Discussion (34)¬

  1. gamer-geek says:


  2. Uncle Roger says:

    You can’t have a serious discussion with an atheist anyway — at least not until they agree to accept the bible as the definitive reference to turn to in case of disagreement.

    I mean really, it’s like the official scrabble dictionary of everything other than scrabble.

  3. JMo says:

    Uncle Roger once again you left out the Koran as another acceptable resource for disagreement counciltation. Just tryin to be PC with respect to Mo…

  4. mateo-argentino says:

    “I think, therefore, I am” That’s the only thruth, everything other than that requieres FAITH (yes, science too)…so, all in all both religious and scientists are stuck in a web of lies, open your eyes people!!! Faith is stupid by definition, you can’t KNOW the truth about god, the answers aren’t in science or (SPECIALLY) the bible (the longes fairy tale ever..), nor other relgious text (Koran, etc…)

    I mean, c’mon, you could as well believe in Zeus or Quetzalcoatl…

  5. mateo-argentino says:

    p.s: Gamer-geek is right, there’s an irony meter missing in this comic

  6. Dick M says:

    The irony meter broke in the last comic. Remember?

  7. Vyapada says:

    mateo-argentino, why do you have faith that your computer won’t explode or implode at any moment and unleash a horde of blood sucking unicorns that will trample and destroy the world?
    I only assume that you do because you used it on more than one occasion (you know, going by the evidence).

  8. JohnnieCanuck says:

    Faith is belief without evidence, mateo. Science without evidence is not science.

    Maybe it is possible to argue that since, for example, I don’t understand Quantum Chromodynamic theory, I am just taking it on faith that it isn’t made up. I, however, maintain that from experience, I can trust the scientific method to usually do a good job of explaining things. When errors are made, other scientists are motivated to find and correct them. Unreplicated results do not stand for long.

    So if QCD theory contradicts someone’s holy text, I know whose argument I’m going to trust. Especially so, when the faith promoter clearly doesn’t understand that which he is criticising.

  9. DonR says:


    Wow, that’s even more ignorant than most fundies. You’ve dennounced both schools of thought in one foul swoop.

    It’s a good job scientists had enough ‘faith’ and persevered to invent silicone chips, circuit boards, plastic, harnessed electricity, LCDs (or maybe CRTs) and those dozens of other items that allowed you to make that post.

  10. Mr Gronk says:

    Johnnie, I’m going to jump on my old hobby horse again, and suggest that faith is the mental process required to believe an assertion that is unprovable, untestable and, most importantly, impossible. Plenty of scientific hypotheses are unprovable and untestable, but since they cover the realm of the possible you only need a strong dose of trust to believe them. That trust comes from your reason and experience, which makes it the precise opposite of faith – faith tends to vilify reason and experience.
    I’m aware that isn’t the strict definition of faith.
    But it ought to be – by tweaking it’s meaning just a little this ghastly mental disease can be stripped of it’s positive connotations.

  11. Ish says:


    Your argument was dealt with by the author (or should I say barmaid) a while back.


  12. I thought it was *SPOING!*. I’ve been doing it wrong this whole time! Good thing I didn’t have the T-shirt made…

  13. Daoloth says:

    I think that the epistemic arguments are not very frutiful.
    Isn’t the key difference that scientific knowledge is always provisional, faith is not? The question “what would it take to make you change your mind” is always sensible of any scientific theory, no matter how well-established. Haldane’s remark that rabbits in the precambrian would refute Darwinism would be an example. By its very nature faith does not admit of disproof, holding it in the teeth of evidence is held to praiseworthy.

  14. John H. says:

    I had a deja vu moment reading this comic. Not very long ago my Xtie friend complained “why don’t all those atheists just shut up and go away?” I tried reminding him that they’re just words. He wasn’t comforted much by that.

  15. Postman says:

    Awww! Gamer-Geek beat me to it. As soon as I read this one, there was a distinct “Sproing!” noise in my head.

  16. Daoloth says:

    Mateo- I supsect that “I think thereofre I am” is not necessarily true, if you want ot be hard-assed about it. Isn;t the Cogito just something which cannot be rationally doubted at the moment that it is expressed? It says nothing about what happens or exists beyond that moment or indeed anything about the necessity of rationality to truth. I think Mo had some useful remarks to make about radical skeptism.

