Deaths

Where I have been.  In case you haven’t noticed, I have not posted anything to this site since May 9th.  On May 12, 2018, my mother in law, Judy died.  She had a sudden cardiac arrest, and the paramedics were not able to get her heart started.  We rushed up to her home as quickly as possible, but she was already cold by the time we got to hospital.  The next day, we had to make funeral arrangements.

She had converted to Judaism about 8 or 9 years ago, so I was able to experience a Jewish funeral, with her added special  request of hers: not to have any family, outside of immediate, or friends attend.  There was no wake or visitation, just a brief viewing at the graveside.  I have no way to convey how difficult it was for just 4 of us; father in law, wife, and 11 year old son.  Looking back, it was very selfish of her to deny friends and family that final closure.  It is what she really wanted, but I still regret not going against her wishes.

6 weeks later, my father had a sudden cardiac arrest on June 23rd.  Unlike Judy, the paramedics were able to get his heart started, but his brain was without oxygen for 5 to 8 minutes.  They followed a long protocol to cool his body down and then raise it back up to see how much brain damage had occurred.  It turns out, all that was really left was his brain stem.  On June 28th, it was decided to discontinue any life support.  He was surrounded by family, and his brainstem was able to keep his heart and lungs going for about 2 hours.  He could of been kept alive by machines, but he died on the Saturday, a few minutes after his heart stopped.

My Father’s funeral was very different, our whole family, his friends, and even his remaining brother came from Michigan to pay his respects.  The hardest part of the day was the fact it fell on my son’s 12th birthday.  The officiant suggested that we celebrate his birthday, and she even bought him a cake.  The funeral was very touching, and I was a pallbearer.  I spoke as well, telling a funny story about a pair of lost glasses and a van up a mountainside.  It was great to have closure.

When it is all said and done, I still don’t believe there is a god, or an afterlife, which makes the whole dealing with the death of loved ones all that much harder.  Now that I have seen what death looks like and how final it is, I know the truth,  dead is dead.  It is hard to know I will never see them again.  For anyone who says atheists just want to deny god to sin, has not thought of the repercussions of not being able to believe in a god.  This also means I can’t believe in an afterlife.  Do you really think I would want to give up the possibility of living in paradise, forever, for a few brief years of pleasure?

I know the pastor and Rabbi mean well during the funeral ceremonies, but I know they have no idea what happens to us after we die.  For all the talk of looking down on us and resurrection, the facts are there is almost no possibility of an afterlife, resurrection, or rebirth.  The only hope that I have is that that humans, or our machine creations, in the far future will find a way to save our memories and personalities at the point of death.  But, for now, when the 1.5 kilograms of brain stops working, that is the end, and that is a depressing thought.  I would rather live with that sad fact than live with a lie.

I really miss my Dad and my mother in law and I really am trying to honor their memories, but that is all I can do, since they are truly gone.

 

Relationships

“Christianity is a relationship, not a religion.”

How many times have you heard that phase?  Every time I have heard that phrase, I have been genuinely confused.  Of course Christianity is a religion, by all but the most convoluted definitions of what a religion is.  Do you worship a deity?  Do you pray to said deity?  Do you meet regularly to worship?  It’s a religion.  If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and has all the properties of a duck, it’s a duck.  To me the quote sounds like “A flock of ducks are a relationship, not a flock of birds.” Ducks, are by definition, birds. Christianity, by definition, is a religion.  However, this is not the most confusing point, the relationship part is what really gets me.

 

I am a 44 year old American man.  I have 2 brothers and a sister.  I have been married 15 years to the same woman.  I have a child.  I have been in several adult relationships and have adult friends and coworkers.  I know what relationships are with other human beings.  Heck, I even have a dog, and a relationship with her. (Love my little poodle.  Real men own poodles.)  I know how relationships work.  If I didn’t, I would not be employed, married, be part of a family, etc.  In a human relationship, we speak the same language, we communicate back and forth.  We share ideas, thoughts, dreams, fears, love, hate, everything that makes us human.  This two way communication is the very basis of human relationships.  Contrast this with a relationship with Christ.  He never answers, he never talks back, he will ignore you in a time of need and never respond, in any way.  If you believe he is talking back, I am sorry, that is in your own head.  Even compared to my dog, this is not a relationship.

