Monthly ArchiveMarch 2012
In the comments on this post a Christian explains his evidence for God:
1. A conscious experience of the Holy Spirit guiding my life
A. evident by providential events in my life that have moved me forward
2. Witnessing miracles
A. I have seen several unexplainable acts of God.
3. Answered prayers
B. I talk to God as a friend, and He answers my prayers
-not answered in the sense of giving me what I want, but answered in the sense of giving me what I need and telling me the truth in situations.
4. Years of righteous men who if it weren’t for them, you wouldn’t have America and freedom and the ability to post your opposition for the world to see.
If thats not enough, then I don’t know what to tell ya. You believe in quarks, atoms, black holes, yet you do not believe in that which is in your own heart.
This seems like such an odd collection. Let’s examine them one at a time.
The first one is amusing. If someone really had “the Holy Spirit guiding my life”, meaning an all-knowing, all-powerful being guiding his life, wouldn’t you expect his life to be perfect and awesome? Wouldn’t you expect him to be able to say something so full of beauty and wisdom that the rest of us are left speechless? Wouldn’t you expect that beauty and wisdom to be flowing from his mouth and his pen constantly? Wouldn’t you expect him to know something, anything, that the rest of us do not know?
The second one claims witnessed miracles. Strangely, none of these miracles are ever recorded by a camera.
Answered prayers, really? Again it is strange that none of these answered prayers are ever recorded. And none of them ever work out when statistically analysed. And poor people starving around the world get left out when they pray. And God never answers the prayers of amputees to restore their lost limbs. All of that doesn’t matter. Matt believes God is “giving me what I need and telling me the truth in situations.”
Here is another response from the comments:
1. Subjective. Universally available and equally confirmative of any view–Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Flying Spaghetti Monster, atheist, belief that Paula Abdul loves me, etc.
2. Um… examples? Bear in mind that “I can’t explain it” doesn’t imply “it can’t be explained.” You might want to read David Hume on Miracles and Anatole France’s little essay entitled “Miracle.”
3. Um.. Does God talk back (presumably to tell you the truth)? In whose voice does God talk back to you? Does it sound suspiciously like your own, or maybe like Morgan Freeman’s?
4. Righteous men do not imply anything about God. Righteous men prove that men can be righteous, by which we mean good, not righteous in the religious sense.
There is actual evidence, physical evidence, for quarks and black holes. Atoms have actually been observed with electron microscopes. My heart pumps blood; it doesn’t think. I think you mean to say that I don’t trust my temporal lobes and anterior cingulate cortex, but I do trust those–and understand them to be part of my biology instead of an indication of supernatural powers.
It is a strange, strange world Christians live in, devoid of evidence, rationality, even sense. We can only hope that one day they may be cured of these delusions.
A Christian explains where Christians get their morals from, and proves that Christians are evil in the process
In this post there is an interesting comment discussion about morals. A Christian explains the source of his morality in this way:
Notice this post starts with moral authorities determine our morals. Well I do agree to a point, Jesus Christ. No Jesus didn’t put out a list, he taught principles about stealing, honesty, murder, loving, etc, etc and that is where moral principles are derived from. Many you practice are those taught by Christ.
Example: Buying a paper online and turning it into your your professor as your own work is a lie and would be wrong.
This brings up an obvious set of questions:
Where does jesus say slavery is wrong?
Where does jesus say rape is wrong?
Where does jesus say racism is wrong?
Where does jesus say sexism is wrong?
Where does jesus say contraception is wrong?
Where does jesus say homosexuality is wrong?
Where does jesus say polygamy is wrong?
Where does jesus say that drunk driving is wrong?
Where does jesus say that prostitution is wrong?
Where does jesus say that destroying another person’s property is wrong? Doesnt jesus destroy a fig tree? Doesnt jesus kill a herd of pigs?
It should bring up another set of questions as well. If Jesus is the source of morals for Christians, why do so many Christians ignore many of the things that Jesus directly tells them to do? The following video explores this issue. It is entitled: “Why does every intelligent Christian disobey Jesus?”
What becomes evident is that Christians are devoid of morals, and therefore they can be quite dangerous. Christians claim to have a divine source for their morality. Yet their divine source is completely silent on many issues. Their divine source is unquestionably evil on many other issues (e.g. slavery, misogyny). And then when Christians do not like what their divine source declares, they completely ignore what they are told to do.
What should we do with this large group of delusional, immoral, dangerous people running around in our society?
