Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – oh look, excuses by a Christian on why their god does nothing

A Christian commenter on this blog, “Alexander Phaethon” has written this set of excuses for why his god does nothing at all when it comes to children being killed. I’ve added some paragraphing so it’s not one block of text.

“I am, most likely to annoyance of most, going to cite free will here. It’s very true that multiple times in the Bible God intervened to stop a situation, Jesus’s sacrifice in fact is the best example of this. That being said, the Bible explicitly states that we will face trials and tribulation, so God never said everything would always be sunny and bright.

God gives us free will, that means that some people are going to do the wrong things. God actually does intervene in this though, whether we see it or not. For starters, He told Adam and Eve not to eat the apple. When they did, He gave us, conscience, morality, and a list of rules and commandments with which we can shape our lives in the right direction, and then He sent His Son to die for us so that we might be forgiven when we go astray and have the ability to get to heaven.

It’s not my choice whether or not the atheists here choose to believe this, but I wanted to point two things out here. Number one, a person who writes, according to Nan, a “VERY long” essay attempting to blame a being they, presumably, don’t believes exists, is most likely very bitter about something; I would also question this persons line of thought.

Furthermore, it seems to me that such an endeavor as this essay is such a waste of time; if you don’t believe in God, fine, but at least devote your time to writing something useful. Finally, atheists have long proven that they believe they do not need God, therefore, I cannot understand why they are so upset when He doesn’t intervene; after all, why should an atheist expect God to intervene if they think he doesn’t exist? One final thought, God can intervene miraculously sometimes, but we also can’t foresee how certain acts or situations will effect the future.

As terrible as a shooting is, perhaps God did not intervene because that shooting will profoundly change our world and help us make sure that shootings happen less; in other words, if God had prevented that shooting, maybe He also allowed many future shootings. The point is, we do not have the understanding of God, so why should we blame Him when something bad happens? Rather, we should use tragic events as a means to come together and find solutions to some of these problems, not tear each other down, as some people have tried to do here, and in many places elsewhere.”

Well, he hits all of the classic whines and excuses.

Here’s my response:

Alex, you will cite free will, and I, and most here will just sigh at your ignorance. There is no free will in your bible, and as soon as your god assigned the idiotic “original sin”, free will was done.

The bible also says this god will protect its followers from everything. So all your argument ends up being is a display on how the bible is incoherent.

Let me cite those verses for you.

“7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 Is there anyone among you who, if your child asked for bread, would give a stone? 10 Or if the child asked for a fish, would give a snake? 11 If you, then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” Matthew 7

“19 Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”” Matthew 18

funny how no exceptions are mentioned here or in the following.

“22 Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. 23 Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and if you do not doubt in your heart but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you. 24 So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Mark 11

“17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: by using my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”” Mark 16

unsurprisingly, not a single Christian can do this. Did the bible lie or are you all simply not getting something right?

“12 Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If in my name you ask me[f] for anything, I will do it.” John 14

“7 If you abide in me and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” John 15

“13 Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise. 14 Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up, and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. 17 Elijah was a human like us, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. 18 Then he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth yielded its harvest.” James 5

It is not until 1 John where the excuse that one has to pray for what is already this god’s will, which makes prayer useless and it is a lovely excuse for when the aforementioned promises fail.

“Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” Romans 12

” God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, ” Psalm 91

“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.” Psalm 23 (quite a failure for the “shepherd”)

In Eden, your god said that the entire garden was for humans in the first story, and in the second version it says don’t eat or you will die that day. So we have no mention of magic trees or we have a lie. You get to choose which one is the “real” story, Alex.

This god of yours didn’t want humans to know right and wrong, Alex. It only wanted obedience. The only reason we have a conscience, per your myths, is because Eve ate the apple. The god wanted us ignorant. Eve gave us morality. And then, rather than just resetting things with Adam and EVe, your god throws a tantrum, and blames everyone for what they did, destroying any concept of free will. If I am damned through no fault of my own, there is no free will. Then your god decides, after failing for supposed thousands of years, that it needs a death by torture to make it feel better. That’s simply disgusting.

