Nathan Bond's TART Remarks

Religion: Respect? Ridicule!

Rapportspeletjie!

with 36 comments

12 Oktober 2008…

Die Times berig dat “more than 100 000 people headed for the Nasrec Expo Centre near Soweto yesterday to hear charismatic American preacher TD Jakes.”

‘n 1-0-0-0-0-0, ‘n h-o-n-d-e-r-d-d-u-i-s-e-n-d mense!?

En Rapport sê níks daaroor nie!?

Wat het “God se aartappelboer”, Angus I-haven’t-bin-to-Baabil-School-boet Buchan wat Jakes nié het nie, Rapport? TD by Nasrec troef Angus op Loftus met meer as 40%, maar die Grootse Afrikaanse Weekblad in die Wêreld (GAWeWe) rep nie ‘n woord daaroor nie.

Dalk die velkeur van die deluded?

Vroeër: 10 Augustus, 2008

Rapport – die Grootste Afrikaanse Weekblad in die… Wêreld! (GAWeWe) – loods, smaak my, vandag ‘n nuwe speletjie om verkoopsyfers te stu: SOEK VIR ANGUS en wen ‘n Datsun.

Op 20 Julie basuin Rapport oor ‘n stampvol Doftus (Loftus) vir Jesus. Vandag – 10 Augustus – is daar nie ‘n woord oor die Dumbsa Stadion nie… het “Together as one” te laat aangehou – tot 23h59 ?

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Miskien het Rapport besef dat al is jou lesers dom Christene* hulle jou tóg agterkom. Jy kan hulle net só ver melk en dan werk dit ook nie meer nie.

En dan is daar hierdie vreemdheid wat my opval – 3 weke na Doftus en 16 weke na Greytown: 112 dae van gebed vir ons arme land en vandag berig Rapport dat Suid Afrika die stryd teen misdaad verloor. Ek dink die grootste enkele probleem met die Christene se “God” is dat die dônir so hardhorig is. En nie vir homself kan dink nie. Sou Al-Quddoos (القدوس – The Most Holy) nou nie vir homself kon uitwerk om misdaad stop te sit nie!?

Maar hiér is goeie nuus! In vandag se Rapport. SOEK VIR ANGUS en wen ‘n Datsun.

* As jy ‘n Christen is is jy dom, ongeag hoe slim jy is. (Daar is tog iets oor “oom Angus” op die brieweblad, gehoor!) Nee, ek weet nie waar gaan Rapport ‘n Datsun kry vir die wenner nie… dalk ís daar nie ‘n wenner nie.

Written by Nathan Bond

August 10, 2008 at 10:39

36 Responses

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  1. You are wrong because I’m right. It’s true because I say it’s true. I can’t present any actual evidence but I can show you an old book. You have to believe it first before you can see it.

    Distilled to its essentials, that’s the totality of your argument so far, Hans. And it doesn’t hold any water, quite apart from insulting the reader’s intelligence.

    Con-Tester

    October 22, 2009 at 08:54

  2. Con-Tester, I may not be so well versed as you, in the English language and therefore portray clumsiness. It however does appear, that you got my message and as yet, you have not contradicted any point I have made. Sorry if I appear arrogant, as it not what I am trying to be.

    Hans Matthysen

    October 19, 2009 at 21:46

  3. Narrow-minded arrogance and presumption, albeit without overt malice, clumsily exemplified. Time and again, religion damages people that way. It’s one of the more compelling reasons for opposition.

    Con-Tester

    October 16, 2009 at 13:07

  4. Con-Tester, the spirituality you at one time nurtured was never the real thing.
    We all know that one cannot hallucinate permanently without permanently being on one or other drug. Your argument in this regard bears no substance and only pacifies those, who don’t want to commit, to a life that is lived for others.
    Compelling, repeatable, objective evidence I have and you are unable to obtain due to you carnal mindedness.
    Your perception of God, being incorrect, has failed you and your studies of the Bible has been by teachers of no heavenly authority.
    All things in your world has been created by the “Word”, since your childhood. By the “Word” you have received understanding and misunderstanding (perception). It is the mechanics of perception and causes my belief.
    Your doubt has been caused by false teachings as I have constant factual experiences and I don’t hallucinate.
    There are others who know the facts, due to what they have experienced and are therefore able to assess the validity of such “evidence” independently. You however lack the authority to assess the validity of such evidence, in spite of qualifications.
    You appear blind to some things history shows. The suppression, persecution and oppression was never part of the example that Jesus portrayed. You know this, yet you chose to return to this invalid argument. It was the false prophets who did those things, in the name of Christianity. Kindly allow your brain to absorb this fact please.
    Just because you have a shortage, when it comes to God, does not mean others don’t have plenty.

    Hans Matthysen

    October 15, 2009 at 22:09

  5. Hans Matthysen wrote (19 Dec 08 at 12:58 am):

    In regard to the spiritual, you seem to have reached a ceiling you are unable to break through, maybe due to distraction, by the vast knowledge, you have gained in other fields.

    And maybe that selfsame knowledge you speak of goes a very long way towards convincing me that “the spiritual” is no more than a pipedream. Many people talk about “the spiritual” and “spirituality” merely as a bit of self-promotion to impress you with how fabulous they are. I myself nurtured “spiritual” beliefs in the past but gradually I shed them, essentially because they are in many different ways unsatisfactory.

    Hans Matthysen wrote (19 Dec 08 at 12:58 am):

    One who truly seeks proof of God and the spiritual, shall find, as proof of such, is not provided by others.

