I believe there's no rhinoceros in my coat closet

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    Dang Martin

    “I believe in a purple dinosaur on Jupiter” type stuff and you really expect me to take that seriously? Really? For so-called “more mature ” position it doesn’t seem like it.

    So, “I have an invisible friend who talks to me when I put my hands together, who will send me to heaven for the mere act of believing, and who will send me to hell forever if a masturbate” is a position of maturity?

    You expect the claim of a god to be taken seriously.

    From your perspective, and yes now I’m going to tell YOU what YOU believe and see how you like that, your god is real. It factually exists. There is no equal to it, so nothing can compare to it. For this reason, attempts to generate analogies will always fail, in your mind.

    From MY perspective, you may believe that you can have a discussion about these things. But it seems that any attempt to challenge your position, or anything that might invalidate your position, gets met with great defense. This is a by-product of a combination of two things.

    One of those things is fear. It’s the fear of being wrong. It’s the fear of dying. It’s the fear that this life might be the ONLY thing, and then that’s it. The fear that it’s the same nothingness as was “experienced” before birth. The fear of questioning or challenging this protective, safe thing that keeps you from being afraid of the world.

    The other thing is childhood indoctrination, or brainwashing. This keeps the fear securely in place. Your brain has been wired to protect your religious beliefs at all costs. This fear is why you lash out when someone attempts to make an analogy.

    A purple dinosaur on Jupiter is how your god appears to me. It’s made up. It’s something that cannot be believed. It’s something where I wonder how any mature, grown adult could possibly believe this.

    The answer is indoctrination and fear. People typically do not go to church because they love god, but instead go because they fear eternal damnation.

    So this will be a cycle, where someone tries to make an analogy in an effort to get you to understand how things look from the other side of the fence, and then that analogy will be dismissed as childish or stupid, and the lack of communication and understanding will continue on and on, in perpetuity.



    @unseen The notion that theists are suffering from a mental illness. It is a blatant hypocrisy to take the stance they take meanwhile demeaning the majority of the world population. Its the exact mentality they hope to eradicate but they are inadvertently participating in the problem.

    I don’t recall where I supposedly said theists are suffering from a mental illness. A delusion based on a lack of critical thinking plus a big dose of wishful thinking isn’t mental illness, though it IS sad.


    Dang Martin

    It is a blatant hypocrisy to take the stance they take meanwhile demeaning the majority of the world population.

    This is a fallacious argument known as argumentum ad populum. It is the proposition that something must be true, because a large group or majority holds that belief.

    There is a large Muslim population on this planet, and you don’t believe in their holy book or their god. To make this more like your own argument, you believe that it’s false and believe their god is not true.

    Why would you want to demean the second largest population? How can 1.6 BILLION people [as of 2010] be wrong?

    It is projected that the Muslim population will surpass the Christian population on the planet during the century. Should this happen in your lifetime, do you plan on converting because they are the majority?

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by  Dang Martin.


    @unseen no I was answering your question when you asked what I see is wrong with the way prominent atheists talk (like Dawkins etc…)… You had asked somewhere in your post and Davis said “I hope it gets answered ” so I’m answering it…




    It is the proposition that something must be true, because a large group or majority holds that belief

    I did not say it was true, I simply stated that they are insulting most people. That is why I think their position is elitist and they are egotists.


    Dang Martin

    I did not say it was true, I simply stated that they are insulting most people [1]. That is why I think their position is elitist and they are egotists [2].

    [1] Nobody cares if they choose to feel insulted, or if their feelings are hurt. This is a popular move among believers. They’re SO offended! That’s known as the Red Herring Fallacy. It’s not an argument. If I get offended as an Atheist, then I can guarantee you that not one Christian will care. It really does not matter.

    [2] This sounds like a serious case of projection. But, to give the benefit of the doubt, it sounds like you are offended by the position itself. It can easily be argued that the Christian position is elitist and egotistic. To be clear, this is NOT about the attitude of Christians, but about their position/belief itself.

