True Colors

Ladies and gentlemen, this is where a Christian/Atheist religious discussion goes, when it doesn’t go where an evangelical apologist wants it to go.  Sooner or later they show their true colors.

I love when you write about religion and faith because this is my favorite topic. However, it seems like you only want to engage in discussing the worst ideas that Christians present, rather than actually dealing with the difficult questions. Of course it is true that as an atheist you are capable of making moral choices. And I accept that if evolution were true, you would be capable of caring for others through an evolved empathy. However, what if my evolutionary pathway didn’t cause me to have empathy? What if my evolution led me toward conquering others by any means necessary in order to survive? What if I sincerely believed that killing you and stealing your stuff was a moral choice? If you are a cosmic accident, and I am a cosmic accident, then you have no standing on which to claim that anything at all is good or bad. There is no such thing as good or bad. It doesn’t matter if 7 billion cosmic accidents decide that killing is bad. You could put me in jail and stop me from stealing and killing, but you couldn’t actually call my actions bad. There is no one on earth who could say anything is good or bad if we are all cosmic accidents. You put up a meme that says, “Not wanting to know the truth is what makes you stupid.” I completely agree. So, where do you stand on that? If you really want the truth, then why do you tear down stupid arguments and avoid answering real questions? Thanks!

I tear down stupid arguments, because they are stupid arguments. Like assembling car models or collecting coins, it is a retirement hobby that fills some spare time, and gives me a pleasant feeling of accomplishment. What are some real questions that you feel need answering, and why do you think that it is incumbent upon me to answer them??

I accept a wide array of ‘facts’ and opinions which I believe to be the truth, because I have been presented with what I feel is, sufficiently convincing evidence. It is likely that some of my beliefs are false, because of incomplete or incorrect information, but if someone presents me with new evidence, I am open to changing my mind. What ’Truth’ do you think exists, that I am not accepting? I do not discover truth by telling others what I believe, but by asking my own questions, and listening to others.

You are correct that there is no good or bad, and you are also wrong! Good and bad do not exist as concrete, clearly-defined, unchanging, imposed-from-without, terms. They exist because we – individuals and societies – say they do. Good is what increases my well-being. Bad is what decreases my well-being – and my family’s – and my city’s – and my country’s – and Humanity’s. They are amorphous, constantly changing, constantly being negotiated. They require continuous thought and consideration. We need to be responsible for our own actions and attitudes.

I did not mean to say that you have an obligation to answer any argument. I only wondered why you seem to avoid addressing good Christian arguments, and only pick on the stupid ones. You asked which truth I think exists…and I think you know the answer. God exists and there is plenty of evidence for his existence. I have offered to take the time to show you the evidence, but you did not respond to my offer. I’m glad that you at least admit in this comment that good and bad do not exist in a concrete way, since that is consistent with your worldview. But you said that good is what increases your well-being and that of your family, city, etc. You also said that good and bad exist because we say they do. What if my society decides that what is best is to kill millions of Jews, because our race is superior? Does that make it good? And what if I personally decide that what is best for me and my family is to kill you and take your stuff? What if my city decides that what is best for our city is to take over your city and make you our slaves? Is there anyone in the world who could say that would be morally wrong? In your world, no there isn’t. Would you disagree? And on what basis would you disagree?

I pick on stupid Christian arguments, and ignore good ones for a couple of reasons. One is that I don’t seem to ever find good arguments, just ‘less dumb’ ones. Another is that this blog-site is an outlet for my creativity. It is for education, entertainment and amusement. It is not a Theological debate site, and I am not a theologian or trained debater. I am, however, capable of holding foolish claims and statements up to ridicule. I do it with social, political, legal, logic, and linguistics. If you don’t want to see your ox gored, don’t watch. It’s like news services; they don’t run ’Dog bites man’ stories. They run MAN BITES DOG. So do I.

I have not accepted your kind offer for various reasons also. First, better men than you have tried and failed. Second, you don’t seem to be offering anything new, only a protracted brainwashing program that will eat my time, and benefit only you. It will not lead me to the truth, only an attempt to convince me that what is offered is true. Lastly, if the Christian God exists, the Bible says that He hardens the hearts of many people, making them unable to see the truth. All your hopes and prayers are ineffective against His plan.

Your questions indicate that you still view Good and Bad as concrete entities. What is good for you (and yours) is bad for me. We each need to consider what will produce The Greatest Good For The Greatest Number. The victors get to write the history. That’s what the Holy Inquisition was all about. If only Nazi Germans had survived, strong and prosperous, then killing Jews would have been good – for them – but each city and nation must live with, and get along with, the rest of mankind. I don’t steal, because I do not want anyone to steal from me – or kill, or rape, or enslave, or invade, or destroy – Do Unto Others. What would the world be like if everyone did that??

At the end, you slide into ‘morally wrong.’ I would disagree, because this is an entirely different concept from ‘Good and Bad.’ If God does not exist, then “Morals” do not exist, only the evolutionary empathetic urge to assist and improve the lot of individuals, and Humanity in general, so that our lot will also be improved. Be good, for goodness’ sake.

You said that “we each need to consider what will produce the greatest good for the greatest number.” But if I follow your worldview to its logical conclusion, then it doesn’t matter whether I shoot up a school full of children or bake them all cookies. Those are moral equivalents, because we live a meaningless existence. You atheists want to play pretend that things actually matter, while holding a worldview where things don’t matter. And then you cry when someone shoot (sic) schoolkids (sic). Why be upset just because a cosmic accident decided not to play your game of pretend? Your worldview is completely inconsistent with your actions. I suspect that you know God is there, you just don’t want him to tell you to stop looking at porn. Enjoy it while you can, Archon! Thanks for your response. I won’t bother you anymore since you are not interested in spending your time this way.   (My emphasis)

Five minutes after I got the above comment, I got a frantic email – not apologizing, (s)he still stood by all the claims, but was worried about how it would make this ‘loving Christian’ appear to the public.

