panelarrow

Atheist Tuesday: The 3 Wise Men

| 30 Comments

In American culture too many people have admired the slapstick humor of The Three Stooges. These bumbling knuckleheads have promoted great guffaws among the populace with their illogical antics and silly pratfalls; their inane arguments and solutions to difficult situations have elicited great gasps of mass hilarity.

But that was for another time.

For these modern days we now have a triumvirate who are a bit more inventive in their approach to life and how it all works out. These men are very wise to the educated, models of inspiration for a new age and a more enlightened way of thinking. Who are these Mighty Men?

#1: Richard Dawkins (Oxford professor)

(Cue the laugh track) He wrote: “Evolution is a fact. Beyond reasonable doubt, beyond serious doubt, beyond sane, informed, intelligent doubt, beyond doubt evolution is a fact. The evidence for evolution is at least as strong as the evidence for the Holocaust, even allowing for eye witnesses to the Holocaust.”

“It is a plain truth that we are cousins of chimpanzees, somewhat more distant cousins of monkeys, more distant cousins still of aardvarks and manatees, yet more distant cousins of bananas and turnips … continue the list as long as desired.”

Let’s here it for Professor Turnip!

#2: Stephen Hawking (theoretical physicist)

(Notice the Applause sign, please.) He said, “I have lived with the prospect of an early death for the last 49 years. I’m not afraid of death, but I’m in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first. I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.”

Of all the gifts God gave this brilliant man, wisdom was not one of them.

Last but not least, is a man who continues to waste everyone’s time and money with frivolities. He is none other than…

#3: Michael Newdow (litigious lawyer)

(Wild applause) “As I’m standing in line, I’m looking at the twenty dollar bill, and it says ‘In God We Trust.’ What the heck is this doing here?  It just had never hit me.  I looked at the ten dollar bill. ‘In God We Trust.’  And the five and the one and all the change.  I thought, ‘What is going on here?  I don’t trust in God.  I’m an American.'”

“We have religious freedom, and the government’s supposed to stay out of that business. Every American’s fundamental rights have been infringed here.”

Newdow has challenged the use of “In God We Trust” on U.S. currency. He lost. He had also sought to stop the chief justice of the nation’s highest court from including “so help me God” when swearing in U.S. presidents, claiming the reference to God infringes on his beliefs. The court refused to hear his case.

In the Wizard of Oz the Cowardly Lion needed courage, the Scarecrow a heart and the Tin-man a brain. These three also need a little help. I’ll leave it to you to decide who needs what.

“Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools…”
(Romans 1:22)

*****

Sources:
Dawkins quotes from his book, “The Greatest Show on Earth” as cited in Dr. Albert Mohler’s article, “The Only Game in Town? Richard Dawkins and the Limits of Reason”
Hawking quote from The Lookout, “Stephen Hawking says afterlife is a fairy story.”
Newdow quotes from MichaelNewdow.com and CitizenLink

30 Comments

  1. You’re not very good at “this is my argument and here is how I support it.” But you seem to be really good at “neener neener neener.”

  2. Steve, I don’t think that’s what perdita was saying.

    Plus, the only “facts” I see in this article is that the three people said what you quoted them as saying, and parts of the info about Newdow.

    Having said all of that, while Dawkins and certainly Hawking are “men [who] are very wise to the educated, models of inspiration for a new age and a more enlightened way of thinking”, I don’t see how Newdow is anywhere close to the level of them.

  3. Steve, what’s your opinion of Dawkins’ biology work, or Hawking’s physics work?

  4. Steve don’t you find this article a tad bit juvenile? I know you don’t want to accept the arguments these men make whether it be about biology, physics, or separation of church and state but honestly I was hoping for an interesting point of discussion, this is the highlight of my Tuesdays afterall. =)

  5. Ah the guy we’ve shown to be completely ignorant of science poking fun at scientists, well played!

  6. And once again, since you believe you are the brother of a turnip I have no idea why you think being a distant cousin is something insulting.

