BBC wastes money on re-enacting the crucifixion of Christ - in Manchester - using pop songs....
|Theists are like HORTON in the above movie - they claim something exists,and are thought mad - Horton delivers evidence - where is the evidence of God?|
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Letters to the metro_files
I don't believe it: Emma Steer's
definition of atheism is flawed,since it is clearly predicated
on her own belief that God does not exist. A better definition
might be: A belief that God does not exist. This,arguably,is
just as much a matter of faith as is her own
belief and might make for an interesting classroom discussion.
Religions must update beliefs :The views of JP demonstrate
that most disturbing aspect of organised religion - the unshakeable belief
that whatever acts are done in line with your interpretation of the teachings
of your god must be morally right. This way of thinking has justified countless
atrocities, massacres and holy wars throughout history, and continues to
destroy the lives of people around the globe today. I am not anti-religion
by any means, but anyone who believes they have all the answers is a dangerous
person. Whether you want to call them religious fanatics, fundamentalists
or extremists, their unquestioning belief that their hatred and prejudice
is sanctioned by their god allows them to commit acts of barbarism against
other human beings. JP argues that 'religion has nothing to do with being
relevant to modern society' but, if religions don't update their attitudes,
we will never be able to move past the mentality that led to crusades and
jihads. Surely, people can see that using your religion to justify persecuting
a man [Dr Jeffrey John] on the basis of his sexuality is the thin end of
the same wedge that justifies Islamic extremists' attacks on the 'corrupt
West'? But then again, that's the problem with people with blind faith in
organised religion - they can never accept that they could be wrong.
Michael Axe, Surrey (METRO July
Dave is citing a problem which I covered at AOL's Atheism
forum - a snippet of which appears on my AOL webpage:
Susan Syke's comment about 'Bush standing up for Christian
Values' (METRO ,Mon) is strange. I didn't know that killing thousands of
innocent civilians was considered a Christian value.
IN THE NAME OF RELIGION
Rhonda Mangat notes she was unaware 'killing of innocent civilians
was a Christian value' (METRO ,Tue).She seems to have forgotten the Crusades,the
Spanish Inquisition and the millions of other innocent civilians killed
throughout the centuries in the name of the Christian God.For Christianity
- an exclusive religion which allows for no other form of belief and suggests
all those who have an alternative view are damned for eternity - murder has
always been a way of life.
'For Christianity... murder
has always been a way of life,' writes Petra Topping (METRO , Thu). Funny
how the 20th century, dominated by secular beliefs such as Nazism and communism,
saw more people killed violently than the rest of human history put together.
Yep, it's a good thing there aren't so many Christians around - people like
Florence Nightingale, Lord Shaftesbury, Martin Luther King and Mother Theresa.
Major religions do not condone murders
In regard to Petra Topping's comments (METRO , Thu), I would
like to suggest that the majority of atrocities that have been carried out
through the centuries in the name of religion are, in fact, politically or
personally motivated. Religion is used to give horrible acts a guise of
respectability. All the major religions decry killing. Followers of Christ
do not condone the Crusades or the Holocaust. Followers of Islam do not condone
the actions of Al-Qaeda. Because angry and violent individuals use religion
to validate unspeakable acts, all people of faith suffer the stigma of these
actions. Let us be wary of anyone using religion to justify violence.
Religion is alive and kicking in our schools
I don't know how Matt Crocker (METRO , Fri) got the impression
that British schools are secular; religion is alive and kicking in our education
system. State funding for church-run schools is actually on the increase,
to the detriment of local authority-run schools in the majority of cases.
In reply to Mr Crocker's comments about the new Islam packs
in non-religion schools, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism and Christianity is
taught. Surely teaching about other religions educates our children not only
in religion but, in our world, its people and its cultures? Isn't the lack
of understanding a problem in our world?
Jim Heaversedge (METRO , Tue) is of the opinion that religion
in its various guises should have no part in politics and I would agree with
him. However, there has to be a division between right and wrong in our law.
I see a slow slip down a muddy path into a world where anything goes and
discipline is a swear word. To me, this is important.
|TWO teenagers whose fishing boat
drifted into open sea six days ago have been found alive.
Josh Long, 17, and his best friend 15-year-old Troy Driscoll had no water or food with them but survived by eating jellyfish, talking about their families and praying. The boys were spotted by a fishing boat on Saturday more than 160km (100 miles) from where they had started their journey off Sullivans Island in South Carolina. They were sunburned, dehydrated and exhausted but are recovering in hospital. 'We just prayed every day. We prayed for our families, prayed for our lives, prayed to get home. God answered us,' Josh said yesterday.
The pair quenched their thirst by gargling with sea water and slipped into the ocean to cool off, but sharks chased them back on to the boat. The boys set out shark fishing on a 4m (14ft) sailboat during a blustery day on April 24.
The National Weather Service had warned small boats to stay off the water and the pair realised they were in trouble almost immediate1y
'After 20 minutes we knew we were in for a long trip,' said Troy.
One wonders why Troy and pals were not naturally deselected - thinking that prayers saved them and not knowing it was stupid in the first place - God does not answer prayers - it makes a mockery of those that do not survive when people say this - survivors of air disasters have been known to say this even when other families have lost members - how they cannot see that it is an offensive remark is beyond me
Proof that cleanliness is next to Godliness
A MAN is using eBay to sell what looks like
an image of Christ on his bathroom wall. He wants bids to start at £1,000
for the holy water stain. The man, who wants to remain anonymous, said: 'I
got out of the shower and yelled "Jesus Christ!
The bearded Shower Jesus has turned up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Six months ago a Florida woman sold her toasted cheese sandwich with what
looked like an image of the Virgin Mary for £15,000.
Crucifixion priest faces 20 years
An Orthodox priest and four nuns face up to 20 years in jail if they are
found guilty of killing a schizophrenic nun by crucifixion in an exorcism
Daniel Corogeanu recited prayers to drive out evil spirits before Maricica Cornici,23,died last week.
She spent three days tied to a cross without food or water in the cellar of a church in Vaslui,Romania.
[METRO Jun 21,2005]
My Comment: More evidence ,if any were needed of how ignorant belief systems that should have died in the middle ages cause barbarism and suffering,instead if being informed by knowledge - there are no such things as "evil spirits" - this is ignorant metaphor for emergent systems pheonomena in the brain.Isn't about time that they checked cause and effect,and found that they inflict more suffering trying to rid someone OF demons than the person suffers by HAVING demons? Or is it too much to ask for such people to actually THINK?
A CHRISTIAN politician wants to introduce a law
which will force NHL ice hockey franchise, the New Jersey Devils, to change
their name. Democrat Craig Stanley, a deacon Rt a baptist church in Newark,
rears it sends out the wrong message to fans.
Hospitals say they may ban the Bible
BY SARAH GETTY
HOSPITALS are considering removing
Bibles from patients' bedsides over concerns they may offend non-Christians
and spread the superbug MRSA, it emerged yesterday.
