Sunday 29 December 2013

Christianity is more ridiculous than all other religions

Sure we know all religions are pretty crazy, if it isn’t a volcano burying, nuclear bomb detonating aliens, it is the land being made of slain giants and children being born of the sea froth on a severed certain part of the genitals. Whereas Christianity, a benevolent Zombie is going to come back and save you from his dad, yeah makes about as much sense. Sure my opponents here will say their ex-religion is the most ridiculous. I am sorry but they can’t compete.
Judaism came before Christianity, and all Judaism’s craziness has been inherited and enhanced. Islam came after, but tries too hard to be the new crazy kid on the block.

Plus how can you compete with the idea of the trinity. Something so confusing that there have been innumerable tomes written on it, so confusing that entire sects of Christianity have made it their core doctrinal difference to remove, according to them and Islam the trinity didn’t happen. In fiction they call this retcon, retroactive continuity, changing a past event to fit the current story.

I am not going to try and explain it as it was tough enough to believe when I was a believer.
I actually had a desire, in high school to go into the seminary. I discussed it with my School priest, and seriously considered it. The priest actually talked me out of it, advising me I should get some life experience first. I am glad he did, otherwise I wouldn’t be here.

 I found out pretty quickly that a lot of the religions of the world are mutually exclusive, that even some denominations of Christianity are, they actually proclaim others are wrong so they can’t all be right. This and the shear logical inconsistencies of an Omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, omnipresent deity, that somehow still allowed evil to exist led, me to realise Christianity was ridiculous.
Christians can’t even agree with each other, sure there are different denominations of Jews and Muslims, orthodox Jews, Reform Jews, Karaite Jews, Sunni Muslim, Shia Muslim and others. But Islam and Judaism can’t compete with Christianity due to the number of versions, anywhere from 10-30,000… or 2.1billion if you believe as some current theories go, that every Christian justifies their belief in their own way discarding pieces of doctrine they can’t reconcile. Heck there is a test on line to see which denomination you should try out;
PS it thinks I should be in the Unity Church, not Unitarian Universalists, but still liberal Christians that don’t believe in a Trinity, but do believe in spiritual healing and well god…

Some of these denominations try and follow all of the laws of the Old Testament, some don’t. Some disagree on such minor differences as days in which you should worship, words in prayers and who is the boss, and how many super powers he has. Some like the Mormons who call themselves Christian are like the unwanted child, with other Christians denouncing them, due to their “crazy” beliefs. Is it any crazier to believe that after Jesus ascended into heaven after he had already resurrected, that he then flew to the Americas to spread the same word to the lost tribe of Israel? It really isn’t that much of a stretch. Really they have just written a poor bit of Biblical fan fiction, you can’t blame them when the crazy groundwork was already laid out.

Hell is much worse than anything in the Old testament. Some Christians don’t believe in hell, others that we are living there now. Only through faith… err no good works…err no a combination… err no it is written and we have no say… can we be saved from eternal torment of the levels of hell. They can’t even agree on the rules of the game, how is anyone supposed to play.
Oh and don’t forget Jesus was sent to save us from Hell… a hell he introduced into the doctrine. The comparable Jewish Sheol is a walk in the park.

(Matthew 5:22, 18:8, 25:41. Mark 9:43. Luke 3:17)

Sure the Muslim hell is “worse”, but again they are trying too hard. Besides which one is more ridiculous, the one that came up with hell or the one that expanded on the theme, there is even some
evidence the Christian hell influenced the Nordic creation of Heck, yikes the crazy bled into the myth with the almighty Thor that ain’t right.

Heck the Christian idea of hell didn’t even fully come from the bible. The only mention is of an undying worm and an unquenchable fire. Reminds me of a story from my youth. A friend and I were on a train and a man of questionable sanity got on at a major station, and started chanting "The Zombie and the WORM"... Needless to say we moved from the rather empty carriage we shared with him to a different one. Of course now I know the worm as from the bible is Satan, and the well the Zombie must be the Zombie Christ, back for your brains.

Back to hell, with us.
The levels of hell for different sinners and the other ideas come from the known works of fiction “Dante’s Inferno” and “A Paradise Lost”. How crazy is that, the place that you are going to get barbecued for all eternity and yet you get most of your tourist information on it from a known work of fiction.
Even Satan isn’t really in charge, he and the angels that rebelled are prisoners too. He was only able to tempt Jesus and the rest of us via a whisper from hell… like a creepy obi-wan. It makes it interesting to think that these demons can somehow effect events on earth even though they are imprisoned, doesn’t make God a very good gaoler, even us fallible humans find prisoners cellphones and confiscate them.
The claim that Hell is out of God’s site has been bandied around a lot, but how is this possible with an omniscient/omnipresent being, unless he decides to put that place out of his sight, unless he decides to basically turn a blind eye to a torture he could stop, something most would consider condoning the act… other religions have basically designated hell as Gods dungeon, he is still in charge and can let people out if he wants… Fritzl eat your heart out.

That’s another point of contention, can you get out once you are sentenced, some denominations say yes, some say no. Some like a lot of Anglicans agree with us atheists and say hell doesn’t exist, they go on to say that if you aren’t worthy you are annihilated. To quote an American catholic priest “Hell was just an invention to keep people in line”

There is an interesting argument, supposedly Satan fell to hell imprisoned for all eternity, well given enough time, oh say an eternity the chances are 100% that everyone will eventually fall, thus heaven as it is outside of time is empty.
While we are on the topic of an afterlife. There are also other destinations in Christian doctrine
Limbo, no not that one but close enough; which is hell adjacent and split into various sections. Mainly for those who died unbaptised, but not evil enough to be condemned to hell. So unbaptised infants, and foetuses that died before birth… yep Church of England retcon’ed Limbo a while ago and actually had tearful pleas from adherents who had come to terms with their stillborn child residing there, but now it was gone they had to mourn the abolition of this child, very sad in an odd sort of way.

