I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, 'wouldn't it be much worse if life *were* fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them?' So now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe. – M. Cole
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”.
I do love a completely clueless post by John Clayton, over at Does God Exist. He tries very hard to declare that Christianity is ever so much better than Islam.
To give some background, John tries to claim that he was once an atheist who became a Christian because “science”. Alas, not one thing about science says that one particular religion is true. He’s also apparently an old earth creationist, who has no more evidence that nonsense is true than the young earth creationists. Oh but he is quite proud to claim how wrong they are. This is a man whose entire reason to believe in his god is a god of the gaps argument: humans can’t explain everything, so “god” or in his words “I began to realize that science had its limitations — that science, in fact, strongly pointed to other explanations than natural ones to certain questions.” .
This is a man who can’t give a name to the supposed “brilliant well known atheist” and geology professor who supposedly taught at Indiana University who said he would show how the bible is garbage. This is simply a repetition of a common Christian story that comes up in movies like “God is Not Dead”. Alas, no Christian has ever been able to show a single professor who supposedly did what they claim.
John’s tendency to think he’s right and everyone else is wrong continues in all of his writings. Most recently he claims how wrong Islam is and how right his version of Christianity is. Of course, he is blind to the fact that he uses just as many baseless claims and conveniently ignores his bible when it makes just as silly claims as the qu’ran.
First we start with John’s claim, as noted above that science showed him his god exists and not everything can be known by science. Muslims use the same claims (contrast it with Christian attitudes), that there has to be a god since humans don’t know everything yet. He also claims that he had no reason to think that the “right” god was the Christian one. Hmmm, nothing but his entire culture being largely Christian.
He also says he compared what JC ways and what Mo says and that told him who is the right one. And thus tries to claim that Islam is wrong.
“In addition to some scientific errors, the Koran has teachings that denigrate women. “
Hmmm, funny how the bible has these too.
Here’s a few scientific errors: Humans with lifespans in the multiple hundreds of years (John tries to claim that the term years wasn’t “really” meant by the bible authors). Hailstones are kept in magic warehouses. A worldwide flood. A tower that this god is sure could reach it. Sitting on a mountain would allow you to see all of the earth (that only would work on a flat earth), whales can carry men around inside them for 3 days, etc.
Then, about women:
“Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law.35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.” 1 Corinthians 14
“12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.” 1 Timothy 2
I like that last one. Eve at least was deceived by a superpowerful being. Adam just was being an idiot. And funny how Paul is sure that only childbearing gets a woman saved. I guess it sucks if you are not fertile.
There is also where women are called property, Exodus 20, where women are given over to rapists to protect some “man of god”, women are given as war booty to be raped (and this god requires some of them too, Numbers 31), women are unclean after having children, etc etc. One can see the very long list of how women are denigrated, raped, and otherwise harmed per this god here. One word of caution, the SAB sometimes does push it when it uses some verses to prove a point. However, most are quite valid.
“It also commands violence.”
Gee, the bible does too. Here’s a great bit by JC. “9 Then he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition! 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must surely die.’ 11 But you say that if anyone tells father or mother, ‘Whatever support you might have had from me is Corban’ (that is, an offering to God[e])— 12 then you no longer permit doing anything for a father or mother, 13 thus making void the word of God through your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many things like this.”” Mark 7
JC is upset that children aren’t killed for “speaking evil” about their parents. We also have JC having no problem with killing children, see the flood, the plagues. It’s okay for a man to be blinded so this god can show off.
“6 ‘I tell you, to all those who have, more will be given; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. 27 But as for these enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and slaughter them in my presence.’”” Luke 19
Christians will claim that this is *only* a parable. Hmmm, if so what does this “really” mean then, and do tell who the “nobleman” is in the parable.
“Let me hasten to say that my Muslim acquaintances are as disturbed as I am with these teachings and would never participate in them. The problem is with the teachings of Mohammad, not what all Muslims do.”
Yep, Christians also pick and choose what they do. Their supposed messiah says that all of the laws in the bible are to be followed, so where are these folks when people are daring to work on the sabbath?
Of course, *all* of Revelation is advocating violence toward anyone not a Christian. Christians like John don’t much like that book being mentioned.
