Showing posts with label religion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label religion. Show all posts

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Conversation On Agnosticism vs Atheism

OU812 wrote:
It staggers the mind, if you think about it, that so, so many of our 'enlightened, intellectual' class pass by the label of Agnostic in order to proudly label themselves Atheists. Why not be content with being Agnostic if you, as an intellectual, cannot prove any conclusive position on this point? It seems calling yourself an Atheist is a cheap and easy way to secure an appreciation of your intellect - in certain circles, anyway. I am not using this as a means of starting a theological debate, but to me, the lack of consistency exemplifies, so blatantly, human failings. Would any Atheist 'intellectual' conclude that there is no life on other planets simply because there is no proof that there is?
Gnosticism deals merely with knowledge, not belief. That's where theism comes in. Everyone is agnostic, since NO ONE knows for sure. Saying you're 'agnostic' is a nonsense statement in a sense since it says nothing about what you believe. Even the most religious person on earth is agnostic, no matter what they say. So when someone asks if you believe in god(s) if you're one of those people who shrugs their shoulders and thinks "I dunno" that's not what they asked.

The right answer (and this is where people start getting annoyed and whatnot but it's just true) is that you don't currently hold a positive belief in god, aka you're an agnostic atheist. If you think 'I dunno' when someone asks if you believe in god you're definitely not a theist......which makes you an atheist. There's no third middle option. That middle option people think of is actually the answer to a separate question (do you KNOW a god exists).

Theism= belief in a god.
Prefix 'a' denotes the lack of something.
A-theism= the lack of a belief in god.

Gnosticism= knowledge of god's existence.
Prefix 'a' denotes the lack of something.
A-gnosticism= the lack of knowledge of god's existence.

Two different things. It's not agnostic or atheist; those are two different answers to two different questions. I am an agnostic atheist.

OU812 wrote:
That may be accurate in a literal sense, but i don't think most people, particularly those in the public eye who voice their opinion on the matter, go any further into the definitions of atheist, agnostic and believer/theist than as I had originally argued. That would certainly make sense since I believe those in the forefront of politics and popular culture, the opinions I am hearing and evaluating, are the pseudo-intellectuals Sowell so elegantly swipes at in his books.
You, Sowell, and those like you are all making the same mistake. Let me quote you to show you what I am talking about:

OU812 wrote:
Now both believers and non-believers require the same level of proof to come to their conclusions -- none. It is the Atheist, however, who claims the intellectual high ground for his position, ridiculing those who disagree.
The problem with this is that the burden of proof is always on those making a claim. The axiomatically correct stance in any case of the asserted existence of some thing is the null hypothesis until proven otherwise. This position should only be changed to belief/acceptance of the claim when sufficient evidence is given to them by those making said claim. So, in the case of the existence of a god, the human who says "hey, a god exists" to a second human, or a group of humans, must then prove that this is true. Much like the prosecution must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in a court case, the god believer must demonstrate to the people he is preaching that the god in question exists and he must do beyond all measure of reasonable doubt. If they fail to do this, the 'atheist' is holding the correct position- that of disbelief. He need not defend this disbelief nor is it correct to accuse him of holding a faith based position. It is in fact the philosophically correct one.

Sowell is wrong and imo, he just gets off on writing off the atheists as angsty pseudointellectuals. It's lazy.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

I Pissed Someone Off Up There......

So if you read this blog on occasion you may have noticed that I have not posted in the last 2+ weeks. Well, I have been an atheist for as long as I can remember but I think perhaps I have been wrong and there's a really pissed off god out there waving his godly staff of power in my direction. Here's what's been happening over in magx01 land. Try not to choke when you laugh at this bullshit.

-Air conditioning broke. Cannot fix right now (bad financial situation after the recent loss of a job contract)

Okay, no big deal. It's just me here so meh. I've been letting cold air in at night and keeping the place shuttered tight during the day. Windows open on the odd cool day. No wife to bitch and moan and make it sound like the world is ending so in the end, eh.