Purgatory; heaven adjacent part of Limbo, that is the celestial waiting room. Somehow you are supposed to be able to be purified enough here to enter the preferred postmortem destination; the supposed club med in the sky… Heaven.

We have the same issue with Heaven as we had with hell, different Christian religions have different takes. Catholics claim you have to be a perfect Saint to enter heaven, I was taught that you remain in purgatory till the end of days when if you have redeemed yourself you will be judged, but the Catechism that the Catholics follow is a bit vague on this and seems to allude that you can be deemed a saint by God without the need for canonization… it is rare that a religious text would be as vague as a horoscope…

Then there is what you’ll be like in this heaven, without sin or urge to sin, never sad, maybe even becoming a full blown psychopath as you look down on your relatives and children in hell to be entertained by their suffering across the eons. (Tertullian 155AD)
Then there are other denominations of Christianity that say only a relatively small number of elect can get into heaven; the small number of 144 thousand. The rest kick around till the end of days, to live a heaven on earth in new bodies, an idea stolen from the Jewish idea of a bodily resurrection when the messiah comes.
Onto some more biblical specifics of heaven; yeah it isn’t a 24/7 party with loved ones, as most Christians are led to believe, at least not according to the scriptures, it is just a story as it has evolved, just like Hell.

Jesus only talks about his father having many rooms in house and being together with him in paradise…show off.
Paul says that Jesus will be seated at Gods right hand, and then in the, some would say certifiably insane book of revelation we get a better peak at what heaven is supposedly about. Long story short, you can’t see God as he is a fire that would burn your soul, so he is surrounded by Seraphim… no not pretty little angels, beasts with six wings, that are so terrifying they also cover themselves with a set of these wings, lest you catch a glimpse of their bodies and burn, then around them are 24 elders seated on thrones chanting praise to the Lord saying “Holy, Holy, Holy is the lord God almighty, who was and is, and is to come”, and then in a torturous round, every soul that has gone to heaven sits around this spectacle praising the lord with the different verse “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and Honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!”… Sounds like a blast. I wonder how many suicides they have among the elders and elect?

Then of course there is the aforementioned proto-Christian Mormons, who if they are really good Mormons, they’ll get their own planet to rule over as a god… What I want to know is who gets the lifeless hell hole of Venus or the frigid dwarf planets in the Kuiper belt? You only get this highest of heavens if you tithe as well as you can, this is actually in their doctrine…
Then there are two other heavens, one for the ones who followed Moses laws, so you would have been OK for that one Steve and Hussain, then the lower heaven for the rest of us who don’t do too badly but don’t follow Moses law.

Catholics even argue at the highest levels on who can get in, can you get in due to only your good deeds as the Pope claimed some of us good atheists could, or do you have to believe as one of his Cardinals later corrected?
So seems they can’t agree on the rules for heaven either…

On to something else before I finish.
Sure there has been some violence done by my opponents ex-religions, they both pale in comparison to the wrongs so far wrought on humanity by Christianity. Just Catholicism alone has killed approximately 50million people due to the inquisitions and witch hunts, 15 million South American Indians, and 7-12 million in the 30years war.

Not to mention the centuries of Crusades from 11th-13th centuries and the additional 15th century crusade. The aiding of the Nazi’s during World War 2 and well the Nazis themselves and the general recommendation in Africa that condom use will condemn one to hell and not stop the spread of HIV, plus pushing for “witches” to be punished and homosexuals executed.
Remember what Hitchens said, “Remember what they did when they were in power”, Islam has a bit of power now and is flexing its muscles, and Christianity had power for hundreds of years and had a lot more unfettered practise. (Gustave Dore crusades Richard and Saladin at the battle of Arsuf)

The Vatican and most fundamentalists Christians also espouse opinions on demons and exorcisms, believe in magic, witchcraft, telling the future, demons, including funnelling them into pigs, and talking snakes and donkeys.
Besides neither of my colleagues ex-religions have the divine actually sacrificing himself to himself to appease himself… think about the utter-absurdity of that for a second. Add to that the Catholic doctrine that the wafer and plonk becomes the literal body and blood, and you have for one absolute LSD induced, ridiculous belief system.

The mythos around Christianity is certainly extensive. There are angels, demons, spirits and sorcery, witches, devils. Then there are things that actually exist, although to same level of effectiveness as the previous monikers, monks, brothers, sisters, Priests, bishops, cardinals, arch-bishops, pastors, lay priests (no not what you think), and of course the pope, picked by God… yet he can make mistakes and leave the job when he no longer feels like it… what is the phrase, what God puts together let no man put asunder.

To finish off this bit, both Islam and Judaism have their crazy leaders, none that can compare with a magic-smoke/God appointed infallible leader like the pope. What is the phrase his own boss supposedly said while on earth, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven (NOTE, there was a comment about this usage, yes the eye of the needle may have been a real place that it was difficult to traverse by camel, but the issue with the popes wealth still remains, although regardless there is some evidence and other uses of this eye of the needle phrase in the bible ). Yet popes get sainted all the time, thus under the rules of their religion, free ticket to heaven. Although they live in luxury and can claim they are poor, they never want for anything, and are usually adorned with fine clothes and jewelry. Sure Pope Francis can claim he washes the feet of the poor, is he truly poor like the 3billion people that live on less than $2.50a day?

The current Pope has been praised for his better attitude, yet still refuses to share sex abuse information with the UN ( ), and preaches fire and brimstone from the pulpit (
So peace be with you, my brothers, sisters, trans and intersexed… but fuck the pope.

