Is there a god

On my friend Ark’s blog there is a discussion or is it a narrative on where the burden lies in the god debate. And I generally agree with him. However, I think, and our late friend *my atheist life* would agree, we can say there is no god and the burden of proof doesn’t switch to us. Why so, you might ask, first, no coherent definition of a god has been provided that would demonstrate such a being(s) would exist. There are contradictory attributes of alleged gods that such beings are unlikely to exist. Whether such beings are necessary and in what manner of existence they are to exist have not been demonstrated. And attempts have been made to do this.

I know my empiricist friends wouldn’t commit themselves to such a statement arguing, among other reasons, new evidence may convince us otherwise. That is all fair. But until this evidence is adduced, we have nothing to go on with and as the good priest Jean Messlier wrote, to believe in God(s) is to believe in a chimera with no parallel in experience.

But I could be wrong

You need god for mental health

So says Scientific American especially in these times of covid related depression. I don’t know what you heathens are gonna do.

I am not convinced though. I think for some, their recovery is delayed because they have been convinced by their therapist their situation is complicated by some spirit for which neither the patient nor the therapist have a way of identifying or treating.

What do you guys think?

Do fronkeys exist?

The fact that asking “Does fronkey exist?” assumes fronkey exists is quite important. It reminds us that fronkey’s existence is intuitive and known by everyone. Fronkey is not hiding, but maybe we are.

If you think the above premise is sound, you have a problem. It implies if we can think something, the object of our thoughts must really exist beyond our thoughts. This is the species of argument some theists make as an apology for their belief in god. They however, argue that god occupies a special category of objects unlike unicorns or fronkeys so that my restatement of the argument above would not apply to Santa Claus but only to god. I think that is a case of special pleading.

An apologist, Andrew Sveda, in his post, thoughts on god’s existence, argues that to ask the question does god exist implies or assumes god exists in three distinct ways. One, that had we evolved by natural selection, we would not have developed truth seeking abilities; we would have no desire for truth and finally because our lives have meaning and purpose.

Since adaptation improves chances of survival- that is the organism that is best adapted (fittest) to its environment survives, and if truth seeking helps with this adaptation, then it will be developed. And while we have this cognitive ability, how many people use theirs? We have people believing asses talked and Jonah ate a fish and it remained alive for three days in his stomach!

He writes To say someone should believe something because it’s true can only hold if man has some objective purpose, which the atheist must deny. Which is quite interesting. Many people believe as true things that are patently false without any help from atheists. And believing something is true has nothing to do with objective purpose whatever that is. 1+1 is 2 whether your life has purpose or not.

I don’t know, but it seems to me some religious apologists don’t take time even to read on what has been written by other apologists and the responses to those arguments.

And finally, it should always be remembered that however great an argument is, it would take a leap of faith to come from argument for something to the something being actual.

I think people got it all wrong

On who needs forgiveness. The Catholic Church require of its faithful regular confession so their sins can be absolved to give them enough room to sin again for the new week or whatever is the frequency of the confession but I think it is the Church that needs absolution and their god- if it cared to exist.

Stories such as Philomena or the Magdalene Laundries are shining examples of what the church did in Ireland. And also why it needs absolution. And why I am with Ivan when in Brothers Karomazov he says he will take his chances this side of the grave.

It’s a disgrace that such things happened & mothers are still trying to find their long lost children without success.

reflections on blogging

Lately I don’t want to brain much so today I will just write on my blogging journey. I have been blogging here since August 2012. I have written on politics, religion, science topics, books i have read, posted videos, songs, photos of the places i have been to and all. And of late, I have made it a point to make sure some of you get tired by just reading about my runs or hikes or rides. Except Brian who rides much more than I do.

In the beginning, god debates used to interest me but not anymore. While I know I haven’t exhausted whatever arguments god botherers have designed to prop their god, I am unlikely to meet a new one that hasn’t been covered already in all the ones I have looked at.

And as I have said elsewhere, I have made friends online. Some have been around this blog from those early days, being critics, supporters and sometimes broadening my perspectives on different topics. Some we have lost. Some have gone to their maker. And some maybe have just disappeared in the thin air.

