Paths To Knowledge (dot Science)

What is actually real in Objective Reality? How do you know? Now, prove it's real!

The Most Important Conversation to have with a Roman Catholic or other Christian

Posted by pwl on September 6, 2009


Over a period of 28 hours or so this long weekend I had a conversation with someone, CK, I met on Face Book who shared a common technical interest. We had a number of other exchanges with each other over the past few months but this one was different partly for it’s brutal honesty and partly since CK choose to jump out of what was likely the most important conversation of his life.

I managed to save a copy of the conversation moments before CK deleted my access (it was on his wall) and thus ending the conversation with us two. Likely he’s busy gathering agreement with his friends that I’m an evil no good person when in fact it’s likely that I’m one of his best new friends he’s ever had. Be that as it may, here is a non edited transcript (spelling corrections were made). Oh, from what I can tell CK is a young adult male with a gay lover and a roman catholic upbringing.

I hope this helps when talking with religious delusionals of all sorts but christians in particular since we deal with dispensing the christian miracle mythologies here.

I’ll add comments and expand my responses and even critique my own responses over the next few weeks or so as I have time to reread the transcript below and think longer it.

All the best and live long and prosper in peace. Your feed back and comments are appreciated.


ps. This Jesus and Mo comic is appropriate since CK’s solution for “resolving the incompatibilities” between science and religion is to become insane by fully embracing “cognitive dissonance” and not working to resolve the conflict even though he claims to work towards that end. More on this in the conversation. He also, as you will see, negotiates his way between these two incompatibilities by accepting part of Objectivism (it’s basic three axioms of existence, identity and consciousness) while maintaining his “faithful belief” in his invisible super friends even though acknowledging that objectivism provides “proof” that there are no gods other than those in human minds. Thus CK’s religious driven insanity.

CK: just wants to find SOMEONE who shares his philosophies… lol

PWL: What philosophy are yours?

CK: Except for the stance on matters of sexuality and religion, I’m a staunch objectivist. Go Ayn Rand!

I believe cognitive dissonance is the greatest evil in the universe.

That’s a good start to the summary. In essence, I believe you must accept a small set of axioms as true, and then use inductive logic based on that. If only I could put my axioms in words… lol

PWL: I am also a big fan of Ayn Rand.

People do work well together and can in many circumstances work towards their mutual benefit.

What do you mean by cognitive dissonance?

I’m confused by your sexuality considering you seem to be very catholic… seems mutually incompatible to me.

I’m confused by your religious stance and Ayn Rand, objectivism proves that your mythical god doesn’t exist and is just an artifact of your mind wanting comfort or what not. So you’re not a staunch objectivist if you believe in the mythical invisible super beings and thus the supernatural realm.

The real world doesn’t care about our philosophies since it doesn’t care about anything.

They are not axioms if they are not in words…

BUT then Leaps of Faith know no boundaries or limits and ignore any that are pointed out. That is the essential nature of a leap of faith, it destroys actual rational thinking with the emotional non-rational leap of faith.

“Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously. The “ideas” or “cognitions” in question may include attitudes and beliefs, the awareness of one’s behavior, and facts. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance by changing their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors, or by justifying or rationalizing their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.[1] Cognitive dissonance theory is one of the most influential and extensively studied theories in social psychology.” – Cognitive Dissonance.

So if you believe “cognitive dissonance” is the greatest evil in the universe why do you practice it?

Why do you consider it evil?

MD: wow :{

CK: Sexuality: Rand didn’t exactly believe they should wait until they found the right one, and then stay with them the rest of their life. Yes, objectivism does reject the almighty.

When I say cognitive dissonance, I mean holding two apparently exclusive beliefs wihout batting an eye — it’s an offense to reason. In my case (objectivist Catholic), although you’d think they are exclusive, but the reason I believe they are not is that I do not blindly believe — I observe the positive effects of faith, I observe the evidence of miracles, and I make judgments for myself. I consider the beliefs and try to reason and justify them.

If I were to just say, “well, it is” THEN faith and reason would be exclusive. But to examine faith and try to reason about it, why you believe it even when you know science, then you have used reason. You just use inductive logic rather than deductive logic.

PWL: Actually you must use actual repeatable verifiable evidence not logic or some belief stricken dogma system…

As the saying goes you are mistaken about a great many things CK.

There are no real positive effects of faith that are not available without faith!

CK: Hahaha! I’d love to see how you escape this — since I used to think this way and the contradiction posed me. I used to believe that science held all the answers and science was repeatable, verifiable, evidence. Controlled experiments to test one variable, right? Makes sense.