I should appologise for using the lower second image in my talk, I have recently found it to be false. He did say the other things, and this;
I have previously done a couple talks on ridiculous aspects of Christianity, they are up on my blog here and here.

Second section:

Christianity has American gun nuts on their side who make things like this, so I think on the ridiculous front, we win.

To counter my opponents points;
Jews don’t as far as I am aware resort to creationism very often, plus they don’t have the rich tradition of creationist apologetics. Apologetics that include answers on how all the animals got distributed from the Ark via volcanoes, I kid you not. Koala’s, Platypus, Kangaroos, and all Australian marsupials got launched into low earth orbit to reach Australia, somehow avoiding burn up on re-entry and the skeletal issues a sudden deceleration on impact with the ground would cause.

There was lots of punishments doled out in the Torah, but not much recently, Christians have metered some out recently. Besides Hell is much worse than all these ancient tortures combined, and as I mentioned in the first section Jesus invented it.

I know I rambled on about an afterlife in the first piece, it is an obsession of people of all faiths, a carrot for their end. This section will be more generic.
Sure Judaism introduced Yahweh, aka Jehovah (depending on how you pronounce the Tetragrammatons, if you are even allowed to, what is he Voldermort, sorry he who must not be named), aka Adonai, aka Elohim, aka I AM… that is a lot of aka’s maybe he is on the run. So sure maybe Judaism introduced this mess, but Christianity made it popular. About 50% of Jews are non-believers according to some surveys, Christians run the gamut from those who believe in belief as Dan Dennett would put it, to fundamentalists who kill for their cause to this day in abortion clinics, and 3rd world countries.
Christians are also quick to claim persecution, sure they were persecuted long ago… so many Christians so few Lions, but they are not persecuted now because stores prefer to keep all their Muslim, atheist, Hindu, and Buddhist customers happy by simply saying happy holidays.
Christians also happily push other ridiculous and contradictory beliefs, anti-abortion, but pro-gun, pro-war. Heck they have setup pickets in front of legitimate abortion clinics, setup fake clinics, setup “help lines” to guilt helpless women out of the procedure and then the extremists will simply go kill a doctor, because nothing says pro-life like killing someone.
Christians are divided into different denominations, which I already mentioned. But these are divided even further… with different sects inside these denominations. I mentioned Opus Dei in my previous talk on Catholicism, and it is on my blog. But there are also loads of others. Yep that is there whip for self-flagellation.

That is the St Francis, or Franciscan cross, complete with apparent Jesus penis (encircled). Then there are the Augustinians, Jesuits, and Dominicans. Even the Catholics that usually present as a united front behind the Pope aren’t united, there is the Old Catholic church, splinter Catholics in Africa, South America etc. Even Catholics that are Geocentrists. These Geocentrists beat the earth splitting/Neil Armstrong was a Muslim conspiracy theorists hands down… they deny we even went to the moon, and satellites are pinned to the firmament or rotating beneath it.
Muslims see the Quran as the perfect word of God, some branches of Christianity see the King James Version (first translated in 1611) as the perfect word… something that has been translated from a translation from a copy… At least Islam is somewhat consistent.
Muslims make pilgrimages to the Kaba or the Dome of the rock, at least these places are interesting, not a stain on a door or a burnt piece of toast.
The claim of our ex-Muslim representative that most Muslims see the Quran as the final unedited word of the Abrahamic God, is quickly trumped by the Mormon’s who see Islam as a precursor to their own religion.

Catholicism is obviously my forte, what with being steeped in it for 20 odd years. With Pilgrimages to holy sites, discredited relics… you will notice the background I chose for my slides looks a little like the Shroud of Turin, no accident I assure you. A shroud that was subject to radiocarbon testing that came back with evidence it was made between 1260 and 1390.

I shall try and wander from Catholicism out into the wider ridiculous Christian environment… Let’s start with my favourites, creationists. Though this isn’t a far wander as the aforementioned Catholic Geocentrists are also creationists… even the infamous creationist Ken Ham said the Bible is silent on geocentrism. It isn’t but that is another argument.

Creationists, who we have debated before, check YouTube here.
To break down their beliefs, they believe in a worldwide conspiracy by atheist scientists to suppress belief in creation to push the atheist agenda, I guess as I am not a Scientist I don’t get the cut of this lucrative cover-up money… This is so ridiculous, even other Christians make fun of them. They not only have to ignore a mountain of evidence in multiple areas of research, they have to deny evolution or wiggle it into “micro evolution” when it comes to evolving pathogens…

Christian mega churches are another middle child only phenomenon. Ridiculous structures, the size of university campuses, they will regularly see more than 2000 attendees on a single weekend, this includes one in our own neck of the woods Hillsong, which gets 24,000 in a single weekend. They even managed to fill the allphones arena a while back for a one night only event with attendance topping a ridiculous 21,000. These mega churches can’t compete with old money though, St Peter’s has held 60,000 for Christmas mass before, and its adjoining palace has an estimated 11,000 rooms… Besides without all these mega churches you wouldn’t get real pastors saying things like that.

To wrap up this section a bit about Jesus…
How many Jesus’s are there, every insane ward is filled with them, every small little cult like the Divine Truth in Brisbane (AJ Miller) or the Branch Davidians in Waco have their own Jesus at the helm. We need to sit all these Jesus’ down together and get them to hash it out, see which one can come back from the dead zombie style, quick ferment water into wine and pirate loaves and fishes.

