Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – reblogging a Christian bit of nonsense: The meaning of meaninglessness

This post came to my attention when Pastor Mike liked this post of mine.  It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense that a Christian would like it, but I often encounter Christians who seem a little confused in what they profess to believe and what they actually believe.

Nothing like watching a TrueChristian(tm) do his best to bear false witness against others and have no clue about cause and effect. It’s a shame that Pastor Mike does claim to have all of the answers and claim that only his version of Christianity is the right one, with not one more shred of evidence than those who he decries. I am glad that he does admit that atheists wield logical arguments against his claims.  Alas, Pastor Mike falsely believes that atheists are all nihilists and in his ignorance, he trips himself up.

No wonder that Christianity is losing members when a Christian leader demonstrates that intentional dishonesty and ignorance are what he depends on.  You can see how Pastor Mike failed earlier on this blog.

Update – 4/13  One also has to wonder about Pastor Mike when he likes my post on his blog which is the following: “well, Pastor Mike, glad that a pastor agrees with my post here: https://clubschadenfreude.com/2018/02/18/not-so-polite-dinner-conversation-what-makes-christianity-christianity/  Always curious that a Christian would agree with what I’ve said, I wonder what your flock would say.  As for your claims “You have kicked God out of schools, so kids are turning to insanity to imbue their lives with some semblance of the significance you robbed out of life.”  For what is supposedly an omnipotent being, this poor god can be stopped by a human, per Pastor Mike.  Not much of a god, is it?  It’s nice to see you make such claims, when this god can’t even protect its own churches and keep its priests and pastors from abusing children, embezzling, etc right where it supposedly can get in where it wants.  As usual, you are so desperate to bear false witness against others, you dont’ think your claims through.”    What kind of fractured thinking goes with this? I do wonder if Pastor Mike thinks he is being sarcastic.

Mustard Seed Budget

imagesActually, snorting condoms makes perfect sense. As does chewing Tide pods. Along with cutting.

After all, if there is no meaning to life, then why not engage in something meaningless? If an attempt to find value shows your stupidity, then all we have left is getting attention through stupid means.

Atheists will bristle at my mockery, but their insistence that morality is an evolved feature — along humanity’s unusual drive for significance — is absurd. There is no evolutionary sense of morality or man’s quest for importance. Deprive man of God, and you get teens snorting condoms.

images-1And please, my dear atheist friends, don’t tell the gunman plowing down schoolchildren that he is inherently or obviously wrong. What is obvious is that there are no morals, no values, nothing. That is all atheism has to offer: nothing. There is no noble sense to humanity, no purpose, no beauty, no humanity…

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Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Exodus redux

yes, there are indeed cruxifix chocolate molds and plague finger puppets. Yay, dead people! Yeesh.

Lest anyone think that I have only issues with Christianity, here is the link to the first part of my Exodus series.  I look at the strange story of the exodus in the bible.

Passover is based on the idea of putting blood on doorways to avoid being killed by the angel of a supposedly omnipotent and omniscient being.  It needs blood to figure this out.  It is also based on the idea that it is moral and okay for this god to murder people who had no choice in the matter, over the actions of their god-king, which was forced into the issue by this god.

Here are also a couple of good blog articles by my friend John:

https://thesuperstitiousnakedape.wordpress.com/2016/06/26/kadesh-barnea-gaza-the-exodus/

https://thesuperstitiousnakedape.wordpress.com/2014/01/02/how-we-know-the-pentateurch-is-historical-fiction-11/

and one of my favorite posts of my own, just how many quail showed up: https://clubschadenfreude.com/2017/01/18/not-so-polite-dinner-conversation-960000-tons-of-what/

 

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – FFRF’s Blog “Easter fools, April Fools and Jesus’ pundits”

FFRF has done a good blog on the nonsense of Easter.  I’m looking forward to the live broadcast of Jesus Christ Superstar on NBC tomorrow night.  I love the music and it is a good story.  It also is a great demonstration that the easter stories in the bible contradict each other quite a bit.  Gesthemane, one of the more touching parts of the bible, is no where to be found in the Gospel of John, and well, those thieves are missing from the rock opera and do various contradictory things in the stories.