Then, Alex, you try the usual whine of “oh dear, why do atheists point out how idiotic we are if they don’t believe in it?” It’s because your lies cause real harm, Alex. No one needs to be “bitter” to point out lies. Devoting one’s time to pointing out lies is useful, and happily, here in the US, Chrsitianity is losing followers. From a 90+% belief rate, we are down into the 70s. And in addition to that, Christians all contradict each other, so there aren’t even that many TrueChristians(tm) in existence; they all hate each other.

Your religion depends on victim blaming when its lies and false promises fail. You invent excuses, including that someone didn’t pray “correctly”, wasn’t a “real” Christian, to cling to this harmful nonsense.

You have no evidence that this god intervenes at all, “miraculously” or not. You try to offer the tedious Christian claim of “but but maybe god needs to kill a child for his “plan”” Hmm, if there is a plan, then there is no free will, ifthis god must take the life of someone, the ultimate ceasing of free will.

You are just one more selfish, ignorant Christian, Alex. There is no surprises here with your excuses. You try to claim “but but we can’t understand god” when you claim to constantly understand him when it comes to what morals this god wants, etc. it’s ever so convenient to claim “God’s mysterious ways”. You have no problem at all praising god when something good happens, stealing the honor and responsibility from humans as is the wont of selfish, greedy Christians.

I don’t need kids being literally ripped apart by bullets to “come together” or to “teach”. That you do shows exactly how Christianity is evil. And yes dear, I can say that with my happily subjective morality. I would not accept such atrocities by a human so I certainly wouldn’t from a god.

As for your rules, funny how you and other Christians don’t follow them when you don’t feel like it. You invent reasons why the inconvenient ones don’t apply to you.

The excuses and false claimed used by Alex, and *so* many Christians, are why I stand against Christianity.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – an excellent essay about morality, gods and mass shootings

Dr. Darren Slade over at the Global Center for Religious Research has written an excellent essay about the excuses that theists, especially conservative Christians, give when it comes to mass shootings. In case you might not know, “miso” means “hate” and yes, one can do that even for imaginary characters.

God and Mass Shootings: A Case for Misotheism

Misotheists argue there exist certain situations that demand an intervention by any agent available because of a prerequisite belief in the sanctity and quality of life. Had it not been for GOD refusing to intervene, those little children could have lived a full and healthy quality of life. This prerequisite principle is the empirical basis for every ethical system today, concluding that the lives of children are inherently valuable and warrant protection as an end unto itself. Indeed, agents cannot act morally toward a dead person, making the intrinsic value of life a precondition for its own sake. Hence, ethical agents have a duty to preserve each other’s right to life.”

Read the rest here.

Oh and before any of my theist subscribers try to claim free will, the bible has many times when this god has interfered with human action.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – now the QOP finds another group they’ve ignored to use as an excuse

Currently here in the US, we have the usual conservative Christians trying to force their lies on everyone again, this time trying to stop legal abortion.

We also have them being ever so concerned about children in the US being “starved” by immigrant families being given infant formula, which is in short supply here in the US for various reasons. they of course blame President Biden, which is always hilarious since a president doesn’t have that kind of power, no matter how they tried to invest their orange moron with it.

These people have consistently tried to eliminate any help for mothers and children, be it SNAP (food assistance), WIC (a program to help women and children get care and good nutrition), and basic welfare like good public schools and affordable housing. But ah, now that they can try to be claim how concerned they are about these people, just so they can excuse their need to deny help for their fellow humans.

This happened the last time when the conservative Christians insisted how much they cared about the “homeless veterans” when they wanted to also keep immigrants out, claiming housing shortages and job that “should” go to “Americans”. They of course dropped their concern as soon as they realized that it wasn’t working as an excuse.

Those veterans are still homeless and the working poor’s kids will still be hungry when they kick them to the curb too. Nothing like a conservative Christian to show just how worthless their cult is. They aren’t “pro-life” they are pro-theocracy and their selfish, petty, greedy religion.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – it’s time to stand up, liberal Christians

Unsurprisingly, conservative Christians are doing all they can to turn the US into a theocracy.  They want to control everyone, not just women, not just LGBT… folks, not just people of different religions, etc. Everyone.  All based on their belief that some god wants this.  They of course can’t show this god even exists or theirs is the right version.  They find they must invent a god that agrees with them. 

