Sunday sermon

Nothing, repeat not one thing taught in religion can be verified.

You believe because you don’t know.

All religion is based on faith.

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Had JJR

Stuck to

The faith of children and the faith of many men is a matter of geography. Will they be rewarded for having been born in Rome rather than Mecca?
(..)when a child says he believes in god, it is not god he believes in, but Peter or James or jane who told him there is something called god

And left out the soul bs, he would have made a good teacher to his student, Emile

I know I will regret this

We have mentioned Cornell here before. He is my neighbour in the hood, I thought with knowing yours truly, his writing will become more sensible. It appears he is gone off the racks completely.

In this post he is writing about punishment and the part of god in the matrix. On this blog we have said we oppose to punishment and are in support of rehabilitation. Society has every right to protect itself. In this case, though the removal from society of offenders, we propose that they should not be stripped of their dignity. Revenge doesn’t make society better.

The question Cornell is asking

Then why do people have a problem with a God who punishes evil in the world? Why do people have a problem with a God who sends people to hell for their sins?

is one which misses the point entirely. It absolves god, whatever they are, from blame. Cornell must first demonstrate that a god exist and show how this god is not complacent in the commission of evil. And to ask  why we have a problem with a god who sends people to hell is inhuman, a parson devoid of feeling and capricious.What would god want to achieve when he has these people in hell?

We are not in agreement on this

One thing we can all agree on is that people do not have a problem with a God who punishes sin.

for no god has been shown to exist.

I don’t know who agrees with him on this

no one is saying that there shouldn’t be a hell.

Many humanists have written against the concept of hell. Maybe he should spend time out reading different authors. I don’t want hell to exist. Don’t misunderstand me, am not saying hell exists.

If the believer holds it that god created man, there is nothing man can do to beat the wishes of god. The believer will have to prove that the offender’s behaviour is not what god intended for him/her and then to show why they should be punished for mistakes that rightly belong at god’s doorstep.

In this other post, he has expressed sophistry as I have not seen in a while.

He argues

[…]Do these examples disqualify the Bible? Many people believe so. Yet what such arguments against the Bible reveal is the arguers’ ignorance of what the Bible is and what the Bible does. The Bible is not God’s Word because it contains novel (new and unique) ideas about God. In fact, the reverse is the case, all true ideas about God that exist outside the Bible only prove that God is the author and owner of all truth. It is the reason R.C. Sproul has popularized the phrase: “all truth is God’s truth.”

and with one stroke of Oogity Boogity he has secured the bible from any criticism. I wish this were the case for him but alas, no, reality is different from this. How do we know an idea is true about god? Is something true about god if it gets mentioned in the bible and by secular author? What about those writings that are in direct contradiction with the supposed word of god? Do they also express a truth about god? And what truth is this?

I don’t know what truth is. Jesus, if he existed had an opportunity to settle this matter before Pilate [John 18:38] but he didn’t. When Cornell writes

Truth is truth, wherever you find it

I can’t for the life of me say I know what he means.

He ends his post with the sophistry with which he begun

The availability of truth apart from the Bible is actually an argument for God, not against Him. It is proof of His sovereignty — that  God is God over all people and all things, not just the Jews and the Christians. It is proof that those who will never encounter Christianity will not be judged unfairly, because “what may be known about God is “plain” to them (Rom 1:19).

There is a lot more to say about this fallacious argument. I hope not one of his many thousands of followers believe these nonsense he is selling to them. Any reasonable person who has read the bible and read some science book will be able to notice the several contradictions between the bible and what we have found out about nature and at the same time this person shall have seen the internal contradictions in the bible itself. The question then that we must ask is which is truth when we have two contradictory stories in the bible about the same event?

Am feeling lazy

Sometimes you must like the god believers for their honesty. It is not always the case they are honest especially when they talk about their beliefs. Most times this honesty is hidden in several paragraphs of posts. Yours truly will just share with you a few instances of honesty. You can read the OPs if you have the time.

