Tag Archive: atheist

ImagePreviously, I wrote a blog entry about an unfair “out” that believers have when they explain how something happened: “God did it.”

However, that is not the only trick up the believer’s sleeve. There is also the situation in which something does happen, but which an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving God would not want to happen. Polio, floods, wars, drug wars, genocides, rapes, slavery, psychopathy, psychopathic killers, torture, child molestation, other religions existing, atheism, errors or contradictions in the Bible/Koran/Torah/etc., animal cruelty: the list goes on.

Why would God allow these things to exist? They do not help the case for religion in the slightest. However, a quick rejoinder solves all this: “God works in mysterious ways.”

Ah, yes! The “get out of jail free card” of religion. It works for anything that conflicts with one’s particular religious beliefs.

This is, however, not as great a solution as one might think. Why? Consider this.

After 9/11, many people might have said, “How could Osama Bin Laden have planned such a terrible act?”

Well, the answer would be simple, wouldn’t it? “Osama Bin Laden works in mysterious ways!”

“Oh, no! No, no, no! This cannot be applied to anything other than God, that’s not fair!” one might say.

Well, that’s partially correct, at least. It isn’t fair because it isn’t a fair argument.

It is an unfalsifiable statement. Although unfalsifiable sounds great (as in, “Wow! It can’t be falsified! It must be true!); unfalsifiability is not a measure of a statement’s strength, it’s actually a demonstration of it’s weakness, for precisely the same reason why it can be used to legitimize Bin Laden, or any other terrible act, for that matter. It can be applied to anything and still work. If something is true, it needs to have a method for testing it’s truth — an unfalsifiable statement cannot be tested and is therefore not a fair statement, logically.

If religious people can use “God works in mysterious ways,” then everyone can use “x works in mysterious ways” to prove anything. This is obviously not an effective way at getting to the truth in any matter, so the only other option is for nobody to use this manner of arguing. God does not work in mysterious ways: unfalsifiable statements work in mysterious ways.


It is sometimes asserted that you must have faith to believe in science because we don’t have an answer for everything. Well, to an extent this is true. However, it is the best we have. Further, it is by far the best we have.

How do I know this? It’s based on the idea that trustworthiness of an argument comes from how deeply you can question the presuppositions before coming to an “I don’t know” answer. The trustworthiness of science in this regard is always many levels greater than religion. Let’s compare the two. Now, every assertion can have multiple questions, such as “Why is that,” or “How do you know that,” and so on. For the purpose of simplicity, I will only take one route to the foundational presuppositions of each assertion.


Assertion: “Water can be used as a fuel for a power source known as hydrogen power.”

Question: “How do you know this?”

Presupposition: “Because water contains two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen and pure hydrogen can be used as a power source”

Q: “How do you know water has two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen?”

P: “Because the atomic theory has helped us come to this conclusion through many different forms of experimentation.”

Q: “How do you know experimentation will prove something?”

P: “Because this is what the scientific method states.”

Q: “How do you know the scientific method is effective?”

P: “Because it allows us to see repeatable results in experiments.”

Q: “How do you know that repeatable results is a good thing?”

P: “Because it allows us to see order in the universe so that we can understand it.”

Q: “How do you know that seeing order indicates anything?”

P: “Because discovering order allows us to make predictions. If something always happens, we can assume it will happen again and again so long as the variables are the same.”

Q: “How do you know that all experiments thus far have just by chance all worked out the way you expected?”

A: “We don’t know that.”

* I am not a scientist. There may actually be silly mistakes here, and I may have missed possible steps. My main point is to show that there are at least six levels of understanding that science has achieved in this particular case.


Assertion: “Jesus turned water into wine.”

Question: “How do you know that?”

Presupposition: “Because the Bible says so.”

Question: “How do you know that the Bible is correct?”

Presupposition: “Because God made it.

Question: “How do you know God made it?”

Answer: “We have faith that He made it.”

In this case, there are only two levels of presuppositions. The only evidence provided is the Bible. In the science example, the amount of evidence that has been provided for the six steps I mentioned  is an enormously large amount. It entails all the evidence we have achieved since the beginnings of the scientific method along this particular question’s path.

Further, the depth of research required as one moves up this ladder of knowledge increases dramatically. It requires much more evidence to show that water is two parts hydrogen and one part water than it does to explain why repeatable results are useful.

Biblical study can never go beyond the God question, unfortunately because God is supposedly infinite. He is beyond inquiry. Therefore, the conversation always stops there. This is not an intellectual way to view the world.

The fact is, science is always pushing the boundaries of these levels, in both directions; while religion is stultified.

