My good friend argues in this post that the notion that we have freewill makes us unjust and that in order to build just societies, we need to see the world as deterministic.
What are your thoughts for or against the above thesis
My good friend argues in this post that the notion that we have freewill makes us unjust and that in order to build just societies, we need to see the world as deterministic.
What are your thoughts for or against the above thesis
God is alive guys. So my mother survived this with a scratched toe. JUST A SCRATCHED TOE. Its even the smallest toe https://t.co/4wGWCQdq9a
Anyone who lost a friend or relative in a road accident can file a petition against a cruel and unjust god.
of the old testament, if you will.
In his post, Brian Ingalls, has set out to convince us atheists are wrong in thinking his beloved god is guilty of genocide among other crimes.
He gives the following excuses
Is there anyone of you with some sense in their heads who doesn’t think these excuses are absurd, inexcusable and are blasphemous?
a. our concepts of justice, and these are the only meaningful ways of which we can talk about justice expects us to protect those we have created and are vulnerable. It is not an argument in god’s favour that having created sentient beings, he can do with them as he pleases.
b. if the apologist wants to use this line of hyperbole, we must ask why a good god would want to deceive its followers.
c. who was the god of the Canaanites? Why would the same god who made them, command another group of people it made to forcefully occupy their land? Was it impossible for a god so powerful to settle them elsewhere without bloodshed?
d. why, even after issuing warnings would god command bloodshed. I can think of many non violent ways a good meet its ends and to tell us an all loving, powerful and knowing god would only think of bloodshed reeks of a lack of imagination
e. the claim that whatever god does is just is abhorrent to any thinking being.
f. why would an apologist argue with a straight face that the only means available to their god is bloodshed?
g. why have the blood on their hands? Why make the people of Israel be inhumane towards others who have done them no harm? What justice is there? Where is the kindness? Where is the love?
I think any theist who justifies these repine in the name of god is worse than a monster. To believe it’s a show of love, kindness and great knowledge to fill the earth with the blood of innocents is to me the worst form of psychopathy and such persons ought to be checked into an institution.
Godless Cranium has written a post, which I will read after I finish writing mine for fear that should I read his first, I may find it so good I will be unable to go ahead. It is a response to Lyle who has written the amazing new atheists.
In his brief essay, The Necessity of Atheism, Percy Bysshe Shelley writes, and I paraphrase that ignorance of nature created the gods, its knowledge will be the death of gods. If this has not been true at any time in our history, then it is more so now.
Lyle starts his post thus
I am truly amazed at people that claim they are atheist and then spent a great deal of their time talking about or even arguing about transcendental concepts like love, justices and truth.
and one wonders if these are not human terms? Anyone, as long as they are human, can use them. Or does Lyle intend to tell us there is only a special class of persons to whom love, justice and truth should matter?
He goes on
If there is no God, are these concept not just empty expressions? Why spent the time and effort to try to convince the theist or for that matter anyone that there is no God? If there is no God, is not truth just a subjective term that has no real content?
I don’t speak for other atheists, but I am not busy trying to convince a theist there is no god. I already know and that is enough for me. What does god have to do with justice? Is Lyle telling us without his belief in a phantom, he will be robbing his neighbour, killing their pets? What does he mean by betting justice on a god? And while he keeps throwing truth around, what does he mean by truth?
I don’t know how gods non-existence
would necessitate the complete remaking of everything, our language, our culture, values, civilization and in essences the very way we think about everything.
Is culture so dependent on god that if men stopped believing in some ghost, it would collapse? Hasn’t humanity progressed in spite of culture, religion and not because of it?
And he represents Nietzsche when he writes
We are talking about the world of Nietzsche, a world, which has gone beyond good and evil, a world of a mad man
for he( Nietzsche) dreamt of a higher man. He writes for the free spirit. Not held back by custom, by religion or dogma.
can mankind survive as man without the idea of God?
and I say a resounding yes. I hope also he recognizes, god is just an idea and one which hasn’t even been coherently defined. It means whatever the believer wants it to mean.
