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Getting On : All My Politics

What Everybody Needs is a Lie?

from DeeJay - Monday, April 21, 2008
accessed 904 times

This is my by and large uneducated present opinion. My stated objective is that I want to learn. I welcome others' perspectives, opinions, suggestions and corrections.

Of all the common themes through out history, perhaps none is more resonant, long lasting or insatiable as mankind’s quest to define itself, its place and its purpose.

In our quest, we have turned to numerous places, such as science, government, philosophy and religion to name a few. Science, to help us explain and define the physical aspects of both ourselves and our universe; government, to give us the impression of purpose, consequence and unity; philosophy, for perspective on where we fit in; religion to provide us with the illusion of higher meaning, purpose and control over our biggest fear – the unknown.

Regardless of the means, ultimately our quest for definition escapes us perhaps because we always seem to stumble over our own self-obsession, futility and irrelevance.

Take religion for example. Even in this modern age where those with a hint of objectivity can see them for what they are – lies, there is something to be said for the way we still adamantly cling to them anyway. We are inseparable from them because they are the product of our own condition; our own desperation to be relevant despite any or all evidence to the contrary.

Whatever the case, the one that we can accept as true is that we are here. Whether as part of an endless circle, a step on the evolutionary chart upwards or as a downward spiral, we are the creatures who at this time and place have emerged as the dominant species. Why? And to what end? Perhaps to understand why we came to be, we must first we understand how.

Science proposes evolution. Evolution can be observed in many places. It can be observed in the history of mankind; the evolution of man from the cave living, wooden spear hunting man, to the modern thinking man of today. It can be observed in something as crude as farm pigs with curved snouts who escape into the wild and develop straight ones to help them dig and forage. According to Darwin, the rule of evolution is, “Survival of the Fittest”. But how exactly does survival fit into the bigger picture or grand scheme (if you will)?

If survival really is the ultimate goal, then some of our ideals may not have been too far off. Government may have succeeded in uniting us somewhat towards something resembling common goals. Religion and theology may even have succeeded in instilling some people with a sense of morality and a desire to improve themselves. Even these two ideals have arguably either improved or prolonged our survivability (I am giving religion the benefit of the doubt here. I personally believe that religion has killed far more people than it has ever saved). However, I think it’s rather self-indulgent to think that such a fragile species such as our own will continue to go on forever. Ultimately, we will not survive.

To understand this, we need look no further than our closest predecessors, the dinosaurs. They were a highly survivable species which roamed and ruled the planet for much longer than humans have been around. But even they could not survive forever. They were destroyed but something much more powerful than themselves. Are we really foolish enough to think that with all the space and powers which exist in our universe, that we are indeed the most powerful and thus impervious to any and all attacks (Not to mention the attacks we launch on ourselves)? If nothing else, time is against us. However remote the chances, something will happen eventually.

In support of upwards evolution on the one hand, it can be argued that we are in fact superior to the dinosaurs. Our ability to build, certainly far surpasses anything they ever achieved. We have forged ahead on the strength of our ability to pass on and build upon information from generation to generation. Our level of abstract thinking has also continually enabled us to improve upon all of these creations. These are all things our predecessors were never able to accomplish in their millions of years. All things considered, we have reached this pinnacle in a relatively short time span. If nature has provided us with one thing, it is for better or worse, a powerful brain.

But how does our brain rate on an evolutionary scale? Is the advent of our more powerful brains simply a tool to improve our survivability? And if we are doomed to die out anyway, what is the point of survival? Are we, like the dinosaurs, just another step on the evolutionary chart waiting to die off and be replaced by the next? Then there is the question – Are we really a step up from them? Since they died off before we even got here, is there even an evolutionary connection at all? Or are we actually, simply the product of multiple, random events and disconnected evolutionary sequences? Are we then circling rather than evolving upwards? The power of our brains seem on the one hand to suggest upwards evolution, however there is a lot more to consider than just calculating power or short term success.

The effects of the power of the human brain can be measured many different ways. But one thing is for certain. As our knowledge increases, so does our capacity to create and protect, but so does our capacity to destroy. We are perhaps the first species with the power and potential to destroy not only ourselves, but all forms of life on our planet. We are in many ways, a virus that consumes all resources and energy without replenishment and may ultimately end up consuming ourselves into oblivion. All of this I might add, would not have been possible to this extent without the evolution of our brains.

Will we end up annihilating ourselves, our planet and all its life? Can it then be argued that the very thing designed to ensure our survival will end up being the very thing that ensures our extinction? Is it then possible that our superior knowledge and brain functions are actually an evolutionary step backwards? If survivability is the gold standard by which it is measured, I personally think that given the volatility of the human mind, we will kill ourselves off a lot faster than the dinosaurs died off.

In the end, the hows and whys of our existence can be debated back and forth, but following this line of questioning I do come to one realisation: The more I think, the more questions I have and the greater my awareness that there are ultimately no answers(yet?). So what? So in order to continue our perfunctory lives as humans, maybe the most relevant questions are which lies we will choose to accept to excuse to ourselves our own existences.

