Dawkins’ One-God-Further Blunder Simplified

One Less God

In A Devil’s Chaplain, Richard Dawkins reechoed an increasing popular meme. Dawkins contended:

[M]odern theists might acknowledge that, when it comes to Baal and the Golden Calf, Thor and Wotan, Poseidon and Apollo, Mithras and Ammon Ra, they are actually atheists. We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further. (Dawkins 2004, 150)

I presented a case in Dissecting ‘One God Less’ Meme  showing that this meme is nonsensical utterance because it confused the concept of God, a general notion/idea of a being that is God, with conceptions of God, the way in which that general notion/idea is perceived or regarded. Noting that concept of God refers to objective notion/idea of a being that is God, while conceptions of God(s) refer to a particular groups’ subjective way in which that objective notion/idea is perceived, the meme appears to be a mere wind-egg. This article offered an analogy to explain the argument presented in a more simplified form.

Explanation From Analogy: United States of America’s Future Presidency

Say we are in USA in year 2050. There is a confusion over who is the current president, if indeed there is any. State B claims that Theodore Baal is the current president of USA. State C claims Benjamin Thor is current president of USA. And so on.

Newly formed State X dismisses Baal and Thor &c., as current president of USA and X claims that William Allah is the current president of USA.  State U rejects all B, C and X former-candidates regarded to be in the presidential office and hold that the former-candidate, now in office, is unknown. In this pool of States there is also ‘apresident’-state, State A. A claim is that there is no such thing as a president in USA.

From this analogy, it is clear that states B, C, X and U agree on the notion of there being a former-candidate that is now occupying the presidential office. What they disagree is who that former-candidate is regarded to now be in that office.  State A, contrary to other States, reject that notion of a being occupying the presidential office, since according to A, there is no such thing as presidential office.

Dawkins one-god-further’s blunder is on failing to note that by X dismissing Baal, Thor, &c., former-candidates regarded to be occupying the presidential office, X does not dismiss the notion of there being a being in presidential office. There  is multiple former-candidates but a single office presidential office. There is no multiple offices for A (or B, C, X and U) to go one further. There is either an office or no-office.

Claiming that X is like A in regard to Thor, Poseidon &c., but A goes one president further is nonsensical utterance because what X dismisses is not the notion of presidential office (concept), namely there is a being in office, but who is in that office (conception). U, for example, rejects all former-candidates regarded to be now in the office, but U  is not A  because does not reject that there is someone in that office.

Dawkins, Richard (2004) A Devil’s Chaplain: Reflections on Hope, Lies, Science, and Love. A Mariner Books. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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92 thoughts on “Dawkins’ One-God-Further Blunder Simplified

  1. Re “confused (..) because it confused the concept of God”; God being vs perceived God:
    Seems to me that neither your ‘explanation’, nor Dawkins’s statement are about this at all. So who’s introducing confusion here?

    Re “United States of America’s Future Presidency”:
    You talk about differences of opinion among US states (about the president of the US) in a single point in time (year 2050). Dawkins, on the other hand, is talking about history, that is, differences of opinion (on what a God or Gods may entail) over time. Though not explicitly stated, we know this includes same geographical locations.

    So back to your analogy, that’s more like US states arguing about who was the president of the US say a thousand years ago. Between 1900 and 1950, state X maintained that it must have been Baal. Subsequently, and through revelation, they became convinced that it was Thor, in office at the time, instead. Only to change their mind again, since 2000, state X claims that it was, naturally, Allah, who deserves this title. State A, on the other hand, had a similar roller-coaster ride of change of hearts, yet, they’ve asked for second opinion (not from wise man from the East ;-). The fact that the USA, as such, didn’t exist at the the time, seems relevant, maybe there wasn’t any president at all, back then.

  2. Though rather irrelevant to the topic, I found this comment intriguing:

    Case A: Hebrew God = conception… A monotheistic god = concept.

    Not so fast.

    Case B: A monotheistic god = conception… Notion of gods generally = concept

    But still not so fast.

    Case C: gods generally = conception… Some non-material reality = concept.

    What is interesting is, taking it down to the farthest conception illustrated above, Dawkins denies all on the basis of the most granular conception, according to his argument. :)

  3. It is interesting that the subject of this discussion is ‘Dawkins’ One-God-Further Blunder Simplified’ and yet all you guys have done is made it a heap more complicated.

    • Yes people seem to talking about something else that bothers them (possibly something else Dawkins said). They seem to read too much in this particular statement.

      And which ever way you go, it’s hard to argue yourself out of this. Either you maintain that “gods that humanity ever believed in” share some truth on common. Then the you may, indeed, reject the idea of no god, entirely. Yet, it’s not so convincing why your religion is so special. Naturally, if you reject all those earlier ‘gods’ (earlier or different religions or interpretations), then Dawkin’s points smacks you right in the face; why not take it “one god further”

  4. The dilemma is one of practice…

    Case A: Hebrew God = conception… A monotheistic god = concept.

    Not so fast.

    Case B: A monotheistic god = conception… Notion of gods generally = concept

    But still not so fast.

    Case C: gods generally = conception… Some non-material reality = concept.

    This is what I mean by granularity and label hanging. The same is true of nearly any field. We can select somewhat arbitrarily what we call concepts and what we call conceptions.

    Triangle, Polygon, Geometric Shape, 2D Spatial Domain, Mathematical Domain, Domain.

    Which are concepts and which are conceptions?

    The concept-conception distinction is fine as well as that goes, but it is simply one tool. The validation of assuming a given label structure comes on the back-check, and there is always a measure of arbitrariness to it. We’re not looking for philosophical hobby horses to ride into the ground, but robust sets of tools that include logic, observation, prediction, inference, assembly, etc.

    Your proof depends very specifically on the claim that your labeling was immutable, that observational trends are neglected, and that inference from data to reasoned conclusions is disallowed. You are accusing Dawkins of what amounts to a category error: but that’s based on *your* categories.

    Logic is simply an engine. What it spits out is no better than its assumptions/background data/inputs. Critical thinking – of which I am a very strong advocate – is stronger than naked logic. In the work that I do, we always have to explicitly state all assumptions, because we’re often blind to our assumptions. Its those assumptions that make rockets blow up on the launch pad, despite the fact that the math was all perfect (i.e., logically correct). You need to think a little harder about the fact that your logic is being done with unacknowledged assumptions and category choices, and with little respect for the need of external checks… backchecks and predictions.

    • Matt, I stated clearly that the concept of God is a general notion/idea of a being that is God while the conceptions of God is the way in which that general notion/idea is perceived or regarded.

