Monday, August 31, 2009

New Zealands shocking internet

Since the storm in Auckland last wednesday, my (and a few others I know) internet connection has been wreaking havoc with my sanity. Millisecond disconnects that stop a page/video/image from loading, bad latency with speed test servers, game servers, voice chat and even a long delay when trying to get websites to load.
I'm just venting my frustration in writing, it makes me feel better.

I'll have to call up my ISP tomorrow, just to wait for 2 hours on hold and have them ping my IP address and tell me that everything is fine, when I bloody well know something is seriously wrong, A copper wire somewhere is probably fried.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Problem With Contradictions.

What I really don't understand about the christian psyche, is how they can justify in their own minds the blatant errors and contradictions in their holy book. I've pointed out a few of them in previous posts so I won't discuss any of them here.
The first problem with contradictions is that if your book was authored by god, do you really think he would make so many screw-ups in the book? I think not.
If you concede the point that god didn't author it, but it was written by men who were inspired by god. That leaves you with the problem of why god would inspire them to be wrong.
If you concede a further point (as some christians do) that it was merely written by men, then how is it supposed to be a 'guidebook to life' or anything remotely useful in the slightest. We're talking about a compilation of bronze age scribblings that were handed down over about a millennium, not written by contemporaries of the events in most cases, containing screeds of errors and contradictions, immoral teachings in some parts, contradictorily good moral teachings in others and compiled into one book during the reign of a roman emperor who used christianity to control his people.
That is your holy book. I really do not see the value in it at all, or why you insist to preach to people about how good and relevant it is.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

International Copyright Restrictions

Okay this is something that has really frustrated me for the last few months.
I created my youtube account on the 12th May 2006. Last year for the first time I saw the phrase "This video is not availiable in your country due to copyright restrictions", but it was on a music video for some lame pop song (probably Britney Spears or something....). But recently, one of my favourite subscriptions on my youtube account Pennsays (a video blog by the magician/comedian/skeptic Penn Jillette) is now showing up with this phrase on every one of his videos.
Penn Jillette was being sponsored by Crackle, a subsidiary of Sony to post his video blogs, and for some strange reason, Sony decided that no one outside of the U.S.A. was allowed to watch Penn's Vlogs anymore.

If something isn't done about this corporate control over the internet, it will no longer be called the World Wide Web but rather the American Wide Web. and all of us here in the rest of the world will go "AWW, freakin corporate america I hate you!"

Just a bit of a rant, but Internet Neutrality is a serious issue and is more important than you may think..

Another little something to think about.

From the New International Version

Matthew 27:46,50

About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi," lama sabachthani?"—which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"...And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.

Luke 23:46

Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." When he had said this, he breathed his last.

John 19:30

When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit."

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Anonymous Comments

Ok, you know who you are.
All you church people on my facebook who read my blogs and are trying to convert me back to god. Not all of you though, just the ones who leave anonymous comments.

I ask just a few things.

1) Stop posting stupid comments
2) Post relevant comments, not something random that had nothing to do with the original post. For example, the person who started going on about miracles in my blog post about creationists ignorance towards science.
3) If you're not embarrassed by what you're writing, then leave your name. I'm still the same person, and I'm probably still your friend, but if you post anonymously I will not respond to you as a friend.
4) If you are scared of confrontation you may continue posting as anonymous, but please follow the first two criteria.
5) I like lists.

Wrestling Match! God Vs Jacob!

Ok you should know by now what I think of the bible. This story I'm about to share with you is pure gold, and I hope you get as many "lolz" out of it as I did when I first read it. Straight out of Genesis in chapter 32, after a boring 20 verses we read a few things. We find out that Jacob is carrying on the biblical tradition of polygamy, and then seemingly out of nowhere a wrestling match breaks out between Jacob and a man. "And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day." The next verse is where it gets even funnier. "And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him." Following that, the 'man' asks Jacob what his name is, and then we find out that that 'man' was in fact god.


Yes, god wrestles with Jacob, LOSES, and then divinely dislocates Jacob's leg.

So not only is the god of the bible so feeble as to get into wrestling matches with men, he is so weak that he loses, and so dirty that he has to dislocate the humans leg to come out as the victor. To add more insult to the already hilarious and equally blasphemous story, god doesn't even know Jacob's name and has to ask!

This is the kind of mischievous behaviour we would have expected of Zeus, or Poseidon or any of the other ancient gods. We are told by christians that their god is transcendant, omnipotent, omniscient, holy, good and other qualities. From this story what traits do we see of god? The traits of god shown in this story can be simplified to just one word.


So I come to the conclusion, that god is made in mans image, not the other way round as christians would have us believe.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Biblical Contradictions

When I was a christian, I constantly heard about these 'contradictions' in the bible, and I either completely ignored the claims (as I imagine many still do) or I searched for some explanation as to why the contradiction was there.
After reading The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine, I saw these contradictions in a new light, that they were apparent, obvious and irreconcilable. One of the most acute contradictions are the conflicting genealogies of Jesus found in the New Testament.

