Waiting for Hydri

Waiting for Hydri

They were trained to look up in the sky, and await its opening. For if the sky ever opened, Hydri would come down, and they would be forever relieved of their miseries. And hence, they became experts at sky themes. They could tell contrails from cirrocumulus on any clear day, and nimbostratus from stratocumulus on any rainy day. They could spot, and differentiate, all celestial spheres within unaided vision: from Canis Major to Ursula Major, and from Vulpecula to Pegasus.

And yet, for all this insight, they still stalled for Hydri. 

In time, with their sky-looking sights beginning to jade, they began to envision patterns in the sky. They began to envision anthropomorphic features in the swirling clouds. On a clear day, when the ragged cumulus fractus filled the sky, they would sometimes spot a human limb. And during storms, when the calvus cumulonimbus reigned overhead, they could even delineate an entire human face, complete with tear stained cheeks through which lightning would flash. And, beholding this, they came to a conclusion: Hydri was about to arrive – and these heavenly visions were heralds. 

Hence they made themselves ready for the arrival. 

They stopped all earthly activities that were not essential. They came up with whole doctrines and rituals to appease Hydri. They even beamed up their instruments, and amassed resources at locating the spot in the sky from which Hydri would appear. These activities, initially a small part of their livelihood, eventually became their lifestyles. Eventually, they forgot their earlier livelihoods. Their entire paradigms changed, and they came to wake up, work, eat, sleep and dream for Hydri. 

Time passed, but Hydri didn’t show up. But surprisingly, this only made their expectations all the more firm. Every day that passed provided yet another opportunity for them to immerse even more deeply into their unique paradigms. They would look up at the sky, and spot Tarf, on the Cancer constellation. And for weeks, even months afterwards, they would hold this sighting as the latest sign for the arrival of Hydri. And when Hydri failed yet again, they would look up yet again, spot another remarkable constellation, and hinge their hopes on it. 

Dispassionately, their life spans on earth came to an end. They died. Hydri never showed up. But even with their departure, the legend of Hydri didn’t fade. Instead, their descendants took up the legend, nourished it, and let it thrive onwards. None of the descendants ever knew where the legend came from. But, nevertheless, the legend persisted. And, down the generations, it morphed, from a mere paradigm, into a literal world view. It became the only reality that the descendants ever knew. 

The descendants still exist. They still await Hydri. Overhead, the clouds still swirl, totally indifferent. And at night, the constellations still appear, monumentally indifferent. And time still flows, shriekingly indifferent.

 

To be continued…

(Apologies for the long hiatus.)

Atheism and other random stories

A big question, that is, if any question should  be so called is asked of atheists. The OP posits

The biggest question I would have for an atheist is, If there is no God, where did matter come from? I have never heard a plausible answer to that query. Some would retort, Well where did God originally come from? As if the inability to answer the second question somehow adds credence to the inability to answer the first. My response first of all would be that I don’t know, but second it’s a question that doesn’t demand an answer given God’s omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent nature. He’s self-described as the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. The Bible says that the wisdom of God is as foolishness to man, and the wisdom of man is as foolishness to God. It is futile to believe that all we can sense physically is all there is. There is more to life than just the material world, but atheists are unwilling to accept it.

The first problem with this question is to assume that matter had to come from someplace while making special pleading for god. Before we deal with answer to the query, I have not heard a coherent reply to the question what is god. To posit what is unknown as the cause of another is to me a case of high ignorance, to state it with so much confidence is silly.

And this author cannot ignore the challenge about the origin of god. If in his response he says god always is, we will ask, why can’t we say the same of matter? Matter as we know it may not be omniscient but I know it is omnipresent. I think a case of omnipotence can be made for we know of nowhere where matter does not act.

Whatever the bible says is in need of verification. It can’t stand on its own. That it is in the bible does not make it true. The bible says many things including, pregnant virgins, talking donkeys, walking snakes, and transporter whales among other absurdities; are we to take all these as true because they appear in the bible. I don’t know if there is any verse in the bible in praise of intelligence.

There could be more to life than what we can sense, the only problem is because we can’t sense it, we have no way of knowing that there is. It is rational and reasonable to either suspense judgement on their existence or to not believe in them anyway until such a time there is adduced evidence to support their existence.

Random story 1

Al Shabaab, the younger brother of Al Qaeda and cousin to IS seem to have found a new playground at our upper most border. They come kill at will and disappear in the darkness only to resurrect and strike again.

Random story 2

Due to non cooperation by the government, dead and missing witnesses, the clown who runs our PR government was freed by the ICC. The other two suspects are hoping they will as well be in a place to make witnesses disappear. When I grow up I want to be high up in government.