Then this happens:

Guy ran a red light going 80km/h and destroyed my car (a second car, the one behind me, hit me after I spun which is why there are two impact sites). I walked away with a smashed up left knee and nothing else so I cannot complain too much. It's been 2 weeks now and the knee is like 70-80% better already :)

Okay, so two shitty things, but both are not too bad in the grand scheme of things, right?

-Three days after the accident, I hobble over to my freezer upon awakening in the morning to get an ice pack to ice the giant swollen painful knee when I discover fridge/freezer is no longer working!!!!

Okay, now wtf. I'm a calm dude who takes a lot of shit in stride but even I had to yell out "OH COME ON!!!! WHAT THE FUCK NOW?!" (I did laugh after, but it was more of an anxious laugh than a truly legitimate heehaw laugh). Ugh, so I call the repair dudes and the come and fix it the next day. $140 which I really cannot afford right now but it needs to be done so I do it. I ice my knee three times that night and go to bed relieved, money issues aside. I wake up the next day, and I wal-wait, what's that sound? Oh, NO FUCKING WAY.....that's the noise the fridge was making before it broke (click buzz, click buzz). I go over to it, open it and.....

(wait for it)


At this point I just felt defeated. I call the repair guys, they come back the next day and the good news is they tore up my cheque and only charged me $60 instead (they took back the part they installed the day previous). The bad news? I need a new fridge. I spend several days hobbling back and forth between my house and my neighbours' to get and hand them food/drinks/ice packs they are storing for me.

-Insurance comes through on the replacement value of the car. The settlement they offer is fairly reasonable, thankfully. I'll be able to get something similar. They tell me the cheque will be here in 5-10 business days. Cool, right? I'll drive my rental car for now, the cheque comes and I go car shopping, buy something, return the rental. Right?

BZZZT. Wrong. The rental needs to be returned tomorrow. "But I don't even have the money yet, how can I buy a car? And how can I get there without a rental?" "Well sir, you can pay out of pocket for the rental." "Out of pocket? This happened because the guy ran a red light. He was charged for this. I was totally innocent and now I am being penalized? How is this in any way reasonable or fair?" "I agree sir, but there's nothing I can do."


Moral of the story: Don't lose a job/contract if you're an atheist because someone up there will choose that time to turn his giant magnifying glass on your tiny little life.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Response To "Two Quick Questions For Christians"

In an earlier post I asked two questions aimed at Christians (although they could apply to people of any religion). I received a response from a Christian and I am posting said response here. I guess this speaks to the idea that smart people are less likely to be talked out of their religion when faced with questioning, contradictory evidence, etc as they can better justify their beliefs. Trying to weave through this web of logic and rationales would be an exhausting task. Not only that, but it really exemplifies just how difficult it would be to try and eradicate religious belief via debate, no matter how compelling the argument/evidence against. 

Question 1: Is there any non biblical, supporting evidence for what you believe ? If so, what is it? If no, and your beliefs are based solely upon what is contained in the bible, what then compels you to believe the book, especially as opposed to all of the other similar books upon which other religions are based, if, and I assume this is true, you believe that none of those other books are supported by extraneous evidence?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Two Quick Questions For Christians

1) Is there any non biblical, supporting evidence for what you believe ? If so, what is it? If no, and your beliefs are based solely upon what is contained in the bible, what then compels you to believe the book, especially as opposed to all of the other similar books upon which other religions are based, if, and I assume this is true, you believe that none of those other books are supported by extraneous evidence?

2) Do you think you'd be a Christian if you were raised in say India, or would you be a follower of the Hindu religion? Does the fact that religiosity is so highly correlated with culture/geography ever occur to you and if so, does that not strike you as a fairly compelling counterargument to your claims of truth?

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Fun Experiment: Take an Atheist. Get Him High. Place Atheist Inside Church.