“However, recent events in Pakistan have shown that Muslims in that part of the world follow those teachings of Mohammad.”
Yep, Christians do the same. We get to see accounts of violence by Christians that fit quite nicely with what this god supposedly commands. That’s why we have Christians attacking abortion clinics, doctors, homosexual people, killing their own kids because they are sure that this god will heal them or because they think it’s better than to allow the kids to “sin”, etc all because of what the bible says to do. If we did not have secular laws in the US, I think it is safe to say that things would be quite a bit worse.
“As a man convinced that God exists, I could not embrace a book that taught things I knew were destructive and untrue. When I read the teachings of Jesus Christ, I saw a plea for peace, love, and non-violence. He elevated women and refused to return evil for evil. I saw the striking contrast between the teachings of Mohammad and Jesus Christ.”
Yep, John ignores those bits that don’t confirm with the fantasy he’s invented, a god in his own image. Just like Muslims. As shown above, the bible is full of things that are destructive and untrue. Alas, lots in the bible is “do what I say, not as I do” when it comes to JesusGod and violence.
“If you have doubts about the teachings of Christ and Mohammad, I would encourage you to get a copy of the Koran and read all of it. Then read Matthew through at least chapter seven.”
Oh, the whole way to chapter 7, eh? Hmmm, if you read further, you find many of what I’ve cited above. Seems that someone is trying to cover up how his religion is no better than any one else’s.
“Although there are many good things in the Koran, it also calls for a cultural dependence on violence and servitude.”
Yep, you can say the same about the bible, with verse after verse about obedience, how great slavery is, and violence (see above). Happily, we can ignore all religions since no one needs a god, or John, to know what does help humans and civilization.
There’s plenty of websites that list “difficult passages” of the bible too (evil bible is a good one). Of course, both sets of believers will try to invent reasons why their “holy books” don’t “really” mean what they literally say. Do see the Skeptics Annotated Bible and Qu’ran to see just how ridiculous, and similar, both are.
So, we have a Christian, Andy Bannister, who wants to ask “Why are some atheists so afraid of changing their minds?”. This is a video, and of course, the comments are turned off. So much for being the “confident” Christians that Solas claims on their website, eh?
Unsurprisingly, the video starts off with the usual false claims about atheists, how rude we all are for not blindly accepting what the particular Christian says, that we all evidently can’t come up with anything ourselves but have to repeat what other atheists say (which begs the question “since we are all repeating someone else, who is actually the originator of these things?”), that we have bad grammar and spelling (oh do call the kettle black, pot), and of course trying to be insulting by equating atheist with idiot, in the ever-so clever “village atheist” comment.
We end up quickly in the claims somehow atheists are fearful and this is “why” atheists don’t engage with the “best” arguments for Christianity. This isn’t a new claim, it is just the “sophisticated theology” bit of nonsense that many Christians trot out, that atheists only pick the low hanging fruit to address. This excuse is, of course, dependent on the theist being willfully ignorant about how atheists have indeed addresses those “best” arguments too. This video isn’t for atheists, it is for a Christian to reinforce the false beliefs of himself and other Christians. Apologetics aren’t for atheists, they are for theists.
Unsurprisingly, Andy says that atheists should “properly” examine the claims of the Christian faith. The term “properly” comes up often in apologetics and the definition that is used this context is “in an acceptable or suitable way” not “in an accurate or correct way”. It is nothing more than a code word for agreeing with the theist and not questioning what they say, something that is “acceptable” to them.
Andy goes on to appeal to authority in the form of Alistair McGrath, who evidently must be correct because he has a degree. This fellow, anglican priest at Oxford (who defines atheists as ” I became an atheist – somebody who deliberately and intentionally does not believe in God and thinks that anyone who does believe in God is mentally deficient or seriously screwed up.'”, supposedly received a letter from a student that who became a Christian after reading one of McGrath’s books and the “very best” Christian philosophers. Of course, this student was an atheist, because that makes the story. This atheist never ever read the “other side of the argument” but when he did, poof, he became a Christian. This of course ignores reality since this doesn’t happen every time, and indeed, atheists often become atheists because they did read the holy book of Christianity and realized what nonsense it is and read other books to see that the bible didn’t reflect reality. To see McGrath’s other use of failed apologetics, here is a video/transcript of an interview with him. This is the “quality” of McGrath’s arguments: “Number one, there are a very large number of scientists who are religious believers; and these are not stupid people at all. ” Quite a pathetic start, an appeal to authority fallacy. Here‘s a more thorough take down of McGrath’s arguments. If he is one of the ‘best’, Christianity doesn’t have much to support it.
