as a justification for punishment.

First, I know you have six minutes, well maybe not, but just listen to this fellow

I have argued before, and I will say so again, that most of the defenders of freewill do so to justify being horrible people. They don’t see how else they could justify revenge, capital punishment among others while at the same time pretend to believe their god is love and they have been commanded to go and love.

Secondly, the speaker, J. Warner Wallace is mixing things up. Atheism and determinism are not synonyms. There are atheists like Marvin who is a compatibilist. There are many others who are working on the matter and are not decided one way or the other. Unless he wants to mislead his listeners, I cannot, for the life of me, see why he mixes the two issues.

His argument that a judge said a fellow who had committed a felony had a choice cannot be cited as evidence. Judges are not usually philosophers and say absurd things. Scalia, for example believes the devil walks among us. Only superstitious people believe such. And Scalia’s saying so doesn’t make it true.

He then says it can’t be called love, unless it is freely chosen. Is this true for hate too? Or to hate, one must have a reason to? We can’t feel empathy unless we have freewill. I want to know who, just woke up from slumber and chose to love their neighbour who they don’t know. I will wait, I am patient.

It is only with determinism that rehabilitation is possible. It is only in determinism that we hold that the environment, training and genetic makeup[ temperance] affect the expression of the will. What would be the point of rehabilitation if all we need is just a little more freewill? Maybe we could have stores to buy more freewill whenever one’s supply went down?

Even if it were demonstrated that we had freewill, this wouldn’t be evidence for a god.


Does John Lennon’s imagine offer any answers

The lyrics first

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today…

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

And this author writes

Lennon was blind to the implications of this humanistic worldview he was promoting. If there is no heaven or hell, that means there is no ultimate reward or punishment for anything you do while living on this earth.

And me asks whether such a person has any intelligence greater than mushroom soup. We can safely say the fellows who attacked Paris believed in a world after this. The belief that this world is not only stained but also a training ground makes it possible for idiots to kill others thinking they have dispatched them either to heaven or hell. And it is this that Lennon speaks against.

When they write

What does a world look like with no moral constraints from God?

I think they haven’t read their bibles. The commands not to kill, steal were all thrown out of the window, if there were any, when god is reported to have drowned the world, when Jacob went a killing, stopping the sun in its course or when the sons and daughters of Israel went a repine before they left Egypt. Christians have gone to war to kill each other while still believing their god commands do not kill.

Only a person ignorant of the inquisitions and the crusades would write

The simple fact is, the true morality of the Bible looks absolutely nothing like the actions taken by militant Islamists.

maybe this report from the capture of Jerusalem in 1099 will do as a brief lesson

No barbarian, no infidel, no Saracen, ever perpetrated incidents of such wanton and cold-blooded atrocities of  cruelty as the wearers of the Cross of Christ (who, it is said, had fallen on their knees and burst into a pious hymn at the first view of the Holy City), on the capture of that city. Murder was mercy, rape tenderness, simple plunder the mere assertion of the conqueror’s right. Children were seized by their legs, some of them plucked from their mothers’ breasts and dashed against the walls, or whirled from the battlements. Others were obliged to leap from the walls; some tortured, roasted by slow fires. They ripped up prisoners to see if they had swallowed gold. Of 70,000 Saracens there were not left enough to bury the dead; poor Christians were hired to perform the office. Every one surprised in the Temple was slaughtered, till the reek from the dead bodies drove away the slayers. The Jews were burned alive in their synagogue. Even the day after, all who had taken refuge on the roofs, notwithstanding Tancred’s resistance, were hewn to pieces. Still later the few Saracens who had escaped (not excepting babes of a year old) were put to death to avenge the insults to the dead, and lest they should swell the numbers of the advancing Egyptian army. The ghost of Bishop Adhemar de Puy, the Legate (he had died of the plague at Antioch) was seen in his sacerdotal habits partaking in the triumph, and it appears, not arresting the carnage.

I think the song of John Lennon apart from dreaming up Utopia, beats any prospects proposed by all religious texts put together.

Man’s miserable life

To each unthinking being, heaven, a friend
Gives not the useless knowledge of its end
To man imparts it, but with such a view
As, while he dreads it, makes him hope it too
The hour concealed, and so remote the fear
Death still draws nearer, never seeming near,
Great standing miracle! That heaven assigned
Its only thinking thing this turn of mind

Alexander Pope

what are we?

