Archive for the ‘ Religion ’ Category

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.

At Least They’re Fucking Thinking

There is much yet to be said for the sound of religion dying.  I doubt that anyone expected it to die with a whimper but what exactly is the sound of religious belief in its death throes?

It might actually sound like this summary I found:

What I mean by all the that is this: the intuition I’ve had for a long time, and grows stronger with every atheist I listen to, is that atheists have different goals than everybody else. One might be tempted to say that they seek truth, while believers seek comfort. I suggest this is false. What atheists seek is technical utility: they want information that allows us to predict the movement of stars, build a better mousetrap, solve equations. Their science helps them achieve this. But the actual truth of things may go well beyond this, and may even, at points, contradict this. And it may be that there are more important things than curing polio or building a rocket to Mars, such as morality, purpose, and the sense of the transcendent.

Redefine everything so that your magic belief seems okay. Define atheists as no better than yourself – atheism is a religion. Here we see a claim that wanting to know the truth is simply a utilitarian thing, not important for real questions. Then there is the thought put forward that maybe there is more to life than this, maybe there is stuff that contradicts utilitarian science and because the atheist doesn’t embrace the possibility they are lost or worse, wilfully stupid.

Well, for the theists who think this way there is some bad news. There is also a possibility that they worship the satan they fear so much. A possibility that we live in a simulation, a possibility that the god they choose is the wrong one… there are many possibilities and without evidence (pesky science) there is no way to know if any of them are true. They assume they know which one is true but HOW do they know? Damn, there is that science thing again, but they don’t like science. They would much rather play roulette with their guesses than to know the truth.

 

The good news is that at least more of them are starting to think about the problems that their religious belief poses. It’s a good sign.

 

 

Compassion Is …

Recognizing a life in pain and in the same moment working to alleviate that pain.

Miriam-Webster says: sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it

 

See how that works? You do it right then. There is no hesitation. If there is hesitation or delay, it’s just pity that you feel.

 

Am I wrong?

How To Make The Baby Jesus Cry

How do you make the baby Jesus cry?

 

Answer:

You don’t. If you don’t worship him he is filled with utter contempt for you and has created a special place to torture you for eternity. He knew you wouldn’t worship him so he planned ahead and made hell.

 

It has been said that the true judge of character is not how a person treats their friends, rather it is how they treat their enemies. Just saying…

Let’s Do This

CARM has questions

It looks like research and that leads to education, so I’m in… I don’t have any thought provoking introduction. Education is always the answer, well, it is if the question is not ‘does that saber tooth tiger’s tonsils look inflamed to you?’

ED: It turns out that the questions were not as interesting as I had first thought them to be. Several seemed rather silly.

 

  1. How would you define atheism?
    The lack of belief in gods or the supernatural
  2. Do you act according to what you believe (there is no God) in or what you don’t believe in (lack belief in God)?
    There is no god to believe in so there is no reason to act with reference to that, god’s don’t enter into how I live just like the easter bunny and tooth fairy.
  3. Do you think it is inconsistent for someone who “lacks belief” in God to work against God’s existence by attempting to show that God doesn’t exist
    No, acting against harmful and dangerous ideas is not inconsistent with lack of belief in gods.
  4. How sure are you that your atheism properly represents reality?
    As sure as the evidence will allow me to be. As sure as the lack of a god’s presence warrants. Where I am infinitely more certain that there are no gods than I am certain it’s possible for a god to exist.
  5. How sure are you that your atheism is correct?
    As certain as the facts will allow one to be. There has never been credible evidence for the existence of a god. Atheism is the right position in light of that lack of evidence.
  6. How would you define what truth is?
    That which is not shown to be false and which has high probability of being true. That said, true has several meanings. People want to give the value ‘truth’ metaphysical meaning but there is no such thing. Newtonian physics was truth until it wasn’t. It still is truth but not for all situations.
  7. Why do you believe your atheism is a justifiable position to hold?
    Because there has never been credible evidence for the existence of any god.
  8. Are you a materialist or a physicalist or what?
    materialism
    As a theory, materialism is a form of physicalism and belongs to the class of monist ontology. As such, it is different from ontological theories based on dualism or pluralism. For singular explanations of the phenomenal reality, materialism would be in contrast to idealism, neutral monism and spiritualism.

