Wednesday, October 28, 2009

If you'd never heard about...

Here's something to think about.

Imagine you had lived your entire life without ever hearing anyone mention gods. Every other aspect of your life is exactly the same, you received the same education, lived in the same houses, you were born in the same hospital and so on.
You reach the age of 20, and you hear someone talking about their god. Can you imagine how ridiculous the concept would sound? That there is an eternal being that transcends time and space? Who is omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent and omnibenevolent (which happen to contradict each other anyway)?
Bertrand Russell came up with a concept that is now known as Russell's teapot. The teapot was an analogy used to show that the person making the claim is the one who needs to present evidence for it's existence. Russell said that if someone were to make a claim that there was a teapot orbiting the sun between Earth and Mars, it would be up to them to provide the evidence for it's existence. It is not up to the non-believers of the teapot to prove that it doesn't exist.
To me, the notion of a teapot orbiting the sun is far less ridiculous that the concept of gods. I say this because we know teapots exist, we can see them, we can feel them, we can define them easily and not contradict each other. We also know that things orbit the sun. On the other hand, we do not know that gods exist, we can not see them, we can not feel them, we can not hear them, we can not define them without contradicting each other.

On that note, I'll leave you with a question to ponder.
Just what the heck is a god anyway?


  1. Why does the person who says there's a teapot have to prove it exists. Kierkegaard was all about not knowing, and Keats' theory of negative capability says that romance is in our ability to believe whole heartedly in something we absolutely cannot see or touch. Is the idea of a God that exists outside of our own laws of reason and physicality so hard to believe? Are we such narcissists?

  2. I enjoy reading your thoughts on this subject - it interests me more because you've come from being a devout Christian to an affirmed athiest in such a short time, so obviously a lot of your thoughts must be based on the journey you took from one end of the spectrum to another.

    I think the whole point behind 'God' or 'gods' is that people who demand proof cannot see it, while people who supply proof cannot understand why others can't accept it. A devout believer (DB) will point to human consciousness as being 'proof' of 'God', while a dedicated athiest (DA) will explain it away as a chance occurence caused by natural selection; a DB will point to the "miraculuous" survival of a small child under the wreckage of a building four days after the earthquake which knocked it down as being 'proof', while a DA will point out that people really shouldn't build in earthquake prone areas and ask what kind of 'God' would unleash the forces of nature, destroy millions of dollars worth of property, and kill hundreds of people just to bury one now orphaned child under a pile of debris for half a week.
    In my experience, it is difficult to reconcile either viewpoint. DBs have crises of faith all the time and lose their belief, while many DAs have an epiphany and suddenly embrace a religion or belief system. This does not make either pov definitively right. Science and religion are not mutually exclusive, despite popular modern misconceptions.
    Russell's teapot and the Flying Spaghetti Monster aside, we do need to accept that science cannot prove EVERYTHING (well, not yet!) and that even should the day come when everything can be proved or disproved, people will still believe. That's what faith is - belief without proof. Some people may consider that misguided, but then again I can't understand why some people can't stand test cricket. Variety is, after all, the spice of life, and religion, in all its many forms, helps provide that variety.

  3. It's obviously not hard to believe since so many people do.
    Just because something is easy to believe doesn't make it correct or valid in any way.

    I'd also like to point out that believing, as some, but by no means all, theists do that we are special in the universe, created in God's image, the only beings with souls etc. Is FAR more narcissistic than finding something which there is no testable evidence for rediculous.

  4. Best comments ever =P

    If the nature of god or the person of god is knowable, then god is not outside of the universe or this realm of existence. The opposite would also be true, if god is outside the universe and this realm of existence, then god is unknowable.

    If god interacts with the universe and causes 'miracles' to occur, then we should be able to see evidence of that interaction. I've seen no evidence for miracles that doesn't have a more probably natural explanation.

    I don't know if that made much sense..


  6. Many people believe not because its easy to believe, but rather because many people are simply ignorant. When you are feeling down about life or having a hard time, people find strength in their religeon - it's easier to hope god will fix everything soon rather than it all being up to chance...or up to themselves. When giving evidence against a belief system, which is such an important crutch in their lives ,it will only strengthen their ignorance - they simply can't afford it not to be true. It's not a question of intelligence at all. from what i have seen through my dad's church, many people decided to join because of strife in their lives of some form or other, and religeon (and others in the church) provide(s) support - from this perspective perhaps we can say that religeon is a good thing for helping people. Yet this benefit will in time become dependency, which may explain in part why intelligent people are so devout despite such obvious flaws in the system.

