #Christian #bibles, which one would you like me to use? which one is the best translation?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS Use them all, compare them all, it really doesn’t matter which version you use.

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem yet Christian’s claim Judaism to be Pagan and non-christian?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS They do not claim Judaism is pagan!

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem define pagan.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS pagan origin celtic a country dweller

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem with so many translations of the bible, one must stand out as the best, or else there wouldn’t be a need for more than one.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS that is bull so many translations!! They all agree

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem ok, and how was it used in Christian society?

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem then why is there a necessity for so many if they all agree?

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem oh & why are all of the books related to Jesus not in the bible? & why is there no other mention of him outside of the bible?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS the term pagan has the connotation of being a religion, which some country dwellers worshiped other gods

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem oh and Pagan is not a religion, it’s an umbrella term.

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem so pagan was used to reference country dwellers who followed non-christian gods. ok.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS there is mention of Jesus outside the bible

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem oh? who spoke of him outside of the bible during his life?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS Tatian did when addressing the Greeks

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem he didn’t live during the same time period as JC. Next answer?

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem as a matter of fact, he lived during the time that many claim the New Testament was actually written. Long after JC.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS Hegasippus Apelles Celsus also wrote of him and spoke of him

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
So #Christian’s out there, tell me what you think of @TickedOffDem saying #Christianity is not a #religion?

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem still not one person you mentioned lived during the time of JC. I think you’re trying to lie to me.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS Both Thallus and Phlegon were ancient historians and both confirmed the fact that the land went dark when Jesus was crucified

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS historians wrote about him that would make him a historical figure wouldn’t it ?

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem but neither lived at the time of his death, so how do they know? Now you’re just grasping at straws.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS Historians wrote about Jesus and they are very accurate and have to be.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS Lucian of Samosata objected to the fact that Christians worshipped a man #Christian The man #Jesus

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem no they don’t, history is written by the victor. ever here that one?

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem still over 100 years after the supposed death of JC. still no evidence of writing about him from someone in his own time

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS if history is not written by historians, then we cannot TRUST history can we????

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem ding ding ding! I think we have a winner. and now you have my pity for spending so much time arguing a fallacy. thanks.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS Civil War never happened Holicost never happened

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS does not matter history is history!!

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS that is IF history cannot be trusted!!

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem see the difference between the holicost & your claims are we have the ability to verify through people who have experience.

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem see the difference between the holicost & your claims are we have the ability to verify through people who have experience.

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem next are you going to say the bible is a history book?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS NO the Bible is NOT a history book!!

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS you have no claims yet you deny all claims. How convenient of you!

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem I think I’ve made my claims pretty apparent, & found you lacking in evidence of your claim. That’s all I need. Thanks again.

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem good, then we both agree, it’s not a history book so it didn’t happen. thanks and good night.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS I didn’t say that YOU did!!

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS and not good NIGHT GOOD BYE!!

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2 Comments

Evolution of Skepticism – Non Christian Marriage

Chicago Tribune –
Atheist faces new setback in suit over Illinois cross – http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-atheist-faces-new-setback-in-suit-over-illinois-cross-20120608,0,6841119.story

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Loganville-Grayson Patch –
Born Again Pagan – http://loganville.patch.com/articles/born-again-pagan

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Gulf News –
Black magic gear fails to get past Dubai customs – http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/crime/black-magic-gear-fails-to-get-past-dubai-customs-1.1034159

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Monash Weekly –
Atheist has faith in power of dialogue – http://www.monashweekly.com.au/news/local/news/general/atheist-has-faith-in-power-of-dialogue/2585001.aspx

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Examiner –
Note to smug atheists: Yes we win the debates but we have little real power. – http://www.examiner.com/article/note-to-smug-atheists-yes-we-win-the-debates-but-we-have-little-real-power

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Huffington Post –
Questions on Science and Religion – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/victor-stenger/questions-on-science-and-_b_1585151.html

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The Blaze –
ATHEIST FAMILY LOSES LAWSUIT TO HAVE ‘UNDER GOD’ REMOVED FROM THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – http://www.theblaze.com/stories/atheist-family-loses-lawsuit-to-have-under-god-removed-from-the-pledge-of-allegiance/

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Reuters –
Bulgaria puts “vampire” skeleton on display – http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/11/uk-bulgaria-odd-vampires-idUSLNE85A02E20120611

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Irish Times –
Straight from the atheist’s mouth – but Dawkins got it theologically wrong – http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2012/0612/1224317752830.html

