Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Extraordinary indeed!

Here, from "Deacon Duncan's blog!" , Duncan demolishes a commenter, Jayman's two cents worth that is trying to refute the claim that 'Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence', giving alleged miracles 'carte blanche'.

Jayman claims that 48% of the population of the United States are positive that they have witnessed a miracle.

Jayman says, "If you were to try and explain many of the miracles you would offer extraordinary explanations as well."

I think that this is brilliant. Here Jayman turns-tables, or, attempts to hoist atheists by their own petard!
I love that stupid saying!
I always picture a crazy man running with an unreliable bomb.

It's 'funny' that Tony warned everyone about just such a confusion between meanings of the word extraordinary!

It certainly WOULD be extraordinary if you COULD explain all the 'wannabe' miracles to everyone's satisfaction, in the process advancing science and medicine immeasurably!

Alas!(hehe)Jayman knows he has hundreds of millions of Catholics who are guaranteed to be dissatisfied with anything less than a miracle!

No matter how convincing your explanations are, they will simply refuse to be convinced, making your task impossible.

If you managed to convince the public that 99% of their supposed miracles were natural events, they'd change tack and pronounce you evil for stealing their thunder, for being a successful adversary, for being SATAN.

e.g. The Resurrection.

1)Jesus wasn't quite dead.
2)Jesus' identical twin subbed for him.
3)After his death, Jesus 'appeared' a la if-there-are-two-among-you-gathered-in-my-name' and/or as he appeared to Paul.

(This was originally meant as a comment on Deacon Duncan's(I get mixed up and call him Duncan Deacon(LOL))blogpost but I don't want to be accused of stealing his thunder, PLUS, Duncan 'tch-tched' me and Gear Hed Ed, or at least Ed, for being snarky to Jayman.)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Theists imagine..

..... that there are preprogrammed answers in their books.
Hence the standard replies. Ask any question and the answer is, "The Bible says..", or "The Scriptures say..."

I'm not sure why this would be any kind of adequate answer to an atheist query.

I don't think that they see the question in that light, theism versus atheism, and they just want to fend off every expression of 'fading' to 'differing' to 'non' to 'anti' belief in their solution to the mystery of life and the universe.

Quote from "The Bible is, through and through, a historical revelation. It is the account of God’s activity in history."

"Through and through"? Whoever wrote this is sincerely deluded and is prescribing the notion that science is without merit, any merit at all.

Of course there's nothing stopping them from softening their position and 'allowing' actual pre-history to have happened, 'allowing' evolution to have happened and allowing the possiblity of 'The Big Bang' to have happened.

I just think that it's being very dishonest to imagine both 'what really happened' and 'what the Bible says happened' as being equally valid!

Conversely, I think that they are being very dishonest imagining that both what really happened(Biblically) and what 'science' says happened can possibly have 'equal' truth.

The booklets were written long before science could refute the literal, Biblical 'truth' and it's a matter of historical fact that theists DID try to hide the facts from the public.

I'm sure that the public, such as it was hundreds of years ago, what with the state of 'education', wouldn't have been able to handle the truth anyways, but we still get the 'intellectual argument' that it was known since before Jesus that the World was a sphere.

Judging by the state of education today versus what the average person believes, it doesn't take a vivid imagination to guess that the priests and pastors of yore were filling their locals' heads with FEAR to keep them in line.

Likely, since the priests and pastors of the time were a source of news back then, it would have been the equivalent to Fox News today.

"We need the king to protect us from rogue armies, he is appointed by God.", and such.

I'm kind of leery about having GOD appoint people to look after me, and I'll continue to be leery of this idea until God or Jesus or Allah or some 'magical' Mullah, whatever, let's call 'him' Maitreya, shows up on the Larry King Live show and starts performing miracles.

Even then, I'll 'grant' miracles, but I'll still be a little leery of whether 'goodness' is involved, never mind Godliness or Evil.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

You better believe it!

Here is some 'wisdom' from an article by Jason Lovelace called, "How to Properly Read the Bible."