In the spirit of no braining, I want to repost one of the blogs from 2013. The passage below is from Atheism Explained by D.R. Steele

God cannot be destroyed. He can’t be injured against his will or made to suffer against his will, and he knows this. If this is true, then God can’t be afraid of anything. He has never known fear at first hand, though he may have known fear in his imagination, the way we know fear by watching a horror movie . But if God has never been fearful, then God has never been courageous . The virtue of courage consists in overcoming or disregarding or perhaps suppressing one’s fear or one’s inclination to fear. Bravery, then, is a virtue that God can never achieve .

The same applies to most o f the human virtues. Most virtues, like courage, involve self-control and therefore have no application to God, who experiences not the slightest flicker of appetites or impulses which might cause him to deviate from doing whatever he infallibly decides is best. God cannot be tempted, so he earns no points for resisting temptation. Nothing, to God, is an effort, so he can never become lazy or irresolute, and deserves no praise for being steadfast!
If God is all powerful and almighty, then God has never faced any onerous tasks, has never shouldered any burdens, has never had to give up one thing in order to get another ( except where the alternatives are logically incompatible ) , has never felt involuntary pain or even a twinge of discomfort or anxiety, has never had to make a difficult decision, has never solved an intellectual puzzle ( since he knows all the answers in advance ) . God has no curiosity, since he knows everything instantly, without making an effort to find out.

God has never had to work hard at anything, has never been surprised or disappointed. God has never had to make a choice, since that would presuppose at least a moment where he had not made up his mind. God can never be careful or considerate. God can never pay particular attention. God has never experienced, at first hand, the joy of understanding an elegant theorem or experiencing a great work of art. He has heard it all before.
Creation of anything by humans, for example creation of a song or a book, has its joys and its sorrows . But for God, the Creator of the universe, there could be no joy, or sorrow, or sense of accomplishment. He created the universe just by willing it and before he willed it, he knew how it was going to turn out. Aside from that, joy and sorrow are characteristics of evolved conscious beings with bodies, forever enmeshed in the struggle to survive and reproduce.
Such emotional flurries could have no place in the life of. an eternal, indestructible Supreme Being. Theists say that God is wholly good. This implies that he has never known at first hand malice, lust, greed, or envy. Furthermore, God, defined as God who is wholly good, is held to be necessary. If it’s necessary that God is wholly good, then God could never go even slightly bad, he could never start toying with a bit of shadiness here and there . So God can’t do anything even slightly evil . No credit is due to God for being good; he can’t help
himself.

Only a very few theists are prepared to say that God could choose to do evil, and it’s easy to see why. If God is free to do something evil, then he might, at any moment, do just that. Being all-good would then be revealed as not necessarily true of God : it must have been a mistake all along to think of it as necessarily true & a practical matter we could no longer depend on God to be good. How could we ever know that God had turned bad? What evidence might we find to give us an indication of any such turn of events? It does seem to be essential to the God concept that God is impotent to commit evil. Even mild naughtiness must be beyond his powers. We begin to wonder whether this entity can really be a person .

Have a good week everyone.

on the devil and other news

aka Satan.

Nan says the dude has no real existence. The cuddly one says it is a mistake to think the devil is a myth.


I think the author of this article is not serious. He claims, boldy, that

As C.S. Lewis once observed, even among critics, the teachings of Jesus reflect the highest standard of morality known to man.

which makes me think he hasn’t really considered what he calls the highest standard of morality.

The mythical Dave the author quotes can believe as possible or true natural explanation even when these have not proven as long as they don’t require a miracle. In a world of particles colliding where some of those particles result in thinking beings, wrong and right become very useful indicators as some things are either beneficial or inimical to the continued survival of such species of organisms.

Regis tells us modern man is concerned with, following Maslow, self actualization instead of seeking salvation- individual salvation, so to speak. I see no difference between the two except in the means.

If god exists, Regis must tell us what has taken her so long to provide manna to end starvation? Or to make wine so we all can make merry. Man has been struggling in darkness to solve the problems of man. Were it not for nationalism, short term vision, greed, we could have made progress in how we deal with some of the crisis that face us.

