The things I believe


Atheism which is a lack of belief in gods is seen by many theists as negative, many theists go so far as saying atheists believe in nothing which is just plain wrong. Many atheists have written treatise to dispel this notion and today I want to add my list of the many things I believe and hope you my good friends can populate the list.

  • I believe no god created the universe.
  • I believe no god could create the universe and lack raw material to create woman;
  • I believe that of children born of women just are,  and that none is either good or bad some will turn out bad & some bad good. I believe we are not depraved species;
  • I believe voluntary dying is a powerful thing. It shifts the responsibility from nature to the person dying;
  • I believe no man should be master of another. I abhor all forms of slavery;
  • I believe that religion as a whole is a blemish on our collective intelligence as a race;
  • I believe life is absurd and meaningless in and of itself but we can create meaning;
  • I believe if any gods exist, they had no choice on our laws. They couldn’t have commanded otherwise.
  • I believe no virgins were made pregnant by the gods;
  • I believe no said son of god died for my sins. I believe no one can be responsible for the evil I do to my fellow-man. I must make amends to those I injure;
  • I believe no man or woman should be married at the exchange rate of cows, goats and sheep. I believe marriage is a union of two consenting adults, every other person is an observer and should shut the hell up;
  • I believe no gods can condemn a man for holding an honest belief. I believe further if not all men are saved no one man should be saved;
  • I believe the universe behaves as it would if there was no deity;
  • I believe we can help each other to be great:
  • I believe in living fully for the moment;
  • I believe it is prudent to make a saving for a rainy day should one such occur[I think this is mainly because at the moment I fear poverty lol]
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About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

28 thoughts on “The things I believe

  1. john zande says:

    Very, very, very nicely put, Sir!

    Like

  2. Nick says:

    Good one. Someone once asked me what I believe in, since I don’t believe in any god. Can’t remember exactly what I said to him. Anyway, off the top of my head:

    1. I believe that no ideas should be accepted without being examined.
    2. I believe that there is nothing beyond the natural.
    3. I believe that science is the best way of understanding nature.
    4. I believe that we are responsible for ourselves and for others. Only we can save ourselves and solve our collective problems.

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  3. I get asked a lot, when I assert my own beliefs, for some kind of justification on them. So, as a matter of personal interest, any chance of some elaboration?
    🙂

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    • makagutu says:

      By all means, just point out which isn’t clear and I will gladly elaborate

      Like

    • makagutu says:

      Very well, in my physics or chemistry class many years ago I was taught mass and force can’t be created nor destroyed. If you hold this to be true as well, then how would an immaterial god create matter?
      God has been said to be unchanging by the christian when it fits him, question is why would an unchanging god create the world since this represents a change?
      Do you have any reason why the universe can’t always have existed?

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      • Good points well argued!
        I think you are viewing the creator in the light of its creation, this should be reversed.
        God exists beyond his creation and above his creation. He is the lawmaker but, he is not constrained to those laws.
        God is unchanging in the sense that he is eternal. He has some eternal qualities of course but that doesn’t mean he’s afraid of change. The bible mentions many instances where God has demonstrated his joy for change. Jonah is a great example of this.

        my argument for God is many things but, one of those things consists of a form of teleological argument. I see too much evidence in the universe for a creator mind and therefore cannot assume the universe always has been.

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    • makagutu says:

      What is the point in making laws you are not bound to? You see I can’t believe a man could have survived in a fish for three days, so your mentioning of the Jonah episode is beyond ridiculous for me.
      Why would he create, was he lonely, bored or what happened to him? Did he intend this as an experiment then it turned out bad and there was nothing it could do to reverse it?
      You know the teleological argument has an internal flaw. what would stop god from requiring a designer? And we end up with an infinite regress of designers. It is simpler to assume an eternal universe than to assume one created by a god!
      God exists beyond his creation and above his creation. He is the lawmaker but, he is not constrained to those laws
      He/she/it has no right whatsoever to ask me to love my enemy and forgive those who wrong me if he is not subject to the same law!

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      • Ok, let’s try and do this point by point.
        The laws are entirely for our benefit. God doesn’t need to obey them because he doesn’t need salvation. God made the laws to draw us towards Christ. Most people are so wrapped up in their own selfs that they miss the fact that they are in need for salvation. God made the laws to help us realise that we can’t keep them and are therefore, pretty screwed. they help us to look towards Christ. Through those spectacles, it is clear to see that the laws are entirely irrelevant to God.

        As for the fish… Let’s just assume (for the purpose of this thought experiment) that there is an all powerful God. With nothing outside of the realm of possibility for this God, allowing a man to live inside the belly of a fish really is quite plausible. All of that is trivial though for you see, the book of Jonah is not strictly historically accurate. It is true that the bible is the word of God however, the bible is also a literary work and therefore, uses literary tropes such as the allegory etc. The point of Jonah isn’t that he survived a stint in the belly of a giant fish, the point is that he overcame his racism towards the ninivites and delivered God’s message.