    In which case there’s no way to distinguish between whether such subjective observations are a hallucination or not. That, I’m afraid, cannot legitimately be called “proof.”

    Hans Matthysen wrote (19 Dec 08 at 12:58 am):

    God, does not need any other god, to prove His existence…

    Agreed. He needs compelling, repeatable, objective evidence. All that we do have, however, are subjective testimonials.

    Hans Matthysen wrote (19 Dec 08 at 12:58 am):

    … and so the same for love, light (understanding), truth ect.

    Not so because the presence or absence of these can be objectively probed and demonstrated.

    Hans Matthysen wrote (19 Dec 08 at 12:58 am):

    The Word, God, has caused all the requirements you have mentioned.

    I assume this is intended as a response to my argument concerning the broad-stroke mechanics of perception. It’s just a bald assertion of your beliefs and doesn’t address the point at all.

    Hans Matthysen wrote (19 Dec 08 at 12:58 am):

    The existence of God and the spiritual has just become clearer, in my life and the life of many others.

    Again, all we have here is a blithe reaffirmation (plus some argumentum ad populum) of exactly that which is under scrutiny. I don’t doubt that the belief gives you and many others happiness and contentment. I do, however, seriously doubt the factual content of that belief.

    Hans Matthysen wrote (19 Dec 08 at 12:58 am):

    As I have said, no one can give you that evidence, but yourself.

    …and therefore you’ll never be able to assess the validity of such “evidence” independently.

    Hans Matthysen wrote (19 Dec 08 at 12:58 am):

    History shows, that before Christ, the old religions, with all its laws, hampered development in many ways. Christianity changed that,…

    No, history shows that the Enlightenment changed all that while Christianity was engaged in assorted widespread acts of suppression, persecution and oppression.

    Hans Matthysen wrote (19 Dec 08 at 12:58 am):

    … as you can see in countries dominated by other religions.

    You mean like Japan or Singapore?

    Hans Matthysen wrote (19 Dec 08 at 12:58 am):

    I am saying, that there are ways for gauging illusions and contradictions.

    Quite so. The process usually involves analysis, understanding and the weighing up of evidence – things that are in dire shortage when it comes to your god.

    Con-Tester

    December 19, 2008 at 13:00

  6. Con-tester, “it is much like saying ….”. It might be much like saying the cornflakes thing, but it isn’t. You yourself have been open minded, in several directions and have thus gained understanding, experience and have grown in many ways. In regard to the spiritual, you seem to have reached a ceiling you are unable to break through, maybe due to distraction, by the vast knowledge, you have gained in other fields.

    One who truly seeks proof of God and the spiritual, shall find, as proof of such, is not provided by others. Others can only testify of what they themselves have discovered.

    God, does not need any other god, to prove His existence and so the same for love, light (understanding), truth ect.

    The Word, God, has caused all the requirements you have mentioned.

    “If” is the opposite to “if not” and is therefore irrelevant, as the more knowledge one gains, one is taken from one truth to a greater truth. The existence of God and the spiritual has just become clearer, in my life and the life of many others.

    In my life, I have received plenty of evidence and that is why I am convinced and yes it makes me feel good. As I have said, no one can give you that evidence, but yourself. Many things makes one feel good, yet all things do not give an everlasting good feeling.

    History shows, that before Christ, the old religions, with all its laws, hampered development in many ways. Christianity changed that, as you can see in countries dominated by other religions. In the beginning of Christianity, it did take generations for man to advance out of the old ways, that held back development of society. Today you can witness the advancement in the Christian world. You will always find an exception in some way or another.

    I am saying, that there are ways for gauging illusions and contradictions.

    Hans Matthysen

    December 19, 2008 at 00:58

  7. Hans Matthysen wrote (2 Dec 08 at 10:28 pm):

    Con-Tester, what I am saying is, that proof of the spiritual, is only scant to those who are not spiritualy minded.

    That’s much like saying that only those who have a taste for Rice Krispies will find proof that Rice Krispies taste good. In any case, what is the real-world referent of this “spirit” thing you keep mentioning? If it exists only in the mind then it is indistinguishable from a delusion. If it can affect the brain physically it can also affect instruments and must therefore be detectable. By the way, have you noticed how we keep running in the same old circles over and over again? That would be because all of the arguments for this “spirit” are circular.

    Hans Matthysen wrote (2 Dec 08 at 10:28 pm):

    When it comes to the spiritual, man made intruments can never be equal to he human brain.

    [N]ever,” you say? I’d be a bit more circumspect making assertions like that. Besides, the human brain is a physical instrument, one that is demonstrably prone to assorted errors, as I have pointed out abundantly before. Prominent among those errors is the brain’s habit of confabulation, based on very skimpy data. You need to provide a satisfactory answer to the question of what compelling reason there is to think that the brain is not confabulating when it reflects on “spiritual” matters (for which zero independent evidence exists). Merely saying that it is so is not sufficient.

    Hans Matthysen wrote (2 Dec 08 at 10:28 pm):

    Have you experienced any of [love, truth, light (understanding)ect.],…

    Yes, I believe I have. All three, actually.

    Hans Matthysen wrote (2 Dec 08 at 10:28 pm):

    … as that is proof of Gods existance…

    No, I’m afraid it isn’t proof of any such thing. “Love” is a feeling or physiological state, “truth” is concordance with actuality, and “light (understanding)” is a state of mind where certain real-world correspondences and relationships are clearly apprehended and no longer mysterious or obscure. None of them requires any kind of god for its existence or production.