  7. I read the Albert Mohler linked article above, I find it interesting that he’s Southern Baptist and a few Christian co-workers who also don’t accept evolution as fact are also Southern Baptists. I’m not too familiar with that particular sect of Christianity but it seems an awful lot of evolution denial seems to come from that branch of Christianity. Any thoughts?

  8. The difference between believing we related to other life forms and believing we’re made out of dirt and ribs by a [Holy Awesome God who will punish rebellion] is minimal is that one is support by fact.

    As for
    “Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools…”
    (Romans 1:22)

    well:

    “…whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
    (Matthew 5:22)

    Whoops.

  9. Nohm asked: Steve, what’s your opinion of Dawkins’ biology work, or Hawking’s physics work?

    Well, if their conclusions lead to them thinking that there is no God, well, I don’t think too much of it. From a turnip? Really?

    Vin wrote: I read the Albert Mohler linked article above, I find it interesting that he’s Southern Baptist and a few Christian co-workers who also don’t accept evolution as fact are also Southern Baptists. I’m not too familiar with that particular sect of Christianity but it seems an awful lot of evolution denial seems to come from that branch of Christianity. Any thoughts?

    Generally speaking, the SoBaps are one of the few denominations that are still holding true to the inspired, inerrant Word of God. And, generally, they believe it to be true!

  10. The “science” of the religion of atheism is based on faith and misinterpretations of the facts. “Follow where the evidence leads” is anathema to them.

  11. “Ah the guy we’ve shown to be completely ignorant of science poking fun at scientists, well played!”

    And the guy (Richard Dawkins) we’ve shown to be completely ignorant of Christianity poking fun at Christianity.

    No sarcastic jabs aimed in that direction, though?

  12. Pastor Steve said: “Generally speaking, the SoBaps are one of the few denominations that are still holding true to the inspired, inerrant Word of God. And, generally, they believe it to be true!”

    You are correct Pastor Steve and praise God for that! I’m currently going to a Southern Baptist Church so I can attest that that is very true and I’m thankful for it!

  13. @Steve

    If you studied anything about evolution you’d know what he meant by that. Its not too difficult to understand really, in terms easy to understand, every living thing on this planet today are descended from common ancestors. So from human to squirrel to turnip if you trace life back millions and millions of years (as paleontologists do with the fossil record and comparisons in our DNA) into their more basal forms you eventually arrive at species that occupied space on this planet at one point in time in history that became the sort of branch between the varying diverse lifeforms around us today.

    And yes from the SoBaps we get Jack Chick and Kent Hovind, who are always quite extraordinary in their claims when it comes to Bible and science. Most of the time they’re just laugh and/or cringe inducing but on some level I have to respect their conviction. They’re sticking with Bible over reality and can’t really be dissuaded. Now I don’t have a problem with them believing what they do, even though its not too particularly helpful to the progress of humanity, but it irks me and many others when they actively lobby against proven science being taught in the classroom. America doesn’t need to fall behind the rest of the world when it comes to science, we need to be leading it. =)

  14. Steve wrote:

    Well, if their conclusions lead to them thinking that there is no God, well, I don’t think too much of it.

    I don’t think either Dawkins or Hawking (unless you can show me otherwise) thought that there is no God based on their conclusions of their work.

    I know that Dawkins says something along the lines of how his work supports his atheism (which, again, is NOT the “belief there is no God”), but I have no knowledge of Hawking saying anything like this.

    Again, if you can show otherwise, I will concede.

    Actually, Steve, do you know anything about what either of those two men study? I don’t ask this to shame you, but more to get an idea of what your understanding of their work is.

    From a turnip? Really?

    I don’t understand this question.

    Unless you’re suggesting that Dawkins claimed that we evolved from turnips, which he didn’t claim. He claims that we are distant “cousins” of turnips (and, Ray’s favorite, the banana).

    Do you understand the difference between “we and the turnip evolved from a common ancestor” and “we evolved from a turnip”?

    It’s the same difference between “my cousin Joe and I have the same grandparents” and “I was born from my cousin Joe”.

