Feed on Posts or Comments 01 September 2014

Category ArchiveJudaism



Christianity &Islam &Judaism Thomas on 23 Aug 2012

The insanity of religion – Billy Graham talks about prayer

In this article Billy Graham talks about God hearing our prayers. Billy says:

The reason we know God hears our prayers and uses them to accomplish his purposes is because he has promised it — and God cannot lie. The Bible says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And … we know that we have what we asked of him” (1 John 5:14-15).

God cannot lie? This is easy for God, because he is someone who never, ever speaks. The only place where God might be construed to speak is through the Bible. The Bible is quite clear that God not only hears prayers but also promises to answer them. Just read the Bible. In Matthew 7:7 Jesus says:

Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

In Matthew 17:20 Jesus says:

For truly, I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.

In Matthew 21:21:

I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.

There are many, many verses like these. “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer,” is about as clear and direct as you can get. What could be clearer than that?

And then we look at amputees. They can pray all day, in every possible way. They can have their friends pray. They can arrange for giant prayer circles. They can try laying on of hands. Nothing. Ever. Happens. Amputated legs never spontaneously regenerate through prayer.

Billy Graham, what do you make of this? Your God is lying.

If you are an intelligent person you can see what is happening. This article will help clarify your understanding: Why is the question “Why won’t God heal amputees?” so important?

Note that in his article Billy has to hedge. He has to do this because there are many, many prayers that God fails to answer even though he promises to in the Bible. Here is Billy’s hedge:

Does this mean God always answers our prayers the way we wish he would? We see only part of the picture; God sees the whole, and he knows what is best for us (and for others). Sometimes this is hard for us to accept.

So… sometimes God has to let 10 million kids starve, or 200,000 people die in a tsunami. Oh well!

Understand the truth – God is imaginary. Start your exploration here: GodIsImaginary.com

Christianity &Islam &Judaism Thomas on 18 Aug 2012

Understanding the logical breakdown that occurs in the minds of theists – Rabbi Mark Gelman and “40 Year Atheist” provide examples

How can theists believe in something as ridiculous as the God of the Bible? Theists look at the world around them, see no evidence whatsoever for their deity, yet still believe in their imaginary friend. How do they do it?

One technique that is critical to their delusion is the strange ability to hold two completely contradictory positions simultaneously. In the previous post, Rabbi Mark Gelman of The God Squad demonstrated this ability in disturbing fashion. At the beginning of his article he says:

Together these statements explain that God wanted and therefore created a regular, rational, ordered universe. God wanted this so that we could use the brains God gave us to solve problems. If God was in the habit of capriciously and miraculously intervening in nature, then we’d have every reason to just give up seeking to understand anything.

This is a simple statement of reality. Gelman explains that the reason God does not heal amputees is because God cannot be “capriciously and miraculously intervening in nature”. Indeed, this logic prevents God (if he were to exist) from performing any miracles at all. This is how the universe operates – completely devoid of any interaction by any imagined God – and no intelligent person can deny it.

But then, later in his article, a logical impossibility occurs. Gelman proclaims the completely opposite position:

I believe that God has also done miracles for us in the world. The spontaneous remission of cancers, the sudden flashes of genius in science and art and philosophy, and the way people who’ve hardened their hearts suddenly find a soft spot where forgiveness and compassion can enter — all these miracles and more are, for me, evidence that God is with us and cares for us and can, unprovoked, act on our behalf.

An intelligent person looks at this reversal with utter bewilderment. How can Gelman think anyone will take him seriously? By proclaiming two diametrically opposed positions in the same article, Gelman appears to be insane.

In that same post there is a comment by a visitor named “40 Year Atheist” that contains the same sort of insanity. In this comment, 40YA defines God in this way:

a non-material being, one that would exist necessarily outside space-time and mass-energy, a being whose non-material characteristics we cannot even imagine, much less measure using devices that do not apply in any way, being designed to measure material things.