I’m waiting for people to also freak out that JC is being played by a black man, John Legend.  Judas is also being portrayed as a black man, Brandon Victor Dixon (Judas has the best songs).  Herod is Alice Cooper, the rock star who some Christians were quite sure was going to end the world, or something, back in the 70’s.  Mr. Cooper also golfs and wears wonderfully tacky plaid pants while doing that.

There will also be a lot of people in church tomorrow, who have no problem with following a man who lies, cheats, brags about sexual assault, is a repeat adulterer, etc.  And these are the people who say that atheists treat this god as a “vending machine” whenwe point out that this god should answer prayers. They repeatedly ask for forgiveness for this idiot and themselves for giving him a “mulligan”.

Postscript – (4/2/18) – the live performance of Jesus Christ Superstar was a bit of a mess.

Pros – great singers. Alice Cooper makes a very good Herod.

Cons – too many freakin’ commercials.  Often it was like listening to a 45 record on 33 1/3, and Pontius Pilate looked like he’d more at home on the Hunger Games.   The Glen Carter version from 2000 is much better.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – So, did anyone see that film crew for the talent show on the National Mall?

Per a story covered in various media outlets, the March for Our Lives was prevented from being on the National Mall by a “small student grout filming a talent show“.   As far as I know, this group was never identified.   The march was held anyway, and indeed, considering how sloppy the Mall would be after snow melt, it probably for the best.  They weren’t up to their knees in mud.

However, despite calls for this student group to identify themselves and to relinquish the National Mall for a far far more important issue, there seems to be nothing.  I hope someone can fill in the blanks for this, rather than having to go through a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – a lovely quote about followers of gods

“Of course, if one had played more RPGs, one would have realized that shacking up with people whose goal is “fulfill the ancient prophecies so that my dead god might rule once more over the earth, and cull those not among our cult” is rarely a good idea.” – from some well spoken person on a RPG forum.   If you know who this is, please let me know.

 

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – this year Easter is on April Fool’s Day

Problems not only geology but animals. Happy Lent!

Hello, I’ve changed my wordpress theme for my blog since it was getting a little hard to read, even for me, with the grey on black.  If it’s a little too big for you, you can change your zoom on your web browser.

I’ve done various posts about Easter over the years I’ve been blogging.   The story of the crucifixion and resurrection is even more contradictory than the Christmas story, with events claimed to have happened in one gospel which would preclude events happening in other gospels.  What we generally get is a version that combines whatever the Christian wants to claim, though its a synthesis of all four gospels plus Acts.   I was watching Rick Steves’ travel special on how Easter is celebrated in Europe and he gave a version that mixed everything together and ignored the problematic bits.  It was still a very good special, and worth sitting through the pledge breaks to see it.

People like me, who question Christianity and its claims, often get told that the details don’t matter when we point out the repeated contradictions in the Easter story.   That is a common answer for a lot of questions about Christianity, we shouldn’t question why things are so screwy.  In a recent God Squad column, Rabbi Gellman answers a question from a high school student: “Hi, I am a junior at Mercy High School in Middletown, Conn. I wanted to say how happy I am to know that there is someone out there willing to answer questions from teenagers. Not a lot of adults do. My theology class enjoys reading your articles and reflecting on them every day. My question is does God punish wrongdoings like people say?”

And what is Gellman’s answer?  “This is my answer: IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER. It doesn’t matter whether or not God punishes evil or rewards goodness because on the highest level of human virtue is the understanding that goodness is its own reward and evil is its own punishment.”

However, it does matter.  If this god doesn’t do as the bible claims, both in the OT and NT, then there is no reason to believe in the books or the god.  This god is claimed to be the judge and jury on what is good and evil and this god repeatedly hands out punishment in the bible.  Now, what the rabbi seems to be doing here is finding an excuse to ignore the question by the student because if he says that this god does punish evil, the next question is “How?”  “Where?” and most importantly “When?”   And since the rabbi cannot show that this god does anything at all, much less punishing the wicked and helping the good, he finds himself with a problem.  In reality, there is no divine intervention to show that this god exists or gives a damn about morality.  Indeed, we can see that this god’s morals change with how humans change, not the other way around.

