“But I’m religious and I’m not like that!”

A common objection to the charges laid at religious belief usually come along the lines of “But not all religious people are like that! I’m religious and I don’t do or believe any of those things!”

For the most part this is also true. Most religious people aren’t horrible or insane, they’re perfectly decent, normal people. Of course they are, but that’s because they don’t get their values or beliefs from their religious beliefs, they find things they agree with in the religion, or can mentally reconcile with their beliefs and they retrofit their beliefs to their religion.

Don’t believe me? When you read the Bible (for example) and there is a story about a genocide, a rape, or any other horrible act, you don’t go “That’s so right! This is a just God!”

You either: 1)Ignore it

2) Rationalise it as contextual or “old testament” (somehow that excuses it) or accept that it is a book written by men, not by a divine being, but just for the bad bits.

3) Justify it in some way “it was necessary”

4) Play the mystery card “we can’t know God’s intentions”

What you never do is agree with it. Why? BECAUSE you are a decent person first, before you examine a religious text. If you DID agree with all of it, you WOULD be a fundamentalist.

And if you don’t believe the text is even divinely inspired, then why do you count yourself as part of the religion? If you don’t accept the tenets set out in them, or their historical accuracy, in what way are you part of that religion, and why do you believe it?

As is always my point, I don’t really care what you believe, but I do care why you believe it.

Pan-dimensional Eggplants (or why presuppositional apologetics and religious claims in general are silly)

So I’ve been looking at some presuppositional apologetics for Christianity, and apart from the fact that these particular arguments are totally incoherent nonsense (see: http://www.proofthatgodexists.org), I’d like to demonstrate in my own little way why making claims with no evidence, that possibly can never even HAVE evidence is a silly way to make an argument, and why I consider faith to be a harmful thing.

The universe was created by eggplants. Eggplants are pan-dimensional and transtemporal in nature. It is these attributes that triggered the big bang.
But wait a moment! They are part of the universe! How can they CAUSE it? That’s where the transtemporal nature of the eggplant came in. It’s a temporal paradox. How do I know? Well can show me a universe that we know exists that in no point in their history have eggplants?

Exactly.

So as you can see, this is a perfectly valid claim that you can’t disprove. You cannot demonstrate that eggplants do not exist in the other 8 dimensions or so (I forget how many there hypothetically are) and one of those is time. We do not know what attributes these dimensions possess. All I have to do to demonstrate that this is logically sound with a presuppositional claim, is to presuppose that I am right. There you have it. As long as you believe it, it is true. That’s the argument.

Not convinced yet?

(subheading: the religious claim)
How do I know? The eggplants told me.

Now I know what you’re thinking. I must be mad. Eggplants do not have sentience, let alone the ability to communicate. Well *I* know that, that would be silly!

The eggplants are from the distant future, where they have evolved sentience. They’re pan-dimensional  and transtemporal remember, so they can interact with me here in the past in ways we cannot comprehend. Can you disprove this claim? How? You can’t! So you’ll accept it as the truth about reality, right?

(Subheading: the part where it gets dangerous)

Now you’re probably asking, if these eggplants truly have these abilities, why are they not communicating with us in the present, or contacting everyone? Why just me?

Well you see, in this distant future, the eggplants, with their unique perspective of the universe, have created a universe wide Utopia, everything lives in perfect peace and harmony in a state of perpetual bliss. They have defeated the end of the universe, perpetuating this utopia.

But you didn’t ask that, you asked why only me.

The butterfly effect. That’s right. The little change that has drastic ramifications. In order to make this utopia come about they have done all they can to minimise their impact on the past, because if they change it too much, they might cease to exist, destroying THE WHOLE UNIVERSE FOREVER! Do you want to destroy everything? I surely don’t.

So they guide me to ensure the universe gets to this point of utopia, the slightest deviation may cause the destruction of the entire universe. So we have this bunch of rules and events that must happen. We must make it happen no matter what if we want the universe to exist and to live in perpetual bliss, or rather, for out descendants to.

So you see, you all have to do what I say, or we’re all gonna die. You don’t have to believe me, it’s not up for debate, we HAVE to, or we’re all going to die!

Now tell me, can you honestly say that imposing certain rules and restrictions on people in order to SAVE ALL THEIR LIVES is truly a bad thing?  How is bringing about a world without any suffering a bad thing? You don’t have to LIKE what has to be done, but it is for your future… and your past you’re protecting.

So there you have it. Eggplants are the cause of, and the salvation of everything.