Have a devil free Monday and a good week everyone.

If atheists found out that God is real, what would they do differently in their lives?

I find quora sometimes does have very interesting questions. Notice I say interesting not intelligent.

The first problem( taken literally) with this question implies we believe god is fake or unreal which is a gross misunderstanding of the atheist position. I have no belief in the existence of god or deity.

The second is implied. That the deity we will find is the Abrahamic one who sends you to hell because he loves you very much. Such a deity is terrifying.

If one were to meet, say, the Maori god of earthquakes that Barry was telling me this morning, one could ask them what joy they derived from such destruction? Do they have regrets and can they teach me to create an earthquake?

A meeting with Apollo or was it Bacchus would be a different thing altogether. Maybe we would get so high no meaningful conversation would be possible.

I have digressed.

Atheists live their lives just like other people except they don’t have the tendency to meet on a certain for worship or thank their cats for something that happened to them or that they did and I guess many would continue that way.

Finally, there is an implicit acceptance by this believer that god could as well be real. Or else this believer doesn’t subscribe to an omni god. And I am with anyone who entertains such doubt and I encourage them to move just one step further.

Have a good weekend everyone.

What sort of evidence are you looking for?

Is a question many atheists have been asked in one form or another. Many have given varied answers to the question and my contribution, though not new, is to say evidence that would be accepted by any reasonable person/observer.

But who is a reasonable observer/person?


Abstract philosophy and exercise is only suited for that person who is well fed and housed. The practical man or woman has use for philosophy to the extent to which it is relevant to their lives and until professional philosophers address issues of practical men and women, their works will remain in university bookshelves read only by other professional philosophers.

Evidence for Christianity

The argument from truth

The author of the linked post intended, and failed, to show that atheism is not compatible with truth or to argue that atheists have a problem with truth. I argue, without fear of contradiction, that s/he has not proved their case. They didn’t even get off. We cannot, from reading their blog determine what truth is and how its existence is proof for god or an argument against atheism.

I will state, following Odera Oruka that all truths are contextual, where context is a tradition that determines the levels of understanding and the rules of rationality. Within a context, objectivity is implied and therefore, to argue that truth is contextual is not to commit to relativism.

After failing to make a coherent argument for truth as demonstrating that the Christian god exists, our interlocutor moves to morality and attempts to kill the horse that has been killed so many times there is no death left in it- is morality objective or subjective?- in their own words

What about claims that morality is relative? Someone may say one behaviour is acceptable and another not. If there is no God, then all our morals are a matter of personal opinion and not objective.

And as I have said of truth, codes of behaviour are context specific. And within a given context, whatever norms or codes that people live by are considered, they will be objective.

Our interlocutor then writes

If there is no God, then all our morals are a matter of personal opinion and not objective.

as if transferring the source of the opinion improves objectivity. Where gods have been claimed to have spoken, they have not been clear. Is it bad to kill? Not if they worship a different god. Or if it is as a sacrifice to a god. So that, if we are to follow the precepts laid down in the bible (our interlocutor argues for Christianity), we would not be certain on how to act.

We are told

However, if there is a God, and that God has defined right and wrong moral behaviour, then we have a standard outside of ourselves providing us with an objective standard for morality. If God does exist then we can have real objective moral truths.

and I ask which are these? Don’t eat shellfish? Take for example the command don’t kill. Why should we not kill? Because god has said. This, I argue, is unhelpful. It takes us to WLC philosophy of divine command theory where everything that god says is right. I am not sure Euthyphro’s dilemma has been successfully answered.

Most times when I read blogs by Christian apologists, I am left wondering why do they live in such small worlds. When a person writes

The Atheist must borrow the Christian worldview, to hold onto objective moral truths, but at the same time they want to reject the foundation for moral truth.

i ask is the world divided only between Christian and atheist? From whose world view does the atheist in Buddhaland borrow from?

If 1+1=2, the existence of god adds nothing to this. It is independent of gods. I don’t see how empirical facts help with the argument for existence of gods. Unless the apologist is able to demonstrate that the existence of god will change the value of 1+1, then using it as an argument to demonstrate the existence of god fails, unless I am missing something.