      This is the distinction, not a dilemma/dichotomy. Whether it is well as that goes and simply one tool or not, or it is only in practice, is irrelevant because the question at hand is is there a distinction between concept of God and how that concept is perceived(conception)? Yes, I have argued. Concept deals with ontology of a being while conceptions deal with epistemology.

      The meme is blind to that distinction thus fall into nonsensical utterance that would only persuasive to a person who does not carefully examine it.

      My dissection of the meme does require only three steps:

      1. Is there a distinction between a concept of X and conception of X?
      2. Does rejection of conception of X necessarily entail the rejection of concept of X?
      3. If yes to 1 and no to 2, has the meme supposed that 2 is yes and fail to note that there is a distinction in 1?

      So to rebut my case, a critic has to show that either the answer to 1 is no or 2 is yes or no to 3.

      • Perfectly happy. Still – not the slightest answer to this distressing problem: we *do* determine that various concepts have no real-world referent. We do it all the time.

        Can you muster any response that deals with the fact that this coin has two sides?

        I know you like the heads side, but if your explanation is to have power, you need to delineate precisely what the criteria are for determining – as we do – that a range of concepts do not have real-world referents.

        • Matt, I totally agree that “we do determine that various concepts have no real-world referent”.

          For argument sake, I am willing to grant that the concept of God has no real-world referent and the Christian conception of God is false. Granted! What I stated again and again is that this is irrelevant to may case.

          Whether or not the concept of God has no-real-world referent does not affect the fact that there is a distinction between concept of God and conceptions of God(s). My case stand or fall not on the true-value of concept of God or conceptions of God(s) but distinction between the two.

          Do you agree that there is a distinction between concept of X and conception of X? X being an object.

          • No – I’m asking *how* we make such judgments about concepts (as Dawkins does), and when it is and is not appropriate to do so.

            You’re saying that yes, we do.

            But you still think that its an illegal move to go from a bank of disproven conceptions to ruling out a concept.

            I’m asking how you think we make concept rulings if you think the move from conception to concept is illegal.

          • Dawkins did not make any judgment about concept, Matt, but failed to notice concept/conception distinction in this meme.

            It is not appropriate to move from rejecting or dismissing the way in which the concept of X is perceived(conception) to rejecting and dismissing the concept of X itself because one can reject or dismiss the former without necessarily dismissing latter.

            Using your Santa Claus example: Child A can dismiss that Bruce and Unknown as candidate regarded to be Santa Claus(which is conceptions of Child B and Child C ) without dismissing the the general idea of Santa Claus (the concept of Santa that Child A, Child B and Child C shared).

            The illegal move is claiming that Child A dismissed the concept of Child B and C, which is the position of Child D as if there where multiple concepts of Santa. The failure to see that there is multiple conceptions but not concept is the blunder. The meme is thus nonsensical because it state that Child A is like Child D, but Child D go one concept of Santa further. The meme moved from Child A dismissing conceptions of B and C to Child A dismissing the shared concept. That is no appropriate to do so. That is why I find the meme to be nonsense. It is fine you do not :)

          • Moving on man. You haven’t given a reasonable criterion that actually addresses how we actually cross the threshold or when. Have a good one, we’ll see you on the next topic.

          • Matt, why do I have to give a reasonable criteria to address the move across threshold?

            How is that relevant to the case that there is a distinction between concept of X with conceptions of X?

            I explained where my case stands or fall is wether there is a distinction between the two. The rest, what you so desire to address, is irrelevant Matt.

            Well :) see you on the next topic. I respect your position and do treasure your comments. Thank you for this discourse Matt.

    • Ironically that is what I was thinking about your responses. I have gave you different tools to understand the case but the only nail a hammer(your critique) saw is irrelevant truth-value of concept of God and conceptions of God(s)

      I think you have misunderstood point I made in judging this meme as nonsensical utterance. Well, as long as you know I disagree with the meme, I respect your position in thinking the meme has a thrust.

      Thank you for our discourse.

        • Matt, logical reasoning care less about what a person does or who she is.

          Yes, you are awesomely smart and I am not. I am a fool looking. But all this is irrelevant. ;) It is the message that matters not the messenger.

          I stated that the meme confused concept of X with conception of X thus nonsensical utterance. This charge was not challenged at all. Your guns where aimed to show how one dismisses X. I explained that to be irrelevant since it does not matter if X is true or false.

          I do not wish you to agree with me. You find the meme persuasive. Well, I respect your position Matt. I do ;)

          • The dilemma you face, Prayson, is that you have no back check on your reasoning. It’s fine to poke at philosophy, read it, etc, but what the harder sciences do is provide the thinker with an immutable arbiter of questions: physics. You get to have the painful lessons of being unarguably wrong, even where your reasoning was not flawed. You get to find out what was incorrect that had nothing to do with logic, and everything to do with premises or a limited observational base. What you’re seemingly still not grasping is that my critique was on an epistemological level. You’re not getting how an integrated logic + observation + inference epistemology actually works where the results have doom/triumph outcomes. Your concept vs conception dichotomy is just that – a dichotomy. You need more dimensions.

          • Matt, how do I get to have the painful lessons of being unarguably wrong, even where my reasoning were not flawed?

            Remember Logic is the master and the rest servants. Thinking involves logical reasoning. There is no science without logical reasoning.

            If my reasoning is not flawed, how can I then be wrong?

          • Logic is not the master, because it on arrives at accurate conclusions I the extent that it is provided with accurate premises. Thinking is data limited. You cannot likely choose a master unit in a looping cognitive process. That’s why predictive back checks are critical. If there was a lesson at the bottom of the failings of Aristotelian physics, that was it. What you are calling conception and concept are unfortunately arbitrary demarcations. That’s the reason why the conclusion you’re reaching about this meme doesn’t check out. Epistemologically, we designate various concepts as without referent all the time. That is a form of back check that implies something is amiss. One mans concept is another’s conception, all as a function of granularity. There isn’t the crisp demarcation you’re envisioning. You need more dimensions again.

          • Critical thinking Matt, is the master and everything else it’s servant :)

            It does not matter if one person concept is another person’s conception. It is irrelevant. What is relevant is is there a difference between concept and conception?

            Open a good dictionary and see. There is a tool I offer. If there is, and the meme confuses the two, then an awesomely smart person will know the next logical conclusion.

          • I’ll not protest the definitions – merely where you affix the labels. Give me bad information and ask me to think critically about it. I’ll provide you with some very erudite and very worthless observations about it. Again, you’re conceiving of legitimate critical thinking as a sort of self contained hermetically sealed notion. Very medieval.

