did you know

that it didn’t matter whether the gospels had mistakes? I know you didn’t but now you know. It is important for you to know that Jesus died for your sins but you are still going to hell for that tattoo or for the shrimp you ate.

I don’t think there are mistakes in the gospels; but even if there were, it wouldn’t affect the core of the Gospel: Jesus died for our sins, defeated death by rising again, and is coming back in glory to establish the Kingdom of God. Those truths stand firm forever!

I am glad we have this cleared up.

Thank goodness for apologists.

on hell

I don’t know who it is who said that as long as one person languished in hell, heaven would be a sad place or something to that effect.

I like this post on heaven especially this

I searched the scriptures even more zealously for God, but that just made things worse. The God who is described in the Bible is a terrible Being, one that deserves our fear, but not one that any decent person could possibly worship. His behavior is despotic—the Flood isn’t the half of it—and I eventually concluded that he could command no moral authority by which to judge the human race. I stopped believing in Hell altogether and hoped that God was actually much better than he was portrayed in his biography.”

I think I should read the book A brief eternity. I will look for an epub copy later.

Have a heaven free day, won’t you.

10 (new) questions for atheists

The link to the questions is here. I don’t think the questions are new but I will treat them as such.

  • What is your religious background? Did you grow up in a religious home?

Catholic. Yes. In Kenya every stone you throw is likely to land on a religious person. And in some places, it may land on a church/mosque or an open crusade.

  • Was there a time when you were open to Christianity or another religion?

Yes, the whole time I was religious.

  • Did you have an unfavourable experience with Christians or people of another religion that turned you off?

Not that I recall. I just became clever. That’s all.

  • Which religion do you take most offense to and why?

Christianity. Convinced my forefathers that what they were doing was the wrong way and left them confused.

  • What is your primary objection to the Christian faith?

Evidence haiko.

  • Have you ever had a supernatural experience?

Not supernatural but I was once so high I thought my bed was floating at an angle.

  • If there is no afterlife and we cease to exist after death, do you believe your life has purpose and meaning beyond the survival of the human species? In what way?

Before we were born, we didn’t exist and it wasn’t a bother, same with death. Life becomes more meaningful when you realize that all the shit you need to do can only be done here and now. Does it mean those who don’t have children or who have died sooner have not led meaningful lives because without an afterlife, it is all about the survival of the species?

  • How would you describe your worldview?

Dynamic

  • Do you believe in right and wrong? What determines the ethics you live by?

I prefer right and left. I prefer to do the things my non existent cat approves of.

  • Do you consider yourself a good person? Why or why not?

Sometimes. Especially when I make a bbq of Methodist babies.

 

Question for atheists

Whenever this block suffers a dearth of posts, I go to that wormhole otherwise known as Quora to just stroll and see what questions people are asking. I like it for other things. The stories lies people tell. And so today I saw this question

Imagine you died, and then you find out the afterlife and God are real. God presents himself to you, satisfying whatever proof you need to know it’s him, and he then asks you to explain your lack of faith. What would you say?

I can tell that this question is loaded with assumptions. I can bet, I didn’t bother to check, that the enquirer is a Christian. They tend to hog the god name with a capital G. So the first question would be of identity, which god are we talking about? The god of the philosophers who set the ball rolling and went to sleep, maybe even died, or the god of my forefather- indifferent. Or that of the Abrahamic faiths- petty, jealous and murderous?

Two, this god appears after I am dead. Isn’t that a wee bit late. The answer simply is you didn’t present yourself when it counted.

Thinking more about the question, it is a weaker version of Pascal’s argument. You are implored to just believe, without evidence because maybe this angry god might be waiting for you the other side of the grave. Not happening. Don’t fear death my friend, nor the gods. If they exist and love us, we have no reason to be afraid. If they exist and they are capricious, then worshiping them is no guarantee that you’ll be spared from their bouts of anger.

Does science really disprove god

I know we are all tired of Covid19 news and or bike falls so we will do something different today. The author of this post says no but I want to argue that science doesn’t set out to prove or disprove god. The results from science studies only seem to make god unnecessary as a causative agent.

I want to begin by agreeing with the author that

None of the points I’ll make here is intended to provide absolute certainty; no amount of mere reasoning could do that — whether for or against God

though I think this makes the case for god already weak from the beginning. For all that is claimed for god, the evidence for god should be such that there is little doubt of its existence. You know like the sun.

The author says next

[…]over the years I’ve gradually become more and more confident that belief in God best explains the most important aspects of our lives — areas like science, morality, and meaning. Again, not 100 percent confidence, but much more than I think is warranted by the evidence for atheism.

and it is this evidence that we would want to consider in this post and see how it holds up. Maybe by the time we are done reading, Mary will be convinced to become a bible carrying, tithe paying evangelical :).

This

But hasn’t science — surely an impressive source for what we know — shown that there’s no God, or at least that God is unlikely?

is a strawman.I don’t think this can be a scientific conclusion. Generally we know scientists to say their findings are provisional and can change depending on new evidence. Since there is no known way of studying existence of god (given gods belong to that class of beings that we only have claims of others for their existence) no scientist in their right mind would say my experiment proves there is no god.

Cosmologists have attempted to answer the question of how/where did the universe come to being and there answers I think, without a doubt, beat “and god said let there be“.

We are told, well science has explained much, but not given us ultimate answers. From the horse’s mouth pen

Suppose that all these theories are entirely true. Surely an all-powerful being like God could have made the universe using the very objects and workings described by these theories. If there were a God, he could have easily guided natural selection and made sure that there were the genetic variations needed for the right evolutionary paths. He also could have created an enormous number of universes by way of quantum fluctuations, making sure that at least one of these universes resulted in us. There’s no necessary inconsistency between belief in God and our current scientific theories.

To which I respond that there is also no contradiction in arguing that the scientific explanations make god unnecessary.

At this point, I wonder why this author even set about to write this post. He writes,

These theories could never explain themselves, even in principle; that’s not in their job description. Scientific laws simply aren’t in a position to answer “Why these laws?” Moreover, our theories are about how the stuff of the universe behaves (whatever that stuff ultimately turns out to be), and not about the ultimate origin of the stuff itself.

which I think undermines the whole object of this thesis. If the conclusion is that science can’t tell us about the ultimate stuff, why then bother?

We are then asked

In any case, given all that we know today — given what science has told us — how can you be so confident about your atheism?

and my simple response is that all religions (that I am aware of) as far as I can tell have failed to demonstrate that their god is real, is necessary and that theirs is the right religion.

And finally Christianity and the bible make an appearance. I am surprised it took so long.

I wish I had more space and time (or spacetime) to discuss, but for now I’ll say this: the actual teachings and purpose of the Bible are more amenable to contemporary science than you might think.

Yeah. Like Jonah eating the fish, or the goats jumping over sticks and changing colour or Jesus walking on water. I know. I know. These are all compatible with the best science results we have from science. Who is to doubt.

And what good is an apologetics post with posing the question of meaning or morality?

One is the nature of morality. What would a purely human-grounded moral code imply for my everyday life if I took this idea seriously? Another is the meaning and purpose of life itself. Why get out of bed in the morning? Why choose the life goals I do, and why pursue the relationships I do, particularly if the universe and its contents (including us) are just going to end in what physicists call the “heat death”? And if this is the whole story, is that a problem?

Have a science-y day, won’t you?

 

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.