Is There a God?
©1996-2017 Roedy Green of Canadian Mind Products
I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you
dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.
~ Stephen F. Roberts (1967 age:50)
Christians have a special word for people who don’t believe in Jesus, atheists or sometimes pagans. Muslims
have a special word for people who don’t believe in Allah, infidels. Jews have a special word for those who don’t believe in Yahweh, gentiles. Every religion has a word for deniers of the faith. To describe
me then you need a giant list, atheist, infidel, gentile, Zeus-denier… Those are your
epithets for me, not mine. I almost never think to myself I am an infidel any more that
I think to myself I am a faggot. That is some bigot’s term for me. I simply
reject all the 60,000 religions, not just 9,999 of them as you do. We are in
99.99% agreement on the bogosity of the world’s religions. It is just that I
don’t see yours as any more plausible than all the rest.
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
General ideas, especially moral ones, impressed on us at an early age, often become deeply embedded in your brains.
It can be very difficult to change them. This may help to explain why religious beliefs persist from generation to
generation. But how did ideas originate in the first place? And why do they so often turn out to be incorrect? The
very nature of our brains evolved to guess the most plausible interpretation of the limited evidence available
makes it almost inevitable that without the discipline of scientific research we shall often jump to the wrong
conclusions especially about rather abstract matters.
~ Dr. Francis Crick (1916-06-08 2004-07-28 age:88), co-discoverer of
the structure of DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid).
But we all recognise the primary foible of frail humanity — our propensity for embracing hope and shunning
logic, our tendency to believe what we desire rather than what we observe.
~ Dr. Stephen Jay Gould (1941-09-10 2002-05-20 age:60), Rocks of
Religion: a set of beliefs, unsupported by facts, that are obviously false, fanciful and absurd to everyone but
those who have been immersed in them from birth.
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false and by the rulers as useful.
~ Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 BC 65 AD age:68)
Are you afraid of death? You have already experienced being dead for billions of years.
It is exactly the same as before you were conceived. If you are afraid, it because you tremble before the monster
god under the bed that somebody made up to scare you to control or con you out of your money. The religionists,
like drug pushers, offer even more of this poisonous belief to cure your fear of death. It is not the cure; it is
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
There are two related questions I would like to tackle:
I suspect the first question may be well beyond man’s intelligence to answer, however, the second is more
amenable to reason. I will attempt to tackle the first question in this essay. I attempt to tackle the second an
another essay The Real God.
- Is there a God? a creator of the universe, even perhaps completely different from the descriptions in any holy
- If so, is He anything like the descriptions in Christian or Islamic scripture?
What do I mean my the term God?
The word God has become empty of meaning through thousands of years of misuse. I use it sometimes, but I so
sparingly. By misuse I mean that people who have never even glimpsed the realm of the sacred, the infinite vastness
behind that word, use it with great conviction as if they knew what they were talking about. Or, they argue against
it, as if they knew what it is that they are denying.
~ Eckhart Tolle (1948-02-16 age:70)
The Power Of Now
What I primarily mean in this essay by God is:
- a conscious designer of the universe.
- The judge and punisher. The creator of after death torment.
There are other definitions, such as Thomas Moore’s Religion is a sense of
dependence. That God is something you can rely on to help you. In other essays I define God as whoever or
whatever created the universe. I don’t mean is the bible true, or does the god Yahweh exist? Here I am tackling
a broader question. The bible has been proved to be nearly completely fiction. Its unflattering description of the
god Yahweh is so ludicrous it really should not merit serious debate. However, the broader question is still
Arguments For The Existence of God
- The most convincing evidence I have found lies in the fundamental universal physical constants. If the charge
on the electron had been different by an almost infinitesimally small amount, the universe would never have
developed the structure it did. The expansion and contraction forces of the universe are almost precisely balanced.
You could imagine some intelligence calculating the various fundamental constants of the universe to find a set
that would create an interesting universe. An alternate explanation is that we just fluked out. There are/were
other worlds with the constants set differently, but they just generated boring masses of goo and intelligent life
did not develop in them. Because these worlds would have to be totally isolated from ours, mathematicians dismiss
their existence as irrelevant. Physicist Stephen Hawking said that it may also turn out, that for some mathematical
reason, the charge on the electron was compelled to be the precise value it was. It was not an arbitrary choice, in
which case invoking God to set it would be unnecessary.
Ree’s Six Universal Constants Essential To Life
|Ree’s Six Universal Constants Essential To Life|
||What it Measures
||force that binds atomic nuclei together.
||The difficulties if it were too weak are pretty obvious, but I do not know how it being a little
stronger would have affected the universe.|
||binding strength of forces that hold atoms together divided by gravitational attraction.
||If gravity were not much much weaker than the other forces, only short-lived miniature universes could
||density of matter in the universe.
||If it were larger, the universe would have collapsed long ago. If it were smaller, no galaxies and
stars could have formed.|
||the strength of the cosmic antigravity that controls the expansion of the universe.
||If it were stronger, no stars could have formed.|
||the size of the ripples in the expanding universe.
||If it were smaller, the universe would be a mass of cold gas. If it were larger, great gobs of matter
would have collapsed into black holes.|
||the number of dimensions in our spatial universe, i.e. 3.
||If this were different, our universe would be very different from the one we are familiar with, but I
see no reason it could not support life or something else equally interesting. This same argument applies
in a lesser degree to the other constants.|
Stephen Hawking explains the weak and strong anthropic principles and M-theory which explain why these facts
are not as remarkable as they seem.
If the universe were a house, the part of it suitable for life would be smaller than a proton. I you were
plopped down at random in the universe, you would almost certainly die instantly. Clearly a deity did not create
the universe to host life.
If the string multiverse theory is correct, there are infinitely many universes. With that many universes,
necessarily some of them would support life. And of course we human could not very well exist in any but one of
the fortunate ones.
Victor Stenger on Debunkingh the Fine Tuning Argument
Debunking the Fine
Read Victor Stenger’s book
The Fallacy of Fine-Tuning: Why the Universe Is Not Designed for Us
Book referral for The Grand Design
||recommend book⇒The Grand Design|
||Stephen Hawking, Leonard Mlodinow
||1942-01-08 2018-03-13 age:76
|Some recently thinking on M-theory on multiple universes. The most serious claim a god designed the universe is the way universal constantas are so conveniently arranged for life. M-Theory explains this by explaining that ours is just one of 10500 universes, most of which are not friendly to life. We could not very well exist in one of them. In a similar way there are billions of planets, most of which are not suitable for life. Since we are here, necessarily ours had to be one of the good ones.|
|Greyed out stores probably do not have the item in stock. Try looking for it with a bookfinder.|
- When particles pop out of nothing, you always get one particle and one antiparticle. Therefore you should
expect to find an equal number of particles and antiparticles in the universe and for them to annihilate. What what
you actually see is mostly particles with only a sprinkling of antiparticles. How did it get asymmetric? Presumably
Yahweh did it by creating an imbalance of particles and antiparticles in the first place. Presumably the scientists
have a different explanation.
- The laws of the physical universe are simple, elegant and beautiful. The Spartan simplicity of quantum
mechanics leads inevitably to the periodic table of elements and from there to chemistry and biology. It can be
considered a masterful piece of mathematics/art. We are used to viewing the universe at a macroscopic level where
it is very untidy. To discover this underlying order astounds us. We imagine that tidiness could not possibly be an
inherent property of existence and postulate a designer. I wonder if somewhere there are a race of microscopic
beings, discovering the macroscopic untidiness of the universe for the first time and deciding the universe needs a
designer to possibly explain this mysterious chaos, so unlike the natural ordered microscopic universe they are
- People have near death experiences. They report meeting the dead and a variety of religious figures consistent
with their religious expectations and generally experiencing love and bliss. Surely this is a foretaste of life
after death. We have discovered you can also create these experiences by starving the brain of oxygen using a
centrifuge. Various drugs such as nitrous oxide, cocaine and heroin also stimulate ecstatic states. These
experiences are part of dying, not of life after death. I have gone under anaesthesia several times. I just
disappeared. I watched myself fade away. I have no problem with the notion that when I die I have no consciousness
at all since I have already experienced total lack of consciousness while alive. On the planet earth, billions of
animals die every day and billions of tons of vegetable matter dies. What are some possibilities?
- Consciousnesses are recycled at the soul level and reincarnate.
- Consciousness hang around at the soul level for a while before allowing themselves to be decomposed and
recycled in a process analogous to leaves rotting.
- Consciousness just stops and disappears.
- Consciousness is broken down and reused.
- Consciousness is protected for eternity from further change living happily ever after in heaven or in hell
in eternal torment.
- Jesus could heal people and Jesus said there was a God. Unfortunately Christian con artists like Peter Popoff
and Ernest Angley in our day have convinced people God healed through them. Does this make their pronouncements
infallible? We don’t even know for sure if Jesus was as actual person. There were no written records about
him created until 130 years after his death. God could easily have provided more solid
evidence for His existence for us to examine in this day, but for some reason He elected not to.
- On the 100 Huntley Street TV show, people come on daily and tell a story how God told
them to do such and such a thing. It turns out what they meant is they heard a quiet voice inside that urged
them to action. They are so puffed with pride they imagine their own internal voices are the Creator of the
Universe taking time out to give them special guidance. They ignore John 5:37
which claims God does not talk to people. Oddly, not once did one of these voices reveal the chemical formula for a
cure for cancer. Oddly, this same quiet voice counsels others to murder, such as the demented Abraham.
What makes fantastic declarations believable is, in part, the vehemence with which they’re proffered.