First, the author of stop arguing with atheists writes

our beliefs are generally not founded on intellect and reason in the first place, however much we like to think they are. Our beliefs may well have rational grounds, but we tend to gather that after the fact. We believe first, based on a complex mix of emotion and intuition, of personal and psychological and cultural reasons that we have little awareness of. And then we look to justify those beliefs intellectually and rationally. So when we argue, it’s never just reason and logic that’s involved – it’s personal.

He/ she continues to tell us

Arguing also doesn’t work because Christianity has never been primarily a matter of the intellect, of mathematical logic or scientific proof.

Do I hear an amen from somewhere. Here is an honest fellow admitting their beliefs are not rationally held and if there is an appearance of rationality it is after the fact. This is a fellow I could buy beer for being honest.

In atheism, the author writes

God, as far as I can see, is merely another word for ‘everything’, completely transferable with every other word we could choose to describe the ultimately undefinable, infinite essence.

I think this shows why we can never have a proper discussion with a theist. Words mean only what they want them to mean.

He/she’s opening salvo goes thus

Everyday atheists use money, an entirely fictional entity that only works because we believe in it. It has no intrinsic value, it is an idea, it has no tangible, provable existence, but it doesn’t stop them using it.

And I must say that till this moment, I wasn’t aware that belief in gods and use of legal tender were at par and interchangeable. I don’t know to what extent money is fictional because I want to open a fictional account and deposit fictional millions that I can then exchange for gold bullion[s] at the gold market. The paper money is printed on has no intrinsic value, but the paper is real and value assigned to it, maybe arbitrary, but it is useful and means something.

The author of thank you atheists, is quite happy that we are. I have no beef with him/her.

In the foolishness of atheism, the author believes atheists have been lied to and seeks to show where the deception took place. In their won words, they write

What was the pull that had so many persons denying that God exists? Why were so many persons falling for this lie and how did all this deception take place? Here are a few things the atheists believe and why they are deceived in their thinking.

This author doesn’t leave spare any insults. We are foolish because we contend that the bible is written by men, who in many cases were wrong about history or reality.

We have a challenge like the one the Koran makes

If any atheist can name any other book that even comes close to the bible in terms of its life changing ability and in terms of its endurance and power, I would like to know about it

There are more people who believe in the Vedas than there are Christians. The same can also be said to those who adhere to the teachings of Buddha. The Muslim would make a similar claim, the Jew would make a similar claim about the Torah. Such demand is juvenile and cannot be listed as a reason to believe something true.

And lastly since god lives in this person’s heart, on what basis does he insult others in whose hearts nothing lives. Our hearts exist only to pump blood to the rest of the body and if gods are to build their residence there, we need to know what real estate they need.

He quotes scripture which says

1 Cor 1:18-25. “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign; and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”

Which in my view is a consolation for the stupid to continue in their stupidity. The author disparages human enquiry pretending they will be wise when they are dead. What foolishness! And if god has made wisdom of the world foolishness, how would they continue to trust such a being that is an outright deceiver? There is nothing, as Nietzsche said many years ago redeeming about Christianity. It rejects every human pursuit. It is a cult of death. Dearth of knowledge and wisdom. There is nothing in it in praise of intelligence. It is indeed a cult for the foolish. I do not understand why when this is stated, we are accused of arrogance.

Lastly to uplift your spirits is my take on Pascal’s wager.

Enjoy your reading 😛

Right of reply

The good news is am back and will be sharing photos of my holiday with you in a bit.

In the past two weeks, atheism or rather talk about atheism has dominated the airwaves and has got its way to the print media. One journalist responding to the atheist[s] commits a few errors in his attempt to tell the atheists to shut up. I am not responding on behalf of the person to whom his ire is directed but as a non believer.

It seems to me that the author is irked that atheists have an association. Why dehumanize us just because of our lack of belief? I can’t speak for Harry whether he knows the difference between a charlatan and an atheist. But one thing I know is an atheist is one who lacks a belief in the existence of god[s].

I don’t know what he means when he tells us

Atheism happens to be very serious business. Not believing in the Bible – or the Koran – does not qualify one as an atheist.

for I guess we all know or rather we know atheism is a lack of belief in gods. And that books so called sacred or divinely inspired/ authored are but works of men.