Except, that means no evolution. No Big Bang. No global warming. No understanding of these complex systems. No relativity. No creation of stars and planets. You cannot recreate scenarios, you cannot control all those variables.

When I realized science, by such rigid standards, could not answer these questions, as well as the politics that went into trade publications — when I realized that science was flawed, I realized there must be another way to find answers. I realized that those who heralded science as the anti-dogma risked being caught up in the dogma of their own. Finally, could you cite a positive effective of faith that is available without faith?

Yes. All positive effects of faith are available without faith.

PWL: Of course all answers can be obtained by science or the scientific method. Anyone who thinks different has jumped off the deep end. Evidence and proof, repeatable and verifiable evidence.

Few guess right – about objective reality – so never trust your guess or your guts!

Nonsense. Evolution is seen all the time by biologists. They can do the experiments at will and see it. Actually you don’t need to even be a scientist to see evolution happening in the natural world.

The big bang has evidence. Sure it’s not all in yet. Some of it might never be but that doesn’t mean that it’s out of the reach of knowing via the scientific method.

Global Warming is being studied. The evidence is not yet conclusive with the rigors needed for hard science of that importance.

ANKS [A New Kind of Science by Stephen Wolfra] provides an amazing framework for comprehending complex systems that have so far defied traditional science. It lays the ground work for many experiments to follow.

No. Faith – in things like god or jesus – is delusional.

So just because it’s challenging to find some answers you take the leap of faith and accept belief based opinions as if they are evidence of miracles? Nutso… you’ve jumped off the deep end into woo woo land. It’s the asking of faith that makes religions dangerous and cults.

You’re happy it seems jumping into woo woo land of miracles and fantasies of an immortal life. You’re either conning yourself or being conned by your religious leaders. Your mind is falling for their jedi belief mind tricks (of the non-supernatural variety, no force needed to trick and con people).

Tell you that you’re delusional to believe in god and jesus and what not of religious nature is not intending to insult you or be negative towards you. Telling you to grow up in the universe bluntly is very possible the most honest thing anyone will tell you ever. In fact that makes me a true friend, being brutally honest with you.

Your religious leaders are lying to you. God is all a lie.

Many of them know it too. That makes them con men who get away with it. Tax exempt too. Sad.

Maybe churches aka crutches should be taxed to pay for health care? Great idea!

CK: lol… can you give me some evidence of evolution that people can see every day? I’ve been in, and seen even more, debates, and the best I’ve seen is the moths before and after the Industrial Revolution, which I’ve seen thoroughly dissected (I guess it’d be a good pun).

It’s funny… you think you’re doing me a favor, but you sound just as eager to convert as a scientologist, and as dogmatic as the Pope. The way I see it, zero is a number, and atheism is a religion with it’s own set of truths and beliefs.

Should churches be taxed? Honestly — I don’t know. Some of them do seem to be for profit, and there’s so many issues and ideologies — how do you know which ones are valid? Does Scientology count? Should The Church of Facebook? Is that government interfering with religion and making one or the other state sponsored? What about Catholic Charities, which is religious, but does a lot of charity work for people of all beliefs.

Finally, I understand what it’s like to sit back and watch a friend have weird beliefs, and do things you REALLY don’t think is good for them. Oh God, do I know how badly you want to reach out and slap some sense into them.

But you can’t slap the sense into them. You can’t change someone’s mind. Especially about something they’ve hopefully thought long and hard about. You just have to sit back and let them reach their own conclusions, being ready to give them facts when they ask, when they’re ready. You need to wait for the conversion of the heart.

Where I’m going with this is my best friend is a similar way — he’s NOT afraid to speak his mind about what he believes. So I know where you’re coming from, and appreciate it, no matter how much of an argument I throw up, lol

PWL: Read the science news for the evolution evidence and discoveries.

I don’t care if you “convert” at all. I’m just an honest and direct person.

I’m not dogmatic. Show me actual evidential proof that a human being can come back from the dead (brain, heart, organs, cell death) after three days. Demonstrate it repeatedly in controlled double blind situation and we won’t have to believe for we’ll know it.

I don’t believe or dis-believe in humans rising from the dead. It’s just not possible given the laws of Nature that biology, chemistry have painstakingly discovered.

Atheism isn’t a religion dude, it’s simply the lack of any beliefs about it one way or the other and it’s often a stance that requires actual evidence not “inferred logical evidence from story books cooked up by the clergy con men”. You yourself are an atheist with respect to all the gods you don’t believe in.

