Archive for atheism

Travel Day and Theists

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 2009/08/08 by darkshrouds

I’ve begun my flight to Houston and will be there shortly, then a transfer to get me to Columbus. While I’m sure I will be exhausted, I’m gong to gear up and make sure to be ready for the tour tomorrow. I hope to get at least 3-5 hours of sleep.

However, I digress as, I don’t wish to cover my dull day of transfers but the detriment of the religiously inclined. The mental wound that I am speaking of is the religious and their firm belief that their version of general sect is correct without question, without proof and without analysis. This assertion to give them a method to rationalize the events of this natural world and a way to live on after their being ceases to exists.

A majority of mankind wishes to believe in a higher power or something to explain why things happen, however, we are restrained in our explanations by our common sense and observations. Science covers why things rise and fall, chemical reactions, growth, how to heal, how to kill, etc and for the events and occurrences in the world, they happen because of natural causes and they events are random. Random in the sense of natural disasters, disease, etc, not my toast is done because I put it in the toaster. Religious people state that these events, such as people coming into your life, a good job, happiness in your home, etc, come from God or something similar. There is no proof of this. You might as well as claim the Cookie Dough Dragon is watching over you and breathed himself into existence. You must eat of his dough and drink of his blood (milk) to not be cast into the stale bread at the end of days. This is seen as ridiculous. However, this is exactly what Christians follow. Accept Christ or go to hell. We let our common sense tell us that the Cookie Dough Dragon is bogus, why hold onto Christianity or any religion? Just because some cattle-sacrificing primitives believe that this book was correct and the word of God, doesn’t mean that you, a rational, thinking human being has to buy into it.

God is not dead because God was never alive. God has never existed except in the eyes of people who instead of seeing the world rationally and objectively, analysing what comes their way and actually thinking about their conclusions, desire a simple explanation to the troubles of the world, want comfort for themselves and others when loved ones pass on, and want comfort that things will be alright when they look bad.

This is not necessarily a bad want, however, it has caused a false construction of reality. To believe in adult fairy tales because it makes you feel better is not intellectually honest. I wish, as Jefferson did, that one day we shall shelve our beliefs that a story of a man who was born of a virgin will be placed on the shelves of our libraries with the myths of Zeus, Baal and all the others already there and yet to be.

Isaac Mills

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Religion is Useless

Posted in Personal, Religion with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 2009/08/06 by darkshrouds

I’ve been hearing the argument after I have dismantled the arguments made from the creationists that seem to propagate the streets here that one can not judge a belief system by its assumptions or its works. Now, I have taken apart creationism in the realms of their own book, cosmology, evolution, abiogenesis, and generally any topic brought up. Once they are beat back they resort to this argument.

I am posting now to dismantle it completely; however I’m going to touch base on the general of the previous topics. Now, I’ve covered abiogenesis already, I’m not doing so again. It takes too long to retype and cut and paste the basics. I assume that one can read and that they can make use of such faculties. Evolution has DNA, fossil and considerable multitudes of evidence. To state that it did not happen or that the facts show a creator is to be either naïve or just a plain ignoramus. The fossil tree of life matches the DNA tree of life without alteration and without interpolation. Fused chromosomes and genetic anomalies can be predicted as we predicted that we as humans have a fused chromosome in comparison with apes.

Onto cosmology, which does not state that the universe began at the Big Bang, but that we can observe the universe to this condensed point at which a rapid expansion happened. The universe could have existed before the singularity, however, we are unable to determine what was prior to 10^-37 seconds prior because we enter a stage where no data can be obtained.

Once disarmed of these “scientific” debates, the point is raised of Stalin and those evil dictators that killed for atheism. It is a failure of understanding as they did not kill for atheism, but for power and control. These dictators were Statists in the sense that the State was to be worshiped and revered. When you return this with the Inquisition, the Crusades, the militant attacks of other religions, the people who believe that when they kill people, they will see Jesus in heaven, and the like, the atheist will be told they can’t do this.

Now why this double standard? Because religion is useless. Prayers get answered but not always the way requested, not at all or you have to squint real hard for it. Devoting time to saving souls is better than devoting time to your local soup kitchen, working on human rights, or doing something to help others. Religion gives nothing to us but division, wars, hatred, bigotry, and truly, a good portion of evil. Science has given us technology including televisions, planes, cars, vaccines, medicine, air conditioning, refrigeration, irrigation, space flight, cameras, improved food, computers, radio, construction, electricity, and so much more. Over 1000 years and religion has given nothing to society except a ritual that people can participate in and science has given us longer lives and better ones at that.

Religion is useless. It gives nothing of merit. If it makes you feel better that an invisible man is watching over you and helping you every day, go right ahead and believe so. Just expect that I’m going to laugh when you try to tell me that it is true and that I just have to seek him truly with my heart and soul. Telling yourself the great adult fairy tale may be nice, but doesn’t make it any more true. If delusion makes you feel better, that is your choice; however, kindly keep those delusions to yourself.

I’m tired of this argument as not only does it hold up to scrutiny, it also has no merit. Because if your religion is shown to be false, then why follow it at all. All religions fail essentially on a majority of scientifically proven theories and data. Therefore, why follow any religion. Put those fairy tale stories from the bronze and iron ages on the shelves where they belong and think for yourselves. And theists, stop asking why an atheist laughs when you make these statements.

Isaac Mills

Critique: When Skeptics Ask – Chapter 2, Part 1

Posted in Religion, Reviews/Analysis with tags , , , on 2009/07/12 by darkshrouds

I was handed a book, When Skeptics Ask, by Norman Geisler and Ron Brooks, and told that this would help convert me from an intelligent atheist and scientist into a Christian apologist. While reading this book I have noticed that it is so painful that I had to write a rebuttal. Thereby, I am beginning with the second chapter, as the first is introductory, and really not worth it at all.