Then there is the supposed reason for his coming to earth…
Your kids do wrong, so in your infinite power you make a chosen child, which is actually you, whom you then send to earth, pre-destined to die as a sacrifice to yourself to appease your own lust for vengeance… What drugs where the writers of this text on. Absolutely ridiculous, really puts the Pegasus ride and the mountain of foreskins to shame

As we saw from Raphael’s talk a couple of months ago, and I am sure by now you have all read his book. The case for Christ is a rather tenuous one. There is a lot of evidence against the story being accurate, even Christian theologians will quickly stand down if you push them on the legitimacy of the birth myth with; the fact that there was never a census of the entire Roman Empire, such an event is not recorded anywhere else and having the entire population of the empire travel across Europe and North Africa just to return to the land of the father's birth is ridiculous. There was a Judean census, but then we fall into different problems. One Gospel states that this happened during the reign of King Herod, but another account says that this happened during the rule of the Emperor Augustus. This is an issue because there was around 40 years between the death of one and the rise of the other. Essentially, according to the Bible, Jesus was born, lived, died, rose again and ascended into heaven allowing a full 7 years before the next account suggests he was even born.

Ridiculous time line, ridiculous beliefs, ridiculous traditions, ridiculous religion.


Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump. I said, "Don't do it!" He said, "Nobody loves me." I said, "God loves you. Do you believe in God?"
He said, "Yes." I said, "Are you a Christian or a Jew?" 
He said, "A Christian." I said, "Me, too! Protestant or Catholic?" 
He said, "Protestant." I said, "Me, too! What franchise?" 
He said, "Baptist." I said, "Me, too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?" 
He said, "Northern Baptist." I said, "Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?"
He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist." I said, "Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region, or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?" 
He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region." I said, "Me, too!"
Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?" 
He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912." 
I said, "Die, heretic!" And I pushed him over.
By Emo Phillips.

All religions are crazy, but are they ridiculous.
Are they able to be ridiculed? Sure plenty of comedians make a living off of ridiculing Judaism, plenty more make plenty more of ridiculing Christianity, you don’t see many ridiculing Islam, none is that brave.
In this respect Christianity is the most ridiculed, thus the most ridiculous.
More ridiculous in the fact that there pantheon of sects is larger than any of my opponents religions, the fact that there mythos is so convoluted it would take several lifetimes to get up to speed, the fact that they expect you to buy imperviousness to weapons, poisons and harm, to buy a wafer becomes real flesh, that there adherents speak unknown languages or talk to the creator of all, or that you will live on forever in worship of this insecure, viscous, psychopathic, all-loving, all-knowing being. I think it is clear from the small number of examples I have given that my ex-religion Christianity is by far the most ridiculous, not just of the religions here, but all of the ones that have ever been… even with its legitimising 2 billion adherents protecting it from wider criticism.

Full debate here

Monday 28 October 2013

William Lane Craig dishonest?

So if you don't know who William Lane Craig is (sometimes referred to as simply WLC), I will spare you having to sit through one of his rhetorical debates. He is the lead apologist for Christianity, which basically means he delights in arguing for the Christian viewpoint, and publishing books on his philosophy, one that attempts to proves God's existence, not just any God but the empty tomb God of the bible, with Jesus as his son. He is actually fairly intelligent, very well spoken and very well presented. He does however use faulty logic that has been cut down at every turn by atheists on youtube. He will of course sometimes dismiss their arguments with an appeal to authority, saying he is a published PHD, they are youtubers... yeah sorry that doesn't hold water, your argument must be sound.

If you really want to see his arguments or the beautiful take downs, have a look, I will recommend some videos at the end.

But the video I want to refute is here; is only 2 minutes, but I will give you a quick recap. Carl Sagan once said in his truly skeptical fashion "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". A good phrase to sum up a decent skeptical position to hold. If someone tells you they can fly, you may ask for a demonstration, if they say they can't demonstrate it now, then you are smart to withhold judgement and ask them when they can demonstrate this extraordinary ability. If they put some condition on it, you could attempt to still test them while fulfilling this condition, but if they refuse to be subject to testing then you would be wise to disbelieve them till some extraordinary evidence came in. Their say so is not enough, even a photo can be faked, you need some testable evidence.

WLC goes on to probability theory, and says that things that are unlikely to happen statistically should be questioned. Yes that is right, WLC then uses the lottery numbers that were picked as a highly improbable event that should be questioned. It is two improbabilities, surely someone of WLC's intelligence knows this. The likelihood of lottery numbers being picked on a night that they are picked is nearly 100%, the likelihood that a set of numbers a particular individual has chosen maybe 1 in 100 million. But once the numbers have been picked, like a quantum wave function the probability is collapsed to 100%. This is why they record it and have overseers to ensure that it is all legitimate and no cheating is performed.

The lotto numbers that were picked weren't picked due to some Divine hand, nor was the fact that they were picked an extraordinary claim. What would be an extraordinary claim is if one of the numbers picked contained a letter, but that claim would be satisfied with video evidence. If one of the numbers picked started talking then, maybe even a single source of video evidence may not be enough... if one of the numbers picked, talked (but only to certain people), and managed to create a universe and sentient beings in it, and send a lesser number that was somehow still the same to one of the planets in that created universe then no matter how many sources you had you may never have enough. A book written by ancients who witnessed this miraculous talking number would definitely not be enough evidence.

So try this on for size WLC, varied levels of claim require equivalent levels of evidence. If you claim a dice landed on 6, and it causes no cost to me, I would likely just believe you. If my house were riding on this dice roll, not only would I want to see the 6, but I would throw the dice myself a few times to ensure it wasn't rigged... if my life were riding on it... well I don't think I would gamble that, but I would spend all my effort to ensure the roll was fair even going so far as to not let another roll the dice.