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India Realtime –
Religion Journal: What do India’s Atheists Think? – http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2012/06/12/religion-journal-what-do-indias-atheists-think/?mod=google_news_blog

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Dailymail.co.uk –
From ‘sacred underwear’ to Victoria’s Secret: The devout Mormon woman who chose love over faith when her husband became an atheist – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2158283/From-sacred-underwear-Victorias-Secret-The-devout-Mormon-woman-chose-love-faith-husband-atheist.html#ixzz1xjy3cIXK

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ACLJ.org –
Painting Over the Cross; Protecting Pagan Symbols – http://aclj.org/school-prayer/painting-over-cross-protecting-pagan-symbols

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Stl Today –
DC atheist group to add Missouri and Illinois lobbying arms – http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/political-fix/dc-atheist-group-to-add-missouri-and-illinois-lobbying-arms/article_83b20de8-b4d2-11e1-8ab8-0019bb30f31a.html#ixzz1xjzAxyLy

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Daily Tribune –
Watchdog atheist group to appeal Warren ruling – http://www.dailytribune.com/article/20120612/NEWS01/120619878/watchdog-atheist-group-to-appeal-warren-ruling

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Examiner –
UFO: New York, California orb formations foreshadow archons – http://www.examiner.com/article/ufo-new-york-california-orb-formations-foreshadow-archons

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San Diego Reader –
Atheist Lobbying Group to Install California Chapter – http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/news-ticker/2012/jun/13/atheist-lobbying-group-to-install-california-chapt/

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CNN –
Unbelieving preachers get help to ‘come out’ as open atheists – http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/06/13/unbelieving-preachers-get-help-to-come-out-as-open-atheists/

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Jakarta Globe –
Activists Call for Acquittal of Embattled Atheist Alexander – http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/activists-call-for-acquittal-of-embattled-atheist-alexander/523839

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LA Times –
Nativity scenes banned at Santa Monica park after atheist dispute – http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/06/nativity-scenes-banned-santa-monica-park-atheist-dispute.html

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Baptist Press –
Group criticizes B&H ‘Military Bibles’ – http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=38037

http://www.randomhistory.com/history-of-gay-marriage.html

http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200505/marriage-history

http://www.hrc.org/laws-and-legislation/state

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage

http://askville.amazon.com/50%25-marriages-fail-percentage-Christian-number-differs/AnswerViewer.do?requestId=8809410

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An open letter to non-crazy Christians

This is a guest post/warning from someone I hold in high regard. His name is Jim Gardner and he writes the blog How good is that? he also co-hosts the Fundamentally-Flawed podcast. This letter comes on the heels of an issue that has stemmed between him and a very popular Christian Apologist by the name of Sye Ten Bruggencate. This issue may at first glance seem like an issue of Christian vs. Atheist, but in fact this boils down to an attempt by Sye to make money off of modified sound bites that he was expressly told he had no permission to use. I encourage you to read it and if you have ever considered buying any product pushed by Sye or Eric Hovind, I encourage you to reconsider and find a more honest person.

So without further adieu here’s Jim’s letter:

I wrote this as a forum posting for Justin Brierley’s Premier Christian Radio discussion forum, but there is a waiting time for membership approval, so I’m making it available here as well. Please pass it on. I realise it’s quite long winded, but it’s important we set the record straight regards an important matter and I’d like to think that this is something which those of us who are both non-religious and those who are not on the extremes of Christianity can help each other raise awareness of, in the interest of clarity and an open exchange of information.

I welcome your feedback in the comments section below, but can I also ask that if you are a member of http://www.premiercommunity.org.uk/forum/ that you post replies there as well, so as many people as possible can read and respond. Thanks!

——–

Hello! I wanted to start by saying that I admire Justin’s evenhandedness on the podcast, and his willingness to engage with people who fundamentally disagree with him on issues which are clearly very important to him. I hope, as I learn more about other Christian contributors here, that he is not alone in this regard, and that we can have a civil and polite debate on a range of topics. Some internet forums, open to debate between atheists and the religious, tend to fall apart pretty quickly, but I hope to discover that this one stands in-line with the general theme of the radio show, and treats all points of view with respect, and intellectual honesty.

With that said, I hope what I’m about to say doesn’t cause any unnecessary ructions, because I would like to issue something of a warning about a scam which myself and some friends of mine, who produce the Fundamentally Flawed podcast together, have unearthed recently, which we worry might affect some Christians who aren’t aware of the backstory, which I’ll attempt to flesh-out here, as best I can.