Again, in the world of spirituality as well as of pop psychology, intensity of personal belief is evidence of
truth. It is considered very bad form — even abuse — to challenge the veracity of any personal
testimony that might be offered in a twelve-step group or on a talk show, unless the testimony itself is
equivocal… Whatever sells, whatever many people believe strongly, must be true.
Some people just know in their bones that God exists. They can’t imagine life without that
comfort. Obviously, a belief in God is comforting. Your enemies will eventually be punished, you will eventually
be exonerated, your pain will eventually be replaced with joy and you will be reunited with those you love who
have died. Quite a package! Yet what has comfort to do with truth? The truth often hurts. People who have been
conned often refuse to recognize the signs of betrayal simply because they want so badly for the con to be true.
Wishful thinking clouds the mind. Just what evidence is there that any of this Christian mumbo
jumbo is true? The only evidence is repeated assertion. Repeated assertion when a
child is very young creates rock-like faith in any arrant nonsense. Just look at the children of
cult members. We don’t recognise this as a con even though the believer hands over money and unquestioning
obedience to another in the promise of a reward which, so far as we can tell, is never delivered.
~ Wendy Kaminer (1950 age:67)
I am satisfied and sufficiently occupied with the things which are, without tormenting or troubling myself
about those which may indeed be, but of which I have no evidence.
~ Thomas Jefferson (1743-04-13 1826-07-04 age:83), in a
letter to John
Richard Dawkins Interviews Father George Coyne , the former Vatican astronomer, defines God
as the Prime Mover. He argues that nothing moves unless someone moves it. That means there must have been someone
who moved that mover, all the way back to the Prime Mover who started it all. But this is obviously nonsense.
Rivers flow all by themselves without anyone frantically paddling the water. Further, an astronomer such as
Father Coyne surely knows that his argument presumes a very naïve
view of time, that ignores what Einstein learned and ignores the discovery that time itself has a beginning. In
other words, he is fully aware his argument is scientifically bogus, but presents it anyway hoping it will
convince the naïve.
Using a slightly more sophisticated Newtonian view of his logic, you might imagine inanimate objects move
either because they were already moving or because something bumped into them. I would expect a lay person should
have no difficulty at all with the Hindu view that this moving process has been going on indefinitely into the
past. If it going for 5 billion years does not bother you, then surely it could go for 5 billion years and one
day without needing a magic jump-start.
Postulating that previous to some point, nothing existed, then shazam, the entire universe appeared fully
formed, all moving in complex patterns, as if it had just woken from a dream, strikes me as too bizarre for
words. Why would god do nothing for that infinite time prior to the creation? Surely the fact of the universe is
mind-boggling enough without making up even more mind-boggling god-based creation myths for which there is no
Father Coyne is fully aware of the mathematics and astronomical observation that can look back in time to see
the birth of the universe because light travels so slowly and because the universe is expanding, some of the
light that left at time of the creation is just arriving on earth now. Scientists, including Father Coyne, know
how this moving process started and evolved in considerable detail. However, he continues to try to bamboozle
others with his Prime Mover argument for motives that must remain a mystery.
- In times of trouble, some people talk to God, some to themselves, some to their pets. They would feel
exceedingly lost and alone without that habit. However, this is not evidence for the existence in God, just in the
comfort that comes from pretending there is. This may be the main power the god delusion has for people. They feel
unsafe without pretending there is a powerful figure looking out for them in tough times. This is god as an
invisible teddy bear for adults. A teddy bear is a comforter, not a protector. Instead of talking to god, try
talking to yourself, telling yourself reassuring and encouraging messages. This will get you a lot further than
passively waiting for God to rescue you.
- That gut feeling there has to be a God is just a measure of the depth of your existential
pain. Do something practical to reduce that pain:
- Read self help books.
- Get counseling.
- Learn how to reduce you addictive load using the Keyes techniques.
- Start your plan to save the world.
- Many people, myself included, have had OOBE (Out Of Body Experience)
s. This suggests life may be possible without a body. Mind you, everyone who has ever reported an
had a living brain at the time, even if it were so quiet that it appeared dead. In my experiments with dreaming, I
have discovered that dreams can be equally vivid in detail as real life. Most OOBEs (Out Of Body Experiences)
can be considered like dreams or hallucinations that weave information gleaned from various sources. My brain is
perfectly capable of computing what my eyes would see from the rafters of a theater, where I was floating in my own
OOBE. Yet some OOBE
s glean information by inexplicable means. Buddhist reincarnationist theology is just as compatible with
s as Christian. Questions on ESP (Extra Sensory Perception) and OOBEs
could be settled either way, quite independent of the truth of Christian theology or the existence of God.
- People who are seriously ill sometimes spontaneously recover. Whenever this happens, God is usually given
credit for special intervention. Nobody asks why God let all the others die with similar diseases many of whom
appeared to be even more deserving. It is a bit like giving God credit when someone wins the lottery, rather than
as the natural outcome of the laws of probability. If the odds are 1 in 1000 of surviving, there will be natural
survivors from time to time. If there were not, it would be cause for note.
- People who believe in God have lower blood pressure and they live longer. Some have argued that man’s
brain is wired to believe in God — any God. This may well be true, but if anything it just shows we humans
are so biased we cannot study the problem objectively. Scientists have even found a God spot in the brain, that
when stimulated creates feelings of religious ecstasy and the presence of God, using whatever religious symbolism
the subject is familiar with. Bertrand Russell pointed out that the Muggletonians (Flat Earth Society members) are
among the happiest people on earth. Their happiness however, has nothing whatsoever to do with the accuracy of
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is
happier than a sober one.
~ George Bernard Shaw (1856-07-26 1950-11-02 age:94)
- Jesus said there is a god named Yahweh. Jesus healed people; therefore everything he says must be true, goes
the logic. However, Jesus himself said that people healed themselves through faith. Ernest Angley heals people on
TV by the power of faith; therefore everything Mr. Angley says must be true. Really?
- Mohammed said there is but one god and his name is Allah. Mohammed was the greatest Arabic poet of all time;
therefore everything he says must be true, goes the logic. Shakespear was the greatest English language poet;
therefore everything Shakespear says must be true. Really?
- The Bible reports various spectacular divine interventions, such as the parting of the Red Sea and Lot’s
wife being turned into a pillar of salt. However, for some reason God does not act like that anymore. The
authorship of these tales is not established. Further, these stories had long periods of oral transmission, in
which they would be embellished. It sounds to me like they are apocryphal.
- Monks who fast, pray and meditate for very long hours report states of extreme bliss, deep peace or profound
clarity. Some consider this consciousness of God. Obviously, something happens that the monk finds astounding.
- Sondra Ray. Hanging out with this woman is like entering an alternate reality.
- Ken Keyes.
- The incredible life of Captain Paul Watson, head of the Sea Shepherd Society, who scoffs at religions, but who
lives a life more charmed than a Star Trek character. He miraculously escapes from predicament after hopeless
predicament. He hints that perhaps it is the whales warping the probabilities in his favour.
- Co-incidences. I have had one in a billion coincidences in my life. One possible explanation is that they are
orchestrated by God. I tend to think the explanation will be more mundane, but still astounding. I suspect we
humans have some way of warping reality that unconsciously creates these mind-blowing co-incidences. It may be a
form of ESP
or perhaps some quantum effect. New agers have
recently been making reference to the Quantum Field as a new name for God.
- The argument that Wayne Dyer finds most convincing is the explosion in a print shop. To him looking around at
the universe of living things interacting in such complex ways without conscious design is like expecting an
explosion in a print shop to spell out the works of Shakespear. How could this possibly happen by pure chance? His
is a fallacious argument based on a misunderstanding of the theory of evolution and natural selection. Natural
selection is not pure chance. Only the mutations are pure chance. Natural selection is
intelligent, though not very intelligent, with roughly an IQ (Intelligence Quotient) of only 1, but when you let it refine and refine its
designs over 4 billions years of winnowing out those that don’t work and keeping the best, it can come up
with some pretty amazing stuff. If you study the fossil record, it is dithering, inept and meandering, with no hint
of foresight or planning. Animals and plants work, but they are far from elegantly designed. Scientists use
genetic algorithms to simulate this mindless, but powerful, winnowing process in
computers for solving difficult mathematical problems. Imagine asking your child to create 100,000 paintings and
then having a panel of the world’s greatest artists select the best one. Your child, judged solely on that
winnowed painting, would look like an artistic genius.
- Long before Darwin, philosopher David Hume pointed out the inconsistency in the
God-must-exist-because-man-superficially-looks-designed argument. God is much more complicated than man, so where
did God come from? If man is too complicated to accept coming into being without a designer, surely God requires a
designer even more. Conversely, if you can accept something as complicated as God existing without a designer,
surely something as simple as humanity does not need one either.
- When you study the evolution of life, you discover all kinds of mistakes, ugliness and ham-fisted bungling.
This is not the work of an intelligent infinitely careful designer. Evolution proceeds by making do with what
already exists without any planning. If God is in charge of the details of this process, he exhibits an
IQ less than 1. That is quite insulting to God.
