Monday, 31 January 2011

richard dawkins' response to pascal's wager

i think the key points dawkins makes in his book the god delusion are:

* one is not just betting on one god, there have been hundreds/thousands of gods throughout homo sapien history. if you bet on yahweh and baal turns out to be "the god", then you're also screwed.

pascal's wager doesn't "work" in a polytheistic scenario.

* you can't fake belief. if an omniscient god actually existed, those who really don't/can't believe, but only say they do, wouldn't be able to fool him.

my comments on the victor stenger vs william lane craig debate

part 1

they're using the word "god" as if it is something/someone everybody agrees on about who/what he/it is...its easy to disprove god of the old testament at least: simply disprove the scientific claims made by YHWH through his prophets or his own mouth, e.g.:

1) first human offspring was Cain (genesis 4:1) approximately 6000-7000 years ago.

2) global flood during noah's life

part 2

0:15 is william lane craig's mind already made up? yes. hypocrite =)

at first it sounded like he was saying this in an accusatory manner, but i found out later that he just talks like this....really tiring.

part 3

08:09 "if dr stenger wants us to believe atheism instead, then he must first tear down all 6 of the reasons i presented..."

did you submit these 6 reasons to dr stenger before the debate or should he just do it on the fly? if on the fly, would you submit to the same challenge from dr stenger? =)

01:54 craig: "there's nothing really wrong with your raping someone". i think an atheist person being raped can objectively disagree.

part 5

0:45 "NONE of these scientists would NOT believe if they were presented with sufficient evidence" <-- yes, the difference between scientists and theists. well put. part 6

he keeps harping on about the resurrection as if it is some provable/undeniable fact. jeez. i like how most atheists "argue" so calmly, while most theists seem to take an aggresive and "loud" stance, it is tiring to listen to this craig...

07:24 "there is abundant evidence of god's actions in the world. in fact what i would say is the very existence of the universe itself is abundant evidence for the existence of god...the origin of the universe out of absolutely nothing"

hmm, i'm pretty sure craig is referring to the big bang, a scientific "revelation" and is nowhere a part of biblical scripture. religion hijacking science, trying to prove science wrong, with science. genesis only alludes to the creation of earth and stars, ie MW

ironic how the american flag is placed next to craig's podium instead of stenger's =)

craig is complaining about assertions from stenger, well, 06:38 craig: "if god does not exist, objective moral values do not exist". an assertion. "objective values do exist". also an assertion.

part 7

it seems like stenger could have just left it at the cyclical universe model, there was no cause to the universe, it has always existed, just expanding and contracting, big banging and big crunching =)

part 8

01:29-01:51 whammy =)
stenger points out that in genesis, the earth was created BEFORE the sun ( 01:29-01:51 ).

genesis 1:1-3
1. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
2. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
3. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

the very first verses of the old testament are at odds with science!

part 9

03:27 craig: "the bible teaches that god's moral law is instinctively written on the heart of every individual, so that we have an instinctual moral knowledge that we ought to love our children rather than torture them and abuse them"

stenger already showed that there is no objective morality: different religions have different versions of morality

03:53 craig: "if you dont have a god as a transcendent anchor or basis for morality, then moral values are purely ephemeral byproducts of socio-biological evolution"

since there ARE NO objective morals, we simply reverse what you just said to prove that there IS NO transcendent god.

04:55 moderator: "how do we know, objectively, that we're being objective?"
craig: "i dont think any of us are totally objective, uh, that is one of the few (nervous laugh) insights of post-modernists, i think, i dont think they have many good insights, but one of them would be that all of us are historically conditioned, we're midstream so to speak, and therefore the search for pristine objectivity, and neutral point of view, view from nowhere is really impossible"

ok, you just killed the objective morality assertion

stenger makes a good point about "covariance": morality is not the same from all points of view

part 10

00:24 craig: "any thing that exists has to have a reason why it exists, either in an external cause or in the necessity of its own nature"

does god exist? if so, then what was the external cause for gods existence (i dont understand what he means by "in the necessity of its own nature"). what was the external cause of the external cause of gods existence? ad infinitum.

if god doesnt need an external cause for its existence, then why should the universe? why should anything at all require it?

