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Dr. Zakir Naik – Does God exist?

Dr. Zakir Naik

…on

Why God exists, or “Does God Exist?”

From: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2s14T6x5AM

ZN:

Atheists believe in science and technology – they say they don’t need religion and that we don’t need religion to explain anything.

That is more or less true, although “believe in science” is perhaps a religious perspective on scientific beliefs. It is said that Atheism is just another belief system, but that is not accurate. Atheists do not believe in a non-god, we simply do not believe in any gods… atheism is a lack of religious beliefs, not so much a belief system. Science is something separate to religion and atheism, most religious people still “believe in science”,  much like your average atheist.

 

ZN:

Supposed there is found machinery no one has ever seen before. His (ZN’s) first question would be, who is the first person who can tell you the mechanisms of this machine? The atheist will answer ask the manufacturer, inventor or creator of the machine about it, he says.

 This is a loaded question… but that aside.

ZN

 Big bang = creation’s source (Koran mentions the Big Bang – is that just a coincidence? ) 

The moon’s light is a reflection he said we learned this 300 years ago…

This is not exactly true (from wikipedia):

The ancient Greek philosopher Anaxagoras (d. 428 BC) reasoned that the Sun and Moon were both giant spherical rocks, and that the latter reflected the light of the former.  His atheistic view of the heavens was one cause for his imprisonment and eventual exile

 

The Quran mentions this 1400 years ago, yes kind of with a bit of imagination, but that is not terribly impressive as Anaxagoras figured it out without any gods more than 2400 years ago, he beat the Koran by a thousand years.

The earth is round, he again skips the Greeks:

The concept of a spherical Earth dates back to ancient Greek philosophy from around the 6th century BC,[1] but remained a matter of philosophical speculation until the 3rd century BC when Hellenistic astronomy established the spherical shape of the earth as a physical given. The Hellenistic paradigm was gradually adopted throughout the Old World during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages.[2][3][4][5] A practical demonstration of Earth’s sphericity was achieved by Ferdinand Magellan and Juan Sebastian Elcano‘s expedition’s circumnavigation (1519−1521)

 Again he uses recycled Koranic mythology, of a roundish earth written down 1400 years ago praising Muhammad for it whilst Hellenistic astronomy figured it out 2300 years ago… they again don’t mention any gods. Then the earth revolving around the sun and having it’s own motion (Quran 21:33):

And it is He who created the night and the day and the sun and the moon; all [heavenly bodies] in an orbit are swimming.

And He it is Who has created the night and the day, and the sun and the moon, each in an orbit floating.

 Etc… wouldn’t say there is much reading of rotating around own axis without a fair dash of predisposition. Sounds more like they are describing seeing the sun and moon move in a semi circle,  ‘floating’ across the sky. Creation myth is interesting, but the Quran’s story is not unique at all, it really is just another recycled version of the myths that preceded it, just like the others.

See what we know about the types of creation myth if you like:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creation_myth#Types

 Also from Wikipedia:

Heliocentrism, or heliocentricism,[1] is the astronomical model in which the Earth and planets revolve around a relatively stationary Sun at the center of the Solar System. The word comes from theGreek (ἥλιος helios “sun” and κέντρον kentron “center”). Historically, heliocentrism was opposed to geocentrism, which placed the Earth at the center. The notion that the Earth revolves around the Sun had been proposed as early as the 3rd century BC by Aristarchus of Samos,[2] but Aristarchus’s heliocentrism attracted little attention until Copernicus revived and elaborated it

 Forgets all about – for example – the Greeks yet again, seems they figured most of these things out long before the Quran … It seems fair to say most if not all of these accolades belong not to Muhammad’s wisdom so much as to human philosophy, science and the faculties of intellect. One might also ask why, if the Quran knew so much about the earth revolving around the sun it still took the likes of Copernicus to finally confirming that little puzzle only in 1543, without the Quran. I am also not aware of any Imams over the 1400 years of Koranic existence that mentioned any of these scientific breakthroughs that took the rest of humanity so long to figure out, who did it without the Quran, the Bible, the Vedas or any of the holy texts for that matter.

Then ZN continues:

Goes on about water cycles…

Mountains prevent the earth from trembling…

All creatures come from water…

The spider, the ant.. the bee… embryology (a leech like substance from the Quran = an embryo)…

Goes on about a thousand verses in the Quran speaking about science… Where does this scientific knowledge come from? How could this scientific information be contained within the Quran?