 

Dogs hold a special place in relationship to man.  They were the first domesticated species, and one of the few allowed in our homes and even in our beds.  Both of our species have benefitted from this relationship.  In the beginning, dogs were domesticated because they have senses and abilities we humans lack.  Early humans recognized that dogs can smell and hear much better than us, can see better in the dark, and have claws and teeth that we lack.  They started as living machines to help us, but something changed, humans and dogs developed a relationship.

 

Ask just about any dog owner and ask if they can communicate with their dogs?  Most, if not all, will say yes.  I know with our own dog, she recognizes dozens of works and understands simple questions AND responds to them. She can do tricks and even remembers the names of the people in our house.  If I say “go find mama” she will find my wife, not my son and vice versa.  If you ask if she need to go potty, she will beg, or sit if she does not.  Same thing with asking if she wants dinner.  She will beg for belly rubs, or playtime  The point here is that even though we are different species and have vastly different intelligence levels, we have a relationship.  Compare this with a relationship with Christ.  Ask a simple question, no response.  It is far less of a relationship the compared to a dog, cat, heck, even a goldfish.

 

You can see a goldfish.  A goldfish can be trained and responds to its environment.  With Jesus, it is worse than a relationship with a plant.  You can talk to a plant and never expect a response.  It’s a plant.  It lacks a central nervous system, but even a plant changes, grows, and you can adjust watering, sunlight, temperature, and fertilizer to help your plant out.  The is SOME feedback there.  With a deity, nothing, zip, nada.  Pray, beg, write notes, you will never, ever, get a response.  How, HOW is this a relationship?

 

I have yet to hear an Christian (or Jew, etc.) explain HOW their faith in some unseen, unknown, undetectable, deity is a relationship.  How do you define relationship in a way that includes your *insert deity of your choice here* relationship?    I am not being snarky here.  How do you define relationship?  Is this definition the same for your human relationships?  If not, why not?

5 reasons

Thanks to Rachael Oats/Youtube, I also wanted to respond to this little gem from William Lane Craig himself.  Nothing new here, to be honest, just WLC’s standard stuff.  

 

So what reasons might be given in defense of Christian theism? In my publications and oral debates with some of the world’s most notable atheists, I’ve defended the following five reasons why God exists:

1. God provides the best explanation of the origin of the universe. Given the scientific evidence we have about our universe and its origins, and bolstered by arguments presented by philosophers for centuries, it is highly probable that the universe had an absolute beginning. Since the universe, like everything else, could not have merely popped into being without a cause, there must exist a transcendent reality beyond time and space that brought the universe into existence. This entity must therefore be enormously powerful. Only a transcendent, unembodied mind suitably fits that description.

Several problems here, the universe probably didn’t have an absolute beginning and it didn’t just pop into existence.  The solution to this non-problem is infinitely more complicated than the problem it was trying to solve.  Where did god come from?  How long did he wait in his transcendent state before creating the universe?  Has he done this before?  Why do you need a mind to create the universe?  The other HUGE theological issue is you have to reject YOUR OWN HOLY BOOK to accept modern cosmology.  The Bible DOES NOT describe how the universe began as modern cosmology understands it. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.  You accept the Bible or you accept cosmology.  If you are doing some sort of acrobatics in terms of interpretation, then you are NOT accepting the Bible literally.

2. God provides the best explanation for the fine-tuning of the universe. Contemporary physics has established that the universe is fine-tuned for the existence of intelligent, interactive life. That is to say, in order for intelligent, interactive life to exist, the fundamental constants and quantities of nature must fall into an incomprehensibly narrow life-permitting range. There are three competing explanations of this remarkable fine-tuning: physical necessity, chance, or design. The first two are highly implausible, given the independence of the fundamental constants and quantities from nature’s laws and the desperate maneuvers needed to save the hypothesis of chance. That leaves design as the best explanation.

Fine tuning is VERY misunderstood.  The so called fine tuning is descriptive NOT prescriptive.  As far as we know, since we only know one universe, these values are all they CAN be in this universe.  It is akin to saying that water freezes at exactly 0°C, super fine tuned, right?  Well, since the freezing point of water is what defines or describes WHAT 0°C is, this is stupid argument.  If the universe was fine tuned, why is only 0.0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001% of the total volume of it suitible for life?

