Wednesday, 31 December 2008


Do we need faith? There are those, theists and non-theists alike who claim that we do. They claim that people need to believe in something; need to have hope in something. Some claim that people can't be good without big brother watching over their shoulder (ironically, many Xians also claim that we can't be good even with god watching over our shoulders!) I find all of these ideas to be condescending, however, and part of the larger problem that religion instills in us - that we should consider ourselves to be unworthy, lowly creatures, worthy of only disdain and scorn and eternal hellfire.

Do we really need some god looking over us to be good people? I don't think so. But, when we are conditioned from an early age to think that we are evil, sinners is it any surprise when people act that way? Yes, some people act badly, but do they do it because they think god isn't watching or because they don't believe in god? No. They do it in spite of the existence or non-existence of god. Similarly, most people do good not because they are constantly calculating what god wants, but because they have values instilled in them from their upbringing and their culture and most importantly from their evolutionary history. Sure, some people perform good acts simply because they believe god is watching them and will reward them, but this actually makes their actions less moral in that they are only doing good to gain a reward.

Anyway, I'm curious to see what other people think. Do we need faith? Do we need to believe in something?

Friday, 26 December 2008


Please open to the book of Proverbs:

26:4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.
26:5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.


Monday, 22 December 2008

John 3:16

"3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

I'm sure we are all familiar with this passage. But, how many of us have thought about what it really means? An omni-max entity created beings that are fallible and therefore can't live up to the standards he set for them and do bad things (sometimes at his bidding no less) and the only way he can think of to forgive them is to father a child and have it be tortured....and somehow this makes sense?

What twisted mind decided that torturing one person for the "sins" of another would make everything OK? Why is god so keen on torture anyway? He creates hell to torture those that don't measure up, then makes sure that no one measures up. Then, he says, "Sorry that I have to torture you in hell for eternity, but I'll make it up to you by torturing my son." "Sorry that you aren't perfect, but I'll make it up to you by torturing my son." As if that makes anything better?

Of course, looking back we can see what was going on. The Jews had practiced ritual sacrifice of animals for a long time before this. It was believed that one could cleanse one's soul by offering up an animal to one's offended god. (Actually, this was not simply a Jewish custom, but was quite popular.) Xianity just took it one step further, by offering a sacrifice of a human and/or a living god. But we know that sin transference is not reality, so why do Xians still cling to these myths?

(Note: before anyone starts using the paid ticket example, fines are different from criminal activity or "sin." So, before you start to put that in the comments, think twice please.)

Thursday, 18 December 2008

My Way or the Highway

If you read John 16:4, it clearly states that the only way that one can attain heaven is through Jesus Christ. We can debate as to whether this means that one must follow Jesus, believe in Jesus, etc, but what we can't debate is that the Bible states that one must go through Jesus. So, how does one do that if one has never heard of Jesus? In our modern world, it is difficult to find people who don't learn something about Jesus or at least hear of this idea of Jesus. But, what about people who lived before the age of mass communication? Well, those people are bound for hell, simply for being ignorant of Xianity. I think we can all agree that this is unjust and immoral.

What about children who are too young to believe in anything? Well, then those children are bound for hell as well. I think we can agree that this is unjust and immoral as well.

Some Xians might object that surely a good god would not do such things, and would allow those people to go to heaven. But, this would demonstrate an unjust attitude as well, as those people would be held to different standards than those of us who have heard of this Jesus fellow. Either way, it is god who must act unjustly and immorally.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Occam's Razor

Occam's Razor:

"One should not increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of entities required to explain anything."

This is one of the various translations for Occam's famous saying. The more familiar phrasing that one usually sees is that the simplest explanation is usually the best explanation. What it means is that one should eliminate as many assumptions as possible in order to reach the best explanation. If two competing hypotheses are trying to explain the same phenomenon, and both work equally well, the one that has the least assumptions behind it would be preferred. Also, the one that adds the least amount of entities would be preferred, and adding complexity to the problem is not preferred.

It's ironic, then, that Occam was a friar, because his very simple argument is not at all beneficial to theism. Some theists claim that Occam's Razor is supportive of their faith, that evolution and science are complex and that positing a god is the more simple route, and therefore preferred. This is a gross misunderstanding of the idea, however, in that positing a new layer that is more complex than any other is not the preferred explanation for anything, and god is the most complex, unnecessary layer that one can add. (Note, I've also seen theists claim that goddidit seems like the simplest explanation to them, so therefore they use Occam's Razor to affirm their belief, but this falls into the same problem as above, and also adds an extra layer of subjective assumptions and hence is an even worse formulation.)

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Unforgivable Sin

I'm sure by now that we've all heard of the "Blasphemy Challenge." And we all know that anyone who blasphemes the holy spirit can never be forgiven. I'm at a loss as to why this is such a heinous crime, however. Is it really worse for me to say, "The holy spirit is a wanker," than to go out and kill someone? Yet, god, it seems, would rather I kill someone than talk trash about one specific aspect of him. Curiously enough, it's not unforgivable to say that "Jesus is a wanker."

And, why would an all-loving god lay down a rule that says that one can not be forgiven for something - that one must go to hell if one breaks rule X?

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

In the Beginning...

Science is something that we, as humans, would have a hard time living without. Science has the power to verify truths (to the best extent possible) and show us what our universe is like. Science has the power to negate positive claims made by theists as well, as many theists are well aware. Because of this, there is a lot of effort made by theists to show how science is compatible with their holy books - especially Xians trying to show how science is compatible with the Bible. One of these arguments goes like so:

1. Genesis says that god created the universe.
2. The big bang shows that the universe was created out of nothing.
3. Therefore science supports the Bible.

This is a horrible argument, however.

I have no qualms with number 1, except for one thing. Genesis goes on to explain how god created the universe, in time scales, order of creation, etc. It gets a lot of things horribly wrong. It's disingenuous of the Xian to take one piece of the passage out and claim that science supports the Bible while brushing the rest of the passage under the rug, hoping that no one will notice.

