Archive for the ‘ atheist ’ Category

God Helped Me Find My Car Keys

I was thinking about this tonight and something twitched in me. I thought about what this might mean. Someone helped me find my car keys, as in some human, means that I was weak and unable to remember where I put them. I was at fault. I was failing at life. I needed help to do what normal people do every day. I was failing to be normal. So when a believer claims that their god helped them do something normal….

What they are saying is that they were unable to be normal, that they were failing at being normal and needed help. Further, and most astoundingly, they claim it a miracle that their ‘god’ helped them to be normal.Think about that for a minute. Go on, I mean it.

 

Yes, believers are saying that they need help to be normal and better than that they are claiming a miracle for it. It does not matter whether it was finding the car keys or that their sports team won, the point is they are claiming the need for help to be normal and declaring it a miracle. Every thinking person who hears such flotsam should rightfully shove these claimants into the mud and explain exactly how ignorant they are. There is no excuse for it. To think that an unexplained god gave them the power to be normal for a minute is the ultimate admission of ignorance. Whenever you hear this kind of stuff please explain to the claimant how utterly ignorant they are. It would be doing all of us a favor, including the claimant.

 

There Is No Explanation For God

… or my recent absence. Now some might be wont to say I’ve equated myself with god but let me assure you that I have a much higher opinion of myself. For a start I’ve never claimed to be omnipotent, omniscient, or omnipresent. Nor have I ever claimed to love everyone. Perhaps gods are like me and just don’t want to talk about it but in any case I can be coerced to explain my absence… primarily because I can prove I exist. Before your philosophy senses start twitching, just stop. I’m as real as anything that questions the reality of a god and more real than the hopes of a championship ring for some sports clubs.

If there is a god and it was not absent this would be a pretty stupid post but it is not a stupid post for one simple reason: not one theist can demonstrate that their god exists.

 

 

Even the most famous of theological apologists cannot demonstrate that their god exists. There is a natural conclusion that can be drawn from this simple fact: Theists are delusional and any influence that they have on society is detrimental. Perhaps their charity or other seemingly benign activities might be seen as neutral if not positive but the net effect of their influence remains negative because it teaches superstition and fear… at least in the case of monotheism. (my favorite targets)

Some of you might still want to ask why I’ve been gone lately or even demand it. Odd that we only expect such of entities we believe are real. Why don’t believers demand to know why their god has not been present? Shouldn’t their prayers end with questions like “why can’t you heal amputees?” or similar? Perhaps I expect too much but when I hear that I’m bound for hell I always loudly opine that the speaker isn’t going to heaven. Think about that for a second or two.

Do You Think Atheists Today Are Angry?

Well, if you want to get pissed off then listen to MMO excoriate lazy atheists way back in 1971

All I have to say is that this is an inspirational speech. Listen to it several times. Fact check her speech. Then try to figure out how to dust off your broken pride and put it back in your chest.

The Bourne Connection

Amnesia (from Greek ἀμνησία from ἀ- meaning “without” and μνήμη memory) is a deficit in memory caused by brain damage, disease, or psychological trauma.[1] Amnesia can also be caused temporarily by the use of various sedatives and hypnotic drugs. Essentially, amnesia is loss of memory. The memory can be either wholly or partially lost due to the extent of damage that was caused.[2] There are two main types of amnesia: retrograde amnesia and anterograde amnesia. Retrograde amnesia is the inability to retrieve information that was acquired before a particular date, usually the date of an accident or operation.[3] In some cases the memory loss can extend back decades, while in others the person may lose only a few months of memory. Anterograde amnesia is the inability to transfer new information from the short-term store into the long-term store. People with this type of amnesia cannot remember things for long periods of time. These two types are not mutually exclusive. Both can occur within a patient at one time.

I was going to start out with something different but I can’t remember what it was … badump pa ching

 

In the Bourne Identity we find a man suffering amnesia. He cannot remember who he is and begins to rebuild or reconstruct his life with what knowledge he does retain and any new knowledge gained. He lost only personal memories of himself. So he wakes up one day and does not have a history or identity. He is, for all intents and purposes erased. A fully trained blank.

If he were able to slowly regain his memories all would be well but as we know, that is not how it works out. He remains blank until suffering another trauma. What if he had regained his memories within days of waking up? Would he have been a blank slate during that time, or simply ‘just recovering’ for a bit? What if it only took hours to regain the memories? Would he have been considered the blank slate in that time? What if it took only a few seconds to regain his memories? Would he have had amnesia?

