Sunday, March 28, 2010

6 ULTIMATE reasons to not be an atheist!

I found a YouTube video that claims to "systematically show that atheism is a world view that cannot stand up to philosophical scrutiny".  Oh no!  Not philosophical scrutiny!  Anything but that!  Please, have mercy!

It's called '6 Ultimate Reasons not to be an atheist'.  Not just 6 reasons, but 6 ULTIMATE reasons.  This should be good.  I'll link to the video, but I warn you that the kids are annoying and the music accompanying the video is aggravating.  You have been warned.  Here.

The first thing that strikes me is that they claim right at the beginning that the video is not arguing for the existence of gods.  But if their argument is that atheism is wrong, then it is necessarily arguing for the existence of gods.  A little bit more thought tells me what they're really getting at.  These are not reasons that atheism is wrong.  They're reasons to not be an atheist, regardless of whether or not there are gods.  They'd just like people to be believers anyway.  This point will be important later.

Now, I did watch the entire video, but I'm just going to demolish the first two points.  The rest is more of the same.  Their first 2 ULTIMATE reasons to not be an atheist are:

1.  Atheists cannot believe that there is purpose and meaning to life.

What these punks really mean is that we cannot believe that there is an objective, absolute meaning to life handed to us by a supernatural being.  I won't dignify their suggestion that we have no meaning to our lives, with a response.....  other than to say that I'm glad my purpose in life isn't to worship a being that hides from me and allows so much bad shit to happen in the world.

Well, I agree!  It's true!  Atheists cannot believe that there is an objective, absolute meaning to life handed to us by a supernatural being.  Glad we are in agreement!  But wait, you said the atheist worldview could not stand up to philosophical scrutiny (*shudder*).  So I guess you have a proof that there is such a thing as an objective, absolute purpose to life handed to us by a supernatural being?  That would sure cause atheism some problems.  I'm waiting.....  No?  You just want to move on to point #2 without offering such a proof?  Shock!  OK, move on.  Losers!

2.  Atheists cannot believe that there is an objective moral law.

Didn't we just cover this kind of reasoning in the first point?  Are all of your points going to be like this?  Yes, I agree!  Atheists cannot believe that there is an objective, absolute moral law handed to us by a supernatural being.  I don't suppose you have a proof that there is such an objective, absolute moral law handed to us by a supernatural being?  No?  How very disappointing.

It's clear that these kids can't 'finish off' atheism by providing any proof that objective purpose or moral law exist.  What they're merely saying is that they don't like the atheist worldview, and so they'd prefer to live in the religious la-la-land, even if it isn't true.  Sorry kiddies, but that kind of self-medication won't fly with us atheists.  I'd prefer to believe the truth, and can handle life perfectly well without creating a fantasy for myself.

I've posted about this kind of thing before.  The first comment on that post linked me to an article by well-known Christian apologist, and philosopher (*laugh*), William Lane Craig.  This guy is supposed to be a pro.  So let's see how he did.  I read the entire thing, to save you from doing it.  Here is my analysis, as lifted from my own comments in the older post.

An article by William Lane Craig? Oh yeah, that's a source I'd trust. Anyway, some quotes from the article: 

"...but that in the absence of God, that is, if God does not exist, then morality is just a human convention, that is to say, morality is wholly subjective and non-binding. We might act in precisely the same ways that we do in fact act, but in the absence of God, such actions would no longer count as good (or evil), since if God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist." 


"If God does not exist, then it is difficult to see any reason to think that human beings are special or that their morality is objectively true." 


"Moreover, on the atheistic view there is no divine lawgiver." 


"If there is no God, then any ground for regarding the herd morality evolved by homo sapiens as objectively true seems to have been removed." 


"After all, what is so special about human beings?" 


"They are just accidental by-products of nature which have evolved relatively recently on an infinitesimal speck of dust lost somewhere in a hostile and mindless universe and which are doomed to perish individually and collectively in a relatively short time." 


"Some action, say, incest, may not be biologically or socially advantageous and so in the course of human evolution has become taboo; but there is on the atheistic view nothing really wrong about committing incest." 

