Brian Fields
  • Male
  • Newville, PA
  • United States
Share on Facebook
Share

Brian Fields's Friends

  • Jane Kelly
  • Brian Dalton
  • Joe Zamecki
  • Amanda Knief
  • Subrata Banik
  • Angie Jackson
  • Blair Scott
  • chris feaster
  • Larian LeQuella
  • Richard Haynes

My Website

Do’s and Don’ts of Reposting Inflammatory Articles on Social Media

Do’s Check the article’s sources. Does the article source any of its information? Where is the information coming from? Is it a reputable news outlet, or is it an opinion piece? Beware clickbait sites – For example, it’s common to mistake usatoday.com with usatoday.com.co (a “satire” site that looks nothing like USA Today). Does the site source other sites? If you don’t know where the information comes from, it’s a huge warning sign. When in doubt, check the “About us” section of the site – Reputable satire sites usually offer hints that they are satire, although clickbait sites sometimes do not. Vet the source of the information. Do other articles on the web site make sense or sound absurd? You may be on a clickbait site, or a “satire” site, or on an opinion piece. Opinions are only worth the reliability of the source of the opinion. Google the topic. This is especially useful if you are unsure of the quality of the source of the information. Find out if other people are reporting it. If it’s as big as the news claims to be, you are certain to be able to find other sources for the information, simply by Googling. You may also find articles that offer another perspective, allowing you to clarify what it is you actually know about the events being reported on. You may also find a Snopes link, or other article refuting what you are reading. It might also be worth searching your topic with the words “scam” or “debunked” after it. Don’ts Share an article without checking it. Not everyone on the net is thorough in checking what they read. By committing to be thorough for yourself, you are helping to reduce the amount of misinformation on social media. Sure, one person doesn’t make a whole lot of difference, but doesn’t it suck when you post something and someone who is checking articles posts a Snope’s link to rebut what you just posted? Comment/Like an article without checking it. This may go without saying, but it’s easy to start participating in a comment thread on a completely unvetted topic. Then, minutes, hours, or days later someone comes by and tells you that the article you’ve been so worked up about is actually a hoax, or “satire”. Doesn’t that make you feel silly? Share/Comment/Like an article without reading it. It’s easy to get worked up in the rush of doing other things and judge an article by its headline. With the advent of clickbait, this isn’t excusable anymore. So often articles are posted with an inflammatory headline, and then when you read the article you find that its either exaggerated, or sometimes completely different than the headline implies.

Half-finished Book Review: “More than a Carpenter”, by Josh and Sean Mcdowell

I’m quite often asked by believers to “read this material”, in an attempt to convince me that God exists, and that the God of the Christian bible is the one I should worship. Often that material is the bible itself (which I have read several times), but sometimes I’m asked to read apologist literature. Normally my policy is to ignore the request – If there were some convincing argument for God, I would expect that he would vouchsafe it to all of his believers in such a way that hardly any atheist would be able to ignore it.

That said, this past May I tabled an event in York, PA for Pennsylvania Nonbelievers, and I was challenged once again to read some apologist literature, this time “More Than a Carpenter”, by Josh and Sean McDowell. The gentleman who asked me to do it sent it to me in the mail, so since he took the time to do it I thought I might record my thoughts here in this blog post.

The book itself is copyright 1977. ISBN: 978-1-4143-3380-9. The version in my hand is a small paperback, 179 pages. Without further ado, off I go!

Chapter 1.

“My Story”

The author (I presume Josh, as there are two authors but the preface refers to Josh McDowell personally, so unless otherwise indicated, I will refer to him as JM as he does.) claims that at one point he was lost, that he made fun of Christians. He ran into “a good looking woman” (he indicated he thought all Christians were ugly), and she told him Jesus Christ makes her happy. His “new friends” then convinced him to study the bible to see the truth of it. Then he read the Bible and (unreferenced here) history books and thus was convinced the Bible was real and became a Christian. And he’s convinced he can convince others, by the end of the book.

Chapter 2

What Makes Jesus So Different?

First he asks why Jesus is different – He asks the question why the name Jesus Christ offends people the way that Buddha, Muhammad, or Confucius do not?!?!?! (Apparently he doesn’t get out much – And that’s not to mention the loaded assumption that the name Jesus Christ offends anyone in this majority Christian dominated society – It’s not the name Jesus that offends, it’s what many of his followers do.)