The account in Matthew goes as follows (from christ back to David):
Christ, Joseph, Jacob, Matthan, Eleazer, Eliud, Achim, Sadoc, Azor, Eliakim, Abiud, Zorobabel, Salathiel, Jechonias, Josias, Amon, Manasses, Ezekias, Achaz, Joatham, Ozias, Joram, Josaphat, Asa, Abia, Roboam, Solomon, David. That is 28 generations in total.

The account in Luke is rather different, and is as follows:
Christ, Joseph, Heli, Matthat, Levi, Melchl, Janna, Joseph, Mattathias, Amos, Naum, Esli, Nagge, Maath, Mattathis, Semei, Joseph, Juda, Joanna, Rhesa, Zorobabel, Salathiel, Neri, Melchi, Addi, Cosam, Elmodam, Er, Jose, Eliezer, Jorim, Matthat, Levi, Simeon, Juda, Joseph, Jonan, Eliakim, Melea, Menan, Mattatha, Nathan, David.

Thomas Paine postulates that if Jesus' natural genealogy was 'invented' as it most certainly was (shown by the conflicting accounts), we then have no reason not to suppose that his divine genealogy was also invented, in simpleton terms, that he was not the son of god.

This kind of reason I found very intriguing because it uses the bible to prove christianity wrong.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Creationists on evolution.

The best place to start when discussing creationism is probably discussing why people hold these beliefs. Creationists don't believe that god created the universe out of nothing, or that the earth is only 6-10,000 years old for any reason founded in science. The reasons behind their belief are purely religious. Many creationists the have the gall to suggest that evolution is a religion.

Lets start with some basic definitions.

1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.
3. the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions.

Evolution doesn't follow these definitions, and the only conclusion that can logically follow that is that evolution is NOT a religion.

Besides definitions, the core difference between creationism and evolution is evidence.
Evolution is an evidence based science. We have fossils that show common descent, we have genetics that show common descent, and this evidence is very substantial, it is not merely a few pieces here and there.
Creationism on the other hand is founded on principles from the bible. This does not constitute evidence in any way. A book written mostly in the bronze age, by men who knew absolutely nothing about science. A book that has been shown to be wholly unreliable on historical and scientific matters, and riddled with contradictions. 90% of the 'evidence' that creationists postulate has either already been refuted or is not in fact evidence at all. What I mean by not being evidence at all is that it is rather an absence of evidence, Creationists look for holes in current scientific understanding (evolution in particular) and then claim, "You can't explain this, therefore god exists" (might I add, it should be "we can't explain this yet"). This is known as the 'god of the gaps' theory.
The proponents of the 'god of the gaps' idealogy are intellectually bankrupt and dishonest. There is nothing scientific about glorifying ignorance and abandoning reason and then claim that it is more scientific that its very well established arch-nemesis evolution.
There is no reason to believe in biblical creationism. There is no scientific evidence that supports it, and the bible itself is nothing to be relied on, except by blind faith.

To be continued...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Life as an atheist

For me personally, life without religion is many times more enjoyable than life with religion.

I'm no longer worried about the state of my soul with respect to the afterlife, and even more so that I'm not worried about anyone else's soul. I find myself able to accept people as people instead of as "unsaved people" or "nonbelievers". I no longer have to have an agenda behind talking to people, I'm not trying to save anyones soul anymore.

I find the idea that there is no inherent meaning to life very stabilising and motivating, as it gives me the freedom to do what I like with my life without the fear of departing from some celestial being's divine plan.

Things that I previously thought important I find myself dissatisfied with. One striking example is saying grace over dinner. Instead of paying my respects to a god, I would much rather pay my respects to the person who prepared the meal, or give thanks to the person who is paying for it.

I have more respect for life, and human life in particular. Now that I realise that this life is all that we have I treasure mine much more. I'm beginning to understand the value of life and how precious it is.

I have an increased interest in the way the world works, and with the universe at large. Before, I was content with the answer that "God did it" and never bothered to really look past skin-depth for some things.

Those are the first things that come to mind anyway.

Why I renamed the blog

I decided that 'Incoherent Rant' was no longer an appropriate name for my blog. I don't think it ever was appropriate after the first two posts.

The blog is changing course to be more aligned with my current interests which involve the matter I discussed in my previous two posts. I'll be talking about life, religion, science, irreligion, atheism, pastafarianism and so on.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Questions about God and the Bible

If god exists, and the bible is the divine being's message to humanity as christians say it is, I have some questions for them.

If god is justice incarnate, holy, righteous, good, pure and the moral leader of humanity, why has he commissioned and committed some of the most heinous crimes ever inflicted on mankind? Can any other tyrant or super-villain claim the title of 'destroyer of humanity' or 'global infanticide perpetrator' that god seemed so proud of telling us in genesis when he flooded the world. Not only does the god of the bible take pleasure in wiping out the whole world, he takes pleasure in having animals slaughtered needlessly, perhaps it makes him feel better about himself. The celestial tyrant doesn't stop there, he carries on throughout the old testament threatening to kill people because they havn't been circumcised, or because they stupidly worshipped other imaginary celestial beings. The same christians who believe god was justified in committing these atrocities, I imagine are horrified at the lengths Islamic fundamentalist extremists go to when carrying out their Jihad on the infidels. The god of the bible was slaughtering people for the exact same reason the modern day terrorists are, because they worship other gods.