He then goes on to try and tie in the bible saying you can offset that probability, one I have already dismissed by determining what is the probability that it would have been reported had it not occurred... Hmm papers and broadcast have misreported the lottery numbers several times, a quick google shows three in the first page of results, just for 2011 ( so there is a possibility that it was misreported.
The same thing can be applied to the bible and other texts, was Homers Odyssey misreported, or did Poseidon have it in for Odysseus, were the writings of Heracles (Hercules) misreported, or did Zeus really have an extra-marital affair with a human that ended in a mighty warrior half-god son? These stories are mutually exclusive, so it is best to refrain from judgement till one has evidence for or against. The bible and its stories and adherents are not evidence, any more than the now lost (presumed destroyed by early Christians) books of stories of the Cult of Heracles and his known followers are evidence for his existence. Anecdote and here say does not equal evidence.

Evidence has mounted against all of them, there are no Gods atop mount Olympus, none yet found in the seas, no signature for Yahweh the God of the bible, and some scholars including one who recently spoke for Sydney atheists are starting to questions Jesus' validity.
Reserving judgement, on all of these is the only honest approach. You can go one step further and dismiss all of the hypothesis till one has clear evidence in its favour. Dismissing hypothesis' such as Zeus, Woden (Odin), FSM and Yahweh (God, Jehova, Elohim, Adonai) .

All of this I watched, only a few weeks after I saw WLC debate Lawrence Krauss in Sydney were he goes on here to say he is an agnostic, this seems a little dishonest, maybe he isn't convinced by his own water tight arguments? Well small steps Craig, you'll get there eventually.
Of course I make this rather large claim and have some video evidence to back it up, of course WLC can back peddle all he likes but here it is, shortly after Lawrence Krauss states the position that he doesn't claim certainty, as any good scientist should:

WLC take downs;
Theortetical Bullshit's awesome takedown
Contingent argument takedown/Morality This is the same as the age old logical fallacy, some doctors are men, some doctors are tall. Does that mean some men are tall?
You can't actually answer yes with only those two pieces of information, the tall doctors could be all females and all the men in this hypothetical world could be short.
And of course the Awesome skydive Phil, who seems to knock WLC's argument down again and again, yet he continues to use them.

Saturday 5 October 2013

New atheists

I have had this post mulling around in my head for a while and I need to get it out.

New atheists, oh how I hate that phrase. Most new atheists as they are described by theists, are basing their thought processes on the Socratic method and "new" philosophers like Voltaire and Denis Diderot. These are not new ideas, atheism is not new. What is new is the success that has been attained by these books, success that is well deserved due to hard work and due to timing, nothing more.
Socrates is over 2000 years old... I suppose that makes them New atheists in the same sense that Christianity is a new religion, continuing on from Socrates we had Epicurus, you'll know of him and from his problem of evil;

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent (evil)
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?

Interestingly Epicurus' was taught and influenced by the teachings of Democritus (father of the aptly named Democracy), who was friends with Hippocrates (where the Hippocratic oath gets its name, and thus modern medicine its founding precepts). So this "New" atheism has some 2000 year old ideas.
I like to respond to the claim that we are just blindly following these new idols with ironically a paraphrase from Richard Dawkins, the first atheist came into existence when the first conman met the first skeptic. Think about it, some guy comes down from a mountain into your village and says he saw a god atop the mountain that controls its occasional eruptions, and this god requires your devotion and donations of food, this conman will ensure is made pleasing to this god, as he eats it in his hut.

So, unless you fandangle New Atheists to simply be a definition for the current successful atheists and their books, and those that are effected by them, then you are creating a definition that does not equal the words you have chosen. Most atheists I know from Sydney atheists were atheists before they read a single book of Dawkins, Hitchens, Dennett, Harris, Krauss, Stenger or any of the others. Myself inclusive. Sure there are plenty that where on the fence when they read one of these authors books, and then quickly fell off into non-belief, but most where either there and not out, or already there and out but not in fashion.
“Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.” - Isaac Asimov, obviously Asimov is another New atheist... considering this is taken from one of the many thousands of letters that he wrote in his 72 year life (died 1992), compiled into the book "Yours, Isaac Asimov" in 1996, well before any of the New atheists where on the scene. The letter according to the annotation by his brother was written on Feb. 22, 1966, quoted again in 2006 by Janet Asimov in her book "Notes for a Memoir" Pg58. Sorry to labour this Isaac Asimov quote but I have found some contention on Christian blogs as to whether it is legitimate, seeing it in two different sources, as well as the times he criticises the bible in his other works, convinces me of its legitimacy.

The aforementioned authors, I would say are also quick to attribute their thoughts and success to those that came before them, standing on the shoulders of giants. Giants such as Newton, Kant, Darwin, Kelvin, Faraday, Jefferson, Paine, Bertrand Russell, and many, many others who have contributed to the body of science and thought that makes up modern day atheism.

So stop calling it new atheism, or I am going to call you Christians, a New Jew, and anything newer than 1700ad flash in the pan, eg flash in the pan Mormon, flash in the pan Scientoligist. Let the temporary nature of your belief system sink in for a bit.

Gnu atheists
Yeah I have no problem with this term, as it is a mock of the "New atheists" term, and I am sure Richard Stallman (Of GNU/Linux) would be proud.

Some references; search forthe words "potent force", in quotes. Raphael is a friend from Sydney atheists, and much more learned and scholoarly than I, in fact a discussion with him on facebook re-inspired me to finish this post off.

Tuesday 27 August 2013

Muslim paedophilia Slur

Atheism a road to paedophilia?
Yep, that is the bow that was drawn at a recent debate between Sydney atheists and Sydney's Muslim students association. The debaters on our side as I am sure I would have been where flabbergasted by this, or simply missed it amongst the barrage of other non-sequiturs and logical fallacies.