" How,.. can someone read the Bible and understand?

"We Must Understand What the Bible Is."

"First and foremost, the Bible is a love letter. "

"..the Bible is food for the spirit, and it is living water for the soul. The Bible is living! It is alive!"

"The Bible is definitely a tool, and a useful one."

"We need to remember that the Bible is a weapon, and we must use it carefully."

"Ask God to help you understand the Bible, and he will help you."

"People make the Bible difficult when they try without help. If we will take our time, ask God to help us understand, and get to know God through the Gospels, we can understand the Bible the way God wants us to. Let us pray."

I will NEVER understand how someone is supposed to believe the entire Bible before having 'cracked' the Bible.

Whether you are going to believe it or not is not even considered in Mr. Lovelace's little essay here. Believing that there is a God is taken for granted. Believing that there is a Holy Ghost is taken for granted and, if you read the essay from the beginning there are four or five quotes FROM the Bible giving us hints on how to read it.

I get the feeling that if I sincerely asked how, as an atheist, I could try to understand the Bible(and perhaps come to believe it's 'truths'), Mr. Lovelace would have to tell me that I ought to stop being an atheist first.

This is confusing. I cannot imagine getting any kind of coherent reply from a Creationist if I invited them to read, "Origin of species.", by first believing that Darwin's conclusions were correct!

The Creationist would think me insane!

This is why I think that the entire system of 'learning the Bible' sets out as confusion technique. To be a 'decent' client for Mr. Lovelace's 'how to' technique, one would either have to have taken the notion of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit as a 'given' from as far back as you could remember OR be vulnerable and/or searching for 'the TRUTH' to escape a drug/alcohol/food addiction to be able to read and understand the Bible from the point of view that you already believe it.

I CAN empathize with those who rebelled against mom, dad and the kind pastor's "hokey" beliefs only to hit a void in their life and come back 'home' and declare that their 'atheism' was a DAMNED LIE.

Such a person might go further and declare that they tried to believe in evolution but he/she was busy drinking and cavorting to pay much attention and declare THAT just another belief system, one which, since he/she has 'seen the LIGHT' was just 'wrong thinking'.

It is easy to see how mom, dad, the pastor and even the prodigal child would be ever so pleased with themselves and all that college money wasted would be forgotten, forgiven, or at least considered a pay-backable loan while the prodigal child returned to the fold of his father's business or a simpler life of 'toiling the soil'(or any equivalent) sure in the knowledge that that higher learning stuff was the Devil's work and those colleges and universities(at least the non-theological ones) were the Devil's playgrounds.

"The Prodigal Son" is even a template for this very act of homecoming by the kid who thought that he/she was smarter than shit.

Failure is seen as a learning process here. Failure is, in fact, SUCCESS!
Ignorance is bliss!
The outside world is cruel, inasmuchas they expect you to LEARN difficult concepts and police yourself of the tendency to procrastinate, chase the girls/boys, party hearty etc. etc.

I CAN empathize with intelligent kids who got sidetracked and had to go home to mommy and daddy with their tails between their legs blaming everyone and everything BUT themselves for their failure.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

FREE WILL! (plus $7.99 S/H)

I've been thinking a bit about free will lately. I've been on the 'thumbs down' side of that for a while now.

Maybe because, like Socrates imagined, the smarter you think you are, the not-so-smart you might actually be, then 'maybe' the 'not so free' you imagine your 'will' is, the closer to free your will actually is.

Have you tried to imagine how you might be if you grew up in a very religious home, Mom and Dad making references to the Bible, just EVERY SINGLE CHANCE THEY GET!?

Do they really have free will, or are they just feeding off each other, feeding off the pastor's words, feeding off their Scriptual studies? I can see how it would be ridiculous for them to even IMAGINE that there might not be GOD, or Jesus, and to disrespect the Scriptures by saying that there is plenty of evidence that God DIDN'T do EXACTLY what the Bible SAYS HE did, would be insanity.

If the Bible says God did something or said something, it MUST be true because the Bible is inspired BY GOD!