  17. mateo-argentino says:

    I see my comment anoyed more than one atheist…sorry about it, but I just don’t belive what my senses tell me..and altough science is way ahead in the scale of thruth, they still have faith, you have faith that your senses aren’t misleading you!!
    Here’s a little demonstration:

    You guys agree that time is a continius chain of logic events, right? I mean, this instant is how it is because of the previous instant and the laws of nature.

    Ok, the thing is that EVERY chain of events possible COULD be logic (where’s the proof that it could’t), meaning that there COULD be infinite of chains of logic events, AND infinite of those infinite would have this very same instant in one point of the chain… (and by instant I mean everything in the world in this instant, including you and your brain and whatever you are thinking ’bout the stupid argentinian who doesn’t believe in science)

    Therefore, both the previous and the next instant could be anything…maybe a second from now,your computer WILL explode or implode at any moment and unleash a horde of blood sucking unicorns that will trample and destroy the world

    And this is my favourite part: You can’t use your memory to contradict this argument, ’cause your brain structure this instant is product of the previous instant, which could be anything: Your memory is, of course, as reliable as your senses: If someone said “ok, thats logical, BUT why then humans don’t recall anything like that happening, why is every instant just as it was suposed to be the instant before?” I’d say “hey, how do you explain the empty tomb?”

    p.s: My neighbours PC imploded and unleashed a horde of bloodsucking unicorns!!! run for your lives people!!!!! Nah, just kidding…but it could happen in any moment
    p.p.s: I truly think my theory is flawless, but it’s because it hardly explains anything…the more you explain, the more flawed your theory is.

  18. mateo-argentino says:

    sorry ’bout the double post, but Daloth left his comment while I was writing mine.

    Dalth: “It says nothing about what happens or exists beyond that moment or indeed anything about the necessity of rationality to truth”

    True, but then again, I rather know that I can’t know the truth about ANYTHING that BELIEVE there’s a way to know anything but my own, instant, existence for sure

    About my previous post (seeing Daloth knows smthing ’bout Descartes, i feel I need to expand..) the key of that argument is Causality, which actually can’t be taken as valid (nothing can, nothing is to be believed), but i find it’s a good way to start, then we can move on to the fact that not even that can be trusted…

    Now, about Descartes, I haven’t really read him, I just started it, but I kind of “discovered” this ‘i think therefor…’ on my own years ago, and then heard about this guy…so i can barely talk about him…

    Then again, how do I know Descartes actually existed??

  19. mateo-argentino says:

    sorry!!! very short one, I promise
    Sorry about the 2 misspellings Daoloth! (is that how “misspellings” is writen)…

  20. grouchy-one says:

    Mateo, it sounds like your neighbour has a PC with an infinite improbability drive installed!

  21. Drinky says:

    Re: mateo-argentino….utter gibberish. You need to rethink what “logic”, “proof” and “faith” actually mean.

    Logic refers to inference and demonstration, i.e. it needs causality and correlation to be logical. Your silly analogy is illogical purely because it has never happened, for the same reason that gods are illogical. Just because you can imagine or wish it, does not make it so.

    To prove something is to demonstrate it to be true. To say something like “where’s the proof this is not true” is nonsensical. You cannot prove a negative.

    Lastly, faith in one’s own senses is not the same as faith in the religious sense. It’s not faith at all, because the evidence of our multiple senses back each other up (you can touch something you can see, or see something you can hear, feel something you can taste and smell, etc.)

    Lastly, if your own mind and senses are as unreliable as you imply, how can you yourself know anything for sure, including your own faith?

  22. pinto says:

    Ah, philosophy. I find it quite amusing that you quote Descartes who believed in dualism yet you use the quote to define solipsism. If “I think Therefore I am,” is the ONLY truth, then nothing around you necessarily exists. Only your mind and what you perceive. Believing in this and debating it is one of the silliest things ever. If only you exist, then you would arguing with the figments of your imagination and therefore yourself. Also: philosophy can be debated forever, so that’s all I’ll say on the matter.