Atheists can only say the inventor … the creator .. Allah.

Many very old holy texts use creation myth and get bits of it more or less right sometimes – more often “metaphorically” than more so. The thing about mythology is that it has been around long before Islam, is very very old and has had a lot of time to accumulate. In and amongst the supernatural nonsensical bits you almost always get nuggets of wisdom, good ideas carried across from generation to generation, much of it crystallized within our religious mythologies. Hindus, Christians and Scientologists will all show you scientific accuracies in their holy texts and ask why you don’t believe in their gods?

Zakir Naik’s conjecture, that because the Quran has some [seemingly] scientific accuracies in it means that a God, and an Islamic god at that exists, is simply not true. It’s a giant leap from premise to conclusion. There are many reasons why the Quran (and the other holy texts) has truth in it, mainly because people write things down and sometimes they get it right, but he gives no good reason to believe it requires a god for them to do so. Also, everything he mentions that the Quran had ‘known’ for 1400 years was figured out by people, usually before the Quran mentions anything and the people figuring it out always finding scientific explanations that do not require a god concept to explain them. He also seems to be quoting selectively or hasn’t discovered wikipedia, which is a bit of a concern either way.

  The Inventor

So Zakir uses the classic creationism argument: Because we can see “god’s machinery” and life and so on, it means there must be a god, who’s making it all. They usually take it deeper and mention the complexity of things such as life, the eye etc…

There are about a billion things online that you can read about why creationism makes no sense and answers nothing with many books that can explain it much better than I could. If you would like to read about the current thinking on the subject Google and Amazon is your friend.

So there must be a creator because we see creation? The creationist’s main argument is doomed early on because the argument requires an assumption about existence which leads to a problem. The assumption is that anything that exists, can only exist if something made it. But that maker, the creator must exist to be able to create anything and so therefor, by their own argument must also have been created. So some presumably other god must have made The God, and was created by a god before that…. and so on… they call it an infinite regress. This ends in a “God did it, was always there, is exempt from the rules, don’t ask..etc.” but never an explanation as to how any of it works. If we ask God how he works, there is no answer – we are often not even allowed to ask!

 

So, how do we explain all these complex machines that no one has ever seen? Well, he’s (ZN’s) analogy is not a great one to be honest. Really, what we tend and try to do when we see something we have never seen, scientifically,  is try to figure out if it has a function, how it developed, what shaped it,  how it all fits together and where it came from. What created it perhaps, but not necessarily Who created it. This is what science does… we think, try out experiments, falsify and confirm. This philosophy of science has led us to figuring out a tremendous amount about how the universe works, life and things in general. None of what science has figured out requires any notion of a creator anywhere. Complex things come from lots of time, matter and it’s motions, energy.

Usually the question now would be posed: “But where did it all, the energy come from then, why does energy exist at all?”

Even though science currently has no definite answer it is rich with hypothesis and some very smart people have come up with some very interesting ideas, ranging from multi versus to intertwined dimensions and more. The difference between the science ideas is that all the scientists thinking of them, work on experiments and mathematical proofs to explain, show, verify or falsify their ideas. Religious concepts and ideas, when it comes to the supernatural, aggressively and passionately avoid scrutiny. We could easily devise all kinds of experiments to verify at least some religious claims. Find the effectiveness of prayer say… and in fact we have done little tests which tend to show no effect or inconclusive results but a mere $5m has been spent on research. It’s also worth noting that there is not a single recorded case of a person that has been prayed out of AIDS, or cancer or malaria… if we had to rely on prayer, we’d all be doomed, thank God for science. But why has religion all but  point blank refused to have itself tested for validity?

It also must be said that even though we know a good amount, frankly we don’t know “why” anything exists, or even if that is a meaningful question at all. We know things exist, or are pretty sure of that at least but we have no reason to believe it does so because of a god, and there has up to now been no reason given by any holy sage to think otherwise.

Interesting – mostly – Wikipedia Stuff on it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turtles_all_the_way_down

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infinite_regress

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debate_between_sheep_and_grain

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creation_myth

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Studies_on_intercessory_prayer

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vedas

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20120227181905AAR3Qct

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infinite_regress

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creationism

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copernicus

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heliocentrism#Greek_and_Hellenistic_world

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hellenistic_astronomy#Hellenistic_astronomy

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spherical_Earth

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exploration_of_the_Moon

http://corpus.quran.com/translation.jsp?chapter=21&verse=33

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regress_argument

Posted in Other, Why Gods do not Exist.


