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.

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.

There’s Morality – And Then There’s Morality

If you don’t believe in God, where do you think you get your morals?
They say that there are no stupid questions.  In your case, I’ll make an exception.

If you’re right, and God exists, then I get my morals installed by Him, whether I believe in Him or not.
If I’m right, and no God exists, then I get my morals from evolution-guided empathy.

Do you think that God forgot to install my morality, and the reason that I’m an Atheist is His fault?  😯

Faith is believing in something without any evidence.
Integrity is admitting it.

Faith is the excuse people give when they believe in something without a good reason.  If they had a good reason, they would give that.

In addition to above:
Here’s a terrible and extreme example. Imagine there is another 9-11 style terror attack. You, as a commander in the US Air Force, suddenly find yourself with two F19’s tailing a full Boeing 777 which is heading towards Manhattan. On board, the terrorists have stated their intention to recreate the horrific events of that previous tragedy. Also on board are over 460 passengers and crew members. Looking at the manifest – you have families on board. What do you do?

Well, if the moral action is dictated solely by empathy, you are going to be in a pickle. You will feel for all the thousands of people and fire crews working in Manhattan. But you will also feel for all the innocent people on board the plane! So, on empathy alone, are you going to make the tough and tragic call to shoot down the plane? You’ll probably be left stumbling over the right thing to do. And surely waiting too long will result in bad consequences that could have been avoided. Surely an immoral choice?
(What is the immoral choice?  To shoot it down?  To not shoot it down?  Or merely to be faced with such a dilemma?)

If your morality is grounded in God, how would your choice in the 777 scenario be any easier – or better – or faster??
Make the painful and hard choice now – trust that ultimately, justice will be done by Him in the future.
This doesn’t answer any of the questions.  It merely starts the big game of ‘Pass The Buck.’  Satan gets blamed for all the evil stuff – God cleans up the mess and (maybe) punishes the bad guys posthumously – and this morally-conflicted clown doesn’t have to accept any responsibility or blame for any action or decision.
  Mr. Miyagi say, Best way to avoid sin – not be there.

The above argument may look good on a Christian Apologist’s blog site, but the answer isn’t religious, it’s secular/military.  Does the writer think (probably not 😛 ) that young men are put into the sky with machines of mass destruction, without every conceivable alternative being considered BEFORE they take off?

The decision wouldn’t even be left to the pilot.  It would be a group discussion, and bucked up to Generals, Defense Secretaries, and ultimately, the President – and it wouldn’t even be left to the discretion of one pilot to refuse.  That’s why there are two F19s.

There would be figurative Hell to pay if it becomes necessary to shoot the airliner down, but the ultimate choice would come from an Atheist standpoint, even if a ‘Good Christian’ made it.  “The greatest good for the greatest number”  While it would be a heartbreaking decision to make, and not one made quickly, or easily, 460 dead in the sky is better than the same 460 dead in a crash, and thousands dead on the ground, along with them.

I’ve stopped wondering if maybe God has installed faith and morals in Apologists, and begun wondering why He, so often, seems to forget to install intelligence or logic.

Reality Is Weird

Weird

A Christian Apologist shut his mouth, and in doing so, (almost) shut mine.  I found him under the above title, making claims like

Either (1) an infinite and eternal consciousness called God chose to create our universe with a purpose… OR! (2) Our universe randomly appeared out of an infinite and eternal nothingness by itself for absolutely no reason at all. These are the only two reasonable options.

I left him a response that he apparently did not like.  He posed another question, but I could see that he wouldn’t like the answer to it either, and it would cease being a comment, and become a blog-post of its own.  I went back in my ‘notifications’ to pick up the beginning, but he had disappeared.  I accessed his post, and found that he had disabled all comments.  I did not realize that him doing that erased all existing comments on my site.  The following first bit is from fading memory.

Neither of your options is reasonable, and you limit your argument by claiming that there can only be two.  A little thought and research would show that there are more then that.  (1) You have not proved that “God” created the Universe, or that there is/was a purpose. (2) Your random appearance from nothing, for no reason claim is so highly unlikely that no reputable astrophysicist would espouse it.