Let’s get to the crux of it. Their argument is that basically, atheists have no moral arbitrator so thus anything is eventually acceptable. Why they didn't use some less heinous crime is beyond me, may be a psychologist can weigh in on why they would deem this as an action they would take if they felt there was no divine policemen to keep them in check.
OK so if there is no moral enforcer, no God(s) who can define moral law then moral law needs to be defined as we go along. This comes back to Euthyphros dilemma; Is something good because God deems it so, or does God do things that are only good. If you pick the first then God could arbitrarily change the rules, could all of a sudden decide that killing your own child is morally good... don't laugh he did this to Abraham, Jephthah, the 42 children that God kills with bears and his own son, if you believe the bible.
If you take the second option, then Morality is over and above God, and God is not omnipotent (all powerful) and omnibenevolent (all good) as he is deemed by some, all-be-it not by some Muslims.

So you either are worshipping a being that deems murder is good on its whim, or cannot change morality and thus morality arises independently of this being.

Let’s look where the atheist view gets us, independently arisen morality.
I will state first up I believe that morality is objective, meaning that the same morality doesn't necessarily hold for all situations. For example I think murder is abhorrent and wrong... but if I was thrust into combat I would fight and kill to save me and my families lives.
I think rape is wrong (actually above murder, but that is personal disgust), but can see that the Angler fish in which the male effectively rapes the female as the only means of perpetuating their species is not morally as wrong as letting the species die out.
I think you get the picture, morality in life is a grey area, you need to think about things a bit and not be moraly lazy, besides who wouldn't steal a loaf of bread to feed their starving family.

Society, to work in cohesion develops rules however. We don't need to rape to survive as a species, so it is outlawed, leniency is shown the thief doing so out of necessity, killing in self-defence is also shown leniency. These rules have been built up over time in secular legal systems all over the world, independently of each other, and often times independently of religion.

Now to the argument of paedophilia. Most societies deem sex between consenting individuals as OK, if there is no consent then it is simply rape.
I believe every country has an age of consent, and this is deemed by their legal institution as the age at which a child can make possible life changing decisions, such as moving out on their own, or consenting to sexual intercourse, this varies country to country which is a little odd, but interestingly averages around 16 years of age.
This makes sense as children are naive, they are overly trusting and they are easily influenced/ picking an age that allows for mental maturation in a majority of children, allows for these decisions to be made with greater foresight. If they can't consent then it is against their will and thus rape, where paedophilia is just rape of a minor.
So for our society paedophilia is rightly outlawed.

But let’s create a hypothetical world, one where a disease causes all males of the intelligent species inhabiting this world to be sterile shortly after they first become sterile, long before mental maturation, lets also say IVF for whatever reason is not discovered or doesn't work.
A law maybe passed that enforces these young boys to continue the species is it wrong, in our eyes, yes. In this species eyes they wouldn't exist without it.

This post was mirrored from

Wednesday 5 June 2013

Post debate misses

Post debate misses, I missed rebutting a few of the oppositions one liners, I doubt they will ever read this, but it is more for my sanity, I can't leave something unanswered.

Definition of faith

Definition 2 "belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact." If this is not what you believe your Faith is, then don't use the word. I don't use the word as I don't have faith in science or anything in life, I have evidence based beliefs, and if it is pointed out I don't I will re-evaluate.

Virtual particles

Yes virtual particles exist in vacuums and inside atoms, virtual photons carry the electromagnetic force between the nucleus and the electron cloud keeping them in orbit. So it was disengenuos for Sven to say that Virtual particles have a cause and the cause is a vacuum, they have no cause, but yes they exist within our universe and space time.
In fact virtual particles if anything put a hole in creationism as they reveal how much we know about Quantum mechanics and thus radiometric dating is a pretty assured science.

Universe had a beginning

Again, we don't know this. I think I said that in my talk, yet you didn't address it. It may not have "begun" in a true sense of the word, a new phase may have begun with the expansion from a singularity we call the big bang, again there is a lot of evidence for this event. The COBE satellite, WMAP satellite and the European space agencies recent Planck Satellite, as well as polar launched high altitude balloons and the sky surveys that have revealed the retreat of almost all extra-galactic objects at a rate that means the further something is away the faster it is moving. Again claiming this beginning of the universe damages your own case as it shows an old universe (13.82 billion years old), not a literal 6 day creation 6-10,000 years ago.

a/Sexual reproduction

Interestingly we don’t know how sexual reproduction started exactly, it likely conveyed an advantage against parasites and for survival so it was selected for, meaning passed on. Again this probably originated early on in life’s development, as some forms of bacteria don’t procreate asexually, some procreate with DNA from another party, some are not just binary male and female, but multi-sexed, having up to 7 different sexes. But larger than bacteria, we are pretty much limited to the binary male and female. Though some switch such as certain fish and amphibians and for example the whip tail lizard and some lie along the gender path such as humans who can be born with both male and female genitalia, although a lot of these are non-functional there have been instances of functioning intersex humans. Mark Harwood, seemed to argue the irreducible complexity line here along genitalia, I would have liked to have shot back with how he obviously knows very little about genitalia in animals including humans. Some mammals and humans are born with both, some other species don't have the usual mammalian kit, reptiles and most birds externally look the same as mammal females, with their cloaca, the aforementioned 7-sex bacteria have hairs on their cell walls that simply intermingle, or look at the Bdelloid rotifers that don't have sex but to increase their gene pool by simply stealing DNA from other bacteria.