Someone said, and I paraphrase, all great ideas start as heresy and I find these words
For this reason I believe that atheism is the most dangers and destructive ideology in the world
by Lyle to capture the spirit of that quote. Yes, any idea that leads to a revolution in the way of thought is dangerous. It can’t be any other way. And Lyle has every reason to be scared. Religion cannot stand the assault of reason without transforming itself into something entirely different.
When he writes
Some may respond by saying that they feel religion is evil and that they are simply trying to do away with evil and replace it with something better. Well I would have to agree that some religion is evil but not because religion itself is evil but rather because there are evil men in religion.
I have to disagree. Religion is inherently harmful. No man is evil. It is judgement that makes it so, and this judgement is not on the person but on
their actions rather consequences of their actions.
It is odd that the person berating atheists as being relativist[s] says
You might reply, because religion hurts people. My answer is, it has not hurt me,
Is a god necessary for one to know genocide is harmful or that war is? Is the believer so handicapped? Who ties their shoelaces?
That the Nazis thought exterminating the Jews reasonable doesn’t make it so. I don’t want to be exterminated. In the words of John Donne,
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee
I must think theists very ignorant of the church history. When the church had divine guidance, witches were burnt, men and women burnt at the stake and religious differences settled by crusades. As Arch would say, religion is trying to bring peace to a world torn apart by religion.
Anytime a theist brings up the reign of Stalin as a counterpoint to atheistic society, I am convinced the fellow has an IQ less than that of my shirt, and I mean no insult here. Stalin was for lack of a better word psycho. The religious represent about 58% of the Chinese population. The government is authoritarian. Nobody denies that the ruling party is atheistic. It’s faults are not, in my view, because it is atheistic but because it is authoritarian.
It is a fact that
The truth is that belief in God is as much a matter of the will as the intelligent.
and this explains why there are those who regardless of anything reason can show them, they would still believe in god.
I don’t want to go beyond here. It is no argument for the truth of religion that some intelligent person believed.
In this post, the author starts by contradicting himself by saying natural law requires religion, biblical religion. You may want to know why this is a contradiction
Natural law is a philosophy of law that is determined by nature, and so is universal. Classically, natural law refers to the use of reason to analyze human nature — both social and personal — and deduce binding rules of moral behavior from it.
I am aware the Catholic will say
the natural law is the rule of conduct which is prescribed to us by the Creator in the constitution of the nature with which He has endowed us.
and I contend that such a law, if it involves the supernatural, cannot in all fairness be called natural.
I haven’t received the memo yet, but it appears the secret is out. Atheists are trying to eliminate Jews and Christians.
This author tells us
There is really only one struggle in this world, but it manifests itself in many different ways. That struggle is between those who believe in and worship the One True God, the God of the Bible, and everyone else.
and I will tell you, if there is any struggle, it is between the reasonable and the unreasonable and in this group we have the superstitious, the denialists and jihadis, and Indiana Governor, Mr. Pence. Very few, if any worship the god of the bible. No one stones their neighbour for working on a Sunday, many have tattoos, wear clothes of mixed fabric and so on.
Nietzsche writing about morals in Genealogy of Morals, argues and correctly so, that christian morality is a slave morality, a morality of the weak. It encourages it’s believers to be meek down here to be in a position to inherit wealth in the hereafter. It’s aim is to shift the balance of power in the hereafter to the poor, the stupid and the uneducated.
I don’t shy away from the charge of being amoral. I am willing to be shown how good/ bad are not matters of judgement and only that they make sense in society. That without people living in groups, the word morality makes no sense.
It is true,
the Humanists recognized that those who believe in God are a powerful force of opposition, specifically those who believe in the Bible.
but not in the way this author thinks, far from it, but they are the greatest opposition to advancement in human development and expansion of human rights everywhere. The humanist desire is to have a better world for all, the christian believes the world is transient and is busy making a world in the nether world at the expense of decency and goodness here, where it matters the most.
When this author writes
Is this starting to explain what you see happening in our society today yet — especially in politics? It explains why Humanists have no concern for human life: because they see no value in any life but their own.