They are trying to claim that the US constitution determines the laws of this land and if it doesn’t mention something, those laws can’t be on the federal level.  McConnell is of course now wanting a federal level law to make abortion illegal, which shows just how much conservative Christians lie when they have claimed how much they want states to have the ability to rule on abortion the way the people want:

“If the leaked opinion became the final opinion, legislative bodies — not only at the state level but at the federal level — certainly could legislate in that area, And if this were the final decision, that was the point that it should be resolved one way or another in the legislative process. So yeah, it’s possible.”

They don’t care about that at all.  They want their way no matter what, democracy be damned. And evidently their god be damned since it says not to lie and they have chosen to do so.

It’s notable that some of the justices are also now shown to have lied under oath with their claims of respecting precedent.

Of course, these cowards are sitting behind a fence to protect them, something that they refused to allow when it came to women getting their legal healthcare. 

It is time for everyone to stand up against this, and for anyone who wants to claim they are a Christian, just not THAT type, to be loud to show us there is a difference.  If not, they are going to be responsible for the destruction of the freedoms of the US because of their tacit acceptance of this nonsense.   If there is a theocracy, there can only be one “church”.   

Which is more important?  Your freedoms or your need to circle the wagons to protect your religion? 

Not So Polite Conversation – my discussion with Alexander part 2

Unsurprisingly, the comments got a little hairy looking on the prior post.

Alex seems to have determined he doesn’t want to debate things anymore. This often happens when the theist finds they have nothing when it comes to supporting their claims. In this case, Alex was unable to give examples of his accusations against various people, me, Joe Biden, etc, and give examples of evidence that supports his version of Christianity.

Alex, as the typical theist is wont to do, tried some classic logical fallacies, and some of the supposed “logical” arguments for god, but forgot that those arguments aren’t for his god but for some vague force and the theist can’t get from them to their particular god since there is no evidence for those gods. Despite the myths claiming that this god has repeatedly caused events on the earth that should produce evidence, there is none to be found.

Theists, like Alex, and bibledog who showed up later into the conversation, should consider their religion from an outsider’s point of view, like John Loftus recommends. They could simply place another god’s name in place of their own and consider how valid their arguments sound coming from a religion they did not have a personal stake in.

Here is what I’m guessing is his final post. Often theists do return to continue the conversation, unable to stick with their dramatic exits. We’ll see. I’ve put in paragraph breaks where I think appropriate since all I was left with is a block of text.

“You know what? I think our discussion has come to a close. No matter how hard I try, or how much evidence I provide, I know that in your current state you will never change your mind.”

This is a common attack by a Christian who has no evidence for his claims. He has provided no evidence. He has tried to use the various arguments, cosmological, teleological, etc for his god and they do not show that any version of the Christian god exists. At best, these arguments *may* offer a possibility of some vague “force” to accomplish what they claim. He has also used claims of this god personally doing things for him, which I suspect he would not accept from any other type of theist. Since no theist has evidence of divine intervention, there is no reason to accept this as evidence.

“You insist on standing by your science which is wonderful but seems unable to cure things like cancer. Tell me, if we didn’t need God, then shouldn’t science be able to solve all of our problems? Shouldn’t science be able to make sure that parents never get divorced? Shouldn’t science make sure that wars never happen (instead of helping people develop nuclear weapons?) Shouldn’t science be constant, never changing, always true, instead of always being refuted?”

Alex uses the science he attacks so vigorously. Science can indeed cure some kinds of cancers, which is yet another instance of Alex’s willful ignorance coming into play. Therapy, part of the psychological science, can help parents not get divorced. Science does help prevent war by increasing available resources which are often fought over. Science doesn’t constantly change, as Alex falsely claims. It is refined and since we don’t yet have complete knowledge of everything, we are limited in discovery of facts, e.g. what is true.