Wow, I thought, bracing myself against the freezing cold wind as I exited the car, I'm really doing this. I'm going to church. Church. I walked in to the same Catholic church that I attended (on a very infrequent basis) as a youth (but never before with the ol mj in the system) and as I passed from the hall to the main part of the church itself, skipping the 'holy' water anointing station and hoping I didn't look like an extra on the set of Half Baked I entered what felt like an entirely new dimension- a sense of deja-vu mixed with a rather strong feeling of I don't belong here and they will know it immediately. I mean, for one thing, the place was packed and so trying my hardest to not feel completely out of place standing in front of what looked like 200 people, all of whom I was certain were all thinking the same thing (*hiss* an interloper *hiss*).

....And then there's the fact that I was stoned. Not exactly the most comfortable place to be when you're high but man did it amplify the experience. I'll get to that in a bit though. My cohorts and I took a seat. I hadn't sat in one of those seats for years, and it was a church of all places, but I did experience a small sense of a faint whiff of welcoming. My ass recoiled and sighed with familiarity at the same time, but I digress.

We were a few minutes early so I took the time to look around and take in the scene. Like most catholic churches, the place is a strange mix of welcoming and foreboding. The architectural design is aesthetically pleasing and it's clear that the workmanship was solid and finely detailed, but I cannot deny the fact that it did strike me as also being intentionally designed in such a grandiose fashion that it ventured beyond "look how grand this is" to perhaps a small (and possibly imagined on my part, sure) hint of "and look how small you are." It could be simple cynicism on my part, but as you will soon read, the mass itself also seemed to be designed with the intention of engendering in those in attendance a sense of less than. There certainly was a lot of prostrating oneself involved in the actual mass itself.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Honestly....How Can Anyone TRULY Believe in a Soul?

There are 2 obvious things that basically discredit the idea of a soul (and, by extension, an afterlife), and I do not see how thinking people can say they honestly believe in a soul.

1) Eyes. If souls can look down on us from heaven. that means they can see. So why do we have eyes? Isn't that rather redundant? And why is it that blind people are blind? They should still be able to see, even if their eyes do not function, since our souls can see. The existence of eyes and damage to the eyes resulting in blindness or at least some degree of vision impairment is said by most people to be because the eyes are quite simply the only mechanism through which we humans can take in visual stimuli which our brains can then process. Pit that against the idea that there is a soul and things like vision and consciousness (see the next point) are received by the brain rather than generated by it and apply Occam's Razor. I think it is pretty clear which of the two ideas is wishful thinking/nonsense.

2) The brain. Our souls are supposed to be us. Who we are. Our personality, our identity.......yet, changes in brain function alter our personality. It can change "who we are." Brain damage can make someone forever unrecognisable to even their families. How could this be? Some people, in response to this query, will posit the "transistor radio" hypothesis of consciousness, which, for those who do not know, is the idea that the brain acts as a receiver of consciousness rather than the catalyst for it. So according to this conception of consciousness, brain damage would alter behaviour not because the structures and electrochemical activity of the brain is responsible for said behaviour but rather due to the fact that the brain acts as a receiver for consciousness signals, and if a radio is damages the signal reception will be altered.

The problem with this idea, other than the fact that it is clearly just a way to rationalize away the evidence that runs contrary to the idea of a soul is that it doesn't explain things like dissociative identity disorder.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Texas Church Causes Measles Outbreak

This is the type of story that in the past would have caused me to rant both in writing and aloud, but at this point my outrage has been blanketed by a nonstop torrent of stories like this (by this I mean stories in which ignorance causes measurable (and avoidable) harm) so for now I find it sufficient to merely link to the story for anyone who may have missed it (this story broke a few days ago).

