Unbelievable? Chapter 8

A chat with Dawkins

This was to me the most boring chapter.

He writes he asked Dawkins, if we lived in a universe where rape was considered fine, would that mean rape is fine.

He says Dawkins response was that it is enough that we live in a universe where rape is not considered fine, a response which Justin finds inadequate. To turn this question on its head, if as Justin insists, we live in a world governed by god who is the lawgiver and it programmed such a law, what would we do? The argument that god is good by definition will not cut it. We have no way of knowing the nature of god, so the Christians have told us. They can’t have it both ways.

Justin takes issue with the following memes

  • Atheism as simply a lack of belief in god

He claims that atheism has been defined typically as the belief that there is no god. On the contrary I think many atheists have defined atheism as a lack of belief in the existence of god as contrasted to theism which is the belief that their is a god. This could be splitting hairs but they mean different things. Again contrary to his claim that this definition makes the atheist no different from an agnostic, many atheists would willingly admit they are agnostic with regards to belief in god, that is, we do not know whether or not a god(s) exists. It is no argument against atheism that there is disagreement on how it is defined.

  • god didn’t create humans, humans created god

As far as memes go, this is interesting. Maybe Nietzsche had a point, was god man’s first mistake.

Justin goes after the argument, unsuccessfully I must add, that our belief in the supernatural began in an ignorant age arguing that the source of a belief should is not sufficient to prove that its contents are also false. We however have occasion to believe that humans make wrong inferences all the time, and so it is with religious belief.

  • out of the thousands of religions only Christianity is true

Justin says this argument undercuts the grounds of atheism as well. I don’t see how. It is either one religion is true, all are true or all false. But atheism isn’t a religion. He continues to say Christians hold some common beliefs with other religions such as a creator god and that historical evidence supports the existence of Jesus. The Jesus question we already dispensed with in a previous chapter.

  • Hell

He says god is not sending anyone to hell. That you are consciously choosing with your own freewill to go to hell by rejecting god. Why did god create hell if she didn’t want anyone there anyway? And why not nudge us away from disbelief?

  • Religion is to blame for all the conflict in the world

is first of all a strawman. No one makes this claim ( I don’t know if the claim by Hitch that religions poison everything could apply?) but what I have heard is at least that religion is responsible for some of the conflicts in the world. And this is undisputed. To claim a body account between atheism and theism doesn’t advance the argument for theism. It only tells us human systems have their flaws.

 

A window for truth

This is a public service announcement. The author of a window for truth and their audience think this about atheists’ memes

Atheist memes are among the most childish and unintellectual things on the internet; not to say all atheists are unthinking robots but the memes that prosper are generally the ones that state something the average atheist WANTS to believe is true.

They click “Like” as unthinkingly as an elderly Christian grandmother might proclaim “Halleluiah” when told to at a Billy Graham event. They react, but they don’t think before reacting.

They put down “sheep” and yet act like sheep.

But am putting the cart before the horse.

1. God sends no one to hell

Tell me, how could a mortal send an omnimax being out of their lives? How the fuck would you do that? Is this to say there are things god wants but can’t effect?

2. Even if you ignore my first point, who says God sends everyone to Hell for having an abortion?

In all honesty, this didn’t make sense.

3. Kills His only Son

I will let the author speak for himself and bold font added by us

First of all, it was Roman authorities who did the killing. They were urged on by manipulative religious authorities who felt threatened by Jesus, His popularity and His disregard for their petty religious rules and regulations. A suicide by the centurion and there is a big if. We have no evidence the fellow lived, forget the suicide.

Secondly, God allowed Jesus to die because a significant part of Jesus’s mission — many Christians would declare it was the most important part — was to be a sacrifice that would make up for all the wrong things we’ve done and all the right things we’ve failed to do. Well, it would do that for everyone who accepts the gift of Jesus. In this case, god was an accessory to the murder

Why was a death necessary? Because this “sinning” business is deadly stuff, far more lethal than most of us truly understand. And nothing we can do or say or think or pray can make up for all the wrong things we’ve done and the right things we’ve failed to do. All our efforts will always fall short. Always. Fuck! He is god. He could as well have said you sons of bitches and bastards are all forgiven. I mean he created the universe by saying let there be, how could forgiving people without killing others be harder?

He proposes at the end

Yes or no, post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

and I pass that offer. What type of conversation do you have with a person in the deep end of stupid?

Chronicles of YHWH 28: A Metastable Figment

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Angel Gabriel once found YHWH pacing up and down in his library, deep in thoughts. YHWH seemed deeply distracted and anxious.

Gabriel: Lord, is everything alright? You look a bit pale.

YHWH: I’ve just finished reading “The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins, Gabriel.

Gabriel: And?

YHWH: I feel terrible now. That book raises some pretty disturbing points. I’m now half convinced that I don’t exist in reality.

Gabriel: But I’m talking to you, right now.

YHWH: What if both of us are figment’s of someone else’s imagination? What if we both only exist in the minds of religious people?

Gabriel: That can’t be. You sent your son to the humans sometime ago, and he appeared to them physically.

YHWH: Sometimes I wonder whether that actually happened. What if that too is a false memory by some of the religious people? After all, my so called “son” left no verifiable proof of his existence down there.

Gabriel: There are billions of Christians down there now. They are enough proof that your son really walked on earth.

YHWH: Dawkins states that the human mind is susceptible to memes – ideas that become viral and spread within a population very fast, if left unchecked. Memes can be based on reality, or on fiction. What if we are a fictitious meme – of a particularly contagious nature?

Slight pause.

Gabriel: Surely, there must be a tangible way of verifying our existence, Lord.

YHWH: I can’t think of any. We are invisible, intangible, and our very nature keeps changing, depending on who is describing us. Some Christians describe us as loving and forgiving, while others describe us as militant and vengeful. Gabriel, what are we, really?

Gabriel: Whoa. Let’s try and live apart from the perceptions and thoughts of these human beings. Let’s try and manifest independently of the human mind.

YHWH: I’ve tried that already, Gabriel. And failed. Apparently, we can’t exist outside human minds. This is terrifying.

Long pause.

Gabriel: I need a stiff drink now.

YHWH: Make that two.

 

N/B: For access to all anecdotes in this series, check out List of all “Chronicles of YHWH” notes.