Now, compare this to the Christian claims of a perfect, omnipotent, omniscient, and supposedly omni-benevolent being. This being cannot be shown to exist nor can it do anything that Alex claims science can’t do at all. It has not cured one kind of cancer, kept parents together despite the admonitions in its supposed “holy book”, and Christians themselves cannot agree what this god wants, making it always changing.

“See, the bottom line you guys, is that you can call my claims baseless or unfounded, and maybe they are (that’s why we have faith after all), but your claims are just as baseless. You cannot prove to me that some divine hand did not create the universe simply because there is evidence it had to do with physics”

Yes, I, and we, can show that all of Alex’s claims are baseless and unfounded and we have the evidence to support that conclusion. I’ve asked Alex for evidence for his various accusations and he either can’t or won’t. I can indeed show that there is no reason to assume that Alex’s god exists since we have no evidence for any of the events it supposedly caused. I suspect that Alex would deny that any creator god I might name created the world since there is no evidence for them either. Physics doesn’t need a god, so why assume one?

“I can throw a rock and you can tell me all the reasons why it flies in the path it flies based off of weight and velocity, the fact remains however, that I threw that rock, not physics.”

Yep, we can indeed describe the physics that allow a human body to work and how a thrown object behaves. Physics allows Alex to throw that rock. Without physics, no Alex.

“And you are all upset about me “lying” about you guys. Okay, how’d I lie? By pointing out that in world with no afterlife, it doesn’t matter how far science advances to make us comfortable we can never prevent death, therefore there is no point in us existing anyway and we might as well just clean up the population problem by removing people who are making it hard to live our pointless lives? If that’s what your mad about then I’m afraid you’ll have to deal.”

Alex requests evidence of his lies. Okay. He has repeated false claims about people, including atheists, Joe Biden, other types of Christians, etc. He has been offered the chance to provide evidence to support his claims. He has refused.
“For instance, the Bible says no to worship anything besides God, that means that Catholics practices of praying to saints and such is wrong.”
“Well, Biden does not seem to have it altogether mentally, and because of him gas prices are really high. “
” I mean, by an atheists logic, they are going to die, there’s no way to stop them and nothing to tell them before they do so we might as well get rid of them, especially the ones who are using up all the resources in India and Africa and China.”

All false claims made with the intent to spread false information for the benefit of the Christian and to try to take away the ability of informed decisions from others.

He unfortunately doubles down on his false claims. “By pointing out that in world with no afterlife, it doesn’t matter how far science advances to make us comfortable we can never prevent death, therefore there is no point in us existing anyway and we might as well just clean up the population problem by removing people who are making it hard to live our pointless lives? If that’s what your mad about then I’m afraid you’ll have to deal.”

none of this is true. It is a rather pathetic attempt to claim that atheists must be nihilists. I will indeed “deal” with this by pointing out how these baseless claims have failed.

“After all, you called my God both a liar and murder, not to mention that you didn’t mention a single good thing about Christians. Do not judge others lest they judge you by your own standard, (there’s one you ought to like). Call me a chicken, call me a fool, or even a child. I happen to like chicken. God hath chosen the foolish things to triumph over the wise, so the more foolish I sound to you the better. And as for a child, well I like to think that I’m still a kid at heart.”

Alex has missed the difference between being child-like and childish. Why should I mention anything good about Christianity when it isn’t good? That some Christians do good, and do so by ignoring their bible, is nothing special or new, nor does it make his nonsense true. Humans can and often are quite good, no god needed. We aren’t the “dirty rags” that Christianity claims.

Alex has also tried very hard to steal the accomplishments of humans and falsely claim his god is the one responsible for the hard work of humans. Alas, for Alex, even if this bible of his claims this god chooses the foolish over the wise, it’s not happened that the foolish has triumphed over anything at all.