There is no more need for a god to direct evolution than to conduct the trajectory of every raindrop. It all works
- The bible is the account we have of biblical times. It has been revered a long time. Therefore it must be
100% true. Yet we have tens of thousands of times more evidence for the miracles of the
living Sai Baba and he does not even get an honourable mention. Every night TV evangelists heal people (who were not sick in the first place) using the same con-man tricks that have been
used by shamans since the beginning of time and only a few of us are suckered in. We have tens of thousands of
times more evidence for visitors from outer space, yet most of us remain highly skeptical. The gospels were not
even written until Jesus had been dead for decades. The only reason people are so willing to presume the bible is
perfectly true, with no corroboration, is they have been told since birth it is the word of god,
and they have not actually read it cover to cover. All you have to do is read the
bible cover to cover to discover it is false (e.g. the earth is flat), silly, erroneous, vicious and no possible
basis for a cooperative society. Under Yahweh’s command, his followers commit genocide and pretty well every
other conceivable crime. You would be utterly astounded at the goofiness in there. It advocates owning slaves and beating them, for heaven sake. What sort
of moral guidance is that? It advocates treating women much as they are treated in modern day Afghanistan, e.g.
stoning them to death for not being virgins on their wedding night. I have debated with JWs (Jehovah’s Witnesses) who put OJ (Orenthal James Simpson)’s lawyers to shame in their fancy
footwork to excuse the bible’s errors, inconsistencies and outright insanity. The work of the creator of the
universe should surely be much higher quality than that. It should be divinely clear, beautiful and perfect. It
should not require lawyerly defence. It should be better written than any human could compose. But it isn’t,
far from it. You want proof? Open a page at random and read any unfamiliar passage.
- It is necessary for god to exist and for punishment after death or else people would run amok. This argument
has nothing to do with the existence of god. It is an argument for lying that he exists when he does not. The
atheistic Swedes, Norwegians and Danes behave much better than the Christian nations such as the USA. They have
less violence and are more generous to each other and to the third world. It seems holding up a violent, cruel,
selfish, intolerant, vain god as a rôle model creates violent, cruel, selfish, intolerant, vain people. There
is thus no point in lying.
What harm would it do, if a man told a good strong lie for the sake of the good and for the Christian
church… a lie out of necessity, a useful lie, a helpful lie, such lies would not be against God, he
would accept them.
If you watch Nanny 2001-09-11 you will discover parents who
threaten their children with grievous bodily harm raise little monsters. The children beat and punch their
siblings, using the same tactics god supposedly uses on them. That sort of violent threat has the exact opposite
effect of that desired.
~ Martin Luther (1483-11-10 1546-02-18 age:62)
- One of the silliest arguments I have heard came from a TV Evangelist on the Armor of God Show. He was discussing the rapture, a nutty belief
that people will float into the air to do lunch with Jesus. He was chastising people for believing mere books
written on the subject. Just what does he think the bible is? It is just a book too, of uncertain human authorship,
reputedly written long after the alleged events based on second hand accounts. It does not even
claim to be God’s handiwork like Moses’s lost tablets. The bible has been proven wrong
on almost every point that can be checked. There was no 40 years in the desert. There was
no King David. There was no call to taxation in Bethlehem. Why has this book of myths any credibility left at all,
other than as metaphor?
Arguments Against the Existence of God
- Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe has not been hit by lightning. He is possibly the most evil man to ever walk the
- The Norse took Wotan seriously, the Romans worshiped Jupiter and killed those who failed to show sufficient
respect. How is it that every society’s ideas of God but our own are preposterous? What a strange
co-incidence! I explored the Roman ruins a Bath England. In particular, when I saw a bronze mask of Minerva Sulis,
I felt an even greater sense of dignity and religious awe than I felt in the nearby Christian Cathedrals. I was
quite convinced these ancient peoples took these Gods even more seriously than we take the Christian god today.
Nearly 300 years after the Age of Reason was prematurely announced, most people, in
most nations, most of the time, are mentally in total bondage to religious leader who operate on sheer bluff,
i.e. on the basis of claims that cannot be proven and appear clearly insane to everybody who hasn’t been
raised within their frameworks.
~ Robert Anton Wilson (1932-01-18 2007-01-11 age:74)
- An A&E special on Scientology asked Is Scientology a legitimate religion? I
find the question absurd. No religion is legitimate! All religions depend on belief in some unsubstantiated silly
story. All use that story to take power over others to convince them to behave a certain way. (Granted, in many
cases this way is more moral than the people would have naturally chosen, but it is all still based on a lie.) All
use that story to convince others to give money to some special priest class in return for special favour from the
deity. The story is obviously preposterous to everyone but those who belong to that particular cult/religion. There
is no essential difference between a cult and a religion other than vintage and popularity. We put up with the most
blatant of con games the instant the con men throw in bit of religious hocus pocus into the mix. The con men may
even seriously believe their own malarkey. That is why they are so convincing.
- Had Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, tried to pass off his cock and bull story today,
he would be diagnosed with schizophrenia or dismissed as a charlatan. His followers are considered sane even though
they believe the same delusions. They enjoy this status simply because there are so many of them. All religions are
based on stories just as outlandish. They don’t seem so to the believers because of familiarity.
- Various scriptures of the world were purportedly written by God. If anyone should know how the universe is
constructed, it should be God. How come then these scriptures show no understanding of medicine, chemistry or even
basic physics? However, this does not show there is no God, only that God did not write the scripture.
- Some people are astounded at the complexity of the universe and thus insist it must not have been self
creating. They imagine that postulating a God simplifies things. It just muddies them further. You now have an even
more mysterious, sourceless God plus a complicated universe. An astounding universe by itself is quite sufficiently
amazing to swallow all on its own. It is intellectual laziness to claim whatever you don’t know is
unknowable. Hiding the mystery of the universe behind an unknowable God is like sweeping dirt under the rug that
you are too lazy to deal with. Why is an amazing invisible God more palatable than an amazing visible/invisible
universe? The universe is by definition
e v e r y t h i n g, so surely that should
include God — the creator of the universe (whatever/whoever that is). So by definition, the
universe is self-creating. Q.E.D.
Christians often go their whole lives without doubting the childhood stories of Santa Claus or his older
brother Jesus, despite ample empirical evidence that praying for a pony does not work.
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
From a practical point of view, what people are really interested in when they talk about the existence of
God, is can He be persuaded to bend the normal rules of the universe to provide special beneficence for ourselves
and special punishment for our enemies. Despite all the wild claims to the contrary, there is no statistical
evidence that God plays any favourites. He rains on the just and unjust equally. Christians die in plane crashes
the same as anyone else. Little boys with cancer die whether the congregation prays or not. He pays absolutely no
attention to prayers. Whether you pray or not, both unexpected good and bad things happen to people. Prayer may
give people courage to do what needs to be done. It may encourage others to help. However, it won’t bend
God’s ear. That is the Big Lie that churches have repeated so often that most people believe it.
Praying is like a rocking chair — it’ll give you something to do, but it won’t get you
~ Gypsy Rose Lee (1911-01-08 1970-04-26 age:59)
Two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer.
Here are two exceptions:
(1) may be a special case of (2).
- When an alcoholic prays for deliverance, by submitting to any higher
power the prayer sometimes changes him.
- Quantum Miracles.
- Keep in mind that if you pray and a Good Thing™ happens, that is not evidence that God
answered your prayer. If you put a cherry pit up your nose and a Good Thing™ happened, that is
not evidence putting the cherry pit you your nose in any way caused the Good
Thing™ to happen. If you put a cherry pit up your nose four times a day and nice things continue to happen to
you, it is still no evidence. You must keep track of all the nice and bad things that happen and when and when you
do not put a cherry pit up your nose and look for correlations. Further, you must get hundreds of other people to
keep track as well before you can scientifically claim cherry pits/prayer works. Much as we would like it to,
prayer does not pass this test any better than poking a cherry pit up your nose. Though we have had thousands of
years to accumulate such evidence, we still don’t have anything but anecdotes of the occasional fluke
- Gautama Buddha observed the first noble truth, all is suffering. Why would a kind loving god create a universe
where all its inhabitants continuously suffer? Even birth implies old age and decay. Our lives begin in screaming
- Prayer simply does not work. Consider how many millions of people prayed desperately for President Kennedy,
Lady Diana and Mother Theresa. Nothing out the ordinary happened at all. If prayer had power, well known public
figures would all live forever in perfect health and happiness. God either has a heart of stone or simply does not
or cannot make exceptions.
- God is supposedly unchanging, however, He has not done anything to show himself for two thousand years. He sat
on His thumbs through two world wars and atrocities in Germany, Viet Nam, Uganda, Cambodia, Kosovo, 2001-09-11, Afghanistan, Iraq… Where did He go? It makes you wonder if those stories handed
down from years past where God actively intervened in human history were fables, not actual accounts. Sadly, God
must live in the hearts of the people or there can be no Quantum Miracles.
- Women who win music awards invariably thank God for their trophies. Similarly football players give credit to
God when their team wins. I find this blasphemous, as if God were so petty as to take sides in such unimportant
- Despite the condemnation of armed conflict in most of the world’s scripture, leaders of armies
confidently proclaim that the Almighty has taken their side and therefore they cannot lose. Even in the case of
Adolf Hitler, God made not even a token appearance nor made any overt attempt to protect the devout from the Nazis.
If God refuses to ever act, for all practical purposes, He does not exist. Napoléon
observed that God always seemed to be on the side of the biggest army, hardly a ringing endorsement of His moral
- Buddhists and Hindus claim that after death, instead of resting for eternity in an excruciatingly dull heaven
or hell, you reincarnate back on earth. There are many stories of young children reporting details of their former
lives and often these check out with reality. The children mysteriously know intimate details of lives of people
who have died. The 14th Dalai
Lama’s web page describes the process by which he was selected as the reincarnation of the previous Dalai
Lama. There is no similar evidence to back up the Christian theology. I have a friend who went to a renaissance
town in Italy and had a very strong feeling of deja vu. He recalled events that occurred in the town hundreds of
years ago and was able to check some of them out, such as the location of his favourite pub which was still
standing but had been converted to some other use. Buddhists claim that if you meditate and release your
attachments sufficiently, you will be able to recall details of your previous lives, just as did the Buddha at his
enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. Christian theology is so constructed no conceivable test could check if it were
true. Usually in science we automatically discard any such untestable theories as bogus. Only those that could
potentially be disproved are considered potentially legit.