Can you provide any other scenarios?  Either there is purpose, or there isn’t.

This is what he missed.

Imagine a race of spaceless, timeless beings.  One of them, the equivalent of an eight-year-old boy, possesses the singularity which will become our Universe.  Perhaps it is a function of the non-space where he exists, that it occasionally spits out singularities.  Perhaps he found and kept it, like a fossil – or perhaps it’s a toy that his kindly uncle made for him.  He’s been told to keep it safe on a shelf, but accidentally knocks it off, and it falls to the floor and opens up into our known Universe.

Forget about those possibilities, and let our little extra-dimensional kid grow up a bit.

Now he needs a project, like a volcano, for science class.  He decides to build a little mathematical model to demonstrate the laws of physics within material matter.  As he is winding it up, he gets a little goo from a non-material pseudopod on it, and one of the perfect orbs develops life on its surface, like mold.

In the first scenario, the entity which caused our Universe to exist, was not the Creator.  There was no ‘Choice.’  There was no purpose!  In fact, it was an unintentional accident.  The Instigator can hardly be regarded as “God.”

In the second scenario, the Creator, and the Instigator, are the same Astral Squid – which still doesn’t qualify as “God.”  The act of creation, and the resulting Universe, are both intentional, but the creation of life – Us – has no purpose.  In fact, if the Nebulous Nerd knew that his science project was contaminated, he/she/it/they might want to polish the planet clean…. Oh, wait, that Noah flood wasn’t rain; it was Poly-dimensional Purell.

Well, now, the question should be: out of these two equally-weird explanations, which one is best supported by evidence, logic, and reason? Which one is more Possible, Plausible, and Probable? Which one is most believable?

Actually, the question is: which of these two equally-weird pairs of explanations is best supported by evidence, logic, and reason? Which one is more Possible, Plausible, and Probable? Which one is most believable?

I know that most Apologetics would dismiss my hypotheses as childish, but they both are as probable – likely more so – than either of his restrictive offerings.  If a rank amateur like me can easily come up with two alternatives, surely intelligent, educated scientists can come up with more, and better.

Religion

I Can’t Argue With That

Argument

HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE

Not by arguing with them, and telling them that they are wrong!

Win friends

This is what one of the amateur Christian Apologists recently discovered.  (I’d like to say that they are all amateurs, but several of these men – they’re all testosterone-driven men – make outrageous amounts of money with their own televangelism programs and paid lecture/debate tours.)

He found that, like Red State/Blue State, modern American society has become quite polarized, two solitudes, shouting past each other.  Despite all the heat and light and words in the air, Atheists weren’t listening to/believing what Christian Apologists had to say, and vice versa.

He had taken a Theater Arts course in University (How remunerative), and he wanted to make it useful in Christian/Atheist debates.  His idea was to present the Christian position like a one-act stage play, to lead the Atheists through a mental image of what he considered truth to be.

Why not??!  That’s probably how he arrived at his faith.  Each denomination – each individual church – puts on a musical-comedy play for the faithful, with strange, outdated, but impressive costumes, upbeat, inspirational music, painted scenes, set decoration, props, special lighting, mystical chants, even some audience participation.  It hooked him.  Why wouldn’t it hook a non-believer?

He gave detailed instruction to others, how to win debates with the dreaded Atheists.  They were to put in great amounts of research – not in the tenets of Christianity or the Bible – but in the arguments and objections of the evil, heathen Atheists, the better to rebut their opinions and claims.

In my Whichness Of The Why post, I had uncharitable things to say about philosophers, debates, and structured arguments.  It is possible to twist words and presentations, and win the debate….yet still be wrong.  😳

Like many other Apologists – and sadly, many Atheist arguers as well – he is too caught up in massaging his ego by looking intelligent and winning the BIG ARGUMENT, to see the small solution.  They both often can’t see the forest for the hedge maze in front of them.

Mr. Apologist, want to validate your position??  It’s easy!  It boils down to two words – PROVE GOD!  Don’t prove that God is possible.  Don’t prove that He is the most likely answer.  Don’t prove that the Universe needed a cause, and God is it – because you can’t.  Don’t prove that you believe He exists, or that you want/need for Him to exist, or that a couple of billion others (kinda) agree with you.  Don’t wave your hands and point at rainbows and trees and claim that those prove that He exists.  They don’t!