The main reason I want to make it absolutely clear, before going any further, that my being non-religious has nothing whatsoever to do with my genuine concerns, is that the scam does involve some of the religious terminology used in Christian apologetics, which it is necessary for me to use in my analysis of the scam, and in order to explain the problem. This might be seen by some as rude, or disrespectful, given that I am an atheist and proud of it. But this is not my intention. I simply want to help honestly motivated, ordinary people who just so happen to be Christian, avoid being ripped off — and my views on Christianity, as a whole, are neither here nor there — at least for the time being.

Being that it is my main worry, that the vast majority of honest Christians might be victim to this scam, there is a lot of misinformation being put “out there” on my true position with regard certain types of apologetics, which the people who are responsible for this scam would dearly love for the wider Christian community to think me and my friends are “running scared from”, presumably out of some sort of worry that their argument (or lack thereof) might hold a degree of intellectual merit which we are incapable of exceeding to. To be clear, it doesn’t, and we aren’t. But with your kind indulgence, I would like to explain exactly why this is the case, as well as explain some of the possible reasons as to why some of these individuals are bearing false witness about us.

Chief among the possible explanations for this campaign of misinformation, is that the particular brand of presuppositional apologetics we believe people are being duped into accepting, rises and falls on a provable falsehood, which they would prefer ordinary Christians like you didn’t know about — least of all in the words of a “dirty atheist”.

I would like to think that the fact we refuse to go away quietly, having uncovered this scam, has begun to have an affect on the profit margins of those who propagate this lie. What’s rather more likely to be true, is that we have begun to affect the tone of emails which these scammers are starting to receive from other Christians — which might also go some way towards explaining the amount of lies and historical revisionism, which some of you might have seen in the blog-o-sphere and beyond, in relation to our involvement in this story, which these people are largely responsible for producing.

To clarify this once again, I can assure you, it is not the case that we disrespect, or “hate” anyone with genuine religious convictions. We are simply concerned that these people appear to be targeting emotionally vulnerable people in their recruiting program, and are clearly drawing them into a distinctly un-Christian type of cult, for which only other Christians can help their fellow believers avoid — hence this bipartisan appeal.

So, cut to the chase:

Several month ago now, when our little podcast was still finding its feet, we received an offer from a certain Eric Hovind, to debate him in a joint broadcast between our podcast and his ‘Creation Today’ radio show — which is a part of his multimillion dollar, tax free ‘ministry’, based in Pensacola, Florida. Some of you might be familiar with Eric’s father Kent Hovind, who was convicted on several counts of tax evasion in 2007, after leading a ministry which encouraged adherents of the predominantly rightwing homeschooling community to teach anti-science and young earth creationism to children, under the brand-name of ‘Dr. Dino’. It would later transpire that “Dr.” Hovind’s credentials as a dinosaur expert were purchased from a diploma mill, after the Wikileaks website published a copy of his doctoral dissertation, which was written in the first person, contained numerous spelling mistakes, and listed zero evidence-based citations.

Tentatively we agreed to debate Eric on the explicit understanding that none of our comments would be used out of context, or edited in such a way that we appeared to say something which we hadn’t said. This was stipulated after several bad experiences with Christian radio hosts far less honest than Justin, in the past, who had literally removed large sections of audio, from appearances I had made on their shows, so as to doctor what I had said to make is seem as if I was rather less well informed than I am on certain arguments.

It’s at this point I should clarify that for the first 17 years of my life, I was a born-again Christian, whose journey towards atheism began one day in church, when the sermon was given on Jesus throwing the money lenders from the temple, before the collection plate was passed around. I would later learn that this money was used to launder Mafia drug money through the Vatican bank. But I digress.

We were aware that Eric had attempted to distance himself from some of the things his father became infamous for preaching, and fully intended to take him on face value. But we were also aware that if we hadn’t made the stipulation that we would not mute anyone’s microphone, or edit their comments in post-production, he might seek to profit from our comments in a way which ran counter to our beliefs about open information, and a free exchange of ideas. In that vein, we also made it clear that we would be giving away a free complete audio recording of the debate, via our website, and did not seek to make any money from it in any other way, such as by placing Google adverts or other co-branding on our website. Eric seemed happy to go along with this at the time, as an off-air pre-show recording we have of him, which we did not (yet) publish, fully confirms.