    Monism is the philosophical view that a variety of existing things can be explained in terms of a single reality or substance
    I am a monist, atheist, anti-theist, existential nihilist, mechanical atheist and so on

  9. Do you affirm or deny that atheism is a worldview?  Why or why not?
    Atheism is not a world view. It is a single point view – relating only to the existence of gods and the supernatural
  10. Not all atheists are antagonistic to Christianity but for those of you who are, why the antagonism?
    Christianity and Abrahamic monotheism is caustic to society, it is dangerous and deluded. It seeks to harm those that will not submit and assimilate.
  11. If you were at one time a believer in the Christian God, what caused you to deny his existence?
    The utter lack of evidence, starting with the way that believers act, then onto the ridiculousness of the bible and doctrine, then to how it is claimed that god intercedes – strictly through nature. Starting in Genesis we have a string of stories that are without evidence and completely unbelievable on the face of them.
  12. Do you believe the world would be better off without religion?
    Yes, see number 10
  13. Do you believe the world would be better off without Christianity?
    Yes, see numbers 10 and 12
  14. Do you believe that faith in a God or gods is a mental disorder?
    I may not be qualified to diagnose a mental disorder, but if mental disorders are the temporary or permanent incapacity to think critically and interact in nominal ways with society without causing harm, then yes, it is a mental disorder.
  15. Must God be known through the scientific method?
    If a thing cannot be known via the scientific method, it cannot be known. Otherwise Christians would have to admit that Vishnu is real, the FSM exists, and so on. Christians would not accept on faith alone the existence of other non corporal beings.
  16. If you answered yes to the previous question, then how do you avoid a category mistake by requiring material evidence for an immaterial God?
    If the god can interact and intercede in the physical world it can be physically verified. This is not a category mistake. If a god cannot interact with the physical world why pray to it?
  17. Do we have any purpose as human beings?
    Yes: eat, breathe, drink, procreate, sleep, repeat … any order you prefer
  18. If we do have purpose, can you as an atheist please explain how that purpose is determined?
    This purpose is found in all living things. It is minimal for survival of a species.
  19. Where does morality come from?
    Morality is always subjective, it comes from our own intuition and experience.
  20. Are there moral absolutes?
    Absolutely not.
  21. If there are moral absolutes, could you list a few of them?
    See number 20.
  22. Do you believe there is such a thing as evil?  If so, what is it?
    A really good plot point. The ‘evil’ would be an absolute… evil does not exist.
  23. If you believe that the God of the Old Testament is morally bad, by what standard do you judge that he is bad?
    The same standard by which I judge everything: my own internal ethics… just as you and all believers do.
  24. What would it take for you to believe in God?
    I have a couple of posts on that. Consider what it would take for you to believe that Zeus and Thor are real? That might work for me in the case of your god.
  25. What would constitute sufficient evidence for God’s existence?
    If the evidence were to convert all non-believers and all other religion believers unequivocally — that should do it.
  26. Must this evidence be rationally based, archaeological, testable in a lab, etc., or what?
    No, YHWH can come on down to the mall on Friday night and start his campaign there. If it’s not enough to convert Muslims on the spot I’m probably not going to buy it.
  27. Do you think that a society that is run by Christians or atheists would be safer?  Why?
    Safer for who? The answer is that theists by definition will curtail the liberties of others. It is not the safer options.
  28. Do you believe in free will?  (free will being the ability to make choices without coersion).
    Yes. I’ve written quite a bit about it
  29. If you believe in free will, do you see any problem with defending the idea that the physical brain, which is limited and subject to the neuro-chemical laws of the brain, can still produce free will choices?
    I have no problem defending the brain being the source of mind and free will.
  30. If you affirm evolution and that the universe will continue to expand forever, then do you think it is probable that given enough time, brains would evolve to the point of exceeding mere physical limitations and become free of the physical and temporal and thereby become “deity” and not be restricted by space and time?  If not, why not?
    No, see number 29. Universe expansion does not mean brains will expand. There are limits to how much brain matter the body can support. There is no dieties… brains are not going to become deities.
  31. If you answered the previous question in the affirmative, then aren’t you saying that it is probable that some sort of God exists?
    I did not, and no it is not probable that some sort of god exists.

 

Does Transubstantiation Work?

Apparently not

Tip number 7 (at the link above) for gluten free communion wafers:

7. Once more: contamination is the number one concern. For me, ingesting a product with gluten in it is the same a ingesting something with poison in it. Many others suffer similarly.

So, there it is. It’s bread before it gets to the church. It’s bread when they hand it to you. It’s still bread when you eat it. Not even the glory of god almighty can neutralize the dangers of gluten.

 

I Don’t Know What Love Is …

In the last few days I’ve found myself thinking about or talking about love several times. One comment made should be a post.

For all I’ve done and seen and experienced, I do not know how to reconcile my thoughts against what the world professes as the meaning of love. If you asked 100 people you will probably get 114 answers. To me, love is the stuff that happens when you’re keeping a commitment to another person.

 

 

The commitment does not have to be marriage and the other person does not have to be your lover or spouse. Certainly you can make such commitments without love so it is not the commitment that is love, but I think it might be described as the ransom and tribute given to the other party as promissory note or collateral. It is not this act or that act as many people describe ‘true love’ is to me the act of giving deeply personal collateral for the loan of honesty from another being. In this way, I think the description also applies to dogs. How the repayment is arranged depends on the other particulars of the relationship… it’s not something that a person can only do with one other being. I don’t know what love is but I understand the collateral and commitment to repayment involved to create it.

Gods that do not reveal themselves cannot make a commitment and they cannot love us.

The supposed ‘almighty creator god’ cannot even do what a dog can do.

 

Does this make sense? What does love mean to you?

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