Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – God fails again

““I am making a $360 million push so that the nation and New York can tap these funds and help fortify more places of worship,” Schumer said.”

So, everyone’s tax money goes to protecting these places, no matter how much hate they spew.

Hmmm, funny how the gods these people worship do nothing and yet again, it’s up to humans. Psalm 91, among others, is quite a set of failed promises.

What the Boss Likes – Bloganuary – Interview a fictional character

Interview a fictional character


Vel: So, here we are with God, the creator of the universe per one of the religions on the planet Earth.  So, God, we are told that you are omnipotent and omniscient by your followers.   But your autobiography doesn’t demonstrate that.  Care to comment?
God: Ah, well… I am.  I am.   You just don’t know how it works.
Vel: So make me understand.
God: (silence)
Vel:  so either you can’t or you won’t.  What don’t you want people to know about you Mr. God?
God:  This interview is over!
Vel:  Well, that didn’t take long.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Gaslighting, theist style

The Christians at GotQuestions? (self-described as “Christian, Protestant, evangelical, theologically conservative, and non-denominational” aka Christians who have also invented their own nonsense) have a video on gaslighting. What is gaslighting? | – YouTube Now, gaslighting is when an abuser tries to convince their victim that they are wrong in someway.   The gotquestions folks have it like this (the quotes are from the autogenerated transcript on youtube):

“Gaslighting has three main components: First) Convincing the victim that the abuse  she suffers is her fault, Second) Convincing the victim that she did not experience what she  thinks she did, and Third) Separating the victim from people who support her. The tone of the victimizer can alternate between being concerned and kind and angry and abusive. The victim slowly learns to mistrut her own judgement, perception and even sanity  until she relies on the abuser to define reality for her.”

Not a bad set of examples.

The problem for the Christians is that their religion does *all* of these things to its followers.  

“Not all gaslighters are aware of what they are  doing. Some have so deceived themselves they actually believe the lies they’re telling. Others  are so afraid of the truth that they do anything they can to hide it”


“gaslighting is sin and comes from a place  of selfishness and a desire to control.In fact, gaslighting was utilized in the  first temptation mentioned in the Bible. Satan first prompts Eve to question what she  heard God say about the tree of knowledge, and then he asserts that her account  is wrong. That is gaslighting,”

Actually, it’s not.  The snake doesn’t say her account is wrong.  The snake, either allowed in intentionally by this god or this god was unable to keep it out, points out what this god said exactly.  Let’s look at what was written for this scene:

15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.””

and then we have, Eve, who didn’t hear the above since she wasn’t in existence and this god thought aarvarks and zebras would make suitable mates for Adam.  The snake chats her up and says “Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.”

Eve actually gets the story wrong.  She doesn’t mention the whole dying the day you eat the fruit part.  The snake points out that this god’s claim is false, and it is since, nope, they don’t die and the fruit worked just as it said.  There is also a couple of problems: the first version of the genesis story has this god saying *everything* in the garden is for Adam and Eve; no mention of the magic trees at all; and if being naked is a sin *and* there is objective morality, then being naked is always a sin and this god has no problem with sin, until he wants to throw a tantrum. Eve became wise and decided to give the fruit to Adam too. This god appears to be terrified of wisdom.

Who does the gaslighting here?  God.
“Gaslighting is also common in cults and abusive  “churches,” as well as politics. It can be seen in abusers who convince children they deserve  or desire their abuse. In preachers who tell  questioning parishioners that their request  for clarification on spiritual matters is  

sinful mistrust of God and disrespect of the  pastor. Or in parishioners who criticize and  then vaguely praise their pastor in an attempt  to control him. In the political arena,  when a leader or even a country flatly denies  doing or saying what they publicly did or said, others may find it extremely  difficult to counter the lie,  especially if the media provides cover, or  to address the issue in a meaningful way.”

Gaslighting is indeed common in cults and religions, and as we see above, right from the beginning it needs gaslighting to keep control over others, by misinformation and by fear. 

Chistianity is built on the idea that everyone deserves death and worse.  Christianity is built on not asking questions but obedience.  Christianity is built on assuming someone else is your only path to being “saved”. Christianity is built on being told to believe in things that aren’t in evidence.