It is true

The average Class Five child has the capacity to doubt that life and the universe were created within six days through a series of daily omnipotent commands. 

but am not sure how many do this given the extent of religiosity in this country. I guess because this author doubts the genesis story he assumes many do too which unfortunately is not the case.

Whereas I agree with him that

The implausibility of the Genesis story is a pedestrian base to ground one’s atheism on.

it is a good place to start. And so I wonder why our reviewer commits the No True Scotsman fallacy in the next line when he writes

 

It so happens that true atheists tend to be exceptionally brainy minds.

Could he qualify what he means by true atheists, maybe giving us a few examples.

His next statement betrays an ignorance about the group he seems to vilify by repeating the same line we read everywhere that

atheism is a highly developed belief system in itself

he goes on to tell us

It is a belief system that rejects a humanised and whimsical god

which anyone who knows what atheism is would know to be fallacious. Atheism is a lack of belief in the existence of any god[s]. The atheist contends that the evidence so far adduced, if any, in favour of the god hypothesis is deficient. So no, it is not a rejection of any gods, for that would mean acceding the existence of gods but rejecting them for whatever grounds a person may have.

I will not comment on his summary on Hawking’s book which I have somewhere in my to read list.

When he tells us further

An agnostic is a guy who doesn’t buy the idea of a biblical god, nor is he ready to get into atheistic cynicism. He is happy being somewhere in the middle. Actually, it is a very ordinary place to be and does not require extreme mental exertion.

we are convinced he hasn’t spent as much time to study what he chose to address. An agnostic holds that you can neither prove the existence nor non existence of god, whatever you define god to be. I will contend as regards the question of belief, that agnosticism is an untenable position.

Atheists are accused of calling religious people daft. The author writes, with derision

Incidentally, it is a mistake for wannabe atheists to imagine all religious believers are, by definition, daft.

This statement ignores a very important distinction that must be made. There are thousands of believers who are top in their respective fields. The question of their religious beliefs is the one area of their lives they haven’t examined as well as they have other areas of study. I wouldn’t call a religious person daft but it we must agree that is is unreasonable to belief there is an age where donkeys talked, snakes walked  and virgins became pregnant from ghosts. It can be safely said such a person who believes these has abandoned reason. It has nothing to do with other areas of their lives.

The fact that there are religious believers with great minds as we are told here

Some of the best minds that go head-to-head against articulate atheists like Oxford biologist Richard Dawkins or the late Vanity Fair columnist Christopher Hitchens are scholars who believe in a religious, moral god.

fails to deal with the question of whether theism is true.

It is interesting that most critics of atheists always ask us to read a book. This charge, George Jacob Holyoake responded to in 1871 in a speech when he said

The right of private judgment, always in set terms conceded to us, means nothing, unless it leads to a new understanding as to the terms in which we are to be addressed, in the bible and the people, it is described as insolence to ignore Christianity. We do not understand this language. It would be insolence to a deity to ignore a message which we can recognize as coming from him, but it may rather imply reverence for god to reject the reports of many who speak in his name.  Were we to require Christians read our books or think as we think, they would resent the requirement as impertinence and we have yet to learn that it is less impertinence when Christians make these demands of us. If Christians are under no obligation to hold our opinions, neither are we under obligation to hold theirs.

In concluding this response, I will quote d’Holdbach on theology. He wrote

There is a science which has for its object only incomprehensible things. Unlike all others, it occupies itself but with things unseen. Hobbes calls it “the kingdom of darkness.” In this land all obey laws opposed to those which men acknowledge in the world they inhabit. In this marvelous region light is but darkness, evidence becomes doubtful or false, the impossible becomes credible, reason is an unfaithful guide, and common sense changed into delirium. This science is named Theology, and this Theology is a continual insult to human reason.

Atheism is more than just not believing in religious teachings and a bonus article

Atheists do not worry me as much as ‘believers’

An address to friends

Mainly the religious ones.

This is an invitation to dialogue.

Somewhere in this blog, you will find posts on how I became an atheist and what has changed since, what I have learnt in the interim and what I believe. I hope you are interested enough to search for these posts. They may not be detailed as many of you might expect but they explain a few things about me.