I can say without fear of contradiction that he is lying. There are only a handful of atheists in government positions. Many atheists I know are opposed to war, to capital punishment. The christian prays as he goes to war that his god grants him victory. Bush believed he was doing god’s will when he attacked Saddam. So no, you got it wrong. The humanist is concerned with life, human life especially, but extends the same dignity to all sentient creatures.
I think the believer living in America must know very little. The world is vast. People have varied religions and some have none and they live well.
I am not American, but I believe all the progress that has been made there and elsewhere in terms of human advancement has been done inspite of the religion.
And further, were it not for the humanists, such as Joseph Lewis, Ingersoll, Mencken, Mark Twain, the American evangelist would still be scaring his congregation with hell fire. It is the humanist who pointed out the absurdity in believing in a loving god who has a BBQ on the side for people who question its existence.
I think the belief that it is up to us to make the world a better place for us and others achieves more positive results than telling people they will roast forever plus 1 in hell for not believing silly things. We have grown up. We can’t continue to believe the superstitions of our ignorant ancestors. I believe that any one who today believes that the bible is true and that is the word of a god is uneducated, stupid and unreasonable. The age has come where we have to see it for what it is, a book by ignorant men, mainly, for ignorant men written for political and theological ends but always by ignorant and unsophisticated men.
only possible among equals?
I will just copy the post from avaaz. It has been in my email for a few days now.
By now we’ve all heard this story, but it’s no less shocking: 16 year old Liz was walking home from her grandfather’s funeral when she was ambushed by six men who took turns raping her and then threw her unconscious body down a 6-meter toilet pit.Their punishment? Police had them mow their station lawn, then let them go free!
Liz’s horror story has sent shockwaves through Kenya and now politicians and the police are under pressure to respond. But women’s groups say nothing will truly change unless the government is put under the spotlight. They are calling on us urgently to help ensure justice is done and that Liz’s nightmare marks a turning-point in Kenya’s rape epidemic.
Nobody has been brought to justice — not the rapists, and not the police. Today, we change that. Let’s stand with Liz right now, before her attackers and the police escape.Click below to get justice for Liz and help make sure no girl anywhere suffers this violence:
According to the girl’s mother, after they were set free, the rapists returned to Liz’s home to taunt the family. They acted like they were above the law, and they had good reason to think so. Because of ridiculous bureaucratic requirements, the police logged Liz’s attack as mere “assault” and asked her mother to “clean her up”, destroying key forensic evidence. Now her rapists are free and Liz is in a wheelchair.
Liz’s story is an extreme example of a much bigger problem. Two thirds of Kenyan school girls and half of school boys have been sexually abused. And earlier this year, a landmark court ruling found police guilty of failing to do their jobs and ordered them to uphold Kenya’s strict anti-rape laws. Rape is illegal everywhere, but too often these laws are just not enforced by the men charged with protecting our daughters. Beginning with Liz, we can change that.
The police claim that they don’t have the money or training to uphold the law. But you don’t need much training to know that cutting the grass is no punishment for rape. If we can help ensure these rapists and police are held to account, we can set a precedent that will compel police to treat rape as a serious crime, not a misdemeanour.
Here is the petition
Fellow sufferers, a lot has been written about free will on this blog and those of you who are regular readers know the opinion of yours truly. In this address by Clarence Darrow, he makes such a compelling argument for bringing down of prison walls one wonders why several years later, the Americans still have the highest prison population among any nation in the developed and industrialized west.
Once during an argument with some buddies of mine, I told them what they call justice is nothing other than the rich protecting their property. Clarence writes
The laws are really organized for the protection of the men who rule the world. They were never organized or enforced to do justice. We have no system for doing justice, not the slightest in the world.
a statement I find hard to disagree with. Elsewhere he says
Hanging men in our county jails does not prevent murder. It makes murderers.
something yours truly agrees with. But more so it is the concluding remarks that I will share before sending you to read the whole article as an assignment from your genial host.