    The Christian philosophy is very elitist, in that it dictates that those who believe are in a special club, and that they will gain special entry into a special place [heaven] for all of eternity, while everyone else is cast into hell forever. This is nothing more elite than this.

    The Christian philosophy promotes an idea that inevitably inflates the ego, in that Christians should take comfort in the idea that the creator of the universe is battling the ultimate evil force of the universe for the privilege of eternal ownership of your soul.

    You view the Atheist position as being elitist and egotistic because you feel a sense of inferiority. That is your problem, and not the problem of anyone else.

    If you think the Atheist position is elitist and egotistical, then congratulations, for you have these to hide behind as defense mechanisms. You are not here to figure out what you believe, as you claim. You will never learn anything if you attack ideas other than yours for being elitist or egotistical.

    A close mind goes nowhere.


    Dang Martin

    I’m offended! (A special case of the red-herring fallacy) [source]

    When a core belief is under threat from a good counter-argument it is common for many to defend the belief by stating “I’m offended”. Here the person whose beliefs are under threat seeks to defend their position and thinking, not with evidence and argument, but by throwing out an often unjustified comment claiming to be offended. Creationists get offended by Evolutionary theory, Parapsychologists get offended by more sceptical scientific interpretations, and Pseudoscientists get offended when their unfounded premises and illogical cherished ideas are called into question. None of this of course, means that the beliefs of the individual being offended are actually true. It means nothing and can be cast as an instance of:

    the red-herring fallacy (evading the issue via diversion);
    to some degree the non-sequitur fallacy (where the argument does not follow from the premise, or the conclusion does not follow from the argument), and/or;
    the irrelevant objection fallacy (where the completely irrelevant tangent of being offended is recruited as an objection to the argument).
    The problem is the ‘I’m offended’ card gets played far too easily for those whose position is difficult to defend. It is often recruited even when an opponent in a debate makes a perfectly reasonable suggestion or asks a respectful but challenging question.

    Playing the ‘I’m offended’ card every time the debate gets interesting is neither a well reasoned, sensible or scientific position to take. It has no place in an adult intelligent debate about the issues. The perception comes about because to question a core belief of someone is, to them, to question them personally. It is not and nothing could be further from the truth. This ‘red herring’ fallacy is an attempt to steer attention away from the real crux of the issue that many find difficult to deal with. It liberates such individuals from having to justify and support their argument. If you say ‘I am offended’ then that’s all you need to say and in the minds of such people it gets them out of having to consider the issues at hand. It is a sort of cognitive defence mechanism – that serves to protect the belief position of the person. It seems their position really is – “I get offended by anything you do not agree with” – how can this be a viable position for a reasoned argument on science?



    Because no one including you has answered my question. What evidence would convince you? If subjective evidence is never going to be enough what objective evidence are you looking for exactly? I asked that months ago and I haven’t gotten a straight answer from people but it’s a serious question.

    Belle, you are lying about what happened. I read through that whole thread, all 36 pages of it, when I came back from my hiatus. Multiple multiple people gave you honest answers, and many of them answered the question exactly as you asked it, even though you asked it in such a way as to make a logical response impossible.

    I can’t speak for anyone else, but a lot of my personal frustration with you has been because it seems to me you’re being remarkably dishonest in how you interact with us lately. You asked the original question, way back last December, in a dishonest way, and you continue to flat-out lie about what happened in that discussion.

    By the timestamps on my account, it was 7:51 p.m. on Dec. 19, 2016 when you asked the question: “What EXACTLY would you need to see to be able to say, “Wow yes, there is a God…””

    The second reply to your post was Dec. 19 8:33 p.m. Violeta Babacan wrote to you and explained (1) why the question can’t really be answered, as you posed it, and (2) a tentative answer to the question in spite of the difficulties. She said something that totally goes against nature and physics would be a good start.

    Jake LaFort  on Dec. 20 at 12:08 a.m. gave the perfectly reasonable answer that God would know what kind of evidence was needed, and would then provide it. You complained that this was avoiding the question. But it’s not avoiding the question at all; it’s just admitting ignorance. It’s saying “I don’t know,” which is a perfectly valid answer.

