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Do I believe any of these conspiracy theories or do I believe Shakespeare really was who the history books say he was? I don't really know. I'm happy enough to accept that there probably was a Shakespeare but I wouldn't wager my life on the idea. I'm also happy enough to listen to her conspiracy theories and some are quite intriguing but of course if she were to introduce magic into the plot the standard for evidence would increase and I would be far more skeptical. A group of human beings writing under an assumed name? Well, it has been known to happen. A thousand year old Wizard wrote those plays after a talking monkey visited him in a vision? I'm gonna need to see some evidence that that's even possible, let alone probable.
Of course the great thing is, we don't even have to worry about whether or not Shakespeare was a real man. The beautiful flow of words and the astounding insight into the human soul remain just as powerful no matter who wrote them. Because a good idea is a good idea. Treating others as you yourself would like to be treated? Nice idea, doesn't matter who wrote it. Killing every man and male child in a group and keeping the females for your own amusement? Bad, bad idea, regardless of who came up with it. This is the beauty of forming a system of morality without appeals to authority or threats of torture and 'might makes right' thinking.
Also it has to be said. The fact that you think anyone would say Shakespeare's plays are, by themselves, proof that he wrote them, just show how desperately you need to actually listen to your critics. Using the fact that the creation exists to prove it was created by who you say it was is just faulty logic. Whoever the creator and whatever the creation. If you cared enough about your readers (supporters and critics alike) you would already know this. Whether you agreed with it or not you would know this was the position taken by your critics.
“We don’t know at the moment, but science will find out one day.”
Change the word 'will' to 'might' and you'll no longer be bearing false witness. You might also see how that answer is the same answer you yourself might give to any number of things you hadn't yet studied enough.
If we were face to face in person and I asked you,
1. Who was the director of photography for the movie Planes, Trains, and Automobiles?
2. Which musical group released the album Beelzebubba in the 1980's?
3. Exactly how many curse words are spoken in the movie, Goodfellas?
Would you answer,
1. I don't know but give me a few minutes to study up on Google and I might be able to give you the answers.
2. Clint Eastwood.
Science is like giving answer #1. Religion is like giving answer #2, congratulating yourself on answering all questions correctly and shouting down anyone who dares tell you you're wrong.
What's that? You think this is a scam? You think a granfrantrag is a thing I just made up to make a point??
Let me tell you what a granfrantrag is. A bicycle is a granfrantrag. A pillow on your bed is a granfrantrag. A leather jacket is a granfrantrag. Are you seriously trying to tell me bicycles, pillows and leather jackets don't exist? Man, no wonder people make fun of creationists.
People, this is not about choosing a team and using whatever you can to try and score points against the 'opposition'. This is about making sure none of us fall for the bogus claims of fraudulent preachers, be they religious preachers, political preachers, philosophical preachers, whatever.
Be honest with yourself, you know that nobody here actually agrees with what Jim Jones did, The person quoted above Jim Jones is explicitly arguing that Jim Jones was a dangerous fraud. Why then, is it necessary to point out that he self identified as an atheist? How is that doing anything other than dividing people and promoting the exact same kind of harmful 'Us versus them' dogma Jones used to control people?
This is not about scoring points for or against the 'Christian team'. It is not about scoring points for or against the 'atheist team'. Most of the debate on this blog is not even about the existence or non-existence of a God. It's about rooting out and exposing frauds and liars. If Jim Jones can be shown to be a liar and a fraud then he is a liar and a fraud. If Ray Comfort can be shown to be a liar and a fraud then he is a liar and a fraud. If the men who wrote any book of religion or philosophy throughout history can be shown to be liars and frauds....well...you get the idea with that. It is possible for men to lie about God even if he does exist and it is possible for men to lie about a Godless Universe even if that is the type of universe we live in.
Whether you belief in a personal God, whether you believe the existence of a God is impossible, whether you have a vague idea that there might be something out there. A lie is still a lie. Whatever group the liar belongs to. A lie is still a lie and it is still important to question everything, to keep an open mind and to constantly, ceaselessly seek to root out and expose liars. Here's a hint, if somebody tells you that's bad advice simply because it didn't come from the right group of people, they're probably lying to you.