Andy goes on to repeat the claim that atheists don’t address the “best” arguments for Christianity by recommending these “best” authors like Rebecca McLaughlin. Now, Dr. McLaughlin is one of those with again degrees, beloved by Biologos and is an entirely awful apologist. This is her on her ‘one minute apologetics.” “The Jesus of the Gospels is either God in the flesh or a terrible imposter. There is no middle ground.” That is really all she has, nothing different from Paul saying, yep, we believe becuase we gotta believe. She wrote a book, Confronting Christianity: 12 Hard Questions for the World’s Largest Religion. That’s one assumption right in the title, since we know that Christians don’t consider each other Christians by the millions. Looking at the amazon preview of the book, we see the usual apologetics, that somehow Christianity has dibs on every good human action and is the only thing responsible for human rights, the claim that persecution makes Christianity true, that somehow atheists have no morality, etc. In other words, the same false and baseless claims, nothing new or “sophisticated” here at all.
He also of course tries to claim that atheists don’t read these arguments with an open mind and accusing atheists of being cowards and not “serious”, to again try to claim that we aren’t being honest or brave or seriously considering the material. He also insists that pointing out that a Christian is wrong is being “rude”, doing the typical appeal to politeness when he has nothing else. Nothing like a Christian accusing someone of lying and having no evidence for it.
It is interesting that Andy never mentions what a single one of these “best” arguments are. One would suspect that is because when one of the arguments is dismantled, he can insist that wasn’t one of the “best” ones and then run to the next, never taking responsibility for his claims.
Atheists aren’t afraid of changing our minds. We have no reason to .
It isn’t Ilya Prigogine lying, it is our friends over Blogging Theology. Now, how did I know to question this false claim? Well, Dr. Prigogine signed the Humanist Manifesto in 2003. Rather unlikely that someone like this would be an authority that a theist would run to, right? It stank of a lie.
“The statistical probability that organic structures and the most precisely harmonized reactions that typify living organisms would be generated by accident, is zero.”Ilya Prigogine (Chemist-Physicist) Recipient of two Nobel Prizes in chemistry I. Prigogine, N. Gregair, A. Babbyabtz, Physics Today 25, pp. 23-28
The statement is misquoted and removed from context so as to inaccurately simplify and overstate the authors’ statement.
The exact phrase is (see also above): The probability that at ordinary temperatures a macroscopic number of molecules is assembled to give rise to the highly ordered structures and to the coordinated functions characterizing living organisms is vanishingly small. The idea of spontaneous genesis of life in its present form is therefore highly improbable, even on the scale of the billions of years during which prebiotic evolution occurred…
Theists are often lazy and almost always making false claims. How pathetic when their holy books tell them not to lie. Poor Paul has failed to listen ““Lying is not permitted except in three cases: a man speaking to his wife to make her happy; lying in times of war; and lying in order to reconcile between people.”” and “
“O you who believe! Fear Allah, and be with those who are true (in words and deeds).”(9:119)”
Tsk, lying just like a regular ol’ conservative Christian.
It does come down to “My imaginary god is the right one. No, mine is! Your holy book is contradictory. No, yours is.”
The blog is a great example of how theists use the same arguments and utterly ignore that they are attacking the same arguments they use when presented by an opposing theist.
Now, to get that taste out of your virtual mouth, here’s a great interview between Mike Shermer and Phil Zuckerman about Phil’s new book, What It Means to Be Moral: Why Religion is not necessary for living an ethical life.
Today there is a “march for life” in Washington, DC. There are a lot of women there, who insist that they are feminists. There may be some men who also would claim this, since being a feminist isn’t limited by sex. They all declare that they are “for life”, aka against abortion and birth control.