          • Well, the best I can do now is to direct you to careful thinkers. See:

            Ezcurdia, Maite (1998) ‘The Concept-Conception Distinction,’ Philosophical Issues
            Vol. 9: 187-192

            Baker, G (2001) ‘Wittgenstein: Concepts or Conceptions?,’ The Harvard Review of Philosophy. IX:7-23

            Read and see the distinction between concept of X and conception of X. Ask yourself, did the meme confuse the two? If yes, you are welcome to hold on to the meme. At least you will know why I found it nonsensical utterance.

  5. You’re not engaging Prayson. You’re simply reiterating.

    You’ve stated that the leap made from conceptions to concept is flawed in principle. But it isn’t, because we have countless cases in which this has been done on reasonable grounds. You haven’t engaged with the fact that we actually do conclude that some concepts do not have actual referents, and that such conclusions are numerous and appropriate. That means that Dawkins’ meme is not wrong in principle.

    You can still argue that it is wrong in application, or that he has made a bad conclusion, or that he has insufficient support to make that move. But you haven’t demonstrated that he is wrong in principle, or how it differs in any way from other concepts for which we have concluded there are no actual referents.

    I have to question your background at this point. I’m a researcher and a science guy. We gamble at times a great deal on our predictions, our models, and our hypotheses, so we are quite aware of how important it is, where the rubber meets the road, to be able to adjudicate between our concepts. We have to think clearly. If we haven’t thought clearly, we get punished by loss of money, loss of equipment, and potentially even loss of life. And there won’t be anyone to make it better by crafting an argument in the clouds. You don’t seem to have the backdrop of that experience base, and I suspect that is why you don’t see the consistency of Dawkins argumentative move with the normative arc of how we as people have historically learned things and vetted ideas.

    Dawkins can be wrong, but it isn’t because his argumentative move is wrong in principle or rationally illegal, nor anything like that. You have your blog precisely because science adjudicates concepts based on a sufficient weight of disproven conceptions.

    • Matt, if my case was to show that a certain particular concept or conception is correct then your critic would be on the mark.

      Now to make myself clearer. There is a big difference between concept of X with conceptions of X. It does not matter what X is.

      Getting into detail on what X is, or how we deal with the matter about X is missing the point. I am not engaging because it is irrelevant. The mistake I am pointing out is logical error. It does not matter if God exists or not. If Christians conceptions is correct or not.

      The case is not about concept of God or conceptions of God(s) but the difference between the two. It does not matter if the concept of God is true or not. It does not matter if a particular conceptions of God is true or not.

      Trying to show how we dismiss a certain conception is missing the point because it is irrelevant.

      Example, I am trying to show that there is a difference between a human being and a woman. Dismissing that John is not a woman is not dismissing that John is a human being. It does not matter if there is such thing as a human being or a woman. It does not matter how we know that John is not a woman.

      Going into those details show that one has fail to see the case presented.

      • Prayson,

        Billy and Bobby and Sue are leprechauns. Billy and Bobby and Sue are also fictional and debunked as probably non-existent. And the concept of leprechauns is also debunked as non existent on the background of having no demonstrable instance of their existence and many demonstrably fictional conceptions.

        The concept of leprechaun as no actual referent. All conceptions can be demonstrated as having no support, such that the concept can be reasonably concluded as having no referent.

        Conceptions for global flood models have been uniformly disconfirmed. The concept of a Global Flood can reasonably be concluded as not having a real referent.

        Conceptions for alchemic processes to turn lead into gold have been uniformly disconfirmed. The concept of such an alchemic process can be reasonably concluded as not having a real referent.

        Conceptions for cosmic ether models have been uniformly disconfirmed… you get the picture.

        Back to my point: you’re trying to claim that nobody can reasonably conclude that a concept has no referent based upon a background of a multiplicity of disconfirmed conceptions. This isn’t reality. We do it all the time. You’re caught up in a logically consistent but observationally impoverished viewpoint, and in the end, you’re indicating that you’re not aware of how science functionally works.

        Leprechauns and alchemic processes and global floods are all concepts. What we conclude, however, is that they are concepts of the imagination alone, without real referents. You’re not dealing with the problem of actual referents.

        And until you can give evidence to the contrary, I don’t know that you actually understand functional science or the growth cumulative human knowledge. Yet you’re criticizing as irrational a basic mechanism used by scientists routinely as logically invalid. So, you yourself can’t do the science, but you’re calling a normative process of science irrational. And that is something with which a person of humility should take a little more caution.

        • Matt, reading your comment I affirmed my fear that you totally miss the point of my case. Though I repeated explained that my case does not depend whether or not the concept or a particular conception of God is true, it seems that you keep pressing on that issue.

          Now, for argument sake, let us grant that we are certain that God does not exist, this necessarily Christian conception of God is wrong because there is no such being as God. Brilliant.

          Now how does this affect the case that there is a difference between concept of God and conception of God?

          Even if the concept or conception are false it does not mean that there is no difference, does it? The meme does confuse the two, that is my it is a nonsensical utterance.

    • Matt, I do not see how this is relevant for my argument. As I made clear it does not matter of my conceptions of God is true or false for my argument to stand.

      I may grant for argument sake that Christianity is false. That would not even begin to show my argument against the meme is unsound!

      That being said, I will sniff and follow this red herring.

      I do not think the earth is young because there is a good case showing that our cosmos is old. Thus like Saint Augustine I would warn Christians reading into Scripture and not out of. Following that Tradition that the OT is the book about God’s dealing with His people, and not a biology/chemistry/mathematic text book. I think we ought to read and understood it as a Jew in that time would, given the context and background info.

      How does this remotely related to my case?

      • Prayson,

        I’m really not driving at how we read the OT at all, nor Augustine, nor anything like that. I’m trying to understand how you think a bit more, and yes, with a tie back to our discussion…

        When you say that there is a good case that the cosmos is old, are you saying that based on an evidential case, or based on a logical case?

        There are many different cases constructed for how the evidence supports a young earth. I personally agree with you, and I think those cases fall down pretty soundly.

        But the question is this: have you and I ruled out the concept of a young earth as viable simply because the various conceptions of it and cases for it have been torn down? The earth could have been made very recently. There are many myths that indicate that it was made recently. But how do we move from these conceptions, and the disproof of those conceptions, to the denial of the concept embedded in those conceptions?

        We do, in fact, do this. And it is legitimate to do this. And in science, this happens all the time.

        Here is what I propose… We have (1) concepts, (2) conceptions, and (3) referents.

        For a given conception of anything… lets say the alchemist’s concept of turning lead into gold… there are many conceptions of how this could be done. For centuries, these conceptions get shot down one by one. Eventually, the concept begins to look like a bad idea. Why is that? What are we acknowledging when we start to approach that conclusion?