Perhaps. But also remember that your god created incest by only making 2 people to begin with. They were forced to have incestuous sex in order to obey the order to multiply. (Big point scored for me!)  

"But if man has no immaterial aspect to his being (call it soul or mind or what have you), then he is not qualitatively different from other animal species." 


"That means that an atrocity like the Holocaust was really morally indifferent. You may think that it was wrong, but your opinion has no more validity than that of the Nazi war criminal who thought it was good." 

Yes. Does that bother you, Bill?

OK, now surely he is setting up atheism for the big fall!  This guy is a pro, and he no doubt has some proof that objective morality is real.  If he can do it, then he wins.  Here it is, his big proof of objective morality!!!!!  

"And could anything be more obvious than that objective moral values do exist? ... There is no more reason to deny the objective reality of moral values than the objective reality of the physical world. ... Thus, the existence of objective moral values serves to demonstrate the existence of God." 

That's it?!  That's the best you've got?!  Could anything be more obvious?!  Sorry Bill, that won't do at all!

I'm stopping here. It is clear that Craig is not making any kind of evidence-backed argument to support objective morality. He is merely saying how terrible he thinks it would be if there wasn't, and asking us how we could stand to live in a society like that. This is pure philosophical trash, with no evidence at all presented. 

And right here, he uses what I believe is the most shameful tactic and most serious failure that religious people can use, by making this supreme being his Christian god, and no other.

"It follows that moral obligations and right and wrong necessitate God's existence."

So much for 'philosophical scrutiny'!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

It looks like there are no gods, therefore there are!

I've been forced to make the point quite often lately that the scenarios many religious people construct for their various gods are indistinguishable from the non-existence case.  The arguments and excuses they put forward are an attempt to explain the existence of their gods in a universe in which it appears they don't exist.  A good example of this is that gods answer only some prayers, so only sometimes the thing you're praying for will happen.  In other words, what will happen if you pray and there are gods is exactly the same as what will happen if you pray and there are no gods.  So if their gods case is identical to the non-existence case, why would we choose the gods case?

Tracie at the Atheist Experience blog has helped to pile on the reason for this situation, and I'd like to quote some portions of her original post.

(In response to a reader of their blog who said that conflicting resurrection stories in the Bible strengthen the argument that it was a true event) “Many Christians assert the resurrection stories align perfectly, and this is evidence of their truth. You are writing to say they are not aligned, and this is evidence of their truth. My question is: How do we identify a falsehood if stories that are either consistent or inconsistent are both evidence of truth?


He expressed that he has heard that god wrote to Hebrews in terms they could understand—to the mind of an ancient Hebrew—and that’s why the content is sometimes wrong or less than perfect. He asserted further that if the Bible is concerned with how to get to heaven, rather than how the universe works, then it’s not right to judge the problems it presents in its less-than-accurate models of reality.

Again, I asked the same question: It is either the case that you are right, and a god wrote a book using ancient Hebrews, that was riddled with the misconceptions and ignorance we would expect to find in the ancient Hebrew mind, or it is the case that it actually is a book written by ancient Hebrews including all the misconceptions and errors within it we would expect to find in an ancient Hebrew mind, but attributed to a god in the same way many other cultures have developed similar stories about gods that sound like their own minds. If this book contained correct and advanced scientific statements, would you then consider it’s not from god, since it doesn’t sound like an ignorant Hebrew? Really, I think that if it had that sort of really good and sufficiently advanced grasp on reality within it, you’d be writing to say anyone should see no ancient Hebrew could have produced such knowledge out of his own head without an advanced intelligence to guide him. So, I’m back to the question: If god writes books that sound just like books ignorant people write—how do we tell books written by gods from books not written by gods?


And I wonder how long it will be before we get to ID? To the point where I’m asking the same question about the universe: How do we tell a universe without a god from one with a god where god makes it look like he’s not there? There’s an old saying, “If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck… then why would you assert it’s a god disguised as a duck, rather than a duck?”

Tracie is absolutely correct!  It's funny that throughout history, so many gods have done so many different things, such as causing lightning, carrying the Sun through the sky or whatever.  They have done things like splitting seas, had titanic battles on Earth, etc.  And yet in modern day, with all of those myths dispelled, the only way the religious can make their beliefs match reality is if they create a god which appears that it's not there at all.  You can't see it, it doesn't do anything especially interesting, it may or may not answer you, etc.  And then these stupid people actually choose the gods case over the non-existence case!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Arrested for .... what?!