  23. […] great one from Jesus and Mo: Brother Richard […]

  24. Daoloth says:

    Mateo- Misspellings do not worry me. However I want to know how you can make your way to the end of your causality argument while being sure what the beginning was, given the conclusion that you reach- ie that only instants are epistemicaly reliable. Your argument itself does not take an instant (however that is conceived)and therefore itself is not epistemically reliable. In other words you have a conclusion that refutes the premises.

  25. mateo-argentino says:

    this is getting interesting!
    First of all Pinto, as I already said I don’t really know anything about Descartes…I never read anything he wrote or anything about him.
    Second, I don’t believe that you’re figments of my imagination, I believe you COULD be…i wouldn’t know.
    Daoloth. I agree. My causality argument is completely useless. I don’t believe in it. BUT i believe that someone how believes in causality and logic could believe in it and therefor stop believing in reality. I know is a bit confusing because i didn’t explain it very good (My english is limeted…).

    The “every chain of events is logical” argument is used to probe that thruth is completely unreachable…but I DON’T believe it, because I don’t believe in anything.

    Finally, my conclusion doesn’t refute my prmises: It looks that way because I first did my “every chain…” thing and then I said “I don’ believe in anything”, but those aren’t connected (I know it’s really confusing, if I spoke better english, it’d be easier to explain!) …the conclusion was “every instant can be followed by any other possible instant”, as all chain of events are logic…We can imagine a logic chain of events in which an instant after this one we all become monkeys, and we can also imagine a chain were the instant BEFORE this one, we were all monkeys…the fact that not even the premises for that conclusion can be trusted come from the simple fact, completelly unrelated, that NOTHING can be trusted.
    Drinky: I answered you the las because I had some trouble understanding your comment…my bad. Altough it’s true I may have been using some terms wrongly, I think you misunderstood some of my comments too.

    The first and most important thing I feel I need to say is: It doesn’t matter that senses back each other up. They could still be misleading you.

    I completely agree with you when you say “Just because you can imagine or wish it, does not make it so”…Its why I always tell ebery religious person I know.

    Now, I may have misunderstood you, but I think you fell right in my trap: When you said “because it has never happened” you are saying “No one recalls it happening”…But that isn’t necessarly true, because THIS VERY INSTANT, with yours and every other person’s thoughts included are not necessarily truth. Memory is as unrelaibale as senses!!! I Said “maybe a second ago we were all monkeys”, if you say “I don’t remember being a monkey”…I’d just say “that’s because what changed your body also changed your memory”…It sounds crazy and you’re probably thinking I am completely insane…but you’ll find there is no way to refute my “nothing can be known” theory…because it says nothing!!! The more a theory says, the easier it is to refute it…mine says nothing can be known for sure. So if you find a way to refute it I’ll just say “you can’t know that for sure!”

    Religious faith is a sad human condition, its horrible to see people stupidized by it…but all in all, science is just the most beautiful of all religions…because it’s the one that fits with THIS instant…we will never know if science is right, if there was a big bang or even if there was a year 1999. We just know right know, science is what explain what we sense. But it could all be false

    I stand by the facts: Only my instant existence is known for sure.

  26. Daoloth says:

    Mateo- Here is the problem. All your arguments about unreliabilty, say of memory, themselves rely on memory. Likewise the arguments about the unreliability of perception rely on perception. Thus the argument itself is unreliable. Its a bit like saying “There no such thing as truth”. Is THAT statement true? It simply can’t be. It would true if and only if it is false.
    Likewise saying we can NEVER rely on the senses- why not? “My senses tell me so” is viciously circular.
    All we ever have in science is inference to the best explanation with all statements provisional. There is not only no secure root from the philosophical armchair to the outside world, there is not even a secure root for self-understanding that way. Which is why (pace Ophelia) philosophy tends to leave me unsatisfied.

  27. mateo-argentino says:

    I agree. saying “there is no truth” is a paradox. Man, I love pardoxes. And I hate them. But there is a way around it: We transform it in “Absolutely anything is possible”. That is the key of my every-day philosphy (of course, you could say “Then it is possible that not everything is possible…” but come on, not even I am that crazy…)

    Anyway, my memory tells my that, since I started to think this way, I’ve lived my life under that philosophy: Everything is possible. Every instant my own exsistence can radically change. Or end.”