Number 2 is where the problems really exist, however. The big bang theory actually states that the matter and energy that are our universe came into the forms that we now recognize over a long period of time that started at time t=0. OK, that's a long-winded way to say that the big bang theory does not state that our universe was created or poofed into existence from nothing. What we call our universe came into existence when time came to exist, since we measure time by the speed of light (roughly), and before that time would have no meaning to us, but this does not mean that we know what was there prior to the universe. It's a stretch and a half to conclude that this somehow supports "goddidit" in any way, shape, or form. In short, this is simply not a credible argument, no matter how badly the Xian wishes to shoehorn science into her holy book.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

I've been saved

Today I return to the blog I sculpted with philanthropic intent so long ago; much has changed since that monumental day, including myself, my character, my ideology. No, you have not misread me. I have found God. Today I ask my devoted followers to journey with me once more: a journey to Jesus.

For, in my misguided attempt to find wisdom through science, my imprisonment in an ivory tower of my own psyche, I was neglecting that vital human attribute that is love; Agape, if you will. How often did I blaspheme my Lord. Oh, forgive me, pity me - for it is written that "thou shall not worship false idols", and my Papier-mâché Dawkins has long stood beside my bed as I slept.

To tell the truth I don't, and never did, really think Darwin was right. Have you seen that dinosaur with the tiny little arms? If that's not the work of an ironically fabricating deity I don't want to live. How does it masturbate?

No. My consciousness and innate sense of morality cannot have been forged through an evolutionary process, and I feel embarrassed that I ever believed it possible. From this day onwards I shall follow God through the teachings of His Representative On Earth, the Pope. And if I spread my chlamydia then so be it. I'm not using a prophylactic again.

Oh, how the Devil has led me astray through His soldiers of atheism! How those quick-witted gentiles and infidels held me under their spell of hate and denial! Woe is me! Let me burn, Jesus.

I will no longer donate my money to the poor. For, as it is written in Matthew, capitalism is the righteous path to take: for, as it is written:

10"When those hired first came, they thought that they would receive more; but each of them also received a denarius. 11"When they received it, they grumbled at the landowner, 12saying, 'These last men have worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the scorching heat of the day.' 13"But he answered and said to one of them, Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14'Take what is yours and go, but I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. 15Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own? Or is your eye envious because I am generous?'

And I will no longer tolerate: homosexuality; abortion; promiscuity, and not stoning women. X-dog out.

Logical Fallacies

Some theists are honest enough to admit that theism requires one to make logical errors (fallacy) in one's thinking in order to arrive at their god. Bravo. These theists, however, will inevitably also claim that atheism requires one to make logical errors as well. They claim that the atheist must assume that only matter and energy exist, which, they claim, is begging the question. I've also seen the claim that we have to assume that god doesn't exist, and we can't know that since we can't know everything unless we are god, which would self-defeat our claim. Both of these claims are incorrect, however.

Simply put, in a discussion between theism and atheism, the theist puts forth a positive truth claim, and thus bears the burden of proof. When the theist inevitably fails to provide the necessary evidence (especially since it will necessarily be based on a logical fallacy as per above) than the atheist be well within her rights to simply say, "You have not met your burden of proof, therefore I do not accept your claim and do not believe in your god." This does not entail a logical fallacy. It's not logically fallacious to deny unevidenced claims, no matter how much the theist wants to believe that their beliefs are on ground as solid as the atheist's.

But, don't we assume matter and energy are all there is? No, we don't. We provisionally hold that matter and energy are the only things we have evidence for and infer from there. There's nothing fallacious about that.

Don't we assume that god doesn't exist? Of course not. There's no need to assume that an unevidenced god (and in many cases a logically contradictory god) does not exist. It is up to the theist to show otherwise, and logically sound to disbelieve until that happens. If it were not logically sound, then one can claim that it is logically fallacious not to believe in Thor, Baal, invisible, pink unicorns, FSM, leprechauns, etc. This idea, however, is easily seen as the absurdity that it is. Far form catching us atheists making mistakes and putting theism on just as solid ground, the theist only ends up admitting their irrationality.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

To Giving Thanks

Since it is American Thanksgiving (tomorrow) I wanted to express some things that I am thankful for...with an atheist flavor.

1. I'm thankful that a bunch of deists (and some turncoat Xians) were able to convince the majority of people in this country that secularism and keeping church and state separate is a good thing. And I'm thankful that it stands to this day despite the efforts of some Xians (see number 2).

2. I'm thankful that groups like the dominionists don't hold more political sway in this country. Groups such as these would impose a theocracy on the rest of us, such that we had to not only follow the Bible, but would be required to follow their version of the Bible, or else be found guilty of some crime and stoned to death. The mullahs of Iran would be good friends with these guys if they didn't hate each other over who has the better imaginary friend.

3. I'm thankful that the fastest rising demographic in the religious sphere happens to be those who hold to no religion - freethinkers. I'm also thankful that the younger generation seems to be more open-minded in general and less bigoted against atheists, minorities, and gays. Perhaps someday we will live in a nation that truly does treat all citizens (and people) as equals, with equal rights and freedoms.

Feel free to tell me what you are thankful for in the comments.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Conceptions of god

How many Xians think that they worship the god of the Bible? I'm sure that all of them think that. In reality, however, probably none of them do.

If you take two Xians, from the same church even, and ask them about their conception of god - which would be the god they would worship - you would get two different answers. Change that number to X and you would get X different answers. No two people conceptualize the same god. Logically speaking, only one of those conceptions can be correct, so only one person can really worship the god of the Bible.

Can they get close enough at least? Probably, but not most modern Xians. This is because Xianity has certainly changed/evolved since god set down his rules/dictates/words in his hold books. Modern Xian thought is more about the love and justice of god. Yet, these attributes are not in abundant supply in the Bible. The god there is definitely not loving, nor just. But, in accordance with the modernization, and more importantly, the secularization of the world, Xianity has had to adapt to survive. So, now we have the kindler, gentler god (or sometimes the more mysterious god that can evade our senses/science, even though the old god showed up all the time to intervene in our affairs and appeared to people regularly). Yeah secularism.