“I have done my best to be kind and courteous and all I got for it in return was a couple f-words from a lot stiff necked people. It’s funny though; I’m very mad and frustrated with y’all but my God would still forgive you and show compassion to you, so I will too. You are all welcome at my blog anytime so long as you keep it civil (to my standards). I appreciate all the time you took to set this up and the traffic, however short lived, you sent my way. I hope you all will find within you that thing Elizabeth was talking about. She might not have presented it the right way but it’s in there, and I hope that those of you have fallen out of faith will come back and those who have never had one will choose to accept Jesus into their hearts. Best wishes to all of you-AP”

Making and repeating false claims is not kind or courteous. Alex is the one who has described being friendly as *only* not using curse words, nothing else, which is telling. He is indeed mad and frustrated and his god is still a baseless claim. No one needs forgiveness from this imaginary god nor from Alex for showing him to be wrong.

I am quite happy that I engaged Alex and linked to his blog. His actions did more than I could ever do to show how poisonous religion can be.

Now, to the denouement to show how Alex wanted to support Elizabeth, who tried so very hard convince her self that everyone really agrees with her.

“Now we’re getting down to the Elizabeth thing and then I’ll move onto the next of the comments you made. I think Elizabeth was right but went about the wrong way trying to prove it. She tried to prove that everyone agreed with her and not with God. But wouldn’t it make sense, that if God really did create the universe that everyone would know Him somewhere inside? You are actually correct that this statement contradicts my earlier one to Nan, about the Bible not being perfectly downloaded into our conscience. I suppose then it’s our human nature that causes us to suppress the knowledge. Let me know your thoughts.

As for me not being able to drive out demons and protect myself from sickness, that’s again where you have to look at it in an artistic manner. Christians do drive out real demons, but we also drive out the demons of sadness, insecurity, fear, etc. negative things. Protecting ourselves from sickness. Well, we still get sick, but when we have God we are able to worry less about all sorts of stuff, essentially protecting ourselves from the sickness of fear.

Now, a debate is a debate. But as my brother likes to point out to me, debates have an outcomes, and arguments don’t. I can feel that this is becoming more and more of an argument. I’ve have done my best to stay friendly, but if you can not do the same then I’m afraid our discussion might be coming to a close.”

No evidence that Alex’s god did anything, so no reason to assume his baseless claim to be true any more than Elizabeth’s. No knowledge, so no knowledge to supposedly “suppress”.

Alex’s inability to do what his supposed messiah promised is nothing new. He must try to claim that this messiah only meant “metaphors”, and now this god is again depowered to excuse its, and alex’s failure.

Debates do have outcomes and Alex has lost this one.

Addendeum – 5/4/22 4:41 EDT.

As predicted, Alex is back.

“Oh, is that what all those quotes were for; the ellipses and all the numbers made it kind of confusing. Well if that’s what you think, that’s what you think, I really hope you reconsider though. One last thought. Why exactly is it that atheists choose not to believe? If what you have told me is true, and they live to help people, and they expect that they’re going to die, then why not put their faith in God and if it turns out Christianity is real they go to heaven and if it isn’t then they don’t. Your problem seems to be that you think God is a murder and somehow wrong for orchestrating His creation, but if you look at the Bible in it’s entirety, you’ll see he really does care, and does do what is just, and does want the best for us. Are there parts of the Bible that we don’t understand? Yes. If you think about it, why would the affairs of an allpowerful God make sense to a human being anyway? If you accept that God is visible in the surrounding world, and not simply only the supernatural, then it becomes very hard for me to understand why there are atheists at all. I mean when it comes down to it, the difference between a Christian and an Atheist is that a Christian believes that, if a person asks Jesus for forgiveness and repents of their sins, then they get to go to a wonderful place. When you think about it that way, it almost doesn’t make sense that there are atheists at all.”

Why would I reconsider?  Your god is a horrible character.  I wouldn’t worship such a thing even if it were real.

I don’t choose not to believe in Alex’s version of the Chrsitian god, since that’s all you have. There is no evidence. I can’t believe in things with no evidence.   Atheists do what they want, and they do and don’t help others. 

All  you have offered is Pascal’s wager.  This makes your god particularly stupid if it accepts anyone who believes “just in case”.  I have better moral standards than your god so I don’t care about its heaven or hell. 

Your god is a murderer and a liar, and imaginary.  I’ve read the entire bible and there is nothing in it that shows it cares about anything but being stroked off.  So your claim fails already. 

