Posts Tagged ‘ Hitch ’

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

The never ending discussion on the compatibility between science and religion asks if they can get along and coexist. The argument, no matter how it is stated, comes down to this: Science has facts, religion has faith. As long as religion has faith it will remain incompatible with both science and reality. Believers might argue that their faith is compatible with science yet they will not allow for someone else’s faith being compatible with their own. When believers can’t even get their ‘faith’ coherent but decide to disagree with the best method we have of knowing the world around us then it is completely incompatible with science.

A religion that is not incompatible with science would be one that requires no faith. Would that be a religion?

Can’t we all just get along?

NO, we can’t as long as you are unwilling to be a full participant in reality.

Before anyone thinks I’m calling all believers stupid, just stop. This is a reaction to the discussion of compatibility and not simply your particular point of view. That said, if you want to feel offended, that is your prerogative, just don’t expect an apology.

 

 

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God Is Not Good!

I’m not going to bore you with my own personal account today, but there are a few pointers from some other guys.

I don’t think that Mr Hitchens needs an introduction. I poured two fingers of Johnny Walker Black Label just to prepare myself to review this blog before posting. Cheers Chris!

 

 

This is a scene from the Movie “God on Trial” apparently. I’m going to have watch it. I’ll update if I can find it on Netflix etc. Awesome scene!

 

 

God is not good. Certainly not the one described in the Christian Bible, nor the Qur’an, nor the Torah. That god is a vile thing conjured from the minds of racist, violent, bigoted, sexist assholes. It was not bad enough that the Jews thought this a useful thing to do. No. The Muslims and Christians had to follow suit and claim that their stories were better so it’s all okay. All of it makes me sick. If such a god exists I would spend my days figuring out how to kill it.

The god of monotheism is NOT  good.

There endeth the lesson for today kiddies.

Not Again

It’s happening again. I get home from work and there simply is so much to do that it’s midnight before I feel like I’m making any progress. I’ve got three replies that I need to send out, bills to check on line, dogs to walk…

They say the days are getting shorter. I think they are always too short. I really like the work that I do, but I’ve got a crap load of it to do with no end in sight. Looks like tomorrow will be another energy drink day. Sigh
Recently I’ve found a spate of new atheist bloggers. That makes me feel good inside. Of course there is no end to the number of religious apologists. Not many of them seem to have studied up on what they face in their non-believing counterparts. For them I have the following video. The 1:49 mark is where these uninformed apologist bloggers need to pay heed.

 

 

Those same apologists should learn a bit about science and the scientific method, so I give you this:

 

 

DAMN! I mean DAMN!!!!

I don’t think Feynman was ever not entertaining. To see what I mean, check out these videos

If you don’t already know Feynman, sit back and get acquainted with him. If you are a believer, sit back, press play and LEARN!

It doesn’t hurt, I promise.

My World View – Agnosticism

I had set about to write a ‘what is agnosticism’ post several times. It turns out that it wasn’t as easy as I had at first thought. Insert some saying about getting on a horse here. I’ll have to leave equestrianism for another post 🙂

Agnostics can be militant or not, vociferous or not. In many ways they are like atheists. The label does not define them in any way but one – they generally do not believe in the existence of gods (see no evidence for them) but cannot be certain that gods do not exist so will not claim that they do not. Most people with any vestment in this discussion will already have formed an idea of how they feel about such a position. I’m not going to discuss their opinion, or even the opinion of agnostics.

Meditating with my cousins

I remember well the transition from evangelical believer to agnostic to atheist to anti-theist. It was not a weekend fling. It took a lot of work to figure out that I was agnostic when in fact I finally told myself that I was. I can’t remember exactly when it was but I do remember that it was out of frustration. I was in search of answers since I was a very young boy. Finding none in my parents church I sought them in other churches. They didn’t have answers either. I travelled the world, well, I travelled some of it. More of it than most American born folk. I looked for answers everywhere I travelled, and found none. Oddly enough, one of the few places that I went where I did go that did not raise more questions was the zoo. I visited zoos all over the world. Never once did I find a question there that I could not also find an answer. There, the magic of the number 5 was all around me. There I found the meaning of life: eat, drink, fornicate, sleep, wake … repeat. It is what all these wonderful animals and I had in common. The real meaning of life, if there must be one, must be a meaning shared by all of life; the best of us and the least of us. I know that I spent a lot of time watching primates. The looked to me like cousins, however it was the apes that made me think. I watched them and I could spot the policeman, the troublemakers, the miscreant teens, the caring, the democrats, the republicans, the libertarians. I could see in them all manner of human behavior. At least I then thought it was only human behaviors. I did not understand evolution as I do now.