Why I am an Atheist

Atheos

Atheos

 

It is sometimes – sometimes being an understatement – said that deep rooted to many atheists’ lack of belief lay an insecurity which leads to an endless hunt for the divine. Those atheists, it is said, are obsessed with deity precisely because they want for it to be real, they yearn for a god to be watching over us all. This is probably true for some, but there are many differing reasons and circumstances that lead to the kaleidoscope of atheist personalities. Though I cannot speak for all atheists, I can speculate as to some possibilities leading to the somewhat ‘paradoxical obsession’ as well as say it as I understand it within myself, from the perspective that has been my experience as a deity obsessed atheist.

 

Curiosity

One of the big drives, at least initially, is one of hungry curiosity. What are these god things that most people on this planet of ours all so fervently cherish? Once you start looking around, you are soon overwhelmed with the sheer volume of beliefs, ideas, concepts of deity, ways of life and countless worlds filled with mythologies and colourful supernatural assortments. It is definitely a vast and interesting bit of stimulation for those who like to learn things about the world and people.

 

 

The Rebel

Although it is not a particularly valiant drive behind secular obsession of deity, rebelling against a religious upbringing is no doubt a notable driving force. There is a bit of a tendency for the vocal atheists to pack some vitriol and I suspect the grudge that can linger for a while after an “atheist conversion” (or religious reversion really)  often has this effect.

As realisation of my own atheist perspective sunk in, I was soon overtaken by a sense of utter frustration because of the lie that had been hammered into my head for a big and important part of my development as I grew from a child into a thinking person. It became obvious that I had been irrevocably changed as a person and there was nothing I could do to go back and live it all over from a naturalist and supernatural free perspective… religion had changed me and I longed to know who I would have been without it – but I could never know. So revenge becomes a last stab at defiance: let’s give religion a kick in the teeth and see if that makes us feel better – further bowing to it’s influence.

Eventually, as frustration gives way to acceptance, vitriol gives way to intrigue even compassion and you often find yourself wondering why you keep trying to convince the blinded world about The Emperor’s transparent obscenity.

 

Devil’s advocate

Once you realise how many good reasons there are for not believing in gods and the supernatural and how little reason to think one should do otherwise, it can become fun to point these seemingly obvious reasons out to whomever happens to stumble into a debate about it.

After a certain amount of religious and mythologically themed material has been digested, it becomes rather obvious that it is fiction sprung from human mind and that there are simply too many differing, equally likely, or unlikely stories about gods out there for a single concept to stand out above the rest. Even more fascinating is that most theists don’t seem to have even the remotest interest in any of the other theist possibilities and just take it on faith – as it were – that their own story about God is in fact, more or less the only story about gods.

Pointing out such and other problems with the reasoning is fun at first, and some of that vitriol gets spent in the process but again it eventually platos as you realise that on such points most rational minded theists will simply shrug. Eventually you get bored with debating the irrational and hoping in vain for more than a rational shrug.

But if you are a personality that enjoys a bit of debate, religion makes for an endless source of subject and a limitless supply of subjects.

 

 

Prophets of atheism

There has been a bit of a recent atheist resurgence – in the west at least – and we now have representatives in the forms of Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, The Brights and the likes – even heavy weight intellectual Hawkings all but joining the secular crusade. This is probably a good thing and perhaps atheism could do with taking a leaf from theism’s books.

Unlike religion’s instruction manuals of indoctrination, atheism has no notion of or framework for perpetuation. There is no holy secular scripture to guide atheists in why and how to spread atheism or how to live their lives, but we haven’t needed gods to teach us morals and life skills for a very long time. As for spreading atheism, it has always been up to the lucky few who happened to grow up in a secular childhood and society and the brave curious ones who are able to ask themselves questions and answer them truthfully.

Though some naturalists are vocal, the vast majority of true atheists are all but indifferent towards religion and the subject simply gets ignored or loosely sidestepped – which is understandable as there is really little more to talk about than mythology and the quirky fact that most of humanity still believe in so much of it.