After making his assumption that people are offended, he then presumes that the answer is because they did not claim to be God (Although, Jesus never claimed to be God). He spends the rest of the chapter trying to rest his argument on the bible itself that Jesus claimed to be God (Although all of the writings we have about Jesus are not in the first person, and are also not written by contemporaries of Jesus – If he existed, we have no idea what he claimed to be). Nor does Jesus’s supposed claim to be God actually speak to whether God exists or Jesus is God.

Chapter 3

Lord, Liar, or Lunatic?

Before I delve into this chapter, I want to comment that Lord, Liar or Lunatic is a false trilemma first offered by C.S. Lewis. It neglects the option of “Legend”. It presumes that Jesus existed, and said and did everything attributed to him. Back to the book.

OK, so in this chapter, JM presents each option in turn, and offers reasoning based on the bible and what people say about Jesus. Let’s begin:

Liar: Much of this section is an argument from personal incredulity – The author cannot believe that he’s a liar, and quotes other people who cannot believe it.

Lunatic: He talks pretty. And sounds smart. So Jesus can’t be a lunatic.

Lord: People believed that Jesus was the Lord throughout history. So he is.

We’re left with the last, unstated option in the book – Legend. This is the option that neither JM, nor C.S. Lewis considered.

Chapter 4

What about Science?

Jesus isn’t a question for science because science needs to be repeatable and you can’t repeat his miracles. Therefore science has nothing to say about it.

That’s really all there is to this chapter.

Chapter 5

The Challenge of New Atheism

JM indicates that this chapter was written by his son, Sean, so I will refer to the chapter author as SM.

SM indicates that atheists have existed throughout history, because of Psalms 14:1, which he quotes as referencing someone saying “There is no God”. However, to be clear, this is what Psalms 14:1 actually says:

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.

I just want to make that for point of clarification – Of course, what the bible says about atheists I do not believe, as I know many atheists that do wonderful, great things.

The author claims that old atheists realized that the universe is a cold dark place, and so if you tell everyone you might experience the collapse of western culture. I’m barely paraphrasing that sentence, all of the phrases are used in the book, and I’ve kept the intent intact.

SM also poses the question that if the mind evolved, how can we trust it. He ignores objective instrumentation and measurement as a possibility at all, as well as the verification and replication of scientific studies.

He also questions whether science and religion have warred with each other, because many scientists were Christian. He seems to ignore the fact that Religion has fought to contradict any scientific advancement that contradicts its teachings – He also ignores that in every such conflict, religion has lost and has had to adjust to the truth of the world around it. Science has not lost any ground because of “religious truth”.

Anthony Flew thinks that God exists, so science must prove God.

DNA is too complex, it must be intelligently designed. So says Anthony . . . → Read More: Half-finished Book Review: “More than a Carpenter”, by Josh and Sean Mcdowell

I don’t like the term Antitheist!

Ok, there I said it.  But it’s probably a good idea to spend some time explaining what I mean.

I am not saying that I have a problem with vocal, in your face activism.  I don’t, in fact I encourage it.

PEDANTRY WARNING!  LINGUISTIC RANT TO FOLLOW!

What concerns me here is the careless use of language.  Consider:

Theist: One who believes in a deity.

Atheist: One who is the opposite of a theist, ie, that does not believe in God.

Theism:  The state of belief in God.

Atheism:  The state of disbelief in God.

Given those terms, I think the label ‘Antitheist’ improperly sets us up in opposition to /people/ who believe in God: An untenable position from which to be an effective activist.  I think we should take care how we construct our labels – They are so often so easy to misinterpret, it behooves us to do the best job that we can to avoid confusion, especially when it is so clearly counterproductive.

I have no problem with the idea of being in opposition to dogma, including religious dogma.  But I think that it’s best to keep our general ire into the direction of ideas, and our specific opposition reserved for people who embody the worst of religious privilege and cultural poison.

In any case feel free to discuss, disagree, or try to change my mind. 

New Locale Support for the App of the Day for Canada!

