atheism, intelligent design, Pascal’s wager

In this post, Larimore writes of life from the perspective of an atheist. Much of what he says I have no context with. If I would have no contest, it is the extravagant claim about the purpose of life. If any purpose can be identified, I think it is the purpose of life to propagate itself. My friend arch reminds us when he can that reciprocity is a sufficient source of morals or is it good behavior. I think with that we can dispense with his post.

Two others have chosen to respond to his post.

In his response, Jerry Fogltance talks of about Pascal’s wager, albeit in a roundabout way. He asks

Which position carries the greatest risk if in the end proves wrong?

and tells us

Obviously, the atheist takes the greatest risk for the very God he has denied may hold him accountable.

There are many reasons why the wager isn’t a good argument; one could be worshiping the wrong god, the god being worshipped may be angered by every thoughtless worshipper, and especially because the wager demands one forsake reason to accept it.

In response to the claim that religion, for most, if not all its adherents is a crutch, he says

But atheism is also embraced as a crutch by those unable to live up to their own moral standards and afraid of being accountable to God.

to which I can only say the chaplain has met no atheist. He doesn’t know any of us. Anyone who believes following a god who commits genocide is good manners shouldn’t be anywhere near children.

It boggles the mind when an intelligent person claims

Christians believe God is transcendent; that is, he exists outside the system of the universe, beyond the reach of microscopes and telescopes.

and thinks they have made a good argument for belief. I will say here with D’Holdbach that if god is unknowable for the human mind, then maybe we shouldn’t be wasting time talking about it. And worse believing in it.

The chaplain then makes a fallacious argument. He argues, because he is unable to explain something, therefore god. In his words

There are also things in the universe that cannot be explained apart from the existence and creative power of God. None can explain by natural evolution where the personal qualities of humans came from – like love, creativity, the ability to communicate thought verbally, musical expression, moral motions and free will.

All these can be argued to be natural responses observable in most life forms. Freewill is an illusion. And from the chaplain’s argument, I can with justice say that without god we can’t explain racism, hate, jealousy, greed, gluttony and whatever else you can think about.

The chaplain is distressed and is unable to accept the claim that

Humans are the outcome of blind evolutionary processes that operate without goal or purpose. Our actions are not part of some divine cosmic plan . Any meaning that people ascribe to their lives is just a delusion.

He wants to believe that he is the result of a divine plan.

Jerry then goes on a blame game; you atheists have killed so many and we this many. An argument that I think fails to deal with the question at hand. It is unforgivable that atheistic governments have killed so many people, whatever their drives. To kill in the name of god and it does nothing, whether it’s just a single fatality is an indictment on the god. And the believer should explain away the atheist murders as well. What was god doing while they took place? Wasn’t this an opportunity for god to show once and for all its existence?

Annagail Hoskins in her response attempts to make a case for intelligent design. She says she is a student. While I don’t want to distract from her argument, I would be interested in knowing where she goes to school.

She starts by saying

It is more reasonable to believe that an intelligent creator designed the universe rather than the world magically making itself.

which would be reasonable had these two been the only alternatives, but they aren’t.

I agree with her

How illogical to claim the incredibly complex human body randomly evolved from pond scum

but nobody is making that claim.

She is jesting when she writes

Christianity is a worldview consistent with observable fact

for I can bet none of us alive has seen anyone survive in a fish for any moment of time, a person live for 900 yrs, or a woman give birth at 90. Which observable facts is she referring to?

She asks us

But if the Earth created you, who created the Earth

and continues

Every event that happens is an effect of a cause. The beginning of the universe must have had a cause. However, this thing or person that caused the universe to exist must be independent of the universe, or it could not have created the universe. The fact that there is something (the universe), rather than nothing, points to a creator

which is a loaded paragraph. Every effect has a cause; no context. The beginning of the universe, and if had a beginning, is unknown. And beyond what is knowable we are all in the dark. We can speculate. We must always be reminded that speculation isn’t fact.