I will totally understand if you delete it

No, no! Just the opposite. Not that anyone will come back to this post and read it, but I am leaving it up as a cautionary tale, and an object lesson.  Congratulations!  You get to be the star of one of Archon’s ‘Christians vs. Atheists’ posts.  Your date with infamy will be Feb. 24/21 if morbid curiosity drives you to investigate.

Two weeks later: I guess it is just going to be another post where you congratulate yourself for being such a good and intelligent person.

More interested in winning than engaging in a discussion, when it became obvious that they were not going to be taken seriously and agreed with, it quickly devolved into insults, personal attacks, strawman arguments, claims to be able to read my mind and insist on what I ‘knew’, calling me a liar, and accusations of my immoral behavior.  For those who have waded through this saga, what are your thoughts??  😕

A Scrabble For One-Liners

I accidentally swallowed a bunch of Scrabble tiles….
….My next trip to the bathroom could spell disaster.

This is the first time I don’t go to Fiji due to the pandemic….
….I normally don’t go because I’m broke as fuck.

My friend drowned himself in a vat of varnish….
….He had a horrible end…. but a nice finish.

If we were on a sinking ship, and there was only one life-vest….
….I would miss you a lot.

You should not call someone a cannibal….
….Refer to them as Humanitarians.

I can’t believe I forgot to go to the gym today….
….That makes seven years in a row.

I told my wife that I have the body of a Greek god….
….She explained that Buddha is not Greek.

I donated my body to Science….
….Science donated my body to Goodwill

Is it irony when you pray to God to remove “your family’s problem”….
….And the next day, you’re in Heaven?

We wanted to be adults, so badly….
….Just f**king look at us now.

Constipated people are not trustworthy….
….They are full of shit.

I was invited to a party, and told to dress to kill….
….Apparently a turban, a beard and a backpack weren’t what they meant.

To err is human….
….To forgive is against company policy.

Why doesn’t room 404 exist?….
….There’s no room for error.

What is a fear of chainsaws called?….
….Common sense

I saw an ad in the paper, “Yacht for sale.”….
….As if people don’t know what a yacht is for.

It doesn’t matter if you’re tall, short, fat, thin, young, old, at the end of the day….
….It’s night.

One useless man is a shame….
….Two is a law firm.

I moved into an igloo, and my friends threw me a house-warming party….
….Now I’m homeless.

My mother told me I could be anyone I wanted….
….Turns out identity theft is illegal.

I needed to set a new password….
….I tried putting in ‘penis,’ but it told me it was too short.

I asked my wife what she was ‘burning for dinner.’….
….Turns out it was all my personal belongings.

My wife claims that I’m cheap….
….But I’m not buying it

 

Smitty’s Loose Change #14

It’s official, folks!  The grand-daughter-in-law had her second fetal ultrasound scan.  The technician noted the clear presence of a sporran.  This means that the first great-grandchild will be a piper.  Names currently being considered include Garion, Gwyllem, and Rowan/ Rohan/Ronan.

All comments will be forwarded as a poll, and your opinion may influence the child’s given name.  Do you wanna get into a lottery about what the final choice will be?  All entries are $1 US/each.  The winner will receive an online photo of a crisp $20 bill, and a note of heartfelt thanx from my retirement fund.

***

If the animals knew that most vegans were Atheists, wouldn’t they prefer to give their lives for the Creator, rather than being exploited by the Godless?
If the hated Atheists are also hated vegans, who eat no meat, just which “Godless” would these sapient animals be exploited into giving their lives for??!

***

Recent psychological study shows Atheists’ IQs slightly higher than average
Well, they’re not really smarter than us.   Atheists just have a kind of autism that makes them look like they’re smarter on the tests.

***

“Jesus Take The Wheel Day”
I’m not sure if it was started by dumb religious people, or Atheists trying to thin the herd.

***

Man buys ‘penis enlarger’. Receives magnifying glass.

***

One reason I’ve never pumped drugs into my veins or put a gun in my mouth is because I’m not addicted to applause. I’m not craving the spotlight. I don’t need the audience to love me. My life is guided by principles, not circumstances.

***

For a while, I worked with a guy named Ugly.  To be honest, he was a French-Canadian who spelled his name Imbo.  While researching other names, I tore his apart.  Spelling drift showed that it started as Imbeau.

In French, beau means handsome, good looking.  The prefix “IM” indicates a negative, like impossible or immature, so, he was not handsome or not good looking – UGLY!  It’s probably a good thing that I didn’t discover this until years after we both retired.

***

The number of local manufacturing jobs is greatly reduced, but there still are some, if you look hard enough.  The son just achieved the triumvirate of working at three of the same plants – though not for the same companies – that I did.

It all started in 1988, when I got him a summer job at my auto-parts plant.  He worked there for almost three months, before returning to high school.  Several years later, he left Community College just in time to find that technological changes and downsizing in the Radio industry had rendered his Broadcast Arts course useless.

He eventually got a job at an injection-molded plastics parts plant.  This was the same building where I had worked as a Purchasing Agent in 1975, when it was a millwrighting/rigging firm.  More recently, COVID 19 got him furloughed from his treasured midnight shift position, when the plant went to day-shift only.