I just rewatched (third time) a 7 minute call to The Atheist Experience.  It didn’t make sense the first two times, and it didn’t make any sense the third.  The young lout began by demanding that the two ladies state if they believed a couple of rather vague definitions.

He didn’t show God.  His aim didn’t even seem to be to disprove the Atheists’ position.  Assigning the women specific viewpoints became important, as he used esoteric words, complex verbiage, and confusing philosophy, simply to refute these views, and show how much smarter he was than two amateur Atheists, and win the argument .

Don’t win the argument!  Prevent the argument.  Presenting it like some high-school play just doesn’t convince the unconvinced.  Unless and until you can actually show proof of God, you and 47 other angels are just dancing on the point of that theosophical pin.  All you are getting are sore feet, and proving that an Atheist’s opinion is as valid as yours.

Rest your feet, and use your cursor to dance back over here in a couple of days, to see what I have to say after I’ve cooled off a bit.  CU  😀

No True Atheist

Koran

Like “No True Scotsman”, no “Real Atheists” can exist, because Nada insists that they would all kill themselves to escape the evils, ills and woes of life – among other foolish claims.

I say….
No ‘real Atheist’ would be fool enough to claim that it is impossible for God to exist. Only a few are arrogant enough to even insist that He does not exist. What Atheists have evidence of, is that your particular delusional description and definition of God does not, and can not, exist. The proof of that are the continued skeptical denials in the comments to your heated claims.

Thanks dear! I sincerely appreciate your reply and it got me curious. So what is the atheists’ conceptualization of God? And what’s the solid scientific evidence of such conceptualization? (P.S.: I did not actually present a description of God … but let’s assume I did anyway)

That’s it, Nada; push those goalposts back another 10 yards. Begin with the baseless assumption that they have one, and then demand not only a description, but scientific proof for something that Atheists don’t even believe exists.

I hesitate to speak for others, but I’ll try to explain Atheists’ conceptualization of God. It is very much like their conceptualization of Bigfoot, but with less hair; like fairies, without their tiny wings, much like their concept of leprechauns, but without the pot of gold.

It very much resembles the inside of a whiskey bottle, after you’ve drunk all the booze. There’s nothing there, but it distorts your perceptions, and makes you feel good.

I have heard, literally, hundreds of similar-but-different descriptions of God. Is yours like that of ‘Good Christians’, Catholic or Protestant? Does it resemble the Yahweh of Orthodox Jews? Does it agree with the Allah of observant Muslims? Heard all those and still don’t believe them. Is it like Joseph Smith’s, or L. Ron Hubbard’s, or even worse, Heaven’s Gate??! All sizzle – no steak! All claim – no proof!

If you have a definition which varies significantly from any of these, I would be most interested to hear it, likely entertained, and probably amused. 😳

So you’re saying that for atheists there’s a notion of a potentially existing God but it is also a mythical non-describable being that created all of this??!! Is that it? That’s what you prefer to and find logical to believe?
Please don’t misunderstand me for making fun, I’m genuinely bewildered

To sum up my thought: I find it incredibly bewildering that an atheist is willing to believe anything, any theory unproven yet, any ridiculous illogical argument for the non-existence of a proper All knowing Creator , but vehemently opposed to the possibility of a Creator.. it’s almost like they hate the idea with a vengeance despite all the good that may result from such a proposal, even if it was a myth that people chose to believe.

I too am genuinely bewildered. It must be all the unfounded assumptions, the sweeping claims and questions, and your tendency to put words in other people’s mouths. You ask about what Atheists think/do/feel/believe, as if they are all one cohesive bloc. There are as many opinions, as there are Atheists. The only thing that they all agree on, is that they have never been presented with a description of a God, potential or real, that they find believable. They do not find it logical, and their preference has nothing to do with it. No, I don’t ‘say that’, nor does any other real Atheist.

