A Second Reply to Christian Apologist on The Metaphysical

Christian Apologist wrote a post on the metaphysical (you can find it here). We replied (here). She then replied (here), and this is our response:


1) “Humans have a natural desire to satisfy their curiosity and seek purpose and answer the “why” questions of life.”

Of course. All of what you said is intuitive, and I competently agree.

However it doesn’t answer the question.

I asked how do we know there is a “why”?

We desperately want one. I desperately want a “why”. But I’ve found nature does not necessarily conform to what I want or need to be true. Is your experience different? Does the fact that we would like something to be true, even need it to be true, somehow make it true? If something makes you happy, makes you live longer, that makes it true? Is that the argument you’re trying to make?

Is there any reason, any evidence, that there either is, or even must be, a “why”?


2) “There is no reason atheists should consider personal testimonies invalid.”

First, the success of science alone suggests that when they discount personal testimony, they may know what they’re doing.

Further, I will remind you that you discount the millions of LIVING witnesses to the Hindi Sathya Sai Baba. Why do you discount the testimony of Hindus, but begrudge science discounting yours?

Third, courts DO accept witness testimony. But it’s notoriously unreliable, and physical evidence is considered FAR, FAR superior to it.  In 73% of the 239 convictions overturned by the Innocence Project, eyewitness testimony was what led to the conviction (in a third of those cases there were two or more mistaken witnesses). The science, the DNA evidence, was far superior. And the numbers get far, far worse when you broaden

And this isn’t a mystery, we know why this is. We know how the human mind plays tricks on us. It’s been studied and documented.  We actually rewrite our own memories to suit our psychological make up.

Jennifer Thompson-Cannio was raped. She identified Ronald Cotton as her rapist out of a lineup (TWICE), willing to bet her life (and his) that she had the right guy. She REMEMBERED him. She saw his face, saw him raping her (and still does). After ten years in jail, DNA evidence found the real rapist. He was exonerated. Jennifer and Ronald became best friends, and today they go around lecturing together about the unreliability of eyewitness testimony.

But again, if you’re willing to accept the testimony of millions of Hindus, I be a touch more persuaded by your argument.


3) “The presence of a multiverse does not suggest we have infinite regress. It merely adds years to the date of the present universe and in no way mitigates the need for an uncaused cause”

I never said it removes the uncaused cause argument. I said that in your original post, where you said there was no evidence for a multiverse, that you were wrong. And you were wrong, I gave you the evidence, and you haven’t addressed that point. You’re trying to guess my next point and head it off at the pass. You guessed incorrectly.


4) “This is the opinion of the Humanist Codex. Authors, philosophers, builders, economists, artists, and entrepreneurs would likely beg to differ.”

No, I don’t think they would. They’d have to be kind of silly to, and I’d expect them to back it up at the very least (and if you think I’m wrong, examples of why would be great).

In the last 350 years we’ve more than doubled the average human lifespan, cut infant mortality 100 fold, increased human luxury and free time, cured polio (look up JUST HOW BAD that was), eradicated whooping cough-measles-mumps and rubella, discovered electricity, invented electronics, pasteurization, immunization, refrigeration, sterilization, antibiotics, put a human being on the moon and brought him back—ALIVE, reduced the chances of a mother dying in childbirth from 30% to less than 0.01%, cured cancers and diseases, invented plastic, internal combustion, heating and air conditioning….

That’s just a tiny, minuscule slice of what science has done.

a) Which part of this is my opinion?

b) Which field do you think has acomplished more?

I’ll stand by what I said… I think most authors, philosophers, builders, economists, artists and entrepreneurs would have to be a little silly to say they’ve had that kind of success. But I’m happy for you to show me why I’m wrong.


5) “What existed prior had to have consciously powered matter, space, and time”

Why? Why must something consciously have to have powered it? What universal law states that? You’ve reiterated your position, but you haven’t answered the question.  Let me ask again… Why must consciousness have to have come first?


6) “When a handyman lays tile on a bathroom floor and the tile cracks and acts contrary to the handyman’s design, is the tile as smart as the handyman?”

Is the handyman omniscient? Did he make the hammer, the air, the Newtonian force itself which, when applied to the tile, would cause it to crack exactly in a way an all knowing handyman would complete foresee? If not, then I agree with you, the tiles and cracks are contrary to his design. But God is, last I checked, is not a handyman. Nothing… and I mean nothing, can POSSIBLY be counter to God’s design. Right? Otherwise how is he God?


6a) “Of course God knew what would happen if they used their freedom the wrong way: apparently, He thought it worth the risk.”