  15. Vin, I’ve found that evolution denial is not specific to any denomination, or really any religion (look at all of the Harun Yahya supporters).

    Having said that, certain denominations — such as the SoBaps — tend to have a higher level of evolution denial.

    Based on my experiences, I would suggest that this is because:

    1. They’re religious fundamentalists.
    2. They’re very well-organized.
    3. They have many outlets for delivering their messages to their members.

    Notice that “good arguments supported by evidence” is missing from the list above.

    Vin, it’s my experience that people like the SoBaps, and Steve Sanchez here, think that evolution is something very different than what it actually is. That’s how you get the “crocoduck” stuff. So, in a way, it’s sorta understandable that they would deny it; I would deny it to, if I thought it claimed what they think it claims. But here’s the thing: the vast vast majority of these people have no idea what the theory of evolution is; they have simply been told by a trusted authority that it’s wrong.

    So, you take people who are already authoritarians, have a trusted authority tell them that something is wrong (and, in many cases, inspired by Satan himself), and have no interest in doing research into it.

    Who are they going to believe? You? Me? Or the trusted authority figure?

  16. “Well, if their conclusions lead to them thinking that there is no God, well, I don’t think too much of it. From a turnip? Really?”

    No you’ve misundertood, you didnt come from a turnip anymore than you came from your cousin.

    “the inspired, inerrant Word of God.”

    It’s so disappointing that people find unicorns and fire-breathing monsters to be more plausible than evolution.

  17. “Well, if their conclusions lead to them thinking that there is no God, well, I don’t think too much of it. From a turnip? Really? ”

    In other words “I have no idea what their work says, but I am going to continue to mock them anyway”.

    Hey I think it’s stupid that you think you are the brother of a turnip, distant cousin sounds better to me.

  18. @Nohm

    Yeah I’ve seen a few ‘debates’ between Sobaps (I love that abbreviation gonna use it more often) and rationalists, scientists, and professors, and whenever they’re pushed to offer up alternative explanation to physically observed reality they fall back on metaphysical claims such as… sin ruined the universe, or satan corrupted creation and made everything bad. Its a magical claim that fits all situations and isn’t really supported by anything, but it seems to be the best they got, which is kind of sad.

  19. @ Jim

    Oh, but I doooo understand what these men are saying: Somehow we are descended from turnips and manatees (way, way distant cousins), Heaven is a fairy tale and America really, really, was never a Christian nation.

    Did I understand correctly? If so, buy me another large bag of hot buttered.

    And a kazoo.

  20. Steve wrote:

    Did I understand correctly?

    Again, no. And this was after I tried to explain it.

    Somehow we are descended from turnips and manatees

    No no no, Steve. Are you a descendant of any of your cousins? I would hope not.

    Turnips and manatees are, as you said: way, way distant cousins.

    Do you understand the difference between “way, way distant cousins” and “descended from”? The difference is pretty big.

    As for “Heaven is a fairy tale“, well, you believe that Jannah — and all other “heavens” believed by all of the other religions — are fairy tales, correct? So, these men (and myself) just go one heaven more.

    As for America never being a Christian nation, that depends completely on what exactly you mean when you write “Christian nation”. If you’re talking about Barton and his ilk, you should read what Christian historians think of his scholarship and work.

    So, I’m curious about two things, Steve:

    1. Do you now understand the difference between “descended from” and “way, way distant cousins of”?

    2. What do you mean when you write the words “Christian nation”?

    So, in conclusion, I’m not convinced that you doooo understand what these men are saying, regardless of the availability of popcorn and a kazoo.

  21. Vin wrote:

    Its a magical claim that fits all situations and isn’t really supported by anything, but it seems to be the best they got, which is kind of sad.

    Shrug. It’s exactly what I expect. I hope that, at some point, I get surprised by them.