Human fallibility

This one was a real stretch by the opposition. Humans aren't fallible was their basic claim, we have evolved to be infallible. I think not guys, you do realise that people lie, get lied to and believe it, get conned, sometimes to the point of death of them or others, to say that we are not fallible is either not knowing the human condition or trying to exploit the viewers fallibility by being being blatantly dishonest.
Humans are so fallible that is only by shared experience and by repeatable evidence we can know anything, this is how science came about as a reliable way to remove biases and enforce repeatability and remove any errors caused by our fallibility.
This is actually one of my areas of study, social engineering it is called, being able to talk and convince your way into a company, and it is done with surprising ease in most situations where people should know better.

There are likely going to be more of these posts to come as I review the footage and any furphies my opponents spouted.

Sunday 2 June 2013

The "Truth" about Science - Part 1

Here is Josephs first video debunked, I probably won't do more than this as I don't think if Joseph reads this any will sink in, he doesn't seem to know how to crack open a book or do a search that is not bible related so he is basically lost in the wilderness, I as his brother in humanity have tried to find him but he doesn't wish to be found. Sorry to use some biblical allegory, but it was too tempting not too.

Do you need a degree to talk about science, I do talk science; cosmology, biology, physics etc as you saw in the recent debate. I have no degree. A degree is not required for science, but knowledge of science is required, there are a lot of papers published that need to be read and evaluated. You need to adhere to the scientific method, which is basically when a theory or hypothesis fails a test it needs to be evaluated as to whether it is kept and modified or thrown away. If it fails badly enough and has no supporting evidence then it must be discarded.

Here you equate atheism with evolution, not true there are a lot of religious people that accept the evidence for evolution, there are even some atheists that using magical thinking not based in reality deny evolutions full picture, look into Raelians; they believe life was spawned and guided by alien hands, instead of Gods. Which do we have any evidence for, neither. Which is more likely, actually the aliens, as at least we know life exists here, it could exist elsewhere and be using this planet as an experiment, there is no evidence for this alien experiment however, so I discard it. God of course is infinitely more complex than an alien and thus requires infinitely more evidence to support.

As I have said before you can get all of the atheists I know back to the Lord God, if you just show us some real, peer-reviewed evidence. If you rely on here-say, anecdote and revelation then you are no different to the hundred thousand other religions that rely on the same, why should we trust you over them?

Science is not complicated; no it isn't, if anyone where to put the time in, and be open to having their most cherished beliefs brought into question it is easy.
"Science without religion is lame (I like how you couldn't bring yourself to say the rest of this quote), religion without science is blind". You do know what quote mining is don't you Joseph, you find a quote that agrees with your beliefs and disregard all others. Einstein also said in a letter to an atheist fan;
"It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it."

He also said:
"For me the Jewish religion like all others is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions"

And finally:
"The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. These subtilised interpretations are highly manifold according to their nature and have almost nothing to do with the original text."

Hopefully we can put to bed now you using Einstein to support your case. Regardless if he was religious so what, he also had a moustache, I don't see every scientists or atheist sporting one of them. His views are irrelevant, what is relevant is what is true and false, arguments to an authority figure are not evidence.

Evolution, and what people know about it; Banana man aka Ray Comfort, really, he should not be taken seriously after he redubbed one of his videos, lying to support his beliefs;

You realise he is asking people off the street, not educated biologists or scientists. Even a half educated biologist will tell you evolution cannot take hold without life. Life as it is defined only happens with DNA, RNA used in Viruses is not considered life. But the various theories around abiogenesis do talk about RNA forming on primitive earth and how RNA would have formed early cells, that could have had evolution via natural selection effect them to the point of them moving into self-replicating DNA.
The reason for the language of speculation used here, is science doesn't know. We have only had 400 years at it, the first experiments into abiogenesis only 60 years ago, so we simply haven't had enough time to find out. We can say confidently "I DON"T KNOW" without being embarrassed as the only way to find something out is to start with "I don't know", if you start with an assumption "God dunnit" then you can't go anywhere.
My question to you, if you would abandon your faith should science determine the answer? If so then you are arguing the gaps, your god is the ever receding gaps of human ignorance.

I mean the guy who says the Big bang started evolution is either a ring-in or a horribly undereducated person, the big bang was 13.82 (+-0.037) billion years ago, and the earth formed 4.54 billion years ago, in a round-a-bout way the big bang did start evolution, just like it started making apple pie. It doesn't mean it was the direct cause. Then he goes onto say some asteroid hit a planet and caused the big bang... that is ludicrous, the big bang was a singularity a point of pure energy in which all matter, space and time was collapsed. We can't know what happened before the big bang as due to the physics behind it nothing that happened before the big bang could have effected what happened afterwards. We may be able to indirectly probe into what happened before, but again this is a god of the gaps. If we find evidence of the multiverse you as Sven did on the weekend will simply retreat to "well God must have started off the multiverse", you are using language of speculation here with this kind of statement "must have", why must he have, cause you say so? Do you have evidence?

A wise man once said "man will believe anything as long as it is not in the bible", heh you realise that has been attributed to Napoleon Bonaparte. The same Napoleon who said "Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet. Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."
But regardless, why does this make any point. I don't believe everything I read from any book, unless I know the author has some evidence to back up their claim, that there is some reference in the book as to where I can read more and get evidence. It would be like sitting down to read any book and simply taking it as fact without checking, it is foolish as the written word is actually more prone to error than the spoken word as it can have multiple authors editors and mistranslations, it can be a fabrication from the outset as any fiction book is.

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" How do you know, what evidence do you have. If you say the bible, what corroborating evidence do you have. As the Hindu scriptures talk of Narayana (another name for Vishnu) creating the heavens and earth from his body and mind, there is no corroborating evidence so I don't accept it, you don't accept it why?

