Am feeling lazy


Sometimes you must like the god believers for their honesty. It is not always the case they are honest especially when they talk about their beliefs. Most times this honesty is hidden in several paragraphs of posts. Yours truly will just share with you a few instances of honesty. You can read the OPs if you have the time.

First, the author of stop arguing with atheists writes

our beliefs are generally not founded on intellect and reason in the first place, however much we like to think they are. Our beliefs may well have rational grounds, but we tend to gather that after the fact. We believe first, based on a complex mix of emotion and intuition, of personal and psychological and cultural reasons that we have little awareness of. And then we look to justify those beliefs intellectually and rationally. So when we argue, it’s never just reason and logic that’s involved – it’s personal.

He/ she continues to tell us

Arguing also doesn’t work because Christianity has never been primarily a matter of the intellect, of mathematical logic or scientific proof.

Do I hear an amen from somewhere. Here is an honest fellow admitting their beliefs are not rationally held and if there is an appearance of rationality it is after the fact. This is a fellow I could buy beer for being honest.

In atheism, the author writes

God, as far as I can see, is merely another word for ‘everything’, completely transferable with every other word we could choose to describe the ultimately undefinable, infinite essence.

I think this shows why we can never have a proper discussion with a theist. Words mean only what they want them to mean.

He/she’s opening salvo goes thus

Everyday atheists use money, an entirely fictional entity that only works because we believe in it. It has no intrinsic value, it is an idea, it has no tangible, provable existence, but it doesn’t stop them using it.

And I must say that till this moment, I wasn’t aware that belief in gods and use of legal tender were at par and interchangeable. I don’t know to what extent money is fictional because I want to open a fictional account and deposit fictional millions that I can then exchange for gold bullion[s] at the gold market. The paper money is printed on has no intrinsic value, but the paper is real and value assigned to it, maybe arbitrary, but it is useful and means something.

The author of thank you atheists, is quite happy that we are. I have no beef with him/her.

In the foolishness of atheism, the author believes atheists have been lied to and seeks to show where the deception took place. In their won words, they write

What was the pull that had so many persons denying that God exists? Why were so many persons falling for this lie and how did all this deception take place? Here are a few things the atheists believe and why they are deceived in their thinking.

This author doesn’t leave spare any insults. We are foolish because we contend that the bible is written by men, who in many cases were wrong about history or reality.

We have a challenge like the one the Koran makes

If any atheist can name any other book that even comes close to the bible in terms of its life changing ability and in terms of its endurance and power, I would like to know about it

There are more people who believe in the Vedas than there are Christians. The same can also be said to those who adhere to the teachings of Buddha. The Muslim would make a similar claim, the Jew would make a similar claim about the Torah. Such demand is juvenile and cannot be listed as a reason to believe something true.

And lastly since god lives in this person’s heart, on what basis does he insult others in whose hearts nothing lives. Our hearts exist only to pump blood to the rest of the body and if gods are to build their residence there, we need to know what real estate they need.

He quotes scripture which says

1 Cor 1:18-25. “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign; and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”

Which in my view is a consolation for the stupid to continue in their stupidity. The author disparages human enquiry pretending they will be wise when they are dead. What foolishness! And if god has made wisdom of the world foolishness, how would they continue to trust such a being that is an outright deceiver? There is nothing, as Nietzsche said many years ago redeeming about Christianity. It rejects every human pursuit. It is a cult of death. Dearth of knowledge and wisdom. There is nothing in it in praise of intelligence. It is indeed a cult for the foolish. I do not understand why when this is stated, we are accused of arrogance.

Lastly to uplift your spirits is my take on Pascal’s wager.

Enjoy your reading 😛

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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

58 thoughts on “Am feeling lazy

  1. Mordanicus says:

    You’re right, there are many life changing books. The bible is only a popular one, and popularity is no indicator for truth. In my case, my life was enriched by reading “The High Frontier” as an ten-year-old.