According to 40YA’s logic, God is “a non-material being, one that would exist necessarily outside space-time and mass-energy, a being whose non-material characteristics we cannot even imagine”. Furthermore, this immaterial being is impossible for humans to detect here in our material universe.

Then we read the Bible. God supposedly does a thousand material, detectable things in the Bible: God creates man and woman, walks with them in Eden, bans them, talks to their decedents, completely floods the planet, creates rainbows, destroys towers, talks through burning bushes, brings down plagues, kills babies, dries out the Red Sea, rains manna, carves on stone tablets with his finger, parades naked before Moses, pours fire down to earthAnd then God incarnates himself – God, supposedly, becomes man. What could possibly be more material than that?

So either 40YA has to completely ignore a thousand material elements in the Bible that act as the foundation for his Christian mythology, or 40YA is inventing a completely new God of his own design out of thin air. Either path is pure delusion.

In both of these examples – Rabbi Gelman and “40 Year Atheist” – the lack of logic and the strength of the delusion is palpable. It makes it impossible for any intelligent person to take them seriously.

Christianity &Islam &Judaism Thomas on 12 Aug 2012

Rabbi Mark Gelman of The God Squad tries to explain why God won’t heal amputees, demonstrates the insanity of religion instead

This week, in his widely syndicated newspaper column, Rabbi Mark Gelman of The God Squad attempted to explain why God won’t heal amputees. In his answer he displayed to every intelligent person the insanity that religion imposes on people’s thinking. Here is Gelman’s answer:

GOD SQUAD: Miracles happen, but don’t sit and wait for them

That title is misleading, because at the beginning of the article Gelman is forced by reality to state that miracles do NOT happen:

Together these statements explain that God wanted and therefore created a regular, rational, ordered universe. God wanted this so that we could use the brains God gave us to solve problems. If God was in the habit of capriciously and miraculously intervening in nature, then we’d have every reason to just give up seeking to understand anything.

So there it is. The reality we see before us is a “regular, rational, ordered universe” where there are no miracles. This is the only position that an intelligent person can take.

He then takes the intellectually honest next step and states:

The problem for religious folk like me/us is the existence of biblical miracles that seem to violate the laws of nature.

What are we to do with these? He states the obvious and only answer:

Our religious options are all challenging. The first is to take a naturalistic view of the biblical miracles. Theologian Martin Buber wrote, “Miracles are merely natural events viewed by extremely enthusiastic observers.” The problem with this approach is that it basically makes all the biblical miracles false, and this is highly problematic to those who believe every word of the Bible is true.

It does not matter if it is “problematic” – the reality is that “all the biblical miracles false”, meaning that the Bible is a big book of fairy tales, including the fairy tale of Jesus and his miracles. The entire Jesus story is a fairy tale. Every rational, intelligent person sees that.

He then takes it a step further:

The second approach to miracles is to swallow them whole and simply choose to believe that they are all true and happened exactly as described in the Bible. The problem with this view is that it just makes no sense to believe that an animal with no larynx can talk, that the laws of gravity did not apply at the Red Sea, or that the laws of celestial motion did not apply when Joshua stopped the sun at the battle of Jericho.

The choice between rational thought and religious belief does not work out well in the long run for religious belief. It fosters the false idea that only dumb people are religious.

Here he states reality in its clearest possible form, but mis-categorizes it. It is not a false belief. The fact is: “only dumb people are religious”. Only dumb people would believe that “the laws of gravity did not apply at the Red Sea”.

But then Gelman’s own logic collapses in his mind because he wants to believe in nonsense. He sides with the dumb people:

I believe that God has also done miracles for us in the world. The spontaneous remission of cancers, the sudden flashes of genius in science and art and philosophy, and the way people who’ve hardened their hearts suddenly find a soft spot where forgiveness and compassion can enter — all these miracles and more are, for me, evidence that God is with us and cares for us and can, unprovoked, act on our behalf.

So wait Rabbi Gelman, didn’t you say at the beginning of your article that God created “regular, rational, ordered universe” – free from miracles – in order to explain the fact that God does not heal amputees? And now you are saying that God does perform miracles? Rabbi Gelman, this makes you a irrational, illogical, delusional person.