3. God provides the best explanation of objective moral values and duties. Even atheists recognize that some things, for example, the Holocaust, are objectively evil. But if atheism is true, what basis is there for the objectivity of the moral values we affirm? Evolution? Social conditioning? These factors may at best produce in us the subjective feeling that there are objective moral values and duties, but they do nothing to provide a basis for them. If human evolution had taken a different path, a very different set of moral feelings might have evolved. By contrast, God Himself serves as the paradigm of goodness, and His commandments constitute our moral duties. Thus, theism provides a better explanation of objective moral values and duties.

There are no objective values.  Your holy book contains moral values that most reasonable humans would consider abhorrent.  Selling women as wives, how to buy and treat slaves, stoning people to death for adultery, and the new testament is WORSE.  Instead of actually performing a sin, all you have to do is THINK it.  I challenge you to show me what objective moral values are.  Not boiling a goat in its mother’s milk is NOT an objective moral value, but IS one of the Ten Commandments.  Don’t believe me?  https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+23:19&version=NIV AND https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+34:26&version=NIV

4. God provides the best explanation of the historical facts concerning Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Historians have reached something of consensus that the historical Jesus thought that in himself God’s Kingdom had broken into human history, and he carried out a ministry of miracle-working and exorcisms as evidence of that fact. Moreover, most historical scholars agree that after his crucifixion Jesus’ tomb was discovered empty by a group of female disciples, that various individuals and groups saw appearances of Jesus alive after his death, and that the original disciples suddenly and sincerely came to believe in Jesus’ resurrection despite their every predisposition to the contrary. I can think of no better explanation of these facts than the one the original disciples gave: God raised Jesus from the dead.

The ONLY source for this life, death, and resurrection are the gospels.  How do we know the gospels are true?  Because god wrote the Bible.  How do we know god wrote the Bible?  Because the Bible says god wrote the Bible.  Circular logic anyone?  Why did no one else alive at the time notice 3 hours of darkness?  SAINTS COMING BACK TO LIFE AND WANDERING THE STREETS??????  You would think someone would of noticed ZOMBIES!!!

5. God can be personally known and experienced. The proof of the pudding is in the tasting. Down through history Christians have found through Jesus a personal acquaintance with God that has transformed their lives.

No, he can’t.  You think you are experiencing something, Jesus, but the EXACT SAME CLAIM can be made of Muhammed, Vishnu, and a thousand other gods.  People see shit that isn’t real.  I, personally, have never experienced any kind of spiritual/touch of god/woo magic.  Even if DID, it would be no basis in convincing others and not the truth. I know my senses can lie, and so can yours.

 

Looking for Jesus

I am making my way though The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel, but I have to pause and go and actually read the 4 gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, since this is his ONLY source of information on Jesus.  So, I will be skipping ahead to the New Testament in my Bible study.

Edit 2/15/2018:

You know what, now that I am about 1/3rd of the way through Matthew, anyone who believes in this shit is fucking nuts.  Seriously.  Raising people from the dead, cure the blind, sick, lepers, paralyzed, EXORCISING DEMONS INTO PIGS; did I mention RAISING PEOPLE FROM THE DEAD???????????  Not just Jesus, but his disciples, too!  You have to be fucking kidding me.  I don’t give a hairy rat’s ass when this was written, or by whom, IT IS FICTION.  Demons aren’t real AND DEAD IS DEAD.  There is no mostly dead, kinda dead, fucking dead is dead.  We are not talking about Jesus missing from his tomb, this is ordinary people being raised FROM THE FUCKING DEAD.  If you believe in this obvious mythology, you are delusional.

eDIT 3/19/2018

Sherlock Holmes and The Case For Christ

I have a confession to make, when I was a boy, I thought Sherlock Holmes was a real, actual person, not a fictional character.  The places he lived were real places, he had amazing powers of deduction, but no magic.  Why would I not believe he was a real person?  That is what happens when you don’t read the forward to a book, you assume that Dr. John Watson wrote the adventures of Sherlock Holmes, not Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  What am I talking about?  Well, because, while reading the Case for Christ, I was struck at every single justification for Jesus being a real person, risen from the dead, could be used for justifying the existence of a real Sherlock Holmes.

To make this more interesting, I will run a chapter by chapter rebuttal and name it The Case for Sherlock Holmes.