    Hans Matthysen wrote (2 Dec 08 at 10:28 pm):

    … or do you percieve Him to be anything els?

    No, I don’t perceive him/her at all, period. “To perceive” requires a physical stimulus above some minimum threshold to excite nerve responses that ultimately produce certain brain states, the recognition of which is largely a matter of prior experience. None of these requisites is forthcoming from your god.

    Hans Matthysen wrote (2 Dec 08 at 10:28 pm):

    To explain what I mean, is that, should I not repeat and rather change my story, shortly, then I will be telling lies.

    Not necessarily. If you come across something that convincingly refutes some prior belief you have erroneously held, you would be foolish not to adjust your story accordingly. In fact, you’d be telling lies if you didn’t change your story. What is needed is the humility to admit that one may be wrong and the courage to examine one’s beliefs critically with that possibility firmly in mind.

    Hans Matthysen wrote (2 Dec 08 at 10:28 pm):

    The religious view of many has, mybe screwed up some of humanity, but not the view I have.

    Yes, that’s what just about every believer claims: “But it’s not my religion!” Sorry, but I’m not convinced by such rhetoric because the proclivity for holding beliefs without adequate evidence is itself a dangerous custom. Why? Because it says, in effect, “I don’t actually care about reality and truth. I’m happy believing this stuff because it makes me feel good.” Well, we all know just how appalling the results of a single-minded drive to feel good can become.

    Hans Matthysen wrote (2 Dec 08 at 10:28 pm):

    As I have said before, when Jesus was born, the people of the world, scientists incleuded, became more free.

    History strongly suggests the opposite.

    Hans Matthysen wrote (2 Dec 08 at 10:28 pm):

    Every being must dicern for themselve’s, illusions and contradictions.

    Are you saying there’s no proper yardstick for gauging illusions and contradictions? If so, I am surprised because I’d never have suspected you of having a postmodern bent.

    Con-Tester

    December 3, 2008 at 15:30

  8. Rick, die Heilige Gees is die gees van waarheid.

    Con-Tester, what I am saying is, that proof of the spiritual, is only scant to those who are not spiritualy minded.
    When it comes to the spiritual, man made intruments can never be equal to he human brain.
    God is love, truth, light (understanding)ect. Have you experienced any of those, as that is proof of Gods existance or do you percieve Him to be anything els?
    To explain what I mean, is that, should I not repeat and rather change my story, shortly, then I will be telling lies.
    I agree that as one’s knowledge grows, the truth can change according to ones understanding. It does not mean one was telling lies.
    The religious view of many has, mybe screwed up some of humanity, but not the view I have.
    As I have said before, when Jesus was born, the people of the world, scientists incleuded, became more free.
    Every being must dicern for themselve’s, illusions and contradictions.

    Hans Matthysen

    December 2, 2008 at 22:28

  9. Hans Matthysen wrote (26 Nov 08 at 8:41 pm):

    Con-tester, if scientists cease to explore further due to fear and assumptions, what a los.

    Agreed, but I still fail to see the relevance to my point that scientists (and people generally) are wiser when they behave according to the assumption that a hypothesis is very probably false when there is scant evidence and even less reason in support of it, and much evidence and good reason to suggest that it is, in fact, false. Are you saying that my suggestion, if adhered to, will somehow stop scientists from being interested in the world? Because that’s patent nonsense.

    Hans Matthysen wrote (26 Nov 08 at 8:41 pm):

    The human brain is much more powerfull and versatile than any instrument.

    That will depend on the specifics. The brain is very good at short-circuit, fuzzy reasoning, inference and recombining ideas in novel and imaginative ways – far better and indeed more versatile than any machine we’ve ever managed to construct. But when it comes to sorting reality from delusion and illusion, an individual brain is a bad piece of equipment to rely on. And, for the umpteenth time, we know as an ironclad and consistently repeatable fact that the human brain is fallible – seriously so in some cases and that’s where appropriate instruments are more sensitive or powerful.

    Hans Matthysen wrote (26 Nov 08 at 8:41 pm):

    Christianity or religion, is not restricted to the fisical and material.

    Yes, so you keep saying. But repeating it ad nauseam won’t make it true. You have yet to offer any good reason and evidence in support of the existence of this materially independent, non-physical realm that you pin your life’s hopes on.

    Hans Matthysen wrote (26 Nov 08 at 8:41 pm):

    One who changes their story constantly, is normaly telling lies.

    If this is an oblique suggestion that, due to the way science’s theories change over time and how religious dogma is extremely conservative and hugely more constant, that scientists are therefore probably telling lies, then your understanding of the profound epistemological differences between science and religion is, to put it mildly, appallingly naïve. If that is not your point, then please explain what you mean.

    Hans Matthysen wrote (26 Nov 08 at 8:41 pm):

    One must have the spirit, to decern all spirits, to know reality and to detect illusions and then contradictions will not be present.

    So you say, once again sans any good defence for these proscriptions. This religious view you punt has consistently screwed up humanity for a couple of millennia or more. The scientific view has brought about many unprecedented benefits for humanity over the last couple of centuries during which it has flourished. So you tell me, who exactly is discerning illusions and contradictions here?

    Con-Tester

    November 27, 2008 at 11:00

  10. Hans

    “One must have the spirit, to decern all spirits, to know reality and to detect illusions and then contradictions will not be present.”

    Hoekom? En op grond waarvan? Wat is die ‘spirit’?