So what if it is all a lie? So what if it is all for nothing? I did not choose to be here, yet here I am. In the interest of excusing to myself my own existence, I will accept the following lies.
I will continue to live, even though I will die and can take nothing with me. I will follow the rules of society and humanity as best I can, even if they will be used or abused by others. I will try to be productive, even if we are only working towards our own demise. I will have and care for children, even if I am just perpetuating a useless circle. I will do my part to conserve energy and protect the environment, even though I know it won’t make a damn bit of difference. Finally, I will continue to search for answers and a purpose even if (I know) there are none.

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from exfamily
Saturday, April 26, 2008 - 12:27

My personal opinion:

There is no meaning to life. The universe came about however it did, and life or proto-life (i.e. replicating RNA, in the RNA world scenario) spontaneously generated (obviously from previously "created", or rather generated, parts, ultimately down to chemical reactions). DNA/RNA randomly mutated/recombined/etc, and natural selection was (and, of course, still is) the driving force which led evolution in the directions it took. Animals have no purpose in life. That is, they are merely entities which have arisen as complexity increased, and are part of a delicate ecosystem (which you could say is their "purpose", but that's not really true). Animals didn't have to arise. Just because they did doesn't suddenly grant them a deeper meaning or purpose in life. They are mere biological machines, formed through and because of the inherent laws of nature, so their life and death is nothing more than an aspect of natural law.

We humans are more evolved than other animals in the brain department, no doubt about that. Other animals have other further evolved body parts; ours happens to be our brain. Now, I cannot say too much about the evolution of self-consciousness, or introspection, but of all the animals on earth, I think it's quite fair to say that the human is the only one with those qualities. The human is the only one who can come up with the questions: "What is the meaning of life? How did we get here? Where are we going?"

Why do we think there is a meaning to life? Where did we come up with such a notion? Why does the mind beg the question? Other animals are perfectly content to live and die - not that they're necessarily aware of it. But I think it's our awareness of self, our ability to philosophize, whatever you might call it, that allows us to ask the question.

But just because we are capable of willing or believing there to be a meaning to life, it doesn't mean that there in fact is. I've spoken about this to some of my work colleagues, and their questions/protestations invariably start with "But if there's no meaning to life, then..."
Yes, there are many things we do or believe that might not make much sense, or might not be worth the effort, if there is no meaning to live. But man has long believed in a meaning to life, so society is sort of built around this concept. If everyone suddenly believed that life had no deeper purpose, that we were nothing but biological "machines" that - whilst we might lead an enjoyable and productive life - would ultimately die and become dust and nothingness, it's very possible that our "values" as a whole might shift significantly (and not for the better).

The fact is that, if the universe did indeed come about by itself, and if life did indeed spontaneously generate, and if there is in fact nothing "deeper" than the natural world, then we are about as significant as a millisecond chemical reaction in a soap bubble. However long our lives seem from our time frame, and however much we ponder the meaning of life or posit complex theological necessities, in the grand scheme of things we are completely insignificant, flickering on and off in the blink of an eye, and it matters to no one - because there is no one for it to matter to. Then the universe disappears, and all is gone.
(reply to this comment)
From colden
Wednesday, December 03, 2008, 21:15


what you said lacks meaning and purpose ;)(reply to this comment

from cheeks
Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - 11:06

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)
The true meaning of life is the sure knowledge of death, for without it man would not strive to leave his mark.
(reply to this comment)
From rainy
Wednesday, April 23, 2008, 13:00

Oh yeah, remember how we used to watch that movie so much? With Sarah Jessica Parker? What was it called again?(reply to this comment
From cheeks
Wednesday, April 23, 2008, 15:32

Somewhere Tomorrow.(reply to this comment
from many answers and musings on this vast subject
Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - 09:12

can be found here.

One of my favorite blog spots of all time.

(reply to this comment)
From DeeJay
Wednesday, April 23, 2008, 23:08


Thanks for this. I like a lot of the analogies used here. (reply to this comment

from madly
Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - 00:15


I guess I am realizing that maybe I have been on this site a bit too long when I can easily copy and paste comments and articles of mine, and others, that relate to the current topic. It seems most topics have previously been discussed at one time or another; although, it is always nice to have them presented with a fresh perspective, such as you have done.

Anyway, here is a great article along the same line with my comment beneath, if you are interested. I guess I am getting too lazy to write my thoughts on the same general subject all over again. I hope this will do.

Good article, by the way. I can relate, very much so, to the way your thought process seems to work.

(reply to this comment)

From conan
Wednesday, April 23, 2008, 11:15

Wow! Good article...Thanks for linking to that, madly. :)(reply to this comment
From DeeJay
Wednesday, April 23, 2008, 22:37


Ha. It was, conan. If I had read it before, I probably wouldn't have posted this one, just commented on yours. I've been trying to track down Ayn Rand's books, but being that I'm not in an English speaking country, they've been a little hard to get ahold of. I've also looked on-line. It seems the copyrights are doing a pretty good job of keeping the text downloads out. I am still trying. I've also decided to read more of your articles first before asking you any more questions, so as not to put you through the menial task of repeating yourself. Ha.

