It is Easter

And it would be a disservice if we didn’t have something to read during the lockdown. To ensure we are intellectualy engaged, I encourage you to read this short play by Mangasarian. I first posted in 2013 and I don’t think it’s beauty has diminished.

The second is an Easter Homily on the empty tomb. I hope you find both worth your while.

Happy Easter and Happy Holidays everyone. Stay safe.

if we admit

that all that happens is god’s doing, i see no reason why anyone should be punished for doing what god has made them do. Jeff Bohlender in the liked post has written and I quote

God makes us what we are, places us where we are, and operates our operating, even if it still seems to us that we’re “doing” things. Growth in our experience happens when God brings us into conscious enjoyment of Him as the Source and Operator of all existence, of which we all are a part. Growth in faith comes through hearing and believing God, Who gives ears to hear and belief in the heart.

which i think is consistent with omnibenevolence as nothing would stop a god from achieving it ends, ie omnipotence and the said god would know all outcomes- omniscience-. Are religious people ready to accept the conclusions that must be drawn from the premise that everything that happens is god’s will?

to all the recent de-converts

You have landed at the right place. Congratulations. Let it be known right here that I am poor letter writer. In fact, I am a poor writer of anything. Well, I can write my name well and there are other books that I have been told I write well too, but that’s a story for another day.

You are thinking that you have just discovered what other people seem not to have realized, the futility of religious belief. Be rest assured that you join a long list of former religious believers. What you might discover though, depending on where you live, that there maybe no one for miles who shares the same view of the world as you do. Don’t be discouraged. Just as each man dies their own death, you must make this walk alone.

Your religious friends or relatives if they are the studious types will send you a lot of literature to read just in case you were led to unbelief by reading some wrong book. Now look here, life is short, don’t waste it reading Lee Strobel unless for entertainment. Read poetry. Read great novels, that is, if you have the time. Many people who deconvert only know of the books by Dawkins, Harris, Dennett, Hitchens and Hirsi. I am here to tell you there is a wealth of books that are much more entertaining but are less popular. Their authors marketing departments didn’t do a good job at popularizing them.

Many of those who are leaving religion today are young people. It is my advise to you that you should read the mood at your homes or workplaces. Will your employer keep you in the staff if you were to reveal you were godless? Or your parents not kick you out? I am not saying you lie that you still believe even if you don’t, but you can keep a low profile as you test the waters to see their possible reactions and know how to act from there.

The world is beautiful. You can take your chances with Ivan in Brothers Karamazov when he tells Aloysha in the Grand Inquisitor that he will not wait for heaven. You will find there are many who have done the same. I have sided with Ivan even though Fyodor makes him mad at the end, I will not go mad.

I know there are people who the last time they read something it was a stop sign on the road. I want to encourage to read. Read like your life depends on it. It will broaden your imagination. It is also a cheap way to travel the world. So pick a book. Even of a subject you are only mildly interested in.

I don’t know why, I, who can’t write a letter to save myself began this letter. Maybe to deal with boredom. If you have read it up to this point, remember we are here only for a short duration of time. Be useful to others as that’s the shortest route to happiness. Be kind.

Thank you for reading.

Yours sincerely

One who can’t write a letter.

 

How to know you are in a cult.

For those of you who read news, you might have heard or read about a serious locust invasion in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia. The last time such a thing occurred in such magnitude was 70 years ago and as I told Modarnicus, those in higher echelons of power have just been talking. For example, here is the former cabinet secretary for agriculture telling Kenyans to take photos for verification.

With that introduction, we come to the juicy part of this post and it is supplied by Cedric who tweeted thus

https://twitter.com/CedricAnami/status/1221861212692021248?s=20

and I wonder how he buttons his shirts! He is telling other sheep to worship not the imaginary god, but the mighty profit of the imaginary god. I think I should move to another country.

I hope to all that is unholy that this is satire.

 

God wants unity in the church

But draws the line at homosexuality or rather on sex. In short, god is concerned more with sex than with economic justice, environmental protections or even racial problems. Just sex.

Lisa writes

Not every issue Christians disagree about is black and white. There are shades of grey and room for differences of opinion concerning some issues (eschatology, politics, Calvinism, Arminianism, expressions of worship, etc.). However, sexuality, homosexuality and the number of genders that exist are settled issues. The Bible clearly teaches homosexuality is a sin. Moreover, God made humans in His image, male and female, only, period. (Genesis 1:27, Leviticus 20:13,1st Timothy 1:9-11, 1st Corinthians 6:9).

so go be a good Christian and don’t open a discussion on sexuality.

is it rational to believe in god

Well, who knew scientists were polled and their verdict was it is rational to believe in god. So Brian and Jeff, find the nearest church near you and ask to join.

Will Jones opening salvo is a fallacious argument. The bible says there is a god and the bible says it is rational to believe in its god. You can see where there is going. Downhill all the way! Jones calls as his witnesses Plato and Aristotle but unfortunately this doesn’t help his cause. To Aristotle, the number of gods could be 47 or 55. This is not all for Diagoras and Theodoras flatly denied that there were any gods at all and many other ancient philosophers did not agree on the nature of god(s).