  7. DAMMIT - just realised i spelt religion wrong like 5 times. my bad. >.<

  8. Thanks for the comment MT. For a lot of people what you said is probably very true indeed. For some people like myself, when I was a believer I ignored/denied the evidence for a long time, but eventually I learned to accept what is true rather than what I wanted to be true.

  9. Bit Steven, what's narcissistic about believing that we're made in the image of something else, which we'll never equate to. I can see that such a thought could be abused to mean we have supremacy, but it would be an obvious abuse and hard to reconcile.

    KJ, blue is in purple but it can also be separate? And the atmosphere is in me, but it's also outside of me?

    I'm interested in your take on miracles, I often think there is a more obvious physical take but I remember your apologetic days and wonder what the physical explanation for the random appearance of diamonds is? Foul play? Can't rule it out.

    MT, please clarify your point, I can't figure it out.

    Knowing truth is impossible, it's just a shift from one to another, any amount of belief requires faith, for or against a God.

  10. "KJ, blue is in purple but it can also be separate? And the atmosphere is in me, but it's also outside of me?"

    I'm not sure I understand what you're saying here but I assume it's something to do with dualism, and the body/soul distinction. The analogies fall short because we actually have knowledge and understanding of colours and of the atmosphere, we have no knowledge that the spiritual realm (including gods) exists, let alone understanding it.

    By definition a miracle is something that violates natural law, so by definition miracles don't happen. The random appearance of diamonds? What are you talking about?

    Pure truth and absolute proofs only exist in mathematics. And I contest the idea that all belief requires faith. Faith is defined as a belief without evidence (more or less). There is no real evidence for or against god(s), so the neutral position would be disbelief as it is a passive belief. Believing in god however requires a conscious choice to believe, thus requiring faith.

  11. Robb:
    Except that it's NOT obviously absurd. Remember that you view religion through the norms of your church at this present time.
    I would say it's absurd to use the bible to treat women as a lower class of people but to someone a couple of hundred years ago? That was just the accepted dogma.
    So what might seem absurd to you probably isn't so obviously wrong to another. It depends more on the social context of the church and the wider community.

  12. Just a quicky from me cos I need to hit the sack :)

    KJ, I was wondering why you pose "what if" questions? e.g.
    -What if you'd never heard about God?
    -What if God asked you to pwn someone with a cricket bat? (or something along those lines) etc.

    I personally have always found the classic "what if" questions to be relatively entertaining thoughts in the moment, but also a ridiculous waste of time to be taken seriously. "What if" is after all, considering a "possible" (and usually highly unlikely... ly ly ly ly ly... lot of 'ly' there) alternative reality that might have occurred in the past instead of the instance that took place.

    One I've asked myself before, maybe you have too:

    "What if I was born in the Bronze Age?"

    Just curious.

  13. Ryan, the point of this 'what if' question is to query the nature of belief in gods. In this modern age we understand how nearly everything works scientifically, there is nothing left to god. So the reason I posed this question is to get people to question the origin of their belief in god, or just the origin of their particular concept of god. When it comes down to it, things like the idea of god are generally passed down to us as children and it becomes deeply ingrained into our subconscious. If you'd never had this idea fed to you as a child, imagine how strange the concept of a great big daddy in the sky would sound to you.

  14. I don't think I'd find the concept that strange. Cultures worldwide each have an opinion on a "great big daddy in the sky" concept. So subconscious ingraining would be difficult to avoid anyway :D

    When it comes down to it, things like the idea of god are generally passed down to us as children

    Why do some adult Atheists "find God"? That's rhetorical, unless you have the answer ;)

    In this modern age we understand how nearly everything works scientifically, there is nothing left to god.

    I read this and immediately thought "is there really nothing left to God? Or could the opposite be true? That perhaps there is nothing possible without God?"