Madly, I think I get your gist. Celebrate life, not because it is necessarily is a celebration, but because it can be. Right? Purpose can be defined individually and doesn't have to be defined as a collective cause or as part of a bigger picture. My question was more about the theory, but as for the application, that's probably the closest thing to an answer I'm ever going to get. I agree. It doesn't have to be wasted just because it's meaningless in a larger sense.(reply to this comment

From Oddie
Thursday, April 24, 2008, 11:29

RE: Ayn Rand.

Interested in a copy of "The Virtue of Selfishness"?(reply to this comment
From DeeJay
Thursday, April 24, 2008, 21:03

Thanks Oddie. Yes, absolutely. Are you talking a download version?(reply to this comment
From Oddman
Thursday, April 24, 2008, 22:22

Email me through this profile.(reply to this comment
from sar
Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - 12:42


From what I understood, you seemed to be trying to find answers which conform to religious ideals (whether evolution fits within a "grand scheme" and what purpose it has). I don't think science is about providing meaning and purpose to life. The instinct for survival isn't a purpose or a reason to live, its simply a fact of life.

Why do you think there has to be a purpose?
(reply to this comment)

From DeeJay
Tuesday, April 22, 2008, 21:22

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)

Thanks for your observation. Given my religious upbringing, I'm sure that you're right on. I don't know, maybe it's just the way I was raised that has me continually searching for "purpose". I don't know. As objective as I try to be, I guess it still permeates a lot of my reasoning.

Perhaps I’m having a hard time accepting the blatant non-purposes for life, but I still have to ask. Why then does evolution happen? If survival is not its purpose would it as least serve as its objective? If so, as successful as we seem now, how successful are we really in this evolutionary process? If there is no ultimate objective, are our present day lifestyles and morals, in effect, holding us as tools to someone else’s objective rather than our own.
Since religion etc., has ultimately proved a self-made phenomena, why do we create them in the first place? My assumptions may have themselves have religious origins, but religion, along with many of the parameters that define our societies today, did come to be due to the vacuum inside of our own psyches. In other words, mankind had been following this pattern even since before religion began.

Lastly then, why do we bother then? What role then does/should government or even morality for that matter play in our lives? If there is no objective to existence, then there is in my mind no objective to government or mankind as a whole. If morality serves to protect our species, is it then not pointless in it’s entirety? What argument then is there of letting our own personal instincts be the ultimate judge and guide? If there is no objective to mankind, how is there an objective to its preservation?

I should state for the record that I am a firm believer in the rule of law. I don’t contend to know everything, or even much for that matter, so I go about life in many ways believing that others have drawn and are dedicating to enforcing imaginary lines which are for my/our own betterment. At times though, I still stop to ponder why. If there is no agenda, isn’t everything from government to morals just conditioning me to fulfill someone else’s agenda? I guess all this to ask; if there is no purpose, isn't anything that we have created along the way, including but not exclusive to, government, religion, societial parameters and morality all just .....moo? If not a lie itself, then based on one?

All these questions, and yet in the end, the article was supposed to be about the lies we choose to accept our own futility of existence. In the end isn’t it all lies? They have such a negative connotation, and yet am I ultimately to understand that they are in fact the only thing really driving us (whether it’s forward, backwards or in circles) ?(reply to this comment

From afflick
Thursday, April 24, 2008, 15:20


"I guess all this to ask; if there is no purpose, isn't anything that we have created along the way, including but not exclusive to, government, religion, societial parameters and morality all just .....moo?"

Joey: Rach, you gotta find out if he's in the same place you are. Otherwise, it's just a moo point.
Rachel : A moo point?
Joey : Yeah. It's like a cow's opinion. It just doesn't matter. It's moo.
Rachel : Have I been living with him too long or did that all just make sense?(reply to this comment

From sar
Wednesday, April 23, 2008, 02:32


Are you looking for a purpose for your own life, human life or the life all species?

You ask how successful we are at the evolutionary process. I'm not a biologist of any kind, but from what I understand, not very. Humans are not the most the evolved species. Humans could probably not survive the predicted threat to global warming. Cockroaches and other insects have a much higher chance of surviving such a disaster.

I don't think human life serves an ultimate objective, I think it just is. I don't see how it would follow that the lack of an ultimate objective would mean that your lifestyles and morals hold you to someone else's objectives (do you mean another species' or another persons?).