  28. HowardRoark says:

    Can somebody define “God” for me? Only then can words like “Atheist” and “Agnostic” have any meaning at all. The problem is these words were invented by the so-called “Theists” to define those who don’t agree with them and those who question them. The most diversionary word ever used is “Faith” – to divert all attention from an honest inquiry of “Religion”.

    Btw, I define “God” as a synonym of “Nature” – nothing more, nothing less. So believing in “God” for me is simply a scientific quest to discover the truths of nature – how planets and stars work, how earthquakes and tsunamis occur, how a baby can breathe in liquid until a few seconds before it’s born, etc,

    I would have more respect for “Religion” if it was a open-minded philosophical inquiry into what’s not yet scientifically known about nature – but is there such a “Religion”? Ah – that’s what we can “Science”.

    So, as far as I’m concerned, “Science” is religion, “Nature” God, “Hypothesis” “Prayer”, “Proof” is “Miracle”, “Happiness” is “Heaven” … and the words “Atheist”, “Agnostic” and “Theist” have no meaning whatsoever.

  29. Uncle Roger says:

    Mateo, me thinks you should cut down on the frequency that you watch the Matrix while stoned…

    Sure, it is possible we’re all lying in pods somewhere generating electricity by existing in a virtual world, but short of watching carefully for anomalies, we’d really have no way of knowing.

    So, we have to trust someone at the bare minimum and that someone is ourselves. For the most part, (assuming I’m not drunk or overly tired,) I trust what I see, hear, smell, taste, and feel. I also have to trust my own cognitive abilities or else I’d just be sitting in the corner biting my nails. Part of that is trusting my experience. Ever had a kid drop his spoon on the floor and you pick it up and they do it again? And again? and again? That kid is simply testing gravity. “Hmm… I let go and it fell. Will that happen again? What about this time? What if I don’t watch?” We do that too. “Hmmm… I put my cursor over the XKCD comic and an extra little joke popped up. What about on this one?”

    Beyond the trust in myself, I trust those whom experience has shown to be trustworthy. If my brother-in-law says that some actor won an oscar for some movie in some year, I believe it because he has demonstrated his amazing knowledge of film on many occasions. If my wife says something about education, I believe it because she is an incredible teacher and has dedicated her life to the study and practice of education. If I read something on Wikipedia, I mostly accept it, but stay aware that it may not necessarily be correct — how much I rely on it depends on how accurate I need my info to be. If my brother says something, I know not to pay attention to it because he has shown himself to be a complete and utter moron repeatedly. (Speaking of which, there are things which offer clues about people — being a believer generally indicates an inability (or disinterest) to think and thus significantly reduces credibility.)

    As for “everything is possible”, that is true — the laws of physics could suddenly disappear, Dick Cheney could suddenly become human, and unicorns could suddenly appear before me. I’m not betting on any of those happening within my lifetime (except, perhaps, the last one — I do have kids.) But if you really believe that, I’ll bet you 100 million dollars to your 100 dollars that gravity will continue as it has for at least the next year. If, within a year’s time, gravity ceases to exist where I am, I’ll pay you 100mil. If it doesn’t, you pay me a mere $100. Small price to pay to show your faith in your outlook, eh?

  30. mateo-argentino says:

    Uncle roger, if I lost, I’d say that, just as every FUTURE is possible, any PAST is possible…including many in which we didn’t actually did the bet (because if any future is possible then this instant is future to infinite instants which have infinite futures…this being one of them), or even some in which te bet was done backwards! Know that I told you this, you could argue the same, so the bet is pointless!!!

  31. griff says:

    mateo, any past is not possible, only the past that actually occurred is possible, because it is the one that did occur.

  32. Tom says:

    Mateo, you should really review the cartoons where Moses shows up.

    How can you ‘know’ anything about the world out there if you believe that the only reality is your conscience?

  33. Tom says:

    I mean, that belief is thinkable and metaphysically possible, but if you really are a ‘brain in a vat’, what is ‘reality’ – the vat or the simulation being run on the brain?

  34. fenchurch says:

    Don’t waste your time arguing with a solipsist!


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