Sunday, February 8, 2009

My Journey into the Christian Cadre Yahoo Group

Several months ago I infiltrated the "secret" Yahoo group of the Christian Cadre, an Internet apologist bunch. During this time I've gone through a few years worth of comments and while doing this I found a recent post talking about a comment I left on their Christian Cadre blogspot website about my review of David Marshall's book. No one seemed to have read it except this one guy, who stopped reading after the first chapter!

Given the ridicule by this one christian (the only one who seemed to read my review) I think it’s hypocritical because they were bitching a lot about atheists and how they don’t answer arguments but just ridicule theists (which isn't even true to begin with). Well, talk about hypocrisy! Instead of actually reading my rebuttal all I get is ridicule and saying how because he doesn’t agree with my rebuttal of the first chapter he won’t read the rest of the review! Poor baby. The only thing this guy quoted from my review is how I agree with Dawkins, and ignores the three pages I use to explain my position and my reasons. This is the same problem that David Marshall had; he claimed to have read a few pages but just said how my arguments didn’t “impress” him. Ha! Funny stuff. These stupid apologists are all the same. All talk and no action.

One thing that surprised me was the drastic change in their manner when they’re talking amongst themselves. On their apologist sites they try to act professional and intelligent (well they try at least), but here they sound like any old ignorant fundamentalist.Theists constantly talk about how atheists ridicule them but many of their posts were outright rude saying how atheists are stupid and ignorant. One poster even said how he thinks atheists are like Nazis and should be deemed illegal! Talk about intolerance!!! And some christians have even tried to claim that the “new atheists” are some hate group! Neither Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, or Christopher Hitchens have ever said that they want to get rid of theists. In fact they’ve made direct statements to that effect. Even Richard Dawkins (because of the silly propaganda that doesn’t seem to go away despite the damning evidence I’ve discovered) says that in regards to the issue he calls “child abuse" he doesn't care if religious parents teach their children religion.

I scrolled through just about every message posted all the way back to August of 2006 and there honestly isn't much to report. Most of the posts were talking trash about a particlar atheist blogger (John Loftus was mentioned several times for example, as well as Phil Zuckerman, though I wouldn't call him a blogger and I'm not sure if he's an atheist), them getting advice from one another about how to counter a particular atheist argument, etc. There was at least one "prayer request" thread and then another one thanking the posters for everyone's prayers because the prayers were answered! I chuckled at that.

All this being said, I originally went there just to see what arguments might be presented by these apologists but it's the same old crap you can read on their blogs and website. I decided to post some of the dumbest things I found there. Enjoy!

I almost forgot...what makes this even funnier is the fact that I read a post by the moderator of the group to some member not to tell anyone about their secret meeting place because they say things that they don't want others to know about! Well, too bad...so sad. Some posts on here aren't very flattering for some of these individuals...

Note: Their comments will be in bold.


Here is the post titled "Calling Friends of David Marshall"


There is a new comment on an old post. Thought it best to point it
out to whoever is interested. I think it close to trolling and
thought of deleting it as such. Thoughts?

Here it is:

"Arizona Atheist has left a new comment on your post "David Marshall's The Truth Behind the New Atheism":

The author said, "While I haven't read the book myself yet, I expect better-than-average results based on my past evaluations of his work."

I honestly wouldn't hold your breath. I've read this book cover to cover twice, and have had several discussions throughout the last year with the author, David Marshall. I've found that he is unethical and dishonest in admitting his many errors that have been pointed out to him, and I'm not just talking about little things. He outright lies about what Richard Dawkins says on several issues, including the topic Dawkins likes to call "child abuse."

I've written a large chapter by chapter rebuttal to this book on my blog and so far not one person has managed to point out a single error. It seems to me that Marshall's book, despite the hype, falls completely flat in refuting the "new atheists."

The refutation can be viewed here:

http://arizonaatheist.blogspot.com/2007/10/review-of-book-truth-behind-new-athei/sm.html"


A reply to that post:

Oh dear, here I was trembling in my boots...I read his review of the first chapter. He tries to defend Dawkins' absurd definition of faith (as belief in the teeth of evidence) against the likes of Marshall and McGrath by simply dismissing the evidence theists offer as non-evidence: "Richard Dawkins ignores these so called evidences because, just I do not see it as true evidence, neither does he."

