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The Professor and the Christian
A fable of flawed understanding
13th May 2008
I was about to give up on my old hobby of arguing with creationists, but then I found this, and it affected me so much that I had to write something about it.

It takes a while to read, but it's well worth it to understand just how wrong it is.

Here is the passage in...
By arthwollipot on 15th March 2010, 06:11 AM
Originally Posted by sphenisc View Post
No, it would have been a monkey. The argument it was monkey-like is based on a complete misunderstanding of evolution.
Sorry, but the claim that it would have been "a monkey" was not mine.

Do we really have to argue about this? We're on the same side, surely.
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By sphenisc on 4th April 2010, 10:12 AM
Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Sorry, but the claim that it would have been "a monkey" was not mine.

Do we really have to argue about this? We're on the same side, surely.
No..., on this point, I'm on the side of the Professor. And until you provide some evidence of your claim I'm going to remain there.
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By NormanDeArmond on 28th July 2010, 06:15 PM
The professor's attitude is indicative of academia's.

A Jewish man recently set out to study gross antisemiticism in relation to other antipathies held by academics. Antisemites, 3% antiChristians, over 50%. We may fairly expect our kids to face just such attitudes as the professors, but not from atheists who are still a paltry few. Neopagans, who shop at Gaia and consciousness and disdain those who shop at Christ and Godliness. These Pagans oft ingest Gaia as Mother Nature, canabis, dispising Christians who ingest Jesus at mass and communion. I was expecting the book, "The case for a Creator", by Lee Stroebel, by the which, and many other books and articles, Christians are becoming the scientific superiors, in their informal free time, of atheists and neopagans. I heard similar stories to the professor and the Christian from preachers. If I preach, I stick with the Bible. If you teach science, stick with the science. Darwin said his theory is disprovable if something did not occur it is disproved. It did not occur. The opposite occurred. So one preaches the Bible, that in Christ is the life that is the true light enlightening every man coming into the world. another priest presides over a liturgy of disproven science/religion and the blind lead the blind into a ditch together. I like an out and out libertine who doesn't lie about atheism and Gaia and consciousness and malarkey invented yesterday.
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By Landrew on 3rd August 2010, 11:58 AM
Arguing with Creationists

I don't waste time arguing with creationists anymore, because it is truly a waste of time. If they observed the scientific method, which is to let your conclusions be formed by the evidence, there might be some hope of winning just one argument with them, but unfortunately they only seem to observe the anti-scientific method, which is to only recognize evidence which fits their pre-formed conclusions.

It's no good presenting evidence of evolution and evidence against creation by a magical being, because to them, it's simply not evidence unless it fits their conclusions, which are mostly drawn out of the pages of the bible. A bible which itself doesn't stand up to real scientific testing as being the authentic word of the purported authors, much less the word of god.

I guess the best analogy is I can come up with is to argue with your bank about your bank balance. If you start out with the assumption that you want to believe there is $100,000 in your account, and the bank says it's zero, no amount of examining the evidence all the transactions will satisfy you. If your beliefs are driven by a desire to believe in certain self-gratifying conclusions, no amount of evidence or reasoning is likely to change your mind.

Personally, I agree that a belief in the idea of divine forgiveness, an afterlife and a divine father-figure is understandably more gratifying than believing we are alone in a hostile universe. However it's a bit more reasonable to assume a mature attitude, which is to recognize that self-gratifying beliefs are likely to be wrong, if only because we believe in them because of how they make us feel.
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By arthwollipot on 6th August 2010, 05:11 AM
I have found that on rare occasions, a creationist can indeed be convinced. Of course, this is anectodal evidence...
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By skeptic griggsy on 12th August 2010, 12:56 PM
Question Duh?

I don't care for any of that malarkey! Never had I cared about that future state. All I wanted to know was did He exist? Know God = no God!
Naturalistic pantheism makes for awe of Nature! Humanism makes for hope!
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By lopeyschools on 13th August 2010, 06:39 PM
Is the author by any chance Jack Chick?
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By Eligbak on 9th November 2010, 10:59 AM
This "professor without a brain"-story sounds very much like a 19th century argument to me. It would be the most likely period in time where a "scientificist" would try to disprove (does he really?) the existence of an all-powerful god, or at least show the contradictions of His nature. Saint Augustine already did that in the 5th century.

The moral philosopy branch hasn't come up with scientific replacements for Christian morals in our culture. How could they - if Christian values were somehow encoded in the world, so to speak, wouldn't all scientists be Christians by definition, whether they believed in God and Jesus or not?

God(s) may or may not exist, human beings do exist, and so does the human condition. Moral standards are created by us as we go along. If our culture changes its values, so do the patterns of accepted behavior. That's why moral standards differ from time to time and culture to culture - Christian No.2 in the argument tries to equate them with hot and cold, black and white, you either have (his kind) of morality or you have none. We have a basic set of intercultural commands and taboos - don't lie, honor your parents - but we don't seem to agree across the globe that we shouldn't kill animals for sport, abortionists to save lives, etc.

I'd rephrase the God-question in practical terms as: Is there a reason to believe something good will happen to me when it's unlikely?

As they say, in the trenches, everbody learns to believe in God (well, not everybody). I've felt the need to imagine Jesus, or E.T., walking beside me when I felt very alone and the whole world against me. Unfortunately, I'm not very good at it, and I haven't touched popular philosophy (self-help books ) since I read a pile of the stuff years ago. I don't have one mode of thinking that will help me anytime, anywhere, except that good things happen. They just do.

As for the tired old argument that there's either God's plan for us or pure "randomness" - it's not random in any way we would notice, since we don't experience the other universes where we wouldn't exist. It happened, the Big Bang. Just like that. I'd call this sort of randomness a miracle.
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By tyciol on 19th March 2011, 09:17 PM
Stories like these always angered me, as when we point out the flawed counter-arguments on both sides people tend to ignore them and focused on the characature of a cognitively distorted logical-fallacy using professor.
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By acementhead on 19th August 2013, 01:25 AM
FuriousFunk @ #32

You ask

"Why do Christians have to resort to lies in order to inspire themselves?"

The obvious answer is

Because they have nothing else. Facts and logic can not support any religion in any way. Weak sophistry is all they have.
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By Piscivore on 23rd March 2014, 10:27 AM
. . . and now it is a movie:
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By barehl on 12th June 2017, 12:19 PM
As weak and unreasoned as the arguments in the Professor and the Christian were, they obviously made an impression on Chuck Konzelman
and Cary Solomon because this scene was acted out almost verbatim in the movie, God's Not Dead, with Kevin Sorbo playing the arrogant but not very logical professor and Josh Wheaton playing the brave, Christian student. It's somewhat staggering to think that not one person involved with the movie pointed these problems out.
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