Rabbi Gelman, the intelligent, rational people of the world ask you to reconsider. You are so close. The fact is that we live in a “regular, rational, ordered universe”. The fact is that there are no miracles. The fact is that “all the biblical miracles are false”. The reason for these truths is that your God is imaginary. The reason why God won’t heal amputees, and the reason why we see no miracles ever, is because there is no God. As soon as you understand and accept that, Rabbi Gelman, you will be healed from your delusion.

Christianity &Islam &Judaism Thomas on 05 Aug 2012

How theists attempt to rationalize their nonsense

Here is another Christian minister trying to rationalize the atrocities that occur on earth and happen, supposedly, during the reign of an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving God. In this case the minister is Timothy Keller from Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York:

My Faith: The danger of asking God ‘Why me?’

Danger? What could possibly be wrong with asking a sensible question?

The conclusion of the article is comical:

“If God actually explained all the reasons why he allows things to happen as they do, it would be too much for our finite brains.

What we truly need is what little children need. They can’t understand most of what their parents allow and disallow for them. They need to know their parents love them and can be trusted. We need to know the same thing about God.”

It’s the “infinite wisdom” rationalization. God is too huge and awesome for pipsqueak humans to understand. Never mind that Christians claim to understand God all the time, for example by demanding that homosexuals be discriminated against or even stoned to death, or that foreskins need to be cut off baby’s penises, etc. Christians claim knowledge of all sorts of God’s thoughts, but strangely, the explanation for the atrocities and horrors that we see every day are just too complicated.

The second part is especially amusing: “They need to know their parents love them and can be trusted.” How can anyone love and trust a “God” who allows hundreds of thousands of people to die in a tsunami, or dozens of people to get shot innocently in a movie theater? What parent would allow your siblings to die while the parents looked on laughing.

How can Christian leaders spew such idiocy with a straight face? How can Christian followers accept it? How can the followers hear such nonsense without turning on their brains and laughing out loud?

This page can help you understand what is really going on:

Why do bad things happen to good people?

Christianity &Islam &Judaism Thomas on 24 Jul 2012

The insanity of religion, Batman shooting version

This article is notable because so many Christians agree with it

A miracle inside the Aurora shooting: one victim’s story

For any intelligent person, the most amazing part of the article is this section:

It seems as if the bullet traveled through Petra’s brain without hitting any significant brain areas. The doctor explains that Petra’s brain has had from birth a small “defect” in it. It is a tiny channel of fluid running through her skull, like a tiny vein through marble, or a small hole in an oak board, winding from front to rear.  Only a CAT scan would catch it, and Petra would have never noticed it.

But in Petra’s case, the shotgun buck shot, maybe even the size used for deer hunting, enters her brain from the exact point of this defect. Like a marble through a small tube, the defect channels the bullet from Petra’s nose through her brain. It turns slightly several times, and comes to rest at the rear of her brain. And in the process, the bullet misses all the vital areas of the brain. In many ways, it almost misses the brain itself.  Like a giant BB though a straw created in Petra’s brain before she was born, it follows the route of the defect. It is channeled in the least harmful way. A millimeter in any direction and the channel is missed.  The brain is destroyed. Evil wins a round.

As he shares, the doctor seems taken aback. It is an odd thing to have a surgeon show a bit of wonder. Professionally, these guys own the universe, it seems, and take everything in stride. He is obviously gifted as a surgeon, and is kind in his manner. “It couldn’t have gone better. If it were my daughter,” he says quietly, glancing around to see if any of his colleagues might be watching him, “I’d be ecstatic. I’d be dancing a jig.” He smiles. I can’t keep my smile back, or the tears of joy. In Christianity we call it prevenient grace: God working ahead of time for a particular event in the future. It’s just like the God I follow to plan the route of a bullet through a brain long before Batman ever rises. Twenty-two years before.