Yes I’m doing you a favor. It doesn’t sound like it to you but it’s true, I’m doing you a big favor being direct.

Well I don’t want to slap you CK. I’ve said my peace directly and honestly so I’m within my integrity.

I really don’t care if you change your mind. Sure it would be nice for you if you did, freedom and liberation from the bondage of faithful delusional beliefs in mythical nothings.

I’m glad you appreciate it… maybe… not sure… what you fully meant. Anyway.

It’s usually hard for people of faithful beliefs to think that someone can have no beliefs about gods at all. So you think we have a non-belief in god as if it’s another religion. You likely would have an easier time shifting religions before you dropped your nonsense beliefs and faith about god(s) and other invisible nothings. Atheism is the lack of belief.

I’m actually very open about a great many things as long as they don’t violate the well known and well tested – verifiable – laws of Nature that we’ve discovered. Many of these laws prove that various miracles are not possible.

For example, jesus after violating the laws of Nature (biology) by his claimed resurrection from the three day dead then ascends to the heavens. Ok, Newton and Einstein have a problem with that and so would Nasa. You’ll have to explain how a man can rise up to the “heavens” aka outer space without a space ship. Maybe Jesus was really an alien with a ship and an advanced medical emergency room. That actually might be possible while Jesus being the son of an imaginary god simply isn’t.

Anyway. For every so called miracle you present there are many reasons and laws of Nature that prove that such miracles can’t have happened.

Now if you say they can that is where you take your leap of faith into the deep end of woo woo land and loose all sense of rational thinking, it’s the leap that destroys your intellect. It seems that few actually recover unfortunately.

When I see a belief I work to eliminate it. You worship your beliefs, you take them on faith welcoming delusions of imaginary nothings.

Huge difference.

I use actual evidence and the rigors of testing against objective reality to get as close as possible to knowing objective reality.

Prove me wrong with actual evidence and I’ll not just welcome the experience but actually thrive on it!

So if you or someone else can ascend to the heavens without any sort of technological means thus violating Netwon’s Laws of Motion and the laws of Gravity by all means please demonstrate. You’ll be famous. You’ll be rich beyond your dreams. You’ll get the Nobel Prize. Everyone on earth will know you.

Of course you can’t since the laws of Nature, and Netwon’s concise expression of those laws, actually PREVENT you or Jesus from ascending to the heavens. That’s right, the laws of Nature prevent god aka jesus from flying without tech. No wonder Newton feared what might happen to him from the church.

Prove me wrong with actual evidence and I’ll not just welcome the experience but actually thrive on it! It’s called life long learning and unlearning as needed and given by the evidence the laws of Nature provide.

CK: You just lost.

#1) Is zero a number? Yes or no? Is the absence of belief merely a belief in no beliefs? I say yes.

#2) Don’t tell me to read the scientific journals and such. I do already, I have yet to see the evidence. How to win a debate — do NOT ask your opponent to make the evidence for you. Go out, do your own research, THEN come back with a specific example.

#3) Bring Einstein and Newton totally sinks your argument. Einstein has publicly said that no one can deny the existence of the historical Jesus or that the things He said have “authentic vitality” [in an interview with George Sylvester Viereck]. Also, Newton was a public Anglican up until he privately decided Arianism, not Trinitarianism, was the true form of Christianity. [source: The Galileo Project].

#4) You cite Newton’s Law’s of Motion. Yes, there is evidence for them, indeedy.

Except they are only approximations. They are inaccurate. They are NOT true. They CAN be broken. General Relativity explains the orbit of the planet Mercury, something Newton could not do. Evidence, repeatable experiment, does not yield the truth. It only yields more approximation. It cannot approach the exact truth. Even mathematical proofs have basis in axioms, some fundamental beliefs, and in effect follow an inductive logic.

Thank God Einstein was okay with accepting things that violated the existing, proven laws of nature…

PWL: “You just lost.”

That’s rich and funny. Didn’t know there was anything to lose or win! This isn’t a debate… it’s a conversation.

Of course zero is a number. That’s not a belief, it’s a convention and an abstraction as part of our math system.

Well, your point of view on a non belief isn’t the way that I look at it nor the way that a great many people look at it.

Of course I’ll tell you to read the journals and news. I’m not going to do your education for you. Not unless I get paid to to the work.

I don’t care about Newton’s or Einstein’s person philosophy as it’s completely irrelevant to objective reality. All that matters is that the math is highly accurate as it is in Einstein’s case. Newton is good enough for the purposes of this conversation and for most engineering projects around the world too.