In response to banning the Bible in hospitals
(METRO, Mon), why have we never had copies of the Koran, the Tanakh or the
Guru Granth Sahib at our bedsides? I like a good book as much as the next
man - so, if someone is going to put a holy book by my bed, it could at least
be one I have not read yet. The idea that we are still a Christian country
seems a little narrow-minded in this day and age.
Christians shouldn't get favours
Like Daniel Hull (METRO, Fri), I am a Christian.
I do agree with him that Christianity is often seen as an easy target, yet
I disagree that the state owes Christianity any special favours. The Bible
tells followers of Christ to 'bless those who persecute you; bless and do
Christian fails in gender law fight
|A DEVOUT Christian lost his High Court challenge against laws that allow people who have a sex change to alter their gender on birth certificates. John Ailman said the Gender Recognition Act threatened people for whom it would be a sin to wed and make love to someone of the same birth sex. Mr Ailman, of Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, claimed the law, introduced in April, violated his human rights. But Mr Justice Sullivan rejected the challenge.|
|[Metro 28 Jun,2005]|
Big Bang Theory of mankind is just hot air
|So,'the original Big
Bang occurred about 14 billion years ago when a small hot patch of space
time blew up very rapidly to form everything we see
today,scientists believe' (METRO ,Thu). Really? All
scientists? To accept everything around us constituting life and nature occurred
simply as a result of chance requires far more faith than to
believe the Bible's opening statement:'In the beginning God created the
heavens and the Earth.' To accept the biblical view is not
to jettison reason; on the contrary,it is acknowledging mankind's
intellect,creativity and emotion suggest a designer behind it all.Several
of the great scientists of the past believed that - even
Charles Darwin.The probability of
a combination of several chance occurrences must be so infinitesimally
small as to be untenable.
I've always maintained a firm belief in physics and thought that religious versions of the beginning of the world seemed fairytale-like.But ,after reading the description of the beginning of the universe as 'scientists believe',they don't seem all that unbelievable after all.
[METRO Aug23 2004]
Regarding the Big Bang issue (metro_files,Mon) - I did it. I was bored one day and I made everything.You can't prove that I didn't and I can't be bothered to show you how I did it.That may stop your quibbling but I doubt it,so let's say I never said it - in fact - I didn't say it.Now you can all argue about whether I actually did or not.
Edward Black,London W1
|To Mr Fletcher I say this: Scientists do not
BELIEVE things they PROVE things - there is no proof of ANYthing the bible
says,it does not require faith to use your brain and to
reason and understand - if one takes scientfic ideas
at face value and does not attempt to understand there source or why scientists
say such things then they may sound incredible - science is not a matter
of credibility but a matter of understanding.Much more work has been done
to make the claim that Mr Fletcher dismisses than has been done to show anything
in the bible has any credibility. His views fail first questions - such as
- "Who is God? What made God?" If we assume that God is not in need of a
first impulse - a prime mover - then the universe need not have one either
- God maybe just a euphemism for the creative process - this is explained
in "Science Without Bounds" - what
we see there is that God as a person is merely an iconic reflection of people's
ignorance of physics - it is the biblical view which jettison's reason as
I attempt to show on this page and the associated links. God is a non-explanation
- it is merely saying "I cannot fathom how the universe came to be - God
must have done it" - that is not reasoning - that is an act of faith - scientific
theories are based on much more than faith - because they are asked to PROVE
what they say.
The Big Bang theory has EVIDENCE in it's favour - such as background radiation and the observed expansion of the universe - this means that if we reverse time into the past the universe MUST necessarily have been hotter - because matter was closer together - unless the rotation of that matter was such that it never clumped together it would in the past have been a dense clump of superhot matter -not being recognised as any matter we know because none of the atoms could have existed at those energies - the very fact that stars exist in hotter states than planets because the matter is in a denser form than we are used to and under tremendous pressure shows that the big bang theory has credibility-one can readily measure the rate of expansion of the universe and see that matter is flying apart and thus becoming less dense and so cooler - anyone who thinks there was not a big bang given the background radiation measurements and what I have just said is a damn fool - and anyone who thinks "God did it" is an unreasoning ignoramus of the highest order.
Mankind's "intellect,creativity and emotion" Mr Fletcher are emergent phenomena of the brain's processing - an organ which has evolved complexity over time - there was no Adam and Eve - because we evolved from single celled creatures (latest evidence calls them LUCA,one hopes they were not too filthy) ,and carbon dating and our mitochondria show that this planet and it's life forms are much older than the bible says. Mr Fletcher as with others seems wholly ignorant of how one explains emotions and creativity without the need for a manlike creator - it is our supreme arrogance that supposes the beginning of life was with something that created MAN when there are so many other creatures - some of which outperform us - like Parrots - which can speak English and understand grammar - can you speak Parrot Mr Fletcher? Maybe God was a giant spirit-bird who created parrots in his own image - don't be absurd.
If we were also to use Mr Fletcher's obvious ability at maths and probability upon biblical creationism we would find that it was just if not more untenable - what are the chances of a spirit thing existing at all when no evidence supports it? What is the probability that a manlike being can create a universe and make life? What is the probability that anything is omniscient and omnipotent? So what is the probability that we evolved from simpler creatures when ALL the evidence suggests that we did?
Probability arguments are misunderstood by those who are not familiar with mathematics - the idea that life as made by science is as absurd as a wind blowing together a jumbo jet out of parts in a scrapyard only serves to show the ignorance of the person hazarding that argument - life was not created by chance alone.Such people often use notions of "blind chance" or "randomness" without actually understanding how complex such arguments are.
Mr Westcott makes the same mistake as Mr Fletcher - science is not a matter of belief by credibility - but by understanding why something MUST be so beyond a reasonable doubt - admittedly religious stories are fanciful - but comparing science to them is laughable - the two things do not proceed by the same process. There is no testing of religious ideas against nature - if one does this - one finds them wanting - all of science that is currently accepted is based on an interconnected web of proven ideas. If we look to the sky we do not see god - we see radiation - and matter - and Einstein showed that space bends light - this has been proven by experiment - where are the experiments to prove biblical hearsay? There are none.
Mr Black falls foul of Occam's razor - the burden of proof is on the claimant - if one claims to know what the explanation is - the burden is on that person to prove that to be the case - we need not have to prove the negative case - that is - that Mr Black DID NOT do it - he must prove that he DID do it.Mr Black is in the same position as creationists who fail to prove that God made the universe - scientists can show how it was done -creationists cannot - they merely say what Mr Black says "You cannot prove God didn't do it" -that maybe so - but what can be proven is that he NEED NOT have done it- and that the supplied explanation is more consistent with observed evidence - this IS the case and this is WHY the Big Bang theory is more viable than creationism.Mr Black seems to wish everyone to "shut up and stop arguing" - he is like one of the 3 monkeys - the one with his hands over his ears. If creationists actually bothered to understand the science they took issue with they'd realise there was no contest and no argument - they are plain wrong,then maybe Mr Black could get some peace and quiet - as might we all.
|If it's any comfort to Ed Bowden
(metro_files Mon),I and most other Christians I know find it far more offensive
when people say "Oh God" or
than when they use unprintable four-letter words. Happily,I've found a solution;
saying 'poot' or 'wgstrfgl' attracts no censure but rather amusement.