        The concept is that there would be some process to turn led into gold. The process is the referent of the concept, and for quite some time, many different conceptions are proposed for that process. After enough have been disproven, the suspicion grows that perhaps there in fact *is* no actual referent for our conceptual process: it is a concept without a referent in the real world. This has happened in science many, many times. Cosmic ether comes to mind. A global flood is another. We have concluded in all three of these cases, to a reasonable certainty, that there is no actual referent to these concepts. There is no actual cosmic ether. There was no actual globe-wide flood. There is no actual alchemic process for turning lead to gold.

        In all cases, we have moved from judgments regarding conceptions to judgments regarding whether the concepts had any real referents.

        This is all Dawkins meme does. It does the same thing science has done repeatedly. It moves from evaluation of conceptions to the conclusion that the basic concept has no actual referent.

        • I reject young earth because their reading does not stand careful examination and are packed with special pleading. I am aware of philosophical challenges that are becoming more powerful as their premises find evidences in both the past and present discoveries of the nature of cosmos.

          Now there is no a dichotomy between logical case and empirical case(if indeed there is such thing as empirical case). All cases are based on logic. Empirical evidence is often used to support premise(s) in that logical case.

          Example it has being held from Epicureans, Cicero to John Calvin and further that humans have natural in-built sense of deities. Cognitive Science of Religion is beginning to mount empirical evidence to show that that is the case.

          Now Dawkins’ meme is still nonsensical utterance because in my rejection of say young earth view, I am not dismiss the concept, namely God created the cosmos, which I and deists share with young earth creationist.

          What a deist and Christian theist do is not dismissing the concept but young earth creationists conception of the age of the universe.

          The meme fail to see that by a deist or a Christian theist dismissing young earth creationists conception of the age of the universe, they do not go one concept further. There is only one concept of God creating the universe. An atheist reject that concept.

          A theist can dismiss all conceptions just like an atheist, example a deist does so, without being an atheist. This is so because it is not the conception that divides theists and atheists but the concept. This is the meme’s blunder.

  6. What I think Sam Harris might say:

    “I presented a case in Dissecting ‘One Santa Claus Less’ Meme showing that this meme is nonsensical utterance because it confused the concept of Santa Claus, a general notion/idea of a being that is Santa Claus, with conceptions of Santa Claus, the way in which that general notion/idea is perceived or regarded. Noting that concept of Santa Claus refers to objective notion/idea of a being that is Santa Claus, while conceptions of Santa Claus(s) refer to a particular groups’ subjective way in which that objective notion/idea is perceived, the meme appears to be a mere wind-egg. This article offered an analogy to explain the argument presented in a more simplified form.”
    :-)

    • Actually the case works even with One Santa Claus Less. Because the aim is not to show that Santa Claus exists or not, but to show that there is difference between the notion of Santa Claus(concept) with the way that concept is regarded (conceptions)

      Child A and Child B believe in the notion of Santa Claus. Child A say John is Santa Claus, Child B say Bruce is Santa Claus. Child C believe in the notion of Santa Clause but claim that we cannot know who Santa Claus is. Child D say that there is no such thing as Santa Claus.

      Now A, B, and C hold to one objective notion of Santa Claus(concept) They disagree on who is regarded to be Santa Claus(conceptions). A dismisses Bruce, and Unknown and claim that John is Santa. B dismisses John and Unknown, C dismisses Bruce and John.

      It is nonsensical to say that A is like D, but D goes one Santa Claus more because there was only one Santa Claus. What was debated and dismissed was the conceptions, who, John, Bruce or Unknown is Santa Claus, not the concept between Santa Claus Children-believers. A dismiss Bruce and Unknown as regarded to be Santa Claus(conceptions), but A, unlike D, does not dismiss the concept of Santa Claus.

      Mixing concept and conceptions up is the core blunder of the meme. :D

      Now, remember that the case here is not that the concept or the conceptions are true or false but that the meme mix this two. :)

      • Prayson… I’m chuckling now… The entire point of the word substitution is to illustrate that while the *logic* of the distinction is entirely correct, it is also entirely irrelevant, and it illustrates a myopic fixation on logical coherence to the exclusion of empirical and practical value. The very fact that the argument does work for a known fictional character precisely illustrates this. If the argument works to support a fictional character in concept vs conception, then its time to move on and realize that the argument is not useful.

        The pragmatic point of Dawkins’ meme is obvious. Absent a supportable specific conception of god, after so very many candidates have been put forward, and in light of the demonstrable contrivance of such candidates, the general concept can considered dismissible. And until specific supporting evidences are offered for a specific conception of deity, a reasonable person is entitled to consider any presented conception as being fictional like all those that preceded it. You can be logically valid and empirically invalid. A lot like Santa. That’s why it is important that we “touch earth” from time to time on this sort of thing, lest we find ourselves grappling over angels dancing on pinheads.

        At bottom, the overall concept/conception rebuttal is an argument “not to lose,” it isn’t an argument to actually support anything. If you really want to undo Dawkins, you have to find a conception that has demonstrable support. And it needs to be a lot of support, because the background of so many false conceptions means that the flat likelihood for any proposed conception being correct approaches zero.

        Because if that’s not what we’re talking about, then I have concept for invisible mutans that I’m afraid I must *insist* be taken seriously.

        • Matt I think you missed the whole point. I constantly repeated that the argument is not meant to support any concept nor conceptions.

          This is why it can be use in Santa Claus. The aim of the argument is not to show that such being exists or not, the aim is to show a horrible mistake of confusing concept with conceptions.

          Thinking that it support concept or conception shows that a person have failed to understand the case presented.

          For my case to be true, it does not matter whether God exists or not. It does not matter whether theists concept of God is true or not. It does not matter whether or not a particular conceptions of God is right or wrong.

          All that matter is is there a difference between concept of X and conceptions of X. If there is, then Dawkins’ meme is a nonsensical utterance only to be found on irrational thinkers blinded by their worldviews to clearly see.

          • No, I haven’t missed what your point was. I was operating under precisely the understanding you just outlined.

            My point – and Dawkins’ point as well – is the empirical enters in. I concede the logical coherence of the argument. I’m disputing the relevance from an empirical vantage point.

            There were plenty of self-consistent theories in the history of viewpoints about physical and mental and behavioral phenomena. Most are invalidated on observational grounds. Logical consistency insufficient for *credibility*. To be credible, a proposition should be both logically consistent and observationally consistent.

            Observationally, we see a host of falsely constructed gods. Irrespective of whether god is a nice idea, or a logically tidy idea, or a plausible idea, what we know observationally is that god propositions tend overwhelmingly to be contrivances. Dawkins’ meme is quite legitimate, since his critique was based on observational trends.