Saturday, 22 November 2008


All you theists out there, take heed - your beliefs are irrational. I know, it's shocking. I mean, there are so many of you out there that think that you believe for perfectly good reasons, like how you think you've experienced god or how you think we can't exist without god and that you think you've logically gotten to this position. You say, "Hey, there's all these apologists out there telling me my faith is rational, there's philosophers, there's theologians, and they all say the same thing." Well, sorry to have to tell you this, but you can't get to god belief through logical or rational means.

All god belief comes from a breakdown in logic. If you arrive at god belief because of an anthropic argument, then you are guilty of begging the question and god of the gaps thinking. If you arrived through experience, then you are guilty of begging the question and special pleading. There is no logical path that leads to god belief.

Now, of course I fully expect someone to chime in with a cliched, "Well, that's YOUR opinion and only an opinion so I can simply ignore it," but I wonder if anyone who comes to make that statement can present a logical argument for god. So, how about it? Anyone got one?

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Mental Health

Is god belief good for your mental health, or bad? From the standpoint of self-esteem, I think a good case can be made (actually, it has been made) that Xianity in particular is bad for your mental health. Let me explain.

Xians are taught that we are all evil, that we are all not good enough, that we all deserve hell. This is a teaching that is going to have a negative effect on one's self esteem. True, many Xians mistakenly feel that god loves them, which should make them feel better, but should it? god supposedly loves them in spite of their failings. This is not a positive for humans, but a positive aspect of god, that he's willing to love even though we fail time and time again. We are still pretty worthless and undeserving - except that we deserve hell.

I'm sure we've all seen the cliche of the athlete after winning the big game, turning and giving all glory to god. This is merely a manifestation of this practice. Xians are conditioned to give away their best and attribute it to some external entity. It wasn't the hard work and skill and teamwork that got you the victory, it was some other entity that bestowed it upon you. You don't deserve the victory, god does. While, at the same time, Xians are taught to internalize all of our (humans) faults. When something goes wrong, do Xians ever blame god or look to god? No, they blame humans and themselves.

As an atheist, I don't have this problem. Sure, I err from time to time, and I can look at myself and realize that I did err, but I also can look at myself in triumph when I do something right and feel good about myself, because I know that I don't have to externalize all my accomplishments to some other entity. It's a good feeling and a better way to live.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

It's All Parables

The Bible claims that Jesus often spoke in parables. He would tell stories in order to get his point across. OK, whatever.

We also know that many of the stories in the Bible are made-up, like the story of Exodus, for example. Some apologists have taken this idea of parables and decided that they call anything that looks suspicious a "parable" and thus have a pat answer for any objections to the Bible. "Exodus didn't happen you say? That's because it's a parable."

The problem with this line of thinking, however, is that these events are not being told as parable, but as historical fact. Exodus is not written in a parable form, with characters, but with supposedly real people. They are simply not parables.

Another tack that apologists like to make is to defend the especially heinous portions of the Bible by claiming that they are parables, which supposedly makes it all better. But, it doesn't. Not only are some of those sections not parables (like Saul killing the Amalekites and being punished by god for not being bloodthirsty enough and showing some mercy and common sense), but there's a problem with the ones that are actual parables. A parable is supposed to be a story that tells a moral, that gives moral guidance. Telling a story about how slaves should submit to their masters gives bad moral guidance, both to the slaves and the masters. It does nothing to counter objections to the Bible to simply cry, "Parable!"

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Where's the Love?

Supposedly, god loves us. He loves us so much that he puts us in hell if we don't live our lives the way that he dictates. Is there any doubt that the Xian conception of love is so twisted and tortured as to be beyond what any of us would consider love? If you truly loved someone, would you be able to torture that person? Condemn that person to hell? Or, would you do everything in your power to save that person, to help them? Wouldn't you do this especially if you knew ahead of time what would happen to that person? That is what love is, yet god does not engage in these types of actions according to god's own book.

In fact, in god's book, it is said that most people will go to hell. Is this what Xians deem to be love?

And, why will god put people in hell? For not being obedient enough and/or thought crimes, etc is the answer. Again, we don't see god expressing love here, but instead we see god trying to exert dominance over us. Once again, this is not love, this is sadism, cruelty, and barbarism. For a Xian to call this "love" seriously strains the bounds of language and thought. This is twisted and beyond comprehension. Any Xians reading this should think long and hard about this concept and what "love" any god can show that holds the threat of eternal damnation over your head and isn't afraid to use it.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Liar, Lunatic, or Lord...or Something Else?

How often do you hear the apologetic refrain that Jesus was either a liar, a lunatic, or lord? The idea goes that either one must say that Jesus was a con-artist, mentally deranged, or one has to admit that Jesus was the son of god, etc. Unfortunately for the apologist, this is a poor argument in quite a few ways.

First, the argument assumes that what the Bible reports about Jesus is true. We have no reason to believe that, however. The evidence is scant that a person named Jesus existed to begin with, and even if we grant that, there's no evidence to suggest that the Bible is accurate about what he said or did. We know that the accounts were written well after the time period in question by people who were not there to witness the goings-on, which is fatal to the argument.

Second, the argument relies on an emotional response from the one being questioned. People don't like to accuse others of being liars, nor do they like to make pronouncements about the sanity of others, so the question is rigged to play on these emotions and present the third option as more comfortable. This pushes the one being questioned towards that answer due to their human emotions, not their reason or intellect.

Which leads to a third problem, which is that there aren't only 3 choices to this dilemma. It's quite possible that if Jesus did exist and claim to be the son of god, that he might have simply been mistaken or himself misled. There's no reason to rule out those possibilities if we assume that the story is historically accurate. It's just another example of bad apologetics.

Sunday, 2 November 2008


First of all, I want to remind you all to vote.

Second, I think it's important that we consider the issues. Since this is an atheist blog, I want to bring up a specific issue that should concern us all, and that is the separation of church and state. Many Xians believe that church/state separation should not be held as an ideal and will do what they can to erase the wall that has been built. The Republican party has been the standard bearer of this movement for years now, and is there any doubt that Palin was brought onto the ticket in order to assuage voters from the religious right?