We could leave things to turn out as they may. Maybe a kind of social, or intellectual evolution eventually will lead to a completely secular world, released from it’s divine shackling, but can we bet on say the zealous  enthusiasm of Islam to spread itself fading out over 5, 20, 150…  generations? Isn’t it a morally repugnant idea to leave millions of women to suffer their fate  at the hands of their misogynist religions for any period of time, let alone generations?

This is at the extreme, but there are many other far more widespread religious repercussions causing irreparable damage to people socially, sexually, medically, technologically, intellectually and more. Is it not our moral duty, as good ‘souls’ to spread the truth about all this religious nonsense that cause so much pain and confusion?

Here even atheists just about agree with John, only the truth will set us free.

It’s hard to see atheism not spreading itself actively being a match for the working machines of organised religion and it could probably do with a few more dark horse priests.

 

 

The answer to the universe gods and everything

So we are all searching for something, a purpose, a “reason for being alive” the answer to life. Theists like to think they have found this answer in the supernatural, we are here to live, love and learn for some greater purpose in the afterlife, or the next life… notice how it is always some form of ‘life’, afterwards. It is death really that They speak off and it’s a way of saying our purpose is to avoid death, it’s almost the definition of life reformulated or restated.

There is more in less here, luckily. Without the supernatural distraction, they aren’t far off but there is already infinite purpose in simply living, loving and learning alone. Ask almost any parent about their purpose and you will soon find that in their children they find endless purpose. It’s music to the musician; ingenuity to the entrepreneur; danger to the brave; a new word to the linguist; a mathematicians’ breakthrough; a well cooked meal; a well placed ornament; a kiss in the dark; a swim in the blazing sun; a baby’s smile; a walk in the park and a man in the moon… purpose is everywhere we care to look.

The present has more than enough to offer, more than anyone needs and we need not continuously yearn for an unobtainable future, and it is liberating not to. Death is imminent, what we have is here, right now.

Douglas Adams’ Deep Thought satirically points out that we don’t even know what the question is, I wonder if there is even a question here at all.

 

 

The End.

Atheism is not just some insecurity leading the lost and confused to look for religion in some mysterious way. It is more often honesty and the willingness to uncover your ears and look at the whole story beyond that which you have been surrounded with.

 

Someone once said:

“ Living for nothing more than just merely living, is not only enlightening but uplifting – truly understanding and acknowledging that your life will end, gives you a certain kick in the behind to actually take advantage and honestly appreciate being alive.  Nothing is more encouraging than realising that you will not live forever and that you will not be ascending to a better place after you finally close your eyes one last time; scary and liberating. “

 

All you have to do, is live and aim to make the most of it, now.

 

 

Posted in Other.


The trickle of Atheism

There is a huge thorn in the side of Atheism. It’s had about 2500 years to expunge the world of superstition, and still most people believe in some form of supernatural Grandeur with a very sadistic sense of right and wrong and a peculiar similarity to your everyday dictator.
Diagoras, the so called first of Atheists from the fifth century BC would probably never have bothered pointing out godly absurdities had he known the general lack of progress that was to follow for the next couple of thousands of years or so of humanities’ love affair with deity.

Zeno of Citium
By the time of the Enlightenment some insightful entrepreneurs of reason like Spinoza
and Voltaire make good inroads. The world was poised and seemed on its way to supernatural liberation. But of course, the 17th and 18th centuries have come and gone but most of humanity is still firmly trapped in the seemingly omnipotent grip of their gods.
In the last few years there has been a resurgence in atheist proponents; Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett and the late Christopher Hitchens being at the forefront in our latest attempt at pushing rationalism out to the masses. Their work is not in vain, people on the fringes of religious belief benefit and there are pockets of society that are showing signs of ‘liberation’, perhaps due to The Four Horsemen and the likes influence. But the fact of the matter is that by and large these prophets of atheism are preaching to the choir. More often than not, what we have been getting out of all the bickering about gods are ever more vigorous arguing, tempers passionately flaring with atheists swearing more and the religious praying even harder as the two sides are pushed ever further apart.

So what do we do, can we do anything at all? Should we even try? Do we as atheists pushing our doctrine out to the masses have some kind of moral high ground that justifies our godless indoctrination? Do the religious have such moral high ground? And even if atheism is the final answer, can we convince the masses to let go of their beloved gods, considering thousands of years have done relatively little to lessen the effects of religious fervour?