    Rick

    November 27, 2008 at 08:34

  11. Con-tester, if scientists cease to explore further due to fear and assumptions, what a los.
    The human brain is much more powerfull and versatile than any instrument.
    Christianity or religion, is not restricted to the fisical and material.
    One who changes their story constantly, is normaly telling lies.
    One must have the spirit, to decern all spirits, to know reality and to detect illusions and then contradictions will not be present.

    Hans Matthysen

    November 26, 2008 at 20:41

  12. Hans Matthysen wrote (12 Nov 08 at 10:06 pm):

    [I]f sceintists thought to play safer and assume to be mistaken, what a great loss it would be for mankind.

    Sorry, but I completely fail to understand what this is supposed to mean, and so its relevance is also entirely unclear.

    Hans Matthysen wrote (12 Nov 08 at 10:06 pm):

    I can now understand, why you have not sharpened your senses and not gained, what others are not doubtful of.

    I’m not convinced. If sharpening my senses could provide what you claim, it would be detectable because our senses take physical stimuli as input and there are instruments far more sensitive and subtle than our senses, which instruments fail to detect anything. No, it’s much more likely that what you and others are not doubtful of is a self-sustaining quirk of the mind.

    Hans Matthysen wrote (12 Nov 08 at 10:06 pm):

    You are only restricted to the fisical and material, it appears.

    Yes, and that has much to do with questions of ontology and evidence – questions you keep ducking around by repeating essentially the same story over and over.

    Hans Matthysen wrote (12 Nov 08 at 10:06 pm):

    Follow by faith, decern all spirits, and unprovable evidence, you will experience.

    “Unprovable evidence” is self-contradictory, an oxymoron. As already pointed out elsewhere, experiences can be produced by all sorts of means, including wholesale illusions.

    Con-Tester

    November 13, 2008 at 12:37

  13. Con-tester, if sceintists thought to play safer and assume to be mistaken, what a great loss it would be for mankind. I can now understand, why you have not sharpened your senses and not gained, what others are not doubtful of. You are only restricted to the fisical and material, it appears.
    Follow by faith, decern all spirits, and unprovable evidence, you will experience.

    Hans Matthysen

    November 12, 2008 at 22:06

  14. Hans Matthysen wrote (21 Oct 08 at 10:36 pm):

    Nathan, Irma en Con-Tester, daar is baie wat mens kan waarneem (detect) en tog is dit onsigbaar (invisable).

    In that case, it is clear that you are using “invisible” in a trivial sense, as I pointed out earlier. Also – and I repeat – invisibility is not the same thing as undetectable. Photons themselves are invisible but that doesn’t stop us building photon detectors.

    Hans Matthysen wrote (21 Oct 08 at 10:36 pm):

    Somtyds kan mens dinge waarneem, wat ander om mens, onbewus van is en jy ook nie kan bewys nie. Mens moet maar self eers ervaar en tog nog sonder bewyse sit.

    We know for a fact that human senses and the human brain is fallible, often in ways that are consistent across many cultures and different upbringing. For example, optical illusions are almost without fail seen the same way by everyone, and yet the perceptions remain false. For this reason when faced with a remarkable claim supported only by meagre or unconvincing evidence, it is safer to assume that many people are mistaken for some perhaps common and unknown reason than to accord credence to the claim. Were it not so, many people would be sitting in jail or facing the gallows based on little more than the appearance of their guilt because it is based on subjective personal experience, rather than demonstrable evidence. I think you’ll agree that this is not a desirable status quo.

    In fact, personal testimony is probably among the least reliable varieties of evidence, being subject to all manner of biases and post hoc confabulations.

    Con-Tester

    November 1, 2008 at 16:37

  15. Bewilderbeast, ek glo nie in gode nie, maar wel in God. God wat ek ken en ek soek nie, om nooit te vind nie. Ek is nie net beperk tot die tasbare, soos jy nie, want my lewe het meer diepte dan dit.
    Net omdat mense, in die ou tyd, nie die wetenskap en tegnologie gehad het, wat ons vandag het, het dit nie te sê, dat hulle onnosel was. Ek sal myself nie bo ander verheuwe, en my meer waardig as ander ag, net omdat ek meer bevoorreg as ander is. Ek dink dit is verwaand en ‘n ernstige gebrek in een se samestelling om so te wees.
    Ek moet sê, die pot snot wat jy vir Jenny geskryf het, wys vir my, dat jy moet eerder hou by dit waarvoor jy gekwalifiseer het, want die Bybel is buite jou grense en jy het duidelik nie naastenby ‘n idee waaroor dit gaan nie.
    Die Bybel is ‘n baie interresante en insiggewende boek.

    Hans Matthysen

    October 30, 2008 at 22:02

  16. Jenny (hope you’re still around), you quote a popular believers’ saying:
    “I’d rather live my life as if there is a God, and die to find out there isnt, than to live as if there isnt and then die to find there is!”

    Let’s apply some thought to this (I know you’ll be disobeying most religions by doing this thinking stuff, but – if you can – play along).

    The way you have decided means you have to (now, read the bible, Jenny) spend a lot of time prostrate, closed eyes, muttering stuff over and over and over, and over and over, be willing to burn a few animals, be stoned by your husband, pay a lot of money, condemn a lot of people different to you, etc and at the end of it you die and – NOTHING!

    The wonderful alternative is you can live a great life, working, playing, doing charitable things, helping friends, loving freely, adopting a street child, having your Sundays (or Fridays or Saturdays) free to spend time outdoors rather than in a building, having muslim and jewish friends, (oops, *blush* there I go describing my life, but you get my drift?). You don’t have to live in fear and trembling (read the bible!) and so on – and then OOPS, you die and you’re in front of the Big Man!! Uh, oh!