There is no part of the bible I don’t understand.  It is the ignorant and vicious belief of humans in a vicious and ignorant god.  There is nothing mysterious about your god, it is as pathetic as any god invented by humans.  And dear, I don’t even remotely accept that your god exists,much less is “visible in the surrounding world”.   

Again, Christians make up what their god disapproves of e.g. “sin”.  Why should I care about what you’ve made up?  There is no evidence of a “wonderful place”.  And your “wonderful place” is a horror, with a moronic god that kills people for no reason, who commits genocide, who approves of slavery.  This “city of heaven on earth” is quite the demented wealth fantasy, where everything is this tacky mess of gold, jewels etc.  I can’t be bribed with such garbage.  Christiansn can’t even agree on what this “wonderful place” is.   The complete ignorance of Christians on what their bible actually says about the supposed afterlife is hilarious. 

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – the conservative christians want a theocracy where no one has privacy

I’m guessing most of my readers have seen that a draft opinion from the Supreme Court of the United States, was revealed to the public. This opinion is to end the legality of abortion in the US at the federal level, and that original case was built on the fact that no government has any right to breach the privacy of an individual.

Now we can see that conservative Christians want government to control your life, as long as it is *their* government.

““Roe, however, was remarkably loose in its treatment of the constitutional text. It held that the abortion right, which is not mentioned in the Constitution, is part of a right to privacy, which is also not mentioned.”” – Justice Alito “Thomas E. Dobbs, State Health Officer of the Mississippi Department of Health et al petitioners vs Jackson Womens Health Organization et al”

The argument is that since the right to an abortion isn’t in the constitution, regulating should be given to the states. Now, with that argument, we see that personal privacy is also up for grabs per Alito’s argument. We’ve heard repeatedly from conservative that they are supposedly horrified of government involvement with the privacy of citizens when it comes to guns, to religion (the deal with the devil between Catholics and evangelicals who hate each other and ae sure each other are going to hell), schooling, books, etc. They are of course hypocrites and liars.

Is this what balkanizes the US? When will the civil war start between Christians over who gets to rule? We’ll see.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – please welcome Alex, a Christian who has asked to debate me

A Christian has asked to debate me, Alexander Phaethon, of the blog Peace of Mind. He comes to us from commenting on my last blog post, about a christian who insists that everyone agrees with her. You can see what kind of a Christian he is on his comment here. He also commented that he is “I’m technically 50 percent white 50 percent Latino.” He does think that Elizabeth, the one who insists that everyone agrees with her is correct. We’ll get to that in a bit.

You can follow along in the comments below. If it gets too unwieldly, I’ll open another post to continue.

To start off, Alex has asked this “Well, lets just start with our base beliefs and then will get to Elizabeth’s claim. What are your reasons for believing that there is no God, and also what then do you believe is the point of life?”

Alex, the reason I don’t believe in any gods, including the many variations of the Christian god, is that there is no evidence at all for their existences. Not one event claimed to have been caused by your god, or any other, can be shown to have happened. There is also no evidence that any of these gods come through for their worshippers as they promise in the various holy books that theists have.

Now to focus the Christianity we both are familiar with, there are dozens, if not far more, of versions, all of which contradict each other. That Christians cannot agree on the most basic things in their religion, (e.g. how one is saved, what heaven and hell are, what this god considers a sin, what morals this god wants, which parts of the bible to consider literal, exaggerated or metaphor, etc), nor convince each other that their version is the “right” one, shows that there is little reason to think that there is any “right” version. This is especially true since not one self-described Christian can do what your supposed messiah promised you would be able to do. Those abilities are described in Mark 16, John 14 and James 5, among other places.

I do say self-described since that is the only way to know who a Christian is since you all point at those Christians who don’t agree with you and claim they aren’t Christians, but you cannot show this to be the case.

Could there be a “right” version? Perhaps, but I see no evidence of what it is or that it exists.

The second part of your request is “what then do you believe is the point of life?” I don’t see that there has to be a “point” aka “meaning” for life that is external to the person living a life. There is life since physics allows for it. I’m alive, a meerkat is alive, my cats are alive, the collard greens plants in my backyard garden are alive.