Not entirely void of irony, truth is what we all care about, religious and non-religious alike. God fearing folk fear their gods and their damnations because they believe it to be real, not because they are proud, or want to sound clever or be right. Short tempered atheists really only care about the truth also and on the whole we all believe that what humanity ultimately deserves is an unadulterated version of it. But which side’s fighting for the truth?

Before we can go out and tell the world that their gods are no more than ideas, we need a good argument or more likely, a set of arguments to support our claim. Countless books and plethora of arguments and counter arguments have endlessly circled the abysmal debate. Theist and atheist equally confident that their side wields the truth.
It’s almost impossible not to run over well-worn roads of the same old god vs. no god arguments, there really has not been much new coming out of either side.
What we do know for sure, is that many religions claim many different things about the supernatural. Simply put, they all can’t be right, so all we can really do is look for which direction they are all generally pointing in. It comes down to some kind of supernatural power or force, which is ultimately the source of all energy; usually, but not always this source is aware of itself, and has intentions. For the most part of at least Western and middle Eastern religions this supernatural source even has a keen interest in human affairs, many still go so far as to believe that the entire Universe, was put in place just for us to admire from our puny insignificant speck of dust, beautiful planet Earth.
Now, Atheists or naturalists really think that this supernatural power or force is little more than just a cop out with no power of explanation. It is true that we do not have all the natural answers to everything we observe. There are many ideas and theoretical conjurings going on to try and explain things like where all this energy we see comes from, multiverse theory being one such advocate of Steven Hawking for example. But what we have undoubtedly seen throughout the history of mankind is that our collective knowledge, especially lately, grows with time and these days science is explaining new things on a daily basis. The god of the gaps’ gaps have been disappearing consistently. It is not hard to see why the Christians created the God of the Gaps concept to discourage theist arguments relying on scientific gaps. They could see where this was heading, their gods would eventually be pushed out of every gap as we build our knowledge of the world and beyond. We are almost there, the gods are still hiding in a few slithers perhaps, but it is conceivable, even likely that we will see the last godly gaps close within a century.
The factual arguments for supernatural explanations of the world are vague, frail and weak.
It is emotion however, not reasoning that is making people believe in gods. It is only a very small subsection of the religious that show any interest in the conceived ‘science’ behind their gods. Most are simply not interested. None of us wants to die and the gods are there because we just know it, we can feel it. All the science in the world can’t explain the gods away because gods have little to do with science any more. In ancient times, when knowledge was crude and our universe was small they seemed to explain it all, but we have come to realise that we can explain more and more, and probably most of it all ourselves, without invoking the supernatural. We seem to no longer require our gods, but something is making us hang on to them.

Perhaps people are not ready yet for a world with no after life, a world that ends, a world of being responsible for yourself without the safety net of an omnibenevolent god of some sorts. But this is not likely the case as there are many societies showing healthy levels of atheism with some movement away from traditional institutionalized religion. Millions of people are living perfectly happy and fulfilling lives being fully aware of the realities of gods and death.  This is a giant leap up from fearing eternal damnation in a fiery pit of hell for coveting your neighbour’s arse, for example. Just like a child learning to ride a bike, whilst daddy is holding on to the bike things are fine, if daddy lets go, things are still fine…until cycle boy looks back and realises daddy has let go. Panic ensues and a crash is all but inevitable. We have to find a way to show our theist kin that they have been cycling alone for – at least – hundreds of years without ever looking back. There might be a crash but the liberation that comes once realisation kicks in makes the crash seem insignificant or worthwhile. The old needs breaking, to make place for the new.
It is worth it for humanity to let go of their gods and focus on what is real and to grow out of superstition simply because we can use that time much better. There is no need to spend time thinking about the gods, all they have been trying to teach us is to be nice to each other and show some mutual respect and they haven’t even done such a great job with that. But abandoning the god part does not mean we have to abandon the good parts however, which is why jails aren’t filled with atheists.

But religious institution is a major obstacle to global naturalisation. They are organised, some as powerful as countries. When the Pope says fart, a billion people squeeze one out. The Roman Catholic institution is a juggernaut of organised indoctrination, selling eternal life as a buy out of their hellish alternative.  And they are not alone, there are disturbing amounts of charlatans preying on the religious. But these ideas and institutions have momentum and resources and they market incessantly. People have little chance against this and the Four Horsemen are picking off only the lucky few from the fringes.