The bit about leaders denying things is pretty rich from conservative Christians that we can pretty much know supported known liars.   

“For by the grace given me  I say to every one of you:  Do not think of yourself more highly than  you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God  has distributed to each of you” (Romans 12:3).

“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor  one another above yourselves” (Romans 12:10).

If you realize—or you’re told—that you are  manipulative and controlling, please seek counseling. It’s likely there is a deep-seated  wound that only Jesus can heal. And He is willing!”

“For the Abused – God made us to be interdependent  on others in the church, but He did not make us to abandon all reason and rely solely on another’s  judgment. God wants us to live in the truth.“Guide me in your truth and teach  me, for you are God my Savior,  and my hope is in you all day long” (Psalm 25:5).”

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is  true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,  whatever is admirable—if anything  is excellent or praiseworthy—think  about such things” (Philippians 4:8).

“For the Spirit God gave us does  not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and  self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).

“If you suspect you are being gaslighted, please  seek counseling. Do not isolate yourself from godly friends. And, if need be, keep a journal  so you can remind yourself of the facts.  If the gaslighter is a partner in a  dating relationship, seriously consider  ending that relationship. If you  feel gaslighted in the church and  discouraged from finding answers to your  spiritual questions, visit!”

Amazing how the recommendations above are *exactly* what a gaslighter would say.  Others are to be listened to, for the only “counselors” would be pastors for these people. Only be around those who agree with me.  Only accept manipulation.  Believe only me. 

No wonder they don’t allow comments.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – aw, another Christian sure that he has a question “no atheist can answer”

oh my. It’s always great when a theist makes yet *another* claim about a supposed question that atheists can’t answer.  Poor Trent, so sure that his Christianity version (Catholicism) is the right one, and he can’t even convince other Christians, much less an atheist.

Now, out of all of this talking, it *seems* that the speaker’s question is “what would prove god exists”. It’s hard to know for sure. He goes on… and on… about why the responses by atheists aren’t evidently good enough for him, and argues that those events offered by atheists could happen because of “undiscovered or unknown natural explanation”.  He even admits that he himself and other christains wouldn’t believe that the events were caused by some god. 

Which causes a problem since Christianity is based on the evidently unbelievable claims in the bible.  JC, per the bible, says that those unbelievable events are the only thing that supports his claims.  So, if those can’t be trusted, even by believers, what use where they? 

The god of the gaps argument is not quite what the speaker says.  It is an argument, offered by theists, that if we do not currently know something, then their god must have been the cause.  And atheists have noted that the gaps close constantly since we keep discovering new things.  The “god of the gaps” argument is dependent on the demand that we cease thinking and looking for information. 

Yep, Christians shouldn’t act like fellow Christian Bill O’Reilly in his nonsense about tides, but they do and their religion is built on the presupposition that their god must exist. 

Our speaker doesn’t have to worry at all about atheists leaning “too much” into the god of the gaps argument at all.  Your lack of evidence is what supports our conclusion that your god doesn’t exist. You offer an unfalsifiable god in your excuses for why no one can find this god. 

The answers given to the question “what would prove god exists” are based on the claims of Christians and their bible.  This god is nicely defined in the bible and there are quite the set of promises made there.  So, there is no reason why this god shouldn’t be able to heal amputees, burn victims, etc, via the methods described in the bible. There should be no reason why it can’t move the stars, them being only lights on a surface per the bible, and not enormous spheres of hydrogen undergoing fusion billions of miles away from us.  There should be no reason that it can’t use DNA to send a message, or write on a wall or cause the offering on a soaked altar to catch fire.   

This is the answer to “why would these particular things convince you god exists”.  It’s because your bible says so, and you do say it is right, don’t you?  It is not the reasoning that we don’t know what would cause a limb to be healed, etc.  If your god was the cause, we could see that, couldn’t we?  It wouldn’t be mistakable for anything else, would it?  If it could be, then the theist has the problem, not the atheist.  If they can’t show that their god is anything more than physics or slight of hand, then this god isn’t what they worship.

Yes, there could be another unknown reason that such events happened, but the bible says that this god would be the reason, and thus we can assume that such an event would be evidence for this particular god. 