But, make no mistake about this, if these people gain the ability to destroy the separation of church and state that we enjoy, all of our rights will be violated, not just those of us in the non-Xian community. Liberal Xians - your rights will also be violated by these people, as they strive to ensure that you believe in the correct way, that you worship as they do, that you bow to their will. Is this really what you think this country should stand for? Do you really think we should become a Xian version of Iran? Some people do, but I'm hoping the majority don't want this.

Although the Democrats have made some moves as well that are troubling on this front, they are the lesser of two evils by far in regards to this issue. I hope that you all will consider this issue when going in to vote for your candidate. Even if you vote for the party that pushes this agenda, I hope that you will see fit to find ways to rebuke that party and let them know that you do not want your right to freedom of religion to be usurped.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Robotic Perfection

The Xian god is said to be perfect and omni-max, but is this even possible? What is entailed by being perfect?

god must, by virtue of being perfect, remain perfect in all situations: choices, thoughts, deeds, etc. Because god must remain perfect and because no two choices (I'll focus on choices, but the argument works equally well for thoughts, deeds, etc.) are completely equal, there will always be one superior/perfect choice. If god is to be perfect, then god must choose this choice. This leaves god with only one option at all times when choices are made. Since god only has one option, god is merely a robot that has no free will or freedom.

But, freedom is better than slavery, right? Isn't it better to have free will/freedom than to not? (Any Xian that argues against this point negates the free will defense to the problem of evil and has bigger fish to fry at that point - not that the free will defense is all that good, but it's the only thing the apologist has.) So, if it is better to be free and have choices, then god is not perfect, since god does not have this freedom. The tenet of god's perfection is therefore self-defeating.

Friday, 24 October 2008


OK. So, god comes down and decides that pork is bad, immoral, sinful. "Don't eat it," he says. Why? Because it is immoral, bad, and sinful of course. If you eat it, then you are deserving of eternal torment and punishment.

Or, maybe the ancient Jews ate some pork and some got sick from trichinosis, because they didn't prepare it correctly. So, they made a rule that one shouldn't eat pork and they claimed it was from god to add moral and authoritative weight to it.

Which one is more parsimonious?

Even if it were the first, why would god make this rule? Did he make it in order to protect the Jews? It seems rather weird to enact a rule to protect people and then punish them for eternity with torture if they don't follow the rule. So, even if this did come from god, it doesn't make sense. Once again, we see the Xian myth as less than sensible.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Cherry Picking

One would think that a divine being would be able to write a book that humans could follow to the letter. Yet, in practice, we see that this is simply not the case. No one follows the Bible to the letter. Every Xian picks and chooses pieces of the Bible to follow and others to not follow. Every Xian goes through the Bible and accepts the things they find good as rote while rationalizing the things they find bad as allegory or something else, even when those bad things are written in plain text. No one can follow the Bible literally, as it is riddled with so many contradictions and errors, that it's simply not possible. But, there's no reason why this should be true.

If god is omni-max, then he should be able to write a guidebook that stands the test of time, that is instructive, that is error-free, that is not subject to the interpretations of fallible humans, etc. Yet, that is exactly what we don't find. Can anyone really claim with a straight face that the Bible is divinely written or inspired?

Saturday, 18 October 2008


Being out in the desert right now (which is hampering my ability to blog BTW) I'm struck at how sparse it is out here. There's nothing but sand, rocks, and dead-looking vegetation for miles in a lot of places. This has put me in a reflective mood. From here, where there's not a lot of light pollution, I can see stars at night, which is much more difficult in the city. The universe is practically endless (since we would never be able to reach the end due to the expansion the universe is experiencing). Do Xians really think that god put all of this here simply for us?

The answer to that question is yes (I've never met a Xian who doesn't believe this, although I'm willing to be proven wrong on this). How arrogant is that? Why would god create such a vast universe that is completely unnecessary?

Monday, 13 October 2008


god is not very good at getting things done, is he? If god wants to convince us that he exists, he's doing a rather poor job. Even in the Bible, he doesn't do such a good job. He continually shows himself to the Jews in the OT (some of them at least) and performs all kinds of miracles, and they continually turn away to worship other gods. Seems that he's not very convincing. Then, when he comes down in human form, he still can't get people to believe in him. That's pretty pathetic if you ask me.

Xian apologists chalk this up to humans being bad. But, I think that the common denominator in the equation happens to be god in all instances. It is god that can not convince others of his existence. Why do we not consider the fact that god may very well simply be inept and incompetent, or that maybe he doesn't wish for all of us to be convinced of his existence?

Think about when Jesus, a living god, was here and was unable to provide arguments that were perfect and unassailable. The Bible certainly doesn't show him presenting irrefutable arguments. Why not? Why can't a god in human form present arguments and proof that is unassailable? Could god be incompetent? One of the Xian tenets is that god is perfect, which would seem to preclude that god is incompetent. Therefore, the only choice left (besides that humans are stupid and evil, which brings its own problems) is that god intentionally did not wish to convince all of his existence. If that is the case, the god is intentionally seeking to punish humans and put them in hell. Again, we find the actions of god are not in line with his alleged wish that all should be saved.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

God's House

If anyone is unaware of the current financial situation in our country, go read a newspaper before you continue.

With the sub-prime mortgage issue, one might think that perhaps god would help those Xians in need. Of course, that's not what is happening. In fact, it seems that god has told people to get into this mess. Yes, god will provide, especially if you take your hard-earned money and put it into the church instead of into paying your mortgage. Of course, we know what's really going on, and that is that snake-oil salesmen are fleecing people out of their money in order to perpetuate the Xian myth. (This isn't new of course as we can see from the televangelists' scandals over the last couple decades as well as other examples.)

Why do people keep falling for this stuff? A possible answer would be Xianity's disdain for knowledge, science, and education as well as reason and logic. Once you get people to eschew all of these things, it's rather easy to feed them lies about things to make them feel good and then part them with their money.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Justice or Love

Many theists claim that we all deserve hell, and that it is just for god to place us there after we die. They assert that god is perfectly just and for us to go to hell shows god's justice.