Just when finances began to get a bit tight, his company contacted him and asked if he’d like to work in the warehouse.  Who knew that shipping barbecues to the United States, Sweden, and Israel was an ‘essential industry?’  According to the hen-scratching on the cardboard boxes, the ones going to Israel were Kosher.  Their eventual owners could cook beef or chicken, but not pork ribs.

The building that his company acquired for a warehouse, was the same one where I cut boot and shoe parts for the now-defunct shoe company, before leaving to work at the auto-parts plant.  We have come full circle.

***

Is There a Connection Between Atheism and Antifa?
As far as I can tell, Antifa’s uniting trait is that they are anarcho-communists who oppose nationalism.
We know as a matter of historical fact that communism and atheism have been strongly linked.  Might this also be the case with “anarcho-communism?”

As far as I can tell, this Christian Apologist didn’t exactly claim that they are one and the same.  He just used some impressive-sounding buzz-words, and implied the Hell out of into it, and leaves the gullible to assume that it’s true.

Why The Case For God Matters

I thought “The Case For God” might be Coors Light, but what do I know?

“The best way to find out the purpose of a widget, is to ask the manufacturer.” So simple and yet so profound.

I have asked the manufacturer, many times, what the purpose of the widget is. I have received no answer from the top. I have received innumerable unbelievable claims from His many and varied sales reps, who stand to make a 10% commission.

Manufacturer: Please read the manual before inquiring. Remember…all claims are unbelievable when you don’t believe them. Most of our sales reps work for free while some do make a 10% “commission” to cover overhead costs…but since you didn’t spend a dime on anything, this is of no concern to you. As the manufacturer, so far you’ve only inquired many times and harassed the sales reps. Problems in many areas cannot be addressed if you refuse to take the necessary steps already directed by the manufacturer. Basically….it’s your fault. When you’re ready to put into action the things already directed by the sales reps….we can move forward with your request. Thank you and have a nice day!

With the best of intentions, you just don’t see the problem.  I have read the manual – carefully, intently, repeatedly, over many years.  I understand the sales reps’ confusion.  Compared to it, Ikea’s is a paragon of clarity.  I have never harassed the reps, although they often harass me.  You, and the reps, would like to believe, and have others believe, that all the claims are identical.

I would love to take the “necessary steps”.  It’s just that it is quickly clear that competing reps’ claims are contradictory, and mutually exclusive.  Even when they agree, the promised quality and delivery of the final product violates observed reality, and arrives, at the exact frequency as blind chance.  The Nigerian Prince can do that well.  How then can I, or anyone, know which claims and conditions are true, that we may follow them??

I know that I am only a potential customer, but I dare to suggest that you cut back the budget of the Promotional Department, stop offering a free, magical prize in every glitzy package, and, instead, have Production grind out solid, reliable product.

I envy your writing skills and ability to analogize so impressively. But I can only point out that our “product” came to die in order to make it possible for all of our customers who choose to accept it to enjoy an (eternal) lifetime warranty. He then left an empty grave behind. If you have a proposed explanation for how that happened that makes sense of more of the evidence for His explanation, then please submit it. Best regards, A Rep.

That’s a debate for another day. Why not solve these problems first?? It might lend credence to any additional claims.  While there ‘should be’ only one basic model, far too many representatives, with or without the knowledge or authorization of Head Office, take it upon themselves to create a whole customized ‘Product Line,’ adding non-standard options, and tighter lease restrictions.  They can’t all be right, but they can all be wrong.

They urge me to take their product on faith.  Faith is the excuse that people give, when they don’t have a good reason to believe.  If they had a good reason, they would give it. If and when all the infighting has ceased, and there is one reputable path to truth, then, and only then, will I consider buying into this.

No, your entire prospect for enjoying our product depends entirely upon how you respond to this specific question. We certainly hope that you will take full advantage of our product but whether or you do, depends upon your response on this question. Best regards.

Did I miss something?? Which specific unspecified question would that be?? Is Jesus Divine? Is Jesus the Son of God? Is Jesus God? Is God one part – or three – or more? And we haven’t even got to the ‘Did He actually  exist? Did He perform miracles? and, Do we have to dab Evian on our foreheads, and stick our left knee out when we go to visit him?’  The only question seems to be whether or not I will accept your specific delusion.
Even the architects of the Tower of Babel put down a solid foundation before they started building toward God. You could at least do the same.

Be Good – For Goodness Sake

Stupid – or Stubborn??!  Your call.

Many Christian Apologists, arguing against evolution, deny Darwinism because they believe that it supports a ‘Might Is Right’ stance that doesn’t fit with the ‘God Is Love’ picture that they like to paint.
Seems that the tribes out hunting game, making weapons of war, and raping their neighbors ought to have a genetic leg-up on those singing and dancing to their “gods” around the campfire.

Be Nice – Your Species Will Last Longer

If you’d like another opinion on why to be nice, click here.  https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/185318256/posts/294

British naturalist, Charles Darwin got it right, but a lot of Apologists get it wrong.  Most people assume that Darwin was talking about physical strength when referring to “Survival of the Fittest,” meaning that a tougher, more resilient species will win out over its weaker counterparts.  But what if he didn’t mean that at all??!

He said, “It is not the strongest, or the most intelligent who will survive, but those who can best manage change.”  Charles Darwin

Scientists Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods, both researchers at Duke University’s Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, believe something else has been at work among species that have thrived throughout history, successfully reproducing to sustain themselves, and it has nothing to do with beating up the competition.