- The best behaved political/religious leader on the planet is the Dalai Lama. He makes no claims about the
existence of a God. If you are supposed to judge a tree by its fruit, Christianity does not rank very well.
Christians carve Christians in Ireland. Christians and Muslims kill each other in Indonesia, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Racism and sexism flourish under the banner of Christianity in the USA.
- The Gödel argument probably won’t be very convincing to Christians, but it may
alleviate some deep seated doubts in non-believers. The universe seems so incredibly complex. Surely some
intelligence must have designed it, then created it, argue the theists. Not necessarily. There is
a mathematical theorem called the Gödel incompleteness theorem that very roughly says a tiny part of a system
can’t possibly understand the whole. Analogously, man is such a tiny fraction of the universe that it is
preposterous to imagine his relatively nanoscopic brain could glimpse but even an inkling of the totality or the
innate intelligence of the totality. So naturally the universe seems incredible and miraculous to
him. The universe necessarily appears that way because we humans are such a tiny part of it. It appears
that way because we compare the entire universe with our own mundane little limited existences. We
don’t have an absolute yardstick for how wonderful our universe is. We have only have one to admire. If there
are parallel universes, perhaps ours may turn out to be comparatively shabby, obviously lacking the
ultra-intelligent design of the usual universe, (where all the women are beautiful, all the men are strong and all
the children are above average) proving a true God had nothing to do with ours.
I can understand ignorant people believing in a god, but certainly not a loving caring god.
People tell me they could not bear it if there were no God. I think this is rubbish. If there is a
God, he is clearly a rather cruel or uncaring or ineffective bastard. There is not much hope. God made things the
way they are. He must want them that way despite his protestations. How can things change with a
great lunk like that in charge? There is no hope. So it is less pessimistic to assume there is no one in charge.
It means things could get better. You are merely fighting chaos, not a deity, to improve man’s lot. For the
atheist, knowing you definitely won’t be tortured for eternity after death for minor infractions of holy
rules is extremely reassuring. I don’t know why Christian choose to dangle this sword of Damocles over
their entire lives and lie to themselves this obnoxious bastard is a great comfort.
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous, proud of it; a
petty, unjust, unforgiving, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential,
megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.
~ Dr. Richard Dawkins (1941-03-26 age:77), The God Delusion chapter 2
Humans are such cowards that they willingly allow themselves to be conned by those claiming death is not real and
claiming to know the precise details of how the afterlife works.
Several people have tried to persuade me to become Christian with a pragmatic argument that goes like
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Let’s assume that it is very unlikely that God exists, say 1%. You should still believe in Him anyway and
follow Christian dogma for purely practical reasons. There are four cases:
You come out ahead if you believe, in two of the four cases.
- If you believe in Him and He does not exist, what do you lose? You just die and nothing happens.
- If you believe in Him and He does exist, you have eternity in Heaven.
- If you don’t believe in Him and He does not exist, you just die and nothing happens.
- If you don’t believe in Him and He does exist, you will rot in Hell for eternity.
I counter this argument by saying:
- I am interested in the truth, not toadying to some imaginary despot. This argument is roughly
the moral equivalent of a scientist falsifying his findings in hopes of receiving a bribe from a tobacco company.
It is intellectual dishonesty.
He who begins by loving Christianity better than truth, will proceed by loving his own sect or church better
than Christianity and end in loving himself better than all.
~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772 1834 age:62)
poet in his Aids To Reflection
- If the following argument persuades you, then you should become a Muslim. Islam offers far greater after death
rewards to the faithful and far more terrifying tortures for the non-believer than Christianity does. Yahweh is a
wimp compared with Allah. Read the Qur’an if you are skeptical. I did and had nightmares for months.
Why should I fear death? If I am, death is not. If death is, I am not. Why should I fear that which cannot
exist when I do?
~ Epicurus (341 BC 270 BC age:71)
- Every religion offers punishments and rewards to its rejectors and adherents, including the worship of Wotan
and Zeus and the religions of the Indians of the Amazon. How do you decide which is the true religion? They all
sound equally improbable, bogus and silly.
Faith is believing what you know isn’t so.
If you follow the tenets of Christianity as it is practised you would probably lead a more
evil life than you would otherwise. You would be judgmental. You would discriminate against gays and probably
blacks. You would lie to people about the best ways to cure disease. You would spread superstition and lies that
are part of the Christian faith. You would indirectly kill children by blocking sex education about
AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) and birth control. For a more
detailed list of the evils of Christianity, see the essay on why
Christianity should be combated. As an extreme example, Jeff Dahmer said grace before consuming his murder
~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74)
- If you believe in God, you life will actually be more miserable than if you do not. Why? If you believe in God,
you will tend to mope around praying — wondering why God is ignoring you. You will waste time waiting for God
to do things only you can do for yourself. If you don’t believe in God, you will be much more practical and
self reliant. You won’t be saddled with an unrealistic sense of entitlement. You cannot very well be angry
with God for disappointing you if you don’t believe in Him. You don’t project unrealistic expectations
on the universe that it was created for your convenience. You take it as it is. Holding unrealistically high
expectations is a major cause of suffering.
We long to situate ourselves on a benevolent, warm, furry, encompassing planet, created to provide our material
needs and constructed for our dominion and delectation. Unfortunately, this pipedream of succor from the realm of
meaning (and therefore the magisterium of religion), imposes definite and unrealistic demands upon the factual
construction of nature (under the magisterium of science). But nature, who is as she is and who existed in earthly
form for 4.5 billion years before we arrived to impose our interpretations upon her, greets us with sublime
indifference and no preference for accommodating our yearnings.
People often tell me that they just could not stand to be alive if there were no God. Roughly, if there
were no God, they would invent one. All they are doing is warning me about their emotional biases. They know they
can’t look on the matter objectively.
~ Dr. Stephen Jay Gould (1941-09-10 2002-05-20 age:60), Rocks of
In Isaiah 45:7 God admits he creates the evil in the
world. God then gave your father a brain tumor, fanned the hatred that boiled over into a gang rape of an eight year
old Albanian girl, etc. If this is true, you are dealing with an immensely powerful, evil, cruel, heartless,
arbitrary adversary. What hope do you have? In the story of Job, it is clear God does not even spare the just from
his sadistic torments.
Would you not prefer to deal instead with nature? These negative happenings are essentially random events, but
with some pattern behind them. There are laws physical or psychological. Eventually they may be understood and the
evils averted. I certainly would prefer to deal with nature than a quixotic, slippery, tyrant God.
What Is God Like?
There are two quite different pictures you get of God, one from examining
the Bible and the Qur’an, and quite a
different one from examining the rest of the universe as well.
Beware the man of one book.
~ St. Thomas Aquinas (1225 1274-03-07 age:48)
The God of scripture is petty, cruel, jealous, inconsistent, prudish, partisan and foolish. He is fanatically
concerned with controlling every thought and action of humans with a set of insanely arbitrary rules. He desperately
wants to be loved. He is willing to bribe his subjects with unimaginable largess or torment after death, but refuses
to offer even the tiniest foretaste to prove he is not bluffing. Earth and man are the center of His existence. He is
oddly partial to the Jewish people at the expense of all others.
To me, that description sounds like a Roman Caesar — how a human behaves when given absolute power. The Old
Testament was composed by people imagining what they thought God would say if He spoke. Unfortunately, they
projected their failings onto Him. They described how they would behave if given absolute power.
Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely should not not apply
to God, only to people.
In contrast, look at the universe. See the stupendous variety and stupendous quantity. Earth is just a tiny
backwater planet on the edge of a backwater galaxy. There are trillions of stars and trillions of planets. Even on
earth, the variety of animal and plant life is utterly amazing.
No prude created the sexually-daisy-chaining periwinkle.
The lust of the goat is the glory of God
~ William Blake (1757 1827-08-12 age:70)
If there is a creator, He is the consummate mathematician, physicist and biologist. He is not some narrow cleric
afraid to look at the earth as it is.
The world is full of beauty and cruelty. Birds and fish are dazzling colours and patterns for no apparent reason
other than exuberant beauty. The whole web of life is built on the principle that animals eat plants and kill and eat
each other. This is the fundamental cruelty of our existence. A frog may have a million young, yet only two on
average will survive to adulthood. This is true of all species, including humans. Does that seriously sound like the
handiwork of an infinitely merciful deity?
God likes using small simple building blocks to construct a bewildering variety of forms. Consider atoms,
DNA and cells, in particular brain cells.
If there is a God, He looks after the big picture. He has no more interest in individual humans than a child would
have in the individual ants in his ant farm. He works with general principles and allows their consequences to work
God likes subtle asymmetry.
The bewildering intricate beauty of the Mandelbrot set springs forth from the simplest of mathematical equations.
Even these lowly equations can help themselves from strutting like peacocks.