Many of these Xians also assert that god is perfectly loving, that he loves us all and doesn't want us to perish in hell - that he shows his love by bestowing his grace upon us, thus saving us from what we deserve.

The problem with this, is that the theist has set up a condition where justice and grace are opposing ideas. In order for god to be perfectly just, we must all go to hell. In order for god to be perfectly loving, we must all be saved. The theist, by claiming that some go to hell and some go to heaven, has shown that god is neither perfectly just nor perfectly loving by the theist's own guidelines. When god grants grace, the person does not receive what the person deserves, hence justice is not served and god can not be perfectly just. Conversely, when god bestows grace on people to show his love, but is unwilling to do it for all, it shows that god can not be perfectly loving. Hence, the theist's argument is self-refuting.

Friday, 3 October 2008


Many Xians assert that god created us in order to glorify himself. Apart from being a vain, self-centered, egotistical, and immoral thing for god to do, this begs the question as to why a perfect being would do such a thing.

Shouldn't a perfect being already have perfect, maximum glory? How can the creation of humans increase the glory that a perfect being already possesses? If this is possible, then god is not and can not be perfect. The very act of god creating us to glorify himself means that god is not and can not be perfect.

Friday, 26 September 2008


Why would any woman ever want to be a Xian? This is literally a mystery to me. The Bible is misogynistic - women are the property of men according to god's law. Women must subjugate themselves to men, women must be silent, it is woman's fault that humans fell, childbirth is a curse upon women, etc. It boggles my mind why anyone would want to subject themselves to this sort of treatment/harassment.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has a good write-up of the treatment of women in the Bible including a list of several verses that spell out how women are demeaned by Xianity. I suggest that all Xian women read it.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008


I've recently seen a couple of apologists talk about how Xianity somehow gave rise to science. One of the starting points of their argument is that in the Xian worldview, Xians hold that god created a natural world that is regular and conforms to natural laws that can be studied. Yet, upon reflection, this is a non-sequitor in that it literally does not follow.

Xians believe in a personal god, one that performs miracles. This goes directly against the idea that nature is regular. A god that performs acts that violate natural laws has not created a system that we can take for granted as being regular. Sure, things tend to fall towards the Earth, but who's to say that god won't cause a miracle to happen so that an object I drop won't float in the air in violation of natural law? This creates a situation where we can't actually count on the world to be regular and yield repeatable scientific results.

Monday, 22 September 2008


Many theists assert that god's truth as revealed by revelation is the best way to know about the world, that it is true knowledge, etc. But, is it really? Can anyone name anything that we can say that we know and learned via revelation? For every revelation that anyone can present, there are plenty of contradictory revelations. Each of these revelations are claimed to be from a deity (sometimes contradictory revelations are claimed to be from the same deity) with no way to discern which is true and which one to believe.

On the other hand, we do have a system that works that does bring us knowledge, and that is the scientific method. Through the use of this method, we have made untold discoveries about the world around us, have learned untold numbers of facts, etc. The success rate for science is sky high; it has proven itself to be effective. So, can any theists point to anything we've actually learned from revelation?

Thursday, 18 September 2008


When Xians claim that they know that god exists and that they can not be swayed from this belief, because they are 100% certain that god exists, they are making a rather extraordinary claim. And, the claim I'm speaking of is not simply that god exists, but that they are incapable of being wrong about this claim. This is nothing less than a claim of infallibility, which is ironic considering that a central Xian tenet is that humans are fallible beings and only god is infallible.

"Wait," you say, "The theist has only claimed certainty in one aspect of the real world, not all aspects, hence the theist has not claimed infallibility." Even if the theist only claims knowledge in this very limited sense, it is still a claim that the theist can not be wrong, hence is infallible. But, that's not really what the theist is claiming is it? The theist is also claiming that their religious opinions (how they shape their views on god) are infallible, that their senses (how they view evidence) are infallible, etc. To claim certainty in any one area means that there must also be certainty in other areas, since our thoughts and views are interconnected with other thoughts and views we hold.

We can never be 100% sure of anything. We can be reasonably sure of things - to a degree that it is rational to hold the position that those things are true, but 100% certainty is never attainable. When the theist claims this ability, they are stepping beyond the bounds of what is rationally or reasonably possible.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

The Inevitability of Jesus

I've recently had a theist posit that god planned to have Jesus come and save us from the beginning of time, whether the fall had happened or not. Let's think about that for a moment, shall we?

If Jesus was always destined to come, then humans were always in need of saving, even before the fall. This wipes away any chance the theist has to claim that we deserve hell due to the fall (not that that is a good claim to make mind you). If we were in need of salvation from the beginning, the all humans regardless of our deeds or the past deeds of our ancestors were made by god to be destined for hell unless he comes to save us. What moral being would consciously make entities that it earmarked for hell from the very beginning?

Yet, in a strange way, it's probably one of the most logical stances that a theist could take. If god is omni-max, then anything and everything that happens in this world necessarily has to happen by this god's demand and according to this god's will. So, god wills that people die in horrible accidents, he wills that people are evil to each other, and he wills that people go to hell. The argument that god does not wish for anyone to perish is also obviously thrown out the window with this admission that Jesus was destined from the start. I'd score that one an own goal.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

How do you know?

Some Xians claim that god speaks to them or that they feel god's presence. OK, so how do you know that it is god's presence? In order to know that it is supernatural, that would require that one be able to eliminate all possible causes, both known and unknown - good luck with that.

But, let's say that some supernatural entity is talking to theists. How would a theist know that it is god talking to them and not some other entity? Many Xians believe in Satan and demons, and they automatically assume that anything that brings them closer to god is from god and anything that leads them away from god is due to Satan or his demons. This presumes that the theist knows and understands what leads to god, however. So, for Xians, what if Allah is the one true god? Then, demons might be leading you to Yahweh and they would be leading you away from the one true god and towards your eternal torment. How would one know?