I give meaning to my own life, and that is to help others when I can so they can enjoy their life too, to enjoy my life which means loving my spouse, my kitties, my friends, having tasty meals, a comfy bed, a nice glass of wine or beer or bourbon, creating art, gardening, etc. I am largely Epicurean (a brief description: “Epicurus believed that the greatest good was to seek modest, sustainable pleasure in the form of a state of ataraxia (tranquility and freedom from fear) and aponia (the absence of bodily pain) through knowledge of the workings of the world and limiting desires.”) in worldview, with a splash of Stoicism.

When I was a Christian, I was taught that the meaning of life was to obey the god of Christianity, and if I was approved of, I’d get to exist forever in heaven. I’m quite happy to have left that behind, since I finally did realize that the god of Christianity wasn’t anything I would want to obey, even if it were real. I read the bible and found out what it says, not the expurgated version that pastors and priests give. I found I had far better morals than this god from reading comic books and watching Star Trek than what the bible teaches. No promise of eternal life would be worth following such a horrible being as the god depicted in the bible.

Now, you probably are asking about what I found “horrible”. The following:

1. A god that condemns everyone for the supposed actions of two. This eliminates free will. This also is the story of Eden, where this god intentionally keeps Adam and Eve ignorant of what good and evil are, and blames them for not obeying him when they would have had no idea that not obeying this god was “evil”.
2. A god that kills every living thing on earth except for 8 people horribly by drowning. This includes children and animals who did nothing wrong. See the noah flood.
3. A god that mind controls humans so it has an excuse for abusing and killing them, including children. See Exodus 4, Joshua 11.
4. A god that repeatedly commits and commands genocide and rape of girls, see Numbers 31.
5. The idea of a blood sacrifice by torture required for “salvation” from this god’s actions that it screwed up in Eden. See the whole Jesus story.
6. The idea that if you don’t believe in the right god you deserve eternal torture. per both Jesus and paul.
7. The lunacy and viciousness of Revelation where this god works with its supposed archenemy to corrupt its followers after it kills everyone else.

If you’d like me to clarify, do ask. Alex, my questions to you are how do you know your version is right? What is the best evidence you think there is that your god exists? And what do *you* think the meaning of life is?

Addendum: 5/4/22: how this ends up here:

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – a great paper on how cults rationalize their nonsense

Just a link to a very good paper on how cults, aka religions, can invent nonsense and end up believing it to be true. Thanks to John Loftus over at Debunking Christianity for giving the link.

“The Rationalization Hypothesis: Is a Vision of Jesus Necessary for the Rise of the Resurrection Belief?” — by Kris Komarnitsky

The information about the Marian Keech cult was interesting. I hadn’t known that UFO cults were so early.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – a three-fer this year

Some of the big holidays/months for the abrahamic religions happen this month. Easter is this weekend. Passover starts on Friday. Ramadan is the whole lunar month.

Passover – we have a celebration that the Israelites got their freedom, the “exodus”, but it’s not quite that simple and requires the death of children and people who had no choice in the matter where this god was mind controlling a man in order to show off. There’s no evidence for this nonsense at all.

Easter – we have a celebration because a god needed a blood sacrifice by torture of part of itself to make itself happy because of its failure at the very beginning of the creation myths. No evidence for the victim, torture or supposed resurrection.

Ramadan – we have a celebration because a man claimed an angel showed him magic writings in a cave that would become the holy book for a religion. At least there is no direct death involved here. There’s also no evidence for this story either.

For my new followers, here are some oldies but goodies on Easter and Passover. I don’t have much on Islam on my blog. I’ll have to correct that at sone point. Here’s a post about how similarly silly it is to the other religions of the “book”.  (you can find links to the other parts at the bottom of the post)  And thou shalt of eat of this guinea pig in rememberance of me

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – happy ridiculous holiday weekend!

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Christians are atheists too

I, and many other atheists, have pointed out to theists that they are atheists too.   They simply don’t believe in other gods, often for reasons just like I do: there is no evidence.  They often get upset by this revelation, since it neuters their common attacks on atheists e.g. atheists are those scary communists, etc.