Gellman tries to avoid the problem by insisting that people should be good because being good is the “right thing to do”, it’s beneficial, etc.   Well then no one needs this god at all.  There is no need for a blood sacrifice to appease a god for humans being just as this god would know they would be.  The whole thing is nonsense.

I would challenge the Christians who read my blog to actually read the gospels and Acts and consider the discrepancies in the stories, e.g. number of angels, what JC did, etc.  If the most important story for your religion is so screwed up, then why should anyone believe it?

Other posts on Easter, with more juicy details:

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – what has become the annual easter post

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Easter, the supposed events and implications

What the Boss Likes – welcome to Easter, syncretic religion at its best

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – that ol’ war on Easter

 

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – probability, evolution and theists

In a prior post, I went over how many Christians attack evolutionary theory without either knowing what it actually is, or willfully ignoring what it actually is.  I pointed out that many Christians, including the pastor who wrote these things, try to make false claims about its supposed randomness, which he, and they, think is such a great and wonderful attack on the theory that they benefit from every day.

The pastor posted two posts on his blog, in an evident hope to support his claims.   Let’s see how he does.

To begin with, he tries to excuse his claims by saying that the average person uses the terms accident or chance.  That may the case; it’s still wrong, and creationists use these terms intentionally to try to cast doubt on evolutionary theory.  The pastor just parrots what they say and these creationists certainly do their best to hide behind science when they want, witness the attempts by the Discovery Institute, Answers in Genesis, etc. when they try to claim how ever-so scientific they are, insisting that any second now, they’ll have actual evidence for their myths.  It’s been decades since they’ve made that claim and still no evidence.

There is no evidence that the universe came about by accident or chance.  Indeed, the evidence points to the laws physics being quite enough for it to come into being and they may be just as “eternal” as theists claim their gods are.

The pastor displays his ignorance about other religions when he repeats his failed claim that “people saw this world as being the by-product of the wars and love affairs of gods”.   Some religions do indeed see this as true, and quite a few make the same claim that the pastor does “Creation reveals God and leaves us without excuse.”   None of them can support this, and putting the words in bold doesn’t make it any truer and no better than the claim of an imam or a guru or a Wiccan priestess.   He also claims that the gods of other religions didn’t mean to make the universe and humans.  That is incorrect too and that ignorance would have been cured by a very quick internet search. For example, Ahura Mazda was an uncreated being that intentionally created humans as a good thing.   Jainism believes that the universe has always existed, no creator needed.  Egyptian myth has Ptah creating the universe with a “word” and speaking humans into existence or Neith wove everything in the universe intentionally on her loom.  When one cherry picks myths, one gets a wrong answer that all religions have what Christians often seem to be trying to make as a set of “primitive” beliefs.  In other religions, there are indeed purposeful creation of human beings.  The pastor’s claim that humans are only a “by product” in other religions is wrong.

It doesn’t seem that creationism and the pastor’s version are getting off to a good start.  His idea that humans *must* be created by a god intentionally doesn’t make his religion unique nor does it support the common Christian claim that humans have to be created to be worth something.  Per his religion, we must worship his god because his god created us to do so.  That no evidence can be shown to support this claim, there is no need of worship (and paying preachers) at all.

The pastor claims that there can’t be reason or purpose for his existence without his god.  I do feel sorry for people who feel like that since that makes them afraid, very afraid and very dangerous to people who dare to point out that they can be wrong.   When one’s entire self-worth is based on being right about a god that has no evidence for it, it can make for desperation.  I would posit that this desperation is why a lot of young men and women kill themselves (and others) for Islam.  They have nothing else that tells them that they are worth something.

Happily, humans can have many things that make life worth living, which gives a reason and a purpose: family, friends, pets, justice, art, etc.  The pastor, like so many ignorant Christians, wants to claim that having no god means nihilism.  They have to make that false claim since they have to be able to give a reason why someone must agree with them in order to get that external validation.  They must play on fear.

Things still aren’t looking good for this Christian version.  The pastor’s quotes from Dawkins are a little strange. They do show that evolution is not based on randomness as creationists would claim. They are all from Climbing Mount Improbable and the main gist of this book is that evolution isn’t improbable like theists may claim since it does things slowly, makes many mistakes, and doesn’t always work or get the best answer to a problem.   We can see that if we take one of the bits and look at it in context.