            Finding that all specific propositions about Santa are false is sufficient grounds to reasonably dispute the concept of Santa as having a objective correlate… A critique of observational trends and reasonable conclusions.

            Dawkins is by no means irrational. You simply go too far.

          • Dawkins is not irrational. He is a brilliant zoologist. He is a terrible philosopher though and holding to a meme, if he still does, makes him irrational in respect to this issue.

            A bad argument or saying remain bad even if a clever person keep repeating it. If indeed the meme confuses concept of God with conceptions of God(s) then it’s a clear blunder to which a rational being should see and correct herself.

            We have a host of conceptions of God(s) and particular monotheist group dismiss all otter conceptions of God(s) but theirs. True. But monotheists only dismisses each others’ conceptions of God, not the concept of God. This is the meme’ core blunder.

            The point is not about the truth-value of the concept or conceptions, thus looking at empirical evidence for or against them is unnecessary and not required to critically examine if this meme holds water. What is the point is that Dawkins and blind followers keep reechoing this meme without carefully thinking it through.

            Bad argument should be pointed out whether we agree or disagree with the persons conclusion.

            So my question is not whether the concept of God true or not. It is not whether a particular conception of God correct or not. No! As a matter of fact, they could be false and not correct! Awesome. A debate for another time and day! That is not an issue here ;)

            The questions at issue are (1) is there a difference between the concept of God and conceptions of God? (2) Do monotheist dismiss others’ concept of God or conceptions of God or both? The answers to these questions show that the meme is wanting. If there is a difference, and I have shown there is, and that monotheists dismiss conceptions and not the concept of God, then the meme is nonsensical utterance.

            No matter who utters it, it remains nonsense.

            A person who has been shown this error in the meme and yet keep echoing the meme is irrational in respect to that issue.

            If this error is shown to Dawkins and he chooses not to listen, then I simply have not gone too far. Dawkins is not irrational as a person and in different field, but would be irrational to echoe nonsensical utterance of monotheists is an atheist in respect to other conceptions of God.

          • Prayson,

            I follow you entirely, and I see where your critique with Dawkins lies. But perhaps a couple of questions could illustrate what I’m saying… I think I know where you may stand on the following question, but one can never be certain…

            Do you believe that a global flood occurred about 4,000 years ago, covering the entire earth and wiping out all life, save what was in Noah’s ark?

          • I have not studied much about Old Testament case for or against Noah’s flood. From the little knowledge I have, and by far not an authority here, to say I am agnostic on this issue. There is no unilateral reading of Noah’s account in Christian scholarship. Christians scholars disagree on the reading of this account dates and scope of the flood.

            That being said, I do not see how this is remotely related to my case because my case, as I try to make it clear, is not meant to show that the concept of God or Christian conception of God is true or not. Using your example of Santa Claus, the goal is not to start enquiring is Child A correct. Is John Santa Claus? Which book did Child A read to know John is Santa Claus? All these questions are irrelevant to my case.

            So starting to enquire is Child A conception that John is Santa Claus correct misses the argument I presented. It does not matter if A is correct or not. That is not the goal of this case. Going onto these other issues is simply providing red herrings because whether true or not is irrelevant to the argument presented.

          • OK, something different then. What about geocentricity, the earth revolving around the sun – accept or reject? Or a young earth, somewhere in the thousands of years of age, rather than billions of years – accept or reject?

      • TYPO CORRECTION (not fully awake apparently):

        OK, something different then. What about geocentricity, the sun revolving around a fixed earth – accept or reject? Or a young earth, somewhere in the thousands of years of age, rather than billions of years – accept or reject?

    • You sure have missed the LITMUS TEST in which a single factor, a.k.a., “Christ’s death on the cross”, determined the outcome as “momentous”.

      Check it out!

      (Matt. 27: 50-56)

  7. I have yet to hear any ‘states’ accept that if they re wrong about their own ‘candidate’ that any of the others are necessarily true.

    Until that happens, ‘My God’ and ‘Concept of God’ cannot be separated

    Therefore the statement ‘From this analogy, it is clear that states B, C, X and U agree on the notion of there being a former-candidate that is now occupying the presidential office’ is wrong, they do not agree, – because everyone else is wrong ( see below)

    Therefore

    ‘There is multiple former-candidates but a single office presidential office’

    being the position of everyone is not shown, the true condition is

    There is (an office with only my guy), and everyone else is wrong

    and then the statement

    ‘There is either an office or no-office’

    can only be held by state A who is the only one actually able to articulate ‘no-office’

  8. Here we go again.
    Are you running out of ideas for blogs or merely trying to salvage a ridiculous argument?
    The difference between all the “other” gods and the one you worship is you believe that Jesus of Nazareth was a real person.
    Now we all know that Thor was/is not real.
    But, sorry to say, neither was ”Jesus of Nazareth”.

    And even if Jesus was a real person you have .still not defined your god.
    And you will note,once again, that everyone so far considers you are merely playing silly word games.

    Ooh, is that a cue for Roy? Coooeee! Enter stage left…..lol…

    • Yes, here we go again. I had to expound more in a easy form to be understood for those, like you on the comment above, failed to understand.

      You are correct. The difference between me and other monotheists is that I believe in a particular conceptions of God as revealed by Yeshua of Nazareth. But as I endlessly attempt to explain to you is that I dismiss others conceptions of God(s) not the concept of God.

      As from the analogy, I am like State X, stating that Yeshua/Yahweh is the being that is in the one office call God. I dismiss Thor, Allah and so on as candidates that are in office. I do not dismiss the office(concept) but others candidates regarded to be in that office(conceptions)

      There is no multiple offices for me or an atheist to go further in rejecting Allah, Thor, etc because there is either one office or no office, between us.

  9. John Tapsell has also pointed out the same issue I originally indicated in your previous piece. Your concept of ‘god’ is too vague and there is too much of a leap to imply, or even infer, that the object of which there are varying conceptions is in fact the same entity or even *similar*.
    Ryle would call this confusion a category error.
    As a simple example, expounding upon John’s example of pixies and unicorns, take the Roman gods. They were not considered omnipotent, they did not set moral codes (let alone obey them), they were not omniscient, they could die, etc. etc.. They are very far removed from the concept of conception of the Judeo-Christian god.
    I think you set out your above analogy very well but I’ve mentioned before my problems with analogies in general; in this instance, the issue is that ‘president’ is a very familiar and a very easily defined term that can be almost universally agreed upon amongst all of your readership.
    This cannot be analogous to your concept of the ‘divine’ or ‘supernatural’ or the ‘something out there’ or the ‘some *thing*’ because the concept has no foundation, no boundaries, and with which anything could be argued or considered to be compatible.
    So, to dismantle the analogy, let’s say that, in fact, the conception of the President in State B is of some sort of individual (perhaps a man, perhaps a woman, but an individual, who governs, dictates moral laws, dictates what is axiomatic and what is not, lives, and is just another example of a being like those who believe in him/her). State C, however, are referring to six specific rocks, that do not govern, are inanimate, fluctuate between being corporeal and incorporeal, and have no bearing on anything ethical or the like.