As if the acts of god himself weren't detestable enough to warrant a bible-burning session, he then proceeded to give laws to his chosen people (hang on..... god is an homicidal racist?) that are just as horrific, if not more than the way he behaved in genesis. These laws include things like the following:
-If you have a "stubborn and rebellious son," then you and the other men in your neighborhood "shall stone him with stones that he die." (Jesus even advocates this law in Matthew 15, so Jesus would like me to be stoned to death, what a nice guy) Deuteronomy 21:18-21
God gives detailed instructions for performing ritualistic animal sacrifices. such bloody rituals must be important to God, judging from the number of times that he repeats their instructions. Indeed the entire first nine chapters of Leviticus can be summarized as follows: Get an animal, kill it, sprinkle the blood around, cut the dead animal into pieces, and burn it for a "sweet savor unto the Lord." Leviticus 1 through 9
-God's law for lepers: Get two birds. Kill one. Dip the live bird in the blood of the dead one. Sprinkle the blood on the leper seven times, and then let the blood-soaked bird fly off. Next find a lamb and kill it. Wipe some of its blood on the patients right ear, thumb, and big toe. Sprinkle seven times with oil and wipe some of the oil on his right ear, thumb and big toe. Repeat. Finally kill a couple doves and offer one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering.
Leviticus 14

So not only is god a genocidal tyrant, his sense of morality is deplorable judging by the laws he sets for his people, and those three I mentioned are a mere taste of the old testament laws. We find out later in Leviticus 26 that if you don't follow all of the laws in the Old Testament, god will shower you with many curses, which are mentioned in the next 25 verses. So now we have a genocidal tyrant, who has a deplorable sense of morality, who writes non-sensical laws for his people, and if they don't obey them he becomes very vengeful and curses them. This is the same god that christians sincerely believe they have a personal relationship with.

Morality and non-sensical laws aside, the bible is still a laughable book riddled with contradictions, inaccurate or often incorrect historical records that contains ridiculous statements about the nature of the world, or how the world works. You would think that a book penned, or inspired by the creator of the universe would have been able to get simple facts, whether historical or scientific correct? After all, don't christians claim that their god is omniscient? Why would an omniscient god forget what he had written already in his own book, and then write something that contradicts what he had previously written? Why would an omniscient god who also created the universe (and life) write ideas and concepts about life and the universe that mere mortals have since discovered are false, by my reasoning, that would make humanity more intelligent than an omniscient god.

The one thing that really bugs me though, is why would an omniscient, omnipotent god create a universe that points toward his non-existence the more we learn about it? It's as if he wanted us to finally come to the realisation that he doesn't exist, and that his book was written by delusional tyrannical bronze age men living in tents in the desert, who loved running around raping, pillaging and slaughtering every other town, city and culture they encountered.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Why I am an Atheist

I would like to start by explaining my upbringing. I was raised by two Christian parents who I love very much and that my “conversion” to atheism is not an act of rebellion in any way shape or form. I am an atheist primarily because upon closer inspection of the things I grew up believing in didn’t hold up to be true.

As most young children do, I believed in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy, and later discovered that these ‘beings’ were just made up stories to make childhood seem magical. I don’t remember the specific time when I found out these things weren’t true, but I remember feeling underwhelmed by the simplicity of the situation, my parents had placed the money under the pillow, the presents in the sock and the marshmallow eggs hidden in various places around the house.

As I grew older I was told of stories in the bible, the genesis creation account, Adam and Eve, Noah’s Ark, The Tower of Babel, The Jews in captivity in Egypt and the story of Moses and the list goes on. I believed all these things much in the same way I believed in Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. I believed them not because I had discovered their veracity, but because I was told they were true stories. At around the age of 14 I was given a book by my auntie called “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist” by two Christian authors by the names Norman Geisler and Frank Turek, this book was the beginning of my passion for Christian apologetics. I essentially became a religious fundamentalist at the age of 14 which scares me in hindsight. By the age of 18 I had read probably almost two dozen apologetics books (some being very large), my brain being the sponge it is I soaked it all up. I also spent a considerable amount of time watching creationist videos on VHS, DVD and on the internet.

It was around the age of 17 when I began to start realising some of these stories I had been told to have been true were not so true. The first bubble to be burst was the idea that the earth was young, so I turned from a young-earth creationist to an old earth creationist. Other stories soon followed; those of Noah’s ark, Adam and Eve, Moses in Egypt and so on. By the time I had finished high school I no longer believed many of the tales which I had been told so emphatically as a young nipper were the word of god.

The very act of searching through the bible trying to find ‘excuses’ as to why other parts of the bible weren’t true was tiring to say the least. I became a closet agnostic around early 2008, and over the course of the year my morals and beliefs slowly morphed their way into what they are today. After much consideration, reading and deep thought, in early 2009 I no longer considered myself an agnostic, but an atheist, not believing in any supernatural forces inside or outside the universe. My passion for Christian apologetics had turned into a passion for knowledge, and the search for truth, which I will continue till the day I die.