The only way in the world to abolish crime and criminals is to abolish the big ones and the little ones together. Make fair conditions of life. Give men a chance to live. Abolish the right of private ownership of land, abolish monopoly, make the world partners in production, partners in the good things of life. Nobody would steal if he could get something of his own some easier way. Nobody will commit burglary when he has a house full. No girl will go out on the streets when she has a comfortable place at home. The man who owns a sweatshop or a department store may not be to blame himself for the condition of his girls, but when he pays them five dollars, three dollars, and two dollars a week, I wonder where he thinks they will get the rest of their money to live. The only way to cure these conditions is by equality. There should be no jails. They do not accomplish what they pretend to accomplish. If you would wipe them out, there would be no more criminals than now. They terrorize nobody. They are a blot upon civilization, and a jail is an evidence of the lack of charity of the people on the outside who make the jails and fill them with the victims of their greed.
If you don’t follow WEIT, you may want to visit his site there is a lot of biology to learn, cat stories for cat lovers, music for music lovers and gems such as these for those who have time to spare reading philosophy. So get over there too and learn something new.
Yours truly is not a lawyer, neither was he in court during the trial. It is the aim of this post to look at this particular case from what was reported in the media and offer a defense for the young man.
First the details of the case.
David was charged with violently robbing his father while armed with a revolver and a knife. He stole a wallet containing Sh1,000, an ATM card, Visa Card, Alien Identity Card, two medical cards, three supermarket smart cards and a mobile phone all valued at Sh157,000.
and the decision of the court
I have considered that he is a first offender but also the fact that the offence he is charged with carries only one mandatory sentence. I will be imposing an illegal sentence to deviate from what the law says and, therefore, order him to suffer death.
the testimony by the father
Mr Mulready Tett testified that on the fateful day, his son called him to the living room where he found him with two other men. He noticed that his son was troubled and requested that they go outside to have a private talk and when they went back in the house, he requested the two to leave.
and the son’s response
the young Tett said that he was a victim of circumstances, that he was hijacked by the robbers who asked him at gunpoint to take them to his parents’ home and had no alternative but to comply.
I don’t know about you, but this case smells bad from the word go especially listening to what the adopted mother had to say
He used to claim for his share of property. Who is he? He is not even my own son. I only took care of him and in any case, I could have given him some property.
I am not privy to how the adoption was arranged, how they are related but I think there is more than meets the eye in this case. For one the sentence of the court defies the laws of natural justice. What good does society gain by the death sentence? How does the attempted theft of 157K warrant a death sentence? Why did the court dismiss the plea by the son that he was a victim of circumstances?
I believe a person acts as he does and that environment, training and temperament all play apart in someone’s behaviour. It would be useful for us to know under what circumstances David was brought up. His story has not been told in the whole of this. We have on the contrary the story of a once powerful mother complaining to be aggrieved while she sheds crocodile tears.
Anyone who receives death threats can go to the police and file a complaint. She says
He has always kept threatening the family, I had to restructure my security detail, change my routes because of the consistent death threats I always get from people hired by him to come and kill me.
It would be interesting to know if she ever reported such incidences to the police? Were this people arrested and what became of their cases? How did she tell her son had hired them or did they report this to her? And if they could report to her, they could also tell the police, why didn’t they report to the police they had been hired to kill the lady? This, to me, simply makes no sense.
I think the magistrate erred in sentencing David to hang. I think justice was not served and I hope that he files an appeal and gets his sentence commuted or revoked altogether. And am I opposed to death penalty.
Those good friends who have been reading this blog must have Caroline a while back. We meet with her here again on a pet subject of mine. As part of the larger series of response to christian apologists, we will have fun doing this, one to show where they are wrong and also to see how we can move forward in eliminating superstition and myth from the minds of the people. It is the only way I think society can move forward as one.
As a small change in my response to the apologists, I would first want them to define god coherently and show that a god so defined can exist and also that the god so defined need our worship. Barring this, I am convinced that apologists and theologians have chosen to willfully delude themselves and the general public. I also contend that they have to show the god they defined is the christian god or whatever religion they ascribe to.
Now that we are done with the basics, let us deal with the question at heart here. Our friend is talking about justice and punishment. I don’t think there is any justice, there is only revenge. We call it justice because we are ashamed of the word revenge while most times that is what people are seeking, in that respect I can’t support any fight for justice. Unless here we refer to cases like where one has grabbed a piece of your land and all you want is that piece to be returned and nothing more, in such an instance I would give a little neck room but not beyond.