Of course, the more times you ask, “How do you know that?” kind of questions, as any parent of a 2-year old will know, to more abstract the answer becomes, to the point where it doesn’t really make sense to be asking the question anymore. This happens in the science example above.

I remember a great Louis C.K. skit on this, seen here, where his daughter keeps asking “Why?” and it humorously demonstrates the ridiculousness of this situation. It starts around the 7 minute mark.


A while back, I wrote a post entitled, Hard Questions for the Religious. It received quite an interest from the religious people who read it and responded to it. The reason I posed these questions was the fact that I knew they would require quite a bit of explanation from religious people; yet, these same questions, posed to an atheist, would receive a minimal response. I’ve always hated obfuscation. It’s my opinion that response length and confidence have an inverse relationship when it comes to answering simple questions. In other words, the longer a response, the less confident the respondent is about their answer (of course, there are exceptions to this rule, but I think it applies to all the questions I proposed).

So, I will now answer my own questions (all answers will be in quotation marks to be clear). I will also add a commentary for each question after each response.

1) Do you ever question whether your worldview is correct?

“Yes. That is how I arrived at the world view I have. I am excited in evolving my worldview.”

This question was always answered in the affirmative by the religious people who responded; however, I have difficulty believing this. In my worldview, there is nothing that is impossible. If scientific evidence came out in favor of Allah or Yahweh or any other God, then I would accept it, assuming that scientific evidence had been peer reviewed. Things of this nature, however, are unlikely to be proven true.

On the other hand, while religious people may shift in their perspectives of how their religious beliefs are true, there are fundamental aspects of each particular religion which cannot be questioned. For example, a Christian cannot deny the divinity of Christ. A Muslim cannot accept the divinity of Christ. These are just two examples, but there are many for each religion. Some concepts are unacceptable to the religious.

2) If you pray, why do you do this? Do you believe that God is on your side? Doesn’t all the bad things in your life give you a reason to be skeptical of praying?

“I don’t pray.”

The concept of prayer has many problems. First, if an omnipotent being created the world, why would the request of a non-omnipotent being be useful? Are you smarter than God? Did God not take into consideration what you are requesting? Either God is not omnipotent or prayers are meaningless. Second, what happens when people pray for opposite things that are equally fair? Such as, let our people win this war. Does God take sides in a war? This seems pretty petty. Although, we do have evidence in the Old Testament and the Koran that God does take sides…. so, God is admittedly petty (man, that sounds really offensive. This is the problem with discussing religion. Sorry about the straightforwardness of that last sentence).

3) What do you make of people who believe other religions or other sects of your same religion, often more strongly that you do (ie, enough to fly planes into buildings)?

“They are all believing in something based on faith. I am not.”

The religious response to this tended to be that there are many ways to God or that they accept other people’s opinions. If you read the Abrahamic holy books (I’ve read the Bible and am now 33% of the way through the Koran), you will see that this statement is not actually possible. I cannot speak on behalf of other religions. Perhaps others can enlighten us. Both the Bible and the Koran (the Koran especially) state that there is only one way to heaven and all others will be banished to hell. I’m reading the Koran right now, and if someone reads it honestly, you will notice that the worry about people becoming infidels or not believing in Islam from the beginning takes up maybe a quarter of the book. I’m not exaggerating. It’s unbelievable. I don’t think that this is a good topic for Muslims to dispute because I’ve been reading it on my Kindle and have highlighted every time this is mentioned. I think I’ve run out of storage space 🙂 . So, the nice liberal statement that there are many paths up the mountain to heaven is, to be blunt, a falsehood.

4) Do you notice the parts of life that you do not get to enjoy because of your religion?

“There is nothing in my life that is not permitted except that which my conscience or laws do not permit.”

So, it that way, some things are limited, but these are better for me in the long run. I wouldn’t want to live in a society where anyone could kill me at any moment, so I will gladly give up the freedom to kill others. Also, I have considered the scenario of a cruel billionaire coming to my house and saying: “I’ll give you a million dollars to stab your cat to death.” I truly believe I couldn’t do it. It’s frustrating to know I’m limited in that way, but it’s true. This is also a good thing. It demonstrates that morality is something deep inside of us; something that we are partially born with and is partially nurtured by our upbringing. There’s no real reason I should care about the well-being of an animal that just costs me money. But, that is an overly simplistic way of viewing the world. The fact is, humans need love and affection. This give and take of love is a limiting factor, but also something to be proud of.

5) If you believe in heaven, do you really look forward to the idea of living forever? Think deeply, not superficially, about this. Of course, I don’t want to die, just like you, but living for eternity is a different can of worms altogether. After millions of years, how can anything be interesting anymore?