A Lebanese TV host who likes to (attempt to) predict the future on his show has been arrested and sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia by the 'religious police'.  He just lost his appeal to the high court, and is still to be executed.  Read about the despicable behaviour of the religious here.

"...the judges in Medina issued a statement expressing that Sibat deserved to be executed for having continually practiced black magic on his show, adding that this sentence would deter others from practicing sorcery."

You Islamic nutjobs are an embarrassment to humanity.  You're stupid, ignorant, psychotic, immoral bastards, who have failed to make any progress at all in centuries.  How can you be so fucking dumb to believe in sorcery, and why are you so frothing-at-the-mouth-rabid-insane to execute over it?

The morality of religious people has been on amazing display over the last couple of weeks, hasn't it?  But I have a question.... "How can you be good without a god?"

A lot of people look at the human race and see intelligent creatures which make art, structures, computers and mathematical models.  Am I the only one who looks at humanity and also sees a bunch of foolish, insane maniacs, running around killing and torturing each other over nothing but their imaginations?  If that doesn't mean humanity should be in a giant insane asylum, I don't know what does!  How many of us are actually sane and rational beings?

My immorality is an embarrassment

I have a confession to make.  After 2 years of running this site, the religious commenters have finally convinced me of my immorality.  I am a bad person, who blasphemes every chance I get.  I have sinned against the gods, and have spread immorality to others.  So from this day forward, I am adopting a religious stance on morality.  I apologise to my atheist readers, you must be very disappointed in me, but I can no longer continue along the path I was on.  You should consider following me on my new journey.

Now, there is a question.  Shall I model my new morality after the Brazilian priests, or the Irish ones?

(That Irish story is especially appalling.)

Why don't you believe in Christianity?

I'm going to lift an excellent post from Matt Dillahunty at the Atheist Experience blog.  Here is the original link, but I've also copied the text below.

I received an e-mail from a seminary student that I had corresponded with in the past. He's had a few changes in his life but wrote to say:

"I nearly lost my faith, but God found me again. I am no longer at the Seminary as I was when we last spoke but have found a new calling for which to serve. My purpose here is to understand in a very succinct and brief way why you feel Christianity as an institution is irrelevant for our society at large and for you personally.

I promise this is not another back door ploy to bring you to faith. The Spirit will work in you if he sees fit. I honestly respect your opinion and would like to further understand what it is specifically about modern Christianity that doesn't work for you? What are your biggest hang ups with Christians and the church as it represents itself in North American culture?"

I'm afraid this may not be as succint as you might have liked...

As you know, I don't just reject "modern" Christianity or even just Christianity. I reject all religious claims, modern and ancient, as insufficiently supported by evidence and, therefore, not believable. You seem to be asking what I don't like about modern religious, Christian culture...and I'll be happy to tell you, but whether or not I believe something to be true is a separate issue from whether or not I like it.

That said, the modern Christian religion is a mess. There are hundreds of 'official' denominations and given the general level of ignorance people have about the religion they adopt and their propensity for molding it to be what they want it to be, one could argue that each individual has their own denomination.

Fundamentalists have a more literal view of the Bible and pretend to follow it based on a plain reading of the text. If Christianity is true...if there is a god and the Bible is his message to the world, then Fundamentalists are the ones who have managed to get it closest to 'correct'. Yet the actual beliefs of fundamentalists are the most obviously objectionable.

The more liberal varieties have beliefs that are more palatable but they have no sound Biblical basis for their beliefs, they've simply chosen to ignore large portions of the text, ignore the history of their religion and interpret selected passages to support a kinder, gentler Christianity - sometimes in direct opposition to a plain reading of the text (as if their god is simply incapable of communicating clearly). They have no more firm foundation than personal opinion.

There is no clear mechanism for discovering if any of them are correct (if there were, we wouldn't have hundreds of denominations) and there's no good reason to think that any of them might be correct. Modern Christianity, regardless of the denomination, is based on one's personal take on two things: the Bible and the recorded traditions of the church. Every denomination and individual is going to view these slightly differently and they'll support their position with appeals to personal experience and revelation.

