How Can You
Stand Against Something
That Doesn't Exist?
Trey Taulbee

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From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "Trey Taulbee"
Subject: Re: A question
Date: June 27, 2002 8:39 PM

What argument that there is no god?

Where did you get that?

Cliff Walker
Positive Atheism Magazine
Almost seven years of service to
    people with no reason to believe

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From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "Trey Taulbee"
Subject: Re: A question
Date: June 28, 2002 3:01 PM

No! It is you who have dodged my question!

No hearsay -- no more anything until you address the first trick question you asked. I will not have more than one question afloat unless the dialogue is honest and cordial.

Again: You asked,

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If your argument, that there is no god, were true, then how can you stand against something that doesn't exist?

 

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This is an invalid question unless and until you provide an example of our (Positive Atheism) having argued "that there is no god."

The moment you provide us with an example of our having argued that, then we can start on your second question (though in most truth-finding missions, the interviewer derives the second question the interviewee's first response).
 

Which famous scientist? Since she is famous, certainly it's okay for you to tell us her name!

I, for one, would like to confront this particular scientist for being unscientific and asking trick questions of a layperson in what appears to be an obvious attempt to confuse and therefore deceive somebody who lacks a formal education in one of the hard sciences. Most importantly, I'd like to confront this scientist for presupposing that the layperson, for being an atheist, was an atheist of the "strong" variety (quite rare, actually).
 

You don't understand the atheism that I teach because you refuse to listen to what I have to say: you already know more than I do about the subject, so why assume the posture of one who seeks to learn? This is evidenced by your insistence upon misquoting me and by your attempts to set up false analogies that are false because (among other reasons) they presuppose that I believe a certain, specific way, when the truth is that virtually the entire portion of my web site that I wrote myself screams the exact opposite of what you suggest is my position.

I don't understand your faith because you are arrogant to the point of presupposing that I even know what a "god" is without you first explaining to me what you mean when you use this letter sequence. You assume that we know what you're talking about regarding other matters of your faith, too.

This is evidenced by your attempting to hold me accountable for knowing these things. You do this when you say,

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It is hard to believe that WE as humans are so intellectually gifted that we have come up with all sorts of philosophies and sciences trying to disprove the existence of God.

 

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You say this in a context that suggests that I am someone who has "come up with philosophies and sciences trying to disprove the existence of" [undefined letter sequence, likely a proper noun]. I'm not trying to disprove the existence of anything (one can disprove claims made by people but not actual causes and effects in physical reality -- such as existence). Being a history buff, I spend a fair amount of time arguing against various and sundry claims made about European and American history.

The truth is, however, that I am trying to live my life and mind my own business, when this thing called a Christian approaches me and starts telling me about talking snakes and multi-headed monsters and all manner of tales that are indistinguishable, in kind, from the mythology of every single ancient culture about which anthropologists have learned much of anything.

There is only one difference between the tale about your "god" and the ancient tale "Hercules" tale (for example): nobody pretends to believe that the Hercules character is really real.

Meanwhile (setting you and yours aside for a moment, seeing as how y'all are anything but the center of my existence), the result of my attempts to make observations about my environment and to express my findings to those who would discuss these things with me is what I call my current "philosophy." The method that I use to test my observations and my hypotheses against those of other similar-minded people is what I call "science."

Thus I live my life in privacy, for the most part. Still, these religious salesmen yammer away like a pet store filled of Parrots, Macaws, Lories, Lorikeets, Caiques and Cockatiels, Parakeets, Budgies, Mynahs, Magpies, Ravens, Jackdaws, Starlings, and Bluejays.
 

You aren't sorry in the least!

You think you can just lie with impunity about your ideological opponents, slander us all you want, and simply ignore us when we catch you up to no good again!? Well, as the generations march by, more and more of us have learned to stop letting y'all get away with it. Soon America will be like Europe in that pretty much everybody will take it for granted that the Jesus story is nothing but a Herculaean fairy tale. Nobody will be pretending that there really was a Jesus or a Satan or any of that.