There is a comment that appeared today that is worth repeating because it contains the truth. It has been cleaned up here for wider consumption:
I always, always get tickled when people (theists) try to assert that no one can be an actual moral authority.
– Doctors are medical authorities.
– Aircraft engineers are aviation authorities.
– Historians are history authorities.
– Lawyers are law authorities.
– Economists are economics authorities
– Nutritionists are nutrition authorities.
– Scientists are science authorities (in their fields).
And… wait for it…
– Moral philosophers are… moral authorities.
Religion has declared it to be arrogant and blasphemous to assert that anyone is a moral authority except God, who never speaks and thus, de facto, the clergy become the moral authorities despite that lack of credentials 40yA was talking about.
On theology island, you don’t actually need to think about moral questions, then, to become a moral authority, you only have to read these Bronze Age books and the exegesis laid on top of them by centuries of agendist, mostly ignorant imbeciles.
It goes deeper than that, however. There are many moral questions that require nothing more than common sense to analyze. To understand this point, consider this analogy: every human being is an expert in the effects of gravity. We all have the common sense to know, through experience, that jumping off of a 10th story balcony will result in death. If a human being falls 100 feet to earth, we are all experts in the result. It does not require a college degree to appreciate the effects of gravity.
This article explains how every human being can understand that murder is evil in just the same way:
No college degree in moral philosophy is required to understand that murder is evil.
In contrast, imagine the idiocy that goes into declaring the God of the Bible to be a source of morality. This is a being who, according to his own supposedly self-authored book, thinks slavery is good, who killed nearly every living thing in a flood (and then lied about said flood, because it never happened), who believes that animal and human sacrifices are important, who prescribes the death penalty for homosexuals and who believes that eternal torture is a valid idea.
The God of the Bible is a disgusting, appalling amalgamation of the most evil things ever imagined. And this is the being that theists choose to be their model for morality? Theists would have to be completely delusional to do that:
It is impossible to imagine this happening in a modern superpower country, but it really is happening:
A proposed law in Arizona could give employers the right to fire women who use birth control. The bill, which sailed right through the state’s Senate Judiciary Committee, grants employers the right to ask for proof that contraceptives are being taken for non-contraceptive reasons… Not only would the bill grant employers the right to pry into a woman’s (and only a woman’s) medical history, it would give them opportunity to fire women for simply having a sex life.
Imagine the regressive, delusional, insane mindset that would propose a law like this. Only religious delusion could create this level of insanity. You expect this kind of behavior in tribal villages, not in modern, technological countries.
“What has happened, that we are fighting again for reproductive rights?” wonders Rosie O’Donnell, filling-in for Piers Morgan. “And how did guys, get to be the ones to solely discuss it?” responds Angelica Huston. “It’s absolutely astonishing to me, it’s the Dark Ages.”
An excellent related thread on Reddit:
“Why extremists always focus on women remains a mystery to me. But they all seem to. It doesn‘t matter what country they’re in or what religion they claim. They all want to control women.” Hillary Clinton
It is time to end religion and create treatment programs for the delusional.
This article would be hilarious if it were written by The Onion. But it is not – this level of racism and homophobia is normal reality in the world of religion:
The reason for the call is a passage in the Book of Mormon that is offense of people of color:
The Book of Mormon in 2nd Nephi, Chapters 5:21-23 accuses God of cursing African people and causing them to have black skin in order for them not to be attractive to white people. These verses also accuse God of causing the black African people to be disgusting and detestable to white people. Furthermore, these verses accuse God of being against inter-racial marriages between blacks and whites.
But what about the person making the call? It turns out he is black (hence his problem with the Book of Mormon), but sees no problem whatsoever with the homophobia found in his Christian Bible:
It was not surprising that Rev. O’Neal Dozier, the spiritual leader at the WorldWide Christian Center in Pompano Beach, Fla., endorsed Rick Santorum in the Florida primary campaign earlier this year. Dozier and Santorum are both rabid anti-gay activists who have made offensive statements about gay people that are so nutty that they would be funny if they weren’t so hateful.
Santorum famously compared consensual gay relations with “man on dog sex,” and Dozier once said that homosexuality was “something so nasty and disgusting that it makes God want to vomit.”
Only religion could make people this hateful, and so blind to their hatred. How can Romney proclaim that he believes in a story as insane as the Mormon story? How can any Christian believe in the insanity of Christian mythology? This video helps explain the problem:
A very interesting analysis of religion’s retrograde effects in Texas:
A U.S. Senator demonstrates his religious insanity:
How did the United States become so backward?