I’ve been wrestling with atheists recently, philosophically, not physically. And as we’ve gone back and forth, the charge of God’s apparent capriciousness and/or callousness has been proposed as reason to question his goodness. A case in point is the biblical record of God “hardening “ Pharaoh’s heart. This is the Egyptian king who was ruthlessly oppressing the enslaved Israelites. And when God called Moses to be his instrument of redemption, he did say to him, “When you go back to Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the miracles that I have put in your power. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go.” (Exodus 4:21)
Here before we discuss whether Pharaoh was ruthless, the first question that must be dealt with here is, were the Israelites spoils of war or were they led to Egypt by their supposed god? If it is the first, we need to examine the records to see whether there is any truth in it. And if as I believe, they were led to Egypt by their supposed god, he must be responsible fully for what happens to them while there. Blame can’t be transferred unless the theist also accepts that Pharaoh was god’s agent and is to that extent not guilty. In many posts, I have said what I think about miracles and I will repeat here that truth doesn’t require miracles. As long as a miracle is needed, I insist there is no truth involved.
Many ask, how then can God be just in bringing all the plagues on Pharaoh and the Egyptians if he so decreed that his heart would be set firmly against freeing the Israelites? It is a reasonable question, but I believe some investigating will disclose a satisfactory answer.
Let us look at the answer she proposes
Before I go on, I’d like to emphasize its reasonableness and say to my atheist friends [………..] that these difficult passages disquiet and trouble Christians as well. It is a sign of our sense of justice and concern for our fellow-man that you and we are disturbed by them. And that’s a good thing. The difference, as I see it, is that you stop there and write God off as either nonexistent or not worthy of worship, but we give him the benefit of the doubt, if you will, and pursue a greater understanding. Not because we don’t want to face the facts, but because we must, and the facts of his justice, mercy, love, and grace don’t jive with evil and cruelty.
Why for instance give god a benefit of doubt you are not ready to grant your fellow-man who you can see, who has feelings, he pleads for mercy? Is it a case where one wants to truly believe that the god she believes in is good despite evidence to the contrary? No we don’t stop there, we continue to examine whether the stories so told are credible and whether the god described can be called merciful and we find he falls short. We lack a belief in gods because we find no evidence to suppose one or many could exist. By saying your god is not what it is described to be, we are not saying it exists, no, we are showing that as described he can only be a fiend, capricious and an enemy of men.
In the same way, because I am convinced of God’s goodness, based on how he reveals himself in both the Old and New Testaments, the witness of Jesus Christ who is the “image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15), the fact that we his creatures are capable of great love, compassion, sacrifice, kindness, etc…I, at the very least, trust that there is a good explanation for the apparent dichotomy. And my faith can be strong without knowledge of that explanation. But because I believe God provides a greater understanding when we pursue it…I pursue it.
Friends, please help me here. Well maybe I read a wrong bible translation but how can someone defend that the god of the OT is good. He punishes his first mistake, sends them out of their residence, curses the earth they are supposed to plow, curses child-birth, drowns almost everything, shows favoritism, allows or commands the killing of several number of peeps for no reason other than that they worship a bigger god than him. This god tolerates slavery, promises to punish great-grandchildren for the sins of their fathers, punishes everyone except the persons responsible[take case of David, kills the baby instead of David]. Please someone help me here. In the NT we are sent this god sent himself to die for our sins, he tells us he was innocent. Which good god sets such an example? While on the story of this Jeebus, how long was his mission here?
Why do you need faith? Why must one continue to suspend reason. If something is true, we don’t need faith. Faith is only required to believe the impossible and credulous and as for me, I don’t want faith. I want to live, as Camus says, with what I know and only with that.
Let us listen to the dichotomy
So I’ve sought understanding of God’s hardening of Pharaoh’s heart, and though God’s ways are so much higher than ours and men have written long treatises on this issue because it is deep and complex, still I think I can confidently speak on one reality that addresses it and that should be helpful. And it is demonstrated in the convicted murderer scenario I opened with: A just punishment is still just even if there is a potential for mercy that is denied.