The difference between what I have just laid out and the claims of religion is that no one believes eggplants did any of that. But how do you KNOW they didn’t? Can you take that risk?

Embrionic Stem Cell Research 31/10/2006

Embrionic Stem Cell Reasearch

 

 

Religious hypocrits who oppose stem cell research annoy the hell out of me.

They had a woman who had an embryo transplant… so she had someone else’s baby for herself because she couldnt have her own saying she was against stem cell research because it takes a human life and is playing god.

If she’s against playing god, she shouldnt have children that arent her own. God didn’t allow her to have children herself.

Ignorant hypocrite.

Embryos in tubes ARE NOT LIVES! They cannot survive unless they are transplanted into a womb.

These people dont beliebe in destroying an embryo for medical research. So they’d prefer that all those embryos that dont get used just get thrown out. Wasted. Destroyed anyway for no benefit.

It’s disgusting.

Keep your religion out of science. It has no place there.

 

The Problem with Creationists 3/5/2010

The Problem with Creationists

 

 

The main problem with Creationist thinking is that they try to discredit atheists by telling atheists what they believe. This is, of course, ridiculous as the atheist has a better understanding of their own beliefs than anyone else.

The other problem is they delve into science to disprove things without having a fundamental understanding of the science they are attempting to disprove. Because you do not understand something does not make it incorrect.
Science works on finding evidence for things and making deductions based on that evidence, it does not come up with an idea then tie things together to make it work.
Creationists throw out gaps in knowledge as though that proves science is somehow wrong. If I ask you to name everyone in your class and you don’t know the name of two people in it, that does not mean that you don’t know the name of ANYONE in the class. It only means you don’t know those two people.
Furthermore, if you get a name wrong, and someone you identified and “Cindi” is actually “Sally”, this does not prove the rest of the names were also wrong either, it just means you adjust that single piece of information.
Rational thinking is a VITAL part of science, and it is something sorely lacking in many creationists. JUST because it is written down does not make it TRUE. This applies to science as much as it applies to anything else.
The difference is that science tells you WHY it’s true, with evidence that you can examine yourself and prove by doing it yourself.
Religion expects you believe without proof.
Irreducible Complexity: Just because you cannot conceive how something works or could have formed does not mean it is impossible. It means you lack understanding and probably some information to come to an educated conclusion.
Looking at creationist videos, they throw out alot of figures and statistics from science that supposedly don’t add up. But you won’t see them saying where they got those figures from. Usually because they are NOT from a scientifically credible, peer reviewed source.
This goes for science as well as religion; Just because someone has statistics doesn’t make them true. You need to know WHERE AND HOW they came by those figures.
There are many creationist “educators” out there that claim to be scientists, yet when you ask them a simple high school grade biology question, they don’t know the answer.
If they don’t know the difference between chomosomes, genomes and genes, then they know NOTHING about DNA.
If they don’t know anything about Meiosis and Mitosis, then they know nothing about cells.
If they claim “Darwinism” is used to explain the evolution of chemical reactions or the formation of matter, then they don’t know the first thing about evolution or physics or chemistry.
And if they can be so wrong about all those things, what exactly do they know about science?
Think. Rationalise. Question. Don’t just accept answers.

 

Creationist Myth: Evolution is by random chance 3/5/2010

Creationist Myth: Evolution is by random chance

 

 

No, no, no.

If you think this is what evolution is stating then you have not understood the concepts you are arguing against.
Chance plays a part; within natural selection; The most advanced and best adapted individual could still fall prey to an accident or a predator and fail to reproduce.
However there is an analogy I’ve come up with for explaining the difference between the creationist mentality and reality.
Let’s say you have six dice and you roll them all, for this model we will say that you have to have all six as sixes to constitute a distinct change.
The creationist method involves rolling all six dice together and rerolling ALL the dice until you get six 6s.
The REALITY is that when you get a six, which counts as a mutation, you retain it. The chances are the mutation will do nothing.
So let’s say the first roll comes up with one 6, you keep that, now you roll 5 dice. 2 more sixes come up, now you roll 3, until you have all 6s.
The probability is FAR FAR higher of getting the full mutation than the creationist “random chance” method.
To dispute evolution is to fail to understand it. If you don’t understand it, instead of fighting against it, why don’t you try and UNDERSTAND. Compared to many of the scientific theories out there, evolution is SIMPLE to understand the basics of, and you’ll see it really is impossible to argue against, the same way gravity, fundamental laws of physics and chemistry are overall, if not in every single detail, irrefutable.