    Now, how do you make the leap to saying that both share the same *concept* but have different conceptions of it? How can the concepts be considered even remotely similar? State B’s concept, by my account, would have more similarities with the concept of a ‘tree’, than of a concept that borders anywhere near the concept envisaged by State C.

    • It does not matter whether the concept is generally known or agreed or true. What I tried to show is a difference between the office(concept) with a person regarded to be in that office(conceptions). In rejecting conceptions(who is the candidate in the office) one does not necessarily reject the concept(that there is such office)

      There is no multiple offices, but multiple candidate regarded to be in the office. Apresident is different from all other not because she reject one more candidate regarded to be in the office, but because she reject the core belief held by all other states. She reject there being such office in first place. The difference is not between which candidate is in the office, that decides here, but where there is such thing as presidential office that divide apresidentian and presidentians. ;)

      • Unfortunately, at this point it has become apparent that you have not grasped my point because I’m fully aware of what you’re saying and addressed you entirely but– and I cannot pinpoint exactly what– you aren’t grasping something I’m saying. Maybe I can be clearer but I’m not sure how; or perhaps it is a language barrier. In any case, we have now reached the bedrock of our exchanges, so to speak, and there can be no further digging. Best of luck in your future academic endeavours.

  10. Never mind Baal and the Golden Calf, Thor and Wotan, Poseidon and Apollo, Mithras and Ammon Ra, there is little or no knowledge today of the self-revealing Jesus Christ among all Christians. Hence, they are all atheists whether they like it or not.

  11. Word games again, Prayson. Be nice if you actually presented something tangible rather than word salads.

    Now, your example here is inane. The office of President is a real thing. We have clear evidence for it. It exists as a thing. If there exists confusion as to the holder of that office then that’s a separate matter to the existence of the office itself.

    As I explained in your last post on this: your distinction of gods is meaningless. You are defining NOTHING.

    Now, as requested, which god are you even talking about? I’ve asked this question repeatedly and you have evaded answering at every turn. You seem determined to dismiss this meme, yet you have failed to do so. You could, however, succeed if you name your god and present your evidence so we can conduct an analysis of the claim.

    So, which god are you talking about, Prayson?

    • If you take Prayson’s exact argument and replace USA with UK, you reflect the atheists slightly better:
      In a country without a president a lot of people are bickering about who the president is…

        • In America there is a president. It is conceivable that a lot of people would argue over who the president is. In fact, in Bush Jr’s first term, they did (some people thought the rightful winner of the election was Gore). A third party in the USA who argue that there is no president is conceivable. That is the position Prayson is comparing to atheism. In the USA that’s simply ridiculous.
          Imagine, instead, 3 groups in the UK arguing over who the UK president is: Bush, Gore or ‘there is no president’. The people who think Bush or Gore are president of the UK are wrong for slightly different reasons: they think different people occupy a position that doesn’t actually exist, but they do think there is such a thing as a UK president. Party three is correct: there is no UK president.

          • Got ya. The example though still doesn’t work, not in relation to gods. In the first instance, the office of the President is real regardless of confusion as to who does or does not hold that office. Gods don’t even have a first instance. They are human fabrications, the poetic imaginings of frightened juvenile minds, so any attempt to make distinctions between them (by defining this or that) is an exercise in the absurd. One is merely defining “nothing.”

            Of course, Praysons point could be advanced if he were to present evidence for this or that god, from which we could then draw distinctions. As it stands, I don’t even know which god Prayson is talking about. He refuses to identify it.

          • I don’t find that criticism to be all that poignant and still see a significant different in value and in thinking between accepting a God and not.

          • I can accept the gods in terms of mythology; as fictional characters who exhibit different personality traits in the stories in which they inhabit, but until someone (in this instance, Prayson) presents something approaching “evidence” for one then they are to be classified as one in the same thing… which is precisely what the meme says.

          • It appears that you still fail to grasp the case John.

            So I will expound even more. When theists present proof like arguments from cosmology, teleology, ontology, reason, logic, beauty et cetera, these proofs, sound or not, do not present a case for conceptions of God but concept of God. These arguments can be used by deists, Moslem, Christians, Jewish, et cetera because they present the concept of God, which all theists share.

            A case for the resurrection of Jesus is different because it is made to show the conception of Christians to be true, while that of other theists false. If the case for the resurrection of Jesus is sound then it has show that the being that is God, which all theists agree on that concept of God, is Yahweh.

            Using the analogy, if State X can show that William Allah is in fact the president of USA, then all other states candidate regarded to be president must be false. That will also include State A, which hold that there is no president in USA.

            So we should not confuse the person regarded to be in the office with the office itself. There is only one presidential office, that B, C, U and X, hold together. What they dismiss is who occupies that office. Apresident from State A is of another order because she reject the whole concept of president, stating that there is no such office.

          • It is irrelevant for me to present argument for God for this case to work. You claim is liking stating that well, State X need to give argument for there being such an office of presidency for all the distinction to be clear.

            No, I do not. Because the question is not where there is such an office of presidency or not, but that there is a difference between a particular person regarded to be in the office, with the office itself. If there is a difference, then the case works and meme is thus nonsensical utterance.

          • I’m not making any claim. You are, and it’s not a representative analogy at all. For it to be relevant you’d have to use something that is as vaporous and nondescript as the gods. Simply substituting something real (the office of the President) for something that is not real (the gods) is, as I said, an exercise in the absurd. You are defining “nothing.”

          • :) Your comment would have been on the mark if my claim was that the concept of God or a particular conception of God is true. That is not the case here, as I tried to explain again and again.

            The case here is, is there a difference between the notion of God(concept) and the way that notion of God is regarded(conception)? If there is, and I have shown that to be the case, then the meme is nonsensical utterance.

            Whether that concept (or a particular conception) is true or not is a whole different debate for another time ;)

          • I wish only for rationality to prevail and our societies to be guided by the knowledge that only we can solve our problems… free of the antiquated superstitions of old ;)

    • John, you state, “I wish only for rationality to prevail and our societies to be guided by the knowledge that only we can solve our problems… free of the antiquated superstitions of old.”