I have talked about punishment already. To say god’s ways are higher than ours, what does she mean? And then how is this important to us? If it is higher than ours it only follows that there is no point it becomes relevant to us. It can always remain high up there and as such can’t be used as a standard to measure things here, it will always be higher. There is nothing like just punishment, that statement qualifies to be called an oxymoron!
Pharaoh was an evil ruler who denied mercy to the Israelites and abused them as his slaves. He and all of Egypt worshiped false gods and the Pharaoh willingly received adulation from the Egyptians as having godlike status. They were deserving of God’s wrath. What’s more, God foreknew that Pharaoh would stubbornly refuse to release the Israelites “unless compelled by a mighty hand” (Exodus 3:19). His hardening of Pharaoh’s heart was part of God’s method of compulsion. It was retribution for his evil deeds borne of an evil heart, and the means of redemption for God’s people.
Please tell me, dear reader, where is it said Pharaoh was evil? Two where in the bible is the god of Abe described as the god for everyone? I want someone to show me where god revealed himself to Pharaoh saying he is his god and pharaoh dismissed him. The charge that pharaoh worshiped false god can’t be sustained and must be withdrawn. And you have no right to call someone’s god false. It is only false according to you and since no one has shown the one true god, all gods can equally be false, that is even if you could prove that yours exists. How can anyone say pharaoh and the whole of Egypt was deserving of this god’s wrath, a god they had no knowledge of? Is this not the height of cruelty and capriciousness! It’s like a king asking for the arrest of a fellow he met and who didn’t know him then asking this guy be hanged! Tell me where the difference is between Caroline’s god and this king, and remember am patient 😀
Please tell me, is it remotely possible that, allowing this god to be both omnipotent and omniscient, he would resort to hardening pharaoh’s heart, perform some mundane tricks to get his people to go? But even before we get there, is it possible that he didn’t know by taking them to Egypt they would become slaves and thus send them elsewhere? People let us get serious! I know some of you want this god story to be true, but please just for a few moments everyday, apply reason!
So, God did not compel Pharaoh to resist him in opposition to what Pharaoh was inclined to do. In multiple passages in Exodus Pharaoh is said to have hardened his own heart. He simply executed righteous judgment on him and the Egyptians by ensuring his continued resistance resulting in the ten plagues.
So if pharaoh acted according to his own nature as Caroline implies here, why has god to punish him. It is like saying a blind man should be punished for using a white stick to find his way! My next question was everyone in Egypt a pharaoh? If the problem was between god and pharaoh, why involve everyone else? Could god not seek an address with pharaoh, why even send Moses? This sounds like the queen of England has a problem with Mr. Hollande, then she sends some ignorant farmer to go meet with the president, please friends, is this sensible?
One might object that obviously God knew Pharaoh would have relented a lot sooner or he wouldn’t have needed to harden his heart, and that would have spared Egypt a number of plagues…and that’s not fair. But I refer you again to our convicted Murderer B. Would we think it just, particularly if his victim was a loved one of ours, if upon his expressed remorse and resolve never to murder again as he stood ready to be sentenced, the judge let him go scot-free?
I have said enough about punishment already. The rest of this statement is ridiculous. Here we have a god behaving like Caroline would, why then call him god? He has the same attitudes just like we do?
But whence goeth justice in the case of Murderer A? He received mercy, which is the antithesis of justice, and every judge has the authority to dispense it. But though we are all entitled to justice, no one is entitled to mercy.
Do I need to say here I again that there is no justice and that we are all entitled to mercy. We can’t act against our nature, so all of us must be treated with mercy whether a god exists or not. Anyone who objects to this position please show me why!
But if God is so wonderful and loving, why doesn’t he have mercy on everyone? I think there are a lot of good answers to that, but there’s one that becomes obvious if we ask ourselves this: Why doesn’t any judge sentence every convicted criminal that stands before him to probation?
I think the obvious answer to this question is at the beginning of the post. There are no gods and in as much as we would want things to be different, they are just as they are.
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