At this point all I can do is sigh and shake my head.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Quick Thought- A Parody of Oneself

Mormonism is a religion featuring magic underwear started by a known con man and it is adhered to by droves of people in multiple countries. Scientology, a religion that deals with aliens and souls trapped in volcanoes was started by a science fiction author who is on record stating that the best way to get insanely rich is to start a religion- Religion seems to almost be satirizing itself at this point.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

PC Gamer Doesn't Like Forced Baptism in Bioshock Infinite, Asks Valve For Refund on Steam


There are a few obvious aspects to this story (as pointed out in the comments section of that article) that we can talk about, but those discussions have been pretty well-tread and feel slightly redundant to talk about right now. Anyways, that stuff isn't what I want to point out. The point I want to emphasize is the polite and cool-headed way that he wrote to Valve. I frankly don't give a crap what this guy thinks of the game, or if he's offended enough to ask for a refund, that's his decision. I can't possibly fathom how someone can be so offended that they refuse to even finish the game, but again, it's his free time and money, he can do whatever the hell he wants.  However, it's just nice to see someone express this in calm and rational manner.

Gamers can insult this guy all they want, but his behavior and methods for expressing his discomfort and dislike towards a part of the game is a refreshing change of pace from the usual idiotic behavior that permeates the online gaming community.

When this guy has a problem with an aspect of a game, he coherently asserts in an email to Valve why he should get a refund, and then moves on with life. He doesn't spend his time trolling message boards and comment sections every day raging about what he hates about the game. He doesn't whip other gamers into a frenzy to pursue an unbelievably misguided excuse for an activist crusade He doesn't spew hate-filled garbage or hostile insults or even death threats to the developers or threaten to bring frivolous legal action against them or the publisher.

When many others within the online gaming community have a problem with a certain aspect of a game, well...

Monday, April 22, 2013

Catherine, Herbert Schaible's Second Child Dies After Parents Use Prayer, No Medicine

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A couple serving probation for the 2009 death of their toddler after they turned to prayer instead of a doctor could face new charges now that another son has died.

Herbert and Catherine Schaible belong to a fundamentalist Christian church that believes in faith healing. They lost their 8-month-old son, Brandon, last week after he suffered from diarrhea and breathing problems for at least a week, and stopped eating. Four years ago, another son died from bacterial pneumonia.

Prosecutors said Tuesday that a decision on charges will be made after they get the results of an autopsy.

Catherine Schaible's attorney, Mythri Jayaraman, cautioned against a rush to judgment, and said the couple are good parents deeply distraught over the loss of another child.

Full Article:

Monday, March 25, 2013

Theism and Belief: Why is the Burden on Us?

An atheist and a theist engage in a friendly debate about the topic of god; specifically, whether or not one exists. The crux of the atheists' argument is essentially that the evidence for the existence of a god is lacking and has not led to the acceptance (on the part of said atheist) of the hypothesis that such a being exists. The theists' bottom line sentiment is that the evidence is sufficient for people all around the world (him or herself included) and it is up to the atheist to accept this evidence/open their heart/be open minded etc (there are many platitudes that are used in this situation).

This discussion has taken place innumerable amounts of times throughout history, and I don't see any reason to believe that it will not continue to do so for at least the foreseeable future. What I find particularly striking about this fact is that the existence of god is one of the few topics for which it is acceptable to claim that the burden of belief/being convinced lies not on the strength of the evidence put forth to bolster the claim but rather on the target(s) of said claims. A few other topics for which this is true are UFO's, bigfoot and the Illuminati/New World Order. Would anyone care to venture a guess as to what it is that these topics have in common? 

There is no proof that any of them exist (none of them do in my not so humble opinion). 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Hey, Global Warming Deniers! We Need to Have a Little Chat!

For you Global Warming deniers out there, I have a few things to say to you:

-Be wary of any research coming out against GW/GCC/AGW/AGCC. Check where it's coming from. Is it peer reviewed, and published in an accredited scientific journal? Or is it not (careful too, as now people in the denier communities for both global warming and evolution are starting to catch on to this and are forming their own journals, and claiming to be accredited and peer reviewed, so always, always look the journal up if it's not instantly recognizable). There's a huge difference between a study published in Nature and one published in some no name journal with author publishing and no peer review. Or ones coming from a think tank. A think tank that, if you do a bit of digging, you will find out is funded by Exxon Mobil and Sean Hannity.