But as I mentioned above, it is you who dodged my question! I asked you a question about a lie you told about me! I asked you to explain your claim that I have an "argument that there is no god." I want you to respond to my question!

If you don't respond to my question, you'll end up being another one of those "Theist Tells Lies" letters. Those are boring because there are just so many of them.

Cliff Walker
Positive Atheism Magazine
Almost seven years of service to
    people with no reason to believe

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From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "Trey Taulbee"
Subject: Re: A question
Date: June 30, 2002 6:18 AM

Before we go back to where this conversation is officially stalemated, I will point out to our readers precisely what we're dealing with, here: On the surface, we have a who is man trying desparately to pull off a bluff. He attempts ro servein an attempt to trip up the representative of a social class that he hates, therefore making that entire class appear to be stupid -- at least in his own eyes, if not in the eyes of his own followers (if he has any of those).

Here's what we're dealing with, and I quote:

You are being monumentally dishonest, here: nobody believes that "science" "created" the world. Perhaps I give you too much credit for thinking of you as dishonest!? No, because, as Lincoln pointed out, if you don't know and you nevertheless say, "'Tis so! 'Tis so!" you're still committing falsehood even if you accidentally get it right! We knew that much in grade school.

Further lack of candor on your part is shown by your ignoring all possibilities except the two that you offer: (1) your "straw man" of our opinion, that "science created" the world; (2) your alternate explanation that this thing you call "god" created the world.

Two other possibilities come to mind: (3) something other than your magical, supernatural "god" created the world, something natural (which, like your occult-based explanation, ducks the question of how the creator came to be); (4) nature already contains sufficient materials and processes to bring about what we see, what we are, without any help, magical or otherwise.

I prefer (4) because the science of particle physics has been showing, for the past 25 years or so, that the Big Bang most likely occurred without the need of any pre-existing matter-energy: this entire ballgame came about and came to be without using any energy whatsoever. This makes sense in light of the fact that all attempts to measure or calculate the amount of matter-energy currently contained in the Universe has resulted in a figure of approximately zero. This says, in short, that there is no energy in this Universe: what appears as energy to us can be likened to a form of borrowing from the balance, to which all is eventually returned (entropy). Our Earth is not a closed system, but receives energy from the Sun.

In any event, you'll need to do much better than this to convince us either that what you have to say is worthy of our consideration.
 

And for the purposes of this dialogue, I still haven't read it, simply because our conversation has not rightly gotten that far. We're still waiting for you to respond to my first question regarding your initial (flip) remark. We're still waiting for you to either answer the question or retract the flippancy.

And I did answer your question to the best of my ability: I addressed it using the only proper method when dealing with a deceitful question: I challenged the deception. I challenged you to prove to me that the premise to your question is true (which it isn't).

Once you address my response, once you either show an example of my writing where I "argue" "that there is no god," or retract the question altogether, you will see (we all will see) that you cannot prove this premise to be anything but a misleading bluff.

The (false) premise to your first question went like this:

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If your argument, that there is no god, were true,...

 

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My reply to this was to challenge the false premise. Far from dodging the question I addressed it directly! And once again, what we must know, before we can go any further, is as follows:

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What argument that there is no god?

Where did you get that? When did I put forth such an argument!?

 

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In other words,

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Why did you ask me to justify having said something that I never said, to explain why I hold opinions that are not part of my outlook? Why did you ask me a question that presupposes falsehood?

 

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Your asking me questions like this would be no different from my having asked you, for example,

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Why did you join The Cult of the Purple Hand of Kareëm Abduül Jamaär?

Please explain this to me!

 

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To grab a popular example from the vernacular,

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When did you stop beating your wife?

 

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What you did to me in your first letter is no different.

So I ask you once again:

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Why do you refuse to answer this simple question?

 

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Cliff Walker
Positive Atheism Magazine
Almost seven years of service to
    people with no reason to believe

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