 

 

 

The Problem with Kalam

A favorite apologetic for many Christians is the Kalam Cosmological Argument.  This apologetic is stated as:

From Matt Slick:

Cosmological Argument

  1. Things exist.
  2. It is possible for those things to not exist.
  3. Whatever has the possibility of non-existence, yet exists, has been caused to exist.
    1. Something cannot bring itself into existence since it must exist to bring itself into existence, which is illogical.
  4. There cannot be an infinite number of causes to bring something into existence.
    1. An infinite regression of causes ultimately has no initial cause, which means there is no cause of existence.
    2. Since the universe exists, it must have a cause.
  5. Therefore, there must be an uncaused cause of all things.
  6. The uncaused cause must be God.

Thomas Aquinas (1224-1274) had a version of the Cosmological Argument called the Argument from Motion.  He stated that things in motion could not have brought themselves into motion but must be caused to move.  There cannot be an infinite regression of movers.  Therefore, there must be an Unmoved Mover.  This Unmoved Mover is God.

Although he is stating this as originating from Thomas Aquinas, it dates back far earlier than that, all the way back to Aristotle.  In fact, the modern name Kalam Cosmological Argument betrays a simple fact:  Kalam refers to Islamic teachings.  Herein is are my major argument against this apologetic.  It originated with Aristotle, which relates back to greek mythology:

In the beginning there was an empty darkness. The only thing in this void was Nyx, a bird with black wings. With the wind she laid a golden egg and for ages she sat upon this egg. Finally life began to stir in the egg and out of it rose Eros, the god of love. One half of the shell rose into the air and became the sky and the other became the Earth. Eros named the sky Uranus and the Earth he named Gaia. Then Eros made them fall in love.

As you can see there, the cosmic egg is a just as valid as the Biblical account of Waters from Waters, firmament, etc.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

 And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.

 And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place,and let dry ground appear.” And it was so.  God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.

Do either of these sound like how the universe actually started?

From Space.com

In the first second after the universe began, the surrounding temperature was about 10 billion degrees Fahrenheit (5.5 billion Celsius), according to NASA. The cosmos contained a vast array of fundamental particles such as neutrons, electrons and protons. These decayed or combined as the universe got cooler.

This early soup would have been impossible to look at, because light could not carry inside of it. “The free electrons would have caused light (photons) to scatter the way sunlight scatters from the water droplets in clouds,” NASA stated. Over time, however, the free electrons met up with nuclei and created neutral atoms. This allowed light to shine through about 380,000 years after the Big Bang.

This early light — sometimes called the “afterglow” of the Big Bang — is more properly known as the cosmic microwave background (CMB). It was first predicted by Ralph Alpher and other scientists in 1948, but was found only by accident almost 20 years later.

So, if you are a Christian (or Muslim) trying to argue that the Cosmological argument proves god, explain to me why your creation myth has no connection with how the universe actually started?  In fact, light was not even the first thing, it took over 380,000 years before light was even possible.  In fact, using this argument creates four HUGE problems:

  1. Your own creation myths have no relation to present theories as to how the universe began.
  2. You have no way to linking your particular god to the first mover, or uncaused cause.
  3. The violates the law of parsimony, by introducing a far more complicated solution, namely a timeless, spaceless, unchanging god that can create the universe out of nothing.
  4. By using this apologetic, you are ACTIVELY refuting your own personal god.

This fourth point is important.   Accepting the universe started with the Big Bang, followed by no discernable interaction for billions of years, eliminates the need for a personal god.  This apologetic really works against the concept of a god that answers prayers, cares about our sins, or interacts with the universe in any way.  This lack of the need of a personal god also works against the fine tuning argument.  If your deistic god started the universe and set all of the laws in motion and disappeared…you would have the universe as you see it now.

More on Kalam and other deistic apologetics.

For me, the most confusing aspects of the Kalam Cosmological are the abandonment of the Bible (or at least the old testament) and the first statement of any cosmological argument, namely that thing begint to exist.  First off, lets look into the abandoment of the Bible.