“I don’t believe in heaven. I don’t want to live forever; however, I would like to live longer than the current human lifespan 🙂 Hurry up medical science!”

Some atheists tell me that they aren’t afraid of death. I doubt this. The only people I believe might not be afraid of death are those who are so deluded to believe that they will receive a great reward after death. I have had the 72 virgins/angels discussion before. Whether or not this is what the Koran is saying (I am starting to think it is true, from what I’ve seen in the Koran so far), is irrelevant. You don’t make young boys blow themselves up by talking about rivers of milk and honey. You tell them they are going to have sex with more women than they could ever hope to attain in this world. If you doubt this, then don’t ever try to be a con artist: you would fail. You have to understand basic human psychology in order to understand suicide bombings. There are also other benefits of suicide bombing jihad. You and your family are given free passes to heaven. If it is not solely a selfish endeavor, this is also the equivalent of a “get rich quick” scam – in this case, get your family into heaven quick scam. I do believe that these people “love death more than [we] love life.”

6) Do you like the fact that God can know everything you think? Do you feel embarrassed about some thoughts you have? (I know I do!)

“I don’t think God or anyone can hear my thoughts. I am happy with this fact.”

There are many things that go through a human’s mind everyday without the intent of the thinker. We do not control everything that happens in our brains. This is getting closer and closer to being an undeniable fact due to the contemporary study of neuroscience. People don’t like to think this. People always want to be in control. However, it is actually quite liberating because you now understand that if you think something very strange, disgusting, or cruel, you can’t be blamed for that. If you act on any of these thoughts, then you must be blamed for that – that is completely different. I will give you a personal example, to the detriment of my character – this is how firmly I believe that I am not responsible for the thoughts that cross my mind. I was using the toilet today, and I suddenly had the curiosity of what eating feces would be like. I disgusted myself, to be honest. Should I feel shame for thinking this? No. I didn’t lift up the toilet seat and act on my passing thought. I am not to blame for this strange and disgusting thought. Think carefully today about every thought that goes through your mind and remember the strange ones. There will be many. In fact, you probably forget about the vast majority of them without realizing it. These thoughts are not a commentary on your personality. Not worrying about these thoughts will lead to a much more stress-free life.


Gather ’round ye wearied souls,

rich and poor,

young and old,

I shall tell you a story of yore.

When a question arises,

which ye dost not comprehend,

just say it is God,

and all shall amend.

Yes, I have discovered the solution, everyone. I have discovered the unifying theory that explains all questions of physics, biology, chemistry, math, history, archaeology, and any field with unknowns: God!

Yes, it may seem difficult to comprehend now, but take a look at some examples, and see how well it works!

“How did the universe begin?”

Answer: God did it!

“How did man appear on Earth?”

Answer: God did it!

“Why are men attracted to women and vice versa?”

Answer: God did it!

“Why is there no grand unifying theory in physics yet?”

Answer: (a little more difficult) God did it, and we can never understand the mind of God!

See? It’s so easy once you understand the Theory of God. There’s no need to think deeply about things anymore. Just accept God into your heart and all will make sense!

Ok, the facetiousness ends here. So, I’ve had this issue with believers when I try to discuss anything involving the sciences or the social sciences. The answer of God seems to satisfy them. Never do they notice that this is both a conversation killer and a non-answer.

It’s a conversation killer because any discussion beyond this becomes vitriolic since the believer views it as an attack on their God. Needless to say, it both is an attack on their God and is not at the same time. The “attacker” merely wants to get at the truth, and the believer is putting up the barricade of God between the conversation and the truth.

It’s a non-answer because it raises the question: what is God, exactly? As an example, if you say that God created the universe, then many questions are raised. Who or what created God? What is God? Is there only one God? Can God be unmade? What is God made of? The believer will tend to say, “God is outside time and space.” This is also a conversation killer. The believer cannot know this because humans are unable to conceive of things outside time or space. The believer is hoping the incomprehensibility of their argument will allow them to win. What a lame way to win an argument.

Why is the use of “God did it” so effective? It is effective because it places consensus over logic — the tyranny of the majority. You will rarely hear a believer say “My Baptist God did it, and all other Gods are meaningless.” They just say, “God did it.” What’s the difference? If you shout, “My Baptist God did it and all other Gods are meaningless” into a crowd, you’re likely to get more booing than cheers. If you say, “God did it” all Christian, Muslims, Sikhs, Jews, Hindus and all other believers will probably cheer. So, this is a false representation of your point. Of course most believers believes that it is their God specifically that is the correct God.