When it came time to record the podcast, Eric introduced us to a friend of his named Sye ten Bruggencate. It turned out that Sye knew rather more about me than I knew about him, and that he had previously posted comments to numerous religious articles on my website. At the time I didn’t immediately connect his name to the same Sye who had used my blog, and it wasn’t until what unfolded next that I began to recall the particular type of aggressive tactics which he had used, when posting blog comments under the username SyeTenB.

The conversation quickly took a very bizarre turn, when Sye started asking a series of questions for which there were no right or wrong, affirmative or negative answers, while insisting that, in-fact, we must answer them with definite ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ replies. This was made doubly confusing when he also refused to acknowledge that, for this very reason, he was just as incapable of answering his own questions as we were, if these black or white criteria were imposed upon him as strictly as he insisted they were upon us.

Even stranger still, Sye seemed to believe that this constituted some kind of strength to his position, when to any dispassionate observer it was clear the opposite was true, and that all he had succeeded in doing was to confirm many of the “crazy Christian” stereotypes, which so many of the well intentioned religious have fought so hard to dispel over the years — which we have always fully acknowledged, and welcomed.

It’s was at this point in the recording, when their true modus operandi became apparent. Far from having any legitimate interest in knowing what we, as atheists, felt about “life, the universe and everything”, it became clear that all they were actually interested in doing, was capturing as much audio as they could, so as to do to others what they would not have done to themselves.

They began pressing us even further on meaningless psychobabble, such as “is it possible that everything you think you know could be wrong?”, and “how do you know that?”, whenever we made any statement which requires longer to explain than the 10 second window which was opened to us, before one or the other would close it again by interrupting us with the next line of their pre-rehearsed script — which seldom bore any relationship to what we had just said.

To these specific questions, I lost count of how many times I explained why answering ‘yes’ wouldn’t encompass my true position, anymore than answering ‘no’, but Sye pressed on regardless, seemingly oblivious to the fact that if I were to ask him the self-same questions he was asking me, his answering either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ would paint no truer picture of his faith-based position, than it would of my evidence-based worldview — another of those awful “in-speak” phrases which Sye seems to believe means “assumption without evidence” when spoken by others, but “unquestionably true” when spoken by him.

Sye’s one and only response to this, was to repeatedly assert that his position is valid, regardless of his ability to adhere to his own arbitrary rules of engagement, because, as is it claimed, he has had it privately revealed to him that the bible is word-for-word true in a way which cannot be objectively demonstrated, but which he knows for certain to be unquestionably valid. When he was reminded that this “claim to know” is extrinsic and unfalsifiable, we were told that in our basic unwillingness to lower our standards of proof, merely to encompass his fundamentally self-contradictory worldview, that we risked being tortured in the fires of hell for all eternity. So much for peace, love and forgiveness.

No-one, dear friends, expects the Spanish Inquisition — least of all in what was fast becoming a distinctly one-sided conversation, in which he seemed to feel entitled to throw out every appeal to authority fallacy in the book, while we were mysteriously limited to his distorted view of what atheists (all of them, mind you) do and don’t “believe”. But the deception, and dark hilarity, didn’t end there.

Once the recording was published, we began to take feedback from our listeners, and discovered that the essential core of the method they had been using, was first proposed by Cornelius Van Til in his “doctrine of the ontological Trinity” — which was almost immediately rejected as meaningless by contemporary theologians and philosophers of the time, as being no more that a conclusion drawn from its own proposition. This was later clarified by the first Vienna Circle of Logical Positivists, in the early 1920′s, and the father of scientific falsification Karl Popper, who asserted that all metaphysical truth-claims are “essentially meaningless”, when they contradict the validity of that which is immediately observable — or, ‘The Logic of Scientific Discovery’ to you and me.

Because of this syllogism at the heart of what is known as the Transcendental Argument for the existence of God, it is a method of apologetics which has been largely abandoned by theologians of all persuasions for many decades — save for a very narrow band of Americanised evangelicals, renowned the world over for their particularly belligerent insistence that TAG is a rather more substantial argument than it actually is. If we had known this prior to “debating” Sye and Eric, the conversation might have turned out differently. But because we were completely unprepared to encounter someone so ready, willing and able to stoop to new lows in an already strong field of intellectual dishonesty, we had no choice but to notch it up as a “win” for them, and a much needed visit to the library for us.