Risk? What risk? It’s not a risk, God knows everything. He knows which humans will rise to the challenge, and which will fail. The fact that C.S. Lewis can even use the word “risk” here indicates a complete incomprehension of the problem If God is omniscient, there’s no “risk”, because there is no situation in which he doesn’t already know the outcome. Right? How is it a risk if you know what’s going to happen?


While I hope I’ve accurately and sufficiently addressed your rebuttals to #2, #4, and #6, it seems to me that you actually did not answer the questions I asked in #1, #3, and #5. I sincerely look forward to an answer on those questions, if possible.

Thank you for your time.

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Warren Kincaid
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What would you say about people who “felt good” about handing over Jews to Nazi’s?

Warren Kincaid
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Maybe we just can’t rely on “feelings” to give us a safe foundation for decisions (obviously it can’t). Secondly…. I don’t think evolution has proven to be good theory when it comes to advancements in Ethics or “feelings”. We build our civility on safer rules of conduct, not on elapsed time. I think a better understanding of the Bible has done more to advance civility, growth and care in “modern” Western culture than evolution has proven out. I think that bares a little consideration.

Warren Kincaid
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I think a study of history and the future will reveal whether we’ve “evolved” away from “brute” human attributes into something higher. Actually… I think that as we become more “secular” from this point things will get worse. We’re just keeping a lid on it. I’m not discounting “evolution” but I think you carry it to far. I don’t think we have that kind of time left to evolve to the level of self preservation needed on a large scale. It’s easier to destroy than to build.

Warren Kincaid
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Within Atheism, what makes sincerity better than a lie? What if sincerity injures people but the lie saves them from pain? What if generosity on your part leads to egoism on the part of another? What if courage gets you killed and cowardice saves you (and others)? Atheism as a tenet has no universal unifying basis for these things. Nor has it the cure to fix them. Criticism of Christianity does not make Atheism right. It must be able to stand on its own merit with answers in the areas of human dilemma’s in order to be of any value. Where do the answers lie in the realm of the Atheist? Pure intentions and actions? How pure? Can you point to someone who always does that? Or even ever does that.

Brian Robson
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Let me clarify that being an atheist is something you are not what you do. Of course Atheism has no central tenet or unifying basis for these things but it doesn’t mean atheist are morally bankrupt, it just is the default position that atheist take on the premise there is no good reason for believing in God or any gods. There a good and bad among everybody on the planet believers and non believers alike Its really that simple. The burden proof lies with claimant, all atheist do is ask if any of it stacks up. Being God fearing doesn’t actually make you a better person research has shown that. Why must atheism stand on it own merits with answers in areas human dilemma That is nonsense..Atheism Is not based on faith or a belief system unlike religion its not on a quest to change banish religion.It about building bridges. Its seems not all that Christians love to dislike atheist, based on what because we don’t believe there is a god especially a loving one or simply because there no reasonable or logical or rational reason to believe in one because its written in a book. Its in book so what ? Noddy Went to Toy Town in book I owned but did Noddy really exist just because it in a bool ? Most atheist care about what is true… Read more »

Warren Kincaid
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That’s alot of ground to cover. The first… If Atheism is the filter you use to see the world then Atheism is both something you are, and what you do. It’s a human-centric view of life. We do things based on what we are. Everyone carries his (or her) own philosophy. “Are” and “Do” are linked. Atheists are not moraly bankrupt I’ll agree and there is plenty of evidence out there. But they are adrift in the sea of morals. There is no unifying factor. And extreme cases of morals are the most glaring (life or death for instance). The bridge you offer must be a two-way street. If the flaws in “christianity” are the reason you won’t cross it and find out what is independently there, then the deficiencies in Atheism can be used as well. Atheism is more than just “not believing” in something. It crafts the path you’ll follow when you have to make big decisions (and maybe even some small ones). If Atheists are really interested in finding the answers they claim to be open to, they’ll have to move their questions into other catagories and be receptive to the answers. I apreciate your outlook though.

Robert Giroux
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There is no compelling evidence pointing to a deliberate creation of the universe by a being with intent. There is no compelling evidence that such a being should be a single entity. There is no compelling evidence that such a being should be immortal or omnipotent. There is no compelling evidence for such a being still being alive. There is no compelling evidence for such a being having a moral interest in humanity. All of these are mere assumptions/arguments made from incredulity and ignorance … It is possible that a supernatural being exists which does not intervene, and for which there is no evidence. But in the absence of evidence, there is no reason to think the hypothesis is true, and furthermore, in the absence of evidence, all your ideas as to the thoughts and wishes of this non-intervening entity are inventions – simply because you don’t have the evidence. We don’t need to believe in gods to think that sincerity is better than lie, that generosity is better than egoism, that courage is better than cowardice, that gentleness and compassion is better than violence and cruelty, that love is better than hate! True morality should be based on intentions and actions… not beliefs and dogmas. The goal is to allow people to live with better harmony in society. We don’t need divinities or priests to achieve that. Reflexion and… Read more »