That's about as good as it gets. And he has the nerve to call David Marshall a liar. Some very un-Christian words are coming to mind...

That said, I'm a bit concerned that the positive apologetic content on CADRE is getting a bit thin. By that I mean posts which actively argue for a particular Christian proposition instead of merely responding to atheist challenges or commenting on current events (though those are valuable posts to). On "Debunking Christianity" Lee Randolph is putting up a long, cumulative series on his analysis of the Bible according to information quality criteria. It's pretty decent. What have we done recently that's similar?



Well, yes I've got tons of nerve...and it's the truth! And of course this "evidence" you idiots tout isn't actual evidence! They're all nothing but "god of the gaps" arguments. I explain all this in my review of Marshall's book, but I guess he didn't bother to read it.

And I've got some "un-christian words" for this idiot: FUCK YOU. Why don't you get some balls and actually refute something in my review instead of talking shit?!


Here is a comment from another message:

That can actually be used against them, too, BTW. I remember that one time where there was a live debate at ASU and the atheist they picked mentioned something about that "be good for goodness sake" idea of theirs (which is absurd for other reasons I won't get into; suffice it to say that I don't obey God just because I want to go to Heaven). Anyhow, I remember shutting said atheist up when I asked a simple question during the comment period: "What's good about atheism?"

He had no answer. At that point, I never had a chance to press it further, but suffice it to say there are a lot of points to be made about how we're out and about helping people and building communities and they're mostly wasting their lives telling random online strangers
how stupid they think they are :-)

- Matt


Another silly theist thinking they "got" some atheist. I can answer that question easily. First, what is atheism? It is a lack of a belief in a god (some members of the group were complaining about how "stupid" atheists are for using this definition because they claim that atheism isn't a negative position because atheists insist that the evidence [a positive view] doesn't point to anything. I would actually disagree because the "evidence" theists cite is nonsense and doesn't prove anything! All atheists are saying is there is no evidence brought forth proving a god. Period.).

It is up to those making the claim that god exists to prove it does. They're the ones making the positive assertions.

It should also be noted that there are several studies showing how atheists are just as helpful to communities as theists, if not more so. I cover this evidence in a review of David Aikman's book.

Here is a very hateful and bigoted comment by some guy called "Joe Hinman."

I think they have some kind of organized tacktic to use ridicule. I think we should be spreading teh word for Christians not to feel intimidated by atheist rudness.

there's this asshole in Austin who has a community access show and a website. Yea one of those, a one man self declared know it all. He quoted a passage from my site and misrepresented it. I wrote him an email. I didn't say anything overtly insulting, nor did I wish to and I don't believe i was insulting ina any way. he was pontificating on how I could be an atheist. So I told him I had been one. I said "an intellectual atheist." So in his response he says "you don't sound very intelletaul to me. In fact your logic seems pretty bad."

I thought it's a guy on tv surely he wont be another internet scum bag. I should have known, cable access that's no better than a message board.

I think they have an organized tactic of bieng hateful to religious people. I think they are nothing but Nazis and we should not try to argue with them, we should try ot have them banned by law.


Yep...this idiot wrote that exactly as I have it. Dumb and intolerant. Not a good combination.

Then this same guy on another post is talking about the atheist hate mail and makes the following comment:

I am doing away with atheist watch because I find I'm getting down on their level more and more. Now atheists are sending me hate mail saying I'm a racist because I point out the hate of the atheist community.

atheist watch failed because I couldn't keep from resorting to their level.


Talk about a hypocrite. I think he's gone beyond ridicule since he likes calling atheists Nazis and wants us to be banished. Hmmm sounds a lot like the Nazi ideology to me...

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

Here is another comment by the same guy:

I've been trying to get someone to care that the group is basically ceased to exist for the past year.

I've been so focused on my book I haven't had much to do with anything else. I am not familiar with Marshall's book. I am totally disillusioned with the responses Christians in general have to things, and I've completely given up the idea of communicating with athestis at all. I'm begining to think they are ust a total write off. Needless to say that makes a pretty narrow job for apolgetics.