Life After Death
Life after death is a related question to is there a God? You might have
it four ways:
- No god. no afterlife, (materialist)
- No god, with afterlife (Buddhist)
- God, no afterlife (hippy)
- God, with afterlife (Christian, Muslim)
Arguments For Life After Death
- Almost every culture has some sort of life-after-death myth. The details of what actually happens vary
considerably. There is usually some form of adjudication of how well you did in your life and some form of
punishment or reward. If the myth is so common, maybe there is something to it other than just wishful
- People who die on the operating table and are later revived report very similar stories about traveling down a
tunnel toward a bright light, often meeting dead relatives and often meeting some loving religious figure. These
experiences can also be induced using a centrifuge to reduce the flow of blood to the brain. This may well just be
the standard hallucination the brain kicks into when blood flow is reduced. It explains the origin of the belief in
life after death. The extreme euphoria is caused by an excess of nitrous oxide, (a natural brain transmitter) in
the brain. Yet people don’t just dream of tunnels, they dream specifically of death. If the after death
experience is in some other dimension, people will inevitably map this unfamiliar experience back onto their
ordinary world with its expectations, created by religious conditioning. If the cause were simply an oxygen-starved
brain, I would expect much greater variety in the hallucinations. It also seems odd that people rarely have
ordinary dreams of after-death experiences. In near death experiences, people often report rapidly reviewing their
whole life, only with the ability to sense the emotions of others around them. It seems strange man would evolve to
reserve this very useful review only for the last minutes of life.
- People have hellish near death experiences. People are typically reluctant to talk about them. I had an
operation requiring general anaesthesia to remove an impacted wisdom tooth. I partially woke up in the middle of
the operation. Several people had to be called into restrain me and put me back under. From my point of view, I was
in hell, falling endlessly through a gray fog in excruciating pain. I assumed I was dead and this was indeed hell.
The experience was much more vivid than a dream. Ironically, fundamentalists (who in theory should have the least
to fear from hellfire) have these experiences much more frequently than other people. Most people have entirely
positive near death experiences. In the middle ages people typically reported a negative experience that
transformed into a positive one.
- In Buddhist countries children reportedly remember their previous lives and the people in them. I don’t
know the care to which the children are shielded from hearing stories of their supposed previous lives, or just how
accurate the descriptions the children provide actually are. I saw one documentary where a child simply reached out
to play with various objects belonging to a dead person and the onlookers read a great deal into this.
- Anecdotal ghost stories. If even one ghost story is true, that would be evidence for some sort of existence
- I have had an out of body experience, OOBE, as have many other
people. It appears your consciousness is floating outside your body able to look down on it. This sounds very
similar to what is supposed to happen to you after death. However, with an OOBE your brain is still functioning, so perhaps it is a hallucination where you project
what the world would look like from up on the ceiling.
- Australian aborigines have a form of consciousness they call dream time. From the
little I can find out about it, it appears to be as different from ordinary consciousness as death.
- One day I was sitting under a tree at the University of BC. A group of Hare Krishna devotees were chanting
nearby. A little girl from the group walked over and gave me a small bag of nuts. I experienced the event in a
miraculous way. It was as if I were everything at once, not just confined to my limited body. Perhaps it is just an
illusion that I am Roedy Green. In actuality I may be the whole ball of wax. As such, it seems unlikely I would
disappear when Roedy Green’s body dies.
- In a very mundane sense, there is only one being living on planet earth. Consider the amoeba. They reproduce by
splitting in two. If you look at any amoeba today it is billions of years old. You might in theory trace all the
amoebae alive in the world today to a single ancestor. Thus in one sense there is only one amoeba, living in many
bodies. If an amoeba dies, has the amoeba died? no. It is much like single blood cell in a human dying. If
you follow back further you would probably find that other one celled animals all share a common ancestor with the
amoeba too. There is only one life living in many bodies. Multicelled humans too are
part of this single life tree. Our cells too grow only by splitting, but in more specialised ways, going through a
minimalist stage periodically as sperm and egg cells. However, each of a human’s cells is similarly billions
of years old, with an unbroken chain of cell divisions going all the way back through the generations of humanity.
Oddly, even though the cells are billions of years old, the cells die within 100 years of birth, if they stay part
of human’s body i.e. if they don’t leave it as sperm or as a completed baby. They have a built-in death
count-down mechanism called telomeres. If there is only one life, living in many bodies in many forms, you, the
primordial life, lives on even if your little human body dies.
Arguments Against Life After Death
I also tackle this topic in a separate essay.
- If a person sustains brain damage, his mental capacities are correspondingly impaired. If the mind were
separate from the brain, it should remain undamaged. Similarly for the effects of diseases such as Alzheimer and
schizophrenia. It thus appears if a brain is totally damaged, so is the corresponding mind. Thus it appears a mind
(consciousness) dies when the corresponding brain dies. There is now evidence that consciousness is
activity. You are only conscious of something once a certain threshold of neurons start firing.
- I have experienced anaesthesia several times in my life. I felt myself totally disappear. I awoke with the
sensation no time had passed. It appeared my consciousness did not exist for the duration of the operation.
Consciousness does not thus have to go somewhere when you die. It can just stop.
- Nobody can give reasonable explanation for how anyone would know if the after-death myth of their culture could
be true. Usually some shaman figure (e.g. Buddha, Jesus, Mohammad) simply announces it is and people take his word
for it based on his reputation as a moral figure. He just knows by some mysterious process not available to
- The after-death myths are very man-centred. I have a rough time imagining a God that did not value dolphins,
whales and many other species as equally important to man.
- When the Spanish came to America, the indigenous peoples mistook them for Gods. If beings from other parts of
the galaxy ever send their technology to earth, surely the technology gap would be even greater. We would mistake
it for magic or acts of God. The universe is an unimaginably huge place. We have just begun to explore just one
tiny solar system. If life could happen once, surely it would happen over and over. It is mind boggling to
contemplate the possibility that there is other intelligent life in the cosmos, but even more mind boggling to
contemplate the possibility there is not, and we are utterly alone and utterly unique.
The misfortunes of human beings may be divided into two classes: First, those inflicted by the non-human
environment and, second, those inflicted by other people. As mankind have progressed in knowledge and
technique, the second class has become a continually increasing percentage of the total. In old times, famine,
for example, was due to natural causes and although people did their best to combat it, large numbers of them
died of starvation. At the present moment large parts of the world are faced with the threat of famine, but
although natural causes have contributed to the situation, the principal causes are human. For six years the
civilized nations of the world devoted all their best energies to killing each other and they find it difficult
suddenly to switch over to keeping each other alive. Having destroyed harvests, dismantled agricultural
machinery and disorganized shipping, they find it no easy matter to relieve the shortage of crops in one place
by means of a superabundance in another, as would easily be done if the economic system were in normal working
order. As this illustration shows, it is now man that is man’s worst enemy. Nature, it is true, still
sees to it that we are mortal, but with the progress in medicine it will become more and more common for people
to live until they have had their fill of life. We are supposed to wish to live for ever and to look forward to
the unending joys of heaven, of which, by miracle, the monotony will never grow stale. But in fact, if you
question any candid person who is no longer young, he is very likely to tell you that, having tasted life in
this world, he has no wish to begin again as a 'new boy' in another. For the future, therefore, it may
be taken that much the most important evils that mankind have to consider are those which they inflict upon
each other through stupidity or malevolence or both.
~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97)
Ideas That Have Harmed Mankind, from Unpopular Essays
Book referral for Unpopular Essays
||recommend book⇒Unpopular Essays|
||1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97
|Essay on topics where his rational views conflict with religious based ones.|
|Greyed out stores probably do not have the item in stock. Try looking for it with a bookfinder.|
Christian theologians have made some rather silly assumptions about the creator
of the universe, namely that He is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, perfect, infinitely loving, infinitely good.
There is no reason on earth the creator of the universe necessarily would necessarily have any of those qualities. It
is almost like a son bragging about his Dad.
Clearly toothaches, bad breath and fungus infections exist. How to explain that?
We presume that God created a Devil who then created these things. God gets off the hook by one level of
indirection. That makes about as much sense as a Mafia don claiming innocence because he hired a hitman.
Perhaps it would be simpler to just say God created the best universe he could at the time. Perhaps it is
impossible to create a logically consistent universe any better than this. This may be the best of all
We keep imagining the universe was created for the personal pleasure of man. We may well prove to be one of the
least important species in the galaxy. From God’s point of view, we may well be a cancer on planet earth,
destroying its carefully planned biological diversity, about as well-loved as rose blight.
The one thing we have discovered is the creation is logically consistent. Scripture is anything
but. If there is a creator, the best way to understand Him is to study His creation.
Christians mean Do you believe the Bible to be literally true? when they ask
Do you believe in God?. The questions are only loosely related. If a God did exist, there
is almost no chance he would be anything like the one described in the
Advantages of Believing in God
None of these argument have any bearing on whether God
actually exists, they are the pragmatic advantages for believing.
- You can console yourself when a loved one dies with the thought you will see them again.
- If it turns out my some fluke you picked the one true religion (if there indeed is one) and the one true sect
within that religion, this gives you brownie points rewarding you in the afterlife for your acuity. You go to the
head of the heavenly chow line. Lots of luck picking the right one from this list.
- It can give you hope in a hopeless situation, such as a fatal illness. God might set aside the usual
rules of the universe or arrange some co-incidences to rescue you.
- It can give you fellowship.
- It can help you feel superior to others.
- It can erase doubt and let you stop thinking. You can relax. Others will spoon feed you all the answers to
life’s problems. The answers might not make any sense, but you know they must be valid since they came direct
- If you are addicted to drugs, it may help you become unaddicted.
- If you tend to spend much of your time worrying, it can train you to take your mind off your troubles and think
more optimistically. Emmet Fox suggests that casting your troubles on God, then contemplating the nature of God
instead will change your consciousness and hence your reality will improve. This technique could work whether or
not God actually exists.
