This began as a script for a video I am making, but might as well post what I have so far. I will post the video after I make it:
Here is a little background, when I lost my faith, around the age of 16, I decided, quite suddenly, I was an atheist I just could not believe anymore, no matter how hard I tried. Little remnants of my past belief, in the case, Lutheranism, remained. As the years went on, more and more of the vestigial parts of my believe fell away. Belief in an after life, be it heaven or hell. The concept of sin, original or otherwise and even if anything in the Bible ever happened, including the existence of a physical Jesus.
I try not to spend too much time on religion, but it is such an interesting topic, especially considering in the unites states, over 70% of the people believe in something. As I got older, I really wanted to understand what religion, particularly Christianity means. In my exploration, I encountered a few intractable questions I have never seen a proper answer to:
Why would an omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient god require, really, demand worship? If I was all powerful and all knowing, why would I even care if one of my creations didn’t worship me? In fact, this is more of a lack of character on a god’s part. I create software and hardware all the time, but I don’t demand that my test systems worship me. I don’t get angry that they don’t worship me.
The most common apologetic that I have encountered for this one is a circular argument, god demands worship because you should worship your god.
Why would a omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient god worry about its creations worry about worshiping other gods? If you are the creator of the universe, you should be able to convince your creations pretty easily that you are real. You would not worry about your creations worshiping a graven image. If you are so real and powerful, why do even your chosen people wander away from you constantly? A jealous god seems like a contradiction. I have not seen an even half ass apologetic for this one.
The classic Euthyphro dilemma: If something good because god demands it, or does does god command it because it is good? If it is the first part of the dilemma, good is subjective, it is the latter, good is external to god and we don’t need a god to know what is good or bad. The most common apologetic for this is somehow worse that the original proposition. The apologetic says god is good by his nature and can not be bad. Well, that makes god have less free will than us humans and still makes goodness an external proposition. How did god get his good nature? Can he not change his nature? This would mean he is not a god. It just makes the problem worse.
Why would a god get angry at his own creations, that did not have an understanding of good and evil, make an ethical decision that depends on the knowledge of good and evil? Adam and Eve would not know what lying is, or if their actions would be good or evil. If you were omniscient, you would know the creations that YOU made would make that decision. Why did you make Satan? Why did you put the tree in the garden? I know the answer, this is just a silly story used to explain evil and why we have to farm and why women have hard pregnancies. However, every apologetic for this story is just plain silly.
Why do you use “Objective Morality” as a proof of god? It is nothing more than the Euthyphro dilemma with objective morality in the place of good. How can morality be objective in any way? Subjects, be it humans or god, are where morality comes from, so all morality has to be subjective. Getting back to Euthyphro, You can restate the object morality claim as such: Is something moral because god commands it, or does god command it because it is moral? Saying that god is the source of objective morality means you are just choosing the first horn of the dilemma, and you are back to subjective morality, or divine command theory.
How is eternal life possible? Eternal life depends on there being an infinite reality, but that is not possible in this universe. Nothing is infinite. If we are resurrected, how does this work? Wouldn’t our resurrected forms just be a duplicate or simulation of what we are? It may have our memories, but it is not us. What was us died when our brains died. This problem exists with ANY kind of afterlife, be it heaven, hell, or some new age concept. Why do we need eternal life? Evolution and culture already figured out how to pass on what is essentially us, children. They inherit our very DNA and we can pass down our values to them, to pass on to their children. Our deaths are the price we pay to keep the species moving forward.
How do you know there is a soul? I don’t understand how brain/soul duality works. I don’t even know how this is possible. The brain thinks, that is its purpose, to process information from our senses and react accordingly to increase our chances of survival, as an individual and as a species. If you damage your brain, your mind suffers. I just watched my father die, trust me, once the brain is gone, that person is dead. Where do souls come from? How do the interact with the brain? Why are they affected when you have brain damage? When does the soul enter the developing fetus or child? Is a soul an adult when it is created, or is it emergent? The simpler answer is that should don’t exist.
Decided to try something new, after trying to read that Jordan Peterson book, I made a video! I want to be your Atheist Dad, offering advice to you non-believers (or believers, if you like) that your dad never told you. The language can get a little salty. For this first vlog, I dive head first into Incels. I will be your Anti-Peterson.
I watched a few seconds of a Youtube video, rebutting 8 Questions No Atheist Can Answer! So, I decided to stop and see how I would/could answer these 8 questions:
1. If morality isn’t objective, does that mean Hitler never did anything wrong? Are our actions just a consequence of nature?