My friend keithnoback has always advised me to leave the faitheads alone. I promised to not bother with them, but you all can indulge me this one time and many more to come.

Katherine asks

Can anyone believe that the differences between humans and chimpanzees are simply biochemical? I have a few questions:

  • Why don’t drugs fix problems such as depression, schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder? Maybe all the causes are not known. 
  • Why do humans insist on going beyond the need for nutrition and prefer food with flavor, color and artful presentation? Custom
  • Why do humans need relationships beyond a partner for sexual intercourse and some association for personal safety? There are birds and a few other animals that keep their partners. Should we promote them to human beings
  • Why do humans have aspirations that transcend their need for food, clothing and shelter? In other words, why are humans never satisfied with the way things are? Because the mind can conceive of anything once it has the raw material for it.
  • Why do humans change the space around them in so many ways when other animals hardly leave footprints? Maybe because we are wasteful
  • Why don’t all homo sapiens make identical sounds for purposes of gathering crowds, finding sex partners or warning of predators? In fact, why do humans have so many ways to express language, laws, government, art, philosophy and religion? Why does no other creature even bother with these things? (Please refrain from the temptation to tell me that an elephant or a cat has produced real art.) Different birds have different sounds for danger, for catcalls and so on. Your comparisons are such that a fish would die thinking itself stupid for not riding a bicycle.
  • Why does every human culture include a religious element? Even the most atheistic, secularized humans on earth worship something—themselves. Because most human societies have generally been ignorant.

We may want to be more than just animals, it is understandable. A little reflection should however dissuade the intelligent from such illusions. Our behaviour is mainly a matter of custom. The things we know or claim to know are so by custom and not by any special effort on our part.

On stupidity and evidence

The author of the post in her generosity sought to teach atheists some basic facts. She writes

They (and all atheists fall into this category) make the claim that objective truth does not exist (everything is relative.) And by doing so, guess what? They are making a truth claim – that truth does not exist.

Maybe some atheists argue this but it would be more right to say all TRUTH, whatever truth maybe is subjective. Matters of fact, for which the claim a god exists are such that a negation doesn’t involve a contradiction. There is no contradiction in the statement there is no god. So that the argument? below

  • Everything is relative
  • Man is the result of evolution
  • There is no God

which is first poorly constructed with all unrelated premises do not imply a contradiction.

Answering none to the two challenges below

That truth absolutely exists, or that you there is definitely, absolutely no transcendent source of truth?

also do not lead to a contradiction. I am afraid this theist need more education in logic than he/ she realizes.

I may add that the glass of water example she uses doesn’t give support to her thesis. Without prior knowledge that what is in the glass is water and it is portable, there is no way one could, through reason alone, come to the conclusion the author is claiming.

This loving christian tells us

One Atheist said that he’d be sorely disappointed if he found God to be real.

and I want to meet this atheist. I, too, would be very disappointed. The goddites tell us their god is all powerful, all loving and all-knowing and we have babes raped, people bombed in the name of god and omnipresence and omnibenovelence does zilch. If you are not disappointed, there is definitely something the matter with you.

Our good christian tells us we shouldn’t ask for evidence. God is hiding because he loves us. He writes

However, over the years, I’ve come to realize it’s because of His love for them that He remains silent when this question is asked.

and you realize a person will believe anything they can convince themselves is true regardless of what reason would dictate in a similar scenario. I am sure this apologist would not take my word for it if I told him there is a beautiful woman, who I haven’t seen or met nor talked but I know loves him. He would call me a liar or worse and here he is telling us, an imaginary being is hidden because he loves us so much!

The arrogance and ignorance some apologists display leave me asking which planet did they come from. Lucas writes

What began the movement to disprove God and believe in something that is unfavorable? (i.e. death is the end, life is meaningless, etc.) I believe this comes from the view of Christianity being a law giving system, rather than a relationship.

and I ask has he had of Solon, Lycurgus, Buddha, Confucius and other law givers of antiquity. And why would anyone think asking questions about the gods started with Christianity? Is their knowledge so limited?

And if, as Lucas says, we are broken, it is not our making. We cannot be expected to be better than we were made. The responsibility to change us lies with the maker, if there was one.

As I have said many times, if theists want to write about atheism, it is better to get to know what it is and we believe or do not before venturing to make a fool of oneself.

Happy weekend everyone.