Let's assume, for a moment that there is a God and it's the one that Christians are trying to associate themselves with...what can we say about this god? Well, for one, he's apparently very selective about who he reveals himself to. He ignores countless pleas for assistance, revelation, insight and guidance from sincere, desperate people and from reasonable people who could further his cause...yet he'll reportedly give direct input to countless ignorant bigots who couldn't put a cogent sentence together, let alone construct a sound syllogism. He also seems intent on keeping himself hidden and mysterious - which seems strange as he reportedly used to show off with miracles and plagues. Lastly (for this exchange), he doesn't seem the slightest bit interested in correcting people's various misunderstandings or misrepresentations of him. He seems perfectly happy to have countless denominations getting it all wrong.

So, either he's malicious, incompetent or he doesn't exist. (I'm sure there are other options, but those are the 3 most likely).

Christianity, in its various forms is an embarrassment. The literal versions are embarrassing because they're anti-science, anti-humanity, anti-rights, anti-freedom, etc. The liberal versions are embarrassing because these people have clearly figured out what's wrong with the literal version, but they're incapable of letting they support a saccharin, irrational, insidiously poisonous quasi-doctrine which acts as an enabler and shield for the literalists,

There are thoughtful, loving, intelligent people in both camps - yet their minds have been so poisoned by this religious virus that they're incapable of fully recognizing their potential in those and other categories.

Is there anything other than a religion (or similar dogma) that could make a parent hate their child because of that child's sexual orientation or beliefs? ...or make a parent pray over a sick child instead of taking it to the hospital? ... or make someone marginalize the rights of others who disagree on something that does them no harm? ...or encourage someone to hide and protect a child rapist from the law and proper treatment? ...or...

As I mentioned at the outset, whether or not I believe a claim is separate from whether or not I like that claim. In the case of Christianity, I don't believe it because it's absurd and unsupported by evidence - and I don't like it because it's obscene, divisive and harmful. That's true for most, if not all, religions; though some are worse than others. Christianity is one of the worst, partly because of insidious doctrines and partly because of the pernicious effects of the power that comes from the popularity of those doctrines.

There is nothing good and true within religion that requires religion. People have done many good things in the name of religion, but none of those things were predicated on the truth of the religious claims. You can have love, hope, peace, comfort, charity, joy, happiness, and patience without any appeal to any religion.

This is probably the grandest lie that religions like Christianity have propagated; that you 'need' what they're selling in order to have those things - and that those who aren't part of their group are somehow lacking or deficient in those qualities.

I think it's fair to label that lie 'evil'...and as a foundational lie, that turns all benefits of that religion into fruits of a poisonous tree.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

No exorcisms needed on pedophile priests

Here's a fun one!  Check the headline:

Top Catholic exorcist: Pedophiles tempted by Satan, not possessed

Among the many factual statements this man makes in the article which he cannot demonstrate to be true:

"The devil tempts everyone -- people in politics, in economics, in sport. And naturally, he tempts, above all, the religious leaders, so you shouldn't be surprised if the devil tempts those in the Vatican. That's his job."

Why isn't it tempting me?

"But cases of pedophilia exorcised, no. ... Pedophiles are not possessed by the devil, they are tempted by the devil,"

Thanks for clearing that up!

"They don't need exorcism, they need to be converted, to be converted to God, that's what they need. They need to confess, they need true penitence, true repentance, that's what they need. They're not possessed."

"Nothing occurs without the permission of God, and he allows even holy people, even saints, to be possessed by the devil,"

Then the article closes with:

"I just see good people in the Vatican. People of prayer, holy people, I don't see any evil." 

I have a question.... What about exorcisms on those who covered it up?

Wait, I have another question....  Can you believe there are people this stupid on Earth?

Reader questions on magic and abortion

Some more reader questions.  The email I received is in blue.  My comments are in black.
"I recently engaged in a debate over religion. Me an Atheist, he a devout Catholic, were not going to sway each others opinions, so not too long into our debate we agreed not to agree. My opponent in this debate raised two issues that I didn't quite have a solid answer for. Maybe you can help.

