Tag Archive: God



It seems to me there are a number of problems with the concept of omniscience.

The most glaring problem is that God has an enemy (how anthropomorphic is that?): the Devil. If God possessed omniscience, this would render any opponent impotent, wouldn’t it?

If God knows everything, he would know every possible way to avoid any attack by the Devil. He would also know every counterattack against and vulnerability of the Devil. Moreover, he would also know every plan the Devil would or could conceive of. Just thinking about how to destroy God would be a fruitless and incriminating task. This doesn’t seem like a fair fight.

So, either God is not omniscient or the Devil doesn’t exist. Or of course, it’s all nonsense.

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I always thought that the idea of evidence was pretty simple. I also thought that belief in God was not based on evidence, but on faith, since there is no evidence for God. However, in recent conversations with believers, it seems that they have a different view on what constitutes evidence. Without stating specifically what “evidence” is, so as to not stifle any possible comments by believers, I’m curious what evidence believers have for their belief in God.

And, by the way, I’m getting a little tired of people quoting wikipedia or a dictionary when I discuss a topic like this. Yes, I am tech-savvy enough to log on to dictionary.com or wikipedia.org and surf the web (as the youngsters say). I don’t care about dictionary definitions here, I’m interested in what believers naturally believe is evidence for God.


Often during an argument about the validity of evolution, one who doesn’t believe in evolution will assert something along the lines of: “If evolution is true, then how could something as perfect as the human eye be created? The answer, of course, is that were were created perfectly in God’s image; we did not evolve from animals.”

Here, I will admit, is a clever piece of rhetoric, though wrong nonetheless. The reason that it is clever is that it plays to our pride. Who would argue that we humans aren’t perfect? Well, I would.

Consider the human body carefully. Every individual part can not only break down, but can cause the death of the individual! If you can’t imagine how this is possible, let me remind you of the six-letter word “cancer.” Even the most unimportant parts of your body, let’s say a toe, can be stricken by cancer, and you can die. If you don’t believe this, look up the reason for Bob Marley’s death. If you don’t want to spend the time opening this, in short, his religious beliefs dictated that his body must be one, and amputation is not an option. Mr. Marley contracted cancer on a toe, and refused to amputate. The rest is biology.

So, any part of our body can have a problem — one of the manifold problems possible — and that problem can cause a termination of our whole life, not just a problem with that part in particular.

Let’s consider an unarguably intelligently designed device as a comparison: a car. If you were going to buy a car and the dealer told you that if you get a tiny bit of rust on any part of this car, the whole car would eventually be destroyed by this bit of rust, would you want to buy this car? On a car, if you get some rust on your bumper, and you don’t treat the rust, the worst that will happen is that the bumper will eventually rust off — the rest of the car will be fine.

So, a machine that is intelligently designed by a mere human is superior in this fundamental way to a human who was designed by an omnipotent being. Wow, we humans are smarter than God then. That’s nice to know.

Also, you should consider the frequency of problems or injuries among humans. Evolution explains that our ancestors have only been walking upright for a relatively short time, on the evolutionary scale. Accordingly, this drastic shift in positioning of the anatomy should, considering evolution’s short adaptation time, cause numerous problems, probably for at least a few million years. As we might expect, humans have notoriously problematic spines. Spines that had many, many, many millions of years to evolve for horizontal usage are known to cause aches, pain, and even excruciating pain due to disc herniation from normal wear and tear. I know from personal experience how terrible this can be, I’ve had an artificial disc placed in between two cervical vertebrae to solve a disc herniation. If you’re wondering about the pain, it can be almost immobilizing and the pain can occur anywhere the impacted nerve leads to (in my case, down my left arm). Many also lose sensation in their extremities and possibly power. I lost sensation however, I never lost arm strength.

I have heard different percentages, however, it seems that by the time people reach 80, almost everyone will have a mild to severe herniated disc. Considering how debilitating this common injury is, I have no idea how a Creationist would explain this fundamental design problem. Maybe God likes it when we are in intense pain.

So, unless our “Intelligent Designer” is far less intelligent than us humans, it seems that the concept of Intelligent Design should at least be rechristened “A Little Dumb Design”.


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.


I wrote a blog post about this a while back here.

I didn’t know Hitchens debated Tariq Ramadan on this subject before I wrote this post. The real irony is that one poster, musingsaudi, who I debated back and forth with on this subject, suggested I read Tariq Ramadan in order to understand this subject better.

What a perfect surprise to see Hitchens spank the same guy on the same subject!

I’m not going to analyze the video for you, but it starts with a great intro by Hitchens, after which Tariq Ramadan immediately denies the claim that Islam is a religion of peace! I’m not kidding. He hedges and says it depends on the reader and it therefore can be a religion of peace or violence! This is in his INTRO! I don’t think I need to dig any deeper into this guy’s analysis of Islam after seeing this video.


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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.


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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.

 

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