    But hang on: He’s incredibly intelligent, he loves you, you look like him, he’s all-knowing and all-powerful. Guess what? He’s going to say “Come on in! Let me introduce myself . . Now: I know you’re a good person, but WHY didn’t you believe in me??!”.

    And (like Russell) you can quite honestly say “There just wasn’t any proof of your existence, Lord”.
    And he’ll say “You’re right. Let me tell you why I do that . . . “

    bewilderbeast

    October 22, 2008 at 17:33

  17. Daan, dit help nie jy vat een ou godsdienstige boer en laat hy met donkies en perde kruisteel nie. Jy moet lees wat is geologiese tyd. Selfs ou Methuselah (sp) se lewe was baie kort teenoor ewolusie-tyd. Hy sou baie geslagte perde kon teel, maar hy sou nog nie ewolusie self kon waarneem nie.

    bewilderbeast

    October 22, 2008 at 16:10

  18. Hans Matthysen
    “en tog, as jy werklik die waarheid daarom soek, sal jy daarby uitkom.”
    Dis nie waar nie, Hans, en jou volwasse self weet dit. As enigiemand uitkom by n waarheid wat bewys dat daar gode is gaan hy vreeslik beroemd wees en boonop groot mag werf.

    Die aanhoudende soek en nie vind nie (en nie eers ENIGE vatbare bewys langs die pad vind nie) wys mos watse onsin is dit. Dis n foefie om mense te beheer.

    Hoe kan jy dink dat simpel mense wat eeue gelede geleef het (en wat aan n god geglo wat van die reuk van brandende koeie en seunskinders gehou het) die enigste en laaste aantwoorde gehad het? Dit gaan my verstand te bowe.

    bewilderbeast

    October 22, 2008 at 16:00

  19. Nathan, Irma en Con-Tester, daar is baie wat mens kan waarneem (detect) en tog is dit onsigbaar (invisable). Somtyds kan mens dinge waarneem, wat ander om mens, onbewus van is en jy ook nie kan bewys nie. Mens moet maar self eers ervaar en tog nog sonder bewyse sit. Jesus sê “volg my” en net hulle wat volhard het, het waargeneem en ervaar, dit waarna Hy verwys het. Hulle het dus die bewyse bekom, ‘n bewyse wat ander self, net deur volharding, sou vind. Realiteite wat nie tasbaar is nie en tog, my wêreld beinvloed.

    Hans Matthysen

    October 21, 2008 at 22:36

  20. Gode wat nie gesien kan word nie en gode wat nie bestaaan nie lyk baie op mekaar.

    Nathan Bond

    October 17, 2008 at 09:20

  21. Hans Matthysen wrote (16 Oct 08 at 10:36 pm):

    [W]at is julle gedagtes, van wat die sienlike en van wat id die onsienlike?

    If you mean “invisible” in the rather trivial sense of not being able to be seen, then the answer is that “invisible” does not mean the same thing as “undetectable.” If, on the other hand, you mean the truly imperceptible by any physical means whatsoever, then you’re working with conjecture and speculation because you cannot demonstrate or verify these things in any convincing way, and you’re better off minimising the cluttering up of your grip on reality with subjective fantasies that can have no direct tangible effect on the world.

    Con-Tester

    October 17, 2008 at 08:38

  22. Nathan, Irma en Con-Tester, wat is julle gedagtes, van wat die sienlike en van wat id die onsienlike?

    Hans Matthysen

    October 16, 2008 at 22:36

  23. Or, as I indicated elsewhere, believers show a strong tendency to interpret “a vanishingly small probability” to mean “near enough 50:50.”

    Bertrand Russell once more:

    “If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is an intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.”

    Con-Tester

    October 13, 2008 at 10:56

  24. Said Russell: “I do not pretend to be able to prove that there is no God. I equally cannot prove that Satan is a fiction. The Christian god may exist; so may the gods of Olympus, or of ancient Egypt, or of Babylon. But no one of these hypotheses is more probable than any other: they lie outside the region of even probable knowledge, and therefore there is no reason to consider any of them.”

    Nathan Bond

    October 13, 2008 at 09:48

  25. Ek kan dit nie help nie – die debat hierbo laat my dink aan Bertrand Russell, die groot Engelse filosoof, wetenskaplike en ateis. Daar is vir hom gevra wat sal hy sê as hy doodgaan en uitvind daar is ‘n got en die vra hom hoekom hy nie in hom geglo het nie. Sy antwoord? “I would tell him, not enough evidence god, not enough evidence”.

    Ek dink baie van die misverstand oor evolusie gaan oor ‘n misverstaan van wetenskaplike navorsingsmetodologie. Die wetenskap werk met teoriee, en ‘n teorie word as waar aanvaar totdat dit verkeerd bewys word – mens noem dit falsifikasie. Maar wetenskaplikes hou aan met werk met ‘n teorie ten spyte daarvan dat dit nie waar bewys is nie. Want jy kan nie ‘n teorie absoluut waar bewys nie – GEEN teorie kan waar bewys word nie. Daar bly altyd die moontlikheid, hoe skraal ookal, dat daar omstandighede is waaronder die teorie nie korrek gaan wees nie.

