Re: stipulated "atheist" definition -- Jerry, you MUST answer!
- | Summary of Hedge's 7 Rules:
| 1. The terms in which the question in debate is expressed
| and the precise point at issue, should be so clearly defined
| that there can be no misunderstanding respecting them.
It is significant that Jerry McDonald turns to the dictionary
for his definition of "evidence", but that when it comes to
the term "atheist" McDonald seems very reluctant to make sure
the term is "so clearly defined that there can be no
misunderstanding respecting" it.
Jerry, you simply *must* answer these questions. You are going
to have to tell all of us just what it is Jerry D. McDonald is
meaning when he says, "Robert Baty is an atheist".
We have already seen, just from what McDonald has already told
us, that he does not simply mean the dictionary definition of
"atheist" -- "one who disbelieves or denies the existence of
God or gods" (Webster).
So when he claims Robert is an atheist, he is not saying that
"Robert Baty denies the existence of God or gods," even though
people who hear Jerry McDonald claim that Robert is an atheist
would sensibly get that idea, just because that is the way the
term is commonly and popularly used.
For example, I can say this little animal, that brings me this
old leather glove in her mouth and scratches at my pants leg
wanting me to play tug-o-war with her, is my "horse". If
somebody says, "No, that's a dog," I can just say, "No, that's
what *I* call a horse." So when I say to people who don't know
me or my "horse" that, "My horse caught a rat out in the
flowerbed," or, "My horse treed a squirrel," or, "My horse got
out in the road and like to got run over," they will naturally
get the wrong idea.
It seems obvious that Jerry McDonald is deliberately trying
to give people the wrong idea when he says "Robert Baty is an
atheist," and we need -- we absolutely must have -- a clear
and unequivocal definition from Jerry as to what exactly it
is he is saying when he makes this claim, because Robert is
not even remotely an "atheist" according to the common usage
of the word.
Jerry says (admitting that *his definition* is not the
standardly accepted one), "Well, it's someone who does not
believe in the God of the Bible." So now Jerry must clarify
for us what he means by "the God of the Bible". Because there
are millions and millions of people who *do* "believe in the
God of the Bible" as far as they are concerned, and who believe
that Jesus is God's Son, but who also accept an ancient age
for the Earth and the fact of biological evolution. They might,
in fact, even take issue with Jerry McDonald for calling them
all "atheists" -- they *might* even point out how shallow is
the faith of someone who would declare, "If the Earth is more
than 10,000 years old, then the Bible is a pack of lies and
God does not exist."
So who is the real "atheist" here, or is at least teaching
Jerry, you *have to answer these questions* below, and keep on
answering until we all get it straight *exactly* what you
"mean" when you claim that Robert is an "atheist":
--- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com, Jerry McDonald
>Well, I don't think you're supposed to answer a
> The last I recall, the Jews believe in the God
> of the Bible. As for Old Earth Creationists my
> question would be: "Do they believe in God's
> supernatural creative power that would give God
> the supernatural power to create the universe in
> six literal 24 hour days, not more than 10,000
> years ago, and age the universe billions of years
> in those six literal 24 hour days?" If not, then
> I would say that they are atheists.
question with a question in a case like this, but
we can work with it:
By your answer to your question, you yourself have
admitted that "young-earth creation-science" is
conducted by "atheists", because they don't believe
the Universe is "aged"; they believe (or claim to
believe) that the scientific evidence shows the
Earth and Universe are only a few thousand years old.
While we're waiting for a response to this message,
I thought I would interrupt here to add a couple of
One thing that "young-earth creation-science" types
and old-earth creationists have in common is the
rejection of the idea that God has made the Universe
to "appear" to be something that it is not.
The YECS group says, "If the Universe is 6,000 years
old, then there must be scientific evidence for that."
The old-earth group says, "If all the scientific
evidence indicates the Universe is ancient, then the
Universe is ancient."
YECs only use "apparent age" when they get in a bind,
but it is only a temporary fix because then they have
to show the place where "real" ends and "illusory"
In regard to the way McDonald answered his own question
above, he doesn't really tell us whether old-earth
creationists are "atheists". Jerry, what if they believe
that God "could have" done what you ask, but didn't?
If they believe in God's supernatural creative power to
do anything, that doesn't necessarily mean that is what
Are they "atheists"?
Now, the rest of the post I interrupted:
And what about the Mormons and Seventh-Day Adventists?
They believe the Universe is only a few thousand years
old. Are they "atheists"?
And what about the Muslims? They believe (or claim to
believe) in the God that made Adam -- the God of
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob -- the God that Jesus taught.
A lot of them believe in a "young Earth" (they even use
the same "young earth evidences" you do, like "salt in
the sea" and "oldest coral reef", by the same outfits).
Are they "atheists"?
Worldwide Church of Latitudinarianism
> > w_w_c_l <w_w_c_l@> wrote:
> > --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com, Jerry McDonald
> > <jerry@> wrote:
> > >
> > > My definition of "atheist" will be "someone who does
> > > not believe in the God of the Bible."
> > Are Jews "atheists"? Are old-earth creationists "atheists"?
> > Rick
> > > Robert Baty <rlbaty@> wrote:
> > > Jerry,
> > >
> > > While awaiting your decision, should you determine to
> > > continue in good faith, rather than bad faith, to
> > > negotiate for the discussion with me that YOU want to
> > > have in Fort Collins, I thought I would ask about just
> > > how you plan on defining the "atheist" term you may
> > > wish to use in your proposition.
> > >
> > > Regarding the meaning of the term, Thomas B. Warren wrote:
> > >
> > > > "When I use the term "atheist" in
> > > > this series, I shall be referring to
> > > > those thinkers who not only are
> > > > not convinced of the infinite God,
> > > > but who hold that there is adequate
> > > > evidence in the world to conclude
> > > > that God does NOT exist."
> > >
> > > > "Have Atheists Proved There Is No God?"
> > > > page vii
> > >
> > > Tom implies there may be other meanings in other contexts,
> > > so it is most important that, if we can agree on a
> > > proposition for YOU which uses that term, that we agree
> > > beforehand just what you intend by it.
> > >
> > > As you know, Todd S. Greene is an atheist and he, and
> > > other atheists, define the term differently.
> > >
> > > So, just keep such things in mind as you might decide to
> > > change course and begin negotiating in good faith as to
> > > YOUR proposition and the remaining details to be worked
> > > out regarding the debate YOU were wanting to produce.
> > >
> > > Sincerely,
> > > Robert Baty