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    • makagutu says:

      Indeed popularity is no indicator of truth. Jean Messlier’s Superstition in the ages is not a popular book but in its pages, there is more truth expressed than can be found in the entire 66 books of the babble!

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  2. Arkenaten says:

    You should have quit after the first paragraph, Mak. 🙂
    That Christian just made our case!
    I was doing the old clenched fist salute and cheering…then I read further…and it was same old, same old. Those bloody Crispyns….

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  3. john zande says:

    “If any atheist can name any other book that even comes close to the bible in terms of its life changing ability and in terms of its endurance and power, I would like to know about it”

    On The Origin of Species has altered human civilisation greater than any religious text. Dmitri Mendeleev’s “The Dependence between the Properties of the Atomic Weights of the Elements” altered society perhaps even more.

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  4. Thanks Random! As the author of the paragraph you quote near the start of your piece I’m just here to claim the beer… 😉

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  5. I’m with Ark — they can chose to be as dumb as dishrags but for the sake of our species, spare the children of this idiocracy and abuse. And if it wasn’t for the indoctrination of children at critical stages of brain development, religions, such as the Abrahamics, would cease to exist. That they think the bible is all that demonstrates how little they know about the bible.

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    • makagutu says:

      You know they baptised me when I was technically not present and then told me some fellow ate a fruit and that a god got angry and later committed deicide/ suicide so I can be given. This was when I was very impressionable.
      I agree with you both. Keep the children out of it.

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  6. @Mak

    What do you believe the author is saying in the first paragraph you quote that you find so honest?

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    • makagutu says:

      It is in bold, added by me

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      • So why do you find that honest?

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        • makagutu says:

          Let us cut the chase. You read the post. If you disagree you say why

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          • As you wish.

            It seems to me when you read the first paragraph that you quoted you understood it to mean: Christians and theists “beliefs are generally not founded on intellect and reason in the first place.”

            But I believe the Christian blogger meant: ALL beliefs (atheist beliefs included) are “generally not founded on intellect and reason in the first place, however much we like to think they are.”

            Now I could be wrong. Maybe you did understand the paragraph in the latter way, but it doesn’t seem so from the rest of your post.

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          • As the Christian blogger in question maybe I should clarify a little… 🙂

            I believe that both atheist and theist ideas *can* have perfectly good, rational, reasonable basis. Clearly they both depend on particular sets of starting assumptions which we may not agree on (e.g. whether or not matter/energy is the most fundamental manifestation of reality, and whether there is any reality we can call spiritual or supernatural, and what exactly that means, etc).

            However, I also think that humans aren’t generally gifted with great self-awareness, and we tend not to be as logical or rational as we like to imagine. So we may well hold perfectly valid and rational views (or we may not), but often the reasons *why* we adopted them in the first place had less to do with clear, cold logic and hard evidence than we might like to think. (Regardless of whether those views are Christian, atheist or anything else.)

            So my main point was really that we do well to exercise humility and respect in our disagreements.

            But I *was* also saying that Christianity is not primarily a matter of intellect. By which I don’t mean that it’s necessarily irrational or anti-rational (though clearly you may disagree!). I simply mean that the main point of Christian faith is not what we believe with our minds but who we are as people, how we live, our attitudes, how we treat people, etc. Ultimately it’s meant to be about love. So If I act like an arsehole towards atheists or anyone else, then I see little benefit in calling myself Christian. 🙂

            All the best,
            Harvey

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          • makagutu says:

            Harvey,
            Thank you for your clarification. What you state as starting assumptions have nothing to do with atheism. That is a whole different question of study. Atheism doesn’t start with any assumptions. It answers to a specific question alone.

            However, I also think that humans aren’t generally gifted with great self-awareness, and we tend not to be as logical or rational as we like to imagine.

            We are in agreement .

            But I *was* also saying that Christianity is not primarily a matter of intellect

            And that is how I understood it and said it is a honest statement. I know some will disagree.