    The reason I say this is because I agree with you that much is explainable by science (I say 'much' instead of 'nearly everything' because if omniscience is unreachable for us then how do we begin to go about explaining how near or far we are from total knowledge) Anomalies aside of course. They are most interesting. Please crank a blog on natural anomalies if you're keen for some more 'what if' discussion :)

    Science, summed up in relatively abstract words, is one of many human constructs incorporating numerals and symbols, which we then use to fathom our surroundings. Religion is another. They are lenses to see the world through as such. Different people prefer different lenses I've found.

    When we give the measurements, the designations, the data and the evidence a bit of a break for a second and just stand and watch nature continue to unfold without having to be labelled or quantified in order for it to function... that's when we stop focus on answering "How?" and start asking "Why?"

    Then perhaps ----- "What?"
    Or maybe --------- "Who?"

    Another question, not very original but always controversial:

    -Is it necessarily the product that has been "intelligently designed" or could it possibly be the process?

  15. The concept is not self-evident, nor is it apparently evident at all. Yes, cultures across the globe have many concepts of gods. Many contradictory concepts of gods that is.

    "I read this and immediately thought is there really nothing left to God? Or could the opposite be true? That perhaps there is nothing possible without God?"

    Perhaps I should have phrased it a little better. Nearly everything we know about can be explained scientifically. Now for you to say that nothing is possible without god is to say the least, just picking a fight. You have absolutely no evidence to back up this claim and it takes the hypothetical "what if" questions to an extreme level.

    Please explain what you mean by anomalies, because if you mean things that violate natural laws, then I'm afraid they don't exist. If you simply mean things that are extremely improbable then the answer is in the definition.
    Water doesn't inexplicably flow up hill, statues don't cry blood, the water at lourdes doesn't cure cancer.

    Science and religion are not two opposing 'lenses' as you say, they aren't even on the same level. Science deals with explaining and understanding the natural world, religion does not. The only time there is a conflict between the two is when someone takes their religion and tries to turn it into science, i.e. creationism. As I mentioned in another post, there are many christians who accept evolution.

    The questions that science deals with are: How, What and When. If you start asking the kind of who and why questions you're talking about you've stopped doing science and you're doing religion/philosophy.

    The process of evolution isn't intelligently designed, it's inefficient and slow, wasteful, cruel and barbaric. It also so happens that it's true. If you were to say that god designed the process of evolution he wouldn't be a very good designer. Also, why would an 'intelligent' deity design a process that when examined points to a natural explanation as opposed to a supernatural one?

  16. First of all, please observe that I said PERHAPS in front of there is nothing possible without God. I cannot claim that as fact nor am I interested in picking fights. My only interest is discussing thoughts :)

    Evident the "sky daddy" concept may not be, but embraced worldwide it still is. That's one of many many reasons I would find it non-strange.

    Here's a cause to say "strange":

    When I say anomalies I mean... anomalies funnily enough. An anomaly is, simply put, a strange occurrence. An event takes place that is 'weird' or 'not normal' and we can't quite put our scientific finger on it when it happens = anomaly. These anomalies occasionally don't line up with the natural laws of the time, so the violated laws are readdressed by scientists for investigation and if need be they are adjusted (kind of like different interpretations of scripture that don't line up with others perhaps?)

    Anomalies are real. They do exist. They can be found particularly in biology and physics if you're interested.

    Now, when one of these anomalies occurs...
    "Look! There is a god!" your 'fundy' creationist pals would say.
    "Nup we'll explain it scientifically soon enough" you'd say to them.
    "That's weird that you chaps need a wrench thrown in science to see God" I'd say to them, because I don't buy this "god of the gaps" rubbish. I believe in a god who knows ALL things, not some pathetic celestial being that is only responsible for something when science can't exlain it.

    Evolution isn't very well designed? I think it is. Organisms that have the ability to adapt and grow over time? That's genius design. We call ourselves intelligent, handing out all manner of awards to each other for designing things like computers that we have to modify and change all the freaking time. Why then isn't evolution considered an intelligently designed process? Maybe some scientists don't like the religious implications of assuming that stance.

    You say "Evolution is cruel and barbaric"
    I say "What if it is sin that is cruel and barbaric and it has corrupted all life?"
    You say "Evolution is inefficient and slow"
    I say "Please define efficient and fast, because we are saturated in a culture of 20 minute roadtrips and 20 second downloads. Of course we're going to consider evolution to be bloody slowballs. Speed is relative."