I expect to see a study any day now that says atheism has grown by leaps and bounds and is almost 50%. The last study I saw that qunatified the percetrage of real atheists in Ameirca was the Pew study last year it put them at 1.6% I was stunned.

someone on carm that that meant they are 16% that is so hallarious.

I am constatnly amazed at the stupidity of atheists, but that's one thing that tells me its just hopeless trying to talk to them.

I have come to realize that atheism really is a hate group just like the KKK and that's all they are doing is breeding a national hateful people who will some day be willing to forcefully eliminate religion people from the scene. STudy the history of the brown shirts and yo usee an increible paraellel in the way Hitler guilt hatred for the Jews and the way the atheists build hatred for Christians.

atheists will say "I don't hate idnvudial chrsitians my mom is a christain" but Naziz really did say "I dont hate indivudal Jews it's just the Jewish spirit that we have to stop." But of course this makes me sound like a raving lunatic so I don't say it in pubic.


Yes it does make this asshole sound like a lunatic. But thanks to me you have just said this in public you fucking, idiotic, intolerant prick. And this idiot is actually trying to write a book....

Here is another comment from another post:

Atheists often claim that the evidence for God is insufficient or absent altogether, then concluding that God doesn't exist. Is this a fallacious argument from silence? I would think that it's not; after all, we regularly conclude that something must not exist due to the lack of evidence. I figured I'd raise the question, though, in case I'm mistaken.

Here is a reply from some silly christian:

The argument would be valid if the premise were true. However, there is quite ample evidence (especially in the 21st century) from science that God does exist. Most atheists just don't want to examine the evidence so they can claim that it doesn't exist.

Rich


Can anyone say bullshit? If anyone is ignoring evidence it's christians!

Another post:


There are a lot of young, uneducated skeptics online who argue that there's no 'scientific proof' for God's existence. I don't think Christians generally disagree with this statement, since most agree that the arguments and evidence for God's existence do not constitute 'proof' of God's existence. This argument also fails to realize that there is non-scientific arguments and evidence for God's existence from disciplines such as philosophy and history.

I'm looking for a way to put this simply so that young people will understand that there's good support for God's existence despite the fact that it's not 'proof' (or scientific).

Would it be fair to say that the arguments and evidence support a 'theory of God's existence?' Or is 'theory' too strong? I've heard others, including theists, regard God's existence as a hypothesis,
unless I'm misunderstanding them. For example, according to Swinburne:

"In fact, the HYPOTHESIS of the existence of God makes sense of the whole of our experience." (emphasis mine)

Thoughts?



A reply from some christian:

Re: Uneducated Skeptics Who Demand 'Scientific Proof'

I am not sure you should limit your thinking to "uneducated" - many of those I encounter who present the same "no proof" argument are indeed educated, frequently from a science background.

The view I like to take is that of the accumulated weight of evidence that requires one to acknowledge the possibility of the existence (so we are at hypothesis level). Once the possibility of God's existence is acknowledged then the mind is open to accept the mystical explanation of events (e.g. Paul's conversion) - while the person remains closed to the possibility of God as an explanation then they tend to cling to the 'hard proof' position.

I like to point out that one should be open to all possibilities as an explanation and only dismiss them as they are proven to be wrong.

Perhaps this is a weak position for me to take but I find it avoids the futile "Can't prove it so it ain't so" debate.

peace



Another comment:

zok (jason_r) wrote:

I think the argument skeptics most rely on to justify their atheism is the lack of evidence for God. We can point to the cosmological argument, the anthropic argument,the reliability of the NT and the resurrection, and so on; but in the mind of the skeptic, if God exists, we shouldn't merely expect to see traces of Him in the cosmos (cosmological argument, anthropic argument), and we shouldn't expect that He only intervened in the world 2000 years ago -- we should expect to see Him working presently in our world in identifiable ways. But this is exactly what we don't see. So it's safe to conclude that He doesn't exist. Or at the very least, Christianity is not true. Any thoughts on this?