Their new book, Survival of the Friendliest: Understanding Our Origins and Rediscovering Our Common Humanity, posits that friendly partnerships among species and shared humanity have worked throughout centuries to ensure successful evolution.

Species endure – humans, other animals, and plants – based on friendliness, partnership, and communication.  People think of it as strong, alpha males who deserve to win.  That’s not what Darwin suggested, or what has been demonstrated.  The most successful strategy in life is friendliness and co-operation.  We (some of us) see that, again and again.

The first question a recent caller to an Atheist podcast had was, “Who took care of the first babies?”  When the answer was, “Their mothers took care of them.” he just laughed and said, “Yeah, right, but who took care of the first babies??”  The host explained that hominids and most other mammals, as well as most birds, and some reptiles, tend and rear their young.  “But a baby can’t even wipe its own butt.  Who took care of them?

After almost five minutes of this “Who’s On First” routine, I realized that, for his understanding of Evolution to be true, at some specific point in time, some or all ape mothers stopped giving birth to baby apes, and started giving birth to baby humans. (Not that there’s that much difference)  The answer is still the same.  Their mothers took care of them.  Has he never read “Tarzan the Ape Man?”  Probably only the comic book version.

When it became clear that neither side understood what the other was saying, he took off in another direction.  Do you believe in DNA?  Of course we believe in DNA.  Well, DNA is a code, and if you have a code, then there must be a code-maker, and that has to be God. DNA is not a code in the way you are referring to it.  Well then, you must believe that fully-formed adult humans just crawled out of a pool of DNA.

It was at this point that the hosts decided that he must be an internet troll, because nobody could be this stupid and uninformed of scientific theories and facts.  I think that they gave him WAYYY too much benefit of the doubt.  The current state of education, especially in the US, and particularly among the willfully ignorant Christian Apologists, means that people like this are far too common.

Despite not knowing what they’re talking about, there is NOTHING that they won’t seize, and present as a gotcha ‘proof’.  One recent unintentional comedian claimed that the head is the home of our intelligence and our spirit, which we use to “know,” and ‘worship’ God.  We are born head-first…. Therefore GOD exists.  😕

Since almost all mammals are born head-first, as well as many birds and reptiles (pecking their way out of their shell), I wonder if he means – and is okay with – hippos and wombats and tortoises, “knowing and worshipping God.”

I am G.O.D. and I can prove that I exist.  I expect a little more worship from you in a couple of days.  Blessed is he who likes and follows.

I’m Philosophical About It

Bias And Presupposition

Like the student who was asked by his English teacher if he would begin stacking firewood in the middle of a pile, many people, (especially Christian Apologists) who believe that they are deep thinkers, unwittingly start in the middle of an argument.

A young writer who considered himself to be a (at least developing) philosopher, posed the following questions.  While innocent-enough looking, they are fraught with assumptions and beliefs.
What is the nature of the universe?

What is man’s place in the universe?
What is good and what is evil?
What is the nature of God?
What is fate and what is free will?
What is soul and what is immorality?
What is the order of man and state?
What is education?
What is mind and matter?
What is ideas and what is thinking?

What Is The Nature Of The Universe?

The Universe has no “Nature!”  It is a brute fact which each of us must endure in our own ways.  It is supremely indifferent and insensible to the wants and needs of any person, in the same way that we are unaware and uncaring of a red blood cell in our veins – more so, because we at least can become aware of a drop of blood, while the Universe sails serenely on, completely unaffected and unaltered, despite our actions.  There is no intrinsic purpose or meaning to the Universe.  Any ‘meaning’ is only one which each of us imbues it with.

All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players!

What is Man’s Place in the Universe?

Here is the first place where the presuppositions become obvious.  There is no Cosmic airline hostess to escort us to our preordained seat, from which we may not move.  People who ask questions like this often assume that our place will be in First Class, when in fact, we are lucky to get a spot in coach, and not be stuck in the Baggage compartment.

‘My place’ in the Universe is in front of my computer, trying to understand people’s thoughts and actions.  Your ‘place’ will probably be somewhere else.  Each (wo)man’s place, and each group of (wo)men’s place, is wherever we strive and succeed in making it.

What is good, and what is evil?

Good and evil are imaginary concepts, dreamed up by people who want to feel good about themselves, their lifestyle and their choices.  What they do is good – what you do is evil.  I have even had self-righteous folks who admit that “you” did good things, but you did them for the wrong reasons.

Good is what is beneficial to me, and evil is anything which causes me loss or pain.  This definition applies to everyone, so there are countless definitions of “Good” and “Evil.”  The only commonality is when evolution-caused empathy makes it apply to larger and larger groups of people.

Hitler did not think that he was doing evil when he invaded Poland, or executed Jews and Gypsies.  He was trying to improve the standard of living for him, and his German people.  The victors write the History.  Aside from becoming psychopathic about it, his main problem was that his field of empathy was not wide enough.

What is the nature of God?

This is another assumption, like the one above, of the nature of the Universe.  At least the Universe can be observed.  First, prove that God is real, then we’ll discuss/argue His nature.  Either He does not exist, or He is the winner of the longest game of Hide And Seek ever.  The Old Testament portrays Him as a vicious, vengeful, spiteful, capricious, contradictory, ill-focused, incoherent, destructive old man, while the New Testament shows Him as a petulant child.

What is Fate, and what is free will?