It’s more telling that our speaker is upset that his philosophical arguments aren’t considered true by an atheist.  It’s rather notable that he knows that his god can’t do anything like it is shown to in the bible at all.  All of those arguments can be posed for any god, not just Trent’s, and that is why I, and other atheists, just laugh at them when they are claimed as “real evidence”, since they all depend on a presupposition that a god must exist and that has not been shown to be the case at all.  “Classical arguments” aren’t true just because someone whines that they are “classical”.  That’s just the logical fallacy of the argument from tradition. 

As for the universe coming into existence from nothing being evidence for this god, well, we have a perfectly fine explanation on how that can happen without a god.  There’s also the problem again with “which god?”  It seems that Trent wants to claim yet again that since we don’t know exactly how the universe came about, it was his god, aka the god of the gaps argument.  We know how a limb would regrow, seeing it in other animals, so if god gets busy, we’ll know how it did it.  Now, the Christian will claim “But but this is just expecting this god to be within natural occurrences”.  Yep, that’s what Christians claim until they find that it doesn’t work.  They claim that this god is what tis behind material effects and forces, but when science doesn’t agree with that claim, then they must claim “nonoverlapping magisterial”.   God magically becomes only findable with baseless claims, aka philosophy.

Oh, and Trent, the existence of minds is easy, since not one can be shown to exist without a brain.  If these minds are free floating, but can interact with a electrochemical organ, then we should be able to sense them with other electrochemical devices.  But i’m sure you’ll try the “dragon in my garage” arguments.  As for moral truths, funny how Christians can’t even agree on them. 
And, as for the claims of this god knowing what would convince an atheist, yep, it’s a valid argument *if* your god really does want everyone to follow it.  So are you saying it isn’t true about your god?  I can get behind that since your god, per the bible, intentionally keeps some people from accepting it, destroying free will. 

No, a person can’t rationally believe in a being that has no evidence for it.  Can a person rationally believe in fairies?  If you say no, you have a problem, and your philosophical arguments that fairies must exist are just like this:“so you’re never going to get a hundred percent consensus on these philosophical questions”  Yep, since they are no more than baseless opinion.

Oh, here’s another question for us atheists “what is the best argument for the existence of god and what’s wrong with it or what is the least problematic argument for god and what’s specifically wrong with it”

so, the idea of “best” is subjective, and then the theist will whine it really isn’t the “best”.  And you must define what “God” is since even Christians can’t agree.  But if we should go with Catholic Christianity, I would say that the best argument is “first cause” and then it fails since nothing can show that the particular god claimed exists.  At best you have a vague “force”.  And don’t waste your time with Blackwell, or Swinburn or Aquinas, et al since they offer nothing more than has been offered here. All Trent is doing is using a logical fallacy of appeal to authority; authorities no one cares about but him and his fellow Catholics. Alas, there’s an army of other TrueChristians(tm) that claim he’s wrong.

Such a bunch of frauds.

Unsurprisingly, an atheist can again answer the question that a theist is ever so sure can’t be answered.  At best, Trent has an argument for some vague god.  That’s not what he worships. 

What the Boss Likes – Bloganuary – Catching up

Catching up on some inspirations for Bloganuary.

What was your favorite photo you’ve taken?
I don’t like taking photos.  I find it ends up making me miss something, and I hate being in photos.  I suppose if I had to choose one, I do like a black and white photo, from *film*, that I took of the Heinz Chapel on University of Pittsburgh’s Oakland campus.  It makes a nice set with the behemoth Cathedral of Learning.  I’ll put the photo up when I get a moment.

Write about something mysterious.

No idea what this really means.   But here goes.   There is very little that I find mysterious. Anything that baffles me I find to always have an answer if I look hard enough.   However, I did find a towel in the middle of the floor of our entrance way that evidently either just appeared, or somehow the cats got it from the upstairs which doesn’t seem terribly likely since it was a rather large bath towel that I use to dye my hair (currently purple).  They are very large but not quite that large. Upon this towel was centered a red mouse cat toy.   It was waiting for me when I got home.