Random story 3

About two weeks ago a politician died. That is not news. The news is that Raila, the former prime minister is rumoured to want to vie for his seat. If this rumour is confirmed, then I can comfortably say there is no low a politician cannot stoop to. Besides stooping too low, am not sure how he will respond to those who have said he seeks power for its own sake.

It is holiday time, soon, be happy and make merry.

Revisiting Pascal’s wager

Early in the year, I did write a refutation of Pascal’s Wager where I did show that it seems to me as one of the weakest reasons to believe in god. I don’t think it can or should be taken as an argument for god. It is an argument that seeks to make faith a virtue. At the onset, Pascal has already said reason cannot arbitrate.

This blogger thinks it is one of the good arguments against atheism and he refers us to Peter Kreeft.

The assumption that we must wager is not valid. Why assume we survive our death? And why should the christian think that a god who could create the universe would care one way or the either whether I worshiped it or not?

Peter has given several analogies and he thinks they can be compared to the case of god belief. I don’t think this is the case. In the case of god belief, there is the bigger question on which god to place your bet on. Is it to be Jupiter, Zeus, Krishna among the many gods? Pascal thinks we should wager on the christian god, but the question is what happens to those who by a fault not of their own were born in the Amazon where there are no gods?

The question is what is there to lose in betting on god? The answer is everything. If gods don’t exist, everything depends on us, even happiness. If gods exists, then nothing depends on us but their whims.

Peter writes

To the high-minded objector who refuses to believe for the low motive of saving the eternal skin of his own soul, we may reply that the Wager works as well if we change the motive. Let us say we want to give God his due if there is a God. Now if there is a God, justice demands total faith, hope, love, obedience, and worship. If there is a God and we refuse to give him these things, we sin maximally against the truth.

and as a conscientious objector, I say slavery is not justice. If there is a god and that god created the universe, the evidence for such a god would not require such tortuous apologetics. If there is a god, and that god is as described by believers, we owe it nothing.

Pascal’s Wager is not a good reason to believe.

 

 

I think ignorance should be punishable

We learn in Genesis that once in a while, that is before he chased away the tenants of the small garden, he would take a walk in the afternoon to see how his creation was doing. I was doing my stroll in blogland this afternoon and found a post which was well written and a comment that has informed our choice of title and this will be made clear in a short while.

The OP is an attempt at a response to an atheist who questions whether a person who let his enemy torture his child was worthy of any respect/ worship. This is in reference to Job about whom, if we are to believe the bible, became sport for god and the devil to test how long he would last in his belief if all he had were taken away from him.

Those who have read the book know Job is described as being faultless. If there is any question that we should get an answer for in this book, it is to know why Job, and by extension we, suffer. Anyone who, in defense of his god, argues we suffer because of our faults has surely not read the [sic]good book.

Why does the believer defer to faith and not knowledge? Why must the theist always defer to this tactic when the facts he is presented with are uncomfortable? Is it not more honest to say there is no answer than to ask us to have faith?

It is a long stretch of imagination to read in Job the hope for a future Christ, one born of a virgin. There is nothing in Job that can be read to mean he is making a prophecy of a future Messiah.

Now, the comment that informs the title to this post is written by a person who I believe thinks atheism is only in America. The world is a big place, atheists are found everywhere, and no, for the umpteenth time, they don’t hate god. On the contrary, they lack a belief in any god or gods.

There is no difference in believing in a god who thinks suffering is the best way to meet results and believing in a fiend whose modus operandi is pain.

I don’t know the expectations of Americans, however, any reasonable person who believed in an all powerful, benevolent and provident god wouldn’t be asking for too much if they asked they be well provided for. What would be the use then of believing that you a provident master and you suffer like one who has no such master? Isn’t this madness?

The best response to the statement that

I also believe that the majority of the modern American militant atheists are NOT actually atheists. They believe in Him, yet they hate Him. If you TRULY believed that there was no God, and there was no meaning to life, and when your body dies, you simply wink out of existence, then there would be no point in anything whatsoever.

is to say there are actually no theists. If one believed they were headed for heaven, they wouldn’t be holding on to life as hard as they do even in the face of terminal illness. If there were true theists, they would be praying more than they are actually doing and we would have them concerned more seriously in finding out which of the many religions is the correct one for insurance against finding oneself in the wrong place. And I think if they truly believed the words found in Mark, none of them would work, they would live like birds expecting their god to provide for them. Being non-believers, they pray halfheartedly knowing all they believe is a lie and do it only for show. They work their asses off because no god is going to bring food on their tables.

It is beyond irony for one who believes a being, with the help of a magic wand and a few words created all there is to turn around and make a mockery of the sciences he seem to have no idea about.

If the book of Job was to answer any question for us, that question should at least have been why we suffer or worse, why good men suffer. It doesn’t. God doesn’t. When presented with the opportunity to give that answer, he tells Job to STFU!

In my opinion, the book of Job doesn’t answer why we suffer.