Saturday, January 22, 2011

Personal experience or confirmation bias.

Today I want to get to the heart of why people believe in personal gods. This will not apply to everyone but i think it fits a large number of believers. As humans we are naturally afraid of the unknown, some of the more popular ones religion prays on is fear of death. There are definitely other fears that religions pray on but this one is a popular one. People don't want death to be the end so religion sells them a solution. These people want to believe. Once they are in a position where people want to believe, obviously it does not mean people will continue to believe. This is where the actual topic of this blog comes in. People are taught to confirm their god with certain unknowns and confirmation bias. So, in this blog I am going to cut throw the red herring type arguments for their belief such as the argument from design and take a look at the actual factors that lead to religious belief to begin with.

A person is taught to see the good in the world and attribute it to god. They look at the world and their lives and attribute the good things that happen them to god. Many christians will ignore the bad or attribute it to satan. There is no evidence that this is the reason any of this happens they are just trained this way. People have a psychological tendency to fall for these types of things. For instance people will go to a psychic like John Edward and he through some tricky help(spies) and the use of statistical guesses will make a claim about someone in the group. Once the person decides this is about them they find a way to confirm the belief that he really is talking to a dead relative or friend. When actually analyzed we find many errors he has made and many misses but the person did not hear these because they want to believe. The same can be said about religion, it makes you want to believe and you confirm the ideas with your own confirmation bias.

Another example would be prayer, prayer works is a common claim among christians. They ignore the failed prayers and are taught to attribute it to gods will. Then they confirm their beliefs with the prayers that actually come true. Even though prayers are usually something you want so you increase the odds of them coming true by working towards them. Other times you may know somebody who was cured of a disease that kills most, they take that person surviving the disease as a sign of god, but fail to see that many people who were prayed for die.

People will confirm miracles or what they call miracles as well. I had one christian tell me it was a miracle he didn't wreck his motorcycle one day. This person was well trained to attribute this to god, without ever considering the number of people who do crash. Another great example is a miracle that was attributed to Mother Theresa had to do with a new film actually working the way it was suppose to. The camera man made a comment about it being a miracle even though it was the film and he knew this, the rumor spread and out of nowhere even the camera man correcting the situation and saying it was the film not really a miracle could not stop this belief.

Another thing they use are what we call spiritual experiences. It can be through the use of music or the community effect or meditative brain states. . Music is often used in a way to get people to think they are experiencing god. The people are trained to actually think that the feeling they are getting through the church music is god. This is ironic as contradictory gods are given credit for this feeling. The same can be said about the use of the community. Being a part of a community can make a person feel better, even improve themselves, this is then attributed to the god of that community. Also, people all throughout religions have what are called as spiritual experiences, if you are in deep prayer in the usa you will attribute this brain experience to jesus, where as if you are in iran you may attribute it to Allah, or a Buddhist may give credit to reaching nirvana.

Speaking of Geographically, I also talk to a lot of Christians who claim to not have been indoctrinated with their belief by their parents. This may be true but chances are these people are American. A place where 80% of the population is Christian. They probably pass several churches on their way to work. They watch tv filled with TV messages that are associated with the christian world view. One of the biggest ironies many Christians will oppose things such as horror movies or heavy metal music that uses the imagery of Satan, which stays within the christian worldview. This makes the person who wants to be good, go against Satan, further ingraining the idea of Jesus is the right decision.

The person desperately wants to believe in religion so they accept the explanation they are given for these experiences on unfounded evidence, the religion self supports itself without actually having to prove these things are actually related to religion. If there is one thing we can say about religion is the design is brilliant from a psychological side.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Toy Salesman rapes 96 children, today I have an interview with the one witness to all the crimes!

A man has raped 96 children and there is one witness so I will interview him today. Ok so we have a witness coming forward to all these crimes the one being who saw all this is our Lord and savior who has a multiple personality disorder Yahweh/Jesus. Lets get right to the interview now.

Atheistbebil: Hi Yahweh or Jesus whatever you want me to call you. Thanks for being here.

God: Just call me God, and no problem.

Atheistbebil: Why did you choice to do nothing in this situation.

God: I had to give the guy free will, besides Joe Smoe american was needing help with a struggle because their child didn't agree with them today.

AtheistBebil: So you thought Joe Schmoe americans problem was worth violating free will and not 96 boys being raped? Interesting?

God: Yup.

Atheistbebil: You don't find this wrong?

God: not at all. What did you want me to do?

Atheistbebil: Well you are all powerful are you not?

God: Yes, but I couldn't do the obviously right thing that would make the whole concept of faith invalid.

Atheistbebil: So faith is more important to you then actually carrying out your supposed love for the people you claim to love?

God: Come on, thats harsh, if i made it to obvious, you atheists would believe in me, then who could I burn.

Atheistbebil: Guess that gets right to the heart of it.

Monday, January 10, 2011

God and the Law of Non-contradiction and other proofs against god

In this blog I am going to discuss proofs that certain gods do not exist based on the law of non-contradiction and possibly some other proofs. In case someone is not aware the law of non-contradiction is basically that something cannot have contradictory attributes. For instance you can not have a circle square. Something can't be all yellow yet all red. So on and so forth. Lets point out a couple of arguments that lead to this law being violated. In each I will show the attributes of god that I am using, and all very common attributes given to a god, might I add.