The first line of the Bible is “In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth.”  This, somehow, relates to Big Bang.  You can accept the Genesis at face value, or you can accept the standard model.  I suppose you could come up with convoluted interpretation of Genesis, but reading the actual words on the page “God created the Heavens and the Earth” I can’t help but contrast this with how the universe actually started.  The Earth began to form billions of years after this universe began.  Heck, even light was not possible for 300,000 years!  While you have apologetics that cling to the first cause, first mover, etc. accepting any of these explicitly forces the speaker to reject the Biblical Earth creation narrative.  Accepting both accounts as true is like finding a square circle or a married bachelor.  A 6 day creation that also took billions of years, in the opposite order, is logically impossible.  There is also a misunderstanding of what begins to exist actually means.

Strictly speaking EVERYTHING came into existence at the same time, at T=0, the first instant of the big bang.  Energy and matter CAN NOT be created or destroyed, only change from one to the other, or the patterns can change.  Everything is the universe is the same age AS the universe.  It just has been changing forms and states for that entire time.  The matter in your body, stars, the electricity that powers your computer, all came into existence when the universe began.  I repeat:  NOTHING has come into existence since the universe began.  The whole concept of first cause or first mover is nonsense.  The universe started all at once and will eventually end up as all heat.  In all of those trillions of years, not a single atom will come into existence that was not there at the big bang, well, at least all the elemental particles that make up atoms was there.

 

 

CARM

Going through the 5 apologetics on CARM.org, my comments are in italics.  

Cosmological Argument

  1. Things exist.  Ok.
  2. It is possible for those things to not exist.  No, I do not agree with this.  This is a nonsense statement.  It is very likely it is NOT possible for something to not exist.  Energy and matter can not be created or destroyed.  After the first Planck second, all the was and every will be came into existence.  
  3. Whatever has the possibility of non-existence, yet exists, has been caused to exist.  There is no such thing as possible non-existence.  The sum total of the universe never changes, just changes form.
    1. Something cannot bring itself into existence since it must exist to bring itself into existence, which is illogical.
  4. There cannot be an infinite number of causes to bring something into existence.
    1. An infinite regression of causes ultimately has no initial cause, which means there is no cause of existence.  Yes, you can have an infinite series of causes.
    2. Since the universe exists, it must have a cause.  This is an assertion.  The universe does not need a  cause.  
  5. Therefore, there must be an uncaused cause of all things.  The very concept of an uncaused cause is contradictory.
  6. The uncaused cause must be God.  Why?  Why can’t the uncaused cause be a quantum fluctuation?  Or the intersection of two or more universes?  There are almost an infinite number of causes that are simpler than a god.

 

  1. Everything that has a beginning needs a cause.  How do you know that?  This universe started and all matter and energy started at once. 
  2. The universe had a beginning. Really?  How do you know that?  The most commonly accepted hypothesis is the universe most likely did not have a beginning, just a point of minimal entropy.  We will never know what came before.
  3. The universe needs a cause.  If the universe never began, it does not need a cause.
  4. There cannot be an infinite regress of caused causes.  Yes, there can be.  
  5. There must be a cause for all else which has no beginning and needs no cause for its own existence.  This is contradictory and makes no sense.  To postulate an uncaused cause is nonsense.

Paley’s argument is as follows:

  1. Human artifacts are products of intelligent design.   We only know this because we are familiar with intelligent designers, us.
  2. The universe resembles human artifacts.  No, it doesn’t, at all.
  3. Therefore the universe is a product of intelligent design.  Since 2 is not true, this is a non sequitur.  
  4. But the universe is complex and gigantic in comparison to human artifacts.   Since 2 is not true, this is a non sequitur, and childish to boot.
  5. Therefore, there probably is a powerful and vastly intelligent designer who created the universe.  Really?  Not even probably, and the very concept lacks any parsimony.

The Moral Argument for God’s Existence

The argument is a very simple one, and can be structured something like this:

  1. For an objective moral standard to exist, God must exist  Objective morals do not exist.  Morals are the product of thinking agents.
  2. An objective moral standard does exist.  If all multicellular life went extinct, would there be morals?  Of course not.  Objective morals, like objective colors, do not exist.
  3. Therefore, God exists.  Therefore gods don’t exist.  Even if there were a objective moral standard, those morals, by definition, would have to be subjective to whatever creates those morals.  If the creature is bound by objective morals, it is not a god. 

Some Christians have found it helpful to structure the argument in the negative form1:

  1. If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.  Correct, they do not exist.
  2. Objective moral values and duties do exist.  No, they do not.  Can you even name what those objective morals are?  
  3. Therefore God exists.  Therefore, gods do not exist.