Alan Couvillion
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You didn’t answer the question, reason is good an adaptable means given by God. Science is a good way of determining the best absolute possibble but it is not the only way. Scientism assumes that all factors are available to them, but there not. God is not apart of the creation he is the sole reason and only way anyone or thing exists in creation. Science only can claim to go back to a point, but then it has to start speculating forming a faith of a sort since it can not create anything from nothing.

Robert Giroux
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There are as many religions as there are definitions of God(s).
You can define something without ever having seen it. You can’t describe it though. A description is a report of what something has been observed to be like. We know what an electron is like – lots and lots of observations of electrons have been carried out.
But there are no descriptions of God,because
nobody has ever seen God.
There is merely definitions of what people think God ought to be.
And because religion has been dealing with competing definitions rather than making observations that enable them to move on to descriptions of God, religions have split and split again, because nobody’s definition can be decisively contradicted by facts, and having means of resolving disagreements.
Contrast this with science. Scientists agree that all their theories are based on observation, that they are dealing with descriptions of what is, rather than definitions of what ought to be. Any scientific dispute can ultimately be resolved by making the observations necessary to distinguish between competing theories.
As a result, there is just science. there is not Anglican science, Catholic science, Orthodox science, Sunni science, Shia science, Sufi science, Hindu science and Buddhist science. Just science.

Alan Couvillion
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Can you prove science is irrefutable?

Warren Kincaid
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The Humanist Codex You have faith in the predictability of the results of your coin flipping. You may not be absolutely certain of the results, but you carry a level of confidence brought on by an aptitude for a system only humans seem to possess. You claim that science is a system of thought. So is atheism + science. You view your world through the filter of what you believe to be true. Everyone does (how does that happen, anyway?). Science does not complete the picture. Neither does atheism. There is a misconception that science is atheistic in its foundation. But science can’t answer why it can do what it does. And it alone can’t answer why we even know the difference, or put life in its proper perspective. As always… you try to force the word “faith” out of your world view system. But at the same time you display the meaning of the word through your stated beliefs. We don’t have the luxury of changing the meaning of words to fit our agenda.

Chris Tatler
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Warren Kincaid “faith” HAS two meanings, try edumatcating yourself.

Robert Giroux
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People are not born with religious belief. It has to be learned or imposed at an early age. Many atheists become so as a result of examining, questioning, and ultimately rejecting the religious belief that they were taught. ( I stopped believing in God the day I stopped believing in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny). Others, not brought up in a ‘faith’ context are simply ‘non-believers’. (Like my kids who have not been baptised nor received a religious education. Technically, they are atheists, but probably they would not use the term, since the whole matter of belief or non-belief is a non-issue for them. I personally prefer the term ‘non-believer’ because ‘atheist’ has become a term of abuse for some people and too easily thrown around. Most non-believers quietly go about their lives, minding their own business, and obeying the rules. The vast majority of personal religious beliefs can be accurately predicted based solely on the beliefs of one’s parents or the culture one is raised in…Religious people should ask themselves’Are my religious beliefs based on rationality and evidence, or on indoctrination?’ Atheism is only part of who we are, and a very small part. As far as I’m concerned, it definitively do not define who I am… I try to treat people with kindness because I want to create more happiness where I can and… Read more »

Robert Peck
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people are born with an innate sense of another supreme being. look around the world at primitive cultures. it’s what we do with it that leads to atheism, agnosticism or belief.

Chris Tatler
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Robert Peck then how come you have to indoctrinate them as children, so they know which false fake “g0d” is “real” LOL LOL LOL.

Robert Giroux
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Robert Peck ~ I once read that if children were born with a fully developped conscience, there would never have been a need for God… As soon as his mind is awakened, a child naturally possesses the faculty and taste for fantasizing . This is why myths, as a way to stimulate our imagination (and slip a few essentials truths under the cover of entertainment) have always been so popular. BTW, What is hard-wired into people is a tendency to look for patterns and narratives, and to infer ‘agency’ behind events. This leads to anthropomorphic projections. Gods are invented as agents behind natural phenomena. They vary greatly, historically and across different cultures. The god of our three monotheist religions is by no means unique or special. An infant is neither moral or immoral. He is amoral! A baby is a being of pulsions, desires and needs… He will learn moral judgement and a code of conduct in society from his parents, the school and his parents’ religion/church. Morality is the rule of the tribe you live in … a collection of social values that promote cohesion in groups of humans. Humans are complex animals. Humans rely on one another to produce food, protect their youngs (our children go through 4 years of infancy), and take care of the old. Being “good” to each other helps us survive. That’s pretty much… Read more »