    "Science and religion are not two opposing 'lenses' as you say, they aren't even on the same level."

    Call them 'lenses' or call them something else. It was the first analogy that came to me. I still think it fits. I do hope you're not implying that either science or religion is superior to the other though. That would be an arrogant claim for either party to make.

    "The only time there is a conflict between the two is when someone takes their religion and tries to turn it into science"

    Incorrect. The only OTHER time there is a conflict between the two is when someone takes their science and tries to steamroll religion.

    Religion isn't the only team throwing punches in this pointless scrap. It's a two-way fight and neither side is the underdog swinging his fists wildly while the other bigger brute holds him at arms length and sighs.

    Neither can win because, like you said, religion and science deal with different questions. I really don't understand why there is a conflict. I don't think I ever will.

    "Why would an 'intelligent' deity design a process that when examined points to a natural explanation as opposed to a supernatural one?"

    Because I believe God is the natural explanation the examination points to.

    We tend to separate things into different boxes. In this instance, natural and supernatural.

    But the Bible states that at the beginning of all things God called his creative works good. It also states that God IS good.

    One small positive word being used to describe both the 'natural' and 'supernatural'. Intriguing.

  17. Give me an example of an anomaly that violates natural law. The standard definition of an anomaly is something that deviates from the norm, or an uncommon event. Violation of known laws isn't part of the definition, that would be a miracle.

    And no, evolution is not a well designed process and it does not result in well designed outcomes. I plan on doing a blog post in the future on what has been coined 'unintelligent design', because of the large number of badly designed organisms and structures within organisms. A well informed biologist could design a human body better than it is.

    If you've ever heard of social darwinism you would understand why I said evolution is cruel and barbaric. 'Survival of the fittest'. Natural Selection or survival of the fittest is not the way you would want to live, and you should be thankful that we have evolved the ability to break (for the most part) beyond the norm of nature.
    Sin corrupting all life? Please, don't be daft. Life had been on this earth for three billion years before human kind started roaming the earth, and 'sin' was only invented 6000 years ago. Nature had been acting in it's typical cruel manner for the past 3.5 billion years before that.

    The universe has been around for aproximately 14 billion years. The earth 4.5 billion. Religion? 6000 years maximum, and in the case of judaism probably around 4-5000 years. Can you honestly tell me with a straight face that a god who wants people to know him would start the universe off, and leave it be for 14.5 billion years before sending himself to die for himself because he created beings that couldn't obey his asinine laws?

    Define efficient and fast? well I can tell you what isn't efficient and fast. 3.5 billion years to arrive at a flawed design isn't efficient or fast. 3.5 billion years of evolution all to accomodate 6000 years of religion?

    For centuries religion has been a hindrance to scientific progress, and the 21st century is no different. There are lunatic creationists trying to sabotage science worldwide. In the dark ages the church was burning people for heresy if they discovered anything that contradicted their interpretation of their holy book. You're correct, many scientists do throw punches back at religion and for good reason.

    The reason we separate things into natural and supernatural, is because we actually know that the natural world exists. There has never been any confirmation that the supernatural world even exists, let alone able to be tested.
    Science is our way of finding things out about the universe, religion is mans way of trying to communicate with the weather.

  18. Sorry for the ad hoc reply, I havn't slept yet.

  19. Arrggh :) Obviously nature doesn't violate itself. That makes me think of when Jesus got called 'Satan' for casting out demons. Ludicrous.

    Nature is just plain nature. This is what I am trying to say - NATURAL LAWS are things that WE'VE discovered about nature and scribed down, regarding them as the "common practice" of the universe or "what's to be expected". Anomalies are the opposite of this. Uncommon. Unexpected. If you still want an example, this year I learnt at film school (of all places) about what's called the 'flyby anomaly', it's to do with satellites and energy spikes. Science has possible explanations for it. Google it if you please. Though there's plenty of more interesting anomalies to read up about.

    "A well informed biologist could design a human body better than it is."

    *cringe* That's a really big call mate. Unless by 'design' you only mean 'come up with a better idea and draw it on paper or inside a computer program'. Because that's exactly what a very talented subsidiary of the art department do any time there's a epic fantasy film in the works. Character Design. Not that awesome a feat but admittedly still cool.

