The Higher Standard

I’ve been reading a lot lately where believers don’t want to be held to account for religion’s past crimes just as atheist’s don’t want to be held to account for the crimes of non-theist governments. For some reason these things are seen as the same thing despite the explanation of motivation behind the violence and oppression.

From now on I will try to keep the standards more even.

  • When you say you believe in Jesus I will ask if you believe he was a prophet, a real man, or a man god? I will ask you to show me why you think he could do miracles or raise himself from the dead. I will also ask you this: if any part of the Jesus story is shown to be false, how can anyone believe that any part of it is true?
  • If you say you believe in the Christian Bible I will ask you which parts. I will ask for a literal list of all the parts  you believe and the parts that you do not and why you choose not to believe some of them. Be prepared, there will be a discussion.
  • If you say you believe all of it I’m going to ask you to explain the hundreds of discrepancies, one by one, all of them. Again, there will be a discussion.
  • In fact, there’s going to be a discussion about your position no matter what the finer points are. I can explain my position in detail and I expect that you will be able to do so with your own position.
  • If you quote me any of the failed logical arguments such as the KCA or Pascal’s wager I’m going ask you to explain why none of the many refutations of the argument convince you.

I won’t ask you to defend the crusades, let’s call that old fashioned christianity. I won’t ask you to defend the inquisition or any of the demonstrably violent actions of the church or christendom in general. I will ask you to explain your belief, no way around it.

If you want to tell me about your god, bring a lunch, it’s going to be a long conversation. Sure, we’ll get around to what you ‘feel’ in the metaphorical late afternoon so if you want to spend any time talking about that bring dinner for both of us.

  1. I don’t see you having any discussions my friend. Sad 😦

    • Yeah, they are usually short… LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

      • Just tonight a blogger laughed at an atheist quoting the bible to him… sigh
        slap slap slap… damn this fish got warm

  2. I do not think the individual should be held responsible for the actions of a past ancestor. However, a doctrine, a religion, can be held responsible. This would be especially so if that belief system could again be used, or if that belief system is capable of creating conditions where even more heinous acts can be pursued.

    • You are absolutely right drenn. You’ve got it in spades today. However, the theist wants to avoid that bit where their religion is culpable so I will simply separate the theist and his religion another way as it does not matter where the awful falls once the two have parted ways.

  3. You’re not playing the game the theist wants to play.

    • Have you considered that this is not a game? Why I know of one female christian warrior that is waging war for my soul. She might as well be having sit in protests at the bus stop for my invisible pink unicorn but she won’t listen to me. She’s deadly serious.

      • Blogland or real-world?

        • It was just a general statement (ref another of my posts) about blogland and religions in general. Although, a sit in at the bus stop would be comical

  4. I expected an interesting post, but instead of treating this subject and providing an interesting text, you just give some arguments why you are against religion and you don’t explain your views on why christians should be or shouldn’t be held accountable for crimes by christian gouvernments. I think that you can’t judge a whole group based on acts of individuals or gouvernments who support what the group adheres, but it’s a shame that you didn’t discuss that.

    • The point of the post is that no one need go so far as blame christian governments for atrocities, nor blame the christian religion for atrocities. Lets just go straight at beliefs rather than argue over religion’s part in world violence. You seem to have misread my text.

      • Yes, I think I misread it. The problem with a belief is that you can’t prove that God exists or doesn’t exist, so it’s hard to convince people. Even if you know all laws of physics you are limited to human experience, you don’t have the experience of what everything is like. I don’t know what experience for a bat is like, this is an argument of a philosopher, Skinner, and his philosophical theory is suitable to prove that you can’t prove Gods non-existence neither his existence. That’s why I ‘m agnostic. 😉

        • Agnosticism is all good and well if you’re trying to avoid the discussion. You believe that invisible red fire breathing dragons do not exist but you won’t go so far as to say that gods don’t. Don’t get any splinters sitting on that fence.

          • Well, since fire breathing dragons are an invention of men, the concept of fire breathing dragons does exist. Furthermore there exist other dimensions and we don’t know if our conscience has any influence on them. Probably not, but you can’t exclude the posibility.

            • Okay, putting it bluntly: Do you believe that invisible red fire breathing dragons exist?

              If you say yes, I want evidence.
              If you say that its possible – I will claim that it is also possible that tiny elves are living in your arse hole, you should get a mirror and look for them. It’s possible. There’s only one way to prove it’s not true.