This made me think. How can God not care for them? Why are humans special? Why is there no heaven for them? Where do they go after death? Why doesn’t my God care the same about these wonderful creatures? There were, of course, no answers in the brochure with the map of the zoo. These thoughts troubled me. They troubled me more than anything else ever had. I could find no answers and as far as I knew I was the only one for thousands of miles that felt as I did, if there even was another thinking like me. I have always known what it feels like to be, or at least feel, alone. I thought quite some time about it and finally decided that I just don’t know. There are no answers that sound right so I just don’t know and can’t know. I can’t know what happens to animals when they die. It was not long before I had a discussion with myself and we concluded that it is unreasonable to assume that we can know that a god like that exists. For quite a few years I was content with the fact that I can’t know. It was not until many years later that I would understand this to be agnosticism.

So What Exactly Happened Next? (C’mon, finish the story)

I was agnostic for many years. I searched in all the usual ‘spiritual’ haunts for signs of supernatural evidence of any kind. For that I can only say that Harry Houdini and Penn and Teller are kind influences on the world that I then inhabited. It was at this point that I started learning the importance of thinking critically about the world around me. Reason and rationality became part of my world. I know the sequence well. After these changes it was then that I started becoming an atheist. Not because I hated god or anything as silly as some apologists will tell you. It was simply because I had looked everywhere and could find nothing but reasons to not believe, nothing but lack of evidence, nothing but evidence that gods are not necessary to life. I remained agnostic, yet fearful that a god might exist, though I did not know if it was the god of Abraham or some other god… it still seemed possible.

I don’t remember the day exactly, only that I was thinking to myself that it was frustrating that yet another ‘spiritual’ story turned out to be complete scam. I was frustrated. This god was supposed to be omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient. Why is it that I can’t find him? Why is he hiding? It was in this funk that I sat up like a shot, looked around carefully, thought to myself nervously…. and said a prayer: God, if you exist, show me. Give me a sign, throw me a bone, something, anything… and I waited. Weeks, maybe months later I hesitantly repeated this prayer. Still nothing. I began to become distraught by this result.

Months later yet my distress turned to anger. Again sitting by myself I repeated my experiment but spoke the words out loud as if this would help him hear me and know I meant it. I didn’t even see a pair of paper clips posed in a cross formation. I looked. There were no signs. I did not know what to do. Eventually I firmly called out in prayer ‘show yourself. I don’t care if it kills me. Show yourself, this teasing is not working for me’ and waited. Still nothing. This was repeated until it became a threat for god to kill me if he could. Just show up and obliterate me with laser beams from his eyes or something. Still no sign. I teased back… ‘guess you don’t care, not about me… show yourself… coward!’ I did not know it, but I had become an atheist. I had lost all fear and respect for gods. They have no power, no presence, they are nothing. The god of Abraham, like Thor, was a myth.

Still, I was alone. Always alone. I did not know anyone that thought even a little bit like me. I had never thought of finding others. I never thought of needing others. I was simply content that I had the answer I had looked for. The meaning of life was already clear. I learned it from my cousins. If there is a true meaning of life, it is true for them. If they can enjoy it I too can enjoy it. I was content. I needed no more explanations, no more excuses. Life made sense to me.

So what happened to make you so angry?

That’s fairly easy. After 9/11 the activity and zest of Christianity popped up and started making claims and pushing for this and that… it felt wrong. My cousins would not do this. Why are these people doing this. Their god does not exist, surely they have a clue? Some time later I heard about these four horsemen fellows. I studied and listened. It was amazing to find that there are other people who think like I do. I was stunned. I literally did not know what to think of it all.

The more I read, the more I studied, the more certain that I became that religion poisons everything. That these angry fellows were right, but more pointedly many of them did not go far enough. It is not enough to say that the god of Abraham does not exist, that there is no credible evidence for such a being to exist but that there is no credible reason to believe that such supernatural beings even can exist. Since that moment science seems to have accelerated. Perhaps I’m just reading more and more on the Internet, I don’t know. The evidence I needed for the answers I sought is becoming available at an ever increasing pace. Religion offers me no answers. Science brings me more answers every day. The god of Abraham is the kind of horrendous manifestation of mankind’s imagination that truly sets us apart from animals. An animal will kill another but never make up a story to justify it. In this, yes, we are different from the animals.

I don’t agree with all atheists. I don’t agree with all non-believers… I am me. I got here on my own. I speak for me and no other and no other speaks for me.

