a wonderfully snarky observation about god and droughts
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a wonderfully snarky observation about god and droughts
View original post 174 more words
As I am wont to do, I was roaming about wordpress looking for silly claims about atheists by theists. While chatting with his son about another blog post, I found this list of questions by a pastor that has his church not too far from where I grew up. So I thought I’d give it a whirl. Most of what he thinks are great questions are the same old ones you’ve seen me address before on this blog. This is such a collection of them, I figured it could give folks a “one-stop shop” in seeing them.
These were addressed to another atheist and supposedly that atheist never returned to answer Bill’s questions. So here we go!
1) Why should I put my trust in you and your philosophy for my future and eternal destiny? Jesus Christ has far more credibility than anyone else. His words have greater wisdom and hope than any other philosophy and what it ultimately offers.
I’m not asking you to trust me. Trust has nothing to do with it. You’ll die and be recycled in this universe. It seems that the main reason you believe is that you are afraid of death, nothing more. And the idea of do unto others has been around far longer than your particular religion, so we’ve already got that as a philosophy without your or any version of Christianity. In that the ancient Egyptians and Chinese seems to have got the idea earlier than you, should we follow those religions? You have nothing to back up your claim that JC is more credible than anyone else. You can’t even show that this magical being exists.
2) When I am dying, what hope will you offer me?
Why do you need hope when you are dying? Fear of death is likely the reason that humans invented gods and religions. If you hope to get well, the cures and therapies invented/discovered by the sciences that show that evolutionary theory and the Big Bang Theory are true, might help. Your religion makes promises but there is nothing that shows those promises are true. No heaven, no hell, no Chistians able to heal as promised. My hope when I’m dying will be that I did my best while alive helping others and enjoying myself.
3) What great accomplishment(s) do you claim to have done (fulfilled prophecy, miracles, resurrection, other feats and accomplishments) so I can examine the
evidence to see if your belief system has merit?
I don’t need to do miracles to point out that being compassionate, etc has merit. It can stand on its own. However, you do need to do some miracles, since your bible claims that any baptized person who has accepted JC as savior will be able to do what he did.
4) Why is it so important to you that I (and others) do not believe in Jesus Christ?
Because religion causes people to harm others, mostly because religion tries to claim that some people are “better” than others. Humans make up religion and their gods in their image, and they want to claim a magical being validates their actions, no matter how heinous they are.
5) What positive effects will atheism have on my life and eternity?
Not much. You might stop wasting time and resources on something that doesn’t exist and cease being frightened of hell and the devil. Atheism won’t have any negative effects either. It’s just not believing in imaginary beings because there is no evidence for them.
6) Why do the fossil records reveal fully-formed creatures, but no transitional forms? Where is the socalled“missing link”? Continue reading “Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – questions posed to an atheist”
Let see one of the more stupid things: shoes.
Now, we have morons burning the Nike apparel because Nike paid Kaepernick to represent them. I am all for the kneeling in protest of bigotry, ignorance and pure stupidity when it comes to so many people in law enforcement being idiots when it comes to black men. Not all law enforcement officers are stupid, and that means most of them, but when it comes to more than one a week of someone being a damn fool with a weapon, then it’s an issue.
We also have idiots who are claiming to support other shoe companies because they have athletic shoes with the US flag on them. Now, lest we forget, that isn’t supposed to happen and these wannabee white supremacists don’t even what the US Flag Code says, and heck most of them want to fly a flag with a swastika on it or the battle flag of a country that decided to kill their fellow citizens because they wanted to own people and allow people to own other people in the new territories.
This is what the flag code says “The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.
For those who follow my blog for food, wine, etc. these posts titled “not so polite dinner conversation” ain’t that. It’s all about politics and religion.
I’ve been watching Christians fuss at each other on John Branyan’s website (you can see some of his comments here on this blog). For people who each claim that they have the truth about a magical being, they do have a problem convincing each other. I wonder if it could be the lack of evidence? For those who don’t know, JB fancies himself a Christian comedian. He is funny in a hilariously unintentional way.
Here in PA, there is a big report coming out that shows just how incompetent and malignant the Roman Catholic Church is when it comes to protecting children. It also shows how imaginary or evil this god must be if it exists and allows these horrible things to happen.
It’s also been awhile since I’ve looked at one of the God Squad’s columns. This time Rabbi Gellman doesn’t fare any better than the last ones. IF you want to take a look at some of my past blog posts about the rabbi and his peculiar theology here are a few: Where Gellman tries to claim free will to excuse his god’s failures with child abuse.