      This is the crux of your mentality ( I don’t need Christ telling me what to do) and it is where you will find your doom. To think society can solve our problems outside the loving, saving grace of Christ, is my vision of madness. This world, this society you have such faith in, is in a death spiral. The only reason it hasn’t yet imploded is because of God loving compassionate people making sacrifices to help others. Kill God, kill all the Christians, and you will find yourself in Hell on Earth. Without out us shielding you from Jihad you would have already said Praise Be To Allah, or you’d be dead. You are shielded to live in peace and free to denounce God because you live in the second largest Christian nation in the world.

    • I don’t know anything about Glen Beck. Does he also point out the irony in the idea that we can solve our own problems? Seems to me like man creates problem after problem. What problem facing mankind has been solved so far? I guess you can say slavery is now illegal in every Country but then we still have a problem in some areas with child trafficking into prostitution, forced labor, child marriage, female rights violations, etc.

      Man’s greed for money and power has never been in dispute. Since recorded time it has always been this way. The men in power rule over the weak and they will commit any atrocity to maintain their position, they will even commit acts of violence in Gods name to justify their evil. Men consumed by greed will hurt anyone, whether it is one person or thousands, to maintain their precious money.

      Within the last 50 years a monster was created unlike any in know history. We now find the whole world connected through financial institutions. The USA’s unfunded debt liability is 211 trillion dollars. The USA is printing 75 billion dollars everyday. The amount of risky financial derivatives floating around the globe is as much as 20 times the size of the entire GDP of the world. There are over one dozen Countries at risk of bankruptcy due to unsustainable dept and social liabilities.

      Now, I can’t predict the future, but I can imagine, knowing what I know, that the dam is going to break sooner or later. And I can also imagine the panic, rioting, and chaos that will enviably happen in a lot of parts in the world. The rich and greedy just don’t get it, they are pissing in their own drinking water. But that’s the thing with greed, it’s blinding.

      • On greed we have no disagreement. From Laozi and Confucius to Aesop and Gautama Buddha men have spoken out about its ruinous presence… And yet your churches there in the US are the most abhorrent expressions of this ill. Your preaches are obese bigots, and your Republican Party, the party of the Christian right wing, espouse the thoughts of Ayn Rand, “Greed is a virtue,” riot against universal healthcare, and promote only obscene corporate welfare; privatising the profits, but socialising the losses. Your government lends money to banks at 0.7%, yet to students at 4%. This is your “Christian nation.” This is your nation that has neglected its citizens so badly that ONE IN FOUR Americans today don’t know the earth orbits the sun!!! Look at your poorest and reddest states: they’re ALL the most religious and undereducated.

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2558737/Do-YOU-believe-astrology-Record-number-Americans-believe-real-science-new-report-claims.html

        And then we look at the most non-religious, secular nations (Finland, Sweden, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, Netherlands, Denmark, Canada, France to name just a few) and we see far more egalitarian, exceptionally well-educated, advanced, generous, loving, stable societies where banks are tightly regulated, wealth gaps are at their narrowest, education and health is viewed as a public good (and is free), infrastructure is extraordinary, murder rates and violence are unbelievably low, and their lifestyle CONTINUALLY top the best places to live indexes, like the “world happiness report” released by United Nations General Assembly which looks at GDP per capita, Social support, Generosity, Freedom from corruption, Life expectancy and Freedom of making choices.

        Yours is a dark, unhealthy, Glenn Beck world of conspiracy and religious derangement, Roy. You have the same mindset of the Muslim Jihadi, so do please refrain from projecting that internal illness of yours on the rest of the world where we value enlightenment and freedom from ancient superstitions.

    • You can beat your head against a wall in frustration all day but the only thing you will achieve is a headache. The various Religious beliefs you call superstition are never going to leave. The solution is to work within the framework of what makes humans human. People are basically curious. They have questions and seek answers. Some seek God and find Him, some seek, do not find sufficient evidence, and reject Him. It’s been this way and will always be this way.

      Every Country has problems. No one is perfect, or even close to reaching near-perfection. What you say about specific Countries is flat-out wrong.

      Finland:
      Lutheran Church of Finland 82.5%, Orthodox Church 1.1%, other Christian 1.1%, other 0.1%, none 15.1%

      Finland also has it’s share of social problems, read it from a Fin.
      cafebabel.co.uk/culture/article/nokia-suicide-and-murder-finland-worlds-top-country.html

      Sweden:
      Lutheran 87%, other (includes Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Baptist, Muslim, Jewish, and Buddhist) 13%

      Perhaps you were asleep last year during the Swedish riots. The Swedish riots point to deep social problems.
      dw.de/swedish-riots-point-to-deep-social-problems/a-16836709
      imexmalta.com/pr/article/3254/swedish_riots_point_to_deep_social_problems.html

      Norway:
      Church of Norway 85.7%, Pentecostal 1%, Roman Catholic 1%, other Christian 2.4%, Muslim 1.8%, other 8.1%

      More problems here too.
      sciencenordic.com/norways-problem-immigration
      tulane.edu/~rouxbee/kids06/norway/_adafoe/Problems.html
      youth-suicide.com/gay-bisexual/news/norway-gay-lesbian-suicide.htm

      Australia:
      Catholic 26.4%, Anglican 20.5%, other Christian 20.5%, Buddhist 1.9%, Muslim 1.5%, other 1.2%, unspecified 12.7%, none 15.3% (2001 Census)

      Problems:
      panda.org/who_we_are/wwf_offices/australia/environmental_problems_in_australia/
      personally-selected-aboriginal-art.com/aboriginal-social-problems.html
      wsws.org/topics/socialIssuesCategory/au-ineq/

      I could go on like this about your list John. There is no Country without problems.

      all religious affiliation statistics from:
      nationmaster.com/graph/rel_rel-religion-religions

      • I don’t accept any figures for religions. Churches do not have “dis-enrollment” forms, so the numbers are grossly overestimated. I, for example, am still counted in the number of Catholics. If the churches of the world ever released actual “attendance” numbers you’d see just how small the real figures are.

        Did I say any of these countries were perfect? Yours (unfortunately, and I mean that) is, however, in a real mess. ONE IN FOUR Americans think the sun revolves around the earth! How on earth did you let yourselves down so badly?

        And it is not me beating my head against a wall, Roy. I’m happy with the speed and ease Christianity (a superstitious cult) is disappearing.

    • I think you are right about the USA. Where you are wrong is it doesn’t affect you one iota how stupid you think one-out-of-four is. What will, is the crooks in Washington and on Wall Street. The problem now is when the financial and credit bubble bursts she will bring a lot of other rats worldwide down with her. At this rate, if isn’t the question, it’s when.

      Care to place a wager you live long enough to see Christianity disappear?