“In Christianity we call it prevenient grace: God working ahead of time for a particular event in the future.” How does an intelligent person even begin to respond to such nonsense? If there were a God, an intelligent person would note the fact that this god’s “grace” left 12 people dead and dozens injured in this tragedy. To say that a god saved this one women while killing all the others wanders straight into the realm of insanity. Yet millions of Christians somehow agree with it. How is that possible?

Christianity &Islam &Judaism Thomas on 20 Jul 2012

The insanity of religion, God’s Plan version

This is a clear case of religious insanity:

George Zimmerman: “I’m Truly Sorry” But It Was “God’s Plan” For Trayvon Martin To Die

In an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, George Zimmerman discussed fatally shooting an unarmed 17-year-old in a controversial Florida confrontation earlier this year. Zimmerman said he didn’t regret what led to Trayvon Martin’s death.

“I feel like it was all God’s plan, and for me to second-guess it or to judge it,” he said.” However, at the end of the interview, he said he didn’t understand Hannity’s question. “I do wish that there was something, anything that I could have done that wouldn’t have put me in the position where I had to take his life.”

Zimmerman also had a message for Martin’s parents: “I’m sorry… I am sorry that they buried their child. I can’t imagine what it must feel like. And I pray for them daily.”

Millions of people talk about “God’s Plan” for any number of reasons. It is obvious that God is imaginary, but for millions of people there is a delusional belief that God is real. For these people: How would anyone know what God’s Plan is? It is when this question is asked that the insanity of religion is laid bare.

Christianity &Islam &Judaism Thomas on 18 Jul 2012

The insanity of religion, HPV version

Imagine that science has discovered a common virus that is known to cause cancer. Now imagine that science has created a vaccine that prevents people from contracting the virus. If you have kids, would you give your children the vaccine? Of course you would. Children get vaccines for many viruses like mumps, measles, polio, etc. as an effective way of protecting them against disease.

But if you are religious, and if the disease is Cervical cancer, and the preventitive step is the HPV vaccination, then all bets are off, as demonstrated by this article:

Girls denied cervical cancer vaccine

in this case, Christian parents are intentionally denying their children protection against a common form of cancer because of their religious delusion. The delusion is so advanced that it has impaired the ability of parents to protect their own children. That is a powerful delusion.

Christianity &Islam &Judaism Thomas on 09 Jul 2012

A commenter named CASTBOUND asks “Why become an atheist?”

In this thread we find a comment from CASTBOUND that he asked this week:

I see no point to the blog or the derision. Why are atheists so interested in converting theists to atheists? All the energy and time put in here must be to convert theists. But why would I want to convert to atheism? My life is very happy, I am well educated and I enjoy God’s creation. If I am wrong how would my belief hurt my future or my prosperity?

Alex seems quite despondent and I certainly want no part of that.

So to sum it up, if atheists just lack belief, why would I want to participate? How would that benefit me?

“Why are atheists so interested in converting theists to atheists?” he asks. By replacing a few words, we can begin to understand the answer. For example:

“Why are non-racists so interested in converting racists to non-racists?”

What’s in it for the non-racist, trying to convert all these racists? CASTBOUND further asks, “if atheists just lack belief, why would I want to participate? How would that benefit me?” It might not directly benefit a racist to convert to a non-racist. But the world becomes a much, much better place if we can eliminate all of the racists by converting them to non-racists. Once racists become non-racists, they understand that better. As racists go through the process of learning about and then eliminating their racism, they see the problems with racism and the advantages of a racism-free world.

The same might be said of sexists: “Why are non-sexists so interested in converting sexists to non-sexists?” The world becomes a much, much better place if we can eliminate all the sexist people by converting them to non-sexists. This post shows how ridiculously sexist Muslims can be. This chapter demonstrates the sexism in Christianity.

The same might be said of homophobes. The world becomes a much, much better place if we can eliminate all the homophobes.