And tries to claim that it doesn’t matter if this god of his punishes people or not. What a lovely way to try to argue that those priests, etc are just fine as they are. Rabbis are known for their abuses too, so I’m sure the rabbi has some skin in the gam when trying to defend his fellows. Or you can just put “Gellman” in the search field to your right.
The most recent is part of a sequence of questions the rabbi tries to answer. He is quite a twit in the initial questions, and pathetically wants to tell people how to love their family and pets. He does advise to just “omit” things, just so the pastor/priest/rabbi doesn’t have to say something less than what the rabbi considers “dignified” and so “graciously” says he will understand.
What I want to focus on is what the rabbi has new to say about the topic of free will. He’s crashed and burned on this subject before, see above. But it’s even more bizarre now. Now, that event in the garden is what this god wanted…. Even though he got awful pissed about it, per the bible. Let’s see what he says:
Q: Is there any possibility that we have no free will? Could God control our every thought and action, causing us to act like robots? Is there any evidence that this is not true? — From J in Wilmington, N.C.
A: Yes, J. It is possible that free will is an illusion. Yes, it is possible that God controls our every thought and action causing us to act like robots. There are, however, several problems with this possibility.
The first problem with the possibility that God controls everything we do is that God seems to be doing a really poor job. If God is all knowing and all powerful and all good, then there seems to be no good reason why the world is filled with so much evil and so many bad choices.
The second problem with a world without free will is that nobody would be morally responsible for their bad choices. It would all be God’s fault. We humans would merely be, in your words, “robots” — and robots are not moral agents. Robots cannot be held responsible for what they do. Moral accountability requires free will.
The third problem is that the Bible explicitly teaches us that we DO have free will precisely because God wants us to grow into our humanity and accept moral responsibility for our actions.
The first text that clearly addresses free will is the Garden of Eden narrative. Adam and Eve eat of the forbidden fruit from the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” The act that humanizes them is an act of acquiring moral free will. Now there is a Christian problem with the Eden texts and it was highlighted in a roaring 16th-century debate between Erasmus and Martin Luther. Erasmus thought that people had free will. Luther thought that since the eating of the forbidden fruit was the original sin, people could never use their free will to overcome sin. People were doomed without the atoning death and resurrection of Jesus and thus were not really accountable for their sins.
A more direct and definitive text bearing on the biblical teaching about free will is from Deuteronomy 30:19 (KJV), “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.” So God has set before us a choice between good and evil, life and death, and expects us to use our free will to make the choice of life.
I do not know, nor can anyone know with absolute certainty, if free will is real or just an illusion in a fatalistic universe, but what I do know without a shadow of a doubt is that I can only live in a world where I am not God’s robot, but rather God’s partner.
Again, the rabbi ignores that his god never mentions free will in the bible (wait a moment if you are Christian and think that it does) and does all it can to remove it repeatedly from many many people. Gellman must have free will or his god is a monster, and he can’t have that. We have Adam and Eve who have no free will, because they don’t have any idea what that is and they are made to be what they are. They have no knowledge of good or evil, and we have this god either allowing evil into the garden intentionally or that it was unable to keep it out. However, the rabbi now wants to claim that this god wanted that whole thing to happen, because it gave us free will. Really, then why would this god punish A&E for doing what it wanted? Indeed, why did it punish the “serpent” for doing exactly what it supposedly required, per Gellman?
The rabbi does a great job at pointing out that with a god like is presented in the bible, and not his newly invented version, there is no reason to have evil in the world, so many bad choices, etc. And yes, no one would be morally responsible for their choices if a god made them do what it wanted, just like this god did in the story of Exodus, in the story of Judas’ betray which was required by this god, etc.
Unsurprisingly, the rabbi doesn’t say where he gets his claim that the “bible explicitly teaches us we DO have free will precisely because God wants us to grow into our humanity and accept moral responsibility for our actions”. Perhaps someone else knows where this is, but having read the bible a couple of times, I don’t recall this at all. Indeed, the bible says the exact opposite of this in Romans 9 where it says that this god created peopled to be damned or saved at its whim aka “grace”, with no action by humans able to change this.