Stuart Lucas,London NW6
God must decide son's fate, father tells judge
THE father of an 18-month-old boy at the centre of a right-to-life case said yesterday it was up to God to decide when his son should die. The parents of the child, referred to only as MB, are fighting the hospital trust which wants to withdraw life-saving treatment for the youngster, who has been in a high-dependency unit since he was seven weeks old. Questioned by a judge at the High Court in London, the father said: 'I think MB is all there, with most of his feeling, enjoying the company, so I don't think it's right for anyone to decide he should die or not. 'As a Muslim, I believe that no one knows exactly when people will die. It was God who gave us life and God will take it, whatever the situation.' When Huw Lloyd, representing the hospital trust, said to the father: 'Were it not for modern technology and ventilatory support, your son would not be alive today,' he replied: 'I accept that - but we do our best. When his time is coming it will come. We do our best and let God decide.' The boy has spinal muscular arrophy, an incurable and progressively worsening condition which leads to complete paralysis. He cannot breathe for himself, chew or swallow and is fed through a tube. While not thought to be mentally impaired, he can move only his eyebrows, feet and his fingers a little. Mr Justice Holman has heard evidence from a doctor that MB has an 'intolerable life'. But MB's parents believe the boy can recognise and respond to them. They want doctors to give him a tracheotomy to make his long-term breathing easier so they could take him home. The hearing continues.
BY JAYNE ATHERTON metro_files Thursday, March 9, 2006
Search Skepdic.com | Skeptic.com
|Youtube-10 questions any 'rational' Christian should answer|
|The publication of The Naked Ape in 1967 - it has since
sold l2million copies - brought zoologist Desmond Morris international fame.
Studying humans from the viewpoint of animal behaviour was controversial
and marked the start of our fascination with body language. For Morris, it
led to TV programmes and more books. His latest - The Naked Woman - needs
· Researching The Naked Woman
- the worst job you've ever had?
I love women so, for me, it was a delight because I have been able to research all over the world and study what culture is all about.
I wanted to be sure I was talking about women everywhere, not just women in my own culture. Women's bodies are beautiful but they won't leave them alone; they keep doing weird things like piercing tongues and belly buttons or tattooing.
· What was the strangest cultural thing you saw?
In a restaurant in Asia, I saw a man with two wives. He was sitting there wearing Western clothes but the wives were completely covered from head to foot in veils. To get food they had to lift the veil and push the fork underneath it, then put the veil back again while they masticated their food before the next bite. The man just sat there arrogantly in his Western clothes. That was ridiculous.
· Are religions a way for men to control women?
There's nothing in the Koran that says women have to be covered in a veil. In the early days, women were important. It's the male clerics who cause all the trouble and treat women as second-class citizens. That makes me very cross. Quite a few religions do this - treat women as unequals.
· So what went wrong?
Everything went wrong when God changed sex. God was a woman in the early times - Mother Earth who was nurturing, protecting and caring for your crops, animals and you. Then we became city dwellers which favoured men and God changed sex - Mother God became God the Father and men came to dominate religion and then, of course, women. In the Western world, women are trying to reclaim their rights because they are equal, but different, to men.
· You studied the female body, what about the female mind? Women are more sensible and more cautious, men are more risk-taking. Men can make silly mistakes or they can make great inventions. Women are probably more intelligent, verbally fluent, communicative, caring and nurturing than men. But what the men have up their sleeves is risk-taking. One brain isn't better than the other - they are just different. There is not a clear distinction between men and women, there is only a bias.
· How about women's irrational tear of spiders?
That is very strange. I was studying this in children and women are more afraid of spiders. If you ask them why, they say it's a nasty, hairy thing. And hairy is the word they use. In fact, it's the spider's legs they are referring to and it coincides with puberty. It's because young girls are disturbed by the growing hair on their body, whereas young boys expect to have hair because men have beards and moustaches and hair on their body. When boys develop hair, they feel they are becoming manly, while girls find it disturbing. I have no proof, I'm just looking for an explanation of why they have double the fear of spiders.
· You've also identified three new spots in addition to the G-spot. A bit disturbing for those of us still looking for the first one.
People say the G-spot is the equivalent of the penis but it is not.
It's equivalent to the tip of the penis. The tissue is inside and runs along the upper part of the vagina and there are several zones - not spots - that become increasingly sensitive and respond to sexual stimulation. This is something I wish I had known at 18 - it's not much use to me now.
· If I'm very attracted to a woman, what should I do?
Men are not always very good at expressing their attraction. In a male courtship, he'll talk about anything apart from his feelings for this woman. Men like to play it too cool and all the woman sees is someone who is cool. Let the woman know that you like her. That sounds obvious but it isn't always done. Talk about them, not about you. Ask them questions about themselves. And, when it comes to sexuality, you don't take, you give. if you give a woman sexual pleasure, she'll give you sexual pleasure.
· To read about Desmond's love of surreal painting, visit www metro_files. co.uk. The Naked Woman: A Study Of The Female Body, is published by Jonathan Cape
Interview: KIERAN MEEKE
Points made by Christians and other believers dealt with point by point.These
points are an addendum to the 15 Scientific American and 7 Isaac
Asimov points above. It might be a good idea to read
encountering any of these points. I also suggest for those with a predilection
to believe things without proof,to read "Digital
Electronic Logic","Philosophy of
Science","Language and Logic" and
"Philosophy of Mind" before dealing with
the following points,as it is my contention that anyone who cannot follow
any of that is ill-placed to judge what is true.
Recently I have come to think that many people's presumption that there is a deity is due to several factors - one is the history of natural philosophy - reading the TAO of Physics - one sees that what many people see in the universe is something active that creates life and animation and that there is a force that moves things into being from materials - this "immaterial creative" force seems to be what people think of as God - and there are various views,but those that believe this do not seem to know about emergent complexity or Frontier sciences,where in a sense there IS an immaterial creative force,but it is not personified. Some of the Eastern views mentioned in TAO seem to have ideas that suggest this "spirit" is actioning what makes the difference between us an a rock - and yet there is a completely pertinent description in science that needs no spirits or ghosts in the machine to explain our aliveness, awareness, consciousness and how it is that we are not like rocks. Most of what I have found amongst those who believe in some sort of spiritual force or deity are also ignorant of scientific ideas or actively against them,or confused by what they know - a little knowledge is a dangerous thing - for sometimes it is integrated into a belief system - so that people say they do not defy what science says whilst still saying that God exists - the two things are mutually exclusive - unless one integrates spirituality and physicality in a union that does not defy reason - a synthesis of this kind would be along the lines of TAO of Physics - whereas the author only seeks to indicate parallels - the parallels show that the ideas are similar - only the language is different - sometimes the concepts are along similar lines - it is my contention that what people call "God" is actually something other than what they believe it to be.