- It gives you extra motivation to treat others well and to avoid criminal activity.
- It can let you fearlessly tackle dangerous activities. The worst that can happen is you will end up in heaven
Disadvantages of Believing in God
Believing in God is like believing in imaginary seat belts. It gives you a false sense of security.
None of these argument have any bearing on whether God actually exists, they are the pragmatic
disadvantages of believing.
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
A delusion that encourages belief where there is no evidence is asking for trouble. Disagreements between
incompatible beliefs cannot be settled by reasoned argument because reasoned argument is drummed out of those
trained in religion from the cradle. Instead, disagreements are settled by other means which, in extreme cases,
inevitably become violent. Scientists disagree among themselves but they never fight over their disagreements.
They argue about evidence or go out and seek new evidence. Much the same is true of philosophers, historians
and literary critics.
~ Dr. Richard Dawkins (1941-03-26 age:77), 2005-04-25, Salon
- You tend to sit twiddling your thumbs praying rather than doing something useful about a problem.
- You fall in the ditch or run out of money because you expect God to look out for you.
- You look like an idiot with your rigid illogical opinions to those studying how nature actually works.
- Other people will avoid you socially because of your utterly predictable endless babblings about God.
- You have to worry about eternal punishment. The Bible and Qur’an
imply only a tiny fraction of people make the grade.
- It makes you an intolerant pain in the ass since you are under the delusion you are in exclusive possession of
the word of God on every matter.
- You may kill your children (by refusing medical attention), ignore facts right under your nose and justify all
manner of wickedness (such as tormenting homosexuals) using your holy book for justification.
- Because your Bible is purportedly the word of God, you don’t worry if the advice it gives is
inconsistent, illogical or wicked.
- You must play lawyer to defend your holy books which were written by men thousands of years ago. Of course,
they are not consistent with what we know now. You have to disingenuously twist words to pretend they do.
- You can’t use compassion and logic to determine you ethical choices. You must use rigid rules composed
thousands of years ago when women were treated as slaves, it was considered proper to own slaves and people
believed disease was caused by unclean spirits.
How To Find God
Evangelist Emmet Fox in his book Around the Year with Emmet Fox: A Book
of Daily Readings, proposes an experiment. Here is a greatly abbreviated description of it.
Book referral for Around The Year With Emmet Fox
||recommend book⇒Around The Year With Emmet Fox|
||1886-07-30 1951-08-13 age:65
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You can then interpret anything out of the usual that happens either as co-incidence, the work of God or as the
work of your unconscious and decide for yourself which seems most plausible.
- Forgive everyone including yourself.
- For a period of a month, every time you have a trouble, no matter how personal, embarrassing,
unholy or trifling, instead of worrying about it, give the problem to God to deal with. Then spend the time you
would have spent worrying contemplating God, e.g. unbounded power, unbounded intelligence, unbounded love,
unbounded wisdom, perfect humour, omnipresence (Don’t you think it a bit rude of humanity to create garbage
dumps, which God because of his omnipresence must inhabit.), joy, truth, spirit, principle etc.
You are on a fast from negative thoughts.
- Here is the hard part. Have faith that God will actually take care of all these problems in a much more
intelligent and pleasing way than you could ever come up with yourself. If you don’t have faith, you are at
least supposed to act as if you did. This should suffice.
- Don’t dictate to God how to solve the problem. God may come up with some very indirect solution
that you may not even recognise as a solution.
- Don’t look for results. They may come at the 13th hour.
- Don’t tell anyone during the month about your experiment. You can talk about it afterward.
- If it does not work, according to Fox, chances are you failed to be 100% unconditionally loving to everyone.
Since no one can attain that perfection, there is always an excuse why this won’t work. It requires
God’s reputed mercy to have any hope of working.
To me it would seem prudent to act normally during your experiment. Pay your bills. Look both ways before crossing
the street. You don’t want to get yourself in too much trouble if God decides to ignore you for not having
enough faith. On the other hand, you want to go at it seriously. After a failure, you will have even more evidence
that God will ignore your pleas and so it will be even harder to whip up the requisite faith for a second
I’d be interested in hearing from people who have performed this experiment. Tell me what happened and how
you interpreted it.
I tried the experiment for the month of 2000-06. I spent three weeks taking ganciclovir
IVs to clear up my nausea where nearly everything went wrong. At first, it looked like the treatment did not work. I
met a strikingly handsome young guy who came over twice for massages. I worried less than usual and it became clear
that worry does little to improve most situations. There was nothing sufficiently out of the ordinary to require
divine explanation. However, the following month something unusual did happen. A long standing friend asked if she
could become my lover and I accepted, even though she was of the wrong sex. Life has been
unusually pleasant and eventful ever since.
How Can You Tell When You Have Found God?
I once heard the voice of God. It said Vrrrrmmmmm. Unless it was just a lawn mower.
~ Age 11
Nearly everyone claims to have found God when they feel something inside intensely pleasant and very different
from anything they have felt before. There are three problems relying totally on this approach.
- When my friend Phil was a child he shinnied up a pole and had an orgasm. He assumed the pleasant sensations
were caused by being closer to God near the top of the pole. We laugh at Phil, but
grown people act just as foolishly.
- These intense feelings can be created on cue. Preachers have been perfecting the techniques for centuries. In
modern days there is a whole new arsenal of ways of fooling people into thinking they have truly found God. See
Dick Sutphen’s article on how it is
- People who rely on pleasant sensations for their spiritual barometer can find themselves bound to the gods of
cocaine or heroin.
I think more reliable signs would be how you had changed for the better or how your life had turned around. These
effects may take years to become apparent. Other people would probably tell you they thought your life was touched by
Alternate Definitions of God
God as cosmic body guard
God protects you from harm and disease. Actually the top banana is not really
necessary, a guardian angel or a friendly alien would suffice.
God as cosmic Santa Claus
God is that which answers prayers. You can petition God to grant you exciting
sexual partners, good health, material goods and the esteem of your fellow man, all without effort. God could be
considered as a sort of Star Trek replicator.
God as sadistic Master
God gives you cancer or makes you lose your lover to teach you some
mysterious spiritual lesson so you will grow. The curriculum is never explained.
God as cosmic snake oil
God is good for whatever ails you. God is the solution to every problem. Just
join my religion and you can have all the God you want, for a small monthly fee.
God as cosmic teddy bear
God is a companion with you all the time. He says nothing, but he is a Good
God as cosmic hit man
If anyone ever does you wrong, you can rest assured God will torment him for
eternity in the afterlife. Unfortunately, we all have done somebody wrong, so we will all have to
console ourselves as we are tortured knowing everyone else is being tormented too.
I am God
This is not quite a whacko as is first sounds. Usually people mean by this there is some common
spirit or consciousness that inhabits all humans that we experience as the sense of I amness.
God as ideal lover
God looks absolutely fabulous and for some reason he thinks you too look absolutely
fabulous, even if you are overweight with bad breath.
God as cosmic tripper
God sees everything as perfect. Even suffering is beautiful. Even a dead fish in a
polluted river has a deep mysterious perfection. Even Microsoft Windows is perfect. God is completely out of
touch with how the rest of us experience reality.
God is Love
This definition has Biblical support. I John 4:8
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
God as the creator of the universe
Even atheists can believe in God with this sort of definition.
God as the thing you most fear that won’t hurt you
That puts extra meaning into the no other
gods before me clause.
And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by
those who doubt His existence.
Philosopher Blaise Pascal came up with three arguments, not for the existence of God, but for trying to
talk yourself into believing there is a god and that
~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97)
Nearly all the Christians are people who had Christian parents and who brainwashed belief in Christianity with
threats of hellfire, promises of heaven and threats of mommy’s wrath if the child questioned. Christianity has
almost no rational appeal. People sometimes get sucked into it with the excitement and threats of crusades. Almost no
one adopts it after careful examination.
Almost no Christians have read the bible cover to cover. They swear allegiance to the bible without the first clue
to what it says. Christianity is all about emotion, mostly fear. Christianity makes no sense at all rationally.
Calling Atheism a religion is like calling bald a hair color.
~ Don Hirschberg
The first thing a Christian offers to an atheist to convert him is Pascal’s Wager, an argument based purely
on fear. This is the #1 reason Christians give for why you should believe in Yahweh.
Blaise Pascal came up with three arguments, not for the existence of God, but for trying to talk yourself into
believing there is a god. The concern is not for the truth of god’s existence, but for prudential practical
benefit, basically that conning yourself is your best bet. These arguments are collectively known as Pascal’s Wager. The argument is essentially
- If you don’t believe in God and you are wrong, after you die, you are
in deep trouble.
- If you believe in God and you are wrong, nothing too terrible will happen,
other than the consequences of silly superstitious actions you may have engaged in as a result, e.g. wasted time
praying, or failing to take appropriate action expecting God to bail you out.
- If you don’t believe in God and you are right nothing special happens,
other than living a fearless life.
- If you believe in God and you are right, you hit the jackpot.
Failure of Pascal’s Wager
- Of course, you can fool others that you believe, but you can’t actually fool yourself. Pascal’s
original version called only for going through the motions, not trying to trick yourself into believing. Further,
Yahweh allegedly can read your mind, so you won’t be able to fool him either. The whole exercise is
pointless, even if Yahweh exists.
- If you fall for this pitch, you will live your life wasting money on tithes. You will cower in fear to a
monster imaginary god, obeying his monstrous commands. You will become a monster. Because you believe you cannot
kill, you will be more likely to commit murder. Because you believe the untoward effects of any crime can be undone
with a bit of ecclesiastic magic, you are more likely to commit crimes.