The Ontological Argument

This argument was first attempted by Anselm of Canterbury in the 11th century. He approached it this way:

  1. God is by definition the greatest conceivable being.
  2. This is obvious, because if one can conceive of a being greater than God, then that being would be God
  3. If God exists only in the mind, something greater than God can be conceived: A God who exists in the actual world
  4. But God is the greatest conceivable being, so definitionally we cannot conceive of anything greater than God
  5. God must, then, be a being that exists not only in the mind but also in reality
  6. Therefore God exists

Anselm explained this another way, saying:

  1. A being whose non-existence is inconceivable is greater than a being whose non-existence is conceivable.
  2. God is the greatest conceivable being
  3. God, then, is a being whose non-existence is inconceivable
  4. Therefore, God exists

Many Christian thinkers still believe in and use various forms of this kind of argument. The most popular modern expression was published by Alvin Plantinga and popularized by William Lane Craig. It follows the approach of Anselm in using the concept of God’s definitional greatness and frames the argument this way:1

  1. It is possible that a maximally great being exits.
  2. If a maximally great being exists, then it exists in some possible world.
  3. If a maximally great being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world
  4. If a maximally great being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world
  5. If a maximally great being exists in the actual world, then a maximally great being exists
  6. Therefore, a maximally great being exists

All of the ontological arguments can be broken down into “I can imagine a god exists, so it has to exist in reality.”  Plug in daemon instead of god and the logic holds just as well.   Let me reword it:

  1. It is possible that a maximally evil being exits.
  2. If a maximally evil being exists, then it exists in some possible world.
  3. If a maximally evil being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world
  4. If a maximally evil being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world
  5. If a maximally evil being exists in the actual world, then a maximally evil being exists
  6. Therefore, a maximally evil being exists

I just proved the Devil exists.  Stop using this apologetic. It didn’t work 900 years ago, it does not work now.

Doubts

I don’t believe you.

The more that I think about, the less I can accept full grown adults can believe in an invisible space wizard, that grants wishes, created the whole universe, and had to sacrifice himself to himself, to appease himself.  You can’t possibly believe that an infinite sky daddy ‘fine tuned’ 0.000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001% of the the universe to make a world mostly suited to humans? Can you?  Yes, that is 1×10-53rd power.  Why would a god create a universe with 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars, just for us?  Why would an intelligent designer give squids better eyes than us?  It just don’t believe it, I can’t believe it, and I don’t understand how people are so deluded that that think some desert goat herders got it all right a few thousand years ago.  They key is, their holy book contradicts reality.  FROM PAGE 1.  The order of creation is all wrong, cosmology is all wrong, the origin of species is all wrong, there never was a flood, Babel never existed, Moses never lived, and there were not 2,000,000 Jews wandering the desert for 40 years.  You can WALK from Egypt to Israel in about 5 days.  

Birds aren’t bats, rabbits don’t chew their cud, axe heads don’t float, you can’t walk on water or return from the dead.  I don’t have a problem with the Bible contradicting itself, I have a problem with it contradicting reality.  

The sheer level of self delusion needed is incomprehesible to me.  So, let me know how you thold those two concepts at the same time?  Do you just deney reality?  Do you just not think about it? Do you use some sort of pretzel logic?  Me, I can only hold one concept at a time.

Bored

When I started this site a few years ago, I had high hopes that I could really sink my teeth into modern Christian apologetics.  Along the way, I tackled Flat Earth (and grew bored of it), looked into some transcendent gibberish, and starting reading the Bible.  I wanted to really challenge myself and really discover if there is anything to these alternative beliefs.  Instead, I find myself bored with the whole concept, starting with Christian Apologists.

What I was most shocked to discover in Apologetics is there has not been any new defenses put forth in 700 years!  There has been some rebranding and new names, but it still the same tired apologetics.  One of the most absurd defenses I have run across is you have to really study theology to ‘find god’.  This is stupid.  Do I need to study astrophysics to know the sun is real?  Do I need to study oceanography to know the oceans are real?  Real things are self evident.  Imaginary things are not.  God is not self evident and is imaginary.  My other complaint in studying apologetics is there are some real areas which there are no reasonable answers.