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          • makagutu says:

            The atheist lacks a belief, that is what it is. Unless the question under discussion is something else, atheism is lack of belief and unless you can point me to an atheist who has arrived at her atheism irrationally, I think we will always be in disagreement.
            Having said that and while I welcome your comment I think you are interpreting the particular post to mean something else. He addressed his mainly christian audience. He says let’s stop arguing with atheists, and not with one another.
            And in agreement with you it is possible there could be atheists who hold some irrational beliefs, what these are, I honestly don’t claim to know.
            Does that answer your question?

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          • I still don’t think you understand what I’m saying. I’m not talking about the definition of atheism or whether it is rational or irrational. Pretend for a moment we’re not talking about religion or atheism. I was saying this (from Michael Shermer’s The Believing Brain):

            “We form our beliefs for a variety of subjective, personal, emotional, and psychological reasons in the context of environments created by family, friends, colleagues, culture, and society at large; after forming our beliefs we then defend, justify, and rationalize them with a host of intellectual reasons, cogent arguments, and rational explanations. Beliefs come first, explanations for beliefs follow (emphasis mine.)”

            This is what I think Evangelical was getting at. He wasn’t saying, “ONLY Christians and theists beliefs aren’t founded on rational beliefs or the intellect.” He is claiming No beliefs are initially founded on the intellect at first.

            Nor was he saying that there aren’t rational or logical or arguments for theism or atheism or any beliefs at all, but they come to us after the fact (post hoc), which makes your whole post sort of ironic because you credit him for his honesty about Christianity in those first lines, but he wasn’t actually talking only about Christianity; he was discussing the nature of ALL beliefs. This also further proves the point he is making, you read that particular paragraph a certain way, when it could’ve been read another way, why do you suppose you did that?

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          • makagutu says:

            We can go round in circles but you can look at his clarification in the comments and you will notice I didn’t mis represent him.
            Either you chose to ignore my response to you where I acknowledge the possibility that there are beliefs that are not held rationally.
            I don’t know what point you are interested in scoring. His post was not about beliefs in general. So it is either you haven’t read the rest of his post or have chosen to waste my time by going round imaginary circles.

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          • However, I also think that humans aren’t generally gifted with great self-awareness, and we tend not to be as logical or rational as we like to imagine. So we may well hold perfectly valid and rational views (or we may not), but often the reasons *why* we adopted them in the first place had less to do with clear, cold logic and hard evidence than we might like to think. (Regardless of whether those views are Christian, atheist or anything else.)

            The only pertinent part of his clarification to what I said was the italicized bits above. I’m not all that interested in the rest of his post to be honest. I’m interested in why you misread the first paragraph and what that reveals about the very point he is making that arguments aren’t fruitful because, well, often people aren’t even having the same conversation, will interpret the same words complete differently, and think something differently is being said.

            I am not trying to score any points. I’m trying to explore an interesting idea.

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          • makagutu says:

            This is why I called this a waste of my time. You tell me you aren’t interested in the OP where the subject he is addressing is clear.

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          • Well, no. You misread the entire post: his post was about why arguments between atheists and theists fail. He makes large generalizations about the nature of beliefs, the reasons arguments fail such as people use words the way they want (atheist and theists), arguments are built on fundamentally different worldview, assumptions, and different premises. He then at the end goes on to say Christianity isn’t about winning an argument; it is about living your life a certain way. And instead of arguing if people wanted to justify their belief system and worldview they should do it by modeling the goodness, benefits, and happiness, etc. of such a view, not by wasting time arguing.

            You completely ignored the bottom part of his argument in your OP response, which was his main point, his final conclusion. You only really addressed his stuff about the nature of argument, but you understood him to be talking about Christianity, not beliefs in general.

            You heard: theism is a belief system based on irrational beliefs, not logic, intellectualism, or evidence and this is why arguments between theists and atheists fail. All those damn theists’ fault! They even define words as they choose, but not us atheists! But hey at least this guy is being honest!

            You very blatantly understood him to be saying Christian beliefs aren’t based on logic, and if they are it is after the fact. When he said and re-confirmed that he said in his follow-up, “ALL beliefs aren’t initially based on logic and we only find rational justifications after the fact.”