I also think there is a relationship between how people understand fate and freewill and their propensity to gamble - both gamblers and believers have misconceptions about how the world works and this leads them to make fallacious decisions about chance and determinism - both require an "emotional crutch" which acts rather like that which keeps an alcoholic drinking.
0.Assuming God to exist.
You cannot assume God exists and then just procede to shoehorn everything else into that assumption - there is no basis for the assumption. This breaks Occam's Razor simplest assumption - which is "God does not exist". In order to start with this premise,you need evidence that it is in fact the case. The fact that humans have assigned God's to other natural phenomena such as Thunder and Water and Volcanos,means assigning one to creation is more than likely sticking a man's face upon your own ignorance of how the universe began. It is just as naive as asserting the Earth is flat,because it looks like it is,or that the sun goes round the Earth because that's what seems to the case.What you personally believe to be the case has nothing whatever to do with what is true.
1. Belief in no God is just as much
as faith as belief in God(s).
Upon the comment made by Dave Korman above,it is a mistake in thinking to say that saying God does not exist is as much an act of faith to say that he does.This is a question of argumentum ad ignorantiam - Believers assume that those who argue FOR something by reason,are in the same position as themselves and that the beliefs are as personal and as arbitrary as each other.They are falling foul of a logical error in thought,whereby they invert logic - to say that they need proof that God does not exist;this process defeats Ockham's razor.(see point 7). See Also Figments of Reality.
2. The universe could not have come about by itself. This would breach common-sense "cause and effect".
Cause and effect breaks down in Quantum Theory - the arguments used by believers often are not apprised of modern physics and how their own literal "experience" of "linear time" is insufficient to support their contention.Moreover,they confuse theological notions of "the eternal present" with what is provably the case,such as theories about the free universe and the future being undefined.Ironically,they also argue for Freewill and yet contend we are in a Laplacian/Newtonian clockwork universe. Those who do not, still do not see why modern physics undermines the notion of God.
3. The Bible is a source document of the word of God.
The bible it is maintained is the bequeathment of God's word to mankind,it is amazing then that it contains errors,is overly complex,shows the ignorance of men during the period it was "written" and can be "interpreted" by whosoever reads it.
4. Evolution is a myth.The evidence shows mankind was designed by God.Life did not arise by chance.
Believers often do not understand chance and mutation as they apply to genes and the way in which "lower" organisms have give rise to more complex forms,in some cases,believing that those animals which can regenerate are superior to us (which makes a mockery of their own creation notions),they hold on by faith to creation,when the evidence shows that evolution is what happened. String theory suggests we live in 11 dimensions,if we had been created then God would have apprised our brains of this fact- if we evolved then we would only be aware of the 3 spatial dimensions that we are.
For those who question evolution - please see the work being done on simulating life in a computer - which is showing that far from being difficult to arise by chance - evolution is almost a done deal - and will by necessity bring about evolving life forms - computer simulations can reproduce the effects of genetics - and it only a matter of time before mankind understands his own genetics -any idea that God created life is just due to massive ignorance of what is ACTUALLY taking place.
5. The Universal Constants show that there must be a God,for they are too narrowly defined.
There is a contention that the universal constants are so narrowly constrained that this could not have happened by chance- and would therefore have had to have been defined by someone/thing and therefore it was God -this argument is absurd in itself that it should necessarily be God that supplies the constrainment. The fact is such narrowly defined terms CAN arise without any help. String Theory which posits up to 11 dimensions of spacetime allows for a kind of "resonance" that would necessitate the narrow confining of such terms.
6. Belief in a system of religious
faith is just as reasonable as anything else.
Belief in God is an act of faith and as such cannot be argued reasonably,therefore it is an act of unreason. Anyone who reasons is led inevitably to atheism,because there is no evidence that we need anything but the physical facts of modern science to explain the world around us.
7. God does not defeat Ockhams Razor.
God is an example of an unnecessary multiplication -something that is NOT requisite to explain what happens in the universe - he is therefore academic to the cosmos. Moreover,to maintain that he either exists or is needed is an act of unreason and an attempt to hold onto notions that are built upon ignorance and inverted logic - if someone says "Prove to me that God does not exist" they are missing the point and not thinking reasonably. Carl Sagan's story "Contact" exemplifies the argument excellently.
8. Mathematical Complexity in the Universe presumes a creative intelligence.(The Argument from Design)
The nature of the universe has complexity and sufficiently thinking human beings are led to ask "How did it get like this?" Unable to facilitate an answer without alluding to their own intelligence they presume something like it must have brought it all about - this shows their lack of appreciation for the laws of science,man's intellect,and bizarrely,seems unable to see that the fact of their own brain's existence- a product OF scientific law - is what makes them think something like them is needed to explain scientific law. (For explanations of complexity and why a designer is not needed,see "Frontiers of Complexity" by Peter Coveney and Roger Highfield.)
9. To be homosexual is to be against God.
To take one's morality from an espousing messiah who has not been proven to have the authority is an act of unreason. What is right is not subjective - and this is why Holy Wars are fought - which actually contradict the axioms of the supposed morality (ie DO NOT KILL) - morality is not for the individual or group of people to determine,and neither should it be based on an arbitrary tome,any more than I would base my morality on The Rupert Bear stories,or Dr Suess,although to be sure,both of those I would use before referring to the Koran or the Bible. Morality cannot be based on a belief by faith,this leads to bigotry and arrogance.
10. The bible contains a mysterious code,which shows there is something "odd" about it.
Some believe the Bible contains a code that reveals mysterious predictions,I will show that this is as much the case in any other book,and is a "mirage" and moreover does not make any sense if a viable rational deity were to have supplied such information.
11. The evidence of Christ as a divine son of God is incontrovertible and therefore the basis of faith.
Arguments maintain that because certain events in the bible are unexplainable or provided by unassailable "eye witnesses" we must conclude that Jesus Christ was divine,the son of God and therefore to believe the bible.I maintain that such events are explainable,require us to use Ockham's Razor,conclude that something ELSE happened other than what was stated by the "eye witnesses" because their conception of the world was erroneous,and Jesus Christ was nothing more than a people's leader,a magician and philosopher,of the likes of Ghandi coupled with Derren Brown/Paul Daniels - and the inability of the populace to see how or why they may have been duped led them to believe in something they should not have. Any supposed PROPHECY that they suppose is based on a fallacious understanding of how the human mind can be duped - I can predict a plane crash will happen next year - if it happens then I look gifted with foresight - the subject is far too complex to be rendered into the simple argument "Christ's life was the subject of prophecy - so he was the son of God" - one needs to think more deeply than that.