How long does it take you every morning to regain your memories? Are you a blank during that time? Are you sure?

If you think about it, you wake up blank but with quick easy access to your memories and full body integration your brain quickly puts everything back in place… it quickly integrates both memory and current sensory data. You go from blank to yourself, identity regained in just seconds. The process is not smooth all the time. Think about experiences you’ve had waking up which were not easy or pleasant. Did you experience instant reintegration? Did it take a few minutes for every process to come back on line?

When you are not conscious, you are not you. A blank with the amazing ability to reintegrate memories and body experience. In effect, your brain reprograms itself every time you regain consciousness.

 

 

Here’s a bit from someone that might come to exactly that conclusion. It’s a bit of a read, but I recommend it. She wonders if we are but I say we are, over and over and over again. When the simulator in our heads starts running our brains reprogram themselves to be us.

Science writer Jennifer Ouellette explores the emerging science of the self, a body of research that examines not just who we are, but also…if we are.

More Failed Logic From The Believers

I found this stuff at Fide Dubitandum

I don’t even feel like replying to the post. It seems pointless. Having said that, it is fair game for me to post about my reaction to it.

They start with a quote:

“The only way, really, to pursue a godlessness in good conscience is to forget history.”

- David Bentley Hart

It’s no surprise that Mr Hart is a theologian. Fide begins with:

In context, I found this a deeply penetrating statement about the condition of the current discussion between theists and materialists. What is that context? I highly recommend the full talk, but it can be summarized as follows:

It was, in many ways, understandable that Enlightenment thinkers would believe that a society liberated from all belief in transcendence would achieve new heights of prosperity and morality–that enough education, or the right social programs, would do what religion could not.

What he left out was the undeniable idea that religion has had its chance and created nothing but bloodshed, pain, and anger. There is no point in mentioning that because it kind of ruins his post. There is no reason to believe that a world bereft of religion would be a wonderful place with no problems but there is plenty of reason to think that a world without religion would be a better one than the world we have now.

Now that we are living in the wake of the bloodiest century in all of human history, it takes a deep lack of curiosity (or downright willful ignorance), to believe that a godless society is the unqualified good to be zealously persued.

This guy has clearly not acquainted himself with the work of Steven Pinker… he should.

He points out that Nietzsche’s fear of the “last men”–of those who have no deep truth to speak, no rational basis for morality, and therefore no meaning in their lives–now seems rather quaint. This idea has gone from a horrific and seemingly wild proclamation to a banal, almost tedious, observation the facts.

Yes, because without religion the world will crumble to one huge Mad Max film set. This kind of thinking gives zero credit to human nature and the idea that we are all basically good, willing to help, compassionate and often going well out of our way to help others. To such apologists as Fide these things are to be ignored or blamed on the remaining shards of religion in the world. This cynical denial of human nature is, at its root, disgusting in as much as it denies any goodness in any human except that they believe in a god.

The fact that so many, from the New Atheists to an all-too-large group of theists, have such a distorted, shallow view of what it is that Christianity actually claims is only the most recent evidence that ours is an age which has become so used to living without transcendence that far too many of us don’t even understand the word.

It is fair to say that IF non-believers have a distorted view of what Christianity claims it is because the claims are distorted and shallow. Many new atheists are reformed Christians who know all too well what Christianity claims and offers. To deny this is to simply ignore the facts and that is generally thought of as telling lies.

We can’t, of course, correct the problems sparked by the naivety of the Enlightenment thinkers simply by insisting that their view of reality was perfectly correct. And, whether they realize it or not, this is exactly what Dawkins and his fans are doing.

Right! Because nobody alive today has had a new idea or learned from past mistakes. Again, this intolerance of the idea that humans by nature are good and industrious as a group is disgusting. It denies all that is good in the world except that which is borne of religion. This is patently untrue and even this forked tongue apologist will admit that many atheists are good and that human nature is good but it doesn’t stop him from spouting just the opposite to make claim to righteousness and moral high  ground.

I, for one, think there are very good reasons to dismiss materialism as false. But, if it is true, it is a catastrophic truth–a bearer of meaninglessness and death. Those who speak as if it were, in some unspecified way, a glorious triumph have simply ignored the facts.