    Teorieë word dus deur wetenskaplikes aanvaar wanneer mens op grond van hulle huidige fenomene kan verklaar en toekomstige fenomene korrek kan voorspel. Geen teorie, nie eers Newton se sogenaamde wette of Einstein se relatiwiteitsteorie nie, kan vir alle tye en alle plekke waar bewys word nie – dis gewoon fisies onmoontlik. Tog stuur ons ruimtetuie maan toe op grond van die teorieë!

    Evolusie is eweneens ‘n teorie. Maar soos alle wetenskaplike teorieë word dit deur wetenskaplikes aanvaar omdat dit so baie dinge verklaar. En omdat hulle wetenskaplikes is, probeer hulle dit verkeerd te bewys. Probleem is, al die pogings tot dusver het die teenoorgestelde bewys. Die data in elke geval bevestig die teorie.

    Die probleem met godsdiens is, soos Nathan tereg sê, dat dit nog geverifieer nog gefalsifieer kan word. Dus is dit nie wetenskaplik aanvaarbaar nie. En noem my maar ‘n positivis: ek glo nie in feetjies of spoke of geeste of die tandmuis of got nie. Want nie een bestaan nie.

    Irma

    October 13, 2008 at 08:52

  26. Nathan, Christene wat nie in Evolusie glo nie, verstaan nie die Bybel nie en het ‘n skyn van godsdiens.
    DW, jy bly maar afgesaag met jou drie gotte omdat jy onkundig is wat God betref. Jy sal ook nooit oor God kundig word omdat jou gesindheid teenoor godsdien maar onvolwasse is. Daar is baie mense wat dinge kwyt raak, in die naam van Christendom en tog, as jy werklik die waarheid daarom soek, sal jy daarby uitkom.
    Daan, die skepping in Genesis, is sinnebeelde om aan ons geestelike dinge te verduidelik.
    Pieter, wat Angus betref, wie nie teen ons is, is met ons.

    Hans Matthysen

    August 21, 2008 at 21:12

  27. Hi Nathan,

    Waar word julle ouens groot? Angus sal nooit n Datsun wen al vertel raport vir jou wat, want DATSUN is lankal NISSAN(jy moet erken ons Christene is darem nie so dom, soos wat jy dink nie) ek weet want ek werk vir hulle, dankie vir die vry advertensie,

    Maar Angus gaan n paar krone in die HEMEL ontvang wat baie meer werd sal wees as enige DATSUN ooit gebou.

    Groete,

    Pieter Nortje,
    Jeffreysbaai.

    Pieter Nortje

    August 19, 2008 at 16:09

  28. More Nathan.

    Baie dankie vir jou antwoord en jou versekering dat ek jou nie irriteer nie. Ek is gebore op 24 Februarie en ons visse is nou maar eenmaal sensitiewe seuns. (Dis net ‘n grappie! Ek glo nie in sterrewiggelary nie) As jy sê jy wil nie in die eeue oue debat betrokke raak nie, respekteer ek dit en sal ek dit daar laat.

    Laat my net toe om die volgende te sê:

    1. In my navorsing van waar die mens vandaan kom, ignoreer ek websites wat net lyk na godsdienstige websites. Ek weet mos hulle gaan die skeppingsteorie regverdig en probeer “bewys”.

    2. Vir dieselfde prys gaan ek juis in op sites van wetenskaplikes wat lyk of hulle bereid is om eerlik en objektief te wees. Ek het geen notas gemaak van die verskillende wetenskaplikes se name nie.

    3. So het ek op die volgende woorde van ‘n wetenskaplike afgekom: “Time, space and matter began with the Big Bang. By what (or whom) it was caused, is not known and will probably never be known.”

    4. Verder het ek gelees van ‘n stadium toe die kreasioniste die evolusioniste (hierna verwys na as die K’s en die E’s) aangevat het oor die teorie van alle lewe wat uit een sel ontwikkel het.

    5. Die K’s vat die perd, donkie en muil as voorbeeld en dan raak hulle en die E’s verskriklik tegnies oor fosielle en in al die wetenskaplike vakgebiede wat jy hierbo noem.

    6. Op die ou end stem almal saam dat:

    6.1 die produk van die perd en die donkie is ‘n muil waarvan die manlike by definisie steriel is, maar die vroulike in uitsonderlike gevalle wel vrugbaar is;

    6.2 die produk van die vroulike muil en die donkie is weer ‘n donkie en diè van die vroulike muil en die perd is weer ‘n perd. Waarskynlik nie ‘n “thorough bred” met enige hoop om ooit die July te wen nie, maar nogtans ‘n volbloed perd. Een van die wetenskaplikes merk droogweg op dat “the poor mule is without the pride of ancestry and without any hope of posterity”.

    7. Nou sê die K’s: Aha! Sien julle? Presies wat in Genesis staan: “Laat elke spesie vermeerder volgens sy soort”.

    8. Volgende draai die E’s om en sê: “Wag ‘n bietjie. Kyk na die hond.” En hulle gaan voort en bewys (tot bevrediging van die K’s!) dat nie net die honde (Dobermans, Rodweilers, Worshondjies, ens, ens ens) nie, maar ook die res van die hondefamilie (wolwe, jakkalse, dingo’s, ens, ens, ens) almal een gemeenskaplike voorsaat het.

    9. Dan sê die K’s: “Great! Dit help, want nou kan ons al die ander hondespesies van die ark, wat alreeds in sy kannon in oorlaai is met olifante, leeus, renosters, kameelperde ens, aflaai en sodoende die ark se vrag aansienlik verlig!”