Fate is the delusional excuse that ‘believers’ of all stripes give to the evidence that the Universe is supremely indifferent to them.  It is almost always applied negatively.  If they win a lottery, it’s egotistic entitlement.  If they lose – “I guess it’s just Fate.”  Call it fate, luck, karma, God, Satan – they all operate at the exact frequency as blind, random chance.

If God exists, free will is another delusion that does not, and cannot exist.  God knows the future, and there is no deviation from His perfect plan.  If God does not exist, free will looks a lot like this.

What is the soul, and what is immorality?

The soul is another imaginary assumption.  There have been a number of, both scientific and non-scientific, studies searching for it, and the results have been universally negative.  If it is anything different from ‘consciousness’ (which is another big, not-completely-understood phenomenon), no-one has been able to demonstrate it.

Like ‘Good’ and ‘Evil’ above, morality/immorality are subjective, man-made concepts, invented by power-hungry religious leaders, anxious to have and hold control over their obedient followers.  What is moral now, was not moral then.  What is moral here, is not moral there.

What is the order of man and state?

What is the meaning of this question?  These deep, ‘philosophical’ concepts are deteriorating into chaos and confusion.

Man came first, and when groups of men became numerous enough, they invented the concept of ‘state.’  Is he asking if the individual man should be more important than the state?  Clear, concise communication should be the first order of business.

What is education?

Why does he ask?  Did he not receive enough to know?  Does this person, who wishes to discuss philosophy, not have a good enough grasp of language to do so?

The act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life.  Modern usage generally assumes the transmission (or guidance of transmission) of knowledge from one person to another, but there are those who ‘educate’ themselves – known as autodidactics.

What is mind and matter?

If you don’t mind, then it doesn’t matter.

The mind is a delusion of self.  It is the mostly non-physical, bio-electrical, neurological process of the physical brain.

Matter is also an illusion, and a delusion.  While it looks and feels solid and strong, it is really 99.999% empty space.  Infinitesimal particles group together to form, what used to be called, The Basic Building Blocks – protons, electrons and neutrons.  Different numbers of protons dance around each other to form atomic nuclei.  Different numbers of electrons orbit around these nuclei at relative distances that make the Sun and Pluto look like close friends.

Despite the apparent distance, the electrons whirl around the center so fast that, no matter what side other atoms approach from, the electrons are ‘always there,’ shunting them away.  Various atoms get together to form molecules, but even there, they are none too cosy, leaving a lot more empty space.

Different numbers and arrangements of particles and atoms give different pieces of matter different feels, looks, and properties – but they are all made up of the same basic little bits.  What are these basic bits made up of, you ask?  Tune in to the TED Talk next week, when the smartest scientist in the world says, “Beats the Hell outta me!  We’re still trying to figure that out.”

What are ideas, and what is thinking?

I have no idea, and I was thinking that someone should have checked with a dictionary, which says that IDEAS are:

any conception existing in the mind as a result of mental understanding, awareness, or activity.
a thought, conception, or notion
an impression
an opinion, view, or belief

Thinking is:

Having a conscious mind, to some extent of reasoning, remembering experiences, making rational decisions, etc.
Employing one’s mind rationally and objectively in evaluating or dealing with a given situation

Ideas are formed in the mind by the process of thinking, which is the action of electrons running around in the brain’s neurons, and leaping the synapses between them.  Serious, professional scientists are still studying the brain and the mind, but despite considerable investigation, are still not entirely sure how it all works.

If our amateur philosopher wanted to credit a God for this, or any part of the above, no indication, much less proof, has ever been found.  If he wanted deeper or broader information, his communication skills appear lacking.  He seems to have ended up right where he started – in the middle, and in a muddle.

It’s Called Theft

When I was out today, I saw a phone on the table outside a coffee shop that had been left there, so I pocketed it. It started to ring….
I took it out of my pocket and the caller I.D. said ‘Mom’.
I put it back on the table and slowly backed away.
How did she know I was up to no good?

***

Trump managed to do in 4 years, what 80% of presidents didn’t do in 8 years.
Lose an election

***

Two women were playing golf.
The first woman teed off and watched in horror as her ball headed directly toward a foursome of men playing the next hole.

The ball hit one of the men. He immediately clasped his hands together at his groin, fell to the ground and proceeded to roll around in agony.

The woman rushed down to the man, and immediately began to apologize. ‘Please allow me to help. I’m a Physical Therapist and I know I could relieve your pain if you’d allow me,’ she told him.

‘Oh, no, I’ll be all right. I’ll be fine in a few minutes,’ the man replied. He was in obvious agony, lying in the fetal position, still clasping his hands at his groin.

At her persistence, however, he finally allowed her to help. She gently took his hands away and laid them to the side, loosened his pants and put her hands slowly and carefully inside.

She then administered a tender and skillful massage for several long moments and softly asked ‘How does that feel’?

Feels wonderful, he replied; but I still think my thumb’s broken!

***

A man goes to see a fortune teller.

She begins “your name is Steve”, “Wrong”.
“Your favourite colour is green”, “Wrong”.
“You have a dead uncle who passed away 2 years ago”, “Wrong”.
“Your wife’s name is Carol”, “Wrong”
“You have 2 children named John and Christian”, “Wrong”.
“You are a painte…”, “Wrong”.

Getting flustered the woman asks “What in bloody hell do you do then?”
“I investigate fraud.”

***

A man is walking in the desert with his horse and his dog when the dog says, “I can’t do this. I need water.”

The man says, “I didn’t know dogs could talk.”

The horse says, “Me neither!”

***

Hee-Haw!

What happens when you put a sex-crazed female donkey and Donald Trump in the same room??
Nothing!  Even donkeys have standards.