Here he speaks as if he ‘KNOWS’ that there is meaning to life and that there is more than death at the end of each human life. There is no evidence offered to support the claim and he further claims that the ‘facts’ do not support materialism. The trouble is that the facts do support materialist views. Non-materialist views have no credible evidence to support believing there is more to live than what materialism has to offer in that respect. This is presupposition pretending to be rationality. Pure bunk.

Evolution Evidence Breakthrough

I know that you know that I know that I’m not an evolutionary biologist but I just found this and it’s amazing.

Instructions

First prepare to play the video.

Turn up the volume.

Press play as you stand to get a coffee from the kitchen.

Next, Sam Harris will explain in evolutionary terms why babies look like they do. (no peeking, just listen)

 

Evidence That A God Exists …

There has been a lot of banter about evidence between theists and atheists and I’m sure agnostics got into the fray as well. It is a troubling issue. We can all agree that France exists, that belief that France exists is a true belief and that there is plenty of evidence to support this. Oddly, when it comes to deities the same evidence we use for the existence of France is not acceptable or somehow not valid to the discussion.

There might be a lot of reasons for this: Evidence for god is not as visceral as a pile of god crap to examine; gods are meant to be ‘not of this world’ and so on. If we’re to get to the bottom of all this there must be a better way to evaluate evidence for and against. I’m not saying that the way courts do so is wrong but it doesn’t seem to work where belief is involved so we need to examine what it means to have evidence and what it might mean in real terms.

In the case of the existence of gods who is the defendant? I will argue that the defendant is the groups who say, to the persons claiming that gods exists, that there is no credible evidence for such a claim. In this picture we can easily see that evidence is not necessarily always about proof. This works in the theists favor, or could.

Problematically, the design of the scales example does not require absolute or objective evidence and this is where much of the argument happens. Theists do not have absolute evidence while non-theists tend to use only what is the best knowledge available which includes all the physical evidence available to theists.

The Premise – there is more than one

When the theist asks what evidence a non-theist needs to believe it is assumed that both absolute and subjective evidence will work. When the non-theist asks for evidence, subjective evidence will not work. Over time theists have offered a great many arguments as evidence and these have been rejected for as many reasons if not more. This dichotomy of understanding drives the question in different directions and I’d like to examine the question as asked by the theist: what evidence is necessary to prove the existence of a god.

I’ve seen several attempts to example what kind of evidence would prove the existence of a god to an atheist, yet theists are never happy with that answer. Here I want to try to make the answer palatable, even if they can’t provide the evidence.

To provide ‘proof’ or evidence we can see from the picture that it need only outweigh the counter evidence. Seems simple enough but it is complicated by the sheer number of arguments made in favor of the existence of a god and the counter arguments against it. This is not a simple action of dealing with one claim that has one argument such as I believe Shelly has an Aston Martin. For this we would simply go to Shelly’s house and take a ride in the Aston Martin, argument over.

For the existence of a non-physical being to be proven the evidence will have to outweigh all the argument against such a claim. At no time in recorded history has such ever been achieved. As an example lets look at Answers in Genesis’ claim that the Earth is less than 10000 years old. The profession of geology argues against this. We can assess the success of AiG’s arguments and evidence in a simple but truly effective manner: How many PhD geologists convert to young earth creationism every year? I don’t mean how many believe in YEC, but how many convert to it? If ALL geologists converted to YEC on viewing the evidence then we can be reasonably sure that the evidence is compelling. This is not happening because AiG would not keep such news a secret for more than a couple of microseconds. The evidence for YEC does NOT outweigh the counter evidence.

With that example set, I will say that evidence for the existence of a god would have to counter all arguments against the existence of a god. Not just one counter argument or even some counter arguments but ALL of them.

The reason for this seemingly unbearable burden is simple, if there is truth to the claim that a god or gods exist then that truth will disprove all counter arguments. If you think you have evidence or an argument for the existence of a god it will need to be able to disprove all counter arguments. That is the level of evidence required.

Before you bother me with arguments you should spend a little time on the Internet to find out what those counter arguments are. If you don’t I will continue to cut your arguments into pieces and hand them back to you. Remember, your evidence has to disprove ALL counter arguments to be objective truth. A feeling you have is not evidence.

So there is the bar, the ‘thing’ that I would call evidence for the existence of a god. Good luck with that…

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