01:48 craig: "now dr stenger also says 'but you dont need to believe in the big bang theory, there could have been some pre-existing universe, a cyclic universe, but notice how he admits you must have an equally plausible model, but the fact is that these cyclical models are not equally plausible with the standard big bang model"

no, stenger says in part 7 at 04:56 "the universe need not have *begun* with the big bang...there are many prominent physicists and cosmologists who publish papers in reputable scientific journals proposing various scenarios by which the big bang appeared naturally out of a pre-existing universe that need not itself had a beginning. one such recent example is a cyclic universe". since cyclic models (e.g. steinhardt-turok, baum-frampton) *incorporate* the big bang and additionally provide an explanation for the big bang's appearence, they are equally plausible models, if not more plausible, supported by the fact that it is an active field of academic inquiry.

04:45 craig: "as for the moral argument, dr stenger agrees, there is no evidence for objective morality. if you agree with me however that things like racism, the holocaust, rape, child abuse are really objectively wrong, then you will agree with me that god exists."

first of all, dr. "twister of words" craig, stenger DOESNT AGREE that there is no evidence for objective morality, he DISAGREES with you and has shown that there IS NO evidence for objective morality, while you maintain that objective morality is "instinctively written on the heart of every individual" as stated in part 9 starting at 03:27.

secondly, even if stenger might agree with you on these points, others DONT! not everyone does. THERE IS NO OBJECTIVE MORALITY, thus, by your own reasoning, THERE IS NO GOD.

05:35 craig: "you've got to believe that a contingently existing universe inexplicably exists for absolutely no reason at all"

not sure what he means by "contingently existing", but why does god exist then?

"you've got to believe in a logically incoherent model of the origin of the universe which no other scientist in the world accepts"

what model is this? certainly not a model stenger made proposed himself, so what about its author? i'm sure the author(s) of a cyclical universe model (e.g. steinhardt-turok, baum-frampton) believe it to be plausible along with the peers who have reviewed it and allowed it to be published?

"or else you've got to believe in an infinite number of randomly ordered parallel universes without any evidence for their existence"

stenger never proposed any model consisting of parallel universes

"fourth you've got to believe there's no moral difference between a mother who loves and nurtures her children and a sexual predator who preys upon them"

again, it's already established that there is no objective morality, and some people *will* (and do) find a difference here and others will not

"five, you've got to believe on the basis of your own authority that the majority of the world's historians who have studied the life of jesus are mistaken about the historicity of the empty tomb"

so what? christians claim that all non-christians are mistaken about the the right way to be saved (jesus).

"six, you've got to believe that everyone who claims to have a personal experience of god is deluded"

again, christians claim that all non-christians who dont have a personal experience of god are deluded or deceived by the devil. and atheists could simply respond "no, not deluded, simply human, simply wired to believe in the supernatural/unseen"

"and still leaves you without any solid case for atheism"

like i've said before, disproving scientific claims made by the bible is a great place to start. also theists are the ones who bear the burden of proof of their claims of the unevident and invisible.

08:12 stenger: "in each of these cases we can give a plausible, natural explanation that violates no known principles of science and requires no divine action. dr craig does not succeed in proving that these natural explanations are wrong. he tries to argue that they're implausible, but in fact everything i've talked about is consistent with all the knowledge we have in science and in perfect agreement with existing experimental and theoretical facts. so i dont think dr craig succeeds in proving that god exists."

part 11

05:27 stenger: "finally, an all good, all powerful, all knowing god, if one existed, he would have the power to comfort a child dying an excruciating death from leukemia. he chooses not to do so. is there a person in this room who would not ease that child's suffering, given the power? i would do it. jesus christ could appear before me and tell me not to do it because it has some ultimate purpose, but i would STILL DO IT! even if i faced eternal damnation, i would DO IT."

how can atheists use the words "moral" and "immoral"?

people say (says christopher hitchens) "how can you talk about morality and say something is immoral if you reject god and the bible--the source of morality, the source of the ten commandments?"

well, atheists can, for at least two reasons:

* the bible/yahweh doesnt own morality. just look at all the non-believers in the world who do good, not to mention people in other cultures who may never have heard of yahweh or the bible!

