Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Book of Hezekiah

Welcome Operation 513ers.

It looks like we here at CASE are starting to get some feedback from the activities of CASE officer Alex Stewart. It appears that Mr Stewart's performance on 14 June 2008 has now caused 18 of 20 paragraphs of the most recent battlelog to be about him. Mr Stewart has told CASEHQ - "I am quite pleased with the result, not only has CASE succeeded in preventing any further damage by this group on the night in question, CASE also turned several spectators and possibly some of the Operation 513 members into atheists".

CASE is, however, concerned about the integrity of the most recent battlelog reported by Josh Williamson of the nights events. CASE notes most of that report is somewhat one-sided, and in accordance with CASE's policy of accurate reporting, the allegations therein will now be dealt with:-

1. The Lenski Experiment

The experiment that CASE officer Alex Stewart referred to was the 20 year ongoing experiment at Michigan State Univesity, Richard Lenski. Lenski has a double PhD and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences in the United States accordingly, rather than making apriori judgements about this experiment then perhaps Operation 513ers can give him some respect and read about his work. Lenski's experiment regarding evolving E.coli is not "micro-evolution" - rather it is a whole new species of E.coli. CASE has posted two links to articles about the Lenski experiments hereunder, please have a look for yourself:-

I would like to quote a passage from the second article:-

'Lenski's experiment is also yet another poke in the eye for anti-evolutionists, notes Jerry Coyne, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Chicago. "The thing I like most is it says you can get these complex traits evolving by a combination of unlikely events," he says. "That's just what creationists say can't happen."'

2. New information in DNA

Mr Williamson notes in the battlelog queries about where "new information comes from?". Clearly, Mr Williamson would like a simple answer like "the stork brings it" or the equally likely "God does it". Alternatively, Mr Williamson could commence a degree in biology to understand the subject, rather than make the argument from personal incredulity.

Nonetheless, CASE will try and explain for the benefit of intelligent debate. The information is most likely the result of replication errors in DNA, resulting in a positive mutation. Of course, there are many replication errors in a line of ancestry, we see so-called negative mutations such as down-syndrome or turner syndrome quite often within our own species. The Lenski experiment refers to replication errors where the DNA resulting from the error does prove to contain a positive aspect, or even one that is not so negative as to destroy the capacity of the individual to survive to breed. CASE notes that DNA polymerase chain reaction is a complex chemical reaction which is observed in nature. Does Operation 513 believe that every replication (millions per second) will be perfect? Do they also believe that when there is an error - the result can only be negative? Who has a closed mind now, we wonder?

3. Second Vote? This ain't Florida

CASE does not recall a second vote - will review video tape of incident, if Operation 513 is prepared to make it public. Of course, the tape wasn't confiscated by police this week.

Nevertheless, CASE understands the substantial presence in the crowd were Christian and that this can be intimidating to some atheist/agnostic/unbelievers.

4. Mr Williamson offering advice

Mr Williamson is aware that CASE's position is that all scientific and logical inquiries into the universe reveals no evidence for God. CASE officer Alex Stewart has made that position clear to Mr Williamson on a number of occassions, to which Mr Williamson has claimed Mr Stewart was 'dancing like a lawyer'. CASE is quite suprised that Mr Williamson is now claiming credit for

'It would be far safer for Alex to say "In the knowledge that I currently have, I am yet to see evidence for God".'

Obviously, for Alex Stewart to state "there is no evidence for God" is the same thing. Unless Mr Williamson is claiming that Alex Stewart has the ability to know things that he does not have in his knowledge? Hey, why not, Theists claim to have knowledge of things like God which they have no knowledge about - Why can't Alex Stewart have the same mystical ability? Well, for one thing, Alex Stewart is a critical thinker - not a BS artist.

Thanks for the advice Mr Williamson, we would be lost without gems like that.

5. CASE sovereign over God - duh

CASE does not want to be sovereign over God, but is a telephone call every once in a while too much to ask? Why is God so secretive? Ever wonder about that?

6. Theist cannot grasp matter of simple theology - suprise

Agnostic and atheist are the same thing - how can you have knowledge of something you don't believe in? Similarly, how can you believe in something you have no knowledge of?

Mr Williamson has tried to demonize atheists by stating that they are people that deny the existence of God. That is a plain lie - one that given $18,000.00 worth of Bible college education Mr Williamson should know better than telling.

Athiests, by definition, do not believe in God. That does not mean that athiests deny the possibility of God, it is just they don't have any reason or evidence to support saying he/she exists. We aren't going to believe in something 'on speculation' - we want proof.

Atheists will often challenge theists for their evidence of the existence of God and usually be disappointed in the response. This would be silly if such evidence existed and was accepted by the community at large. The reason that atheists continue to ask the question is that THERE IS NO EVIDENCE FOR GOD.

Perhaps, if Mr Williamson has some evidence then he could provide CASE with same for testing in the Penn & Teller Pre-memorial deity testing centre (Please read other posts for relevance of same).

It is interesting to note that Mr Williamson does not believe that Allah exists, or that Ra exists, or that Wotan exists or any other strange God that has been worshiped through time. What evidence does he have that those Gods don't exist? If he has none then, on his logic, he must surely accept that those Gods also exist too? No, Mr Williamson is an atheist with respect to all those Gods, we just ask that he add one more.