I am bewildered that you disapprove of Atheists supposedly believing unproven, “illogical” scientific arguments, but believe the idea of a personal God on blind faith. You don’t seem to understand the difference between the active pursuit of proof of the non-existence of God, (which can’t be done) and the passive lack of belief of claims that He does.

There are some few, usually not ‘Real Atheists’, but failed Christians, who desperately claim that He does not exist. Many Real Atheists that I know, would welcome His existence, and would have the honesty to accept Him. I mean, Who Wouldn’t? I would! – Salvation?? – Forgiveness?? – Heaven?? – Eternal Life?? There’s just that little sticking point of no real proof. The loudest of the Christian Apologists not only do not provide it, but, if you’d read my Dec. 11/19 30 Day Challenge, you’d see that some of them offer theories so crazy illogical, that disbelief is almost mandatory. 🙄

You expect me to believe that a universe that I even cannot see all of, let alone imagine its boundaries and content exists just like that… by itself.. no beginning… no instigating force… no management?

On a percentage basis, there are as many arrogant, deluded Atheists, as there are Theists. I don’t make any of the above claims. I don’t expect you to believe anything! I stated that my mind was open to evidence, and the chance of change. You clearly stated that I would not change your mind. For a self-avowed Science-lover, you seem disturbingly ill-informed. Your glass-of-water analogy shows that you don’t understand the concept of nascent properties.

Time and Space are inextricably interwound. Time only began when the hyper-dense singularity blossomed to become the Universe. Before that, it existed in a timeless, spaceless “place” where all happenings occurred simultaneously. Therefore, it could be infinitely old, yet have been ‘created’ yesterday.

The construction of your objection does not make your intent clear. Universe…. boundaries and content exists just like that The Universe is a brute fact, which must be accepted as is. It exists, and has existed, the way it does…. Because! Did you mean, ‘without an identified Creator’??

by itself.. There may have been previous Universes. Perhaps a property of that trans-dimensional space, is to occasionally shit out baby Universes. There may be an infinite number of co-temporal ‘Multiverses,’ but we can’t reach them to prove that they do, or do not, exist. Again, are you looking for a Creator?

no beginning… The ‘Beginning’ of the Universe was 13.78 Billion years ago, when the Big Bang caused the singularity to unfold, creating time and space. Before that, it was only an unrealized potential.

no management Why would it need management? The Universe possesses a number of immutable laws, which control the grand scheme. The very purpose of the variable minor details is to create change and improvement. If I plug in an electric alarm clock, it needs no management. I don’t have to reset the time each day. The Universe is not like a car, which needs to be constantly steered.

no instigating force… It is possible that an entity, existing in that non-space ‘space’ reached out a tentacle, and nudged the singularity, causing it to expand. The creature which ‘instigated’ the Universe may not have ‘created’ it. In any case, you are conflating the concept of a Creator, with a God, or in your case, Allah. Even if I specify to the existence of a being which created the Universe, I, along with many others, see no evidence of a personal God/Allah – no miracles, no answered prayers, no care or concern about what we eat, drink, think, believe, say, do, wear, or have sex with.

Honest Discussion

Big Bang

Unlike many Christian Apologists, who can be very aggressive, argumentative and judgmental, this Christian lady just seemed to have an honest confusion and curiosity about non-believers. She seemed genuinely bewildered that non-believers’ actions, attitudes and opinions didn’t match what she had been brainwashed to expect. Of course, I felt that she was wrong about some of her assumptions, and blinded by her pre-suppositions, about others – so here we are again.

Why can’t the atheist accept what he can’t see for himself—at least when it comes to God. He can’t see gravity, but believes in it; can’t see black holes, but (most) would agree they exist.

When it comes to God, however, inferring His existence from the effect He has on life (which is how we know about gravity and black holes) is insufficient evidence.

The Atheist can see gravity’s direct effect, from dropping a pen, to black holes pulling stars into them, and there is a scientific explanation for all of it. The effects of God’s presence are only obvious to those who presuppose His existence, and every example offered has a natural explanation.

Some, of course, believe they have come to the only rational, intelligent conclusion possible, but that presupposes that the human mind can know all that is or is not in the vast cosmos.