    Maybe the concept should be called 'Intelligent Creation'? Though, I believe it was termed 'Intelligent Design' because of the negative connotations the word "creation" had in the scientific sect. Like a swear word heard at kindergarten. It's hilarious.

    I've heard of the term social Darwinism. I know nothing about it though. Nevertheless, the words "cruel" and "barbaric" imply to much evil to be considered purely scientific. Evil is a very philosophical idea. And by the sounds of your blogs you're interested in a knowledge based solely on science?

    "and 'sin' was only invented 6000 years ago."

    I'm not going to bother attempting to staple any ridiculously large number on it's conception date. But I don't think it was invented. Rather unleashed.

    "Can you honestly tell me with a straight face that a god who wants people to know him would start the universe off, and leave it be for 14.5 billion years before sending himself to die for himself because he created beings that couldn't obey his asinine laws?"

    Firstly, asinine laws?!

    You would call a life spent:
    -loving your neighbor
    -honoring your parents
    -only having sex with your spouse
    -not stealing
    -not murdering anybody, etc, etc.
    ...a life spent in "utter foolishness"?! What, would you prefer everyone were dishonest, violent, slutty dooshbags?! No, surely not, unless you secretly have the mind of a disturbing psychopath, which I'm positive you don't.

    Secondly, I'm guessing "himself to die for himself" was a typo? That wasn't Jesus' mission. I assume you mean "die for us".

    And thirdly, your conundrum with the 'long wait' before God's visit you seem to have solved for yourself with another statement you made:

    "Life had been on this earth for three billion years before human kind started roaming the earth"

    Jesus did, after all, come to save human kind and not three billion year old wildlife? On another note, a semi-literal interpretation of Genesis 1 does propose human kind to have been made last. Does evolution agree with this?

    You (and I presume other scientists/atheists) seem to hold a terrible grudge on this 'dark age science hindrance' business. You're whipping a dead horse. Yes, Middle Age Christians (and I don't mean current 40 year olds) committed some regretable acts in the past and Post-Modern Christians are still doing the same. Can I apologize on Christianity's behalf? Because, even though it is sometimes represented this way, I don't believe the true Christian message is:

    "I'm right. You're wrong. Become like me or die."


    "We're both wrong. I think I know where we can find forgiveness for our wrong, if you're keen."

    "scientists do throw punches back at religion and for good reason."

    Science cannot justify their punches thrown anymore than religion can justify their "stake-burnings". Thanks all the same.

  20. Science thrives on gaps in knowledge. I'm glad you accept the law of non-contradiction, so the case is closed about anomalies.. Why was it even opened in the first place??

    I wasn't talking simply about aesthetic design. I was talking about functional design. There are many problems with the human body that cause ailments and sometimes death, and some problems which have no functional deficit, but are unnecessary and a waste of energy when constructing the body.

    I already dealth with the laws in the bible on my post on morality. The asinine laws I was talking about are things like: keeping the sabbath, not eating pigs, not eating shellfish, stoning anyone who disagrees with god, animal sacrifices and so on.

    "Die for himself" was not a typo. I was referring to the idiocy of killing yourself to please yourself, so you can justify yourself in forgiving the 'sins' of the creatures you created to 'sin'.

    You're completely missing the point of why I said that life had been here 3 billion (it's actually around 3.7) before humankind walked the earth, and another 190,000 years after that until religion was invented.
    The point was, that if god created the universe for the purpose of us, all of the rest of the universe, all the rest of time, all the rest of the creatures that preceded humans were COMPLETELY POINTLESS.

    Even a semi-literal reading of genesis is find with mind-numbing stupidity. Plants were created before the sun, man was created before woman. These are just two examples. The creation account is flawed to the core.

    The dark ages held human progress back for an entire millenium. I'm afraid that is pretty unforgivable.

    You're right, the christian message is not: "I'm right. You're wrong. Become like me or die". Though even that message is heart-warming compared to the original message your god sent to humankind. "If I didn't choose you as my chosen people, DIE".

    You need to add three more words to the beginning of your second message. "I feel that" or "I think that".

    As long as creationists are trying to undermine science and scientific education. As long as parents indoctrinate their children to believe retarded things about the world and other people, then the punches science throws are completely justified.

