Monday, 26 April 2010

Ignorance is a Miracle

Are ya'll Xians down wit' the clowns? You should be, since they seem to think that everything is a miracle and are pushing Xianity through their raps. Unfortunately for them, "clowns," is an appropriate moniker for them and their brand of ignorance.

Yeah, I know, they are scraping the bottom of the barrel, especially since all their supposed "miracles" are pretty easy to explain. But, are they really that much different from all the other Xian apologists out there?

"The Earth is not round, we will burn you for your heresy."

"Why would I want to put that metal rod on my building? Lightning strikes are god's way of punishing people"

"Evolution is wrong, wrong, wrong, now give me my antibiotics."

Whether you're the ICP, Kent Hovind, Ken Ham, Ray Comfort, or William Lane Craig the schtick is the same, "We don't know this or that, so goddidit." It's all an abject refusal to deal with reality and a glorification of ignorance, no matter how much they protest and try to wrap up their apologetics in pseudo-intellectualism.

Friday, 16 April 2010

They Just Don't Get It

Apparently, the issue of pedophile priests in the Catholic church is all a front to attack the church. Apparently it's the fault of the Jews, the liberal media and intellectuals, homosexuals, or anyone and everyone else. They are pointing fingers, and the fingers are continually pointing away.

And, why not? Why should we hold the people who actually covered up these acts as accountable? Why should we hold the people who aided and abetted these sexual predators as accountable? Why should we hold those who hid the truth from us for so long accountable?

Why? Because people who do the above things, as the Catholic hierarchy has, deserve to be told to go pound sand. They are not moral people as they have repeatedly demonstrated quite capably. They are inhuman and immoral and they should be shunned and prosecuted for their crimes. They shouldn't be defended or held up as examples of goodness and light. Quite the opposite, we should continue to uncover their immoral deeds and hold those crimes up to the light of day. They have no moral standing and they should be left on the scrap heap of history with all the other immoral monsters that we rightly regard with disgust.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Theism Predicts (Part V - Conclusion)

Well, this series is almost at an end as there are only three more predictions to go. So, let's get started, shall we?
12. Materialism predicted the gradual unfolding of life to be self-evident in the fossil record. Theism predicted complex and diverse life to appear abruptly in the seas in God’s fifth day of creation. – The Cambrian Explosion shows a sudden appearance of many different and completely unique fossils within a very short “geologic resolution time” in the Cambrian seas.

Ah yes, the Cambrian explosion that IDers like to go on and on about. Let's start with the obvious issues in that even if the Cambrian explosion showed what IDers claim it does, it would not help in their quest to prove Adam and Eve and all that stuff. So, it seems a bit of a pyrrhic victory at best.

Still, I would be remiss if I didn't point out that we do have a good fossil record and that the Cambrian explosion is not a problem for evolution.

Once again our theist is simply making things up.
13. Materialism predicted there should be numerous transitional fossils found in the fossil record, Theism predicted sudden appearance and rapid diversity within different kinds found in the fossil record – Fossils are consistently characterized by sudden appearance of a group/kind in the fossil record, then rapid diversity within the group/kind, and then long term stability and even deterioration of variety within the overall group/kind, and within the specific species of the kind, over long periods of time. Of the few dozen or so fossils claimed as transitional, not one is uncontested as a true example of transition between major animal forms out of millions of collected fossils.

I've already dealt with the numerous transitional fossils claim above, so I won't rehash that, and it should be noted that this idea of sudden appearance and rapid diversity does not help the theist. Besides, is the theist arguing that god came down every couple million years and re-did his handiwork to put new animals on the ground and make the old ones extinct?

And, let's also look at this claim that, "Of the few dozen or so fossils claimed as transitional, not one is uncontested as a true example of transition between major animal forms out of millions of collected fossils." What Chutzpah. The only people truly contesting the existence of these transitionals are the creationists! Evolutionary biologists (scientists) do not dispute these. The small disputes that do arise are over minute details that do not impact the overall theory. It would be like arguing over whether a large city has 10,345,632 or 10,345,658 inhabitants and having the creationist claim that this means that the city doesn't exist.
14. Materialism predicted animal speciation should happen on a somewhat constant basis on earth. Theism predicted man was the last species created on earth – Man himself is the last generally accepted major fossil form to have suddenly appeared in the fossil record.

OK, numerous problems here. First of all, man didn't suddenly appear. We have quite a large collection of hominid fossils. Also, it must be noted that the we have observed instances of speciation.

Also, it's simply not true that there should be speciation on a "somewhat constant basis." Speciation happens when certain conditions are met. There's no guarantee that these conditions will be met on a "somewhat constant basis." Once again we see the theist doesn't actually know what he's talking about and argues against strawmen.