***

WEBSITE IDEA: “HOT OR NOT?”
Where husbands post pictures of thermostats, and other guys comment on whether to turn it up or down.

***

Did you know today is Pancake Day? Apparently it just crêped up on us….

***

I don’t believe in a deity, but I faithfully observe all holidays that involve baked goods or candy.

***

I don’t think I was a difficult teenager, but I’m not sure my parents would agree. One night, we were discussing over dinner what we wanted to have happen when we died.  I said I didn’t want a funeral; I wanted a party.  Without a pause, my mom said, ”Oh, there’ll be a party.”

***

Jesus decided to help St. Peter at the Pearly Gates.  A very old man approached.  Jesus asked him what he had done in his life.  The old man replied that he was a carpenter.
Jesus looked closely.  “Is it??….  Is that you, father?
The old man peered back at him.  “Is that you, Pinocchio?

Proof – Of The Desperation Of Christian Apologists

You can not prove (or disprove) the existence of God through philosophy, logic, argumentation or debate.

Figures lie, and liars figure – and words, and those who wield them, are not much better.

I once had a mathematics professor who had some spare time after one lesson.  He erased two blackboards.  At the top of one, he wrote x = 1.  He then wrote a simple binomial equation beneath it. Below that, he began to add factors – multiplying, dividing, squaring, till the seventh equation was fairly complex.

At the top of the next board, he began to solve and simplify – each equation becoming less complex, until the seventh line solved, to show that x = 2.  😕  I thought that I followed the sequence, and my buddy, the numbers nerd later assured me that I did – we all did.  The teacher had just proved something that was observably false.

The Arguments For The Existence Of God

The Cosmological Argument: An argument for the existence of God based on the observation that, since every known thing in the universe has a cause, which can only be God.

The Moral Argument: An argument for the existence of God which reasons that there must be a God who is the source of man’s sense of right and wrong.

The Ontological Argument: An argument for the existence of God that begins with the idea of God as the greatest of beings that can be imagined. As such, the characteristic of existence must belong to such a being, since it is greater to exist than not to exist.

Teleological Argument: An argument for the existence of God which reasons that, since the universe exhibits evidence of order and design, there must be an intelligent and purposeful God who created it to function in this way.

The Cosmological Argument – every known thing in the universe

Mealy-mouthed, and weasel-words, which only prove a narrow mind, and a pile of assumptions and pre-suppositions.

It is possible that there are things within the Universe which have no cause.  Just because they have not been observed does not prove them impossible or nonexistent, or limit the choice to ‘only God.’  It seems likely that the Universe itself has no cause.  It floated about, apparently forever, in the timeless, spaceless Meta-verse that God is supposed to “exist” in.  But the Universe is palpable, observable, malleable, and measurable, while God cannot be proved to exist beyond the hopes and faith of religious believers.

The Moral Argument:

Reason: to think or argue in a logical manner.
to form conclusions, judgments, or inferences from facts or premises.
to think through logically,
There doesn’t seem to be much in the way of ‘reasoning,’ thinking,’ ‘logic,’ or ‘facts’ in this unproven claim.  It denies Atheists’ claims that they are Good Without God, and ignores the observed fact that most Atheists are ‘good’ and moral, while many God-botherers fill prisons and divorce courts.

The Ontological Argument:
Like many Christian arguments, this one starts at the desired conclusion, and works backwards to somehow justify it.  There is no suggestion, no evidence, much less Proof, that there is a “greatest being,” and even if there is, there is no indication that it is the Christian God. As the argument even says, it’s all based on imagination.

Teleological Argument:
Apophenia is the tendency to mistakenly perceive connections and meaning between unrelated things. The term was coined by psychiatrist Klaus Conrad in his 1958 publication on the beginning stages of schizophrenia. He defined it as “unmotivated seeing of connections accompanied by a specific feeling of abnormal meaningfulness”. He described the early stages of delusional thought as self-referential, over-interpretations of actual sensory perceptions, as opposed to hallucinations.  Such meanings are entirely self-referential, solipsistic, and paranoid (Emphasis mine)—”being observed, spoken about, the object of eavesdropping, followed by strangers”.  Pareidolia is a type of apophenia involving the perception of images or sounds in random stimuli..

It is considered poor form and bad manners to say that religious people are crazy, but it seems that portions of their delusional, unsupported beliefs, must fall within the parameters of the clinical definition.

 

Answers Without Questions

Here are 36 GOTCHA “Questions For Atheists” that I stole.  None of them seem to have anything to do with his lead paragraph, which said that most Atheists just say that there is no evidence for the existence of God, but some claim that God does not exist – as if there’s a problem or contradiction with that.

  1. Why is there something rather than nothing?

I don’t know – but neither do you!

  1. Is there any evidence that suggests the universe is eternal?

Time began when matter began, and mathematical evidence indicates that happened 13.78 Billion years ago, when the Universe unfurled during the so-called Big Bang.  So far, we cannot know how, or how long, the singularity existed “before” that, because we can’t step outside the universe to find out

  1. If not, why do Atheists hold onto the idea and say you have debunked the Kalam Cosmological Argument?

A few Atheists might, but the majority go with the 13-Billion year Big Bang.  Neither position relates to the Kalam Cosmological Argument – Everything which comes into existence must have a Creator.  This is an unproven claim – which is why it is an “Argument,” not a Proof, or even a Theorem.  Prove that the Universe needs a Creator.  Prove that your God exists.  Prove that ‘your God’ is the Creator.

  1. If so, why do the vast majority of scientists reject this idea?

See above.

