Thoughts on Religion & Atheism

Research ideas, defense of religion, attacks on atheism, creation and evolution etc.

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I’m in a number of Facebook groups that discuss atheism and theism. Usually I am a silent observer as I read through the threads. Sometimes I have a few thoughts that I feel like jotting down, which is what this article is; a hodge podge of ideas. I’ll organize as I go, and if a section gets big enough I’ll break it into its own post.

Here are two topics that were moved to their own posts. You may be interested in reading them as well.

Evolution/Creation

  • Evolution and creation are not opposites. Evolution is the process by which species developed and diversified. Creation is the moment at which all life came into existence. The correct “opposites comparison” is Creation vs. Abiogenesis.

RRS vs. Kirk Cameron / Ray Comfort Nightline

I got distracted from Kent Hovind’s seminar by this 1.5 hour Nightline discussion. I’m only 5 minutes in and I think I’m going to have to start writing some things down.

  • Ray Comfort likes to do this thing with people on the street where he asks them “Are you a good person?” And then proceeds to ask them “have you ever lied even once?” or “have you ever stolen something?” And of course the other person will have to admit “yes”. He then proceeds to barrage them with Christian propaganda, bible verses, etc. guilt-tripping the hell out of whoever he’s talking to.
  • Coca cola can, did it come about by chance?
  • 9:07 – quotes by Isaac Newton and Einstein
  • 10:00 – because there is a building, there MUST be a builder (painting, creation, car, human eye)
  • 14:00 – calls atheists unreasonable and we put ourselves on an intellectual pedestal.
  • 15:00 – goes into his usual 10 Commandments diatribe that I mentioned in the first bullet. I don’t understand why he wastes nearly 3 minutes talking about stuff in the Old Testament because using the bible to prove god is weak sauce. “Oh I don’t believe in hell” Comfort says rhetorically. “Ok that’s like standing in the middle of a freeway and there’s a truck coming at you and you say, ‘I don’t believe in trucks'”.
  • 18:57 – The feeling that you have “I don’t want to die” is your god-given will to live.
  • 20:13 – He sums up his three evidences very quickly at the end of his segment: Creation had a creator. Conscience of jesus and knowledge. And conversion, knowledge of god experientially. Man, that was weak sauce.
  • 21:18 – Now for the refutations.
  • Building has a builder. We can call the architect. We can check with the city for the building permits. There’s a trail of evidence that we can follow. We can’t go visit god at his “universe factory”. We can’t watch creation in action.
  • 22:00 – He points out that people like Hitler or mass murderers go to hell? Well, if they accept jesus into their heart and believe, they don’t. They go to heaven. Is that justice?
  • 32:00 – Kirk Cameron. Very touchy feely testament. Rebellion, etc. Humbled myself. I checked out the facts for myself. (but conveniently doesn’t talk about any of those facts) Dude, this guy is a joke.
  • 37:00 – New segment. Who made god? God is eternal. God is outside of this question. (Special pleading)
  • 41:00 – Cultural projection of god. God changes based on the culture surrounding you, therefore that proves that god is a human projection.
  • 45:50 – Oh you guys don’t want to respond? What does Kirk say? “Oh, I think people can figure it out.”
  • 46:00 – What a stupid thing today. “If god can be infinite, why can’t the universe be infinite?”
  • 48:00 – development of morality. Off topic much?
  • 56:00 – LOL LOL the croca-duck. And the one dude’s response is like (under his breath) “Oh my god.”

Faith

  • “Life has no meaning without faith.” | Worded another way, this person is saying that “Life has no meaning when you don’t accept things without evidence.” which clearly doesn’t make sense.
  • “I’m having a crisis of faith.” |
  • “I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist.” |
  • “My faith is true for me.” |
  • People often use hope and faith interchangeably.
  • Is it possible to have a belief that is strictly private? If people lived alone in their own universe, faith wouldn’t even matter. It’s community-caused.

Defenses of Religion

The definition of religion: the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.

  • “It’s where I get my morality.” | Granted, it’s easy when someone asks you, “How do you know what is good or evil?” you can respond with “God told me”. That’s nice and convenient, but lazy. If god told you to sacrifice your son or daughter to him, would you do it? Fuck no. No sane individual would do this. You know what though? Morality doesn’t haven’t to be difficult, and it doesn’t have to come from god. Read more: Where does my morality come from?
  • “Many good things happen for the sake of religion.” or “Religion is good for people.” | For every good deed done in the name of god, there are just as many bad deeds committed to make it a wash. Read: Pakistani mother burns daughter to death in latest shocking ‘honour killing’ case. I can dig up 1000 more news stories like this.
  • “It brings comfort to people.”

Links from religious posters:

Attacks on Atheism

  • You are attacking god. You are angry and hate god. | I cannot be angry at or attack something that doesn’t exist.
  • Atheists are inherently evil. You just want to be rebellious and do whatever you want without guilt. | Do I live like a bad person? What have I done that is bad? I have a moral code, and I do follow it.
  • Atheists have zero tolerance for other people’s beliefs. | Well first of all, I would have very little tolerance for someone if they were to tell me that I’m going to burn in hell forever. Thankfully, all of the Christians I know are really nice people and no one has said that to me. Secondly, I don’t have tolerance for “conversations” that turn into monologues. If you end up preaching your beliefs at me, the conversation is over. If you and I can have a civil and honest discussion about our beliefs, you would find me to be extremely tolerant, kind and patient listener, as long as you extend the same courtesy to me.
  • “If atheists are convinced there is no God, then why are they worried about those who do believe in him?” | We aren’t worried about if you believe in him or not. We’re concerned with the integration of those beliefs into government and education.

Cynical Thoughts

I mention above that morality is simple. I just can’t help but think that religious books were written by a few enterprising human beings that saw the value in controlling knowledge, morality, and the afterlife. Think about the Old Testament for example. The book of  Leviticus is full of really specific rules governing every aspect of life. How is an average iron-age Jew supposed to remember all of those? They probably didn’t know how to read or write! Oh, isn’t it convenient that there’s this nice priest here with “divine ability” to read a scroll that was definitely inspired by God , and it tells you how you are supposed to live?

Actual Comments I’ve Found on the Internet

Every once in a while I come across the most insane things… enjoy.

  • “The Bible claims to be the word of God. Either it is or it is not. If it is not, then you can interpret your research anyway you want to. However, if the Bible is the word of God, then you must interpret any scientific findings in light of Scripture. Science bows it’s knee to the word of God, not the other way around.” —Dean E. | Facebook

And the atheist makes some good points too:

  • Christianity really is a loathsome and disgusting philosophy. Be guilty for being anything other than absolute perfection, be guilty for being who you are, convince yourself that you are filthy and worthy of eternal torture… It’s sick. And don’t forget, most of that guilt is over “thought crimes”!

Image Source: melfoody

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