Moreover, even if you allow for this false representation, science is not a democracy, sorry. Just because most people believe something to be true, does not make it any more true.

So, let’s do a vote (Irony intended)! Who says we should make the phrase, “God did it” illegal in common discourse? (by illegal, I don’t mean go to jail, I just mean, you can’t use it without feeling stupid).

P.S. I know that my poem at the beginning kinda sucks, I made it up while typing, so forgive me if it isn’t a Shakespearean sonnet 😛

P.P.S. Found this funny video, thought it fit in nicely with my article.



Well, of course the answer is, “No.” But, time and time again, the belief that “Atheism is a religion too” is reasserted. Let’s break this down, shall we?

First of all, the etymology of the word. The word is composed of two parts: “a-” and “theism”. “A-” meaning “not” or “against” or “without” (all of which would work in this circumstance), and “theism” meaning a belief in a God or gods. Therefore, atheism means without a belief in God or gods.

However, this is generally not enough for people who seriously believe that atheism is a religion, just as Christianity or Islam is a religion. Fair enough. I’ll provide more evidence.

Not all religions have holy books, this is true; however, it tends to be the religious people associated with the Abrahamic religions (all of which have holy books), who make the claim that atheism is a religion. Needless to say, there is no dogma of atheism. There is no holy book, or even a book that atheists should follow. There are many kinds of atheists, some who believe in some forms of spirituality, some who believe in some superstitions, some who believe in conspiracy theories, and the some who believe only in things based on scientific evidence (I align myself in the last category). Christians, on the contrary, are not allowed to follow many superstitions because their holy book prohibits these beliefs. There are many kinds of Christians, but they all must base their beliefs on the Bible, otherwise, they are no longer a Christian. There is no “Bible” or “Koran” for atheists to follow.

Further, there are no rituals or gestures or duties of an atheist. With the example of Christianity, rituals include going to church or spreading the gospel. Gestures include making the cross for good luck. Duties include reading the bible, defending Christianity, and aligning your life in accordance with the Bible. Now, just because you don’t do any of these aforementioned examples, does not prove your point. These are merely examples. You will probably have your own rituals, gestures or duties in your interpretation of Christianity. If you have none of these, I question whether you are actually a true Christian. In other words, if there’s nothing you need to do to be a Christian, then I could easily call myself a Christian too. This is a very weak form of Christianity, if this is your position.

Not enough evidence? Fine. Let’s use logic.

I claim that I don’t believe in any religious belief. A believer may say, “But you BELIEVE in atheism.” Well, let me blow your minds right now. Get ready. Here it comes. I can respond that, “Whatever you think is ‘atheism as a religious belief,’ well, I don’t believe in that either. I believe in NO religious belief.” You may try to come back with, “Your unbelief is a kind of belief!” which is an incredibly contradictory statement. Ok, if you are allowed to make statements of this sort, then so am I. I can respond that, “I don’t believe in the unbelief of belief and I don’t believe in any belief.” We are starting to see a pattern here. A nonsensical verbal repartee that will go on ad infinitum. This is not the way to win an argument. This mode of reasoning can never prove atheism to be a religion. Generally, atheists are unwilling to respond to nonsense with nonsense; however, I feel it is useful here to demonstrate what believers are doing when they state that unbelief is a form of belief.

Why then, do people persist in claiming that atheism is a religion? My guess is because they know, deep-down, that having beliefs founded on faith is a weak foundation. As a result, these people want to believe that everyone has a weak foundation for their beliefs. If this is true, it is a lot of wasted energy on behalf of the people making the “atheism is a religion” claim. They should be more humble and admit that other people might have a stronger foundation for their beliefs, and spend their energy in more productive ways.

Religion of Peace?

It seems that I keep running into people who, whenever a terrorist action such as a suicide bombing occurs, they want to attach, “but Islam is a religion of peace”  into the conversation — as if that makes it all acceptable.

Moreover, Islam is not a religion of peace. Neither is Christianity or Judaism.

But, the politically incorrect stance that Islam is NOT a religion of peace, and further, that it is the most violent major religion in existence today (emphasis on “today” because I know people are going to say “Oh the Crusades, or the Inquisition!” Yes, I know about these. At that time, Christianity was the most violent religion. I’m talking about today, however.)

People are quick to throw around terms like “racist” or “religious intolerance” when a statement like this is made. This just kills the conversation and prevents people from seeing the reality.

Let’s go through a few facts that demonstrate that Islam is not a religion of peace:

First, Mohammed was a warlord. He spread Islam by the sword. Muslim theologians will give excuses or reasons why these different wars were just wars and so on, but none of them deny that he waged wars on other people. Mohammed was not a figure like Jesus (and I have no love for Jesus).