Ok, the first one will be basic, for this we just need god to be all powerful. Here are the syllogisms that lead to a contradiction.

premise 1: a part of all power is being able to make a rock that anyone cannot pick up
Premise 2: god is all powerful
Conclusion: God can make a rock no one can pick up

Second syllogism:
Premise 1: a part of being all powerful is being able to pick up any rock
Premise 2: god is all powerful
Conclusion: God can pick up any rock

The problem is this one attribute creates contradictory claims. God cannot pick up the rock he made, yet he can pick up any rock. But lets assume we get past this and have more damning arguments against god. Lets say god is all powerful and perfect. For this argument, what I intend to do is show you have a cognitive dissonance in your head if you believe this. I am going to assume you accept this statement. It is wrong to watch a child get raped if you can stop it. If I can prove god does this then god is perfect is a contradictory belief to that. Here is the argument:

Premise 1: God is all powerful
Premise 2: A part of being all powerful is being able to stop child rape
Conclusion: god can stop child rape

Keep that conclusion in mind we will use it again later in this proof.

Premise 1: God is all powerful
Premise 2: A part of being all powerful is having all knowledge
Conclusion: god has all knowledge

Keep that conclusion for later as well.

Premise 1: A part of being all powerful is being able to choice to act on anything you know
Premise 2: God is all powerful
Conclusion: God can act on anything he knows about

Premise 1: Child rape is something you can know about
Premise 2: God has all knowledge
Conclusion: God has knowledge of child rape

Premise 1: God has knowledge of child rape
Premise 2: god can act on anything he knows about
Conclusion: god can act on the action of child rape

Notice here we have god having the ability to stop child rape, his powers give him the knowledge of it and the ability to act on it. Yet he choices not to. That contradicts the original statement. You know its wrong!

Next we have a god who is all loving and has the guidelines set up that if you accept him you go to heaven if you do not accept him you go to hell. This is specific to Jesus for this case: Jesus is suppose to be all loving. But I intend to dispute that based on the assumption that you are moral enough to know that further torture of the Jewish holocaust victims is not loving.

Ok here's the argument:

Premise 1: If you do not accept Jesus you go to hell
Premise 2: The jews in the holocaust for the most part did not accept Jesus(unproven, but very founded premise)
Conclusion: The jews who died in the holocaust went to hell.

What is hell like torture according to a very many christians.

Premise 1: The jews who died in the holocaust went to hell
Premise 2: To go to hell is to be tortured.
Conclusion: The jews in hell are tortured

That's your Jesus character. This shows Jesus is all loving, yet we admitted at the beginning it is not loving to torture the jewish victims of the holocaust further, yet those are the rules Jesus set up. Contradiction.

These are just a few problems god faces in the world of reality.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

As an atheist I do pick and choose from the Bible!

Guilty as charged when discussing the bible with a bible believing christian I do pick and choose my passages that I use. Its not that I don't know the passages that are not evil or bad or ridiculous, its that I am debating, I pick and choose the passages that show the opponents view wrong. Here are the 2 stances(usually):

Chistian: The bible is the word or inspired word of a perfect god who made perfect laws.

My claim: The bible is a very fallible book that contains immorality and contradictions.

If I am trying to convince a theist that the bible is fallible, why would i bother pointing out the parts that don't contradict that stance. We both know there are parts in the bible that are good and consistent. The difference is are there parts of the bible that are inconsistent or immoral. So if I want to show that god is immoral I will pick parts of the bible such as these:

Judges 11:30 And Jephthah made a vow to the LORD: “If you give the Ammonites into my hands, 31 whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites will be the LORD’s, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.”

32 Then Jephthah went over to fight the Ammonites, and the LORD gave them into his hands. 33 He devastated twenty towns from Aroer to the vicinity of Minnith, as far as Abel Keramim. Thus Israel subdued Ammon.

34 When Jephthah returned to his home in Mizpah, who should come out to meet him but his daughter, dancing to the sound of timbrels! She was an only child. Except for her he had neither son nor daughter. 35 When he saw her, he tore his clothes and cried, “Oh no, my daughter! You have brought me down and I am devastated. I have made a vow to the LORD that I cannot break.”

36 “My father,” she replied, “you have given your word to the LORD. Do to me just as you promised, now that the LORD has avenged you of your enemies, the Ammonites. 37 But grant me this one request,” she said. “Give me two months to roam the hills and weep with my friends, because I will never marry.”

38 “You may go,” he said. And he let her go for two months. She and her friends went into the hills and wept because she would never marry. 39 After the two months, she returned to her father, and he did to her as he had vowed. And she was a virgin.

Or this:

2 kings 2: 23 From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some boys came out of the town and jeered at him. “Get out of here, baldy!” they said. “Get out of here, baldy!” 24 He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the LORD. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the boys

Or this:

1 Samuel 6: 15And the Levites took down the ark of the LORD, and the coffer that was with it, wherein the jewels of gold were, and put them on the great stone: and the men of Bethshemesh offered burnt offerings and sacrificed sacrifices the same day unto the LORD.

16And when the five lords of the Philistines had seen it, they returned to Ekron the same day.

17And these are the golden emerods which the Philistines returned for a trespass offering unto the LORD; for Ashdod one, for Gaza one, for Askelon one, for Gath one, for Ekron one;

18And the golden mice, according to the number of all the cities of the Philistines belonging to the five lords, both of fenced cities, and of country villages, even unto the great stone of Abel, whereon they set down the ark of the LORD: which stone remaineth unto this day in the field of Joshua, the Bethshemite.

19And he smote the men of Bethshemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the LORD, even he smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men: and the people lamented, because the LORD had smitten many of the people with a great slaughter.

Those are just a few of the examples I would use but it would make no sense for me to waste my time in this debate with the parts I feel are consistent with the christian viewpoint. I pick and choose these quotes based on the christian claim. I don't need the other parts, as the claim is attributed to the entire bible and once parts of it are shown not to be consistent it doesn't matter if some parts are.