1)The issue of magic, There is evidence of people who possess mental powers, such as ESP or mental telepathy."

There is?!  I really don't think so.  If there are people like that, they should contact James Randi for their $1 million.  Remember, the plural of 'anecdote' is not 'evidence'.

"There is evidence that people, (maybe a Mother who knows her Child is hurt) have unexplainable mental powers that reach beyond our laws of science."

Would he care to present some of this evidence?  Has he?  I didn't see any of that in the scientific journals, he should alert them immediately!  Look, mothers worry a lot.  My mother has, very literally, thought I was dead on at least one occasion that I know of, and probably many other times that I don't.  She went so far as to call my friends and tell them there was "no hope".  In fact, I was perfectly fine.  Why isn't that cited as (anecdotal) evidence that there is no such connection?  Because the few times a panicky mother thinks her child is hurt and it is will get all of the media attention and books written about it.  Let's see how this works in a controlled experiment.  James Randi has done an experiment like this with a British man who claimed he could read the thoughts of babies.  The man attempted to win Randi's $1 million by proving he could do it.  He agreed to the terms of Randi's experiment.  He was in one room, the babies in the other.  The guy failed the test with flying colours! (I'm searching for the video on YouTube, but can't find it at the moment.  There are a lot of Randi videos.)

"This isn't really a religious question, just an unexplainable event that does happen from time to time that religious people try to tie the whole "soul" thing together as an unexplainable organ in the human body.
2) Abortion, this one is religious as well as social. When exactly does the fetus become a human being? I do not have a solid answer and I am pro-choice."

Nobody has a solid answer to this.  It's a sliding scale of development.  Check my previous post, in which I actually addressed this point and gave my opinion.

"I have every other religious belief debunked as poppycock, but these two need a little polish,
Thank you"

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Reader questions on abortion, stem-cell research

I received this email from a reader of the site (sorry it took me so long to respond):

"I have been a long time follower of your site, and certain grammatical subtleties in your writing (such as your spelling of centre, realise, and other words) have led me to believe that you are not a native American, or at the very least were not educated in America. Still, I would love to hear your your opinions on the issues of abortion, stem cell research, and how the fact that these two issues could even be considered as illegal clearly violates the separation of church and state. I have heard people say that the two violate basic ethical principles that go above and beyond and religion, and this I can sort of understand for the abortion argument (although I hold to the principle that if you have a problem with abortions don't get one) but I can see no ethical problems at all with stem cell research. I have always figured! that something that is already dead (i.e. an aborted fetus) may as well benefit the rest of us that are alive rather than being unceremoniously discarded. Am I missing some important center point in this argument that would justify these claims, or is the outlawing of stem cell research really just a blatant violation of the separation of church and state?"

That's right, I'm not American and I don't live in the US, either.  At least one ignorant American has accused me of not knowing how to spell, so I'm glad that you recognise it for what it is, the world's English.  However, I was educated in the US.  It's where I got my Master's.

I'm not a legal expert by any means, so I hesitate to write about the issue of church and state.  You'll have to settle for my personal opinion on the 2 topics.

1.  Abortion

I do have a problem with abortion.  More specifically, I have a problem with late abortions.  Babies can survive outside of the womb far earlier than 9 months into the pregnancy.  Premature babies regularly survive, although some of that might be due to our medical intervention.  I am not sure how early a baby can safely be born and kept alive using 'natural' care from the mother, but it's earlier than 9 months.  That, to me, makes a fetus a baby even before it is born.  When I was a high school student, the teacher showed us a very graphic, in-your-face video of an abortion in progress, pretty much from the doctor's view.  The baby had a head, it had arms, etc.  It looked pretty much like what everyone would define as a baby.  The body was being torn apart, and the head was crushed in metal tongs.  It was disgusting and disturbing.

I don't know where to draw the line about when the fetus becomes a human baby that deserves legal protection, so my philosophy on abortion is to make your decision quickly, and commit to the plan as soon as you make the decision.  This means if you are pregnant, and want an abortion, have it as soon as possible.