We bother because its in our nature to, because self preservation is a fact of our existence and we can't not bother. I think the existance of some sort of governance and even morality (or amorality) serves the interests of individuals. Its to my best interests that I live within certain constraints so that others also live within constraints. Its selfish and serves my own interests. I don't think its for any higher purpose or whatever. I don't think the purpose of morality is to protect the species, but to protect the individual. Most people would probably consider killing someone immoral, but that changes when considering it immoral fails to serve the interest of the individual. There are lots of things that used to be immoral and have changed their status over time so that they are no longer immoral as the utility of that label disappeared. I consider there to be value in societal parameters, government and morality (or some form of it), etc, so far as it protects my interests as an individual, where it fails to do so it fails to have value to me. In some cases the interest it serves me is indirect, for example, I don't benefit from government payouts to unemployed persons directly, but it serves some interest to me in that it maintains peace and prevents revolution. The occurance of a revolution or a war between the different sectors of societies would not be in my interest. So, since paying unemployed persons prevents revolution, it is in my interest that an governmental agency do so. I don't understand where the lie is.

I don't see where all the lies are.

For there to be a purpose to life (as in life in general - human and animals alike) wouldn't there have to be some entity that made it and had a purpose for it?

The purpose of each individuals life, is probably for the survival of their own gene. But then, the strongest survive and the rest die out - so human life may well die out.

Sorry if I missed something, I don't really get why you think lies drive us all? I understand that lies may drive people who subscribe to religion and religious ideology, but not why they would drive those who don't.

(reply to this comment

From DeeJay
Wednesday, April 23, 2008, 22:24


Question 1: Human life. I find my own life to be much more cliche and generic. I'm happy with short term goals, and I tend to define myself much more by my relationship sand interactions with and in correlation to those around me. I don't find that I necessarily need a bigger picture to motivate myself. The notion that little me could really make a difference anyway is far too indulgent. But out of curiousity, I still strive for at least a rudimentary understanding.

Question 2: Question two and question three are interrelated. You present very solid arguments which make a lot of sense, but which somehow I still have a hard time accepting.

The goal of government may in theory be to protect the individual, but that is not the way it started, nor the way it operates in many cases. I agree with conan that most of the earliest forms of government were based on survival. But, once survival was basically established, the mechanisms which were already in place served to pursue the objectives of those either influential enough to manipulate them, or those already in power.

Some examples may include early builders like the Egyptians. Whether or not they believed, they were in fact serving the objectives of a powerful few. A recent one includes, in my opinion, the Iraq war, supposedly for in name of democracy but rather blatantly serving the objectives of Cheney and buddies at Haliburton.

Government and society for that matter, I think, have always been about people as a collective, much more so than as individuals. The power of an influential few imposed on the majority. If morality is also to protect then individual, then whose morality? Killing someone may be considered immoral by the standards of today. But let's say, for rhetoric's sake, that at some point considering it immoral no longer serves the interests of the individual. Which individuals ultimately decide? The ones with the most affluence and power over either the government itself, or the minds of the masses. ie: presidents, celebrities, etc.

I don’t believe that everyone’s brains evolve in the same way. As such, those with power enforce ideals, as it fits into their agenda and perspective, which are then enforced on the collective. As such, many on the lower end of the spectrum must then navigate the rules and norms of life as set by the ideals of the powerful. They are then held hostage to ideals and objectives which are not their own. An exploited individual, as opposed to a protected one. If nature dictates no direction, then we end up following the direction of those in power. If and when they do not reflect my instincts or direction as an individual, maybe I feel that this constitutes a lie. Especially if there is no objective to survival anyway.

Also, don’t many scientists pursue their work in the belief that it will serve to better mankind? If there is no objective, how do/should we measure success? How do/should we measure progress. If there is no upward trend, and thus “betterment”, can it be concluded that it is a lie?
Or maybe I am way off. I don’t know. Perhaps I have religious roots that lead me to assume that everything without purpose is a lie. I will have to re-evaluate my thoughts on a number of subjects then.

If you are saying there are no objectives, only facts, well I will contemplate that.

If you are saying that we care because biologically the preservation of our genes makes us. I can accept that.

If you are indirectly saying that mankind can have shifting directions without an ultimate destination, I guess can accept that. (Or maybe I misunderstood. Still.)

If you are saying that underlying purposes are a religious ideal and acceptance of non-purpose plays a role in essentially “freeing my mind” and dissipating my imaginary lies. Well, I am willing to contemplate that.

Again, thanks for commenting. I enjoy the opinions of people who know things that I haven't yet thought of or learned.(reply to this comment

From sar
Thursday, April 24, 2008, 04:59


I was not clear in what I meant about government serving the individual interests. I think the existance of a government of sort serves the interests of individuals in society - some sort of law and order keeps the pack together, improving survival chances. I think that governors are, just like anyone else, acting to serve their own interests as individuals. I certainly do not think that most politicians see it as their duty to protect the individual in society or even the collective. Once in power they are free to pursue their own aims. Individuals then have the choice of whether or not to revolt or to let those in power continue to pursue those aims. In many cases, it is in the individuals best interest to let those in power stay there. It all depends on where the strength lies and how much opposition the government meets. I agree that politicians may invent justifications, as in Iraq. Though, I think it is also sometimes in the politicians' best interest to serve the interests of the collective or the individual. It helps them get public support which means they are more free to serve their own interests in other matters.