The rabbi does quote Deuteronomy 30:19 ““I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.” Which is where most theists run to when they want to claim free will is in the bible. But they always quote it without what it says around it. Here it is:
“11 Surely, this commandment that I am commanding you today is not too hard for you, nor is it too far away. 12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, “Who will go up to heaven for us, and get it for us so that we may hear it and observe it?” 13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, “Who will cross to the other side of the sea for us, and get it for us so that we may hear it and observe it?” 14 No, the word is very near to you; it is in your mouth and in your heart for you to observe.
15 See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, death and adversity. 16 If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God[b] that I am commanding you today, by loving the Lord your God, walking in his ways, and observing his commandments, decrees, and ordinances, then you shall live and become numerous, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to possess. 17 But if your heart turns away and you do not hear, but are led astray to bow down to other gods and serve them, 18 I declare to you today that you shall perish; you shall not live long in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. 19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, 20 loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and holding fast to him; for that means life to you and length of days, so that you may live in the land that the Lord swore to give to your ancestors, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.”
Now, doesn’t that first paragraph sound rather familiar, someone who goes and gets this forgiveness? But this god doesn’t offer that, it says follow the commandments given in Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy. You obey or your die. Not exactly a choice, no matter how it is presented. It is the classic “offer you can’t refuse”. This god is no more than a mafia don. And funny how this promise from this god never pans out, and this god, supposedly being omniscient, would know that his supposed chosen people would fail in his laws. You’d think a rabbi would know this, and not quote out of context, but cherry picking is nothing new to the theist, especially those who fancy themselves leaders and teachers.
Unfortunately for Rabbi Gellman, he does not live in a universe where he is this god’s robot or partner. But he does reveal that what the believer wants is far more important than the supposedly holy texts that they claim are what they follow.
A month or two ago, D’Artagnan (the company that sells fancy meats here in the US) had a really good flash sale and I got a selection of game meats: a duck, venison shanks and a wild boar roast. We had the wild boar first (actually a hybrid of European wild boar and feral pig that are running amuck in the south of the US). It was good, though dry and we did lard it with extra pig fat. The meat is very lean and all the darker color that you see in some pork cuts from regular pork. I wasn’t that impressed, but I will say that I cook a tasty pork shoulder and am somewhat spoiled about what good pork is.
This weekend we cooked the venison shanks. They were about 4 inches thick, and were New Zealand venison. My husband found a recipe for a very garlic heavy braise, and since I’ve been wanting to cook something with a *lot* of garlic (readers will know I consider it a vegetable), we went for it.
The wine used was a Simply Naked pinot grigio and of course the 4 bulbs of garlic. We have rosemary and thyme in our garden. It’s so shady, I’m glad that anything edible grows there. I also have quite a few really poisonous things, like monkshood, jimsonweed, foxglove, etc.
The meat was pretty indistinguishable to me from good beef. We cooked it until the cartilage melted, making the meat succulent. Not much fat on these, so the sauce isn’t as greasy as a beef based sauce would be. They do come with the bone in, so I scooped out the marrow. It was a little strong flavored for me, though I can see how some people would love that. We just had the rest of the pinot grigio with it and it went surprisingly well with such a dark meat. It’s nice and light. We also got a bottle of their unoaked chardonnay, and it was good too, though a little richer than we wanted for the recipe.
We also got a few new wines to try. We’ve been looking at the less than $10 that the PA Fine Wines and Good Spirits stores have. If you are of an age in PA, you’ll know these stores to be “state stores”. One of the wines was Regio Cantina Donpa Aglianico del Vulture 2013. We really got it because it had this as a description ““This initially shows funky aromas of stalky underbrush, wet soil and a whiff of damp fur that slowly blow off to reveal toast, leather and dried blackberry jam. The dense full-bodied palate evokes prune, chocolate and a hint of tobacco alongside firm tannins.” Alas, it wasn’t nearly so odd, and I was a bit disappointed. It is a good dark red wine though.
That’s it. Eat and drink well! If you have a good roast duck recipe, let me know for my next experiment.
I’ve started an etsy store for my alcohol ink paintings, EvanescentInks. It’s entirely a vanity project. 🙂
Please enjoy the images! If you would like to buy one, neat! But don’t feel like you should.
The image is my take on the hobo sign for kind woman, and in my instance, one with claws. I came up with it a handful of months ago.
Found a nice dry rosé wine from Washington state, Milbrandt 2016 Rosé. It was less than $10 at the pa wine store.
A new beer I’ve tried is Space Otter American Pale Ale from Mispillion River Brewing in Delaware. It’s a good pale ale and not too overly hopped. I, of course, bought it primarily for the can.
That’s it. Enjoy!