There are, of course, other problems, like why god would allow demons to lead humans (that he supposedly loves) to their destruction, and the inherent confirmation bias of having one's personal views confirmed automatically leading to god, as well as the count the hits and ignore the misses inherent in such an exercise. In short, claims about hearing specific gods, etc., are patently absurd and useless.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Heaven or Free Will

Xians regularly claim that this world contains evil because we have free will. Having free will means that evil will necessarily exist. Therefore, god is not evil for allowing evil since he wishes for us to be free, autonomous agents capable of making decisions based on our free will.

Of course, the idea of free will with an omni-max deity is inherently contradictory, but let's grant that free will exists for a moment. The argument is that god can not imbue us with free will that causes us to want to do good, because that's not truly free. This is supposedly impossible. Yet, Xians claim that such a place exists - heaven. In heaven, there is no evil, and people strive to do what is good at all times, one would assume. Therefore, if it is impossible to have free will and eradicate evil, heaven must be a place where there is no free will. The Xian ideal, it seems would be to become an automaton for god - a robot, with no power to choose anything. Is this what eternal bliss is?

The Xian will no doubt object to this, saying that we must have free will in heaven, which means that it is possible for us to have free will and live in a world that is free from evil. The theist can not have it both ways. The Xian might also object and say that the people in heaven have used their free will to choose to be with god in heaven, thus free will is preserved. But, this only preserves the "choice" to go to heaven in this Earthly realm, not in heaven. Is one able to exercise one's free will in heaven and reject god? If so, and if this is "evil" then heaven is not a place free from evil and it is not eternal bliss.

Just another contradiction from the contradiction mines.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Is Life a Gift?

Some Xians contend that life is a gift. I believe that it is in the sense that life is a wonderful thing to have, but unfortunately for them, calling this life a gift is completely at odds with their beliefs.

According to Xianity, once we die we are headed for one of two locations, heaven or hell. (Note, Catholics also pontificate on purgatory, but that eventually leads to heaven, so for the sake of this argument, we can safely ignore purgatory.) So, let's examine the options.

Option 1: Person is headed for hell.

If a person is headed for hell, one might be tempted to think this life is a gift, but what kind of gift ends in eternal torment? The finite amount of time one has on this planet with its ups and downs is nothing compared to the permanent agony and torture that one would endure in endless amounts for eternity in hell. Even if one had the life of Riley in this life, and was always happy, this would quickly be overcome with the torture endured in hell. It would be far better for one to never have been born than to endure infinite torment.

Option 2: Person is headed for heaven.

If a person is headed for heaven, this life could not be considered a gift, as it is just a lowly way-station on the road to eternal bliss. Heaven is described as a place that is so great, that it far surpasses any happiness that is possible on this world. If one were bound for heaven, then one would be stupid not to want to get there as quickly as possible to start experiencing true happiness. Even living the life of Riley would not compare. This life is only keeping you from true happiness and is therefore not a gift.

As an atheist, I am free from these delusions of the afterlife and can truly enjoy life. But, a Xian that holds to a logically coherent view of the world must necessarily detest this life as it keeps that person from enjoying their true reward, while also noting that those poor schmucks bound for hell would be better off not being born.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008


Let's say that you and I are on a boat and I push you off the boat and into the water. Not expecting it, you start to drown. I finally decide to throw you a life preserver and pull you back on board the boat. Am I a hero? Is this a good action? Should you thank me for saving you? I think most people would recognize that my actions were not good. I should not have thrown you into the water and put you in that dangerous situation. Throwing in the life preserver was not so much a good act as an act that fulfilled my moral obligation to you for putting you in that position to begin with. Are we all on the same page? Good.

Now, suppose that we change it up slightly. Let's say that god creates you in such a way that you are doomed for hell. This is analogous to him pushing you into the water and you drowning. Now, god sacrifices Jesus in order to save you, which is analogous to throwing you a life preserver. As above, we can see that god's actions are not good. Putting you in a situation where you are in need of saving just so that he can save you is not a good action or a moral action. In fact, god is morally obligated to save us for putting us in the position where we are bound for hell, and he doesn't even do that for the majority of people if the Bible is to be believed. So, why is it that apologists claim that god is good and moral?

Monday, 1 September 2008

Sins of the Fathers

Let's do a thought experiment, shall we? Let's say that person X murders person Y 10 years before you are born. Further, let's suppose that the police come knocking on your door tomorrow and say, "Because person X murdered person Y 10 years before you were born, we are coming to punish you for that crime." You would surely be outraged. You would immediately see this as a completely unjust action, would you not? So, why is it OK for god to hold people accountable for actions they never had a part in? Let me explain.

In the Bible, god boasts about his wrath and that he will visit upon the sons the punishment for the crimes of the fathers down through the ages. He even carries out this boast on a number of occasions. He has Saul murder the Amalekites, for one, because he's upset with something Amalek did generations before. He also has done this to all of us in invoking original sin, the doctrine whereby he holds us all accountable for the actions of Adam and Eve. If you hold that god is infinitely just in everything he says and does, then you have to agree that it is just for one to hold another accountable for actions they had no hand in, actions that occurred before they were born, actions they had no chance to choose to do or not do, etc. Yet, in the case above, you would say that this very action is unjust. This is a double standard and one that clearly shows that god is not just.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Good god?

There's a question that I've asked many a theist and never gotten an actual answer to, so maybe one of the theistic readers here can answer it. Here it is:

How do you know that god is good?

Monday, 25 August 2008

Evil Spirits

When we last left Saul, god had decided (for the second time) that Saul would no longer be king of the Israelis. So, what did god do? Did god kill Saul? Nope. Did god have Saul deposed? Nope. Did god remove Saul as king? Nope. Hmmmm, for a god that doesn't want Saul to be king anymore, you'd think he would have removed him, but he didn't.

No, instead god leaves Saul as king, but sends evil spirits to torment him.

Let's let that sink in for a second.

Of course, god is incompetent as always, because the spirits he sends can be held at bay with the sound of someone playing a harp. Really, I can't understand how anyone could read this stuff and think that god is either good or mighty.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Jesus and the whip

Let us read from the book of John, Chapter 2, verse 15...

OK, let me paraphrase...Jesus gets mad at some money changers hanging out and doing business in the temple, so he fashions a whip and goes into the temple and drives them all out under threat of violence.