It is especially upsetting when such incidents can be drastically reduced if people weren't so stupid and ignorant.  I say stupid, because even people who know how pregnancy works, and know about birth control, regularly don't use it.  Then they get abortions.  That kind of stupidity and irresponsibility I find hard to overlook.  I say ignorant, because a lot of people are not made aware of how sex, pregnancy and birth control work.  That's where religious people interfere.  My parents didn't tell me anything about sex, preferring it to leave it to the schools.  Other, very vocal, groups are demanding that it be taken out of schools and left to the parents.  Well, if that were the case, guess what I'd have learned!  Nothing!  As it was, my teacher gave me bullshit statistics about how condoms were only 50% effective against pregnancy.  He might have been talking from personal experience or religious motivations, but that certainly isn't the true statistic.  The religious people trying to keep sex out of schools probably wouldn't teach their kids anything themselves, and that is not acceptable.  Teach it in schools, teach it at home, teach it early.  Then we can drastically reduce the number of abortions required.  This is where the religious need to be brushed aside by those who know better.  Unfortunately, the ones who have the power to brush the religious aside often are other religious people, so you're a bit screwed in the US until the voters decide they don't want religion in politics anymore, and vote accordingly.

I've never known anybody who needed an abortion, although I know people who have had them.  By that I mean that the people I know who have had abortions had them before I met them.  I understand it can be quite a traumatic experience, especially when the boyfriend won't show up to the clinic for support because he doesn't believe the baby is his.

2.  Stem-cell research

I see nothing wrong with this at all.  I said before that I don't know exactly where to draw the line between something being a human baby or not, but it's definitely not at the cellular embryo stage (I don't know exactly what to call this phase)!  An embryo at this stage of its development has none of the characteristics that I would consider to make up a human being.  No arms, legs, eyes, brain or internal organs.  If anybody is going to call this a human baby on religious grounds, then they'd have to accept the fact (fat chance of that) that their god is the most prolific baby-killer the world has ever seen, by far!

I know that progress has been made on getting stem cells from non-embryonic sources, so I can only hope that this work continues, then we can put an end to the debate completely.  When another viable option exists for obtaining the cells, then I think the embryonic thing could safely be outlawed, as it would be the (politically) less-desirable of the alternatives.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Christians are immoral, their god is fucking incompetent and a pussy

So once again, sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests is in the news.  Big shock, I know.  This time the news is out of Germany, and has even involved the Pope himself.  From the article:

" broke that 30 years ago, Pope Benedict XVI -- who was an archbishop at the time -- approved providing a priest accused of child sex abuse church accommodations in his diocese so the priest could undergo therapy."

The article goes on to state that this priest in question was let go from his duties just 2 years ago.  So of course, rather than turn over the child-abuser to the police, or kick him out, they instead kept it internal, as they always do.

You can read the full article here.

If the Christian god does exist, it's gotta be completely incompetent!  It sends these people, these pedophiles, to be its messengers for all people.  It sends the dumbest fucks on the planet, like Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron, to argue for it in public, leading to total embarrassment.  It sends people to our doors who are incapable of properly arguing for its existence.  Why couldn't it make and/or use smarter, more moral people to spread belief in it?  And why isn't it capable of doing any of this work itself?  Why does it rely on these morally-impaired, retarded scumbags to spread information about it?  Why does it need these monsters to stand up for it and make excuses for it?  Why can't it do that itself?  It's hiding in a corner, too scared to reveal itself or stand up for itself.  It sounds like a pussy to me.

Not surprisingly, and as usual, the situation is exactly what we'd expect if there are no gods at all.  Priests are no more moral than the average person, religious door-knockers are no more intelligent than the average person, and Ray Comfort is a far-below-average putz.

As Freiburg Archbishop Robert Zoellitsch says at the end of the article, "There must be no sexual abuse -- especially in the church."  AND THAT'S EXACTLY THE WAY IT WOULD BE, IF THEIR GOD WAS REAL.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The gods are on the other guys' side, too!

There's an article on, about a week old now, about the suicide bombing in Afghanistan that killed 7 CIA agents, among others.  The article is about a video of the bomber who describes the operation, saying that the original target was just one Jordanian captain, but that Allah delivered the CIA agents as a bonus gift.  It was an answer to their prayers.  You can read the full article here.