I think statements like

However, years of rigorous textual criticism have proven the Bible to be historically reliable. It is internally consistent and collaborative of the writings of ancient historians, making it one of the most reliable collections of historical documents. The New Testament is more well-documented than any other religious or historical text, including the works of Aristotle, a philosopher Nicholl admires.

betray ignorance on her part on what is known about how the bible was written and much more.

I agree with her

The 20th century was the bloodiest century in human history. Hundreds of millions of people were killed in the name of atheistic communism.

and it was mostly one Christian killing another for the love of the creator.

It is our hope that we will grow up to stop killing each other, especially for imaginary gods.

About makagutu

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

59 thoughts on “atheism, intelligent design, Pascal’s wager

  1. archaeopteryx1 says:

    It is more reasonable to believe that an intelligent creator designed the universe rather than the world magically making itself.

    Translation: “It is more reasonable to believe that an intelligent creator magically created the universe, rather than the world magically making itself, magically making a man out of dirt, magically making a woman out of a rib.”

    Is it?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Amazing arguments you quote above. Also ridiculous and absurd. I love this: “..he (God) exists outside the system of the universe, beyond the reach of microscopes and telescopes.” If “god” exists in this non-material place, why not 10 or 50 “gods”? “I know there can only be one god and it exists in a place no one knows anything about.” Yeah. Right. How does the christian get his or her knowledge of this place if it is unknowable? How can an unknowable place be said to exist if you can’t know it’s there? Utterly and completely absurd. As an atheist, I do not deny the existence of gods. I simply see no evidence of their existence. Arguments by christians such as these prove one thing to me: people create their gods in their own image to justify whatever nonsensical beliefs they have about the world around them. Telling me a god or gods must exist in an unknowable, timeless, spaceless realm because the universe exists in this knowable one is intellectually insulting and morally bankrupt. I find these arguments to be so childlike and silly, I wish I could give those who make them a piece of candy to simply stop talking and go outside to play with the other children. That’s assuming they’re not on a child predator list of course.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. john zande says:

    Why would a god hold the atheist accountable if he/she is only acting on the evidence at hand? That, i’m afraid, doesn’t speak to a god worth admiring.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. shelldigger says:

    These people are still children, fearful of the monster in the closet. The monster they embrace? Their fucking gods.

    Us atheists do tire of this silliness. “Our God is unknowable!” Yet they claim to know it?

    A universe from nothing?Absolutely requires a creator!” How so exactly? Show your work.

    I might add while the millions dead due to atheist leaders is fact, they choose to ignore the dead from thousands of years of religious bloodshed. Uncountable millions. Yep, remove the beam from thine own eye before you complain of the splinter in someone else’s.

    Rationalizations, delusion, projection, fallacies, and ignorance, all the way down.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. as usual, the arguments Christians present are dependent on fear and ignorance and the occasional outright lies told about atheists aka bearing false witness. They have nothing else.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. >>> “The beginning of the universe must have had a cause. However, this thing or person that caused the universe to exist must be independent of the universe, or it could not have created the universe.”

    Huh? That statement isn’t just speculative, it’s downright illogical. Whatever triggered the Big Bang, by definition, must be part of and exist within the cosmos. Something cannot come from nothingness. Scientific understanding of our “universe” describes that which we can observe or infer through empirical means. If the cosmos is multi-dimensional (i.e. a multiverse), then its various planes simply exist outside our current observational capabilities. It does not demand they be “independent” or excluded from interaction with our “universe.”

    Such a poorly-conceived separation of the unknown from the known is metaphysical, not scientific. It is intended to support religious mythology by exploiting that which has yet to be empirically discovered.

    Liked by 3 people

    • shelldigger says:

      Also known as God of the Gaps.

      And yes that statement is so ass backwards/irrational it is difficult to aptly define the mind from which it came. Brilliant, genius, and exceptional have been marked off as possibilities.

      They move from “must have had a cause” to “thing or person” that had to exist “outside of the universe.” all without skippinga beat or offering any rational explanation. it is all baseless unfounded assertion.