Some replies from some christians:

Hi Jason,

Here's what I'd say.

1) The old "God doesn't behave in the way I think he should" argument.
2) He intervenes a whole lot in the lives of many Christians and I have plenty of evidence of his work in my life. I can get you volumes of testimony from Christians about God intervening. How much time have you got?

Best wishes

James


Reply # 2:

The best way to counter the so called argument from nonbelief (for I really don't think this is an argument proper, but rather a smokescreen)is I think to shift the burden on them by asking for a set of criteria for a proposition or argument to be rationally acceptable. Simply ask why it is the evidence you have or they know of for theism is unacceptable or insufficient.And then ask by what standard they are making such a decision, and further have them show you why the evidence or reasons for their beliefs pass.

Most often than not they'll set forth some standard so unreasonably high that even their beliefs don't pass the test. At which point, you can show them it is therefore unreasonable to believe in their own beliefs given their standard of acceptability. On the other hand, if you get lucky and they present a reasonable standard of acceptability, then more likely than not you can show your arguments to pass as well.

This is exactly the gist of Plantinga's God and Other Minds. He argued that neither atheism nor theism could generate arguments that pass the criteria of rational acceptability (which has since changed). He then proceeds to evaluate the philosophical problem of belief in other minds, defending the analogical position. "He goes on to show, however, that although [the analogical] argument affords the best reasons we have for belief in other minds, it finally succumbs to the
same problems that beset the teleological argument for God. In his brilliantly reasoned conclusion, [Plantinga] holds that `belief in other minds and belief in God are in the same epistemological boat; hence, if either is rational, so is the other. But obviously the former is rational; so, therefore, is the latter.'"

I don't agree with Plantinga that arguments for theism fail to be rationally convincing (and he has changed his mind on this as well). I know I wrote to you this before,but I think these considerations are particularly pertinent in responding to the argument from nonbelief:

Craig addresses this argument (at least in part) in this audio:

http://www.bethinking.org/resource.php?ID=100

Before coming to any definite conclusions on the worth of various arguments,perhaps looking further into the purpose of and what makes for good arguments to begin with would be helpful. This would involve further study into epistemology (warrant, justification) as well as looking into the logical structures and features of arguments themselves (different kinds of arguments, formal and informal fallacies, etc.). Richard Swinburne notes that the purpose of an argument is to get people, in so far as they are rational, to accept conclusions.There are different kinds of arguments which merit stronger warrant for their conclusions.Good arguments usually have the feature of containing premises which are accepted by those who would normally dispute the conclusion.

Given that the premises of good arguments are usually built upon accepted truths,in can be said that good arguments as wholes have the aim of capturing a certain truth (which more often is a less obvious one). And it is also by accepted truths that we properly challenge other arguments. And so a central theme to arguments, then, is accepted truths. And so arguments are almost always about what less-obvious truths can be deduced or inferred in some way by more-obvious truths. Notice what's happening—arguments are (again, almost always) about revealing unknown truths, not about whether or not there are truths. But so long as we are agreed that truths exist, surely we can deduce or infer other truths with varying degrees of certainty. After all,we do this every day with respect to the mostnatural, mundane matters.

Also to note, all that is necessary for a good argument is for its premises to be more plausibly true than their denials. It is a common misunderstanding, or more, a widely held belief that arguments aren't good or sound if they can still yet be rationally denied. But this criterion of acceptability is unacceptable. This is where having at least a minimal background in epistemology helps. It is here people often discount arguments on the basis that they do not coerce belief—but very little actually coerces belief. And so other factors must be involved in what warrants or justifies belief in arguments' conclusions.

Hope I could be of some help.



Joe Hinman who goes by the name "meta_crock" wrote this post called "I am so angry I could kill":

this atheist scum on carm says of me:


Earning a Ph.D. isn't the same even as attending graduate school. Oftentimes there are simply better things to do than spend time working towards a formal title.