So many people in the world are praying for so many things, to so many different gods, that on any given day, anything that happens could be interpreted by somebody as an answer to their prayer.  During major sporting events, both sides are prayed for.  If you're a farmer praying for rain today to help your crops, somebody else is praying for a nice day so that they can do whatever they had planned.  If you're praying for your men to survive a mission, somebody else is praying for them to be killed.  If you are praying to get the job, there's a pretty high chance that somebody else is, too.  Whatever happens in the world, somebody will be able to declare that their prayer worked.  And they will do so loudly.  The person who was on the losing end of the situation will be very quiet, not announcing to the world that his prayer failed.  For the foolish and gullible, this will create the impression that prayer works.

This is the one thing that most religious people, whether they be Muslim extremists or Eillix, don't understand.  On the Atheist Experience, they call it the "I am the world" affliction.  It affects them by making them think that their interests could not possibly be competing with other people's interests, and that their interests are even important compared to other people's interests.  Why the fuck would a god care who wins a fucking sporting event, or want to see you get a new job, when women are being raped in a war zone at the same instant, and it doesn't help them?  In fact, and this is the thing that these dumbasses really need drilled into their heads, what we see happening in regards to the effectiveness of prayer is exactly what we'd expect to see if there were no gods at all.  This world we live in, the standards the religious set to declare success of prayer, are indistinguishable from the negative-existence case.  Shit happens.

So which is it, all you American-Christian prayers?  Did your god deliver your intelligence operatives into the hands of the enemy?  Or does your god perhaps not exist at all?  Don't even try to cop-out and say that your god had nothing to do with it, or that it was part of a divine plan.  If your god can't figure out a way to help you without killing off so many of your soldiers and agents, then it's a pretty fucking incompetent god, isn't it?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

You're just bitter towards my god!

I haven't posted for a while.  Been very busy.  I know I've got a couple of emails to respond to, and some other posts I want to write.  Anyway, I just received this about 5 minutes ago:

"In my extensive experience of listening to Atheists they often have a bitterness towards religion or God based on some particular past experience.The easiest thing to do is persist on an all out attack on God as you appear to be doing rather than take a more sensitive look for, what you might find, are more positive and helpful answers."

Honestly, what is wrong with you people?  You don't know shit about atheists!  You claim to have 'extensive experience', but think that we don't believe because we're 'bitter towards (your) god'?  Yes, that's it!  It couldn't possibly be that your god cannot be demonstrated any more than anybody else's god, or that nobody has ever given me any good reason to believe they exist.  I went to a Catholic school from the time I was 4 until 18.  They had plenty of chance to make their case, and they failed.  You don't think I looked then?  Nobody has ever been able to demonstrate to me that there is such a thing as 'outside this universe', where such a creature might reside.  Nobody has ever demonstrated the principles of omniscience or omnipotence, which the Christians claim.  Nobody has demonstrated that prayer works (despite the claims of one fairly persistent reader of this site).  No, that couldn't be it!

Clearly I'm out of my fucking mind because I don't believe in the invisible man, who you admit does not give any reason to think it exists, according to your constant claims of the non-testability of its existence.

No, wait!  I just found a god!  It was one of the gods of the ancient people of Siberia.  How could I have been so foolish?!  It wants me to tell you to look really hard, and you might find it, too!  Then you can stop worshiping your false idol, and do what the one true god wants.  It wants you to drink milk every Monday, and to drive only blue cars.  If you don't, you'll be tortured forever in a very icy place, where it is so cold that your balls will freeze and your dick will suffer from constant shrinkage.

The coward didn't even include his/her return email address so that I can reply.  Fucking ignorant twit!

Edit:  My experience at Catholic school was normal.  There were no nuns there.  I was never hit by a teacher.  I was never raped or molested by my priest.  Prayer didn't fail to save one of my family members from death.  It's simply that I never found any reason to believe that anything any of these people was saying was true. I also never found any reason to put the claims of Christianity above those of any other religion, and I can't believe that more people don't feel the same way about that issue.  I blame their ignorance of the world outside their culture.  I am not attacking your god (it doesn't exist), I am attacking YOU for believing in it.