    10. Dan sê die E’s: “blah, blah, blah!”

    11. Dan sê die K’s: blah, blah, blah!”

    12. En skielik is ons terug by “was dit ‘n “wat” of was dit ‘n “Wie”?

    Natuurlik is jou hipotetiese aanhaling hierbo onaanvegbaar.

    So ja, natuurlik sal ek gaan na waar bewyse my lei, solank dit redelik, aanvaarbare bewyse is. So byvoorbeeld is Neanderthal en Cro Magnon geensins bewyse van die “transitional forms” nie. Om van Nebraska Man nie eens te praat nie.

    Baie dankie dat jy alles hierbo gelees het. Ek sien daarna uit om jou essay te lees.

    Daan Van der Merwe

    August 13, 2008 at 11:17

  29. Nathan

    Christene sal vir jou vertel dat god ( die 3 gotte) op baie snaakse maniere werk.

    Jy sien die ding werk so.

    Lank lank gelede, het die 3 gotte vir Anus Angus gesê dat hy Zambië gaan opfok en onmiddellik sy aartappel moere moet vat en na ‘n land in die verre suide toe moet vertrek , anders fok hy – ( die 3 gote) daardie land ook op.

    Jy sien , god- die gotte het al reeds vir Nigerië , Zimbabwe, Mosambiek , Irak , die DRC , Kongo , Angola , EG , opgefok.

    Jissis , Lucifer die fokking duiwel , sorg darem vir sy kinders – kyk nou maar na Zimbabwe , hulle het al 2 silwer medaljes by die goddelose kommunistiese China se Olimpiese spele gewen — en SA fokkol !!!!!!

    Nee jissis , ou Anus Angus sal baie meer roadshows moet hou om hierdie land te red.

    Weet jy hoekom die gotte SA so straf ?

    Dis omdat omtrent alles wat in ons shops is van China ( die goddelose kommunisties land) af ingevoer word.

    Okay okay okay ,voordat al die Christene my nou van eensydigheid beskuldig , toemaar ek weet julle koop -, dra , ry en verbruik fokkol wat van die kommuniste ingevoer word.

    Die Bybel se mos – Meng jou met die semels dan vreet die varke jou op . — Nee ek weet Christen koop fokkol van die satanistiese, goddelose kommunistiese China, nie eers Anus -kul- jou-hier-kul-jou -op-Loftus- Angus , Isak Burger , Elsa Meyer , Bennie -ek-ken-die-duiwel-fok-hom-Mosterd , of Jannie – bid-vir-Rubin-gesond –TB Joshua-Pelser nie.

    Dis hoekom hulle die gotte se stem kan hoor – of is dit nou 3 stemme wat 1 is maar 3 is, wat die selfde klink maar verskillend is —( fokking so iets )

    DW

    August 13, 2008 at 08:56

  30. Daan se :” NS. Ten minste sit ek nie langer agteroor en sê “God is almagtig. Sela” nie. Jy was reg. Ek kan nie met so min tevrede wees nie.”

    Halleluja , prys die Jirrre!!!

    DW

    August 13, 2008 at 07:48

  31. Daan
    Nee, jy irriteer my glad nie en boonop verstaan ek jou reg, meen ek. Ek bedoel juis makro-evolusie is ‘n feit soos ‘n koei. Dis nie eens die moeite werd om dit te debatteer nie, Daan.
    “… hierdie eeue oue debat van skepping vs evolusie is vir my van kardinale belang”?
    Inderdaad!!
    Die Voorsitter van die Creation Truth Foundation, G. Thomas Sharp sê: “If we lose Genesis as a legitimate scientific and historical explanation for man, then we lose the validity of Christianity. Period.” (Deur Lisa Anderson aangehaal in die Chicago Tribune, 7 Augustus 2005.)
    Ek is besig met ‘n essay wat handel oor die feit dat die Skepping aan die hart van die (Christelike) godsdiens staan. As jy die Skepping verloor (en jy verloor dit, Daan… dit het gewoon nie gebeur nie) dan duik die Christendom in die hek. Punt.
    Hier is nou die vraag, Daan: Is jy bereid om te gaan waar die evidence lei? Ek sien heelwat meer gholf in jou toekoms. En my tong is nie eens náby my kies nie.

    Nathan Bond

    August 12, 2008 at 16:42

  32. Nathan

    Ek meen ek het myself nie goed uitgedruk oor my siening van evolusie nie. My apologie.

    Natuurlik is die breë beginsel van evolusie ‘n onbetwisbare feit. Waaroor ek wel geen twyfel het nie, (dit is, vir sovêr ek tans gelees het) is dat die teorie van makro-evolusie en spesifiek die ontwikkeling van ‘n aapagtige, redelose soogdier tot ‘n redelike mens, tot vandag toe hoegenaamd nie bewys is nie. Tewens, van die mees geharde en toegewyde evolusioniste (paleontoloë, mikrobioloë en genetici) gee toe dat daar vandag minder bewyse hiervoor is as gedurende die lewe van Charles Darwin!

    Ek hoop nie ek irriteer jou nie, maar hierdie eeue oue debat van skepping vs evolusie is vir my van kardinale belang. Die konklusie waartoe ek aan die einde van die dag gaan kom, gaan bepaal of ek nog Sondae kerk toe gaan, en of ek eerder gaan gholf speel. Dit en die vraag: Is die “big bang” veroorsaak deur ‘n “wat”, of deur ‘n “Wie”?

    Geniet jou aand.

    NS. Ten minste sit ek nie langer agteroor en sê “God is almagtig. Sela” nie. Jy was reg. Ek kan nie met so min tevrede wees nie.