            And that is MY POINT. You transformed a very different argument and misread its various parts to make your point, which is rather ironic given that his whole post was about the reason arguments between people, atheists and theists especially, fail. The irony being you didn’t really understand what he was saying in the first place, but thought he meant Christianity only, not all beliefs!

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          • makagutu says:

            You know, my patience gets usually very thin for such silly arguments as yours. I am doing this for the very last time after which you can say whatever it is that makes you happy.

            This is particularly tragic when what we’re engaging about is Christianity, the entire point of which (whether you accept its premises or not) is goodness, love, forgiveness, kindness, hope, restored humanity.

            Here he is justifying the areas where theists shouldn’t argue with atheists.
            And he continues to say

            So I say to my fellow believers – stop trying to beat atheists in debates. It doesn’t work. It’s pointless and fruitless and above all deeply counter-productive. Even if you win a point, you gain nothing for Christ or for goodness or for humanity.

            What debate would we be having in such a scenario which isn’t about religion?

            And furthermore, our beliefs are generally not founded on intellect and reason in the first place, however much we like to think they are. Our beliefs may well have rational grounds, but we tend to gather that after the fact.

            You can take that to mean all beliefs. But most times we talk about beliefs when we have no knowledge. And I have in a response to said that this is true for everyone at one time or another and I added this has nothing to do with the question atheism answers to. I don’t know if you can’t read or you are interested in arguing for the sake of argument.

            Arguing also doesn’t work because Christianity has never been primarily a matter of the intellect, of mathematical logic or scientific proof.

            You may disagree with him about this but I think this statement is true and it is part of what I called being honesty. To continue to yap that am misreading him only means you have not read what he wrote.
            How can his post be about anything else when he writes

            Of course, some genuinely feel that in taking on atheists they are defending Christianity or even Christ. I understand this but believe it to be deeply misguided.

            So who is misreading who?
            In your case you want him to be talking about the nature of argument while everywhere in his post he is talking about defending Christianity, defending faith, and so on. Either you are a blockhead or a nincompoop. And I sure hate to waste time arguing with a person like you.
            I have in all my responses to you conceded that all of us are prone to holding funny beliefs but I said this has nothing to do with atheism. If his purpose was to address the nature of arguments, then he would have made it explicit by saying so. He in this case is addressing atheists or Christians whichever you prefer and qualifying why we shouldn’t be arguing with each other. You then come here and start yapping that I didn’t read him right simply because I didn’t read it as you want it read. I even pointed you to his comment on this blog and instead of taking time to use your pea sized brain to think you keep yapping!

            To say I ignored his main points in his response simply means you are unaware of what you are talking about.
            There are atheists and they can hold several beliefs or ideas [ir]rationally and I don’t object but this has nothing to do with atheism and this is what I keep telling you and you seem to intentionally ignore.

            You are an interesting fellow, you really are. A guy writes a post about why atheist and Christians should stop arguing then you say he is talking about the nature of beliefs! Very funny I tell you.

            You can say whatever else you want to say. Thanks for taking your time to respond and clarify where I misunderstood.

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          • All those philosophy books and you still haven’t learned anything. Let alone how to carefully read an argument. Pity.

            Firstly, argument doesn’t work because in these debates we’re usually talking different languages and so just end up talking past each other. Our arguments are based on fundamentally different, even mutually incompatible, worldviews and assumptions and basic premises. We sometimes mean different things by the same words. Small wonder then that we fail to understand each other.

            And furthermore, our beliefs are generally not founded on intellect and reason in the first place, however much we like to think they are. Our beliefs may well have rational grounds, but we tend to gather that after the fact. We believe first, based on a complex mix of emotion and intuition, of personal and psychological and cultural reasons that we have little awareness of. And then we look to justify those beliefs intellectually and rationally. So when we argue, it’s never just reason and logic that’s involved – it’s personal.