The second chapter is titled – Questions About God.

I must state that the authors are quite correct at the opening of the second chapter.

“The existence of a personal, moral God is fundamental to all that Christians believe. If there is no moral God, there is no moral being against whom we have sinned; therefore, salvation is not needed. Furthermore, if there is no God, there could be no acts of God (miracles), and the stories of Jesus can only be understood as fiction or myth.” (When Skeptics Ask, pg.15)

I must agree wholeheartedly. This is precisely the point I make when I discuss religion.

The chapter is divided into two question – does God exist and if God exists, what kind of God is He? We can easily see that the second question is conditioned by the first. If the first is incorrect, then the second question is irrelevant.

Does God Exist?

The authors bring up the four basic arguments – cosmological, teleological, axiological, and ontological.

The cosmological argument is mostly from Thomas Aquinas and can be found in the Summa Theologica, part I, question II, article III. Basically it states that anything that has a beginning, was caused by something else. Since the universe has a beginning, that beginning is the first cause, or as Thomas assigned the name, God. This is refuted simply.

Firstly, to label the primary cause, God is a loaded term way of ascribing powers that are not necessary, or sufficient, to assign for the assumption of a primary cause that is unknown. Just to not know what the cause was means we must remain agnostic about the initial cause. However, this also begs the question, what was the initial cause’s cause? This infinite regression is a painful way to argue, as the end is always a place where the scientist states, “I don’t know” and the religious state, “that is God.” That statement is unfounded, and is easily explained. If you state that the universe needs a first cause, then that is all your being needs and all that is sufficient to make your argument work. To add that this being forgives sins, saves those that sacrifice to him, worship his presence, that he is infinite, omnipresent, all-powerful sky daddy is ludicrous. If this makes sense, then if a sandbag falls and kills an actor on stage we should assign intelligence to the sandbag as it had to have a choice in the destruction and choose to drop on the actor. It can’t be because the rope was frayed, or someone cut the rope and therefore must have special properties. This is the same argument as above.

The initial cause is a coming together of all the conditions needed to begin the universe. The last condition to come to be would be known as the initial cause. To state that this is God is intellectually harmful and dishonest. We don’t know and no one can. It is not, because we don’t know, therefore God; it is we don’t know, because we can obtain no evidence prior to the Big Bang.

I’m going to gloss over the next portion of this argument – God is the continual cause that causes the change in the universe. This is simply stated as shown by science. To state that God is everything, including science is like trimming a bonsai tree with a pair of 13 inch shears. This portion is irrelevant to the argument for God. If the first portion here does not hold up, neither does it.

The teleological argument is the famous argument by design. All designs imply a designer and there is a Great Design in the universe; therefore, there must be a Great Designer of the universe. This argument is a good one – logically speaking – however is not sound.

Watches imply watchmakers; buildings imply architects; paintings imply artists; and coded messages imply a intelligent sender… another way of stating the principle of causality.” (Skeptics, pg. 20)

This is quite true. However notice that all of these are inanimate objects that are engineered works of mankind. Stars are complex, yet they come together under the principles of physics; biology appears complex, yet are governed by simple principles of evolution. Just because something is complex in appearance does not mean that it is from a complex origin. I suggest that a viewing of Evolution is a Blind Watchmaker by cdk007 – found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcAq9bmCeR0.

The next portion is an argument made by C. S. Lewis in Mere Christianity. The argument from moral law. Since all men are conscious of an objective moral law, and moral laws imply a moral lawgiver, there must exist a supreme moral lawgiver.

What an argument. Let’s dispatch it shall we? We are conscious of objective moral laws because they are culturally and socially given. When we became civilized – city dwellers – these arose. There is a moral lawgiver that we are conscious of, ourselves. With these conditions, properly defined and investigate, we find that a supreme lawgiver is ourselves in consensus essentially, not the sky daddy that is going to throw us – hypothetically – in hell.

Now, we have dispatched three of four arguments for just the existence of God being necessary and sufficient. Let us proceed to the ontological argument.

The argument goes as such that “whatever perfection can be attributed to the most perfect being possible must be attributed to it (otherwise it would not be the most perfect being possible) and necessary existence is a perfection which can be attributed to the most perfect being; therefore, necessary existence must be attributed to the most perfect being.” (Skeptics, pg. 24)

Now, this argument has a problem expounded within the text. “ This argument succeeds in showing that our idea of God must include necessary existence but it fails to show that God actually exists.” (Skeptics, pg. 25). This is correct because the argument assumes that existence is better than non-existence. I must utilize the argument from Douglas Gasking, who made this as a parody to Anselm’s argument – the previous one, and made it quite humorous.

  1. The creation of the world is the most marvelous achievement imaginable.
  2. The merit of an achievement is the product of its intrinsic quality and the ability of its creator.
  3. The greater the disability of the creator, the more impressive the achievement.
  4. The most formidable handicap for a creator would be non-existence.
  5. Therefore, if we suppose that the universe is the product of an existent creator we can conceive a greater being – namely, one who created everything while not existing.
  6. An existing God therefore would not be a being greater than which a greater cannot be conceived because an even more formidable and incredible creator would be a God which did not exist.
  7. Therefore God does not exist.

*Lines here taken from a quoted text in The God Delusion – Richard Dawkins, pg.107-108.

Needless to say, this argument does not prove that God doesn’t exist; however, it does the same stating that the idea of God here must include him as not existing, but it fails to show that God actually does not exist.

By here, the book offers no more evidence that God exists. I shall go further into this later and complete the second chapter in a second part as I am only halfway through and this post is quite long enough.