Objectively wrong, no Hitler did not do anything objectively wrong. To his point of view, what he did was moral and just. Morality is subjective, and what he did was subjectively wrong to most people, but not all. Our actions are a consequence of nature.
2. If you’re meaning to life is subjective and your sense of purpose in life is truly meaningless when you take into account how brief it is in the geologic time scale and how the universe will one day be destroyed, why do you try to hold others to your subjective moral standard? Why and HOW can you judge God?
I don’t hold others to my subjective moral standard, but as a society and as a species, it is in our best interest to develop a SUBJECTIVE moral code. Knowing this is our only life make it imperative to not waste it being cruel to others. I can’t judge god, god is an imaginary character. It is like asking how I can judge Spiderman or the Hulk. It is a nonsense question.
3. What proof do you have to say that God doesn’t exist? To prove that God doesn’t exist, you have to logically have a reason as to why the universe came into being out of an eternal realm of nothingness.
No, I do not have and have no obligation to disprove a god. I am not the one making a positive claim. However, the concept of an all powerful, infinite, all loving, but unchanging god, that is separate from time and space, but personal seems pretty self refuting. The concept of eternal and nothingness is meaningless before time and space.
4. Where and why did the universe pop into existence out of the “Big Bang”? Where did the Multiverse pop out of? If there was no universe made out of space-time, does that mean it just popped out of an eternal realm of nothing?
This is just the second part of question 3, broken out. The concept of “Where” is meaningless before space-time. Why? is an odd question. Does the sun need a reason to shine? Apply the same to Multiverse. Yes, our present universe can just pop out of nothing, it is called quantum fluctuations. Happens all the time.
5. Where did life come from and how? How do you explain the fine-tuning of the universe? That means that there are hundreds of thousands of conditions that needed to meet so that our universe could support life or even exist.
I am not a biologist that studies abiogenesis and I suspect you aren’t either, but let me muddle through this disjointed question. Life arose over 3.5 billion year ago, there are many theories of the origin. I personally believe it began either in mud, or around hydrothermal vents. I am not a physicist, but the fine tuning argument is poorly understood. Fine tuning is a Descriptive, not Prescriptive values. They are descriptions of what the values are. There are not hundreds of thousands of values. The entire universe is bounded by: Electromagnetism, Gravity, Strong Nuclear Force, and the Weak Nuclear Force. I only count 4 fundamental forces. Finally, life began and evolved to work within these limits, no the other way around.
6. Why did the first organism need to consume to survive if it came into existence out of star dust? What drove it to survive?
It did not pop into existence in star dust. Life almost certainly began in the vast oceans, where there was tremendous amounts of chemical energy. When that chemical energy ran out, photosynthesis evolved to harness the sun. The first life on earth was almost certainly RNA based. It had no drive to survive, like a falling object has no desire to fall, it just does.
7. Where did DNA come from and how did something so complicated randomly come into existence? It is said that one single DNA can hold the equivalent to 4,500 books of information.
Before DNA was RNA, which is derived from Amino Acids. Amino acids are VERY common, and can even be found in the near vacuum of space. The early oceans were a literal soup of amino acids. Take amino acids, add energy and time and you will get RNA. Make enough RNA and there will be self replicating RNA. Put self replicating RNA in a phospholipid membrane, and you have a simple cell. The second part is a statement referring to a metaphor. DNA is not a book.
8. What evidence is there for the changing of kinds? We all know that there are thousands of species of the same kind of animal, like there are several different kinds of dogs. But there in nothing in the record of evolution that proves that one kind of animal, like a fish, can evolve into a human. Cats are always cat and humanoids are always humanoids. Some people say that because we all share DNA, that we are therefore all related. However, DNA and matter can merely be the mechanism God used to create all animals with and he made each slightly different.
Kinds is a meaningless term. There are entire museums and warehouses FULL of transitional fossils. I don’t understand the ‘thousands of species of the same kind of animal’. A species is a very specific definition. It is members of a population that can mate and produce viable offspring. The evolution of humans is intently researched and beyond the scope of this humble blog post. Cats are not always cats and humanoids are not human. You could not mate with an homo habilis, erectus, etc. Maybe, maybe with a Heidelbergensis, but I doubt it. Where are all these other humanoids? They are all extinct. We are all related, humans, dogs, whales, potatoes, crabs, grass…we all share DNA. What’s the point? Finally, we have a cop out here with guided evolution. Why add god when natural selection is the simpler answer?