But, I thought Jesus was supposed to be peaceful and sin-free? Is it not sinful to whip other people? Ah, some apologists have jumped on this and said that the Bible doesn't say that he actually whipped anyone, so it's all right. But, it's not all right. It's certainly against the law in this country to threaten someone with a weapon (it's called assault at the least). Even if Jesus merely used the whip to frighten the money changers out of the temple, he assaulted them. This is not moral, and violates the same laws that he laid forth in some of his sermons. Apparently, we find once again that god does not have to follow the same moral laws that he expects all of us to follow.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008


I'm laughing so hard at this that I simply have to share it.

Check this out

Monday, 18 August 2008

Adam and Eve Redux

OK, some apologists just don't get it, so let's use an analogy.

Let's say your kid who is all of 2 years old like to run in your garden and you don't like it. You go and confront the little kid and tell him, "Don't run into my yard, for the next time you do so, you shall surely feel my wrath." You don't put up a fence or do anything to keep the kid out - in fact you do the opposite and put something in the garden that the kid will be irresistibly drawn to just so that you can ensure the kid will enter the garden. Next thing you know, the kid is in your garden again. If you were an insane, egotistical, sadistic, angry person, you might take the following actions:

1. Banish the kid from your house forever and toss him out on his ass.
2. Inject him with some sort of genetically designed virus that causes birth defects in all his off-spring for all eternity.
3. Blame the kid for everything and convince him that it's all his fault that you are taking such extreme actions, but that you are doing it out of love.
4. Create a place of torture for this kid and all his descendants to go to if they don't bow down and kiss your feet and convince them it's all their fault.

etc. etc.

If you think that those actions are pretty insane, then consider god's actions against Adam and Eve. Yes, the analogy falls a little short, only because god's actions are even harder to defend and even more insane - he knew they would eat the fruit, he actually puts people in hell for all eternity, etc.

Friday, 15 August 2008


Apologists like to claim that god is good. When atheists point out the evil deeds that god commits in the Bible, apologists like to state that we are not in a position to judge god since god is too far beyond us.

Anyone else see the contradiction?

Apologists can not simultaneously argue that we can not judge god while also arguing that they can and have judged god and found him to be good. This is contradictory and illogical. Either they have to say that we can judge god and they find god to be good, but that the question is open, or they must claim that god is above judgement and that they can't say whether god is good or not.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

The Goodness of god

A logical disproof:

1. god is good
2. The Bible is god's word and true
3. The Bible describes god's actions truthfully
4. In the Bible god commands and carries out genocide
5. Genocide is not good
6. Those who commit genocide are not good
7. Therefore god is not good
8. Number 7 contradicts number 1 - therefore god is either not good or does not exist.

Some apologists will argue, of course, that god's acts of genocide are necessarily good, but this is not an envious position to be in; to have to defend genocide. It makes me wonder who else they'd like to kill. But, there's a problem still, because they are guilty of begging the question. They assume that god must be good, so they fit all the facts and data in order to fill their already assumed conclusion. This is logically fallacious. You can't simply conclude and then fit the evidence to your conclusion. Unfortunately for them, all apologetics do this.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Good vs. Evil

Typical apologist argument for god: god exists because good and evil exist and we could not have good and evil without an objective standard from god.

There are, of course, numerous problems with this argument. First, it is assumed that good and evil are objective things, which has not been shown. This would be begging the question. The best we can discern is that the concepts of good and evil are man-made. They come from our culture. This is why a Muslim man might find killing his daughter to be good if she has dishonored the family while another person would look at this action as highly immoral.

Another problem is the assumption that without god, nothing can be objective. This is simply not true, however. There are numerous philosophies devoted to developing objective standards of good and evil, like Utilitarianism, that don't depend at all on some edict given from on high from some deity.

Another problem is the fact that the argument assumes god's existence and that only god can provide such things as good and evil. This is begging the question. Since we have no evidence for god, what is left for the apologist is to argue against every other conceivable option, until only the option of god is left. This is clearly impossible though, because how would one know if all the options (known and unknown) have been examined properly?

One more issue I'd like to bring up is that the apologist in the this argument usually seems to demand that only their god can fit the bill, when in reality, if their argument actually held weight, just about any god would be capable of fitting the bill. In short, even if this argument didn't have the above problems, it would still only be an argument for some type of theistic thought and that's it.

Friday, 8 August 2008


Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?
- Epicurus

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

god's Regret?

So, twice now has god decided that Saul should not be king of Israel. In fact, god is repentant about it. He says so in 1 Sam. 15:11. Of course, Saul is repentant too, he really wants to please god, but god will have none of it. This begs the question as to why god won't show mercy on Saul. Saul is trying, which is what many modern Xians tell us that we are supposed to do, yet god rebukes him for it. god wants blind obedience and if you can't blindly follow and get the commands right - which seems to be Saul's problem - then too bad for you. In fact, Saul wanted to please god, with burnt offerings, to which Samuel rebukes him by saying that obedience is much more important. Samuel sets it up that obedience is the sum all, be all of our "relationship" with god. Does this sound like a loving relationship? Should a loved one demand complete obedience from you? Would you feel loved if this were to happen?

Also, how can god feel regret? How can a perfect being do something with which to feel regretful? Yet, god plainly says that he regrets making Saul king. Of course, just 18 verses later god reverses himself and claims that he never repents, only to reverse himself again 6 verses later and re-affirm that he repents making Saul king.

How can one not look at this story and see a ridiculous god?

Sunday, 3 August 2008

The Bloodthirsty god

The Xian god is one of the more bloodthirsty deities that have been conceived. He is directly responsible for multiple genocides either by his own hand or sanctioned and ordered by him. The next installment of the saga of Saul is just one of those cases. Samuel comes to Saul and tells him of god's wish that Saul should annihilate the Amalekites. See, god is angry at something that Amalek did many years before and now wants to extract revenge, so he tells Saul that he must go and kill them all. No one and nothing should be spared, according to god. Saul must slay all the men, women, children, oxen, sheep, camels, and asses. In short, Saul is to leave nothing alive. Perversely, god has already said that Saul should not be king and that he's taking away Saul's kingship, but also tells him that he has to do this because god made him king. god is such a swell guy.