So back to CASTBOUND’s question: “Why are atheists so interested in converting theists to atheists?” It’s because, as a general rule, members of the Christian faith, the Mormon faith and the Muslim faith have a strong tendency to be racist, sexist and homophobic. They are this way because their faith predisposes them to turn off their rational minds and trust what they read in their sacred books. These sacred books openly advocate things like racism, sexism and homophobia, along with many other obviously evil mindsets.

If we can educate Christians, Mormons and Muslims to the point where they abandon their faiths, the rationality they gain in the process of that abandonment is likely to cause them to abandon irrational, unethical, evil mindsets like racism, sexism and homophobia in the process. Our world becomes a much better place.

This is one line of reasoning as to why CASTBOUND and other theists should give up their “faith”. There are many other lines of reasoning as well. Perhaps some of these other lines will be presented in the comments.

If you are a Christian, a Mormon or a Muslim who would like to begin the process of abandoning your delusional faith, this video can help:

Christianity &Islam &Judaism Thomas on 01 Jun 2012

A child is poisoned by Christian doctrine

Child’s ‘Ain’t No Homos Gonna Make It To Heaven’ Church Performance Goes Viral

The congregation in the church, which has been identified as the Apostolic Truth Tabernacle Church in Greensburg, Ind., gives a standing ovation after the child sings, “I know the Bible’s right, somebody’s wrong…ain’t no homos gonna make it to heaven.”

Imagine the mind of a Christian. Whenever looking at a human being of the LGBT persuasion, the thought running through the mind is, “an all-powerful god is going to torture that LGBT person in hell forever!” How does such poisonous, violent nonsense affect the worldview, outlook and relationships of a Christian? How does it help society in any way?

Christianity &Islam &Judaism Thomas on 31 May 2012

Theists Vote Republican

With ‘God on their side,’ Romney and Republicans may very well prevail

For nearly three decades Christian Evangelicals have tended to be reliably Republican. (Today, 70 percent of white evangelical Protestants support the GOP.) But now Mormons, Jews, and Catholics are getting on board with the party in increasing numbers. If the GOP is able to consolidate the support of the major religions in the US, Romney and other Republican candidates stand to win big at the polling booth in 2012 and well beyond.

How do Christians stomach the strong disagreement between Republican ideals and Jesus’s teachings?

Christianity &Islam &Judaism &Science Thomas on 21 May 2012

Understanding how scientific theories develop

This graphic gives a nice pictorial illustration of how evidence turns into a scientific theory:

Scientific theories

The more evidence scientists gather, the closer we get to the truth.

One thing the graphic does not discuss is predictions. A scientific theory frequently allows scientists to make predictions about the world and then confirm those predictions.

What evidence is there that God exists? What predictions can we make about God?

Christianity &Islam &Judaism Thomas on 07 May 2012

Ministers becoming atheists

From Minister To Atheist: A Story Of Losing Faith

MacBain, 44, was raised a conservative Southern Baptist. Her dad was a pastor and she felt the call of God when she was 6. She had questions, of course, about conflicts in the Bible, for example, or the role of women. She says she sometimes felt she was serving a taskmaster of a God, whose standards she never quite met.

For years, MacBain set her concerns aside. But when she became a United Methodist pastor nine years ago, she started asking sharper questions. She thought they’d make her faith stronger.

“In reality,” she says, “as I worked through them, I found that religion had so many holes in it, that I just progressed through stages where I couldn’t believe it.”

The questions haunted her: Is Jesus the only way to God? Would a loving God torment people for eternity? Is there any evidence of God at all? And one day, she crossed a line.

Anyone – even a minister – who gives God and religion serious, rational thought can see that it is a sham. There really is nothing there. The equation is: “I can believe in a God who is silent, invisible and a real bastard if he exists. He stands by and lets millions of people starve to death, die in natural disasters and succumb to diseases every day. Or I can eliminate this ridiculous concept from my thinking. When I eliminate it, the world actually makes a lot more sense.”