12. Freewill is a real process,but it is the realm of the divine and cannot be explained by physics.
Believers like to believe their mind is free,saying this is a God-given capacity and that the machinations of the brain are not enough to explain what happens in a MIND - that a SOUL inhabits the body - and that after death the force that maintains life will continue and that it will do so maintaining the guise of the person who was alive.The notion of predestination runs into problems with freewill and seemingly believers are confused as to whether they can have freewill and live in an open universe,or whether there is some sort of fatalistic future over which they have no control and therefore their own freewill is a myth. I will attempt to dispel their confusion.
13. There is such a thing as "SOUL" and the mind/body problem has not been solved.The animation of a human being is God-given.
It seems that believers (and others) are confused as to what causes the animation in a biological being and renders us more mobile than an inanimate object like a rock.This they see as the "life force" inside the body that somehow exists after death. I will show that this is an ignorant and dated viewpoint,and if they maintain that they reason,anyone doing so should accept the evidence and update their beliefs and not stick dogmatically to what they would prefer to believe.
14. The notion of a prime moving deity is not at odds with scientific evidence.
Those who do reason among believers maintain that even with all the scientific evidence,that there is still room for God and that they can consistently both accept the scientific evidence AND believe in God- that they are NOT mutually exclusive. I will examine this argument and show that there IS an inconsistency and therefore if one is to maintain integrity as a reasoning being that one should NOT believe in God.
15. The power of love and truth is something beyond our ken and will conquer all.
It is held that such metaphysical notions as LOVE are beyond physical explanation and cannot be brought into the material realm. Love is a product of chemical processes and experiences, desires and needs - there is no need to put it outside in a spiritual dimension. Truth is a matter of reasoning and believers are not really in a position to say what is true since they defeat reason and prefer to believe what satisfies their feelings and wishes.
16. God is my heavenly father - thy will be done.
The concept of heaven is a mythology deriving from history- God as the father is a Freudian requirement in lieu of being able to stand on one's own two feet in an evolutionary,red in tooth and claw universe.It is a notion used as an emotional crutch and a coping mechanism. If it were only used for those purposes,then fine - but it is not - people maintain that it IS the truth,without proving it,and worse still - pushing the burden of proof upon reasonable men to show them they are wrong,and then denying what is uncovered,because they cannot let go of their "father's" hand.A psychologically healthy human being has no need of a father's hand.and accepts the randomness,chaos and uncertainty in the cosmos. Often believers would prefer security,certainty and tradition - the nature of the world is dynamic and changing,an evolving being knows this and takes account of it - stand still (mentally or physically) and you perish.
17. Death offers the possibility of life everlasting and seeing the world as the Creator sees it.
There is no such thing as an afterlife and no possibility of knowing "The Mind of God" other than using The Theory of Everything /GUT.Afterlife is a contradiction in terms.Consciousness is due to material processes,and therefore death is the cessation of consciousness,there is no ghost in the machine.It is rather odd that Christians who seem to think we exist after death,have the most trouble dealing with death and loss,I maintain there is a psychological error in their belief system which causes this to be the case.
18. Everything we witness as
only in our minds and therefore we should leave everything to God.
Reality,whether or not it happens to be in some sense "constructed" by the mind,exists,and as such it is the only indication of what is "out there" and so this does not allow relaxing of personal responsibility,nor does it mean that one can say that what is ACTUALLY out there maybe something very different that what is witnessed by a brain- ie that Gods and spirits exist.These are phenomenological arguments and are often used as a ploy to allow Gods and spirits to exist.
ten plagues are
evidence of God.
What utter rubbish.These are easily explained...just click the link.
20. Evolution cannot be correct,nor can the big bang because nobody was around to see it.
The same can be said of creation.There is more evidence FOR evolution and the the big bang than there is for creation.One book that does not even contain the words of Jesus Christ does not constitute evidence.For those who think it easy to dismiss scientific concepts such as this and use God as the antidote to any failures they perceive,try reading "Why Anything?" and "The Self Organising Cosmos".
The arguments rage about time periods for development of eyes - and that no one has seen evolution in action - and yet these are straw men arguments - the fact is evolution is observed and such time period arguments are falsely based.
21. Thou shalt have no other Gods
In our world there are various beliefs,sometimes presuming various Gods,as Richard Dawkins maintains,the most likely explanation is that all are false Gods.Christians have no monopoly on the truth.To presume that ONLY their God exists is an absurd position,if they maintain all other faiths are wrong in their beliefs,then they are wrong for the same reason. Christianity holds no special place.Either all religions are false,or they are all correct. The latter cannot be the case as they are mutually exclusive,therefore they are all false.
22. Science supports the existence
I shall have more to say on this - but for now let me just say that people will go to any lengths to justify their bizarre beliefs,including plagiarising,assassinating and misusing scientific concepts - such as Chaos Theory - this link -is a case in point.
23>. Jesus Christ died to save us from our
What a waste of effort - we are still "sinning" - so he died in vain. God gave us freewill (so it is said)- we can choose to not obey him,it's his own fault if we choose to do as we will. My life would be qualitatively worse by acceding to a God that cannot even respond to suffering or even manage to quell sin in so called sinners - God is pointless and impotent.It's a known fact in physics that God did not even have the freewill to decide how the universe turned out - so he is hardly in a position to determine whether things have freewill or not. The recent revelations about the Da Vinci Code suggest that Christ may not even have died on the cross and his descendants may still be alive. There are ways of explaining the so called disappearance of Christ's body from the tomb.
24. Anselm and Thomas Aquinas can prove God exists.
These arguments are out of date and proven to be erroneous in the light of modern knowledge.
25. Miracles are evidence of God's existence.
Miracles do not occur.These are people's misinterpretation of rare events or spates of coincidences. The mathematical "Clustering Effect" explains what people see as miracles in the cases of rare events or conjunctions.Any other sort of miracle is a defeating of what the eye witnesses or the of what the brain comprehends.
26. Angels are proof of God and of an unearthly presence.
What a crock - no one has ever seen such a thing - without proving they weren't batty as a fruit cake...but there are better arguments against angels. Not least is that we are presumed to have one each - and since people have evolved there could never have been a point where angels decided to take up with a "person" because the notion of a person is a recent invention - God presumably arrived a little later,when people's brain's were sophisticated enough to manufacture lies and ignorance about the universe.
27. The eye makes a mockery of evolution- it MUST have been created.
This is a hackneyed old Paley-esque argument isn't it? The eye is made of cells - there is no reason to pick on the eye any more than any other organ,even though it seems so suited to it's job - this is EXACTLY what evolution is SUPPOSED to do- tailor things to the environment- the fact is there are many sorts of eyes - the compound ones of insects - some sorts of sea creatures have "scanning eyes" - ours is only one type- evolution has made eyes to suit the purpose of the environment in the same way it made everything else.We might ask when we say "We are gathered here in the sight of the Lord"- exactly how the Lord has eyes when eyes are made of DNA and the Lord apparently is spirit - doesn't make any sense does it? The latest absurd ideas from Intelligent Design theorists is that Flagellums are inconsistent with evolution - this is just the hackneyed eye argument all over again.
