Rational agnostic

I think my friends Bob and Liberty will agree that

All rational agnostics are atheist by default.

I guess they live their lives as if there are no gods and their position in relation to things supernatural is that we can’t know.

And I don’t think they are in the same boat with this rational agnostic who claims to have known god at some point.

Pascal’s Wager is not a great argument.

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Revisiting Pascal’s wager

Early in the year, I did write a refutation of Pascal’s Wager where I did show that it seems to me as one of the weakest reasons to believe in god. I don’t think it can or should be taken as an argument for god. It is an argument that seeks to make faith a virtue. At the onset, Pascal has already said reason cannot arbitrate.

This blogger thinks it is one of the good arguments against atheism and he refers us to Peter Kreeft.

The assumption that we must wager is not valid. Why assume we survive our death? And why should the christian think that a god who could create the universe would care one way or the either whether I worshiped it or not?

Peter has given several analogies and he thinks they can be compared to the case of god belief. I don’t think this is the case. In the case of god belief, there is the bigger question on which god to place your bet on. Is it to be Jupiter, Zeus, Krishna among the many gods? Pascal thinks we should wager on the christian god, but the question is what happens to those who by a fault not of their own were born in the Amazon where there are no gods?

The question is what is there to lose in betting on god? The answer is everything. If gods don’t exist, everything depends on us, even happiness. If gods exists, then nothing depends on us but their whims.

Peter writes

To the high-minded objector who refuses to believe for the low motive of saving the eternal skin of his own soul, we may reply that the Wager works as well if we change the motive. Let us say we want to give God his due if there is a God. Now if there is a God, justice demands total faith, hope, love, obedience, and worship. If there is a God and we refuse to give him these things, we sin maximally against the truth.

and as a conscientious objector, I say slavery is not justice. If there is a god and that god created the universe, the evidence for such a god would not require such tortuous apologetics. If there is a god, and that god is as described by believers, we owe it nothing.

Pascal’s Wager is not a good reason to believe.

 

 

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 😛

In response to dear atheist

I want to take time to respond to an open letter written to atheists over at a reasonable faith. I would have rather commented on her site but it may not be approved so, I invite all of you to weigh in.

Why do you not believe? Why do you allow your senses to rule instead of your sense? Your eyes don’t see God, your ears don’t hear him, nor would your outstretched fingers find his form. But if God doesn’t exist, how is it that you do? If God doesn’t exist, why is there something rather than nothing?

To believe or not to believe is not a choice one makes. I don’t think you chose to believe but are in the particular religion because of geography. Had you been born in India, you’d be talking about Hare Krishna had it been Saudi Arabia you would be a Mohadeen maybe ready even to volunteer for a suicide mission. Why do you have a brain in the first place? Isn’t it to reason and follow the path reason leads you too? What has god to do with my existence? You can touch me to verify my existence, the fact that am responding to you means I exist, if god exists, I hope he is going to respond to this post. We can wait eh? Why is there something rather than nothing? Read Lawrence Krauss a Universe from Nothing

Why do you not believe? You clamor for justice and robe yourself in rights. But your appeals for fairness and freedom carry no weight without a transcendent standard. Who are you to tell me what’s right and wrong? Are you my judge? Are you my god?

Are you implying that without transcendence, there can be no justice? I disagree, we have made laws in defiance of god[s]. Your god condoned slavery, we abolished it, your god commanded we kill our children when they disobey we said no, your god commanded we kill those who work on sabbath, we don’t; your god drowned everyone except 8, we try to rehabilitate. Now between us and your god who is better?

Why do you not believe? You gaze out into the night sky and your immaterial thoughts carry you deep into space. You reason an endless expanse and discern a limited comprehension. Is it not reasonable to conclude that a limitless being exists who knows something you can’t?

Why is hard to conclude that we are a small speck in the entire cosmos? Why would looking at the vast expanse of space draw you to your god and not to Zeus, Odin or even better to Osiris?

God is horrid, you say, if he even exists. Just look at what his supposed Word says. He’s capricious and cruel, sadistic and sullen. Are you his judge? Do you really believe a creature who can’t even explain his own existence, much less create another like him, who is beset with badness, imperfect in piety, negligible in knowledge, can call to account the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent Maker of all that is? Can expect to fully comprehend his ways?

Fortunately am not his judge, am just making an observation. If the bible is his word and he commanded those things, the only reasonable view is that he is capricious, a cruel bastard, a bigot, misogynist and all bad things we hate among our fellow-men. He is a racist to add to the list. If you think this deity created us, who is guilty of the imperfections, who is culpable? The created or the creator? Be honest with yourself Caroline and tell me do you believe we are born depraved?

And what’s that about anyway? How can you argue against God’s character and actions if you don’t even believe he exists? You fashion an image of what God would look like if you were him, and then cast off as unbecoming or unreal (one or the other…it can’t be both) a God that doesn’t line up with your image, in essence declaring yourself god by decreeing everyone else an imposter. You elevate the scientific method as the supreme diviner of truth, but skip over the observation of evidence and go right to the conclusion based on your biased preconceptions and your materialistic worldview that precludes any consideration of the supernatural.

You got it all wrong, the bible describes god and it is that description that we find in contradiction to what he does. The bible says he is all loving, but he commands Abraham to kill his son. If I was Abe, I would have told god to fuck himself! The god of the bible is contradictory even in definitions, all merciful and most just are traits that can’t be held by one person. Tell what truth has religion revealed to us since the beginning of time? Just one truth and while at it, I only ask for one miracle in our time. The ones you quote are old. The supernatural is not explanation, we live in a naturalistic universe and it has shown no evidence of the supernatural. The universe acts in a way that makes us conclude there is no divine intelligence involved.

Dear atheist…what if you’re wrong? What if it’s true that the God of the Bible does exist and your sin will separate you from him and happiness forever if you never receive his provision for your salvation? What if he is standing ready right now to forgive your sins and seal you for redemption if you will only turn to him and believe?

Caroline, the Pascal’s Wager is lame. What if you are worshiping the wrong god and every time you bless YHWH he takes offence and is waiting to condemn you? If this god you call true exists, let him show up and please not in my sleep neither should he send a representative. Pascal is asking you suspend reason and just have faith even if it is false. Hasn’t it occurred to you if this god is all-knowing as you want us to believe he would know you are faking it? And if it is a just god, don’t you think he will regard honest disbelief instead of rewarding blind faith?

What if you never believe?

That is god’s problem not mine and if he should exist and we meet, I hope he gives me a chance to defend myself. I will honestly tell him he failed in the evidence department!

Feel free to weigh in on your thoughts on this letter.