              If you are like me, you would say they don’t exist because there is no evidence to suggest that they might. There is no reason to suppose that something has a possibility of existence without some evidence to suggest it is true. Without the evidence you are enjoying what we call ‘make believe’ which is a favorite pastime for those under the age of 6.

              All knowledge of humanity is an invention of humans. All our knowledge is based on experience and thoughtful experiment based on that knowledge. We humans, even the clever ones, are not able to consider something which is completely outside of our collective experience. It is possible that things do exist outside of it but when we discover them they will then be inside our collective experience.

              I don’t have to exclude the possibility of something. We shouldn’t include the possibility of something if there is no evidence for it. The way you include any and everything that is possible is useless. As we experiment and look for further knowledge we can only follow the clues of evidence. For example: there is currently no known research in search of 7 dimensional beings from Neptune.

              That goes for gods too. Without evidence there is no reason to include it as a possibility.

              • I think that it depends on how you interpret God. A creator which has a certain influence could be possible, maybe it decides what happens when coincidence happens. I don’t believe in the christian version of God.

                • Well, there you go again. Define god for us. Your definition is one of about 5 billion, which is even more reason to not even consider the possibility of its existence.

                  • Again like I said before, you are limited to human experience, thus every possible concept or discovery which you do is pointless because it only counts within our experience, which is just an experience, not a reality. You never know or will find out what is true, maybe God exists, maybe he doesn’t, it doesn’t even matter which definition you use, every kind of God is possible outside of our human experience because we don’t know what is outside of our experience and everything can exist outside of it. Your claim that you can internalize something outside of our experience inside of it sounds strange, because it isn’t something outside of our experience anymore in that case.

                    • Given the backpedalling you just did, why should anyone even consider the possibility of a god? Just like elves living in your arse, there is no reason to take a god seriously. There is no evidence for it. It’s a ludicrous idea without support. There is no reason to even consider it as possible, Just as we do not consider 7 dimensional beings from Neptune as possible.

                    • Can you read? I just said that God is outside of human experience, we can’t know anything about it so we can’t know anything about God. Outside of human experience everything is possible, because we don’t know what’s possible outside of it, maybe there are invisible elves in my arse, it’s ridiculous of course and not worth believing, but it’s possible. Period.

                    • That’s where I was going. For you the possibility of a god existing is equal to the possibility that you have elves living in your arse…. nuff said.

                    • No, we don’t know because we don’t know the chance of something existing outside of our human experience. This means that you can’t say anything about God and also claiming that it’s unlikely that he exists is a useless statement. Both religious people and atheists are making quite naive claims when they make claims about God.

                    • So, basically you’re saying that logic and reason are not how you want to evaluate the world around you. You would rather think all things are possible, so the guy running around trying to get everyone to stop taking vaccines because they cause arse elves is all okay with you, right?

                      It’s possible, so we should stop getting children vaccinated. right?

                    • No, I don’t say that everything is possible within the world which we live in. Let me try to explain it in a simple way.

                      You think right? And you see your computer screen now, right? That means that you have a conscious. That is your human perspective though. If you have a pet cat, he or she will not see the same, you don’t even know what he or she sees, maybe he or she doesn’t even exist but it’s just an illusion if you think that that cat really exists. You can’t proof that everyone around you has a conscious too. People don’t think about that possibility though because it makes you lonely.

                      Now the second step: If you have empathy, you are feeling and you know what other people feel. If they have a conscious they can do the same thing, but IF they have, they don’t experience the same as you. Animals have an even more different experience. You can’t know what a cat experiences, that’s why we think that cats are funny. Everything what goes further like objects and the universe aren’t even comprehensible. We can’t understand what they are like or what’s behind them so it’s pointless to think about them. We don’t know what’s possible in them because when we discover things about the universe we factually just know what that thing in the human experience is like what we interpret as the universe, we don’t even know if it is the real universe.

                      Do you get my point?

                      Your efforts, just like the efforts of religious people are pointless.

                    • No, actually, I don’t get your point. What is it? If you are trying to say that we can’t know anything then it is not my efforts which are pointless, it is yours. I’m reasonably certain that you believe you are communicating with me. Rabbit. I’m certain that you wouldn’t make up stuff and stick that word in the middle of a serious conversation. So you must be communicating with someone that is not you. Therefore, using that as an example, we can conclude that there is something outside of our consciousness. It is reasonable to say that if there is something, then all that is in shared experience is actually out there. It does not take two humans… my dog and I share the experience of the existence of a chew toy. We both behave as though it exists, it fits into the laws of physics, and elicits interactions from both me and the dog. It is real.