In this post, I hope we can engage on why I no longer believe and why I don’t think I will.

I was brought up in a religious environment. I attended catechism classes, was baptized and confirmed in the catholic faith. I believed because I was told. Maybe I was naive for not questioning some of the unbelievable stories that are told in the pages of the bible. I do not have an answer as to why I believed for so long. There was hardly a non believer where I grew up. There was no reason not to believe in god. Everyone I knew believed that there was a god who loved them, who many years ago walked among men but has since stopped appearing in person for fear of being killed. In all this time and especially in my campus days I really searched for god. The religious group to which I belonged emphasized finding god in all things. I honestly tried to find god in the people I met in nature and so on but either god was busy to reveal himself to me or there wasn’t any.

It is ridiculous to read in posts by apologists that the are no ex-christians. I don’t know what they mean. Maybe it is their way of not acknowledging the possibility of apostasy.

I will honestly say here that I haven’t finished reading the bible or the Koran. I am in the first chapter of the Mahabharata, I have read the Gita, the gospel of Buddha. Am not interested in reading the book of Mormon. I hope to find time to read the Vedas. Anyone with enough time to search this blog will be able to find where I am with that exercise[ reading the bible]. I have been accused of reading the bible with a desire to find it in error. This is not the case. What however has happened is that whenever I read the bible,I find it full of absurdities that I can’t ignore. Whereas I agree that one has to be acquainted with a particular book to offer a critique of it, the much that I have read in it and about it is sufficient for me to make a judgement. The next question would be why I would believe what others have written about the bible instead of believing the bible authors. My response to this challenge is that one can only believe to the extent to which he is convicted and no other. In the many books, I have found what comports with common sense whereas some of the bible stories are contrary to common sense. The next challenge is that of exegesis, that the bible has to be read in a particular way, that in it is hidden layers and layers of lessons. This might be, I don’t deny it, my question has always been to what passages should I apply this way of reading.

Let me demonstrate.

You must have heard of the creationists of various strips. They argue that the earth or rather the universe was created in 6 days. Some of them call these 6 days god days and say they are longer than the standard day me and you mean when we talk of days. A few chapters later, they argue that the seventh day is the day of rest because on that day god rested. In one scenario, the days are god days and in the next referring to the same thing the counting has changed. I let those who have time to make excuses for the bible to do so.

The bible makes a claim that a god exists and that this god did several things. I don’t know what god is. I don’t know what it means to create, neither do I know the difference between that which is created and that which has always existed. I can’t begrudge those who believe the universe was created. I don’t know what evidence they are privy to.

There are those who have asked me to read the NT that maybe I would find something different. That the god portrayed there is different. I have read all the gospels. I have read several letters of Paul. I have read the book of revelation. I have read Hebrew and I am not convinced. If you think there is something am missing, or I could have missed in the good book, mention it. We will discuss it. I am open to persuasion. But we must have a deal; we will have a debate only if you are willing to consider that you could be wrong. Please don’t preach as well. If you have no argument or piece of evidence you wish me to consider, I would prefer we don’t waste time.

I have since considered several arguments for the existence of god and the responses to these arguments. I will state from the outset that I was never led to belief because I had considered the arguments for god, I only read these arguments in the period I was leaving the faith. If as a believer you think there is one I ought to consider, let us talk about it. I will allow you to explain to me why you think they are persuasive and to tell me what god they establish its existence.

I realize for the believer, the bible gives a guideline on how they should live their lives, what they should eat and not eat, what they should wear and so on. I want us to agree that morality has nothing to do with the gods so I propose that in our discussion you will not bring up the question of where I get my morals if I have no belief in god. You will, if you look through this blog, find what I have written on morality and you could at the same time read the argument in Euthyphro and maybe read Nietzsche’s On Genealogy of morals.

Let us also agree here that whether life has meaning or not has nothing to do with gods.

Let us consider this post a special invitation to the believing folk to present the case for believing in god. I am willing to listen to all you got to say. If you think there is a book I should read, I hope you can summarize what you think I will find in it. Life is short, it can’t be spent reading apologetics only 🙂