What we would uncover, in that learning process, is that a band of anti-science activists, who are loosely affiliated with everything from supermodel-endorsed anti-vaccination, which has resulted in a ten-fold increase in cases of measles, mumps and rubella in some of the most developed nations in the world, to a type of global warming denial which is largely backed by the same oil and gas giants who fund the Republican party, are attempting to revive this type of presuppositional Christian apologetics, as part of their “war on atheism”.

But don’t let the ‘A’ word fool you. This is an all-out, politically motivated attack on rationalism, science, intellectual honesty, and everything which most ordinary people, Christian and non-Christian alike, would consider to be basic common sense. Moreover, Christians who see the problem with this type of non-reasoning, are just as much of a target for misinformation and ad hominem attack, as we non-religious are all too used to experiencing on a daily basis.

We had, in other words, inadvertently found ourselves on the receiving end of an elaborate set-up, architected by two of a small but vocal minority in American evangelicalism, who specialise in producing misinformation and propaganda against anyone who just so happens to hold themselves to higher standard of proof than belief for belief’s sake.

A few weeks after this first encounter, my podcast co-host Alex Botten, invited Sye back onto the show, to talk about what we had learned about the TAG argument in the intervening time. What followed was a piece by piece dismantling of Sye’s entire position. He simply couldn’t account for any of the things he had previously attempted to bully us into believing he could in-fact account for. At one point, in response to the fact that TAG is syllogistic and logically fallacious — precisely because it assumes the existence of Yahweh according to the same criteria which could be used to postulate the existence of myriad other gods (the existence of which Sye is as atheistic towards as we are towards Yahweh) — Sye simply began babbling even more incoherently than he had before.

The pace with which he went from being absolutely certain that he can “prove God exists”, to churning out every logical and informal fallacy in the book, was astounding. Here, before our very ears, was the man who runs a website called proofthatgodexists.org, falling apart like a Taiwanese Rolex on Boxing Day; literally tripping over his own tongue, and in relation to some of the most basic problems inherent to the very nature of his own truth-claim. He simply had nothing left. The mask had been removed.

This clearly irked Sye — for what happened next stands as clear an example as any I can think of, as to why legitimately motivated Christians such as you, the sexually attractive and might I say rather dashing reader, should be as cautious of, as we on the opposite benches had to find out the hard way, for ourselves.

We began to hear rumours that Sye and Hovind intended to break our agreement not to commercially exploit the audio recordings, of our conversations, and that they were planning to release a DVD of our “debate”. Sadly, we found out too late that there was a precedent for this, as they had also done a similar thing to another blogger / podcaster, who would later become a friend of mine, named Paul Baird.

When asked directly about this, both Sye and Eric simply remained silent. Days passed and no emails or twitter messages were replied to, or even acknowledged. This, against the backdrop of the story of what happened to Paul Baird, began to paint a very disconcerting picture, which we then had no choice but to respond to, in the absence of any contact from Sye and Eric, to either confirm or deny that these rumours were true.

Paul had found that a debate he recorded with Sye was being sold on Sye’s website for $19.95 a pop, and was disappointed to find that Sye had told Justin Brierley, who made this recording, that Paul had given his full permission for it to be made available as a commercial publication. In reality, Paul had made no such concession — he simply hadn’t been asked, and so Sye simply lied when Justin asked him if Paul had given his permission for the recording to be used.

Then an edit of our conversation with Eric and Sye appeared on YouTube. Bearing in mind that we had specifically said our comments were not to be edited or used out of context, alarm bells began to ring that Sye and Hovind might be planning on doing to us what they had done to Paul Baird. There’s some considerable disagreement at this point, as to why Eric posted this edited video to YouTube — with Eric claiming that it was simply to demonstrate that Alex Botten had said something which he later contradicted, despite that Alex was later able to show that Eric had indeed used these comments out of context.

Eric, in a later Skype conversation, was told in no uncertain terms, that if he planned on releasing any further edited recordings, featuring our comments out-of-context, we would take legal action. To date, and to the best of our knowledge, Hovind has not released any recordings which breach our verbal agreement to this affect.

Fast-forward several weeks. Sye had been told in a series of email exchanges that he would be welcome back onto the podcast, as and when he felt ready to explain the basic contradiction inherent to his own position — i.e., that he claims to have proof that Yahweh exists, while refusing to accept that this is either a fundamental contradiction of his insistence that he holds a faith-based position, or he simply doesn’t understand the basic definition of words like ‘evidence’ and ‘proof’.