These people want to control others, and that is all they want to do. They want to tell women that they can’t. They can’t make their own decisions. They can’t believe what they want. They can’t be trusted to be intelligent enough to know what they want. They aren’t feminists, they are wolves in sheeps clothing. Feminism isn’t about telling a woman “no”. It’s about knowing that a woman can make her own decisions and that supporting women is important.
These wannabee theocrats demand that their opinion become law, that no one may choose to disagree with them. They want women to be punished for daring to make their own decisions and not obeying them. They claim that women need their help because of a myth with a talking snake. Most, if not all of them, want their particular version of one religion to be the law of the land, conservative Christianity. Of course, they can’t agree on which version of Christianity they want. They may insist that each other is doing to hell for accepting the Pope, for not accepting the Pope, for being baptized in one way or another, being divorced or not divorced, but they are harnessed in the same yoke for this one reason, in their pure hypocrisy.
They want to claim that they are for life, but they are against anything that would help the children that they wish forced on others to live. They are for punishment and obedience. They support the murder and terrorism of those who believe different than they do. They want no assistance be given to assure that these children have healthy food and a safe home. They want to keep families from having affordable health insurance. They want no assistance given to assure that these children have a good education, no matter if they are wealthy or poor . They want none but their religion taught to these children and they want only the families they approve of to take care of these children. They depend on lying to women to convince them to have children, intentionally misleading women by how they name their services. After the uterus is vacated, they are not interested.
Caring for another isn’t important at all, only forcing a woman to bear a child she cannot support, either financially or emotionally. They pretend that their churches will help these women but every shelter everywhere is desperate for money despite that there are pages upon pages of churches and other religious organizations in the phone book. They haven’t taken care of these families so far, so why should anyone believe that they will now?
These conservative Christians prate that this god would never give a woman more than she could handle, but they turn their heads when these women harm or kill themselves and their children because they could not handle those things, no matter how much they prayed and others prayed for them. They needed real help and that real help requires that people support them through real resources, resources payed by taxes and given to everyone, not just people who agree with the taxpayers or obey the rules of a religion that has no more evidence that it is true than any other religion.
These people want to take over the government, and force their religion on everyone. For all of their false claims of being unable to make their own choices, they do their best to remove the ability to choose from others. For all of their false claims of being pro-life, they do their best to ensure that those lives suffer as much as possible.
Hypocrisy personified, when this woman thinks she is being silenced and she’s walking down streets in the nation’s capital saying exactly what she wants.
Way to go Gov, show us that unshakeable faith! Lightning rods and now guns???
““Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life[b]?26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith!29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it.30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be als0.35 “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning,36 like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him.37 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them.38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak.39 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into.40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.””
Do you get the feeling some Christians don’t read their bible? Or believe in it?
I’ve had a TrueChristian(tm) on this website, Jedi of Christ, who has made promises of evidence and then ended up doing nothing more than making threats using bible verses. He has ended with a post that is typical of a TrueChristian and I thought this would be another good example of how to address the baseless claims of theism. This is of course a long post. Read at your own peril 🙂
His post is as such (I cleaned it up a bit for coherence) :
“Hmm… You rather believe a lie, than truth? Thier is much philosophical, and scientific observational evidence, to point to an intelligent designer… The best argument is the fine tuning of the world, of the stars and the logicality of life, which logically can only exist from a logical source… Random chance (string theory) and a mass of nothing cannot create the logical fine tuning of existence. To say thier is no evidence for thesim is rather oblivious on your part and makes me question your sincerity for finding truth. If you truly are a person after the 4 fundamental questions, why am I here? What is my purpose? Who am I? Where am I going? You won’t leave any stone unturned. Science though is not the truth, though it points to a Creator. Any honest scientist would tell you that. Here is an example DNA, we know it is information and that it is a language of it self, it is impossible for information and language to be in any place without logically