 

Repercussions of Intelligent Design in Science Class 5/5/2010

Repercussions of Intelligent Design in Science Class

 

 

Introducing Creationist/Intelligent Design into Science as a serious opposing theory to Evolution is not only ludicrous, it is dangerous.

Intelligent Design is NOT a science. There is NO scientific evidence that supports this “theory” and it has not been tested by Scientific methods because there’s NOTHING TO TEST!
Something that has not been explained yet by evolution is NOT evidence of design.
Furthermore, teaching children that this is a SERIOUS contender (which the scientific community is almost unanimous in denying) undermines ALL areas of science.
If you damage the teaching and understanding of science and the scientific method, you damage EVERYTHING your society stands for.
How will your technology, medicine, research advance if you have crippled the very idea of the scientific method? Your bible does NOT teach you how to practice medicine or surgery. It does not provide information on how to perform a rigorous and unbiased experiment and how to interpret results, it does not teach you rational thinking skills.
To support this in your schools is to destroy science, and your country’s future.
If you want to live in a theocracy where the rule of religion is above all else and knowledge is shunned, there are plenty of backward countries out there for you to emigrate to.
Do not turn a large economic and military power into a primitive, dogmatic state.

 

A Federal Election Looms- musings 20/8/2010

A federal election looms- musings

 

 

With the federal election tomorrow, I thought it would be a good time to make my own little commentary, with hopes and predictions.

The main problem faced by the Labor government over the past few years has actually been PR and communication; They’ve done a very bad job of showing off the good they’ve done, with only the blunders making it into the public arena, so something that is actually a huge success, is perceived as a failure by the public because of a few mishaps in some areas.
The handling of the Mining tax is a good example of where their PR fails and a scare campaign from the companies not wanting to lose any of their fat profit margin defeats a good government policy. They failed to sell the tax and it’s benefits for Australia to the people, and so when the media blitz hit, they were unprepared for the backlash over something that was actually a very responsible move.
This has also happened in other major policies, such as the schools stimulus package, where overcharging constructors in NSW damaged the reputation of the entire program, which after several reviews has been rated as well managed and good policy. Again, the public perception is one of wastage of money, where it should be a successful stimulus plan, with public infrastructure and education benefits.
The other problem is the Liberal Party is much better at PR, and exceptionally good at inventing problems to be solved, such as claiming Australia has a large debt due to incompetence of the government, however, speak to any group of economists world wide and they’ll look at it and go “what debt?”.
The same with the “stop the boats” campaign. This has been a non issue, magically popping up during a campaign. We have an international obligation to assess and accommodate asylum seekers. We deal with as they come. We do not control the number of boats, we just process them. With the number of natural disasters, diseases, economic downturns and wars over the last few years, is it any wonder there are more refugees?
The difference in policy between the two parties is also astounding. Labor offers infrastructure, future proofing and economic security through investing now in the country’s future, where as the opposition prefers to sit back, cut spending in as many ares as possible and reap the profits of an economic resource boom. To me, this “let’s sit back and do nothing” approach is irresponsible in the extreme, verging on incompetence. You should be investing in infrastructure NOW, while we have the resources and security of another 10 years of resource wealth, not waiting until we no longer have that financial security.
The other problem is that the Labor party has maintained office with a strict, pessimistic outlook on the economy, as though we are constantly on the brink of disaster, despite being in a highly prosperous position. This negative perception, used to give of vibes of “financially responsible government” has worked in the opposition’s favour, as the perception has allowed the Liberal party to paint the government as bad with money, the opposite of what the government is trying to sell. Again it comes down to PR.
As for the replacement of Kevin Rudd, people forget that we live in a democracy, and that the individual members should not be that important and indeed, be expendable. Mr Rudd lost the support of the government, and so he was removed. Politically it was a bad move for PR, but for the stability of the government itself it was most likely a good thing, a difficult thing to judge considering the lack of information on the events leading up to it.
Onto my preditions;
I predict a Labor victory… slight but enough to retain their government, with a strong swing to greens in the senate.
This would also be ideal, as the major parties should not control the senate ever, if the government controls the senate, then the review process is compromised, if the opposition holds the senate, nothing gets through and you have an ineffective government (such as we have now).
People should not forget that any ineffectiveness in the current government is also the responsibility of the opposition, who hold the balance in the senate. They are as responsible for policy and spending as the government is.