Second, Islam provides many rewards for dying in battle. Almost everyone knows about the 72 virgins acquired after the death of a martyr. Again, theologians will try to say here that the word “virgin” that is translated from the Koran is not actually virgins but angels or something like that. This doesn’t matter for two reasons. Firstly, it’s still a reward for killing other people and dying in the name of Islam. Secondly, the young men who commit atrocities, such as suicide bombings, don’t talk to theologians, they talk to their elders or their imams who tell them that they will have 72 virgins to do with what they want.

In this way, suicide and violence against infidels is encouraged.

There are other reasons that Islam is not a religion of peace, but they are more debatable. The two points I have outlined here are basic tenets of Islam:  Mohammed was a wartime leader and killing and dying for Islam is rewarded. They are both violent. Saying otherwise would be comparable to saying George W. Bush was a president of peace.

Further, I don’t think it’s fair to use the nebulous speech of theologians to discuss topics like this because their focus is on obfuscation, not fact. We have to look at what the average Muslim or the average Christian believes to determine what their religion is all about. You may say that all the Muslims or Christians you meet are peaceful. That may be so. However, the media is what gives us a larger picture. The daily reports of suicide bombings tell us that there is a large number of very violent Muslims in existence today.

Lastly, I’ll say something surprising. I am not a peace-lover. I think violence is necessary in certain situations. Therefore, my life is not a life of peace! I admit this to myself and others.

The reason that I think Muslims and guilt-stricken liberals claim Islam is a religion of peace is because they know that it isn’t and they feel guilty about it.

I’m not guilty about the fact that I think violence is necessary sometimes. Islam needs to stop lying to itself and admit that it isn’t a religion of peace.


The Muslim Brotherhood has recently been elected with Mohamed Morsi as it’s leader — a strict Islamist.

In a recent discussion I’ve had with another blogger, musingsaudi,on a post she made Are We Just Not ‘Democratizable’?, I questioned whether a strict interpretation of Islam is possible in a democracy.

To be honest, I don’t think it can, but I am open to other opinions about how this could be so. Problems exist in Sharia that appear, to me at least, incompatible with the rule of law and sexual and religious equality, not to name many other critical institutions. Without these cornerstones, I can’t see how a democracy could flourish.

With regards to the rule of law, is it possible that Sharia can be looked to as a guide for the legal system? Can problems like adultery and apostasy be punishable by death in a democratic society? Do most Muslim agree with this? And if they don’t, then democratically speaking, these laws must run counter to Sharia.

Regarding sexual and religious equality, it isn’t difficult to see where numerous problems will exist. If women and non-Muslims are not treated on a par with men, then the majority of the population will be discriminated against. Again, a big problem in a democracy.

As to the question of whether Middle Eastern countries can become democracies, I answer with a strong “Yes”. However, my guess is that an Islamic Reformation of some sort would be required to accomplish this. Only with a tempered interpretation of Islam could a true democracy exist.


As an update, I disappointingly found an article with the exact same title as mine, which discusses the title’s question in terms of cultural imperialism. That is, the term democracy is something the West is thrusting upon Islamic countries with rules decided by the West. This is an assertion that I am wholeheartedly against for a couple reasons. First, it merely heightens the West-East dichotomy that fuels anti-West rhetoric. Democracy is not the West’s attempt to destroy Islam, it’s a political system that is not supposed to be affected by religion. Second, the author is implying that democracy for Muslims must be modified in order to fit with Islam, not the other way around (that Islam must be modified to fit with democracy). There have been many attempts at democracy throughout history. The most successful ones, like America’s, instituted checks to prevent the perversion of democracy by religion or other dogmas. This is my whole point: a strict interpretation of Islam (or any religion for that matter) will, over time, erode the “democracy” in that country.


Observations - From the sharp end

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The Havers of a Questioning Mind

All men are born with a nose and ten fingers, but no one was born with a knowledge of God. -Voltaire

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A Literary Paradox

Lights on the Moon

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Meat sack with thoughts.

The Southern Rationalist

Voices of Rationality and Skepticism from the Southern US

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The one true God of Atheism.

Pretentious Ape

a humanist blog

Confessions of a Disquisitive Writer

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Parenting, polyticks, and the everyday busyness of an American-born mom in Israel.

Illusions and Delusions

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Web-ling's World

The World as I See It

Heightened Senses

Hello. I'm Imraan. This is the only thing I own outright; I write from time to time, in the hopes that free-association might save a trip to a sanatorium.