Neitzche tells us that when we are confronted with two bad options, we can choose not to choose. What is wrong with that position? Nothing, it is the only logical and rational position - the atheist position.

For further information in this regard, please note:-

7. The all-powerful contradiction

Can God do anything? CASE officer Alex Stewart made this statement and continued the argument from malevolence - which Mr Williamson failed to include in his log, the argument is rather simple:-

a. If God is all powerful then he can prevent all suffering
b. If God is good then he must prevent all suffering
c. Suffering exists
d. Therefore, God does not exist or
e. God is not good.

Perhaps it was best put by Epicurus:-

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"

8. Atheistic Violence is good - all other violence is bad

As a completely fictional organization, CASE is suprised at being taken seriously in its call for Holy War. It would be hard to write satire (try reading any of the posts on this blog's archives) without taking a certain point of view. CASE is a radical, terrorist organization - just like Operation 513. Of course, CASE feels that atheists should be treated equally with theists - accordingly, atheists should be able to cause just as much damage as theists have. Funny that theists can't even detect a joke - Jesus played a pretty big one on them.

In relation to the "worst killers of the twentieth century" slander against atheism, CASE notes this quote from Adolf Hitler, killer of millions:-

"The folkish-minded man, in particular, has the sacred duty, each in his own denomination, of making people stop just talking superficially of God's will, and actually fulfill
God's will, and not let God's word be desecrated.
"[original italics]

Which is stunningly similar to:-

Although it be incumbent on the bishops or pastors of the churches, to be instant in preaching the word, by way of office, yet the work of preaching the word is not so peculiarly confined to them but that others also gifted and fitted by the Holy Spirit for it, and approved and called by the church, may and ought to perform it.

I'll let you figure it out.

Nonetheless, CASE notes that it does not support facism or socialism in any way. Rather, it notes that Theism, like facism and socialism is dependent on a dogmatic approach which denies criticism (IE, If you were a critic in facist germany, socialist russia or 15th century theist Europe - you could generally expect a quick death or painful torture). CASE considers all reliance on dogma to be inherently dangerous. Nonetheless, Operation 513 and other theists rely on it all the time - just read one of their tracts for an example of dogma. CASE argues theists have more in common with socialist and facist dictators then CASE does. Except for the fact that CASE also wishes to rule the planet with an iron fist. Mwha ha ha ha.

9. Absolute Morality - don't make me laugh

Mr Williamson actually began his point by asking whether rape was ever moral. Alex Stewart noted the situation of arranged marriage between a man and an unconsenting woman (this is a barbaric practice that still takes place today). Sex within those marriages is not considered rape in many countries, in fact, it is arguable that rape of your wife is not a crime before the Ten Commandments. CASE, on the other hand, does condemn all forms of rape.

Mr Williamson said that rape was "absolutely immoral". Alex Stewart responded by asking whether the man in an arranged marriage considered it to be right. Mr Williamson agreed. Alex Stewart then made the point that rape could not be "absolutely immoral" if certain people did not find it immoral. Mr Williamson was clearly defeated on this point, nonetheless he continued to push harder now saying that "pedophilia" was absolutely immoral.

CASE is against all forms of pedophilia, although CASE notes that many arranged marriages occur between children and men, even today. Mr Williamson again had to concede that in those circumstances, those societies did not consider that pedophilia was immoral and accordingly, it was not "absolutely immoral".


10. Faith? Now you need faith to be an atheist - Huh???

"His closing argument was "You Christians believe in God by faith!" To which I replied "I accept God's existence by faith, even though I can see evidence for Him, and the atheists accept God not existing "by faith", and I don't have enough faith to be an atheist!"

Actually, as noted above - CASE does not have faith in anything. So, if I don't have faith in God doesn't that mean I don't believe in him? Yep - no faith required for atheism. This is very hard to explain to a theist for some reason. They just want to demonise us atheists as trying to ruin their party. Perhaps the best way to put it is -

Person 1 says to Person 2: "Stop believing everything"
Person 2 says to Person 1: "Ok, I am now believing in nothing - I have no knowledge, just like any innocent or naieve person"
Person 1 says to Person 2: "Now, do you believe in God?"
Person 2 says to Person 1: "No, can you show me some evidence?"

Its a pretty simple position to understand, in fact, it is the only position that anyone can logically stand in without having to invoke faith - which is claiming knowledge of something without obtaining knowledge about that thing. It is a self-deception

11. Finally, The Book of Hezekiah

Something that was not mentioned in the battlelog - Mr Williamson asked Alex Stewart whether the "Book of Hezekiah" appears in the New or Old Testament. Alex Stewart responded that he was not aware of any "Book of Hezekiah", on which Mr Williamson had to admit there was no such thing.

Mr Williamson had attempted to deceive Mr Stewart by bearing false witness and seeking to bring Mr Stewart into error. A contravention of Exodus 20: 16 or Deuteronomy 5:20? Although Mr Stewart was not caught by this deceit, it does lead CASE to query what other deceptions Mr Williamson may have committed to trick people into his flock?

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