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Monthly ArchiveAugust 2012



Christianity &Islam &Judaism Thomas on 28 Aug 2012

The insanity of religion – Hurricane Theology

This article from CNN introduces the idea of “Hurricane Theology” at this week’s Republican convention. The idea is that something devastating like a hurricane is a punishment sent by God into the lives of those in the path of the storm. CNN cites this incident involving Pat Roberson as an example of Hurricane Theology:

Pat Robertson, the evangelical Christian who once suggested God was punishing Americans with Hurricane Katrina, says a “pact to the devil” brought on the devastating earthquake in Haiti.

So imagine that there is a large, well-publicized Gay Pride parade and some natural disaster occurs nearby. It might be a tornado, hurricane, earthquake, etc. Theists go nuts declaring that God sent the disaster as his retribution against gay activities.

If a Christian church gets blown down in a windstorm and the church has done anything seen as controversial, then that is God’s retribution as well.

If there is nothing obvious, then theists will often go out of their way to find something that God needs to destroy.

Imagine living your life in constant fear like this. At any moment, an angry, vengeful God can smite anyplace he chooses with a huge natural disaster.

Who would want to worship such a being? Who would want to have anything to do with such a being? Why pray to a monster who kills people and destroys property so wantonly and so capriciously?

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 Thomas on 07 Aug 2012

God reaches down and heals Olympic triathlete – ignores 10 million starving children and lets them die

Imagine the unbelievable arrogance it takes to make a statement like this one by Hunter Kemper:

U.S. triathlete says God healed him of injury

Kemper sustained an injury to his arm that required surgery, with a plate and 13 screws inserted into his elbow. Two months later he developed a staph infection. He began to think that his chances for a 2012 Olympic appearance were over.

But Kemper says God healed him from the injury and enabled him to compete in the Olympic trials, where he earned a spot on the Olympic team for the fourth time. He will compete in the triathlon event on Tuesday (Aug. 7) — one of only two athletes to participate all four times since the sport became an Olympic event in 2000.

“What a journey I’ve been on the past six months,” Kemper said. “For me to overcome that, and feel like I have God every step of the way with me, it’s been real eye-opening.”

According to Kemper, God reached down and healed him. If that it true, then God watched 10 million children die of starvation and cholera last year and did nothing. God oversaw millions of miscarriages. God let cancer kill millions more.

Why would anyone want to be associated with a God who is such a capricious monster?

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?