Anyway, Saul does as he's told, except that he allows their king Agag to survive and he takes the best of the livestock for his people. This angers god. Saul has not been ruthless and vicious enough for god, so god once again decides that Saul is not a worthy king and will be replaced. Of course, he had already decided that before, which begs the question, why is god so forgetful?

Anyway, once again we find god to be much less than perfect and certainly not loving. In fact, god is cruel, vindictive, provincial, and bloodthirsty.

Friday, 1 August 2008

Saul the King

Picking up the story where we left off, Samuel promised that Saul would be the King of Israel. Hooray for Saul, right? Well, Samuel tells Saul that he will go to Gilgal and then wait 7 days for Samuel's arrival at which time Samuel will tell him what god wants Saul to do. Easy right?

In the meantime, Nahash makes a move against Jabeshgilead. The people of Jabesh basically surrender and Nahash says that he wants to take out all their right eyes. The people of Jabesh ask to send out messengers to find a savior, and miraculously Nahash allows it. What kind of moron would allow this to happen? Anyway, Saul uses the opportunity to slay the Ammonites (Nahash's people) all throughout the day. This gives him leverage and he goes to Gilgal to become the king. As so often happens in this book, the man who can cause the most bloodshed gets to become king! Anyway, Samuel comes and officially makes Saul king, although there is no mention of how long it took.

Two years later, the Philistines and the Israelis start warring. Saul goes once again to Gilgal and somehow remembers that he's supposed to wait 7 days for Samuel, even though he's been there before and Samuel didn't specify when this would happen. This is all very strange of course, but let's move on. After 7 days, there's no sign of Samuel. Saul's army is leaving him, he's about to be beaten by the Philistines, so he orders a sacrifice to god. At this point Samuel finally shows up and rebukes Saul for not following god's orders and claims that god will now choose a new king.

But, what was Saul to do? If he were smart, he might have invoked the Jewish law that said a prophet that is mistaken does not come from the lord and must be put to death, but he didn't do that. Instead, he found himself in a bad spot because god's messenger didn't do what god said he would. IOW, god lied, and Saul ended up paying the price for it. Not only that, but Saul was seeking to please god and was rebuked for doing so. Is there any way one can look at god's actions here and not see a capricious, mean deity? Didn't god know this would happen? So, why make Saul king at all if Saul would disappoint? Once again, we find a god that is very much less than perfect.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Where the Saying Comes From

Is Saul also among the prophets?

I plan on spending some time (and some posts) on one of my favorite Biblical figures, Saul, and I'd like to kick it off with a nice little contradiction. There's two places in the Bible where a (supposed) single author explains where the above saying came from (I know, it's not as in vogue as it used to be to ask about Saul's prophetic abilities) and he gives different stories. The book is 1 Samuel and in chapter 9 we learn that Saul is to become a great king, the leader of god's people. Chapter 10 shows Samuel seeing the signs that are told to him by Samuel so that he can be convinced that he will be king of god's people. Part of this is that god will come upon him and he will begin to prophesy, which is what happens. When the people see this, they ask, "Is Saul also among the prophets?" Thus explaining where the quote comes from.

Or does it? Chapter 19 tells a different tale altogether. By then, Saul is already king, but he's worried about David who is to take his place (more on that in a later post). So, he sends out people to kill David, but to no avail. He keeps sending people and they keep coming under the spirit of god and prophesying. So, Saul goes himself and the spirit of the lord comes over him and he to begins to prophesy, taking off all his clothes and lying naked all day and all night with the other prophets, which is why people ask, "Is Saul also among the prophets."

So, which story is true? Like so many tall tales, it's a story with multiple origins where some people swear that it happened one way, and others swear it happened a different way. The question is, why is god's book undetermined on the origin of the story? Why couldn't god get it right?

Update: I typo-ed Chapter "18" instead of "19." The error has been fixed. The correct chapter is 19.

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Group Selection Pressure

Group Selection Pressure

The video is funny, but upon further reflection, it reminds me of the pressures that religious evangelizers put on others and how easily it works sometimes.

Saturday, 19 July 2008


That bwessed event.

But seriously, what is marriage? To the modern Xian, it is a union between one man and one woman, which they claim it has always been, as ordained by god. Many Xians I've met have also shown disdain for Mormons (who are technically also Xians, which is denied by most non-Mormon Xians) for the Mormons' views historical and present on polygamy. 'That's not what god had in mind,' they claim. So, why does god - through the Bible - not seem to have a problem (at the very least) with polygamy?

Abraham, Lamech, Esau, and Jacob all had multiple wives and that's just in Genesis! Exodus and Deuteronomy both lay down the foundations for laws on having multiple wives instead of banning it (why would god set down laws for how to do something that he didn't want his children to do?) Later, King Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines (how did he find time for them all?) And, we even see references in the NT in Mathew 25 to 10 virgins going to marry one man.

How is it that some people can be so ignorant of the religion that they supposedly hold so dear and use it as a cudgel against others? Have they no shame?

Friday, 11 July 2008

Belief = Morality?

OK, so god is going to torture me for eternity for not believing in him, right? But why? Am I acting immorally for my disbelief?

Let's say, for the sake of argument, that I am deciding not to believe in god. Is this an immoral stance to take? No, of course not. We are talking about a belief in a factual matter, namely the factual existence or non-existence of god. The statement, "I believe/disbelieve in god/allah/Santa Claus/Thor/Zeus/Baal/FSM/invisible, pink unicorns," is a factual statement on what your view of the evidence (or non-evidence really) of these myths is. This is not a statement that lends itself to a moral judgement. If all non-Xians are wrong, and god does exist, then we are guilty of no more than simply not having all the evidence or not reading the evidence correctly.

So, why would god torture me for eternity for making an error in reading the "evidence" of world? Is god really too stupid to understand the difference between a statement or an action of a factual nature and one of a moral nature? I think the answer to that question is that he's either too stupid or he doesn't care. This, once again, leads to the conclusion that if god exists, he is surely not omni-benevolent.