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.