In this God Squad article, which was published in hundreds of newspapers in the United States, you can see an apparently intelligent theist twisting and turning to try to explain his imaginary God:
The author (Rabbi Marc Gellman) is trying to explain why a supposedly perfect, loving, omniscient God would create a world filled with so much suffering, terror, disease and heartache. The author’s answer is:
Our complicity in evil is the result of a God-given gift of free will, which is both good and also necessary for moral responsibility. If God stopped all evil, we’d have no incentive to do good. These are obvious truths and I still remain perplexed why so many people find the problem of evil so recondite.
When challenged on this point, the author elaborates:
If God constantly intervened in history, we human beings would quickly get the message that there was no need for us to exercise our courage and wisdom to help reduce evil in the world. We’d become passive observers of the moral fate of humanity, rather than active participants in its improvement. Obviously this is why we’re granted free will by a good and powerful God.
This is the place where every theist looks completely ridiculous, for three reasons.
First, there is this statement: “If God constantly intervened in history…” By making this statement, the theist automatically eliminates the possibility of answered prayers and any other interaction by God with the material universe. An answered prayer is an intervention by God. Therefore, if you believe that God gives humans free will, then you must also believe that God never interacts with the known universe. Of course if God never interacts with the known universe, that is the same as being irrelevant.
“Now wait one minute!” says the theist. “The fact that God never interacts with the universe (which I do not believe – God does answer prayers!) does not mean that God is irrelevant! God also created the infinite bliss of heaven and the eternal torment of hell!” The problem with heaven is that it runs straight into this statement by Gellman: “If God stopped all evil, we’d have no incentive to do good.” Wait, isn’t heaven supposed to be a place devoid of evil? If God can create one place devoid of evil, why didn’t he create earth that way too?
The third problem is that most theists also believe in God’s plan. They pull out Bible verses like these:
Jeremiah 29:11: “I know what I have planned for you,” says the Lord. “I have good plans for you. I don’t plan to hurt you. I plan to give you hope and a good future.”
Even the God Squad, just a few months ago, wrote this:
It is hard to let someone go whom you love dearly. But death is part of God’s plan, and the time of death is totally in God’s hands.
What? How can we have free will if God has a plan for us and totally controls things like time of death? This of course is an absolutely ridiculous position. Not to mention the fact that, once again, prayers of intercession would be pointless.
The only way for an intelligent person to be a theist is to completely disengage his or her brain and, in the process, look both ridiculous and stupid. So why do theists do it? How do they do it?
This is a very interesting little chart:
In the comments, it would be fun to see if theists and atheists could agree to the rules in this chart and then have a discussion about God.
Christianity Thomas on 01 Mar 2012
In the last post we discussed Richard Dawkins’s agnosticism. The first comment on the post calls Dawkins’s position intellectually honest. But is it honesty or waffling? Consider these three points:
First there is this comment about Santa:
I know with certainty that Santa does not exiat. Why? Because there are claims about Santa that are provably untrue.
Same for God. There are many claims about God that are provably untrue. Many other claims are contradictory, meaning impossible. If Richard Dawkins cannot see something that obvious he is not thinking clearly.
Dawkins says that “reason alone could not propel one to total conviction that anything definitely does not exist.” But that is not true. We know with certainty that the Santa described in popular culture – a man living at the North Pole, manufacturing toys and distributing them world wide via flying reindeer, etc. – does not exist. Reason alone does in fact propel one to total conviction that Santa definitely does not exist. A flight over the North Pole confirms it. A survey of the toys received by poor children on Christmas morning confirms it. There are many ways to understand that Santa is imaginary.
Second there is the problem of infinity. If it is true that “reason alone could not propel one to total conviction that anything definitely does not exist,” then one must entertain the possibility of existence of anything anyone dreams up. A murderer walks into court and claims that a perfect doppelganger of him beamed down from an alien spaceship committed the crime and he is therefore innocent. Must we now entertain this proposition? Of course not. Lacking any evidence, we dismiss the imaginary aliens. The rule is: if you have no evidence, we do not have to consider your fairies.
Third, the fact that we entertain and provide harborage for any belief in God, even though God is clearly imaginary, means we have to put up with insane people spouting off about this imaginary being at every turn. Rick Santorum and Rick Perry are cases in point, and there are millions more like them. Think of all the suffering experienced by slaves, women, “witches”, people of different faiths, gays, etc. because we allow the belief in an imaginary God to fester.
Dawkins is not being intellectually honest. Santa is certainly imaginary. God is certainly imaginary. We should state this clearly, and treat those who believe in imaginary beings accordingly.