      You know I knew this kid way back when I was a young lad. Everything that came out of his mouth was a lie. You could tell he just made it up as he went along. He rode the lies like a ride at a theme park, you never knew where it would wind up. But it was an interesting thing to see. I only hung out with him a couple of times though, it was just such a disconnect from reality I was uncomfortable being around him.

      These people who attempt to sound smart, all the while denying or dancing around good science and observable fact, remind me a great deal of that kid. Just making shit up and hoping someone will believe them.

      Liked by 2 people

      • archaeopteryx1 says:

        Sounds like a politician prodigy —

        Liked by 2 people

        • shelldigger says:

          You know I politely pressed him on the validity of his claims. He looked me in the eye and told another lie. Definately politician or preacher material.

          I have to wonder what kind of home life would create such a creature.

          Liked by 1 person

          • archaeopteryx1 says:

            I’m sure the cause is in here somewhere —

            Children Learn What They Live
            By Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D.

            If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
            If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
            If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
            If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
            If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
            If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
            If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
            If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
            If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
            If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
            If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
            If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
            If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
            If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
            If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
            If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
            If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
            If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
            If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

            Liked by 1 person

      • makagutu says:

        That boy is an asset my friend especially when you are so bored and want some entertainment.


    • makagutu says:

      when religion incorporated philosophy or should I call it pseudo-philosophy, it was with one goal in mind, to make religion look like it was rational. They make a joke of themselves every time they speak

      Liked by 1 person

    • judyt54 says:

      I still think all the arguments that Christians (or any believer of any stripe) can make about creators and such is much like the man who stands on the rug he’s trying to lift and insists that he is able to look under it and see the sky. oh. yeah.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Peter says:

    The Bible may be more textually reliable than many other ancient manuscripts, but and it is a big but, if there was a divine being behind the Bible why that being allow any uncertainties about the text. Why would that deity allow any conflicting early manuscripts?

    The history of the Bible and its transmission looks a lot more human than divine.


    • archaeopteryx1 says:

      The Bible may be more textually reliable than many other ancient manuscripts

      I’m really not sure that’s true, Peter, it may contain some history, but it’s highly exaggerated history, combined with numerous – what I think of as “Rah Rah!” stories – in which the little guy triumphs over the big, or the powerful, as a consequence of his having faith. I wouldn’t call that reliable history, I’d call it cheerleading to encourage a small nation to trust that their god will protect them from the larger nations that surround them.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Scottie says:

    Reblogged this on Scotties Toy Box and commented:
    I wish I had the ability to respond such as MAK does. I think it is a gift to be able to do research, hold facts and figures in your mind and write of them in a way that shows you know your topic and can refute those who want to make pretend myth has basis in fact. I just get frustrated. I know the christian bible to be false historically, a collection of myths that came before it, and totally without any moral high ground, yet when I go to write these things with examples my mind freezes up. It is one reason I love watching Aron Ra so much, his grasp of the subjects, his knowledge and ablility to quote that knowledge so well simply stuns me. It is also a reason I love to read the posts MAK makes, he has the same talents. Hugs


  9. KIA says:

    i wonder if anyone who has ever trotted out Blaise’s Blunder ever stopped to consider whether the ‘god that might be’ might not be their particular cultural god? in other words, what if they’ve hedged their bets for 70 or 70 years only to find Allah or Vishnu waiting for them, pissed off that they didn’t serve them?
    any another thought… if the bible god is all seeing, all knowing and all just, why don’t they think that he could see thru their ‘ruse’ of believing ‘just in case’? is god not able to discern insincerity and self serving motives of self preservation above actual faith?
    Pascal was a religious idiot


  10. shelldigger says:

    You have just followed the logic of Pascals Wager to its appropriate conclusion. 🙂 This is why it fails as a viewpoint/position. That so many use it only shows their inability to think.


  11. emmylgant says:

    if god is unknowable for the human mind, then maybe we shouldn’t be wasting time talking about it. And worse believing in it.

    Bingo! 😉


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