How free are you(as said Christian) to even imagine any different?

Let's assume that we all agree that one is not at all free to consider that the Bible is not TRUTH. But you are free to worship God and Jesus and study the Scriptures or to HATE God, backslide, succumb to your animal lust, avarice, gluttony, pride, sloth, envy and of course ANGER! You're angry at God, angry at yourself, angry at everone including believers, who will ascend to Heaven leaving you to suffer in Hell for Eternity. (tsk, tsk!)

Evolution says nothing about the existence of spiritual, supernatural realms and beings, but it DOES tend to try to make you admit that God didn't ACTUALLY make the World and all the living things in it, in seven days.

Of course, I don't know anyone like this.

Let's imagine a gay guy. He looks at an attractive woman and thinks, "Gee, I wish that I were THAT attractive to the boys! Hey, if the boys that I'm trying to attract like OTHER boys!? HUH?! Think about THAT!"

Of course, I don't know two, or three people like this. Well, not three. Not that I can think of.

What I'm saying is that I don't think that the Crazy Christian that I described or the crazy gay guy that I described have any real choice here.

Sure the Christian might be convinced by an atheist that the notion of GOD is ridiculous and the gay guy might be convinced by a (let's say) Christian that he is doing wrong but they, neither one was CHOOSING his/her original position.

I think that it's very simple. You(and me), from birth, make a model of reality in our minds. Each person has a different and unique model created by outside influences(everybody else) and we use THAT model to consider any new information(also created by someone else) to guide us in decision making.

If you are a guy, you use THAT model, unless you don't think of yourself AS a guy per se.

Ying/Yang, male/female, up, down, in, out, well shit, ANY opposites that you can imagine DON'T COUNT!

As sure as you KNOW that God made the Universe in six days AND/OR as sure as you are that you think the 'boys' are sexually attractive(or both/neither even, though I don't know why you would), I just don't see any 'choice' involved there at all.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Meta-conscious- much?

"Metarealism is synonymous to metaconscience, which means beyond psychological consciousness, beyond a subjective psychological polarized view of reality. Metarealism seeks to depict the reality which exist beyond that psychological subjective perspective. Metarealism proposes not only to communicate further than the pictorial aspect of the perception of other dimension of reality, but also the essence of those dimensions and their relation to us as human beings. Metarealism then becomes a tool for the evolution of consciousness; just like in the old days artists painted sacred art to depict their vision of the reality they perceived, through their spiritual interpretation of other dimensions."

I think that saying 'metarealism seeks to depict the reality.." would certainly catch the interest of those people who are 'into' that 'higher plane', or 'higher consciousness' or even the BB Theory, that sort of thing.

But a slightly different notion, just dumping the 'meta' this or that and imagining how it DID in fact work through the ages is just as interesting.

I cannot imagine what would have happened if Mozart was born in the days of drums and flutes or Einstein was born into a world with no concept of zero.

I can see how it all 'has to fit', society with the right mixture of knowledge and freedom, universities communicating, working things out, solving problems and gaining insight to the previously unknown.

We CAN imagine an Einstein being born at the dawn of civilization and being brought before his king to perform wonders, predict wonderful things for that king etc.

Pure 'shite' we realize NOW, but 'hey' THAT was the 'meta-conscious' of the time, if you like.

We can see how the 'meta-conscious' holds us back today, government bureaucracy stubbornly sticking to some out-moded political agenda, yet that same 'meta-conscious' pushing forward.

Out of the ashes of the old comes the new and exciting, which works great for a while, then it too becomes old ashes.

In short, I don't think that we need 'meta-anything'. Reality is going great-guns without us imagining that we are somehow looking beyond it.

Just think, we pretty much have the crystal ball(okay, it's not ball shaped, it's TV shaped) and we have magic wands(clickers), we can fly, we can do wondrous things and, as it turns out we don't need to invoke spells or curry favour with 'meta-beings'.

Turns out that, after all the electrical engineering and manufacturing of components were done, all we needed were double A batteries and electric sockets.