      • It’ll remain in some form or another in the deeply superstitious, fatally undereducated pockets of the world (including the American south), but it’ll loose all influence. You need only look to the Clergy Project to see the exodus. Here in Brazil its morphed into Spiritualism where they believe Jesus is the reincarnation of Buddha. Rather odd.

        I take no pleasure at all hearing how stupid the American population is. It saddens me. It shouldn’t be the case… Nor should you (in America) be facing a financial shitstorm, which you are right in worrying about. What most Americans are not aware of is Corporatism killed Capitalism decades ago, and you are no longer a democracy, but a plutocracy. I’m sorry the great experiment has gone off the rails, and only hope good, honourable people like Elizabeth Warren can rise to power and smack some sense back into your markets.

    • A new bride is so in love with her husband that he is the central focus of her life. When she takes her wedding vows, she promises to forsake all others and give herself solely to him. She eagerly anticipates his desires and lovingly tries to meet all his needs. She spends every possible moment with him. In this “bridal love” relationship, there is a special intimacy that develops between the bride and her bridegroom. She longs to know everything possible about him. She opens her heart to him, revealing her innermost secrets and desires. While they are apart from one another, she longs for him and eagerly anticipates when she will be with him once again. Because of her love, the bride puts her bridegroom first, before all else, including her own needs, desires, and ambitions.

      It is this type of pure, fervent, self sacrificing “bridal love” for Christ that made the disciples willing to give themselves 100% for the cause of Christ. It was this type of love that burned up their own selfish desires, motivated them to serve Christ with single-hearted devotion, and made them willing to lay down their lives for the cause of Christ. It is this type of love that we must have burning within us to enable us to fulfill the purposes of God in these moments of time before Christ’s return. Just as Christ called the church in Ephesus to return to their first love, He is walking among us today, calling us to repent and return to our first love.

      Here are seven warning signs that signal that a church or individual has left their first love.

      1. Christ is no longer the central focus in your life.
      2. You neglect your relationship with the Lord and spend less time in prayer, worship and the Word.
      3. You allow family, friends, job and your own desires to come between you and your relationship with God.
      4. There is a loss of intimacy in your relationship with God.
      5. You are caught in a cycle of dead works
      6. You are more tolerant of sin
      7. You will no longer have a burning passion for the lost

      Your words can’t hurt me John yet I pray I never lose the sadness I feel for the lost ones. In a lot of ways you bend reality to conform to your own prejudices about everyone who is different than you.

      Taking just one example, you claim belief in God is superstitious. Here would be some superstitions…

      If you cut an apple in half and count how many seeds are inside, you will also know how many children you will have.

      Spit on a new baseball bat before using it for the first time to make it lucky.

      If you say good-bye to a friend on a bridge, you will never see each other again.

      If a black cat walks towards you, it brings good fortune, but if it walks away, it takes the good luck with it.

      In all these examples and many more, you’ll find that they’re somehow concerned with the causation of things. If a certain something happens, a certain something is followed. Whatever happens and whatever follows, we consider the connection baseless, hence, superstitious.

      But in reality, belief in God isn’t like that. Belief in God is more along the lines of a belief in certain miracles, there is the supernatural aspect, for which there may be no hard evidence. But, there’s no claim of a causal link at all. So, I don’t think you’d categorize it as a superstition, even if you believe ‘belief in God’ is unexplainable or lacking evidence.

      I would agree that superstition and religious beliefs sometimes often intermingle and co-exist but the Bible warns us of falling into this error. Superstition was defined by St. Thomas as “a vice opposed to religion by way of excess; not because in the worship of God it does more than true religion, but because it offers Divine worship to beings other than God or offers worship to God in an improper manner”. Superstition sins by excess of religion, and this differs from the vice of the irreligious, which sins by defect. The theological virtue of religion stands midway between the two. Read newadvent.org/cathen/14339a.htm for a complete understanding.

    • There you go again, bending truth to conform to your own prejudices, now it’s prayer.

      The purpose of prayer is…
      a. Adoration
      b. Confession
      c. Thanksgiving
      d. Supplication

      The power of prayer can be a blessing…
      a. To the one who prays in faith
      b. For those for whom prayers are offered

      Examples of the power of prayer
      a. Forgiveness
      b. Peace
      c. Strength
      d. Opportunity
      e. Boldness
      f. Wisdom
      g. Healing
      h. Tranquility

      Yet there are reasons “The Privilege Of Prayer” is not available to all who pray; for some…

      a. Their prayers will be an abomination to God
      b. Their prayers will fall on deaf ears
      c. Their prayers will be hindered
      d. Their prayers will not be answered favorably

      With the Word of God to guide and aid us in observing “The Principles Of Prayer”, we are better equipped to make prayer a truly meaningful and beneficial experience in our lives.

      A comprehensive study on the various aspects of prayer can be found at:

      executableoutlines.com/pray.htm

    • Intercessory prayer is not the same as prayers for yourself, or for ‘enlightenment’, spiritual gifts, guidance, thankfulness, worship and praise, or any personal matter or generality.

      The most evident scientific question to ask about the study you refer to is, and apparently it was not asked by the researchers, is simply: “What were the qualifications of those who did the praying – the intercessors?” Most scientific studies do not examine the way we usually pray for the sick. To satisfy the need to do a double-bind study, the intercessors are not allowed to meet face-to-face with the sick, and so they do not develop a relationship with each other. Distant prayer also rules out the laying on of hands – one of the traditional channels of healing. It is only when researchers study the power of prayer in the way we have found it best to do, do we see positive results. The scientific method can be a arbitrary bed that takes the living breath out of healing relationships, and can set up an artificial barrier between science and Christian healing.

      The following study published in the Southern Medical Journal in 2010 outlines some problems with the STEP study.
      journals.lww.com/smajournalonline/Fulltext/2010/09000/Study_of_the_Therapeutic_Effects_of_Proximal.5.aspx

      Another study published at the National Center for Biotechnology Information web site indicates the power of prayer.
      ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3208933/

      And another
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15257361

      This web site lists 15 studies that found positive results, and 9 that didn’t and you will find links to all, including a link at the bottom that summarizes these studies. is-there-a-god.info/life/ipstudies.shtml

  12. This analogy can be applied to pretty much anything. If one person believes in magical unicorns and another person believes in pixies, then you could just argue that they both believe in the general concept of a “magical being” but just disagree about whether this magical being is a pixie or a magical unicorn.

    What you’re doing is just playing word games. It’s kinda of pointless.

    • That is my point ;) in very twisted way.

      The point is to show that if one dismiss another unicorn, he does not dismiss the core concept of imaginary beings.

      The point made is not such beings exists or not, but that there is a difference between conception, particular imaginary being, say unicorn, with concept of imaginary being. Mixing the two raised by the meme is not simply word-game but careful thinking.

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