Terry Gilborson
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Everyone has a faith its impossible not to have some form of faith, if you choose to believe in nothing ie atheistism that is your faith. I challenge you to give some evidence of no God not possible. Where as the evidence of a creator God is all around you, just look outside or in a mirror. You are too amazing and complex to have just happened, and do you know if you believe it or not he loves each of us with a love far beyond we could ever imagine.

Robert Giroux
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The problem is that there are two definitions of “faith”:
faith Noun /fāTH/
1. Complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
2. Strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.
I have a little of the first, and absolutely none of the second.
Which definition are you using here?
My faith is in humanity… Love, respect, tolerance…
Friendship, emancipation…

Robert Giroux
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OK! Just for the sake of discussion and since nobody can prove with 100% certitude that gods exist (or not!), Let’s say that atheism is a belief (faith) in the non-existence of something!! It still has no dogma, no doctrines, no sacred books, no symbols, no special food, clothes or rituals. All an atheist should say is: “In the absence of any compelling evidence for the existence of any gods, I shall act and choose my ethics as if none exist, until and unless that situation changes.” Those atheists who proclaim that gods don’t exist are contradicting themselves: they are doing an act of faith… a negative one but faith nevertheless… Bottom line is: There is no compelling evidence pointing to a deliberate creation of the universe by a being with intent. There is no compelling evidence that such a being should be a single entity. There is no compelling evidence that such a being should be immortal or omnipotent. There is no compelling evidence for such a being still being alive. There is no compelling evidence for such a being having a moral interest in humanity. All of these assumptions come from folklore or from a lack of imagination in dreaming up alternatives. Any competent sci-fi author could knock off half a dozen alternative scenarios over lunch. We don’t know what, if anything caused the Big Bang, but we… Read more »

Warren Kincaid
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The Humanist Codex I think you have been honest, but not complete and unable or unwilling to answer this one. Atheism is a system based on what you chose to believe or disbelieve. It runs deeper than just a denial that there is a “God” or not per-se. You must make decisions based on your own value system (everyone must if they’re alive). If there is a God who is actually there (biblically speaking) and you chose to leave that out of your life-equation your view will be skewed, and your basis for truth in all areas will reflect that deficiency. The most evident is in the area of morals, but it also affects all of life (science included). Put another way….. You don’t exhibit faith in something that you believe isn’t there, I understand that. But you do exercise faith in the results of your thinking built upon your belief system. You act… and those actions show where your faith is. You have chosen your own instinct and reason as the basis of your faith. You have built the “Humanist Codex”. You wear your faith on your sleeve. I’m still waiting for you to admit to the dual definition of the word “Faith”. So far, you have avoided it and I simply let it drop. But it seems to have popped up again here. Since God is out of… Read more »

Barry Morris
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I don’t have the faith to believe that something can come from nothing.

Andrew Henderson
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You dont need faith…you dont even need to know it as fact…because there is no evidence but that would go for religion even more….

Brian Robson
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Andrew Henderson
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Our curiosity and questioning doesn’t make us special we can travel to the moon and write music but a blue whale or a earwig are not concerned…what have we really done that makes us special….even nuclear power only assists how we eat while watching TV…Cancer research however incredible only stops the inevitable for a while…we might wonder at the stars but they don’t wonder at us….

Warren Kincaid
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The word “special” is a relative term. What is not special to you may be very special in the grand scheme of things (ask your wife). That we are even able to measure special from mundane is special in itself. What other species can do that?

Andrew Henderson
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Most mammals…a elephant herd will walk for days just to eat certain food even when food is in abundance just because they enjoy a certain fruit …as i said its not that we find things special but as a species we are not….

Warren Kincaid
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But I say we are special as a species. Because we are able to discern between what is special and what is not (among many other things). It’s a matter of value. That’s something your mammal elephants aren’t taking into account when they walk their miles. As humans we value (think special) about things we may not even like (ask your wife again for clarification, but the word honor and justice come to mind). Also…. Why would your oppinion on this be any more or less special than mine? You are actually aiming for less. I also have the added testimony that humans are special in the grand scope of creation. It’s not just me who says so. And the observable world is proof. As well… you are special to see and understand the differance. And that brand of special is called “potential”.