            The “we” in the first sentence quoted above grammatically suggests atheists and theists. Substitute “atheist and theist” for the first “we” since you seem to need the extra help and you’ll see it makes perfect sense. This means the “our” in the second sentence also grammatically refer to atheists and theists. Again, you can substitute the words in for “our” since it seems you need the extra help. Same with the 3rd “we” in the 3rd sentence of the first paragraph quoted above. The final “we” in that paragraph obviously means “atheists and theists.” And really wouldn’t make grammatical sense if it didn’t.

            He immediately follows up with the next paragraph “our beliefs.” Grammatically he hasn’t switched the group he is talking about.

            If you can’t see it and can’t just admit you interpreted his ideas incorrectly, then fine. I was trying to help you see an intellectual mistake you made because I figured like most atheists who claim they like to be corrected when they’re making an error in thinking you’d want to know and surprise surprise you reacted as expected. And feel free to save face as much as you like!

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          • makagutu says:

            I still insist you are a blockhead and you may have to rethink your silly statements. Well, if your ego will allow you, you can visit the OP and see his comments on the same issue.

            And while “our beliefs” could mean those of both believers and non believers, there is nothing in that statement that stops it from referring to believers only.

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          • I wasn’t going to respond further given how much the conversation has degenerated. But I did read the clarification you asked for in the comments of the original OP from Evangelical and wanted to respond that this is exactly what I was saying he was saying! So it seems to me we’re just talking around each other.

            I wrote in one of the above replies: “but he wasn’t actually talking only about Christianity; he was discussing the nature of ALL beliefs. (emphasis mine).” By the way, the context of “nature of all beliefs” comment applies ONLY to the first paragraph you quoted, NOT his ENTIRE original post.

            He wrote in his clarification: As part of that case, I perhaps slightly touched on the nature of argument in passing, but I was really talking more about the nature of belief – that we tend to adopt our beliefs first and then reason for them later. (emphasis mine)

            Like

  7. Eric Alagan says:

    So much easier to abdicate thought and blindly follow some priest – mental laziness, I reckon

    Like

  8. shelldigger says:

    Very enlightening post, and comments.

    I must say I have to agree with the quoted author: “our beliefs are generally not founded on intellect and reason in the first place.” As this matches my observations. Have been making observations for a long damn time…

    Mak, I have a big hammer you can borrow anytime you need it 🙂
    Back in my commercial river diving days us divers would often get caught up in commercial fisherman’s (usually unmarked) trot lines (long leader lines with multiple hooks) Depending on the severity of the entanglement you sometimes have to cut your way out. This doesn’t make the fishermen happy. 😉 I had a friend in the boat one day and saw my large ball peen hammer in an easily reachable location, he asked what it was for…I replied “it’s a fisherman tool” It can easily be adapted to other uses.

    Like

    • makagutu says:

      You sure have made my afternoon. A big hammer would do me very well. You notice there are those who need a bit of hammering :-D. I will try to be nice first before I can make use of a hammer.

      Whenever I listen to the things you have done, I feel really envious :-P. My life seems to have been a long period in school and now work.

      Like

      • shelldigger says:

        🙂 I feel fortunate to have had a job that I absolutely loved doing for over 3 decades. Every day was a new adventure, and if you were paying attention, you learned something new every time out. I am lucky to have it so good in the regard of loving almost every minute of work. Truly there are not many who can say that. There were of course bad days, equipment breakdowns, or getting caught in sudden, violent storms with high winds and lightning popping all about. But days like that made you feel alive for sure!

        …I even had 2 boats sink, while I was working! We often work alone, and you wouldn’t know something very dangerous was happening until it was too late. It would take both hands to count the near death experiences…hell if my back hadn’t give out I’d still be out there. I love it that much. It takes a certain kind of crazy I think.

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  9. Sonel says:

    Am feeling lazy too Mak. This reminded me of an episode of House MD I watched and a quote by Hugh Laurie – “Religion is a symptom of irrational belief and groundless hope.” He is a funny atheist for sure. LOL!

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2008/09/16/house-md-and-atheism/

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