As far as killing people goes, I think its generally in the best interest of individuals not to go round killing people. If I can go round killing people, people can go round killing me. I don't want someone to kill me. I have difficulty seeing how considering killing people immoral would not be in any individuals best interest (perhaps exemptions to the morality of it is more applicable, i.e. its okay to kill someone from another clan grouping such as in warfare, or its okay to kill someone who attacks you first or who is about to attack you). I'll use another example, if I may. If we would take homosexuality in the UK for an example of something that previously immoral and now not so, I think that change came about because of a change in individual interest. The strict roles of men and women in society were highly valued. Men were in power and it was in men's best interest to retain these roles. Then the world wars, women were needed in the workplace, women got the vote, women were gaining power and were filling roles previously only filled by men. Homosexuality threatened the roles. It was thus immoral for a man and a man to lie together as if a man and a woman. When the notion of equality between men and women emerged and gained prominance, there was no longer any social utility to be served in retaining the notion of homosexual immorality. The roles of men and women had already been challenged. It was no longer in the interests of individuals with power to retain the distinction (by power I mean the power that comes from numbers and the power that comes from being able to manipulate the masses and legislative power, etc).

Who decided it was no longer immoral? First the group of individuals most affected (gays) started campaigning, then those indirectly affected (liberals? and those who are discriminated against in other ways), then politicians took up the cause (for whatever reasons), then legislation was repealed that penalised homosexual activity, then more campaigning, then legislation forbidding discrimination on the grounds of homosexuality. Its hard to say which individuals ultimately decided or whether it was before or after legislation was passed. I think there was a gradual shift and no ultimately deciding individual. Some members of the public were pursuaded before legislation and some after.

I agree that those with power enforce ideals and that the majority of the public simply subscribe to those ideals. But power doesn't only reside in the legislature. Newspapers have enormous power to manipulate the minds of the masses by simply being able to be read. But I still think your mind can only be manipulated if you let it. Power can be obtained by anyone. If nature dictates no direction, you are free to choose your own direction. Perhaps you do not care to and are happy to follow the ideals of whoever is in power at the time. That's your choice. I'm quite happy to consider for myself what is in my interest and in the interests of those closest to me and to act accordingly.

I think your right about many people doing things for the betterment of mankind, etc. I don't know they measure progress. I know that in the UK people tend to set up and promote charities that support causes which have directly affected them. Someone who had a family member die of cancer will support cancer research above other charities. People who were abused will support charities that deal with child abuse. I don't know if there needs to be an objective in order for their to be a bad and good. If someone close to be dies, that would make me sad, and so would be a bad thing. I would then consider it to be for the betterment of mankind to prevent that thing from happening in the future. But while death of a loved one would be considered bad, if there was never any death, that would probably be bad as well. I guess I think that while a scientist may research for the betterment of mankind, I doubt they themselves actually have an end (or a perfect world) in mind. I think they think in more limited terms, i.e. of finding a way to elliminate a disease, but no one actually knows what the world would be like if there were no disease. I doubt it would be a good thing. Maybe you're right. Maybe the notion of "betterment" is a lie, or at least an illusion, but maybe also that's not the reason that people do things.

Some do have a utopian vision of a world with no war, no child abuse, no desease, enough food for everyone, etc. I guess that would be the collective "betterment" of mankind that they are striving toward. But that's not necessarily in the majority of individuals best interest.

Arg! It is a complicated question you raise. I don't know about the "betterment" of mankind fitting in with societal trends. Whether because evolution is meant to lead to the betterment of the gene, where mankind is heading is necessarily towards its betterment and vice versa. There is of course that predicament you mentioned earlier in that there is possibly a risk that humans may extinct themselves. This would clash with the theory that evolution actually makes the next gene better - at least in humans. But we don't know that humans will destroy the planet. We don't know that humans will bring about their own extinction. I don't know whether any other species have made themselves extinct. Could their be a defect in the evolutionary process that would cause a species to self destruct? Actually, I don't know enough on this topic to speak any more about it, so I'll shut up now. Its been nice discussing with you. :)(reply to this comment

From vacuous
Thursday, April 24, 2008, 12:00

Sar, such diverted effort -- you looking for revision distractions?(reply to this comment
From sar
Thursday, April 24, 2008, 12:23

hehe, how on earth could you tell? :) (reply to this comment
From DeeJay
Thursday, April 24, 2008, 21:26


I think your paragraph 4 is really what I was after. At times I have mutiple points and fail to clearly draw the connections. It makes sense in my mind, but has a hard time translating onto a page. That paragraph settled a lot for me.

I think you've explained it simply enough for even me to understand, and I've learned something about myself, and maybe about the world. It's what I wanted - input. Looking over my original article, I can see what you might mean by religious ideals. So again, thanks. Appreciated.(reply to this comment

from Samuel
Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - 11:59


If you're looking for answers, you might find this interesting.