So you’re proposing that a human being can fly off the ground and up into orbit without the aid of a spaceship as a special case that Newton or Einstein didn’t’ consider? Nuts.

Oh right it was a “miracle” that let Jesus violate the well known Newton’s law. How and how did he keep breathing once he got to space where the last time we checked (right now in fact as they are doing a space walk today). Exactly how did he magically do that?

A space ship with a fully equipped emergency room is a much more plausible explanation for the resurrection and ascension into the heavens aka space than magically coming back to life and flying into space and breathing without air. So realistically Christianity is just a dumb alien resurrection leave earth as fast as possible story since those Earthers like to crucify people. Sigh.

It’s not just that there is evidence of Newton’s laws, the equations describe fairly accurately, and if you need more accuracy use Einstein’s instead, how some of the laws of Nature operate with respect to mass, acceleration, gravity, etc…. Newton’s laws prevent you from flying into space of your own free will without some technology.

The insanity of faith and belief is that you can happily accept that a human being can come back from the dead after three days dead and fly up into space without the aid of spaceships or a life support system. Ok. You’re insane CK. There are so many laws of Nature that are violated that you’ve lost all credibility as someone interested in science.

The problem is that you’ve been infected with nonsense philosophy thinking that your philosophy is beyond the limits of the laws of Nature.

It’s the essential flaw of pretty much all religions but certainly the Christian religion. Miracles are required to support the fairy tales as if they are reality. Your brain accepts the leaps of faith required and thus you become belief stricken. It’s actually a mental illness to reject so many laws of Nature.

The sad part is that you don’t even see this. That is the power that delusional thinking has upon your brain and it’s ability to form coherent thoughts that have any correlation to objective reality.

In objective reality Newton’s and Einstein’s equations rule the universe. That means that human beings can’t rise from the dead, not after being really rotting dead, and they can’t fly into orbit of Earth or reach escape velocity to head to the heavens or breath the next to nothingness of space and stay alive.

But of course if you believe in magic then humans can fly and come back from the dead and breath in space all without spaceships, emergency rooms, or oxygen-air tanks.

If you can’t see the stupidity of your catholic beliefs then you really are a lost puppy belief stricken with deep delusions and highly disconnected from the real world. Very sad.

The mind poo that you spew as philosophy is just mind numbingly filled with magic and silliness at every step of the way.

You really don’t know critical thinking at all. It’s likely not your own fault since you’ve been indoctrinated into your religion likely since you were a small baby as most children of delusional religious nutters are.

Fortunately my roman catholic parents were not able to break me into their cult. I learned the power of questions and to not accept what people were telling me and that some people’s ideas where not as good as other people’s ideas. The key is sorting it out. If all we have is philosophy to do that then we’re up shit creek… fortunately we have objective reality and the scientific method to sort out fact from fiction, what’s real and what is fantasy. Unfortunately not everybody develops a keen critical thinking ability that takes into account the actual real objective reality where we exist.

Most like you CK, are happy to accept the magic and miracles as if they were true without too many qualms. Sad really.

To accept Christian dogma you have to take many leaps of faith all of which violate the laws of Nature, the laws of physics, the laws of biology, the laws of chemistry.

You really are living caged within a mythological philosophy from the dark ages that is divorced from the real world.

Oh sure, you can comprehend Newton’s equations and know that no human being EXCEPT Jesus can fly into orbit without a space ship… as long as you have your exceptions for your delusional beliefs you’re still “functional” in society.

While you might be “functional” in modern society your medieval philosophy of magic and miracles and invisible friends that created the universe while not existing themselves makes you a sad delusional puppy needing serious help.

Yes you’re special since your philosophy allows for Jesus to have special exceptions from the laws of Nature. Yes I do mean that sense of special. Yes, people aren’t suppose to call religions people nut jobs or special but it really is the most wide spread mental disease affecting a huge percentage of human beings.

Well I’m glad that at least you’re functional in society even if you’re delusional.

CK: ou really think this is a conversation? I’m sitting back and letting anyone who’s reading make their own judgments, but I’m incredulous.

You say I’m functional but “special” — lacking something. Let me tell you something — that’s what the true religious fundamentalists believe. You sound just like that which you hate. And the way you keep at it is typical of do-gooder liberals.

Conversations and friendships do NOT involve insults, no matter how strongly you believe your convictions. You will NEVER convince someone to your point of view, and in fact will only push people away from even saying anything at all. I really suggest you read Dale Carnegie, and that’s all I’m going to say.