                      In this way we know that a thing exists. If I was the only being who could see or interact with the chew toy, we cannot conclude that it exists. This is the problem with the existence of a god and humorless philosophers.

                      You’re about to pull the ‘absence of evidence is not evidence of absence’ routine but it does not apply. Unless there is reason to believe that something might exist, there is no reason to think it possible. That’s called make believe.

                      The agnostic position that make believe is valid is simply wrong. With all the certainty that I have that there are no tiny elves living in my arse, I conclude there is no god for there is no evidence to even think a god possible. Just as very few people think Thor exists, I do not have reason to think any other god exists.

                      To stubbornly insist that we cannot know is nothing more than saying you don’t want to speak the obvious. If I throw a coffee cup at you from across the room, you can’t know that it is real or that it will cause damage to your temple area. Just the same you will jump out of the way, feeling absolute certainty that I was trying to harm you.

                      We can know things and you simply refuse to admit it. I suspect this is because if you did get off the fence you’d have to say there is no god and the implications of that are too much for your consciousness to deal with.

                    • No, they don’t have anything with implications for my consciousness to deal with. It has to do with the following quote from you which I will make:

                      I’m certain that you wouldn’t make up stuff and stick that word in the middle of a serious conversation. So you must be communicating with someone that is not you. Therefore, using that as an example, we can conclude that there is something outside of our consciousness.

                      You don’t understand my point. You assume that if you had no conscious you couldn’t do such a thing, because that would be subconsciously done by me. This is solipsism and I wasn’t even necessarily talking about that, it’s also possible that everyone around us is just an organism without a conscious but who barely look like having a conscious because of our individual experience and knowledge. I can never be sure that you have a conscious because of my restriction to individual experience.

                      Furthermore I don’t say that God exists because: you can’t proof absence thus it exists. No, I say: you can’t proof absence and you don’t know what is possible within it, so you can’t say anything about it.

                      Maybe we just think the same but we express it in a different way.

                    • There is a subtle but important difference in what we’re saying. The agnostic proposition is that we can’t know so cannot make a claim.

                      I say that we can know things, and it is reasonable that in the absence of any credible reason to believe a things exists, we can conclude that it does not.

                      Many years ago, it turns out that demons did not cause food poisoning – bacteria did. In such a case there is evidence to believe something is at work. Same with the Higgs Boson. The god theory doesn’t have that going for it. All evidence offered up so far has panned out to be explained by other phenomena or just outright myth.

                      Without a reason to believe something is possible it is reasonable to conclude that it does not exist. As with all discovery, if evidence is found it becomes a different matter.

                      To conclude that it is possible such that we cannot conclude it does not exist is to say that infinite things exist but we can’t experience them. If we can’t experience them in some real way, they do not exist.

                      Yeah, I know I’m not at the north pole right now but it still exists in and as part of the collective human experience. Even light from stars that are 30 billion light years away are part of our experience. Do we know what is beyond the visible universe? No, but we have evidence that leads us to hypothesize what might be there.

                      The god theory doesn’t have that. In fact all the evidence for a god has been shown to be false, mistaken, or myth. There is no credible evidence for the existence of supernatural anything so there is no reason to suppose that a god exists.

                      Your position is that its perfectly okay to suppose things exist because you cannot prove they don’t and you don’t give any weight to evidence in this. If you did, you’d have to admit that the evidence generally points to gods being man made myths. In the absence of credible supporting evidence, evidence to the contrary tips the scales.

                      To remain agnostic requires deliberately ignoring the evidence to the contrary. That’s the real difference.

                    • Your position is that its perfectly okay to suppose things exist because you cannot prove they don’t and you don’t give any weight to evidence in this. <====
                      My position is that even if you would internalize things from outside human experience, you would get a distortion and you will never know what is outside of it.

                      Without a reason to believe something is possible it is reasonable to conclude that it does not exist. As with all discovery, if evidence is found it becomes a different matter. <===
                      Again the Ockham's Razor theory, though these kinds of thoughts are narrowing. Excluding something because it doesn't belong in logic means a better way to deal with things and better possibilities to structure the world around you, but it is just a certain mindset which is the mindset in the western world. You can watch videos in which shamans in Mongolia are healing people, that doesn't mean that their rituals are really working but that it needs to be investigated, a lot of scientists won't do that though because they dismiss it as nonsense in advance. That is because a lot of people have made these kinds of subjects ridiculous with ridiculous claims, but I don't believe that it's all ridiculous and it's best to not talk about things which I have experienced because I didn't experience them according to materialists.

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