What needs to happen is for the momentum to start pulling away from institutionalised religion towards individualised, institution free versions of personal belief. The natural progression from institution free religion is likely to gradually lead to less and less solid religious beliefs and religious indoctrination flowing between institution, parent and child. Such an approach is far less antagonising, and is not directly attacking the believer or the beliefs of which many hold so dear. Tell somebody their god is a myth and they will shut the door in your face. Tell them to take their church time to volunteer at a shelter and to give their regular church donations to a charity and you are no longer advocating Satanism and you might just get a little bit further. If it could work it would still take generations. There is no silver bullet, the fact of the matter is that currently most religious people will stay religious throughout their lives. Realistically, we have to aim a few generations into the future.

If we could conjure up an atheist institution with the resources of the Vatican then one might imagine a world swinging towards a natural outlook a bit faster. Many are attempting something like this, The Brights and the prolific atheist superstar writers are all trying to herd the godless but again, just like most of the religious are not running around speaking of their gods, even less so does your everyday atheist speak of their non-gods. So we are left with an atheist ideal with no structured or recognisable organization indifferently making its way while the gears of religious indoctrination steadily keep working their ideas out to the masses.
Will atheists and naturalists ever be organized enough or care enough about people’s beliefs in deity to actually do something about it? I suspect the answer is on the whole no. The problem is that atheism is not really a belief in the same sense as a belief in a god is. It is simply a lack of belief in a certain idea, the idea of gods. We do not generally go around speaking of our lack of belief in Santa, or our lack of belief in Harry Potter. It might be interesting to note that you believe in fairies, but it is utterly insignificant if you don’t. That’s how your everyday atheist feels about gods, they are simply uninteresting beyond the history channel.

It is very hard to see a way in which to get such a grand scale of atheists and naturalists involved in essentially a social engineering project that will take generations. Or maybe the prophets of atheism can turn their followers into disciples, spreading the word of naturalism subtly enough to avoid offending the believers and for the sake of future generations. But the forces of religion are widespread, strong socially, – psychologically  even strong financially and the army of atheists or naturalists (Brights?) are spread thin, disorganised and uninterested. Unless something drastic happens – and god only knows what that might be – the tide of atheism is likely to keep trickling slowly through the floodgates of religion.


Posted in Other, Religion is Bad, Why Gods do not Exist.


Sam Harris’ “Whither Eagleman?”

Taken from: http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/whither-eagleman/

But there are no serious arguments to be summoned in defense of Judaism, Christianity, or Islam (despite the hopes of their apologists). How can I be sure? Well, for one, these faiths are embraced for the same reasons, and yet are mutually canceling. Worse still, each rests on the premise that its holy book contains the transcribed thoughts of an omniscient Deity. A glance at the books reveals this claim to be manifestly insane, as each is barren of scientific insights and bursting with logical, factual, and moral errors.

Posted in Other.


The Atheist Professor and The Cleverer Student

Quoted below is a ‘parable’ that has reached me a few times now via the seemingly unending supply of  religious chain spam.

The story revolves around a theist student who apparently out wits and out debates he’s atheist professor of philosophy on the question of the existence of god and the problem of evil.

For the most part it is almost not worth responding…but since it reached me a few times I thought I’d try to point out a few things…


An atheist professor of philosophy speaks to his class on the problem science has with God, The Almighty.

He asks 1 of his new religious students to stand.

Professor: You are a religious person, aren’t you, son?

Student: Yes, sir.

Prof: So you believe in God?

Student: Absolutely, sir.

Prof: Is God good?

Student: Sure.

Prof: Is God all-powerful?

Student: Yes.

Prof: My brother died of cancer even though he prayed to God to heal him. Most of us would attempt to help others who are ill. But God didn’t. How is this God good then? Hmm?

(Student is silent.)

Prof: You can’t answer, can you? Let’s start again, young fella. Is God good?

Student: Yes.

Prof: Is satan good?

Student: No.

Prof: Where does satan come from?

Student: From uhh God.

Prof: That’s right. Tell me son, is there evil in this world?

Student: Yes.

Prof: Evil is everywhere, isn’t it? And God did make everything. Correct?

Student: Yes.

Prof: So who created evil?

(Student does not answer.)

Prof: Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things exist in the world, don’t they?

Student: Yes, sir.

Prof: So, who created them?

(Student has no answer.)

Prof: Science says you have 5 senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Tell me, son. Have you ever seen God?

Student: No, sir.