-Be very skeptical of anyone in the media speaking out against global warming, and listen carefully to their arguments/claims. If they are making any that aren't obviously fallacious upon first hearing/reading/seeing them (like Limbaugh's argument from incredulity) look them up. Also, look the person up. Find out who's funding them. Who they work for.

-If any scientists speak out against global warming, pay attention to what discipline of science they are experts in. When a biologist or a chemist expresses doubt about global warming, appealing to that in an argument is nothing but an appeal to authority. Their expertise is not in climatology. Being as smart as they may be, and knowing what they know about their area of science affords them NO special bonuses when it comes to climatology. They're just a layman like myself, and can easily be wrong.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Inherent 'Evil' Within Christianity

This is a comment left by someone named Glen on Ray Comfort's stupid blog:

The better question is have you lied? Have you stolen? Have you hated someone? Have you prostituted? Have you ever born false witness? Have you ever used God's name as a dirty filthy cuss word? And better would you used your mamos name that way? Have you ever had sex with more than your spouce? Have you ever dishonored your parents? Thats right both of them together or independently.
Hitler was just as bad off as anyone living on the plannet including you. He may have done more nasty symptoms of the disease but that very same disease affects you; to your very core.
Ray treats the disease not the symptoms.
I responded to him:
@ Glen:

"The better question is have you lied? Have you stolen? Have you hated someone? Have you prostituted? Have you ever dishonored your parents?"

Have you ever told the truth? Have you ever given? Have you loved someone? Have you not prostituted? Have you honored your parents?

If by your logic, a yes to those means you're a "sinner," then logic dictates that a yes means you're the opposite of that.

So much for your little "disease." Sounds mor elike human experience.

Btw, I feel sad for you. Your religion has taught you to think that you are no better than somone who was responsible for the deaths of millions of people. I cannot even begin to express how unfair that is.

This is why the only sin is belief in your religion. It teaches you to be ashamed of your very nature and to equate lying with murder.

Btw, lying can be positive, parents don't deserve to be honored if they do not honor their children, hate can be justifed (Hitler, anyone?), and prostitution is not inherently wrong. If you think it is, explain how.
See, this is one of the main problems with christianity. Teaching people that they are born dirty, bad, sinful, wrong, evil, etc. All 'sins' are equal. The logical conclusion derived from these two ideas? "I'm a horrible, corrupted person who deserves to be punished and is in need of redemption. In fact, I'm no better than Hitler."

That fills me with so much despair. Such guilt, and for what? FOR NOTHING!! FOR FUCK'S SAKE IT IS PREDICATED UPON BULLSHIT!!!!!!


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Theist PWND on Gamefaqs

Note: This is an older post that was sitting in my drafts.

Theist PWND on Gamefaqs.

In a discussion on the inclusion of JFK in the upcoming Call of Duty game (something I knew/know nothing about, since I don't follow the games, but this discussion was being had by others and I chimed in) the following ridiculous, frustrating, saddening, angering exchange (more like an ownage session) (with someone I have never spoken to online prior to this) was had:

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Moderate Muslims Don't Like Being Lumped In with Extremists? Well, Differentiate Yourselves!!

NOTE: This is an old entry that was sitting in my drafts and I decided to upload it as it reflects the state of mind I was in at a specific time in my life. Glancing over it, I guess it must have been during the Danish cartoonist controversy. Edit: No, the South Park controversy. 

So, in this blog I am going to be frank. I find myself harboring quite the distaste for Islam as of late, and I feel as though my opinions of it are becoming biased to an unfair degree. Now, I do, 100% acknowledge that the vocal majority is actually a minority, but damn it, I'm not hearing too many voices from the moderate camp coming up to try and join the conversation. I mean, it might be tough to hear them over the explosions, but the-


That's not nice.

Or isn't it? It's fucking true, is it not?


This is what I mean.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Pagan Origins of (Aspects of) Christianity

NOTE: This blog is about the pagan origins of Christian rituals and holidays. This is a compilation of information I had saved on my hard drive, the origins of which are unfortunately unknown. I wish to make clear that I have NOT done much research into this area, and so I must preface this with a GRAIN OF SALT warning. Any errors made here, I take full responsibility for. If you spot any, please inform me of them. And if there are none, well, great, let me know that as well.