I’ve added international encoding and locale support for Canada to the Amazon App of the Day feed. Here is the link:

Canada (English): http://www.geekexile.com/amazon_rss-ca.xml

Please note: This reflects the locale for Canada. This is NOT simply a translation! Amazon also occasionally offers different apps each day for each locale.

If you have a particular locale you would like added, please let me know.

New Locale Support for the App of the Day for France!

I’ve added international encoding and locale support to the Amazon App of the Day feed. Here is the link for France, available right now:

France (French): http://www.geekexile.com/amazon_rss-fr.xml

Please note: This reflects the locale for France. This is NOT simply a translation! Amazon also occasionally offers different apps each day for each locale.

If you have a particular locale you would like added, please let me know.

Gifts Received

Gift

Brian Fields has not received any gifts yet

Give a Gift

 

Brian Fields's Page

Brian Fields's Blog

Chambersburg PAN Meetings

Posted on February 8, 2010 at 11:00am 0 Comments

I'm going to be running the Chambersburg area PA Nonbelievers meeting.
It will be at 7pm on the third Monday of every month. If you are
interested in attending, please contact us here:

http://www.panonbelievers.org/contact?r=6

Thanks! Our next meeting will be on February 15th.

Slightly Disappointed...

Posted on May 5, 2009 at 11:17am 4 Comments

reposted (and mildly edited) from facebook:



A few weeks ago, I went to the American Atheists 2009 conference, and for the most part, had a great time. Melisa and I got to meet a lot of great people, and talk, and heard some great speakers.



One experience, however, has stuck in my mind since the conference, and I thought I'd share about it. I'm pretty much a left-wing liberal secular humanist atheist, while my wife is a dyed in the wool right wing Ayn Rand objectivist… Continue

Paranoia

Posted on May 3, 2009 at 7:30am 6 Comments

From a facebook conversation with someone who used to work for us - The video link below was posted on his facebook page. His name has been altered to protect the guilty (From total public ridicule).



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkCqpJ7jLyA

Theory spreads that virus was deliberatley engineered.

Source: www.youtube.com



You like this.

Brian Fields at 2:48pm May 2

Hilarious... :)



******** at 4:41pm May 2

not really :|



Brian… Continue

New Information vs. Old Information (Originally posted by me on Facebook)

Posted on April 27, 2009 at 2:58pm 3 Comments

One thing I hear frequently from Christians is the idea they have that God wants (Insert thingy here). Usually people come up with this after praying, or say that God speaks to them in a quiet voice. I wanted to write a note to suggest to those people that they should perhaps consider that the voice comes from another source.



My daughter once suggested to me that perhaps this is our dreaming world, and that when we dream, that is reality. I've heard this to suggest things like astral… Continue

Comment Wall (7 comments)

You need to be a member of Atheist Nexus to add comments!

Join Atheist Nexus

At 9:13am on May 24, 2011, Ruth Anthony-Gardner said…

Greetings, Brian! I'm glad you joined us, but it's been about 2 months and I don't see many new friends. Please consider joining Hang With Friends , a group where we talk about anything on our mind. :D.

At 9:45pm on May 27, 2009, Larian LeQuella said…
Welcome to the Douglas Adams fangroup. I'm jealous that you got to go to the Atheist Conference. I was deployed at the time...
At 9:26am on May 22, 2009, Stephen Goldin said…
Welcome to the SFF group. Hope you have a lot of fun here.
At 10:20am on April 28, 2009, Blair Scott said…
Hey Brian!
At 6:07am on April 26, 2009, Dr. Terence Meaden said…
Welcome to ORIGINS---always seeking to understand the origins of everything.
At 5:44pm on April 25, 2009, Dr. Terence Meaden said…
Welcome to Atheist Nexus with its thousands of good friends. .
Do join good groups like the busy discussion group ORIGINS (Origins: Universe, Life, Humans, Religion..... ).
I have been running a long discussion there about being "Proud to be Atheist" as we all should be, seeing that we hold the intellectual high ground over the religionists.
Terry Meaden
At 8:23pm on April 22, 2009, Blair Scott said…
Thank you for joining the official American Atheists group on Nexus! Your support is greatly appreciated.
 
 
 

© 2015   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: Richard Haynes.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service