Prof: Tell us if you have ever heard your God?

Student: No, sir.

Prof: Have you ever felt your God, tasted your God, smelt your God? Have you ever had any sensory perception of God for that matter?

Student: No, sir. I’m afraid I haven’t.

Prof: Yet you still believe in Him?

Student: Yes.

Prof: According to empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your God doesn’t exist. What do you say to that, son?

Student: Nothing. I only have my faith.

Prof: Yes. Faith. And that is the problem science has.

Student: Professor, is there such a thing as heat?

Prof: Yes.

Student: And is there such a thing as cold?

Prof: Yes.

Student: No sir. There isn’t.

The lecture theatre becomes very quiet with this turn of events.

Student: Sir, you can have lots of heat, even more heat, superheat, mega heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat. But we don’t have anything called cold. We can hit 458 degrees below zero which is no heat, but we can’t go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold. Cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.

There is pin-drop silence in the lecture theatre.

Student: What about darkness, Professor? Is there such a thing as darkness?

Prof: Yes. What is night if there isn’t darkness?

Student: You’re wrong again, sir. Darkness is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light. But if you have no light constantly, you have nothing and its called darkness, isn’t it? In reality, darkness isn’t. If it were you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn’t you?

Prof: So what is the point you are making, young man?

Student: Sir, my point is your philosophical premise is flawed.

Prof: Flawed? Can you explain how?

Student: Sir, you are working on the premise of duality. You argue there is life and then there is death, a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can’t even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either 1. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life: just the absence of it. Now tell me, Professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?

Prof: If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, yes, of course, I do.

Student: Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?

The Professor shakes his head with a smile, beginning to realize where the argument is going.

Student: Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you not a scientist but a preacher?

The class is in uproar.

Student: Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the Professor’s brain?

The class breaks out into laughter.

Student: Is there anyone here who has ever heard the Professor’s brain, felt it, touched or smelt it? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, sir. With all due respect, sir, how do we then trust your lectures, sir?

The room is silent. The professor stares at the student, his face unfathomable.

Prof: I guess you’ll have to take them on faith, son.

Student: That is it sir. The link between man and God is faith. That is all that keeps things moving and alive.

 

The student tries to address the problem of evil (if the good god is omnipotent, how can it let the bad exist) by paralleling the definition of evil as the absence of good with that of cold as the absence of heat and darkness as the absence of light.

“ There is no such thing as cold. Cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat.”

“ In reality, darkness isn’t. If it were you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn’t you?”

Boils down to: “Because darkness is absence of light, darkness does not exist”..(ditto with coldness). One might also then conclude that say a hole in the ground, since it is only absence of ground, does not exist.

Presumably the student concludes that because evil can be seen as the absence of good, evil does not exist so the problem of evil disappears. Even if one is to consider evil simply as the absence of good, this still does not answer the question of why god created evil…it simply uses an alternative definition of evil so only restates the question as something like “Why did god create a world where there exists absence of good?”

Student: Sir, you are working on the premise of duality. You argue there is life and then there is death, a good God and a bad God.

The premise of duality (good vs evil), a common premise inherent to most religions, especially Christianity and co. (e.g. God vs Satan; Heaven & Hell; Angels & Demons), lie at the core of the paradoxical problem of evil. What he accuses the professor of doing (premise of duality) is actually the very problem he is trying to explain away for religion…which the student actually failed to ever do as mentioned in the previous paragraph.

The student goes on to attack science using magnetism and electricity as an example of how science knows nothing about what we can not “see”. If the student really thought that science knew nothing about electricity, he need only stick his fingers in a power socket to experience a shocking revelation. The fact of the matter is that science knows a great deal about electricity and magnetism (and all the other fields of science) and we are constantly learning more and adjusting our understanding accordingly. Science is not perfect, not complete and does not claim to be either but is still by far the best picture of reality that humanity has ever painted. But the fact that science does not explain everything does not mean one can declare any old concept beyond the reach of science and untouchable without some kind of sound justification.

Then, unlike what the student asserts, evolution is not based on faith, but fact. Huge amounts of scientific enquiry and experimentation confirms evolution.

We have actually “seen” evolution in many instances, including but not limited to: fossils; viruses; pepper moths, animal breeding; bacteria and more. It has also been rubber stamped by genetics..our understanding of genes alone proves evolution. Evolution is a fact, like gravity, and people who try to use it in an argument for god are always either ignorant, uninformed or devious.