(reply to this comment)

From steam
Tuesday, April 22, 2008, 16:51

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)

Dinesh DaSouza the author of that article is one of the most dishonest apologist for the christian faith that I have ever heard of. I doubt in my mind whether he is in fact a christian at all, so patently dishonest are the statements in some of his books that he would have to be one of the most astounding imbeciles, or absolutely without conscience.

One book which he wrote and my dad gave me, had him quoting Genesis chapter one in which light appears before the creation of the sun/stars and he says that for millinia people discredited the account because it seemed unreasonable. We now know that the most accepted current hypothesis of the universe is the big bang theory and indeed the calculations would indicate light before the creation of the stars at the moment of the big bang. He then cleverly quotes someone else saying that the genesis account is almost a perfect scientific description of the big bang. Of course neglecting to actually quote Genesis chapter one which has a steady light of day and night, waters above and below a "firmament" etc all days before the sun/stars. A primitive account absolutely out of whack with any possible scientific explanation, he tries to make the reader believe something he knows to be completely untrue. Page after page of his work is the same. A man without a conscience taking people for a ride.

One more hilarious example is when he quotes Dawkins as saying that some old argument Dinesh put forth had been refuted multiple times and places. He accuses Dawkins of arguing "ad ignoratum" which is to say Dawkins relied on the readers ignorance of whether his statement was true to make his point with no backup. Dinesh finishes this sentence with "of course no such refutations exist". -Without any sense of irony doing the very thing he is accusing Dawkins of in the very same sentence!! A complete idiot!

He loves to twist things as he does in this article you linked to about how Dawkins is "fleeing to an ET explanation". Dawkins in fact said that intelligent design is possible whether ET or otherwise, it just bears the problem of being more unlikely than the problem it puports to solve which is how life began in the first place. This is due to the fact it only pushes the complexity of origion back to the unknown designer with a higher bar of complexity than before. If you want a "defender of the faith" please do pray for a better one than this Dinesh guy.(reply to this comment

From Samuel
Wednesday, April 23, 2008, 08:53


You know, a lot of people have said things like you just did, and have tried to pin some kind of "lie" on Dinesh D'Souza, all I've ever read about is someone simply mocking one of the points in his book. Considering that he likes to keep things as simple as he can, he becomes an easy target for that, and also for people that accuse him of "lying" when all he has done is simplify something into words that the common person can understand.

You are referring to his book "What's So Great About Christianity?", which I've read. Unfortunately, after reading it I loaned it to a friend and church. As she has not given it back to me yet, I will have to answer your objections without the benefit of having the book with me.

First off, it is not necessary for D'Souza to quote from Genesis 1. However, I am under the impression that he did quote from it (remember, I do not have the book with me). The point Dinesh D'Souza is trying to bring up is that light did come before the sun, just like Genesis 1 says. By the way, I will warn you not to go "Young Earth Creationist" on me and demand that the days in Genesis cannot be anything more than literal, 24 hour, sunrise to sunset days. The Bible uses the Hebrew word "yom" for these days. Look, I'm not going to preach on this site, but here's the link, you can look up all the different uses for the word "yom" on your own time.

It appears that you disagree with the idea of a steady light of day and night with waters above and below the sky (I'm using the NIV here) days/ages/times/, or lets just make this easy..."yom"s before the sun and stars. That's fine, but may I ask why you disagree? Is there anything in science that suggests that this account is not true? Because I do believe Dinesh has pointed out things in science which point to the accuracy of Genesis, at the very least as a narrative.

Now, onto the second critcism, are you sure that's all there was to the paragraph? Because that certainly doesn't sound like D'Souza's work to me, and doesn't sound like anything I've read. I think you should probably go back and look at it again. I think it's much more likely that Dinesh D'Souza examined Dawkins' alleged "refutations", and pointed out why it was invalid. If you are so sure that these refutations exist, then do speak up. I want to hear them, and I'm sure Dinesh D'Souza would like to as well. Aa a good debater, I'm sure Dinesh is always willing to accept constructive criticism. By the way, do realize that if an argument has been shown to be invalid or incorrect, than it really doesn't matter how many multiple times it is repeated, or where it is repeated, or who it is that repeated it. Now, D'Souza is a proud man, and I believe he has a reason to be proud, but this statement from his book that "of course no such refutations exist" can surely be used against him. All his critics have to do is find a reason why Dawkins' argument is valid, or come up with another argument, and this phrase could bring down D'Souza's entire argument throughout the chapter. D'Souza knows that.

Finally, your last argument. I would ask you how Intelligent Design pushes the complexity of origin back to the unkown designer "with a higher bar of complexity than before". Now, I beleive that designer is God, so my argument would be: Who said God has to be complex? What is so complex about a figure creating the universe from the outside? Dawkins fails to explain why the designer would have to be so complex. So have you.