28. Some creatures can re-grow limbs and humans cannot - so evolution MUST be wrong.
I was actually given this as a serious attack on evolution by a Christian - and I have never in all my born days been faced with such unadulterated ignorance.Such creatures as Axelotyl's that do indeed have this ability -have retained in those cells the capacity to re-grow a tail - this is also used as a survival tactic by some lizards - the stem cells now being used in research to possibly repair the human body show that the way this works is for specialisation to take place in sophisticated creatures such as humans - abilities such as that of lizards to re-grow limbs points to an ancient lineage where specialisation has not occurred so much - so the person making the above argument only displays his ignorance OF evolution - he has not shown any undermining of it - the tree of life has many branches- and many lineages and lines of descent - the mistake in thinking was to to think that there is a single line from base creature such as amoeba to man via monkey - a similar mistake is to think that we "evolved from monkeys" - and then the anti-evolutionist asks "Why do monkey's still exist on Earth then?"- again this misunderstands evolution- monkey's are our cousins not out ancestors.
29. There is no evidence of
One might ask why God chose to invent the wolf twice and the lion twice - once in mammalian form and once in marsupial form- and why one died out and the other did not - or was God just allowing evolution to take place? Mitochondrial Eve also supports the evolutionary story - and since "humans" were very different in the past - we cannot have been made in the image of God. And what are dinosaur fossils if not evidence of evolution - and what is the Burgess Shale? I suppose God made THOSE creatures in his image too - get real.
Galapagos finches disprove
The finches are an exemplary example OF evolution in action! In fact they are evidence of observed evolution - along with fruit flies and bacteria - so don't let anyone say evolution has NOT been observed.
31. Evolution exists -but it is evidence of the divine hand at work.
This is a pathetic and lame argument.It is a contrived attempt to accommodate science and admit the power of reason whilst still clinging to ideas that are in gross contradiction with what was admitted. The whole process of evolution,adding in the complexity ideas of modern science and maths tells a story that is not requiring of any sort of deity.If one is going to admit evolution as a viable process to how organisms arrive then do not make a mockery of oneself by showing how ignorant an admission it is by saying "But God made evolution happen"...all it shows is the orator's inability to let go of a silly point of view,and also shows their inability to reason properly,if they cannot see the contradictions inherent in this admission then they ought to read more books.
What is happening here is that Creationists are changing their story to suit modern evidence - rather than accept what the modern evidence says of its own volition -that is - that there is no God - and no such being is required to explain anything at all. This position shows the complete lack of honesty of creationists.
32. The probability of a scientific explanation is so low that God must be the only remaining solution.
Creationists often make out that the given explantion is improbable and this in itself is reason to disbelieve a theory and favour creationism. Even if this were so (which it isn't) we need not conclude a God or the Christian God is the prime mover.
33. Science says there is an Adam and Eve,surely this proves the bible story?
I am afraid not -what the evidence shows is that Mitochondrial Adam and Eve are the two people who may represent the chain of DNA that led to today's population - it does not mean no other people were alive at the time,only that modern people's lineage can be traced to them - it also does not negate other evidence of pre-history such as fossils.
34. Jesus walked on water so he
Be serious.He could just as well have been an alien being with powers we don't understand - if he was anything more than a man.The evidence suggests if we are talking about anything at all more than man - it is alien intervention - NOT divinity.There are certain species of Grebe that can walk on water and so can the Water Boatman - does this prove they are divine?
35. Some scientists believe in
God,so science and religion are not incompatible.
This is an absurd and illogical notion.Science has systematically undermined religions notions for hundreds of years.Individual scientists may be able to reconcile their rationality and stupidity - but for the most part the example of a scientist who believes in God is a Creation scientist who is out to undermine science because of a convicted belief in an untrue idea.
36.Without God there is no morality.
I had occasion to see a programme called "Dark Enlightenment" which says that the spiritual malaise in the past led to the rise of Hitler.Whilst I admit that we ARE in a spiritual malaise and that people's morality IS directionless,I do not think Christianity is the solution - it is part of the problem.People should deduce what is right from first principles - not be instructed by a book which is 2000 years out of date and pretty much advocates divine retribution for half it's pages.
37. "Intelligent Design" is a viable scientific alternative to Evolutionary Theory.
What utter rubbish - it only takes a moments thought to realise why - The arguments used by Intelligent Design advocates are "Irreducible Complexity" - if something cannot evolve because it requires all it's parts - they say something like God must have made it - of course the same argument,means that God himself is subject to the same ruling - ie - someone is needed to make God - and so on ad infinitum - that is - "Intelligent Design" is a non-explanation - it is just a rouse to try and make God sound scientific because those of faith cannot understand how complex creatures can evolve and how complex systems can come about by chance - not chance ALONE mind you - this is not how it all works. The argument about the flagellum of single celled creatures is just the same hackneyed argument about the eye - which has long since been dealt with. No positive proof of God or showing that a creator is needed is ever proffered - all they do is try to undermine existing theory,because that is all they are able to do.
Another of the arguments for "Intelligent Design" is a false mathematical argument calculating odds - it is based on a fallacy - determining the odds that life arose by chance - this shows a fundamental misunderstanding of evolution.I am suprised that US PHd types seem to be so stupid when it comes to understanding this. The whole process of Intelligenrt Design is just a means to undermine science and advocate Christian religious faith in God. It's advocates have faith and think they can bring down science which has shown them the tuth - there is no such thing as God - and they are basically mistaken in their beliefs.
38. The World is only 2000-10000
years old because it was computed so from the ages of biblical
This is an old gem isn't it? And where do dinosaur fossils fit into this story? Radio Carbon dating tells us how old things are and it does not give figures in this range.
39. You cannot prove a negative - That's a gem isn't it....okay...let's see...click here.
In order to convince someone that something MUST be so and is not merely someone else's opinion or belief,it is necessary to argue logically and reasonably and it is necessary for them to accept things because they MAKE SENSE,not because they carry weight of personality or whether the person has gravitas or charm,in order to be convincing I will therefore lay down the rules by which one ought to go about coming to a reasonable and not irrational conclusion based on evidence.
I do not "believe" there is no God - I have arrived at this by reasoning
- those who maintain that they have reasoned their way to the opposite
conclusion,have either reasoned,and then taken a leap of faith (which I maintain
is irrational and unnecessary by virtue of Ockham's razor),reasoned and made
a mistake in that reasoning,or are merely holding onto a belief and have
I will designate these cases as levels of belief,that is,the first case (1) are those people who have reasoned and taken a leap of faith,the second case (2) are those who have a mistake in their reasoning,and latterly (3) those who have not reasoned at all and merely believe something against the weight of evidence.