    Daan Van der Merwe

    August 12, 2008 at 15:56

  33. Jenny
    It’s called Pascal’s Wager (set out in note 233 of his Pensées) and it is fraught with philosophical sinkholes.
    Homer Simpson (yes, of the cartoon The Simpsons fame) formulated this corollary: “Suppose we’ve chosen the wrong god. Every time we go to church we’re just making him madder and madder.”
    Sorry Jenny, this dog won’t hunt.

    Nathan Bond

    August 12, 2008 at 15:44

  34. I’d rather live my life as if there is a God, and die to find out there isnt, than to live as if there isnt and then die to find there is!

    Jenny

    August 12, 2008 at 15:07

  35. Daan
    Jy is natuurlik reg: die “wetenskaplike” vertrekpunt is agnostisisme – onsekerheid oor die bestaan van “God”. Ek was baie lank onwillig om myself ‘n ateïs te genoem het. Ek het twee redes gehad vir my onwilligheid:
    (1) Ek was nie bereid om in geloofspeak (ateïsme is anders as teïsme – geloof in “God”) gedefineer te word nie.
    (2) Ateïsme sou ‘n “God” impliseer.
    Die redes waarom ek myself wel nou ‘n “radikale ateïs” noem is ook tweërlei:
    (1) Daar is géén falsifiseerbare data oor “God” nie en “God” kan dus nie aan die wetenskaplike proses onderwerp word nie. Dít maak agnostisisme ‘n onverdedigbare vertrekpunt.
    (2) Daar is nie ‘n greintjie bewys vir die bestaan van “God” nie en die kansigheid (probability) dat “God” bestaan is so verdwynend klein dat dit nie oorweegbaar is nie.
    Ek verduidelik my standpunt breedvoerig in die inset “Nathan Bond” wat onder “Pages” gevind kan word.
    Evolusie is die een debat waarin ek nie betrokke raak nie. Eintlik is daar twee debatte: evolusie en of daar ooit iets soos ‘n Romeinse beskawing was. Die een is so bewysbaar soos die ander.
    Evolusie, Daan, is ‘n feit soos ‘n baie moerse groot koei. Evolusie as natuurproses, sê paleontoloog Jurie van den Heever van die Universiteit van Stellenbosch, word volledig ondersteun deur empiriese resultate uit ‘n wye verskeidenheid vakgebiede – onder meer die vergelykende anatomie, paleontologie, embriologie, histologie, fisiologie, biochemie, genetika, mikrobiologie en geologie. Ons kan dus sonder vrees vir teenspraak praat van die feit van evolusie.
    As jy leeswerk oor evolusie wil hê, laat weet my gerus.
    Ek noem gelowiges “dom” omdat die godsdiens se perversiteit juis daarin lê dat dit andersins intelligente en meelewende mense tot idiote kan reduseer wat glo in gode en duiwels en maagdelike geboortes…

    Nathan Bond

    August 12, 2008 at 14:18

  36. More Nathan

    Ek het nie eers besef dat drie weke al verby is sedert Loftus vir Jesus nie. Op die oomblik is daar, te wyte aan Angus, heelwat spanning in ons gemeente tussen die pro-Angus lidmate (gelukkig net ‘n handjie vol) en die res. Ons het Donderdagaand ouderlingevergadering en die voorsitter het reeds vir my gesê dat al spandeer ons die hele vergadering net aan die “Angus krisis”, moet dit vir eens en altyd uitgesorteer word. Ek het hom my volle steun toegesê. Ek koop nie Rapport nie, so dit wat jy hierbo sê, sal tydens die vergadering my argumente verder versterk.

    Dankie vir die kwalifikasie van jou siening dat alle Christene dom is, “ongeag hoe slim jy is.” Ek is van nature maar ‘n beskeie mens (regtg) maar as jou kwalifikasie my onder die geledere van manne soos Proff Ben Engelbrecht, Johan Koekemoer, Gert Pelser en Jimmy Loader plaas, kla ek nie. Wat goed genoeg is vir hulle, is goed genoeg vir my.

    As ek jou reg verstaan is jou siening daarop gegrond dat ‘n slim mens net so min in God kan glo as wat hy in Sinterklaas en die tandemuis glo, aangesien daar:

    1. Geen bewys is vir die bestaan van God nie, (waarmee ek saam stem) en

    2. Alles wat om ons gebeur, eerder daarop dui dat Hy nie bestaan nie. (waarmee ek nie saam stem nie).

    Ek wil nie graag te veel spasie hier opneem nie, en ek is seker jy sal saamstem dat selfs op hierdie oomblik, daar net so min bewyse vir die evolusieteorie (aap tot mens) is, as vir die skeppingsteorie.

    As ek reg onthou, het Rick ‘n paar weke terug gesê dat hy in niks bonatuurliks glo nie. Hy glo net aan dit wat wetenskaplik bewys is en vir waar daar bewyse ontbreek, wag hy vir sodanige bewyse om op te duik.

    Anders as Rick, is ek nie bereid om te wag vir bewyse nie. Ek is in elk geval oortuig dat daar nooit sodanige bewyse gevind sal word nie.

    En dit is my punt: As Christene hulle geloof baseer op iets wat nie bewys kan word nie, en Atheiste hulle ongeloof op iets waarvoor daar nie (nog nie) konklusiewe bewyse is nie, dan is Atheiste ook mos dom.

    Daan Van der Merwe

    August 12, 2008 at 10:23


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