- Pascal also presumes God is terribly interested in whether you believe, not how you behave. A fair God would be
far more concerned with your behaviour than your belief in some far fetched myth. What is so wicked about rejecting
what appears to be false?
- When Christians become atheists, the Christianity fades like the Cheshire Cat’s smile. The last to go is
the fear of being tortured by Yahweh. That threat is the bedrock of Christian belief.
The immense majority of intellectually eminent men disbelieve in the Christian religion, but they conceal the
fact in public because they are afraid of losing their incomes.
Pascal presumes you can’t settle the matter of the existence of god though reason. We now know
far more about the question than did Pascal and I think we know the probability of a God anything like the one in
the Christian Bible is extremely remote. Almost nothing in the bible that can be tested has proved true. Further,
the consequences of believing in the bogus Christian God are far more serious than Pascal imagined. For example,
if you trust in this Christian God, you are not capable of biology or geology. You will be a bigot. Think of how
difficult life would be for a medieval peasant, believing in goblins, witches and devils teleported to modern
day. Every nutty incorrect idea you hold hampers your ability to function.
~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97)
- Since there are 60,000
gods and you don’t know which is the real one, if any, you have to repeat the wager
times and hope the gods don’t get too jealous. It is logically impossible to suck up exclusively and
simultaneously to all the possible gods. Pascal’s wager applies to Islam. It has even bigger rewards and
punishments. By that sort of thinking Christians should convert to Islam.
Morality of Pascal’s Wager
- It is not that Yahweh is a wonderful, benevolent god worthy of worship.
- It is not that serving Yahweh is the right thing to do.
- It is that Yahweh is an unbelievably horrible bastard. He probably does not actually exist, but you can’t
take the chance. If you so much as breathe the wrong way, he will torture you for eternity. In other words
worshiping Yahweh is required for the same reason one would worship Hitler, Stalin or Kim Jong Un. It is morally
reprehensible, but a practical necessity.
- To Pascal, fear of other gods is irrelevant. None of them is as sadistic as Yahweh. However, other gods
threaten to torture you if you fail to worship them. To me, Yahweh is one of the less impressive and believable
gods. If I were to place my bets on the Pascal Wager, I would have to placate other gods in preference to Yahweh
such as Ganesh and Minerva Sulis, even though I don’t think they exist either.
- Why are Christians so frightened of a preposterous character of fiction? He does not frighten anyone else. The
Christian peer group is terrified of him, and they keep the fear alive in the group. Christians assure each other
that the fear is a virtue, so one should pretend to be a afraid to their peers. Christian mothers deliberately
abuse their children, traumatising them with terror of Yahweh. Phobias installed early in life are very hard to
- Their use of Pascal’s Wager lets us know that a Christian believes out of fear not out of reason.
Christians do not admit the fear. They are required to pretend to love Yahweh, a cruel bastard many times more
cruel than Hitler. They will readily admit their belief is not rational. However, they claim it is based on faith,
but they really mean fear.
The Riddle of Epicurus
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?
~ Epicurus (341 BC 270 BC age:71)
My friend Darwin Bedford, the atheist messiah, at atheists.net,
looks at it this way:
- If you don’t believe in God and you are wrong, after you die, so long
as you have lead a moral life you should have nothing to fear. A compassionate god would not punish you for
guessing which religion had an exclusive handle on the truth.
- If you believe in God and you are wrong, you will have done foolish things
such as wasting time praying when you should have taken effective action. You will have lived your life as if it
did not matter because you erroneously thought it was merely a trial, preparatory to your real life after death.
You would have lived an overly safe conventional life, keeping your nose clean and avoiding all adventure. You
would have let evil thrive because you felt dealing with that was God’s responsibility, not yours. You would
have done irrational things just because some hoary old book tricked you into it, like mistreating blacks or gays.
You would have wasted much of your life in fear of the imaginary divine meat axe.
- If you don’t believe in God and you are right, you live a zestful life.
Every second counts. It is all you have got. You don’t fritter your time in ritualistic activities. You take
responsibility for the planet. You make a difference. You made your decisions rationally, not based on fear of some
lunatic bogeyman in the sky. You behave well not because you fear punishment, but because you know that such
behaviour is globally and locally optimal, good for everyone and also for you. You are a blessing to the
- If you believe in God and you are right, you are more likely than not to be
an insufferably smug hypocrite, looking down your nose at others and judging incessantly just as Jesus told you not
to do. God judges your actions, not your beliefs. In Luke 13:25,
Jesus warned you that mere praying would not get you into heaven; only good deeds would. You get punished doubly
since you ought to have known better.
Since most religions send you to hell for believing in the wrong god, it is better to believe in no god at all
rather than risk offending the One True God by wasting your life upsetting him by worshiping one of his (many)
A religion is supposed to help you when things get really awful. A Christian calls out
to God and, of course, nothing happens. He feels even more abandoned. An atheist does not bother. He has the possible
out of suicide should things get really really bad. He still has to balance the benefit of ending his personal
torment with increasing the pain of others. Normally people choose to stay alive no matter how bad things are simply
because life has a way of improving all by itself. The suicide option is closed to the Christian. The Christian is
trapped by the threat of even worse eternal torment if he tries that escape. For the atheist, at least knowing the
option is there is a great comfort. There is a limit to how much the atheist must endure. Even if Christians meddle
and make the suicide impossible, suffering is still limited in time. How do Christians bear existence without that
Does It Matter?
I have the sneaky suspicion what people are concerned about when they ask,
Does God exist? is they mean "Will I be supernaturally punished/rewarded in the
hereafter (or in my lifetime)? Is there any point in behaving well?" For me it makes no practical difference. I
long ago decided to behave well. I want war, hunger and bigotry ended because war, hunger and bigotry are awful, not
because I imagine I will be rewarded in the hereafter with a mansion of gold. I refrain from stealing, not because I
fear being roasted on a spit, but because I know what it feels like to be stolen from.
Why Do People Believe in God?
So why do we insist on believing in God?
From a biological point of view, there are lots of different theories about why we have this extraordinary
predisposition to believe in supernatural things. One suggestion is that the child mind is, for very good Darwinian
reasons, susceptible to infection the same way a computer is. In order to be useful, a computer has to be
programmable, to obey whatever it’s told to do. That automatically makes it vulnerable to computer viruses,
which are programs that say, Spread me, copy me, pass me on. Once a viral program gets
started, there is nothing to stop it.
Similarly, the child brain is preprogrammed by natural selection to obey and believe what parents and other
adults tell it. In general, it’s a good thing that child brains should be susceptible to being taught what to
do and what to believe by adults. But this necessarily carries the down side that bad ideas, useless ideas, waste
of time ideas like rain dances and other religious customs, will also be passed down the generations. The child
brain is very susceptible to this kind of infection. And it also spreads sideways by cross infection when a
charismatic preacher goes around infecting new minds that were previously uninfected.
~ Dr. Richard Dawkins (1941-03-26 age:77), 2005-04-25, Salon
Man is certainly stark mad; he cannot make a flea and yet he will be making gods by dozens.
As of 2007-01-20 here are my best estimates of probability of various
assertions around the existence of god.
~ Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (1533 1592 age:59)
Roedy Green’s estimates of the probability of the existence of god.
|Estimates of the Probability of the Existence of God|
||That the bible was composed by God.
||The bible is of such inferior quality, it could not possibly have flowed from the pen something supposedly perfect
and all-knowing. Other holy books get roughly the same rating with the Qur’an
getting a few extra points because of the claim its poetry is of superhuman quality, a claim I cannot
||Something with an IQ above a moron intelligently designs each
The world would be astonished if it knew how great a proportion of its brightest ornaments, of those
distinguished even in popular estimation for wisdom and virtue, are complete sceptics in religion.
Evolution itself is a problem solving process with an IQ of about 1. It is bungling slow process. If you look closely at life, it is an
endless series of mindless tiny hacks, with no sign of brilliant design or forethought. The end result can be
impressive, but that is only because evolution is exceedingly patient at searching for better designs, not
intelligent in designing them.
~ John Stuart Mill (1806-05-20 1873-05-08 age:66)
The big creationist lie is the that the end result of evolution is random, like a perfect watch forming
from an explosion in a the watchmaker’s shop. The process is anything but random. Evolution might be
likened to a retarded blind watchmaker who had no understanding of how watches work, who just kept trying
various combinations of gears over millennia to find counterfeit watch designs that would sell better. The
intelligence lay all in his customers’ intelligent discrimination refusing to buy the crummiest
designs. Eventually his designs would actually work and would even continue to slowly improve.
||God talks to people
When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion, it
is called Religion.
When people such as George W. Bush hear voices in their head, they are so conceited that they
imagine these internal voices are the creator of the universe Himself are taking time out for a consultation.
The messages themselves are invariably silly or deranged and reveal nothing only God Himself would know.
Further John 5:37
makes clear Yahweh does not talk to individual people. This of course contradicts other parts of the bible
where He reputedly does.