* it's using the language of theists so they understand what you are talking about. speaking to them on their own terms.

christopher hitchens == jesus of atheism

christopher hitchens, with all his wisdom and ability to crush any theistic argument in a debate is like the modern day atheist jesus

doing good without religion

atheist: X is bad about the church.

believer: but what about all the GOOD that the CHURCH does?

atheist: its PEOPLE who do good, and they can do the same good WITHOUT the church.

believer: but they do good BECAUSE of the church.

atheist: if they do good ONLY because of their church, then they are terrible human beings, worse than the "godless", "evil" non-believers they despise. there are plenty of atheists, non-theists, and agnostics who do good WITHOUT the need for a god or WITHOUT the need to be told to do good.

science denier statement + my rebuttal

my friend, the science denying mormon:
I am not one who needs scientific proofs. I Get my answers, I have found peace, and Need no DNA proof, that is written on a piece of paper. Verry scientific by the way.....
And i already knew that you wrote yourself out. I guess I can refe...r to a great Metallica song, "sad but true" ; ) Wich also leads me to another great song by Whitney Houston " I will always love you" : D

my response:
listen to yourself. these are the classic words of what is called "a science denier". dont you want scientific proof that a medicine works and doesnt have dangerous side effects before you take it? dont you want scientific proof that... a new airplane model has been thoroughly tested before you get on it for a transatlantic flight? if you were accused of rape, wouldnt you demand scientific (dna) evidence and rely on that evidence to get you acquitted? did religion make your video camera or your computer? no, it was made using the scientific process. did religion make your car or your clothes or the birth control you use? religion only takes people's money, tells them to be nice while at the same time telling them to hate certain people and gives people false hope. homo sapiens have existed for at least 100,000 years. the bible claims the first offspring (cain) was born around 6000-7000 years ago.
can i suggest a video for you by christopher hitchens (the best of the hitchslap)?:

Saturday, 29 January 2011

mormons rank among the least liked religions in the US

Several recent studies, including one by the authors of American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us, rank Mormons among the least liked U.S. faiths.

To modify that impression, producers of the "I'm a Mormon" series sought members who were atypical, articulate and photogenic.

and they lie about who they really are! (inarticulate and non-photogenic) awesome =)

draper lds temple chandelier in celestial room cost $240,000

just got a mail on the exmormon yahoo group saying:
I went through the Draper Temple prior to dedication. When we were in
celestial room the guide proudly pointed to the opulent chandelier in the
center of the room and said it cost $240,000.

I wonder if the temple costs in poor countries keep the tithes flowing
offering false hopes of riches to members. Do they still do the consecration
ritual ? Do they still preach if one pays tithing they will be blessed


this is just ridiculous if this is true... what a fucking waste of money!

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

respect abraham? No. Fuck you.

christopher hitchens in the hitchslaps compilation:
05:27 "my children, who are everthing to me, and who are my only chance of even getting a glimpse of a second life, let alone an immortal one, i'll tell you something, if i was told to sacrifice them to prove my devotion to god, if i was told to do what all monotheists are told to do, and admire the man [abraham] who said 'yes i'll gut my own kid to show my love of god', i'd say 'No. Fuck you.'"

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

why does god let bad things happen?

he doesnt. shit happens. god doesnt exist. the new testament even says so (see below, matt. 5:45).

"Bad things can be turned to our good if we seek to do God’s will." (D&C 122:7)

can+if is not a promise, its still leaves room for doubt. can is not will. what use is this then? its the same as the scripture that says that it rains “on the just and on the unjust” (Matt. 5:45).

"By enduring our trials well, we become stronger and more understanding."

does the little girl who is gang raped by grown men become stronger and more understanding?

"Rather than ask, “Why me?” ask, “What can I learn from this?”"

is she not allowed to ask "why me?"? tell me, what the fuck should she *learn* from this?

"We can turn to the Savior in any trial because He knows exactly how we feel and can help us."

i'm sorry, i dont remember reading about how the "savior" was gang raped as a child?!

some might argue "well, he suffered everything everyone else suffered in the garden of gethsemene"

first of all, think how ridiculously impossible this is (if this doesnt scream *mythology* to you then you've got problems), plus did he have his ass ripped wide open and taste 8 different men's semen in his mouth in the garden of gethsemane? did he experience pain for days on end? no it was only for a short period according to the fairytale. so he DIDNT suffer everything everyone else did because *time* is also a part of suffering.

there is no god or jesus, no sin or atonement. shit happens.
* good things happen to "bad" people (it's not "to make god's punishment of them in the afterlife more just" or the equally ridiculous "to make the blessings of the righteous in the afterlife justified" [see luke 16:19-31])
* good things happen to "good" people (you're not "being blessed")
* bad things happen to "bad" people (they're not being punished)
* bad things happen to "good" people (you're not "being tested")