Andrew Henderson
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Youre talking in a humanistic way …whats less special than our elephant cousins love of figs than ours …you carnt say that with any authority because you are not a elephant..I’m not saying what you find special is less or more than mine …what i am saying is that we are as special as elephants and as special as grass but not as special as trees or fungi….without any of the last two species we would not exsist…

Warren Kincaid
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So what you are saying now is that there is an order to what would be considered “special”? All I’m saying is that it’s obvious that the human race stands apart from the rest for specific reasons. Science can’t answer those reasons adequately.

Andrew Henderson
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How do we stand special against other animals …we can talk and swim but not as good as as dolphin.. again what you consider a special trait …really is not… the only thing special about us is that we posses a unhealthy notion that we are of a higher order than otjer animals …give a example that makes us more special ….?

Andrew Henderson
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Science can not give all the answers..but that does not then give any validity to a supreme creator….you would then need science to prove there was a creator …but it carnt…

Warren Kincaid
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1) “Humans have a natural desire to satisfy their curiosity and seek purpose and answer the “why” questions of life.” So where did this “natural desire” spring from? Why does the human race seem to be the only species to have it? Science has its place. But obviously, it’s not universal in its scope if you use valid words like “desire”, “purpose” and “curiosity”.

Pat Mc Ginley
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They get away with all of these absurd claims because they don’t need to back them up with evidence.

Brian Robson
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The old argument we have faith. Faith is nothing its just gullibility and believing in something ether because you are afraid to question it or you like it. and have no evidence to support it.. Faith is not a pathway to anything, its nothing. but clinging on to something that could either be wrong right. but know way of knowing.

Pat Mc Ginley
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Brian Robson The main reason these Bible-based religions still prosper is the Bible’s very real attributes for its many powerful, wealthy vested interests i.e. mega cash-cow and powerful tool of control.

Shaun Philip Hutchings
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Why did life happen? Because it was possible and that which can happen can happen. There is no need for a reason as reality is not reasonable. Only a thing with needs would have a reason to do anything. Reasons didn’t come along until after life was brought into existence.

Shaun Philip Hutchings
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No in the infinite space of the imagination you can have an infinite number of numbers and as many gods as you like. That’s where the gods exist.

Ken Croft
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With all those Gods from all these religions isn’t it getting a little crowded up there?

Steve Wilson
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Well. Science. Of course it has allowed good things to happen. It just can’t answer all questions…it is a continually learning and continually adjusting system..it rarely gets to ultimates, just betters (is an egg good to eat or not? Science’s answer totally depends on when the question was asked…it’s like that with most things.

Given its failure percentage, science is arguably one of the least successful field in human history, as well as most successful. And actually it’s an application of method more than a field per se.
Many fields use it, along with math. Not a bad thing, often amazing, but incomplete, and many of its practitioners and followers have far too much hubris for their own, or anyone else’s good.

As for C.S. Lewis and his thoughts on risk…Yes, God is omniscient, but omniscience doesn’t collide with coerce. A parent might well caution a child about not playing in the road…God expands that, Lewis likens it to watching time from outside, like looking at a ruler. We can see the whole thing, could see everything on it…but would not by necessity be making things on it do..

The risk, of course, is letting people play out their agency. The risk is for the people doing so. Not the person watching the ruler.

Shaun Philip Hutchings
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Experiments never ‘fail’. Experiments show what happens. If you are trying to achieve something that isn’t possible you are not trying to do a scientific experiment, you are trying to practice magic.

Steve Wilson
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Experiments provide knowledge. But they do fail. Hmmm. An experiment is a testable idea. It does show what happens. But it is predicated on an idea, or hypothesis about how a thing works. Edison’s light bulbs that didn’t work, to take an old tale, didn’t work. They failed. They provided insight, they marked things off a list, but they failed. The important thing in his story is that he kept looking. Hubris never admits failure. Scientism.

Jim Atherton
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Steve Wilson the light bulbs failed, but the experiment worked.
An experiment is only ever an attempt to measure your ability to achieve a goal.
An experiment where the end result works is still a failure if your method does not effectively capture the reasons for success, and conversely an experiment that does not achieve the desired result is a success if it provides insight into the reasons that the attempt was unsuccessful…

Steve Wilson
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Hmmm, was an experiment. The test failed. Semantics. 🙂

God is NOT good.
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God is NOT good.
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You can’t fix stupid honey

God is NOT good.
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Bitch didn’t even answer half your questions.

God is NOT good.
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Shaun Philip Hutchings
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That is brilliant.

Shaun Philip Hutchings
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The meaning of life is easy. It’s a piece of cake.

Chris Cain
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If I looked like Patton Oswalt I wouldn’t believe in God either.