~ Robert M. Pirsig (1928-09-06 age:89)
the author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
||Presuming there is a God, that the old Testament roughly expresses God’s wishes.
||The essential values of the old testament are intolerance, animal sacrifice and smiting enemies. God is
supposedly just, kind and all-knowing. He would not take sides in petty battles.|
||God, or some other mysterious process, is like a cosmic Santa Claus watching you at all times and keeping a
record of your every transgression.
||This is just a story told to older children to help make them feel frightened about masturbating or sex
play. If God were all that interested in the behaviour of his individual creatures he would make his authority
and the desired behaviours clear, rather than acting through various con men. He would intervene, chastise and
explain at many points in a life rather than waiting until death. To learn, you need immediate feedback.|
||That your consciousness keeps on experiencing something for years after you die.
||You might be a ghost, reincarnate, live in some other dimensional heaven/hell…|
||Something with an IQ above a moron intelligently designed the
basic underpinnings of reality, e.g. the laws of quantum mechanics, that there are such things as distance,
time and mass and chose the basic constants.
||The way basic reality works on a subatomic level is undeniably mathematically elegant and highly convenient
for life. If you presume we are not the only universe, there may be vast numbers of them, mostly uninteresting.
Imagine being an ancient Hawaiian. You would presume that God had made the climate perfect for your benefit,
food abundant for your benefit etc. Only after you traveled the globe would you discover this was not
universally true. There was no universal beneficence making the climate temperate. You just lucked out on a
||Presuming there is a God, the New Testament roughly expresses God’s wishes.
||The essential values of the new testament are kindness, non-violence, tolerance, restraint in use of power
and faith without evidence. These values (except faith) are geared to the long term sustainability of the
human species. Missing is any sort of ecological awareness. The New Testament is full of superstition which
just divides Christians and non-Christians further.
So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence.
~ Bertrand Russell (1872-05-18 1970-02-02 age:97)
||That under some circumstances your consciousness has experiences even when there is no measurable brain
||This personally has never happened to me. When I was under anaesthesia, I awoke as if no time at all had
passed. It is possible trauma causes memories of events to be directly laid down that were never actually never
experienced, not even in imagination. But that would not account for sensory information gleaned while there
was no brain activity.|
||That there is some unknown mechanism that sporadically creates highly improbable co-incidences in our
||This is most probably some weak form of ESP
that unconsciously makes unconscious arrangements with other people. It may be an advanced species playing
tricks on us, or playing with us.|
||That it is possible to have an out of body experience while you are still alive.
||This has happened to me and to several of my friends. I make no claim other that this is how it appears to
the observer. It may just be some sort of waking dream.|
Believing would be easier if God would show himself by depositing a million dollars in a Swiss bank account in my
When someone says Do you believe in God he is conflating all these
questions. When you break them out and answer with probabilities rather than with absolute certainty, we may discover
more patterns of agreement than at first appears. Have fun with the list. Compare your probability estimates with
others as a jumping off point for discussion.
~ Woody Allen (1935-12-01 age:82)
Disproving the Existence of God
Most people are quite happy to believe in the existence of God simply because
no one has found an iron clad way to prove God does not exist. It does not bother them in the least
there is no evidence for the existence of God. If someone told me the earth was rhombus shaped,
borne through the cosmos by in the pincers of two invisible enormous green lobsters called Esmeralda and Keith, I
could not prove the lobsters did not exist either. I can’t prove there are no fairies or no unicorns. I
can’t prove there is no Russellian teapot orbiting Mars. But, on the other hand, my failure to prove
non-existence is no evidence at all for their existence. If you want to convince me that sasquatches, yetis, Loch
Ness monsters, fairies, unicorns, Jove, Yahweh, Jupiter, Esmeralda and Keith, orbiting teapots or the cadborosaurus
exist, it is up to you to present some evidence.
The old misconceptions that people mistook as evidence for the existence of God no longer hold. We have discovered
the universe is quite capable of functioning without the constant tinkering of a deity. We have discovered even
complex creatures like elephants arise by natural processes of chemistry and biology. They don’t require an
intelligent designer. They came into being by a mindless laborious genetic process of trial and error carried out by
busy little DNA
Why You Know There Is No God
I cannot believe God created parasites to torture small children.
~ Sir David Attenborough (1926-05-08 age:91)
- If you define god as the entity that answers prayer, you know there is no god, because every experiment to test
the efficacy of prayer shows it has no effect.
- If you define god as the all knowing entity that wrote the bible, you know there is no god because the bible is
full of error and inconsistency.
- If you define god as the entity that designed and created all the species, you know there is no god because
there is no evidence of design to the trained eye. Granted, there is an illusion of design to the
layman. Animals evolved gradually in bungling hamfisted ways, with no foresight. Consider the
painful way humans are born pushed through the female pelvis. Consider the panda’s inept thumb. Consider the
human eye with the light sensitive cells on the wrong side of the retina. Consider the human eye with a blind spot
right in the middle of the visual field. That is not intelligent design!
- If you define god as the entity that tortures people after death, recall you have no evidence anyone has ever
been tortured after death. Some influential members of the priestly class merely asserted it was so and convinced
others by dramatics and repeated assertion. Taking somebody’s say so without any reason or evidence at all is
a very weak argument for the existence of god. If you believe the tales that Allah will torture you after death,
why are you ignoring the warnings that Kali and Yahweh will too?
- If you define god as Yahweh, consider there are 10,000+ other gods. Which god you worship depends mainly on
where you were born, not on the attractiveness of the god. At most one of these 10,000+ gods could be correct since
they all disagree and all claim other gods are false. There is nothing special about Yahweh. He is as likely as any
other to be bogus. He started out as a purely local tribal god of the Jews. Any particular god has at
best a 1 in 10,000 chance of being the true god.
Stephen F. Roberts’ Objection
I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you
dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.
I find Stephen Robert’s quotation one of the strongest arguments against Christianity, but oddly
Christians don’t find it in the least convincing. To a mathematician, inconsistency is an anathema. Why believe
in some gods but not others? The same arguments for existence apply equally to all gods. But inconsistency does not
bother Christians in the least. Any argument against Ganesh, is also an argument against Yahweh. Why do Christians
have no problem accepting an argument when it refutes the existence of Ganesh, but reject the exact same argument
when applied to refute Yahweh? Why do Christians have no problem accepting an argument for the existence of Yahweh,
but reject the exact same argument when applied to proving the existence of Ganesh? How can Christians be so sure
theirs is the best description of god when they carefully insulate themselves from even hearing about any other? That
strikes me as insane.
~ Stephen F. Roberts (1967 age:50)
I dismiss Ganesh and Yahweh for the same reason: there is no evidence for either. Christians hold Yahweh in such
high esteem, they think I must be kidding. They can’t conceive of me deciding Yahweh is preposterous with the
same lack of angst that I decided Ganesh is preposterous. It is difficult only if you have been conned during infancy
that Yahweh (or Ganesh) will get you if you are naughty.
[I was lucky. The BS I was fed was that elves were spying on me and were I naughty, I would get a lump of coal in
my stocking at Christmas. I scoured every hiding place in my house for elves and decided my mother was putting me on.
Happily, my mother did not beat me for my refusal to believe her story.]
The main reason Christians believe their twaddle is they can’t escape the fear they just
might be hideously punished for failing to do so. It has almost nothing to do with logical
probability. It has to do with the severity of the punishment. The feared punishment is so hideous, it is not worth
the risk no matter how unlikely. This primal fear of the bogey-man god is dressed up for philosophers as Pascal’s Wager.
Islam is thus even more entrapping than Christianity. It promises even more frightening punishments. I had
nightmares for months after reading the Qur’an.
Those who reject
Our Signs, We shall soon
Cast into the Fire;
As often as their skins
Are roasted through,
We shall change them
For fresh skins,
That they may taste
The Penalty: for Allah
Is Exalted in Power: Wise.
~ The Qur’an (610 AD age:1407)
Surah Al Nisa 4:56
When someone asks, Does god exist? what they really mean is Are
you a category 1 or category 2 person?
A category 1 person is most easily persuaded with a list of reasons why it would be a
good idea to do something, both for their and others’ benefit and why it would be a bad idea not to do it.
A category 2 person is most easily persuaded by reciting a fable about someone who
refused to take the requested action and how a fictitious ogre tortured or killed them. Oddly, the majority of homo
sapiens are category 2.
I feel sorry for people who believe in religion. They are like people who never
go outside, who only look at tacky advertising calendars to learn the what is happening in the outside world. To
appreciate the Alps, or a tropical coral lagoon, you have to look at them directly for yourself. The more science you
know about what is going on with the lives of all those tiny creatures, the more awe-inspiring the reef is. How can
you possibly fully experience soaking in a warm sulphur spring when you have only read about it? Religious dogma is
like looking at the world though a filthy, cobweb distorted piece of glass. Religionists imagine their ancient dogmas
reveal the hidden beauty of the universe, but in actuality they hide it. Draft horses wearing blinders silently thank
their masters for the splendid view they have of the lead’s horse’s hind quarters. They could never dream
what was to be seen if they would somehow shake the blinders free! The worst bondage is when you don’t know you
are captive. Remember the movie The Sting where Paul Newman as Henry Gondorff explains the best con is
one where the mark never even figures out he has been had. Conning via religion is as old as mankind. The art was
perfected thousands of years ago.
DVD (Digital Video Disc) s
DVD referral for Discussions with Richard Dawkins, Episode One: The Four Horsemen
||recommend DVD⇒Discussions with Richard Dawkins, Episode One: The Four Horsemen|
|by||Richard Dawkins, Chris Hitchens, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris|
|Two hour discussion with the four famous atheists of 2007.|
|Greyed out stores probably do not have the item in stock|
DVD referral for The God Who Wasn’t There
||recommend DVD⇒The God Who Wasn’t There|
|This movie debunks Christianity by showing how all parts of the Jesus legend were borrowed from earlier religions and that even the church fathers admitted that. It also shows how early Christian writers were not talking about a literal historical person. Finally it shows how the Bible is at odds in many crucial places with established history.|
|Greyed out stores probably do not have the item in stock|