Student: Is there anyone here who has ever heard the Professor’s brain, felt it, touched or smelt it? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, sir. With all due respect, sir, how do we then trust your lectures, sir?

This highlights the student’s misunderstanding (or misrepresentation) of how the scientific method works. Science does not say that only things that our crude and basic human senses can experience exist and empirical does not mean only things we can see with our own eyes and feel with our physical senses; It means things that we can define, test and measure. We have acquired enough empirical evidence by cutting open people’s heads (amongst other things) to conclude that it is overwhelmingly likely that every healthy human’s head has a functioning brain in it. It’s not a faith thing, its a verifiable fact thing… we can cut open the professor’s head and confirm that he has a brain… religious people are yet to find something to cut open (so to speak) to prove that there is a god.

For reference, the scientific method:

To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering observable, empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning.[2] The Oxford English Dictionary says that scientific method is: “a method of procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses. […..] Scientific researchers propose hypotheses as explanations of phenomena, and design experimental studies to test these hypotheses. These steps must be repeatable, to predict future results.

To sum it up. There is really not much of a point made here by the student. He pretends to explain the problem of evil away by word play and tries to discredit science to rationalise religious faith (a kind of ad hominem). He tries to bring science down to religious faith’s level of certainty and tries to make religious faith look as rational as trusting the laws of gravity, which is well off the mark. The things that science have us believe in are testable, based on evidence and repeatable experiments… religious faith is pure faith with no evidence (apparently some kind of virtue within a religious context). The fact is that religious people have faith not because of evidence or proof (since there is no evidence or proof) but mainly because the faith was installed before the need for evidence or proof was ‘required’ to justify belief, via childhood’s religious indoctrination.

 

 

 

Posted in Evolution, Other, Paradoxical |&| Problematic, Why Gods do not Exist.


Answering the What is your religion? question in the forthcoming Census

The Census gives the official figures about various aspects of the population. Data is used by government both locally and centrally as evidence to back up their policy decisions. If the number of people who appear to be religious is inflated, policies regarding service delivery, equality work and many other areas will be affected. Consequently the results of the 2001 Census were used to justify:

  • Increasing in the number of faith schools
  • The continuation of collective worship in schools
  • The public funding and support of ‘interfaith’ and faith-based organisations above the support offered to faith-free (bright) organisations
  • Suggestions of an increase in the role of faith in Britain under the coalition government
  • The appointments of government advisors on faith
  • Contracting out public services to religious organisations
  • Keeping the 26 Bishops in the House of Lords as of right
  • Continued high number of hours dedicated to religious broadcasting
  • Specific consultation at government and local level with ‘faith communities’ over and above other groups within society
  • Continued privileges for religious groups in equality law and other legislation

These measures serve only to divide rather than to unite our society and so, for the sake of your children and theirs, please don’t let this happen again – tick the [] No religion option.

Posted in Other.


Our Lord’s Prayer

Our Lord’s Prayer

Our Father which aren’t in Heaven,
hallowed be thy shame.
Thy fate be done,
Thy will be gone,
on earth, as You failed in heaven.
Relieve us today from this daily dread,
of fairytale farce impelled,
as we dare follow the rational instead.
And scare us not with eternal damnation,
but deliver us from Your evil.
For thine is but an engram,
a doubt, no more than a story,
for ever and ever.
Amen.

Posted in Other.


Lingering loneliness

Loneliness, boredom and purposelessness,

widen the gaping hole wherein

religion comfortably settles within.

Posted in Other.


John 8:32 – Jesus wants YOU to find out that there is no god:

King James – John 8:32

“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Posted in Other, Paradoxical |&| Problematic, Why Gods do not Exist.


Scientific vs. Religious leaps of faith

Charlie-d from the Brights Forum:

Science is a leap of faith that there is a physical reality out there independent of our experience. Everything else in science is a logically consistent explanation of the evidence. Because science is based on logic, it is not the same kind of leap of faith as religion. If the logic is found to be wrong, it’s wrong. Scientists aren’t some magnanimous morally superior creatures because they accept it when they are wrong. They have no choice. And the explanations are all provisional (until someone finds a better one).

Our experience on the other hand is irrational and what is right is not what is logical, but only what feels right in the moment.

Posted in Paradoxical |&| Problematic, Religion is Bad, Why Gods do not Exist.