This series has focused on 14 different claims made by a theist, and not one has really been worthwhile. Most (if not all) make claims about materialism or theism that simply are not true. Also, the theist has repeatedly made erroneous claims in order to try and buttress his already tenuous assertions, and has shown a complete ignorance of science, how it works, and what we know from it. If it were really as easy as this theist claims to say theism predicts this or that, then he would still be playing a losing hand.

Other posts in this series...

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Relative Morality, What god Should Have Done, and Historical Context

When pointing out immorality in the Bible, often the rejoinder is that we have to consider the historical context and the time the book was written. Atheists are often accused of being shallow thinkers who haven't considered all the nuance of the historical period in which the book was written. Unfortunately for the Xian, this criticism falls flat on its face when examined.

For example, let's examine the Biblical treatment of women. Women are treated as property in the Bible. We might be tempted to simply shake our heads and say, "Well, that's just how it was back then," but it's not so simple. One of the Xian tenets is that absolute morality exists and is displayed by god (god being perfectly moral and all that). Yet, this defense relies on an appeal to relative morality. This is a big no-no for the Xian, as it directly contradicts the idea of an absolute morality.

To expand on that idea, the Xian is in effect saying either that the treatment of women back in Biblical days was indeed moral, that it was moral at the time but isn't now, or that it was never moral. The first in the list leads to the absurd conclusion that treating women as property is indeed a moral thing to do. I'm not going to waste much space on that idea.

The second leads to the destruction of the idea of absolute morality. If morality changes (treating women like property was good then and now is not) then it is not absolute.

The third leads to the idea that god did not display perfect morality because he instructed, in his holy book, immoral attitudes and behavior. Instead of telling the Israelis that their attitudes and culture were immoral, he sets up rules that enforce and propagate that immorality, which is, in itself, an immoral action.

To anticipate one objection to this, the Xian may claim that god knew the Israelis would not follow certain moral strictures, so he did not promote them. But, this too fails for a couple reasons. The first is that it would still be moral for god to outline his perfectly moral behavior and not simply concede that "Boys will be boys." The second reason is that the story of the OT is one long story of the Israelis rebelling against god's wishes, yet that didn't stop him from putting forth rules that he knew they wouldn't follow in those areas.

In the end, the appeal to relative morality or the culture of the times is a bad appeal and should not be taken with any weight. Instead, we should push to find out why a supposedly perfectly moral god would include immoral instructions in his holy guide to life.

Monday, 5 April 2010

Easter Reflections

The day after Easter seems like a good day to think about Jesus and what his "sacrifice" (really, how can it be a sacrifice for an omni-max god to do anything, especially if he simply rose from the dead afterward?) means to us. I mean, Easter is the most holy day for Xians, since it's the day that Zombie Jesus came to life and started to figuratively eat people's brains (making them incapable of rational thinking). So, in the spirit of Easter, I have decided to ask myself the following question (supposing for the sake of argument that Jesus did exist and that Xianity is true):

What has Jesus done for me?

1. Jesus created me as a sinner that somehow deserves to go to hell by virtue of simply being born. See, all humans fall short of the glory of god, so therefore by being born we are destined for hell.
2. Jesus has not contacted me to save me from the hell that awaits me due to being born (he hasn't returned a single call.)
3. Jesus demands that I believe in things that defy logic and reason, like the idea that people can rise from the dead or that believing that an innocent person died somehow absolves me of all my moral responsibilities (see number 4 below).
4. Jesus decided that instead of bringing all humans to heaven after death or even simply not having us exist, we should be tortured for eternity unless we believe that transference of sins onto an innocent being makes sense and helps us in some way - because we should be happy that an innocent was tortured and killed, right?

In a similar vein, maybe we should also ask, what has Jesus done for humanity?

1. Jesus created the idea of hell which has been directly or indirectly the cause of untold amounts of suffering.
2. Jesus left very ambiguous words behind (the Bible) which has been the cause of untold amounts of suffering as people have fought over what the meaning of those words are.
3. Jesus has been an absentee landlord of the Earth and non-existent partner in the "relationship" that Xians claim to have, leading to all kinds of untold amounts of suffering.
4. Jesus has allowed all manners of natural evil causing untold amounts of suffering.
5. Jesus has created faulty beings that are necessarily headed for hell unless Jesus himself stops it, causing untold amounts of suffering for all eternity.

I'm sure I could list many more terrible things Jesus has done (if he existed, and some of these have happened regardless of whether he existed or not). Yet, I'm really struggling to think of one positive thing. Odd that for a religion that claims that it has absolute truth and perfect morality.