Feel free to keep looking for the answers, steam. Just be sure that you do not block anything out simply because it is distasteful to you. I'm not blocking anything out.

To close, I thought you might find the opinion of Michael Shermer of Skeptic magazine interesting.

Michael Shermer, Publisher of Skeptic magazine:

As an unbeliever, I passionately disagree with Dinesh D’Souza on some of his positions. But he is a first-rate scholar whom I feel absolutely compelled to read. His thorough research and elegant prose have elevated him into the top ranks of those who champion liberty and individual responsibility. Now he adds Christianity to his formula for the good society, and although non-Christians and non-theists may disagree with some of his arguments, we ignore him at our peril. D’Souza’s book takes the debate to a new level. Read it.

I find this review of D'Souza's work to be much more sophisticated than the bitter, angry rants left as comments by atheists on his blogs.

(reply to this comment

From Jedran
Thursday, April 24, 2008, 06:55

How can there be a first day with an evening and a morning without a sun?(reply to this comment
From steam
Wednesday, April 23, 2008, 22:06


Ok it is very hard to "debate" with someone who does not see the sneakiness in trying to make a reader believe that genesis one is an almost perfect account of the big bang. Someone who just (did this really happen?) asked me is there anything in science to suggest that there were not several steady days and nights and water on earth before even the existence of the sun? Please read the following bible passage and then tell me with a straight face that quoting this would not have totally exploded the point that the genesis creation account is an almost perfect account of the big bang theory

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.

8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.

12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.

14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.

16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,

18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.

19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

Dinesh was making a point that he either knew to be absolutely false and was cleverly manipulating the facts in his writing or as I said before giving him the benefit of the doubt he may be an imbecile. My guess is that he is all about the money, having found a gullible audience ready to worship anyone who is a practiced debater and will argue for their side. As far as what he said in his book, although he worded it more strongly there using the term arguing "ad ignoratum" etc this is his watered down version on one of his blogs as presented on the chrsitian science monitor: "So powerful is Kant's argument here that his critics have been able to answer him only with derision, as though his arguments are self-evidently fallacious. When I challenged Daniel Dennett to debunk Kant's argument, he responded on his website by saying several people had already refuted Kant. But he didn't provide any refutations and he didn't name any names. Basically, Mr. Dennett was relying on the ignorance of the audience. In fact , there are no such refutations. " Is he trying to say that no one in hundreds of years has tried to refute Kant's arguments? If so it is obviously false. You cannot have a studied philosopher for a great deal of time without attempts at refutation. If he is trying to say he believes the refutations do not hold water that is fine. He should say so rather than doing the very thing he said Dennet did.

Finally you say God could be less complex than ourselves even though he would be working with a very complex end in mind, but you cannot imagine that our complexity could arise through the well studied route of evolution (which does not answer the begining of life issue, however it seems far easier to imagine some such process for the origin of life than a "Creator" planning the whole thing out, but being much less complex than ourselves). Actually the more I think of a non complex God the more it sounds like a new age concept of the universe itself being all one conscience and everything being a manifestation of it. Which is a non scientific but fine and dandy warm and fuzzy idea that does not support any chrsitian concept of God.(reply to this comment

From Samuel
Thursday, April 24, 2008, 21:03

Average visitor agreement is 1 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)

I don't think Dinesh was lying, I think it's much more likely that he looks at Genesis from a different point of view than you are looking at it. More likely than not, he's seen some of the creation models on the internet like this one:

Now I'm no scientist, so do tell me if you find something wrong with this model. As far as I'm concerned, I see no reason to distrust this source, but I'm still in the early stages of finding the answers. The second link is a bit over my head, but I assume you can understand the calculations they are making.

What did I tell you, steam? Dinesh D'Souza is a proud man. It could come back to haunt him. I doubt it though, as debaters are known for making sweeping statements similar to D'Souza's. It's nothing new. You are right, they shouldn't use these kinds of tactics, but they do.

And just so you know, I find it quite possible that God could have used Evolution. And if you've read D'Souza's book well, you should know that he supports Evolution. In fact, he finds fault with people like Michael Behe for not allowing for it. There are three main people that I credit for opening my eyes about the possibility of Evolution: You, Roughneck, and Dinesh D'Souza.(reply to this comment

From steam
Sunday, April 27, 2008, 09:32

Samuel, Rather than bore people on this site. If you seek to debate this issue e-mail me through my profile any site that you find to have a persuasive argument, and I will see if I can point out any flaws in the logic, or if perhaps I am converted by the brilliance of the site. (reply to this comment
From GetReal
Wednesday, April 23, 2008, 09:14

This bullshit has nothing to do with the article. Why dont you just start your own article?(reply to this comment
From Samuel
Wednesday, April 23, 2008, 09:20


I was answering Steam's argument. Why don't you start your own article? You can call it "The I don't want to be bothered with intellectual discussions- I just want to yell at someone" thread. And we can all come over there and watch you swim around in your pool of ignorance, point and laugh, and then walk away to the real world where you're not even a blip on our radar.