Okay, so, let's get to it: The pagan origins of (aspects of) Christianity. To be more specific, I will be looking at the origins of Christmas and Easter, specifically. Then the question of whether or not any of this disproves or casts doubt upon the veracity of the religons' claims is (very ) briefly examined.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Thousands Of Gods....One Thing in Common....

Anyone else find it odd that there are apparently thousands of gods in existence, each with differing ideologies, origins, desires and goals, yet the one thing they all seem to share in common with 100% inclusiveness is an inclination to be completely undetectable...


Saturday, June 30, 2012

Scientology Avoids Paying Taxes in the UK.

It’s alleged Scientology has avoided paying tax in the United Kingdom by claiming it is run out of South Australia. In Britain, the Church of Scientology is supposed to pay tax on the millions of pounds it brings in each year. Now, the organization has been accused of claiming its entire UK operation is part of its Australian outfit.

"When you look at the fact that the three directors are based in the UK, that returns haven't been filed for the South Australian entity in over 30 years you've got to ask what on earth is going on," Xenophon said.

We do know that Scientology in Britain takes its orders from the group's leader in America, David Miscavige. If they take their orders from the United States, how can Scientology in Britain be run by a South Australian charity?

Read the article and it will come clear. There's not much I can add to this in the way of commentary, except to say I am all for the abolishment of tax free status for religions, but that's a separate issue.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Peace Be Upon You

18 “‘If a man has sexual relations with a woman during her monthly period, he has exposed the source of her flow, and she has also uncovered it. Both of them are to be cut off from their people."

14 “‘If a man marries both a woman and her mother, it is wicked. Both he and they must be burned in the fire, so that no wickedness will be among you.

12 “‘If a man has sexual relations with his daughter-in-law, both of them are to be put to death. What they have done is a perversion; their blood will be on their own heads.

10 “‘If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife —with the wife of his neighbor—both the adulterer and the adulteress are to be put to death.

9 “‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death. Because they have cursed their father or mother, their blood will be on their own head.

6 “‘I will set my face against anyone who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute themselves by following them, and I will cut them off from their people

27 “‘A man or woman who is a medium or spiritist among you must be put to death. You are to stone them; their blood will be on their own heads.’”

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

You Have Proof of Your God's Existence? Okay, Let's Hear It.

Believe in a god? Have proof of said god's existence? I'd like to hear it.

Anyone who happens to be reading this and think they have proof of the existence of their god of choice, let me have it. 

However, if I may, before you reveal it, I'd like to set 3 rules.

1) Arguments from incredulity are fallacious and I will not accept them.  For example, saying "Look at the world around you. sIt's too "perfect." It had to be created, therefore, there's obviously a God." This is a logical fallacy. Just because you cannot fathom any other explanation does not mean there isn't one. All you are really saying is "I don't know and I am inserting "god." There are MANY other possible explanations. Some more plausible than others. So please refrain from using this as "proof." I will not accept it.

2) These also are not valid and will not be accepted as "proof:"

-You can't prove there's not a god!

-Without god, people have no reason to be moral.

The first one is just stupid burden shifting (and still not proof anyways) and the scond one is just a bare assertion fallacy (and wrong) (and still not proof).

3) For people who believe in the "one true god....." whatever proof you do have, ask yourself, could that same proof not be utilized by someone else who believes in a different god? If so, how can it be valid for you and not them? Which your logic, their god must exist as well. For example, if you say "God speaks to me" and this is your proof, fine. However, if someone who believes in one of the 3799 other propsed gods says that as well, would that not be proof that their god also exists?

Okay, so if you think you have proof of god's existence and it does not consist of one of the above disqualified lines of reasoning, please do share it! Keep in mind, however, that this is for people who say they actually have proof, not for those who say it's based on faith.