However, Metacrock's credentials, while impressive if true, are unconfirmed. More importantly, his posts here are quite enough to overturn whatever confidence one may have in a master's degree.

why should I have to endure this? not enogu that I lost everything in my life. but I also have to have my degree taken away defacto by a bunch of ignorant swine who know almost nothing and who have no concept of what it means to be graduate school? Its' just not fair. why dont' i get the crdit for the study I did? I got the degree, how dare those pieces .... jsut dogmatically insist that I don't have it?

there's no basis for any of kind of rational discussion with this.


Here is one by "Joe Hinman" who wrote about Phil Zuckerman and his research on the most and least religious countries:

Re: [christiancadre] Anyone seen this before?

that's the lying price of shit called "Zuckerman." I've disproved this time and time again. I need better publicity. I need a way to publicize my pages.


http://www.doxa.ws/social/Zuckerman.html


part of the bogus atheist social sciences. they eat that stuff up but anyone with any real understanding of social sciences can see what lame crap it is.


Here is the good 'ol jackass "Joe Hinman" again writing about an email John Loftus sent him:

I don't know what to say to that. why is he telling me?

If I told what I really think of his arguments he would never speak of me again. I think he's a coward and a hypocrite, I just can't bring myself to tell him so. I also think he's an idoit, his arguments suck, and so does those of Thomas Paine.


Another message by the retard Joe Hinman:

yea but you see those guys hate with a absolute passion. they are out to kill me If they thought they could force me to commit souicide they would do it. I know I said things that Should no have, but if you or Jason someone else had said it they would not give a rat's you know what. they would't pe tureky about it if someone at their work said it. you know they would not.

they are out to destory my reputation and my life too as much as they can.


Can anyone say paranoid? Either that, or this guy has schizophrenia. Something is clearly wrong with this guy... He makes no sense whatsoever.

Then some guy who calls himself "bkesatie" calls atheists "low-lifes":



Some of these guys need some major anger therapy...

I think this is more than enough to be certain of their complete absurdity. In case anyone accuses me of putting words into anyone's mouth or making this up I have screenshots of all of these conversations (including a few others I didn't post) for proof.

I hope any readers find this as interesting as I did. Though at the same time, most of this is the usual nonsense that theists resort to in order to argue for their position.

3 comments:

  1. The little atheis poly of questioning credentils is so stupid. you are such a liar. I've put the phone number for the school where I went, and the name of the secretary to talk to on carm atheist board about 30 times. Only one atheist has ever had the courage to call. John Loftus. contact him and ask him if my credentials are real he will tell you they are.

    you can find him on the debunking Christianity blog.

    you wont do it, because you are coward you don't care a flying fuck about truth, and you get a lot more out of propagating the lie that they are not real than by proving they are.

    like all atheists you are a gutless coward with no scruples.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have made it possible to prove my credentials many times on the net and only one atheist has had the guts and the integrity to take me up on it. Contact John Loftus becuase he will tell you they are real.

    I know you wont do it because you are a gutless backstabbing stabbing coward. spying is a good role for you becuase you are backstabbing coward with no ethics.

    guess where I've infiltrated?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well, well, the infamous Metacrock makes an appearance. As usual, your immaturity and unneeded temper cause you to spout a heap full of nonsense.

    What's this about your supposed credentials? A Ph.D. you allegedly have? A lot of good that's done you since someone with so little formal education has obliterated many of your arguments for god's existence.

    Spying? Sure, I suppose I'll admit to that. Coward? Hardly. I'm not the one who refused (3 times by the way) to respond to my counter arguments at your blog when I refuted your half-assed "rebuttal" to my arguments against god (using the word rebuttal is even stretching it I think since you didn't understand most of the arguments I put forth anyway).

    Besides, if anyone is to blame it's your half-witted buddies who let me in the group to begin with. I just wanted to see what kind of arguments you supposed experts might be discussing and there was little of substance I found there. Not that I'm surprised. I've yet to be impressed with any apologetics. It's all the same old junk over and over, just worded to sound different. It may impress a lot of people but it's all bullshit when it's examined closely.

    Usually I wouldn't have posted such a vile and immature comment, but I wanted to so I could show all who viewed this thread the real Joe Hinman. All bark and no bite. Nothing but name calling and no argument. A washed up wanna-be defender of stupidity (a.k.a. theism).

    ReplyDelete

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