    Maybe that answer wasn’t as specific as you wanted. But then Robert on Dec. 20 at 12:40 a.m. offered some very specific examples, including: Pick up the Empire State Building and move it to my street, or: Make your followers all love and embrace the LGBT community.

    How did you respond to getting some solid, concrete answers less than 12 hours after you asked your question? You belittled Robert’s responses. You said, “You want God to intervene in a MAJOR way…How do you know that hasn’t already happened?” Um, because we would have seen it???

    You then explained why every single answer he gave wasn’t good enough, or why a god couldn’t or wouldn’t ever do what he asked. “So it sounds like you would want God to defy the laws of physics and do something flashy,” you said. “What if God could be known through the laws of physics?” If he could, why would he be considered supernatural, and why would all the stories of all gods be chock full of physically impossible miracles?

    You said, what would convince you? Robert responded, this is what would convince me, and your answer to that was no, don’t ask for that, that’s not the right answer.  Then you have the nerve to claim nobody has answered you?

    We gave you answers. You just didn’t like the answers.

    I think you didn’t like the answers because you know you and your god can’t provide the things we asked for.

    I responded to your query myself, with what I think was a serious answer. But I responded months later. Maybe you just didn’t see what I wrote. But I spent some time writing it, and tried to be thoughtful and honest.

    In fact, I wrote some examples of things that would convince me all the way back in 2014 here on TA. The examples I asked for were based directly on the bible.

    It seems to me you are not being honest with us, or with yourself, about what really happened there.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by  physeter.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by  physeter.


    @davis: I’m not lying! I’m being honest. I don’t feel like anyone has given me an answer that is both serious and tangible.

    Davis is one of the people who did give you a tangible answer. I guess you decided his answer wasn’t serious–which is odd, because I got the impression that if any of those things happened they would seriously cause Davis to count them as evidence of God. Did you decide it wasn’t serious because you know it won’t happen?


    No it is not. I am trying to work out how high (or low) you set the bar when it comes to accepting or dismissing the proposition. People believe all sorts of things. If some of them believed there was a rhino in the closet would you accepts their words for it. Would you accept it from a friend who sounded convincing? If not, why not? What kind of evidence would you require to accept it was true?


    Dang Martin

    I’m seeing lots of problems associated with the concept of proof.

    Religious Problem: It is clear that bellerose is requiring rather specific things that would serve as “proof.” These requirements are so high that seemingly legitimate and reasonable answers to what would serve as proof are not good enough for her. These articles of proof are infinitely higher in requirements, when compared to her own personal “proof,” which led her to a place of belief.

    In other words, the proof that she requires for herself is so small as to be insignificant, and the proof she wants others to require is so significant as to be impossible. Proof should be proof, across the board, but it will not work out this way, due to the unreasonable and illogical nature of religious belief.

    This is NOT to say that religious people are illogical and unreasonable. Their beliefs are, and it should be noted that intelligence was NOT what put them into a position of belief. It was childhood abuse in the form of brainwashing.

    If scientific evidence is required, then this comes with a host of problems. Also, since bellerose’s requirements for personal proof are low, they would not meet the requirements of scientific evidence, which would invalidate her reasons for believing. This is unacceptable in her mind, so this cannot happen.

    Her lack of acceptance for any suggested vehicles of proof is a defense mechanism that protects her fragile beliefs.

    Prayer Problem: Proof must be observable and repeatable, and chance can play a role. It makes sense that if someone uses Christian methods to prove or disprove the Christian god, then one might be inclined to declare that there is no Christian god when that prayer test failed, or that the Christian god does exist when the test passes [and is then peer-reviewed and re-tested].

    This test, however, suffers a bias in that it is not all-inclusive. There are a host of other gods relevant to human religions. And, if one is open to possibilities, then they could not ignore the possibility of a god who is not affiliated with any human religions. Is it possible for a god who is not connected to any religions to make a decision to answer prayers of various religions at random times? If so, what would motivate a god like that?