knowing some one put it there. You know a human being writes this message because one thier is no other race on earth that does this, and because what I am sharing is understandable to you… But have you asked your self? How can I understand the words on this message the information it entails… You see the word apple and you know it is not nothing, there is information from the word. That word… Such can only come from a logical source. We need the language to read the information and the information to read the language. And such can only come from an intelligence Science can never prove GOD, but science truly if its procedure is honest points, to a Creator. The Bible has scientifical facts in it dating from over 3000 years. Mr Lister the inventor of listeren was under much mockery, my his pairs when he decided to follow what the Bible says about hygien… When he implemted it in his work ethics. But when the scoffers saw that Lister clinical death rates were significantly less than thier own the whole science community implemented his hygien procedures. The medical community literally dates before and after Lister. The founders of modern science, Kepla, Galileo, Newton and more were all theist, they focused on thier educational field because they knew the Universe was logical and their was a designer the GOD of the Bible. They are scientist that are Christian… The naturallitic philosophy which is the belief all atheist whole and thus thier religious beliefs in a none Creator but rather that nature is Supreme and made it self, is very unswaying knowing the basic law of cause and effect… Nature is not an intelligence so it can’t make intelligence. Nature is an effect from a cause and I believe you know, it is very much recognized that the Universe had a beginning. Now I hear people say GOD He is the god of the gaps, and I believe science has done great things to get rid of superstition in Greece zeus was the god of lightning… That is how the Greeks other than Socrates and I believe other Greek philosopher s that oppose the pagan worship of this days. Rationalize how those things happen… Of course now we know it had to do with electrons and protons etc. And that the wind has weight,which interestingly the Bible talks about over 3000. Years ago. The major difference between those god Of the gaps, and the Christian theistic GOD who is Infinite and eternal is that He made all things… Now the Bible has scientifically facts in it and Prophecy which wasn’t put in after, dead sea scroll is just one evidence how it wasn’t. The whole source of the Bible is GOD making contact with us, giving us these 4 fundamental questions. If. Some one bakes bread we can see that they did, but we cant know why they bake the bread unless they tell us. GOD is giving us that why, through His written word. GOD isn’t hiding Himself in fact He made Himself known… And to have a Bible in this time with all the cannonize scripture is amazing, because if people know just a little history of the Bible, they will know it wasn’t so easily accessible. And Prophecy speaks of this. The GOD of the Bible isn’t a created god of stone or wood, or imagination. He is Spirit and Eternal and Infinite and we know they must be an infinite they are finite beings and a created universe they must be an infinite or else nothing here could have existed to begin with. And logically thier can only be one Infinite. John Lennox, Ravi Zachrisas, Creation ministry International are excellent apologetic source for Christianity. I’ve heard of the athiest side of things, ultimalty… It’s not what a man thinks we should follow, it is what is true. I know GOD is real the Bible has been under much challenge and has come out victorious every time. I will bet my life on the Bible… It is the chief of all studies the difference between everladting life with the CREATOR of all things who is Infinite in wisdom, Holiness, and live in a world made new where thier is no more death and crying, sins. A world of peace and true love for one an other self sacrificing love, humility of heart… And kindness. I will die for that. The Bible is fundamentally different than all religions but at best superficially similar. People say if thier is a GOD why does He allow all this death and pain and evil? All I can say, is that at the center of the Bible is a cross… Where GOD Himself came into this world of darkness and took part in our suffering. Jesus Christ did exist many historians even outside the Bible have documented that. YouTube has a video on those historians. The only way to know the pass is my historical science which is by documented historical facts, by historians. And we have one trustworthy historian who gave us through His written Word that He made the earth and everything in it. That’s it for me, I won’t be messaging again.I know GOD is real but for you, if GOD is real… You know thier is no excuse for not seeking after His will and knowing what He wants of you and obeying what He wants… Because for you, If GOD is real then as Creator and Savior He has the right to commandments what He wants of His creations. I hope you don read this and end here… I hope you truly search for God, and If you do GOD promises you will find Him.”
This how I addressed his claims. Baseless information can be written in a small amount of space; evidence does make for a long post. I’ve also added links to the things the reader might want more information on.
No, there is not “much philosophical and scientific observation evidence” for your god or any god. I am amused that you default to intelligent designer and not your specific god, which would seem to indicate that you also know that your claims aren’t supportable that there is a Christian god and a magical messiah.