A question for believers

In the Abrahamic religions.

How many of you became converted to your various beliefs after reading Anselm’s Ontological argument or were persuaded to the belief because of Paley’s teleological argument?

How do we make the jump from argument to the being of a god?


we are animals

Today is no braining Tuesday, so I bring you this interview of de Waal

Why are so many people wedded to the idea that humans are special?

We’re raised with those ideas. It’s an old Christian idea that humans have souls and animals don’t. I sometimes think it’s because our religions arose in a desert environment in which there were no primates, so you have people who lived with camels, goats, snakes, and scorpions. Of course, you then conclude that we are totally different from the rest of the animal kingdom because we don’t have primates with whom to compare ourselves. When the first great apes arrived in Western Europe—to the zoos in London and Paris—people were absolutely flabbergasted. Queen Victoria even expressed her disgust at seeing these animals. Why would an ape be disgusting unless you feel a threat from it? You would never call a giraffe disgusting, but she was disgusted by chimpanzees and orangutans because people had no concept that there could be animals so similar to us in every possible way. We come from a religion that’s not used to that kind of comparison.

Continue reading

the remarkable faith of atheists

Hanne Nabintu insists there are no atheists whatsoever. Whatever is most important to the human being, she says, is their religion. To do this, she has redefined religion, following Heidegger, as being whatever is essential, whatever one desperately believes in and advocates for and clings onto in times of trouble. She adds that religion can be further said to be man’s ultimate goal. In this view then, one can say, with Thomas Paine, that doing good is their religion.

She says, and I will let her speak.

 It takes a remarkable amount of faith to be an atheist, as he describes the afterlife as empty space, although he has not in any possible way been there to examine it. He is as religious as anybody else and believes without any shred of evidence that life after death is non-existent.

which is an interesting accusation to label at atheists. Speaking for myself, I will say that the arguments that have been made for an afterlife are all unconvincing and further, given no one has provided any evidence for life beyond the grave, I am comfortable in asserting there is likely no afterlife. As they say elsewhere, when we die, we shall either know the truth or stop asking. Having said this, it would be interesting to have Hanne present the evidence she seems to be so convinced she has of the afterlife.

Going by what she writes, almost any strong belief can be called a religion: Materialism is the religion of people who put the acquiring of wealth above all else desirable (this is a narrow view of materialism. She excludes philosophical monism which holds that matter is the fundamental substance in nature, and that all things, including mental aspects and consciousness, are results of material interactions).

Where she loses it completely is when she defines atheism. She writes

Atheism is the all absorbing faith in that there is no God or spiritual beings, none above us to whom he will be held accountable. This forms his passionate ideology, strong conviction and worldview.

and while there are atheists who simply state there is no god, many are comfortable with the position that evidence for deities has not been provided to warrant a belief in their existence. But this would not do, if one wants to create and defeat a strawman.

If religion is stripped of its relationship with the supernatural, worship, priests and all, then indeed, in a secular world, we may indeed be much more religious than we think.

who knew it is possible to

brainwash oneself? The level of profit Owuor’s delusion pales in comparison to the delusion CS or Mel suffers. The profit told a crusade of brainwashed followers

“I’ve taken personal authority. Strictly based on the words of my tongue. I bless you with eternity. You will see the glory kingdom of God. The heavens have heard,”

whereas my Muslim friends think Mohammed is the last profit of god, profit Owuor has said

everyone is created knowing that the Lord is God and that he (Owour) is His prophet. That if you abuse him you go direct to the hell; to a special graveyard.