PWL: Yes, I do [consider this a conversation]. If you want to consider it a debate that’s find but I sure didn’t think of it that way as there really isn’t any point in debating “your philosophy” since you’ll always win that debate.

Yes, it is a conversation, a very direct to the point conversation.

Yes anyone who believes in god is “special”, not so much in the sense of lacking something other than any semblance of common sense grounded in objective reality but more in the sense of having serious delusions about how objective reality actually works. It’s the inability to distinguish between what is real and what is not real that is lacking, although you can learn as many others have to develop critical thinking skills grounded in objective reality. You’re part way there already with your interest in Ayn Rand’s Objectivism.

Well I might, in your listening, sound like them however if you were actually able to hear what I’m saying and comprehend it without your faithful and delusional beliefs getting in the way you’d see that I am in no way like them at all.

Yes, I’m being blunt and directly with you in an area that is obviously challenging to your beliefs. Your mind wants your beliefs to survive and will do anything to protect your beliefs even if that means hurting you. So your reaction now is in response to a false sense that I’m somehow insulting or attacking you, which isn’t the case. I’m being direct and brutally honest. It’s not many people that will tell you like it is. Most people want to not take any risks in life and play it safe. I simply tell it like it is and point out how it isn’t.

If someone came to you and said that they believe that superman was actually a real person and could do all the magical things that he could do in the movies and comic books and that this person believed they were Lois Lane or Jimmy Olsen you’d think they were “special” now wouldn’t you?

Would you humor them or tell them the brutal truth?

How are you any different than a person who believes superman is real?

You’re not.

You believe in a man named Jesus who it seems is as magical if not more magical than superman.

Sure I could humor you saying nice words to calm you or gain your trust or whatever… however, I choose to have the guts and the integrity to tell the brutal truth to those with delusions and invisible friends who don’t exist.

In that way I’m a better friend than the vast majority of people who meet you. I don’t want any money from you unlike your church.

I simply invite you to consider what I’ve said as if it’s correct and try it on for size.

It’s clear that you comprehend that a human being needs a space ship to get to outer space yet you exempt the man that history knows as Jesus from being limited by the laws of Nature.

It is explicitly because you except your magical Jesus from the laws of Nature that you can’t distinguish between what is fantasy mythology and what is actually real in objective reality.

If you were to realize that there are no exceptions for any human beings named whatever they are named including beings named Jesus you’d begin to gain a grounding in objective reality again. You’d be less special in a big way.

Either that or provide the actual evidence that Jesus came back to life, rose people from the dead, cured diseases magically, performed miracles, and flew off to the heavens somewhere – where? – in outer space. Not stories. Not testimonials. Actual hard verifiable and repeatable evidence.

With evidence that stands up to the rigors of testing I’ll change any POV or position I’ve taken.

At this point CK deleted me as a friend on FaceBook. I wonder what belief it was that triggered his withdrawal from what could be the most important conversation of his life?

CK via face book email update: “lol, I don’t think you realize how ridiculous you sound. You make arguments, I counter arguments (maybe asking for specifics), and you just deflect and move on, and don’t try to back up anything.

I’m sorry, but I just can’t take you seriously. Your argument is full of logical fallacies and what little logic is present is countered by your irrationality about the supposed irrationality of others.

THAT is the cognitive dissonance I hate.”

PWL via FaceBook email to CK: Hi CK,

I’m sorry you feel the way you do but you can run away from the truth about objective reality where you exist but it’ll catch up to you and everyone in the end.

Of course I sound ridiculous to you as you’re listening from a mental frame caged by your religious beliefs. It has you convert a truth into an insult; which wasn’t intended.

I suppose you just can’t handle the truth.

I can back up everything I’ve said with actual evidence that is verifiable and repeatable.

You don’t even attempt to address the serious flaws that make your religion nothing more than delusional fantasies.

As you wish CK. Clearly you’re not open to the actual objective reality where your body lives its life, your mind prefers the delusions of faith over the facts of life. You’d prefer the lies of religion and the false sense of comfort it brings you. That’s really too bad, however, if you need your delusions to make it through the day then I guess it is so be it.

All the best to you in your journey through life. Live long and prosper before the nothingness takes you back. See ya, wouldn’t want to be ya.

When you’ve cooled off I would like to be friends. If I offended you I’m sorry about that, I’m a directly honest friend.


This Jesus and Mo comic is appropriate since CK told me to “shut up” by not being friends anymore. He couldn’t take the heat of rational thought and he thought he was being mocked. Actually I wasn’t mocking him, I was just telling it like it is and unfortunately that seems like mocking to most.

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