Saturday, May 31, 2008


     Some people claim that their god is omniscient. I am inclined to claim their god is non-existent. Now, strictly speaking, there are two ways to take a claim of omniscience. One is that the being knows everything that will ever be of consequence to us. The other is that the being knows everything period. The first is possible (though highly doubtful.) The second is not.
     Consider the statement "'does not produce a statement that god believes when preceded by its own quotation' does not produce a statement that god believes when preceded by its own quotation." I realize it's a mouthful. I believe it is a true statement because I do not believe there exists a god to believe that or any other statement. But suppose there is a god. If he believes that statement, then it is false. A god who believes a false statement is not omniscient. Well, suppose he does not believe it. Well, that is just what the statement says; and so we have a true statement that the god does not believe. He may or may not actively disbelieve it. Either way, he is not omniscient.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

My response to Ex-atheist:

     First his comment:

Pvblivs said...
"You mean put aside "my" concept of right and wrong…"

Yes – "your" concepts of right and wrong are not perfect, so aren't mine, so aren't everyone's; trust God’s concepts of right and wrong, He's the objective standard.
In the mean time you’re measuring with 32 inch yard stick, your compass needle is plastic, your calculator is missing an '8'… It’s like the character John Nash in the movie "Beautiful Mind" when he said "I can fix this (his own schizophrenia), I just need to use my mind." The doctor replies – "That's the problem, you mind is what's broken, it can't help you." (I don't remember the exact lines - but good movie) We’re broken (our moral compass is off) - that’s what sin does, and that's why people don't see how bad sin really is.

You said...
"You haven't described how you do things that people agree are good."

My life isn’t to simply please people and adhere to their definition of good – but God’s. Jesus taught His followers to feed the hungry, help the poor, visit those in prison, give sacrificially, pray for others, follow the commandments, preach the gospel. These are the things I do and strive to do.

You said...
"I actually think there is something beyond this world, so there is still hope. I just think your deity is false. But in your scenario, the 'reward' the victims get is eternal torment for the 'glory' and pleasure of your deity."

I’m very, very impressed that you think there is something beyond this world. I’m actually very surprised that you would admit this. Why do you believe there is something? What evidence do you have that there is?

The "victim" issue is still missing the big picture. All have sinned before a Holy God, victims and civil criminals. God will be just on the day when all stand before Him. No one will enter hell without absolutely knowing that is exactly what they deserve.

(PS. You can have the last word – I’m moving on to newer posts – enjoyed the debate – be well.)


     Next my reply:


     I don't have evidence that there is something beyond this world. Therefore, I don't fault those who disagree. (We all have beliefs for which we have no evidence. That, in itself, is not wrong. Trying to force others to accept your non-evidenced beliefs is.)
     Whild I can accept that my standard of right and wrong (formed from my perceptions) may be imperfect, I am not going to throw it away just because you claim that your deity's is objective. What reason do I have to believe that your deity's standard is object. You saying so and him saying so are not reasons. So far, everything you have said is predictable on the assumption that you knowing serve an evil being.
     "My life isn’t to simply please people and adhere to their definition of good – but God’s."
     But your previous claim was (paraphrased) [if he is evil, why does he inspire me to do good?] An evil being, claiming to be good will inspire you to do that which he says is good.

     His comment suggests that he has no intention of checking a reply. So, I have decided to post my reply here as well. I should point out in regards to his analogies. My compass needle is not plastic. It has shown itself regularly useful. My calculator has the '8.' And my yardstick marks off 36 inches. These devices may all be imperfect; but they have shown themselves useful approximations. He seems to want me to switch to a calculator that says 57 - 12 = "you are a sinner." That "objective" calculator gives the same result for all calculations. The compass he wants me to use flails wildly. And the yardstick is not regularly marks. If I copy the markings from one end to a sheet of paper, they fail to align (even approximately) when measured at the other end.
     Since I currently have a useful standard, I will continue to use it. The "objective" standard that christian generally try to impose seems worse than useless.
     It should also be noted that previously, when he was talking about how his god inspires him to do good, he did not include feeding the hungry or helping the poor. He focused largely on preaching the gospel and "serving his god."

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Does my "punishment or prevention?" post justify the alleged flood?