Sye’s explanation for this basic contradiction, is to insist that he holds both positions in a way which is “virtuously circular” — an unintentionally amusing punchline to a bad joke first mooted by Greg Bahnsen, an influential Calvinist philosopher, and apologist, who wasn’t unaware of the logical inconsistency in claiming to hold two completely contradictory positions on Yahweh’s basic existence at the same time.

Sye now appeared ready to confront this problem head-on. From the very moment Sye’s Skype call to record his third appearance on the podcast began, he was reminded that we did not give our permission for any of the audio to be used in a commercial setting, or used in any other way, including in YouTube video clips which might accrue a share of Google’s Ad Revenue, or as part of any third party religious ministry. He was then asked directly if he was finally ready to present evidence of Yahweh’s basic existence — to which he replied, “I already have”.

Aware that this was more of the same “cart before the horse, abracadabra, proof of the bible is in the bible” playground nonsense which, remember, we had already told Sye we would not stand for, he was once again invited to present his claimed proof that Yahweh exists. Now, faced with the fact that he did not have our permission to commercially exploit the recording for his own financial gain, and that he had finally been held down to a very specific question with regard to his own basic truth-claim, he simply ran away — literally quitting Skype in a hissy fit, befitting a spoiled child.

Crown Rights Media

No-one has ever said that Christian organisations shouldn’t be entitled to produce media which presents their case for God. Indeed, some of the high production values in editing, computer animation and sound design, which many of these productions employ, is a clear indication that there is a great deal of money to be made from releasing these type of instructional videos and lecture series presentations.

What we do take great objection to, is when these videos are promoted on the back of comments which the producers have been specifically told they do not have permission to use for commercial purposes. So when a promotional video, for an upcoming DVD from Crown Rights Media appeared on YouTube, and posted to Sye ten Bruggencate’s channel, featured an edited portion of the very same recording in which he was specifically told he did not have our permission to use our comments for commercial purposes, you can imagine that we were distinctly unimpressed.

Sye appears to believe, that a recording in which he was held down to a very specific question relating to his own worldview, which he refused to answer and stormed off the recording session when pressed, somehow represents us “running scared” from his particularly nasty brand of pseudo-apologetics. Such is the down is up, up is down, through the looking glass nature of Sye’s entire worldview, one can only presume that by that same internal logic, a recording of us refusing to answer any of his questions, and storming off in a fit of anti-Christian hate speech, would constitute a “win” for the Richard Dawkins brigade — who think that “atheism” is best served by being as offensive towards people who don’t deserve it as possible.

This, dear reader, is not the type of non-believer we represent. Yes, we crack the occasional joke about priests and altar boys, and yes we make clear our disgust at the crystal danglers and homeopaths, but the “something out there” openminded religious, who don’t think that religious belief starts and stops at believing in things which are not true, and insisting that other people believe in this kind of nonsense too, simply aren’t on our radar — indeed we regularly complain about that narrow-minded type of atheist, who behave with disrespect towards the religious in this way, and knacker-up the whole deal for the rest of us.

Since being asked, repeatedly, to remove media which he does not have the right to use, from YouTube, Sye ten Bruggencate has consistently lied to Crown Rights, and their supporters, about the nature of our involvement in the promotional video which he produced against our specific permission to do so — to the point that, at one stage, he even appeared to deny that he had edited out the parts of the albeit very brief conversation, in which he was specifically told he could not edit our comments, or use them on YouTube, or use them in promotion of a commercial product.

Then, when the full unedited recording of him being told exactly this, was posted to Crown Rights Facebook page, a certain Marcus Pittman, of Crown Rights, removed the 70 plus-long comment thread which followed this unambiguous evidence that Sye ten Bruggencate had simply lied, exactly as he had with Paul Baird and the host of Premier Christian Radio’s ‘Unbelievable’, Justin Brierley — saying, as a justification for this clear attempt to silence the facts, that I was “being annoying”.

Think about it. “Annoying” for proving that someone is lying to your face, but “virtuously circular” for claiming to have proof that Yahweh exists, while refusing to present any evidence of it.

These people, dear readers, are not your friends. They are not even your fellow Christian. They are scam artists, who for $20 a go, promise you everything and tell you nothing. Do not be deceived. Please do not do make the same mistake we did, and have anything at all to do with these provable liars. They will rip you off, they will lie to you, and they will lie about you if you have the simple temerity to question their motives. Please, be warned. They are far more of a threat to your image, true beliefs, and motives, than anything the vast majority of atheists like me would, or could seek to impose upon you.

Thank you for your time. Jim.

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