If you wish to present to me apologetics I ask that you start with the evidence for believing that a supernatural being of any kind can exist. What evidence even shows that such beings are possible. Show me that, then we can talk about the rest.

Big Splash, Not Big Bang!

Yes, I want to talk briefly about the water drop theory of existence… again. I’ve talked about it before but I was viewing some Hitchens videos recently and in a debate with Frank Turek, Christopher gets infinitely close to using my idea but doesn’t quite get there. At the 1:06:00 mark is a good place to start listening.

Christopher talks about how few words we have to even describe the beginning of existence as we know it. This is important to remember. He goes on to say that no one can know what the big bang happened inside of.

“Don’t say being, what ground do you have to say being ” or creater…

He goes on to argue who has the burden of proof with some efficacy, ‘how do you know’ being the catchphrase that pays here.

I’m not claiming that I have proof of the big splash, but it is one possible way to create this known universe without a creator. If there is one then there are many. Complete accident. Completely unimportant to the reality from which our universe came. No gods, no design, no purpose… nothing but simple existence.

Check out from 1:06:00 but the whole debate is good

In case you are wondering, my big splash theory goes something like this:

The Water Drop Hypothesis

Disclaimer: I am not a physicist, professional scientist, or think tank member etc.

Edwin Hubble‘s work led to the realization that the universe is expanding rather than holding still in a steady state as much of religion had believed up to that time.There is quite a bit of chatter about what the shape of the universe is. The “global shape” of the universe and what effects dark energy and dark matter actually have are unclear. They are given as explanations for observations of the universe. Then you get string theory involved. Explaining string theory to an ape is like trying to tell a tropical fish that air is not nothing or emptiness. Yes, I know the meme, if you think you know string theory then you don’t know string theory.

The current statement of my Water Drop Hypothesis is this: While we can imagine an ocean of quanta vibrating to create the four dimensions of the only universe we know, we cannot quite imagine what might be outside that ocean (the only universe we know). If a drop of quanta were to be separated from the larger “ocean” it previously belonged to, and the perturbations of it’s shape causes fluctuations in the material of the drop so that we can see the 4 dimensions we believe we see today, I think several things might be possible;

  • Time is the effect of dilution of the coherence of the vibrations. The faster you move through space (the more energetic the coherent wave is), the less time you experience.
  • The point of separation of the drop from the ocean may have caused a strong reaction in the energy field(s), which in turn created the disturbances within the center of the drop to form the 3 dimensions of space.
  • As the drop expands the ‘space’ of our universe expands while the properties of dilution of energetic coherent waves remains the same… the speed of light then appears to slow down.

There should be lots of math and use of scientific data for this, which I have not done. It’s an idea that occurs to me rather than an explanation for the data observed. It’s an idea that makes human apes even more inconsequential than any previous idea to my knowledge. Our entire universe is but a drop of quanta briefly separated from a puddle or ocean of it in a much larger existence. Clearly I have no scientific case to say that this is even close to possible but it is just as plausible and more useful than the Kalam Cosmological Argument. I’m willing to accept new data, new information and change my hypothesis. Once you say ‘my god did it’ you are done. Revising your ideas after that is to admit defeat.

If you know exactly why this hypothesis cannot be true please let me know in the comments. It will save me time searching.

 

1 + 3 = 4 Your Consideration

Every now and then I see some things that seem to add up. Today it was two videos and a blog post. The combinatorial effect is more or less how I feel about things, where things equals anti-theism. By now you should know that I’m not too keen on an ‘atheist community’ because it just doesn’t fit with how I feel about non-belief. I don’t need help to not believe. I’m pretty good doing that all on my own. So lets get to the bits that link up:

Really, who has the staminal to argue with the Hitch? Not many I would think.

Then there is this from Dusty

Go Dusty! There are the reasons that leaving religion behind is important.

Then there is this sort of guest post from Ellery Schempp at the Friendly Atheist

There is NO reason to think that inter-faith efforts do anything but bolster the position of religion. Really, religion has to go. No need to say anything more. Those famous atheists who support working together simply have no clue as to how caustic religion really is. That is sad.

 

Lets not forget JT Eberhards view on why Reason is a Moral Obligation:

Irony: A Proper Epitaph For Christopher Hitchens

There is not greater irony than to die moments before the announcement of a cure or prophylactic is announced for the cause of your death. In view of his dedication to science and fact based medicine it would be rather fitting if this diagnostic technique were to be called the Hitchens Test.

Anyone up for trying to make this happen?

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