You do not have to know everything, to have an opinion on one subject, even if it seems to be of cosmic proportions. Despite appearances, the argument is not usually about the existence of God, but rather, about the lack of convincing evidence for your definition.

Despite that uncertainty, atheists are certain God is not there. Life maybe; God absolutely not.

Despite that claim, the profound majority of Atheists do not believe that, nor do most of them claim that He does not exist. A small, vocal minority does, but there are ignorant, arrogant fools on both sides of the Bible.

I have reason to believe that the people holding to a strict 6 24-hour day for creation, are wrong.

Cherries

This is what is known as ‘cherry picking’ your arguments

So, you don’t believe what the Bible clearly says, but you want Atheists to believe it??! 🙄

(1)Steve, do you never ask the philosophical questions science cannot answer? Why are we here? Where are we going? What purpose does life serve? (2)Why do we think there’s a right and a wrong? You clearly do think there’s right/wrong as you demonstrate in this comment. (3) Where did your sense of truth come from? (4) Of morality? There are two things followers of the Bible have that those who reject God and the Bible do not have: a standard to go by and motivation to follow the standard. On and on. Science has nothing to say to these things.

(1) Damn, the woman wants infinity explained in a single comment. Of course, science can’t answer philosophical questions. So what??! Despite what she, and others, believes, neither can Religion. For Atheists to honestly say “I don’t know.” is not a mark of weakness. Steve and many others, have asked these questions. A surprising number of Atheists were once preachers/priests/ministers, or students in Seminary Colleges. Isaac Asimov once called the Bible “the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.”

(2) There is no right and wrong. What is right for me, is wrong for you. Evolution has taught us to consider outwards: self, family, clan, village, state, nation, world – and each level at a lower intensity. The greatest good for the greatest number. Do unto others what you would have done unto you. A little empathy, compassion, and consideration for others, helps to assure that the human species survives.

(3) “Sense of Truth” is like being a little bit pregnant – it either is, or it isn’t – and if it is, is should be provable. A claim that your religion, or your Holy Book, gives that to you, is quickly disproved by the existence of other religions, and other Holy Books, making the same claim.

(4) Morality is an invention of men who want to get paid to make you feel good that you are following their orders. Atheists, and other non-Christians, all have standards, and motivation to follow them. They just might not be exactly the same as yours, but there is no proof that your morals are the only/correct ones.

Her presupposition is that even Atheists believe in God, but reject Him, where most Atheists honestly do not believe that any such supernatural entity exists.

Science is merely the best methodology to investigate and explain reality. Just because many Atheists embrace and use it, does not mean that they do not also have Philosophical ways of explaining and dealing with these “Moral Problems.” It is not a panacea, as religion claims to be. It is just an effective one of many tools.

’20 A To Z Challenge – B

A To Z ChallengeLetter B

I’m writing less, and you’re enjoying it more. Even after urging me to start a blog, as a comment on my initial post, my first online friend remarked, “however: among your qualities, you failed to mention your verbosity.”  And this was from one of my friends.

Orator

Another fellow-blogger introduced me to one of the many 100-word Flash Fiction groups. I do like to spin a yarn. I’ve just had to learn to spin the yarn a little tighter. I have successfully completed the 12-step program for the terminally loquacious. When I considered availing myself of it, I researched to discover exactly what it contained, and was disappointed to find that 6 of the 12 steps involve submission to God. Since I don’t believe in the existence of any “God”, where necessary, I have substituted chocolate and French fries.

Since I am now well on the road to recovery, I thought that I might present a couple of archaic descriptors that I hope never to be afflicted with again.

BLOVIATE

I thought that this word might have been about that morbidly obese guy in the Monty Python movie, who consumed one bite too many, and exploded, but it turns out to mean

to speak pompously.
1850–55, Americanism; pseudo-Latin alteration of blow, to boast; popularized by Warren G. Harding

AA

Now that I’ve been linguistically clean and straight for several years, I swear on a Merriam-Webster Dictionary, never again to deserve to be called a

BLATHERSKITE

a talkative silly person
foolish talk; nonsense

To prove it, I’ll keep this post short and sweet, although I will invite you to come back on Wednesday, for a wordier edition of my monthly Philosophy and Religion discussion.