     From someone's comment on another blog: "Also, I read on your blog under your 'punishment or prevention' post and I thought it was very interesting that you were arguing against God from the other side of this issue. If the world is full of very, very wicked (free-willed) people is God evil for removing them or evil for letting them live and reproduce? You can’t have it both ways."
     Let's leave aside the fact that I think the flood was fictional. We have only this god's word that the people were wicked. It seems far more plausible that it was the god in question who was wicked. What was the wickedness that he had to kill people to prevent? (Even in trying to prevent a murder, killing the murderer should be a last resort.) The bible is remarkably silent on this.
     It gets worse. The "new testament" refers back to the flood when talking about the last days. It speaks of how people were marrying and "giving in marriage." I see no wickedness there. As near as I can determine the only "wickedness" the biblical god claims on the part of the people is failing to kiss his great behind.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Punishment or prevention?

     Suppose you knew that a brutal murder was about to occur. Suppose further that you were capable of either of two actions. You could prevent the murder at no risk to yourself or anyone else. (The victim would be removed from harm's way and the attacker would not try again.) Or you could sit back, allow the murder to take place and then have the murderer fry in the electric chair. What would you do?
     I certainly hope it wasn't too difficult to come to a decision. In a circumstance like that, anyone who would fail to prevent the murder is no better than the murderer. Now, you and I do not know when murders are about to take place; nor do we have the power to prevent them at no risk. However, the 3 major world religions today claim that there is a god with this knowledge and ability. So, what does this god supposedly do? He sits idly by, only noting the murder so he can punish later. I think that it is safe to say that any "laws" made by such a god are self-serving so that he may obtain the cruel, sadistic pleasure of tormenting people. Were such a being to exist, I would oppose him. I would definitely not worship such a monstrosity.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Is it really that dangerous that some people consider themselves christian?

     Some people think that it is dangerous that even moderate christians exist because they tend to overlook the immoral actions of extremists. I disagree. It is certainly true that moderate christians have a tendency to overlook such actions by people they identify as also being christian. However, I see this as a type of fraternity mentality, exhibited by many different types of groups. All that it means to me is that christians cannot be relied upon to police other christians when "outsiders" are potential victims. It is not their belief in a god that is the problem. The only problem comes with association with an "in" group. Attempts to eliminate such association are necessarily futile.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

The "Expelled" lawsuit

     Okay, I can't help myself. Here is a link to the letter by Premise Media (the makers of "Expelled") rejecting the lawsuit over using the snippet of "Imagine." Now, christians are saying that it was fair use because the film was commenting on the song. It would appear that, when this was written, they hadn't thought of that just yet. From what I have seen, it looks like they just didn't want to pay an unbeliever for a license to use the song and came up with the "fair use" excuse after the fact.
     It seems that a lot of people (both christians and non-christians) are treating this case as if it were about the validity of the claims of the film. It is not. The fact that the producers violated copyright law has nothing to do with the merits (or lack of same) of the film's argument.
     I do recognize a bit of irony in a lawsuit over the use of a song that says "imagine no possessions." Was Lennon a hypocrite? Possibly. He could have composed the lyrics just to give his audience what they wanted to hear, but have had no support for the ideas. There is another possibility though. He could have sought to create a possessionless society, but recognized that forfeiting possessions while still in a possession-based society would fail to achieve that end and lead to personal starvation. Me, I like the song, support some of its ideas, but do not want a society without possessions.

The intellectual integrity of "Atheism is Dead" (again)

     This post is here. I know I seem to harp on them a lot. But most christians don't pretend they are trying to promote intellectual responsibility. This time the site was boasting about how christians do more charitable giving than non-christians (at least openly and for the records.) A blogger with a user name of "MarSm" made reference to the boast (probably with the implied reminder that the bible claims one should not boast of one's charitable works.) One of the blog administrators said that he was only posting it as "interesting," not as a boast. MarSm's reply was deleted.
     Now, I am not a mind-reader; but it seems unlikely that he was a troll or that he posted something inappropriate. It is very likely that he pointed out that to be non-boastful in giving, one would have to do so anonymously. This would interfere with statistics. I posted my thoughts on that and they either deleted my comment or are holding it in limbo. It has been a couple days and they have approved other comments since.
     Seriously, is there anyone who attempts to spread christianity without resorting to deceitful tactics? I have seen believers who do not attempt to deceive; but they have not been "spreading the faith." I have seen "faith spreaders;" but they have been deceptive.