But do come back when you have something intelligent to say.(reply to this comment

From GetReal
Wednesday, April 23, 2008, 10:00

I could be wrong but wasn’t steam responding to the insanely off topic link that you posted. You know what people are going to say when you start preaching at them so why do you even bother. Maybe you are just stupid!!!(reply to this comment
From Samuel
Wednesday, April 23, 2008, 10:14


Or maybe I just wanted to have an intelligent discussion with Deejay (keyword: intelligent). "Maybe you are just stupid" does not constitute an intelligent comment. And considering that this is a thread about life and evolution, I don't see how a blog about one man's opinion on how life began is off topic. Perhaps you'd rather not discuss it, but that doesn't make it off topic okay?

I liked Deejay's tone. He didn't act like he knew everything, in fact he admitted he didn't. For me, that qualifies Deejay as someone I would want to have an intelligent discussion with as it appears we would both be open to learning something from the other. The way I see it, I cannot think of any other reason to debate someone (unless of course you're Dinesh D'Souza, who debates others for money and to gather a following).(reply to this comment

From DeeJay
Wednesday, April 23, 2008, 22:56


Thanks Samuel. I did read the first link you pasted. However you and steam have posted way too much here than I will have time to read in the next couple of weeks. Knowing this, it's impossible for me to refute or agree with anything that has been stated.

As of now, I still reject the creationist theories as uncredible. There are a number of reasons for this. Very few of which I might add, are in fact scientific.

I have a problem with coming up with the answer first, and then trying to draw a line back to it. By this reasoning, you can theoretically substantiate just about anything. For one, the bible, like the Nostradamus predictions, are so vague, anything can be twisted to supposedly "fit or fulfill" them. The bible is in fact a man-made book which I refuse to attribute to a higher being. King James himself, it should be noted, was a strict non-believer.

From what I've seen, the only ones who subscribe to the Creationists view, were in fact religious prior to entering science. This in my view, gives their assumptions an automatic bias. They are only there to protect, not explore in the true sense of the world. Their arguments also seem to consist of attacking other's work rather than coming up with the work and hypothesis themselves.

That's not to say there aren't any biased atheists either. But by and large they are not coming to conclusions and then working backwards to support them. They don't jump on every flaw in the creationists view the way that creationists do to non-creationists. All in all it just comes across to me as way too defensive and protective. Science's perrogative is to question and then test these assumptions with an open mind that they may in fact be false. Not to defend assumptions which we somehow "miraculously" believe to be true. Faith, by definition is the belief in something when there is no empirical evidence. In my opinion, there is therefore no room for faith in science.

Lastly, I reject the notion of god on a personal level. A creator is not to be respected if he does not take responsibility for his creation. If he leaves them to their own devices and with the flaws which he created to digress and fend for themselves. I have never seen the hand of god in my life, nor felt his presence or strength. Any god who does not have the strength or intelligence to prove himself to his own creation and take the responsibility for the consequences, does in my mind, by his own contradictions, eliminate the possibility of his existence.(reply to this comment

From GetReal
Wednesday, April 23, 2008, 10:33

How the fuck does copy pasting a link to an article by a religious nut constitute an invitation to an intelligent debate.(reply to this comment
From Samuel
Wednesday, April 23, 2008, 10:46


Did you even read what Michael Shermer said about him? I guess one man's "first-rate scholar" who "takes the debate to the next level" is another man's "religious nut". I guess if it keeps you from having to think about the debate, you can believe whatever you want about Dinesh D'Souza.

As scary as it sounds, I must leave you to your own devices as I have to get ready for work.(reply to this comment

From GetReal
Wednesday, April 23, 2008, 11:42

Ha ha good riddance of bad rubbish (reply to this comment
From DeeJay
Tuesday, April 22, 2008, 21:31


I think they do it as a cheap ploy to gain support from religious groups. If I'm not mistaken, Bush has never stated that he was in fact Christian, but he spouts off enough blurry lines that can be construed as religious, that he got elected. I just watched "An Inconvenient Truth". Even Gore, when outlining the timeframe and problems related to population, randomly asserts that he doesn't believe there is a conflict between science and religion. He never expounds on this. He even urges people to pray in the ending credits.

The creationists and religious habitually ignore evidence and therefore cannot be convinced logically. They must then be (mis)directed into it emotionally. Smart, but you're right. Holds absolutely no credibility.(reply to this comment

From shikaka
Tuesday, April 22, 2008, 16:25

Samuel = #1 source for regurgitated creationist 'psychic waste', to paraphrase Jeremy Spencer.(reply to this comment
From sar
Tuesday, April 22, 2008, 12:46

Seeing what few interviews I have of Richard Dawkins, I'm pretty sure his comment about the possibility of aliens depositing life on earth was made in jest, probably to demonstrate the absurdity of the creationist view.(reply to this comment

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