Nothing much new here. I’m just writing responses to various theist since I am desperately bored at work. A month’s shutdown is wearying. There are some fun memes at the end if you want to just scroll down.

Now, unsurprisingly, the Chrisitans who put up this bit don’t allow comments on their website.  As usual, they don’t want anyone actually thinking about what they claim is true and definitely don’t want anyone to think that someone can show them wrong.  (Dave has put up a response to this post that you can read here where I put it in the comments, since he was too afraid of posting it here as a comment and having to deal with responses. He certainly is concerned by how I wrote and manages not to refute my points: )

Dave Williams, the Christian making the claims starts with this baseless bit of nonsense “Now, belief in the one true God can only come through revelation as he speaks to you, reveals his true character and causes you to see your need for him.”  Well poof goes free will then.  But, as I know very well, Christians don’t agree whether free will or predestination is a thing and neither side can show their nonsense to the right answer. 

This assumption has nothing to support it.  It assumes that there is only one god, and that Dave’s version is it, as well as that this god talks to anyone.  We can see that claim as being rather doubtful since this god supposedly talks to every Christian per their own claims, and funny how this god gives entirely contradictory information to its “chosen”.  For all of Dave’s claims of “serious logical missteps” he’s already made a few. 

Dave’s claim is that there simply has to be a right version of Christianity. There does not.  I would make the educated guess that Dave would not agree that there must be a right version of Islam, though his argument “that there are many different options does not take away from the potential truth of one” would make Islam with just as much chance of being true as his version of Christianity.  Dave also gets rather confused trying to claim that atheists would not want our conclusion that there are not gods set along side the many claims of theists for their gods.   Since he also claims that there are no gods, in each individual case, other than his god, he has his own no god option.  How is that to be put alongside his god option? 

As usual, the theist has little idea about how logic works.  He does indeed need to show that other gods don’t exist and his does, and proceeds to offer illogical and indeed baseless claims as truth. 

He promptly defines his god as the only possible definition of a god.  He claims a binary choice when there is none.  This is a false dichotomy fallacy e.g. “there being a god or there not being a god.”  There could be many gods, there could be two.  They could work in gestalt, they could each have a function in a process, and on and on.  There is nothing to show that his god is the only god.  That is his baseless premise and thus makes any conclusion from it worthless. 

Dave claims “Now, even at this stage we are not putting all the god options in competition with each other.”  He then promptly says “The discussion is now between people who do believe in God’s existence. The priority now is to make sure that we are talking about the true and living god. The aim is to make sure we know him correctly and worship him properly.”

hmm, where did that other possibility go, that there are no god or gods or that there are multiple gods?  Oh yes, Dave assumes there is a god required.  He also tries to claim that polytheism isn’t really putting up their pantheon against a single god.  Really?  Then why the difference in terms?  These gods are indeed rivals to Dave’s god in their ontological status.  He tries to pretend they aren’t, by insisting that his god alone deserves worship, but he gives no reason why this should be he case.  There may indeed be considered a vague power over these pantheons, but again, why does only Dave’s god deserve worship? 

Dave claims then that this somehow “boils down into one question ““Do you believe in an eternal, personal, loving God who created the World, continues to sustain it?”” and then claims that the only possible answer is that one must.  Funny how that works. 

All of this doesn’t end up leading to Dave’s god, no matter how hard he hopes it does so he can be validated. We still have other gods possible, and there is no problem with worshiping something, no matter if it is “distant and unknowable”.  Dave’s claim “Then, we have in fact denied the eternal and personal God and in practice chosen the atheist option.”  Aka “If you don’t believe in my god, then you are an atheist” Is entirely false. 

The point that Christians are also atheists and disbelieve in other gods, therefore being atheist towards them, still stands. I could wish that the term “pan-atheist” would be accepted for those of us who disbelieve in all gods, but that hasn’t happened yet. So we are stuck with atheism potentially meaning two things, the lack of belief in a god or gods, and the lack of belief in all of them.