  21. The topic of anomalies arose when we discussed what science can and cannot explain. Many MANY paragraphs up the page now :D

    Ahhh yip, are you referring to body organs like the gall bladder, the appendix, etc? Regardless, I don't know too much about human bio, maybe Dr. Whhhilliam could shed some light on them.

    I can only try and explain all God's decisions and actions to you but I already know from many blogs ago that I'm wasting my breath ;) Ask God yourself! And don't stop asking until you get an answer.

    Those laws regarding eating certain meat - I THINK THAT most of the forbidden meat in Old Testament law came from animals that represented superstition or idolatry to the other "heathen" cultures of the time. So I can understand why God would want his chosen people to avoid the labelled 'unclean beasts'. Then the Messiah turns up, says "It's no longer what goes in your mouth that makes you unclean but what comes out" Thank you Jesus because roast pork is champion. You'll have to refresh my memory on the location of a shellfish ban scripture, I don't remember reading that one. Shellfish tastes like ass anyway :D

    And animal sacrifices - in a quick nutshell - did the forgiveness job before Jesus' sacrifice.

    so you can justify yourself in forgiving the 'sins' of the creatures you created to 'sin'

    I disagree. You greatly misconstrue scripture in saying this. The Bible makes it crystal clear that mankind was created in the image of God and that WE chose to sin. Please PLEASE do stop spreading fallacies involving biblical theology. Feel free to hate on the Bible if you so please, but do not warp it's content to "make it more hate-worthy" to yourself and your readers.

    Explain to me why you think that divine purpose for humanity renders 3 billion odd years of life on Earth before Homos "completely pointless"? Why? Could have been the best time the Earth ever had...

    I wouldn't call plants created before the sun, man before woman, etc. - a semi-literal interpretation, rather an EXTREMELY literal interpretation, but never mind...

    "I'm afraid that is pretty unforgivable"

    That's right, I don't suppose you have any conviction to forgive at all now or do you? ;)

    Sorry, but I still FEEL THAT any punches from either team are still unjustified. No one side of the stupid debate is more 'righteous' than the other if you regard righteousness as something that exists.

    Finally, I thought it was a given that everything in my comments was an "I feel that" or an "I think that". Obviously not. So just to clarify: everything I have said to this date and from here on out is what I "think" or "feel". I thought that's what blogging was.

  22. I mentioned several problems with the human body in my post 'Unintelligently Designed'.

    I never got any 'answers' or 'responses' from god when I was a christian. I didn't even come close to having a 'religious experience' as we atheists call them. A christian would call it something like 'being on fire' or 'touched by the spirit'. When I sincerely believed god I didn't have any spiritual experiences, so I based my faith around knowledge. I honestly don't think my brain is wired to have delusional experiences.

    Forbidden to eat pork because the surrounding 'heathen' cultures eat that meat? Right... They wouldn't happen to be the same cultures that god ordered the Israelites to massacre would they?

    Actually I don't think Jesus said anything about meat at all. I'm pretty certain it was Paul (the man who never actually met Jesus) that said it was ok.

    The shellfish ban comes from Leviticus 11:10-12
    And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you: They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination. Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.

    Has it not occurred to you that animal sacrifice predates Judaism? Nearly every single old testament law has been borrowed and adapted from neighbouring cultures/religions. Would a supposed omnibenevolent god be such a sadist (contradiction there) that for him to be satisfied with humanity, they must conduct ruthless slaughters of innocent animals, spread their blood everywhere and then burn them? These are the laws and traditions of primitive people not of benevolent, transcendant gods.

    Sorry for deducing blasphemous interpretations of your holy book, I didn't mean to... honest...
    God created man is his image (well actually we evolved so this fails already), and he gave us the ability to sin. You cannot deny that god gave us the ability to sin, it may have been our choice, but he gave us the means of doing so. He then creates a set of laws which are asinine at best and retarded at worst, and the punishment for not following them is death. He then changed his mind, because apparently he realised how asinine and retarded his old system was, so he killed himself, so he could forgive himself for creating creatures with the ability to sin.
    If you are going to critique this deduction then please be specific.

    So your idea of a semi-literal interpretation is really a completely metaphorical interpretation, because as it so happens nearly everything about the creation account is wrong.