    The point I’m trying to hint at is that focus on the Christian god Yahweh would be a case of operating under the assumption that this is the only god who is considered to be real, or the only god whose existence is a possibility or probability.

    Bias Problem: I suppose it is possible that an Atheist may have a bias toward the Natural world, since we have no proof of a Supernatural world. I tend to trust what I can see and feel more, when compared to an unfounded Supernatural claim.

    Christians most definitely suffer a bias when it comes to discussion of their own beliefs, for they feel attacked and offended, and therefore are unable to engage in rational and logical discussion about it. Talk and criticism of other religions may be acceptable, but their own beliefs are completely off the table, even if they wish to pretend that they might be here to learn what they truly believe.

    I’ve heard it said that the Christian god in question, Yahweh, lives “outside of time and space,” in what could fairly be considered a “Supernatural” world.

    Maybe it’s possible to discuss, or maybe even test, the idea of a Supernatural world. A Supernatural world isn’t necessarily Christian in nature, so Christians would not feel attacked if there were any methodical or material [hehe] criticisms of a Supernatural world. Also, the label of “Atheist” means a lack of belief in gods, but does not necessarily preclude the Supernatural. I’ve known Atheists who believe in ghosts, Astrology, and even Tarot cards.

    The potential problem with this is that it is not clear if applying Natural world testing, observations, and documentation, would necessarily work for a Supernatural world. Yes, I’m really suspending disbelief here, right now, only because there are things in the Natural world that I cannot perceive with my senses, such as certain wavelengths of light, or certain wavelengths of sound that only a dog might hear.

    When it comes to proof, I do not think that any proof exists. The proof that Christians, including bellerose, have for themselves is not solid proof. They know it would not stand up as proof for others, but they do not want this “proof” challenged, as a way of defending what they believe from scrutiny. They should understand that any philosophy worthy of adherence can withstand a little bit of scrutiny, and that a philosophy who calls those who do not partake to be “fools” [Psalm 14:1] to be highly suspect.

    I cannot speak for other Atheists, but I would need some type of evidence that is testable and verifiable. Having a series of prayers answered is almost coin toss territory. And if you tell a Christian that you would need proof, such as something that resembles a magic trick, they will tell that their god is not a trained State Fair chicken who does tricks at your command.

    Even if a being appeared, and this being’s presence and actions could be verified, it would be absolutely IMPERATIVE that this being identify himself as Yahweh, the Christian god. It would have to come out and actually declare this in order for me to believe that it is Yahweh, the Christian god. Anything less would be proof of A god, but not this SPECIFIC god in question.

    Best case scenario, if we were able to prove that a Supernatural world does exist, but then found that the Christian god Yahweh did not exist in that realm, then I am highly confident that Christians would agree to move the goalpost, yet again, and would be eager to declare that their god is “unknowable,” while simultaneously claiming to “know” this god and to have “a personal relationship” with it.


    In other words, proof, knowledge, and thinking did not lead them to this place, so those things will not take them out of it. And, since proof, knowledge, and thinking did not lead them there, I am highly confident that it would not lead an Atheist there, either.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by  Dang Martin.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by  Dang Martin.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by  Dang Martin.


    Sigh…I give up. Too many people twisting my words around, making assumptions and flat out NOT understanding my points and veering the subject off topic.

    @physeter I’ll respond to each of those posts you imaged about why I do not feel that they answered the heart of my question when I have time. It’s too much to really spell it out and right now I don’t have time.


    Dang Martin

    And that is how one avoids challenging their own beliefs.




    And then you guys call me a liar? Really? I’m telling you how I feel about something I’ve thought a LOT about. I read all 36 pages too physeter. I thought about each post. Probably more than most people would.



    @Dang Martin Im not going to respond to you at all anymore. I don’t want to engage with you. You know nothing about me or my history on this forum and you’re being really disrespectful.

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