Had the being of god been obvious, there would have been no need for apologetics. Jones tells us

However, Bible-believing Christians have generally stuck by the classical and biblical view that the existence of God is something for which sufficient reasons are supplied by the light of nature.

which is interesting because humanity have managed to explain things that were believed to belong to the domain of the gods but Christians have stuck to their old conceptions as if time has remained static and we have collectively as a race done nothing towards knowledge acquisition.

Jones disagrees with Spufford whom he quotes as having written

No, I can’t prove it,’ Spufford says. ‘I don’t know if there’s a God (and neither do you, and neither does Professor Dawkins . . . it isn’t the kind of thing you can know. It isn’t a knowable item).’

and calls the above anti-rational idea which tells me he would disagree also with Pascal who in his Pensees argues reason can help you make the ascent to the being of a god. You must forget reason. And have faith. While we are here, I don’t know of anyone who became a believer because he heard Francis Collins is a believer. In fact, this post by Ark might be helpful on this point.

Seeing that his arguments lack substance, Jones then calls as a witness to his god the fine tuning argument. Any argument that depends on an inference of design a posteriori was dealt a blow by Hume many years ago. Maybe if Jones had read Hume, he might not have called this witness to the stand. This is the only fine tuning argument I am willing to get behind.

In a world with an omni god as the Christians claim their god is, free will is not possible. While Jones want us to believe that without his god, we can’t have morals, he forgets that eons passed before some desert goat herders dreamed their religion and some European missionaries decided to spread this nonsense around the world.

While I agree with the first part of this statement

Ultimately, Francis Spufford is wrong about human beings: we are not entirely controlled by our feelings, and reason is not and ought not to be, as David Hume had it, ‘the slave of the passions’. Whatever else we are, we are rational animals, possessed of a reasoning mind, capable of recognizing and responding to truth when we see it, including the truth of God.

it shouldn’t be lost on us that Jones intended to demonstrate that belief in god is rational. This he has failed to do.

This

Seasoned apologist John Lennox spoke at Coventry Cathedral recently on the evidence for a Creator, and a colleague of mine went along with an atheist friend. Afterwards the friend turned to him and said: ‘I now believe in a Creator God.’ That is the power of truth.

is funny. Who would believe such drivel really?

In thus spoke Zarathustra

Nietzsche is very playful. I think he must have laughed as he wrote the very playful sections of that book.

Take for instance the part where Zarathustra says laughter killed the gods when one of them said there’s no gods but god.

In part four in conversation with the retired pope, Zarathustra says pity for man killed god, that is, god could not stand the man on the cross and died out of pity. In the same place he says

He was a concealed god, addicted to secrecy. Verily, even a son he got himself in a sneaky way. At the door of his faith stands adultery.

Elsewhere he writes about god this

When he was young, this god out of the Orient, he was harsh and vengeful and he built himself a hell to amuse his favorites. Eventually, however, he became old and soft and mellow and pitying, more like a grandfather, but most like a shaky grandmother. Then he sat in his nook by the hearth, wilted, grieving over his weak legs, weary of the world, and one day he choked on his all too great pity.

And finally on love( especially the way Christians and religious people don’t tire to tell us god is love, Zarathustra says

Whoever praises him as a god of love does not have a high enough opinion of love itself. Did this god not want to be a judge too? But the lover loves beyond reward and retribution.

Have yourselves a humorous day, won’t you!

A word of advice to believers

but to Christian apologists especially. Don’t be like this fellow.

How many people are represented by Richard Dawkins? Or what would one make of this

Many atheists (e.g., Richard Dawkins) spend much of their time railing against the Creator they believe doesn’t exist, and they hold their cause with great devotion and faith.

Against the 7 dimensions of religion, I will say a few things.

On Narrative

It should be noted there were atheists before Darwin. Simon should read the work of Jean Messlier which should cure his ignorance. Messlier’s Last Will and Testament which is a polemic against religion appeared 100 years before Darwin put pen to paper to write the Origin of species.

Experiential, Social, and Ritual

That some atheists meet on a regular basis on a Sunday no less doesn’t make it a religion. Community is deeply human. To want to be in community with like minded fellows does not make the gathering any less human.

Doctrine

I am yet to meet a Santa Claus believer who has threatened my neighbour with hell. Religious people are everywhere selling their religions. To counteract their claims is not religious. It is the duty of all intelligent men and women.

Ethical

There is nothing stopping a moral relativist from making an ethical claim. Besides, among atheists there is to be found a broad spectrum of belief; from moral relativists, realists, objectivists etc. Atheists don’t exist as one homogeneous group with identical beliefs.

This claim by Stephen

This is not to say that you do not need to profess belief in God to argue morality, but you do need God to have absolute morality.

is quite the stretch.

Material

That NDT said “Accepting our kinship with all life on earth is not only solid science, in my view, it’s also a soaring spiritual experience” doesn’t mean all atheists say the same thing. There is a fallacy here.

His final claim is so ridiculous it doesn’t warrant a response.

There is a better response to the above trope here.