“We have arrived back at Mount Improbable, back to “smearing out” the luck: to taking what looks like an immense amount of luck – the luck needed to make an eye where previously no eye, say – and explaining it by splitting it up into lots of little pieces of luck, each one added cumulatively to what has gone before. WE have now seen how this actually works, by means of the accumulation of lot of little pieces of ancestral luck in the DNA that survives. Alongside the minority of genetically well-endowed individuals who survived, there were large numbers of less favored individuals who perished. Every generation has its Darwinian failures but every individual is descended only from previous generations’ successful minorities.”

The pastor claims that there are three problems.

  • That the defenders of evolution have not allowed for the use of everyday language to sum up a point or to describe the perception that arises out of their theory.
  • That a lot of people don’t really know how things like chance and probability work.
  • That whilst it would be reductionist to think of evolution purely in terms of random/blind chance, it would be similarly reductionist to ignore the element of chance present in evolutionary theory as well.

It is not that the “defenders of evolution” haven’t allowed for the use of everyday language, it is that we aren’t interested in the false claims of creationists being spread by their ignorance of the subject they attack.  It is true that many people don’t know how probability works and that includes creationist. I’ve found this website that does a good job at simply explaining probability. And yes, we know that the pastor is using “accident” and “random” as attacks against evolutionary theory since the creationist’s only argument is that the universe must be designed and must be intentional.   Creationists try to use the ignorance of others about chance and probability to make their false statements.  The last point is a strawman since no one has said that no chance at all is in involved.  The only ones who have tried to imply that evolution depends entirely on chance are the creationists since, again, they must draw a distinction between their divine design and everything else.  Varying probabilities are involved and one can see that from the quote from Dawkins above.

(as an aside, probabilities are something that a lot of folks don’t understand. The probability of life on earth is 1 (certain) since we are most definitely here.   We don’t know exactly how things started, and we may never know, but we know it happened. The evidence may be long gone since the surface of the earth is constantly being remade.

So, for abiogenesis we don’t know exactly how it started, but we know the laws of physics and chemistry so we can do the experiments to get ideas on how it may have worked. We may, at some point, succeed in making life, but even then we may not have come upon the exact way it happened on earth because there could be more than one way for abiogenesis to occur.

Now, we have plenty of evidence that evolution has occurred. We have evidence that there are physical laws and they don’t change randomly.   We have physicists that propose theories and we have the experiments and observations that these theories are accurate descriptions of how the universe behaves. This makes for a high probability that they are correct.

And then we have the claims about various gods, including the Christian one. We have no evidence that any gods exist. We have no evidence that they somehow influence the universe. We have no evidence that any god created the universe.   We do have evidence that prayers do not work as advertised. With these facts, there is no reason to assign a high probability to the claim that this god exists.)

It’s rather fun to watch creationists now try to walk back their false claims about evolution.  This has happened again and again since evolutionary theory was mentioned.  By dribs and drabs, creationists have accepted the pieces of evolutionary theory that they could not reject without looking completely idiotic.  Oh well, the bible was literal….. until it became metaphor.   There was no evolution….until some creationists decided that that there was “microevolution” but golly, no macroevolution.   And now we have Christians who say that the bible has nothing to do with describing the world as it is, but not it’s only a guide for morality and spirituality (which it fails at too).

Now, the pastor wants to claim that we are “really” talking about probability.  And indeed, we have been all along.  In this universe, we know that everything isn’t random and chaotic, which is exactly what evolutionary theory says and how the world works.  However, when a theist claims a miracle,  and that the events of the bible really did happen, then they are claiming that yes, “anything can happen”,  that people can fly against the laws of physics, that a whale can swallow a man, that the dead can be made alive again, the universe is random and chaotic.  However, they don’t live their lives this way.   They claim that they have a god that is the “unknown known” that makes miracles happen, but they have no evidence for the actor nor the miracles themselves; they inject the deus ex machina which they cannot show exists or that it is even probable.    Continue reading “Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – probability, evolution and theists”