        As for why God would create. Clearly, as a Christian, you did not have the Trinity explained well enough. Because God exists as three fully alive, thoroughly different beings, this issue can be easily explained. As God has always (eternally) been a father, his number one thing is love. God has been eternally loving his Son. It is because of this love that God creates. Not to satisfy some loneliness or some sadistic desire to rule. No, God creates to share his love.

        “You know the teleological argument has an internal flaw. why would god from requiring a designer? ”

        You will have to forgive me, I didn’t fully understand your argument here. Could you perhaps rephrase it?

        “It is simpler to assume an eternal universe than to assume one created by a god!”
        Richard Dawkins used almost the exact same argument in a well publicised debate with Prof. John Lennox, Lennox’s refutation was great, therefore I shall repeat it here:

        If I were to walk along and stumble upon a book called, “The blind Watchmaker”, I’d read it and think hmmm fascinating. At no point, despite its perfect complexity, would I assume it just happened into being. I would always assume there was a far more complicated mind behind it. And, this can be observed in our world every day. You see, there is observable evidence for these obscure concepts. Design is self evident, it doesn’t need an explicit maker’s mark, the work as a whole is the maker’s mark.

        “He/she/it has no right whatsoever to ask me to love my enemy and forgive those who wrong me if he is not subject to the same law!”

        See above! You have missed the point in the law.

        Sorry it took so long to respond, my home keyboard has started to fail, I am only able to write lengthy responses from work.

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        • makagutu says:

          If the laws are to draw people to Christ, what happens to those who were there before christ or like my grandfathers who died before the Spaniards, the Portuguese and others brought the not so good news? Are they screwed as you say? Why would god need to make laws for us and he is not bound by the same laws? It is like getting your constitution from a different country that do not follow those rules, how does this make sense?

          When do I know it is allegorical, metaphor or truth or do you make this decision depending on how [un]comfortable a proposition is?

          Now that you think my teachers of the trinity did a bad job, is god three with different powers or is he one in three, how this makes sense I don’t know!

          I meant to say the teleological argument has an internal flaw. It presumes everything else has a designer but exempts god from this requirement without giving reason why. That is the source of the flaw.

          The argument you are making by John Lennox as a refutation to Dawkins was first made by some Catholic priest who started the blind watchmaker line of thought and he for a moment thought he had the convincing proof for theism. The watchmaker has a goal as he starts to make his watch and if one were to be found in some remote place, we know it could only have been taken there. The same argument can’t be made for the universe since design presupposes purpose and then I will ask you what purpose does the universe have?

          There is no way god is going to ask us to follow laws he has shown an apathy to! Then you must mean god is unreasonable!

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          • In short, my answer to your first question is, I don’t know. What I do know is this: God is good and just, he is totally righteous and therefore his decisions are all just. So, if someone dies before the gift of grace has been received then we have to accept that whatever God decides will be just.

            “When do I know it is allegorical, metaphor or truth or do you make this decision depending on how [un]comfortable a proposition is?”

            Well, in most cases it is kind of obvious.
            You wouldn’t read the psalms as a historical narrative now would you?
            The book of Job is arranged just like a play so that one is obvious.
            Jesus taught in parables, another obvious example.
            The rule of thumb is, if you are unsure, check what the commentators have to say. If you are still unsure, don’t quote it as literal fact.

            “Now that you think my teachers of the trinity did a bad job, is god three with different powers or is he one in three, how this makes sense I don’t know!”

            God is father son and spirit. All three are different parts of the same awesome God.
            It makes more sense than the single unbegotten God of the qu’ran, it makes a whole lot more sense than the multiple Gods of the Hindu’s.
            Because of the Trinity we can understand that God, above all things, has always existed to love. Always the loving father, always the loving son, always the loving spirit.

            “I meant to say the teleological argument has an internal flaw. It presumes everything else has a designer but exempts god from this requirement without giving reason why. That is the source of the flaw.”

            There are certain things that, as a follower of Christ, you have to take on faith. I know to a secular mindset that this is a big no no and I can see why you might reason that way however, it is part of being a Christian.
            That isn’t to say my faith is entirely blind (keep an eye open for my upcoming blog post on faith). In terms of my knowledge of this question, a lot of it is found in my faith in the God of the bible. I assume that I cannot possibly know all of the answers. I accept that the universe (to you)/God (to me) is bigger and more complicated than I could ever begin to fathom and am perfectly content not to have the answers to the above question.

            “The argument you are making by John Lennox as a refutation to Dawkins was first made by some Catholic priest who started the blind watchmaker line of thought and he for a moment thought he had the convincing proof for theism. The watchmaker has a goal as he starts to make his watch and if one were to be found in some remote place, we know it could only have been taken there. The same argument can’t be made for the universe since design presupposes purpose and then I will ask you what purpose does the universe have?”

            Hmmmm. Good point!
            Assume the following:
            I have never heard of a watch before. I have absolutely no idea what one does, nor do I know it’s purpose. Yet, I am a rational being with an awareness of design and purpose. Would I, given these circumstances, upon disassembling the watch and noting the precise craftsmanship; assume it was merely the consequences of random chance that this intricate thing came to be?