    Christianity held humanity back 1000 years. Religion is not doing anything to improve human progress. Improvements in living standards are attributable to science, improvements in ethical issues are attributable to humanism. So while science is moving us forward in the world, and so is humanism, what is religion doing? Teaching people about miracles and demons? Omnipotent sadists and human sacrifice?

    Religion would be left alone if it left the rest of the world alone. If religious people didn't feel the need to dictate morality to the rest of the world. If the didn't feel the need to undermine science and all human progress. If they didn't feel the need to oppress minorities and laud their elitism over them, then us non-religious people would simply leave religion to dwindle all by itself.

    My blogs have been my opinions of things. I tend to have some base to my claims though, e.g. scientific evidence, or simply poking fun at superstitions, or gasping in horror at the immorality of bronze age people. 'think' perhaps, but 'feel'? No. I do not blog about my feelings.

  23. First of all, crave the new layout. It's so mackdaddy :)

    I know what you mean when you say you've had no answers/responses. I've never heard a booming divine voice either. I have had some 'religious experiences' in my time, though I think if I based my faith purely on those I would possibly be an atheist right now :D

    Yep, same cultures I'd assume.

    I said only that Jesus preached on true 'uncleanness', not meat. Matthew 15. A chapter full of food and Jesus. Read that badboy.

    While Paul might not have met Jesus in the flesh, he testifies (and no one living can refute this as it is his own personal experience) that Jesus appeared to him on his journey to Damascus. Paul met Jesus alright. If anyone says "nup, didn't happen" well... bluntly, they're as arrogant as that young upstart who bowled up to Buzz Aldrin and told him he didn't land on the Moon in the '60s. Buzz punched the clown in the face. Justified? No.
    Hugs not drugs, and PLEASE, lunches not punches.

    So what if animal sacrifice predates Judaism? Who cares? I don't. I'm not Jewish, nor do I sacrifice animals. Doesn't phase me, why does it phase you?

    I accept your apology, whether it's sarcastic or not :D


    What if God created man using the evolutionary process?


    Affirmative. God grants us free will. We are agreed on this. Amen KJ ;)

    Haha, no way, that's definitely a semi-literal interpretation of Gen 1. I could give you a really metaphorical interpretation if you want! It's intensely awesome in my opinion.

    "Christianity held humanity back 1000 years. Religion is not doing anything to improve human progress." These are stated here like facts but they are not. They are subjective atheistic scientific opinions.

    I don't know about other world religions, but it is not Christianity's obligation to leave the world alone, rather to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with anyone who will hear it.

    While there are indeed some religious people who do:
    -"undermine science"
    -"oppress minorities"
    -"laud their elitism"

    There are also plenty who are exercising their true Christian responsibility by:
    -serving the needy
    -feeding the hungry
    -clothing the poor
    -healing the sick, etc, etc

    Why do you allow all the corrupt things done in the name of 'religion' e.g. terrorist attacks, gay shootings, etc -- to taint your view of all things religious? There will always be lunatics who label themselves Christian or Muslim or whatever. This doesn't mean all 'God-fearing' people are like them.

    You don't blog about your feelings?! That's a bad joke mate! :D

    "I've decided to make this blog to vent anger and frustration at the things in life that really get me riled up."

    I could spend all day quoting your other blogs but I don't see a terrible need. It's ok to have feelings and blog about them, they're not that much different from thoughts anyway.

  24. The reason it is important to know that animal sacrifice predates judaism, is to understand the origins of religion. Religion essentially started out as mans way of trying to communicate with the weather. Animal sacrifice was a way to appease the god or gods of whichever culture was doing them. If animal sacrifice predates Judaism that casts doubt on the origin of the old testament laws. If the whole atonement through animal sacrifice (which is the core belief of ancient Judaism didn't come from god, but instead from the other cultures in the region, that completely negates Jesus' human sacrifice for sin, because Judaism wasn't created by god but rather by man, and Jesus came out of the Judaic tradition.

    "it is not Christianity's obligation to leave the world alone
    I and many other people around the world find proselytzing rather offensive and intrusive. Even when I was a christian, I went on 2 beach missions, and I couldn't bring myself to go and preach to people. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" does that sound familiar? I hated it when people would come and preach to me, so why would I inflict that on others?
    Until proselytizing fades, or dies out, I won't stop punching religion.