Darwin was commissioned to find evidence for evolution, yet you say earlier it started with him, which is it, it can't have started with him and him be commissioned to go find it? Regardless, according to his own words in The preface of the voyage of the Beagle he was on board as a naturalist, someone who is there simply to document and study flora and fauna, this was common practise on long voyages, just like Joseph Banks who visited Australia and gave his name to one of the flowers here, the Banksia.
So where is your evidence that he was commissioned to find evidence for evolution?
It doesn't matter where he went, evolution has now been demonstrated to have occured in every location on the planet. I as an atheist and someone who accepts evolution have no desire to go to these islands, but if you look at all the places he visited I am sure you have probably been to some of them;

It doesn't matter that one of the islands he visited that you picked in an attempt to make a point was called the holy cross, early explorers like most in their time were likely Christan, he also visited Tierra del Fuego (meaning land of fire), does that mean the Roman god Vulcan their god of fire is real, no. It just means some human with existing biases named the places, just like calling it enchanted...

Yes all he discovered there where the finches, he then used this to do experiments on breading pigeons, he discovered traits do change over time, he re-discovered breeding can cause more changes than just the colour or shape of an animal, it can change to allow for better survival.
Since then we have discovered many examples of evolution, eg ring species;
Evolution witnessed in the lab:
Even cases of rapid evolution to suit island environments;
Plus the Nylon eating bacteria; (the nylon it eats, nylon-6 didn't exist prior to the 1950's).
And the bacteria that has evolved to consume the radiation on the Chernobyl nuclear power plant;
Not to mention the use of evolution to generate vaccines to emerging and potential virus and bacterial threats.

There is no evidence that Evolution is a religion, they answered millions of years ago because as the Dover trial determined, the teaching of creationism or intelligent design is not science it is religion. The teachers have been, shock horror doing their job with these kids teaching them the current facts that science has determined from the available evidence. You are quoting Kent Hovind here as a "scientist" which is an argument from authority, and an authority currently serving time for tax evasion, and who got his science degrees from discredited organisations;
So you are saying there is a massive cover up among not just scientists but the mass media as well. Some of these scientists and mass media types are surely Christians, wouldn't they prefer if evolution where false and their religion 100% true, wouldn't at least one of them in the last 50 years have leaked out this cover up... nope nothing. Try again.

Evolution says nothing about cosmology or cosmogony, the Big bang theory is part of the last two, it shows from evidence of the speed of receding extra-galactic objects, the number of observable bright objects, the chemical make-up of stars and the microwave background radiation and temperature of this background that the universe is 13.82 (+-0.037) billion years old, they have this figure with an accuracy approaching 99.9999%;
The earth formed about 4.54 (+/-1%) billion years ago, homo sapien aka modern man is at most 200,000 years ago, not 3 million. How do Christians fall for any lie, by being fallible creatures and the power of religious indoctrination. Evolution has evidence, you have yet to show any evidence for God or the creation.
Millions of years was not started by Charles Lyell, hmm have a look at the Hindu cycle of the universe; they were a lot earlier than Lyell and describe the Billions of years in each Brahma day, each Brahma day is a universes life.

And so what if Lyell later attacks God in his books, is your God so weak he can't stand up for himself, is your faith so weak that you can't read an opposing authors views. I oppose your views yet watch your videos, who is the weaker here.

Schofield added millions of years in his Bible, again so what. Just cause it is written down doesn't make it true, just because it is true doesn't mean it needs to be written down. Evolution didn't gain acceptance because of these people it gained acceptance because it was scientifically sound and made testable predictions, predictions that have been tested and found true. Darwin knew of no method for these changes from parents to offspring to be passed on, if DNA hadn't been found then he would have been proved wrong, Darwin also had no where near the access to fossils we have now, this is further supporting evidence, as is the genetic similarities between all living things that has been tested over and over again with genetic sequencing.

The Descent of Man had racism, again so what. Darwin was racist as were most people in his time, he also married his cousin and believed in homoeopathy. People are fallible and can be wrong. Newton believed in alchemy yet his ideas on motion where fairly right, Darwin was wrong on some things right on others, just I am sure if you look back into your past you have been wrong on some things and right on others. If anything you are proving my case, could the authors of the bible have been wrong on some things, specifically things they knew nothing about like cosmology and biology?

On the use of the word Race in the origin of species, I hope you realise that in biology at least Race has a specific non-racist meaning. Favoured races in the context of the book has to do with favoured traits for survival.

OHHHH and now you go to Hitler, couldn't resist could you. Is this the same Hitler who said in Mein Kampf "And so I believe to-day that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator. In standing guard against the Jew I am defending the handiwork of the Lord."
Or who said in speeches "We tolerate no one in our ranks who attacks the ideas of Christianity. Our movement is Christian", or "Secular schools can never be tolerated because such schools have no religious instruction, and a general moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air; consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from faith ...we need believing people." - Adolf Hitler, April 26, 1933, speech made during negotiations leading to the Nazi-Vatican Concordant
All of Hitlers troops also had "Got Mit Uns" on their belts, German for God With Us. So don't start their unless you like where it has now taken you.

Yes Aboriginal bodies are in the Smithsonian, it was a different time. A time in Australia before Aboriginals where allowed to own land or vote. Mistakes where made, but secular societies have the ability to say sorry, rather than simply ignore it or ask for forgiveness from God as religious societies often do.

The Bible isn't complicated as it is stories made up by illiterate herders 2500 years ago, that where wrote down many years later after a long game of Chinese whispers (telephone for Americans), then simply expanded upon by someone who wanted a sequel written.

Glad to see that you are losing some followers in your claptrap creationism, one day people will watch these videos and laugh as they do at flat earth pictures now, or stories of alchemists;

Part two is debunked here;