            I do not know the purpose of the universe but, I observe its intricate detailing, I observe the clear stamp of design and I come to the conclusion that, despite my understanding of it, this thing has a designer.

            “There is no way god is going to ask us to follow laws he has shown an apathy to! Then you must mean god is unreasonable!”

            How many times will you asses God’s desicion making based on human merits?
            Despite wether you believe in God or not, you are capable (surely) of imagining such a being, infinite in power. Does anything (ANYTHING) seem improbable for this being? This being would be superior to us (of limited capabilities and lifespan), if it made us then, it would have absolute authority to rule in any way it saw fit, who would we be to argue it’s choices? They would only be unfair subjectively!

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  4. mixedupmeme says:

    I wanted to say this is a simple list
    But of course it isn’t so
    But what you wrote is just simply put
    So everyone will know

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  5. Anne says:

    it seems that your beliefs only come from the negation of religion, define themselves in contrast to religion. I think an atheist should be more than that.

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    • makagutu says:

      The religious makes claims about the universe based on religion. You say the statement of my belief is defined in contrast to religion, I am guilty as charged but I think you also realize I make scientific claims.
      I will illustrate with two examples:
      no gods created the universe by removing gods from the causality of the universe, I make a claim that then even though is contra religion is a scientific claim.
      The argument about god’s having no choice in our laws is a study of morality. It is asking where do we get our morals from and continues to ask further if gods had a choice on the laws?
      Argument 14 has nothing to do with religion, am just asserting what I think all of us can agree on, to be great we all must help one another.
      Tell me my friend, a statement of belief that wouldn’t be contrasted to religion, culture or science and philosophy.

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  6. arjun bagga says:

    Brother, I’ll meet you soon, here. 1st week of feb

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  7. moonshinestill says:

    First let me say I love your list – the one about god not having enough raw material to make woman, was quite funny too.

    The argument for intelligent design is flawed for me, I will try to explain.

    Nature is complicated, and things like the retina of the eye are detailed and complicated. I think we are all in agreement there.

    However, it seems to me that Man saw that the world was complicated, and that doing one thing can affect another. So man learned the concept of design from Nature. first the wheel, and then eventually the microchip. But Man learned that it was possible to “design” from seeing how one thing affected another, and encouraging those affects was intrinsic to survival. Now we can design, using our intelligence, So we conclude that design is born of intelligence. Thus we could apply that to the universe and call the great designer, “God”.

    I believe that is back-to-front. First came cause and effect, then came complexities, then came design driven by Man’s intelligent copying of the cause and effect model.
    We use our intelligence to create complex designs based on the fact we can see cause and effect in the natural world.

    Look at the Jesus story. Jesus was allegedly the son of the great Designer. Did he ever design anything physical? Did he exhibit even the slightest talent for creating a blueprint for something that could be construed as a design? No, he did not even exhibit the ability to utilise pre-existing inventions, like writing stuff down, or even asking someone to write stuff down.

    We live by design. We manipulate the natural world through design. So we decided that since design is how we live, and we use our intelligence to create our designs, that design is the epitome of intelligence, and thus we create a god who must therefore be a designer.

    The only true conclusion to the fact that cause creates effect, is that we live in a cause and effect based universe. That’s it, I’m afraid. Everything else is fluff and trimmings that we put there to stop our brains hurting 🙂

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  8. Daniela says:

    I love this post -:) I also could not possibly believe that, after creating man, god could lack raw material to create a woman -:)!

    And I abhor ALL forms of slavery!

    Daniela

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    • makagutu says:

      I have been asking why would such a god not know that man would be lonely and only create woman as an afterthought and then in a show of love he curses her to pain during childbirth, the most sacred thing to us. The only way new life can be brought to the world. I don’t and can’t believe such a god.

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  9. Hello!

    Just stopped by after reading your short reply on Meme’s blog, and since I had to start somewhere, I have found this to sum up nicely my own thoughts. If you’d honour me to check my About you’ll see from where I come, also what I believe now, also etc:-)
    Your keen and intelligently written interest in religions and their philosophies Are my particular field of interest, after nearly two decades of nearly destroying my own life and the life of my family on Christianity’s horrendous altar as an over-active minister:-(
    I’ll be back to read more, I see good Nietzsche stuff, you’ve gotten yourself another follower:-)

    All my very best!

    Rom

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    • makagutu says:

      Hello Rom,
      The honour was all mine, I did visit the about and I got hooked. Having been brought up catholic, I actually would for lack of a better word will say I have been born again to the beauty that is life. There is everyday something beautiful to look forward to.
      You are welcome again and again, thanks for the best wishes and about Nietzsche, as he says, he was born posthumously. He lived and wrote before his time.

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  10. […] have the permission of a fine gentleman to share a discussion we have been having on this blog here, here, here and here. The reason we agreed to do this is to consolidate the different arguments in […]

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