The first of which is “why should I believe in your gibberish over someone else’s gibberish?”  Or more elegantly, this is the outside test of faith.  You both use the same arguments for wildly different claims.  How can I tell the difference?

The second issue for me is for many of the philosophical arguments, like the Kalam or First Mover, there is no link between the vague deistic god and their particular god.   No matter how much they argue about the fine tuning of the universe, or, objective morality, I have not been able to find any coherent connection between those concepts and a particular god.

A third issue is ‘objective morality’ or ‘objective truths’ or even ‘Judeo-Christian Values.’  For the life of me, I can’t find any of these spelled out.  Seriously, try to search for it.  If you can point to a good source for any of these concepts, please, PLEASE, leave them in the comment section.

Fourthly, I am personally disgusted by the views shown on many apologetics websites, specifically, the anti homosexual agenda.  I really don’t want to drive any sort of traffic back to those hate filled websites.

Finally, I am just bored.  There is just no challenge countering Christian Apologetics.  The Bible is a vile and boring book.  Debunking Flat Earth is boring and stupid.   Maybe I will continue with the Bible reading, however, it is going nowhere and I just don’t care.  If anyone would like me to continue, please let me know, otherwise, I will be spending my free time on retro video games and systems and making stuff.  So much more fun than researching religious drivel.

My website

I recently had a post up regarding a way to reason to Christianity, to which the author responded.  I looked into his blog further and found much of want he is writing about is personally very offensive to me and I do not wish to link back to his site for the clicks.  No matter how you spin it, saying homosexuality is wrong and using your religion to justify it gets no quarter on MY website.  I am a straight, married man, but I have been to two gay weddings in the last 3 years and have gay friends.  To vilify someone for their orientation is disgusting.  My website, my rules.

 

Ark Park

Over a year ago, I posted about the irony of Ken Ham’s Ark Park. Turns out, the ark is not the huge draw that was expected.

America’s Research Group had estimated the park would attract between 1.4 million and 2.2 million visitors its first year.

They claim it is drawing in 1.4 million visitors in the first year.  I was wondering, how busy does a ‘museum’ have to be draw in these numbers of visitors?  Turns out, I live in Chicago, with some of the world’s most renowned museums, including the Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Science and Industry, and The Field Museum of Natural History.   As a comparison, the 2016 visitor numbers:

  1. Lincoln Park Zoo, 3.6 Million
  2. Brookfield Zoo, 2.3 Million
  3. Shedd Aquarium, 1.9 Million
  4. Art Institute of Chicago, 1.8 Million
  5. Field Museum, 1.7 Million
  6. Museum of Science and Industry, 1.5 Million
  7. Morton Arboretum, 1.1 Million
  8. Chicago Botanic Garden, 1.1 Million
  9. Adler Planetarium, 577,749
  10. Chicago Children’s Museum 409,979.

Yes, Chicago has a shit ton of museums and zoos, and has an entire campus downtown for museums.  However, Chicago has a population of 2.7 million, with the surrounding suburbs having 6 million more.  As a member of Brookfield Zoo, I can tell you, it can get insanely busy on the weekends.  Somehow, the Ark Park expected 2.2 million visitors, which is just a touch more than ONE OF THE BEST ZOOS IN THE WORLD!!!  Mind you,  Williamstown, KY has a population of 3,925 people.  How they expected 1 to 2 million people to drive to northern Kentucky to see a boat shaped barn with animatronic figures is beyond me.  The closest real museum in Chicago to the Ark is the Field Museum, with 1.7 million last year.

The entry fee is the Ark Encounter is a staggering $40 for adults and $28 for children 5-12!

Brookfield Zoo is $19.85 for Adults, $14.50 for children 3-12.  And Brookfield has to feed and care for real animals, not animatronic toys.  Lincoln Park Zoo is Free!

Getting back to the Field Museum of Actual Fucking Natural History, $22 adults, $15 children, 3-11, with free days scattered throughout the year.

I don’t get what they were thinking.  I guess if the people who are coming are used to giving up 10% of their income, no questions asked, what is another couple hundred bucks?

Finally, Ken Ham is blaming Atheists and Secularists for the lower than expected numbers.  Oh, I’m sorry, I thought you had the Almighty Creator of the Universe is on your side?  Turns out human can defeat your god.  All we needed was the power of the pen.