Christianity &Islam &Judaism &Rationals Thomas on 30 Apr 2012

New Study Shows that Thinking Helps Eliminate Religion

A New Study Shows that Thinking Helps Eliminate Religion. Here is a description of the study:

Religion and Reason – Analytic thinking decreases religious belief.

Your answer to the following riddle can predict whether you are a believer in religion or a disbeliever:

Q: If a baseball and bat cost $110, and the bat costs $100 more than the ball, how much does the ball cost?

A: If you answered $10 you are inclined to believe in religion. If you answered $5 you are inclined to disbelieve.

Why? Because, according to new research reported in tomorrow’s issue of the journal Science, the $10 answer indicates that you are an intuitive thinker, and the $5 answer indicates that you solve problems analytically, rather than following your gut instinct.

Why?

Cognitive theory of decision making supports the hypothesis that there are two independent processes involved in decision making. The first process is based on gut instinct, and this process is shared by other animals. The second cognitive process is an evolutionarily recent development, exclusive to humans, which utilizes logical reasoning to make decisions. Their study of 179 Canadian undergraduate students showed that people who tend to solve problems more analytically also tended to be religious disbelievers. This was demonstrated by giving the students a series of questions like the one above and then scoring them on the basis of whether they used intuition or analytic logic to reach the answers. Afterward, the researchers surveyed the students on whether or not they held religious beliefs. The results showed that the intuitive thinkers were much more likely to believe in religion.

So how do we help to eliminate religion? We get more people to think more analytically. The last sentence in this paragraph is key:

Three other interventions to boost analytic thinking had the same effect on increasing religious disbelief. This included asking subjects to arrange a collection of words into a meaningful sequence. If the words used for the subconscious prime related to analytic thinking, such as “think, reason, analyze, ponder, rational,” rather than control words “hammer, shoes, jump, retrace, brown,” subjects scored higher on tests of analytic thinking given immediately afterward, and they were also much more likely to be disbelievers in religion. This demonstrates that increasing critical thinking also increases religious disbelief.

When a religious person increases his or her critical thinking skills, it would help in many other parts of life.

Christianity &Islam &Judaism Thomas on 21 Apr 2012

This level of delusion seems impossible

Reading this post, the level of delusion seems impossible:

My neighbor gave my 8-year-old toy dinosaurs…

I am a little shocked. She says she is a Christian, but the Bible doesn’t say anything about dinosaurs. Should I let him keep them, as long as he understands that dinosaurs aren’t real? Even the PBS shows that he watches talk about dinosaurs and evolution, and how the scientists found these “bones” but the Bible doesn’t say that God ever created them, and the earth is only 6,000 years old, not old enough to have “bones” that they say are MILLIONS of years old! I know that Satan tries to trick us in many ways, and this is one way that he tries to fool man into believing that there isn’t a God who created the universe. How can they be bones when they are made out of ROCKS? I told my son that dinosaurs are one of Satan’s many ways of tricking man, and he must talk to God before he plays with them. Am I handling this right? My first 3 were all girls, and I adopted boys, and lots of mothers tell me that boys are often attracted to these dinosaurs. So I don’t know what to do. Is this just harmless fantasy play for him, or should I be worried that he may go on to believe in things like evolution?

How can an adult living in a modern nation like the United States be this delusional? The post must be a prank. Then you learn about this:

The Creation Museum

The state-of-the-art 70,000 square foot museum brings the pages of the Bible to life, casting its characters and animals in dynamic form and placing them in familiar settings. Adam and Eve live in the Garden of Eden. Children play and dinosaurs roam near Eden’s Rivers. The serpent coils cunningly in the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Majestic murals, great masterpieces brimming with pulsating colors and details, provide a backdrop for many of the settings.

The museum is an attempt to disprove the theory of evolution:

Christianity &Islam &Judaism &Rationals Thomas on 19 Apr 2012

What does the intolerance toward atheists in the United States look like?

What does the intolerance toward atheists in the United States look like? Two examples:

For what it’s worth, I “won.”

lost a dear friend today r/atheism. Intolerance is a bitch…

Pretty appalling, no?

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