  1. Why is the universe so fine-tuned?

The description “fine-tuned” implies intent.  Perhaps, out of an infinity of universes, this is the only one which didn’t re-collapse, or explode, or was suitable for life to begin.

  1. If your answer is the multiverse, why is there no evidence for that theory?

See #2 above.  We can’t step outside this universe to find evidence of others.  Perhaps they no longer exist, to find evidence for.

  1. Is it possible that there is no natural explanation for the origin of life?

There is already at least one proposed natural explanation for the origin of life.  Many ‘Good Christians’ don’t like it, and refuse to accept it, but a ‘natural explanation’ does exist.

  1. Where does consciousness come from?

See #1.  I don’t know, and neither do you!  My admission that I don’t know, is not an indication of weakness in any way.  I am merely not arrogant or desperate enough to make a claim that I can’t prove.

  1. Do you lack a belief that God exists or would you say that God does not exist?

Yes!  I find no evidence that any ‘God’ exists, and therefore lack any belief.  But also, every individual definition/description of God that has ever been presented to me, is so impossible, contradictory, or somehow in error, that I do not believe it exists.

  1. Do you lack a belief that Zeus exists, or do you believe that Zeus does not exist?

See above.  My position of belief in Zeus is precisely the same as my position of belief in the Christian God, the Hebrew Yahweh, the Muslim Allah, or any other supernatural myth.

  1. If you just lack a belief that Zeus exists, why are you centuries behind the rest of the world who say that Zeus doesn’t exist?

Another great GOTCHA question, Bible-thumper.  Have you stopped beating your wife yet?

  1. Do you act according to what you believe, or what you just lack a belief in?

See above.  After carefully removing the word ‘just’, the answer is Yes.  I act according to what I believe.  To do otherwise is defined as insanity.  I also act in ways which avoid things that I don’t believe in, like rich, benevolent Nigerian princes,  overdue income tax penalties that can be paid off with prepaid I-Tunes cards…. and God.

  1. What evidence is there that Atheism corresponds with reality?

What evidence is there that Christianity corresponds to reality?  Two thirds of the world disagrees with it.

  1. Is Atheism a worldview?

Atheism is a position on ONE question – Is there, or is there not – a “God”?  Most Atheists hold wildly varying world views, some of which are influenced by their answer to that question.

  1. If not, what is your worldview?

My worldview is irrelevant to any discussion of the above question.  Shit or get off the pot!  Can you prove that your God exists, or not?

  1. What would convince you that God exists?

I don’t know.  Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.  The Bible says that God hardens my heart so that I do not believe, so the ‘God’ that you believe in should be able to reverse the spell, and would know what would convince me.  The fact that this has not happened convinces me of His non-existence.

  1. Are you willing to follow the evidence, even if it leads to a different understanding of how the universe works?

YES!  I would ask if you would be willing to do the same, but you have already declared that you would hold onto your faith.

  1. If Jesus rose from the dead, would you become a Christian?

With three provisos – With reliable proof, not claims, or someone else’s desperate beliefs – Depending on the word games that many Apologists play with the meaning of the term, and – I would not want to worship the Christian God, who seems to be an insecure, narcissistic, capricious, homicidal maniac.

  1. If you wouldn’t become a Christian, why would you ever accept that he rose from the dead?

Worry about whether or not you can prove your claims before you worry about whether or not I’ll join your club.

  1. Why do Atheists keep insisting faith is blind trust, when that’s not what Christians or the Bible say?

In Hebrews 11: 1 the Bible says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” I’ve seen and heard dozens of Christians who have admitted that’s exactly what faith is.  If there is evidence, or proof, there is no need for faith.

  1. Why do you want material evidence for an immaterial God?

Because many Christians insist that the immaterial God affects the material world – miracles wrought, prayers answered.  I see many such claims, but no evidence of their occurrence.  An invisible God is indistinguishable from a nonexistent God.

  1. Is there a purpose to life?

I do not find any externally-applied (objective) “Purpose To Life.”  The purpose to life is what we make of it.  I regard it as a fortuitous random occurrence, which I am happy to take advantage of.

  1. If there is, by what standard do you determine life has purpose?

The purpose of life, is to reproduce to carry the species forward into the future.  Any purpose to life is whatever the person living it assigns.  Some are laudable, while others are despicable, but all are decided on by the individual involved.

  1. If not, what is the point of listening to this video?

I believe that anyone who thought that there was no purpose to life, would not find any purpose in watching it.  With all 36 silly questions carefully printed out and down-loadable, I found no point of wasting half an hour, running the video.

  1. Where does morality come from?

Wal-Mart!  Seriously, ‘morality’ is evolution-driven empathy helping to assure the survival of our social-animal species, and individuals, through The Greatest Good For The Greatest Number.

  1. How do you determine what is right and what is wrong?

What is right and wrong for me is determined by The Greatest Good, but the For The Greatest Number portion quickly kicks in.  I can’t be totally selfish, because of social opprobrium, banishment, and government action, in the form of fines, imprisonment or execution.  Even Hitler, when he invaded Poland, did not believe that what he was doing was wrong.

  1. When a lion kills a cub from another pride because that’s what natural selection has raised it to do, is that morally acceptable?

Christian Apologists insist that only humans have a soul, therefore, whatever happens in the animal kingdom is neither moral, nor immoral.  I regard this question as deliberate obfuscation and confusion, to cloud the issue.

  1. If evolution has put a sense of morality into us to help us survive, what makes our actions any better than any other animals actions?