  22. Religion Evolved just like everything esle in this world did Steve. The first inhabitants of America believed in many different Gods until they were taken over. One of the main reasons people moved from Europe to America is to escape certain governments which were controlled by the church. Hence the reason for the seperation of State and Church in this country because our founding fathers didn’t want to make the same mistakes by being ruled by one central power such as the church and to have more freedom of choice.
    These three men..not that i agree with all of them. Have done tons of research and have much more credit than you do. I don’t understand why you make fun of them when they have valid points and research…and evidence to back them up.
    I don’t agree with taking the “in God we trust” off of money since that is just traditional. Much like Religion is to people..tradition, not a lifestyle. Of course those people will still go to hell according to you.

    Steve, do you guys read from the New Testament? And didn’t that EVOLVE from older writings? See you do believe in Evolution.

  23. Steve, to further my question to you regarding “Christian nation”:

    1. What would make this a “Christian nation”?
    2. How do we tell the difference between a “Christian nation” and a non-Christian nation?

    Thank you.

    • A Christian nation would be one founded on Christian principles.

      I don’t expect you to agree with me at all that America was founded on these principles. Their is a secular worldview and a Christian worldview. As a rule, you don’t recognize the latter until you become one.

      You may want to look at Michael Medved’s histories, though. He’s a practicing Jew who is very pro-Christian and offers great histories on various subjects. I’m sure that he has one on our Christian roots.

      And by the way, I’m ok with saying we have Christian roots instead of us being a (former) Christian nation.

      • I like this defintion from Christiannation.org too. (I don’t know anything about the org.)

        A Christian Nation is one which provides absolute freedom to believe in sincerely held religious beliefs, with the recognition that the tradition of America is the freedom to recognize a divine Creator, God, and his Son, Jesus Christ. That is our true heritage. It is because we are a Christian Nation that we endorse pluralism: respect for those who disagree, mutual respect, but without compromise of faith. It is the predominant Christian faith of the Christian Nation which promotes the freedom necessary for the success of pluralism.

        As the founding fathers observed the words of Holy Scripture in their speeches, writings, and law, we will return to the tradition of the Christian heritage in the public square. Christian Nation creates dialogue between people of all faiths who stand united to educate all as to the correct history of the founding of the United States of America, implementing strategies to return to fundamental policies and practices of America s unique and sound heritage in the Christian faith in our government and public schools, thus promoting a God centered nation.

  24. Hi Steve,

    The problem there is how does one define “Christian principles”, and show that those principles either originated with Christianity or are unique to Christianity.

    Steve wrote: “I don’t expect you to agree with me at all that America was founded on these principles.

    See, here’s the thing, Steve: when you present persuasive evidence and arguments to support your claims, then I would happily agree with you.

    My disagreements with you, from my side, have absolutely nothing to do with my “worldview” (whatever you mean by that); it has to do with the issue that you rarely try to support your claims.

    It’s the difference between:

    1. “America is a Christian nation”

    and

    2. “America is a Christian nation because…”

    Do you see the difference?

    As for Michael Medved, I am well-aware of his scholarship. While I certainly would agree with anything that he wrote that was supported by evidence, instead of wishful thinking, I’m not holding my breath there.

    Regardless, I’m not bothered by groups like “christiannation.org”. Even though they paint themselves as ecumenical (which I am surprised you’re okay with), I think that when the rubber hits the road their true colors will show… and when that happens then the majority of Christians in this nation will not agree.

    They can rail against “secular progressives” all they want, but secularism works, and they have a very steep hill to climb to try to fight against that.

  25. Lastly, Steve, do you now understand that no one claims that we are descended from turnips?

    Do you also understand that no one claims that we are descended from any other species alive today?

  26. “Somehow we are descended from turnips and manatees”

    /facepalm

    Yeah, well done Steve.

    Frankly it’s great to see that all you have left is ‘neener neener’ name calling.

    I mean the Evil Atheist Conspiracy was getting concerned you might have had something,.. well anything. But we certainly don’t have to worry about the Evangelicals when that’s your A game.

  27. “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen,—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”

    – Treaty of Tripoli, 1797 –

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.