Hopefully I will be able to force the conclusion "There is no God" as readily as most people would accept "The Earth is not flat",but given that people still believe that we never landed on the moon,and that fairies and goblins exist,some people may well be beyond being convinced by reason.
There is also the inverted logic that tends to
be used by believers,they believe by faith and then ask that their belief
be DISproven.This is not how to discern what is most likely to be
Before encountering any of my arguments - I suggest reading the theory of electronic logic and philosophical logic - and looking at some of the links found on the ABOUT ME page. See also "What's logic got to do with it?","How rational are we?" and "A partly true story" -as the whole process takes a lot of thinking about - something that those who believe things clearly have done too little of. At the very least - merely by perusing these links - maybe it will become evident that the arguments are a tad more complex and require greater reading BEFORE drawing a conclusion about what you think exists and what actually can be proven to exist.
When we think propositionally our sequence of thoughts is organized. Sometimes
our thoughts are organized by the structure of long-term memory. A thought
about calling your father; for example, leads to a memory of a recent
conversation you had with him in your house, which in turn leads to a thought
about fixing the house's attic. But memory associations are not the only
means we have of organizing thought. The kind of organization of interest
to us here manifests itself when we try to reason. In such cases, our sequence
of thoughts often takes the form of an argument, in which one proposition
corresponds to a claim, or conclusion, that we are trying to draw. The remaining
propositions are reasons for the claim, or premises for the conclusion.
EFFECTS OF CONTENT
One probability rule that is relevant is the base-rate rule, which states
that the probability of something being a member of a class (such as Mitch
being a member of the class of accountants) is greater the more class members
there are (that is, the higher the base rate of the class). Thus, our sample
argument about Mitch being an accountant can be strengthened by adding the
premise that Mitch joined a club in which 90 percent of the members are
accountants. Another relevant probability rule is the conjunction rule: the
probability of a proposition cannot be less than the probability of that
proposition combined with another proposition. For example, the probability
that "Mitch is an accountant" cannot be less than the probability that "Mitch
is an accountant and makes more than $40,000 a year." The base- rate and
conjunction rules are rational guides to inductive reasoning- they are endorsed
by logic-and most people will defer to them when the rules are made explicit.
However, in the rough-and-tumble of everyday reasoning, people frequently
violate these rules, as we are about to see.
WHAT I CAN AND CANNOT BELIEVE -
I HOPE it would not be supposed that I have any
personal animus against Christians or Christian ministers, although I am
hostile to the Church. Many ministers and many Christian laymen I have known
are admirable men. Some I know personally are as able and as good as any
men I have met; but I speak of the Churches, not of individuals. I have known
Catholic priests and sisters who were worthy and charming, and there are
many such; but I do not like the Catholic Church. I have known Tories and
Liberals who were real good fellows, and clever fellows, and there are many
such; but I do not like the Liberal and Tory parties. I have known
clergymen of the Church of England who were real
live men, and real English gentlemen, and there are many such; but I do not
like the Church. I was not always an Agnostic, or a Rationalist, or an "Infidel,"
or whatever Christians may choose to call me. I was not perverted by an Infidel
book. I had not read one when I wavered first in my allegiance to the
orthodoxies. I was set doubting by a religious book written to prove the
of Christ's Resurrection from the Dead." But as a child I was thoughtful,
and asked myself questions, as many children do, which the Churches would
find it hard to answer to-day. I have not ceased to believe what I was taught
as a child because I have grown wicked. I have ceased to believe it because,
after twenty years' hard thinking, I cannot believe it. I cannot believe,
then, that the Christian religion is true. I cannot believe that the Bible
is the word of God. For the word of God would be above criticism and beyond
disproof, and the Bible is not above criticism nor beyond disproof. I cannot
believe that any religion has been revealed to Man by God. Because a revealed
religion would be perfect, but no known religion is perfect; and because
history and science show us that the known religions have not been revealed,
but have been evolved from other religions. There is no important feature
of the Christian religion which can be called original. All the rites, mysteries,
and doctrines of Christianity have been borrowed from older faiths. I cannot
believe that Jehovah, the God of the Bible, is the Creator of the known universe.
The Bible God, Jehovah, is a man-made God, evolved from the idol of an obscure
and savage tribe. The Bible shows us this quite plainly. I cannot believe
that the Bible and the Testament are historically true. I regard most of
the events they record as fables, and most of their characters as myths.
I cannot believe in the existence of Jesus Christ, nor Buddha, nor Moses.
I believe that these are ideal characters constructed from still more ancient
legends and traditions. I cannot believe that the Bible version of the relations
of man and God is correct. For that version, and all other religious versions
known to me, represents man as sinning against or forsaking God, and God
as punishing or pardoning man. But if God made man, then God is responsible
for all man's acts and thoughts, and therefore man cannot sin against God.
And if man could not sin against God, but could only act as God ordained
that he should act, then it is against reason to suppose that God could be
angry with man, or could punish man, or see any offence for which to pardon
man. I cannot believe that man has ever forsaken God. Because history shows
that man has from the earliest times been eagerly and pitifully seeking God,
and has served and praised and sacrificed to God with a zeal akin to madness.
But God has made no sign. I cannot believe that man was at the first created
"perfect," and that he "fell." (How could the perfect fall?) I believe the
theory of evolution, which shows not a fall but a gradual rise. I cannot
believe that God is a loving "Heavenly Father," taking a tender interest
in mankind. Because He has never interfered to prevent the horrible cruelties
and injustices of man to man, and because he has permitted evil to rule the
world. I cannot reconcile the idea of a tender Heavenly Father with the known
horrors of war, slavery, pestilence, and insanity. I cannot discern the hand
of a loving Father in the slums, in the earthquake, in the cyclone. I cannot
understand the indifference of a loving Father to the law of prey, nor to
the terrors and tortures of leprosy, cancer, cholera, and consumption. I
cannot believe that God is a personal God, who intervenes in human affairs.
I cannot see in science, nor in experience, nor in history any signs of such
a God, nor of such intervention. I cannot believe that God hears and answers
prayer, because the universe is governed by laws, and there is no reason
to suppose that those laws are ever interfered with. Besides, an all-wise
God knows what to do better than man can tell Him, and a just God would act
justly without requiring to be reminded of His duty by one of His creatures.
I cannot believe that miracles ever could or ever did happen. Because the
universe is governed by laws, and there is no credible instance on record
of those laws being suspended. I cannot believe that God "created" man, as
man now is, by word of mouth and in a moment. I accept the theory of evolution,
which teaches that man was slowly evolved by natural process from lower forms
of life, and that this evolution took millions of years. I cannot believe
that Jesus Christ was God, nor that He was the Son of God. There is no solid
evidence for the miracle of the Incarnation, and I see no reason for the
Incarnation. I cannot believe that Christ died to save man from Hell, nor
that He died to save man from sin. Because I do not believe God would condemn
the human race to eternal torment for being no better than He had made them,
and because I do not see that the death of Christ has saved man from sin.