    As I mentioned in my post about morality, you don't need to be a christian to do good deeds and be a moral person. In fact I would probably go so far as to say that if someone is serving the needy, feeding the hungry, clothing the poor out of religious obligation, and trying to preach at the same time, in a way it cheapens their charitable efforts. "Here, take these clothes for your children, BUT Jesus died for your sins, here take this bible too."

    If you had an elixir of life that cured all illness, but sometimes killed someone instead, you wouldn't excuse the deaths by saying "oh it does mostly good things". Just because religion does some good, doesn't mean that you ignore all the bad things that come as a result of it. Sure, acknowledge and laud the good things, but don't sweep the bad things under the table as if they don't matter.

    That quote is from the very beginning of my blog and you can't deny that the nature of it has changed drastically since then.
    When I say 'feelings' I don't mean principles and values and ideals and ideas. I mean emotions and shit. I would never write about how I am depressed or in love or apathetic etc.

  25. I too LOATHE beach mission. I went last year because my mates were going, had a sweet as time, but when we had to crank out the red t-shirts and talk to people, I was cringing hard out. That's just not me. Some Christians crave that stuff though. If they get punched by an atheist who finds them offensive and intrusive, they can only blame themselves. I for one wouldn't be offended at anyone who bowled up to me though. It's only a conversation. What's hilarious is that both sides wish to enlighten the other on 'truth' :D

    Agreed, you don't have to be a Christian to do good deeds or be a moral person. That's not the primary purpose of a Christian person. If there is such a thing as eternal life, (and I believe there is) then this life is but a speck and where you spend your "forever and ever amen" is therefore considered priority. So... "here take this Bible too" ;)

    I was not trying to sweep the bad things under the table. I was only trying to widen what appears to be a extremely narrow perspective towards religion on your part.

  26. It doesn't help the image of proselytizing when some of the biggest proponents of it are people like Ray Comfort (The banana man). That man is so pig-headed and ignorant towards absolutely everything.
    I don't mind conversation about things, in fact I love discussing science and religion with people. It is extremely difficult to have a conversation with someone who is completely closed off to other ideas and says things like "I know god is real, and you are wrong". Honest and open discussion I enjoy, but conversation is a two-way game and if someone is coming to you with a set conversation in mind that they are going to start up then I'm not interested.

    I do recognise the good deeds done by religion, but it's not them that I have a problem with. What I take offense at is the scare-mongering some people take part in, the mis-information campaign (especially with regard to evolution), the indoctrination of children and the general sheepish nature of the religious population.
    I myself was a victim of all of these growing up, my mother has since apologised for indoctrinating me into fundamentalism and I've forgiven her for that. I'm just lucky that I found my way out of it on my own.

  27. Haha, gotta love mothers :D I too have a mother who says "Are you on KJs blog again?! You watch yourself! Otherwise you'll find yourself down the Atheist road!" :D I just laugh and say "settle Mum, settle. It's just discussion :D" and she's all like "They'll find out they're wrong in the end!" LOL she's hardcase. Extremely fundamental/Ken Ham ftw, etc :)

    Ray Comfort...the name rings a bell, but I can't put a face to the name.

    I'm with you on the set conversation thing, I've had religious chaps come up to me (Christian and others) all smiley and "let's have a conversation" like. But as soon as they click that you're not interested or 'well informed' then it's "see you later" and onto someone new. It's terrible.

    You and me both are offended on those things I'd say. Speaking of indoctrinating children, have you seen the Jesus camp documentary? Shaifs, I don't know what to think of that stuff aye! :D Bloody intense.

  28. Hehehe.
    Oh no Ken Ham, that man makes me cringe just as much as Ray Comfort and Kent Hovind....

    Ray Comfort was a Christchurch based evangelist who moved to the U.S. Now he hangs out with his fellow idiot Kirk Cameron.

    These are the men who used a banana as evidence of intelligent design, only later to find out that the modern banana was fine tuned by humans to become what it is today. Wild bananas are inedible unless cooked.
    They are also the men who got some graphic designers to digitally combine pictures of crocodiles + ducks, sheep + dogs, frogs + monkeys. They called the results Crocoducks, sheepdogs and fronkeys, and then claimed that since these creatures do not exist, evolution is false. They are imbeciles.

    Yes I have seem that Jesus Camp documentary, I saw it when I was a christian as I was sickened by it then and am disgusted by it now.