We have had some of our prior cats seem to understand the idea of trade since they would put toys in their dishes when they were empty.  But this rather nicely arranged offering is beyond me. 

What superhero power would you want?

Oh, heck, give me Captain Marvel’s suite of powers (MCU, which seem to be a combination of the comic book version of Ms. Marvel and when she became Binary).  I want to be able to fly on my own, including between galaxies or at least stars in a reasonable amount of time.

What’s the next book on your reading list?

Hmmm, I have three books I’m reading right now, one pleasantly cheesy post apocalyptic bodice ripper “Deal with the Devil” by Kit Rocha which I’m reading at work over lunch, a fantasy noir detective book “Wake of the Bloody Angel” by Alex Bledsoe, for evening reading,  and a book by John Loftus of Debunking Christianity, “How to Defend the Christian Faith” for picking up more anti-apologist arguments and techniques.  I’m very much liking our subscription to Scribd. 

But for my next book, at least to buy?  I think it might be Gastro Obscura, from the Atlas Obscura folks.  Even though I’m not thrilled with the term, I am indeed a foodie.  I have all kinds of cookbooks, a set of textbooks on how to butcher animals, etc.

What is your favorite quote and why?

““People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

Attributed to quite a few people. H.G. Wells seems to have gotten closest. Basically, punch the Nazis.

Oh and one more that I forgot

If you could, what year would you time travel to and why?

1561, Nuremberg Germany

What the fuck was going on? Looks like a damn Star Destroyer.

What the Boss Likes – Bloganuary – “What is a cause you’re passionate about and why?”

I’ve skipped a couple days of “inspirations”, just not feeling it.  So I start again with the question “What is a cause you’re passionate about and why?”

My current readers wont’ be surprised that it is the separation of church and state and standing against the harm that religions do.  And it isn’t just Christianity, but that’s what I’m most familiar with.

I’m a former Christian, Presbyterian version, and now an atheist. In my journey, I’ve studied a lot of religions, and their sects. I’ve read the bible, the qu’ran, etc.

I’ve seen friends tormented because of the lies of Christianity, with its bullshit that some god only wants you to love the “right” people, that some god only approves of certain behavior, that some god will condemn you to eternal torture if you don’t do things “right”.  

I’ve seen people sure that they are broken or wrong because of the victim blaming that is part and parcel of most religions, excuses invented because this god does nothing at all.  It isn’t anyone’s fault that it does nothing.  It is imaginary. 

Religion is a bane of humans.  It is the delusion that some magical being agrees with certain humans, and that they are somehow better than everyone else, the “chosen”.  Alas, they can’t even agree among themselves what their various gods want. 

Religions have gotten away with far too much under the guise of being “good” and it’s time to stand up to them, showing just how false they are.  They deserve no respect, only acknowledgement and to be exposed for what they are: human fantasies, often sadistic ones.

What the Boss Likes – Bloganuary – ” What does your ideal day look like?”

I think I’m a day or so off on the challenge. Oh well.

Start with a good night’s sleep.  Sometimes that is a problem.  If I don’t have a snack before I go to bed, my blood sugar drops in the middle of the night and I wake up from nightmares.  Then it takes forever to fall asleep again. 

If I wake up after a nice night’s sleep, then I would wander downstairs to feed the dark legion their bit of wet cat food, and get myself a cup of coffee.  Preferably a dark roast with fresh cream, no sugar.  I would then go back upstairs to our den and spend a couple of hours looking at the news from around the world and tearing apart nitwits about their lies regarding religion and politics. (I guess that the ideal day would mean that these idiots didn’t find it necessary to bother others with their imaginary friend, so I’d do more reading, art and chatting, but I found this too much to ask for).  Interspersed with that would be chatting with my spouse about all sorts of things, from science, to gaming, to the nitwits I’m nattering at. 

Lunch would be something tasty, often a sandwich or soup or both.  I’m a texture fiend so I do love a good sandwich.  I’d spend the afternoon reading or puttering at my art.  I might also decide to cook something complicated or put in something to roast a good long while. 

In the evening, there would be a tasty dinner, either take out or something we’ve made.  There would be a bottle of wine or two.  Then I’d go to sleep…. After a snack.