I cannot believe that God would think it necessary to come on earth as a
man, and die on the Cross. Because if that was to atone for man's sin, it
was needless, as God could have forgiven man without Himself suffering. I
cannot believe that God would send His son to die on the Cross. Because He
could have forgiven man without subjecting His son to pain. I cannot accept
any doctrine of atonement Because to forgive the guilty because the innocent
had suffered would be unjust and unreasonable, and to forgive the guilty
because a third person begged for his pardon would be unjust. I cannot believe
that a good God would allow sin to enter the world. Because He would hate
sin and would have power to destroy or to forbid it. I cannot believe that
a good God would create or tolerate a Devil, nor that he would allow the
Devil to tempt man. I cannot believe the story of the virgin birth of Christ.
Because for a man to be born of a virgin would be a miracle, and I cannot
believe in miracles. I cannot believe the story of Christ's resurrection
from the dead. Because that would be a miracle, and because there is no solid
evidence that it occurred. I cannot believe that faith in the Godhood of
Christ is necessary to virtue or to happiness. Because I know that some holding
such faith are neither happy nor virtuous, and that some are happy and virtuous
who do not hold that faith. The differences between the religious and the
scientific theories, or as I should put it, between superstition and rationalism,
are clearly marked and irreconcilable. The supernaturalist stands by "creation":
the rationalist stands by "evolution." It is impossible to reduce these opposite
ideas to a common denominator. The creation theory alleges that the earth,
and the sun, and the moon, and man, and the animals were "created" by God,
instantaneously, by word of mouth, out of nothing. The evolution theory alleges
that they were evolved, slowly, by natural processes out of previously existing
matter. The supernaturalist alleges that religion was revealed to man by
God, and that the form of this revelation is a sacred book. The rationalist
alleges that religion was evolved by slow degrees and by human minds, and
that all existing forms of religion and all existing "sacred books," instead
of being "revelations," are evolutions from religious ideas and forms and
legends of prehistoric times. It is impossible to reduce these opposite theories
to a common denominator. The Christians, the Hindoos, the Parsees, the Buddhists,
and the Mohammedans have each their "Holy Bible" or "sacred book." Each religion
claims that its own Bible is the direct revelation of God, and is the only
true Bible teaching the only true faith. Each religion regards all the other
religions as spurious. The supernaturalists believe in miracles, and each
sect claims that the miracles related in its own inspired sacred book prove
the truth of that book and of the faith taught therein. No religion accepts
the truth of any other religion's miracles. The Hindoo, the Buddhist, the
Mohammedan, the Parsee, the Christian each believes that his miracles are
the only real miracles. The Protestant denies the miracles of the Roman Catholic.
The rationalist denies all miracles alike. "Miracles
never happen." The Christian Bible is full of miracles. The Christian
Religion is founded on miracles. No rationalist believes in miracles. Therefore
no rationalist can accept the Christian Religion. If you discard "Creation"
and accept evolution; if you discard "revelation" and accept evolution; if
you discard miracles and accept natural law, there is nothing left of the
Christian Religion but the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. And when one
sees that all religions and all ethics, even the oldest known, have, like
all language and all science and all philosophy and all existing species
of animals and plants, been slowly evolved from lower and ruder forms; and
when one learns that there have been many Christs, and that the evidence
of the life of Jesus is very slight, and that all the acts and words of Jesus
had been anticipated by other teachers long before the Christian era, then
it is borne in upon one's mind that the historic basis of Christianity is
very frail. And when one realises that the Christian theology, besides being
borrowed from older religions, is manifestly opposed to reason and to facts,
then one reaches a state of mind which entitles the orthodox Christian to
call one an "Infidel," and to make it "unpleasant" for one to the glory of
God. That is the position in which I stand at present, and it is partly to
vindicate that position, and to protest against those who feel as I feel
being subjected to various kinds of "unpleasantness," that I undertake this
What is the neurobiological basis of suggestibility and of dissociation?
Traditional cortical inhibition theories hold that hypersuggestibility is the result of inhibition of the cerebral cortex (and thus the usual 'critical faculties') due to some sort of override by lower brain centers. This has proven to be an overly simplistic way of looking at it. A more recent version of that former Pavlovian theory is that the left cerebral hemisphere is somehow selectively inhibited during conditions of hypersuggestibility.
This is an expression of the popular culture view of 'left-brained' and 'right-brained.' As for most behavior, there will likely be evidence for a differential contribution from the asymmetric cerebral hemispheres in hypersuggestibility, but so far differential hemisphere activity itself does not seem to be the primary mechanism of enhanced suggestibility.
We have good reason at this point to think of enhanced suggestibility as a common endpoint toward which a number of methods can lead in some or all human beings. Hypnotic induction is only one of these methods. There are also very good indications that there is something special about some forms of dissociation that merits further investigation into just what cognitive functions become split, under what conditions these splits occur, and how they occur. It is also of great interest how dissociation relates to various anomalous phenomena (such as extrasensory perception, psychokinesis, and others) that have long been associated with 'dissociative states.'
|Darkstar Phenomenology Teaching a bomb to think|
|Does God play dice? Ian Stewart on Determinism and Freewill|
|God is a brain disorder Polly Toynbee on the physical facts of belief in God|
|Chaos frees the Universe Paul Davies on Determinism and Chaos Theory|
|Theological Implications of Chaos Neal Magee on how Chaos Theory knocks on into Theology|
|Ordinary Miracles Complexity Theory|
|Belief index Articles on Belief Belief index at 741.com|
|Channel 4 Believe Belief|
|Argument from Design Life does not need a God to exist|
|God Dimension Alternative God-centered views|
|In the Beginning Do advances in human knowledge of the universe spell the end for the idea of an all-powerful creator?|
|Where do we come from? Are human beings created? NO - so where do we come from? for the idea of an all-powerful creator?|
|Big-bang What happened before the big-bang? The question is absurd says Paul Davies|
|The Day Time Began Paul Davies on where the laws of physics came from.|
|The Case Against God:Science and the Falsifiability Question in Theology.|
|The Case for God : God is only a Theory|
|The Army of the Night Isaac Asimov provides 7 more reasons why Theists are in error.|
|Rationally Speaking Massimo Pigliucci's page with downloadable PDF docs on why creation is false.|
|The evolutionary engine and the mind machine Chris Complin|
|Why I don't believe the Resurrection Story|
|Saved for the Nation Information on religious texts|
|Who is Jesus? Magician or nutcase? You decide|
|Natural Born believers Sue Blackmore asks if we were born to believe|
|Science without bounds Adam Ford|
|'Speech threat' of religious law The
law is set to aid religious dogma from being harassed by reasoning minds.
How to Evolve Specified Complexity by Natural Means - Matt Young explains fallacies about the 2nd law of Thermodynamics
|Faith Skeptic - An ex-Christian tells us where the Bible is faulty|
|A History of Disbelief - Jonathan Miller|