Better in what way, and why would they need to be?  We have a higher level of intelligence, and a greater ability to make others of our species aware of the consequences of choices and actions.  Other than that, there is no great difference.

  1. Is it morally acceptable for you kill a toddler because you can no longer financially support it?

No, because there are several other, less drastic solutions to the problem.  Also, to do so constitutes theft, the taking of all the potential experiences and good that the individual might have received, or given out.

  1. Is it morally acceptable to kill a fetus in the womb because you couldn’t financially support it?

The word ‘morally’ is adding a considerable bias to these questions.  It is reluctantly, legally, socially, acceptable to do so, and will continue to be so until implantation into a willing, alternative birth-mother is medically possible.

  1. Is it morally acceptable to kill a baby after it has been born?

Yes!  This is known as Capital Punishment.  The Good Christian States of Texas and Florida have perfected the procedure.  Also see self-defense and, tragically, War.

  1. How can you morally differentiate between a baby in the womb at 6 months and a baby born prematurely at 6 months?

The question is non-relevant, unless the writer wants to reference abortion.  Morally, there is no difference.  Physically, the already-born child has a greater number of people with a greater amount of evolution-generated empathy, concerned for its welfare.

  1. Who was Jesus?

Why do you ask?  Do you not know?  How is the answer, in any way, relevant to this discussion?

  1. Why did his disciples die saying that he rose from the dead?

Why do thousands of people claim that they have been abducted and anally probed by space aliens??  The fact that they believe it does not make it true!

  1. Why does the Bible keep lining up with archaeology? 

Because there were places in the ancient mid-east, which were mentioned, and have been found.  What about Biblical references that do not line up with archaeology, such as Noah’s flood, or the supposed destruction of dozens of cities by the Israelites under Joshua.  One sparrow does not a summer make.

  1. Why do the three bloodiest regimes in History, (Mao’s China, Nazi Germany, and Stalin’s Russia) come from Atheistic ideas?

Simple answer??  They didn’t!  Hitler was a Catholic, and every Armed Forces belt buckle had Gott Mitt Uns (God Is With Us) imprinted on it.  All three of these sociopaths merely wanted to stifle the accepted state religion, and replace it with the religion of personality Idol-Worship, making themselves gods like the Roman Emperors.

This has been far longer than my usual posts.  Thank you to those who had enough interest and stamina to wade through to the end.  I promise something much shorter next time.

Book Review #23

more research into Christianity vs. Secularism. The author has more than 20 books about the New Testament. I just can’t believe that he points out all the mistakes and contradictions…. yet says that he still believes.

Christian Apologists insist that Atheists “rebel against God,” or “deny God,” or, “have something against God,” usually attached to a baseless claim that they do it so that they can ‘sin’.  This old Atheist – especially as I get older and older – certainly doesn’t.  My sinning days are long past.  Substitute the word unicorn, for God.  I don’t rebel against unicorns.  I don’t deny unicorns.  I don’t have something against unicorns.  I would love it if they actually existed.  I just don’t see any evidence for either.

Like most other Atheists that I know, as the specter of my imminent demise looms closer and closer, I would welcome the existence of a God, a Savior, Salvation, Heaven and Eternal Life.  In the futile hope of some proof, I sometimes seek the knowledge and opinions of experts.

The Book: Jesus Interrupted

The Author: Bart Ehrman

The review:  I start with an author whose name made me suspect that he was Jewish.  I thought that I might get a glimpse of the New Testament from the outside.  I was mistaken and disappointed.  Still, he attended three prestigious theological colleges, has degrees, and letters behind his name.  He should know something.  He has published over 20 books about different aspects of the New Testament.

He now teaches at a theological college.  He says that, almost without exception, each year’s new batch of students think they do – but really don’t – have any idea of what the Bible actually says.  He laid out a trail of over a hundred examples of Biblical errors, contradictions, misinterpretations, insertions, deletions, forgeries, books credited to Paul or the Apostles but actually written by someone else.

A couple of the forgeries made it into the Canon.  A few of the books which seem valid to researchers were left out.  The four Apostolic Gospels, and Paul’s writings, don’t agree with each other.  He admits that they were intentionally skewed (deceptive propaganda) to mislead different groups, to get them to join the movement.  Of the graduates who go on to become priests, preachers or ministers, he has never heard of one who teaches, or even mentions, any of this to their congregations.

As I was reading this book, I encountered a female Atheist blogger who was reading one of his other books.  She thought that he was, at least, an Agnostic.  In my book, he says that he is a non-denominational Christian.  He shows how modern Christian dogma and Orthodoxy came into being, just because the group centered in Rome – weren’t true and correct – just better organized and more powerful. 

After all of this, he says that he ignores all these inconvenient details, and believes in Christ as a Savior, because the underlying story is so uplifting.  He claims that he will not officially join a particular religion or Christian Denomination until he finds one which doesn’t harass or marginalize females or LGBTQ.  😯  Well, good luck with that.

Each year, when it comes time to teach why the Jews do not accept Jesus as the Messiah, he shows them how He does not fill the requirements in Hebrew religious law.  To them, Jesus was just an itinerant, apocalyptic rabbi, who claimed to speak for God.  He uses the analogy of how foolish it would be for Christians to accept the similar claims of David Koresh, of Waco’s Branch Davidian.  Each year, at least one student complains on their professor evaluation form, “I can’t believe that Ehrman believes that David Koresh is the Lord of the Universe.”  He finds it amusing.  I find it amusing that he does not see the irony.

As always, I had hoped to learn something new.  All I learned was to choose my reading more carefully.